Follow Christ

I can’t believe it’s already December! Since my last post, I have been to DPAC with Lauren and Ashley for the So You Think You Can Dance Tour

all of us waiting for the show

all of us waiting for the show

introducing the dancers on tour

introducing the dancers on tour

Decorated the inside and outside of my house for Christmas

lights and decorations outside

lights and decorations outside

first tree of my very own :)

first tree of my very own 🙂

Done lots of holiday crafts with the kids at work

footprint reindeer (and 2 holiday friends- Mario and Toad the reindeer)

footprint reindeer (and 2 holiday friends- Mario and Toad the reindeer)

Elves and our other holiday friend- Iggles the Elf

Elves (and our other holiday friend- Iggles the Elf)

Santa...our countdown to Christmas! The kids put a cotton ball on the day and when his beard fills up, it's Christmas :)

Santa…our countdown to Christmas! The kids put a cotton ball on the day and when his beard fills up, it’s Christmas 🙂

chocolate covered pretzels

chocolate covered pretzels

Had my staff Christmas party on Friday night and had a great time making ornaments with friends yesterday!

the whole group!

the whole group!

the ornaments I made :)

the ornaments I made 🙂

And oh yeah, my best friend Callie got engaged!!!!! 🙂 I am so thrilled for her and Lucas and can’t wait to see what the Lord has in store for their future together! It is so sweet to have watched their relationship start and grow; I am grateful for the privilege of watching the way they love each other and show each other Christ!

Before I get to some things I have been learning and challenged by, I wanted to ask you all once again to pray for our family. Mom’s next appointment at Duke is this Tuesday; she hasn’t been feeling well the past few weeks from a virus and still feels wiped out, so she seems a bit more anxious about this appointment. Because cancer will always be a part of our story, it’s hard for her mind not to go to that particular place whenever her body doesn’t feel just right. Her exhaustion could be from anything, including cancer, but that does not mean it is the cancer spreading/growing; most likely it is just her body still fighting off the virus, but I know taking thoughts captive is hard even still. I am praying that her mind would be at peace, that she would rest in the hands of her Almighty Savior as He has been with us every step of the way and will continue to be. I pray that we will hear a good report for the doctor and we can celebrate this Christmas season with simply happy hearts and not cancer treatments! But I pray all the more greatly that God’s name would be made known, that He would be honored and glorified, that He would strengthen us and prepare us for what is ahead, that He will accomplish and finish the work which He has set before us! I pray that in EVERYTHING we would rejoice and choose joy in the hope for that which is to come! In ALL things God is good and in ALL things He is God–>; this does not change when circumstances become hard, whether we prefer them easy or not; I am remembering this as we head toward my Mom’s appointment this week.

Here are just a few things that have been on my mind recently:

  • We have nothing to offer a God who has all things, but still He loves, pursues, treasures, and delights in us. Now that is a glorious mystery in which we shall be forever grateful for and in awe of.
  • Worth and identity are not found in things, so why do we so often compare ourselves to what others have? Look to Christ for the truth of who we are and remember the great sacrifice that He made on our behalf…if that doesn’t show great worth God has placed on us, I don’t know what does.
  • Because of our sinful nature, temptation is inevitable and many times hard to resist. God ALWAYS provides a way out, we just don’t take it; sometimes we don’t even look for it. We need to stop making excuses for our sin as if we are not given power over it. In Christ, we are FREE! We are not bound to sin any longer!
  • The pain of sacrifice is outweighed by the joy to be obtained in Christ.
  • Following Christ will involve a willingness to embrace inconvenience. Our priority must not be convenience, but the mission of God. How willing are we to deny ourselves for the sake of others? To love others when it involves laying aside plans, time, money, etc?
  • The strength to have a lifestyle of following Christ comes from Him alone! How often do we seek His help in following Him?
  • In the Christian life, there is both exuberant joy and great sacrifice.
  • The apostle Paul said that if the resurrection was not true that he should be most pitied. Think about it, the man gave up his life, chose persecution, to follow Christ…if it was all a sham, then Paul’s sacrifice, his life, would have been for nothing. What makes our lives good or worth living? Is it money, success in the eyes of the world, peoples’ opinion of us? Or is it the finished work of Christ which saves us and changes us, causing us to do CRAZY things for His name sake?? Are we living in a way that the resurrection has to be true for our lives to be counted as good? I sincerely pray that would be true for me! All too often other things take priority, when God’s mission should always be my priority. When I am completely sold out to Him, my life probably won’t look so great to the world, but can be entirely good because the resurrection is indeed true and a life following Christ is worth it! Living for Him will not be the popular thing to do, it won’t even be the easy thing to do, but it is the BEST thing to do…and I want my life to be counted good for one thing only- that it was lived for the glory of the ONE TRUE GOD!
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