Nourish

IMG_8619Some years I begin with the thought of a single word. A word I dedicate myself to owning, to seeking out it’s meaning for my life, and to sharing with others. Today my word came to me. My word for 2016 is Nourish.

Nourish: verb 1) provide with the food or other substances necessary for growth, health, and good condition
2) keep (a feeling or belief) in one’s mind, typically for a long time.

Nourish. My body and growing baby well through sound diet and exercise in order to be healthy through the pregnancy and delivery.

Nourish. My mind by finishing my degree so I can turn my focus on the greater things God is calling me to.

Nourish. My spirit through regular time in the word and through fellowship with those around me so that when the day comes I can pour these things into my child’s spirit so that they may love our Savior in the same way.

Nourish. My relationships by regularly making it a point to invest in others.

Nourish. My marriage by continually seeking my husband’s heart and pouring into him the love God shed’s on me.

Nourish. My church by actively seeking ways to help our family’s raise up their children in the way that the Lord has called them to and working to make the family ministry what God has called it to be.

Nourish.

A Lesson on Ms.Kaela

If you’ve spent any time around me you know that I go by Ms. Kaela 99.9% of the day. In this, I’ve learned something:

Almost half of the time it’s used, I’m the one saying it- although when I say it, it’s in Third Person.

“Ms. Kaela wants you to bring that to her”

“What does Ms. Kaela say?”

It’s as if I’ve created  an alternate being that I put authority in. Why couldn’t I just say ” I want that” or ” what did I say?”

Was what I saying valued? Am I valuable?

Truth be told, after being confronted with this, I uncovered the secret. The key to Ms. Kaela. Ms. Kaela was created, because I never felt the love, value, or care. What I said was taken advantage of, wasn’t believed, or trusted in. I felt unloved because no one believed me or treated my words with value.

I began to place value in this being- Ms. Kaela.. but my true identity-my value is found elsewhere.

It’s found in Christ.

See, when Christ redeemed me from the live I was living, He showed I had value. He showed I was loved. He showed that I was cared for. Regardless of what the world may show, He showed my worth. At the end of the day, no one on this earth may love me, care for me, or think I’m worthy of anything- but Christ does. He does day after day after day. And it never ends. Never.

When God created me, He knew I would be His- that alone makes me worthy, I am the daughter of the King of Kings/
When God created me, He knew He would send His Son for me- that alone shows I’m loved, He was willing to watch His Son die the death I deserved.
When God created me, He knew my needs and He daily provides them- that alone shows I’m cared for, He even cares for the flowers of the field.

At the end of the day, where do you see your worth? If you seek it in the world, you’ll never find it.

Let’s stop creating Ms. Kaela’s and start living as the being’s God created us to be, it is there we find our worth.

The Women Who Did it All

Way back when God thought me up in His heart, I’m sure He knew this girl would need a lot of support. He knew I’d need more than my mom to bring me to Him, to raise me to be a woman of God, to teach me His ways. So before He put me on this earth, He placed these women there first. He molded them, He grew them, and He divinely placed them in my life at key points so that I would turn to Him, returning to my Fathers heart. It is those women whom I am forever grateful for and, who I write this blog to tonight.

23 years ago, my mom began her second trimester with me around Mother’s day. She had already had a miscarriage once so I’m sure making it to the second term was a relief, but she knew it wasn’t over. She would soon discover that I was a piece of work. Nothing could have prepared her for the emotional person I was. Nothing prepped her for the ER visits, the yearly cries on the last day of school, the drama, heartaches, or nightmares. But she embraced it. She did the best she could, by herself. With no mother to support her. She had no one to look to, so she did what she thought was best. I learned a lot from my mom, and as we grow, I continue to learn from her. I am forever grateful for the multiple jobs she held, the long hours she worked, the amazing meals she cooked, and the life lessons she instilled in me.

I met Michelle through church. I taught her children and we soon served together. Over time our friendship grew. We got closer. Then my mom and I experienced some hardships and Michelle took me in. While Michelle never replaced my mom, she did become someone I looked up to. Michelle mentored me, encouraged me, pushed me towards God, and also helped me restore things with my mom. I will never forget the nights with Michelle and her family, the tears we shed together, the laughs we had, the trip to Florida shared, or the memories made.

Julie stepped in and out through the course of several years. Then, it was like BAM! and our relationship grew overnight. Julie was someone who listened, who offered advice, loved me even when I felt unloveable, and just showed me Jesus in everything. Julie believed in me in things I never saw myself fit to do. She pushed me to doing photography for her studio- and that’s all I want to do now. While we may not see each other often, I know that she is a short text and Starbucks away.

 

Heather and I grew in our friendship through her children- I adore them. I helped teach them and babysat them. Then Jody asked me to intern at their church, so I started staying at their house. I’m sure that in these past months, our relationship has grown tremendously. We chat, laugh ( apparently I do lots of funny things), and I get to help her with her children. She is my direct role model for a Christian mother and wife. The biggest lesson so far- no day is perfect, every day is for trying, and everyone is in need of love.

There are countless others- Lynn, Dana, Suzy, Stephanie,Kelly- all of these women who in one way or another pushed me to Jesus. They were there in the hard times, the times when I wanted to give up. They were the voice I heard saying “You’re doing great, we’re so proud.” They offered support, encouragement, and homes to stay at. God knew I needed them all. I needed them, so that I would come to know Him young, and learn how to glorify Him as a mother and wife.

Thank you ladies. For the late nights, the meals, the beds to sleep on, the children to love, the lessons taught, and the love given. I speak for my mom when I say I know she is grateful as well. Happy Mother’s Day to you all.

It’s all relational

We are relational beings. We desire marital relationships, family relationships, friendships, and eternal relationships. But more often, we reach to our earthly relationships before we reach to our heavenly one. We reach for the shoulder of our friend before we reach for the hand of God, and so often we get left in the dirt.

We attempt to build these friendships and believe that they are the “best” and that they will last, and yet one wrong move can send them tumbling. We build all relationships up, and often create idols out of them. We put them before God. We break a commandment and yet don’t realize we do this.

We do this, when we pick up the phone to call our friend before we dial God in our heart. When we fill our life with family plans, leaving little to no room for our Father. When we would rather sit and text with our friends over engaging in time of prayer with God.

I’m not saying relationships are bad- God created them for us. But when we misuse them, they do become sin. Relationships centered on Christ, that work together to glorify Him, and that come after Him, are ones that were created by Him. He never intended your husband to be over Him. Our relationship with Him should be the most important relationship in the world.

Are you placing others before God or are you allowing God to direct your relationships?

Social Networking Overload

We use Facebook to get history on our friends. We use Twitter to know the 411 of the celebrities who we talk about as if they are our best friends. We use Instragram to give artsy insight to our daily lives. We use Pinterest to dream up the things we want, wish we looked like, and the vacations that will never be. We are a culture of social networking, and we seem to be on overload.

Gone are the days we find about a person from actually engaging in real face to face conversations. Gone are the newpapers we read, the cards we sent, and the secrets that were shared with those whom they were meant to be shared with ( not the whole world.)Gone are these days.

Now conversations last 30 seconds, not 30 minutes. They include words like “status”, “timeline”,”tweet”,and “feed” Now I’m not saying that these things are all bad, because I use them myself and they can be handy in circumstances but I believe we have created a problem- we run to social networks first  to meet our needs instead of actual human beings or even God.

We sit on Facebook for hours, then complain we never have time to read God’s word. How about we put our face in HIS book before we scroll the walls of others.

We spend hours on Pinterest dreaming of a life we’ll never have and asking God for things we think will make us happier, more successful, or more productive. How about we start counting the blessing we already have and start asking HOW we can use those things. If He wanted you to have the things which you think are better, they would have been yours. Use what He gave you, before you lose it.

Social Networking is a great tool, when used wisely. But to often, they cause distractions, cause sin, and pull us from the life that God created us to live. So live the life God gave you, use these tools wisely, and stop tweeting about how you were going to stop tweeting and just stop.

 

I wonder

I often wonder..

… if my first pre-k class I taught remembers me?
… if my highschool class even knows who I am?
… if my residents from Berea even remember the RA they tried to set up with a freshman?
…if Oak Leaf kids recalls the crazy leader who did  a little of everything?
…if RSBC remembers a students who felt disowned?
…if Berry remembers it’s grounds member?

I often wonder if I’m easily forgotten. Not for a selfish matter, but to know if the life I’ve lived has truly impacted the world around me for the glory of God. Am I living in such a way that the light of the world shines through? Or is my fleshing creating a cloud that blocks the light?

What about you? Can people see Christ in your life or have you blocked His rays?