Christmas break always seems like the long awaited 2 weeks-of-pure-heavenly-lazy-bliss that every college & EPIC Commission student looks forward too. And if you’re careful they can be just that. Just pure lazy bliss. I’ve gone too many years of having my college winter break look like just that. So this year I went into it with intention. Intention to use my 2 weeks of free time seek His face.

Who cares if I was tired. Who cares if I hadn’t slept in past 9:00 am in what seemed like months. I knew that the Father was asking me to use this time intentionally, and to head into the new year refreshed, restored, and ready for all He had. So I did, and below are a couple of things that He taught me. Things that I am attempting to live out and striving to be better at.

1. His Word is the absolute most important thing out there. I don’t know why I ever forgot this, ever strayed away from this. But for a season I honestly think I did. Over break, the Holy Spirit deeply convicted me of this and reminded me the importance of the living and active Word of God - and the transforming work it can do in my heart and life. It all clicked, no wonder I wasn’t seeing victory and deliverance, I wasn’t even spending ample amounts of time in His word. It didn’t come in the way of a New Year's resolution, or a condemnation from the Father - but His gentle, yet stern (funny how He can do it so gracefully) reminder set me up over break. To be refreshed by His word and Him, and to be full of His word to take on the rest of this year of Epic Commission & 2016 .

“All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” 2 Timothy 3:16-17

2. It’s not about me. It’s never been about me. That’s so simple. SO simple guys. But there was something about my break, that made me remember this truth. Maybe it was being around my family, or back to my hometown - but the Lord reminded me that it is absolutely only by grace that I even have access or allowances into the Kingdom, into His presence. It’s nothing I did or said, it’s all He did on the cross and everything He says. I don’t deserve anything, I didn’t deserve gifts from my families, or a ticket to a conference over New Years, I don’t deserve the Father’s love -- but by grace I was given them. Over break the Father helped me change my mindset and the posture of my heart, to be one that does not expect, but instead is incredibly thankful for every little thing.

    “For from His fullness we have all received, grace upon grace.” John 1:16

I could keep writing, and I actually was going to… But I truly believe that these two simple things that God taught me over break are enough.

Maybe your break didn’t look like this. Maybe it was the opposite of refreshing, and you moved back into your apartment feeling tired and burnt out, and maybe far from God. If that’s you, friend, do not feel condemned, step out of the mindset that the enemy wants to keep you in -- start over, begin again, look forward to the good things He has for you today, tomorrow, this year.

Love to you all EPIC Commission brothers & sisters. I am praying that today you would walk in the grace He so freely gives you. And that you would have deep reverence for His Holy Word this coming year, let it teach you, correct you and strengthen you.

Madeline Murphy

2nd Year Student Blogger