Pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father is this : to visit orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world. -James 1:27

Monday, September 22, 2014

An adventure abroad… my first English wedding

My first English wedding…

Tiffany and Steve Carter

My beautiful, sweet, cherished best friend and housemate of the past 3.5 years moved back to England and got married. How blessed and thankful I was to be able to be part of her special day.

With only a few months to plan the details, Tiff did a great job bringing class and fun together. Vibrant colors, small touches, an ice cream truck, and to top it off, the reception was at a safari park.

Here a few more photos of the day. I posted some on FB, so I don't want to repeat those.

The church in Luton was so gorgeous! 

All brides are beautiful on their wedding day, but Tiff was truly stunning.

Friday, September 19, 2014

From my heart...

Loss, Change, Uncertainty, Loneliness

It is easy to feel this way right now. The reality is that in the past 4 months ALL of the closest friends that I have been walking life with for the past few years have left my life in one way or another. Literally, every close friend.

And outside of this great loss is the huge disappointment in my heart of ceratin dreams unrealized. Dreams that necessitate a closure or refocus. These disappointments of the heart are painful. Disappointment topped with loneliness is even worse.

I am a planner. I love details and a list and the do’s and don’ts and what to expect. Change is hard. Really hard.

It is easy in these moments and seasons to feel totally consumed with sadness. To walk daily with a heavy heart and to question everything in the world that I have known. It is easy for the lies of the enemy to enter in and break my confidence with insecurities.

But I am so thankful that Christ is my hope. I am so thankful to have walked seasons of blessings and storms and have tested and proved that my Father is faithful. His Word is true. Even when it doesn’t seem like it or I can’t feel it. He is true.

Philippians 4:8 says, “whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable, if anything is worthy of praise- think on THESE things.”

Reality check! What thoughts are my mind and heart dwelling on? Am I listening to the Shepherd or to the roaring lion that seeks to devour me?

Choice. I have a choice. I learned this deep-rooted lesson back on Tim Team: I have the choice of how I will respond. In every situation and every thought and every happening in or outside of my control, I have the choice of how I will respond. I have the choice to dwell in the lies of the enemy or to cling to the promises of the Almighty.

Yes tears and grieving are there. I am not afraid of my tears. There is healing and release in them. But I will choose not to be stuck in them. I will choose to believe Truth that goes beyond circumstance.

God’s promises are all still true even when I don’t feel like it or see them to be true. His word is true and worthy to stake my life and my hope on.

My life is not my own. I have been bought with a price. And the one who has bought me said that He has plans to prosper me and not to harm me. Plans to give me a hope and a future. Though the sorrow may last for the night, His joy comes in the morning. His mercies are new every morning.

He gives me grace for today. Enough grace to love others and live with hope TODAY, even when I don’t know the details of my tomorrow. He has me here today.

“The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases,
His mercies never come to an end;
They are new every morning;
Great is your faithfulness.

“The Lord is my portion,” says my soul,
“therefore I will hope in him.”

The Lord is good to those who wait for him,
To the soul who seeks him.
It is good that one should wait quietly
For the salvation of the Lord.”
-       Lamentations 3:22-26

I am clinging to these verses. And truly, though this has been one of the worst weeks, the icing on the cake of loss, I already feel the Lord restoring my soul. And I praise Him, for His nearness is my good. His power is made perfect in my weakness. He alone is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and forevermore and He will NEVER leave me nor forsake me. My heart is strong in the Lord.

Thank you for praying for me. Please continue to do so.