Monday, October 18, 2010

It'll Be (more than) Alright! (Posted once before, but SO good!)

Wow. I'm ready to give up.

Have you ever felt that way? Ever felt like life is just too much sometimes? Like you want to pull your hair out and burn all your school books and skip all your classes and ditch all your jobs and forget about all of your commitments and throw a temper tantrum and cry till your heart hurts worse than it already does and laugh at all of your "problems" and "pains" and dig yourself a hole and never come out? Yeah ... me neither. ................ Ha ha ha ha!

Well, my mind feels like ALL of these things at the moment, but my heart is telling me to chill out and rest in God's peace. Ya know, if God wasn't so incredibly and entirely faithful, I WOULD have given up by now! Life is hard sometimes, isn't? Whether you've had all of your heart's deepest longings put on hold (yep, I'm saying put on hold, instead of lost - aren't you proud of me?!) or you have lost a loved one or you're battling depression or you're feeling hopeless or any other countless things that seem to go wrong in this life. There is hope! Hope in God's MIGHTY faithfulness! ... God has been pouring on His faithfulness ... pouring it into my life for so long! And I find myself griping and complaining - like tonight - I got home from a super long day at school and work and just spilled it all out for my mom to hear. I'm sure she was tired of listening long before half way through, but thank God she just listened ... and then said "it'll be alright." .... "It'll be alright." ... Those are such simple words, but don't you want to hear that every now and then? ... I do!

Tonight, I want to shout out a message of God's faithfulness to you AND TO ME! IT'LL BE ALRIGHT! ... Actually, it'll be MORE than alright! God promises that He will take care of us. And His EVERYDAY, NEVER-ENDING faithfulness reveals that He DOES take care of us - each and every day - each and every moment - with each and every breath of our lives. Some verses that God's been using in my life lately to reveal and instill His faithfulness are the following. Read these now. Read these later. Soak 'em up! For they are LIFE to your whole self!!!!

Psalm 73:25-26 --- "Whom have I in heaven but You? And earth has nothing I desire besides You. My flesh and my heart may fail, but GOD is the STRENGTH of my heart and my PORTION FOREVER!"

Psalm 62:7 --- "My salvation and my honor DEPEND on GOD; He is MY MIGHTY ROCK, MY REFUGE!"

Psalm 32:8 & 32:10b --- "I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you and watch over you. ... but the Lord's unfailing love surrounds the man who trusts in Him."

Proverbs 19:21 --- "Many are the plans in a man's heart, but it is the Lord's purpose that prevails."

Proverbs 3:5-6 --- "Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways, acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight."

Jeremiah 17:7-8 --- "But blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in Him. He will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit."

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.'"

2 Corinthians 4:16-18 --- "Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being RENEWED day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an ETERNAL GLORY that far outweighs them all. So we FIX OUR EYES not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is TEMPORARY, but what is unseen is ETERNAL."

I am writing this MORE as a comfort to myself! But ya'll might need some of this stuff too! :)

Keep trusting Jesus, Mical! Keep seeking Him and loving Him, Mical! Keep your eyes FIXED on Him, Mical! Keep at it, Mical! It'll be (MORE than) alright, Mical!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

GoG 286: The Mical Who Thinks She's Funny ...

Ya know those people who start telling a joke or something they think is funny but start laughing before they finish?

Umm ... yeah. I'm one of 'em.

Tonight, my parents and I were getting some dessert from The Porch ... we were sitting at the table, chatting about my mom's work day and my dad and I's dinner at McAlister's. At one point, I started to say something that I thought was funny. But as soon as the first word came out, I started laughing .... pretty hard. I could barely stop. And of course, my parents started laughing too. Probably thinking "what the heck? You didn't even finish ... you didn't even start, for that matter!" But I just got goin' ... and I had a hard time stopping. Oh, it was so funny.

So the next time a friend of yours (probably me) starts a joke and can't finish because they're laughing too hard .... just laugh right along with 'em. The joke may not be funny by the time they get it out ... but believe me ... y'all will have a good laugh! ;)

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

GoG 285: The Hope in Rain :)

Oh, the rain.
The rain was my glimpse of grace for today.
Although it was way too brief, it made me think of HOPE. My hope in Christ. The hope that I have for my future because I belong to God. The hope for cooler weather. The hope for God's grace in my everyday life. :)

Hallelujah, grace like rain falls down on us :)

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

GoG 284: The Sprite

Today's glimpse of grace ... yes, today! Can you believe it? Not last week ... not two months ago - TODAY. Today's glimpse of grace came in the form of a bottle of Sprite.

Miss Sandi, our awesome leader at after school, stopped by my room and gave me a Sprite. It was a gift ... in the midst of the craziness of the day. And it really meant a lot to me.

Oh, the simple things :)

GoG 283: The Patience Lesson

On Sunday morning, we talked about the fruit of patience.
Isn't it amazing how easily patience leaves us?
Seriously, on our way to lunch (less than 2 hours after our lesson) I was impatient about traffic. Wow.

Well, yesterday at after school, I was being impatient with my kids. And on the way home, I remembered our lesson. Don'tcha love it when you remember lessons God is teaching you AFTER the fact? Haha! But at least I remembered it. The lesson concerning patience in which we need to see people the way God sees them - that way we can learn to be patient with them. So I am ready to try out my new patience perspective with my after school kidos today!

GoG 282: The Kindness Discussion at SoZo

Mmm ... our discussion about kindness during SoZo on Sunday night. Man, it was good. We only had 3 youth there (that hasn't happened in probably 2 years or more!), so our discussion was probably even a little better than if everyone had been there. I learned a bit ... that the kindness level of our group isn't very high .... that lots of things go on under the radar that I don't know about .... that I need to be more assertive. It was a great meeting ... very productive, and I think we'll be able to work on the kindness level of our youth group now that we know some of the issues.

GoG 281: The Day in E-ville with Wes :)


On Saturday, I drove to the University of Southern Indiana in Evansville to see my brother for the day. He left for college around the 20th of August, and he hadn't been home since. And he's not planning to come home until Thanksgiving break. Blah. I'm excited for him ... enjoying the college life, being popular, living for the Lord, loving life. But I'm sad that he's gotta be 3 hours away to do all of that. So it was really great to see him on Saturday.

He said, more than twice, that he was glad to see him ... that he was glad I was there. And that, of course, made my day. The two of us and his roommate, Luke, went to Red Robin for lunch - I bought Wes his lunch - and then we went to the mall ... where Wes talked to every salesperson in the place. After the mall, we headed back to Wes' apartment, he changed his shirt into the one he just bought, and we headed to campus, where he showed me every building he's ever been in. Haha! He made us some chicken alfredo for dinner ... we took a few pictures ... he gave me a hug, and I head home.
All in all, a very good day with the little brother :)

GoG 280: The Race in the Church Parking Lot

Last Friday night's taco and movie night was a big success with SoZo. The kids ate ALL of the food I brought and still wanted more. They thought The Sandlot was hilarious. And we all spent a good chunk of time laughing at me for my good mood shinanigans. (When I'm in a good mood, I'm extra bubbly and ditsy and loud and weird.) We had a good time!

And afterwards, when almost everyone had gone home ... Andy, Gabe, Michael, and I were talking in the parking lot. And all of a sudden, Michael asks Andy, "Will you race me?" We were all taken off guard ... so of course, I start laughing. And then Andy and Michael race across the parking lot. Andy won. And then! Gabe wanted to race ME. I was reluctant because I might be the slowest runner on earth. But I finally gave in, and we raced. Of course, Gabe won. He even slowed down for me to give me a chance. It was quite humorous. We all laughed about it afterward.

GoG 279: The Drawing Project at After School

At after school, I started a project with the kids in my group. Partially, because I need some semi-peace and quiet for a few minutes each day, but mostly, because I want to get their "juices" flowing, and I want to get to know them better. (I also got the idea from the movie Freedom Writers ... no, I'm not this cool all by myself - haha!)

We spent a couple days making books for our project. They decorated construction paper; we hole-punched the pages; and we tied the pages together with string. And everyday, for our craft, I have them write the date down on their papers, and I ask them a question. For example, "What is your favorite season? If you could have any pet in the world, what would it be?" And on and on. And each day, they draw a picture to answer that day's question. And then we take turns coming up to the front of the class and sharing our drawings. It's been quite successful in the midst of them being easily distracted. I'm excited about the project!

And last week, one of the boys - his name is Jaxson - drew something entirely precious to me. The question was "Who is someone you admire the most (look up to, think is really cool, etc. - they're 5 years old)?" And Jaxson picked ME! :) He said that I take care of them. And that's why he picked me for someone he admires. I nearly melted into a puddle. :)

GoG 278: The Dinner and a Movie with Liz and Jess :)

Last Wednesday, I invited Elizabeth and Jessica over for dinner, and we watched a movie. We had a great time laughing at old stories, poking fun at the movie characters, and they laughed at me getting lost on my way to Jessica's house. It's such a privilege to work in youth ministry ... to hang out with cool teenagers like Liz and Jess. I love these girlies!

GoG 277: The Senior Night: Jon and Levi :)





Last week, Jon and Levi had their senior night game for soccer. And just like Andy's senior night game, I was so excited to be there. I took pictures (not very good ones ... as you can see), cheered really loud, and was incredibly proud.
These are my guys we're talking about!!!! :)

GoG 276: The Compliment from Andy

I've told you before that Andy is doing an incredible job with Sr. High Bible Study on Monday nights. And a week ago, we had yet another great night of discussion and getting into the Word.

And I found such grace in a compliment that Andy gave me in the middle of the discussion. I was answering a question that he put out there for us, and he kept probing me to get me to say more. At the end, I gave him a funny look, and he said (to me and the rest of the teens there), "Well, I was gonna see what she was gonna say because Mical usually has something good to say ... and she did."

Andy is in my youth group, but I definitely look up to him. He's one of the coolest, most godly guys ever. So a compliment coming from him is the best!

GoG 275: The Catchphrase Game

Too much fun!
Thinking about what God is doing in my life each and every day is so much fun!
Thank you, Jesus, for your GRACE!!! :)

A week ago Sunday, we played the game Catchphrase at SoZo. If you don't know what this game is, let me tell you. It's pretty easy and tons of fun. You have a circular device that, when you push the button on it, a word or phrase comes up on its screen. For example, "motor boat" ... "ferris wheel" ... "pet" ... etc. Everyone sits in a circle, and your team sits every other person. We played guys against girls, so we were seated guy girl, guy girl. You push the button, and you have to get your team to guess what word or phrase is on the screen by describing the it without saying it or any part of the word. Once your team has guessed, you pass it to the person next to you (who is on the other team). There is a timer, and when the timer goes off, whoever is holding the device, loses, and the other team gets a point. It's really fun ... a lot easier than it sounds.

And we had a great time with that game. Sadly, the girls lost terribly both games. And the boys were making beeping noises and yelling totally hilarious and bogus guesses to throw the girls off. It was so much fun! And I found such grace in laughing with my kids. :)

GoG 274: The Football Game and GVB Concert :):):)


On October 2, I played football with Adam and Jason and the gang. I'm probably the worst player out there, but they always ask me to play. I'm an extra body on the field. Well, Andy plays with us too. And he ended up being the quarterback for a while ... and he picked ME to be on his team!!! And he did it just to make my day! And it did!

Later that day, I traveled to Marion, IN, to Indiana Wesleyan, for a Gaither Vocal Band concert. Oh, man, it was good! And once more, I was seating 3 ROWS from the stage! It was so awesome!!!!

GoG 273: The Hi's from My Guys :)

I went to the Danville Homecoming game for football a couple weeks ago. I think it's the second Danville football game I've been to since I graduated from high school. I had a lot of fun cheering for the team, visiting the alumni tent, running into one of my after school kids and her family. But the best part of the night was getting hi's from Jon and Levi.

I was walking to the alumni tent, after putting my nachos and hot dog down at my seat in the bleachers, when I heard a "hey, Mical!" I looked up, and Levi was standing with a couple of his friends ... one of 'em was on the football team.
Later, I was sitting in the bleachers, watching the game, when Levi and Jonathan walked by. Jon glanced up at the bleachers, and then he took a double take 'cause he saw me. He waved and say "hey."

I was so excited. I really was. It made my night that these guys said hi to me. That means I don't embarrass 'em too badly. That they like me. It was just a simple thing that showed me grace and brought me joy.

GoG 272: The Guy at After School

Last week at after school, we had a new guy switch with one of our ladies for a few days. And it turned out to be a guy named Michael Smither. I went to high school with Michael. I didn't ever really talk to the guy ... it was in my brother's grade, a friend of my brother's, but not a person I crossed paths with often. But it was great having him at after school.

Later on the first day he was there, he looked at me during movie time and said, "Hey, Mical, I don't know if you remember me but we went to high school together." And that sparked a whole conversation about what we've been doing since high school, our lack of knowing what life is gonna bring, and after school. I found it to be quite a blessing to talk to a nice guy that I know but don't know well. It's just cool to see how God brings paths together.

GoG 271: The Grace in Los Ra :)

Mmmm .... Los Rancheros is a yummy place. I really like Mexican food!

But Los Rancheros with Hannah Baker? Oh, man! It is super yummy AND super awesome! It is our CCF date place .... and one of my places to eat ever! :)

We have a great chats there ... and share yummy cheese dip ... and always get several refills of sweet tea and Mr. Pibb. Oh, the grace that comes out of Los Ra!!!! :)

GoG 270: The Dance Party!!!

If you know me well at all, you know I LOVE TO DANCE!!!!!!

A couple weeks ago at after school, we turned up the music in our snack room and had a DANCE PARTY!!!!!!
At first, the kids gave me goofy looks ... but after a while, most of 'em joined in. And we had such a good time!!!!

GoG 269: The Senior Night: Andy :)




Andy's senior night! Oh, it was great!
I was so proud!!!! It was a bit ridiculous actually. ;) I took several pictures, and I screamed louder than anyone.

I had to embarrass him a bit, right? ... What a good time! :D

GoG 266-268: The Birthday Weekend in Nashville

The last weekend of September, I headed to Nashville to hang out with my Em for her birthday. Her birthday is on the 26th.

Friday night ...
I got to Emily and Barry's around 10:30 that night. She opened her present; we watched a movie; and then we hit the beds.
Saturday ...
We had a blast on Saturday! Em recently got a new camera - a nice one! So she took pictures of me - I was her first photo shoot. We got some together too. And then we went shopping all night. We both spent too much money and had a great time!
Sunday ...
Sunday morning we went to Jared Snyder's church. And I had a blast there. They are fairly charismatic, open, free worshipers ... and it was fun to see Jared and watch him worship. And then we all went to dinner that night for Emily's birthday. Josh and Kelli came too. Such a fun couple. And Josh is a hoot! He thought I had a funny laugh.
Monday morning ...
I woke up extra early to head home ... to get back in time for after school.

I don't get to see Em very often anymore, so it was great to spend a long weekend with her.

GoG 265: The Sing with UM and Dad

Thursday nights are worship team practices for the worship leaders. From time to time, I'll drop by to chat with the leaders after practice or sit in the sanctuary and sing with them for a bit.

A few weeks ago, Uncle Mike, my dad, and I stayed after practice to sing for a bit. I love singin' harmonies and worship to the Lord. And it was a sweet time singing and chatting with two of my favorite men in the world.

GoG 264: The Veg Night on the Couch

Veg nights are so great! They are greatly needed in a busy life such as my own. So grabbin' a pizza, hittin' the redbox, and loungin' in front of the TV with a new chick flick for an evening is a glimpse of grace.

God gives us rest ... mmm, it's good!

GoG 263: The Wonderful WOW Ladies

My Women of Worth study has been stinkin' amazing! What great ladies to discuss and hang out with! Andrea, Sarah, Katie, Jess, Kristy ... gosh. It's been so good! ... We just started our second study - A Balanced Life. And I'm excited to see what this study brings about in our hearts and lives.

GoG 262: The New Season of CHUCK has Returned!

Continuing with the GoGs! :)

Chuck.
What a great TV show!
I don't know if finding grace in a TV show counts .... but I really like this TV show. I never used to watch much TV, but when Uncle Mike introduced me to Chuck, I was hooked.
I bet the grace comes more from sharing a "hobby" with Uncle Mike than Chuck.
But either way ... I find grace when I hear that the next season of Chuck is coming out.

Monday, October 11, 2010

The Way God Sees 'Em ....

"Jesus said, 'Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.'"
Matthew 19:14

See them the way God sees them.

These thoughts were going through my head this afternoon.

I've been so impatient with my after school kids lately. It's been so difficult. I love my kids. I really do. I just have a rough time be patient with them. I've got 21 kids in my group. Usually, 16 to 18 of 'em show up at a time, and that's a lot of kids for one person. Whew! And almost all of 'em are crazy! Put 'em all together, and it's utter chaos every Monday through Friday.

This is week #6 for me, and I just can't get the hang of this patience thing with these little people. It makes me really discouraged. Blah! But this afternoon, on my way home from after school, I was thinking about our lesson about patience yesterday during Sunday School. The first step toward developing patience in our lives was "See people the way God sees them." And that thought came to my mind as I was driving home from an afternoon with my little crazies! I need to change the way I look at my kids. Yes, I love them. But no, I'm not being patient with them. I'm not seeing them the way God sees them.

And when I think about me and my after school kids, I think of God and us, His people. Does God get impatient with us when we choose to do the wrong thing over and over again, when we act crazy, when the world these days is utter chaos because it's full of crazy people???? No.

NO.

God is ALWAYS patient with us. Sure, sometimes He gets stern with us 'cause we need that from time to time. But He always stays calm. He always loves us no matter what junk we've gotten ourselves into or how often we disobey Him.

If I could grab hold of that mindset and use it with my after school kids, oh, it would be so much better at after school. I can't hinder my kids anymore with my impatience. I must see them the way God sees them, and I must remember that, if I am patient with them, they might see Jesus in me. And they need to see Jesus, know Him, make Him their Savior, so that they will inherit the kingdom of Heaven someday.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

GoG 261: The Many Moms!

Believe it or not, I have more than one mom.

Haha! Well, obviously, I only have one mom. Yes, and she is the best!!! But I found that over time, I acquire more moms.
~ When I was in high school, Pastor Mike and Shelley took SoZo to the rehab center in town for a fashion show. We put on the fashion show for the residents. Afterwards, we went out into the crowd to talk with the residents. I was talking to a few old ladies, and they asked if Pastor Mike and Shelley were my parents. We all laugh about it to this day because they are not old enough to be my parents. So PM and Shelley call me Junior ... and I call Shelley, Shelley Mom.
~ After becoming friends with Judy Nilsen ... e-mailing, reading each other's blogs, being great friends with Ben and James, walks in the park ... she's told me I'm almost like one of her kids. And I'd definitely put her on my "mom list." :)
~ And a few weeks ago, I discovered that I have yet another mom. An older couple at my church, Richard and Carol Swenke, come up to me every Sunday and give me a hug and tell me how pretty and special I am. One Sunday, Carol's sister was visiting from Florida, and they introduced me to her as "their daughter." Ha! It was incredibly flattering. And it was at that moment, I told my mom that she's sharing me with other moms. :D

GoG 260: The SoZo Canoe Trip


Youth ministry is great! It's not easy, but boy, is it awesome!!!
I love hanging out with teenagers! It's probably my favorite thing to do!

September 18th was our SoZo canoe trip. We had a great time tipping canoes and racing each other to the finish ... eating oatmeal cream pies and stopping for ice cream on the way home. I just really had a good time with my kids. :)

GoG 259: The Extra Time with the 'Rents :)

Since most of my friends are getting married, moving away, and having kids, I've been spending a lot of time with my parents lately. It's been a huge blessing ... not only do I have buddies in the midst of my "season," but I've gotten to spend more time with them - going out to eating, watching movies, lots of chats. Chats that we may not have had if my season of life were different. And I've just really appreciated the time.

Now ... where are my friends????
;)

GoG 258: The Bethesda Soccer Game

I've only been to 2 or 3 of Jon, Levi, and Super Dave's soccer games this season. The first game I went to was the best. I got there right as the game was starting, and I saw Pastor and Mike and Penny Marshall and Marge. I stood behind them for the game, and we all cheered loudly for our guys - they for their sons and me for my SoZo guys - one and the same. Oh, it was great! They were all laughing at how much louder I was cheering than them and WHAT I was cheering. I'm a crazy person when it comes to supporting the people I love! Man, if you only knew the lengths I went for my brother's senior year of high school. ;) Good times!

I just love cheering for my guys!

GoG 257: The Autograph Picture of Zachary Levi!!!

Hahaha!
So way back in April or May, I wrote a short letter to Zachary Levi ... the star of NBC's CHUCK. Such a great show! Love it!
I felt like such a nerd writing to a celebrity ... but for some reason I felt compelled to ... maybe 'cause I have a tiny crush on the actor. Ha!
I said something to the affect of ...

"I don't know what a guy like you would need, but this verse has helped me through a lot. I hope it encourages you.
Psalm 73:26 - My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.
Sending up a prayer for you right now.
Mical Masterson"

Too funny!
Well, last month, I received a reply!!!! It was an signed picture of the guy! What!? Are you kidding me!? When I sent my letter, I wondered if it would even reach him at all ... and I get an autograph picture???? Awesome! Needless to say, it made my day; I showed it to Uncle Mike; and it's hanging on my wall in my room. ;)

GoG 256: The Candy Land Games

Babysitting for Keri is always fun ...
A couple weeks ago, I hung out with Caleb while Keri and the kids were at Bible Study Fellowship. It was fun to hang out with Caleb, watching Prince Caspian, making waffles for lunch, and playing FIVE games of Candy Land, in which he beat me 4 out of 5 times! We had a great time ... he laughed at me for losing to a 6 year old, and I laughed at him for beating me so many times.

GoG 255: The Success of Joshua 1:5-9

Joshua 1:5-9
Umm ... yeah. I was gonna type this out ... but it is stinkin' long!!! So you're on your own for this one. But seriously, take the time to read this passage. It has some good stuff in it! Go ... now.

Okay ... are you back yet? Did you read it? You better have read it .... ;)

Andy Schnur, one of the coolest guys in the world and a member of SoZo (yes! He's one of MY kids!), has been leading a senior high Bible study at Calvary for several months now ... but you should know that if you keep up with my blog because I've mentioned him a few times before. The Bible study is awesome! He does such a great job with it! ... We've been taking a look at Joshua, and with him, leadership. As part of our study, we took a look at the first chapter of Joshua. And man, oh man ... lots of conviction from the five verses I mentioned above. I carried those verses with me for over a week; I was that convicted!

The greatest conviction I gathered from the passage ....
If we would just read our Bibles and soak up what God says and live our lives by it, then nothing and no one could stand against us AND we'd have great success at whatever we put our hand to.

Seriously? That is amazing!
Let's read our Bibles, people!!!! :)

GoG 254: The Grace in Freedom

Well, I don't know what the goodness it's gonna take for me to stay caught up with my GoGs. I don't think I can. It would have to be my #1 priority every single day of the year ... and it's just not. But I do enjoy blogging. So here are some thoughts (glimpses of grace) from the past couple of weeks ...

September 12 - Sundays are awesome! Extra time with Jesus, my family, my church family, my SoZo kids, my naptime .... always grace that we live in a country that allows us freedom to do such marvelous things!

Friday, October 1, 2010

Thankful at 1:27am :)

Well, it's another late night ... and I just don't want to go to bed. A night when the mind is goin' and the body won't stop movin' ... blah. I love to sleep, but I've been tossing and turning in bed more often lately ... and I find myself not wanting to go to bed at night a lot lately too.
Ha! It's probably all the sweet tea I drink, now that I think about it. ;)
But either way ... whether it be too much sugar and caffeine in my system or a mind constantly pondering my season of life ... I don't want to go to bed tonight.

I've been in an extra good mood the past couple of days. Since my chat with my dad and my "pruning," I've just been thinking UP. Excited about life. Thankful. And wow ... what better way to spend a late night than to thank God for my many blessings.
Yes, let's go! :)

God,
I thank you for my parents. I think I have the best parents ever! My dad is an encourager by nature, generous, slow to anger, passionate about You, always takes care of me and mom and Wes. My mom is a perseverer whether she thinks so or not, has a great sense of humor, goes out of her way to love me in light of my love language (receiving gifts), a great listener. I am excited to be living at home when most 20-somethings don't like, maybe even hate, living with their parents. I am incredibly blessed not only to have a great house to live in and a town I love but an awesome HOME.
Thank you for my friends. I struggle from time to time with my friends getting married, having kids, moving away, even just getting busy with school and work ... but I have amazing friends! They love me, get excited for me when I'm doing what I love, more than tolerate my shinanigans, pray for me, encourage me. Oh, they are great!
The list could go on and on, Lord, because you have blessed me with so much - far more than anything I could ask or imagine! So for now, lastly, I thank you for changing seasons - yes, the weather seasons (I'm lovin' the 50 degrees blowing through my open window right now!) - but more importantly, the seasons of life that you give me. This "single, 20-something, 'what the heck am I gonna do with my life!?'" season has been difficult, to say the least. But, God, I find so much grace in it - through Your provision of hope and excitement for what's to come, the focus I can have on YOU, the calling I can live out even more passionately and undistractedly (yes, I just made up a word), the time with my parents and brother and friends and church family and SoZo that I wouldn't have if I were married and having kids, the lessons I cannot learn in any other season. Lord Jesus, You are just AWESOME!!!! For growing me, loving me, teaching me, dying for me, giving me purpose. Thank you for Your hope and grace and strength and provision and joy and peace and lessons and Your word ... thank you for giving me courage to withstand the trials and disappointments ... and to face each new day. Your grace is more than sufficient and more than amazing. Your might is more than I can comprehend. Thank you, Lord God. Thank you, Jesus!
I love you.