Monday, January 20, 2014

InstaThoughts: the Bible Study That Wasn't

Friday night, I was supposed to attend a new-to-me Bible study. God opened a lot of doors in order to let me go, and as I've been craving good Biblical fellowship, I was super excited to see what He was going to teach me. I knew a few of the attendees and knew that several others were great Christian people. It seemed perfect. 

Then I woke up Friday morning with a headache. It got worse as the day went along, but I was convinced that Bible study would be worth it, even with a headache. I was over halfway there when I realized I couldn't go. I ended up at home, nursing a throbbing headache and the chills and nausea that come along with that. It was disappointed to miss what I was so sure would be a great night, and the chance to make new friends, but God reminded me He has a plan for all things in my life and that I don't need a Bible study to be close to Him. He is always enough. 

I took that selfie in the mirror before bed. I was supposed to be in a new house, talking among people I had never met. I took this picture not to document my disappointment (or to show that I obviously don't care how my hair looks when I'm sick), but rather to remind myself how a night can be different and still be beautiful. I got to witness my siblings playing "mission trip to Kenya" and spend some time learning from Jesus. I don't know why it wasn't in His plans for me to go Friday night, but I do know that He is always good. 

{This is the beginning of a new series which will use pictures and thoughts from my Instagram feed and flesh them out a bit. They won't be as long as a normal post, but I hope they will encourage you just the same.}

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Turning the Page

two thousand thirteen

It was a crazy,

One of my favorite verses this year (and consequently, one of my favorite things I memorized) was Isaiah 43:1-4. 

“Fear not, for I have redeemed you;
    I have called you by name, you are mine. 
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
    and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you;
when you walk through fire you shall not be burned,
    and the flame shall not consume you.
For I am the Lord your God,
    the Holy One of Israel, your Savior...
You are precious in my eyes,
    and honored, and I love you..."

Isn't it beautiful?? These four verses have been SUCH a blessing. God has used them to help me so much, in so many circumstances. I've texted them to friends, written them on school papers, recited them in family devotions and while driving down the road and standing in Lake Michigan with the waves washing over my feet. God speaks to me every time.

I definitely want- need- to read and memorize more Scripture this year. I don't have firm goals in this area yet, but I definitely want to do indepth study of the NT letters and want to memorize several passages and/or chapters. So excited to see what God will teach me this year!!

We sang this song in church this summer and I've loved it ever since.I've sung this one in northern MI, southern CA, and everywhere in between. There's nothing like belting "Jesus, ONLY Jesus!" in Satan's face in moments of attack.

Our family thrives on music. We have Christian music playing every day, and I love it. I would love to solidify some basic guitar chords so that I can pick up my guitar and worship God, instead of strumming away with no purpose.

Favorite Blog Posts of 2013:

My goals for this little blog include a good long heart post once a month, along with a short post with a few thoughts, verses and pictures every few weeks. I love to write, and I want to keep it a priority in the craziness of transcripts and starting my senior year and such.

I read 163 books last year. Some were for school, some were fun "fluff," some were children's chapter books, and some were good uplifting nonfiction. My favorites were:

 I know I won't be able to read as much this year. School and working and school (and honestly, facebook) have taken up much of my time. My goal is 75 books right now, and I hope that I'll be able to prioritize my time to read that many.
I don't know what things God is going to do in my life this year. 
I know there will be hard moments. 
There will be I-can-hardly-breathe-this-is-so-perfect moments.
I'll cry.
I'll laugh.
God will choose to let some of my plans for my life come into being.
He'll also choose to remove some of them for something better.

He may take me home to heaven this year.

What He does, I'm choosing to to intentionally live every moment to the fullest, putting God above all, people above things, enrichment over mindless surfing, health over ease. I'm SO thankful that NEVER ONCE will I ever walk alone, that my God will "never leave [me] or forsake [me]."

Bring it on, 2014. 

I've got the King of the world on my side.