Today I want to talk about something very near and dear to my heart… going to church. Growing up church was a integral part of my family’s weekly routine. Often times we spent more than two days a week visiting the church for one reason or another. The people I saw every week, at least once a week, became like family. The church was my second home and it was easy to go every week. After leaving home in Redondo Beach and going to college an hour away…this routine ended.
Why I stopped going to Church
For College I attended Azusa Pacific University which is a private Christian university. Part of the agreement upon admission is attending Chapel three times a week. Chapel was not a traditional church service per-say. While we did have a time of worship at the beginning with singing and prayer, the speakers were different guests each time. Occasionally a campus pastor would speak but mainly it was different guest speakers.
I had always imagined I would find a home church out in Azusa and build that community I once had at my home church in the South Bay. However, college didn’t exactly go as I had imagined. I ended up finding an amazing community of Believers on campus. My friends, my D-group [devotional group], my classmates, even my professors all became a huge part of my life. I was filled by fellowship and felt fulfilled with that aspect of my life…for the time being.
Trying to Find the Right Church
Although I would occasionally visit a church here or there on Sunday, I never fully committed. Fast forward almost four years post graduating…after floating from church to church, I am finally at a place where I am ready to make that commitment.
Reality LA is “a church in Los Angeles, CA seeking the renewal of [the] city through the gospel of Jesus Christ” as stated on their home page. I first attended a service back in 2011 when I was living in Azusa. A few of my roommates started going and I would occasionally join them. Eventually I started meeting a few friends from home there and we began a routine of going every Sunday.
During this season it was the first time I felt truly called to put roots down in a church. I remember at my first service I felt an authenticity and a sense of comfortability there. The only thing holding me back was the fact that it was a 30-60 min drive (depending on traffic) and my ever changing schedule being a college student. Eventually it became more difficult to maintain a regular attendance thus it remained an occasional visit.
Between now and then I have attended a few different local churches and visited a couple community groups as well. I desperately sought out community, discipleship, and an earnest teaching. However, every few months or so, I found myself dragging a friend or sister back out to Reality LA. One night at a particular church service it hit me…Reality LA is where I am suppose to be.
Finally Making The Commitment, and Why I Want to go to Church
That brings me to the present…I’ve decided to stop making excuses and commit to being a member of Reality LA. I made this decision after many prayerful nights, discussing it with a few of my closest friends, and receiving confirmation after confirmation.
For me, attending church is more than a check off a checklist. It is where I receive my nourishment and get filled for my coming week. This is a busy world we live in and aside from the rushed prayer before meals or bedtime prayers, I often find that I don’t set much time apart for just me and God. Church does that for me. I get two hours of pure connection with Christ. A time for me to worship His goodness, pray for those I care for most, and learn more about who He is, what He’s done and what He continues to do.
I could go on for days about why my heart yearns for church but thankfully I have a lifetime to share that with you. My main desire in sharing such a intimate and vulnerable piece of my heart with you is because I know I’m not alone. Maybe you, like me, have been desiring more out of life.
How do we find it? Maybe you just moved to a new city, maybe you just became a Christian, or maybe you have just been feeling pulled to find a new church. Whatever it may be…I relate to what you are going through.
Being Brave and Stepping Into Discomfort
If there is any advice I can give you, it is to be brave. This applies to anyone and anything. If you want something in life, you have to be brave enough to step out of your comfort zone and go get it. For me that meant committing to drive to church even if no body is available to go with me. Signing up to volunteer in the kids ministry even though the drive can be long and it may take up a majority of my Sunday. Trying out a community group even though I don’t know anyone and run the risk of it being uncomfortable.
When you want something in life, you have to move forward to get it. I could not be more excited for this new chapter in my life. I hope you feel encouraged to move forward and to be brave whether that be in finding a new church community or in any regard that applies to your life.
Quick and Easy Morning Makeup
Being that this is also a beauty blog, I figured why not share a few tips for a quick get ready when you want a fresh face but also want a few more zzz’s.
This past Sunday I attended the 9AM service at Reality LA with my sister Liz. I was also meeting with the Kid’s Ministry Director before the service so we had to leave even earlier than usual. Anyone who knows me can probably tell you that I am not really a morning person…waking up has always been a struggle. However, due to this I have become a quick makeup pro.
Balancing Out Your Skin Tone
When in a hurry my go-to product to balance out my skin tone is Bobbi Brown BB Cream which has SPF 35. I find this product to feel extremely light and while it provides medium coverage it almost looks like I am not wearing any makeup. Using a damp Beauty Blender I quickly blend this out over my entire face.
I then spot conceal any acne spots that are still showing and also under my eyes where my lack of sleep is the most obvious. Lately my favorite daily concealer is Wet n Wild Photo Focus Concealer. Not only does it blend into my skin quickly but it covers my dark circles well and does not crease, especially after setting it with RCMA No Color Powder. The best part about this concealer is that it is only $3.99! After my skin is all evened out and set, I quickly apply an all over bronze with Too Faced Chocolate Soleil. To me this step is key to making your skin look healthy and fresh. It also brings back any dimension that you may have covered.
Defining Your Features
I always fill in my brows lightly and this month I have been loving Benefit’s Goof Proof Brow Pencil. I find this to be by far the easiest and fastest method to achieve a natural yet defined brow. On this day in particular I had time for a little eyeshadow and winged liner, however if I didn’t I would have just skipped to the next step.
Lastly I apply two coats of mascara and a lip product. My favorite mascara of ALL TIME is definitely Kiko Milano Extra Sculpt Volume Mascara. It is black as black can be, volumizes, and lengthens my eye lashes which is essential for a girl who clearly would rather be asleep. As far as lip products go I could easily recommend about a million but the two I have been reaching for the most lately are Buxom Full-On Lip Cream in White Russian and Colour Pop Ultra Satin Lip in Aquarius. All together this look takes about 20 minutes and is about as basic as I get if I am going to be putting on any makeup at all.
Sharing my heart on this topic is not something new to me, however it is new for me to share it with more than just my family and friends. I’m choosing to be open and share this because I can’t be the only person to have gone through something like this. Growing up, I never would have imagined I would go this long without having a church home. It has been very off-balancing and honestly a confusing time for me. Often times I would wonder if I was ever going to find the right place. Have you ever experienced this? I would love to hear your heart on this if you would be so bold as to share it.
If you are reading this, thank you for making it to the bottom of this post! I know it was a long one and a more serious one at that. Your the true MVP! LOL. Until next time…