Shawna speaks to us today about acknowledging the One who makes the hustle possible before we start the daily hustle, embarking in our individualized and personal relationship with God, and how the world’s principles directly contradict how Jesus told us to carry our cross.
Inspiring biblical passage of the moment: “For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) and find out what pleases the Lord.” (Ephesians 5: 8-10)
Spiritual growth focus at the moment: I feel so convicted of my every day walk right now. Am I truly being a light? Is there evidence of that in my relationships and how I treat others? Actually taking time to stop and have an honest Q&A session with myself is so important as I’m constantly needing to remind myself of my true God-given purpose for being in this world. Our self absorbed culture is making it increasingly harder to fulfill God’s others-focused call for our lives. The world’s pressure for my wants to be met directly contradicts God’s instruction for me to deny myself, pick up my cross, and follow him.
I have to ask myself, “Shawna, how often are you sacrificing your selfish desires so that someone else can draw nearer to Christ?” I thank God that He’s tugging on my heart and mind– reminding me that in order to bring light to this world, I might have to sacrifice my candle wax and die to myself so others can experience the brightest light through knowing Jesus. Focused.
“Our self absorbed culture is making it increasingly harder to fulfill God’s others-focused call for our lives. The world’s pressure for my wants to be met directly contradicts God’s instruction for me to deny myself, pick up my cross, and follow him.”
A one sentence bio of yourself: I’m a avocado loving, hyper girl whose joy and peace come from finally recognizing that her identity is in an all powerful God of endless love and mercy.
When did you first encounter God? As a child, I learned to follow Jesus by modeling my parents’ undying love for Christ. However, the reality of growing up forced me to experience life in a way that individualized my faith. I found that my dependence on His strength and grace was a personal choice that I needed to make and walk in daily regardless of what my parents, Sunday school teachers, and pastors have taught me. He captivated my heart in such a radically personal way that secured me to his Kingdom forever.
“I found that my dependence on His strength and grace was a personal choice that I needed to make and walk in daily regardless of what my parents, Sunday school teachers, and pastors have taught me.”
What has helped you grow spiritually in this season? I can’t stress enough the significance of being surrounded by God-fearing friends and mentors. When this world messes with my perspective, my brothers and sisters in Christ help me recenter.
Just read/currently reading: Jesus Calling. Every morning. Do it!
Top three essentials: Avocados, people (so this extroverted girl doesn’t go insane), and workout clothes.
How did God speak to you recently? Judah Smith’s sermon “Lift Up Your Eyes”; listening to this specific podcast overwhelmed me with peace, as I was reminded of God’s greater perspective for my life. As a student, I feel like my future is one massive question mark. Honestly, it’s a consistent battle of waking up and rebuking anxiety. My life-saving comfort has been the knowledge that His unknowable plans are perfect. Oh, and worship music. Lots of it.
Hobby: Singing, water polo, and is religiously visiting the beach a hobby?
Top three practical tips for staying spiritually strong:
1) Crank. That. Worship. Music.
2) Devote your mornings to a devotional. It is so unbelievably easy to jump into the daily hustle, without acknowledging the One who makes the hustle possible. Beginning every morning with quiet, personal me-and-God time puts my whole world in perspective and the peace it equips me with, truly sustains me throughout the day.
3) Seek accountability and prayer partners. Just wait and watch in awe as the power of others pouring into your faith begins to show in your relationship with Him. It’s the most beautiful thing to witness.
“It is so unbelievably easy to jump into the daily hustle, without acknowledging the One who makes the hustle possible.”
Favorite person in scripture? Mary. Clothed with humility, her willingness paved the way for the Savior of the World.
What do you want people to learn about God when they look at you? I want them to experience a glimpse of his joy. I can be extremely emotionally inconsistent as most young women tend to be (it’s just a phase mom!) But my desire is that despite the raw ups and downs, others can attribute the consistency of my joy to Christ living in me!
Favorite season? Winter. I wish it snowed in California!
Favorite holiday? Christmas!
A special tradition you and your family engage in or keep: Definitely, when the whole family gets together for Christmas, and it takes half the day to conduct an elaborate round of Secret Santa and White Elephant. I love seeing how my family has grown in both numbers and closeness over the years.
Question you will ask when you get to heaven? I believe at that time the perfection of heaven will overwhelm any questions that I have right now.
Thing you want to raise awareness about: Mental health. My desire is that the negative stigma surrounding it would completely disappear so that individuals feel empowered to open up about their mental battles, just as freely as their approach to physical struggles.
What do you usually do before 9 a.m.? I’m a morning person, so I wake up a few hours earlier than I need to so that I don’t have to rush through my devotional, make a heavy breakfast protein shake, and finish any homework I fell asleep on the night before. *laughs*
Define Christianity in a sentence: Christianity is embracing the incredibly gracious gift of God’s salvation by believing that He died and rose again so we can experience eternity with our loving Heavenly Father.
For more Shawna:
Until next time, keep witnessing!