Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Lead Me Where My Trust is Without Borders

"Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders
Let me walk upon the waters
Wherever You would call me.
Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander
And my faith will be made stronger
In the presence of my Savior."

I love this song, "Oceans," by Hillsong. I've been playing it while I get ready in the morning and in the car (that is, when Ava lets me take a break from Disney Junior's wide selection of Choo Choo Soul and Pirate Rock songs). 

Yesterday, I began to think to myself, "They say this stanza over and over...like 6 times." But, of course, I sang along with it probably 36 times because I had it on repeat. Again in my car this morning, I was like, "Seriously, why is it repeated so many times?" (By now, you probably know that I don't believe in coincidences. I believe everything happens for a reason as God sees fit). And then it hit me. I was finally hearing God's still, small voice speaking to me....

Ben and I have been trying really hard to pay off student loans and other debts we have, but it has been a struggle so far. In addition to our typical monthly bills, we've had my unpaid maternity leave (which led to paying a month's worth of insurance) that has given us a slow start, plus multiple trips to the mechanic for both cars, and the Jeep still has issues.

And recently I have been feeling really frustrated and defeated thinking, "God, You know we are trying our best to get things paid off, but as soon as we get ready to payoff something, we are slammed with another huge bill. I just don't understand why we can't catch a break." Even now as I'm writing this, I'm emotional about it. Those who know me well, know that I like to do my best and failing is not something I like to do. This past month has brought about situations in my life, both at school and at home, that has made me feel like my hard work is getting me nowhere. 

However, here is what God made me realize today. I sang those words, "Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders....wherever You would call me...(where) my faith will be made stronger in the presence of my Savior," and I understood that this valley I'm in is where God has called me to be. He has brought me here to this point to make my faith stronger and to fully trust Him. God has a different plan for everyone, and I realized that this is where God wants me (yes, in the middle of all these trials) because He desires for me to rely completely on Him. 

I know I personally cannot solve all the issues in my life, but I know that my Savior can. He has never failed me, never given up on me, and never left me; and I know He never will. Satan has been trying really hard to bring me down lately by throwing these situations in my life, hoping that I will falter. But I pray that I will not. I am "casting my cares upon Him," because He cares for me (1 Peter 5:7). I can't do this on my own, but God can take care of it all. I'm so thankful for the hope I have in the Lord and the grace He extends to me daily. He is my strength, my refuge, and my everything. 

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Providence: The Protective Care of God

I remember learning the phrase "God's providential care" in high school, tucking that thought away in my brain, but never fully recognizing that idea until the past few years. I have always thought that God would take care of me and I would even verbalize it; but truly believing it and surrendering to this idea whole-heartedly is something that I'm still learning to do. Not because I don't believe it, but because I like to be in control and I like to plan everything out. But that's not always what God desires for me. There are times when He wants me to walk through valleys to realize that He will see me through regardless of anything I've tried on my own. Like everyone else, I have gone through hardships but my faith in God and His providential care is what has seen me through.

Just today, Ben and I were reminded again of how amazing God's timing is. When we sold our house last summer, we were supposed to receive some funds after the closing. While we received part of them, we had not seen the remainder at all....until today, when we received the checks. It doesn't sound like a big deal, but here's the incredible part. Due to my maternity leave, I went several weeks without pay. In addition, my place of employment stated that I would have to pay the insurance premium for December (which is roughly what I make in one month). Well, I have been putting funds into savings to pay this insurance bill, but we recently have had some car repairs (for both cars, of course) that were not in our budget and it put a dent in our savings. So, we weren't where we needed to be. And then the checks came. Not just some added funds to help, but literally the EXACT amount we needed to add to our savings to pay the insurance premium.

When I saw that today, I had chills. I know this was no coincidence, but just another example of how God takes care of us. Coincidences like this give me the opportunity to praise God for his grace and protection. It reminds me that God is in everything I do and He will take care of me. How sweet it is to trust in Jesus and know that He is with me.

Matthew 10:30-31

"But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows."

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Never a Dull Moment

Ava cracks us up, and tonight was no exception. Her favorite things lately include coloring and trying to climb up in "big people" chairs at the table. She is also a really good scavenger and will run her hand along the edge of the kitchen table in hopes of finding something she shouldn't have like forks, ceramic dishes, or glasses full of water. One thing's for sure, there's never a dull moment when Ava is around--and we wouldn't have it any other way. We love our baby girl.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Creative Ava

Ava is so smart. (Okay, so I'm probably a little biased...but she really is)
She loves to color and watching her play "house" is adorable. I'm such a proud mama.

Almost 3 Months Old

Finley Dean will be 3 months old on the 23rd. He is started to "talk" and smile all the time. We are loving it!