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So Excited!

September 27, 2010

My copy of Tobymac’s new book, City on Our Knees, just arrived.

I have been a Tobymac fan since his DC Talk days.

I am so excited!!

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My Heart’s Desire

September 10, 2010

Eight years ago, if you had asked me what my heart’s desire was, I would have told you that my heart’s desire was to find someone who would truly and unconditionally love me.

Five years ago, if you had asked me what my heart’s desire was, I would have told you that my heart’s desire was for my husband to quickly finish his degree and find a job making lots of money.

Three years ago, if you had asked me what my heart’s desire was, I would have told you that my heart’s desire was to have a baby.

A year ago, if you had asked me what my heart’s desire was, I would have told you that my heart’s desire was for LSS to be legally and completely ours.

My heart’s desire is different now.  God has given me a husband who loves me unconditionally.  God has shown us that Hubby having a job, us having a baby or LSS being ours is not His will right now.

Today, My heart’s desire is to do something truly great for God.  I want more than anything to be a great woman of God.  Not for my glory, but for that of Christ.

Something has been birthed in me over the past few months.  I do not have a clear vision of what God is calling Hubby and I to do, but I have no doubt that we are to throw ourselves at Christ with abandon.

Over the past few days, I have wondered, “Do I have a right to want to do something great for God? … Is it sinful or fleshly to want to do great things for God?”  I told my husband what I was feeling and that I believed that God was calling us to great things.  He looked at me and told me that he has been feeling the same thing.  I asked him if it was wrong to so desperately long to be used by God.  I told him, I don’t want glory or riches or fame.  I just want to serve my Savior.

He said, “Then the only one who will try to convince you that you are wrong is Satan.  And we just can’t let him win, can we?”

William Carey said, “Expect great things from God; attempt great things for God”

Dictionary.com gives 23 definitions of “Great”.

It also gives a bunch of synonyms for the word: Immense, Gigantic, Grand, Noteworthy, Vital, Notable, Momentous.

Jesus gives us a different definition of “Great”:  “The greatest among you will be your servant. For whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.”  Matthew 23:11-12

Doing great things for God doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to hold a tent revival where you see thousands come to Christ in one night.  It means praying with your co-worker who has just lost her mother.  It means giving a gift card to a financially struggling family.  It means baby-sitting for your neighbor who is the single mom of three kids.  It means showing Christ’s love in day-to-day life.  Once you are consistently do that, then you are truly doing great things for God!

Book Review: The Thorn by Beverly Lewis

September 4, 2010

I had the honor of getting an advance copy of The Thorn by Beverly Lewis from Bethany House Publishers.  I have always enjoyed Beverly Lewis’s books and The Thorn certainly did not disappoint.  The Thorn is about Rose Kauffman, an Amish young woman, who has opted to skip Rumspringa and immediately be baptized into the Amish church upon her coming of age.

The book focuses on the “love triangle” between Rose and two Amish boys.  One Amish boy is a “good boy”, one to whom marriage would please her father.  The other is a boy who was adopted into the Amish community and is a bit wild (at least according to the Amish).

Rose has seen what has happened to her sister who chose to marry a man who was not Amish.  Her heart grieves for her sister and she is determined to not let the same thing happen for her.

This book is the first of The Rose Trilogy and as all good “first books” do, it leaves the reader wondering what will happen to Rose, her sister, and her mysterious new friend.  (Want to find out more about the friend?  Read the book!)

The Thorn was a great rainy weekend book.  It is an easy and entertaining read with a positive message.  I also always enjoy the Dutch words that the author throws in to make the dialog more authentically Amish.

I enjoyed this book and would recommend it to anyone who enjoys Christian Romance or Amish fiction.

Thank you to Bethany House Publishers for providing me a complementary copy in exchange for an honest book review!

My First Gray Hair

September 1, 2010
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On Saturday, I found my first gray hair! Shhh!  Keep it between you and me!  I am in my very early 30’s and I know that a lot of people get gray hair much earlier than that, but oh my goodness!!  I don’t feel old enough for gray hair!

As soon as I found it, I called my father and left a voicemail message for him telling him that his baby girl had found her first gray hair.  He called me back and left a voicemail for me consoling me and welcoming me into middle age.  Middle age?  I don’t think so, Dad!!

I am truly not too upset about the gray hair.  After all, it was bound to happen someday, sooner than later, right?  And I can always color it.  Which I indeed plan on doing.  The only thing that bothered me is that I love the way my hair feels and I know that gray hair feels different.  I will no longer have baby soft hair.

Am I really old enough to have a gray hair?

Scared, but Willing

August 24, 2010

God seems to use incredible adversity and struggles to prepare us for His use.

Look at Moses, Joseph, David, and Paul, just to name a few.  Moses was almost killed as an infant, made a rash decision as a young adult, and then had to deal with a tyrannical leader.  Joseph endured being sold into slavery by his brothers and then being lied about by a lust-filled woman.  David had to fight a giant and then when he thought he had finally found a little peace, he was harassed by a jealous king who happened to be his boss.  Paul was blinded by an encounter with God

While I will never be as great as Moses, Joseph, David or Paul, I believe that God has allowed struggles in my life so that I can be better prepared for His use.  I am still unsure of exactly how He wants to use me, but I know that He has something planned.  I should be excited.  Instead, I am scared and hesitant.

It has been almost two years since Hubby stepped down from his youth pastor position at our previous church.  We had been hurt badly by the senior pastor.  Hubby said that he would never go back into the ministry.  I urged him to not make any decisions out of hurt, knowing that God had big plans for Hubby.  Our hurt was so deep at that point that I knew that we couldn’t clearly see what God wanted us to do in the future.  Very slowly, God worked in Hubby’s heart, showing him (though some very painful lessons) that God wants Hubby back in the ministry.

But now the tables have turned a bit.  I was always the one who “knew” that we were called to full-time ministry.  I have wanted that since I was a child.  I desperately want to be powerfully used by God.  But now I am filled with hesitation.

I Peter 5:8 says “Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.”  I know the adversity, hardships, and obstacles that my enemy will through my way.  I saw that he did to my parents.  I have felt the sting of attack for myself as well.  I know that my God is more powerful that he is.  But I know that I am weak.  I have seen much stronger men and women than myself fall and fail.  I have seen pastors’ families destroyed.  I don’t want to be one of them.

I have always believed that it is an honor for Satan to attack because he would not bother with me if I was impotent for Christ.  He will only go after those who are a threat to him.  I want to be a threat to him.  I want to be a light for Christ in a world so full of darkness.

I am weak and I am scared.

I am scared, but I am willing.

II Corinthians 12:9-10 “But He said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”

May I never forget how weak I truly am.

Check out this song by Barlow Girl. What a great theme song for this post!

One More Round

I’m telling you now I’m not gonna lose it
I am not defeated
Though you cannot see it
I have never won a battle on my own
I find strength in weakness
I find hope in believing
God is for me who can bring me down?
So take me one more round
I’ll just keep fighting

TGIF

August 20, 2010

Seriously!  Thank God that it is Friday!  This week has been insane!

I have worked a crazy amount of hours, made time for my step-family who are up visiting for the week, had a volatile co-worker to deal with, as well as as co-worker who is in the ICU after suffering cardiac arrest.  Then of course, we can’t forget that Hubby’s classes started this week, LSS is getting ready to go back to school, and I am totally PMSing!

But honestly, this weekend isn’t going to be any less crazy.  Tonight we are going to the beach with my step-family.  Tomorrow Hubby, LSS and I are all getting hair cuts, then we are taking LSS to get her picture taken.  Sunday we have church and then we are meeting with one of the associate pastors after church.  And sometime during all this, Hubby has a paper to write and a huge test to study for.

I really need a vacation!

The Volalitle Co-Worker

August 20, 2010

Yesterday, a very volatile co-worker exploded over the phone at me.  I remained very calm the entire time.  I am rather afraid of this co-worker because of the “issues” that he has had in the past.  I do everything in my power to not agitate him and avoid even the slightest confrontation if possible.  However yesterday, he called me up to ask a question, but erupted in anger when I gave an answer that he didn’t like.  He ended the call with, “Well, you know I love you.”  And then hung up on me.

He thinks that we are friends.  I have known him for a long time.  We went to the same church for a few years.  Hubby was his children’s’ youth pastor.  Hubby has had to speak to him several times about his un-Christlike conduct.  He is one of the reasons that Hubby feels woefully inept at “pastoring”.  This man has no problem getting in my face or hubby’s face and using all sorts of foul and threatening words.  Hubby has no idea how to neutralize him or the situation.  The next day we will get a phone call or an email saying, “I forgive you if you forgive me.”

This man is not my friend.  My friends do not speak to me or my husband like that.  My friends encourage my husband, not make him feel incapable of dealing with a situation.  My friends don’t treat me the way that this man treats me.  This man is abusive to his family and friends and I want no part of it.  When he gets in one of his moods, I am instantly brought back in time to my abusive previous marriage.  I immediately go into “fight, flight or freeze” mode.  I used to chose the “freeze” mode and just allow myself to be abused.  Now I want to fight.  It is all that I can do to restrain myself from punching this guy right in the face.

This morning, when I got to work, I saw the typical and expected email from this guy, “I’ll forgive you if you will forgive me.”  Everything in me screams, “What are you talking about?  I didn’t do anything wrong!  What kind of apology is that?”

But there is a still, quiet whisper telling me, “He is a troubled guy.  Perhaps this is the only way that he knows how to apologize.”  So I won’t fight.  I won’t email him back saying that I have done nothing to forgive.  I will be non-confrontational, gracious and Christlike.  But I will also be smart and keep as much distance from him as possible.