Monday, July 21, 2014

How bad to I want it?

I have listened in service after service asking me "How bad do you want it?" 
It is ...
that closer walk with God.
The chance to feel his presence more,
to know him better,
to grow in Christ? 

Several years back I was just thankful for the things God had given me and I knew he could do mighty things in people's lives but I was content with what I had.  I didn't want it.  I was ok with just going to church and listening to the service and walking out and the message crossing my mind a few times and that was it.

It feels like in the past couple years I have lost my contentment I have a fire to know him, love him, and do for God more than I thought possible.  I want to be a light shining for others to see.  I don't want to just sit in a church and listen I want to be the church.  I want to LOVE like JESUS.  I want to put his will for my life first not mine.

I'm tired of depending on people for things when I know if I put my trust in God is there.  I have had people say I spend to much time in church.  It isn't about the church I am attending it is the fact I want to GROW spiritually.I want to hear what he wants me to hear.  I also read my bible and do devotions and pray a lot but to truly grow the best place to be is around others that can help feed the hunger.  others with the knowledge and relationship with Jesus.

Finally I have decided I want to be what God wants I have the desire to please him. I have always had a tedancy to try to be a people pleaser.  I wanted to make others happy and I so deeply wanted to fit in and be approved of-by family, those above me, peers, almost everyone I just wanted to be liked and never quiet felt like I had approval of anyone else.  I felt like I always let someone down.  I no longer focus on whether or not someone approves of me.  I am trying my best to live what I feel the Bible teaches and what personal convictions I believe God gives me.

I had a friend post on facebook a few months back that she was in church and felt wonderful cause she could say she really felt like if she died tomorrow she would be in heaven and this was a new feeling for her.  There was always doubt before.  I know I am not perfect I don't profess to be but I know God is not finished with me yet.  He has a purpose and a plan for me and growing with him and having this fire, passion, and desire to be closer with him isn't just to get to heaven.  Knowing his love for me was so strong that he took the stripes and hung on a cross, feeling his presence when I go to him in prayer, or sit in a sanctuary leave me with this urge to have more.  I want it bad-I want Jesus to know how much I love him and how thankful I am for every stripe he took for me.  Every christian has a different walk, a different story, and as long as life is dedicated to Jesus then everyday can be a new testimony of what he has done for them.  I want this closer walk with God and a stronger deeper relationship enough that I am posting this where any stranger can read it.  I feel like I am exposing my deepest personal relationship with anyone that happens to cross this page-that is how bad I want it.  He placed this calling on me to share some of my testimonies and I am being obedient.

King James Bible
And Samuel said, Hath the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams.

Jeremiah 7:23
but I gave them this command: Obey me, and I will be your God and you will be my people. Walk in obedience to all I command you, that it may go well with you

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

My calling

These blog posts may jump around a lot because I am trying to figure out exactly what God wants me to do out of this. I have felt the pull to start a blog for awhile and God has confirmed it several times.  This post is about my calling.  I as a christian believe everyone has a purpose.  One of my absolute favorite verses that confirms this for me is
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 (NIV)
I have loved this verse from the moment I stumbled across it in bible reading.  But for years I asked God what my purpose was.  For most of my life I have been pretty independent (still am in many ways, but God is working on me) and I questioned what my purpose was but I put no real attempt in waiting for an answer I just did things my way and hoped for an answer. 
After my first born was born I was so amazed by mother hood I refused to go back to work and miss anything I wanted to be there for everything she did.  However when she was 14 months old I started working at a consignment store part time taking her with me.  I loved it and myself wanted to do that forever but after my son was a few months old it became to difficult to work with 2 children and I was let go by my boss.  I had the option of working without kids there or not working there at all and I had no one that could keep the kids so I could close the store in the evenings (my husband was on 2nd shift as was my mother and my in-laws were moving over 10 hours away) and childcare would have been more than she paid me. I struggled with that for a long time.  I as a teen felt like it was a waste of a woman's life to stay home with kids and lose her identity and although in my 30's I can let that go in my 20's it was still a struggle for me. 

I missed work but my little boy was all boy and wanted no one but me.  This child kept me on my toes so much when he was just turning 2 and I found out I was pregnant again I called my husband at work crying "I can't do this I can't handle another baby!"  He calmly said "A baby is a blessing everything will be fine don't worry." Easy for him to say he got to escape to work! But after the initial shock wore off and I realized God would see me through this being a mom to three I was excited and happy.  I knew it would be a challenge cause Josiah is a handful but it would be ok one day at a time. I even got mad at myself knowing how heartbroken I was with both of my miscarriages and wondered why I could ever not be grateful. I don't think looking back I was ungrateful for the pregnancy but I was terrified.  Josiah real was a tough kid and wanted no one but me therefore I rarely got a break.  
Not long after baby number 3 arrived our church building was sold.  It was sold to another church we had been contemplating visiting numerous times. I think Izzy was 3 weeks old when this transition took place so in a way God let us know we needed to hear a new pastor.  The new church had lots more members our age group and was very outgoing and my husband was family to a large group of the congregation.  The pastor was preaching a message on one of my biggest prayers-"what is your calling"
At the end of the service he said "if anyone wants to know what your calling is then come to the alter now" I almost ran.  I was crying and praying for God to show me.  I was tired of doing things my way and wanted to do them his.  I felt a small voice saying "your children, being a mom" crazy independent me was sitting there "God is that you are you telling me my kids are my calling?"
Therefore God used sweet Josiah to tell me "Yes" he came running up to me and climbed into my lap as I was praying.  So my children are my calling.  God has gifted me with 3 blessings that drive me crazy and enhance my prayer life daily but it is my purpose in life to be there for them to help them grow to know a God that died on a cross for them. To practice the forgiveness he has given me, but to still teach them right from wrong.  Some days are tough but I gave up that silent prayer for a way out and although it is tiring and I have tough days I know my kids are where I am supposed to be it is my place and is my CALLING! God told me when I would finally listen and I believe he will tell everyone that really wants to know!

Monday, July 14, 2014

when it became real

When I was a little girl I went to church with family occasionally. but mostly just vacation bible school.  I knew a little about Jesus my parents taught me "now I lay me down to sleep" I went to church occasionally with friends and family but never attended regularly.  I was scared into salvation at bible school when i was 11. The preacher gave a sermon to a bunch of children about how hell was real and if you didn't give your life to Jesus you would go there.  I was so scared I cried out to this Jesus that I didn't know and begged for salvation.  All the adults were around me praying for me and hearing all the prayers and I felt a peace I couldn't understand.  I was still so unknowing of the bible or of God to have my true salvation at this point. I did continue to pray every day to God asking forgiveness but as a teen a made a lot of choices I knew weren't right. God left me filled with conviction over all this time although i didn't realize that at the time.  
Right after graduation I started a job where I met my husband.  I didn't go to church I was confused on faith. Not having a lot of experience in church and not having a lot of guidance and just being a teenager I was confused.  Josh however did go to church and knowing I wasn't into it he still asked me to go so I decided to go-just for him.  
Wow!  I had never been to a church like this one.  During praise and worship they were dancing around waiving their arms in the air.  This was very different than the churches I had been where you could hear a pin drop and NO ONE could make a noise and the music was all done by a choir.  I was intrigued by this church so I went back when he asked me to and within a couple of services I felt God pull me to the Alter at an Alter call.  I prayed and I cried.  I knew Jesus loved me and he died for me and for the first time I felt like I could be forgiven for all my mistakes.  Honestly, I didn't really slow down on making them then though.  It was still all the stories of the bible it wasn't totally real.  
A little later on Josh's family had changed churches and I really started attending regularly.  The main service at this church was an evening service and worked better with my job. The praise music was  big draw in for me.  I just sat back and listened but was amazed looking around seeing all these people being moved by their faith.  I believed in it but I didn't yet feel it. 
After we were married for a little over two years we decided to leave our family in God's hands and I quit taking contraceptives.  I got pregnant the first month and was so nervous and excited.  We saw a little heartbeat at 8 weeks and it was AMAZING knowing this tiny LIFE was inside me growing!  When I went back for the first doppler appointment to hear the heartbeat at 12 weeks the dr couldn't find it.  After 2 ultrasounds the dr told us we the baby's heart had stopped beating and he or she had stopped developing not long after our last appointment.  I was devastated but never got angry with God.  I felt he was there and it just wasn't the right time.  I became obsessed with having a baby and 3 months after our loss I got pregnant again.  This time at 12 weeks I heard that heartbeat and cried.  I was sick the whole pregnancy but I prayed for God to protect my baby EVERY day!  In June of 2006 my life changed FOREVER!!!
When I was laying in a hospital bed looking into a clear plastic bassinet at my baby I started crying because it wasn't just a story anymore it was REAL! 
In those moments the full capacity of the fact that God let his only begotten son die on a cross for ME became real.  I didn't know how much I could love such a tiny person til I met Kiersten but looking at her I realized what God did when he sent Jesus to die for me.  I had just met her there is no way I would let any harm come to her, but God loved me enough he GAVE that up for ME! His child paid the price so I could have my salvation.  That is when it became real to me, looking at my newborn baby knowing how strongly I felt about her and knowing JESUS DIED ON A CROSS for me.  I couldn't imagine knowing my child would die on a cross to save a sinner.  That is the day I changed my life, it was slow and it has been a long road and I still fall short but the day I became a mom I realized that it wasn't just a story and I felt it instead of just hearing and just knowing it became real.