Is anyone still out there checking my blog??! Well, if you’re one of the faithful few, here’s a post for you! 🙂

This is the second time I’m sitting at Starbucks in the last 2 weeks trying to write a blog post. When everything in your life has changed and you haven’t blogged in forever and a year, it’s a daunting task to sit down and write! I mean, where would I begin? What would someone actually find interesting from the past 6 weeks of my life and care about reading? Would you like to hear about my 4th of July and the fun of kayaking, yummy food, a bike ride, fireworks so close debris was falling on us, and homemade cookies and milk? Maybe you’d like to hear about my first few weeks of work – how overwhelmed I have felt, how I made my first bulletin misspelling the week my pastor asked me to add an announcement about my working in the office (including my picture), how the copier and I have not been getting along at all (although, I think we’re starting to make progress, but I could be wrong)? Perhaps you’d rather hear about the chaos of my house – moving things over and over and not being settled, stuff being moved out, new floors going in, my bed being in the middle of my room while waiting for new base boards, purchasing a new oven and dishwasher? I would like to proclaim to the world that as of yesterday, our house is in order (and looking so beautiful!) and I unpacked the last of my boxes! HOORAY! What a relief! Would you find it interesting to read about the copious amounts of Big Spoon Frozen Yogurt that my mom and I have consumed, how many times we’ve eaten homemade popcorn, apples, and cheese slices, and how we can’t wait to start cooking and entertaining now that the house is in order? (I got to cook the last 2 nights – so fun … and yummy! recipes to come!) Or maybe you’d like to jump in on the conversation regarding my decision of purchasing a road bike – tested an amazing Cannondale last week that I really want (oh, and I have the peddles and clips thanks to my friend!!). If you’re into working out, perhaps you’d be interested to know that I miss my membership at LA Fitness like crazy; like I might literally go insane!! I would kill to be in Spin Class with Amy (the best instructor of all times) tonight or Saturday morning!! And if you’re in Southern CA – maybe you’d like to hear about how much I miss you (believe me when I say “I DO!”). And if you’re in Northern CA – maybe you’d prefer to hear me say that I’m so glad to be home and near you again (please know that I am!).

If I had to describe the last month and a half in one word, I’d choose this word: sanctifying.

Don’t you just love it when life goes easily, according to plan, smooth like butter? I LOVE it when life is like that … and that’s not exactly how I’d describe the way things have been. I feel a little like nothing has gone according to my plan lately … and that’s a problem. But the problem is with me. You see, I want to live for my own little kingdom – where I control every little detail and everything goes exactly as I want it to. Circumstances and people all sync with my master plan. But … God’s Kingdom operates quite differently, and He delights to graciously, lovingly, and kindly remind us of this. And thankfully, He’s shown me that I love control and ease way too much. And I’ve had to remind myself that, “… his [God’s] focus isn’t so much on what you will experience and enjoy, but on what you will become. He is committed to using every tool at his disposal to rescue you from yourself and to shape you into the likeness of his Son” (Paul Tripp). So that means moving, being unsettled, starting over, changing churches, remodeling the house, buying appliances, making new friends and rekindling old friendships, being new, living in a mess, not getting to go on vacation to a beautiful island in Florida, and learning a new job are all tools in God’s hand to make me more like Christ. How amazing is that?! God’s love chisels the imperfections out of me and purifies the dross out of my soul. Easy? Painless? Enjoyable? No way! But the end result … wonderful, freeing, God-glorifying, joyful (not to mention so much more pleasant for those around me).

Can I quote Paul Tripp again? His book A Shelter in the Time of Storm (which the above quote was also taken from) has been convicting, encouraging, helpful, refreshing. I highly recommend it! This portion greatly spoke to my heart the other day, so I’ll leave you with his words …

Trust in God isn’t a thin hope in some not very sure outcome. Hope in God is rather a present investment in a future guarantee. What God says will be done. What God has promised will come to pass. His word is reliable because in his grace he wants to bless us, and in his power he has the ability to do anything he has promised to do. When you live with his promises in view, you live with confidence, courage, and unshakable hope. You then become free of anxiety and worry. You become free of vain attempts to manipulate people and situations in order to get what you want. You place yourself in the hands of a sovereign God of grace who knows exactly what you need, when you need it, how you need it, and where you will need it. And because your Father is good, he will never turn a deaf ear to your cries, and he will never abandon you in your hour of need. No, you won’t always understand what he is doing, and you will be tempted to think that he has gotten his timing wrong, but the more you entrust your life to him, the more you will experience his faithful grace again and again.