Monday, December 9, 2013

Change is okay

"It may be that decisions which seem to change the character of the work will now have to be made. But if the principles which have grounded us from the beginning are held fast there will be no real change. The river may flow in a new channel but it will be the same river." ~ Amy Carmichel 

I desire God's will for my life, even if this means leaving all that I know, and yet, so often I feel like He couldn't have chosen a girl with more excitement about the future with almost as much dread of change to match!  
In all honesty, I think God just loves it when I am desperate for Him. He will use the heart in my throat and the pounding of my chest to keep me seeking, surrendering, trusting and loving. And those are my closest moments with Him. 

I feel my heart stirring, but with no clue as to why or to what's ahead. All I know is that Christ is always faithful, always good, and always my strength. 

Perhaps there will be nothing significantly changing any time soon. I don't know. But for now, I am thankful for the reminder that, when it's from God ... Change really can be okay! :) 

Alright, done rambling now :)

Monday, December 2, 2013

"Wouldn't we be happy if we could find the full treasure described in the Gospel? Nothing else matters. This treasure is infinite; the more we explore it, the more riches we find. May we never stop searching until we have found it! ....
I don't know what God has in store for me, but I feel so serene that it doesn't matter. What do I have to be afraid of when I'm with Him? I stay with Him as much as I can. May He be blessed for everything!" - Brother Lawrence ( The Practice of the Presence of God) 


Saturday, November 30, 2013

Blog Recommendation - Livin' The Thai Life by Margaret Hoar

Okay, guys and gals, do you need a laugh? Yes? Well you need to head over to my close friend, Margaret Hoar's blog and read her posts then. She.is.hilarious.

I met Margaret during my days in Thailand and we have been fast friends ever since. She has this way of being able to put so many Thai situations into words. Maybe that's why I think she's so funny...Her posts bring back a ton of memories :)

Anyways, please check her blog out! CLICK HERE: http://livinthethailifeblog.wordpress.com/ 

Friday, November 22, 2013

Honoring My Future Spouse: What I'm learning about Godly, healthy guy/girl interaction

Disclaimer: I am in no way trying to imply that I have this area of my life figured out (just ask my family). Like you, I am on a journey.  I am simply doing my best to carry out what God has shown me for me throughout the years up to this point. Please keep in mind that this post is addressing every day situations, and not special ones, such as being alone with a guy friend because he's being protective over you. -  You do not have to agree :) And beware, this may be my longest post yet! 

 Guy/Girl Interaction



   It's a subject in the church that is not brought up very often. And honestly, I can understand why. It's a touchy subject! With so many people at different places in their walk with God, we tend to have at least a few a lot of different opinions. It is also hard to talk about it without appearing like you're sharing your opinion, sounding prideful and being legalistic. Which is what I, too, am trying to avoid in this post. I can only go by the past, recent and personal experiences I have had in my short years on earth, plus what I have learned from the Bible and people, young and old, who I respect. My desire is to honor God. I am responsible for me. 

 The Lord has brought me through the progression of being a sometimes flirty 13 year old in youth group with a crush or few, to a twenty four year old woman desiring to honor her future husband now physically, mentally and emotionally(“She does him good and not evil ALL the days of her life.” ~Proverbs 31:12). The latter, of course, involves how I respond and act toward my guy friends. 

I find that focusing on two specific areas really helps me. 

  • Safety in numbers & Healthy conversation
Where there is no guidance, a people fall but in an abundance of counselors there is safety.  ~ Proverbs 11:14 (ESV) 

Back in time, it would have been very unusual for an unmarried man and an unmarried woman to be intentionally alone together. It didn't matter if they were in a public setting or even if they were just friends. To be alone implied something much bigger than friendship. I am sure there were exceptions, such as safety, but otherwise, it would have given people the opportunity to think things, perhaps, very untrue of the two people. It could have put their character in question, which would have been an embarrassment, because character was something to protect and respect. Sounds pretty old-fashioned and restricting, right? But has the way people think really changed so much?

Let's bring this scenario up to date, but keeping it in a Christian mindset. There's a young man and woman you know, who claim to be only friends. This is the first time you've seen them alone, and they are in a car. What's YOUR first thought? Are you now trying to convince yourself they are still "only friends", when before, there's was no doubt?  I can't speak for you, but I know for me, my first thought is, "Hmmmmm, I wonder...".  It's not that it may be inherently wrong, but perhaps more like bad judgement. If there is at least a third person, I think, "Well there goes a good group of friends." It also protects my brother or sister in the Lord's character from being put into question. 


"... He (the Lord) is a shield to those who walk in integrity..." ~ Proverbs 2:7

I have found that I really, really like accountability. It doesn't always feel good in the moment, but I've never known a time when I wasn't thankful for it in the end. This includes involvement from my parents, as well as friends. Unfortunately, our culture gives us the impression that accountability, especially with parents, is childish or only for pastors. But I beg to differ. It's not childish, it's safe. And there is nothing wrong with safety. I want to feel safe, especially as a woman. 
Our friends and family can help us stay focused on the Lord and what He has put in our hearts. I know for me, I tend to have an easier time talking with guys. Because of this, I have asked my family and friends to help me by pointing out when I am unintentionally going too far with my teasing and/or conversations. I will mean absolutely nothing by it, but if not careful, it could look like I'm leading someone on, which would give the appearance of an untruth. Which brings in the subject of conversations. I love this paragraph written by Leslie Ludy from her devotion "Getting to Know a Guy".
She was specifically writing to girls, but I believe, in many ways, it can also be applied to guys. 


"Protecting your feminine mystique doesn’t mean you need to hide in a corner and go out of your way to avoid guys.  It’s not more spiritual to act shy and insecure in a conversation with a guy.  You can be friendly, outgoing, and confident toward any guy you meet.  The key is to be God-honoring in the way you speak and interact with guys.  Scripture is abundantly clear that all our words must be carefully weighed before God...
Far too many of us get caught up in the “playful banter” that goes along with male/female interaction, disregarding the purity of speech that God requires of His children.  When you casually chat with a guy, don’t allow crude words, sarcastic words, impure words, profane words, sensual words, gossipy words, etc. to creep into your conversation.  Joking about the latest Hollywood comedy or T.V. sitcom might seem completely normal, but does it honor Jesus Christ?  Flirtatious or teasing comments might seem innocent and fun, but does that behavior reflect the stunning purity of our King? ...When it comes to talking casually with guys, choose to exchange all foolish, idle, flirtatious conversation for edifying words that build faith and bring glory to God. Beware of downplaying spiritual things so that a guy doesn’t think of you as strange.  Let guys know without question where you stand – that Jesus Christ is the number one passion and focus of your life and heart."

And I would add, don't share the deeper parts of your heart, even under the title of "ministry". I highly encourage others, as I too have been encouraged, if you need a friend to talk to about deep heart matters,  it is almost always healthy to go to a person, who you trust, that is of the same sex as you. From what I have personally seen, aside from the few obvious exceptions, it is never a healthy situation to share the deep parts of your heart with a person of the opposite sex. However, if you find yourself in that situation, because of your specific circumstances (cause we're all different),
 at least make sure there is a third person. That third person is an asset, and can be of more help to keep the situation from getting too deep. But you still have to be VERY cautious. Guard your heart and emotions and please make sure you really do trust the person you are talking with. Hopefully that person is encouraging you to not give up on trying to get into relationships with Christ-focused people of the same sex that you can surround yourself with. Again, I want to clarify that I am not an expert. But my family has been in ministry for a long time and we have seen the dangers that can come from men and women going too far in their conversations. I have seen perfectly good friendships be ruined because emotions got, unintentionally, too entangled. 

I want to be careful in my conversations with guys, because emotions can be very vulnerable and the innermost parts of my heart are not to be given away to another woman's future husband.  I want to build healthy friendships with the men in my life which can continue after I am married that my husband won't be jealous of or concerned about. 

At the end of the day, along with honoring God and my future spouse, my relationships with my guy friends are not to be a cause for anxiousness, wondering if I'm doing everything just right or not, but wonderful opportunities to honor them and help build them up to be mighty men of God. It's about protecting the glory of my King and the sacredness of my future marriage. 

But, in order to live out everything I have written in this post, I humbly realize that I must, must, MUST continue to meditate on Jesus. I must place my full dependence upon Him, and find my everything in Him. It is then, and only then, when I am seeking the kingdom of heaven first and foremost, that I will be able to do my future spouse and my friends any good. I pray Christ's radiance and beauty will be reflected in and through my life. 

May the Lord bless you, and keep you, and cause His face to shine upon you as you seek to honor Him in your relationships! 

Please feel free to comment, but keep them kind :)  I also welcome any "tips" you have learned that has helped you in this area. Like I said before, I am learning and have not been perfected in this area. 


Tuesday, November 19, 2013


Psalm 37:7 - "Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him..."
Just a little reminder for some of us :)

Saturday, November 16, 2013

From Leslie Ludy

Here is the truth that many of us hesitate to really believe: if and when the time comes for us to be married, God will orchestrate the love story. But in the meantime, our focus is to be on serving Him and pouring our life out for Him, not on getting serious about getting married. The timing is up to Him, not us....Trusting God to orchestrate our love story doesn’t mean shunning men or avoiding friendships with the opposite sex. Certainly it is a great idea to pray for our future spouse and to be obedient to God’s voice as He guides our steps in the process of finding a spouse.But marriage is not what we are called to pursue. Rather, His Word tells us in no uncertain terms what we are called to pursue: “Now flee from youthful lusts and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace…” (2 Tim. 2:22 NASB).
So, ditch online dating and Facebook flirting (real-life flirting too, for that matter). Don’t build your life around the pursuit of guys. Build your life around the pursuit of Jesus Christ. Find your fulfillment in Him and Him alone. If His plan for you is marriage, it should merely be an outflow of a much more important love story – your daily, intimate love relationship with the King of all kings. And if you are uncertain that He alone is enough to fulfill you at the deepest level, just take a look at these amazing promises from His Word:
“O LORD, You are the portion of my inheritance and my cup...” (Psalm 16:5).
“Jehovah is my shepherd, I do not lack.” (Psalm 23:1 YLT).
“For He satisfies the longing soul...” (Psalm 107:9).
“…the fullness of Him who fills all in all” (Eph. 1:23).

Read more at http://setapartgirl.com/magazine/article/01-1-13/how-find-godly-guy 

Friday, November 15, 2013

The Random 23

  Perhaps you've seen, but writing random facts about yourself appeared to be the "thing" on Facebook this past week. I usually ignore such goings on, but even I got caught up in it too. It was kind of fun and it was really interesting to read about some things that I didn't know about my friends. My FB friends have already seen my list, but I thought I would share it on here as well...purely for the sake of actually trying to post on my blog :P  

Here we go: 




1. I want to go to Europe so bad. Mainly Italy.


2. I live in a subdivision, but I am a country girl. I like Dodge pickups, my camo gun, gardening and animals.





3. I have food allergies. I'm allergic to:
  • peanuts
  • dairy
  • pineapple (why???)
  • gluten
  • soy
  • almonds
  • any fruit with a pit
  • eggs
  • yeast


4. I have been to India, Thailand, and Malaysia (Holland and Japan too, if you count airports)

5. Baking is my hobby

6. Good photography makes me smile

7. If The Lord wills, I would like to be a wife and a mom someday. Given the opportunity, I would also like to adopt, which could include a child born with Down Syndrome.

8. If it's vintage, I'll probably like it

9. I already have a little Christmas tree up in my bedroom. Although that's more like a confession. Lol


10. I have a blog, but I don't keep up with it very well ;) 


11. I can be shy, but learning to overcome. It's easy for me to come out of my shell if you're outgoing and make me laugh :)

12. I like airports

13. I used to figure skate (wish I still remembered how)

14. I'm a history buff. Historical places are some of my favorite spots to go to.


15. I get embarrassed and generally turn red when people compliment me, but secretly it encourages me.

16. I want to visit all the countries where my ancestors are from (Poland, Ukraine, Germany & Holland).

17. I like to shop, but given the choice between that, and a walk in the woods, I will more than likely choose the latter.

18. I miss my old horse and sometimes still have dreams about the farm we used to live on.

19. I pretty much only watch old movies or new movies set in historical times. No swear words please! 


20. I'm saving my first kiss for my wedding day


21. Sometimes I can be prideful :( 


22. I'm thankful that Christ completes what He starts

23. I find that writing random stuff is kind of fun, but what I really want people to know about me, is that Jesus has my heart and I really pray that it is He who you see in me.


Happy Friday Everyone! 

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Battling Gracefully ( A random little thought)

"To me, it has been a source of great comfort and strength in the day of battle, just to remember that the secret of steadfastness, and indeed, of victory, is the recognition that "the Lord is at hand." " - Duncan Campbell

 I must admit, I don't always battle gracefully. Often times, I battle anxiously like everything depends on me, instead of resting and trusting in God. "Be Thou my Vision" is most often my prayer.

Why is it that I can feel so close to my Savior and yet so easily forget WHO He is? It pains me to admit this, but I realize that in my humanness, I sometimes find that, I, the created, bring the Creator down to my level of ability. Just writing those words makes my heart almost sick.

How is it that I can trust Him for money and yet, doubt if He hears my prayers for healing? Oh Lord Jesus, please forgive me.  The older I get, the more I realize how much I need Him. Knowing a lot about Him is not enough. My spirit craves intimacy. But intimacy means relationship.

Please, don't misunderstand me. I DO believe that I have a beautiful relationship with Christ, but, I also think I'm just scratching the surface! Which excites me :)

Lately, I have found myself battling with small doses of worry, doubt, melancholiness and discontentment. None of which I can fully understand why, but they have been real all the same.  I keep going back to John 15:5 in my head:

I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abidein Me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing.
I think I'm learning what it means to "abide" in Jesus. To dwell with Him and remain steady.... Even with questions. I am thankful that He is not surprised by my questions. If I cannot go to Him, who can I go to? However, I am finding more and more that I don't need answers to my questions... I need Him. He IS the answer. He is teaching me to be okay with all the mystery which surrounds who He is. It's in letting go of what I think I need and letting Him simply be God. Like He needs my permission *insert sarcasm here*.

Ah, only as a Christian can there be such fulfillment in my weaknesses being revealed. Truly He is strong when I am weak. And at the same time my weakness is revealed, I am lifted high on wings like eagles. Only such a God can perform such mystery and beauty. He loves me where I am, but oh praise Him, His love also isn't letting me stay there.

At the same time I can be battling, my Lord surrounds me like a shield. I am His and He is mine.

How can such a love be resisted?


Friday, August 30, 2013

Closer by Steffany Frizzell- Gretzinger

Your love has ravished my heart
And taken me over
Taken me over
And all I want is to be
With you forever
With you forever

So pull me a little closer
Take me a little deeper
I want to know you heart...I want to know your heart

Because Your love is so much sweeter
Than anything I've tasted
I want to know your heart...I want to know your heart
 

Saturday, August 17, 2013

His Kindness

   This past week and a half has found me overwhelmed simply by the Lord's kindness and faithfulness. There has been times of darkness along with brightness lately and it has been beautiful to watch Him work in every situation. I have been refreshed in areas I had begun to grow a bit weary in and my love for my Savior has grown to new heights.                               I have been so lovingly reminded why I have chosen Him to be my portion and my cup. There is no one like Him.      

Saturday, February 23, 2013

God is always with us, no matter what we may be doing...


The time of business does not differ with me from the time of prayer; and in the noise and clatter of my kitchen, while several persons are at the same time calling for different things, I possess God in as great tranquility as if I were on my knees.
                                                                                      - Brother Lawrence

Brother Lawrence working in the kitchen
   This quote, from a 16th century monk, was a good reminder for me today. When my young brothers are being loud, laundry needs to be done, and meals need to be made, God is still there. Everything we do in our daily lives matters to Him. He understands the necessity of many of the trivial (compared to Heaven, I mean) things we must do in order to live in this world, and He promises us His presence.
But, He wants our hearts. We must not allow our daily lives to get in the way of God, but rather, to be lived 'as unto Him'.

I love this other quote of Brother Lawrence from the book 'The Practice of the Presence of God'. 


Whatever we do, even if we are reading the Word or praying, we should stop for a few minutes - as often as possible - to praise God from the depths of our hearts, to enjoy Him there in secret. Since we believe that God is always with us, no matter what we may be doing, why shouldn't we stop for awhile to adore Him, to praise Him, to petition Him, to offer Him our hearts, and to thank Him? 

                                   
Aye, why not?

Just a little pondering in my heart today. 

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Jeremiah Heart Update



Yay! My heart rate went from beating 42 beats per minute at my last doctor visit to 50-55 today!!!! Thank you for praying for me! 

Hillsong United - Like an avalanche.mp4

Monday, February 11, 2013

A Few Pictures

 I realized today how long it has been since I've posted some pictures! Here are just a few of the little guys, who are actually getting so big! Where does the time go?!
  

Sorry for the blurriness of this pic. He moves so fast, it's hard to get a good one of him sometimes :) Jeremiah's birthday is on February 16th! I can't believe he's going to be 7 years old already. Feels like it was just yesterday when he was born. Please be praying for him on Wednesday! He goes to the doctor for his 6month heart check-up. Only this time he they will be doing an ultrasound. He tends to get scared easy, so we would appreciate the prayers :) Thank you!


Matthew is an amazing kid. He's always making us laugh! He's getting pretty quick witted like John.  I love this little snuggler! 


At the time this picture was taken, Malachi was very intently watching Thomas The Train :) This boy loves to run and jump. He barrels into a room with a smirk on his face and a twinkle in eyes. He also can scream like nobody's business! - I can't help but kiss his cheeks whenever I can get a hold of him long enough. 


   I feel so blessed to have such wonderful little brothers ( John too! ). The more time goes on, the more thankful I am for this time at home God has given me. I hope that as the years go by, these foundational years will serve to keep all of us close. 

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Rend Collective Experiment-True Intimacy

Whatever I have
Whatever I hold
There's nothing compares
To having You close

True intimacy
Is my desire
To catch Your whispers
To carry Your fire

You're my ambition
My destination

More than living
More than breathing
You're the reason
My heart's beating

There's nothing greater
Than knowing You
You unlock my joy
You waken my soul

Forever I'm Yours
Forever You're mine
A wonderful truth
That you are my life

You're my ambition
My soul's true mission

More than living
More than breathing
You're the reason
My heart's beating

So I'm giving
Freely yielding
You're the reason
My heart's beating

There's nothing greater than knowing You
Nothing greater than knowing You

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Waiting


   Not long ago, I wrote the following paragraph as a status on Facebook. I shared it to, yes, be honest and vulnerable, but also because I felt like there was another young woman who might possibly be encouraged to know she wasn't alone. Since then, my best friend gave me a quote that I think is a perfect ending to my status and really describes how I feel about waiting (which is way more than just waiting for marriage). 
    Every once in a great while, I feel the temptation to wonder what other people think of me being a daughter at home. Realizing for a 20+ year old to still be at home and not working outside the home (other than a volunteer job) is not quite the "norm" any more. It is sometimes easy for me to feel a bit insecure of what I think someone's possible perception of me could be. Such as - Do they think I'm lazy? Why aren't I in college preparing for plan B? Do they think I'm oblivious to what goes on in the world around me? Do they think that I'm weird for choosing to allow God to write my love story? - When, at times, I begin to feel this way, I am thankful for a God Who is faithful to remind me that it is HIS thoughts of me I should be concerned about, not the world's. It is very humbling that the Lord would choose to use me in any capacity, great or small. And as I sit here watching Thomas The Train with my little brothers, I am reminded that I am exactly where He wants me to be.
The following is the quote/excerpt from my friend. It is by G. Campbell Morgan. I found it to be so encouraging! I hope you do too.
   Waiting for God is not laziness. Waiting for God is not going to sleep. Waiting for God is not the abandonment of effort. Waiting for God means, first, activity under command; second, readiness for any new command that may come; third, the ability to do nothing until the command is given....Waiting for God, then, is the adjustment of our lives to the truth concerning Him which we know. . . . God is the one unchanging fact from everlasting to everlasting. Waiting for God means putting this life, of which I am so uncertain in a thousand varied ways, into right relationship with Him of whom I am absolutely and everlastingly certain. Waiting for God means that I adjust my life to Him rather than to circumstances, and that I set my hope on Him rather than on the wit and the cleverness of men. Waiting for God means that definite personal activity which is busily occupied in adjusting the whole fact and circumstances of life to the unchangeable and unalterable fact of God....Waiting on God means power to do nothing save under command. This is not the lack of power to do anything. Waiting for God needs strength rather than weakness. It is power to do nothing. It is the strength that holds strength in check. It is the strength that prevents the blundering activity which is entirely false and will make true activity impossible when the definite command comes.....Waiting requires strength. It demands absolute surrender of the life to God, the confession that we are at the end of our own understanding of things, the confession that we really do not see our way and do not know the way. The waiting that says: "Until God shall speak we dare not move and will not move, we will not be seduced from our resolution to wait".
- G. Campbell Morgan (From his sermon ' Secret to Waiting on God')  


I won't write anymore, because I feel like everything speaks for itself. I hope in whatever waiting circumstance you are in, that you were encouraged by this today!