Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Let it Snow, Let it Snow, Let it Snow...

    As the first snow fell on the mountains this past week it challenged me to remember a lesson God showed me back during my first year as an apprentice. A lesson of faith, a challenge to remember... and I want to share it with you.

2/14/09 - 4:30pm - Miracle Mountain Ranch Missions - Teen Conference

    It was the 4th hour of trail rides I was wrangling for the weekend, I was cold, and just plain mechanical at my job right about now, all I could think of was a hot shower and sleep. I was lead wrangler for one of the two strings and I wanted to be joyful because the bunkhouse currently on my string happened to be the one I was assistant counselor for, but it was trying my patience.
    As we were riding along I was just chatting with the young lady behind me when we came into a clearing in the woods. As we meandered through the snow was lightly dusting off the trees and as the sun came out and hit the falling snow it lit up the flakes like glitter falling from the sky. When the snow landed on my carhartt I couldn't help but notice all of the perfect, tiny snowflakes, and then it hit me.
    The night before Matt Cox had spoke on "How Great is Our God" in chapel and used the stars as an example. Stars that are so huge in relation to earth and how it would take millions and billions of earths to fill some of them, and how God breathed them all into existence. This came into a new light as I watched the snowflakes. Each tiny, unique, perfect one was created by the same God. Even though they are here for just an instant and then gone, He tenderly created each one for our enjoyment and His glory.
    What I came to realize that cold February afternoon is that God works in many mysterious ways. He will work in the big things and show His huge power like He does in the stars, and He will also work in the little things, like the snowflakes, that slowly build up to make a huge impact.

    Looking back at that event in my life I am challenged to "remember the snowflakes". The more subtle of the workings of the hand of God in my life. When the Lord would do miraculous works in the lives of the Israelites He would follow with the challenge to remember and pass it on to the future generations as a reminder of His faithfulness and love for His people. The same applies for us and Christians now. As I look back over this past year I see His hand working in that I could have easily been killed twice and was spared, the immense opportunities to work with people that not only challenged me, but loved and nurtured me through one of the hardest years of my life, God's provision for my bills from my accidents, time to recover as well as develop a deeper understanding of God's will for my life, and a lot of incredibly wonderful friends I made along the way, just to name a few.

    Some of these things aren't huge "wow!" moments, but they are the workings of God, and you and me both will miss them unless we intentionally look for them, and remember.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Life Is A Highway, I Wanna Ride It All Night Long...

    It's hard to believe that as I sit down to write this I am in my 5th new room in the past 3 years. This past weekend we moved into our new house and the transition has gone very smoothly. Our new house feels more like home to me than the previous one, which is probably due to the fact that I actually have my own room and am no longer living out of my suitcases. It's crazy to look back and see all the different places and experiences I have been through in the past 3 years.
    As I was unpacking boxes in my new "domain" and discovering forgotten treasures it brought tears to my eyes because I dearly miss my friends and what I do. As boxes of trophies and awards were opened it reminded me of how passionate I have always been about riding and doing my very best, and how easy it is to be discontent in current circumstances. Pictures of me and my horse, my friends from the barn I worked at, 4-H medals, all momentos of what was, now it's trying to rest in God for what is to come.
    At the moment I am still unemployed. It has been a long process of "we're not hiring right now" or "we picked someone else". But, God willing, there is a light at the end of this tunnel. I received a call from Broadview University over the weekend about putting in an application for a position as an adjunct professor in their Vet Tech program. With my license from Florida I fit the criteria and am hoping and praying that this door will open. The opportunity would be incredible!
    The biggest struggle right now is being content in where I am at on this highway. It feels like driving down I90 needing to eat something and having to be happy with a granola bar even though I know there is something better out there somewhere, I'm just not to it yet.  Through it all God has been using this time of granola bars instead of steak as a time for me to spend un-distracted time with Him. Kind of like the 18 hours I had to get to know the crew that drove from PA to MS with me in August of 2009. There was a purpose for the trip, but the conversation and time spent getting to know each other not only made the time pass faster, but brought us closer together so that when we got there we had a relationship to stand on when times got rough.
    Overall this "highway" has been a literal and metaphorical one. When we moved from NY to FL in 2007 I thought it was going to kill me. It was hard to be away from lifetime friends, but God blessed me with a job I could have only dreamed about. When I left for PA in 2008 it was hard to say goodbye to my family, and the trials that came while I was away had me on the verge of giving up and going home, but God carried me through and developed a much deeper faith in me. Leaving my adopted family in PA and going to MS in 2009 was agonizing. The not knowing what was going to be expected, the immense trials we endured, at times it was truly miserable. Looking back at it now, I wouldn't change a thing, I'm glad it wasn't easy (not saying I would do it again mind you). In all of the hard times it grew strong, deep relationships between us apprentices and the Heavenly Father we were clinging to. Those 5 are some of the closest friends I will ever have. Leaving MS to come "home" to UT has probably been the hardest transition so far simply because it is full of unkowns... but I know when I look back I will see the blessings because my God is faithful :)

How big is your God?

Sunday, October 3, 2010

You Make Me Dance Like A Fool, Forget How To Breathe...

Well all, it has been a while since I have taken the time to update y'all, so here it is.

Since my last post we have found a new house! It is just about a tenth of a mile down the road from where we currently live and much bigger. Now, when my siblings and their peeps come for Thanksgiving we will have plenty of space. This is a HUGE answer to prayer as the house we are currently in hardly has enough space for the three of us, much less for the five of us plus a few extras. The fact that we are even able to rent this house is a major God thing! It happens to be owned by friends of my parents that were PCAd to Texas and we became aware that they were willing to rent the house through a mutual friend. Within two days we had made a deal with them and started making plans to move. The official date that we are in the new house is October 15th, but we have been slowly moving stuff day by day down the road.

North Fork Park
Throughout all of the job searches and applications and paperwork I finally heard back from the hospitals that handled my injuries when I shattered my nose back in April. I had applied for charity care to help cover the bills since I have been unemployed and both hospitals have decided to cover my expenses in full! That is about $20,000 worth of medical expenses. God has been so good in simply having our family here and providing good jobs for both of my parents and now I am starting to see some of the blessings myself.

With all that said, I thank all of you for the prayers for me and my family. Things aren't completely smooth sailing as I am still unemployed, but God has been showing Himself very faithful.