Thursday, February 17, 2011

Receive my Adoration

For those of you who are in Circles who have only been reading this blog over the last few weeks, you will begin to see blog posts like this pop up every now and then =) I started this blog last year, with my inspiration being my passion for music and worshipping God. If you want a little more explanation you can peek back at my very first post to read more.

This song was played at Rock Harbor Church on Saturday night, and as I was worshipping all I could think about was how much I love my heavenly Father. How much I adore Him. And being that this week was Valentine's Day, I spent some time on that Monday just sitting in my room singing this song to Him. It has been in my head all week long. Music and lyrics are such a powerful thing...and in this moment...this song displayed exactly what I wanted God to hear from me.

All I need is found in You. I adore you. You are wonderful. You have my heart and my life. Thank you for saving me. Thank you for making all things beautiful. Creation lifts you up. I, your child, will worship you til I no longer have breath.

Thank you God for showing us your perfect love. Real love. This is the type of love that we should strive to show one another.
1 Corinthians 13 (The Message)
The Way of Love
   1 If I speak with human eloquence and angelic ecstasy but don't love, I'm nothing but the creaking of a rusty gate. 2If I speak God's Word with power, revealing all his mysteries and making everything plain as day, and if I have faith that says to a mountain, "Jump," and it jumps, but I don't love, I'm nothing. 3 -7If I give everything I own to the poor and even go to the stake to be burned as a martyr, but I don't love, I've gotten nowhere. So, no matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I'm bankrupt without love.

   Love never gives up.
   Love cares more for others than for self.
   Love doesn't want what it doesn't have.
   Love doesn't strut,
   Doesn't have a swelled head,
   Doesn't force itself on others,
   Isn't always "me first,"
   Doesn't fly off the handle,
   Doesn't keep score of the sins of others,
   Doesn't revel when others grovel,
   Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth,
   Puts up with anything,
   Trusts God always,
   Always looks for the best,
   Never looks back,
   But keeps going to the end.
   8 -10Love never dies. Inspired speech will be over some day; praying in tongues will end; understanding will reach its limit. We know only a portion of the truth, and what we say about God is always incomplete. But when the Complete arrives, our incompletes will be canceled.
   11When I was an infant at my mother's breast, I gurgled and cooed like any infant. When I grew up, I left those infant ways for good.
   12We don't yet see things clearly. We're squinting in a fog, peering through a mist. But it won't be long before the weather clears and the sun shines bright! We'll see it all then, see it all as clearly as God sees us, knowing him directly just as he knows us!
   13But for right now, until that completeness, we have three things to do to lead us toward that consummation: Trust steadily in God, hope unswervingly, love extravagantly. And the best of the three is love. 

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Back to the "grind"...but in a new way!

This is my sitting in Starbucks, pondering my week type of face. And I just bought these crazy looking glasses and wanted to see if it makes me look smarter, more intelligent, more sophisticated, etc...thus the reason for this photo. Does it work? LOL =) I'm thinking not so much.

Anywho...the title for this post being back to the "grind" is because I have officially started working again this week for the first time in about a year! Most of last year I was in school full-time, and then since graduating in November I have been on somewhat of a vacation for the last 2 and 1/2 months. I have very much enjoyed having that time to focus on my education, and to follow God's leading in this new career path of mine. God uprooted me from my previous accounting job last year...provided the financial means for me to go through school to pursue a passion of mine, and I am now a licensed Cosmetologist. I began my first week of work in the salon as a hairstylist this past Wednesday!

It is back to the "grind", but in a completely new and exciting way! I made the choice a few years back that I wanted to wake up every morning not dreading going into work, but excited, passionate about what I do, and knowing that I have the opportunity each day to invest into the lives of others in some way. This career as a hairstylist isn't just about the physical, materialistic, how you look on the outside type of influence as most people see it. I look at it as a way of putting myself in front of people every day for God to use me however He chooses. Loving them in any way that I can, serving them in ways that hopefully build their confidence, being an ear to listen and hopefully a positive voice in their lives. All my life I've wanted to be in a position where I'm serving God with everything that I am. I used to think that that meant I was supposed to work in some form of full-time ministry within the church. But now I have realized that this is my ministry. Something as simple as someone entrusting me with their hair can lead to all sorts of open doors. And I'm super stoked to walk through each and every opportunity that God puts in my path!!

I am so beyond grateful for God's provisions, faithfulness, love, and for everything that He is. I couldn't live this life without Him!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Am I worshipping God or my "idea" of Him?

Just a few highlights in my life since my last post!

Trip to Disneyland with my favorite little 2yr old Skylar Grace. I currently live with one of my best friends Stacy, and this is her little girl. To her I am known as "Auntie" and every time she calls me that my heart melts! It was her first time meeting Tinkerbell(her favorite right now) and I have to say, I didn't know going to Disneyland with a 2yr old would be so much fun!!! Well maybe not EVERY 2yr old lol...but this one brings me great joy =) Seeing her face light up when she met her favorite characters, watching her hug and squeeze them and not let go...these moments are priceless!

Snowboarding trip to Snow Valley with my friend Travis and a group of people from Rock Harbor Church. Thanks to Cameron McCartey for setting this trip up and being my snowboard instructor for the day. As well as Travis who stuck by my side, gave be continuous bits of advice, and watched me fall all day long. LOL! I have technically been snowboarding for a few years now, but only once or twice a year, and in the completely incorrect way. If you are a snowboarder and know what a "falling leaf" is(basically only riding using the back edge of my board)...that's about the extent of my snowboard skills. So I went into this trip with a challenge to myself to learn how to carve correctly. Quite a few falls and a couple of bruised knees later I can say I have made some definite progress =) Still have a ways to go though. I will keep pressing on!!

Then upon returning from snowboarding I immediately went to Rock Harbor for our weekly Circles discussion. I have thoroughly enjoyed the connections and friendships that are beginning to form here! Bringing 30 people together every week who all have an intense desire to grow together in Christ, that in itself will create a wonderful sense of community. But then when you begin to know people on a more individual level it only enhances that relationship. For instance, two examples off the top of my head that stand out. Dannah Christensen and I have quite the similarities. We share a love for surfing, the outdoors, music, that sort of thing. Both of us are on the road to becoming hairstylists after working jobs that left us completely unfulfilled, and realizing we weren't on the path God had laid out for us. I'm super excited to get to know her more and to use our gifts and talents together in ways that bring people hope, joy, and untimately give glory to our heavenly father!! Also, I have met Blair Bradberry and discovered that we are "southern soul" sisters!! Both born in Alabama, but lack a southern accent because we were mostly raised in the midwest, and now our lives have brought us both here. We share a heart for southern culture. Similar story in those aspects but I can imagine in others we are quite different. She went to college at University of Georgia...I never even attended a 4yr college. I spent a few years after high school in a small but intense bible/ministry training school. She attended Harvard for grad school...I spent 9 months and just recently graduated from Beauty School. She works as a college counselor...I am a hairstylist. But it is a BEAUTIFUL thing!! We speak the language of Fried Okra and Sweet Tea =) Our common ground thus far is first and foremost our heart to live our lives for Christ and his glory, and also our love for the south! If we hadn't chosen to make God our priority in the midst of our crazy lives we may have never met. But I'm glad we did and that we all have a chance to grow together over the next 8 months!

Wrapping up my thoughts here I just want to leave you with this. My father posted this quote on his facebook a few days ago, and it's been on my heart and mind ever since.
"Do I worship God or do I worship my experience of God? Do I worship God or do I worship my idea of Him? If I am to avoid an ego-centric approach to "spirituality" that takes me from "experience" to "experience" hoping for "deeper" and "better" things, I must know what I believe apart from the feelings that may or may not accompany such a belief!"
In this walk of life we experience highs and lows. Great times and tough times. Times of excitement and times of dullness. Times of growth and times of stagnancy. Times of joy and times of turmoil. Times of accomplishments and times of failure. These are all feelings that are a result of experiences we go through. But I love this quote because it challenges me to not live for the "feeling". No matter where I am in life whether it is good or bad, what I believe should remain constant. I worship him because of who He is, not because of how I feel. God does not waiver. God is God always. God is good in all things. God is faithful. God loves me. God has my life in his hands. 100% of His Word is true and right. And if my worshipping him is based on feelings that occur or circumstances that happen in my life...then in reality I was worshipping my "idea" of him rather than who his word says that He is. We are imperfect humans living in an imperfect world filled with a sinful nature, and God loves us anyway. My belief in who He is must stand firm through thick and thin...otherwise I don't think I can say that I really believed in Him at all. Only my idea of him.