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August 2012
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October 2012

September 2012

Plans & Promises

Springstein Eric Church

On Saturday, we officially walked into the first day of Fall. As I look back on summer 2012, "Call Me Maybe" and Eric Church's "Springsteen" were the soundtrack of my summer. I love how music can take us back to moments and memories.

What was the highlight of your summer?
Was there a moment you’ll always remember?

My summer highlight was a business trip to Miami.

{To set the scene} Three years ago, I moved to Denver without a job, a car, or a friend. I waited tables, I hoped, and I hustled and now I’m on an expensed business trip to a tropical destination, in a hotel suite the size of my apartment, overlooking the Miami skyline. 

In three years, God took me from waiting tables by the airport to a senior position at a software company.

Every morning in Miami was like waking up to a banner written across the sky that said, “I see you. I made you. I have walked with you every step along the road that led you to here. And I know the plans I have for you” {Jeremiah 29:11, LAL} 

It was a vista moment.

“We see where we’ve been; we see where we’re headed. Take a breather. Enjoy the scenery. Savoring what we’ve done, absorbing the landscape, letting the colors of the horizon sink into our imagination. These are connective moments. They keep our lives coherent – with all its glory and hurt, promise and difficulty.”

{Eugene Petersen, Leap Over A Wall}

IMG_0798_E

In the context of my career, I can clearly see God’s faithfulness. Yet, if you asked me back here, nine months ago, nothing was adding up. I woke up everyday and reminded myself that promotion comes from God, not people. It was looking like the six years of corporate life and fifteen hours days wouldn’t make a difference. Luckily, it's God who makes the difference.

I petitioned God for a new career path relentlessly everyday for eight months. Then one day, I checked my e-mail and there was my job offer, right on time.

Most days, life is routine, it doesn’t add up, and we can’t see where the road leads. Seeing where the road leads and knowing how the story ends are not part of God’s promise.

Following Christ is not an if/then situation. It’s a no matter what decision.

Outside my career, life isn’t adding up. It's frustrating, but these are the moments God loves to use to strengthen us and to teach us perseverance. When we think He’s not going to come through, but we show up anyway like He’s sitting right next to us…He loves that.

As followers of Christ, we’re called to set an example with our lives and to be faithful in the little things. We’re called to set an example when everyone is watching and when no one is watching. We’re called to set an example and live like everything matters when no one may know the difference...and when it costs us something.

2 Corinthians 6-10

"Please don't squander one bit of this marvelous life God has given us. People are watching us as we stay at our post, alertly, unswervingly . . . in hard times, tough times, bad times; when we're beaten up, working hard, working late, working without eating; with pure heart, clear head, steady hand....terrifically alive, immersed in tears, yet always filled with deep joy; having nothing, having it all."
{2 Corinthians 6:1-10, MSG}

I want to set an example with my life. I want to live a story that can’t be explained without acknowledging the Lord’s intervention.

There’s only one way to live out that kind of story. It’s through faithfulness. If we’re doing this life right, it’s not going to make sense and it’s not going to add up. We’re still to show up without deviating because we know who we are and who we want to be, and we’re here to set an example. 

Love wins,
Lisamarie

Mountains & Missions

Keep Going

Last weekend, I drove from Denver, Colorado to Salt Lake City, Utah. On the road to Salt Lake, I was reminded of when I drove from California to Denver and started a new life. The world was wide open and I was free, because everything that defined me I left in California. One of the greatest lesson I learned from that experience was not to let the current circumstances of my life define me.

It’s easy to build an identity defined by our jobs, our schools, our friends, where we live, and the things we can physically see in our lives. The danger there is that we lose sight of the reality that “God is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us” {Ephesians 3:20, NIV}. There is unimaginably more available to us than what we can see manifested in our lives today, and what we can see in ourselves right now.

Jesus said...

"You're tied down to the mundane; I'm in touch with what is beyond your horizons. You live in terms of what you see and touch. I'm living on other terms. I told you that you were missing God in all this. You're at a dead end. If you won't believe I am who I say I am. You're missing God in your lives."

{John 8:23-24, MSG}

It's easy to get tied down in routine and forget that the world is wide open and we are free. If God is who He says He is, then there is so much more in store for us than what is evidenced in our lives today.

Since September of last year, I switched careers, got into Miss USA, and [re]started this site. This time next year, I'll be bolder and I'll burn brighter, because everyday we wake up and fight for our futures…we get stronger. We can’t plan the future and we can’t see it coming, but we can stay focused on what we believe.

It doesn’t matter that day by day we can't see ourselves growing and we can't feel it. It's what we believe that makes us strong, not what we feel. It’s what we believe about ourselves and our lives that defines us, not what we can see.

Sometimes in life we are looking straight up the side of a mountain...

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The Bible is clear, we are to have faith that can move moutains.

{Matthew 17:20}

Keep looking up.
Do not be stopped.

In the earliest story of Jesus, He says “I had to be here, dealing with the things of my Father?” {Luke 2:49, MSG}. In the last story of Jesus, He ends His life with the words, "It is finished." (John 19:30, NIV}. From the bookends of the life our Savior and our example, we can be certain that Jesus never lost sight of the fact that He was here on a mission about His Father's business. We are also here on that same mission and we're left with His example that shows us how to stay focused, keep fighting, and finish strong. 

Clear eyes...set on the Lord.
Full hearts...set on the Lord.
Can't lose.

Keep fighting...Love wins,
Lisamarie