C: Let me just say that I have LOVED watching God develop His vision in your life and I am SO excited about Big Picture Cafe! When would you say your faith moved beyond just knowing God to experiencing God?
Rebecca: When I was in fifth grade, my older brother and sister went to church camp. They came back and recited stories about how they met God in a way that they’d never met Him before. I was jealous because I wasn’t old enough to go. So, I talked to God about it. His response was, “I can meet you right here.” My life has never been the same.
C: I love that..."I can meet you right here." What is one thing God has been teaching you this season of your life?
Rebecca: I went to a wedding last weekend. The day started out a little crazy. As I was backing out of my parking space, I barely tapped the side of the gate and my entire front bumper fell on the ground. I ended up carpooling with someone I didn’t know, but we hit traffic and construction that stretched a 3.5 hour ride into 5+ hours. I found a place to get dressed and ran out of the car 30 minutes to prepare for the wedding. I opened my backpack… and I realized I forgot my dress. I was wearing a t-shirt and jean shorts, didn’t have my car, and didn’t know what to do. But, God already knew that I was going to have a crazy day and need some help. My friend packed an extra dress and pair of shoes in my size. They fit perfectly and looked way better than my original outfit. If God can take care of me in little details, why would I ever doubt him in things that truly matter?
Because I can trust God and know that He takes care of me, I have the freedom to take big risks. I failed miserably last week in regards to a relationship. It still really hurts. But, I’m going to be better because I was brave and willing to take a chance. Big failures trump living without risk. And, if you’re really taking risks, you’re going to get hurt! I can put myself out there because I know where my roots are. I’m grounded in Christ, and no amount of failure can change that. Will we still experience heartbreak and pain? Yes. Is God still good and trustworthy? Undeniably yes. As I seek his kingdom first, he sorts out the details. He is so loving and full of grace, and he understands that I make a lot of mistakes as I run toward him. He loves that I desire to know him.
C: Ahh...taking risks...not everyone's favorite thing to do but you nailed it. We are taken care of and God isn't going to risk his reputation on our mistakes. How do you keep your eyes fixed on God when storms come your way?
Rebecca: When things get hard and I feel stuck, overwhelmed, and frustrated, I remind myself that God is for me, that he loves me, and that He knows what is best for my life. It's not easy for me to keep this mindset; I have to be intentional. I listen to songs on repeat so they get stuck in my head (current list: Pressure by Jonathan McReynolds and Good Good Father by Housefires, Letting Go by Steffany Gretzinger). I write quotes and verses on art that I hang around my room ("Is everything sad going to come untrue?" -J. R. R. Tolkien and “you are yourself the answer. Before your face questions die away. What other answer would suffice?” C. S. Lewis). Most importantly, I spend time in prayer and reading my Bible. Prayer is not just airing out a list of what I want from God; prayer is the place where I sit with God and he reassures me of his presence and love. He speaks to my heart and comforts me.
I also get by with a little help from my friends. God said it isn’t good for us to be alone. Faithful Christianity happens in community. We need each other, and we need people who know us deeply and can remind us with specific examples from our own lives of God’s grace and consistency.
C: Community is definitely a gift. What are some verses that you often cling to as a reminder of His goodness?
Rebecca: The theme scripture of my life is Isaiah 61. Go read the whole thing because it is much more important and beautiful than anything I have to say. If you're reading this, you have internet access. Seriously-Google it. This blog post will still be here when you get back.
C: Amen! If you could encourage those out there who are fearful of letting go and trusting God, what would you say?
Rebecca: Oh! I love this question!! Fear is the worst. Nothing steals destiny like fear. Fear will freeze you, overwhelm you, and convince you to quit before you try. So, I focus on two scriptures: “Perfect love casts out fear” and “God has not given us a spirit of fear but has given to us a spirit of power, a spirit of love, and a sound mind.” When I’m grounded in love, I’m not worried about letting go and trusting God. He’s good. He always has been and always will be. I read it in Scripture, and he proves himself faithful over and over again in my life.
Think about this: God is omnipotent, omnipresent, omniscient, and completely loving. In light of those core truths, how could I lack trust? My life is a beautiful adventure; Caren knows this because we’ve been friends for such a long time. God and I have so much fun. I wouldn’t trade these experiences for anything. Story after story comes to mind of the incredible ways God comes through for me. When you live a life of faith, you need God to be faithful. And, I can tell you that he always is.
The more my faith grows, the more I know him. And the more I know him, the more my faith grows. Having an adventurous relationship with God isn't reserved for the pastors or the crazy people on the fringes (although you may end up in one of those places!). God wants all of his children to know him more deeply and grow in trust.
So, in short form, I would say, “God is worth it. Give him a chance.”
I am learning that, though often times my hands are busy, often my mind is idle. What does that mean? It means I am wasting time daydreaming or focusing on things that don't really matter. I believe that we are to honor God with our thoughts, not just our actions. If I set my mind on things above (Christ himself), I am not as easily distracted by the worries and troubles of this world. Eliminate wasted time by keeping your mind steadfast on Christ. As we seek Him, He leads us in the direction He wants us to go. Following Jesus is never a waste of time and to take it even further, I believe that God will NEVER waste a life that is submitted to Him.
Friends, I am considering creating a Purposeful Living Challenge Group, where we medicate on exactly this goal to live and use our time in a way that honors God. If you would be interested, leave a comment below or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org!
"How can I tell what God is saying"
"Is He saying go or stop?"
"Did I just go the wrong way?"
These are questions I have often asked myself. Something I am learning about myself is that I tend to "go hard or go home." I have a very intense and extreme personality; when I do something, I give it 120% (I am surprised I didn't say 100,00%...but that would be over exaggerating and I clearly don't do that). I am currently at a yellow light. I will be honest with you about something. Ever since beginning my fitness coaching business, I have wanted to take off with it and spend all my time on it but I realistically can't since I have a full time job. Also, it can be easy to see the success of others (who have been doing it for 5+ years) and expect to have that same success in 2 months (NOPE). So, now that I have calmed down a bit, I am learning to trust God and be faithful with the amount of responsibility He has given me. This doesn't just relate to fitness coaching but in all aspects of my life. I want to work hard for HIM and to please HIM. I am slowly learning how to quiet myself to hear His voice and be obedient to His leading.
So how do you hear God's voice more clearly? Kind of like tuning to a specific radio station, we have to tune our ears to God. The more we spend time in His word the more we will recognize His voice. He is always speaking and always leading; we have to make the effort to learn to listen for Him and have the courage to obey Him.
Happy Tuesday friends! Join me on periscope, a free LIVE video app, @carenscorner where I will be digging deep into what it means to put on CHRIST that we may be conquerors in all things.
What are you holding on to that is getting in the way of your relationship with the Lord? I was tempted to start singing Taylor Swift's "Shake It Off" song while meditating on this...which so doesn't make sense but I am just being honest! I am taking a good honest look at my lifestyle and the possibility of certain things, even good things, hindering me from my goal and my race.
Friends, FIX your eyes on Jesus. Don't look to the left or the right. Don't compare yourself to your neighbor or get caught up in what God may be doing in someone else's life that you miss out on letting Him in YOURS so He can use YOU! This world if filled with good "logical" things that can easily entangle us. I am confident, however, that when we set our minds on things above and not on earthly things, we WILL finish this race well and when we stand before Jesus He WILL say, "well done, good and faithful servant."
Last night I was on periscope, which if you aren't familiar, is a free app where you can create videos LIVE...you can find me @carenscorner! I spoke about how in Revelation chapter 3 God is speaking to the Church of Sardis, stating that though they had a reputation of being alive, they are DEAD.
I was convicted by this statement. I couldn't even read past it! I began to consider what my reputation is in this world. Have you stopped to consider yours? Maybe your known as the helper, the one people can count on, the servant, the bubbly one, the procrastinator, the gossiper, the selfless one, the irresponsible one, and the list goes on and on. I guess my point is, does your reputation match your reality? I have been told that I am a helper, that I am upbeat and positive, that I seem like someone who is chasing after God and His heart. Not at all to boast about myself but just bare with me.... So from here, I began to ask myself, "When you meet Jesus face to face, will your reputation match your reality? Because God sees everything Caren, He sees what people don't see and knows what people don't know. Maybe the world thinks your selfless and loving and upbeat, but what happens behind closed doors? At the end of the day, you will have to answer to the reality not just the reputation." Are you seeing where I am going with this? The last thing I want is for Jesus to say to me, "You have a reputation of being alive, but you are dead." Those are some powerful words. How humbling and AMAZING it is to know that God's grace is sufficient and that He does not give up on us but calls us to continually move toward Holiness. Take a moment, friend, to consider your ways.
A Bit About ME!
Hey friend! My name is Caren and I am so glad you stopped by! This blog is a bit of my corner on the internet where I share honest thoughts about my faith journey, fitness journey, doctor wife journey, and motherhood journey. ALL of it! The good bad and ugly! I pray that something I share encourages you today!