Saturday, August 11, 2012


It's been a while since I've posted.  When I started this blog over 3 years ago[wow hard to believe it's been that long],  I had every intention of posting on a more regular basis.

Sometimes, life gets in the way.  Sometimes, I don't have anything to say.  Sometimes, I don't think anyone would care to read what I have to write about.

For me, the last few months of my blogging absence has been due to all of those previously mentioned  reasons.  There has been a lot going on.  As I look back on the past three years since I started this blog, I've had a lot happen to me.  Some good things.  Some bad things.  The past few months have brought about some more hardships, and some good times.  There are two things that are currently going on that are very difficult to deal with.  I'm learning how to better handle things, but then I get so weak, that I just can't handle anymore.  That's why I've decided to make some changes.  Some have been semi-dramatic changes that came very quickly because I was tired of dealing with those things.  There are some other things that are going to take time as I find the right time to make those changes.

Change is something that I don't always handle very well.  But in some of these particular situations, I feel like it's time I make them.  Now, I don't want to make such rash decisions without praying over them.  So that's why it's going to take time, and God's guidance to show me what I need to do.

God has been very gracious and merciful to me.  Even when I really really really, did I say really?  don't deserve it.  Every time I fail Him,  He has never failed to love me.  He is faithful, even when I am not.  He has blessed my life so much, and I do not always recognize when He has--and I've had to be shown quite recently how much He has blessed me.  Even when I am not content with where my life is and my current situation.  He has provided immensely for me.  He has given me an amazing, supportive family.  A steady[and never will go away] job.  Some incredible small groups of friends who have been able to witness to me in my time(s) of need.  A church where I can serve God through some of the gifts He has given me.   And He has given me the strength and endurance to get through some challenges with my health.  I still have some issues, but thankfully, and Praise God, that I have my health.

I'm still learning.  A lot.  God still has a lot to teach me.  I'm sure it's going to take pretty much forever, and then some to teach this hard headed person some lessons that are well worth learning.    I just hope that my life and the way I live it will be a testimony to God and His ever-abounding grace.  I know there have been many times where I have not shown God's grace.  That is when my carnal side takes over and is not honoring God.  I know I have let people down.  Well, let's face it, we all let people down at one time or another.  It's what we do.  We are people.  And because of that, we are not perfect.  So I will fail.  I can't expect myself to get it right 100% of the time.  But it's my purpose to try.  Because called has called me to a higher calling.  He has called me to tell everyone about Him.  To share and spread the Gospel.  Which comes down to love.  That's something I have a hard time doing.  I have a hard time loving people.  This hard time loving people comes from my lack of patience and my tendency to be easily annoyed.  I'm working on this.  But it's not going to be fixed over night.  So bear with me.  All you who deal with me on a day to day, or whenever you deal with me, basis.  Thank you for understanding that I am a weak human being.  That I'm not perfect, I'm just a great sinner in need of a great Savior.  Everyday I need His saving.

I'm sorry for the rambling nature of this post.  But I felt the urge to blog.  Even if it doesn't make sense. I was going to write on another topic, but decided to go with this.  Maybe I'll go into that topic soon, but we'll see when I get on this again.

Until then, much peace and love.

Saturday, March 31, 2012


There are so many beautiful things about spring. Flowers, trees, birds, butterflies, bees[well not on or around me], etc. Spring is a time for new growth. Spring is time for celebrating Winter being over and Summer being right around the corner. Spring is also the time for celebrating one of the most important times of our human history. Easter.

Easter is not about candy, eggs, the Easter bunny, and dressing up nice for church that Sunday. It's about the sacrifice that Jesus Christ made for us on the Cross. It's about the depth of the love that our Heavenly Father showed that day to all mankind. He loved us so much that He gave up His One and ONLY Son to die for our sins. For our mistakes. For all the things we get ourselves into that we can't seem to get out of because we're too greedy, stubborn, self-indulgent, selfish, etc. Jesus lived a perfect, sinless life. And He came to do something that no one else that has ever lived or ever will live can do. He came to be a sacrifice to pay the debt that we owe. A debt we could never repay. Because we can never do enough "good things" to be good enough to be right in God's eyes. The only way we can be right with Him is through the cleansing blood of Jesus. The blood He shed on what we know as Good Friday. That day he suffered a horrendous death. He was mocked, scorned, beaten, pierced, broken. For us. He was rejected. While He hung, dying on a cross, His Father turned His back on His Son. While the sins of all mankind were placed on Him--He(Jesus) bore the penalty for us. He paid the price, so that we wouldn't be forever separated from Him. Because our sin separates us from God, we cannot spend eternity with Him based on our own merit. Because like I said before, our "goodness" will never be good enough. It is a surrendering of our lives. Having a faith and belief in who Jesus is and what He did for us over 2,000 years ago. It's a giving up of our old selves and our old ways and living a life that is pleasing to Him. A life that is focused solely on Jesus. See, I haven't mentioned yet why Easter is so important. You see, on the day we know as Easter, that is the day that Jesus came back to life. The day that Jesus defeated death. He defeated death, sin, and hell. That is what Easter is all about. Jesus, His life, His death, and His resurrection.

It's appropriate that we celebrate Easter during the spring. If you look up spring in the dictionary it will tell you that it means: to rise, leap, move, or act suddenly and swiftly, as by a sudden dart or thrust forward or
outward, or being suddenly released from a coiled or constrained position: and to come into being, or arise within a short time. That's exactly what Jesus did. He sprang up from the grave. He did it suddenly and swiftly. When He did so, He showed how powerful that He is and it gave mankind hope for the future. For life. For life after death. You see because of what Jesus did we can now live a life that is full of hope, joy, peace. And once we breathe our last here on this earth, for those of us who know Jesus as our Savior, we will spend all eternity with our Father and His Son.

Jesus was a gift to us. Salvation came through that gift of Jesus. A gift that is freely given to all who believe. "If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved." Romans 10:9. It's something so simple. Yet so powerful and meaningful. Something to be so thankful for and humbled by.

I'm going to leave you with the words to one of my favorite hymns.

"How Deep the Father's Love For Us"

How deep the Father's love for us,
How vast beyond all measure
That He should give His only Son
To make a wretch His treasure

How great the pain of searing loss,
The Father turns His face away
As wounds which mar the Chosen One,
Bring many sons to glory

Behold the Man upon a cross,
My sin upon His shoulders
Ashamed I hear my mocking voice,
Call out among the scoffers

It was my sin that held Him there
Until it was accomplished
His dying breath has brought me life
I know that it is finished

I will not boast in anything
No gifts, no power, no wisdom
But I will boast in Jesus Christ
His death and resurrection

Why should I gain from His reward?
I cannot give an answer
But this I know with all my heart
His wounds have paid my ransom

Monday, March 19, 2012

the cure.

We all know that life is hard. We all face many trials throughout our lives that become increasingly difficult to bear. Sometimes we just want to give up and stop living because it just, quite frankly, hurts way to much. I've had my share of difficult times. Times of great pain and sorrow. Sometimes that pain and sorrow was due to the loss of a loved one. Other times it was when dreams were shattered. And recently, due to health issues that caused quite a scare. But this post is not about me and my pain.

Over the last few days, more and more people that I know and love quite dearly have had to deal with some very difficult things. Over the past several weeks, some people in my family[myself included] have lost a very dear loved one. I've had friends and loved ones lose a grandparent, a student, unborn children, and one experienced a great heart hurt. It has burdened my heart, and has helped to show me[because I need constant reminders] that I'm not the only one who is suffering. I'm not the only person who feels pain. We all do. Some of us can handle that pain and grief better than others. But it doesn't mean we don't all need to be comforted. And to know that someone cares about us and the condition of our hearts. Our hearts can hurt so greatly sometimes. And during those times it is hard to understand why we must endure the heartache. We ask why things have to happen. Why me? No one likes to have their heart hurt by the loss of someone, something, dreams, etc. Our country has seen a lot of heartache over the past 10 and a half years. We've faced the loss of thousands of innocent citizens as well as brave soldiers who have given their lives to fight for our safety. To fight for freedom. Over the past 7 or so years, we've seen numerous natural disasters that have claimed many more thousands of lives. Tsunamis, earthquakes, hurricanes, tornadoes. When will it end?

Here's where the hope comes into the picture. I'm not promising an instant cure for whatever pain that you may be facing, but it's the answer. The cure for the pain. The One who can make it better. I don't know where you[the reader(s) of my blog] are spiritually. You may call yourself spiritual or religious. You may not be spiritual at all. You may not believe that God exists. I'm here to tell you what I believe. What I know to be the Truth. And it's where my hope lies. Jesus Christ. The Author and Perfecter of our faith. (see Hebrews 12:2) Our Savior came into this world with a purpose. He came to live a perfect life. He came to love people, all people. He came to die for our sins, everyone's sin. He came to be a servant. He came to be a sacrifice. He came to bring Life. In Him, we can find true, eternal peace. With Him, we can do anything. That includes persevering through the trials of this life. It says in James 1:12 that "Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love Him." God's Word has promised us that "the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go." While we are going through the hardships in our lives, He will never leave us. He understands our pain and sorrow. While Jesus was here on this earth He suffered. He suffered like every other human being suffers and has suffered on this earth. He felt pain, He felt loss. He suffered an agonizing death on the cross for our sakes. He gave up His life to pay the debt of our sins. He experienced the ultimate grief and pain so we could experience the greatest joy. The hope of life after death. A life where we will no longer feel any of the pain of this world. An eternity spent with our Heavenly Father and Savior Jesus Christ. With this hope in mind, with the joy that we can know in Christ, with His strength--and only with His strength can we keep living, breathing, moving, dealing, enduring, persevering.

We have a great hope amidst life's pain. Through the years of suffering the loss of loved ones; dealing with economic hardships; losing jobs; broken hearts; cancer; debilitating illnesses; whatever it may be, He is always there. There's no need to go through this life with no hope. We have a great God who loves us. Who can help heal any hurt or brokenness. Psalms 34:18 says "The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit". I'd say that covers our pain. Broken hearts and crushed spirits. Like I said at the beginning of this post, life. is. hard. I've had a broken heart and crushed spirit. I'm still dealing with difficult things in my own life, but my Jesus has never left me. He is helping to heal the broken parts, and lifting up my spirit. I know it's not easy. And life is not going to get any easier. No need to sugar coat it and make false promises. But I can promise you this, if you let Him, God will heal your heart, and never leave you in your time of need. He will show you what true joy and peace are and He will give you the strength you need to endure the hardships of this life. For those of you who are reading this, and you know Jesus, hold fast to Him as you go through the trials of this life. For those of you who don't know Jesus, I encourage you to find out more about Him. I promise you, it will be well worth it.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

beauty from ashes.

I've come to a point in my life where I have absolutely no idea what the future holds. Yes, we don't know the future--so it's not like I'm the only one, but I've come to a place where I am at a loss as what I need to be doing with my life. There's a battle waging war inside of me because I so want to be an independent 25 year old with a job that has a regular[and much larger] paycheck. I'm tired of feeling like I'm still a child with rules, chores, and an allowance. This is how I've felt over the past year as I've gone from having a bi-weekly paycheck that brought in enough money to pay the bills I had as well as allowing me to save money and have spending money to being paid quarterly. Big adjustment, and it's been a huge disappointment. I've dealt with failed relationships--friend and boyfriend. I've dealt with a health crisis. At this point, I wonder what's next. I'm so tired. Emotionally. Physically. Spiritually. Mentally.

I've struggled with my relationship with God. When I needed Him, I knew He was there--and I cried out to Him. He helped me get through a very scary time in my life. He brought me through and brought about a miracle. But then it's like I all to quickly forgot that He was there--and that He wanted to be in relationship with me. I prayed. I read the Bible. [not faithfully like I should have] But I just didn't "feel" what I thought I should be feeling. Over the last several weeks, God has been slowly showing me some things. First of all, He is still there. He hasn't gone anywhere. Second, He's not going anywhere. Third, He wants me. Like I read in a friend's blog today about the song "How He Loves" how it says that "He is jealous for me"--the Creator of the earth is jealous for me! What? Why? This leads to the next thing. [We're on number 4] He loves me. He has always loved me. No matter what I have done. No matter how many times I fail Him. He still loves me. I don't understand why. As I had a very intense time wrestling with my feelings last night, I prayed, I read the Word, I journaled, I cried, I threw my hands up, I gave up. Now when I say, "I gave up"--that doesn't mean I'm done. It means I gave up everything that I have inside of me that I cannot control. All the things that I'm tired of worrying about. All the things I'm tired of being afraid of. All the dreams I want to happen but can't picture their coming true. Everything that I'm too weak to handle on my own. I gave it up. When I threw my hands up, and I mean literally, it was like I was handing off my cares, worries, fears, doubts, my everything--I handed it to God. Gave it to Him. I told Him that I didn't want it anymore. Now, that doesn't mean I won't still struggle with some things--but I don't need to be alone anymore trying to handle things on my own. I can't do this life without Him. I can't live without Him. I can't continue to go about my days with no direction. I need Him to help me. I need Him to guide me. To lift me up when I'm down, to hold me when I'm broken and bleeding. It's what He's there for. He wants to be my Provider, my Healer, my Caretaker, my Friend, my Father. He is strong enough to take care of my problems. He can handle the things that I can't seem to get a grasp on. He can make me strong enough, good enough, bold enough, etc.

He's picking up the broken pieces of my life--and making me whole again. He is showing me how gracious, merciful, loving, and kind that He really is.

During this time of refinement and being made more like Him, He is showing me the areas of my life that I need to work on. It's a good thing I've got His help. This[me] is not a pretty picture. There's a lot of things that need to be made right. I'm called to be like Him. If I am who I say I am, then I need to act like it. My actions haven't always backed up my words. It's time for things to change. This is not easy, I'm not looking forward to it--giving up what I want, and changing bad habits isn't going to be fun. I don't like knowing that I'm a sinner. Yet I am. I'm a sinner. Thankfully, I'm a sinner who has been saved by Grace. God is doing something good. He is working for my good. Oh, praise Him!

I thought of a song "Beauty for Ashes"--and that's why my post is titled "beauty from ashes"--it's an oldie by Crystal Lewis and this is how it goes[ps. look it up]:

He gives beauty for ashes
Strength for fear
Gladness for mourning
Peace for despair

When sorrow seems to surround you
When suffering hangs heavy oer your head
Know that tomorrow brings
Wholeness and healing
God knows your need
Just believe what He said

He gives beauty for ashes
Strength for fear
Gladness for mourning
Peace for despair

When what you've done keeps you from moving on
When fear wants to make itself at home in your heart
Know that forgiveness brings
Wholeness and healing
God knows your need
Just believe what He said

He gives beauty for ashes
Strength for fear
Gladness for mourning
Peace for despair

I once was lost but God has found me
Though I was bound I've been set free
I've been made righteous in His sight
A display of His splendor all can see

He gives beauty for ashes
Strength for fear
Gladness for mourning
Peace for despair

Thursday, February 23, 2012

slacker? yes, i know.

For some reason, I thought I had blogged already in 2012. But upon coming to my blog--after an almost two month hiatus, I realized that I had not yet blogged in 2012. Not that anything major has happened so far this year, but the year already seems to be flying by.

Oh, how things have changed since this time last year. A lot has gone on. Yes, I am redundant. But a LOT has happened. It's funny how I look back on this day[and this week in general] last year and remember the nervousness I felt--as something new and unexpected came into my life. Wow.

I never expected anything to happen the way it did. I guess I didn't really know what to expect. Having never gone through that type of experience before, I had nothing to compare it to. I have to tread lightly, lest I say some things that might be hurtful. I do not want to do that. Although I would love to be completely honest, for me to be so on here[not knowing who follows this] I need to be mindful of that and compassionate. It's something I'm working on. It was something that I have lost since my senior year of high school. Compassion. True caring for another person's well being. I won't go there. Another time, another hurt, another lost friendship--and I don't even know why. But onto this time last year. I was and am still not overly awesome at talking to guys. There are some who I can talk to so easily, while others I just blubber and probably look like an idiot. I am awkward. I feel like awkward should be my middle name. Anyways...I digress. I had been semi forced into a new adventure and didn't really know what the heck I was doing. Things happened quickly. Like a blur. The whole thing really went by quickly. I don't like how it ended, but it's what needed to happen. I know I didn't handle everything the way I needed to, and I know that I was hurtful. I never intended to be hurtful and cause another human being so much pain. But it was not right for me, and it was time to end things. I wish I could have had more maturity and wisdom this time last year. Maybe I would have handled things in a better way. The whole way through. But I guess I needed a learning experience. It was a hard lesson to learn. A lot of things were hard about it. I wish I could go back and undo some things. But I can't. That's what I don't like. But I have to live with the choices that were made in the past, and pray that the hurt I caused has subsided and we can both move on to the futures that God has for us. It's not always easy to see the reasoning behind certain things that we go through. Why did I have to lose my job? Why did I have a large mass grow in my abdomen? Why do I have to deal with certain situations with certain people? I know I'm being very self focused right now. But you understand where I'm coming from and where I'm going with this.

As I look back, I am trying to find the answers to my questions. What lessons did I learn--what do I take from my experience? Hopefully, I have learned from my past mistakes and can take that knowledge and wisdom into my next experience and be the exact person that God has made me to be. I know He is preparing me for the future. I'm struggling a lot with some future things. I am really not overly excited about my position in life. Don't get me wrong, I have an amazing family, an awesome group of friends, and a wonderful church where I have some great ministry opportunities. It's the other major part--the part I didn't really want. My job. It's frustrating--and I wish I could change it. It's not what I wanted to do at all. I don't want to do it. But I have no choice--or so it seems. This is one big thing that God is going to have to really work on me with--to help me. I need a lot of knowledge, confidence, boldness, integrity, etc. This is a tough business. There's a lot I need to know about. I need to stay on top of things---as well as become more of a driven person. I NEVER, and I mean NEVER wanted to be in sales. And that's exactly where I am. I have to make a sales pitch to entice people to want to do business with me. If I'm unsuccessful, I don't get paid. I'm struggling the most with the fact that two years ago I had a steady paycheck. I was supporting myself. Yes, I still lived at home--but my parents didn't have to help me with my bills. I was also able to save money. Now I am completely dependent on them. It's not how I pictured my life at 25.

I foresee 2012 as being another year filled with challenges that are going to teach me many more things that I need to learn before God allows me to "move on" to the next part of my life. I don't know the future, and maybe things are going to be really "easy" for me, but I see God using this time to refine me and grow me. I'm okay with that. As I'm reading in Genesis along with a commentary called "Be Authentic"--I want my life and my faith to be authentic. I want people to see me as a genuine person. Someone who cares--someone who is not afraid--someone who follows after God without any questions as to why He's taking me to a place I never wanted to go. I see where disobedience will get me. It's not a fun place. I am working on being obedient. I want to do God's will. I just need His help.

Sorry to be so "debbie downer" with this, but it's where I am right now. God has helped me out tremendously over the past several months. As I learn how to be completely dependent on Him, instead of trying to do everything on my own, I know life will get better. Not saying easier--but just better. So if I have encouragement to leave with anyone who may happen to read this: Don't give up. Press on. Rely on God. Let go of your independence--and let Him take you to the place He wants you to be--because there will be a great reward--and great joy. It's worth it. It will all be worth it in the end. Because He is faithful. And good. And lots of other super awesome things--because that's what He is--a super awesome God!