Blessings…

When we are faithful to God, He is faithful to us.

One of my favorite authors, Mark Batterson, often says, “Work like it depends on you, pray like it depends on God”.   I’ve been praying for some things in my life for a very long time, knowing that God is faithful, but in all honesty, wondering if/how they would ever truly happen.

As I sit here on July 8, my Year of WAIT The Word – naming my year, I can hardly believe all that has happened – and in a relatively short period of time.  I am truly astounded at God’s blessings.   I know that I don’t deserve them for I have failed so many times at so many things.   I was reminded the other night, as I listened to a sermon on the radio, that God doesn’t call perfect people to do things for Him.   HE CALLS IMPERFECT PEOPLE to reach imperfect people.   I am probably one of the most imperfect people out there, and yet I have felt a passion for reaching other people like me to let them know that God can do miraculous things in their lives if they only let Him.

 God is up to something big… and I’m glad to be a part of it.

This week, I will travel to Orlando, Florida with 16 of our youth to take part in a conference in the Christian &Missionary Alliance Church. The conference, which is held every three years, features many of today’s Christian speakers and will have worship and breakout sessions to cover a variety of topics facing our youth today with Biblical perspective.

Three years ago I attended the same conference. I hadn’t really planned on it because I didn’t want to use all of my vacation time at work but our youth pastor needed another chaperone and asked if I could go. I reluctantly agreed turns out God knew that I needed to be there.

There are people who will attend the conference this week that God knows need to be there. I am praying their eyes will be opened to see the power of God work in a powerful way, using imperfect people to reach imperfect people.

Be blessed today, my friends!

SB

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NYC missions 2019

One full day of serving in NYC under our belt! Our ministry team left on Sunday morning, after being commissioned during our first service at church. We loaded up three vans and 22 people (and all our luggage) and headed for the city. Four stops later (yes four stops… that’s what happens with 22 people!) we arrived at Living Waters Church in Brooklyn, our home for the week.

We settled in and gave the kids a lesson in riding the subway (mostly in how to work their metro card) and headed off to the Shake Shack near the Occulus. Good thing it was open late! We got back to our dorm around 1 am!

On Monday morning, our group split in two. Half of us went to work at the World Vision warehouse. Works Vision sends supplies around the world to people in need. They are non profit and get their materials from large companies who donate their excess inventory.. companies like Tommy Hilfinger, Costco, Cardinal Health, and others. On the day we were there, we had about five pallets of mixed product from Costco. We broke down the pallets and sorted through the product, put it into other pallets, putting “like” with “like”.

We worked for about four hours on the pallets – unstacking and restacking and wrapping and crushing cardboard. At the end of our time, we had completely transformed the warehouse and got it ready to load the tracker trailer trucks to take the goods to people who needed it.

The cool thing about trips like this… isn’t necessarily just doing what we do… although that’s cool. its being able to spend time with the kids and other adults, learning different perspectives on life. We showed up a little early to the warehouse today and they weren’t quite ready for us, so they sent us to the park across the street to wait until they were ready. During that time, I sat on the bench with one of our young adult leaders and had the coolest conversation about life, and life choices, and the grace of Jesus… the moment when his faith became his own and not his parents.. and these are the moments that remind me of the power of God.

Those who are near me now know that my life is taking a fairly incredible change right now – and I’m in the process of seeing God bring some pretty amazing dreams to fruition – in such a crazy and powerful way that there is absolutely no mistake that He is in it. I promised God two years ago (almost to this exact date) that I was willing to share my story, although I didn’t really think I had one. The one thing that I can tell you all is this… if you’re willing to do what God’s calling you to do, and willing to tell others about His power, He will show up in a powerful way.

I am confident now more than ever that God, in His infinite wisdom, is preparing all of the people in my life to be part of His story, in some form or fashion. I invite you all to join me in this crazy journey….

Blessings to you all,

SB

When someone believes in you…

In my twenties, after graduating from college with a degree in electrical engineering, and working in several companies/positions, I took a position with a company that manufactured networking equipment. About a year in, my manager took another position within the company, leaving his position open. I didn’t think much about it until, at lunch one day, my friend asked if I’d considered applying for it. I went to talk to our director about it; his response was, “what took you so long?” I had never considered myself a leader before, but he shared with me that he believed in me and saw leadership qualities in me. I didn’t actually end up getting that position but the fact that he showed he believed in me motivated me to continue to work my hardest for him.

Over the next twenty years, I have taken on roles of leadership with organizations, and have been blessed to have those who have showed me that they believe in me. Several years ago, our company made some organizational changes and I took on a role in a group where the leader did not show me that he believed in me. To be fair, he didn’t ask for the organizational change, and he didn’t ask for me to be in his group; however, it was clear to me that he accepted me only because he had to and not because he really believed in me. Despite this, I’ve created and cultivated some wonderful relationships and made what I believe to be significant changes in process within that organization. I’ve never fully felt as is I belong, however, and have watched for opportunities to move to a role where I feel I belong. I’ve looked at job openings and even interviewed for a few but just didn’t fine the right role.

A couple of months ago, in an odd set of circumstances, I found myself in a position of being able to choose between two positions – the first in the group I’ve been working for the past 7 years; the second in a different group within our company.   As I went through the interview process and met with my hiring manager, he reviewed my resume and we conversed about my experience – I say “conversed” because it wasn’t like an interview – it was like a conversation.  Immediately, we clicked, and could relate to one another’s professional experience.   I met with others in the group, who unanimously agreed that I was the “perfect” candidate for the position, despite the fact that I couldn’t move into the role for 3 months due to a prior commitment I had made.

Worth the wait…

To know that my new group was so confident that I was perfect for the role –to hear their woots and hollars when they found out I had accepted the position – to see their excitement truly gave me a new lease on life.   To know that someone believes in you is an amazing feeling – and makes you feel invincible.

Truly, before knowing how they felt, I know I would have done my best in any position – because that’s simply who I am.   But to know that they truly believe that I’m the best for that position is undescribable.

… which brings me to my point today… tell someone that you believe in them. It’s possible they’ve been waiting to hear those words for a long time… and it’s possible that it might truly make a difference in their lives.

Be a blessing to someone today. We all need more blessings

SB

Copyright Journey For Life

 

 

Delight yourself in the Lord

Oh, my precious Jesus, I love You so much.

Over the weekend, I was talking with my family about the incredible power of God… the truly amazing things that He has done in our lives. I’ve lived long enough to have seen some pretty ridiculous things that seemed impossible come to fruition, and I want so much for them to know that when life is hard, to know that Romans 8:28 is true. God is faithful to those who are faithful to Him.

I am delighting myself in Him, for He alone is worthy of my praise. I don’t know how or why He has chosen me, but for right now, I seem to have found favor in His eyes and He is giving me the desires of my heart.

Oh, for those who are in a dark place, how much I want to tell you to “hold on!” Trust that He loves you. Trust that He cares for you. Trust that He knows what you need.

The weeping lasts only for a nighttime but joy comes in the morning. Wake up, my friends, it is morning.

Loving Him more each day

Blessings to you,

SB

Mom, do I have to hang out with my friends?

There are few blessings in my life greater than my kids, who aren’t so little anymore.  The two oldest are 21 and 20 now (which is hard enough to believe when I can remember their delivery like it was yesterday).  We can, and do, have deep conversations about the meaning of life (quite literally) as well as many other topics..

During their teenage years, as friends of mine were complaining about the tumultuous drama that often accompanies those years, I felt awkwardly blessed that we seemed to skip that phase.   Our home has always been the “hang out” home, and we’ve hosted countless bon-fire / flashlight tag events over the years, where it seemed the kids and their friends enjoyed themselves.  In all of these events, I typically hang out right with the kids.   I remember one event where one girl was dropped of at our house by her older brother.  As they pulled up, I invited him to stay, and he gave me that look that said, “really?  I’m going to hang out with my little sister and her friends?”  He politely declined, but before leaving, struck up a conversation with some of the other kids who were there.   He ended up staying the whole time, and had a great time.  I kidded him about coming back sometime and he said, in all seriousness, that he would – that he had an amazing time.  “You people are cool” is what he said.  His sister was mortified, but I was flattered.

Yep, your mom is the “cool mom”, their friends would tell them.  I found it so amazing that their friends would often hang out with me when they were at our house.

As many of my readers will know, I like to have fun – to that end, several years ago, my kids and I created an Amusement Park Bucket List, and have begun working our way through visiting all of the Cedar Fair and Six Flags amusement parks in the domestic US.  This summer, I will be attending a conference with my youngest daughter and our youth group in Orlando, and will be visiting Universal Studios – later in the year, we have a day-trip planned for Cedar Point (our favorite Cedar Fair park).   In discussion with my youngest daughter (14) one night, she literally said, “mom, do I have to hang out with my friends at the park, or can I just hang out with you?”

At first I thought she was being facetious, but as we talked, I realized she was entirely serious.  She knows that when I DO a park, I DO a park – and what we’ve learned from other trips is that most people don’t do amusement parks the way we do – open to closed, 110% committed to every thrill ride, stay hydrated and fed just enough to not get sick, and ride til you can’t ride no mo!   We’ve learned that most people aren’t like that.

Beautiful.  just beautiful.  it warmed my heart.    I thought the initial conversation was the end of it, but as we were talking about the concert I’m taking her to for her birthday (21 Pilots), she remarked again that she’s looking forward to hanging out with me at the park, too.

Im not so naïve to think my kids won’t grow up and have their own lives… but am so incredibly blessed that each of them still think I’m a cool mom.’ I will enjoy every minute of it.

‘Blessed beyond belief,

SB

Chasing Daylight…

As my avid followers already know, my two favorite inspirational authors are Mark Batterson and Erwin MacManus. I’ve read (and re-read) nearly every book they’ve each authored and find myself just as inspired as the first.

Each of them pastor churches in the United States, one on the east coast and one on the west coast. A few months ago, I was honored to attend MacManus’ church, Mosaic, in Hollywood, CA. One day, I hope to attend Batterson’s church in Washington, DC.

On my most recent business trip, just before I left my house at 4 am for my early morning flight, I downloaded Erwin’s book, Chasing Daylight on my Audible App so I could listen during the flight.

Like the other books I’ve read, I found myself with tears welled up on multiple times throughout the flight as his words resonated deep within my soul.

I’ve finished only the first two chapters and had to go back and listen again, this time capturing a few of the nuggets to share. I would actually encourage you to get the book yourself and read it, but will share the nuggets I take away…

“The greatest tragedy is not the sins we commit but the life we fail to live. We cannot follow God in neutral. He has created you for something … He created you to do good. And doing this requires initiative. There is a subtle danger in hiding apathy behind piety. Getting rid of the sin in your life? Great. Now it’s time to do something”. Erwin Raphael MacManus

“What God makes clear is that when we’re committed to seizing His divine moments, He’ll make sure He’ll get us to the right place at the right time. What God can do with a person who’s willing to act is limitless”

Jesus considered it wicked, the person who leaves his talents unused”

My Lord, and my Savior, I am so completely humbled at Your blessings. I am deeply committed to seizing Your divine moments. I am passionately committed to living a life to do good to honor You. I commit to use every gift and talent You’ve given me for Your glory. I can see so clearly Your hand before me, pouring out blessings to bring the ideas You’ve given to me to fruition. It honestly seems like a dream.

 

Blessings,

SB

In His Time…

To think that the God of the Universe is interested in each and every one of the details of our lives is unfathomable at times, but that’s exactly who God is.   I am being so deeply blessed by Him right now that it is literally hard for me to wrap my brain around all that is happening.

I have been on an incredible journey throughout my lifetime – a journey filled with ups and downs like everyone else… filled with not-so-good choices and better choices, good times, challenging times, depressing times, elated times.

About a year ago, someone told me, “I can see the evidence of God all over your life”  At the time, I couldn’t fully appreciate what they were saying.

Back in the early 90’s, I was the accompanist for a small church where I became very close with the pastor and his wife.  One of choruses we used to sing was called, “In His Time”…   I was much younger then, ((LOL)) but as I sit and look back on events in my life, I can see so clearly that God’s hand was in all of it.

In his time, in his time
He makes all things beautiful
In his time

Lord please show me everyday
As you’re teaching me your way
That you do just what you say
In your time

In your time, in your time
You make all things beautiful
In your time

Lord my life to you I bring
May each song I have to sing
Be to you a lovely thing
In your time

Lord please show me everyday
As you teaching me your way
That you do just what you say
In your time

In your time (in your time), in your time (in your time lord)
You make all things beautiful
In your time

At the risk of sounding like a lunatic, I will say that I am so deeply in love with the Creator of the Universe – I honestly don’t quite know where to begin in articulating the ways in which He’s blessed me, but am trusting that He will give me the words to day when the time is right.
As I mentor several young people, some of whom are struggling to find their faith and/or believe that God loves them, I find myself wanting to shake them and say, “Just HOLD ON!  Have Faith – He will ALWAYS honor those who honor Him!!!”    They can’t see it now… as I couldn’t see it at their age.  My prayer is that they will have a life-changing experience where the God of the Universe shows up for them in a close, personal way…. a way that will make them want to share their story with the world too.
For now, I would ask you all to keep me in your prayers – this journey is a wild one.
Blessings,
SB
delight