A Home Away From Home

I got to the airport, and had to rearrange my bags about three different times. I got through security, and a sense of relief came as I found my gate. Just ahead, I spotted a glorious green sign. It truly spoke to my heart. So, I got in the line at Starbucks, haha!

The thrill of traveling came back as I remembered the many trips I had taken over the past three years. For some reason the airport feels like a home away from home. Call me crazy, but it’s kind of a comfort. Then it dawned on me why…

Traveling is a lot like life. We, as Christians, live in a world that is not our own. We are just passing through. Like travelers passing through the airport to their destinations. Everyone’s travel plans are not identical (unless you’re starting and finishing together). Everyone has different flight times, different layover times, and different destinations.

When traveling, sometimes we have layovers that last longer than others. Other times, our layover are shorter than others. Sometimes our flights take longer than others and other times it is shorter. Sometimes we have a hard time finding our gate. Other times, it’s right down the way.

In life, we have seasons where it seems like we are waiting –similar to a layover. We may have to wait years. While someone else may only have to wait a few months. Maybe you’ve been waiting for your husband to be the man God has called him to be. Or, maybe you been waiting for a husband in general. Maybe you’ve been waiting for a job, or to finish school. You wonder why your layover seems so much longer than everyone else.

Sometimes, in life, we have trouble finding what our next step or next gate is. Sometimes we find the gate only to learn that the gate has changed. Have you ever been at your gate and you think, “I made it. This is it. Time to board!” Just then, you hear an announcement, “Passengers awaiting flight BW483 will need to proceed to gate number D4. We apologize for any inconvenience”. A lot of times when I hear there is a delay I’m like, “Ugh, it already too me x amount of time to make it here and you’re telling me I still have more to go?” But in life, just like in travels, we will be delayed at least a couple times. And, sometimes we get to a place we think we should be, only to learn, God allowed our gate to change.

So, in traveling, just as in life, enjoy the journey. See life not as a destination but as an adventure. We will have bumps along the way. They are to be expected. And if you’re along for the ride, you can get some great stories out of the delays, layovers and gate changes. Also keep in mind that everyone has a different journey. So don’t get upset or discouraged. Remember you’re unique and God is the one whose in charge anyways. He will get you where He wants you, and right now that is exactly where you are at, but keep in mind a gate change, or a layover may be awaiting you!

“All these died in faith, without receiving the promises, but having seen them and having welcomed them from a distance, and having confessed that they were strangers and exiles on the earth.” Hebrews 11:13

“But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God; for He has prepared a city for them.” Hebrews 11:6

For our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ; Philippians 3:20

“For we are sojourners before You, and tenants, as all our fathers were; “ 1 Chronicles 29:15a

Firsts

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Everything in life starts with a first.

We learn how to walk when we take our first step. We learn how not to ride a bike when we take our first fall. There are good firsts and bad first, but there are always firsts.

I’ve been thinking a lot about relationships. I think the holidays cause us to reflect on the year that has passed. At least it has for me.

Have you ever had a broken relationship? If so, the firsts that follow are extremely difficult. The first few days feel so long and nerve-wracking. You go over and over in your mind if you did the right thing. You wonder: How that person is responding. Or, If they will contact you. There are so many unanswered questions, and so much out of your control.

After you survive those few days, you then face the first week. Which again feels like one week has been a month because there are so many mixed emotions. You wonder if you will ever stop crying and why you’re crying if it was better to part ways. Again, so many questions and so little answers.

You feel a little stronger as the weeks turn into months. Then, there are the first birthdays, or holidays and all of a sudden you have to face the firsts again.

If you have lived any amount of time, you have experienced a lot of firsts. I am writing this because when we know Jesus, the First and the Last, we never have to face the firsts alone! He is with us in the lasts and the firsts.

He experienced a first when he died on the cross. That first was separation from His Father. He experienced that so we NEVER have to experience that as our first (unless we choose to).

In your moments of first, give them to God. Give Him your tears. Give Him your shattered pieces. Give Him your questions and find rest in His never-changing character. Find rest in the one who experienced the worst suffering anyone could have. He did this all to have a relationship with you.  He chose you first and tells us to seek first His kingdom and His righteousness and that all these things will be added unto you (Matthew 6:33).

So whether this year has been full of firsts or lasts, I want to remind you, that you are not alone. Jesus said, “I will NEVER leave you nor forsake you” He doesn’t leave us in our moment of firsts or our moments of lasts. He was before all things. He was before our firsts and He will remain long after our lasts. Cling to Him and know that He is ever present help in time of need and He will use ever first and last that we surrender to Him.

Isaiah 44:1-6
1“But now listen, Jacob, my servant,
Israel, whom I have chosen.
2This is what the Lord says—
he who made you, who formed you in the womb,
and who will help you:
Do not be afraid, Jacob, my servant,
Jeshurun, whom I have chosen.
3For I will pour water on the thirsty land,
and streams on the dry ground;
I will pour out my Spirit on your offspring,
and my blessing on your descendants.
4They will spring up like grass in a meadow,
like poplar trees by flowing streams.
5Some will say, ‘I belong to the Lord’;
others will call themselves by the name of Jacob;
still, others will write on their hand, ‘The Lord’s,’
and will take the name Israel.
6“This is what the Lord says—
Israel’s King and Redeemer, the Lord Almighty:
I am the first and I am the last;
apart from me, there is no God.

A Note To Self


When the bank account is low

Remember

When you’re broken

Remember

When you’re feeling lost

Remember

When you feel discouraged

Remember
Remember: God is able

He owns the cattle on a thousand hills and it’s on His watch when He pays the bills
Remember: God heals

It’s in His timing not ours. He guides us through the ups and downs and won’t let us go too far
Remember: God guides

He is the one who knows which way we take. We make the plans. He guides the way.
Remember: God knows

When life has you down. When it seems like you can’t catch a break-remember. He may have allowed the storm, but He knows what it’s for.
Remember Him who is able, heals, guides, and knows.
Remember He is:

faithful and true,

compassionate and constant,

devoted and determined,

forever and amen!

This Christmas 🎄


I love the song “This Christmas”. I was realizing as I was looking at pictures of some of my friend’s Facebook posts why I like this songs so much.

Last Christmas, I had people in my life that I did almost everything with. Prayed, cried, did outreach, laughed, you name it. I was in a different state. Working at an organization that is still dear to my heart. Those who were in my life felt like family. We were almost always together. Then so much changed.

Isn’t it kind of ironic that as soon as you begin to feel settled, God stirs the pot. We can never anticipate the change but God can!

So, as I was on Facebook, and I remembered how I used to look at pictures of my family when I was away from home.

Then I thought of a family who had 3 sisters and one of the sister decided to commit suicide. I also thought of my friend whose brother committed suicide. We don’t know what’s ahead. We only have today. Life is short.

Maybe this year marked the year of a breakup. Maybe this year you’ve been going through divorce. Maybe this year marks the end of a job, friendship or health. Maybe you have a loved one who was once healthy and now is slowly fading before your eyes. I don’t know your situation, but I do know that these things happen and happen all the time.

So, This Christmas, take time. Take time with those around you because honestly we never know if it’s their last or our last or if next year they will be apart of our lives.

 This Christmas, take time to spend with Jesus because through all the ups and the downs, He is present. He goes with us as we walk this adventure called life.

This Christmas, be present. Don’t think about the past. Don’t worry about the future, be present. I heard a quote this month by Michael Card. He said, “The enemy will try to pull you into the past with regret; into the future with fear, all because it’s only in the present where we can meet with God”

So This Christmas, I am going to soak up time with those around me. Life is short and I want to be present for it all!

Merry Christmas Dear Friends! Thank you for being listening ear this year. You have helped more than you know! 🎄

“Hands up, baby, hands up”

I’ve been thinking a lot about raised hands. What causes us to raise our hands? Here are a few things I jotted down:
1) To ask a question

2) To answer a question

3) To make a statement

4) To catch something
I work with children at an after school facility. Sometimes when I am explaining something they will raise their hand in order to ask a number of different things. With kids, you never know what they might ask!

Sometimes, I will say, “Raise your hand if you want to play dodge ball”.

When they raise their hands they are answering “Yes, I want to play dodgeball”.

Other times, I will say, raise your hand when you’re here. By raising their hands they are saying, “yes! I am here”.

Something interesting happened this week. I was sitting in church when my pastor said, “If you have ever lost someone dear to you, raise your hand”. The next thing he said was, “raise your hand if you have a debilitating illness that you’ve prayed for healing from raise your hand” then the last one he said was, “Raise your hand if you’ve experienced a broken relationship”. I was astonished at how many hands were up. It was an eye opening moment.

Then the worship began, and I realized that the same hands that were raise for those broken relationships, those who had lost love ones and those who had a debilitated illness were being raised to God in worship.

One woman who sat in front of me raised her hand for having a debilitating illness and when the worship began, she raised her hand in worship. You could see that she couldn’t straighten out her arm all the way up, but that wasn’t going to stop her from worshipping God.

It dawned on me that our suffering, loss and heartache is so much bigger than ourselves. Our suffering can be worship to our Creator. And how many more people would be able to see God because instead of keeping our brokenness and hurt to ourselves, we raised our hands. We say not only in the sanctuary at work but to those around us: I have insecurities, I am scared of fainting, I’m broken, I am weak, I mess up, but I can lift this up to Jesus because He is the only one who knows what to do with it.

I don’t know how to suffer well. I fall short every day. I get stuck in my comfort zone. I am selfish. I am needy. I am weak, but God! God doesn’t give us more than we can handle. He is with us before we face trials, in the trials and after the trials. He wants us to give Him everything: the good, the bad and the ugly. He redeems it all and it all is for Him.

So my challenge for this week is to be more open about my faults because I don’t know how many people I may meet who fall into these categories. And they may not have anyone to give their suffering to. Maybe God allowed your suffering and my suffering so that the world would know God’s suffering and His love for them!

Look what 2 Corinthians 4:5-12 says:

5For what we preach is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake. 6For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,”a made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ.

7But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. 8We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; 9persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. 10We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. 11For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that his life may also be revealed in our mortal body. 12So then, death is at work in us, but life is at work in you.

As I was sharing this with my sister, Linda, she said this: If we hold on to our broken relationships, illness etc we can’t receive all God has to offer. You catch a football with open hands. The same with God’s blessings.

When we open our hands to give God whatever we have, He can in return show us more of Him. My prayers is that I would be an empty vessel so that God do as He pleases. So don’t be weary of your brokenness. God uses all things!

If I Were To Choose…

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I have a tendency to think everything needs to be okay- all the time. I shouldn’t fail because I have God and He is all I need, right? If it were my choice I would only choose to have good days. Days without sadness and no pain or struggle. Because who wants to be sad? Who really wants bad days?

Have you ever had those days where you feel like you’re in a funk and you have to almost coach yourself through the day? For example, you are slow to wake up but you tell yourself today is a good day to have a good day. Your mood isn’t chipper but you try to turn that frown upside down because you don’t want to be in a funk. But, you are.

We are human and it’s the struggle that makes us human. We are full of nothing good. In Romans 7:18 Paul says, “For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out” This explains so much. I can try all day long, but I need God’s help to overcome. I am only an overcomer with Him. It is not by strength nor by power but with God’s Spirit. I have the choice to focus on truth and to not give the enemy a foothold, but some days are a full blown battle. The only thing we can do is ask for help and fight like heck with the truth until God chooses to give us a little breather.

I’ve come to realize that sometimes God allows hard days to build our endurance. This journey is not a sprint but a marathon. I was listening to a podcast and the pastor was explaining about another pastor’s marathon training. He explained the months leading up to his race he ran at a certain pace that was good for him. He did this because on the day of the race marathoners will at one or two points, in the race, hit a wall and the things that will get the runner through is obedience, consistency (to your training) and a banana. This man has been given a banana by a member of his church who also encouraged him. He applied that to our Christian walk. The thing that will get is through our “walls” is obedience to what God has told us to do, consistency in our devotion even when our feelings are the opposite and encouragement of other believers. We all need each other and we cannot do this marathon called life alone. We all will fall. We all will grow weary and we all will be tempted to give up. But when we have someone running beside us it encourages us to keep going.

At the beginning of this year, I joined a kickboxing gym. After going for about a month, I missed a few days. The people at the gym would text me and ask me when I was coming in next. They held me accountable. A lot of the time I was traveling so I would be gone several weeks, but I knew if I didn’t get back into the gym I’d get a call. We all need someone to call us and check up on us, and I need to be calling and checking on my brothers and sisters too.

The verse that gave me encouragement me this morning was Isaiah 61:3, “and provide for those who grieve in Zion— [Zion is also called a “parched place”] to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning,  and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness,  a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendor.”

We will mourn in this life. We will have ashes. We will have despair, but because of God, and only because of Him, He can turn things around. He takes our faintness and strengthens us. Because of our inability, people see God’s ability and in that He is glorified (end of verse 3).

So today whatever you may be facing, don’t give up… I want to pray for you and myself to keep on keeping on.

Dear Lord,
Thank you for who you are. Thank you that when we are weak and weary you’re strong and steadfast. Thank you that when we are faithless you remain faithful. Thank you for another day of life. Thank you for your peace, your comfort and your presence. God, I pray that we would not grow weary in doing good, but that we would cling to You and fight hard to do what is right even in the midst of this world which is so wrong. God, I pray for courage. I pray for strength and I pray that Your will would be done in our lives. Please encourage whoever is reading this and help us to be right lights for you. In Jesus name, amen.