Saturday, June 11, 2016

Taking Steps

My son is 10 months old now, and he is crawling and starting to get really good at taking big, wide steps when we are holding him up and walking with him. Let's face it- pretty soon he is going to be walking and running everywhere and my life is going to get a whole lot busier!!!

This stage of his development reminds me of Proverbs 16:9 that says, "The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps." (ESV)  

I tend to box my life and dreams in the way in which I plan it in my heart. I get disheartened when things don't turn out the way I planned them out in my mind. But God has a plan and He is the one who establishes my steps.

It can be so frustrating because we want fast results. But when you think about it, how amazing is it that we don’t have as much pressure about our life and our decisions because we know that God’s hand is in our every step? Ultimately He is the one who establishes our steps. Like a Father helping his child learn to walk, if we fall or our tentative plans leads us in the wrong direction, He will be faithful to establish our steps in the direction that is the absolute best for us. How amazing is that?!!! 

It’s so comforting to know that I can make plans and dream- it’s important to take steps and pursue our dreams- and yet, ultimately, God will always be the one to open or close doors in our lives according to His will and what is best for us. 

I love that I have a God who knows me and is so deeply and intimately connected to my life and what is best for me. Just as a small child has such a joy and trust as long as they are with their parents, I can be filled so much joy and trust that God has my back and that the life that the Lord allows to unfold will be good! He has our best interests at heart and will ultimately be able to use any and all of our life circumstances to bring more honor to His name.


Life isn’t easy. It isn’t easy to wait on His timing to see how and when He will establish our steps, but we can trust and take joy in our lives as we do our best to continue making plans and pursuing our dreams!!! Be filled with hope that He has a plan and that he will be sure to establish steps in your life that will ultimately lead to a more fulfillment and joy! Keep on making plans, but remember to rest and take joy in the fact that the Lord will establish those plans for your good and in the way that brings honor to His name!!! 

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

How Do I Get My Joy Back?







One of the best things about kids is how well they live in the moment. When they are excited about something, they have a hard time waiting for it to happen, but you better believe that when it comes time for the exciting event to happen that they are going to celebrate it fully. Christmas is so fun with kids because they rejoice in the presents that they get and they rejoice in the other small things about Christmas so well. They dream and think about their birthday for months and months before it really happens. 

As adults, I feel like we can get stuck in looking towards the long-term and all of the obligations and we can forget to rejoice and celebrate the exciting and wonderful moments of life, especially the small moments. Kids get excited about getting to play with new play dough or having a snack that they really like. There are so many small things to rejoice in! 

In the Bible it has this verse that says, "Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful." -Colossians 3:15 

I just feel like this verse is such a great one. I can get so caught up in everything going on in my life that I forget that the God of peace is really in charge of my life and my heart. 

Peace comes when we give up our control. We're really not in control of most of the things that we worry about anyways so why not relax a little bit and pry our fingers off the things that we're trying to hold on to so tightly? God's hands are a safe and capable resting place for the worries of our lives. 

Going back to the verse...it's interesting how it ends with..."And be thankful." When we are able to hand over our worries we will have God's peace. And through His peace, we will be able to focus on what we are thankful for instead of focusing on only ourselves and our struggles. 

God has given us so much and on top of it all, He wants to give us His peace and take our burdens for us. It's funny that we would every worry about things at all when He is in control of the universe. Yet we think He can't handle our lives? That's so silly! 

As for me, I want to hand things over right away to Jesus so my life can be an example of the peace that He brings to us. And the words that come from my life can be filled with speaking out all of the blessings that He has given me and all of the things that I have to be thankful for. 

How do you get your joy back? It's about surrender and then peace, joy and thankfulness will follow! 



Thursday, September 2, 2010

Definitions


While I think definitions are largely overused in the writing world, I am nonetheless about to share an interesting little exercise that I did today as I was sick and bored of feeling sick so this is what transpired. I bolded the words that connected in my head in case you can't understand my thought process...which would be understandable since it can be quite random and a being of its own;)...


It all started with my question of how the word “idol” is defined…

Idol: any person or thing regarded with blind admiration, adoration or devotion

Devotion: profound dedication; consecration

Consecration: dedication to the service and worship of a deity

Deity: God; Supreme Being

GOD:
1.
the one Supreme Being, the creator and ruler of the universe.
2. the Supreme Being considered with reference to a particular attribute: the God of Islam.
3.
( lowercase ) one of several deities, esp. a male deity, presiding over some portion of worldly affairs.
4.
( often lowercase ) a supreme being according to some particular conception: the god of mercy.
5.
Christian Science . the Supreme Being, understood as Life,Truth, love, Mind, Soul, Spirit, Principle.
6.
( lowercase ) an image of a deity; an idol.
7.
( lowercase ) any deified person or object.
8.
( often lowercase ) Gods, Theater .
a.
the upper balcony in a theater.
b.
the spectators in this part of the balcony.



Funny how my road to curiosity can lead down a path to God and yet God is defined in so many different ways. My curiosity led me toward one more definition…


Jesus Christ: Also called: Jesus of Nazareth ?4 bc --?29 ad ,founder of Christianity, born in Bethlehem and brought up in Nazareth as a Jew. He is believed by Christians to be the Son of God and to have been miraculously conceived by the Virgin Mary, wife of Joseph. With 12 disciples, he undertook two missionary journeys through Galilee, performing miracles, teaching, and proclaiming the coming of the Kingdom of God. His revolutionary Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5--8), which preaches love, humility, and charity, the essence of his teaching, aroused the hostility of the Pharisees. After the Last Supper with his disciples, he was betrayed by Judas and crucified. He is believed by Christians to have risen from his tomb after three days, appeared to his disciples several times, and ascended to Heaven after 40 days.


My last thought was how interesting it was that a dictionary that is so vague and broad when defining God and yet is so specific when it comes to describing Jesus and what He is all about.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Life is a journey...



Psalm 32: 8-11

I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go;

I will counsel you and watch over you…

the Lord’s unfailing love surrounds the man who trusts in him.

Rejoice in the Lord and be glad, you righteous;

sing, all you who are upright in heart.




These verses are so amazing and I feel that God showed me them very specifically. Here are my thoughts…

1) God will instruct me which means I don’t have to figure it out on my own. Sometimes I feel so lost and wandering and get discouraged that I don’t know the exact next step. The truth is, however, that God will show us and teach us what he needs to in order to bring us to the places he has for us. It’s a journey. It’s ok if it takes time, as journeys normally do.

Along this line, I don’t have to freak out so much over the process of walking through the journey. Right now I’m like a neurotic passenger on an airplane. I have to fly to get to the destination. I’m already on the plane so I might as well sit back and enjoy the flight instead of dwelling on how much I hate being on the plane and how long it’s taking. That’s exactly what I’m doing in life. I get freaked out about the process of finding a profession and a calling. Instead of sitting back, relaxing, and giving myself time to seek God and try different jobs, I freak out and expect myself to have it all figure out right now.

Luckily I’m still young and it’s not like I’m slacking off and doing nothing with my life so I can chill and continue to do my part and trust that God will teach me and show me the next step, especially as I continue to be faithful with what I have now and focus on the blessings instead of being discontent with what I want and don’t have.

2) God’s unfailing love surrounds me and will be easier for me to see as I continue to rest and trust in him more and more. When I’m tense and discontent all the time-like that nervous passenger I described- I’m focused on myself and am not focusing on the Lord or trusting him. Instead of focusing on making more of myself right now with my career and ministry, I can trust the Lord to guide me and teach me through the process of the journey.

3) Since life is a journey often full of times of frustration, loneliness, disappointments, etc, I can focus on the negative and discontent or I can rejoice in the Lord, his promises and the eternity with him that I have to look forward to. I have so many things to be thankful for and so many exciting things ahead of me. Positive people can have such a strong influence in a dark world. I can be negative and selfish like many people or I can live in joy, thankfulness and rejoice and sing that I have the love of Jesus. That’s all I ever need and yet he blesses me with even more than that! He is so good!

Life is a journey...


Psalm 32: 8-11

I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go;

I will counsel you and watch over you…

the Lord’s unfailing love surrounds the man who trusts in him.

Rejoice in the Lord and be glad, you righteous;

sing, all you who are upright in heart.

These verses are so amazing and I feel that God showed me them very specifically. Here are my thoughts…

1) God will instruct me which means I don’t have to figure it out on my own. Sometimes I feel so lost and wandering and get discouraged that I don’t know the exact next step. The truth is, however, that God will show us and teach us what he needs to in order to bring us to the places he has for us. It’s a journey. It’s ok if it takes time, as journeys normally do.

Along this line, I don’t have to freak out so much over the process of walking through the journey. Right now I’m like a neurotic passenger on an airplane. I have to fly to get to the destination. I’m already on the plane so I might as well sit back and enjoy the flight instead of dwelling on how much I hate being on the plane and how long it’s taking. That’s exactly what I’m doing in life. I get freaked out about the process of finding a profession and a calling. Instead of sitting back, relaxing, and giving myself time to seek God and try different jobs, I freak out and expect myself to have it all figure out right now.

Luckily I’m still young and it’s not like I’m slacking off and doing nothing with my life so I can chill and continue to do my part and trust that God will teach me and show me the next step, especially as I continue to be faithful with what I have now and focus on the blessings instead of being discontent with what I want and don’t have.

2) God’s unfailing love surrounds me and will be easier for me to see as I continue to rest and trust in him more and more. When I’m tense and discontent all the time-like that nervous passenger I described- I’m focused on myself and am not focusing on the Lord or trusting him. Instead of focusing on making more of myself right now with my career and ministry, I can trust the Lord to guide me and teach me through the process of the journey.

3) Since life is a journey often full of times of frustration, loneliness, disappointments, etc, I can focus on the negative and discontent or I can rejoice in the Lord, his promises and the eternity with him that I have to look forward to. I have so many things to be thankful for and so many exciting things ahead of me. Positive people can have such a strong influence in a dark world. I can be negative and selfish like many people or I can live in joy, thankfulness and rejoice and sing that I have the love of Jesus. That’s all I ever need and yet he blesses me with even more than that! He is so good!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

"The Race"

I'm just walking, walking
Onwards in this race.
Nothing to hold me back
Except me and my uncertainty
Of exactly what I'm racing towards.
Where is the finish line and how will I know it?

Softly I receive my answer.
All this time racing towards the same thing,
Of course with stops and diversions along the way.
Always pulled back into the very same race
Sometimes besides familiar faces, other times alone
And yet strangely never alone.

Strength from outside myself
Spurring me onward
When I want to quit.
Drawn like that moth to the flame always discussed
And yet not to death but to life.
Running that race like I'd never run before
Heart beating to an exotic, familiar beat.

Exotic to what I'd known,
Familiar to my heart and its longings.
In the pain living beyond myself
A race no longer about me.
Hope in running this race
About much more than me.

A certain destination
Although the path unfamiliar to me.
Realizing my doubts meant nothing.
Putting one foot in front of the other
Propelling me towards the finish line.
Forgetting about winning
Focusing on racing well in the now.
Until that line is crossed one day
In faith I will run on.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

A Little Thing Called Freedom

Let’s just say that life since I graduated from college has been an interesting road. I’m just now realizing how many ideals and expectations I brought into that day that I finally got to move the tassel from one side to the other and shake the hands of distinguished professors and take photo after photo with smiling relatives.

In seven short months I managed to check one career path off the list and then move back home to pursue the indistinct future that I will admit still is a little bit fuzzy. The fact that I’m ok admitting that and realizing that it’s ok to uncertain is a small miracle that God has performed in the last year of my life.

Through many different things that have happened in the last year, I have realized that all of the plans that we build for ourselves mean nothing if God isn’t at the heart of all of it. Today while I was reading my Bible I came across this verse and think it’s really amazing…as God’s Word does generally tend to be!

“For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God.” –Romans 8:20-21

Hopefully you can see it too, but this verse basically sums up the main things that I have been struggling with over the last year. Here I had all of these hopes and dreams and expectations but those things were never meant to fulfill me. Although God gives us so many great things in life and wonderful people to enjoy them with, He is the one who is ultimately meant to fulfill us. Like it says in the verse, God uses our frustration to point out our desperate need for Him.

Although I’ve heard this concept so many times, I’m just starting to realize how true it is. The amazing thing is that He doesn’t leave us abandoned and depressed with the knowledge that life will never be exactly what we want it to be, but draws us to Himself so He can teach us how to run away from the things that decay and toward Him into a life of freedom as His child! Isn’t it crazy when you read that that we can ever be hopeless when there is so much life and hope that Jesus intends for us to have? Amazing!

Another snippet that I noticed is this verse:

“But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what he already has? But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.” –Romans 8:24b-25

What I took from this part is the fact that we can and should hope for the future, but what we often forget is that we need to wait patiently. I can’t say that I’m excited about the fact that right now I am hoping and waiting for my dreams and passions to become a reality someday, but in light of eternity the waiting is like the blink of an eye. When I am worshiping God in heaven am I really going to look back and think about how unfortunate this waiting time has been…particularly since He is teaching me so much through it??? Probably not.

In light of eternity, what matters is that I’m following God and obeying Him. He has put each of us here for a reason. I’m unsure of exactly what my calling is, but I can trust that He will show me when He is good and ready! I can waste my life away or I can honor Him through it all. As for me, I will serve the Lord right now!