Do It Again!

img_0859As I shut the trunk of my car, I was flooded with emotions.

There, in my little white Acura TL, was the entire contents of my life. All packed away.
And 17 hrs ahead of me was my new adventure.

With my dad in the driver seat, I looked in the side mirror and watched all the familiar signs and places get smaller and smaller. All these thoughts started filling my head, “Are you sure God? Is this really what you’re calling me to do? What would happen if I just made my dad turn around and stay? I was pretty happy and content with my life here. Am I making the right decision?” Tears slowly ran down my cheeks. My heart felt like it was in my throat, and my body felt numb.

But then, a still, small voice whispered, “Be strong in me and my mighty power. I got you.”

You guys, Ephesians 6:10 says “A final word: Be strong in the Lord and his mighty power.”

As the whole world seemed like it was crashing down on my lap, and my mind began sinking into a small perspective, God reminded me that He has me. And He has continued to remind me every day since I made the decision to keep moving forward.

It’s been about 2 weeks since moving to California. The fear has subsided a bit, and the anxiousness has disappeared. All because MY God has proven, time and time again, that He has me. From the precious bond my family and I experienced while they were down here, to my awesome roommate who I have almost everything in common with, to getting offered a job on the spot at Starbucks, to HALF of my tuition being provided by so many friends and family who are being used by God to show me that HE HAS ME. I don’t know what your small mirror moment is right now, but I just want you to know He has you. Every step has been orchestrated by our God. I never understood that until now. Seeing all of it unravel before my eyes. It is evident that He has literally planned out every single detail for me. And we just get to sit back and worship in His glory.

Continue reading

Advertisements

Grace Day

It’s no coincidence that my devotional today is called “Grace Day.”

Do you ever find yourself being your worst critic? Thinking how much of a failure you are, unworthy, or just down right a disappointment…

Well, come to find out, my personality type (which makes up only 1% of the world) tends to make up stories or scenarios that always point toward myself being the bad guy. Meaning, I will never be good enough for myself.

Talk about grace, right?

I just recently went to the Beyoncé concert this last week. I know, you’re jealous. But during the concert, Beyoncé said something that really stood out to me. She said, “in order to be able to truly love another person, you must love yourself first.” She goes on to say, “you must be your own best friend.”

It took me back a minute. “Be my own best friend?” I was so unfamiliar with that statement that I was actually really confused.

Then it hit me. God calls us to love our neighbors as we love ourselves. That’s like one of the top two commands by God.

Well if I don’t love myself, how can I love my neighbor? Exactly.

God doesn’t call us to be perfect people. If He did, He wouldn’t have had to send His one and only Son to come and sacrifice himself for you and me.

No, God calls us to be faithful. To live in His grace and UNFAILING love. We are God’s masterpieces. So let’s love ourselves, through Christ, so that we can truly love others.

Join me today, my friends, in a Grace Day. Take some time to sit in God’s presence. Filled with His grace and His love.

God cares about our daily decisions. In Ephesians 1:16-19 God teaches us how to pray for counsel and discernment for not only ourselves but for others too.

Will you join me in praying this over one another today?

“I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers, that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him, having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might”
‭‭Ephesians‬ ‭1:16-19‬ ‭ESV

Did I cause it?

I think it’s easy to find yourself in a crappy situation and think “man this sucks.” For me, my instinct is…in order to change the crappy situation, I have to find who or what is crappy. Right?

Wrong.

Frustration is almost my middle name. Like seriously…I don’t think there’s been a day that has gone by in my 23 years of living where I didn’t find myself frustrated about something. One day I decided “I am tired of feeling annoyed…” it’s really bad on the skin. Plus, I always tend to crave sweets when I’m upset and we all know where that leads…so I knew I needed to find a solution.

Google. It’s the medicine to all my problems. Google search: Define Frustration…

“the feeling of being upset or annoyed, especially because of the inability to change or achieve something.”

Ah hah! All I needed to read was the word inability. Not my fault. Nailed it. But just to make sure I am justified, my next google search: What does God say about frustration?…

PAUSE

You know that moment when you think you are going to get a certain answer and then it ends up being the complete opposite and you are now convicted about almost everything in your life (*grabs handful of cookies and shoves into mouth*)

RESUME

What popped up from my google search: “5 Steps to Handling Frustration” by Rick Warren

Woah woah woah. 5 steps…like, I have to do something about it? What happened to inability…aka it not being about me.

  1. Ask yourself, “Did I cause it?”
    – we often are frustrated by many things in life because we bring them on ourselves
    (bring on more cookies…*insert crying emoji* *insert knife emoji*)

Galatians 6:7 says “..You will always harvest what you plant”

He goes on with 4 more steps, but this one really hit home for me. I realized, most my frustration comes from blaming everyone else. Maybe I need to take a second and ask, “Did I cause it?”

In scripture it says “look at the plank in your eye before you point out the spec in another’s.” Instead of thinking who or why…I need to start looking at “I.” Even if you’re not the reason why something is going wrong, you can at least be the reason why it starts going right. We are called, as believers, to find joy and thanksgiving through all seasons. This is when true worship happens. God is good ALL THE TIME. So shouldn’t we live and act like He is?

We Can’t Forget the Yet.

Jesus Christ. Son of God. Savior to the world.

God sent His son to come to the earth and sacrifice Him…SACRIFICE Him for our sins. Ours.

For some reason, the more I hear the story, the duller it becomes. Bare with me, I don’t actually think that, it’s just what habitual things tend to do in our brains. They become “normal”.

But I don’t think we get it. That, Jesus dying…DYING on the cross for us should never become normal.

In fact, Jesus, himself, should never be normal. Think about it. He is FULLY human and FULLY God. Does that even make sense??

The bible has many moments where Jesus experiences real emotion. And if you’re an emotional person like me, that’s refreshing. Even the Son of God wasn’t always a happy-go-lucky guy.

One example is in Matthew, when Jesus is praying in Gethsemane.

“My Father! If it is possible, let this cup of suffering be taken away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine.” Matthew 26:39

Jesus would do this THREE more times. You see, Jesus was experiencing sorrow, grief, and fear.

But here’s the difference between us and Jesus. Jesus had a YET. “Yet I want your will to be done, not mine.”

I’m sorry, but if I’m about to be brutally beaten and killed I don’t think I’d have a yet. I’d keep it at “take it away from me.” …That’s it.

But maybe that’s the point. Maybe God is trying to show us that even in the tough season, where everything seems to be falling apart and suffering takes on a whole new meaning, we’re suppose to say “Yet your will be done, not mine.”

We are even reminded of this in the earlier chapters of Matthew.
“Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need. ‘So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today.” Matthew 6:33-34

Seasons can be tough and we may have a hard time making sense of it, but we have a God who is Sovereign. His promises are always true.

So I encourage you, when you’re praying through ANY season in life, remember “Yet your will be done, not mine.coffeecup

Dreamers VS Visionaries

IMG_1694  IMG_1719IMG_1709 IMG_1720

IMG_1754 IMG_1761 IMG_1771 IMG_1773 IMG_1786 IMG_1818 IMG_1834 IMG_1835

 

Sometimes we get a vision we believe is from God. Like most people, you act on that vision right away. But sometimes, it’s better to wait. Waiting can actually be better then acting. It gives God time to help us grow, and for us to see if our vision is God-given or self-given.

This doesn’t mean that you are paralyzed in this time. This is actually when you do the most. When you PRAY and PREPARE. We pray for opportunities to grow, but in order to use/see these opportunities we prepare ourselves. Plan for our prayers to be answered, trusting that God is going to provide. Because opportunities without preparation equals missed opportunities. S

God has provided incredible opportunities for me, with a new job, helping launch a church in a community I love, and starting up school again. I am overwhelmed by his provision, and know that He is preparing me for something big.

 

Last weekend: vacation on vacation

20140728-143644-52604675.jpg

20140728-143642-52602924.jpg

20140728-143643-52603810.jpg

20140728-143645-52605550.jpg

20140728-143646-52606379.jpg

20140728-143647-52607236.jpg

20140728-143649-52609006.jpg

20140728-143642-52602049.jpg

20140728-143649-52609899.jpg

20140728-143648-52608113.jpg

20140728-143651-52611084.jpg

20140728-143652-52612104.jpg

London Victoria! What a weekend getaway! It was an incredible adventure. And very eventful too. I HAD to see everything! I mean COME ON, how many chances do I get to be in London? Let’s just say, we took sight seeing to a whole new level. Saturday we walked about 27 miles. Maybe more. From Big Ben, to the London eye, to the London Bridge and Harrods, I was in awe of the city.

The funny thing is that we didn’t have a car. All we had was the clothes on our back, shoes on our feet, pockets with money, and our brains to get us everywhere.

It was quite a journey. And The Lord just continues to remind me of how much He loves me. Not only that, but how well he knows me too. I’ve always spoke about traveling, seeing the world, and getting out there. But I always seem to hold myself back. Well, The Lord gives you your hearts desires, even when you don’t realize they’re there.

I am beyond blessed with all of these experiences and I’m excited to bring back this renewed spirit and fulfillment with joy to everyone back at home. But I’m going to make the most of these next couple of days. So see you in a few days WA!

Day 3 of week 3: kiss and tell

20140723-200751-72471886.jpg

20140723-200751-72471068.jpg

20140723-200749-72469376.jpg

20140723-200824-72504864.jpg

20140723-200752-72472719.jpg

20140723-200748-72468477.jpg

20140723-200750-72470246.jpg

20140724-010423-3863967.jpg

20140724-010423-3863110.jpg

20140724-010424-3864819.jpg

20140724-010425-3865668.jpg

20140724-010426-3866501.jpg

20140724-010428-3868217.jpg

20140724-010427-3867370.jpg

Kissed the Blarney Stone! It is said that when kissing the stone you are given the ability to “sweet talk” your way in or out of things (like I’m not already good at that). Anyway, was a fun day adventuring around the Blarney Castle. Also saw the Poison Garden which has two herbs that are in Harry Potter (only 2 pics of the plants posted).

Spiritually, I’ve been great too. The Lord just continues to speak to me. And I can’t emphasize how intimate and loving He has been with me.

On this trip I’ve been having insecurity issues like crazy. And if you know me well, you know that’s not too out of the ordinary. But these past few days it’s been pretty severe. Every beautiful, fit or skinny, long haired, amazing complexioned girl that walks by I compare myself. Thinking all these negative thoughts about how I wished I could look like them.

Here’s where our Lord comes in. That very evening, I picked up my bible and started reading. And while I’m reading I subconsciously am looking down at my stomach. And as I’m reading GODS WORD I’m subconsciously thinking “eh, I wish my stomach didn’t hang over so much.” Then I read I a verse and thought “oh, what a good one. I’m going to write that in my journal.” Like a typical person. Not really READING and GRASPING what God might be saying to me. And it wasn’t until after I wrote the verse that I realized what I had just written.

“Though our bodies are dying, our spirits are renewed every day.”
2 Corinthians 4:16

Then it hit me. I was completely missing the promise and comfort God was trying to speak me. And if that wasn’t enough, as I starred at my
stomach the phrase “and you will be given a new body, a heavenly body.” Popped into my head. You think God’s trying to tell me something?

For me, with where I’m at in life, God doesn’t want me to be focusing on my body. Especially when it only fills my mind and heart with vein thoughts and feelings.

Our lives, and this humanly body we are in will NOT last forever. So why waste our time trying to “fit in” with what the world tells us we need to look like. Instead, I want to worry about am I doing what God is calling me to do? And what is that exactly…

“…so whether we are here in this body or away from this body, our goal is to please him.”
2 Corinthians 5

It’s simple. Our lives are to please him. And we please him by sharing the love that he has for his children by telling and showing them what our Lord did on the cross. For you and for me. And to proclaim that. To EVERYONE. So that when he returns we can ALL join him in eternity.

So instead of looking at these beautiful women as someone to compare to or become, I’m going to look at them in their heavenly form. Singing and praising our Lord together, forever. That’s the “body”, I believe, The Lord wants me to care about.