Sunday, February 26, 2017

Wait...Again

“But if we hope for what we do no see we wait for it with patience.”
Romans 8:25
Wait and patience, the two words that the Lord has been giving me over and over during my time in Browning, Montana. Through this time my team and I have endured more than I could have ever thought possible. We have gone through crazy weather conditions, almost every holiday away from friends and family, and we have experienced the Lord in new ways. I am not saying that this time is over, actually we still have a lot left and a lot to learn, but still the words that the Lord gives me is wait and patience.

In this season of waiting it has not been easy, honestly I don’t even know what I am waiting for. I know the things I pray for and the desires that the Lord has placed on my heart, but I truly don’t think those are the specific things the Lord in going to grant me. Maybe He is and maybe He just wants to show me that He does want to bless me with the desires of my heart. Some days I don’t truly believe He would bless me in such a way, but then I remember who it is that we serve and He wants to give me good things, and He wants to give me the desires of my heart, but not until I first give them over to Him. Not until I fully surrender all at His feet, giving Him every part of my being. When He then has everything, every thought, every desire, every want laid at His feet surrendered to Him, God is then able to give them back one by one with a blessing attached. I am not saying this will be an immediate thing. It may take weeks, months, or years for Him to give them back to me, but when He does I know they will exceed any thought or dream I ever had. Because God is the God of exceedingly and abundantly more than I could think or imagine. A life surrendered to Him doesn’t make sense in our earthly minds, but it makes sense from Gods view and in His kingdom. When I have everything surrendered to the Lord I then look to Him for everything. When I walk, I walk looking towards Jesus, with my eyes on Him I am then unable to look at the circumstances around me, because my eyes are fixed only on Him. This is a beautiful placed to be in because then He is able to lead me in the direction I am to go. As I follow Him along this path He is then able to bless me along the way. One thing I have learned from those who have gone before me is that you are either preparing to go into a trial, you are going into a trial, or you are coming out of a trial. Basically we will face trials. And the funny thing is the bible says we will face them, but we often get to a trial and cry out to God asking Him why. He just looks at us and says I told you this would happen, now trust me and we will get through. He doesn’t say here’s a trial now get through it He says let me guide you through this. I am beyond thankful that I have a savior that will guide me through the storms of life. Someone who says wait and be patient, but then says, while you wait lets hang out so you are not lonely, allow me to guide you to the thing I have waiting for you. He doesn’t leave, He says lets do this together and walk this road hand in hand patiently enduring the trials that come your way.

Five Loaves and Two Fish

John 6:9 
“There is a boy here who has five barley loaves and two fish. But what are they for so many?”
Five loaves and two fish. The lord has spoken this to me multiple times in the last two days. In this season I often find myself worn out, tired, and exhausted. Not from what we are doing but from just the emotions of it all. To be completely honest it's the little things like the wind, or the snow, or I guess it's now the melted snow that is mud right in front of my door that I do my best not to step in yet it happens every day. My emotions are just done. I have reached the end of what I can give as a person. Often I feel I am unable to love any deeper. I just can't give anymore. And then I turn to God and He tells me all I want are the five loaves and the two fish. Is that too much to ask? And I ponder this idea. Instead of over doing it all God asks of me is to give what I can and let him do the rest. He never asked me to move the mountains or to stop the winds (which I wish I could) He just asked me to have a little faith and He would do the heavy lifting. I guess in this time I am learning it's not anything I can do but everything He can. It's not about me and my abilities it's about Him and His abilities. He is taking the little I give each day and magnifying it in his kingdom. To be honest I have no idea what that means or how that plays out. All I know is that He has it under control and that I can trust Him to make it better than I would ever expect. Maybe I will never see it here on the reservation; maybe I won't even see it a year from now. But I know I will look back and say I gave what God asked of me. I put in my five loaves and two fish. The rest was up to him. 


A New Thing

"Remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the dessert." Is. 43:18-19
When the Lord first gave me this verse at the beginning of the year I truly thought He was telling me that He was finally going to bring new things to us here in Browning. I thought that the ministry here would begin to finally flourish the way I imagined it would be during my field time. Little did I know is that God was about to do a new thing in and through my heart. I saw that my mind and my heart to this place was slowly becoming more and more hard. I was closing myself off to the children and the ones that I was sent to love on. He has changed my heart and mind to seek him in new ways. Praying more and relying on my time with him more and more. I seek that quiet moment of the morning or the quick verse in the afternoon to get through the day. I am seeing more and more how much I have to rely on him for my strength throughout the day. God is teaching me and doing a new thing in me, not the people or the circumstances around me, but in my heart and my mind. I am now turning to Him to seek comfort and joy and not to the people and situations around me. I may not get it right each day. But this is a process and He is teaching me a new thing each and everyday. 


Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Teachers


Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness.”
James 3:1 ESV
this verse hits me hard each time I read it. All growing up I have always been a natural born teacher. Playing school with my friends, always helping the younger kids at family functions, it all just came naturally to me. While growing up my mom saw this natural talent in me, She always encouraged me to become a teacher. First, knowing it was something I was good at and second saying it's a great profession for having a family. I ran from this natural born gift for as long as I can remember. First, it was in high school when I decided I would go to culinary school instead of college. Thankfully the Lord got control of my heart and mind and changed my path. Then, it was my sophomore year of college when I decided to change my major to speech pathology. I ultimately learned that I hated this major and quickly changed it back to teaching. The final dart was when I was in my graduate program and was not succeeding in the thing I know God has given me a gift to do. That's when I stopped and I packed up and moved. Away from family, and friends. It was a rough time and I needed to know this was truly Gods calling on my life. So why am I on the mission field now? Why am I not in a classroom teaching like so many of my classmates? It's because of God. He knew that I was scared. He knew that I was holding myself to an unattainable standard that I would never reach. This would be perfection. So he gave me a year. One year to seek Him, one whole year to do life on the mission field, not only serving Him but seeking Him and learning who He created me to be.
So why does this verse still haunt me? Because, I am the girl who seeks perfection. I hold myself to standards I am constantly unable to reach. When I feel like I have failed I run. If I don't meet my standard I am completely crushed. And now I read in Gods word that if you are a teacher you will be judged more harshly? That's just great, not only do I do this to myself, but also now God is going to do this. But that’s it. If I am seeking him and he is leading me to be a teacher, then he will be faithful to forgive and give grace. Not that I am to live my life dependent on these alone, but I am to lead in a manner worthy of him, but I am human an I will mess up, and when I do I know he will be there to lift me back up and give me the strength to continue on. Because he is not only our great judge he is also our Heavenly Father, our Protector, our Healer, and our Great High Priest who is always there in our time of need.

Seek First His Kingdom

28 But if God so clothes the grass, which is alive in the field today, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, how much more will he clothe you, O you of little faith!29 And do not seek what you are to eat and what you are to drink, nor be worried.30 For all the nations of the world seek after these things, and your Father knows that you need them. 31 Instead, seek his kingdom, and these things will be added to you.
Luke 12:28-31
Seek first his kingdom...such strong words. Lately I have been hearing people tell me over and over to let God into the small parts of life. If you are like me you have always let God into the big decisions. Like when I was going to college where was I to go. Or what ministry God wanted me in. For example when God called me to IGNITE I knew he was going to have to provide the finances and you know what he did before I even left for the program. As I have been thinking about what to do next I have sensed God tugging on my heart to finish the schooling I have already started. He has given me vision for the future that I never thought he would. I was really eager to take this next step in submitting applications, but I knew I didn't have the finances to pay for the applications. So I decided to take a step back and wait on God. I put out my prayer that if this desire was truly from him he would provide what I needed. I sought first his kingdom and then I forgot about it. Weeks later I realized that this small pray had been answered with just enough for me to take the next step. This moment has fully renewed that small spark of faith I was looking for within me. It is easy to become comfortable and forget that we need to keep God at the center of everything that we do. This small act has reminded me to seek him first in all areas of life and to lay all my plans and my desire at his feet so that he is able to provide more abundantly for me.