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Tuesday, February 26, 2013

He cares about my computer?

I have bad luck with electronics. The cd player in my car and my ipod were destroyed four years ago on a bad date. My laptop quit working a week after I moved out of my parents, three years ago. I dropped my cell phone the day after I canceled insurance on it, last month. The screen is cracked, the battery life is two hours at best, and sometimes it just quits working.
I promise, I am not complaining. I've been okay. I know I could spend money to remedy all of that, but it just isn't that important to me. So, I listen to cassette tapes in my car, or when my phone isn't being sassy, I plug it into a cassette adapter, and listen to internet radio. I don't mind going to the library to use the computers to write. I love to people watch. And I have an app on my phone to write all of my blogs on when its late at night. It's how I've done it the past year. I like it.
But, when approached to write consistently for, I knew I needed a more reliable computer. Life has been too busy to make it to the library, and I couldn't download an app to post from. So, I weighed my options. I could buy a used computer online, but who knows how shady that could be. So, I went to the store, hoping to be able to open store credit, and pay for some that day, and pay the rest off in the next couple months. I was denied. I was so annoyed.
Clearly this didn't make sense. I needed a computer to write about God's faithfulness. Why wasn't He being faithful?
I remember talking with my friend about my annoyance, and we agreed that this was just going to be a cool God story....eventually.
A week or so later, a friend got back to me about a message I had sent her about helping me look for a computer on Craigslist. I told her I needed it for writing and ministry. She then told me I could just have her old one, because they just bought a new one, and didn't know what to do with the old one. She told me she saw it everyday, sitting on a shelf, and meant to get rid of it, but it never felt like the right time. But she knew now was the right time. She drove it to me a few days later, and dropped it off. Free of charge. It isn't the nicest and the newest, but it works perfectly for me and my situation.
I am baffled again that the God of Heaven worked it out so I was not worried about paying something off, or driving around looking for one. He had it delivered to my front porch. He is so faithful. He cares about the tiniest details of my life.
What. A. God.
How has God wowed you lately? Are your eyes open to see it?
Happy Tuesday. Love, M

Sunday, February 24, 2013

A lesson from lights in the rear view mirror.

This morning, on my way to church, I was singing along to worship music while driving down the road. It had just snowed, so I-75 was a little slick. I was keeping up with traffic, going a safe speed. It was under the speed limit. So, imagine my surprise when I saw lights flashing in my rear view mirror for me.

I pulled over on the shoulder of I-75. It has always been number one on my list of places I didn't want to be pulled over. But, there I was. Slight panic rose in my chest as the officer walked toward me. He had a kind face, but I could tell very quickly he could turn into the bad cop. He then informed me that my tab on my license plate was expired. I knew this. I then explained my airheaded story. I had been so excited to put my new sticker on as soon as I got it in the mail for my birthday, I ran outside, and placed it on. Well, it had been slightly damp, because of the rain, it lost the stickiness. I was worried to leave it on there and lose it while driving, so I stuck it on the inside of my windshield to remind myself to get a new one. It had just been up there for so long, I completely forgot. The officer was slightly baffled, as he leaned in the window, and saw it.

He then asked for my driver's license, just to check everything out. I reached into the backseat to grab my purse. I did, and very quickly realized my wallet was missing. I frantically looked in the other random bags, but it wasn't there. I then in a very shaky voice admitted that I didn't know where my wallet was, but if I had to guess, it was on the kitchen counter, in my apartment. This never happens. I am normally a pretty responsible girl. I have been so good at having my purse and wallet together.

I must have looked close to crying, because he reminded me that I was not going to jail, and then he laughed. He asked me if I actually had a valid driver's license. When I replied yes, he told me to have a wonderful day, and to drive safe. That was it.

He never asked my name, he didn't give me a ticket for having my sticker in the wrong place, or for not having my license on me. He didn't lecture me, yell at me, or belittle me.

He showed me mercy and grace by not giving me what I deserved, and what I couldn't have earned in that moment.

All I could think of as I drove off, was how often does that same thing happen to me, but with Jesus.

When I make mistakes (sin), Jesus forgives me. Not because I have my act together, not because I'm cute, not because I am doing good things. He doesn't have to. But He does because of His grace, mercy, and love for me.

He loves me. I have His favor. I'm His girl. He has shown me grace and mercy.

It doesn't make sense. It isn't fair. And I am so grateful.

Have a wonderful start to your week.

Remember, no matter the situations you find yourself in, He is there.

love, M

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Right now.

Lately I have been struggling with being here.
A year ago today, I landed in Cochabamba, Bolivia, and my life changed. I long to be back. This week, I have gone through photos and blog posts from when I was gone. My heart aches to be there. I cry, confused as to what I really want.
Here, I have a wonderful job I love, a family that I adore more than anything, the most darling apartment in a sweet little downtown, a Target store ten minutes away, more people, ministries, and things to keep me busy than my schedule allows, my kitchen aid mixer, my tier of best friends, the most comfortable bed, and sushi every Friday night. It is a lovely, comfortable life.
What more could I want?
But something inside me hates this.
It is begging for a life full of fighting injustice, holding sick babies, feeding the hungry, caring for orphans, building hope, loving the unlovable, kicking down doors and rescuing lost girls, pouring into the poor, sharing a real Jesus, dancing in the rain, and watching God move mountains.
So, I pray. I don't know what I really want. I am scared to give up what I have, to get what I want. I look at my life now, brimming with certainty, and I think of another life, lacking all things sure and steady.
I will trust that He has me here for a purpose now, and I will not wish away my days daydreaming.
I am grateful that God is the One who directs my steps, because right now, I don't know where I would chose to be.
I pray for opportunities to go, and if I am told to stay, to have a content heart, and to be used here.
I sign my lease to my apartment to commit to be here for another year. Just wondering what life will look like in May 2014.
I pray diligently for friends on the mission field to be used in mighty ways.
I remember His timing is perfect. He is the author of it, and He is well aware of all that is happening, and all that is to come.
I dream big dreams, believing I have a God who is bigger than anything I could imagine.
I pray for clarity and peace in being wherever, doing whatever.
I rest in the arms of Jesus, knowing He's got this girl. And He's working it all out for my good.
And I'm thankful for an incredible group of people who love me, encourage me, pray for me, and read my ramblings.
Just an update from a girl that just wants to honor Jesus, even when her life is confusing...
Love, M

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Valentine's day of adventures

Happy Valentine's Day!

Today is a day when kiddos will bring decorated shoeboxes to school to trade goodies, husbands will bring flowers home, women will prepare candle lit dinners, girls will enjoy a boxes of chocolate with friends, daddies will write sweet notes to their kiddos, couples will get engaged, and the whole world will stop, and think on this idea of love.

Well, the store was out of my favorite candy, I don't have a significant other, and my plans for tonight are Bible study. But, instead of being cranky about it, I want to share why Valentine's Day is one of my favorite days.

The last few years of my life have been pretty adventurous. I have had many moments where it feels like everything pauses for just a moment, and then life changes drastically. A couple of my biggest moments happened on February 14th.

Last year, on Valentine's Day, I hopped on a plane (actually four planes) to go to Bolivia. Alone, and ready for adventure, I lived in South America for 6 weeks loving and caring for orphans, people on the street, sick babies, and people everywhere. I went not knowing what to expect, slightly scared outta my mind, but ready to watch what God would do. It was incredible. By far, one of my favorite things of my life.

Three years ago on Valentine's Day, I moved out of my parents, and into my first place. I was nervous. I had never lived alone. But, I found out who I was, I taught myself to cook, I had so many adventures in that little apartment. It was incredible. My relationship with Jesus became more real. He became my everything.

So, today, I embark on another adventure. Nervous, excited, and ready. A few girls and I are launching our new website today. Our heart is to share the Gospel, and God's grace. There are devotions, declarations, recipes, diy projects, places to ask for prayer, and even giveaways. Something will be posted every day, so keep stopping in. :) I encourage you to check it out. Today is our launch party day! Wander around, enter giveaway contests, and be encouraged. :)

So, today enjoy sweets with your sweeties, and know you are loved.

You are loved by a real God, the Creator of the universe. He desires to be the lover of your soul.

Happy Valentine's Day. Have a lovely day. Love, M :)

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Walking the Streets

Thursday Adventures.
This morning I woke up early, and met a few girls in downtown Pontiac. We loaded up our baskets, and began wandering the streets. It was still dark, the air was crisp, and flurries were beginning to fall.
We set out with purpose in our minds, love in our hearts, and gloves, hand warmers, muffins, and juice boxes in our baskets.
Every Thursday morning, a few wonderful women who just want to share the love of Jesus, bundle up, and walk the streets of downtown Pontiac. They search for the homeless, the broken, the weary, the hopeless, and the lonely. They hand out breakfast and gloves. When asked why they do what they do, its always the same response. They just want to share the real love of Christ.
There is no glamour to be found here. There is no award for being good people. The simple joy is found in the quiet "thank you's", the silent smiles, the hastening of gloves over frozen fingers, the shouts of excitement as these girls appear in alleys, and in knowing they are being the hands and feet of Jesus.
I had the pleasure of serving with them today. It was my first time. It was delightful. My heart hasn't smiled like that in a while. There is something so unique to this type of ministry that is intoxicating. It is such a joy to be apart of something that is really showing Jesus' love, not in theory, but in reality.
On my way, driving this morning, I began to pray a few things.
-I prayed my basket would be emptied. It was. I gave out 9 pairs of gloves to 9 men this morning. That's more than normal.
-I prayed I would be warm, even though it was below freezing. I was. By the end of the hour, I was sweating. As soon as I got to the car, I was taking off layers.
-I prayed I would remember why I was there. I did. Verses flooded my heart as I saw cold, lonely men who needed to be loved by a real Savior.
(Psalm 140:12 I know that the Lord secures justice for the poor and upholds the cause of the needy. Matthew 25:37b-40 Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.')
-I prayed for safety. We had it. Never once did I feel frightened, in danger, or even nervous. I knew Who had us. More verses filled my mind with reminders of my God.
(Psalm 28:7a The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and I am helped... Psalm 7:10a My shield is God Most High... Psalm 119:114 You are my refuge and my shield; I have put my hope in your word. Psalm 59:9-10a O my strength, I watch for you; you, o God, are my fortress, my loving God. God will go before me. Deuteronomy 31:8 The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do nor be afraid; do not be discouraged. 2 Timothy 1:7 For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.)
-I prayed for Him to speak to me. He did. And as always, it was the right thing, for the right time.
(2 Corinthians 12:9 But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.")
-I prayed for people to hear about Jesus. They heard. Not only in our actions and words, but in every bag that was handed out was a piece of paper that explained why these girls do what they do, and had verses pointing them to a real Savior.
So, I challenge you to pray, and watch God show up. Wait, expecting big things. And then, take action.
Remember, we are not always called the same way to serve. If I had a husband and babies, I wouldn't be able to just leave and do what I do. So, I once again praise Him for my season of singleness. I am not telling you to leave your kids to go to Pontiac at six am and wander in alley ways. We are all in different seasons, all with different talents and different abilities. Pray about it, ask God to show you were you can love people now, and share a real Jesus. You may not have to even leave your couch. People are needed to pray, to give, to encourage, to do, and to go.How can you love people and bring them to Jesus this week?
Please be praying for the homeless all over the world on these bitter cold, winter nights. And remember to be thankful for your warm pjs, bed, and home tonight. You are blessed, don't forget.
What a perfectly lovely day.
Love, M.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

When We Discover Jesus

I was reading this morning, and just stumbled upon a concept.
When we discover see Jesus, things change.
John 1:35-42
The next day John was there again with two of his disciples. When he saw Jesus passing by, he said, "Look, the Lamb of God!" When the two disciples heard him say this, they followed Jesus. Turning around, Jesus saw them following and asked, "What do you want?" They said, "Rabbi" (which means Teacher), "where are you staying?" "Come"he replied, "and you will see." So they went and saw where he was staying, and spent the day with him. It was about the tenth hour. Andrew, Simon Peter's brother, was one of the two that heard what John had said and who had followed Jesus. The first thing Andrew did was to find his brother Simon and tell him. "We have found the Messiah" (that is, the Christ). And he brought him to Jesus.
When we really discover who Jesus is (the promised Messiah, the Lamb of God, the Christ) we will want to follow him. Dropping everything and serving the One will be our focus. "They followed Jesus"
When we really discover who Jesus is, we will bring people we love to Him. We will not be embarrassed or afraid to share who He is, because He changed our everything. "The first thing Andrew did was to find his brother....and he brought him to Jesus"
When we will really discover who Jesus is, we will long to spend time with Him, wherever He goes. "They said "Rabbi" ... "Where are you staying?" they went... And spent that day with him."
I am praying that these become my focus, my intent, and my actions.
What ways can you follow him? Bring people to him? And spend time with him?
Happy Sunday.
Love, M