Life, Spiritual Walk

A Time of Preparation

The summer can be a time of relaxation: kid’s are out of school, days are longer, the weather is nicer. On the Sundays my husband and I have been able to go to our home church, the pews have been mostly empty (which I attribute to summer camps and vacation, not a general godlessness with the warm weather). I was watching a Jim Gaffigan comedy special and he summed it up perfectly: we spend all fall, winter, and spring in our hometowns, only to leave them and travel elsewhere when we finally have weather at home to enjoy.

Well, for my husband and I, this summer has been anything but relaxing. We’ve had a constant stream of what are we preparing for next? First, it was our jobs, and the large event that is commissioning in The Salvation Army. Once that weekend was over, it was getting ready to be guests at a music camp in New Jersey. We’ve now been back from that for a little over a week, and next Thursday we leave for Camp Meetings in Old Orchard Beach, ME. As soon as we return, we go our separate ways, with my husband working and teaching at another music camp and myself going to visit my parents and then going to a prayer ministry training in PA.

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Life, Marriage, Spiritual Walk, Weddings

Two Years Later: Our Story

The night before my wedding, I was waiting for my sister/Maid of Honor, future SIL, and best friend/bridesmaid to get back from Target to take me to The Cheesecake Factory for my Bachelorette party. I wasn’t interested in doing anything elaborate, but they insisted on running out before we left. I had previously written my vows, but I felt like I needed to rework them before the next day, so I sat down with my computer and read through them. In the end, I told the story of how I had a crush on a certain young man for most of my life, and how I followed trusted God with every step along the way.

At 7 years old, I developed a crush on a boy at my church in Batavia, NY. His parent’s had been assigned as the pastors a few years previously, and though my first crush was not him, it quickly became him when I realized how cute he was. Who can remember why a crush is developed at a young age, but I can remember going to church and being excited to see him. During a musical when I was 8 or 9, my mother was the director, and had that young man and myself dance together during one of the songs: “Cast the nets, cast the nets, casts the nets in the seaaaaaaa.” (You may recognize that song if you did any children’s musicals at your church in the 90’s or early 00’s: I did Fish Tales 2 or 3 times at least.)

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Life, Spiritual Walk

An Unwanted New Beginning

I’m feeling a bit sad and sentimental today. Last night was the finale for the end of the program year at the Spring Valley Salvation Army, and in two weeks is the final party for the mentoring program I’ve been volunteering at with the Spring Valley High School.

Last year at this time, I was saying goodbye to the church and the after school program that my husband and I attended and volunteered at in Brooklyn. I was feeling heartbroken, lost, and uncertain about out next steps. I didn’t want to find a new church, and I especially didn’t want to attend the specific one that God kept on leading us back to as the most logical choice. But the drive and the tolls were becoming too much of a burden on our finances, and everyone was supportive of our move away from our church and to the next. I was so stubborn with God–I felt like it was His job to give us a new solution, since I was so unhappy with the one He was proposing.

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Life, Spiritual Walk

In the Details

I have eight unfinished blog posts sitting in my draft folder, waiting for me to flush out why it was I felt the topics were important in the first place. Over the past month, I would start one, get a few sentences in, and ask myself what the point was. Why did I feel compelled to write about a particular subject? I kept getting hung up, stuck, uncertain about how to proceed.

I know that what was truly holding me back was that this topic has been on the forefront of my mind and I had to get it out before I could move on to anything else.

In the current season of my life, my prayer list is full of some pretty heavy prayer requests and concerns. They involve big things for myself and for my husband: prayers for the direction of my career, for our family, for my husband’s career, for our future house hunting, just to name a few. I feel like there are so many things that are just up in the air and we don’t have a clear direction of who/what/where/when, etc.

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Life, Spiritual Walk

Read through the Bible in 2017

I’m embarrassed to write this, but I am 25-years-old, have been a Christian since I re-accepted Jesus into my heart at 11, and I have never taken the time to read through the entire Bible.

I’m embarrassed to admit it because there have been many times that I tried, and failed. I became a Senior Soldier in The Salvation Army at 14 (which means I became a member of the Church). That was the first year I tried. I began in the Old Testament, concerned that if I didn’t read it through in order, I wouldn’t understand everything in the New Testament. I think that was my first problem. That try, I got through most of Exodus before I finally gave up.

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Life, Spiritual Walk, Writing

After “Wait and See”

“So do not be afraid. I am with you. Do not be terrified. I am your God. I will make you strong and help you. My powerful right hand will take good care of you. I will always do what is right.” –Isaiah 41:10 (NIRV)

So, it’s been a few days, and I completed the “Wait and See” reading plan that I spoke about in a previous blog post. To say that God answered my prayers in the time we spent together during this devotional almost seems to make light of the time we spent together. I have no doubt of the things He told me, and know exactly how to proceed in the matter that I took to Him in prayer. I can’t say that I have ever felt so strongly about knowing the course of action that God has wanted me to take, and it has taken a huge weight off of my mind. Was this outcome based on the reading plan I chose? Not at all. God knew that my heart was truly searching his will in this matter, and I know He used this plan to help speak to me.

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Life, Spiritual Walk

Wait and See

“Here is something I am still sure of. I will see the Lord’s goodness while I’m still alive.  Wait for the Lord. Be strong and don’t lose hope. Wait for the Lord.”

–Psalm 27:13-14 (NIRV)

 

Last month when I was writing the column for the January issue of the Young Salvationist, I stumbled across a section on Bible.com that I had never seen before. The theme for the issue was Everyday Saint, and as I was brainstorming ideas to help the young adult readers be “everyday saints.” So as part of one of my sections, I started looking up Bible reading plans. That’s when I found the entire section on plans here.

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Life, Spiritual Walk

Why I Give Thanks

Friend,

On thanksgiving, it’s kind of a rule that you have to be thankful for something, and you have to share those things you are thankful for with others. So here it is, my obligatory, “thankful” post.

But why does it have to be obligatory? Well, this year I’ve done a really bad job at being thankful. It’s actually become more and more of a habit for me. It’s hard to concentrate on all the good things around me when my fears and anxieties take center stage. It can almost feel like a post about thankfulness has to be obligatory, rather than authentic. But I want to change that in this coming year.

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Life, Spiritual Walk

A Prayer for the Election

Dear Friend,

If you are anything like me, then you’re nervous about what’s going to happen tonight. It does not matter in the slightest to me your political views, but no one can deny that either way, tomorrow we will wake up with half of the country upset that their candidate did not win. And either way, there will be a new President that has to overcome a lot of hurdles and disappointment with their election.

No matter what you’re feeling tonight, can I just encourage you to pray?

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Life, Spiritual Walk, Writing

My Dreams, God’s Plan

“We can make our plans, but the Lord determines our steps.” (Proverbs 16:9 NLT)

Dear Friend,

Today I am once again struggling with what to write for my monthly column for the Young Salvationist Magazine. This is not a rare occurrence for me, unfortunately, but a monthly ritual. After my column for the month previous has been turned in on the first (really more like the 7th though), I start looking at the topic due for the next month.

That’s usually when I realize I have no idea what I want to say.

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