Sunday, November 28, 2010

Purpose: Set Apart

Last weekend we made a quick trip to Mississippi for my grandparents (dad's side) 60th wedding anniversary!

It's always fun to spend time at their house. Without the normal activities available at our finger tips, Casie and I are forced to find things to do. We enjoy chasing cows on the four wheeler, or you know just riding it in general, and sitting on the back porch and starring into space. No, really. Why is that so peaceful? We typically have books with us that we are reading and so we'll sit on the porch swing and enjoy the outdoors while reading.

We went to church with them on Sunday morning and the pastor preached a whole sermon on Romans 1:1. One verse.

Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle and set apart for the gospel...

The part that I want to focus on for this post is the last part of the verse and the point he made there. Paul was a servant of Jesus. He was called. And he was set apart. for. the. gospel.

To put it in plainer terms - Paul's purpose in life, as a follower of Christ, was to be set apart.

Immediately I began to think about my job. Because even though i'm not traveling the world telling people about Jesus Christ, I am a servant of Jesus, I am called right now to be a teacher, and my life should be set apart for the gospel.

If you are a believer, then your purpose is the same. And your job, no matter what it may be, is the avenue in which the Lord wants to use you to reach those that you come in contact with.

But to take it farther and more personal for myself, I believe that satan wants to use our completely packed full to do lists, all the requirements and things that we are asked to do in our job, and all the overwhelming stress that comes with it to take our eyes away from our purpose.

I believe he wants us to be so busy with getting things done that we lose our focus.

(Pause... Have you ever heard the acrostic for busy? Bound Under Satans Yoke)

I know personally I have missed so many opportunities to simply love on some children... because i'm suppose to fit a certain amount of teaching time into my schedule and i'm telling you, it's nearly impossible. I get so focused on creating and planning and following through and documenting that I forget why He placed me there in the first place.

To be a light. To love.

It's not about making money. It's not about getting every thing done. It's not about being satisfied with yourself for accomplishing everything that you set out to do. It's not about fame. It's not anything to do with self. It's about the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Are you busy? Have you lost focus? Maybe you (I) need to adjust your lense, your zoom, and turn your eyes back on Jesus to regain focus.

Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
Look full in His wonderful face,
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,
In the light of His glory and grace.

In the light of Jesus, the weight of my to do list is lifted...

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Thankful - Blogger

Let's face it! Satan is a punk.

I was going to give that last statement an exclamation point, but it looked entirely too exciting and he doesn't deserve that. The enemy is anything but fun.

The first few days of my break he tried to fill my mind with thoughts of worthlessness and incapability when it comes to teaching. Thankfully I caught on quickly to his schemes. To let him ruin my week of rest and recooperation would be silly.

Yesterday and today he has tried to fill my mind with other doubts towards where I stand with Jesus.

It's as if satan has a checklist... Starting with where you are and then moving down to older struggles if the current one doesn't work.

I don't have scripture or anything to back that up, but I know that's how it seems in my own life. Amazingly i've caught on and learned to fight.

But i'm not always successful.

Tonight I was feeling extremely beaten, so I decided to look back through my blog posts for proof of Jesus in my life.

January is packed full. But it's neat to glance even further back just a month before.

And so i'm thankful... thankful for blogger; my online journal. For evidence of Him.

Thank you for technology and the ability to quickly type something and be able to look at it later. I needed to see proof tonight. Jesus, I don't even know where to begin when it comes to praying tonight. So i'll just say thank You and ask that you not only mentally prepare me for tomorrow, but in all other aspects as well... prepare my heart. I don't want to simply be thankful on Thanksgiving or in the month of November. Will You change my heart? Will You give me a thankful heart? A heart that embraces every moment and opportunity and realizes all that I am blessed with in this life. I need You. Sometimes I just want to go outside and scream - I need You, Jesus. I love You... even when I fail to show it.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Sharing Ideas

Decorating is one of my favorite hobbies!! To make it even more enjoyable I love when you find something you already have and fix it up, or come up with some unique idea of displaying something.

I found this link and immediately thought of Katy, but instead of searching for her email address :) I figured it'd be easier to post on here. And now you all can enjoy it as well!!

Katy loves to make crafts with her kids and these crafty holiday garland ideas are definitely kid friendly! I might have to add these to my binder full of "things to remember when I have a family".

This post on Mason Jar Crafts also looks fun! I love nuetral colors!

Enjoy :)

Friday, November 19, 2010

Thankful - Truth

Typically the last day of school before a break seems completely long.... l.o.o.o.o.o.n.g. Anticipation for what lies ahead begs for your attention and you find it difficult to live in the moment.

I'd be lying if I said I wasn't looking forward to this break. There are many things that I need to get done. Like clean my bedroom, car, bathroom, do laundry, and of course my to do list for my classroom is never ending.

Earlier this week I came across a blog post that reminded me to live in the now.

We get so caught up in the next season or stage or even holiday week that we let it take our eyes away from the many blessings that are current.

I sat here and remembered His truth...


The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. John 10:10

I think many of us can so relate to the “get through” feeling that seems to overwhelm and consume us at times.

The enemy definitely wants to convince us that we aren't capable of JOY in all circumstances and that the abundant life isn’t for us, but the Lord tells us quite the opposite!

I don’t care if it’s one day before Thanksgiving break or one hour… He promises JOY in that moment (not happiness because believe me my children were loonies, but constant sustaining joy).

May we constantly choose to stop, pray and beg Him for eyes that realize ABUNDANCE and JOY are available to us TODAY, in THIS place, no matter our current mood, feelings, or anticipation for what may be next.

Believe Him for it…. fight the enemy when he puts any other thought in your mind.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Thankful - Sister

Campin' is fun and all, but sometimes you have to make up your own games. This one is clearly not an original game (try to jump at JUST the right time so that the self-timer captures you IN the air... together. in the same photo.), but we had fun nonetheless. And yes, these are in the exact order in which they were taken!

We like to call this first one "Praise the Lord"!

Did anyone know Casie was all legs? me. neither.

The sister won the prize for highest jumper of the night.
And i'm glad that I finally decided that the phone was no longer a necessity. wow.

As you can see, I tend to stay on the ground.

I lied. There I am gettin' some air!

And now on our own...

It helps if you take your feet off the ground silly!

I am anticipating a head bang in this picture... like she is rockin' out to some serious music.

And finally, we have lift off!

Shorty got it on her first try! Go me!

Thank You Lord for my sister and the ability to be completely, completely transparent with her at all times with no fear of rejection, judgement, or being made fun of. I feel blessed to have her sweet spirit in my life. And I love her dearly.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Thankful - Friends

Yesterday evening I met my best friend from college, Megan, at the Boardwalk to have dinner and hang out for a little bit.

Testin' out the self-timer...

We tried multiple times to get a picture that we both, equally, liked.

But despite the fact that neither of us were completely enthralled with any of these...

...we can agree on one thing:

We are thankful for a friendship truly sent from the Lord and uplifting to each of our lives. A friendship that lasts - no matter the circumstances of life.

I love you Meg!

(I would love you more if you got skype. ha. jokin'.)

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Ah ha Moment

This past weekend I went to a women's retreat and I want to share this tiny little phrase that stuck out to me while I was there. The speaker made the comment that God hates divorce.

I sat there with my ah ha and jotted down in my notes - God hates divorce, not the person.

Because how many times do we live in that place. That place where you're bound in chains because of the lies. And the distorted views.

I remember it so clear as if it were yesterday. My boyfriend, at the time, and I were riding in the car and I asked him, "do I just need to make a decision and then see how the Lord feels towards me.... whether or not He loves me according to the decision I made?"

How silly does that sound even now as I read it? Because I could have told you then that God is love. I'd heard it my entire life. Yet I lived with this distorted view that His love and feelings towards me were connected to what was happening in my life; whether a good situation or bad. There is something life-changing about experiencing and believing His love.

His love isn't based on my decisions.

The Lord loves you. He stands ready to bring you back to Him at any moment no matter how big the mess may look in your life. And at no point does He hate you.

He hates the sin and what it will do to you and those around you.

Take a moment to let the Truth of His love sink in. It never changes. And you don't for a second have to earn it back... it never left! Aren't we so encouraged to know that His feelings don't change at the drop of a hat. Stop thinking of His love in human terms. For once, take it for all that it is!!

Unconditional. Eternal.

I praise You and thank You for the freedom of Your love. It's so simple, but so life-changing. It doesn't matter how big my mess up may be or how small.... you stand ready to assure me that You still love me and that You are ready to change me if i'm willing. All the things that You have planned for me are for my good. How comforting to know! I pray for all who will read this and that if they haven't had that moment when the light came on and Your love made sense that you would allow that to happen for them. Embrace them with Your Truth. Set them free by the power of Your love. It tastes good....

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Thankful - weakness

As I was getting in the bed the other night I was fine one second and the next thing I know a horrible pain shot through my neck. I thought I was stuck with my chin to my left shoulder. for.ever.

After listening to my wise mother, who just so happens to be a nurse, I decided to go to the chiropractor for my very first appointment ever. The thought of being adjusted completely stressed me out. Trusting someone with my neck... my neck... that's an anxiety attack waiting to happen. that's what that is.

When he looked at my x-rays he pointed to some torn or messed up area in my neck and asked if I was in a car wreck at some point in my life.

If that's not encouraging then i'm not sure what else is.

To hear that at age 23 was a little less than fun.

His answer for my problem was clearly going to be a natural way back to healing. Three visits a week, electro-lite massages (which are so not relaxing), and physical therapy. And a very poor, poor Megan. That's my funds speaking.

My words were so joyful when I left.... this is perfect... perfect. It's already impossible to get everything done that is expected of me at work and that's without any thing else going on in my life, but now, oh noooooooww i'm suppose to find time to come to the doctor 3 times a week and on top of that do therapy and/or stretches at home 3 times a day. I'll be sure to squeeze that in, you know in between the documenting, lesson planning, grading...

Today as I was getting in my car after my appointment knowing that I left my room in complete chaos and had nothing planned for tomorrow, and headed to a wonderful night of worship and rehearsal, I just let the tears flow and confessed...

okay, i get it. i am not able. i am weak. help.

Life could not get more stressful or overwhelming. or so i thought. Yet here we are.

And I pause to say that life may be stressful and completely overwhelming, but my God is good. I would not still be functioning if it weren't for Him. I refuse to believe that any situation is to be endured without abundance or joy. The enemy will not rob me of a precious gift from Him. But I am not afraid to admit that it's challenging and very tough.

When I dried up my tears and got to rehearsal, with some precious women, I soon realized that each of our lives and weeks were very similar.

We are weak.

We committed to this weekend a few weeks back and you would think that the one time we need to be well and rested and strong would be this weekend. But here each of us are... extremely human and weak women preparing for a weekend to worship the Lord with a bunch of other women.... who I would guess are equally as weak.

So today I am thankful for the reminder that He only allows us to be weak so that His glory and strength may be REVEALED in us. And that He wouldn't allow it unless He was going to use it for our good.

Jesus, prepare us as we head into this weekend. May each of these women, including myself, come into this weekend real. Give us the courage to simply be real with ourselves and with each other... even if that may seem not normal or painful. We need real in our lives. I am thankful that You are real ALWAYS. Help us to take off our super woman capes and masks and just admit that it's only because of You and through You that we are able to do anything at all. Reveal yourself through and to us. Meet us in that moment and open our eyes to who You are.... You, in all your realness. Please Lord, prepare our hearts... prepare my heart. In the specific, powerful name of Jesus Christ.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Thankful - Music

There is this event on facebook called 30 Days of Thankful where people only post things of that which they are thankful for thirty days on their status. It's a perfect way to gear up for Thanksgiving and it definitely changes the mood from negative daily updates to positive posts.

Since i'm choosing to go to bed early tonight I figured i'd keep it short by doing the same here on the blog as well.

Today I am thankful for music.

Not only is music a huge part of my families life and creates a bond that even we ourselves will probably never understand, but it connects us with the Lord as well.

I am quickly learning what it means to be busy. I had a third grade teacher stop me in the hall and say, "Megan, it is impossible to do all that they are asking of you.... you'll eventually learn what you can throw out. And you'll shut your door, do your thing, and it'll be okay."

silent scream

I just want to scream sometimes because i'm so overwhelmed, but at the same time I have my moments when I think praise the Lord because the Megan a year and a half ago would have never been able to endure this. God is good!

To say that i'm experiencing what it means to be pulled in every direction would be an under statement. I'm pretty sure i've said it before, but i'm finding it more and more harder to be still, rest, and sit quiet in His presence.

My days are spent moving quickly from this subject to the next and keeping my kids engaged by always moving things together at all times that everything about my life is becoming quick. It is sooo hard to sit down and spend time in His word because the rest of me has been geared towards moving quickly all day. I don't like it.

I am so thankful for music for this very reason. When my mind is going 90 to nothing and i'm not sure how to gather my thoughts to form words that utter some form of help to my God, I can typically find a song that says what i'm feeling so well. Or even if i'm not sure what to say or what i'm feeling.

It is not only comforting to know that my God knows my needs before they are even on my lips, but that we have powerful worshipful songs to sing to Him when we may not have words otherwise.

Thank You, Lord, for music.... and all the many ways it effects my life.