Thursday, November 28, 2013
I am going to be writing my thankfulness entries for the rest of the month of November, before the month of November is over! I am thankful for so much more than what I have written about, but I don't know if I will ever be able to express all that I am thankful for. Love y'all
I'm thankful for life experience. I'm thankful that I get to use my experiences as an example of God's faithfulness, grace, provision and guidance. So often people won't listen to the advice that you are trying to give unless you have some first-hand experience that is relevant to what they're going through. So many times, I have had people come into my life, who were going through something so similar to what I had, and I will know in that moment-that THEY are why I went through what I did. I'm thankful for experiences that bless others.
I am thankful for the selflesness I have seen in my life. Parents, some friends, my pastor. Thankful that there are some people exemplifying Jesus, truly with their lives, because it is their character. Thankful that I have people to look up to.
Thankful for songs that make my heart beat faster, and give me chills. Bands like Band of Horses, The Swell Season, and Tony Lucca, do that for me. I love day dreaming, and I'm really good at it. Songs that ooze mushy love, heartbreak, and forever, make for quite the stellar soundtrack to my day dreams.
(Thankful for my beautiful oldest niece! Today is her 16th Birthday, and I remember the day she was born like it was yesterday. Thankful for her life, and thankful that I can see my brother in her face, her sense of humor, and her vast knowledge of music. I love you baby!) Thankful for hope. In the way I have hope for my tomorrows, and forever with Jesus. In the way that my Jesus never breaks His promises, so that I am able to rest in and hope in Him and His Word. Thankful forthe dreams and desires He has put in my heart.
Encouragement. Whether someone tells you they've noticed (any kind of) improvement, any kind of success, or maybe just a really good hair day; It's always a nice thing, and always a welcomed thing. I recently had a meeting with one of my bosses at work, and he said some of the nicest things regarding my work ethic, and their dependency on me. I was blown away, and very thankful for it. I might frame it! I walked out of my meeting with them, feeling so good knowing they appreciate me, and TOLD me how they felt. It made my day. I challenge you to encourage daily. Make it a habit, a part of your routine, a part of your life. Making other people happy? Makes YOU happy in turn. DO IT.
I'm thankful for fall and winter. Two of my favorite things in life are cold weather, and fall colors. While Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday, I love how happy people are at Christmas time. I love having to wear sweatshirts and coats, socks and boots, beanies and gloves. There's a feeling of security when you're bundled up. It's my favorite and I'm thankful for it!
Thankful for a good bargain. I absolutely ADORE thrift shopping. I rarely look at the clothing-I'm a sucker for homegoods. Last year's Threshold Christmas decorations for $2?! YES PLEASE!! A brand new Vans sweatshirt for $3?! I'll take it! I love loving the little things. I'm thankful for them.
I'm thankful for the people, who help the people who cannot help themselves. Whether it be those who work with the kids who have been abandoned, or put up for adoption because their parents were young, or couldn't take care of them, or passed away; to the people who work with handicapped adults. The love, the patience, and the care (some, unfortunately not all) that I see, go into the lives of said people, blesses my heart. I hear horror stories of awful care-givers, and it breaks my heart. At work, groups from homes come in almost daily, for field trips. They always want hugs, high fives, hand shakes, or just to be noticed. They have the sweetest hearts. Thankful for the life I have, and thankful for the calling these people hear, and follow.
The last day of my thankful blogs. I'm thankful for thankfulness. Have a heart of gratitude is such a joyful place to be. Thankful for freedom of speech to be able to write what's on my heart. Thankful FOR my heart. Thankful for the life that God has called me to. The fact that the maker of the heavens and earth wrote a plan for MY life. He cares enough about me to plan every part of my life, and He speaks to me. He comforts me, sustains me, sings over me, and loves me more than I could ever comprehend. I am SO thankful for Him!!!
Thursday, November 21, 2013
I am thankful for the people who documented history. The inspired Word of God for one. I am so thankful for the Bible. I am thankful for all of the lessons, all of the blessings, and all of the closeness to God I have accessed in reading His Word. I am thankful for the ability to hear His voice speak so clearly into my life. Thankful for the specificity to the situations I am facing TODAY written so so so long ago. Thankful that He loves us more than enough.
Today we celebrate my sister’s soon to be wedding. I am thankful for the man that she is going to marry, and I am thankful that they get to be an example of a marriage ordained by God to their friends, and family. I am thankful that so many of our friends love them and show so much support to their union. So thankful that God provides, and thankful that they rest in that fact. Thankful that God gives us the desires of our hearts. Thankful that He plans out each and every one of our steps, and holds back NO good thing.
Thankful for prayer. I am so easily distractible when it comes to anything, that I started keeping a prayer journal pretty early on. They’ve actually been spread out on whatever writing material I have in front of me, just recently I have kept them all to one journal. It’s the coolest thing to go back a year, two years, even three years and see God’s hand so present in my life. To see my cries of desperation, and see how He showed Himself faithful. To see my heart hurting, and to see Him healing so mightily. To see my pleas, and how He explained (in time) why the answer was no. I am thankful that prayer is not a one way street. I am thankful that He is ALWAYS faithful to respond.
Thankful for cold weather. In Southern California it’s not exactly a common thing, but when it’s cold? It is COLD. I love this season! The wearing socks to bed, doubling up on the blankets, sleeping in sweatshirts, and closing the windows. Wearing scarves, pea coats and boots….Oh it’s just so wonderful! I love what the cold weather brings with it. Thanksgiving, Christmas, and a new year. I am so thankful for the creativity of our Savior.
I am thankful for Love. While I have not been privy to experience a romantic love as of yet, I have experienced love from my family, love from my friends, love from my Jesus. I am thankful that even in the moments when I don’t feel loved, I know that I am. I am thankful that even when I am being unlovable I am loved even still. I am thankful for the love Jesus showed to us so evidently when He took our place on the cross, dying for our sins, so that we could spend ETERNITY with Him. What a Savior…I am so thankful for Him.
I am thankful for blank canvas. Not just my favorite kind of stretched canvas, where I can create whatever picture is in my head. I am thankful for the blank canvas that a new year brings, a new friendship brings, every new day brings. I am thankful that the Lord wiped all of our slates clean when He died for us. I am thankful for the ability to start over.
I am thankful for all of my senses. I hope I never take any of them for granted. I think that is something that we are all prone to do. We take for granted the fact that we can see our favorite places, faces, and sunsets. We take for granted the fact that we can listen to our favorite songs, hear our loved ones voices, hear babies laugh (my favorite sound). We can taste! OH MY GOSH YOU GUYS! Can you imagine if we couldn’t taste?! What would we do? We would be so missing out. We don’t realize how drastic the life change is/would be if we lost a limb. We see the ways that people use their lives to glorify God when they are either born with the loss (Nick Vujicic) or when it’s thrust upon them in tragedy (Bethany Hamilton). I am prayerful that I would never have to suffer the loss of any of my senses, but I am also prayerful that if I ever do lose any of them- I will use the trial to glorify the Savior who created me.
Thankful for you guys! I pray for every single person who reads my blog. That the Lord would touch your hearts, binding up any wounds you have. That you would understand that He died for YOU, loves YOU, wants to spend forever with YOU. Always available for conversation! <3
Thursday, November 14, 2013
Thankful for family. I am thankful for each and every member. Every get together with them, I realize how perfectly God knit us all together. I’m thankful for the love I feel from all of them. Thankful for the interest they all seem to take. Thankful that they remember the little things about my life. Thankful that my cousin was my best friend growing up, and made me the godmother of her daughter JC. Thankful for the trust that I can place in them.
Thankful for my friends. Tonight, we had a girls night out to celebrate my friend Melissa. We had dinner and went to the movies (and did a little pre-date shopping at Target). I’m thankful for days when we all make the time to just be together. I’m thankful that it NEVER stays silent for long. Someone always has something to say, get off their chest. I’m thankful for those times.
Thankful for my ministry team. Once a month we have a meeting, and tonight was that night. We hang out, pray, eat, and laugh. Tonight we laughed SO MUCH. So much joy comes from being with the people that I am privileged to serve with. The fellowship is always golden, and the accountability that is available to all of us is such a blessing. I love getting to work with the High School kids, and getting to work alongside some of the best people I know is just the icing on the cake.
I’m thankful for good days. Days that start off with Jesus, coffee and croissants with my sister, a really good day at work, dinner with my sister, and end with a little hobby lobby with mom, sister, and her fiancé. Perfect Days. I’m thankful for the ability to be happy. Emotional would probably be one of the words people would use to describe me if they were asked to. I love being happy, and I live for crying happy tears. I’m such a sap. I’m thankful for the ability to be a sappy heart on my sleeve wearer!
I’m writing this on the 13th, because yesterday while I was at work, I got the worst case of the flu I have had in a long time. Before it hit me full-fledged I was privileged enough to work with the Big Brother Big Sisters Organization for the second time this year (with my job). I got to be a part of their after school program where we read them a story, did a craft with them, and gave them one of our soft toys. The looks on these kids’ faces is priceless. Some of them are a little bit socially awkward, and some of them would talk your ear off if they could. It’s easy for some of them to ask for help, and for others you have to offer. But we don’t do it for the Thank You. We do it for the full hearts we know they’re leaving with. The feeling of someone caring about them, who they’ve never met before is something I’m thankful to be a part of.
Today I’m thankful to be feeling better. I’m thankful for my mom stopping and buying me crackers and sprite on her way home from work, for my dad running out and buying my ginger ale as soon as I got home. Thankful for my little brother who today, while I was “in recovery” and my sister and her fiancé went to lunch at Mimi’s, which is his place of employment, sent home with them some soup and sprite for his ailing sister. What a sweetheart! I’m thankful that at 27 years of age my parents still care for me, and about me. Thankful that even though my brother, and I don’t see eye to eye-he loves me tons. I love them for loving me.
I am thankful for the unknown. I am thankful for trials. I am thankful that I can lean on Jesus every step of the way. Thankful that I don’t HAVE to worry about the unknown, and I am thankful that I can grow with every trial placed in front of me. I am one of the people who looks at something while they’re hurting and tries to figure out the lesson that the Lord is teaching me while I’m in it. I try to see the big picture that He is painting (has painted) while I am still in the first few strokes. I want to know! I don’t like surprises! (It’s true…I have known almost every year of my life what my Christmas presents were –because I’m a peeking fool.) I love trusting in Jesus, and resting in His promises and faithfulness. I usually end up yelling at myself to CHILL, and just BE in the moment with Jesus! I don’t have to worry about tomorrow (it may not come) because He holds EVERY single ONE of my tomorrow’s in His hands. I’m thankful that I can trust Jesus with my tomorrow’s.
I have LOVED writing these everyday! I love the accountability Thanksgiving brings to everyone. Most people are only prompted to be thankful (at least publicly) during the month of November. I choose thankfulness ALWAYS!
Thursday, November 7, 2013
I am going to be writing everyday about something that I am thankful for. I tried this last year, and failed miserably. Which is so sad, because it’s so crucial to your heart to be thankful. I feel when you don’t acknowledge the blessings that life has bestowed upon you? Your soul gets a little bit darker. If you aren’t DAILY thanking the Lord for the things that He has given to you-You’re going to forget that He is the One that gave them to you. I’m going to be blogging every Thursday night for the month of November with a recap of my thankful thoughts. I encourage you to do the same! It’s convicting when you are struggling to find things to be thankful for! #ichoosethankfulness
I’m thankful today, for the 21 years 4 months, and 20 days of my life, that I knew my big brother. 11 days after his 30th Birthday, my brother was killed in an accident on a job site. Leaving behind a wife, 3 beautiful girls, my parents, my brother, my sister, and myself heartbroken. My brother and I didn’t always get along, (being 9 years apart kinda begs for annoying little sister syndrome) but he never missed an opportunity to tell me that he loved me, was proud of me, or that I wasn’t meeting the fullness of the potential he knew I could reach. I miss him every.single.day, but I am thankful that I will see him again. Soon and very soon.
Today I am thankful for my job. I have been at the same job for 9 years. I don’t make a ton of money, but what I lack in incredulous financial gain, the friends I have made, the experiences I’ve had, the light I’ve been able to shine, and the difference I’ve been able to make-have all made up for it. I get to have fun at work almost every day. I never struggle with insecurity, or doubt that I am in the right place. I know I am. I’m confident that I am where God has called me to be. I am thankful for that.
Today I am thankful for my future. I am thankful that is secure because I trust in Jesus, and He is Lord and Savior of my life. I am thankful that I can REST in HIM safely, and while my flesh constantly encourages, and condones worry-I do not worry about being in the palm of His hand, or about what His plan for my life is. I know it’s perfect, and I know I will experience joy in every chapter ahead of me. He cares for me. I am thankful for that.
I am thankful for grace. I am thankful that at 27 years of age, I am finally learning to understand it. I will never understand WHY God shows ME grace, but I will be thankful for it. I am a huge believer in giving the grace that you expect. I dislike SO STRONGLY when people just write people off as irredeemable. Where would we be if Christ took that approach with us? We’d be dead in every sense of the word. I want to be like Christ that way. I want to encourage people out of that view of themselves. I don’t want anyone to feel like they can’t be saved, or that they are hopeless. NO ONE is hopeless. Jesus died so that we could HAVE HOPE. I am thankful for grace.
I am thankful for a fantastic childhood. I am thankful that 99% of my memories are happy ones. I am thankful that I only every experienced LOVE from my family. I am thankful that I enjoyed every minute of being a kid. I was able to do family camps at Calvary’s Twin Peaks Conference Center every year of my life until I was about 19. I am so blessed to be able to call most of my friends from my childhood my friends to this day. I am blessed to look back and only experience a feeling of fondness. I may have had bad days, but ultimately? My life has been filled with SUCH joy. I am thankful for that.
Simple things such as the home I grew up in, I tend to take for granted and forget how imperative they have been to where I am today, and the experiences I’ve been able to have. I am thankful for my home. I am thankful for the years I shared a room with my sister, and thankful for the years, that even when I had my own room, and my brother had his own room-we all slept in the same room on our bunk bed. Thankful that my nieces, and sister in law live in the house next door-making it easy for us to spend time with them.
Thankful for simple pleasures. Naps, Iced Tea (unsweetened), DVR, The ability to download devotional apps, Sleeping with the windows open, cool sheets and warm feet, down comforters, cats that like to cuddle, and toast. I am thankful that I have never been forced to live a life of slavery, or a life of not knowing how I was going to make it. I am thankful that the Lord has been faithful in my life to provide, and that He has blessed me with all of these moments in life that I take for granted every day.
See you guys next Thursday for seven more posts on thankfulness!
Wednesday, October 30, 2013
Last year the lesson that I learned and applied was "be still" as taught in Exodus 14:14, which says:
"The Lord will fight for you, you need only be still."
As of late, I have been hearing those words ringing in my ears, and in my heart. (Not to rip off Penny Lane.)
I'm an avid daydreamer. I imagine scenario after scenario. Life, after life. My days tend to start anxious, and end the same. I am an over-thinker. I am a worrier. I'm super sensitive, and tend to plan my days around the decisions that people in my life make. Which, in turn alters what I think God's plan for my life IS. I base it off of what other people are feeling, their opinions, or to avoid confrontation.
I haven't been feeling myself lately, and I am realizing that, it is due to all of the other voices in my head, that I am allowing to be louder than the Lord's voice.
My heart. My mind. My stomach.
I flashback to all of the times, I was running around like an impatient chicken with my head cut off, and get this GNAWING in the pit of my stomach. Knowing that I wasted God's time, and prolonged the next chapter of my life from starting-makes me sick.
Being anxious never got me anywhere. It's Biblical NOT to be anxious. (Philippians 4:6)// But as I stated I am an over thinker, and tend to blow almost EVERY.THING out of proportion. It's not a fun thing. It's not a wise thing. It's not a healthy habit to entertain, and keep.
"I cast all of my cares upon YOU. I lay all of my burdens, down at Your feet, and anytime I don't know what to do? I will cast all my cares upon You."
Oh, to have faith like a child. To trust in Jesus, with all that you are. To hear His voice, and know that He has your whole life in His hands, and REMEMBER that ALWAYS.
This year. I am once again challenging myself to BE STILL. I am not going to be swayed by the opinions of others. I am not going to chase after plans that other people have. I am not going to build what I think is God's plan for my life, around how others feel. No. I am going to chase after Him, and I am going to rest. I am going to talk His ear off, and I am going to be quiet. I am going to run the race, and I am going to be still.
Thursday, October 10, 2013
Have you ever said something, and then after it leaves your lips-you're left wondering "Where did that come from?"... But sometimes it's exactly what the other party needed to hear? Two words for you... HOLY SPIRIT... often gives us words of encouragement, conviction, knowledge...SO amazing. I've stopped asking (where), and started saying thank You. What a privilege to be a vessel, for the Words of God. AMAZING!!
For the longest time, I thought maybe I was losing my mind, because normally I think before I speak and I would find myself saying things that I didn't remember thinking. Then it hit me, and I started realizing the effect my words were having on the people I was speaking to. It's like on Wednesday nights, before our youth groups meet. All of the counselors meet to pray over our kids, missions, the staff, worship team, etc. So often one of the prayers we find ourselves praying is that our pastor would be emptied of himself, and that he would be full of God, and that every word out of his mouth would be ordained for a particular heart. I LOOOOVE that!! I love the idea of being a messenger for the Lord. Isn't that one of our purposes, while we are on this planet...if not our main purpose? Sharing the good news of Christ? Letting others know how much He loves them? IN recent times, I have been so convicted about who I share the gospel with, how often, where, when. I've made excuse after excuse blaming my lack of furthering His Kingdom on my shy personality, or how evangelism is not "one of my gifts." But, after a study a couple of months ago, I heard by Jack Hibbs; I've felt like my attitude has changed. Who am I to prolong someone's walk with Jesus?
I have the opportunity to share my heart, my experiences, and God's love with everyone, but I let something like an inclination to be crazy nervous all the time dictate that. Jesus died for me, the VERY least I can do-is live for Him, and tell people about Him.
I challenge you to the same heart check. Are you keeping your love for Jesus, close to your chest? Or are you wearing it on your sleeve?