Thursday, October 13, 2011

The Lord Will Always Provide Enough

Working with the kids at the faith-based domestic violence shelter really has opened my eyes to how much I do have that I don't really need.  The same thing happened last summer when I went to Australia for two weeks to do volunteer work--I was staying in a VERY shabby hotel, with no heat or bed (and it was negative 5 degrees!), and no computer or cell phone.  When I first encountered my accomodations in Australia, I didn't know how I would manage to survive the next two weeks ahead of me!  After the first couple days, it turns out I adjusted quite easily, and not only did I learn to manage but I actually LOVED my lack of luxuries!  Not having constant distractions around me made me notice how wonderful life's moments can be if you take the time to relax and enjoy them.

Since I've been working with these kids who have been inflicted by domestic violence, I've had that same reminder that we don't need all that much to be happy and live wonderful lives.  I suppose one would expect that these children would be angry or depressed or sad, but it's actually quite the opposite!  They are so happy-even when living in a shelter with their past experiences still fresh in their minds.  Sure, there are days that are harder emotionally than others, but for the most part the children are so happy just when a volunteer talks to them for two minutes!  I think because of their experiences they extremely appreciate any tidbits of love they can get.  It gave me that same reminder of how very blessed I am that I have a nice, safe apartment with my husband and kitty cat and even though money can get pretty tight here in California, we still always have plenty of food, and we both have a car, and I'm able to go to college--we have more than enough of the essentials!  Which Garrett and I are very blessed and thankful for.  Having these reminders of how little one needs to be happy are so beautiful.  One, it helps you save money since it makes you be more mindful of only buying things you need, and two-it makes you realize that you can make so much out of life! 

Thinking about the children at the shelter really make me think of this passage from the Bible:

"Then the word of the Lord came to him, saying, 'Arise, go to Zarephath, which belongs to Sidon, and stay there; behold, I have commanded a widow there to provide for you.' So he arose and went to Zarephath, and when he came to the gate of the city, behold, a widow was there gathering sticks; and he called to her and said, 'Please get me a little water in a jar, that I may drink.'  As she was going to get it, he called to her and said, 'Please bring me a piece of bread in your hand.' But she said, 'As the Lord your God lives, I have no bread, only a handfull of flour in the bowl and a little oil in the jar; and behold, I am gathering sticks that I may go in and prepare for me and my son, that we may eat it and die.' Then Elijah said to her, 'Do not fear; go, do as you have said, but make me a little bread cake from it first and bring it out to me, and afterward you may make one for yourself and for your son. For thus says the Lord God of Israel, "The bowl of flour shall not be exhausted, nor shall the jar of oil be empty, until the day that the Lord sends rain on the face of te earth."'  So she went and did according to the word of Elijah, and she and he and her household ate for many days.  The bowl of flour was not exhausted nor did the jar of oil become empty, according to the word of the Lord which He spoke through Elijah."--1 Kings 17:8-16 (NASB)

Other than making me think of the appreciation of even having seemingly little, I love this passage for a few other reasons.  (1) It proves that the Lord will always provide, even if it seems our resources have almost run dry, (2) If you put all your faith in God, He will give you all that you need, and (3) We can discover from this passage that all we really need is just enough.  For in this passage, they didn't even need to begin with enough bread for several days to fill their need for food, they just needed enough flour and oil to make enough bread for those days.  All they had was enough-and it was still a great blessing to receive that!  I hope that I am always able to keep that mentality about life!

I love how His Word is always living and changing!  God is so good!


"For the Lord God is a sun and shield; the Lord gives grace and glory; No good thing does He withhold to those who walk uprightly.  O Lord of Hosts, how blessed is the man who trusts in You!"--Psalm 84:11-12 (NASB)

Monday, October 10, 2011

Love So Amazing

I don't have a ton of time at the moment for I'm off to go teach Chapel on Wheels, but felt a great urge to write a quick post.

This morning, I really wanted to center myself and spend some quite time with God this morning to prepare me for teaching today and so I can get a relaxing start to another hectic week.

I turned on some relaxing music, and layed on my couch and just spoke to God in my head.  Then, I really felt like picking up my Bible.  However, I didn't feel the need to pick it up to read it, instead, I just picked it up and while I was talking with God I just ran my fingers across the pages and over His words and flipped through them.  I kept doing this for a really long time-I was sort of in a trance.

Then I got teary eyed because I felt so much happiness from this and was very strongly feeling His love towards me.  While I was holding my Bible, the reason I felt so mesmorized by His words were because I kept thinking "I can't believe how much He loves me...this book is His like His love letter to me.  He didn't have to give us so much information about His promises, but He chose to out of His grace.  I can't believe all the things He's done for me.  I just can't believe someone I can't even see loves me so much." 

It just seemed so amazing to me that the Bible...the best-selling book in the world...was written out of His love and with each and everyone of us in mind.  THAT is pretty amazing.

And what's also pretty amazing, is that at church and Bible studies, so are surrounded by people who also know His amazingness.  Thank you God, for your love!

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Getting in the Groove of Things

Hello everyone!

I'm so happy fall is here!  We definitely needed some rain and cool weather-it was getting a little too hot in the summer!  Also, it's my favorite time of year for the holidays and the closeness of family and friends during this season.

I want to get better about updating my blog, it's been pretty sparse since I started school, but I'm getting more adjusted to my new schedule, and I think it's important for me to update my blog since it makes me pause and remind myself I need to schedule fun/relaxation time too!  Although I'm taking a lot of classes this semester, it's nice in a way because it is going by FAST!  Without having a ton of time to lolligag with homework, my business is helping school zoom by a bit.  I'm already 1/3rd through the semester!  Keep praying that I get good grades in all my classes for the remaining 2/3rds!

I'm liking my classes this semester a lot better than previous semesters...I feel that in the 400 level classes you get to do classwork more creatively and from your point of view applied to the material being studied, and they challenge you to critically think-as opposed to the 100/200 level classes where you are pretty much copying down and memorizing questions and answers...not a lot of freedom with that.

I'm approaching the second session of the Seed Women's Bible Study.  Even though we are only having our second  meeting, I've still been journaling about it on my own time to pull out the spiritual principles in the verses we are studying.  I already feel like I've grown so much in studying/journaling about the first session...I can't even imagine how amazing it will feel after I complete all six sessions!  I've been gaining so much joy, inspiration, growth, and knowledge more than ever recently from going to church, the young marrieds ministry, Seeds, and the women's agape group...which is FANTASTIC, however, I feel like since I'm receiving so much from God, I really wanted to give to Him as well.  As I think I may have mentioned before, I would really like to have a job where I am doing faith-based work, but I don't want to wait till ater graduation (nor should I) to give back.  Although I don't have a ton of time at the moment after school and the Bible studies/minsitries I'm doing, I've found a couple small ways to give back-I'm very excited, I think it's a great start.

Starting Monday, Oct. 3rd, I'm going to be one of the Chapel on Wheels teachers for a Yorba LInda Elementary School.  For those of you unfamiliar with Chapel on Wheels, it's basically a trailer that's like a mini church inside and once a week kids who have permission from their parents get to do 45 minutes of Bible study during the school day.  It's really fun...I did it when I was in fourth grade.  I think it's a great way to give back by spreading His Word, and plus I love kids! So I think love it.  I'm a little nervous since I've never done it before, but I know I can do it with God by my side (Phil 4:13)!!! 

I'm starting my domestic violence counseling training next Friday, so I'll blog about how that goes...until I finish it, I can't actually counsel DV victims, but I can still help them in other ways.  So in the meantime till I get my 40 hours of training done, I'm going to be volunteering by working in the nursery for a faith-based domestic violence women & children's center in OC. 

And to give you an update from my last post,  my counseling session with students from my school went very well!  The first session was mostly getting to understand the people I was working with, but the second session that was this past Thursday had great progress-I think it was pretty effective!

So, that's my life right now, and I'm loving it!  Thank God for blessing me with so many rewarding opportunities! He is so good!



P.S. A side note, if you haven't yet, check out the book Crazy Love by Francis Chan, it's great!  And check out this inspirational, sweet video: