Thursday, January 29, 2009

Where God guides He provides...and blesses too

I think one of the hardest things of my life is working with teens. There are so many times when I feel so inadequate in encouraging them and just saying the 'right thing'. I talked with Jonah about this very thing last night and he always has a new perspective that opens my eyes up a little to the broader plan.
I am at a spot in my life where I feel like it's a plateau. You know that place you reach where there aren't any deep valleys or high mountains to look at? It's funny how I almost prefer one or the other. I would rather not be lukewarm,and my prayer is to keep perservering where I am now.
I was reading this morning and what I read kind of went along with that. How it's important to keep going and keep serving God with all that you can in the here and now at the place God has called you.His plan for you is to serve with excellence.
I remember talking with my sister about this some, several months ago. She too was at a place of 'in-between' and not knowing what the future would bring. I told her I feel it's important to be actively involved and serving where you are now, and if God brings change, well then you will move in that direction. I guess I feel like I am waiting for something to come up, something grand and obvious- like a new house, or moving.
I feel like God is reminding me of what I told my sister. Focus on now. Put your all into what you are doing now. Is it important? Yes. If it's where God has called you to be, it's the most important place you can be. Put your heart into it, and see what happens. I'm sure I won't be dissapointed. My favorite phrase comes back to mind-"Where God guides, He provides". Sometimes it may not feel like a grand huge extravagant life, but I'm reminded it's important to put your all into the everyday things, because that is where God placed you. Hmm, just need to keep remembering that.

Monday, January 26, 2009

glum day

It's been an eventful Monday. A little too much excitement for my least favorite day of the week :) I always find that Mondays are glum days....usually because it's so hard to get back into the swing of the work week. But today I just had a lot of surprises. I felt God's presence throughout though, and that's the truth. I lifted myself up to Him and the day up in prayer this morning and I know that made all the difference because any other day when I feel rushed and don't take time for God I feel so scattered, stressed and mean.
What is so different about today? Just so many changes in this New Year, and it's still January.
Looking out into the year I can see things I would like to happen, answers to prayers, and just direction. I know God has his own time for things, but there is something exciting about praying and knowing God is listening and already has the way for you....even if it's not what I think it will be.
I know this sounds like rambling but some of the things I am praying for include a house for us, a way for us to support me being a stay at home mom, thinking about starting a family (maybe this year...maybe not), eliminating stress from Jonah's job- my mom and dad and their jobs, moving them south....that would definitely have to be God!
You know what else? I have realized sometimes when you keep praying for something God can change your heart to start praying the way He sees's amazing how walking with Him makes you realize what your carrying is so much heavier if it's in your hands instead of His.
It's a constant struggle for me to give God the things I want to hold onto. Why are we immediately so selfish with our lives, our things, our talents, our hearts? I'm thankful for daily renewal with Him. I told my sister earlier -aren't you glad Paul wrote I die daily? How grateful I am God sees each day as new, with the past behind. It's today that counts, and that is something of a gift to me.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Sad News to Report

I found this random blog and thought it was so funny! Such an off the wall thing to write about!

Sad News to Report

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Clean inbox!

Hurray! I spent some time cleaning out our main email account and we finally have an organized clean inbox with 0 messages currently!! It's been a goal of mine to keep it organized as we both use it as our main email for important things like friends, family, bills, ect. I'm so happy that everything is currently organized into files and all the other junk is deleted. What a good feeling to get something so small and 'invisible' done. I know Jonah thinks about it too, and sometimes it's nice to have those lulls in your day- you can get something accomplished.
*sigh* contentment!

coffee brewin

It's been so cold here in Ga. I have reached the point of being ready for warmer days, and I thought I really missed crisp freezing air (growing up in NY). I was wrong! It's been in the 20's and 30's which is really low for average weather here. I guess it's been like that all over the country.
Mornings are the hardest time for me, partly because it's too early for me to wake up, partly because I want to stay cuddly warm under the covers with my husband, and well I am just not a morning person. I enjoy being leisurely in the early day and it's not possible these work days. My goal in the back of my mind is to always strive to get up earlier so I have the luxury of more time, but alas I fail at it again and again! I wonder what it's like to get up and start the day and be able to have time for more in the mornings. I do want to get better at it but I'm not sure it will happen.
The latest happenings in my life include the start up of a little coffee shop/cafe with our youth group. It's something we have wanted to start for a while to help earn money for mission trips. I volunteered to coordinate and manage it, and I am finding it to be fun so far...There is so much you can buy to start up, like your equipment and supplies. I am a coffe drinker, since college. Jonah and I brew German coffee every morning and we both enjoy our to go cups throughout the early hours of the day. So I am excited to learn and teach the art of coffee-drink-making. I am praying about this new area to serve as it is a commitment to be organized and consistent with the new shop.
But I am also excited about the opportunity to work with the teens and make room for other types of ministry from the coffee shop. I will try to post some pictures of different things as it evolves. We will see!!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

a new president

It's inaugaration day here in the USA and the media is fervently covering every waking moment of our new President- Barak Obama.
There is video coverage of the big swearing in ceremony and the masses of people lining the streets of Washington are evidence of this unprecedented experience.
They are broadcasting it here for the kids to watch. I probably won't go watch it.
I don't know why but I can't shake this ominous feeling about our new President. It's a sad day for conservative Christians as we know what this President stands for. Our hope is in the only unchanging King still on the throne who has allowed this person to lead us. I will pray for our new President and for our country on this day that shakes me inside.
I ask you fellow Christian friends to pray as well, for wisdom, and direction as we face a new year with a new leader.

Monday, January 19, 2009

more thoughts for the morning

I am continuing in my book this morning and there were a couple references I read that I thought were great; 2 Corinthians 10:4,5 were some verses and I thought how appropriate and powerful these verses are in helping you claim victory in your thought life:
For the weapons of warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;
Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;

We are all in a spiritual warfare when it comes to our thoughts, but God and His word can help us claim victory.

And also in Proverbs 23:7 For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he; Eat and drink, saith he to thee; but his heart is not with thee.

It's so neat to understand how important it is to control your thoughts. I think women definitely struggle more with this than men, because of our emotional make up. I know it's easy for me to think back on the past, or to look at someone else's life, and become jealous or envious. This kind of thinking is wrong for one thing, but it's also amazing to filter those thought into Phil. 4:8 and remember what is true, honest, just, lovely....

Thursday, January 15, 2009

the mind

One of my goals for this year is to read a new book each month that will teach me more about God and also how to be a more godly woman. This month I am reading a book called Loving God With All Your Mind. 
I picked it up a while ago when Jonah and I went with our teenagers to a teen camp called The Wilds. At that time in my life I was going through a lot of emotional pain. I suffered from my first panic attack early in that year caused by a lot of change in my life, the losss of my grandmother, and job changes in the family, and it made my emotions go through a whirlwind of pain and confusion. Doubt, sadness and depression seemed to loom over me like a dark cloud and in the midst of all of it God was there watching and holding me. It was truly one of the hardest years of my life as I've always considered my personality to be a bubbly optimist, with excitement about the little things. It was a hard year, but through all the dark I kept climbing up I kept searching out God, I kept crying to Him. Why? Well God doesn't always answer that way. What for? If I can grow and learn something and be a help to someone else well that's what for. 
We all go through periods in our lives when we feel like the world just fell in and there is no one that could understand, and that is true to a certain extent no one can understand, only God can, because He gave you what He knew you could handle and what would strengthen you.
I'm amazed at how much He loves us, how individual God is. How detailed.
But back to the book I am reading, I bought this book and read some of it, as well as other books at that time, but I ended up putting it on my shelf and leaving it for some time. 
Here I am years later and I decided to start it back for my monthly read.
I like to read with my devotions- I found a chapter a day gets me through about a month depending on the book. 
So far I am really excited about what I have learned. The verse for the year I  believe is 

Philippians 4:8 Finally,brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. 

It's one verse I remember learning as a child, and I tend to read over it quickly half out of memory without thinking about it. But that is just it, this verse is so important to me because it deals with my thinking. It's a filter for my thoughts. 
All day long thousands of thoughts go through our minds and depending on who you see or how you feel there can be a lot of negative thinking. Thinking on this verse whenever I start to 'feel' sad, or negatively takes me on new thought patterns. I stop to ask myself is what I am thinking true? And is it honest? I know Satan tries desperately to attack through my emotions and feelings and the root of that is my mind. What you allow yourself to think and believe determines how you choose to feel. Memorizing God's precious Word is so key in victorious living and thinking. 
I'm excited about learning something old in a new way. Onto the next day!

Monday, January 12, 2009

early start

It's monday again. Where did the weekend go? This morning's verse is:
Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts; And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.
Psalm 139: 23,24

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Reading today

I get these updates in one of my email accounts from crosswalk marriage, and I don't always read them but this morning I stopped to read one for a few minutes. It was talking about intimacy with your husband. This is something dear to my heart as I am always looking for ways to be closer to him in mind, body and spirit. I particularly liked the phrase below that was in the email:
God rewards the married couple with the gift of being able to participate in His act of creation. This is expressed in the gift of children, but also in the creative spirit that flourishes between the man and the woman. When a husband and a wife put their hearts, minds, spirits, and bodies together with no limits, the result brings a spiritual abundance that—used properly—makes the world a far richer place

What an incredible thought-not just being able to unite as husband and wife, but going beyond that and uniting in body, heart, mind and spirit. I think of the individual talents, strengths and character traits that make up Jonah and that make up me. How amazing that marriage is also a uniting of these, and when we put all of those things together in unity how much greater and stronger we are together. I know this is probably something that every other Christian has thought of, but sometimes I just look at things with a new light and an 'ah-ha' moment.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Thursday, January 1, 2009

great group

I found a new brother in law actually listens to the group and I think they sound beautiful.....just had to post some of their songs. (thanks Laura and also Nick....:)

Home again

We had a wonderful Christmas (number 2 ) with my side of the family. The first Christmas was in Ga with Jonah's side on Christmas which was also fun and special. Then we flew to NY on Friday to celebrate with my side on Saturday. We had a wonderful time visiting rural NY again, it seems every time I go back I appreciate the character and country charm of the small town I grew up in. The homes in the Atlanta area are so much different, in the suburban areas. You just can't buy the amount of land offered in NY. The difference is country life for sure. I do love the country though. Being raised as a very country girl I guess it never left me. Granted I don't mind living so much closer to everything now, part of me still finds contentment in the rolling hills and open skies. 
We were hoping to see some snow while we were visiting but unfortunately we took the warm air with us and saw some green grass :) Except for the day we flew out....I had prayed to see some snow and God really answered! We drove through some pretty bad weather (good job Jonah!!!!) to get to the airport only to learn our flight had been delayed, several times until we finally made it to Atlanta several hours later. I am thankful GA doesn't have the issue with bad weather like northern states. All flights to Chicago were completely canceled- I felt bad for those waiting on those flights. 
Overall we really enjoyed the holidays with family, what a wonderful time it was. I am thankful for family that is so loving and caring and that they all look forward to spending as much time together as we do. 
Some of my favorite memories:

•Jonah's mom and dad praying with us before we left for our trip to NY, that was special. 
•Playing card games with my sister her husband, my husband, and mom and DAD- very special as dad hasn't really played with us in the past.
•Watching family open gifts we selected for them- always so exciting! 
•Seeing a surprise gift for us on our bed when we got to NY, my mom was so thoughtful to think of putting a gift for us for the next morning-(it had starbucks coffee and mugs for us).
•Delivering our Christmas gift to Jonah's grandparents- it was fun to surprise them.
•Buying some supplies for our newest nephew's room- it was fun to give.

Overall we had a really good time with family and I am excited about the new year. I typically don't like to have resolutions for the new years, but I have some personal goals I would like to reach this year. I would like to pray about them too and trust God to help me accomplish what is important. I just really don't want life to pass by without enjoying what is truly important. Our relationships. With a world filled with things that don't matter, I want my heart's focus to remain on people God has given me in my life. 
My heart is thankful this New Year's day as I look ahead to another new year God has blessed me with, and I say thank you to Him. So much goodness to look back at over my life, and I am excited to see what this year brings. I know there are some scary things to look at- like the state of our country, but I know that the King of Kings is truly on the throne, no matter what leader America has chosen.
Have a blessed New Years day!!!!