Thursday, June 28, 2012

I have a hope!

This morning I was on my way to work and I began to pray.  As ashamed as I am to say it.  That does not happen as much as it should.  Not even close.  However, this morning for some reason was different.  I got in the car and the radio was off and I believe the Holy Spirit would not let me turn it on.  God was drawing me to him, he wanted me to talk to him! 

It started this weekend.  My husband and I had a date night and we visited the Blakeney campus of Elevation Church.  We always enjoy visiting there because this church has it goin on!  We often watch their online channel on our Roku player, and we had been wanting to visit.  So we went and the worship, as usual, was amazing, sincere, authentic, and inspiring.  As a worship leader, I am always watching and learning from others, so when I visit Elevation I am like a kid in a candy shop!  Pastor Furtick wasn't there Saturday night, but instead I had my first "simulcast" experience and we were blessed by an awesome message from Pastor/Author Craig Groschel.  He has a new book out called Soul Detox and this is where is all started.  It was a very challenging and honest message that spoke to my soul and made me realize I have a lot of detoxing to do!  You can listen to the full message here, and I highly recommend you check back to their website each week for the rest of the series.  I know I will be!  My Amazon purchase hasnt even went through yet and this book is already impacting my life!

In short, the message was about negative thoughts.  For the most part, I like to think I am a positive person.  But when it comes to thoughts about myself and my life, I was made aware Saturday night by the conviction of the Holy Spirit that I am far from that!  In fact, if they had a Soul Detox rehab center, I should probably go to it for a while!  There are four main ways that toxic thoughts can affect our life.  Negative, fearful, discounted and critical are all thoughts that are toxic to us.  When we realize we are having a toxic thought, we have to know the word, and know what God says about us as his children. 

After Saturday's service, the Lord has continually brought this sermon to my mind and I think about 99% of my thoughts are toxic!  I am probably exagerating, but its more than it needs to be, thats for sure.  I found the Soul Detox Devotional for my You Version app and it has been that daily dose of reminder that I need and God is changing my heart day by day. 

Now, back to this morning in the car. 

I just began to talk with the Lord.  I have been feeling a little overwhelmed lately with life and all of my responsibilities.  I feel like if I place the needed attention on one area, another area is always lacking.  If I focus on my health, my house suffers.  If I focus on cooking and cleaning my house, my health suffers.  You get the picture?  It just seems like there are not enough hours in the day.  Along with that, I have been wondering if I am doing what I was put on this earth to do.  Ive been wondering about how my life would look with a child in it, and if I cant even balance life now, how would I even begin with a kid?  I've been wondering if this is all God has for me.  If Im supposed to be doing something else full time, or if this is my mission field.  I've always had a dream to sing, and Im doing that, but not full time.  I have a passion for finance and my mission to get out of debt, I think I might would enjoy helping others do the same, but I honestly have no idea if that is what Im supposed to do.  So this morning, I just basically laid it all out on the table, I told God everything.  I asked the Lord that if I am where he wants me, then use me.  I asked him to put his vision in my heart, and I dont care if he gives me the whole picture, just tell me where to start, and if I am where he wants me then to help me be content and show me what I need to be doing with what he has given me! Then I thanked him for all the blessings in my life, that took a while, because despite all my toxic thoughts, facts are facts and I am a blessed woman!  Then I did something that I dont do near enough. I shut up and listened! 

It always amazes me when the Lord speaks to me, because it truly is in that still small voice that he speaks.  Of course my mind was wondering from subject to subject and I found myself thinking about a quote from the message Saturday night.  He said something along the lines of this:  Some people think we are a body with a soul, but that's not true at all, we are a SOUL that happens to have a body!  That thought lead to another thought about heaven and how we will never get tired in heaven and how we wont have all the daily responsibilities that we have here.  We will have eternity to praise him and time will not even be a part of our lives nor will we be tired.  While we are on this earth, we are slaves.  Plain and simple.  Even if you own your own business, you still have to make money to live, everyone is still a slave to someone or something.  And everyone has that longing in their souls to be free.  Its not necessarily discontent that I have been feeling, but instead a longing in my soul to be free.  That is because I am a soul with a body, and the only way to fulfill that empty longing is to fill it with hope!  That is the key, that is the answer that Paul had when he talked about being content in whatever situation in Philippians 4: 10-14.  Hope is the answer!  Jesus is the answer!  Faith that this is not all there is, and there is life after this that is far better than what we experience here, that is the answer!  We have to have a hope, and his name is Jesus, we have to have the hope that one day, not too long, that we will only have one master, that time will not matter, that our souls will be free from the slaves of this world.  I have never understood what people mean when they talk about longing for heaven, but today, I can say that is what I have been missing.  We have to replace the stress, and that emptyness with the hope and the promise that when our lives on this earth is over, we will be eternally fulfilled.   People try and fill it with money, success, drugs, debt, a bigger house, a better car, better kids, whatever they THINK they need in this life to be happy.  But true happiness only comes from our hope in Christ.  Our souls were made for heaven, and until we get there, we must fill them with HOPE!

What a hope!  What a promise!  What a future! 

Comment below and let me know, do you ever feel empty or discontent?  Do you have toxic thoughts?    How do you overcome those toxic thoughts? 

Monday, January 30, 2012

Cinamon Toast Crunch Cupcake

Yes, you read that right, and Yes, they are AWESOME!

Cinamon Toast Crunch Cupcake - Recipe

Friday, January 27, 2012

Beaufort, SC

A couple weekends ago, Nathan and I traveled to Beaufort, SC to have a little weekend getaway at a B&B there called The Rhett House Inn.  We had a wonderful time!  We mainly went because Nathan purchased a Groupon for the Rhett House.  It was well worth it! My favorite part of the trip was walking around the quaint little town taking pictures and eating at The Red Rooster Cafe!  I would like to go back and take a walking tour sometime so I can get better pictures of the beautiful houses and trees.