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Praying and Helping Others

God’s faithfulness and growth in trusting Him has been the motivation for this blog, right??!?! So today I thought I would feature two families who are really trusting in God and His faithfulness!¬†I know this post is a little departure from the normal financial, student loan stuff, which isn’t completely abnormal for me ūüėČ as I am trying just to write about whatever God would like me to write about. So I would like this blog to be a place where we pray for and help each other. With that in mind,¬†I would love to invite you to pray for and help, as you feel led, these two families.

I mentioned on my last blog post, a friend that is pregnant and found out she has leukemia. Her and her husband have done an amazing job of following the Lord in this valley. They have shown their faithfulness to the Lord and their devotion in trusting what He has for them. I am encouraged and driven to follow Christ with more devotion because of their obedience to be joyful in all circumstances, to trust the Lord, to lay all of their fears and worries at His feet and I have seen the peace that has come over them as a result. ¬†I ask you to join in prayer for this faithful little family! I am praying for complete healing, protection over their unborn child, and continued trust, joy, and peace! If you would like to follow Allison’s story click here. You can follow their emotional and wonderful video series here:

The other family I would love for you to pray for and help, is a family that is so near and dear to my heart! You may have seen me posting about them on Facebook or Instagram, Rob and Andi Lambert! They are such wonderful people, that have devoted their lives to serving the Lord and whom I have always been able to count on. To make it even closer to my heart it is their process of adopting, which Luke and I LOVE and can’t wait to be a part of ourselves! They are in the process of adopting a sweet baby and the road to becoming parents¬†has been long and hard, but more importantly filled with faithfulness and trust in the Lord! This couple has also spurred me on to trust in the Lord and His will for Luke’s and my life. You can read about their story on their blog¬†here.¬†You can also¬†help them bring ¬†baby L home here

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with their super fun LOVEraiser (with the chance to win an awesome portrait or here on their GoFundMe page.

 

Thank you for taking the time out of your day to read this, pray, and respond to these two families’ stories! I really appreciate it and if you need prayer please feel free to message me or leave a comment! Let’s be a community of people that love on each other in good times and in times of need.

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Amazon Prime Day

Prime Day is a one-day shopping event on July 15, 2015, with more deals than Black Friday. Prime members can shop exclusive deals from electronics, toys, video games, movies, clothing, patio, lawn and garden, sports and outdoor items and more. If you use my link to to amazon it helps out the site and you can find some killer deals today.


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A Little More

WARNING: This post is not my typical post and does not deal with my normal content… it is more controversial….

There is a lot of controversy going around this week¬†(and just let me go ahead and add to it ; )*, Friday¬†being the day that the federal government legalized gay marriage in all 50 states, even though that is a state issue. All the controversy, arguing, and general atmosphere of hate surrounding this topic has been so sad and overwhelming to me. But God is still God no matter what we say or do, thankfully, and I just want to remind myself and my fellow Jesus lovers out there that our commission is to make followers of Christ and to love our neighbors as ourself. I don’t know about you, but “myself” felt the hope and love of Christ before I knew I needed a Savior…before my sin was lovingly pointed out to me and I realized I needed to repent and it most certainly wasn’t rudely shouted about on social media. I felt broken and down and He was my hope, He offered love and forgiveness and healing…I wasn’t scared into loving or accepting Him by knowing I would go to Hell if I didn’t stop my sinful ways. ¬†If you were, color me surprised.

I can’t find¬†any verses in the Bible about Jesus trying to force people into His way of thinking or following, accepting, or even loving Him, He pointed things out to people that CAME¬†to Him. Like the way He spoke to the woman at the well and how He spoke to your heart when He called you to Himself. And if they didn’t want Him, He didn’t yell at them or chase them and demand they see His side. ¬†I also don’t recall Jesus, Paul, Peter or anyone else trying to stop, change, or in anyway influence the government. I am NOT saying there isn’t a time and a place or a reason to fight for something you believe in as far as the law is concerned. I am just saying, have we forgotten our purpose? Have we forgotten that this world serves evil not God and His perfect will?

I wonder if we are trying to make this country a mini heaven, a comfortable place to live until we go to Heaven? Rome, Jerusalem, or Corinth didn’t have ¬†“Christian friendly” laws that nicely matched up to all the beliefs laid out in the Bible. WHY do we think our country should do that?!?!?! So confusing to me. Guys, things are going to get worse and gay marriage will be the least of our worries and it seriously already is folks….come on… we¬†want to blow up Facebook with our¬†outrage on gay marriage, when there are children being killed by the likes of ISIS, people in other countries literally being killed for their beliefs, people starving to DEATH, sex slaves, people in our own country being gunned down for their color and faith and we are freaking out because some people can get married now? ¬†I’m confused as to how that bothers me, hurts me, or stops me from pursuing my purpose in life, loving Jesus and making disciples.

But yelling about it, being ugly about it, and posting damning things about it, certainly does hinder me from my purpose…making disciples. No one, is changing their opinion or lifestyle because someone¬†yelled out to Facebook how upset and outraged they are. Because let’s be real, YOU are making it all about YOU. Those posts are about our rights as Christians, our freedoms as Americans, and don’t get me wrong I hate having my things taken away or infringed upon, but that feeling in me didn’t come from Christ it comes from my own selfish wants and desires. Yet, Christ calls us to die to self. I have yet to read a post (and I read as many as I see) that was really trying to appeal to people that don’t know Jesus and get them to love Him and reached out to them by being upset by this ruling and even if there are those articles, I doubt they will work. This is not about about me or you or Joe the Jesus lover down the street. It is not about going to Heaven and saying Jesus aren’t you happy I really told those guys they are sinners…IT IS about God and His glory and His amazing love and how He is going to use this situation for His glory because that is what He does. IT IS about going to Heaven and bringing a bunch of folks with you. ¬†That is ALL of our purpose. GOD said so! I could be wrong I doubt it though, but I don’t think arguing with people is going to help me reach my God-given purpose in life (so I won’t be arguing with anyone in the comment section FYI).

And please, please, please, PLEASE¬†my heart begs of you please¬†don’t¬†insinuate in anything that is¬†posted online that gay people are going to Hell or aren’t saved. WE¬†DO NOT KNOW THEIR HEARTS!!!! The heart is what matters folks¬†and we do not know who has accepted Jesus Christ into their hearts. IF we are saved based on whether or not we sin, we are ALL going to HELL. Our lives do reflect our hearts, but we do not know where someone is in their faith or what they are wrestling with the Lord about. Please don’t say or type things like that, its embarrassingly pompous of us¬†to assume we know who the LORD has saved.

This sermon that Shea Sumlin gave had some great things to say about marriage and Christ and this article speaks my heart and love for people struggling between what the Bible says and their pain in the very first lines and brings up some interesting thoughts. I love both of these, they are both very thought provoking. They are directed at a Christian audience. And follow this link for more posts on marriage  and some great thoughts from Sheila over at To Love, Honor, and Vacuum on the Supreme Court ruling.

To sum up this post that hopefully moves us to love and our purpose as Christians and scares the poops (my new favorite word) out of me to post, this world is not about us. ¬†We are promised a rough time and persecution by loving Christ, we are not promised our “rights”, preferences, or the favor of our country. So let’s do what we are asked to do, follow Christ in making disciples.

*I try very hard not to shout my opinions on social media because I realize that does not reach hearts most of the time, like speaking in person does, but I felt led to write this. This is thoughtfully and prayerfully written, not flippantly written please do the same in commenting :).

 

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Hidden Blessings

The title of this blog would more honestly be… Blessings I Refused to See, but we will go with Hidden Blessings because it sounds less….honest¬†wordy. In my last post I laid bare my soul, revealed that I¬†wasn’t quite lifting my eyes to the Lord, and was letting circumstances blind me to what the Lord was doing. Today I just wanted to share with you one of the blessings I refused to see or at least refused to let my heart believe it was a blessing or miracle from the Lord.

Luke, my husband, has been doing some blogging of his own, you can see his posts and videos¬†here. He is sharing his knowledge about what he has learned with technology, doing podcasts with his friends Russell and Jason, sharing a childhood journal, and most importantly for this post reviewing different items he has purchased. The videos he has made are reviewing things from apps to running shoes to podcast microphones (I think that’s what it is…He is the techie one here) and have become rather¬†popular. Luke being the genius that he is, has made the popularity of the videos profitable to our family by adding¬†Amazon ads to his page and to mine.

If you look on the right side of the page there should be an ad, which if you click on and buy something, we get a percentage of…who knew???¬†I had Luke put Dave Ramsey as the ad on my page because I truly believe it does help those struggling with debt and it helped and is helping us. So if you are interested in Dave Ramsey feel free to click the ad. Also totally weird and interesting to me, if you are already planning to buy something off Amazon and you go to Amazon through the ad on mine or Luke’s page¬†we will still get a percentage, even if it’s not the thing advertised on my page. Weird and cool right?!?! I’ve always seen advertising on blogs, but I never knew how it worked. So apparently that’s how it works with Amazon…¬† I don’t expect anyone to buy anything by the way or use the link at all, that is not at all why I am writing this, I’m just sharing the process of what Luke and the Lord are doing to bless our family.

Anyway, so Luke has been doing this for a few months and apparently a lot of people are clicking on the ads for whatever he is reviewing and they are buying things. Which has led to income that we did not expect or even image was possible. A surprise blessing/miracle. Luke was just doing the videos for fun and the Lord used it to show His faithfulness and will be blessing us with more money towards paying off student loans! (I say will be blessing because it takes a few months to get the money, because of returns and things like that… Amazon policies… I really have no idea about any of that, but that’s how Luke explained it to me or at least what I remember of his explaining. So I titled this blog hidden blessings because I kinda just refused to even consider the money we were/are making as anything… partially because we weren’t getting it right away and partially because it wasn’t the miracle I was expecting.

One day in particular I was getting a little down because there is so much debt and although we are making progress it wasn’t the progress I had hoped for and so I asked Luke…when do you think the Lord is going to start doing miracles? And he LAUGHED at me! I was sooooo confused and said something along the lines of why in the heck are you laughing at me, which he kindly then explained was because the Lord was clearly doing miracles right at that very moment. I kinda, embarrassingly chuckled at and began to argue how that wasn’t true… silly me…I seem to frequently forget that God’s ways are not my ways (THANKFULLY)!!! Luke then patiently reminded me of the Amazon money and how even though we hadn’t gotten it yet, we would and it was in fact a miracle that people were watching his videos with thousands/millions??? (I honestly have no idea how many videos are on YouTube) of other videos on YouTube. My answer was yeah but… to which Luke wisely said do you really get to decide what is a miracle and what isn’t…Ouch! He was clearly right and I stubbornly hadn’t received God’s faithfulness as being from God at all. All I can say to that is I am so thankful I have Luke to point me back to the Lord when I am so stuck on my own thoughts, ideas, and demands of how the Lord should answer my prayers.

Here is how this is impacting our loan payoffs, the first month Luke did this he made about $60 and I think Luke said it takes 60 days to get paid (these are all rough estimates people) which I believe we got at the end of last month or beginning of this month, which was nice. But every month (about two or three months) since the first month he has made about $500 a month. As you can probably tell an extra $500 a month towards the student loans is very very helpful and such a blessing! We will be getting the first¬†payment¬†of $500 at the end of this month and hopefully we will have very exciting news around the beginning of next month ūüôā Whoo HOO!

Praise the Lord for He is good and FAITHFUL!!! Thank you for your continued support and prayers on this journey.

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Some Truth for the Heart

WARNING: This is an extremely honest and gut-wrenching (for me) post… I’ve really struggled with how much to share here, but I’ve decided to share the good and the ugly in an attempt to be authentic in sharing God’s faithfulness. So please proceed with caution, grace, mercy, and love.

Blogging has been difficult lately… as you might be able to tell from my lack of posting… in fact lots of things have been difficult for me lately, unfortunately… trusting has been really hard, not just in paying off student loans, but in many¬†aspects of my life and faith, seeing The Lord’s faithfulness and miracles has been difficult too, which I didn’t really expect. I guess I expected the struggling in aspects of waiting and trusting, but not seeing faithfulness right in front of me was a very unpleasant surprise.

I’ve had some health issues, hormonal changes and problems, family stuff, Luke and I have had some rough days, and a constant sense of waiting in so many areas seems to be dragging me down.

In the midst of this we have been so blessed to live with my in-laws and even more blessed in how giving and accommodating they are. None of this: this blog, paying off student loans, or this journey of trusting ¬†would be possible without the sacrifice they have generously made in letting us share their home. I will FOREVER be grateful for this wonderful and sacrificial gift they have so freely given. And although I couldn’t image living with my in-laws going any better, it can sometimes be difficult to live in someone else’s home.

At least it is for me and I am quite sure it is MUCH MORE difficult to have others live in your home. See I am an emotional person and sometimes…especially recently with my hormonal issues (I AM NOT PREGGO, just to sent the record straight), I really want to just cry, scream, runaway, hide and lock myself away, which I often did to sort out stuff with the Lord when I was home alone in our apartment and even sometimes when Luke was home… Thanks for still loving me Luke ūüôā I am thankful for the Lord creating me just as I am and for His understanding of my emotional communication, but somehow I think that might scare the <insert questionable word here>¬†out of my in-laws or at least make them think I am a lot more crazy than they currently believe I am…and let’s just be real here I feel like a crazy myself sometimes and I don’t really want to subject others to that and I’m not even sure I could subject them to it if I wanted too, even Luke. It’s a me and God thing…

The drought hasn’t helped either, as weird and silly as that sounds… I’ve mentioned to many and maybe even in this blog that the shower or bath is my conversing place with the Lord, but with the drought I can’t help but feel extremely selfish in spending anymore time than necessary in the shower, not to mention the bath. Just to clarify here I am NOT constantly sad, upset, or anything of the sort. I just feel things very strongly…I cry when I feel blessed, grateful, thankful, loved, in awe of the Lord, sad, mad, hurt and pretty much any other emotion strongly.

Without that emotional release, I like to think of as my Jesus therapy… I have held a lot more things in my heart and mind than I usually do. So I feel disjointed, muddled, and like I haven’t been able to see the Lord in the struggles of late. I’ve missed some MAJOR things. Some serious blessings and gifts from the Lord, which I am not okay with¬†at all… so I am asking the Lord to open my eyes to times, places, and new ways for me to see, hear, and feel His faithfulness. He has planted me right where I am, and I am missing what He wants to show me. I don’t want to miss it anymore. I am praying for you and for me that we will not let circumstances, whether good or bad, pull us away from communing with the Lord and seeing what He has for us, right where we are. It’s amazing to me, that even as I write this the Lord is using my own words¬†against me¬†to reveal His will to me and for me. Don’t let health, hormones, people, waiting, hurt, or alone time pull us away from our one true love, our first love. It’s so weird, amazing, wonderful, cool, and awesome how so many things this week led me to that last sentence…

PS in case you are wondering I’m tearing up at how cool God is right now.

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Loving Kindness

Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you a million times!!! I don’t even know how to express the gratitude in my heart towards all of you! Never in my life did I, in my wildest dreams, imagine the sweetness that would pour out on me from this blog. I was TERRIFIED!!! to put this blog out there, where anyone, but the five people I told could read it…

I read and follow a LOT of blogs and I’ve often heard of the negativity that people can have towards and be posted on the walls of blogs…and that scared me a little. I was also super nervous and much more scared that people would think I was crazy for posting my personal business and for believing that God would promise something like paying of thousands of dollars in debt in a year…heck let’s be real sometimes I think I’m crazy for even thinking God would care about student loan debt. Thankfully God is a personal loving God that has plans for our lives that include using the money we make for His glory…not paying off debt F-O-R-E-V-E-R.

All that to say, I was so surprised and encouraged by the outpour of love and support from so many of you.  I have just been so overwhelmed with the beautiful words spoken, texted, emailed, Facebook messaged, and commented here and on Facebook. I honestly never even thought so many people would read my words, much less think they were helpful or encouraging. So thank you from the bottom of my heart and a very very special thank you to my hunny for encouraging me for years to do this! I have cried a many happy, thankful tears for each and every one of you over the last week! So thank you again!

I also want to acknowledge something that I found very interesting this last week…amazing things happened from the outpour of love to financial surprises, and even a miracle (more on that in a bit), but in spite of all of the blessings from the Lord I have felt this strong surge of sadness in my life this week. I don’t know if it’s just been a really weird week or if the darkness that is in this world is just trying to suck¬†all the joy and trusting in the Lord, that has grown in my heart this week, away or what…but it’s also been a rough week. It took me far longer to write this blog than I originally intended because of the sadness and suffering I’ve seen this past week. I was bummed out and sad for my friends, family, and so many people around the world.

BUT I am refusing to let the sorrow in this world drown out the blessings the Lord has given through your words and loving kindness! I have to say I have truly felt the Lord’s loving kindness through each of you. He has spoken to me directly through you and I am so encouraged to continue this journey of trusting the Lord, paying off debt, and sharing His story of faithfulness to you through this blog. Thank you for praying for increased trust in the Lord because it is truly growing in my heart, even as I type while blubbering.¬†I may or may not be an emotional wreck from all of your sweetness and I wouldn’t have it any other way! Please keep praying for funds and most importantly growth in faith and trusting my dear, personal, compassionate, loving God. Thank you ohhhhh so very MUCH!

Ps my next blog will share some exciting blessings in March AND a true blue miracle! Stay tuned!