Monday, March 10, 2014

The Light Shines in the Darkness...

 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 
 He was with God in the beginning. 
Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. 
 In Him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. 
The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.
{John 1:1-5}

As I was reading my bible this morning I started the book of John and was struck by these words. 
How absolutely beautiful. Not only the semantics of the passage, but the way it's written- such wonderful imagery. 
In HIM was life. And that life is our light. 
Causing our lives to be a light in the darkness of this world(not us, but His light in us). 
And Darkness has not overcome it. 

What does light do? It shows us the way, it illuminates dark places, it allows us to see and function. Without light we would be hopeless, lost, and yes- dead. (Shall I say dead in our trespasses and sins?) More literally without light and warmth we would all die; the earth would just freeze over into nothingness. A big chunk of death. 
That is what we do without Christ, who is our life. We freeze over until we are nothing. And even the searching and yearning for something greater is gone. Satan steals from us everything, all light, hope, beauty and meaning, and leaves us wallowing in our sins without a future.
But God has given us His son so we can avoid all that! He has given His word, which is the beacon of hope, giving meaning to our otherwise meaningless lives. 
All the darkness of this world cannot overcome the light that is within just one of us.
 The light of Christ in us. 
With these 5 simple verses John laid the foundation of our faith, and also showed us the end of the story. It is Christ in us that we should rely on, Christ in us who is our life. And it is He who will win the battle. 

Good overcomes evil. 
Light defies the darkness, and swallows it up. 
Christ has had victory over death
And by Him we are saved. 

Do you allow His light shine out through you in the darkness of this world? 

Friday, February 21, 2014

With All Your Heart

Imagine yourself driving along. 
The light turns red. 
You put your foot on your car brakes, and the car gently rolls to a stop. 
What if they didn't work? 
Did you really think about what you just did? 
Probably not. 

After weeks, months or years of driving you just know that generally speaking, the brakes work. And nothing bad happens. So you just press on them, and the car glides to a stop. This is a poor example , but an effective one.

My mind wandered to this the other day as I was driving home from work and stopped at a light. I trusted my brakes. That they would stop me from crashing into the car ahead of me. Keep me from turning a corner too fast, or speeding down the highway uncontrollably.  
What would it mean to trust my Creator, my Father like that? To know without a doubt that He is Trustworthy and there to catch me when I fall (or crash, or am speeding in the wrong direction). 

It says in Proverbs 3:5-6 to trust the Lord with "All your Heart"... and He will direct your paths. Why wouldn't I want to give up all my plans, fear in the unknown, and other "me" things for the plans the One who loves most has written for me? He desires the best. But what I'm afraid of is what will His best be? Will it be hard or painful? 

Well. That Doesn't Matter. 
For He says:
"When you pass through the waters,
    I will be with you;
and when you pass through the rivers,
    they will not sweep over you.
When you walk through the fire,
    you will not be burned;
    the flames will not set you ablaze.
For I am the Lord your God,
    the Holy One of Israel, your Savior"

Isaiah 43:2-3

Why wouldn't I trust Him who said those words? You might say it's a gamble, but the odds look better on this side.  So even if it is hard, painful, or I have to give up things I will be worth it all. In the end, it will be okay for I will have follow Him rather than myself and my plans. 

So, what would my life look like if I placed more trust in the Living God than I do my car's brakes? Because, if we are really truly honest, I'd say we all trust our brakes a bit more than God sometimes. (Perhaps not all the time...but sometimes.) I know I don't trust Him, or anybody else, very much. So this will be difficult. But I pray I find out.
 It's going to be a journey, and a learning process... but I have faith that my God will not leave me or forsake me. He hems me in behind and before,
    and has laid His hand upon me, and no matter where I go- He is there. 
So, I will have faith, and trust in His plan- with all my heart. 

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

I can do all things?

Today has been what you might call a "pretty bum day". 
 Had a few setbacks- health wise, school, and just feeling rather worn down in general. I believe I'm getting attacked spiritually, which may be 99% of this.  In the throes of my self pity (yeah....) I decided to read a bit in Philippians to look for encouragement. What I found wasn't exactly what I anticipated, or really wanted to be honest.

 Usually whenever anyone thinks of Philippians, often you think of "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me". For a second there, I was mentally exclaiming "YES! I can do this! Christ is strengthening me! This too shall pass! Tomorrow will be better!!" 

Then I decided to read it in context. 

(Side note, Christians tend to put bible verses out of context alot. This irks me. Simply because it's basically twisting the Word of God to suit our own needs, and misinterpreting scripture. Yikes! That is kind of scary!)


Philippians 4 11- 13 says:  I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. 12 I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. 13 I can do all this through him who gives me strength.

Hey now! Paul says that he has learned to be content WHATEVER THE CIRCUMSTANCES. Big difference, in my opinion. He goes on to say that he knows what it's like to be in the "setback" "bummer" kind of situations, yet he is is content. He was an APOSTLE, and He didn't even have it "all good" obviously, none of the apostles did. He was muscling through because he can do all things through Christ. 

This is not a trite quote to help yourself buck up because things will get better, like it's often used...but a lesson to learn and a message to be content. To take what comes, and with Christ's help, grow and learn in the situation. Rise above. (Shall we say, on Eagles wings?) Or, you must plow on through. (Not so eagle-ish. Probably more like Job would say; "Why me?" But I trust you.) 

God doesn't say how long He will want us to go through things, nor does He make the promise that it will be easy. But He will strengthen us, whatever comes. Again, it's so easy to spout the trite Christian happy greeting card "He won't give you more than you can handle." 

I say. WRONG. 
Think about what Paul said: "For we were so utterly burdened beyond our strength that we despaired of life itself. Indeed, we felt that we had received the sentence of death. But that was to make us rely not on ourselves but on God who raises the dead (2 Cor. 1:8-9)”

That sounds pretty intense, doesn't it? 

Friends, He WILL give you more than you can handle. 
Because.... *drumroll* YOU aren't supposed to handle it. 
I, You, We....we are supposed to lean on God for our support through these trials. We are not to rely on ourselves! 
I for one have a very bad habit, sin, whatever you want to call it... of relying on myself. Being self sufficient. Bottom line is I can't do it.
 The past few days, well..months.. I've had to rely pretty heavily on friends, family, and God to help me through various situations. It's been rather bruising to the pride. But I think that was the point. ;) God has helped me through, and has even allowed me the grace to praise Him.

This all may be old news for you, but it's been something I've had to learn the hard way the past while. 

Rely on God. For He is a loving and gracious Abba. 

Thursday, August 8, 2013

To Nursing school and beyond!

Hello friends!

Currently I sit here in the comfort of a house, on an actual bed, in the AC! I must say, living in a tent is a wonderful adventure- but I like having an actual bed. I'll add a few pictures of my campsite in this post.
As many of you know, I am enrolled in Centra College of Nursing, and I begin classes on August 19th. I'm completely terrified, and incredibly excited at the same time!! My scrubs came in the mail 2 days ago, I tried them on. The pants were too big, but I still felt pretty "legit".
Books are also coming in the mail now too, I have quite a little pile!

I'd appreciate your prayers as I attempt this thing called nursing school!

Following are some pictures I've taken over the summer. I'm not too dedicated with picture taking, so there are large gaps. But anyway, here goes!

 Adventures on SML with friends
 The view from my window at the campsite!
 I got new glasses! They're a little geeky, but cute. 
 My car just went over 200000 miles. YIPES!
 My hammock!
 Some of my art up at a local coffee shop. 
 My "little pile" of books etc for nursing school.
And, a recent picture of me (taken yesterday)

blessings to you and yours!

Friday, June 21, 2013

Tents, nursing school, and pictures.

Part of me is wondering why I'm even updating this blog right now, however... I shall continue. Many things have been taking place. I'm moving in a week to another town about 45 minutes away from me. As some of you know, I'll be living in a tent!!! At least for the summer. That leads me to the second piece of news: I've been accepted into Nursing School!!!!!! I'll be attending starting this August, and finishing in 2015. I'll come out with my ADN (RN), and then I'll go on to get my BSN as time and money allows.
So many things are changing so fast right now, I'm looking for work, a place to live in August, and scholarships and grants for nursing school. I'll be having to take out some loans too. Yikes. It just feels like a lot at once, and I'm attempting to not get overwhelmed.
Prayers would be appreciated!
Here are some pictures for your viewing pleasure.
My Tent:

My tent again!!
 Me: (obviously)

Sunset from near my tent

And me being goofy :)

Lauren and I!!!

I am a viking. Woohoo.

There's everything in a nutshell. I'll be updating from my tent next time!! :) 


Sunday, April 21, 2013

Do Something Different

"They laughed because she was different, she laughed because they were all the same."

I saw this quote earlier today, it didn't say who it was by (but I'm sure google knows). Although I've seen it before it struck a particular chord with me today. Perhaps because right now I'm making some decisions that many..well.. most.. normal people would consider strange, perhaps even rash. However, these said decisions are not BAD in nature, nor are they harmful. Just.... different. So far the reactions to them have been quite varied, when I've mentioned them. 

Thinking on the different-ness of these decisions and reflecting some over some of my past decisions on my life I realize that I *AM* rather different. In many ways "counterculture".  First off: home schooled. That's the basis right there- I was counterculture from the start! Not to mention midwifery, moving around apprenticing to midwives, living with Amish people, messianic feast-keeper, lover of things hippie, wearer of flashy skirts, sort of gypsyish in nature. I rarely stay in one place more than a year and a half. It's who I am. 

This day and age people seem to frown on that sort of different, especially not living the "american dream" for my age group.  College. Debt. Husband. House. Debt. Kids.Grandkids. Piles of Debt. 
 (Not that it's ALWAYS this way. I'm talking about the a-typical american burgers-and-baseball dream here.)  They don't seem to frown on being their kind of "Different" (aka worldly and strange). It actually seems like everyone wants to be  that kind of different in some way! To be unique from the rest of the  worldly and strange world... So it's become vogue to be different. I'm not saying I want to be THAT kind of different. It says in the scriptures in Ecclesiastes that "there is nothing new under the sun". Well, that's true! True for me as well, and I realize that. 

So, bottom line to this 3 paragraph long ramble is: just because people don't approve of what you are doing doesn't mean you shouldn't do it. After all, we are to pay attention to the "Audience of One". Aim to please Him only. Seek His approval. If He opens the door and says Go- you GO. No matter what the naysayers chant, your head tells you, or how much you worry about how it will work out. 

<End Ramble>

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

It's all about Perspective

(Prepare for reading a slight pity party)

Right now, the obstacles that are looming seem pretty daunting, and rather monstrous. I see the end goal I have in mind... and sometimes it seems I can never get there. Often I struggle with having to do it all alone, feeling walled off and unable to receive any help.
But it's all about perspective.
Tonight, I'm sitting here feeling pretty darn discouraged and alone in this whole mess. Yes, I know there is One who sticks closer than a brother, the One who can carry my burdens, and will be there for me always no matter what. Yes, in my head I KNOW He is there. But my head is showing my heart the to-do list before me. Filled with things I stink at, and downright hate. (In this instance, I speak of math and taxes). I'm in for a huge stretching and growing period in the next few weeks, and I know it. I also know that the outcome of the next few weeks will alter my life in several ways. Of course, those aren't the only things on my to-do list, and I could list it for you, but I have a feeling it would only overwhelm me, and bore you, to literally write it all out.

These things, I'm sure, are just paltry matters to some of you. As well as other people in the world. In the grand scheme of things, I know I have small troubles. This is where I was thinking about perspective. I'm feeling the earth shattering effects of sucking at Algebra, and dreading tests etc. While another person may be wondering where the next meal for their family will come from. In a way, they aren't equally detrimental; but does a three year old who loses a cookie suffer any less pain, frustration, or sadness than a 30 year old who loses her job? I don't think so. It's all relative, I think.
However, with age comes some degree of perspective, and I'm needing a good dose of it.

So now comes the "jerking myself up by my bootstraps" and soldering on routine. One that has become repeatedly familiar the past few months. Why IS that?
Why DOES it have to be so complicated? Am I to be learning something that just won't go through my hard skull? Probably. Am I going about this all wrong that it has to be so difficult and frustrating?

Bottom line. Being an adult stinks. Having to make decisions, and then take responsibility for those decisions and consequences (good and bad) stinks.

I know "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me" and "with prayer and supplication with thanksgiving make your requests made known to the Lord".
Now, I just need to WALK in all that. And there's the hard part. Knowing this is NOT the end of the world,  others have way worse crisis' going on, and in the end- it'll work out, has to be acknowledged.
Staying my mind on Christ, and making my plans line up with His should be my focus and goal. Not graduating nursing school, not moving, not traveling, not having a fantastic lovely garden.
Perhaps a full night's sleep will help with perspective.
Abba, help me to dwell in your perfect peace, and trust in Your plan.

<end pity party>

That being said, I'd really appreciate your prayers.