Prepare my Heart for Haiti

Bonjou! Or Bonswa (depending on when you read this). I am now a little more than a month away from my mission trip to Haiti. We will be travelling to an orphanage in Desire, Haiti as part of the Global Orphan Project.Desire

I have been so overwhelmed with various emotions as this trip is becoming more real. This will be the first time I will be in a foreign country, and the first trip I’ve ever made without my parents. My mind has continually tried to come up with excuses so that I can back out of going because…

this experience is going to make me very uncomfortable!

But, I also think this is exactly why I need to go. Being a Christian who has never had to go hungry or go without clean water, I think it is so easy to get stuck in an unappreciative state of being comfortable. God calls us to put everything on the table, and in those times, we will truly find Him.

I am continuing to work on my heart so that I can serve God in the best way possible. I pray for the ability to let go of my own ambitions, and focus my efforts on bringing Christ to the lives of these incredible children.

Continue to tune in, as I will be documenting the process leading up to the trip over the next month, and plan on giving detailed accounts of my experience. 

Galatians 5:13 “…do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love.”

My Struggle With Temptation

1 Corinthians 10:13 “No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, He will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.

Every person you encounter throughout your day is going through their own personal battles that we often can’t see with the naked eye. The beautiful girl you see walking down the street that seems to have it all together may having the same battle within her soul as you are. No one truly has it all together. I promise you.

I feel as though I have been under attack by the devil these past few months. He has found my vulnerability and taken full advantage of that knowledge; man is he good. I will humbly admit that my biggest temptation is sexual immorality. I am with a wonderful man, and we have both expressed our desire to save ourselves for each other in marriage. Yet, I still have this nagging desire that, at times, I feel I cannot control.

When you feel the hands of satan trying to drag you down, lift your hands up to the One who will save you.

But, the fact of the matter is that I can (and will) control it. Satan can throw everything he has at me, and will never conquer the power and salvation held over me by the King of Kings. When I feel the greatest temptation to succumb to satan’s lies, I find restitution in prayer.

In prayer you have the most intimate relationship with God. Lay your heart out on the table for Him. Be completely real with Him.

Trust me, God wants to hear the dirt. He wants you to show Him that you can’t do it on your own. Our shoulders are too weak to bare these matters, but He can hold it all in one hand. The Lord is, and always will be, here to pick you up when you fall. Satan can and will not beat you if you have the Lord by your side. No matter the temptation that is wearing on you, just know, all things are possible through Christ. Don’t give up and don’t stop praying!

Do Your Words Sanctify Him?

One thing that is becoming less and less taboo these days is cursing. In the the old days, a simple utterance of “damn” was an abomination-especially coming from a woman’s mouth. This is one of my greatest flaws. I identify as a woman of God, but do my words live up to it?

I grew up the youngest of three kids, with my biggest role model being my brother. Naturally, I grew up trying to follow in every one of his footsteps, even if they weren’t good. He had the mouth of an 18 year old boy, and I was an amenable little girl doing everything to gain big brother’s approval. You can probably imagine what kind of a girl I was-I was the one playing football with the boys at recess, always messy, muddy, stinky, and wielding the mouth of a sailor.

Over time this has become a nasty habit. It has gotten to the point where I hardly notice when I cuss. It rolls of my tongue with such ease. Just because society is becoming more accustomed to mouths like mine doesn’t make it right. A lot of the vulgar things I have been known to say are never directed maliciously at others, but are often used to supplement a story to increase its humor. But even still, that doesn’t make it right. 

I always believed that cussing really wasn’t a big deal as long as God’s name wasn’t being used in vain. What I didn’t take into consideration is that everything I do should honor God, and that my body is a temple.

1 Corinthians 6:19-20 “…your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit. So you must honor God with your body.”

This really hit me hard. My words were not only disgracing me, but also my God. What you say should be used to build others up with God’s love.

Ephesians 4:29 “Don’t use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that you words will be an encouragement to those who hear them.”

I want people to look at me and know that I am a Christian by the way I carry myself and the words that I speak. Honor God with what you say. If you are struggling to kick a bad habit, just know that others are struggling right along side of you, including myself. In the end you will be forgiven, but you also need to recognize your sin and work towards eliminating it from your life. Also remember that nothing is impossible with God at your side.

Honor your body, your temple. Honor your God. 

 

God is Present

Do you ever have those moments where your heart skips a beat, chills run down your spine, and a smile rushes across your face? In those moments, it is so easy to feel God’s presence. I get that feeling every time I look at this photo of my best friend and I. Those moments with my horse are some of the best, because God is so present.me and Jr

It is so special to come together with another being-with no language to connect us. You are forced to communicate with your body and spirit. For those of you who are blessed to have this intimate relationship with a horse, or any animal, take a moment to thank God for every moment you’ve gotten to spend with him/her. Many people will never experience that feeling-appreciate it if you are lucky enough to have it.

I think the relationships between human and animal are some of God’s greatest work.

Where has God been physically present in your life today?

My Longing Heart

In my 20th year on this Earth, my longings for someone to spend my life with are really coming to fruition. I find myself thinking about the future constantly, and I don’t think this a necessarily a bad thing. What makes it a little troubling is that I sometimes lose track of the present because I look so often into the future.

God wants you to be in the now, and to let Him handle the future.

It is so easy to get lost in the plans that we have, and to long for everything we don’t have right at this moment. I have really struggled with accepting that I really have no say in the matter, and that I need to trust in the future that God has laid out for me. That is what we all need to do-no matter what we are waiting for, God has the best thing waiting for us. We need to trust His timing.

For those of you in the same state of life as me, God has the perfect man waiting for you. At this exact moment, God is working on both of you and preparing you for a life together. Don’t be discouraged if you haven’t found “the one” just yet. Rest you weary legs, and trust in the Lord. All the while keep living in the present, and don’t lose yourself thinking of the future. Your future is in the greatest hands possible. He won’t let you down.

Psalm 27:14 “Wait patiently for the Lord.”

Are You Waiting Well?

One thing that comes with the holiday cheer surrounding December is the celebration of the first Christmas, and the first coming of Christ. Here we are 2,000 years later, and the wait for the second coming continues. At times it seems overwhelming, like it’s never going to happen. I know that I have faced times of skepticism and doubt. Is He really coming again? Is He going to keep His promises regarding the second coming of Christ, and promises for our lives in general? Yes. 

Patience is hard

Patience is one of the hardest things, especially for me. I want answers right away, but that’s not the way it always goes. We can look to the story of Zechariah and Elizabeth when it seems unlikely that God is going to follow through.

Luke 1:7 “They had no children because Elizabeth was unable to conceive, and they were both very old.”

The future seemed  bleak for Zechariah and Elizabeth because, despite their faithfulness, God was not giving them the thing they wanted most. Rather than wallowing in their pain, they lived faithfully through their hopeThey didn’t let their circumstances run their life.

Luke 1:6 “Zechariah and Elizabeth were righteous in God’s eyes, careful to obey all of the Lord’s commandments…”

Two very righteous and deserving people were not receiving the answer that they were wanting, but didn’t give up hope. They waited wellAnd lo, God did provide. Elizabeth bore a son named John, and was filled with such joy and happiness.

Whatever you are waiting for, strive to hopefully wait well for God’s timing. It is so hard not to get what you want, when you want it. Trust in God’s perfect promises-He will provide. In the meantime, say yes to living, rather than letting your impatience envelop your life. As Christians we must wait for the second coming of Christ with hope and trust that God is going to follow through. The name Zechariah literally means “My God remembers” and Elizabeth means “My God fulfills.”

Your God remembers. Your God fulfills. 

I Once was Lost

Lost in the world, I’m begging for a chance.

Looking for my place in humanity.

Millions have come, equally have failed,

lesser are those who succeed.

When will I know?

When will I feel the road,

the path,

the direction that will encompass me?

A curtain draws open, a Great hand draws near.

“Don’t worry your heart My love, My dear.

Your feet are wary, your shoulders are weak.

No one knows your purpose but Me.

Don’t worry, don’t fret, but follow my word,

and every path will lead you toward the ultimate success,

Me.

So you’re not a virgin.

“Hi, it’s nice to meet you! I’m not a virgin.”

How humiliating would that be if that was a social norm? Defining who we are with those four words right off the bat. I guess it would have been more appropriate to title this post “So I’m not a virgin,” because like many of you, I am not. I walk around every day wondering if people can tell that I’m no longer a virgin just by looking at me, as if I were actually coming right out and saying it when I talked to them. The idea of this terrifies me, the idea that I could be judged because of what I’ve done in the past.

It’s been something I have really struggled with because A) it’s not nearly as fantastical as romance novels have always made it to be, and B) I gave it to someone who most definitely didn’t deserve it. I’m sure many of you can relate to my childish naivete that made me truly believe that I was going to have forever with my high school sweetheart. The trouble was not that I gave my infamous “V Card” to someone I’d committed four years of my life to, it was that I did it as a way to hopefully keep him, and make him treat me the way he used to. I was trying to find my self worth in giving something so precious to him. Not only that, I broke a promise I had made to myself, and to God.

Now don’t check out here, I am not about to preach at you and tell you that if you’ve had pre-marital sex you’re going to hell. That is not the case. The hardest thing I have had to deal with, is forgiving myself. Because guess what ladies, He is going to love you and forgive you no matter what. The Lord understands our mistakes, but you have to give yourself a chance to forgive yourself. Now I am in a relationship with an incredible man, and guess what? He’s a virgin! How incredible is that? He was actually embarrassed to tell me that, but I’m amazed! I think in today’s world it is truly incredible when people stay pure. This relationship is one that is centered around God, and let me tell you, sex is still hard to resist. But now I know that with Christ as the center of our relationship we will be able to stay pure, or at least wait until we are ready to make that kind of commitment to each other.

I will end you with this-everyone makes mistakes. Just bare in mind that Jesus died for our sins, and loves you despite your misgivings. Forgive yourselves ladies. Finally, don’t find your self-worth in a man, and especially in sex. Look up to the Man who loves every inch of you-and doesn’t need you to prove anything to Him. Live by the cross, and that is where you will find the most happiness.