Thursday, February 14, 2013

God's best....

Happy Valentines Day

I met a girl the other day and I can't even remember where I was but I had never met her before.  I introduced myself and she said oh I know we haven't met but I've read your blog and feel like I know you.  I thought for a second, My blog?  I some how forgot I started a blog but then realized I miss writing out my journey of life.  So I'm back to the key board and will hopefully be better about keeping up with this(I know I say that a lot).

This year has started off with a bang and the Lord is doing big things in my heart.  Last year has been defined as my heart surgery year and this year has so far been a joyful recovery.

This year started by hearing many hard stories of close friends and family that are going through some hard marriage seasons.... divorce, abandonment and affairs.  I have been blessed with the gift of getting to see some really great marriages with my line of work but after hearing so many hard stories I raised my hands and said No Thank You Lord.  I don't want to give up being single for heart ache, that does not look appealing to me.  So for several weeks I have been battling the thought of marriage.

During that time my car battery died and of course I did the only thing I knew to do....I called my dad.  I of course knew there was nothing he would be able to physically do cause he lives in Texas but he was able to tell me the steps I needed to take to get it fixed.  So there was no way to get my car to autozone so I had to bring the battery home, still not knowing how in the world to put a battery in.  I'm thankful that my land lord helped me with it but he didn't fully know how to either.  At that point I had to make a couple more trips back to autozone and was able to get it all fixed.  As I went on my last trip I just started crying like a baby, my heart wanted my dad to be with me so bad cause he would know how to do this.  He would have made the trips to get things done and he would make sure everything is done well... why? Cause he is my Father and I'm his daughter.  As I was in my car crying the Spirit told me "No one is going to love you like your Father does."  In the tears I thanked the Lord for that truth, no man is going to love me the way my Heavenly Father loves me and all this time I have put some a lot of hope in that.  I began to realize how much I idolized and romanticized marriage and though it is good it will be hard too.  Sanctification is never easy and that is what marriage does.

Every day is different, well lets be honest it goes moment to moment.  There are moments that I thank the Lord for the gift of singleness, it truly is a gift, then there are moments that I'm impatient and wonder will a husband ever come.  This week the Lord stopped me in my tracks and taught me a lesson as I was talking to one of my little ones.  His "night night" was dirty and needed to be washed of course he did not want to part with it so when he was distracted I put it in the wash.  About 5 minutes later he asked, Mae Mae where is my night night.  I told him I had to put it in the wash cause it was really dirty but I promise when it is finished I will give it to him.  2 minutes pass Mae Mae where is my night night?  I explained to him again the situation and that went on for about ten minutes of him asking me every minute or so.  I became impatient and said "where is your night night?" then he told me where it was.  I said "Please look at me, please trust me I will not forget that your night night is in the wash and I promise I will give it to you when it is ready."  Right there the spirit stopped me and had me listen to the words I just said...Please trust me, I will not forget that you are asking for a husband but he is not ready for you yet.  I promise I will give him to you when he is ready....Ahhh, thank you Lord for that moment!

I'm reading the book The Meaning of Marriage and one of the first things we talked about is just as God is sanctifying you He is sanctifying him.  Hearing about the hard seasons of marriage has made me become a lot more patient and hearing Gods whispers of His love and protection for me.  I am brought to a place that I can truthfully say "Lord,I'm willing to wait.  I want your timing not mine.  I trust that you love me.  I trust that you want what is best for me."  I seem to forget that just as the Lord has had to do some major heart surgery in my life He may being doing the same thing in a man who He is preparing for me to lead, protect and provide.  I don't want to settle for less than God's best for me.... eeeekkk that gets me giddy with full out butterfly's in my stomach to think about what God's best is for me.  

He loves us.  He cherishes us.  He adores us.  He redeems us.  He is faithful.  He is good!

My valentine this year ...such a gentleman :0)

one day at a time,

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Couldn't help it

Here is a fun pic of the Wilson kids I will be working with...
Gray is the great big sister, Mimi, Mac, Yates and Fitz. I can't wait to get to know them more...

A refresher

This past week I finished up my time with interning for Christ Community and had a few days off before starting my new job.

With my days off I decided to take the Megabus(a cheap and great way to travel) to Dallas/Denton/fort worth to visit college friends. It was nice to get away for a little bit and catch up with dear friends. We did what girls do best: laughed a lot, got dressed up for dinner, some fun thrift shopping, at yummy food, stayed up late, painted nails and had good conversations. I am so thankful for this time off and these women in my life!

Tomorrow I start a new chapter of working as a nanny for a new family,The Wilson's! I am really excited about this year and my time in their home.

Well just a few more hours left on the Megabus...

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

being made Holy

Lately I've been thinking about a quote I hear many people say about marriage..."Marriage was not created to make you happy it is to make you holy".  I totally agree with that statement but for some reason because I'm not in that season of life right now I've thought that doesn't apply to me.  Until this week the Lord has been challenging me, pushing me to process through things and I realized that that quote is not just for those who are married.  I'm learning that "singleness was not created to make me happy it is to make me holy".  Whatever season of life you are in you can fill in the blank...  I believe this totally goes against everything the world is telling us.  We are told that if we are happy then life will be great, that if we are not happy then we are doing something wrong, our country is founded on the statement "with the pursuit(definition: an effort to secure or attain) of happiness".  So the world is saying that it is up to me to have a happy life, it is up to me to work hard enough in order to attain happiness.  God's word says in John 10 "I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly".  So that tells me God sent Jesus so that we, everyone in the world, may have life and that we would live an abundant(full) life, not necessarily a happy one all the time.

I'm learning from a book, The Voice of the Heart by Chip Dodd, this year what it means to live fully out of my heart, to understand the core of feelings. A sweet sweet gift the Lord has given me is four women that I get to meet with every week that we get to share in confidentiality our heart and the feelings we have been feeling the past week.  Now actually going through the steps with the group I am going back through the book and understanding more about what Dodd is saying on how the heart works.  I'm realizing that for so long my heart has been crying out but because I had fear of feeling a certain way because it would bring pain I avoided it not knowing that I'm actually robbing myself of my heart's true potential for joy.  Instead of facing the truth I sought after counterfeit solutions all to avoid the neediness and vulnerability so often found with the truth.  I'm learning that life is not simply about being happy.  It's about living fully in an intimate relationship with my self, others and with God, which is a joy unto itself.  
"We subordinate ourselves to the lie that our lives don't have great worth except through performance or merit.  We do things because we ought to instead of awakening to the desires within our hearts that hunger for truth and hunger to do things because we passionately desire to do them...We live far below the heights for which we were made."    

" By surrendering to your heart's true expression, you can live abundantly.  Your thirsts and hungers will be satisfied.  Your feelings, needs, desires, longings, and hope will lead you to full life.... Ultimately, living fully means more than happiness, comfort, or thrills.  You have the capacity to experience true joy, yet you are equally capable of grieving deeply while holding on to hope.  Full life means you can expect great things in the midst of great loss.  You can accomplish many good things while still needing to be forgiven for the harm you have caused."  

Through the whole book he explains the structure of the heart and how it works as a system of spiritual and emotional roots that need spiritual and emotional nourishment.  The system consists of feelings, needs, desires, longings, and hope. Through knowing the system we are able to pursue abundant living.

I had no idea how much I have stuffed down in my heart all because I don't want to feel the pain.  All because I don't want to deal with the ugliness of my sin.  All because of fear and shame that I don't want others to know my junk.  I don't want to rip off the bandages I have covered my heart with because I honestly don't want to see what the wound looks like underneath.  I don't want to see the ugliness of the deep rooted hole that is in my heart that is invested with dirt but I know that by cleaning it out healing will come but in the midst of the cleaning there is pain.  So here it is in the season of singleness the Lord is sanctifying me and I'm not happy about it but I can say that I am glad.  I am experiencing true gladness in knowing that my Father loves me so much that He doesn't want me to stay in the mess of sin I'm in.  That He wants me to deal with the wounds no matter how much it hurts He knows that this is what's best for me.  That He cares more about redeeming me and making me more like Him than He does about making me happy.     

By seeing the depths of my sin I am getting to see a clearer picture of who God is: gracious, compassionate, slow to anger, rich in love, faithful to his promises, loving toward all he has made, upholds all who fall, lifts up those bowed down, righteous, near to those who call, fulfills the desires of our hearts, watches over us, healer, restorer, creator, mighty, great, a fortress, a stronghold, a deliverer, a shield, a refuge and sustainer to the humble.   And to know that God delights in his people, those who fear Him(those who hate sin),who put their hope in his unfailing love... (psalm 144-147)

So single ladies as much as I know you want to be married, I'm in the same boat, but what would happen if we stopped looking at the season of singleness as merely a waiting room for our "Mr. Right" and began to look at it as what it truly is, a gift from God which He sees is the best for us right now.  That through our life He cares way more about our hearts and about restoring them so that we may become more like Him.  

"Let everything that has breath praise the Lord.  Praise the Lord."
Psalm 150 

1 Peter 1:13-16
"Therefore, prepare your minds for action; be self-controlled; set your hope fully on the grace to be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed.  As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance.  but just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: "Be holy, because I am holy." 


Saturday, July 7, 2012

Adding a little color

So I saw this art project on pintrest(of course) and thought this would be a perfect way to add some color to the jewelry room....
So I headed to Lowes and had way to much fun. I just picked every color under the rainbow and felt a little guilty cause I was walking out of there with a stacks of swatches in hand and didn't have to pay! Thanks Lowes :)

When I got to work I laid out all my colors and all the different shapes of samples.

Then I just went for it. Cutting tape and began putting a massive puzzle together. But I was so excited at the end cause it actually turned out to be a nice touch of color to the room!!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

the fields

I have been struggling on figuring out how to process all that the Lord has been showing and teaching me this summer.  From 9-5, Monday through Friday, I walk into several different "worlds" and before starting this position I never knew some these even existed 5 miles from my house.  
         One place is filled with people who come from different countries around the world trying to figure out American Culture, learn english, try to find a job, get their kids in schools and have been labeled with the expectation that they should be self sustaining within three months.  I am amazed at these peoples lives and am captivated by their cultures.  We always hear it said "people in the south are so hospitable" if just smiling and saying hi to someone is considered hospitable or if we believe that hospitality is only a gift that God has given to some then I believe we have sadly mistaken the true definition.  My new friends have shown me what true hospitality is and I have quickly learned it is not just a smile and a quick hello, how are you.  They actually welcome you into their home, they don't mind that we see their dirty dishes in the sink, a floor that needs to be swept or that their home is not decorated to the finest.  As soon as we step foot in the door its oh please sit down let me make you some chi tea(its so yummy!) and we can talk(more like a game of charades) or please stay longer let me make you one of our favorite meals (homemade egg rolls with a side of lettuce is becoming one of my favorite meals).  Here are people who have very little, living off of food stamps, struggling to learn how to communicate with me but yet are so quick to give and welcome in.  

Then I step into another world, an inner city neighborhoods that truly does feel like I'm walking into a 3rd world country at times. One night a week Emily (the other intern I'm working with) and I get the opportunity to have dinner with a family who actually live in the different inner city neighborhoods around town.  Last week we got to learn more about a specific neighborhood we work with that is called Orange Mound.   As we were listening to stories I begin to feel like I've been living under rock cause I had no idea what peoples lives were really like this.  That it's not abnormal for people who live in a house in that area of town to not have electricity or running water.  That people actually do live life using buckets of water to wash their hands, flush the toilet and take some sort of bath.  That even though a house may look decent on the outside it wouldn't be a surprise if you walked into it and there not be one piece of furniture.  There are children(as young as four) in the neighborhood who don't have parental supervision and so they just roam the streets any time of day.  There are girls as young as 12 years old getting pregnant by grown men and who are able to make the decision to keep the baby.

Once a week we going into one of the clinics that is located in the same inner city area and get to talk with patients about their spiritual health.  We have a couple intro questions to ask which then helps us lead into sharing the gospel.  I remember the first day of doing this I was so nervous but now it is easily the highlight of my week and the hardest part of my week.  I have not had any patience tell me that they didn't want to talk about their spiritual health or reject being prayed for.  I'm not the best with estimations but I would confidently say at least 80%+ of the people that I have had the chance to talk with had never heard the gospel before.  They think just by going to church and doing good deeds is how we get to heaven.  They hadn't heard why Jesus had to die, that we are all guilty of sin and that Jesus truly is the only way and our only hope!  

The first morning of starting the internship I read John 4:27-42.  Jesus just finished talking with the samaritan woman and the disciples came back to meet up with Him but are so surprised to see Jesus talking with a woman, a samaritan woman at that.  She leaves and the disciples figured that Jesus had to be hungry at this point and are encouraging him to eat something.  Jesus responds "I have food to eat that you know nothing about" the disciples were confused by His statement.  So Jesus goes on to explain... My food, is to do the will of God and to finish his work.  vs35 "Do you not say, Four months more and then the harvest?  I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields!  They are ripe for harvest."  

I remember praying that morning and asking God to open my eyes to see the harvest fields in Memphis and by God's grace He has been faithful to do just that.  They are ripe and there are a lot of acres to cover.... 


Thursday, June 7, 2012

Jewelry Making

Here is a little history and purpose behind the jewelry program that has been started for the women in the refugee community.

We are also excited to announce the opening of the Ekata Designs etsy shop!  Take a look around and keep a look out of up coming house shows and local stores that will be caring their jewelry!