Thursday, October 25, 2012

Lots of Prayers

There are so many things (prayer requests and desires for my friends and family) that have been floating around in my mind and have been on my heart a lot lately... I thought I might share them.

I know that by praying constantly, I'm less likely to constantly worry.

If you really believe in the power of prayer and would like to lift these up as well, I’m sure everyone would be very appreciative!

do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. - Philippians 4:6-7 

People to pray for:

April- as she had been struggling with some severe health issues for many years now… for comfort, ease in pain and symptoms, wisdom for the doctors, encouragement for her and her family

Lauren and her husband John as they are adjusting to a beautiful newly baby girl and a spunky toddler that has been recently diagnosed with autism… for financial peace, patience, wisdom, time management, energy and encouragement... (just some things I think they might struggle with)

Sarah and her husband, Josh and son, Micah - as they prepare to meet their little girl, Evie within the coming month and prepare to lay her to rest. Of course we’d love a miracle though.  ...For quick healing for Sarah physically after delivery, for encouragement, for emotional healing and a peace that surpasses understanding through all of this, especially during the grieving process over the next months, years…  (for Martin and Rieke families as well) 

a friend who is in a very transitional period of life… for energy, patience with the little people she teaches, for her family’s decisions and her own… that God would make the path clear for her and encourage her heart a lot along the way.

my bestie Emily, her current job hunt and other stuff...

my best friend in VA beach and her husband and her mom- as they prepare to move to another state (far away) in the next several months.  They have a lot to do with buying a house out of state, renting out their house here, packing, work, travel and stress (which is causing some heath concerns) etc... 

a friend that is healing from a break-up… and figuring out her direction in life and growing more in Christ.

a friend that is making ministry and college decisions… as her choices have an impact on future plans and goals and desires, travel, finances etc…

a friend who is in the midst of several decisions that are time sensitive… for  communications between a current employer and a possible job offer… for wisdom, clear communication, financial stability and peace in whatever decision is agreed upon  …and all the other things that a new job and potential move could bring.

a friend and her husband who are preparing to meet their first little one in a short few of months

a friend who is grieving the loss of a friend, battling lots of emotion and for her boyfriend who is grieving his loss as well.

friends who are holding down the fort while their loved ones are deployed.

friends who recently lost a new family addition and are processing through those emotions.

my Mom as she is trying to make ends meet and has been taking on the difficult job of taking care of someone with Alzheimer’s.

my Dad and Julie as he is working a lot of hours and as they are caring for and making decisions for an aging parent. 

my Sister as she has now entered the world of High School!  …and some unspoken requests that a big sister has for her baby sister.

our church family …as things have been softened and strengthened over the last couple of years... and for the people who consistently 'make it all happen'   …for energy, passion, strength, grace, perspective, truth…

our iD group... as we are all, at this time of life, kind of living in 'limbo'. We are just trying to prioritize and be the best example we can for Christ (wherever we are and in all that we are doing at the moment).

friends who are finishing up high school and making college plans

friends who are healing from break-ups 

friends who are working through their college course work while working full-time

friends who are making decisions regarding their careers and where they are going to plant roots in the near future

friends who are dealing with tough work environments, crazy co-workers or bosses, crazy hours

friends who are looking for employment

friends who have recently gotten engaged and are in the midst of wedding planning, and future planning as a couple

friends who are struggle with health issues and are seeking healing and answers


There seems to be so much going on in the fall in particular... with a new year of schooling, new jobs openings after the new fiscal year, deployments, new babies, losses, holidays and family gatherings.  Most good things even come with a good bit of stress…  so I just thought I’d share what’s been on my heart recently regarding those closest to me. 

Please keep Jed and I in prayer too as we are trying to figure out whether we (both or one of us) want to go back to school and get Master’s degrees and when we should go if we decide that it’s feasible and wise.  That something changes (for the better) with pay or position that will help us (from a financial perspective) to pay off our debts and plan for future and/or better our resumes in the future…
There are so many possibilities and potential paths for us to take right now.  We need to choose what’s best overall financially, what’s best for our relationship, for our family future, for our ministry (?- whatever that is and will be) 

Ultimately our concern isn’t about the money… it’s about prioritizing.  We want to be spiritually wise but we also need to be sensitive to the world/economy we are living in too.

Thanks, all.  <3

We trust that God’s got it all under control. He knows the perfect way to answer our prayers even when we don’t know what to ask for.

Friday, October 19, 2012

While I'm Waiting

A Simple Song. A Mature Perspective.

I wanted to share a portion of an article written by Joyce Meyer regarding how to wait on God. I know it's something I need to be reminded of consistently... 

Two Ways to Wait

All of us will wait passively, or we'll wait expectantly. A passive person hopes something good will happen and is willing to sit around waiting to see if it does. After a short time, he gives up, saying, "That’s it! I've waited and waited and nothing's happened." The passive person has a lot of wishbone but not much backbone!
The expectant person, on the other hand, is hopeful, believing the answer is just around the corner, due to arrive any minute. His belief is not a passive thing. His heart is full of hope, expecting his problem to be solved at any moment. He wakes up every morning expecting to find his answer. He may wait and wait, but suddenly what he’s been waiting for happens.

Expect It to Happen

It’s just like when a woman is pregnant; it's said that she is expecting a baby. She carries inside her the promise of a baby, and even though she can’t see it, she knows it's there. The moment she learns of her pregnancy, she begins to plan for her baby's arrival. She starts collecting items she'll need and busily gets the nursery ready. She actively prepares for the arrival of the baby because she knows the promise will be fulfilled—it's just a matter of time. She is expectant and she'll wait as long as it takes.
We know the word wait means "to expect" or "to look for." But remember, it also means "to serve" — just like a waiter waits on your table at a restaurant. Our act of waiting isn’t supposed to be spent sitting around passively hoping that something will happen sometime soon. I think this is particularly interesting.

Be Eager with Faith

Once we've asked God to answer a question or solve a problem, we need to be eagerly awaiting His answer. We need to be serving actively, aggressively and expectantly. When our hearts are eager to hear from God, He loves to rush in suddenly with His solution. In many cases this waiting period actually serves as a time of preparation for the answer. If God answered right away, many of us would be ill-prepared to handle His solution. 
Sometimes we find ourselves in such horrible messes that it's hard to imagine waiting one more second. But we need to keep waiting on God and trusting Him with a sweet and simple faith. Then, in a way we never could've figured out—God moves suddenly!  
When we are young, we are taught to look at the Who, What, When, Where, Why and How in order to find solutions. Most (or all) of these areas become huge question marks during our young years.  Most of the obvious facts are missing during times when we are trying to plan for our future and figure out what path to take. 

Who will I marry? Who should I be friends with? Who should I listen to? Who is truly wise? 

What should I do with my life?  What college? What major? What job? 

When should I go? When should I stay? When should I commit? When should I let go? When should I trust? When should I invest? When should I steer clear? When should I be realisticWhen should take risks? When should I accept help? When should I be independent? When should I give? When  should I save? 

Where should I be going? Where does God want me to be? Where do I want to be? Where do my parents want me to be?

Why? **insert any question here regarding past, present or future. Why now? Why me? Why did God allow this?

How do I get to where I want to be? How do I know where God wants me to be? How do I decide? How do I, and should I, prioritize? How will I afford this? How do I do this? 

I feel as though many of the questions that I face on a daily basis hinge on the When. 

I may not know what exactly or where I need to be, why I'm there or how to do something, but I typically have an easier time trusting God to direct my steps in those areas.   Perhaps it's because I can see God's provision when it comes to people and places and things, but not so much when it comes to His timing. 

How do we prepare for the unknown? How do we plan for things when we can't see the end goal? How do we know if the path we've chosen is right if we can't see the end result? 

We just do.  
We get out of bed every day.  We work hard. We do our best. We learn to say no to things that we know will hurt us and yes to those that help us grow.  We pray that God helps us distinguish between the two.  We are good stewards of the things we've been given. We don't compare ourselves to others.  We keep our options open. We investigate opportunities and pray that God closes the doors we aren't supposed to walk through.  We keep an attitude of thanks and focus on being content with what we have today, this moment.  

Easy to say.  Hard to live by. One of the keys though is prayer. We may not be able to entirely trust our decision making skills, given the many missing facts, but we simply have to trust that if we are constantly in prayer, God is entirely capable of directing our hearts and minds. 

My prayers typically go something like this...
Please God, help my heart and my mind to become more in tune with you. Help me to not let my emotions discourage me.  Help me to feel strong. Help me seek what you want for me and let go of the things that you don't want.  Help me to wait on your timing and truly trust in it's perfection.  

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Loving Comfort

Loving Comfort
A lovely someone stopped by this evening and dropped off a lovely bag of comfort items for me.

 It was so thoughtful, unexpected and kind  
 ...and if it weren't for my after work day 'coma' I probably would have cried.  It made me feel very loved and made a really rough day such much better!

In my pretty bag of comforts: 

1. A glorious heating pad of champions 
2. A cooling face mask for headache days
3. Chocolate 
4. Great smelling hand cream
5. A sweet little note

Jed tried to convince me to put the mask on so he could take a picture... but he wanted to know what it felt like and so... I decided he was a better model.  ;)   Then I told him he had to take it off because he was making me laugh so hard that it hurt. ha!

Now I'm all snuggled up on the couch with a fuzzy over-sized blanket, my new heating pad and some of my favorite (slightly bland and great for feeling icky) perogies.   Couldn't ask for a better end to the day.   

Thank you so much for your kindness. <3

Monday, October 15, 2012


I think this picture perfectly sums up how I've been feeling.  
Don't know how else to explain it... 

Love love love this song ...and thought I'd share my snuggle-up, snuggle-in, warm drink, rainy day theme song.
Click to Listen

Friday, October 5, 2012

Hold On

Last night I ran across this picture on pinterest and knew that I wanted to post it for today.

I know so many people who have been going through some serious spiritual trials recently.  I know of a few in particular who are really struggling to hold tight to their faith as their world is being shaken. It's so incredibly difficult in times of emotional choas to keep your head on straight. It's hard to still cling to the truth despite all the disappointments and questions in our minds. When our spirit is weak, it's so easy for us to fall away from God, to turn our backs and stop trusting. But weakness isn't a spiritual death senternce, it's a life-line... Because when we are at our weakest, God's grace and power can be revealed in us.

I will boast about a man like that, but I will not boast about myself, except about my weaknesses. But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
-2 Corinthians 12: 5, 9-10

I know of a few individuals who are taking it one day at a time, one step at a time, and for that I couldn't be prouder as a sister in Christ. Keep holding on. Keep pressing forward and looking up.  I know that I don't even know what to pray for most of the time, but I'm believing that God hears the cry of my heart and is working in my situation and in yours.

 In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express.
-Romans 8:26

  Anyway... I couldn't find an appropriate song for this post last night but my co-worker randomly came up to me this morning and told me about this song and how much she loves it. <3  I think it's perfect. Therefore, I think, it qualifies as the song of the day.

Click to Listen
Faith isn't the ability to believe long and far into the misty future.
     It's  simply taking God at His Word and taking the next step.
                                                                - Joni Erickson Tada

Monday, October 1, 2012


Uncertainty.  We’ve all dealt with it at one time or another.  Most of us are probably dealing with it right now.  Maybe we are uncertain about our future, our family, our finances. Uncertainty is one of those things in life that we generally expect but rarely know how to handle when it’s knocking at the door. Uncertainty can come in the form debt, a lost job or lessening work load, a new family addition, a strained relationship, the loss of a loved one, a new home, a changed plan, a new career, a sickness, weakness or a worsening economy.

Jed and I definitely know what it’s like to feel uncertain about our future. Every time something changes or we stay ‘stuck’, it feels as though a little bit of hope is ripped away.  We try to persevere despite being discouraged and we look for opportunities to aid us in our future. But I have to say that when one of our "open door" opportunities is slammed in our face, it hurts.  In fact, I think I'd rather have my fingers slammed inside of a doorframe than have that spark of hope distinguished. 

Last night, after finding out that our most recent hope of getting our loan payments reduced to a manageable amount (that would potentially provide us the ability to have a rent or mortgage payment, save for a down payment and hopefully eventually plan for a family) was no longer an option...  I had a brief mental meltdown.  I checked and rechecked, hoping I'd find something different. I dervished around the house for a few minutes and then, as soon as Jed hugged me (hugs are my kryptonite), I wept like a baby.  

Our conversation went something like this:

Lauren- *sobbing*
Jed- I know, babe.
Lauren- I'm just so *insert gasp for air* ...disappointed.
Jed- I know.  We just have to wait longer.  We just have to keep doing what we're doing.
Lauren- *tears*
Jed- Maybe God wants us to be a plate. 
Lauren-*insert wail to wake the neighbors*  ...but… I don't want to be a plate. *gasp* I'm in a china cabinet full of bowls.  I want to be a bowl too.
Jed- I know babe, I know. 

**This conversation may not make much sense to you but it was based on our, almost irritatingly applicable, sunday school message from that morning.  The topic was about the Potter and His clay. 

Being moldable isn't easy. 

Giving up the hope of being a bowl (if God wants you to be a plate) is almost unbearable at times. But I can honestly say that I believe that God is more than capable. He is good, giving, gracious, powerful, merciful, wonderful and loving. I also know that God is capable of working things out in ways we never could have imagined.  I’ve seen God's provision. I've heard of overwhelming peace and comfort during the hardest times and I’ve witnessed the power of prayer. I trust that he not only has the power to change our circumstances but he also has the power to change our hearts (if we let him).  I'm trusting that he can help me feel peaceful, content, hopeful, confident and loved.

In those moments when that last spark of hope seems to be distinguished, I have to realize that even if everything else goes awry, even if my life (as I know it - on earth) completely falls apart, even if my finances fail or my family is taken away, I have something wonderful to look forward to. There is something even more wonderful than the desires that I have for my future.  I have something even more worthwhile than family and friends, careers and money, church activities and service. 

I have hope in eternity. I hold tight to the promise that by being faithful on earth, I am storing up treasures in heaven. And though sometimes our hearts can’t fully comprehend the suffering, disappointment and uncertainties of life, it is comforting to know that our hearts can’t fully comprehend God's eternal goodness either.

Maybe with continued patience and perseverance, God will choose to bless us on earth in the way that we most desire... but maybe he will mold us into something new. I'm sure that if He does, He will certainly teach us to be the best darn plate anyone's ever seen! ;)   

My prayer is that God will continue to mold Jed and I together, keep us strong and bonded together, keep us pliable enough to accept his shaping and ultimately be strong enough to be used in whatever way He most desires.

Uncertainty is everywhere and it can be difficult to remain faithful but perhaps this mucky muddle we're in is really just the start of something beyond our understanding. Maybe it's something beautiful that's just taking shape. I'm going to choose to believe that it is.