Tuesday, October 28, 2003

I AM SOO BLESSED!

As we are spiraling through our addictions,
We realize that they cannot last,
All that glitters and this thankless libido,
We'll leave behind what we've amassed.

But one day we'll repeat those everlasting words,
From the start - let there be light,
And when we shout with just enough faith,
When we present him the reigns of our lives,
He will appear to take us all home with our utterance - it is good.

~Abe



One of my students wrote this. It makes me want to fall on my knees and cry. What I don't understand is why doesn't everyone want to work with teens? They are so stinkin incredible!! I am so blessed! I have amazing friends, I am able to share in the lives of some absolutely incredible teens and I get to marry the most amazing man I've ever known. I had no idea it could be this good. When you are willing to give it all back and let God take control of everything it's amazing what God can do in your life. I am even willing to welcome the periods of trials in my life. It's in the time of trials that we learn and it's during the trials when God molds us to be who He created us to be.

The Fall Fest was fun. The kiddos got to make some money for the group and I got to serve with Les. It is so amazing to have a partner to serve God with! I don't even have words to express how cool it is to be able to hang out with my kiddos and have Les by my side. Why did it take me so long to finally get what this life is for? It's not about me. It's not about the things I acquire or even the talents that I have. GOD PLEASE HELP SHOW ME WHAT I AM STILL HOLDING ONTO. HELP ME TO SURRENDER EVERYTHING TO YOU. PLEASE OPEN MY HEART AND MY MIND TO WHAT YOU WANT ME TO GIVE. YOU ARE SO GOOD TO ME GOD. THANK YOU! AMEN!

Saturday, October 25, 2003

MORE THAN I EVER THOUGHT POSSIBLE.... I COULD HAVE BLOWN IT ALL

God is so good! I'm so glad He slapped me into reality when He did. His timing is perfect. I called Adam today and let him know that I'm getting married. I wanted him to hear it directly from me and not from the grapevine. He was cool at first and said congratulations. Then when he heard how soon we're planning on getting married he started to get crappy. I really don't understand why I bother to be nice to him. He really is a mean jackass. I really just hate him right now. It's crazy because I hate him yet I still don't want to hurt him. I'm just glad I stuck to my guns and didn't allow him to kick me around. I could have married him. There is absolutely no comparision to him and Les. I would have missed out on something so amazing that I don't even have words for, for someone who treated me like a doormat. I feel sorry for this poor girl that he's dating. Part of me really hopes that she treats him really well and the other part of me hopes that he isn't being a total butthole to her. for her sake I hope he's learned a few things. Very doubtful. I'm so glad God woke me up. I always knew it was wrong, even from the start. It's so crazy how dysfunction can be so comfortable. Enough about jerk face. My whole deal with even talking about him is that I am so grateful that God took that away from me and opened the door for something incredible. A lot of times things happen and we just never understand why God doesn't answer our prayers or why things happen a certain way. Even the most horrible of things can really be for the best. God's glory shines through in everything even the yucky stuff. It's so comforting to know that I can and should rejoice at all times. Right now things are absolutely fabulous and I am so thankful to God about everything. Yet even during the times when God appears to be far away and things just aren't going how I would like them to go God is refining me and still has my best interest in mind. If the dead guys family never came back I would have never had the opportunity to stay at the Foran's. This family is so incredible. I have received more love and acceptance then I ever did at my own home growing up. This is how a family who is grounded in God functions. It has done wonders for my fear of marriage. Marriage doesn't have to be sick and yucky. It can be a phenomenal thing! I know it is going to be an amazing thing with Les. I get to spend the rest of my life with him. I get to serve God with him. I can't wait!!
We talked about the date a little tonight. I need to get one set just so I know when and how to plan the rest of things. We talked about either May or February. I would love to get married in February but that is pushing it time wise and it's still too cold for outside. I want an outdoor wedding. We came up with the first weekend in May but then decided that we were going to get through the one life thing first and then settle on a date. First thing is first and that is to put God first. We also talked about getting marreid during a time when we can both kinda step back alittle and focus on Les and I being a married couple. I don't know when things are ever going to slow down. I want them to but the thought of backing off from my kids makes me so stinkin sad. I'll step away from my Wednesday night small group and find a time to meet with my accountability partners some other time but I can't give up Tuesday night small group. If we get married in May and I'm supposed to step back then when does the mission trip and summer camp fall into place. We could get married after the summer but goodness I don't want to wait that long. If that is what it takes though. I need to start praying about how I'm going to let some things go. It's going to be so hard for me to do that, especially when it comes to CrossRoads. I'm not willing to give up my stuff yet. I need to pray that God will reveal to me what I will need to step back from when that time comes and that He will give me the strength to let go. The things I let go will only be temporary anyway. If and when Les gets called to start a church somewhere or to go somewhere else to minister how in the world am I gonna be able to say goodbye to my kiddos? If Les gets called to an already established church I don't have to head up the youth group. I'd be fine with just hanging out with the kiddos and leading a small group. It's cool to know that I'm ready to do either one. With this youth thing I need to remember that God comes first even before CrossRoads and even before Les Brown. It's funny they both grow me closer towards God but they both have the potential to distract me from what's number one. Man Les is gonna have to be my number two. I think right now my kiddos and Les are tied. Les needs to be the clear winner of that number two slot. It's all about learning how to go from an I to an US or a WE. I am so in love with that man!!

Wednesday, October 22, 2003

I GET TO MARRY LES BROWN!!!!

WOW! i've been saying that a lot this week. Monday night October 20th 2003 Les Brown asked me to marry him. I had no stinkin clue!!!! We went to the 360 cliffs where we kissed for the first time and he got down on one knee and asked if I would marry him. I thought I was going to pass out. It was so amazing because we prayed together immediately afterwards. I have to admit though after we got into the car to go home I started freakin out. I've known Les was the guy I was going to marry since that first kiss but there's still that part of me that is still wounded and scared and it definately came out to play for a little while on Monday night. It finally left and I was just kinda in shock. I didn't even really get to start processing it until Tuesday. It came in waves yesterday. I'd be sitting there and then it would hit me and I'd get excited. Now it's completely hit me and I want to jump up and down and squeal all day long!! I'M GOING TO MARRY LES BROWN!!! I am so incredibly blessed. I can not wait to see the amazing things God is going to be able to do through the two of us. Our first big decision together is going to be about the "One Life" commitment. It's amazing that God gets to be the main focus of our first decision together. Last night we decided that instead of registering somewhere we are going to ask people to give the money that they would spend on a gift to us to the "One Life" campaign. This is harder for me to take than me being willing to give back the money every week that I get on my biggest money making shift a week. That's exactly why I want to do it. Registering for things and getting them would be great but all it is is just things. It's just stuff and if that money could be used to change just one person it is so worth it. God is going to give us everything that we need. This is so going to teach me what I hold onto in this world. I don't ever want things of this world to come before God. If that means giving up Les or giving up CrossRoads I'm willing to do it. I don't think God wants me to and I feel very blessed that He has choosen to bless me with those things but they are still things given to me from God and should never come before Him. I had no idea it could be this good!!!

Wednesday, October 15, 2003

HUH?

how can you tell when you are fooling yourself or when you are really onto something? yesterday was quite the experience. i was freaking out about kate and feeling incredibly overwhelmed. i really wanted to drop everything and rescue her but that's not my job and heather and dawn would have kicked my butt. my first day back at chili's is friday. it was crazy walking thorugh that door yesterday. i got attacked and i have to admit it, it felt good. ah, my old dysfunctional family. how i loved those guys and i still do. God is so going to have to walk me through this one. Do i fear failure? i do but it's not crippling me from doing what i feel God is calling me. after all i'm not alone. what a huge opportunity!

CROSSROADS
last night one of my kiddos stood up and told how GAteway has made a difference to them and how the tuesday night small group has really impacted them. uhhhh... it was awesome. i'm so scared about being proud and i want to always be humble but it's awesome to know that we have a tuesday night small group that means so much to our teens because God was working through me. if i get the job at gateway it will almost be certain that i will fail at some time or another at some things but look at the awesome things God is going to do through me because i am faithful to Him. He didn't bless me with a passion for youth just so I could sit on it. the youth small group would never even exist if i hadn't been faithful to God and got it started. it wasn't me and it was God but it was my being faithful. it was God who even grew that faithfulness to begin with. it's not me so i should have no reason to fear.
on a side note les said he would help out with the sr high band. i was so hoping he would. he asked about it a couple times and seemed like he might be interested but i wanted him to volunteer if he wanted to help. he's going to be awesome at it. i think his jam session with abe might have pushed him over the edge. it's going to be so awesome working together sunday nights. i love that man!!

Tuesday, October 14, 2003

CATCH UP

verses
"Don't use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them." Ephesians 4:29

"Awake, O sleeper, rise up from the dead, and Christ will give you light."

Give it all to God: your past regrets, your future ambitions, your fears, dreams, weaknesses, habits, hurts, and hang-ups.

"Surrender your whole being to Him to be used for righteous purposes." Romans 6:13

10/10/03 DAY TWO
This has been my hardest fast yet. Normally day two is easy and I'm able to really connect spiritually w/ God but this time the experience is so different. I"m starving and it's tough and I have to totally rely on God to make it. This fast is about self discipline and a lesson and reminder about relying on God for everything. I've been freaked out about the CrossRoads thing but I need to totally rely on God that He is going to get me through {I was freaking about the possibility of failing. God will get me through everything but that does not always mean that I will succeed at everything. IT IS OKAY TO FAIL> GOD TEACHES US AMAZING LESSONS WHEN WE DO> SOME OF OUR BIGGEST GROWTH COMES FROM FAILURE> GOD PLEASE HELP ME TO FAIL>}. i know this in my head but God's trying to drill this into my heart.

I have discovered my purpose in life. My purpose is to be a missionary. Not a missionary that goes out of the country but a missionary in my own home town. This week has been so crazy. My last day at work is tomorrow. It's hard becasue everyone thinks I'm crazy. Nobody understands especailly my small group. i think that's the hardest. { okay i think i get it. i really think i'm supposed to be at chili's but not fulltime. working one or two shifts and giving that money to the one life campaign will be awesome but i totally was going to let working fulltime at chili's be enough. i am terrified at getting the job at gateway because i'm scared of failure. i've even tried to dilude myself that crossroads is not what i'm supposed to do. i am so sick of letting my past destroy what i have right now and in the future.}

10/11/03 DAY THREE
"For the word of God is full of living power. It is sharper than the sharpest knife, cutting deep into our inner most thoughts and desires. It exposes us for what we really are." Hebrews 4:12

I'm going in for another day. Today I've discovered i have totally been worried about what other people think about the job i'm doing back in CrossRoads. I should be worried about what God thinks. I need to stop seeking out and needing other peoples approval.

10/13/03
"Jesus Christ gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zeolous for good works." Titus 2:14

Sunday, October 05, 2003

CHILI'S BABY BACK RIBS

AH TO BE AT LAKELINE ONCE AGAIN....
so i went to lakeline on saturday to go talk to collard greens. i sat in the parking lot for quite awhile before going in. i asked God if this is really what He wants me to do. i gritted my teeth as i walked through the door. then i saw several familiar faces. i saw racheal and asked her if collard was there and then got caught up with her awhile. she had actually just come back to work at lakeline. then i knew that this was definately the place i'm supposed to be. i'm still not thrilled about waiting tables full time. today at church i was thinking about it and i've come to the conclusion that even if i don't get hired as the youth person how awesome is it going to be to have a flexible schedule where i can finally focus all my energy at serving God even if i don't get paid for it. the thought of being a 24 yr old loser who was still waiting tables was my fear on friday. if waiting tables is what i need to do then there's nothing loserish about it. there is nothing wrong with having a job that will enable me to put even more energy into serving God even if that's what i have to do for the rest of my life. i'm pretty confident i wont be waiting tables fulltime for long though. charles and i chatted about starting the interview process very soon. i've got the job i just have to be patient until then.

AFRAID TO FALL
i remember a time not too long ago that i was freaking out about falling for a particular person named les brown. now i am so sickly and grossly in love that i don't even know what to do about it. i had no idea it could be like this!! i know we are going to have our problems. in fact i can count on it especially with both of our emotional baggage. it's so going to be worth it though. i can't imagine doing life without him. i had no idea it could be like this. i'm dating les brown the most amazing guy i've ever known. that feeling isn't going away in fact it's getting worse. how am i ever going to make it?

APARTMENT LIFE
doesn't look like it's going to happen.

Friday, October 03, 2003

I CAN'T BELIEVE IT'S OCTOBER!

it was about a week or two ago last year when i had finally reached my rock bottom and surrendered it all to God. i can not believe how far i have come in such a short period of time. when God calls you He doesn't mess around. it's so crazy! if you would have told me one year ago today that i would be where i am now i would not have believed it. it's mind blowing.

THE SPLIT
i'm starting to freak out about this whole crossroads business. this meeting on sunday is going to be huge and more people have said they can't make then the people who can. and twice as many people haven't even responded. what's up with that? i have no idea how this is all going to work out next sunday or even this sunday for that matter. i know that God has it covered and that He is not only going to provide for CrossRoads but i know I'm going to be absolutely blown away by how He helps us out. i still feel yucky though. i guess it's because there are so many people who haven't even responded to my email. i'm probably taking it personal. in fact i know i am. this makes me feel like i'm a sucky leader. i have two choices right now. i can keep on rolling with that thought and allow satan to completely undermind my security that God has called me to do this or i can choose not to focus on myself and focus on God and what i know to be true. hmm.. not too hard of a decision actually.

TO KNOW FOR SURE
there are a lot of things that i felt i have known for sure lately. i know my job here is done. i know i'm supposed to move on. i know i'm going to get the job at Gateway. i know i'm supposed to be with les brown. i know i;m supposed to live with heather hajdo. i know i'm supposed to go back to lakeline. i know les is going to houston. how do i know these things and how can i be so sure? i'm having a major case of the doubts today but something in the back of my mind keeps telling me that i'm right even though it sounds crazy. it does sound crazy even to myself and i know it has to sound crazy to everybody else.

Thursday, October 02, 2003

CH..CH..CHANGES!

it's amazing how much you can change and not even realize it. God has grown me so much this year. it's even amazing how much i've grown even in just a few months. slow chaneges are suttle but goodness when you look back they really aren't as suttle as you think. that feeling of limbo is gone now. i know what i'm supposed to do. i went back and read some of the entries that i wrote. i was prompted to do this because i found out yesterday that i have a bigger audience for my blog then just jeremy. oh by the way HI JEREMY!! i'm not bother by that fact at all. i was freaking out alot about looking towards the future and not being content with where i am. it's so stinkin funny because now that i am finally at peace with waiting and listening to God and knowing that i'm in limbo for a reason it's time to move on. God has been hard at work changing me and growing my faith and everything else. i am blown away by it. i had gone through periods of discontentment with my job. in fact it had gotten really bad a couple weeks ago. i think it happened when i found out that lisa was a christian and she goes to the office frequently and has the opportunity to connect with the nonchristians in the office.. i just couldn't understand why i was still here if i wasn't being able to serve in the way that i thought i should be. well, one morning watching the sun finish rising and spending a couple minutes with God before punching the clock i figured out why iwas still at my job. it has been for Kate. i was never disatisfied with working with Kate. i was just frustrated because i know God has given me a heart for ministry and I didn't feel like i was doing any of that in my job. i was at peace and content once i knew i still had a purpose for being here. that's the exact reason why i was so discontent. i couldn't see what my purpose was. God needed me to be content in knowing that He has been growing me during this time and that my job wasn;t done yet. BLAH BLAH BLAH it;s so hard for me to get to the point sometimes but this week has been so crazy and incredible. well, the last couple of weeks Kate and I have been having quite a few conversations about God. she admits to knowing there is a higher power but that's about as far as it has been getting. she even prays. it had been getting so upsetting because she knows this world is bigger than herself but just hasn't been able to get it yet. it's heart breaking when that happens because i know that's not enough. anyway, yesterday she finally said that she wished she got it and that she could just let go and believe. that's so huge. God has been growing that seed. it's small changes like that that may not seem like much but God is totally working on her. I was totally blown away by that. God is so good!! i mentioned something about Dom coming to church with me and he said i totally see that happening sooner than later. it's like all the loose ends are being tied up. there's one other huge thing i guess. last week i realized that Kate was going to be able to grasp God's love and understand Him more once I don't work for her anymore. My desire to continue a relationship with her beyond this job i think is going to be a huge thing. kate's been also telling me things that Ree has been saying about me and I've been pretty blown away. i know that once i'm done with my job here that that's going to be good for me and Ree as well. I don't really know him that well other than what Kate tells me. I know that i would like to know him better and i know he's an amazing guy but that's not a relationship. it's all about relationship. i guess my point in all this stuff is that i know i'm done here. it's sad because i know it's a matter of a couple weeks. i totally thought i had more time than that but i don't. it's funny i'm totally at peace now and i'm content finally to just sitting and waiting and now that i'm completely comfortable it's time for me to move on. DOH!!!

ONE LIFE
so i went to a one life meeting last monday and there was some amazing testamony and i've been trying to figure out what i was supposed to do to give to the one life campaign. i had come up with these things. i was going to give up my tax return this year. my old GM at chili's has been weighing on my heart. i've sorta had the desire to wait tables again just because i know that i could meet new people and it would be a great opportunity to step out of my holt huddle. well, it's become apparent that this is what i'm supposed to do. i had come up with the idea that if i got the job at church i would wait tables once a week at chili's and give the money i made to the one life campaign. it would be a great opportunity to serve God and then i could also help out more financially. i know i would totally grow from the experience as well. i coulnd't do that now working 40 hrs and trying to run a ministry. here's the deal now. i know i'm going to get the job at Gateway. i had a dream on Sunday night that kicked my butt. there was two rows of chairs and i could see people sitting in chairs from the waist down but there was one empty chair. then i heard a voice say "it's sad that God has called someone to this job but they are not being faithful to His call." i felt horrible. it's been fear that has stopped me. well, i know this job is so much bigger than myself but i finally have faith that God has called me to this job and He's gonna help me. i knew that before but i wasn't letting go. i'm finally letting go now. the deal now is i think it's going to be awhile maybe a month or so before i actually get the job because of everything going on. i would like to stay with Kate until i actually get teh church job but i don't thinnk that's what i'm supposed to do. we are finally splitting the jr and sr high at church and it's going to take so much time that there is no way i can keep my job with kate. i ned more time to work on it. instead of leading just one group i'm going to have to plan and prepare for twp groups a week plus a small group. i know i will eventually be able to give that to some of my leaders but honestly none of them are there yet and the one person who i think is can't really help out all the time yet or can't be fully committed until he is relieved of other church duties. the only thing i can think of is waiting tables full time right now. the thought of it makes me alittle ill but i know that's what i have to do plus it will assure me a one day a week shift later when i can finally get my dream job. i've been struggling with this idea for a couple days and now that i just wrote it i know that's what i'm supposed to do. i want to cry right now. it's over here and all i can do is be faithful to that. suck! suck! suck! God is good and He's gonna carry me through. wow i'm already starting to doubt if that's the right decision. i felt so strongly that it was. i know it is but goodness. blah blah blah. gotta go pick a pizza and call Collard Greens. did i mention that i'm homeless? that's a long story in itself. GOD IS THIS ME OR YOU? I THINK IT'S YOU BUT I KNOW JERKFACE IS GOING TO TRY TO MAKE ME DOUBT. PLEASE SOMEHOW LET ME KNOW IF THIS IS YOUR WILL. I KNOW IT IS BECASUE THIS IS NOT WHAT I WANT TO DO AND I WOULDN;T HAVE COME UP WITH IT ON MY OWN. THANK YOU FOR REMINDING ME OF THAT. HELP ME HAVE A GRAVY ATTITUDE GOD BECAUSE I WANT TO SERVE YOU FAITHFULLY. THIS IS SUCH A HUGE STEP OF FAITH BUT I'M DOING IT GOD. LOVE YOU GOD!