Wednesday, August 17, 2011

blessings: the august version

inspiration: just a reflection of blessings.

"Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?"

(Matthew 6:25-27)

i remember a couple months ago discussing in small group different areas in our lives that we needed to give back to God. at that time, and it's even more true today, i was really wrestling with my finances. i knew i needed to tithe, but i just couldn't figure out if i could really make it work...

my small group leader, Lia, said she struggled with the same thing and we decided to keep each other accountable for tithing. we both knew the scriptures about tithing and giving back to God what was already His and not to worry about not having enough because He was going to provide us everything we needed. but we needed that accountability to truly do it.

i am proud to say that two months later, He has been faithful in providing for me. making those tithe payments twice a month (on payday) is often hard - especially when i know that i have rent due, cell phone bill due, loans, food, gas. but not once have i been left hanging. God has faithfully provided!

" unmarried woman or virgin is concerned about the Lord’s affairs: Her aim is to be devoted to the Lord in both body and spirit. But a married woman is concerned about the affairs of this world—how she can please her husband. I am saying this for your own good, not to restrict you, but that you may live in a right way in undivided devotion to the Lord."

(1 Corinthians 7:34-35)

if you're tired of feeling like everyone around you is entering into a relationship, getting engaged, or getting married, raise your hand! *raises hand*

i will admit, i'm tired of being single. really, really tired of it.
but i know that it's going to be for my good.
tomorrow marks 3 months of my "no dating" thing.
i'm a quarter of the way through it.
and if these first three months are any indication of the next nine months, i will say honestly and boldly that it will be a long nine more months.

i say this because as much as i want to believe that "while i'm not looking, someone will come into my life - just because i'm not looking", it just hasn't happened yet. maybe i'm still looking too hard; maybe i just really am not the person that the person i'm looking for is looking for.

who knows?

but i have to be honest, being single does have it's blessings.
i'm able to serve more - going to washington on a mission trip in a mere two months (and it can't get here faster!)
i'm able to do what i want - going to washington on vacation in two and a half months (and it can't get here faster! ;))
i'm able to just be independent - i have the freedom to work on the weekends (which i will be doing in an effort to obtain some comp days at work = more vacation days!)

i realize more and more each day that God has a lot more that He wants me to do before i am ready for a relationship. there are a lot of areas that i need to grow and mature in (financially, emotionally, and spiritually, especially) before i can allow someone else to come into my life in a significant way.

"Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."

(Philippians 4:6-7)

when i went to costa rica, our motto was "Flex and Bend".
it was the first trip that Grace Community had taken to Costa Rica.
it was my first mission trip (as it was for most of the team as well).
we were traveling to a new country. we didn't know what to expect.

it was easy for me on that trip to be at peace.
God had called me to go on it - He had worked miracles in my heart to prepare me.
never in a million years did i think i would be "called" to do something so radical.
He had faithfully provided me to go on that trip - through all the paperwork for my passport; through raising funds to go; through working immensely in my heart to be open to truly living out the Gospel.

it was harder for me to move to Charleston, but God has still done amazing things in and through me here.
amazing doors were opened for me for my job at Hawkes.
amazing doors have been opened for me at my new church.

and it's amazing how much more at peace i am now.
it's still hard at times because i don't know what He's calling me to do.
but i have definitely adapted to the "flex and bend" mentality - not only for mission trips, but for life in general.

true peace has made its way into my heart (for the most part).

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