Jesus Calling

“It is good that you recognize your weakness. That keeps you looking to Me, your Strength. Abundant life is…living in continual dependence on Me. Instead of trying to fit this day into a preconceived mold, relax, and be on the lookout for what I am doing. This mind-set will free you to enjoy Me and to find what I have planned for you to do. This is far better than trying to make things go according to your own plan.
You have Me on your side, so what are you worried about? I can equip you to do absolutely anything, as long as it is My will. The more difficult your day, the more I yearn to help you. Anxiety wraps you up in yourself, trapping you in your won thoughts. When you look to me and whisper My Name, you break free and received My help. Focus on Me, and you will find Peace in My presence.
~ Sarah Young from Jesus Calling, March 16

I’ll be the first to admit that my time spent in reading my Bible and praying with the Lord is very inconsistent. But I recently purchased Jesus Calling by Sarah Young and it’s been a great way to very slowly try to retrain my mind towards focusing on the Lord at least once a day. I also recently purchased Chris Rice’s albums The Living Room Sessions and Peace Like a River and Meredith Andrews’ Worth It All. All three have been playing on shuffle since Sunday and they have been a great way to keep me focused on God throughout my day.

So today. What are you doing to keep yourself focused on the Lord? Are you continually seeking the Peace that God offers anyone who comes to Him with an open heart? Or are you draining yourself dry trying to do life on your own?

I shower blessings on you daily, but sometimes you don’t perceive them. When your mind is stuck on a negative focus, you see neither Me nor My gifts. ~Sarah Young from Jesus Calling, March 20

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God,which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7

Hello world

Well once again, it’s been a long time since I’ve blogged! Life has been busy with holidays, family, friends, making my new rental a home, shoveling snow, a fabulous trip to AUSTRALIA (blog post coming soon!), and of course work.

Life in a 2 bedroom house all by yourself can be wonderful, ridiculous, tiring, hilarious, and lonely, all at the same time. If I had a nickle for every time I’ve said, “A roommate would be awesome right now”, I’d be rich. And not renting! But in general, life is good! I love being able to decorate my own place, cook whatever I want whenever I want, have guests over (hint hint), and being able to stretch out on my couch – because space is sometimes limited in a larger family : ) And while paying bills is not glamorous, I still enjoy being responsible.

I recently read this article by Paul Angone called 7 Habits of Highly Miserable Twenty-Somethings and he talked about how it is so easy for our twenty-something generation to find something, anything to complain about!

1. Complain-isicm

It seems that complaining, with a heavy dose of cynicism, has become our national pastime. It only takes three minutes on Facebook, Twitter, talk radio, or the news stations to know that if you’re not complaining about something, you’re a bit of an outsider.

We complain about our crappy jobs, the slow Wi-Fi, our leaders in the office and around the world, and the waiter who brought only one basket of bread—the whole night! Jerk.

Complain-iscm has become signature to our society—as culturally cool as deep v-necks and neon sunglasses. However, I learned that the road to miserable is paved with complainers and cynics.

And it is so true! When one person starts complaining, it has a terrible domino effect – suddenly the entire group is complaining about that manager, that waitress, the terrible thing that happened to them, etc. Sometimes I feel like if I don’t chip in and make a small comment, I am not sympathetic towards the person talking or something like that. I feel obligated to contribute to the wailing.

But I don’t want to contribute! Why are we always finding the negative in situations? Are we really as happy by doing that?? Would we not be happier talking about the good things going on in our lives, the co-worker that really stepped up in that situation, the really funny thing your kids did for your birthday, that sweet gesture your husband did for no reason?

Don’t get me wrong – sometimes it is necessary to vent/debrief/whatever after a difficult situation. Trust me, I get it! But move on quickly. Don’t dwell on the situation. And if someone is complaining/venting to you, be sympathetic, but don’t add to the chaos. Help the person move on, change the subject, whatever!

There’s plenty of negativity in the world! Why not brighten it up a bit?! : )

That being said, here are a few things I’m thankful for tonight:

-fantastic worship at church (Harvest Peoria had Meredith Andrews as a guest worship leader this AM!)
-God having this funny way of knowing just what I need and fulfilling that need
-Chris Rice’s Piano Hymns CD – soothing and helps me to re-focus this Sunday night
-warm blankets and hoodies
-a large mug of chamomile tea
-family
-candles
-being able to pay my bills
-a hoarse voice from singing in a choir again!

And best of all: a merciful, loving, forgiving God who welcomes me with open arms despite me being a dummy! : )

What are you thankful for today? Who are you thankful for today? What brightened your day? Who flipped your frown upside down?

beach 2

Teaser for my Aussie post! I promise it’s coming : )