Tuesday, March 15, 2011

My Mountaintop Experience

Greetings! I have made it back safe and sound from good ole Colorado. Today has been spent recovering from the time difference, not to mention daylight savings, and catching up on life. (It always feels good to be home sweet home after time away!)

Colorado was AMAZING! We had an absolute blast. While the guys were skiing, I got to spend time with my new friend, Nina. We had ourselves some good old fashioned girl time as we ran together, hiked Red Rocks Trail, chatted, and ate some great food (I'm now a huge fan of Old Chicago by the way). Then when the four of us reconnected, we visited downtown Denver, Estes Park, Rocky Mountain National Park, and even a Butterfly Pavilion close to where our friends live. So many lovely sights to behold. The scenery literally takes your breath away. It's just incredible out there. I look forward to going back soon and can't wait to see what other adventures await us!

So, I love how God works. He's such a mysterious and majestic God, yet loving and tender all at the same time. While in Colorado, I was offered a position with an agency that is not too far from my home. I have accepted the position and will be starting my new role as a Domestic Violence and Children's Advocate next Monday, March 21st! I am very excited about what God has in store for me in this next journey as it is a new area of work for me. I think it's going to be an incredibly challenging, yet rewarding job, and I'm ready to dive right in! Praise God for His provision and perfect timing! He is so GOOD and FAITHFUL!

Now back to mountains...In my bible study, we recently covered the transfiguration of Christ on the mountain. Beth Moore defined a mountaintop experience as that change that occurs in us as we see Christ transfigured for ourselves. I do not find it a coincidence at all that shortly after studying this, I actually got to travel to the mountains for myself, while reflecting on all that God has been changing and revealing to me throughout this current season. I thought being offered a job would be my "mountaintop experience," but it turns out that my time of unemployment actually has been my mountaintop experience as it has brought me closer to God in so many ways. I've learned so much about Him as I've diligently sought Him through His Word and prayer, and been engaged in my bible study, fellowship with other believers, and the sermons at church. My testimony has been greatly strengthened through this process. I have had to learn to trust God with everything and let Him have full control. I have had to put His will above my own and submit to His authority. I wonder if I hadn't done that, if I would be where I am now...at peace and more deeply in love with my God. I don't think I would be. I'm so glad that He has stayed close to me through this experience and that He lead me back to Him, even when I was tempted to turn the other way. He is so sweet and I am so grateful for Him. I can't wait to take what I've learned on the mountaintop and apply it to my coming valley!

So, because God is faithful to His promises, I have chosen the following scripture to memorize for the next 15 days...

Memory Verse #6:

Lamentations 3:25, The Message
"God proves to be good to the [woman] who passionately waits, to the woman who diligently seeks."

Thank You, Lord, for Your goodness! I am blessed to be called Your Daughter. I praise You and love You!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

2011 Vision Board

Just had to post a picture of my new vision board for the new year! I got in the mood yesterday and spent five hours putting all of my clippings together to make this big collage of the different categories I'm focusing on over this year: faith, health, marriage/family, career, and hobbies (reading, being outdoors, style, and drinking coffee...yes, I had to get my coffee fix even on my board...lol). Cheers to 2011!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Living a Great Adventure

It's the start of an exciting week. On Wednesday my husband I are venturing off to Colorado for an extended weekend trip so he can get his ski-fix for the winter. I'm tagging along and looking forward to the change of scenery. I'm hoping to relax and absorb the clean, fresh mountain air while doing some exploring, visiting, and meditating. I think the time away will be good for us. It will most likely be our last big trip for awhile with spring and summer drawing closer, so I pray for it to be a blast! My hubby was so sweet this morning and put a love note in my devotional telling me how excited he is for our trip! I love that man more than words can express!

Still in the process of job searching and interviewing. The job openings have been few and far between. Last week I found myself getting really down and discouraged, but I have to keep making the daily decision to just trust in the LORD and let Him do His thing. Whatever He has planned is far better than I could ever imagine!

I weighed in this morning at my lowest weight yet, with my overall total weight loss since January 2010 at 36.4 lbs! (That's like losing a small child!) I'm pretty excited to see that I'm still losing weight while building muscle and toning up. I just might have to buy a bikini for this summer. We'll see though...I'm a modest girl and don't always feel comfortable in those...but it might be nice to get a tan and look good for my man...lol!

I've got my next race scheduled for Saturday, March 19th. My girlfriend, Nicole, who is also an avid runner is coming down that Friday for a girl's night and then we're getting up and running the Shamrock 5K the next day! We did that race last year and it was pretty fun, so I'm looking forward to doing it again, and to spending some time with her!

I don't think I've mentioned yet that I am an AUNT! My nephew, Jace Ryan, was born February 11th! He is an absolute doll. I have not had the chance to meet him yet, as my brother and sister-in-law live in South Carolina, but I'm hoping that I'll get to meet him this Spring. I've included some pictures in this post to show him off. He's just darling and perfect in every way!

So lots going on these days...sometimes I feel I'm busier than I was when I worked, but I suppose that's okay. I don't mind it. We were reminded in church a few weeks ago that God calls us to live and take part in a great adventure. I'm totally into living it up in Him! So where He leads and what He wills, I'm game for!

I'll catch up again after my trip. Here's to safe travels and great adventure living!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Happy March!

It's MARCH! The sun is shining, the birds have been singing their sweet songs all day, and the wonderful Spring season is only 20 days away! YAY! This is a time of year I just love. The snow melts to reveal green grass, everything comes back to life after the dead of winter, the air smells oh so good and fresh, and the colors are vivid and vibrant as things start to bloom. It reminds me of the following bible passage...

Song of Songs 2:11-13, NIV
"See! The winter is past; the rains are over and gone. Flowers appear on the earth; the season of singing has come, the cooing of doves is heard in our land. The fig tree forms its early fruit; the blossoming vines spread their fragrance."

That passage just gets me all excited for the things that await these coming weeks and months! I have a feeling it's going to be a beautiful Spring and Summer season as our Winter has been quite sunny and lovely.

So, I'm still in the process of job searching. I've had more interviews, but nothing that seems particularly promising. I woke up feeling anxious about the fact that it's already March and I still have not had a job offer. My devotional (Jesus Calling) spoke directly to me regarding anxiety and so before I got caught up in all the activities of my day, I just got on my knees and poured out my anxiety to God. It's funny how when I do that and even pray for other people as well, how much better I feel when I'm done. I know that God is at work and that He's got an awesome plan. It's just a matter of time before something amazing comes my way. Until then, I keep persevering in faith, doing my part and allowing Him to do the rest!

This brings me to the fifth memory verse I've chosen to focus on over the next 15 days. This particular passage was part of my devotional reading this morning and it really spoke volumes to me...

Isaiah 26:3-4, NIV
"You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you. Trust in the LORD forever, for the LORD, the LORD, is the Rock eternal."

Peace. Steadfastness. Trust. The LORD. This verse basically encompasses everything I'm wanting and feeling right now. Oh, how I love the Word of God!

I was working on my bible study this morning and it pointed to Isaiah 51. Upon reading, I was touched by how it spoke to me. I like to personalize scripture, so in certain spots, I inserted my name to make it more meaningful. I think it's a good follow-up to my new memory verse...

Isaiah 51:1,3, NIV
"Listen to me [Hannah], you who pursue righteousness and who seek the LORD: Look to the rock from which you were cut and to the quarry from which you were hewn; ... The LORD will surely comfort [Hannah] and will look with compassion on all her ruins; he will make her deserts like Eden, her wastelands like the garden of the LORD. Joy and gladness will be found in her, thanksgiving and the sound of singing."

I'm dedicating this month to not only avid pursuit of a job, but to more avid pursuit of my God. I'm ready for Him to make this desert of unemployment a garden of passionate, fulfilling work for the betterment of His Kingdom! LORD, do Your thing!

Before I sign off for the day, let me share a quick story. This past weekend, my girlfriend and I participated in our local church Food Drop event which served the purpose of delivering food boxes to 2,714 families in this area. We delivered five of those boxes, and had an awesome experience. In short, right before our fourth stop, we prayed for God to be at work through us and to minister to the person(s) we were about to meet. Well, He went to work indeed! After meeting and praying with the woman we delivered to, she began to ask us about our particular church. It turns out she recently recommitted her life to Christ and has been attending a smaller church in the area. We gave her basic information on our church and when we told her we had a Saturday service and we were actually going to it that night, she got very excited and said she wanted to come. We gave her the information, told her to call us if she needed anything, and left, but before leaving we prayed that she would come and that God would protect her in the meantime. He listened, and she came to church with her children, and she even brought her friend and her kids! PRAISE GOD! Blessing upon blessing! God is so GOOD!