Friday, February 11, 2011

Obedience knows no ages or stages

A friend of mine just passed me this article that a friend of hers wrote, "Singled Out by God for Good". Amazing article on the season of singleness and how God is soo good.

Little snip bits of the article:

"Thoreau insists that most men lead lives of quiet desperation; I insist that many singles lead lives of loud aggravation. Being immersed in singles can be like finding yourself in the midst of "The Whiners" of 1980's Saturday Night Live—it gives a whole new meaning to "pity party."

"Can God be any less good to me on the average Tuesday morning than he was on that monumental Friday afternoon when he hung on a cross in my place? The answer is a resounding NO. God will not be less good to me tomorrow either, because God cannot be less good to me. His goodness is not the effect of his disposition but the essence of his person—not an attitude but an attribute."

"You see, we singles are chronic amnesiacs—we forget who we are, we forget whose we are. I am a single Christian. My identity is not found in my marital status but in my redemptive status. I 'm one of the "haves," not one of the "have-nots."

"It is a cosmic impossibility for God to require less of me in my relationships than he does of the mother of four whose office is next door. Obedience knows no ages or stages."

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Date night

What a beautiful snow day it was! I am so thankful for the gift this morning of being able to eat breakfast while looking out the widow to see the ground covered with stark white glittering snow.... ahh beauty!

Though I did get to stay in my pajamas today thankfully it has been a productive day and now my day is ending with a date night with the Lord. Last semester I was challenged with an assignment to pick out one day that week and spend at least 2 hours with the Lord. I thought oh yes, this will be great! The day came around and I spent the morning just doing things I enjoy-sewing, watching a movie, staying in my pajamas and eating cereal. Then about three hours before I was going to meet with the Lord I thought, I want to really treat this like my date is coming over for dinner. No way would I have laundry everywhere, dirty dishes in the sink, papers lying on the floor and be looking like a slob. So I went all out, I treated this night as if I was getting ready to make dinner for the man of my dreams. I cleaned my apartment, did my hair and make up, put on a cute outfit, lit candles and had dinner with the Lord. As I was getting things ready I began to think, WOW 2 hrs. "Lord, what are we going to talk about for two hours". Then I thought well what do most couples do on a date night.... they get to know each other! This is a time I get to know God for who He says He is, not what my friends say, not what teachers have said nor what the world says. By the time two hours had rolled around and sadly I had to be some where after, I was telling the Lord " no no don't let this be over yet, I want more time with you"

Girls (and guys) I challenge you if you haven't done this before to try it. You don't have to do it the way I did, be creative!! What would you want to do on a date? How do you get to know people? I also really love the devotional by Kay Arthur "Lord I want to know you". Its a great way to get to know God by His character and what He says about Himself.

Well tonight was an amazing night with the Lord. As I have been trying to stay on track with reading through the Bible in a year, I have been asking the Lord to help me see what these stories mean. I don't want to just read Gods Word it to read it but I want to read it to be changed by it. Tonight He was faithful to meet me on my bed and have a heart to heart.

Tonight I read through Exodus 13-17 (leading Israel out of Egypt) . These are a few chapters that I feel like most people know about and it is easy to just skim through because you know the bases of the story. Well tonight the Lord had me digging through these scriptures to learn more about Him. In chapter 13 the Israelites are freed from slavery under Pharaoh and now being lead by God through Moses to the promise land. The first time I read these chapters I began to tell the Lord once again, gosh I am so like the Israelites. I grumble and complain when I know that you are leading me but how I so easily forget...I'm so annoyed!
Then the second time I read through the chapters the Lord told me stop focusing on the Israelites, learn from Moses.... YES! Learn from Moses, I don't want to be like the Israelites I want to be like Moses- obedient, faithful, patient, loving, trusting servant. So then I began to highlight everything Moses was doing and saying. Moses in these 5 chapters is not the same Moses I read of in the early chapters. In the beginning he didn't fully trust God and the Lord had to show him signs to build up his faith (ch.3), then he had to deal with Pharaoh and the plagues, and now he is leading a nation, crossing the Read Sea, trusting the Lord for substance and water in the dessert then defeating the Amalekites. AHHH how awesome is that! Moses had to learn but Moses clung to the Lord, he dwelled in the Lord and no matter how crazy the Lords commands sounded he obeyed.

Then the third time around I get deeper! Through these five chapters God is showing the Israelites who He is!! This is exciting!! God isn't just telling them of His character traits but He is saying let me show you how I am a God who is a

Protector- Exodus 13:17-18 " When Pharaoh let the people go, God did not lead them on the road through the Philistine country, though that was shorter. For God said, "If they face war, they might change their minds and return to Egypt." So God led the people around by the dessert road toward the Read Sea." Though going through the dessert was a longer route God did this because he was protecting them from harm and He knew them to know they would have turned back around!! Though the season of singleness may feel like we are wandering in the dessert with no man to be found, God is protecting us by taking us on a longer route!!

Shepherd- 13:21-22 "By day the Lord went ahead of them in a pillar of cloud to guide them on their way and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, so that they could travel by day or night. Neither the pillar of cloud by day nor the pillar of fire by night left it's place in front of the people." Never will He leave us, Never will He forsake us! The Lord protects and He leads us we just have to be obedient to follow!

Deliverer- 14:13-14" Moses answered the people, " Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the Lord will bring you today. The Egyptians you see today you will never see again. The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still." God is fighting for them, for you and me! We have to not be afraid of our circumstances but fear the Lord. When we stand firm in Him that is when we will see deliverance today!! They Egyptians aka. our enemy- sin. The Lord delivers us from sin!! He is says He will fight for us, he will go against our enemy but we must be still in Him!

Savior- 14:30-31 " That day the Lord saved Israel from the hands of the Egyptians, and Israel saw the Egyptians lying dead on the shore. And when the Israelites saw the great power the Lord displayed against the Egyptians, the people feared the Lord and put their trust in Him and in Moses his servant." The Lord saves! These people watched as the Lord destroyed their enemies....We get to watch the Lord destroy the sin that so easily in tangles us but again we have to put our trust in Him.

Redeemer- 15:13- "In your unfailing love you will lead the people you have redeemed. In your strength you will guide them to our holy dwelling." Verses 1-18 in chapter 15 is a praise song they are singing to the Lord and I LOVE IT! The Lord not only saves us from our sin but He redeems us from our sin! He is guiding us to His dwelling place! Psalm 84- "Even the sparrow has found a home and the swallow a nest for herself where she may have her young, a place near your alter oh Lord Almighty my King and my God." May we dwell (build our home) near His alter and remind ourselves daily that God has redeemed us for His glory!!

Healer- 15:26 " He said,"If you listen carefully to the voice of the Lord your God and do what is right in his eyes, if you pay attention to his commands and keep all his decrees," I will not bring on you any of the diseases I brought on the Egyptians, for I am the Lord, who heals you." Praise the Lord that He is a God that heals our wounds- physical, spiritual, mental or emotional.

Provider- 16:4-5 "Then the Lord said to Moses, "I will rain down bread from heaven for you. The people are to go out each day and gather enough for that day. In this way I will test them and see whether they will follow my instructions. On the sixth day they are to prepare what they bring in, and that is to be twice as much as they gather on the other days. " We serve a God that provides for our needs and does it in ways that we have to say "It was only by God". I like this picture too because every day the Israelites had to get enough food for just that one day except for the sixth day they got two days worth. But this is how we should be treating our spiritual food from the Lord. If I'm not getting in Gods word daily, how could I possibly think that I'm not going to starve by the end of the day or the next....Matthew 4 "man does not live by bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God"

Ahh this is what I needed to be reminded of and experience tonight! May I gather enough bread for my daily need and be still and know He is God.

Go have a date night!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Soap Bubbles

I hit number 50 this week on my list of thankfulness. Through the first couple of days the major things that I am thankful for come to my attention- my home, my bed, my job, etc. Then I realize, all of the "big" things I am thankful for are going to end at around 75-100. I started talking with the Lord and asking Him "1,000 Lord, really". He said yes really, that means after you see the "big" gifts I have given you, you are going to have to start noticing all the small gifts I am giving you.
It's easier to notice the bigger gifts that you use everyday and that are staples to your life. It takes work and discipline to begin to slow down and truly smell the flowers/notice the small gifts the Lord is blessing you with. As I read through Ann's story there is a point where she is thanking God for the soap bubbles and how the sun reflects these beautiful colors off of them.... SOAP BUBBLES! How teeny tiny those are but how packed they are with beauty... Gods beauty! I want to be noticing the soap bubbles in my life!!

The list so far (not ranked my importance):

1.crossfit/excitement for the weight loss journey the Lord has me on
2. surprise nights off
3. The sweet families I work for/have
4. cozy flannel sheets
5. cuddle duds-best pajamas!
6. the smell of a blue "volcano" candle burning
7. extended time at a book store
8. my job
9. children's excitement over a cupcake
10. eating lunch with a preschooler
11. daily victories over addiction
12. My brother- love his artistic, loving, crazy self
13. My Dad- LOVE this man! I pray for a man like him to be my husband
14. My Momma- the Lord has taught me so much through her
15. The 13 years I did have with my Aunt G.
16. That Nana lived with us
17. Downline ministries
18. My years in Denton
19. The Vaughan's
20. for beautiful colors
21. for the memory I do have
22. a warm house (a heater that works)
23. Friends who call me out on my sin
24. The Orozco's
25. Katie King- for embracing me
26. Kelsey Tennison for unconditional love
27. Every roommate I have had... The Lord has used these girls to shape who I am today
28. a cell phone that works
29. Paul Sunday, the boy I support in Uganda
30. encouraging conversations
31. common hearts with sisters in Christ
32. connecting families with sitters who bless the whole family
33. Fresh breakfast smoothie
34. quiet mornings to spend in the Word
35. beautiful music
36. a warm shower
37. productive days
38. phone dates with distant friends
39. socks
40. eyeglasses and contacts
41. freshly brushed teeth
42. a hot cup of green tea
43. my car
44. money to buy gas for my car
45. for pretty things- architecture, home decor, art, etc
46. the smell of bacon this morning reminded me of family time at the cabin
47. being able to buy food
48. unending grace
49. all the things inside my home- furniture, clothes, dishes, jewelry, shoes, art supplies
50. being able to dream about BIG ideas

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

weight lifting....something I've never done before

Well as apart of my goal to lose weight this year I ran across a groupon in December for a bootcamp work out called Crossfit. I thought "OH this will be great!" thinking this is just what I need to help me jump start my weight loss. After that I started researching more about it, I began to think "OH my goodness what have I gotten myself into, I don't want to be a body builder!"... yes I know I should have done the research first before signing up.

I had no idea Crossfit was this nationwide hard core, weight lifting boot-camp. As I began to watch videos and reading testimonies I was excited to see what this was all about but also scared out of my mind.

This is my favorite video I found off of the Memphis Crossfit website. I really liked the community that it talks about and the challenge that it brings that I don't get working out by myself. So I stepped into Crossfit and to my surprise it has been an absolute blast! I love the atmosphere, the people, the encouragement, the challenge, the puke feeling I get about half way through, the since of accomplishment I feel when I'm done, I desire to eat cleaner and be more disciplined, my clothes are fitting better and I'm excited to say I'm already one size down!!