Wednesday, June 7, 2017

The Aerial View

Have you ever played that game where you're shown a close-up of an image and you have to try to guess what it is then you see the full image and it's usually totally different then what you guessed it to be? Yeah well, this is how I find our walk with Christ to often turn out. God puts us in a up-close and personal situation where it is difficult to see the bigger picture. This is one of the most basic messages but it is true. This is a struggle we have all faced in life. Here are a few questions that come to my mind when I think of these "situations"... How can we trust God when we can't see what He is doing? What is God doing? How do I go on?

It can be difficult to be in a situation where there seems to be no way out. It can be heartbreaking to be in a situation where you simply don't understand what God is trying to do. It can be frustrating to be in a situation where it seems that more harm than good is coming your way and it's all at the hands of God. None of these situations or scenarios are good, but we don't have to go through them alone. This brings me to my first point: You are not alone in this. "So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand." Isaiah 41:10. It can be frightening to be in a situation and feel so alone, but isn't it awesome that even when we feel alone, we really aren't? God is with us in every situation good or bad. We never have to go through anything alone. My second point is God is in control. "Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own." Matthew 6:34. There was a time in my life where I didn't understand what God was doing and I didn't want to understand. It was heartbreaking and no matter what I tried to do I couldn't gain control of my feelings or the changes happening around me. I kept worrying about tomorrow, and the day after that, and the day after that. I kept worrying about me instead of trusting the process God was taking me through. I had to come to a realization that God was moving with me or without me and it was my decision to follow His plan or not. There is something incredible that happens when you completely give God control even when you do not understand. It gives you so much strength and with that strength you can tackle any situation you are placed in. So do not worry when you don't understand the situation because when God finally reveals the full image you will be glad you trusted Him. Our life is like a giant puzzle, and we only see the individual puzzle pieces when they are placed in front of us, but God sees the entire puzzle just waiting to complete it. Do not get hung up on your one puzzle piece that you miss out on the others. Whats that saying, when one door closes another door opens? Or how about my story isn't finished yet? You are not in complete control of your life and while that may seem scary find comfort in the fact that God is in complete control.

I recently went on a trip to visit family in Illinois. While flying up there I was completely captured by God's creation. I couldn't stop looking out the window and taking pictures. Then I thought to myself, "Wow, this is what God sees." We walk this same earth every day but yet it looks so different from up here. Do you get where I am going? This is the bigger picture that God sees. You see a mess, but God sees a masterpiece. You see a loss, but God sees a victory. Man, I am so blown away by God. 

Whenever you get discouraged by your puzzle pieces, and your situations, remember who holds the world in His hands. 

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

God > Your Circumstances

"You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives." Genesis 50:20 NIV

"Joseph replied, Don't be afraid. Do I act for God? Don't you see, you planned evil against me but God used those same plans for my good, as you see all around you right now --- life for many people. Easy now, you have nothing to fear. I'll take care of you and your children." Genesis 50:20 MSG

Can I just brag on God's love for a second? His love is impeccable, absolutely breathtaking. I cannot help but be eternally grateful for a love that never fails, and never forsakes me. God's love that hears all prayers, gives strengths, directs paths, calms spirits, forgives souls, comforts the weak, provides, protects, gives an abundance of grace, and so on and so on. God's love is steadfast. His love lasts forever. Wow, God's love is amazing!

How do you face diversity? How do you handle attacks? There are many circumstances we face that take us by surprise. Out of the blue we become overwhelmed by our circumstances. Some circumstances we face make us feel like we simply cannot catch a break. Have you ever felt like you were being hit from all sides? Have you ever been suspicious of things being "too good" and just waiting for the punchline? Unfortunately, these circumstances always seem to be reoccurring. Just as God is working, the Devil is too, and he is working overtime. That's the punchline. The Devil would like nothing more than to see your circumstances get the best of you. He would love nothing more than to see you struggle over and over again, or for you to be caught completely off guard just as you thought everything was going well. It can be overwhelming and you may feel like a ticking time bomb, but let's go back to the most important part. God is working. Isn't it incredible how mighty and powerful our God is? I love this verse (Genesis 50:20) because it reminds me of just how powerful God is. Who else could turn evil into good? The Lord is our Shepherd. He guides and He protects us from all harm because we are His children. Let that sink in for a second.. your struggle, even your greatest pain can be turned around for YOUR good. The Devil is doing everything he can while God is sitting back saying, "Relax, I got this." Don't be discouraged when it seems everyone and everything is out to get you, instead rest in the assurance of God's love. Only God's love will save you from your circumstances.

"Your circumstances don't define God's character." - Kathe Wunnenberg

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

The Power of Time

You know what will never cease to amaze me? Time.
It's always said how time passes you by, how everything changes in time, and how you should never take it for granted. I hate how we really do take it for granted but in some ways we can't really help it. We live our life, and we go by our routines. We do what we have to do and don't even think about all the time that is passing by. It finally dawns on us during a graduation, a wedding, a birth, a death, or an accident. All of sudden, we stop and pause and think "wow so much has changed". So much can change in a year.. this is true. It's also true that so much can change in a split second. There's something so magical and tragic about time. We're running out of it and that's tragic. We're living in it and that's magical. Can you believe all that God can do in one blink of an eye? Yet we still ask if He is doing anything for us at all. What can we do in the blink of an eye? Nothing compares to what God can do. He does so much for us in a split second and sometimes it is hard for us to even take a second to thank Him. Time is always passing us by so take a second and think about everything God has done for you. Think about every setback, every comeback, every healing, every miracle. God is faithful and His timing is faithful. I am forever in awe of my amazing Father.

My prayer is to always acknowledge the power of time, to always cherish every moment that passes, and to always thank God for His blessings.

"But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day." 2 Peter 3:8

"Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth. Worship the Lord with gladness; come before Him with joyful songs. Know that the Lord is God. It is He who made us, and we are His; we are His people, the sheep of His pasture." Psalm 100:1-3

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Pursuing the Fire

Imagine you're in a desert, where there is no rain, no sunshine, and not even a breeze. You're standing in the middle and all is still, simply calm. There is nothing happening in the desert and it feels like you are so alone. We would all be lying if we said we never faced a dry season in our walk with Christ. A season where it feels like there is no rain, no shine, and no breeze. A season where it feels like there is no way out of the stillness.

Ezekiel 37: 5-6; "This is what the Sovereign Lord says to these bones: I will make breath enter you, and you will come to life. I will attach tendons to you and make flesh come upon you and cover you with skin; I will put breath in you, and you will come to life. Then you will know that I am the Lord."

Whenever you are in a valley of dry bones, a season of silence, you long for something. A drop of water, or a taste of a blessing, or the comfort from your Father; anything to make you feel again. So, I had a thought. What if we used that one drop of water as gasoline to fuel our fire? What if we focused on one thing to push us to pursue the fire within? I think so many times when we go through these dry seasons we want a flood. We want action and we want this flood of feeling to come back into our bodies, but what if it is just one thing we need? Maybe God prepares us for the flood by sending us through the desert. Maybe there is just one thing we need to find before we dive into the flood. Find your fuel, whether it is reading, writing, singing, or taking out the trash. Find that one thing that makes it all worth it to you. God is amazing, and He himself is what makes this walk all worth it, but what is that one thing that sets you on fire? Let God send you one drop in your desert storm and let that one drop fuel your fire. The best thing to do when you feel alone, and so far away from God is to pursue Him more than you ever have before. Pursue your fire and watch God send the flood.

Hosea 6:3; "Let us know, Let us pursue the knowledge of the Lord, His going forth is established as the morning, He will come like the rain, like the latter and former rain to the earth."

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Unexpected Blessings

It's no secret that we constantly go through different seasons in life. Time is always moving, and it seems as our situations are always different. One day you're a freshman preparing for the next four dreaded years of schooling and high school drama, then before you know it you're getting close to finish the line, and preparing for your final year. Wait, maybe that's just me.. but whatever your circumstances are I'm sure you've come to the same realization I have. Time doesn't slow down for anyone and the things you face in that amount of time that has flown by is simply mind blowing. 

I am no stranger to road trips. I have taken family road trips all of my life and they are very dear memories. These road trips are a wonderful experience and they make for really good conversation. While on a recent road trip I was talking with my parents about how far our family has come. Four years ago, I would have never imagined that my dad would pass away. Two years ago, I would have never imagined that my mom would get remarried. What I thought was the worst possible thing to happen to me has become one of the best parts of my life. Taking two families and turning them into one is not an easy process. We've had our struggles but to think about how far we all have come is such an amazing thought. 

Growing up with a sister is so different than having brothers. I never wanted brothers or any other siblings then the one I had. It could be that my sister is just so wonderful (which she is) or the fact that I wanted to be the baby and threatened my mom and dad that I would run away if anything other then that happened. Anyway, I never imagined having brothers let alone having three. At first the news of our family merging was hard to hear but now my step dad, my brothers, and my sister-in-law are some of the closest and best relationships I have. I loved my little family then, and I love my big family now. It's amazing how God works things out. 

My life is proof that things don't always turn out how you want them to. Certainly, things have taken place where I thought there was no good possible out come but here I am almost 3 years later and completely content with how God turned things around. It's hard to understand His plan, most days I still find myself questioning it, but even with that I trust His will. Time is flying by and I'm holding on for dear life. I'm praying the Lord prepares me for whatever crazy changes come my way, and that He will always help me to see the bright side. 

Saturday, January 21, 2017


At the beginning of the year most people make New Year resolutions, you know things they swear to do or to work on but it never really happens. While others choose one word to focus on throughout the year. Personally, I like that better. It doesn't demand attention or a strong commitment. You don't have to swear you're going to change or that this one thing is going to happen, but it's an idea and an encouragement to yourself. Here's what you need to focus on this year.. that seems simple enough, right?

At the beginning of the year I didn't have a word. It wasn't that I couldn't think of one but the exact opposite problem. I thought of too many, there is so many words I can relate to. There's so many things I personally need to work on and grow on, so it was hard for me to pick just one to really focus on. So here we are a few weeks in and I have finally picked a word.

Define. You may ask, define what? What does that mean? This year I want to focus on defining myself. I am not perfect, I do make mistakes, I do let God down, I do let myself down, and I do let others down. But one thing I truly need to learn is that my mistakes don't define me. I am not going to let my past direct my future. I am not going to let my mistakes define who I am. What is important to me is that I define myself and who I am in Christ then let God deal with the rest. This year is about letting God have his way, and giving him complete control over my life. This year is about finally seeing who I am in this world, God's Kingdom. I can't wait to see what the rest of this year has in store.

Monday, November 7, 2016

Switching Roles

What is a father? A father is someone who supports you, guides you, and molds you. A father is someone who protects you, teaches you, and loves you. A father is someone who is concerned about you, willing to sacrifice for you, and who is proud of you. A father is someone who is meant to discern, forgive, and provide. A father is a friend, a body guard, and a giant teddy bear. In your father's arms you feel protected, loved, and cared for. There is no other feeling in the world like the feeling of being held in your father's arms. Asking this question about the meaning of a father leads me to ask the question..what is a child? Rather, what does it mean to be a child, a child of a father?

A child has no age limit. We are all children to our Heavenly Father, and to our earthly parents. We will always be our parent's children. But what does it mean to be a child? No, the answer isn't wearing diapers and playing with toys for the rest of our lives. Being a child is far more than that. A child is someone who is teachable, willing to learn, and curious about new ways, old ways, any way. A child is strong in hard times, happy in good times, and loving when there is no love to be found anywhere else. A child is a gift, a gift from God, meant to be loved and show love. A child is a miracle to a parent, to a grandparent, to a sibling, and to this world. A child is a connection and a relationship. A connection between the parents, between the parents and God, and between the parents and himself. A relationship is formed between a parent and a child. This relationship is an incredible bond to never be broken or harmed.

In this relationship you share many things. Maybe some jokes, memories, advice, but most importantly unconditional love. The relationship I want to talk about isn't a general relationship between a father and a child, but between a father and a daughter. Not just any father and daughter, but my dad and me. My relationship with my dad will always be one of the most important things to me. The Lord blessed me with such an amazing, inspiring man to call my dad. There are not enough words in the English dictionary to describe how lucky I am to have this man as my dad. My dad is a lot to me, he is my hero, my inspiration, my motivation, my rock, my best friend, but overall my dad is the reason I hold on. He set such an example for me that my main goal is to make him proud, no matter what. I aspire to live a life like my dad did, but not because he was perfect. The opposite actually, because he wasn't perfect but he found a way that worked for him. Boy, did it work for him. I aspire to leave this world with a great impact on it just as my dad did. I do not have these crazy aspirations because of a false image of my father but because of a relationship I developed with him as a little girl, and because of the relationship I saw my father have with the Lord. The relationship between a parent and a child is responsible for changing the world someday. I am fully confident that my relationship with my dad will change the world someday, and that makes me really proud.

You may be wondering about the title of this blog, and how what you have read so far has anything to do with it so I'll let you in. A parent is proud of their child, even down to the simplest things. A parent will always see the best in their child, and believe in them. I am thankful for those type of parents, and God truly blessed me with a mom and dad who are always proud of me. Since my dad has passed I feel as if I have switched roles with him. I feel as if I know what it feels like to be proud of a child because of how proud I am of my dad, and the life he lived. My dad is the ultimate standard in my life. In my eyes there is no one greater, and no one who can compare to my father. I can only imagine that is how a parent must feel about their own child. My love and appreciation grows more each day that my dad is not here with me. I see my dad in such a different light, not only as just my dad, but who he was as a person. Both of which are truly amazing, and a true blessing from God. With all of that being said I believe now that not only are children a gift from God, but a parent is too. A relationship with that parent is a miracle. Everyday I am thankful for my miracle, my relationship with my dad that I will be able to hold on to forever.

Dad, I got a glimpse of you when I looked in the mirror. What I was seeing wasn't me, but an image of you. For that I am honored, not just to look like you but to share so many qualities with you. You are everything I hope to be, and what I will spend my whole life trying to accomplish. In my own way, of course, I wish to live a life like yours just as God has called me to do. Thank you for providing for me, loving me, protecting me, teaching me, and inspiring me. Thank you for being my hero, and my guardian angel. I miss you, and love you more than life itself.