Friday, December 30, 2016

Completely Consumed

I will draw you to me forever
In righteousness in justice and in mercy
I will draw you and me together
In loving kindness in faithfulness and in grace
No longer your master

 But your husband I will be

You have ravished my heart
With one glance of your eye 
How fair is your love
My promised my br

This song speaks volumes to my heart and soul. There's no doubt that my heart desires that connection with a human man, and I've come to the realization that it's not something to feel bad about. It's a desire God has placed inside of me and it's something that he wants for me. He wants me to have that person to lead me closer to Him. He has someone for me who will challenge me to think outside of my traditions and question why I believe what I believe. He has a promise for me to be taken care of and loved just as he loves his "bride", which is the church. I believe these things. I believe his promises he has spoken directly to me. I know he has me waiting and that's okay. I've learned that there is so much beauty in waiting. There is so much growth. My mind has expanded, my love for people and God has grown. My self worth truly comes from Him. I'm learning so much in this season of waiting. I have learned that it's okay to desire a husband and i don't have to deny that part of my heart. I have learned it's important to ask questions and to be confrontational in a healthy way. I am learning to trust that a person who is seeking God fully is a person i want in my life, regardless if it is a friendship or a more personal relationship. I am learning that my son is my first responsibility. Teaching him about Jesus and who God created him. Developing his character and encouraging him in his strength and weaknesses. I know someday God will bring me that teammate and I promise to be so grateful for them and supportive and loving and gracious and understanding and encouraging and affectionate and intentional and forgiving as the Holy Spirit will empower me to do. I will always seek Christ to help me love this teammate to the best that i can. 

BUT, I say all of that to say.... Christ is no longer my master but my HUSBAND. Gosh, that is sooo beautiful to me while I am waiting. Everything God has promised to me he can fulfill and wants to fulfill for me in this season. That is so intimate. You have RAVISHED my heart with just one glance of your eye. The overwhelming peace I get when i hear these words i cannot begin to describe. There is truly no other love like the love of Christ. It's unshakeable, undeniable, unrelenting, all consuming, encompassing, all knowing, unwavering, unchanging, perfect love. What more could you ask for? 

Monday, December 26, 2016

The Reset

It's almost a new year so with that comes new year resolutions. I was given a challenge to choose a word that I feel God wants to use in my life this next year, but when I asked him i heard a few. 

Surrender, Consistency, Growth. 

When I think and meditate on these words a lot of things go through my mind. They all kind of work together. 

Surrender: cease resistance to an enemy or opponent and submit to their authority.
Abandon oneself entirely to is another definition of the word. 

Consistency: the achievement of a level of performance that does not vary greatly in quality over time.

Growth: the process of developing or maturing physically, mentally, or spiritually.

These three words like I previously said definitely all intertwine. 

I know God has already been working on me to have a heart of surrender because there are so many situations in my life right now that i can choose to have anxiety over because I can't do anything about them, or I can surrender them to the one who can and be at peace. He wants me to daily surrender to Him. Surrender my short term goals which are sometimes hourly and also as far as my yearly goals. I know that the more of it I trust him with and hand over the more of Him i will see in them. That's what we want right? To see more of God at work in our lives... whether it looks like a tragedy or looks like a victory. If he's working we must have faith that the outcome will be good because God is good and everything he does is for our benefit. So, surrender it. All of it. 

Consistency. One of the hardest things to do as a human! But in order to be consistent i know it will first come out of surrender. Surrendering my goals and dreams and situations and finances and relationships will then give me the power to follow through because I am not relying on myself to do them. I am relying on Gods strength to help me make good eating decisions. I am relying on Gods strength to help me say no to myself when I want to spend money that i don't have at the time. I will have the strength to keep my mouth shut when I want to cuss someone out for being less competent than I feel that I am (what, too honest?). I will have the will power to make it to the gym even when I am tired. I will be strengthened by God to make sure I keep my priorities straight and in order. Will this surrender mean I will do everything perfectly? Will it automatically make me consistent? Definitely not. But I know if I don't surrender these things the chances of me being successful in consistency go way down. I'm a human so i'm inclined to fail... but God never fails. The more you rely on Him to strengthen you the less you're going to find yourself screwing up. This is how I plan on being more consistent. 

And finally, growth. When you are pursuing God and asking him to challenge you, he will. Growth is hard... and so is surrender, and so is consistency. But I didn't come to this life to stay where I was placed. I came to experience all that God has created for me to experience. I want to learn. I want to be educated. I want to be open minded and I want to be grounded in the word. I want to be challenged by others and by myself. I want every day to pass with a new lesson learned or a new revelation of who I am in Christ. I want to feel God has empowered me to accomplish one thing everyday that has moved me toward him and his calling on my life. I want to make someone feel his love and see his grace. I never ever want to become complacent or content with where I am at. Should there be a balance between being thankful and wanting more? Absolutely. If you are going somewhere, you're getting nowhere. If you are not growing, you're shrinking. If you don't water your grass, it will eventually die. In the same way if you don't pursue your dreams, nourish your relationships with people and yourself, talk with God, learn, work your muscles... they all start to wither and dissipate. I don't know about you but that's the last thing I want to feel about my life. 

I plan to surrender everything so I can be consistent in all areas and grow to my fullest potential. 

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Its Christmas Eve

It's so odd to me that after tomorrow this Christmas season will already have come and gone. Everyone says it. The all too familiar, "Wow, can you believe an entire year has already went by?!". And it's true is the thing. I sit and think about just how fast a year passes by and it blows my mind. Even more so I think about how our time is NOTHING like Gods time. I kind of wonder how God really sees time, or does he even see it? Does he think about things the same way that we do or do we just think he does because we don't know any different? I'm running on about 4 1/2 hours of sleep right now so forgive me if this makes no sense at all... but think about it. We count the minutes while we sit at starbucks letting our frustrations rise because it has taken 4 minutes longer than usual. We think to ourselves my gosh I am 26 years old and still have no prospects for marriage. I'm 37 and still don't know if i'm living out the purpose God has for my life. I'm 15 and I wish i was 22 and out of my parents house. Time, time, time. We want to rush it and we want to slow it down. But maybe we have it allllll completely wrong. Maybe time was never meant to be a measurement of how good or bad we are doing in life. Maybe time was meant for us to ENJOY. I know i probably look at the time of the day or year wishing it was a DIFFERENT time more often than looking at it just to see what time it is.

I think we need to change our perspective of time. At least i feel like that is what God is challenging me to do. I bet God looks more at time like an opportunity than a deadline or a storyline. We are constantly looking at it like wondering about the last chapter or what is in the next. But what if Gods purpose of time was for you to steward the current time well and enjoy his blessings and live in the CURRENT time. I want to start to look at time as my responsibility and opportunity to enjoy what God has for me right now. I don't want another Christmas to come where I feel as if "Wow, that whole year just passed by." I want to be able to say WOW that year did pass by but it was so abundant in time because the time that passed was FULL. I want next christmas to be able to write and say I lived more in the moment and enjoyed the current time and season to the absolute fullest potential God has given me. I don't want to miss ANYTHING.

Merry Christmas Eve! 

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Does it even matter?

Do you ever go through your day feeling like what you're doing is really making no difference at all? I often times find myself living my day to day life without intention and i don't even realize it. 

One of the things i am most afraid of in life is that my life will end and i will not have done what God had for me to do. I think the only way to really be satisfied with our lives is to constantly be seeking God and his will for us and when we know what that is we need to make consistent and intentional plans to get there. 

You can't just go through life living unintentionally with no goals and expect to get anywhere worth going. You can't expect your dreams to come if you aren't doing anything to attain them. I realize that i live far too many days focusing on my small tasks that i don't make intentional plans to follow through on the things that will get me where I know God has for me to go. It's so easy to just think "wake up. make coffee. listen to podcast. get dressed. go to work. make money. pick up kid. go to gym. talk to boyfriend. check in with parents. do homework. make dinner. take shower. hang out with kid. eat snack. pray. go to bed. repeat." But where is the intention in that day? That's a pretty routine day for me if i'm being honest. Yeah i intentionally go to the gym and i intentionally listen to podcasts and i intentionally spend time with my kid and those are all honestly priorities in my life but it's hard to see where those things will take me... if they will take me anywhere. 

I dream of being a great mom. My dream is to be a supportive and loving wife. I want to be my friends biggest cheerleader. I dream of attaining the physique i desire. I dream of being able to give in large amounts. I dream of having a solid schedule at work with no gaps. I dream of traveling. I dream of ministering to single moms. I dream of having more children. I dream of having a complete family. I dream of deep connections with people. I dream of supernatural miracles. I dream of being able to read books in coffee shops. I dream of being cherished by a man who cherishes his relationship with Christ above every other thing in his life. I dream of a man who dreams my dreams with me, and lets me in on dreaming his dreams with him. I dream of a simpler life, but an extraordinary one. 

I pray that God gives me the wisdom to make INTENTIONAL decisions each day to push me toward these dreams. My God is faithful and i dream that all of these dreams will come to pass as i remain faithful to Him. 

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

To be vulnerable...

Honesty. Truth. Vulnerability. Transparency.

All things I like to say I am pretty good with.
But all things I truly struggle with on a daily basis.

I'm a lover, God created me that way. I know this not only because of how I respond to situations but also because God has told me himself. He made me to love. I love hard and passionately and I love with no limits. Often times this has left me in situations where I have felt empty or unfulfilled because I want the same kind of love given back to me. I have also been taken advantage of and manipulated because I always try my hardest to give people the benefit of the doubt and give out multiple chances. I am sometimes loving with expectations for people to be the same way that I am, and not everyone is. If you're a lover like me, you completely understand where I'm coming from.

This makes me also realize just how important it is to find the balance between being a lover and also protecting your own heart. It is not healthy to give your heart, mind, emotions and soul to people who aren't capable of understanding the kind of person you are or loving you back. At the end of the day the Lord has equipped you with what you need to keep things in balance. It is Him. It is when I find myself longing for that deep honesty, truth, vulnerability, transparency connection with someone that I also find myself full of doubt and fear. I'm trusting in man to give me the deep connection that I should be relying on the Father for. Man can always fail you, so there is a realness in that fear. God on the other hand, He can never fail you.

I often find myself thinking... "Is my life too much for you? I have a lot of baggage." Some days my life literally feels like an episode of Jerry Springer. Sometimes my life looks like an episode of Parenthood, or has enough drama for an episode of Grey's Anatomy. I wonder if people look at me and think "Who would ever want to get involved in THAT." I think maybe I'm too passionate. Maybe I care too much. Like how wild and strong I am will push people away from me... so I feel the need to push myself back. To "relax" and not be so forward with my feelings or not be so outspoken with my opinions or thoughts. I'm scared that who God made me is considered "too much" by people.

But then I think, am I too much... or maybe I'm actually not enough? Am I at the gym consistently enough? Should I have eaten that? Am I pointing Elijah towards Christ enough, maybe we need to be reading the bible together more... Am I reading my bible enough? I'm not sure if my family really knows how much I appreciate them. Do my friends feel neglected? Am I going to be a good wife, do I show my feelings in a way that is understood? I don't feel like I'm making enough progress in my life. Maybe I need to find a second source of income so I can have more ability to give. Am I spending enough time with Elijah, my family, and my friends? I really need to read more books on finances.

All of these thoughts bring fear. Fear of rejection. Fear of losing relationships. Fear of all sorts. I hate fear. It is probably my least favorite human emotion that there is. You see, I love connecting. I love being on that soul level with a person where you know you are fully understood and they know you and you know they accept you exactly the way you are. So why is it so hard for us to accept that? Why do we have such a hard time believing that we are not too much, and that we are enough. Why am I so scared to let people in yet its EXACTLY what my soul is longing for. I would love to say I am fearless, but I'm not. If I want to be transparent, truthful, honest, and vulnerable... I'm here to tell you I battle fear every single day. I push myself to the limit to make sure I am the right balance of just enough but not too much all because deep down inside me there is a fear that I will be unaccepted and rejected.

I know I can shut these voice off in my head because of that one time God spoke to me and said "I made you a lover." So what do I do? I love. I love despite my fears. I share my story of brokenness and hopelessness and I tell how God redeemed it. How He constantly turns my bad decisions to show His glory and everlasting love for me. I allow myself to build healthy boundaries in my relationships so that my heart stays protected but I don't miss out on an opportunity to connect and get my soul fed. I give. I make myself take steps towards vulnerability and openness. We have all been hurt which also plays a big part in our fears.. but I've learned to push past the anxiety and fear that comes with relationships because I know that at the end of the day my Savior has my heart in his hands and if I allow fear to keep me from love... then I have lost who God told me He created me to be.