Navigating normality since 1993.

Tag: the word

Not Ready for No

Not Ready for No

Dear Jesus, Sometimes your answers look like “no.” But Jesus, how am I expected to accept your final answer when your no means watching a 9 year old die? I just can’t. I’m back on my knees for a re-do, a double-check, a miracle. Shuffle […]

Emmanuel: Where Imperfections Meet Redemption

I wrote in my journal this morning, Jesus I feel so defeated today. I feel hopeless. I feel like I’ve lost before I even started. I don’t feel like I can do anything. I feel like everything is too much, too overwhelming, too hard. I […]

6 Reasons Your Life Sucks Right Now

6 Reasons Your Life Sucks Right Now

photo credit: heartofthematteronline.com
photo credit: heartofthematteronline.com

Now, that is a pretty bold statement. Maybe you’re even thinking, “my life doesn’t suck right now.” And if it doesn’t I’m happy for you! But if it does, if you’re in that moment between ‘can’t’ and ‘even.’ Know that you aren’t alone. Because Homegirl over here knows exactly what that feels like. Here’s the thing though. In order to narrow down exactly what is causing your life to suck we need to start with the facts.

1. Your job. Let’s start with the worst thing that ever happened to mankind. Making us get jobs and earn money to buy things. Does it even make sense that we have to spend time and energy making someone else money? Why can’t nice things just be given to us? AMIRIGHT?

2. Your significant other. Don’t even get me started. If you’ve got one, ask yourself, do I need one? If you don’t have one – maybe that’s why your life sucks. No matter what Facebook says your status is, I’ve got one word: REEVALUATE.

3. Your family. Can they just stop hounding you about when you are coming home? Can they not just give you money when you need it and send you care packages? Like what is the point of even calling home if all you’re going to hear is how much they miss you and how they have surprises waiting? ANN-OY-ING.

4. Your living arrangement. Between dirty dishes and smelly pets (maybe even smelly roommates.) I could write a novel on this. You cannot handle the dirty laundry or even thought of scrubbing a toilet one more time. Next time you have to replace the toilet paper roll just go ahead and move out. GOOD RIDDENS.

5. Your school. If the #BIGORANGESCREW isn’t truer than the gospel than nothing is. I don’t know where you are in your education, but I promise you that if you are still chasing down a diploma of some sort you might as well stop now. The only thing your school wants from you is more money. They could care less if you graduate, let alone in 4 years. Move back home with mom & dad and get a job at the local market. They’ve been saying they miss you anyways and the cookies on isle 4 aren’t half bad.

6. Your schedule. You never have time for anything. You don’t get to have fun. All you do is work, work, work. And when you’re not working you’re doing something else you stupidly agreed to sign up for. Can’t the world just understand that you haven’t had a pedi in over 3 months? And the last time you didn’t have anything on your schedule it was because you were grounded. Even typing this is giving me anxiety. TICK-TOCK.

So there you have it. Get rid of those 6 things and you’ve got yourself a care-free life!

OR we could all stop for a second and start seeing the real problem. The only similarity in these 6 things…. Is YOU. So maybe it is time for a YOU adjustment? Maybe there isn’t a job problem or a family/relationship problem. Maybe, just maybe there is a heart problem. I can’t answer that question for you, but that is definitely what I found this morning as I started letting my heart harden towards the above things in my life. I was angry at everything and everyone around me. But the only thing all those things had in common was BEING AROUND ME.

Ann Voskamp says. “Anger is contagious – so is grace.” Maybe the person you’re actually angry at is you? Maybe you just need to give yourself some grace. It’s ok. I won’t tell.

My prayer for you this week is that you can love yourself well. Love who you are in this season of life. Give grace to yourself and your surroundings. Jesus made you for such a time as this. {Esther 4:14} Don’t wake up in 5 years and realize your sucky life could have been the life of your dreams. Tell the people in your life that they matter to you. Be grateful for your opportunities and experiences. Spend some time in the Word – actually stop rushing for even 15 minutes. I dare you, just for one day, to seek joy in Jesus and see if it makes a difference.

 

– Sarah

Grateful.

Grateful.

Life moves quickly. That’s what I remember thinking on my 21st birthday last week. It moves quickly and keeps moving quickly. However, that doesn’t mean it isn’t good, and that doesn’t mean it isn’t worth it. If you didn’t know this about me, I journal. […]

When the Ends Don’t Meet

When the Ends Don’t Meet

At the beginning of February I moved into a one-bedroom apartment right downtown. I live alone. Well, actually I don’t live alone. I live with Lucy, my Chesapeake Bay Retriever. Here she is snuggling with me on Saturday morning. But besides Lucy it is just […]

Broken.

Broken.

Shoot Shoot Shoot Shoot Shoot! [I’m going to be really honest. This wasn’t the word I yelled about 45 minutes ago, but let’s all just roll with it.]

The past three weeks have been about all I can handle emotionally, physically, mentally, psychologically, or whatever other fancy term you want to throw up there. The past three weeks have been freaking terrible. I’m tired. I’m emotionally drained. And my spirit just doesn’t feel like it can take anything else right now. The nannying life has been great. It’s just “everything else” that I am dealing with.

So why does it still surprise me that late at night, when I am all alone, and I just feel straight up defeated,  Satan began to creep into my thoughts? He began knocking on the protective walls of my mind and it was like the soldiers had all fallen asleep. My protectors of my fortress were so quickly taken by surprise. I will give them credit they have been fighting hard the past couple of weeks. But that’s exactly how a battle is won. Isn’t it? The enemy beats you and beats you and beats you down until you can’t take it anymore and then they come in for the final blow. The Enemy doesn’t sit back and say “Oh wait guys, she looks really really tired, she needs a break. Let’s pack up and come back tomorrow.” NO!! The Deceiver, like any good attacker, does the opposite. He keeps hounding and pounding and pushing and pulling until your mind cannot take it any longer. Then he takes a deep breath, pulls back for momentum and thrusts himself forward for the final blow.

Yesterday evening was bad too. But I had had enough to strength to pray for protection. I had called out the name of Jesus, my protector, the lover of my soul, the Almighty One. That He would stand for me when I no longer could. That he would place armies of angels around me in order to get me through the night. And Praise the Holy One. The One Who’s Reign Shall Never End, He did!! What a mercy. What a blessing. How GOOD my God is to me. But then again tonight Satan came crawling back, the way he is used to doing. He strikes like a snake at my mental process. Derailing my train of thought before it can get to Jesus. As he strikes again my mental strongholds failed. I truly watched them give up. It was like my mind said “We just can’t Sarah, you’re too tired for this today.” And the wall came crumbling down. It had been such a long battle. But again I failed. And once the fight is over Satan doesn’t help you clean up the mess. He doesn’t comfort like Emet Elohim Emet does. He doesn’t heal like Yahweh Rophey does. He doesn’t help and fix like Adonai does. He leaves.

After the disaster of the night. The broken child that I am remains. Nothing else. No one else. Just the mess that I was, am, and will be. But there is hope, because unlike the Evil One. My Beloved helps the broken.

Taped to my closet door is Matthew 11: 28-30, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

So tomorrow I will begin again. With renewed hope. Attempting to take on another day in this dark dark world. With the purpose of shining a light so someone else can have this hope that I have. This joy that heals. This love that claims you and makes you whole.

– Sarah

Where My Heart is at This Summer

Where My Heart is at This Summer

It’s been a hard summer. God’s been working on a lot the past 8 weeks. And there are 5 more to go. That’s the scary part. I think the first 8 were just a warm up. Lots of changes. Lots of unexpected. Lots of I […]

Digging Deeper Roots

Digging Deeper Roots

I wake up in a cold sweat with a tear-stained face. 3 AM is becoming more and more familiar. Anxiety has started camping out along the river banks of my stream of thought and his double-decker RV isn’t leaving any room for Peace & Calm […]

{Guest Post} Salvation vs. Sanctification

{Guest Post} Salvation vs. Sanctification

Our guest blogger today is my very own Mommy! She is the CEO and founder of Focused Creative Energy, a published author in financial assistance (check out her book and E-book here), she is a mother of three, and a wonderful wife. Besides all of that she is also the leader of a small group at her local church, North Point Community Church. This post is about an experience she recently had with her group of girls!

– – – – – – – – – –

I am a leader of a group of 9th grade girls at our church, and a few weekends ago we went on an awesome retreat where we talked about our relationships with our friends.  On our retreat in October, we had talked about our relationships with God.  This is the conversation I had with my girls after that retreat:

On Saturday night after session, we talked a little bit about the difference between Salvation and Sanctification; and I said that there are two parts of your relationship with Christ.  The first, Salvation, is when you accept him as your Savior.  The second, Sanctification, is when you accept him as your King.  The process of Sanctification also means that, as you grow in your relationship with Him, you will look more like Christ.  More and more you will begin to be a reflection of Christ to the people around you.

In Mark 12:28-31 it says,

One of the teachers of the law came and heard them debating. Noticing that Jesus had given them a good answer, he asked him, “Of all the commandments, which is the most important?” “The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.”

Jesus told them of all the commandments that Moses had given them, there were two that were the most important: Loving God with all their strength, and Loving their neighbor as themselves.

SO….If all you do is concentrate on those two things: Loving God (point towards the sky) and Loving each other (point at your two best friends on either side of you), what does that make your reflection to the world look like?  Hopefully, you will see that it starts to make you look more like the cross and more of a reflection of Christ to the people in the world around you.

Blessings,

Kim Moog

Worth it.

Worth it.

I sit alone in my bedroom. The kids have been tucked into bed and the lights are off in the house. Everything within me is dying to just go to bed. After the long day of visitors and large dogs and a terribly beating workout I […]

The Next Step.

The Next Step.

If you missed it, you need to start this post by reading my previous post, The Morning After. Last week I wrote about my experience with sin, for me it was a specific sin, but I hoped to make it relatable to anyone’s personal sin. […]

His Relentless Love.

His Relentless Love.

Well… we have a lot of catching up to do. First I need to give a status update on my life…

Yes. John and I did break up. I don’t really have much more to say on that. A lot of things are up in the air and there is a lot of healing and growing that needs to happen for both of us. Things are going to be ok. Don’t send him hate letters or messages or texts or a howler. (; ok if you have the ability to send a howler… do it just because that’s awesome. hahaha. Oh goodness… that is a Harry Potter reference for those of you who are unaware. If you are unaware stop reading this blog and go pick up the first book. So good. Fictional writing is such a love of mine… always will be (considering I want to be an author).. ANYWAYS….

Next. I do not yet know whether or not I will be joining the YWAM team to Australia. I am sorry. Trust me I am just as anxious as you are. I will let everyone know as soon as I know. I promise.

Ok… down to the point of this post. Jesus loves you. The end.

[NOT REALLY but that’s all that needs to be said.]

Andy Stanley spoke today on how the world complicates Christmas and what the real truth of the gospel is about. That Christmas is about the fact that God GAVE US His Son. Wow. So true. If you do not believe this no one is going to hold a grudge against you, especially me, but before you reject the truth of the word of God understand the realness of what you are walking away from. Do not reject the church or Christianity or anything else, but realize what those things (in their purest form) represent. That Jesus Christ CHOSE to come to Earth to live and be an example for His children and then Willingly DIED for YOU because a debt HAD to be paid…. I am getting so worked up over here. God is SO GOOD.

Ok…. but where I was going with this is that Jesus CHASES after you. Because I am just now finishing with my first semester of college and I am recently out of a relationship that I am vulnerably getting out of I get the opportunity to re-examine my entire life. What is good and what needs to change. So as I was sobbing over my devotional journal this evening I came to a conclusion that I have had so many times before, but tonight I remembered the goodness.

Jesus Christ LOVES me. JESUS LOVES ME. I do not need the love of others and I do not need joy to come from relationships or people or objects or money. I have the Joy of the Lord as my strength (Nehemiah 8:10). Amen.

My 2 FAVORITE verses are what represents the gospel for what is….

“But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” – Romans 5:8

Recognize that it does not say ‘once Sarah got her act together’ or ‘after Sarah repented and cried out for God’ it says ‘while Sarah was still a sinner’ God chases after me….Jesus CHASES AFTER ME. And I promise you He chases after you too.

“For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” – Romans 8:38-39

Now this verse is for all of God’s children who can’t get over their guilt. Those people that will say yea but you don’t know what I did… I am telling you right now. Jesus KNOWS everything. He remembers every sin you recognize and every sin you are trying to ignore. Embrace them! ITS OK. NOTHING will separate you from His Love. It is RELENTLESS. He takes full responsibility for being head over heels in love with YOU. He wants you so bad that he doesn’t care what mistakes you’ve made and he doesn’t care what mistakes you will make… He just wants to be in your life. I can’t tell you of a person that has that kind of love for you. I can’t!!

I had forgotten this goodness and I am so sorry because I know it has reflected in my life just how quickly I forgot. But it’s ok. I get a clean record just because Jesus loves me that much. How can you turn away from that kind of offer??

Listen to (in this order) ….

“How He Loves Us” – David Crowder Band

“Cry of the Broken” – Hillsong 

“Beautiful Things” – Gungor

Mmmmmm. Amen. – Sarah (:

Your Grace is Enough.

Your Grace is Enough.

First I need to give a shout out to the beautiful Megan Lange and her amazing talents behind a camera… she took the photo that is the new background image on my blog. Feel free to click the tab at the top that says Background […]

Holy Mornings.

Holy Mornings.

The crisp air of fall swished around me as I walked to my class yesterday morning. It was a hectic start to the day when I was rushed and overwhelmed due to my lack of preperation for English 101. The beauty of fall escaped me […]

Overloaded.

Overloaded.

This is my kitchen. Overloaded. Ironically, it is a perfect metaphor of my life right now. All of these glasses were useful at one time. All of them were doing really well. But then life and time got away from them and they still haven’t been cleaned, or “Re-charged” if you will. And so they are now useless and sympathetically helpless. I cannot afford the time to wash them and clean them up in order to focus and be able to effectively use the mugs to succeed with all the different aspects of my life. But the big bowl at the bottom willingly holds them. Just waiting patiently for me to re-focus. The big bowl, similar to how my father holds me, will take the mess and keep it compacted while i’m off running around trying to “Regain control.” Funny enough, if I took the time to clean the dishes… (if i took the time to pray and sleep more) I would gain such an advantage as the bowl. But right now it’s doing everything it can to keep me from going insane.

But luckily for me, there is a greater joy. My father will do the dishes, which this bowl cannot accomplish. Daddy not only holds the mess but He is willing to take it all away for me if I let him. Giving Him the stress and the problems and the anger and the tears. He is able to remove all the pain and just hold me instead. To hold the one He values and loves.

My dear friend Haleigh encouraged me with this, and now I give it to you, “…I am he, I am he who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you.” – Isaiah 46:4

Have a marvelous Thursday. Chin up.

Feel free to comment below or contact me letting me know if you are as overwhelmed as I am. I hope this post gives you hope in some way. If you are a freshman and you feel like this…. this post is to let you know that you aren’t alone.

– Sarah (:

You are Mine.

You are Mine.

Let’s be honest….. I will call out the elephant in the room…..college is hard. There, I said it. The curriculum is trippled in half the time. The teachers don’t really care. You sit in a sea of faces of 300 where no one will ever […]

His Love for His Children.

His Love for His Children.

Mike (their dad) and I found Maren like this last night…. My sweet little girl was waiting for her Daddy to tuck her into bed last night. I just wished I could scoop her up. It was the most precious thing I had seen in […]

Love your Pimples.

Love your Pimples.

This past week at church the sermon was on loving your enemies. As you might have gathered from my clever title. I detest pimples. The only problem is pimples LOVE me. Like seriously. Love me. Uggggg. If you can imagine this morning in my bathroom there was spiritual warfare going on between my outer Sarah and my inner Sarah due to the outrageous number of zits on my forehead. Ergo I am now presenting the truth found in the word about our beauty in Christ and the love and value he has instilled in us. Many of you have probably heard this before, and if you read my blog I’ve talked about it before. BUT I want you to earnestly listen to what I have to say. If you are a boy reading this you can take this in too, but I encourage you to tell every girl you meet today that she is beautiful. It will change her whole day around. Including your mommy!! I’m a huge supporter of Moms, especially while Nannying this past month. They do so much for you! Will I make a Team Mom shirt?? Quite possibly! Anyways….

I’ll start with the view that everybody starts with when talking about self image. Psalm 139.

Specifically, Psalm 139:14, ” I  praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” We were made by the hands of the Almighty!! Thought of in endless time where He sat and pondered how to create each and every part of each and every one of us. The Angels rejoiced when you were formed!! Get with it people… we are beautiful and significant to the Alpha and Omega. This reality kind of makes us a big deal. (:

Second I want to jump back to a verse Jesus brought to my attention earlier this week [previous post].

John 14:18 (KJV), “I will not leave you comfortless, I will come to you.” I could talk about all the different meanings of this verse but right now I want to focus on the fact that this verse allows us to have full confidence that Jesus cares about us. That His undying love for us goes farther than we can ever imagine and that He undoubtably is head-over-heels in love with you! Knowing this fact brings me to my next point…

Jesus made us, and He has undying love for us, ergo; aren’t we beautiful. He thinks so!! The book of the bible Song of Songs was written by Solomon in order to give us a view of how a man and woman should love each other. But also this gives us a perfect example of how Jesus views us! After all He is the Lover of our Souls.

Song of Songs 1:15, “How beautiful you are, my darling! Oh, how beautiful! Your eyes are like doves.”

Song of Songs 2:2, “Like a lily among thorns is my darling among the maidens.”

Jesus loves you. I love you. You are BEAUTIFUL. Remember these things and rest in the truth that God is a loving and caring God, but most importantly you are His favorite thing in the whole wide world!!

*Steps off soap-box*

– Sarah (:

[posts that display the value Jesus has in us]

[posts about image]