When God Gave Me a New Bedroom Set

I love writing notes to people. Often, I will type it up on a word document, and then transfer it to pen and paper once I have it saying exactly what I want it to say! Tonight I found this draft of the letter I wrote almost 3 years ago! It was encouraging to read and remember the gift that was given to me by God and his servant. And so I share it with you with the hope that it encourages you to be creatively and wonderfully generous, and also deeply grateful for every good thing God sends your way!

Dearest Marian,

As you are faithful and generous to the people God has cross your path, He uses your generosity in their lives in many ways. I am sure that many times you are never aware of how He uses you, but for this instance, I would love to share with you the blessing God brought into my life through your giving.

I had been dating (and hoping to marry) a young man for almost 4 years. He bought a house a few years ago and we have been working on it together. I never bought “house items” for myself, because in the back of my mind, we were going to be married any day and I wouldn’t need my own furniture, décor, etc. Well, just as Proverbs 19:21 says, “Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails”. The Lord seems to have hardened his heart against me, and gave him no peace about marrying me.

But in God’s foreknowledge, just weeks before our breakup, He moved me out of my duplex with unbelievers, and into a new and beautiful home with 2 godly young women. In this beautiful space, God used YOU to provide a “fresh start” to my bedroom. My bedroom, instead of being filled with memories of my ex, was now a steadfast reminder of God’s gracious provision and kindness in my life. Because of your willingness to be generous, I have a night stand filled with my Bible, journal, devotional book, and prayer list by my comfy “new” prayer chair! I call it my “Jesus Drawer” and get to comfortably meet Him each morning in my room. I have already journeled many times of my gratefulness for such an inviting atmosphere to commune with God. It truly is a gift! In fact, each of your gifts can remind me of a different truth about our God:

My lamps: “Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.” Psalm 119:105

My pillows: “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.” James 1:17

My bed: “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-29

My night stands: “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.” Matt. 5:15

My blankets: “The end of all things is at hand; therefore be self-controlled and sober-minded for the sake of your prayers. 8 Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins. 9 Show hospitality to one another without grumbling. 10 As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace” 1 Peter 4: 7-10

All this to say thank you for allowing me to be the recipient of your bedroom set and desk-because in receiving it, I gained more than furniture, I received the gift of encouragement. Encouragement that God knew what my heartbreak would be and he provided for it before it even happened. Encouragement that God knows how much I love ambiance, and though not necessary, He graciously allows me to have a beautiful bedroom that brings me joy.

With Love and Gratitude to the Lord,

Betty

Before You Go to Church-Do These 3 Things!

My thought for today is simply that prepping our hearts and minds for church is an important part of a Sunday morning routine.

You’re going to dress up, be greeted by strangers and friends, sing songs, pray, listen to a sermon, maybe take communion, and a few other things specific to your congregation. Sometimes we go into this beautiful opportunity tired, unengaged, irritated, or distracted. But WOW-Sunday morning church is so much more fulfilling and spirit-stirring when we take the time to think about what we are doing and why. 

#1-Remember that you sing to declare who God is. We often need to remember how BIG he is, or how KIND, or how POWERFUL. We need to sing to remind ourselves of truth about him and thusly our circumstances. Worship music also allows us to respond to his AMAZING characteristics by praising him and thanking him. Through song, we elevate him to where he should always be in our hearts & minds-supreme.

#2- Remember that you listen to the sermon to know God by his word. When you’re in love, you want to know every single detail about that person. You want to know what makes them laugh until they cry, what they are like when they are mad, what they were like as a kid, and anything else you can learn about them! Let’s pray for that sort of eagerness in knowing our Savior, King, and Good Father.

#3- Remember that when you talk to people at church-it’s not because it’s a social gathering or some kind of club where you’re just supposed to be nice-but because you’re a family. You are supposed to know each others victories and defeats. You’re supposed to do life together so that we can rally around in the good times and bad and point each other to Christ.

I am more quickly able to worship with true reverence, awe, and without distraction when I’ve already prepped my heart and mind to be thinking about WHO God is. I delight in and retain the message better when I’ve engaged my mind with the truth that knowing God is the greatest gift and privilege known to man, and I am receiving part of that gift this morning. I am able to engage with my church family with the proper motivation, mindset, and vulnerability when I see them as brothers and sisters that I am supposed to invest in and be loved by.

So before you set foot inside your church this morning–maybe in the van ride there, or over your breakfast cereal bowl–pray. Pray that God will help you in these three areas this morning–that he will give you a mind that understands him and a heart that loves him and his people. Oh, and feel free to let me know if it makes any sort of difference in your Sunday morn! 🙂

With Love,
Betty

 

 

Birthday Bloggggggin’

First of all-I just want to say thanks to everyone who is reading 🙂 I’m excited about this month of writing! My sister complains that my blog is “too serious” 😛 so I decided to start out the month on a lighthearted note (and then be intense for the rest.) (JK!) (But maybe I’m kind of serious…) So here goes!

There’s a running joke in my family that my mom doesn’t know my birthday.

Now, in her defense-I was adopted, so it’s not like she was THERE, but still. Come on Mom. 😉

My birthday is the last day of July-July 31st (just like Harry Potter’s!) and FOR THE LIFE OF HER she can never remember if there are 30 or 31 days in July. How many insurance documents, school papers, and random things during my childhood had the wrong birthday date of July 30th filled in? Juuuust enough to allow us to tease her about it for the rest of her life. (Love you, Mom :D)

 

We also are notorious for not being able to celebrate birthdays on the actual day. Or month sometimes. I’ve had a handful of August celebrations, a few September ones, and one October one. We are busy people, the Pompells.

One of the BEST things about birthday celebrations-of course-is the cake! Every year I ask for an ice cream cake from Dairy Queen-the fudgey cookie crumble crunchies middle is a manifestation of everything that is good in this life. Okay, that’s a bit much-but seriously it’s DELICIOUS and I love it. I only have it once a year, so it’s a special lil’ treat yo’ self moment.

Also, let’s take a pause and appreciate how true this post is:

Oh my word, I love it haha. But actually I still get money every year! My younger brother, David, gives everyone $25 for their birthday. Without fail. Last year I convinced him to give me $2 extra so it’d be one dollar for every year I had been alive, and some how it worked! I’ve told him I expect that for the rest of my life and he seems VERY adamant against it–like it was a one time deal/miracle. I don’t know…it seems like a special tradition to me. I’m going to remind him that this year he’ll need an extra $3…I’ll let you know how it goes 🙂

Here’s the take away for today’s ramblings by Betty: In James, the Bible says that “every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change”. So when I enjoy the laughter of teasing my mom, the utter delight of the taste of ice-cream cake, or the sweet satisfaction of getting an extra three bucks from my little bro (fingers crossed)–how do I respond? Who do I thank? Our heart’s response for all the little & big joys in life should be praise (thank you God!) and worship (you’re AWESOME!!!). Our God-the Father of everything that is good in this world, who is constant, steadfast, immutable, and so incredibly kind- gives countless wonderful gifts to us. We so often forget to say thanks for his graciousness.

My mom engrained in me to write thank you notes after receiving gifts-it was rude not to! What gifts from God are you enjoying today that you haven’t thanked him for? I know many of you reading may be in a season of deep suffering, and it may be SO difficult to see anything with color in the midst of your very gray days.  I want to encouraged all of us to take some time today and thank God via prayer or journalling for good gifts in our lives-they are there-and I know He will forever cherish your little thank you note <3.

What Calvin and Hobbes Tell Us About God

My younger brother owns all of Bill Watterson’s Calvin and Hobbes. We’ve spent hours reading them out loud to each other, laughing all the while at these brilliantly crafted funnies. What a great time!  Along with comic strips, I love (appropriate) comedies, the humor section on Pinterest, and friends that laugh with me, at me, and make me laugh.

Don’t we all?

Isn’t there something wonderful about humor?

Scripture tells us that “ever good and perfect gift comes from above” (James 1:17). And I am pretty darn tootin’ sure that includes laughter.

You know, He didn’t HAVE to create us with funny bones; we would have functioned just fine without them. We wouldn’t have known what we were missing if He had never designed us to throw up heads back and roar with laughter, or laugh so hard that we cry, pee ourselves (cough, cough, Carrissa) or until our abs hurt.

But instead he made us to be creatures capable of joy and laughter-solely because of His grace! He made it so “a joyful heart is good medicine” (Proverbs 17:22) and gave us times to laugh (Ecclesiastes 3:4)!

God is infinitely more creative, kind, and brilliant that I can even begin to imagine. But today I read a classic comic strip and was reminded of a small part of his graciousness, and so I praise Him for it.

What’s something YOU can praise God for today?

Oh Me of Little Faith

In my journals, probably written about a hundred different times, I write “TRUST GOD”.

I know in my head that He is ABSOLUTELY trustworthy, that He is PERFECTLY loving, and that He is INTIMATELY invested.

I understand that it is silly to put my trust in my own strength or “wisdom”.

Yet still, I doubt. My heart distrusts His goodness and His faithfulness to me in my life. Though I have seen it displayed COUNTLESS times, I wonder if in a particular instance He doesn’t really care about my heartache. I think He cannot really be all sufficient in this situation. Maybe-though He took care of me, here, here, here, and here-He will not come through here. Even though I saw Him glorified in me through this circumstance-maybe this time, He won’t be able to pull it off. Maybe I need something else. Maybe this isn’t going to turn out for any sort of good at all. Maybe this season of silence is going to be a long term thing-for no reason at all.

And I don’t necessarily say all this out loud. I may not even THINK it so precisely. But my lack of faith and trust in my Savior is incredibly evident. A wandering heart reflects it. An anxious spirit reflects it. A lack of joy reflects it. Discontentment reflects it.  Idolatry reflects it.

So what can we/should we do to combat this trustlessness? I know we don’t want to live like that! We want to be people of God MARKED by faith. People whose confidence and trust is so deeply imbedded in the character and nature of Christ that we cannot be shaken. How do we get there? Growing in faith requires grace driven effort. We have to CONFESS that we are basically calling God a liar when we don’t have faith in Him. We have to CHOOSE to seek God through prayer and His word.  And we have to COMMIT to replacing lies of distrust with truths of faithfulness.

He doesn’t care about my heartache- False. Read Psalm 34:18.

I need more than what God is offering- Wrong. What you need you have. 2 Corinthians 12:9.

God has abandoned me- Not a chance. Hebrews 13:5. (want more? Nothing is going to stop God’s love for you-Romans 8:38-39)

Nothing good can come of this- How about sanctification? Check out Romans 8:28-90

And that is just the tip of the iceberg! Be in the Word steadfastly enough to know His character and you will grow in your faith in Him.  Ask fellow believers to tell you “faith growing moments” in their journey with God. Have those closest to you keep you accountable in faith by calling you out when they see your anxious spirit. Choose to trust Him, choose to love Him, choose to praise Him. You won’t regret it.