What's Your Story?

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

"Oh Lord You have searched me and know me..."
Maybe like me you've found yourself at a place in life where you question yourself, where you are, how you got here, and often why you do the things that you do. 
Maybe you do things by choice, maybe its consequences, maybe its defenses, or maybe its something you've always done just to cope with life and its circumstances. 
Regardless of this, in the last week I've been doing a lot of thinking about myself.

Over the past several months I realize there are some unhealthy things in my life and ways that I react, and internally think through things. While I may not ever know the exact reasons why I do what I do, I have learned something about myself.

Why does my story and things in my life have to be a secret?

We live in a world where we try to put on plastic smiles, a face that says things are great, and we are always asking each other "how are you?" most times not genuinely meaning what we are asking.We respond with "Im great, how are you?" When inside, we could be dying.
Who said it always has to be fine?
That everything has to be okay?
That you have to "act"?

Today's world has made broken pieces out to look like "hopelessness" when in reality, being broken can almost be one of the best places to be.
Its humbling, eye-opening, and often times life-changing.

While it doesn't mean you have to tell the whole world every secret that you have or everything that you struggle with, if we never truly share our deepest hurts, the things that we are struggling with, and the part of our story that could change someone's life, if we are never honest with ourselves (sometimes that being the hardest part), how will we ever be the real deal?

Without even noticing it, I have found myself trying to cover up pieces of my story.
Being honest means I would have to say I'm at a place where I often wonder how it will all piece together, but that's the beauty of it.

For every part of my life that I am questioning, searching for, and really trying improve to be the best I can be, it is all the more reason I have to truly lay every piece of my life, my past, present, and future in His hands, as He is the only person that can put it all together. 
He knows it all. He knows where we've been but He also sees where He wants to take us if we'll be obedient and trust Him.
Our past does not have to define us and the Word tells us:
"Who the Son sets free, is free indeed."(John 8:36)
It's a struggle. It's hard to be honest. It isn't perfect, but it's my story.
What's your story? 

These Are a Few of My Favorite Things

Sunday, November 27, 2011

 There really is no place like home when it comes to the Holidays.
I enjoyed this break at home tremendously. 
I don't feel like I did much, but that was just what I needed.

Thanksgiving is always a meal that seems to take forever to cook, and it isn't too long before you're feeling stuffed. The homemade noodles and Mom's apple salad made the day.
I enjoyed a quiet day at home with family and friends, lots of food, and of course, The Grinch.
I think I've realized this year more than ever, just how fast time flies. 

I'm thankful this year for so many things. God has been so good to me and I really feel this last year was a break through in my life for so many reasons. Regardless of my current struggles, and the place that I find myself in, I am so thankful for a Faithful Heavenly Father who continuously pours His blessings into my life. I hope each of you enjoyed your Thanksgiving.

As for a few of my favorite things this time of year....

 This is my favorite ornament on our tree. I have many that I love but this was the ornament I gave to my grandmother her last Christmas with us. She cherished it, and so do I.
 No matter how hard I try, nothing smells quite like home and Mom's candles burning in just about every room in our house.
 Holiday Soaps...ah I love them, and so does my Mom :)

Nothing beats the Holiday sweets. Homemade cookies galore.

Ah, tomorrow, it's back to the grind. Only 2 more weeks of the semester but it was nice to stop and slow down for a few days and really just remember what's truly important. 
More posts to come in the future! It's been busy but I can't wait to have time to blog as much as I want to!! 

Happy Holidays Everyone!

One More Day With You

Friday, November 18, 2011

"I want my heart His throne to be,
so that a watching world may see
His likeness shining forth in me.
I want to be like Jesus."

At nine years old, I had no idea that I would deal with one of the hardest things that happens in this world. I'd rather not start there though.
You see, you'll never know how much of an impact someone made on your life, 
until they aren't apart of it everyday. 
We take things for granted, and the second we don't have it anymore
we then realize what we should have held onto.

I learned this lesson as a little girl.
Regardless of the hurt that won't ever seem to go away, the empty place in my heart, the way our family has never been the same, and for the moments when I just wish I could bring her back, I was blessed to have such a Godly example in my life from the time I was born, even until now. 

As a little girl, I heard over and over about how much Jesus loved me from my grandmother.
I learned lots of lessons about how God had taught her things in her life growing up, about being a Mom & even a Grandmother. I can hear her voice still to this day when I think about her and my grandpa sitting down each morning to have their devotions. Regardless of how long it took, they would pray for each and every one of their kids and grand kids and dear friends.  

I remember hearing her pray for me.

I had no idea how important this was, and I have no idea how much her prayers have helped me to be where I am now. 
The memories are endless, even though I only had 9 years. 
Kool-aid ice cubes, baking, learning how to make homemade noodles (an Indiana favorite), playing store, setting up my bed at the bottom of hers each time I spent the night, cracking jokes on her like pretending I was in Home Alone and I set up a trap in her house (awful I know), setting up the manger scene at her house each year at Christmas, hearing "Bethany Joy" as only she could say it, teaching me how to take care of my baby dolls, trips to Mcdonalds, picking me up from practice and having a snack in the car for me until I got home for dinner. 
Oh sweet memories.  
I will never forget the night where things got serious. 
The night where joking, laughing, and carrying on wasn't the "normal" activity for the evening.
I remember being anxious as I could tell something wasn't and hadn't been right.

This night changed my life.
I learned this night that my grandmother had a cancer that literally was going to eat her alive.
No one in our family knew that it would take her life 2 months later. 
She told me this night about all of it. But she kept telling me that she was eventually going to die.
I asked her if she was afraid. 
Fear never came out of her mouth.
I sensed such peace. 
At nine years old, I saw in her that night, a woman who loved and feared the Lord with everything she had. She knew where she was going and most importantly, she only wanted to do and be everything that Jesus wanted her to be.
You see, the old hymn " I want to be Like Jesus" was her favorite.

I can hear her to this day singing around the house as she cleaned.
Words like "Tis so sweet to trust in Jesus, just to take Him at His word."

I will never forget the day she died.
I get a knot in my throat to this day just thinking about it.

I never knew that 14 years later, I would look back on these memories, those final moments, and those  deep conversations that I had with my grandmother at 9 years old, it would change me.

I've found myself at a place of unrest, anxiety, fear of the unknown, and I almost feel imprisoned in my own mind at times.
Today I was reminded and in my mind could hear her singing those words, quoting the scriptures, and praying with everything that she had. The peace that she had even in the midst of what I would consider the scariest thing that could happen, is something that I so long for.

The same God that came to save my Grandmother and walked beside her during her fight with cancer, is the same God that lives in me.
I have been blessed to have the memories I did with her.
They are burried deep within my heart, and I am thankful for the countless prayers her and my grandfather have poured over myself, my future spouse, and my family. 

This holiday season is often bittersweet for me. 
I wanted to write this blog tonight in hopes to encourage, and for myself find a few moments of peace.

I pray that somewhere along this journey, I can become more like Christ, and I hope that I reflect the love, compassion, and grace that my grandmother did. 
"My deepest prayer, my highest goal, that I may be like Jesus."



Even Though I walk Through The Valley

Monday, November 7, 2011

"Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil for You are with me..."

It's been awhile since I've blogged.
I've found myself doing more thinking than ever, and yet I find myself speechless more times than not. 
I'm exhausted. I'm anxious. I'm weary. I feel lost.

I find it somewhat hard to be real about where I'm at, and words may not be my best friend these days, but regardless of my feelings, my fears, the things I am struggling with, The Lord is still faithful.

I have to rely on this truth and its consistency in my life.
Especially right now.

While everything else feels like it's crumbling around me, and I am struggling to have peace, to have a clear mind, and to truly see things as they are,
The Lord is with me.
Ahead of me.
and Behind me.

It is hard for me to rest. But I am daily going to continue to fill my mind with the word, His truth, and His promises.
I have no idea where you are at, but regardless you can rely on His faithfulness. 

I could greatly use prayer and encouragement during this time. 
For the things ahead and the place I find myself at in this very moment, may I rely completely on Him.

"O for grace to trust Him more...."

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