"In an ever changing world You never change"

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

As I have had some time to myself the last two days, I've had plenty of time to think.
Still waiting to see how the Lord opens doors for me with a job and continuing to trust in the unknown at this time in my life.
I've had some unexpected conversations in recent days and now more than ever I am thankful for God's grace, His constant pursuit in my life, and the way that He is ever changing me.

As I'm slowly but surely adjusting to the changes that have happened in the last month, it's crazy to think that nothing that was going on in my life 4 weeks ago as far as a routine etc. happens now. For someone who likes consistency in just about everything, this has at times felt like pulling teeth.

Tonight I had some time to get away. I went on a bike ride. What a beautiful night it was. 
I then got in the car and drove by myself for about 20 minutes.
As one of my new favorite songs was playing over and over, I began to think about the words and to really just think about all that God means to me right now.

I've appreciated it before, but I'm not sure I've ever thought of how thankful I am for
 a God that never changes. 

In this world, and in my daily life where everything has changed for me, 
I serve a God who is the same today as He was yesterday, and is going to be that for me tomorrow.
Each day in our lives are different. The world is changing so fast around us, the economy is different than it was years ago, relationships and people change and we often find ourselves wishing things were different, but with our Heavenly Father we never have to do this.

More than ever, tonight I wanted to share the power in that.
A love that never changes.
A God that never tires.
And a Father who gently pursues.
Who was in the past, through the hardest moments & in our greatest moments
And who promises to be there tomorrow no matter what's waiting for us.

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

Reality Check

Friday, July 20, 2012

I feel extremely impressed to write tonight.
My mind is racing.
After hearing about the tragic shooting in Colorado last night at the movie theatre and watching
the news show tonight that interviewed many of the victims and their families,
I cannot even begin to explain what my heart feels like.

I remember exactly where I was when I heard about the Columbine shooting.
While I was younger, I remember being bothered by it, but nothing has shook me quite like this incident has.
As I'm sure like many, I keep asking-  'How in the world could someone do this?'
My heart breaks for the people who were involved.
I can't fathom being a part of this event, nor can I even process it.

Reality is, it happened. And Has happened. And unfortunately probably will happen in the future.
I felt challenged tonight watching the news.
My heart feels heavy.
Do I really love people enough? Am I so caught up in my own little world that I'm missing out on something bigger? Am I really investing my time and energy into what the Lord truly has for me?
In the car on the way home tonight, I heard lyrics to a song I've never heard before and it said this:

In my own little world it hardly ever rains
I've never gone hungry, always felt safe
I got some money in my pocket, shoes on my feet
In my own little world, population me

I try to stay awake during Sunday morning church
I throw a twenty in the place, but I never give til it hurts
and I turn off the news when I don't like what I see
Yeah, it's easy to do when it's population me

What if there's a bigger picture? What if I'm missing out?
What if there's a greater purpose I could be living right now?
Outside my own little world

Father break my heart for what breaks yours
Give me open hands and open doors
Put Your light in my eyes and let me see
That my own little world is not about me

[My own little world- Matthew West]

Feeling convicted is an understatement.

Father, forgive me.

For the reality check that was given to me after hearing about such a tragedy, my prayer is that I will see something bigger than just myself. That I will love people more, that I will spend my time investing in things that matter, that I will not just be bothered by the things that break God's heart but have the courage to do something about the things I can, that I would be a prayer warrior for the families and people who are hurting, and even more so for the shooter. May I be less quick to judge people but more inclined to see them through Jesus' eyes. May I care more about people's souls than anything else. May I never forget the fact that we are never promised tomorrow and that each second is a gift from God. 

I am thankful for the reality check I was given today.

I challenge you to remind the people you care and love, how you feel about them, and would you join me in praying for the people affected by this tragic event as well as for the shooter?

Are you in your own little world? 

"The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and rescues those who are crushed in spirit."
Psalm 34:18

A Simple Prayer

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Tonight I found myself in a quiet place.
Maybe not all around me, but within my own heart.
It's these places where I find peace and strength.

Now more than ever I find myself clinging to the promises God has given me. 
But my prayer tonight simply consisted of something like this.
God just be here with me right now.
 And Just let me be.

In my mind's eye, I could see it .
The moment where the hug becomes a huge embrace. 

Lord, just stay with me.

So there I sat in my car tonight.
Praying out loud.
embracing the peace I felt.
the one moment of my day where I felt like even in my falling apart, I was being held together.

It probably sounds crazy, but these are the moments that give me the perseverance when the enemy is trying each and every minute of the day to tear me apart. 

I'm continually amazed at God's gentle reminders that He has me in the palm of His hand.
I am thankful for a love that is unconditional.
I believe in a promise that says He has plans for my life.
I will continue seeking Him as each day unfolds itself.

Not sure where you find yourself at in life, but if you're searching, cry out to the Lord. 
He'll meet you right where you're at.
You won't be disappointed.

On This Sunny Afternoon

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

 If you were joining me on this sunny afternoon, you would be sitting with me in Books a Million sipping on sweet raspberry iced tea, drowning out the noise in the background of a child reading aloud, and the coffee machine grinding away. 

Today, I wanted to just get away. 
Something different than the ordinary for me the past few days.
I'm about an hour away from home. I made my way strolling up and down to some shops and enjoyed the quiet time. While it's extremely hot, I'm loving the sunshine and the sweet reminder that it's summertime. Andrew and I will be going out for a dinner date at one of our favorite places on the way home from his class, but in the mean time, I am using these few hours as a get away.

While I feel like my mind doesn't ever stop racing, the last 48 hours or so have been a few days where I've just taken some time to just enjoy doing 'nothing.' Last night I cooked dinner for my parents, and actually enjoyed the shopping, cooking, and cleaning up. While I don't usually sit down to watch much t.v, I've slowed down enough to just sit and relax. I'm itching to get to the beach, and that's on the agenda this week, but all that to say- in the midst of this 'waiting' time and wondering what's next, I have and will continue to soak in every minute of 'rest' that I can get.

The days continue to fly by and walking into Walmart the other day where school uniforms and school supplies were being put out was a quick reminder that I am going to be starting graduate school in just a few short weeks. I can't begin to tell you how excited I am for this! 

While I'm nervous about being somewhat behind the 8-ball because I have no experience in nursing yet, I am excited to have the opportunity to learn from others who have, and I look forward to the chances that I have ahead of me.

While I haven't gone into details about the job search, (mostly because I don't want to have to answer no all the time if nothing works out), but I interviewed last week at a Doctor's office. While this is not my 'ideal' first job for experience, the doctor seems full of knowledge and has quite a unique practice and I was intrigued when I had my interview. It went awesome! All of that to say, this Friday I was told to call back to see what the office manager (who I interviewed with)  and the doctor decided would be the best thing for them at this time. A little nerve wracking on this end, as I know Friday I will know either way. While I had a great feeling when I was there, my prayer is that if this the door God wants me to walk through, that it will swing wide open. If for some reason Friday does not turn out to be a yes, as disappointing as it may be, I know that the Lord has the right job in store for me.

On a side note, I have loved having more time to blog and do what I love.

I hope this day finds you doing something you enjoy. Thanks for spending part of your day with me! 

There's Someone You Should Know About

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Often times when we're growing up we see people we want to be just like. 
Maybe we see a job and think oh cool I want to do that.
For me, I'm not sure it was a job as much as the spirit and heart of someone that I admired like I did Jessica.

I've anxiously been waiting to write this blog. 
However, I knew in the right time it would come to me.
Before moving home I had prayed and the Lord knew I was concerned about how I would fit back in when I came home. While I've had some incredible people pouring into my life in Nashville the last 4 years, I was somewhat nervous about coming home and having someone here for me.
Jessica has been just that person.

Before I left for college, in high school I had the privilege of singing with her Sunday after Sunday as she lead our church in worship. I reveled at her ability to sing so effortlessly but even more so marveled at the God given ability to lead people into the Lord's presence. 

While my relationship with the Lord had not even began to dig half as deep as it is now, it was at this place in my life that sparked the desire for me to be something like her.
The Lord gave me the desires of my heart when I made Everpraise at Trevecca. What an incredible 3 years it was singing, and having the opportunity to usher others into His presence. 

All of that to say, I am thankful for the inspiration I got from Jessica and for the way the Lord has blessed with me such a great friend and mentor. 

Meet my Friend Jessica

Jessica has been blessed with 3 beautiful girls, they are all so unique and what a joy to be around! She has an incredible husband who loves and supports her, and truly has a vision for what the Lord's called them to. I wanted to share this with all of you, because her story has blessed me. 

While Jessica is no longer leading at a church, the Lord has given her a vision for the days ahead and it's incredible to see God's hand at work in her life as each piece of the puzzle is coming together! 

Jessica's band- Jessica Aaron is an incredible group of people that only God could have brought together. I have been blessed to spend time around each of them and its evident to me that God is moving in their lives and has been preparing them for the journey ahead. She just recently went to Nashville, and boy was I jealous, to record her Album which will be coming out very soon (stay tuned, you won't want to miss this)! God has truly set the foundation for her and has brought incredible people into her path to finish out what the Lord started within her heart years ago.

I encourage you to check out her site Jessica Aaron and like their facebook page - Jessica Aaron Facebook. If you like to tweet, we've got you covered- Jessica Aaron- twitter.   Trust me, you don't want to miss out on her incredible music, and most importantly her heart for the Lord.

 Thank you Jessica for your heart, your ministry, and your relentless desire to follow all God has for your life. You have truly been an inspiration in my life and someone I am blessed to call friend. I am praying for you and behind you 100%. I could not be more excited for all that God has in store in the days ahead.

"For I know the plans....."
Jeremiah 29:11

Letting Go

Monday, July 16, 2012

It was another long week with no open doors.
In small ways though, God continually shows His faithfulness and for this I am thankful.
At the beginning of each week I've started asking my Dad 'is this gonna be my week?'
It's somewhat joking but in my heart of hearts, I have been wondering if I will end up feeling disappointed at the end of the week.

While I have really been working on taking every thought captive and really trying to trust that God's timing will be perfect, it's a constant internal struggle for me.
My Dad preached on manipulation Sunday.
Not a sermon I necessarily thought would have a huge meaning for me, but I was definitely wrong. 
As he began to talk about how we can manipulate others, he talked about how we often times try so hard to manipulate God.
It sounds silly, because of course He is not going to fall for our tricks.

Have I been trying to manipulate God?
While I don't know that this is all I was supposed to hear, what really hit home was the idea that I haven't surrendered this part of my life completely to God.
If I had, I wouldn't be struggling like I am.
Doesn't mean it will all go away, but I haven't felt a peace in my own heart to just trust that God is going to open the right door, at the right time. In my head I know God has a plan, but my heart has felt defeat and discouragement instead of hearing truth.
In my efforts I have done and done all I feel like I can do at this point and there comes a time where I feel like I just can't do it anymore.
Hearing 'no' and experiencing closed doors is what I feel I do on a daily basis right now. 
It's exhausting. 

All of that to say Yesterday, in my heart as I  heard the voices all around me singing "I surrender all, I surrender all" (a song I know oh so well) I simply cried out to the Lord just take this. Have it, it's Yours. It already was His, but maybe it was the moment for me of letting go...taking my hands off.
Knowing that I have done all I can do, and will continue to pursue what is needed, but ultimately to let go, to keep my hands off the situation and trust God. 

My prayer is not only for a job, but for the right job. There is some job out there the Lord has just for me, and I don't want to have anything but that.

In the mean time, while I am waiting and anxious to pour into the lives of other people, I am going to be praying for whatever the position is and that the Lord would prepare me for whatever my next step is.

"You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast because they trust in You. Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord, the Lord himself, is the rock eternal." 
Isaiah 26:3-4

Today I Received a Letter...

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

I want to tell you about something I asked for today.
You see, for me something that means more than anything are letters
Hand written words, straight from the heart.
I would take this over just about anything.
It's not something you usually ask for though, because then it kind of loses the power in receiving it and  the feeling that comes knowing someone took the time to write you.

Andrew's Mom and I were having a conversation the other day and she said something that hasn't left my mind since. She challenged me to ask the Lord for a love letter. 
This would be encouragement that no one else could give me and would probably be more than what I even knew I needed.
For the last week or so I have not been able to let this idea leave my head.
But should I ask for this? Seemed somewhat silly in my head. 

Today, I decided when I woke up, that I was going to ask the Lord for a love letter. 

Something to remind me just how much I mean to Him. Something to fill me during this time in my heart where I often find myself feeling somewhat weary and discouraged.

While I still feel there is more to receive, as the Lord so graciously pours himself out when we ask, today I heard song after song on the radio when I was in my car alone of encouraging words. 
I came across this verse today.

I received a text from my grandfather saying I had been on his heart and mind today and that he had covered me in prayer. 
& my Mom sent me a text tonight as I was out on a walk with Andrew that simply said 
"Keep looking up."

None of this may seem big, but each was a simple reminder that God loves me, has blessed me, and that He knows me better than I know myself.

For this season of life, in all of its adjustments and the waiting, I am trying to rest in God's love for me.

Maybe I'll be asking for a new letter each day.

Maybe I was just looking extra hard today and it's shown in some way everyday.

Thank you Lord for writing a love letter just for me.

Being Honest

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

I've been dreading writing this blog.
In fact this might be the 10th time I've sat down to write. Nothing comes out how I want it to, so I delete  what I've written, walk away frustrated, and contemplate just when it will be that I will be able to get it out just right.
I've decided it might not come out right, but the risk in writing may not be for anyone else but me.
Before I begin to share where I'm really at and whats truly been going on in my heart, I want to start by saying how thankful I am.

Thankful for a place to call home
Thankful for the support of my parents and their encouragement. 
Thankful for their patience as I am adjusting and trying to figure out all that's ahead for me.
Thankful that the Lord provided Andrew with a job literally the week we moved home.
Thankful for my friends I've missed that live here in Vero Beach.
Thankful for a loving church family who prays for and supports me.
Thankful for my health.
&& Thankful for the chance to continue with school in the Fall.

I will preface this writing with this. I'm just going to be honest. I am so blessed and have so many things to be thankful for, however, I am also human, I have real emotions, and I just want to be honest about where I'm at. 
Please hear my heart.

I worried myself sick over so many things the previous 6 months leading up to this point. Wasted time I know, however, it was real for me and I walked through it. However, the one thing I didn't ever worry about was getting a job when I moved home.
I'm a nurse. Everyone always says there's jobs for nurses. 
Everyone said it wouldn't be a problem. The thought didn't really cross my mind.
After all, if I can pass the NCLEX, I can get a job, piece of cake right?!

Maybe it's because I always prepare for things before they happen (this is both good and really bad at times) but in this case, having never thought finding a job would be hard, feeling disappointed the past few weeks would be an understatement. 

I have applied at just about every place I know to apply to.
Places here, an hour north, and an hour south.
and still- nothing.
I feel that I heard the word 'no' at least once a day from somewhere.

No one wants new graduates, or the places that do offer programs aren't places I can apply due to my graduate school.
It's the off season. October is said to be when it picks up.

So what do I do until then? What does God have for me? How long is this going to take?
 I just need someone to give me a chance.
I've worked so hard for this and I'm ready to invest myself to be the best I can. 
These are all thoughts that run through my mind everyday right now.

I've even at times found myself being bitter towards people who have doors opening for them, which is so wrong. I have recognized my bad attitude at times, my ungratefulness, and the way I have struggled to say "well so and so told me this would work out."
God, forgive me.

While I trust that God does have a plan for me, being honest means that in my heart I feel discouraged, disappointed, tired, wondering when I'll get my break, and praying that my phone rings with just one 'Yes.

All that to say, putting my trust in anyone but God at this point (or any point for that matter) is a waste of my time.

So what am I doing right now? 

The best I can.
Praying everyday multiple times for God to make His will clear.
Asking for forgiveness when my attitude is wrong.
Praying for patience as I'm playing the waiting game, and reminding myself this is not about my self worth.
Reminding myself that this is only temporary.
Praying that as I wrap this piece of writing up, that somehow God would be in it. 

"The Lord will fight for you, you need only to be still."
Exodus 14:14 
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