Saturday, July 9, 2011

Some days are just better than others.

I haven't blogged in awhile honestly because I haven't had much to write about. I'm creeping into my last days here in the TC. I'm not sure how to feel about it. One part of me is so ready and excited to leave my hometown and venture out into the unknown. There are so many things to look forward to! On the other hand I'm here today sitting in a quaint little coffee shop, sipping on a delish latte (thank God! if I have one more bad cup of coffee I might just pack up and leave early) reading my Bible AND sifting through my thoughts and emotions. Some of you may already know I am moving to Portland in a month... I love Portland, I fell blessed God is keeping me in the Northwest. I wouldn't want to be anywhere else. In this there is SO much faith that I desperately need to step out in. I know I can't do anything on my own and so humbly I give God all control.

"(God)...who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works but according to His own purpose and grace which was given to us in Christ Jesus before time began,...For this reason I also suffer these things; nevertheless I am not ashamed, FOR I KNOW WHOM I HAVE BELIEVED AND AM PERSUADED THAT HE IS ABLE TO KEEP WHAT I HAVE COMMITTED TO HIM until that day." -2 Tim. 1:9 & 12

Reading this scripture today reminded me about the one and only Jesus. The commentary of my bible blessed me with the wise teachings of Mr. Jack Hayford,

"The focus of faith is knowing in the whom we believe, not merely what we believe. Faith is more that understanding a particular promise - Faith is knowing Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our faith; focusing the Person behind the promise more than the promise itself."

I'm always reminded of Peter stepping out of the boat.. I probably bring up his act of faith in every other blog post lol. Peter knew Jesus and had so much confidence in the Jesus he knew that he asked Him to command him to come out to Jesus on the water. All Jesus said to Peter was, "Come". Peter was asking for it. We all ask to be used by God, but how confident are we in the Jesus we know that when He says "come" do we take a step out of the boat in faith. So here I go, Jesus is saying to me i must go. The Jesus I know will reach down to pull me up if I sink. He will be with me every step of the way because He wants to. I need to know Him more and more every day. Thankfully he knows this and has plenty of grace and patience. <3

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Weight or Wait?

You know that saying..."The best things in life are worth waiting for"?  So often we fear change and yet we are constantly wanting it. (or at least I am) We live our day to day lives looking forward to that day and or thing that we have been waiting for. Waiting for the perfect job, marriage, accomplishment. How is it possible to be satisfied with what we have currently if what we are waiting for seems so much greater? I ask myself this question right as I ask myself if it's really possible. I try not to set myself up to be disappointed and yet again pray for something greater than I could ever imagine. I could either sit in the boat or take a step out and see what happens next. The next thing I know what I have been waiting for has become more of a weight. And then I ask...
"is it really worth waiting for? maybe I should just ______" (you fill in the blank) This is NOT what God has in store for us!

"God proves to be good to the man who passionately waits, to the woman who diligently seeks. It's a good thing to quietly hope, quietly hope for help from God. It's a good thing when you're young to stick it out through the hard times. When life is heavy and hard to take, go off by yourself. Enter the silence. Bow in prayer. Don't ask questions: Wait for hope to appear. Don't run from trouble. Take it full-face. The "worst" is never the worst"-Lamentations 3:25-27 MSG
...Gosh, I love the first 5 words or this scripture...that's all I needed to be sucked into the absolute truth that God wants to share with us. GOD PROVES TO BE GOOD! We can put all of our hope into God. It's a good thing to wait. The enemy wants to distract us by taking those things that we are "patiently" waiting for and twisting them causing us to question God's faithfulness. God wants to give us the desires of our hearts. Not only that but God's desires for us are way more incredible than we could ever give ourselves. The best thing any of us can do in these times is to seek God. Giving our fears to God will enable us to walk freely in His grace. As we do this we will reap the greatness of the fruits of the Spirit. There is nothing like true love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, & self-control. We can all try to get bits and pieces of the fruits of the Spirit but I have learned they are not something I can produce in myself. I can produce emotions and reactions to life circumstances. But what's so great is that the fruits of the Spirit will help get us through the ups and downs of life. God is always constant our emotions are not. As we wait on the Lord we must take our impatience, fear, doubts, and mistakes to God and allow Him to give us the peace we need. The self-control to keep ourselves on the narrow road... etc. As you wait allow God to prove Himself to be good. Seek for it in prayer and scripture. Allow Him to give you the strength to get from where you are to where He is taking you. His timing will always be perfect so give your weight to Him and receive what He wants to teach you as you wait.

"Why would you ever complain, O Jacob, or, whine, Israel, saying, "God has lost track of me. He doesn't care what happens to me"? Don't you know anything? Haven't you been listening? God doesn't come and go. God lasts. He's Creator of all you can see or imagine. He doesn't get tired out, doesn't pause to catch his breath. And he knows everything, inside and out. He energizes those who get tired, gives fresh strength to dropouts. For even young people tire and drop out, young folk in their prime stumble and fall. But those who wait upon God get fresh strength. They spread their wings and soar like eagles, They run and don't get tired, they walk and don't lag behind."-Isaiah 40:27-31

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Back to Life, Back to Reality

clothes packed...check
gas tank filled...check
coffee and snacks in hand....check
ipod on shuffle...check
open highway ahead of you...check
amazing friends by your side...check
leaving all worries, responsibilities, work, school, & burdens behind...check, check, check, check check
destination: VACATION

I just got home from an amazing trip to Cannon Beach, OR with Jennae & April. It was beyond amazing! There's something about the Oregon Coast that I can't get enough of. The beautiful coastlines, the amazing houses, the perfect coffee shops...and well...I can't forget the cute boys. It's refreshing to get away for a few days to relax where the unfamiliar is so perfect. Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end. Every time I go out of town I have to fight the thoughts on the second to last day that creep into my mind "you have to leave tomorrow..." Now don't get me wrong... I have a blessed life... but it feels so good to getaway. Coming home the song "Back to life, back to reality" was on my mind. I was less than thrilled to leave my vacation behind not knowing when I will get to return..."what would be the light at the end of my everyday life tunnel? What will I have to look forward to next?"

Well... I can't tell you when my next vacation will be. I'm sure another one will come around in due time... but the wisdom God gave me through my troubled thoughts was this..."I'm the same when your on vacation or not." That got me thinking about the different seasons we go through. We may be in the most amazing season of our lives, where we see God's blessings in our lives so clearly. Where love and joy is experienced on overflow. We stand on top of that beautiful mountain with a clear perspective of how amazing our lives are...all the valley's and weeds seem so small compared to the height of grace we are standing in...we are unstoppable; and it's all because of our God's love for us.  Or we could be in that season that is less than exciting... days are long and boring. You're not in a valley but your definitely not able to see things from on top of that mountain you have visited before. But instead your just waiting for it to come again. The waiting feels like eternity...and it's often hard to remember what that pure bliss feels like. All you hold onto are God's promises. They seem so far away but you keep moving forward one day at a time. Well God is still the same. His love for you has not changed. And then there is the worst season of all...the valley of the shadow of death. Where sin and fear seem closer to you than God. It feels like He is only on top of the mountain and it is impossible for you to get there. David(in the Bible) had such an amazing understanding of God. He knew God was with Him and He didn't allow the circumstance tell Him differently. My prayer for whatever season I am in is that I will know God the way David did. His God is the same God as crazy to think about... I leave you with Psalm 23 it's the reality that I want to stay in...vacation or not.

"The Lord is my shepherd; I have all that I need. He lets me rest in green meadows; he leads me beside peaceful streams. He renews my strength. He guides me along right paths, bringing honor to his name.
Even when I walk through the darkest valley, I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me.
Your rod and your staff. protect and comfort me.You prepare a feast for me in the presence of my enemies.
You honor me by anointing my head with oil. My cup overflows with blessings. Surely your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me, all the days of my life, and I will live in the house of the Lord forever."

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Sing, O barren

“Sing, O barren,You who have not borne! Break forth into singing, and cry aloud, You who have not labored with child! For more are the children of the desolate Than the children of the married woman,” says the LORD. “ Enlarge the place of your tent, And let them stretch out the curtains of your dwellings; Do not spare; Lengthen your cords, And strengthen your stakes. For you shall expand to the right and to the left, And your descendants will inherit the nations, And make the desolate cities inhabited. “ Do not fear, for you will not be ashamed; Neither be disgraced, for you will not be put to shame; For you will forget the shame of your youth, And will not remember the reproach of your widowhood anymore. For your Maker is your husband, The LORD of hosts is His name; And your Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel; is called the God of the whole earth.'-Isaish 54:1-5

More are the children of the desolate? God makes all things good. As a woman we need a husband to have children…if there is not one we are barren by circumstance. Even through what we see, God desires us to praise Him. Praise Him in the midst of our lack. Even when what we see as a future is desolate God still says MORE are the children (what is birthed) from desolate.  Even in times where you see no growth God still wants us to prepare our hearts to sustain greater things. I imagine this woman lived in a small tent. She never allowed herself to make room for anything greater because of her circumstance. In the times of hardship or lack we become strong as we press through the stretching of our faith for more. Who you prepare for will inherit what you have started. They will possess all that you have worked for. Nothing we do for God is in vein. We don’t labor in vein. Perfect love casts out all fear. Sometime I know for myself I am afraid to “enlarge my tent” because I am afraid to fail. But God says "do not be afraid. you  will not be put to shame." Even in the times I have failed or have been shamed I will forget… maybe not literally but when my eyes and focus are on God and what He is doing my mind will not focus on shame. This barren woman did not have a husband in the natural but here God is saying, "I am your husband. You will birth something through me." He is the creator, redeemer, and in control of all things.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011 exit?

"For everything you have missed, you have gained something else, and everything you gain, you lose something else."-Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Change is the essence of life. Be willing to surrender what you are for what you could become.”

I have been reading a great book by Joyce Meyer where she has been explaining why it is so important to make decisions. She brings up the story of Peter stepping out of the boat being the only disciple to walk on water. It's so encouraging because Peter made the choice to do something physically impossible trusting in God. In that faith he was able to walk on water as he was gazing upon Jesus... unfortunately for Peter he did not make it all the way to shore...but fortunately for you and I...and well Peter in the long run, Jesus reached out to Peter and lifted him up once he started to sink. Jesus did not leave Peter to drown once he made the mistake of letting fear get between him and his faith. In the same ways when we have a big or little choice to make...we can't not move forward and allow the changes to happen because we are worried or have a lack of faith. Jesus will always be there to lift us up out of the water. He is faithful and always forgiving. Take a step in the right direction and if it's wrong Jesus will give you a second, third, fourth... as many as you may need to be back on track.

So... with that said... I don't like change. I know that I can't stop things from changing and I trust God that He sees the bigger picture but still it's not always very comfortable. It's hard to for me to make big or little decisions. I'm always questioning if I'm making the right choice. I weigh the possibilities and outcomes. I tend to be unbalanced which complicates things more than they need to be. But here I transition. I have listened to the Holy Spirit and and making a choice to believe. To believe that He has a hope and a future for all of us. I love what God has blessed me with in the past so much that it's hard to let go of some things. So much that I want to try to keep holding on but if I do that I know moving forward would be impossible. Just like Peter he had to take a step out onto the water... leaving the boat and everything else behind to do something he probably never imagined he would. That's how exciting God is that He gives us all opportunities to do crazy things. They may not seem like they make sense in the moment but trusting and believing in Him gives us the ability to let the impossible come to pass even if we make a few mistake on the way. God wants us to trust the Holy Spirit in us. He has provided a way through Jesus to give us what we need to do the exceedingly abundant and to live life fully.