Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Thinking About Next Year

As with most people, my thoughts around this time of year lead me to think about next year. God has impressed on my heart a few things that I want to write out here.

Spiritual Walk:

I want to continue my spiritual growth. I have grown a lot since Thanksgiving, much credit and thanks goes to my Tuesday evening small group. I have fallen in love with each person that is in that group, both as a group and as individuals. They push me to grow in my faith, and that is a gift that is truly something I cannot repay.

I also want to continue to be intentional about the people I spend time with. I have done a descent job of touching base with people when they are on my heart, whether it is through a quick text or a phone call. Can I even tell you how difficult it is to call someone out of the blue and say, "I was thinking about you and praying for you and wanted you to know that I care and I hope all is well with you."? I know it doesn't *sound* difficult, however coming from someone (me) that hasn't ever stepped out of their (my) comfort zone, it's a little nerve wracking. I know it will get easier.


I do it a lot. I love my job, but I miss a lot of time with my son because of how much I work. Not that I work more than is necessary to support us, however I have not budgeted my Vacation/PTO time to coincide with his schedule. With him going to school now, breaks are planned a year ahead of time, which makes things a bit easier to juggle. This year I will be budgeting a week off so that he and I can spend his spring break together. I am praying for something fun and economical to do, and I have a few ideas, but I'm not ready to put them up here just yet.

Personal Health:

Though I have taken the last six weeks off, and I know I'm going to pay for that, I am going to continue taking care of myself and taking care of the temple God provided me. I felt good when I worked out. Thankfully I have gotten over feeling like taking care of myself is selfish. I'm becoming better equipped with prioritizing and making sure I can get quality time with God in on a daily basis, quality time for myself, working, and quality time with Gideon, as well as spending time with family and friends.

I'm not going to lie, all of that is a tall order, however it is something that is interesting as it develops. Do I make everyone happy all the time? Nope, but that's not my job, I have discovered. I'd rather have quality time with people rather than quantity time with people. The only two on this planet that this doesn't apply to is God and my son.


I found this really interesting daily decluttering/organizing calendar on Pinterest (which I am totally addicted to - Pinterest, not the calendar) that gives you a daily task to complete and by the end of the year, you will have gone through your entire house (what seems like) ten times. I'll be lucky to have anything left by year's end. LOL Here's the link if you are interested in checking it out:

So I'm looking forward to 2012 with a renewed sense of hope. I know I'll have bumps along the road, but that's okay. God didn't promise us a smooth ride, but He DID promise us a safe landing.

God bless and good night friends. <3

Friday, December 16, 2011

2011 Ponderings

This will not be the last post of this nature. I am sure that I will post another one on New Years Day, however this is my current thoughts that are floating through my head (pardon me if I am disjointed in thinking).

Around this time last year, I knew this year was going to be hard. I was sitting in a church service and a pastor from another campus was speaking and he was talking about people's hopes for the new year. He said that everyone always gets excited about a new year. It's like they expect the bad that happened in the prior year to just go away and the next year to be outrageously awesome.

As he was speaking, God impressed on my heart that 2011 was not going to be one of those outrageously awesome years for me. I was saddened, honestly. I wanted to have an awesome year because 2010 wasn't exactly a picnic, but, while I didn't set out to make 2011 a bad year, I was at least a little prepared for the road ahead.

And I am so thankful that God loves me enough to prepare my heart.

I have seen loss of friends, a boyfriend that I really REALLY got along with, disagreements with family, financial hardship, tumultuous work..... And through it all I have tried to remain graceful. I haven't always been successful. Sometimes those trials have seen me in my room, bawling my eyes out and asking God why He dislikes me so much.

Yup, I am quite capable of acting like I'm 2. I have a 5 year old son that has, on more than one occasion, provided a good example of what that looks like, so I'm schooled.

But to look at all that hurt and pain and stress, I can see where God is working. He has pulled people out of my life that had ulterior motives (which I only saw once they were gone), stripped me of every road I *could* have gone down that didn't lead to Him...all because He is a jealous God and He doesn't want me to want anything more than I want Him.

And that is exactly where He has me. Wanting Him more and more every day. Hungry for His word. Constantly asking for Him to empty me of myself and putting in my heart only the desires He has for me. Trust me, this is not easy, and there are days where I pray this prayer ten times because my flesh fights it, but it's worth it. It helps me to know that I am weak and I can't do this without Him.

I have seen the fruit of me wanting to do things my own way, and they were all fruitless. I have seen the fruit of waiting on Him, and the results are AMAZING!! I want amazing and I'm willing to wait for it.

God Bless you my friends! <3

Wednesday, December 7, 2011


Tonight I had dinner with a very dear and sweet friend. I love this woman. From the first time I met her while playing volleyball this past summer at my church, I felt SUCH a connection. Without knowing more than my name and that my son was very polite and sweet, she opened her heart to me and my heart followed. While I have not spent an exorbitant amount of time with her, the love I have for her just flows so deeply. She is truly someone I will have in my life, for the rest of my life.

Anyway, that to say, we had dinner this evening, and the openness was there. We shared parts of our past with each other; from the painful to the downright hilarious. When my son and I left, the *second* she shut the door, my son told me, "I really like her. She's the bestest!"

I just smiled and completely agreed.

We got in the car and he fell asleep nearly instantly and I just felt like my heart was over-flowing with being loved on and accepted and....heard. It's been a while since I have felt like I can be completely me and not feel like I have to hold something back for fear of being judged or corrected, or feeling like I'm an alien from a distant galaxy. She listened and gave me guidance out of love. She cried with me, she laughed with me, and before we left, she prayed over my son and I.

As I was driving home, I thought, "I wonder what the Bible has to say about openness?"

Google to the rescue!! (Don't judge, I don't have a concordance)

I came up with a few scriptures:

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:4-7 NIV

This one shows us that we should have an open heart to God. Rejoicing in Him, but also letting our gentleness being evident to ALL.

Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven. Matthew 5:15-16 NIV

With this one, it makes me think of those days where I am having a bad day. Does my light shine particularly brightly on those days? Nope. There are days I feel like an absolute wretch, HOWEVER, this takes me back to a teachable moment with my son. He was looking at something that was supposed to glow in the dark, however we were standing just outside a store window that shed light on us. He was disappointed that it didn't glow brighter, yet it still glowed noticeably.

Then it hit me: When we are shining brightly in a brightly lit place (say, at church), sure our lights are bright, but sometimes it can be overlooked because people are expecting to see that brightness there. However, when our lights aren't shining particularly bright, but we are in a dark place, the light that is shining IS noticeable! Something as simple as an honest, "Thank you Jesus!", even when you are in a bad mood around others who may not be believers can lead to just about anything!

To pull this all together, lately I have felt like I am not connecting with ANYone. I feel like everyone puts on this mask of "My life is PERFECT!", except I see the hurt and pain and fear in their eyes. I so badly just want to hold them and listen to them and, while I can't promise them that it will be okay, I WANT to comfort them, I WANT to tell them that, regardless of how they feel, God really DOES care! He is hurting WITH them!! He is scared WITH them! He is reaching out TO them and just begging them to trust Him.

No one will be able to stand against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you. Joshua 1:5 NIV

I don't know where this is going, but I know God has something for me in this. Maybe I need to step forward and be more open with people I'm afraid to be open to for whatever reason. Maybe I need to slow down and allow time for someone to not just tell me a quick, "Hey, will you pray for me about something?", but instead, sit down with them on the spot, listen to their heart, and pray with them ON THE SPOT.

I have another very dear friend that does that for me. I have called her bawling for various reasons over the last four years and, though she has four children, (was formerly a stay at home mom, but now works), a husband and enough extra curricular activities to wear anyone out just thinking about them, she has dropped all of that to *listen* to me and pray for me. Can I just say that the first time she did that I was seriously taken aback? I wasn't expecting it, and I admire her for that.

I want to be that person. I pray for people on a daily basis, however the power of praying OVER There are no words. The comfort that her prayers have brought me over the years is astounding, and I now pray that I am that kind of person from today and going forward. It takes a boldness that I don't even know if I have, but I'm certainly going to step out in that direction and just trust that the words I speak will be from God and not from myself.

Good night dear friends. May God bless and keep you. <3