Friday, March 16, 2012

Patience is a Virtue

"Patience is a virtue". This is a common proverbial saying.  However sometimes I feel like we don't always completely understand the meaning of it.  To be patient, to wait for something is sometimes the hardest thing to do.  Trust me I know! I want to dedicate this post to all the young ladies out there.  Here is why.

As young women, we all long to be desired, sought after, loved, etc.  We all desire to meet our prince charming one day and be swept off our feet.  Some may say this is a fantasy that may never come true but its real.  All we have to do is wait for it. The waiting part is hard though.  Many times, we tend to give our hearts away  so quickly because we don't want to be alone or we can't stand to see all of our friends in relationships while we sit back and are by ourselves.  I have felt this way time and time again. Every where I go, I am always the only single one. At first this bothered me so much. I kept thinking whats wrong with me and why oh why am I constantly placed with people who are in relationships.  I thought to myself is this some kind of joke? But a joke it was not. It was reality. I had to learn to deal with it.

Waiting is so important.  When we wait on God, He gives us the very best.  With God, there is no mediocrity.  He knows what we need and He promises to give it to us when the time is right.  However, when we decide to take matters into our own hands, thats when problems occur and problems are not always good.  Here are two different examples of how important waiitng is and the good/bad consequences it can bear.

First Example: Sarah and Abraham.  Sarah and Abraham wanted a child.  They were getting older and still no child.  Well Sarah decided she didn't want to wait on the Lord anymore and took matters into her own hands.  She told Abraham to have relations with Hagar, their slave and impregnate her. When she was pregnant and had the baby, they would take the baby as their own.  So Abraham did it and Hagar became pregnant however the baby was not Sarah's for the claiming.  She still had to wait for her own child.  If Sarah would of just waited and continued to trust in God's promise, maybe he would have given her a baby sooner but that wasn't the case.

Second Example: David and Saul. David was already told by God that he was appointed to be the next king after Saul.  David didn't live a life of riches and things of that nature. He lived a somewhat simple life. Anyone in their right mind who knew they were supposed to be king and wanted to leave their "simple" life to live a better one would have probably tried everything in the book to get rid of Saul.  Not David.  Saul constantly tried to attack David and David rarely fought back.  When he was in the cave with his men and Saul walked in, his men told him this is your chance. Kill Saul. David cut off a piece of Saul's robe but afterwards he felt guilty and presented himself before Saul, humbling himself. He apologized and told Saul that no matter what he tried to do to him, he would never touch the Lord's annointed.  David had so many chances to get rid of Saul and take his rightful place as King but he was secure in the promise that God made to him and he wasn't going to take matters into his own hands. He knew that it was already done.  He decided to wait because he knew it was already his.


So here we have two different stories with two different outcomes.  The difference between Sarah and David is that David trusted in God's promise.  In order to truly wait on the Lord, we have to trust Him. Ahhh, trust! It's a hard thing to do and sometimes a hard concept to understand. But it is key when waiting on the Lord.  If we trust in the Lord, we wont ever have to settle for any ol' guy that comes along.  We wouldn't be easily deceived by the wolves in sheep clothing. We would be secure in the promises that God has made towards us! Im waiting because I know that when my time comes, it will be something I never ever imagined and I will say to myself, "I am glad I waited. It was so worth it".

If you're struggling with waiting on the Lord, not just for relationships but for anything in your life, just trust and believe that God will show up and deliver just as He has promised.  

"Trust in the Lord with ALL your heart and lean not on your own understanding." Prov 3:5

Finding your Purpose

I haven't wrote a blog post in such a long time.  School has picked up speed over in the DR and i haven't even had enough time to write. During these past few weeks so much has happened.  I have been learning so much at school as well is in my spiritual life.  God has really been opening up my eyes little by little and showing me what my purpose is here on this earth. 

Two weeks ago, I was watching a service online and the pastor that was preaching said something very interesting. He said, "We find our purpose in the context of the time we spend in relationship with others".  When i thought about it, i said to myself this is so true.  I aspire to be a child/school psychologist once I am finished with school and that means I would spend most of my days counseling which is what I love to do.  However, with the classes I have to take at school and how difficult they are at times, I sometimes second guess if I made the right career choice.

I started thinking maybe I should have looked into another career choice because taking psychology at my school just felt like a headache.  I knew that it was something I wanted to do but I just felt like if you are doing something you like/love, you shouldn't struggle as much.  I began to feel like I wasted 3 years of my life chasing a dream/aspiration that maybe wasn't worth it.  Well this past week changed my whole perspective.

After expressing my feelings of frustration and doubt, I asked God to show me what I should do, where I should I go.  I asked Him to show me what is it that He wanted me to do. I asked Him to confirm His purpose/will in my life.  Well you know they say if you ask, it shall be given unto you.  In this past week, I have been able to talk to some of my few friends and help them out with some issues they were experiencing.  I always say that I am so glad that my friends feel like they can confide in me with their problems.  After having like 3 different conversations all in which I had to  give counseling, a light bulb went off in my head and the quote from the pastor came back to my mind.

I realized that one of my purposes here on earth is to give counsel to those who are in need of counseling.  The reason why I continue to struggle through my psychology classes is because counseling is what He has called me to do.  The more i spend time in relationships with others, I realize it more and more.  I was blinded for awhile by my struggles and I started to doubt what God had in store for me.  But that's the amazing thing about GOD. When we doubt that He will do what he promised us, HE shows up and shows us He can!

So if you ever doubt your purpose here on Earth, continue seeking God and asking Him to show you because sometimes its been there all along but you were blinded by the obstacles that stood in front of you. Keep asking and He will reveal it unto you.! Be blessed. xoxo



Tuesday, February 14, 2012

What Does it Mean to be an Icon?

This weekend after hearing about the passing of Whitney Houston, it had me thinking a lot.  I could not believe that the Whitney Houston was gone.  I loved so many of her songs.  So many people were talking about how much of an impact she had on their lives and how her songs touched their hearts.  She was an icon.  Her death made me really think about my ministry of singing.  She became an icon through her beatiful singing, angelic voice and fame but what did it cost her to become that icon?  If Whitney Houston could have such an impact on people through secular music, why can't I have such an impact through my singing on people who need to hear about the love of Christ?  God blessed me with such a beautiful voice and everyday I thank Him for it.  Every opportunity I receive to minister, I take it because its another chance to touch someone's life.  It's another chance to minster to at least one person who might have a broken heart or someone who needs to feel the love of God more than ever before.  I want God's annointing to be so heavy over my life so that everytime that I sing a song, people will be able to feel how i feel about God. I want to be known and remembered but not for my own selfish purposes.  I don't want to be famous but I want to people to remember me for how I loved the Lord and how I demonstrated it through my singing.

Last week I was also reading Genesis 49 in which Jacob spoke to his sons describing the characteristics he saw in each of them.  Some were good and some were not so good.  However, he only called it like he saw it. Their actions throughout their whole life determined how their father described them later in life.  God has given me a gift and I want to use it for His honor and glory. Never to glorify myself. Humility is one characteristic I ask of him each and every day. I live to serve Him and I want to spread His word through my ministry of music/singing. So what will you today to ensure that you leave a great mark here on earth? How will you be remembered?

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Put It On the Altar

Last week, I had a lot on my mind. I was thinking about so many things. Worrying about doing well in my school work, missing my family, thinking about my spiritual life and so much more .  I kept praying and asking God to speak to my heart. I asked Him to tell me something that would just assure me that everything would be ok. On Sunday, we had a trip to the ruins of Columbus's first settlement and we visited the beach.  It was a two hour drive and usually on these long drives, I listen to my music.  As I was listening to my music, the song "Put It On the Altar" by Jessica Reedy came on. 

"Listen, you been worried and cryin’
Cryin’ and worryin’
But you’re not alone, you’re not alone
See you have a friend in Jesus, and He knows all about it
And He’s gonna do what He promised you
See everything that you’ve been worried about, put it on the altar"

All of sudden when this vesrse came on, I felt this unusual feeling and tears began to slowly fall from my eyes.  It was so unexpected because the song is an up-tempo song and I usually never cry when listening to a fast song but this time it was different.  I felt God speaking to me.  The message was loud and clear. I needed to stop worrying and let God take care of it. As hard as that maybe sometimes, I know that it is something I need to do. Only way I can get peace of mind.  I am in a beautiful country living the life, therefore i need to sit back and enjoy it.

Hope you are as blessed by this song as I was.


Friday, February 3, 2012

Its my Anniversary

Before you get the wrong idea, its not that kind of anniversary.  It is my living in the Dominican Republic for one month anniversary. I have successfully completed one month of living in DR.  This month has flown by so fast.  It feels more like I have been here for a few days. In one month I have grown in various ways.  My Spanish: When having a conversation with a Dominican, I am better able to understand what is being said to me   It was so hard in the beginning. I felt like i could not understand anything. However this has changed in a month.  I am also getting better at speaking. Still a lot of errors but I am getting there.  I have experienced three earthquakes in one month.  I have successfully learned how to take a concho around the city and how to call a taxi and explain where I am. I am volunteering as a teacher at the local high school helping students with their English. I have made some wonderful friendships and so much more.  All of this in one month. I am still amazed.

In this one month, God has really been helping me and strengthening me.  He has also allowed me to help others which is what I love the most. As I have been reading my daily devotionals, I have been learning so much.  Today I was reading about Moses and when God first presented Himself to him through a burning bush.  Moses was afraid and did not want to do what God was asking him to do. He probably felt like it was to big of a task for a simple person like him. However God told him to just go and that He would help him. He would help him speak and teach him what he needed to do.  I was kind of like Moses before I came here.  I was so nervous and kept telling myself I don't think I can do this.  I did not think I would be able to handle living in another country. But I pushed through and made my way here. Imagine if I would of chickened out and decided to not come? I would have missed out on so many opportunities.  So I realized that when I decided to put my fear to the side and get on that plane, I was kind of like Moses.  I trusted and believed that God would teach me and show me all the things I needed to do to survive here. Well, here I am still standing a month later! Happy anniversary to me :)   

I am not sure what God has for me here in DR. Maybe it is to just study and enjoy the beautiful sights. Or maybe it's to fulfill another apart of my destiny/His will for my life. I believe the latter part of this statement. Only time will tell!

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Smile

So one compliment I have gotten time and time again here in the Dominican Republic is that I smile a lot and that I like to laugh.  It's true. Anyone who knows me and knows me well, knows that I like to laugh. I like for people to make me smile and I like to make others smile.  Some may think, "dang this girl laughs and smiles at everything", which is totally not true.  But here is how I look it. Why not smile? There are so many things to smile about. I wake up every morning and the fact that I am able to breathe another breath of fresh air makes me smile from ear to ear.  I am living in another country which is a tremendous blessing, so why not smile?  I am protected by the blood of the Lamb, so why not smile? I have a peace that only God can give me and if that is not reason to smile then I don't know what is. These are just a few. This morning I woke up late, didn't eat any breakfast, it was pouring rain and Tuesdays are the longest day of my week.  I could have easily complained and moped around. But I didn't.  There was not one time throughout my day that I did not laugh or smile.  It is said that a smile can brighten up someone's day, so I can only hope that someone's gloomy day was somewhat brightened by my smile. Sounds cheesy but hey. I want people to realize that even though things might not be going well or they are having a bad day, there are so many other positive things they can focus on.  Sometimes I'm guilty of focusing on the negative but today I choose to smile. Maybe you should too :)   

"Today, give a stranger one of your smiles.  It might be the only sunshine he sees all day."

Saturday, January 28, 2012

New Beginnings

So with every new year, comes new beginnings. New chances to do bigger and greater things than the year before. A new year to face new fears and to achieve new aspirations.  I have been blessed to start off my year in another country. In a place somewhat out of my comfort zone. Many people have told me that they are proud, excited, even a little jealous (lol) that I am studying abroad in the Dominican Republic for four months. At times it seems unreal.  I remember when I first started the process to come here and remember saying that it was such a long way off. However, when the time started drawing closer, anxiety began to arise. Subtle feelings of fear began to overtake my heart. Even though my outward expressions were not showing signs of worry, inside felt like an intense game of tug of war.  I asked myself over and over again, "Is this something you really want to do? Leave your family? Live in another country?" You would think that I would be used to living out of my comfort zone.  I go to school in a state 9 hours away from my family and only get to see them once in a blue moon.  But living in another country was another story.  I have never done it.  People telling me left and right "Be careful; Guard your bag because there are a lot of thiefs out there,etc"  did not make the decision any easier.

As time for me to depart approached closer, i started to have more and more concerns. I just couldn't grasp the fact that I was about to embark on a new journey.  Many conversations with my roomies and other classmates made me feel ok about going. Online pre-departure orientation made me even more excited. However, the day before I had to leave, all that excitement seemed to subside just a little bit. Two weekends before my departure, we had a powerful youth concert at church and God moved in such a mighty way and I totally surrendered myself, ministry, everything to God. I poured my heart out.  So one thing I know is that anytime I have such a blessed and anointed time at a church event, the devil starts to mess with me.  Well, after this concert, he started putting fear in my heart. Telling me that I couldn't possibly be leaving everything i know to live in a country i knew nothing about besides the food and a little of the language.  I started feeling like maybe i couldn't do this. Maybe I made a mistake by choosing to go to DR. The night before I had to leave, I couldn't sleep.  My stomach hurt so badly and I felt nauseated.  I knew it was anxiety because the same thing happened to me before I had to leave for my first year of college. I did not understand how this could be.  I was so excited to go but within me I started to feel like maybe I couldn't do it.  After hours of not being able to sleep, I called my mom who told me to ask my dad to pray for me and then she had her friend call me who gave me many scriptures to hide in my heart and remember for times like these. The one I held onto and repeat to myself everyday since I've been here is 1 Timothy 1:17 "For God did not give ME the spirit of fear but a spirit of power, of love and of a sound mind"...
Fear is something that can cripple a person from pursuing dreams and visions.  Fear can make you think that you are not equipped to handle new beginnings and change. But what I failed to realize, is that I serve a God bigger than fear.  Fear is not even in His vocabulary and He has equipped me with all I need to survive and thrive in any environment i live in. Fear, not even an option.  So here I am almost a few days shy of a month, living and learning in Santiago. Experiencing things that I never knew I could. Forming new friendships with great people from all over the states and from the country.  Fear said I couldn't but God said I could.  He blessed me with an amazing host family, comfy house to live in, and is helping me to expand my Spanish vocabulary and understanding.  Because I did not let fear deter me from following my destiny, I am here today in beautiful, sunny DR enjoying all of God's beautiful creations.  Couldn't ask for a better way to start of my new year.  Here's to new beginnings.........