Monday, August 9, 2010

Roman's 8: 28

My friend Angela was taken into surgery last Tuesday night to take her organs. She saved seven people’s lives. That’s seven families that were able to see the love and glory of God. I just know that others will come to know Him through this. Romans 8:28 says “… we can be so sure that EVERY DETAIL in our lives of love for God is worked into something good.”

DJ and family are doing quite well. The peace and comfort of God are CLEARLY covering them right now. I was able to speak with her mom yesterday and give her some verses to look at when she wanted. She is definitely clinging to God and His promises right now. It is SO encouraging for me to see her faith in action at a tragic time such as this. Her hope in Christ gives me hope and I know it will give others hope too. She is the light of Jesus right now, and encourages me to be the same.

I also talked with DJ the other day. He was just asking if it was OK to ask “WHY GOD??” I shared the verse and thoughts that you gave to me the other day, Chris, and I think it was a comfort to him knowing that it was OK to run to God with ALL of his emotions. His attitude in light of everything that has happened to him is truly from God. Jesus’ light is shining through him right now. Everyone who comes to visit this family is getting to see the light of Christ, and I am truly thankful and in awe of this.

PLEASE continue to pray for this family as they take care of details and then begin the long, hard journey of healing. If the past few days are any indication, God is going to carry this family and continue to cover them in peace and comfort. They will see better days, praise the LORD!

Hard to Understand, but I know God is Good

This past week has been one of much pain and heartache. It has also been one full of God's grace, love, peace, and comfort.

Angela Johnson, a good friend of mine and Kyle's, died Monday after being injured in a motorcycle accident. Angela and her husband, DJ were riding together on their motorcycle when a deer jumped in front of them causing them to wreck. Thankfully, DJ was not seriously hurt. He broke his right arm, and has painful road rash on the left arm. Angela's helmet came off during the wreck causing serious brain damage. She was pronounced brain dead Monday night, and was taken off life support shortly after.

I know what is hurting DJ most right now is his broken heart. I have no words to express to him how much my heart aches for him. I know DJ has a hard road ahead, but I know God's love and grace will be with DJ the whole time. I don't know why these things happen... why life can be taken away when it's so young and new. My heart crys out "WHY, LORD??!!?" To be honest, I even get angry. Why is this part of His plan? How will he use this for good? Why now, Lord? So many questions run through my mind...

I must lean on what I know is true: That God ways are not my own, and that my thoughts are not his thoughts. That God DOES use ALL things for good. That is grace and mercy are abounding and never ceasing.

I know that God showed up last week at the hospital. He was shining through DJ, and through Angela's family.

DJ, I know this is the hardest thing you've ever had to go through. But I have seen your faith in Christ, and it makes you strong! I know that you will see better days ahead. Jesus is shining through you right now!

It all seems so unreal.... So unbelievable. I never even knew I had that many tears to cry. While all this is so hard for any of us to understand, I know God is good. I know He is faithful. I know He will bring DJ through the valley and use this time in all of our lives as well.

Angela, my funny funny, friend. You will be missed greatly. You were a light to everyone you were around. You were always making me laugh, and you DEFINITELY kept me on my toes. You were my first friend in Little Rock. I am so glad I got to know you, even for a short time. Thanks for being my friend and partner when we were both new to Little Rock. You have begun a new journey, and eternal journey. I can't wait to see you again n Our Father's House.

Thankful for the Heat

Some thoughts of mine a week or so ago...

Thankful for the heat

I don’t know what got into me today, but as I was driving home from work, I thought today might be a good day to go on a run. Now to some of you, this may not seem like a crazy thought to have. But after a movie watching, ice cream eating, “Facebooking” week, this was definitely a wild thought for me.
I got home from work, dressed quickly for fear of changing my mind (trust me I’ve done it before) and headed out the door. The heat hit me instantly. In spite of it, I began the trek up the first hill by my apartment. The sweat instantly started to pour. About 2 miles into my run I thought “Man! If it weren’t so hot out here, this would be so much better! I would have a much better run!” I longed for some cool water. I passed a nasty puddle on the way back home and actually thought it would feel good it stick my face in it. That’s how hot I was. No wonder people do crazy things when they are stranded in the desert heat! After 3.3 miles, (this is a feat for me so I will tack on whatever I can!) I made it back to my apartment. I headed straight for the apartment work- out room where the water fountain was. The air conditioned room was instant relief. I gulped what seemed like the best, coolest water I’d had in my life from the water fountain. Let me tell you, Dasani had nothing on this water! I walked in the weight room, sprawled out on the floor (don’t worry, the room was empty!) and let the cool air dry the sweat on my face. In spite of being in what seemed like paradise for a few minutes, do you know what thought came to my head? I thought, “I am so thankful for the heat!”
Surprised I thought this, I began to think. I was so thankful for the heat because of how much it made me appreciate the coolness of the air and water once I finished my run. Had my run not been hard, I would not have had nearly the appreciation for the reward. Without the adversity we face in our life, we would have nothing to compare the blessings to. Would we really feel blessed for the good things in our life without the adversity to measure up to it?
Suddenly, thanksgiving overflowed from me. James 1:2-3, 12 says “2Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. 12Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.” I thought about all the things in my life going on that I thought of as an inconvenience or hardship. I could be joyful that Kyle has been away from home so much because I can be sure that God is using it to grow me in Him, and because I could better appreciate the time Kyle and I did have together. I recalled how joyous our weekend together was a few weeks ago after he’d been away. I appreciated that my family lived far away because if they lived closer, our time together would not be as sweet, and we would not appreciate seeing each other as much. The times I have experienced true joy and growth in my life have almost always followed the times I have experienced hardship in my life.
God quickly refined the lesson he’d taught me the very next day. I went out again for another run. This time, my motivation was not necessarily to do something good for my body, or to thank God for the healthy body he’d given me by taking care of it. Today, my motivation was enduring the heat purely to get the reward I’d experienced the day before. I finished my run, and bee lined straight for the work- out room door. This time, I could not seem to get the code to work. I tried and tried until finally I decided to just head for my apartment. I saw that God does not always promise to immediately reward us the way we think we should be. There is nothing wrong with looking forward to the reward, but if our motivation is solely on the reward and not on persevering to honor and glorify God, we are missing out.
Finally, as a believer, I can appreciate the times in my life that produce perseverance because of a reward greater than any found here on earth: “the crown of life God has promised to those who loved him.”
I hope not another hot summer day will go by that I am not thankful for the heat.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

The Time Flies!

And just like that... another month is GONE! Time doesn't stop for anything does it?! Considering we have to work 40 hour weeks and don't always have the same days off, Kyle and I have still had an enjoyable summer so far!

We love our community group! God really blessed us when He put us in this group! We have made some great friends so far. We are thankful for the time we get to spend with them, and are lucky to have the opportunity to get to know some great people! The group has moved into what we call "Casual Summer." We were able to all go to the Arkansas Traveler's Baseball game a couple of weeks ago. It was HOT, but it was a lot of fun! We are looking forward to the other fun activities planned for the rest of the summer!

Two very good friends of mine recently were engaged! Amanda McLendon will be getting married to "Mr. Wright" (LOL) on March 5, 2011, and Amanda Beck will marry Drew May on March 26, 2011. TWO weddings in one month! I am honored to be the Matron of Honor in Amanda McLendon's wedding!

The Fourth of July is coming up! Unfortunately, Kyle has to be out of town for a whole week, which means no 4th of July plans with him! On a positive note, my parents are driving up to see me! Now, if only Jennifer would come too!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

It's been how long?!?

So the time can get away from you sooooo fast! I cannot believe I have not blogged in over 4 months. It's seems like this year has gone by way too fast! We are almost half way through it! Quick Recap:

February: We were able to visit some of our very best friends: Andrew, Emalee, Brandon, and Jennifer in Birmingham. What a great time we had, getting to hang out with some of our TROY friends! We celebrated Valentine's Day with dinner out at the Bonefish Grill! AMAZING!

March: Some of our friends since high school, Ty and Jennifer were married in March! Kyle and I were both in the wedding (Kyle was the Best Man). It was so fun to spend a few days at home with family and friends.

April: Not long after being home for the wedding, we returned home again... this time was not so joyous. Kyle's Aunt Nena passed away from liver cancer and liver failure. She was such a fun person to be around. You couldn't be in a bad mood when you were around Nena! We were able, though, to spend time with our nephews, Cade and Cole, which was a lot of fun. It was also a blessing to be home for Easter.

May: Kyle worked in St. Louis the end of April through the beginning of May. I hate having to be home without Kyle, but I was able to spend time with new friends, build relationships at work (we went out for Cinco de Mayo!) and just have some time for myself. It was good time for me, but I was sooo glad to see him when he came home, and I am hoping he won't have to leave again anytime soon!
My parents and sister also came to visit in May. We had an awesome time! We visited the Arkansas museum of History, the museum of Discovery, rode the Trolley, and went to some great restaurants. I miss them so much, especially right after they leave!

And now it's JUNE!! WOW!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Jesus, the LOVER of MY soul!

This past week or so, Christ has really been tugging at my heart stings. He has been speaking to me a lot lately. At church, we have been studying a series entitled "Breathe," which has been awesome! All of the sermons have been center around Psalm 23. I have always overlooked the power in this verse because it has always just seemed to be the verse everyone "just memorized." But the power in this verse is unbelievable! The truth of who God is for us in this verse leaves me in awe and brings me to tears of joy. The promises God brings to each of us in this verse gives me a peace in my heart that I know is Him filling me with His spirit.

The LORD is my shepherd,
I shall not want.
2 He makes me lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside quiet waters.
3 He restores my soul;
He guides me in the paths of righteousness
For His name’s sake.
4 Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I fear no evil, for You are with me;
Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.
5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;
You have anointed my head with oil;
My cup overflows.
6 Surely goodness and loving kindness will follow me all the days of my life,
And I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.

Wow. The Lord is MY shepherd. Do you know how much a shepherd loves, cares for a protects his sheep? God is this for us, and therefore we will want for nothing! He will provide all we need. Verses 2-3 show us the joys and blessing He gives to each of us in life. He wants us to stop and rest and just soak in the gifts He gives us! In verse 4, he promises us that even when we walk through dark times, HE IS WITH US! I love His promises in verse 5. There are three of them

1) We can trust Him to provide and protect even in the face of what we fear. (You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies)

2) We can trust Him to refresh and renew us through His holy spirit. (You have anointed my head with oil)

3) We can trust Him to give us blessing upon blessing more than we deserve. ( My cup overflows).

And lastly, in verse six He promises us that we will be pursued by His steadfast love for life, and that after this life, we will be with HIM and at HOME forever!

WOW! These are PROMISES! Not just maybes! This is the TRUTH from God! This gives me an overwhelming peace, and I hope it gives the same to you...

Sorry it's been so long!

So I know I have not "blogged" in a while! Kyle and I have been pretty busy these last few weeks, which is a good thing!

We have been going to a community group at church together every Tuesday at Fellowship Bible Church. It's been great to connect with other believers. The class is great. Right now, we are studying Eclesiastes. We have been talking about the world and how there is nothing in it that can satisfy us. "The Teacher" in Eclesiastes comes to the conclusion that only something outside of ourselves (GOD) can truly satisfy our longings for real joy, contentment, and meaning. This man had it all.... rich, many wives, wiser than the most wise, beautiful... you name it he had it or experienced it. And even He, a man with the whole world at His fingertips, came to the conclusion that ONLY GOD CAN SATISFY! How reassuring to know that He is all we need! I wish we could all understand this all of the time! Why do we all sooooo often turn to what is in ourselves or of the world for peace, joy and satisfaction? God tells us clearly that this longing can only be satisfied in Jesus. Period.

Also, I am going to an all women bible study called "After the Boxes are Unpacked!" How perfect for me! It's a study designed specifically for women who are new to Little Rock! It will be nice to spend time with girls who are experiencing the same things I am!

Three weeks in, my job is going well! There is lots to learn, but it's all pretty easy! The people are all nice and the atmosphere is very laid back! I LOVE being able to wear jeans to work!!!

Kyle went out of town for his job last week, but made it back safely! He is still really liking what he is doing!

We can't wait to come home for a visit! We are coming in March for our good friends' wedding. Since we are both in it, there will be a lot going on, but hopefully we will get a chance to stop by and see everyone!!

Monday, January 4, 2010

New Year, New Job!!!

I started my job today at Washington Products and Services! So far, so good! I am doing lots of administrative work including filing and organizing paperwork. Sounds silly... but I really like doing that kind of stuff so it's right up my alley! The people I am working with all seem really nice, and I am excited to get to know them better!

God really has blessed me, and I thank Him for knowing my gifts and my heart and putting me in a job I will like doing and not be stressed out about! He really does look out for each one of our needs!

I am looking forward to getting settled in to the job more!!

Friday, January 1, 2010

Ringing in ANOTHER New Year! 2010 already?!?

I cannot believe another year has already come and gone so quickly! 2009 was a big year for me: graduating, getting married, moving to Little Rock! Whew! While 2010 may not be filled with quite as many milestones, I am hoping that it will be a great one filled with God's blessings.

Beginning a new year is a great time to think about the things that we want to leave behind and the things we want to pursue. I have been thinking, "What bad habits and sinful way of mine need to be shed?? What are some things I want to challenge myself to be better at?" Like Jesus says "Behold, the old is gone and the new has come." This year, I want to pursue knowing God more. I want to get connected with a community of believers that will push me toward Him. I want to be more active; Kyle and I are running a 5K in a few weeks and are hoping to maybe do one every month. They tend to get a little costly so well see how that goes!

Kyle and I had a great Christmas! We were so thankful to be able to get to visit both our families for a whole week! It was a really fun Christmas filled with lots of great memories!

It's a NEW YEAR! Before we know it, it will be 2011, so let make the most of this one and start and finish it off right!