Thursday, May 16, 2019

stress, worry and failure

One of the things I fear most in life is failure. In my mind I know that everyone makes mistakes and that everyone fails, but I have a hard time getting my heart to accepted it. To the point that I stress and worry about it A LOT! The last 2 weeks this fear has raised its ugly head once again. I got a promotion at work, now this is something that I have worked hard and prayed for. In my head I know that I am ready for this and I want it, but something in me is afraid that I will make a mistake and fall flat on my face. Even after my bosses reassured me that they were only a text or a call away and that they had faith in me, the father of lies still whispered in my ear that I was not good enough and that I would mess everything up. I listened to them, not only that I believed them. I forgot to listen to the voice of Truth, the one who knows me best and has a plan for me. Instead I listened and gave into fear.  All that stress, worry and fear did was make it so I did not sleep well and caused me to fight a battle that left me emotionally tired and drained. 

But God, in his goodness know what need to happen to get my attention. On the way home from church last night I had deiced that I would hold on for 1 full month, 4 weeks, in this new position and if by that time I was still feeling the same way I would make a change. Did you catch that? I had...  not God, in fact He did not even enter the picture. How foolish am I? But God is still good to the foolish and the weak. The rest of the drive home song after song on the radio was about God and his plan, goodness, faithfulness and love. Songs that reminded me where my strength come from and that God is not done with me. Songs like Francesca Battiselli's Giants Fall, Unspokens' Good Fight and Laura Storys' Look Up Child. 
It is going to be a change, but God is writing the story and not me. I need to remind myself that the Fear is a liar and that I can fight fear when I stand on the promises of God. My only failure was to forget that God is good, a lesson I am slow to learn. 

Sunday, March 3, 2019

trials, tragedies and reasons

We all go through trials and tragedies. In those moments we look for the reasons as to why. I have been told that there are three reasons why we go through trials. The first is correction, one example of this is in the life of David. When he sinned with Bathsheba the tragedy that came from that was the death of their son. Next is protective, the trial stops us from making the wrong move. An example of this is the thorn of the flesh that Paul had, it kept him humble so that he did not fall into the sin of pride. The third reason that is given is to teach, for this example we turn to Job. God allowed the trails in Jobs life to teach Job more about God. So what do you do if your trial does not fit any of those categories? This happened to my mom the last few years. In the last few years my family has walked through many different trials. After hearing a sermon on trails a few weeks ago she started to wrestle with God for an reason why. None of the stuff she has been through fit into the categories that were given in the sermon she heard. God gave her an answer in the most unexpected way. God directed my moms thoughts to how Bathsheba and Job's wife must have felt walking through the tragedies they faced. The situations they when through where not of their making, so it was not corrective. We do not see any sin that were stopped by these situations, so not protective. The bible does not tell us what these woman learned about God through these tragedies, that eliminates teaching trails. Why did these women have to deal with the trail? The answer my mom got makes a lot of sense. There is a fourth reason for trails! My mom put it this way "The trials were not purposeful but they were not purposeless either. God did not plan them for me, but he still used them in my life." (Amy Smith) She explained it as if what she was dealing with was collateral damage. That there was a trail in someone else life that was affecting her as well. Much like Bathsheba and Job's wife did not ask for the things they dealt with but because of the choices of others they had to walk though it. This does not make it any easier to walk through the trail. It gives new meaning to the verse "And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose." (Romans 8:28 KJV).   We will not always know the reason for the tragedies that happen in this life till we get to heaven. There is peace in knowing that even when nothing make sense that God is still in control! My mom did not know how much I need to hear this truth that God had shown her. A few weeks ago we learned that my Pepe has cancer. For the last few weeks I have been at a lost as how to accept that my family will have to walk this path yet again. It will be hard, but God has plan. I am not called to understand every detail of His plan, I am called to trust and obey.       

Friday, February 8, 2019

Bigger plans

"We are not giving you the promotion but I have bigger plans for you."  That was the way the conversation started with my boss this afternoon. This is the second time I have tried for this and not made the mark. I am glad for the guy who got the position but at the same time I am have to figure out how to take it. 
  This not the first time in the last few weeks were the idea of someone having bigger plans for me has crossed my mind. In church for the last few weeks pastor has been talking about trusting Gods plans and not ours. We all come to a point in our lives where we must choose between our will and Gods perfect plan. Some of the time God tells us " I am not giving you this thing you want that is a good thing. But I have something better planed for you, you just have to wait." How hard is the waiting!! Abraham was told this many times and sometimes he waited and other times he did not. The bible is full of stories where men and women of faith were forced to make the same choices. 
There is a song by Casting Crowns that has been on my mind since that conversation earlier today and that is Dream for You. Here is part of it. 
"So come on, let Me dream, let Me dream for you
I am strong when you're weak and I'll carry you
So let go of your plan, be caught by My hand
I'll show you what I can do
When I dream for you
When I dream for you."
When we allow God, the dream giver, to dream for us the dreams we get are so beyond what we could ever think or dare to ask. So take the disappointments of this life and give them to the plan maker for He is not done yet. 
Here is link to a new song I heard the other day that also has been playing in the back of my mind Danny Gokey -Haven't seen it Yet. This song is making its way to the top spot on my list. 

Monday, December 17, 2018

Life Rubric

For those who don`t know I recently started pursuing a Bachelors in Business Administration through Grand Canyon University online program. Today in "class" the instructor asked us what was our Life Rubric. That is to say what are the forces that drive our decision making and how do we know we are doing thing properly? I only intended to write a short answer to the question but 500 words later I was done.  I hope you enjoy my long answer to a simple question.

    What are the "life" rubrics I use? Each thing on the rubric ties to a person in my life. I want to be dedicated like my Grandpepe, He stayed married to the same woman for over 70 years. 40 years into his marriage, when he retired, he learned that the wife he thought he knew was a stranger to him. At some point in the first 40 years of marriage my Grandmeme started to drink a lot, she still does, but because my Grandpepe was never home during the day to see it he had no idea it was so bad. At one point my Grandpepe told my Meme (grandmother) that he was thinking about divorcing my Grandmeme. But he did not because he made a promise to her to stick with her till death do them part. This is only one of the characteristics that made Grandpepe so special.
  The next item on my rubric for life is I want to be generous like my Uncle John. Uncle John died six years ago this past June. The thing about Uncle John was he would give you the shirt off his back if you need it. When I was about six or seven years old my mom decided to take me and my four sisters on a trip to visit her sister in Kansas and my dad was not able to come. This trip happened only about a year after 9/11, my youngest sister was only about one year old. Uncle John dropped everything and took the trip with us. He helped my Mom get all of us to and from the planes in the airport, at one point we got on the wrong plane. If not for my Uncle the trip would have been a complete disaster. Everyone who knew him said the same thing, He would go out of his way to help others. That is want people to say of me.  

   Third item on the rubric is I want to be loving like my Meme. Meme after having six kids decided that she wanted to adopt. My Meme and Pepe (grandfather) adopted a total of six kids. They took kids at no one else wanted, kids labeled special needs. Some had previous adoptions be disrupted for some reason or another. Some of the kid’s birth parents were in jail for drugs and stealing. One of my Uncles was in 22 foster homes before he was seven years old. Meme loved them all, she still does. She gave them childhoods that they never would have had elsewhere. Meme would tell you that she is too loving, too trusting. But I think she has so much love in her from her father, Grandpepe, that it can not but help to spill over all over the place. I love you, Meme!

  Forth, I want to be a woman of faith like Mom. My mom has had some tough hand dealt her. But she never gave up on God or her family. When I feel discouraged, frustrated or upset Mom is the person I turn to. I have watched her as she has dealt with lack of finical resources so that she could stay home with us five. I have watched her as she dealt with the loss of her brother, Uncle John, and her grandfather, Grandpepe. I watched her support my father as he went through the loss of his mother, father and brother Uncle Doug. Through it all she just grew closer to God.

   I could go on and on but I have already taken to much of your time. Sorry for being so long winded and Thank you.

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Thanksgiving

     Thanksgiving the time of year were we stop and think about what we are thankful for. Family, friends, and food are usually at the top of the list. But have you ever been thankful for the testings? Have you ever truly thanked God for the trials in your life?
     James 1:2-3 says "My brethren, count it all Joy when ye fall into divers temptations; Knowing this that the trying of your faith worketh patience."  What does this look like? I mean in the middle off the trials I have read this verse and thought "How is this going to work patience?"  And "This! This is supposed to be for my good?" 
    Recently I heard a new song by We Are Messengers called Maybe It's Okay.  The chorus goes      
                     " Maybe it's ok if I'm not ok
        'Cause the One who holds the world is holding onto me
                    Maybe it's all right if I'm not all right
       'Cause the One who holds the stars is holding my whole life"
In a world today we are told "don't let anyone so you not at your best."  "Fake it till you make it."  But God tell us "Trust me." "Lean on me." " Let me carry you through."  When we understand that God uses things we don't understand to grow us we can thank him for the trials. Most often we thank him for the blessings that follow the trial, but not during the trial. (Guilty as charged)
      This year at Thanksgiving I am thankful for
         1. The hard things I have gone through trying to find my way in the "real" world. It lead me to being able to help my sister.
        2. My car having to go to the shop. It means I get to spend time with Abby and Ava!
        3. Long, hard days at work. I have money in my pocket, well money to help spend on those I love.
      

Friday, September 28, 2018

Identity

Identity, we all have one. Who we are and how we portray our selves. Upon first meeting me you see a young adult, early 20s, short and slightly round in figure. You see my dark hair and blue eyes and depending on the day a put together outfit. As you talk to me you learn things like my name, work place, college I graduated from, where I grew up and how big my family is.  The more we talk the more you learn about me. Maybe you learn that I love to bake, my favorite color is blue, that I love dogs more then cats, or any number of thing that make me who I am. One thing I hope it does not take you long to learn about me and my identity is that I am a Christian and that is where my identity starts and is rooted.
     In church since the beginning of the year the sermons have more or less focused on identity and what a gospel centered identity looks and acts like. Through these messages I have begun to see how God is using events in my life to fill out details about me. Each change, for good or not, has been a chance to learn and be molded into the image of his son.  Each lesson has allowed me the opportunity to grow closer to God, the source of my identity. With each step closer I find a greater sense of peace in trials and a great sense of confidence in every day life.
   Don't get me wrong there are mistakes that I wish I never made, things I wished happened differently, but I have found God faithful through it all. I can now look back on some of the hardest times in the last 22 (ish ) years and see that everything had a bit of good in it. Romans 8:28 "And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose." This verse is hard to swallow in the middle of the trial, but the promise is still there. Once we get far enough away that we can turn and look back and see God's hand, that is when we see the fulfillment of this promise.

Saturday, August 18, 2018

Ripples

Last Sunday's theme in church was ripples. In Sunday school we talked about sin makes ripples but so does grace.  When you sin, lie lie or lose your temper, it makes ripples and has effects you could never see. I forget who frist said this but hurt people hurt people. But just as sin and hurt ripple through us grace and love cause ripples in our lives. To see this we only have to look at the pay it coward movement.  We all have moments that shape us, those ripples from others. Some we can trace others we can't.
      Let me give you an example. My salvation story starts before I was born.  My salvation ripples  from my moms salvation. My moms salvation ripples out from the influence of a person she met on her high school bus. A lady I may never met, but she influenced my life. This just goes to show how your actions can change the life of someone you may never met, for good or bad.