Ryman Thomas

8 weeks. I can hardly believe it, but our sweet little one is set to arrive in only 8 short weeks. We had a baby shower for him two weeks ago, and the excitement has been steadily rising. It seems only fitting that I share his name with you now.

IMG_0839.jpg

The name Ryman Thomas is many things. It’s a way to honor my grandfather, Thomas. It’s a representation of the love my husband and I have for music and for the city of Nashville. Lastly, it’s a unique name for a child set apart for the kingdom of God. Our little Ry guy has already brought us so much joy, and we can’t wait to introduce him to you all in January.

“Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you. Before you were born, I set you apart.” Jeremiah 1:5

Advertisements
Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Year 25

Most people get excited about their golden birthday and for good reason. It seems so monumental to finally hit that year. I still have a couple of years to go before I can claim mine, however. Strangely enough, my excitement wasn't over turning 27 on the 27th. I had a strange hope and anticipation about year 25.

Months before my 25th birthday, the Lord spoke to me concerning this year and placed an expectancy in my heart. While I didn't know the specifics, I was absolutely sure that this year was so crucial and that it would be the spark of something new and big. I spent a lot of time in prayer for this change and even joyfully shared my promise with my mom, my spouse, and a friend. I knew that year 25 would carry with it change that would involve my ministry and calling. At the time, I couldn't have known how true that was.

The most beautiful thing was occurring inside of me on my 25th birthday, and I had no idea. I couldn't fathom that my little man was already there, right on time, as God had spoken. He promised great and new things with year 25, and there he was. When I first felt that stirring in my heart, I had NO idea that it meant motherhood. I honestly wasn't prepared to open my heart to the thought until April 2, when I decided to trust the Lord wholeheartedly in that area. Even then, it never occurred to me that the Lord had our little one in mind all along. Honestly, I thought He intended to open doors for me to write and speak. I didn't know how this could come about though, because I had absolutely no time.

One thing I now know is that an overly busy schedule can allow no room for quick obedience. Time and time again, I lamented that the Lord wasn't opening any doors for ministry like He once did. One afternoon, I felt the Holy Spirit gently reply. He revealed to me that I had allowed Him no time. Every morsel of my time was already consumed by responsibilities and activities. I was completely booked. It was then that I realized that I had taken on more than He had asked of me. I had blindly said, "yes" to every obligation without even seeking Him. I think we all too often fill our schedules with things that He never asked us to take on. Then, we're too busy to do what He's actually called us to do. I had to take a step back and ask Him what He wanted to stay and what should go. When I did this and truly sought His will, the answer was clear. I knew what to let go and where to continue serving.

I've always felt called to write and to speak, and I definitely assumed that the Lord was referring to that draw on my life when He created an excitement in me for year 25. Maybe in some ways He was. Maybe this time at home with my son will open up the doors to do those things more frequently. But even if it doesn't, I will choose to be content. I'm content to wait on the Lord. I'm content to free my schedule for time with Him and time serving where He draws me. I'm content to recognize the mighty calling of raising a man of God, a man who fiercely follows after Christ and walks in purity and righteousness. I want to be mindful of the importance of raising tiny disciples within my home. I can't think of a more beautiful calling.

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Oh Boy

Today, I want to share not only our exciting reveal but also my heart. My hope is that I would always remain open and vulnerable so that God can use my story. Being transparent is often difficult and is definitely not glamorous. It's easy to make our lives look picture perfect from the outside. I want to instead invite you in to the raw, ever-changing moments of my heart.

If you've kept up with me throughout this four month journey, you've probably heard me say that I was hoping for a girl. Yesterday, I realized that it was more than a hope. Every dream I'd built of my child was of a little girl. I pictured bows and glitter and dance recitals. I pictured girl talk and the kind of close knit relationship that I have with my mom. This idea became in so many ways my dream. I trusted the mommy sense everyone says you have that told me from the moment I saw "Pregnant" that I was having a girl, and I built our story around that. Although in casual conversation I said I would be happy regardless, I have to be honest and let you know that yesterday I was not happy. If anything, I felt devastated.

Now, I went through every possible emotion and scenario in my head. I told myself that I was selfish for complaining when I had a healthy baby, and that's so very true. I told myself that it wasn't fair to my child to be falling apart emotionally. I lectured myself, I guilted myself, and more than anything, I mourned the loss of this little person that only existed in my mind.

It wasn't until this morning that I started to gain some clarity after talking with my spouse. Now let's keep in mind that he held me and let me cry yesterday. He also brought me a coke Icee, which is definitely the way to my heart. Today looked a little more like tough love, however. This morning he reminded me of the reason that I chose to step in faith and allow this baby to come in to our lives. He reminded me of my act of obedience and my faith in God's calling. He reminded me that ultimately we don't get to call the shots. He reminded me that every moment of love shared with my baby still applied to the baby that actually resides within me. Contrary to my belief, that love had not been wasted or stolen from our little boy. Honestly, that just made me mad for about thirty minutes, because I decided that sulking was my best option.

Then came the quiet moments where the Holy Spirit began to speak, and He reminded me of my last blog and the truths written there. He reminded me that this exact bundle of cells needed to be born at this exact moment in time, because it has a calling and a purpose on its life. He reminded me that my calling to raise up a godly child had not changed, and the significance of its life and ministry were the same, even though I was a little mistaken about who he was. I realized that if those things were true, if this baby was called by God for this moment in time, then the beauty of raising this child had not at all diminished, nor had the importance of my calling to motherhood. It was then that I realized that every moment I spent in prayer for my child, I spent in prayer for this exact baby boy and every moment I spent with my hands resting on my stomach loving my child, I had loved this baby boy.

This isn't a beautiful story of immediate obedience or triumph. However, it is an honest glimpse at a girl who had to look past what she thought was good to see that what God had in store was great.

Welcome to the world, baby boy. You are and always have been so loved.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | 3 Comments

You Were My Third Best Decision

You were my third best decision. Anyone who knows me well or keeps up with my blogs knows my expression, “Jesus then James.” I always say that marrying James Morgan was my second best decision after receiving Christ as my Lord and Savior. Now, the story reads Jesus then James then you. You were my third best decision.


You were probably my most difficult and one of my most selfless decisions. You required sacrifice- the sacrifice of my image, my time, and probably a good bit of my sleep. You were a step of faith when I felt pure terror at my inadequacy to care for you. I was so scared. I was scared of what I would lose. I didn’t realize that when I chose you, my focus would shift to everything I could possibly gain with your arrival.


James has occasionally asked me about children, and for the past two years I have said, “Maybe in five years.” It just wasn’t on my radar. The fear was too strong to allow me the dream. I was too un-domesticated. I wasn’t the best cook. I didn’t enjoy cleaning. I loved working, and I couldn’t seem to fit the idea of you into my busy schedule. More than anything, I could NOT shake the fear.


One day, right before our two year anniversary, James asked me to pray about children with him. Being the child of God that I am, I said no… Oops. The look on his face was heartbreaking. About an hour later, feeling convicted that I wouldn’t even bring it to the Lord in prayer, I said okay. And right there, sitting on the floor of our office, we prayed. We prayed for wisdom, and I prayed for a heart change in His timing. I didn’t want to pray about this, because I was scared that He really would change my heart. Well, it took about a month. It was sudden and gradual all at the same time. Little moments shifted my perspective and began to set my heart at ease. I began to lean toward the idea of motherhood, although I still had so many reservations and fears. One morning in particular, I began to doubt again and asked the Lord to give me a sign. He clearly answered this prayer.


I met them at Kroger, a local store. They were Italian and were outside with a sign and were asking for help buying their groceries. It was a man, his wife, and their three children, one still in the womb. Thankfully, they knew some Spanish, because my husband and I do not know Italian, and they definitely did not know English. We walked through the store with them, picking out groceries and talking about life and Jesus. The woman asked us if we had any children. We, of course, answered no. As we helped them load their items into their vehicle, she stopped and looked at me and said words that I will never forget. She didn’t know me well, and she certainly didn’t know my situation. She said, “Children are the best and most beautiful part of life. They are a gift from God.” She told me that she would be praying for many beautiful children for me. I walked away from that experience with tears in my eyes, because I knew God had heard my prayer that morning. I knew that he had sent this stranger to confirm what He had been showing me.


So I started thinking about timing. I decided that August would be the perfect time to try, because that would give me a May baby. My husband would be off in the summer, and it would better fit into my schedule. I was still thinking selfishly. A sweet friend of mine named Jen knew I was debating this and gently called me out on it. She asked me if I really needed to keep preventing pregnancy if God had changed my heart. The more I thought about it, the more I realized that the problem still existed. I was still trying to control my own destiny. My mom and sister shared Jen’s sentiment and gently spoke truth over me. I decided I would trust the Lord and His timing. On April 2, one day before our second anniversary, I walked in faith and obedience to the Lord. I felt freedom, I felt peace, and I felt joy. From that moment forward, I didn’t look back.


On May 6, the day I went to Niagara Falls, I found out there was a you.


​​


I cried and jumped and shouted. The joy I felt in that moment was unrivaled. I couldn’t believe that His timing was so exact. Our obedience was just in time, because you needed to be born. This exact bundle of cells that makes up you was meant to exist. You were meant to change and shape the world, and I somehow had the honor and privilege of raising you.


Baby Morgan, you are already so very loved. I am enamored by you. You took a woman who was fearful of having a child and completely wrecked her heart for the better. When I found out there was a you, everything changed. I will forever be thankful for the day your daddy asked me to pray and for the gentle, quiet moments where the Lord changed both my heart and my perspective. I cannot wait to know and hold and love the perfect child that is you. You were my third best decision.  

img_0670.jpg

Posted in Christ, Christian, Motherhood, Obedience, Parenthood | 2 Comments

The Question Isn’t Can He but Will He?

blog-photo-%22the-question-%22

It’s easy to believe that God CAN act on our behalf. It’s harder to believe and have faith that He WILL act on our behalf. I trust that my God is fully able, and I do know that He is no respecter of persons. However, it is much easier for me to believe that He will do for others. I can easily claim in faith someone else’s healing, success, or freedom from a struggle. When my prayers start having to do with ME, that’s when the difficulty sets in. I believe this is the result of two things: a lack of understanding of God’s character and a fear that His will may be the exact opposite of what I’m praying and believing for.

Let’s address the latter first. There seems to be a strong sense of fear in me that God will not answer my prayer in the manner in which I ask. I’m scared of my reaction. I’m scared I will take His no in as a rejection. Now this is not a doubt of His ability. This is a doubt of His goodness. It’s almost as if I fear that I will be let down by Him, and I deeply desire to never be let down by Him. Now, I don’t think that God is scared by this possibility. He is more than able to handle my doubts and insecurities. He uses all things for good for those who love Him and are called according to His purpose. Nonetheless, that fear often creeps into my heart. I’m scared of what loss can pull out of me. I often fear that in the face of loss, I may doubt the one I love best, my Jesus. I fear that in my lack of understanding of His plans, I will fail to see any of His goodness.

As I first referenced, part of the battle lies in the fact that I don’t accurately understand God’s character. I don’t understand that He is for me, for my good, and for His glory. I don’t fully see the depths of His love for me, nor do I understand His immense desire to shape my heart and make me more like Christ, His Son. God cares more about my long term refining than He does my temporary happiness, although He does bless me with so many little things that bring me joy along the way. I say all of this to remind you and myself that God IS good and He is for me. While my understanding is limited, I know enough to know that He’s got this thing called life figured out; and even if I feel like the world is falling apart all around me (and at times, it will be) He still has to be and He still will be more than enough. “I believe. Lord, help my unbelief” (Mark 9:24).

Posted in Uncategorized | 4 Comments

Fear of Missing Out

I often struggle with what I like to call a “fear of missing out.” Instead of enjoying the moment, I’m constantly wondering if I really made enough of the moment. Did I get the most out of it? Is there something more I should have taken advantage of to make this moment more meaningful? I also have been so preoccupied with the fear of missing that moment once it’s over or the desire to get to the next moment that I’ve lost the joy of today entirely. Honestly, it sounds silly to even write, but I know I’m not the only one… Because I’ve asked.

How can we conquer this? How can we get our minds off of the fear and into the moment? This is something I’m still working to accomplish. The root of it all is clearly fear. The first step for me is to, as my mom says, “get out of my head.” I’m an over planner for sure. This requires me to stop my incessant planning and just be. I’m learning in this season (or trying to learn) to just live in the moment. If you’re a planner like me, that can be very difficult. I’ll write something I’ve done on my list just to check it off. I know I’m speaking to someone on that note. While planning can be beneficial, there comes a point when we must put our plans aside and use them as a basic guideline, not as a hard fast rule for life.

Why is it detrimental to live like this? If we’re constantly focused on fulfilling “the plan,” whether it be the plan for the day or our overall plan for our life, we miss out on fulfilling the little things God has for us each day. Those little moments, after all, often add up to be the big things He had for us all along. I have to daily remind myself that God is bigger than my plan. He can fulfill His purpose for my life, regardless of where I find myself today. He can use me at my work, at my church, or even at the grocery store; and He has. I’m often reminded of the biblical stories of David. If you’ve studied his life any, you are aware that there was a huge gap of time between David’s being anointed to be king and his appointing as king. There was a huge waiting period, a preparation period if you will. Secondly, let’s take a moment and think about where David was when he was anointed. He was a shepherd out in a field, not sitting in the king’s court. He wasn’t even the first or second or third choice of his father. His father didn’t even consider that God, through Samuel, would choose to anoint his son David. In his earthly father’s mind, he wasn’t enough. He didn’t fit the part. This brings my heart so much encouragement, because I often have those same fears. I often fear that I’m not in the right spot to be used. I fear that I might have made a wrong turn and now God won’t be able to find me or fulfill His purpose in me. I fear that who I am just may not be enough. I Corinthians 1:26- 29 reminds me otherwise. It states, “For consider your calling, brothers: not many of you were wise according to worldly standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, so that no human being might boast in the presence of God.” This verse is freeing! This verse shows that we are all qualified to fulfill the will of God, because we all lack in some way. Do you feel like you may not be enough? Perfect! You can be used by God. Do you feel like you may not have your act together? Perfect! You too can be used by God. Regardless of our current state or location, God can use us. I am reminded today that I can trust God and His promises, even when I can’t see His timeline. I can enjoy and live in today, because I don’t have to fear that I’m going to miss out on His best for my today or tomorrow.

lauren-and-james-in-front-of-castle

 

Posted in Uncategorized | 4 Comments

An Unpopular Opinion on Taking Offense

Often when the Lord is correcting an issue in our lives, we encounter a similar, seemingly unbeatable problem over and over again. Typically, how this starts in my own life, is through me asking God to root out sin in my life and make me more like Him. He never fails to answer this prayer, and I never fail to be completely unaware that my trials are Him answering that prayer. I firmly believe that God deals with one issue at a time, because we would be completely overwhelmed if He revealed all the problem areas of our hearts at once. Philippians 1:6  tells me that “He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” This reveals an important truth- that we will always have things that need refining in our hearts. God will continue to address these areas in order to make us more like Christ and less like our sin nature.

Recently, I prayed that difficult, heart-felt prayer, asking God to root out something that was not pleasing to His heart and to continue to prepare me for ministry. At first when He answered this prayer, I was frustrated and confused. I began to feel upset and dejected. I couldn’t understand why I was repeatedly encountering similar issues. They seemed to defeat me every time. I then decided to confide in a godly woman at work with my frustrations. What she told me provided both peace and understanding. She told me that God oftentimes has to continue sending the same challenges our way, because we’re missing a very important lesson. Each similar challenge was an opportunity to learn that next lesson and experience a change in my heart. Suddenly, the Holy Spirit spoke to me and reminded me of my recent request for refining. I then began to earnestly seek the Lord and ask for clarity regarding what He wanted to teach me. I pleaded with Him to teach me this lesson quickly, because I couldn’t take much more defeat. True to His character, He answered a prayer that was lined up according to His will.

Now,  I’ve been completely honest and vulnerable on this blog since the day I began writing, but this lesson was a doozy. This lesson linked back to years of childhood hurt and rejection. This was a lesson I had been fighting for the majority of my life. This was a lesson in offense. As a child, I encountered moment after moment of rejection. I was told I was weird by other children who didn’t understand my quirky personality, my sense of utter honesty, or my free spirit. I experienced rejection from a teacher who mistook my love of learning as a form of arrogance. I took my father’s busy schedule as a sign of rejection, and I even experienced rejection from high school students who didn’t agree with my choice to abstain from alcohol and premarital sex. I let these moments reek havoc in my heart. I let them define my outlook on life, the lens through which I judged my interactions with others. This fear of rejection has far too long crippled me, and I am positive that the Lord has for years mourned with me and longed to set me free from that trap of the enemy. Here’s where the painful truth comes in. My fear of rejection and my constant feelings of offense were not my classmates fault, my teacher’s fault, my father’s fault, or anyone else’s fault. The Lord revealed to me that my offense was MY fault. I couldn’t possibly understand. “But Lord, they hurt me. They rejected me. They didn’t accept me. How is that my fault?” The Lord began to bring such truth and healing to my hurt as He told me that my immediate reaction to rejection is to be expected, but what I do with that pain is on me. Whether I choose to walk in forgiveness or offense has nothing to do with them. It has everything to do with me.

This is an unpopular opinion. In the world, we are taught that it is our RIGHT to be hurt, our RIGHT to be angry. They must apologize to us. We deserve that. The Lord has revealed to me that this is the way of the world but not the way of the Word. God’s Word requires that I lay that right down. I laid that right down when I chose to pick up the cross. If anyone has the right to be hurt, it’s God. I’ve rejected Him daily. I’ve chosen other loves over Him. I’ve neglected Him. I’ve rejected Him. I’ve forgotten Him. I’ve wronged Him in every way, yet He has never forsaken me. He has never pushed me away when I’ve come running back to His arms. My job as a believer is to take that grace that has been extended to me vertically and to send it out horizontally to those around me. How can I accept so freely His forgiveness yet refuse to extend it to His children? Wow! So convicting!

This month, I have made some changes. I have decided to extend forgiveness and to be slow to anger, for love “bears no record of wrongs” (1 Corinthians 13). On my way to work every morning, I have been making declarations of faith such as this, “I forgive _______. I am choosing to extend God’s grace to them. God, help me to forgive. As I stand in faith saying that I forgive, I pray that you would cause my feelings to line up according to your Word.” The truth is this: I don’t always FEEL like I forgive them when I say that prayer. To the contrary, sometimes I still feel quite hurt. I know, however, what God’s Word says, and God’s Word requires me to walk in forgiveness. “For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins” (Matthew 6:14-15). For that reason, I cause the words of my mouth to line up according to God’s Word, believing that my feelings will soon follow. Grace be to God, they have done so every single time. We serve a great God who longs to bring healing and draw us closer to Him.

LM - LogoSolid

Posted in Rejection | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Sex: Everyone’s Doing It

I’ve wanted to write about this topic for a long time. In fact, it’s something that I’m very passionate about. But how can I possibly say everything I feel and believe without coming across as preachy and turning everyone away? For starters, sex, as a whole, is a widely avoided topic in the church. It’s too messy, too condemning of a topic to preach on. In short, it’s uncomfortable. For the most part, we don’t mind talking about the grace that follows our sin, but we sure don’t want to talk about the fact that sex outside of marriage is, indeed, sin.

We don’t talk about the fact that each time you have sex with someone who isn’t your spouse, you’re forming a soul tie. We don’t talk about the joy in waiting to give that gift to one person, your spouse. More than anything, and perhaps most importantly, we don’t equip anyone to walk in purity, and we don’t give them proof that it’s possible. Any time I’ve heard purity referred to, it’s been in the context of someone telling their audience that, unlike them, they needed to wait until marriage to have sex. Instead of just telling others they should wait until marriage, it’s time to start saying, “I did wait until marriage, you can wait until marriage, and this is how…” I want to equip the body of believers to actively, wisely wait, because it is possible, and it is so rewarding.

Practically speaking, how can I preserve purity? Well, purity starts with what I think in my mind, what I see with my eyes, and what I say with my mouth. Romans 12:2 says to “not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” If my mind starts to wander on things it shouldn’t, I can think new thoughts. It’s normal for thoughts to cross my mind that don’t need to stay. That’s not the issue. Dwelling on those thoughts is what gets me into trouble. Colossians 3:2 reminds me to “set [my] mind on things above.” If I’m having serious trouble regulating what goes into my mind, the next step is to question what I’ve been putting in front of my eyes. What am I watching on t.v.? Am I watching sensual television that’s causing me to lust? Throughout Song of Solomon, the author reminds me to “not awaken love before it’s time.” How am I protecting my heart until it’s time? One issue with putting trash in front of my eyes is that what I put in affects what comes out. This leads me to ask what I am saying with my mouth? What kind of jokes am I engaging in? What types of things am I talking to my boyfriend about? If he’s not my spouse, I shouldn’t treat him like he is. I don’t want to give a boy something that was meant to be given to the man God has for me.

What about physically? You may wonder how far is too far. I think there are a few safe, practical steps to help with this decision. First off, if you have to ask, it’s probably too far. If you’re too embarrassed to do it in front of your parents, there’s a very good chance that it’s too far. If you don’t want to have to tell your future spouse, it’s definitely too far. I also want to list some practical possibilities for pursuing purity. These guidelines were given to me through parents, mentors, and the Holy Spirit.

First off, I recommend setting guidelines from the get go. Letting your significant other know your standards and morals right away, goes a long way in setting yourselves up for success. I also recommend staying far away from a bed or a bedroom. Although your intentions may be innocent, you’re still human and still open to this very real temptation. That room is for sleeping… by yourself. Next, the parts of you that are most private should stay that way. Don’t let someone touch what’s for you and your spouse only. If he’s trying to touch those areas after your guideline talk, walk away. There’s a high chance that he’ll cause you to compromise. It’s unlikely, however, that he’ll adapt your standards. Take my word on that one. Lastly, go on some very public dates. Go on dates with friends, as well. Not only does this protect your heart and your purity, it also allows you to see your significant other in group settings, which will give you a better sense of his character.

I hope some of these practical steps encourage you and challenge you. You can pursue a life of purity and holiness with the help of the Holy Spirit. If you’ve neglected to make these decisions in the past, start now. It’s never too late to pursue godliness.

 

 

Posted in purity, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

2015 Reflections. 2016 Hopes.

2015 brought me so many beautiful things. It brought me a husband, new friends, a new Bible study group, new growth, new maturity, and new wisdom. 2015 reignited my passion to teach on purity and marriage. It taught me to be selfless in my love and to compromise. It taught me the beauty and sanctity of marriage, a union and covenant before God. It was by far my best year up to date.

I was told in the summer of 2014 that I would marry my spouse in 2015. Although I found it hard to believe, boy did the Lord answer that prayer and desire! He fulfilled a long awaited promise. In 2016, I’m waiting on another promise given to me by God at a very young age. I’m going to watch God expand my territory through ministry. The word “waiting” comes to mind. Habakkuk 2:3 reminds me of this truth: “For the vision is yet for an appointed time and it hastens to the end [fulfillment]; it will not deceive or disappoint. Though it tarry, wait [earnestly] for it, because it will surely come; it will not be behindhand on its appointed day.” The waiting is never in vain! It is often a time of preparation. The promises of God will not disappoint and are never behind on time.

If we reflect on King David’s life, we see a perfect example of this. There was a huge gap in time between David’s anointing and his appointing. Although he was called at a young age, there was a lengthy period of preparation before he was able to visibly walk in that calling. We often get discouraged when we see this in our own life. When God gives us a promise, we want it immediately. We want to walk in it NOW, but we forget the preparation that is needed for the promise. Rarely do we see a promise followed by immediate fulfillment. Consider Abraham who waited to become the father of many nations. There were times when he even had to lay all hopes of the promise down, like when God called him to sacrifice Isaac, seemingly giving up the very means by which the promise would be fulfilled. God saw Abraham’s obedience and provided another sacrifice. What beauty in Abraham’s obedience, however! Would we do the same? I often panic when I think I saw the means by which God would fulfill my promise and then it was stripped away. The truth is that we cannot comprehend God’s ways. We try so hard to figure out how He will bring our promises about that we try to figure them into each and every situation, instead of trusting Him to do the work. What if we had the faith to believe in God’s promises without limiting Him with our limited understanding? What if we trusted that He is good and is sovereign and that He’s going to answer His promises in His way and in His timing?

My 2016 New Years Resolution is to fall deeper in love with my Savior and to watch in faith as He continues to make a way for the fulfillment of His promises. My heart is to “Preach the word. [To] be urgent IN season and OUT of season,” as 2 Timothy 4:2 reminds me. I know that “My life is worth nothing unless I use it to finish what God has assigned me… the work of telling others the Good News about the wonderful grace of God” (Acts 20:24).

 

IMG_7098

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Does God Care About the Little Things?

Do you ever wonder if God actually cares about your day to day prayers? Do you wonder if He has time for the ridiculous every day things you dare to ask? Do you doubt He has time to consider all the longings in your heart? Do you actually trust that His heart is not only for His glory but also for your good? Well, this week I was so in awe of how much our God cares about the little things and how much He pays attention to the smallest of details.

While on my way to an appointment, I felt the Holy Spirit tell me to stop at a local frozen yogurt shop, one that I hadn’t visited in a very long time. I had no clue why the Holy Spirit would want me to get frozen yogurt, but I sure didn’t mind stopping by for a treat. While inside, I stood behind an older couple, one of which had parkinson’s disease and was shaking badly. Due to the shaking, the man dropped all of his frozen yogurt on the floor, only to receive yells of impatience and embarrassment from his spouse. I felt the Lord lead me to run over and start picking up the mess for them. I then asked what kind of yogurt the man had chosen, so I could refill his cup. As I handed his wife the newly filled cup of yogurt, I felt the Holy Spirit tell me to purchase their order. At first, the lady said she couldn’t possibly let me do that as she stood in complete shock. After telling her that it would really bless me to be able to purchase their order, she let me and thanked me over and over again. She even asked to hug me and said she couldn’t understand why I would do that for perfect strangers. There it was- the perfect opportunity to share the Gospel! I told her how the Lord had told me that I needed to bless them that day. The woman behind the counter even stopped what she was doing to say that the occasion ministered to her heart. By this point, the whole establishment was full of people, and all of these people were able to witness this moment between perfect strangers that was orchestrated by the Lord.

I say all this to say that if the Lord could cause me to go out of my way to get frozen yogurt just to brighten one couple’s day, what wouldn’t he do for you and me when we call out to Him according to His will? So often, we wonder if God is really working on our behalf and if He really cares about the “little things.” I’m here to tell you that He most certainly does. He cares. He cares about the big stuff, and He cares about the little stuff. I think that one of the reasons that He cares so much about the little things is because they bring about the faith-building, aha! moments. The little moments when we see Him working on our behalf time and time again increase our trust in Him and His heart toward us. It’s not that we don’t normally think that He can do all of these things. Often, however, we doubt that He WILL do all of those “little things.” I believe this is a result of our lack of understanding of His character. If we truly trusted God’s heart toward us, I believe we would pray much bigger, faith-filled prayers and that we would trust Him to take care of the every day itty bitty prayers too.The same God who parted waters and raised people from the dead can stop the rain for a wedding and provide an opportunity to bless someone else’s day.

For instance, just today, my husband and I were in the mall praying for our lunch when James asked God to provide us with an opportunity to witness to someone before the day was over. We weren’t two bites into our food when one of his students pulled up a chair next to us and began to talk. He told us of his loneliness, doubt, and need for Jesus. Aha! There it was again! God working in a insanely timely manner to answer even the smallest of prayers. Just like that, we had our faith-building moment. Our God delights in answering those prayers that are aligned with His will and for His glory. He loves to show His power and loving-kindness. What a wonderful God we serve- one that loves to answer both the huge, difficult prayers and the smallest cries of our hearts. I hope this post encourages you to once again trust in the heart of our God. He is actively working on your behalf!

James 1:6 “But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind.”

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments