3 Quotes that speak to me

“Maybe we need to think wildly different. Maybe we need to go in our communities and serve them. Give them things they do need. Maybe they’d consider going to a meeting and engaging with a group of kind people who have loved on them for a while. Maybe we need to fix our communications so that they’ll know.” – Mark MacDonald

“So I want you to consider making your life one long gift to others.  And why not? All you have is on loan, anyway.  All that lasts is what you pass on… So I ask you to begin giving, and to continue as you began.  I think you’ll find in the end that you got far more than you ever had, and did more good than you ever dreamed.” – Stephen King

“When we explore options for increasing what the master has entrusted to us, we will reap the reward and be found faithful.” – Nelson Searcy

Where do you see Jesus in your day?

Recently, a friend suggested that I take time at the end of my day to ask myself “Where did I see Jesus today?”

At night, I climb in my bed, snuggle under the covers and let myself think back over my day. (On the nights that I remember. No guilt is allowed if I forget!) 🙂

Most nights at least one thing pops into my mind almost immediately.

I don’t write these down. I just reflect on how I saw Jesus and silently celebrate His presence.

There have been a few times where the thing that popped into my mind included something that happened with someone else. And when I’ve taken the time to share with the other person that I saw Jesus through something they said or did, it has been very special.  Who doesn’t like hearing that Jesus was seen in them?

I’ve always known God was working in my life and in others’ too. I just haven’t been that great at looking for it on a daily basis.

But now that I’m starting to look for it more, I am learning to expect it.  I’ve realized over the last week that I have begun noticing His presence more during my day.  I still reflect on it at night, but I’m getting better at noticing Him in the middle of my day.

Most of the time, it comes in the smallest things.

I see Jesus in conversations with friends.

I see Jesus in my husband dancing silly. Really any time I see him happy.

I see Jesus when I laugh so hard I cry.

I see Jesus when my kids play nice together. 🙂

God is with us. There is evidence of his presence in our lives everywhere.

We…I just have to look for it.

Where do you see Jesus in your day?

My Story

I had another realization this Sunday in Bible Class.

I was saved and baptized when I was 9 years old. That’s pretty young, but I fully understood what I was doing and felt called by God. I have always been someone who follows rules, so before my salvation experience, I was a good little 9-year-old kid. Afterwards, I was still a good little 9-year-old kid.  I don’t have a big conversion story where there was a drastic change in my life.

I have always struggled with how to share my testimony when I don’t have much to say about my conversion experience. Of course I sinned before I was saved, but I’ve sinned plenty after I was saved too.

But lately, in our Becoming a Contagious Christian series, we’ve talked a lot in our class and LIFE Group about the “becoming” part. We tend to put a lot of emphasis on the initial conversion experience, but the reality is we will continue “becoming” for the rest of the time that we are on this Earth.

I’ve realized that my story includes my conversion experience, but then it also includes every other experience from that point on. How I’ve screwed up and been redeemed…over and over! Lessons that I have learned along the way. Ways that I have grown.  Ways that God has obviously shown up and in my life and touched me.  How I’ve lost faith over and over again along the way and God continues to bring me back to him.  How God has truly been changing my life.  How God has loved me through it all!

And I’ve realized that because of the experiences I have had, I find it much easier to connect with people.  That doors to spiritual conversations will be flung open wide if I choose to listen to others’ stories and help any way I can from the experiences that I have had.  And people need to see how we are allowing God to change our lives on a daily basis!

Everyone’s conversion experience is incredibly important!  Just don’t forget that the rest of your story is equally important!  And people need to hear about it!

Just wanna have fun!

I was already going to write a quick post on this, and then I saw this quote from a church I follow on Facebook:

“We think that fearing failure will help us avoid failure, but fear of failure doesn’t prevent us from failing; it robs us of the joy of living.”

I have spent pretty much all of my life not really being me.  So much so that I didn’t know who I was.  I spent a lot of time trying to figure others out and learn what I could do to make them like me.  So there wasn’t any time for just being me…whatever that was.

All of my life, I have tried to fit in, make people like me, look smart, look like I have my act together…the list goes on!  I’m a people pleaser, and I’ve tried so hard trying to make others happy that I didn’t have a fat clue who I really was.  It’s taken going through lots of really hard things to wake me up.  But you know what finally woke me up in the end?  I realized how much I am loved and accepted by God.

That did it!

God is stinkin’ in love with me.  And that takes the pressure off!  He’s the only one that I really want to impress, and He already thinks I’m perfect just the way He made me!

And you know what I want to do now?  I want to have a whole heck of a lot of fun.  I want to live!  I’ve robbed myself of a lot of fun, connections with people, etc. because I’ve been so worried about everything!  But now that I feel free to be me, I feel like I’m constantly looking for fun.

Who can I talk to?  What can I create?  What can I do?  Where can I go?  What can I do to make things fun for others?  How do I find fun in every situation?

I haven’t had as much fun as I should have been having up to now because I couldn’t get past myself.

The fun is in moving past yourself and moving deeper into the lives of those around us.

And that’s what I plan to do!

Spiritual Gifts

Recently, I searched the internet to find an online spiritual gifts test to use for our church website.  When I found the one that we are going to use, I took the test to make sure it’s what we were really looking for.  It turned out to be great, and I am jazzed that we are going to be rolling it out soon!

When I took the test, I was sort of surprised by my results.  It said my spiritual gifts were:

Faith

Administration (Well, OK, I kind of figured this would be one)

Pastor

I really can’t remember what my results have been in the past.  And I honestly had no clue what they were going to be this time.  But I was really surprised by what I got back…until I thought about it.

I think my Faith and Pastor results go hand in hand.  I’ve experienced enough in my adult life to know that no matter what happens, God is faithful and loving and that is not going to change!  And because I know that, I have a deep desire to help others that are going through rough stuff.  I want to love on them and let them also know that everything is going to be OK.

Tonight, while riding back to my hotel room, I was thinking about this spiritual gifts test and my results.  It struck me that my gifts of Faith and Pastor are truly gifts.  And that I wouldn’t have received those gifts without going through lots of really hard stuff.

When I thought about this, I was immediately comforted once again by the fact that God has a truly beautiful plan for my life.  And though I’ve hated all the hard stuff I’ve had to face, I’ve gotten some beautiful gifts out of it all!  And I am blessed by the fact that I get to use these gifts each and every day to help others!