Friday, April 22, 2011

Am I really already 25?

Yesterday was my 25th birthday. I was talking to Justin about it yesterday and told him I didn't feel 25. He asked how old I felt, and I really think somewhere between 10-12. (I wonder if that is because I spend most of my time with that age range...)

Anyway, it was a wonderful day. I definitely felt loved from the moment I woke up. Groggy Justin woke up to say "good morning" when usually he just continues sleeping. When I came back in the bedroom, there was a surprise waiting for me on the bed. Justin got me a beautiful ring... I knew he was going to get it for me, but he told me that they had not had it in stock and had to order it.

Later at work, my students barreled down the hall yelling "happy birthday!" They sure made me feel loved and appreciated. Many of my students brought flowers and they combined them to make two beautiful bouquets. I had many homemade cards and lots of little gifts.

The instructional part of my day drug on and on. I was ready to go home, relax, and celebrate. Justin and I went off to Chuy's (I had been waiting WEEKS for this day to come around!). I ate lots of creamy J and a big burrito. It was yummy!

Later that evening, Justin and I were going to go to Studio Movie Grill to watch Source Code (we already had tickets through a Groupon). We went up the escalator just to hear over the speaker that they were sold out. So... we went back down. We decided to go see Your Highness. We went back up the escalator. We tried to buy tickets but they cancelled the showing. We went back down the escalator. About this time, I was getting discouraged. I wanted to do something special, but I couldn't think of anything... not to mention that I was exhausted!

As we were heading home, Justin played a song he purchased called "Hosanna" sung by Jason Morant. I realized that my birthday celebration was mild in comparison to the celebration of what this weekend symbolizes. Everything came back in perspective and I was grateful for the gift of life God has given me. I became grateful for my family who called me through out the day beginning at 6:45 to sing me happy birthday, grateful for my husband who woke up early to start my day off in a special way, grateful for the ashleys and their kind words, grateful for friends who left special encouraging messages throughout the day. My day took a huge turn for the better.

Justin began playing "Thy Will Be Done" by Red Letter and we just worshipped in the car together. I can't get over the lyrics.

My God, my Father while I stray,
Far from my home in life rough's way,
Oh teach me from my heart to say,
Thy will be done.

Though dark my path inside my lot,
Let me be still and murmur not,
Or breathe prayer divinely taught,
Thy will be done.

And if my fainting heart be blessed,
With the Holy Spirit for its guest,
My God to Thee I leave the rest,
Thy will be done.

If Thou should call me to resign
what most I prize never was mine,
I only leave Thee what is Thine,
Thy will be done.

And when on earth I breathe no more,
The prayer I've mixed with tears before,
I'll sing upon that joyful shore,
Thy will be done.

Justin and I came back to the house. I had one last request... a coke with vanilla from sonic and a red box movie. Shortly after we began the redbox movie (within 30-45 minutes), I feel asleep in Justin's arms.

A perfect 25...

Friday, April 8, 2011

Defining Success

The idea of success has come in and out of my mind lately. What is its measure? How do I know when I have obtained success? It is something I have strived for both consciously and subconsciously. The desire to achieve this often undefinable thing always seems to be before me.

These thoughts began flooding my mind once again about two weeks ago. I was praying that God would define success for my life and that I would learn to be content to live and strive for his definition. I concluded that being obedient and joyful in that obedience was true success... following my master and being happy in the pursuit is the key.

Saying that and living it, however, have proven to be two very different things. It is easy to say the words... to internalize the words. There are so many other deceptive definitions of success though that skew true success. Money, career, quality of life, possessions, etc. All these things take my mind off of following Christ and leave me on an unending rat race for more.

I currently have absolutely NO job security. This week, I will find out whether or not my contract is being renewed. Some days in the past few weeks have been beautiful: striving to follow Christ. Other days, I have been extremely stressed... striving to figure out a back-up plan that will make me the most money without having to sell my soul to the job. And in reality, when I say days... I really mean some hours and some minutes. I have good and bad moments every day. I am but a mere pendulum .

Needless to say, whatever happens, I know that as long as I am seeking Christ, true success cannot be taken from me.

Sunday, April 3, 2011


In need of prayer...

I know that this statement is very true... and yet, it is very difficult to follow through. Often, I feel very alone in the struggle.

Knowing I need to pray and devote time to hearing God and yet struggling to find the time to sit in His presence.

And those moments when I do sit, my mind wanders... I lack focus.

Even when I have time set aside and my mind remains focus, I struggle with wondering if I hear God. I question... was that really God? Did I make that up? Did I base what I believe God told me based upon my own feelings?

And those moments that I know beyond a doubt I hear, I want to savor and sit in His overwhelming presence forever.

I want those moments of listening and hearing more and more. The journey is trying and often painful as God answers prayers in ways that shake my worldview and life.

After talking with friends the past month or so, I realize that I am not alone in this struggle. I think there is great power in prayer and great power in community. Imagine the possibilities if those combined... prayer and community.

So... I desire to start a prayer meeting in our house. Often, we believers get together to pray. We spend more time sharing requests and talking.... Then, we awkwardly transition into prayer for about five minutes because we "ran out of time." I want more. I want people to come knowing the expectation that they come in, silent their hearts, pray earnestly that we want to hear from God and then wait until He speaks. I want our home to be a place where the goodness of the Lord is written upon the walls. Lord, let it be.