Tuesday, April 26, 2011


Easter is such a sweet time. I remember when I was little and could not wait to pick out my new Easter dress! We'd wake up on Easter morning and look in our Easter baskets and hunt for candy around the house. (The best part was that we'd invariably miss an egg or too, and it was my household chore to dust, so I usually would find a bonus egg a week or two later!) We'd get all dressed up and go to church with my whole family. Then back to Granny's house for chocolate bunnies and a bit more lucrative egg hunt. (Granny put quarters in her eggs!) Then a big dinner complete with hm, homemade rolls and so many other delicious things!

Easter has taken somewhat of a different shape in my life as I've grown older, but I still love it. I don't get an Easter dress anymore, but I get to see the little ones at church all dolled up! I don't get an Easter basket, but Granny still gives us a chocolate bunny every year! I don't go on any Easter egg hunts, but I get to hide eggs for pre-schoolers. And every once in a while, I still get to have that big Easter dinner with my family. I was so blessed that my husband as willing to drive to Atlanta after leading 3 services in a row on Sunday so we could be with my family. Everyone was there and it felt so good to be there, even though it was short-lived. We even took the traditional family Easter photos!

As I think about Easter, I am so amazed at this thing God did for us. His son rose from the dead.

I sang in the choir and then taught my preschoolers on Sunday for two services and then got recruited to hold babies during the third service so I didn't get a chance to hear Scott's sermon. But I did get to share the miracle of Christ with 4 and 5 year olds which was completely precious. It was so awesome to tell them that Jesus died but He's not dead anymore! Jesus conquered death just so you and I could spend eternity with Him!

One song we sang this week that seemed to touch everyone in the room has these words:

"Living He loved me. Dieing He saved me. Buried He carried my sins far away. Rising He justified. Freely forever. One day He's coming O glorious day."

Beautiful. Easter is such a blessed time because people who don't think about God that often on a normal basis remember what He's done. Facebook was lit up with scripture and positive messages this weekend. Praise the Lord! Even if it's just for one day, at least people recognize the sacrifice that was made for them. Now will you live for Him each day? That's the question!

I'm truly blessed this Easter. the only problem is that I have to wait a while before I can eat another cadbury egg. :-(

Happy Easter everyone! He is risen! He is risen indeed!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Where's the Joy?

Joy is something that I've been thinking about a lot lately.

I have been a Christian my whole life basically. I accepted Christ when I was 8 years old and was baptized. I grew up going to church and despite trials in my life, have never truly turned my back on the faith I was raised with.

All this being said, I have struggled more times than I'd like to admit with the concept of joy. I know the gospel inside and out. God created the world and sent his son to be born of a virgin, die on the cross, and rise again in three days all so I could spend eternity in heaven with him. This is very good news. This is the kind of news that should cause great joy within the hearts of those that believe it. So why do I struggle with joy?

I tend to get caught up with the things of this world and forget that I not only have been saved from eternal separation from my God, but have a responsibility to tell others about it! How sad that I would let things like laundry and shopping and hurt feelings and arguments steal my joy and make me forget about my place on this earth! To be consumed with the things of the world makes me no better than an unbeliever. Joy is what distinguishes the saved from the unsaved because we have a hope that others don't have. How can I have this hope and walk around with no joy in my life? It's crazy!

David and I listened to an incredibly powerful sermon by Mark Driscoll on Heaven and Hell this weekend. You can listen to it here. After listening to this sermon, I am extrememly aware of just how lost some people are, and just how lost I have allowed myself to be at times.

There is a place called heaven where we will eternally worship our King after we die. And there is a place called Hell where people who chose to not have a relationship with Jesus will suffer anquish and torment apart from their Father.

The ONLY way to get to heaven is through Jesus!! You will NOT go to Heaven unless you have a personal relationship with Him and choose to live your life for Him instead of the world. It's that simple. There's no way around it. Jesus says " The only way to get to the Father is through me."

It does not count if you go to church occasionally or are a good person or do nice things. The only thing that counts is if you know who Jesus is and run after Him. Period. End of story.

It breaks my heart to think of the many people around me that could stand before the Father when they die and hear Him say "depart from me I never knew you." Good people, church going people, people who have done great works on this earth. People who are loved dearly.

(If you are reading this and want to talk to me more about having a relationship with God PLEASE feel free to message me! I would love to talk to you!)

Where is the joy? If you know that you are going to heaven, you should be joyful. I should be joyful. we should be sharing this joy with others so they can know Jesus too and walk with us into heaven.

Don't let the things of this world steal your joy and make you ineffective for the kingdom. There are too many lost people out there to walk around with no joy!

"You have turned my mourning into joyful dancing. You have taken away my clothes of mourning and clothed me with joy."  Psalm 30: 11

Monday, April 11, 2011

Blessed Beyond Measure

So God did some amazing things in my life this weekend that I'd like to share with you.

We made one of the harder decisions we've ever made. We sold David's car. We sold it not because we had to, but because we felt called to do so. It's just something that will help us make progress and focus our money and attention on bigger and better things for our family.

I am so proud of my husband. That car was his baby and he was willing to give it up for our family without shedding a tear.  I, on the other hand, was an emotional wreck! I literally could not stop crying on Friday. I just know how much David loved that car. It was our first big purchase together.

When I start to worry about how we will survive with one car though, I just remember that I am truly blessed to be a part of a one-car family. I am so glad God has provided me with that, and am continuing to trust him to meet our needs. From the mouth of my husband, "obedience is better than sacrifice."

On Saturday I got to do the best thing you can do in a situation like this, serve. I got to help Serve Knoxville as one with Operation Inasmuch on Saturday. David and I helped paint house numbers on curbs so emergency vehicles can easily identify houses. I'll let you guess who was better at this job, him or me. :-) We also got to spend some time with our dear friends Todd and Marisa Lykins afterwards. Love them! That night I had a romantic date with my husband. :-) So sweet!

The weekend just got sweeter on Sunday. I got to teach my little class of pre-schoolers about the Last supper and wash their feet. The coolest part, however, was the discussion we had about prayer.

We talked about how when you pray you can just tell God what you're thinking and feeling. I gave them each an opportunity to pray to God, and when they did it was so sweet. They put their faces to the ground and talked to God. These little ones were in complete surrender and had a conversation with God. We had conversations about new houses, riding their scooters, their dad mowing the grass, and lots of prayers of gratitude for moms, dads, and friends. 

What a beautiful picture of what prayer should be. I did not tell them to get on their faces before the Lord, they just did it, and I was touched.

Then I went into one of the more powerful worship experiences I've ever had. God's presence was so evident and I felt Him moving through my church. Pastor Scott's message was amazing and I can't wait for Easter to come!

To end the weekend, I got to go see my dear friend Sarah Benton's senior art show at Appalachian Center for Craft. I had a fun time hanging with friends from Northstar and came home to my sweet husband cooking me dinner.

All I can say is "my cup overflows." I am truly blessed and hope I don't forget it!

Monday, April 4, 2011

God's Story

I have neglected to blog in a while and I hate that because I wanted to be consistent, but hopefully this week I will do better!

Well the first thing I'll say is that my husband is a rockstar! He led worship for three different conferences in the last 2 weeks. I got to be right there with him, which was really incredible.

Not this past weekend, but the weekend before, David led for the Esther conference. I got to go through the experience and it was absolutely wonderful. I feel like God spoke to me in such sweet ways.

There are countless things that I took from that weekend, but one that I want to share right now is a point Pat Wade made in the very first session.

The reason why the story of Esther is so beautiful is because of the bigger picture. God used an ordinary woman to redeem an entire nation, the nation that would eventually produce the Messiah!

One of the first things Pat said was too many times we get so infatuated with our own little story that we miss the big story of what God is doing in our lives. This really spoke to me.

I am a pretty emotional person and have a tendency to see the glass half empty instead of half full. I have struggled with my self-image my whole life and if I'm not careful, I can become discontented very easily and spend more time wishing my life was different instead of doing something about it.

I've focused so much on my story; establishing my career, finding my husband, buying a house, building my family, fitting into all the "rules" of being a young Christian woman in America. When things haven't gone my way, I get frustrated with God and whine and complain about my story, when really, my story is part of the big story of God redeeming this nation! I'm sure Esther had other plans besides joining King Xerxes's harem, but she followed the Lord's plan and He was glorified because of it.

"Don't you know that there is nothing touching your life that has not first been sifted through the hands of the Father?" Everything we face is part of God's big, grand, glorious plan.

"If we're not careful, we can think this whole thing is about us." Your life is important and your trials and complaints are important to the Lord, but I would encourage you today to take your mind off of your story and focus on God's story. Your trials may be just the thing that will help redeem a nation!

I'll leave you with this thought via Pat Wade.

On Palm Sunday Jesus rode into the city on a donkey and the people praised him and shouted out "Hosanna!" (Only to crucify Him a week later)

"Don't you know that the donkey thought all the Hosannas were for him?" ~Pat Wade

Don't think like the donkey, friends! Focus on God's story today!