Friday, March 25, 2011

Rejoicing in Worry

So the last couple of days have not been my best. A few different things are going on, weighing heavy on my heart. When that happens, I can't hardly escape my thoughts. I feel like I just start to drown in the rollar coaster of my own emotions...because one second I want to cry and the next I want to bite someone's head off.

On Wednesday as this was happening, I just wanted to do anything I could to give it to the Lord. I hated carrying it around and I was looking for a way to be able to stop worrying.

So I went to Starbucks. And had a little coffee with God time.

I started off by opening up Crazy Love, because I remembered Fran Chan talking about worry and stress in an earlier chapter. So I was reading along just being reminded of the fact that worry is sinful because we doubt that God has the control and the ability to intervene. That even when our worries feel important for whatever reason, it still doesn't make it right that we engage them...and that is mostly because of this verse:

"Rejoice in the LORD always. I will say it again; REJOICE! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The LORD is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in EVERYTHING, by prayer and petition, WITH THANKSGIVING, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends ALL understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." Phil 4:4-7
I've heard this verse like a million times. But it just kind of rocked my world the other day. I mean it literally says don't be anxious about ANYTHING. In EVERYTHING, present your prayers to God. AND DO IT WITH THANKSGIVING.

How often do we come to God complaining about our worries and stresses? We don't come to him THANKING Him very often in the midst of that. Or at least I doubt you do. I certainly don't. We're too focused on our own issues, and sometimes we probably don't feel very thankful. But the Word tells us to do this.

And if we do....then what is promised us??? "The peace of God, which transcends ALL understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus." Dang. That is AWESOME.

How often do we go to God seeking His peace? I think most of the time, we just do it because it makes us feel better to be able to say we prayed about it, or we hope that in some way it will change our circumstances. But I don't think we often go to Him seeking His peace to transform our hearts and trust Him enough so that we don't even have to worry in the first place. 

But we should. And in that, because of His great promises, because of the fact that these worries are nothing compared to the eternity awaiting us.......we should REJOICE. PRAISE GOD!

"You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, becuase he trusts in you. Trust in the LORD forever, for the LORD, the LORD, is the Rock Eternal." Isaiah 26:3-4

God Bless.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Ramblings of the Heart

Two of those pairs of feet up there come to visit me today. My brother doesn't understand why on earth they'd want to spend their Spring Break in KC with me, ha.....I'm thrilled though!!!

A whole lot has been on my heart lately. In a good way! And now I come to the point where I try to articulate some of it to you without going on for eternity. :)

First of all, I spent part of my own spring break on a road trip to Texas with the lovely Sarah Beard. There were a lot of different reasons/parts to this trip, but mainly what I keep thinking about (including pretty much EVERY time I enter my car), is how blessed our conversation was throughout the ride. I was excited to bond with Smoky Phil (my car - thank you Lauren Shehan), but I feel like I got way more than that. I feel like Smoky Phil got baptized, and I feel like I'm entering some sort of Holy place every time I get in.

Sarah and I spent over 15 hours on the road and never slept. We shared our hearts, we worshipped, we spent the last hour of the trip praying out loud. And crying. It was that kind of goodness. It was Holy. And I can't get it out of my head. But I'm not complaining! :)

As another part of the trip, we spent some time around some other youth leaders in Austin. And for some reason, I can't get out my head watching one of them specifically love on her students. She had a bunch of middle school girls with her at church after a sleepover, and just watching her love and care for them...I mean I don't know why it keeps running through my head. Also thinking about Sarah and the way she has loved her students in Liberty, and my own love for my students in Springfield and Liberty...

I don't know. Honestly I don't know why this is on my mind right now. I mean, to me it's nothing radical. I firmly believe that a genuine love of students should be the primary foundation of anyone in youth ministry. But I'm also reading the book Crazy Love right now. Thinking about God's love for us, our falling in love with Him....I feel like I am on the verge of tying a bunch of thoughts together here soon...but I guess I have to apologize, because for now, it is just not happening yet. haha.

My last side note: I am not a morning person. (I know, shocking.) Seriously, I've tried having morning quiet times before. I know it changes the outlook of your day. But I fall asleep. I also typically don't play music in the morning. Today, however, I did for some reason. And I realized something. I may not be able to sit and read in the mornings, but I certainly can worship while I get ready. I can give up a little bit of silence if some soft music will point my thoughts to the Lord.

More to come if I ever tie those thoughts together. God bless!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Finding Grace in Cleaning

It should be no surprise to most of you here that I hate cleaning.

That being said, one of my actual favorite things about cleaning (especially here in the Loew household where ALL of my stuff is), is the random stuff I come across sometimes. Nowadays specifically, I occasionally come across old cards or mail or things of that sort, and many times I stop to read.

This particular evening, stuffed amongst the cards, I found this folded piece of paper. On it were some scribbles of words...I immediately remembered having sat in class jotting it down. I think I was actually in adolescent psych. Which is funny, given the nature of my life and this blog.

Yes, I am going to share with you what is on it. I used to journal a lot. And even when I was in class, I would have moments where I just had too much on my heart, so I would take out a pen and some paper and jot it down. This particular day, this is what came out of my heavy heart:

Oh Lord, I walked into this day with my sin all around me
I've turned my back on you, rejected your love
Your precious grace cost your life to save mine
Hanging on that cross, blood pouring from your side
Pouring down upon me
Cleans me white as snow
Let me stay in this flood forever
Let me believe that

Take this weight from my shoulders
Your burden is light...

I trail off there. But man, do I remember that point in my life. I was ridden with so much guilt just from a compilation of things in my life. But may we ALL come to know and believe that IT IS FINISHED....that the price has been PAID, and that because of God's RICH grace...we can GET UP, pick up our mats, and WALK.

Walk it out. God Bless.