Today was day one of being a morning person…and I like it a lot!! I seriously am shocked at the amount of self-discipline I have been able to have lately! I believe the Lord is really blessing my efforts in this area, which is SO helpful! So, we’ll see how long I can carry out this morning thing.
Many things have changed in my life in the past 17 days…many unexpected!
However, one of the changes was absolutely shocking to me, more than any other…
I have begun to realize that I could stay in California, at least for a few more years…
Why the sudden change? And why is this so shocking? Well, after living on the East Coast for 8 months, I realized that I loved it there, and that I wanted to live there…and part of me definitely still does. I had begun to see California through different eyes, and realized that it didn’t necessarily suit me anymore…that’s why this is shocking to me (and to my family!)…
(Note: This is not an essay on the “supremacy of California” or any such thing. I know that a few of you will take it that way–please don’t! That’s not what I’m trying to say.)
1–Most of my family lives here, or in the Western United States…
not the East Coast.
After my family reunion, and the extended time with my immediate family, I realized how much they all mean to me…and how hard it would be to not be close by. I thought about January, and how when my Grandmother had a quadruple bypass, I was able to fly up there to be with them–and many of them traveled quite a bit to get there as well…but if I were on the East Coast, that might not be possible. Also, my grandparents are getting older, and I want as much time with them as possible. My whole family is VERY close, and I’d hate to miss reunions and family events.
2–California is beautiful.
After being in Yosemite this month, I realized that California is a breathtakingly beautiful state. Granted, of course there are areas that are not the prettiest (the Central Valley in the summer, for instance…700 miles of brown grass…not exciting!). But, we have the Pacific Ocean, many gorgeous lakes, hundreds of miles of mountain ranges, majestic redwoods, etc. And I realized that even though I also believe that Pennsylvania is beautiful, I don’t know how I would handle living in a “landlocked” state (which it is, but just barely)…California also is so diverse in its terrain–desert, ocean, mountains, valleys, etc…cities and open spaces…everything!
Many of you may not fully understand this one…and I’m not sure how to explain it (it helps if you are familiar with Southern Baptist terminology and framework. Go here for more information/definitions, etc.). I know the people in my association–as well as those in leadership, I know the churches, I know how it works…because I have been there my entire life, I would be able to accomplish much more, as well, because of my already established reputation. And, you know, “Sometimes you wanna go where everybody knows your name, and they’re always glad you came.” (Cheers theme song). I also know that the Lord is moving in amazing ways among the youth in our association, and I’d love to be a part of that work!
There are several Southern Baptist seminaries across the nation, but the one that would be the best fit for me would be Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary, north of San Francisco.
These are just some of the things that I have realized over the past 17 days…who knows what will happen, but it looks as if I won’t be leaving the Golden State as soon as I thought…if ever. Amazing how things can change! Just wanted to share these thoughts with y’all!
*”A Baptist association is a group of churches, usually in a geographic area, that work together in the areas of evangelism, ministry and missions. Associations exist to provide resources and establish churches that can provide for the religious needs of its members and the community at large.An association is one way that churches collectively can engage in activities beyond their capabilities. The association provides a means of communication between local churches and the denomination as a whole. In California, there are 32 associations of churches, ranging in size from just a few, to more than 200.” –taken from the California Southern Baptist Convention website.