When I initially signed up to attend the medical mission trip to the Dominican Republic, I knew that God would use the experience to work in my life and in the lives of others around me. However, I did not expect the lessons I learned from so many people. Although traveling to a foreign country is exciting alone, the medical experience, spiritual influence and guidance, and lifelong connections I gained from the trip are what made it one of the best experiences of my life.
As I was boarding the plane to fly from Jacksonville, Florida to New York City to meet the team, I was excited, but I also thought about all the ways I was not prepared for the trip. I immediately began to think that my Spanish was not fluent enough to communicate effectively with the people in the clinics and that I was just a hopeful future physician. When I met the team members at the airport to board the plane for Santo Domingo, we all instantly connected. I felt as if I had known these people most of my life. I was reminded that God brings together His people and equips each person to accomplish His perfect mission.
It has now been a week since I returned from the trip to the Dominican Republic. Settling back into normal life was difficult at first, but I soon realized that my new normal was different. The experience and life perspectives I gained from the trip are things I will take with me throughout the rest of my life. This will certainly not be my last trip.
I know that I could not have served without the support of so many people. You all know who you are! 🙂
In return, I wanted to create a video for all of you showcasing some of the highlights from the trip.
I have not published a blog post in awhile, so I wanted to share something with you all today.
Recently, I have been thinking a lot about connection. What I have seen is that many are losing touch with reality. Every day new social networks are being developed, and more people are “selling” their lives away to them all in efforts to become “famous”.
I heard a message this past weekend in church that discussed a few of these things, and I could not have agreed more. When used incorrectly, social networking is used to bring self-gratification and to serve as an ego boost to those who are willing to sell themselves to it.
However, there are many good uses for social networking, and I am in no way suggesting to stop using it. I am wanting to cause one to become aware of his or her own methods behind using it.
Busy. It’s a word we hear often. Many use it as an excuse to get out of things or to compensate for a lack of commitment. I’m we all have heard, “I’m sorry! I was just to busy….”
Reasons To Not Spread Yourself Thin
It increases stress- The more you have to worry about, the more stressed you will become. We are not super-humans, no matter how much we want to believe it. Stress not only causes short-term problems, it also causes long-term physiological problems. It has been proven that stress increases your risk for disease.
It increases burnout- What exactly is burnout? Here’s the official definition of it:
Burnout: Physical or mental collapse caused by overwork or stress.
It reduces your efficiency– I’m sure we all know people who say they can multi-task efficiently. This might be true to a certain extent; however, it is not as effective as focusing on a single task. When you commit to many different tasks, your time is more spread out. t is important to keep this in mind when committing to things.
The other day, I made a graphic to post on my social network accounts. I thought that I would post it here and explain it a little bit more. I enjoy connecting with many of you through Twitter and Instagram, but at the same time, I enjoy being able to have more of a discussion on the blog.
We all have dreams. Some are pursuing their dreams while others have given up. I believe that God has given each of us different talents and abilities to do His work. Therefore, it is expected that we have different callings in life and different dreams.
I wanted to write this post today as an encouragement to whoever is reading. Dream big! With God on our side, we can not fail. There are a few verses that I have made my “life verses” recently because they are applicable to everyday life.
“A man’s heart plans his way, But the Lord directs his steps.”
Words without actions are meaningless. If you follow me on Twitter, you have probably seen a tweet about that phrase. I’ve posted it a few times. True influencers are able to back up their words with actions.
If you think about it, would you rather listen to someone who just tells you what to do but is unable to execute it personally? Or would you rather listen and follow someone who actually lives out what they say?
I would choose the second option.
I have received numerous emails from teens across the country in the past few months that have really inspired me to write this post and a few others. Most have started connecting with me through Twitter, but a few have actually kept me updated on things through email and text messages. It is awesome to connect with people around the nation whom I have never met before.
I made a graphic to share the other day about the difference between reputation and character.
What’s the Difference Between Reputation and Character?
According to the dictionary, we get the following definitions:
Reputation: overall quality or character as seen or judged by people in general
Character: the mental and moral qualities distinctive to an individual
If you take a look at the definitions above, you will notice that reputation is simply what others think of you. It is a formulated opinion. It is important for others to think highly of you, but your life should not be based on it. Character, in contrast to reputation, is the mental and moral qualities distinctive to an individual. Character is who someone is!
As Christ followers, we should desire to possess character that models Christ. We all will mess up at times, but our life should be characterized by following God. I found this quote that directly correlates with this post:
When you wake up and your feet hit the floor, a new day begins. It is important to have a purpose. God gives us another day to live for a reason. When I wake up, I make an attempt to realize that I’m alive and breathing for one reason: God has a plan and purpose for me.
To be successful in our lives, we have to realize that we have a purpose.
If you go about your day with no purpose, it can be a waste of time. Instead, God calls us to do the complete opposite.
As Christians, we are called to live intentionally.
It’s hard to live an intentional lifestyle if you’re always focused on the latest reality show or other insignificant things. Life is precious, and we should do everything we can to make an impact on others by showing God’s love.
What Is Your Purpose?
I attended a powerful leadership conference a few years ago featuring speakers such as Terry Bradshaw, Laura Bush, and General Colin Powell.
Although all of the speakers were amazing, Rudy Giuliani’s comments were the ones that really stuck with me. Not only was he a great speaker, he was a great leader during a tough time in America. Here are some of the highlights of his speech:
1. Know what you believe in.
Manage your beliefs. If you do not know what to believe in, it is very easy to fail. It is important to establish your beliefs early on because they will lead you to the final result. Your beliefs will be your driving force.
2. Be an optimist.
Being optimistic is a mind set. Our natural instinct is to think about and focus on the negatives in life. Remaining optimistic is important in leadership. To keep an optimistic mindset, continually visualize your dreams. You have to dream in order to achieve something great! After the visions and the dreams have started to become clear, it’s important to set goals.