Thursday, April 30, 2015

There's Always a Song

I am so thankful that there is always a song out there by an artist who can express exactly how we feel during a given time. Sometimes we feel these things on a daily basis, for an extended period of time or just for a moment. 

Jeremy Camp's new album, I Will Follow, has a song called "He Knows." God knew that I would need to hear this album, these songs, these words-at this moment in my life. Here are the words that have resonated with me so deeply since I first heard them a few days ago: 

all the bitter weary ways
endless striving day by day
you barely have the strength to pray
in the valley low

how hard your fight has been
how deep the pain within
wounds that no one else has seen
hurts too much to show

all the doubt your standing in between
and all the weight that brings you to your knees 

He knows, He knows
Every hurt and every sting
He has walked the suffering 
He knows, He knows
Let your burdens come undone
Lift your eyes up to the One
Who knows
He knows

we may faint and we may sink
feel the pain and near the brink
but the dark begins to shrink
when you find the One who knows

the chains of doubt that held you in between
one by one starting to break free

every time that you feel forsaken
every time that you feel alone
He is near to the brokenhearted 
every tear
He knows

He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds. ~Psalm 147:3 (HCSB)

Linking with Inspire Me Monday, Monday Musings, and Titus 2 Tuesday

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Wedding Season Begins...

Only 3 days to the Rehearsal Dinner and 4 days until my brother is married! The time has flown by and on Saturday night I will have a sister-in-law and a niece. It all seems surreal. 

Because if I am being really honest I would tell you that I never thought my brother would be getting married before me, that I would once again be a bridesmaid before a bride or that I would once again be single at a special, once-in-a-lifetime celebration! 

Every time I try to throw myself a pity party, the words "He knows" are whispered in my ear. How many times have I written those words in my blog posts? During the lonely moments, the tears streaming down my face moments, the unknown moments that lie ahead-how many times have those words been whispered to me? Every single time-He has proven faithful and spoken His words of truth and love into my stubborn, faithless, self-focused, temporal mind. God never disappoints. God never lets me go even when I walk away, when I get frustrated, when I wonder why I always have to wait, when I scream in my head that everyone else gets what they want (when I know all these things are not true-only Satan's lies and deception.)

Two simple words: He knows. He was human-physically, spiritually, mentally and emotionally. For 33 years He was on this earth-one year longer than me. He gets it. 

Not only does He know, but He wants me to focus solely on Him as my Bridegroom. I am His bride. He is coming back for me. He wants me-even when it seems like no one else does. This picture came across my Facebook feed from International House of Prayer: 

Jesus died for me. He conquered death for me. He wants me to have a fire in my eyes for Him like He has for me. The kind of fire that calls for sacrifice, self-denial and no pity parties. 

Isn't that what this life is all about anyway? It's all about the Gospel-its all about Jesus. Whether single or married, we are called to reflect Jesus and to share the Gospel- He lived for you, He died for you, He was resurrected for you. He wants YOU! He loves you so much that He wants you to spend eternity with Him in heaven. Do you hear Him calling your name? 

Linking with Friendship Friday,  Inspire Me Monday, Monday Musings and Titus 2 Tuesday

Thursday, April 23, 2015

why hello 32!

If you had asked me a year ago where I would be on my 32nd birthday, I would have told you something completely opposite of where I am right now. That what I had planned would not have included a season of singleness (hopefully only a season), living at home and still being asked what year in high school/college I am in. Yes, I know I will appreciate it later in life-but I don't right now. When you are getting undergarments for a dress for your brother's upcoming wedding and the lady asks if this is a prom dress or bridesmaid dress, it is frustrating. Anyway, I digress. 

The heart of man plans his ways, but the LORD establishes his steps. ~Proverbs 16:9

Many are the plans in the mind of a man, 
but it is the purpose of the LORD that will stand. ~Proverbs 19:21

A man's steps are from the LORD; how then can man understand his way? ~Proverbs 20:24

Proverbs- the book of wisdom. These are just a few of the verses that mention how man plans, but the Lord's sovereignty and ways will always be accomplished. I have learned these past few months that I would not want it any other way. God is Sovereign. God is in control. God knows and I can rest in Him alone. He alone satisfies, He alone is faithful, He alone loves me with an everlasting love. 

God is teaching me all about His wisdom and what will truly last for eternity. I thought I knew what I wanted to do in the future. I thought I knew what I wanted in a husband. I thought I knew what I wanted my marriage to look like and be like. However, I had no idea. 

I had no idea that God's view of my future, my husband and my marriage would be far above what I could think or imagine. He has been teaching me that what I thought was wonderfully awesome and the very best is really just a tiny glimpse of what He wants to do in and through me. Lord willing that will include being in ministry with a husband who wants to serve God and do His will as much as I do. 

Instead of focusing on what I don't have right now, this year I want to focus on walking in faith and saying "yes" to God, wherever He may take me and whatever His plan may be. 

Sunday, April 19, 2015

oh perspective...

Perspective changes everything. The way I view things can make all the difference in how I act and react to each situation presented during the day. From standing on mountaintops to walking through the valleys of this life, my perspective defines who I am and affects the decisions (short and long term) that I have to make. 

I have been listening to Alistair Begg's radio program, Truth for Life. The current weekend series is focusing on David and Goliath. I know everyone has heard the story of David and Goliath. I have heard it so many times growing up. So why is Pastor Begg doing a three-part series around it, entitled "It's All About God"? And what could I possibly gain from it? 

The answer: a new perspective. This life can be bumpy, unforgiving, heart-breaking and messy. Each day has its own set of problems. We carry baggage that seems to stick like glue. Life is hard. It is the giant-Goliath- and it would like to swallow us whole. It is so easy to give up, to tell this life-you win and just crumble. That is, if we base our perspective on what is in our line of sight, at our eye-level. 

David didn't understand what the Israelite's had been doing for the last 40 days. He didn't understand what they were so afraid of. In 1 Samuel 17:26b, David asks, "Just who is this uncircumcised Philistine that he should defy the armies of the Living God?" 

David's oldest brother, Eliab, gets angry with him and calls him arrogant. He belittles him and asks him who is watching the sheep and why did he come down here-just to see the battle? Instead of responding to him, David says that he will fight Goliath. Saul tells him that he can't-that he is just a youth, but David defends his position and how he has protected his sheep from lions and bears. In the end, Saul tells David that he may go battle Goliath and tries to give him military clothes and weapons. However, David isn't used to them and leaves them behind. Goliath sees David approaching and begins to make fun of him, cursing him and mocking him. David responds in verse 45, "You come against me with a dagger, spear and sword, but I come against you in the name of Yahweh of Hosts, the God of Israel's armies-you have defied Him. Today the Lord will hand you over to me. Today, I'll strike you down, cut your head off and give the corpses of the Philistine camp to the birds of the sky and the creatures of the earth. Then all the world will know that Israel has a God, and this whole assembly will know that it is not by sword or by spear that the Lord saves, for the battle is the Lord's. He will hand you over to us." 

What perspective David had! It was not all about him. It was not about his size or strength, the armor or weapons he had (or didn't have). It was all about God- David was fighting in the name of Yahweh, the God of Israel's armies, the Living God. David's perspective was that the battle was the Lord's and that He would hand the Philistines over. David was focused on the One who mattered-the One who had brought the Israelites this far and had proven Himself faithful over and over and over again. 

It is not about me. It is not about you. This life is about God. It is about focusing on Him and Him alone. It is about glorifying Him and spreading the Gospel news. When our perspective is on God, when we realize that each day is about Him, that all the decisions we make and the actions and reactions we have in each situation reflect Him, what we thought was once important, the things of this world, will fade away.  

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Hot Mess

Yesterday was rough. I felt like I was drowning. It was as if I was stuck underneath the surface and life was going on above me. I think it all started when I could not stay asleep-which is nothing new- but waking up 5 or 6 times per hour made me start to go a little crazy. 

Weekends are always tough, but I have noticed Saturday and Sunday have become unbearable at times since the weather changed. When the snow started to melt and the sun was shining brighter and the days became longer. You see my ex and I used to do so much outside, especially in the spring and summer. We would even go to the beach in March with our winter coats and walk outside. We liked being active and finding new places to explore. There was always an adventure and I loved every minute of it with him. 

So back to Saturday morning when I got up a lot earlier than normal. The day seemed to drag on and my thoughts were relentless and the tears flowed. I realized my heart was/is still broken. Usually I can call out to God and find peace and comfort in Him, but this day I felt disconnected. I couldn't form any words and I was tired of trying. I immersed myself in pity and oh what a party it was. I felt angry at God-wondering why he had brought him into my life to begin with, why once again I was alone-lonely and longing for what was. I thought- he has moved on, why can't I? However, it hasn't really been that long. In God's timing, my heart will be whole again.

I realized that only because of God-only because He has carried me and sustained me since that awful day- that I have made it this far. He rescued me, gave me His strength, His grace, His peace. It is a relationship though. The give and take go both ways. I have to do my part. The more time I spent with God over the last 4 months, the more time I wanted to spend with Him. The more intimately I got to know my Savior, Jesus Christ, through this Lenten season, the more I fell in love. I sought the Lord and He answered me and delivered me from all my fears (Psalm 34:4) This Psalm could not be more true in my life. But then come the days like yesterday when I am just a hot mess! 

I end each day in the Bible. I find it relaxing and comforting. I am currently reading Deuteronomy and Mark. Even though I felt disconnected from God and like He had abandoned me (which He never does- He is always with me) I felt God through the words of Moses and Mark. I went to sleep hopeful-looking forward to a brand new day. 

I went to church this morning and I found God. I found Him and felt Him through praise and worship, through the preaching of His Word and through my small group. I fixed my eyes on Him and He did not disappoint. He calls to me! He calls for me to trust Him through those hot mess days. He calls me to remember that He is my hope, that He knows my future and that it is for my good and His glory! Praise the Lord! 

Sunday, April 5, 2015


Why am I so depressed?
Why this turmoil within me?
Put your hope in God,
for I will still praise Him
my Savior and my God?
Psalm 42:5, 11 and 43:5

I have been struggling lately. Struggling with loneliness, feelings of rejection, of not being good enough. Struggling with the wait, the wait for answers from God about several things, the silence and the stillness, my lack of faith and trust. My mind wanders and the enemy seizes every weak moment. I think to myself- I cannot do this. I cannot handle this anymore. And the reply back every time is- you are right. You cannot,  but He can. You are too weak, but He is strong. You are going to lose every time, but with Him you can be victorious. 

Today was a rough day. I missed him. My mind would not stop thinking about what I did wrong, why it was so easy for him to move on and why I still miss him and think about him. The enemy attacking. Attacking me on Easter Sunday! Taking my focus off of God and putting it on temporal, earthly, visible things. Taking my focus off of the One who died in my place, because He loved me so much, that I may live life abundantly in Him. I cringe when I think that I allow the enemy to win. 

However, tonight my Bible reading was in Psalms. The plan I am currently using has me reading a few Psalms every Sunday. Tonight it was clear that God was speaking to me. His message- These thoughts and feelings you have are not new! Others have gone before you and had them. They struggled, they stumbled, but they knew the answer just like you know the answer. I am the answer! Put your hope in Me. I am your Savior and your God-even when the waiting hurts. Even when you don't feel me, I am there. I will give you answers in My time. My way is perfect. Trust Me, believe Me, put your hope in Me alone. 

Linking with Titus 2 Tuesday

Wednesday, April 1, 2015


I just finished watching Jessa Duggar's (now Seewald) wedding! It was beautiful and special! What I loved most about Ben and Jessa's wedding was that God was honored and that their faith and relationship with God, as individuals and as a couple, was front and center. As the divorce rate increases and families break apart, this couple was covered in prayer before, during and after their special day. I am sure they will be covered in prayer the rest of their lives. The advice given to them by family members centered on praying together each day, forgiving one another daily, sacrificing for one another and being selfless. I believe these are the things that keep marriages together under the toughest trials and circumstances.

God can take what is broken or has broken and mend it back together. It requires humbling ourselves and admitting our part in what went wrong and asking for forgiveness. I believe this is true in all relationships not just a marriage relationship. It was the example that Christ gave us on the cross. He humbled Himself by coming down from His heavenly throne to become a man. An innocent and pure man without sin. He became sin and laid down, sacrificed His life, for us. He took on God's wrath and died in the most violent and horrible way-crucifixion. He was selfless. He paid a debt we could not pay-in order that we may have life everlasting! 

Throughout Jesus' life on this earth, the gospels show a man of prayer who would find time alone to be with God no matter how early He had to rise in the morning or how late in the evening after the crowds finally departed. He sought God-His Father. He had a relationship with God that required quality time. He spent quality time with His disciples as well-teaching them the way in which they should go and what they would be called to do and go through after He had died. 

That is what I see being lived out through the Duggars and their relationships. They pray, they spend quality time with God and with each other. They mentor, they teach, they forgive and they sacrifice. It is a blessing and encouragement to have these Godly examples and role models on television today.