Sunday, January 22, 2017

32 and Starting School Over

Give me a subject and I will write about it.
I know I have a big mouth and can do it, but ask me about God and my relationship with Him...
Now that is a BIG one. One I took a while to try to make short enough to make sense for a college entrance essay. Relationships are complicated. So, of course explaining my relationship with God was hard for me to muster up.  I had to think on it for a long while. I'm sharing in hopes other can see through little pieces of my journey they're not alone. 

"My beginning and Present Growth Relationship with God and How I see Myself as a
Good Match for Southeastern’s Academic and Spiritual Environment”

I have been procrastinating writing this paper because describing my relationship with God and why I know I’m a good fit for Southeastern has not been something I could put down in words. My past relationship and present relationship with God has been anything but an easily written essay but that’s exactly how I know He tailored it to be.

All of my life I have felt there was something missing. It’s almost like I was missing. I was a black hole of a person just wandering around aimlessly, unable to make a real friend, find a real hobby I could stick to, or even a career path I thought was meant to be in. There was a time I denied God altogether. At the time, I was 21, facing divorce, dealing with the start of an eating disorder, and my life was spiraling out of control. How could there be a God that would allow all of this to happen to me? That’s something I asked if “the God” conversation ever came up.

Eventually my heart was softened and life began to get better. I’ll save the details of that chapter of my life for another essay. God began to seem more real and I started going to church. I guess you could best describe me as a halfway in and halfway out Christian. God was place for me. I didn’t realize He wanted a relationship with me. I was ashamed to speak openly about Him or at all because I didn’t want to be what the world calls a “bible thumper,” or “radical.” Labels, labels, and more labels. I put God in a box and that is where He stayed for a very long time.

I’m here writing this paper to attend Southeastern only by the grace of God. He is the one who asked me to stop what I was doing professionally and start over. “Pastor.” That was it. I’m not saying I heard God directly, but the impression of Him on my heart is what He put: “Pastor.” I know in my heart of hearts I am suppose to learn how to be a leader in ministries both in school and through discipleship from church.

I’m a mom of 3 amazing boys. A stay at home mom who also was working from home as an entrepreneur. So when God asked this of me, my world turned upside down. Slow life way down and slow your business down to follow God. My biggest fears happened and many people did not understand why I did what I did and slowed down my business. I had to remind myself daily that fear is not from God and that we each bear our own cross when we choose to follow Him. I will not back down from what God is asking of me.

The biggest piece of this story is that for the first time I realized what spirit meant. I finally found Jesus. I finally understood that God doesn't belong in a box. God doesn't want me to just see Him on Sunday, but instead He wants a deep relationship with me. I actually enjoy reading the bible and life has new beautiful meaning now. I truly have been reborn.

Since then my heart has been bursting daily with the love of Jesus and the hopes that I can help others feel this feeling, and no, coming to God doesn’t mean your life is over. Coming to God and allowing Him in all areas of your life means your life is starting new and is even more incredible than you have ever imagined.

Life is not easy because I found Jesus, don’t get me wrong, but it has new meaning. I know this is the right professional field for me and by attending Southeastern this is part of the discipleship God is asking of me right now. I knew Southeastern was the right fit for me because of the school's mission statement: “Equipping students to discover and develop their divine design to serve Christ and the world through Spirit-empowered life, learning, and leadership.”

I have always known my life had to have a bigger purpose. I just had no idea what that was . So I filled all the voids of my life with other things. Men, food, clothes, jobs, and the list goes on. This whole time I was looking for Jesus. The school's mission statement is exactly what I want to do for others as well but in Ministries. What that will exactly look like I don’t know, but I'm confident God has a plan. He’s been patient with me and now I’m ready to understand why even more so.

Thank you for taking the time to consider me as a future student of SEU. I would be honored to become a student here.

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!” 2 Corinthians 5:17 (NIV)

Monday, January 9, 2017

I Get to Wash MOUNDS of Dishes & I Love It!

So the title of this blog post is pretty out of whack!
No, I don't really care for dishes and I am not in love with it.
I'm actually in love with the idea of the dishes. Let me explain a bit more...

I'm a stay at home mom of 3 boys: 6, almost 4, and 10 months old.
In 2011 I bled out and almost died because of an ectopic pregnancy.
At the time I was in the military and so was my husband. We had our oldest son and wanted more kids. We were very devastated to learn that the baby wasn't going to make it. The baby was growing but if the pregnancy wasn't terminate it would probably rupture. This is a whole other blog post, but long story short, the baby continued to grow, and I now only have one functioning ovary. It was a very traumatic experience which led to me realizing that I truly wasn't doing what my heart wanted. I wanted to stay at home with our son. What if I couldn't have another?
When you sit and really think about it what did you want to be when you were little?
For me that was always a mom. I just wanted to stay with our son.
My mind was made up, and I was out of the military that same year.

Since then we've had two more little boys, and I have been a stay at home mom ever since.
Which finally leads me to the title of this post.
I was doing the dishes today and it's Monday. I didn't want to tackle them last night so there are TONS. Lots of dishes caked on with things we ate yesterday and I was complaining to myself.

On top of it all our dishwasher is not working. That means that I have to wash everything by hand. Poor little me right?! LOL! Then that's when I felt conviction on my heart. My mind fluttered to the thought: "Stop and be grateful you GET to be here at 11:30am washing these dishes woman!"

Recently I had a spiritual awakening and God impressed on me the verse: "Life and death is in the power of the tongue." Proverbs 18:21
I continued to wash dishes and thought about this verse.
I said to myself in my mind: "I am very grateful I'm here. Thank you God for the opportunity to watch my boys grow even in times when that means I'm washing dishes while I do so. Thank you God for full bellies and why there are so many dirty plates. Help me Lord to remember to praise you in all situations."

I'm sure there are some people reading this and rolling their eyes, but thing is one negative thought and mood turns into a downward spiral of staying in that place. The bible teaches us to put on our full armor of God time and time again. (Ephesians  6:10-20)
Part of that is the sword of truth and to pray in all kids of ways. So the next time I'm doing chores and complaining I pray for God to put conviction on my heart again, and remind me of the opportunity I have. The time to be with Him while I wash the dishes, fold the laundry, wash the toilets, and praise Him while I do it. It may not be what I want to be doing, but it's right where I asked to be with my babes.

Staying at home may not be what every mother wants but the point is I personally just needed to remember to be grateful.

God is good and He answers prayers all the time...
Thing is it's the way He knows is best for me, and not the way I imagine it to be

Oh, and YES!
My kitchen is all clean and I feel much better after thinking about just being okay with being okay with right where God needs me to be.

Dishes are important too.
Change your mind and you can change your life.