Friday, December 4, 2015

Pray, Watch, & Praise

Hello friends,

Hope this post finds you warm and enjoying the start to the Christmas season! I just love Christmas time! Let me update you on life. I'll be taking my certification test this month and need prayers that I pass at the professional level! I'll be covered up studying and completing a huge portfolio project for the next few weeks trying to get everything ready for my official teaching certificate!! I absolutely cannot believe how good God has been to me over the past few years.  It is incredible to think about where I was with my health when I began college and where I am right now.  I was just thinking the other day about how much the Lord has healed me and how powerful He is! When I first began college, an advisor I met with advised me to think about choosing a different major because of my health.  I am SO glad I listened to God and stayed on the path He called me to no matter what others said.  When He calls you to it, He will bring you through it.  Although I wasn't sure at the time how He was going to bring me through, He did and in His goodness, He has allowed me to stay in "almost remission" throughout my college years! I'm so excited to continue following this journey He's called me to!

Here's a quick insight into what I read this morning during my devotion time that really encouraged me and I hope will encourage you as well! It's a verse that is oh so familiar, yet it hit me in a different way this morning.  Don't you love how the Holy Spirit shows you different things through His Word at different times? It was Colossians 4:2.  Here's what it says: "Continue in prayer, and watch in the same with thanksgiving;" We all too often pray for something, then just keep praying for it and praying for it and praying for it which is not a bad thing; however, how often are we looking, watching, and waiting for what we are praying for? For me, it's not as often as it should be.  I believe this verse tells us to pray for something and then watch for it to happen. We should begin praising God for the thing we are praying for.  Start thanking Him for the things in which you have not even received yet.  Have faith and watch for it!  When God tells us to continue in prayer, I know He wants us to make our requests known unto Him.  However in order to continue in a constant state of prayer, I believe thanksgiving and a thankful attitude is the most effective way to accomplish that continuance.  We also must remember that His ways are not our ways; therefore, sometimes the answer we think we want is not what is best.  He is trustworthy though! Keep praising Him for the outcome He knows is best!  So whatever may be on your heart today, pray and release it to our Father in Heaven.  While you continue to pray for that request, watch for it to happen and begin thanking Him for providing what is best even before He does!

Merry Christmas!!

Monday, October 5, 2015

Notice the Small Things

Hi friends,
I am so sorry it's been so long since I've posted! Life has been so busy! For years, I've always claimed to want to be busy all the time.  The Lord definitely believed me and gave me so much to keep me going all the time! The Lord probably smiles when I'm so busy because He knows that's just how I always thought I wanted life to be like! I used to really dislike the days at home with little to go and do...I appreciate them so much more now as they are so far and few between. I finally have a few days off from teaching because it's fall break! So thankful for the rest. I've caught just about every germ that my students have brought to school.  I've been sick with four different things since August! Hoping and praying my immunity builds quickly.  Let me just update you on a few things the Lord has been doing in my life lately. 
I'm teaching in a kindergarten classroom right now and it's just a great blessing to be with the sweet babies that are just beginning school.  They have grown so much already intellectually and one of my fondest memories so far is when they were picking up books for the very first time and "reading".  They read the pictures right now (a few are starting to read words). I have to tell you, it is so fun seeing them look so closely at the pictures and telling a story based on what they see.  Most of the time, what they say goes right along with the words because the pictures give so many details.  I was amazed at how well they could "read" the pictures.  They were noticing things in the picture that I would've looked right over because I know the words.  It's caused me to think about looking closely for all of the details and minor things God is doing in life.  He brings SO many blessings that we probably just look right over.  Notice the details; thank Him for the little things.  I've been seeing a quote recently that I've come to cherish! It says, "Enjoy the little things in life because one day you'll look back and realize they were the big things." I'm not sure who said that quote first, but it has such truth! I know I am always looking for the next big thing, but God wants me to enjoy right now because maybe it is my big thing for life right now. 
Reading pictures also made me think of us as Christians, can someone read you and tell right away that you are God's child? I hope they can.
As these sweet students continue to grow in their learning, they will soon find that some of the words they are saying to interpret the pictures do not go with the words on the page. They will begin reading the words and making sense of letter-sound correspondence.  How has your letter-sound correspondence been lately, or maybe I should say your Savior-child correspondence? Don't forget to thank Him for the little things and big things and be sure when people read you, they see Jesus!

Matthew 25:23- "His lord said unto him, Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord."

Hope you all continue to have a wonderful fall season!


Tuesday, June 2, 2015

My God is Healer

Six years ago today on June 2nd, 2009, I was rushed to the hospital with symptoms that would completely change my life forever.  I had no idea what was going on with my body and had no idea that my symptoms would turn into a chronic health condition.  A few months later I was given the diagnosis of Dysautonomia.  I wasn't sure what all that entailed but we knew it was a life changer.  I didn't know how many nights I would spend in a hospital bed or how many fluid infusions I would have to get at IV therapy.  I didn't know the faces of the people I would meet while struggling with a rare illness.  I didn't know how many events I would miss or how many days I would just feel sick.  God did know how much of a life changer I was encountering, and He has been by my side every single day.  I remember laying in a hospital bed reading my devotion book and being encouraged by a God who I knew cared about me.  I remember literally feeling His peace all around me after doctor appointments that I left with unanswered questions. I remember knowing that He was holding my hand.  I remember the day and the room I was in when my cardiologist told me that I would most likely have this condition for the rest of my life.  Then a few months later I slowly began having more good days than bad days.  You see my God is Healer, and He is stronger than any doctor could ever be.  After three very hard years of being very weak with Dysautonomia, God chose to begin healing my body.  After about four years, my body was close to remission from the condition.  Now six years later, I am still in almost remission and my doctor is planning to start taking me off of my medications in January! God is greater! I wasn't sure that I would ever see the day when I would live an almost normal life again, but because we serve an awesome God, I am able to live a normal life again right now! I am so thankful for my Healer!

Psalm 73:23- "Nevertheless I am continually with thee: thou hast holden me by my right hand."

Psalm 30:2- "O Lord my God, I cried unto thee, and thou hast healed me."

Philippians 4:7-"And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus."

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

A Lesson Plan Life

Hi friends,
As many of you know, I am in school right now studying to become a teacher.  I have college classes three days a week and I student teach in an elementary school 2.5 days a week.  We write many, many lesson plans.  Our plans actually have to be scripted which means that we think through our entire lesson and write out everything we plan to say.  As I teach the plans I write, I find that I'm always changing something in my plans when I actually teach the lesson.  You just cannot completely prepare for everything that will happen during the lesson.  Sometimes students may not have the prior knowledge they need, sometimes they need extra practice in one area, sometimes we run out of time, occasionally we have extra time, things just don't always go as planned.  No matter how great my lesson plan is, I'm not being a good teacher unless I can adjust to all the variations created during our lesson. 
This reminded me of our lives as Christians.  We often think we can plan everything out.  We need to plan, don't get me wrong.  Planning and organization is a great quality to exhibit! However, life is a constant change.  We have good times and bad times, things we understand and things we do not understand.  Life throws us for unexpected changes sometimes.  We have to lean on God and learn to adjust.  I have a plan all scripted up for my lessons that I teach.  God has His plan for our lives all written as well.  Sometimes our plans may not match up completely.  God's plan will always win, and let me remind you His plan is always best.  It may not be what we are expecting or hoping to experience; however, it is best.  As I watch my lesson plans change throughout the course of the 70 minute lesson I'm teaching, I'm reminded to be open to the things God is doing in my life.  When I do redirect my lesson or make changes while teaching, I do it to benefit my students and our time together.  When God makes changes in our life, He does it for our good.  We cannot always have everything planned to perfection.  We must remember to live flexibly while God is in the Pilot's seat of our life.  We can relax and know that with Him guiding us, we will be perfectly safe and secure although it may not feel safe and secure at the time.  He is always with us.  Always directing us in the best direction.  So friends, keep living the lesson plan life.  You can plan, but you must realize that God is the ultimate Author of your life. 

 Proverbs 19:21 - "There are many devices in a man's heart; nevertheless the counsel of the LORD, that shall stand."

Romans 8:28 - "And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to [his] purpose."

Jeremiah 29:11 - "For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end."

Monday, January 26, 2015

Are You In the Water?

Hi friends,
Hope you are all having a great start to 2015!
 I was studying for my Sunday School lesson last week (I teach Kindergarteners). We were learning about Jesus walking on water and Peter getting out of the boat to walk on the water.  I know the story very well, but always like to refresh myself and reread it before teaching.  It's awesome though because God always shows me something new even when I read a well known story.  As I was reading Matthew 14, I thought about the faith that Peter had when he got right out of the boat and started walking to Jesus on the water.  When Jesus told Peter to come to Him, the Bible doesn't say Peter hesitated.  He may have, but when he got out and started walking to Jesus, his faith was strong enough to keep him from drowning.  I personally think he was pretty confident in Jesus's strength upon entering the roaring waters.  Peter began to sink only when he took his eyes off of Jesus.  He began to look around at everything that was against him: the waves, the storm, and the wind.  Jesus still took care of Peter even when he started doubting, but what an awesome miracle he was participating in while walking on water.  When Jesus reached out and grabbed Peter, He asked him why he began to doubt.  God's power is so magnificent and we all too often forget that.  We step out in faith like Peter, but then begin to doubt.  I think we too, make faith based decisions and then look around and forget the God that we serve.  He can do miraculous things!  I often deep down know that God has everything under control, but I still want to take matters into my own hands and worry.  It's hard to trust and keep trusting after time, especially if God has you in a waiting period.  I do know that no matter what, God will never let you down.  When you begin to doubt God, start praising His name.  I have found so much comfort in praising God with statements such as, "You will not fail me. You are holding me by my right hand. You are good.  You will never leave me or forsake me."  Those things are all true, and God's peace fills me when I pray those words! You can walk on water too if you keep your eyes on the One who made the waters with His words! It's okay to step out of the boat, and often I think we do.  We seem to fail just like Peter after traveling the path just a little ways when we think of all the things that could go wrong.  Just keep walking.  Keep trusting.  Keep waiting. Keep praising.

Matthew 14:28-31- " And Peter answered him and said, Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water. And he said, Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus. But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me. And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?"

Deuteronomy 31:8- "And the Lord, He it is that doth go before thee; He will be with thee, He will not fail thee, neither forsake thee: fear not, neither be dismayed."

Isaiah 41:13- "For I the Lord thy God will hold thy right hand, saying unto thee, Fear not; I will help thee."