Friday, May 31, 2013

Peace ― Be Still In Your Heart, Mind, And Life.

Should I apply for this school or that school? 
Do I need to start preparing now? Is the future now?? Can't I just relax and be 21? 
Should I give him a chance? Will I ever get married?? 
Do I want hot or iced coffee....?

Do we ever know what we want exactly? Life decisions can be such a stressor. They can cause us to snap, bend-over backwards, doubt ourselves, and they almost seem to be a burden. We can make some of the greatest decisions in our lives which should be exciting moments become biggest burdens to carry! Why is that?

My guess would be that we're wanting to be in God's will so much we're scared one wrong move and suddenly, we're out of his will. I for one, can become one of the most stressed out people ever when it comes to major decision making! I'm miserable to be around; I admit it! (Haha... ugh). But when I picture God in heaven looking down at me during this time of "misery," I would think he doesn't want that for me. That's not what he intended. Life with him is to be life liven free of burden and shame. I've been reading in 1st Peter lately, and it talks quite often about suffering for Christ. If we are suffering for Christ, we have good reason to be suffering and will be blessed because of it. However, I don't think it's talking about the suffering I face for deciding if I want to intern with this person or that person... Yet in my mind, I'm thinking whether I intern here or there, there will be outcomes and both will take me in different directions. What direction do I want? I must choose now! I also have this tendency to race against the clock. Everything must be done now while I'm young or else. Stressing can literally ache my heart some days! But reading further into 1st Peter and coming across 5:6-7, there seems to be something relevant.

1st Peter 5:6-7 
Be humble under God's powerful hand so he will lift you up when the right time comes. 
Give all your worries to him, because he cares about you.

My thought: Why the rush? God already has an amazing plan for my life. He already knows the outcome; he knows my thoughts and decisions and the steps I'll take. Not one decision will surprise him! His timing is not my timing, and his timing is perfect.

Let's start with the day-to-day decisions. God, I pray you would guide my footsteps today! Lead me in your direction today! And may I learn just a little bit more about your will for my life all while operating in the peace of Christ. Philippians 4:7 tells of how incredible God's peace is that we cannot even fully understand the concept of it. But it's there! And when we learn to just rest our hearts in Christ and know God has it all under his hand, we will make it through. He knows all, sees all, has the plan, and cares for us! The Message version of verse 7 says to, "Live carefree before God; he is most careful with you." He would never want us to struggle and wonder about the rest of our lives! Wait in patience for God to answer and be persistent in prayer. In his timing, the answer, the day, the opportunity, or whatever it is that us crazy women seek for from the Lord, will reveal itself! Patience is the key and resting in Christ. God is faithful. His word says that and his word also says he cannot be false to himself. He will always come through and in his PERFECT timing.

Rest easy today! Your future is in God's hands.
❤ Ariel Christine

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Birthday Post

Where to begin??....

It's been a busy last few weeks! I'm very excited to share that I have graduated from college! A 1,000 Thank You's is not even enough to give God for all that he's done in me over the past 2 years. Looking at myself from the first day of college till now, I have changed enormously. It's funny to be back here in Ohio and hangout with old friends. I feel like they have no idea about all that has transpired in my life while in Missouri. And they really don't know! My explanations are not enough to explain every thing that has happened. But I can feel the change; I know I have changed from the inside out. My growth as a worship leader has advanced, my view of the world around me has changed, and my passion and love for the Lord has grown to overflowing, spilling over the edges. I'm new. I'm more. I'm closer to the woman of God he is always in constant pursuit of molding me into, and I'm in love with it.

I'm going back to Missouri at the end of May to continue interning at the church my school is within. It was crazy how it all went down. In short, a week before graduation and leaving MO for a month, I was so upset over another internship I had back home. I hadn't felt God's peace about it in months and I was freaking out because I had to give an answer now if I was all-in or not! Then an internship arises, what seemed like out-of-the-blue, right in Missouri. Instantly, I knew this was of God and it was where I was to remain. After months of not feeling God's peace and constant prayer to the Lord, he provided a way. I'm still a little in confusion how why it all took so long to come about; Why God did it take so long to feel your peace? I could have been saved from so much stress and heartache. It doesn't matter now. God has answered and what I have learned from this is that if the clock is still ticking, there's still time for God to move. Nobody knows what will happen within those last few moments so continue to trust God. Trust God with every thing inside you because you just don't really know what or even when he will do what he does next! It's amazing. Stressful, but amazing! Haha. How thankful I am for the Lord. Don't ever give up on him because he never gives up on you.

And now for the most exciting thing happening... today is my 21st birthday!!! Hooray!!! It feels great to finally reach 21. I just have this excitement that it'll be a banner year; the best is yet to come. Last night I was already declaring to God that I give him this year of my life. I feel so blessed. I feel so loved; I feel it from my family, friends, and Jesus. I want to give all that I can for Him. Whatever He places in front of me I wan to do with the highest level of excellence I can giving it all for His glory. 21 is going to be amazing! This day has already been amazing! Sorry I'm just overly excited, but it's my birthday and I can let out all the excitement I want. It's been an incredible year so far, and I just know God has big things ahead.

Let me leave you with this: Psalm 40
It's been stuck in my head and heart all week, and I hope it brings you joy in anyway possible! It's a good one. I'm not going to write the whole thing, but I try to pick and choose the best parts from The Message Version.

Blessed are you who give yourselves over to God, turn you backs on the world's "sure thing," ignore what the world worships; The world's a huge stockpile of God-wonders and God-thoughts. Nothing and know one comes close to you! I start talking about you, and telling what I know, and quickly run out of words. Neither numbers nor words account for you.
Psalm 40:4-5

I've preached you to the whole congregation, I've kept back nothing, God ⎯ you know that. I didn't keep the news of your ways a secret, didn't keep it to myself. I told it all, how dependable you are, how thorough. I didn't hold back pieces of love and truth for myself alone. I told it all, let the congregation know the whole story. 
Psalm 40:9-10

But all those who are hunting for you ⎯ oh, let them sing and be happy. Let those who know what you're all about tell the world you're great and not quitting. And me? I'm a mess. I'm nothing and have nothing: make something of me. You can do it; you've got what it takes ⎯ but God, don't put it off.
Psalm 40:16-17

Have an incredible day! Enjoy my birthday ;)
❤ Ariel Christine