Sermon Recap – Admiration

I can’t imagine what Mary was thinking when an angel descended upon her and said she was going to be a pregnant virgin giving birth to the son of God. I try to put myself in her place, a young girl who is engaged, ready to begin her new life with her husband and then instead she’s told she is going to have the child of God. There was no “oh but what will my husband and everyone else think?” She just accepted it and said that whatever the Lord wanted she would do. She had so much love and veneration for God that in such a scary situation she was humbled. Instead of asking a million questions (like I would have) she referred to herself as a servant of the Lord. This is a young lady who admires God above all else.

Admiration was our sermon’s focus this morning and it came at the perfect time of the year. During Christmas, you would expect the focus to be on Jesus’ birth so I was surprised when instead we discussed The Magnificat. The Magnificat or Mary’s Song of Praise is located in The Gospel According to Luke 1: 46-55.

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A Heartbreak Before Christmas

I’ve been trying to find the words all day to sum up my feelings but nothing was coming to mind. I’m sad, angry, disappointed and devastated but it’s like my emotions are all trying to get through the same slot at the same time and there isn’t any room. My great-grandfather (Papa) passed away this weekend and I didn’t get a chance to say goodbye. My grandmother text to let me know that he wasn’t doing well and it probably wasn’t going to be much longer.

That was Saturday evening, I planned on going over but he was already asleep when I asked. I changed my plan to go the next day but when I woke up Sunday morning, there was a message on my phone letting me know he was gone. Saturday night I had been a ball of nerves, upset and able to cry because all I could think was “what if.” Then Sunday, waking up to know he was gone and I knowing I should have gone the night before regardless of if he was asleep or not, twisted me up inside. I took today to grieve and to go over to his place to collect items that I wanted to keep of his.

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Little Miracles

Stepping out of the office today we were greeted by a sight not common for south Texas. Little flurries of ice were falling from the sky trying their hardest to cover every surface available. It was beautiful to see the light reflecting off the ice as it fell to the ground, it was not so beautiful to be in traffic with Texans who are not accustomed to driving in the snow. As a native Texan myself, I give them slack because weather here is like a grab bag any given day. In the winter, some days it’s 20 degrees and other days it’s so hot that people are swimming on Christmas. Either way, the drive home ended up being a lot longer than it typically is which means a lot of time to think.

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God didn’t put me in a headlock

I believe God lines things up in a certain way to show us a path without putting us in a headlock and dragging us kicking and screaming. Back in July, he showed me a brightly lit path to Him. I’ve always had troubles with faith and feeling like I could believe in anything but over the Summer it was like fog lifted and I could see. I felt whole, it wasn’t a fake “oh look at me here at church” feeling. I did have impostor’s syndrome at first. I thought everyone was going to point and say “she doesn’t truly believe” because I didn’t know the stories that they were referencing. Luckily, I also was able to see that true believers aren’t going to point and mock. They want you to feel included and bring you closer to Him.

So, first God clicks the button and the light flicked on. Then, while I was traveling, the leader of the location I was at gave me a book. The only condition was to pass the book along to someone else. The book was Love Does by Bob Goff; it was about his life and Christianity. I devoured the book and passed it on to another colleague who is also a Christian. Bob is an incredible writer; and I call him Bob because after reading the book I feel like we are friends even though we’ve never met. He has such a refreshing perspective on the Lord and it felt like God was saying, “you’ve shown up for Church, you bought the Bible but see what else you can learn.” Shortly after, my husband booked a retreat for us to attend to keep strengthening our marriage, which was all faith based.

After feeling a hole for such a long time, it is such a relief to just feel His love and to love him back.