Sunday, January 13, 2013

placing our strength

When I first got married, I was still going to school full time. One morning, as I woke up and prayed for strength to get through my day, I realized I wasn't counting on Jesus to be my strength. I was counting on caffeine. I gave up coffee for a while. I have gone back and forth since then. However, after the birth of my second child, I've been an avid coffee drinker. When I found out I was pregnant in September, I worked to ween myself off again, only to go back to work full time and pick up the habit, yet again.
One morning, after my 2nd cup, I felt my blood pressure go up. I worked the rest of the day to drink water to try and get it out of my system, but by the time I went to bed; my legs were swollen up to my knees. I have up coffee and caffeine that day - cold turkey.  I have had a few glasses of pop or cups of coffee to ward off migraines and crankiness, but I'm down to a cup/glass for each week. It's pretty much just a reward for making it through the week.
For the most part, it has been a battle of will and taste more than anything. I really, really like Coke-a-Cola over Sprite and Sierra Mist. But in the back of my mind, I remembered those days when I was so convicted. If God was my strength, how could I rely so heavily on something else to get through my day?
God told Paul in 2 Corinthians "'My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness'" (12:19). He gives me each breath. He's given me the power to make it through each day.
Am I tired? Yes. Do I feel like I need coffee at 9:00 in the morning after I've been awake for 4 hours and was up 7 times (at least) putting kids back to bed or going to the bathroom? Yes. Are there days when I feel like this baby - Jackson - growing inside of me is sucking all of my energy? YES! However, I need to lean on Jesus. I need to trust his strength. He will sustain me. He will reward teh sacrifices I have made.
There are days when my husband and I pray for fast sleep. Fast sleep is when you get 6 hours worth of sleep in the 3 hours that you actually have to sleep. The thing is, God gives it to us because we depend on him for it. When we trust him to strengthen out minds and bodies, he does. His power is made perfect through us, when we are weak.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Reprioritizing ...

Sorry for the delay in posts. Hopefully, this post will explain things...

Since I have made the switch from teaching high school to teaching junior high, I have learned quickly that we need to layout priorities for students and often explain to students what their priorities are - whether they want it or not. God has been doing this very thing for me. While I tell my students things like, "If you want to act like elementary kids, then I'll treat you like elementary kids;" My poor God is looking at me and saying, "If you want to act like a junior high student, then I'll treat you like one."
I am a workaholic. The more I have to do, the more I feel like I get gone. I've been wanting to go back to school for a few months now. While everyone screams that I'm crazy - I've signed up for classes to get my certificate to preach. I'm trying to build my own business. I work full time, help my husband in ministry, have two kids, and I'm pregnant. I feel like I'm doing great, but I put a lot of things - important things - aside so that I can get other things done.
God is after me to listen to him and learn. When we first moved to Parma, I spent a lot of time with just my kids in our tiny apartment. I prayed a lot, talked to God a lot, asked for answers a lot. Now I just feel like I'm plodding along because I don't have time to ask him questions, let a lone wait for answers. I haven't blogged because I haven't asked him what I should write and when he does give me something, "I don't have time" to write it down.
Then I read Matthew 14. This chapter starts with the beheading of John the Baptist. Verse 13 says, "When Jesus heard what had happened, he withdrew by boat privately to a solitary place. Hearing of this, the crowds followed him ...". Jesus wanted to be alone, to rest, to pray, to mourn, to whatever. He didn't have time. However, the crowds followed him and he taught them anyway. He pushed through it and did it. He had a great excuse to just sit, but he taught - THEN he fed 5,000 people with 5 loaves of bread and 2 fish. THEN, he sent everyone away, went to pray, and walked on water!
We see Jesus go from a state of mourning with the desire to be alone to performing 2 amazing miracles. There goes my opportunity to make excuses.
I want what God wants, but I have to do it in his time and in his order. What wre we missing when we don't have time? When we are too tired? Or too busy? Or too sad? Or too _____? We may be missing our opportunities to be a part of  our greatest miracles. I don't want to miss out on the chance to be a witness to any of God's miracles, or be used as a conduit for God to create a miracle. No matter my excuse, I want to be ready to be used by Him!

Monday, October 29, 2012

Though he slay me ...

I really don't want this blog to be a lot of posts where I whine about my life. I hope that it never seems like that. There are a lot of things that God has brought me to and is bringing me through that I am learning from, it's just stretching and a process. Honestly, I'm not a huge fan of stretching.
We are currently in a 90 days Bible class where we read through the entire Bible in 90 days. Last week was Job. I've always thought, "Well, at least I'm not Job." So many times though, we are just that. We might not physically lose all that Job did, but there are times when God allows us to be tested so that our faith can grow.
Today I went to the doctor. My appointment was great; the baby is doing well. However, I just found out that I am going to have to switch doctors because of some insurance stuff. It will be a blessing financially to us, but it's a pain. I'm so blessed to be in Parma living out God's plan, but living in an apartment is a huge pain. So many things have come to us that are blessing us, but they have brought their own trials and tests and hardships. It's hard to not focus on the difficult.
Then we look at Job. God continually spoke this verse to me this afternoon: "Though he slay me, yet will I hope in him" (Job 13:15). I know he'll work it out. I know that our finances will be okay. God has been so faithful to us and has taught us through our faithfulness to him. He has given us a great deal and has brought us here. I know that he didn't bring us here to "slay" us. However, my hope is in him because he gives me joy and peace.
What if God has said, "Look at them, Satan, there is no one on earth like them. They are blameless and upright." I want to live up to Job's description. Job was blessed in the end and his life ended greater than it began. That is my hope!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

My heart's desire

So, It's been almost 3 months since I have posted here. To be honest, I've been frustrated with life, God, you name it. I didn't want to blog because I felt like I wasn't hearing from him or that he was even talking to me.
My last blog started with me telling you that I don't like change... Here are the things that I have changed:
1. I'm pregnant and expecting our 3rd baby on April 29.
2. We have put an offer on the first house that we originally wanted 5 months ago... the one I originally blogged about us NOT getting
3. I started working in the church office.
4. I coached junior high volleyball.
5. Last week, I left my job in the church office so that I could start this week teaching 7th grade.

I learned quickly after school started that I missed teaching more than I ever thought that I would. I found myself praying for God to remove the desire to teach from my heart. I knew that he had asked me to step away from teaching and step away from a job and students that I loved! I just didn't understand why.
I was hired because the 7th grade teacher was able to get another job that God is going to use to bless her family. Her life verse is Psalm 37:4 "Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will grant you the desires of your heart." Because she has been faithful, I am living out her life verse.
God taught me to do everything that I did to the best of my ability - whether it was making coffee or folding 230 church bulletins. I only ever wanted to do what he wanted me to.
He told me that he would be faithful, and he has been! I'm back in the classroom - I'm teaching history, science, and Bible. In the last 4 days I have felt more fulfilled shadowing than I have in a long time. Bloomfield was an amazing school and experience for me. I loved everything about it and almost every moment of it. However, God's will for me was to move here and be in this place. I'm seeing his hand move and his plan unfold before my eyes.
He has granted me the desires of my heart. I'm not only teaching, but I'm teaching next door to my husband! We work in the same department. I'm working in a school, that is in a church that has embraced my family and I more than we could imagine!
There are things that haven't worked as much as I thought they would - I'm still in an apartment. But I have seen God grant me so many of my desires, I can't wait to see what's next!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

dealing with new

I think I've said this before... I hate new! I don't like to change. I like to have a routine - I thrive in routine. I like to eat the same things at restaurants. I just like it. We moved to Parma on July 30 and nothing has been routine since (hence the 11 days in between blogs).
I am a person that yearns to have things the same all the time. I like getting up at the same time and having a schedule.
This month has been crazy. Ben is sick. I started work. Volleyball has begun. I was so excited for this week because my work schedule would be consistent, school would be consistent, and until the end of October; volleyball would be consistent.
Well, first of all we had Monday off - a change. Tuesday worked. Wednesday, Ben's sick! I had to cancel a dr's appointment (at a NEW dr). Thursday, I had to call off work - my second day - and find a NEW pediatrician. Who knows what tomorrow will bring! Not to mention, on Wednesday I was craving the routine that will settle in next week and all of it changed too!
God gave me this verse today on the way home from the doctors. Isaiah 43:19 says, "See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland." And then, I'm sure he did this just to be funny, he also said, "No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him." (I Corinthians 2:9).
I know he's doing a new thing in me - he's completely changed my life! Sometimes I tell him, "I can't handle anymore new! Could something please remain the same?!?!" But how can he make away in the wilderness if we are doing things the way we always did them? How can he lay streams in the wasteland if he doesn't put us in the wasteland (although I'm not gonna lie - I DO NOT like the wasteland)? How will we find the new or what he has for us if we don't follow him?
My question to God today is how do I do it? How do I work in all of this new? How do I let go of my routines and let him change them when what I really, really want is stability? I guess he's trying to teach me all of that...

Saturday, August 25, 2012


I don't have much inspiration today. I'm a little overwhelmed.
The house that I blogged about a week ago was inspected last night. There are some major things wrong - some deal breaker things.
The seller has told us that he would fix what needed done, but I'm not sure he knew how much needed fixed - like the furnace and the electric!
I'm asking simply for prayer today. We will get the report today and have to decide what to ask. Then if the seller doesn't want to fix those things, we will have to pull out of the deal.
I know that God has a plan for us. I know that he will hold us up and sustain us. I know that he has a place for us.
We just need the path to be laid out.
Thank you in advance!

Thursday, August 23, 2012


I am a planner. I like to plan everything - my day, my week, my meals, my year, my husband's year... You name it and I'll find a spot for it on the calendar and start the to-do list. God just spoke to me about this!
My husband and I have been married for 9 years and our son is going to be 5 in November. I have never had the chance to be a year-round stay-at-home mom. I was always home in the summer time, but when school started I logged lots of hours! In that 5 years, we had another baby, my husband worked at a part time ministry position, and we both got masters' degrees. My necessity I had to plan things out.
Now, I'm a stay-at-home mom. It's about to only be part time, but for 2 and a half days a week, I will be home with Hadley. I realize how quickly those hours can fill. I have volunteered to coach our school's volleyball team. I also will be helping with my son's class a couple days a week. All of a sudden, we aren't home so much.
So today, I started to plan. I started filling out my calendar, planning "hard to cook" meals on days I don't have games, figuring out when my son will want hot lunch at school... It all started spinning in my head. Then God reminded me of Matthew 6.Verse 34 says, "Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own." 
I spend so much time worrying about what's going to happen tomorrow and how to plan for tomorrow, that I miss out on events today. If I spend this evening, planning for tomorrow so that I can have time with my kids tomorrow; then I won't have time with them today! Chances are that I will spend tomorrow planning for the next day and miss out on time then. 
The challenge that I have given to myself is to relax and worry less about the future. I know it is sensible to plan ahead, but not at the expense of the plans today.