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Archive for February, 2009

Isn’t it great how God does little things to make our hearts smile? It might be something special like a sunset, or a seashore filled with starfish…or maybe the right song comes on at the right time, or something happens that’s really exciting. God does these things far more often than we notice them. A few weeks ago I was stressed and asked God to put an encouraging song on the radio for me. I turned on the radio and “Believe Me Now, I am With You” was playing. That song, I am convinced, was just for me. Then I switched to the 80’s station and “Safety Dance” was playing. Now you have to understand, that song is a lot of fun, and I’d had it stuck in my head for days, but hadn’t heard it on the radio lately. It made me smile.

Today was also one of those days where God whispered his love for me, in a small way that made me happy. After church a large group of us went out to eat, as we often do. I took my brother with me, and we followed my friend to the restaurant. (I wasn’t entirely sure how to get there.) The only problem…the directions my friend was given weren’t quite right, so…we ended up in Tarpon Springs. lol. It was a major detour, but it was also a lot of fun. Waving at each other in traffic, trying to keep up with him driving around, listening to my brother sing silly songs, and the two of us rockin out to the Christian music on my mp3 player. It was pretty fun. (And I was giggling about the fact that we got lost for about 15 minutes. lol.)

When we finally made it to the restaurant, most everyone had eaten already. We were seated nearby, but slightly secluded. We didn’t get to talk to the others all that much, but we still had fun. The blessing in all this was that God allowed me to spend time with two people who I really would like to spend more time with: my brother (who I don’t see a lot of), and a really awesome guy friend who I want to get to know better. Someone else may have been upset about getting lost, but to me it was kind of a blessing, in a way. Because we were late we were able to sit together and somewhat separately, and we were also there after everyone left. And it was just a lot of fun hanging out and being silly, just the three of us.

You see, God knows our hearts, and he knows what we need and how to bless our hearts in ways that will truly encourage us. God knows us intimately, he formed us in his mind before we were formed physically on this Earth. He knows the hairs on our head, the number of our days, and gave us our unique fingerprints…he knows what we like, what we dislike, when we hurt, and when we praise. He knows even when a simple sparrow falls from the sky. Do you think he doesn’t know your heart? He knows the things that bring you joy, and wants to bless us and make our hearts happy. Sometimes, unfortunately, we get caught up in the big things and miss the simple things that God sends our way to bless us. I know I don’t always see it, but we need to look, and listen, and once again we will hear him whisper to our hearts, “You are very special to me, I love you, and I always will.”

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Lioness.

Psalms 138:3 “When I called, you answered me;
you made me bold and stouthearted.”

I think that I have reached a time in my life when I am growing and changing, re-evaluating myself and my thoughts, and redefining how I think and feel about a few things. It may seem that I think a lot about certain things, and that is true, but I think a lot about everything. It’s partially how I am made, and it’s also that I am a thinker and a talker, and a writer. Some of the things that have been going on in my head as of late I’ve just begun to realize, and can barely articulate.

I’ve noticed lately that God has given me a new boldness in my talking to others. I am no longer so afraid of being made fun of for my beliefs, I’m not worried about offending anyone (though I’m not always intentionally trying to offend people. Truth is offensive, and if Christ is in it, then all the more so.) It might be something that I’ve been doing differently, studying and reading or something. Or it could be the people I’ve been hanging around. I am so thankful for all the wonderful Christian friends God has placed in my life recently, they are all the ones I can count on to truly be there for me and encourage me toward Godliness. Thank you friends!

Recently I’ve been finding myself saying things and being amazed at what I’m saying; witnessing to people I don’t really know, admonishing friends who are straying, etc. I’m feeling the boldness of a lioness at times, or so it seems. It’s amazing. I don’t know what God is doing exactly, but when I figure it out, I’ll let you know.

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What to say? I’ve been thinking so much lately that my head might just explode. (And for a woman to be thinking too many things…that’s saying something…) To start, I have been reading lately about relationships and spiritual topics. I recently finished “For Men Only” and “For Women Only”, while I am working on “Boy Meets Girl” (Josh Harris’ sequel to “I Kissed Dating Goodbye”), “The Late Great Planet Earth” and “Evidence that Demands a Verdict.” To name a few of my more recent book choices. Through reading and discussing these books I’ve learned a lot about men, myself, and what I’d like out of a relationship. As most of my friends know, this is a topic that I take very seriously. I am so serious about it because I want to do things right the first time, have an intentional relationship, rather than a haphazard emotional affair.

I am not looking for a boyfriend. I’ve never had one, and I’m ok with that. I am, however, waiting for a husband. Let me explain. I want a man who is willing to pursue courtship. What’s courtship, you ask? Courtship is a purposeful friendship, designed to get to know someone to determine whether marriage is an option. It’s not dating renamed, but dating redefined. It’s a time for two people to seek God together, refrain from building unnecessary physical attachment, and get to know and fall in love with the character of that person. My husband will be a man of impeccable moral character, a man who I can look at and think, “this is a man I could follow” rather than, “I think this is someone I want.” Guys have expressed interest in me previously, but never EVER has a man approached me and expressed a desire to court me, to draw closer to me and to God, while attempting to discover whether marriage is an option for us.

What defines a successful courtship? When two people can discover the answer to that question and still remain close friends, whatever the outcome. I’ve always wanted someone I could be open and honest with, someone I could study the Bible with and seek God’s will with through Christian counsel; someone I could get to know on a daily basis and build a strong friendship with first and foremost. Someone who I could have simple and honest “questioning sessions” with to help us know each other better (thoughts, ideals, dreams, etc.), someone I could spend time with, and who would read with me about what we should do during this time. Someone who would be willing to take initiative, take time to get to know me, pursue me, and prayerfully seek guidance about the possibility of marriage. I want a man who will truly be my best friend, and is willing to seek that before a romantic relationship.

That said, I do not want to make an idol of marriage. I don’t think I have done so yet, but the potential is always there. I think it was Calvin who said that the sin wasn’t in wanting something, but in wanting to too much. I truly want to get married, but I need to make sure my motives are pure, and that I’m not wanting marriage too much. Both my potential husband and I will need to make sure that what we are doing is aligned with God’s will, and is also what’s best for the other person. Is this something I am seeking for self-gratification or an anxious desire that is not altogether healthy? Or is this a part of my life that I want to use to bring glory to God? I do not want to elevate the relationship, or the person, into god-like status. Everything has it’s place, and that place is not God’s.

We have a tendency, as humans, to be uncomfortable in the places of “not knowing”. We do not want to be weak and dependent upon anyone, but the fact is, we are weak and we need to be dependent upon God for our strength, comfort, and guidance. We think we’ll be more relaxed if we know the “when,” “who,” and “how,” of our future relationship, but we must trust God with that. Realize also that God will show us the answers to these questions in due time, and not only just in spiritual ways, but also in practical ways. I was impatient before, when I loved someone, and I realize that it was wrong. He wasn’t what I needed, but my too-strong and too-soon feelings for him clouded my judgment. We were friends, but not at the level we should have been before contemplating a relationship, and we discussed marriage at times, but not in the ways we should have. God was NOT the center of that relationship, and I repent of that. I thank you Lord for taking that away from me, though it hurt me a lot. I know you will use that past to teach me and help me become the person you want me to be.

In closing, I will try to truly be content with where I am now. I will still be thinking and praying about this issue, I can’t really stop thinking about it, and will continue to try and prepare myself for my husband. I must trust God to provide answers to the questions of “when,” “how,” and “who.” I don’t know who. I don’t even really have much of an idea of who I want him to be. I have someone I’m interested in, but I won’t know whether that’s of God unless we both prayerfully consider it together, so I’m going to try and leave him alone, leave the developing of a friendship up to him, if he feels God leading him to it. I don’t know when. But I do know that when will be at a time when I am completely focused on God and truly at peace with being His and His alone. I don’t know how. I do want God to show him to me, and guide him to me, but how that happens is unknown to me. I do know one thing though…the who is God, the when is now, and the how is through prayer and supplication. I pray that I may be at peace about this whole subject (though it is hard at times, especially for women, and especially for me) and that I will desire God with my whole heart before he sends me that special someone. There is so much more on my mind that I could write, but I will leave you with this verse once again:

“Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.”

Philippians 4:4-9

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This weekend has been pretty icky. As I was getting stressed in my car I asked God to put a special song on the radio to encourage me, and I turned it on and this is what was playing.

Believe Me Now
by Steven Curtis Chapman

I watch you looking out across the raging water
So sure your only hope lies on the other side
You hear the enemy that’s closing in around you
And I know that you don’t have the strength to fight
But do you have the faith to stand and…

Believe Me now
Believe Me here
Remember all the times I’ve told you loud and clear
I am with you and I am for you
So believe Me now
Believe Me now

I am the One who waved my hand and split the ocean
I am the One who spoke the words and raised the dead
And I’ve loved you long before I set the world in motion
I know all the fears you’re feeling now
But do you remember who I am?
Do you..

Believe Me now
Believe Me here
Remember all the times I’ve told you loud and clear
I am with you
And I am for you

So believe Me now
Believe it’s true
I never have, I never will abandon you
And the God that I have always been
I will forever be
So believe Me now

I am the God who never wastes a single hurt that you endure
My words are true, and all My promises are sure
So believe Me now
Oh, believe Me now

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