God Uses the Unexpected and Unlikely

I am an unexpected and unlikely person for the Lord to use. Granted, so are you. The thing is, I have so little, if anything, to offer such a large God--it's kinda sad. However, I was encouraged by a podcast from my church (to listen, click here). It talks of the unworthy, unexpected, and unlikely people that are used in the Lord's plan. It also talks about how these unexpected and unlikely people are simply told to follow Him, regardless of the cost. In all of this, I rejoice in the assurance that my God continue to use me for His work and His Glory, no matter what if I feel like I am or am not qualified, good, worthy, or horrible...

It simply doesn't matter what I think when the Lord has a plan for me (Romans 8:28).

I need you, I love you, I want you, 
No one else can make me new
I need you, I love you, I want you, 
No one else can make me new

I will wait for only you
No one else can make me new
No one else can break the silence

I will wait for only you
My heart needs to hear whats true
No one else can break the silence

I will wait for only you
No one else loves me like you do
No one else can break the silence

I will wait for only you
No one else can pull me through
No one else can break the silence

I need you, I love you, I want you, 
No one else can make me new
I need you, I love you, I want you, 
No one else can make me new

Tenth Avenue North
I Need You, I Love You, I Want You


Pictures of Christmas

I wonder if you can guess what I got for Christmas? 
Anyway, I am glad its that day, and glad I get to spend it with my family. When I say it's not always easy, I know you all can relate. But at the end of the day, you realize what's really important involving them. 
I'm also really glad Christmas is over too. Christmas drives me crazy, and I think the reason why is because it's become way too complicated. I just want to have that peace and joy that we talk about in this season all the time, every single day. Who knows, maybe things will change by next year? 


The Thing Called Hope

"May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit." 

Romans 15:13

This verse has been following me around. It started out with me finding it and thinking "That's a nice verse" to it coming up in a devotion, then a sermon, then I found it again....you get the picture. 

What's really funny is that I blew it off at first. Hope is great, but not that important at all...that's what I told myself.

Then the pastor of my church gets up and says
"Hope is believing in the good before the good is believable". 

Do you know how many things that applies to? Like, everything? Before the good is believable....knowing that good is there...that's something to a least put things into perspective. I didn't really know how hard it was to hope and now that I think about it, so few people practice this well.

So my prayer for my own self is that I would learn how to hope in the deep truth that I know, none of the false stuff that only looks like hope, as well as be able to figure out what believe actually means to me, and to practice things like these that often look very impossible.


He's Worth It...Now

When faced with a problem, lots of thinking usually does the trick for me. If I just keep exploring the problem enough, I'll come to a conclusion that will make everything make sense and fall into place. 

With some problems, however, I keep circling back to the same thing. I keep asking myself "Why is this so hard?" and "Why can I not actually feel the hope that I know is there?" 
When you're sitting there, facing a new problem, a challenge or a change, please learn to remember something that I so often forget. Remember who God is. I sometimes forget why He sent my Savior, that He knows me best, and the simple fact of how big He is.

I forget to put my problems and trials in the context of the gospel.

When you forget this, you begin to buy into the lies and masks of the world. Masks just cover, hide and lie. When you start to really listen to people telling you how to feel, trying to help but saying untrue things or half-truths....this makes honesty with ourselves, others, or the Lord a lot harder. 

So I don't know about you, but often I feel like my life is a quest to break the mold and uncover the truth. The truth about how I feel and what God has to say about it, what He really thinks of His beautiful creation named Rachel, and simply to remember the gospel at all times and the promises our infinite God has made me. 

This all starts with learning to constantly work towards having a better, deeper understanding of this thing called Grace. Currently I am learning what it means when the Lord says that He Himself and His grace covers me.

The Lord in all His might comes in and covers me. He fills in the holes, closes the gaps, seals the cracks and heals the wounds...when you really, truly let Him in there is no room for anyone or anything else to take up residence in your heart, because the Lord covers completely. Do you even understand or see what completely even means? I don't. But I think I'm finally starting to. 

Because of this Grace upon Grace, I've begun to see that He's worth it now
Our comfort is that He always will be worth it--so worth it--and always He has been, but especially, especially, now.

Sometimes our problems are those that threaten to overwhelm you or swallow you whole, just like Jonah's did. But I think the one thing that we miss is how, if we let it, our Adonai's grace is even more consuming. 

"From his fullness we have all received grace upon grace."
John 1:16 


Loving People Close


I'm starting to realize that loving people entails a lot more in life than I thought.

A lot more of myself.

This is most certainly what my flesh works to resist.

Love is sacrifice--that much my Savior Jesus has taught me, if anything.

However, what that looks like when tensions run high in the family space...well, it seems like it's a different story.

What if it's not though? What if the act of love is still going and washing your dishes without saying anything?

Or doing those things that aren't even an act of service, but are just nice gestures?
Hm. This is going to be harder than it looks.


Come on Back Home for Now

Do you ever have those times when you are positively floored when you realize

That would be me.

I'm sitting here at home, typing--not strings attached. I have no homework, as I have just finished my third semester of college...I'm halfway through my sophomore year...can you believe it? Considering where I was this time last year, wondering if or how I was going to make it at all, it's simply ridiculous.

However, although I have survived this far, I feel like the ends of my nerves are slightly burned and frayed from these past months. It has not been easy, adjusting to working while going to school and having two other responsibilities outside of that, not to mention the rest of my life (which, someday I wonder what that actually means).

I have been continually, repeatedly confronted and bombarded with my weaknesses and inabilities this semester. It took me awhile to figure this out, and to remember why oh why I can't do this life on my own. Me getting burned because of my own pride is one thing, but when you are forced to deal with a kind of change that you've never had to deal with before, I was reminded of the fact that I am capable of nothing except through Christ.

It's still a fight, still a struggle some days, but God proves faithful, and that part never changes.


Weakness as a Gift

"My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in your weakness. So, I will boast all the more gladly of my weakness, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. Therefore I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities for the sake of Christ; for whenever I am weak I am strong."
 2 Corinthians 12:9-10

For those of you who have known me for a length of time, you'll easily remember that this is one of my favorite verses. I've even done lots of blog posts about it, and included it everywhere I can.

The great things about verses is when not only do you begin to learn to really live them out, but when you learn something new about it.

So, here it is.

Have you ever thought of your weakness as a gift?

Not just something good.
Not just something that's yours.
Something you can offer to the Lord.
Isn't this verse exactly the best spot you can be in? Not depending on your strength at all, but His.
So much so in fact that all the bad things become those that give us our unfailing strength because He fills the rest of us up with Himself and His love and His spirit.

Today--not tomorrow, or the next day, or when you feel ready, or later--offer your weakness to God as a gift to Him. Show Him that you really do love Him and want to learn to trust Him more. He is the one who can take care of you. He is the one who can fill you.

He is the one who completes you. Let Him.