Wednesday, August 20, 2014

We Are Not Consumed

Lamentations 3:22 is one of my favorite verses right now.

Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. (Lamentations 3:22 NIV)

It can be so easy to get wrapped up in the struggles of life. The stress of change. The problems that can sometimes arise with other people. Whatever it is that you're struggling with, our struggles can seem very overwhelming. 

This verse reminds us that God's love for us is greater than we could ever imagine. He loves us so much that he (as Jesus) became a living sacrifice to cover our sins so that we can have a personal relationship with him. 

Because of this great love, we are not consumed. 

Whatever it is that we face, God is always bigger. He will never allow us to become consumed by our struggles. He promises to be there for us and he is true to his promises. 

His compassions never fail. Never!! He is always, always, always true to his promises. He loves his precious children too much to just leave them. 

Remember that whether you're starting a new season in your life or just making it through the day. 

We are not consumed. 


Saturday, August 9, 2014

Project Go Recap

I spent the last month in Peru working as a part of Project Go.

During that month, I learned what it means to let your heart be broken for what breaks God's heart, saw some amazing places, gained another family, and learned a little bit more Spanish.

We worked mostly at a community center in Pamplona.  Everyday we'd call the kids, and then do an afternoon program that is similar to VBS.




I learned so much this summer.  What it means to let my heart be broken for what breaks God's.  How much God loves us and all of His precious children. And the ways that he uses people to show that love. How you can have family in so many places.  How God's grace covers us and he always loves us no matter what we feel like.

I'm so grateful for the wonderful month that I got to spend with these inside and out beautiful people learning more about God's love.

It can be so easy to forget to remember the daily ways we are shown God's love.  But they're always there! It can be a hug from a child, or someone caring to listen to the little parts of your day, or just sharing a smile.  God provides for everything, no matter where you are.  He'll take care of the details, big and small.  

Thank you all for being a part of this journey through your financial and prayerful support! I'm so blessed by all of you!!


Monday, July 28, 2014

Building a Palace

It's so easy to get comfortable with who we are.

I'm not struggling with that sin anymore, so I'm okay.
I'm not as sinful as that person. 
God loves me just as I am. 

We use so many excuses to escape the reality that God still wants to work on us. It's hard to let God work on our hearts.  It is uncomfortable and sometimes it requires us to do work to fix it. 

But this quote is a great explanation as to why he continues to work on us. 

As Christians, we have God living in us. We are a representation to the world of God and his love. 

God continues to work on, in and through us to make us more like him. Although he loves us just the way we are, he loves us too much to leave us there. 

So even when it's hard and it hurts, keep listening to God. Obey him when he tells you that you need to change something, or forgive someone, or tell someone about him. He might ask you to go on an adventure to another country, or instead to work on your heart at home. But whatever it is that he asks you to do, know that there is a plan and a purpose for it!

He loves you so much and wants you to be the best you can be!


Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Grace: Part 3

One of the first things that we were taught when we got here was how to love the children.  Giuli said that some of the most important ways to show the kids that love them is to hug them and make eye contact, and just listen to them (even if we don't understand what they're saying!).

But she also told us that the Bible tells us to love others like we love ourselves (Matthew 22:39).  And that doesn't mean just the selfish, think of myself first kind of love.  The kind of love that God means is love like his, when you are able to forgive and love yourself.

When we refuse to accept God's grace it's so much harder to give grace to others because we don't understand grace very well.

Because of God's love we want to do better, but we don't have to do better in order for him to love us.  We could never possibly be 'good enough' to earn his love.

What she said really hit me because sometimes I really struggle with allowing myself grace when I make a mistake or when things are just hard.  It can be much easier to beat myself up over a mistake than to let it go. 

But just like Giuli told us, God doesn't blame us or get mad at us for making mistakes or struggling.  Instead, he helps us up and tells us to keep going, that he's strong enough in our mistakes. 

God wants us to know just how much he loves us so that we can learn and grow, and so that we can love others fully.


Saturday, July 12, 2014

Love is...

Love is caring so much about someone that you are willing to deal with their quirks, their imperfections and their mistakes.  You allow them to be who they are, but also encourage them to grow as a person through their walk with the Lord.

You are there when they need someone because you care.  You want to help, because you understand that you would want someone to do the same for you.  Whether it's through a hug when the day is long, or a meal when they're sick, or just listening, you're willing to do those little things that make the world seem like a much friendlier place.

And no matter how difficult they are, when they mess up, make you cry, or just aren't in a great mood, you still stick around.  You understand that disagreements happen, and you might have to talk through them to fix things.  And bad moods don't last forever.

It's stooping down to do the tasks that you think (or even know) are below you, or aren't necessarily your responsibility.  Whether that is cleaning up someone else's trash, or comforting someone that you didn't hurt, you become the hands and feet of love.

You stick around because God does the same for you.  You take the time to care because God cares about you.  You do the tasks that are beneath you because that's what God does.  When Adam and Eve sinned, God personally sacrificed the animals to cover for their sin, and hand made clothes for them.  Jesus came and took our sin upon himself so that we could make the choice to accept God's love and his plan for us. 

'For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.' John 3:16 (NIV)

'We love because he first loved us.' 1 John 4:19 (NIV)

It's that simple.  When you are able to understand even just a fraction of the love God has for you, you want to share it. 

Imagine the person you love the most in this world.  Close your eyes and think about how much you love them.  It's an awful lot, right?

Now imagine that love multiplied hundreds and thousands of times more.  I get kind of lost!  God loves us so much more than we can possibly love anyone.  His love is perfect, without any ulterior motives, greed, jealousy, hurt. 

As imperfect humans, we can never love like that.  But the more we learn about God's love, the more we'll want to love others.