Sep 4, 2015

blog-tember day 4 // what am I passionate about?

Linking up with Bailey from Brave Love Blog for her Blog-tember Challenge again. 

Friday, Sept. 4: What are you passionate about?

There are a lot of things I enjoy, many of which I shared yesterday with my mood board about my blog. But today I wanted to share what I am most passionate about. Yes, traveling, tea, and reading give me lots of joy, but there are a few things that I am more passionate about.

Growing in knowledge of God and experiencing His presence
First and foremost, I am passionate about deepening my understanding about who God is and knowing it with both my heart and mind. More than just head knowledge about who He is, I want to spend time in His presence. I want to steer away from legalistic duties, but rather, for my heart and mind to rest on His truth and to see it as a joy to walk with God daily as I grow in my knowledge of who He is. 
If I know who He is, I find rest from fear and worries. 
If I know who He is, I am able to trust in the unknowns.
 If I know who He is, I am able to have the assurance of being His beloved child. 
A few things that I am passionate about that branch out of this passion for God is: studying the Bible, praying intentionally, having fellowship with other Christians where we can encourage each other towards the common goals of growing in our love for God and praising Him through our lives, reading books that point me to Him, and using this blog to tell about His faithfulness and love. 
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Loving others with my hands, my heart, and my motives
My love for God should overflow in a love for people. Whenever I am in a season when I am focusing more on my own problems and needs rather than focusing on God, my priorities shift from spending time with the Him and serving people instead towards serving myself. But the antidote to this selfishness is that the more I seek Him, the more He places a desire in me to serve others. I have a passion to love others with my hands, heart, and motives. What this means is that I want to be God's hands and feet in the place He's placed me: my job, my neighborhood, my friends, my family, my church. I want to serve where I've been planted. I want to serve with pure motives rather than with the desire to be noticed or applauded. And I want compassion and a Christlike love to drive my words and actions. Whether it looks like volunteering at a soup kitchen, teaching sunday school,  treating my pediatric patients with respect and dignity, or flying overseas for a medical mission trip, I want to be available with a ready heart and ready hands to serve. Five of the women that first come to my mind whose lives have been marked by selfless service for others are Amy Carmichael, Corrie Ten Boom, Maggie Gobran, Katie Davis, and Elisabeth Elliot. If you haven't read about these remarkable women, I encourage you to read about Amy in A Chance To Die (by Elisabeth Elliot), Corrie in her autobiography (The Hiding Place), Mama Maggie, Kisses for Katie, and anything written by Elisabeth Elliot. 
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Encouraging others and seeing hope rise up
I am passionate about building others up, encouraging them, and planting seeds of hope in the hearts and minds of those I encounter. I would be lying if I said this is always at the forefront of my thoughts, because sadly, I get bogged down with busyness and life stress, but when it's actually happening -- when I am able to encourage someone during a hard season -- oh, it is just such an awesome feeling because I know what it feels like to desperately need encouragement and hope, so I am passionate about bringing that to others. I get so excited when I am able to use my blog as a platform to build others up or remind them of God's goodness and faithfulness. It honestly makes my heart so happy when people tell me they were encouraged by something I wrote on my blog. Not because it means I am a great writer, but because it is an awesome testimony that God is at work in my heart to teach me what words to write to help others have hope. I have often posted something that started as an idea and then as I am writing, the words just come together in a way that I am sure is God is at work one me. It amazes me how He used a passion for writing to give birth to a deeper passion to encourage others through writing. Along with the blog, I am passionate about one-on-one conversations (usually with tea or a chai latte in hand) with friends where we encourage one another. It is such a blessing to help lighten each other's burdens by pointing each other to Jesus and loving one another through difficult seasons. And when a prayer is answered or a dark season ends, it is such a joy to celebrate together, which is an encouragement in itself.
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These three passions all intersect into one another: If I am growing in knowledge of who God is, it will lead me to have a passion to serve others and encourage them. I am excited to see what these passions will look like once I live in Texas after Greg and I get married next month! We desire to grow together in our love and understanding of God, and I am so encouraged by the ways Greg studies the Word, spends time in prayer and meditating on God's truth, and loving others in a way that points to Jesus.  Furthermore, one of the first things that attracted me to Greg on the first day we met was the way he spoke about living missionally where God had placed him. He wanted to make himself available to lovingly serve others in whatever way the Holy Spirit led him within his current sphere of influence in San Antonio.  I knew we had something in common that night, but had no idea the story God would unfold. I long to see what doors God will open for us to serve together in San Antonio. 

Brave Love Blog

21 comments:

  1. Love, love, love everything about this post! You are amazing girl and love how passionate you seem to better the lives of others while bettering yours as well! Encouraging others is so important and I think more people should take after you ;)

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    1. Thank you so much for those encouraging words! Do you have a blog as well? It is not letting me see the one that shoes up in your bloodspot profile page when I click your name above.

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  2. HI Elena!, I love reading your blog:) Although I am a "bit" older than you, I see we have common interests. I love reading ,I am also a pediatric nurse and most importantly I am looking to grow and learn about the saving grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. I find that through your blog I am encouraged and uplifted. Congratulations to you on your upcoming wedding!! I pray that you and your future hubby continue to be a blessing wherever your are planted!:)

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    1. Hi Teresa! Yes we have so many common interests indeed! Do you have a blog as well? Thank you for your kind words and your congrats, that is so sweet of you! And yes, amen! May we be a blessing wherever we are planted. Thank you for praying for us!

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    1. Thank you! At first it didn't make sense to separate them because they all sorta bleed into one another, but it would have looked like one run-on sentence if not

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  4. I've probably said it before but I'll say it again... lets be best friends!! your heart is soo near and dear to my own! I love how you worded everything.. to grow in knowledge of God and experience His presence... okay have you read the story "the practice of the presence of God"??? My husband and I are reading it right now. It's about Brother Lawrence in the 1600s, he was amazing to say the least. He said that his one and only goal in the entire world was to love God in literally everything he did, especially working in his kitchen of the monestary he lived in in paris. he said he felt closer to the presence of the Living God in his kitchen than he did if he were kneeling in the sanctuary alone. how amazing is that!! you have to read it! it's only $1 on christianbooks.com // also, I love the part about loving others. that's exactly who jesus is and what he is all about :) xoxo love your blog!!!

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    1. Yes, let's be blogging bffs :) Thank you for the heart-warming encouragement! YES, I read "Practice of the Presence of God" many years ago and it still sticks with me. I love that book! Whenever I think of something I do as being mundane or unimportant, it is such a humbling reminder that Brother Lawrence could see washing dishes and scrubbing floors as a way to praise the Lord.

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  5. SO good! Thank you for sharing your heart!

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    1. Thank you, Michelle!! You are so kind!

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  6. What an absolutely beautiful post, which I felt privileged to have read. I love the examples of strong, encouraging, women that you chose. So glad I hopped over to you from Blog-tember. [http://www.iwillbloom.wordpress.com]

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    1. Thank you so much! Yes, those have been women that have shaped the way I view serving and loving others. I truly admire them so much. I look forward to hopping over to your blog as well! :)

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    2. Thank you so much! Yes, those have been women that have shaped the way I view serving and loving others. I truly admire them so much. I look forward to hopping over to your blog as well! :)

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  7. I love your posts! This was beautiful!! I am currently growing in my faith and reading your post inspired me and has me very excited about growing close with God. Thank you for sharing all of this :)

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    1. Jessica, you made my day! Thank you for your sweet and heartfelt comment!! I really enjoyed visiting your blog as well!! Growing closer to God is a lifelong journey and I am so encouraged that you are learning about Him! May He surprise you over and over with how much He delights in you and loves you! Stay in touch!

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  8. God is good, and you my lady wrote an amazing post. I just now came across your blog and may I say, you have a way with words! Can't wait to keep reading!

    xoxo Lex // LexMeetsWorld

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  9. I have read a couple of your posts by now, and forgive me, i don't remember if I have commented on anything yet. You blog is very inspiring!!! I, to, sponsor through Compassion! I LOVE She Reads Truth. Katie Davis' story and testimony truly chaneled my heart in the direction of missions! So many of our passions are so very similar!!! Looking forward to reading even more of your posts!!!

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I love to hear your thoughts!

Elle Alice