October is coming!!!

Okay, so I read about a gab-fest that’s going on next month. Writing on one topic every day of October…initially I thought, “there’s no way I could do that, not with my work schedule!”

Then I noticed something on the right hand of my screen…a little feature that says “schedule”. I realized that I could pre-post the blogs and schedule them to post while I’m at work.

That got my wheels turning…what could I possibly talk about for the whole month of October? So I spent the weekend, while at work thinking about it.

Then it hit me, at almost every point in my life there has been at least 2-3 songs that have carried me through a particular time. So I thought I’d share some of those throughout the month. I so hope you join me. I am going to try (really try) to make a post a day. They may be short, but each one will contain a little piece of my heart.

Can’t wait to start sharing with you!

My Fear

So I was challenged by one of the writers I follow, to write a blog on my fears. In fact, we’re going to have a little community of fear writers today. So here it goes.

The first thing that  came to mind when I thought of my fear is this: I fear losing those I cherish more then anything in this world. This includes (but not limited to) my husband, my parents, my sister, and my close friends (to name a few). Being someone who doesn’t usually make friends very easily, those that I do have, become closer then friends and more like family.

To me the thought of having to walk through this life without them scares me. Each and every one of them has taught me something and helps me through the roughest of times. I cannot imagine how I would be able to stand some days without my support system.

This is certainly something God’s been working on in my heart the past couple years since I’ve gotten married. Since then, I have seen 4 friendships crumble (1 2 years ago, and the other 3 since January)–almost all of them friends that I thought I could never move forward without. The first and the last losses were the hardest. The first was a friend I’d had for 7-8 years, she was one of my (if not the) only friends. The last was one I connected with instantly and we became, as a mutual friend pointed out, closer than Velcro.

Through each of these losses God’s been showing me His faithfulness to provide something better. Now, I have a close friend who’s not only my age, but worth more to me then all 3 of the friends I’ve become estranged to. I have a mentor who I know loves me dearly and is THE most encouraging person I know. I have seen more positives come out of the losses then I thought possible.

In the past 3 years, I have also had to face the reality of the fact that I could lose one of my parents before I’m 30. That was a tough thing  to realize. Almost three years ago we found out that my dad has lung cancer, while it’s growing slowly, the first thing my mind went to was “how in the world am I going to be able to make it through that when the time comes.” Honestly, that still crosses my mind fairly frequently, but less frequently since my walk has been growing deeper.

So until that day comes, I choose to take advantage of the time I do have.  I am choosing to release my fear of losing my loved ones to God, and I am trying to think of the now, not the possibility of what could happen.

I would love to hear from you. Do you relate to this? Or is there a different fear that sometimes paralyzes you from taking the leaps that God may be asking of you?

Thirsty Thursdays Week Five

At the very end of Genesis eleven, we are introduced to a man named Abram. Chapters twelve to twenty-five tell us the story of his life. This is the first in depth story of someone’s life so far. 

So, lets begin to dive into the story of Abram. Don’t worry, we’re not going to try to cover Abram’s entire life in this one post. That would be an injustice into God’s work. There wouldn’t be enough room within the entirety of the world wide web to do God’s work justice.

Anyway, on to Abram. As we begin to read his story, the first thing we encounter is a blessing. Not just any blessing, but the promise that the ENTIRE human race, both then and now, would be blessed because of him. Can you feel the pressure? I sure can.

Now our thirst as a Christian is typically to have it be said of us as it was of Abram:

“Consider Abraham: “He believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.” Galatians 3:6 

The real question we typically ask is, “how can I be like Abraham?” Our hearts desire, our thirst, out of our life is to glorify God in all we do. Or, rather, that should be our goal in life.

So, how do we begin to quench our thirst for that deep, abiding relationship with God that Abram had? Let’s look into the steps we can take. 

After the blessing, Abram begins his journey. Twice in the first eleven verses we see Abram’s first display of dedication, the practice of building an altar to God. The first time was after God appeared to him. The second was when he pitched his tent to begin settling in.

So what can we take away from his example? It’s simple. We need to begin the discipline of building altars to glorify God in our own lives. How do we do that? What does an altar look like in today’s society?

An alter is defined to be an elevated place or structure, as a mound or platform, at which religious rites are performed or on which sacrifices areoffered to gods, ancestors, etc. I know altars aren’t used in today’s culture like they did in Abram’s time. That doesn’t mean that we can’t, or shouldn’t, apply this to our lives in order to quench our ever present thirst for God.

An altar in today’s world could be as simple as the space in which we have our quiet time with God. It could also be the place He knocks us to our knees. It could also be our reaction to a big event in our life, or even our reaction to something new in our life.

Often times, when we look around, our altars are every where. Many days, we are either too distracted, or too blind to recognize them. Maybe we need to take some time to sit down and look over our life and see what altars we can sacrifice our own priorities on.

What do your alters look like in your life? What can you do to build an altar in your life?

5 Minute Friday: "Joy"

It’s Friday again. That means time for another 5 minute Friday. I’m linking up with Gypsy Mama again. Each week she gives us a word or phrase to write about. We write for 5 minutes, no correcting, no worries, just write. 

Today’s topic is joy and my 5 minutes start….

Joy. Joy has been my life jacket all through out my life. It wasn’t until after I told someone my story that I realized how large of a help joy had been. When I was asked, “how did you go through all that alone.” The only thing I could think was that I had my God with me, and had it not been for Him, I wouldn’t have made it.
Joy is one of the hardest things to maintain in my life. If I let go of it too soon, then I find myself in a pit of depression. If I choose to be an optimist, I can float along anything with the joy of my Creator in my heart. 
Sometimes we all need someone to give us an extra dose of the joy they have. The best way to help someone who’s down is to love on them, helping them find their value in themselves and reminding them they are not alone. By offering them support, it helps their joy get refilled, especially when it’s the hardest.
So lets go about this week pouring joy into others rather then judgement. 

Now it’s your turn. Pop back and leave the link to your 5 minute friday post, and I promise I’ll join on your page and leave some love. 🙂


Thirsty Thursday Week Four

Have you ever wanted to make yourself known so badly that you would do absolutely anything? I know that I have. It could be absolutely anything from results to a test that you’d so anxiously been waiting for, to a phase of life that you’ve been waiting for to begin, or even a material object that you’ve been longing for.

Genesis chapter eleven starts off with the all too familiar story of the tower of Babel. If you’ve been in a church for any length of time, chances are you’ve probably heard the story at least referenced. If not, then please read it here.

Most hear this story told that humans decided to build the tower because they wanted constant communion with God. That, however, isn’t the way I read it. Verse four states that we wanted to build the tower to “…make a name for ourselves and not be scattered over the face of the earth.” Little did they know that their plan would backfire.

In attempt to remain on nation and to make a name for ourselves we caused the very thing we were trying to prevent. Division, separation and confusion. How often does this happen in today’s world? Far too often, if we’re honest.

How often do we work our tails off for a promotion, for it only to be given to someone else? Or worse, we end up being let go from the company? How about putting as much heart as possible into a piece of yourself  (art, writing, ect.) only to have it thrown in your face, degraded or even rejected? Then there’s also putting your all and working hard at a relationship to have it crumble.

Can you envision your life’s work being destroyed? Your life’s work coming back around to do the opposite of what you wanted to happen? I’m in one of those phases right now, if I’m honest.

Most of my life I have felt the pull to work with the special needs. Now that I am doing so, I’m not too sure that I am where I’m supposed to be. I’m not sure sure that this is what I am supposed to be doing. I am feeling God saying that it’s supposed to look differently.

Like mankind in Genesis eleven, we are all built with a longing to be the next big name in whatever task we are undertaking. The world then wanted to build the highest tower possible, one all the way to heaven. In today’s world the objective is to become the person with the most toys or the biggest bank account.

This isn’t the way it should be, is it? There shouldn’t be this thirst for the biggest bank account, the most well known name, or even the thirst for more. Our thirst should be for the things that please our heavenly Father.

Is our desire for the American Dream or for our Father’s dream? Is our primary goal to build earthly wealth or heavenly wealth? Are our priorities focused on things we desire? Or are they focused on what He would have for us?

For me, as much as I wish I could honestly answer each of these questions with the latter, I am not able to. Sure, I could convince people that it’s true. Build up a good “godly” name in the eyes of everyone around me, but it would be a false mask.

Living a life for God isn’t about being perfect. It’s about being imperfect, admitting to it and striving to become perfect in Him. After all, His strength is made perfect in our weakness.

Honestly answer these to yourself: has my life been about making my name great or about pointing others to the greatness of our God? Is my thirst to become known because of my own works or is my thirst to bring glory to my Creator?

I want to encourage and challenge us to ask each of these questions to challenge our motives often. By doing so, we may find that our priorities change and our focus shifts from our plans to God’s plan. After all, we were initially created to do His will, not our own.

Let us go about our days looking to glorify Him rather then ourselves. Let us examine our hearts and realign our thirsts, longings, and desires with His. I challenge us to see every situation in a new light, as a way to show someone God. Let us not be like the people in this story, if we desire to build something, let it be the kingdom of God rather than our own kingdom.

Waters Rise

Have you ever had a time when you felt like you were drowning? Like everything was spinning out of control and it was all you could do to keep yourself from getting pulled under? Last week was one of those periods of time. After a couple whirlwind weeks, I found myself feeling like I was about to drown. That if one more thing would have risen up, I would have been under, I could have crumpled under the pressure.

Isn’t God great? Just when you get to the point that you just can’t take anymore, He steps in, and takes control. Or rather, we get to the point of giving up and let Him have the control that He should have had all along. It was about midway through last week that I felt like giving in. You guys knew it, I wrote a post about.

It was right at that time I felt the urge, the pull to start writing about what was going on in my personal, private journal. So I sat down with it, little did I know, God was going to take me all the way back to January when a couple of the situations first arose. With each page I turned in my calendar, as I wrote each paragraph in my journal, something amazing happened. Little by little, step by step, the weight was lifting. I was being freed. I was being lifted out of the water, He was putting my feet back on the Solid Ground. I was getting closure.

While I’m not out of the woods yet, there are still a couple situations I need to write through, I feel a million times better. I’m sure as the next couple days go on, and I write through the last few things, more freedom will come. Maybe, just maybe then the weight will be completely gone–or mostly anyway.

As I look back on the past eight months, I can’t help but be thankful for many things throughout all of the struggles this year has proposed thus far. So below, I continue the list I started a couple weeks ago. Instead of looking back at the last week, and the past several months and letting all the murky water intimidate me, I am going to choose to look ahead and up at the clean Water.

21.    The ultimate Lifeguard
22.    The ability to live above the waves
23.    Justice
24.    An amazing support system
25.    Journaling
26.    A Bigger perspective
27.    Closure
28.    Forgiveness
29.    A forgiving heart
30.Steps to freedom
31. Overcoming depression
32.Music to nourish my soul
33. My personal health

What are you thankful for?

Thirsty Thursdays—Week Three

As I read over the story of the flood this week, One thing jumped out at me. The story of the flood isn’t about a thirst we have, it’s all about a thirst our Creator has. So this week’s post is going to look a little different then the past few weeks. Instead of focusing on our thirst, I am going to be focusing on God’s thirst.

 Wait, you mean…God thirsts? How is that possible? God has no needs, so how could He thirst for anything? I know it sounds strange, trust me. The argument, however, can be made that we were created because He had a thirst. God desired to have a companion on earth, and because he couldn’t find a proper companion in any of the creations He had made, He decided to make us. He made humans out of a thirst for companionship.

That being the case, God created us for companionship. How did we repay Him for giving us life? By doing what man kind has done best since the fall, we rebel. We turn away from Him, forgetting all He gave us, and go off and do our own thing.

We can only imagine how painful it was for him to sit in Heaven and watch His creation, the fruit of His work, rebel against Him. Not only did we rebel once, but thousands of times. Again, I know the argument can be made that He knew when He made us that we were going to fall to Satan’s schemes. While this is a very true, very real point, we cannot overlook the fact that He chose to make us despite knowing we were going to fall. He still desired companionship, He wants it so bad that he was willing to create us knowing we would turn away. Now, if that isn’t love, I don’t know what is.

After just a few generations, the rebellion got so bad that God acknowledged that His immortal spirit and human’s mortal spirit would not live together in harmony very well, if at all. Due to this, God decided to limit the years of His creation. Can you imagine having to limit the number of days your own child would live because of it’s sinful nature? I know I couldn’t, and I’ll bet this decision wasn’t an easy one for God to make either.

After this God saw exactly how evil human nature was and He regretted His decision to create us. This regret was so great that it lead him to wipe the face of the earth, killing every living thing He had created just a short while before this. Almost as though God was giving Him a fresh start. A do over with life on earth.

Sounds brutal, doesn’t it? Not like the God we know, or the God we envision. This is where His all surpassing grace enters the story. God has decided to wipe out His creation, He decides this because of the ache in His heart caused by humans. This is when God remembers His faithful servant. God remembers Noah, a faithful, God-fearing man. God then decides that Noah and his family are the only humans who will have the privilege of being saved from the ultimate destruction.

God delighted in Noah because he continued to seek God’s heart despite what everyone around him was doing. Noah was, as far as we can tell, the most consistent human quenching God’s thirst for companionship. For this reason, God decided to show his mercy on mankind and give them a new start as well. All through this man named Noah.

Noah followed God’s requests to a T, he cut no corners, nor did he try to use it for his own benefit. He built the ark exactly as specified, he loaded the animals as God instructed, and he waited, trusting God’s word would come to completion. He did so without argument.

What does this mean for us? For me, this story serves as a reminder. To remind us that God is faithful to those who are faithful to Him. It also tells me that He never forgets those who love, trust and rely on Him and only Him.

Does God still desire companionship? Absolutely. Now more than ever, I believe. In this age, wehre there are SO many options for people, I believe He is waiting anxiously for people. Displaying His love to them, to show He still cares, He still longs for them, He thirsts for even an ounce of their attention. However, due to his unfailing mercy, He’ll sit and wait because He wants it to be our choice, His ultimate desire is for us to willingly love Him. After all, love that is forced, is not love at all.

What if we’re never asked to do anything like this? My honest answer and opinion…so what? Just because He doesn’t call you into something like this, He has still called you. He has called each and every one of us to be His and serve Him with our whole heart. We are called to thirst for His love as much as He thirsts for us to follow Him. That calling, for me anyway, is far better than any world changing task because His calling me did change something. It changed my world and that’s enough for me.

So what about you? What does this story mean for you? When you read the story of the flood, what connections can be made from it to your own life? I’d love to hear your thoughts.