Friday, November 8, 2013

One Giant Rat Race

Once upon a time, a young girl went from being a confident level headed individual to a fearful, stressed ball of emotions who didn't know her left from her right. It was during this time she decided to make a change.... or several for that matter. She had been on the fast track... trying to reach all of these goals she set in such a short amount of time as if time were going to run out. As the clock ticked, her patience thinned and her drive lessened. Each roadblock seemed to lead to detours that took ten times longer than the route she strived to take. Nothing came easy anymore. Her world began to bloom into one giant rat race... who would finish first? Would she come out on top?

Why must we feel such a need to compete and be the best at everything in this fallen world? The girl above was me... and is me. It is so difficult to wrap my mind around the fact that sometimes God allows us to go through failures at times only to make us grow and deepen our relationship with Him. I have been a hard worker most all of my life as nothing comes truly easy; but this semester is truly kicking my rear. I mean... talk about kicking a horse while he's down! I have spent hours of putting effort into the work I do only to receive negative results. Friends, if you have any idea as to who I am or my personality, you'll find that this is not an easy pill for me to swallow. How does it feel when the world says you aren't good enough? We strive to be good! What happens when we are mediocre.. what happens when we've put in so much effort only to fail? Let me just say that I am so thankful to have my best friend to remind me of why I'm here! I'm not here to please the world. I won't ever measure up based on worldly standards. I may work my rear off and fail at things in life... but as long as I am striving to do my best for God... He is all that matters!

God has taught me quite a bit during this season of life. The funny part is that I specifically asked Him to! I told Him that since my boyfriend would be gone for a while and I was about to jump into a crazy new life at a new school that I would dedicate this time to Him. Friends, He took it and ran with it! I have never been so skeptical about the changes in my life as those He is making now. I am in my 20s, trying to finish school. I have no clue what degree or path He wants for me, but I am ok. I have surpassed the point of frustration and have learned to shut my mouth for this ride. I know He never quits a journey before reaching a destination and for this road trip I'm sure I have many many stops along the way. There have been times I've felt He's pulled the car over and told me it's time to grow up and be a woman! I know in my heart it's time to be independent and make my decisions based only on Him. Though I can honestly say it isn't always easy by any means! However, He's truly my husband for all of eternity and my life is in His hands on His timing so I may as well surrender it ALL now! The changes I've made recently in how I handle situations and conduct myself as a head strong young lady have had great impact in my life; but I can honestly say that He get's all the credit.

A song came on the radio earlier this week (along with many) and several lines really hit home with me...
"From where I'm standing, it's hard for me to see; but You're already there..... My future is a memory because You are already there." -Casting Crowns "Already There"

So many times we can't see what lies ahead; but take courage friends! He won't let you down! He goes before you and behind you. In whatever season of life you are in, whether you've hit some bumps in the road or come to dead ends... maybe you feel you need a U-turn or you're at an intersection and don't know where to turn... remember, He's there. No matter how many times He pulls the car over and you feel like you are never going to get there.. enjoy the ride. Someday, you will look back and realize just how important that trip was!

P.S I know my blogs get repetitive...same story line... similar endings. Again, just like any parent who repeats things over and over, these moments keep reoccurring and I'm sure it's God's way of repeating as a parent does. As children, we don't always get things the first time around!


Scripture Comforts:

"Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." 
Philippians  4:4-7

"I can do all things through Him who strengthens me." 
Philippians 4:13

"And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who seek Him." 
Hebrews 11:6

Sunday, September 22, 2013

New York Times Best Selling Author

Once upon a time, I came across a chapter in my life that I couldn't bring myself to close. What would happen if I actually let go and turned the page? Why hadn't God let me read ahead so I would be more thankful and appreciative of that particular chapter at the time I was living it? The more I live life, the more I see things laid out like a great novel written by a New York Times best selling author. There are certain parts of a book we want to fly through just so we can see the outcome... those moments that seem like the climax is so far away... and like any good writer, He writes it so the climax is a great turning point in the book. The author builds up to the climax in a way that keeps the reader on his/her toes so much that once it is reached it's like a great burden is lifted.... like taking a breathe of fresh air on an early morning in winter when the air is crisp.

I've been on a ride to one of the many great climaxes in my life; but it's up to the Author to determine how and when I will get there. Some days I wish He would just hurry up by writing me out a shortcut or simply skipping ahead... then I remember how greatly that would affect His plan for me and how much it may ruin His novel by doing so. I get so caught up in this world where everyone expects their wants now and yet think they will simply pay for them later. Paying now just doesn't seem so pleasant. However, as a child of Christ we must pay now!

There's a song Mercy Me sings called Jesus Bring the Rain, and it has played repeatedly through my head here lately.....

 

In any good novel, there's a series of trials the main character must overcome. In my life, each one has made my relationship with my Author... my heavenly Father grow tremendously. It's learning to let go of the good chapters and be thankful for the difficult ones we live through. If our life didn't have trials, we wouldn't have a need for God....

There have been many days I just go to my room and cry as I wait for this chapter to end... this climax to be reached...Some days I simply want to shut the world out and sleep away my frustrations.... but I do not believe that there is a chapter in my life that should be erased or skipped over. Each and every climax is worth the wait... the novelist writing my story has bigger plans for my life than even I can imagine. So hold on friends... during the times when you feel like your grip is slipping and your story is spiraling down the tubes, look to the Author. He won't let you go.
"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." Isaiah 41: 10 

Peace in Scripture:

"Cast you burden on the Lord; and He will sustain you; He will never permit the righteous to be moved. "
Psalm 55:22

"The Lord Himself goes before you, and will be with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged."
Deuteronomy 31:8

"The Lord is good to those whose hope is in Him, to the one who seeks Him..."
Lamentations 3:25





Sunday, August 25, 2013

Open the Eyes of my Heart



Once upon a time, life became like a fog. It lingered over the land... as dew rested upon each blade of grass... and the soft melodies of chirping birds awakened as the sun arose slowly over the rolling hills. Though time passed, everything seemed to be moving in slow motion. One minute on the clock felt like an hour. As the days dragged on, they blurred together. A world focused primarily on money, politics, and the pursuit of happiness by secular standards left society jaded. So many wonder around blindly seeking worldly things to satisfy them but none would.

What is the purpose of life? Why are we here? There is always the Sunday school answer, "We are here on this earth because God made us. Our purpose is to serve Him." There are so many questions and yet so many answers that aren't good enough. Why is it that we in flesh have so little faith, lack of faith that we can do big things? We walk around with the eyes of our hearts closed. I find myself living out my every day routine and forgetting the world, though life is happening all around me. I fear reaching out of my comfort zone at times to help those in need. Is it that we fear rejection of others if we commit to being God's hands and feet? We get so caught up in our day to day lives that the things we do become meaningless. The things I do become meaningless.

Is life truly worth living if you are living for yourself?

God has given us gifts; gifts to share with the world. Do you find yourself living in a fog? Is life moving around you but time passing so slowly you can hardly stand it? Reach out. Open the eyes of your heart. 

It is my prayer that I begin to crave time with our Lord. I pray that He calls me out of my comfort zone... out of the fog. God has blessed me greatly and it is time that I stop worrying about pleasing the world and start focusing on pleasing Him. If you don't believe God has blessed you with a gift, I hope you take time to listen to the little boy in the video posted above. God can use anyone. My heart leaped for joy as I listened to this sweet child of God sing praise to our heavenly Father. God has given him a voice... a gift... and he has put it to great use. What is holding you back? Whatever it may be, I pray that the fog is lifted, and that the eyes of your heart are opened to the world around you.

Peace be with you through scripture:

Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. 
Colossians 3:2-3

In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.  
Matthew 5:16 

This is to my Father's glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples. 
John 15:8

Thursday, July 4, 2013

The Power of Prayer





Once upon a time, a young girl awoke in the middle of the night feeling an urge to pray. Tears began streaming down her face and she knew in her heart that this prayer held significance. As she quietly listened to the voice inside... He told her to pray for a young man... one to whom she would marry someday. It was not uncommon that she would pray for her future husband; but this night... she felt it was to keep him from harm. Wrapped up in her blankets sitting up in her bed rested among the pillows she prayed like never before until she fell back asleep. Would she ever know the reason for her prayer? Was it all a dream? Did God really need her to pray?


How many times have you stopped and prayed because a voice from deep down inside of you asked you to? Friends, I have heard this voice upon several occasions and it never ceases to amaze me the good that comes from listening to and obeying it. Who is this voice I refer to? Many say it's our conscience... as seen in cartoons represented by the devil on one shoulder and an angel on the other. Praise the Lord for giving us that voice.. otherwise known as the Holy Spirit! I don't know where I would be without it! He is my messenger. Sometimes I just have to close my eyes... shut my mouth... and listen. I may never know the reasons as to why I pray for certain people at random... or why I am to write about what I do in the blog posts... all I know is that I should listen to the voice.... because every time I do I receive an indescribable peace that comforts me in knowing I am doing what is right.


I could write on the power of prayer... I could tell you all about different scenarios in my life where prayer not only saved me, but brought me closer to God...however, I can't make you understand. I can't make you feel the peace that I feel when I listen and follow the directions I'm given. The power of prayer is something you have to understand on your own. Though I must warn that though circumstances may not turn out as we pray they will... it is not that the Lord has not answered...
We must remember as children of God that His ways are not our ways and His thoughts are not our thoughts... therefore, He will respond in what He feels is best... according to His will. This is why He asks us to pray within His will... that His will be done.

As I have said many times... I don't have the greatest prayer life... but for some reason the Lord still hears me when I call... He answers in His perfect timing...

I have put my faith in the Lord! He will never fail me, no matter how many times I fail Him. He will never stop listening... no matter how many times I stop listening to Him.

I ask you to join with me in praying for our nation... a nation where more people have stopped listening to the Lord... a nation where our leader has chosen his ways over our Lord's. I know the world is not suppose to get better according to Revelation... but that does not mean we should stop praying for the lost... or praying for our brothers and sisters. In fact, I believe it means just the opposite.... that we should start praying more. We are getting closer to the end... to Christ's return!

 Happy 4th of July and may the Lord be with You!

The Word

"But blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in Him. He will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit."
Jeremiah 17:7-8

"But you, dear friends, by building yourselves up in the most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in God's love as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life."

Jude 1:20-21

"We walk by faith, not by sight."

2 Corinthians 5:7








Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Ruler of a Great and Powerful Kingdom

Once upon a time, there lived a young girl whose Father ruled over a great and powerful kingdom. He knew each of His citizens by name. Not only did He know them by name... but He knew everything about them. He knew the number of hairs on each person's head! He knew every thought each one ever had. He knew the day each baby would be born into the world and the day each person would pass on. He knew which ones would remain loyal to Him and which ones would reject Him and turn their back on Him. Her Father was and is all knowing! He was and is all powerful! Forever will His name be worshiped and praised among His people.

Knowing this, the daughter felt very small in her Father's kingdom. If He knew every detail about each and every person... and He cared for each of them before they were born, how could He have enough time for her? He had to be there for all of His followers.... He had to show grace and mercy for each of them.... He had to have patience for when they disobeyed or strayed off His path... He had to have compassion. All of these He practiced among His people. Those who chose to follow Him would be recorded in His special book, The Book of Life. His daughter would watch Him record names in the Book of Life... and as she watched, she thought to herself, "My name is in the book... my Father knows me... but He knows more about me than I do Him." Silently she began to weep. How could she let so many years pass and not spend more time getting to know her Father? How could she worry about Him not having enough time for her when she hasn't had much time for Him? Her father appeared next to her no sooner than the thought had crossed her mind. Turning to her father she threw her arms around his neck. Knowing everything about His daughter, He knew how she felt. He sat her down and wiped the tears from her eyes and handed her a book. He said to her, "Read this my child and You will know me; for everything that is written in this book is inspired by me." (Read 2 Timothy 3:16)

How many times do we find ourselves wondering who God is? He knows us better than we know ourselves. He knows our every thought, our every tear, and our every laugh. Friends, my prayer is that we thirst the Word of the Lord as if we have been left in a desert dehydrated for days... that we hunger for a deeper relationship with our heavenly Father as if we have starved for weeks.

Yesterday, a tornado went through Oklahoma killing many innocent children... tearing apart families... and wiping away dozens of homes full of memories. So often I find myself taking my time here on earth with God for granted. In a moment He could take me home... how much time could I say I spent with Him on earth? He is willing to spend an eternity with me... know me inside out... as well as the rest of His children (which is an unfathomable amount by the way)... and I find it hard to give Him even 20 minutes of my day sometimes. He loved me before He made me... and yet I had to learn to love. I wasn't born loving God... yearning to know Him. Friends, don't take life for granted. Read His book... learn about Him... and give thanks! Sometimes it takes a storm to wake us up!

"Sometimes God calms the storm, but sometimes God lets the storm rage and calms His child." -Leslie Gould

Prayer:
Lord, let us crave You. Let us not take our time here on earth for granted. Bless the families in Oklahoma and comfort them bringing them peace that You alone can give.           
Amen

Be Blessed Through Scripture

"All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness..." 2 Timothy 3:16

"He stilled the storm to a whisper; the waves of the sea hushed." Psalm 107:29

"Not as man received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name." John 1:12

And he said: "Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven." Matthew 18:3

Jesus said, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these." Matthew 19:14


 



     

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Driven to Give Thanks





Once upon a time friends, I was driving home. As I turned onto the road leading to my street, I felt in my heart  that everything was going to be okay. I've been in my car a lot these past few days... it's the only place I seem to have the best conversations with God. These past few trips I've made, I felt the urge to spend time thanking God. How often I find myself asking Him to do things for me... and not thanking Him for all He has done. In approximately six days I will be leaving the beautiful town of Carrollton. I have made so many memories here and friendships that I dread leaving. This place has become more home to me than where I grew up. The good Lord has used these past two years to change me in ways I never thought I would.

I had given up on family besides my parents and my brother... and it was here in Carrollton that God gave me friends I hold so dear to my heart I may as well call them family. I went from feeling alone... to feeling loved by many. I've never felt so welcomed and accepted in my life. God blessed me with an amazing church and small group. I went from dragging my feet just getting up in the morning to make myself go to church as a kid... to looking forward to Sundays thankful I had such an encouraging body of brothers and sisters in Christ coming together to praise the Lord! I've had many friendships last for a short season of my life within these past two years here; but with each that has come and gone, those friendships helped mold me into the person God is creating me to be. Never in a million years would I have thought I would attend school here in Carrollton... but there is not a day that goes by that I regret the decision I made.

This is one chapter friends that will be difficult to close. Earlier today, I was conversing with my Life group leader and his wife. He told me what a blessing I'd been to the group and how much I had meant to them. His wife said she felt I wouldn't lose them... but they sure feel that they are losing me... She asked if it was too late to change my mind and stay... as I stood there feeling that lovely frog in my throat... I told her, "I can't when I know the Lord is telling me to go... when He is kicking my butt out the door." I know without a doubt the Lord is leading me onto the next chapter in my life...

I don't know why I doubt His faithfulness in coming through for me and continuing to make my life even better than now... which is hard to imagine. Gram told me in church today what her daddy use to remind her, "If the good Lord takes care of all the birds in the sky, what makes you think He won't take care of you?" She's right friends. I have proof. All I have to do is take a step back and look at how far I've come. This time last year I could have promised you I would stay in the south... but when you seek God's plans for your life... you never know where you will end up!

I know my posts have been somewhat similar over the years... the same ideas... same thoughts... but I'm still a kid... and we repeat ourselves a lot... such as the over-usage of the words "like" and "um" ....then again, mothers repeat themselves a lot... so I guess the act of repeating is expected...

Thanks for reading...

Be blessed through Scripture:

"We walk by faith, not by sight." 
2 Corinthians 5:7

"Trust in Him at all times, you people; pour out your heart before Him, God is a refuge for us."
Psalm 62:8

"The world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of god abides forever." 
1 John 2:17

"This is the day that the Lord has made; we will rejoice and be glad in it." 
Psalm 118:24 


Tuesday, April 16, 2013

There Was a Flamingo in my Bathtub!

Once upon a time, a pig flew into my window. At that same moment, a dinosaur walked through my house! On my front porch steps stood an army of giant man eating ants! There was a moose in my kitchen! There was a flamingo in my bathtub! In my closet, stood a 6ft green eyed monster! My fish, Carl, turned into a great white shark and my roommates turned into aliens! Great start to a story, right? Well, it gets better! My mother turned into a sloth, my brother a penguin, and my dad a gorilla! Now what does that make me you ask....

I'm a 6 year old child stuck in a 21 year old body! I eat dinosaur chicken nuggets with bbq sauce, celery sticks with peanut butter, and jello cups! If I could have an endless supply of juice boxes, I would be the happiest college kid ever! I like to color with markers but they make a mess.... so I stick with crayons. I love to swing... it's probably one of my favorite things to do. You can pretend you are on a plane flying far away from this crazy messed up world!  I gave up trying to fit in when I realized we were born to stand out. I could quote Charles Schulz and Dr. Seuss all day long. There are some days when nothing seems to go right besides an episode of The Berenstain Bears where morals exist and there is always a silver lining. 

What happened to that imagination we had as children? I remember looking up at the sky and thinking heaven was made up of a bunch of puffy clouds where angels played without ceasing. I had an imaginary friend who liked to do everything I did... and I wasn't thought strange because all my friends had imaginary friends too! 

Everything is so boring now. I'm in that point of my life where I'm not satisfied where I am but I don't know where I would be happy. I'm in this period of waiting. In one of my recent posts, I wrote how I was standing at a crossroad and had to choose which way to go. Well, what happens when you choose a path and it isn't going how you planned causing you to doubt your leap of faith? I know I'm headed in the direction the Lord wants me to go in because I have sought Him and prayed His desires become mine. However, like He's reminded me over the years.... He never said following Him would be easy. My chapter will soon close here in the south and I will begin a new one. I am excited to see where the next chapter takes me. Like in any book, you will always have your favorite chapters you could read over and over again. My childhood happened to be one of them! 

In all this rambling I leave you with this: 
1) Hold on to your favorite chapters and remember them when life is in a standstill. 
2) Your imagination keeps you young! 

P.S.  For those of you who have seen me "talking to my imaginary friend" .... I'm not crazy ;) I gave up my imaginary friend a long time ago and gained a real one who likes to do everything I do... my Savior! ...you just can't see Him! 

Scripture:

"Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." Hebrews 11:1

Jesus said, "If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes." Mark 9:23

For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, "The just shall live by faith."  Romans 1:17

For with God nothing will be impossible.  Luke 1:37

Thursday, March 14, 2013

He Has Made Everything Beautiful


     Once upon a time, a little boy crawled up to me and threw his arms up in the air. I leaned over and picked him up. Burying his face into my neck and embracing me so tightly, I couldn't imagine anything better in that moment. This little boy has my heart. He is a nonverbal special needs child. Over the years, the Lord has truly blessed me with this passion for special needs children. He continually places people along my path who have helped me gain opportunities to work with and spend time with these kids. Whenever I am stressed or worn down, these children bring a smile to my face. At times, I find myself looking into this little boy's eyes thinking how mind boggling it is that some people are not accepting of him or children like him. When I look at him, I see perfection. I forget about his disabilities. His love is unconditional and reminds me of God's love for us. God can easily look at us and see our imperfections; but He loves us through them. This little boy is made in the image of God. Our heavenly Father makes his creations perfect. No, we are not perfect. We are living in the flesh; but we are made perfectly. I have spent time caring for this child and I cannot be more grateful for the opportunity.

     So, here I am... sitting in Starbucks... and this song came to mind. We are nothing without the Lord. Our life is meaningless without Christ. How amazing is our heavenly Father that He has given us life? As this little boy embraced me, I thought about how it would feel to be in the presence of God wrapped in His embrace. The love I have for these special needs children is so great; but so small in comparison for the love the Lord has for us. He calls us to love one another despite our faults. He calls us to reflect on everything that is beautiful.  In Him we are a new creation. In Him all creation is beautiful.

My Prayer: 
Lord, I pray You continue to mold me. I pray You use me. I ask that You encourage me to spread Your love like peanut butter. 
Amen.  

Scripture:

"A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another." John 13:34

"So God created mankind in His own image, in the image of God He created them; male and female He created them." Genesis 1:27

"Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about such things." Philippians 4:8

Sunday, February 10, 2013

A Leap of Faith

Once upon a time, I came to a crossroad. Normally, I love starting out these posts painting lovely pictures in the mind of my reader. At the moment, all I can paint for you is the following:
It's dark and gloomy. The sound of silence lingers through the air as the clouds grow angry. Up ahead lies 2 paths. Should I choose the easier path? This decision will affect the rest of my life. Am I alone? Must I make this decision on my own? As drops of rain slowly fall from the sky, I close my eyes and.....
Cliche, crossroads... I know. Robert Frost wrote in "The Road Not Taken," 
"Two roads diverged in a yellow wood, and sorry I could not travel both..."
So which one do you choose? How many of you are standing at that crossroad wondering what God's plans are for your life? One wrong move and it could affect you drastically. I try earnestly to follow His plan for my life... but I have been dealt a wild card. This time last year, I was so sure of my direction in life and where He was leading me. However, I find myself back in the spot I was in summer of my freshman year of college. For those of you who do not know, I attended Georgia State University my freshman year believing whole heartedly that the Lord called me there. I still to this day do not doubt that in the least. Yet my time was shortly up there and He lead me to another university. I have spent 2 amazing years growing in my relationship with Him continually picking up my cross and trying to live out His plan for my life... but every time I settle into a routine, He calls me somewhere else. 

Friends, I am about to make a leap of faith. I can feel it in my bones. It's the same feeling I had when it was time to leave home for college... the same feeling I had when it was time to transfer schools... and now it's reoccurred. How many of you hate change? If you're anything like me, I am a basket case! I don't do well; but as of January the Lord has taught me a great deal in a short amount of time. I continually look for consistency in a world that is ever changing. This past month of school has been nothing but stressful because of my lack of routine and all the chaos... and this is what the Lord has taught me, 
He alone is consistent. He alone is routine. He alone is all I need. 
This world is not our home. We can't settle in and get comfortable. We are here on a mission. I am sharing this with my readers... so other than my momma, dad, brother, and gram... you are the first to know. As Robert Frost ended "The Road Not Taken,"
"Two roads diverged in a wood, and I, I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference." 
It would be easy to stay in Georgia and continue my education. Though it was last night I came to an astonishing realization. I don't love speech and language pathology. My heart is in occupational therapy. There are many reasons the Lord lead me to Carrollton I feel that I can name off the top of my head. However, I think my time is up here. I believe He is calling me to pick up my cross and follow Him to Ohio to finish school with a degree in occupational therapy. Readers, I ask for your prayers. This is a big step for me to take and I am continually praying the Lord takes my hand and leads me down the right path. 

Have you found yourself at a crossroad? Which road will you take?  I dare you to close your eyes and... take a leap. As long as you are seeking the Lord, I'm sure you will end up precisely where He has planned. 

Promises in Scripture:

"For I the Lord do not change...." Malachi 3:6

"Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever." Hebrews 13:8

"For the Lord is good and His love endures forever; His faithfulness continues through all generations." Psalm 100:5


Monday, January 28, 2013

Do Not Fear!

Once upon a time, I was 17 years old sitting in a doctors office wishing I was anywhere but there. It was spring of my junior year and my life was going great up until then. One minute I was ok and the next I was fearing for my life. It was in that moment I had to let go. I had to put all my faith, hope, and trust in the Lord. Long story short, I ended up just fine (obviously, or I wouldn't be writing this blog right now)!  Thankfully my doctor's visit went well.... no cancer. Looking back remembering the heart ache and hopelessness I felt those few weeks, I am reminded of how blessed I am to be where I am today.

I have a dear friend who has battled POTS amongst other illnesses for the past 2 years. Her sophomore year of high school, she sat in class feeling perfectly fine one minute and then miserable the next. Little did she know the hard road she had ahead. Her life is a living testimony and she happens to be the most inspirational young girl I believe I have ever met. Through her sickness she has sought the Lord and continued to work as Christ's hands and feet! I couldn't imagine feeling as weak as she has and still making myself get up and bring joy being a light to others. Though she faces many obstacles, she overcomes them daily. I truly believe the Lord has great plans for her! My life alone wouldn't be the same without having met her beautiful family.

Be thankful for those times you feel out of control. Those are the times I feel my relationship with my heavenly Father grow tremendously! It is then when the Lord comes along, picks us up, and reminds us our reason for living. In this life, all we know is a beginning and an end. Praise the Lord for the eternity we have to look forward to spending with Him.

Sitting there in that doctor's office, I felt absolutely helpless and alone. Yet the Lord was right there beside me just as He is with my sweet friend.... just as He is with you. In those moments when you are scared.. He is there. Be thankful for every blessing the Lord has given you. Cherish each day. Live like tomorrow is your last.


Scripture: 

"Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me."
Psalm 23:4


"Fear not for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, and help you; I will uphold you with My righteous right hand."
Isaiah 41:10


"You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because He trusts in You."
Isaiah 26:3


"Being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a great work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ." 
Philippians 1:6






Saturday, January 12, 2013

Desires of the Heart

Once upon a time, all was quiet. I had gone about my usual morning routine preparing for the day when I felt the Lord calling me. It had been weeks since I had really spent quiet time with Him. I always say my prayers at night and usually fall asleep halfway through, but quiet time with the Lord is a lot different from my usual nightly prayers. It is during my quiet time He teaches me through His word. I wish I could say I read my Bible religiously. However, I don't find much enjoyment reading. Though every time I open my Bible, I am presented with vereses relative to my circumstances at that time. Friends, it is one of those verses the Lord impressed into my heart throughout this week. It is one of those verses that tugged at my heart so much it brought me to tears.

"Delight yourself in the Lord; and He will give you the desires of your heart."                      
-Psalm 37:4 
He does not say to take delight in this world. So often I find myself looking for earthly things to satisfy me. Yet the things in this world are only temporary. This past week, it seemed as though nothing went right... by my standards. My car stopped working. My "dream" college job fell through. Another job I applied for was already filled. I spent the week fighting off whatever sickness went through my house. I wasn't able to sleep. Everything went wrong! I felt the Lord reminding me to count my blessings and trust in Him, but I didn't want to. How could He have allowed any of this mess? Why would He not want me to have this job? Questions ran through my head all week long. Thursday night, I began venting to my best friend. It was then she said, "Everything will be okay." That was our motto we lived by all summer. Every time we got ourselves in a bind, stressed out, or worried we repeated this phrase to each other over and over again. What was it about this simple phrase that made stress and worries of this world melt away?

Friday morning, I got up preparing for the day. It was rainy outside and all I could think about was the stillness of the morning. The sun hid behind the clouds and the only sound was raindrops splashing against the window. I was to spend the day with a friend, but she was running behind. It was a calm morning, and it was then I opened my Bible/devotion to Psalm 37:4.  I have prayed for as long as I can remember that the Lord's desires for my life become that of my own. Sitting on my bed reading Psalm 34 feeling so unworthy and guilty for my frustration with Him this past week, His words spoke forgiveness. "The Lord redeems his servants; no one will be condemned who takes refuge in Him." Psalm 34:22

It is my prayer for this year to delight in the Lord, for He alone knows the desires of my heart. Though I may not see His plans clearly, I know they are better than those of my own. In a recent conversation I found myself expressing the importance of putting our focus on the Lord. When seeking Him first before anything else this world has to offer, it is then He allows everything to fall into place.

The Word:

"You are my rock and my fortress; Therefore, for your name's sake, lead me and guide me." 
Psalm 31:3 

Thus says the Lord, your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: "I am the Lord your God, who teaches you to profit, who leads you by the way you should go." 
Isaiah 48:17

"The Lord will guide you continually, and satisfy your soul in drought, and strengthen your bones; you shall be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail." 
Isaiah 58:11

"If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you."
John 15:7