Random Thoughts

Words from Isaiah

Well, I wrote a different post yesterday but the Lord hasn’t released me to share it which happens from time to time. So, for now, I am “sitting” on that post and we’ll see how the Lord directs me to use it. Until then, I spent some time in Isaiah this morning and several verses leapt off the page at me that I had to share with you.

I’ll admit that I feel like I am in a perpetual waiting season in many areas of my life, especially after reading the very first articles I ever wrote from my time as a “senior editor” for a girls’ paper at my High School. The 18-year-old me had some words of wisdom for the 32-year-old me that I needed to hear again. It was a great reminder to keep seeking hard after the Lord in order to find my true fulfillment and joy in Him alone. A lesson that I believe will be something I learn for the rest of my life.

Anyway, here are the words that the Lord whispered to my soul this morning … may they bless you as well.

“But now, O Israel, the Lord who created you says: “Do not be afraid, for I have ransomed you. I have called you by name: you are mine. When you go through deep waters and great trouble, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown! When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames of will not consume you.” Isaiah 43: 1-2
 
““Remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old.
Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.”” Isaiah 43:18-19
 
“I-yes, I alone-am the one who blots out your sins for my own sake and will never think of them again.” Isaiah 43:25
 
“For since the world began, no ear has heard, and no eye has seen a God like you, who img_5407works for those who wait for him! You welcome those who cheerfully do good, who follow godly ways. But we are not godly. We are constant sinners, so your anger is heavy on us. How can people like us be saved? We are all infected and impure with sin. When we proudly display our righteous deeds, we find they are but filthy rags. Like autumn leaves, we wither and fall. And our sins, like the wind, sweep us away.” Isaiah 64: 4-6
 
“For unto us a Child is born,
Unto us a Son is given;
And the government will be upon His shoulder.
And His name will be called
Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
7 Of the increase of His government and peace
There will be no end,
Upon the throne of David and over His kingdom,
To order it and establish it with judgment and justice
From that time forward, even forever.
The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.” Isaiah 9:6-7
 
Thank you, Holy Father, for providing a Savior so that we could be restored to a right relationship with you through the repentance of our sins by the shedding of your son’s blood. Thank you that He rose victoriously three days later and that we have the hope of Eternity even on the darkest of days here on Earth. May I purpose to live with kingdom come purpose until you return.
In Jesus’s Name, I Pray, 
Amen
Merry Christmas!
I love you all!
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Random Thoughts

A Time of Reflection …

“[ The Magnificat: Mary’s Song of Praise ] Mary responded, “Oh, how my soul praises the Lord. How my spirit rejoices in God my Savior! For the Mighty One is holy, and he has done great things for me.” Luke 1:46-47, 49

fullsizerender-13As I start to look towards 2017 and think about my goals for the next year, I am in awe of what the Lord has done in my life over the last year. Tomorrow, December 17, will mark one year since I have had my tonsillectomy and I am so thankful I did so. I realized today that I have gone an entire year without being on an antibiotic. First year ever in my life! Praise the Lord.

While my recovery ended up being months long as far as regaining strength, due to losing more blood during surgery than the doctor anticipated, my throat healed within a month of surgery which was two months ahead of schedule. My fibromyalgia flare-ups have decreased significantly and my migraines have been less than what they were. I still have some things to figure out with my migraines but in many ways, it’s like a whole a new life for me.

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Verse for 2016

New life … that has been my theme for 2016. And, boy, has my family experienced new life as we welcomed my precious niece, Raelyn, into the world in November! She is absolutely amazing!! We also found out in September that my brother and sister in law are adding to their family. Brantley will find out next week if he’ll have a little brother or sister. Talk about new life!

 

I started a new position within LMU and have been reunited with my 4th grade Elementary teacher from Eaton Elementary whom I adored then and adore even more now. I truly feel like I have come home now.

 

As I think of where I was at mentally, emotionally, physically and spiritually over the last year, I am humbled at His goodness and faithfulness in my life. There have been many tears shed as I thought I knew what was best for me but God had an infinitely better plan for me.

Some things are the same and some things have changed. I don’t know what the Lord has in store for me for the rest of 2016 and for the 2017 but I am thankful for all that He has taught me this year and brought me through. God is so good and gracious!

I am looking forward to a time of rest and fellowship with those that I love as we celebrate Christ’s birth.

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I love you all! Merry Christmas!

Single Life

This Isn’t A Game

img_5208I will never understand why some married men don’t wear wedding rings … especially when they aren’t in a job that restricts them from wearing it.

Or at the very least mention their wife in conversation.

In case you are wondering, yes, I was just made a fool. But it happens. I wasn’t flirtatious, yet, or anything like that but I would have been more guarded in my friendliness.

This is the day that we are living in. When a man is just being friendly … emailing you all throughout the day … asking about your weekend … discussing common interests … sharing basic personal details – where you grew up, HS attended, pets, family life … but somehow leaves out the fact that he is married. There’s nothing wrong with that, right? I’m sorry but I have a huge problem with that. Maybe it’s just me. But marriage isn’t a game. Being single isn’t a game. Being a truthful person isn’t a game. This isn’t a game.

“May integrity and honesty protect me, for I put my hope in you.” Psalm 25:21

I am a HUGE supporter of Biblical marriage … and as a believer, as a single woman, I take my part in helping to protect those marriages very seriously. I do this by, not only, electing politicians who uphold that same value but by respecting the marriages of those I am around. I do not ride alone in cars with married men. I do not eat alone with married men. I will not be in a house alone with a married man who is not my relative. Not because I do not trust myself or my friends but because I do not believe in giving the Enemy a foothold through rumors or a lapse of judgment.

I have seen the devastation that can occur in a marriage due to an affair. I work hard to be friendly but never cross the line with the husbands of my married friends. Even the ones where the guys were my friends first. Everything changes when they get married, well, actually when they get engaged. That open communication we once shared is gone. I respect that his fiancé and/or now wife deserves his full attention and openness. An openness that I cannot and should not share in. And it’s an openness that he should no longer expect from me. It’s called boundaries. They are a good thing.

I appreciate boundaries. I work well with them and when you have them set in place it helps you navigate through murky situations. It helps you turn away from temptation because you know that you will not compromise on those boundaries that you have in place. For me, those boundaries have been put in place by the convictions of the Holy Spirit in my life and through the reading of the Word of God. I will not and cannot compromise on them. I am thankful that His Spirit prepared me in advance for what I was going to find out today. I will now approach my conversations a bit differently with men and will wait until it is confirmed that a man is single before I believe it. Can’t rely on the fact that he’s not wearing a ring.

This isn’t a game. 

“Because of the privilege and authority God has given me, I give each of you this warning: Don’t think you are better than you really are. Be honest in your evaluation of yourselves, measuring yourselves by the faith God has given us.” Romans 12:3

If you are married then wear your ring if you are able to. If you can’t because of a job then find some way to share about your spouse so that others know that you are proudly and happily married. If you are unable to wear your ring because it doesn’t fit then find something to wear in the meantime! This applies to both husbands and wives.

And please know that I understand that there is temptation all around us whether a ring is present or not … but for those of us who truly do desire to do the right thing, seeing a ring helps us know what boundaries need to be put in place when meeting someone for the first time. I am not desperate to meet someone but I do desire to be a woman of integrity and flirting with a married man has no place in my life.

I know I am not perfect … I fully acknowledge that. I fail all the time. But I repent and start fresh again. It may have been an oversight on his part but it certainly doesn’t feel that way. I’ll still be friendly within the boundaries that are now firmly in place. I’m a little bit wiser and a tad weary of it but this is life.

I’m thankful I get to live this life and that this isn’t a game.

I love you all.

Random Thoughts

Making Sense of It All

I’ll be honest … I have struggled to know what to write over the last week. The last week has been hard here in East TN.

We started the week of Thanksgiving out with a horrible school bus crash in Chattanooga that saw the loss of 6 precious children. Then we had several horrible, senseless murders in Knoxville.

On Friday, I discovered my family’s storage unit had been broken into between the last time I was there on Monday til I came in that day. It had been completely ransacked. If my life were a Hallmark movie, then the police officer who came to check the situation out would have been a single, handsome and strapping man instead of a lovely woman. He would have felt a surge of protectiveness upon seeing my tear stained, yet somehow still lovely, face and felt the need to come back after his shift was over to help me with setting my unit straight. We would have bonded over our mutual disdain for thievery, almost broke up over some silly misunderstanding (how was I supposed to know that 1990s Miami Dolphins velcro wallet still meant something to him and that’s why he still carried it to this day … he didn’t want or need a new wallet? How insensitive!) but realize our love was stronger than that and be happily married by next Christmas.

If my life were a Hallmark movie, then the police officer who came to check the situation out would have been a single, handsome and strapping man instead of a lovely woman. He would have felt a surge of protectiveness upon seeing my tear stained, yet somehow still lovely, face and felt the need to come back after his shift was over to help me with setting my unit straight. We would have bonded over our mutual disdain for thievery, almost broke up over some silly misunderstanding (how was I supposed to know that 1990s Miami Dolphins velcro wallet still meant something to him and that’s why he still carried it to this day … he didn’t want or need a new wallet? How insensitive!) but realize our love was stronger than that and be happily married by next Christmas.

However …  my life isn’t a Hallmark Movie so instead I was left to pick up the pieces and deal with it as best as I could. I’ll admit that it really put a burr under my saddle. I just couldn’t understand why this would happen. Not that our family should be spared from something like this but it’s still so frustrating.

But all of this was put into perspective after the devastation my neighbors in Sevier County experienced at the hands of the wildfire and my neighbors in Polk County experienced at due to a tornado the next day.I mean, y’all, it’s been insane. People have lost their lives, their homes and for some their livelihoods.

I have struggled to wrap my mind around it all. I have thought back to my dream that I had a few weeks ago as that’s all I could think about on Tuesday night during the storms …”signs and wonders, the Lord is in control and He is coming back.”  I hope you are hearing that.

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I have never been one to talk about the end times as I still have so much that I want to experience during my lifetime but I can’t ignore what is going on around me. Nor can I ignore the fact that for the first time in my life I have complete peace over the Lord’s return. While I do not know when Jesus is coming back here is what I do know … we have 3 communities hurting and in need of love. We have people who need to see what it means when the body of Christ unites together to be Jesus to those in need. The world needs to see how we love not how we “hate”. So, let’s do all that we can within our means and our abilities to be the Church that we are called to be to those in need and to reach a world that is lost …. because friends, the days are short and the hours are few but Eternity is forever. Some are facing an Eternity in a neverending wildfire and we hold the keys to keeping them from that … what are we waiting for?

He said to his disciples, “The harvest is great, but the workers are few. So pray to the Lord who is in charge of the harvest; ask him to send more workers into his fields.”” Matthew 9:37-38

So let’s go … let’s be about the Father’s business.

I love you all.

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