My sister, Hope Leilani, featured me in her blog! This is what I wrote for her! Here is the link if you want to read it on her blog.
A little bit about me:
- I’m adventurous and outdoorsy
- Passionate about helping those who are overlooked
- My team and I work towards seeing Aboriginal youth realize their purpose and significance! Part of how we do this is by providing meaningful activity for them through sports, art therapy, music, as well as mentoring and investing in their lives as individuals!
When I first moved to Western Australia to be a missionary, I was scared! So I wanted to be in control of the situation. I needed to know the schedule for the day and if anything changed I wanted to know in advance in order to mentally prepare for it!
For a while, I had an incredible sense of uncertainty if I didn’t have the foreseeable future planned and this all led to a lot of stress for me!I was trying to carry a burden that God didn’t intend for me to carry… and we, as people, often do this.
After a few months of living this way, God began to teach me that life is unpredictable! We cannot control or schedule out life, and when we try it often leads to unnecessary pressure and stress on us and those around us.
Here, in Western Australia, I work a lot with Aboriginal people, and God has really been using their unique culture to show me a new perspective.
As a western culture, we see time as a line. One thing happens, then another, in a sequence, and we must find a place in the line for everything in our busy lives.
Aboriginal culture, on the other hand, is all about the NOW. Their view of time isn’t linear at all, but actually it is circular, where the focus is what is happening here and now.
This view way of looking at life only confirms what the Bible has already been telling us, and over the past year I began to adopt a more Biblical (and Aboriginal) way of going through life!
So why worry?
Matthew 6:27 asks us an eye opening question: “Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?”
Harvard Medical School did a study that shows that anxiety and worry can lead to gastrointestinal issues, heart diseases, respiratory problems, and so much more.
So in addition to not adding to your life, worry also TAKES AWAY from your life in very real ways.
John 10:10 says “The thief comes only to steal, kill, and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly”.
Jesus has given us freedom. He doesn’t want us to live a life of mere survival, just barely scraping by working, eating, and sleeping. He wants to give us ABUNDANT lives! Lives of purpose and adventure and joy that remains even in the hard times.
For me, these past few years in Australia have been a process of learning how to TRUST God.
In hard times, in joy, in uncertainty, in adventures… do you trust God?
I have adopted a phrase that I can use in most situations; “just live your life”. Give God your worries and plans and then just live your life! Follow where He leads even if it is scary and unpredictable because He is in control!
Practical tips for living more fully:
- Go on adventures! Try something new! I often find free events that are happening in the city and take a friend. Try a new genre of music that you never have tried before. eat some food that you’ve never heard of. Take dance lessons.
- Add something new and fresh to your day– even if it is as simple as doing work in a park or cafe instead of at a desk.
- Learn a new skill or language! I have found that challenges are actually part of what keeps life interesting. With my work in Australia, I have had to learn so many new things including how to relate to a culture that is completely different than mine… its challenging, but such an adventure!
- Pray more… Life with God is the ultimate adventure and life with God is truly living your life. Invite Him into your day and if stress or worry come up, tell Him about it! He is the best life partner.
- Spend quality time with the people you love.
- Be in nature. I have found that hanging up my hammock by the river is where I feel refreshed. (God created nature for us to be in, so it’s also a way to connect to Him more)
- Make more healthy choices. When you feel good physically, its more likely that you will feel good in other ways as well!