Wednesday, September 18, 2013
Let me start off with a little bit of a disclaimer in this blog post: This is my heart (not my husbands or those around me), raw and exposed, in no way is it to bring anyone down but rather its a way to share what God has been teaching me through the process of life. Life is messy and with that said,I would like to share with everyone where my heart and head have been the past few weeks.>>> Now you may be wondering what that disclaimer is about and without going into detail for the sake of those I love and respect around me, lets just say a lot has been changing in our church. When things change in churches people tend to fall on both sides of the fence, it can get messy. Hearts can get hurt. People damaged. Unfortunately it seems that is exactly where things have come to. When things come to this is can be very easy to focus our eyes off of Christ, and on to people, or ourselves, our wants, needs, hurts, desires. Its human nature for us to do this. I myself can say that I have been guilty of this lately. Sometimes its taking a step back from everything to refocus our eyes on the VERY ONE we are trying to serve. Sometimes its processing, venting, praying, worshiping, uniting, hugging but above all else we MUST refocus our hearts to the very one we are trying to serve. No matter how hurt, damaged, frustrated, angry, happy, challenged and overwhelmed. I woke this morning and it truly seemed like the fog had lifted. Now i know this isnt going to be the same for those around me but for me i was overjoyed. I wanted to worship at the feet of Jesus. My heart was THANKFUL. My heart IS thankful. These words jumped right off the page and glued themselves to my heart this morning. >> Psalm 86-10-13 says 'For you are great and do wondrous things; you alone are God. Teach me your way, O Lord, that I may walk in your truth; unite my heart to fear your name. I give thanks to you, O Lord my God, with my whole heart, and I will glorify your name forever. For great is your steadfast love towards me; you have delivered my soul from the depths of Sheol.'>> Our God is GOOD! He is so Good. In his goodness and graciousness He saved us. He saved us from HELL. Wouldn't we want to believe that this same good God, this ABBA Father would want to redeem the hard situations of the church. Not the way we want them to be redeemed but the way HE wants them to be redeemed. People are messy and so are situations but God is so gracious to not give us more than what we can handle and exactly what we need. Lets take our eyes off of ourselves and our human situations today and focus on why Christ has called us to be set apart. On why we are called to set aside our differences and love one another kindly and gently. I pray that the fog will be lifted from those around me that are hurting and that they too would be able to refocus on CHRIST. Amen.
Friday, August 2, 2013
Ah once again I begin to write. With so much JOY in my heart. Its been quite a while since an update was given and so so much has changed. A month and a half ago I quit my job at Tim Hortons. For most of those who know me you know that was the best decision I could have made for myself, my body, my marriage, my heart, my emotions and everything else in between. It was beating me down in more ways than one. And over the past year at work, it was hard to be a Christian. It was hard to choose Christ everyday rather than hate the rude people around me. Believe me, it seemed like almost on a daily basis I was being conflicted with that choice. There are many many words I know that I could say about working there, many of which are not good and thats part of the reason why I haven't really even written anything in the past month and a half. I have been giving my heart time to heal. Time to take everything in. To take a step back and just trust that God is bigger and has better things in store even though I had NO CLUE what that was going to look like.>>>During the month before deciding to finally quit, I feel like God gave me some clear direction that it was okay to let go and step back from the job. I was to quit and trust him completely for what was in store. So many thoughts ran through my head, Will my husband be upset that I am not working? How will we pay down our school loans? How can we survive on one income? How can I not be lazy and waste my time? How will I fill my time? How do I really trust God and commit to this? Question after question stirred in my head and a simple "Trust Me" was all i needed from my Father to know that everything was going to be taken care of, and that HE IS IN CONTROL.>>> Fast Forward 4 weeks, I had quit my job at TH and Ryan and I were jumping on a plan to Oregon for holidays. The week went by, visiting friends and family, enjoying amazing food, coffee, beer, conversations, adventures. Not to mention being REALLY tired and peeing quite often... then it happened, you guessed it, We found out we are expecting. A little bambino. A peanut. A child, so precious and so perfectly planned in the Father's Eyes. What an amazing experience to get to share with our closest friends and family while we were there. And now to get to share with all people who are apart of our life. We arent sure whats a head and daily its a constant surrender to know that God is in control and His way is truly best. I often think that if I hadnt been obedient to quitting TH would God have given us this precious gift. I am not truly sure but it definitely change my perspective, my calling and my wildest dreams overnight. I am excited for this next season of life. I am ready for the challenges and the joys that it brings and I have to constantly remind myself that God is good. His plans for me are good. The last year I have learned a lot about myself, my Father and trusting Him. I am sure its in preparation for what is ahead. I am excited for it.>>> 'Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rives in the desert.' Isaiah 43:19
Thursday, April 25, 2013
As I sit here today just reflecting back over the last 10 months of being in Canada, I am brought back to the few things that God told me before I came here. About a year ago when Ryan and I were praying about whether we should live in Canada or Oregon and trusting in our Father to give us an answer, He did just that. God told me that we were to live in Canada, while we were there we would work hard to pay off our school loans ( In process with one paid off, check.) We would be here to serve. Serve in Ryan's home church and begin to call it our own. A church that might be a little more 'traditional' than we were used to and it would be a season to give as much as we could to the church to have a family of believers to send us out when His timing was right. And lastly He told me it would be a time to just build up our marriage, to enjoy one another and learn what it is like to be partners together. // I sit here today, 10 months later just overwhelmed by God's amazing goodness, by His overwhelming love and His unbelievable faithfulness. God has truly allowed all three of these promises to be in full swing. Not only have we paid off one of my school loans, which seems like the smallest thing of the three things He called us to. // Our Marriage is growing stronger each day. Its not without the hard work that each of us put in to keep God first on a daily basis and to trust that He is in complete control. It is amazing how I can come to admire my husband and fall more and more in love with him each day, not because he does such sweet and loving things (don't get me wrong, he does these things) but its because Ryan allows himself to be used for kingdom purposes. He allows himself to be used as a vessel for God's glory and through that he challenges me to be a woman after God's heart. I am blown away by him. // Lastly God has called us to serve and be a part of a church here in Canada. This is the church that Ryan grew up in. His family has been a part of for the last 24 years. They have watched the church change and grow in those long years. It is now to the point where we get to be a part of that change and we are old enough to really partake in it. (which at times is both good and bad) Ryan and I have been praying about how we can be involved and it seems like opportunities keep coming out way. Ryan has been asked to be a part of the preaching team, where he fills in about one sunday a month, we have started leading a mini SBS class to teach members of our congregation how to study the bible inductively and Ryan has been asked to join the LT (Leadership Team) as a part of the church for the next two years. Some big and amazing opportunities that God has given us as a part to really be a part of this body and growing the church in Canada. // I know that the time will come when God will say GO! And we will Go. But I am really learning that there is ALOT to do with the preparation of things. This is our time of preparation. This is our time of trusting. serving. hoping. praying. and knowing that our heavenly Father is in complete control and using us for his purposes. He is so so good. // 'For the Lord is good; his steadfast love endures forever. and his faithfulness to all generations.' Psalm 100:5 Also, incase you were wanting to listen to Ryan's most recent sermon check it out here at Camrose Church of God website.
Monday, April 1, 2013
A very wise man once told me that debt is bondage. It doesn't matter the type of debt, it still keeps you held down to owing money to someone for something. This has been a true statement for me ever since I graduated University in 2009. Just to give you a piece of my heart, there has been many times since graduating college that I have regretted even going to college at all. 60,000 dollars later and I have nothing to show for my degree but a piece of paper. It's a really heavy feeling when all you want to do is share the gospel with people in Asia and be submersed into full time mission. But God is always oh so gracious. In every season that He calls us to and brings us through His hand is upon us. I am feeling his grace right now. Its an overwhelming feeling. God has been gracious to grant Ryan and I jobs that make it able to pay some of these loans off, He has been gracious to help us learn to spend our money wisely and still be in a position where we can give to those who are making a difference in His kingdom. I want to give him all the glory. To be honest, this is the first time in my adult life that I have money to always fill up my gas tank, buy groceries, save and give. Although I know this too is a season and things will change when Ry and I make our way back to Asia, none of this would have been possible without His provision, grace, love, mercy and encouragement.>>>>>>>>>>>>>> I want to encourage young adults around the globe, to trust in the heavenly father, especially regarding finances. He is gracious to provide in his timing. He calls us to work. To work hard. To trust Him. At times that may look like a fast food job and making a wage lower than you think you deserve. At times that may be stepping into your life 'career' and watching God use you to provide for missionaries around the world. Whatever the case may be, we seve a God that deserves all the glory when things are good and go right and we serve a God that deserves all of us even then things are hard. When you feel like you cant pay your bills or fill up your tank with gas. >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Along with encouraging you to trust God with your finances, I want to urge you to act responsible. If you are planning on going to university, educate yourselves on school loans, interest rates and create a plan that will help you graduate without 60,000 in debt. (You never know how God is going to use you after school, it may not even be with your degree). If you are out of school, and are struggling to pay your loans, figure out a budget, a plan and stick to that. Its going to be hard work but the pay off is so much greater when you can trust in the Father and give Him the Glory!>>>>>>>> On a last note, God is continually redeeming my heart when it comes to going to school. While feeling like it was pointless, I see that not only was there a VERY IMPORTANT reason for me going to school, (Christ found me.) It has also taught me amazing lessons of learning how to struggle and trust in my Father to provide for the things that I need. Thank you LORD. >>>> Romans 8:28 'And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who called according to his purpose.'
Wednesday, March 20, 2013
The last few weeks in life have been crazy busy but amazingly joyful at the same time. I recently got a surprise birthday trip to go back to Oregon for the weekend and let me tell you it was so refreshing for my soul in many many ways. I couldn't really see it until after I got back and I really had time to reflect on things that it was all apart of God's plan from the beginning. From accidentally getting more time off work than i had originally requested, to the surprise birthday party that my loving friends threw me because they know exactly how to speak to my heart to just the amazing sister bonding time and one cant forget the special moments with my beautiful niece and family. My weekend would have been complete at that. As sunday came, I got to go to church (something that is often rare in Canada because my work schedule is so all over the place) I was delighted to be back in my home church, hearing beautiful worship and listening to Pastor Steve. Little did I know that God was already moving and preparing hearts to get know/trust/walk/desire Him. As I was sitting in church praying desperately for a person i love dearly next to me ( I will leave their name out because I havent formally talked to them about writing this yet) I was praying that God would just continue to touch and comfort them through this sermon on Paul's conversion. They had not been to Calvary much and were still 'trying it out'. Towards the end of the service I just kept repeating the prayer to God, "please let them go up and receive prayer, please let them go up and receive prayer, God they need you, they need your comfort, your perpective, you to rule, to be King." We moved into our last song of worship as the sermon had been over and my spirit was stirring. God was moving. A little tug on my shoulder and I was asked to go up with this person to receive prayer. Unsure of what the prayer was for, I helped pray with this person to recommit their life fully to Christ. AMEN. Hallelujah the Angels in heaven are rejoicing. My God is a God that saves. My God is a God that hears. My God is a God that answers prayers. I had to share this experience because not only was someone close to me truly brought into the family of God but my faith was strengthen as my King answered one of the most beautiful prayers right in front of my face. He is so Good. He is so giving and I will choose to follow and trust in Him all of my days.
Friday, February 15, 2013
Good morning World. A day off so i find myself sitting here with my usual morning routine; coffee, yogurt, #shereadstruth and the word of God. It has become the most special time of my day as I spend time with the Lord seeking Him and trusting in Him for my day and what is to come. Lately it seems like most days are a battle. I find myself struggling with a range of emotions, even at times struggling to convey to the Lord exactly how I am feeling. At times its because I am ashamed or feel like I have no right to feel the way that I do, other times its because I don't really know how I am feeling and then there are times when I am overjoyed and strengthened by his peace but fear that it will only last as long as my quiet times. Wow, from I guess it would seem like I am quite a wreck! Well let me assure you, God is doing something big in me, while at times its really hard to see, and at times I have absolutely no idea what He is up to, I do realize that I am being refined, even if its just in the tiniest way each day. (and often it does feel like I am taking one step forward and two steps back.) But with that said, God smacked me in the face with something today, although not really a new topic to me, it is a topic that I really want to capitalize on and trust God to continue to make changes in my heart. Its this idea of blessings. Its this concept of feeling like I have 'the right' to something, or an 'entitlement' to it. To me honest, I am sure it isn't something that only I struggle with. I realize that its our first world generation that struggles with this. To the person that comes through the drive through angry because they have received the wrong order and demands that we give them their money back after they have eaten the entire thing to the person who is upset when their significant other doesn't get them flowers on valentines day. Its their right, right? WRONG! I don't know where our culture and society have the right to think that we are entitled to anything. I'll tell you what we are entitled to. DEATH! We are deserving of nothing. Zip. Zada. NOTHING!!!! Myself included. It sounds a little harsh right? One would think that because we are so 'me' focused. Long ago, when God was walking in the garden with Adam and Eve EVERYTHING good was given, when the fall happened, this shift took place and we became worthy of nothing. Skip ahead thousands of years and God created the way through Jesus Christ on the cross to take that entitlement of death and give us LIFE. That is the biggest blessing we could have received and will EVER receive...Yet why do I still continue to feel like I am entitled to things, stuff, situations, jobs? I can't really explain it other than the fact that we are human. As I am human and I do believe that the best blessing I could have ever received is Christ, its time for me to really start living like that. To walk with a thankful heart for the little things that God has given me, to be thankful for the big things that God has given me. The blessings of family and friends close and far. The blessings of shoes on my feet, a roof over my head, a job to provide (even though I dislike it at times.) The blessings to be able to FREELY study and spend time in his word, to listen to music, to see the smile of a child, to walk in the snow, to have a car. So many of these things I can easily take advantage of. People, this life is a gift. Everything in it is a gift. It is time we start viewing it that way. Its time I start viewing it that way. It seems as I had kind of lost my way. But I am thankful that God graciously shows me the things I need to learn. It truly amazes me how good He is. 'Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good! Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him! Oh, fear the LORD, you his saints, for those who fear him have no lack! The young lions suffer want and hunger, but those who see the LORD lack no good thing.' Psalm 34:8-10
Sunday, January 20, 2013
My anticipation and excitement grows as I wait in patience for my visa to go through, a long wait a may be but a trusting one. For those of you who don't know, when you marry someone from another country and you move to their country and you are trying to get a job where you want to work, well let's just say its not an easy process. The last 6 months have consisted of gathering a lot of paperwork, filling out forms, tears from feeling overwhelmed and of course lots and lots of prayers for direction, patience, peace and hope. I now have sent my visa off and the excitement is growing, I have been prays no for a miracle to be honest, that God would provide the visa in miraculous timing and while I want to be hopeful, I am quite doubtful...this has been a hard season of life. Period. While don't get me marriage has been amazing, this season of life has been one of the hardest in a different way. a lonely way. Coming into the new year I was not satisfied with feeling lonely. I was not going to let the enemy continue to feed off of my negative lost feelings. I was going to continue to press into the Lord when times were hard and when I felt like he was distant. I have proceeded to do just that and it's amazing how God has taken me and gently warmed my heart. How he has taken me through this season and given me what has felt like a fresh start. He has reminded me of what it means to fall in love with my Savior again. He had reminded me that every difficult season has a purpose behind it and He never gives us more than we can handle and more than that He has reminded me of His constant unfailing love for me through His Ultimate Sacrifice of Jesus. Although this season has been hard, I wouldn't change it for the world, He is always always good. I am thankful for that. May He be glorified in all season, times and hours. He is worthy of all the praise and glory.