Tuesday, December 28, 2010
"For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart."
According to a commentary on this text, implied in these passages is a quest for God that includes a level of intensity beyond what might be termed ordinary prayer. "Search" and "with all your heart" suggests an earnestness of desperation. It's a close pursuit of a desired objective. It also implies diligence in the searching process - "seek" after Him - God's emphasis on intensity and diligence in prayer.
We're told that we're selfish if we pray a whole lot for ourselves. Which I think is true, to a line. This text seems to say something else. Here it says God has PLANS to give us a future and a hope. Then right after that he says, seek me, you will find me, pray, I will listen. You don't seek something you already have, right? So I think this is saying that if I don't know what God's PLANS are, it's okay to seek him out about it. And apparently, it's okay to desperately seek him out. Like, hey God, I know you said you have good plans, but I don't really know what they are yet, and I really need some direction here. It's okay to cry out to him, to ask in earnest, and then expect him to answer! He says he will listen to you, and you will find what you're searching for.
Are you in need of God's direction for your life? Desperately cry out to him, pray to him, seek him. It's okay, don't feel guilty. He wants you to come to him, and he desires that you know the good plans he has for your life.
Wednesday, December 22, 2010
Tuesday, November 30, 2010
Tuesday, August 3, 2010
Friday, July 16, 2010
About a year ago a young servant girl was entrusted with many little seeds that, if well-tended, would turn into succulent, juicy fruit. She couldn’t wait to share this precious gift with the other servant girls she was surrounded by. She couldn’t give them all the seeds at once because they grew at different times, so over the course of a year she slowly offered the girls different seeds.
Some of them, after seeds were offered, left them sitting on the kitchen counter and immediately the cleaning crew came along and threw them away.
Others immediately received the seeds, but when the seeds didn’t grow right away, they threw them back at the girl and accused her of offering bad seeds.
Then others who received the seeds went quickly and planted them. Yet stress, worry, distractions, and desires for other things became their focus and the seeds never got watered. They assumed that someone else would water it, or that the rain would be enough. At the end of the year they went to collect their fruit and what was there was blackened and rotten, and could not be eaten.
But yet the others took every seed offered and took great care of them. At the end of the year they collected a basketful of the most colorful, large, beautiful, and exotic fruit the eye had ever seen.
I am that young servant girl, who, almost a year ago was so excited to become a house director for MA women. It's hard to believe it's been that long and my time is almost over with them. Leading those women is one of the most beautiful gifts I've been given and I love each of them dearly. Even while there have been tough seasons, I'm going to miss them a great deal. And I can only trust God that the seeds He's given me, that I have in turn given them, will turn into good fruit at the end.
They have grown to love God deeply this year, and they know that they are loved deeply by God. Those girls have changed me and they have blessed me, and I pray that they would continue on this lifelong journey of Selflessness, of surrendering and loving deeply, of walking in the fullness of God's grace.
~Your "Fearless House Director"
Friday, July 2, 2010
Sunday, June 13, 2010
Friday, June 11, 2010
Tuesday, June 1, 2010
Thursday, May 27, 2010
Monday, May 24, 2010
Thursday, May 20, 2010
Alright, mission accomplished. So I drive to Lindale and I'm sitting at the stoplight by Walmart and a man dressed in a gorilla suit is standing on the street corner advertising for pizza. Lucky me would get to be stuck right there next to him as he pranced around waving a pizza sign in my face...as I'm on my way to the gym. That's inspiring. I ignored his pleas and resisted the desire, and braved the testosterone zone of Anytime Fitness. The men seemed to be acting especially...manly...today. I could hear men grunting quite loudly as they lifted weights clearly too difficult for them to lift, and the manager grunting back at him from his office. All the while I'm wondering where in the world the other women are at!
Alas, now I am home, peacefully eating my dinner and chopping away at my frozen smoothie. Some of my girls are watching a rather loud movie in the background and popping popcorn. I'm downloading the sounds of Randy Travis's "Forever and Ever, Amen" to my iTunes and dreaming of the future like a giddy little girl. Though a more quiet evening would be my preference, I know I'm going to miss this. I'm reminded of parents who wish they would have enjoyed the hectic days of their children being toddlers and how they just grow up so fast. Yeah, it's kinda like that. I'm so incredibly thankful for the time God has given me here in east Texas, in this house, with these women..."they grow up so fast."
Wednesday, May 19, 2010
Friday, May 14, 2010
Thursday, May 13, 2010
Recently, I was able to accomplish a goal/dream I've had for several years. On April 11 I ran in the Dallas Half Marathon, then on April 25th I also completed the Oklahoma City Half Marathon. Not only was it an incredible feeling to run across that finish line, but God had a lot to show me along the course. With that said, this is why running a half marathon is like being in a long distance relationship :-)
13 months - the approximate amount of time Rob and I will have to spend being apart.
13.1 miles - the distance to run in a half marathon
Mile 1 to 4 wasn't so bad. It was new, it was exciting, I couldn't hardly believe I was actually in the race, running, and on my way to accomplishing something great. I was fresh on the course, I was strong, and for the most part I was really just excited to be doing it. Months 1-4 of our relationship were about the same. Our relationship was fresh, it was new, it was exciting. It was thrilling to actually be in a relationship, and even though we were far apart, we were still just getting to know each other.
About mile 5 I began to realize that I still had 8 more miles left to go. I wasn't tired yet, but just felt overwhelmed knowing how far I still had left to go. Month 5, December, I had the same overwhelming feeling. Still 8 more months of being apart. But in both situations I never felt hopeless, I was willing to do it.
At 6.55 miles, the halfway point in the race, I was overjoyed! This was totally possible; I was halfway done!! Back in February, halfway point of the long-distance thing, was this incredible, euphoric joy in knowing we'd been through six months already.
Then, just after mile 9, despair. I couldn't hardly make my legs move anymore. I actually started to walk, and did so for a few minutes as I contemplated the impossibility of making it 4 more miles. It was a tough spot, and it wasn't that I ever wanted to give up, but I really didn't know how in the world I would make it to the finish. But, I realized how far I'd already come, how many weeks I had spent training, not to mention the money spent to run the race, and I kept running, not stopping again after that. Month 9, well let's just say our relationship hit a few bumps. Realized we are human, we aren't perfect, we mess up, we do and say stupid things. We definitely weren't in that daydreamy land of lala relationship world anymore. I didn't want to think about 4 more months of a stinkin long distance relationship. It was getting more than a little frustrating! But alas, I realized how far we'd come, all that God had done in us and close we had become. Not that I EVER had the thought of quitting, but I knew I needed the strength and grace of God to make it to August.
When I saw the mileage marker for mile 11, there was absolutely no stopping me! I was almost done, I could just see myself crossing that finish line! Mile 12, I began to soar. It was the Holy Spirit empowered me and helped me to give it every last bit of strength I could muster. And then, I crossed that finish line, victorious! I had done it, I had seriously just run 13.1 miles! Words cannot describe the joy of that moment! June will be month 11 for us - I'll be up there for 8 days with him in the middle of June, and I just know there is absolutely no stopping us! I feel refreshed and strengthened, and can comprehend that August finish line. What victory that graduation day will be! And gosh, don't take this as cliche, but it is truly by the grace and strength of God that our relationship has endured this far, and that we have been able to grow so close despite our distance.
How cool is it that this thing I've dreamed of doing turned out to be so parallel to my relationship with Rob?! God is so faithful and good, full of grace and mercy. He cares about the details of our lives, and He deserves the glory. So for now, I continue to run ~both races~, and live this life to the fullest, looking forward to that finish line on August 7, 2010.