Sunday, February 27, 2011

An Amazing Gift

"Oh God, how could you let this happen to me?", "What are you trying to teach me?", "Did I do something to deserve this?" "If you are so good, why are you allowing so much pain?"

These are all questions that run through the mind of those who are enduring confusion or suffering. These are the same questions asked by Jesus' disciples when they stumbled across a blind man:

"Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?" “Neither this man nor his parents sinned,” said Jesus, “but this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him.

Jesus' answer is one that has always comforted me but was brought to life this weekend when a mother shared the story of her son who was born with hypoplastic left heart syndrome. I have always considered the idea that things like this happen to "strengthen us" or "teach us a lesson" but I had never considered the idea that this could happen to a family so they can strengthen the child. God gave her this little boy because he trusted her and her husband with his son. Did you catch that? Gods own master-piece and child given to us. She described this almost like God was allowing them to adopt this boy and care for him while he was on this earth until it was time for him to go back to his Heavenly Father.

I know this idea sounds so simple, but I was blown away by it. It is so easy to take these things and think of ourselves and the impact on us, but in reality maybe God is setting up a way for us to give his love to someone else. God gave this baby boy to this family because he trusted them to bless his life and keep him safe, what an amazing gift!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

I Am Yours

Have you ever thought about how every person has a different laugh? A completely different sneeze, smile, or walk? What about the fact that there are millions of different animals, plants, or stars? Not only did God make our world with so many different things, but each of these are unique in their own way. Why?

I was listening to the song "Who Am I" by Casting Crowns today and the words stuck in my head so well.. Who am I? I am YOURS! What makes me special, I am God's! He chose my laugh, my smile, my everything. I am a unique and wonderful creation of God. What makes me beautiful? Each little quirk and detail He thought to use to create me. And whats more, he didn't have to! God didn't have to give each of us our own details to make us special, but he chose to.

About 5 years ago, I got a tattoo that means as much to me today as it did the day I got it. Yes, I have a tattoo, but don't turn your nose at me yet...lets look inside. On my foot I have two blue flowers and the inscription "139:14". The flowers remind me that the Lord will always take care of me and give me worth that I cannot achieve alone (Luke 12:27). The verse comes from the book of Psalms which reads "I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your words are wonderful, I know that full well." I have this tattoo on my foot because when I am sad and "hanging my head" I see a beautiful reminder of where my beauty and value lie.

I can't think of a better way to wrap this up than praising God Almighty for fashioning us into His image. Praise be to the Lord forever and his patience while we all search for beauty in Him.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Prince of Peace, Control My Will

Prince of Peace, control my will;
Bid the struggling heart be still;
Bid my fears and doubtings cease,
Hush my spirit into peace.

Thou hast bought me with Thy blood,
Opened wide the gate to God;
Peace I ask, but peace must be,
Lord, in being one with Thee.

May Thy will, not mine, be done;
May Thy will and mine be one;
Chase these doubtings from my heart,
Now Thy perfect peace impart.

Savior, at Thy feet I fall,
Thou my life, my God, my all;
Let Thy happy servant be
One forevermore with Thee!

Words: Mary Barber or Mary Shindler, 1838. Music: William Bradbury, 1858.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Starting the Adventure

Hey Everyone!
I have never kept a steady blog before, but I am so excited about starting this new journey with all of you. The task I am giving to myself is simple, but challenging: Look Inside. It is so easy in our busy, stressful lives to see something and judge it or look past its true beauty. Think back to this weekend, we were all so excited for snow so we could get out of class and then quickly annoyed that it wasn't enough... but how many of us took time to enjoy the beauty of the snow flakes fall through God's sky?

I want to make this blog about discovery. We are so blessed to live in God's world but spend so little time delving deeper into it as our special gift. Whether looking inside people, circumstances, or nature, I want to use this blog to find God's blessings.

Earlier this week, I asked God to show me, somehow, that I was of value. I prayed that He would reach out and just boldly tell me that I was doing something right and should keep going forward. Later that day, I went to work and was reading a book to a precious little girl. We have read this book a thousand times, so it was nothing new or out of the ordinary until she turned around with a smile as big as the sun and said, "Thanks for reading to me, I love you." Praise God for always answering prayers! I felt His comfort and heard Him whisper, "You are here for a reason. Do not doubt, I love you."

There is so much left to discover. Look inside yourself, in others, and in God. I can't wait to see what we find.