strength. do you have it?

MIA (missing in action).., yes, that’s me! It has been a little while since I’ve blogged, but don’t think I’ve been idle 😉 I worked the past four days, and by work I mean standing on my feet, giving everything I’ve got, loving what I do kind of work. I can’t even begin to articulate how working as a nurse has impacted my life. Although it is only three weeks into this chapter of my life, the Lord has given me clear indication that this will be a HUGE chapter in my life. The passion God has given me to serve others is unreal, and only understandable if you too have that passion. It’s almost like a guilty pleasure, if you can relate to that in any way. I have been thriving on the fact that I can maybe help save someone’s life everyday. I am just so blessed.

Well anyway, since I’ve been working so much, the long work days don’t really allow for blogging time, but no worries 🙂 I’m almost done with Counterfeit Gods (which I mentioned I’m reading here and here) and I am eager to finish! The book is just SO good, and SO eye opening to the idols in my life! I am also currently still dissecting the chapter of Psalms 119 (which I mentioned I was doing here). It’s taking a little bit longer to do this, because I am getting a lot more out of it than I expected. Yay God!!

A couple things have been on my heart lately that I am really struggling with, but I am also really relying on God for. I’ll give you a short thought on some of these things:

  • Working these long hours makes me really tired, and I haven’t had the energy to workout everyday like I want to. This is really hard for me, because fitness is a HUGE part of my life.
  • Working these longs hours is causing me to make excuses for not doing certain things like my daily devotional, and I am not okay with that. It’s also causing me to make excuses for not communicating with the people I love and care about, which I am also not okay with.
  • Working these long hours has completely changed my eating patterns. I am not eating bad by any means, but I am eating far less often, and this worries me because I don’t want my metabolism to slow down,  but I don’t really have the opportunity to eat during my shift. Also, it’s affecting how I eat on my days off- i.e. I eat way less often.
  • I am looking for houses to buy, but this is a really stressful process.
  • I am still not sleeping solid every night, and this really bothers me, because I don’t know why…

I really feel like I could write about a million more things down, but enough with the worries and whining. Those are just some things I am relying on God to help get me through, and it feels good to make these struggles public, because honestly sometimes you can’t do things alone, or just with the help of God; sometimes it requires extra support and guidance from people that care about you.

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BIG NEWS!!! My friends and fellow mission teammates from my mission trip to Nicaragua (you can read about my experience here) Jason Bradford and Matt Tyler founded their very own mission organization. It’s called Building Love. Building Love is a non-profit crowdsourcing idea that will build homes for families in need. Building Love will initially focus on Central America with planned growth to change lives around the world. You can read more about the organization here and check out the official website here. My friends are trying to raise $15,000 in 65 more days, and have already raised $250. I am going to fervently pray that the Lord blesses this organization with the monetary, spiritual, physical, and material sources that God requires for this organization to achieve it’s purpose. I am honored to call these men my friends, and am excited to see the opportunities that God will present!

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On another note, my grandparents, my Mimi and my Popsie, came into town last night. They are currently in the process of moving here from Greer, SC, so they came yesterday with the moving truck to put stuff in storage and look for houses around Charleston. It’s always nice to see them. They are so proud of me and love me so much. I know that because they tell me all the time 🙂

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So, today, I started my day off at the gym. It felt good to sweat and get moving after a couple days of rest, aka work 🙂 I did a quick upper body workout which included: dips, pull-ups, lateral raises, tricep push-downs, and cable curls. I rounded up my gym sesh with 15 minutes on the stair master (NEW to planet fitness, and I’m super excited!). I came home and made pancakes for my Mimi and Popsie, and me for breakfast. I made regular pancakes for them, but I made vi-shape pancakes for me!

In the vi-shape pancakes:

  • 1/4 C whole wheat pancake mix
  • 2 scoops of vi-shape nutritional shake mix
  • 1/2 C water (?)
  • pinch of cinnamon

Directions:

  • mix ingredients all together
  • cook like a normal pancake
  • then top with cooked apples and sugar-free syrup

*to make faux cooked apples: dice an apple and pop in the microwave for 30 sec- 1 minute. vuala!

After my delicious breakfast, I showered up and headed up to church for a memorial service for my dear family member Billy Barrow. Billy is my friend Kelley’s father. Me and Kelley have grown up together, and our families are as close to real family as you can get.

To put it frankly, the memorial service was fantastic. It was beautiful. Traci Magnus put together the most creative, appropriate, and beautiful picture video I’ve ever seen and her speech was so composed and touching. She is an amazing and very talented woman, and I am so thankful to call her my aunt. The service started with a video of pictures, then proceeded to worship songs, and amazing speeches by some very beautiful people that were touched by Billy’s life. It’s so amazing to be reassured that even in our imperfections the God of this universe still opens His arms wide to embrace us despite our choices, good and bad ones. Billy was a father of 5 beautiful children, and Billy left this earth doing everything in his power to make sure his children knew they were loved. He lived his life doing as much good as he could possibly do. The pain of his loss is only something that will fade with time, but his memory will be in our hearts forever. Rest in Peace sweet Billy. You were loved, and I know that we all can’t wait to see you again in heaven. For now I will continue to pray for the Barrows, as well as for the 20 plus roofers in attendance to the memorial service who saw and heard Jesus possibly for the first time. This time, Billy problably laid the foundation instead of working on the roof.

After the service me and my mom went over to my Nana and Papa’s house for some food and fellowship. It was nice to  be around people you love even if you can’t provide the comfort and peace only the heavenly father can provide. I hope anyone who has parents that love them, and friends and family members that love them, never take that love for granted, because it is powerful.

Nowwwwwwww, I’m catching up on e-mails and parts of my life that I’ve neglected the past four days. But I sit here and just think:

Strength suggests the capacity to do something. Strength is the inherent capacity to manifest energy, to endure, and to resist. (source) WOW. How so many people work so hard to be strong. My friend Billy and the family member’s who have had to mourn his death, yet celebrate his life, epitomize the word strength. I seek to be strong. I wake up every day with a purpose to seek to serve Christ with a humble heart. It’s so easy to use the excuse of being “weak” to not accomplish tasks or do things that matter. But I am strong. Christ has given me strength and continues to provide me with the strength to survive and thrive in this life that I am blessed with.

Matt Redman wrote the song below, and it has touched the hearts of many people today. My friend Kelley, that I mentioned earlier, has “through the calm” and “through the storm” tattooed on her feet, and today, when I heard this song it touched my heart and soul in ways I can’t express. So from this day forward, I will always keep the memory of Billy and his family, my family, in my heart when I hear this song.

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death
Your perfect love is casting out fear
And even when I’m caught in the middle ff the storms of this lifeI won’t turn back, I know You are near

And I will fear no evil for my God is with me and if my God is with me
Whom then shall I fear? Whom then shall I fear?

Oh no, You never let go through the calm and through the storm
Oh no, You never let goIn every high and every low
Oh no, You never let goLord, You never let go of me

And I can see a light that is coming for the heart that holds on a glorious light beyond all compare
And there will be an end to these troubles but until that day comes we’ll live to know You here on the earth

And I will fear no evil for my God is with me and if my God is with me
Whom then shall I fear? Whom then shall I fear?

Oh no, You never let go through the calm and through the storm
Oh no, You never let goIn every high and every low
Oh no, You never let goLord, You never let go of me

You keep on lovingAnd You never let go
Singing
Oh no, You never let go through the calm and through the storm
Oh no, You never let goIn every high and every low
Oh no, You never let goLord, You never let go of me

Yes, I can see a light that is coming for the heart that holds on and there will be an end to these troubles but until that day comes
Still I will praise You, still I will praise You
I can see the light
Yes, I can see a light that is coming for the heart that holds on and there will be an end to these troubles but until that day comes
Still I will praise You, still I will praise You

Oh no, You never let go through the calm and through the storm
Oh no, You never let goIn every high and every low
Oh no, You never let goLord, You never let go of me
So strong so wise so loving Lord
Oh no, You never let go through the calm and through the storm
Oh no, You never let goIn every high and every low
Oh no, You never let goLord, You never let go of me
Oh, Lord, You never let go of me

sorry for the long post 🙂

stay beautiful! xoxo

Chels

2 thoughts on “strength. do you have it?

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