Living in Acceptance

Many of us have experienced some sort of relationship breaking apart. For many, that may be a once or twice in a lifetime occurrence. But for me…well, you could say this is a “thorn in my flesh” kind-of a thing.

photo

What I mean is….abandonment & loss of relationship has been a running theme in my life. From losing relationships with precious & loved family members, to loss of friendships, to church friends and other friends de-friending me on facebook.…I have learned well what it means experience a loss of relationship. Some of these have been because I was in the wrong, some had nothing to do with me at all and others were from issues done to me.

Even though I have received such wonderful revelations from God. So to keep me from becoming proud, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger from Satan to torment me and keep me from becoming proud…” 2 Corinthians 12:7

But as I have aged, I have come into a place of acceptance of such things.

When I was in my mid-twenties, I was in therapy for some issues stemming from my parents divorce. One of the most profound things my therapist said to me at the beginning of my journey was, “You’re extremely angry now. But you must come to a place of acceptance in order to survive.” At the time I thought what she was saying was plain old ludicrous.

I mean….I was so mad that coming into acceptance of what was happening seemed like an IMPOSSIBLE task. But as I moved through the stages of loss and grief, I found my way into acceptance. Getting there was certainly a long journey, but living there? Another story altogether.

Living in acceptance means that you must daily forgive those who have wronged you, as well as yourself for those you have wronged.

Living in acceptance means you must fight the apathy and avoidance that seek to cut you off from authentic, vulnerable relationships.

Living in acceptance means you have to be willing to risk heartbreak and open yourself up to new relationships with others.

Living in acceptance means you must reject fear and embrace love.

I am not going to pretend that I get it right all the time. I honestly struggle with creating new friendships and relationships. I have been told by many people that I come off as cold, stand-offish and even bitchy when they first meet me (because of how nervous I get around people I don’t know and trust). I struggle with maintaining intimate relationships with those I love. I have a difficult time communicating how I really feel.

But God is faithful. He is using this time of acceptance as a means to grow me and use me for His glory. He is using my weaknesses as a means to bring others to Himself. And He is showing me it is okay to trust and rely on Him, and others.

Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me.” 2 Corinthians 12:9

I am getting there.

Blessings,

Happiness or Joy?

One of the biggest things I am learning in this time of my life is that I may not like every single second of each experience I am in. For example: as a mother of a young child, I am often told by other mothers or grandmothers to “enjoy every moment” because they go by quickly. While I understand and appreciate how short life is and how precious each milestone is, I am not sure that is achievable for mothers to do.

As a mother, I think Glennon at Momastery said it best in a recent column, “Don’t Carpe Diem.” She expresses how I have felt about this issue for some time. I can do the best I can, but I know and can guarantee I won’t be enjoying every single moment. Can I get an amen from all my momma’s out there?

And as a person, I have always struggled with this. I want to find the happiness and joy in every situation I am in. I want to be able to suffer well. To find the lesson in my troubles. But there are those days, where I am stressed out and sometimes I forget that I can cast all of my cares on Jesus. And perhaps it would be tempting for me to feel guilt or shame for not always reacting the way I should.

James 1 2 3

But life happens. And I know Jesus loves me. And I can go to Him in my crazy, overwhelmed state and He accepts me as I am….and then He teaches me and molds me into someone who is more and more like Him.

What are you going through today? Are you struggling to be joyful “in every moment.” You may not feel it, but God will mold you and make you content in where you are with Him.

Blessings,

May this song encourage those of you who are struggling today!

Desert Song – Hillsong

Keepin’ It Real

I had another post planned for today…but for some reason, this is on my heart.

I had the great privilege to attend the first Influence Network class last night with Jessi Connolly. The class was absolutely amazing. Jessi talked about Rhythms of Life & Rest, and how we need to spend as much time emphasizing rest as we do emphasizing work.

The class was full of wonderful women, who, like me, tend to want to do “all of the things” and then find themselves spiraling out of control. We also found that we had a tendency to be competitive with other women and constantly compare ourselves to other women, too. And often we feel not good enough. Not loved. Not wanted. And last night, it was so evident (and frankly, encouraging) that I wasn’t alone in this.

This hit me like a ton of bricks. I have been struggling. With being not good enough, with not feeling wanted, with becoming more and more frustrated by my increasing lack of control over things in my life. All of this points back to one thing – do I find my full self-worth in Christ? Do I really trust God to take care of me? Do I really believe His word and what it says about me? And how He feels about me? And what He wants for me life?

And I have to be honest….. it’s a NO for me right now. I have been having a hard time believing it. And feeling it. And trusting Him. And letting Him take over.

But at the end of the day, it really all comes back to this, “my life is not my own, I am hidden in Christ….” (Davy Flowers).

And so I covet your prayers. And I will be praying for you. Because after last night’s class, I know I am not alone in this battle. Satan is attacking women in these areas all over the country and the world. May we find comfort in Christ and in His word today. May we know how He truly sees us. May we not believe the lies Satan and this world are telling us, and instead cling to the truth in His word today.

Ladies, our lives are hidden in Christ. Our lives are not our own. Hallelujah!!

Be encouraged by this song today, sisters. We shall overcome.

The Call

2009….the year that changed everything. The biggest event in my life had just happened…..I became a mom to my sweet daughter.

What a life change! I never knew I could love someone as much as I love her. Everything happened so fast and in an instant my world was turned upside down, in the best way. In many ways the first year of her life was very difficult for me – transitionally, emotionally, even spiritually – but God use that & did some of the most intense and amazing work in me. And it was during that year that “The Call” happened.

When she was 6 months old, God stirred something in my husbands heart. He and his best friend had talked off and on for years about starting a church together. They would always joke about it, but never really prayed about it or gave it serious thought. One day, his friend got serious – he asked us to pray about it. He said, “Pray and ask God to reveal a city we should plant a church in. Take a week, do not discuss it with me. If we all get the same city we will know that God will want us to plant a church there.” So, my husband and I both prayed off and on for a week straight. Separately, we got a city through prayer.

We both got Phoenix, AZ.

We were shocked at the odds, but were certain my husbands best friend would not get the same city. Well, within the next few days, my hubby and his best friend had a conversation.We waited for his revelation, with baited breath…

Turns out, HE got Phoenix, TOO!

Wow, God was too cool….and that just blew us away. Little did we know, that was only the beginning. Ever since that day, God has taken us all on a journey of preparation for church planting in the Phoenix area. Through many ups and downs, doubting, questioning and waiting, He has guided us vocationally in ministry, through worship leading experiences, through spiritual and emotional (and even financial) preparation as we wait on the Lord.

The experience of waiting on the Lord in this specific area of my life is the main reason why I named my blog waiting with joy. God has really shown me so much of Himself, about how to trust and rely on Him. I cannot plant this church in my own power. I cannot do so financially, physically, spiritually or otherwise. He has to come through. And I am learning to believe that He will.

And I choose to wait and trust that God has a great plan for us, and for our (coming) church, Endeavor Christian Fellowship (which will serve the greater Phoenix area – Scottsdale/Mesa/Chandler). And we are thrilled, expectant, excited, anxious….you name it!

20130102-182939.jpg

I hope to use this experience as a main staple/backbone for my blog. I know that women who are involved in these types of ministries need massive encouragement to keep the faith. I pray I can be of encouragement to all of you who are ministry wives/ministry workers/church planter ladies, as God uses this journey to make me more like Him.

If you think of it, please pray for my husband and I, our friends who will be planting with us, Brad and Katie, and for the city of Phoenix, Chandler, Mesa and Scottsdale, where we will be serving at and planting our church at. Please pray for the following, if you can:

  • Financial provision for us. We need specific amounts of money to be able to pay off some debts, sell our home and move across the country to Phoenix.
  • Spiritual preparation
  • For God to bring people into our lives that could help support us in the Phoenix area.

I thank you for your support and continued prayers. I look forward to sharing this part of my journey with you.

richstevenson.org

investing in young leaders in missions and church planting

KevinBreeding

A Blog Site for Biblical Insight

k r i s t a o n p u r p o s e

living life intentionally

Blissful and Domestic - Creating a Beautiful Life on Less

Offering encouragement & authenticity to women through God's word & worship music.

girlofa1000dreams.wordpress.com/

One Girl. One Thousand Dreams. (And growing!)

Green Plate Rule

Making healthy meals simple and fun for the whole family.

be forever lovely

be forever lovely, upon on all whom you heed, for we together yearn, the peace within that's freed. :: b.l.f. lund

A Royal Daughter

A LITTLE HOPE + GRACE FOR KINGDOM MINDED LIVING

Offering encouragement & authenticity to women through God's word & worship music.

Offering encouragement & authenticity to women through God's word & worship music.

Modern Mrs. Darcy

Offering encouragement & authenticity to women through God's word & worship music.

erin lauray

Offering encouragement & authenticity to women through God's word & worship music.

Wholehearted Radiance

Offering encouragement & authenticity to women through God's word & worship music.

5OH Wifey

Offering encouragement & authenticity to women through God's word & worship music.

Cassidy Robinson

a lifestyle blog

Message in a Mason Jar

Finding the Loveliest Things in the Most Ordinary Containers

takeitlikeamommy

Offering encouragement & authenticity to women through God's word & worship music.