Invest Where You Are

Hi. It been a long time. I’ve come to this blank page multiple times, always planning to write a new post, but words have failed me. It’s been almost four months since I’ve left Taiwan, but it feels like years. I miss Taiwan. I miss what was “normal.” I miss my friends. I miss my students. I miss teaching. I miss church. I miss the struggle of using Chinese. I miss the convenient transportation. I miss bubble tea.

Now, I’m trying to adjust to this new “normal” in the United States. In almost four months, I’ve lived in three different states and I’m about to move to another state. I haven’t really settled down since Taiwan. Things have been kind of up in the air since then. I don’t know how long I’ll be in any place right now. Everything is very temporary.

I’m tired. So tired. I have ideas and dreams, but I have no thoughts onto how I’ll attain them. I don’t even know if any of these things are things that I should be pursuing. Where should I be? What should I be doing now? These questions cross my mind all the time. There’s this overwhelming pressure to just DO something, anything, but I find myself doing nothing.

Then I was brought back to my word of the year. Invest. Investing is probably one of the hardest things to do right now, but it’s probably now one of the most important things to do now. With COVID-19 that puts so many restrictions on what were “normal” activities and with my living situation being very temporary, making commitments and investing is hard.

Community is what we all need, especially now. As a Christian, it is even more important. We all need to invest where we are and find community. God has put each of us where we are for a reason, for a purpose. Sure, how we invest and make community will look different for each person, but that doesn’t make it any less necessary.

“And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.”

-Hebrews 10:24-25

I love these verses. Don’t we all want a community like that? One where people love one another and encourage each other? One where people can reply upon each other in time of need? That’s the kind of community that we could all use no matter where we are in life.

So that’s where I’ll start. I don’t know where I’m headed or what God has planned. I feel so very lost sometimes, but thank God that he is capable of using a broken mess like me. I don’t have to know everything, but I am capable of investing in the people around me. I am capable of building community.

Personally, it’s extremely hard for me to be present. I’m always looking towards the future. And I’m not saying it’s bad to look towards the future, in fact, it’s good to look ahead. But it’s also so important to be present. And no one should be looking so much towards the future that they miss the present, that they’re not really “there” to the people around them.

In this time of transition after transition, that’s what I’m going to work on. And I hope that this encourages you, wherever you are in your community building, to continue investing. No human being is perfect, but it’s encouraging to know that God continues to invest in us despite that. What an example we have to follow.

Hoping to lighten your burden,

Gabi

I’m a Sinner Too

these past few months have passed by so quickly. my time in taiwan is almost at an end. isn’t that crazy? i’ve been here for almost a year. in one way, it does feel like a year and even longer than that. in another way, it feels like i just got here.

if i’ve ever been absolutely certain of the fact that i’m changing, it would be now. i’ve been learning and growing a lot. more than i ever thought possible. what’s even more surprising to me is that i find that i have a desire to keep learning and growing.

i don’t want to stop going down this path. i want to keep walking/running down this road. i want to keep changing. i want to keep growing in my relationship with Christ. i want to know and understand more of who God is. at least, that’s how i’m thinking right now. but to be honest, i don’t always think this way.

sometimes i just want to give it all up. it’s too hard and overwhelming. i’m tired. all i see is my faults, my sins. i see how unworthy i am of God’s love. i don’t deserve a single ounce of it. i am a sinful human being. i’ve committed so many wrongs. over and over again i sin. sometimes, i just feel like a constant failure. i don’t think that i’ll ever be any better than i am right now.

let’s be honest here. life is not just what you see in those encouraging blog posts. it’s not the short, but uplifting, tweets you see on twitter. it’s not all those aesthetic pleasing photos with the perfect inspirational caption on instagram.

no. real life, sure, it can be like that sometimes. but all the time? no. real life is hard. there’s pain. there’s suffering. there are problems, issues. usually, i don’t see the reason why things are the way that they are. i don’t understand why i have to go through ______ or ______. to me, it seems pointless.

what can i do? i’m incapable of getting myself out of this rut. i’m stuck. does any of this really matter? does anything i do really make a difference? and this is what happens. sometimes, i can just see growth growth growth. other times, i’m all i can see is my ever-growing pile of wrongdoings. i go back and forth, from one extreme to another.

but that’s not how it should be. yes, i am a sinner. yes, i can not get out of this situation on my own. but this is where Jesus comes in. he paid the price for our sin. he took the consequence of our sin. that separation from God? that broken relationship we have with God? Jesus fixes that. he died to fix it. now, we have direct access to God.

we are broken, but he is whole. we are unable, but he is able. what’s even more important, he is willing. God is able and willing to save us. he wants a relationship with us. he loves us. though we fall over and over again, God continues to save us over and over again. he wants to deliver us, because he cares about us.

and that’s true grace. it is this that i can be encouraged by. i can find comfort in God because despite what i do, God wants to have a relationship with me. he will continue to pursue me no matter how often i fail.

isn’t that amazing? i can’t begin to comprehend why God would do this. i can’t understand why he would suffer so much for us. why does he love us? why does he even care about us?

but he does. he really does.

when i look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him, and the son of man that you care for him?”

-psalm 8:3-4

hoping to lighten your burden,

gabi

Love Makes All the Difference

another week of teaching has started. and i find myself looking forward to it. it’s exciting to see new life enter into this camp. this is an entirely new and different experience for them.

i hope that i can make them feel right at home. i have learned more and more that kids need love. they need love in order to grow and mature. each and every single person has so much potential if we only give them the encouragement and love that they need.

just think of the people in your life who have shown you love and pushed you forward. those people were important to you being the person that you are today, right? can you imagine who you would be without those people in your life? you wouldn’t be the same, would you?

so these kids. they need people who love and support them. i don’t know where they are coming from. i don’t know their stories. they will only be with me for a week, not even that, before going back to their schools. it is really such a short amount of time when you consider the entirety of their lives.

but life is made up of moments, millions of little moments. and all it takes is one moment. just think of those few moments that had such an impact on you that you still remember them vividly. that’s how life is. just because time is short, doesn’t mean that i shouldn’t put forth all the effort that i can give to make it meaningful.

“give your complete attention to these matters. throw yourself into your tasks so that everyone will see your progress.”

-1 timothy 4:15

so that’s what i want to do. i want to give all the love and encouragement that i can give these kids. every moment counts. they may not remember me. they may not remember this week. will that stop me? no, because you never know whose life you are going to impact. and i most likely won’t see how it impacts them.

but that is not what is important. what’s important is that i do my best to show them all the love and support that i can. what more can i do? that’s all i can do and it is worth it. they could forget everything, but i don’t think they’ll easily forget the love that was shown to them.

love makes all the difference.

so i hope that you have people in your life that you can rely upon for encouragement and love. and i hope that you can be the kind of person who loves and supports those who need it.

no matter what your situation, you can always rely on God. he is only true constant in your life. his love and encouragement are never ending.

hoping to lighten your burden,

gabi

Hello

whether you’ve come from either two of my previous blogs (here or here) or you’re entirely new and have never seen me before, hi!

welcome to my mess.

seriously, i’m quite the mess.

but aren’t we all in some way or form?

no one is perfect.

even still, we are significant.

we have the ability to change lives and make a difference.

so even in my mess i aspire to create change, the kind of change that has an impact in others.

i hope that this blog will be a place where you can find hope, encouragement, and inspiration. or, at least, you’ll get a laugh out of it.

because it is here that i hope to share my thoughts, travels, and all the mistakes i make and the lessons i learn in between.

i hope that you’ll join me as i grow and change. life is hard, i know. but i hope that my words will bring you comfort, even if it’s only a bit.

hoping to lighten your burden,

gabi