Concordia Blogs-Abigail

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The End…of the Beginning

Dear Readers,

What a crazy adventure this past school year has been. You have been there along with me through the good and the bad. I am proud to say that I have successfully made it through my freshman year!!!!!

It’s hard to believe that this is the last post I will write for a while to come. This summer is going to be great! I will be spending the month of May with my family at home, and then working at a camp in the San Diego mountains over the summer for June and July. Then we all know what will happen August 1st….

Drum roll please…

ATWII!

Please continue to follow me and my team on our journey around the world and back again.
You can follow me on:

Facebook: facebook.com/ATWbyFaith
Twitter: @bibliophilette

Follow the whole team on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram with #cuiatw.

Have a great summer!

Abigail Lozano
Sophomore at Concordia University Irvine

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Finals…

Hey all, I believe that you can make it through the rest of this week. In light of having multiple finals in one day, some that are back to back, it is easy to lose sight of the end goal. Here is a quick and dirty guide to finals’ week:

Breathe. Read Notes. Sleep. Take Final. Repeat. 

Not to worry, this week will soon pass and we will have made it through yet another year. Folks, we are moving forward, just remember: don’t let that GPA drop!

Finals…

Hey all, I believe that you can make it through the rest of this week. In light of having multiple finals in one day, some that are back to back, it is easy to lose sight of the end goal. Here is a quick and dirty guide to finals’ week:

Breathe. Read Notes. Sleep. Take Final. Repeat.

Not to worry, this week will soon pass and we will have made it through yet another year. Folks, we are moving forward, just remember: don’t let that GPA drop!

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As the dreaded and long expected drum beat of finals swiftly approaches our anxiety levels rise. I am constantly running around finalizing the last couple details, studying, etc. and I am worried. I worry about what today will bring, about what my final grades will look like, about the future, about life. I worry and I lose hope. I worry and I lose sight of the prize. I quickly lose focus and become easily overwhelmed.

Is there anyone out there that hears my cry for help? Is there anyone that cares?

YES! A thousand times yes! His name is Jesus, and He has called us to set our eyes on him, casting all else aside, knowing that He will sustain us.

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Let Us Not Grow Weary

This morning I was reading in my devotions Hebrews 12. Being heartily encouraged in this stressful time of studying and finals, I thought I’d share with you the gem of wisdom from God.

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.” (Hebrews 12:1-2 ESV)

Did you catch that friend? Looking to Jesus. The writer doesn’t say, looking to a perfect grade, he says, “looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith.” Don’t grow weary in your endeavors as a faithful student, rather be empowered to do your best.

So if you are running out of energy during this finals season, and you are thinking that this burden is too much to bear, know that God knows. Even though God is completely self sufficient (he doesn’t need to eat or sleep like we do) He sees that we do run out of energy, and is faithful to provide. In fact he asks us to “cast our cares on him, for he cares for us.”

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Life Quotes

Am I the only one who procrastinates by going doing Buzzfeed quizzes and looking at Pinterest quotes? I would venture to say, I am not. But when does taking a personality quiz (or 10) turn into a debilitating monster that is taking over your life? I know we all like to hear that we have similar life struggles, but we must not make every challenge insurmountable. Truth is, we have so much potential as young college students, if we discipline ourselves, we will accomplish more than we ever thought we could. 

Happy last week of school!

Life Quotes

Am I the only one who procrastinates by going doing Buzzfeed quizzes and looking at Pinterest quotes? I would venture to say, I am not. But when does taking a personality quiz (or 10) turn into a debilitating monster that is taking over your life? I know we all like to hear that we have similar life struggles, but we must not make every challenge insurmountable. Truth is, we have so much potential as young college students, if we discipline ourselves, we will accomplish more than we ever thought we could.

Happy last week of school!

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Beyond Excited

When people ask me what I think about going around the world in under 3 months, I tell them, “I am beyond excited.” It usually answers their question directly and to the point, and it’s exactly that they want to hear. Nobody wants to hear the intimate details, the small stresses that eventually pile up to anticipation anxiety, they just want to hear that you are happy, excited, pumped up, and ready to go.

While I have all these emotions, I have also gone beyond mere excitement. I am no longer jumping up and down with excitement at the mere thought of traveling to 10 countries in 20 weeks. It’s my reality. It’s going to happen, and I am thinking about other things, such as how I am going to make the most of this opportunity.

If you are finding yourself a bit more “mellow” about your decision of coming to Concordia, or perhaps you aren’t sure if you should come because you just “aren’t as excited” as you should be, don’t be worried. Perhaps you are just beyond excited, and that’s ok. Life doesn’t solely consist of really high intense moments of happiness, rather most of life is made up of the small and constant moments. You will find that as great as those high moments are, they are too few and far between to be able to make it through life. You will find that it is in fact the little joys in life that are able to help you make it through.

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The Right Decision

How do I know if I made the right decision? Perhaps you are having second thoughts concerning decisions you made, or are still making decisions. Whether you are an prepared overachiever or scrambling late bloomer, late spring can make us all kind of twitchy and impatient and anxious and happy and a million other emotions all at the same time.

So how do you know you’ve made the right choice? Well, God gives us peace, and things start falling into place, opportunities open up, etc. Now peace isn’t some fluffy feeling that we sometimes have. Peace is a state of being given by God in time of chaos. The world can go to pieces all around you, but if you are following God’s calling for your life, then you will be sustained. Psalm 37:23 says, “The Lord makes firm the steps of the one who delights in him.”

When the ground we walk upon is shaky, the Lord is the rock beneath our feet.

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Rain Down Your Blessings

This is one of my favorite pictures with my dear Nokukhanya, a strong woman of faith that has become so much more to me than a Bible study leader. She has been there for me during the good and the bad, and through our mutual struggles we have learned how to trust in God with everything, especially with finances.
Whenever I meet her in tears wondering if God will come through for me one more time, my beloved sister Noks always tells me (insert a beautiful South African accent), “Child, when the praises go up, the blessings gonna come down.” She reminds me that God is good, that he has not forsaken me, that he knows what I need, and that he will provide. Living these two semesters in community with Noks has taught me that God is able to provide in many creative ways, and that he will continue to do so. He is unlimited, and he loves us, and he knows that we need. 

I have learned that coming to college demands a lot of faith and trust. I know I have been tested. I have wondered if God has a plan. I know that God has already provided, you know his Son to save me from sin and death, and all the other things in the past, but I struggle with knowing that he will provide again. 

I struggle because if I have learned anything from this first year at school, it’s that I am so dependent on Him. I have asked for so much already, isn’t it presumptuous of me to ask for more? How many times have I asked for enough strength to just finish the day? How many times have I asked for peace and rest? How many times? And though he has followed through, I always wonder when He’s going to run out, or say, “Enough! No more for you!”

But these are lies. The God I serve is never-ending. He cannot be fathomed. His love is endless. He is boundless. He delights in his children. He is good and he will provide for us for his name’s sake. Child, he has promised on himself to provide. He has provided before, he will provide in the future, but most importantly, he is working RIGHT NOW, providing exactly what you need today. 

So if you can’t do anything else, just praise him today. Thank him for who he says that he is, and ask him to reveal himself as such. Then sit back, and wait, the curtain will rise on your story, and know that God always comes through!

Rain Down Your Blessings

This is one of my favorite pictures with my dear Nokukhanya, a strong woman of faith that has become so much more to me than a Bible study leader. She has been there for me during the good and the bad, and through our mutual struggles we have learned how to trust in God with everything, especially with finances.

Whenever I meet her in tears wondering if God will come through for me one more time, my beloved sister Noks always tells me (insert a beautiful South African accent), “Child, when the praises go up, the blessings gonna come down.” She reminds me that God is good, that he has not forsaken me, that he knows what I need, and that he will provide. Living these two semesters in community with Noks has taught me that God is able to provide in many creative ways, and that he will continue to do so. He is unlimited, and he loves us, and he knows that we need.

I have learned that coming to college demands a lot of faith and trust. I know I have been tested. I have wondered if God has a plan. I know that God has already provided, you know his Son to save me from sin and death, and all the other things in the past, but I struggle with knowing that he will provide again.

I struggle because if I have learned anything from this first year at school, it’s that I am so dependent on Him. I have asked for so much already, isn’t it presumptuous of me to ask for more? How many times have I asked for enough strength to just finish the day? How many times have I asked for peace and rest? How many times? And though he has followed through, I always wonder when He’s going to run out, or say, “Enough! No more for you!”

But these are lies. The God I serve is never-ending. He cannot be fathomed. His love is endless. He is boundless. He delights in his children. He is good and he will provide for us for his name’s sake. Child, he has promised on himself to provide. He has provided before, he will provide in the future, but most importantly, he is working RIGHT NOW, providing exactly what you need today.

So if you can’t do anything else, just praise him today. Thank him for who he says that he is, and ask him to reveal himself as such. Then sit back, and wait, the curtain will rise on your story, and know that God always comes through!

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Growing Up

Recently I have been thinking about growing up. I heard this really great song by Matt Papa called “I Wanna Be A Child Again,” and it totally transformed the way I think about growing up. I remember last year as I was making all sorts of scary decisions about college and financial aid and such, I would recite e.e. cummings’ famous quote, “It takes courage to become who you really are.” I wrote it all over my notebooks, posted it on my wall, etched it on my heart as a mantra, hoping that by saying these words that courage would come to me.

I blinked and the summer was gone, and I was in my dorm room as a college freshman. I had made it, or so I thought. For most of my life, college was “the goal.” When I was a kid, it was hard to believe I would ever get out of school, college was that light at the end of the tunnel. I had made it, I was an adult…

And then God started working in my life in ways I never expected through the ATW application process, through my jobs, through classes, etc. He was (and still is) calling me to be humble, to have faith as a small child, to depend on him. I laugh when I say that, because we as Christians all believe that humility, faith, and dependence on God are good things. The reality is, they are HARD things.

How do you become humble? Well, there’s not really a 5 step plan, it just sort of happens when your life starts going to pieces. It happens when you say, “I got this,” and then it just so happens you don’t. There are lots of tears and frustration because your pride is wounded.

It’s also hard to have faith and complete dependence on God. If you ask God for faith, he will put you in places that you will have NO other choice than to say, “The Lord is my refuge and strength, and ever present help in trouble. He will deliver me.” When there is no other way to look but up, your trust will be in God.

Who are you growing up to be? I want to grow up to be like Christ, even if that means that the road is hard, because He has promised to be with me.

Dear Seniors, if you are still wondering about where your life is going, just know God is with you. No matter how hard things get, He is there. It’s never the answer we want, it’s not easy, but it’s enough.

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Distractions

This song has been my jam this week. There have been so many strange distractions. I have found it hard to finish all my responsibilities because contemplating the meaning of the universe and my place in it has just taken precedence. Suddenly being scatterbrained is not just a little part of my personality, it has completely overtaken me.

When I am attacked by a sudden barrage of distractions, the only thing I know that will get me back on track is taking the time to seek God. Whether it’s listening to a worship song, taking a walk up to French Hill to pray, or singing my heart out in Good Shepherd Chapel, I need some time to be still and KNOW that GOD is in control.