Living in the Present in a Season of Anticipation

Living in the Present in a Season of Anticipation

"Anticipation is the feeling of hopeful expectation, believing in the magic of what has been and what be might again. This we know to be true: there is wonder in the waiting."

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"Anticipation is the feeling of hopeful expectation, believing in the magic of what has been and what be might again. This we know to be true: there is wonder in the waiting."

I saw this quote hanging on the wall of the shop at Magnolia Farms in Waco, Texas. Magnolia Farms is the headquarters of Chip and Joanna Gaines' business, hosts of the HGTV show, Fixer Upper. Obviously, this store was beautifully decorated with tasteful interior design. But this quote stood out among the beautiful Christmas ornaments and sweetly scented candles.

These winter months are the season of anticipation. People are anticipating Christmas, relaxation, a time for renewal, and the end of another semester. While I treasure the feeling of anticipation and looking forward, I think it can be all too easy to get caught up in the future and forget about living in the present. And I believe there is power in living life in the present. There are a million and one quotes out there about living in the present and living like every day is your last but I think there is something to be said for Chip and Joanna's wall hanging. There truly is "wonder in the waiting."

I have genuinely enjoyed my first semester of sophomore year and while I am living in the moment, I am also at a time in my life where there is a lot of waiting to do. I am waiting for my next semester of college, to go on a semester of study abroad, and to apply for physical therapy school. But I am also waiting for the little things: seeing my sister when I land in Dallas, to finally submit the twelve page paper for my anthropology class, and to perform in our final a cappella gig this semester.

This fall semester I have been meeting with a small group through Bread Coffeehouse. Bread is a Christian ministry, free, non-profit coffee house close to Emory's campus. Myself, two other sophomore girls, and our leader, Carly, meet once a week on Wednesdays to discuss topics and related bible verses.

Last week, for our final meeting, we read the message version of Isaiah 40:27-31.

Why would you ever complain, O Jacob,

or, whine, Israel, saying,

"God has lost track of me.

He doesn't care what happens to me"?

Don't you know anything? Haven't you been listening?

God doesn't come and go. God lasts.

He's Creator of all you can see or imagine.

He doesn't get tired out, doesn't pause to catch his breath.

And he knows everything, inside and out.

He energizes those who get tired,

gives fresh strength to dropouts.

For even young people tire and drop out,

young folk in their prime stumble and fall.

But those who wait upon God get fresh strength.

They spread their wings and soar like eagles,

They run and don't get tired,

they walk and don't lag behind.

Carly asked us all to comment on what stood out to us in the passage. Almost all of us mentioned the line "For even young people tire and drop out, young folk in their prime stumble and fall" and we all referenced "God doesn't come and go. God lasts."

Perhaps it is because we are slap bang in the middle of finals season, but the idea that "even young people tire" and "stumble and fall" was comforting. All three of us described the intense pressure we feel like college students to have the future all figured out, and the legitimate fear we have that all the hard work we put into college could potentially not turn into something prosperous and fulfilling in the future. It was then when we discussed anticipation.

We are anticipating short-term things like finishing the semester but we are also hopefully expecting a future we deeply desire. I remember thinking that living in the present and living in the future are currently both equally as terrifying. Living in the present means accepting the hardships of college academics and living in the future means dealing with the fear that I may not get that dream job or financial security. Carly brought us back to the verse and that "those who wait upon God get fresh strength." It was a simple reminder that although we might feel like life is out to get us at the moment, and we might trip and fall, there someone who will always have our back.

In this season of waiting, it can be too easy to get bogged down by the negative and fearful emotions. We must rest in anticipation, "hopeful expectation" because if nothing else we can remember that good things have happened in the past, and good things will happen again. If we shift our mindset from fear to curiosity, maybe the future can be something to look forward to instead of shy away from. We can finally understand what it means to have "wonder in the waiting."

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17 Empowering Bible Verses For Women

You go, girl.
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We all have those days where we let the negative thoughts that we're "not good enough," "not pretty enough" or "not smart enough" invade our minds. It's easy to lose hope in these situations and to feel like it would be easier to just give up. However, the Bible reminds us that these things that we tell ourselves are not true and it gives us the affirmations that we need. Let these verses give you the power and motivation that you're lacking.

1. Proverbs 31:25

"She is clothed with strength and dignity and she laughs without fear of the future."

2. Psalm 46:5

"God is within her, she will not fall."

3. Luke 1:45

"Blessed is she who believed that the Lord would fulfill His promises to her."

4. Proverbs 31:17

"She is energetic and strong, a hard worker."

5. Psalm 28:7

"The Lord is my strength and my shield."

6. Proverbs 11:16

"A gracious woman gains respect, but ruthless men gain only wealth."

7. Joshua 1:9

"Be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go."

8. Proverbs 31:30

"Charm is deceptive, and beauty does not last; but a woman who fears the Lord will be greatly praised."

9. 1 Corinthians 15:10

"By the grace of God, I am what I am."

10. Proverbs 31:26

"When she speaks, her words are wise, and she gives instructions with kindness."

11. Psalm 139:14

"I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made."

12. 1 Peter 3:3-4

"Don't be concerned about the outward beauty of fancy hairstyles, expensive jewelry, or beautiful clothes. You should clothe yourselves instead with the beauty that comes from within, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is so precious to God."

13. Colossians 2:10

"And in Christ you have been brought to fullness."

14. 2 Timothy 1:7

"For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline."

15. Jeremiah 29:11

"'For I know the plans I have for you,' says the Lord. 'They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.'"

16. Exodus 14:14

"The Lord himself will fight for you. Just stay calm."

17. Song of Songs 4:7

"You are altogether beautiful, my darling, beautiful in every way."

Next time you're feeling discouraged or weak, come back to these verses and use them to give you the strength and power that you need to conquer your battles.

Cover Image Credit: Julia Waterbury

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5 Facts About Spiritual Gifts That You Need To Know

Different gifts, but from the same Spirit

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1 Corinthians 12:4-5 states; "[4] There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. [5] There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord." We see that there are multiple spiritual gifts, but they all come from the same Lord.

1. We all have different gifts and that's okay

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Just like a body has different parts that each has its own function, that's like the body of Christ. We all have different gifts and different purposes, but we're all part of the body of Christ. God has a plan for you and has given you certain gifts. God doesn't call the equipped, he equips the calling.

2. There are various spiritual gifts mentioned in the Bible

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Romans 12, 1 Corinthians 12, and Ephesians 4 are some of the bible passages that talk about spiritual gifts. Giving, leadership, mercy, prophecy, service, tongue interpretation, administration, discernment, hospitality, missionary, and evangelism are some of the spiritual gifts that people can have. We can desire any gift, but it's God's choice on what gifts He gives us.

Remember, everyone can receive speaking in tongues via baptism in the Holy Spirit, but not everyone will get the gift of tongue interpretation.

3. Spiritual Gifts are supernatural abilities that are either given or enhanced via the Holy Spirit

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God gave us these Spiritual gifts because God wants to invest in His church.

4. Spiritual gifts are for strengthening others

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We have spiritual gifts in order to help others.

5. It does take time for gifts to mature and develop

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Like with a skill that you have, it does take time for you to own said skill. You put in the work, and because of that, you grow in your skill, and you get better. That's the same way with your gifts. God gives each of us certain gifts to use, and it will take time to mature those gifts.

Spiritual gifts are important.

In Romans 12:6 states; "[6] We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; [7] if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; [8] if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully."

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