Saturday, December 26, 2009

A New Year

I find myself talking about time quite a bit. But here we go again at the beginning of a new year (in a few days or so), my plan is to do less talking about time and more informing you about my use of time.

My church has challenged me to be faithful and I have made a personal goal to get more active and adapt to a more healthy lifestyle.

Here is a little recap of my time this past year:
God has been amazing by calling me to teach, something I NEVER thought I would be doing. After the call, I got certified and took a job as a library clerk in August never expecting the opportunity to teach this year. God was still paving the way and working in my heart, and through divine orchestration I was given the opportunity to teach in October at the school I currently worked at. It hasn't been easy, but it feels right.

In the coming year, I plan to trust God more and keep on doing what I know I should be, and I know it will be a good year.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Putting it in Perspective

Have you ever cried so hard for no apparent reason or not a very good one? It just feels like the world is caving in around you and you have to cry and try to talk it out with someone nearby. Well, that happened to me yesterday. Just some advice, don't cry so hard in the morning because the rest of the day you are left with a pounding headache which seems to mock you for the trivial reason you were crying in the first place. Don't misunderstand me, it's okay to cry but also learn to lean on the Lord because He is in ultimate control of your circumstances.

My pity party began something like this. I rolled over and hit the snooze on my alarm clock yesterday morning, and as I did a whirlwind of thoughts rushed in my head and the first tear escaped. I got out of bed and headed to the den to vent to my mom. The tears were now a downpour. I began my rant about all of the stress in my life and sought comfort from my mom. My mom gave me some strong criticisms instead and prayed with me. I still wanted to pout. As I recovered from my tantrum, I headed off to work still feeling the after effects of my emotional meltdown. As I worked, I happened to check my phone for messages and received some news from a friend about the loss of a loved one.

Whew...that really made me think of how selfish I can be and also grateful for the people in my life that I can come to vent. It puts everything into perspective. It could always be worse. Thanks to the Lord; He never gives us more than we can bear. Thank you, Lord for that. Thank you also for teaching me to trust You more fully.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Is There Ever Enough Hours in the Day?

Where does it all go? We are each given 24 hours in a day. Where do we spend most of that time. Many of my hours have been sucked up with work. But as I analyze my habits, I start to see the little pockets of time that could have been spent more wisely such as picking up a book or reading my Bible for the day.

Those few moments add up quickly and can mean the difference between a waste of time or an investment into the future or even eternity. I am going to attempt to redeem the wasted moments of my life by purposing to use my time for eternal investments.

So next time I roll over to hit the snooze button, I will get out of bed instead of indulging into those 6 extra minutes that turn into 12. I will use those spare moments for my quiet time or my trek to the gym that I have put off for 2 weeks.

The next time I surf the net for 2 hours for no apparent reason, I will get up and put a load of laundry in the washer or something else that needs doing. I plan to give my time purpose, rather than see it slip through the cracks.

In James, it says that our lives are but a vapor. They come and go in the blink of an eye. I don't want my treasured minutes to disappear with no edifying or constructive value.

So I begin now to make my moments count for eternity's sake.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Tithing Our Time

Last Sunday a fellow church member gave his testimony of how he enjoys retirement by studying his Bible every day. He studies for about six hours per day and takes full enjoyment out of reading and meditating on God's Word.

This got me to thinking about how much time we are given each day and God's commandment to tithe in the Bible. When we think of tithing most of us immediately think of our pocket book. I started to think about how to tithe our time. If God requires the first ten percent, then we should be giving Him 2.4 hours of our 24 hour day or roughly 3 hours per day should be given to directly to Him.

Three hours sounds like a lot for someone who slips in a quiet time on her lunch break or prays five minutes before heading out for the day. I was thinking that these hours could be spread out through the day. The first hour or time could be a quiet time with the Lord and His Word. Another time could be physical exercise and renewal that is dedicated as seeds sown to the Spirit. The last time could be times of prayer all throughout the day. Whatever they may be, it sounds like a good concept to at least be willing to tithe our time.

God gives us our time. What can it hurt to give Him at least 3 hours of it? Who knows, it may surprise you with what may happen.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

2 Teach is 2 Touch Lives 4ever

“Are you going to be a teacher when you grow up?” echoes through my head at this moment. My friends in grade school and high school asked this question of me often and my answer was the same, no. No, you may think. I have never really wanted to teach, so what has changed? It is pretty simple. My heart has changed, and I see teaching as an opportunity to impact the lives of students by equipping them with a solid education. I plan to teach English and help others become better communicators and go after their dreams and goals. Education is important in today’s society and necessary to function. Many of my role models were my teachers, and I looked up to them. Teachers have a very important role in the life of their students. If I could make a positive impact in the life of one student as a teacher, it would be worth it all.

This was my answer to the question "Why do you want to teach?" on my application for alternative certification this summer. It amazes me as to how God works. I am now an English teacher at a local middle school. It has been one of the most difficult yet God ordained things that I have done in my life. God became my rock and comfort because I could no longer rest in my own strength and skill. I have learned to obey even when I wanted to run in the opposite direction mainly out of fear of failure. There was an intense internal struggle going on before I accepted this position, but now I am filled with the peace of God and learning to take it one day a time.

God sent me a friend that has been the most selfless person and a tremendous help in this new chapter of my life. For that I am eternally grateful to not only her but all of the people along the way. This is God's harvest, and I am honored to be planting the seeds.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

There is a Time...

Seasons are an inevitable part of life. They all have distinct qualities that make them unique. They all have difficult moments, but they are all there for a purpose. God brings each spring, summer, autumn, and winter into our life for His specific purpose. Each season is a learning experience for each one of us.

I have experienced many seasons just in this last year. I wish I had done some things differently, but ultimately I have learned from them and God has received the glory.

Of all of the seasons, autumn is my favorite. It is the season of change, where the leaves burst out in vibrant colors as the trees prepare for a winter's rest. I am in an autumn season in my life as I type, and my biggest struggle is confidence and strength in myself. I am finding it very difficult to surrender when the opportunity is staring me right in the face. As I inwardly struggle, I have to remind myself that God's grace is sufficient for me and I just need to trust in Him.

I hope and pray that whatever season you are in whether you are on the mountaintop or down in the valley; God will get the glory and praise and you can cling to Him no matter what.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

The Motions

The Motions
This might hurt, it's not safe
But I know that I've gotta make a change
I don't care if I break,
At least I'll be feeling something'
Cause just okay is not enough
Help me fight through the nothingness of life
I don't wanna go through the motions
I don't wanna go one more day
without Your all consuming passion inside of me
I don't wanna spend my whole life asking,
"What if I had given everything,
instead of going through the motions?"
No regrets, not this time
I'm gonna let my heart defeat my mind
Let Your love make me whole
I think I'm finally feeling something
'Cause just okay is not enough
Help me fight through the nothingness of this life
'Cause I don't wanna go through the motions
I don't wanna go one more day
without Your all consuming passion inside of me
I don't wanna spend my whole life asking,
"What if I had given everything,
instead of going through the motions?"
(songlyrics.com)
Have you ever gotten stuck in a routine or a rut you just couldn't quite get out of? I have sometimes taken things in life for granted so much that it just feels like I am washing my hair.
Step 1-Apply
Step 2-Rinse
Step 3-Repeat
When life gets this routine, I have to examine my motives for many things and make sure that I am not just going through the motions. The Motions by Matthew West is a song that is one of my favorites and is becoming a true prayer of mine. I want to give God my everything and be passionate for His Word and things of Him.
In my heart of hearts, I don't want to be ever caught up in the motions of life or my relationship with my Lord. I have the blessing and honor to attend a benefit concert by Matthew West for a fellow Christian who did not want to live life by going through the motions. His life ended two days after this song touched his life and his brother will be to share his testimony. I can't wait.

Friday, October 9, 2009

How Much do you Value Your Time?

I just gave up a huge part of my life. I was on it at least 2 to 3 times a day. Each visit would take more time than the next. As I continued, I realized that I was addicted, so I gave up my Facebook account.

You may think that sounds strange, but my time was getting away from me, and I need to refocus. At this time this is the best solution. I did not realize how important this social networking site was to me until I printed out my profile before I said goodbye.

I am not knocking Facebook. Facebook has influenced my life in many positive ways such as finding a place to live for college and roommates for that place of which many are my best friends as well as connecting with family and friends.

But sometimes too much of a good thing can be a bad thing. So I am taking an extended break and giving up Facebook for the time being. I plan on redeeming the time I spent on Facebook in more productive ways such as scrapbooking all of the digital pictures in my Facebook photo albums (that is when I can afford to print them).

Time is a precious thing and when anything great or small invades it in an unhealthy manner, we should take a step back and adjust our priorities. For me, giving up Facebook is the best solution at this time. I will begin now to discipline myself by focusing on the more important things in life such as health and spiritual growth.

I hope and pray that God will get the glory as I sow this time unto Him. Please pray that I follow through and don't find other unproductive avenues to fill this time. God gives me the time; the least I can do is honor Him with it.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Milestones...

I don't think of myself as a runner, jogger, much less a walker. I really haven't enjoyed any form of exercise until quite recently. I accomplished something today that I didn't think I could quite do. I finished a 5K race in 44 minutes and 11 seconds. I was so happy that I did finish.

The people were so nice. One lady took me under her wing and coached me through the whole thing. Once the finishline was in sight, I took off in an all out sprint and those who had finished ahead of me were encouraging me every step of the way. It was awesome.

There is a sense of community there. The seasoned runners are there along with those who have never ran before, yet there is some sort of balance that knits them all together as they all strive to finish the race.

I will remember this for many days and years to come.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Back to Middle School...

I have this interesting attribute of not quite looking my age, but it wasn't until I got a job at a local middle school this year as to how young I was mistaken for. I am of average height for a woman maybe on the petite side of things.

The first few days of school, a few teachers thought I was a student even though I was not dressed in the required uniform as a student. One guy was particulary sorry and kept apologizing. I told him it was no big deal and not to worry about it.

I also took into account that I had to be the youngest on staff and the most of the others were at least ten years my senior. So it's an easy mistake really. But I also didn't realize until today that I also sound young as well .

When I called into work sick, the receptionist at the front desk asked me if there was an adult with me. Confused and slightly taken aback at the statement, I told her again who I was. We got the matter cleared up, and I drifted back to sleep smiling at the thought of being young again and trying my best to get well.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

"I'm in a hurry and don't know why"

I am rushing, rushing till life's no fun,
All I got to do is live and die,
But I'm in a hurry and don't know why."

This is the depiction of my week. I work fulltime and then I have plans everyday this week after work. Including the weekend. I have also made some trips to Wal-Mart and the library that were not originally planned. Then I was required to come back because my purchase could not be located. This gets frustrating, and other plans like going to the gym get thrown out the window. I then sit on the couch and before I know it two more hours fly by as I am fully engaged in the Biggest Loser Premiere. Two people are carted off to the hospital right off the bat. Now that is really encouraging me to get out there and pound the pavement.

I am trying to make a commitment to redeem the precious little time that I do have and spend it for an eternal purpose. The time is now and the choice is mine. How will I choose to spend it? I hope to use it wisely. So bye for now as I spend some quiet time with the Lord and curl up with a book before I enter into a land of sweet dreams.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Choosing to Remove the Camouflage

"Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven. " ~Matthew 5:16

Don't be a Camouflaged Christian:
"Did I ever tell you what my roommate did last semester?" Katie asked.
"She was so funny. She made this fancy sign that said word and taped it to the foot of her bed. Then she went around telling everyone that she had spent six hours in the word that night." (Robin Jones Gunn, As You Wish)

Have you ever felt overwhelmed by all of the "stuff" in your life? Have you been so busy that you could fall asleep standing up if you stood still long enough? Our lives are filled with so many things such as sports, skills, and smarts. We keep piling and piling everything on and before we know it, we can't function.
Christ is supposed to shine through us, but when we place our friends, talents, hobbies, jobs, and more in front of Christ. Those things tend to block out the rays of Jesus' glow. Once we put God first and remove the camouflage of misplaced priorities and sin in our life. Christ can use those things to reflect His Glory.
God uses us when we release control and allow Him to shine through us. All we must do is fear (reverence) him and keep His commandments.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Run with Patience

"Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith..." (Hebrews 12:1, 2a)

Wow, I am attempting another "I never." I have entered a 5K and will be walking/jogging it in 2 weeks. I can't even wrap my mind around that one. I have never been one big into exercise or physical activity. Give me a book and a cozy chair or bed to curl up on, and I am set. Over time, I have aquired an appreciation of exercise and the benefits that occur when I am actively engaged in it. I am still not fond of running, but I am very goal oriented. My plan is just to complete it to say I can.

My pastor also likened our Christian life unto a race at the beginning of this year, so I took it one step further and made a personal goal to try a physical race. So like life, I am going to walk/jog/maybe run with patience two weeks from now. Who knows, I might like it.

So even if you don't physically run a race, run with patience looking unto Jesus the Author and Finisher of our faith.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

The Personal Pronoun HIS

Psalm 100
1Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all ye lands.
2Serve the LORD with gladness: come before his presence with singing.
3Know ye that the LORD he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.
4Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name.
5For the LORD is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations.


According to Biblegateway there are 5983 results for the personal pronoun HIS in the Bible. My pastor preached on the eight found in Psalm 100 tonight. It was a great reminder that we are welcome in HIS presence, we are HIS people, the sheep of HIS pasture. We must enter HIS gates with thanksgiving and HIS courts with praise. Thanksgiving and praise are our tickets in. We are to bless HIS name and HIS mercy and HIS truth are everlasting and endure forever.

Who knew the significance of such a small word. HIS has taken on new meaning for me, and I will try not to take for granted that I am HIS.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

The God of Nick of Time

Timing is important, and with God it is impeccable. I have been blessed to have tried my hand at my "dream job." I have also learned to never say never because I am now in process of doing two specific things I said I would never do. The first is to teach and the second is to go back to school for my master's degree.

God's timing is awesome due to the fact that he has given me a wonderful job (with benefits a few months before my health insurance runs out) as a library clerk for a local middle school where I live. This has given me the opportunity to observe and get my feet wet in a school setting. I love my job and the opportunities I have to impact the lives of those around me. Although I never thought I would be taking graduate level classes, the wheels have been turning that I should maybe go for my master's degree. I pray peace will come about my career path. As we all know God is always there in the nick of time.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Waiting to be Found...

This year has been interesting. It has had its moments of trials and frustrations as well as its moments of joy and gladness. I have observed through the course of this year several nuggets of truth:

  • The real meaning of love

  • The value of purity

  • The importance of God's timing

  • The blessed gift of singleness

I ran across this meaning of love in my prayer journal recently and I believe it is the truest definition for love the way God intended it to be.

Love (v) An act of the mind and the will that leads to the devoted care of something or someone. Emotion may or may NOT be involved.

Love is an action not a feeling or a buzz that one get's from being around that special someone. It is a conscious decision to care.

God opened up my eyes to the destruction of my generation's stand for purity. (It is in the local, Bible-believing churches.) True purity along with beauty have been diluted over time, and the world has been fed the watered down definitions or lies and it has destroyed many lives. I prize and protect my purity, but Satan still attacks through thoughts and other fiery darts.

God's timing is always perfect. There is no exception. He is the only one who knows what he is doing; we just have to be willing to listen and do what he wants when he wants us. I have learned the hard way that God's timing is always better than anything I could want no matter how long I wait.

Amidst it all, I found the amazing gift of singleness. Singleness to me is the flexibility to be totally available for whatever God may send your way or even send you to do. It is this freedom to be sold out for him and not have to answer back to anyone for the time being.

These are just a few things that God has shared with me this year. As I now embrace this season of singleness in my life, I will continue to reflect on love, purity, and share my experiences as I wait to be found in God's timing.