Never Grown Up

grown

I turned thirty this week. Friends and family have been teasing me about getting older, sprouting gray hairs, and how “it’s all down hill from here.” But I have been rather looking forward to it. The twenties is such a fluctuating period – beginning under the shelter and idealism of college and your parents’ roof, then striking out on your own with weighty responsibilities and commitments, while trying to figure out your life purpose and goals. For me this transition looked like getting married, my first full-time job, moving cross country from the only place I’d ever lived, and back again. It was also a period where I had to deal with the fact that my life would look nothing like I desired – I had hoped to have a couple kids by the time I was thirty because the internet and everyone says I’m running out of time – and figure out what it would look like instead. All year I have been eagerly anticipating the start of a new decade, when I will finally be an adult. People will finally stop treating twenty-nine-year old me like the child I was at twenty. Life will finally be stable as I am settled in my identity, marriage, and life. I could’t wait to transition from the volatile, find-yourself phase of a twenty-something to the finally-an-adult decade. I was ready to be finished growing up. Continue reading

Daily Dependence

dependence

When I was growing up, sometimes I would hear a sermon at church that was just the basic Gospel message: We are sinners, rebellious towards our holy God, but Jesus made a way for us to come back to God if we turn to Him in faith and repentance. I would think to myself, “That’s all good and well for those people in the room that don’t know Jesus, but what about those of us that are already Christians? What am I supposed to get from this sermon? I need practical ways of how I’m supposed to stop sinning and be a better Christian.”

I often think that after I believe the Gospel once, I don’t need it anymore. God did His work, now it’s my turn; it’s my responsibility to be obedient to the laws God gives in Scripture. But no matter how hard I try to change myself, I fail. Again and again and again. Because I need the Gospel just as much today as I did on the day I first believed. Continue reading

Work for the Lord Because He Works

work

I’m an administrative assistant, which is just a politically correct title for secretary/receptionist/catch-all. My job is full of menial tasks, empty time, cross co-workers, and angry customers. It’s not what I dreamed about doing as a little girl, but it’s where I am nevertheless.

Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men
Colossians 3:23

God calls me to be diligent in my work though I grow discontent with its banality. I yearn for something more important and meaningful than answering phone calls, copying papers, and double-checking time cards. How can I possibly be contributing anything worthwhile to the world? Since I believe in a sovereign God that orchestrates every aspect of our lives, it has often left me wondering why He has me in this insignificant job. Continue reading

Remembering the Hope of Change

change

The other day my husband and I were exchanging stories about some of the blatantly foolish and mean misdeeds from our childhood. Though embarrassing, the years in between have made us able to laugh at our silly selves. There was, though, still a sense of shame in remembering being disobedient, bullying, and conniving – I was appalled at some of the things the younger me did. My actions could be excused because I was an immature child. But truthfully, looking back on my younger self with a bit more knowledge, I see those actions were just the logical outward manifestations of a heart that didn’t love Jesus. Now that I do love Jesus, it saddens me to see what I used to be. Continue reading

Mirror of Our Hearts

mirror
Original image here

One of the basic disciplines of the Christian life is regular Bible reading. I hear my husband reiterate this truth to our youth group every time he teaches them, and so I strive to implement this discipline in my  life too. But I find that there are many days I don’t want to read my Bible. I would rather sleep, read a novel, watch TV, sew – almost anything else. Often this is due to mere laziness or distraction by the worries or pleasures of the day. But I spent all of last week avoiding my Bible for an altogether different reason – I was neglecting this important discipline because I did not want to face my sin. Continue reading

Not To Us

Sunday was my husband’s ordination service. He is now a pastor in the PCA.

ordination

It was a long road to get here – four years of seminary and three grueling years of exams. And I, for one, did not bear it well. I spent the years complaining in self-righteous resentment, angry that God was not following my plan for our life. I doubted He was doing what was best for us. How could something so difficult and painful be good for us? Why wouldn’t He just give me what I wanted? Continue reading

Deja Vu and Abundant Grace

studying

For almost three years I have been anticipating my husband passing his ordination exams. Those arduous exams covering an immense amount of material were a heavy weight that hung over us. Even when Ben wasn’t actually looking at books or flashcards, it was always foremost on his mind. As he focused on studying, I was left with juggling the necessities – meal planning, shopping, cooking, laundry, cleaning, budgeting, errands. I am not particularly skilled in many of these areas, so there were often take-out meals, dusty shelves, and many last-minute trips to the store, with my main goal just to survive.

As the finish line drew nearer, we joked about how life will be perfect once these tests were over. What a relief it will be to finally have everything we want! Life would be easy from here on out with no stress or anxiety ever again. Knowing how absurd those ideas were, we laughed and knew we would have appropriate expectations of life once this trial was past. Continue reading

Dealing With Unfulfilled Desires

desiresI have had a desire for children for as long as I can remember, hoping that my lot in life would be as a mother. Over the course of the past few years, though, I have come to terms with the fact that it may never happen. One difficult aspect of this situation is that my longing for children does not go away just because it has not been fulfilled. On top of that, discerning how to handle persistent unfulfilled desires can be confusing and complicated. My husband and I have been told that as long as we have the desire for children, we can—we must, even—pursue its satisfaction, and we can rightfully expect God to deliver. Doesn’t Scripture say as much?

“Delight yourself in the Lord,
and He will give you the desires of your heart.” 

Psalm 37:4

Continue reading

Victory Today

This is part of my series on stories. You can read an introduction here.

Star Wars Victory
Original image here

December 17 was the culmination of literally years of anticipation: my husband and I got to see Star Wars: The Force Awakens. In preparation, we re-watched the series with friends (trying out the machete order), and had a Star Wars party for Return of the Jedi, complete with epic food puns and an amazing Sarlacc cake by a friend. Once the day finally came, I was not disappointed; I thought the newest episode in the saga lived up to the massive hype and my high expectations. Continue reading