Archives for February 2014

February 7, 2014

7 Quick Takes #7: Words That Have Shaped Me

After celebrating another year of life last Friday, I thought I would share some of the words that have had a big impact on my journey over the past twenty-something years.


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“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”   
Philippians 4:13
From volleyball games, to giving my first speech, and eventually doing crazy things like going to foreign countries by myself and moving to the far off land of Southwest Kansas… this has been my go to verse.  Major props to my Mom for teaching me this passage, and always reminding me of it when I’m going through the crazy times.   
“For I know well the plans I have in mind for you, says the Lord. Plans for your welfare, not for woe. Plans to give you a future full of hope.”   
Jeremiah 29: 11
An oldie but a goodie.  I first saw this verse in high school, around the time of my knee injury that ended my hopes for playing college volleyball.  It has always been a good verse to go to in times of transition.  From high school into college, from college into mission work, from mission work to Kansas… God not only knows the plans for my life, He knows them well, and they are plans for a future full of hope.  God is so good (all the time!). 
“Do not be afraid! Life with Christ is a wonderful adventure. He alone can give full meaning to life. He alone is the center of history. Live by Him!”
Blessed John Paul the Great, pray for us.
This quote ties right in with Jer 29:11.  I love that JPII said “be not afraid” over and over and over again.  I need to hear this as often as possible.  Life with Christ is a wonderful adventure!
“God does not ask that we succeed in everything
but that we are faithful.”

Blessed Mother Teresa, pray for us

If you work in ministry of any sort, you understand how refreshing these words can be.  I remember when I first started working in full time ministry and just worrying all the time about failing at what God had called me to do.  Heck, I still worry about failing!  But recalling these words reminds me of what my job is about: to be faithful. 
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge him and he will make straight your paths.” – Proverbs 3:5-7


Summary: God knows more than you do, so trust him.  Don’t just trust him with a little bit of your heart, give him all of it.  Life is a little chaotic?  That’s OK, because God will straighten it all out in His perfect timing.  This also reminds me that I need make God a part of every aspect of my life, not just pieces and parts of it.  
I think the first time I heard these words it was one of those “Aha!” moments where it clicked:  There’s only one of me.  There’s no one else in the whole world like me.  And God created me for a particular purpose, something that only I can do.  What an incredible thought!  Each of us has a unique purpose that only we can fulfill, and when God is part of that journey then we really can set the world ablaze.  Mind.blown. 

Matthew 14:22-33
Peter Walks on Water (1806) by Philipp Otto Runge. 
My husband bought and framed this for me for my office. Best.Present.Ever.

If I have learned anything in my twenty-something years it is that life out of the boat is one of the best adventures when Christ is the focus.

I think all of these “words” can be summed up into one simple phrase: 
Be at peace * Walk on water* Be not afraid

What are some of the words that have shaped you?
Share in the comments below!   

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