… just be patient

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I have to say that this is one of my favorite scriptures in the Bible. When I was first coming to truly know God, this scripture is what I put my money on.

There have been times when it was incredibly difficult to believe that everything I was experiencing was for my good – especially in the moment- but those same circumstances and issues have prepared me for where I am right now.

Trusting God through the muck of life shapes us into a more useful Christians. Someone God has been molding and shaping to do a specific work for Him. But, in order to see our struggles as a benefit to us and as preparation rather than “a bad hand dealt”, we have to understand that God has a wonderful plan for our lives. We have to trust that God is with us through it all. We have to truly believe that someday, that one day we will use the knowledge and experiences, the character improvements we gained for the building of God’s people and His kingdom.

That’s what this life is all about.

There are times we have to go through some tough times to truly learn who God is. Without knowledge of who He is, we cannot love Him. We can love the idea of Him but not Him. The thought that someone loves us and has a plan for us, who forgives us, and comforts us sounds fantastic until…….
but how will we move from an idea of God to knowledge of God without experience???

We can’t say we love a person until we know them… Until we have experienced them in the good and the bad. Seen them respond/react/behave in various positions & circumstances. Without knowledge we love who we think they are, we love the traits & behaviors we want to see. Not the person with 100% disclosure about their character, habits, or personality.

Everything is always grand until we get into a tough spot.

God knows that if everything is always good, we love the idea of Him. Not Him for who He is. He is a comforter- but how will we ever know that unless we have to be comforted? A healer- not to those who are well. A provider. A protector. A deliverer. Almighty. Gracious.

And, it’s when “all things” aren’t perfect. When “all things” are hard for a very long time. When “all things” are falling apart that we learn to trust and depend on our Savior. When we learn the most about Him. When we learn that He is exactly who He says He is when we learn to love and trust Him.

That is when “all things” work together for us. Our pasts and our struggles prepare us for a platform God will give us to share our stories, our testimonies, our experiences with others to give them hope and strengthen our faith.

We’re here for each other. Our “all things” aren’t only to be a benefit to us, but for the entire body! We all struggle with the same things – God planned it perfectly that way in order for us to be able to support each other and point us back to the truths of God in our times of need.

All things work together for good. For those who love God and are called to His purpose.

It will be okay. No matter what it is – it will always be okay and work out for our good & God’s glory!

A promise. You just have to believe it. Believe that our God cannot lie and will make good on what He says.

…. here’s to learning patience and discipline .. to being pushed closer to God & learning who He is while we wait for the good to come.

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… a wonderful life

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You know what I love?

Finding encouragement in the word.

I read 2 Peter 1:3-12 today…. I love how it starts off reminding us that God has given us EVERYTHING we need to live a godly life and through his glory and goodness, he has given us exceedingly great and precious promises so that we could again, be “partakers of divine nature”.
(EVERYTHING as in encouragement and promises in the word… could everything include  other women and men who love our God and serve Him who pour into us as we pour into them?? What about online communities who spread truth?? Everything is generally a large amount of various things….. I love the variations of people, media, and books that provide us with and lead us to the truths of God!!)

I was challenged by a woman named Joanna who was healed by Jesus and provided for him as he ministered to the masses. She was with Mary Magdalene when the angels came to tell of Jesus’s resurrection at the tomb. She was one of the ones who spread that truth. But, she was also the wife of the man who had John the Baptist beheaded and whose father in law had all baby boys murdered after the birth of Jesus. Let that sink in. This woman, in spite of who her husband was and what his beliefs were, chose to obey the one she was committed to FIRST – not by date but by hierarchy. She was married before she met Christ but she understood that Christ comes before her husband.

I thought about how the Proverbs 31 woman was said to “laugh without fear of the future”…… I always thought it was because she was prepared, she was a hard worker, and had an amazing husband who provided for her and believed in her.
Now, I’m wondering if it had more to do with how she believed in the promises of God. Obviously, she was a woman of God but the scriptures about the virtuous woman never directly speak to her trusting Him – it, I think, gives us the real life outcomes of a woman who trusts in God and serves Him in her home. Her life I’m sure wasn’t perfect. I’m sure it was very hard – her husband was very busy… I mean he was well respected at the city gates – sounds like he was quite important. 🙂 And, important people tend to be pretty busy with doing their jobs. lol. Right? She had kids, her own businesses, and still took very good care of her home. While managing to look great while doing all of that! I can’t help but to wonder how exhausted she was.

Both of these women seem to understand that no matter what they were going through or what their circumstances were – they chose to boldly obey God. They trusted Him. They believed and put more effort into serving than they did focusing on their circumstances.
These two women lived in very different households…. had very different husbands. But, both chose to live counter-culturally. They both honored God and caused other women to believe in and honor Him, as well.

I wasn’t so much convicted about trusting the promises of God than I was encouraged to do it. Encouraged to live boldly for Christ. Inspired by these women’s commitment and courage. They could have easily saw their futures through the lenses of their workload and familial history but chose to see much more than what was right in front of them.

I wonder if the “time to come” they “rejoiced in” (King James version) wasn’t a physical year or month from now when maybe things slowed down at work and husbands would be home more or possibly the day a husband may come to know God or follow our Christ more boldly – but the time in which Jesus would return. The time in which they would be united with their Savior, when they would take their positions as heirs of the Kingdom of God in Heaven. Could that time to come be eternity with their Savior?

Joanna is amazing to me…. Completely amazing. She carried her own load – she didn’t allow her husband’s thoughts or desires or belief system to guide her own. And, as a wife, your husband is the leader, the head of your home and it can be difficult to fall under someone who is doing things you don’t agree with or isn’t doing things you feel in your very soul should be done. But, she trusted God anyway.

I doubt she was disrespectful. I would hope that she was quiet and chaste. That she honored God and won her husband without a word. I hope that she positioned him, with her grace and gentle spirit, to worship the mightiness of God when the news the revelations came after Jesus died and hung around a while after He was resurrected from the dead.

A wonderful life….. Wonderful is no doubt a subjective term but as Christians what does wonderful mean? What does it mean to have a “wonderful life”? As a woman, who has an incredible impact in your home/jobs/wherever, what does it mean to be “wonderful” to those around you?

These women, were no doubt wonderful and they led amazing and wonderful lives. They were beautiful, courageous, bold, hard working, and honorable women. They trusted God.

I’m hoping that we can encourage one another to be wonderful women who live wonderful lives … women who trust God and believe in His promises. Who look to Him for EVERYTHING we need to live lives that please Him versus looking at our circumstances and allowing them to dictate our life choices.

I could literally talk about this all day. But, I won’t!!

… here’s to being wonderful. Have a great day ladies!

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… everybody, somebody, anybody

I submit bi-weekly (ish… lol) to Houston Style Magazine that is based here in, well… HOUSTON!  🙂

This week, I essentially posted about actively BEING a Christian to the world. On being willing to love and serve people in whatever capacity they need it. (You can read my article here.)
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I believe that often times we overlook the needs of people because of stereotypes or just plain old ignorance to what they are dealing with. If we don’t understand a person’s struggle, aren’t directly impacted, or don’t know them on a personal level, it can be difficult to move past the ‘oh that’s terrible. I feel horrible for her/him.’ to doing anything to help ease a burden by stepping out of our comfort zones and DOING something.

Encouraging words and prayer work wonders. I’m a firm believer in both. A little encouragement can change a person’s outlook and give them the boost they needed to get through the day. Obviously, prayer is amazing and lets our Father know we recognize our need for Him and He does hear us.

But, our Father expects us to do more than just talk. He expects us to do more than send cards or post nice words on a Facebook or Instagram feed. He expects more than a quick text in between doing this or that.

He expects us to ACT.

If I need something but everyone around me is talking to me… sending me notes… giving me hugs… and SAYING they’ll pray for me…. is my physical need being met?

Could it be that while we’re praying to God for this person’s need to be met and for that situation to improve that He has already given US the tools to meet that need and improve that situation?

Does the Father really need to come down to feed the homeless? Pray FOR the homeless absolutely… but they need food. Clothes. Shoes. A conversation. They need love in action.

We are praying for marriages and relationships to be redeemed but are we TALKING and COUNSELING these people? Are we asking them for coffee or dinner and forming relationships with them in an effort to mentor and show younger/less experienced folks how to get through what we’ve successfully gone through already?

We all need love in action in some way, shape, form, or fashion.
We all NEED someone.

Are we willing to be vulnerable enough to admit that? Are we willing to be open enough with the brothers and sisters who our Father has put at our side to support each other where and when we need it the most?
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Are we willing to step out of our comfort zones and move past the stereotypes we’ve given those who are struggling with disease, imprisonment, poverty, and homelessness?

Are we willing to use and sacrifice our time, gifts/talents, and money to support someone else…. Are we willing to GIVE out of our surplus to help someone who has less that what we do?

My heart is  truly aching for those who struggle in whatever way…. Since this journey of mine began, my mind and eyes have been opened to so much and I’m gratefully being just torn up over the things we take for granted.

I’m grateful for the opportunities I have to DO and BE of real help to those anybodies I come across in whatever way.

We can be are so selfish. So caught up in our own little worlds. Preoccupied with our overwhelming schedules.
We peer behind our tinted windows as we drive our fancy cars down streets lined with hurting, hungry people.
We browse our Facebooks and Instagrams as we have conversations of this person and that person going through whatever life has tossed them and keep going without a second thought. Well, a second thought after “That sucks.”

But, we do nothing.

Why?

Our hurting brothers and sisters don’t have to hurt nearly as much as they do. We don’t have to hurt nearly as much as we do.

If everyone lent a hand. If we cared about the somebodies who are suffering and struggling in various parts of our work places, cities, states, country, and world and chose to ACT – we could turn our world upside down.

And, what the world would see are the people of God moving, doing, serving, acting, and loving on others. The saved. The worldly. The sinful. The proud. The helpless. The widow. The orphan. The broken. The sick. The hopeless.

The beauty is we all fit or will fit in at least one of those categories at some point in our lives…..
and, if we all decide to step up, we will all be cared for.

We would show the world Jesus.

We would give the world a glimpse of who Jesus truly was.
And, who He expects us to be to them.

Sinners people saved by grace serving others.
They would see a people who are bearing fruit to the glory of God – they would see what it means to be patient and kind with another, how to faithfully, peacefully, and joyfully endure and suffer through whatever they are struggling with.

This life is hard and we need each other to get through it.
hopeLe hubby and I!
{{Our roles at church are colliding this week and we get to actively SERVE together this week… Makes for fun times and fun photo ops!!!}}
Annnnnnnnnnnnnnnd, yes! I am wearing our Chrome Buffalo fundraiser shirt “Hope changes everything”
(that’s only available for one more day!!!!)
I’d hoped to sell 200 shirts, but we won’t make that goal.
However, I’m so grateful for our friends and family and friends of friends and family (who don’t know us!) who have donated and given towards our adoption.
I will honestly love you forever.

… here’s to understanding struggle and being confident enough in the story God is writing for me to be painfully vulnerable and possibly a bit to open to share my journey with you.

 

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