a directed heart

a glimpse inside


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Today I’m overwhelmed

…with blessings.

I really should feel overwhelmed by the blessings surrounding me every day, but today I feel especially surrounded, and especially grateful.

I am married to a wonderful man, and after a weekend without him, I’m so glad to have him back!

Hubs

Christmas break has been a fantastic opportunity for us to spend a lot more time together and it has been so refreshing! Cooking breakfast, laughing, making plans for the upcoming season in our lives, and watching hilarious videos (of cats) on youtube. Needless to say, it has been a much-needed opportunity for quality time.

Over the  past few weeks I’ve felt especially encouraged by Jacob. He’s been quick to spur me on and has been so supportive in the ways I feel the Lord is stretching me. Eek! Not to mention, he’s been incredibly patient and gracious to me, even though he’s been working crazy hours (and HE has the right to be the tired one!!). The Lord uses Jacob frequently as a model of his grace and faithfulness. I’m a blessed woman.

I’m so thankful for this refreshing, encouraging break and for my great husband!! So here’s to the last two days of break and welcoming in another semester of school. My LAST one, I might add. :)

Yep.

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A Day for Thanksgiving

Today I am overwhelmed with the abundantly long list of things and people for whom I am thankful, so I thought I should share just a little bit of that list.

Above all, I’m thankful that Jesus died for me, for mankind, to rescue us from sin and bring us back to God in reconciliation. And even more than that, he continues loving me despite my tendency to forget him. What abundant grace–let’s gather at his throne today and give him the all the thanks.

I’m thankful for my wonderful, merciful, hilarious husband. Thank you, Jacob, for loving me when I’m at my worst and listening to my crazy dreams. I’ve learned so much about the depth of God’s love for me through you over the past 5 months. Thank you for laughing with me, cheering me up, encouraging me to sit with Jesus, and letting me do whatever I want when it comes to decorating our apartment. :) And buying me furniture. Big thanks for that ;) You are a superstar and I’m so, so thankful God gave me you as my husband, best friend, partner, and encourager. I can’t say thank you enough. I love you!!

I’m so thankful for my family, who loves me so well all the way from Ohio. I’m blessed and so happy to be spending today with you. The love you guys have for me (and for Jacob!) has blown me away, and I cherish every moment we get to spend together. Thank you for sacrificing for us and welcoming us home no matter what else has been going on in our lives. You guys are such a blessing.

I’m thankful for our family here in Tennessee. It has been SUCH a blessing to have sisters with whom I can share life-I love you girls! And thank you Larry & Teresa for opening your home to us at all times, while at the same time giving us space to figure out what it is to be married and on our own. You guys are also a HUGE blessing to us and I delight in the time we get to share with you guys.

I’m thankful for the crazy communities the Lord has blessed us with! Thank you for surrounding us with people both here and in Ohio who love you and love us and encourage us to seek you together! We feel SO BLESSED and cannot even say enough how wonderfully encouraged and loved we feel by all of our friends, both near and far.

And thank you, Lord, for helping us adjust in our church transition. The past few weeks have been so refreshing and genuinely enjoyable. Thank you for transforming my mind, opening my eyes, and humbling my heart to meet you in our new church. Thank you for surrounding us with brothers and sisters who encourage us to do what may not be the easiest, but in the end is definitely the most growth-provoking and encouraging. Thank you for providing us with opportunities to use our gifts to serve you and be blessed by you and also to bless our brothers and sisters. I have been overwhelmed by your faithfulness in this season of our lives. Amen and AMEN!

And last but not least in the slightest bit, I’m incredibly thankful for our jobs. God has provided for us more than we could have ever hoped! We both are in positions that humble us and give us great opportunities for ministry.

We are so blessed!! PRAISE PRAISE PRAISE HIM!!!


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Monday Thankfuls

It’s early Tuesday now, but I’ve spent a good amount of time today (Monday) thinking about why I’m thankful. Joy is something I’m trying to grow in this year… separating my joy from rising and falling only relative to my circumstances and instead learning to find joy in the Creator. Since Mondays have to be the most complained-about day of the week, I thought I’d make a tradition out of Monday Thankfuls. Here’s to remembering and celebrating the little ways God draws us into him.

1. Wearing shorts & a tee shirt every day this week, feeling the sun beating on my bare arms: glorious. God, you’re waking up my slumbering heart with the springtime sunshine and warm breeze.

2. Jacob smiling and waving at me through the door to the kitchen at Chickfila today, even though I was beyond mean to him yesterday and in no way deserved that kind of greeting. Jacob, thank you for looking at me through the gospel lens, loving me through my impatience and selfishness, and forgiving me. Lord, thank you for Jacob.

3. Friendships that flourish with encouragement, honesty, and acceptance. So, so thankful, ladies.


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Looking at the little things

So far this week has sent me spiraling down the stress tunnel.

I’ve been straining to resist spending every waking second planning out the rest of my waking seconds: when I’m going to catch up on film & tv and old testament images of God, when I’m going to take my psych test, when I’m working, when I get to sleep, when I’m going to start these papers, when I’m going to talk to so and so & so and so and when I’m going to see Jacob. Oh yeah, and when I’m going to read my Bible?

It’s been a long week. But, there have been many, many redeeming moments that I don’t want to look over.

1: my parents visited this weekend. Jacob got the flu (not one of the redeeming moments I’m listing), so it was stinky that he couldn’t spend any time with them. Our plans were very much changed because of his sickness, but it was nice to see my parents and hang out.

2: Jacob and I worked on Valentine’s Day, so we celebrated Monday (we got 2 pretzels and 2 drinks from Auntie Anne’s for $6! Tell me that’s a deal!) and went to lunch on Tuesday. It was so fun to just enjoy each other!! I’m so thankful for moments when we get to forget about work and school and invest in each other. We had 2 great Valentine’s dates:)

3: Someone left this awesome tip for me Wednesday night at Firehouse

4: I found the NICEST note from one of my residents in my Valentine’s bag on my door. Talk about some seriously uplifting words! I needed that. Speaking of those bags, they were pretty much a hit. It was super fun to receive valentines from all the girls on my hall! Jacob even got a few in there, too, ha!

5: Jacob’s efforts to reach out to people/things that are important to me. Thank you, Jake, for loving me and trying to love what I love.

6: Standing in the middle of chapel yesterday, surrounded by a small part of the body of Christ singing

“Jesus paid it all,
All to him I owe,
Sin had left a crimson stain–
He washed it white as snow.”

I just closed my eyes and let the chorus of God’s people serenade my heart.

7: Hearing girls exclaim, “Chocolate!!!!” when they returned to their rooms after room inspections. Good idea, Ally :)


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learning

God has been teaching me a lot over the past two days.

1. I am prideful and quick to point my finger at everyone else.
2. God is patient with me.
3. Reconciliation is a sweet, sweet thing. Both with God and with others.

Here’s what I read in my Old Testament Images of God class today (not exactly at all what we were talking about, but this passage formed the theme for the rest of my day):

“For it was not to angels that God subjected the world to come, of which we are speaking. It has been testified somewhere,

‘What is man, that you are mindful of him, or the son of man, that you care for him?
You made him for a little while lower than the angels; you have crowned him with glory and honor, putting everything in subjection under his feet.’

Now, in putting everything in subjection to him, he left nothing outside his control. At present, we do not yet see everything in subjection to him. But we see him who for a little while was made lower than the angels, namely Jesus, crowned with glory and honor because of the suffering of death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone.

For it was fitting that he, for whom and by whom all things exist, in bringing many sons to glory, should make the founder of their salvation perfect through suffering. For he who sanctifies and those who are sanctified all have one source… Since therefore the children share in flesh and blood, he himself likewise partook of the same things, that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil, and deliver all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong slavery. For surely it is not angels that he helps, but he helps the offspring of Abraham. Therefore he had to be made like his brothers in every respect, so that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in the service of God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people. For because he himself has suffered when tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted” (Hebrews 2:5-11, 14-18).

What a wonderful Savior we have! God, thank you for your mercy on us through Christ. Thank you for our merciful and faithful High Priest, who atoned for our sins and set us free from slavery. Thank you for our High Priest who can sympathize with our weaknesses and yet is without sin. Jesus, thank you for suffering to destroy the power of death. Thank you for the gift of reconciliation and for your example of humility.

Today God reminded me of my sweet reconciliation with him through Christ, and today I learned humility from a friend who chose reconciliation. Today I’m overwhelmingly thankful for the gospel and for forgiveness, despite my sinful tendency to hold a grudge. God, break me of that and teach me your humility.


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And so we are, saints.

See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. 1 John 3:1.

Father, thank you.

Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is. 1 John 3:2.

Amen.