Friday, February 25, 2011

Dear blogspot,

I am sorry for my lack of writing lately.

The Holy Spirit is doing some big things in my life, and others around me, and I haven't had time to process it yet.

So that being said... there are many ways recently that I realize I am growing.

So tell me, blogspot friends, where do you see growth in your life? How are you different from a year ago?

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Another thing about me...

So, I am a verbal processor.

The way I work through things is hearing them out loud, saying whatever comes to mind and different ways various ideas could be brought to a logical completion.
It's how I roll.

If I don't process verbally, I often get stuck inside my head and my mind spirals out of control.

Luckily, my friends know this about me, and allow me plenty of processing time. I love them for this.

But one thing I have also been working on for about a year now is allowing Christ to be my Wise Counselor first and foremost above anyone else. To sit down and pray and talk to HIM instead of grabbing the phone to talk to [friend, family member, random-person-who-will-listen]...

How am I doing at it? Well.. not always so great. But I always feel so much more whole, fulfilled, when He is the One I go to - prayer and His Word.

Just my thoughts for today. .... processing some things. ;)

The shift.

I think this shift of grace is affecting me more than I realize.

The shift that reminds me that no matter what I do, it is not by me, it is not for me, and it is for the purpose to bring glory to Him.

The shift that the other followers around me are precious in His sight, and He desires their wayward hearts as much as He desires mine.

The shift that everyone needs Jesus, and no matter what, we will never stop needing Jesus. Never.

It is beautiful to let these realizations soften your heart in love for one another, for Him, and allow it to awaken the desire to continually share this amazing Truth with others. And as He truly changes your heart and regenerates your soul, you desire Truth in your own life - reading the Word, knowing Him, being near to Him.

He is the Way, the Truth, the Life. Praise Him.

"Keep me every mindful of my natural state, but let me not forget my heavenly title, or the grace that can deal with every sin." -The Valley of Vision

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Steadfast love.

I love when I feel convicted. I'm not sure if that's normal, or if everyone does, but I love it. I love that feeling of disappointment and frustration at what I'm doing. Because it ultimately drives me to prayer, to Christ, and to change.
This morning I was reading Exodus 20, and every single time I would read a commandment, I would just stop and pray. Dear Lord, I'm sorry for the times that I have put others in front of you and made them idols in my life. Thank you for your grace.  or Lord I'm sorry for any time I have been angry or hated someone that You have created.. I know this is like murder in your eyes.  Etc., and so on.

It's so nice to be able to step back and see the steadfast love of the Lord. If someone hurt me as many times as I hurt my Savior, I don't think I would stick by them for very long. If someone was constantly rejecting me and telling me by their actions that other things tend to be more pleasurable at the time and that amazing works I had made, like artwork all around, didn't really have any importance or significance, I would probably stop being so fond of that person.

But God doesn't do that. Praise the Lord. Because I fail. And I'm still learning. And I need Jesus, day in and day out.
Thank you, Lord, for Your sacrifice.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Hey all..

So, I revamped my last post just a tiny bit. I added in a bit more detail, because I didn't think it was fair being vague on such a topic.
Feel free to check it out again here.

Monday, February 7, 2011

My ring.

In August 2009, I bought a wedding band from Kay Jewelers.
Weird for a single, college-age girl, right?

My wedding band

Psalm 61

I used to wear it on my left hand, until all my students started asking who I was married to. Well, I'm not married to anyone. So I switched it to my right hand.

Now here's the story...

I used to struggle a lot with my relationship with Christ. I put friends, boyfriends, even developing friendships in front of my time with my Savior.
In June 2009, I had my heart [semi] broken by an "almost" relationship. Even though the "almost" was there, the pain was real, although not as sharp as it could have been. After looking long and hard at why I was hurting so much, I saw that I was finding my identity in these relationships around me, particularly with guys.

So one day I heard a song my pastor from my old church wrote, called Psalm 61... and it said "When my heart is overwhelmed, lead me to the Rock that is higher than I." (No, this is not the same "Lead me to the Rock"). I heard it and I started crying... not out of my pain, but because I realized that when my heart got overwhelmed by these emotions, I didn't turn to Christ like I should.. not only that, but Christ should be the only one controlling my heart and having His hand on it.

So I made a decision. I bought a wedding band, had it engraved "Psalm 61," and put it on to remind myself that my relationship with Christ comes first. I am in a relationship Christ above all else. Above some guy who I think is cute. Above my best friend. Even above my family. First and foremost, it is Christ.

The Holy Spirit has used this ring to bring me back to reality a few times. Praise the Lord.

Psalm 61

To the choirmaster: with stringed instruments. Of David.

61:1 Hear my cry, O God,
listen to my prayer;
from the end of the earth I call to you
when my heart is faint.
Lead me to the rock
that is higher than I,
for you have been my refuge,
a strong tower against the enemy.
Let me dwell in your tent forever!
Let me take refuge under the shelter of your wings! Selah
For you, O God, have heard my vows;
you have given me the heritage of those who fear your name.
Prolong the life of the king;
may his years endure to all generations!
May he be enthroned forever before God;
appoint steadfast love and faithfulness to watch over him!
So will I ever sing praises to your name,
as I perform my vows day after day.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Grace in my friendships, always.

I love my friends.

Let me repeat, because I want you all to fully understand: I love my friends.

The people God places in your life to push you, encourage you, pray with you, be with you through important moments. The people God places in your life that help you to grow.

I have found some amazing friends over the past few months, people that I thank God for daily.

Up front, I want to let everyone know that I am flawed beyond belief. I am not a perfect friend. I am not the best representation of Christ at any moment in any relationship. I fail, I hurt, I fall, I crawl back on my hands and knees and beg for grace. 

I am so thankful to have the kinds of friends who give me grace in my relationship with them.

Tonight, I needed grace in one of my friendships. I made a joke that didn't work quite well, which then led to some weird tension. I spent the next hour praying by myself, wondering what to do. I knew I couldn't fix it - usually me trying to do so makes things worse. I knew only the Lord could.
The only thing I kept thinking was Lord, I don't want to lose these friends. I don't want anything to change. They mean so much to me. Do whatever will most glorify You - but please Lord, glorify Your name by letting this friendship get over this bump! 

Now I don't know if that prayer was okay to pray - I know that our prayers should always be "Your will be done" - but how many times in Scripture did a prophet or even just layperson pray and pray that God would show them favor in a certain battle, relationship, with wisdom, in decision making, etc? So I prayed that God's grace would extend to this friendship. To these friendships.

Then, I prayed God would give me words, and I went out into the hall. And promptly sternly told the other people why I was still their friend, and why I was fighting to keep the friendship.
And everything was okay. I'm sure I scared them a bit (I have never talked to them sternly before). I'm sure they were a bit confused. But then we finished the night by hanging out for another hour and just talking. Fellowship. Spending time together.

God is so good. I thank God for these friendships because they allow me to grow in Christ. I thank Him for friends that I admire so much, who I can see Christ in. You all out there - if you don't have friends who show you Christ day in and day out,  you don't know what you're missing. Christ made us relational beings so that there will be representations of His love on earth.

Right now, I thank the Lord for my good friends. I thank the Lord for a great ski trip with 6 of them, for some awesome time praying and talking about Jesus and cooking and just hanging out laughing, making up beds and looking at pictures.

Praise the Lord for friends.

Two of my roommates.. I love them.

Me in the middle of my roommate and a good friend.