14 Things I’ve Done and Learned in a Semester of Jubilee

I need to be honest – I googled the year of Jubilee to find where it was in the Scriptures. Last summer when I was talking with one of our full-time staff about what to do with a year off, she mentioned that I could use my gap year as like a year of Jubilee! We both had this idea from scripture – and Wikipedia informed me that it’s in Leviticus 25 (don’t judge me for not knowing where it was. You didn’t know either amirite??). Every seven times seven years (that’s forty nine – I’mma help you out) the fiftieth year was this year of jubilee where the land rested and no one farmed and everyone was set free and it was awesome.

After I quit my residency in January, through with God taught me about four hundred important things, I had this semester of Jubilee where my sweet parents were like – look, we love you. We know med school will try to kill you. We’ll pay for everything you need and let you rest and use your semester however you want. God bless you Dave and Suz Harakal (whom I call Mom and Dad, but who are also famous among my friends for hosting anything and everything and therefore “Mr. and Mrs. Harakal” just became too many words for household names).

But my boss from my 2014 summer as a Pine Cove Camp in the City senior counsellor told me once: Callie, you weren’t created to derp. So no, I didn’t spend my semester honing my derping skills, I promise J I mean there was some derpage here and there (naturally), but it’s been the bomb. So here are some things I, by the grace of God, got to do and discover.

  1. I did a Goer Missional Community (GMC). This is Austin Stone Community Church lingo for a group of people who are passionate about obeying Jesus’s commands to make disciples. So you could call us like a disciple-making team J It has been the most influential experience! We read “Spiritual Multiplication in the Real World” by Bob McNabb and it was a game changer. Everyone order it on Amazon right now. I’ll wait. Seriously go order it. http://www.amazon.com/Study-Guide-Spiritual-Multiplication-Missional/dp/1942374011/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1461267897&sr=1-1&keywords=spiritual+multiplication+in+the+real+world
    1. Jesus taught by example, so we are to follow suit. He had a huge group of followers, found the faithful few, and then literally did everything with them and taught them how to do ministry by making them do it! In our GMC, our leaders showed us how to have prayer meetings, read the scriptures, share the gospel and meet internationals – then we followed 🙂
    2. Making disciples isn’t optional. 2 Timothy 2:2 says that we are to share what we’ve been entrusted with faithful men (or women, ya know). Knowledge of God isn’t to puff us up – it’s to share! Each week we would read the scriptures and then talk about who we would share it with!
    3. There are over a thousand verses about God’s heart for the nations in scripture. We have to be a part of God’s desire to see every tongue tribe and nation gather around His throne. We can go, mobilize, send, pray! I ordered a $9 shower curtain with a map of the world and get to remember everyday to pray for the unreached! Also I’ve learned some startling geographical facts – who knew how big Kazakhstan was? Or where Iran and Iraq were? Or how massive Greenland is? And you eat out all the time – I have been hitting up Middle Eastern restaurants and trying (not successful yet) to make friends with the natives who work there! So easy! We can also give money to missionaries – the best!
    4. How can they know if no one tells them? God chose us as His means of sharing the gospel. So we gotta do it! I am about as awkward as it gets trying to share the gospel, but it gets easier with practice! If you are in Austin, you can try Model Zones! You get paired up with someone who has a lot of practice knocking on doors, looking for people open to Jesus and sharing stories about Him. https://docs.google.com/a/utexas.edu/forms/d/1zaRBWkrvTFtlmQJGt1q0KtclGw413h1VimP-L2txc8E/viewform?c=0&w=1 Sign up – you won’t regret it J Seriously do it!!
    5. Community with purpose balls so hard. I’ve been dishearted by inward-focused small groups, but didn’t really know how to make them more missional. Well now I know! Have a purpose and make plans to fulfil that purpose J Every week we scheduled times to go out and share about Jesus. When we met, we wrote down the names of people we’d met who were open to reading the bible. We practiced tools for sharing the gospel. We met on Thursday mornings to pray for them by name and pray for the nations. The girls in my GMC are some of the most incredible women I’ve ever met and I have super relationships with so many of them whereas I never really made close friends in a small group through church L We had a profound connection in that we wanted to make disciples! Some of them met with me at 5 a.m. at coffee shops to pray. They got me connected with Muslim ministries. A bunch of us are taking a “Bridges” class on Muslim ministry at my house watching a laptop we set on top of a laundry basket. We have great relationships and obedience because we met through a group with the purpose of making disciples and a common heart for the nations! They have totally spurred me on to love and good works – ugh bless them all
  2. I promise the rest will be shorter – my GMC was just so wonderful I could go on for like too many pages. I finished Men’s and Women’s Development Program at the Austin Stone! I recommend it to EVERYONE. Literally I don’t even think you have to go to church there to do it! For eight months we had weekly teaching and readings on theology – from the character of God to infallibility of scripture to order of salvation to heaven! We memorized scripture each week and y’all it’s the bomb. I would write them on notecards and literally just read them at traffic lights. So easy to take little tiny time chunks to memorize truth! You’re giving the Holy Spirit this huge arsenal for speaking truth to you all the time!
    1. Memorizing scripture is so important I cannot even
    2. Study the scriptures. Observe first: who wrote this? What is the context? Why did they write? Do I need to know anything about the culture at the time? Then interpret: What does this mean? What can I learn about man? About God? Then a hugely important step: APPLY!! We did “I will” statements with my GMC – we would come up with a practical, measurable way to practice what we read during the week. This is how we let scripture change our hearts: we inform our theology in order to bleed into our behaviour 🙂
    3. I have the attention span of a really small fish who all the other fish couldn’t handle because he couldn’t focus on basic fish stuff. Lectures were hard. But awesome. I pinterested some during them. And listened too. Mainly listened. And pinterested. Whatever.
  3. I worked! I babysat for so many families I don’t even think I could list them all! I also tutored and played some piano 🙂 One of my besties claims I am Mary Poppins. Accurate.
    1. Stay at home moms are heroes. It is harder to stay at home with kids than to be a rocket scientist or dive with sharks or be a doctor or do a whole marathon in heels backwards. Bless you all.
    2. Babies sometimes need to cry themselves to sleep. Sometimes I feel like a terrible babysitter, but the little teenies don’t know what’s up and cry because they’re tired and don’t want to be alone, but it won’t get better for them until they rest 😦
    3. Play tag with them. As much as it wears me out, sometimes kids just like chasing you. Like they love it. Worth it because they laugh so hard J And it blesses moms so that they don’t have to run around with their energetic kiddos 🙂
    4. Sometimes you are worth $$. I got really awkward charging for tutoring since you make so much per hour, but I finally had to realize that people were willing to pay that much! Like I’m worth it to them! Had to find a balance between humility and a worker being worth his/her wage ya know?
  4. I am still learning Spanish. It’s a long and arduous process but worth it! I am improving a teeny bit each day! I’ve gotten to translate during Model Zones (I say “translate” in the broadest sense of the word because like lol who knows what I said. Or what they said. I got ideas across. I think?) and I almost cried I was so overwhelmed at the way God was using all my hard work! I use DuoLingo, Rosetta Stone, a Netflix show called “Rebelde” with Spanish subtitles, Notes in Spanish Intermediate and Advanced Podcasts, and Hablemos Español Podcast. And I took a class at Freestyle Language – great things 🙂
    1. The words for fish and sin are very similar in Spanish. Do not share the fish gospel. We all have fish, Jesus saves us from our fish, etc.
    2. Learn all the Spanish curse words to avoid saying them.
    3. Make the google translate app your best friend
    4. Talk to yourself in Spanish. I mean ideally, talk to a Spanish-speaker in Spanish, but like I am always there for me ya know? Spanish speakers can be hard to come by.
  5. I made progress on my ever growing list of classic movies I want to see. I’ve drawn from friends, IMDB top 250, pop culture references and academy award nominees to make a list in my planner of hundreds of movies to watch. I’ve been making gains slowly but surely 🙂
    1. Citizen Kane was a cinematic game changer because of its filming and storyline but honestly the movie sucks. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
    2. Mad Max: Fury Road became one of my top 5.
    3. Finally watched the Fast and the Furious and want an opportunity to yell “Monicaaaaaaaaa!” when someone walks away because I didn’t win.
    4. Check your Jurassic Park rental closely. Could not figure out why there were so many plot holes. Eventually realized I was Jurassic Park III. Problem solved.
    5. The Usual Suspects was fantastic
    6. The Godfather was three hours of my life I’ll never get back, but worth it to talk in that weird voice about making offers you can’t refuse
    7. All of the Academy Award Nominees for this year that I’ve seen were incredible. Minus the Danish Girl. Treston made me turn it off because too weird. Understandable.
    8. The Graduate? Profound. Kinky. Jury’s out on that one.
    9. Blade Runner – always raining. Makes you think. Might have been some nudity – TG Treston was asleep.
  6. I am experimenting with my artistic skill. I suck at watercolor. A third grader in art class and I are on similar levels there. Playing guitar is hard because my fingers hurt, but whatever. Using the “Yousician” app for learning to play my guitar (Benjamin, named after “The Patriot”) and it’s super helpful 🙂 But my keyboard (named Vana. Vana White. Because she was the only white one in the store. Not intended as a racial statement, but like she was my favorite. Independent of whiteness. The more I talk about this the more I dig myself into a hole. I’m done now.) definitely comes with me for worship leading purposes because not quite proficient in guitar. I can do hand lettering pretty well! I can also paint an abstract multi-color background and that’s about it.
  7. Do. CrossFit. Please still love me. I know we’re obnoxious, I get it. I talk about it all the time but hear me out: I talk about it all the time because I am always sore. Always. So it’s always on my mind ya know? Like – oh I’m sitting down now. My hamstrings hurt from dead lifts. Oh I’m waving now – whole arms hurt from throwing that barbell over my head and under my feet and like I don’t even know where else. And it sucks. I told my coach I wanted to try pilates. She laughed at me and said you don’t get sore and strong in pilates like you do in CrossFit. I responded that I want to die every workout. She said everyone wants to die every workout. But y’all there is a dent on my arm between my bicep and that other muscle below it (who didn’t take anatomy in college? This girl). That was not there before! I put weights on the bar! I AM GETTING STRONGER WOOHOO!! It’s exciting!!
    1. Community in CrossFit is so fun because you are all wanting to kill yourselves together – the makings of friendship
    2. You get a ballin workout
    3. There is CrossFit lingo that you learn and then feel super cool saying
    4. You do not have to eat paleo or whole 30 to do CrossFit – don’t let them force you into it. Read my “Callie takes Whole30 2k16” page that I had to change to “Whole30 takes Callie 2016.” Took me five days to realize that I needed ice cream.
    5. You are humbled because you thought you were an athlete. Then you run during a workout and feel like a beached jellyfish. I fall over more than anyone else in CrossFit I swear it.
  8. Sometimes I’m a whitewashed tomb. I look real great on the outside sometimes but inside I am in shambles! Treston is so good about telling me what is good and right and sometimes it’s way harder to change hearts and attitudes than it is to just be nice to people or read your bible. Because no one sees it, ya know? When I am joyful and gentle and selfless, people notice and praise that. But when my heart is bitter and angry and sinful and prideful and judgmental, it’s harder to tell when I let the gospel permeate and erode that. Praise God for accountability and God-fearing boyfriends who encourage me to love when it’s hard and seek freedom from the slavery that is bitterness, selfishness and unforgiveness. Sometimes I have to just journal all my feelings and then let the gospel change them – it takes time to work through all the ew in my heart ya know?
  9. Med school needs your shot record to matriculate. If you wanna be a doctor, make sure you’ve taken your shots. Did not see that one coming, but TG mom made me get vaccinated.
  10. Everyday. Cut out time to pray – it’s so easy, it just takes practice and a little discipline! I’m awful at it, but I find it’s become a teeny bit easier and more natural as I keep carving out more time. Sometimes I’m like – yeah I’ll pray more when I’m in the rhythm of med school. Lol. I’ll be more inclined to cut out time for Jesus when I have ten thousand more things I have to do. Jokes. There’s no “someday” with spiritual disciplines. Someday starts today.
  11. Screenshot funny animal pictures. I’ve found them really valuable for groupme conversations.
  12. Okay I laugh really hard when I send them. I also don’t get a tonnnnn of positive feedback on them. But who are we trying to impress right?? Just make yourself laugh. You’ll love it.
  13. I teach English to an Afghani woman and her cute little son in her apartment once a week! It’s the BOMB because I’ve never gotten to really interact with a Muslim woman from the Middle East! Y’all she is so nice and hospitable and beautiful! Trying to make friends from other cultures has been so fun and eye-opening!
  14. Buy a box of granola bars and keep them in your car. Always worth it.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s