Wednesday, November 9, 2011


This is the month of Thanksgiving. Every one's taking extra time to think about what they're thankful for and it's as though they're seeing the world through new eyes. They now see tonight's little dinner of hot dogs and french fries for the easy yet yummy meal that it is. They start to think about how all they had to do was jump into their car, drive to the grocery store, pick up the package of hot dogs, walk to the check out line and Boom magically pay for it with their magic debit card that always has money on it due to a paying job. They think about all the little orphans in Africa and Asia that don't have as much as us. They can't get over how much they take clean running water for granted... this is how Thanksgiving month (and really your whole life) should be. To look at all the blessings around you each and everyday.

Or you can spend the month of November like I have so far... constantly gripping and complaining about everything and everyone.

I don't know if it has been the weather, the sudden pain of remembering how I spent my fall last year with my mom, or just plain old blues, but I have been a tangled mess of misery all month. And it's only November 9th! I've pulled the "I'm sick of never having any good recipe ideas for dinner!" trick a few times already and have whined my way to convincing Jay it's absolutely necessary that we have hot dogs or take out for dinner. (Though I'm sure Jay would actually be quite fine if we had pizza every night whether it was home made or not, sweet as he is :) Every day is a war with my mid length hair, it's always too flat and boring for me. I want something fun.. but easy to do! I've even been looking for houses online because I'm getting stressed out with renting! Just today my neighbor came over and asked if Jay and I were having problems because she heard a lot of stomping and doors banging. Fortunately fighting with my husband is not one of the things I have to complain about :) All that noise was just us running up and down the hall with my puppy due to cold and rainy nights.  She completely understood when I explained it to her but I was SO embarrassed! If I owned my own house we wouldn't have neighbors, that could hear everything, sharing our wall. I've just been very stressed with feeling obligated to my neighbor and landlord lately.

But never mind that I have a two bedroom duplex with running water, a roof, heat/air conditioning, soft cozy carpet, and above all else a Very clean feel to it.Not to mention a good neighbor that cares about us.
Never mind that I have hair to deal with or the tools with which to do so.
Never mind that I have the option to have dinner every night and that it can be whatever I want.

No, please forget all the good things and be miserable with me... Just kidding :) I've been noticing that everything I have complained about is due to me feeling like I'm stuck in a rut. We've been in this duplex for a little over a year, I've been making dinner for over a year (yes ladies I realize many of you have been cooking for WAY longer than that :) and my hair has just... well it's my hair, you're born with it :)

I keep looking forward and thinking "man when I have a house, I'll be happy!" or "when I have kids I'll like making dinner more because it will be out of love for them and I'll have more than just one person appreciating it." (Ok that one I realize is the HUGE stretch of the imagination of a non-mother :) God calls us to live in the now. To live for today. No planning ahead isn't a bad idea, and having hope for the future isn't bad either. But when I'm grumbling about the blessings I have in my life today because I want what I'll have tomorrow... well that's where I go wrong. I need to start being thankful for the things I have. Especially for my relationship with our Heavenly King. He offers me so much! Even beyond the physical blessings of this world. He offers me a real relationship where I can pour out my heart to Him and feel His peace and love. No matter how much gripping I give Him, He will always love me and be there for me... and check my heart when I need to just stop. I ran across this Psalm today and fell in love:

Give ear to my words, O Lord, consider my sighing. Listen to my cry for help, my King and my God, for to you I pray. In the morning, O Lord, You hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait in expectation. Psalm 5:1-3

Clearly my problems are not nearly as big as David's were when he wrote this. But thankfully God listens to all our pleas and cries. It is so reassuring knowing that God is there and that everything is in His control. Just place your worries, grumbles, and pains in His hands... AWWW...... Such a peaceful feeling. Do you feel it? This is peace that no money could ever bu!  Even if that money bought a nice new house, a hair transplant, and cook :) God is my rock and Savior! I am SO thankful for all He has given, especially His word to live by. Thank you Jesus!

With Love,

Monday, October 31, 2011

Pointing to me.... no HIM!!

I love a good old pat on the back when I've done something good. I love it when people tell me I'm a good person or I do amazing things. It feels good. I want people to look at me and say, "Wow she is an amazing Christian woman!" But... I want them to say that about me and not necessarily about what God is doing in my life. My thoughts keep going back to that verse about the jars of clay... you know, the one I've already done 2 posts about. It's like God wont let me forget it.

But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us.
                                                                                                                                 2 Corinthians 4:7

In my last post about this verse I talked about how I no longer wanted to patch up my mistakes but wanted God to shine through all my cracks. The mental image I had was me shoving clay into all my cracks so that it looked like I never struggled with sin, or at least not any of the big sins that would cause people to think badly of me. But by patching up those sins or by acting like they never existed I was blocking out God's shining power and grace. I wasn't letting people see God working in me. I wanted to change that.. and still do.

But now another problem is revealing itself. I want people to see God shinning in me... but for the wrong reasons.  I love saying "Oh it's all God, not me!" unfortunately there are times when I say it so that people see me as super righteous and so Godly! I want them to see God's light shining in me so that I can say "Yep, I let God have control of this, that, and the other thing! Aren't I so amazing and committed?"

The mental image I get from this is me sealing my cracks with a clear glaze. You can still see the crack and God's light shining through.... but now there's a bit of me and my control showing. And now God's light isn't as bright. It's some what muted from the thin layer of me. Is that really what I want? Do I really want to get in God's way? Why am I so focused on being seen and praised? Deep down I know I don't deserve it, I know that God is to be praised for all the goodness in my life. It wasn't me that suddenly developed the formula to let go of anger! It was God working in me and nudging me constantly. But there's still this little part of me that says, "Ya but you let Him in... you let Him work in you right? So don't you deserve a pat on the back?"

This is what I'm really struggling with at the moment... and well for my whole life to be honest. I wish I could tie this post up with a pretty little bow and say, "And that is how I figured out how to be humble and point solely at God and not myself! Much love, Abbey!"  But, I can't. And I'm ok with that. This is yet another place where God is going to move and change me. Yet another glowing spot in my very "cracked" life! I'm excited to see God at work. Please pray for my journey with our Lord. Please pray that He humbles me and awes me with how great He is! I want to be totally sold out for our Savior. I want Him to truly be my Lord. Please pray that i get over myself :)  Watch Him work, not me!

Much Love,

Friday, October 21, 2011

180 Video

Have you ever had trouble explaining why abortion is wrong? Do you feel like you just don't know how to argue it? Have you ever talked to someone who thinks their a good person that deserves to go to Heaven despite the fact that they don't believe in Christ, but just don't know how to explain to them that we are all sinners worthy of hell? If so I would strongly encourage you to watch this 30 min. video. It tackles both issues and really get you thinking! Such a powerful video!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Temporary patches vrs. true change

6For God, who said, "Let light shine out of darkness," has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
 7But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us.
                                                                                                                                 2 Corinthians 4:6-7

Who here loves being imperfect? Who likes having problems, or likes making mistakes? If you said "Me!" you have something wrong with you ;) But seriously, who likes getting things wrong?

I personally can't stand having the wrong answer or looking foolish. I don't like admitting my faults unless it some how benefits me. As today's verse says, we are like jars of clay. The mental image that comes to mind is a clay jar that is thin in some places, cracked in others, and holes in the most inconvenient places.

I don't want to be a cracked jar. I want to be a pretty vase with no holes! So when I struggle with sin I start patching up those holes by telling people what it is I'm doing to fix it. "Just a little extra clay here, and voila! No more hole!"

I want to look good. I want to look like I'm all put together by my own strengths. I'm no weakling! I can change all on my own! Sin? No I don't struggle with that! See I can patch it up!

But when I patch up my own mistakes I'm blocking out God's light. I'm taking all the credit for something that I honestly cannot do on my own. Sure the patches may stay for a while... but after a while they'll just crumble and need new clay.

Maybe being a jar with holes really isn't so bad? Maybe if I allow God to fill them with His light instead of with dark decaying clay change will actually be more permanent?

I need to stop trying to paint this picture of me being perfect and on top of things. I need to admit to my down falls, confess my sin. Allow God to shine through the holes and show everyone that He is in control and that He, not I, is changing me for the better.

Lord take me from this.....

To THIS!!!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Embarking on a new journey

Sometimes God asks you to do things you really don't want to do. Sometimes it's show love to the guy that is constantly picking on you or the lady that is ALWAYS telling you the gory details of her life even though she barely knows you. Other times He asks you to go outside of your comfort zone and witness to a scary mob or confrontational co-worker. And sometimes He asks you to do something that sounds like absolutely NO fun! This is where I am at.
    For the past few weeks I have been doing my devotions at work. I'm always the first one in and I usually get a good 10 min or more to read my Bible study and do some reflection and prayer. I would feel slightly rushed but really it has been good. But lately I have really been feeling a tug on my heart to put God first and foremost. I need to start my day with Him. Not get my daily stuff done and then fit Him into a 10 min. slot at work. I've been noticing how God is always at the back of my mind. I find myself rationalizing, "Well once I get this cleaned up and dinner made I'll get to God. Or maybe I should make sure some other things get done and then I'll get to God." Get to God... shouldn't it be "Ok God I'm yours! Lets do this! And then when you're done with my undivided attention I'll get the day to day stuff done."  I truly feel like God is telling me to put Him first and give Him as much time as He wants, and then He'll help me get what I Need to get done, done. All too often I worry about my house being spotless and thinking I Have to get it cleaned right away. But lately I've been giving my day to the Lord and asking Him to help me focus on the things that need to get done and not worry about the things that don't. If I give Him the control then the important things will get done and the unimportant things can wait until later.... Having Him in control is GREAT!
     So my new journey is to put God first... which means devotions at 5:30 AM. AHHH! I am not a morning person! But that is what devotion is right? To devote your time to God instead of just doing it when it's convinient for you. I am going to change my outlook on devotion and really strive to say thank you to Jesus by putting Him first and foremost everyday and every minute. He knows what is important, He'll make it all work out (though I'm sure He wont zap me with early morning cheer :) I pray that God convicts me and keeps me accountable to having true devotion with Him.

With love,

Friday, October 7, 2011

Lets worship!

Here a few videos of worship songs that I LOVE!!! May God's name be praised and glorified!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

A Love letter from the Lord

My Dearest Abbey,
As My child you are to be patient and kind; you should not envy what others have or can do, nor should you boast upon your possessions or talents; (For everything that you have I gave to you, do not boast as though you did not receive it as a gift.) do not be arrogant or rude for though I am Majestic I regard the lowly, but the haughty I know from afar. Do not insist on your own way; do not be irritable or resentful of those who have wronged you. My daughter, do not rejoice at wrong doing, but rejoice with the truth. Bear all things, believe all things, hope in all things, and, my sweet girl, endure all things. You will have suffering in this world, but take heart my dear, I have overcome the world! Abide in Me, My love! For I am the vine and you are my branch. I will give you the life and energy to produce much fruit! Remember that apart from me you can do nothing. Cling to Me My beautiful child! Hold on to my promises. Know that all things work together for the good of those who love Me! Set your eyes on Me and I promise that the sufferings of this world are not even worth comparing to the glory and joy that I have planned for your homecoming! I love you more than life itself Abbey! Look to the cross and remember My love.

I am ALWAYS with you,
Your Father, Your Savior, and Your Guiding Spirit in One

This started out as me just writing out 1 Corinthians 13:4 with a personal twist. It ended up being a full letter consisting of scripture passages that the Lord placed on my heart. All of the promises and commandments are straight from God's word! I would really encourage you to go back through it and put your name in there, His promises for me are the same for you :)

Scripture references: 1 Corinthians 13:4, 1 Corinthians 4:7, Psalm 138:6, John 16:33, John 15:5, Romans 8:28, Romans 8:18.

Monday, September 26, 2011

My Testimony

Yesterday at Church we had a celebration service which included baptisms. As I sat listening to the testimonies I couldn't get over how no one could quite explain how their life had changed. They obviously had become better people... but they just couldn't put into words the inward change that resulted in Joy and Peace. I love it! I love that God gives us something SO amazing that we can hardly explain it! Later in the afternoon I went on a walk with a new friend and we started talking a little bit about how we came to really love Christ and I could not truly explain all that went down and how my life miraculously changed. But I have felt the desire to share my testimony here for quite a while... so though I have a small vocabulary and my writing technique isn't quite the best, I am going to do it! May God be glorified through my story and stir the hearts that are sitting on the fence or completely on the other side.

Like many people from around here (small town Central IL) I grew up in a loving Christian family. We went to church every Sunday, my older sisters attended youth group and I attended AWANA and VBS. Most of my friends growing up were church friends. Living in a generally "Christian" town I was constantly bombarded by Bible stories or moral lessons. You would think this would be the end of my story. I was in love with Jesus from the moment I was able to understand who He was... unfortunately that's not how it happened. Though my family was amazing and loving we were all still human. There were times where fights broke out and stony silence took over the house. During these times I would get SO angry with  God. My life would be all rainbows and sunshine and then do a complete 180. I couldn't understand how there was a loving God that was in control of all of this. It seemed like such a lie. However, at the age of 7 I "gave my life to Christ." In all honesty I wanted my dad to say a prayer at dinner time so that everyone focused on me the rest of the night. It was all about the attention I would get and nothing about knowing what Jesus had done for me. The next ten years is pretty much a blur of living for myself. There would be times where I would think about God and at least some what realize I needed Him... but that feeling went away as soon as the T.V. came on or a friend called. I just really didn't care. Sure I thought God was awesome when life was going good. But I still didn't care enough to thank Him or get to know Him. But as soon as the tables turned and something went south I was very quick to let Him know exactly how I felt. I remember running into my room when things went bad and considering throwing my Bible right through the glass of my window, That would show God!!! I even wrote in my journal once that I saw God as a bored and cruel creator that made us just so He could toy around with us. I said that my family's suffering was His favorite day time Soap Opera.  I lived like that for so long. Then when I turned 17 I attended a youth group type deal called the cabin (It was literally held in a cabin for those of you asking why) The speaker one night talked about Jesus and what He had done for us. He explained to us that we were all sinners and all destined for hell unless we accepted Christ. That night I realized I was not a Christian. Once again I "gave my heart to Christ." I say it that way because I really don't know if I did. I told people I did for years.. but really I still didn't do it because I loved Christ but simply because I wanted life to get better. I didn't read my bible or get into prayer or anything. There was no fruit in my life to prove that I had truly accepted Christ. Later on that year I met my husband and started dating him. This is horrible to admit but I started acting like a good little Christian because I knew my dad didn't think I was ready to seriously start a relationship with a guy. So I lived out a lie for at least 2 years just to get my way. I started going to Harvest Bible chapel with Jason and really enjoyed it. I became a Sunday Christian. I loved church and getting to know more, but once Monday came I just wanted to be lazy and have fun. Oh sure when people asked I told them I was a Christian and I stuck to my moral opinions. I never went out and partied or did drugs or anything like that. But I did that to save face, not because I knew it was what God wanted.
On July 16th 2010 I married my sweet hubby. That poor poor man! Within the first week of our marriage I was crabby and oh so selfish. For the next few months I manipulated and whined to get what I wanted. If he didn't hang out with me the minute he got in the door I cried and cried. I'm so embarrassed by this! But I started realizing I was putting all my hope into my husband who is a sinful and selfish human being just like the rest of us! I could feel that something just wasn't right. But again I tried fixing it by getting a job or watching T.V. or just staying busy. Nothing seemed to work. I was interested in God but I just didn't want to take the time to get to know Him (story of my life) Through out all of this my mom was diagnosed with Leukemia and was getting sicker and sicker. About two years prior she had  been diagnosed with breast cancer  and had complications from chemo. God intervened there and miraculously healed her. But this time things were just looking complicated. For once I wasn't angry with God but I was just confused. How could He allow one of His miracles to get sick again? I just didn't understand... and still don't.
Suddenly in January of this year I got a real hunger to get into God's word. I started with Romans and couldn't put it down. I would read a chapter in my NLT bible, underline verses and then look them up in my ESV and NKJ. This is something I have never done. I kept a journal on what I was learning and felt it changing my heart. Here I get to the point where I just can't explain it. All I can say is it was not me at all, God melted my heart and stirred a desire in me. And man did He have perfect timing!
On February 8th my sweet wonderful Momma passed away. My normal human self would have ran to my bedroom and blamed God for all of my pain. I would have shouted at Him and told Him I hated Him....but God had changed me. Instead I felt such peace knowing that my Mom was with Him and wasn't having to deal with anymore Dr.s or pain. I believed the promises He gave me. His word is full of promises and evidence that He has kept them! I miss my mom SO much, but I can't get passed the grace that God showed all of us. This winter was my turning point. I am not who I once was. There are times where I want to fall back into my lazy apathetic state, but God tugs on my heart and I actually listen and respond. Only by His grace and power. I can easily tell you that I have changed so much on the outside. I don't get upset with Jay nearly as much, I am able to give up a little more control in each situation, I'm less anxious, I don't fall into anger as easily, and I am happy. But these things don't even begin to express that change that has gone on inside of me. There is so much Joy and Fire for my Lord. I trust and love Him. I have put Him in control of (most) of my life. I still struggle with that one. God is teaching me so many wonderful things! There are times when I don't want to die simply because I love the mystery of it all and love seeing God through His creation.  But most times I'm so excited to see my creator. UGH! I wish we had the words to describe this amazing feeling and life changing experience! Every time I try to tell someone about this I try to figure out what I did to finally change. Did I pray for God to help me? Did i finally figure out a good way to read the Bible? What finally did it for me? For some reason I keep thinking it had to have been something I did. But I didn't find a formula for reading my bible and praying. It had absolutely nothing to do with me. God just did it. He just made it happen. He could feel my heart softening towards Him. He knew I was on the fence leaning over towards His side. He knew I needed a bit of prodding and encouragement. It's about God's timing and who He is! Just ask Him to show you who He is. Let Him take control. He'll amaze you!

With Love,

Thursday, September 22, 2011

1st John 1:3

When the Holy Spirit speaks, He speaks directly to your heart. This is something that I'm continously learning. The Holy Spirit uses everyday situations, people in our lives, and of course God's word to teach us a little something about what it means to be Christ like and obedient.

On Monday I was really struggling with a sin that has always been my down fall, judgement against my brothers and sisters in Christ. I would get on Facebook and notice a certain persons post on one of their friends walls that does not glorify God... Or a certain group of people REALLY seem to be way off on what Christianity is all about and Seem to be people centered and not Christ centered  Oh Satan loves it when people do this! He uses it to his advntage to get me going! It makes me so angry! And though I may be right in being upset about it, I'm not upset for the right reasons. I get mad because I think "here I am doing all I can to spread God's love etc. and this person is acting like a complete fool! They're making Christian's look like complete hypocrites!" or "Seriously you guys look just like the world! Get your act together! Sheesh, no wonder people think Christians are wrong!"..... My thoughts are all wraped up in how it makes me look when a Christian isn't looking good on the outside. How screwed up is that?

1. It's not about me
2. God sees my sin on the inside and my sin is the same as Joe Shmo's sin even if his is more apparent on the outside.

This week I started a Bible study with some very sweet girls and we are digging into 1st John one verse at a time. So remember, on Monday I was really struggling with judging people. I didn't think they were good enough to be called Christians and I honestly wouldn't have wanted to hang out with them or do life with them.

On Tues. our verse was 1st John 1:3 "That which we have seen and heard we proclaim also to you , so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ."
Now I realize that not everyone will get what I got from this but I felt a very real tugging from the Holy Spirit when I read this. He was telling me "Where does it say that we have fellowship based on if our oppinions always line up or only if we struggle with the same "Socially acceptable" sins?" Don't get me wrong, there are a lot of "Christians" out there that are not right with God and really don't have their heart in the right place. I do believe that if someone is a true follower of Christ there will be fruit in their life... but I also realize that people get in ruts or even stray from time to time.   I was simply judging based on comments etc. I wasn't judging based on complete understanding of this person or group. Fellowship starts with our belief in Christ. Whether I like it or not some of the people I judge and get annoyed with really Are in His family! It is through Christ that we are bound together, not our good works or right sounding opinions. Instead of judging these fellow brothers and sisters I should be getting to know them and reaching out. May we have true fellowship with all who believe in Christ!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Life Training

"He just doesn't get it! I tell him "NO" when he's chewing on electrical cords, or if he's peeing on the carpet!"

Yes this is an excerpt from yet another "Venting hour with Abbey." I suppose I should give you a bit of background before continuing.... About a week and a half ago my wonderful husband and I picked up a tiny Beagle puppy. I was SOOO excited! I've wanted a dog my whole life and was finally getting to have one. Now I knew it would be a lot of work and take lots of responsibility, but I was ready for that!... or so I thought. He really is a great dog, but I just can't seem to make him understand certain things.

"All the books I have read and the people I have talked to make it sound so easy! "Oh he'll figure out what no means pretty fast!" Ya right! He doesn't even jump or move when I shout no!"

As I was whinning and crying to my husband these words popped out of my mouth,

"If he just knew that me telling him no and taking away stuff he wanted to play with was for his benefit I'm sure he'd get it! If he just knew that I didn't let him chew on the electrical cords because they'd hurt him I'm sure he'd run straight into my arms!"

Suddenly I stopped talking, I heard the faintess voice saying, "Now you get it."

For years I have questioned God as to why He allows uncomfortable and even painful things into my life. Why doesn't He let me have the things I want?  I felt like bad things kept happening or doors kept closing and I just didn't know why! Life would be going great and then BAM! something bad happened! I never realized that maybe that was God's way of turning me around or getting me onto a different path. It wasn't always punishment but just a prodding.

I realize my puppy doesn't understand that cords are bad for him... just like I may not realize that what I'm doing is bad or throwing me off. But I still have to say "NO!" and pick him up and move him. He always looks at me with those sad eyes as if to say "Why did you ruin my play time? You make my life miserable!" But I tell him "Oh Copper, if you only knew the good things I have in store for you, you wouldn't want those dangerous cords!"

God is like that, He knows the plans He has for us. And those plans surpass anything we could ever imagine! Especially since the end result is eternal life with Him! He's just picking me up and setting me down away from the "cords" even if I don't like it.

Thankfully God does it completely out of love and He's fully just and doesn't punish us simply out of emotional anger and hurt... Sometimes I get a little angry at old Copper. I'm learning a lot about Grace and how amazing our God truly is. Funny how a puppy can show you all of this ;) God's knows how to make a lesson really stick. He knows us SO well and knows exactly how we'll react to situations. I guess that's why He's God, He knows the beginning and the end... and everything in between.


Thursday, August 25, 2011

Cleaning Day with Jesus (Romans 8)

Knock, Knock, Knock, "House keeping!"

Well that's odd, I don't have a house keeper! I guess I'll look out to see who it.... "Jesus! What are you doing here?"

"As I said, "House keeping! I want to go through all the dusty nooks and crannies of your heart! Lets get it all cleaned up in there!"

"Well ok! Help is Always appreciated when it comes to cleaning!"

"Lets start with this closet. There's a sign above it, it says "Things that make me happy.""

"Ok sounds good to me. Oh hey look! Here's that T.V. show I watch for mindless entertainment!"

"Do you really need that?"
"Well no.... but it gives me something to do when I'm bored and lazy."

"You don't think you could find something better to do with your time? Like pray or read your Bible or at the very least watch a cleaner more appropriate show?"

"Hmm.. I suppose you're right, ok lets TOSS IT!"

"That's my girl! What else is in here? Oh well would you look at this! Selfishness!"

"What!? Why is that in there? You know what, just get rid of that! That doesn't make me happy!"

"Good idea!"

"Although...... selfishness has made it so I can get what I want, and that always makes me feel better. I mean selfishness has taught me how to lie and manipulate to get my way.... Oh I don't know! That one's pretty hard to get rid of. We go way back selfishness and I!"

"Let me ask you something, does it really make you joyful, or just happy from time to time?"

"Um happy I suppose..."

"Does it make you feel good most of the time, or guilty most of the time?"


"Does it bring you closer to Me or closer to your "all about me" mentality?"

"All about me.... ok, ok I get the point! Selfishness isn't worth holding on to! It may make me happy from time to time but ultimately it makes me miserable and turned away from You. TOSS IT!!!"


"What is this doing in here?"

"Anger! Who would put anger in their "Things that make me happy" closet?"

"Go ahead and TOSS IT!"

"Right!....... Although...."


"It's just, well, you know... sometimes anger does make me feel kind of good. It makes me feel like others just have problems. Plus anger helps me get what I want when I want it!"

"But doesn't that lead back to selfishness?"

"I suppose."

"And didn't we just get rid of that?"


"Why would you want to hold onto something that tempts you into yet another sin?"

"I don't know. It gives me a rush and a sense of control!"

"Control? Over what? Do you feel like you're in control of your emotions if you're red with anger? And when you hold onto your anger do the situations really play out in your favor?"

"Sometimes! Sometimes I can make people do what needs to be done by showing them I'm angry!"

"Does that make you feel happy or guilty in the end?"

"Honestly a bit of both."

"Which do you dwell on more, the happiness or the guilt?"

"The guilt."

"So is anger worth it? Does it bring you joy? Does it bring you closer to me?"

"You already know that answer to all those questions, Jesus."

"Yes but I want you to admit to it and acknowledge what this "feel good sin" is really doing to you."

"Ok. No. Anger is not worth it, it does not bring me true Joy, and it definitely does not bring me closer to you. Wow this house cleaning stuff is hard!"

"It's never easy to get rid of what you think makes your life better. That's why I'm here to shed light on it and to show you how these things really aren't as wonderful and rewarding as you think! So, what are we going to do with Anger?"

"TOSS IT!!! Wow this closet is looking pretty empty! It's kind of sad actually."

"Don't worry! I'll fill it up with Love, Joy, Faith and So much more! Infact this closet may not be big enough for all the things that I can give you! We may have to build you a whole room! And the best part is the things that I give you will not only bring you happiness but Joy, true unending Joy! Now onto the "Grudges" corner!"

Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. 6 The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace. 7 The mind governed by the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. 8 Those who are in the realm of the flesh cannot please God. You, however, are not in the realm of the flesh but are in the realm of the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, they do not belong to Christ. 10 But if Christ is in you, then even though your body is subject to death because of sin, the Spirit gives life[d] because of righteousness.
                  Romans 8: 5-10

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Rediscover You

I think the misconception of So many new Christians is that the burning passionate feeling that you get when you first discover God will last forever. For me it didn't matter how many times someone told me it wouldn't always be that way, I thought nothing would ever change!I thought that if the passion went away then I obviously was doing something wrong. But then life happened. No, not horrible life tragedies or crazy financial ruin... boring everyday life. I've been distracted by getting up everyday and having to clean or go to work. Have you heard this all before from me? Maybe that's because life is constantly going on and I'm in constant struggle to put God above it all. The Christian walk is a tough and narrow path. It's not for the weak of heart! It's not always fun and it most certainly is not always crazy exciting! Sometimes God is hitting you with amazing blessings and answers and making you smile from ear to ear even when it rains... and then there are days when you feel like nothing is happening. For me these mundane days are what really test my faith, and let me tell you I am way better for it! :) I wanted to share a song with you tonight that has really hit home for me. You see, even though I know that even though my fire has burned down a bit I know I'm still saved and that God and I are still bound in a relationship. But that doesn't mean I don't want to burst into flames for Him again! This song has sort of become my own personal prayer to our Heavenly Father.  I love the part where they say "Bring me back to life like only you can do!" It's so true! With out Christ we are nothing and we aren't going to get any where! Glory be to God for His Love!

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Creating a Masterpiece

I love art. I love the thrill I get when I suddenly have a great idea for a painting, and I absolutely LOVE the feeling of satisfaction when it turns out just the way I wanted it to!

When I start a new painting I know exactly how I want it to look. I have the lay out and color shemes all mapped out in my mind. I have a plan long before I have a painting. To start I begin sketching my design on the canvas.....

Oops, get out of my straight line you silly curve! *Erase*

Uh uh, nope! You Mr. circle are meant to be over here.

I suppose if a canvas could talk it would say "Hey! Ouch! Did you REALLY need to erase that line? WHOA! AGAIN? This is too painful! Just leave me the way I am thank you very much!" But, when the lines and shapes all go together the way I planned and designed them to be, the painting looks amazing! It's just what I wanted! It makes me happy, excited, Proud. People look at that painting and say, "Wow, it's clear you put time into that!" or "How did you come up with that idea?" They don't say, "That painting did a good job painting itself!"  My paintings point to me, the creator. They show my creativeness, skill effort, and love of art. If I allowed that painting to design and create itself it would be blank or messy at best. No, only by allowing the artist to do the work can a real masterpiece appear.

For we are God's masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago. Ephesians 2:10

Funny how God's lessons show up everywhere eh?

Much love,

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Taking the, Not so good, leap

Have you ever had one of those days where EVERYTHING is against you? I woke up on the wrong side of the bed today. In my mind everyone was against me. My husband, the alarm clock, the stupid hot water in the shower that made my sunburned skin sting. Everything and everyone was making me want to cry. I wanted to shake my fist at God and say, "Hey! I want an easy nice day ok? I'm tired and I just want everything my way please! Make it better!"

In church we sang a lot of songs that said in one way or another that God is with us in the good times and the bad times. In my minds eye I saw myself on top of a really high mountain, and then all of a sudden I jumped! Why would I do that!!?? I hate heights and, well, jumping off the top of a mountain is pretty stupid. Next thing I saw was God swooping in and catching me. "Oh good!" I thought, "He'll save me and take me back up to the top!" But it wasn't to be. He saved me alright, but instead of taking me right back to the top He gently flew me down to the bottom and cradled me on impact. I didn't die.

"Wait!" I could almost hear myself cry, "I don't want to be left here at the bottom, it's no fun here! I don't want to have to climb back to the top by myself it's too hard!" And God took my hand and said, "Who said anything about climbing alone?"

Through out the service and the day I've gone back over that mental image. First, why did I jump? I honestly believe that God was showing me that today's storm or trial was more or less my own fault. I wanted to hold on to my anger and bitterness because it made me feel like a victim and made me feel like as the victim I deserved to be lifted up and comforted. It made me feel like I deserved more than I really did. But in all honesty all it was doing was making me more and more upset and pushing me closer to the edge until I just couldn't take it anymore and had to just jump so that I could say "SEE GOD! I'm at the bottom! This is what happens when I don't get the love and compassion that I need!" Often times I go through struggles that are true storms, such as losing my mom. Those struggles are more like a fall. But even more often I run head long into those storms just to get some sympathy, it is then that I jump to my doom.

However, God caught me and gently flew me to the bottom. He didn't raise me up and comfort me like I thought He would. Life is tough. We go through struggles. It's as simple as that. I wish I had an exact answer as to why God lets trials in to our lives, but I don't. I know that for myself God allows me to struggle so that I actually see Him working in my life and so I become humble before Him and His awesome power. In fact this morning as the hot shower water made me swear I begged God to show me a way to become humble today. I wanted Him to show me something that would really get to me... and He did :) Today's struggle was my own fault and I feel like I can hear God saying to me as He lands at the bottom with me in His arms, "Abbey, this is what you wanted. You wanted to be at the bottom and be a victim. And because I know it's what's best for you, I'm going to allow it. I know you'll learn from this experience."

"BUT GOD! I don't Really want to be at the bottom! I mean, look at how high a climb that is to the top! MAN!"

"Let me help you Abbey. I will be with you in trouble, and I will deliver you"

And so God and I went hand in hand up that crazy mountain. The climb is tough and not exactly fun, but it's drawing me closer to my King and showing me what a Loving and Powerful King He is!

God never leaves us. Not when we're having such a good time that we barely pay attention to Him, nor when we have self inflicted pain. Through the calm and through the storm He is with us guiding our paths. All we have to do is choose to submit to Him and grab His hand. He'll help us up :)

Much Love,

Monday, May 23, 2011

Pride with a capital and bold P

**Spoiler alert: I'm about to really put myself down here but bear with me. This message isn't me asking for some comforting words from friends.. in fact that would probably feed my pride :)

 Sometimes, like most women, I feel pretty down about myself. I sometimes feel ugly, or fat, or not dressed right. I often look in the mirror and critique everything I see. It doesn't matter how beautiful someone tells me I am, I still see flaws in myself. I realize that most women if not all have this problem. I don't see my situation necessarily as unique, but I do think I struggle with this a little more than anyone would realize. It gets to the point where I often let it rule my life and I try and try to meet the world's and my own standard for beauty. I'm not saying it's right obviously, but it's how I feel.

I could easily start running or eating better.... or both. I could save up money and go to the best stores and buy the latest fashions. I could even go and get my hair done more regularly so it styled better. But would I really be happy? I've been skinny before. Back in high school I went through this weird phase where I was starving all the time, yet hardly had to eat a bite to get full. It was AWESOME to say the least. But even then I wasn't happy. My hair still didn't do what I wanted, and my clothes were still cheap. I've bought nice adorable clothes, but my body just didn't fit right into them and my hair still didn't do what I wanted. And I've also had super cute haircuts that styled perfectly with barely any effort, buy those nice haircuts often showed off my unattractive clothes or not so perfect body. Don't get me wrong, I've had lots of days where I've felt beautiful! There were days when I just wore a t-shirt and shorts and felt like I was having the best hair day EVER and was happy with that. But all too often I'm not happy with anything. That's the problem. Everything could be right, and yet all I see are the mistakes.

I've always chalked this up to insecurity or envy. But pride? No, pride is when you think very highly of yourself... right? Trust me I know pride. I look at others and think, "Wow, I'm better than so and so." or "Why did they decide to do that with their life? So glad I didn't go down that road!" Now that's pride!

But maybe, just maybe, pride isn't solely about thinking highly of one's self, but just thinking solely about one's self all together? Even though I tend to think pretty lowly of myself, I am extremely prideful. Now wait just one darn minute! I thought thinking lowly of your self was being humble? Isn't humility all about seeing yourself as not as important as others? "Errrrr...." goes the buzzer, wrong again!

 As I've been learning in the last few weeks pride isn't just about having an inflated view of myself. It could be a very Deflated view of myself! But either way it's about Me, Me, Me! How does this affect me? Is it hurting or helping me? Man, I look horrible, man I wish I was this, man I wish I could change this about Myself.  Me, Me, Me.

Another issue I never dreamed was pride, is my shyness. Now I'm not saying that being shy is pride! But with me, being shy makes me dwell on it all the time! It rules my life! I don't want to go hang out with people I don't know because I may make a fool out of myself by sitting there silently the whole night. Who wants to hang out with someone like that!? Once again its become all about me. What happens if someone talks to me? What happens if someone doesn't like me? Me, Me, Me.

And the worst part of all? My devotions have become all about me. What will I get out of this today? How will this affect my life? You know it's coming, Me, Me, Me... I'm tired of looking at it that way. I'm tired of looking at life this way! Instead of wondering what I'm going to get out of my devotions and how they'll benefit me, I should be seeking God and looking for His attributes. As my pastor says, "The Bible is not a self help book. That creates an "All about me" attitude. It shows who God is, through it we can know Him personally."  It's about His fame, not mine. God wants us to be humble. Humility is about not thinking about yourself at all. It's not about putting yourself down and putting others on a pedestal. Even that tends to end up being pride. I'm done with thinking all about me, no matter how high or how low. All that matters is God! And you know, that's not me thinking lowly of myself again, but me finally not thinking about myself at all! Aw the comfort of freedom!

I'm ready Lord to brake these chains of sin! Help me to stop looking at myself and wondering what I can do to make myself better, but to start looking at you and wondering how I can show you off. Not my fame, but yours.

With love,

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Rebuke in the kindest of ways.

This is going to be a hard entry to write today. It's always a little unnerving to admit what your thinking, especially when sin is effecting your thinking. But once again God is showing me wonderful things.

I'd first like to start out with a verse that I have recently found to be a Great prayer... I'm sure many of you have heard it,

Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my thoughts. Point out anything in me that offends you, and lead me along the path of everlasting life. Psalm 139:23,24

Today a part of the verse jumped off the page, "Point out anything in me that offends you and lead me along the path of everlasting life." I guess I should have known that if I'm going to pray something like that, God's going to answer me, and boy He has!!!

As I said this entry is going to be uncomfortable for me. I hate admitting my sins or issues to anyone. I'd rather the world think I was just this perfect little person that had it all together... but we all know that is so far from the truth about any of us. I feel that God's calling me to be real, to tell the absolute truth. Before I became a Christian I thought all Christians were hypocrites because they acted like they had it all together but totally did not, I don't want anyone to get that impression about me. Yes I have Christ in my life, Yes I am totally changing from it, Yes my life is getting better and better, and Yes I still struggle with sin and have down days and hypocritical moments. Though I am "no longer obligated to follow my sinful nature" (Romans 8:12-13) I still fall back into it from time to time. Sometimes I want what I want instead of what God wants.

Having said all that I wanted to share with you something God has Really laid on my heart the last few days. I am SO prideful and judgmental. Oooh it hurts to admit that! Doing a constant Bible study and spending quiet time with God has changed me in so many miraculous ways. God has taught me about my anger and jealousy. But Satan isn't happy about this. He doesn't want me to have a relationship with Christ. And so my sinful nature keeps urging me to "Look around and notice who isn't reading their Bible. Notice who's having anxiety and isn't putting it at the foot of the cross. Notice who claims to be a Christian... they don't do devos like you do, they haven't changed like you have... clearly they're not as good of a Christian as you are." Shivers down the spine! Can't you just hear a creepy whispering voice saying all of that? Satan constantly whispers these little things into my ear, stroking my ego.  "Well yes, I have been doing quite good haven't I? I am closer to God than so and so aren't I? I mean look at how they treat people or look at their obvious sin!" Ugh!!!! I used to lay in bed at night and just beg God to help me understand why I am this way. In the past I would look up psychological explanations. I'd take little personality tests to figure out why I think I'm so much better than others. Nothing ever gave me a clear answer or peace. But then this past year I've realized all my short comings are sin. Plain and simple. Sin is the root of it all.  But the awesome thing about that is We have "no obligation whatsoever to do what our sinful nature urges us to do.... But if through the power of the Holy Spirit you turn from it and its evil deeds, you will live" Romans 8:12-13

Today I read 1 Cor. 3-4. Chapter 4 verse 7 says,

What makes you better than anyone else? What do you have that God hasn't given you? And if all you have is from God, why boast as though you have accomplished something on your own? (NLT)

Um, wow. It was like God sat down next to me and said, "Abbey, why do you think you're so much better than your brothers and sisters? What do you have that I haven't given you? Why do you act as though all the changes in your life are something you accomplished on your own? Do you honestly believe that it's because of your good works and discipline that you are different? Dear child! It is I that have changed you on the inside!" And to that I argued, "Yes you have changed me, but only because I came to you. Wasn't it I that started reading my Bible? Wasn't it I that decided to have the will power to spend hours with you? Wasn't it, wasn't it?"

See! I have such a huge head that I think I can argue with God and show Him that it is all by my power.

Neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth.

I may decide to water myself, to feed myself on God's word, but it because of God that I grow. If I am to boast about anything that has been given to me or has happened to me, I should only be boasting about what it is God has done, not myself. Oh it is still so hard to wrap my head around this! I want so badly to say "Look at what I have done! Look at what I am capable of!" But it is not so!

Lord I just pray that you help me with my pride! Help me to realize that it is ALL to your glory and that I can not take the credit. I don't completely understand your ways or your thoughts... infact I often feel like I am so far from understanding. Please continue working in me so that I may learn to hear your voice clearly. Holy Spirit you are the Spirit given to us from God, help me to understand the depths of God, to know Your thoughts, to discern Your ways O God! In your Heavenly name amen!

This is an ongoing journey my friends. And I am SO excited to be on it! I pray that God is able to use me to reach you and teach you just like He is teaching me. Like a potter that only works with soft clay, God will only work with soft workable hearts. We are to be teachable, we are to go to Him open handed and open minded. Not our ways and thought, O Lord, but yours!

Much love,

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Losing my moody selfish self to Christ... and it is wonderful!

A man teaching a time-management seminar pulled out a wide-mouthed gallon jar from under the counter that served as his podium. He picked up some fist-sized rocks and put them in the jar until they reached the top. Then he looked out at the class and asked, "is the jar full?" Some of the students, not knowing where he was going, blurted out, "Yes." The teacher laughed gently and said, "No, it's not." He pulled out a bucket of pea gravel and began to pour it in the jar. The pea gravel filtered down between the rocks, filling the spaces until it reached the top. "The jar must be full now, right?" Without waiting for the classes response, the man poured a bucket of sand into the jar. He shook the jar to allow the sand to settle and then added more sand until it reached the lip of the jar. "Now, is it full?"  "Probably not" they answered. He then took a pitcher of water and slowly poured the water into the jar until it began to over flow. "Now, is it full?"  "We believe it is!" He then asked, "What was this visual aid showing?" One student answered, "No matter how busy you are, there is always room for more!" The teacher said, "No, the lesson is, if you don't put the big rocks in first you'll never get them in later!"

So what does this have to do with the Bible and with God?.... Just something God has taught me in the last two weeks :) First let me show you a verse that goes along with the story above and then I'll tell you my story.

Matthew 6:33 "But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well."

The last two weeks of my life can be described as a dark and crazy whirlwind. I went from working two days a week to 5 and a half. I wasn't prepared and so I was freaking out about grocery shopping and cleaning and cooking etc. etc. etc. I'm one of those people that needs at least one whole day to myself to get stuff done. An hour here or there just doesn't cut it. And as stuff piles up I tend to get stressed out. With all my responsibilities begging for attention one very important aspect of my life was being put on the shelf.... My relationship with Christ. I read my Bible here and there and prayed quick little prayers, but I wasn't digging into His word like I was before. I was doing it more out of obligation than out of love and excitement. I kept telling myself, "I'll do it tomorrow!" Or "Monday will be a better day!" But like the time management teacher said, "If you don't put the big rocks in first (God) you'll never get them in later." And if you don't get the "big" rocks in everything else tends to shift and move and just go crazy!!

I noticed I was worrying about everything and trying to get it all done on my timer and through my plan. I was stressed from the moment I woke up, until the time I finally fell asleep. I was getting irritable with my husband again, and found myself getting hurt or upset about things that really didn't matter. I wanted to pick fights with people, even people at Walmart! I found myself falling back into the person I once was. Selfish, manipulative, moody, and just over all not fun to be with. I kept begging God to help me. I constantly thought to myself, "People do this all the time, I should be able to get by! Why are things so crazy?" But then as I read my Bible study and talked to a few people I realized, DUH! It's because I'm worrying so much about all the little things in life instead of focusing on God and giving Him my day to do with whatever He needed to do. God didn't come first in those crazy weeks. I was worrying about "food and cloths" even though God specifically says do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. (Matt. 6:25-31) God knows what He we need. We don't have to worry about them.  We then get back to Matthew 6:33 where it says, seek first the kingdom of God, then the other things will fall into place.

I guess the one good thing that came from not doing my devotions and spending quiet time with my sweet Lord was that I realized how much I had changed!! Just by reading God's word and learning a bit about who He is and seeing what He's done has taught me to trust in Him and to see things through His eyes rather than my own.

I've always been bad about sticking with things, diets, exercise, you name it and I've probably quit it after about a week. I've always wanted direct results from what I was doing. Riding an exercise bike only gives you a result after a LONG time of riding! But within a few weeks I had noticed changes in my life when following after God and surrendering to His plan. And now I'm seeing just how extreme those results were! My husband even told me he had noticed quite the difference! It's awesome! And  I can honestly tell you that I'm getting back into it. Why wouldn't I want to spend time with our Awesome God who is changing me into a better person! Just imagine how different I can be if I spend the rest of my life doing this! So exciting!!! Not I, but Christ within me :)

Thank you Jesus for showing me that if You are the focal point of my day, of my life, all the other pieces of my life will fall into place. Maybe things wont turn out the way I wanted them too, but by trusting in You and following You, You have taught me to trust Your will and to see that it is the best way! The fact that You are with me makes every moment of my life meaningful. I thank You for all these wonderful truths that You have been revealing to me. I love You sweet king! Amen

With love,

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Passion; the antonym of Apathy

Guys, I just had an AWESOME experience!!! My heart is singing, and my hands are shaking and I just want to cry tears of Joy! What did I do? Well I went to a play silly! :)

Tonight I went to watch my bestest friend in the whole wide world in her church's Passion Play. I went into it thinking, "This will be good. It'll be fun to see how they tell the story." etc etc etc. What I didn't expect was to come away from it with an all new perspective and a heart that is literally leaping out of my chest in song!

As I watched the story unfold I really admired the guy playing Jesus. He was a talented actor and did a really good job. But what I noticed was his portrayal of Jesus was this kind, loving, smiling teacher that spoke with excitement and extreme joy. Unfortunately I've always pictured Jesus as this Very solemn and straight to the point kind of guy. My minds eye tended to forget all that stuff about Him being kind and loving. But as I watched this actor say the words that Jesus said in a all new way to me I realized, Jesus Had to have some character! People Had to like Him! Why else would ordinary people that couldn't really relate to the super serious professor type go to Him? Why would people go to Him before they even really knew who He was? I personally don't like to hang out with the super intellectual people that are too smart to smile or feel emotion... and Jesus came for ordinary people like me, not just for the people that study and study theology. Ah! It was such a freeing moment to realize Jesus Was a lovable and Wonderful man, not just based on what He did, but How He did it- with Love. 

In the second Act Jesus was of course crucified. The "Roman Officers" pushed and nudged and whipped the man playing Jesus down the aisles of the church. Whoever did the makeup did an Awesome job, because not only did they smear "blood" on his back, but they made it look like he had welts rising and it just looked so real and so painful. All I could think about was, "This Really happened! They really did this to Jesus! They did this to the guy that was so smiley and so loving!  They Did this to a Wonderful and innocent man!" They drug him up to the cross and nailed him to it. With each pound of the hammer you could hear his strained cries. (And to think those nails were pounded into Jesus' sweet, loving hands all because of my sin!) They then lifted up the cross and there he hung, broken, bruised and bleeding. For the first time in my life it was all so real. To physically see a portrayal of this happening opened my eyes in a way that no Sunday school drawing could ever do. I saw Jesus as a real living and breathing man, a man that was loving and gentle and just an awesome person to be around! And I saw Him murdered for my sins.  God wanted me to see this. I Needed to see this. I have a new love for my Glorious Saviour. I can't wait to get to Heaven and hug Him over and over again and just thank Him for all He did for me! He is truly remarkable!

Satan lost today friends. He tried with all his might to get me to just stay home and not go to this play. He hit me with insecurity, stress, and even physical pain twice! I could feel him trying to get me to just give up and not care. He knows I believe in Christ and that he's lost that battle. But he still wants to make this life as hard as possible and make me doubt God's love. He didn't want me to see this moving play and realize just how real it all is. He wanted instead for me to just go about my life and not really care. But tonight he failed! God reigns over all! Even the devil. And to that I say, AMEN!

Friday, April 1, 2011

It's another Hallelujah Friday People!!!

I love how Friday's are becoming my "AH HA!" days :) I rejoice in the fact that God has turned my dreary depressing Friday's into Hallelujah Fridays! He's literally turned my frown upside down :)

Well today is another Hallelujah Friday! God has once again shown me something that is worth singing about... but since I don't have a record deal or anything close I'll just blog about it :) :)

Today started out crappy. I woke up late for my once a month job, it was cloudy, and I just wasn't feeling like doing anything! Argh I hate moods like that! After my job I got home I ate some lunch, did pointless things like Facebook stalk my friends etc. etc. etc. (See I'm still learning to seek God for happiness instead of other things. So there, I'm not perfect and I don't always learn my lesson the first (or 500th) time.) Finally I decided enough was enough with this mood. I realized it was time to just dig into the word. I got a new Bible study called "Having a Mary heart, in a Martha World." Though I don't consider myself especially serving like Martha, I do consider myself being too "busy" for God. I felt that this was the exact study that God wanted me to do... and I was right. God pointed out something very special to me today, my personal relationship with Him. I have been struggling with it for the past week or so. I wanted a personal relationship with God SO Bad and I wanted to be able to just focus and pray to Him all the time, but I didn't know how. (That was the main reason for me picking up this Bible study.) But once again God didn't give me the answers I was necessarily looking for, instead He showed me what I needed to see.

In her book "Having a heart like Mary in a Martha world," Joanna Weaver said,

Jesus invites us to come and rest, to spend time with Him in this incredible intimacy. Intimacy that allows us to be honest in our complaints, bold in our approach, and lavish in our love. Intimacy that allows us to hear our Father's voice and discern our Father's will. Intimacy that so fills us with His love and His nature that it spills out to our dry world in service. It all begins down at His feet. 

As I read this I got a tingly feeling and thought, "YES! This is exactly what I want!!!.... Now how do I get that exactly?" I love what she says at the end, "It all begins down at His feet." This is where my Ah Ha moment comes in. You see I kept thinking that a personal relationship with Jesus was all up to how much I did. That I had to be the one that kept talking. I would kick myself every time I realized I hadn't prayed that day, or I would tell myself I needed to talk to God more about how my day is going. Don't get me wrong I still totally think we need to pray to God constantly and talk to Him openly. I recently read a book by Beth Moore called "Jesus, the One and Only." She said something that I absolutely loved, something to the effect of yes Jesus knows exactly what's going on in your life, but He still wants to hear you talk about it. Whether you're excited about something that happened to you or upset about something you did, Jesus wants to have a real relationship with you , not a stale "thank you for the sunshine, thanks for the flowers, oh and by the way I need a scholarship if I'm going to get into college. Amen." He wants to hear about your life and day, and He wants you to ask Him for things!

But what God has shown me today is that a relationship with Christ really starts with me bowing my knees and sitting at His feet to LEARN! It's not all about me. As I journaled my feelings about what I had just read I wrote this down, Learning from God+ Trust= a relationship and intimacy. It starts with God, not with me. If I sit down at His feet and learn from Him I will then gain this awesome intimacy that allows me to hear His voice and to start seeing His will more clearly, that will help me SO much in my prayer life and in my side of the relationship!!

What God has taught me today in a nut shell, A Real, intimate relationship with our loving Father starts with Him, not us. His word is to be the foundation of the relationship, not my complaints or praises, though those are Very important too! I wish I was better at words and could just express to you how I feel about all this! It's so amazing, and so Freeing to know that it's not just up to me to keep this relationship going, Jesus wants it too! He's not like some friends who drift away if you don't talk to them for a little bit. Instead He is always there, waiting for you to sit at His feet and listen. And after you listen, He wants nothing more than for you to respond and tell Him what's going on in your life :) We serve an Awesome God!

With Love,

Monday, March 21, 2011

I feel the sunshine on my soul!

Such a beautiful and uplifting day today!! I'm really loving the sunshine and warm breeze, not too cold and not too hot! And just think even the prettiest spring day can't compare with Heaven! :) Our God is amazing!

Today has been another God day! He is showing me so much and I'm SOOO excited! It's just so awesome to pray for God to show you something in His word and to speak to you, and then have your prayer answered! I'm loving this two way conversation with our Lord and Savior! I used to think it was all one way and I seriously questioned if God really cared about my prayers and my thoughts... OH and He does!! Let me share with you my devotional time :)

As I said in my last entry God has really been showing me how much I struggle with focusing solely on Him. Last week He revealed in me my fault of falling back on entertainment or busyness in life for happiness instead of looking to Him and His word. This week He's digging even deeper and sort showing me what my biggest problem is. The first thing that I read today was Psalm 39. It just reminded me a lot about focusing on God and realizing that He is more important than anything else.

We are merely moving shadows, and all our busy rushing ends in nothing. We heap up wealth for someone else to spend. And so, Lord, where do I put my hope? My only hope is in you. Psalm 39:6,7

This verse has a lot to do with what God was showing me last week. Once again I just sort of decided to read this passage and God is ONCE AGAIN saying, "What's more important than me? I am your hope."
So awesome!

I then changed direction a bit in what I was reading and sought out some verses that a very kind lady had written down for me to read when my mom was battling cancer. The first verse I read was 1 John 4:18:

Such love has no fear because perfect love expels all fear. If we are afraid, it is for fear of judgement, and this shows that His love has not been perfected in us.

This verse spoke straight to my heart because I am a HUGE worry wart, and I have many fears. But this verse is saying that with God there is Nothing we need to fear. The only thing we need to fear is the final judgment. But you see, I know that I am saved and that God loves me and that I am doing my best to follow Him and allow Him to work within me. So since I don't need to fear the final judgement because I know that I am saved, I HAVE NOTHING TO FEAR!! And yet I struggle so much with that. I don't fear death but I do fear pain, I do fear persecution, I do fear losing someone I love. And yet God says you don't need to fear anything because nothing can separate My love from you! (Romans 8:39) And in the end God's love/God Himself is ALL that matters. So you see God is saying, "Abbey, if you fully focus on Me and love Me then you will realize you have nothing to fear! Nothing."

The Lord is my light and my salvation- so why should I be afraid? Psalm 27:1

God is the Most important Person. I shouldn't be worried about things on this earth Including things that I fear. Because if in the end God is all that matters... then shouldn't He be all that matters now?

Unfortunately I can't get over my fears alone. I can't look at a man with a gun and just feel fine and confident... Fortunately I don't have to :) God is there for me! He will help me with my fears and my timidness. If I keep my focus on God then when times do get "scary" I'll know for certain that He is on my side and that no matter what happens the ending will always be the same, me going home to my LOVING and WONDERFUL Saviour :)

One last verse that caught my attention today was Matthew 10: 37

If you love your Father or Mother more than you love Me, you are not worthy of being mine.

This struck me because I'm afraid I have been loving my family here on earth more than God himself! UGH! And that goes along with the fear thing because I am so afraid to lose someone I love. I'm not as afraid now since I've lost my mom and I realize that I'll see her again and that it's not the end, but it's still a very real fear. But this just makes me think that I'm holding on so tightly to the people in my life and not clinging to my God who is eternal.  See God is just weeding out all the bad stuff in my life and I am LOVING it!!!! God is more important than my family, so hard to say yet so true. Isn't it curious how it's so hard to love our amazing God more than the people in our lives? God never fails us, but people do, and yet it's people that can often be our distractions from God. I'm so thankful that God is willing to help me with all this! How merciful He is! :)

One last thing, today's excerpt from "Jesus Calling." Yet another devotional that fit perfectly into what God was teaching me today... and just to clarify I read this Last and had no idea what it was about.

God wants you be all His. He is weaning you from other dependencies. Your security rests in God alone- not in other people, not in circumstances. Depending only on God may feel like walking on a tightrope, but there is a safety net underneath; the everlasting arms. So don't be afraid of falling. Instead, look ahead to God. God is always before you, beckoning you on- one step at a time. Neither height nor depth, nor anything else in creation, can separate you from God's loving presence. 

And so my God lives on and teaches me :)

Much love,

Friday, March 18, 2011

Having a heart to heart with God

I am SO SO excited to share with you today! God has been showing me things this week that I am so excited about!

Today as I got my devotional out I came across this:

God's light shines on every situation you will ever face. Live radiantly by expanding your focus to include God in all your moments. Let nothing dampen your search for God.

Let me share a few verses that God has been bringing to my attention this week:

In Psalm 119

Make me walk along the path of your commands, for that is where my happiness is found. Vs: 35

Turn my eyes from worthless things, and give me life through your word. Vs: 37

Help me abandon my shameful ways; your laws are all I want in life. Vs: 39

Your Promise revives me; it comforts me in all my troubles. Vs: 50

If you look for me in earnest, you will find me when you seek me. Jeremiah 29: 13

If you only knew how much I have been struggling with trying to fill my days with stupid entertainment like Facebook etc. etc. And if you only knew how little happiness these things brought me then you would see just how amazing God is for sharing these verses with me!

After I read the inspirational quote (what I started out with) I wrote this in my journal:

I'm sensing a theme here God. Ugh I know I've been so distracted lately. Maybe a little depressed and angry too. But you keep pulling me back and saying, "Abbey, you yourself have often asked how important are certain things in  this life compared to Heaven. And though you asked that more out of laziness than anything else, you were right. What compared to Me and Heaven is more important?" And I know the answer is nothing! Not even temporary happiness or pleasure compare to you God. I struggle so much with wanting to have fun, or wanting to get stuff done. I don't keep my eyes on God. Even as I write this I start to wander about dinner plans etc.

I love how God tugs at my heart and says, "Hey I know you're having a hard day and that you think some TV will make you happy, but I know about something that will turn your life around and make you joyful! Doesn't that sound better!?" God's word is how God speaks to me. He and the Holy Spirit guide me to see His truth, and to help me get the answers that I need.

I didn't go searching for these verses this week. God placed them in front of me to show me that I struggle with, setting my eyes on temporary fixes, not on the eternal fix. I just love how God reaches out to me. Just try and tell me my God is dead or non-existent! I have heard God speak in my heart, and His voice is the most wonderful sound that I have every heard! :) 

My heart has heard you say, "Come and talk with me." And my heart responds, "Lord, I am coming." 
Psalm 27:8

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Story time: The king and his orchestra

There once was a king in China who was very fond of listening to music played on the Yu, a wind instrument. So he created a band of three hundred players. Every day at teatime the band was called in to play the Yu for His Majesty. Now, one of the players, Mr. Nan Guo, knew nothing about the instrument. But by pretending to play the Yu he was believed to be part of the orchestra. No one knew the truth. One day the king died and his son, the prince, became king. But the new king did not like to hear the orchestra. He enjoyed solo performances. He called each musician in to play alone for him. This time, Nan Guo could not hide. He was shown for what he was. **

The tares and the wheat grow up together. There are those who appear to be playing the Yu, but then when they are put to the test, it shows who they really are.

It's not enough to "Act" like a Christian... God knows your true heart. He's the one that judges you in the end, not me, not little miss goody two shoes, but God.

Two great books of the Bible to read to look into this are Romans and James. But really just about every book in the New Testament talks about truly following after God. You may be able to fool every single person into believing you're a Christian, heck I did for about 17 years!! But I wasn't a true follower of God. In fact  the last thing I wanted to do was give God true control. I wanted people to believe I was a good person but in the end "good" isn't enough.

Thank You precious Jesus for giving us the chance to be saved!!! I still sin, but you know that in my heart I follow You and I desire nothing more than to become more like You and to throw my sin out the window! Thank You Father for accepting me into Your family! I pray for all of those that struggle with truly handing over their lives to You. I pray that You show them Your awesome power! Show them Lord that Your way truly is amazing and the best! Amen.

If anyone would like to talk to me about anything that they have just read, or would like to hear my story about how God finally got through to me feel free to message me! :)

Much love,

**Story is in the book Safely Home by Randy Alcorn

Monday, March 7, 2011

God is opening the eyes of my heart :)

I've been struggling. I've been struggling with grief, exhaustion, and apathy. I haven't wanted to clean the house, get dressed, or read my Bible for the last few days. I was just So tired! I've heard enough from "experts" to know that this was possibly a side-affect of depression. Obviously losing my mom has been hard on me and then a few other things have been getting me down lately. But today I wanted to just forget all that. I wanted so badly to see past my struggles and I just be in awe of my God. Today I prayed that God would get me revved up about Him once again. I wanted Him to show me something that would get me on my knees and praising His awesome name... and as always my God answered my prayer!

The second verse that I looked at today from my devotional was 1 Peter 2:21

This suffering is all part of what God has called you to. Christ, who suffered for you, is your example. Follow in His steps.  (NLT)

For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps. (NKJV)

After I read this I sighed, grinned and then said, "Perfect!"

Oh how I needed this verse! Some may look at it and think, "Um God is calling you to suffer? That is not fun or cool!" But you know, all that I have gone through in the past month has changed me for the better. We do not suffer because God got bored one day and thought it would be fun to see some of us squirm. No, we suffer so that we may grow closer to Him and learn to become more like Christ. And what an amazing transformation it is!!! Instead of seeing cruelty in this verse I saw God saying, "Abbey, dear one, this trial that you are going through is all apart of my plan! I know what is happening to you both on the outside and on the inside! I am here for you! Draw nearer to me and learn from your hardship." As Romans 5:3-5 says, we rejoice in our sufferings knowing that suffering produces endurance. Endurance produces character, and character produces hope. And hope does not put us to shame; "because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us." Through this hard time I will cling to my heavenly father! Though these struggles on earth are hard and sometimes painful I know that they can't even begin to compare to the Joy that I will have in heaven! (Romans 8:18)

The next part of 1 Peter 2: 21 says that Jesus Christ is our example when it comes to suffering and that we should follow in his steps. Obviously we know that Jesus was perfect and that he suffered a lot. But as I read that I thought to myself, "ok what exactly does that mean?" and it was as if God said, "I'm glad you asked honey!"

1 Peter 2: 23  He did not retaliate when He was insulted. When He suffered, He did not threaten to get even. He left His case in the hands of God, who always judges fairly.

Wow Jesus really is the perfect example! :) And He leaves His case in the hands of God, who always judges fairly! My soul just perks up to those words and says, "ABBEY!!! God wants you to give Him your burdens! He will deal with those that have hurt you, and He will hold onto your heart during that hurt! You're not in this alone! WOOT WOOT!" God's word is full of promises and explanations! I praise God for who He is and what He has done for me, for us! I am not left in the dark wondering how to deal with this pain or wondering who I can turn to. Clearly God is not silent when His children are hurting! Just look at what He showed me today while I wallowed in self pity! God is willing to show you His grace and power if you but look :) :) This wasn't a coincidence people!!

This is a quote from "Jesus Calling" that I just so happen to read today of all days:

"I see straight through you, into the depths of your being. There is no place for pretense in your relationship with Me. REJOICE in the relief of being fully understood. Talk with Me about your struggles and feelings of inadequacy.... Remember that your relationship with Me is saturated in grace."

No words can describe how God makes me feel. He cuts straight to the matter of my heart and reaches out to me through His word. God is alive and in me. I don't have to go through this life alone :)

Thank you sweet Father for hearing my prayers and for answering them! Thank you for blessing me with your presence, for never leaving me. Jesus you are the same yesterday, today, and forever! In you I can put all of my trust because you will never suddenly change or leave. You are my rock dear God. Thank you for holding onto my heart and for all the plans you have for my life. You are more awesome than we know!

I pray that you all have a blessed week and that God works in your heart!

Much love,

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Beginning to understand the Ultimate Sacrifice

Have you ever thought about the God's sacrifice? What it meant to give up His son? I've been thinking about it a lot lately. Originally my thought had always been, ya He gave His son, but He knew He'd see him again.... how could that really be a sacrifice? It's funny how a single circumstance can change your perspective. For anyone reading this blog and doesn't know, my mom was taken home to heaven about 3 weeks ago. Her death has really got me thinking about heaven and has made me realize that our God is truly Mighty to Save! Because of Him I get to see my mom again! I'm not cut off from her for all eternity! It's a wonderful thing to know when you lose someone you truly love! But you know, even though I KNOW with out the shadow of a doubt that I will see her again (because she had a strong faith in God and she followed Him like you wouldn't believe!), it still really pains me to not be able to just call her up or jump in my car and head on over to watch the cooking channel and talk about life. Now I know this isn't something God and Jesus did... well at least I don't think so? But they were (are) still Father and Son! God knew He'd see His son again, but He still had to go 33 years without His son. And not only did Jesus live on earth for 33 years but he was in the end brutalized and hung on a cross. At least I know that my mom is in an amazing place, a place that I can't even begin to dream about! God sent His son to a sin infested cruel world! He knew His son wasn't going to a place of sunshine and beauty. He knew His son wasn't going to be accepted by many. And more importantly He knew that His son was going to suffer and be murdered.

I'm not a parent so I can't imagine exactly how hard it would be to allow my child to go through torture even if I knew they'd be okay in the end, but I've seen enough to know that if I had a child I would want to do everything I could to protect them and I would rather they not have to go through hurt even if it was for the greater good. I don't believe that God is numb and didn't hurt when His son hurt. I don't believe that God just sat there in Heaven and thought "Hm, oh right this is the day that my son is going to have nails pounded into his hands and his feet. Well I'll talk to him about it later." God is loving! There's no way He just sat through that! His son was dying! And for what!? Me, you, everyone and their sinful little lives. It's a BIG deal! Yes God knew the end result, but that doesn't mean that made Him uncaring or unfeeling.

My mom's death has been hard on me, but it has brought so much good for me as well. I now understand a bit more how even though God knew what was going to happen and He knew He'd see Jesus again, it's still hard to say goodbye to someone you love. Our God is so amazing! Unfortunately I have no words that truly describe Him... but I can't wait to see my savior face to face and just worship Him with all that I am! When my day comes you can be sure that I am going home to be with Him... and we can be sure of that because Jesus made it possible. Thank you SO much Jesus for giving your life! And thank You God for giving up your son for me! I can't even begin to fathom the amount of love you have for me! All I can do is Thank You!

with love,

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Nothing much... wait what am I saying!!!

When I first decided to start this blog I made myself promise that I would never allow myself to be fishing for something to say. Instead I want to write only when I Really have something to say!

Having that said, I was doing my devotion on prayer* today  and one of the verses that was in todays reading was Hebrews 4:12. Before I go onto what that was let me share with you real quick my thought process on this. As I read the verse and wrote it in my journal I thought, "wow this is a pretty good verse!" It had me thinking. As I went on to write down my observation of the verse and a way to apply it in my life** I started wondering if I should write this on the blog. I asked myself, "Is this truly worthy of being on the blog, or am I just using it as a reason to write today?" Because like I said I don't want to just be writing to see my own words! I can't stress this enough! None of what I say is me saying "Wow look what I found," or "Look at what I came up with!" Instead I want you to read this and say, "Wow look at what God is showing this girl!" So there I was wondering if this was worth posting about... and then I hit myself on the forehead and said, "Abbey! This is God's word and it is speaking into your very soul in a VERY real way! Of course this is worth it!"

So anyways (I told you I'm a bit scatterbrained and long winded! I get it from my dad :) Hebrews 4:12 says:
For the word of God is full of living power. It is sharper than the sharpest knife, cutting deep into our innermost thoughts and desires. It exposes us for what we really are. (NLT) 

                                                                Or a more literal translation
For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. (NKJV)

First thing that struck me is, THE WORD OF GOD IS LIVING AND POWERFUL!!! Woo Whoo!!! It's not some boring old history book people! It's living and powerful! But honestly this isn't what really got me thinking. What really got me thinking was as the NLT says, "It exposes us for what we really are." When I read that I thought, wow that sounds really scary! Why on earth would anyone want to be fully exposed for what they truly are?  Wouldn't people just rather live an ignorant life and not know how sinful and awful they are? And to be honest that's exactly how I lived for the last 20 years. I always came up with excuses like, "I don't like reading the Bible because it's so BORING!" or  "Eh the Bible wont really help me." But in all honesty I was afraid that I would see just how sinful I was, and even worse, I would realize I had to change. But you know what? Now as I dig into God's word and see all the Hope and Love that has been etched into it I realize this isn't a death sentence! The Bible isn't tying my down to dreaded rules! NO! God's word is freeing me!! I'm no longer tied down by sin! Yes I still struggle with sin, but now I know it IS sin and God is willing to help me break free from it! No longer do I have to cry out, "Why am I like this! Why do I do the things I do!?" Because I know it is sin which drives my life and emotions into the ground! And I have Jesus Christ on my side rooting for me to break free from it. Not only that but I have God's handy dandy survival guide right at my finger tips! Following God's "rules" is the most freeing thing I have ever done in my life!

Thank you Heavenly Father for the most amazing gifts, your son and your word! With them my life on this earth is complete! Life will be hard, but I have built my foundation on you and even through the toughest storms I will not be moved because you are my rock and my fortress! Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Well everyone I pray that God reaches your heart in some real way through this! Have a safe weekend! More snow YUCK! Oh well there's a reason :)

Much love,

*By Wendy Blight if anyone is interested. It's awesome! Her website is
** This is called the S.O.A.P. method and will more than likely be explained in my next post