Lesson from a Lemonade Stand

Just the other day, I was driving through my neighborhood and saw where someone was hosting a lemonade stand.  I didn’t have my camera with me, and so I drove straight to my house, knowing what I would write next for this blog… the story of the lemonade stand.

After parking my car, I saw two girls setting up pitchers of tea and lemonade at a table.  My camera was slung over my shoulder, and my journal was in my little, canvas bag, so I walked up to the stand.  Once I reached their table, I told the girls about how awesome their stand was, and I asked if I could take pictures and write a story about them.  They were so excited and said, “Yes!”

Now, here’s the story of Kayla and Megan…

Kayla and Megan had just finished school last week.  While they could have done anything else to celebrate the start of summer, these girls had other desires.  They knew how many of our neighbors in River Oaks are still trying to recover from the flood, and Kayla and Megan wanted to help them.

When I was younger, I used to host lemonade stands, too.  My friends and I would set out looking for every single opportunity to raise money for a cause.  Even raising $10 was consider a major success in our eyes, just as it was in the eyes of Megan and Kayla.

Somewhere down the road of growing up, success became measured by definite results, not by the number of hearts touched or thirsts quenched.  Helping others was just another way to add something to the resume.  It breaks my heart, now, to think of every single opportunity that I have not taken to help others merely because I didn’t think that something that small could make a difference.

In many ways, we need to return to the innocence of childhood; we need to look through the eyes of our younger years and see that every opportunity to serve is a worthy opportunity.  We need to remember that God takes what we have, and He multiplies it.

I’m so grateful that Kayla and Megan set up a lemonade stand a few days ago.  Not only was I refreshed by the wonderful, pink lemonade, their sweet spirits and true servant’s hearts were also refreshing for they reminded of what it truly means to serve.

So if you are driving in your car and see a lemonade stand, take a minute and drink some lemonade.  You never know… You may just walk away refreshed in more ways than one.

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God’s beauty revealed in friendships

As I continue growing and experiencing many different parts of life–different seasons, emotions, questions, etc–I find that I learn more and more about God than I would have ever thought possible.

Within the past year, I have learned to see the beauty of the flower above, for an example, as a showing of God’s beauty and as a way for Him to say to me, “Look, look at this flower that I made for you!  Don’t you see its many colors?  I painted it just like that because I knew that you would find delight in it!”

And now, I am learning even more about how God reveals His beauty and love for us through all of our relationships.  I sometimes get worried because I know for me, I often go to relationships looking for something out of it.  Expectations that I have already created for the relationship can take the reigns and most times, take me down a pretty bumpy road.

But now, I’m finding that God gives us friends, family and even “stand-in” family members to show God’s beauty, as well.  If you think about it, the dynamics between two people are amazing!  God is the one that orchestrates all of it, too!  How amazing is it when we can look at the relationship and wonder, “What masterpiece is God orchestrating with me and my friend as the instruments?  What kind of music of worship can we create through the rhythm of our conversation, the crescendo of laughter, and the abundance of joy?”

Tonight, I just want to thank my friends and family for all of their love and support.  There are so many days when I take you for granted and am so consumed with my own, selfish self that I don’t love the way that I should.  For this, I am so sorry and ask for your forgiveness. 🙂

But tonight more now than ever before, I am praising the Good Lord for you!  I am blessed because of you, each and every single one of you.  Even if we have not met yet, I am so grateful for you, too, because I know that God has great plans for you!  I pray that we can meet one day 🙂 ….

It’s 2:10 am , and it is way past my bedtime!  Before I could even think about going to bed, though, I just had to write and let you know just how much I love, adore, and wish to thank you, my dear reader and friend!

Praying your day is filled with Sonshine,

Sarah

A New Season with a New Beginning! :)

Hello, everybody, and thanks for reading today!  I have got some very big and exciting news.  Limbo Land has been here, but it has left the building!

Limbo land has been what I’ve referred as my time of indecision about the future, but I realized today that Limbo Land was something much deeper than that: Limbo Land was a place in my life where I was teetering between what I wanted to do and what God wanted me to do.

This morning, I felt the largest weight of pity over not being able to be some amazing missionary like Katie Davis or others that packed up and moved away to another country to serve.  But I realized today that my pity over that life not being my own has kept me from loving my family as I should AND has prevented me from spreading Sonshine wherever I go.

THEREFORE, after mom and I had a big talk which made her late for a doctor’s appointment–sorry, Mom–God and I had a pretty big prayer time.  I had some major sins to fess up to–to own up to them, ask for His forgiveness, and say, “Alright then, let’s try this again!”

So, today, is a very special day!  Today makes one year since I left for DeSoto–the place where I learned so much about God and learned that I was “free to be broken.”  Well, today, I learned a second lesson that also stemmed from a devotional we had at DeSoto.  I realized today that I, too, am

free to be normal.

I’ve had these blogs and started writing a book, and my Bible is all tattered now, but I realized today that all of those things don’t make me any more special in God’s eyes than a year ago today.  He loves me just the same for one reason: His Son’s blood covers every bit of who I am, even all the vain, bitter, and impatient parts.

For my whole life, I’ve always thought that I needed to make something huge out of myself–to go out into the world and be somebody!  But today, I learned that my life should merely be one ripple in wake of God’s giant cannonball into the pool of this world.  Someone can look at my life and see where I came from and where I’m going, but they see that it’s God who made the splash.

With this being said, I will keep both blogs but with minor changes.  “Confession: I’m with the Big Guy” will be geared as devotionals for developing a more personal relationship with God.  I’ll write every other day or so.

This blog, “Compelled,” will now become the blog of my everyday life with God.  That’s how it was supposed to be, but I just made it once again very similar to “Confession” in being devotionals again.  On this blog, I’ll have more day to day topics such as stories, recipes, devotionals, prayers, what I’ve learned, etc.  This approach will be much more personal, and it will prove just how normal I really am.

We are all free to be broken just as we are free to be normal, and praise the Good Lord that He has patience with us all as we figure these things out!

With love,

Sarah

PS- Thank you to everyone for all of your prayers!  Isn’t amazing to see how God answers them? 😉

Prayer for Spiritual Strength

Are you ever in search for a good, Biblical prayer for a friend, co-worker, or family member?  I absolutely love this passage in Ephesians because it is a wonderful prayer to write down on notecards and give to others and say, “Hey, so-and-so, I’ve just been thinking about  you, and I hope you have a great day :)”

“For this reason, I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith–that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and legth and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.

Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever.  Amen.”

Ephesians 3:14-21

This is my prayer for you this morning, too.

Praying your day is filled with the all-consuming, radiant love of Christ.  Infect the world with your contagious Sonshine,

Sarah

In the land of limbo land and would love your prayers :)

I just had this huge realization about myself, and I just feel like I need to share it with you, whoever you may be that is reading this….

I’ve been writing A LOT for the past week.  Almost non-stop, I’ve been going and going and going on an outside project that has to do with my other blog and taking the next step in writing.  I’ve enjoyed every single minute of this whole writing process, and it has been a huge challenge for me to dig deep enough down inside of me and figure out not what it is that I have to tell, but what God can tell others through me.

Many times I find myself staring at the many books that line my bookshelves.  Even here in my college apartment, I have probably close to, if not more than, 100 books.  Back home, I have even more.  I absolutely love them, and if I could choose any job for myself in the future.  I would write.  I would fill thousands of pages of books with my thoughts about life and true beauty and what it really means to love someone because of God’s deep love.  I can’t guarantee that it would make me happy all the time or anything, but I know that I would be following a calling that is deep down within me, a deeper desire to serve the Lord than I know.

And so I look around me, and I see the evidence that it can be done–that God has enabled other of His precious children to write in love for Him.  Sometimes, I can only gaze out through my big, torteshell glasses that make me feel ever more like a true writer and wonder, “What if?  But, God, what else?”

With my passions and my life that lives through pen and paper and a keyboard underneath my fingertips, what else is there for me to do?  To become a dietitian?  Don’t think so… To become a teacher?  Yea maybe… To become a… something else other than a writer?  I really don’t know.

I guess I’m just feeling lost because I can’t think of anything else that I’d rather do than write about my life with God and our conversations and just how I see the world in general because of the eyes that He’s given me.  That’s the longest and most exhaustive sentence that I’ve ever written on this blog, and yet I still don’t think that it expresses my current state in limbo land.

If you get a spare moment or two, I’d really appreciate a prayer.  Prayer is sooo powerful, and I really need some right now.

By the way, thank you so much everyone for reading my blogs.  It is truly such an encouragement to know that these words–no matter how jumbled they may be at times–are reaching someone.  But even more than just reaching someone, but to know that they are touching someone, maybe even you, it makes all of my time even in limbo land worthwhile.

Praying your day is filled with His all-consuming and glorious Sonshine,

Sarah