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


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


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: