Sunday, September 28, 2014

Christmas Decision

This year is filled with a few important decisions that I need to make. Decisions that will impact what’s next in my life. Decisions that scare me, but also give me excitement. Decisions that overwhelm me, but also allow for God to give me peace that He is in control. Decisions are hard for me.  I mean I have a hard enough time deciding what to eat at a restaurant or what to wear to church on Sundays. Making decisions about what’s next is over my head. My mind can’t stop thinking about it and I just want to know. I just want to have a peace about what God is leading me to do whether that’s staying in Korea another year or going somewhere else or doing something else with my life…

I know that’s God is in control and that He is faithful and that He has a plan for me, but why don’t I know it yet?! IT’s a question that has continually gone through my head this past week. I just want to know what’s next. I just want to know what to expect. It’s hard for me to just pause and wait. To pause and listen ever so carefully to what God is whispering to me. Am I missing it? I need to remind myself to pause. I need to remember to seek God and ask for confirmations. I need to open my mind and heart and allow God to do His work. Humble myself. Bend my knees and lay down my expectations.
All this to say a decision that I have made this week has been one of the hardest decisions that I have made in a really long time and that is that I will be staying in Korea for Christmas this year. It is just not realistic to go back to the States this Christmas with ticket prices and such. My soul is saddened that I won’t be with my family over Christmas, but I feel that God has something very special for us all during this time. It scares me a little to think that I will spending Christmas alone, but at the same time I have such a peace about it. A peace that Christmas will have a new meaning for me this year. I have no idea what it will look like, but I trust in my God who loves me. Who likes me. This decision has definitely caused some tension in my soul. Tension of sadness of not spending this beautiful time with my family, but also a sense of excitement to spend a Christmas in Korea. I am looking forward to long cozy days reading, drinking hot chocolate and maybe a little traveling around Asia?!  So, yes one of my two decisions is made. Yes, I am still having a little doubt as write this that this decisions is the right one (because who in their right mind would chose to not be with their family at Christmas when you are single?!?) I love my family so much and I miss them so much,  but I am trusting God. I am trusting that He knows what’s best. He will be with me no matter where I am. That’s what I am clinging to. My Savior is always with me!!!
Love, Daniella

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Sabbath Day

Rest. Exhaustion. Rest. Exhaustion. Rest. Breath. Exhaustion. Rest. This is what life is like lately. I tried to “rest”. I tried to create time to rest, but then somehow I find even the days (Sabbath days) that I have set apart are filled with a little check list of things that I would love to have completed by the end of the day. My life is seriously run by check-lists- overall this awesome because it keeps me organize and on top of the things that I would forget to do if I didn’t have a check-list because I am literally feel exhausted all the time causing my mind to not think clearly and forgetting whatever I needed to do so a checklist makes sure that I at least think about and try to get it done. Anyways, that was way too long of a sentence explaining something that can be summed up in six words… I DON’T KNOW HOW TO REST.  I tried. I really do, but my life is run by a check list of things that always need to get done.

Then I have the small little problem of not being discipline in keeping a Sabbath day truly a Sabbath because I get caught up in helping others, or there is an event I should go to or something for school needs to be done or who knows what else pulls me away from practicing a Sabbath day. It’s something that I want to have as an importance in my life. I just struggle in being discipline in it…
A Sabbath day is meant to be a day were you set apart time to rest, be refreshed, to seat in the presence of the Savior and allow God to renew you. The most important thing in a Sabbath day in my opinion is to practice constantly having your mind focus on the Saviorl. To be still and hear His voice. To be still and soak in His word. To be still and sing praises to Him. To be still and sit in awe of whom He is. To be still. To not let the distractions of the world rule your life.
One of my goals for my twenty-third year of life was to practice a Sabbath day. So far it has been a struggle each Sunday, but slowly I am making progress. Slowly I am realizing what my Sabbath should look and feel like. It should not be a day that is set up with a check-list, but a day that is focus on worshiping and praising my Savior; a day that I can set apart to be refreshed and renewed by Him.  
So what should a Sabbath day look like? This is a question that I have been pondering for some time. I do think that everyone has a different opinion and way that they spend their Sabbath day according to their personalities and ect. For me I want to focus on setting apart time to practice the act of studying scripture more intently, diving into my small group bible study, reading for fun, going on walks or runs, going to church and being in community with others, baking for fun or blogging. I know you may be thinking “Daniella you have created a check-list again for yourself!!” BUT this is not a check-list this is list of things that bring me rest when I do them without an agenda! So my goal for next Sunday is to write NO check list, but to just go through the day praising my Savior whatever that may look like next week. It’s going to be hard to not have check-list, but it is much needed!! J

Some cookies made for fun today on my half attempt of a Sabbath day! :)
Rest is something that my mind, soul, and body are desperately crying for. It has been way too long since they have been salsify and I know that the only way they can be is if I lay myself down at my Savior’s feet and get rid of the check-lists on Sundays so that I can just focus on being renewed by Him by praising Him all day long. Rest. Renewed. Refreshed. Rest. Energized. Joy. This is what I want life to look like for now on!!
My prayer!
How do you practice the Sabbath day? I wold love to hear your thoughts and practices! The Sabbath day has always had a crush on meaning I have always wanted to get to know it- to be able to practice it, but  I just dodn’t quiet have it all put together. I am on my way now… I think! J

Love, Daniella

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Beautifully Wrecked

Last weekend was filled with soaking in and gaining a deeper understanding of how much God love us. I feel so privileged to be teaching at a school this year where we had the opportunity to take two days to refresh our souls, to gain a deeper understanding of how much God loves us and allowed God to prepare us for this school year.

The weekend was focus around what it looks like to have “unity in community.” We pressed into God and allow the Holy Spirit to minister to our hearts as we took time to worship, pray, meditate over scripture and listen to a speaker talk on the importance of mentoring groups to foster unity in a community.
This weekend God pressed onto my heart to mediate and think about what it means to say and allow God to:  “create in me a clean heart, O God”. This is a little bit of verse from a song we sang during one of worship times. It struck me hard. There is a lot that my heart feels these days… happy, joy, anger, jealousy, sadness, selfishness, tiredness overwhelmness and confused. As you can see there are more downer words then happy words- not that life has been awful. Overall I love where God has me, but there are little things that are picking at my heart. There are little things that are bringing me down. There are little things that I am allowing to steal my joy. They are making my heart fogged over. They are crowding it and this weekend came at the perfect time to begin the process of cleaning it out; cleaning out the little things that are stealing me from experiencing all that God has for me in this life.  My week after retreat has been wrecked because of it. Wrecked in beautiful messy way- a way that has made me really press into my Savior; a week where I have had to say over and over again “I cannot do this without you God. I need you!!” I need you to show me how much you LOVE me. I need you to show me that I am YOURS. I need you to COMFORT me. I need you to FORGIVE me and help me to live in your TRUTH.

Soaking this in brings me peace!
This weekend as a whole group we mediate on 1John 4:7-21. We were asked to underline a word or phrase that really stood out to us as we spent an hour meditating on these verses. First, I underlined the word love and it appeared twenty-six times!!! This just spoke to my heart and reminded me again how much God love us. How important loving is to Him! Then verse 12 and 18 caught me “God lives in us and his love is made complete in us”; “There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear.” These verses wrapped themselves around my heart and tug at it. Because God lives in me and His love is made complete in me. I can feel complete in Him because He lives in me and He loves me. Nothing else matters, but this. Why do I then care so much about what this world and people think of me? Why do I allow what other say and do affect me and bring me down? Why do I get caught up in the things of this world? Because I forget I forget how my worth is in my Savior. I forget that my life is all for Christ. I have ask Him to use me and I have declared that I want to be His. I want to be complete in Him. Which leads me to I don’t have to afraid of what others think of me if I want to experience this perfect love of His which I completely 100% do! I need to not be afraid that God will never love me even when I feel selfish and guilty which I have felt a lot lately! L Instead I rest on the promise that I am His one true love. He loves me. He is calling me to abide in Him and to cling to Jesus daily.  He has called me His daughter and He wants me to walk in the truth that He has placed in my life.

This season of life God has so clearly called me to the word of joy. Joy is my middle name so I have always loved this word, but for some reason this time around it has a new meaning me in my life. I am not entirely sure what it looks like yet, but I do know it is what God is calling me to walk in this year. Joy. He has confirmed in multiple times throughout this past week. Joy. Joy. Joy. I just want to be overflowing with JOY! Joy that comes from the only one who can give me the true joy, my Savior; He is my source of Joy! As God continues to work through my heart and create it clean again I would love prayer. I have felt so exhausted these past weeks and very overwhelmed. I love everything that I am doing, but I have no energy. I am losing patience as I teach and I am feeling that I am not able to fully pour into others effectively right now. As my roommate summed up what she got from the weekend she said “To know God spills over into love for others…” There is so much truth in this. We need to know God first. We need to take the time to spend with Him so that we can be used to love others.

His Truth!
Thank you so much for reading about what God has been doing in my life. I would love to hear from you and what God is doing in your life. I would love to pray for anything that is on your heart. Please send me an email or facebook message!

Love, Daniella

P.S The place where our retreat was reminded me so much of “home”, Montana. I felt so at peace all weekend soaking in the amazing creation that God has created. (Psalm 148 sums up how creation praises God- it’s amazing!!) And this is what was talked about in church today- so GOOD!!

Korea's Montana! :)