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