Saturday, November 8, 2014

In With The New.

Notice anything new or different around here?  I have been dabbling with the idea of changing and updating my blog for a quite a while now, but it wasn't until yesterday that I finally made a decision.  Loved, not Lost was the title of my blog for over four (!!!) years, and while that concept will never change in my life personally, I have been ready for something new.  Something fresh.  Something a little more mature and a little more more me.  The content will remain the same, as I seek to always bring glory first and foremost to my King, but you can expect to see a few new additions, concepts, and series as time goes on.

Please pardon any mess over the next bit of time as I continue to make tweaks here and there.  I am so looking forward to watching this journey continue, and to have you along for the ride.

So here it is, plain and simple: a blog by Gennean.



Friday, October 31, 2014

Travel: Great Smoky Mountains.

Last Saturday, my roommate and I set off on a fun adventure in an attempt to cross an item off of my bucket list: visiting the Great Smoky Mountains in the fall.  You know, when all of the leaves have changed to vibrant hues of orange, yellow, and red, but have not yet fallen from their branches?  That was what I was dying to see in real life.  And they did not disappoint.


We woke up early on Saturday morning, hit up our second favorite coffee shop (our first one wasn't open yet), and made the 4 hour journey toward the Clingman's Dome Observation Tower, the highest point you can get to in the Smokies, sitting pretty at 6,643 ft.  It also serves as the highest point in all of Tennessee.

 

Seeing as it was a gorgeous Saturday and there were a lot of people who had a similar idea, we ultimately had to park about a mile down the mountain.  Our hike ended being a 3 mile journey up steep hills with changing climates (seriously, it was REAL cold at the top), but it was completely worth it to be surrounded by some amazing views.  I'll let the pictures do the talking...



This trip was the first time in a long time that I actually pulled out my "real" camera, instead of just using my iPhone, and I am pretty sure that I fell in love all over again with photography.  In college I shot a few senior portrait sessions, engagements, and weddings, and while I don't think I will be dabbling in any of that anytime soon, it was refreshing to get out and shoot just for fun.



I grew up visiting and camping in the California mountains regularly throughout the year, so this trip greatly reignited one of my first great loves: being in the mountains.  Talk about something being majestic, dangerous, stunning, full of unknown, and so incredibly breathtaking (literally and figuratively) all at the same time.  Y'all can take the beach, and the city.  Given the choice, you will find me in the mountains every time.


If you ever get the chance to visit the Great Smoky Mountains, don't even think about it.  DO it.  Also, I have to give a  huge shout out to the cutest roomie in the world right there!  She's a gem and I am grateful for her willingness to make spontaneous trips with me.  After this adventure we have even started a list of places to visit in this season of living together, including New Orleans, LA, Brooklyn + NYC, Charleston, SC, and Savannah, GA, just to name a few.  If you have any other suggestions for fun places to travel to, don't hesitate to holla at ya girl!

 

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Wild + Free.



Y'all, I cannot believe that it was one year ago today that I arrived in Tennessee.  For those of you who have been following along since then (or even before then, which if that's the case, you're so amazing for sticking around), you know that the struggle was very real in that season.  Lots of excitement, and doubt, and questions, and pride-issues.  It was a legitimate hot mess.  But the last twelve months have seriously been so fruitful.  I have grown and changed and learned so much more than one post can possibly contain, but I thought I would share just a few of the ways that I have grown since that day a year ago, all by God's grace  So, here goes:

Newfound confidence.  I have had to learn how to get out of my comfort zone over and over again.  From exploring an entirely new part of the country, to attending concerts alone (kind of weird and also kind of awesome), to joining a gym where I knew no one, and meeting new people everywhere in between, I have come to realize that God has so intentionally moved me into places of being more outgoing - more willing and excited to meet new people - than ever before.  I am still an introvert at heart, but I find so much new joy in making friends everywhere a door opens up. 

Dependence on the Lord.  Seriously, this has been huge.  God has shown me multiple times just how desperate I need to be for His presence and for Him to provide, and He has shown up each and every time in crazy, unimaginable ways.  This section could be a book all in itself, so I will just leave it at this: God so desires our wholehearted dependence on Him, so that He can bless us from His abundance in ways we could never even dream of.  PTL that I am incapable of doing much without Him coming through.

Abundant life in the Holy Spirit.  Well, this one is more recent and a little crazy.  All I can say is that I have had a willing and ready heart for a while, and now God is taking me into new places where He is revealing more of His character, particularly Holy Spirit.  It is overwhelming and amazing and so, so worth looking like an absolute fool.  There is so much freedom in living by the Spirit.


All of these thoughts culminated in my morning time with Jesus yesterday as I was reflecting on the last year, which included turning 25 last week, and thinking about what this next season may hold.  I wrote down the following:

Twenty-five: the year of being wild and free.

Set free by Holy Sprit to explore new territories.  To see more and more of the power and authority of the name of Jesus Christ.  To witness healing and miracles.  To pray in new ways and encounter the Father more intimately.  Wild and free to more fully be who He made me to be by pressing in to more of who He promises that He is.  


Guys, I am so excited.  So expectant.  This new season is going to a rich one, and I am believing God to do some incredible things, particularly over the next seven months (a time frame that was spoken over me by my pastor last week).  I hope that you will choose to hang around to see what God has in store!



Please follow me on Twitter and Instagram for more frequent updates on my journey with my Father. //
@gennean
  

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

God of Identity.

 

Over the last few years I have learned that one of my personal and deepest passions is for people to understand and find their worth and identity in the Lord.  It makes sense that I would care so deeply about this, considering it's something I struggled with quite a bit throughout my high school and college years (and continue to grow in). It wasn't until recently, though, that I realized there is so much more to this identity thing than I thought.  In the last few weeks, I have found myself immersed in the Word and spending countless hours in books and sermons focused on identity, so here are a few, albeit broad, things I have learned along the way.

We, as a flawed people, have the unnerving tendency to rely on ourselves, rather than the Lord (uh, hello Israel).  Because of that, we allow what we think about ourselves - including the things that we hear and see and let others influence us to believe - to shape our identity and thus overpower who God has already told us that we are:

Chosen.  Loved.  Redeemed.  Free.  Worth it.

Identity all begins with this: if we would just believe that God really is who He says He is, and that we really are who he says we are, we would see and experience so much more on this side of eternity.  We would more fully live out His calling on our lives; we would have full confidence and assurance in who we are and what we were made for; we would see miracles and get to be a part of those miracles; we would play a larger role in crazy Kingdom expansion because we would be relying no longer on ourselves, but on Him in us and the Holy Spirit's power through us.  It is all an issue with misplaced identity.

And the thing is, if we really let the reality of who He says we are to infiltrate every part of our being, we would do what God has laid out for us to do.  We would manifest Jesus.  Fear would not stop us.  Doubt would not cause us to question.  We would walk into new places with supernatural confidence, boldness, and strength by His power and His Spirit.  Y'all, this - all of this - it's real.  And it is available.

So how can we "get there?"
1. Believe what the Word says
2. Study Jesus
3. Know we are His
4. Live like Him

If only we believed it was actually that simple (because it is!).  Instead, sadly, we limit ourselves, and in doing so, we limit God.  He has given us the Holy Spirit that we would step out and do things in His strength so that only He could get the credit and glory, much like Jesus did, because we have access to the same Spirit that Jesus had.  We can do the things that Jesus did.  Don't believe me?

"Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father." John 14:12

If we only saw ourselves with "unveiled face" (2 Corinthians 3:18), believing all that the Father has said we are and made us to be... man, I really do believe that the Kingdom would be ignited and spread like wildfire upon the earth, and we would not only see it but be a part of it.  It all begins with rooting our identities in Him.  Believing Him.  Studying His Son, and living like Him.  And I am in the same boat as many of you: hungry, ready for more, and just starting to see these glimpses of His glory.

You, my friend, are born for the Kingdom to flow through you; born to be absolutely overwhelmed with God, in such a way that there's no turning back.  Only pursuit.  Only moving forward.  There is no need to be frightened by intimacy with the Father.  Seek Him, know Him, believe Him.  There you will find your identity - who you are, what you love, what you were born for - in Him alone.  Root yourself in who He already has said that you are, and live out His calling on your life by His power and strength.

This is a good life, friends, and He is so worth it all.

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This post was originally featured on my sweet friend Natalie's blog, Heart Stirrings, which y'all should check out!