Saturday, April 16, 2011

Establishing my Priorities

Wow! It’s been over a month since I have posted anything. I apologize for lacking on my commitments. Life has been a whirlwind for me the last two months and the last thing I wanted to do was slow down, sit and write a post. I also struggled with the fact to write anything of significance and how vulnerable and honest I could be in my posts. I know that I don’t know many of you that well and that is a huge blame on me. I have come to realize that my relationships in Circles are very surfacing and really don’t go beyond lunch conversations and the Saturday roundtables. It’s not that I don’t want to dive into deeper/meaningful relationships with you guys, it’s just that I haven’t really made it a priority in my life. I am the type of person that over commits herself and don’t know when to say no.

Since a very young age I have always been the person in my friend group that has too much on her plate or was “too busy” to play because I had a giant to do list to finish off. Throughout the years I have seen some of my friendships be destroyed by my busyness. Yeah it sucks in the moment to lose a great friendship over stupid stuff, but somehow I’m still so stubborn and refuse to lighten my load because I feel like if I don’t do it, then it will never get done. I make myself feel like I’m irreplaceable; when in reality anyone can come in and do the things I do. It really comes down to me finding value in the things I do, rather than finding my value in God. With having this mentality I limit my view of God and the power that He has. I find myself trying to make God a God of convenience or a what can you do for me God.
The question that I have been battling with for the past week is who do I say God is rather than who is God to me. Although those questions may seem similar, the first question is identifying God for who HE is and not identifying him according to the things he does for me or offers me. My prayer is that I would be awakened to the HOLINESS of God and realize what is most important in my life. The things that the world identifies as success is only mere contentment, but the satisfaction of living in God’s will, will last for eternity and bring so much more joy and peace.

I promise slices, that I will start to put Circles as a priority in life and start to open myself to building relationships with you guys.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Figuring it Out...

First off, I want to apologize for not writing a blog for the last three weeks. I could rattle off a bunch of excuses as to why I haven’t written anything, but I will save you the time. As I have been reading the other blogs this week, I have seen that some of us are in the same boat with feeling “out of it” in CIRCLES or feeling like we aren’t good at it. I came to the realization at Third Wednesday that I was beginning to put CIRCLES on my “to-do” list rather than seeing it as an opportunity to build community and learning more about myself through others and experiencing God’s spirit in a new way.

I am a type of a person that doesn’t like to fail or quit things. But I can honestly say that I was considering to drop out of CIRCLES because I felt like I couldn’t do it anymore because I had the feeling that I had too much on my plate. As I was pondering over the difference between failure and success, I was reminded of what Todd said in the first orbiter, that success isn’t measured by what we have materialistic to show to people, but what we have done for God. I saw that CIRCLES is something that God has called me to for this time in my life. And instead of trying to pressure myself to be “good” at CIRLCES, I decided that I am going to trust in God that He will give me the strength that I will need to endure as the next few months of CIRCLES rolls out. I believe that I am not only going to learn more about other people during this time, but I can already see God revealing so much of myself in these last few weeks.

Two weeks ago as I was preparing my lesson to teach in Studio K, I was strongly reminded that I need to be more concerned with Who’s I am? versus Who I am? I was teaching on Peter and how Jesus had to reveal to him time and time again that the things he was good at or did didn’t need to define him but rather that God had a great plan for him and that he was a Beloved Child of God. I relate a lot with Peter because I too can be very stubborn and loose sight of who’s I am by being more concerned with who I am and what others think of me. I tend to give more credit and validation to the approval of others and silent God’s voice and the Holy Spirit.
Growing up in a pastor’s home, I always felt the pressure of having to please everyone and started to plan out and live my life according to what others thought would be best for me as opposed to following God’s will.

With all this being said, I started to see CIRLCES as something that I needed to do in order to please people, but when it come down to the root of it, I applied for CIRCLES because I wanted to do it and I wanted to grow deeper in relationships. By admitting this to you guys, I can already see my relationships in CIRCLES stepping into a whole new element. I am excited to see where God takes me in the next 6 months and what amazing things He has in store not only for me, but for all of us that are embarking on this journey in life. Thank you so much for hearing me out. I appreciate all of you!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Learning to Live in the Here and Now….

Last Saturday’s discussion about being “present” really hit home and triggered a lot of thought this past week. During the week I reflected on how so many times when it comes to relationships I am always looking one step ahead and loose sight of the moment. There have been many times in my life that I have lost genuine and intentional relationships due to the fact that I was so worried about how it was going to turn out in the future or what they thought of me. I robbed myself of some great moments and conversations. I am a very busy body so when it comes to sitting down and building relationships it is difficult for me to really be “present”. I either find myself thinking about the million of other things I need to attend to or the fact that I could be using my time better.

The whole idea of being present and embracing the moments that are set before me really hit me hard this week when one of our family friends suffered a massive stroke this week. He is the type of person that is always consumed in his work and is always living life 2 steps ahead and never slows down to take a moment to be present. When I found out the news about his illness, I lost it because it made me really see that I have started to live my life in that way. I absolutely love my job, but I have found that many times I don’t do that great of a job of “being there” for my staff and students. I work in an inner city community and I have many families that come into my office seeking help or just wanting someone to talk to and more often than not I find myself coming up with all of these ideas or directions to point them into, but haven’t really intentionally listened or been there for them in that moment. Many times the only thing that they want is to feel listened to and cared about.

I think the reason that I am always trying to looking ahead is because I am scared that I am going to fail or miss out on a great opportunity, when in reality I’m missing amazing opportunities by not living in the here and now. I need to learn a balance between living for now and also planning for the future. I also need to learn to slow down and be content with not being immersed in everything and spreading myself too thin. I need to learn to trust God and now that He is the ultimate provider and that in the end He is the one I’m living for.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

A Little About Me....

Hey CIRCLE peeps!

Sorry it has taken me a while to post a blog. To be honest with you being consistent in updating a blog is going to be a challenge for me. But I am up for the challenge. With that being said here is a little about myself...

My name is Adrienne Monje and I am 24 years old. I have lived in Orange County my whole life, (but don’t worry I am not your typical “OC” person). I actually hate the term OC. Growing up I loved playing sports and being outdoors. My favorite sport is soccer. Growing up I lived and breathed this sport. I stopped playing when I went to college and now I have the opportunity to coach a team. I am a very active person that loves meeting new people and trying new things. I have 1 sister and 1 brother. Family is the most important thing to me! I love being an aunt to my 2 nieces and nephew. I couldn’t ask for more amazing parents, they have truly made me the person I am today. I hope to one day live up to be half the people they are. I admire them so much.

I grew up in a pastor’s home, so leaving up to the “PK” standard was very difficult and at times hindered my relationship with Christ. I saw my relationship with Christ as something that I needed to have in order to please the expectations of the people in the church. It wasn’t until high school that I truly began to see my relationship with Christ as an intimate relationship versus another religious duty. In the last ten years I have seen my relationship with Christ grow in amazing ways that I could never imagine. He has taken me on a journey that has broken me and formed me into the woman that He has designed me to be.

I am very passionate about children and community outreach. I graduated from Vanguard University in 2008 with a B.A. in Liberal Studies and minor in Cultural Anthropology and Religion. I went back to school and got my teaching credential and start on my master’s degree in 2009. I took a break from school, which was a huge stretch for me because I love school, but I knew that I needed to really focus on what God wanted for my life without being consumed with school. Last year I was blessed with teaching 2nd grade. It was truly a blessing because there weren’t a lot of openings in the public schools in Orange County. I learned so much from my 2nd graders and couldn’t have imagined a better first year of teaching. Due to the education budget cuts there was not an opportunity for me to come back into that district. This past summer was tough because I didn’t know what I was going to do for work. But once again God provided in incredible ways. I currently work for a non-profit called THINK Together as a Director of Shalimar Learning Center. I absolutely love my job because I have the opportunity to work in a community that consists of immigrant families of very low-socio economic status. I have the great privilege of working with their children after school. I have 120 students that come through the center everyday for homework help. I thank God everyday for this job because not only am I able to help these student’s with their school work, but I get to be invested in a community of people that I am passionate about.

I love to travel! When I look back on my life all I can do is thank God for all the experiences he has blessed me with and the places I have been to. My most recent trip was this summer to Haiti with 4 of my friends, where we got to put on a VBS for over 400 kids. I am itching to go back and continuing to build the relationships that were established. But we will see what God has in store, right not I am learning to live in the now and present.

I am really excited for the community of CIRCLES and can’t wait to see how God is going to work in the midst of our relationships. I have been attending Rock Harbor for 7 years and have been longing for a community like CIRCLES. I love the idea of being so raw with each other and knowing that we will always have each other’s back. I can’t wait to grow with each one of you!

Much Love,