Monday, December 19, 2011

Big Changes

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come:
 The old has gone, the new is here! - 2 Corinthians 5:17
What must it have been like for Mary? Young and engaged to be married; a cute little girl with high expectations and dreams for her future with Joseph. What was it like to find out that she was pregnant...with God's son no less? She was a brave girl. She believed and accepted that this was the Lord's will for her. She had to have known that from that point on, life was never going to be the same.

When you find out that you are going to have a baby, that you are going to get married or something equally as big, there is no way that you can go on with life as usual. Things are going to change. The other day I was chatting with the 5-year-old boy that I nanny for about how when I get married to Christian, I will go and live with him. It was one of the first times that I have ever talked aloud about moving out of my family's house. I have always lived with them and I know that it will be a big transition for me. Jonathan said, "Well, where is the rest of your family going to live?" I explained to him that I am the only one that is moving and that the rest of my family will still live in their house. "That's sad," he said.

It is kind of sad, I thought to myself, but I cannot be more happy about getting to start a new season of life with my new husband. When we get married, things will change. It would be plain crazy if I went on living with my family even when I am married. Who would think of doing such a thing?

It is similar when your hear the good news of Christ's birth, death and resurrection from the grave. When you chose to trust in Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior, life will never be the same. What if Mary had just gone on with her normal, everyday life after the angel Gabriel came to her? What if she hadn't accepted that she was pregnant? Eventually, people would have seen that baby bump and known. You can't just go on living your life like you did before you knew Christ. When you surrender your life to him you are transformed and become a new creation in him!

Let's remember Mary this Christmas and like her, become transformed by the good news of Jesus! He changes our lives forever!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Becoming a Titus 2 Woman

Today, I am the guest blogger featured on an awesome blog with the mission of encouraging women! You can view my post here. The ministry was created by women that my own mother mentored back in Texas. Now, I feel that these women mentor and encourage me. That is the way God created it to be...women encouraging women to love him more! 

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Beginning at the Beginning

Above all else, guard your heart,
   for everything you do flows from it.
-          Proverbs 4:23 
My mom likes to say that we had to move to Georgia in order for me to meet the man that I would marry. A true Texan at heart, she also says that now that I’ve met Christian, they have to go back to Texas for my sister Emilie to meet her man. I met Christian and his family when I first moved to Georgia in 2006. I was fourteen years old. I was a mess when I moved. I had to move away from all of my friends and family; everything that I knew in the middle of the eighth grade. God really used that time in my life to really mold and shape me into the girl he wanted me to be.

It is fun now that Christian and I are engaged. We are reminded of lots of fun memories from those first years of knowing each other. I recently shared with him a journal entry that I wrote after I met him for the first time. It is written in chicken scratch, eight grade girl handwriting, but it is sweet. I definitely noticed Christian at that time and caught a glimpse of the wonderful man that I know today. At the end of the journal entry I actually wrote that I felt like God was prompting me to pray for Christian. I smile because there is no way I knew then that he was the guy that I would end up marrying. But God knew.

I share that sweet stuff because I want to remind young women, first of all, to guard their hearts. God knows the man that you will marry someday. He has great plans for you. Also, as you begin to notice guys; young men that you admire, start to consider what you like about them…and what you don’t like. Recognize the qualities that you want to look for in a husband. Girls, start to make a list. And please don’t begin the list with tall, dark and handsome (although, God does know the desires of your heart!). Start to pray for that amazing guy that God might have in store for you. Christian and I will both tell you that we prayed for each other, even before we had met. We prayed that God would provide a spouse that loved the Lord and lived for him. It is crazy to think when I wrote that journal entry, I was writing about my future husband. God’s plans are so much higher and greater than our own!  

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Be Different

I love to people watch and one of my favorite places to do it is in my university’s eating area. Over time, however, I realized that sitting there I would get to do much more than just watch…I would also get to listen. I promise I’m not a creeper and don’t try to listen to anyone in particular, but I have overheard some interesting conversations over the past few semesters. Sitting in the Commons and listening is always a reminder of what a lost and hurting world that we live in. The things that people dwell on and consider to be important never cease to amaze me, especially in college where conversation typically includes talk of the latest drug, Plan B contraception and plans for clubbing over the weekend.  I try not to be too surprised when I hear this type of talk, but my heart is soft and it often hurts.

Commitment to serve. What a beautiful picture. 
The other day I was sitting at a table right next to two girls. Their conversation made me perk up my ears because it sounded like they were talking about me. Okay, so they weren’t talking about me, but they were talking about a couple that they know that recently got engaged. It sounded like they were a young couple, so the girls were talking about how crazy it is to get married so young. Then, they mentioned that the girl who was getting married had never been kissed and that she was saving her kiss for the man that she would marry. “Why on earth would she want to do that?” They questioned.  The girls then began chatting about the guy’s proposal. As part of the proposal, he had secretly set up everything he needed to wash her feet following the ring and the question. Christian young women would probably swoon at that idea. The washing of feet is such a symbol of love, especially for your future spouse to humble himself at your feet. At least, that is what I think. But these girls, oh, they ripped this guy apart. “What a weird thing to do!” “Why did he do that?” “I would not want someone to wash MY feet when I am proposed to.”  

The comments coming from these girls represent the world. The world thinks that Christians are freaks. They think that we are so weird. They just don’t understand. They don’t understand the joy that comes from a relationship with the Lord; God’s grace and the freedom from sin. These girls didn’t know the precious gift that purity is; being able to save everything possible for marriage. Christian and I know and have prepared ourselves for the fact that some people are not going to be the most supportive of us getting married so young. The world tells us to finish college and get a job, to own a house and two cars and live together for awhile to see if we are truly compatible. But what they don’t understand is that we will be going into our marriage young and in love and with minimal baggage. We don’t have junk from past relationships to carry into our marriage like most thirty-year-olds that are getting married do. We don’t have it all figured out by any means, but thank goodness we have wise and godly parents and mentors spurring us on to become closer to each other and to Christ.

I challenge you to be okay with being different. You can be sure that there will be people, like these girls in the Commons, who will talk about you behind your back. They will talk about how weird you are for living your life for God. You may even have people say straight up to your face that you are crazy. I challenge you to smile and realize that they just don’t understand. Realize that and pray that someday they will.  

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Rain Down on Me

Yesterday, I had to run from one building to another in the pouring rain. It took about thirty seconds for my jeans to be completely soaked through. Yes, it was THAT kind of pouring down rain. I had to get to my class so that I could take my math final. As I stood under the shelter of an overhang, I weighed my options. I could get soaking wet running to my car to grab my umbrella and be late for my final, or walk and get soaking wet and be on time for my final. Actually, I admit that I did have an option cross my mind which included my knight in shining armor rescuing me with an umbrella and a hug, but alas Christian was stuck at his school taking a test as well. So, I found myself taking my math final completely heat-to-toe wet and cold.

 I did have a smile on as I walked through the rain. It is one of those moments where you just have to have a sense of humor. I smiled up at God and thanked him then. Not sure for what, but just thanked him. Once I was home and dry I could fully appreciate the rain. I love rain. Christian and I were reflecting on how we love the smell of rain. It is such a sweet and earthy scent; a natural smell that only God himself could have invented. The rain so reminds me of how I have a never ending thirst for the Lord. I desire companionship with him. He can satisfy me in ways that no one else can. So, without hesitation I invite God’s presence to rain down on me. Rain down on me, Lord!

Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty. ~ John 6:35