Things you should know about me:
1) I have lived in the South my entire life (all 18 years of it).
2) I’ve gone to church sporadically for those 18 years, until a year ago when I started to go every weekend.
3) Yesterday was the first Southern Sunday I have ever had.
Now you’re probably wondering: What is a Southern Sunday?
Well, I am glad you asked. I’m not sure many people refer to them the same way I do, or even have a name for these special days, but a Southern Sunday, to me, is going to a church service (of your choice) around 10 in the morning, which is followed by a nice, southern, home-cooked meal for lunch. A big meal at that (complete with Arnold Palmers and peach pie). Chicken and rice casserole, green beans, fried okra, and salad. My heart was so happy when a lovely woman, at a new church I was trying out, came up to me & said, “You’re Jenna! Well, today you have a place to eat lunch!” (And it also helped that I am a poor college student, so that added to the happiness). I’m always blown away by how welcoming people can be, and I still haven’t figured out why yet. I always assume people are going to be closed off, but Jesus always proves me wrong with that one. I love that He is revealing Himself to me through these relationships and people around me.
This was one of those moments when I was able to be present. I sat around that table, while we all fellowshipped together, and just took it all in. This is what life is about. These moments of community that make you happy you’re alive. Maybe you don’t go to church, and you really don’t want to, but community is important. Community lifts you up on your lows & celebrates with you on the highs. It’s these people that make up who you are. Whether you like it or not, you take something from each person you’re around, whether it be a personality trait or a life lesson or something you know you don’t want to do.
These people I’ve decided to surround myself with, and who Christ has decided to bless me with, have made all the difference. Instead of morphing my beliefs and my quirks and my personality, these people have helped highlight and amplify them (even the sarcasm and the stories that I think are funny but actually end with crickets chirping in the background). I have come to find that there will be some people in your life that you just enjoy being in the presence of. No words have to be spoken or actions have to be made. They bring peace to your life and you feel like yourself when you’re around them. Maybe you’ve just met them or maybe you have known them forever. You don’t have to be in love with this person or even think of them romantically. There is just a special type of person that you can be around that will highlight your best qualities. When you remember these moments, you will remember these special people, and how they were there in those moments when you felt the fullest.
I’ve found myself in these moments quite frequently in the past week. Whether it be with a kind, new friend over Swift & Finch coffee or staring up at the stars with those couple of people around me. Or maybe by the Old Mill just listening to a sweet friend strum her guitar and hum a little tune. Or praying with a new friend after Bible study. Or enlightening office conversations. Or watching the sunset from a roof. What do all of these moments have in common, you ask? I found Jesus in every single second. His love abounded in every little moment. I knew what it felt like to be wholeheartedly loved by the God of the universe because I was present.
Yes, I have noticed that I released the Monday Morning Pick-Me-Up on a Sunday night, but I know a few people who start work and school for the first day tomorrow morning, so I wanted to give them a chance to see this. I know I don’t particularly care for reading at 6:30 in the morning, but that’s just me, so you never know.
Alright, so here’s the pick-me-up part of this amazing Monday morning: Be present. Soak in each moment today. Find Jesus in everything you do. Even in the frustration or the anxiety, He is there. You will find Him in your weaknesses or even if it’s the most amazing Monday you have ever had. Seek Him out & you will find. Be your best self today. I know you have it in you.
A couple weeks ago, I was asked the question (or something similar to it):
“If you were always aware that the Holy Spirit was living inside of you, how differently would you live your life?”
Food for thought. How differently would you see yourself? Would you lift yourself up more often than you bring yourself down? How would you treat your body? How would you spend your time? Walk with the reassurance that Jesus lives inside you this morning, friends. I know it may be hard, and at times you may feel unworthy, but don’t be discouraged. Jesus is with you. Always.
Do you need a Monday morning pump up song? Here you go, my friend. Feel free to dance & worship while getting ready.
Looking to feel inspired? Read this.
Do you need a laugh? Watch this.
“Let the peace of Christ keep you in tune with each other, in step with each other. None of this going off and doing your own thing. And cultivate thankfulness. Let the Word of Christ—the Message—have the run of the house. Give it plenty of room in your lives. Instruct and direct one another using good common sense. And sing, sing your hearts out to God! Let every detail in your lives—words, actions, whatever—be done in the name of the Master, Jesus, thanking God the Father every step of the way.” – Colossians 3:15-17 MSG
Shine light into the world & have a wonderful Monday, friends.