That Time I Pouted in Redding

I’m aware that some of you probably read the title of this post as “That Time I Pooted in Redding.” So I hate to disappoint you that this story has absolutely nothing to do with flatulence. Maybe some other time.

I’m talking about pouting. In case you don’t know what pouting is, synonyms according to Dictionary.com are “mope, scowl or sulk.”

I just recently spent 10 days in the beautiful state of California. And when I say beautiful… I mean beautiful…

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One purpose of the trip was to visit my lovely friend Hayley. Another purpose was to visit Bethel Church in Redding and attend their young leaders conference. Bethel has been a really impactful movement in my walk with God in the past year. God is doing a major work in their church body and I have encountered Him many times simply by listening to their podcasts or watching their worship sessions on their live-streaming website.

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I was super stoked because I found out that TWO of my absolute favorite pastors/speakers would be at the conference. (Not just one, guys. TWO!) Havilah Cunnington and Kris Vallotton. So I had a slight shadow mission – I wanted to get one of them to pray for me while I was there. Actually it wasn’t so slight. I was fairly vocal about it. How I was going to ask Havilah or Kris to pray their teaching anointing over me and I would leave Redding empowered and equipped and whatever and I would have this anointing on me to be a powerhouse speaker.

The conference was amazing – filled with gifted speakers who gave fresh revelation about our definition of “success” and how to be a comparison-free leader.

Havilah was scheduled to speak on the second night, so earlier that day I resolved in my mind that that night would be the night. I would find her and ask her to pray for me and she would see something in me that was significant and call it out and my life would be forever changed. (I hope you’re catching the drama in this. But I wish I were exaggerating the thoughts that were going on in my head).

Well low and behold, the opportunity never presented itself. I wasn’t one of the 30 people she prophesied over during her teaching. And believe it or not, about half of the room had the same idea I did and approached her after her teaching to be prayed for. So I went home.

But the next day I still had hope. I heard that everyone at the conference would get the chance to go to someone from the Bethel family’s house. Last year, a group got to go to the Vallotton’s house (squeal). So I could at least HOPE that it would be true again this year. And maybe one of the other houses would be the Cunnington’s! And I knew it. I knew that I would get to go to one of their houses, they’d meet me, tell me they see something on my life and just go off on this prophetic identity-speaking time over me. This would be the moment.

The three friends I was with were all in one really large group going to house #1. I was in a smaller group assigned to house #3. My friends told me I should just come with them to house #1. But I was stuck. I didn’t want to choose the wrong house! What if house #3 was one of the ones I wanted to be at?! So I literally asked God and felt like I should go to the house I was assigned to – house #3.

Well. What do you know.

House #1 ended up being the Vallotton’s house, the house my friends were all at, while I was without them at house #3.

“This is my life.” I thought. “God, you don’t care. You don’t give me what I ask for. This is my life. I always get short changed. I’m always the one left out.”

Cue the pouting.

Like a little five-year-old, I pouted my way through that afternoon. “It’s not fair.” I muttered to myself over and over again. “I ASKED for it. God, I ASKED for it! I thought You listened to my prayers?? I thought You gave me the desires of my heart?? Oh everyone except me, right??”

Pitiful. Five-year-old status. 

And that’s when the conviction came; that the words of the speakers from the past 3 days hit me in one soft blow to my chest.

“Princess, do you believe today was a success? That your life was successful because you were obedient to where I asked you to go and that’s it?” 

*Sigh* I don’t know.

Because that was the truth. My days are only measured in their success according to my level of obedience. Was I obedient to what He asked me to do that day? That’s the only question that needs to be answered.

“Princess, do you believe that you’re significant without people who you consider to be a “big deal” praying for you?”

Ugh.

Do I seriously believe my worth is added to according to who prays over me? And does that say more about what I think of them or what I think of myself? 

The thing is, right now, in this moment, I’m as big of a deal to God as Havilah Cunnington or Billy Graham. I matter to Him just as much. He doesn’t love them more than me. And that’s hard for me to understand. Because in my mind, if I have more people who love me on earth, my worth increases.

In reality, my worth is set at a firm, non-negotiable price. It doesn’t even increase when someone prays a deeper favor or anointing over me. I’m still worth just as much as before… I’m still as significant now as the days I was living in sin. 

I had a choice to make.

I could sit in the corner and pout, demanding that what I thought I “deserved” be given to me.

Or I could see the whole week as a success, my shadow-missions aside, and walk out in my secure identity, making my life about what I can give. Not what I can get.

I think I’m done acting like a five-year-old.

Sometimes acting like a five-year-old is way easier than putting aside your flesh and living your life off of truth. But one of my favorite things was spoken last week. “We’re called believers. Not feelers.” We don’t live our lives according to what we feel. We live them off of what we believe in faith to be true.

And I believe I’m not a pouter.

7 Things Teachers do in the Summer

“Wait, so are you like… doing anything?”

 

I’ve been getting that question a lot lately.

Being a teacher is not only awesome because I stinkin’ love my job, but it’s awesome because there’s this great 2.5 month period of not having to go to work, think about work, talk about work. It’s legit.

Basically, since entering adult world, I have never stopped having a summer. And I am not upset about it in the slightest.

 

This baffles many other young adults (and regular aged adults) who have frequently asked me the question, “Wait, so what are you going to do?”

 

My summer has so far consisted of doing things I forgot that I loved to do as well as doing things I didn’t have time to do in the school year. So here are 7 things my summer has been full of:

This is literally what's on my bed right now.

This is literally what’s on my bed right now.

1. Sleep – Sleep is SO good. I forgot how good it was. After spending 9 months waking up at 5 am, I have become determined to not set my alarm as many times as I can this summer. This has happened maybe 5 times in the two weeks I’ve been out of school and it has been MARVELOUS. I told a friend that this is my hibernating time and I’m stocking up on sleep until August. But wait, wouldn’t it be the best if we could all just store up on sleep and then use those extra hours when we really needed it? That’d be so cool. C’mon God. Make that happen.

 

2. Read – I forgot how much I love a good book! Here are some of my summer reads right now… (Yes, I am reading 4 of these books at one time. WHO AM I, I DON’T KNOW, IT’S WEIRD.)

The Fault in Our Stars Okay, whatever. It was so good that I read it in 24-hours. I feel like this would be a great book to take to the beach. Except you might cry in public. So maybe just stay in and read it. And then cry yourself to sleep.

Lord of the Flies – I somehow missed out on reading this book in high school. I think I was just in the one English class that didn’t read it. Either way, I’m catching up now basically because I heard it was the earlier version of The Hunger Games. Confession – I’m having a hard time getting into it but I want to keep reading just so I’m not one of those weirdo’s that’s never read “Lord of the Flies.”

The Omnivore’s Dilemma – This is a fascinating book about where our food comes from and how Americans have overanalyzed everything we eat. Every now and then, I’ll pick it up and read a couple of pages. My friend Amanda, who’s brilliant and knows a ton of things about biology, picked up the book, read two pages, and got offended about how inaccurate it was. I’m still reading. Regardless! It’s extremely interesting.

Present Perfect – This was lent (lent? lended?) to me from a good friend. It’s about finding God in the now. I’ve read one chapter and am already in love with it.

Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns) – Mindy Kaling (AKA Kelly from “The Office”)’s book. This chick is funny and has some hilarious stories to tell. It’s been an easy and amusing read. It’s also making me wonder why the heck there are no Christian female comedians in this world. C’mon women!

 

3. Learn to play guitar – I WILL DEFEAT YOU, GUITAR. Shout out to Jordan McGowan for being so musical that he has two guitars and is letting me use one. This has been a year-long battle. I successfully know how to play one song and I play it whenever I get frustrated learning chords. But maybe, just maybe, by August I’ll be leading open mic nights or something. (hahahahahahaah…rightttt….)

 

4. Do random odd jobs – Although baby-sitting is not technically an odd-job, I have been doing a handful of that as well as more peculiar things like helping someone liquidate a multi-million-dollar estate that had more stuff in it then I ever knew was possible to own. Things like this…photo

5. Go to community events – Like these outdoor movie nights they’ve been having here in Cary and Raleigh. Last week, 3 friends and I went to see “The Princess Bride” in this outdoor amphitheater and it was the best. Most likely because the entire audience was totally into it and everyone quoted “Hello, my name in Inigo Montoya, you killed my father, prepare to die” in unison. I’m convinced the most crucial part of watching a movie is making sure you are watching it with a good audience.

 

6. TAKE TRIPS! – So far I have a trip to Florida, Tennessee, the mountains, and California all planned for the next month. And I am STOKED.

 

7. Do adult things – This is the last thing on the list because unfortunately these take up a lot of time and consists of things I really don’t feel like doing. Things like house-shop, car-shop, call credit companies about my stolen identity, find a doctor, find a dentist, pack (eventually), clean out my closet and sell things, etc. Alas, not all of my summer can be full of rainbows and sunshine.

 

So what about you? What are you doing with your summer?