Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Reflecting on 2013

So, a year ago, I wrote a post about the new year. I wrote about what I wanted to accomplish in 2013. I had so many dreams and wants and desires. Some got resolved or done…. some did not. I actually didn't even remember what I had said I wanted to do until I looked at my blog recently. So this year I am going to try and stick to my word and resolutions. Not for others-- but for me. I can be both super hard on myself and really forgiving (like too forgiving). I want to hold myself to a higher standard…. believe in myself and push myself to do good! So this post is going to revisit my 2013 resolutions and show what was done and what I didn't accomplish. So, here we go…

2013 Resolutions:

-Memorize and know scripture--I did not do well with this in twenty-thirteen.
 I want to push myself to do better this year and truly hide the gospel in my heart.
-Achieve goal weight-- Nope… haha that's all I am going to say about
that. Working towards getting healthy in 2014.
-Run a 5K without stopping/Become a runner--I didn't run a 5K without stopping, however, I did 
learn to enjoy running more. So, hopefully I will become a better runner and
finish that 5K this year.
-Begin learning a new language-- Thanks to an app called DuoLingo (this is an awesome app)
I began learning Spanish again. I also got an app to teach me more Swahili.
-Travel back to Kenya--Did it. Changed my life. Have already signed up to go back in 2014.
-Be a mentor to someone--Loved on and encouraged lots of young girls but no one specific.
-Perform a kind deed to 28 people (years of how old I will be) without expecting anything in return-- Don't 
know how many acts of kindness I did over the year… but I can always do more! :)
-Write a letter to my friends that mean the most to me and let them know-- I am doing this today!
-Learn to play guitar-- No-- but I would love to!
-Go on a road trip-- Yes… my rooms and I took a trip before school started this year.
-Allow myself to be vulnerable-- Yes… it was not in the way I expected, but I did allow
my heart to be opened and for people to make their way in.
-Go skiing-- Unfortunately, no.
-Read 10 books by October--or more-- (at least one a month)-- I didn't get to 10. 
-Go stay at a hotel by myself and just "get away" from life for a night.-- This is one I really wanted to
do but didn't get to. I WILL be doing this in my next year.
-Help someone in need.-- This is cool to see because I was able to do this for one of my student's
families this Christmas. I was able to get presents, clothes and food for them.
Probably one of the most amazing feelings in the world bc I could feel them seeing Jesus.
-Do something crazy and out of character-- Moved out by myself. That is huge… and so
far it has been great.
-Encourage staff at my school weekly-- I dropped the ball on this being done weekly. However, I did
get to encourage people that needed it. I want to do better at this, this next semester. 
-Make a difference-- This is like the acts of kindness. I think I am making a difference (so many
people in Midlothian are developing a heart for Africa)… but I can never do this perfectly.
I can always do more.
-Go to a casino-- Yes… the rooms and I went to Choctaw in Durant, Ok and stayed at the
hotel overnight, laid out at the pool and played on the slots 
and it was such a fun, relaxing time.
-Buy an expensive perfume for myself-- Nope… still cheap.
-Go on a non-budget shopping spree-- I tried…. but I still caught myself being worried. But I did buy
things that I wouldn't normally have let myself splurge on.
-Play in the rain-- Unintentionally. haha
-Learn to play chess-- Negative.
-Go out dancing with my friends-- I got to dance with friends…. but we were at a wedding.
And honestly it was more fun and not uncomfortable at times or too crowded. :)
-Keep a jar and fill it with notes of good things that happen throughout the year and read them on NYE-- I didn't do this… I need to this year though!

So these were my resolutions. As you can see I did some great things… but I slacked on some others. Instead of looking back with regret I will look at the good and move forward. Big things… I experienced Jesus in amazing ways, I was blessed enough to go back to Africa, I made memories, learned from mistakes and will continue to grow. So as far as I am concerned, 2013 was a good year. Here is looking at 2014…. may you bring even more growth, memories and beautiful life lessons. May you be filled with love, excitement and joy. Happy New Year everyone!!

Sunday, December 8, 2013

He will supply every need.

"And my God will supply every need of yours according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus." 
-Philippians 4:19

My God will supply my EVERY need. He will do this according to His riches in Christ Jesus. We can be fully assured of this. He has crafted and formed us. Does the Creator not know every detail about His creation? He designed us. He knows and understands the longings we have and yearn for. He set these in us. Not to be spiteful, but to point us back to Him.

So many times desires arise in me that I believe are selfish and not biblical, so instead of taking them humbly before the throne, I push them aside, bury them and deny having these feelings. We are told, in Hebrews 4:16, "Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need." That means in all situations. 

So why don't I do this? Why do I feel I can handle situations better than Jesus. Well, first and foremost, it could be because I am the worst sinner I know. I lie. I steal. I cheat. I covet. I lust. I hate. I break every one of the commandments. But thankfully, God's grace is so beautifully poured over me daily that I can remind myself that I am saved and forgiven. Another reason, is that I believe the whispers of Satan more than the whispers of Jesus sometimes. It breaks my heart to say that… but I do. I am a broken woman living in a broken world. So when I hear Jesus say, "Stephanie… be still. Wait and be patient." and I hear Satan say, "If you wait too long he may move on. Go ahead… text him. He loves Jesus… so this isn't bad." I am not following my shepherd. I can hear you now… "uhhh, but Stephanie, texting isn't bad." And you're right… it isn't. It isn't unless you have been told not to and you do it anyways. Texting alone is not a sin (however, I do believe it has completely altered conversation in the world today and given men--and women-- the ability to not know how to communicate and have relationships… but that is a different blog on a different day) but it is an example in my life. The act of texting is fine if done rightly… but when I run to a man to make me feel accepted, loved, worthy and attractive I am replacing Jesus for that man and that is when it becomes wrong. That is when I have made a man into an idol.

So today I am going to be meditating on Philippians 4:19. I will be speaking truth to myself and remembering that MY GOD will supply every need of mine. That He loves to align my heart up with His desires. He also welcomes me up to His lap to sit and cry out to Him. No request, hurt or desire is off limits. He sees me as His daughter and He wants me to run to Him in all things. There is nothing I can say or do that will shock or surprise Him. There is also nothing I can do that will cause Him to banish me or love me less. He loves me unceasingly. Nothing can change or alter that. What are you withholding from our Savior today? Whatever it is… don't you think it's time to take it to Him? Let Him comfort and help you. He is good… when there is NOTHING good in us!