feed your soul

I like to eat…actually scratch that, I love to eat. I enjoy both dining out and home cooked meals. Food plays a big role in many cultures because not only is it promoted all the time, it also brings people together. Whether it is a Christmas party, a Thanksgiving get together, or even a sporting event, people often look forward to eating! I know I do. Gathering with family and friends, and enjoying each other’s company over a great meal is both fun and satisfying. I tend to look forward to spending time with friends over a hot dish.

As I look back at all the social feasts, I can clearly remember the times I overate…especially during the holiday seasons. You know that feeling, the excitement of seeing the varieties of entrees and desserts offered. Often, our eyes become bigger than our stomachs, and although it is very good, it is difficult to digest.

Similar to these struggles of overeating, many young people, including myself, approach His Word in this way. There are many instances when I hear, “The Bible is confusing!”, “I don’t even know where to start!”, and things such as, “I want to read, but I don’t know how.” I have seen a big wave of excitement from my generation to learn about Jesus, and that makes my heart so happy! The problem isn’t necessarily that we lack excitement, rather we lack an understanding on how to approach the Bible.

I see that many of today’s youth is diving into the Word of God but, often are left confused and lost. The scriptures have been planted into their hearts but, like a heavy and fast paced meal, is not digested thoroughly. It is important to feed your physical body, and it is just as important to feed your spiritual body and soul.

The question for today’s young population is, how should we feed our souls? One cannot just open the Bible, and read the words at face value; it is not that simple. I believe that is because God wants us to dig deeper and this is just one way that He challenges us to do so. In order to fully digest the words of our Lord, there are three crucial elements many people, myself included, often miss.

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Psalm 77:12

I will consider all your works, and meditate on all your mighty deeds.

Many times when I read the Bible, I get confused on what the meaning of the passage is. I’m not sure how to unravel the message and often, just flip somewhere else or plain give up. But, the Lord wants us to meditate on his Word. I wasn’t sure how to, and I still struggle with it. I have learned that meditating is a spiritual discipline that takes a lot of patience and practice. Instead of turning the page, meditating allows me to think more deeply, open my heart and mind to listen to God, and learn how to apply it to my life. One way I like to mediate is by listening to peaceful music.

Colossians 3:17

Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.

I see many people who are trying to read the Word all on their own. Yes, personal devotions with Jesus are super important for spiritual growth, but God also created us to have fellowship with one another. God created us to spread the Good News not only to non-believers but, with each other as well. Fellowship brings us together so we can listen to ideas, encourage one another, and helps us build our own individual growth. Be with people who will really challenge you to grow in your faith and worship Him in ways that may be new to yourself.

John 1:14

And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.

The amazing thing is, we don’t only receive Jesus through the Bible, because He was and is a being. He is a spirit. He is all powerful and all knowing. He is still holding these characteristics to this day and every day so forth. This comes down to reading the Word and living out our lives intentionally. It will be very difficult to grasp what God is trying to speak to you if His Word is read with no diligence. When we take time to hear God and live our life knowing our purpose, we will better understand who God is and why we live in His freedom.

I strongly encourage you include these three aspects into your lives. This week, not only do I challenge myself to mediate more, be in more fellowship, and live more intentionally, but I challenge you too as well.

This week, how will you meditate on God’s word?

This week, how will you surround yourself with fellowship?

This week, how will you live your life intentionally?

love,

rebecca wen

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college: how to take advantage of it!

They say that college is a triangle of three options and you get to choose which two to do. Because college will keep you busy, it’s difficult to fit everything in. My freshman year, I was not involved in anything because I thought I didn’t have enough time but, I had more time than I thought!  Despite the hectic schedules and endless deadlines, there are SO many opportunities that universities offer.

Instead of viewing your college education as just school and homework, change your perspective to seeing the vast and diverse opportunities that colleges can offer! That being said, here are my pieces of advice to making the most of your college life!

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get involved!

I know you heard this many times in high school to “get involved!” and the same goes for college. Finding organizations/clubs to participate in, will not only create friendships but, also is great for your resume, expands your skills, and gives you a release from the regular routine. Many campuses offer a great variety so that most everyone can find the perfect activity for them!

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know your limits

I love being busy and I’m sure many of you have schedules more filled up than mine. If you are feeling overwhelmed and your to do list seems endless, cut some things off. This can be extremely hard to do but, you cannot do everything and that is okay! Limiting your commitments allows you to put more energy and time into the ones you choose to do.

take advantage!

I am almost certain that every college have gyms/rec centers and host lecture and special occasion events at no extra cost. When you read “gym”, I am not referring to just working out but often, intramural sports and open swim is offered! I also highly recommend attending lecture presentations/workshops because I can guarantee you will learn and enjoy more than you think you will. Another benefit is that it looks good on your resume!

meet your community

Whether you are living in freshman dorms, off campus apartments, or commuting, get to know the people around you! Again, this is a great way to make friends and create connections with all kinds of people. Many college’s living centers will host meet and greet parties and I highly reccomend going to them!

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faculty=friends

Professors are required to have office hours and you already know what I will say, go to them! I know it can be nerve racking and maybe awkward but, there are so many benefits! You will receive extra and personalized help which is great! Your professor will get to you know and remember you as an individual, not just a face in class. When you take the time to know your professors, they will make awesome references!

enjoy!

My last piece of advice is to enjoy yourself! Enjoy the learning experiences, both the good and bad! Enjoy getting out of your comfort zone, challenging yourself, and being with people who will take on this chapter of your life with you! As cliche as this sounds, you only get these four years once, so make it count!

 

I hope that these pieces of advice help you out! Whatever spot you are in emotionally/mentally, you are not the only one going through it! College is full of great opportunities and it is up to you to take ahold of them! Take advantage as much as you can!

Happy late second semester!

love,

rebecca wen

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be still.

Alright, let’s look at today’s agenda. Class at 8 am…ok that means skipping breakfast in order to sleep longer. Another class at 12 and later today three chapter readings have to get done. Work starts at 4 but hopefully will get cut short. What should dinner be? Maybe I should get a head start on my paper, oh shoot, I promised Sarah I would meet up for dinner. I need to figure out my living situation for next school year and still apply for my program. What time does my class even start tomorrow? Oh wow, it’s 9 o’clock already but I have so much to do. How will I get this all done?!

Reading this jam-packed short description may reflect what many of your daily schedules can look like. I know for me, I am constantly making to do lists and planning out my busy schedule. So many people have hectic agendas that they are running around, barely fitting everything in. If you are like me, a futuristic planner, then you spend a good portion of your free time deciding when you should get married, what career to go into, what ages to have kids…the thoughts are endless and very time consuming.

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Although it can be beneficial to think ahead, it often can become very overwhelming. The problem that so many of us face, including myself, is that we focus on trying to control the unknown and not building on what is already in front of us. Speaking for myself, I worry alot about what will happen after college…my career, my living situation, if I will be contributing to society enough…there is so much that I want to figure out but, I need to remind myself that sometimes, my future does not entirely rely on what is in my grasp. Now, this is not to say that we don’t have some control over our destiny but, learning to let God take full control is when and only when you will truly see that weight be lifted off of your shoulders. This whole world is filled with people who want to be successful (which is great), however people are stuck putting too much on their plate.

With being that said, I think as a society, we should do some reflection…

How often do we find ourselves burned out? How often are we worried about the unknown? How often do we try to figure it all out by ourselves? I believe we do this unnecessary worrying more than we would like to admit that we do. In the midst of our preoccupations, it is so easy to forget God and who God is. But God wants us to come to Him at all times, especially the stressful and overwhelming ones.  However, God reminds us countless of times throughout His Word that we should come to Him, and only Him, despite our stress and anxiety.  Here are just a few verses that I love to read to remind myself of His comforting presence.

Matthew 11:28

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.

Exodus 33:14

The Lord replied, “My presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.”

Isaiah 40:29

He give strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.

These passages are not only great reminders of God’s provision of rest but, it also repetitively tells us about God’s character. God does not want us to be stressed or to worry but, as humans that will happen. In the times we are burdened, God promises to lift us up and that is so beautiful. He doesn’t expect or want us to do it our way because God wants to help, comfort, and guide us.

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Another pattern I see within the people of our society is that many times, people solely struggle to just listen to God, to seek what He is trying to say to us. Now trust me, not just hearing but also listening to God is one of my biggest struggles. Like many of you, it is difficult for me to wait on God’s answers and His guidance. If I don’t get an answer right away, I will do my own thing and I think you all have an idea of how that goes. In my own process of blabbering at God and doing things my way, I rarely sit still. Not just physically cannot sit still but, also my thoughts and heart. Because when I am talking a mile a minute and won’t stop moving to catch my breath, God is wanting me to be still. Yes, to be. still.

In our fast paced culture, rarely are we still. Still not only is a taking a break, but also as in being quiet, being peaceful, or being silent in thought…when is the last time you were in a state of pure silence? I think many people are uncomfortable being still. From turning on music in the car to hating that awkward silence in classes, many of us need some kind of background noise. But, in the middle of this busyness and wondering, it is said

“Be still, and know that I am God”

Psalm 46:10

To know that He is God means to remember His promises. God will give you rest. God will love you. God will answer you. God will comfort you. These are just a few things that our Lord wants us to know and to embrace!

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Not only do I challenge myself, but I also challenge you to spend more timing being still. You may not get an answer or hear God right away, and that is okay! You can also be still anywhere…whether it may be before you go to bed or your drive to work, there are no set rules on “being still”. In this time spent being still, let’s reflect on God’s goodness and love. Let’s give Him our worries and be lifted up. Let’s let go of our burdens and build on what we have now.

“Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for Him.” Psalm 37:7

love,

rebecca wen

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habits vs. goals

HAPPY 2018 EVERYBODY!

 I hope you are all having a great start to the new year! With a fresh year, it usually comes with new year resolutions. I personally love making goals for the new year but, often it lasts for a few weeks and I am back to my same old routine. I’m sure many of you feel the same way. This annual pattern made me shove resolutions under the rug until now!

Because, this year let’s all do something different. How about instead of creating temporary goals, I challenge you to build habits. I encourage this because habits are long lasting while goals usually have an ending.

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At first glance, they seem interchangeable but, I have thought of examples that may clarify:

Goal: working out to lose 10 lb. Habit: working out twice a week for health and strength

Goal: eating healthy for a month Habit: having a healthy diet with occasional indulgences

Goal: studying for 2 hours for a test Habit: planning out your time for homework

Now that you can see the difference between “goals” and “habits”, I will list out reasons why habits should be chosen over goals…

>Habits have no limitation: they can be worked on every day and even when a habit is mastered, you will continue to improve at it

>Habits are not restricting: many times, goals include factors that we cannot control

>Habits are a process: with habits, we will learn along the way while often, goals have strict schedules or systems to follow

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Great! You now have an introduction to the benefits to building habits! BUT, I WON’T STOP HERE! How do you make a habit, a habit? They can be difficult to start but, it is said that it takes twenty-one days to build a habit. Despite the patchy beginnings, there are many tips and tricks to creating a habit! Here are my three  simple methods that can make quite the difference.

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Plan It Out

Let’s say you want to get into the habit of journaling. What can you do to make it a habit, not just a three week hobby? I recommend setting a goal for your habit. Start with journaling a couple times a week and eventually, it will be something you will automatically make time for.

Baby Steps

A big reason why people habits aren’t formed is because people don’t see the results right away. Habits take time and patience is key. Like it’s been said, “The Eiffel tower wasn’t built in one day”…same for you, habits aren’t perfected in one day.

Visualize It

Don’t keep your goals just in your head….write it out, make an inspiration board, create a checklist, etc. The creativity is endless and it’s all up to your personal preferences. Do what works for you! However, I do believe that physically seeing your goals motivates and pushes you farther!

I sure hope these methods help you like they do for me. I still encourage you to create goals and push pass them because they are wonderful to have. However, I believe that goals are more useful for planning and can even start habits. Overall, the process of habits often are more beneficial and lead to more positive outcomes.

Cheers to the new year! And here is to pushing pass goals, and here is to building positive habits!

love,

rebecca wen

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