Saturday, March 23, 2013

Rejoice with those who Rejoice

The last couple weeks have been filled with blessings, really exciting blessings, and while my life is incredible and The Lord has continually revealed Himself to me and has been blessing my marriage, my job, and my life in general the majority of the blessings I recall are those I have seen others showered with. On March 19th my friends Sarah and Jesse Eslinger gave birth to a beautiful baby girl named Verity Victoria Eslinger, if potosi me I will post her picture and you will see perfection. Last Sunday Isaiah and I were blessed to be apart of a birthday party for our friend Derrek Cardinale, and a great surprise took place when he asked Britney Kelly to be his wife, and we are so excited for their wedding when it comes!! It has been so encouraging and joyful to get to celebrate with our friends and see God bless them through their obedience and their walks with Him.

Romans 12:15 says, "Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep."
How incredible is it that The Lord gives us relationship with one another that we are able to feel their excitement and joy in an ecstatic situation or feel their pain when they are grieving?

Now friends, let me give a disclaimer to those of you who are seeing these exciting events and life changes and asking, "why not me?" Because there are some of you out there asking, why am I not married? Why can't I have children? Why won't you give me ______ job, why won't _____ date me, etc. before I share where I am now, let me share where I've been. During the year before Isaiah and I got engaged, I wanted to be engaged/ married so badly and for those of you that no me well I made it very clear that this was something I yearned for. During that year there was setbacks, roadblocks, and opposition at times that made me think it would be five years before engagement was even in the picture. It didn't help that some of my best friends got engaged during that time, making me feel as though I was behind the curve or that I was getting cheated out of something. I gave in to the lie that I wasn't enough and that God did not have an adequate plan for my life and goodness, was I wrong. Jeremiah 29:11 says, "For I know the plans that I have for you,' declares the L ord , 'plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope." Friends, this is not an empty promise nor is it only applicable for some people. God truly has a great plan for your life, this is a promise that He makes and when we walk with Him and keep relationship with Him we see this "future and a hope" unfold regardless of the hardship and trials we come to face.

Anyways, to wrap it up, it is exciting to see where The Lord has brought me in the last year and the fact that I can now see others joy and truly rejoice and celebrate with them. Seeing that He has brought my heart to a new place of gratefulness that I have to pray that He will protect from the spirit of selfishness and self-pity each day. Even looking back at that point in my life I am able to see the many blessings and times where The Lord was truly gracious and good to me, some that I didn't even recognize at the time. I pray for those of you who are reading this that you will trust that the Lords timing is perfect and know that His intention is to bless you and give you a life that will bless His kingdom and you the most.

Blessings friends. :)

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Finding Beauty in Everything

The past couple weeks have been a blur full of trials, challenges, big choices, loss, and so much more. It seems like everything that went on in the last couple weeks would normally take place over the span of a few months. A friend that I have know for many years who had been battling cancer had a point where he was no longer battling cancer and was able to start living life cancer- free then about five years later or so a different form of cancer came back and to top it all off this cancer was caused from the radiation therapy that was administered to him to battle the first round of cancer. Over the years since he was re- diagnosed he has gone through surgeries, had a portion of his skull removed, and continue battling cancer. After having his last surgery he passed away a couple weeks ago. In the midst of everything chaotic, busy, and at times insane I have continually been reminded of God's goodness. Now, that is not to say that every bad or disheartening thing has turned into something good or that anything has been reversed but it is to say that in the midst of the storm my God, my Rock has been very faithful and graceful to me. But that is not to say that there has not been some fear and anxiety along the way. I am reminded of the apostles who would react in fear in the face of hopeless seeming situations as they did when a storm came upon their boat and they had fear because instead of instantly calming the sea, Jesus slept;
Mark 4: 36-41 "36 And leaving the crowd behind, they took him with them in the boat, just as he was. Other boats were with him. 37 A great windstorm arose, and the waves beat into the boat, so that the boat was already being swamped. 38 But he was in the stern, asleep on the cushion; and they woke him up and said to him, “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?” 39 He woke up and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Peace! Be still!” Then the wind ceased, and there was a dead calm. 40 He said to them, “Why are you afraid? Have you still no faith?” 41 And they were filled with great awe and said to one another, “Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?” 

Verse 38-39 definitely reminds me of myself at times, when things get chaotic and everything seems to be stacking up against me it's easy to get nervous and wonder when exactly God is planning on showing up. Yet, even when I become a bit of a mess God is always so gracious in the way that He takes care of everything all the while reassuring me and reminding me that He is good and faithful. I love the way that the New Revised Standard Version says, "Peace, be still." I am sure that God has said that to me many times and in many different situations. He is always so gracious and speaks so tenderly and shows me bits of his beauty in everything. If possible I am going to include pictures from a trip that my husband and I took with his dad’s side out to Tucson, Arizona to spend some time with Grandma Suzie. We had the opportunity to visit a Botanical/ Butterfly Garden, which was actually a few little gardens within the property and they were so beautiful and filled with life. Enjoy loved ones.