Monday, December 27, 2010

Post Christmas

For those who are wondering, I had a nice Christmas.  I stayed in Midland and thanks to a great family, I had a very enjoyable time.

I had a few days off prior to Christmas which meant lots of time to think. Last year that would have been a bad thing, but this year, it was good.  I had a nice week spending time in the Scriptures and in prayer.  Even though the Lord was showing me some areas of my life that I need to work on, it was wonderful to just focus on Him for a few days.  It is difficult to explain what that time did for me, but all I can really say is that I just feel at peace and I feel like I have a renewed focus on Him.  I just glanced over at something I have on my desk, it says "Only when we have knelt before God, can we stand before men."  That sums up a lot of what I experienced this past week also.

I read Isaiah 58 this morning and although the whole chapter is great, verse 11 stuck out.  I know I have used before, but it is such a good reminder for all of us as we enter the new year.

And the LORD will continually guide you,
and satisfy your desire in scorched places,
and give strength to your bones;
and you will be like a watered garden,
and like a spring of water whose waters do not fail.

I hope you all had a Merry Christmas and may the Lord guide you in 2011!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Awake

It looks like I will be practically pulling an all-nighter. Right now, I don't know that I could fall asleep, although I really want to.  I was able to sleep from about 11:00-1:00, but a coughing fit (ok, probably God) woke me up and it is now 4:15 and I have yet to go back to sleep.  I have had a lot going through my brain.  This happened on Monday night also, but it only lasted for about one and a half hours.  God had other plans for me tonight/this morning.  I will try to put down what He has laid on my heart and the different ways that He seems to want to show it to me.

Tuesday morning I had my Bible study with my friend.  We are going through the Beth Moore study on the Patriarchs.  It has been good.  One of the things that Beth said in her video yesterday was that we have a story to tell.  Those who are followers of Christ have a life of influence.  Throughout Scripture God has placed representatives of Himself and that continues today with those whom He has called to be His children.  He gives us opportunities to make His name great.

I picked up a book again last night that I had begun to read while on my trip to Europe.  The name is "The Cost of Discipleship" by Dietrich Bonhoeffer.  I hadn't read much since then, but again God had a reason for me to pick it up.  He made a point that I never really thought about using Matthew 5:13-16:

"You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt has become tasteless, how will it be made salty again?  It is good for nothing anymore, except to be thrown out and trampled under foot by men.  You are the light of the world.  A city set on a hill cannot be hidden.  Nor do men light a lamp, and put it under the peck-measure, but on the lamp-stand, and it gives light to all who are in the house.  Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven. "

The sentence that stood out to me was, "It is to be noted that Jesus calls not himself but his disciples the salt of the earth, for He entrusts his work on earth to them." He makes pretty much the same point when speaking about the light.  "It says in that passage, 'You are the light', once again, it is not, 'you are to be the light', they are already the light because Christ has called them, they are a light which is seen of men."

This morning I got online and listened to this past Sunday's sermon.  I was unable to attend church due to my annoying cough, I knew it would be too disruptive.  The sermon was on part of the Christmas story and how God used people (Mary and Joseph) for His purposes.  The pastor mentioned lots more people, in fact he said pick your Biblical character whom God used to accomplish what He wanted.  He also talked about how each of us will probably go through a period of time in our lives where God will throw something into our life to mold us into who He wants us to be.  After the sermon, I picked up my Bible and went to Luke to read the Christmas story.  I began in chapter 1 when God visits Zacharias and tells him about the coming birth of his son John.  After John was born and Zacharias tongue was loosed, he began to praise God and people began to talk about what had happened.  Luke 1:66 jumped off the page.  And all who heard them kept them in mind, saying, "What then will this child turn out to be?" For the hand of the Lord was certainly with him.  

All of these different things have convicted me about how I fail at being a representative, salt, light, and a vessel to be used according to His purpose.  Here is my main reason as to why.  Most of the time I would like for people to forget that I am a widow.  I have continued to write this blog, but if you have read lately, there is little mention of that anymore.  I even recall early on on Facebook, changing my relationship status to single so any "new friends" wouldn't see the widow status and ask questions.  I don't mind talking to the people that already know my story, but quite honestly I don't mention my story much to people I meet now.  However, if someone I meet has also lost a spouse, I have no problems talking with them about how faithful God is.  Other people that find out are usually very much surprised.  When asked if I'm married I answer "no", instead of what I said in the beginning of "I'm a widow."  Don't get me wrong, I personally haven't forgotten but I would rather let everyone else forget.  I have so internalized what God has done in my life that I am certain that I've missed opportunities to share of His faithfulness because I don't want to tell my story.   Much of that is because I don't want to be pitied and part of it is that I feel that if I talk about it and bring it up it would seem that I wasn't moving on and still living in the past.  It is because of my story that I, I hope, have become more like Christ.  That is our goal!  However, if I don't want to be that light, salt, vessel, what good is it?  It is like hiding a light under a peck-measure, where it won't do anything for anyone.  Am I willing to let people see the hand of God in my life?  Will people wonder, how will she turn out, like they did with John?   With God's help, I pray that they do.  I don't know what all this looks like and I don't know what God is preparing me for with showing me this, but I'm fairly certain He has something up His sleeve and I'll find out...........eventually.

It's is 5:45 now and I may try to get an hour or so of sleep before the alarm goes off.  G'night.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Not much

I really feel like complaining in this post but I will try to refrain from doing so.  Most of the reason for the complaints would be because my head is killing me.  I have had/been fighting a cold for the past week and it has mostly settled in my head.  I also feel like I've coughed up both of my lungs this weekend.  I think the only good thing about coughing is that I have worked on my abs in the process. :)  Ok, that is all the complaining about that I will allow.

I cannot believe it is Christmas already!  Mark it on the calendar, I was ready a week beforehand, with all presents bought and only two more to wrap.  This is even with me actually buying gifts and not using my favorite standby, gift cards.  It is also 80 degrees here in Midland, not quite Christmas weather.  I will admit that I like warm weather, but I should at least have to wear a jacket this time of year!  It should be down into the 50s for Christmas but that still isn't that cold when compared to the temps my parents have been experiencing. 

Everything else is going well, thankfully.  Feeling content with where God has me right now and although things are constantly changing in my life I feel very much at peace. 

And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.  And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were afraid. And the angel said unto them, "Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord.  And this shall be a sign unto you; ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger."  And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men."  Luke 2:8-14

That's what Christmas is all about.........

Monday, December 6, 2010

Europe

It is Monday, the first full day back to work after my vacation to Europe.  Yes, that's right, I went to Europe, specifically Austria and Germany.  I had hesitated going (I wasn't sure I wanted to spend the money), but everyone I talked with told me I should go and I am so glad I did.  It was beautiful!!
At the beginning of the this year, I was determined that 2010 would be a good year.  I didn't want to live life the way I always had (working a lot), I wanted to have fun and live life to the fullest.  I had realized that you only live once and I wanted to make the most of it.  I think I have fulfilled what I wanted to do.

Back to Europe.  Here is a list of things that I was able to experience:

* Cruising the Danube River from Vienna, Austria to Nuremberg, Germany.
* Touring the cities of Melk, Linz, Passau, Regensburg, and Nuremberg
* Seeing the countryside between these cities and the beautiful architecture along the way.
* Walking into the many churches and just being amazed. (sadness though when you thought about how the Truth wasn't necessarily being taught.)
* Hearing the world's largest church organ being played.  (Not to be confused with the world's largest organ, which is in a tabernacle in Utah.)
* Hearing a boys choir in a church in Regensburg, Germany.  Their voices were amazing!
* Walking on the same grounds that Adolf Hitler did, seeing places where he gave speeches.
* Being able to see the history that was in all my history books for myself.
* Experiencing a different culture and people watching!

There was so much more but those are the highlights that I can remember right now.

I had a great time and I was able to relax and enjoy time with some great friends! 

Here are a few pictures and I will probably post more later, hopefully:








Friday, November 19, 2010

Election

I don't think there are enough hours this weekend to get everything done that I need to!  So because of that, I am going to take a few minutes to blog.  I know it doesn't fit but I want to put down something that I have had on my mind.

On Wednesday, I had a Bible study with a friend.  We are working through Beth Moore's study on the Patriarchs.  As we were watching the video, Beth said something that made me think.  This past week's lesson was on Jacob/Esau, how Jacob took Esau's birthright and Jacob's encounter with an "angel".  God chose Abraham to be the one that a great nation would come from and of course, it passed through Isaac and Jacob, his descendants.  They were the beginning.  What was interesting to me was the part where God divides the family.  He allowed the brothers to be against each other and He chose one over the other.  In Romans 9:13 the verse states, "As it is written, Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated."  I believe in election, God chose us from the beginning, we are predestined to be His children.  I have taken that to heart personally, but I never really thought about that in terms of the people in the Bible.  This is the question that I thought of.  Could I name one person in the Bible that just happened to turn to God?  If you can think of one, let me know, because I could not.  Some of the people we don't know about, their stories started when God is already a part of their life.  The "characters" that I thought of were some of the "big" ones, Abraham, Moses, Samuel, David, Isaiah, the 12 disciples, and Paul.  All of them were called and chosen by God to do His work.  What really hit me was that I am in the same category as the people that God called in the Bible.  I think of them as people that are amazing and that I couldn't even compare myself to them.  But...He has called me, just like He did them.  My life should reflect the same characteristics that they did.  He had a reason for calling me, He has a purpose for me.  I must follow His leading and bring Him glory.  I have a story just like everyone in the Bible and I am grateful that He called me to be a part of it all!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Stolen

Wow, two posts in less than a day! This one was easy though.  I read the Morning and Evening Devotional by Charles Spurgeon every day (at least most days).  I am stealing this mornings reading to put on my blog.  It hit home for me and I wanted to pass it on: 

"The Lord is my portion, saith my soul." - Lamentations 3:24
It is not "The Lord is partly my portion," nor "The Lord is in my portion"; but he himself makes up the sum total of my soul's inheritance. Within the circumference of that circle lies all that we possess or desire. The Lord is my portion. Not his grace merely, nor his love, nor his covenant, but Jehovah himself. He has chosen us for his portion, and we have chosen him for ours. It is true that the Lord must first choose our inheritance for us, or else we shall never choose it for ourselves; but if we are really called according to the purpose of electing love, we can sing--
"Lov'd of my God for him again
With love intense I burn;
Chosen of him ere time began,
I choose him in return."
The Lord is our all-sufficient portion. God fills himself; and if God is all-sufficient in himself, he must be all- sufficient for us. It is not easy to satisfy man's desires. When he dreams that he is satisfied, anon he wakes to the perception that there is somewhat yet beyond, and straightway the horse-leech in his heart cries, "Give, give." But all that we can wish for is to be found in our divine portion, so that we ask, "Whom have I in heaven but thee? and there is none upon earth that I desire beside thee." Well may we "delight ourselves in the Lord" who makes us to drink of the river of his pleasures. Our faith stretches her wings and mounts like an eagle into the heaven of divine love as to her proper dwelling-place. "The lines have fallen to us in pleasant places; yea, we have a goodly heritage." Let us rejoice in the Lord always; let us show to the world that we are a happy and a blessed people, and thus induce them to exclaim, "We will go with you, for we have heard that God is with you." 
May the Lord be all-sufficient for you today!!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Looking back/Thankful

I little over a week ago I decided to read my blog from beginning to end.  I started with my first post and worked my way to the current one.  Rule #1: don't do that right before going to bed.  Rule #2: have Kleenex handy.  Rule #3: there isn't one, three rules just sounds better. :)

I couldn't help but notice how much difference a year makes.  Last year on November 2nd I wrote that it would have been six months since I married Jared.  This year, I didn't realize that mark until I read it in my blog and that was about a week after the fact.  I read all about last year's holidays/my sister's wedding. (This was the part where I needed to keep the Kleenex handy.)  It was a difficult part to read, but I thought about the upcoming holidays and the pit in my stomach isn't there like it was last year.  I am not dreading those "marked" days in November and December like I was last year. After reading it all, I realized how far I have come.  I can live life.  I can (I've been told this is risky to say) move on.  I have done life for over a year now.  I know I'm not completely healed (will I ever be?), nor will I ever forget Jared, but it was good to read the past, how far God has brought me and the things I have learned about Him.  I was reminded about how faithful God has been to me.  I shutter to think about where I would be without Him in this journey.  I am thankful that He has sustained me and that my faith in Him is even stronger than ever.   I understand more about His sovereignty in everything.  Whatever the LORD pleases, He does, in heaven and in earth, in the seas and in all deeps.  Psalm 135:6.  That verse doesn't say whatever pleases His people, it says whatever pleases Him. I am thankful that I've seen His hand work so vividly in my life.  I said that I wanted Jared's life and death to speak to people, I just wasn't expecting to be one of the ones that got a major talking to! :)  I am thankful that I can say that everything God says about Himself in Scripture is true.  He will never fail us!

This song was sung on Sunday and you should have seen the smile on my face as I sang it.  It is exactly what I was feeling yesterday.  The pain of the past year or so will be nothing compared to joy that we will have in glory!

Would you dare to believe that you still have a reason to sing, cause the pain that you've been feeling, can't compare to the joy that's coming. So hold on, you got to wait for light, press on, and just fight the good fight, cause the pain that you've been feeling, it is just the dark before the morning.
~ Before the Morning, Josh Wilson

As far as life in general, it is good.  I have lots to do in the next week and a half before I go on my next vacation.  I've had a few more things pop up in my life this past week or two.  One that I think will be fine, we'll see, but I'm not worried about it.  The other one I am working through and I am just trying to remind myself that God knows the steps that I need to take and rest in that.  All is going pretty well in this girl's life, at least until the next change!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Thursday afternoons

On Thursday afternoons, I have the privilege of teaching kindergarten boys. Today was the last day of the semester. I have consistently had about 7 boys attend the ASK (after school kids) program and I love them all.  There are couple who are a bit more rambunctious then the others but that is what makes it fun, right?!  For the past two weeks, they've been more wired than ever, and I have barely been able to get through the main points of the Bible story.  I knew that today's lesson (God telling David that Solomon would build the temple) wouldn't hold their interest, so I chose to barely touch on it and then move onto review.  This semester, the lessons were all about David.  When I have asked in the past what they had learned, the usual answer is "about God".  True, but more details, please!  The next answer is usually Goliath, I know, surprise, surprise!   This pattern held true again today.   I felt like I was spinning my wheels with them and was getting a bit frustrated.......that was until we went to large group (singing, object lesson, and mini video skit) .  I don't usually get to sit with my boys in large group because by the time I arrive, large group has already started and they sit in the front.  I don't do the front.  By the way, the schedule got flipped today, usually we have large group first and small group afterward, but today it was vice versa.  I was so impressed with them, they sat still in large group!!!  They participated in song time by doing all the hand motions and they were really quiet when the "Willy" video skit came on.  I came to the conclusion that even if I don't get through the lesson, they are catching some of it in the large group time.  Next semester I will try a few different tactics to get them to sit still in small group. However, I may try to be the person they have fun with and not be one more teacher who makes them sit still......again.  I am going to miss my boys!
 
This is what I learned in the lesson today.  Part of the reading was 1 Chronicles 29:10-13:

10So David blessed the LORD in the sight of all the assembly; and David said, "Blessed are You, O LORD God of Israel our father, forever and ever.  11"Yours, O LORD, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the victory and the majesty, indeed everything that is in the heavens and the earth; Yours is the dominion, O LORD, and You exalt Yourself as head over all.
 12"Both riches and honor come from You, and You rule over all, and in Your hand is power and might; and it lies in Your hand to make great and to strengthen everyone.
 13"Now therefore, our God, we thank You, and praise Your glorious name.

David was a great man of God.  He had been told that he was not going to be the one who built the temple for God.  Here he wanted to do something great for God, and he was shot down.  I would have been disappointed, but he wasn't.  Look at his response, he continued to give Him the glory, honor, and praise that the Lord deserves from all of us, no matter what the response that He gives us when we ask for things.  Sometimes He says yes, sometimes no, and other times, wait.  I hope I have David's response the next time God gives me a response that I don't really care for. :)

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Struggles

This past week has been a struggle for me.  I am finding myself very overwhelmed and just overall exhausted.  I finally got a good nights sleep last night so hopefully I'm working on the exhausted part.  I have so much work to do at my job that I don't really even know where to start. I know that taking a week off to go to New York was what God wanted me to do, but the work piled up while I was gone.

I'm struggling in a different area of my life too.   I thought I had surrendered this struggle to the Lord a while back, but I have been convicted that I really haven't.   I have had to give myself a pep talk and constantly remind myself that God is in control.  There are probably things that He still needs to teach me and I just don't see it.  I sometimes ask myself, "haven't I been refined enough for now?"  I know, how silly of me to even think that. 

Today, the verse that was on my daily calendar was this:

I wait for the LORD, my soul does wait,
And in His word do I hope.
My soul waits for the Lord
More than the watchmen for the morning;
Indeed, more than the watchmen for the morning.
Psalm 130: 5-6

I read this verse in my devo this morning:

For I, the LORD, do not change.  Malachi 3:6

I pray that I faithfully remember to wait because the Lord promises that He knows what is best for me, and His ways are the best....that will never change.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

The City

My week in New York was good.  I was talking with my mom the day after I got back and she asked me if I liked it and would I go back. Yes, I would go back for a visit but there was no way I would ever want to live there.  She asked "why" and the only way that I could describe it is that New York, especially the city itself, is a dark, heavy place.  I couldn't help but look into the faces of people as we walked the city streets.  They were so blank and lonely looking.  Here we are, in the midst of crowds of people, but yet most of them look alone, with no hope in their eyes.  The last day we were in the city, I noticed that as the day turned into night, the busier the streets became. 



I have felt a heaviness since experiencing this trip.  Yes, it was a fun trip, but seeing the emptiness in the people there made an impact on me.  We are called to be a light for Him in this dark world.

Since returning, God has been convicting me about my prayer life.  I will admit that my prayer life is sometimes sporadic and I forget how important it is.  I will most often pray as something comes up, I don't always set aside a specific time to pray in depth.  I don't like it when I get a place that I have no choice but to pray.  That just shows me that God has to use extremes with me, I'm so hard headed.  I have been so frustrated about some things this week and I have had no choice but to turn them over to God, because I have no control over them.  His power is made perfect in my weakness.  He alone can change the hearts of so many people, my own, those around me, and the people in New York.   I need to remember that there is power in calling on the name of the Lord.   I heard this song today that reinforced what the Lord has been showing and teaching me this week. 

On My Knees by Nicole C. Mullen:

There are days, when I feel
The best of me is ready to begin
Then there's days, when I feel
I'm letting go and soaring on the wind
But I've learned in laughter or in pain
How to survive.

I get on my knees!
I get on my knees.
There I am before the Love, that changes me
See I don't know how, but there's power
When I'm on my knees

I can be, in a crowd
Or by myself and almost anywhere
When I feel, there's a need
To talk with God
He is Emmanuel
When I close my eyes,
no darkness there
There's only light!

When I get on my knees
when I get on my knees
There I am before the Love that changes me
See I don't know how, but there's power in the blue skies,
I don't know how, but there's power in the midnight,
I don't know how, but there's power when I'm on my knees.

I get on my knees
I get on my knees
There I am before the Love, that changes me
See I don't know how, but there's power when I'm on my knees.

Friday, October 22, 2010

New York 2


This is going to be a picture update, I am too tired to write a lengthy post about everything that we have done.  Here is brief overview of what we've done.  The captions should explain, I hope!
Getting the building ready for paint!


East Islip (where we passed out flyers promoted the fall festival)
One of the streets we "had" to walk down while flyering (word?)
This morning's train station, we did more passing out bags.
Our leader, with the backdrop of the beautiful fall colors!
More building fixin'.
The church was given a van that needed major cleaning.
Fixing the plumbing and putting in a sink
More van cleaning
See, I really am here.

We were able to go into the actual city of New York this evening.  We will go back tomorrow for some site seeing/touring, but we got a glimpse tonight.  This small town girl is not a huge fan of the crowds I will tell you that much.  I couldn't do the fast paced life everyday, but it is a great experience.  We went to the Blue Man Group show tonight and here are some sites we saw along the way:

From the show, two of the team members with one of the guys. His eyes are a bit piercing don't you think?!
Explanation on building.
Too crowded!
I feel so small amongst all these buildings.
More buildings.
The night life is interesting, I am aware of what life is like out in the world, but I've never really seen it the way I have this trip. Tonight was a bit of an eye opener of how lost this world really is.

I hope you enjoyed the pictures, I will have more to come.   Thanks for all your prayers!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

New York

Well, I am in New York for the week. I am having a great time, a little sleep deprived, but that's ok. We were delayed on the flight from Dallas to Chicago, due to a hydraulic leak, so we didn't get to the church until 1 am, eastern time. We actually got in earlier, but stopped at the Peter Pan Diner for some cheesecake, it was so good!  This is a picture of the church we are helping while we are here.


The women have done lots of cleaning and the guys have done lots of handyman jobs, like plumbing, black topping some of the parking lot, and mounting a T.V. Is it wrong to say I enjoy doing that deep cleaning, the kind that you actually notice when it is done? Well, I do.

Tuesday night we were able to go to Yankee Stadium and see a playoff game between the New York Yankees and the Texas Rangers.  I was going for the Rangers.  I don't really care about the Yankees, but when you are sitting in a section of all blue, white and gray, it is really hard not to get into the game and cheer for the Yankees.  I chose to just be quiet, I wanted to come home in one piece.  One guy showed up in a Boston Celtic sweatshirt and the whole section booed and I think he even left.   I love baseball and to be able to go to a playoff game at Yankee stadium was incredible. 

Bernie Williams (former center fielder) threw out the first pitch.
We are getting work done around here too, I just don't have many pictures of that!  Yesterday afternoon, we filled bags with water bottles and granola bars.  We added a flyer advertising their "Fall Festival".  This festival will take place after we leave and it will be for the community to get together and have food and games, etc.  This morning (5 am) we went to a train station and handed out the bags.  It was cold, but we got rid of all our bags and even though some people said no, I think the ones who did take us up on the offer were grateful.  They always seemed a bit surprised.


Farmingdale station girl group.

Today we are going to pass out just the flyers around the Farmingdale community.  I hope it warms up, but we do have a chance of rain so that could cause some issues.

Sidenote stories. We did eat at this deli downtown on the way to the game.  I don't think I have ever been yelled at by someone who is taking my order.  It wasn't mean yelling, but things like "next!" "roll or bagel" "mayo or mustard", but it is so fast and so loud that it is enough to un-nerve you and you forget what you actually want! Great bagel sandwich though!  Talked to someone in the Bronx for a second and he said, "You aren't from here", I said no, he asked where, I said Texas, and he looked at me and mentioned that I don't sound like it.  I told him I'm actually from the Midwest.  His response, "that's why you talk so slow".  Umm.....thanks....I think.  I love the thick NY accents around here, it takes a second for me to process sometimes, but it is still fun to be around.

Looking forward to next few days and what God has in store.  I pray that we are being a blessing to the people here and that we will accomplish everything that they need us to!  Thank you for praying for us on this mission!

Beth

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Saturday

I had such a nice relaxing morning. I lounged around for a bit this morning, and then sat down and did my Bible study, the Beth Moore one on the Patriarchs. I love sitting down with a cup of coffee, well maybe a couple cups of coffee, and my Bible.

The last lesson was speaking about how much faith Abraham had when he was asked to sacrifice Isaac. He didn't ask the question "why?" he just did it. However, he had the faith to trust in God to that God would do what He said he would do. Genesis 22:5 Abraham said to his young men, "Stay here with the donkey, and I and the lad will go over there; and we will worship and return to you." He didn't hesitate, he said that they both would return. When Abraham was asked by Isaac about a burnt offering, in Genesis 22:8, Abraham responded: "God will provide for Himself the lamb for the burnt offering, my son." This faith carried over to his servants....

This week's lesson was focused on finding a wife for Isaac. Abraham's servant asked God to give him a sign regarding whom He had chosen as a wife for Isaac. Genesis 24:15 says, "Before he finished speaking, behold, Rebekah came, with a jar on her shoulder." Beth Moore had us then go to Isaiah 65:24 "Before they call I will answer; while they are still speaking I will hear." I know I often pray without really thinking about how God has already heard my prayers and how He already knows how they will be answered.

Throughout these two lessons, I was reminded that God does everything that He promises. I so often forget that. Abraham called the mount that Isaac should have sacrificed on, "The LORD Will Provide". He takes care of everything and that's something I need to remember.

I made it through my busy week. I was so tired today that I took a nice little nap. It felt so good! I'm in the midst of packing for my week long mission trip and my room is a mess! I'm trying to only take one suitcase, I don't know if that will happen, I tend to be a "just in case" packer. Anyway, I am excited to see what God has planned for us. This will be my first mission trip ever and I have no idea what to expect. I just pray that God will use me how He wants and that I am open to anything that He sends my way!

Monday, October 11, 2010

I am sitting here watching the Atlanta Braves play. It is the best time of the year, college football and baseball playoffs. If I was still living in Wisconsin, I'm certain I would be peeling apples for applesauce now instead of blogging. The Braves are currently losing, and if they lose this one, they are out. I am not expecting them to win, but it would be nice. It is so relaxing to watch....well, it would be better if we were ahead by a few runs.

I spent this past weekend at home, sick. Although I was sick, it was kinda nice having an excuse to stay at home. I think I needed the rest. Hopefully the rest prepared me for the week ahead. It is going to be a busy one. I am getting ready to go on my first mission trip next week. I'm really excited! I'm going with a great group of people and I can't wait to see what God has planned for us.

Anyway, that's all I have time for tonight, I will hopefully continue on another day this week....Braves are still losing...

Friday, October 1, 2010

Security

We had a great Bible study at church last night. One of our senior pastors came and spoke to our group on the what it means to be a disciple of Christ. He spoke on how we have to Leave All, Die to All, Endure All, Serve All and Receive All. He went through lots of Scripture and it was great to dive into the Word and read a bunch of verses. The reminder of what it takes to be a disciple of Christ is hard to listen to, convicting and left me wondering if I come even close. However, the talk made me think about how we don't have to be a disciple alone. The Lord walks with us through everything that He asks us to do. Being a disciple of Christ is not easy but the eternal rewards are fabulous.

The other thing that has been on my mind, especially today, is security. It kinda goes along with being a disciple because without being His disciple we have no security. I read the following quote today by Elisabeth Elliot:

"Where does your security lie? Is God your refuge, your hiding place, your stronghold, your shepherd, your counselor, your friend, your redeemer, your savior, your guide? If He is, you don't need to search any further for security."

Look at that list, what more do we need?! This also includes are eternal security. If we are His disciples, we have the security in knowing that we will forever be His, we cannot be snatch us out of His hand.

John 10:27-30 "My sheep (disciples) hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me; and I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father's hand. I and the Father are one."

That gives me great comfort. Living in the midst of all that goes on in this world, I know that God will never let me go. Everything may fall apart all around me, but I have the security in knowing that He will take care of me. We often turn to other things for security but as it is with everything else in this world, those other things will pass away. Our only hope is the security we have in Christ.

I have had a strange week. I can't put my finger on it. Maybe it is because I've had to do a lot of digging in the Scriptures regarding some issues that have come up. (I have felt heavy in spirit.) I have done some pity partying, and I know it is just me being selfish and focusing on myself and not what God is calling me to do or be. Last night's talk was helpful because it reminded me that I'm not here on earth for me, but I'm here because God created me to give Him glory in everything I do.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Sovereign

According to the online Webster's Dictionary the definition of the word sovereign is: "one that exercises supreme authority within a limited sphere." Just to clarify, God does not have a limited sphere, He controls everything in the universe. For as long as I can remember, I have been taught that God is sovereign. He is the supreme authority. I can still say that after what I have been through in my life. I even feel more strongly about God's sovereignty because of my "trials".

One of the things that I do when I think about doctrine.....yes, that word again......is follow it through, taking an argument to the end. If God is not sovereign in everything, that would mean something or someone else "exercises supreme authority". So, if that is the case, we or something else, can take over for God. We could also say that something that we did or didn't do could affect what God's will is for our lives. That puts us in charge again. (See previous post)

I believe that God is sovereign. It is a little tricky when you think about it. Why are we here then, are we just robots, what can we do because God is going to do whatever He wants anyway? God knew what was going to happen in each of our lives from the beginning of time. Do you think that He is surprised by anything? No. He doesn't all the sudden go, "I didn't see that coming, I have to change my plans". No, He knows everything. We as humans do make decisions, but God knew what those decisions were before He created anything. He knows every thought that we have. Psalm 139:2 There are no surprises, He allows us make those decisions but really, He knew we were going to make them anyway, so His plan is still what ultimately happens. Like I said in the previous paragraph, if He isn't completely sovereign, the supreme authority, He wouldn't be God.

I can say with completely confidence that God is in charge of everything. He is directing my steps, Proverbs 20:24 A man's steps are directed by the LORD. How then can anyone understand his own way? I don't understand the path He has me going down, but is there anyone else that I would want in charge of my life? Not in a million years.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Soapbox

I have so much going through my brain this past week that I don't know if I can put it all down in a concise way.

First of all, my life is going well. Last week was a little difficult, I had a headache to beat all headaches and I wasn't able to rest much at all. However, if I stop and think about what I have going on, I am really enjoying what I am doing and where God has me. I'm trying my best to run hard after Him and trust Him entirely, believe me, I don't think I am doing a very good job at it, but I'm trying! It makes life so much easier and how I wish that I could remember to do this always!

Ok, here goes!

Speaking of running after Him, this is where I am, I apologize if this doesn't make sense to anyone but me. There are so many things going through my head that if I don't write them down I may not be able sleep tonight!

Doctrine. I know some people do not like doctrine, they just want to believe what the Bible says and stick to that. I understand where they come from, but I am not one of those people. I pick things apart because that is my analytical nature. I find doctrine fascinating and have debated it on many occasions. Well, the subject of doctrine has come up again in my life, and I'm about to get on a soapbox. It is very difficult for me to sit back and listen to or read doctrine that I believe is not Biblical. I heard someone say last week, that God is just waiting for us to choose between good and evil. I was also reading a book that made the comment that God has given us a free will. Yeah, I don't agree at all. Yes, can we make choices, what to eat, what we do everyday, etc., but when it comes to salvation, nope. We are wicked, we would never choose good, there is nothing good in us. Romans 3:10-11 and Psalm 14:1-3. What bugs me the most about people telling me that we can choose God and that He is just waiting for us to come to Him, is that that means we can make decisions for God, that He doesn't necessarily have complete control. They put God in a box, making Him depend on us and our "decision". Great, that puts me in charge, which is not such a good idea. I am so glad that is not the case, it is a scary thought to think that I could be in charge and that my decisions will affect God and His will for my life. Romans 8:29-30 and Ephesians 1:11

Next thing. I have had the story of Lot come up in my life a couple of times in the past week or so. Lot and his family were told not to look back at Sodom and Gomorrah. Lot's wife decided that she would look back, and the Lord turned her into a pillar of salt. (I have often wonder why God chose that method of punishment.....) When I hear things a couple of times I have to ask myself what God is trying to show me. Sunday's sermon was also along the same lines. Pastor talked about pressing on, fixing our eyes on Jesus, using a passage that has become one of my favorites, Hebrews 12:1-2. I am notorious for looking backwards, lots of second guessing goes on in my brain. It is easier for me to look backwards than to look towards the future. The future is very unsettling for me because there may (ok, will) be change in it. I know in my heart that God is in control of my future, but I still sometimes have inward uneasiness when I think about possible changes. I don't know why this bothers me so much, but it does sometimes and today happens to be one of those times. I need to keep my eyes fixed on Him and forget the things that entangle me, including the scariness of looking at the future.

Well, there has been more, but I'm too tired to think about it. Part two sometime this week.....maybe.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Who am I?

I heard this song this morning and it fit well with what I was talking about yesterday.

Who am I?
That the Lord of all the earth,
Would care to know my name,
Would care to feel my hurt.
Who am I?
That the bright and morning star,
Would choose to light the way,
For my ever wandering heart.

Bridge:
Not because of who I am,
But because of what you've done.
Not because of what I've done,
But because of who you are.

Chorus:
I am a flower quickly fading,
Here today and gone tomorrow,
A wave tossed in the ocean,
A vapor in the wind.
Still you hear me when I'm calling,
Lord, you catch me when I'm falling,
And you've told me who I am.
I am yours.
I am yours.

Who am I?
That the eyes that see my sin
Would look on me with love
And watch me rise again.
Who am I?
That the voice that calmed the sea,
Would call out through the rain,
And calm the storm in me.

Whom shall I fear
Whom shall I fear
I am yours..
I am yours..

Anyway........

I was reading in Isaiah 1 this morning and one verse stuck out, v. 3: An ox knows its owner, and a donkey its master's manger, but Israel does not know, My people do not understand.

I looked up a cross reference, Jeremiah 9:3, 6: "They bend their tongue like their bow; lies and not truth prevail in the land; for they proceed from evil to evil, and they do not know Me", declares the Lord.  "Your dwelling is in the midst of deceit; through deceit they refuse to know Me", declares the Lord. 

Also, Isaiah 44:18: They do not know, nor do they understand, for He has smeared over their eyes so that they cannot see and their hearts so that they cannot comprehend.

These verses were written about the children of Israel. God's chosen people.  That last verse is a bit scary.  He was the one that clouded their eyes and closed their hearts.  I was really convicted.  How well do I understand the Lord?  Am I really seeking to know Him more, or do I rest on what I already understand about Him.  I feel like I have grown leaps and bounds this past year, but have I really?   Who can really understand the mind of the Lord? 

I pray that I am constantly remembering to seek Your face, seeking Your will for my life, becoming more like the One who saved me.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Direction?

Thought I'd stop and say hi. 

I am doing well.  At least most of the time.  Had a bit of a pity party this weekend.  Nothing major and not emotional, just grumpy.  I sometimes think about what I had and where I thought my life was headed and then start to feel sorry for myself that I don't have it anymore.  I can be very grouchy.  I then am reminded that God has me where He wants me.  I sometimes feel inadequate to do some of the things that I think He is at least making me think about, if not calling me to do.  I wonder about the direction and path that He may be taking me down and where that will lead eventually.  Questions like Why are some opportunities coming up now, what is the reason, what is He preparing me for?  I sometimes want to just sit and say, no, I'm good where I am, but that is not something I can do when I know that my life is His.   Lately, I have felt very much like Moses, when he says "Who am I?" in Exodus 3.   Not so quick to be like Samuel and Isaiah who say, "Here am I, send me."  That's a scary thought sometimes. 

Well, that is a little about what has been going on in my little brain and where I'm at. 

Otherwise, life is good and He's got this!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Long time

It's been a long time since I posted, and the last one wasn't too uplifting.  I had another post started but never finished it.  My brother commented that I am one of the busiest people he knows,  then he asked why.  I dunno,  I just seem to sign up for anything, and we're having lots of functions at church that I need to attend.  I really am enjoying myself, I'm just tired......a lot.  

There has been a lot going on in my life.  Although I am doing well personally, there has been lots of unrest in my life.  Different things that are going on, that have caused me to lose sleep, and just not feel right in the last couple of weeks.  It is has been better this week, although I'm still not sleeping well.  I have had to go back to some of the things I had to lean on early on.  More specifically the fact that I don't see the bigger picture.  I was reading over a lesson for our 5th-6th graders and this verse was part of the lesson:

2 Kings 6:15-17 Now when the attendant of the man of God had risen early and gone out, behold, an army with horses and chariots was circling the city. And his servant said to him, "Alas, my master! What shall we do? So he answered, "Do not fear, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them."  Then Elisha prayed and said, "O LORD, I pray, open his eyes that he may see " And the LORD opened the servant's eyes and he saw; and behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.

Elisha's servant didn't see all that was going on around them and he began to panic.  So often, my initial reaction is to try to solve problems on my own, of course, after I worry about it for a while.  I have had to keep reminding myself that God is in control and He has not revealed what the bigger picture is for me yet! 

I am looking forward to some new things in my life.  I was given the opportunity to teach kids this fall!  Even though I work in a children's ministry, my job is not very hands on when it comes to the kids.  I was asked to teach CBS (community Bible study) for the ASK (after school kids) this coming school year.  Once a week, I'll have 2nd grade girls, for a couple of hours, teaching them more about the Lord.  I'm excited. 

We are changing some things at church, so I will have a busy fall getting ready for those changes.  I am really looking forward to what God has in store for us here!

I pray that in this next phase of my life, I continue to grow in the Lord, conforming to His image, being all that He has gifted me to be!  I know by saying that I am asking for it, but my life isn't my own.  Take my life and let it be consecrated Lord to Thee!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Service

I knew today would get me.  I had been ok all week, but I was also busy.  I knew seeing a family walk in for the meal would bring back memories.  I tried my best to put any memories out of my head while they were there.  Today, it wasn't about me.  Our job was to help in anyway we could to make the family as comfortable as they could be, under the circumstances.  I think I did ok with that. Then the service began.  Slideshow, service, husband speaking, music played were all so close to what we did a year ago.  I held it together fairly well except for one moment.  I turned around and noticed that the family was about to walk in.  I let my mind go back for a second, that was a long walk.  I lost it for a couple of moments. 

Someone came up to me and said that it must have been a hard day for me.  It was, but not for the reason they thought.  It was difficult to have the memories popping up, but what was harder for me was that I knew what the family was going through and will go through.  Adrenaline kicks in, that may sound strange, but it's true.  You know that you have to get through the initial days of the visitation and funeral services.  People are constantly with you, you have to keep taking that one more step forward.   The hard part is when it is all done and you go home and realize that that is it.  It's final.  That's what I was thinking as I watched the family leave.  The huge letdown that happens and reality that hits.  I hurt for the family.

I pray that they find the strength that only God can give them, the peace that passes all understanding (Phil 4:7), and the knowledge that God has a plan (Jer. 29:11), even when we don't understand.  Even though I don't understand, I do remember that God is in His heaven and does whatever He pleases (Psalm 115:3), He will love no matter what (Psalm 136), He was a man of sorrows, acquainted with grief (Is 53:3),  He will give strength and peace (Psalm 29:11), and in the end, weeping may last for the night, but joy comes in the morning. (Psalm 30:5)  He will restore joy!  (Job 8:21)

By the way, one of the final songs sung at this service, was also one we requested at Jared's service:

It is Well with My Soul by Horatio Spafford

When peace like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.

Refrain:
It is well, with my soul,
It is well, with my soul,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.

Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come,
Let this blest assurance control,
That Christ has regarded my helpless estate,
And hath shed His own blood for my soul.

My sin, oh, the bliss of this glorious thought!
My sin, not in part but the whole,
Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more,
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul!

And Lord, haste the day when my faith shall be sight,
The clouds be rolled back as a scroll;
The trump shall resound, and the Lord shall descend,
Even so, it is well with my soul.

Although it was a tough day, tonight, I can echo those words too, it is well with my soul.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Deja vu

I'm sure you all are sick of the "on this date last year" comments, but sorry, here's another.

Last year, today was the day of Jared's burial, service, etc.  Just to clarify, I'm doing just fine in regards to that.  I know I can't lose it everytime a "special" day comes up.  My mother came up with a good name for it, calendar grief.  One day does not change what is a reality every day! 

The reason why this post is titled "deja vu", is that today is the visitation of a co-worker, tomorrow the service is here at Stonegate.   Hard to grasp that it "happened" again, the same time as last year.  I know what the family is going through, I'm sure not entirely, everyone is different, but it is easier for me to understand where they are, because of my life.  I'm sure that it will be hard to sit through the service tomorrow, but Jesus is same yesterday, today, and tomorrow, which means He will be just as faithful tomorrow as He has been in the past, to me, to her family and to her friends.

Job 2:10 Shall we indeed accept good from God and not accept adversity?

Deuteronomy 32:4  He is the Rock, His works are perfect, and all His ways are just. A faithful God who does no wrong, upright and just is He.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Difficult day

Today was a day like none other I've had lately.  Something happened in my "world" that I didn't see coming.  Nobody did.  For once, it wasn't something that happened personally to me.  I've had a bunch of emotions running through me and I feel very raw.  Sometimes things don't make sense.  I know that God has a plan, believe me, but there are times when I just don't understand. 

I just got off the phone with my brother and he said the same thing.  It's amazing how when I'm thinking on my own I don't remember things that I do when I'm talking with someone else.  My brother was saying that there has been a lot of difficult things in the past year.  The scripture that came to mind while I was talking with him was James 1:2-4,

Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance.  And let endurance have its perfect result, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. 

I'd have to do a study, but I seem to read more in the Bible about encountering trials than I do about how easy the Christian life is!  God warns us over and over that we will have trials, look at the "characters" in the Bible, I don't recall one of them who had a trial-free life!  We expect our lives to be easy, hey, God's in control, but why is it such a struggle for us when we are tested?  Do we suddenly think that God isn't in control anymore?   We can trust Him completely when things don't make sense.  I just read the following verse:

Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal among you, which comes upon you for your testing, as though some strange thing were happening to you; but to the degree that you share the sufferings of Christ, keep on rejoicing; so that also at the revealtion of His glory, you may rejoice with exultation.
1 Peter 4:12-13

God knows, nothing takes Him by surprise, just trust Him.

The will of God is never exactly what you expect it to be. It may seem to be much worse, but in the end it's going to be a lot better and a lot bigger. --Elisabeth Elliot

Saturday, July 17, 2010

July 16, 2010

Much different day this year than it was last year.  This may sound strange to some, but I have been waiting for the year anniversary of Jared's new life.  That's what I'm calling it anyway.  I could say death, but in reality, it was the first day of his new life, his eternal life in glory!  Because of that knowledge, yesterday wasn't bad.  There was only twice that I got teary-eyed, and that's because of things that "outside" people said to me.  It helped that I had a friend over for a quilting party, and had another friend and roommate join us later in the afternoon.  I have such a great supportive friends!

I have come so far in a year.  I remember the night he died, wondering how I would ever how get through it, thinking about how much I had lost.  Although earlier in the day, I remember reminding someone that Jared wasn't mine to lose, he was God's in the first place.  Lots of "nevers" went through my mind that night.  My poor mom had to listen to them all.  Those next few days were hard.  I can still distinctly remember them if I sit and think about them. (I don't like to.)  Part of me still wonders how I spoke at his service.  I know the Lord gave me the strength, but that isn't like me even in a normal situation!  What I said at his service still holds true, people should envy me because I was the only one who had the privileged of being Mrs. Jared Eggemeyer.  I am blessed because God allowed me to have Jared in my life. Back to what I said at the beginning of this paragraph about coming so far.  The Lord has been so faithful.  He says He will, and I am still learning to take Him at His word.  I'm hard-headed.  They say there are stages that people go through when it comes to grief.   Denial, anger, bargaining, depression,  acceptance, just so you know, I had to look them up!  Thankfully, the Lord showed me to accept right off the bat.  I didn't have to go through those other ones.  I never had to ask God why, get depressed, yell my head off, I've been taught God's sovereignty for a long time.  I didn't have to question it.  Don't get me wrong, I'm not perfect, I've had my moments of pity parties, major crying episodes, frustrations, heartache, and just plain missing Jared, but God has been my strength.  Even in those kind of moments I wouldn't wish Jared back.  Some of those reasons are because I wouldn't want Jared to come back and suffer on this earth, other reasons are because I have been able see God work in amazing ways, and lastly because of the things I have learned through it all.  It isn't easy, but worth it.  I've experienced firsthand the verse from Isaiah 54:4:
For your Maker is your husband— the LORD Almighty is his name— the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer; He is called the God of all the earth.  Pretty amazing!

Back to the beginning, why was I waiting for this day? For some reason I feel that now I can get on with my life without being judged.  I don't know why I think that, because I've been living life anyway!  Hopefully I've lost the "widow" status.  I know that is what I still am, but it doesn't define me like I feel it did a year ago.  I'm sure my thinking is off, like it normally is, and who know how I think of these things! I hope no one takes this last paragraph in a way that it wasn't intended.....

This week was busy, which also helped things.  We had a big event at our church that I have been helping to plan for a couple of months.  We had over 1,000 people there!  It was so much fun.  Here is a pic of me with a grandchild of some other great friends, racing the adult tricycles.  They were fun, I think I need one:


We had fun, and hopefully the families did also!  One story from that event.  I had a woman come up to me and introduce herself to me. She then told me that her son was at the 5th/6th grade camp in June.  She told me that "my story", that was told at camp, had impacted her son and how he's probably told her the story about three times.  See, it is worth it.  If my story, the one that God wrote for me, shows off the glory of God, what more could I ask for?!  In this next year, I pray that I will remember to be the clay in the Potter's hand, allowing Him to continue to mold me the way He wants to.  Trusting Him in everything, giving Him the praise and glory that He alone deserves!

Healing Hand of God by Jeremy Camp (he also "lost" his spouse)

I have seen the many faces of fear and of pain
I have watched the tears fall plenty from heartache and strain
So if life's journey has you weary and afraid
There's rest in the shadow of His wings

I have walked through the valleys, the mountains, and plains
I have held the hand of freedom that washes all my stains
If you feel weight of many trials and burdens from this world
There's freedom in the shelter of the Lord

And I have seen the healing hand of God
Reaching out and mending broken hearts
Taste and see the fullness of His peace
And hold on to what's being held out
The healing hand of God

And I have touched the scars upon His hands to see if they were real
He has walked the road before me, he knows just how I feel
When you feel that there's not anyone, who understands your pain
Just remember all of Jesus's suffering

'Cause I have seen the healing hand of God
Reaching out and mending broken hearts
Taste and see the fullness of His peace
And hold on to what's being held out

Cast all your cares on Him for He cares for you
He's near to the broken and confused
By His stripes our spirit is renewed
So enter in the joy prepared for you

I have seen the healing hand of God
Reaching out and mending broken hearts
Taste and see the fullness of His peace
And hold on to what's being held out

The healing hand of God

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Busyness

Life is crazy!!!!  Is it possible to wear your brain out?  That is what I feel like I've done this week.

I thought work would slow down over the summer, but it hasn't.  It is probably for the best, but I've pulled some long hours this week.  Thankfully, it rained a few mornings this week, so I didn't have to get up every day at 6:00am to run/walk.  :)  I have to get back into the rhythm of that again though!

I had a great conversation with a friend last night.  I was reminded how much God has done for me in the last year.  We compared notes, God is so good!  Sometimes I forget that my life is not that bad.  God has done more things for me than I can ever imagine, but instead, I get caught up in the little things that get under my skin.  Things that aren't really worth getting worked up about.  When will I ever learn?

I did something humorous this week.  I was sitting at lunch with some co-workers and one of them was talking about someone they knew.  Because of some things that have happened/decisions that have been made, this person has realize that maybe they should have done some things differently from the beginning.  I was listening and had a thought, along this line, go through my head. "I hope I never have something happen in my life that will have to shake me/change my life, etc."  I then realized what I just thought and burst out laughing.  Wow.  It made me think about how my "tragedy" must not consume my thoughts as much any more.  I think that is a good thing.  God has brought me so far in a year.  He goes before me, I don't have to be afraid, because He will never fail or forsake me.

Deut. 31:6 " Be strong and courageous, do not be afraid or tremble at them, for the LORD your God is the One who goes with you He will not fail you or forsake you."

Monday, July 5, 2010

2nd one!


Well, after I finished my 9 year quilt project, I decided to do another, albeit a lot smaller! It's a for a baby girl!  I know I'm bragging on myself a little, but can't help by show how cute this is!  Thanks to my friend who has a great eye for coordinating colors.  It isn't done yet, but it shouldn't take too much longer....at least I hope not.....but my track record so far isn't very good! :)

This is quite off the topic of quilts, but I have never seen a horny toad before and got to see one at church yesterday...he was kinda cute:


Anyway, there are my random things for today!

Hope you all had a great Independence Day!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Psalm 116

I can't sleep tonight, or should I say this morning.  It's 1:40am.  My dad always told us if you can't sleep, it must be God telling you to read your Bible or pray, so that's what I'm doing.  I came across this Psalm in my reading:

I love the Lord, because He hears my voice and supplications.
Because He has inclined His ear to me, therefore I shall call upon Him as long as I live.
The cords of death encompassed me, and the terrors of Sheol came upon me; I found distress and sorrow.
Then I called upon the name of the Lord: "O Lord, I beseech Thee, save my life!"
Gracious is the Lord, and righteous; Yes, our God is compassionate.
The Lord preserves the simple; I was brought low, and He saved me.
Return to your rest, O my soul, for the Lord has dealt bountifully with you.
For Thou hast rescued my soul from death, my eyes from tears, my feet from stumbling.
I shall walk before the Lord in the land of the living.
I believed when I said, "I am greatly afflicted."
I said in my alarm, "All men are liars."
What shall I render to the Lord for all His benefits toward me?
I shall lift up the cup of salvation, and call upon the name of the Lord.
I shall pay my vows to the Lord, oh may it be the presence of all His people.
Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His godly ones.
O Lord, surely I am Thy servant, I am Thy servant, the son of Thy handmaid, Thou hast loosed my bonds.
To Thee I shall offer a sacrifice of thanksgiving and call upon the name of the Lord.
I shall pay my vows to the Lord, oh may it be in the presence of all His people.
It the courts of the Lord's house, in the midst of you, O Jerusalem.
Praise the Lord!!

The Lord has done so much in my life over the past year.  I have so much to praise Him for!!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

More Vacation talk

I had loads of fun on my vacation.  It was the first time I have spent time on a warm beach.  The only other beaches I have been to (that I remember) were in Connecticut and Alaska.  Not your typical beach vacation spots. :)  I am not a huge water person, I hate water in my face, but that didn't stop me from getting in the ocean at all.  In fact, I enjoyed it immensely!!  I didn't get that sunburned, just in spots, and even managed a bit of a tan.....ok, I'm just not as white!  I went bungee jumping twice, the first time I wasn't nervous at all, the second time I knew what to expect and hesitated a bit before jumping, but it was still fun! We also played mini golf, raced go-karts, bumper cars, and played random arcade games at the Track.  Oh, and restaurants.........the seafood was so good!! I did not want to come home, but I did.  I tried to leave "life" behind for the week and for the most part I did.  I was able to keep some things off my mind which is surprising for me.   One particular thing that I was told about a couple of days prior, I was able to let it go of.  Actually, I think it was more that God just gave me a peace about it!

Water tends to bring out reflectiveness in me.  Last August, I went to visit my best friend.  I always try to get a window seat when I fly and this time was no different.  As I sat staring out the window, I noticed a river.  I watched it for a while and then turned back to the book I was reading, "Let Me Grieve but Not Forever".  I couldn't stop thinking about that river and wrote the following in that book:
I just watched a river.  It was extremely long.  Some parts of it were straight, others were winding, some parts narrow, others wide.  There is no explanation as to where the river will flow, except for God designing the river and creating it's banks.  So is my life right now.  No rhyme or reason except for the knowledge that God is in control, making my river (life) flow in the direction that He wants it to go.
 
Being at the beach this past week made me reflect again on my life.  On Wednesday night, I had a rush of emotions after we returned from "The Track".  I decided to take a midnight walk on the beach.  That didn't go over too well with some people :) and I was followed, but not before I was able to think (and cry) for a little while.  I had spent some time earlier that evening watching people, more specifically couples.  That's kinda a hard thing to do when you are on vacation, especially when you know what it is like to have that "better half" by your side.  Before I met Jared, I was perfectly content with being single, now, not so much.   I kinda had a pity party for myself for a little while.  As I sat staring at the waves crash up against the beach, I realized I had to stop and just get over it!  I watched the waves and paralleled them a little with my life.  When we first got there, the beach was clear and clean.  Throughout the week, green moss and grass washed up on the beach, and some days would be more gunky than others.  No wave ever came in the same way, and some crashed more than others.   Sometimes I feel like the waves crash in my life and none of them are the same.  I also feel like "gunky" things are dragged into my life all the time.   I often wonder when the calm seas will come again.  As I sat there on the beach, another wave hit me.  This wave was the thought that the same God that controlled the strong waves I was watching, controls all the waves in my life.   Like the river, He knows the way it will flow.  I don't need to wonder what the next wave will be because He will sustain me through it.  I later thought of Psalm 139, especially verses 17 and 18.
 
How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God!
          How vast is the sum of them!
If I should count them, they would outnumber the sand.
          When I awake, I am still with You.



He knows me so well, He knows what I need, when I need it.  His thoughts toward me would outnumber the sand.....and believe me, there is lots of sand!!


Well, I'm now back to reality.  It was so difficult to get out of bed this morning.  My sleeping schedule is so messed up. I spent a week going to bed between 12 and 1 and getting up between 10 and 11 in the morning.  I tried to go to bed early last night, but I just couldn't fall asleep until around midnight.  Tomorrow, I try again to resume my 6am running/walking, so I better get to bed early tonight!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Beach


It's hard not to like it here!  I hate to leave and go back home, but I know I must.  I've joked all week that "I think God is calling me here"! :)  Not really, just a hope!

I'll write more about my week later, just thought I'd post some pics of the beach!