Read, Run, & Rest

It was the end of January before I realized that I still hadn’t made any New Year Resolutions. I kept pushing it off by making excuses of how busy I was adjusting to work life and “adulting,” but we were rounding the second month of the new year and I still had not set any goals for the year (and if you know me, I’m the goal setter/achiever). After such a spiritually and emotionally intense winter, you could say the last thing I wanted to do was set goals where I knew I had high chances at failing.

 

But after must introspection and some back and forth with Jesus, I knew goal setting would be necessary for this next season in life. Recently, I discovered that I really don’t like not knowing things, I don’t like failing, and I don’t like not having control. These are very real feelings most people have, but they have been my reality particularly in the past few months. While I know setting goals to combat these feelings will never truly eradicate the problem, I do believe these goals will help counterbalance my feelings with the reality that my Heavenly Father does know all things, never fails, and really is in control.

 

I had set these goals in the beginning of the month, but I am publicly proclaiming my yearly goals today, February 19th (better late than never, right?). So without further ado, my mantra for this year will be to read more, run more, rest more.

 

Read More.

If you’ve read any of Allie’s posts (click here), you will know she’s not only a great writer, but she’s also a ferocious reader. She’s a walking inspiration for every bookworm. While it would take me decades to get on her level of book absorption, I love that she has a passion for knowledge as I do. So this year, I hope to read 52 books. I was given a brilliant brain with a voracity to know more—why not put it to good use?

“…From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked.”
Luke 12:48

 

Run More.

When I ran my first half-marathon, people thought I was crazy. It was my junior year in undergrad; I was taking 18.5 credit hours in a mentally taxing major (pun intended), I was serving in head leadership for an academic program on campus, and I was doing interviews for internships every other weekend on top of my on campus job. How could I possibly have time to fit in running 10+ miles a week? Looking back, I’m not sure how I did it, but I accomplished it. During the process, I realized that I liked everything else I was doing, but running was a form of slowing down the busyness for me. After long days of classes, meetings, and working, I could spend 30 minutes running and instead of thinking about the burning pain running through my legs, I would chat with Jesus. Running was literally my way of spending time with Jesus and it helped motivate me to stay dedicated to such a goal.

With that being said, I’m choosing to run more this year. I’m already set to run a 10-K in April and by the end of this year, I hope to run the Disney Marathon with my sister.

“Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.”
Romans 12:1

 

Rest More.

I’m a busy person by nature. I have always been this way—on the go, highly motivated, and never taking no for an answer. There’s a problem with this lifestyle: you get burnt out too easily, too fast. Ever since graduating college 10 months ago, I feel like my life has been nonstop and I, even on vacation in Hawaii, had a difficult time just existing. It became challenging for me to find my purpose when my life was not demanding and constantly moving. My life was about performing for Jesus and not being with Jesus—and that’s when I realized, this is quite possibly the most important part of my goals this year. Because I don’t need to do anything to be accepted into the Kingdom of God, I can rest in the fact that I am saved by the blood of Jesus Christ. And that, my friend, is the game changer for every busy-body, performance-driven individual.

Resting looks different for everyone. While I do love myself a good vacation on some beachy island, resting in this season means abiding in Jesus—fully surrendering every day and knowing that I cannot physically or emotionally please God with my performance.

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”
Matthew 11:28

 

I’ve decided that this will be a good year. Find yourself a reading nook or go rest on this beautiful Sunday. Or better yet, go for a run, because that’s what I’ll be doing.

~ Tay Lee

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Always Open & Never Lacking

Psalm 23

The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.
He makes me lie down in green pastures,
He leads me beside quiet waters,
He refreshes my soul.
He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake.

Even though I walk through the darkest valley,
I will fear no evil, for you are with me;
your rod and your staff, they comfort me.

You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.
Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

Sometimes, we just need to run to the Word of God to remind us that we have a wise Shepherd who has all peace when we have none. Despite the calamities of today’s world and political strife, we have an Almighty King in Heaven who is preparing for His Children’s homecoming. Despite the messiness of family and friendship, we have a Comforter who freely gives joy to the broken hearted. Despite the growing pains of “adulting,” we have a Father who loves us unconditionally.

Life gets crazy and chaotic (believe me, I get that). But don’t let that be your excuse for not finding peace today. His Arms are always open and never lacking. Go rest in them.

Breathe & Be Loved Today,

~ Tay Lee

The 918

Native to New Jersey and ethnically native to China, I have found myself dwelling somewhere in the middle: Tulsa, Oklahoma. Although void of a playful ocean or an audience of mountains, the Oklahoma soil has something rich, luscious, and life-giving about it. The air is permeated with an insatiable yearning to see more, do more, be more. The ground quakes to see who can grasp real substance and tangibility as one may understand when holding a handwritten, postmarked letter. Even the rain, although few and far between, drums a tune that beckons the broken-hearted to a deep-seeded healing. At 22, Oklahoma is more than my current home; it’s the ground where I am choosing to get rooted.

 

Let’s face it, we all want to be something–someone memorable. A legacy or a legend, if you will. Often times, I see people who have great influence accomplishing incredible things every day. But when I see those people living out their dreams (especially on Instagram), I often find myself fatally pale in comparison. I know that God has implanted purpose in my heart, dreams and plans so big that my human brain can barely grasp. But am I ready for it? Am I in a place where I can be used as a vessel to carry out a purpose greater than myself?

 

And the answer is not yet.

 

I’ve struggled over the past few months with this concept because I thought I was ready to take on the world. I was like a tree that had been developing for 22 years, being nourished by the best fertilizer and watered by the most caring hands. I had finally graduated college and had gotten a degree, moved into an apartment, have a good-paying job in my field, learned how to cook (because knowing how to make a good dish of vodka alla penne is an essential part of taking on the world), ran a few half-marathons, repaired essential relationships with my family—you name it, I’ve conquered it within the last year. I had in my head that once I’ve gotten to this point in my life, I would be in a position to carry out all that God wants in my life within the first year post graduation. The tree that I had been watering for 22 years should finally be bearing fruit to last a lifetime!

 

But life is not like that, trees are not like that, and God is not like that. In John 15:5, 16, Jesus says, “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing… You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last.” In today’s society, we believe in quantity over quality. But in God’s kingdom, He believes in quality over quantity. I had this idea in my head that at 22, I would be building micro-lending institutions, aiding in youth crusades, helping human trafficking victims, evangelizing in foreign countries. My entire being was thrust out of alignment when I suddenly realized that the next 5 years of my life would be significantly less exciting.

 

In his book, Rooted, Banning Liebscher encourages: “Anybody can start a race. The real question over our lives is not how strong we will begin our race to pursue God’s call but how strong we will finish it…You have to let Him build your root system in secret before He leads you into making a visible impact in the world.”

 

So that’s why I’m in Tulsa. This is the place to declare victory over the tiny, still voice of God’s calling. This is the place to proclaim the truth of God’s Words when I know the devil is whispering lies about my worth, my calling, my life. This is the place where I am rooting myself to the Word of God and declaring, “Jesus, I surrender to You.”
~Tay Lee