All the Way or Not At All

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His eyes were literally popping out of his eye sockets. Her body was swollen and distended. They did not have enough money for medical treatment, so they lay in hospital beds hoping that a doctor would find some time or compassion to treat them. If they did not have someone to bring them food, they would die right there of starvation. In the hospital. 

I had heard the stories, but seeing them for myself was a different story. It was heart shattering.

I was seventeen years old and on a missions trip to Uganda with my church. I knew that I would be impacted by that trip, but I had not known exactly how.

I cried in the bus on the way back to where we were staying. A mixture of grief and compassion engulfed me – grief for their suffering and a compassion to help those who are hurting.

I was sickened by the comfortable life that I lived and ashamed of the comfortable choices that I had been making.

Even though I was definitely a believer at the point, I was more concerned with what I wanted to do than with what Christ wanted me to do. I had just been floating along with the current of my parents’ decisions. I was not making those hard decisions for myself.

It was right there that I knew I needed to make a decision. If I only have one life to live, how was I going to live it? What is the best thing I could do with my life?

I knew that I could not be halfway for Christ. That is not how Christianity works. Christ demands all that we are and the entirety of our lives. It was all the way or not at all.

And I was all in.


6 Reasons God Keeps You Waiting

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One of the hardest things in life is not knowing – not knowing whether or not you will get married, not knowing if you will land your dream job, not knowing if a baby is ever going to come, not knowing if your kids will be saved. The list goes on and on.

Not knowing is a scary place to be. It reminds us that we are not in control and it humbles us with the reality that we want to be in control.

In this life, we may never fully understand why God keeps us waiting. But here are 6 reasons why God may keep us waiting.

Waiting Displays God’s Power and Sovereignty

God does not do things the easy way. Think about it, God chose for the Messiah to come hundreds of years after He was predicted through a messy line of sinners. God could have just snapped His fingers and sent Christ. Instead, He chose for Jesus to be born of a virgin, die on the cross, and rise again the third day. Not exactly the simple route! God orchestrates His plans to sovereignly display His power.

Waiting Causes Us to Depend on God

There is nothing that causes us to depend on Christ more than waiting on Him. When we wait, we are forced to rely on God’s timing. It is humbling to realize that we are totally reliant on Him.

Waiting Allows Us to Grow

As we wait, it challenges our faith. We are forced to turn to Scripture and to prayer because there is nothing else that we can do. As we turn to these things, God uses them to make us more like Him.

Waiting Helps Remove Sin

Sometimes God causes us to wait so that we can see our own sin. If He had just given us what we wanted, we would never realize the areas that we need to work on.

Waiting Cause Us to Evaluate

Waiting gives us time to evaluate. We need to evaluate whether or not what we are praying for aligns with God’s will. It also gives us time to see areas of sin in our life, as we talked about previously.

Waiting Teaches Us How to Persevere

The word for persevere in the Bible means to “bear up under.” Waiting teaches us how to bear up under trials. We need to learn how to keep going even when it is hard and rely on the Lord.

Elisha Galotti summarizes it well:

Waiting isn’t easy, and it’s sometimes even painful. But the comfort is not just that His timing is different than our timing, it’s that the seasons of waiting are ordained by His hand. As we wait, He is caring for our lives with detailed, loving precision. He’s leveling ridges and softening hard ground. What sometimes feels to us like senseless waiting is actually a sovereign, loving God who’s arranged every detail and is readying us for the season that will come next.

As we wait, God is softening us, preparing us, loving us, and being faithful to us. What we don’t want to miss when we’re in a season of waiting is Him.

If you are in a season of waiting, realize that it is not wasted time. God is working in and through you.


If We Could Have Coffee Together…

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If we could have coffee together, I would want to hear your testimony and I would want you to hear mine. There is nothing that bonds Christians together more than hearing how Christ drew them to Himself.

If we could have coffee together, I would want to share with you how Christ is working in my life. I would tell you how encouraged I am when I can see glimpses of growth. Trials handled better and prayers answered.

I would tell you about my struggles with contentment and how the Lord has stretched me in that area. I would describe to you the blessings that I have experienced as I strive to obey Him.

If I could have coffee with you, I would want to tell you how much knowing Christ is worth it. Worth the loss of anything – comfort, friends, dream job. Christ is more satisfying than any earthly thing.

If I could have coffee with you, I would encourage you to keep going. Life is hard. But this is not all there is. Every trying circumstance here on earth seems trivial when you think about the fact that our Lord is returning to judge the earth. We need to make it our mission to share the good news of the Gospel with everyone we come in contact with.

If I could have coffee with you, I would share the bits and pieces of my heart. Since I can’t have coffee with each one of you, a blog post will have to suffice.

But I challenge you this week (even though it’s the hectic Christmas season) to invite someone out to coffee. Maybe ask a friend who you haven’t caught up with in a while or take a leap and invite someone from your church who you want to get to know. Indulge in a Starbucks red cup and share the bits and pieces of your heart with one another.


Thankful for What We Don’t Have

Thankful                 This is my fabulous Grandma – the queen of tradition and a model of godliness. 

 This Thanksgiving, my husband and I are thankful for what we don’t have. There are a few things that we have been praying for for over a year and the Lord has decided not to give us those things.

We have cried, we have complained, and then we have come to realize that we are so thankful we do not always get what we want. We are thankful because:

It reveals our hearts in ways that we never would have seen if we had gotten what we prayed for. We are thankful that the Holy Spirit reveals the areas that we need to work on.

It refreshes our faith as we are forced to choose to believe in God’s promises. We have been forced to come to a place where we say, “Ok, are we going to believe that what God says is true?” As we have chosen to believe that God is faithful, He has blown us away with His goodness.

It reminds us that we are dependent totally and completely on God. On our own, we make sinful decisions. But through the power of God, we are able to glorify Him.

I have used this quote in posts before, but I have to share it again because I think it just summarizes so well how the Lord works in our lives.

He [Jesus] will take them where they haven’t chosen to go in order to produce in them what they could not have achieved on their own. ~ Paul Tripp

I wrote in a previous post that so often we are kicking and screaming through the hard times – crying out for grace in the difficult seasons. But we are not crying out for true grace; really what we want is the situation to be easy or to be over. Paul Tripp points out that Christ putting us in a challenging time is grace. It is grace that places us in difficult situations and teaches us to depend on the Lord.

We have so much to be thankful for this season. But we are especially thankful for relentless grace – grace that pursues us until we have no other choice but to follow God. We are thankful that in His wisdom God gives us exactly what we need… and what we don’t need.

We are thankful.


Life Lately // Lots to be Thankful For

There is much to be thankful for this season!

… Cooler weather for baking!

… Delicious fall foods!

… Seeing the light at the end of the seminary tunnel!

… Beautiful California “fall” days!

… Having a car that gets me around town for my job!

… Being sent to Portos to pick up treats for the office!

… Our cozy little home!

… Quiet mornings to blog! And a husband who lets me pursue my goals! (I would love for you to stop by and check out my new series on hospitality!)

Those are some daily blessing that I am thankful for!

What are you thankful for?