Monday, February 24, 2014
Thursday, February 20, 2014
Monday, February 17, 2014
#1: How long are you planning on staying in Ghana?
God only works with me for about a year at a time. This is how it has been for the longest time. So, all I know is that I am here for now. When God tells me it is time to go, then I will move on to the next place. Until then, I am here.
#2: Any guys in your life?
I am an open book! You would know about it if there was "someone special" in my life.
But, here is what God has worked in me this year regarding my singleness. 2012, I had felt overwhelmed by my singleness and felt so lonely that it was something that I dwelled on and couldn't seem to get past. This year, I felt like God asked me to surrender my desire to be married, not that it wouldn't happen, but that marriage would never fill me the way that I was longing for. I needed to be in a place where God could fully fill those places of longing and loneliness, because He is the only one who could do that. I need to be in a place where I am complete by myself (with God's strength). So, as I have strived to be filled completely by my Father God, I have found my wanting, my desire for marriage, decrease. The desire is still there. I do want a husband and children of my own, but I fully know that God fills every place within me that felt so empty and lonely before. When the day does come, if God grants it to me, that I get married and have children of my own, it will be an addition to what I already have, not a definition of who I am.
So, I hope that answers my two most common questions!
But that summer, as a Summer Ministry Project Staffer, I worked with the young adults ministry and helped administrate the summer day camp for the 100+ kids that attended Monday-Friday for ten weeks in the summer.
I also learned so many things, God healed so many things, challenged my faith in so many ways, and I grew and was discipled and discipled others.
One thing that came from that time (and those who had attended as SMPS in previous summers) was the idea of choosing a word to illustrate the season that God had you in. I have had many words over the years, all of them illustrations of God's good work in me (even if the seasons were hard).
When I was traveling at home, I was asked what my word was for this season, and I must honestly admit...I hadn't spent any time in prayer about what God was doing in me and had nothing to offer.
So, I buckled down and listened.
And I have three words for the year. Words of things that I felt God has given me to focus on throughout the whole year. Words that express what he is doing in me.
I spent a day with my dear friend Lauren Majewski when I was in the Bay. I love time with her. She's beautiful and her heart overflows and splashes onto anyone that comes near. She is someone who makes me laugh so hard, can inspire me with her heart, and allows God to work in her so honestly. I was challenged to grow in my intimacy with Christ because of how in love with Jesus Lauren is. I long for more of that. I long for a filling that changes how I speak of Him, how I serve Him, how I love Him.
I will be the first one to admit that I am a work-aholic. And sometimes that need to fix everything, that desire for everything to be perfect, to give without thought of myself--sometimes that takes over even the places that fill and inspire me. So, this year, I want to be creative in ways that I haven't been in a long time. I want to scrapbook (I know...I know...but I love it). I want to write new music. I want to paint. I want to write. I want to be creative in a way that fills me with God's presence.
When I was with my friends Kat and Isaiah in North Carolina, Katty challenged me with this idea of rest. I have been struggling with finding places of rest in my life for a long time. So, when I was talking through this with my sweet Katty, she said that when her and Zay moved to North Carolina, they felt like they needed to learn how to rest well and slow down. But, what they found was that even if they were busy, they needed to learn how to find rest in God. They needed to learn how to delve into true rest. And so, they woke up earlier and spent longer in the Word. They prayed together more, even if they had to stay up later. And while they might look busy, they are settled because they dwell in a place of rest. I want that for myself this year.
So, if you think about it, pray for me. Pray for these words over me.
And take some time to stop and listen. Press in. What word or words has God given you for this season?
Monday, February 10, 2014
New International Version (NIV)
The Servant of the Lord
42 “Here is my servant, whom I uphold,
my chosen one in whom I delight;
I will put my Spirit on him,
and he will bring justice to the nations.
2 He will not shout or cry out,
or raise his voice in the streets.
3 A bruised reed he will not break,
and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out.
In faithfulness he will bring forth justice;
4 he will not falter or be discouraged
till he establishes justice on earth.
In his teaching the islands will put their hope.”
5 This is what God the Lord says—
the Creator of the heavens, who stretches them out,
who spreads out the earth with all that springs from it,
who gives breath to its people,
and life to those who walk on it:
6 “I, the Lord, have called you in righteousness;
I will take hold of your hand.
I will keep you and will make you
to be a covenant for the people
and a light for the Gentiles,
7 to open eyes that are blind,
to free captives from prison
and to release from the dungeon those who sit in darkness.
8 “I am the Lord; that is my name!
I will not yield my glory to another
or my praise to idols.
9 See, the former things have taken place,
and new things I declare;
before they spring into being
I announce them to you.”
The same is true today. I have been called, so I will go, fully surrendered. And even when it's hard to leave behind the places where I feel most known, God says, "I will take hold of your hand." In that, I am known MOST fully. And I will trust that. Because He is good.