bracing myself

akwittaspirit, spirituality, UncategorizedLeave a Comment

I’m not sure where you’re coming from, but where I’m at, it’s getting colder. Fall is here and we all know what that means- winter is an oncoming freight train. See the picture? No leaves. So sad. Around here, you hear a lot about getting through the winter.  It seems like it’s all anyone talks about for awhile. It gets so cold that it’s a successful day if I manage to step out the door. The months ahead somehow make me more self-centered. My thoughts turn into an endless circle of “I am so cold.  I don’t want to go to class. I hate winter.”  And if you see me walking outside, I scarcely respond because all I am thinking about is how many steps it’ll take to get to where I’m going.  Anyone with me? No? Maybe I’m unusually grouchy. Well, I want that to change this year. I was catching up with an old friend the other day, and when describing her life, she said she was focused on “kingdom work,” doing her best to choose to spend her time intentionally loving on people. That doesn’t sound so bad to me. In the past couple of years, with all of the books and articles out about changing the way we think, this is being made clear to me. God works through changed perspectives.   When we spend more energy on getting to know God, our perspective naturally changes, and out of that, life changes.  If you’re into Biblical references, … Read More

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“getting through”

akwittaspirit, spiritualityLeave a Comment

In this season of my life, busyness happens. Quite a bit, actually. In the morning I wake up, open my planner app, and scour for time when I have no plans. A half hour here, an hour there, I’ll have to make it work. I’m spending my day going from class to chapel to meetings to class again to swim lessons to work to a coffee date to one last meeting. Whew. The tricky part is, they’re all things I love. Each one of those activities makes my life richer and has a piece of my heart- I’ve chosen to invest my time into each one for a reason. But when I smush them all together, the way a kid smushes five colors of play-doh together, suddenly I’m drained. As I get out of bed, I sigh and mentally tell myself that I have to get through that day, then I’ll get a break. Lately, I’ve been questioning that way of thinking. What am I missing by just getting through my schedule? Free time or not, I want to have the ability to love freely the things that I love. I have not been doing that. I’m far from it, actually. So now, instead of telling myself that I just have to get through the day, I’m working to wake up with purpose. I want to find life in my activities, even when they keep me busy. My encouragement has turned from Audrey, just get through this day to Audrey, … Read More

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kolkata, india

akwittaspirituality, travelLeave a Comment

I have a hard time putting the experiences I had in India into words. Clearly I’ve struggled with it, since it’s been two months since I stepped foot back in the States. (Oops.) I think one of the best words to describe Kolkata is intense. Intense heat. Intense poverty. Intense busyness. Intense traffic. Intense service. Serving alongside the Missionaries of Charity was incredible. I don’t feel like that sentence really sums up the impact that it had on me, but that’s what I’ve got. It was incredible. The work that the volunteers helped with wasn’t anything glamorous. We did laundry by hand, made beds, helped with mealtimes, and occasionally got to dance and paint nails. And we said “namaste” hundreds of times. But that work transcended all kinds of boundaries- race, religion, gender, socio-economic, and language. I’ve never been a part of something so simple, yet so profound. I could probably spend all kinds of time trying to put into words what I learned about the impact of nonverbal communication, the richness of cross-cultural friendships, the devout lives of the Missionaries of Charity, or the power that comes with doing small things with great love. But honestly, I wouldn’t do them justice trying to explain them here. So if you’re interested, please ask me more about India. I’ll do my best to tell you. If you’re wondering, the men in the third picture asked to have their picture taken, then posed like this. In the seventh picture, I’m pointing at … Read More

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