The God of Moments & Movements

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I cannot believe it has already been one year since we took this photo. I’m just sitting here having a small praise-party. Let me tell you a little bit about why this photo– out of ALL of my photos– is so important.

In this photo, Jonathan and I had just come “home” for our once-a-year visit to our families. I stared out the window on our way into Bean Town and prayed, “God, please break my heart for what breaks your’s.”

So naturally, I was absolutely wrecked. Tear-stained insomniac. I lay awake several nights crying for New England. My own home. Jonathan and I both kept saying, “How have we just always come home to ‘visit’- like it’s a tourist attraction?” We knew our eyes had been opened.

We felt a beautiful season in our lives coming to a close in Texas, but we had no idea how to go about it or what God wanted.

Jonathan encouraged me to pray for the things God had laid on our hearts. We began a process of laying those very thoughts and ideas God gave me- back at His feet.

I prayed for a church whose heart was broken for the things that break God’s heart. I pleaded with God to even let us get part time or full time jobs in any field… just to get back to New England to start sharing Jesus’ love! 

Kind of funny, how we bargain with God on the very desires he puts in our hearts, isn’t it?

Three months later, I found myself online, and I just stumbled across a church right in Concord, near my hometown. It was called CenterPoint Church. I had never heard of it. I kept repeating the name – wondering why I didn’t know them. Turns out they were First Baptist Church of Concord, under a new name.

I really didn’t think anything of it, but I reached out to them- and the rest is such a blur!

We found ourselves the second week of March, back in New Hampshire, meeting CenterPointers, sharing meals, smiles and hugs. They grew on our hearts immediately. Here at CenterPoint there is buzz of conversation, topics such as: “My life has been CHANGED since I met Jesus!” and “God’s spirit is really stirring here! He’s doing a new thing…” and my favorite: “we long to see the day when every man, woman, and child in New England has the repeated opportunity to hear the gospel.”

We just knew this was where God wanted us to serve.

One year ago today- I prayed a prayer that I was convinced would take years to be answered. See sometimes, God puts a desire on your heart long after a moment or movement has taken place, because that is the time when you are needed. Not before, not after. Right now.

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Draw Near to God, He is already Near to You

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Recently I thought I had too much on my plate. I exercised my ability to say “no”, and took my day off seriously. Looking to the future: I tossed the idea of cutting down my hours at work. I wanted to work on future details of our family, make our house a home, and visit my family back home more.

None of that was the plan, for now.

In a recent turn of events I was asked to take on more of a leadership role at the Church, with more responsibility, with pay cuts and budget cuts all across the board for our church.

So. I dropped my plans and fell on my face before Jesus. He has been my Rock. I have peace. I have joy. I am brave.

I know God will make it possible for me to plan our future as a family, cook, clean, plan visits, have people over, take care of our pets, enjoy life… all while taking on this important calling. I just need to listen to His voice.

I’m ashamed to say in these times of turmoil… they are the sweetest times of worship for me.

Why can’t I seem to be this close to my Lord during the good times?

I realized today that I find the most peace and joy in the trials– not because God has changed, but because I have. Tweet this.

Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you {HE IS already close by}. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. James 4:8

46 things I’ve learned from 2013

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  1. Give things time.
  2. Even when you want to- don’t burn bridges. Take the higher road.
  3. Everyone must give account of their actions someday to God.
  4. Breathe.
  5. Just because things don’t go the way you’ve planned doesn’t mean you get to skip out on your calling. It hasn’t changed, and neither has God.
  6. Write everything down. Everything.
  7. You need soul-rest. Get alone, sit and have a hot drink with Jesus.
  8. God is always a step ahead of you. Because he transcends time he’s behind you, with you, and taking care of the future.
  9. Take a bath, hippie! {no seriously… it’s therapeutic.}
  10. Don’t write people off. Even though it’s hard. If you don’t make friends with messy sinners… you’ll never have any friends.
  11. Prayer is important- but it’s just one piece of the puzzle. It’s useless if you don’t read God’s love letter- the Bible.
  12. “They can’t drive you crazy if they don’t have a key.”
  13. Life’s not controllable. As soon as you realize this the easier it gets.
  14. God’s not silent, we just don’t listen.
  15. The only person you can “fix” is you.
  16. Don’t see yourself through anyone’s eyes but Your Savior’s. Any negative voices are not from Him. He corrects, but never puts down. His yoke is easy, his burden light.
  17. God promised in this life we’d have trials, and that does mean people will not treat you well. Pray before you react. Grace will flow out of you.
  18. Grace is a gift, not a cop-out.
  19. Even the people who’ve wronged you are more similar to you than you realize. Give them grace, because you mess up, too.
  20. Take it one step at a time.
  21. Being a good critic doesn’t mean you have to be critical.
  22. Sometime try looking at your behaviors through the eyes of who you live with. It’s eye-opening.
  23. In the midst of painful times don’t forget to laugh and have a good time with your loved ones, because this life is short. Even if it hurts, laugh.
  24. Don’t let anyone tell you you’re not ready to work for God. He’s given you every tool in your toolbox and equipped you already. Just look, it’s there.
  25. We’re more selfish than we even realize.
  26. Stress kills. The word of God breathes new life.
  27. Dare to ask God not for prosperity but just your daily bread. If He blesses you with more- give it all away.
  28. Everything we have is just borrowed from God anyway.
  29. Wisdom is to be sought after- but don’t ever think your ‘lil train has arrived at Saint-Wise-Station. Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall. Proverbs 16:8.
  30. Find the little things you enjoy, and make room for those things.
  31. Even if your job’s your calling… don’t let it become your everything because eventually it will disappoint and drain you. The only One who should be your life = Jesus.
  32. Sometimes being an adult means you just plain won’t get your way.
  33. Learn to take compliments. Just say “thank you”. It’s not prideful, it’s true!
  34. There is nothing new under the sun.
  35. You can’t take a clean house or empty sink into Heaven with you.
  36. You don’t have to prove yourself. God says you are worth dying for.
  37. Comparison is the thief of joy.
  38. You may be right, but are you righteous? {Tweet this!}
  39. In a culture that hates silence (Introverts are “diagnosed” and dead-air is avoided at all costs): dare to sit quietly. It’s prized by God.
  40. Opinions are everywhere, there is only one that matters. Don’t forget to ask Him what He thinks.
  41. Wear out your Bible. Cover to cover and over and over again. You’re going to meet the one who wrote it someday.
  42. Get a hobby. Seriously. You know who didn’t have a hobby? Kim Jong-il.
  43. Sometimes even after immense healing and progress…. tiny words still hurt your feelings, anxiety ravishes your mind, & depression can still seep through the cracks. Don’t give up. There is a war in the Spiritual realm- but we’ve read the last Chapter of the book and we know who wins.
  44. The best gift is your time. For God your Savior, but also for your loved ones.
  45. Speakers, leaders, pastors and worship pastors are just people. Don’t ever take their word for it. Read, read, read God’s word. Drink it in.
  46. For now we see through a glass dimly… but someday we will meet Him face-to-face.