Tuesday, May 24, 2016

I love it when a word comes together!

Hello!!  I've been meaning to write this post for at least a week and have been so busy with life.  In reference to my previous post, God gave me so many words of encouragement through so many different people to make it through that hard rejection.  I am so grateful that we serve a loving God that cares enough to make sure we are ok.  : )

But the story doesn't end there.  The ladies at church started a Facebook group that we can discuss certain devotionals since we don't have a particular women's class at church.  When I had my "aha" moment Friday, I shared it with them and was so encouraged by their comments.  But I still felt like I should share it with more people.  I thought, maybe during Sunday School I could share it because if you know me, talking in front of large groups is the worst!!!!  So, Sunday came and I just didn't feel like I should share it then.  It didn't go with the lesson and back again to the whole not liking to talk to people, I just blew it off.

Well, fast forward to the sermon that day.  Our Pastor has been going over the book Haggai and that particular day was over Haggai 2:20-22.  He talked of the word that God gave Zerubbabel, a timely word that said to quit focusing on the rubble and to focus on God.  Ya'll, have you ever had an experience like this?  My Pastor spoke the exact words I've been hearing for the last couple of weeks.  He also said that it's a personal word just for us, that can resurrect our faith.  We just have to persevere.  I had goosebumps, started sweating and thought that I had to shared my testimony...IN CHURCH.  He went on to say it's a powerful word that will not return void and that we can use it as a weapon against Satan.  Maybe I was wrong, maybe I didn't HAVE to share it to church, but I didn't want to disappoint him...uuhhhh.  And finally, it's a productive word.  It reminds us that we are chosen and highly favored of God.  They were words of affirmation, that God truly cares for me and that I have to have faith He will do amazing things for me.  During the sermon, I wrote down a couple of things I had wanted to "say" but still wasn't sure.

By the time he got to the invitation, I was about to throw up. I knew that God wanted me to share my story and my recent bible study talked about being faithful with little, so God can trust us with the big was resonating in my head!  So, I walked up to the front feeling as though electric volts were going through my body.  I was shaking and I asked my pastor if I could give my testimony.  He told me after invitation was over I could speak.  Again, I HATE talking in front of people especially large groups.  (As I'm writing this I am starting to feel antsy again!!)  I start sweating and stuttering and feel as though my voice wavers...it's not pretty.  Do you know I don't think I said anything I wrote down.  I felt as though I didn't get the message out correctly or even coherently and sort of felt dumb that I couldn't get it together.  But I just knew that God wanted me to get up there.

That night, my friend called and told me she was so glad that I got up there because she had been praying about something at the exact moment I got up there.  She asked God to give her a word and my testimony was what she needed.  God is so crazy and I feel he has to have an amazing sense of humor to use someone like me.  So unequipped and fearful and really lame, to further his kingdom.  I am so glad I trusted him because if not, my friend wouldn't have gotten that message she needed.  It's the little things, people.  Little steps of faith that could become something so big.  I can't wait to see how God uses me for his glory!  Have a great day!!!

"But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness."  Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me."  2 Corinthians 12:9

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

We aren't always winners...and that's ok!

Ya’ll, the craziest thing happened to me the last couple of days!  It was such a God thing and I have to share!  (Can you sense my excitement with all of my exclamation points?!)  I believe that I have shared my unemployment struggles with the blog before.  I’ll recap if not.  In February of this year, I was laid off pretty unexpectedly.  Yes, it rocked my world but God precisely planned a bible study for me that started the day I was told I would be laid off.  It helped me get through the fear and the unknown of that time.  Since then I have been looking for work but have not had any luck.  About a month ago, I got news of a position that I was interested in.  I emailed the contact and she said she would talk to her manager.  It sounded promising, but I didn’t have the feeling like “this is it”. 

Skipping the mediocre part of the story, I thought I did well with the interview and felt like I could definitely handle the position, but I still didn’t have that peace about it.  The manager told me she would get back with me in 2-3 weeks with a response.  Ok, that was the longest 3 weeks ever!!!  During that time, I feel like I grew desperate.  Like, that has been the only job I have interviewed with during this time and what if that’s it?!  Or EVERYONE is asking me “what am I doing” or “have you heard anything from anyone?!”  I know they are concerned but it’s really annoying and makes me panic a little when people put so much emphasis on it.  God has been providing for us financially, even more than if I would have been working, so we aren’t worried about that.  It’s just that I enjoy working and the feeling I get from being able to provide for my family and others in need.  Well, that wasn’t a tangent I was expecting but we’ll roll with it!  : )

So, Friday, I woke up early and did my bible study.  It was over waiting on God with hope, specifically having me search the bible for verses dealing with waiting and making me write down what my expectations are of a request we have for God so we can “Get ready to watch God move.”  I wrote what my expectations are for a job, not really even thinking about the job I interviewed for.  Being close to home (I was spoiled with a 10 minutes commute with my previous job) and a position that has a flexible schedule were my two main requests.  I finished the study and got the kids ready for school.  On my way home, **at a red light** I read my email rejection letter… “You have great qualifications but we are pursuing another candidate for this role”.  My heart sank.  I mean, this role was perfect for me, right?! 

Then, I was reminded of the study I did that morning about waiting on God and that gave me hope.  The job was 30 minutes away, under conditions that I wasn’t 100% sure of anyway so to be completely honest, it wasn’t what I truly wanted.  Without that reminder, the devil could’ve used that to fuel my rejection, my angst about being home and kept that playing like a broken record of destruction and disappointment. Then when I got home, I read a devotional comment from a friend at church and it went right along with what I needed to hear.  “He strengthens us to face the defeat we have suffered, to work through the grief we have, to over come the depression we are in, whatever the circumstance we are in He is our strength and out hope.”  Does it stop there?!  Nope!!  Another friend’s facebook post about “Do not give up” quoting 2 Corinthians 12:9, a Proverbs31 devotional telling us to call out to God because he hears us and nothing is too trivial for him, a message from the local Christian radio station that the Lord will fight for us and a few more.  All of it came together at that specific time to make it so much easier to accept the rejection, defeat and discontent of that day. 
I have no idea where this time is taking me but I do know that God’s got it under control.  He’s showing me things that I wouldn’t have seen in my “fast paced” life before.  He’s rebuilding the relationship that I lost and he’s showing me that he is here, right now and there’s nothing more important than that!  I feel like he’s intentionally slowing my life down and getting it back in order and I am so excited about that.  It’s sad that we have to go through hard times to reach out to God, but am so glad that when we reach out He is there.  Thank you Jesus!

I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.  John 16:33 (NIV)

Thursday, May 5, 2016

He's working on me!

Hello!  Hope everyone is doing well. Today, I have gotten a couple of messages that I wanted to share.  God is working overtime in my life right now and I need it so desperately.  One message that I have gotten is that when we accomplish the small things with God, he knows that he can trust us with the big things.  I feel like I can trust him with the big stuff, to a certain degree, it’s just the small stuff that I struggle with continuously.  The day-to-day stuff that wears me down and keeps me from feeling that joy.  Since I am staying at home, my stress level has increased by 300%.  I am not a mom who finds my worth in how much my kids need me.  Jude has always been such an independent child that I didn’t struggle with this as bad, or maybe he was the only one so he got all of our attention.  But with 3 small kids, this is the hardest thing I have done!!  Jude and Connley fight for my attention.  Someone is always crying.  Corbin wants me to look at what he’s done.  Individually, it’s not a big deal, but when it’s all-together, at the same time, it is so overwhelming to me.  I know I probably sound horrible, but I just want to be real. I just have to trust that God is using this time to refine me, to shape me into the person he needs me to be.  Yes it’s hard, and no I won’t do it perfectly starting tomorrow, but I acknowledge my problem and am willing to fight the fight to come out victorious with God’s help! 

See, I am doing a new thing!  Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?  I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wastelands.   Isaiah 43:19 (NIV)

The second message that I’ve been getting multiple times over, is giving grace to ourselves. I’m slowly learning that I can’t do everything like I would want.  The house is as clean as I can get it, the laundry is laughable, doing fun craft projects that I want to do is so 2011 (the year Jude was born!!  Haha!).  It’s frustrating and I get so mad sometimes, but I have realized that it is God’s will for me to be right here, right now.  My family isn’t going to care that I didn’t get to make this awesome Pinterest craft 20 years from now, so why should I care?  And it’s not going to help that I am wishing these years away.  I just need to focus on what’s best for me, my family and that its in line with what I think God wants me to do.  We also need to have grace for our friends or acquaintances that are struggling. It’s easy in this social media, “look at me” world that we’re in to pass judgment so quickly, but we need to remember that we have no idea what they are going through. 
And when God brings you a message more than once, from different sources, you need to pay attention.  At least, that’s what he does to me.  I’m trying Lord!!  I’m really trying!!

“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in your weakness.  Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s powers may rest on me.”  2 Corinthians 12:9