When the Body Breaks Down

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.”

-Matthew 11:28

Today, I started my day off wonderful. I went to class, got lunch with my handsome fella and then sat down to write and do homework. Then, suddenly, I felt a horrible pain in my shoulder. My leg then had a sharp pain, and I felt dizzy.

Soon I was sitting in the Health Center, waiting to find out what the heck was going on with me. I was angry, I was sore, and I was very distraught. As the doctor examined me, he seemed stumped. He asked me about my job, my school work, and my free time. After the questions he knew what was wrong and didn’t waste time in telling me that I needed to slow down. I was struggling with stress.

He suggested taking some time to relax, along with over the counter pain medication. I was more than annoyed than ever before. Then I remembered the verse above, and tried to breathe. Matthew 11:28 was something that I needed to remember today. I was weary, I was sick, and I was in desperate need of God.

Rest was hard to come by, as I was in a lot of pain, but after spending some time in prayer I was able to go to sleep for awhile. I woke up sick to my stomach but thankfully David was there to made dinner for me. We talked, prayed together, and then he put me to bed to spend the rest of the night resting.

So, here I am, laying in bed surrounded by cats, writing and watching Netflix. I’m thanking God for the night of relaxation as I get ready for a night of great sleep.

Remember guys, we always have rest in the Lord, and He will always be there for us. Even when our bodies begin to break down. He just wants us to come to him, to trust him, and know that he will always have our backs.

PJs

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God’s Love on Valentine’s Day

Today is Sunday, so like most other Sundays David and I went to church. Today is also Valentine’s Day, so the car ride to church with filled with love letters and a giant stuffed elephants. As we pulled into the parking lot and kissed each other before going inside, I thought that the day couldn’t get any better. I was dead wrong though, because today our Reverend spoke about the best Valentine’s Day gift we could have ever received; the grace of God.

Reverend Farnsworth has been talking about Genesis for a few weeks now, and today was no exception. We read and examined Genesis 3:20-24, which says

“Adam[a] named his wife Eve,[b] because she would become the mother of all the living.

21 The Lord God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and clothed them. 22 And the Lord God said, “The man has now become like one of us,knowing good and evil. He must not be allowed to reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life and eat, and live forever.” 23 So the Lord God banished him from the Garden of Eden to work the ground from which he had been taken. 24 After he drove the man out, he placed on the east side[c] of the Garden of Eden cherubim and a flaming sword flashing back and forth to guard the way to the tree of life.”

He broke down his sermon into 3 parts, and talked about everything from Adam’s faith to God’s character.

Firstly, we have to realize that Adam broke his covenant with God, but that he still shows faith in God. He names his wife Eve, as an acknowledgment of God’s covenant. God told Adam that Eve would bare children, and Adam trusted in him. Reverend Farnsworth believes that Adam was the first Christian because he believed God’s promise to him, and I feel this way as well. We are always told to trust in God, though we sin. God will never forsake us, and he is always going to come through on the covenants that he makes with us.

Next, we have to think about God’s provisions that he provides us with. Adam and Eve hid themselves with fig leaves once they ate from the forbidden tree, and we still try to do the same thing. We try to cover our shame and guilt with “fig leaves” like righteousness and good deeds. All of us sin, and all of us fall short of the grace of God. We can not hide that from him. Trying to cover our shame and guilt in front of God is about the same thing as trying to deposit monopoly money into a real bank. To be forgiven of sins, we need to admit that we messed up, and stop trying to hide ourselves from God’s eyes. He provided us with Jesus Christ so we no longer have to hide in shame, but can connect with the Lord any time we want to.

Lastly, these verses ask us to look into the character of God. We have to see and understand that there are consequences that come along with our forgiveness. We feel sadness, turmoil, anger and other arrays of emotions as a consequence for our sins. As Christians, we do not want to sin, but it happens. God reminds us that this behavior is wrong by making us feel the way we do. He then covers our sins with the blood of Christ, and shows us love beyond measure.

The main message in today’s service, and the one thing I needed to here this morning was this; you are either in Adam (sin) or in Christ. You either long for the unconditional love of God, or you sin without fear of the consequences. Let’s all strive to be in Christ today and every day. God loves us, no matter our trespasses. He sent Jesus to die for us; to wash away our sins, and that is the best Valentine’s Day gift we could ever hope to receive.

Happy Valentine’s Day

God Is Love

Perfect Imperfections

Today I am sitting around thinking about all of the things that I have done wrong or that people don’t approve of. I have tattoos, I swear, I don’t always remember to pray or go to church. Sadly, this only scratches the surface of all of the mistakes that I make, but guess what? That’s okay and I know that.

Jesus came down to this earth, died on a cross, and was resurrected for my sins. This is exactly why we celebrate Lent and Easter. God sent his son for my mistakes, and made sure that I was able to see that I have been forgiven, no matter my sins. Ephesians 1:7 says “In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace.” This verse is all we need to look at to see that the Lord will always love us, always forgive us, and never turn his back on us (no matter the amount of tattoos we have.)

We are saved by grace, and we are loved no matter what. We never need to be ashamed to come to the throne of the Lord, no matter what we have done, and we need to accept the fact that we can not be perfect people. God does not expect that from us, in fact he would much rather us realize that we can never be perfect. He wants us to trust in his love for us, and understand that he is our forgiveness. He does not judge us, does not forsake us, and does not forget about us in our transgression.

So today, friends, lets relax. Let’s rest in the knowledge that he is our Savior, and that he will always love us. We don’t have to be perfect, because He is perfect for us. We are perfectly imperfect, because that is the way that the Lord made us.

Eph2v8

Today’s Unexpected Turn

Wow, guys, I have no idea where to start in explaining today. I feel like I have been on a plane experiencing turbulence, and though we have found our way out of it, I am not sure that it is really the end.

Yeah, that was pretty dramatic, but still pretty true. God has tested me in so many ways. He has pushed me close to my breaking point a few times in the past 24 hours, and now I want to share with you what I have learned.

First off, God has shown me that I am not ready for children. He did this in the form of two little puppies named Van Halen and Miley. These little babies where saved from a shelter that was keeping them horrible conditions. I am a volunteer at the local Humane Society, and they needed fosters desperately to be able to save the puppies, and I, being the overly confident person that I am, decided that I wanted to take two of them. The Humane Society was through the roof excited, and so was I! What could be better that two precious puppies for a whole week?

Well, I got them home, and both of them peed on my carpet immediately. Of course this was to be expected, but I still don’t think I was really prepared for it. Then, after I locked them up, they proceeded to cry like they where in the worst pain imaginable (again, totally expected). What I didn’t think about, was the fact that I live in an apartment complex. Later after talking to my mom, it became obvious that I couldn’t keep the babies in my house. Luckily David’s mom and dad graciously have offered to let me stay with them for the week that I have committed to take care of the pups.

How in the world could I raise kids, when I can’t even handle two dogs in my home? The answer is that I couldn’t. What has been made clear to me however is that I am going to marry David one day. That guy has been a life saver from the beginning of this insane period, and even now he is sitting with me, letting me watch him type up a final paper (it’s really cute ya’ll)! So yeah, no kids for us anytime soon.

God has also taught me to always trust in Him and to never question His plan for us. I was distraught with the notion that I would have to return the pups, and God blessed me with David’s family stepping into help. I had just began to doubt, to question, and to feel lost, but God stepped in (like He always will) to help me to figure out what the next step is. He has never left me alone, and though sometimes I can be selfish and feel like He is not there for me, He always shows me that I am wrong. God loves me so much more than I can understand, and all I have to do is trust that He will make all of my problems work out for what is best for me.

So, in closing, don’t ever forgot that God is there for you. Even if you foster two dogs without thinking. He will watch over you, protect you, and make sure that you are taken care of. I pray tonight as I cuddle my two little gifts from God that you feel his presence and embrace the wonderful things that he gives to you!

VH&M

Miley and Van Halen

The Birth of Jesus: Getting in the Christmas Spirit

This year, more than ever, I am determined to celebrate Christmas for what it is; a celebration of the Word made flesh. In my attempt to keep my mind focused on Jesus this Christmas, I decided to spend some time reading the book of Luke, and reflecting on the joy brought to the world by the Messiah.

And that, friends, is exactly what this season is about. Joy.

God sent his only son to this earth so that we could be free. We should always be joyful this time of year, because this is the season that our comeback began. This is the time of year that our Savior was born.

Sure, we get bogged down by the stress of Christmas time, but the second you sit back and take the time to treasure our ultimate gift, that stress begins to melt away.

Mary, who was going through what had to be the hardest time of her life, took time after the birth of Jesus, took time to ponder and treasure what was happening, and to see the magnificence of her son. The angels who told the shepherds of Jesus said it the best; Jesus would bring “great joy” (Luke 2:9) to the world!

So, now, I encourage you to be like Mary. I encourage you to treasure and ponder on the gift that we have been given. Jesus is the reason we can live our sloppy, messy, difficult lives with the reassurance that God will always love us. He is the reason we have all that we have, and ultimately the reason we an experience the immense joy of this amazing season.

“Glory to God in the highest Heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”

-Luke 2:14

christmas

Calming an Anxious Heart

As a person who struggles with anxiety and depression, I know that the holiday season (though fun) can trigger a lot of worry and fear in the minds of people from all walks of life. Personally, this time of year means finals, struggling to purchase gifts for my friends and family, and feeling like a failure every time I am asked a question about school, work, or even life in general. I struggle every day to simply breath through my own worry and self doubt, and that can get pretty exhausting!

Thankfully, this Christmas season, I have been able to sit back and really see the Lord working in my life. My grades aren’t perfect, I still lack the money I need to be able to do what I want to do for my loves ones, and everything outwardly seems like a big ol’ mess, but God has given me ample time to delve into the Word. He has pointed me towards verses that show his overwhelming love for me, and calm the fear in my heart.

Today, I wanted to share a few of these verses with you, in hopes that if you are struggling, you can rest in the knowledge that God loves and cares about you. We don’t have to be perfect for God, he wants every single messy bit of our lives. So, if your heart is heavy today, please take a moment to read over the words of the Lord, and know that He is always on your side.

Verses:

“Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time.  Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.

-1 Peter 5:6-7

“The Lord is with me; I will not be afraid.
    What can mere mortals do to me?
 The Lord is with me; he is my helper.
    I look in triumph on my enemies.”

-Psalm 118:6-7

” Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”

-John 14:27

“Overhearing what they said, Jesus told him, ‘Don’t be afraid; just believe.'”

-Mark 5:36

“So do not fear, for I am with you;
    do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you;
    I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”

-Isaiah 41:10

Anxiety

Proverbs 30:8

Finals are right around the corner for me, which means that reviews are in full swing in each of my classes. After attending the review session for my Monday morning class, David and I decided to spend the rest of the morning doing something that we both really love. So, we hopped in his truck, and made the 15 minute drive out to the Athens Clarke County Animal Control office. Here, they house cats and dogs and do the best they can to either get them into a rescue or into a loving home. We love to go walk, bathe, and play with all of the animals who are still waiting for a home of their own.

Today was rather special for me, because I was able to watch a puppy come out of his shell, and really enjoy being able to interact with people. He was timid at first, and it took lots of treats to really get him to let me leash him. Once we got him in the pin to play he was still skittish and just sat next to me on the ground. That was until David came into the pin with me. The pup growled and scooted closer to me, but the second David cracked a smile and held out his hand to the dog, he jumped up and bounded over to play. I will never forget the feeling of pure joy I felt watching David and the puppy play together, with the puppy bounding over to me to give me sloppy kisses afterwards. It was one of the highlights of my day.

Then, as we began the trip home, I had the undeniable feeling that God was trying to teach me something through the puppy at the shelter, and through the many animals that I have had to pleasure to love. Animals are my passion, and I am working hard to establish connections to be able to run my own rescue someday. Luckily, I feel like this is my calling from the Lord.

Sometimes I get bogged down because though I have a passion for helping people, my real passion lies in helping the animals of this world. I believe that they need a voice too, and that God wants me to be that voice for them. Aren’t we all God’s creatures? Yes!

So, as we go through this Monday, let’s take a moment to pray for animals that don’t have a loving home, a warm bed, or even food. Let’s pray that there are people with compassion and love that will take them in and love them for what they are; a gift from the Lord.

“Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves.”

-Proverbs 30:8

Harley

This is Harley, one of my adopted kitties