Saturday, October 27, 2012

God's will does not include Breakfast.

"God's will for your life is not very complicated. Obviously, living a Christlike life is hard work, and what following Jesus entails is not clear in every situation. But as an overarching principle, the will of God for your life is pretty straightforward:
Be holy like Jesus, by the power of the Spirit, for the glory of God." -Kevin DeYoung

It's easy to use the excuse that we are "just waiting to figure out the will of God," when really we are just not doing anything. God's will is not some mystical magical thing that we have to spend all this time trying to figure out. His will does not include if we should have a bagel for breakfast or an egg. His will doesn't tell us if we should start school this year, or wait until the following year. It is not a planned out treasure map that leads us to the treasure. He knows every decision we are going to make, but God gives us the freedom to make them. We should do everything prayerfully and wisely, but we should not waste time saying "I am trying to figure out God's will for my life,"
We are simply called to do something...anything... but in everything we are to strive to be like Jesus and do it all for the glory of God.That is truly is His will for us.

Thank you Kevin DeYoung for writing "Just Do Something," this book has convicted me and taught me, through Biblical examples, what God's will is for every Christian.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

With Hope

I cried when I listened to this song. It is a beautiful song written by Steven Curtis Chapman about the journey he, his wife Marry Beth and their family went through after the death of their youngest, Maria Sue Chapman. This beautiful little girl ended her earthly life on May 21st 2008. Despite the struggles, downfalls and pain they endured after being torn from their loved one, they chose to "SEE" God's glory, mercy and every lasting kindness. They have hope and joy that they will see little Maria again in Heaven.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Your grace is enough

Psalm 46:1 God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.

Even in the hardest situations God is our refuge. His grace is enough for us and through Him we can do all things.

I spent 15 years of my life having a dear best friend who I care about deeply. About six months ago is became apparent that our friendship had fallen apart. It broke my heart. I lost one of the closest friends in my life. We walked through so many things together since childhood, and letting that friendship go has been impossible for me.
All I can do is continue to make an effort, love her like Christ loved us and push forward. Several days ago I tried to reach out and my efforts felt fruitless. All I can do is keep my eyes on the Father and know that He has a plan. The hard part is that no matter how many times I tell myself what I "need" to do it doesn't make it any easier. I am broken and don't know what to do but fall before the Lord and ask for strength.
This life is fleeting. Friendships will fade but the Lord will always be faithful in every season of our lives.

Your Grace is Enough
Chris Tomlin

Great is Your faithfulness, oh God
You wrestle with the sinner's heart
You lead us by still waters and to mercy
And nothing can keep us apart

Great is Your love and justice, God
You use the weak to lead the strong
You lead us in the song of Your salvation
And all Your people sing along

So remember Your people
Remember Your children
Remember Your promise, oh God

Your grace is enough
Your grace is enough
Your grace is enough for me

Yeah, Your grace is enough
Heaven reaching down to us
Your grace is enough for me

God, I see Your grace is enough
I'm covered in Your love
Your grace is enough for me, for me

Thursday, October 18, 2012


As usual, I woke up at 7:15 to my "Steven Curtis Chapman" Pandora station. My parents were fairly chipper, because they had finally caught up on rest after their ten day trip to New York to see my brother.
Grumbling and exhausted I poured myself a cup of coffee and came to realize that all of my hazelnut coffee creamer was gone. That meant all I had was some of my mom's vegan almond milk (a few months ago my mom decided to go vegan.) When I went to get my healthy smart breakfast they were all gone too. So I grabbed my mug and stumbled back into my bedroom, I'm pretty sure I was still half asleep.
I got ready slower then usual, because of my lack of sleep, lack of good coffee and lack of breakfast. This reminded me how annoyed I was that we had so many people living in our house. My patience, or lack of it, was running thin. My make-up seemed to take forever to get just right, and all I had time to do with my hair was pull it into a knotted, curly ponytail. From the get go I could tell this was going to be a long day.
As I rushed around my bedroom, trying to pull myself together for work, I didn't take a second to stop, breath and open up my Bible. My mind was on the million little things I had to finish doing, the family stress and the nonstop busy day I had ahead of me,
Finally I pulled my purse over my should, grabbed my piles of clothes I had to change into for children's ministry, my books, and my not so tasty coffee and headed to work.
I think the Lord has a humorous way of showing us when we need to slow down and breath, but I did not find it so funny.
As I reached my car I saw a tub of green jello looking stuff smeared across the asphalt. I made a disgusted face and proceeded to head towards the driver's door. I stopped dead in my tracks to find green jello stuff smeared across the back of my car. Not only was it green but I saw flecks of yellow goo and brown paste. It seemed to have dried and cracked on my car in a not so flattering way. Flustered and upset I burst into my house and grabbed a wash cloth to scrub the stuff off. Just as I was getting ready to text my boss and let her know I was going to be late my dad came in and asked me what was wrong.
I recapped the story for him and he immediately rushed outside and pulled the hose out. In a moments notice my dad, still in his pajamas, was at my car washing off what appeared to be green jello, peanut butter and eggs. I used the rag to scrub away the little he had not been able to wash off, and within five minutes was in my car heading to work.
I was going to make it on time and everything would work out just fine. I raced down the street until I realized... I had forgot my lunch. I had to turn around. I was going to be gone from 8am to 10pm, and needed some kind of food to keep my going. I rushed up the street and ran into my house to grab the food from the freezer. My dad chuckled and I just rolled my eyes in frustration. This day certainly wasn't getting any better.
It wasn't until I got to work when I sat down, took a deep breath and relaxed that I realize what the Lord had been doing. He was teaching me patience, just as He had been teaching it to me all week long with the family situation. I pulled out my Bible and read a few chapters of Exodus (the book I am reading.) I laughed because I was reading about the plagues. The Israelites were so patient as Pharoah continually held them in captivity. God kept sending plagues and the Israelites had patience in knowing the Lord would prevail and carry them out of the trial.
I get so busy, and do so much rushing around that I don't take a second to just read a verse and pray. I dont focus on the Lord and I speed through every second of my life. I don't have patience and know the Lord will take care of me through the day, and instead I get frustrated with every little thing that doesn't go according to my plans.
Moral of the story: Wake up earlier so I am not rushing around.... haha. Really what I learned was that I need to put my trust in the Lord. I need to stop worry about all the things I have to get done and take a second to hear what he has to say to me, have patience through the frustrating situation and take a second to relax, breath and pray.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

All the apple cider is gone.

I live in a 3 bedroom 2 bathroom house. In the past it's always fit my family of five. My parents slept in the master bedroom, my sister and I shared a room and my brother shared a room with my dad's office. It isn't huge and spacious, but it has always worked. I have never felt like we are all crammed in. Probably because we were kids and it was easier to roll us up into bedrooms like pigs in a blanket. We each had our own space when we needed it.
Growing up we turned our garage into a playroom. Carpet was put down, bookshelves full of fun things lined the walls and an old couch even ended up out there. It was where my siblings and I spent hours playing together. I have so many fond memories sitting in the room playing Davie Crockett and guns with my older brother. My sister didn't spend as much time in there because she had, "I'm to mature for your childish games" syndrome.
Years later my brother and sister had left for college, and our house suddenly felt really big and quiet and calm. It was my 9th grade year and my dad was working all day and my mom was in and out of the house, busy with life. I was homeschooled, so I spent most of my time hanging out in the quiet house. So at the beginning of 10th grade it was time for a change. There I was, living in, what felt like, an empty house. Little did I know our house was going to get a whole lot smaller.
In the last few years my sister moved back and my uncle and grandparents moved in. Don't get me wrong, I adore my family. I have been blessed with some amazing relatives, but this has definitely been an adjustment.Going from three people to seven is a big change.

So there I was after a long, exhausting day at work. My boss had grumpy and stopping around the office, yelling at anyone that got in his way. On top of that, my piano students had been especially lacking in their practice that week. I was ready to go home, get in some pajamas and curl up with a hot cup of apple cider. Now this wasn't just any old apple cider. This was fancy apple cider from apple hill. A treat I get, maybe once a year, and a friend of mine had so kindly brought me back an entire gallon. So, you can understand my excitement when I finished teaching and headed for the refrigerator. As I opened the door my eyes gazed in shock at the lack of apple cider that was sitting on the shelf. It was gone. The entire gallon was missing and I was standing there empty handed and sad. I hadn't even had a chance to have one cup of my beloved cider. The long, frustrating day had just gone from bad to worse.

You are probably thinking, really? She was upset over some apple cider that someone drank? But you don't understand... this was APPLE HILL APPLE CIDER.
Okay, that really isn't the moral to the story. This was the last in a long line of difficult and challenging events. From waking up at 6 in the morning, on a Saturday, because my room had dropped to about 50 degrees, to find a lack of peace and quietness because every room is full of people.
It isn't really about the apple cider, although that was a bit of a disappointment, it is more about the challenges of living with seven grown, loud, opinionated adults in a 3 bedroom house. I have never been very challenged when it comes to loving people, but the Lord is definitely starting to throw some challenges my way when it comes to loving others.
I am reminded so often that I am called to love, above all else. (1 Corinthians 13:13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.)We are called to bring glory to God through loving Him and loving people. God has quickly revealed to me that I need to love people better. He has taken me out of my comfort zone and thrown me into a situation I have never dealt with before. He is teaching me that love is a multitude of things. (1 Corinthians 13:4-8a Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. )
.My eyes have been open to the fact that I am selfish and I don't like how things have changed. I have been forced to adjust my way of living, but slowly I am adjusting, and through God's gracious kindness He is giving me the strength to have this servant love. It is in no way coming naturally, and it is a struggle that is, and will continue to be, a challenge to overcome.
I have learned that part of loving people is being gracious, even when I am woken up in the middle of the night to someone cooking and the fire alarm going off.

Monday, October 15, 2012

I am not ashamed

You will see how desperately full of sin I am, but how I have been cleansed and renewed by the Holy Spirit. Although I still stumble, and I still fall into temptation I know I am forgiven and I strive to live for Him. I have been saved by God's grace and nothing can ever take that from me. (John 10:28 I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand.)
I live by faith alone and although my journey isn't easy, I will press foreward and run the race (1 Corinthians 9:24 Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize.)
I have walked through many trials that brought me to the lowest places, but the Lord has blessed me and has always brought me through them. There have been times when I questioned my salvation because of the sin that clouded my life.  I wondered how God could love a sinner such as me, and that is something I still wonder every day. That is why God's grace is so amazing. We don't deserve His love for us, yet He sent his son to die for our sins and now we can be assured that one day we will be in Heaven with Him.
There were times I would ask how God could be real when I was so unhappy and felt so alone. He didn't leave me, He was always at my side, but I took my focus off of Him and allowed my life to become centered on the things of the world. I would question if I was ever really saved at all because the sins I was committing were to great to come from a Christian. Then I was told the story of David, the King who committed adultery and murder, yet he was saved and a follower of Christ. No matter how great the sin we can't lose our salvation. (John 10:27-29  My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand.) I know that I was saved and the Holy Spirit lives inside of me, but I got caught up in the things of the world and caught in the devils lies.
For years I have delt on and off with this feeling of depression. It felt like there was this unexplained hole inside of me and I wasn't happy. I knew I was saved, and I knew the way I was living was wrong, but the devil deceived me and made me believe that worldly things would make me happy. My heart was struggling to fall back into that old way of sinful living. The more unhappy I was the more I sinned to find joy, and the more I sinned to find joy the more unhappy I became. It was a vicious circle. I wasn't turning to God and asking Him for the strength and joy in him, I just kept trying to do it on my own.
As I have grown as a Christian, and really made the Lord my anchor, I know that I have to continually preach myself the gospel and meditate on the good things or I will be dragged down by my flesh (Philippians 4:8 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.)
I now strive to please Him every day. I want to live every day as if Christ died this morning, rose at noon and is coming back for me tonight. Pleasing Him is what truly brings me joy. I can't find that anywhere else, and despite the struggles that each day may bring I know He gives me strength to do all things. (Philippians 4:13)

So here we go. This blog is devoted to every day life. It is a place I will share my thoughts, struggles and achievments as I fight the good fight of faith. (1 Timothy 6:12)
I can never do this on my own. Every breath I breathe comes from the one who made me.
I am not very good at writing and probably not very interesting, but this is where I will chronicle my journey as an unashamed believer of the gospel of Jesus Christ.