Father Knows Best: A God of Details 

“Only God can bring out the best in us”

Tonight as I sit by my window, feeling the gentle breeze, watching the curtain sway back and forth I am lost in amazement of the Almighty God! After I finished Nehemiah 3 today, I meditated over this one thought, “It started with one: Eliashib took initiative and started building the Sheep Gate and then the rest followed..”. Wow! What a beautiful illustration of God’s extraordinary ways of bringing people together with one accord to accomplish a task.

Everyone made repairs.

Everyone contributed.

Everyone has something special to help in re-building the wall.

God knew this and allowed for it all to form one by one. Our God is a Mighty God, a kind God, a loving God, a merciful God, and so much more! God is a God of details. He is perfect in His ways on His timing. His thoughts are perfectly orchestrated and as Jeremiah 29:11 says, they are full of peace to give us hope and a future. He knows exactly what to place, where to place it, and when to place it. He knows us best! He knows our strongest and weakest parts. He knows what we are capable of accimplishing. He knows our gifts and talents that only He can guide us to our best performance. He pushes us but He also brings out the best in us.

This is part of what  He shows us in Nehemiah. God first broke Nehemiah’s heart for the people and for a cause of which God perfectly chose Nehemiah to fulfill. He knew Nehemiah was the perfect leader to lead the restoration of the wall. But God also brought others along to join in the efforts and accomplish His task. It took time but the wall was re-built. When one ended another began, the work continued until it was finished. God worked out all the details.

This is a pleasant reminder of how God moves and builds things in our lives. We cannot see the finished product, but if we believe and hold on to Jeremiah 29:11 we can know that the work has already began. He works out the details. Even if it seems like we are stuck and going nowhere, perhaps all that, is a break from the great task He has for us. Even if it seems we have reached a dead end, maybe it is a time to wait, for God has reinforcements coming our way. Even if it seems like the task will never get finished, for it is too big for us, you are probably right for we are human but God makes the impossible, possible. He has others coming to help, He has magnificent extraordinary ways to bring about His purpose to completion.

I encourage you this week to remember this: God is a God of details. He loves you. Father always knows best. At least I know I will be chanting this to myself as I continue to wait on my grad school application.

As always, you are loved and cherished more than you will ever know,

In His love,

S

“So shall My Word that goes forth from My mouth. It shall not return to Me void. But it shall accomplish what I please, and it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it” Isaiah 55:11

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Heartbroken

Nehemiah 1 

Nehemiah was overcome with sorrow and mourned for God’s people. He fasted and prayed. Nehemiah’s heart was broken for what was breaking God’s, so Nehemiah prayed. His first response was to pray.  

What a beautiful thought to be reminded of this week as I return to My Shelter and Fortress: the Word of the LORD.

I pray and hope that this sobering thought was as refreshing and enlightening as it was for me.

In His love,

S

Homesickness

“Home sweet home, there is no place like home”

There has been one time I ever felt homesick. I was on my first long term mission trip in beautiful Colorado. It was on a Wednesday evening because my home church tended to have a college ministry night on Wednesdays. I was really down that night and really missed my church family, so since we had a free night I stayed in my room and e-mailed my friend Laura. Well today I had that same feeling, I missed home and all I wanted was to be home.

Here’s the interesting part, I am home. I have been living in my hometown for quite a few years, so what home could I be referring to? Surely, I don’t mean my physical home. Eight hours away from my apartment would not lead to homesickness, so what home could it be? Well that’s easy, I mean God.

Tonight, I had dinner with some of my beloveds and we got into the conversations about God, living out your faith, and missions. I felt so comfortable. Afterwards I had coffee with one of my beloveds and had a small chat about what God has been doing in our lives. Once we parted ways, I noticed two things:

  1. I felt so empowered
  2. “I have really missed this”

I missed talking about God, missions, and discussing the idea of one day living in the 10/40 window. I missed being reminded of God’s will and sovereignty, of God’s purpose and love for the world. And then God interrupted my thoughts, “Why do you miss this? Why do you miss something that is right in front of you? You can have all this and more when you meet with me through the Word”. My response was, “God how did I ever get this far away from you? When did I start walking away from you?”. This may come as a shocker since every blog post up to this point is centered around God, but it’s true. I stopped reading the Bible for myself for some weeks now. I have been reading it for my Bible studies, at church, and along with my Beth Moore book. But I haven’t read it for myself for quite some time until this morning.

I started reading the book of Nehemiah and got through  three chapters this morning. Then I revisited chapter one on my lunch break, and I am about to re-visit chapter two before I go to sleep. But before I decided this God faced me with this beautiful truth: I miss meeting with Him through His word. I have been away from the Father and haven’t had quality time with Him in a while. I’ve been homesick. I have been missing my home: the one place where I feel safe and at rest. The home of my God. He is my home to me, where He is my home will be there too.

God is stirring up a lot in my heart, mind, and soul, and I have realized something… Just because He shows us our macro purpose doesn’t mean it will take place right now. Just like a hike up a mountain, so is our journey with God. He may be showing us the mountain’s peak but that’s the end goal. That’s the finish line, our inspiration and motivation, first comes the hike. We have to take steps and climb towards the peak. The peak is our destination the rest is part of the journey.

If God has shown you your mountain’s peak, I encourage you to not lose your focus. Keep your eyes on the prize but enjoy every moment of the experience.

“God is my home, and where He is, so is my home”.

In His love,

S

Our Inner Songs

Well, I always knew I had a heart for “the arts” but I never knew how deep that interest was until the past three months.  Moving to the United States at a young age and having lo learn a foreign language was definitely the start of something beautiful. I basically fell “head over heels” with the English language. The fact that English is one of the hardest languages to learn only deepened my passion. So obviously I adapted the habit of journaling. At first I would just write out my thoughts on current situations, then that evolved into my perspective on life, and now it’s transitioned into lyrics.

“That’s right dear one, lyrics”.

How did I get started? I actually cannot pinpoint the exact day, I just know it has been something special that has been developing in me over the last year. I have always had an appreciation for music. Lyrics tend to just come over me, and I have this ability to connect with songs in such a special way that I am just transported to a special place. (At least that is the only way I know how to convey my connection with music). Still I had no idea I had a song brewing inside of me until very recently.

I was on my lunch break sitting at the park just journaling my thoughts with God when suddenly this beat started up in my mind. From there the beat quickly turned into muffled sounds, and then that turned into words on a page. I recorded some of it so that I could revisit it later. And then it happened again. This time I was in my living room just sitting in silence after reading my Bible, and then before I could realize what I was doing I was singing my very own worship song to the LORD!! This morning the same thing happened…

It seems I have the beginning of three different songs. I am looking forward to revisiting the one I recorded  once I purchase a keyboard and hopefully start some lessons.  I am very excited to see what the LORD’s plans are for this new find. What’s interesting is that it wasn’t until a good friend of mine mentioned to me the idea of composing that I actually considered on developing this new gift. So thank you God for placing that thought in his mind and leading him to mindlessly mention this idea to me.

For now I am exploring these inner songs I hold in my soul and enjoying every minute of the experience. So there it is my new hobby: composing worship songs to the LORD.

“Oh, sing to the LORD a new song! Sing to the LORD, all the earth. “(‭Psalms‬ ‭96‬:‭1‬ NKJV)

Have a blessed week!

–S 

Starting My Search In The Most Obvious of Places..

“Stop trying to be your own shelter…” — The Wandering

Do you ever sometimes go to bed, but the thoughts running in your mind can’t let you fall asleep? Well, that’s where my mind is right now. It’s a bit late and I have an early morning tomorrow, but I have so many thoughts going on in my head that I can’t seem to put my mind on silent mode until I process them out. So here I am typing away what’s been going  through my mind since 11am this morning.

Earlier at work I took a break and decided to browse through one of my favorite blogs, The Wonder and Wandering, the blogger is a married woman in her late twenties who writes about her faith and shares her struggles and victories that God leads her through. I first came across this blog about a year ago on facebook. My friend Lindsey shared the link to a post about waiting on God’s timing for the right relationship. The post was about this woman’s journey to her significant other, and how she had to wait just as he did until the LORD brought them to one accord and opened the doors for them to enter into a relationship. That day I received peace and reaffirmation from God after reading her blog, and ever since I go through it every once in a while. And every time that I read her posts I receive peace, comfort, and encouragement through this blogger’s posts. So anyway, today as I was nearing the end of this blogger’s  post about hope I came accross the quote posted above “stop trying to be your own shelter”. I re-read that phrase two to four times really slowly and then  I started experiencing that familiar feeling where ever so slowly the wheels begin to turn and I was left with “God, am I being my own shelter?” Of course I set this thought aside and went on with my day, until now.

Tonight I met up with one of my sister’s in Christ and very best friend for dinner and coffee. After much laughter and rejoicing over those special victories with God we both experienced this last month and discussing our favorite tv shows, we said goodnight and parted ways. But as I was driving home this thought kept lingering on my mind “stop trying to be your own shelter”. So again I asked the question: “God, am I being my own shelter?”. The answer came as a gentle whisper: yes.

Like all things, I denied it for the first ten minutes but the more that I denied it, the more truth I found in this “yes”. You see a big portion of tonight’s chat was “getting into a relationship”. I  shared with my friend tonight my true feelings on this and that is “I don’t want to be in a relationship”. And when I say these words, even as I type them I am filled with great fright.

“God, am I trying to be my own shelter?”

I have reached a point in my life where I am truly embracing and enjoying “single life”. Granted I have been single for many years now, but I hadn’t truly embraced it until now. All my life I dreamed and desired to have a family of my own, to be in a relationship, get married, have a family, and up until nine months ago that was still my dream. But now that all has changed. I now see the great opportunities and advantages that exist in being single, and I like them. My mobility and flexibility to relocate is much stronger when you are single. The possibility of traveling becomes a stronger reality by the sole fact that I am single and therefore have nothing tieing me down to one significant place. I have more time to establish, build, an nourish friendships because I am single. And the list goes on and on. I don’t want a relationship or anything close to it right now. If I am meant to be single for the rest of my life I am more than okay with this idea. And that’s where God stopped me “more than okay? Why? “. Simple, I don’t have to be vulnerable, I don’t have to risk getting hurt, I am comfortable. I am safe. (So here’s that point where I reached that “ohhhhhhhh” moment). “Safe. I am not safe. I don’t call you to safe. I will protect you but I am not safe. Where did you ever get the idea that I am safe? Look at Scripture, where do I ever show to be safe?” These were the thoughts I felt that if God and I were carrying a conversation face to face these would be the words he’d say to me followed by “Sarai, stop trying to be your own shelter. You don’t get to choose. I choose. Let me be your shelter. Let me protect you. Only I know what is best for you. You are afraid. You seek safety, because you are afraid of getting hurt, of being left behind, of being weak, of showing vulnerability. But if you don’t open yourself up to this how will you ever grow? How will you ever learn? How will you ever heal? Do these thoughts, your thoughts, align with My promises? Where is your hope?” And as I pondered these questions, I realized my hope (right this moment) is not on God. My hope is missing. Where did it go? I have no idea, but I must find it.

So this is where I am tonight dear reader. I am searching for hope. Where did it go? And when did it leave? Why am I so afraid?

So I am starting my search in the most obvious of places: God’s promises. What does Scripture say? And what promises has God personally shown me for my life? As I am finishing up this post I have already heard the first ones: Isaiah 55:8-9 and Psalm 139. Ironic, both of these verses have been cornerstones for many seasons of my life.

But that’s the beauty of life, we won’t ever have it figured out. Much of life demands revisiting, remembering, and re-learning the foundation of which we stand on. For me it’s my faith. Recalling verses that say  “God’s thoughts and ways are higher than my own” reminds me to let Him be my shelter rather than myself because father knows best. Recalling Psalm 139 helps me to rest in His sovereignty for He knows all the days of my life and He will protect me. This psalm also reminds me this is the reason for my blogs, “fearfully and wonderfully made” and living out this truth.

I don’t have it all figured out..but that’s the beauty of it all. I never will, but God does. Every day is an adventure. Every day is a gift from God meant to be opened, received, and enjoyed to the fullest. So what if this is all about to change? What if a relationship is exactly what’s on the horizon? Well if that is the case, I must call it for what it is a “gift from God”. I encourage you to do the same. Whatever your situation, call it a “gift” and let God take you through this adventure.

Thanks for reading 🙂 Hope you have a lovely day!

In His love

S

How My Run Turned Into A Life Lesson 

“Count it all joy when you fall into various trials” James 1:2

Lately the weather in my hometown has been cold, rainy, and cloudy. I think the last time I saw the sun was about three weeks ago. So today, when the temperature got up to the 60’s and the sun came out, I decided to go for a light jog around my neighborhood. One thing you should know about me is that when I say “light jog” that usually means I start off at a light pace but eventually I  end up going hard by the time I am nearing up to my first mile. So, anyway I got up to my first mile and decided to kick it up a notch as I started my second mile. I may have gone a little too hard and fast because when I reached the stop sign I had to stop to catch my breath; after a few seconds I picked it up again and  a couple of strides later  my app clocked me at 2 miles.. I-was-devastated.

Actually, I was  just bummed,  had I known I was almost at  two miles I wouldn’t have stopped..And that’s when I realized that this precise moment can be compared to my daily pursuit in my faith

Sometimes, life gets a little too fast paced and sometimes we are so involved in things that at times it may seem like we can’t breathe and just need to catch our breath. There is nothing wrong with stopping to take a little breather every now and then, but is every time we stop necessary?

Scripture states that we are refined through fire, that we will face trials, but that we should consider it pure joy when we face many trials because they develop perseverance (James 1). As I mulled over this scripture I realized that’s what I should have done. I wasn’t at a point of death as I was coming up to my second mile. I could have gone a little farther pushed a little harder, but I didn’t. I stopped when it got too hard when I could have kept going. Had I maybe smiled a little and told myself “you are almost there just a little farther” I would have developed perseverance and endurance on my run. My focus was the key. I lost focus of my run and focused instead on my dry throat. Similarly, “when the going gets tough” I need to keep my focus on God and not be distracted by the trials of this life. He is my shield, my refuge, my strength, He makes the impossible possible. I just need to tell myself “just a little farther have faith” and I will be okay. Why? Because God is for us! God is for me. God is for you.

“The LORD is my strength and my shield; My heart trusted in Him, and I am helped; therefore my heart greatly rejoices, and with my song I will praise Him” Psalm 28:7

Have a lovely day!

In Christ’s love,

-S

Why 139?

Hi! My name is Sarai (technically it’s Sarahí and it’s my middle name but since it’s in Spanish I omit the “H” and accent mark to make it simple to pronounce). I am in my late twenties trying to do what everyone else seems to be doing at this time: figure out this wonderful life. The best way I can describe my journey after college is by referring to Robert Frost’s “The Road Not Taken”. I think I like this poem too much because “two roads diverged and I took the less travelled”, but it has been a wonderful journey. I chose a meandering path (leave it to me to make things complicated) but it has been full of beauty and adventure. Psalm 139 is my second favorite passage in the entire Bible, and that is my hope for this blog. Through this psalm I learned to embrace the truth that I am “fearfully and wonderfully made” by the Almighty LORD God and I hope you do too. Welcome to my blog, I appreciate you and I hope you have a lovely day.

In Christ’s love,

-S