I’ve missed you

It’s been a long time. I shouldn’t have left you, without a dope beat to step t… wait. That’s just Aaliyah lyrics.

But, seriously. It has been two months since my last post.  A LOT has happened in those past two months.  The biggest thing? A guy. Yeah! (cue girly giggle) I did not see that one coming. But, oh my goodness, God is good. Someday I will delve into all of that, but for now, let’s just keep that at “God is GOOD.”

My last post was about financial stewardship and I was very worried about money. I have gotten better about that. The worrying part, I mean. God is my provider. He won’t let me be broke and destitute. I did, however, change my tithing. I may have mentioned that, but if not, I was tithing HALF of what they say one “should” be tithing. I guess the key percentage is 10% of your gross income. So, I changed it to be the average of what I think is my gross per week. It changes every week, so I can’t pin point it exactly. (I could, but if I try to do that each week, I WILL forget about it altogether).

Changing my tithe money is really more about me saying, this money doesn’t belong to me, it’s God’s money. It’s a heart thing more than anything and God knows our hearts. So, He’s got this one.

I have decided, however, that my time at my survival job is coming to an end. I don’t know when that date is, but it is coming. God and I are going to work on that. My dream right now is to be a figure skating coach and an actor. That’s what I want to be doing. I started skating when I was 10 and stopped around 21, but I still love it. I love seeing little kids progressing and I love being a part of their journey. I’m discovering how much I love to coach others. If you don’t mind, keep me in your prayers about that.

This season I led a community group on acting. I LOVE coaching actors. I think part of my coaching style stems from coaching that I have received from others, but ultimately I just want to help other actors succeed and grow in their craft. If I could make that part of my everyday life, I absolutely would. It’s a wonderful feeling to watch people step into their own.

Anyway, I’ll conclude this for today. It’s a bit of a scattered post, but my thoughts will become more clear as I begin to write more. I really hope that you enjoy your day today.

This is needed

Hi friends!

It has been a long time since my last post. A lot has happened over the past three months and bit by bit I will write about it. For now, I need to get this particular thought out of my mind and onto paper, so to speak. I wrote this to my friend about a week ago. I have expanded upon it and would like to share it with you.

I’m sitting here looking at my scars and thinking, “Isn’t it amazing how the body heals itself?” We are so wonderfully and fearfully made. When we burn our skin or cut ourselves (obviously serious accidents aside) our bodies know what to do. God made us so that we regenerate, not just physically but mentally and emotionally, too. Through his love our hearts and minds can be healed. Heartbreak and loss get easier. Like a scar, it is still there, you don’t forget about it, but it isn’t an open wound that every time something touches it you wince in pain. Proverbs 4:23 (NIV) says Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it. We protect ourselves every day – Sunscreen, seat-belts, shoes, umbrellas, jackets, gloves, etc and yet, what are we doing to protect our heart?

Now, here is where I begin to wonder – At what point do I let my heart become susceptible to heartbreak? How do I know when the right time will be to let others in? At some point I have to take a risk in order to gain, so how do I guard my heart as I do this?
I’m mostly talking about entering into a relationship with someone or even just letting someone know that you like them. I’m a girl, should I let him pursue me and HOPE that he realizes that I like him? Or should I break that tradition and just let him know how I feel? Where do I draw the line between opening myself up to something potentially amazing, a lifelong partner and not letting myself get too wrapped up in a crush when there is potential that my feelings are not reciprocated?

I don’t have an answer to this. If I did, I wouldn’t be sitting here wondering all of these “what if’s.”

The only answer that I can come up with is to let Jesus be my guard. I mean, He’s in there anyway, He doesn’t have far to go. Might as well let Him in on my love life since, ya know, God IS love.

Now here is the update to that:

I have a love/hate relationship with crushes. It was the worst of times. It was the best of times. But, mostly it’s the worst. I have a lingering crush on someone. God and I are working on it because I don’t believe this guy is interested. I’m not going to ask about it. I’m not going to pursue it. I’m going to let God have control. God will be my matchmaker.

About a month ago I trusted God completely to help me find an apartment. There were ups and downs, for sure, but all throughout the process, God kept reminding me that he would provide. All I had to do was listen and obey. I actually think that my experience with finding a place to live is rather telling. The first apartment that I really really wanted, that I thought was the perfect one for me, that was beautiful and would be an answer to my prayers ended up not being what God had planned for me. I truly was heartbroken. Seriously. I looked at the next apartment with tears in my eyes because I had wanted that apartment so much. But, it wasn’t for me. That wasn’t in God’s plan.
I think this guy is actually like that apartment. He isn’t for me. I want him to be, but he is meant for someone else.
I have to move on. I have to have that same faith that God has someone just as amazing and totally suited for me just waiting to pursue me.
Which, by the way, is what I want. I want to be pursued. Big time. Just as much as God is pursuing me.
Example – Last night at church, I was feeling very down, like I wasn’t good enough, I didn’t do a good job singing and I didn’t deserve to be on the worship team. Yeah, I know, CRAZY thoughts. Anyway, my pastor got up to speak her message and she asked where I was. I raised my hand and proceeded to give me a wonderful word of encouragement that just melted my heart. God knew what I needed. I needed to hear those words. “You’re doing a good job.”
It’s a beautiful thing to know that God is pursuing me. That he loves me unfailingly and faithfully. Relentlessly.

This is my prayer – that I will know more of God’s love so that I may be ready for love. That when the time is right, God will make it obvious who I am meant to be with. Until then, strength and comfort and a quick moving on period!

 

I’ve done a lot for my soul today

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It has been a week since I left NYC for Upstate NY. I initially thought I would be picking up shifts at a few stores here in town, but so far, that has not happened. So, for this past week I have had a lot of time to myself. I live by myself in a huge apartment (by NYC standards anyway) and I don’t have a car here so I rely on my sister or father. Every morning I wake up, take my time getting ready, spend quiet time with God – praying and singing worship songs. It has been awesome.

A few posts back I talked about how I had done a lot for my stomach. Since then I have tried to do a lot for other things. My soul especially. I don’t know when it happened exactly, but I have stopped over-eating, I am eating healthier food and eating much less sugar.

I think I traded feeling full in my belly with feeling full in my spirit. Since finding out that I would be leaving for five weeks, I decided to try and spend as much time with the people I love most. Which, in the city, means friends, since I don’t have family there. When I spent more time on my relationships with others my relationship with myself grew. Seems a bit strange, but it totally makes sense to me now. When I spent more time in fellowship with others, I spent more time in fellowship with God and ultimately relinquishing control to God. It is actually quite freeing to not be in control. To let my creator have control again. He will always have my best interest at heart. He will never fail me. I will fail me. Other people will fail me. But, He, He will always have me.

I’m learning to love boldly. It’s still a struggle sometimes but, it sure is a wonderful journey. I am learning to love and honor my friends, and especially my family, BOLDLY, to ask for help BOLDLY, to face my fears BOLDLY, to go for what I want BOLDLY, and to let God take control BOLDLY.

Oh, goodness, that makes me excited. I just want to keep living boldly so that I keep my spirit alive and full.

More than ever, on this beautiful Resurrection Day, I hope you Enjoy Life.

Incredibly on purpose

I have been pretty good about posting at least once a week, if not more. However, March has been really busy for me. It’s not that I haven’t thought about posting, I have, but my time just seemed to be more important elsewhere. Until now. I still have lots to do, but I needed to get some of my thoughts into writing. For some of you, this might get weird. It might make you uncomfortable. I say good. Keep reading.

A friend of mine came to stay with me last weekend. On Friday night we saw Kari Jobe in concert. I even won free tickets through their Facebook event! So, a couple more of my friends got to go. The concert was amazing. It was so great to see so many people coming together from different churches and different places to worship God with Kari. A lot of amazing things happened that weekend.

During one of the songs (I wish I could remember which one) I had closed my eyes and the lights from the stage kept flashing across my eyes, bright and then dark, bright and then dark. At the time, I wasn’t sure if what I was seeing in the dark was real or not, but I strained my eyes to see (with eyes closed still) the image that was forming. There were letters. Huge silver block letters that kind of looked like the surface of those fake tiaras a little girl would buy from Claire’s at the mall.  The last three letters were very clear – IVE. I waited a few more flashes of light to make out the first letter – R. RIVE. Rive? I wasn’t sure that was even a word. So, I Googled it and sure enough, it is a word. Rive means to rend or tear apart, to break into pieces, to split asunder. I was curious why I would see a word that I don’t know. Rive isn’t very commonly used these days. But, I just let it be for a bit.

I told my friend about it the next day and we tried to figure it out, but to no avail. It wasn’t until we got to church on Sunday (we were a little late, oops) and started singing that all of a sudden it hit me. Here are some of the lyrics (and a link to the video) to the song we were singing: Spirit break out, break our walls down, Spirit break out, Heaven come down.

Whoa. That’s it! Spirit, rive our walls down, rive the Heavens apart and get down here! We need it! We need You!

Now, I have never experienced this before. I’ve never gotten words or images that I thought were coming from God. Obviously, I daydream, I play images in my head all the time, but this was different. At one point in my life I would have thought this was crazy and just disregarded it. But, the revelation that I got on Sunday was so clear. When I truly listen to what God wants me to know I get this peaceful feeling – a feeling of rest, like I don’t have to keep looking.

I realize that some of you will probably say that’s just a coincidence, but I don’t think God does coincidences. God is incredibly on purpose.

I think God wants to rive the Heavens open and pour down on us and fill the earth with His presence. I truly believe that God has great things in store for NYC and the church as a whole.  It is pretty awesome.Image

Source: kellymcilvenny.com

 

I’ve done a lot for my stomach today

A friend of mine just said this to me as I told him how I made such a yummy, healthy breakfast and then ruined it by eating Nutella straight out of the jar.

He has no idea how that just hit me.

The past week or so I have done a lot for my stomach. Actually, I would say that most of what I have done this week has been to make my stomach happy. Temporarily happy, that is.

I satisfy the desires of my stomach instead of the desires of my heart. Then I feel guilty. It’s this cyclical habit that I want to break forever. But, man, it is hard.

The good man eats to live, while the evil man lives to eat. Proverbs 13:25 (TLB)

I cannot possibly eat to live without the help of God. I recently came off of a forty day Daniel fast. With the intention of limiting myself for a Higher purpose I was able to eat foods that nourished my body. I was excited to eat foods that would better me. I lost almost ten pounds as a result. Of course, that certainly wasn’t my goal of fasting, but, obviously, with any kind of fast that will be a side effect. I saw that my body had been longing to be healthy. My stomach didn’t need to be the ruler of my life, God did.

My relationship with God is still growing. It is a journey – an amazing, love filled journey. My relationship with food, however, scares me. I have seen what it can do to people. Both of my parents are diabetic, both have heart problems, both are overweight and both refuse to change their diet to save their lives. That scares me immensely. I don’t want to put my children through that. I don’t want them to fear for my life. I don’t want them to watch me fall asleep and worry whether or not I am still breathing.

So, here is my goal: To fill in the blank with something other than ‘stomach’ each day.

I’ve done a lot for my ___________ today.

I pray for courage on this one.

I will keep you updated.

You’re beautiful

Caution: This post is about to get real. For some of you, hold tight, this might make you uncomfortable for a little bit, but read to the end. That’s where it gets really good.

“You’re beautiful.”

That’s what Jesus wanted to tell me last night. Yeah, to the average person, that sounds a little crazy, but I will tell you why it is not.

I am part of a community group through my church that is currently reading and discussing Zack Neese’s book How to Worship a King. This is only my second time in my 27 years on earth (the first time was only this past Fall) that I have ever been a part of a “Bible study” – I put that in quotes because, in this case, we aren’t necessarily studying the Word of God, but rather the worship of God, although, really, you can’t have one without the other.  God has been working diligently in my life to bring me closer to Him. However, it seems as though every time something big happens something else happens to diminish the Joy and revelation that I felt.  On Sunday, I asked God for guidance on something that I just didn’t have an answer for and I heard a resounding NO. That was huge for me. To really feel God’s presence and KNOW that my prayer had been answered. 

So, last night, as we were discussing the second chapter of our book, I listened to my peers referencing scripture, other books of relevance, podcasts/sermons that they were listening to and I started to think, “why don’t you know all this stuff?” “How come you can’t quote scripture?” “Why aren’t you good enough?” “You need to read more.”

These thoughts started to take hold of my attention. Soon that was all I could think about. I was beating myself up for not being on the exact same journey as everyone else. I knew what was happening and how ridiculous it was, but I just couldn’t fight feeling that way.

I knew I needed to intercede, so when it came time for prayer requests, I made sure, as hard as it was, to share my thoughts. I couldn’t leave there without some comfort.  As my friend started to pray for me, the first words out of her mouth were, “Father, I just want Becky to know how beautiful she is.” Now, at first, I heard that and thought, “Oh, that’s nice” But, then another friend told me that he felt God wanted to tell me that I am beautiful. Beautiful? Why that word? It seemed totally unrelated to what my concerns had been. What did that mean?

I went home and kept thinking about it, looking at myself in the mirror, asking if I thought I was beautiful or not because I thought He meant physical beauty. I mean, yes, almost everyday I look at my body and nitpick. I see my belly protruding, I see the love handles that could be flatter, I see the stretch marks that I think shouldn’t be there, I see the keratosis pilaris on my legs that has embarassed me since I was a child, I see the abnormal curvature of my spine that makes me look like a hunchback and I see the dark circles under my eyes that just never go away, even with makeup on. I could keep going, but, honestly, that wasn’t what He meant. Not completely.

The word ‘beauty’ means “the quality or aggregate of qualities in a person or thing that gives pleasure to the senses or pleasurably exalts the mind or spirit.”  Now the word ‘exalt’ means to elevate by praise or in estimation : glorify.

So, beauty, in this case, is the quality of a person that pleasurably exalts/glorifies the spirit.

Wow.

Yes. I am so full of Beauty. I am. I pleasurably exalt/glorify the Holy Spirit. I desire to be more and more beautiful in the eyes of God every single day. God just wanted to remind of that.

So, no more comparing myself to others. I don’t need it. God loves me for me (and you for you).Image

 

A writing challenge

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I never considered myself super smart or overly eloquent. The fact that I am blogging and writing my thoughts down when my thoughts are often too jumbled or lost in space whilst searching for the right word is practically a miracle. Perhaps I sell myself short. Perhaps I am far more intelligent than I think I am. Mind you, I don’t think I’m dumb by any means, but gosh, sometimes words are so hard to come by.  I fumble and falter when speaking. I take awkwardly long pauses when trying to remember a word that for some reason has left my brain in a state of borderline chaos. Ask my friends how long it takes for me to tell a story. I know that eventually they get bored with me speaking (at least, that is what I presume is happening) and move on to a new conversation, new quips, new jokes and a bunch of words that are spoken rapidly in succession. How do they do it so quickly and with such big words?? Then, I just give up on my story. My moment has passed.

Not today friends. My moment is here and at my fingertips. Literally. The Daily Post has given me (and all bloggers) a writing challenge. To write freely about a photo. Whatever it means to us. The photo above is entitled “Relaxation.”  I’d like to subtitle it and call it “Love.”  Yes, I see the peace and tranquility, but when I imagine myself in this man’s place I can only think of love. I think about how my much I loved going to a family friend’s cottage every summer as a kid, taking the paddle-boat out to the middle of the lake and letting myself sway to the movement of the water. I think about my trips to California to visit my sisters as a teenager and loving the breathtaking mountains of the desert. I think about how much I love laying on my back and soaking up the sun in a small park in NYC. I love letting the breeze play with my hair while thinking about everything and nothing as the clouds above me slowly make their way across the sky. I can’t help but think about how beautiful our earthly home really is – when I actually slow down enough to notice it. But, most of all, I think about how much I am loved by Jesus Christ. I know, I totally went there. But, oh man, He is doing some great things lately. I truly believe that I moved to NYC to be closer to Him. He knew all along that I would find Him here. Of ALL places! It would make sense if I had moved to the South! But NYC? He knew that was where I wanted to be, He knew that I wanted to start a life on my own, He knew that I wanted to find a church that I connected with, He knew that I was an actor (still am) and He knew how to get me into church. Especially THIS church. I walked in there and knew instantly. They met at a theatre, red curtains and all. The music was amazing and the preaching was out of this world. I had never taken notes in church before. I used to be so bored in church. I don’t think I ever paid attention. That might be a slight exaggeration, but only slight. Yes, I grew up in a Christian home, but eventually we just stopped going for some reason. I believed in God and always did my best to be a “good Christian” but honestly, the thought of actually being a real follower of Jesus Christ scared me. I remember thinking, “I’m an actor, am I going to be able to play all of the roles I want to play?” I didn’t want to be limited. Actually, a friend of mine recently asked me if I feel limited or restricted because I am a Christian. A year or two ago I might have said yes. But, now? No. Absolutely not. Quite the opposite, in fact. I cannot begin to describe the happiness, the joy and the FREEDOM that I feel. 2 Corinthians 3:17 says that the Lord is the spirit and where the spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. I would like to add LOVE to that.

I am so thankful and blessed to be living in this city, being able to call Liberty Church my home and seeing all of the amazing things that God is doing in my life and in those around me.  Last night, my pastor Andi Andrew spoke about Jesus’ relentless love. She reminded me that Jesus loved us so incredibly deeply that no matter what was thrown His way (i.e. fasting for forty days in the desert while the devil tried to tempt Him) His focus was always on us and His love for us.  We do not deserve His love. I do not deserve his love. Yet, we have it because we have God and God IS love.
And you know what? Coming back to my original thought, I think that God loves my inability to tell a story sometimes. God knows I cannot always finish my prayers or find the right words to share with Him. It doesn’t matter to Him because He knows what is in my HEART and I love that.

~ I realize that not everyone will share my sentiments. But, that’s okay because we are all at different stages in our lives. I’m certainly not going to push anyone to go Church (but seriously, check Liberty Church out because it is ridiculously awesome and amazing and they have podcasts that you can listen to, vimeos to watch and even a live streaming of the 11am service, just shamelessly plugging) because I know that would totally turn me off. I simply invite you. Do it, don’t do it, ask me questions, don’t ask me questions – the choice is yours and I respect that.

As always friends – Enjoy!