You Have Meaning; You Have a Purpose

the rain continues to pour outside as i start to write this post. it has been cloudy outside ever since i woke up this morning. apparently the weather is like this because of a typhoon.

don’t worry about it much. typhoons are kind of a common thing here. it’s just another day of life in taiwan. typhoons are nothing special here. haha.

i love the sound of rain. the sound of the water falling and hitting the ground. it is very soothing. the smell of nature and the outdoors seems so fresh and new when it’s raining.

i’ve been learning so much lately. living in a foreign country where you know absolutely nothing forces you to learn so much at once. even the most basic things become complicated and hard. it doesn’t matter how much you prepare or how much you are expecting everything to be different and new, it still hits you when you are surrounded by it.

it can be overwhelming. legit so overwhelming. i don’t know how else to describe the feeling of being alone (though you may be with people, but only people you’ve recently met). the feeling of being thousands of miles away from everything you know. the feeling you get seeing all these different sights, experiencing all the different smells, tasting all the different foods, and just plain living an almost entirely different lifestyle from the one you lived before.

there are times when i feel absolutely exhilarated. i love it here. i want to experience everything. i want to try every new food and drink. i want to learn all the Chinese. i want to meet all the people. other times i am so tired. i miss having pizza. i miss being able to just “talk” to people. i don’t want to spend any time socializing. i just want to sleep or scroll through social media.

what is God’s plan for me?

what does he want me to do with my life? am i doing it? is what i’m doing right now really what he wants me to do? is there something more that i should be doing? am i missing something? my thoughts go around and around. i feel unfulfilled. dissatisfied.

other thoughts enter my mind. is anything i’m doing right now truly meaningful? it is hard to know whether or not something is meaningful or has any kind of effect if you don’t always get to see the results of it. that’s something i’m just going to have to trust God with. as long as i’m doing the work that he wants me to do, then it is meaningful. no matter how mundane or boring or normal it may seem.

and i think it becomes more meaningful, the more of yourself that you’re able to put into your work. God, no matter what we do, wants us to give our best. in everything that we do, we should give our best effort. now i’m not saying that you should over do it and give everything you have and then more to the point where you are literally hurting yourself. no. everyone has a limit. and that limit looks different for each person. you do what is your best for you. you give your all, in the way that only you can do.

wherever you are in life, i want you to know that what you’re doing. right here. right now. is meaningful. God has you there for a reason. you may not know the reason right now. and honestly, you may not know the reason until you’re in heaven with him. but that doesn’t make what you do any less meaningful.

you are you. there is only one person like you. and that’s you. you can only do what you can do. God gave you a purpose. and only you can fulfill your purpose. no one else is able to do it for you. everyone’s purpose looks different. each was uniquely designed for the person it was created for.

so don’t ever think that what you’re doing has no point. you don’t know God’s plan. only God does. and whatever that plan is, it is just what he wants for you.

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

Word of the Year: Trust

did anyone else choose a word for the year?

i first heard about choosing a word for the year around the end of last year. and i found it to be a very fascinating idea.

for one, it’s not really defined with any set list of requirements or “must do’s.” so there’s a lot of freedom in that. personally, i love the freedom to make something your own.

but without defined terms or rules, it does open the door for that word to come in and be a part of more situations than you would think possible.

of course, i know that there’s a lot of things that happens in one’s life in the space of one year. not everything is going to be focused around that one word. but you will be surprised how many different circumstances and situations that one word does cover and effect.

anyways, those are just my thoughts on choosing a word for the year. as i’m sure you’ve already guess by this point, i chose a word for the year. since this is my first time trying to do this, we’ll see how it goes.

i wanted to talk a bit about my word for this year. trust.

a lot of things happened in 2018 that made me realize that trust is something that I really need to work on. trust is something that i don’t have a lot of, especially when talking about God.

trust is important. in fact, it’s essential. in fact, it is an crucial cornerstone in having a strong relationship with God. more than that, salvation itself requires trust.

in many cases, i’ve found that trust and faith go hand in hand. faith is “complete trust or confidence in someone or something” and trust is “firm belief in the reliability, truth, ability, or strength of someone or something.” they are both very similar in my opinion.

then as a christian, i should have the whole trust and faith thing down pat, right?

no.

definitely not.

as i have learned in the past year, i have a real hard time with trust. i’m quick to rely only on myself. a lot of the stress i deal with comes from there being no trust. everything is on me. i need to complete this. i need to somehow make this happen. etc. etc. etc.

and this brings me back to a point i made in my last post.

God is in control.

it is easier to say than to believe. this doesn’t mean that you can sit back and just believe that God will make happen what needs to happen. trust requires effort made from both sides.

and i’m not going to say that there is going to come a point in your life where you’re going to be able to say that you trust God in everything. i think for most of us (if not all) trusting God is going to be a constant work-in-progress. we’re going to have to continue to push to believe that everything is in God’s hands.

that constant effort is worth it though. to know that you are not in control of your life, but God is. what a relief that is.

hoping to lighten your burden,

gabi

did you choose a word for the year? please, comment below! i’d love to hear from you!

Don’t Let Fear Hold You Back

i like to have direction.

don’t you?

isn’t it nice to have an idea of where you’re going? to have the path laid out in front of you? to know that this is where i’ll be at this point in time?

in reality, life is hardly ever like that. those people with their five or ten year plan, i applaud them. i can’t even imagine making a month plan, much less a ten year plan.

because more often than not, life seems to have a mind of its own. it throws things at us that we would have never expected. where i am right now is somewhere i would have never imagined for myself a year ago.

there’s hardly a time when i know what life is going to look like in a few months. i jump at the opportunities that pop up and seem to align with my passions. those kind of things just pop up though. there’s no telling when and where they’ll show up. so ultimately, i’m just taking things as they come. of course, there are certain things (like school) that i have an idea of where i want to be at certain times, but i don’t have much faith that they’ll turn out exactly the way that i think they will.

sometimes, this feeling of uncertainty, this feeling of no direction, terrifies me. what am i going to do with my life? how am i going to make a difference? God gave me this life. what’s his purpose for me? my fear of wasting my life is sometimes so daunting that it stops me from doing anything in the first place.

i feel like i’m caught up in this constant fight with myself. i have so many dreams and passions that i feel like i should do something with. there is so much that i would like to do, but the list is intimidating. and the fear of the unknown, the fear of doing the “wrong thing” and wasting my life is scary. not even knowing where to start is just another reason to not even try.

but you know, it’s okay to not know where you’re going.

it’s okay to have so many dreams and passions that you feel properly swamped by them.

it’s okay to be scared, because true bravery is acting out in spite of the fear.

it’s okay because your life is not your own. your life is God’s.

“don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? you do not belong to yourself, for God bought you with a high price. so you must honor God with your body.”

-1 corinthians 6:19-20

and God is in control.

God has a plan for you and he’ll make sure that you fulfill that plan. all you have to do is make sure he’s at the center of your life.

take those passions you have, take those big dreams and start small. God gave you those passions, those dreams. it may seem insignificant right now, but everything has to start somewhere. if you follow them, they will lead you to where you need to be.

hoping to lighten your burden,

gabi

what are some of your passions? what are some of your dreams that seem so unrealistic, but you dream anyways?

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