Spring Cleaning

You know how when you start to clean, it all looks way worse than it is?

Bingo. That is my situation right now. I’m going through my clothes, and a lot of my stuff, and being realistic about what I need. It’s Spring Cleaning!

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I got back from the World Race almost a year and a half ago. I remember traveling the world with a backpack and honestly thinking I had too much stuff (mostly because I had to carry it haha). And now I look around my room and realize that the more room you have, the more stuff you get.

It got me thinking about a few of spiritual parallels….

1) When the Lord is doing GOOD WORK and CLEANSING work, it at first feels worse than it did before. But just like cleaning, once everything is swept, organized, it goes back its place, and it is better than before. We can’t panic about the initial mess, but trust that there’s a method to the madness.

God isn’t a God of confusion {1Cor 14:33} and He is working all things for the good {Romans 8:28}.

2) When you make room for more, more shows up. When God does miracles, He makes people ‘make room’ first.

water wineYou see in 2 Kings 4, when Elisha has the widow go and gather jars. God multiplied her oil as she poured into the jars, and the oil only stopped pouring when she ran out of jars.

Same with the baskets God asked the disciples to gather before He multiplied food. Same with the barrels that Jesus requested to be filled with water at the wedding, before He turned them into wine. God has obedience and preparation steps before He does a miracle. He fills to the measure prepared.

Not only so, but the measure you use is measured to you. {Luke 6:38}

3) When you remove the old stuff, new things have room to be stored. When you change habits, you can form new ones. If you were to make a list of 5 things you’d like to do (for fun or for growth), what would they be?

Here are mine:

-reading more

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-running (the weather is niiiice)

springfit

-cooking more at home (and also why running more)

lasagna

-writing more notes/cards

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-writing in my prophetic journal (aka listening more)

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This meme will never retire in this blog.

Count the cost:

In order to make room for those things, I need to clear out the other options.

All these would still remain goals if I don’t set a time and a goal.
For April, I’d like to run 30 miles, read 3 books (or at least finish 3 haha), and write 30 cards.  With cooking and prophecy, I’m not going to set a number, but only say that I am going to share my progress 🙂

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What do you need to clean out?

What do you want that is new for April?

ASK! Decide it now, and make steps toward it.

Spring is here.
It’s time to clean and make room!

{Create in me a clean heart, O God;
and renew a right spirit within me.

Psalm 51:10}

Frolicking: Level Expert

But for you who revere my name, the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its rays. And you will go out and frolic like well-fed calves.  {Malachi 4:2}

I love this verse. I always think the calf analogy kinda ruins it, but I’m sure that calves do frolic appropriately when they’re well-fed, and that it does compare to the joy that I feel when that lovely sun of righteousness rises and healing comes in its rays. I know that part is true and sweet. It makes me want to jump around, so I guess that’s my verse right now.

I am frolicking in my heart and soul, like the cows in the verse… and this dolphin.

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I’ve been asking God for some bold things in Jesus’ name, and setting bigger goals. With the end of the year, it always makes me a little bit gutsy… and I’m not talking about my waist here!

I finally started my new part-time job. I knew it was the right place, but then God gave me a sign as well…

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lost my composure when I saw this on the lab fridge

But seriously, this blog is about BOLDNESS. And with the courage to ask, I had to summon up the strength to extend my hands, open and empty and vulnerable… and receive.

And I received. I got what I needed, what I hoped, and maybe even more. We’ll see how it all goes, but I’m in love as it is.

This year is pretty much over. Maybe you don’t feel like you got what you wanted. But did you ask? Did you truly ask the Lord?

My encouragement to you {whoever you are reading this} is to ask.

Ask boldly. Ask specifically. Ask over and over. And ask to be aligned with God’s will for you. Ask for His goodness, His best, His rest, His eyes, His ears. Ask for His love and His peace to end confusion. Ask for His reasoning, His timing, His joy to endure, His patience to hold still, and His courage to take action.

ASK FOR HIS HEART!

Soon enough, you’ll find yourself no longer wincing, no longer hiding, no longer avoiding, or coping. You’ll be soaring and not growing faint. He’ll meet you right where you are and carry you where He needs you to be.

Ask Him what He needs you to be doing right now… and for goodness sakes, obey Him. Obey Him. Obeeeeyyyy Himmmmmm. Don’t let up. Don’t back out. Don’t stand Him up. Don’t lie and stay home. Push forward. Show up. Speak up.

He’ll make everything else make sense. Even the unexpected disasters. Yeah, those. He can make those arrange in a way so that good comes from it… it’s miraculous, and it takes time, and it takes open eyes to see it.

Good coming from brokenness and suffering?

Yeah, I can testify to that.
I can look back now and say it was well worth it, because I got to practice being who God made me to be in the midst of tough circumstances. I know who I am a little better… better yet, I know who Jesus is a little better.

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2014 is coming, and I can hardly wait.
The release has come like the sun of righteousness, with healing in its rays.

My 5 Dating Tips

As requested by my sweet girls, this is the blog about dating.

(future husband, if you’re reading this, take notes)

1) DATE LIKE REAL LIFE

Dates you see on The Bachelor are not realistic. You don’t want to date like that. Success rate for Bachelor & Bachelorette couples is only 16%, kids. Regardless of what is on your Instagram feed, resist the urge to match Hollywood status with your snookums. Have your special days, but don’t get crazy.

Go outside. Cook for each other. Hang out like you would in REAL life. You’d be surprised that sitting in the same room, reading separately, with that person’s enjoyable presence can be just as exhilarating (and less stressful) than scaling a skyscraper downtown. You might learn more about each other when you remove all the entertainment. You might actually have to talk to each other. You can have fun with anybody doing crazy stuff. Get to the mundane and fold laundry, and you’ll figure out who your best friend really is.

Are you able to enjoy each other, aside from the activity, like nobody else?

2) DON’T BREAK THE BANK

On that note, you shouldn’t have to break the bank to be in a relationship. This is what keeps a lot of guys from pursuing the “princess” because let’s be honest, dating a princess is super expensive and kind of obnoxious (unless it’s Cinderella, that girl is on point with her budget aka my fav princess).

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Stay on budget, stay on budget, throw some glitter, make it rain.

Money can cause lots of fights when you’re married if you don’t get on the same page about your spending habits early on, while you’re dating. Opposites attract, so you’ll quickly notice who is the Scrooge, embarrassingly paying with pennies, and who is the Monopoly Guy, throwing wads of cash in the air like a rap video. One will most definitely bug the heck out of the other, and the sooner you communicate and compromise, the better.

Find the in-between. Life is too short to not enjoy yourself and treat yourself. Life is also more responsible than YOLO, so… find the middle. Talk about it.

Are you open and honest about how you spend your money?
Are you harboring any resentment over your differences in spending?

3) PUSH PAST THE AWKWARD AND PRAY

Prayer, believe it or not, is the great new thing research is raving about. They say that prayer can make a marriage divorce-proof if a couple prays together every single day. I believe that. Ladies, look for spiritual leadership in a man, above all else. Men, push past the weirdness of it and take initiative to pray. Prayer makes it tough for either of you to disrespect the other, emotionally or physically.

Look at their time with the Lord. Ask challenging questions.

Ladies, if he’s not interested now in how you’re doing with Jesus and what you’re learning from Jesus, what makes you think he’s going to be interested down the road?
Men, if she isn’t challenging you to push closer to Jesus, what makes you think she’s gonna bring the Kingdom best alongside you?

4) KINGDOM OR BUST

Dating is fun and all that, yes. It’s also temporary. Marriage is also temporary. According to scripture, you’re not married in heaven. Marriage is a covenant for here on earth, which is a vapor. I read a book a couple of years ago called “One Thing You Can’t Do in Heaven” by Mark Cahill, and it impacted me a lot. The obvious one thing is that you can’t witness to the lost from heaven. You get this time on earth to do that, and then it’s heaven time aka 24hr worship party 24/7.

So why bother getting married? Paul says that it’s better to be single, so you don’t have to divide your interests, right? Well God Himself came up with the idea of marriage. It’s symbolic for Christ and the Church, the bridegroom and the bride. If it was against His will and took away from Himself, it wouldn’t be His idea.

How does marriage not bring you down from your single awesomeness?

Simply put, the person you marry will spur you forward, in such a way that together you bring the Kingdom of God to earth more effectively than if you were single and apart. That’s the only way marriage can make sense, the only way you can truly desire it, truly cherish the good times and the bad times, and want to build a family with that person. Kingdom or bust!

Are you a Kingdom-bringing team?
Does that person encourage you to pursue God’s dream for you?
Do your callings make sense together?

5) DON’T BE AFRAID TO BREAK UP

Nowadays, with social media, it’s pretty embarrassing to break up. Everybody knows. There are pictures everywhere. The status changes and friends make awkward comments, and then you start getting the phone calls, and the candy, and, if you have friends like mine, you get stuffed animals. Breaking up is pretty miserable, yes, but it’s OKAY! It’s really okay.

You’re dating to figure out if that person is right for you. Odds are sort of against you. You’re gonna go through some break-ups if you’re a normal person. Delete the pictures. Just do it. Throw away the stuff, notes, letters, whatever. Let things end. End well so you can start well.

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#hadto

Don’t be afraid to end a relationship if you know it isn’t the right one. That person is the right one for somebody else. Set them free. Don’t be afraid to be on the receiving end of a break-up, either. Some doors have to close so that the right ones can open. Take your lessons and move forward. Break-ups are better than divorces. Break-ups are better sooner than later. Dating is a mutual trial period. It’s already understood. Do what you have to do!

Are you confident when it comes to ending relationships?
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Leave comments, I wanna hear it all!

Late Night Writing

Ever find yourself up way too late because you slept in, because you drove for 13 hours the day before, because you visited family in another state, because you moved to Georgia after the World Race, because you wanted to start your dream, because that’s what God put on your heart, because that’s what He walked you through hell to accomplish? No? Too specific?

Basically, I’m up way too late because I’m accomplishing God’s purpose.

I am where I am, doing what I can with what I have.

It’s an absolutely imperfect and incomplete scenario, filled with late nights fighting sleep, early mornings fighting for sleep, nausea, awkwardness, free candy, blog reading, unwillingness, and bouts of undivided passion.

I am getting my ‘in part’ here on earth. It’s not heaven, folks.

I read today in 1 Kings (of course) about Elijah making the pagan peeps cut up a bull and ask their gods to light it on fire for them.

It’s kind of ridiculous. They sat around for a whole day (these people were obviously unemployed… or they worked for a really chill nonprofit?) yelling at this bull, dancing around it, praying to their gods, cutting themselves, etc. It probably looked a lot like a Lady Gaga video. And all for nothing. Elijah being the snarky prophet that he was, told them that maybe their god was deep in thought, or busy, or traveling, or asleep.

Then it was Elijah’s turn to have his God light his bull on fire, obviously.
Twist of events, he had the pagan peeps drench his altar/bull/wood with water. Jars and jars and jars of water.

ImageI’m sure the equivalent of boy scouts back then were super confused. That’s not how you light anything on fire, Elijah. You’re making extra work for your fire God, throwing off the chemistry, broseph.

Elijah was pretty crazy though. He realized that the true God can light up drenched altars. He had so much water poured on the thing.

His prayer…

Answer me, O LORD, answer me, so these people will know that you, O LORD, are God, and that you are turning their hearts back again.
1 Kings 18:37

The rest is history. Fire. Bam. Even the water evaporated. He legit set fire to the rain, before Adele sang about it.

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Sometimes I feel like life is just pouring more and more water on my altar.

Like it all doesn’t already seem improbable, and one more jar gets poured on. Tonight, I am soaked. I should be asleep by now, obviously. I shouldn’t be eating ‘fun’ size snickers, or still wearing my glasses, or typing at all.

But I think God wants it to be just so. The more jars get poured on, the more glory He’ll get for the fire He brings.

This lowly thing, this life of mine, will be a big sign that He’s doing work in hearts of people, that He’s turning their hearts back again.

It isn’t the same if my altar is dry.
On nights like this, I can look at my unlikely scenarios and chuckle.

Go ahead, life, pour more water.

My God will bring the fire.

((Leave a comment. What’s your favorite color? Do you like Elijah? What did you think of the blog? Just say something.))