Audrey’s Blog

April 27, 2020

We are not guaranteed much in this life, but
One thing we can always count on is change.
Some people love it, some people hate it,
Either way, we all go through seasons of it.

We are, however, promised a lot.
We are promised to be loved unconditionally and forgiven.
God has promised he plans for us,
Plans to prosper us and not to harm us.
He gives us a hope and steadfastness,
In the midst of changing seasons.
As spring turns to summer, and summer to fall,
He promises to be faithful to us, even when we are not faithful to him.

He roots us in eternal soil;
Not in the ever-changing soil of the earth.
So, may we be confident in the consistency of change,
Knowing that we are planted in heavenly ground.

– Audrey

Lamentations 3:22-23 (ESV)
The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end;
 they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.

 

April 20, 2020

 

In the midst of quarantine, you might find yourself lonely, bored, disconnected, annoyed or any number of other emotions. I know I’ve struggled with making this time feel meaningful, so I have made a list of things to keep me in an intentional mindset. While we may not know how long this season will last, we can still spend it loving ourselves and others! I challenge you to pick a one or two of these to do a week or make some up on your own!

1. Call your Aunt. Or your Uncle, or cousins, grandparents. It’ll brighten up both of your days.

2. Have a favorite hobby? If not, find a new one! I crochet and would highly recommend it.

3. Make your bed. It’ll make your space feel nice and put-together!

4. Paint something! Bob Ross is on Netflix. Do it. You will feel like a calm rockstar.

5. Share your artwork! Snap a picture and send it to your friends, inspire them to get creative!

6. Go Outside. Walk, Jog, Run, Skip, Bike, anything.

7. Spend time in different spaces in your home. If you have a normal room, table, or chair, and have the ability, switch it up, give it a try!

8. Send encouraging emails, texts, and messages. Encouraging others makes you feel good and it makes them feel good. Share the love.

9. Do some mini home improvement. Re-decorating, re-organize, or re-design.

10. Complete a puzzle with someone. The more pieces the better! This is especially good for that tension you might be feeling with your quarantine buddy. What’s better than problem solving together!!

11. Meditate or practice yoga!

12. Write letters to family and friends. #snailmail

13. Try on all of your clothes! Go all Marie Kondo on your closet.

14. Have a household meeting and ask how you can be more considerate of their needs now that you are all spending more time together.

15. Bubble bath!!

16. Coloring books. They are for people of all ages.

17. Go through your camera roll. Reach out to the people you have old pictures with.

18. Learn origami. Start an origami collection. Make a tutorial video. Go crazy.

19. Talk to your plants. How are they doing during this time?

20. And finally, make someone laugh!

 

April 13, 2020

 

We all know the story of the tortoise and the hare who face off in a high-stakes race, but for anyone who needs a refresher… this story is about an overly confident, speedy rabbit that loses it all to the slow but determined turtle.

When reading a story, we all like to think of ourselves as the hero- the winner- the one who did the right thing. We like identifying with the tortoise in this story, close the book, and put it back on the shelf. But when we look at this story seeking for the deeper meaning, we find some really challenging themes and take-aways for our own lives.

How am I running my race?
Am I making the correct turns?
Am I keeping up?
What place am I in?
Am I on the right path?
Where is the finish line?

The list could go on and on.
I find myself pondering questions like these a lot, especially through my time at college, as I try to find and run my own race. Some question I find the answers to and others come up short. But we must keep these questions in our minds- to stay true to our path- and stay the course of the race.

Hebrews 12:1b
“And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us”

 

April 6, 2020

 

This week, I just want to leave you with the a few of the psalms that have brought me comfort through this time of so much change. We could probably all use some reminders of joy, peace, and reassurance, in the midst of so much uncertainty.

 

“I will remain confident of this:

I will see the good of the Lord

In the land of the living.

Wait for the Lord;

Be strong and take heart

And wait for the Lord.”

Psalm 27:13-14 NIV

 

“When anxiety was great within me,

Your consolation brought me joy.”

Psalm 94:19 NIV

 

“I lift my eyes to the mountains—

Where does my help come from?

My help comes from the Lord,

The Maker of heaven and earth.”

Psalm 121:1-2 NIV

 

 

March 30, 2020

 

In our fast paced world, it seems like we can’t do enough to get ahead.

There is always another step for us to take and always another path to be walked.

We fill our lives to the brim until the hours, days, and weeks swell with activity.

This is a constant state of moving, trying, failing, succeeding, and conquering.

This is the state of doing.

Over the past few weeks, I have seen my own struggles through the loss of this “state of doing.” I have discovered that I find so much joy in my busy schedule. The rush from one place to the next can feel hectic to some, but to me, it was perfect. It is by being a part of so many things that I feel I find my purpose. I feel of value when I am working with and for others. I feel empowered when I prove to myself and others, that I am determined in challenging circumstances. While none of these are in and of themselves bad, I find that my problem is when I am stripped of my day-to-day. I struggle when I am forced to be in a state of rest, a state of being- not doing.

So the challenge I have for myself, and all of you, is to feel valued in just being.

Find purpose in your rest.

Be empowered by who you are, not what you can do.

 

 

 

WE COME TO THE TABLE | March 23, 2020

 

We come to the table.

We come from far and wide. Left and right. Up and down.

From sorrowful valleys and joyous mountain tops, we come.

Because the table was set long ago,

And continues to be set every new day.

There is a place for everyone at this table,

And their seat was made, not by anything other than grace.

As UKirk’s Student Minister, I have found that setting the table for communion has a special significance for me, knowing people have been setting this table in the exact same way for thousands of years.

There is just something so powerful about the mundane acts of moving a table in the middle of some chairs, dressing that table in cloth, lighting candles, breaking bread, and pouring some juice in a cup, because we know what it really means.

I get to set the table for others that has been and continues to be set for me more times than I can count.

When life intercedes and I feel doubt, when pain is stronger than I know how to bare, when I don’t know where to go, the table is there. And we are invited to take a seat.

-Audrey Smith

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