Monday, March 15, 2010

Scripture Memory Verse #6

I love it when God reveals themes to me in the different seasons of my life. At this point in time, I would describe myself as a young married professional, doing my best to maintain a household, live an active and healthy lifestyle, stay connected to my faith, and be the best that I can be in my relationships, work, extracurricular activities, etc.

I've been leading a small group in a women's bible study at church for awhile and I always just go with the flow and participate in whatever study the church is offering. I always find it amazing how the study we do is directly related to what I'm going through in my life. Right now, we're studying "Esther: It's Tough Being a Woman" by Beth Moore and I'm working through Week 5: It's Tough Being a Woman in the Tight Fist of Fear. In addition to this study, I'm also reading the book "So Long, Insecurity: You've Been a Bad Friend to Us," also by Beth Moore. I'm loving how God is revealing to me the command to trust in Him alone and place all of my security in Him, as opposed to the world and its temporary offers and promises. Not being afraid and placing my heart in His control is exactly what I need to be doing.

Let me give an example of why I need to be focusing on this simple truth...We just placed an offer on a house in the country. We have lived in the city for quite sometime, and for the past few years, we've really been trying to save money so we can retreat to a secluded place. This house is exactly what we've talked about - a lovely ranch, nestled in the woods, with plenty of space for our future family and family/friend gatherings. It offers everything from gorgeous outdoor to cozy indoor entertaining opportunities. It is an exquisite, custom-built home and yes, we have put an offer in on it. The catch: its in short sale status...meaning, its going to take some time. We are in a position where we could stay in the city awhile longer and be just fine or move out to the country and be just fine. Both places have their pros and cons and we're not in a hurry to move. But we've decided this is an amazing opportunity, so why not take a chance and see where God leads us? And as much as I am trusting in God, I'm also getting anxious and nervous all at the same time. I think about the stress of moving, the increased house payments, and leaving our first home together behind. I also think about staying in the city and having to continue to drive 80 miles roundtrip to work each day, sharing a driveway, listening to cars all the time, and having little privacy. Needless to say, I find myself getting stressed out over both options and working myself into a tizzy to try and keep things organized and get things ready to go should this all work out. My mind has had a hard time shutting off at night as I ponder all the differences and try to come up with my idea of what would be best for us. But God is saying, "Hannah, I've already got it figured out. Trust in ME!"

So, to get to the reason for my post... I have found the verse I'm going to be focusing on over the rest of this month...

Isaiah 26:3-4 (The Message)

"People with their minds set on You, you keep completely whole, steady on their feet, because they keep at it and don't quit. Depend on God and keep at it because in the LORD GOD you have a sure thing."

I love this verse, especially the way The Message says it so clearly. It really resonates with me. My prayer is to keep my mind set on Christ no matter what is going on with or around me and to place all of my dependence in the One who already has my whole life planned from beginning to end. I ask that He would allow me to find greater trust and security in Him and that He would reveal His plans to me as I seek out His will for my life. Amen!

Fitness Update: Last week I started training for the 5K I'm doing this weekend and did 18.5 miles of running/walking. I lost 3 lbs over the last week and as of today, I have lost 12.2 lbs total since January 4th!!! The running is really making a difference and I am feeling great! I am only 2.8 lbs away from my real goal, and only 7.8 lbs away from my best goal. I'm curious to see how this will continue. Praises to God for giving me the strength to keep up with my workouts and eating healthy!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

2010 Vision Board

Just a quick post to share the vision board I created for the 2010 year based on the goals and values I have set for myself. It encapsulates everything, including: health/fitness, marriage/family, faith/spirituality, recreation, and encouragement. I am so excited to have it done and in a place where I can see it everyday to keep me focused on the important things in life!

Monday, March 1, 2010

Scripture Memory Verse #5

Happy March! I love it when a new month starts because when I look at the calendar I see a new beginning filled with exciting opportunities and endless possibilities. I am looking forward to what this month will bring!

The sunrise on my way to work this morning was breathtaking. For the first time in a long time, it feels like spring and it’s WONDERFUL! This time of year is incredible to me. After winter, it’s so refreshing to see everything come alive again and be reminded of God’s beauty and the wonder of his creation. I’m excited about spending more time outside, opening the windows to let the fresh air and sunshine in, and the smell of fresh cut green grass. It really doesn’t get any better than that, does it?

Because the sunrise was so inspiring to me this morning, I decided to look online to see if there was a verse that spoke about the sun. I found this one and loved it…

Psalm 19:5-6, NCV
"The sun comes out like a bridegroom from his bedroom.
It rejoices like an athlete eager to run a race.
The sun rises at one end of the sky
and follows its path to the other end.
Nothing hides from its heat.

One of the lines that caught my attention comes from verse 5… “It rejoices like an athlete eager to run a race.” This is very fitting because tonight I actually start my training schedule for the 5K I’ve decided to run on March 20th. I’ve continued with my healthy eating and exercise plan – as of today I’ve officially lost 8 pounds – and I really want to get outside and start running again. I know it won’t be easy, but I’m up for the challenge and feeling good about the opportunity to race in support of a good cause! I’ll keep you posted on my progress.

Now, to get to my scripture memory verse for the next 15 days… I was racking my brain trying to think of the area God would like me to focus more on in my spiritual life. I wasn’t quite sure where He was leading, but I got on my church’s website and learned that the first sermon of this month is going to center on prayer and its importance in the life of a believer. Prayer has always been an up and down activity for me. Sometimes I’m really consistent and fervent in my prayers and other times, I’m totally out of the communication loop with Him. I also don’t always know how to listen for God’s answers to my prayers or what I’m listening for exactly. Anyone else ever feel that way? Like you throw it out there and then…what? I’ve realized that prayer is something I really need to cultivate more of in my life. To be in God’s presence and lift everything up to Him, surrendering full control and letting Him take over from there…that’s what I need to do!

So, my 5th scripture for memory is Matthew 6:6 from The Message…

"Here's what I want you to do: Find a quiet, secluded place so you won't be tempted to role-play before God. Just be there as simply and honestly as you can manage. The focus will shift from you to God, and you will begin to sense His grace."

My hope is to not only memorize this verse, but put it into practice! Here's to prayer...Amen!