Life inspires some thought.

What is our deal?
How is it that we let our circumstances affect our happiness? If someone cuts us off in traffic, our first thoughts are not very loving. If we receive a paycheck that is less than satisfactory, we tend to spend more time asking God “why?” instead of thanking him for blessing us. If our boyfriend or girlfriend breaks up with us, our first response is to spend at least 3 months wallowing in self pity rather than taking it as an opportunity to let God carry us through the pain.
In church we read and study so many amazing stories of people who constantly praised God. Who constantly gave everything they have to him, even when there wasn’t much to give. So why is it so easy for us to “forget” about Job’s faithfulness… to overlook Paul’s sacrifices…. and instead get angry at God for letting our happiness be attacked?
Even in my own life, as i look back, i realize how many times God has blessed me and pulled me through some situations i knew i wouldn’t be able to get through on my own. Yet i still expect more. I still expect that my finances won’t always cause me to worry about how i’m going to pay my bills. I still expect that i should be in the relationship i want to be in. I expect that after 8 months of living in Norfolk, where i followed God, that life should somehow be EASIER.  Now that i think about it… “easy” isn’t in the “Christianity 101 handbook” Because if being a Christian were easy… we’d all be so lazy. We wouldn’t put ourselves out there on a daily basis to share Christ with our lost friends. We wouldn’t pray as desperately as we do sometimes. We wouldn’t feel the need to cry out to God when we are at our wit’s end. We, as humans, seem to be really good at putting God in a box and trying to do everything on our own. We try to provide for ourselves on our own. We try to get through school on our own. We try to tackle the highest mountains on our own. We try to make our relationships work the way we want them to ON OUR OWN. But we aren’t meant to do that… we aren’t meant to do anything alone.  I know i personally forget far too often that God wants to HELP me. He wants to bring me through my trials a stronger and more faithful person. A person that will further His kingdom and spread his love to everyone around me.
He does so much for us on a daily basis that we don’t even think about. We take God for granted so much, yet he still continues to do everything for us and continues to love us no matter how much we curse him.
I think sometimes we need to take a breather from stressing out over exams, or finances, or boy problems, or whatever…. and send the Man upstairs a big hug… because his love has provided so much for us, and if we bless HIM, he will bless us.
God is frickin’ legit.
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A little bit of faith goes a long way…

So today I woke up with no plans to leave the house… Just clean up and possibly go for a run later in the afternoon… I think God had other ideas. (ps i apologize for the terrible punctuation and coherency of this, it’s late and excitment is still running out of my fingertips)

Lately my car, lovingly named “Pheobe” (after the character from friends), has been causing me SO many problems… The heat won’t work unless i’m driving at least 60 mph, my driver-side door panel was halfway on, it would sometimes decide to not start and then a couple hours later, it’ll start… Not to mention all the work i’ve had to have done on it is not worth the time, effort, or money for a car that’s on it’s last leg. So today i decided to brave it and go out and get myself something for lunch, and it got me to my destination! however, when i attmepted to leave it started, then when i went to go in reverse it cut off… No bueno. This was kind of the last straw for me and i realized that this car was NOT going to last much longer… so, naturally, i began to stress out.

After about five minutes of freaking out at my car, i realized that that wasn’t going to help me at all and i needed to call out to God and just chat with him. I spent about 30 minutes just talking to God, and i made a pact with him that i’m going to make this WHOLE year about HIM… No matter how lazy i feel or how distracted i may get, i want to spend this entire year living for Him and doing HIS will in my life, because after all it’s SOOO much better than any plan i could ever dream up for myself. I decided to start with my hunt for a second job, so i can get an apartment (which has been at the forefront of my mind a LOT lately) and another car as long as mine would last just a little while longer. After another 10 minutes praying my heart out to God… my car started. HURAY!

I took that as a sign that i had finally gotten on the same page with him and i needed to go home and get myself ready to go find a job! Then my car started acting funky again… UGH!… what the heck?!

After a phone call with both parents, they convinced me to just go and LOOK at a car dealership just to see what i would need to do in order to get another car… nothing fancy. No frills or whatever. Anything would be better than my taurus. I had no expectations going into it, and to be honest, i had NO idea what i was doing. The second i got into my car to head to the dealership i started praying… and didnt stop for the next four hours. My parents wanted me to go to a KIA dealership because they have pretty cheap, realiable little cars.. so that’s where i went! I looked around a bit and then got in to talking with the manager, and i got to test drive a couple of cars (which is always fun even if you’re not trying to buy something) and then i sat back down to talk to the guy and SOMEHOW i was approved with NO problems for a car. (you can imagine my shock… i had no idea what to do with myself) So i was able to trade in my car (for a LOT more than what it was worth, which is a miracle in itself) and i got an unheard-of APR for someone my age with no cosigner or credit history. Honestly, the whole situation felt like it was too good to be true.

By 8pm tonight i was signing papers and drove off in MY freaking 2009 KIA forte’. WHAT THE HECK?! I am still overwhelmed by the miracle that happened to me tonight. I never asked for anything special (i’ve never even WANTED a brand new car, because i figured i’d never be able to afford or be approved for one) or had any hopes of getting anything. God showed me that when He is going to do something, he’s going to do it BIG. This was the big push that i needed in the right direction… and I could not be more excited to follow God’s plan, everyday and spend time in his word, diligently.

A little bit of faith goes a long way… I have learned that the entire 5 months i’ve been living in norfolk. This whole chapter of my life has been about Faith. Hebrews 11:1 has probably become my life verse if i sit back and think about the way things have panned out. I have never been happier even when there are so many things that are uncertain… i still know that God will take care of me and He will use any situation for His glory.

And since i’m one of those people that is into naming their cars… I decided to name my car Grace, because she was definitely a huge gift from God. It’s funny how a CAR can be such a huge huge huge blessing, but i had to hold back tears so many times tonight because being able to witness God’s love and graciousness can become extremely overwhelming.

God, 2010 is all your’s. ❤

Holy Spirit

So tonight I gave my testimony for the first time at Aletheia… and surprisingly as nervous as I was about it, the words just flowed and I was so comfortable sharing my life with everyone. Then Jamie’s sermon afterward gave me goosebumps when i started to realize how much it coincided with my story. I’ve realized that God has carried me through some really heavy times in my life, allowing me to learn from the mistakes I’ve made in my past to get to where I am today. I have never felt so fulfilled as I do today. God has brought new friends into my life that are already opening my eyes to new things and helping me grow in my walk and become the person that I know God wants me to be, and who I want to be as well and it is AWESOME!!

It’s sad in a way to realize how many things and people I have put in front of God, making them first in my life and pushing God further and further down the list of “importance” in my life. But it makes it that much more satisfying when He pushes his way back through and jumps back in that number one spot! All of the things that i have spent so much effort and time worrying about and dwelling on, especially in matters of the opposite sex (as we are all guilty of), are so meaningless and rubbish in comparison!!!

It’s so good to finally WAKE UP and see that my life is SO blessed beyond measure and God is straight up ROCKING my life radically… and I am finally falling in love with God all over again!!!

I have been filled with the Holy Spirit tonight, bigtime… I feel like God is giving me a big hug right now. I love it!! unfortunately this is taking away from my ability to sleep, which means i am going to have an AWESOME time waking up in a little over 3 hours for prayer at the armory… but this is SO worth it!!

there are so many exclamation points in this post. haha

God is good y’all!
Goodnight. 🙂

For all ye office lovers…

This made my day… and is probably a testament to how average yet awesome my life is. 🙂 (it’s the simple things y’all.)

So i was sitting in traffic (thanks to Obama’s visit 😛 ) jamming out to some T-Swizzle. and i looked around at the cars around me… and i noticed something that probably wouldn’t have caught many people’s eye… unless they’re weird and a dorky fan of some T.V. show.

The S.U.V. diagonal to me had a window sticker that said “BEARS” i’m guessing for some sports team?.. it looked sports affiliated and whatnot. Then i noticed the car NEXT to me had (why anyone would want them is beyond me) a crate of beets in the back seat. (i’m sure by now we know where this is going. but it’s amazing that it all formulated together and i was able to witness it.) Then i looked and the car in front of me, i’m assuming belonged to a rather sci-fi enthused person, had a Battlestar Galactica sticker on their trunk.

Oh yes people, this happened. I witnessed it, and it MADE my day!!

Bears. Beets. Battlestar galactica.

If you DONT know what this means, you need to start watching the Office, so you can be equally amazed.

 

subject change: I have lately been SUPER pumped about prayer, it does some amazing things. Not to mention it’s so nice to be able to chat with my heavenly daddio whenever i want… just to thank him for being SO amazing.

Post. Script: God is GOOOD. I have a job!! (FINALLY) I start tomorrow morning at the biggest Forever 21 i have ever seen 😀 ! can we talk about how STOKED i am?! hellooo employee discounts 😉

Home.

short and sweet…

I decided to go home to Lynchburg on Thursday to re-group and take a short break from things that have been stressing me out, which turned out to be a really good idea for the few days! I had an AMAZING weekend at home and got to spend time with my family and my best friends, take in the BEAUTIFUL mountain scenery, and I began to really miss being at Liberty (until i ate dinner at the ROT for kicks and reminisced on room-checks and mice trapping 😛 ) and being able to see my family. I was able to enjoy all of my favorite home experiences (except for Convocation, since i overslept) like scaremare, shopping at the crappy mall, eating at Osaka (aka my favorite restaurant), and trying to get around with all of the terrible Lynchburg drivers 😉

It’s always hard to leave home again to go back to the real world, but I was definitely excited to get back to Norfolk and see my friends here and join the fundraising for our missions trip to Togo, West Africa! I realized when i came back that I get just as excited seeing the city lights of Norfolk as i do seeing the city lights of Lynchburg.. 🙂

It’s such an awesome feeling to have two places that i can lovingly call home. 🙂

Worship.

When most people think about worship, they think about happy, feel-good “Jesus” music where you lift your hands and sing about how happy and joyful it is to be a Christian…

Tonight, on the way home from seeing Ravi Zacharius speak at William and Mary, there was a discussion about worship that enlightened me quite a bit. I had always had the “feel good” impression of worship… the surface level stuff i suppose. But when you really think about it… worship is about falling on your knees before God and crying out praising his name thanking him for everything. For the good things he puts in your life… and getting you through the bad times… and ALWAYS remaining faithful in every time.

Personally, i find it to be so much more meaningful when i can worship God through the rough times. Lately i have had so many up and down days… where i literally have not known how i’d be able to handle the day ahead or what would even happen… and that would be when i would just fall on my face and sing out praise to God. He deserves our praise no matter what is happening in our lives, because he blesses us in the good times and the bad times. Life is not always happy and joyful… we have daily frustrations, we have relationships that end, we have losses, etc. Sometimes life just SUCKS…. but the thing we forget a lot of the time (including myself, on a daily basis) is that there is something so much better to look forward to than our lives on earth. It’s so comforting that when we are having an all around BAD day… we can know that it wont last. God’s love for us is SO intense that he sent his son to die for us… i think that deserves some serious heart felt praise. One of my favorite worship songs is “true love” by phil wickham… i can’t listen to this song and not cry.

Ps: Ravi Zacharius is a freaking genius… and an amazing speaker. I am so blessed to have been able to experience his teaching tonight.

God is good.

goodnight world. 🙂

A good day.

Have you ever had a day where you were so thankful for every little moment? Even the littlest of things… like a good cup of coffee and laughing with some good friends and meeting new people.

Today was that day for me. I spent the afternoon having a little photography adventure (two of my favorite things) with some of the most amazing friends that God has blessed me with… The weather was perfect, the company was awesome, and i spent the day doing what i am super passionate about. Later I got to spend time at my second home (The Armory) with the guys, listening to good music, editing pictures, and drinking some great coffee before heading to Bible study where i spent time with the greatest GIRLS in Norfolk, Virginia bustin’ out God’s word and a little jeapordy ;)…

I just came in from voluntarily freezing my butt off to do some stargazing (another of my favorite past times, as anyone who knows me well enough knows how in love i am with the night sky) and reflecting on my day with God and I realized that happiness doesn’t need to rely on things like money, or having things (like camera equipment that i’ve had my eye on), or doing anything super complicated. All we really need is some Jesus, good friends, and a cup of coffee. 🙂

I am so thankful that God has given me the ability to cherish the little things in life… that for at least today, I dont have anything to worry about anything, and I can just enjoy the life God created.