Sunday, October 6, 2013

Pray for Perspective

It's fall y'all, and the weather is finally acting like it! I usually hate the cold and rain for Paysli's sake, but oh how I've missed sweatshirts, pumpkin spice lattes, and homemade slow cooker soups. This past week was pretty busy for us. I went back to work this week, Tim had his usual week full of Texas football, and the girls were up and at 'em bright and early most mornings. I thought I was tired before... but now, whoa! But God blessed me this week with such a positive attitude towards all the craziness going on. I have found myself thanking God for perspective a lot lately. I'm thankful for those moments where he puts me in just the right place or scenario for a needed attitude adjustment.

This weekend was Go & Be weekend at out church where our church family goes out to bless others and glorify God's name. The story of Christ and salvation is shared while blessing those in need just as Christ did and does. Our bible fellowship group was assigned a family and their home. Tim went and served while I watched the kiddos. After Tim came home and shared a little bit about those he served, I was reminded quickly that what sometimes seems like "not enough" is plenty. It is actually excess and may the Lord take it away if our family ever takes advantage of it. Lord thank you for perspective today and I pray you continually remind me of how blessed I truly am. If worldly idols become what I worship, I pray you take them away so that I see you clearly Lord. (If you are praying for perspective in the area of wealth/finances, I suggest reading Kisses From Katie by Katie Davis. It will change your perspective and ultimately your life.)

I also gained perspective on how we all take advantage of our health and our time on this earth. On Tuesday the funeral of a sweet friend, Stevie Patrick, took place. Stevie and I crossed paths after I got engaged and started doing bootcamps to get into wedding dress shape. And oh how blessed I was for my path to cross hers. I did several bootcamps with Stevie, usually signing up for one anytime I was home from Baylor. Stevie had such a gentle and sweet spirit to her. Her smile and curls just made you want to hug her and be her friend. She was so precious... well not so precious when she kept making us do burpees, but precious before and after workouts. Ha! Stevie was successful with her own business, loved her family, and lived out her faith daily. Three and a half years ago Stevie wad diagnosed with a form of brain cancer called glioblastoma. On September 26, 2013 Stevie went home to her Savior, Jesus Christ. Stevie left behind so many amazing friends and family, including her husband Damen and her 1 year old son Ryder. In the programs passed out at Stevie's funeral, was entries from Stevie's journal:

August 11, 2011
I know that you know my thoughts and actions before I even know them. You know how many hairs are on my head. I was just talking with DP earlier today about using my brain cancer for your ultimate glory. So many friends of mine that don't know you (that know you and I have a very intimate relationship) ask me every time I see them, "How can you not be mad at God?" or "How can you not be bitter?" I simply smile and tell them that this is merely an opportunity for my love for you to shine through. If I die today and get to see you - BONUS! If I live another 80 years - BONUS! I know I'm going straight to Heaven and that excites me. Thank you for these hardships. My faith in your perfect plan is unwavering. Amen.

August 16, 2011
Thank you for obeying your Father and coming down here to die for me on the cross. I recognize no ordinary love could do that.
Please fill me with you so that I can be effective and people can recognize a changed heart from the outside in, in my life. I want to seek to know you, so I can allow you to love others through me. Amen.

May 29, 2012
Wow! This one jumped off the page and really got me. Are you allowing me to get brain cancer again to help save this broken world? If so, I'm in. I'm ready. There will be tears, but I trust you.
Please help me walk in a straight line towards you always- no matter what life presents me. Amen.

While I did not know Stevie extremely well, nor did I see her often during the three and a half years she battled brain cancer, these journal entries match the heart and personality of the girl I was blessed to meet. She clearly glorified Him through the pain, tears, and heartache that brain cancer brings. 

Her confidence in Christ gives me the chills. I loved it when she said "If I die today and get to see you- BONUS! If I live another 80 years- BONUS!". No treasures here on this Earth would break her excitement about meeting Jesus. A successful business, precious family, and being young (Stevie was 3 years older than me) did not hinder her excitement of the possibility of meeting Jesus Christ sooner than she expected. Nor did it stop her from sharing Christ's love with the rest of the world. Stevie's faith was unwavering. She trusted her Lord without borders. You can tell in her writing that she knew that she was constantly in the presence of her Father. Every time I hear this song now, it reminds me of Stevie:

Another part of her journal entry that I love is where she said "Are you allowing me to get brain cancer again to help save this broken world? If so, I'm in. I'm ready." Stevie had the faith and commitment to Christ that I think millions search for their whole lives. I want to trust God like Stevie did. Honestly, it is so scary to say God however you would want it, I'm in and ready. There is a lot of hesitation when I think about that statement. I think, "God take me wherever and through whatever you want... but if you could keep things as comfortable as possible that would be great." I want Stevie's faith and confidence in Christ.

While I am so sad of Stevie's passing, I am celebrating Jesus Christ's death on the cross. Stevie is hanging out with Christ (and maybe even working out with him!) because our Father sent His son to die on the cross and rise again. Jesus was the ultimate sacrifice for our sins. He sent His son to save the filthy world. What a great God. And what a great promise that we can have eternal life if we accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior. I know Stevie's life has and will continue to  glorify Jesus Christ and bring people to know Him. Well done Stevie! You have fulfilled what Jesus Christ sent you to the Earth to do! So proud to have met you and called you friend!