Sunday, January 20, 2013

2 Corinthians 4:17

"For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison." -2 Corinthians 4:17

How encouraging is this? The junk that I go through daily. The sadness that overwhelms me. The circumstances that break my heart. The sin I run back to every day and night. All of this "light, momentary affliction" is preparing for me an eternal weight of GLORY beyond all comparison. I am encouraged by that. I am so incredibly thankful for a God who sees the sin I seek satisfaction in and yet still forgives me when I come running back and fall before Him on my knees.

I also love how it is referred to as light affliction. We are a sinful people, living in a fallen world. We are exposed to sickness, death, betrayal, abortion, temptation, rape, slavery, famine, mental diseases, racism, and hate. We each have our own junk that consumes us and eats at us. We all have some "affliction" in our lives that hurt and drag us through the mud. To many of us these circumstances don't seem "light". They actually seem quite heavy. They weigh us down, drain us and sometimes make us feel empty and alone. However, the word in the middle of light and affliction, I believe, may be one of the most powerful words in this entire passage: MOMENTARY. As in "short-lived or an instant; ephemeral." This means that it will pass. It will not last forever. There is an end in sight... and it is not only good-- but BETTER!

So when things seem tough. When times appear hard. When the difficulties of this world resemble times that are unbearable and seasons that are troublesome... I will remember what 2 Corinthians 4:17 says. Yes times will be hard. Yes you will encounter trials. But if you have Jesus it will not last forever. It will be momentary. You will be saved from it. And you will soon experience greater joy, happiness and beauty than you could ever imagine. So if I must go through the trials and pain to get to Jesus... I will go through those hardships. Because if you were to ask me if I wanted comfort, happiness and for everything to go my way here on Earth or pain, hardships and Jesus.... my reply would boldly be "GIVE ME JESUS!"

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Thankfulness is in the EYE of the beholder Sesh #1

Last night I saw my roommate waking around the house taking pictures. At first I thought she was just capturing some pics of the house.... then I saw her taking pictures of random things... like RAN-DOM! When I was drying my hair she walked in and said "I am going to take pictures of ONE THOUSAND THINGS that bless me... wanna join me!??!" I said ONE THOUSAND things? That is a lot! She said "Okay what about one hundred?" I said... okay-- I can do that! So here is a little fact about Stephanie Daniell... when she is challenged-- she doesn't back down! So here we go-- these are the things in my life that I see/experience and that remind me of how blessed I am! They may be things that are similar to you or completely different... and it may encourage you to stop and capture things that remind you of the goodness bestowed on us through Him! Just stop.... and remember... Thankfulness is in the EYE of the beholder!

1. I am thankful that I still get excited about the First Day of School! I am just a life long learner!

2. This is my view from my desk... I LOVE my crazy/bright/fun/ classroom. It shows off my personality perfectly!

3. I am so very thankful for my view outside the window on my hall. I get to experience the beauty of our Creator and His majesty through sunrises every morning!

4. The super cute flag that shows you where the coolest team is! ;)

5. Sweet friends at work make teaching fun!

6. For the first time in a loooong time our team is drama free, excited about teaching and developing awesome lesson plans! All is right in the Land of First Grade!

Until next time....

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Happy New Year... Happy New Me!

It comes around once a year.... it is the time a year people are told to sit and think about what they want in life and make goals to reach those ambitions. Today is New Year's Day... as my Daddy said today "this is the first day of a new year. You have a clean slate and get to decide what you want your life to look like." So as I sit here I think about what I want in life.... so these are my New Year's Resolutions for 2013!

1. Know Jesus better. I don't want to just have my quiet time or read the bible.... I want to KNOW Jesus. I want to KNOW His word.... breath it. Live by it. Speak it. I want to be set apart and known as being a child of the Most High King. I want my life to reflect my Beloved and I want Him to receive glory through everything I do and say.

2. Go back to Africa. I miss those babies... I miss that language. I miss the way they abandon everything and get on their faces before the Lord. I miss my precious Daniel. I miss the way he fit perfectly in my arms and the sound of his sweet voice when he sang "Stand Up...Stand Up for Jesus!"

3. Get Healthy. I have wanted/needed to make a lifestyle change for a long time now. I have a trainer, who I used when I first moved back to Midlothian, that I am going to be meeting with twice a week again starting next week. Hopefully, I will see a change in my life and for the better!

4. Be a Light at School. I have been given such an incredible opportunity to be a teacher. I get to be in contact with my kiddos more in a day than their parents will. That gives me the awesome position to be a light to kiddos that may not get it anywhere else. I have the chance to love well, forgive, teach, mold, care for, and encourage. It's a pretty neat place to be in...

Basically-- I want to complete the things on my Bucket List. I think that because I am going to be turning 28 in October 2013 I would like to do these 28 things (some may be repeats from above):

-Memorize and know scripture
-Achieve goal weight
-Run a 5K without stopping/Become a runner
-Begin learning a new language
-Travel back to Kenya
-Be a mentor to someone
-Perform a kind deed to 28 people (years of how old I will be) without expecting anything in return
-Write a letter to my friends that mean the most to me and let them know
-Learn to play guitar
-Go on a road trip
-Bake a cake for someone special
-Allow myself to be vulnerable
-Go skiing
-Read 10 books by October--or more-- (at least one a month)
-Go stay at a hotel by myself and just "get away" from life for a night.
-Help someone in need.
-Do something crazy and out of character
-Encourage staff at my school weekly
-Make a difference
-Go to a casino
-Buy an expensive perfume for myself
-Go camping
-Finish movie suggestion list 
-Go on a non-budget shopping spree
-Play in the rain
-Learn to play chess
-Go out dancing with my friends
-Keep a jar and fill it with notes of good things that happen throughout the year and read them on NYE

Excited for this new year and to see what experiences the Lord allows me to go through!