This Month...(December)

Happy December! This past month was a time of reflection. Not only as the last month of the year but also the last month of the decade.

This past decade I became someone I was not meant to be: prideful, controlling, anxious, and lonely. I made plans and leaned on towards my own expectations rather than hope. God has been patient with me. I am thankful for the growth and how I have been focused and determined, knowing full well how God created me. I am a writer, and that's what I've pursued.

This blog was published in the middle of this past decade. My journey of becoming the woman I am today is printed on each blog post, where I shared my hopes, dreams, disappointments, and joys. It's not so scary to leave it all behind and to start a new decade. I have new dreams and renewed strength to carry them out.

December may just be my favorite month of 2019. It was full of defining moments for relationships in my life. I feel closer and more connected to the people God has placed in my life.

The entire month I had to keep reminding myself of my age and repeat what Paul said in 1 Corinthians 13:11, "When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways." Whenever I would find myself having childish thoughts, like the insecure ones I would have as a child, I tell myself to give. them. up. I don't want to stay in those old thought patterns, especially as a grown woman! I pray for a daily conviction to keep me from staying in childish ways because I want to grow and move forward to the places God has called me to be during this present time.

This month I appreciated the arts and visited an art display by someone from my past and I saw Sarah Kay & Phil Kaye's last performance of the decade!

"Straingers" by Cecile Chong
My junior high school art teacher was Ms. Chong (now I know her as Cecile Chong). What I remember most about her was how calmly she spoke, how she was always so patient with me, and that she was born in Ecuador. I remember learning about Chinese calligraphy and using black ink to stain craft paper, which was nerve wracking and thrilling at the same time. I was a part of her crochet club that met during lunch period; crocheting is still a skill I practice today. She was also so fascinating to me, elegant, poised, and kind. I was overjoyed to see her at a vendor's fair at Industry City this past February where we exchanged contact info and I now follow her on Instagram (@cecilestudio). I was so happy to see that she is still an artist. I am very proud of her and her amazing accomplishments. Her unique artwork is so moving, intricate, and intentional.

When I saw a post on her Instagram page that she had a window display in Dumbo I knew I had to see it in person. It was the second to last day of the showing and I didn't let the cold stop me. It was a windy Sunday afternoon when my mother and I walked a mile from our brunch date to see the display. I loved it! I saw her carful hands attach each bead to its strainer and thought of her reaching over one by one to complete this arrangement. The time and attention she once gave me as I struggled with my paint brush, she used for her own artwork. I prayed for her hands, for her mind, and thanked God for her creative soul.

"Straingers" by Cecile Chong

I felt this connection to Sarah Kay during her last show of the decade (she and I shared the sentiment of the end to the decade). I appreciated her attention to every little moment. I started to follow Sarah's work for almost a decade, I'm just realizing. I was either in my sophomore or junior year of college and I came across a YouTube video of her performance. I wasn't searching for it, but it found me. I was impressed by her performance; she was so articulate and creative -- how did she do this?  I thought to myself. I embraced the night and got to experience the magic in person. Her hand gestures, her smile, the twinkle in her eyes; all of it was mesmerizing.
Visiting "Straingers" by Cecile Chong

This month, our home church has also been in transition. We currently don't have a building we can call home, but church is not a building, it is a people. We, as the church, have continued to gather in each other's homes every Sunday until we find a space we can call home. What has House Church been like? Pure. We gather to pray, to worship, and to hear a word. When people gather to worship the Lord, He will be praised; He is worthy and our praises do not have to be kept in a building. We meet because we love the Lord and we love the community we all have a place in.

I am so thankful for our leaders who were quick on their feet and organized House Church so well. During this time we have all been encouraged. It feels like we are being shepherded towards victory.

It's so beautiful to enjoy life and to be able to enjoy life with others. Like 1 Peter 3 says, in order to love life and see good days, we must seek peace and pursue it. It says in verses 9-12:

"Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult. On the contrary, repay evil with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing. For,
'Whoever would love life and see good days
must keep their tongue from evil
and their lips from deceitful speech.
They must turn from evil and do good;
they must seek peace and pursue it.
For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous
and his ears are attentive to their prayer,
but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.'”

If we are called to bless and to inherit a blessing I certainly would want to surround myself with others who follow this calling as well. When you're surrounded and encouraged by people who live like this, they are careful about what they say, they're not carless with their words or what they do. They don't instigate fights; they pursue peace and live a life of righteousness. This scripture opened my eyes to reflect on how I live my life and to see how those surrounding me are living their lives as well. Do I see them loving life or do they despise it?

2019 has been a beautiful year of change, growth, maturing, and peace. I am ready for more, there is always more.

This Month... is a monthly confession of areas I am growing in, things that are currently inspiring me, or places I visited. Follow me on Instagram @tomyunderstanding for daily encouragement.


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