Sunday, October 28, 2012

Beyond the Norm

Grow up, graduate high school, go to college, have a career, get married, have children, watch your children grow up, become grandparents, retire, and enjoy the last moments one has on earth.  It's the "American Dream".  A vision and aspiration so many have worked hard to attain. A safe dream, one that will ensure success in your life by human standards.  But, is it enough? When one is 90 years old and looking back on their life, are they happy? Do they regret anything? Was their life worth it? Or was there something they missed?

I admit, I have always wanted the typical "American Dream".  I wanted to be a wife and a mother more than anything this world could offer me.  It was what I dreamed to be since I was a little kid.  I had my wedding song picked out when I was in 6th grade.  ("I will be here" by Steven Curtis Chapman)  Lately, I've been wondering if it's really the only thing that I truly want?

God's been pressing into me lately, showing that maybe the American Dream is not all that it's cracked up to be, that maybe there is something else I am supposed to do, something more important.  A life where I am truly and completely devoted to God.  A life filled with sacrificial love to my Savior and to those around me.

Between Life Groups and this class I am taking at church, God has given me a desire to go past the normal steps in life, even past the normal Christian walk, and become someone completely different.  "Die daily", a phrase I have heard all too often in these last few weeks.  When one becomes a Christian it's like they are signing their life away to God.  It's no longer about them and what they want, it's about God and what He wants.  A point in life where the term "Die daily" should actually be a continual, daily occurrence.

We have it set in our minds that we deserve the good life, the American dream, but in actuality we deserve hell.  This is why God intervened and saved us.  He gave us the option to live.  The only stipulation is we must live for Him only and do what He wants.  Though it may sound bad, it's actually the best thing for us. God only has whats best for us in store.

Faith with out actions is dead, Love with out actions is dead.  We can't say we love someone or say we believe in God when we just put him to the side while we go about our daily lives.  I want a sacrificial love for my savior.  He, after all, sacrificed his LIFE for me.  Sometimes there comes a time in our life when God calls us to go beyond the normal, take the next step, and put aside our desires so that He can give us something even greater than we imagine.  A life where love is a verb, not a quote.   I want my life to be a living sacrifice to the one who actually sacrificed his life for the sake of mine.  What does this mean? Never getting married? Never having children? No.  I don't think it does.  At least not for me.  I think it just means that maybe my first priority in life should be to serve God, and God only.  All the other stuff will come in time.  I think for me, it means that there are certain things in life I should give up in order to spend more time with God, or help those around me, or to even prove my love and devotion to God.   I think it means, that maybe I should say no to certain things, give up certain addictions, and fight my temptations, even when it's hard.  Today is the day, it's never too late to start.  Here I am, Lord.  I am yours.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Public Praise

I just feel overwhelmed by how great God is.

How is it that a God who has all the power in the world would give up his only son, Jesus Christ to become human, die on a cross for the sake of sinners.  Not just anyone, everyone.  For people who are good, bad, normal, odd, who are repentant of their wrong doings, and some who could care less.

Why is it that God loves us so much? We have no good in us.  We are naturally born to sin.  Every single person has done something wrong, and will more than likely do something wrong again on numerous occasions.  We are very dramatic, selfish, hateful, and yet somehow the God of ALL creation loves us so much to save us... daily.

How can it be that he owns the whole universe and everything in it, but wants to spend time with just you, and me.  He's running everything that happens from stars being made, to the wind that blows, to the oceans that rage, to the birds that fly, to the seasons that change.  Of all things he upholds with his right hand, He makes sure He is available to me 24/7.

How amazing God is.  He's so powerful, so loving, so merciful, so gracious, so kind, so just.  He's everything.  He's perfect.  He's my God.  He's my father.

He cares about me so much to help me with the smallest problems, and lead me through the biggest hurtles.  Everywhere I go, He is there.  I wouldn't have it any other way.

My God is a God who provides.  He always gives me what I need, and blesses me daily.  He cares about every detail in my life and makes sure He has the best for me in all situations.  He is so good that he can make something tragic turn into something good.

My God is a healer, a provider, a protector, a leader, miracle worker, a teacher.

I could go on and on and on.  I just want to say, God is good, all the time.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

What do you believe?

I've had my fair share of struggles, things I've prayed endlessly for.  I wouldn't change who I am, those struggles make me who I am today.  It's when you are in the midst of them your perspective changes.   It's so easy to give advice from the outside and say, "Read your bible, press into God, pray, pray and pray!" Necessary things of course, but not as easy to carry them out when burdened during a trial.  I think God has revealed to me that one of the things I need to work on is how I perceive my self during those trials.

In the midst of temptations, right and wrong are most of the time blatantly clear. You know what you need to do, but it takes everything within you to do the right thing.  It's a temptation, and that's clearly what it does, tempts you and tempts you endlessly to do the wrong thing.  It seems no matter how long you fight, the bad side always seems more enticing, easier.  So what do we do? Well, some stay strong, press into God, read the bible, pray, pray, and pray.  Sometimes they have fought hard enough to win the battle and choose what's right.  Other times, the battle is too hard and you give in.

Temporary happiness quickly settles in before you even have time to think.  Once you have failed at standing against your temptation, guilt washes over any happiness you may have felt.  It's a horrible feeling.  You beg for forgiveness, and pray even harder for strength the next time.   I don't know about you but one of the things I do is beat up myself, mentally.  My thoughts are consumed with, "I'm such an idiot, a horrible person, a failure!  How could I have done that? What is wrong with me?" The inward battle of the mind is a scary place.

God has slowly been teaching me how no matter how many times I fail, God never calls me an idiot, a horrible person, a failure, a mistake. God says, "Don't worry, I still love you! Fear not, for I have overcome the world.  We'll try again the next time, you are doing great!" We are God's children, God created us.  He's a very patient God and He loves us way too much, it's who He is.  Besides, I think we put enough pressure on ourselves to last us a life time.

We really have to know who we are in Christ, and what Christ has done in order for us to be that person.  Those mental beatings do us no good, and I believe make it even harder.  We start to believe those things about ourselves, and if we believe that about ourselves we will start to be that person.  It's human nature.  We are a race who lives based on belief.  No matter what you believe.  I've noticed a difference during temptations if I start saying who I am in Christ.  This great class I'm taking at Church helped me understand that.  "I am a saint, God's child, Christ's friend. I am God's temple.  I am a new creation.  I am righteous and holy.  I am chosen and dearly loved by God.  I am an enemy of the devil. I am one of God's living stones and am being built up as a spirit house." These are just a small percentage of the ones presented in the study guide for this class.  (Freedom in Christ by Neil T. Anderson -- or as we like to call it BETA) Every single one is backed up by a bible verse to show you that is how God perceives us.  I think the real question is, how do YOU perceive yourself? Maybe some of those false perceptions need to change.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Mercy Anniversary

Today marks 4 years since walking in the doors of Mercy Ministries.  I have come a long way since then.  I remember arriving in Monroe very nervous, yet extremely excited for a brand new adventure.   I knew it was what God had called me to do since there are approximately 700+ girls on the waiting list, and I only waited for 2 weeks.

Mercy Ministries is a place where girls ranging from 13-28 can go to gain back their life.  There are a variety of reasons woman give up 6 months of their lives to go there, mine happened to be an eating disorder.  Something I am not proud of, nor will I ever be.  I graduated in March 2009 a changed woman.  Life after Mercy was great! It was very hard to be back in the real world but I had my best friend by my side.  I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that I wouldn't be able to live my life with out God.  He has been with me every step of the way.

It has now been 4 years so where has life taken me now? It's had the ups and downs, that's for sure.  Moments I will cherish for a lifetime, and days I wish I could forget.  It's easy to tell just by looking at me that my eating habits have not been the best.  It pains me to say that my eating disorder did not go away after I left the doors of Mercy.  A decision I would give anything to be able to take back.   It was a subtle act, my first two years I was binge free.  Little by little, it came knocking at my door again.  I've had a lot of people ask me, "So, Mercy Ministries did not work then?" or "What was the point of Mercy Ministries if you are still struggling with an eating disorder" and I have got to tell you, those words cut through my heart.  It hurts me terribly every time I hear those them, to the point where I almost want to cry.

Mercy DID work.  Mercy brought me my only chance of survival, and that is God.  Mercy Ministries taught me so much about life, people, and Christ.  I have a compassion for lost women more than I ever did before.  Life is horrid sometimes, but through Christ, we can get through it! Mercy taught me about forgiveness, love, patience, endurance, finances, health, the importance of the bible and prayer, cleaning, respect, and so much more! The list is endless.

I can honestly say that God is working on me regarding the subject of my eating disorder.  It's no longer raging ferociously, but has become a hurdle I must jump over.  I have no one to blame but myself. Christ has used Mercy Ministries to change the lives of so many hurting women, myself included.  I would highly recommend for anyone who wants to change their life around.  I am proud of my Mercy experience, and the person I have become because of it.  I thank God for Mercy Ministries.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

It's Not About Me

The situations of life have often created easy excuses for my conversations with God to be consumed with prayers for myself.  I find it interesting that during moments of trial, my prayers hardly reflect anyone or anything outside my own bubble.  Maybe it's because what I am going through hurts, or maybe it's because I don't like what I am going through and just want out.  Whatever the reason is, there are still thousands upon millions of people out there, some closer to home than I realize, that have far worse situations than I have ever been in.

I think back upon my prayers during this last trial.  My prayers usually end up sounding something like this, "God, can you help me? Can you save me from here? Can you help me through this day? Can you do this for me? Can you do that for me too? I know I messed up on this, can you fix it for me?" Granted not all of these prayers are bad, but I found that the more I prayed about myself, the more self-centered I became.  I forgot about how much I had, how much God has blessed me with, and even my dear friends who are going through tough situations of their own.

Usually my commute to work is one of the times when I do the most thinking and praying.  I remember driving to work one day recently, I was running late for work.  The second I left my garage, I prayed, "God, can you give me favor with the stoplights?" As I continued driving, I hit every...single....red light.  I remember asking God, "Why are you not helping me? Why am I hitting all the red lights when I prayed that I wouldn't?" That's when it hit me, as I sensed the sourness of my motives seep out of that last sentence...knowing God had become a "what can you do for ME" relationship, verses knowing God and loving Him for who He is.  I was thinking about all the prayers I had prayed recently and every single one was about me, and how God could help me.  Me, me, me.

Guilt immediately washed over me upon realization of this revelation.  I apologized to God for demeaning Him.  I started trying to thank Him for what He had done for me already that day, even at 6:45AM.  For one, I have a job!, I have a car, breath to breath, I got out of bed, I have a bed! All these amazing things we so easily take for granted.  Then I started praying for my friends and family.  It's amazing how much better I felt, and before I knew it, I was at work!

I think it's important to have prayers designated to ourselves, but it's also equally important to pray for others.  It's then that we receive compassion for those that are around us.  God is well, God.  He is King of Kings, He rules this world, He died to save me, He loves me more than I could ever imagine and yet somehow my motives got so misconstrued into thinking that God is there to serve me, and to perform miracles for me.  When in reality, I am put on Earth to serve Him, and to be His servant.   It only takes a few steps in the wrong direction to feed wrong motives, and that's precisely what happened.  How great God is for giving me that gentle reminder when my motives are not in check.  It takes a true friend to be honest to someone, and God is always someone I can count on for honesty.  

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Who Am I?

Every person has a story and every person's story is different.  It's what makes them who they are.  There are many times I walk down the street and think to myself about the woman passing me, "What's her story?" I can't help but wonder if people even know mine? So, I am here typing this blog post to you to express and give a short story of who I am.

I grew up on a farm in Milroy, MN which is about 20 miles east of Marshall. I spent my childhood on that farm and have lots of great memories there.  I remember dad taking the bucket tractor and making a huge mountain of snow that was taller than the house.  All 4 of us kids got to spend hours out there making tunnels, playing king of the hill and whatever else our little minds could come up with.  Come spring, summer, and fall brought with us the work seasons.  Dad would be gone most of the time out in the fields, and so would we.  We spent our whole summers rock picking and weed picking the many fields dad owned.  We used to own the field that was right next to my school, I often would wave anxiously at my daddy during recess. School was great, I remember the times in gym class with Mr. Goltz. Choir with Mr. Carrera, our principle Mr. Hammond, and class teachers Mrs. Frashier, & Mrs. Seblen. I had one really close friend, her name is Alissa.  She lived on a farm about 2 miles away from us.  We often spent so much time together.  I remember going to her house and just playing and playing and playing.  She would show me all the new animals that were born, and we'd feed the bunnies.  We'd have sleep overs and talk about horses, she'd read a few chapters of her book and we'd fall asleep giggling.  I still try to keep in contact with her to this day even though I moved away in 5th grade, after all we've been best friends since preschool.

After passing 5th Grade my parents found a really nice house in Marshall and we decided to take a wild adventure and leave the farm.  Marshall was an interesting place, we had neighbors that were right next to us.  At one point my neighbors consisted of a doctor, a pastor, & a sheriff.  My mom often joked that if anything happened, we'd be in good hands.  As I kept growing older in Marshall, I grew more in love with music.  My mom, sister & I often sang trio's at our church.  I had picked up on learning the flute, and piano.  I watched with envy as my sister entered high school and was in the marching band.  I dreamed of the day I could be old enough to be in that marching band.  I remember going to my sister's concerts and counting down the years.  Marshall is known for having a great music program.  I'll never forget that day as I passed 8th grade and was finally able to go to high school and join the marching band.  Yet, my parents had a different plan, my dad found a job in Sioux Falls, SD.  That summer we were on our way towards another adventure.  I honestly didn't want to move, but I kept my mouth quiet as I secretly said goodbye to Marshall high school and the marching band I had dreamed about for so long.

Sioux falls was another interesting place.  I spent my high school years there.  We met a lot of good people and we had awesome neighbors.  I was quickly known around the neighborhood as the babysitter.  High school was high school, which meant there were the ups and the downs as my teenage self quickly tried to adapt to growing up and the social pressures that came along with it.  When graduation day came, I had been asked to sing a solo during the ceremony.  I was so excited.  I'll never forget that day as I stood up there in front of all my peers as they watched me sing.  I looked at some of the guys who seemed to be extremely shocked I had a voice.  Yet, as I looked at some of the girls who were crying from the song, I knew right then and there why I loved singing.  I was able to reach people in a way I never could normally and touch their lives through singing.   I graduated, and decided right then and there I wanted the big city life in Minneapolis.  I moved 3 months after graduation to live with my aunt, Elise in Richfield.  She hooked me up with a staffing agency and I started my life in the corporate world.

Throughout my life, I had always been overweight.  I didn't seemed to be as heavy as I thought myself to be, but every year I seemed to get just a little bit bigger.  I had all the tendency's a typical emotional eater has, hiding and sneaking food, eating fast to avoid people seeing you eat, fast food, you name it.  When I lived in Minneapolis, It seemed to get worse.  I was a full-blown food addict by 2006.  My mother saw what was happening and referred me to a christian place called, Mercy Ministries.  It's a place where girls ranging from 13-28 can get help for their emotional needs and addiction.  It took me a while to really get myself to go.  I kept applying partly and backing out.  It wasn't until my 3rd time applying that I finally realized how much I needed this, how my life had been out of control.  I was eating myself to sleep every night, I couldn't pass a fast food place without stopping.  I was trapped under the misinterpretations of my own thoughts.  I thought everyone could only see how big I was, and not who I was.  I could have sworn that if someone saw me eat, they would judge me.  I tried and I tried, and I tried even harder to break free on my own but it kept leading to failure.  I was at the highest weight I had ever been.  So, in 2008, I gave up everything to go to Mercy Ministries.  I gave up my job, my apartment, my friends, and my family to get help.

Mercy was amazing.  We were on strict routines daily, I liked to say we were "spoon fed" Jesus daily.  I loved it though, I loved who it made me be, happy.  I loved what I learned there, how I have worth, that I am beautiful, and how amazing God truly is.  That He loves me.  It was the happiest I had ever been in my life.   My mercy sisters are girls I will never forget and pray for consistently.   I love them with all my heart, and we share a special bond having been through Mercy together.    When I graduated after 6 months in that home, I came back to Minneapolis a conquered woman.  I suddenly had victory over my life, and Jesus by my side.  God gave me something while I was at Mercy, it was Him.  I realized for the first time how much being a christian is actually a relationship with Jesus. Not just acquaintances, or that void of space you pray to once in a while.  Since Mercy, He has shown Himself to me in so many ways.  The trials he has brought me through, the victories He led me through, and the everyday moments I soon cherished.  Everything good I have done, was because of Him.

I admit, I still dabble with the emotional eating.  There seems to be seasons.  Yet, God brings me through every time and shows me something new, another vital revelation that brings me one step closer to ultimate freedom.  It's close, I can feel it, and for the first time, I believe it.  God has never left my side, not for one second, so I am here with hands wide open waiting for the next step, the next journey life brings me through and God delivers me through.  I can say with 100% complete honesty that if it weren't for Jesus Christ, I would not be here today.  Oh, how I love Him so.

So, here I am. Now you know, now you have a little bit of insight into my life and the life I've seen.  I had to shorten it quite a bit, as a blog post can only go so long, but... this is it, this is me, and this is who I am.  I am Kelley Welu. 

Monday, July 2, 2012

Freedom Comes With A Price

When I think of seasons, I think of Fall, Winter, Spring, and summer.  Lately, I haven't been thinking about the weather, but about the seasons in life.  I find it so interesting that one day, week, month, or year in your life can be so great, phenomenal perhaps. Yet, the next year can be so opposite.  I want to start out by saying, I have so much to be thankful for.  I am blessed beyond measure.  My life has been nothing short of wonderful.  Still, there are times when one just wants hide in the corner because she just doesn't think she can do it anymore.  It's the weakest moment in a person's life.  When all strength, whether physically, emotionally, or spiritually have been drained.  What happens then? I find the obvious answer that comes to my head is, "Press into God, He will supply your strength for you." It's so true, yet so hard to do.  It's in those moments where I am the weakest, pressing into God is the least thing I want to do.  I want to cry, wine, whimper, and pout.  Fortunately, crying, whining, whimpering, and pouting are not in my immediate vocabulary.  I have never been one to cry, although funerals get me every time.  Still, I find that my sense of rebellion is heightened when I am weak and tired.  Wanting all the fighting to be over, wanting more than ever to say, "I AM FREE!!!" Yet, I find myself trapped to the person of my past.  It's like a sneaky lion, preying on me when I least expect it.  Always there, persistently telling me that who I once was, who I fought so hard NOT to be, was better.  That it made me happier.  I remember those days, how could I not? Trapped, depressed, lonely, and scared.  The only time I was remotely close to happy was for those few short moments when I would fall prey to the sins of my addiction.

One thing has kept me going, a promise.  A promise of freedom.  That there was light at the end of the tunnel through Christ, I would not be in this season of life forever, because God would get me out of it somehow.  Even when I think I had lost all hope, there was still a little flame burning inside of me that gave me that extra grip to hang on.  It wasn't just any promise, it was something I could believe in, someone I could trust in.  One in whom I knew whose words have always been kept.  God saw me that day, a 22 year old girl bringing her white slip of paper to the cross.  An exercise where we were told to write what we came to church that day for and give it to the Lord.  Only one word could I think of,  and one word only, "Freedom".  I want freedom from my eating disorder.  I'll never forget when Pastor Tom came to me a few minutes later and said, "I really feel God wants me to tell you, 'Yes.' I don't know what it's for but I keep hearing, 'Yes.'" How could he have known? I told no one? But I knew. It was most surely from God.  

I'm here to tell you amidst my own doubts, that one day I will write on this blog in big bold caps, "I AM FREE!!!" I will tell everyone how God has saved me, and gave me my life back because I know that when God speaks, his words never come back void.  Pray for me, for I have a journey ahead of me.  As the our nations Independence Day draws near, you very well know that Freedom comes with a price.  So does mine.


Thursday, May 31, 2012

Roads & Reminiscing

The battlefield of mind, the constant feud between good and evil.  The little angel on your left persuading you with tough truths, and the little devil on your right flinging enticing lies.  It's moments like these where I have to remember who I once was, who I am today, and the difference between the two.  Sometimes the doubts overwhelm me and I start to think I haven't changed for the better.  I'm worse then when I started.  But, who was I 5 years ago compared to who I am right now?

5 years ago, I was lost.  A desperate soul looking for love, friends, a sense of worth and anyone to notice me.  My pride got the better of me, my addictions were raging, and I had no opinions of my own for fear that they would be shot down in rejection.  I stuffed myself full of food because that was the best friend I had.

Who am I today? Well, I know who I am.  I am... a person.  No longer lonely with too many opinions to count.  I have some pride, but most of it was shot down a couple years ago.  My addiction is still there and very hard to shake, and yet somehow I feel even though I still mingle in it, I've accomplished way more in my addiction than I ever had 5 years ago.  I have learned so much.  I learned my value, that I am talented in more ways than just singing, that I am smart even though I always thought I was stupid, and I am actually really pretty.  Best of all, I found a best friend.  However silly it may sound but I have never met someone as amazing as the God I know.  I miss Him if I stray away for too long, and He is always there when I need Him.  He cries with me, laughs with me, leads me, tells me the truth, and even waits patiently for me to return when I walk down the wrong path.  Not only that He gave me a bunch of friends to help when the road gets tough.

When the days my guilt of not having been further along in my healing overwhelm me, I need to take a step back and realize how far I have actually come.   Maybe even read this blog entry for encouragement.   It's easy to look at the now and see I have a long road ahead of me, but what about the road I have already traveled? It's worth something? That it is, that road made me the person who I am today.  Quite frankly, I like where that road is heading.




Tuesday, May 8, 2012

What makes a person resilient to change?

Good question.  I was attending a meeting at work today, a Town Hall to be exact.  One of the questions we were asked, "What makes you resilient to change?" My response was because it's an adventure for me.  I look forward to change because it's something new and exciting.  As my answer was said, and my turn had passed, I started to think even further.  What does make me resilient to change? I came up with attitude.  I firmly believe this is the #1 factor to why life is not a downer for me, why change is not scary for me.  When a person's attitude is in the right mind set, the world suddenly becomes less intimidating. 

I think people need to realize their abilities to conquer anything that life handles their way.  God made us with such wisdom and perfection, our bodies have a natural ability to conform to change.  Just like when a person exercises, at first it's tiring and painful.  After a couple days or more your muscles start realize that this is the new norm and creates more mass to handle the new work load.  Our attitude can make or break how your day goes.  if you wake up in the morning and think, "This day is going to suck!" Well, I hate to break it to you, but that's exactly how it's going to turn out. 

I think having the right attitude has helped me with so much in my life, it helps me to see the positive.  The negatives are just depressing and make you depressed.  Why worry? One thing I've learned, everything always works out, whether it's a couple hours later, tomorrow, next week or so on. A lot of time we can't see past today but today is not the last day of your life.  There is always tomorrow unless the Good Lord takes you home.  The problems I faced during my high school years were just that, problems I face during my high school years.  It's 7 years later and I hardly remember them, but yet it seemed the world was going to end when a problem did arise.   So far, I haven't seen the world blow up yet.  :)  Thankfully!

Saturday, April 21, 2012

In This Life, You Will Have...

Define Love.  Dictionary.com states that love is a profoundly tender, passionate affection for another person, or to have a strong liking for, take great pleasure in another person.  It's in my experience that I think Dictionary.com has only a fraction of the true meaning of love.  Based on my experience, Love is verb.  Love requires compassion when you have none, mercy when no one deserves it, forgiveness when it hurts the most, patience when that person just keeps messing up, time and time again.  Love is seeing the good in a person, when on the outside all you see is the bad.

Do you want to know how I know this? Because God himself has shown this "love" in more abundance than I can ever imagine.  Do you want to know another reason how I know this? I am the other person.  One thing I've come to realize, God knows the true me, the me that no one else sees.  No one is perfect, especially me.  I have made bad decisions, too many to count.  I have had those days where I consciously choose choices that are deliberately wrong.  The thoughts in my head sometimes, should send me to hell alone.  Yet, God sees ALL of that and STILL He loves me.  He has seen every wrong thing I have ever done or thought about doing in my entire life, whether past or future, and still sees the good in me.

There are times in my life where my failings can seem to outweigh the successes.  It is in those moments where I need to remember, Love is not fickle.  It is not a feeling that can just go away.  It is a live and passionate emotion that can overcome all obstacles, it conquers all fear.  I am humbled to know that there is nothing I can ever do to deserve the love God gives me.   If it were up to me, I would have thrown myself into the dungeon a long time ago.  You see, it is in this love that we have hope.  When we keep messing up, time and time again, we can be assured that God is looking on us with love, not scorn.  He see's the bigger picture, we only see the sin.

Friday, March 2, 2012

All Over the Board

I'm afraid I have so many things on my mind, that this post might be a bit scatter-brained! You'll have to forgive me, and I apologize in advance.  There seems to be so many things that I am learning, that God is teaching me lately.

The first and major one is that God is LOVE.  He has been showing himself to me in so many ways and frankly making me love Him even more.  I am finding that a relationship with God is two ways, not just one.  I've spent so many days filling up the prayer list with endless requests, reading the bible but not really studying it, and walking the walk, talking the talk.  None of which are bad, but my God is a jealous God.  He wants more of me.  He wants me only.  He loves it when I talk to him, just talk.  He loves it when I ask Him for advice before my friends, He loves it when I goof around with Him and can only hope He's laughing with me! He does little things for me, and sometimes I am just overwhelmed at the thought that a BIG GOD, who created all the universe loves a little ol' human like me.  Nevertheless, He does! Oh! He does!

My church is reading the gospel of John together.  We are on day 12.  We also are applying this simple tool to help up study the word instead of just read it.  It's called SOAP.  S-cripture, O-bservation, A-pplication, P-rayer. As I look back on what I have written down for those I am seeing two very important things that God is telling me through these scriptures, along with a bunch of other stuff.

1) Be Thankful! WOW! I am so blessed to have a God who loves me, who died for me, who protects me daily, who wants to be with me, who is so wise, smart, who blesses me everyday.  How can I not be thankful! I have so much! I should have none, but God loves me too much.

2) Give all Glory to God.  God has blessed me with talents that can be so beneficial to His Kingdom someday.  As a recipient of those talents, it's quite easy to think, "It's all about me! Look how good I am!" That's not it at all.  God has given us these talents with a much bigger purpose.  Why would I for one instant take glory away from God when He is the one who gave me these things? He has done so much for me, for us, for everyone! Trust me when I say this, He deserves ALL the Glory.  What a great God we serve!

Another thing that has been on my mind lately is friendship.  How I am blessed to have friendship in my life.  I am close to several people and these people have poured into my life wisdom from God himself.  They have been there when I needed someone, they pray for me more than I probably realize, They genuinely care about me, and want to be there for me.  How nice it is to have someone there when I am feeling sad, down, or depressed. What a blessing it is to have someone impart Godly wisdom for a situation I am going through.  God uses these relationships in my life.  I am so blessed by them.  Friends are important.  God didn't create us to be alone and oh how I see that become evident in my life.

One last thing.  Prayers? They really do get answered.  My church's bible reading plan has been bringing forth prayers to change me and oh how they have been.  God is changing me! How exciting that is! My heart is becoming less calloused, and more open to compassion.  And here's the thing... I did nothing to change it, God has done everything in me.  He has made me a new person..

My God is an awesome God! I love Him!

Monday, January 30, 2012

No Excuse

As a Christian, the bible says that we are "Without excuse."  I find that saying is haunting me lately.  There are so many things we make excuses for, so many things we make up false thoughts in our head so that we can still do the things we love, the things we replace God for, so we can be "Happy."

A long time ago, my mother and I were having a heart to heart conversation about our weight problems.  As we were unloading on each other and helping each other up, she had something to me that still haunts me to this day.  I don't remember how exactly she said it but it goes something like this, "A Christian who is an emotional eater shows non Christians that you are hypocritical," Christians proclaim freedom in Christ, yet I walk around everyday with an encompassing sign that says, "I am addicted to food.." that is proven by how I look.  She's right, she's very right.  I can't seem to shake it but who am I to tell people you need to put Jesus first in your life, when I myself so obviously put Him second? Who am I to tell someone to find your comfort in God, when I myself so obviously find comfort in food?

A couple years ago, I know that I was promised by God my freedom in this area.  Freedom hasn't come yet, but it isn't because God hasn't come through with His promise, it's because I won't let Him.  I am prohibiting my freedom somehow and I am determined to let go, and let God. Whether it's fear of the unknown, or my past failures who never fail to let me know that I have failed and will do it again, whether it's because I have a lack of faith, or trust, or whatever the reason is.  I am actively leading a hypocritical lifestyle

I am bought with a price, Jesus paid it all so I could have freedom.  I wasn't meant to be in bondage, and I wasn't meant to live a life of addiction.  God has something BIG planned for me, I am meant to be witness, to spread the word of Christ and to ultimately bring honor and praise to my Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ himself. This is it, This is now.  I take a stand and say, "I am a child of God, no weapon formed against me shall prosper!"

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Life Happens!

Life does indeed happen.  After receiving the surprising news that I was losing my newest job about a week ago, I can not even begin to describe how amazing God has been through it all.  The peace that has encompassed me has been nothing short of valuable.  From a person who has lost their job twice in four months, I am doing amazingly well.  My God is still God, and He has blessed me immeasurably.

What do I do now? Well, I go on, I try again, I fill out more job applications, I apply for unemployment, and I strive for the next step God has for me.  I have a few leads for a new job,  some of which excite me! I will definitely keep you posted.

When I first heard that I was losing my job, normally I would call my mother and bawl my head off wondering what my next step would be, but God had already poured his peace on me that went I got to my car, I immediately started talking with God what our next step should be.  This was when all the plans to move out came to be.  It was decided that I want to be fair to my current landlords and give them my notice since I know there is no way I can pay rent next month.  They were supportive of this decision.  As a result I am going back to live with my uncle in Bloomington.  I think it will be nice since he has a basement that is now finished and I can live down there and have basically my own two bedroom apartment.

Tons of questions go through my mind but I find it easier to tell God about them and just dismiss them right away because they can  put me in the wrong mindset.  I want to have a good attitude about this because I KNOW beyond a doubt that God is guiding me through this and He is leading me somewhere even better than ever before.  I have complete and absolute trust in Him and what He is doing in my life.  He is a God who provides, He has provided for me every step of the way and He wouldn't fail me now. To have a wrong attitude if even for a moment could mess things up.

I am perfectly happy knowing God is leading me.  To have someone take control and let me know which way is better is such an amazing feeling.  He spoils me, blesses me tremendously and happens to love me even more. How blessed am I to even know Him.