Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Just like Brushing Your Teeth

Have you ever tried to do something that was hard at first, maybe even painful?  I have ventured out on more than one occasion, hit a rough spot here and there, and called it quits.  I've also had really good ideas and never followed through.  

Today I learned that positive changes and habits that we want to create are just like brushing teeth.  Things that need to change aren't necessarily exciting, they may cause discomfort or pain at first, but we must keep "brushing."  When we began to make those first steps, it can be painful at first and uncomfortable.  But we must remember to keep going and push through the pain because it will get better.

So the next time you want to quit or you hit a snag, remember to keep on "brushing," because it will get better.  The more consistent you become the easier it gets and soon enough it will become routine just like brushing your teeth.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Unconditional Love

Wow!  God has shown me so much lately.  Most of it has been difficult to swallow but good.  My latest post was posted out of loneliness and fear, and for that reason I regret posting it.  But God is always faithful and reassures his children of His presence.  He did that with me through a friend, a seminar speaker, and His Word.
I was on a typical "minding OTHER'S knittin'" adventure, when I was gently and firmly at the same time (if that's possible) reminded of who God wanted me to take care of and the sin in my life.  The following day I attended a seminar in which the speaker summarized the whole thing like this:
"Unconditional love is the key to unlock change."
That stuck with me so much personally, and was reiterated that evening in a devotion with the ladies of my church.  In I Corinthians 12, God outlines the various gifts of the Holy Spirit that are given to all believers and at the end of the chapter Paul speaks of "a more excellent way."   This "more excellent way" is love described so eloquently in chapter 13, the Love chapter, as it is often called.  All we do for God and others must be done in love or it is nothing.

A few days later after my previous post, God reminded me in Proverbs 18:22 that I am "to be found."  I have tried to claim this verse many times, but it is so difficult to wait "to be found."  I tend to get caught up in the "finding."  I am always on the lookout, and as I get older it gets harder to stop looking.  God has been so patient with me.  I am so thankful for His patience and unconditional love.  I am doing my best to rest in the magnitude of that thought and embrace the changes that will come from knowing Him and His love.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

The Simple Days...

What happened to the simple days when you had to actually memorize your best friend's phone number and purposely call them on a phone with a cord with a 10 foot reach?  In today's tech-savvy world, major milestones in friends, or friends of friends' lives are being broadcast to 200+ of their closest friends.

Social media is so intuitive (or we freely give away our "privacy"), that the advertisers have picked up on what we want in life.  I can't tell you how many ads targeted at dating sites or engagement rings I have seen in the last week.  "So I am single, thanks for pointing out the obvious."  Just because I am single doesn't mean I am broken.  Just because I am single doesn't mean I don't have purpose.  God has given me several  harvests of kiddos to pour His love into and teach them how to read and shine the light of Jesus in their lives.  I am grateful for that responsibility.  I have a great family and church family that I can count on no matter what.

These constant reminders of what I lack in life, to be honest, are annoying.  As the glitzy ring catches my eye, my mind can wander to the future.  Then I find myself entering the land of "If Only."  "If only I had husband..."  "If only I was the best teacher... and so on.  This place becomes a very dangerous place to dwell.  As soon as I find myself headed down the path, I quickly send up a prayer and attempt to redirect my thoughts to what I have before me.

My desire to be married and have a family is not wrong, it is just so tough to be reminded by other's happiness or ads that seem to point out that unfulfilled desire in my life.  I am learning slowly that God has a purpose for this season of my life.  My aim is to become holy in body and spirit and serve God without distraction (that is proving harder than I had realized) (I Corinthians 7:34-35).  God also tells me to delight in Him, and He will give me the desires of my heart (Psalm 37:4).  God knows my heart, now I have to trust Him and wait on His timing.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Decisions 2013

I remembered making a list of decisions for 2012 last year at church and discovered my list recently.  My top 5 goals for last year were as follows:
1. Speak in love/Keep God first
2. Teach my students good character by example and skills secondarily
3. Intentionally exercise and eat right
4. Ride a gondola in Venice, Italy
5. Run a 10K or 5K.
We we encouraged to reexamine our list and filter it through John 5:30-"I can of mine own self do nothing: as  I hear, I judge: and my judgement is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of my Father which hath sent me."  My list remained relatively the same, and God showed His will.
I made great progress in my goals for 2012.  I fell in love with God's Word. God showed me some areas to work on in regards to my conversation.  I loved my kiddos and prayed for new harvests of kiddos.  God has given me an abundance.  I began within the last few months to purposefully eat healthy and exercise.  I did run a 5K, I got doused in colored corn starched and had a blast doing so.  That was the largest race with several thousand participants that I had ever run, but it was totally worth it.  I did ride a gondola in Venice, Italy and I believe God orchestrated the whole thing.  I  met two Canadian young men and my one regret was that I didn't share Jesus Christ with them face to face.  However, through the wonderful world of  technology, I did have a chance to share Christ with one of them at great length while he was still on his trip in Europe.  Therefore, I saw my desire to ride a gondola as a seed planting opportunity for God.
Now as I get settled into 2013, and see that God can bring me overseas to plant seeds for him, why can't I do the same in my own neighborhood?  There are opportunities surrounding us everyday.  We just have to GO.  God will give us the words, if we give Him ourselves with a willingness to serve Him.  My decisions for 2013 are similar to before, but they can be summarized in the word, GO.  God commands us to GO and make disciples.  I must GO and be a light to my kiddos, I must GO and speak the love of God to others, I must GO exercise.  It is just that simple.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

The Best Thing

What is the best thing you have ever done?  I can think of many things that I've done, places I have been, people that I have met that were awesome and amazing.  What was the best thing, you ask?  That would have to be recognizing my sinfulness before a holy and just God.  God was knocking on my heart and gently showing me that He sent Jesus to shed his blood for me and pay for my sins.  I accepted His gift and now know that the blood of Jesus, the Lamb of God, is now applied to the doorposts of my heart.

That has definitely been the best thing in my life so far.  My life has been filled with good things since then.  As I seek to know God more, I have been reminded that the good things of life can overshadow the best things.  God created us to please Him.  In order to please Him and know what is best, we must know Him not perform or do things for Him.  Good things done for the wrong reasons, are bad things.  Check your motives and make the best choice.  God deserves our best.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

It's GO Time!

A new year has arrived.  For me, it is GO time!  I am sick and tired of wasting time planning to do things that I need to do.  I am not throwing planning out the window.  It has it's place, but there is a time where you just need to pick up and GO.
I have accomplished so much--scratch that--God has accomplished so much in and through me in the last couple of months.  These last few months have been difficult to say the least, but I have seen God work the most in my life.  It is such an amazing feeling to GO and do what God has called me to do.
This year I have been called to GO teach my many harvests of children to the best of my ability.
I have also committed to GO the healthy route this year and will be doing a book study on godly eating habits.  I know this won't be easy, but I will go.  This is one of my hardest struggles, and I plan to gain victory over it.
I have been called to GO and share my faith with others, this seems to be the most intimidating thing at times.  I have always cared what people thought of me and been afraid to share my faith.  "If I speak up, they are going to think I'm crazy."  "If I say something about Jesus, they may get angry."  I have purposely avoided putting God into conversations because I didn't want others to think less of me.  Just in the last few month, I have shared my faith directly or indirectly around 80 to 100 times!  Wow!  That is crazy to me!  God is doing a great work in me and giving me the boldness and courage to speak up and go. The wonderful thing about it is that the more I do it, the more I want to do it.  It makes me so excited that I can hardly contain myself.
This year is a year to GO and do what God has commanded me to do.  I must know Him and make Him known.