The past couple weeks were so long and hard. BUT I’M FREEEEEEE!!! (Well, for a a little) Lizzy finally finished the job she was on and the next one will start next week. I just got to say, she’s a strong woman to go through the hectic schedule of this past show and come out alive. She deserves the break between films.
I’m also very excited to have some down time. I have no idea what I’m going to do with this new long freedom, but I’m looking forward to getting out and exploring, catching up on phone calls with family and friends, reading books uninterrupted, getting my taxes done (I started that today) and writing in my journal. We’ll see how much I can accomplish during this lazy time.
As to the blessings that God has been giving me, let me take a few steps back and share a few stories. Over the course of several months of attending my church, 7 Mile Ministry, just down the road from me, I got to know a girl, Anna. She leads worship, has a beautiful heart that loves the Lord and a very sweet girl. We finally exchanged numbers, and met up for a late lunch at Moe’s. What I thought would be an hour or so talk turned into close to 3 hours of us talking about life, share stories, and laughing together. We probably would have talked longer, except I had to go. That evening she told me that she has a small group she goes to and invited me to go. Girls my age? Going through a devo book? A safe place to make friends? Learning about God? I was all in.
After we parted way, I drove out to Corner High School and got to see my talented friend, Alyssa, perform in the musical, Willie Wanka. She played Violet (I can’t
seem to find the paper for what her last name is) But she was a young cowgirl style girl who loved to chew gum. She put aside the gum long enough to eat the chocolate, and was rewarded with finding a golden ticket to join the tour of Willie Wanka’s candy factory. Inside she turned into a giant blueberry after eating special gum that Mr. Wanka had not yet perfected. Alyssa did a wonderful job, singing clearly and constantly smiling on the stage. I love watching musicals, but knowing people on the stage makes it all the more special.
Then on Sunday, I went to church. Every Sunday I have been so filled. And my constant prayer is that I seek the Lord, worship and learn and grow throughout the week. With being busy, making choices to do other things, or be distracted and forgetful in life, I find myself sometimes putting that quiet time with the Lord to the side. But spirit’s constant nudge is there, reminding me that I need God more then just Sundays. It’s like I have a bucket that Jesus fills on Sunday, but then come Monday, I’m a little more empty and I try to keep as much of the bucket as I can without making more effort to allow God to keep filling it throughout the week. But by Sunday I’m thirsty again and want more and more and more.
Our Pastor spoke this week about living by faith, not by sight. I’ve always viewed myself like Thomas, one of the disciples who followed Jesus. Thomas told the others, that unless he touched the scarred hands and spear pierced sides of Jesus, he wouldn’t believe that He raised from the dead. And Jesus appeared and told them “…have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” (John 20:29) While I do believe without seeing, I have times, a lot of times, where I doubt. But more so recently then ever before in my life, I’ve been finding myself trusting and believing God in ways that I
never have in the past. Not because I can see what he’s doing, but because I believe what he’s going to do before I’ve even gotten it. And I feel so blessed from it. After church, I went home, grabbed a book and had lunch at Panara bread. It was a good time to sit back, read, and think about some things in life that I’ve put on the shelf. After that, I came back for a bit, had a nap, then took off for the small group Anna had invited me to. It was not as small as I thought it would be.
The girl’s house was about 15 minutes, so it was a nice drive. Other then being dark and going through unknown back roads. I see myself enjoying the drive in the future when it lightens up more, as it seemed to be more country out that way. (I enjoy seeing the farm lands….especially when they cows)
Anyways, this “small group” ended up being 13 girls, including myself. I was laughing to myself because I hate speaking up with just 5 people in a group, so I wasn’t sure what I would get out with over double that. Not everyone knew each other, which meant I wasn’t suddenly a “new girl” to the group. We went around, told our name, whether we were in school or working or both, and what our favorite scent was. (It’s a girl thing) After that, a girl, Caroline gave each of us a random question that she came up with. I ended up being last (my least favorite place in line) And shared my name and that I was a live-in Nanny. All 13 girls exploded into questions and comments. I nodded to people that I did laundry, that I did the dishes, that I did make meals and that I actually live in the house with the family. I shared a little how I work for a single mom who works on the movie sets here in Birmingham. I went on to tell them that this next film she’s with will be having Chris Evens in it. (The man who plays Captain America). The room exploded again. I just sat there and grinned. I didn’t even get to tell them about the other two famous actors, Robert Pattinson (who played Edward Collins in the Twilight series) and Tom Holland (who acted as Peter Parker in the newest Spiderman movies) Yeah, my boss gets to meet some pretty famous people! I also didn’t get to share my favorite scent, which is nature/outdoor (freshly cut grass, fresh air especially after a rain shower, a field of cow patties, etc)
Anyways, back to the small group. After going around and introducing ourselves Rachel, the leader, explained about the book she wanted to go through. She said that in the past they had done books of the bible, but she had read though this one book and really felt the Lord leading her to go more in depth with the group. The book is called Uninvited by Lysa TerKeurst. It’s about living loved when you feel less than, left out and lonely. I was able to get a copy while there and I’m really looking forward to reading it. After that, we had some time of worship then branched off into small groups and just talked about life. (Nothing serious, just that girlie stuff like best places to get nails done, where we worked, more about ourselves and all that jazz)
I left so full. And the whole ride home, I told God how thankful I was for the church I get to attend and be a part of, for the word that is taught and worship that is brought. I’m thankful for the people I’ve gotten to meet in the church, the friend’s I’ve made and now this small group that I’ve gotten to attend. Looking at my life from even just 7 months ago, I felt so lost and confused. I didn’t know where I was headed in life (well I guess I still don’t) But I had no idea where the Lord could lead me. When the doors to Alabama opened I struggled with the peace I felt and the reality of moving again.
I haven’t regretted moving for a second. As soon as I stepped off that plane and into the welcoming hugs of strangers I knew that I was in the place I needed to be. After the first night Lizzy was gone and I cried because I didn’t know what I was doing here, I began to have doubts. But after successfully getting Juliette to sleep the next night, I knew once again, that this was where God was placing me. Not just to help an amazing mama by watching her kiddos, but also because God wanted me to come into people’s lives down here. God wanted to use me to bless others, outside of my job. To be a friend. To join a church. To love those who came into my life.
I’m soooooooooo excited to see where the Lord is going to walk me these next few weeks. I prayed the whole way home from the small group that God would give me Sunday nights off. I wanted to go back so much, but with Lizzy’s job being different from the normal 8 to 5 hour, Monday to Friday schedule, I knew the only way I would be able to make it would be through lots of prayer. And guess what?!?!?! I talked to Lizzy and she said she’s working Monday-Friday, and occasional Saturdays, but she’s *suppose* to have EVERY SINGLE SUNDAY OFF!!!!! WHHHHHHHAAAAAA!!!!! This girl (ME) is sooooooooooooooooooooooo excited!!!!
God has been so good to me. While driving home the other night, I was thinking about how busy I can get, or stressful life can be. But through it, He’s constantly reminding me of all the beautiful blessings he has given me through it all. I’m so grateful. I’m so thankful. I’m so blessed.
I hope that as you go through life, no matter what you go through that is hard, stressful or causing you to feel like you’re sliding backwards, that you’ll see the blessings. No matter how small, they are there. It can be as simple as being thankful for waking up in the morning, or as big as after praying for months to have friends, being blessed with group of 13 to choose from. God’s moving and working and his blessings are always in front of you, don’t ever doubt that!