abigailleanna

daughteroftheinvisbleOne


Leave a comment

Stained

Toilet bowl cleaner: a substance made to break up any crusted or dried up nastiness which has been stubborn enough to remain in the interior of a toilet bowl. I mean, it’s a chemical. The kind I happened to be handing smelled like old navy flip flops (<-it’s true). But while handling a bunch of bottles, unbeknown to me, the toilet bowl bottle flipped. Aquamarine chemical seeped into my hands. I glanced down. Great. Somehow I managed to get the toilet bowl cleaner on one of my favorite shirts. And toilet bowl cleaner– of all things.

Rushing to the bathroom I quickly soaked a good part of my shirt in water, hoping this would help (#1 attempt). As it dried I realized that my efforts were in vain. A stain was clearly visible (I mean, what else did I expect, this stuff cleans toilets).

New shirt stained ..typically “such is life” occurrence.

But I wasn’t gonna let this go down without fight– attempt #2 –stain remover.

I grab the stain remover bottle and begin to search for the stain. Where is it..I think it was just about here…hmm…haha, okay Abby, you’re totally looking at the wrong side… *flips shirt over * ..no? was that really the front? *checks tag*..hmm, guess that was the right side..where is it…*continues to search* …I know you’re here… *holds shirt up to light* …I know the stain is here! 

I searched, and searched that shirt for a stain. I KNEW it was there. I had seen the stain myself. But after searching the shirt (like a mad woman) I realized it was GONE.

THE STAIN WAS GONE.

Now I don’t know about you, but in my years of experience with laundry and stains and such, this simply does not happen. Stains..well ..they stain. And if you’re lucky, stain remover does the trick, but only after you apply it and wash the article of clothing. Not before. To me this was a mini miracle.

And this mini miracle reminded me of one magnanimous miracle.

Psalms 103:12 “As far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.”

Sin stained my soul; God has completely removed it.

Isaiah 1:18 “Come now, let us settle the matter,” says the LORD. “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool.”

 

Advertisement


4 Comments

When All Hope is Lost

{WARNING: cheesy metaphor about to be used. }

If hope was a piece of paper, sometimes life seems to drop it through the paper shredder.  (Sorry. I warned ya.)

But seriously. Has your heart been there? Mine has. This morning I needed hope. I told Him that, and He brought it to me through His word (Psalms 27).

Like you and I, David faced many fears. He had literal enemies: there was an army encamped against him. Just imagine standing on top of a hill, you take a huge breath of air.. air entangled with bits of grassy plains flow into your nostrils and sink deep into your lungs. But then you gaze down into the valley…thousands of men who hate your guts begin to roar…and at any moment will bring you down.

Just a wee bit scary, yeah?

But get this: in the midst of what may seem like potential death, David says,”though an army encamp against me, my heart shall not fear; though war arise against me, yet I will be confident.

I love this. Even though I do not have physical enemies about ready to bust through the door of my house, my heart has enemies. Within my own heart there can be war. There are things that trouble my soul, and when I search them and mull over them, I begin to fear. Hope seems gone. But despite David’s enemy being present he says,”yet I will be confident,”

Why? Well he decides to set His gaze upon God no matter the outlook of the enemy. And even though the enemy was so real to him, he could still say, “for he will hide me in his shelter in the day of trouble; he will conceal me under the cover of his tent; he will lift me high upon a rock,” God may not have always removed David’s enemy. Perhaps many times they were still “encamped against” him. However, David’s heart found victory and peace in His God– despite the outlook of his enemy.

David and God have a little conversation. David pleads with the Lord: “Hear, O Lord, when I cry aloud; be gracious to me and answer me!” He wanted to be heard. He wanted an answer. However, God’s answer is, “Seek my face.” He doesn’t answer all of David’s questions. He simply says,”Seek me.” David’s heart reply is a “yes!”–he will seek the Lord. He will trust the Lord.

“I believe I shall look upon the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living” .. this is not necessarily a here and now. David doesn’t demand to look upon this right now..he says he “shall”. His heart decides to wait.

“Wait on the Lord, be of good courage, and He will strengthen your heart..” (Ps 27:14)

So there is a question I must ask myself…despite fear or unanswered questions, will I trust Him? Do I truly believe in His goodness?

You have said, “Seek my face.” My heart says to You, “Your face, Lord, do I seek.”

{–Psalm 27:8–}


Leave a comment

My Reputation Ruined

Have you ever thought about your reputation? Or even something as small as a decision you made in which others may have misunderstood?

My God is always faithful to teach my heart the lessons it needs. Some are new, others old.  There is one that my Refiner constantly brings me back to, and it is this: who is my heart really seeking to please?

Too often times the answer has been people. Friends. Family. But especially people who I deeply respect. I am a people pleaser. But there is really only One Person I am called to please, that is the Lord Jesus Christ.

But wait God, doing that would make me look like an idiot..I can’t apologize over that, surely they would never forget…No one will understand if I do this… 

And bla bla bla. The list of thoughts continue.

God has recently brought me back to the fact that He is the only One I am to seek to please. In many ways my heart shouldn’t even seek a “reputation” with others. Please don’t misunderstand, this doesn’t mean just not caring. But rather, caring only for the glory of Him, not at all myself. It is solely about Him. What I am, or how I am viewed really should not hold any place in my heart. I have an audience of One.

The writer of Galatians beautifully asks: “For am I now seeking the approval of man or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of God.”

Colossians also commands bondservants to, “..obey in everything those who are your earthly masters, not by way of eve-service, as people pleasers, but with sincerity of heart, fearing the Lord. Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for man.” 

My heart must have one and one care alone: Him.  In my eyes, my reputation must be ruined. Nothing. Obedience to Him should be my concern, not what it appears to others. If it is good, for His glory, great. But it doesn’t matter if doing something would make me look stupid; if He is asking it, I must do it.

So my heart continues to cry and ask Him to give me this heart, this perspective. That I would truly desire to please (obey) Him and Him alone. No one else. And that my reputation, in my eyes, would be ruined.

 

 

 


Leave a comment

A Toast to Love

Christmas. The day you can eat, drink (sparkling grape juice of course;), and be merry all day long.

*As a side note I started this blog 2:00ish a.m. Christmas morn (thanks to my pre midnight cup of coffee-never doing that again.)

But overall it’s a time of cheer, family, and remembering..a baby? Yes.

“I know, I know” you say while possibly rolling your eyes. (After all, who doesn’t know what the “true meaning of Christmas is”?)

We all know Christmas is about recognising that this baby wasn’t just some important figure in history. He was the Son of God (whether we believe it or not is a different story). But I’m thankful for this reason: it’s because of His birth that I have a right standing before God.

Me. Just a nineteen year old girl who lives on a speck-planet earth, on the continent of North America, in the small state of Indiana (just call me a happy hoosier), and is just one of the thousands of people who inhabits this city. In 2014. I’m just one single soul out of the billions of people who have ever lived.

Yet Christmas is about me- it’s about my relationship with God. He came FOR ME. Because of this birth 2,000 yrs ago, today, He can be so much more to me.

Not only is He my Savior.

He is my Mediator.

He is my Friend.

He is my Father.

He is my Shepard.

He is my Brother.

He is my Creator.

But what makes me appreciate my relationship with Him is when I understand the beauty in His person.

He is all powerful.

He is holy.

He is patient.

He is kind.

He is merciful.

He is just.

He is gracious.

He is the essence of good.

He is the Author of humanity.

He is the Way.

He is the Truth.

He is Life.

He is the Light of the World.

He is the Bright and Morning Star.

He is the Rock of Ages.

He is Almighty.

He is Ancient of Days.

He is Lord of Lord.

He is King of Kings.

He is Alpha and Omega.

He is the Beginning

He is the End.

God is LOVE.

Love is something that every soul thirsts for. Every human craves a relationship that satisfies. We desire for someone to love us for who we truly are. But the typical love we encounter today is mixed with selfish motives. It’s not geuine love.

But this baby is God’s definition of love. Not only should it be mind blowing that this Almighty One would humble Himself, but it should be mind blowing that He would do this-GIVE HIMSELF-for me. In His eyes, I was an enemy. I was sinner.

I guess from experience, I could say I know it’s hard to love those who “don’t deserve” it. Even the tiniest acts of love can be hard to do for an “enemy”. I know because I’ve failed countless times.

But this Baby lived so He could die. Die for ME. He saw who I really was and what it would cost Him. There were no selfish motives mixed with this love. There was no hidden false agenda in His love. He didn’t love because He needed something in return.

This was pure, raw love. So in essence, Christmas is a celebration of love.

So here’s a toast to this baby, because this baby was God’s Son–love in a manger.


1 Comment

The Married Couple Win

Have you ever seen a couple interact together, particularly a married couple, and you think to yourself-MARRIED COUPLE WIN. It’s just the way they treat one another or something they do that shows they really are a team. There’re in it, to win it, together.

Now when I see a MCW (Married Couple Win or aka good example) sometimes I mentally store it alway.

The following is a MCW, witnessed in a nursery (I repeat, in a nursery!) :

So we all know what a church nursery is like, crazy, crowed, and lots and lots of crying. You have Hannah over reading a book (or rather chewing on it), Teeah and Sam sliding down the slide, and little Sophia checkin’ out the door that at any moment could fly open and slam her in the face. It’s one hoppin’ place.

Now atop all of that, add the smell. A DDD-or dirty diaper disaster. I smelled it. No doubt. My co-nusery helper, Emily, did as well. But now to find the carrier…out of the what seemed like twenty kids.

Emily started checking behinds. Paula, a parent to two of the toddlers, helped on the hunt.

Now Paula and her husband (whose name I’m blanking on) usually drop off their two girls in the nursery. Usually they come in, do a diaper change, give us the lowdown, and slip out.But seeing this was an extra crazy morning, Paula was helping us out.

Finally, the carrier of the DDD was found. He was disguised in a snazzy suit and tie.  It was none other then the little cutie, Michael.

Now usually diapers don’t disturb me. I don’t mind them. But for some reason, I was not wanting to change this particular DDD. In fact, I was blatantly advoiding it, and knew it too. (So you can just call me the most amazing nursery helper ever. Not.) .

But within moments of finding the DDD carrier, Paula was on it. Paula crouched down, and gently explained to Michael the need to leave the toy kitchen and  assured him he would make a safe return. She then gave me that “Oh no, he doesn’t want to go,” look. But soon Paula had him in her arms headed towards the changing station.

A few moments later I looked over, and there was Paula’s husband (His name still hasn’t come to me; we will call him Chris.). Chris just earlier had been bent over the changing station taking care of his two daughters’ diapers (MAJOR DAD WIN). But now, there was yet another need.

So there he was again, jostling wipes and diapers, changing a random kid’s horribly smelly one, because it’s what needed to be done. But it wasn’t just him and it wasn’t just her. Not only did they work together to get their daughters settled in, but they worked on this random need.

Together.

Not seeking praise, or attention. Just helping.

Now you might be thinking, “Really..and your point to all this…”

It’s not every day you see a couple teaming up to do diaper changes. So many marriages in our society, and sadly among countless Christian marriages, you see more mini boxing ring opponets, rather then team mates.

See, given that situation, many couples would just be like “Hey Hun, you got my back on this one right!” Not, “We got this!”

Now I’m not saying every diaper change or small task should be done literally hand in hand together (I mean, that could get a little much don’t ya think? –“Hun, grab my hand, and lets take this trash out together!”)

{JUST NO.}

But I do believe it’s many times those little things, along with little words that will go a long way, helping build one another up.

Right now, God’s called me to be single, so I’m gonna solo it up! But if and when there is something more, I hope to be a part of this team thing. It’s witnessing  MCWs like these that just help others get a taste of what it looks like to really and truly team up in ALL aspects and areas of life.

So yes, it may be a diaper. But when it comes to a team—you’re in it, to win it, TOGETHER.


Leave a comment

Tightrope Walking

Sometimes life is like tightrope walking. One moment you’re steadily making your way across it, and the next moment you feel as if you will loose balance. Ever felt this way? It’s like, whoa there. What is this? How did life come to this?

For everyone this “lose of balance” is different. For some, maybe it’s a huge unexpected bill. Maybe the lost of trust in a friend. Maybe a family divorce. Maybe a life threatening disease. Maybe a loved one’s death.

Whatever it is, the emotions, feelings, and the reality of life suddenly seem to sway you.

When these circumstances (or trials of life) pop up, they cause me to once again evaluate what my heart is trusting in, and whom it is trusting in.

Although these can be some of the scariest and unsure moments of life, they can be some of the most rewarding when we come to understand yet more and more fully Whom we lean on for “balance”.

Through these most recently unsure times, Ephesians 1:11 has come to mind  quite bit.

{Ephesians 1:11 In Him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of Him Who works all things according to the counsel of His will}

…Who works ALL things according to the counsel of His will. 

another version says..the One Who works out everything in agreement with the decision of His will…

Actually while writing this I decided to look up the denotation of “counsel” along with “will” (Hey, for me sometimes the actual definition helps things).

Counsel: advice esp given formally

Will: a deliberate or fixed desire or intention

Now as simple as these definitions are, they helped me think. I guess sometimes for me “God’s will” carries the connotation of just going with the flow of God. But in actuality, it’s God’s deliberate or fixed desires!

Do you know how comforting this really is when we think about it? A circumstance which almost seems to lack anything positive, is actually being worked out just the way He Himself advises it to be. It’s under His fixed desires, it’s under His intentions. It’s His will. (Now this probably is nothing new to you, but for me it’s been really good to think about.)

I may not feel like what is going on is good, but as Amy Carmichael has said, “Our feelings do not affect God’s facts,”

I may feel like what is going on is purely a mistake.

I may feel like things would be better if only they happened a different way.

I may feel my circumstances are wrong. 

But according to God’s Word, He’s got it. He is working them out according to His will. So it’s okay.

So despite my feelings, I can lean on this simple truth found in God’s Word. I  can keep walking the tightrope of life, leaning on Him.  I can trust my heavenly Father to work all things, even this seemingly awful situation, according to the counsel of HIS WILL.


3 Comments

For the Haters of the Love Day

Valentines Day: the day where it seems as if everyone in the whole wide world is in love. Except for you. Fellow single friends, do you ever hate Valentines Day? Let’s be honest. You aren’t getting chocolate (unless it’s from your mother). No candle light dinner for you. That romantic dock walk? Not happening. Don’t even count on a single little red stuffed bear. Forget it. Just spend today in misery, because the days aren’t getting brighter; the love sun won’t be shining happiness in your life this day. Let’s face it, if every couple is happy today, you should just spend today in the loveless pit of despair.

With this  holiday almost upon us, it’s easy to find things to complain about and a reason to feel grumpy or incomplete (after all, where is that “better half” of ours?).  So what are we singles suppose to do? Well if you are a believer in Jesus Christ, you have nothing to complain about and everything to rejoice in. Why?

“I  know what you’re gonna say,” you tell me,” you’re gonna say I have Jesus and that’s everything I need.”

Right on.

But do you believe it? Seriously. There are millions of people in the world that have their “better half” but really lack joy. They are really incomplete. 

But you and I? You and I, we’re another story. Here are three reasons that you and I have to rejoice in:

1) You and I have been pursued.

The God of the universe has  pursued us: redeemed us. Not with chocolate, a stuffed bear, or a  diamond ring. He has redeemed us with His own Son’s blood. 1 Peter says, “Knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things like sliver or gold…but with the precious blood of the Lamb,”

Pursing me, He isn’t a man who idolizes me, who doesn’t know fully who I am. Oh He knows. He knows who I am and what I deserved. He knows the things I am ashamed of. He knows the future times I will fail. Yet He faced full force the eternal debt that my dirty and disgusting, sinful soul should have faced.  Paid my debt. Paid it in full with His own life. Ransomed me with Himself.

The God of the whole universe gave Himself for me? Now that is a love that cannot be measured or comprehended. He is a Lover too good to be true. Knowing fully who I was, He pursued me to the point of death; He has truly shown selfless love.

But it doesn’t stop there.

2) You and I are being sanctified.

Once we were saved, Christ could have just left us with no more thought. But nope. He chooses to sanctify us, to make us more like Him. He deeply desires for us to be holy as He is. But sometimes, I choose what I want  instead of what My heavenly Father has asked of me. When He sees us, His children, being stubborn-acting in rebellion, it hurts His heart. But He wants the best for us (which is our sanctification) and is intimately involved in every moment of our lives, wanting us to conform into the image of His Son (Rom 8:29).  “Be holy because I am holy,” He says (1 Peter 1:16). He knows what truly matters, and that is holiness!

3) You and I will spend ETERNITY with the ultimate lover of our soul, who has prepared a place for us.

Christ says He is preparing a place for us. Now, this isn’t gonna be some home that you would see in Country Living or  just some some private cottage on the beach. IT’S GOING TO BE MORE THEN WE COULD EVER IMAGINE.  I don’t know too much about it, this place called heaven, but the Bible tells us a little. Yet there is a lot we don’t know about it. Personally though, I’m quite excited about it. Although at times it may seem like a far off dreamy land, it won’t be. It’s gonna be real. It’s gonna be forever. It’s gonna be with Him!

Now you may think that I myself am always completely overjoyed and bubbling over with happiness because I am  single.  Not always so. Truth: I’ve had  my moments, and done my share of wondering. But what is our focus? Are we always thinking about when the “right one” will prance into our lives. Or are we focused on the bigger picture, which is glorifying the Lord right now in our lives. Not waiting until we are “complete” to live to the fullest. To live for Him.

I have a Lover who not only loved me to the point of death but who cares for me now. He desires me to be like Him, which He knows will give me immense joy, but who also has so much in store for me in the future. Wow.

So yeah. Maybe one day some guy will give me a box of candy hearts and one of them will  read “You’re mine”. But this Valentines Day, I know that I can say something even better about someone even greater. Something more joyous then what could be written on any futuristic candy heart. I  can say this: I am His, and He is MINE.


2 Comments

Zebra Printed Love

Any normal person would agree that nap time is a blissful time, yes? I mean, waking up from a good one leaves you rested and ready to jump back into the day. Who doesn’t like that? Well shortly after waking up from one of mine, it went something like this: I yawned, rolled over, and glanced to my right. Then BAME. There it was. Big, bold, flashy ZEBRA PRINT.

Whattt? What is this? I thought.

Then it hit me. It was my little sister’s new comforter. And she chose zebra print?!… Of all the comforters… ah this totally does not fit our room. Why mom? Why did you agree to this?  You could have stopped this. Can’t you see my quilt has teacups on it?..my desk, mason jars?  Can you see the theme going on here? Vintage(ish). Not Zebra print. 

I am definitely NOT a zebra print gal. Whatsoever. Never was. But on the positive note, it wasn’t cheeta print (That was something to be happy about). But yes, the light and soft colors are more me. Nice light blues. A nice floral. Nice polka dots. Ya know. Anything but bold and flashy. Anything but something that screams for attention-anything but zebra print. I mean, I could deal with her zebra print shoes, but this?

It was gonna be a rough day.

Or more like a rough month.

At first when she entered the room, I tried to be super chill. But soon big sister just had to say something about it, expressing her slight disappointment of little sister’s miserable choice. Yes, she knew I did not approve.

Days past and I still was having a hard time with this bold blanket. It took quite some time to get over it. But now, I’m pretty much over it, and also have realized something:  love wouldn’t have made any statement of disapproval. Love would have rejoiced with her and been excited about it for her.

 In life, there are going to be a lot of little things that annoy or bug me. Things that don’t quite suit my taste or time. Things that someone else really loves and appreciates that I simply do not. And let’s face it, sometimes it’s the small things that seem super big. The little phrase in 1 Corinthians 13, “love does not seek it’s own” is small, yes, but really HUGE  and sometimes really HARD, but it’s really when we seek someone else’s interest that we show love. Seeking another person’s interest pervades so many aspects of life, even with something as small as a zebra print blanket.
If I truly love someone, yes, I am going to rejoice with them in these things and not only seek their interest above mine, but maybe perhaps try and learn to appreciate and see things how they see them. Not complain and grumble or deeply lament in my soul  over their decision. Now granted this doesn’t mean I should say “Oh my lanta, I love it! Totes adorbs!” No. That’s not right either. But I should learn to be happy for them, and rejoice because they are rejoicing. I can show them love in this way even if it’s totally just not me. Even if it’s ZEBRA PRINT.