Sunday, January 5, 2014

New Year - New Words....

Almost every year, I ask the Lord for a word or phrase or area He wants me to focus on. Sometimes it comes easier than others, sometimes it comes without asking and a few years - like the past year - I really don't "get it" til the year is almost done. Thankfully our God is a God of mercy and grace!

As I have thought and pondered about where I want to go in 2014 and what I feel God has for me to work towards - two words actually come to mind! Yikes - God must really want to challenge me this year!!! Ha ha!


Obviously these have a lot in common and depending on how you define them, they may even be the same to some. However, although related and intertwined I think that they are each a separate area in which God is and will continue to stretch me throughout this year....

First TRUST: "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not rely on your own understanding; think about Him in all your ways, and He will guide you on the right paths. Don’t consider yourself to be wise." Proverbs 3:5-6

This has been my favorite verse for as long as I can remember. I remember in Jr. High repeating this over and over when I was struggling with finding my identity. Then in college I once again claimed it as I would face trials and hard times. Then - again early in our marriage when we were struggling financially God brought this verse to my mind. You would think that having it a part of my life for so long I would GET IT! Yet...I fail, I fall and I forget to TRUST HIM! 

I am a "Doer" and a "Fixer" and a "Problem Solver"...just ask my husband! I can't stand to just talk about a topic or situation I want to analyze and find the solution and I want to do it NOW (yesterday would be even better). However, I am learning that Trusting in God doesn't always work like that. Often times is means waiting...and waiting...praying....and praying some more....until HIS time is right and He has shown the solution or answer. UGH! This girl wants to fix it and do it immediately...Yet - I am realizing that I need to TRUST HIM and TRUST HIS TIMING and TRUST HIS SOLUTION. 

So...for 2014 I am reclaiming this verse.There are some big issues that I am needing to TRUST HIM in this coming year, trust His direction, trust His guidance, and trust His ways! 

Second FAITH: "Because of your little faith," He told them. "For I assure you: If you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will tell this mountain, Move from here to there,' and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you." Matthew 17:20

This verse has literally resonated in my mind recently - specifically when I have been praying about one situation in particular. You see, I SAY that I believe God and I SAY that He can do anything BUT do I really have the FAITH - a belief that comes without seeing - that He can and will do it? Better yet do I have FAITH that HE who is IN me is able to use me to accomplish His will? This has been a struggle. 

When I started thinking about this year and what goals or resolutions I wanted to see happen...almost immediately I heard that voice, you know, the one that says "Yeah, that would be nice but let's be realistic" or "Yeah right, like THAT's going to happen"...the voice that begins to point out all the reasons that it isn't going to happen and that it isn't possible. However, I kept on coming back to these two BIG things for this seemed somewhat attainable but the other? Well it just seems so unrealistic - further more, what if it was MY wants and not God's want for me? So...I have continued in prayer seeking him. I can't tell you a specific answer other than EVERY time I pray about this particular thing - I come back to have FAITH....

This year - FAITH and TRUST are my focus. Perhaps in the future I will blog about my two goals for this year but for now suffice it to say that BOTH are stretching me in the areas of trust and faith....In fact, I have a feeling that in the coming months God is going to have many more areas of my life to stretch me in my FAITH and TRUST. I am eager and ready!!! 

Would you pray with me that I would truly learn to have FAITH in Him and what HE can do and that I would TRUST HIS plan above any I may have? In fact, may I be so bold as to ask you friends to pray that God will knock my socks off in seeing Him work in a way that ONLY can be explained by HIM? In can I pray for YOU this coming year? Where is God growing and stretching YOU?

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Closing the page on 2013

It seems like I find myself saying this every year but here it is again...where did this past year go? I blinked and it was over! They say the older you get the faster time goes - I can agree with that!

To sum up the year 2013 in the Arrington home...I would have to say CHANGE! Although this is a somewhat common theme in our family life - 2013 was filled with many changes for us in several areas. The thing about change is this - it can be painful at times, hard to embrace, uncomfortable to be sure BUT it can also be the beginning of something new and beautiful, the new horizon on a new adventure, a time of growth and a time of bonding...All of the above would describe 2013 for us.

January - Found us in Borger Texas. I took over as Librarian at our church library and although a new position for me, one I loved!!! Joel was on staff as Children's and Families Pastor. Two of our four children were doing school at home and we were gearing up for softball! Joel also performed his first wedding for our adopted daughter Katy and her husband Angel!!! All four kids were involved in the wedding as well and they were excited about that!!!

February - Found us enjoying a Texas sized snow in Borger! Several days of snow shoveling and fun!!! A little taste of Colorado for our hearts was WONDERFUL!!!

March - Two major trips for me! First a Mission Trip to Laredo Tx with my two middle children during Spring Break. It was so wonderful to see them serving and reaching for the Kingdom and to really get to know the people of Laredo. Next a GIRLS Week to Las Vegas with one of the two people I truly call Best Friend!!! Thanks to our amazing hubbies and their willingness to sacrifice financially and keep the homefront - my friend Dani and I were able to fly and meet up in Vegas for some much needed R&R!!!

April - Began the stirring in our hearts that perhaps our time at First Borger was coming to an end. Of all our moves and of all the ministries we have left I can tell you this was one we wrestled with in prayer for many weeks. Circumstances had found all the staff except for Joel and our Sr Pastor at other churches. The Sr Pastor was in talks with another church as well and we were at a cross-roads.

May - God confirmed His calling for us to leave Borger by opening the door at First Baptist Levelland in truly a way that can only be accredited to the Lord. We had not looked for them but rather a college friend contacted us about the possibility - with no knowledge that we were even looking!!! On May 19th we came in view of a call to Levelland and Joel accepted the position as Children's and Families Pastor.

June - After finishing school in Borger and moving our belongings into temporary storage in Levelland - we took a MUCH needed vacation to Colorado!!! It was so wonderful to just relax and enjoy time with friends and family and each other. June 15 was our official move day to Levelland Tx!

July - Joel and I celebrated 18 years of marriage, our three oldest went on their first trip with the Levelland youth group and the kids and I enjoyed much down time playing games and relaxing! We also helped with the summer kids program Destination Summer at church!! Very fun times...

August - I went back to work full-time for the first time in almost 5 years! It has been an adjustment but overall a good thing. We are working towards being in a position to purchase a home at some point in 2014 (more on that in a separate post). I am working in Credit Administration at a local bank - definitely a new experience for me as I have had no experience in the banking industry but it has been good!!! Kids also started school here in Levelland - with ALL four in public school and an answer to prayer - they are adjusting really well!!!!

September - Hannah joined the Cross Country team here and so we became THOSE parents that are up at the crack of dawn on Saturdays driving here and there to see her run!!! It has been fun!!! Also, she is very active in Choir and so I am helping with the groundwork of getting the Booster Club for the Choir up and going - a learning experience to be sure!!! We also kicked off Children's Church at Levelland - a new thing for them and it is going GREAT!!!

October -We began plans for our first Fall Festival here in Levelland! It was so much fun and we are looking forward to even more in 2014. We also welcomed the arrival of our first adopted "grandchild"! Anastacia Feliz Hernandez was born to Katy and Angel!!! Katy has been like a daughter to us since our time in Bayfield and we have been blessed by her in many many ways!!

November - We celebrated our first Thanksgiving here with just us and the kids!! It was a very fun and relaxing day as we declared it "No technology" Day and just enjoyed each other!!!

December - A BUSY time!!! We had choir concerts, church dinner theater, parties, and much more!!! We loved embracing the season but were also glad to see it calm down some!!! Christmas was special as we got to celebrate with us and the kids, the Arrington side and the Ashcraft side! Also in December - Joel finished at Liberty University with a Bachelors in Religion!!!! Definitely something we were happy to see him work towards and equally happy to see completed!!! Words cannot express how happy and proud I am of him for persevering and reaching for it in spite of all the distractions, changes and obstacles!!!

And that is a wrap on 2013!!! Hopefully later today I will get a post up as to what we are looking forward to in the coming year!!!