Limitless

Icy Forest

Do you know that feeling when you are high up and overlooking everything? It usually takes you a hike or some sort of ride to get you up to that kind of view. When ever I hike up a tall mountain with a high altitude I feel accomplished,  proud,  and very much tired, but so worth it!

Yosemite

Eagles can fly up to 10,000 feet which is the length of our The National Mall.

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Can you imagine flying that high? It would be really scary, THRILLING, but limitless, and freeing. How could you think about anything else, but that feeling?! In Isaiah 40:27-31

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They will soar on wings like eagles;they will run and not grow weary,they will walk and not be faint.

We hear this verse a lot as Christians, but have we grasped this yet fully? Because I am starting to get that picture of how much God wants to help us. Isaiah was speaking to the people of God and they could not grasp it either:

 

Why do you say, O Jacob,
    and speak, O Israel,
“My way is hidden from the Lord,
    and my right is disregarded (ignored) by my God”?
Have you not known? Have you not heard?
The Lord is the everlasting God,
    the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He does not faint or grow weary;
    his understanding is unsearchable.

He gives power to the faint,
    and to him who has no might he increases strength.
Even youths shall faint and be weary,
    and young men shall fall exhausted;
but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength

When things are hard. When life doesn’t go as planned. When hard situations and long suffering is present. How many times I have heard this verse and the reality of it faints away when I loose my strength, when I let doubt come, and fear takes place. How simple the words “Help me God,” can be like bricks to pray when I need to say it. How many more times does my Heavenly Father have to remind me that He is the answer to help? How these verses could easily save me so much sorrow and trouble. Believing it could easily turn my morning into dancing, but instead I choose to put on rags; instead of glory, and neediness; instead of victory.

I so want to grasp this truth, because I know if I miss out I wont be able to serve God how I ought too. I will miss out on so much. I see those that serve in missions in dangerous places. Their faith is tested everyday and still they preach the gospel. They have a peace that God is with them and don’t live a life of doubt. How could they?
God is saying that we can have that amazing feeling. That flight like an eagle, soaring, freeing, limitless feeling high in the sky. We can have that strength through rough seasons day after day. We don’t have to be weary of it, but instead we can have this strength from God. Let’s encourage one another saying you don’t have to be weak! You can be strong! You don’t need to be in dispair of your situation, you can have joy. Let us write these truths on our hearts so we never forget them. ❤@ourplanetdailyのInstagram写真をチェック • いいね!56.9,000件
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The Mask

We wear the mask that grins and lies,
It hides our cheeks and shades our eyes,—
This debt we pay to human guile;
With torn and bleeding hearts we smile,
And mouth with myriad subtleties.
Why should the world be over-wise,
In counting all our tears and sighs?
Nay, let them only see us, while
       We wear the mask.
We smile, but, O great Christ, our cries
To thee from tortured souls arise.
We sing, but oh the clay is vile
Beneath our feet, and long the mile;
But let the world dream otherwise,
       We wear the mask!
“We Wear the Mask” by Paul Dunbar
Been going through a rough time recently with a lot of changes in my family life as we are adjusting to being a larger family. As with many major changes, conflict can easily follow. Its all part of life that two people share together. But this isn’t about the struggles that I have had with my wife, I have been thinking about the hypocrisy of hiding my struggles from those around me.
I’ve always tried to control and calculate my life once I hit my teenage years and didn’t like change because it left me vulnerable. Now I had to get past certain things for sure to go to college, apply for jobs, marrying my wife(haha). But I’ve always hid parts of me from the different circles that I may be in. Sometimes its not appropriate to be sharing all that you are doing, like at work. Work places may just be better for general conversations unless that is your friend base. For me, my job is my way of taking care of my family and I generally don’t mix my personal life in. Then we have our friends, our church groups or sports groups; what ever it is past there. I would dare to say though that we still only show parts of ourselves to those who we call “friends”.
This is Dunbar’s point. I think there is especially great pressure now with all the social media pushing the pictures of happiness, self help books, Youtubers making slogans like “happiness is a choice” or “Smile More” as if there is a personal solution to every issue we face in life. But we still fall short; and most of us will hide that and act like the times are still good. Recently I opened up to a friend about some of the stuff that I was struggling over with my wife and his response was “I thought you guys were solid.” Solid yes that we took our marriage vows earnestly when we said tell death do us part, but that never meant we weren’t going to have arguments or hurt each other emotionally. We are still broken and are part of a broken world.
Paul wrote numerous times to various churches (I Thess 5:11; Eph 4:2-3; Heb. 10:24-25) about the building each other up. However, we will never know how to build one another up if we aren’t humbling ourselves and living open with one another. Last night, my wife and I were challenged by one of our pastors and his wife to seek out those around us at church and in humility to ask for help and advice for our lives. This isn’t going to people and pouring out our woeful story; this is coming and admitting we are struggling and that we need help walking through or away from whatever is hurting us.
Jesus spoke about those who made appearances on the outward but concealed who they really were (Matt 23:25-29 is a great reference). Its easy to think that when Jesus warned his disciples about the religious leaders, that it wouldn’t characterize us. And yet, all the disciples left Jesus when he was arrested and Peter went on to deny even knowing him. So we can’t say that we don’t share in the same short falls that we see in others. But to end with this thought, James says in 1:6 that if we doubt when we pray (Christians doubting) we are as unstable as water in a storm, which means we have forgotten the power of the gospel and are allowing the power of this world to tell us what is possible and not possible. Let us remember the power of God and let go of our fears, essentially take off our mask. Time to build true relationships with others who believe the power of God is making us new and is completing His work every day to accomplish His plans for us.

Wait!

I was going to do a looonng post about how I have been overwhelmed by the lack of direction, goals, or joy. Confused why God is allowing me to feel so desperate for direction and help for so long. Why is He making me wait? These past couple weeks He has been speaking to me through verses ( James 1:2-3, Matt 6, Prov. 3:1-6, Luke 13). All telling me to wait, continue to be faithful, have joy in long suffering. I knew what the response should be, but I just kept swallowing it and not ready to respond in surrender. Instead, during worship I’d ask Him how does waiting help me at all? What turned the mood of this post is when I again asked Him, “Why are you doing this to me?  And if that wasn’t dramatic enough including the words; yelling inside of me, “Your daughter!” He quickly responded back very clearly, ” I put my own Son to suffer for you. Will you suffer for me?”

Nothing like a sting from a spank to shock you. After He said that I felt ashamed. It was a wake up call that I really needed to get me out of myself. Because it really came down to this.  He kept telling me over and over and it hadn’t changed. Are you going to be faithful? Are you willing to suffer for me? Do you love me enough to do this?

Recently, my pastor spoke these words in his sermon that totally convicted me. These are his sermon notes:

He said, For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light (Matthew 11:30). Those words of Jesus can be viewed from two vantage points. 1. The invitation is to submit our lives to His rule, to His will. The will of Jesus for your life and mine is always a perfect fit. It’s not a burden to irritate you or hurt you. Whatever task Jesus sends us on is made to fit our needs and our abilities perfectly. Real peace and real joy are always the result of pleasing God. 2. Serving Jesus is not effortless, but the love of Jesus for us moves us to love Him — 1 John 4:19 We love (Him) because He first loved us. Our love for Jesus lightens the weight of the burden. Love always lightens the load. Think about it. Love on the human level lightens loads. Genesis 29:20 So Jacob served seven years for Rachel, and they seemed to him but a few days because of the love he had for her.

-Pastor Richard Cimino

Do I love Jesus enough that the burdens I carry seem light? I thought I loved Him, but to be honest I complain when it’s heavy. The love I have for Jesus are not stronger than the burdens that I feel.  I still take advantage of the blessed future that is ahead of me. I know I will fall short, but I want to fully embrace the future of fully living for Jesus than to miss it and choose an easier one.

Right now I am continuing to pray/hope for a heart of surrender.  My child like spirit is still feeling very overwhelmed by the thoughts of waiting. I’m understanding that it is very normal to wait for God’s timing. It’s all the more growing in structure in faith.  I am grateful for His words that He spoke over me. I needed to not wait anymore to fight the words of waiting, but surrender to them. I have had so much more peace once I had done that.

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Goodbye

Usually, when New Years comes around I get really excited and can’t wait to for the current year to end. This time it’s a new story. It’s been the most challenging year ever, but it also meant one of the sweetest times that I have bonded with the Lord. I had a lot of new adventures. The difference entering this new year compared to this year is, I’m unsure what’s happening. Andrew and I knew adventures were going to happen in 2017. The only things God has been bringing up in my mind and my prayers for this new year is compassion and maturity.

The word compassion has been weighing a lot on my heart. I know if I could gain this, I could do so for Christ and His work. Because right now either fear, pride, anger, or laziness gets in the way of really showing a Christ like character. If compassion trumped all these things I could lead more to the Lord. Having a heart for people rather than myself.

Compassion is very much the opposite in how I’m feeling today. I think postpartum is probably hitting me, because I’m crying and afraid about a lot of things. I still feel emotional about my journey of being a mother. I’m afraid of having to give up my desires in order to invest in my kids. I can see how much they need me. It’s a good thing to know that I am needed, but at the same time I don’t want to deal with it at the moment. I wish I could enjoy this time, instead of wishing I was doing something else. Maybe this is the new phase of stretching that I need. Leaning on Christ in a different way. I know there is so much more I need to learn. Hoping 2018 is the year of much growth in maturity.

Hoping to be spending more time sharing my journey with you all. Have a Happy New Year! 🙂

Safe Place For Our Mess

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I don’t like showing much of my messy side, but here it is the raw truth. It’s a mess. I have never been so tired of seeing my house look chaotic. I would say I have been known to having a clean house, but if you saw it now you would think otherwise.  It has taken me three days trying to catch up on the dishes.  I have three loads of laundry sitting there waiting to be folded. I’m so tired of trying to catch up with it all. I have come to realize it might be like this for a while. It’s really hard for me to grasp this concept, because I have always had a clean home. I can’t function with a messy house and I don’t feel accomplished if it’s messy. Just like getting ready for the day, if I am continually in my pjs I feel crappy.  I can’t even leave the house with it in chaos, but today I had too. Otherwise, I would never get out of the house. Just another phase I need to get use to and be okay with I guess.

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One quality that I wish I had right now is to be more honest about the real stuff, like my messy kitchen. That I need to not be embarrassed and act all together. I want to learn to create a safe place for others to share and be themselves with their messes without me being judging or trying to fix their problems. Learning more and more as a Christian we should be open to one another about our struggles and make a safe environment for each other. I appreciate when others give me that security to share my struggles so I can major and grow. It’s refreshing when others are honest too. I lack this quality so much and I am very eager to learn to do this better.

Unsure Of

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It’s been a weak week. It’s so true when you don’t spend time alone with God everyday other things creep in. It all started for me being hurt from others. Then struggling with isolation from others and being home gets to me so much. It’s been depressing when I can’t do much moving and then all I want to do is be alone and be relaxed. Its been hard for me to go to God with my frustrations. I know I’m not doing things right, but what I realized more is that when I do have a hard time going to God when I feel hurt and overwhelmed is that I don’t believe him when He says He is always faithful and loving.

Andrew has been really trying to be here for me. Trying to pray for me. Trying to encourage me of what God is doing in my life. But I can’t agree to pray with him most times. His words I don’t find encouraging. I just feel like it’s God trying to correct me 24/7 and I don’t find it loving. I can’t pray sometimes to Him because of the hurt.

Spending time in His word tonight helped a lot and got me refocused on Him. I’m still unsure of which is life happenings or Him purposefully teaching me a life lesson. I know that all He wants is for us to spend time with Him and that’s our goal. Our purpose is found in Him, but I still feel empty and think He doesn’t want me to do anything. That’s not biblical and doesn’t make sense either. So how to find the balance? What’s His will? What if it’s my personal weaknesses getting in the way? What is the truth  behind all of what is all happening? I’m praying for mercy hoping for grace in this time of not understanding and not grasping fully God’s love for me when I am confused by how He is showing it. I want to believe that He still loves me when I get frustrated with confusion. I hope I can just have grace from people and not judgement.  I want sympathy and help, not correction and point the finger at my faults. Because I want the truth but I’m so confused what is true and not.

God please open my eyes and mind to understand and know the difference. God please have patients with me when I am weak and a sinner. Help me to understand and have hope for now and the future. Amen