Wednesday, February 29, 2012

healing perspective

inspiration: sometimes you just don't understand...

I had a really hard conversation today with my dad.
a really hard one.
but it gave me a lot of perspective about the relationship with my mom. a lot more insight into why she is the way she is.
but it has made this healing stage a lot easier to get through.
there are a lot of things I will never understand.
a lot of pain I have the fortune of never experiencing.
but the tears I shed earlier have brought a lot of healing and forgiveness.

I've come leaps and bounds in the forgiveness realm.
and I pray for more healing to come.

what do you need to get a healing perspective on?
relationships with others? your relationship with God?

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Patiently waiting...

Inspiration: morning devotional phone blog

As im sitting in a beach house with my amazing small group, i was reading and reflecting on God's blessings and the people and things He has blessed me with. Im so thankful for His faithfulness and provision.

Im re-reading Lady in Waiting because i think there are so many truths to be extracted from it. Just finished reading "lady of patience" and a quote in there just really grabbed hold of me:

"When the two of them were finally introduced, she understood why she had to wait. While she cultivated faithfulness before God, her knight had been slaying a few dragons and shining his armor. God did not leave her waiting any longer than necessary." 

It just reminded me that, Yes i may be ready to date (or think i am), but that doesnt mean my future husband is. God is working in both of us. He is working in my future husband just like he is working in me. All too often, i think only of myself being ready; but i know that God is working in whoever He has planned for me and that He may have put me on a shelf to wait and mature, but He will take me down and place us together in His perfect timing.

Patience is a virtue.
God is cultivating it big time in me.

What is God cultivating in you??

Friday, February 24, 2012

God is for ME!

inspiration: a powerful night of worship at theWell

last night at theWell, we had a night that was packed with an amazing worship set list and a powerful message by Ernest.

the main point being: GOD IS FOR US. God is for you and God is for me.
our response to this should be complete and utter worship.

we've been studying through the book of Romans for 9 months now and last night, Ernest preached about Romans 5:12-16 where Paul explains how sin entered through Adam, one man and how through Adam we are condemned, but because of Jesus, who is God, was a righteous man and through Him we are justified.

Ernest taught about how God is for us.
He doesn't like when we sin. But he loves us because of who He is and who we are.
God is love and He is perfect.
So why should we think he would ever want anything less for us than himself.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

prayer request

inspiration: prayers for my mom, please

i'm taking just a second to ask for prayers for my mom.
she is in ICU again with pneumonia and was placed on a ventilator this morning to basically breathe for her since she is having a hard time keeping her oxygen levels up on her own.

i began praying boldly for a healed relationship with her about a month ago.
i will be traveling to TN next week and will be spending some time with my family while i'm there.

please keep us all in your prayers.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

forgetting what is behind...

inspiration: my friend andrew

tonight at YPM (Young Professionals Ministry), my friend andrew gave a message as well as part of his testimony. i'm proud of him for being bold and sharing it with us, knowing that he was putting himself out there, but also knowing he was setting himself up to be used by God.

so, andrew, if you're reading this, just know that i'm blessed to know you and to be able to call you my brother and friend in Christ. i've only known you on "this" side of everything that happened, but in the last year that i've been here and known you, i've seen God work and do amazing things in and through you.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

i don't always have creativity...

inspiration: drawings.

John 15:5

Matthew 5:16

"A great city is that which has the greatest men and women" -Walt Whitman

"Life is not about waiting for the storms to pass...'s about learning to dance in the rain"

Psalm 37:4

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Pearls aren't created without some irritation.

inspiration: Reading Lady in Waiting and studying Ruth

i bought Lady In Waiting about a month ago and i read through it.
but now i'm re-reading it again and also reading through the book of Ruth, which is the ultimate Lady in Waiting that the book describes and encourages us to model our lives after.

truth be told, based on the title, Lady in Waiting will probably scare a few women off.
i was skeptical about the wisdom it would provide me in my season of singleness. i figured it would be one of those self-help type books that would try and cheer me up and make me feel better about being single.

and it did the first time.
but now that i'm really soaking in the Biblical wisdom and virtue that Ruth displayed, i'm more encouraged because it's not a "self-help" book for singles; rather, it gives us biblical wisdom and pulls out applicable truth for single women who are looking to become godly women and who godly men will be seeking.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

quick blurb.

inspiration: my 2012 goal to memorize scripture.

it is one of my goals to fill my notebook and memorize all the Scriptures i put in it.
write now, i've begun writing all of the Scriptures on a notecard; i've already written 31 notecards but i only know about half of them.

this is going to be a tough challenge, but i know that being able to pull Scripture in times of need is essential in our walks and i want to become a more fluent student of the Bible.

what 2012 goals have you been working on??

Sunday, February 12, 2012

blessings in disguise.

inspiration: another moment of honesty....

last week was an absolute emotional rollercoaster and i feel as if i have just gotten off the ride trying to figure out if i liked it or if it's just going to leave me feeling sick. a lot of my pride and selfishness came out onto the table and i was forced to admit some things that i had been keeping inside.

"what people don't know won't hurt them" became my attitude. but the Holy Spirit quickly convicted me of that mindset. i had to come clean.
and i did.

and in the midst of me coming clean of pride and selfishness, i also learned of others struggles.
i learned that a lot of my best friends are struggling in their lives too, with similar things that i'm struggling with. i realized that i didn't have to endure this alone as i had let myself believe.
i didn't want to be a burden to them; but as much as i write and proclaim the importance of community, it finally dawned on me that God placed these girls in my life for a reason.

and after talking with many of them and sharing my heart and us conversing through a lot of things, i realized that God revealed Himself and His promises in my life through my complaints.

1. "God, i'm tired of being single" --> "Nikki, you're not ready yet"
sure, i want to pretend that my devotion to Jesus has completely quenched the desire of pursuing a relationship. but it hasn't. while i'm in a different place than some of my friends in that there is someone in my life that i want to pursue, i know that i'm not ready yet. i have so much going on in my life and he has so much going on in his that it's apparent that the timing isn't right on any front.

...but it still sucks.
i'm re-reading Lady in Waiting and truly trying to meditate and apply its principles rather than just trying to read it to say i have and came across this scripture:
"Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain." -1 Corinthians 15:58
...and I'm constantly reminded that right now (and all the time, really), I am to be devoted to fully to the work of the Lord. I may think I'm ready, but God has placed me in this season of singleness for a reason. Like a farmer who clears weeds, tills soil, and prepares the land for a crop that he can't see yet, I must prepare my heart for someone who isn't mine yet, either.

we are made to complement each other, not complete each other.
when we try and find our identities in each other rather than placing them in Christ, we are not made whole.
two people who are not made whole in their relationships with Christ will never complete each other.

i thought i was whole, but right now, i'm still missing some vital organs.
i have to pray for who God has planned for me; i am continually praying that whoever it may be, whether it's who i want or whether it's someone completely different, that they are seeking God wholly and passionately.

2. "God, Kenya? Really?!" --> "Nikki, really."
for several months, i've heard about the ministry in Turkana, Kenya that Bread of Life Mission has established. for several years, theWell at Seacoast Church has taken a team of college/20s to continue to pour into and bless the people of Turkana. and i always wrote it off.

Me: "it's a two-week trip. i can't take that much time off work"
God: "Commit your work to the LORD, and your plans will be established." Proverbs 16:3

Me: "it's a lot of money! you know i have bills, rent, car, food..."
God: "And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:9

Me: "People will think I'm crazy! What if my family doesn't support this trip? What if people think I'm doing it for the wrong reasons? What if it doesn't make sense..."
God: "For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ." Galatians 1:10 and "In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven." Matthew 5:16

talk about waking up to the fact that when (not if) God wants to use you, He will provide. He will give you peace about the situation (even if it still terrifies you...umm, being out in the bush of Africa isn't exactly something I feel comfortable with); but it's definitely something that will draw me closer to Him.

we never want things to be hard.
we want the answers.
but it's during those moments of faith when we grow.
they're our blessings in disguise and we must see them as such.
our hard times actually draw us closer to God and closer to each other (as i have experienced in my relationships with some of my small group girls).

i'm not certain about the future relationally and missionally, but i'm excited to see how God is going to use me.
it's in the darkness where our light will shine the brightest.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

first things first.

inspiration: an impatient asian waiting for God's best.

this is the first blog in a while that i haven't written directly pertaining to a sermon.
i kind of like just freestylin' it, but while i feel light-hearted about my blogging style, it's time for me to get serious for a moment.

*cue dimming lights and dramatic entrance music*

two of my good friends posted blogs today regarding relationships and putting God first.
two of the things i struggle with most...
Allison: Proud to be a single peacock
Ashley: Drowning in a Sea of Uncertainty

i heard a pastor recently say "Put God first and everything else will fall into place".
easy concept, right? right.
easy to put into practice, right? well......

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

for man or for God?

inspiration: new series in Galatians at Seacoast.

lately, well, since the beginning of this year, really, that God has been speaking to me more and more through His Word. maybe it's because i've been more disciplined (or tried to be) about spending time really listening for His voice in what i'm reading and i have a deeper desire to understand Him more. i don't really know. i heard it said that the Bible is not simply a "road map for our lives", because that makes it about us. rather, it's a book about God and how He is faithful and and how He keeps His promises.

and it struck me...
how often do i make Christianity about ME?!
how often do i turn away from the true Gospel and begin to make life about ME?!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

endure. grow. hope.

inspiration: Jonny Sharp BROUGHT IT tonight!

this week has been surprisingly "fast", which is good in a sense.
God is doing some incredible things in my life and selfishly, i look forward to the weekends to be able to see people i don't see during the week; but i always look forward to thursday nights - to spend time with my Seacoast family - people who have poured into me and encouraged me in my walk over the last year. people who i genuinely love being around. people i love worshiping with. people i love serving with.

and tonight was no different.