Worship Wednesday #11

Happy Wednesday, everyone!

I hope ya’ll are having a blessed and joy-filled day.

To be honest, I wasn’t sure which worship song(s) I wanted to share with you today.

But then I was perusing instagram yesterday, and found this gem:

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{You can find Jessi’s blog & shop here}

So, you know I had to find out about this song. I don’t listen to a ton of Hillsong United music, but the ones I do like have AMAZING lyrics.

This song did not disappoint. Holy Spirit moved in on me quick when the song began playing from YouTube. It is such a beautiful picture of Peter walking on the water and how that applies in our lives currently. It is an encouragement to trust in Jesus in the toughest of times or situations. May it bless you today and encourage you to keep on keepin’ on in the faith.

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“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.”

Hillsong United – Oceans (Where Feet May Fail)

When Waiting Sucks

Sometimes waiting just sucks.

We are in the middle of a lot of changes in our home. With my new job, our schedule has turned upside down…and it has been (at times) a rough adjustment for all of us. My husband has had to take on additional responsibilities while I work for a couple of hours in the afternoons when Eden is home from school. It certainly has not been easy.

In addition, we have been feeling/wading our way through another season of frustration in waiting for the next step. It seems to come in waves for us – periods of peace and trust in Gods timing and plan, and periods of frustration and feeling like we will never make it to step 2.

But the Word of God, my sweet brothers & sisters in Christ and worship music have all been a great blessing/comfort to me.

I posted this pic the other day on my instagram….it definitely shows me that our waiting period is for a purpose. “…waiting time is never wasted time.” MAN – God was pointing a finger right at me with that one!!!

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The She Reads Truth study in Nehemiah has had a profound impact on me. I think the book of Nehemiah is a preview of what is to come for my husband and I when we finally move to Arizona. It has blessed and encouraged me so much – and I am so thankful.

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And while I know in my head that everything will be alright – that God has a plan and is working it out as we speak. Sometimes waiting just plain old sucks – and I have to work through these seasons of frustration through Gods word and through prayer. I am reminded of a very important verse that gives me strength:

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I have to believe. God is good. Amen.

Blessings,

Worship Wednesday #10

Hey all!

It has been another busy week in virtual teaching world. I am sure hoping it slows down some in the coming weeks so I can return to blogging on a more consistent basis! I am hoping to implement some of my organizational strategies to help me get on track with blogging!

For this worship wednesday, I wanted to share some Gungor music with you. I have been re-listening to some older Gungor music and I am just LOVING their lyrics and musical stylings. (It doesn’t hurt that they are a husband & wife team, which just tugs at my heart!) 🙂

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I hope you enjoy worshiping today with these songs – check out my post later this week on some of my favorite Bible reading plans/apps, too!

May the Lord bless you and keep you, may He make His face to shine upon you, and give you peace….today and every day ahead.

Gungor – Beautiful Things

Gungor – Jesus and John

Gungor – Please Be My Strength

Gungor – Dry Bones

A day in the life

Virtual Teaching intro

When I transitioned to teaching virtually a month ago, many began to come up to me and ask me what it is that I “do.”

Presumptively, many might think I sit around at my house all day in my PJs (OK – I admit, I do often spend my days in my yoga pants) and do nothing.

But truth be told – I am working harder than I have in a long time. But surprisingly, I feel LESS stressed than when I was teaching in the public school environment. Perhaps it is all of the support I get from the top (my principal) down (my peers). Maybe it is that I get to speak into the lives of individuals every day and (finally) have the time to focus on the one-on-one relationship building teaching brings.

Work Schedule

This is my weekly schedule. Every hour is planned to keep me focused and productive!

Virtual teaching involves more phone calling and interaction, grading papers, facilitating and less of a focus on lesson planning and classroom management. I spend most of my day helping students and parents and calling to check on new students. I do teach “live” a few times a month, for students’ required live collaboration lessons they must attend.

What is the best part of working from home?

The flexibility. I love that I can work on a schedule that isn’t bound by needing a substitute. I am able to be there more for my daughter during the day and can support her better. If she is sick, I can be there and still work effectively. If I want to attend an event at her school, I don’t have to rush out to my classroom. If I desire, I can travel to my mom’s house and still work, while spending time with family.

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Where I do most of my work – at my new desk! Thanks honey for getting it for me!

Do I miss the live, face-to-face interaction? Do I get bored? Am I lonely?

Truthfully – I do miss it some. I mostly miss the students I had to leave behind. But I am getting much more interaction and support working virtually.I am able to work and interact more with my colleagues in the virtual world than I ever did while I taught in the public school system. We communicate/chat on a daily basis and we are required to team and support each other. This fosters a sense of community and support, which I often felt was lacking in my previous job(s).

In order to be successful while working from home, you must be willing to stay to a strict schedule for yourself, and be flexible in meeting the needs of your students. One way I help stay out of a “rut” is by attending group get-togethers. Many virtual teachers live in my area and we meet weekly at Panera to work together. In addition, there is another group that meets monthly to go out to lunch. It is a nice way to fellowship and meet new co-workers (and see old friends!).

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What is a day in your life like?? Do you love what you do? What do you wish you could change?

Praying for you all today – thankful for you, too. 🙂

Blessings,

Worship Wednesday #8

Since I am going through a season of transition while still waiting on the Lord for our future endeavors, I often find myself during the day feeling overwhelmed at frustrated. I don’t think that is uncommon, nor do I believe I should feel ashamed for feeling this way. I think this is apart of the process as God teaches me to trust Him and to rely on Him.

In the meantime, God has been using worship music (and His word) to bless me and to calm me as I move through this process and season of my life. One of my favorites lately has been “God I look to You”, sung by Jenn Johnson at Bethel Church in Redding, CA. I am linking a YouTube video below. Please take a listen. It will encourage you and bless you, especially those of you who are going through something similar.

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I pray God shows Himself to you today. I pray He uses you to be a blessing to others, too. Don’t forget to thank Him for who He is and what He is doing in your life! He is faithful! Hallelujah!

Blessings,

God, I Look To You – Bethel Music (feat. Jenn Johnson)

Rushing God’s Plan

My husband and I often get similar comments from folks when they find out that we have been called to church planting, especially since we were called way back in 2009 to Phoenix AZ. This is often what they say, “When are you leaving?” “Why are you still here?” “Do you think you jumped the gun a little bit?” and “I thought you guys were moving, what happened?”

Don’t get me wrong. I am not angry at these folks. They are well-meaning. But I think our culture has bought into something that concerns me. Many people in our area who get into church planting immediately begin fundraising, get involved with an organization to sponsor them, and within a year or two they have launched a church. We have seen SEVERAL churches who have sprung up this way in our area. And perhaps this is why people keep questioning my husband and me.

Psalm 73 23 24

It becomes very difficult to explain to people that WE WOULD LOVE to be there in AZ. My husband and I both feel our hearts pulled to the area and we would absolutely love nothing more than to drop everything and get on out there and begin ministering to those lovely folks in Phoenix/Scottsdale.

However, we both sense God asking us to wait. One of the major issues holding us back is our financial situation, particularly the fact that our home is currently upside down in the mortgage. (That means that we owe more than what it currently appraises at, so we’d have to essentially file for foreclosure or a short-sale in order to get out of our house payment.)

It would be easy to walk away. I could quit paying my mortgage tomorrow and find myself able to move to AZ in a heartbeat. It would be so easy. But my husband has had many conversations/prayers with the Lord and he believes God wants us to be honorable in our finances. That means we have to keep working hard at being financially responsible and wait on the Lord to bring us to a place where we are ready to move. Maybe that is in a year. Maybe it’s in five years. I don’t honestly know WHEN it will be.

Devo

{Photo Credit: @spolleys on Instagram}

I can predict. Give you an estimation. But ultimately I just don’t know. And the further along this path I go, I am more and more comfortable with that. It means I have to trust God. It means I cannot control this situation. It means that God has to lead me. It means I must have faith.

And I am okay with that.

I pray you are learning to trust God in your life. If you’re in a situation where you’re not sure when God is going to move or where God is going to lead you, it is okay. He has you in the palm of His hand.

Blessings,

How Do I Wait Well?

Waiting is hard.

I am in the midst of waiting in various areas of my life right now – professionally, spiritually, financially, in ministry…you name it. I am in a season of perpetual waiting.

And for the most part, I have handled it well. Recently, though, I have had some new stresses and additions to the waiting game that have made it feel much harder to remain content in the Lord. I have gone through all sorts of emotions and felt varying levels of frustration and even anger over it all.

Phil 4,6 7

As someone who recently wrote a post to twenty-somethings about loving the questions, I can honestly tell you that I am failing this part of the (continual) test. I am completely annoyed by the fact that I don’t have the answers right now. I am the kind of person who reads the end of the book first; someone who likes to read the spoilers on movies and TV show endings. What I want is for God to move and make sense of the increased chaos and uncertainty around me.

I can, however, take comfort in this: regardless of how I feel, God is for me, not against me. He loves me. I can trust Him. I know for certain that He is using this as a means to teach me to trust Him. To have faith in Him. It isn’t easy for me and will continue to be a life-long struggle, to be sure. I may not always FEEL this…but I can trust His word. And I can trust Him based on past experience. HE IS FOR ME NOT AGAINST ME.

What about you, friends? Are you in a season of waiting? Do you feel like you’re in chaos and desperately want to know the answers? Are you confused?  Please feel free to e-mail me or message me on twitter with some specific prayer requests, or even comment here with them. I think we can support each other through this in prayer.

Here are some verses for those of you going through the same thing – may they be an encouragement to you as they have been to me:

“Let us hold tightly without wavering to the hope we affirm, for God can be trusted to keep his promise.”- Hebrews 10:23

“But if we look forward to something we don’t yet have, we must wait patiently and confidently.” – Romans 8:25

“Yet I still belong to you; you hold my right hand. You guide me with your counsel, leading me to a glorious destiny. Whom have I in heaven but you? I desire you more than anything on earth. My health may fail, and my spirit may grow weak, but God remains the strength of my heart; he is mine forever.” – Psalm 73: 23-26

“But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength.They will soar high on wings like eagles.They will run and not grow weary.They will walk and not faint.” – Isaiah 40:31

“For the Lord your God is living among you.He is a mighty savior.He will take delight in you with gladness.With his love, he will calm all your fears.He will rejoice over you with joyful songs.”  -Zephaniah 3:17

And one that is hard, but needed in times like this:

“But giving thanks is a sacrifice that truly honors me.If you keep to my path, I will reveal to you the salvation of God.” – Psalm 50:23

A song that can encourage you, too….

Why “Waiting With Joy?”

When I was thinking of a name for my blog, I had several ideas. My original idea was “song of joy,” because that is what the name Carrie means (ironic, right?? – since I am a worship leader!). That domain name was taken, so I took that as a sign.

Then “waiting with joy” popped into my head. Waiting has been the theme of my life for many years, as has the idea of finding joy in the midst of life’s frustrations. The more I marinated on it, I came to find that this name perfectly encompassed everything about me and where I am in my life at this time…..and it perfectly explains what God has been trying to teach me.

You see, many times our timetable for our lives does not match God’s time table. And oftentimes, we get short-sighted, frustrated and even angry at God. We might even feel as if God has forgotten us or abandoned us. But I have found in the recent years that we can choose Joy throughout life’s uneasy or difficult situations. And choosing Joy can make the journey that much more fulfilling. It doesn’t mean its easy, but it is definitely worth it.

Are you struggling with feeling like you are in the “waiting room of life?” And like the doctor’s office, you feel that God might not ever call on you? I have been there. Keep on trusting. Choose Joy. God has not forgotten you. He loves you.

May this verse bless you today as it blessed me….

Psalm 16:11 (NLT):

“You will show me the way of life,
granting me the joy of your presence and the pleasures of living with you forever.”

tattoo choose joy

{Photo Credit: Krista Wilbur, www.kristaonpurpose.com}

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