Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Home Again

I spent the last week at Gleanings for the Hungry, a mission organization based in Dinuba California. In a [very small] nutshell, Gleanings processes peaches during the summer that have been donated to them and sends out the dry fruit to other missions organizations around the world to give to the hungry. As I said, this is a very small description of who Gleanings is and what they’re about. They do much more than dried peaches. I encourage you to check out their website and read more about them there. :)
This past week has been amazing. Working, worshipping, fellowshipping – laughing and crying. Playing Frisbee, trash can, and getting slaughtered at Egyptian Rat Slap. Waking up at five in the morning and going to bed at eleven. Making new friends, deepening old relationships. It was a very blessed week.
When I got home on Sunday, I wasn’t sure if I was going to write a blog post about Gleanings. Yes, I’d had a wonderful time, but I didn’t feel like I had anything worth sharing with you guys. I’ve heard so many stories of people who have gone to Gleanings and had some life changing experience there. Like God suddenly taking hold of their heart, or learning something totally new, or finding their calling in life. And as much as I tried to go to Gleanings with an open heart and no expectations, I admit that I was hoping. I was hoping for some spiritual revelation. For God to speak to me as clear as day and tell me... something. Anything. I was so tired of how my life had been. I wanted God to grab me and show me exactly what I need to do to fix my life.
As if He hasn’t done that enough times already.
But He did. Perhaps not in such a sudden and direct way as I was hoping for, but He did show me an area in my life that I have been neglecting lately.
That area was Himself.
My relationship with God has been sadly neglected the last few weeks. Somehow, He failed to make the priority list. I didn’t have the ‘time’ to sit and read my Bible; didn’t have the ‘time’ to pray and talk with Him. I love God, but I have been letting other things take first place in my heart; the place that should belong solely to Him.
You grow to love someone by getting to know them. You get to know God by reading His word and talking with Him. It’s that simple – and that difficult. But I strongly encourage you to give more of your time to God. It may feel like a waste of time, but I promise you it will be worth it. If you seek God with an open and honest heart, He will answer you. We cannot experience God wholly until we are wholly surrendered to Him.
        Loving God. That seems to be the current theme of my life. When I look at myself, it’s so easy to be discouraged by all my many faults and failures. But then I look back over the past two years, and I see all the numerous ways in which God has been working in me. I may not have come as far as I like, but I am moving. Slowly but surely. And I know that God will continue to work in me until the day I am welcomed into heaven.

Well, there’s a brief summarization of what I learned at Gleanings. If you want to hear more about my trip, feel free to leave a comment or message me!
I also want to thank my grandma, who helped enormously with the financial aspect of Gleanings. Thank you so much for helping send me to Gleanings, Grandma. It was such a huge blessing. I love you! <3
And to all my Gleanings friends, old and new... I LOVE YOU GUYS!! I cannot wait to work with you again next year. You people are amazing.



  1. Dear Riah, It is with delight that I read your reflections on your week at Gleanings. The direction you continue to receive, to love God, to spend time with Him, to share your heart and life with Him, is the most important and central lesson of all. It seems so simple, yet is hard to do. So many things pull us away with their "urgent" demands, or we just don't "feel like" focusing on the spiritual, even when we need it the most. As I talk with some of my friends, it seems God is calling more and more believers of all ages to this more intimate relationship with Him. He is so vast, and we are so finite. He needs His people to be strong in spirit to be fit for the battles ahead. How thrilled I am that you were able to go and have such an amazing time. It is what I prayed for for you and Caleb. Much, much love, Grandma

  2. You're a great writer, Mariah! Thanks for this encouraging post. :)