Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Checking Off A Prayer List - Thankful!

Do you ever stop and think about what you were doing at this time last year?  One year ago today I was in Cheyenne, Wyoming (where it is ACTUALLY cold - not this wimpy 40 degree winter here in Texas) on my hands and knees scrubbing floors, polishing porcelain toilets, dreaming of the day I would get to see God fulfilling the desires of my heart, and repeating the following Bible verses over & over & over again.
Jeremiah 29:11 "For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. 
& to be completely honest there were moments when I felt discouraged and lost as I could not see ahead - for the beauty that was to come.  In one of these moments this verse was given to me
 Job 17:11-12   My days have passed, my plans are shattered, Yet the desires of my heart, turn night into day; in the face of the darkness light is near.
& then 6 months later this was me - sitting at my desk working for my favorite Christian Radio Station in Austin, Texas. SWEET JESUS right?!
I imagined all would be well when I arrived in Texas, that suddenly the sun beams would break apart the storm clouds of my life and the forest animals would line up hand and hoof/paw to dance merrily with me (Cue the Disney Princess music!)
Reality calling - EARTH TO RHIANNA - yeah, hi! You're going to make negative amounts of money the first two months because you have to pay for two children in childcare, gas money to drive thirty minutes away for work, & oh yeah I'm just going to throw breaking a side view mirror on a car that is not yours by backing out of the garage on top of it JUST to see how much you REALLY trust me in the financial areas of your life. Thank God for church family during this time! For those of you reading this right now - my words will never express how truly grateful I am to all of you who helped during my time of need!
If you are a Face friend (Facebook friend)- you would have noticed the constant talk about shining your light and keeping it bright. Those things I post are not always just for the reader, they are most often times something I needed to hear too. In the dark I choose to focus on the light - Jesus (John 8:12).  & more Bible verses after all it is the instruction manual of living in this world!
THIS ONE (points below) THIS ONE!!!!
& THIS (please listen to song)
Well, here's the other big news in my life!  I think I've found it - (insert British voice) By golly I think I've got it!
Next Monday is my last day as the receptionist at Spirit 105.9 -a bitter sweet moment.  I will stay on the Promo team to help a few times a month because I love my Spirit family soooooo much & I could not imagine my life in Texas without them. 
But what will I be doing then you ask?
Okay first let's see what I prayed for every morning and every night for months upon months trusting and believing that God would make a way:
1) A job to glorify the Lord using the talents He gave me
2) A Christian environment
3) The chance to speak about my love for the Lord & to use the past experiences to help others
4) Enough pay to support my little men & me, along with benefits to take care of my family
5) Hours that are flexible so I can be apart of my mini men's lives more (totally missed going into Aydn & Kayl's classes to play)
6) A job that I can do and allow time to work on my speaking career
7) Work from home so I do not have to deal with insane traffic
I received a job as the Webmaster of a brand new church here in Austin. I get to use the talents God has gifted me, I got the pay I requested, I also get to work from home (more time with my mini men - YAY!!!) I will do some of their marketing as well... Oh and I also get to speak occasionally about God from a woman's point of view!
(I will provide more information on this Church next month once I get the website up and running - stay tuned!)

Oh & then - cherry topper - an organization near and dear to my heart just happened to need a new Webmaster!

Many of you do not know that I already post on Social Media sites for them - but now... NOW I get to help make alllllllllll the pretty & sparkly & encouraging & wonderfully awesome God glorifying  design decisions!!!!!

Psalm 37:4 is soooooooooooooooooooooooooo true....
Every struggle in your past has shaped you into the person you are today. Take God's hand and step into your future without fear. He is here and He will ALWAYS take care of you!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

A Promise & Then I Exploded (insert happy heart)

This picture above is the very first picture taken of Jesse and me.  If I could take you all back to that moment you would understand that I would NEVER have seen what was to come... this extra ordinarily amazing feeling of walking on the softest cotton ball puffs floating in the blue hazed sky, of the sound of his deep and soothing voice that strikes a chord in my heart that is an overture of a symphony filled with all the love, the way his chocolate brown eyes gaze into my soul and break every barrier I have built up when he whispers he loves me, the way he tells my little men how much he cares for them every chance he gets, how my heart feels like it is going to explode out of my chest as it is filled with so much thankfulness and happy ... I could go on for endless hours but the bottom line is
I am in Love.
How did it happen?  Well first this...
I gave my heart to God. All of the broken shattered pieces that were left from years of pain and abuse.  I told God and truly BELIEVED that HE is more than enough.
It's so true that HE is all that we need, but He also created man and woman for each other Genesis 2:18 The LORD God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.” 
In the beginning of this year I talked about how dating was a distraction from my relationship with God - of fulfilling the dreams that God instilled in me and that I have been working so hard at catching.  When I met Jesse I had zero intention of the relationship to lead to this crazy feeling of awesome that it has. Both of us were busy with our own lives - me moving to a new place and he was preparing for another deployment. We were both fully content in our relationship with Jesus and intent on strengthening that over anything else.  Yet in the busyness of life we each took the time to text once or twice a day - messages that involved prayer needs, general well wishes for the day, and occasionally a random vent session.  Okay, let's be honest, there were a few phone calls when I first moved to Texas that he heard an emotional girl on the other end of the phone balling my eyes because I missed everything about Wyoming but especially the constant hugs from loved ones... and he was always there to help me through it - such comforting words and genuine prayers.
A visit back to Wyoming for two gorgeous weddings in July lead to a beautiful day of hiking with my mini men, Koda Bear (Jesse's Dog), my lovely friend Tasha, me, and my future boyfriend - but at that moment I probably would have smacked someone if they told me that - ha!  As I watched him interact with my boys - asking Kayl if he was okay as he took a slight tumble over a branch, brushing the dirt off of his knee, and then telling him to walk it off (Mommy's are never very good at that part) & taking Aydn out onto the ledge of a huge rock, sitting right next to him, explaining the beautiful creation that was laid out before them, and how God's hands had created it all - some small twinge of a crazy feeling unknown hit me.  Knowing I had to go back to Texas, I dismissed it.
When I returned to Texas - I could not get rid of that crazy feeling no matter how hard I tried!  We both kept telling each other - we are just friends. We are best friends - that's all!  I kept telling myself that I was much to busy to add another person to my life.  He kept thinking about the walls of Jericho around his heart. This love thing psshhh... NOT happening... ain't nobody got time for that!
.... & then my little brother and amazing new sister-in-law had their wedding in Colorado at the end of September.  Here comes Grand Lake with all it's romantic EVERYTHING and before I knew it I was dancing in his arms to Jason Mraz's "I Won't Give Up" and standing next to the gorgeous back drop of fall colored trees adorning the Colorado mountains, a glass smooth lake reflecting a big luminescent moon, and a first sweet and simple kiss that ignited the fireworks in my soul that I feel today.
& then there were many weeks of this...  
Then Saturday came - the day my love began his journey to complete his third deployment for the Air Force.  Knowing that the constant conversations and sweet texts were coming to an end, that he would be  moving farther away from me rather than closer to me... that he could potentially be in danger and that our relationship was truly going to be tested (insert a million other thoughts!) He knew the uncertainty I felt, so he spent the week before he left planning a secret surprise involving conversations with a few of my closest friends (Thank you you two - I love you both so much!)  When I picked up the package that evening he told me to Skype him right away.  I tore apart the tape (fought with it mostly as tape and I do NOT get along) and inside sat a soft and cuddly stuffed Sea Otter (my favorite animal) holding a star (one of my favorite objects) with a string tied around it. Of course my reaction was "Awwww"  at the cuteness that he was providing & then he told me to pull the end of the string.  As I tugged at it, I looked up for a moment to see his beaming smile filled with love and adoration for me, & then this fell out on to my lap....

It is not an engagement ring. It's a promise ring.  A promise from my boyfriend (squeals like a teenage girl) to love me for as long as that symbol says.  This has been the most beautifully innocent relationship that has been centered on God and His will for us from the very start.  Who would have thought a need for moving boxes response to a post on Element Churches 432 Experiment and a Facebook friend request could have lead to this?! But here I am - sitting in awe of the love story God wrote for me, so grateful and thankful for all that He has done - & still having a hard time grasping that this is real. (Somebody pinch me please!) 
Everyone says some moments are too good to be true.  This moment  seems too good to be true, but that is how I know it is God. He is soooooo good! (Psalm 37:4, Mark 10:18)

Friday, November 8, 2013

May I Have This Dance?! *Twirl, spin, dip*

Hi Hi Hiiiiii everyone! So life. SO LIFE!!! Just this absolutely stunning journey that we all get the pleasure of traveling - I prefer dancing through it at every moment... so can I have this dance?!

I just wanted to jump on here briefly to update & also to say that my heart is bursting at the seams and filled to the tip top spilling over with thankfulness!  God is good when?  ALLLLLLLL the time!!!
1.) Last week was a dream come true.  Spirit Fest 2013 was incredible to say the very least and to see the huge crowd come together for almost an entire day to worship ....

*wipes forehead, fans face, grips heart, wipes joyous tears* 

There are no words so here is a montage of highlights from Spirit filled day...
THIS is my favorite moment - with every hand lifted (insert head to toe goosebumps)
Casting Crowns
Brandon Heath & Mandisa (Brandisa)
Brandisa in action
Tenth Avenue North

Joel For King and Country

2.) Okay so I am positive everyone on the book of Faces is noticing the massive explosion of love for and from a certain man named Jesse... sorry I'm not sorry.  HE'S AMAZING.  He also deploys tomorrow and I would appreciate all the prays, happy thoughts, and well wishes for him and his safety as we can get.  I miss him terribly and I know that it drives some of you crazy seeing all the mushy, gushy, love stuff - but it makes us feel good so avert your eyes if you must... you all have at least six more months of this. (there will be a blog about how this all came to be soon so stay tuned)

3.) ASTRONOMY IS MAKING MY BRAIN SPIN. I do not know how everything fits together but I do know that it does, and only one person understands it all - the creator of it all. Merging the knowledge I am taking in with my faith has been a doozy to say the least.  I have some pretty amazing classmates who discuss without offending and some awesome friends that are always willing to provide me with their insight (THANK YOU for that).  All I know is that I am NEVER against learning all things - even if it challenges my beliefs - for if it pushes against me I will either move or stand firmer on my foundation.  I LOVE LEARNING!!! (even if it hurts - ha!)

4.) I am speaking tomorrow morning at the Capitol Building in Austin, Texas on the topic of Suicide Awareness.  Happy thoughts, prayers, and well wishes for this to go smoothly are very much appreciated!  This topic is one that hits close to my heart in more than one way and I am sure it hits many of you reading this right now.  We need to talk about suicide - no longer keeping it hushed.  Together we can spark a revolution of change - of awareness that this darkness can no longer remain.  If anyone is suffering right now, PLEASE reach out for help - do not be ashamed!  Do not let this pain define you, let it refine you! Call here if you need help 1-800-273-8255. YOU ARE SO SPECIAL & THIS WORLD NEEDS YOUR LIGHT - DO NOT EXTINGUISH ITS SHINE!  SENDING OUT LOTS OF LOVE AND HUGS.

5.) I love my boys, my boyfriend (blows kiss to him as he reads this), my family and friends (who I MISSSSSSS so much!), laughing, my new home in Texas, my old home in Wyoming (Which I ALSO MISSSSSS so much!), and I am so extremely thankful. *stops and breaths it all in* In this moment there are a thousand things running through my brain - but that list of the things I love... they are REAL and RIGHT NOW.  Proverbs 16:9 The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps.

"Maybe the best thing to do is to stop trying to figure out where you are going and just enjoy where you are at." - unknown
That is exactly what this is - enjoyment and gratitude for where I am at.
& YOU reading this right now.  Thank you for being in my life.  No matter how big or small of role you play I am truly thankful and extremely blessed to have you. Happy Friday!!!