The World or God’s Will

The few weeks or so I’ve been feeling this “tug” on my heart.  Not sure how else to describe this feeling.  I almost feel like it is God trying to talk to me; asking me to get closer to him and grow more in my faith.  I want to have this insanely strong connection to God and spend more time reading the Bible and praying.  I went through all my Christian books that have been sitting on a shelf, just waiting to be read.  I found a bunch of Bible Studies online that I can follow.  I signed up for Pureflix.  And as usual, my Christian music plays in the background.  I am sick of the world around me… the language that is used, the hateful thoughts that are shared, the sexual exposure, all the violence whether on TV or in the real world, etc. There are so many temptations out there.  Also, so many are so focused on material things.  Why must we have so many things in our lives?  Who needs the latest electronic gadgets or a TV in every room of your home?  Who needs so many clothing items that you don’t even wear half of them?  I refuse to be of this world.  I want to remove the worldly things from my life.  I want a new, clean heart and mind.  This is something I’ve been praying for lately.  I am far from perfect, but I am striving to grow closer to God and to live my life for him. 

1 John 2:15-17 Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father[d] is not in them.  For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world. The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever.

Romans 12:1-2 Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

Something someone had asked me when I was younger was, “If you’re watching TV, would you be comfortable having Jesus sitting there next to you watching, too?  What about when you’re hanging out with your friends, would Jesus approve of the language that is being used or the topic of conversation?”  I am embarrassed to say, no I would not have felt comfortable having Jesus sitting there listening to my conversations or watching the TV shows or movies that I had been watching.  This is something I’m looking to change in my life.  I’m sure I may lose friends or relatives along the way, but that’s something I’ll have to be okay with.  I’m not here to impress anyone;  I’m here to live for Christ and his approval is the only approval that I need.

I used to use the excuse that I’m simply too busy to read the Bible or to do Bible Studies.  In yet, I had enough time to be on Facebook or other social media.  I had time to watch Hulu or Netflix or some random movie.  No more excuses.

Growing spiritually is very important to me.  I also want to add taking care of my physical health.  I have neglected taking care of my body over the years.  There have been a few months at a time where I do great with exercising and eating right, but then I get frustrated because I don’t see results.  I know my PCOS plays a part in this, and I know I should be happy that I’m doing the best for my body, but it’s disappointing when you work so hard and see little to no results.  Enough of the excuses.  Not only will I work on my spiritual health, I plan to focus on my physical health, too. I will take care of the temple God has blessed me with.

1 Corinthians 6:19-20 Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.

So, if you’re the praying type, I ask you to pray for me and that this new journey that I’m on is successful and a forever journey.  If you’re like me, struggling in the same way that I have been, let me know and I will pray for you, too!

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Faith Rebuilt

When I was younger, I believed in God, but never had a close connection.  I didn’t talk about my faith or share it with others.  In a way, I was partially embarrased of going to church or talking about God.  I didn’t feel comfortable praying in front of others, especially when out in public.  I can honestly say that a lot has changed over the years, and you will fully see that with this post.

I don’t know about you, but I am not the greatest at reading my Bible every day like I should.  I usually get into a good routine of reading my Bible and doing devotions or reading a Christian self-help type book, but eventually life gets busy and I lose sight on how to manage my time and what’s important in life .  This is not something I’m very proud of, but I’m here to be honest with you all.  I am very far from perfect, but I do strive to do my best in life (with the help of God, of course).

Have you ever noticed, that when times get tough and obstacles get in my way, you turn to God in prayer and start reading his word with hope to find answers to your problems?  Sadly, I do this often.  Why is it that when bad situations arise, we turn to God but when life is going well, we don’t dive into his Word?  We have this decorative sign hung up on a wall in our living room that says “Happy Moments, Praise God.  Difficult Moments, Seek God.  Quiet Moments, Worship God.  Painful Moments, Trust God.  Every Moment, Thank God.”  (pictured below) I love this sign because it is a daily reminder how in every moment, God should be our focus.  Jason and I have praised God during our happy moments, prayed to God during our difficult moments, and we thank God daily for everything he has done for us and continues to do for us. Trust… now that’s another story, sometimes.

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Now, I can’t speak for Jason, but for me, I will admit that trusting God is oftentimes a hard thing to do.  Life has always been a challenge, whether it had to do with my schooling, my health (mentally or physically), family life, friends, near death experiences, etc.  It almost seems like every time life would be going well for me, there is always something that takes place to tear me back down.  There have been many days/nights that I have cried to God to fix whatever is taking place in my life or asking why he allowed these things to happen to me/us.  Life just wasn’t being fair to us.  I went through the whole “why me?” or “why us?”.  Does the story of Job come to mind?  If you’re not familiar with this story, I encourage you to read this book in the Bible.  Anywho, back to what I was saying.  After eight months of being sick with a vestibular disorder after the miscarriage of our twins, I was praising God for making me close to whole again.  That was short-lived, as we learned of Jason’s diagnosis of his Leukemia the very same month I was able to walk again.  More tears were shed, and more prayers were said.  We did everything we had to do to help each other get through the next new battle in our lives.  Sometime last year, I threw in the rag; I officially gave up.  I decided I couldn’t be strong enough anymore.  I was defeated and I needed help.  I cried and gave everything to God.  I decided I needed him more than anything.  Infertility was of the past.  My vestibular disorder was of the past.  The miscarriage was in the past.  Jason’s cancer was in the past.  Everything was in the past and out of our control.  This does not mean we will not speak of these things or that we will forget.  No, this means we will learn from these situations and we can use them to share God’s word.  I strongly believe God was trying to use us as his examples.  No matter what was thrown at us, we still held onto our faith and believed God had a purpose.  There is a reason for everything.  Yes, we have stumbled and lost our sight along the way, but with our faith, we found our way back to God, again.

The many years of infertility we went through was one of the hardest things we’ve had to go through as husband and wife.  All the doctor appointments, tests, medications, schedules, etc. It was exhausting and it definitely tested our marriage.  Instead of becoming a team and praying together, we kind of drifted apart.  There were many days, months, or even years, filled frustration and wondering who was at “fault” for us not conceiving a baby.  Many hurtful words were said on both sides, followed my quick apologies and tears.  If you haven’t been through infertility, you will never fully understand the struggle.  You may want to roll your eyes and may think to yourself, “just get over it already”.  But, honestly, it’s not that simple.  Those years of infertility were a huge part of our lives.  It’s a chapter in our book that we can’t erase.  After we had officially “given up” with trying to conceive, we relaxed more and actually enjoyed each other’s company again.  We didn’t have the stress and pressure on us anymore.

Do Jason and I have a “perfect” marriage?  Absolutely not.  I don’t think there is such a thing as a perfect marriage.  I can say that we are the best of friends.  We enjoy spending time together, whether it’s building LEGO sets, putting together a puzzle, playing board/card games, or going out playing minigolf or bowling, etc. All of our struggles have brought us closer together.  After the miscarriage took place, and I got sick, then Jason got sick, we knew a few things for sure.  We were each other’s rock and foundation.  We knew we could depend on each other no matter what.  We re-learned how to communicate and to be the strength when the other one was needing it most.  Most importantly, we are learning to pray together and follow our faith in every aspect of our lives.  We’re coming up on our 15 year anniversary of when we met and starting dating.  A lot has taken place in these 15 years, but I am most excited for what is yet to come (with our adoption and all).

There are two songs that come to mind, that played a huge role in my life during all these hard times.  One is “Praise You in This Storm”, by Casting Crowns, and the other is “Through All of It”, by Colton Dixon.  If you haven’t heard these two songs before, I definitely recommend them.  ( YouTube videos are posted at the end of this post)  If you have heard them before, I suggest you re-listen to them; close your eyes and listen to the lyrics.  If you’re ever going through a hard time, the lyrics to these two songs may be very helpful. I still cry every time I listen to these songs.  The words, to me, are just so powerful and remind me to be thankful to God and always praise him.

If you are feeling alone or lost and need someone to talk to, we are always available.  We can pray with you/for you, or offer a listening ear. 🙂

 

So Many Children in the World

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Not sure if you know, but there is a website online where you can view the profile of children that are available for adoption called http://www.adoptuskids.org.  There are pages upon pages of children that are looking for a loving and forever home; it’s a bit heartbreaking.  All these children want is to have parents who will care for them and keep them safe. I check this website randomly to see who is added or who has been removed (I’m assuming they have been adopted, so hooray for them!).  I seriously cannot help but to fall in love with all these children! I wish I had unlimited funds and a home large enough to adopt every single one of them. I know that sounds a tad bit crazy, but my heart turns to mush and full of so much compassion seeing all these children.  Reading each child’s profile and questioning if they could “fit in” with us and our lifestyle.  While reading every single profile, I smile when I find a child that would be perfect for us.  The simple mention of LEGOs, and I imagine Jason building LEGO sets with the children.  Or when the profile mentions the children want a home with cats; I smile because we have four kitties that these children can love on.  I am reminded by a Bible verse, Matthew 19:14, “Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” Even though I know we cannot give all these children a home, I know that they are in God’s hands.  Jesus has his arms around these children. I truly believe that there are children out there that would absolutely perfect for us.  I cannot wait for the chaotic household, where we are chasing after our children, telling them to get their homework done, to clean up their rooms, to stop picking on each other, to eat their food, to do their chores, etc.  I’m sure I will complain and change my tone once we are in those situations, but for now, I look forward to those days.  I also look forward to the cuddles, the sweet hugs, and comforting them if they get an owwie or are simply having a bad day.

On Saturday, we spent a couple of hours with our friends and their four children enjoying lunch and walking around the mall.  Children are children and of course will act out, but I loved how great our friends are with parenting.  They know how to handle their children in a calm matter and tend to know exactly what their children need (at least that’s how it looks to me).  I couldn’t help but smile while watching different situations that would arise; imagining how Jason and I would handle those situations.  I’m very grateful that we have plenty of friends and relatives with children around us, and that we will have plenty of opportunities to ask for advice from them.

As for the rest of our weekend…not much fun took place. We took care of things around the house such as mowing the lawn, laundry, tidying up, and then we did our weekly grocery shopping trip. We live such exciting lives! Haha It was nice to take a break from planning for our fundraising event, and just have some quiet down time before our lives get insanely busy the next couple months.  It was getting to the point where I would wake up from my sleep with anxiety about everything that needs to get done.  Whew! Just need to take a deep breath and breathe.

Until next time. xoxo