So this past week has been a painful time in the life of our church family - I say family because I have never felt so at home in a church until now.  And I have never really seen a group of people care about each other on this level ever - in my entire life.  I have already written a post dedicated to the family, so I will not go into it again.  I really want to share with you some of the things I have learned through this and over the past weeks.

1. Life is short.  The days are not promised, so live every one you are given intentionally, with purpose.  God created you for a purpose - to love Him and love people.  Find out how that looks in your/my (I am talking to myself also) life and go to it!
2. The experiences of your life serve a purpose.  Every experience you have is an opportunity for your life to bring glory to God and/or prepare you for a ministry moment.  June 2010 I lost my Mamaw - it was one of the most trying experiences of my life to say the very least.  However, I now live my life differently, I see things differently, I speak to people differently, and I relate to people differently.  To look at my neighbor and say I know where you are, I have been there is part of where I find some of my ministry/giving opportunities these days.  What you and I do and how we react to life can not only affect us but millions of people around us.
3. Love - it is the only thing that means anything.  The two greatest commandments are to LOVE God and to LOVE people.  Put aside the stupid stuff, the excuses, the arguments, and just love.
4. I used to think that I needed this list of "big things" in my life to happen for me to truly be happy and start living.  But I am the girl who had to figure out what you when the list is thrown out the window and the big things haven't happened yet.  My answer - to truly live and be happy in the little things because somehow the seemingly little things add up to some big things.  I find joy in little moments and little things God has given me.  Yes my life may look different than most girls my age, but I am okay with that.  I never really liked being like everyone else.
5. There is something incredibly beautiful in a life lived on purpose for a purpose greater than oneself.
6. Finally, be you.  The you that you were created to be - not the poor attempt at the person someone else was created to be.

I want to leave you with this song by Gungor.  It's an amazing song and it just gets better after the words stop.  It makes me feel like I am running towards God and after I get there I can accomplish anything!

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