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Blessed and Refreshed

26 Jul

Well time certainly flies by and it seems like it has been for me. A few major changes have happened in my life too which also makes life a bit more exciting! One of those changes being that I have resigned from my job. This was a big step for me and required a lot of faith and trust in God  for what may come next but I’m looking forward to see what God is going to do on my behalf. He is ever faithful and has promised to be so!

Because of this change, I had the opportunity to fly out to Chicago to once again minister at IBLP, the former organization I used to serve at three years ago. The girls “Journey to the Heart” was this past week and I was blessed to be one of the team leaders. I had an amazing assistant who helped me tremendously! Our team consisted of 11 sweet girls ranging from 14 to 26 years old. Over the next 10 days, we had a great time seeking the Lord together. There were times of counseling, sharing, praying, reading, singing, fellowshipping, and sometimes just times of laughter or tears. To see God work in hearts and lives is thrilling. There are some that come with past hurts, some with current struggles, and some without a Saviour. We saw young women saved by the grace of God, relationships restored, and hearts revived. I trust that as these women settle back into the normal routine of life, they will continue to walk in freedom and joy as they love and serve the Lord Jesus Christ and those around them.

I stayed for a few extra days here in Chicago to catch up with some old friends – it’s been great. I’ll be heading home for two days and then flying out to Georgia to visit with my uncle and family. I’m certainly enjoying my summer so far and feeling mighty blessed! 🙂

My awesome team!

Session with Mr. Gothard
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Group Session up in the Northwoods of MichiganIMG_2133

Such beauty!
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Time of singing, sharing, and teaching

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Time for some relaxation and fun at Lake Superior!

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My awesome assistant!DSC_0070

Group photo with Mr. Gothard and team leaders/assistantsIMG_2188

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In the UP

28 Jun

This past week, I once again had the privilege of flying into Chicago to IBLP Headquarters. A girls’ “Journey to the Heart” was scheduled and I went to help for 10 days. The weekend was blessed with fellowship and the encouragement received from time spent with the dearest of friends. Monday dawned early and we loaded up six 15 passenger vans along with two trailers and headed for the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.  For the next several days, about 80 girls and their assigned team leaders set aside time to study God’s Word, pray, search their hearts, and seek after God as they desired to know and love Him with their everything.

I, along with four friends, kept busy in the kitchen cooking up a storm! We chopped, diced, stirred, kneaded, boiled, baked, and everything in between as we prepared meals for each team and the staff.

I was thrilled to serve in this capacity and was encouraged to see hearts and lives of many girls changed throughout the course of the week. We returned tired and weary in body but happy and blessed in spirit!

God is AWESOME!

28 May

Someone once said: I can’t brag about my love for God because I fail Him daily, but I can brag about His love for me because it never fails.

How true that is! It humbles me to see God’s hand on, in, and around my life. This is not to say that I’m walking around on a bed of roses and everything goes right for me or that I never “mess up” and have to learn obedience through consequences and hard trials. Quite the contrary!

But despite what a wretch I can be, oftentimes I feel God’s special loving kindness demonstrated in a wonderful way.

Just about two weeks ago, I saw God’s hand of protection. I was in a very bad bicycle accident. It was three days before I needed to fly out to Chicago to help with the Peruvian delegation. I was devastated that of all times this had to happen; and my body was suffering immensely because of it. The brunt of my injuries were on my face specifically the left side. I looked awful. My legs were bashed up. I was in intense pain and my face immediately swelled. I looked like I had been hit by a car or something. I was panic-stricken. I didn’t know how I was going to recuperate and semi-heal before I needed to board a plane and leave. I immediately wanted to say “Why God? You know I’ve been looking forward to seeing all my friends and helping with the delegation and now I have to show up like this! Why would you allow this to happen now? Is it just to humble me?” Then I had the thought of Job. Here was a man who was perfect before God and God allowed him through suffer through intense heart-wrenching hardships. And to add to it all, his body was completely covered with boils! I’m sure he looked grotesque! Yet, he never cursed God. And here I was with just a little mishap. Could I give thanks?

*In a period of seconds, I went from this to this…….

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As I rested and medicated my body over the next couple of days, I saw God’s goodness. I was able to get free x-rays and was relieved to know that nothing was broken. Also, even though I suffered major road rash under my left eye – my eye was not affected. As the days went by, my legs turned an awful black and blue but I was able to walk without pain. There was a lot to be thankful for! Even though it is nearly 20 days after the accident and I’m still black and blue with a large red spot on my face (haha!), I see the Lord protected me and allowed a very quick recovery for me to be able to join whole-heartedly in the work at IBLP.

Another instance of God’s love being seen was the evening and day after I returned from Chicago. I was overcome with a severe emotional let down and struggle. I knew my mind and heart were spiraling downward but I just couldn’t put all my hope in the Lord because of my lack of faith. That afternoon, the Lord sent me a HUGE blessing – something I had been desiring and hoping for. I knew down deep in my soul that it was just His way of letting me know I wasn’t forgotten and He loved me. I felt like breakin’ out into a Hallelujah jig! 🙂

For a certainty, family members and friends have blessed my life by their words, thoughtful acts of kindness, and generosity. That’s God’s love being manifested! It can be the ‘darkest of days’ and a friend will send a sweet ‘thinking of you’ text. I know it’s the Lord speaking through them. I can be worrying about a bill being paid but then a relative sends a check and I know it’s the Lord letting me know He owns the cattle on a thousand hills. I can be at my wits end trying to keep 5 kids happy and content but then I get an extra portion of grace. I know it’s God confirming that all things are possible through Him. There are so many instances that His goodness is seen.

I’m sure you can recall time and time again when the Lord has blessed you that it’s just about knocked your socks off! I’d love to hear about it! I just felt the urge in wanting to say “THANK YOU JESUS” because He is good all the time!

Peruvian Delegation

25 May

I just returned from a full 10 days in Chicago, Illinois at the Institute in Basic Life Principles. I was thrilled to be able to fly out and be part of an amazing team as we served and ministered to a group from the country of Peru. This group of close to 30 business men, teachers, lawyers, and official delegates met with Mr. Gothard, Dr. Billica (former Chief of Medical Operations at NASA’s Johnson Space Center) and former Georgia State Governor Sonny Perdue for conference sessions that encouraged them to implement various principles into their society to make Peru a model nation for the world!

Here are a few pictures from the week:

The entire Peruvian delegation along with staff

two wonderful amazing friends

a group of orphans from the Philippines visited and ministered in song and testimony

A sweet dear 16 yr. old girl who had a phenomenal joyful spirit

“Who Loves Jesus?”

I love this guy and it was wonderful to re-connect with him after seeing him last year! 🙂

A conference session with Mr. Gothard being translated by Rodrigo

Faces I never want to forget!

Besides conference sessions, there was a lot of shopping and sightseeing.

Wheaton College where we visited the Billy Graham Museum

at the Navy Pier

And Life Goes On

6 Feb

Praise the Lord ! I made it back from Chicago this past Friday! It was a long drive of 10 hours but a few sweet phone conversations, meditation on Scripture, podcasts, and plenty of music made the time pass.

As I was driving, I couldn’t help but reminisce. It was exactly two years ago to the date that I arrived at IBLP. Coming back to my home on the exact same date of February 4th, I knew I was a changed person. I’m not the girl I was when I arrived at the Institute in Basic Life Principles, for sure. At that time, I didn’t know what to expect and I certainly never anticipated so many overwhelming blessings! My life has been transformed and my heart renewed. I have the Lord Jesus Christ to thank and I praise Him with all of my heart. I have learned so many lessons and been given so many ministry opportunities that have stretched me, helped me to grow, and opened my eyes to behold more of my Saviour’s goodness and love.

All of my belongings fit into my SUV which was a complete relief and I was still able to see out of my rearview mirror! haha! I took the entire day on Saturday to unload, unpack, organize, and sort through everything. I must admit that in just a few moments, I realized how quickly I ran out of space moving everything from an apartment into a single bedroom! But I managed and it’s all done. Whew!

So now, I wait on my Saviour and look forward to what He has in store for this next chapter in my life! He will not fail and I know that He withholds no good thing from them that walk uprightly – and I pray that by His grace I will remain faithful.

Since we were  snowed in on Wednesday, Shannon and I decided to brace the blizzard and head over to my house to finish packing

It was a snowy ice mess

Just trying to make it to the front door was quite the feat!

A final goodbye at Starbucks!

God mightily used Mr. Gothard to turn my world upside down for the good! I will forever be grateful and I look forward to visiting HQ if the Lord, time, and scheduling permits!

Snowed In

2 Feb

Well, work is cancelled for those on staff here at HQ. It’s an official snow day!

We experienced quite the blizzard last night with vicious strong winds and thunder and lightning. At one point, we were concerned we were going to lose electricity as our lights flickered; but thankfully, we didn’t. This morning, we woke up to a winter wonderland! Reporters have cautioned that everyone stay off the roads unless it is completely necessary.  So I guess, today we are snowed-in, homebound!

Some pics from this morning

B.L.I.Z.Z.A.R.D!!!

1 Feb

The Lord gave me a safe and pleasant trip from Pennsylvania to Chicago this past Saturday. I arrived in the evening and was thrilled to enter the staff center at IBLP and see so many beautiful, familiar faces. We hugged and laughed and just enjoyed being together after 5 months.

Since then, I’ve been having a great time. Attended Moody Bible Church on Sunday, completed some errands, shared dinner with friends, and have started the daunting task of packing all my belongings. I guess I didn’t realize how much I’ve accumulated after living here for 1 1/2 years! 🙂  I’m taking extra time to sort through all my clothes to leave behind things that I don’t need or use. Let’s hope the rest fits in my vehicle for the trip home – haha!

The blizzard that is sweeping through the Chicago area has officially begun. Chicago could be among the worst hit areas as this storm spreads. The city is greatly concerned about the possibility of mass power outages. The wind is already vicious – blowing snow everywhere! So I’m preparing to be snowed-in tonight and tomorrow. 🙂

Enjoyed a superb lunch at Cosi’s

Shannon, Natalie, Me

Donning a black suit for staff meeting on Monday morning brought back a flood of memories 🙂

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