I’ve missed you, blog!

For the past few weeks, the picture above shows you what I’ve been doing in addition to working 20 hours a week… Organic Chemistry.  Maybe it’s the fact that I have my 3rd test in the class today–by the way, this will be the first of three tests that I will take in the next 8 total days, only 3 more days of class–but I feel so exhausted.  My brain feels as if someone has put the stopper in it and said, “Information overload!  Let’s shut this operation down…”

Whenever we encounter times like these in our lives, times when we feel overwhelmed or way too busy to even sit and breathe, let alone have good, QUALITY time with God in prayer, I pray that we will remember that God is our first priority in life.  He’s the reason why we have life to begin with, and He’s the One that has even given us the opportunities to work, study, spend time with friends and family, etc.  To Him, the glory should always be, and to Him, we must always look first.

“Cast your burden on the Lord,

and he will sustain you.”

Psalm 55:22

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“In returning and in rest, you shall be saved;

in quiet and in trust shall be your strength.”

Isaiah 30:15

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“You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you,

because he trusts in you.”

Isaiah 26:3

Trust in the Lord; rest in His presence.  Give Him your burdens and feel Him sustain your weary body and soul.  Be filled with His peace, His perfect peace.  Have a blessed day 🙂

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Even when His plans are different than ours…

Do you ever want to live by a plan that is different than what God has in store for you?  This seems like a rhetorical question, doesn’t it?  We all make plans or have ideas about our lives that we wish would become our reality, rather than our dream.

This topic is what connected me so deeply with the following passage in 1 Chronicles.  It’s pretty long, so I will take out some of the verses for the sake of length.

“After King David had made himself at home, he said to Nathan the prophet, ‘Look at this: Here I am in a luxurious palace of cedar and the Chest of the Covenant of God sits under a tent.’  Nathan told David, ‘Whatever is on your heart, go and do it; God is with you.’  But that night, the word of God came to Nathan, saying, ‘Go and tell my servant David, This is God’s word on the matter: You will not build me a ‘house’ to live in…And now I am telling you this: God himself will build you a house!  When your life is complete and you’re buried with your ancestors, then I’ll raise up your child to succeed you, a child from your own body, and I’ll firmly establish his rule.  He will build a house to honor me, and I will guarantee his kingdom’s rule forever…

Nathan gave David a complete and accurate report of everything he heard and saw in the vision.  King David went in, took his place before God, and prayed:

Who am I, my Master God, and what is my family, that you have brought me to this place in life?  But that’s nothing compared to what’s coming, for you’ve also spoken of my family far into the future, given me a glimpse into tomorrow and looked on me…O God, out of the goodness of your heart, you’ve taken your servant to do this great thing and put your great work on display…Because you have blessed it, God, it’s really blessed–blessed for good!”

(1 Chronicles 17:1-4 ,10-12, 15-19, 27 The Message)

Even with David, he wanted to do something good for God–to build a house for the Ark of the Covenant.  There was absolutely nothing wrong with David’s intentions; it seemed perfectly right for David to build it.  Even Nathan the prophet agreed with him at first, that is until the Lord spoke to Nathan and told him otherwise.

The same is true for us today.  Here’s the lesson that I’ve learned through this passage: sometimes, even things that we want to do for His glory though–whether accomplishing a goal, pursuing a certain career, or trying to be a different person–sometimes, these aren’t a part of God’s plan for us.  This doesn’t mean that His plan will be any easier, just because it’s what He has called us to do.  As a friend once told me, “God makes the cotton grow, but you still have to pick up the plow.” Out of the goodness of His heart though, God has called each of us to serve Him based on how He created us, each with our own strengths, weaknesses, talents, etc.

In times when we realize that God’s plan for our lives is different than our own, I pray that we will not be discouraged.  Instead, I pray that we will realize that He has done it all out of the goodness of His heart.  After all, we were created to contribute to the body of Christ in our own way: with a spunky personality or a quiet disposition, a passionate drive or a practical sense of reasoning.  I pray that we will continue to give thanks even in times when we realize that His plans are different than our own, but that they are for His glory and the glory of His kingdom to come.   They are blessed because He has blessed them. 🙂

Thoughts from an airplane gate

As I write these words, I am sitting at the gate A25, Southwest of the Raleigh-Durham airport.  It’s been a while since the last time I was in an airport like this, but the feeling is still the same: amazement.

Only through the purchase of my airplane ticket and the need to travel home, I’m in a place where I’m surrounded by faces that I have never seen before and, probably, will never see again.  While that sounds a little depressing, I don’t

mean for it be that way.  Instead, this is a very humbling experience because it is a reminder of just how big this world is.

How often do we go about our day-to-day life and feel as though it could be contained within the glass of a snow globe?  For me, this ha

ppens very often.   When I examine my own life, I see the joys and the struggles, the hopes and the fears, and everything else in between that fills my days.  When I am in a situation like this, sitting in the airport though, I imagine the story of my life and then think to myself, “Every single person waiting at this gate, walking in this airport, has a life story of their own.”

Do you know what’s even more amazing than this statement?”  That our Heavenly Father cares for each and every single person in here and loves them more than they could ever imagine, whether they realize it or not.

Well, I think that’s enough philosophy for the moment because now it’s time to get an ice cream cone.  I’ve been sitting across from a Cinnabon and Carvel yogurt shop for the past two hours waiting for my plane, so a chocolate and vanilla swirl ice cream cone sounds really good right about now.  Have a wonderful and God-Blessed day today!