Thursday, November 13, 2014

Thankfully,Yours.

Looking back into the past year, I would like to believe that I was more aware of how ungrateful I was being. I stopped complaining, and started appreciating. I became more aware of the people in my life, and how much them being IN my life alone, meant to me. I became more aware of the feeling of contentment, because I always had food to eat. I became more aware of the roof looming over my head, while I slept in my oh-so-comfortable bed, under my down comforter, with my head on my down pillow. I have so many people in my corner in life-so many people who want the best for me, want me to succeed, want to read more of what I write, want my opinion, want my hugs, want my time. What did I do to deserve any of those things? I was born? I didn't even have anything to do with that! The fact of the matter is that I do NOT deserve any of those things (Also...while I was typing 'deserve' Beyonce was singing it in my ears "Best Thing I Never Had"...I felt like I was in a movie...ANYWAYS...) I wake up thankful to be alive every morning. I am thankful that I can swing my legs off of my bed, and stand on my own two feet. I am thankful for the running water I use to wash my face and brush my teeth. I am thankful for the clothing I own, that I paid for with my own money, that I worked hard for, at the job I have had for 10 years and am so thankful for. I am thankful for the overpriced coffee I can afford to buy and drink several times a week. I am thankful for the words that are often shared with my friends over those cups of Iced Vanilla Chai (With Soy). I am thankful for Ekklesia, the High School Ministry at my church, that I have been a part of for 7 years on Monday! I am thankful for the people I serve with, and have served with. I am thankful for moments. Thankful for memories. Thankful for laughing. Thankful for songs that make me dance when I'm in public (I'm writing this at Barnes & Noble and Chris Jamison's (The Voice) version of Ed Sheeran's "Don't" came on, and I definitely was grooving and just like whatever..shoulder shrug..I dont care..)

All of those things make my heart happy.
They don't define me by any means, but they definitely bless me.
What defines me? My Savior. He does.
He not only gives me a map of the windy roads in life, but He walks it with me.
He not only stood at the door of my heart, and knocked, but He wanted to be invited in. I did, and I do.
He not only wanted to spend eternity with me, but He died an awful death so that I could.
I am so incredibly beyond thankful, but I am so undeserving of such grace.
I don't understand, and I won't until I'm seeing Him face to face.

I wish I had answers for the people that are hurting.  I wish I could do more than attempt to relate His love to them. I wish I could show their heart what my heart feels, when the Lord whispers in His still small voice words of love, and peace. I wish they could see themselves through my Savior's eyes. I'm thankful that the Lord is willing to use me to be His hands and feet to attempt such fete's.

Let's remember this upcoming holiday, not only the huge things we have to be thankful for, but the small little details in our lives, that we don't even think to be thankful for. As a typical Thanksgiving blog closing-Let's remember not only 2 weeks from today, what we're being thankful for, but EVERY DAY.

I'm thankful for YOU!
<3

Sunday, October 19, 2014

To love at all...


To guard your heart, but keep it vulnerable to emotions is no easy task. It IS necessary and crucial to enjoy life though. We have all heard the quotes about needing to experience the: awful/ugly/broken/pain to experience the wonderful/beautiful/whole/joy.
 
At this point in my life-28 years old, I've had my heart hurt. It's never been broken due to any guy or any relationship. When my brother passed away-my heart, my world, my sense of normalcy shattered. 

Like I said: I've never had my heart broken, but it's been bruised. For a long time the fear of rejection really halted my pursuits or attempts to even try. I've learned that there is sweetness and a story in the struggle.

I've been down but I am not out. I am clinging to Jesus, His promises and the hope that they give me. His love is relentless, His grace unwavering, His patience astounding, and I am beyond thankful to be on the receiving end of those things.

We compare our lives to stories. We talk about how God has written these epic tales that are full of life, and that we are just in the early chapters. I can't wait to watch my life unfold. Some of the characters I am just getting to know (& hopefully continue getting to know), some are so dear to my heart. Some of the places I would like to leave, revisit or stay forever-where will the Lord's will take me? 

I am not walking by sight through my story, but completely by faith. I will not compare myself to the world's standard of beauty, but I will constantly remind myself that I am made in God's image for His glory. 

All of our paths up until this point have led us to where we are, as who we are, with the people God has chosen to be with us. 

Keep your hearts safe, but don't be afraid to let it feel or to let it love.

Xoxo,
Magdalene

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Count it all

When we learn a hard, but valuable lesson, our general first instinct is (a) The option WITHOUT Jesus-which is just plain surviving, or (b) The option WITH Jesus. You cling to Him- You take deep breaths, you cry, you laugh, and you get excited. His purposes are SO far above ours you guys! NOTHING that He has us endure is in vain. It is ALL intentional. It is ALL for a reason. When things are done to us, against us, etc; How cool is it to know that God knew the strength of our heart, and knew that we would be able to handle the trials that He was about to allow. 

My heart rejoices still in the midst of suffering, because my God is greater, and stronger, and loves me beyond what I will ever be able to comprehend. I will never ask again WHY God is allowing something to happen-because I know if I am patient, and allow my life to play out according to God's will-any question I ever have/have ever had, I know will be answered. I'm a huge believer in the fact that God also allows us to go through things, so that we might be abe to share our experiences with others. It's the coolest to experience God's joy after a storm. To experience the burden's lifted, and replaced with an overwhelming sense of love, and belonging. Nothing is too big, too small, too anything. HE IS BIGGER than any of your tricky situations, your heartaches, your grieving. 

A couple of nights after I wrote those first two paragraphs, my friends and I spent some time reading God's word. We didn't have a set book of the Bible in mind-but we decided on James. Chapter one is SO applicable to what I had written the blog about-my heart felt like James had been written for me. The verses about counting it all joy, and putting on steadfastness/asking God for wisdom and WAITING for it. Jesus meets us where we are at and reveals His truths and answers EXACTLY when we need to hear them. WHAT A SAVIOR.


Thursday, September 11, 2014

she laughs at the time to come


Strength: The quality or state of being strong, the emotional or mental qualities necessary in dealing with situations or events that are distressing or difficult. 

Dignity: The state or quality of being worthy of honor or respect.

Both are BIG character shoes to fill. How does one become strong, without first being weak? How does someone become dignified without first being UN-dignified?

JESUS. ACCOUNTABILITY. LOTS AND LOTS OF GRACE. 

Strength comes from first being made weak. It comes from being broken. It comes from experience. "Sometimes you have to shatter, before you can heal." -Elenowen 
There is such a difference in character, when you look at someone who has been broken,made weak, experienced life WITHOUT Jesus, than someone who has done all of those things WITH Jesus. A HUGE difference. 

Dignity. To be worthy of honor & respect. Should we not be viewing ourselves ALREADY as dignified? Should we not view ourselves as Christ already views us? As noble and worth far above rubies? We are daughters of THE MOST HIGH KING. We MUST view ourselves as valuable and worth the best, if we expect others to do the same. 

She laughs at the time to come/without fear of the future.

I rarely laugh without fear of the future, somewhere in the back of my mind. 
Maybe not FEAR of the future, but I am definitely skeptical to put one foot in front of the other if I am unaware of where my steps will lead. We are called to "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths." 
(Proverbs 3:5-6)// I also read a quote that I can't find the original source of, but it said something along the lines of: "Faith is stretching out your hands, and being willing to be lead somewhere you'd rather not go." I probably butchered that, but the message is so crucial, and something that I am constantly sharing. 

I don't have it all figured out, but God does.
Sometimes the idea of being made weak scares me, but I want to be strong.
I think of myself as if I am not enough, but Jesus meets me where I am, because I am enough. 

You're going to fail. You're going to have insanely hard trials. You're going to have someone belittle you and treat you as if you're less than. 

You're going to fail so that you can succeed, and God can use you to guide others away from the mistakes that you've made. 

You're going to have trials, for the same reason. 

You're going to have people treat you like you're not valuable, but they are LIARS. 

God made you in HIS IMAGE, for HIS PURPOSES.

Don't be afraid to dream big, and takes steps that God is leading you to take.

He has gone before you. He knows.




Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Louder than a whisper, but quiet still.


Isn't it amazing that we have the ability, the privilege to hear from the Maker of the heavens & of the earth? That his voice can sometimes be audible, & sometimes it's just a burden on your heart to move in the direction that He would have us to go in? I've talked before about The Lord instructing me to "Be still", and lately I have been maybe avoiding (more than forgetting to) doing that. I've been trying to guess what The Lord has for me in the next chapter instead of trusting Jesus & just being along for the ride. I've been gambling with my emotions and placing bets that could definitely do damage, if what I'm betting (all in) on isn't in the cards for me. 

I'm learning (and sometimes it's a struggle to accept #transparent) that the future is not (at all) up to me. I'm walking the path that The Lord has charted or me before I was even a thought. 

My story has already been written. There is no changing the outcome. It's along the lines of reading a book by my favorite author (&He is...He really is.) and trusting that I'm going to enjoy the characters,situations, the peaks, and the ending. 

BUT on occasions when we have questions, and life seems to be filled with unknown after unknown-we want/pray for spoilers. We ask God to reveal His plans WAY ahead of His perfect schedule, due to the fact that we are so crazy impatient. 

We often say that we wish we could just get a glimpse of what our lives will be like in a year, or 5/10 years from now. 

That is another lesson I am learning-not knowing can be EXCITING. I have to try and convince myself of that daily. But really the thought of being surprised by my Jesus (my Maker, my Husband) is really quite the breathtaking notion. My heart catches in my chest when I think of all of the things that have happened in my life thus far that have all been in preparation for what's GOING to happen. 

All of that being said- 
BE STILL
ENJOY THE SILENCE
GET ALONE WITH JESUS OFTEN! 

He desires to speak to you, and to your heart. He wants to give you glimpses of His plans for your life. More than anything, He wants to constantly remind you of how loved you are. He wants us to trust Him with our all. 

(A) Don't question or doubt His love. He proved it by dying for you.

(B) Don't question or doubt His intentions/plans for your life. Has He not done AMAZING things in your life so far? (The fact that you're breathing ALONE is a miracle.) 

(C) Rest in His love, and allow Him to show you DAILY in every moment how much. 

(D) Be excited about your future with JESUS. He won't ever let you down. Trust in Him. Ask Him for guidance and start moving with expectancy and He WILL use you. 


I love you guys!
Mags

Thursday, June 5, 2014

A spirit of heaviness

"to grant to those who mourn in Zion—
    to give them a beautiful headdress instead of ashes,
the oil of gladness instead of mourning,
    the garment of praise instead of a faint spirit;
that they may be called oaks of righteousness, "
Isaiah 61:3

Isn't it strange...how we give the enemy a foothold in our lives on a pretty constant basis? How we KNOW he's lying to us, but we believe the lies? How we can be having the greatest day with Jesus, and then words of doubt,fear,rejection are whispered into our ears. As a woman it goes straight to my heart, and I just get discouraged. I felt like that last night. I blogged yesterday about letting go of what I thought was best for my life and what I thought God had for my life. I went to church, was SO blessed by the message, worship was SO good, and I got to be with my high schoolers. I can't explain what it was, but less than an hour after the study was over I just hit that wall. The enemy started whispering those not-so-sweet nothings into my ear, and I believed them. I felt like I had swallowed a rock-there was just that gnawing in my stomach. I couldn't slow my thoughts down, and I felt I couldn't control them. I started to hear that lie of "you are NOT enough" and started to believe it. When I got home, I went into my usually scary-at-night-because-it's-so-big backyard, and prayed. I more than prayed I CRIED out to Jesus to take my feelings of insecurity, doubt, and all that goes along with those-and I still felt that weight in my stomach. I spent the next couple of hours trying to pray it away. At about 2:30 this morning I realized that I hadn't given my hurting to Jesus. I WANTED to hang on to my weird-kind-of suffering. I DIDN'T WANT TO RELINQUISH CONTROL OVER WHAT I DID HAVE CONTROL OVER. Literally less than 24 hours ago-I was blogging about the opposite. I'm human I suppose and can't control my emotions, but I definitely have the ability to let go and let God. (Pardon the cheese)  Once I realized why I was still feeling the way I was-I took a deep breath, talked to Jesus, and closed my eyes. I fell asleep and dreamt that I was singing with John Mayer. We did his cover of XO by Beyonce-It was great. But I digress.

WHEN YOU ARE:
REMEMBER TO DO THIS:

Our God is greater, bigger, stronger, and has EVERYTHING in the palm of His hands, and He has since the beginning of time. He understands you sweating the small stuff, but you don't need to. Look to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith. 

I love you guys! 

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Relinquishing what I never had


I know. I know. It's been a while. I have been so busy at work, and with life, and just not feeling inspired! However, that's what best friends are for. Inspiration! (Thanks Ky & Brit)

How many times have you prayed super specifically for something? How many times have you prayed more for one thing than anything else hoping that it would some how sway the decision that God made for your life (before you were even formed in your mothers womb)? I am sitting in my room typing this with my hand raised. I am oh so guilty.

I have prayed assuming that what I wanted, was what God had. I have prayed assuming that God would (obviously)give me what I want...because I am a spoiled little brat (and most likely, so are you). Now, I've blogged about Letting Go before, but this is a different kind of letting go.

I have also blogged about dodging bullets, and being saved from my own devices. WHICH I HAVE. Like I said-I have prayed specifically, and assuming. I have prayed like I was the decision maker, but the last few years of my life I have come to the opposite conclusion. Every situation that I prayed about that I wasn't absolutely positive was God's will-I am so crazy thankful His answer was No, or Not Now.

Guys I can NOT stress enough how FAITHFUL the Lord has been in my life. CAN NOT. Not only do I have the greatest job (Sure it's retail, sure I have to wear an ugly yellow striped shirt), BUT I LOVE IT. I love my bosses, the people I work with, that I get to work with kids, they take care of me financially, I have medical insurance...the list goes on. I have worked there for (in September) 10 years. That is almost a third of my life. I'm thankful that the Lord didn't have it in the plans for me to get hired, at any of the other places I applied for, right before High School graduation.

I am thankful for all of the turns that He has had me take.
I am thankful for all of the times that He has told me no.
I am thankful for the fact that I have been single for 28 years.
I am thankful that He knows me, and He does NOT withold any good thing.

I would like to leave you on this note:
Trust that the Lord knows what He is doing.
Trust that if it feels like it's taking a long time for a promise to be fulfilled-IT IS GOING TO BE SO WORTH IT. It WILL blow your mind.

"God never witholds from His child that which His love and wisdom
call good. God's refusals are always merciful-- "severe mercies" at times but mercies all the same. God never denies us our hearts desire except to give us something better." -Elisabeth Elliot