So Let’s Love

recently, i read a chapter from the Bible with a friend of mine. we discussed some of our thoughts afterwards. i hope that i can make this kind of thing more of a habit in the future.

anyways, 1 corinthians 1 brought some very similar thoughts to our minds and i think they are worth sharing and exploring more.

first of all, God invites all sorts of people to salvation. it doesn’t matter what you’re from. whether you’re from the united states or brazil or germany or saudi arabia or ethiopia or china or anywhere, all can believe in Christ.

your background doesn’t matter either. it doesn’t matter if you were buddhist or muslim or atheist or any number or religions or beliefs. it doesn’t matter if you’ve come from a wealthy family or a poor family. all one has to do is realize he or she is a fallen, broken human being. he or she must also realize that God is the only one who can save him or her. there are no exception to the rules. one can’t be saved by doing good works. one can’t be save by believing just as faithfully and diligently in another god. no. God is the one and only true god.

this invitation is open to all. all people. isn’t that incredible? there’s no discrimination on race or gender or background. the only division is between those who believe and those who don’t. and whether someone believes or not does not change the fact that we are to love all people. and when i say all people, i mean all people.

just because we love someone doesn’t mean that we’re encouraging his or her lifestyle or that we agreed with everything he or she is doing. no. when we love someone, we love him or her with all our hearts. we may disagree with the choices she or he is making, but we love her or him anyways. love is unconditional. love has no bounds. that it something i think we easily forget.

i think the world could use a little more love. in all honesty, these are very dark and depressing times. technology is continually advancing, but i think our interpersonal relationships are quickly degrading. the family and all the different relationships involved is becoming a rare thing to see. we are more “connected” through all the technology that we have, but we are relationship-wise more lonely and lost than ever before.

so let’s love. let’s spend a little less time on the internet or social media and spend a little more time with the people God has placed here and now in our lives. we are all where we are for a reason. the people that are in your life right now? they are there for a reason. you never know when the time you spend investing in others may be life-changing for them. it also works vise versa. the time you invest in others may be life-changing for you. you never know.

hoping to lighten your burden,

gabi

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

Love Crosses Barriers

last week i completed my first week of teaching English.

wow.

where to even begin?

i was nervous. afraid. how do i teach kids when i don’t even know their language? will they really listen to me, some stranger from another country? i’m so new. what if i make a mistake? will i be any good at teaching? what if i’m awful at it? what if i hate this?

there were so many nerves going into last week. so many times the thought went through my head: i’m not ready; i’ll never be ready. but just when you want time to slow down and the day to never come, it seems that time only speeds up. monday came.

and with monday came my first class.

i work at a camp. so kids come in from nearby schools on monday morning and stay until friday afternoon. then the next week there’s a new group of kids. not every week do we have camp though, there are a few office weeks here and there.

class went well. it wasn’t as awkward as i thought it was going to be. most of the kids seemed to be very energetic. they looked like they were actually having some fun, even if they were shy.

and as i taught more and more classes throughout the week i found my enjoying it. i even started to look forward to my classes. outside of class, the kids started to warm up to me. during break times, we would play games or sing songs or draw together.

even though i know barely any chinese and they have very limited english, they still were willing to spend time with me. they didn’t care so much about the language barrier. somehow, those “barriers” just…didn’t exist. yes, it was still hard when they would say something and i didn’t have a clue. but that didn’t stop us from having fun.

so i found myself trying to spend every moment that i had with the kids. i knew that each moment was a blessing. time is short, especially here at camp. i wanted to hold tight to every single moment with these precious kids and make it last forever.

but i don’t get forever. nothing is guaranteed.

friday arrived. and i was giving the closing speech, i just started crying. i couldn’t even speak for a minute. even if i wasn’t an emotional person (which i am), seeing so many of the kids crying just took me over the top. i couldn’t take it. i was able to finish my speech, through many tears, but it hurt. it hurt to see them leave.

i miss their smiles. i miss their laughter. i miss hearing “hello teacher gabi!” when i walk by. i miss getting those “high fives.” i miss all the hugs. a few even told me “i love you”. just writing this makes me want to cry all over again.

my point is, you don’t have know the language to be able to love. love requires action. if you show that love, people will know, whether or not they speak the same language. i think those kids know that i love them. and i know that they love me.

maybe if we spend a little more time showing our love, the world might change a bit for the better.

hoping to lighten your burden,

gabi

Why I Love to Travel

if traveling is a passion, it is definitely one of my biggest passions.

i’ve discovered this passion only in about the last year, but it has unexpectedly blossomed so much in that small amount of time.

i don’t think there has been a moment in this past year that i haven’t had my next trip planned or my next flight booked. in just this year i’ve been to more places than i can count on one hand, possibly two hands.

i love traveling. but why do i love it?

i have so many answers to this question. so many it’s probably ridiculous. but let me just begin.

the people.

every single person is different. and that factor becomes increasingly more noticeable when traveling a far distance. i love people. i love engaging them and hearing their stories. each person has a unique story. they each have their own struggles and hardships. some people one meets turn into longlasting friendships, while other people one meets only in that instance. still, even that one instance can make an impression and leave memories of it to last for who knows how long.

the stories.

since we were already on about how each person has their own story, let’s discuss stories. people’s stories are incredible things. they can inspire, encourage, and motivate. they can also teach important life lessons. of course, if we’re truthful, they can also do harm. but that is often not the case.

more than other people’s stories, one creates their own stories when traveling. i have so many stories from traveling. some are scary. some are funny. while others are just really neat once-in-a-lifetime kind of stories. stories like that can’t ever be replicated. that becomes your story and anyone else’s who shared it with you. nothing exactly like that will happen again.

the destination.

of course, a big part of traveling is going to see “the place.” there are trips that people do with no destination in mind (those are cool too) but usually people have some kind of destination in mind.

i love going to different places because no place is exactly the same and in most cases they are drastically different. from rocky beaches to sandy beaches to no beaches at all. from mountains to hills to land that is flat as far as the eye can see. from ancient art to medieval art to romantic art. from gothic architecture to baroque architecture to neoclassicism architecture. the list goes on and on. each is unique and fascinating in its own way.

the culture.

personally, culture is one of the most important reasons that i love to travel. people live such different lives. going to different places really shows that. what do people spend the most time doing? what is most important to them? how do they spend their free time? what do they believe? all these questions and more give one just a glimpse into their worldview and the lifestyle that they lead.

seeing different cultures makes me so grateful and thankful for what i have. i have many freedoms that i easily take for granted, but when i see other cultures i have more of an appreciation for them. it gives me an awareness. in other cases, i find myself wanting to acquire different practices from different cultures into my own life. there are good and bad things within every culture. not one is perfect.

the food.

let me just admit it right here and now. i am a foodie. i love food. food is always a priority for me wherever i go. i’m always ready to try a different kind of food (unless it is bugs, not sure i’ll ever be ready to try that). trying people’s food is a great conversation starter. you can get to know people and start to learn about their culture. there is a lot to learn from people by the food that they make.

if food is a way into a person’s heart, it certainly is true for me. there are so many different kinds of food out in the world. spices and flavors that i have never heard of, much less actually tried. i can only hope to try them when and where i can.

i am sure that i could come up with many more reasons as to why i love to travel, but i’ll stop here. if you made it this far, i applaud you!

hoping to lighten your burden,

gabi

do you love to travel? what are some of your most important reasons for traveling? i’d love to hear from you!