Saturday, April 26, 2008

I’ve been thinking about what I was thinking about yesterday. I want trials to persevere through. It has been said to me before, “well of course you love Jesus, you have no troubles in your life.” Okay, I believe that I would love Jesus even if He did make me the next Job. I am not requesting pain and suffering, no. But I was pondering Philippians 4:11b-14, “For I have learned in every situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.” Thank you, dear role model Paul. I have never been hungry and not been able to get food. I’ve never scrounged for clothing or not had a safe place to lay my head. I have never been persecuted aside from little discouragements and peer attacks (like no governments and jailers). What proof do I have to proclaim, “Lord, I trust you.”? No, I am not requesting a horrible trial. But I do need to use my current one to show Him what I think of His glory and confirm just how small the problems of the world are compared to Him: getting over my loss of companionship with Wayne and making faithful decisions about what to do next year (because it looks like it is changing) without going into freak out mode.

His sufficiency supersedes my deficiencies... if I let them. (aka: Your Grace is Enough)

I’m struggling with the adjustment. I have to be honest. I have up days and down days and up hours and down hours. Overall (but not quite overwhelmingly), my joy is in the Lord. I am content, more than content, really. Paraphrase 1 Thess. 5 and Phil 4: “Be joyful always and content in all circumstances, in times of plenty and times of lacking.” That is something I have always strived for and now I am just being challenged more than normal. My emotions seem to want to be haywire and I find myself wanting to wallow in my discomfort, whether God could console me fully or not. True: He brings me peace and comfort and I have occasional bursts of gladness in which I smile and dance around because His mercy astounds me and renews me continually. Then there are the times that I cry. and I feel dumb- what % of people in the world are starving and I am distraught because of romance deficiency. It’ll get better in time. Time.

Friday, April 25, 2008

More on what I wrote yesterday

I found another verse about following the straight and narrow path. It's Psalm 32:8. God says, "I will instruct you and teach you in the way that you should go. I will counsel you and watch over you." then he adds, "Do not be like the horse or mule which have no understanding but must be controlled by a bit and bridel or they will not come to you." God has given us free will. He will direct us in the way that we should go if we will look to him and let him guide us. A horse is impatient and would run ahead of his master so a bit has to hold him back. A mule is complacent and would often sit still if its master didn't tug and pull on his face to make him move. God does not want to do either of these. he wants us to choose to follow him. He says, "if you love me, you will follow my commandments. That is how I know that you love me." And not only following his morality commandments,He says also that "Anything that is not done by faith is sin." Romans 14:23. Faithfully follow his path without swerving or getting ahead of Him like a horse or lagging behind him like some old mule.
When we do get selfish though, and choose to love ourselves more than we love Christ (represented by the swerving on my map from the previous post). He gives us comforting scripture like All of Psalm 32 which is about forgiveness and Psalm 51 which is about renewal. And He reminds us, Psalm 103:12, "as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us." (Also a very cool song by Casting Crowns.)

Sunday, April 20, 2008

The Gift of Singleness

So I'm single now by the way. As of two days ago, a seven month date is over.
I listened to a Breakaway sermon titled "The Gift of Singleness" while I drove to H-town yesterday and that was exceedingly helpful in steering me in the right direction. As exciting as it half-way sounds, I don't think plunging into the world of casual dating is a very wise or healthy idea and the sermon finalized that for me. Ben talked about how we can serve God as a single person in so many awesome ways that married people just cant. He referred to dating and marriage as a distraction from serving God fully because we have to monitor and cherish that person and can't up and go to Starbucks or Thailand anytime you want when you are married and much less when you have children. The first half of your life, you are intended to serve him as a single person focusing on Him, and the second half, most of us are intended to serve him alongside a spouse. Anyway,
I was sitting on the floor at Barnes and Noble today reading "When God Writes your Love Story" by the Eric and Leslie Ludy and had some nifty thoughts. Thought I'd jot em down here.
Leslie wrote about how it is important to save ourselves not only physically but emotionally for our husbands and how dating multiple guys because we feel like it damages our hearts. I would rather give my heart to Jesus for now and then offer it unblemished to my husband when it comes time for me to give it to him. Leslie quoted this admirable chick, "As for guys pursuing me for temporary relationships, my attitude is 'I'm already taken.' Until God brings my future husband along and I know it's him, I'm not available." p. 118. So I pondered that a bit. And prayed that God would repair me and prepare me between now and then for that time; and based on the damage build-up, I think my heart might need a little more time than my on-and-off-eager, lonesome human self was hoping for. So let me verify that my hope is in the Lord, my comforter and protector, and I do not need to invest in a man in order to attain joy. I don't need a series of unnecessary relationships like our culture tells us we do. Aside from the damage that it causes, it is just not a wise way to spend my time- no God's time- (Ephesians 5:15-16 "Look carefully how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of your time.") because my purpose is to further his kingdom. (Matthew 6:33 "But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be provided for you.") I will further his kingdom and follow Him with my whole heart as one single person until the time comes (God's timing) that I can serve him better as one with someone else. And I am praying for the same thing for my husband (if he exists).
I heard someone talking once about God's people having different callings and purposes and niches in different stages of our lives. What God called me to do when I was 15 versus what he calls me to do now and what he will call me to when I am 55 are very different. He will prepare us to serve him where he wants to plant us and then he will put in us the new desire and longing to serve there and grow where we are planted each time. I realized as I read today that my calling is to be a guide and mentor for young girls! I bought the book today, not because I want to read it again, but because I want to be able to share it with the girls that I work with next year. Next year I will be teaching high school and possibly coaching too. I want to lead a group of young girls at church in Bible Study or accountability groups and be involved in their lives. I have thought about this for a while, but as I read today about the heart of a woman and about protecting it, I felt this desire to help and guide these young girls just burst within me and I leaped and bounced and danced at the thought of it! THEN I realized, hey I'm working at the 8th and 9th grade camp at Pine Cove this summer! WOW! God really has intricately, purposely and purposefully placed me there this summer and now, after he already set it up for me, I realize a bit about why. I did not go get a camp application and bubble in the jobs that I might be interested in doing. Nope. I called and told them I could come and then they called me with an assigned spot (to learn more about that process, read previous excited blog). So I am stoked. I was thinking also...I am not God and I am not skilled to understand what God has willed and God has planned (Aaron Shust haha), but
even I can see that I will be able to serve these young women so much better as a single woman, not as a married one. And so sets in the fact that I probably wont be meeting Mr. Right at Pine Cove this summer... okay. I am excited about this. This is good. A blessing. In the meantime, I am guarding my heart and letting God prepare it to love and be loved by an amazing man when the next stage of my life starts. I anticipate that it will be a while before I am repaired and prepared to start that second half of my life as a married servant of Christ. So God, help me to be content and joyful and joyfully content in my singleness until I am found by him! I know I will struggle and be lonely and tempted, but Lord help me to 1 Corinthians 10:13 like you promised and to come through strong and beautified!

Another quote from Leslie: "It's time to allow God to mold you into His likeness. As we let God have His way, we will be transformed into a princess of true purity." So I responded, "Yah! Let's Go!"

Thursday, April 17, 2008

"A woman's heart should be so hidden in the Lord that a man has to seek God in order find her."

A man's way should be so committed to the Lord that a woman would have to be hidden in God in order to catch his eye.

Newest Member of the Pine Cove Timbers Staff 2008!

I just found out that I am working at Pine Cove again this summer and I am so super exicited! It is a total God thing-
I was looking at my calendar and my summer classes end abut halfway throught the summer. So I prayed that God would put me to use and direct me where to serve him during those extra weeks. And THE NEXT DAY, I woke up and thought, 'hey i think I'll call Pine Cove and tell them I'm here if they need me." I didn't expect much because they have already finished all their hiring, but I knew that sometimes something goes crazy and someone gets a snake bite or gets sick or quits at the last minute So I told SnickerSnoodle that she could throw my name into a hat and put it if they need me to fill in for a week or two. So she said sure and sent out a little email about me to camp directors. Well, THAT HOUR a girl that was supposed to work at the 8th and 9th grade camp called Elgapo and quit- said she couldn't come after all, that she was really sorry and wasn't coming. So Elgapo was about to have to scramble through extra late interviews to find someone to replace her when he recieved the email about me. So he called me immediately and started scoping me out. I was so excited all day yesterday, my legs were shaking and bouncing in class- then he called me and offered me the job this morning. So I am working the whole second summer session on Chaos: kitchen crew, programs and skit staff, and runner at the Timbers Camp! It is so crazy that this was not even in my head 2 days ago and now it is happening. I am super mega excited! God is so good. He's quick. I really need the lift before I go into career mode too.