Redeemable

crown-of-thorns-golden-crownOk, well I just finished an entire blog post with this exact title and when I inserted this picture it deleted the entire thing. I am going to take that as a sign that it wasn’t supposed to be shared and try not to be sick right now.

So redeemable? You can see the crown of thorns and then the golden crown right text to it in the above picture. What does that mean to you? To me it signifies Jesus bearing our sin, or shame and our humaness, so that we can be redeemed and worthy of being princes and princess in the kingdom of Heaven.

I shared my testimony last Wed night and talked about my own sin. Most of you know my story and if you don’t then I will share it with you at some point but the jist of it is this; teenager has boyfriend for 2 years, said couple has sex, gets pregnant, married and is still living life as a family today. I don’t want to talk about that today, but felt that it was necessary for you to know where I was coming from.  I mostly want to talk about what it is like to wear your sin where everyone can see it and then what God can do in his faithfulness to us, when we are faithful to him.

Dan and I had many choices ahead of us but our first choice whether we knew it or not was to decide Gods role in our lives. We were Christians growing up, Christians while we were dating and still Christians in our married life and current. I read back in my journal from when I found out that I was pregnant and it said that we really wanted to make sure that this baby always knew God and knew his love for her. It had been important from the beginning.

I was a senior in high school for 6 1/2 months of my pregnancy, so I was showing. I was walking around wearing my shame everywhere I went 24/7. Most people that I went to school with knew that I was a Christian. I never had a problem being open about that. Most of my family knew that I had said I would stay pure until I was married. So I was of course a hypocrite. This isn’t the part of my story that I want to share right now, what I want to share is Gods love at work. Gods forgiveness and Gods ability to redeem his children.

I prayed often during this time of my life and I tried to do what I felt God was telling or showing me to do. I had already fallen short of his glory by sleeping with my boyfriend, but now I wanted to live his plan instead of my own. I felt that God was telling me to share my own story. It was ok to be ashamed of my sin, but there was no reason to be ashamed of the child God entrusted to us. I asked permission to share with each of my classes my situation and my teachers all agreed. God allowed me to use myself to protect myself from gossip and whispers and self doubt. God taught me that day that there is a difference between being proud of our sin and owning the responsibility for it. God took Dan and I into places and situations that we never thought we would be in. People were watching us to see what we would do next. God never left our sides. It was hard and scary but when I look back I can see him every step of the way. Every trial he was redeeming us piece by piece. We can’t redeem ourselves, we don’t have the power, but God does.

Some of the family wanted us to go to adoption counseling, even if only to know and understand all of our options. God used this as time for Dan and I to work out our plans, figure out the life that we were going to have and to put a passion for children without a home into my heart. He also made it abundantly clear that this was our baby to have and to raise. This was his plan for our family, his plan was that we all stay together. There were no doubts! How amazing is Gods love? We go to this scary unknown and leave feeling more sure than we did before we ever entered. God is amazing.

There were so many people who doubted. People who were literally betting against us. This wasn’t a deterant for us. This is God giving us the push and the drive that we needed to succeed. Dan stepped up and became the man that he needed to be for our family to survive. God showed me that I was going to have to learn to be more patient, but because we knew we had people watching and waiting for us to fail. We were determined not o allow that to happen. We knew we needed God, his word and his power. We knew that in him, all things were possible. We knew that if we kept him in the center not only would our marriage succeed but it would be full of love, passion and friendship that can only come from Christ himself. God was with us every step of the way.

I struggle still with what our wedding was. This is the one place that I kind of say, ok God where were you in this? Why couldn’t I have what I wanted? Why did I have to sacrifice “my day” to make other people happy or more comfortable? This is a hard topic for me, but the more time passes and the older I get I start to realize that God is still teaching me through our story. I didn’t need a big fancy wedding. That wouldn’t make my marriage better or last longer. As I grow I think that I am starting to see God saying, “look who you have. You have Dan, the one that I chose for you. You have happiness, laughter, love, passion, friendship, you have all things good. I needed you to see that you already had everything you needed. A big wedding wouldn’t have added to any of that but it would have taken away from the things that you needed more at that time.” God was always with us!

There are so many things that I have learned during Dan and I’s journey so far and I want to share of few of them with you: God is always there for you. So many times we think that God turns away from our shame, our sin, our embarrassment, but that isn’t it. It is us that turns away from him because we don’t want him to be there for our shame, sin or embarrassment. We only want him to see the good things and be apart of our successes. God isn’t the church, the church is a gathering of humans that are trying to live more and more like Jesus each day but continually failing. God can redeem us through all of our sins. No one is irredeemable! God always has a way for us to get back on our feet if we allow him to help us get there. Marriage can be a lot of work, but it is also worth every second. Marriages can succeed when Christ is living in the center. My husband loves me unconditionally and I him. God loves both of us more than that, more than we can even begin to fathom. Gods love redeems and restores all.

I didn’t always feel whole or worthy of Gods love. I was afraid, ashamed, sad, sometimes lonely, confused, angry. I was a lot of things negative for awhile. We all go through times that we just feel we let God down. We feel lost and maybe like this time we just went to far. Remember that this isn’t the case. You can’t be too far from Gods love and mercy. We are surrounded by it. Gods love and mercy started way back in Genesis with Adam and Eve and it is never ending. If you feel unredeemable please open your eyes, raise them to the Heavens and ask Jesus for forgiveness and then ask him, what next? Where do I go from here? Which direction do I need to go to get you back to the center? God I’m ready to blossom!

If you believe in God the Father in Heaven and have asked to have a personal life with Jesus Christ then you are a prince or princess of the kingdom. God takes our dirt and then plants flowers in it when we allow him to work in our lives. If God can take my sin and turn it into a beautiful family full of love for each other and love for him, then he can create flowers out of your dirt as well. You are redeemable!

Please pray with me:

Father God you are amazing! There is nothing that you can’t do. We know that we stumble, or fall flat on our faces and that so many times we want to lie there and hide from you instead of let you see us and pick us up, but your love can cover all our mess if we allow it. Thank you for sending Jesus for us, thank you for suffering so much to save us from ourselves. We love you Lord. Please help us to look up, to see you and hear you, to allow you to work in us, to be our gardener. Please help us to know that though our sin is of free will and not your plan for our lives, you are always here, never faltering. We love you God, you are truly everything.

In Jesus name, AMEN!

I Need To Love In My Home The Way I Love Outside My Home

Paul is writing to the church of Corinth about how they are to conduct themselves as believers so that the ministry can not be discredited.

In 2 Corinthians 6:3-10 this is what he has to say,”3 We put no stumbling block in anyone’s path, so that our ministry will not be discredited. 4 Rather, as servants of God we commend ourselves in every way: in great endurance; in troubles, hardships and distresses; 5 in beatings, imprisonments and riots; in hard work, sleepless nights and hunger; 6 in purity, understanding, patience and kindness; in the Holy Spirit and in sincere love; 7 in truthful speech and in the power of God; with weapons of righteousness in the right hand and in the left; 8 through glory and dishonor, bad report and good report; genuine, yet regarded as impostors; 9 known, yet regarded as unknown; dying, and yet we live on; beaten, and yet not killed; 10 sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; poor, yet making many rich; having nothing, and yet possessing everything.”

I am going to pull out verse 6 specifically. You might be wondering why but we are going to get to that soon enough. If you pull out verse 6 it stands to say this, “rather as servants of God we comment ourselves in every way: in purity, understanding, patience and kindness; in the Holy Spirit and in sincere love.”

I want to talk about these virtues for a moment. Let’s start with purity. When I think of purity my first instinct is to think of all things related to sex, sexuality, and other private matters. However I was taught this past week at Bible study that purity pertains to agendas and in this case Paul is simply saying don’t have a hidden agenda in the things that you do.

He says that we are to be understanding. I again learned something new. Understanding doesn’t have to mean letting things slide, or to be able to relate to what someone else did, but a form of understanding is to see “why” someone did or said what they did. If we take the time to figure out why something happened or why something was said then we can start to problem solve and figure out how to appropriately handle the situation.

Patience! Enough said right? No, I’m kidding. Patience in part means to bite our tongues when we want to say something we shouldn’t, not avenging a wrong doing but instead being patient to let the Lord take care of it and as always patience means remaining calm.

Kindness seems easy enough. Don’t hurt others, hold open doors, say please and thank you, help someone in need. Kindness also mean to stop in any given situation and ask yourself, what can I do? Don’t smile and look other way. Actually stop and be the body of Christ and do what he would do.

OK! Now that is done. I wanted to give a slight over view of what we are dealing with here and this is why. I think that I am pretty darn good at these things, at least when I am away from home. I do my best to help others, be patient when I don’t understand what is taking someone so long, I don’t live my life with hidden agendas. Generally I am a nice, caring, Christian woman and most seem to notice that. So here is the question…WHY IS ALL OF THIS SO DIFFICULT AT HOME AND HOW WOULD OUR LIVES BE DIFFERENT IF WE WERE THE SAME WHETHER AT HOME OR AWAY???

Paul isn’t saying to the Corinthians to be a certain way out in the town, in public. He is calling them to a life filled with these virtues. Christ is calling us to live in the same way. If you are a wife, mother, room-mate, whatever the case may be, our home is where we should want to show Christ’s love the most. If I had the same amount of patience with my children and husband that I have with the high school students I volunteer with there would be no yelling to start. If I had the kindness with my family that I have when speaking to other, I would never make my children cry because I sound “mean”. If I never had hidden agendas when trying to get them to do things, they might just be more eager to help out. Mostly, if I were as understanding with them then they wouldn’t say that I didn’t care what they were thinking or feeling. If I were the same inside of my home as I am outside of my home, my home would be more peaceful, full of love, and honestly a very fun home.

Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying that my home is bad, or that I am a horrible mother. I am simply pointing out that my good days would FAR out number the bad if I lived like Paul was telling the Corinthians that we are supposed to.

I have a story that I think makes a great example for this topic.
My husband and I have been married for 15 years. We have an incredible relationship. I am more in love now, than I was at 16 years old. But I have a few major flaws… I am a crier and a yeller. We got into an argument/fight last week about something. It started Saturday afternoon, I was crying and yelling while Dan tried patiently to calm me down(It doesn’t usually work). We were having friends over that night that we hadn’t seen in awhile and so as they were arriving I was wiping tears and informing my husband that we needed to put our happy faces on and deal with this later. So of course that is what we did. We didn’t have to pretend for long. All was forgotten for the evening and we had a great time. We went to bed that night like usual but the next morning it started up again. I was yelling, crying, hitting the wall a couple times, really just have a big fit. It was time to leave for church but I was adamant that I was not going. Well, I volunteer with high school students and so Dan reminded me that I needed to be there for them. I still was not going. I was being as stubborn as a mule and I knew it, but I was just so upset that I didn’t want to go anywhere. Needless to say, we piled into the mini van and headed for church. I was there, but that didn’t mean that I had to go in. So I didn’t. I sat outside on a bench and just sat. Dan ended up coming out to where I was and tried to persuade me to go inside with the students. I wouldn’t have it so he said that we were going to talk and make things right. I thought he was crazy, but I was more worried about crying or making a scene in front of people than anything else, so we talked. It was AMAZING! No yelling, no ugly crying, not pouting, not hitting walls, just simply talking. We both said what we needed to say, understood where the other was coming from, hugged and went our separate ways into youth groups.

WOW! Why couldn’t I just have done that at home? How simple it was to stay calm, cool and collected when I thought others might see me. Why is it that we are ok to act poorly in front of those we love but try to be our best in front of friends or even strangers? Yes I know all the answers like: they already love us, we are comfortable to be ourselves, we have to let our feelings out sometime. These are excuses I tell myself when I am in a mood, but shouldn’t I want my family to have my best? Shouldn’t I want my family to see Jesus in me? Shouldn’t I want them to be the ones that are receiving my love, in all forms?
I never knew that I could talk things out without losing my cool. I was wonderful. I now know that next time Dan and I don’t agree on something, we need to go to a public place to work it out! Hahaha, just kidding. I do know however, that I am capable of being pure, understanding, patient, and kind all while being a little upset too.

This study was eye opening for me as a mother and a wife. It was opening for me as a Christian mother and wife. I encourage you to look inside yourself. Which virtue is it that you may need to work on? Do you act differently in certain places with certain people? If so what can you do to change that? I encourage you to pray for strength and guidance as we navigate a life that is full of sin. I know for myself I am praying for all 4 of these virtues to be elevated in my home life. I know that I can’t do it alone, but at the end of 2 Corinthians 6:6 it says,” in the Holy Spirit and in sincere love”. We as believers are given the gift of the Holy Spirit and sincere love, which only comes from Christ. We are not alone, we don’t have to do it alone. We just need to be conscious of it and pray that God would step in and help us be what we can’t be alone.

My prayer for you is this:
Dear Heavenly Father, I come to you tonight in amazement of your plan. You knew so long ago the words that we would need to hear today. Your plan is that of purity, understanding, patience and kindness. Please send your Holy Spirit to help guide me in these things. I pray that we would be who we are outside of our homes, inside our homes. Please help us to love our families and show them your love through us. I know that you are here, and that you hear me. Thank you for all that you are and all that you do. Amen

My Center

via Daily Prompt: Centercrisiscenter_logo_heartswirl_2_

I want to be the center of her World

I want to know her joys, her struggles, her fears, her angers, her hurts, her loves, and her broken hearts

I don’t want to sit and watch on the outside

I want to be there right along side her

I want to share advice, hold her when she’s sad, laugh when she is being silly

I want to feel like I’m still needed

I know I have to give her space to mess up and make her mistakes

I know she has to hurt and find a way to be ok

It’s too hard, I can’t find a way to let go

We carry these babies for 9 months

we nurture them and help them grow

they learn to walk, to talk, and to throw a ball

they become the center of who we are

they fall down and get hurt, they make bad choices and suffer the consequences

they lose friends and sometimes hate us

then the day comes when they are leaving in cars, staying out way too late

have first dates and fall in love

they get broken hearts and cry for hours

they graduate high school

head off to college

they call home, but not enough

stop by for short visits, home cooked food and the washing machine

then they get married and start a family of their own

when that first new baby is born all it takes is a look between now two mothers

and the understanding that you always want to be in the center is completely understood

 

How do I speak your name?

drugabuse_istock-40744286-sad-guy-against-wall1

Sitting in the darkness with my back against the cold cement wall

head in my hands

knees to my chin

I cry, my sobs as loud as thunder

I’m screaming on the inside hoping that you will notice me,

sit with me.

But you don’t see the scars that wrap around my heart

you don’t tremble with my fear

you don’t recognize the pain in my eyes

or feel the weakness in my knees.

They say that if I call on you

then you will come

If I seek then I will find

If I believe I will be saved, but here I sit again and again

How do I know where you are?

How do I find you when I am alone in the dark?

How do I call your name when I don’t know how to speak it?

Why would you come for me, when I don’t even know who you are?

Yet still I shout from the depth of my soul,

“LORD HELP ME, I DON’T KNOW MY WAY OUT!”

I’m here my child, sitting with you

crying with you, shivering with you, and watching over you

I can’t promise you that all of your heart will be mended by morning

that your fears will disappear

that your tears will release the pain in your eyes

or that you won’t still feel a little weak in the knees

but I do promise

to never leave

to always protect

to love

to comfort

to heal

and to carry you through your darkest times,

together we can mend your heart and make you whole

I can make you new!

I wrote this tonight as I was thinking about all the lost and the lonely. All who are suffering and feel invisible. I know what it’s like to be sitting, sobbing, hopeless and feeling all alone. I know what it’s like to be a Christian and to still feel all these things. Not only do you feel horrible already but then almost a sense of guilt for feeling like God is no where around you but knowing at the same time that He is. Pain can make us think and do crazy things sometimes. Sometimes we feel abandoned by God, like he doesn’t care or can’t hear us, can’t see us. I want to tell you that this is not the case. But at the same time, you are not alone in that feeling. God still loves you, even if you are angry at him. Even if you feel like he forgot about you. He knows what it is like to feel the pain and hurt that the world can cause. He came to Earth as Jesus and experienced this with us.

Call out to him when you are hurting, when you don’t know where he is, yell for him like we yell for our Moms. He hears you, and he is there. Call to him and then be still, be silent, and let him fill your presence with the Holy Spirit. He is our Master protector, healer, provider, comforter and giver of all things new. He loves you more fiercely than we can fathom.

If you aren’t really sure what you think about God, Jesus, Holy Spirit but you are stuck and can’t find a way out then I encourage you to look into your life and really think about how you got here, who you are, what is your purpose, any question about life really. When you don’t know the answer let me tell you that the answer is God. God is how you got here, he is who you are (you are made in his image), your purpose is to seek him, find him and then share his love with others, He is the answer to all things “life”.

Thank you all for reading my words. Thank you for letting me share my heart. I would love to be praying for any and all of my readers so if you have a prayer request leave me a message so that I can pray for you. Don’t journey through your hurt and pain on your own. God sent us Jesus and each other, lets walk this life together!

 

 

God heals broken hearts

It’s inevitable! At some point in the life of all of us, we experience our first broken heart. This is normally caused due to a break up, usually happening some time in our teen years. This however is not always the cause. Heart break can come from losing a loved one of any kind, losing a pet, a best friend, a mentor, a pastor. Heart break comes in multiple forms. 

I was recently asked what the God says about broken hearts and how we should deal with them. So as any normal person would do, I was sent back in time to my first heart break. I was a young teen, I cried for hours, listened to love songs that were definitely not a help, talked to my friends, ate a lot of ice-cream, surrounded myself with things that would make the pain worse and of course kept trying to talk to him and “fix” it. Oh Boy! Let me just say that my experience is exactly what NOT to do. 

I have been reading through verses in my Bible, researching articles on-line and looking through books to see what I could find that may be more helpful than my past. The Bible doesn’t specifically talk about a broken heart from a break-up but it does have a lot to say about broken hearts in general. When God created us to love, he knew with that would also come pain. He isn’t blind to our pain and our hurt. God knows what it means to have a broken heart for his had to be breaking when he was watching his one and only son Jesus suffer a terrible death on the cross.Our God, created of all things including the capacity to love has experienced more heart break than we can possibly image. Not only did he watch jesus die on the cross but he has for thousands of years been rejected time and again by his very own creation. So know that you are not alone in what may feel like your loneliest hours. Psalm 34:18 (Message version) says: If your heart is broken, you’ll find God right there; if you’re kicked in the gut, he’ll help you catch your breath. Isn’t this exactly what a broken heart feels like?  You’ve lost your breath and can’t find it, the pain seems unbearable and you feel alone. Sounds about right to me. How comforting is it to know that God says he will be right there? Other versions use the term, close to you. You are not alone, God is right there, close to you wherever you are! 

We now know that in our time of heart break God is there with us but it is also important to know that he has a plan for you. When we choose to love, to give our love, to share our love, however you want to say it we know there is a chance of getting hurt. The thing is we don’t ever plan for that hurt to come. One of the beautiful things about God’s plan for his creation is that he gave us free will. He didn’t make us to be God following robots who only do what he says, when he says. We were created in his image, to be like him, and to make our own choices. This means we choose who we love and who we share our love with. So let’s make up a scene that many of us have probably lived in real life. I am a female and so I am going to use the name Kaitlin and the term”she” but the word “he” or a boys name can be used interchangeably if needed for you.

Kaitlin was a student at her local high school and had been dating Tim for 6 months now. She was head over heels for this guy. She knew that she loved him, he was her first love. She thought that everything was going great. They had their arguments but who didn’t? Well Tim decided that he and Kaitlin needed to talk. Of course by talk he meant text and so when her phone sang his ring tone she read it as fast as possible, only it wasn’t what she had expected. Tim’s text read like this: “Hey Kate, I’m really sorry but I think we should break up. I really like you but I just don’t feel like we are right for each other. I hope you are ok, Sorry”. Kaitlin is crushed, she’s feeling alone and doesn’t know what to do except cry. We all have been there right? Worst feeling ever!  Then we doubt ourselves and wonder what we could have done differently. Should we have been more open, showed more affection, given him more space? What did we do wrong? This is normal. All these questions and doubts are normal. It’s part of the healing process, we always want to know why.  I wanted to find out what God had to say. Again the Bible doesn’t specifically talk about dating heart break but it did say this in John 3:17  Jesus answered, “You don’t understand now what I’m doing, but it will be clear enough to you later.” I want to directly follow that with Jeremiah 29:11  I know what I’m doing. I have it all planned out—plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for.  Do you see what God is saying? He is saying, child I love you. I know that you are hurting and I know that you don’t understand why this is happening right now but please have comfort in knowing that know what I am doing. I have it all planned out for you. I know what you need and what you don’t need. I also know who you need and who is right for you. Sometimes we love and in that love we grow and we learn more about ourselves, sometimes we learn more about what kind of husband/wife we want and sometimes the pain in the end draws us closer to our Heavenly Father who can bring comfort and heal all things. Psalm 147:3 He heals the heartbroken and bandages their wounds. Trust that he knows what he is doing in your life and that he will heal that broken heart and bring you something better in the end! 

Lastly I want to say this, Yes it hurts and it may hurt for quite sometime, but muster up the courage to forgive and prepare to move on. Forgiving when a broken heart is involved is so hard. In personal experience I would encourage you to simply start praying for the one who broke your heart. Pray that they are happy and that they find love. Pray that God blesses them many times over. If you are a believer than you are one day going to be praising the Lord most high  and this very person may be standing next to you. In Heaven there is no sadness, wouldn’t it be nice to forgive while here on Earth and then rejoice together in the presence of the Lord? This doesn’t mean that you have to be friends, sometimes being friends isn’t the right thing. Forgiveness doesn’t equal friendship, forgiveness is : to stop feeling anger toward (someone who has done something wrong) : to stop blaming (someone) : to stop feeling anger about (something) : to forgive someone for (something wrong). Forgive and move forward, God has a plan for you! I want to end with Romans 5:5. I hope that you will find encouragement in it and peace knowing that there is hope in the Lord in all things.

 Romans 5:5The Message (MSG) 3-5 There’s more to come: We continue to shout our praise even when we’re hemmed in with troubles, because we know how troubles can develop passionate patience in us, and how that patience in turn forges the tempered steel of virtue, keeping us alert for whatever God will do next. In alert expectancy such as this, we’re never left feeling shortchanged. Quite the contrary—we can’t round up enough containers to hold everything God generously pours into our lives through the Holy Spirit! 

 

Praying, feeding, loving

If you follow my blog then you have been reading that God is changing me from the inside out. I want to share another story of what is he allowing me and my kids to do for his kingdom.

I have often tried to feed the homeless person on the corner if I could. You know if I had, time, money and the patience to wait in a drive-threw line. When I was successful at all of these and had a bag of food in my hands, my kids and I would drive by roll down the window and hand out the bag of food. That was about it for the interaction that would take place. I knew that we were supposed to be the hands and feet of Jesus but I was always a little scared to share his voice as well. So I didn’t.

2 weeks ago this changed. I was driving my kids to McDonalds on a Wed. night per our routine and there he was, a man on the corner with his two shopping carts and his dog. I pulled into the adjacent parking lot, turned to my kids and said, “I am going to lock the door, you stay here while I talk to this man and I will be right back.” As I got out of the car and waved the man started to walk towards me and we met half way. He was wearing a ratty old hat and his head was down as we spoke. I asked him if there was anything I could get him. His answer was simple, “prayers would be great”. Of course I told him that I could do that no problem but I would like to get him something tangible if needed. He then proceeding to say that he was hungry and would love some food. “A sandwhich from fire house subs please”, were the actual words that he spoke. I informed him that I would be happy to and that I would be back soon.

I got to McDonalds to meet my friend and take in my two kiddos who are 4 and 6. I explained the situation to my friend and asked if she and her daughter would like to go with us to pray for our new acquaintance. She said they had never done anything like it before but would love to join us. I ran to firehouse got a sandwich and a couple water bottles met my friend and the kids, hers included (she is also 6) and we walked to where the man was waiting on the corner. As we were walking the kids took off in a full sprint to run to the man they were so happy to be serving. They ran to him and gave him high fives, shook his hand and proceeded to tell him their names. Amy and I walked and watched in amazement. They had no fear. When we got to where they alll were we gave him his dinner, asked his name, and I prayed God’s mercies over him as we stood in a circle holding hands. This mans name was Richard and he loves kids.

Fast forward to last week, we again were headed to the same McDonalds for our weekly meeting. The kids asked fervently if I would look for Richard and so we did just that. Richard was nowhere to be found but instead there was a younger woman in his place. The kids said, “Mom, go ask that homeless if she is hungry!” So I did just that. She said that she needed a beanie and a new pair of gloves to keep her hands warm, and that dinner would be great. So again, I replayed the motions of the previous week except that JCPenney was my stop this time. I picked up the requested beanie and gloves as well as a cross & heart necklace. We were driving over to drop off her new things when the kids started screaming. “Roll down the windows, roll down the windows! It’s Richard, Richard is here!” I rolled down those windows as fast as I could and they shouted for him as loud as they could. Three kids in unison, “Richard! Hi Richard! We have been looking for you!” and reacted with the happiest, “Hi kids! How was your week?” They filled him in, we gave him some french fries, and Katie went on to tell him that we were going to feed a new homeless. He knew who we were talking about in let us know that her name was Brenda and that she is a great woman.

We got to where Brenda was waiting and got out of the car. Went to her side, and gave her dinner along with her new things. I handed her the necklace saying, “I think every woman deserves to feel beautiful and sometimes jewelry makes me feel beautiful so we wanted you to have this.” She was so appreciative. We again held hands and prayed with Brenda asking God to bless her and make sure she stays warm and fed.

The kids were so happy to have been able to help someone out again. My heart is filled with joy watching them love other people with no fear. My heart ached for the new friends we made, knowing that we may not see them again but the greatest part of the story is the time at home afterwards. We have been doing dinner time devotions, and it so happened that we were talking about being the salt and the light for Christ. Katie told her dad that she, Cal and I were being salt and light by feeding and praying with the homeless people. She continued by saying that she hopes this week ( which will be tonight) that we get to see Richard, Brenda and that God would send us a new homeless to help. My heart is exploding with joy!

I don’t share this so that you all can know the good that we think we are doing, but more so that you can see the difference that is happening in the life of these children and the people that we are reaching. When we allow God to take us out of our comfort zone and into part of the world that we don’t know or understand he changes not only the people we are touching but us as well. I don’t think that I will be able to pass a bag of fast food out the window again, I am going to have to stop, talk to, pray with and comfort the person I am serving. This may be something small and even something that isn’t necessarily helping the homeless get help in the long run (just food). Shelters would be a better place for the food, and other opportunities that exist in that system, but when we get to touch them, and speak into them, and to put a name to the face I believe that they are seeing Jesus in us and I know that I am seeing Jesus in them.

Matthew 25: 40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’

A Purpose and a Plan

I started working in the Junior High ministry at my church 3 years ago because I wanted to be closer to my daughter and get to know her friends. I figured why not  serve at the same time. I loved it. I was thriving, I felt wanted, fun, young, and like I could help them out a bit here and there too. I loved it. I had only hoped to be able to attend on Wed. nights too but without childcare I couldn’t make that happen.

In the mean time, Women’s ministries gets a new pastor and starts a Wed. night study with childcare and so I am in. I couldn’t wait to start, I was so excited. Brianna was our new pastors name and her and I became instant friends. She was amazing to listen to, her insight and biblical background was everything I had always needed to be hearing. She taught with conviction and without fear. She was true to the biblical teachings and was brave enough to cause a room full of women to stir. I stayed and was what I call a student under her and I was growing and changing at rapid speed (or so I felt).

Our junior high pastor had come and let me know that I could utilize the women’s study childcare in order to come and work with the students on Wed. By this time I was hooked on Bible Study, I couldn’t walk away now. I was actually growing, for the first time in a long time I was truly excited about my adult relationship with Christ. So I told him that, and let him know that I still wouldn’t be coming on Wed. nights. I struggled with this decisions for quite sometime but knew that it was right.

So now here we are in the month of January, 2017 and I find out that Brianna is resigning and will no longer serving as our Women’s Pastor. I was crushed. Not for her but selfishly for myself. Little did I know that God was using her absence to push me along in my calling. The week after finding out that she was leaving I was heading to winter camp with our high schoolers. I was nervous and excited. I was afraid that I had been so far out of the loop that I wasn’t going to be much help. Boy was I wrong.

I want to preface by saying that my “word” for this past 8 months or so has been “BRAVE”. I have been trying to figure out what that means and then to put it into action. Christ was calling me to be brave, to step out of my comfort zone and talk to these kids about things that needed to be said. I had a great conversation with my girls and then a few great conversations with a few of the boys. Lives are changing! It was incredible to see their reactions to the love that I was trying to show. I know that some of these kids are viewing things differently, I know that one of them went home and shared with his Mom, and she was so glad that I stepped out and embraced my word that she called and thanked me. These kids are hungry for the truth and the Word. Stemming from a conversation at camp I now have about 15 kids coming over this Saturday to talk about biblical truths and to have their questions answered. They have been texting questions now to our group chat for 2 weeks. Lives are changing and hearts are changing!

I am now committed to the high schoolers on both Sunday mornings and Wednesday nights! I couldn’t be more thrilled and to know that student ministries is where God is calling me is unreal. I wouldn’t be in this place if I hadn’t met Brianna. If I hadn’t learned of my own strength and been taught how to better understand my own beliefs. I am forever grateful that God sent Brianna to my home church for a season. I know that it wasn’t “just” for me but I have to believe that it was partly for me. God knew that I needed a push, some confidence, and a  woman that not only I looked up to, but that in return looked up to me as well. God is good and his plan is all knowing!

I am not sharing this in order to commend myself or get a pat on the back but more so to share that when we step out and do what God is calling us to do, amazing things happen.

Don’t live in fear that is binding but instead spread your wings, smile and fly!

Making Me New (Part Two)

This is one of my favorites from you! Beautiful and inspiring. I am blessed to be able to read your words.

MAKING ME NEW

Last week, my massage therapist got me all ready for the end of my session by reminding me that the neck exercises are best if I am all bundled up like a little burrito.

“Last time I gave you a massage, girl, you escaped! Try to settle in tight.”

“I know, I know! I am sorry! I don’t know what made me break away last time. Haha…”

“Girl you are just breaking out of your cocoon!”

Um. WHAT. Say that again please?

We all know that Jesus uses massage therapists through their mighty spiritual gift of amazingness but did you know that sometimes He speaks through them, too?

I couldn’t stop thinking about what she said…Lord! You are saying something to me, aren’t you??

Then it got weirder and louder because that is just how Jesus likes to speak to me. Maybe because I am one of His weird…

View original post 664 more words

When life feels blah

We all have times when life just feels blah. Even in happiness we have our moments, or days maybe even a month or so of blah. We snap back out of it and find our groove, but what happens when the blahness(yes I made that up) of life just isn’t going away? You feel like it has moved in, not with one or two suitcases but an entire moving truck. How do you get out? What is it that is causing this blah? Unfortunately I don’t have the answer, but lets talk about it anyway. Maybe by me typing and you reading, together we can make some sense out of it all.

Well friends and fellow readers, let me tell you that I wrote that paragraph a couple months ago and just came back to it today. I think in the mean time I found the answer to the problem. Satan…yep I believe that Satan sets in and causes the blah that we feel and then he convinces us that we don’t deserve anything more than sitting in our own rut. So what do we do? We sit, we stew and we don’t find a way out.

This isn’t what God wants for our lives, to be stuck sitting in our own self doubt, pity, anxiety and trepidation. He wants us growing, striving and then helping others to do the same. Obviously a couple of months ago I was sitting in what I thought was the “blahness” of my life. I felt weighed down, not myself, and no motivation for anything really. I was sitting at bible study with my table of women and our pastor was talking about how Satan attacks us, and that his attacks are personal, well planned out and orchestrated by him. He is sly and crafty. He can’t read our minds but he can see and hear our fears and our worries. Then BAM! He attacks those exact weaknesses. It was after this night that I started fighting back. Evil vs. Love and with Gods help we became the victor.

Satan can only have power over what we let him have power over. He can only get into our thoughts when we aren’t prepared to stop him. When you are a believer you have the all the power and protection that Christ has to offer. Use it! Prayer friends, pray. Talk to God, tell him the areas that you need help in. When you  are facing the impossible ask him to pick you up and carry you in the right direction. Gather friends around you to pray with you. Put on your armor. Don’t go into battle unprepared. Fight!

I am learning to fight. I am learning to see who God created me to be and to find joy and achievement in that. I am celebrating the me that I am, my strengths and my weaknesses. Know yourself. Can I say that? I don’t think that we take the time to know who we really are. I don’t mean your favorite color, movie, etc. I mean know yourself like you would want to know someone before you marry them. What is your relationship with Christ like, how strong is it? Do you want it to be better? Where does your biggest earthly joy come from, what is your biggest passion, if you could have whatever occupation you wanted  (not depending on money) what would it be? What is your biggest fear? What is your goal in life? Are you afraid of Satan? Do you believe that the Bible is 100% true? Do you believe that marriage is forever even in abusive situations? What is it that makes you who you are? I discovered that I had to know exactly who I was before I could fight for myself. I had to know exactly what my beliefs are. I had to sit and look at myself through the eyes of the one that created me, at least to the best of my abilities.

After a lot of self discovery, I am able to feel free! Satan has lost his control over who I think I am. I know who I am, and I know who Christ has created me to be and I think I have a pretty good idea of what he put me here for. Part of the reason I am here is all of you. To share with you, to write for you, to hopefully help you know that you aren’t alone and to point you to our Father when you are feeling lost. For that I am extremely thankful and completely honored. Please spend some time figuring out exactly who you are. Not who you want to be or who people think you are, not even who you think you are supposed to be. Just figure out who you are right now and then go from there. I wish you the freedom that I have began to find. Please feel free to share with me who it is that you discover when you are learning. Maybe like me you have already discovered your true self and if that is the case. Yay! Share with me how self discovery changed the way you live. Now go on, have some fun and rediscover YOU!!