Sharing a great thought!

Why You Shouldn’t Accept the Life You Have

Why You Shouldn’t Accept the Life You Have
— Read on brandonjadams.com/2019/09/05/why-you-shouldnt-accept-life-you-have/

I don’t often repost blogs, but this one resonated with my soul, mind, and heart! Thanks for sharing, Brandon!

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#Singlegirlprob…learningcurve

A few weeks ago my small town had some flooding thanks to the remnants of Hurricane Barry coming inland. The flooding caused a main water line to break, leaving us without water for about 24 hours.

I was unaware of any problems until a boil order was issued a couple hours into my workday. An hour or two later I got the news that our water towers would be emptied soon.

As I sat in my office, I realized that I couldn’t be in two places at once. I needed to go to Walmart to grab some bottled water, but I also needed to be at work to get some tasks done. I’m not big into hashtags, but #singlegirlproblems popped into my head and made me laugh!

I know that because I’m single, I have a different set of struggles then my married friends; but these struggles also invite me to think creatively and see what the Lord is teaching me. So, here’s my list of what I would have normally considered a problem but now see as a God-given learning curve.

Needing to be in two places at once just to function – I now try to look around and see who the Lord has placed in my life to help me in certain situations. For example, I knew that my tiny town would be out of water before I could get to the store to buy any. So, I packed up my belongings (after they closed down the office because of a lack of water) and headed to stay with family who live an hour away. I was very grateful that the Lord has place me near family!

Bug killing – I’ve become very efficient at killing bugs that enter my home. Including the spider that was running rings around my toilet the other morning when I was trying to get ready for work! I had three older brothers and a dad who’d always come and help if necessary, but now I’m the only one who can take care of these little invaders. Thankfully, I’m also resourceful and know which bug companies to call depending on the situation. 🙂

No plus one – As I’ve gotten older my opportunities to bring a plus one to an event have grown. This past week I had a work dinner. Previously, I would just go to these events alone, but recently I have started thinking about who I could bless by inviting them to join me. Plus, it allows me to spend time with people I love! Including my Mom, who got to join me for an amazing work dinner!

Car what? – I’ve learned so much about how to take care of my car! In my family, the guys usually handle anything related to cars, but when I moved states away, I had to learn. Do I have a vast knowledge? Absolutely not! But the Lord is allowing me to slowly grow my knowledge and learn to better take care of my vehicle.

The greatest thing I have learned through my #singlegirlproblems is that I’m supposed to rely on the Lord. I dislike not feeling equipped and have been happy to let other, more qualified people handle situations. However, that kept me from having to wrestle through growth with the Lord. It might seem like a small thing to other people, but to me, each of the above situations showed me again the faithfulness and loving kindness of the Lord.

No longer is it #singlegirlproblems but rather #God’sgracefilledgrowth.

Rainbows

I was driving recently and saw a beautiful rainbow in the clouds. It had rained, and I happened to be outside at the right moment. I commented on the rainbow to my mom and she mentioned how often I see rainbows. This surprised me, as I hadn’t thought about it that way. Doesn’t everyone see them??

Growing up, I remember occasionally seeing rainbows, but it was 2012 when they started carrying deeper meaning for me. During a trip to visit my family, I found out that my grandfather had entered hospice and would most likely not live long. My granddad was very involved in my life day-in-and-day-out and greatly influenced my faith in the Lord. He deeply loved the Lord and people. I knew he hadn’t been doing well, but I wasn’t ready to say goodbye.

Thankfully, I was able to see him and tell him I loved him. Afterwards in the car, I couldn’t help crying. He had been such a big part of my life. How do you wrap your mind around a loved one not being there anymore?

As I cried out to the Lord, I looked out the window and saw a rainbow. In that moment I felt such an overwhelming sense of peace! It was as if the Lord was showing me that He saw me and that I was going to be OK. I felt like it was a promise from Him to me just as He used it as the symbol of His promise to Noah.

Ever since then, every time I see a rainbow I am reminded of that moment. I feel like it’s the Lord telling me it’s going to be OK. It might not turn out exactly how I want or expect, but ultimately He is in control and I can rest in that.

After talking with my Mom, it made me realize that the Lord is continually reaching out to reassure His children. What are your rainbows?

A new year

I’m turning 34 this month. It’s been a good year of being 33. Lots of changes and growth have occurred. I’m excited to see what the Lord has in store for the next 12 months!

A few weeks ago a friend ask me what my dreams are. I sat back and had to think about it. I told her that a lot of my dreams have already come true. I am working at a job that I love. I’m again living closer to my family. I live close to work and now have some work/home balance by not living on the same property as I have done the pasta several years. I’m thankful for gaining a healthy work/life balance.

As we continued to talk about this, I realized that I need to dream more and now is as good a time as any to dream. 🙂 Here’s a list of some of my new (and continuing) dreams for the next year(s).

1. Continue to grow deeper in my walk with the Lord and in my prayer life

2. Buy my first home (scary but exciting)

3. Continue to improve in my work

4. Be in a committed relationship

5. Make it through my reading list (or what my brother calls my pity reads because I read the books completely through even if I’m not enjoying it :))

6. Remain physically healthy

7. Cherish every moment I have with my parents, siblings, nieces and nephews

8. Get involved at my home church

9. Be intentional and invest in friendships in my hometown

10. Find a mentor

I’m excited to see how the Lord fulfills these dreams. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve realized that the Lord doesn’t always fulfill my dreams in ways that I expect. I’m thankful that I can rest in the knowledge that my dreams are important to Him because He loves me. He’s a big dreamer too! Maybe next June I can blog about what He revealed about each of the above dreams.

“Fear robs us of our very selves”,

Public speaking has never been something that I’ve felt good at or desired to do. Half of my family members are gifted speakers, and my comparison game is strong in this department.

This brings me to last fall when I was asked to give the commencement speech for a local homeschool group. At that point they were asking if I was willing to be considered. I prayed about it and said I was open to the opportunity. I then found out that they had also asked my brother Jon (one of the before mentioned gifted speakers). SAVED!

Funny turn of circumstances, the homeschool group ended up asking us to share the speech. Jon will have graduated from the group 20 years ago and it is my 16th anniversary. So on that front, it will be a very unique commencement with the first brother-sister alumni duo.

Jon and I discussed what to share and we were both on the same page over the winter. This spring, as the cold melted away, so did my confidence. I had a melt-down on my brother (sorry, Jon) when we were discussing the speech about a month ago. I panicked because I saw my short-comings overpowering anything the Lord might be doing. Jon did his best to speak into the situation and I later apologized. He told me that’s what brothers are for (he’s a good one :)).

All of this was brought to light today when I was reading a section from Stasi Eldredge’s book Beautiful Now. “Fear in its most wicked, powerful form cripples our souls and warps the very fabric of our hearts. It reshapes our inner reality until we bear no resemblance to the dream that is us, to who we really are. And our lives bear no resemblance to the lives we are meant to be living. Fear robs us of our very selves.”

Even in this struggle with fear, when I’m feeling warped, crippled, and robbed of who He has created me to be, there is hope, because He delivers me from all my fears. He is the one who helps me. He is the one who holds my right hand. This is probably why there are so many verses about not fearing in Scripture (Ps. 23:4, Ps. 27:1, Is. 41:13, Luke 12:32, etc.)

So I’m currently back in a peaceful – ish place. We have about two weeks until graduation and my brother and I are continuing to refine our portions. Although this fear feels like it is lurking nearby, I know that the Lord has gifted me the ability to speak into the lives of young men and women and that He’s called me to share at this event. I know He’ll walk with me through the graduation event.

May I walk humbly and fearlessly before Him at the commencement and share the words He’s laid on my heart.

“If you can!”

This week has been filled with a lot of thoughts, dreams, goals, desires, and questions – uncomfortable and challenging questions God has raised in my life because He loves me.

It started with a friend challenging me to think past a feeling to the thought that created my feeling. Do I even want to look past what I feel?

Then a devotional challenged me to think about God and how He has created us to dream – to dream with Him. Which of my dreams are God-given and should be embraced?

Then a Sunday school lesson last week on Joshua showed God showing up in big ways, with an emphasis on not forgetting how He has shown up (Stones of Remembrance). How has God been showing up in my life recently?

Then my pastor taught on Mark 9:19-29. The following verse stuck out to me the most. A father is asking Christ to heal his son, “But if you can do anything, have compassion on us and help us.’ And Jesus said to him, ‘If you can! All things are possible for the one who believes.” Where has my belief been suffering?

Jesus never promises that I’ll have a joy-filled life of pure happiness or that all my dreams will come true or that I’ll never doubt. He does promise “All things are possible for the one who believes.” This gave me joy, hope, and peace this morning! It also gave me a little bit of clarity from all my processing and thinking. God has taken the pressure off!

I can look past my feeling of uncertainty because He walks past it with me. There is something beyond the feeling of uncertainty that He wants me to recognize.

I believe my dream of being a home-maker is God-given. For years, I’ve struggled with this desire and yet felt like I was missing the mark since I work full time. This week, I realized that God has given me the gift of stewardship and hospitality and has allowed me to create a home in every place I have lived over the past eight years.

God does regularly show up in my life, and here’s how He has recently. 1. He’s given me the grace to make it through my first school year at my new job. 2. He’s shown me a home church where I feel challenged to grow and feel seen. 3. I’ve watched my parents’ health improving. 4. I was able to watch a nephew and niece play baseball/softball which was not an option a year ago. 5. I was able to see dear friends a few weekends ago. 6. I can have hard conversations with my loved ones and we can come to a place of reconciliation. 7. He reminded me that He doesn’t give up on me.

He gently revealed to me that when I get stuck in my own doubts, I transfer them to Him. When I think “I’m not enough” then I think He’s not enough and my belief takes a hit. So here’s to fighting back.

He. Is. Enough.

“All things are possible for the one who believes.” Mark 9:23b

RN to RD

One simple letter change – and yet a huge life change.

My undergrad degree is nursing and I practiced with an RN license for several years until 2011 when my adventure in higher ed started. Thus my title changed from RN (Registered Nurse) to RD (Resident Director).

I once had a friend ask if my years of nursing school were a waste because I no longer work as a nurse. I immediately answered no as I believe I’m walking the path the Lord wants me to walk. While my path has been anything but straight, I’ve appreciated the growth and joy that has come with it. Let’s be honest, lots of growth as I’ve learned to trust Him with the changes.

A few months ago, I was reminiscing about that conversation with my dad when Matthew 4:18-22 popped into my head.

While walking by the Sea of Galilee, he [Jesus] saw two brotherS, Simon (who is called Peter) and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea, for they were fishermen. And he said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.” Immediately they left their nets and followed him. And going on from there he saw two other brothers, James the son of Zebedee and John his brother, in the boat with Zebedee their father, mending their nets, and he called them. Immediately they left the boat and their father and followed him.

This story resonated with me! It was not a waste of the disciples time to learn the fishing trade. They were providing for their families in that season of life. They were learning skills that the Lord would use later. They were fishermen who became fishers of men.

The same applies to my life. My time as an RN prepared me to be an RD, and I believe it makes me a better director of housing. And while I do use pieces of nursing in my higher ed job, I truly believe that the Lord used that season of nursing to refine stubborn areas in my flesh and to make Himself more visible in my life.

I still keep my RN license active since I don’t know what the future holds. But this I know – God will use all my hurts, victories, jobs, and life experiences for His purposes and glory!

Not all who wander are lost. – J.R.R. Tolkien

Thankful for a Broken Body

I know my title is odd, but had this thought yesterday: I’m actually thankful that my body is broken.

I’ve had several people encourage me to pray for healing from my autoimmune disorder. While I do feel called to ask Him for my body to get healthy, I don’t feel the nudging to pray for the Lord to take it away. Why?

Before I dive into all of that, I want to clearly state that I completely 100 percent believe that God can restore my body in an instant. He is The Healer and I know that someday in heaven I’ll have a beautifully restored, completely healed body.

So here’s the difference between healed and healthy. Healthy means my body is functioning as well as it can this side of heaven. I’m relying on His wisdom to care for this temple, my body. This includes eating to restore health, drinking lots of water, getting enough sleep, listening to the needs of my body, and when required, taking supplements and medicine. This has required me to sacrifice to care for, and be a good steward of, the body the Lord has given me.

In years past, I’ve not always taken the best care of myself. Yesterday, as I was mulling over this, I realized that if the Lord healed me of my autoimmune right now, I’d immediately go out and buy all the comfort food (macaroni, pizza, soda, chips, etc.) that I know isn’t healthy for my body. I’d be satisfying my appetite.

Over the last six months, I’ve realized that I’m called to more! I’m called to push through my earthly desires (appetite) and honor Him. I want to worship Him through my choices, and I’m thankful that He has allowed my body to break so that I choose His way. My autoimmune pushes me to rely more on Him and find Him in the midst of the brokenness.

I woke up singing a childhood song this morning by Matt Brouwer. I thought it perfectly fit what’s been rolling around my brain this weekend. May He be glorified in the choices that I make.

Father, I adore You, Lay my life before You, How I love You

Jesus, I adore You, Lay my life before You, How I love you

Spirit, I adore You, Lay my life before You, How I love you

New Years reso…blah blah blah

It’s that time of year again. Everyone is setting goals and coming up with their word of the year. I usually resist this annual compulsion as I don’t want to set myself up for failure. It’s a weak excuse, I know.

Last year I was challenged to come up with a word and Scripture verse for the year. Per usual, I avoided the heart of the task and sought to come up with a list of things that I wanted to learn for the year. This is not bad in and of itself but it was not what I was tasked with doing. Thankfully, the Lord was in the midst of it, and I felt strongly that He was impressing the word “simple” on my heart and then He highlighted Psalm 18:19.

“He brought me out into a spacious place, he rescued me because he delights in me.”

Looking back on 2018, I see how He simplified my life and brought me into a spacious place. It might not look that way to everyone, but I see it. 🙂

In December, the phrase “intentional connection” started circling around in my heard and heart. Here in the early days of 2019, I’m sensing a stirring in my spirit to be more intentional with the people in my life.

I also realized that in some ways I have had a false sense of intentionality. Specifically in the area of social media. Funny that something that has “social” in the name is actually anti-social for me. I realize that I can sit in the comfort of my living room and see people’s lives, but I never actually engage with them. I’ve realized that I don’t want to just “heart” or “like” what someone is doing; I want to talk with them about it and hear why it’s important.

So here’s a few things I’m trying to do to be more intentional…

1. Shut down some of my social media accounts (not all, just the ones I find more hindering than helpful).

2. Improve my phone skills (I dislike talking on the phone). I’m very visual and struggle to pay attention when I’m on the phone. But as my mom says, I need to grow up! 🙂

3. “Snail mail” with friends who enjoy this form of communication.

4. Come up with a list of friends who live within an hour who I can intentionally reach out to and catch-up with face-to-face.

5. Come up with a list of friends who live farther away and seek out creative ways to connect (one of my friends has crafting pen-pals).

6. Take advantage of living near my family and spend as much time with them as I can (bring on the baseball games, dance recitals, and baking adventures!). I love living within an hour of most of my family! Within the past 5-7, years I’ve lived anywhere from 3.5-15 hours away. So one hour is great!

7. Ask the Lord to be in the midst of all of this and actively listen for the Holy Spirit’s promptings on how to be intentional.

“May the Lord make your love increase and overflow for each other and for everyone else, just as ours does for you. 1 Thessalonians 3:12.

Memory Lane II

December 14 was the four-year anniversary of starting this blog. It doesn’t seem possible that it has been that long! Four years and48 blog posts later, I love seeing my history and God’s love and grace memorialized in these blogs.

Last year in December, I wrote a blog highlighting some of my favorite blogs over the years. This year I’ve added the ones that I loved from 2018! Enjoy the journey down memory lane and may your Christmas be filled with His presence and joy!

Brokenness January 2015

Being Known February 2015

The Beauty of Change May 2015

A Change in Prayer July 2015

Sharing is Caring October 2015

Unloveable January 2016

The Elephant in the Room February 2016

Run Wild March 2016

Feminine June 2016

Not all those Who Wander are Lost July 2016

Sometimes We Walk the Road Twice August 2016

Right Turn…New Season October 2016

Altar of Sacrifice February 2017

Greatest Joy April 2017

Heart of Stone June 2017

Time and Promises – January 2018

$1.35 – February 2018

Running Towards the Unknown – March 2018

Plan O……BU – July 2018

A Piece of Broken Pottery – August 2018

My Dad – October 2018 (I saved the best for last :))