Just Life!

In a month I will be moving into the shared apartment for interns! The lease on my current apartment does not end until the last weekend of October, or I would already be living there. There will be 7 girls living in one apartment. Yes you read that correctly…7. It is a pretty big apartment though, thank goodness. I don’t mind living in a space with that many girls, but the hardest part for me will be sharing a bedroom with 3 other girls. It just means I will have to find other places to go to be alone and recharge.

It also means I need to start downsizing my closet! I have far too many shoes and clothes to fit in a room with 3 other girls images. I am excited to move in with the girls though. They are all so much fun to be around, and it will be an automatic way for me to get to know them extremely well. Plus when I move in it means I have the shortest commute to work ever. The office where I work is directly below my apartment! I will be able to say goodbye to 64 traffic in the morning and afternoon. Yay!!!!

Much love, B

Daring in the Face of Opposition

To start off each day, the staff of Hillside does a devotional together. We read a part of the Bible, discuss it, and then pray together. I love starting every day like this because it is a way to stay grounded before the day begins. Today we read 1 Thessalonians 2, and there was something that stood out to me…

“…we dared to tell you his gospel in the face of strong opposition.”

This is something that I am personally asking God to make me more brave about. Did you know that every 6 minutes a Christian dies for their faith around the world today? I think often times we forget that persecution of Christians is still currently happening throughout the world. We get stuck in our little bubble of American culture and forget that there are people suffering because they believe in Jesus. I do not want to be blind to this reality, but I also do not want it to hinder my desire to share the Gospel to nations that have never heard it. My prayer is that I would dare to tell people the Gospel in the face of opposition just like this verse talks about.

Much love, B

Confessions of a Pessimist

The reason my blog site is called the Bright Side of Life and the title has to do with finding joy every day is because that is not my natural personality. While it is true that I am typically bubbly and joyful, my first reaction towards things are usually negative. I am the first to think about all of the reasons why something will not work out, but I am challenging myself to change my thought patterns. Hence the name for the blog and me genuinely trying to find something joyful in each day.

But days like today make this a tough feat. I am physically, mentally, and emotionally drained, and it is Monday! How is that possible? Someone find me a refresh button or a restart button…and that’s when I have to pause and remember that I do in fact have a refresh button in my life. The bible talks about how God can renew our Spirits and do the things that we cannot do on our own. Thank goodness! God knows that I sure cannot do life without Him, and I do not want to. I can come before Him, lay all of the day’s challenges at His feet, and gain His strength, peace, joy, patience, etc. in place of those things. That’s a good deal y’all!

So that’s what I am doing tonight. Laying everything down before Him and asking that He give me some extra doses of strength and joy for tomorrow.

Much love, B

Stories

We are learning about the importance of telling stories and hearing other people’s stories. We had a class on storytelling yesterday and then were assigned our first mini project. For this project we had to take an environmental portrait. An environmental portrait is simply an image of someone that is in their environment that gives insight into what they do or who they are. To complete this task, we had to go to various places around Richmond City and get to know people in their environment.

Essentially this means that we walked up to people to figure out what their story is. It felt a little bit strange at first, but after talking to a few people it got easier. Most people we met were really open and freely told us their story of how they ended up working where they are/how they came to be in Richmond. We met some really interesting people on this assignment, and I enjoyed listening to them tell their stories. Everyone has a story, if you are just willing to listen!

Love, B

Juggling

Hello!

Week 2 of Hillside has been off to a good start. I do not feel quite as overwhelmed as I did last week so that is a huge blessing. Currently I feel like I am taking on the ultimate juggling act between the internship, regular life duties, and my personal life. I am trying to keep a healthy balance between everything, but it is a challenge. Right now I feel like I am just constantly running around with very little time to rest, and I am definitely the kind of person that needs some rest. Otherwise my grumpy side comes out and nobody needs that. I am hoping that over time I will find this task a little bit easier or get better at prioritizing my time.

On a different note, I learned about the tasks that I will be carrying out on each of my teams while I am here at Hillside for the next eight months. I am currently on three teams here: hospitality, mobilization, and love your city. For hospitality I will be taking care of people that come through our door or people that come to stay with us. This team is about making people feel loved and welcomed, which is something I love to do! The mobilization team takes care of the details for trips that are planned through Hillside. We sort out all of the little details so that people’s travels go smoothly. The love your city team is about doing practical things around the city of Richmond that help to make it better. I am excited for the teams that I am on and think they fit pretty well with my personality. Let’s do this!

Love, B

Sacrifices

This week we read about the many sacrifices that missionaries have to make in the field. I have been thinking about this idea and how much I am willing to sacrifice in order for people to hear the word of God. I have come to the conclusion that I am willing to be uncomfortable. I am willing to leave my home and the community I have here. I am willing to leave behind my family. I am willing to wear different clothes, eat different foods, and speak a different language.

I am willing to serve God’s people wherever He needs me to. I am willing to have little for myself if it means making gains for the kingdom of God. These are the things I am willing and ready to sacrifice for the one true King. I am NOT willing to live my life just for myself. If that means that I do not have the things that society says I should have then so be it.

I challenge you to think about the things that you are willing to sacrifice for the advancement of the kingdom of God. It won’t look the same for all of us, and that is okay.

Love, B

New Friends and New Experiences

21371347_10159514354065724_3805930421866679969_n

This week has been a week of firsts! This week was the start of my new adventure at Hillside, and yes I ate a snail on day 3! I should probably get used to eating different foods as I don’t know where I will end up eventually, and I guarantee it won’t be the foods I am used to eating. I’ve started with a snail, and we will see where things go from there!

There are currently 10 of us completing the 9-month internship, and I got to get to know them quite a bit over last week. I will be with them all the time so it is a good thing that I love them already. We had orientation this past week, which was filled with an overload of information about what we will be doing, the vision of Hillside, meeting the staff members, and of course homework. It feels a little overwhelming, but I am excited to get to know these people on a deeper level and to get to know God on a deeper level.

I love getting to start each day with devotions, and I love that the rest of my day revolves around doing work to glorify God. This feels like home. On a different note, we do have homework and quite a lot of it. For those of you that know me, I have never enjoyed homework or school. I am praying that God will give me a new attitude about it so that I can be joyful even in doing this task.

Here’s to a week of firsts! I am ready for Week 2!

– Bethany