today, i...

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

spent the morning sleeping in without an alarm, and was thankful my day was not packed full. I enjoyed a trip to the store, splurged on a pedicure, and made my way to starbucks to journal.

helped my Dad learn how to import a song from his email into itunes, he's becoming quite the Mac user these days, I am proud.

ate lunch by myself and while eating alone seems weird to some people, (I tend to feel bad for those I see eating alone), I enjoy it at times.

felt beyond blessed during my quiet time to think of all God has done in my life the past few years. I've been quite nostalgic the past few days.

got a text from some of my close friends letting me know the exciting news that they are starting the adoption process! How exciting! 

did some planning for the next couple of weeks with school and work. Nothing better than feeling organized.

opened an account and signed up to read devotions daily through 'She reads truth' check it out here. I am excited to begin this journey starting in the book of Galatians. 

blogged for the first time in awhile. it felt great to sit and get my heart out on paper. 

listened over and over to a new CD my good friend is finishing up. this project has been quite a journey, but it is so powerful and I am excited to see how God uses this in coming days! 

shared in conversations with 3 of my closest friends. I am really blessed to have such great girls in my life. 

I am thankful for today. it's been a good one. 

How was your day today?


not sure i even understand how this word would play into my life these days.
and that's the problem.

while I realize I am in a place right now where i wear about 10 different hats, and there are times where life is just plain busy, its life and at times this is just how it has to be, i also realize the danger in over booking my schedule.

Andy Stanley quoted this :
breathing room= the distance between your current pace and your limits, do you have any breathing room?
i loved this quote.
i had to stop and think about it though.

i don't know about you, but andrew and i have been filling our planners with work, class, clinical  and everything else it seems these days. 
a night to sit at home and watch tv hasn't been as much appreciated as it was this past monday night.

i find joy in the days where there is nothing written in my planner even though my to do list is huge.
today is a day i wanted to take just to spend some alone time and get ready for the next few days of school.

in simplifying my life, and thinking about how i can do this,
i have been challenged to look at my heart and figure out where the motives for each of my activities comes from. i'm thankful for my job and for school, for the opportunities to serve at church etc. 
i also know some desires deep within me that i have been feeling but wonder when i would have time to add that into my schedule.

while i don't have any answers to simplifying things right now, i spent some quiet time today asking God  to show me if there is anything i should be cutting from schedule, or any other ways i should be adding things. i prayed that the desires i have would become more clear to me.

im thankful for days like today.
for a chance to get away. 
for the gift of music.
for His word.
for His listening ears.
for a God who cares about every detail of my life. 

life to the fullest

Thursday, January 24, 2013

This has been what seems like the busiest week of my life.
I can't believe it's already Thursday.
I am tired, no doubt about it, but what a great week it has been.

I started my second job with Home Health this week and I enjoyed it so much.
40 hours of work plus school this week has left my to-do list unmarked and not many things checked off until today. 
When your a type A personality, this can drive you absolutely crazy!

On top of the business with school and work, we had special services this week for the past 4 nights.
We had an incredible speaker, Susie Shellenberger.
I can honestly say going into this week I wasn't thrilled to have something every night but God showed up in an incredible way each night and how refreshing it was!

I was challenged this week.
To exam my own heart and life.

I've been thinking a lot since the services about something she challenged us to think about this week.
Am I living in the fullness of God everyday?
Am I settling for good or better when He is offering His best?

"I have come, so that you may have life,  and have it to the fullest."
John 10:10 

I wish I could take you back to Tuesday night and let you hear exactly how she presented the message.

This week I realized some different things about myself.
I was unsure if my answer was a yes.
Not a good thing, but I am thankful for the awareness of where I'm at.

But how do I begin to live in the fullness of God?
To experience his fullness REGARDLESS of my circumstances.

Sheer. Obedience.

I think the scariest part of this realization for me this week, is that I'm not completely sure what it all looks like.
I don't like to get into things that I don't know how it looks, what exactly that means for me, and all the details.
Control issues.

So instead of worrying about the details and getting frustrated because of no immediate answer, 
simply saying yes is all I have to do.

God has however placed a few things in my mind that I feel He has laid before me multiple times and I feel that it was confirmed this week that this is something I need to begin to do. 

I'll be real honest.
This week the Lord revealed to me my attitude towards some people I think highly of, but showed me the jealousy in my heart towards them and the way He is using them.
But then in a way as He has before showed me that the only person keeping me from being used, 
is me.


I can give you 100 excuses and reasons why I don't do certain things He has pointed out.

Sheer. Obedience.

So no, I'm not sure exactly how it will all pan out. How or if I will be used if I step out and take a risk He is calling me to, but I said yes.

I want His fullness in my life.
Regardless of where I find myself.

I want to confidently answer yes to that question.

I am thankful that in the midst of what seems like extreme business and chaos that God met me this week. His presence was undeniable, indescribable, and there is no other place I would have rather been! 

I am excited about all that God is doing in our church, in the lives of some of my close friends, and it is my prayer that all that was experienced this week will begin to flourish in our daily lives.

an opportunity to intercede

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

In the last several months of my life, there have been a few situations among people I care deeply about that has rocked their worlds.
I'm not talking a bad day here and there.

life changing events.

parents divorcing after 20 + years of marriage.
an unexpected death of a loved one.
a called off engagement.
a failed adoption.

My heart aches terribly for these people in my life. 
I have walked some very hard days with some of my closest friends.
I have listened to the deepest cries and hurts of their hearts.
I hear of their worries and fears of tomorrow. 
Wondering how they will pick up the pieces and keep walking.
asking me when will the hurt go away? 

I feel helpless.
I hurt for and with them but it doesn't change anything about the situation.

Even in the world around us there are heartbreaking stories of things happening to people that don't make sense. 
The innocent children who died in the shooting in Connecticut.
The shooting at the movies in Colorado.
Just to name a few that have happened in recent days.

I find myself asking, why would God let something like this happen?
Where is He?
How do you even make sense of these things in life?
How do you keep going?

I'm not sure I have any answers to the questions I just asked but I feel like I have been challenged.
To trust more.
To really dig deep in my heart and spirit.
To strengthen my faith.
To actually do something worth while.

While there are moments where just being "present" with those in my life who are going through some of the darkest days they have ever faced is the best thing I can do for them in that moment. 

I have been challenged to intercede.
To pray on their behalf.
To approach the throne boldly.
To fill in the gap when life gets back to "normal" and everyone else has moved on and forgotten about the road they are walking each and everyday.

I was challenged once in a service to ask the Lord to bring people to my mind when they need prayer.
He has done just that.

Specifically for these special people in my life, it is my prayer that the Lord will bring them to mind when they are struggling, when they need someone to fight for them, to lift them up, to bring a ray of hope in a desperate moment. 

I don't just want to hurt for these people in my life, I want to do something.

It's my opportunity to intercede.
To come before my Heavenly Father with a heavy heart and pray for God's presence, grace, and peace to fill their lives.

I'm not sure I'll ever understand why things happen the way they do.
I am however confident in a God who is faithful no matter where we find ourselves at in life.
I believe in a God who heals broken hearts and for a God who truly gives us the desires of our heart.
He is our joy and strength during the dark nights.
The journey to wholeness may be long and hard, but I know that My God is faithful to complete every work He has started.
Even when you can't make sense of anything going on.

The bible says this
"God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth gives way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea."
Psalm 46:1-3

It is my prayer that I will become stronger in my faith and more consumed with the word to help encourage those in my life who are going through some of the darkest days of their life.
It is my prayer that my faith will  go stronger so that  if/when I am faced with the dark nights of my life, I will hold fast and true to the promises of God, regardless of how I feel.
To remember that I worship God not because of my circumstances but because of who He is.

I feel blessed with the opportunity to intercede on behalf of some amazing people in my life.

If you are reading this, I challenge you to ask the Lord to bring those to mind that need prayer.
I'd ask that you would intercede with me for some dear friends of mine.
I'd also be honored to intercede for you or someone you are praying for, so please let me know I can pray.

The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who 

are crushed in spirit. 

Psalm 34:18

all a part of the process

Thursday, January 3, 2013

I feel unusually blessed tonight.
Nothing special has happened today.
The last few days as the New Year has taken over, I have been thinking back on the past year and thinking about my "New Years Resolutions."
I love the chance to get organized and have a fresh start, but I'm not one to create some huge goal that I will probably not follow through on even a week later.

I tend to gain my confidence and assurance in looking back in the past to see where I've come from.
I could go on and on about how Faithful God has been to me in the past year.

Today I found myself spending some quiet time and really digging into the depths of my heart thinking back on not only the past year but the past few years. I know I have written so much about it, but even thinking about a few snap shots of the past few years all I can see is God's grace.

In the midst of the some of the most unknown moments of my life, where fear literally physically controlled me, God was there. 
He has been constant.
And not for a moment has He forsaken me.

So in 2013 I have something that may be considered a goal. 
I see it as more of a challenge for myself.
I'm not even sure practically how this will be accomplished.
It involves my biggest struggle and also my deepest desires.

I've been asking the Lord what I should be doing different.
In more ways than one I feel like it has been revealed to me.
It's called the Process.

As a planner, I find it hard to not make plans, or checklists, and to go with the flow.
Nothing feels more insecure to me than this.
It's hard for me to understand people who don't make plans for anything.
In being one step ahead all the time, I miss the moment.
This is one of my biggest struggles.
Living in the moment is not something I do often.
I'm not even sure I know how.
I've been recognizing this flaw in myself for some time now. 
I realize the battle it has placed in my life spiritually, as I fight and wrestle with the Lord over the unknowns in my life.

So back to the process.

I want to learn to live in the moment.
To take each day as it comes.
To enjoy and live for the day I am in, recognizing that each and everything that is happening is all a part of the process.  
Instead of only seeing the end goal, or checking something off the list, I want to let the process of life and what God has for me, change me, mold me, and refine my heart.
But this is hard because it involves the deepest desires of my heart.
In recent days, I have struggled to surrender these to the Lord realizing that until I place them in His hands and let it be in His timing, I will be miserable in my own heart. 
I know I have missed out on the joy of some things that have happened in my life because I was so focused on the "end" whatever that looks like for me, that I completely missed everything that happened on the journey to get there.

At 24 years old, I can say my life is not anywhere near what I thought it would look like.
Some days it bothers me that I am not more on my own, with my own life and family, and in a different place than I am now, but once again, God has been showing me He has different plans for me.

While it all isn't what I would have planned,  daily I am finding more of what God has for me. I feel so incredibly blessed with the chance to be working on my Masters and for the responsibility that I will be entrusted with in caring for people someday in the near future. In making some of my own choices outside of God's will for my life, I realize some of the consequences I paid for that in timing, but once again, God's grace was more than sufficient, and I find myself today happier than I've ever been, with more than I could ask for. I am at a place in my life right now where I am being invested in by others that have truly helped me during this hard transition time, but I also have had a chance to invest in children's lives. I never would have thought I would be doing this right now, but I have gained so much more than I've given. 

I am so thankful that God is constant.
That He is consistent.
That He never changes.
That He will be there tomorrow like He was today.
I am realizing the importance of truly living like I know these things as I often try to find these qualities in people in my life and its an expectation that can't always be met as we are human and have our flaws.

I've begun to journal my prayers again, something I was encouraged to do when I was in middle and high school by my sweet friend and mentor Melanie.
I look forward to reading back over my writings in this coming year to see just how God is working in my life.

I know I won't master living in the moment, and enjoying the process right away, but it is my prayer that in this coming year, that I would be exactly where God has me each day.
That the desires of my heart would not overwhelm my mind to a point of obsession to where I miss out on the blessings I have right in front of me.

If you are reading this, I'd ask you to pray for me in this coming year .

I truly believe prayer changes us and this is another part of my life I want to grow in during this year.

I'd be honored to pray for you as well.
 So please tell me, How can I pray for you in this coming year?

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