Category Archives: faith

His nudging brings me back

Today is a great day. I feel satisfied. The bed has been made with new sheets, the guest room is just about ready for Mr. Z’s sister to stay the night next weekend, laundry is being done, I ran five miles, sent some emails that have been nagging at me and I dyed my hair (yep, I use hair dye from a box and yes I NEED to—I am 31 with plenty of gray hair. One day I hope to have beautiful long gray hair…although I’m not sure my hair will do that as all the grays I have now stand straight-up and are quite coarse and unruly. Oops, total rabbit trail, back to what I was typing).

But completing all those things is not the root of why I feel satisfied today. God woke me up today. Tenderly and gently like only Abba can, He nudged me and I finally allowed the nudge to draw me near to Him. He is so gracious, gentle and patient.

There is a passage of Scripture that just might become my life passage (okay, I know most people have life verses, but this girl needs a passage. One verse just ain’t enough. ;-) It’s Colossians 4:2-6—

Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. And pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ, for which I am in chains. Pray that I may proclaim it clearly, as I should. Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.

In a date-to-be-determined blog post I’ll explain why I want to make this my life passage, but for now it’s just important to note that it comes from Colossians. So when it came time to be with the Lord today I landed here. I’ve read this book in the Bible before. How many times I’m not quite sure but it must be a few as I’ve marked different verses and written notes in the margins. But just as only God’s Word can do, this time around the entire book stood out to me.

Paul is lovingly informing the church in Colosse that what they need most is Jesus. Rules and legalism were overtaking their dependency and love of the Lord. They were relying more on the things man created than the saving grace of their loving Father and His Son.

And it hit me. I’ve been trying to find my inspiration, define my steps in life, and figure out how to be a blessing of a wife in the rules I’ve made up in my head rather than relying on my Savior. The more time I spend with Him the greater the blessing I can be to my husband, the better I will see inspiration when it’s right in front of me, and the steps of this life, well, they’ll be His steps, not mine and therefore they’ll be the best.

I’m eager to dive deeper in Colossians over the coming days, but for now, I’m thankful for my God who will not let me get too far into myself and my own plans before he nudges me and brings me back to Him.  (Hopefully this post makes sense to an outsider, it does in my head, but that doesn’t say much!)


a looong explanation

**warning, you may want to stand-up while reading this post so you don’t nod off in the middle of it as it breaks the “blogging rule” of short, sweet and succint pretty stinkin’ well**

The other day I read a blog post on a friend’s blog titled why blog if no one reads it and thought to myself when I finished reading, well said—rather, well written. I may have secretly envied her way with words but that’s between the Lord and me ;-)

I often ask myself why do I blog and I can’t EVER seem to articulate it properly. But I think that’s because sometimes I struggle with it myself. I wrestle with am I really blogging for the glory of the Lord in everyday life or just so I can say what’s on my mind?

Do I really care about who reads it?

Do I care too much about who reads it?

Do I really have anything of importance or significance to say?

Do I really want to grow as a writer or am I just hoping to “casually” write and one day I’ll be pricked with unimaginable creativity and suddenly I’ll be another blogger who becomes an author? Highly unlikely.

I hope to grow as a writer (and when I say grow I mean by leaps and bounds, I’m quite aware of my 5th grade writing level, which is ironic since I work in public relations…I digress) but let’s be honest; I’m fascinated with the stories of bloggers turned authors. Most of the time the blogger has simply written about her life in such a way that people engage and relate to her as if she’s sitting on the couch in their own living room talking to them directly.

There’s a part of me that wishes my life was that cool that someone would want to eavesdrop on it. Secretly I like to think it is. But frankly, I know it’s not. Not. At. All. For example, it is 9:45 on a Thursday night and what have I done?

Stayed at work late for no good reason really.

Ate a mismatched dinner of cucumber rolls and left over spinach & artichoke dip.*

Made mashed potatoes for tomorrow night’s dinner (by the way, while peeling the potatoes I remembered why I loathe making this dish).

And am deliberately “practicing” writing (I read today to become a better writer I need to write, write and write more) so I don’t have to put the clean laundry away that is neatly hanging over the end of our bed so it doesn’t get wrinkled.  Who cares that it’s been hanging there since SUNDAY.  I’m practicing writing.

Exciting stuff. Yes. I know.

Clearly my thrilling everyday life is not the reason I blog. Shortly after I read my friend’s post I took a jaunt down blogging memory lane and it was on the journey I discovered why I blog.

Check this out:

it’s a funny thing when you look back how even when you aren’t asking for it, God manages to order each and every step. in college i fell in love with the city upon first glance. i called home and said, “i’m going to live in chicago when i graduate!” it was tough finding a job but, after “tactfully stalking” the CEO of my former agency, i landed an internship and eventually was hired on full-time. thankfully i have very supportive parents who let me pack up my car and drive from connecticut to an unknown city for a less than guaranteed opportunity. when i got here i lived in a one bedroom apartment with a very gracious sorority sister of mine. little did we know, that was the beginning of an unbelievable friendship and a roommate adventure that spanned over four years! the Lord opened many doors and opportunities that just kept telling me this is where i was supposed to be. i don’t know what the next four years will bring but i do know that if when i didn’t even acknowledge my God He was taking care of me, how much more will He now- praise the Lord! 2006 was a year of amazing growth, good and tough- none of which was documented. this is my blog- a place to document my 2007.

That’s the “about” section of my very first blog the Joy is in the Journey.

And THIS is why I blog. In the last four years since I began documenting this life, my thoughts, challenges, joys, loves, hurts and such, A LOT has happened. AND I remember almost ALL of it. Even the times when I didn’t post an entry or went for periods of no posting, the absence even reminds me of what was going on—which yes, can be scary at times. I think that if I didn’t have the faith and trust in God that I do it might overwhelm me but that’s the beautiful thing about it… having it all documented never allows me to forget how He has showed-up in mighty and magnificent ways. And Lord willing, when others see/read Him working in my life it will encourage them too! Check it out, over the past four years here are some of the major highlights either documented or left out:

I got engaged

I experienced the worst heartbreak of my life to date, we ended our engagement

I worked through deep profound sadness (this took a looong time)

My best friend/roommate got married and I stood in her wedding

I lived alone for the first time in my life

I learned to climb resulting in my first alpine climb and attempted summit of Mt. Rainier where I believed for the first time there was a plan for my life

I bought a car for the first time

I fell in love with my Savior

I discovered Beth Moore (life-changing!)

I ran a half marathon or two

I visited Europe, Mexico, Costa Rica, Colorado

I began studying the Bible and leading Bible studies

Experienced first-hand crisis communications at its best

Got engaged again :-)

Planned a wedding in three months

Got married!

Whew! And that’s just a small list. I forgot to mention the break-ins and the roomy I gained before Mr. Z came around who turned into the very best friend I could have asked for.

So that’s why I blog. To remember what God has done, show His goodness and His faithfulness and to get all those wild and crazy thoughts of mine out of my head and into something somewhat constructive—although I guess the constructive part is somewhat debatable.

If you made it to the end of this post, you deserve a medal! In the weeks to come I plan to practice my writing, which means, Lord willing there will be many more posts to come. Thanks for bearing with me, reading all this stuff and joining me on the journey!

*Disclaimer: Mr. Z is in the middle of tax season so I’m back to cooking for one and really, I HATE cooking for one. So more often than not I don’t cook and end up eating weird combination of food.


answered prayer

“Praying/leading worship at Lindsey and Peter’s wedding—It was SUCH a beautiful experience!!!! I’ve been in a lot of weddings, but theirs was just phenomenal, the presence of God filled that place…” facebook photo caption

there was nothing we wanted more for our wedding than for the very real presence of God to be there. when i saw this on my friend’s facebook page today i felt such joy deep in my heart. and sensed the nearness of the Lord, gently reminding me how He answered our prayers for our wedding and He is faithful to do even more as we wait upon Him now. how quickly i can lose sight of what He has done in the past. i have such a grateful but flaw-filled human heart :-)


a little note from God

this was in my devotions today. guess what stood out the most… yep, confess: your tendency to try to fight your own battles in your own strength.

in this devotion the author, ann spangler, touches on the fact that God wants to fight our external battles but also our internal battles. i find myself often wondering what i’m supposed to do with this life. and it turns into a battle of unsettledness (i’m sure that’s not a word, but whatever, i’m not really concerned right now).i feel like i’m fighting with myself, battling through anxiousness instead of trusting in YAHWEH Nissi (the LORD is my banner). in His timing all things are made beautiful, especially the desires of our heart.

i’m so thankful for a peaceful and loving God who can settle this restless heart.


i’m dreaming

i would never put myself in the dreamer cateory. i think if you asked any of my family memebrs and most of my friends they too would NOT call me a dreamer. i think i’ve almost been too grounded for my own good at times. but lately, i’ve been dreaming, dreaming BIG. i’m not really sure why either. it might have something to do with having mr. z in my life. he tends to think i can do ANYTHING and do anything WELL. he’s totally biased, but his support and encouragement has boosted my dreaming abilities for sure.

nonetheless, as i dream big and ponder awesome things for God, i read these verses in psalm 37 and know it was God telling me to wait on Him more. not to mention yesterday’s sermon was right along these lines. ever feel like you’ve gone to church and the pastor read your mail? like God told him exactly where you are in life. yep, pretty much me these days. it’s been spectacularly comforting!

anyway, back to what i was typing, psalm 37:3-7 spoke loudly to me today.

3 Trust in the LORD and do good;
dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture.
4 Take delight in the LORD,
and he will give you the desires of your heart.

5 Commit your way to the LORD;
trust in him and he will do this:
6 He will make your righteous reward shine like the dawn,
your vindication like the noonday sun.

7 Be still before the LORD
and wait patiently for him;
do not fret when people succeed in their ways,
when they carry out their wicked schemes.

i’m excited. i’m excited to dream BIG for Jesus. to dream like never before. and to TRUST the Lord to do His thing. if there is anything i learned in the 7 year journey the Lord took mr. z and i on before we walked down the aisle it’s this: we are made in the waiting and the more we trust the Maker, the more He can knock our socks off!

 

you can find me staring out this window, praying and dreaming most mornings. love this spot.

 


after

I’m reading Praying the Names of God by Anne Spangler in my devotions and currently I’m reading about YAHWEH (LORD). I thought I’d quickly share about the little kick in the butt I got through this devotion :-)

Exodus 3 is where the scene unfolds in which God meets Moses, tells him he will rescue the Israelites and if they ask who sent him, he is to say God. Moses asks God what he should tell them if they ask for His name. And God responds, “tell them I AM has sent you.” Now I could try to go into what God means by I AM, but that’s not really what stood out to me this week. What really stood out to me is the preceding portion of the passage.

Moses questioned God, why me? Why send me to do this?

And instead of explaining why He chose Moses, God says:

“I will be with you. And this will be the sign to you that it is I who have sent you: When you have brought the people out of Egypt, you will worship God on this mountain.”

Do you see it? God didn’t answer Moses’ question. He doesn’t have to. If God tells us to do something, we need to trust.  But that’s not the part that really stood out to me this time. What did was the sequence of events. God said you will know it is I who sent you because after you bring them out of Egypt you will worship me. See that, AFTER you bring them out of Egypt. AFTER! AFTER you step out in faith and follow my leading you will know it is I who have sent you.

I ask for God to confirm matters of stepping out in faith over and over and over again.  And I question if I’m really the right person for the task over and over and over again. Ahh, but that’s faith. Stepping out and trusting God to do what He does best. Be with me, walk with me, lead me, guide me, keep me.

Happy Saturday :-) go step out in faith today!


a reminder

i wore a reminder around my neck today.

two hearts, intertwined.

one heart is for the z’s and the other for our friends the c’s.

it’s to remind me how committed they are to praying for us and our marriage. i pray every couple is blessed with such a friendship. they were there with us through some really difficult times and never gave up on God for us. love you c’s.

proverbs 3:3

Let love and faithfulness never leave you;
bind them around your neck,
write them on the tablet of your heart.


i…but i’m not a…

I’ve been thinking a lot about what defines me. As I spend time in this blog world for personal and professional reasons I see so many blog writers “specializing” and focusing on certain things. It ranges from things in which they are talented like photography or cooking to hobbies like scrapbooking, to a specific role they play in life like mommy bloggers, or even a specific season in life—the 20-something exploring life, laughter and love in the BIG city.

So I’ve been asking myself, should I focus this blog on something specific? If so, what makes me, me?

But here’s the thing:

I write. But I’m not a writer.

I photograph.  But I’m not a photographer.

I make jokes (albeit jokes that only I find funny). But I’m not a comedian.

I decorate interiors. But I’m not an interior decorator.

I rock climb. But I’m not a rock climber.

Along those lines:

I’m a wife. But if I didn’t tell you, you might not know.

I’m a sister. But if I didn’t tell you, you might not know.

I’m a daughter. But if I didn’t tell you, you might not know.

And then I thought:

I love the Lord. But if I didn’t tell you, would you know?

Do my actions speak of His love?

Does my countenance speak to the grace that He has given me?

Do my reactions show where my trust lies?

So I didn’t find the answer to my question that I hoped for. I was really hoping for some kind of epiphany in regards to some secret talent that I just barely discovered and now this hidden secret talent will be my inspiration to make this blog the blog of all blogs. Ha!

But what I did find in asking the question is where my heart really lies. No matter my interests, no matter what talents the Lord may have blessed me with, no matter what role I might play in this life God has given me, if I am not known by my love for the Lord and His love for me, none of it really matters. My talents aren’t very talented and the roles I fill will not bear fruit.

So, this blog really is just a random documentation of my life and by God’s grace, His love will shine through no matter what I’m blogging about.

Christy Nockels says it best with this song:

Brothers, let us come together

Walking in the Spirit, there’s much to be done…

We will come reaching, out from our comforts

And they will know us by our love…

Sisters, we were made for kindness

We can pierce the darkness as He shines through us…

We will come reaching, with a song of healing…

And they will know us by our love!

The time is now

Come Church arise…

Love with His hands

See with His eyes…

Bind it around you,

Let it never leave you,

And they will know us by our love…

Children, You are hope for justice,

Stand firm in the Truth now, set your hearts above

You will be reaching, long after we’re gone,

And they will know you by your love!


profound

“I’m ready to say that creativity might be one of the marks of revival, because so often some new way of communicating the gospel has been part of the mix that God used to bring a mighty revival.”

Tim Keller


inspiration

yesterday’s sermon had me waking up today with this song in my head.
enjoy :-)