Monday, September 29, 2014

Seek more Jesus, not answers

" In his heart a man plans is course, but the Lord determines his steps"
Proverbs 16:9

I want answers!
Why did I move to Arizona?
A constant question that replays in my mind
Every. Single. Day 

When I decided to move to Arizona there was no doubt in my mind God had a plan
I knew that I was moving closer to fulfilling my dreams and deepest longings
It has been two full months since I have lived here
To be honest, I thought I would have had a purpose by now
Like yesterday 

I thought the Lord would have already opened up big doors and answered all my questions
I thought I would already be sharing with my family and friends all the amazing dreams I have accomplished!
I thought for sure Arizona is the answer to ALL my prayers!

In reality, I think I am just scared to tell them "I don't know and I don't have a plan"

Since I got to Arizona all I have been doing is seeking out answers 
Why did God make me leave my comfort and move to Arizona?
Everywhere I went I found myself asking, 
 "Is this it?"
"Is that it" 
"Why haven't I met him?"
"Did we become friends for a reason?"
"Is that the charity?"

I even found myself even trying to manipulate situations
Maybe if I just drive by there
Maybe if I just check my email one more time
Maybe if I stay a little longer he will show up

I was either trying to manipulate or bargain with God
Newsflash: God isn't into the bargaining or manipulating business
And you know what happened? I became anxious and frustrated
I was seeking the answers I thought wanted instead of just seeking Jesus

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord
“plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."
 Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. 
You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. 
Jeremiah 29:11-13

You see, God knows that my plans are so small compared to His
He knows that if I tried (Lord knows I tried!) to make my plans succeed I would fail
Or worse, I would succeed, then become complacent
I would stop seeking Him and stop dreaming

I knew I needed a different approach to this whole Arizona thing
This past week has been a week of reflecting and seeking Him more
More time in the Word and less in the world 
More time trusting Him and less trusting myself 
More time drawing closer to Him and not the TV

And a funny thing happened, I felt a weight be lifted off
I felt my dreams reignited in my heart
I have realized the past two months that God just wants me to seek Him 
No bargains, no strings attached, no manipulation
Stop searching for answers and search more of Him
To use this time to draw closer, learn more, and grow in my Trust 

I will continue to open my heart and mind to the Lords plan
I will continue to enjoy my new friends and new life in Arizona
When I stop to really reflect the Lord has blessed me more than I deserve down here 

I thought Arizona was the answer to ALL my dreams and prayers
But now I know that Arizona is just one part of Lords big adventure for me

I have no doubt that what has been placed on my heart will come into fruition in time 
There is no urgency to dreams when the Lord is in control

I am about to do something new
It is beginning to happen even now
    Don’t you see it coming?
I am going to make a way for you to go through the desert
Isaiah 43:19 

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Friday, September 26, 2014

Guest Post- Distractions and Joy

Happy Friday!

I am so excited to introduce my first guest blogger on Enjoying the Journey!
I met Ginny about two years ago in Seattle
One of my good friends connected us through a bible study Ginny was leading
I instantly was drawn to Ginny's heart and deep faith
I love her heart to serve others through prayer and encouragement 
I have been a recipient of her amazing gifts and we have stayed in touch 
She also has a heart to write and I cant wait to share her first blog post!

I love this post and I read it at a perfect time in my life
I think we can all relate to this post by Ginny 
Such a good reminder to be aware of the distractions in our life

Distractions and JOY

I took a float trip down the Yakima River on a gorgeous end of summer day in Washington State.  Nothing could mar the day but I had one little problem.  
My ‘waterproof’ bag-where I stowed my iphone wasn’t waterproof.  
That led to the experience of fewer distractions! 
My phone was dead and it took almost a week to get the new improved iphone5c to replace it.

Distractions, how I love them.  
I love Instagram, and photos of every kind. 
Facebook and every video, every witty, cool blog about life with kids or being a woman of faith or a styling woman of this century.  
But now I had that antsy feeling that I was cut off.  
I really did now have time to do my house chores.  
To think about making appointments I have put off for like two years.  
I wanted my distractions via my phone to well, distract me!

Yet, lately I have been plagued by the nagging feeling that my distractions are well too distracting!  Unease and boredom are not really addressed by said posts about ‘Kid President’ (one of my favorites!)

So I have been trying to think deeper about this conundrum.  
Why are they so fun yet so unsatisfying? 
I love to learn new things, but I have a utilitarian bent that tells me I need to use what I have learned! So how do I USE those videos?  
More anstiness!  Grrrr.

I think I am really on a search for JOY.

Searching but not really locating it in my current moment of understanding my ‘worldview’. 
I got challenged and it helped me, so that is what I want to share.  

The big question I decided to think about was, get ready; Suffering!  
OK no one likes that word!!
 In fact, whole world views that are pretty popular say that all suffering in this world is really an illusion.  
That actually you can just think your way out of it.  
If you think about things in the right way, you won’t hurt!  
Sound pretty good?  I don’t want to hurt, so let me try it!  

OK, my friend for 13 years decided to leave the church we have gone to together that long.  
OK, I don’t want to suffer.  I ponder my problem: 

I know!  She is ‘shallow’ and so I can’t really care about that part of her life, we can be friends, but we won’t talk about her thoughts on this part of life anymore.  Whew!  I don’t hurt anymore!  I can little by little dismiss her and the area of our lack of agreement!  We get together still; and now it’s been 7 years and guess what?  We aren’t really close any more.  But, inside I have told myself, I just can’t hurt about this, after all it was a personal decision and she gets to do whatever she wants, so stay in the present moment, don’t think about the future== it doesn’t matter to me.  I will forget the past, forget the future and just have a good time with her when we get together.  
Boom!  No pain!  I just don’t care. What-Ever! 

Only problem is that just rethinking this doesn’t really change the reality of my loss of this friendship.  It is real and while I am told I ‘need to let others do what is right for them’  if I haven’t faced the reality of this, pretending it’s no big deal.  

Consequence; that friendship is in trouble.-there is real loss and real suffering involved and I haven’t avoided anything because the way I dealt with it was not about reality. 
But majoring in the un real life is pretty much I am really good at. 

  I can fill up my day with stuff that just keeps me ‘off base’ and I just move ON. Distractions.  

No BIG DEAL!  What really is important because life sucks and I don’t control that so I need to just ENJOY life! Laugh, drink coffee! Take photos of pretty flowers, kitties and doggies! 

Maybe we are all doing that because the ‘quotient’ of prickly painful unresolved situations is getting rather full in our lives.  

Maybe there is a back log of situations where we have put off saying the hard thing in a friendship, or a marriage or to a brother or sister.  

Maybe we are just trying to medicate and distract ourselves.  In the meantime; what is going by that can’t be fixed by time passing?

How do you feel about things that cause you to ‘suffer’?  
Do you think, deep down in side that you have done so many right things that you DO NOT DESERVE to feel this way?  
That you deserve the break time, the zone out distractibility time?

OK is there another way? What about dignifying reality.  

Life on earth has suffering in it.  FACE THIS.  IF I stare into the mirror of reality, eventually I will stop lying to myself and face it.  Maybe it will rock my world.  Maybe my world needs to be rocked.  Philip Yancey wrote a book that has a title I just love 
“The truth will set you free but first it will make you miserable!
So what is the truth that I am avoiding by my distractions?  

First of all, I avoided writing this blog, for like months!!!
But, I am avoiding going to another state to visit my brother who is having a health challenge.  
I am avoiding making some preventive screening appointments.  
I am avoiding how old I REALLY am going to be at my NEXT birthday!!! 

What about you?  
Are you distracting yourself from anything?  
Does the nagging creepy feeling peek through anyway at times after you spent an hour on FB or XBOX or Pinterest?  

Are you distracting yourself? 

True story: The pharmacist just asked me today: Have you had a Flu Shoot this year?  
‘No ‘ I said meekly.  “Want to take care of this right now???? She asked.  NO I thought , but because I had been thinking about writing this article instead out loud I said.  YES, I have been meaning to get one, why not now! (will it hurt?)

OK, so I now not only got that shot but another one that is good for me.  
You know what ? I actually feel pretty good about me.  
In fact, I think I have a tiny bit of JOY in there!  
I am a tiny bit proud of myself. 

Hey, what about you?  Where are you at on distractions?  Where are you avoiding Suffering?  
Where are you on JOY?

Let me know!

CONNECT with Ginny on EMAIL

Ginny loves to encourage others.  
She has been married for 43 years, has two sons, two daughters in love and 6 grandchildren. 
Trained as a Health Educator, she and her husband have a company that trains Health Promotion and Wellness Program professionals. One of her favorite roles was as a telephonic coach for individuals who want to make a health behavior change. Knowing how powerful words are she loves audio books, reading, singing and prayer.  She has been a Prayer Coordinator for Church Awakening, a WA State prayer network, for 10 years.  
She has led many small groups and classes on motivational topics.

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Monday, September 22, 2014

Motivation Monday- Purpose

Have you ever wondered what is YOUR purpose here on earth?
Why You exist?
Why you were made?

 PURPOSE : "the reason for which something exists or is done, made, or used."

I always knew that life is more the basketball, family, friends, my career
I knew that I God has called us to serve and love
I knew God has a purpose and a plan
It says in the bible "For I know the plans I have for you.." Jer. 29:11
But I had a hard time finding that plan for me
I had a hard time finding something I was passionate about
Seriously, I was lost
How do I find my purpose?

Fast forward 29 years, and lots of praying, self discovering, heart break, tears, anger and frustration and I am just now grasping that my purpose here on earth is not about me
Let me say that again, THIS LIFE IS NOT ABOUT ME
It is not about my family or friends
It is not about my career or even my wildest dreams or ambitions
(And I have BIG DREAMS!) 

If you want to know why you were placed on this planet
 you must begin with God
You and I were born by His purpose and for His purpose

"You were made by God and for God-and until you understand that, life will never make sense
It is only in God that we discover our origin, our identity, our meaning, our purpose, our significance, and our destiny"
-Rick Warren

Focusing on ourselves will never reveal our life's purpose
When we start looking outside ourselves
When we start living our life serving God by loving others
That is when we find our purpose

The easiest way for me to discover my purpose is to ASK GOD

"Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; 
knock and the door will be opened to you."
Matthew 7:7

This consisted of A LOT of praying for me
Praying for God to help me with my selfishness
Praying for God to show me how HE wants to use me
Praying that HE would guide me in the right direction 
Praying that HE would provide opportunities for me to serve
Praying for HIM to fire a passion in my heart

Last January 2012 and my roommate and I were talking about life
We both were in a rut in our careers and both felt we wanted more from life
This was the beginning of God tugging at my heart
This was when I knew I was created for more

My roommates mentor from high school sent her the prayer of Jabez that night:

"Oh, that You would bless me indeed, and enlarge my territory, that Your hand would be with me, and that You would keep me from evil." 1 Chronicles 4:9-10

I thought it couldn't hurt so I started praying that prayer everyday

Then that spring 2012 came
I was still in Seattle at this point working my athletics job at SPU 
I had been looking for ways for our athletes could get more involved in the community
I was searching for random charities and events that the SPU athletes could get involved with
I didn't even think about myself serving with them 

God had another idea...

I dont know why 
I don't remember how
But those charities were placed on my heart 
 I needed to contact them, so I did

I felt like my heart was going to burst with excitement
With purpose
With anxiety
With fear
All rolled into one!

That was the year I found one of my passions
I am head over heels in love with dedicating my life to helping children with pediatric cancer and illness

I know now that St. Jude and Make-A-Wish had been charities that were placed on my heart for a reason back in 2012 and that was just the beginning 

With Gods help I was able to get involved in Seattle 

I long to help 
I long to provide
I long to serve
I am sure of it

You know those pictures of famous people going into children's hospitals or fulfilling a wish?
They can instantly make a child smile

 I dream of having that ability one day being able to make children smile instantly

Smiles of JOY
Feelings of HOPE
Sense of LOVE
Sharing FAITH

Can you imagine having that ability?! 

But right now I am doing my best to follow what God has placed in front of me, with the resources He has given me, and of course the passion He has placed in my heart

So whether I am organizing a toy drive, running a race, climbing stairs, organizing fundraisers
Whether I am in Seattle, ARIZONA or AFRICA 
desire to spread more faith, hope, love and joy to those children who are in need

Is this my only purpose for my life?
I have other deep passions and big dreams
But what I do know God set my heart on fire two years ago for children
His children who are in need of HOPE
He broke my heart for what breaks His 
I am going to continue to ask God to show me
Use me for His Glory

AND guess what month is Childhood Cancer Awareness month?


Which happens to be my birthday month 

Maybe another way God is reassuring me :) 

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Monday, September 8, 2014

"Blogger in progress"

I am a "blogger in progress"

I had planned on on blogging about five things about my week on Friday
I also had this grand plan on blogging every Monday, Wednesday, Friday
That has not happened
However, this morning I woke up to major rain in Arizona
I mean like record breaking rain fall
Schools cancelled, business closed
It is quite amusing to me, being from Seattle, that rain was the issue shutting down the city
But I also know that Arizona isn't as equipped as Seattle is to handle all the downfall

Nonetheless, the news told us to stay inside 
I couldnt resist a cuddling up with the sound of rain pouring down
It finally felt like a fall day and I truly felt at home 

So I decided to blog!

Here is my Five on Friday...or Monday 

1) Seattle Seahawks Thursday Night Football 

Can you say Superbowl bound... AGAIN!
I absolutely love my Seahawks and it was so fun to watch them even from Arizona

2) It is fall! 

Well, almost
Technically the first day of fall isnt until later this month
And it is 90 degrees outside
But nothing will stop me some putting up some decorations 
And light some yummy candles 

HERE is a fall post I wrote last year that shows the beauty of fall in Seattle
And another one HERE referencing His Grace and fall 

3) Will you be my bridesmaid?

One of my oldest and most cherished friends is getting married next July
She ask her bridesmaids in the most adorable way!
I am so honored and excited to be a part of her big day
Thank you Lisa!

4) Answered prayers

Do you ever feel like your prayers are not being heard?
I have been feeling like that lately
You see, I have BIG dreams and prayers that seem impossible
I know God is working on my behalf to answer those
Arizona was an answered prayer and stepping closer to those
But there is one prayer that I have been circling for almost three years now
Somedays are easier than others to keep the faith and hope

These Bible verses came at exactly the right time
Isn't that always how God works?
He reminded me that He hears every prayer
Every cry out, every praise

"For every one prayer, the Lord is working out 10,000 things on our behalf to make it happen"
- Christine Caine 

He hears
He knows
He will answer

5) Dreaming of Africa 

Something about maps and the world makes my heart giddy
My trip to Ethiopia only ignited my passion 
I hope that my life will forever be a life of giving and serving 
Excited to see where I can go next 

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Thursday, September 4, 2014

Faith Journey Challenge


I was challenged to describe my faith journey and how Jesus has impacted my life...
...on video

Two challenges came to mind:

1) I dont do videos

I love taking pictures and writing but I have never filmed myself
I dont know if it is just me but I dont like hearing the sound of my voice
Do I REALLY sound like that?!  
Well, we all have to step out of out comfort zone
Something I have become comfortable with lately
And you know what??
When I finished I realized it was not as bad as I thought it would be
Isnt that like everything we do?
We over exaggerated so much in our minds and it seems to always be ok in the end

2) I could chose 7647864776234 words that describe how Jesus has impacted my life

For those who know me, they know what a journey I have been on
The past three years the Lord has taken me on one crazy adventure
Calling me out of my comfort and into one uncomfortable situation after another

Leaving SPU
Moving to Arizona

So, while I am still on an incredible journey, I am learning more about Gods goodness
Learning that the Lord is still pursuing me
Learning He will finish what He started calling me to Arizona
I am learning the best is yet to come on this adventure

More words that could describe my faith journey:
Adventure filled
Better than imagined
Living Word

What are two words that describe your faith journey or how Jesus has impacted your life?
(Don't worry, I wont make you do a video)

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