I often wake up in the middle of the night- sometimes it’s just because my arm has fallen asleep and I need to change the position in which I’m lying, sometimes it’s because now that I’m married I have another person in the bed with me who also tends to shift multiple times in the night and on occasion steals the covers, and other times it’s because I hear what sounds like an intruder in my house and I can never decide if the noises were in real life or in my dream. But this time was different. Although my middle of the night wake up actually occurred at 7 AM, since I had taken time off from work to spend with my husband, I wasn’t quite ready to wake up yet. But something told me I should get up and told me exactly what I should do once I was out of bed. After I checked the time on my phone I wanted to roll back over and try to fall back into peaceful slumber, yet I felt a still small voice urging me to go read. And not read just anything, but to read the story of the ‘Sacrifice of Isaac’ in Genesis 22. And so I did.

For those that have kept up with my blog since the beginning, you may recall that I’ve actually written a post on this text before (see Are we passing the test?), but this time I’m seeing it in a new light. In light of the news given to our family about my unborn niece Emma Grace (see my sister’s blog For the Love of Emma Grace), I can’t help but think of God’s urging for me to read this text as a reminder that He is in control. All the time. Always has been. Always will be.

So I will re-post some of my previous recap from this Bible text, while also adding in the implications it has for me at this time in my life.

Story background: The Lord made a covenant with Abraham & Sarah that many nations would come from them, despite the fact that Sarah was barren. Even after this covenant was made, Abraham & Sarah waited many years for these promises to come to fruition in the form of their son Isaac, through whom Abraham’s offspring would be reckoned.

Our story begins with Isaac as a young lad: the blessing from God that Abraham & Sarah had spent time waiting (and waiting and waiting) for. I can only imagine that Abraham & Sarah’s joy was so abundant now that their long awaited son was finally here, and the promise of Abraham’s descendants being as numerous as the stars (see Genesis 15:5-6) was at last playing out according to God’s plan. And yet in an instant all could change.

In order to confirm Abraham’s faith and trust, God tests him by telling him to take his son Isaac (his “only son, whom he loves”- see Gen. 22:2) to the land of Moriah and offer him as a burnt offering. And despite how absurd this request may have seemed, considering Isaac was to be the one through whom God’s covenant would be fulfilled, Abraham responded in obedience and set out the next morning do as the Lord had commanded.

I sit here and think about just the beginning of this story, and the significance of what God had told Abraham to do. God had not asked Abraham to sacrifice something he wouldn’t mind giving up, like maybe a goldfish or potted plant- something that really wouldn’t have phased him much to have to get rid of. God asked Abraham to sacrifice his son, his only son, the son he loved, the son that all Abraham’s hope of being the “father of many nations” rested upon.

Our story continues with Abraham preparing for the burnt offering:
– altar built- check!
– wood on the altar- check!,
– son bound and laid on the altar- check!
And yet, at the moment Abraham reached out his hand and took the knife to slaughter his son, an angel of the Lord intervened by calling out to Abraham, telling him not to do anything to his son, for the Lord saw that because Abraham did not withhold his son (his only son, whom he loves) from Him, Abraham truly does “fear the Lord”- meaning he has reverential trust in God and commitment to his revealed will (word). The Lord then provides a ram for Abraham to use for the offering instead of his son, and Abraham called the name of that place Jehovah-jireh: the Lord will see or the Lord will provide (and that He does!). The angel of the Lord then said “By myself I have sworn, declares the Lord, because you have done this and have not withheld your son, your only son, I will surely bless you, and I will surely multiply your offspring as the stars of heaven and as the sand that is on the seashore. And your offspring shall possess the gate of his enemies, and in your offspring shall all the nations of the earth be blessed, because you have obeyed my voice.” (Gen. 22:16-18).

Even in the moments when it’s hardest to trust the Lord, and seems foolish [to some] to venture on a path where the outcome is unknown, we know God has wisdom and insight far beyond anything we can comprehend, and we know God loves us, cares for us, protects us, and provides for us. Therefore we have all the assurance we need if we place our full trust in him and his plan for us.

Now, how this passage from God’s word pertains to my family at this time… To my knowledge, God has not promised my sister and brother in law many nations, or nations as numerous as the stars. But he did bless them with the news that they were expecting their first child, Laney Faith, almost a year after a doctor told them it “would be really hard for her (my sister) to have children”. And they’ve not taken that blessing lightly, but have worked to trust, obey, and honor the Lord with this blessing he’s given them. And when the news of baby #2 (Emma Grace) came just shy of a week after Todd and I got married, that too was nothing short of a ‘God thing’ to a couple who’d been told conception would not come easy. Now here we are… due to some challenges Emma is experiencing while she’s still in the womb, the doctors have not given her a high rate of survival. And yet our family still has an overwhelming sense of peace and comfort in this time. How is that even possible? It’s definitely not anything related to our own strength, but solely because we have a God, the one and only God, who provides us with strength when we’re weak, comfort when we’re sad, peace when we’re worried, hope when the outcome looks grim, and who loves us unconditionally. We don’t know what the outcome will be in this situation but we trust in God’s plan, knowing this too, like everything else, is in His hands- his loving, gentle hands. I’m amazed at the strength and peace my sister and brother in law have at this time- still worried about their precious unborn daughter Emma, but trusting in the Lord’s plan.

So I’ll close out today with a few things to ponder on…
– In what area(s) of our life is the Lord calling for us to trust him more?
– Is our obedience contingent upon whether or not it’s easy or convenient for us to follow and trust Him, or do we seek and follow Him no matter how hard the cost?
– Do we proclaim the name of the Lord only with our lips, or are our actions in line with our profession that he IS our God and we will follow where He leads us?

This can be very tough stuff to chew on, but necessary and extremely beneficial in the sanctification process: sanctification “brings the believer into living contact with the truth, whereby he is led to yield obedience ‘to the commands, trembling at the threatenings, and embracing the promises of God for this life and that which is to come'” (excerpt of sanctification definition from Bible Dictionary).

Lord, I pray that through learning more about your character, we would continue to trust you more fully with all areas of our life, and that through doing so, you would bring us into a deeper relationship with you. I pray that both our words and actions would glorify you, and that we would learn to walk with you in all things. I thank you for your many blessings, and praise you because you are good. I also thank you for the struggles you’ve helped us through, because they’ve helped us to grow, learn more about you, and walk closer with you. Thank you for sacrificing your son- your only son, whom you love- so that we may have the free and undeserving gift of grace, should we have faith. Amen.

(Below are 2 songs whose lyrics resounded in my mind as I was reading through and reflecting on this story in Genesis)


Blessed be Your name
In the land that is plentiful
Where Your streams of abundance flow
Blessed be Your name

And blessed be Your name
When I’m found in the desert place
Though I walk through the wilderness
Blessed be Your name

Every blessing You pour out
I’ll turn back to praise
When the darkness closes in, Lord
Still I will say

Blessed be the name of the Lord
Blessed be Your name
Blessed be the name of the Lord
Blessed be Your glorious name

Blessed be Your name
When the sun’s shining down on me
When the world’s all as it should be
Blessed be Your name

Blessed be Your name
On the road marked with suffering
Though there’s pain in the offering
Blessed be Your name

Every blessing You pour out
I’ll turn back to praise
And when the darkness closes in, Lord
Still I will say

Blessed be the name of the Lord
Blessed be Your name
Blessed be the name of the Lord
Blessed be Your glorious name
Oh, blessed be the name of the Lord
Blessed be Your name
Blessed be the name of the Lord
Blessed be Your glorious name

You give and take away
You give and take away
My heart will choose to say, Lord
Blessed be Your name, Lord


When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, Thou has taught me to say,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.

It is well, with my soul,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.

Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come,
Let this blest assurance control,
That Christ has regarded my helpless estate,
And hath shed His own blood for my soul.

My sin, oh, the bliss of this glorious thought!
My sin, not in part but the whole,
Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more,
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul!

For me, be it Christ, be it Christ hence to live:
If Jordan above me shall roll,
No pang shall be mine, for in death as in life
Thou wilt whisper Thy peace to my soul.

But, Lord, ’tis for Thee, for Thy coming we wait,
The sky, not the grave, is our goal;
Oh, trump of the angel! Oh, voice of the Lord!
Blessed hope, blessed rest of my soul!

And Lord, haste the day when my faith shall be sight,
The clouds be rolled back as a scroll;
The trump shall resound, and the Lord shall descend,
Even so, it is well with my soul.

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The Battle against the Bridezilla.

Sometimes amidst the chaos of life, I get the hankering to watch a mediocre, somewhat dramatic, TV show. I admit my motives for doing so are selfish: it’s not typical that I’m actually a fan of the show, but more so that the ridiculousness of the show gives me a sense of comfort that my life appears to be more put together than those of the characters, or reality stars, of the fictional or non-fictional show. This is about the only drama I let into my life.

Todd & I got engaged in early August, and the past few weeks since that wonderful day have been filled with a lot of planning and decision making for our wedding day and future marriage, so it was only fitting that my dramatic TV show selection this week (for purposes of unwinding) was “Bridezillas”.

My roommates and I sat in our living room together, observing the crazy antics of these “Bridezillas”, and together my roommates and I seemed to possess more love, respect, and unity in our friendships with each other than did some of these couples who were about to make one of the biggest decisions in their life: to commit to spend their life together. Forever. We were astonished, and even disgusted at times. It was painful to watch.

A mixture of shock, frustration, and lack of hope for these couple’s futures stirred up inside of me as I wondered: when did the implications of the word “wedding” get so twisted that, to some, it no longer stands for the celebration for the union of 2 people that love and commit to one another, but instead entails a process leading up to a day where a bride feels entitled to take on a purely selfish nature, belittle those around her, and view her (not their) wedding day as a day that’s all about her?

When the cameraman asks a bride-to-be what her favorite quality about her fiancé is, and she cannot think of one single thing- I worry about her future marriage.

When the bride-to-be belittles her friends and her fiancé, especially in public- I worry about her future marriage.

When a bride-to-be has a general lack of respect for anyone but herself- I worry about her future marriage.

When a bride-to-be threatens to not walk down the aisle and, in turn, leave her fiancé at the alter if her makeup gets messed up from yelling at her bridesmaids- I worry about her future marriage.

I in no way am fully blaming the “Bridezillas” in this show for the dysfunction in her relationships with others, because typically there’s an enabler on the other side. And I in no way am trying to imply that my relationship with my fiancé, friends, and family are perfect. Every relationship involves 2 imperfect people choosing to commit to each other and “do life” together forever- no matter what (a concept constantly lost in today’s society). There will always be struggles and challenges to overcome and work through in any relationship- romantic or not- but when there’s unconditional love and commitment for the betterment of the other person and the relationship, and trust in the guidance of God- who is continually working in the lives of his followers- it makes the trials bearable, and even worth it. God never promised a perfect and easy life- but he did promise his followers he would always be there. We trust that amidst the uncertainties of life, that God is constant and good. Always.

Though not everyone reading this may have the same faith or beliefs that I do, I’d like to share what the bible tells about Marriage, and how its purpose goes so much farther than just spending life with someone you love:

– Jesus often refers to the Church as his “bride”. (The word ‘church’ does not refer to the building, but instead his followers who have recognized their sin, understand that Christ’s sacrifice on the cross is the only thing that can wash away their sin and make them blameless before a Holy God, and put their faith and trust in God)

– In Ephesians 5 Jesus speaks of the intended roles of men and women in a marriage, and how that alludes to Christ’s role in the relationship with his Church:
“Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands. Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church, because we are members of his body. ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.’ This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church. However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.”
*the word ‘submit’ does not refer to the wife being a doormat to her husband, but instead trusting in the leadership of the husband in the marriage relationship.

– One day when Christ returns we will be fully united with Christ, just as a bride is her groom, and share eternity together. The marriage of a man and woman symbolizes the marriage that will one day take place between Christ and his children, his followers, his church.

– The book of Revelation in the Bible tells about Christ’s 2nd coming, and what this means for those who follow him:
“Hallelujah! For the Lord our God the Almighty reigns. Let us rejoice and exult and give him the glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and his Bride has made herself ready; it was granted her to clothe herself with fine linen, bright and pure— for the fine linen is the righteous deeds of the saints.”
(excerpt from Revelation 19)

– A bride typically wears white (or ivory) on her wedding day, symbolizing the newness of life found in Christ: through his forgiveness of our sins/impurities/blemishes we’re washed clean, and found holy and blameless.

– Revelation 21 paints a beautiful picture of the long awaited time when God will dwell with his people, and all pain, labor, and toil experienced on earth will be no more:
“I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband.And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, ‘Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.’”

A marriage will never be perfect. We’re human, and, by nature, imperfect. Todd, my fiancé, and I will soon embark on this lovely adventure together, with Christ leading the way. I’m sure we will encounter situations that stretch us beyond anything we can imagine. I’m sure that we will struggle with keeping God as the center of our relationship. I’m sure there will be moments of selfishness and hurt. Marriage is something that I can only prepare for to a certain extent before I fully experience it. It will be a sanctifying process in which God uses life’s situations to continue to mold me into the person he wants me to be. And I could not be more excited to share my life with the one I love.

I pray that God penetrates the hearts of those entering into a marriage, showing them the true meaning and purpose of this union, preparing both the bride and groom to take on an attitude of humility, selflessness, sacrifice, patience, and true biblical love. I pray that the men of the world kick to the curb the temptation to be passive, and instead step up to be respectable and loving leaders in their relationships. I pray that women learn to lovingly trust and respect their husbands. I pray that husbands and wives mutually look out for the betterment of their spouse. I pray that God would continue to work in me so that I can be the wife Christ has called me to be.

From one work-in-progress to another,

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Called to the desert.

Although an evening walk was something I was looking forward to tonight, I have to admit I’m not too frustrated at having to stay in and utilize my new found free time to read, write, and sip on some delicious Honey Vanilla Chamomile Tea as I hear the rain lightly fall and occasional rumble of thunder outside. It’s not the typical weather for a mid-summer night, nor is it typical as of late that I have time to just relax and “be”, so I’m quite happy to be fully taking advantage of this gloomy Tuesday eve in July.

As life seems to be moving forward at a pace that, at times, seems to be getting faster and faster, sometimes I find myself longing for the carefree days I had as a child where my biggest task was trying not to argue with my sister- although back then it seemed that the harder we tried to not fight, the more we fought… and then subsequently got in trouble.  My, how times have changed 🙂

In my life, when change comes, usually so does a time of reflection…

* Not only am I grateful for how my relationship with my sister has turned from “love/hate” to being best friends, but I’m grateful for how a year ago, in the midst of some pretty difficult trials in both our lives, we were able to grow even closer together and learn how to better support, encourage, defend, protect, and love each other.

* I think back to how a year ago God was in the works of developing some friendships in my life, and now I consider these people to be some of my closest friends, and a constant source of accountability, encouragement, laughter, and randomness.

* A year ago tomorrow, Todd and I had our first conversation with each other, not knowing at the time where the Lord would bring us, in spite of the physical distance that, until the last Saturday in June when he moved to Texas, separated us for our whole relationship. Wow, it’s crazy to see how a casual conversation a year ago has led us to where we are today- I’m so incredibly grateful for the blessing that his presence in my life has been.

I can’t help but think of how last summer, although certainly a time of joy, happiness, abundance, and blessing, was filled with numerous and sometimes ongoing times of confusion, challenges, insecurities, loss, change, uncertainty, and complete humility before the Lord as I cried out for answers and direction. In those moments did I fully trust that, although I had no idea what the future would hold, the Lord was working everything out for his glory and would take care of me? In the back of my mind I feel I always know these things, yet don’t always “live it out” and have to catch myself in periods of worry, stress, and anxiety, and consistently remind myself of the certainty of hope I have in the Lord, rather than focusing on the present, yet temporary, uncertainty of situational outcomes in my life.

I love being able to look back at the “lows” in my life and rejoice that the Lord saw it fit for me to experience that, because the outcome made it well worth the heartache and pain. But, being that I am never without assurance of the love of the Lord and the knowledge that His plans for me are far greater than any plans I’ve made for myself, am I ever fully able to delight in these less than desirable circumstances and experience the fullness of joy in God that is anything but circumstantial? That, my friends, is easier said than done. I find it easy to be happy in life’s “high” moments, but almost habitually develop a “why me” attitude in the “lows”, whether it be a serious period of suffering, or something less serious such as the uncertainty of what the future holds- which really tends to be a struggle for my Type A personality that likes to know, plan, and do.

How do we get to a point where, in the midst of one of life’s storms, we are able to say to the Lord without any agenda or an ounce of untruth, “Thank you for allowing me to suffer. Although I lack the wisdom and foresight to understand your plan for me in this situation, I will follow and trust you in this, and persevere, knowing that your plans for me will bring about growth and many opportunities to glorify your name.” What do we do when God calls us to do something or go somewhere, and we don’t want to follow? Or what about when we follow God’s call to do something or go somewhere, and the expectations you had going into that were not met? Is our response to run away, figuring that you must have misinterpreted that God was calling you there,  or do we seek the Lord in this, knowing that he has called many to suffer for his name’s sake, and just as Jesus “made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant” and “humbled himself by becoming obedient to death” (Philippians 2:7,8) on the cross so that we could be seen as blameless before the Lord, we are also called to humble ourselves before the Lord and serve him with our lives, no matter the cost.

I’m reminded of one of the letters written by the apostle Paul to the church in Philippi where he states “I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. 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. I can do all this through him who gives me strength” (Philippians 1:11-13). Although the last verse in that excerpt is often used out of context and is the typical “coffee cup verse”, it does leave one to wonder how Paul was able to be so content at all times, and had full assurance in the strength of Christ. For a man that experienced both ends of the spectrum- to have more than enough and to be in need- he saw the significance of the Lord’s sacrifice on the cross and abundant grace, and therefore saw his own life as a means to serve the Lord, no matter the circumstance, in order to share the good news and bring glory to his name, no matter the cost.

In the Old Testament the Lord called the Israelites into several, sometimes very extensive, periods of waiting. Waiting to reach the land the Lord had promised them after their escape from Egypt and years of wandering in the desert. Waiting on the promised Messiah. Waiting, and waiting, and waiting. Is it easy to lose sight of the promised future blessing when God asks you to wait (and sometimes even suffer) before receiving that blessing? You bet. Numerous times the Israelites lost focus of the Lord and his promise to them, and even started creating and worshiping idols. Heck, who’s to say my tendency to find distractions amongst Pinterest, Friends reruns, working out, and Facebook, rather than using my time of waiting to continue to pursue the Lord wholeheartedly through prayer and reading his Word, is any different than what the Israelites did?

So, what will you do when the Lord calls you to the “desert”?

Will you follow him without hesitation, trusting in him and his plan? Or refuse to follow him due to fear of the uncertainty or suffering?

Just some things that we (myself included) should all reflect on as we approach life’s many ups and downs. Where does our hope lie? What is our trust in? Who do we put our faith in?

Love you all,

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Free, indeed.

Wow, June has turned out to be quite a month so far! Amidst travelling to and from Edmond, OK and Austin, TX, balancing work at BBBS, helping plan a 90th birthday celebration for my great grandma, volunteering for BBBS events, scheduling various last minute doctor’s appointments (don’t worry, I’m fine), and still trying to find free time (where in the world has it gone???), God has continually reminded me of the significance of his grace and how much he has blessed my life, despite my inclination to get caught up in the chaos of life rather than to stop and enjoy it for what it is- another day to seek the Lord, humble myself to be used by the Lord in whatever way he deems fit, and be joyful in the life the Lord has given me, regardless of whether I am in a time of struggle or triumph. Specifically, God has reminded me of how blessed I am to be alive, be healthy, be able to still be active despite the limitations my back places on me at times, have an amazing family, have such a wonderful group of friends (and boyfriend), have a job (especially one that I love), have a roof over my head, have food to eat, and so on…

Something that’s been laid on my heart for a while, and especially lately as my church wrapped up their sermon series on Galatians, is, in my inclination to get wrapped up in the busyness of life, the performance oriented nature that typically goes with that, and my own perfectionist mentality, how completely and 100% false it is to think that anything I achieve or accomplish adds me any favor in front of the Lord. To be completely blunt, anything I do on my own is pointless if I’m doing it with the motive to “fix myself up” before the Lord or to be in “right standing” before the Lord.

Paul speaks of this in the first chapter of Galatians when he says “I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel— not that there is another one, but there are some who trouble you and want to distort the gospel of Christ” (verses 6 and 7).

How do we, as humans, distort the gospel? By thinking it is anything other than what it is- that God sent his son Jesus as a sacrifice to bear the consequence of our sins (death) so that we would all be forgiven and seen as blameless/without sin before the Lord, through faith in Jesus Christ. “Yet we know that a person is not justifiedby works of the law but through faith in Jesus Christ, so we also have believed in Christ Jesus, in order to be justified by faith in Christ and not by works of the law, because by works of the law no one will be justified.” (Gal. 2:16) We are justified, or declared innocent, before the Lord through this, and this alone.

So should I try to live in obedience to God? Of course, and this is what God desires. But what is my motive for this? To have the approval of those around me, to be seen as a good person, or for me to “find favor” in front of the Lord? OR, should my motive for obedience be because I love him, and want my life to be a reflection of that love? Daily I should take on an attitude of humility and count my life not as my own, but a life of service to the Lord to carry out his will through me- because he has shown the greatest act of love through his death on the cross, because his resurrection shows that he is fully God (the one and only) and cannot be overcome, because I’ve professed my faith in him, and because as a professed follower of God I need/want to follow where he leads.

“I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. I do not nullify the grace of God, for if righteousnesswere through the law, then Christ died for no purpose.” (Gal. 2:20-21)

“For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.” (Gal. 5:1)

Through his death and resurrection, Christ has given us the chance to be set free! Through God’s grace, he opened my heart that I was able to see this truth and find this freedom in him, and I pray that you too have already found this, or will find it.

“But far be it from me to boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.” (Gal 6:14)

I have nothing to boast about in myself- I can only boast in the cross of my Lord, for through Him I have found purpose, life, freedom, hope, the truth, and joy. Amen.

Love you all so very much,

P.S.- Thank you Todd for giving me “the gift of time” for my birthday. This morning I was able to enjoy this wonderful coffee you gave me and find some time to write. Such an enjoyable time of peace and relaxation.

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That time of the month…

So it’s that time of the month again… NO, NOT THAT TIME! I’m referring to the time of the month where I evaluate how I did on last month’s goals:

Go on a long run: The goal was to make an 8-10 mile run. On the day I planned to do that I ended up getting sick mid run and only did 4.5 miles before I was forced to walk 2.5 miles back home. However, determined to “right the wrong” of my failed run, I later ran 4.3 miles that night, totaling 8.8 miles run that day. So although I didn’t run over 8 miles at once as planned, I still consider that an accomplishment.

Finish a book: Womp Womp. Not only did I NOT finish 1 of the 2 books I’ve been reading for over a year, but I also started reading another book with a group of friends I meet with monthly to discuss it. Progress has still been made in all 3 of these books, but it inevitably may take longer than planned to finish these.

Plan my sister’s Baby Shower: Done! One of my best friends Ashley & I worked together for months to plan Candace’s baby shower, and on March 31st all our hard work came to fruition. Such a fun time to honor the mom-to-be! 🙂

So what’s on the list for APRIL? Let’s see…

1) Go on a long run. Yep, still want to go on a long run, and preferably without getting sick this time. Let’s try something over 6 miles.

2) Finish a book. Please, oh please, let me finish a book. It should not be taking me this long.

3) Find more “me” time. Between 12-15 hour workdays and travelling, there has not been a lot of time in my life to rest. So whether this entails having a meaningful conversation with a friend, going for a walk, reading, taking a nap, or finding time to write more, I”m just hoping to do a better job at finding balance in my life, and in turn finding time to rest.

4) Try a new recipe. Yes please. This is just a good idea all around- not only will I enjoy it, but I’m sure my roommates will as well 🙂

Here’s hoping April turns out to be just as wonderful as January through March (and hopefully a little less busy)! 😉


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A Mission for March

Through inspiration from my friend Becca’s blog, I decided to make a list of goals for the month of March in hopes that if I actually put them in writing, there’s a better likelihood of achieving them. I don’t typically set New Years Resolutions for many reasons such as a) my goals change throughout the year, b) the go-to “eat healthy and exercise more” resolution has been one I’ve been putting into practice for several years, and c) some things I strive towards are ongoing/daily pursuits and not a goal I just decided to make at the start of the new year. So since my goals may be ever-changing throughout the year, I decided that Becca’s idea of making monthly lists might be more applicable to my life (and then next month my blog readers can rebuke me if I fell short of accomplishing these things):

1) Go on a long run: Yesterday I made a personal record for distance run- 6 miles. I know for all you half marathon & marathon runners that may seem small, but for me it felt like an accomplishment. So in line with my recent desire to test my endurance, I’d like to go on another long run this month, and maybe strive for running anywhere from 8-10 miles. This may be a bit hard, seeing as March may be my busiest month yet in 2012, and I will only be in town 3 out of 5 weekends, and only have 1 weekend without plans (the weekend that ends today lol), but I figure I can manage to squeeze in a long run at least once this month.

2) Finish a book: There are 2 books that I’ve been reading for about a year, neither of which I have finished. How sad. Yes I know how to read, but I guess the poor decision-making on my part was starting a new book when I was already in the middle of another. That may work for some, but not this girl, considering I’m already inconsistent when it comes to reading one book. Plus I’m almost to the point where I’ve forgotten what I’ve read so far. My hope is that I can finish at least one of those books, if not both (and hopefully retain some of the information I read).

3) With the help of my friend Ashley, plan an amazing baby shower for my sister Candace: My sister & her husband are expecting their first little one in May- a baby girl who will be named Laney Faith (precious!)- and Ashley & I are both looking forward to honoring the Mommy-to-be as we celebrate her little blessing from God.

So here’s hoping that despite the craziness/busyness I know this month will entail, that there may be some kind of success in working towards these things. Happy March!

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Life. Glory. Hope. Love.

As I meditate on scripture today, I hope that you all find the same life & hope in the Lord that I have found. No matter the highs and lows I experience in life, I cannot help but experience joy, for my hope is found in a perfect, gracious, loving, and wise Savior. And that to me makes an imperfect life abundant.

Life in the Spirit

There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death. For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot. Those who are in the flesh cannot please God.

You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him. But if Christ is in you, although the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness. If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you.

Heirs with Christ

So then, brothers, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh. For if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. 15 For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs— heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him.

Future Glory

For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now. And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.

Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.

God’s Everlasting Love

What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died— more than that, who was raised— who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? As it is written,

“For your sake we are being killed all the day long;
we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.”

No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.


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