Friday, June 17, 2011

Hebrews 12:1

"Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us rid ourselves of every burden and sin that clings to us and persevere in running the race that lies before us while keeping our eyes fixed on Jesus, the leader and perfecter of faith." 

What a packed verse; and how relevant it is to where I am in my life right now. As is best practice, to fully understand this verse it's best to look at the preceding and proceeding verses.  In Chapter 11 of Hebrews Paul describes the great faith of Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Moses, Rahab, and others of the Old Testament. So, when he talks of "so great a cloud of witnesses" he speaks of these. We are lifted up and inspired by all those who have gone before us.  And today we look to the Church, Militant and Triumphant, to surround us.  

Hebrews 12:2 says, "For the sake of the joy that lay before him he endured the cross, despising its shame, and has taken his seat at the right of the throne of God."  If you know me you know how I love the word "joy." Not happiness or content, but joy. Being happy or content relies on the situation. Happiness fluctuates with each passing emotion and every new sensation.  Contentment conveys settling without a sense of completeness.  But joy comes from within.  Complete joy rises out of love.  Though Jesus knew of the suffering he would endure on the cross, nothing could overshadow the joy felt in His love for us.

So what does all this mean in light of Hebrews 12:1?  I'm no Biblical scholar, but for me the verse is saying through the help of the Mystical Body of Christ we can persevere in this race towards the Kingdom of God. We can, through faith and the help of others, begin to break through the chains of our personal sins which slow us down. If ever it feels too difficult or tiresome we can look to the example of Christ himself who endured crucifixion for our sake, and in Him find our joy.  

What is the purpose of this blog and why did I choose this title...mostly, what is the purpose of this blog? To question #1, I'm not sure.  Blogs are a strange thing.  I'm not in a foreign country and I am lucky enough to live close to most of my family and some of my friends and get to see them on a regular basis. So most people don't really need to read about the ins and outs of my life.  They already hear them and in many cases experience them with me.  Although, I readily admit that I am possibly the absolute worst at answering the phone or picking it up to call friends I don't live close to anymore.  So maybe this blog is for them.  I've been going through a "gah I miss A&M and all the people there" stage lately.  This might just be an attempt to feel as though I'm getting to have a conversation with them; albeit a very one sided conversation.  But honestly, I think this is more of a therapeutic blog than anything.  Graduate school (and planning a wedding) is tough and has done a fair job at taking over my life.  I've not handled this in the healthiest way my first two semesters. This blog is my accountability partner; I tell it what I've done to take care of myself spiritually, physically, and emotionally. And if you happen to read it, you also can participate in keeping me accountable. 

Here's where the verse comes in:  You all are my cloud of witnesses surrounding me!  I could not have made it where I am today without the support and prayers of my family and friends. I also know that it will be your continued support which carries me through the rest of graduate school, preparing for marriage, married life, and in our future family life.  So join me in my race and my commitment to racing with poise, endurance, and eyes always on Christ. 
My life is no more interesting than anyone else's, and in many ways it is probably far less exciting.  But if you're interested in keeping up with and being a part of this journey here's what to expect: It will not be updated on a consistent basis.  It will not always be this long. Maybe on occasion it will be longer. Sometimes it will be anecdotal. Sometimes about a verse, quote, or action which struck me.  I will try to keep it positive and motivating (no one wants to read about a Debby Downer, that's what diaries and journals are for). Other times it will be obvious that I'm trying to avoid studying.  Pretty much this blog is a random collection of thoughts and moments. 

I am filled with so much joy about this next part of my life!  Graduate school, while tough, is great.  I'm learning so much and am encouraged by the passion of my classmates and professors for this field. I'm getting married!  Planning a wedding, also stressful at times, is a fun experience like no other.  More importantly, I'm marrying a man who amazes me each and every day and I can't wait to call him husband...hubby...husbo...hubster?  I'll work on that.  

I plan on keeping this blog going after the wedding, as that day will only be the beginning of my and Jason's race together as a married couple. Still, planning goals for the rest of my life is just unreasonable. Therefore, here are my goals for the next 7 be precise, until January 7th: 
1) Maintain an active and vibrant prayer life and become involved in the Church where Jason and I are getting married.
2) Run.  As much and as far as I can.  Originally the plan was to run a half marathon on our honeymoon in Hawaii but for some reason people don't think I'll have the energy to do that...
Maybe I'll do the Dallas half in December instead. 
3) Keep up with school.  Procrastinate less.
4) Become more domesticated.  I know, a lot feminists just gasped and a few may have rolled over in their graves.  But am I wrong to love the idea of being a strong woman who is able to keep up with work and maintain a lovely home (apartment, whatever) as well as cook delicious and healthy meals for her family?  Ok I don't expect this to happen over night, but I've got 7 months   :)    

"I pray that whatever God's will is, I'll be able to accept it with grace, and have faith in His wisdom. We're always in God's hands. Sometimes it's hard to accept that, so I pray that He'll help me just to trust in His will." ~Ronald Reagan 

1 comment:

  1. Love your first post! Here are a few thoughts I had while reading it....
    "How about husbandy...that's what I call Jason"
    "She loves running so much I think doing a half in Hawaii is worth it. When else are you going to get to? Ok so maybe she'll be too busy to prepare...but she does like running, and Hawaii is some pretty good scenery. Plus, Jason could be sleeping while she runs."

    Love you!