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Humility.

 Something I have been praying for this year and for this summer.

That I can learn to serve without titles or the need to be recognized. However, one thing I forgot about humility is that in order to be humble, you have to let yourself go. You  have to let others help you. Work as a team and not try to be independent of others. This is something I struggle with in a major way. I like to do things by myself. I like to serve others, but don’t know how to let others serve me.  I have gotten better at serving, but not at letting others help me when I can’t help myself. I’m a pretty independent person, so receiving and asking for help is very difficult for me to overcome.

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So here I am. In Poland, the end of our first week, and I am sick. SO SICK. For a few hours I couldn’t eat, sleep, or even drink water. Helpless and in pain. Me being me, I thought: “okay, no big deal, just a little stomach bug, I’ll just have to wait it out.” But it was painful. And hard. And I felt horrible. Not just because I was sick, but because I knew I was causing inconvenience for my team. I couldn’t go do the things I needed to do. I couldn’t help with anything. One of the girls even had to stay in another place so she won’t get sick. I hate being a burden. And here I was, sick and a burden. But in that time of sickness, I realized I was getting what I asked for. I had asked to be made humble. Here I was getting an answer. I had to be made ill to let others help me. To know that I wasn’t a burden, I can’t help being sick. To let others help me, because I had no other choice. The ladies have been so kind in giving me things I need and praying for me. It has really touched my heart to see how they serve with humility and love. I am so thankful to be put with such amazing people who make me soup, bring me medicine, and pray for me.

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The fear of the Lord teaches wisdom, and humility comes before honor.

Psalm 15:33

This has been absolutely true. Humility comes before honor. There is NO honor in being stuck in an apartment while in Europe. While I am here to serve others. While many people paid for me to be here. While many people are looking to what will happen this summer. But that’s humility. Sometimes we need to be broken down in order to be shown how to love, serve, or just rest. 

While it has been a rough few days, I have already learned so much. I have learned how to serve others, but also how to let others serve me.

How to be humble.

Much love. Much grace.

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“Patiently” Waiting

Jordan is a sweet soul I met in college and have the pleasure of calling friend. Her spunky spirit and compassion for others are infectious and such a joy to be around. I am so excited to have Jordan be a part of Go Giver’s “Perspective Women”!

Note for the readers: This is for all the planners out there. Those of you who have a need to know where you’re going so that you can start working to get there. I hope this post encourages you to find real peace and inspires you to grab hold of today before it’s gone.  ­- Jordan

Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business, and make money. ” Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.” James 4:13­-15

If you ask me, there’s nothing more refreshing than “getting your life together.” Now, for me, getting my life together might look something like this: Finally finding a major to stick to, getting acquainted with the taste of black coffee, graduating, finding a haircut that flatters the shape of my face after all these years, and even getting engaged and married ­ my number one life goal. For a little while, I had it all going, but moving can really mess things up. Don’t get me wrong. I welcome adventure! I love people, new cultures, new scenery and chances to begin again. Considering these, moving sounded like the perfect opportunity for me. And then God said “Arkansas.”

In my perfect ‘Jordan knows best’ world, we would’ve packed up and headed to Alaska, my favorite place on earth. I would’ve even settled for Washington, Oregon.. Anywhere with deep green forests and more rainy days than you can count. (Yes, I’m a pluviophile. Google it.) But He who knows better than I chose Little Rock to be the new home of the #newlywednortons. That was that. So, Josh and I found a cozy apartment by the river in Little Rock. It took us about 3 days to have it all settled leaving me with endless time to navigate the city,find my favorite coffee shop and job search.

After 2 months of dissecting Indeed.com, I finally was offered a full­time job, on the spot. I was going to be a Customer Service Representative for a great insurance company. It came with the title, an office, a salary and a pencil skirt. (Okay, I bought the skirt.) I was going to be a professional! Then I remembered .. I hate sitting in offices. And answering phones. And skirts. I lasted 3 days. I was a little discouraged and ashamed of being a quitter, but I was confident in God’s promise. He knew the plans He had set out for me. I just had to wait a little longer to find out what those were.

A New Perspective

In the meantime, I worked as a coffee barista at a swanky European Cafe. As a coffee lover, it had always been a dream of mine to learn the art of coffee­making. I loved making lattes and cappuccinos, but as it turns out, it doesn’t take long to master.

Not long into my caffeine career,a door was opened for me to be a College Intern for Josh’s and my new church home. Being offered a ministry job was truly a dream come true! So, I was newly married, employed with an amazing job and was beginning to make friends. It should’ve been another one of those “getting my life together” times. But something was off. I couldn’t sleep. When I had days off, I’d rest but still feel restless. I had bursts of uninvited tears and a heavy feeling of hopelessness. For weeks, I’d ask myself why I felt like I was falling apart even while my many blessings were evident. It took a little roadtrip to wake me up.

Last week, I drove back down to Ruston to see my college friends and the missionary family from Alaska who had come back to visit and recruit. I brought my stubborn heart with me not knowing that God was about to shatter it to pieces.

After seeing all my people, I went to stay with a close friend. We stayed up late sharing our hearts with each other. Somewhere in between my tired sentences, I realized that my exhaustion wasn’t only physical. It was mental, emotional and spiritual. My wrestling with God about where I was and where I wanted to be had slowly broken me down. I had given the the enemy permission to use a good thing to steal my joy and to replace my peace with anxiety.

My discontent was my own fault.

When I lived in East Texas, I wanted to leave and never go back. Once I did leave, I realized it wasn’t so bad. In North Louisiana, I was itching to get out. I loved my friends and the ministry teams I served on, but I was over the humidity and flat terrain. I wanted Alaska or just some place better than where I had been. My eyes and my heart were always on what might come next. But in a conversation with a friend, through my own words, I saw a piece of God’s heart. There was nothing else for me to do but surrender. I decided that it was time for me to stop wrestling with God about my future and be faithful in my present.

You don’t have to cash in your dreams to be faithful. You just have to be a little less selfish. Be willing to die to yourself so that you can really start living for Jesus. I may never be a Razorback fan, but I am choosing to open my heart to Little Rock ­ a beautiful city with great opportunities and even greater people that I can’t wait to meet.

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Jordan is a Louisiana Tech graduate with a degree in Speech Communication. She loves Jesus, coffee, and music. Jordan lives in Little Rock, Arkansas with her new husband Josh and works as a college intern with Immanuel Baptist Church.

Needing Contentment

“I just want to see you content”

Seven words. Words that cut me to the core, and yet are loving at the same time. A phrase that says, “hey, I not only care about you, but I want to see you happy where you are and with what you have.”

But that word… Content… it is just so foreign.

I need more. More time. More money. More friends. More sucess. More adventures.

“Content” and “more” don’t go together. A person can’t live with both.

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I have been struggling with wanting to go to a new place to live for a while now. With marrying Mr. Yell and seeing most of our friends leave, it has been very hard to stay in our small town. I have been angry, jealous, and hurt; with myself for graduating late, and with God for not taking us to another place. He has been silent for almost a year now; and that has been the hardest thing to experience.

Then just this week my husband said something that woke me up. It made me rethink this past year’s emotions, complications, and stress.

“I just want to see you content.”

That’s it. That was the moment I realized that maybe, God wasn’t silent, at least not at first. Instead of listening to what He wanted me to do, I have been trying to push myself to do things that I feel I need to do. Things that will make me likable, smarter, or bring my life more meaning. I have been trying to make my life “better”, when instead I just  needed to learn how to be content.

Contentment is hard, guys. So hard. It is very hard to live in a world that is built on comparing ourselves to others and yet seek contentment. It is hard to see people in your same place in life who seem like they are doing it all, or that they are more likeable or needed or whatever. But can I just say that finding a way to be content is just so much better?

Even if you aren’t a believer in Christ, I challenge you just to take this week and find ways not to want more.  I want you to think about the things and people you have, and I want you to think everyday that you have enough. That you are fine where you are, and that the desire for more is not needed. For me, this is made infinitely easier when I remember that my relationship with God is all I need. I can lose everything and still know that He is good. He is enough.

This year has been rough, that is for sure. But this week has been the best week I have had in such a long time just on the basis of seeking contentment. I am learning, like I am sure much of you are, that I am pretty enough, strong enough, smart enough, loved enough, and happy enough.

I am doing my best to help those in need and make the part of the world I am in a brighter place to be. And that thought can only come from being content.

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Friends, are you content? If it means anything… I not only think you can be, but I want to see that happen for you.

Much love. Much grace.

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“I am Wrong”

Three words that are so simple, and yet so hard to say. The ability to admit that I am wrong about anything is such a struggle. This can happen when discussing academia, movies, and even scripture. It’s like I can’t seem to get it into my prideful self that I could possibly have said something that was incorrect.

This even happens when I know for a fact that I am wrong. Even when I know the other person is right by way of facts or feelings, I still get more and more entrenched in my own opinions and ideals. I can’t seem to let it go, look it up, or agree with the other person; instead I feel that they MUST eventually take my side. Some of us may agrue that this is just “the American-way”, or that culture has made me this way, but I can only think one thing.

“Can I be more prideful?”

People not only have his or her own insights to life, but believe it or not, other people just KNOW more than I do. I have become so pretentious and elitist that I could not admit the faults in myself.

And for that: I AM WRONG.

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Being prideful about my knowledge or attitude is hurtful to so many people. Friends become annoyed and hurt; family can become fed-up, and I am sure that it is extremely unattractive to my husband. However, it is also extremely hurtful to the LORD. He not only calls us to be humble with others, but with Him as well. He desires us to know Him more, and He cares enough to listen to all of our little worries. But if I claim to know all about Him, claiming to interpret Him perfectly or without room for others opinions, I cannot be the second part to a two person friendship.

My command is this: love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.
John 15:12-13 (NIV)

Since Jesus gave his life, not only for His friends, but also His enemies; He is also a friend of mine.

And I have been a horrible friend to Him.

Being pretentious kills love, honesty, and openness; especially between friends. So the I must do the opposite. I must be willing to not only notice when I am wrong, but also admit it aloud to encourage the growth of relationships between others and to encourage forgiveness.

How else can people feel loved if we don’t show them we are willing to let them be right?

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Ps. The rest of John 15 is just so wonderful to read and so encouraging! I recommend it. 😉