life of faith

taking baby steps & leaps & everything in between


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Peace vs. Chaos.

With all the bad news surrounding us everyday, it can be hard to sleep in peace, or even sleep at all. Last night, while laying in bed thinking about the satellite that’s going to crash to earth, the walk-out at the UN meeting yesterday, the Arab Spring, the plight of Israel, the global financial crisis, the flooding rains, and the unpredictable weather, these verses began to echo in my head:

I lie down and sleep; I wake again, because the LORD sustains me. – Psalm 3:5 (NIV)

In peace I will both lie down and sleep, for You, LORD, alone make me dwell in safety and confident trust. – Psalm 4:8 (AMP)

How wonderful is the peace of the LORD that “exceeds anything we can understand” (Phil. 4:7, NLT)!

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Something Beautiful.

I’m meeting my hubby for lunch today! But before I do…

This was one of those “cryptic notes” on my Blackberry I referenced in yesterday’s post that I just can’t ignore. When I was still training at the inne where I work (hello, I’m an innkeeper! What is that? I’m not sure), I walked into the office one day and Gretchen (my friend and co-worker) was playing Needtobreathe. I’ve heard a lot about Needtobreathe over the years because they are a favorite in The Rock Boat community (The Rock Boat and what it is and my experiences on it are an entirely different post or three) and there are a number of people who just love them. For whatever reason, I had just never listened to them (?? Right?). Anyways, the music she was playing just hit me – it was catchy and meaningful and actually kind of reminded me of the style of worship music at my college church (powerful). So I wrote a note to myself on my Blackberry (what would I do without my Blackberry? Not sure) and then checked them out on iTunes and downloaded some of their music (namely, their album The Outsiders). I love it.

They are Christians, but I don’t think they’re necessarily labeled as a “Christian” band; they’re more mainstream. But their music echoes many spiritual themes. Then the other day I heard this song in the car, and it just blew me away… basically because this is exactly where I am right now with God. I feel like I’ve been distant for so long, and I believe that God is always, forever faithful. He is always pursuing us in exactly the way we need, wooing us to Himself. And now that Dayne and I have started going back to church, and I’ve started hearing and learning from the Bible again and praying, my thoughts are more on God than they have been in a long time, and I am less afraid (of Him, of what could happen to me, of the world, etc.) — I just feel more peace. And an eager desire to know Him more.

I just wanted to share the lyrics – like a diary entry, like a prayer…

“Something Beautiful” by Needtobreathe

in Your ocean, I’m ankle deep
I feel the waves crashing on my feet
It’s like I know where I need to be
I can’t figure out
No, I can’t figure out
Just how much air I will need to breathe
When Your wave crashes over me
There’s only one way to figure out
Will You let me drown
Will You let me drown

Hey now, this is my desire
Consume me like a fire
‘Cause I just want
Something beautiful to touch me
I know that I’m in reach
I am down on my knees
And waiting for
Something beautiful

And the water is rising quick
And for years I was scared of it
We can’t be sure when it will subside
So I won’t leave Your side
No I can’t leave Your side

Hey now, this is my desire
Consume me like a fire
‘Cause I just want
Something beautiful to touch me
I know that I’m in reach
I am down on my knees
And waiting for
Something beautiful


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Obedience.

Man, have I been learning a lot in the past few days…

First off, I have to mention that Dayne’s mom (Deb) came out for the day on Monday and that was so great. I haven’t gotten to spend much “girl time” with my future mother-in-law (!), so it was really nice to have the whole day to ourselves! I picked her brain about marriage and other relationship/life/God stuff, and she was more than willing to share her wisdom and experiences, which I appreciate so much 🙂 And finally I had someone to kind of go craft crazy with! I got to show her our wedding venue, and we spent some of the afternoon shopping for supplies for the growing list of DIY decorations I want to create. It’s always helpful to have someone to spill all the current wedding details to (besides Dayne), and Deb is fantastic with crafts! Some of her handiwork has actually been an inspiration for our decorations. SO! Our DIY list is now: programs, aisle decorations, centerpieces, escort cards, favors, table numbers & holders, and napkin rings. HA! (Last night I spend $70 in shipping for 168 glass jars to make it to my already-overflowing apartment. God help me.)

Anyway, beyond that… what this post is actually about is what I’ve been learning through/with God the past several days. I mentioned in my last post that Dayne & I have started praying together, and one of the things we were really praying through with the intent of hearing an answer from God was where to live when we first get married. We prayed with a lot of excitement and enthusiasm on Sunday, and then we didn’t talk all day Monday (when I was spending time with Deb) — during this time, we were supposed to spend some time listening for an answer. I felt really solid on the answer I assumed I heard — I even felt like God gave me some reasoning on why I was being led towards Apartment A. I was convinced that Dayne must have heard the same answer, that we were going to get together, and we would both be thrilled when we learned that we received our first answer to prayer together! Well, we got together later on Monday afternoon (with Deb there), and Dayne confidently said Apartment B while I confidently said Apartment A.

Sigh.

We were both kind of confused as to why we “got” different answers. It was more than a little discouraging, especially because we don’t have the world’s longest timetable. So we committed to praying about it for another day. That day I felt like my listener was completely broken, and it only led to more confusion. I called Dayne that night to try to get a read from him on what he thought we should do, and he thought we should look at the experience (praying for an answer) in a positive light as best as possible, and move forward with Apartment A (which we both felt was the most responsible, logical, and still good choice). We agreed to give it another day, and pray for God to stop us if we weren’t supposed to move forward like we thought was reasonable to do. We also prayed about the floorplan (because the location changes with the floorplan we pick). The next day we agreed on the floorplan and went to sign the lease. Everything came together and we are both very happy with our decision (for Apartment A).

Normally, I would be a little turned off to praying and listening for an answer. But I think God didn’t give us an answer on purpose. 1) He may not have cared one way or another; both might have been fine places for us to live, 2) it’s always right to seek Him first, and I think He was pleased to see us choose to do that, and 3) I believe He was teaching us how to work through these kinds of big decisions together. We are getting married and this isn’t the last big “life” decision we are going to have to make! And we will be useless as a couple if we don’t learn how to process them, and how to seek God in the midst of them.

Altogether, I am quite happy with the experience! I think Dayne is still a little discouraged about how it happened, but I fully believe that God answers prayer and I also believe that sometimes He leaves us with the tools to make our own decisions (within His will). We will have to grow (as always) in our faith and obedience, and keep living life and seeking Him first.

 

 

I was going to include with this post some other things I’ve been learning through Bible study, but I think that would be too much for one entry, and I think the lesson I learned from the apartment decision deserves to stand alone for a bit — it was a big one! 🙂