A Glimpse of Mi Vida...

It started with a missions trip to Camden, where my life and perspective were changed and where this blog began. Life has been a roller coaster filled with its ups and downs and I'm excited for the adventure and discovering what God has in store, even though I really dislike roller coasters... I am a Lady in Waiting...

Monday, June 20, 2011

Nn = Nothing New

N is for Nothing New

It is no lie that as a woman I am constantly faced with self-esteem issues. It is nothing new that we face judgement within ourself, of ourselves. It is nothing new that we feel unaccepted or even unacceptable. But there is truth in God's love and words. I can honestly say that I feel beautiful everyday because I know my true beauty come from within, that I am loved and that I am a princess loved by my prince... my bridegroom of Christ. Now I do have my struggles and some days are harder to see the truth because they are clouded by the things surrounding me like the girl who is skinnier or taller or by the magazine cover or television show or leading lady in the newest movie... but in times of doubt I hold onto the truth that I am beautifully and wonderfully made. And that is all that matters...

Below is one of my devotionals from today and it truly inspired me and resonated and changed the N blog that I had originally planned on writing. Enjoy and I hope that today you feel beautiful and loved...

Mean Girls
Lynn Cowell
“You’re beautiful from head to toe, my dear love, beautiful beyond compare, absolutely flawless.” Song of Solomon 4:7b (MSG)
The words on Facebook glared back at her. “You are so ugly! You are fat, annoying and I hate you!”
Lindsay just sat there, staring at the screen, baffled. “What did I say? What did I do?”
Maybe this has happened to one of your children, or in some way they’ve faced this same type of painful rejection. Maybe you have felt it yourself. I recently spotted a t-shirt at the mall that read “You’re no one until someone talks about you.” What a sad state of affairs.
Growing up in a world where “Mean Girls” and “Gossip Girl” are movie and TV titles, it comes as no surprise that “mean” defines many females today. How can we guard our hearts against this? As a mom, what can we do when our children’s hearts are crushed by meanness?

Feeling unaccepted is nothing new. In Song of Solomon 1:5a, we are introduced to a young girl who felt this way: “Don’t look down on me because I am dark…” (MSG). She felt rejected. Those feelings are so opposite of what we and our children want to feel. We long to be accepted.
Matthew Henry concludes about this passage in Song of Solomon that we, as represented by the young girl, are “often base and contemptible in the esteem of others, but excellent in the sight of God.” [1]
We can counteract the poison of meanness by remembering who we are in God’s eyes. I am excellent in the sight of God and so are you. Song of Solomon 1:5b reveals the tanned girl’s acceptance of this truth; she knows full well that her Lord finds her lovely. When I know that I am accepted by the Lord, it puts me exactly where I need to be to slough off insults and to help my child do the same.
When my daughter was in sixth grade, she was 5’10″. One day as she got off the school bus, I noticed she was holding back a flood of tears. Once again she had been made fun of for her height.
On that day, her youth pastor wasn’t there. Her teacher, counselor and small group leaders weren’t there either. But her mom was. I began telling her how her Father saw her. Sharing truths like these:

“My beloved is mine, and I am His…” (Song of Solomon 2:16a, NKJV).

“You’re beautiful from head to toe, my dear love, beautiful beyond compare, absolutely flawless” (Song of Solomon 4:7b, MSG).

“The king is enthralled by your beauty; honor him, for he is your lord” (Psalm 45:11, NIV).
I poured these truths and others into my daughter that day and continue to remind her of them still. I put them everywhere so that together we can read them over and over again. When we feel rejected, these words remind us that we are, in fact, accepted! I pray they will be a sweet reminder for you, and perhaps your daughter, today.
Dear Lord, help me to be purposeful in putting Your truth about who I am into my heart and mind so that am not swayed by the opinions of others. And when the time is right, I can pour Your truth into the hearts and minds of my children and friends. When my child feels rejected, help me remind them that in You they are accepted. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Mm = Miracles and Mission

M is for Miracles and Mission

I meditated over what to write for M for the longest time. Originally I was going to write about manners and how some guys were just raised right and are very chivalrous, but then it hit me. Miracles. Every day is one.

I once thought that miracles were those things that you read about in the Bible, the things that you've never heard of happening before like someone being raised from the dead or being healed by the sores being gone from their body. But the more I thought about it, prayed about it, and meditated about the idea of miracles I realized that they happen every day. Big and small ones.

Bon Jovi once said, “Miracles happen everyday, change your perception of what a miracle is and you'll see them all around you.”

I really believe that Bon Jovi knows what's up, not just musically either. If we took a look at our lives God works and moves in mysterious ways. We need to change our perception of what miracles look like.

In my life, for example, I think the "way I turned out" is a miracle. I came from a home where love wasn't expressed and shown. My parent's marriage was practically arranged and though my father said there was love at first sight with my mom... she didn't speak English. I was never shown how to love or didn't know what the love of a parent felt like. I knew yelling and screaming, I knew what is was like growing up in a home filled with abuse of drugs or alcohol... amidst the verbal and emotional abuse. A majority of this stemming from my father, I never had "daddy issues" in the way most girl's seem to. I never acted out in throwing myself at boys or men, never got into drinking or smoking, or drugs. In fact, the way I was  raised caused me to run the opposite direction and it gave me the desire to be more and to be better and to not be like "them". I think that in itself is a miracle.

I was "raised in a Christian home and went to church" growing up. But I was never shown what it was like to have a personal relationship with Christ, I was never shown the importance of prayer or talking to God or relying on Him and not myself to control things in my life, and my life itself. Yet, I believe I am one of God's little and big miracles. Looking at where I am now despite my circumstances is an everyday miracle.

I am 24 years old, I have my Bachelor and Masters degree (which I earned in less than a year, and both in less than 4 years). I work full time, I've never had a boyfriend, and never been kissed. I live my life for Christ and desire to serve Him and follow Him and His will. I pray for direction in where he'd want me to go and what He'd want me to do.

I desire for His mission, to be my mission. He has also sent me on a mission. A mission to serve His people in Peru. I never wanted to go abroad and serve because my desire and heart has always been for the people in my life and around me. So through reservations and through prayer I applied and was accepted and God is transforming through this process. He has met every need and worry I had going into this trip... a trip I never thought of going on or considered. Not only has He provided financially above and beyond what I anticipated or what the goal was, but he has given me a new family. He has given me new friends and people that I cannot imagine my life without.

So as I leave you here today to go get my shots for Peru, I pray that you awaken to the miracles going on around you. Nothing is too big or too small for God to handle and I ask that you pray for one miracle for me and for my church...

Pray for this sweet girl: Adriana.
Pray for her. Adrianna , a 14-year-old girl who is fighting systemic sclerodoma. She is a beautiful young girl from my church, who has the best smile and spirit. Pray that she would be healed and that she would be today and tomorrow's miracle.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Ll = Lady and Love Letters

L is for Lady and Love Letters

What else would the letter L stand for, other than LOVE.

Love is so beautiful to me, honestly thinking and praying about it brings me to tears when you get me going in deep conversation about it. I believe the thing that I find most beautiful is the love that God showed. He gave His Son. Can you imagine, giving up your son for the salvation of life? It is so beautiful.

More than beautiful is the love God has for us and the love that He allows us to partake in. I am not married, but it is one of the greatest desires of my heart. I desire to be loved, to love, and to show Christ’s love for the church through my marriage. I am not desiring a husband to be my savior, but to be my companion and partner in life. So I patiently await on God and pursue Him and invest in my relationship with Him. I desire to be a Lady in Waiting… waiting on God’s best. Becoming the woman I desire to be and the woman God desires me to be while waiting for His “Mr. Right”. Whether He comes, next year or, in five years, or even in five minutes… I know that there will be beauty in the love that we will seek and pursue together in relationship because I have waited. I have not gone out to seek him, I desire only to seek HIM.

I desire to be a LADY of Reckless Abandonment.

Mary said, “I belong to the Lord, body and soul.” (Luke 1:38).

Last year, amidst tears and worship songs in my car past 10pm at night in my driveway, I broke it. I broke my alabaster box at His feet. I took my alabaster box filled with my body, soul, dreams…everything… I entrusted all those things to Him. With Jesus as my Lord, I can joyfully walk on the path that God has for me. The Lord is so worthy of that honor of me giving my all to him. It must be ALL or NOTHING.

I have played the game of giving God things halfheartedly and my life and heart were only half-filled with His love and desires. That never worked, so I must give Him my all, my everything, and do “nothing” but allow God to work.

I have discovered Christ is my Bridegroom. I gain fullness in Him, not in a MAN. My days are filled with HIM, not a him. My time is filled with conversations of Him, thoughts of Him, and the desires of His heart and what He wants for me. He has made me into a woman of diligence as well.

My singleness allows me to be a Lady of Diligence. I have all the time in the world to pursue Him wholeheartedly, without distractions of a man. This is the most beautiful time because it allows me to have God control my time and choices. I believe that this is a time that God is preparing me for Him and him. He is preparing him for me as well. I desire to spend my free time with Him verses pursuing emotional pursuits that lead to no where but heartbreak. This is the first time in my life that I enjoy and love my singleness. Don’t get me wrong, I cannot wait to be in relationship but for right now... I have feelings towards no one and desire to enjoy my free time with God, family, and friends. I get to travel and sing and dance and laugh and just be me… the real me. Not the me of being nervous and acting different because I’m trying to impress someone. I have no one to impress because the man I marry and the man God has for me, love me for me. I can feel comfortable and be me.

With Christ as my bridegroom, I desire to know Him more intimately. I just started reading this book called His Princess Bride by Sheri Rose Shepherd and it Love Letters from Your Prince. One thing I desire to do before I get married and desire to do during my singleness and even dating is write love letters to my future husband and God. I want to have a journal/book of my deepest prayers and heart’s desires for my future husband and leader in our relationship with Christ, my partner and soulmate. I think it will be beautiful to give my letters to God to my husband one day, for him to see how I have prayed for him and began loving him before I may have known who he is, to see God fulfill those desires and dreams will be so beautiful. So to take a love letter from the book and turn the words to reflect me desire and love for God:

“The Lord All Powerful, the Holy God of Israel, rules all the earth. He is your Creator and husband, and He will rescue you.” –Isaiah 54:5

Dear My Eternal King,

You are my beloved. I desire for you to carry me over the threshold of Eternity. My desire is to see me, the way you see me. I desire to see the princess that I am, to see myself as your holy and pure and precious Bride. I am beautiful because You made me. I am made perfect in Your sight. You are the lover of my soul. I long to get close enough to you to glimpse Your desires for me and to have a glimpse of Your eternal love. I pray that I seek You with my whole heart, reveal Yourself to me in beautiful ways. I pray that You will continually give me hope to change my view of You, myself, and those around me.

Forever and Always Your Bride,