Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Hakuna Matata

...It means no worries, for the rest of your days. It's our problem free, philosophy.

Last week my dad took me to see Lion King at the Orpheum Theater in San Francisco. What an incredible time. The moment Rafiki took the stage my mind was blown by the singing, the costumes and the makeup. Everyone animal was incredible. From the life size elephants and the giraffe man on stilts to the hyenas with their swinging heads.
We hit the city just as the sun was setting. The skyline was beautifully colored greyish-blue with an orange backdrop. We found ourselves pushing through light traffic in the business district and made our way into China town for dinner.
There was a cute restaurant my dad had in mind, and after about 20 minutes of searching for parking we snagged a spot and walked a few blocks over to the place. China town was busier then the business district. People were walking through the middle of the streets or rushing along sidewalks, while cars were honking and forcing their way through the crowds.
The dinner was peaceful and delicious. It was wonderful spending time talking to my dad about our and just catching up on life. It isn't very often that we get to just hang out together, between both of our work schedules and all of my extra activities. This was a blue moon sort of occasion.
After a meal of spring roles, wonton soup, fried rice, cashew chicken and sweet and sour pork we had to be rolled out of the restaurant because we were so full ;) The walk back to the car was a nice little jot to work off our dinner.
My stomach was fluttering with excitement as we pulled into the parking garage and made the trek over to the theater. A crowd was milling around the fountain in the concrete courtyard and was taking pictures next to the giant Lion King poster. My father and I made our way inside to find out seats. I had no idea the were going to be as good as they were. Three rows back from the front just off to the right. We could see every makup detail, costume and facial expression there was. The first five minutes of the show nearly made me cry from amazement. The whole show was full of laughter and wide-eyed enjoyment all the way until the end.
The thing that got me thinking at the end of the show was "Hakuna Matata." There was such an emphasis on no worries because they are being watched over by the spirits in the stars.
In my life I tend to worry so much and forget that, although I do not believe I am being watched over by spirits in the stars, I am being watched over by a Heavenly Father. I have something far greater then stars and spirits and afterlives. I can have no worries because God my Father in Heaven is taking care of me.

So... Hakuna Matata everyone, welcome to 2013.

                                                              City Skyline at night
China Town

                                                           My wonderful father and I

                                                                       Lion King!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Goodbye 2012

Take a moment to reflect. Look back on the year behind you and think about all the things that have changed. Where were you January of last year? What were you doing in February, or over last spring break ? Who were you spending time with and what activities were you involved in? For a lot of people things have probably changed significantly, but for those of you who have not had a drastic change you have grown another year in maturity.

My year has been a roller coaster of drastic changes. From serving in my church, to struggling with my faith, some friendships strengthening, new friendships starting and old friendships falling apart. God has been so faithful to me in every step of the way. When I felt like He was so far away, and I thought He wasn't in my life He pulled me back and revealed new things to me. He taught me that His mercies are new every day, His grace is enough and He is always faithful.

When I turn my back from Him, when I fall into the desires of my flesh and mock the God who loves me He still forgives me. Despite the fact that I sin every day, I never trust Him enough and I rely on my own strength far to much He still shows me mercy.
No matter what my failures are God's mercies are new to me every day.

GraceHe has given me an undeserved gift and blessed me with a savior. By His grace I am free.

FaithfulnessSometimes I feel like God isn't near, but that is where I am wrong. He is always near. He never leaves me or forsakes me. In the times of joy, times of trouble and everywhere in between He is by me and cares for me.
He has shown me His faithfulness by taking care of me, providing for me, and showing me He has a better plan even when things don't go my way.
His faithfulness is unending.

Reflecting on the past year has made me realize how gracious and kind God has been to me. There were times He didn't do things according to my timing and plans, but looking back I see how His plan was far better then my own.

So I challenge everyone in 2013 to know that God's plan is always better. In times of trouble and struggle, when He isn't answering prayers according to your timing or plan, remember that He has something better waiting for you.
Reflect on how God has revealed Himself to you in 2012 and carry that with you through 2013.

Happy New Year!