Friday, October 27, 2017

My Bolivian Journey | mySTORY

My Bolivian Journey | mySTORY: “The will of God is always a bigger thing than we bargain for, but we must believe that whatever it involves, it is good, acceptable and perfect” -Jim Elliot- 

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Tick Tock... Thus Move the Hands on this Earthly Clock

Every now and then I have this really weird realization...
I am not a child anymore.

It hits me at random times.

Walking through security at an airport in another state, (or country) without my parents.

When I'm stopped at a red light, anxiously checking my clock to see if I will make it to work on time.

When I'm sitting by myself in a coffee shop working on a paper for school; rushing to meet the upcoming deadline.

When I am washing dishes, and smile at the cheery laughter of the girls that I nanny.

When I fill up my car with gas, and realize how many dollars it really takes to feed a mini van.

I am going to be 18 in a matter of weeks... I know that it is just a number, but numbers have always felt important to me.

I remember my seventh birthday, I felt so grownup sitting cross legged on the floor listening to the grown ups talk. I couldn't wait to be ten.
Ten came, thirteen was only three years away! (and in 8 years I could be... married!)
I remember turning thirteen, counting down the years until I would be sixteen.
Sixteen came and went, I was waiting for my eighteenth.
Seventeen was of no use to me. The number was an odd number, I preferred even numbers. Seventeen wasn't special like sixteen or eighteen. It just was a number.
They are all just numbers.

Someday I wonder if when I'm in heaven, I will think back to my life on earth and laugh about how obsessed with time I was. Or maybe I'll cry...

Time is important on earth, but is it really as important as I make it?
I am not promised tomorrow. I am only promised the moments that I have been given.

So often I waste my time dreaming, worrying or planning for tomorrow that I don't seek to glorify God in the moment that He has given me.

Matthew 6:34
"Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself." 

James 4:13-15,17

Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.” Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.” If anyone, then, knows the good they ought to do and doesn’t do it, it is sin for them.

1 Corinthians 10:31

So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.

Proverbs 3:5-6 

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him and he will make your paths straight.

1 Corinthians 9:24-25

Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it. Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable.

Matthew 6:19-21

 “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also."

Are the moments in my life devoted to storing up treasure on earth, or in heaven?

Loving the world, or loving God?
must be loving God and storing up treasure in heaven.
I am commanded to.
How often I fall short. Indeed, always in my own strength do I fall short, BUT GOD, great in mercy and abounding with steadfast love for the thousands saw fit to call me as His child.

Titus 3:4-7
But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, He saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to His own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that being justified by His grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.

God is the active in this passage. I am the passive. I am being acted upon, for assuredly, that which is dead must be made alive; it can not awaken itself. 

Ezekiel 37:3-6

And He said to me, “Son of man, can these bones live?” And I answered, “O Lord God, you know.” Then He said to me, “Prophesy over these bones, and say to them, O dry bones, hear the word of the Lord.  Thus says the Lord God to these bones: Behold, I will cause breath to enter you, and you shall live. And I will lay sinews upon you, and will cause flesh to come upon you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and you shall live, and you shall know that I am the Lord.”

When I become so obsessed with time on this earth, and the things that I hope for in the years to come, (like a family of my own, or knowledge of what my "next step" in life is.) I am not pointing to the name of the Living One who has breathed life into my dry bones for His purpose and glory. 

Praise God for His patience and gentle mercy that rebukes and teaches those that He has redeemed instead of condemning us. 

Romans 8:1-2

Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death.

Colossians 3:1-4

If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.  For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.  When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.

Revelation 22:20

He who testifies to these things says, "Surely I am coming soon." Amen. Come, Lord Jesus! 

Monday, January 30, 2017

An Update on my Life

I don't think that I have posted much about my life lately...

    My mom got married in January 2016 to an amazing man who I am honored to call my dad. His two youngest daughters live with us. One I begrudgingly admit, is three months older than me. The other is nine.
    The first few months it was hard for everyone. I learned a lot about my own sin that was brought to the surface with having new people and new authority in the house. God was teaching me slowly but surely, but it still was hard at times. During that time I graduated and went to Montana for training. Then I left for Ukraine.
    After returning from Ukraine I felt like I was back at the place that I had started in January but thankfully God faithfully taught me and opened my eyes so that I could see my sin in it. I also was extremely emotional... I had no idea what I was going to do with my life. I had assumed that God would reveal to me while I was in Ukraine, what I was to do with the rest of my life. That didn't happen.
    I arrived home. Tired. With no vehicle. No source of income. No plans for life. No paperwork filed to go to school. No idea what I would do with myself in school if I did go.

A couple days after getting back I told my mom that I was going to babysit for someone the next day. She looked at me with surprise.
    "Do you want to ask me about that first?" She said. "How about asking about using my van?"

I blushed as I realized two things;

    One: how, in a sense, I had been rather independent in Ukraine. (I suppose that living in another country without your parents you kind of have to be.)
    Two: I had briefly forgotten that in America you can't just hop onto a marshutka and be on your happy way. In America, I would have to ask about using my parents' vehicles!

I was in tears almost every day and borderline "depressed"* (*or darkly emotional... Take your pick.)

    What did I do? (The natural response... of course....)
    I decided that my family should move into a completely different state.
   We should live in a log cabin on a farm.
   Have no electricity and live off the land.

I even started looking at property in other states that would be affordable.
God was probably shaking His head as He watched my emotional rampage.

   In a little, farming town of no significance to any but those that live there He helped me to find a vehicle.  To be honest, my "dream car"... It is a blue/green mini van. Ever since I was little I had dreamed of getting a mini van. I also got two regular babysitting/nanny type job offers.

I don't remember when all the timing of this fell into place, it felt like it went on for months but it was probably between 2-4 weeks.

God showed me that He has me where I am for His purpose. For His glory was I formed and made.
I am not glorifying Him if I am caught up in my own emotions
I am not going to be joyful in following my Savior
I am not going to be trusting the One who knit me together in my mother's womb,

Joy, (like love) isn't always a feeling; it's a choice.
I could choose to be miserable and bask in the hazy light of my own desires; or, I could choose to trust my Redeemer who loved me and gave Himself for me.
   The first choice, I realized,  is making my own feelings an idol over the God of heaven and earth. He has said "You shall have no other gods before me." and, "I am a jealous God." and, "Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength."

That was a helpful thing to realize... and repent of.... and by God's grace to attempt at implementation.

God also provided a way for me to go to the community college. I'm taking English 110 and American History up to 1877.  I love it! Especially my history class.

    I also got to meet some other Christians! I met three while I was having my bible time in the cafeteria... (Which was kind of humorous how it all happened.) and more in a CRU bible study- I only got to stay for the introduction time and then I headed off to pick up the other kids from my grandma's house, which turned out to be unnecessary so I went to work.

    I love my job! I babysit/nanny for a family from my church. I go to their house, do laundry, sweep floors, tidy rooms, do dishes, play with kids, etc. It is the best. They are a very sweet family and they love the Lord.

    I still have no idea what I am going to do with my life but I know that God does...
That still can really bother me at times. This past week or so, I have been reading books about missionaries again. Cameron Townsend, Count Zinzendorf, George Muller, Brother Andrew.
    Is my interest purely a prideful desire to be doing something "grand" and looking good? Or is it genuinely something that God is calling me to/preparing me for? That has been my question.
I love languages, so I am still trying to work on my Russian and Spanish. I wonder if I will ever be able to do anything with them.
For now my answer is, yet again, trust and wait. 
It seems like something He is trying to drill into me, apparently I am a hard nut to crack because He keeps having to tell me to trust Him and wait on Him and on His timing.

                                                    Anyway. That is my life right now.
Off to the Blend (the most amazing coffee shop in the world!) with Emily. She has been begging me to work on a story with her for months and I kept putting her off. Now we shall finally do it!

In Christ,

Saturday, January 28, 2017

I Wrote a Book

Serving Lois

It isn't very long, almost 100 pages. But it is a book and it took me a long time to write. And I like it. (Which is a miracle. Usually I get sick of reading something over and over again, especially if it is my own writing.)

The description is this:
Erin Wheeler knows heartache first hand when her husband is tragically killed by a drunk driver. Deciding to make a new start, with her mother-in-law and her grief, she sets out to begin a new life.
With the help of family and a new friend, Chase Ashby, Erin learns of the God that she can call 'daddy'. Through a series of events Erin finds her newfound faith being put to the test.
Can she find joy again?
                    Can God really heal the hurt in her life?
Can forgiveness really free her?

Thought I'd share that tidbit. 
I actually self published it before Christmas but had a lot more editing to do once I got the hard copy. I finally re-finished it tonight. :)

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Snow Pictures

These snow pictures are LONG over due... They were from the very first snow in early December or late November.
We were just being silly and had a great time, the flakes of snow were big and fluffy and the weather was just cold enough, but not too cold. 

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Come Let us Worship and Bow Down

"Indeed. Come worship and bow down." The flesh simpers seductively. "Worship what mankind thinks of how you responded in that situation. Think of how highly they will think of you."

"Come worship and bow down." Begs the heart. "Find love. Find happiness. If someone offends you be bitter. They deserve it. No one should have to deal with such a person." 

"Come worship and bow down." Shouts the world. "See how smart you are? Think of what you could do! The houses and clothes and cars you could buy."

"Come worship and bow down." Says materialism. "Prove to everyone that you aren't a burden, that you can make enough money on your own and don't need anyone."

"Come worship and bow down." Cries the internet. "Think how much time you can be entertained by me, I won't argue with you or annoy you, just worship me."

"Come worship and bow down." Pleads sleep. "Just a little longer. You can do your Bible time later."

"Come worship and bow down." Persuades false knowledge. "No one knows what they are talking about. They have no claim on your time or affections. Worship me and I will give you what you want."

"Come worship and bow down." Satan said to my Lord. "Worship me, and all of this I will give you."
“Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve Him only." Commanded my Lord, and the devil fled. 

"Only in my presence is fullness of joy." Says my King quietly. "I made you and redeemed you, I named you 'my child' and love you completely. I am the one, true God. People will hurt you and situations will tempt you but stronger is He who is living in you, than he that is in the world." 

The throne of our heart is the place for our King.
He alone is worthy of honor and glory. 
He alone is worthy of praise. 
He alone is King.

Come let us worship and bow down at the feet of the Lord our God our Maker.