Faith

We Love You Kim

I was contemplating on writing this post yesterday. Being a blogger, you open up so much of your life for the public to see, and it’s up to you to decide how much you want to share and how much you want to keep private. I am a pretty optimistic person, and I try to keep my blog mostly positive, but I also like to “keep it real” and let’s face it, life isn’t always pretty flowers and sunshine.

There is no good way to go into this, so I’m just going to write it. The world lost an amazing woman yesterday morning. Ryan’s Aunt Kim has been battling cancer for quite a while now, and early yesterday morning God called her home.

We have all desperately been praying for Kim and for the Lord’s will to be done. We saw this coming, but even when you expect something like this, you can never fully be prepared for death. Especially for someone you love and someone as wonderful as Kim.

Kim was an amazing woman who everyone loved. Her fun, sweet, kind, outgoing spirit was evident to everyone who knew her. She was a fantastic woman, wife, mother, friend, daughter, sister, aunt, and grandmother. I only knew Kim for a few years, but I loved her. You couldn’t not love Kim. Just thinking about her makes me smile. ๐Ÿ™‚

The visitation will be Sunday, and the funeral Monday. This weekend Ryan and I will be spending time with family. I will most definitely not be posting anything on here this Monday, and I might still post my workouts for this past week tomorrow, but I might not. This blog is just part of my life; it’s not my whole life, and right now what’s most important is to be with family.

Before I end this post, I have to say that we are still glorifying the Lord through all of this. We don’t understand why this happened, but we KNOW that the Lord has a plan through all of this. We might never know what it is, but I trust the Lord and His plan. We continue to praise Him through the good and the bad.

…Theย Lordย gave, and theย Lordย has taken away; blessed be the name of theย Lord.โ€ Job 1:21

Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your heart before him; God is a refuge for us. Psalm 62:8

Please be praying for our family.

As always, thank you for taking the time to read this little blog of mine. I am very thankful for each of you. ๐Ÿ™‚

 

It’s All About the Money…Right?

The world has taught me that it really is all about the money. I mean if you want to be happy you have to have the nicest car, biggest house, and own designer clothes. You will never have enough “stuff” and because of this you will always want more. If you get a raise it’s nice at the time, but it won’t be long until that is no longer enough money for you and you want more. This is the mindset that the world gives us. I have a newsflash. NONE OF THIS IS TRUE.

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Somehow, money gained extreme importance in our lives, and so many of us have let it take over our thoughts and minds. When we let money take over our thoughts, then it will control our happiness, but this should never be the case.

Hebrews 13:5

“Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have…”

As a blogger, it is sometimes hard for me to open up about certain things on here. It’s easy to write about workouts, recipes, or the fun things I am doing, but sometimes it’s hard to share my difficulties and struggles. But, I want y’all, the readers, to know the true me and how the Lord is working in my life. In order to do this, I have to share some of my own struggles and sin so that I can share how the Lord is helping me through it. Also, maybe someone can relate to me, and they can gain some encouragement from this.

Let’s go back to this past Monday. I went to the dentist to get my teeth cleaned like I do every six months. No big deal. I actually kind of like going because my Mom and I usually go together, after they clean my teeth the dentist tells me my teeth are perfect, and then my mom and I go have lunch. Not a bad day at all. Well, on Monday as the dental hygienist was cleaning my teeth she goes, “Oh, you have a cavity. No, two cavities.”

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I was in shock as I heard this. I think I had one cavity when I was six or seven years old, and that was it. I brush and floss my teeth often and didn’t understand how that could happen. Of course I asked the dentist and hygienist what I should do so that this wouldn’t happen again, and they told me it wasn’t my fault at all. Apparently I have really deep grooves in my teeth, which make me very susceptible to cavities. They were surprised I haven’t had more in my life. As the hygienist continued to work on my teeth I kept wondering in my head how much it was going to cost to fix my cavities. I hate spending money, and this unexpected expense right at Christmas time definitely wasn’t making me feel good.

After she finished cleaning my teeth I went to the receptionist at the front desk to schedule an appointment to fill my cavities. My heart sank when I saw that the bill was going to be over $200. “Great,” I thought. “This bill couldn’t have come at a worse time. It’s a week before Christmas and ย we have other things to pay for too”. I was so mad at myself for having two cavities, even though I knew there was nothing I could have done to prevent it.

I waited while my Mom got her teeth cleaned, and when she came out we went and had lunch together at Subway. I was not a very fun lunch date that day. I totally let the expensive bill consume my thoughts and upset me. My mom, being the wise woman she is, gave me some very important advice. She told me that I will never like it when stuff like this happens, and yes it is a lot of money, but it is not detrimental; the bill could have been worse. I have insurance, which of course makes it much better than it could have been. She told me to remember to be thankful that I do have the money to pay for this, and that unexpected things like this just happen, and you have to pay for them and move on. I can’t resonate on it or let it bother me because that does nothing but upset me. I knew she was right, but for a girl who loves budgets, it wasn’t easy having a big expense that was not budgeted for rise up so suddenly.

budgets mug

As I got in my car to drive home I began to think about what my Mom just told me and why I was letting this upset me so much. This is when I had a realization and a conviction. I am letting myself be too much in love with money, and that’s a huge problem. I think people can love money in different ways. I don’t love it in that I always want more so that I can buy more things. I am actually so cheap it’s hard for me to spend money and buy things. ย I am the exact opposite. It is hard for me to spend money because, for some reason, I just want to keep any extra money we have after all of the necessities have been paid. I also don’t mind buying gifts for other people; I actually love that! But it’s when I suddenly have to pay money that I didn’t plan for that it really bothers me. But as I was driving and thinking, I realized, it’s not my money to hold onto. Everything Ryan and I have, it’s because the Lord has blessed us with it, and it’s still his.

Matthew 6:19-21

“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”

 

Why do I feel a need to store up money here on Earth when I know it does not matter. Yes, I think it is important to be financially smart and save money so that when unexpected expenses do come your way you can pay them, but you cannot obsess over money or let it consume your thoughts. After all, in the end, we can’t take the money with us.

1 Timothy 6:6-10

“But godliness with contentment is great gain, for we brought nothing in to the world, and we cannot take anything out of the world. But if we have food and clothing, with these we will be content. But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation, into a snare, into many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs.”

I hadn’t got to a point where money was consuming my thoughts and where I always wanted more, but I didn’t want to get there. In the car as I drove I prayed that the Lord would forgive me for this love of money that I had and that He would help me get over it. I prayed that my thoughts wouldn’t be consumed with how much the bill cost, but instead that I would be thankful that I was able to get done to my teeth what needed to be done.There are people who desperately need dental work done, but not only can they not afford it, they have no access to any type of doctor. All of a sudden me complaining and worrying about my dental bill that I have insurance to help out with and that I can afford seems pretty ridiculous.

Matthew 6:24

“No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.”

I want to serve the Lord with my whole life, which means I don’t need to worry about money. I need to be smart with the money I have, because that is something the Lord has given me and entrusted me with, but I don’t need to ever worry about how much I have because the Lord will take care of me. It can be hard to not let money consume you when you live in a world that is so consumed by money, but I have to remember that I serve God and not money. Falling in love with money is a dangerous thing, and I know it would take me down a dangerous path. I am very content with what I have and where I am in life, and I pray that I can keep this contentment. All of the fancy, expensive things that money buys are just extra things in life that won’t make me happy. If I focus my time, energy, and thoughts on things that really matter, on things the Lord wants me to focus on, I know I will be much happier.

No questions today. I would just love to hear your thoughts and opinions.

 

 

BIG BIG NEWS!

I know it has been over a week since I last wrote; I’m sorry this is just a really busy time for me right now. By the end of this post you will know why. ๐Ÿ™‚ I had a fabulous Thanksgiving that I still need to do a recap over, and did a fun Ugly Christmas Sweater 5k that was a blast, but I will recap those things later. Today, I have much bigger, better news to share. But since it’s Friday, and I haven’t done a Faith in my Friday in a long time, I thought this post was perfect to link up with Melissa. Thanks for always hosting Melissa!

Faith in my Friday pic

So as many of you know, since January of this year I have been student teaching. I graduate college next Saturday, December 14, and I couldn’t be more excited! I have had an incredible student teaching experience, but I am ready to have my own job, and to be honest, I am ready to make some money too (not that teachers have a ballin salary or anything like that ๐Ÿ˜‰ ). I knew that since I was graduating in December it would be hard to find a job immediately since it would be the middle of the school year. I was aware that I would probably have to substitute for the rest of this school year before I could get hired for the next school year. And I was totally fine with this. However…

I GOT OFFERRED A TEACHING JOB THIS WEEK!!! ๐Ÿ™‚ I could not be more excited, thankful, happy or grateful. I will get to stay at the school where I have been student teaching since August, which is another huge blessing because I like the teachers I will be working with, I like the principal, and the school is close to my house! When my principal offered me the job I hugged her and told her this was the greatest Christmas present I could have gotten!

Now, you may be wondering why I decided to link up with Faith in my Friday about this post. The reason is because I give God ALL the glory about this job. The Lord continues to bless Ryan and I, and it is amazing to see how the Lord has made everything workout perfectly according to His plan ever since we got married. Pretty much everything that has happened to Ryan and I has been different than how we planned or envisioned things in our heads. But everything that has happened has been so much better than either of us could have ever imagined! This past year has been such a reminder to me that the Lord’s plan is always sovereign and is always better. God sees the big picture. We don’t see the big picture. It’s simple. I don’t know why we even think that our plan could even compare to His plan. But I sure am glad that the Lord has a plan for me.

Jeremiah 29;11

To give you a little idea how the Lord has been working in our life, here you go.

Ryan and I got married on June 7 this year (I still need to write that wedding post!), and at the beginning of May, we still weren’t sure where Ryan would work or where we would live. By the time Ryan did get offered a job they told him he would have a six week training period and then be placed in another store. Not too bad, but they couldn’t tell him where his permanent store would be until after the six week training period. So basically, we had no idea what city to look in to find a house. We thought this was absolutely horrible, but looking back, we see how it was a blessing.

grateful heart

Because we didn’t know what city Ryan would be working in, we tried to pick a centrally located place that Ryan could drive just about any direction to get to where he might be working. When Ryan finally found out where his permanent store would be, we found out we didn’t live that close to it after all. We thought this was a bummer. Luckily, Ryan was only here for a few months before he got his new job that he loves, and it turns out where we live now is very close to his new work! Once again, the Lord knew Ryan would get the job he has now, and he knew that where we live now would be the perfect location for us.

All things

Also, if we didn’t live where we lived now, we would have never found our new church home, which we also love! Our church has been such a huge blessing, and we have met so many great people there already! The Lord knew we needed this church, and now we live within five minutes of it. I do not believe this is coincidence. This is the Lord’s will, and I know he played a part in making sure this all happened exactly as it should at the exact time it needed to happen.

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This picture was taken last Sunday at our church; Ryan and I were Mary and Joseph in one of our church’s Christmas shows!

Another huge outcome of us moving to our new home was that I ended up switching to a new school for my student teaching. This was a hard decision for me to make, because I loved the school where I did my student teaching from January to May, and I hated the thought of leaving and maybe ending up at a school that I didn’t like. But, I knew the school where I had been was too far from where we lived now, and I needed to try to switch schools. (Ryan helped me make this hard decision to switch schools. He kept telling me I needed to be at a school closer, I knew he was right. My husband is so wise!) I ended up switching to the school where I am now hired, and like I said earlier, I LOVE my school and it’s so close to our home! Again, the Lord placed me exactly where I needed to be and in a great school! The Lord amazes me how when you are faithful to Him He blesses you.

I am not writing this post to brag on myself or the good things that have happened in my life, but I am bragging on my God and on how sovereign, wise, and mighty He is!

โ€œLet him who boasts boast in the Lord. For it is not the one who commends himself who is approved, but the one whom the Lord commends.โ€ (NIV)

2 Corinthians 10:17-18

I am writing this to remind you that the Lord has a plan for you, and even if it doesn’t always seem like it, His plan is so much better than yours! You just have to trust in Him and put your faith in Him. This is much easier said than done, but I promise you, if you do this, you will not regret it in the long run.

On a totally different note,ย the weather is really bad here, and it is supposed to be all weekend. The roads are so bad that my school got cancelled, and Ryan’s work is closed today! So we are both enjoying a relaxing day in our warm, cozy home! It sure does feel like Christmas! ๐Ÿ™‚

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I plan on eating some pancakes soon and watching Christmas movies all day! (With a workout happening sometime today ๐Ÿ™‚ ) Today was supposed to be my last day of student teaching, so I guess yesterday was my last day! I can’t believe my student teaching experience is finally over! I learned so much, and I am so excited to start my new job in January! As for now though, I am on Christmas break, and I plan on thoroughly enjoying this month off before I go back in January! ๐Ÿ™‚

Questions:

1. Can you look back and see how the Lord has worked in your life and put you in certain places for a reason?

2. How do you like to celebrate when something big happens in your life? Ryan and I ate dinner at Panera bread and then had ice cream the night I got offered the job. ๐Ÿ™‚

3. How is the weather where you live?

Learning When to Talk and When to Listen

Hi friends! A huge thanks toย Heather and Amyย for replying to my tweet about how to fix my picture problem. I am still working on it though, so hopefully I get it fixed soon! I absolutely love pictures, and they make blog posts SO MUCH BETTER, so sorry my posts have been pictureless and kinda boring. ย ๐Ÿ˜ฆ A lot of the posts I have been wanting to write about I am writing to post until I am able to put pictures in my posts again. I have a few recipes I want to share and a race I want to do a recap over, but those will just have to be put off for a while now.

So for today I want to share what came on my mind tonight at my women’s bible study I attend on Tuesday nights. The study is called, “When ย God’s Spirit Moves”, and I absolutely love it!

I am by far the youngest woman at this bible study. Most of the women are anywhere from their 40s, 50s, 60s, and 70s, so being 21 I kind of stick out there. ๐Ÿ™‚ The first week I went into the bible study, I almost left before anyone noticed me because I felt out of place. I am so glad that I stayed because these women have so much wisdom to share, and I learn so much from them! They have poured out Christ’s love on me, and I am so grateful that they have welcomed me with open arms.

We always end the bible study with a group prayer where we all gather around and hold hands. I started crying when the leader of the bible study specifically prayed for me, and that God would protect me from everything life will throw at me. After the prayer, when everyone was leaving, the woman came up to me, hugged me, and told me she would be praying for me all week, that God would give me his shield and protection. She said I was on her heart.

Wow. This is my third week at this bible study, and she already is loving me this much. God has blessed me with these women more than I can describe.

My second grade teacher always told me, “God gave you two ears so that you would listen twice as much as you talk.”ย 

For a girl who loves to talk, and could talk to just about anyone (I have been told I could talk to a wall), this is something I have really learned as I have gotten older. However, I am especially learning the importance of this statement at this bible study. If I talked all of the ladies’ ears off on Tuesday nights, then I would miss everything all of the other women are saying and teaching me.

“Understand this, my dear brothers and sisters: You must all be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry.” James 1:19 New Living Translation

If I want to learn and become wise, then I have to listen to those who are wiser than me. This means I have to shut my mouth. Yes, people still need to talk. No, I am not going to stop talking, but I know that I have to learn to listen more. I definitely think that I have become a better listener as I have gotten older, but this is something I want to continue to improve on.

I want to constantly be growing in the Lord and gain more knowledge and wisdom about Him, and in order to do this, I know I have to be quiet and listen at times. Then, before I say anything, I need to think before I speak and make sure it is worth saying.

“Too much talk leads to sin. Be sensible and keep your mouth shut.” Proverbs 10:19 New Living Translation

What do you want to improve on in your life? It doesn’t have to be spiritual! It can be about anything!

Are you naturally more of a talker or a listener?

I Can’t Help But to Share

I had a few other ideas I was going to write about for today, and I actually had a post already written about my most recent race, but after I spent some time reading the Word, I put those ideas to the side. I couldn’t help but to share this.

This post will be short and sweet, but this was such a great reminder of how we as Christians should live. Here are a few verses that really spoke to me. I hope they speak to you as well.

Isaiah 12: 4-6

“And you will say in that day: ‘Give thanks to The Lord, call upon his name, MAKE KNOWN his deeds among the peoples, proclaim that his name is exalted. Sing praises to The Lord, for he has done GLORIOUSLY; let this be made known in all the earth. Shout, and sing for Joy, O inhabitant of Zion, for great in your midst is the Holy One of Israel.'”ย 

As Christians, we have the Holy Spirit in our midst, and this is so GLORIOUS!! We need to be making Him and all of his deeds known in everything we do every day! I know I already knew this, but God spoke to me through His Word today, and I needed to be reminded of this today.

This is why, even though I consider this to be a healthy living blog, I try to keep Jesus in the center because my whole life is His, and I try to dedicate everything I do to Him. After all, I believe a life isn’t truly healthy without Jesus in it anyways. ๐Ÿ™‚

Has God spoken to you lately through Scripture? If so, what verse?

What do you think of the verse I shared?ย