Saturday, July 23, 2011


I have just finished filling out my fifth application for an Instructional Aide position at a public school near my home town.

Now if I would have read the previous sentence a year ago I wouldn’t have thought it was in my future. I had no desire to teach. As an English major a lot of people would ask me if I was going to teach. I would always quickly answer them with “No. My minor is in Business I’ll probably do something with that.” Teaching, as a career, just never appealed to me.

After graduating in May I realized I really didn’t have a goal or a dream. So I began to pray that God would give me goals and dreams. I tried to ignore the one dream I’ve always had, to get married and have a family. It is obviously not time for that so I know I need something new to focus on, something that I can get excited about. So God has planted a new dream and goal in my heart and amazingly it is to teach.

A lot has pointed to this direction lately. I ended up with a summer job assisting a teacher at the church I have worked at for 3 years. We ended up with a great group of kids and I’ve really learned a lot. I feel more confident then any year I’ve worked there and was able to help plan activities and decorate our room. Though kids can be frustrating sometimes it is the times when they are sweet and are excited about learning that are most memorable.

God will give you new dreams and goals if you ask Him. Now I’m just praying that He will fulfill my desires. I’m holding on to Psalm 37:4:

“Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart.”

Saturday, July 16, 2011

"Take captive every thought"

This post is based off of a journal entry I wrote on June 7, 2011.

It has been a long time since I have written and a long time since I've really dug into God's word and prayed wholeheartedly. Thankfully, Isaiah 26 appeared on my calendar of verses for today. It has spoken to me and I understand now why I've been in such a terrible mood. This verse sums it up...
"You will keep in perfect peace
him whose mind is steadfast,
because he trusts in you."
Isaiah 26:3

Next to this verse, in my Bible's margins, I have referenced the following verse...
"We demolish arguments and every pretension
that sets itself up against the knowledge of God,
and we take captive every thought
to make it obedient to Christ."
2 Corinthians 10:5

I am realizing that I am not experiencing God's peace because I haven't taken every thought captive and I know that my mind is not steadfast on Him. I looked up what steadfast means and there were three definitions that caught my attention.
1) fixed in direction; steadily directed.
2) firm in purpose.
3) unwavering, as resolution, faith, adherence etc.

I pray these verses will bring a change in me soon as I make myself get back into God's word and seek His direction for my future.

Father, I need your help to make my mind fixed in your direction (steadfast).
I want to know the peace only you can give.
Help me take every thought captive and make them obedient to you.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

The End of a Chapter

Have you ever come to the end of a chapter in a book and you can't wait to find out what is going to happen next. Let's say you just read the last sentence of Chapter 10 and the author has left you hanging. You may be experiencing that panicky feeling if the main character is in a dangerous situation, but you are also really excited to see how the scene will play out. In excitement you turn the next page and watch as Chapter 11 unfolds. You don't know what will happen, but you hope your questions will be answered soon. Okay, maybe I'm the only one who really gets into books this way, but there is a point to my metaphor. :)

You see, I've come to an end of a chapter in my life. Yesterday I took my last college final and tomorrow evening I'll be walking accross a stage in my cap and gown to receive my college diploma (okay it won't be the actual thing, but it will come evenutally in the mail). Four years ago, I walked into the university halls as a nervous, shy girl carefully memorizing room numbers and reading the campus map. Praying that I didn't walk into the wrong classroom. Hoping that the teacher would be nice and that the class material wouldn't be too overwhelming. Groaning at how heavy my backpack was and worrying about how I'd get through this new experience. Back then, I thought four years would feel like forever, but here I am, at the end of them, realizing how short four years really is.

I'm not exactly sure what the next chapter holds. I feel like God has left me hanging with the end of this one. Though I'm excited to see what will unfold in the future, I also have that panicky feeling I talked about earlier. Will everything really turn out okay? Will God really guide and direct me or is He leaving me to figure it out on my own. How long until I get answers to my questions? And the list goes on and on. However, I also have that exciting feeling because I know that something good has to be coming and I'm ready to flip to the next page and watch the next chapter unfold.

So as I walk across that stage tomorrow I'll try to soak up the feeling of accomplishment and the reminder of how faithful God has been because a new chapter is coming. In the beginning I might feel a little insecure, like I did four years ago as a freshman in college, but four years flies by and God really is faithful. He'll take my hand and guide me through. He's done it for me these last four years and He'll walk with me through the next chapter too.

Jesus, thank you for blessing me with the opportunity
to earn my college degree. Thank you for walking by
my side during the last four years. I couldn't have done
it without you. As I walk across that stage tomorrow night
I'll not only be shouting my praise that I've earned my degree,
but I'll also be praising you for walking with me along the
way! You are faithful!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Who is your master?

     Last Thursday night I attended a seminar on Human Trafficking. I was interested in going partly because one of my good friends is going on a mission trip this summer to minister to girls who have experienced the horrors of sex trafficking and also because I know this is an issue that our nation faces today and I felt the need to be better informed. The night was as I expected, we were shown pictures of young children bound on beds and heard clips of girls talking about their abuse. We were given statistics and information on how those in our area are trying to fight against this modern day slave trade. Looking around that room of people at the seminar I realized what privileged lives we lead. For some of us it was easy leave the seminar and move past the horrific information we were given. We were able to move past the sadness we felt and go on with our lives. But somewhere, maybe even near where I live and where I attend school, there is a child who is enslaved. A child that can’t escape the horrors he or she is facing right now. I left the seminar feeling depressed and wishing I could do something, but feeling hopeless about the situation. Abolishing modern day slavery seems like a daunting task. At the seminar, a pastor told us this was a job for the body of Christ. I agree with his statement. Wasn’t it Jesus Christ who said in one of his parables “I tell you the truth, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me” (Matthew 25:45). As the body of Christ we are called to care for those in need so that we can share Christ’s sacrifice and love with them. The pastor then quoted William Wilberforce who in essence said that slavery is a sin and sin is slavery. This quote was very profound to me.

Yes, the body of Christ should be at the forefront of saving humans not only from physical slavery, but also spiritual slavery, but sadly I am realizing more each day that many who live within the Church are, themselves, enslaved by sin. Like the children of Israel in the book of Isaiah, the modern day church is made up of “people loaded with guilt, a brood of evildoers, children given to corruption!” (Isaiah 1: 4). We know the scriptures and attend church services and functions, but during the week we want to do our own thing. We don’t fully give over every part of ourselves to God instead we keep what we want and give Him the leftovers. Jesus Christ says in Matthew chapter 6 “No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other” (Matthew 6:24). We can’t serve God and have it our own way at the same time. Our way doesn’t guarantee joy and peace. Our way is a way filled with disappointment and regret. Our way doesn’t get us to heaven. But Jesus said “I am the way the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6). We must choose to be the masters of our own life and accept the consequences or choose to make Jesus our master and Lord of our life. We can’t have it both ways.

Jesus said in John 15 “I am the true vine and my father is the gardener…remain n me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me” (John 15: 1, 4). To make Jesus our Master we must obey him. For He said, “if you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father’s commands and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete” (John 15: 10).

Before we start trying to fix all the problems of the world we have to make sure our heart is right with God. We can’t take the hope of Jesus to the world if we, ourselves, don’t fully understand the hope and joy He offers because we are trying to serve two masters.

So who is your master? Are you giving everything you have to God? Or are you holding something back?
“‘Come now, let us reason together,’ says the Lord. ‘Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool. If you are willing and obedient, you will eat the best from the land; but if you resist and rebel, you will be devoured by the sword.’ For the mouth of the Lord has spoken.” Isaiah 1: 18.

Jesus, I know you want every part of me, but sometimes I worry that if I give you everything your plan for me won’t turn out like I want. Even though I feel this way sometimes, I know deep down in my heart that your plans are greater than my own. So today I’m not holding anything back. You are the Master of my life. Work in me. Help me to be obedient to you so that I can help those in need. Work in the Church. Bring a revival to each and every individual’s walk with you. Help us give you all of us so that you can work through us to change this world for your glory.

Friday, February 11, 2011


Yesterday, I was reminded how God works in and through our lives. He recently sent me a new pen pal. What is cool about this new relationship is that the things I am going through, like graduating in May and waiting for my future husband, she can relate too. When we need encouragement God brings along the right person to do the encouraging. He also uses the things you've gone through to not only teach you something, but encourage others too. Don't miss opportunities to encourage someone else today. Who knows, they might be the one encouraging you tomorrow.

"Therefore encourage one another and build each other up..." 1Thessalonians 5:11

Jesus, encouraging others is not always easy.
Open my eyes to those around me who need to
be built up and speak through me.
I can't do it on my own.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

"This is the stuff that drives me crazy"

Yesterday was anything but normal. On my way to school it felt like I had run over something. Looking back in my mirror I didn't see anything in the road. The car didn't feel different, but there had been a pretty loud thud so I was worried whatever it was had hurt the car. I pulled into a nearby gas station and before I had gotten completely out of the car I saw it. A flat tire! My first. This is not counting the semi-flat tire I drove on for 45 minutes a few months ago. Nope this tire was shot. Dead. Finished. Thankfully I have an amazing dad who I can call anytime about anything. Fixing things is his forte. Plus he loves me. :) To make a long story shorter, my mom brought me a back-up vehicle so I could try to get to class while she waited for my SuperDad to fly in like a speeding bullet and change the flat tire. That was just the first crazy thing that happened that day.

I made it to campus just as class started. But I was still in the car, driving through each parking lot trying to find a parking space. Twenty minutes later, I found a space in a parking lot that seemed miles and miles away from the building my class was in. Let me just say that crossing campus, on foot, in the bitterly cold wind is not fun! Not being the kind of person who feels comfortable entering a class late, I sucked it up and snuck into Spanish class thirty minutes late. My professor greeted me wit ha hearty "Buenas dias!" and I embarrassingly and hurriedly slipped into a seat.

Sometimes I wonder why we experience these crazy life moments. But after yesterday I think I understand a little better. I've realized more and more that at the sign of a trial or hardship, no matter how small, I could use a lot more patience and perseverance. Like with my frustrations in my last post...I could do a lot less complaining and a lot more relying on God.

Francesca Battistelli says it perfectly in her new song "This is the Stuff"...

This is the stuff that drives me crazy
This is the stuff that's getting to me lately
In the middle of my little mess
I forget how big I'm blessed

This is the stuff that gets under my skin
But I gotta trust You know exactly what You're doing
It might not be what I would choose
But this is the stuff you use.

Thank you, Jesus, for using some frustrating
circumstances to teach me that I need to depend
on you more. Please "break me of impatience,
conquer my frustrations."
Remind me how much I'm blessed!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Hold On

I don't know what is happening with this semester. Before it began I was excited about it. I was looking forward to my last four college classes, I was looking forward to graduating in May, and I was anticipating what God has for me as I looked towards life after college.

Christmas break seemed to end too quickly. I was unable to do a few things that would help me feel like I was starting anew for the spring semester and new year.

The third day of classes I came down with the flu. I missed a week of my classes. I felt like a wrench had been thrown into the workings of my semester.

When I finally returned to school I realized my classes weren't turning out to be as good as I had hoped. The English class (my last) was supposed to be full of inspiring literature and heart-felt discussions. Instead the reading assignments have taken over my study time (making me feel like I can't do any other studying), I've been reading essays by well-known authors who had a thought on every little minuscule thing and were gracious enough to write all those silly, and often selfish thoughts down so that I could sit spend a semester reading them.

Let's back up a minute, I became an English major because I love literature. I believe that you can learn something about yourself and the world around you when you read. Reading opens up other worlds to you, worlds not confined to this day and time. However, I've come to a point where I cannot find a balance between the things I believe as a child of God and the secular ideas I face everyday in my anthologies. Often the essays and stories I read are devoid of God. The essays I described above or wrought with selfish ideas about worldly pursuits. I've realized that there is often a small chance that I will read anything in my class that pushes me closer to the One who gave these author's the talent to write in the first place.

I've said all that to say this, I feel like I'm at a strange stage of my life and this stage comes with roller coaster-like emotions. Lately, what I know and how I feel are two different things entirely.

For instance, I know that God loves me and has a plan for me. I know that if I surrender my life to Him and follow His will He will direct my path. I know that He knows the desires of my heart and if I just wait upon Him He will fulfill those desires if they are in keeping with His will for my life.

Though I know all of these things, I feel anxious about the future. I feel unhappy with my circumstances. I feel ready to leave behind what I'm doing and go out and take my future into my own hands. I don't want to study, I don't want to serve, I don't feel like loving others. I don't want to wait anymore.

As you can tell, a war is raging within me. I can't win it on my own, I haven't a clue how. I can't win it with help from those around me, I don't even think I want their help. All I can do is hold on to what I know about the One who created me. All I can do is hold on to the promise that the One that is in me is greater than the one who is in the world. All I can do is take this life one day at a time, praying that God would answer this prayer:
"Turn my heart toward your statutes
and not towards selfish gain.
Turn my eyes away from worthless things;
preserve my life according to your word.
Fulfill your promise to your servant,
so that you may be feared."
Psalm 119:36-37

Jesus, please let what I know overpower
how I feel. I don't want to live by my
flimsy, fleeting, roller coaster emotions.
 I want to live by the promises you have given me.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Tuition, Surgery, & an INDESCRIBABLE God

For me Sunday afternoons are a time to consider the week ahead. So as I sit here, it is easy to feel overwhelmed knowing that this week my mom and I will pay for my last semester's tuition and books. To think, next year at this time college will be just a memory. Not only will this week be an end of a chapter in my life, but it will also be a beginning of a new chapter for my grandpa. The chapters that make up each of our lives are not always exciting or happy. The next chapter in my grandpa's life is filled with uncertainty, hardship, and pain. Wednesday morning he will be having one of his kidney's removed due to the growth of a cancerous tumor.
I often question why God allows the unrighteous to prosper while those who love Him with all their being go through difficult times. I'm not alone in these questions. King David felt the same way I do. In Psalm 73 David says, "This is what the wicked are like--always carefree, the increase in wealth. Surely in vain have I kept my heart pure; in vain have I washed my hands in innocence." (verses 12-13).
I don't know about you, but I have felt like David many times, but as always David comes to the conclusion that living for the Creator is what he was put on earth to do. "When I tried to understand this, it was oppressive to me til I entered the sanctuary of God; then I understood their final destiny. Surely you place them on slippery ground; you cast them down to ruin" (verses 16-18). David realizes that the condition of our lives here on earth is not what matters. Instead, it is walking each day with God's guidance and presence in our lives. David concludes that "it is good to be near God" because "my heart and my flesh may fail but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever" (vs 28 & vs 26).

As I finish this blog the world outside has turned into a winter wonderland! What a surprise! When I see snow I am reminded of the lyrics from Chris Tomlin's song Indescribable. "Who had told every lightening bolt where it should go/or seen heavenly store houses laden with snow." Only God has! He put the stars in the sky, He tells the sun when to rise and set, He has numbered the hairs on my head! I am reminded today that I serve an Indescribable God and I am thankful that He is also the strength of my heart and my portion forever. When I am reminded how big my God is I have no problem handing over my worries for the week. If He can make my yard in Texas white with snow He can certainly help me through my anxieties of graduation and He will surely walk with my grandpa through the uncertain days and weeks ahead.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Praising Him Without Words

I have experienced a lot of blessings since my last post. Many times I have wanted to sit down and praise the One, who has blessed this Christmas break, with eloquent words, but no words would come. I was even unable to write down my praises to Him in the privacy of my own journal. The lack of words worried me. I felt overwhelmed with thanksgiving, but I couldn't express my feelings to my Heavenly Father. This made me feel like a failure, but then I realized that I can praise Him without words because He knows my heart. When I came to terms with this, I found that when I was in the midst of enjoying a blessing He had given me I would give Him a smile instead of writing two pages in my journal. When I wanted to thank Him for bringing me through a difficult couple of days I took a deep breath of relief, thanksgiving flowing within my heart.

So if you are having a hard time expressing your thankfulness to God, remember that He knows what is in your heart.