Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Where the Spirit of the Lord is...

On Friday afternoon, after spending some quiet time with the Lord, He brought this scripture to my mind: "Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom." (2 Corinthians 3:17)

This is a scripture that I've heard for years.  I have even sang these words in a lot of great worship songs, but never before had these words been so clear to me than they were on that Friday afternoon.  If the Spirit of the Lord is living in me - and I believe that He is - then that means that I am free.  I am free to sing, I am free to love, I am free to enjoy my life, and I am free to just be me.  I'm free!

At church on Sunday, we sang "I Am Free" by the Newsboys.  The words are simple but powerful.  "I am free to run, I am free to dance, I am free to live for you, I am free.  Yes, I am free!" 

For years, I made all kinds of excuses about why I was too scared to sing - no one ever encouraged me, no one ever told me that I was good enough, I don't have enough vocal training, I can't sing as high as Mariah Carey, and on and on and on.  But something changed within me on Sunday.  I felt like a veil had been lifted from my eyes.  I realized that it wasn't any of those things that had been holding me back from singing for all these years, it was me not believing that the power of the Most High God could come and dwell in me and bring freedom to me in ALL areas of my life - including singing!  I see now that I am free to sing because the Spirit of the living God lives inside of me, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom!  No more chains holding me...I am free!!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

So, What's On Your Goal Board?

A few years ago, a good friend of ours told us about something called a “goal board.”  His goal board was filled with photos of various things that he wanted and goals that he wanted to accomplish.  As soon as I heard about this thing called a "goal board," I knew that I wanted to create one too.  Here's what I had on my first goal board:

1)  Picture of Halle Berry when she was pregnant.  At the time, I desired to have a baby, and I wanted to be one of those pretty pregnant women like Halle Berry.
2) Picture of Marion Jones, the Olympic runner (although you can't see her face here).  Looking back, this seems contradictory to the pregnant belly that I also wanted, but at the time, I had this desire to be super fit like an Olympic athlete.
3) I found this slogan that said "Going, Going, Gone," and that’s how I wanted to see our debt.  I wanted our debt GONE once and for all.
4) Pictures of a home that I think is beautiful.  At the time, we were living in an older apartment and I dreamed of living in a newer and nicer home.
5) Pictures of different places around the world.  There are so many countries that I would love to visit.
6) Behind the picture of Halle Berry, I have a picture of a silver Range Rover, which was my dream car at the time.
7) Finally, a picture of my husband.  I have that one there to remind me that I’m incredibly blessed to be married to a wonderful and handsome man. 

I made that goal board over four years ago, and it's so cool to say that since that time, I have accomplished almost every goal on there!  I eventually got pregnant and had a little boy (who is now 2 years old).  We paid off all of our debt – Hallelujah!  We are still living in an apartment, but we moved to a nicer and newer apartment that I love.  I recently traveled to Mexico, which is a country that I had never been to before.  The only things I have not accomplished are having a super-sculpted body like Marion Jones (which I’m totally fine with, I learning to like me just the way that I am), and I don’t have a silver Range Rover (but I did get a silver Toyota Camry which is completely paid for!). 

I'm in the process of making a new goal board that features some new dreams and desires, and I can't wait to share it with you all!

So tell me, do you have a goal board?  If so, what's on it?   

Monday, October 10, 2011

Ants Marching

Have you ever heard the song Ants Marching by the Dave Matthews Band?  This happens to be one of my favorite songs from this band.  It tells a great story of how people are constantly moving, moving, moving…like little ants marching. 

There are a lot of times in my life when I feel like I’m one of those ants marching, moving quickly through the daily routine of life and not taking a moment to stop and appreciate the world around me.  Lately though, I’ve been feeling this little nudge from God telling me to slow down. 

One morning, a couple of weeks ago, I found myself running a few minutes late (which usually happens more often than not).  In an effort to make up some time, I rushed to get my son into the car, rushed to give my husband a kiss, and then rushed to drive out of our parking garage.  When I arrived at my son’s school a few minutes later, I heard that voice again… “Slow down.”

This time, I listened to that voice and did just that – I slowed down.  I turned around to look at my son sitting in his car seat.  He tilted his head to the side and gave me a big smile, almost like he knew something was different about me.  At that moment, I put my hand on his leg and prayed for him.  I prayed that he would have a great day.  I prayed that he would be safe and no harm would come upon him.  I prayed that he would be a blessing to his teachers and to the other kids in his class.  I prayed that he would have fun and learn everything that he needed to learn.

After I dropped my son off at school, I got into the car and on purpose, I took my time driving to work (even though I knew I would be a few minutes late).  There happened to be a lot of construction on the road that day, so I made sure to drive carefully.  As I drove past the main construction area, I saw a man holding up a big orange and black sign.  It said…SLOW

I got the message loud and clear. 

I don’t want to be like an ant just marching along to the drum beat of life.  I want to slow down more so that I can learn to appreciate the beauty in everyone and everything around me.  Life is precious, and I want to enjoy every single moment of it.  

Thursday, October 6, 2011

There's No Place Like Iberostar

While we were in Cozumel, we stayed at the lovely Iberostar Hotel & Resort.  It was an absolutely beautiful place to call home for a few days.  

{The bungalows at Iberostar}

{Our patio}

{Our room number - 2602}

{Our bedroom - and yes, they made a towel shaped like a swan.  So cool.}

{Pretty fancy bathroom}

{Loved these towels!  I wanted to take one home with me but didn't because I was afraid I would get caught!}

{Walking by all the cute bungalows.  And look at that sky - it's breathtaking!}

{The pool}

{I had never seen a square tree before, so of course I had to take a picture of it!}

{Beautiful peacocks roaming around the resort}

{Yes, they have flamingos too!}

{My favorite animal of all - the iguana}

{Oh, and I can't forget about this little guy...so cute}

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

The Beauty of Cozumel

The sights of Cozumel were absolutely stunning - the crystal clear water, the clean white sand, the lush green trees and the bright blue sky. I wanted so badly to bottle up all of that beauty so that I could bring it back with me to Texas. It was incredible! And of course, sharing all of this with two of my best friends made everything even more beautiful.

More pics to come soon!