Wednesday, December 28, 2011
It's so easy for me to think someone else's behavior is stupid. Easy to judge. Easy to label weaker or stronger than myself in some area as I listen and observe.
I forget so quickly how different each person's shoes are from my own. I forget we are all weak and sinful humans the same, just all struggle and sin in different ways. Just all have very very very different things that are easy or hard for us.
To give compassion and love to another no matter what, both in my heart, actions, and words is something I am never quick to, no matter how much I think I am.
I forget what is a slide to me is a mountain to another.
Tuesday, December 27, 2011
You saw me broken
You saw me battered
You saw me filthy
You saw me shattered
You saw me wicked
You saw me lying
You saw me failing
You saw me trying
You saw me angry
You saw me jealous
You saw me prideful
You saw me selfish
You saw me wonder
You saw me lustful
You saw me striving
I want her
I love her
She's the one for Me
I choose her
I know her
My blood has made her clean
She is My true love.
Bring her to Me
Put a ring on her finger
Clothe her in my righteousness
Shine My light all around her
Place a crown upon her head
Keep her tears in a bottle
See her name upon My hands
When she says: I don’t deserve it,
Tell her: I took the nails instead.
I took the nails instead
Now she's always by His side
She stays in His arms day and night
Out of the cage
Out of the shame.
Into the light
Into the light
She's finding her beauty
She's finding her grace
She's finding her whole heart
She's showing her face
In the light
In the light
She's pure in the light
She's Home in the light.
You rescued me, Lord
You rescued me
You set me free
When I thought that I could never escape
You came for me
You found me
In the prison I made for myself
You broke down the bars
You opened the door
You took me by the hand
And when I couldn't get out,
You carried me.
You lifted me with Your own strength
You walked me right out of the jail.
Right out of the prison.
And You dealt with all of my enemies
You dealt with all of my shame
And all of my embarrassment
Oh Jesus, You took it upon yourself
You took it upon Yourself.
-Laura Woodley "Into the Light"
Sunday, December 25, 2011
You know the story, an angel came down,
Appeared to a virgin in Nazareth town
He said, "Don't fear, Mary, my name is Gabe...
Surprise, surprise, you're gonna have a babe.
Yeah, you will conceive and bear a son
His name will be Jesus, He's the chosen one"
She said, "How can this be
I've never been with a man?"
Gabe said, "Don't worry, God's got a plan."
Now, Joseph was a pure man, all of his life
And he was planning to make Mary his wife.
But when he found out, she was with child
He said, "I made a mistake--this girl is wild."
An angel said, "Joe, things may seem hairy,
But don't be afraid to marry Mary."
A decree went out that all should be taxed
So Joseph and Mary did what Caesar asked.
They traveled on a donkey to Bethlehem,
But when they arrived, there was no room at the inn.
"No room, no room," the innkeeper said
"But you can go out to the stable instead."
So under one big bright star in Heaven,
A Child was born, a Son was given.
It was a humble beginning for Christ that day.
They put Him in a manger on a bed of hay.
While shepherds watched their flock that night,
They were frightened by a bright white light.
An angel said, "Good news I bring.
Go to Bethlehem and see the boy King."
Then wise men came, spared no expense.
Brought gold, and myrrh and frankincense
Everyone came to the manger scene
The cattle were lowing, whatever that means.
Worshiping the Christ-child, bowing down low,
And that was two thousand years ago...
Today wise men still search for the Truth
And if you seek Him, He will find you
Is there room in your heart for Him?
Is there room in your heart for Him?
Is there room in your heart for Him?
Is there room in your heart for Him?
Is there room for the Wonderful Counselor?
Is there room for the Prince of Peace?
Is there room for the Almighty God?
Is there room for the Everlasting Father?
Is there room in your heart for Him?
Friday, December 23, 2011
Mainly up. (because I see it as up and am so thankful for Him, His strength, and the peace knowing His grace fills me with)
Sometimes very down too,
But so thankful for both!!! (so for me I barely see the downs as really a bad thing. I like the hardness in many ways, always have, like learning, growing in compassion for others who are always hurting. I'm so well off compared to so many....)
Through both, I run to Him. (or try)
try to rest in and lean on and praise the One Who carries
Who is with me always,
how comforting is that?? ...to me it is extremely.
Up, down, all around, yet He holds.
forgives and loves.
I love Him.
Saturday, December 10, 2011
I really like everything about this song except that the word "lust" is added. I don't get why that word is!!! Lust is a sin. But... Everything else is perfectly about Christ to me... The song makes me think of flying in Heaven... supported by faith. Christ's wings and strength.
27 Why do you complain, Jacob?
Why do you say, Israel,
“My way is hidden from the LORD;
my cause is disregarded by my God”?
28 Do you not know?
Have you not heard?
The LORD is the everlasting God,
the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He will not grow tired or weary,
and his understanding no one can fathom.
29 He gives strength to the weary
and increases the power of the weak.
30 Even youths grow tired and weary,
and young men stumble and fall;
31 but those who hope in the LORD
will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint.
What is to come for us, the strugglers and sinners, God's people, Jacob and Israel, is still to come. Mostly in Heaven... :)
Friday, December 2, 2011
Tuesday, November 29, 2011
I am filled with SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO MUCH ENERGY and love. So much it is really really painful. But amazing.
And God loves us way way way way way to infinity more!!!
That must be PAINFUL. But beautiful and amazing at the same time.
So incredibly painful and filled with love that He can't help but smile hugely from the inside out.
I have HUGE HUGE HUGE HUGE HUGE HUGE HUGE desire to just love people. I can BARELY stand it!!! I think it's cuz I have to do stupid homework and hate it. (And am not being productive AT ALL lately....)
I am so thankful for this immense love in my heart!
I CAN'T WAIT to be done with college. To just go to work and love people there and then love my family and friends afterward...
All I want to do is love.
I hate working on homework. Hate focusing on me. I'm horrible at it too. And it takes me forever to get through anything... bah.
...But I'm gonna try to use some of this energy to get at least a tiny tiny bit done before I go out and love. :)
God is so good.
I am craving the Word SO MUCH.
I love reading the stories about the coming of Jesus as a baby. The stories about Mary, Elizabeth, the angels, John the Baptist, Zechariah, etc. ...
They are so amazing. Breathtaking. Magical.
This was and is God.
The Savior of the world.
Coming in this incredible (and lowly way). To be born in a manger.
And the angels sang...
God is forever glorious.
I cant wait to celebrate this special time with others. This special time of thinking about God in a unique and different way than I usually do.
Woot!!!!!!!!!!! I just want to run miles, and be with people, and love and hug them and listen to them and serve them....
haha I'm crazy. But it's partly because I've had a day filled with stupid school and homework and studying (yet not getting any done...)
Ha. I will somehow get through the end of this semester. Even if I do bad in my classes. God will help me and hold me. This time is crazy, but interesting and exciting at the same time.
"In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, 27 to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. 28 The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.”
29 Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. 30 But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God. 31 You will conceive and give birth to a Son, and you are to call Him Jesus. 32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David, 33 and He will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; His kingdom will never end.”
Wow. It overwhelms me to think about what Mary must've felt and gone through.
The baby Jesus...
Extravagant, never-ending, unconditional, unfathomable love for us all.
Can you please pray for me to trust God with each day? To be less selfish, less loving and worshiping and worried about me, and more loving toward Him. I want to be broken of myself. I want to start following His ten commandments and just living for Him. I am so far from being filled with the fruits of the Spirit it isn't even funny. Please pray for me to be broken. Less of me. More love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self control.
I am so far from those.
But thank God that He will humble me and pick me up.
He is helping me through these stupid times of homework.
Forgiving me as I idolize everything but Him.
Thank You God.
Help me to reach out.
Be hospitable and filled with grace.
Help me, God.
Sunday, November 27, 2011
Life is very hard and painful. We all try and fail to love others so much every day because we are all so different. It takes us forever to learn how to love, to learn about others. Perhaps, our whole life we will still be learning. We regret hurting others and we sadly get painfully hurt by others ourselves too. ... But no matter how hard each day is, there is so much to be thankful for. Forgiveness, Jesus and all He did, family, friends, life, and all we have. The chance to try and try again... Thanks God.
Saturday, November 26, 2011
Psalm 90A prayer of Moses the man of God.
1 Lord, you have been our dwelling place
throughout all generations.
2 Before the mountains were born
or you brought forth the whole world,
from everlasting to everlasting you are God.
3 You turn people back to dust,
saying, “Return to dust, you mortals.”
4 A thousand years in your sight
are like a day that has just gone by,
or like a watch in the night.
5 Yet you sweep people away in the sleep of death—
they are like the new grass of the morning:
6 In the morning it springs up new,
but by evening it is dry and withered.
7 We are consumed by your anger
and terrified by your indignation.
8 You have set our iniquities before you,
our secret sins in the light of your presence.
9 All our days pass away under your wrath;
we finish our years with a moan.
10 Our days may come to seventy years,
or eighty, if our strength endures;
yet the best of them are but trouble and sorrow,
for they quickly pass, and we fly away.
11 If only we knew the power of your anger!
Your wrath is as great as the fear that is your due.
12 Teach us to number our days,
that we may gain a heart of wisdom.
13 Relent, LORD! How long will it be?
Have compassion on your servants.
14 Satisfy us in the morning with your unfailing love,
that we may sing for joy and be glad all our days.
15 Make us glad for as many days as you have afflicted us,
for as many years as we have seen trouble.
16 May your deeds be shown to your servants,
your splendor to their children.
17 May the favor of the Lord our God rest on us;
establish the work of our hands for us—
yes, establish the work of our hands.
Tuesday, November 22, 2011
Something random I was thinking about today is how much one of the things I like to do and that makes me happier than anything is helping people. Loving people. Making them smile. Brightening their day in some way. Spreading a little of God's joy or sharing God's love for them.
(And I really really hate more than anything hurting people. Bringing them any kind of pain or discomfort. I hate when people worry about me, and I always worry people are worried about me or my health or that something I do is bothering or hurting them.)
... Anyway, somewhere in the day when I was smiling about how much I just love to make others smile, it hit me... reminded me about something about God...
God loves to see you happy. Loves to see you smiling about something good. Something He created just for you to do or enjoy. Loves to see you smiling about Him or His creation or His blessings.
It makes God happy to see you happy!!!
... He only wishes He could bless you more. That you would just relax. Enjoy each situation. Each day. He made you you. Gave you these exact circumstances. He is with you. He forgives you. He loves you. He saves you.
He just wants you to be happy.
Nothing makes Him happier than seeing His creation rejoice over His day, His creation, the life He's given you. ... He loves you.
... Loves to see you smile. :)
Only wishes you would let yourself do so more.
the Father's love letter
Monday, November 21, 2011
... I have a really really deep-rooted fear though. That even my honest encouragements will hurt them. That they will think I am being fake. That it will somehow make them feel bad or something...
I don't know, my fears are stupid, but hugely deep-rooted.
Last night after sending my very very dear old dance teacher Joni (one of the women of Christ I really look up to most for her heart and passion for Jesus) an encouraging message about how thankful I am for her, she called me.
It was a much needed talk. I am really really thankful she called.
And this morning I am still trying to grasp, trying to believe what she said. It almost seems like to much, too much for me to bear or think about because I barely have the strength to believe it.
I told her about how hard the last few weeks have been. How scary, hard, and horrible. How God's ripped away EVERYTHING I was holding onto (that I didn't even realize I was holding onto.) God brought me to a place where I am so incredibly weak all I can do is say, "You will be done."
It is amazing.
Beyond beyond scary and hard, but so good. So needed, Exactly what I've been praying for.
I need this to continue. I want this to continue forever.
I want to be broken down every day. Broken more and more and more and more. All these earthly desires, selfish wants, all these things I am trying to hold onto and control ripped away. Everything ripped away until I am only His.
I need this. And I need prayers for it bad. I am so far from the cross.
So far from the woman of Christ I want to be and know I can be for Him.
I've been a selfish, anxious monster, not a woman of Christ.
I have so much growing and changing to do, but I am excited to do it for Christ. The One who deserves my all.
The thing I've been asking for most prayers, and REALLY need most prayers for is to surrender control of my time to Him. Wanting and taking control of my time is my biggest idol. The biggest thing I struggle with and try desperately to hold on every day. Please pray I can let go of this control and learn patience. Wait for His lead. HIS will be done, not mine!!! ... His plans are always SO SO SO SO SO SO SO SO SO SO SO SO MUCH better and more amazing than my own anyway!!! When I finally do surrender He takes my breath away. He knows me and my heart and my desires even more than I do. He romances me, cherishes me, and blows me away. HIS PLANS ARE BETTER THAN MY OWN.
So, I asked for her prayers that I would put loving others before all the selfish things I want to do.
... And we talked for awhile about how much better God's plans are than our own. How much we get so excited about our own plans for Him!!! How we want to do so many things and get so carried away!!! But our own plans never work. It is when we just relax and say "Your will be done" that He really works!!! HE works. Not me. It is clearly Him placing people and using me. And when this happens it is better than anything we ever imagined.
And Joni shared something I am still having A LOT of trouble grasping. She said she's learned it is when she is herself, her weak self, just relaxes and be's her, that God is really able to work. That God will just work, just place people, that He really has the chance to move. It's when she steps aside and says it's not about me, it's about You, just be's her, that He moves.
This is something I am really having trouble grasping, yet am amazed by this morning.
See, I still hate myself in so many ways. I have for so so so so so incredibly long. All I can see is my sinfulness, my weaknesses, my flaws, the way I fail others. And all I can remember is all the times I've felt others, the things they have been displeased with, want me to change, etc.
I need to let go of this form of pride every day.
IT IS NOT ABOUT ME at all.
It's about Him.
And I know, His strength is made perfect in weakness.
He made me ME. He loves me even though I am so far from the cross. He carries me and delights in me. He wants to take me and use me, just as I am. And He wants me to relax so that HE and not me, can make me new. :)
I am thankful for all the desires He's put in my heart! I do love me and how different I am. Though I very often feel ashamed of who I am, of my differences, of my flaws and failures, I need to just relax and let it be about Him and not me. He will work. He is using me as me more than I know.
It's all about a Savior. A Savior on a cross.
Who BLED, DIED, was spit on, endured horrible horrible horrible suffering for me, out of love for me, to forgive me for all these sins I should never be forgiven for.
How can I not just be moved to let go of me and let Him be my everything after that?
... Please pray for me.
And thank Him for using all of us and loving all of us, just the way we are. :)
His love is way too good to be true.
Saturday, November 12, 2011
My anxiety has been very very very scarily high lately.
Today was horribly hard and painful for a million reasons.
Every day has been lately.
So much anxiety and fear I am completely paralyzed often.
And sometimes I am a monster of anxiety.
It is really scary.
But... I know God forgives me through all of this.
He is holding me and carrying me. Through EVERYTHING.
And this doesn't even compare to what I've gone through in the past.
Though every day is very very scary and hard, God will hold me and help me get through this dark and scary time. He loves me so much it hurts, and even more than that.
Even though I am a completely sinful anxious mess, He forgives me, loves me, and is holding me.
Oh, how He loves me!!!
I just heard this song and broke down hard.
It's a message from God to us.
... I then sung it with my mom and broke down really really hard in the middle to the point where I couldn't sing. She kept singing. :) ... So precious.
God is holding all of us.
Even though we don't deserve it, we are held forever in His arms of grace.
He wants us to remember that.
He wants to be the One we reach for first.
"Fall Into Me"
When the weight of the world bears
down so strong
you leave footprints on the street.
And there’s too many miles to face
without a few more hours sleep.
The storm clouds overhead won’t shed
Any rain to quench your thirst.
I wanna be the One you reach for first.
When your faith is stretched so thin
that you can see straight through your soul.
And you can’t find a nickel to buy a smile
‘Cause your pockets all got holes.
You wanna shut the door and hide
before the day can get much worse.
I wanna be the One you reach for first.
Fall into Me.
My arms are open wide.
And you don’t have to say a word.
‘Cause I already see
that it’s hard and you’re scared
and you’re tired and it hurts
And I wanna be the One you reach for first.
I wanna be the bottle
Yyou’ve been drinking with your eyes.
Or the road you run away on.
You’ve been running all your life.
The third row pew
that you last knew as a child in church.
I wanna be the One you reach for first.
Before you turn the key
before you fall asleep
before you drift away to fight those
demons waiting for you in your dreams.
Before your arms are stretched wide open.
Before you reach into the sky.
Before you’re searching for direction
and all the answers to your why’s.
Fall into Me.
Oh, My arms are stretched wide open.
You don’t have to say a word.
Because I already see.
that it’s hard and you’re scared
and you’re tired and I know it hurts.
Yes, it’s hard and you’re scared
and you’re tired and it hurts.
And I wanna be the One you reach for first."
... This really makes me cry right now. Thank God that He forgives me even in the times when I, out of anxiety, sin. I out of fear anxiety, and sinfulness reach for something else first.
I am thankful He still forgives me, and even then, holds me in His grace.
God, please help me to make You the One I reach for first.
You deserve it.
I will never deserve any of Your amazing love and grace.
Friday, November 11, 2011
With myself, with my situation.
Dreaming. ... Dreaming about the future.
The things I want to change.
The things I want to be better.
The things I want to do.
The things I want to strive for.
The better times to come.
Why can't I just be satisfied right now?
I have Jesus.
And He is all I need.
No matter how hard the current situation might seem,
No matter how stupid I've been or am being.
No matter how good and better the future may seem....
He is here! He is what I need.
Not a different situation or scenario.
Not some amazing future day I can dream of.
I need JESUS.
No matter how hard the day may seem.
No matter how crappy a situation, how scary, how UNFUN, He is with me. He forgives me. He loves me. He is holding me.
That should be enough.
Enough to make me smile. To bring His peace and joy. To change me and break me down.
Please please please help me Jesus.
Rid me of my selfish self.
Help me be satisfied by You and You alone.
“Consider how the lilies grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today, and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, how much more will He clothe you, O you of little faith! And do not set your heart on what you will eat or drink; do not worry about it. For the pagan world runs after all such things, and your Father knows that you need them. But seek His kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well.
“Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom. Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in Heaven that will not be exhausted, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also."
Thursday, November 10, 2011
When my world is crazy?
... Why do I finally feel beautiful after I eat too much? (or after I emotional eat?)
Why will I look in the mirror every day and feel ugly?
Look into it and look at myself through the eyes of everyone else? ... I look at myself and think,
"I'm ugly. Too skinny. Unhealthy. ... My eyes look scary, sunken, unhealthy. Too skinny. ... Ugly."
... I always worry everyone is judging me. I worry people think I have an eating disorder. I worry all these STUPID stupid, STUPID things. ... Even though I know: It is the inside that counts. God knows me. Judges me. Knows my heart. It doesn't matter what anyone else thinks!!!
... And sometimes I am able to just rest in that!
... That's why I smile. I am constantly filled with doubt, fear, an anxious thought or worry, but then I remember, "Don't worry what anyone thinks. It is what God thinks. He is judging my heart."
And I smile.
... But sometimes it is much much harder.
I didn't realize how much I had been struggling with bad body image lately until last night when I had a praise party with my two dear friends and sisters in Christ Rachel and Kaitlyn. Singing all the songs about God I realized,
"Wow. It is so hard for me to believe God loves me. Me. ME. ...."I just don't even want to believe it. I can look at everyone else and know they are BEAUTIFUL. (to ME and even way way more to GOD!!!) Dearly loved and cherished. ... And inside I know I am too. But sometimes it is really really hard. I just don't want to accept it. I want everyone else to be happy and helped, but I just feel like I don't deserve it. I feel like people think I think I am better than others or better than them or am okay or "all happy" or something, so I just don't want to accept God's deep deep love, adoration, and comfort.
... I can't even describe the feeling it's just weird.
But ya... I had been walking around feeling ugly. Too skinny, and just ugly. Ugly and in need of eyeliner but never able to take the time to put it on. I have a lot of trouble taking time to do anything for myself sometimes!!! I had been feeling too skinny and ugly to everyone. Even Matt. (Even though he tells me I am beautiful and that that's not true every day!!!)
I had been looking at myself through what I thought were the eyes of everyone else... Feeling ugly, boring, and thinking people think I am being fake all the time.
Even though it doesn't even matter what people think (and I know that!) GOD DELIGHTS IN ME. And that is what matters! I knew it... But just didn't want to find peace in it, because others aren't happy. ... Or for some other stupid reason. I don't even know.
... But then, after it all, after all the craziness, and chaos. The nights of fear, days with times of fearing death, after the scariness, blahness,
After eating way way too much, I finally can look in the mirror and think, "I'm beautiful." :)
Isn't that what always happens? It's only after I emotional eat (or just plain eat too much for comfort), that I can look in the mirror and think, "hey! Why was I so stupid, I am beautiful in God's eyes!"
Why can't we all just look in the mirror and know that every day???!
I don't know. But I sure do know God is looking down here at us, aching out of love wanting us to know how beautiful beyond beautiful we are to Him. In His eyes.
His eyes.... :D :D :D
Jesus loves you. Desperately loves you. ... Just the way you are. :)
... P.S. My anxieties are usually about other things. Other worries about what people think. Not about feeling ugly... But about feeling like a bad friend or feeling like I am bad at loving them or things like that. ... This time was weird. Weird and something that just kind of crept up.
... Stay tuned for more posts! I have so many more I've started and not finished... So many more thoughts floating in this crazy head! God made me me, and I can't wait to share all these crazy things I want to share with you all later...
Monday, November 7, 2011
It is really hard because I cant love or spend time with or get back to people as much as I want to. ... All of this is extremely hard and stressful, but, at the same time, I CAN'T EVEN BELIEVE how much I am still able to do through all of it. God REALLY carries me and helps me with just enough strength to get through each second and day. It's incredible really. I just have to trust and know: His power and grace is made perfect in weakness. He is teaching, humbling, carrying, and helping me more than I can ever imagine and thank Him for. :D Please pray for me to do His will with my time. Thanks you.
Saturday, November 5, 2011
Monday, October 31, 2011
He is. He is God, I am not. I DON'T DESERVE ANY OF HIS GRACE AND LOVE AT ALL. Jesus saves!
"Righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference between Jew and Gentile, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by His grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement, through the shedding of His blood—to be received by faith." -Romans 3:2-25
. . . Hallelujah for the blood of the Lamb that was slain!!
. . . Hallelujah for the blood of the Lamb that was slain!!
"You see the depth of my heart, and You love me the same. You are amazing God."
He sees us as white as snow when we ask for forgiveness!! And no matter where we are, no matter how sin-filled, how far away from Him we feel, how lost we are, He still looks down at EVERY ONE OF US ON THIS EARTH us with love.
When we give our life to Him, making Him our Savior, He becomes our Father. Even though we are still purely human, sinful ugly, UNDESERVING, our identity is now found in Christ, the cross. All of our sins have been paid for RIGHT THERE. And no matter how much we slip and fall every day, our Father delights in us, sees us as entirely beautiful. His beloved, beloved children.
Thursday, October 13, 2011
I hadn't struggled with bad body image in a long time because I always remind myself that He delights in me and thinks I am beautiful, but there was a time this summer when I gained some weight , felt bloated, and was attacked with bad body image thoughts horribly bad. I was at work, fighting the thoughts, trying to and praying to be able to just focus on the task at hand and on just loving others and not on myself. I knew I really needed to break down. After work I went in my car and vented to God out loud how sorry I was for not drawing close to Him lately and for putting all my own thoughts (a lot about body image and food) and anxieties before time with Him and the Word and before loving Him and others! I broke down to Him and asked Him to show me something in the Word.
I opened up to Zephaniah 3. As I read I could relate every verse, from the first to last, to me. It was incredible.
The Future of Jerusalem
1 Woe to the city of oppressors,
rebellious and defiled!
2 She obeys no one,
she accepts no correction.
She does not trust in the LORD,
she does not draw near to her God.
I was this city. I was being rebellious. Too caught up in my own priorities, doing things for others, exercising, fighting my stupid anxieties about body, food, and exercise. I knew I wanted to read the Word, but it was a time where it was very hard for me too.I would put doing things for everyone else or things I wanted to get done first. I had been praying the phrase, "God, help me draw near to You" for the past few days. I was amazed when it said that exact phrase right in what I opened up to!
3 Her officials are roaring lions,
her rulers are evening wolves,
who leave nothing for the morning.
4 Her prophets are arrogant;
they are treacherous men.
Her priests profane the sanctuary
and do violence to the law.
I felt like this is what the anxiety was within me. Roaring lions! Wolves. Bleh... I wanted all the anxiety gone, but it was filling my head and wouldn't relent. My thoughts were selfish. All anxiety is selfish!
5 The LORD within her is righteous;
He does no wrong.
Morning by morning He dispenses His justice,
and every new day He does not fail,
yet the unrighteous know no shame.
Yep. Jesus is the only thing good in me. And thank God that it's about Him and not me!!! When reading this I also had a prideful thought. It says, "the unrighteous know no shame", but I am filled with shame! And that I was like, Ugh!!! Sorry God, that was super prideful! Forgive me.
6 “I have cut off nations;
their strongholds are demolished.
I have left their streets deserted,
with no one passing through.
Their cities are destroyed;
no one will be left—no one at all.
7 I said to the city,
‘Surely you will fear Me
and accept correction!’
Then her dwelling would not be cut off,
nor all My punishments come upon her.
But they were still eager
to act corruptly in all they did.
8 Therefore wait for me,” declares the LORD,
“for the day I will stand up to testify.
I have decided to assemble the nations,
to gather the kingdoms
and to pour out My wrath on them—
all My fierce anger.
The whole world will be consumed
by the fire of My jealous anger.
I knew I was not listening to God's discipline and correction. I was still eager to keep putting what I wanted first: to love and help others the way I wanted to, to use my time the way I wanted to, to spend time exercising, and to keep putting off reading the Word. And the Lord is beautifully jealous over me. Jealous for my time. For my love. For my heart.
9 “Then will I purify the lips of the peoples,
that all of them may call on the name of the LORD
and serve Him shoulder to shoulder.
10 From beyond the rivers of Cush
My worshipers, My scattered people,
will bring Me offerings.
11 On that day you will not be put to shame
for all the wrongs you have done to Me,
because I will remove from this city
those who rejoice in their pride.
Never again will you be haughty
on My holy hill.
12 But I will leave within you
the meek and humble,
who trust in the name of the LORD.
13 The remnant of Israel will do no wrong;
they will speak no lies,
nor will deceit be found in their mouths.
They will eat and lie down
and nothing will make them afraid.”
Reading this I was thanking God that He will not condemn me or put me to shame even though I deserve to go to hell!!!!!! Because I believe in Jesus Christ, His death takes the place of mine and His blood covers all my sins. I was also thanking Him that in Heaven I will no longer do any wrong, speak any lies, be ANXIOUS, or selfish, or sinful!!! Hallelujah!! I can NOT wait to have this anxious sinful fleshy part of me gone for good!!!! I will be free, beautiful, child-like, and pure. . . . And the last part: "They will eat and lie down and nothing will make them afraid." That is exactly what I was afraid of: eating and sitting down. I wanted to be exercising and active every hour of the day and was afraid of eating. Afraid of resting.
14 Sing, O Daughter of Zion;
shout aloud, O Israel!
Be glad and rejoice with all your heart,
O Daughter of Jerusalem!
15 The LORD has taken away your punishment,
He has turned back your enemy.
The LORD, the King of Israel, is with you;
never again will you fear any harm.
16 On that day they will say to Jerusalem,
“Do not fear, O Zion;
do not let your hands hang limp.
This is all truly something to rejoice about!!! Even though I was and AM a complete anxious, sinful, and selfish mess, I will not be punished because all my sins are forgiven in Christ!!! I will be in Eternal Paradise with Him!!!!
... And now, for the part that made me be like "Oh my gosh!!! This is a miracle. God is REAL!!!...
17 The LORD your God is with you,
He is mighty to save.
He will take great delight in you,
He will quiet you with His love,
He will rejoice over you with singing.”
Reading this I started bawling. The fact that I turned to one of very very few (two or three) verses in the Bible that say He DELIGHTS IN ME was a miracle!!! That is what I always remind myself when I struggle with body image, and I opened to this!!! ... And something I never remember hearing or reading before: He will rejoice over ME with SINGING!!! :D :D :D :D Wow. I always see Jesus as my Perfect, eternal Lover. And now, I have something real and True to add to all my daydreams of being with Him. He will rejoice over me with singing!!!! To me this is like the ultimate. A guy singing songs, playing guitar, songs specifically and especially about and for me. Wow!!!!!! Jesus... :D
18 “The sorrows for the appointed feasts
I will remove from you;
they are a burden and a reproach to you.
19 At that time I will deal
with all who oppressed you;
I will rescue the lame
and gather those who have been scattered.
I will give them praise and honor
in every land where they were put to shame.
20 At that time I will gather you;
at that time I will bring you Home.
I will give you honor and praise
among all the peoples of the earth
when I restore your fortunes
before your very eyes,”
says the LORD.
"The sorrows for the appointed feasts..." Again, wow!!! Exactly what I was feeling. ... And He will remove them all!!! He will deal with all the anxieties and fears that oppress me!! He will take away the shame and guilt I cover myself with (and that Satan loves to feed and tempt me with.) The verse "At that time I will bring you Home" is incredibly beautiful and special to me. Heaven is my Home!!! And I can't wait to get there. With Jesus!!! He is going to give me praise and honor... Praise and honor that only He deserves!!!
Wow. What can I do but bow before Him and thank Him?
Try to praise Him, live for Him, and love Him.
I am BEYOND beautiful to Him, even though my sin, selfishness, and anxiety are so ugly.
He DELIGHTS in me.
He will sing about me!!!!!!
I don't deserve this at all.
He deserves this from me.
All of this and more.
My earthly flesh is too selfish and sinful to ever give very much to Him, but I am thankful that He still loves, forgives, takes me as I am, and rejoices in me. Smiling down on me, His beautiful beloved daughter.
... Thanks God!!!
After reading all of that I was overwhelmed. Exclaiming, "God is REAL." I called Matt and my best friend Kelsey bawling, excited to tell them the story. I was overcome by His love and just wanted to share the Word with people. I was healed from the body image anxieties that filled me, and I have been able to look in the mirror and say "I'm beautiful" every day since. Whenever I have been tempted again with bad body image, even thoughts of feeling too skinny that I have a lot, I remind myself again just how BEAUTIFUL my Father and Lover sees me!!! I was also amazed at the fact that my faith that He would show me something in the Word worked!!! I have been opening the Word with faith that He will show me something again and again and again since, and let me tell you, I have many more miracles that I just haven't taken the time to type up!!! He loves to give us what we ask Him to when we have faith that He will.
...One day, He will rejoice over me with singing. . . . :)
Sunday, September 18, 2011
This is something I need to hear and be reminded of every day, that the cross really proves "I am someone worth dying for." That I don't have to worry about being "good enough" or being a certain way. He loves me and all of us just the way we are. Broken sinners, in desperate need of Him.
... I really do need reminders of this constantly. :)
His love is Amazing.
Monday, September 5, 2011
Sunday, August 28, 2011
Here is the link to the youtube playlist/channel I created: http://www.youtube.com/user/waiting4myJesus?feature=mhee
My name is waiting4myJesus
I am putting songs into 4 categories so far: "when everything falls apart"
"reasons for hope"
"why I praise"
"while I'm waiting"
My hope is that others will run into the channel and the songs will remind them of God's beautiful love, compassion and mercy for all of us and of the Hope, freedom, Life, promises, and Joy we have in Christ alone.
I listen to my friend Kaitlyn's playlists: "Kaitlyn122's Channel" often. Especially when I am struggling. When I need His grace and love desperately, to save me from all the fears and from the failure I feel in this world. I need to listen to songs like these every day. I am just a broken sinner, constantly in need of His Word, His compassion, His mercy, love, and grace.
... He is SO GOOD.
Wednesday, August 10, 2011
I love watching the kids as they run around outside. One kid being Pikachu, another being Squirtle. Whenever they starting talking about Pokémon I always tell them, "I wish my boyfriend Matt was here. He loves Pokémon and would love to talk to you about it!"
Another thing I really love, even more, is when the kids talk about Heaven! I've smiled widely listeing to them talk about this multiple times.
"When we got to Heaven we all become angels."
"No," (I said,) "We don't become angels. Angels are separate. I don't know exactly what we are like in Heaven, but I'm guessing we are like Jesus after He rose from the dead. A Spirit and a body. Still able to eat food, but maybe able to go through walls? We don't know exactly what we'll be like, but we do know we will be filled with joy. There will be no tears, no pain, nothing bad."
"Ya." (huge adorable smile) "We will be happy!"
"I think in Heaven I will probably play games." (cute dreamy smile)
"Yes, I think you're right. You probably will."
"If my soul remembers it, I bet I will probably play Pokémon in Heaven."
"Yes, I really bet you will." :D
One day as I was bringing the kids to a Red Hawks baseball game, I was singing to the music, smiling wide, thinking, "Driving a van full of kids, hearing half of them singing sweetly and innocently to the Christian music on the radio and hearing half of them talking excitedly about Pokémon, it doesn't get better than this." :D :D :D
The Little Children and Jesus13 People were bringing little children to Jesus for him to place his hands on them, but the disciples rebuked them. 14 When Jesus saw this, he was indignant. He said to them, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. 15 Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” 16 And he took the children in his arms, placed his hands on them and blessed them.
-Mark 10: 13-16
Sunday, August 7, 2011
I am stuck in my own mess.
I won't let go of my selfish anxieties, fears, and desires.
I desperately need His mercy.
I need Him, but I keep choosing me.
... All I can do is keep asking for help. It is so hard for me to let go. Of all these anxieties, fears, and idols I've held onto for so many years.
I just need Him.
Please pray I will surrender fully.
And pray I will accept His mercy and grace. I have A LOT trouble forgiving myself. The guilt and shame attack bad. It is all about grace. He still loves and forgives me, more than anything, even though I am constantly messing up!!
I am so incredibly thankful for that kind of mercy and love. :D I just want to thank Him, praise Him, surrender, and do the hardest part: change.
I know it is only when I am filled with thankfulness, joy, and peace over His grace, that He becomes my strength. Allowing Him to be my strength is the only way I am able to surrender and change. And that starts with thanking Him for His mercy.
Please pray for me to be able to do that. It is REALLY really hard right now.
... It has been SO HARD. It is SO HARD for me to give Him what I want to do most, but He wants it. He wants that time, that love to be ALL FOR HIM. He wants me. He wants EVERYTHING.
It is SO HARD for me to give Him everything, to rest in Him, just let Him love me, and to trust Him with everything. But that's what I'm going to try to do, with His strength.
His grace, love, mercy, and peace are AMAZING. :D
it feels SO GOOD now to have given Him what was so hard to give!!! I feel filled with joy instead of guilt and shame. :D I know the sacrifice is worth it to Him. And I know, even though I am still selfish and sinful in so many ways, and even though I will still struggle with the same thing again, HE FORGIVES ME. And loves me. No matter what I do!!! He delights in me. To God I am His beautiful daughter, and to Jesus I am the bride He longs to finally hold. :D
Monday, August 1, 2011
I get to do Devotion (a Bible study!) with them every morning. I smile wide inside as they really listen, hear, understand, and take interest in the Bible messages. One time I talked about how Jesus has the ability to heal us of sickness, disease, wounds, pain, addictions, etc. We had to put a limit on how many kids could share. All of them had stories! Multiple stories. :D I got to hear them all throughout that day!
During that devotion another teacher shared how prayer helped her miraculously recover in unexpected ways after a surgery. One kid shared how her grandpa was supposed to have surgery and everyone was praying for him about it. Then on the day of the surgery, the doctors couldn't believe it, he was already miraculously healed!! The doctors had to send him back home. He was perfectly healed. I've heard multiple stories from other people about this same thing happening as a result of prayer.
Kids shared about relatives who were expected to die living, as a result of prayers from their family and community. I shared about being healed from some anxiety disorders.
The point of the devotion about healings from Jesus is found in Acts 4. When Jesus heals us or people we should share it with others so that they might believe in Him. And we can use that time to tell people how to be saved from hell: by believing in Jesus.
Peter and John Before the Sanhedrin1 The priests and the captain of the temple guard and the Sadducees came up to Peter and John while they were speaking to the people. 2 They were greatly disturbed because the apostles were teaching the people, proclaiming in Jesus the resurrection of the dead. 3 They seized Peter and John and, because it was evening, they put them in jail until the next day. 4 But many who heard the message believed; so the number of men who believed grew to about five thousand.
5 The next day the rulers, the elders and the teachers of the law met in Jerusalem. 6 Annas the high priest was there, and so were Caiaphas, John, Alexander and others of the high priest’s family. 7 They had Peter and John brought before them and began to question them: “By what power or what name did you do this?”
8 Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them: “Rulers and elders of the people! 9 If we are being called to account today for an act of kindness shown to a man who was lame and are being asked how he was healed, 10 then know this, you and all the people of Israel: It is by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified but whom God raised from the dead, that this man stands before you healed. 11 Jesus is
“‘the stone you builders rejected,
which has become the cornerstone.’[a]
12 Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.”
13 When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus. 14 But since they could see the man who had been healed standing there with them, there was nothing they could say. 15 So they ordered them to withdraw from the Sanhedrin and then conferred together. 16 “What are we going to do with these men?” they asked. “Everyone living in Jerusalem knows they have performed a notable sign, and we cannot deny it. 17 But to stop this thing from spreading any further among the people, we must warn them to speak no longer to anyone in this name.”
18 Then they called them in again and commanded them not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus. 19 But Peter and John replied, “Which is right in God’s eyes: to listen to you, or to him? You be the judges! 20 As for us, we cannot help speaking about what we have seen and heard.”
21 After further threats they let them go. They could not decide how to punish them, because all the people were praising God for what had happened. 22 For the man who was miraculously healed was over forty years old.
The kids understood this point! They get that people are saved or unsaved by believing or not believing in Jesus Christ. That blows my mind and excites me! I didn't understand that fully until last year.
I shared with them miracles I've seen this year like the wellness center miracle and how I've shared these miracles with nonbelievers. I can see people being surprised. Seeds being planted!
Jesus is working every day. We have so many reasons and opportunities to share with others about the salvation that comes only from Him. :) And we have nothing to fear! He will help us.