Sunday, December 4, 2011

Parental Pride

John 1:6-9
6 "There was a man sent from God whose name was John. 7 He came as a witness to testify concerning that light, so that through him all might believe. 8 He himself was not the light; he came only as a witness to the light."

I have been thinking a lot about my unborn daughter today. She has been especially active and I have enjoyed feeling her move around as I wrote a paper and sat in church. I feel so blessed to have her within me.

Lately I’ve been having problems sleeping, so I’ve begun daydreaming until I fall asleep (counting sheep doesn’t work for me). As I lay in bed last night trying to fall asleep I imagined what my daughter will be like. Not what she will be like as a baby, but as an adult. I dreamt up her wedding, and prayed for her future husband. I dreamt of what she may look like, and how much she will love her daddy. But mostly I imagined how she will love God.

I was just daydreaming, but I can’t describe the pride I felt as I imagined our daughter giving her heart to the Lord and telling others about him. It made me wonder about how much joy Zechariah and Elizabeth must have felt watching their son grow.

This is the same Zechariah that temporarily lost his voice after doubting Gabriel’s proclamation that he would have a son. I know he and Elizabeth would have been more than proud of any child, but their child was prophesied about as the one who will clear the way for the Messiah. According to John, he was there to testify and witness about the Messiah. He was so popular people actually thought he was the Messiah.

I wonder about the pride they felt as their son learned the Jewish traditions. I also wonder if they got to see him as an adult. I wonder if they were there when he baptized the true Messiah. If so I can’t imagine the pride they felt as he lowered his earthly cousin, but his heavenly savior, into the water and raised his sinless body from the river.

I wonder how often Elizabeth prayed that her son wouldn’t get caught up in his own popularity. I wonder if she ever had to remind him that he was not the important one, but God was. I wonder if she ever felt inferior while raising the man who was to testify to the living Messiah.

I am so excited that I get to pray for my daughter. I’ve already begun praying for her salvation. I can’t wait until the day she tells me that Jesus is living within her. I know that moment will be one of the greatest moments of my life, and I feel blessed that I get to teach my daughter about Christ, and live an example of a Christian life for her.

Dear God, thank you for giving us parents to learn from in the bible. Help us to remember that the greatest gift we can ever give a child is a personal relationship with You. Thank you so much for calling us to share Your love with the world. We love you! Amen

God's Will

This morning I realized that almost everyone I know is in the place of waiting on God. Even if they are beginning new things in one aspect of life, they are waiting on God in another. At first I wondered if it would ever stop; if we would ever not be waiting on God to do something, and then I realized I don’t want it to stop.
The moment I am no longer waiting on God is the moment I am in Heaven with Him. It means He has finished with me on earth, and I’m not ready for that yet. I want to see more people come to know Him. I want to teach others about His love. I want to see victories in the lives of other Christians.
During church we were given our purpose. “I raised you up for this very purpose, that I might display my power in you and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth.” (Romans 9:17). My purpose is to bring Glory to God and to proclaim His name in all the earth. I know I personally will not proclaim His name in all the earth, but maybe through writing about Him, His name will be proclaimed by new believers.
I don’t have any idea what God has planned for me, but I do know that it will be all about Him if I let it. I believe He wants me to write about Him, so I will continue to share His word through this blog.
 I want to encourage all believers to listen to God and not to hesitate when He asks you to do something. He will never force you to do anything, but remember that if you don’t do something He asks, He will eventually ask someone else to do it. Don’t miss a chance to serve the Lord.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Lying in the Valley

I have to say something more about God accomplishing His plans in His ways. Earlier this week we were shocked to find out Cameron didn’t get a job he had applied for. He had basically been told he got it, and then he received a phone call saying he didn’t. He didn’t not get the job because of anything he did, if anything they said he was overqualified.
Anyway, the why doesn’t matter, what does is that it hurt. It hurt bad! We had really thought this was God’s way of giving us the insurance we so badly need for our newborn. Well, it wasn’t. We had been obedient in our timing of having a child, even though we didn’t understand about the insurance, but all of a sudden we couldn’t see how it was going to happen. We felt like I imagine Mary feeling about Christ being born in Bethlehem. We knew God had a plan…and we sincerely thanked Him for that plan, but it was still hard not to ask “how will we get insurance for our baby.”
There are reasons she can’t be on my insurance, and Cameron can’t get a personal policy, so he’s gone without health insurance for a little over a year. But yesterday he came home and told me his boss hired a group insurance specialist to come to the office to show their options. Today, we found out that we WILL be offered group insurance! We don’t know about the price, but we trust that God will take care of that! He provides all of our needs, and today we were honored to see Him providing for our needs in a situation when just two days ago we couldn’t imagine how He would meet them.
Today I am grateful that Cameron didn’t get the job for a big reason: if he had, I wouldn’t have been able to see God making an impossible situation possible. I told my dad, sometimes it’s nice to be thrown off a mountain, because you land in a valley. It’s the best feeling in the world to lie in the grass next to my Jesus and see the magnificence of his works rolling by like clouds in the sky!

God's Census

“1 In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. 2 (This was the first census that took place while[a] Quirinius was governor of Syria.) 3 And everyone went to their own town to register.” – Luke 2:1-3
Back to the Christmas theme today! Sorry it’s taken so long to get back on track.
This little passage means to world to me! In Micah it was prophesied that the Messiah would be born in Bethlehem (Micah 5:2), and this verse in Luke tells us how God accomplished that. Much of the time I don’t understand how God is doing something. I know I’ve said this a lot lately, but God is really revealing His infinite power to me in this area.
I’ll be honest, I don’t like it when I know that God is going to accomplish something, but I don’t understand how. I’m sure Mary had some of the same questions running through her mind. Mary and Joseph lived in Nazareth, not Bethlehem…so how was this prophecy going to be fulfilled? I know this question would have worried me to no end if I were her. But, God had that problem all figured out (haha, He knew from the beginning of time how He was going to accomplish this).
Not only does the fact that God had it all planned out amaze me, but how He did it is amazing. Luke tells us he had Caesar Augustus order a census…and then adds that “this was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.” WOW! Not only did God use an ungodly man, a ROMAN, to accomplish His will, but apparently this was a rare thing.
This touched me deeply today, because it let me know god will accomplish His will in ways we can never imagine. I know that His ways are not our ways (Isaiah 55:8), but it is incredible to really see how he can use such unlikely circumstances to fulfill his promise!
Lord, thank you for using ordinary circumstances to accomplish Your will! Thank you for being the one who gives all power to the leaders over us (Romans 13:1). Thank you for always accomplishing Your will, and for allowing us to play a part in that. In Your name I pray, Amen.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Praise You In The Storm

God knows His plans. The entire time Cam went through this job interview process we have prayed that if this was not God’s will that we would not get it. We found out this afternoon it was not God’s will.
This job seemed to be an answered prayer, Cameron was almost a shoe in, but God had other plans. We thought we saw how God was going to financially take care of our newborn’s medical care, by providing her with insurance. But, God knew better.
With as surprised as I am, I take comfort that God is not surprised at all. He knew our heart’s cry was for His will to be done. That above all we wanted His provision. He knows we don’t want to take a step without His guidance, so he guided us.
Max Lucado tweeted something that resonates deeply with me today. He asked, “Do you see closed doors as interruptions of your plans, or indications of God’s plan?” Well, today I choose to see this door as an indication of God’s plans.
As much as it hurts right now, I know that God has a plan…and that thought is exciting. I know that there is something bigger and better in store for my husband and our little family. It may not be financially bigger or better, but spiritually it will be. If it’s nothing more than teaching us even more how to rely on Him, what better thing could it be?
We have been through this before. We have been asked to step out in faith, and we have. Once again we are standing on the water like Peter, but though the waves may come up around us, we refuse to lose sight of Who really matters.
This is God’s time. We know that He has a plan for us. He has a plan to prosper us. He wants to give us a hope and future (Jeremiah 29:11). We will trust in Him and we refuse to lean on our oh-so-limited earthly understanding. (Proverbs 3:5-6). We will spend time worshipping our Lord through this, because all we can have is gratitude that He has allowed a little pain now, so that we can experience BIG victory later!
Thank you for your prayers today! I plan to get back to the Christmas stories tomorrow, but tonight I will spend time worshipping my Lord and loving on my husband.

Prayers for Cameron

I have a wonderful husband! He is unlike any man I’ve ever met. He is the most devoted husband and father (already) that I think exists. He is SO wonderful! He has taken care of me this entire pregnancy and he is just wonderful.
Today he needs your prayers. He has a big job interview (I guess every job interview is big). He has wanted this job for three years, and it finally came open. He has worked diligently towards advancing his career in order to better support his family.
This job would include a pay raise, but most importantly it would give us health insurance. Right now I am on a health plan, but it will not cover our baby when she comes, which could leave a very large hospital bill. Also, he doesn’t have insurance at all, and can’t get accepted through a private policy. He has not seen a doctor in over a year (when our previous insurance expired), and I know it would take a lot of stress off of him if her knew his entire family were medically covered.
He has a lot of good references for this position, but the most important reference is God. We do want this job, VERY BADLY, but we understand that if he doesn’t get it, it is God’s will. We want His will above ours. So, today, please pray that this is His will and that Cam’s nerves will be calmed as he waits for this interview.
I want to see my husband’s smiling face tonight knowing he got the job, or at least did all he could do. Thank you in advance for your prayers! God bless, and hey, if you have any prayer requests please leave them in the comments section. I will make sure to check them throughout the day and pray over each item.

I will post the Christmas devotional this afternoon.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Satan's Lies

This is completely off the Christmas topic, but it’s something I feel I need to share. Lately I feel as though the enemy is attacking me in every way he can. It’s as though he knows I won’t let just one of his tactics get to me, so he’s trying a bunch of them at once.
Somehow, just this week, he has convinced me that I am worthless, ugly, undesirable, unlovable, and unforgivable. I know these things are not true, but after a day full of attacks I started to believe the lies. The attacks weren’t necessarily large things, in fact individually I wouldn’t have been bothered at all, but all together they made me miserable.
I know hormones probably played a large role in this. My third trimester is hitting me hard, and the enemy even used that to bring me down. Because I was tired and didn’t want to cook, he convinced me that I am a horrible wife and that I was not taking care of my family.
On top of the negativity he made me feel, he attacked me with stress. I am naturally more tired than I should be just because I’m pregnant. But, it’s also the last few weeks of school, so most of my professors are really hitting us hard. I have two large papers due in the next two weeks, and both make up large portions of final grades. Since I haven’t started either one I felt extremely stressed.
After a good cry I realized what was happening. I saw the lies the enemy was telling me, and decided it was time to combat them the only way I can: with the Word. Christ used the Word while battling with temptation in the desert. His fight with Satan was much different than mine, but any fight with Satan can be won just by pulling out the Truth that is the Word.
First, I realized that I am chosen by God. Ephesians 1:4 tells us He chose us before the even created the world. Wow! Think about how valuable that makes us! God, the very creator of the universe took time to CHOOSE me before he even made the world! He wanted us to be His children. He paid an enormous price and died on a cross, suffered incomparable pain, just to have a relationship with us! WOW!
As if that weren’t enough the bible tells me that I can do everything through Him who gives me strength (Philippians 4:13). I’m sure you’ve heard this verse before. If you’ve watched college or professional football in the last few years you almost certainly have, but with as many times as I have heard it, it brought life to me. Yes, the last few weeks of school will be stressful, but God called me to go to school, and God placed this baby inside of me. He will give me the strength to finish strong!
I sat down today and made a plan of action. Just having a detailed to-do list made me see how manageable the next few weeks can be. I will trust in the Lord and remain in His Word, and I know that the next time the enemy tries to discourage me I will be able to refute his claims.

Zechariah's Story

Luke 1:18-20
18 Zechariah asked the angel, “How can I be sure of this? I am an old man and my wife is well along in years.”
 19 The angel said to him, “I am Gabriel. I stand in the presence of God, and I have been sent to speak to you and to tell you this good news. 20 And now you will be silent and not able to speak until the day this happens, because you did not believe my words, which will come true at their appointed time.”

Keeping with the topic of obedience, today I want to introduce Zechariah. Though the mention of Zechariah is very small, he is one of my favorite characters from the bible.
While Zechariah was serving as a priest he got some of the most shocking news of his life. He was chosen to go into the temple and to offer up the incense to the Lord. I know whoever was chosen to go beyond the curtain had to wear bells so the others would know he was still alive. This task, as honorable as it was, still must have been overwhelming…almost frightening. He was entering the holiest place there was. He was going to stand before God and offer up incense and prayers. I can’t imagine all the thoughts going through his mind.
When Gabriel appears to Zechariah we discover one of the thoughts floating around in the temple. Along with the corporate prayers and incense, Zechariah was sending up a deeply personal prayer. A prayer as much for his wife as for him: Lord, please let us have a child.
I know this prayer well. In fact, until about 8 months ago it was my constant prayer. I don’t know how it is for a man, but for a woman the desire for a child can be nearly excruciating. It is miserable to watch so many around you taking part in one of the most natural processes on earth, one that you so badly wish to experience, but month after month discover you’re not pregnant. Thankfully it didn’t take long for my prayer to be answered, but for Zechariah and Elizabeth it took a long time. In fact, so long that Zechariah had almost given up hope.
There are two things I really love about Zechariah. First, that he was thinking about his and his wife’s desires while he was before God. This shows just how human he was, and that his human prayer was heard…well that is just about as uplifting as it gets. Next, I love his response to Gabriel. He, like Joseph, sees the angel; but, instead of immediate belief, he questions him. How can this be? That is so like me. Okay God, you say I am going to have something, but how?
I just have to remember that the how doesn't matter, it's not for me to know.What does matter is that God WILL accomplish His promises. I should have no doubt that God will do something He says He will. He is not a liar, He doesn't tease, He is God. He only says what He means.
God, thank You for accomplishing Your plan through ordinary people. Thank You for the examples You give us from the Bible. Thank you for your patience when I don’t understand, and forgive me for thinking I need to. Thank you for always fulfilling Your promises. Help me to trust You as I wait to see Your will. - Amen

Monday, November 28, 2011

Joseph's Obedience

Since Christmas is less than a month away I wanted to go ahead and get my heart in the right place. It’s so easy to get distracted with all the shopping to get done. It seems like December is the busiest month of the year. For me it means not only the Christmas shopping, but my husband’s birthday, and finals. And, this year it means just a few more weeks until baby Goodwin should arrive.
I don’t want to get caught up in all the meaningless parts of the month, when the true focus should be celebrating Christ’s birth, and the ultimate gift: His death. So, for the remainder of November and all of December I will focus on a different part of the Christmas story.
In Matthew 1 we learn that Joseph had to adopt Christ as his own.
18 This is how the birth of Jesus the Messiah came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be pregnant through the Holy Spirit. 19 Because Joseph her husband was faithful to the law, and yet did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly.
 20 But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. 21 She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.”
Sometimes God asks us to do things we don’t want to do. Actually, it seems that He asks us to make difficult choices much more often than easy ones. To say Joseph’s choice was difficult is more than an understatement. He was highly respected in his community. He was known as a Godly man, and all of a sudden his fiancée is pregnant.
Joseph had the right to have Mary killed. If he didn’t have her stoned, it probably appeared as though he was the father of her child. No one was going to believe Mary and Joseph hadn’t shared a marital bed. How was he supposed to prove she was a virgin?
His love for Mary showed, since he didn’t have her punished. Since an angel had to appear to him to convince him to stay with her, I strongly doubt he even partially believed she was carrying the Messiah. I can’t imagine the jealousy he experienced as he suspected his fiancée had an affair.
But, the moment he woke up after the angel appeared to him, he obeyed God. I wish I would be so quickly obedient. Yes, he did have a heavenly being actually appear to him to further his belief, and I am sure the appearance of an angel would quicken my obedience. But, I shouldn’t need that sort of encouragement. I love my God, and when He asks me to do something I should do it, without hesitation.
Lord, help me be more like Mary and Joseph. Help me be obedient to Your will. Allow me to remember that I don’t have to understand why or how something will happen; I just need to trust You and act in accordance to Your will. Thank you for this season when we can focus on the gift of Your son, and our salvation. Amen.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Recent Life Lessons

                I know I need to update, but I don’t necessarily have a specific verse today. God is teaching me so much right now. I am having trouble figuring out where to begin.
                I guess I’ll start with this pregnancy. I’m not a patient person, but thankfully God is working on that through the pregnancy. I guess that is a good place to start since children take more patience than I can comprehend.
                Being impatient hopefully implies that I don’t like to wait on things. Well, pregnancy is nothing but a waiting game. At first it was waiting to hear the heartbeat for the first time, or see the ultrasound for the first time, then to find out the sex, and to feel her move. Now, I’m just waiting for her to come. There are only three months left, but those three month seem like an eternity at times. Of course, there also feels like there’s not enough time to prepare at times.
                The last few months have been extremely busy for us. This has made the waiting more bearable. It seems that our weekends have been filled since football season began. If we’re not at a game (which means there is an away game that we still have to watch on TV) then we’re travelling to see family, or we have another even at home. Some weekends we travel and have big events. We are also very busy during the week, so there is not much time to rest. Actually, there is no time to rest.
                I love all of the things we are doing, but living at a constant 90 mph pace is exhausting. Last weekend I looked around my house and realized it is not as clean as I want it. So I started cleaning, and nearly broke down with exhaustion. Then a verse from Psalm popped into my mind, “He lets me rest in green meadows; he leads me beside peaceful streams.” Tears came to my eyes. Where are my green meadows? Then I thought of all the upcoming weekends that weren’t yet filled. I went inside, sat next to Cameron, and asked him to guard those weekends for me. We are both determined to say, “no” to anything that will interfere with rest on those weekends.
                This brings me to another lesson I’ve learned recently. My husband is incredible. He is so wonderful to be willing to guard my weekends (and in turn my sanity). I look at my life and I can’t stop seeing how incredibly blessed I am. It makes me want to scream with joy. Sure, things aren’t always on a happy tone (seriously I was just crying about not having enough time), but things are always blessed.
If we didn’t rely on God I’m sure we’d have a different perspective. Learning to live on one income is tough, to say the least. But, God is providing. Even if it means we don’t get everything we want, or that we can’t do everything we want, we still have everything we need (and then some). I am so grateful for a God who cares about all the little things in our lives. And, I am grateful that he made Cameron to be the man to guide me. It is easy to be confident in our choices when I know that my husband is following God.
There are so many lessons that I won’t go into right now. I do want to leave you with this. Don’t be like me and ignore the need to rest. Don’t overlook the green meadows and peaceful streams. Seek refuge in God when you need rest. And don’t forget to give Him thanks, even when it seems no rest is near.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Trusting God

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.” Proverbs 3:5-6

I am struggling as I write this post. It’s amazing how quickly we can be humbled. I have a problem with looking at the lives of others and wishing I had what they have. Whether they had just bought a house, or had been promoted, if I felt they had anything that was missing from my life I was jealous. Don’t get me wrong, I was truly thrilled for them, but I was selfish and I hurt for myself.
                Tonight God reminded me that He has an individual plan for each of us. That I am not to want to path He has given to someone else, only the path He has put me on. A very sweet woman announced today that she was pregnant, but she had a miscarriage. I have admired and envied her since we were little girls. Her life always seemed so easy, so beautiful. She was physically pretty, and she had a lot of fun things. As we got older her beauty grew and she married a wonderful, caring man. I saw all the fun trips they took, and the things they purchased, and I envied them.
                I felt like I was punched in the stomach when I found out about her miscarriage. Immediately the question came into my mind: why would God let me keep my baby but take hers away? I don’t ask this out of fear of Him taking my baby. I truly believe I will be holding her in just about 20 weeks. But I don’t understand what I did to deserve her when I have so many wonderful friends who have lost children.
                At that thought I felt as though God was whispering in my ear that I did nothing to deserve her, just as my friends did nothing to lose their child. It is just His plan. Though it hurts, He has a greater good in mind. And just as quietly as he whispered this truth, he whispered another: “I have a plan for you. Don’t compare your life with anyone else’s. I have chosen this path for you. You will encounter your own pains and your own joys. Just be content with the life I’ve given you. Live that life for Me and you will have everything you need.”
                I sit here and my heart breaks for my friend. But I take comfort in the fact that she is comforted by God’s promises. We both know she will some day meet her baby in Heaven. We may never understand why her baby didn’t survive, but we know to trust God and to allow Him to lead us down any path He chooses.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Do Everything For Him

And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” Colossians 3:17

I read an article in the Oklahoman about Ryan Broyles (you can read the article by Jenni Carlson here: If you don’t know him, Ryan is the starting wide receiver at the University of Oklahoma. He is a star player, but this article wasn’t about his expectations for the upcoming season, not really. It was about his relationship with Christ.

In the article Ryan mentions a verse that has shaped his work ethic: Colossians 3:17. While reading about his passion for Christ, and especially this verse, I was convicted. I felt the question in my soul, “What in my life reflects this passion?”
If I’ talking about Christ my passion shows. When I study His Word or sing His praises, my faith sparkles, but now that school has started how often do my classmates and professors get to see this passion? Sure, I’m writing a Christian blog, but only those who read it will hopefully see my fire.
So, how do I live this passion? I found the answer in Colossians 3:17. I have to do everything for the Lord. It sounds easy, but already I’m intimidated. I know I can’t just claim it, I have to do it. I must picture Christ as my professor, my boss, and even my husband.
How often do I wait until the last minute to write a paper? How often do I not read assigned pages? How often do I take five minutes to check my email at work? If I truly did all things for Christ I would never do any of these things. I have to purposefully do everything for Him.
I can easily see danger in this. If I allow it living Colossians 3:17 could be a slippery slope into the dungeon of perfectionism. I take comfort in that God knows me. Psalm 39:1 says that God has “examined my heart and knows everything about me.” Psalm 39:13 says He made me the way I am. He doesn’t just know my weaknesses (that I tend to procrastinate, that I am not the smartest student in the world, that I am not the best writer in the world), he created these weaknesses.
I don’t want to do everything perfectly…well, I do, but I know that is impossible. I just want to do everything the best I can. For me that means I won’t procrastinate when it comes to school. I will be more dedicated while I’m at work. I will write in my blog more than once a week. Most importantly, I will dedicate my day to God by setting time apart for Him. 
I am excited to see what God can do with my life when it is completely dedicated to Him.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

The Dreaded Poochy Lip

Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” (NIV)

“But why?” That’s the question my 3-year-old niece kept going back to. I hadn’t seen her for 2 months and now, suddenly, she wants to know “why”. Not why it’s been so long since we’d seen her, but why we loved her so much, and why I wear high heels, and why I wear a mustard seed around my neck. Towards the end of answering her questions I started to laugh. She had so many questions and she needed an answer to all of them. At one point I didn’t give her an answer so she started to pout. Her bottom lip must have been stuck out a mile. I started singing a song my mother used to sing to me when I pouted, the “poochy lip” song. That immediately brought a smile to her face and all was well again.

A few years ago I was at church and it was pressed upon me that I was supposed to start school. I made some bad decisions when I graduated High School and didn’t ever start college. I had a good job and really don’t need a college degree so I hadn’t really considered going to school. I tossed the idea around to my husband and a few spiritual advisers and asked them to pray about the idea. All of them came back with a resounding yes, so my decision was made and I began getting all the information I needed to enroll at the local Community College. Then I stalled. I got busy being a new wife, football season started which meant regular trips to Norman on the weekends and I had many added responsibilities at work so I didn’t have much time to think about it.

A few months later God spoke to me. He told me He wanted me to give my life over to Him. I was to devote everything to His purpose. It took me a week to commit to His call. As soon as I did I was given the next step. God wanted me to share my faith more openly. So the next morning (Monday) I went to work and spoke openly about Him and His love. I didn’t care if my boss heard me talking about church or asking others if I could pray for them. I was a receptionist/administrative assistant, so I spoke to most everyone who walked through the doors. People commented on how pleasant I was and I wasn’t reprimanded like I had feared. I shared with my friends and family and that is where I felt the persecution. A friend cut off all contact as well as a member of my family. I was very hurt by this. I had said nothing negative to either. I invited one to go to church with me (because she said she was looking for a church), and told the other that there were medallions with the Ten Commandments on them in the Supreme Court room.  I was very hurt about their disregard to our friendship and then God reassured me that it “was not me they were rejecting, but Him” (1 Samuel 8:7). That was when I started asking God, Why?

The holidays were right around the corner. Christmas is my husband’s favorite time of the year. We listened to “White Christmas” on our honeymoon in August. Unfortunately my husband and I were almost dreading it this year. Mainly because this was my husband’s family’s first Holiday Season without his dad, who died in a weather-related accident in January, and because we had very little money so we wouldn’t be able to afford gifts. The money issue really affected us. His family LOVES giving gifts. For the most part they are rather well off so they don’t have to worry about finances, but we aren’t. Every penny we get is allocated to something. We started making a plan on how to buy meek Christmas gifts and were excited that we had a way, and then due to a banking mishap our savings was diminished and then, just when we thought we had a way my car began sliding around on the dry roads. I didn’t get into a wreck, but in Oklahoma you can’t drive in winter without traction! After some research on how much tires were going to cost, once again I asked, why?

The same week I discovered that I needed new tires, I was reminded that God wanted me to go to school. I pushed away the fear that was keeping me from calling my Alma Mater and getting my transcript and within minutes had an appointment to pick it up at the end of the week! I got off the phone and was lightheaded with a mixture and excitement, nerves and panic! I immediately called my husband and mother and they were both jubilant for me. As soon as the whirlwind in my head quieted down I found myself asking, why?

I sat back and asked, “God, why? Why do you want me to do all these things? Why are you placing all these challenges before me? What is the purpose of it? What is the end result? Why am I going to school? Why?”

his version of the “poochy lip” song. “For I know, the plans I have for you”…My heart began to smile. My eyes began to burn with tears. If He thinks that the plans are for good!!! WOW! My mind couldn’t comprehend how good He is and the good He has planned for me! I was awestruck.

Two and a half years later I can see how some of His plans have come about, but there is still a lot for Him to accomplish. It seems that every day I have a new reason to ask, why. I still don’t know the end result. I don’t know why He wants me to do the things He asks, except for the purpose of His glory. What I do know is that the next time I’m tempted to stick out my bottom lip I will hear God singing in my ear, “For I know…”