Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Forgetful Israelite

     Let me start this blog by telling all my 6 followers that.....I AM PREGNANT!!!!!! HOORAY!!!! The wait is over and I could not be more thankful. With that said, my prayer lately has me not be a forgetful Israelite.
     I did BSF this year, which stands for Bible Study Fellowship, and it was amazing. We studied Isaiah and it was oh so good! One big thing that stood out in Isaiah was how quick the Israelites were to forget the Lords faithfulness. I found myself getting frustrated with them because I wondered how God could do such a big miracle and then, what seemed like seconds later, the Israelites were complaining and turning to idols.
    I have been praying for a baby for a year. If you read my past blogs you can experience some of what that season was like for me. I am so incredibly thankful for that season and would not trade it for anything, but the Lord has given me a baby now for which I am SO SO excited! But even though I just found out I was pregnant, I find myself becoming a forgetful Israelite.  I was excited for a whole day before my little panic started to settle in. How are we going to support a child? How are we going to afford a house? Can we even get a house in time? What if we can't? Stop. I hear it resonate in my spirit. Just stop.
     How did I get here? Just the other day I was jumping up for joy because the Lord had showed himself FAITHFUL. How had I forgotten his faithfulness?  Forgetful Israelite, remember. Remember his faithfulness. Remember his promises. Remember his way is best....ALWAYS. I am led to the cross because of his patience. I am led to a place of repentance because of his kindness. I am led to the Word that reminds me of his character and his love for his people. It is there I remember....forgetful Israelite.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

A Random Thought for Sunday Night

     I have been married for just over three years now and it is so interesting to me how every year seems to bring a different season to our marriage. The first year was so great, but now that I look was a little awkward! We were just getting to really know eachother. I was living in a lot of fear that year that he was going to realize that he made a mistake or was going to get bored of me. Don't get me wrong, there was so much excitement that surrounded our first year because there were so many things that were new to us, but there were many growing pains that came with that year as well. I mean...lets be honest, for two people that have never lived with the opposite sex...that will always bring some interesting times.
     Our second year was great as well, but about half way through we realized the work that goes into marriage. The first year was pretty easy for us besides fighting over Wheat Thins (yes, we really got in a fight over that). We spent ALL our time together our first year but our second year we entered the world again. We started to take on more and be apart more from eachother with various ministry happenings and what-not. We did not have the luxury anymore of all that time and without that time marriage and communication became a bit harder. We realized that year that it was going to take us being intentional about our time together and making the time we did have quality.
     We are now in our third year and what a joy it has been! I feel like we have found our rhythm and what works for us. We are comfortable and get each other. I am absolutely in love with this man and adore (almost) everything about him! :) We were just talking the other night and I was telling him how thankful I am for this season because he is just my best friend in the whole wide world! There is no one else who gets me like he does, who can call me out on things that no one else would ever even notice. He knows me and loves me all the same. I am so thankful the Lord gave me this man to walk this life with, someone to grow old with, someone to laugh with along the way and someone who can hold me up when things aren't so great. I am so thankful for my best friend!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Not for the Faint of Heart

     I went to a wedding a few nights ago and was so struck by the vows that were said. They were no different than any other wedding vows I have ever heard, but I think for the first time I actually listened to what they were saying. For better or worse, in sickness and health, for richer or poor. These two were declaring, in front of us and God, that they would see each other through whatever laid before them, good or bad. Our culture tells us now that marriage is for better or worse IF the worse does not last too long or as long as you still feel satisfied or in love with your husband/wife. We miss the gravity of what we are declaring and the covenant that we are making to our spouses. A covenant that says I will love, honor and respect my husband no matter what may come. I will love him with a love like Christs' that HATES sin but LOVES the sinner. Christ loves us with an unwavering love and has made a covenant with His people. He says that there is NOTHING that can seperate us from the love of Christ, even though everyday is a struggle for us to love him back. Even though he knew we would sin against him everyday and turn our backs on him, he still came and still loves. Too many times people get caught up in wanting a wedding so bad or fear that they will not meet "the one", that they rush into forever. This thing called marriage is not for the faint of heart. When we say, "I do" we are called to a life of selflessness. A life where I am to respect and follow my husband and a life that my husband is to lay down for me. This is what our vows should be about... an unwavering, constant, steadfast, selfless love. A love that knows no bounds, a love like Christ.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Without My Lord

     Here we are again, another month not pregnant. Bummer. I thought I was getting really good at this whole disappointment thing, but turns out I am not! This month when I found out I was not, there was no crying or long talks, just a sad and longing heart. I was proud of myself for not crying because I don't like struggling with the same thing EVERY month. I did not want to go there again this month, I did not want to cry one more time about this, but turns out, you can't take the cry out of a crier! :)
     I was sitting at our leadership meeting before church and my husband was leading devotions and was talking about the importance of prayer and how we were just going to spend the next 30 minutes in prayer and usually I LOVE that. Yesterday was different. I thought to myself, Why pray? God won't listen. What? Where did that awful thought come from?! Slowly that morning, the Lord revealed to me that in my efforts to not be a bitter and sad person, that is exactly what I was becoming. I have been trying to do this whole thing on my own. Trying to find a place for the disappointment and hurt every month.
     Well, turns out, I am also really prideful! I don't like people to see me hurt and struggle, especially if it is the SAME thing over and over again. I want to master this hurt and let everyone around me know that I have it all together. My goal in this whole process has not been a healthy heart that trusts and is in love with my Lord. My goal has been for others to look at me and say how well I am handling this and how good of a Christian I am! So stupid!
     In the process of all this I have lost sight. Lost sight of my heart, my hurt, my struggles and my God. Lost sight of what He is bringing me through and why this journey at this time. I have taken the reigns and said that I can do it better than the Lord. I can protect my heart better, I protect myself from bitterness better, I can look like a better person without the Lord and all the while I am becoming a bitter, sad and angry person. It amazes me how fast I become such a gross person without the help of my Lord. How thankful I am for his steadfastness and his patience with his children. That when I leave and look to myself for answers he gently guides me back and reveals the truth to me in love.

Proverbs 3:5-6
Trust in the Lord with all you heart and lean not on your own understanding; in ALL you ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

How Deep His Love

     It is amazing to me how fast pride can find its way to my heart. Without constant accountability (and I mean constant) pride takes over so fast. My pastor did a sermon on pride this week and it totally convicted me. I am a prideful being. I live a life most days completely dependent on myself. A life that clearly communicates that I can do it better than the Lord. I become so sure of myself and what I am "gifted" in and forget that He is the giver of those gifts and the giver of anything and everything good in my life. In those moments I am humbled and reminded of my complete and total failure without my Lord.
     But what I have a hard time with is realizing that because I fail without the Lord (and make mistakes) does not mean that I am a failure, but that is a lie I have a hard time shaking sometimes. Because I am not like this, it is hard to believe the truth that God can convict and show me the error of my way and not change His opinion about me. That blows my mind because when someone fails me, I am mad and hurt and it changes my perspective about them. I am blown away by the steadiness of my Saviour's love for His people. Over and over and over again He gives us chances; chances to change, chances to love, chances to be loved and so many times we let His undeserving grace pass us by. I don't want to let it pass me by nor do I want it to fall on a hard heart because I can't get pass the lie that He thinks I am a failure. I will stand firm on the truth that no matter what I may "feel" like, that my Creator is captivated by me, His creation. I will stand firm in the truth that when He corrects and disciplines me, it is out of a deep love and a desire to see me grow more like Him. What a wonderful, passionate, patient, grace-giving God I serve!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Life in my mind this week!

     So this blog has no real significance at all. Just a look into what has been consuming my mind lately. First thing, is since I started blogging and reading others, I have been wondering where do all these perfectly gorgeous, extremely talented women come from?! I love doing crafts and want to get into craft fairs and stuff like that but it seems as though all these women have taken all the cute ideas! I feel completely overwhelmed to think of new things because I am pretty sure there is nothing new under the sun! I have until August to find 5 things to make and make good because that is when my friend and I are doing our first ever craft fair. Which I am super excited about but don't even know where to begin!
     The other thing is, my husband and I put a bid on a short sale townhome in our dream little town. There is a possbility that we won't hear anything for another 10 weeks! This is really gives me too much time on my hands because I can't stop thinking about it! As much as I absolutely LOVE the people we live with, in the basement, I sure am ready to have my own place again and I am sure they would love their basement back! Something you probably don't know about me, is I don't like to spend money. I like nice things but I will almost never pay full price for things. This is great news for my husband! I say that because there is some work that we would like to do if we get the house and lucky for my husband I have already decorated (in my mind) the kitchen and the living room for around 800-1000 dollars. This includes new countertops, painting cabinets, painting walls and new floors for the kitchen. This shows you that either I am REALLY good at doing my research for getting things cheap or the place is really small; which it is a hybrid of both! :)
     So, there it is. The life during a week in my mind! Nothing that is of real importance, but I will keep you all updated when the creative ideas fall into my lap and I become a craft genius....or when and if we get the townhouse...or both! :)

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Perspective Shift

     I feel overwhelmed with all the Lord is teaching me, but a good overwhelmed. I feel like He is just sitting with me and sharing all these truths and I am trying to soak it all up because I know that seasons like this don't last forever. As I have been walking through this season of learning faith and being asked some hard questions, my perspective on my life and life in general has really begun to shift. I have said before in one of my blogs that our perspective is not God's perspective and His ways are not our ways. With that, I really feel like He has been challenging me more and going deeper with me on what that really looks like in my life.
     I have shared before about my struggle with it taking a while to get pregnant and how that has shaken me up a bit. There is so much uncertainty when it comes to having kids, and I guess much of life is that way, but this has been a major area of struggle in my life. And the longer times goes on without getting pregnant the more and more I can feel fear and panic try to grip my heart. The days when hopelessness seems to get the best of me, I find myself asking why the strong desire to have kids and why have I ALWAYS wanted to be a mom if these longings are never going to be fulfilled? While praying through some of these questions this week I was reminded of the story in the Bible of Abraham and Sarah.
     Abraham and Sarah wanted children but they had none and they were past the child-bearing age. God spoke to Abraham in his old age and promised him a son, born from Sarah, and also said that his offspring will be as many as the stars in the sky. As time passed, they began to doubt God's promise. Sarah did not think they would have children so she told Abraham to sleep with her slave, Hagar, and have a child. Abraham did just that and had a son with Hagar named Ishmael. Sarah and Abraham waited for 25 years for God to give them a son and God did what He said He would do and gave them a child. 25 YEARS! Abraham was 100 years old when this happened! He had two sons now. But, didn't God say that his offspring would be as many as the stars in the sky? To anyone looking at Abraham's family, I am sure they thought, surely, God must have lied or forgotten what He promised you. How could this man have many offspring but only have two sons? But from Isaac started the lineage of the Israel nation, hence, making Abraham the father of many.
    So, that is a WAY abbreviated version of a really great story but I had to give some background for this blog to make any sense. This story spoke to me about perspective. There are so many times in our lives when we feel the Lord has spoken something to us or He has given us a desire to do or be something and then we take that and mold it into what we think it should or will look like. I don't think dreaming or making plans with those desires is wrong in any way, but I think the struggle for me is when I make those dreams something that I think has to happen. I assume because God gave me such a huge heart for children that I will have them, and lots of them,  when I think it is the right time.  I lose perspective, and when I lose perspective I close myself off to what the Lord may have in store for me. God told Abraham he would have many offspring and I am sure he may have thought that meant literally, lots of children, but it did not. But Abraham stayed open to the Lord. Things don't always happen they way we want or when we want it to happen, and there is no doubt that it is a painful process sometimes, but our ways are not the Lord's. That has been my challenge, praying for the Lord's perspective in my life, praying that I stay open to all His ways. Knowing that because he gave me a passion for children also means that, that passion can be fulfilled in a thousand different ways and I need to trust that the way He chooses to fulfill it in my life will bring me ultimate satisfaction. My prayer truly is that the Lord's will would be done in my life the way He sees fit, because when I choose my own perspective I close myself to all the glorious ways my Lord wants to fulfill my desires.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Be Anxious About Nothing

Lately I have been feeling so anxious and stressed.
Anxious about the future and anxious about dreams that are yet to happen.
Stressed about money and decisions my husband and I are making, or attempting to make. I can physically feel my anxiety during the day and I let it fester, ignoring it, wishing it away.
We have been going through Phillipians at Church and a couple Sundays ago we talked about Phillipians 4:6-7 which says,
      "Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus".

That is a scripture I have memorized and repeat when I am feeling anxious, but I think I do it to make myself "feel" better, rather than saying it because I believe it as truth. I think the thing that caught my attention when we talked about this at church was the fact that this is not just a mere suggestion or a good thought. Paul did not say this to Chirstians in hopes that we might listen. When he said "do not be anxious about anything", that was a command from God through the mouth of Paul. I think that anxiousness and stress are such "permitable" sins in the Christian world. Doesn't everyone deal with that? Isn't being anxious just a part of living on this earth? For so long I have thought so. When my husband called me out and said I was living in sin because of all my anxiety I was in total disagreement with him. How can I not live with this? It is what I have always known, honestly, since I can remember. I  have not taken that verse as a command, but as a suggestion or a "good thought" of how life could be. But I have too often stopped there in the scripture. I have stopped at where it tells me not to be anxious and have missed the glorious promise written there. I have been so fixated on the part of the scripture that I can "control". If I try hard enough, I can not be anxious, I can trust God, right? Maybe if I am not anxious then good things will happen. Life will start to fall in place because I am doing what God asks me, but that is not so. And I am so thankful that, that is not truth. I am so thankful that God acting in my life does not have anything to do with me doing things "right". What I have learned to love about this verse is the second part.
"...but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will gaurd your heart and mind".
What a promise! I love that all I have to do is present my requests to the Lord, lay my everything at His feet, and His peace will gaurd my heart and mind. What a promise it is to rest in that He does not assure us that he will always give us what we ask for, but He does promise He will give us what we need in that moment; His peace. The peace the truly does transcend ALL of our understanding. When we think we have think we have been given more then we can handle and can't go on, He meets us with His peace. His unending, enduring, unmerited peace.

"The LORD gives strength to his people; the LORD blesses his people with peace."  Psalm 29:11

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Faithfulness Reminded

     Today I was reminded of God's faithfulness.
     It has been a tough season for me lately. If you have read any of my other blogs, you have read the various things that have made this season a hard one. This season is not made up of any extreme hardships or losses but a season of fighting. Fighting for truth. Fighting to find what is good and true. Fighting to know a God that rejoices in me. And fighting to know if I can stand firm on the truth I do know. Asking the Lord somedays if He even sees me and if He really sees me then how in the world can he love this mess of a girl?
     I've been searching for identity. I knew who I was before marriage, but who am I now that I am married, now that I am no longer a teenager and now a wife. Am I just a wife? Am I going to be in my husband's shadow always? What happened to all the gifts I thought the Lord had given me? Did they disappear or did He take them away? Will I ever use them again? So many questions and no answers to calm the fears, just faith. Faith is the confidence in what we hope for and the assurance of what we do not see (Heb.11:1), right? Faith has been my sight. Faith that God sees, hears, and knows the thoughts, heart and actions of this girl. Do you hear and not respond? Do you see and not care? I am asking. I am fighting with the air, are you there?
     Today He fought back. Today He answered. Today He spoke life into a tired heart. He had heard me and had not turned His back to me.
     "My daughter, you are valuable beyond belief. You are set apart. You are worthy. I have called you out of death and into life, wonderful life to show others, to teach others. Rise up. Not in your own strength, but in the strength that is perfected in your weaknesses. The weaknesses I know and love. I have made you in my glorious image and you are fearfully and wonderfully  made. Your ways are not my ways, or your time my time, or you thoughts my thoughts. I see, I hear, I know and I"
     Today I was reminded of God's faithfulness.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Fearfully and Wonderfully Made

      Fearfully and wonderfully made? This is something I have heard my whole life, but have struggled to believe. I have struggled through my life with self-image issues. At times honestly hating myself; hating my personality, my looks, my body, my relationships. These are the lies that have bombarded me and that I continue to fight everyday. It a grueling fight and a true re-wiring of my way of thinking and what I believe about myself and my Lord. Somedays I want lay down in surrender because I am tired; tired of feeling like this and tired of fighting so hard just to "know" my worth. These lies have come from rejection and abadonment that I am sure, one time or another, all of us have felt or been through. It comes from the constant images thrown in my face, telling me what is beautiful and what I need to do to become that and the reality that I will never be that. I compare, it feels like, all day and everyday. It is so silly sometimes...comparing looks, blogs, cooking, marriages, families, careers and the list goes on and one. Trust me, I am never in a shortage of things to be comparing! I was talking to a friend of mine the other day that struggles with this same thing and we were discussing what active things we can do to "re-wire" our minds. How to train our minds to dwell on the things of the Lord and not this world. Now, I know that without the transformation of my mind through the Holy Spirit I will be right back where I started and quickly, but I do believe there are active things I can do to fight back when I begin to feel overwhelmed with those lies. I believe that one of those ways is the Word of God. Fighting those lies with the truth God has spoken over me in scripture. So, my friend gave me a stack of scriptures and a prayer to read through everyday to begin to allow truth to take root in my heart. One of the scriptures that stood out to me was Psalm 139:14 which says,
   "I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
   your works are wonderful,
   I know that full well. "
That is a scripture that I have heard growing up and I am sure I have spoken it over people as encouragement, but I have missed half of the verse all this time. I know the part that says I am fearfully and wonderfully made, but what I missed was the part that says, "your works are wonderful, I know that full well". This was such an "ah-ha" moment for me this week. I am fearfully and wonderfully made, a creation, a work of the Lord, and His works are wonderful. I have read this scripture over and over and said it half -heartedly so many times to make my self feel "better"; to put a band-aid over the gaping wound of hurt and insecurity that is there. I have made this a quick fix, a pat-on-the-back, instead of a truth that I know "full well". I have put down time and time again what the Lord has called wonderful. I have told the creator that His creation is ugly. I have let the world convince me that my Lord got it all wrong with me. But I have been missing something. A vital part to living a life fully in the love of my Lord. The truth that my God makes no mistakes. The wonderful truth is that I am, right now and always have been, the perfect me He had in mind since the beginning of time; fearfully and wonderfully made!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

For lessons learned in how to trust in You

    Here I am again. Month after month struggling with the same thing, but being taught something new every month. It seems as though every month of disappointment God brings a new challenge, or a new part of His character I have yet to unfold. If I allow myself to get swept away in the frustration of it all, I miss the little pieces of glory God is revealing to me every month.
   This month was much the same as the other months, hopes way up that this was the month I was going to get pregnant and then the horrible let down that I was not. I left my house that morning to go to work and turned on some worship music. I was frustrated and telling the Lord my feelings of being let down and not understanding and mad at myself that I am not being the woman of  unshakeable faith I so long to be. But in honesty, I am not there, every month it shakes my faith a little bit more. But what a challenge it is to dig in deeper and hold on tighter to the promises that are being painfully rooted in my heart. So, as I said, I was listening to worship music and a song came on that I have not heard in years.  The song is called Gratitude by Nichole Nordeman:

Send some rain, would You send some rain?
'Cause the earth is dry and needs to drink again
And the sun is high and we are sinking in the shade
Would You send a cloud, thunder long and loud?
Let the sky grow black and send some mercy down
Surely You can see that we are thirsty and afraid
But maybe not, not today
Maybe You'll provide in other ways
And if that's the case . . .

We'll give thanks to You
With gratitude
For lessons learned in how to thirst for You
How to bless the very sun that warms our face
If You never send us rain

Daily bread, give us daily bread
Bless our bodies, keep our children fed
Fill our cups, then fill them up again tonight
Wrap us up and warm us through
Tucked away beneath our sturdy roofs
Let us slumber safe from danger's view this time
Or maybe not, not today
Maybe You'll provide in other ways
And if that's the case . . .

We'll give thanks to You
With gratitude
A lesson learned to hunger after You
That a starry sky offers a better view if no roof is overhead And if we never taste that bread

Oh, the differences that often are between
What we want and what we really need

So grant us peace, Jesus, grant us peace
Move our hearts to hear a single beat
Between alibis and enemies tonight
Or maybe not, not today
Peace might be another world away
And if that's the case . . .

We'll give thanks to You
With gratitude
For lessons learned in how to trust in You
That we are blessed beyond what we could ever dream
In abundance or in need
And if You never grant us peace

But Jesus, would You please . . .

As I was listening to the words of the song, I was challenged if I really believed what I was singing along to. Do I really believe that, "i am blessed beyond what I could ever dream in abundance or in need" if he never gives me what I think I may need or want. I think that is a great question to ask ourselves, if God never grants us, you fill in the blank, do we still believe that the Lord has given us everything we need to live in abundance on this earth? I think I get caught up in this wrong thinking that the Lord owes me something. That because I live a life of loving Him that He is indebted to me somehow, and again what arrogance in me? My God sent his only perfect son to die a horrendous death for a truly undeserving sinner like me and still I have the audacity to tell Him he owes me what I want on this earth? May it never be!! But the great news that I hold so near to my heart about my God is that he sees that pride in me and loves me the same. He created me knowing that I would fight him sometimes and ask hard questions. He loves me and ALL of me; every part that come along with Kaci Krause. So in these raw moments when my heart is bleeding with disppointed and uncertainty I choose to cling to God. I choose to to give thanks to Him, with gratitude, for lessons learned in how to trust more in Him.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

God Wastes Nothing

    So, I am doing a book study on this book called One Thousand Gifts with a group of girls. From what I read, and in a VERY vague overview of the book, it is about in every situation in life and every season choosing gratitude instead of resentment and bitterness. We were discussing one of the chapters last night and there was one line that really hit home for me. God wastes nothing. The part before it says, "So God transfigures all the world? Darkness transfigures into light, bad transfigures into good, grief transfigures into grace, empty transfigures into full. GOD WASTES NOTHING.
    I was struck by this because it is such a great promise from our Lord and one that I really believe and trust and understand. All of God's promises are good and true and last forever, but for some reason there are some that just don't resonate with me. And I know different seasons bring different promises that we cling to and hold on to for hope and in this season, this is my hope...God wastes nothing. Now I think we play a huge role in this promise because there are many things that happen to us, good, and bad, and how we choose to repsond in all those events in ways determines the outcome. Because we live in a sinful, fallen world bad things are going to happen to us and to those we love but it is how we respond that I think the promise happens. Am I going to respond with gratitude that I serve, regardless of my circumstances, a good God who loves me or am I going to choose a harden heart? When I choose gratitude then I allow the Lord complete control of my heart and who I am and who I am going to be. And what I love about that saying is that whatever I go through, if I choose God, he will not let those hardships go to waste. He will use my brokeness for His glory and also for my good. Romans 8:28, "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose." So many times the things that our enemy has tried to use to harden our hearts towards our Saviour God uses for the glory and expansion of His kingdom, IF we allow him to and do not fall into our faithless fears. I am so glad I serve and God who does not promise that nothing bad will happen to us but promises that he will use it for our good and His glory. God wastes nothing.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Too good, but not Good Enough

      So lately I have been really working through some thoughts. They are thoughts that I really have a hard time finding truth from lie. These thoughts honesty make me feel like I am going to go crazy. I have been struggling with this pride that asks why certain people deserve things that I don't have. It is so arrogant of me and I realize that, but it does not change some of the thoughts I struggle with. I see people around me who, in the Christian world, have done it all wrong yet they seem to have everything I desire. In my very limited, human, fleshly brain it seems as though if you do things "right" then the outcome should be good and as I expect it to be. Well, since I serve a God who is so outside of time and my way of thinking this thought of mine is not true or right. Christ's purpose for me on this earth is not solely for me to be "happy" and give me everything I want. Now, don't get me wrong, we do serve a good good God who wants good things for us, but that is not why he created us. He created us to bring Him glory and to worship Him. I struggle sometimes to view him that way, though. I get so stuck on the disciplinary side of God and God the punisher. I see a God who does not take pride in his daughter because I fail so much. You already saw it in the beginning part of this blog. I am prideful and arrogant in believing I deserv things that his other choldren don't and the list goes on. I was a part of a discussion this week on Isaiah 46, 47 and 48 and it was like th Lord made that discussion just for me. It was all about how the Lord does not punish us to see us squirm or to hurt us but he disciplines us to move us toward righteousness. He does it so we are always moving forward in working our salvation out. His discipline is ALWAYS rooted in love and a desire, not only to bring Him glory, but for our good. It is something so hard to grasp because anytime I have had to discipline in my life, I am usually angry about it or was set off in some way. MY discipline is not always rooted in love, but in frusteration and even hurt. So I get stuck in this cycle of being too good, but not good enough. An arrogance that says I am much better than so many out there, but also a very real reality that I don't deserve anything I have been given and it is only by the grace of God that I have anything or any hope. I honestly don't know where I am going with all this, maybe just an acknoweledgment that those thoughts are there and real and make me crazy. An acknoweledgment that brings me to the foot of the cross and opens my eyes to the very real reality that I am in such desperate need of my savior. A need to listen and obey him because he knows what is best for me. In Isaiah 48:17-18 it says, "This is what the LORD says— your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: 'I am the LORD your God, who teaches you what is best for you, who directs you in the way you should go. If only you had paid attention to my commands, your peace would have been like a river, your well-being like the waves of the sea."
How many times have chosen to listen to my own thoughts and not the thoughts of my Lord? How many time have I chosen choas and unrest instead of the peace he so willingly offers here? It is a daily process and I don't think it is something we choose once and it stays forever. I think this is something I must choose and fight for everyday of my life. A choice to listen to a God who is also my friend, my comforter, my peace, my provider, my saviour, my biggest cheerleader, my everything I have and will ever need.

Monday, January 31, 2011

Choosing Faith

Tonight I chose faith.
I found out tonight that, yet again, I am not pregnant.It has been half a year since Tyler and I started trying and I honestly never thought it would take this long. As I cried in my husband's arms, fear and hopelessness started to creep back into my heart. Lies that I have been fighting throughout this whole journey are now trying to become my reality again. I gave myself a good hour to cry and voice my fears to the Lord. Voice my frustrations and just be honest with what was going on in my heart. Will I be able to have babies and if not, why the deep desire to be a mom. Seem a little over dramatic? Maybe, but those thoughts have been a fight in my heart since day one of trying. I started down the path of asking why others were getting pregnant so fast and why did they deserve that blessing? Pride was creeping in and entitlement was quickly blinding me. I deserve this, right? But I had a choice to make in my heart last night. A choice to let my sin of faithlessness put a wedge between me and my Lord or a choice to be a faithful servant of a good and sovereign God. I was reminded of a sermon I listened to a couple weeks ago. The sermon was about trusting God and building faith in the hard times. That my God is a God who knows eternity and is looking for a people to remain faithful to Him because He is the Author and Finisher of  life. To trust that He knows what is best for my life. I want to be that people. I want my Saviour to call me faithful.
So, tonight I chose faith.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Faith and Trust

In church on Saturday we were asked what our prayer requests were. As soon as the question was asked, faith and trust rang in my heart. Now I know that those two are like blanket-sweep prayer requests that every Christian seems to ask for, but it is so lacking in my heart. Faith and trust in my Saviour should be the DNA of my life and should be a part of every thought and decision I make because He deserves NOTHING less. But so often I find myself trusting my own strength and wisdom rather than His. My fear of not being in control paralyzes me into self-reliance. A self-reliance that hardens my heart, ruins relationships and draws me away from the unconditional love of my Father.
I have been a Christian now for almost 20 years and yet I struggle every moment of the day of the concept of my Saviour's love. I know we will never fully grasp it until we live on the other side of Glory, but how can it be? How is it that such a perfect God would love such a wretch like me? It is so backwards. I struggle to get out of the mind set that there is some way to earn that love everyday. Read my Bible more, give more of myself, pray more and the list goes on. Though all of those to-do's are good and a vital part of my faith, it is not an equation that earns me more or less of Christ's unconditional love. He died for, all of me. He died for the good, the bad and the ugly of Kaci, once and for all. In my 20 years of following Christ I feel like I have known all of that with my head, but I am now asking that it would transfer to my heart. I want to be fully rooted in the love of my Father. I want to know the pride He takes in me and that those feelings towards me have not and will never change.
So for now, I pray for trust. Trust that the God that created me in His image adores and loves what he created in me. And faith. Faith that stands firm in my saviour matter what may lie ahead.