Friday, October 19, 2012

Philippians 1:6...

I have a list of blog topics that I desperately need to write about to catch up on my life over the last few months...and I'm starting with this one because it's the easiest (and most recent)!

Philippians 1:6 states "...being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus." I posted this verse on facebook last Saturday just minutes after submitting my final paper for my final class. As soon as grades are posted, I will have a Masters in Religion, with a concentration in Church Ministries. YAY!

I write about this not to "toot my own horn," but once again to reflect on how far God has brought me. He is completing a good work in me! And, as per usual, He takes something tragic and redeems it.

I'm so thankful for the opportunity to have gone back to school for this degree, and for the calling God has placed on my life to work with children.

I want to encourage each of you to seriously think and pray about what God is calling you to do. Think about your ministry, your occupation, your career, your family, your entire life - what is the purpose? Remember, we were not created to simply survive another day...we were created for abundant life!

I recently had to outline a church planting strategy for one of my classes; it also included a section where I talked about my personal calling in ministry. I want to share part of that with you...

I have long felt a call to work with children in general, even before I became a Christian as a young teenager. This call on my life was solidified in college as I earned my undergraduate degree in Elementary Education and a Masters in Special Education. God revealed the gift of teaching to me at a young age as well and I always felt natural in any teaching situation, whether formal or informal. As I taught in the elementary school setting, I believe God used this gift He gave me to touch many lives, including my own. I also engaged in reaching children through the church setting, in teaching Sunday school and preschool programs. After marrying and starting a family, I continued to feel God’s call on my life towards working with children. When a personal tragedy set my life on a different course, I felt God nudging me to explore the ministry side of my calling. I began courses in children’s ministry and began to seek out leadership positions in children’s ministry at my church. At this time I serve as the Children’s Ministry Associate on staff at my church and I am currently finishing my Masters in Religion, with a concentration in Church Ministries. I thoroughly enjoy serving the children and their families in our church and community. God has also recently confirmed the spiritual gifts of administration, faith, and discernment – which have all been a blessing to have as I work with the children’s ministry at my local church and which I know will be valuable strengths in a church planting situation.

As I continue down this new path, I ask for your prayers and encouragement. Children's Ministry is hard. But I'm learning so much and I work with such amazing examples of patience, organization, and love. I can't wait to share more Adventures in Children's Ministry in the coming months.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Why I Blog...again.

(If you're new to Whatever My Lot, please read My Story Here and Part 2 here.)

Just a reminder. For myself and my readers. This picture shows the blankets, teddy bears, and memory boxes that we brought home from the hospital two years ago. I opened them tonight to remember.

This is why I blog. And, two years later, this is why I blog again. Because...

I was sure by now
God You would have reached down
And wiped our tears away
Stepped in and saved the day
But once again, I say "Amen", and it's still raining

As the thunder rolls
I barely hear Your whisper through the rain
"I'm with you"
And as Your mercy falls
I raise my hands and praise the God who gives
And takes away

And I'll praise You in this storm
And I will lift my hands
For You are who You are
No matter where I am
And every tear I've cried
You hold in Your hand
You never left my side
And though my heart is torn
I will praise You in this storm

I remember when
I stumbled in the wind
You heard my cry to you
And you raised me up again
My strength is almost gone
How can I carry on
If I can't find You

But as the thunder rolls
I barely hear You whisper through the rain
"I'm with you"
And as Your mercy falls
I raise my hands and praise the God who gives
And takes away

I lift my eyes unto the hills
Where does my help come from?

My help comes from the Lord
The Maker of Heaven and Earth

~Casting Crowns

I blog because it still hurts. And because there are so many others hurting out there. Sometimes writing is a way to remind myself and others that God offers hope. And peace. Especially peace.

I don't intend to simply relive the past again and again. I want to always remember. But we are looking forward. I'm so thankful for the short time I had with my girls. I blog for them. For Joanna. For Rita. And I blog for so many many many others.

The following was written today, for a dear friend. Thinking of you today.


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