Tag Archives: life

Holding On To Hope.

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Romans 15:13

Having hope isn’t always an easy task. It’s in the situations when we really need hope that it’s easiest to lose it! Hope is so necessary to live our best lives possible. Hope brings freedom. When we lose hope, we live in anxiety and fear. We lose our joy and our center. Hope lifts the shackles of worry off of us. Hope protects and preserves–when we lose hope, we lose faith in the thing we hoped for! If we are no longer hoping, we might miss it when what we hoped for comes along!

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Photo by Evan Kirby on Unsplash

To the world, remaining in hope sometimes seems crazy. But, we serve an awesome God! He’s a way-maker, a miracle worker, a promise keeper…Jesus Christ came as a human being to earth, this painful, messy, confused place. Then He died and actually rose from the dead for you–for your eternal JOY! HOPE is what God offers!  

In finding your dream job, or a job…Have hope! Maybe there are still some stepping stones before you get there, so that you can do the BEST job possible! Or, maybe God will reveal something even greater to you along the way!

As far as meeting a suitable spouse…Have hope! Being hopeless isn’t going to attract the person you are waiting on! Have HOPE in God’s promises and goodness…Even if the timing is not what you wanted or what the world thought was reasonable!

In any situation…Have hope! You never know how the situation will turn around! In my life, I remember a time when I had been job searching for months…I had interview after interview…But no job offers (except retail). One day, out of the blue, I had an email from a supervisor at an organization where I had volunteered a few years back. They were starting a new program–and my qualifications literally fit perfectly with what they were looking for! Basically, it was my dream job due to the different elements of it. I got the job almost automatically! Believe me, I never would have expected that to happen! But GOD. Faith and hope sustained me throughout all those closed doors!

Find hope! It will add increase and strength to your life, as well as to the lives of those around you! An attitude of hope is, well, hopeful! If you’re struggling with finding hope…Pray for it! Believe me, it will be granted, sometimes in ways you never expected! I love all my readers and I pray that each of you has an outpouring of hope as you read, in whatever situation you need hope!

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11

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Photo by Den Heslop on Unsplash

 

 

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Different, Yet Beautiful.

For the past two years, I spent Independence Day watching fireworks on the rooftop of my apartment building.

 

I loved being a a part of the city life, of having access to so many events at my fingertips. It was a total gift to be able to invite friends over for the 4th of July and walk up a

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Photo by Ray Hennessy on Unsplash

few flights of stairs to the rooftop. We could stand on the rooftop and see downtown, and watch numerous firework displays from over the lake. Now, I am in the suburbs. I definitely do not have my own apartment, but live in someone else’s home. They have graciously opened up their space to me and my (very unique) cat for a low price.

This Independence Day, my no-longer roommate drove us twenty minutes away, to another suburb’s fireworks display. By God’s provision, we found a parking spot. We followed many families of  energetic young children to the fireworks watching location, chatting about our still-single state of life and the general complexities that we never imagined would still be the reality at our respective ages.

We staked out a spot and laid out a blanket. The sun continued its setting. Music played over loudspeakers, and we continued to talk. Finally, the music stopped. All the lights turned off. There was a collective gasp in the crowd. Complete darkness covered the area as we waited for the fireworks that celebrate the freedoms and independence we are offered in the United States of America.

My life has turned out vastly different than I ever imagined. This is especially in relation to being 28, where I find myself now. As I contentedly watched the magnificent fireworks display, one of my best friends beside me, what echoed in my heart was “different, yet beautiful.”

Watching the fireworks in a well-removed location from city life, and surrounded by families, is vastly different than watching them in the city. Yet, it was beautiful.

Living in the house of married couple friends is much different than living in a house with my own husband, as I always assumed would be the case by this age. Yet it is beautiful as I benefit from the hospitality of my friends and learn more about the beauty and struggles of marriage.

Making friends with other single women my age and older, yet still trying to figure out men and how anyone finally makes it through all the steps to the altar is different than I ever expected would be the case by now. It’s different than having “couple friends” and arranging play dates, yet it is the most beautiful blessing to have these sisters to share this unique journey with.fireworks-for-blog.jpg

 

Life sure is different than I ever expected it would be at this point in my life. Still, grace and blessings abound, different blessings than I expected. Each day I find blessings and strength, treasures to hold onto. Our Father is a good, good Father.

Life is different, yet it is immensely beautiful.

Happy, Joyful Easter!

I want to wish a very happy & joyful Easter to all of my readers! We have cause for great rejoicing on this day, the day our Savior conquered death so that we might live! His sacrifice & Resurrection gives us the way to abundant life here on earth, and life eternally!

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There was only one Resurrection of Christ. His sacrifice and rising from the dead is unrepeatable. Have you ever thought of the pattern of the crosses and resurrections in our own lives? Check out my article from a few years ago. We are resurrection people, and our story is entwined with His.

May you know the joy, life, and abundance of our Savior! He lives!

Listen to the Song.

Some of my very favorite songs are ones that I didn’t like the beginning of. I may have even skipped them for another song before I came back to listen fully and appreciate them. Then, when I came back and listened to them all the way through, I couldn’t stop listening. They are the songs I listen to on repeat now. I wonder, what if I had skipped them? I would have missed out on something beautiful.

What about the song of your life? Maybe it isn’t going the pace you like, and seems too slow. The silence at the beginning might be too much and you just want the tempo to pick up. Maybe you don’t see how the voices and all the parts are working together yet. The middle may not be what you expected. Perhaps you just want to skip to the end to see how it finishes.

My friends, we need to listen to the full song. Each part is working together to make the song a masterpiece. The beginning is only that-the beginning. There are many parts in between, and only taken as a whole can it be fully understood and appreciated. Keep waiting. Keep praying through each note and silence. Keep listening. Don’t skip ahead, because each part has something meaningful to offer and melds with the other parts.

He created you with a song that is only yours, and no one else’s. Your song is unrepeatable. Keep listening, my friend. The song isn’t over yet.

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Kindness Heals.

All I can say is that this has been a rough week. Sunday I sat in the car shop for 6 hours after church and paid over $300, a very unanticipated expense. Another unexpected event happened that evening that knocked me off balance and involved a dear friend. Not to mention I am perpetually feeling [very] stretched with my new schedule of working full-time and being a student, as well as  trying to do all the basic things that life requires. It was a week where many things just seemed to go wrong from the start.

However, I thank Jesus that He extended His love through others. Many blessings were present in the midst of the setbacks of the week.

On Valentine’s Day, my roommate gifted my single self with a card & a few items to pamper myself with.

One night, I had a child care job taking care of a delightful and very intelligent 4-year old.

Today, I called in sick to work. Most of the day was spent in bed. This evening, a friend was unexpectedly in the area, a friend I hadn’t seen in months. My friend bought me a bowl of pho. It was so healing to talk over good food with a friend about what had been going on in my life and hear about the very exciting events recently happening in his life.

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The pho was nourishment for my tired body. The kindness was healing for my bruised heart.

Don’t underestimate the power of kindness! The Lord can work through your actions to bring much healing.

Highlights of 2016

It’s difficult to believe that 2016 is almost over! I feel as if the year was swift, yet when I look back, it’s hard to believe how much happened!

Let’s start with something that will begin in early 2017. My patron for 2016, randomly chosen through the Saint Name Generator, turned out to be significant. It was St. Ignatius of Loyola. I have been a fan of the Examen and Ignatian discernment for a number of years. It turns out that one of his patronages also became important in my life. He’s the patron of educators and education. This year, I really felt the Lord nudging me to go back to school. After an interesting journey, I was accepted to the program of my choice! I will be starting as a part-time grad student for an M.A. in Counseling, as of January!

The year started out rough. Within the first week of the year I was ill. There was a high

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amount of drama at my workplace. It was a struggle. Through it all, I learned to lean on Christ even more. Reading the Scriptures & knowing my Creator through this became more important to me than ever before.

My city had a lot of victories. In June, I went to the parade celebrating our basketball team winning the NBA title! It was really a great celebration and a show of unity for a city that has had many setbacks and much division. The next month we hosted the Republican National Convention-and the candidate won the presidential election! Months later, the baseball team went to the World Series (though we did not win). In God’s eyes, this city is not “The Mistake on the Lake.” He is at work in this city.

I moved in with a roommate. Financially, this was a great decision. Even moreso, it is a benny-cuddle-2blessing to have a companion on the journey & who is also seeking God. She gets the journey. Not long after moving to the new place, a seeming “super-mouse” pushed me over the edge to adopt a cat. Though he did nothing to help with the mouse, he’s brought much laughter. (And praise God–the mouse (mice?) are gone. May they never return to our home.)

 

For the second year in a row, one of my reflections was published in a book! This time, it was a book written by my very own roomie! It’s a raw reflection about a relationship breaking up, but I pray it ministers to someone who may be in a similar situation.

I visited Africa, finally! It’s difficult to put into words how much this experience affected me and the joys it brought. I am so thankful for the miraculous way God brought it about. The whole trip and all His movements on the trip, too, were truly miraculous! I will be forever grateful.forblog

Truly, this was a year of beauty. Thank You, Heavenly Father. I look forward to 2017 and whatever adventures may lie ahead.

Happy New Year’s to all my readers! May our Heavenly Father bless, direct, and strengthen you in all your ways.

“Brothers, I do not consider myself to have embraced it yet. But this one thing I do: Forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead.”~Philippians 3:13

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Waiting on God

“Wait for the LORD; Be strong and let your heart take courage; Yes, wait for the LORD.”~Psalm 27:14

I remember apartment hunting and all of the feelings associated with it. It was an experience somewhat like feeling like a fish out of water. I was staying with a friend, hoping not to wear out hospitality, and desperately hoping for a place of my own, ASAP. I waited much longer than I thought I would to get a place of my own, and the time had come that I could finally, finally get my own apartment.

I looked at places that had very positive aspects, but something didn’t feel quite right. They didn’t have the feeling of home. Trading the discomfort of my current situation for independence was very appealing. There were a few times I almost jumped quickly into a living situation. Thankfully, God gave me the grace to be patient and wait. The search continued.

I woke up one morning with clarity about the place I should go with. Something just felt right, even though in one aspect I had hoped for something else. God had another plan. I haven’t for one day regretted the choice I made in which apartment to live in. In fact, I see many reasons why this is the perfect place for me, including the neighbors I’ve been blessed to meet. I didn’t understand then why I couldn’t move right away, and why the places that fit all my qualifications didn’t feel quite right. I am so grateful that God led me where He did, and, more importantly, that by His grace I was able to wait.

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courtesy of unsplash.com

So many times we grow impatient, waiting on God. It isn’t going fast enough for our taste. We think God doesn’t have it all under control. Sometimes we jump into decisions, jobs, or relationships on account of our impatience. Patience and waiting on God’s best doesn’t always come easily. But it is so worth it.

Ask Him for the grace to wait. Accept the discomfort that comes in waiting and standing still. He will hold you and show you where to step. Just wait.

“He says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”~Psalm 46:10