Saturday morning. Springtime. Soccer season. It seemed just like any other normal day as my son and I set up our chairs and settled in, ready to cheer on Carty and her team. The sun was shining, the smell of fresh, hot kettle corn wafted through the air tempting our senses. Life was seemingly “good.” And then out of the blue, it got better! Zach turned to me and began a conversation (with 15 year old boys – that’s almost a miracle in itself somedays). He told me that he’d really been thinking a lot about who he wanted to be, and who he thought God wanted him to be. He said that he was tired of letting life get him down, tired of being depressed, and that he was ready…ready to change…ready to let God be in charge of his life…ready to be baptized. Those words were the sweetest words I could ever hear. I fought tears as I told him how very proud I was of him and how much I had prayed for him to see the bigger picture. We talked throughout the game about what it really meant to be baptized, and how it would change his life. We also talked about the fact that making the decision to follow God would not mean that life would instantly become “perfect.” Life would still be difficult at times, peer pressure would still exist, and “bad things” would still happen. He seemed to understand and said that he knew that he was sure about his choice. He was ready to live out the life God had planned for him.
Later that same night, Brian and I had the privilege of baptizing Zach. It was one of the sweetest moments of my life. I pray that Zach will always remember that decision and live by it for the rest of his life. And I pray that he will be an example to others around him. I will always cherish those words he spoke to me that day…”Mom, I’m ready.”
Last year, Brian and I each chose a word for the year to focus our own personal growth on. The word I chose was “listen”. I chose this word because I felt like it would help me in many areas of my life. My goal was to become a better listener for my students at school, my children at home, and my friends and family. The other part of this goal was to be better at listening to God’s will and guidance in my life. I have often said that I know that life is so much better when I get out of God’s way and let him reveal his plans for me. In order to get myself out of the way, I had to become better at listening to his directions. Too often I just go with my “gut” or my instinct, or, probably closer to the truth, I go with what I want to do…which often is not what God has in mind. Continue reading →
The house is completely dark and quiet this morning as I sit and reflect. Recently I have been battling challenges and adversities – mostly within myself. I do my best to be a positive, happy person…but sometimes I fail miserably. Lately, this has been the case. I feel like I have been bombarded with one thing after the next just trying to with test my will, or topple me. Through the difficulties, I will have a few bright moments when I can calm myself and remind myself that God – the creator of the universe – is truly in control of my life…I just have to let Him lead. During these shining moments, I am at peace and can just let go and let God. The problem is that I don’t allow those feelings of peace last. Yes…I’m a control freak…not only do I feel the need to control the moment…I’d be happy if I could control the next – say 20 years. And yet I know that each and every time I get in the way of myself and try to lead, I fail miserably, end up worried, upset and in a pretty deep state of depression. I spent a lot of time over these last few days truly listening to God and trying to just be in His presence. He wants me to count the abundance of blessings He has given me. He truly has plans for me – I just keep getting in the way. Big plans. God gave me a wonderful person to journey with…a person who loves God, loves me unconditionally, has a heart for those who are hurting, and has an amazing talent with which to share God’s message and His love. I can’t imagine my life now without Brian Suman. God knew that Brian and I would be able to do great things for Him together. God gave me a mission field of children to teach and to nurture every day. God gave me two awesome children of my own. God gave me the desire and the drive to write music that will share His good news and His love. He has chosen me – ME! – unworthy me, to minister to others through music. As I type I am humbled to see just a small number of the blessings God has covered me with. I am in awe of His love for me. I am comforted by the fact that I know He has a plan for me and for my life…and that the challenges that I face are blessings too! God is making me stronger through adversity. The sunrise is beautiful this morning…yet another gift from God. My prayer for today is that I will not dwell on the small challenges of my own life, but that I will go out today and be thankful for the abundant life God has granted me…and that I may be a blessing to someone else.