Be prepared in season and out of season

Friday, September 26, 2014

Volleyball is my sport.  I have played since middle school and still continue to play on several rec leagues and man, I miss the every day practices that made me good at my craft of being a setter.  Now that I only play once or twice a week, the ball doesn't always go exactly where I planned... Sometimes it's too far off the net, too tight, or I didn't get to the pass quick enough and the attempted set goes right in the net.  I work my booty off to try to bring my skills back to where they were in my glory days, but being that we only play once or twice a week, the perfection of my skills can only go so far.  

If you want to be able to ever-so-lightly touch the volleyball so that it comes off your fingertips with no-spin and is effortlessly placed at the perfect spot off the net, at just the right height, so that your hitter's hand can contact the ball at the top of their swing and follow through, slamming the ball into the ground destroying any possibility of the other team being able to dig the ball and create a new play... you can't just show up on the first game day and expect perfection to happen.  You have to be in shape.  You have to be super quick on your feet to get to every ball whether the pass is perfect or not.  You have to have strong forearms so the set can be created with ease.  You need to have strong legs to get low enough to dig a short ball, and to be able to jump high enough to block the other team's attempt to spike or to jump-set a pass that was way too tight to the net.  And none of that happens overnight.  If you want to be a prime athlete, you need to be prepared in season and out of season.  

As a follower of Christ, my goal is to become more and more like Him everyday so that I might be a good representation of God's love and encourage others to get to know Him and be a part of what He is doing.  But just like I can't be an amazing setter without much preparation and practice, I can't be a great representation of Christ without training.  2 Timothy 3:16-17 says, "All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work."  As practice, strengthening, and endurance are key factors in becoming a good volleyball player- the Word of God is crucial in training to be a woman of God who is equipped for every good work.

2 Timothy goes on to say in chapter 4 verse 2, "Preach the word: be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke, and encourage-- with great patience, and careful instruction." I believe wholeheartedly that the Bible is God-breathed and is central to my growth, but just like I am only practicing volleyball in season right now, am I doing this too when it comes to the word?

How often am I studying the Bible only when I am really struggling, or when I am in a season of sadness or desperation?  God's word says that if I am to going to be thoroughly equipped, I need to be prepared in season and out of season.  Seeking the Bible only when I'm feeling weak or needing wisdom isn't going to do the trick.  I need to be seeking His wisdom always- to be seeking correction, training, and teaching in all seasons.

What a great conviction that I need to really get to work on being a more disciplined reader of the Word (and I've just exposed the truth that I should practice volleyball more too ;).  Guess it's time to get to work.

taken care of

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

It is so crazy to me how God loves us so much and knows us so well that He gives us just what we need when we need to be taken care of.   

Today marks a year for when my sweet grandpa left us as he was called home to be with the Lord.  Coming up to this day, I wasn't quite sure how I would feel.  Being at his bedside, watching him breathe his last was not an easy moment - and yet it was one that was so beautifully orchestrated, so God-breathed and glory-filled that it is one that will forever mark my heart.  [If you're new here and have yet to read that story, please check it out- it is a story that deserves to be heard.]  

Dealing with grief and figuring out what life looks like without a loved one here on earth with us, is not an easy task and one that takes much more than a year to come to terms with.  I've had my ups and downs throughout this year, my fair share of tears and many moments missing his presence.  But today, I am determined to choose joy and focus on not only his life on earth, but be absorbed by the peace that passes all understanding knowing that he is indeed in Paradise with our heavenly father.  

Waking up this morning, fearing a heavy heart- I drew back my shades to find the brightest sun shining in my window.  It immediately brought joy to my heart and gave me an assurance that this day is not for grieving but for rejoicing.  For it is as 1 Thessalonians 4:13 says, "do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who do not have hope."  But I have to backtrack a little bit and tell you why it was simply the sun shining in my window that made this instant connection to joy.  

My grandpa was quite the sun-bather.  Many of my memories involve gramps soaking up the sun on his face, whether it be in the dead of summer or perched in a chair at the top of the ski hill with his head leaned back and a beer in his hand.  Even into his 80's he would take his sun chair, walk down the 18 steps it takes to get to the pier (sometimes wearing a turtle neck and long pants and hiking boots haha) and allow himself one full hour of sun on his face before he required himself to go back up.  Often when we would come to visit his face would be burnt, we'd scold him, and he'd say- "I was only out for an hour yesterday."  He crraaaved the sun.  

So in the moment when Grandpa went to be with the Lord, and there appeared outside the window the most beautiful sunset with the brightest and most radiant sun I have ever seen, we knew this had to be from the Lord.  (No joke, it was spectacular).  The nurse who came to care for us even pointed out the window and said, "do you see this?"  This sunset was so fitting and so encouraging- it was like the Lord knew just what we needed to see, to yet again be reminded that He was in control and He had in fact come to call my grandpa home. 

For the next three days, I kid you not, it felt like the sun was brighter.  Being September in Wisconsin you never know what you're going to get, but those few days as we planned gramps' service and dealt with the initial waves of grief, it felt as if the Lord made the sun brighter- like He was saying, "it's okay- he's here with me!"  This brought such great peace and joy to my heart- that I don't think I'll look at a bright bright sun the same ever again.  

This is why I say, it's so crazy how God loves us so much and knows us so well, that he provides just what we need to be taken care of.  Waking up this morning, seeing the bright bright shining sun, is exactly what I needed to be reminded of the glorious moments of Grandpa's homecoming and the blessing of knowing that he is truly with the Lord.  I again felt like the Lord was saying to me, "it's okay Mindy, he's here with me!"  

It is because of these encouragements and this promise that God really does follow through when He says He will come back for us and bring us to the place He has prepared for us, that I can choose joy today even when my heart is sad.  

God is so good.  I am SO thankful for the way He cares for me.  And I cannot wait to someday meet Him in heaven, when my time comes to be called home.  

A month and a bit later....

Friday, September 5, 2014

Well, here I am over a month later finally saying hello, and that I've missed you here on lovemin.  I took an unexpected blogcation as life has seriously been NUTS.   From spending time up north with family and friends, to relatives coming to visit from California, to a Packer game, and many wedding festivities... this summer has left me very little time to slow down, let alone sit down long enough to write out a blog post!   It's crazy to think that this summer has basically come and gone in what feels like a blink-of-an-eye.  It has been oh so busy, and yet so much fun because it's been jam-packed with so many great things!! For what feels like the first time ever, I am looking forward to fall and the anticipation of a little bit of a slower schedule.  Although I'm ready to say goodbye to the constant busyness, I'm still clinging to the warm weather and hoping that the fun will carry through as well.  

With the arrival of a new season, there are many new and exciting things on the horizon.  I look forward to seeing what God has for me in this time, and to (hopefully more regularly) sharing all these things with you.  But for now as I settle into a new role as a virtual assistant and prepare for another busy weekend ahead, I'll leave you with just a few pictures to give you a taste of what I've been up to for the last month.  


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