Never said it was gonna be easy

I have decided to return to school…

It wasn’t a hasty decision or one that just popped into my head. It was a tiny voice that was in the back of my mind for a while now and after my 33rd birthday, i figured it was now or never.

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An Answered Call

Madison Prays @ Walter's FerrySome of you know of the hell I have been through lately. Personal and from Work and yet sometimes I feel like more gets added onto my plate that it’s overflowing and I just don’t know what to do. Sometimes you wonder what did we do to deserve this kind of treatment. Did we not pray enough? Did we not listen? Did we do something wrong and didn’t know it and we are being punished for it? I’m not saying God does these things to us but our mind tends to wander on the negative and God gets the brunt of it. I guess it’s just easy to blame something we know is there and can hear us but don’t get to talk back — at least I didn’t think so…

One day at work I was having another crappy day when I saw one of our substitute teachers. She is a good friend of mine and is now a celebrity from my Little Steps/Church family after her and her husband made Madie’s birthday party a huge hit! Well she asked me what was wrong and I continued to tell her just that and as I began to cry she hugged me and told me things were going to be alright. Than she looked at me and said “You know, my husband always tell me that no matter what we do — we are doing it for the Lord”. She continued to explain that my daily and work life should be given back to him. It’s not for my boss, it’s not for my daughter, it’s defiantly not for me — its all for God. I had heard this before from my mom and others but didn’t really take it to heart. I told her okay and walked off and proceeded through out my work day. It was until 4 hours later when I went to take my lunch break that the Lord really wanted me to pay attention to the teacher’s words.

I was checking my e-mails and saw one from Air1 with the scripture of the day. I’ve had this daily scriptures sent to my e-mails for almost 2 years now and it’s funny how we think it’s not that important at the time but it was brought to me for a reason — and this was it’s reason. The scripture read:

“Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people” ~ Colossians 3:23

I think I had a deer caught in the headlights moment when I read this. Four hours after I talked to the teacher and four hours I got a scripture from a source that had no idea I just had this conversation. It amazes me just how the Lord really does speak to us if we just listen. I have a feeling I have missed a lot of his calls and that is why he had to literally put it right in my face but I’m glad he did because after that moment I felt such a huge release from my shoulders. Why was I scared or letting my life’s problems getting to me? It’s all in God’s timing so why am I thinking the worse or being impatient? We are human and yes these are flaws we deal with but we gotta remember one thing — God never fails. Everything happens for a reason. This teacher and this radio station was used for God’s plan to help me get through my mess.

I talked to the teacher later on and told her what happened. She looked like I had just punched her in the gut. She couldn’t believe how she was used for God’s work and she began to cry. It just floored her and she was so thankful for telling me the story. And did it end there? of course not! Lord never stops. When I was talking to her, I let her know of the scripture that came to my phone the next day and it read:

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us.” ~ Hebrews 12:1

I told her that scripture was for both of us. We are surrounded by God with the people we are with and we need to let go of the sinful worlds baggage and let him be in control. Let us stand together; help each other; and know God’s plan for us.

I really wanted to express this because I know we go through this daily. We never know if God is listening and we never know if God even cares. I can tell you he does and if we just stand together, love on each other and help each other, God will use us to help others bring him to his glory. Because, what else is better in life but him?

– J

Pizza or God?

© Jessi Renee PhotographyLet’s take a quick poll! Who has eaten a piece of Pizza? and who has only eaten ONE piece their whole entire life? I am gonna assume that everyone reading this has eaten a piece of pizza and has eaten more than one. Where am I going with this exactly? I stole this little idea from the message today at church. You eat something you like and you crave more of it, so why don’t we do that with God’s word?

Yes, this will get heavy…

He said something today that got to me. When we leave a message from church we say “I was fed” or “It didn’t fill me up” — referencing as being filled with God’s word or not fulfilled, just like when we eat food. Why should we expect to be fed or filled up once a week when we need to eat food everyday? This was the whole point of the message; we must communicate with God daily.

Why don’t we though? It’s hard enough sometimes to remember to make important phone calls or do the laundry with my hectic schedule, but yet I manage to take the time and do it; why is it so easy to just push God off to the sidelines? I guess we can think of multiple different answers, but we can’t keep blaming the sin of the world for our life problems. We have free will for a reason and yes it is not easy to have free will but we do have the freedom to make our own choices.

Here is my challenge and hopefully for you as well… It’s time to put away the games, the media, the distractions and focus on the bible. They gave us a card today to do a scripture and then really reflect on it. I recently experienced this week emotion and stress and what I found at work faded in a blackboard was…

Jeremiah 29:11— “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.”

That is the scripture I am gonna start with. Will it be tomorrow? I can’t make any promises but when I am tempted to know “Who tweeted me this morning?” I need to shift my mind to “What does God have to say to me today?”. I need to remember he is first, not last. The 3 questions I will use to reflect on the scripture will be:

  1. Underline any important words that help you understand this passage and try to give them quick definitions.
  2. What is this passage saying about God?
  3. What would it look like for you to live out the truth of this passage?

Everything starts off as an experiment, if this doesn’t help me remember to focus more on God and not let life get in the way than I need to find a plan B but its a start and I know we all have to start somewhere.

– J