Wow, so it’s July 2021 and I see I haven’t kept up with my monthly updates here on my blog. (It’s been happening as I go through social media, mostly via Instagram and Facebook @SejanaShines.) If you use social media, you can find me there, but let me try and update this blog now and try to keep up monthly (but no promises!) in the future. Of course, reach out directly or leave a comment to let me know what is helpful for you and which topics encourage you in your season of life with God.
July was a busy month for me. I felt like I was everywhere and never at home all month long! I got to spend time with my family and a few friends all of which I haven’t seen in YEARS. Some I didn’t even talk to that often (I’m not great with staying connected regularly unless it’s planned and on my calendar!) but yet, we were able to jump right back in just like it was only yesterday that I last seen them. I love that.
But not all reunions are so great.
Thankfully, I had only good experiences but I know it was because I did a lot of of LISTENING. I saw many people I cared for, I saw bits of their life, and I heard their heart for many concerns in the country as well as in their own personal family life and I am grateful to the Lord. I’m grateful because even though we are all so very different in our views, we can still be with one another as people who care for one another. Thank you Lord. Even during all the travels, I found starting my day by reading thoughtfully through the “Common Prayer: A liturgy for ordinary radicals” app and sometimes the “Pray As You Go” app helpful in focusing my thoughts and re-connecting to God.
Highlights are spending time with dear friends and family, attending my first ever preaching conference, and seriously considering opportunities for formal ministry that came my way. As of this moment, I’m still praying about and looking for our new church home but I’m learning to relax because really all of these things that have happened in this past year were not even of my idea and design. The Lord has a plan for my life and I’m trying to take things one day at a time and not go too crazy trying to make things happen and looking too far ahead with planning.
My children start school soon and my full-time in person school schedule at Seminary ramps back up in full swing in only 3 weeks. I’m excited about what I will learn and who I will meet this school year. I’ve learned to start narrowing down what my interests are (and set of God-given and honed skills) in my pursuit of formal ministry and they involve spiritual formations/discipleship and creatively encouraging other leaders that they may continue in the good work that they do.
Thank you for your prayers and support for my family and I.
I know I need to work on being more concise and summarizing the most important things. But since I haven’t written a summary monthly post in a while, this one will have a lot of content trying to catch you up on what’s been happening for me as God continues to shape and prepare me for living life on Mission with Him! I really want to know what’s happening with YOU so I can better shape the purpose of this blog. But for now, I’m continuing to use it as a repository of points to remember and to encourage others in their journey with God.
I am in seminary now (watch or read my first semester summary here for all the details). I have also completed my first class for the Summer 1 semester. I am still waiting on that final grade to post. My next Summer class begins this Friday and I’m so glad we had an online option so that I can be home with my teen children, travel, and participate in other opportunities as well during the summer.
A few highlights from May & June include:
- 9 May 2021 (Mother’s Day) first preaching experience (Baptist church) (audio here)
- 10 May – started weekly online book club for Beth Allison Barr’s “The Making of Biblical Womanhood” (post here)
- 11 May – lead praise & worship for PWOC Fort Hood 2020-2021 closing ceremony & installation (video here)
- 19 May – attended Exponential Reset Summit
- Family vacation to Florida and Louisiana
- May – 14 year marriage anniversary (post here)
- 13 June 2021 – second preaching experience (Presbyterian church)
- 25-26 June – African American Fellowship Conference 2.0 Rebuild – BLOG POST IN PROGRESS!
- June – accepted Truett Women in Ministry (TWIM) Team Leader position starting this Fall
- 30 June – attended Baptist Women in Ministry (BWIM) Annual Conference (also helped with worship via reading of scripture)
- 2 July – final day of Summer I seminary course. Uploaded video projects include: Sermon 1, Sermon 2, Sermon 3, and digital illustration video.
Future engagements in July include:
- EKBailey Preaching Conference 6-7 July
- Baptist World Congress 7-10 July
- BWIM Mentoring Cohort kickoff 19-21 July
- My birthday!!!!
- Visiting family and friends
Please know my personal prayers for July includes:
- Formal ministry opportunity as listed here https://sejanashines.com/help-me-continue-the-work-im-doing/.
- Renewed and deepened connection with family and friends
- A church home and friends for my children.
Thank you for your interest and support with how God is working in my life and family. Please share with me how you are doing and which topics are most helpful for you in your journey with God. May we encourage, sharpen and support one another until the Day comes! (Hebrews 10:23-25)