Monday, March 16, 2015

god is working.

So if you recall, I mentioned in a previous blog post how difficult it is for me to be alone. I love people. I love being around people. I get my energy from people. Many folks would consider me to be "outgoing". But sometimes I am more reserved and worry what others may think and say about me, so my outgoing-ness doesn't show. 
I recently heard a sermon about Jesus being led by the Spirit into the desert. You can find the scripture in Luke 4. I encourage you to check out the sermon here.{I'll post the link when it's online}

In my Bible, the text above the bulk of the message says "Tested by the Devil".

The scripture talks about Jesus being led into the wilderness {desert}by the Spirit, and being tested by the Devil for forty days and forty nights.

The Devil tempts Jesus with food.
The Devil tempts Jesus with control and power.
The Devil tempts Jesus with personal recognition.

I've heard and read this hundreds of times. But Saturday night was the first time I ever saw the whole picture.

Sure the story teaches me that Jesus was tempted just like I am, so it allows me to relate to him on another level which is always a good thing. But it also shows me the type of devotion, discipline, and desires of Jesus.

Jesus went into the desert to contemplate, reflect, to pause. To BE STILL and know God. I hate being alone. I hate solitude. But when life gets cray cray and chaotic...that's when I know it's time to go to the desert.

I wouldn't exactly call this season of life a desert. Noah and I are getting a pretty good routine down, I'm learning how to THRIVE {not just survive} on much less, and God is really using this time to use me, teach me, and push me out of my comfort zone.

God gave me an amazing opportunity to serve yesterday in the heart of the ghetto in our town. As I walked up to our gathering place, there were people of all shapes, sizes, colors, backgrounds, clothes, cleanliness, and mental health walking there with me. 

A meal was served that may be their only meal for several days. There were beggars, homeless kids, even a couple prostitutes. As they came down the line to get their plates you can smell where they've been. Trash, maybe a little alcohol. I had fear for a split second. 

Fear of being mugged. Fear of taking my child around "these people". I imagined what I would do if I saw them on the street. Would I still shake their hand and pour love onto them? What if someone found out? And scorn me for putting myself in danger?

Then the Spirit told me He was with me. I was the hands and feet of Jesus.

A similar situation went down in college. It was the day before Thanksgiving break, it was pouring down cats and dogs, and I was closing down the office, locking up, etc. What appeared to be a student came up to the desk and asked me for a ride. I asked him where he lived, and it was on the way home from work towards my house. So I said sure. He got in the car with me, and I took him home. I was anxious the ENTIRE time, we made light conversation, I dropped him off, and he asked me for my phone number. I gave it to him. Then went home.

I got home and felt great about my good deed, so I told family and they totally freaked out on me. I was so confused. Didn't Jesus say "love the least of these"? And the greatest commandment next to loving God is loving your neighbor as yourself? 

They said "Yes, but"
*you could've been raped
*he could've had a knife
*you might have never made it home

So I went to my room and cried for a couple hours. My heart was hurting for disappointing so many people when I thought I was doing what God had called me to do. 

There's no room for "Yes, but" with God. Check out Luke 9:57-62:

Jesus said to a man, "Follow me." 

The man said, "Yes, but let me first go and bury my father." 

Another said, "I'm ready to follow you, Master, but let me first say farewell to those at my home."

Jesus said, "No procrastination. No backward looks. You can't put God's kingdom off till tomorrow. Seize the day." Another version says "No man, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God."

WOW. I'm worried about disappointing family, friends, strangers, whomever. I can't allow that to be above what my Savior thinks of me.

So when God calls me to put myself what others may view as a dangerous situation, He's there. So yes to a human mind, I could have been raped, killed, beaten, whatever the case may be. But God did not allow that to happen. He protected me so I COULD SERVE THE LEAST OF THESE in His name!

He protected me when I was in Peru during riots and bombings. He protected me from sickness and being mugged in downtown Budapest. He protected me from getting hurt by a stranger when I took him home. And He protects me wherever I go. 

It's not easy to follow Jesus. He might lead you to situations or things that make you feel uncomfortable. That will make other people look at you like you are crazy. 

That's when you know you are doing it right.


PS-I've really been digging this worship song:

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

being a mom is no picnic

Here is a text I sent one of my best friends today:

For a little context, Noah is teething hardcore. He is cutting TWO teeth. Sounds exciting right? Oooo he will be able to eat real food soon. Woohoo. But no. Teeth are no fun. If you ever hear a mom say that their child is teething, you should automatically give her a break. In fact, give her a hug, more coffee, and some chocolate. She needs all the help she can get. Because teething isn't just getting teeth.

It's an unpredictable schedule.

It's no sleeping.

Or it's a little bit of sleep here and there but you never get that good sleep where you actually feel rested.

It's fighting with your spouse over really really really silly things.

It's getting nothing done around the house.

It's feeling like a failure.

So after wallowing in my sorrows for an hour or so and googling words like "failure" "first time mom" and "teething", I've learned that I am not alone in these feelings of failing. Moms thinking they are failing is actually pretty common. Let me be more specific in my "failures" so far this week:

-I screwed up mashed potatoes. WHAT?! I make my own bread, and tortillas, and pretzels for Christ's sake! And I've made mashed potatoes hundreds of times. But last night for some reason I put way too much milk in. And I cried about it. I made two perfectly seared t-bone steaks and roasted asparagus but I CRIED OVER MASHED POTATOES. It sounds silly. But I am telling you, at the time it was the end of the world.

-I didn't finish the laundry yesterday. I wanted to get all the towels, bibs, jammies, and The Hubs work clothes all done and folded and ready for the week. HAHAHA. I got maybe two loads of laundry washed and folded.

-I burned several tortillas. I was trying to get tortillas done before Noah woke up from his nap ready to eat lunch, but he wasn't having that.

-There are dishes EVERYWHERE. I have a big kitchen with plenty of counter space. Every inch is covered right now. #ew

But you know what? It feels quite good to make a list of these failures and realize how silly they sound. I have an 8 month old unpredictable child who is teething.

I need to give myself a break.

I ate a healthy lunch.

I made tortillas. FROM SCRATCH.

I cooked my family a delicious meal. Yeah the mashed potatoes were inedible, but I was on my feet for most of the day yesterday working hard. I still got some laundry done, and I will get the dishes done eventually. We do not buy paper plates so I'll get desperate enough I'm sure. lol.

In other news, today is day 30 of the Bikini Body Mommy Challenge 3.0. I will weigh-in and take my measurements. I'm hoping to share how the journey has been thus far later this week. I definitely feel better, and I'm looking forward to the progress I have made thus far.

It's been a heaven of a week....and it's only Tuesday!


Friday, January 23, 2015


I'm probably jinxing myself, but I can finally say I am in a place of happiness. I don't believe that the goal of life is to necessarily pursue happiness, as I think pursuing God is way more important.With that being said, no one complains when God gives them an extra dose of happy in life.

Having a job that has a lot of alone time has taught me a few things:

*I am not in control, there's someone much bigger than me making all of this happen.

*Hard sh!t makes you stronger. Two dead batteries in our cars, a teething baby, surprise hospital the time, I thought each of those things were the end of the world. So much crying and uncertainty. But just like gold is refined in a fire, I believe we are refined by the difficult times in our lives.

*YOLO---I am not saying this as an excuse to eat whatever I want and do whatever I want. YOU DO ONLY LIVE ONCE. So I am going to treat this body, this temple the way I think God wanted me too. Eating well, getting off my couch, and killing other people with kindness.

*Being a mom is tough. Showering more than 2x a week is a challenge. I no longer judge those yoga-pant loving mommies. The old me deeply apologizes. I had NO idea how difficult being a mom was. I used to say "I'm not going to let myself go when I have kids." Someone should have slapped me. I haven't "let myself go". My priorities have just changed. And I am thankful. I was and probably still am an extremely superficial person.

*PLANS WILL CHANGE----AND THAT'S OKAY. This is probably the best thing that I've learned. I hate change. I have obsessive compulsive disorder. So it's natural for a change in routine to make me go insane. Even something as simple as having to use milk instead of half/half in my coffee can bring me to tears. But so many things this year have NOT gone according to plan, that I am learning to just deal with it.

I've recently become obsessed with TV shows about Alaska. Especially Alaskan Bush People. I admire the way their family works, I admire their imagination, I admire the fact that they can make something from nothing. I admire that they don't know what an iPhone is. My favorite quote so far from Billy--the dad, is "Drop a tree on us and we'll make firewood."

Just imagine not using Google for every single question we have. I mean, really. I use Google a LOT. Recipes, trying to find out that one guy from that one show, how to start a garden, etc.

There's nothing necessarily wrong with Googling all the things...I love the internet for that. I just worry that I'm trading my creativity and imagination for a Pinterest-perfect closet and home. My mom always told me to "just be yourself". I've also been told that I am incredibly weird. We are all weird in our own ways...and I really fear that being online too much is going to take that weirdness and just make us all the same.

I want to start figuring things out on my own. Figure out how to build things, play more music, and use this brain in my head for more than typing something in a search bar. I didn't mean for this to turn into a full on rant...whoops.

So ANYWAYS. Things are going well. And we are having fun.