Consistent

It is a word I don't like, and yet it bugs me when others are not. Consistent. I know I need to be more consistent in some areas in my life. I have done better since going back to work full time and teaching a Bible study group. Every morning as I drive to work, I have my daily conversation with God. I don't turn on the radio, or take a drink of my coffee until I have talked with Him. It sets the tone for my day and makes a big difference in how my day goes. If I have it memorized, I recite my weekly Bible verse to Him too. I know, some of you are thinking "weekly?" For those of you who have the ability to do a daily memory verse, I applaud you. I find it challenging enough to focus on learning one a week, thank you! So, consistent. That is what is stuck on my brain today. When I was at home full time, I found it easier to schedule my day, what I needed to accomplish. Now that I have returned to a full time day job on top of that, not so much. I find chores and the day to day things I need to get done at home are hit or miss. If I am lucky, I will have a good hour in the evening to just sit down and relax. It probably was not much better than that when I was at home full time, but the point is that time is something I don't have a lot of. I find myself wishing daily that I had just one more hour to get more accomplished on my to do list. Whether they like it or not, my husband and my children are being called on to help with that to do list, cause it is just not humanly possible for me to do it all myself. It is hard to ask for help sometimes, cause I want to make sure it is done right the first time. So, this need for consistency can create a lot of anxiety in my life. Didn't I cover that yesterday? Something like that. Well, life is full of anxiety, worry, daily struggles and it will never end. From the beginning of time we have had plenty to worry about. But God is still there to remind us that we just need to rely on Him, let it go, trust and obey.
'Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.' Philippians 4:6
That is hard. I want to hold on to my worries and anxiety like a warm blanket, as if I can somehow control the outcome. I can't. He is able to deliver me. He will every time, but I need to lay it at His feet and follow Him with reckless abandon. I can do this, and I know it will not be easy, but it is something I will work on every day of my life on this earth. There is joy and strength for each day when I can truly give my life and all its cares to Him. Thanks God.

Knowing versus not knowing?

It is a life long battle. It rages in my mind, day after day, often moment to moment. Some of you can relate to this struggle. I know I am a bit of a control freak, okay, I just am. I like knowing what is going on for the days and months ahead well in advance. I like a schedule, knowing what to expect, what I would like to accomplish and all will be right with the world when it goes according to plan. I embrace organization, and when the things on my list are accomplished I feel a sense of peace and I have the ability to relax more. When something goes wrong, something is not right, something is out of whack or out of order....oh my goodness. I can be a bit dramatic, and it can get a little overwhelming for me. I have been told I handle stress well, I don't show anxiety, fear, or worry. Well, I've got news for you--I hide it well. Those closest to me know just how well I handle stress. It makes me angry, I tend to vent to whomever is in my path at the moment, and it can bring to the point of the "ugly" cry. You know what I am talking about. The kind of cry that makes your eyes puffy to the point you cannot see, your nose is running all over the place, hair sticking to the back of your neck and to your face, gasping for air. It ain't pretty, but it is the real me. I don't do this often, but some would say it is because of that I should do it more often. I am finding as I grow older and life's curve balls are coming at me harder and faster, it is getting more and more difficult to deal with it. So, as I am studying with my wonderful, amazing women's Bible study group at church, we are finding out just how vital it is to trust God completely with our lives. It is a direct reflection of my faith. How much do I trust Him with my life? Most of the time, I find myself saying, "God, I am just not quite ready to let that go, so can I just do this one thing and then give it to you?" How many times will I question His ability to take care of me best? Too many already in my life. So, I am finding in the two weeks we have been doing this particular study, I have a lot to let go of. I have held on to the things of this life, the blessings He has provided to me way too tightly. Instead, I need to let it all go and trust Him with it, and entrust those blessings right back to the Father's hands. After all, He is THE Provider. Everything I can experience physically in this world is temporary, and it will all pass away. He is eternal, He has promised something far beyond what my small human mind can even begin to imagine. So here it is...
Faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. Hebrews 11:1
Good, good truth right there. It is truth I need to chew on daily to digest. My faith will not remain the same, it will change. My hope and my goal is for that faith to be challenged, stretched, molded into what He needs it to be so that I can be all He desires for me to be.

Mission trip

Mission trip. The words don't do justice to the purpose, do they? What it is is so much deeper, fuller, richer than the two words actually sound like. Those two words make it sound so simple, but in reality it is an incredible journey that will impact a human life on so many levels. I have had the wonderful opportunity at several times in my life to serve in missions, both here in the United States and abroad. My parents were huge supporters of home and foreign missions all their lives, and we were raised to have a great appreciation for missions as a result. I have incredible memories of our trip to Hong Kong when I was 14 years old. I served in the summer missions program in my hometown, Springfield, Missouri, for several years working in day camps with local kids of all ages. I served in Hawaii for one summer working with some challenging kids in one of the most dangerous neighborhoods in a small town on the island of Oahu. I served in Salt Lake City, Utah during the Winter Olympics with a team to share the gospel in an area saturated by the Mormon belief system. All of these experiences have made me the person I know God intends for me to be. He said in Matthew 28 to Go into the world and tell them about the good news and what Jesus can do! Okay, that's one version but it is what it means to me. Go! Serve! Be Jesus with skin on! In each of those experiences I knew God had a plan for me to participate in a mission He had for those people, to use me for His glory. I am so thankful I listened. Recently I felt that familiar tug at my heart, and God is opening the door for me to serve on mission again. Our church is putting together a team to go and serve in Barbados, to build a new facility for a needy church there. The work is going to be hard, but it will no doubt be a rewarding experience for all of us. I know and trust God will provide the financial and spiritual support I need to prepare for this trip. It is both awesome and terrifying to trust God with something for which my human mind still holds some uncertainty. I know I still have to relinquish my will daily because of this. What my mind cannot fathom, I must let go to simply trust Him. He has the answers, He is in control and I know He has a plan for my life at this very moment and in the months to come.

my Ebenezer...

“…Thus far the Lord has helped us.”-1 Samuel 7:12 There are moments in my life when I look back and can see how God in His perfect yet my...