Wednesday, November 21, 2007

my list

Being that it's almost Thanksgiving, I've been thinking this week as how to sum up all that I am thankful for this year. My life is overflowing with blessings and abundance of the Lord's provisions. I am more than blessed and can't express enough what God has and is doing in my life. I decided that I was going to make a very extensive list of every good thing in my life. So here it is....all that God has blessed me with:

* my Bible - in it's entirety, so many people don't have a Bible let alone one that is complete
* my journal - a chance to record all that God is doing in my heart
* the ability to pray - talking with a God who is Sovereign and loves me intimately!
* novels - i've gotten into reading for pleasure this year and i'm loving it
* Leslie - the best best friend i could ever want
* my townhome - a perfect place to live that is close to work and so many friends
* my small group - a group of girls that i am not only friends with, but that i can go deep with and learn from
* health - i haven't been sick once this year
* my dad - i'm so proud of him and the way that God is using him in GYI
* my mom - such a support and an amazing friend and woman of God to look up to
* Jamie - her excitement for me and the close relationship that we have
* Christy - she inspires me to go after what i long for, i'm going to miss her next year
* Marla - her wisdom is beyond words, i've never met a woman who so passionately desires to honor God, her husband and her kids
* my team at work - the leadership i work under is a blessing, what an amazing place to gain experience
* my job - i'm thankful i don't dread going to work, this is a blessing!!
* my classes - I've been challenged so much this year educationally and spiritually
* Israel - this is a trip that still excites me when i read Scripture, what a blessing I was able to go with such a great group in March
* my cat - Jack Bauer gives me so much joy...who would have ever thought a cat could do that!
* Christmas lights - so cozy and inviting!
* financial freedom - no debt, what a blessing
* benefits at work - the ability to have lasik done earlier this year
* the lessons God taught me through Sean and that whole relationship
* God bringing Pete into my life - he is the answer to my years of prayer!
* warm weather - i just love getting to experience the freshness each spring
* cold weather (yeah...never thought i'd say that!) - it makes me appreciate the warm weather all the more!!
* the Beth Moore study I did throughout the summer - i learned more about faith that i knew! it was incredible!
* laughing - i just love to laugh and i'm thankful for God giving us the ability to enjoy this!! :)
* sleeping - what a blessing to have a warm bed to relax in
* pictures - i love remembering fun times
* email - it's so easy to stay in touch with people now with the internet
* my ipod - i love electronics :)
* my computer - a blessing that allows so much connection with people
* the girls in my HG small group - they are growing!! it's so encouraging to see them serving and connecting so much with each other
* my cell phone - a convenience of life that is just a blessing
* sunshine - even on cold days it's refreshing!
* Lucy - my one and only dog, she gives me joy as well!
* my singleness - these past 4 years out of college have been the best years of my life!
* God's faithfulness - he never doesn't follow through with what He has said!
* the ability to work out - what a blessing to be able to move and use my body to it's full potential
* my Roselle/Wheaton friends - friends that know how to play hard, i appreciate this about them
* music - it feeds my soul
* my roots in Batavia - i'm thankful i never had to move around
* Leslie - i'm just so thankful for her! (enough to mention it twice)
* the Lord's protection - sometimes i wonder why my life is so blessed from pain
* emotional stability - God has given me confidence in who I am in Him, this has been a huge relief
* Scripture and the way that God uses it to speak directly into my heart
* my Grandma - she is such a joy! i love her energy even at age 93!!!
* my Grandpa - i've never met anyone more ready to meet the Lord Jesus face to face, his life has truly left a legacy
* the way God has wired me - i'm still figuring it out, but i know it's all for a reason to do what He's called me to do most effectively

So there ya have it. I'm sure as the days go on I'll think of more and I'll update this as I do, but those are just a few of the "good" things that God has blessed me with this year. My verse card this morning read from Psalm 103:5 and I think this verse clearly sums up my year - "He fills my life with good things." What a blessing to serve a good God!! That verse couldn't be more true in my life. Thank you Father for being good!! I'm blessed to be called your daughter!!

Sunday, November 18, 2007


I'm sitting on my couch in my room and just finished my study and reading through Psalm 92. So often in the Psalms it talks about righteousness. In this particular Psalm, it compares righteousness to that of a palm tree or a cedar tree. Verses 12-14 describe those who are righteous as those who will flourish, grow, flourish (again), bear fruit and stay fresh and green. I feel so far from being "righteous". My heart desires it so much but I feel that there are so many things that hold me up.

In the midst of those thoughts as I sit here, I desire to be honest before the Lord. Right now I am struggling with one thing in particular. It's something I decided awhile ago and now I'm feeling the "consequences" of my decision. It's something that I don't want to give up so I find myself making excuses and reasons as to why I don't have to follow through with it. I want to talk with Marla about this because I desire to be righteous in the way I am responding to this situation, but there is so much of me that wants to completely abandon what I decided a long time ago.

I read Scripture and am continually reminded of what the Lord provides for those that live righteous ways, but yet there is that sin within me that just doesn't want to let go. God, I need your help. I need you to be near to me. I don't want to live in wicked ways because just as Psalm 92 says, the wicked will be "forever destroyed" and will "perish" and are "scattered". Keep me far from that Father and show me what it means to tangibly live a righteous life!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

a time of refining

This is what I read this morning in my time with the Lord:

Psalm 66

For the director of music. A song. A psalm.
1 Shout with joy to God, all the earth!

2 Sing the glory of his name;
make his praise glorious!

3 Say to God, "How awesome are your deeds!
So great is your power
that your enemies cringe before you.

4 All the earth bows down to you;
they sing praise to you,
they sing praise to your name."

5 Come and see what God has done,
how awesome his works in man's behalf!

6 He turned the sea into dry land,
they passed through the waters on foot—
come, let us rejoice in him.

7 He rules forever by his power,
his eyes watch the nations—
let not the rebellious rise up against him.

8 Praise our God, O peoples,
let the sound of his praise be heard;

9 he has preserved our lives
and kept our feet from slipping.

10 For you, O God, tested us;
you refined us like silver.

11 You brought us into prison
and laid burdens on our backs.

12 You let men ride over our heads;
we went through fire and water,
but you brought us to a place of abundance.

13 I will come to your temple with burnt offerings
and fulfill my vows to you-

14 vows my lips promised and my mouth spoke
when I was in trouble.

15 I will sacrifice fat animals to you
and an offering of rams;
I will offer bulls and goats.

16 Come and listen, all you who fear God;
let me tell you what he has done for me.

17 I cried out to him with my mouth;
his praise was on my tongue.

18 If I had cherished sin in my heart,
the Lord would not have listened;

19 but God has surely listened
and heard my voice in prayer.

20 Praise be to God,
who has not rejected my prayer
or withheld his love from me!

The thing that continually stuck out to me was how the psalmist was remembering God's faithfulness. In my study I wrote that word a few times in response to some of the questions. Before I had even read this psalm, I spent about 15 minutes reading through past journal entries. I just love doing that and remembering the lessons God has taught me or the ways that He has answered my prayers. I pour my heart into my journal entries and hold nothing back so it's always humbling to read my heart on the page and more often than not, reading it after a few months, I realize that I was so caught up in the "now" at that point that I was missing the lesson God was trying to teach me. As I read through those journal entries, I saw the way that God had time and time again used my circumstances to draw me to him. And then I read this Psalm in which the psalmist is reminiscing about the same things. His response as he remembers the way that God preserved them or brought them through the waters on dry land, was to praise Him!! As I reflect back on the things that God has allowed my life to experience, I desire my response to be praise and adoration. From singing His glory, making His praise glorious, rejoicing in Him and crying out to Him. That is what I desire my responses to be in regards to what He's allowed me to go through.

More specifically, my thoughts were on the relationships that I've been in. Being 26, I've had my fair share of dating or going out on dates. We're doing a dating series in our HouseGroups so my thoughts were fresh from that last night. I looked at verses 10-12 and realized that this time has been a time of refining. The Lord is getting the junk out of my life and teaching me through the different guys I've gone out with in order to prepare me for my husband one day. They've been hard at times, but my heart's longing is for my response to be to praise God and to cry out to Him!! May I do that initially as I seek the Lord and His will for my life!!!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

i'm going to try this blogging thing

So I've never been a big "blogger". Whatever that means anyways. I do know that I have a lot of thoughts running through my mind and I love getting them down out. It's often how I process what I'm dealing with or what God is teaching me. I have umpteen journals sitting on the bookshelves in my bedroom filled with stories, thoughts, lessons, questions, etc. I love going through them and seeing what God has taught me and how far I've come.

Often when my mind is racing, I will type out my thoughts. It's much quicker to type rather than to write. I'm thinking that this is going to be some of that....random thoughts, written (typed) out. Much of it not making sense, just me processing through the randomness in my head.

My life right put it in one blessed. There are so many good things the Lord has placed in my life. To name a few - a home that I love, living for the past two years with my best friend in the whole world, I'm close to my family, I am more than healthy (although sometimes I do wish I would get the flu or something for a day or two so I could have an excuse to not go to work and lay on the couch all day!), my job is still wonderful after 4 years, I am involved in the lives of amazing students who desire to follow Jesus, I have a small group that I connect with and have tons of fun with, and so many more good things!! Sometimes I wonder how I am living the life I live. I've never had a time in my life where I've rebelled or purposefully distanced myself from the Lord (well, to an extent). How am I blessed?? Why has the Lord chosen me to live this life I'm living?? I want so make an impact for eternity! Just living is not enough. Just getting by and accepting the good things in my life doesn't cut it. That's not what Christ has called us to. It's in giving up that we receive. And something I'm continually realizing is that when we do receive back from the Lord, it isn't always in ways that we think we might want. Sometimes, Jesus chooses to bless us with HIMSELF! And it's when we realize that HE is ENOUGH, that's when the true blessing is revealed.

My prayer is that I would seek the face of Jesus more than anything. Yes, I am blessed with a life that is beyond words, but even if I wasn't, if my life looked nothing like it does today, my heartbeat is that I would still consider myself blessed to be called a Child of the Most High, a daughter of the King. what makes a life blessed!