What does life look like post graduation from graduate school? I am about to find out!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

"For Such A Time As This"

I spent this past week at the Presbyterian Youth Triennium in Indiana. Suffice it to say, it was an amazing week. I spent the whole week visiting with friends I had not seen in years, making new friends who I hope to keep in touch with, spending time in awesome worship services, singing great songs and leading a small group full of kids who were eager to learn and seemed excited to be there.
The week's theme was "For Such a Time As This" and each of the sermons and drama team presentations and such dealt with that theme. The Bible story for the week was taken from the book of Esther, a woman who stood up for her people even though it could have potentially cost her her life and her title as queen. I thought it was a very good theme to pick and found it to be particularly relevant to me and the journey I am about to venture on. The majority of the sermons really struck me as they dealt with how important it is to speak up in the face of injustice. No matter what, we must always be willing to speak out for those who are being wronged and we must be willing to speak out against injustice. This is what I believe is at the heart of the YAV program. The program is all about working to correct injustice and being willing to be the person fighting against it. It's not always easy and it often requires great sacrifice but it's always worth it in the end.
Being at Triennium made me really hopeful for the future. Not just my future but also the future of the Presbyterian Church. Seeing all these youth and young adults being told that they need to stand up against injustice and prejudice and more than that, seeing them be so willing to do so was really inspiring. It made me really proud to be a part of the Body of Christ. Christians so often get a bad rap and deservedly so in most cases, yet we can and often do do a lot of good in this world. The YAV Program is proof of that. The 60-70 of us that are about to embark on this new journey represent the good side of Christianity. We are the ones who are willing to give up a year of our lives for the greater good and show others that Christians can be loving, generous people. Triennium made me so proud to be participating in the program knowing that I will directly be having an influence in ending injustice and spreading the love of Jesus to people who may have never had somebody tell them that they are loved. It's actually quite inspiring and gives me chills just thinking about it.
I think that's all I have to say for now. As I get closer and closer to moving, I find that my to do list keeps getting longer while my days get shorter and shorter. So much to do, so little time!! Isn't that always how it is, though?? I shall close this off now. Thanks for reading this and make sure to leave a comment. I do sincerely appreciate everybody's support of me and hope you are enjoying reading this as much as I am enjoying writing it. Remember, Jesus loves you (as do I)!!

Friday, July 16, 2010

So, I officially gave my two weeks notice at work today. I was nervous about the process but it went surprisingly better than I thought it would. My store manager said she was proud of me and asked where I was going and everything. It feels good to know that they are ok with it and aren't mad at me or anything. I just really have been needing a change in my life and now feels like the right time to do it. I like Denton and everything but it's time for me to move on with my life. This move represents a fresh start and a change of pace and I so desperately need that right now.
I was telling my therapist the other day that doing the YAV program and moving and all that entails represents the first time in my life that I have ever done something for me rather than for someone else. That's what makes me so happy that everyone has been so supportive of it. It feels good to finally be doing something for myself and receive such positive feedback to it. For far too long, I have done things either because someone else wanted me to do them or because it was what was expected of me. Now, I am finally taking charge and doing something for me and that is such a great feeling. Especially to know that so many others are supportive of my decision. It really makes me feel good and lets me know that I have made the right decision.
I would be remiss though if I did not mention how incredibly nervous I am in doing this program. It is going to require a lot of sacrifice on my part and a huge leap of faith which is something that I have always struggled to do. As one of the many people my age with a ton of debt, I am trusting that God will provide and I will be ok. I am putting the majority of my loans in deferment and trying to work out something with my credit card companies so that makes me nervous. I will be living on a $100 a month stipend which is about a tenth of what I currently make so I am taking a huge pay cut in order to participate in this program. I am also (and this part may shock some of you) giving up my car, my iPhone, my DVR and my Netflix account in order to live a simpler lifestyle. Giving these things up is huge for me and some of my friends have even questioned if I am going to be able to do it. It's a valid question as I have made clear to many that my DVR is my life partner and my Netflix account is my best friend but by leaving these things behind, I am reminded of the passage in the Bible in which Jesus asked James and John to give up their possessions and follow him. In order to be a true follower of Christ, one has to be willing to make sacrifices and for me, sacrificing these things and taking a huge pay cut is the best way I can think of to live by this principle. I will still have a laptop (just got a new Macbook last week) so I won't be completely out of it and I will have a cell phone just a really cheap one. So, I am not giving up all my possessions just the ones that have been the most important to me. This is my way of saying "Here I am Lord", I will go where you send me. I think that's enough for today. I just want to leave you with one final thought. It's a quote I found that I think will serve me well over the next year of my life. "The Will of God won't take you where the Grace of God can't protect you." May we all live our lives keeping this at the forefront. I will be in Indiana all next week for the Presbyterian Youth Triennium so won't be blogging until after I get back. Have a great week and remember that God (and I) love You!!
PS: I accidentally put the wrong link for giving online but honestly, it would be easier to just send a check as online donations are subject to a 5% processing fee!!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

First Post!!

Ok, so I've officially started my YAV blog. I guess it's official now, right??!! I think the YAV program is one of the best programs out there in terms of getting people involved in their communities. It's such an important program and I am so glad to have been selected to be a part of it. I've been wanting to do it for years but now finally have the opportunity and the time to become a part of it.
I am so thrilled to report that as of now, I have received over $7,000 dollars in donations. That really excites me and tells me that I am making the right decision. I have been so overwhelmed wtih all the support and well-wishes that I have received thus far. It's good to know that people support me in this endeavor. Of course, even though I have met my minimum goal, I still need support so feel free to send it in. All donations are tax-deductible and you will receive a receipt for your records. To make a donation, simply go online to www.pcusa.org/give and put in my ECO # of 052053. You can also mail in a donation to Presbyterian Remittance Processing, PO Box 643700, Pittsburgh, PA 15264-3700. Make sure to put my name and ECO # on your check. I am so glad to have everyone's support and so thankful to have been given this opportunity to serve in this way.
Well, that's all I want to write about for my first post. I will definitely keep you updated on future developments and such. Hope everyone is doing wonderful and having a great day. This concludes my first official post as a YAV blogger!!