Thursday, May 27, 2010

God will not fulfill your dream immediately

That is the title of a daily devotional email that was sent to me from Rick Warren's ministry. I've written about these devotionals in the past. Sometimes they have nothing to do with my situation, and yet other times they hit the nail right on the head.

Yesterday was one of those "nail on the head" kind of days.

I often talk about a specific desire that God placed in my heart - Serenity Self Defense. I've shared my thoughts about what I'd like to do, what I think God wants me to do, and the direction this project is going. The more I seek God, the more He guides my every step and consumes me with patience, love, and hope. And yet lately I feel like every time the ball starts to roll it abruptly stops. Every time I get a whiff of God's direction, my lack of patience takes over. Here's an example of a typical thought to God:

"Okay God, I know what I'm suppose to do, but I've known this since last summer and not much progress has been made. What can I do to get this started now? How can I reach out to the community now?? And why in the heck is taking so long???"

Please forgive me for sounding like a whining child, but that was a pretty accurate example of my thinking/speaking to God. The devotional I received really encouraged me and helped me to cope with the fact that maybe, just maybe, I am going to have to calm down, and be patient. If you are going through something similar, I pray that the words below will speak to you.

"But these things I plan won't happen right away. Slowly, steadily, surely, the time approaches when the vision will be fulfilled. If it seems slow, do not despair, for these things will surely come to pass. Just be patient! They will not be overdue a single day!" Habakkuk 2:3 (LB)

Even as you make a decision to follow the dream God places in your heart, you can expect a delay. God will not fulfill your dream immediately because this is another step toward building your faith.

In Habakkuk 2, God says, "These things I plan won't happen right away. Slowly, steadily, surely, the time approaches when the vision will be fulfilled."

In this step of faith-building you will most likely start asking the question, "When, Lord? When are you going to answer my prayer?"

And we hate to wait. We don't like to wait in a doctor's office, or in traffic jams, or at restaurants, or for Christmas presents, or for anything else. But what we hate worst of all is waiting on God.

Have you ever been in a hurry when God wasn't? It's so irritating! You're ready, but God isn't. God wants to work on you before he works on the project. Every believer must go through the University of Learning to Wait (ULW). Some of us are still working on our degrees from ULW!

  • Noah waited 120 years from the time he started building the ark until it began to rain.
  • Abraham was told he would be the father of a great nation and didn't have a child until he was ninety-nine.
  • God told Moses he would be the leader to lead his people out of four hundred years of slavery, but then made him wait in the desert forty years.
  • Joseph spent years in prison before God raised him up and he became the ruler God wanted him to be.
  • God had David anointed as king, but then David waited for years until he actually got to be king.

We all have to go through these waiting periods. Even Jesus waited for thirty years in the carpenter's shop before setting out on his public ministry.

Why do we wait? It teaches us to trust in God. We learn that his timing is perfect. One of the facts we have to learn is this: God's delay never destroys his purpose.

A delay is not a denial. Children must learn the difference between "no" and "not yet," and so must we. Many times we think God is saying, "No," but he is saying, "Not yet." (source)

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

back from the bayou

I am so, so tired.

Last week, my sister, nephew and I traveled to Louisiana to attend my Pe-Paw's funeral. He died on Saturday, May 15th and we made it there on Sunday the 16th. Everything happened so quickly. We stayed in Louisiana for 5 days, but it all seems like a blur now. While I am completely exhausted and a tad sick, I am so happy that I was able to be there for my family and to say goodbye to my Pe-Paw.

(Our last family picture)

At the wake, his casket was open. To be honest I thought I'd be overcome with fear or sadness. These two emotions never hit me, and I was covered with peace. The man I saw in the casket did not look like my grandfather. In fact, while looking at him, I felt a strange happiness. I felt with certainty that he was in heaven with my Lord. :o)

One of the hardest things to do was leave the funeral home and head to the church for the ceremony. Before we left, my little cousin Micah and I told Pe-Paw that we loved him and said goodbye. Tears drowned my words, but Micah's little voice was strong and sweet.

(This is Micah aka my little monkey)

It's been a rough week, but my sis, nephew, and I made it back to Charleston safe. Thank you to all of my real friends and blogger friends who supported me through this difficult time. Your thoughts, prayers, and love mean the world to me.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

My Pe-Paw

Good morning guys. I wanted to let you all know that I will be missing for a few days. My Pe-Paw (Grandfather) passed away yesterday and I am heading home to Louisiana for his funeral. He was diagnosed with Stage 4 cancer last year, but his blood work and scans have been excellent recently. He died suddenly, but at least now he is no longer fighting the cancer and chemo. I know that he is with God and that I should be rejoicing, but it's very difficult and I am selfish. I hope you all have a fantastic week. Stay safe.


Thursday, May 13, 2010

CommonThreadz **Giveaway**

I have been thinking for awhile now about hosting another giveaway. But not just any giveaway -- I want to give something that helps others in need. Last month when the winner of the $50 TOMS Gift Card was chosen, I was unbelievably happy. Knowing that a pair of shoes was going to the winner and a child in need seriously made my day.

So, I spent a little time searching the web and stumbled upon CommonThreadz.org.

"CommonThreadz is a nonprofit helping orphans & vulnerable children in developing nations to reach their full potential through the empowerment of the children, their caretakers & the local grass roots community organizations that support them." (From their site)

They have 3 different types of t-shirts that support these children, as well as bracelets and skirts. The 3 types are:

The Signature Collection: Socially conscious t-shirts with designs donated from leading artists around the world. For every t-shirt you buy, we give a school uniform to an orphan in Africa!
The Orphan Collection: Unique t-shirts designed by orphans in Africa. For each Orphan Collection t-shirt purchased, we are able to feed an orphan for 1 month!

The CelebriTee Collection: Eco-friendly t-shirts designed by celebrities and in collaboration with artists. For each CelebriTee you buy, we give a school uniform to an orphan in Africa and $5 to the charity of the celebrities' choice.

(source)

I will be giving away one item (up to $38) from CommonThreadz.org!!

How to enter:

1. Follow my blog. (1 entry)

2. Visit www.CommonThreadz.org
and tell me which item you would like. (2 entries)

3. Write a post about this giveaway/organization or link to this giveaway. (3 entries)

**Please be sure to leave a comment on this post telling me what you have done so that I can keep track of your entries. :o) **

**If you do not have a blog, please leave your email address so that I can contact you!**

The winner will be chosen on Tuesday, May 25th at 6:30 PM (EST)

Good luck!!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

wordless wednesday


"During World War II, a select group of young women pilots became pioneers, heroes, and role models...They were the Women Airforce Service Pilots, WASP, the first women in history trained to fly American military aircraft."

These women are amazing. To read more about them, click here.

Monday, May 10, 2010

top two tuesday



This week: Top Two Dream Houses

1. My first choice is actually Megan from Shabby Blog's home! It's a 119 year old farmhouse in the country! I love the colors and the idea of living in something that was built in the late 1800's is amazing. I can see my kids running around our yard, sitting on the porch getting lost in a book, or even laying in a hammock with my husband. *sigh* :o)

(source)

2. Since I haven't spent tons of time day dreaming about my perfect house, my second choice would have to be a chateau. (Hey, they said dream house!) The pictures below are ones that I found that I adore! I highly doubt I'll ever live in any of these since the price ranges from 16 million to about 80 million dollars, but I'm okay with that. I really love the home that Keith and I have now. :o)


Le Chateau Chambord
(source)

Ch√Ęteau de Chillon(source)

3. You know, now that I'm thinking about it....I would definitely love to live in a villa in Italia. Yes, that is what I would love. Maybe something like the one from Under the Tuscan Sun?

(source)

Friday, May 7, 2010

empowered

Hello blog world! I have missed you dearly.

This past week I decided to distance myself from my blog. It's not that I don't love blogging, but I felt like it was gaining control over my time and pulling my focus away from other important things. While I did miss writing and reading all of your fantastic blogs, I spent more time reading my Bible, researching for Serenity, laying in my wonderful husband's arms, and spending time with my sister and nephew. It was great! I also took my first self defense class at the local police station. :o) For someone who is extremely passionate about women's self defense, this class rocked my world.

At the class, they taught us a bit of Krav Maga. I do not have a black belt, but I now know how to rip someone's hand off of my neck if they are choking me. I know how to roll someone off of me if they are on top of me choking me. (I really did this at the class! I flipped a 200 lb. man!) I know how to effectively hit someone with my hands, elbows, and legs. This class really empowered me and encouraged me to follow my dream of making Serenity a reality.


Today I read an article about five female students who stopped a man from stabbing a fellow student to death. One of the girls had just taken a self defense class and successfully seized the attacker's knife while the other girls held the attacker on the ground until the police arrived. This is the kind of story I have been desperately needing to read. These girls were not karate experts - one of them simply had taken a self defense class. Imagine if every female knew how to properly defend themselves? I bet those slimy criminals would think twice if more stories like this played out.

The other day I took one of those Facebook quizzes to help me figure out which mighty woman of the Bible I am most like. The quiz told me that I am most like Deborah. "You aren't afraid to speak your mind. You know what you want, and go for it. You are motivated, and you revel in personal victories. You are wise in many ways, and you know well, and trust the God you serve. You are courageous, and can look fear in the face. You are a victor." My first thought was "Wow, that's pretty cool, but who in the world is Deborah?" After looking through my Bible, I found out that she was the only female Judge in the Old Testament. Holy moly.

Since finding out about Deborah, I have been studying my Bible and the book of Judges. Isn't it amazing how God can use a silly Facebook quiz to open the door to something greater?

I'll be back to writing more regularly on my blog, but I want to apologize in advance if my posts are focused on self defense and things like that. I know that it's not everyone's interest, but it's definitely mine. I hope you all have a wonderful weekend! Talk to you soon.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

single sentence sunday

sarah ann's bon mot

When we pray, we talk to God; but when we read His Word, He talks to us. As our "listening" skills improve, so do our "conversation" skills.

Joy P. Gage


(I know this is technically two sentences, but it was too good not to post.)
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