Friday, October 23, 2015

what a week!

Okay-I really mean "oh these past few weeks-or months!!!!!" This is my tenth year of teaching, but at times I feel like a first year teacher. New grade, new demands, new challenges...the ups and downs, the "I can't believe you just said that to me..." 

Then I remember it's all part of the plan-God's plan. It's what I was praying for. I prayed for God's will in my teaching career, specifically switching grades and that I would trust Him to put me where I was supposed to be. Fast-forward to the end of October and I find myself shocked at what I hear and see daily while at school. Then God whispers-Trust me-My grace is sufficient-My power is made perfect in weakness (2 Cor. 12:9)

You see many days I feel like a failure. That I should have been able to do more, do better or do something that would reach these children. That I should have smiled more and been more of an encouragement to my colleagues. That I should have been more Christ-like. 

Grace and mercy. How thankful I am for grace and mercy from God. That His mercies are new every morning and that He is so faithful (Lam. 3:23). That He is always with me-even in my classroom. Oh how I pray for more of Him! More of God's love, patience and grace that extends through me to each and every child. For His joy to be my joy that radiates to each person I encounter-colleagues, students and parents. He must increase, I must decrease (John 3:30)

God has blessed me so much this year! He has put my heart back together and drawn me closer to Him, given me a greater desire and love for Him alone and a peace that truly does pass all understanding. And that was through a break-up that had me thinking life was over. 

How wrong I was! It was just the beginning!!

Consider it a great joy, my brothers, whenever you experience various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. But endurance must do its complete work, so that you may be mature and complete, lacking nothing. ~James 1:2-4

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Diving In

It has been awhile since I have written. Actually, way back at the end of August, when I started my crazy journey into the world of third graders. Not only did I step into the world of 8 and 9 year olds, but I also stepped through the doors of another church- a church very different from others I have attended. A church that God had been building the desire for in my heart over the last 10 months. All I had to do was step out in faith. For me that was a big "all." I can be shy. I can be quiet. I can get very nervous, fearful of change and new situations. I can slip in and out of places without people noticing me. I'm that girl...

However, what God has been showing me over this past year is that with Him I only need to do three things- trust Him, have faith that He is sovereign and no plans of His can be thwarted and to obey. The big 3! With God by my side, with my eyes on Him, with daily Bible reading and prayer, they are not difficult. It gets difficult when I take my eyes off of Him, when I don't remember He is always with me, when I don't read the Bible and pray. 

In other words, when I focus on me and think its all about me, life gets hard. Life hurts enough, but without God it would be impossible. So back to stepping out in faith. God wants all of us, not just bits and pieces here and there. He wants the whole package. I have to daily surrender to God all of me-to use for His good, His glory and the spreading of His gospel. I am His and there is no one else who satisfies and loves me, covers me in grace and mercy and is completely faithful the way He is. No one ever will be. It's just not humanly possible. 

During my time at this church I have felt His call to dive in, to get involved and to be real and vulnerable. Sitting back and slipping in and out each Sunday was not going to work. I had to get out of my comfort zone. God uses all the circumstances of our lives, all the good choices and all the bad choices, they can all be used by Him. But He can't use them or us if we don't invest in others, build up and encourage others and share the good, the bad and the ugly. The Christian life isn't meant to be lived in isolation. It's meant to be a community that supports and loves one another and takes that love to the people outside of the church, showing them God's love in action. He has answered my prayer and led me to this church and these people. He has already blessed me with some beautiful friendships (another answered prayer). He has already given me opportunities to serve (another answered prayer). I'm still waiting for those unanswered prayers, but am rejoicing in the prayers God has answered in a way I could never dream or imagine. So I will continue to wait (not focus on) for His timing, covered in His grace and for His plans that are far greater than mine! 

That's the story of my life the last few months. Crazy third grade (that is a whole other blog post) and a new place to worship, grow and serve Him. Trust Him, have faith, and obey. Dive in! It is completely worth it- God knows exactly what He is doing!

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Abide in Me

My last post was about clinging. Clinging to God is a daily necessity. In the good (that was totally a blessing from you God) moments, in the bad (I really should not have done/said that) moments and for every moment in between I need to constantly cling to God. The word God has impressed upon me these last few days is abide

In the Gospel of John, chapter 15, Jesus talks about abiding in Him. defines the word "abide" as "to remain, to continue, to stay." Here is what Jesus tells us:

Abide in me, and I in you. 
As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, 
neither can you, unless you abide in me. 
I am the vine; you are the branches. 
Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, 
for apart from me you can do nothing. 
John 15:4-5 (italic emphasis mine)

This summer God has given me the gift of time. This gift has allowed me to immerse myself in the Word of God, to listen to sermons and podcasts, to read books that teach me more about God and to spend more time in prayer (which is still a weakness in my life). 

Abiding with God is vital to a fruitful life. Remaining in Him, continuing in Him, staying in Him- whichever word you choose to use is great. Why do we need to abide in Him? Because apart from Him we can do NOTHING. Let me say it again- APART FROM JESUS WE CAN DO NOTHING!!!!! I have learned this truth the hard way and can say from experience that without Jesus life is meaningless and futile. 

Every moment we need to abide in Him. He lives within us. Wherever we go, whatever we do, He is there. He gives us hope, He has walked where we have been, He knows our pain, our suffering. He gave His life for us. He conquered death and the grave. His death means eternal life for those who choose to accept Him. If you want to invite Jesus into your heart and life here are some verses from Romans that tell you how. 

Sunday, August 16, 2015


After a morning of worshiping my awesome God, I found out some news that ripped my healing heart open again. Over the last 9 months, I have seen Psalm 34:18 in action- "The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those crushed in spirit." It has come alive and I have felt the Lord lovingly and tenderly putting the pieces of my heart back together. Today I found out that my ex got married recently. This was one of the reasons we broke up-because he never wanted to get married. But things change I guess. 

Anyway, he really isn't the point. God is. Despite the pain and hurt I feel, I know God is still sovereign. He is still trustworthy and faithful. He is still with me and knows exactly how I feel. I am clinging to Him. C-L-I-N-G-I-N-G to His promises and to Him because He hasn't changed. I know that He has the perfect plan for my life and that everything that He is working out in my life is for my good and His glory. God knows my dreams and desires. He knows my heart. He knows everything. I can hand it over to God in prayer and let it go. I can have true rest in Him. 

However, knowing this and doing this is not always so easy. There have been tears. There have been lies from the enemy whispered in my ear that is was me who wasn't good enough to be chosen as his wife, that I always fall short, that no one wants me. That's where the choice comes in. The choice to believe the lies or to cling to God and trust Him completely. Today I am choosing to trust God and have faith that He has me exactly where He wants me. Is there something ripping you apart today? Are you believing the lies of the enemy? Cling to God and trust Him. He alone will give you rest! 

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

God, Girls and Giggles

I cannot believe it has already been over three weeks since I returned from vacationing in Michigan. I was there for just under a week, but felt like I could stay a lot longer. I didn't go for what I could see there, but for the who I could see there-my college roommate Kelly. 

God brought us together 14 years ago at Cedarville University in a freshman dorm called Printy. We were Unit 17A, Room B! Two very different girls, two very different personalities, one awesomely sovereign God! We roomed together our freshman and sophomore years and I am so blessed that 10 years after graduating from college God still allows us to spend time together despite living 13 hours apart. She is one of my best friends-you know the friend you don't or can't see for years, but can pick up right where you left off as if no time has passed? Yup-she is that kind of friend. 

A friend that I can truly be myself around and I know that she will accept me no matter what. A friend that lets me love on her children and has raised them in a way that they love you back easily. She is a wise friend, someone who I look up to about marriage and children. Just being able to observe the way she and her husband have raised their four beautiful children in God's truths and continue to be His example to them not just in words, but with their actions. I truly admire and respect the love they have for Jesus, for each other, for their children and in their ministry. 

Kel and I can talk for hours and not just about silly or temporal things (which are always great!), but about the things God is teaching us, how our daily decisions revolve around Him and about following God in the future no matter how hard it becomes. I will always treasure this friendship and pray that God continues to bring us together, to build one another up and to be salt and light for Him and His glory! 

Michigan was refreshing for my heart and soul. God knew exactly what I needed! He always does and I am forever grateful that He is in charge. Apart from Him, I can do nothing. He provides everything I need at exactly the time it is needed! 



Linking with Inspire Me Monday, Monday Musing's, Sharing His Beauty, Titus 2 Tuesday and Faith-Filled Friday

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Refuse to Settle

A sweet friend of my mine told me this past week that I could be married. My response- what? She repeated that if I really wanted to be married that I could be married right now. But instead, that I was really waiting for God's best, not lowering my expectations. Like I said, she is so sweet and encouraging. It's true though-I will not lower my expectations and since my last relationship my expectations and my non-negotiables have changed. God has shown me what is vital to a marriage that is built upon Him. God first-always! He will be "our" firm foundation. 

However, I have reached this place after a journey of settling for a guy I knew was not a Christian, who had no desire to be a Christian and lived a very worldly lifestyle. I walked away from God, from the only relationship that will ever satisfy me. Walking away from God meant letting go of everything I had stood for and abandoning my expectations. After 3 long years, I finally reached bottom and cried out to God. I could not live like the world anymore. I was falling apart and nothing would help-nothing and no one except God. 

Seeking forgiveness from God and family, I was covered in His grace and love. His faithful love. His unrelenting love. His forgiveness and grace. Years passed and this blog began. A new, unexpected relationship blossomed and I thought that this is what I had been waiting for. God, however, had different plans. He used that relationship to draw me into a deeper intimacy with Him. A relationship so different from what I was use to. A desire and thirst for Him and Him alone. A satisfaction and contentedness so real I can honestly say with joy and thanksgiving that I am beyond blessed just as I am right now. Through my broken relationship, I found the One who never breaks His promises, who will never walk away and who always satisfies. 

My friend asked me how I felt if this guy I was waiting for didn't come? I looked at her and could confidently say that I would remain single. That God would give me the strength and the grace to live the single life if that was His plan for me. Because His plan for me is far better, far greater and far more beautiful than I could ever imagine. His plan is for my good and His glory! His plan leads to true joy and fulfillment. No guy on this earth can fulfill me. He wasn't made to. Only God can fill that place in each of our hearts that is restless and searching. I have learned so much in these last 10 years since graduating from college. To sum up:

Refuse to settle. Don't believe the lies of this world. 
Trust God. Walk in faith. No matter what!

And there is always this to consider ;)