Welcome to my blog! To get an idea of what this blog is about you might want to read the "About Me and My Family" page as a starting point. You can browse through the archives or head over to the "Articles" page to read on specific topics I've written on over the years. Keep checking back because I'll be posting new articals from time to time.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Starting a New Chapter in This Life

(Part III [final]. Scroll down to read Part I and II.)

Monday when I got to work I told my boss and then all my co-workers that I was turning in my notice. They were all sad to see me go, but they said they were proud of me and didn't blame me for making that decision. I was very happy to tell them all the amazing details of how it came to be and they all made it somewhat easy for me to leave because they all backed this decision.

Within a few minutes of telling them I was quitting, someone reminded us that a woman who use to code at the hospital and was the manager of medical records at one time, had moved back to the area only three weeks prior and she just happened to be looking for a job. Ever since I had worked at the hospital I've heard about what a great coder she was and how everyone loved her. I knew right away she would be the perfect replacement, because after all, I still loved the hospital and I wanted to see someone who knew what they were doing to take my place. So they tried to get in contact with her right away knowing that she would need a lot of training before I left. They couldn't find her phone number online, so one of my co-workers drove to the neighborhood where she lived with the hopes that she would remember which house was hers. Later she told me how she found her: As she turned the corner, there she stood talking to her daughter on her cell phone. Had my co-worker been a few minutes earlier, she would not have been at the corner, and had she been a few minutes later, she would have walked across the road to someone else's house. It was as if God told her to go out to the road and wait. When we heard this even my co-workers knew that God was in this. I was so glad that God was receiving recognition and glory for everything that was taking place.

Tuesday she was interviewed and Wednesday she was hired. It all happened so fast and smoothly! The last week that I worked I was able to show her how I did everything and I am confident that she will do great.

The last two days of work and the few days following were kind of scary because this is the first time in six years that I haven't had to work. I was afraid that I might not manage my time wisely or that I wouldn't feel like I really had a purpose. At least when I went to work every day a part of me felt like I was being a wittness to those I worked with, but now my average day will consist of staying home until God opens up more opportunites. But then I was reminded that I have to depend on God moment by moment and turn to Him to know how to spend my time. He wants me to surrender all my time to Him, something that I couldn't do while I was at work, but now I can.

So for now I will spend my time studying my Bible, preparing devotions for camp, reading the many books on my desk, hanging out with my family, and what ever the Lord tells me to do. That is amazing to me! My schedule belongs to God and I'm trusting Him with it. Moment by moment. Oh, and this week? I'm watching the ATI Conference in Nashville TN *Live* in my own living room. Something else I wouldn't have been able to do while I was working! God is good!

Monday, May 27, 2013

Decluttering my Life

Sometimes decluttering my life is so much more than cleaning my desk out or organizing my schedule. Sometimes it's not a matter of when should I do it, but should I do it? Last week I deleted two folders from my computer. Remote Coding and Wedding. Those are two things I no longer have to think about right now amidst everything else. I am devoted to serving God and God alone. . . and it feels great!

Saturday, May 25, 2013

God is the Master Ochestraitor

(Part II. Scroll down to read part I.)

The next day as I was getting ready to climb into bed and go to sleep, I strongly sensed God was telling me to pray. So I knelt down and began my usual prayers, not thinking about anything particular. Within seconds I realized that what He really wanted me to do was stop and listen. So I did, and I instantly felt like I should quit my job. I thought, "That's not God. That's my own thoughts. That's just me wanting to quit." So I got up and went to bed and as I rolled over I felt like I was turning my back on God. It was as if God had told me to do something and I was ignoring Him. My spirit was quenched. This made me think that maybe it was God speaking to me. My mind raced as I thought about all the ways my life would be impacted if I no longer had to work 40 hours a week. It was sad to think of leaving the ladies I had worked with for almost 5 years, but exciting to think about all the better things I could do with my time. The next day I couldn't think of nothing else. I decided that as soon as I got home I would pray about it, but God seemed to say "What is there to pray about? I've already told you what to do." It was that clear!

As I read Psalms 90, verses 10-12  stood out to me as the desire of my heart. "The days of our years are threescore years and ten; and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years, yet is their strength labour and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away.  Who knoweth the power of thine anger? even according to thy fear, so is thy wrath. So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom." I felt as if I was wasting time as I filed paper work at the hospital day after day. It wasn't completely useless, but I saw very little fruit coming from my efforts to be a light in my little corner. I kept hoping that one day I would be able to get more involved in ministry, but the days were quickly slipping by and before I knew it another year would pass.

During this time, I was practicing a song for a friend of mine to sing on Mother's Day at church. One of the lines said, "Modern women want their rights, their job, their career. They have no time for a family, they can't waste their younger years." That was exactly what I felt I was doing! Wasting my younger years. . . all for what? A little money in the bank and something to fill time? How many times have I thought that if I could go back to my teen years I would have never started working in the secular world if my parents agreed? Oh, if we only knew back then.

That night I talked to mama for a long time about it and she thought it was a great idea. It was late at night when we finished talking, so I talked to daddy about it the next day (Wednesday). I wasn't sure what he would think of this decision, but I had to ask. I knew I wouldn't be able to rest until I had at least tried to follow God's plan for my life. Much to my joy, he was totally okay with me quitting my job to get more involved in ministry work and even said that he thought it would be great if I went to such and such a ministry . . .the very one I wanted to volunteer at! I told my brother and sisters what I was going to do and we were all so excited together! It was a done deal. Within three days of me telling God, "I don't know how you're going to make this happen," He not only freed me up for the week of camp, but every other week as well! My mind went back to the times I always thought I would be at the hospital until the doors closed or I got married . . . whichever came first. Even when I had looked for another job or a part time job, God would never give me peace about it. It wasn't until I was willing to give up everything to serve God that He allowed me to quit my job to do something more important. After 6 years of working, I was finally going back home where I belonged!

Thursday and Friday some of my co-workers were going to be out of the office, so I decided to wait until Monday to turn in my notice so that I could let them all know at one time. However, this didn't stop me from e-mailing the preacher to let him know I could go to camp and play the piano for him. I let him know that I would be willing to help out where ever necessary and left it at that, but I was really hoping he would use me as a counselor. The next day he e-mailed back and said he wanted me to be a counselor! Need I even say that I was excited?

That Sunday when we went to Sunday School, before I could even sit down at our table, I was given another opportunity. A girl in my class had just gotten a job and could no longer go to camp,
( a different camp and different month) so the coordinator needed someone to fill her spot as a sponsor. The registration fee was already paid, all I had to do was "try" to get off work. She told me, "I know before you said you couldn't get off work, so I know that's going to be the hard part. Don't worry about the rest, just try to get off work." I so badly wanted to tell her, "That's the easy part because in a few weeks I wont have a job anymore!" But since my boss didn't know yet I kept quiet and simply told her I would pray about it. Once again, God opened the door and I had peace about going. God was making everything fall into place so perfectly! It was so evident that it was God's will and there was no opposition coming from any side. I could not have orchestrated it any better!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

A Decision to Commit and the Faith of a Mustard Seed

Before I went to the Journey to the Heart in Illinois this past March, I had to watch the Basic Seminar as a prerequisite. Along with this I had complete access to their Embassy Institute which is filled with hundreds of great preaching and speaking on almost any topic imaginable. In February I watched a video by Christiana Reed Moss on "6 Ways to Say I Love You to Jesus", not realizing what it was exactly about. In the video she shared how she had committed four years to the Lord for what has become known as "single service". The purpose of these single service years is to be able to serve God single-heartedly without the distraction of wondering when you will meet your soul mate or wondering if that guy across the room a potential partner. Many say that there is a freedom that comes with sacrificing your single years to serve God alone because you love Him and desire to give Him your best. As Christiana talked about how great these years were, so much that she dedicated an additional 2 years, her face just glowed as she talked about her love for the Lord. She had a confidence and genuine sincere love for her God that I didn't have . . . and I wanted it!

For a few weeks I prayed about it, and then made my commitment. Directly after making this decision I felt like it was the worse thing I could have ever done (which is usually how I feel when I make any big decision) so I didn't think about it much anymore and I didn't tell anyone.

A few weeks later my sisters and I went to Journey to the Heart. Before heading to the Northwoods for our week with the Lord, I had a chance to talk to Mr. Gothard about my vow to serve God single-heartedly and how I felt afterwards and he assured me that it was the devil making me doubt because God would be pleased with such a vow. He also told me I should talk to my parents about it, which I was later eager to do because I wanted to give my all to God and serving Him alone did not seem like a scary thing anymore. During that week I had such a desire to serve God that I didn't want to hold back because I was afraid. I was willing to fail trying instead of not trying at all. I couldn't wait to get started with the Lord's work!

Three weeks later I found myself stressed and so overwhelmed with the busyness of work and life in general. My relationship with the Lord was better than before Journey, but I was just as stressed as before and ready for another break to get away and seek God. But I kept going, thinking I needed to learn more about time management.

God gave me such a break when my family and I drove two hours to spend the weekend with our family and go to a church nearby that we loved. While we were at church the pastor asked me if I would come to their camp (as we did last year) and play the piano for them. I responded that I couldn't because I had to work. Seeing from his expression that the answer I gave was not good enough, I continued to explain how I took off 8 whole days to go to Journey to the Heart . . . but he interrupted and said, "I don't want to hear any excuses! What's it going to take for you to come to camp?" I wanted to go but I didn't know what to say. After the service as we walked out the door he asked me again, "So what's it going to take for you to come to camp?" Not knowing what else to say, I responded, "I'll pray about it," to which he jokingly told my brother that there were some things you didn't have to pray about. As I walked out the door I thought to myself, "Lord, I don't know how you're going to make this happen." At that moment I had the faith of a mustard seed.

Stay Tuned!

In the next few days I am going to give a series of posts on the amazing work God has been doing in my life. The purpose is to give God the glory for his wonderful detailed work . . . and because I am excited and eager to tell others! ☺ Stay tuned!

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Bible Notebook

Yesterday I told mama that I felt like all my thoughts were all jumbled up together and I really needed to write them out while they are fresh on my mind. I have been reading so many books, listening to so many sermons, and sitting at Jesus' feet that I can't keep all these new treasures organized! I'm trying to figure out how to write about faith, and love, and surrender . . . but they are all kind of jumping around in my mind and my notes right now only consist of long lists of scriptures with two or three sentences! Like almost always, mama knew how to help.

By Grace has a wonderful post on Building an Effectual Scripture Journal. I haven't started mine yet (I just looked at it today) but mama and I can't wait to start! And since I haven't posted  in a good while I thought this would be a great topic. Some of the tabs I plan on adding that Mrs. Susan doesn't mention (thought she probably has) is Sermons and Praise. While I was at the Journey they encouraged us to write out a praise to God using the Psalms, and I really enjoyed it. It would even be a great idea to add a tab just for the books you've read and something that stood out to you so you can go back and find it. The possibilities are endless!

It feels so good to be organized!