Saturday, November 17, 2012
Coming back from that bunny trail, I talked to my KC Club about what it means to be thankful. We talked about how we are a people who are constantly dissatisfied with our lives. We always want more, more, more. We rarely stop to thank the Lord for what we have been given and what He has provided for us. I had them make posters about the things they were thankful for, and then I had them make announcements every day saying what they were thankful for. I thought in doing this, that the entire school could get the mindset that we are very blessed. The second week I thought it would be good for the students to hear what the teachers were thankful for. I thought it would humanize them to the kids and let them see that we are just like they are.
It literally shocked me how hard it was for people to tell me what they were thankful for. I would ask them "what is something you are thankful for that you would like to share with the school?" And you would have thought I asked them "which of your children do you love the least?" haha Ok that may be a bit dramatic, but it was sad. I thought, "gosh, I have so many things in my life I am so blessed by that it is hard for me to chose just ONE thing to have said." I think we have developed this mindset that if things aren't going exactly the way we want them to that life is hard or bad. That if we are having to cut back a little financially or if our life plans/goals are not coming at the pace we'd like them to (guilty) that things are tough and we are 'just getting by'.
Maybe it is because I have seen what true poverty, sickness, sadness and hurt looks like. Maybe it is because I have felt a tummy grumbling so fiercely while holding a precious baby boy that I have a clear vision of what the meaning "I'm STARVING" feels like. Perhaps it is because I have seen the look on a child's face when I told them 'I love you' and realized that was the first time they have ever been told that, that I know what loneliness overcome by joy looks like. But I also see what restoration in Jesus looks like. He has allowed me to see "good news for the poor" and "freedom for captives" (Isaiah 61:1).
::Lord... let me not get so overwhelmed with this temporal life I have. Let my eyes be constantly fixed on You and Your goodness. Let me not only be reminded of all the blessings You have poured out on my life during this time of the month but year round. Allow me to be a light in my school, my church, my group of friends, my family, my neighbors and those I come into contact with. Let my THANKFULNESS be attractive to those I encounter and that it is contagious.::
What I am THANKFUL for :
-My Beloved. I am thankful that He loved me so much that despite already knowing my disgusting sin and choices that He chose to die for me. That He endured pain and hate and suffering so I wouldn't have to. That He still constantly pursues me and loves me despite my mistakes. And that He is my advocate and fights for me when I am helpless and broken.
-My Family. I have an amazing father who loves me well and provides me for. He seeks to uplift me and points me to Jesus in every situation. I have a mother that is caring and wants the best for me. I have two sisters who have become my close friends. We used to fight a lot but by the grace of God, He is maturing our hearts and spirits and allowing us to truly enjoy and look forward to each other's company!
-My Friends. I have two different groups. First group... I have friends of old (who are still my friends but we don't get to see each other as often). These are my E's, who I have written about on here. They are the women who I met my freshman year of college and who were apart of some big points in my life. They were and will always be there for me and I am so blessed by them! Second group, is my current group of friends/community. These are the men and women that I live life with. They are the ones that I can count on to come hang when I am bored, join me in a random late night movie, listen to me when I am sad or angry or lonely, pray for me and know the things I am going through, get heated when I am hurt by someone and promise to be there for me and protect me when I am scared. They know my heart and tend to it well. They are the ones who encourage and care for me. I am so blessed by the group of people I have in my life right now. The Lord has really poured out His grace on me in this area.
-My School. I love my job. This year has been kind of overwhelming, but so good. In my times of craziness... which happen almost daily... it reminds me that I am so weak and cannot do it on my own. It points me to Jesus and has me pour out my junk at His feet and rest in His will. I have a job that I can love on people well and help shape the lives of our future. I am intentional with my words and actions and see every opportunity as a chance to share Jesus.
-My Church. Gosh-- I don't even know what to say. My church is amazing. It doesn't sugar coat things which I appreciate so much. It makes me uncomfortable and convicted every single Sunday. It is brings the Gospel and shows us how to sift things that are not of the Lord out of our lives. It has made me understand and fall more in love with Jesus more. It has allowed me to see Him as not only a Pursuer, a Father, and Protector, a Romancer, a Satisfier, a Confidant, a Teacher, a Motivator, a Comforter, a Heartbreak Healer.... but as a Friend, a Care Taker, a Shepherd, a Savior, the Creator, the Maker, Life Sustainer, My Redeemer, Lord and King, Beginning and the End.
I am thankful for my life and the purpose I have here on this Earth. Use me Father... wake me up from my stagnate life and allow me to be used for Your glory!
Sunday, September 30, 2012
The word hits me like a ton of bricks. I have been told by my friends, family, teachers, pastors, homegroup leaders and books upon books to be still before the Lord and wait PATIENTLY! They told me "keep seeking Jesus and when you are completely satisfied with Him and when you least expect it... He will bring your husband to you!" I am ashamed to say I believed and fell into this idea. Like God was a teacher giving out tickets (this is how I reward for good behavior so bear with me)... He was looking for the student that was quietly working, that listened every time He tried to get our attention and that if someone was in need of help-- like if they dropped their crayons or needed help tying their shoes-- that you were willing to help and were the first one at their side. However... like my students, I need to be reminded that I am doing this because this is what we are called to do... not because I expect a reward for my efforts. I have to have a deep and inward shift of my heart so that my actions are not "so Jesus will see me living for Him and hear the desires of my heart"... but rather "so Jesus will see me living for Him and because I am so enthralled with Him and humbled by the fact that He has chosen to love and pursue me, that my heart is aligned with the desires of His heart and that I love His people because that is what He has called me to do!"
I want to live life and live it abundantly. I want to live everyday to the fullest. I want to be spent every night because I gave everything I had sharing Jesus, loving people well and being a reflection of our Savior. I don't want to be known as a woman who is sitting around waiting for someone or something. I want to be known as a woman who is helplessly, hopelessly, fully and completely in love with the Ultimate Romancer. I want people to see me and say "WOW... that girl loves her some Jesus!" I want the joy in my heart to be seen in my actions. Through my words. On my face.
Thank you Lord for loving me so much that You continue to sanctify me through my waiting.
Wednesday, August 29, 2012
Thursday, July 26, 2012
20. I love being tan. The darker I am-- the better I feel (must be all that Vitamin D)!
19. I am EXTREMELY ticklish on my neck. As in I drop to the ground or lose control of my arms and hit things when something even brushes up against it.
18. I think I have hoarding tendencies. I simply like to refer to it as being a pack rat-- you never know when you might need something... so you should probably just keep it.
17. I hate running. Running with a purpose like up and down the basketball court makes sense and I can do that all day long. But unless someone is chasing me with a knife... running long distances, and just because, is not something I enjoy.
16. I contradict myself. AKA.... I just bought and started a running plan to prepare for a 5K! :/
15. I truly enjoy people watching. We as a human race are... let's just say it.... really weird and interesting. Er go.... I sit and watch.
14. I'm super emotional. Thing that I have seen or experienced that has caused me to lose control and bawl in the past week? The Olympic Mom commercials on TV. Have you seen them? E-Mo-Tion-Al.
13. I have climbed a mountain. Not a hill. Not a Texas mountain. A REAL mountain. A 14,258 foot mountain. I may have gotten altitude sickness really bad afterwards. I may have thought I was dying and prayed for the Lord to come down and get me. I may have been absolutely miserable the rest of the day. But by-golly.... I.Climbed.A.Mountain.
12. If you know me then you know my heart for dancing. And my heart for dancing means I am obsessed with the Step Up movies. There has been like 3 already... and the next one comes out Friday. Carter Bear and I already have plans to go see it Saturday!
11. I am such a people person, but I really enjoy being by myself sometimes. Today I treated myself to lunch, a movie, shopping and a treat afterwards. Love God, Love Others... then Love yourself. It's okay to have me time every once in awhile!
10. I truly enjoy singing. It brings me so much joy. I love how the Lord has given me an opportunity to use it to bring Him glory and assist others to the foot of the cross with that gift!
9. My parents think I am going off the deep end. In the last 8 years I have gotten my cartilage and nose pierced, gotten a tattoo, and gone to do mission work in Costa Rica, Hawaii and Africa. Between us... I have a feeling this isn't the end of my adventurous lifestyle. God has a lot of plans left for me I believe!
8. Speaking of traveling I didn't set foot on my first airplane until I was 21 years old. The first time I flew by myself I was mid twenties.
7. My sisters and I made up a language when we were younger... it's more like an accent I guess. Anyways-- we used to talk like that all the time as children. We were extremely weird and awkward but I believe that has grown us up to be funny, sarcastic women!
6. Most teachers don't like party days... However, I still get super excited during them. Same goes for field day (even though that works my nerves a bit more).
5. If you want to make me happy... bring me Mangoes and Powerade Zero Mixed Berry. Yummy.
4. My best friends are still the E's.... we were called that in college because all of our names ended in an E or E sound (Mallory, Stephanie, Shelby, Ali, Ashley, Stacy and Lacey). We don't all live in the Metroplex but still get together a few times a year and group text to keep in touch.
3. My roommate is ca-razy (as I was writing this she actually called to tell me about how a few of her flights got cancelled and how she is staying the night in Detroit haha). Like I said--- crazy! But so funny and such a blessing to me. The Lord gave me a roommate who is just like me in so many ways that we actually can stand living with each other. She is a great friend and someone who will probably be standing up by me at my wedding someday in the future.
2. Christmas makes me happy. Like reeeeaaallly happy.
1. I'm a thinker. Sometimes even an over thinker. I think about the future. I think about conversations before they happen. I think about conversations after they've happen. I think about things and how they'd be different if I reacted a different way. I think and think and think and sometimes think too much! But it's me and who I am.
Friday, July 6, 2012
This verse in Romans 12 is heavy on my heart tonight. How do you turn the other cheek when you have been slapped? How can you forgive when words cut deep? How can you persevere when the ones that are pulling you down are the ones that the Lord placed in your life to uplift, stand beside and encourage you?
It can be so disheartening when you are striving as a woman to whole heartedly seek Jesus and that doesn't seem to be enough. When you desire, above all else, to be a clear reflection of Jesus and your appearance is something that they can't get past. Jesus was a beautiful representation of how we SHOULD be. He hung out with the prostitutes, the leapers, the socially unacceptable. He was able to reach people many couldn't because of His grace and non-judging attitude towards them. He was able to present the good news and love them with an agape love because He displayed fullness in, not how they looked or dressed or acted, but because He had compassion for them knowing that they were a sinful people who needed a Savior.
My sinful nature inside rises up when I feel threatened or cut down. However, Jesus was mocked and beaten. He was ridiculed and humiliated... and He took it. Who am I to have this 'woe is me' attitude when I really don't have it that bad? I should be concerned with the One who's worth I should truly seek. Instead of having a fear of man and focusing on what they say or think... I should focus on Jesus Christ's opinion of me. Am I a sinner? YES. Do I screw up? YES. Will I continue to fail Him and those around me daily for the rest of my life? HECK YES. But am I forgiven when I repent? YES. Does Jesus look past my outward appearance and straight into my heart? YES. Will He look upon me one day and say "Good job my good and faithful servant"? GOSH I HOPE SO. If my heart continues to yearn for Him, seek Him daily, meditate on and hide Gospel centered truth in my heart and go out and share the good news reflecting Him in everything I say and do...I believe I will hear those precious words ring in my ears on that day.
::So Lord... forgive my bitterness. Forgive me when I become more focused on the words of man instead of You. Allow me to have a clear picture of what is good and true and right in Your eyes and focus on such things. Let me not become hard to those who tear me down in this world, but love them and pray for them more since it is them who need my patience, grace and forgiveness! And Lord continue to humble me so that I don't become self-righteous... but see myself as redeemed because of what You're doing in me and how You have refined my heart!::
Thursday, July 5, 2012
Tuesday, July 3, 2012
Monday, April 23, 2012
Friday, March 9, 2012
Monday, February 20, 2012
Monday, February 6, 2012
Thursday, January 26, 2012
We are called as believers to be filled with faith. I desire more than anything to be a Proverbs 31 woman... in that she has many great attributes. In verse 17 it says "she dresses herself with strength..."--this is important because we are encouraged later on in 2 Corinthians 12 about weakness and strength. It says "But He said to me. 'My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.' Therefore I will most all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong." So this is something so incredibly beautiful to be reminded of.
The next, and I think most important verse for me to remember during this season, is verse 25 which says, "Strength (there's that strength we just talked about again) and dignity are her clothing, and she laughs at the days to come." Wow. How many times in the past week have we been fearful? Fearful of finances. Fearful of relationships (or lack there of). Fearful of health issues. Fearful of man in general. I don't want to live in fear. In fact we are called not to. There are so many verses about fear in the Bible. There is "Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me." (Psalm 23:4); "The LORD is my light and my salvation-- whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life-- of whom shall I be afraid?" (Psalm 27:1); "The LORD is with me; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?" (Psalm 118:6); "For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline." (2 Tim. 1:7); "Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you." (Deut. 31:6); "So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand." (Is. 41:10); "For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by Him we cry, "Abba," Father." (Romans 8:15)--LOVE THIS ONE!!! Those were just a few in the Word that speak against fear. We are commanded, by the Lord Himself, over and over "do.not.fear." Don't do it. There is no good that will come from. It WILL NOT edify you. It WILL NEVER affirm you. It WILL tear you down. Freak you out. And push you away from Jesus... which is a lot more frightening than anything in this world.
So Jesus... be patient with your Beloved. I am so screwed up. I hate sin... but sometimes I allow it into certain parts of my heart and life and I am confessing and repenting that. Lord, I don't want to be a woman who is burdened by evil and bogged down by fear. But rather, Lord let me be a woman who is clothed in strength and dignity, LAUGHS at the days to come and is filled with wisdom and kindness. I pray for my brothers and sisters in Christ right now. God-- we.are.not.perfect. Sometimes it is really easy for us to believe we or others are. So humble us in that. Show us with your grace and mercy and allow us to do the same to each other. Let me not condemn or judge, but rather, love unconditionally. Steady my heart--it is beating wildly right now--and remind me minutely that You are in control, are good and are GOD!