Thursday, March 5, 2009

For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: - Ephesians 2:8

God is so amazing and so big. I went to my first (and only) Women of Faith conference with a friend in November 2007. I was remembering the conference a few days ago and I realized it was then that I finally saw how big God really is. I had been in my own world living and loving and serving. I didn't even try to look outside of my small space in the world.

God's Grace is one of the most amazing gifts I have ever received and I didn't have to do anything to receive it. Thru serving God and establishing my relationship with him and other believers, I just flat out over did it. I raised my hand almost everytime there was a need without thinking or praying. One day, I was officially burned out. It became too much. I didn't know if I was raising my hand out of guilt or conviction. So I stopped raising my hand altogether and tried to piece myself back together.

As I look back on it now, I see where I went wrong. I stopped praying before raising my hand. I was trying please people and not God. I was so concerned about my testimony that I was afraid to make mistakes. The life I live is my testimony so if I'm living it then what good is it?

God was telling me it was time to leave the only church I had ever attended faithfully and he started telling me in November 2007 after I attended the conference. I have a heart and compassion for women's ministry. The women in the conference were such an inspiration to me and I was so moved by their stories and their love for God. I started this blog the next month in hopes of reaching women who need to know they're not alone. But when God was telling me to go, I stayed. I was afraid of the unknown, of losing my friends, of disappointing people and afraid of not making the right decision.

My kids and I began attending Life Church in October 2008. For the first few weeks, I would raise my hand to learn about serving in the church and then when it came time to get more information I put my hand down. I was so afraid of making a mistake that I couldn't hear God talking to me. When I prayed to Him for guidance, I didn't listen when He answered. I seemed to grow further and further away from Him.

Then last Saturday was my low point. I looked at myself and didn't like what I saw. I realized how depressed I had been over the last couple of months. I was feeling like the person I was before I got saved. I was going backwards and not forwards. I asked God "why am I feeling this way. I have been trying so hard." That's just it...I...not Him. I put my faith in myself and not in God. So, when I was able to run to His arms and let Him do what He does best, the sadness and disappointment just seemed to disappear instantly.

God is so amazing and so big! His grace is neverending. He never judges. He always loves and forgives.

God Bless!


Tuesday, August 26, 2008

"Be Still And Know That I Am God", Psalm 46:10

There have been several times in my life when I haven't understood the reasons things happen. Over the past 6 months so much of my life has changed. As I look back on it, I am puzzled. I don't quite understand the things that have happened or the feelings I have felt.

I know that just 6 short months ago I was so close to God. My relationship seemed rock solid. Alot has happened since then such as a new job. A job that God provided which happens to be an answer to prayers that I prayed for about 3 years. I consistently prayed for God to provide a career for me. I wanted a career that I could grow in and be successful too. Then one day, there it was. The door opened and my new career began. My new career has been a pretty big struggle. I know in my heart that God provided this new career for me and He never promised it would be easy.

Let's see, what else? My husband lost his job in May. This was something we knew was a possibility since January. We are a two income family and that's all there is to it. However, we have made it thru the summer without a hitch. We have had the money that was needed each time it was needed.

That's it, right? Well not quite. About a month ago, I came to the realization that God was leading me out of the only church I have ever known. I was led to Christ by someone from this church. My son was baptized in this church. This is the only church my daughter and son have ever attended. How could this be? At first I was afraid because my closest friends attend this church as well as a lot of my family. I was afraid that people would talk about me and make assumptions that weren't true. I was afraid that I wouldn't find a new church home.

So what does this add up to? Trust and faith in God is a must no matter what. I am happy to report that I am getting acclimated at work. I am told by my peers that it takes about a year to complete the on-boarding process. I can say that I have 6 months down and only 6 months to go! My husband is working part-time and we continue to overcome the financial challenges that life seems to throw our way. My kids are able to continue attending the Christian school we have come to love and appreciate in more ways than one. We visited a wonderful church this past week. It's the second church we visited and we loved it. My kids and I are very excited to attend their Awana's Kick-off tomorrow night as well as next Sunday's services. My mother, who has not attended church in several years, is excited about going with us. Yes, some of the friendships I had from church have changed or even somewhat ended. Some of those friendships have grown even stronger. I have learned that friendships and relationships come and go according to God's purpose.

I believe that God has led me down this path so I can see that I need him when my faith is strong and I need him when my faith is weak. God has been the only constant in my life. He is working in my life minute by minute and continues to bless me and my family. Over and over I can hear "Be still and know that I am God" Psalm 46:10.

Thank you for your prayers,


Monday, July 21, 2008

Taking It All In

I was on MySpace tonight looking around at my friend's sites. I was looking at their pictures and the captions that go along with them. My daughter and I looked at my site and she was looking at the pictures with me (even though they're really old). I started thinking about my kids and how quickly they grow up. My son will be 17 in a couple of weeks and my daughter will be 5 in a couple of days! They are such blessings in my life but I have to wonder if they know how much they mean to me.

It's so easy to get caught up in a "new job" or paying the bills that I seem to let life slip by. As I think back to the last 3 months and wonder what I have done with my time, I can only think of 1 think and that is WORK. What do I have to show for it? Well, let's see. I am more familiar with my job and more comfortable in my position. I love my job. It's fun and always busy. But as I think about it these aren't memories that will stay with me. I don't have pictures to show and relive the memories. My family and I aren't going to sit around the fireplace and think "remember when"!

As I sit here at my computer and think about all of the family pics on my computer just waiting to be printed and put in an album, I wonder what do I do with my time?

I am thankful that God has his subtle and not-so-subtle ways to remind me of what's important. I appreciate the memories that are stored away in my heart. God puts those memories in my heart for a special purpose. The memories in my heart keep my heart warm and open to the Lord's special messages that are meant for me.

I don't want to miss out on the important people in my life: my husband, my kids and my friends/family. I am praying for God to help me with my time management with work and personal life balance. My kids will be starting school in a 3-weeks and I want to be able to spend some time with them before then. Your prayers are appreciated!

God Bless,


Sunday, April 27, 2008

Pray It & Mean It

It's been a while. I haven't felt like writing lately. You could say that I have been complacent in my Spiritual Walk. My relationship with God hasn't been close for several weeks now.

Last week I was in the car thinking about my life. I realized the joy in my life was gone. I have a great job, my family is healthy, my marriage is good and I have lots of friends who share my faith. So why am I without Joy?

I know my life has been crazy as I have tried to adjust to my new career. It's been somewhat challenging. I work close to 60 hours a week (some of the hours are at home). I have had to rearrange my schedule in my personal life. I have felt disconnected from my friends. I am too busy to talk during the day and too tired when I get home at night.

I have been praying that God would help me with the chaos in my life. There wasn't any change, it seemed to be getting worse. But when I prayed last Wednesday it was different than my previous prayers. I meant it that time. I was begging God to help me. I admited to Him that I couldn't take anymore steps by myself. He had to help me or I wasn't going to survive another day. I told God that he would have to answer me in a LOUD voice because I hadn't heard him in a long time.

On my way back from Tulsa that day I heard God for the first time in weeks. It was as if he came down from Heaven just to tap me on the shoulder and tell me He was there and He never left me. God told me that I would have to open my heart to him and make him a priority in my life again. I felt an overwhelming sense of peace come over me. It was so amazing. It was a relief to know he was still there.

The next couple of days were better than they had been but today was the best. I slept in this morning and skipped Sunday school. I wasn't really motivated to go to church today. The kids and I got up and went to church anyway. We made it in time for morning services. The message was good and for the first time in weeks I cared what the message was and how it applied to my life. When it was time for the invitation my heart was broken. I was so sorry for how I had put God last in my life. I was sorry for how I hadn't tried to be different and show how God works in my life. I had put God on a shelf and left him there as I began my new job. I rearranged my life and cut God out almost completely. As my heart was broken I also felt so much joy. I felt joy because I knew that I was right where I needed to be. Today I was just a sinner saved by grace. I felt God's mercy as he wrapped his arms around me and hugged me. It felt so good to cry.

Today, I prayed and I meant it.

God Bless


Wednesday, March 19, 2008

"Ask, and it shall be given you..." Matt 7:7

It was about 3 years ago when I began to want a different job. My degree and a lot of my experience is in human resources. I had a little time as a full time Human Resource Manager. I didn't like the industry I was working in but I loved the position and job duties I had as the HR Manager. You could say HR is my passion.

I was discouraged at times and questioned why God was leaving me at my current job. I sometimes wondered if Human Resources was what I really wanted to do. I received my answer while reading about our spiritual gifts. (maybe future blog topic??) I prayed about it a lot but always the answer was the same..."not yet." I could imagine God shaking his finger while telling me to wait and be patient.

Then it happened! It was 3 years to the exact month I began wanting to find a job in Human Resources. I posted a revised resume on-line and 4 days later received a call from a Senior HR Director about a new position in Oklahoma. The interviewing process went on for a couple of weeks. I tried not to get my hopes up but there were little bits of encouragement along the way. After I made it through the interviewing and pre-employment screening, I was offered the position! I start my new job in just 5 days.

Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: Matthew 7:7

I have thought a lot about the verse and I have come to learn that God answers our prayers but in His timing. He had a job for me and it's one that I wanted but I had some growing and maturing to do first. There were friendships being developed as well. I learned about being content, being faithful and tolerant of others personalities. I am so thankful that God chose to develop qualities I didn't have (still working on them). My personal life couldn't have handled a change in jobs. My family needed me to be here as much as possible. My spiritual life couldn't have handled it either. I have matured as a Christian and continue to mature and grow with each day and experience.

God didn't just answer my prayer for a new job. I also wanted to grow in the Fruits of the Spirit. I have learned a lot about each one and took some time working on them with God's help. It is a work in progress, believe me. It is a amazing to look back and see what God has done in the last 3 years. I'm looking forward to tomorrow as well.

God Bless


Monday, March 10, 2008


I recently read the book "In the Grip of Grace" by Max Lucado. It's one of his older books and I loved it. Max is addressing the concept of grace. Grace is a tough one for me and probably for most people. It's sometimes difficult for me to realize that I am in God's grace. I know in my heart that I don't deserve it but the bible tells me I have it unconditionally and so do you.

Becoming a saved child of God wasn't the tough part for me, it was forgiving myself of the things I had done. I mentioned before that I was almost 24 when I got saved. There are a lot of years that I was lost and doing things without much thought or regret (or so I thought).

I was dead inside and hurting so much. I was looking for happiness in moments that are unspeakable. I was very defensive by nature. Let's just say "kind" wasn't a word people would have used to describe me. It was more like..."Monica is really nice, you just have to get to know her." After I got saved it seemed like my past seemed to come crashing in on me. I could see how wrong the decisions I was making were but I didn't really know how to change everything. I wanted to be a good person but I didn't know how to get past my past or my present.

My uncle told me that all I needed to do was take a step forward (admit I was a sinner and accept Christ as my Savior) and God would do the rest. This was the first mention of grace I had ever heard.

"For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:" Ephesians 2:8

We are so accustomed to working for everything we have. It's what my grandparents taught me and it's what I teach my kids. However, God's love isn't earned and we can't pay for our sins. Christ died for our sins before we were even a thought in any person's mind. We were a thought in God's mind when he sent his only son to save the world.

It's been 10 years now and I would have to say that I am not the same person I was yesterday much less 10 years ago. My uncle was right. I took the first step and God did the rest. He continues to speak to me about choices I make and I continue to grow as a Christian. Am I perfect? Of course not, but I am a sinner saved by grace. No matter how far I fall, God is always right there picking me up and giving me a big hug.

I realized a few years ago that the person I was before I got saved is a way for me to witness to others. I have something in common with most people I meet and I pray for God to use me to be a blessing to others. I don't regret my life or the choices I made because they are what makes me who I am today. I choose to let God forgive me so I can look forward to tomorrow.

God Bless

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

"Train up a child..." Proverbs 22:6

Our children are wonderful gifts from God. My son, who is now 16 ½, got his driver’s license last week. It is a blessing for us because he has track practice after school and works part-time at Mardel. It has made the morning routine easier because he motivated to get up in the morning and leave for school all by himself. Getting my 4 year daughter ready for school is somewhat challenging on most days of the week.

The day he got his license I started to remember back when he was a little boy. I remembered a time when depression had taken me over and my little boy was all the reason I could think of to get out of bed in the mornings. This was a time before I knew Christ.

He was 5 years old when I got saved in 1997. I was 23 years old. Want to know the funny part? He was 7 years old when he got saved! We have been in the family of God for almost the same amount of time.

He was such a good kid growing up. Don’t get me wrong, he’s still a good “kid” but the teenage years are becoming more and more challenging as the days go by. He is struggling with decisions he makes. He knows all the right answers but doesn’t seem to make all the right choices. Does this sound familiar? It certainly does to me. I struggle almost every minute of the day with making the right decisions.

It is difficult for me to let him grow up and make decisions on his own. I want to tell him what to do and control every aspect of his life. I can’t do this because he will never learn anything if he doesn’t have his own experiences. The one fact that continues to bring me comfort is… he is saved by grace. It’s not my job to control his life, it’s God’s. God is in control. My job is to give him limitations and guide him and pray for him.

“Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” Proverbs 22:6

The verse is promise to us that if we train our children and they stray from God, God will get their attention and draw them closer to Him. Doesn’t he do that for us over and over again?

As I am writing this even now, I struggle with letting God do what God does. I love my son so much and it hurts me and breaks my heart when he makes poor choices. I want to protect him from the “world”.

I want to praise God for listening to my prayers and answering them in His perfect time according to His perfect plan.

God Bless