Thursday, August 29, 2013

Happy "B"-Day, B!


Although I am a day late,
I celebrate You, B!

My sweet husband. My prayer partner. My leader. My best friend.


I hope that you received everything you asked for yesterday!
I am thankful to have another year with you and I pray that the next year is filled with many blessings and successes. I also pray that when things don't go your way, that You continue to rely on God and trust in His perfect timing.

I love you sweetheart!


HAPPY 27th BIRTHDAY!!

In Love,
Casey

#StickWithIt


Is it already week 4 of our Bible study? Where in the world did the time go?
I have done really well with keeping up with my reading, spending quiet time with Jesus, and even participating in my small group online. But this week happened.
B's birthday was yesterday so I have been preparing for that.
Things have been slow at work. I tend to be more productive and work better when I have piles of paperwork and kiddos to go and see. 

Throughout this study, God has been laying something huge on my heart. Every single day He is breaking my heart for the orphans around the world. He has been telling me to talk to someone about this but I was very nervous. 
Two days ago, I reached out and asked someone other than my husband to pray with me about it and to help me discern what God is calling me to do. He is working on something big and I can't wait to see the path He has prepared for me. 

But until then, I must #Stickwithit.

His love is relentless and He is constantly pursuing me. I must continue reading, spending time with Him, and chasing after His plans for me. 

I must continue to say #YestoGod every. single. morning.

If I don't continue with this, I am losing so much! God is working and preparing. There is no reason for me to miss this. 

God, I may not mentally be prepared to say yes to You every morning, but this morning I am choosing to say Yes to the assignments You have chosen for me. 
I will encounter someone or something for Your purpose today. Make my heart become aware and my soul be prepared to share the promises You have given me. Help me to share the Truth that is found in Your Word. 
Prepare my lips to sing of the Hope I have in me because of You.
Help me to live out what You have called me to.
Invade my natural flesh responses and and remind me to be obedient even when other paths seem more appealing. I say Yes to You, Lord. 
Jehova Shalom, my peace.
Jehova Jireh, my provider.
El Shaddai, The Lord God Almighty.

Amen.

In Love,
Casey

Friday, August 23, 2013

The Word as a Weapon


"For the word of God is living and effective and sharper than any double-edged sword, penetrating as far as the separation of soul and spirit, joints and marrow. It is able to judge the ideas and thoughts of the heart. " Hebrews 4:12

 Wouldn't it be beautiful to have words of praise and thanksgiving fall from your lips at every breath?
Or to be able to give scripture as comfort when someone is hurt?

I want to be this person. I want to have the Words of God tattooed on my heart so that with every breath, I am able to impulsively shout scripture. 

I have been a believer in Christ for many years now, but have only recently began to actively pursue Him as He has done for me for so long. I have also recently began to memorize scripture sporadically. But you know that saying, "If you don't use it, you lose it?"

Often I will be in the den in our home which adjoins my husband's office. I can hear him in his office speaking in German. Yes, German. B lived in Austria for some time and learned the language but he is always afraid that if he doesn't use it, he will lose it, so he is constantly speaking to himself in this beautiful language. 

I want to be like my husband, but with scripture. The verses that I have learned (which is few) over the previous year, I have to try very hard to bring back to my mind. A few times I have written it on a post-it and placed it on our bathroom mirror. While B is getting dressed, he and I will repeat the verse over and over to commit it to memory. 
But if you don't use it, you lose it. 

Today I am committing myself to not lose it. I want to be the person described in the next verse. I want to be prepared "to give an answer to everyone who asks...to give the reason for the hope that is in [me]." 1 Peter 3:15


"Blessed are those who dwell in your house; they are ever praising you. Psalm 84:4

God, today I commit myself to You and to Your Word. I commit to memorize the  verses that You place on my heart and to actively use them throughout my days. Remain in me Lord, because I long to be the one that is ever praising you. In Jesus' name, Amen.

"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!" 
2 Corinthians 5:17

In Love,
Casey

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

#SayWhat, God? - Radical Obedience in a Mundane Life



Let me get this straight. You, the Creator of the Universe, The Giver of All Things, are asking me to work for WHO??

This is was my heart-cry in January of 2012. Fresh out of college, newly engaged and living with my parents. When all of a sudden, I get a job offer for the most hated agency around.

Child Protective Services.

You have got to be kidding me! I was terrified! I didn't want to rip children from their parents. I didn't want to see all of the bad that was happening in my community.
And I definitely didn't want to be exposed to devastation that would turn me from my walk with Jesus.

Have you ever had a time when you are struggling with what God has asked you to do?
Most of the time, we spend our prayer life asking God to forgive us and to direct our steps day in and day out. But what happens when we actually seek Him so faithfully that we hear Him speaking to us?

Jeremiah 29:13 says "You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all of your heart." 

That ain't no joke.

I had accepted the job offer to become an investigator with CPS and I was trying to mentally prepare myself for what was about to happen. The day before my first day, I was in Bible study with my then "soon to be" mother-in-law when Beth Moore read out loud:

 "SPEAK FOR THOSE WHO CAN'T SPEAK FOR THEMSELVES. FOR THE RIGHTS OF ALL WHO ARE DESTITUTE." Proverbs 31:8

My mother-in-law looks at me and says "That verse was for you." 

Whoa. Confirmation at it's finest. Yes God! I will speak for the children that can't speak for themselves. Yes God! I will be their voice and assure they are well taken care of. Yes God! I will pray for the parents and do my best to assure they get the help they need in order to take proper care of their children.

Yes God. Use me.

Little did I know, saying "Yes" on that day would set my entire life in motion. I gained the experience of a lifetime. I have some wonderful memories. I met beautiful children seeking for acceptance and love. I was able to hold and pray for infants. Newly born into this world and searching a mother and a father. 
I prayed they would find a father in the One that knit them together in their mother's womb (Psalm 139:13)

"See how very much our Father loves us, for He calls us His children, and that is what we are!" 1 John 3:1

I met the enemy head on in many occasions. I saw death and despair in people's eyes. People that live in my own community. Broken and lost. I was able to pray for their redemption. I was able to show them the love of Jesus, even when they didn't recognize it. 

God used my experiences with Child Protective Services to slingshot me into a world of global awareness.
He gave me a heart to love and care for the Orphans of the world.
He is using me! He has confirmed time and time again that He has created me to make others aware of the Orphan epidemic throughout the world, and the despair children face in our own communities.

If I wouldn't have said Yes on that day in January. If I wouldn't have had "radical obedience," then I wouldn't have gained the benefits of all I have learned. Including the passion God placed in my heart to make a difference for children around the world, 
including the children that will come to our family someday through adoption.

Thank you Lord, for passionately pursuing me. Thank you Lord, for continually speaking to me. Thank you Lord, for my desires and the opportunity to seek after You with all I have.

“We need not fear what our obedience will cause to happen in our life. We should only fear what our disobedience will cause us to miss.” - Lysa TerKeurst

In Love,
Casey






Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Keeping my #PalmsUp


"What is holding you back from going deeper in your relationship with God?" -Lysa Terkeurst

Often I catch myself roaming through my daily life without a specific direction. Aiming to complete tasks in a timely manner or to please those around me. But, it is in the quiet moments when I am alone with God that I truly realize that I am made for so much more. 
Have you ever had the urge to turn off the computer and your phone and just LISTEN? 

This is a revelation that has been begging me recently. I am a member of an online Bible study through Proverbs 31 ministries. Over 22,000 women across the globe are reading "What Happens When Women Say YES to God" by Lysa Terkeurst.


 It is one of the scariest things I have done in a long time.
Want to know why? Because listening to God and realizing that He may be asking you to do something way out of your comfort zone is terrifying. And on top of that, He expects us to say YES! 

Now, I am up for a challenge, God, but this is some very uncomfortable stuff You are asking of me!

I desire to dive into this beautiful and pure relationship with You, Lord, but if I am being honest, I am afraid.

I am afraid of the unknown.

I am afraid of what He may be asking me.

I am afraid of what it means for my life.

I am afraid that others in my life may not be on board.

I am afraid that I will fail Him.

Do you ever feel this way too? The desire to run and hide because of the fear that you may fail. Luckily, we can stand on this beautiful promise.
 "Do not be afraid, for I am with you. Do not be discouraged, for I am Your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand."
Isaiah 21:10

Yes, Lord! I hear You!

He also reminds us that He "has not given us a spirit of fearfulness but one of power, love and sound judgement."
2 Timothy 1:7

Okay, now I am listening. I am still shaky, and a little skeptical, but
 I say "Yes" to you Lord.

I am determined to continue working through my daily struggles of pursuing a deeper relationship with God, and allowing Him to take my fear. I surrender my worries to Him and I am praying that He will give me the desire to want to spend quality time with Him above all else. 

With Palms Up, I am asking for God to continue calling me to the things that are uncomfortable, the things that are unseen, and for the work of the Kingdom.

"I will bring praise! I will bring praise! No weapon formed against me shall remain. I will rejoice! I will declare! God is my victory and He is here!" - Hillsong United




In Love,
Casey






Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Meet Chloe...



Chloe is our four legged daughter. B got her from a vet's office when he played football for Missouri S&T several years ago.



We call her Chlo-Chlo Bug Princess after her cousin, Jo-Jo Bug Princess.

She sleeps outside in the dirt behind our A/C Unit.
She loves to bark at people.
She has to lick you at least once when she sees you, just to make sure you know she cares.
She also loves to fetch, play tug-o-war, and sneak into the house whenever she sees an opportunity.


We really aren't the crazy type who actually believe our dog is a human,
but we sure do love this little girl like crazy!
In Love,
Casey

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Follow



God is moving. The Holy Spirit is running rampant throughout my soul and wreaking havoc in my life. There is this notion that continues to make its appearance in everything I do. The notion that there is more to this life or this “Christian” thing, than just believing. God calls us to be FOLLOWERS of Him. [And calling the crowd to him with his disciples, he said to them, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.” Mark 8:34]
                Allow me to begin with a little back story. At a mere 6 years old, the invitation began at a Baptist camp and I walked down the aisle in tears to my pastor. He asked “Have you accepted Jesus into your heart?” I meekly replied “yes.” In all reality, I didn’t know. All I knew is that I felt led to walk down the aisle. But did I truly have Jesus “in my heart?” Back home I followed suit after the others that had walked down that aisle. We were baptized in front of our friends, family and congregation. With a rumble of “Amen!” as I was lifted out of the water, I didn’t feel different. But it was then that the Holy Spirit entered me. I am sure of this.  From that day my life has been led by the Holy Spirit. Something pulled me to Him in everything I did. I didn’t always follow him, but I believed whole-heartedly that I did not walk alone. My parents stopped going to church yet God continued to use them and also placed people in my life that would make sure I received the spiritual upbringing that I needed so that He could use me.
 My life has been dedicated to Him since birth.
You see, God had a plan for me some 18 years ago. He knew that He was going to use me somehow, someway. I don’t know if other people feel the way I do, but I can honestly look back on my life and see Jesus in every turn, standing beside me and beckoning me to him. My high school and college years were not the best, but God continued to pull me close to him, even in the lonely days after I had made a poor decision. God was there, holding me tight and saying “You are safe in my arms.”
Flash forward. I am now a 24 year old foster/adopt worker. I am married to a wonderful man. A man that BELIEVES. A man that leads. And God is STILL leading me. When I pray to God fervently, He speaks. Listen to that…..HE SPEAKS! Not always audible, but in a way that I know what He is trying to tell me. I talk to my husband a lot about God encounters and how when you are actually able to feel and hear God, then your mindset will change from believing to following. The day that I became a follower came when God confirmed to me a job last year. 18 years after I first believed did I finally become a follower of Christ. I had been in true, fervent prayer and God spoke to me through a verse, now my life verse. And Praise God! He hasn’t stopped talking since. ;)
So today, in my life, God is reminding me to follow. To not only be in worship during the good times, but to “pray through” in the tough times. To realize that pursuing God should be interwoven into every step, breath and word spoken in your life. God breaks us in order for us to learn something, and to draw closer to Him. It’s time that we remember that believing is the first step, but we are also called to bear good fruit. To draw near and have a true relationship with Jesus Christ who was sent to save us. He is waiting, and beckoning. He is yearning to have an encounter with you, and with me. To speak to you, guide you and show you His faithfulness.  A beautiful picture of this relationship is shown in John 15:1-8. “I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit. Already you are clean because of the word that I have spoken to you. Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bear much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. ... “
“Father, continue to remind and show me who You are. Your faithfulness has proven true time and time again and I know you are still there waiting on me. Lord, I pray that I can be a true follower of You. To lose my life for something more. I pray that you continue to prepare me, and to use me how you saw fit before I was born. Jesus, forgive me for forgetting. Forgive me for losing sight sometimes. Continue to strengthen me and to guide me in all my steps. I love you, too!”
In Love,
Casey



Wednesday, June 19, 2013

What's in a name?



"You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows." Psalm 23:5

When seeking to find a good, strong name for this blog, I was praying about what the blog would actually be used for. This blog, to me, is meant to be a documentary of a journey. A compilation of life, love and everything in between. 
 On October 2o, 2012, God joined my husband Brad and I together in marriage. Before marriage, God placed a monumental calling on our lives to live out our faith through parenting. Now, seeing as how I am only 24 and he is 26, we know we are not quiet ready to fill our house with children. But this is our journey...



God blessed us with an amazing home before we got married. We have spent the first 8 months of our marriage arguing over paint colors and floor types. We are re-modeling! It is a fun, crazy, stressful, messy experience but it has brought Brad and I so close together. We love being able to work in our garden, ride around our land, and paint our walls. This is where God has us at this moment, and it is beautiful.

This is what we are working with. ;)

God has also blessed Brad and I with phenomenal jobs. Brad is an owner of an electronics recycling company (www.stsrecycle.com). He works so diligently and is making such a difference in the lives of his employees and the environment around him. I am blessed to have such a hard working man who wants to provide for me, and for our future family and gives all of the glory to the Lord for his success.

God laid a verse on my heart over a year ago and this is now my life verse. "Speak for those who can't speak for themselves, for the rights of the destitute" Proverbs 31:8. This is a beautiful reminder for me daily that as a Christian, I am called to care for those in need, specifically the orphaned and widowed. God is in the process currently of walking me through the plans for my career, and the call on my life for orphan care. I currently work for a wonderful private child placing agency as a foster care manager. I also come from a background of investigations with Child Protective Services. I have seen a lot of hurt, abuse, neglect and pain in these children, but I can say with all honesty, that I also saw Jesus holding every child.

So this is our story....we are preparing a table. Preparing a table literally by re-modeling our 1920's home. Preparing a table by praying for the careers God will guide us to in hopes of providing for our future family.
Preparing a table by spending time with our sweet Jesus and building a pure and meaningful
relationship with Him.
And preparing a table by answering the call of parenting through adoption and praying for the children God will entrust to us.  Yes, we want to have children "naturally" as well, but we want the focus to be on what God desires of us.

Just as God has adopted us, so we will answer the call to adopt the orphaned and to care for the fatherless. 

"And anyone who welcomes a little child like this on my behalf is welcoming me." Matthew 18:5

Our cup overflows with blessings that we are so unworthy of.  Please follow me as I document our life story.

In Love,
Casey