My name is Abbey Baird, and I am so excited to be this year's Panhellenic Director of Spiritual Life! It is such an honor to be able to serve my fellow Panhellenic women and to have the opportunity to serve God in this way. I know life and school can be crazy and overwhelming at times, but I hope that through this blog and these devotions, you're able to find peace and hope. I want to be here for you and get to know you, so feel free to submit a prayer request (or a devotion request) on the sidebar of this page! I read a devotion and pray for everyone every other week at Council, so I hope to see you there!!
You are so loved!!
“If I had my life to live over, I’d dare to make more mistakes next time. I’d relax, I would limber up. I would be sillier than I have been on this trip. I would take fewer things seriously. I would take more chances. I would climb more mountains and swim more rivers. I would eat more ice cream and less beans. I would perhaps have more actual troubles, but I’d have fewer imaginary ones. You see, I’m one of those people who lived sensibly and sanely, hour after hour, day after day. Oh, I’ve had my moments, and if I had to do it over again, I’d have more of them. In fact, I’d try to have nothing else. Just moments, one after another, instead of living so many years ahead of each day. I’ve been one of those persons who never goes anywhere without a thermometer, a hot water bottle, a raincoat and a parachute. If I had to do it over again, I would travel lighter than I have. If I had my life to live over, I would start barefoot earlier in the spring and stay later in the fall. I would go to more dances. I would ride more merry-go-rounds. I would pick more daisies.” I Would Pick More Daisies by Nadine Stair
As college women, we are surrounded by pressure to be perfect at all times. Whether it be grades, work, activities, or even balancing all of these at once, it is so easy to be overwhelmed by the mindset that we must always be on our “A-game.” But life does not have to be perfect! Sometimes there is potential for so much joy and growth to be found in the messiest of situations. Take time out of every day to appreciate all of the twists and turns that will inevitably occur. Instead of trying to stick to a rigid schedule, we should embrace the freedom that God has blessed us with. Freedom to be still and know that we are loved and freedom to love all that life has to offer. Think of how rewarding it will be, years down the road, to look back on life and know that you took advantage of every adventure that crossed your path and lived a life that was truly good.
“A few months ago, as I was meditating, I came to a realization. I tend to go through life trying – in futility, I might add – to create a self each day rather than to simply receive a self each day. And any self that is created by anything or anyone other than the Creator, the God that breathed me into being, can only be false. Any self that I create or manufacture is a false self because it is just a cheap imitation, adaptation, or distortion of the me I was created to be by the One who dreamt me into being before the foundations of the earth. My true identity can only be bestowed, it can never be achieved. So my challenge, each and every day, is to stop the ongoing pattern of trying, in desperation, to create a self that has in fact already been fearfully and wonderfully made; and to simply receive my true self in peace and in freedom from the God who made me uniquely and loves me dearly. It is funny how much I strive to make a name for myself, when only he can give me the name I was made to bear – my true name. How incredibly freeing! It is as if God is saying: “I have given you your value and your worth. I have bestowed it upon you and it can never be lost. So stop measuring. Stop earning. Stop comparing. Stop performing. Your worth is not hanging in the balance. It does not depend on anything you achieve, or on any accomplishment you attain. So relax. Live in the freedom of knowing you are loved deeply and fully and completely – as well as eternally. Instead of working so hard to prove yourself, just fall in love with Me.” – Becoming by Jim Branch
In life, it is very easy to try to be someone else. We feel pressured by comparison to create an identity that is different from the person God created us to be. It is so much more worthwhile to embrace the self that we were born with than to create an alternate self. Instead of trying to measure up the the people around us, we need to work on only focusing on ourselves, and embracing the joyous life we were given!
“I want a life that sizzles and pops and makes me laugh out loud. And I don’t want to get to the end, or to tomorrow, even, and realize that my life is a collection of meetings and pop cans and errands and receipts and dirty dishes. I want to eat cold tangerines and sing loud in the car with the windows open and wear pink shoes and stay up all night laughing and paint my walls the exact color of the sky right now. I want to sleep hard on clean white sheets and throw parties and eat ripe tomatoes and read books so good they make me jump up and down and I want my everyday to make God belly laugh, glad that he gave life to someone who loves the gift, who will use it up and wring it out and drag it around like a favorite sweater. What if, all at once, all the shabby, tired, used-up bodies and minds start to wriggle and pop, like they’ve been dropped into a deep-fryer, sizzling and dancing, transformed into motion? And something that has been deadened and distracted by the tension and noise of this world comes to life anew, wakes up and wiggles like a fritter in a frying pan, anointed, and taught to dance. Because we were made for motion, for arching up toward God with all the energy and passion of a thunderstorm, lightning slicing through a sleepy world to remind us that we serve a fast-dancing God, a God who set this world whirling and crashing through space so that we could live from out toes and drum out the pulse of a billion veins carrying lifeblood to a billion hearts, temples to a God that got his hands dirty making us from dust. Let’s dance and shimmer and scrawl out our stories across the sky, like he taught us to. Let’s echo his words, and let our lives speak those words: It is good.” – Cold Tangerines by Shauna Niequist
This passage speaks volumes about how we should strive to live our lives as Panhellenic women. It is so easy to get caught up in the stress and chaos of the little details of our everyday tasks. However, God calls us to follow him and trust in Him. By doing this, we can focus on all of the joys, both big and small, of the things in life that bring us to life. Go throughout this week and be reminded of all of the beauty that surrounds us in the world, and try to not be caught up in the whirlwind of worrying that is so common in college.