Friday, November 11, 2011


I am reading Forgotten God, by Francis Chan, a book which challenges the church to dig deeper into their understanding of the Holy Spirit and His part in their lives. This morning I was reading chapter three and was struck by these truths:

"The Holy Spirit has His own desires and will. In 1 Corinthians we read that the gifts of the Spirit are empowered by One and the same Spirit, who apportions to each one individually as He wills. This is an important reminder of Who is in control. Just as we don't get to choose which gifts we are given, we also don't get to choose what God intends for us and for the church. The Spirit has a plan for our lives, for each of us. And He has a plan for the church, including your individual church body and the worldwide body of Christ. If you're like me, you probably have a plan for your own life, for your church and maybe even for the larger body of Christ. That's why we all desperately need to pray as Christ did, not my will, but yours be done."

As many times as I've heard it said, I needed to hear it again: It is not about me. I am but a part of a larger plan that God has in place for His own purposes. My life is not my own, I cannot dream large enough to know how my life will be used in His kingdom. He only asks for my obedience, faith and trust in His plan. Again I am struck by the fact that God called us to California for a purpose. Yes it helps Dan's career, but I feel as though it's bigger than that. God is using us in His overall will for the worldwide Church. Our obedience to go has brought us closer to Him. My obedience to trust Him everyday brings me closer to Him.

The Holy Spirit will guide us to a church and a community to serve. His purposes are greater than my own. Someone will be brought closer to the Lord on account of our obedience to His will. That truth makes my heart glad and lifts my eyes to see that I am part of a greater plan in action, one that cannot be thwarted - of which I am grateful.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Wearing Patience Daily

As the parent of a two-month old it is apparent that patience is something we learn and not something innate in our being. I find myself constantly reminding my sweet Caleb that he needs to be patient when I have not come to the "rescue" fast enough because he's hungry, bored, has a wet diaper...etc. I've told him we need patience so we can be more like Jesus.

Isn't it funny how much I need to hear those words too? Compared to a two-month old I am the queen of patience, but when compared to Christ I am pitiful. Yes, I do not cry when I'm hungry or bored, but I complain when things are uncomfortable and stretch me. How many times a day do I plead with the Lord to take away some trial I am going through or question His timing and guidance in my life? Is that any different that my precious child? Not really.

So yes, patience is a learned virtue, but more than that, it is a virtue that can never be mastered. I will not wake up one day and say, "Sweet! Today I am patient and will never have to work on that fruit of the Spirit anymore." By definition, patience can only reveal itself when you are tested. Just like silver, it is produced by fire. Life itself provides ample seasons to grow patience.

I'm learning that the secret is to allow the Lord to work in me as I walk through the difficulty. Instead of asking Him to take this decision away, to resolve this situation quickly or complaining that this trial is lasting too long, I should choose to sit in whatever He has allowed me to walk through and ask Him to refine me. As I read in a devotional recently, "Do not resist or run from the difficulties in your life. These problems are not random mistakes; they are hand-tailored blessings designed for your benefit and growth. Embrace all the circumstances that God allows in your life, trusting Him to bring good out of them. View problems as opportunities to rely more fully on Him."

As I continue this parenting adventure, I am trying to remember to "consider it pure joy" when I face trials knowing that He is perfecting my character, growing my patience and increasing my dependence on Him. My hope for Caleb is that as he watches how I react to hard situations, he too will see trials this way and be one step ahead of me in his patience growth when he is my age. But for now, I will continue to remind Caleb that as he waits for the rest of his meal, will not die from hunger in the 30 seconds it takes for him to burp. :)

"Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything." - James 1:2-4

"Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience." - Colossians 3:12

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

What I Learned During the First Trimester...

• It is possible to get sick in your car, while driving on the interstate at 70 miles an hour, one handed with a publix bag next to your face, and still not make it into the bag but all over the front of your shirt and seatbelt.

• A task as simple as loading the dishwasher can trigger your gag reflex so bad that you have to run to the bathroom and then ask your husband to finish cleaning the dishes.

• You have to “unlearn” the way you deal with stomach queeziness because normally if you feel sick, you don’t eat anything or just have 7-Up and crackers. But during pregnancy, eating protein and whole grain every few hours could mean the difference between a good or a bad day.

• Feeling tired is taken to a whole new level – a night’s rest never feels long enough

• Coffee does not sound good at all - shocker I know.

• Vegetables do not sound good.

• Fruit and fruit snacks, however, are God’s gift to my stomach.

• You begin to hate eating because it either goes well for a few hours or comes back up in 20 minutes.

• You gain a super power: acute smell, which is a blessing and a curse. A blessing when you smell a nice flower or perfume...a curse when your work cafeteria cooks vegetarian meat products for breakfast that smell like a landfill and cause you to gag all the way down the hall to your cubical.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Takes the Cake

I had the strangest pregnancy conversation today that by the end of it I felt as though I had really upset my coworker (who I have had maybe three conversations with the 3 ½ years I’ve been at the company) and that pregnancy was something you could catch like cancer and could have serious consequences for my boss...

Setting: During the marketing department monthly staff meeting while in line waiting for an omlete.

[Side Note: Usually when attending marketing staff meetings you can expect to find hard folding chairs, cold air-conditioning, no food or coffee service for the 8am meeting. This time there was a hot breakfast and drink station set up with round tables and cookies at each place setting. Would’ve been nice to know beforehand...but regardless I still was able to eat a second breakfast :) ]

Here’s how the convo played out:

Male co-worker: (after staring at me, then at my name tag) Carrie! I had no idea you were pregnant!

Carrie: (noticed the shock on his face and have no idea what his name is) Yeah, thanks! I am!

Male co-worker: Wow, you’re pregnant...(still full shock on his face) What is Josef going to do without you?

Carrie: ...uh...(trying to gage whether this guy is for real or just joking)...oh he’ll survive! [enter nervous laughter here]

Male co-worker: (with a look of concern on his face) What will he do?

Carrie: (realizing this guy may be seriously asking the question) He’ll be fine. He’ll be ok.

Male co-worker: How did this happen?

Carrie: (hoping for his sake that he doesn’t realize how he’s coming across) ...well...I’m due April 30, so if you subtract nine months from that...[more strained laughter]

Male co-worker: (incredulous look on his face) April 30!? Wow I didn’t know at all!

Carrie: I didn’t send out a mass email about it or anything...I mean I did mention it at Energizers a few months ago...

Male co-worker: Man, I just didn’t know you were pregnant.

Carrie: [doesn't know what to say so smiles and takes her omlete and leaves for her table]