Saturday, February 22, 2014

sweating, speaking and waiting 13 years for a dream to be fulfilled.

last night, i had the honor of sharing my testimony to a handful of teenagers at a youth group. to say that i was nervous is an understatement. and it's not just because of my stupid fear of public speaking. i've shared my testimony numerous times and i still get scared. every. single. time.

but i was uber-uber-nervous because i knew that a VERY IMPORTANT PERSON would be sitting in the audience listening to me. and that person just happens to mean the whole world to me. 

it was the first time i shared my testimony with my son as part of the audience.

i mean he has heard this story before, but it was always on a one-on-one basis. for 13 years, i waited for this chance to be able to share my testimony with his face sitting in the audience, looking right back at me.

i told my story about my sinful past - how i was sexually and physically abused and how it was tolerated by my parents in our home for years.

i shared about my choice to live a wayward and rebellious life as a teenager, filled with debauchery, relationships and partying, and how that lifestyle ended up with me getting pregnant and how his biological father chose to leave us.  

i talked about how having my son played a vital role in turning my life around. how God chased me down and lavished me with His love despite of my sin and messy past and invited me to receive His forgiveness and grace.

i shared about the journey of my healing and how God turned my life completely around and transformed me - coming from a place of complete brokenness to a place of becoming more whole, and the power of God to give the ability to forgive and restore broken relationships.

i also gave short snippet of my husband's story, how he lived a life that was completely opposite of mine. how he chose to live a life of following God and living a pure life. for 35 years he waited. 5 more years and he would have been the 40 year old virgin and how God honored the season of time that he waited and eventually answered the desire of his heart to have a wife and a family.

lastly, i talked about how God was able to redeem my past and give me purpose for my pain and my life. and how God is allowing me and our family to live a life that's beyond what we've even imagined or hoped for.

i wish i shared it that eloquently. but i didn't.  i stuttered. my thoughts were scattered. and i sweat a LOT. like "running on the treadmill, dripping down my face kind of sweat". i know - it's gross. and it happens every time i speak in public. UBER FAIL! but i am still joyful!

coz last night, i can say that a long time dream of mine was realized.
and it took 13 years in the making.

psalm 78:4 says "we will tell the next generation the praiseworthy deeds of the LORD, his power and the wonders he has done." and i was able to do exactly that. i shared about God's praiseworthy deeds, His power and His wonders. it's always an honor when God opens the door for me to share my story to others, especially the next generation (even if i get all nervous and sweaty and scared). but it's extra special because my long time dream was to share God's power to MY next generation.

the beautiful thing about this is: as my story continues to unfold, my son's  own story and testimony is unfolding as well. and because he saw first hand what God's power of grace and forgiveness can do, i have seen it impact his life in such a powerful way that he holds no grudges towards his grandparents or even his biological father [read a part of his story here]

children are a heritage from the Lord, offspring a reward from Him. Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are children born in one's youth. blessed is the [wo]man whose quiver is full of them. - psalm 127:3-5

seeing him sitting there looking at me reminded me to continue to be wise with how i am choosing to build, because that will be the legacy that i will leave behind. having him there reminded me that he is an arrow, a weapon God has put in my hand. and one day he will be launched further than i will ever go. knowing that reminds me to continue to build and live my life in such a way so that my ceiling will one day be their floor to stand on.

i cannot wait for the day when another dream of mine is realized... when it will be me sitting in the audience listening to him share his testimony as he tells others about the praiseworthy deeds, power and wonders of God.

John leading worship. Me sharing my testimony. Christian dominating at Kendama. and Karielle being her cute ms. aloha self.! 
Seriously, God has extremely blessed me beyond what i've hoped for or imagined! I have a delightful inheritance! [psalm 16]

Friday, February 14, 2014

Upchucking, clean underwear and real love.

The oldest is sick with a respiratory infection and a stomach flu. He is chucking up everything he is eating and coughing all over the place like he was infected with the same disease Glenn had from Walking Dead......

Which means I'm probably not spending my valentines day in a nice restaurant looking all dolled up and pretty. Instead I am going to make sure that he is going to be loved on and cared for. I let go of every meeting that I have and my to-do list is gonna have to wait till my son gets better. 

As the world celebrates the "romanticized" version of valentines day, having my son sick today reminded me that love isn't always about the warm, fuzzy feelings. 

Love doesn't always look pretty. Sometimes it's messy and it is pretty much found in the mundane. Love isn't always about receiving flowers or chocolates. Love expressed everyday is more like wiping snot off a child's face with your favorite shirt. Or making sure that laundry is done so your family has clean underwear to wear. Love is choosing to believe the best in others, even if you wanna rip their faces off. 

It can also look like wearing yoga pants and watching romcoms with your single girlfriends on valentines day coz you clearly remember how it felt like to be alone during the dreaded singles awareness day and if you being there can help relieve some of that loneliness, then that's what you are going to do. Love isn't just about buying nice gifts for your significant other or booking a really nice hotel so you can get some sexy time *bomchickawowwow*......(don't get me wrong.... getting nice gifts or getting sexy time from your significant other isn't bad at all......) 

REAL LOVE is a constant choice to sacrifice self. It's dying to one's own desires on a daily basis so those you truly care about become great. 

Because that's what Jesus did for us on the cross after all. 

 "We love because He first loved us" 1 John 4:19 

"His gentleness has made me great" Psalm 18:35

Happy Valentines Day world!

#HappyLoveDay #celeberateLove

Monday, February 10, 2014

in ocean's deep, my faith often doesn't stand.

My devotional thoughts this morning.

I am fickle. I have worries. I get anxious. I get scared. In oceans deep, my faith often doesn't stand. 

Thank God that He promises that even when I am faithless, He is ALWAYS faithful. [2 Timothy 2:13]

My flesh and my heart may fail but God is my strength and my portion [psalm 73:26] 

(don't get me wrong, I actually like the song).