2014 – to Infinity & Beyond!

I am beyond excited about the possibilities this new year brings!!

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Reasons i’m stoked about 2014:

  • 14 is my favorite number
  • While I have some plans made, i’m not convinced that i know what’s gonna happen in the next 12 months and for once I don’t mind.
  • I have a clean slate (yes that happens every year, but this year i feel renewed and serious about it)
  • I still have a great job with the cutest, silliest client ever
  • One of the first things on the calendar is the Passion conference!! (been waiting to go for a LONG time)
  • I got to ring in the new year with my dad’s church and the family that always can pick up where we left off, whether i’m gone for 2 days or 7 years) IN TEXAS
  • I’m getting back into running FOR REAL this time, and I already feel good about it.
  • AND SO MUCH MORE

This is your life.  Do what you love, and do it often.

If you don’t like something, change it.  If you don’t like your job, quit.

If you don’t have enough time, stop watching tv.  If you are looking for the love of your life, stop; they will be waiting for you when you start doing things you love.

Stop over analyzing, LIFE IS SIMPLE.  All emotions are beautiful.  When you eat, appreciate every last bite.

Open your mind, arms, and heart to new things and people, we are united in our differences.  Ask the next person you see what their passion is, and share your inspiring dream with them.

TRAVEL OFTEN; getting lost will help you find yourself.  Some opportunities only come once, seize them.

Life is about the people you meet and the things you create with them so go out and start creating.

LIFE IS SHORT.  Live your dream and wear your passion.

Life is short.  Follow Jesus. Serve others (not yourself).  Enjoy living.  Leave the past behind.  Don’t live the lie that so many people are believing and living out right now (non-Christians as well as believers!): “becoming a happier person and that this year is about you!”

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Forget the hardships of last year, after all, a moment in heaven will make them seem worth it anyways!

This WILL be an amazing year!

May the Lord draw you closer to Himself than ever before, and may you find happiness in His love.

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Live your life with passion!

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How Great Thou Art ~ Carrie Underwood with Vince Gill

So this song has always been so full and rich and meaningful to me. I’m not a huge country music fan by all means, but even if you dislike Carrie Underwood and the context that this may be in, click play, and just listen to the music – soak in the words, and turn your eyes toward heaven. It will bless you. If it doesn’t, you have my email, feel free to shoot me a complaint 😉
~Liza

All About Me

So one of the things on Facebook recently was people posting a certain number of facts that may not be as well known about the person.  I finally gave in when several people encouraged me to do so, and I can up with VERY random facts… some people who know me quite well already know most of these, but some didn’t!  How many of these did you know?

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1. Over the years. I’ve taken a total of 8 combined years of language classes including Spanish, French, and ASL, but I only “speak” English and ASL.
2. I am scared of dogs.
3. I can’t read anything without editing it.
4. I used to think I’d marry a pastor.
5. I really want to have twins.
6. I don’t know how to use a computer that isn’t an Apple.
7. Before the mission trip in 2006, I wanted to be an engineer (like the one who drives trains)
8. Orange is my favorite color.
9. The day after I decided I could be a runner, I ran a race as a member of the cross country team at my school and came in 3rd place for the girls.

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Social Media Confession

First off, I would like to say this is a confession about me – not anyone else, I’m not pointing fingers, and I’m not criticizing anyone else – I am merely talking about something I realized about me.

Last night, in the middle of the night, I had a revelation.  I realized how social media controls me.  I wake up early every single day and to help myself wake up I check for notifications on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.  I reply to any that require replies, and I scroll through all the pictures that were posted after 11 pm.  But what dawned on me in the middle of the night is that it’s turned me into a selfish person!  I was taking pride in the fact that people notice me.  Whenever I write a post, it’s so someone else will notice it.  I post pictures, because I want people to like them.  I tweet things because I want people to notice them and care about what I’ve said.  I smiled when I saw that 40 people had liked my photo – but then I realized that most of them were only friends of friends.

I used to go on phone fasts, and recently I deleted all social media apps from my phone so that I wouldn’t spend so much time on them.  But it didn’t fix me. I need to do it again, so that I can truly learn to control my thoughts, and become less proud.  Recently I posted a picture of myself and two other friends and Facebook automatically posted it to their timelines, and one of the girls quickly removed it from her timeline so she didn’t have to see it, nor any of her friends.  Sadly, this is what it took to get me to realize that some people just use Facebook to promote themselves, but only with the qualities they want other people to see.  I obviously do the same.  My friend didn’t want her friends to know that we had been so close.  Getting more than 11 likes on my Instagram pictures makes me happy.  But what was the point in posting it in the first place – is it not to merely share it with my friends? Why does it have to be liked by 50 people to make it a better post?

I think social media has made our generation selfish, even more hedonistic than we were, and quite self-centered.  We need to rethink our reasons for every word we post/tweet/text/say.  Jesus said, “every careless word that people speak, they shall give an accounting for it in the day of judgement.” (Matthew 12:36).

And as I stated in the first paragraph, this post is directed to myself!

Rethinking Priorities & Why 7 is my Favorite Number

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So this past Sunday, Paster Scott Andrews preached a sermon that was a mere 35 minutes, yet for those who’s hearts were prepared, a pruning of the soul.  He talked about our priorities and ultimate goals.  He noted that so often, we christians go throughout the day trying to be the best we can because we want to be good in ourselves.  We ask for His help, yet our goal isn’t to glorify Him, but to be a better us.

I can’t quote, or do him justice, so here’s the link.  Trust me: for a convicting sermon and a changed heart, this is worth the listen: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/colosians-3-1-4/id121773241?i=169319627&mt=2

But anyways, after the sermon, our small “sunday school” class gathered and we talked about how it touched each of us.  It was good to dwell on it, instead of rushing to the cars, and to eat lunch, watch football, and ultimately let it go in one ear and out the other.  It was humbling.

A lot of my generation has been taught to believe that we are beautiful, we are princes/princesses, we are the center of the universe, and that no one should tell us what to do.  I whole heartedly disagree, but not having children of my own [yet] I don’t really know what I’d say when everyone is pushing this on the kids these days – not just parents, but also teachers in kindergarten THROUGH the end of school!! A friend of mine recently posted about how she shouldn’t have to be second because she deserves way more than that.  When I saw that it struck me how inconsiderate we Americans are.  But I quickly realized I’m just as guilty.

This week, this beautiful girl went to be with Jesus.  Image

She was eighteen months old and the only daughter of fellow brother & sister, Giovanny and Carolina Valdez.  They serve with SCORE, international in the Dominican Republic where I got to know them in 2010.  What heartbreak!  It has been encouraging to read the comments directed toward those in the DR about joining together and the body lifting up this hurting family.

What I miss most about living down in the DR/Haiti is the closeness to God I felt that everyone experienced.  Both Giovanni and Carolina appear in my journal entires about how much they seem to rely on God for providing strength, provisions, and timing.  I am definitely not saying that people in the states aren’t christians, but I do recall being astounded with the way the young people (and older) were in tune with Jesus.  They didn’t just live their lives with a goal of… being the best nurse there is, or the fastest runner in the county, or the student with the highest GPA, or the most loved roommate.  They lived each day by seeking the Lord’s will, and with His help, carrying it through.  No, they weren’t perfect, but I knew that I had a lot to learn.

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Here in Boone, this college town, I find myself getting angry when I don’t get my way.  I find myself wanting to make things fair.  I find myself letting the AppalCart driver know when he’s 40 minutes late.  This week, as I’ve been working so hard in school – when I’m not at work – the words in the sermon came back to me.  It struck me that I was working incredibly hard for myself.  I was always in prayer, asking Jesus to help me make the grades that I wanted so I can finish this degree so that I can go on to be the nurse that I want to be.  [Also, because I want my parents to be proud of me and my accomplishments…]

Woah.  Reality check.  Who called me to nursing? God.  How am I accomplishing this heavy course load, alongside even more work hours? Himself.  Why am I even doing nursing? GOD! I’m not even an answer to any of those questions.

Therefore if you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.  Set your minds on the things above, not on the things that are on earth.  For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God.

None of that talks about getting what I want because I deserve it.  By all means, it doesn’t mean that I need to slack off in  my studies, or at work.  But I need to rethink my priorities.  I must do all things unto Christ, but I need to remember the unto CHRIST part.

Dad keeps reminding me to keep watching Chariots of Fire.  It dawned on me tonight while watching it why 7 is my favorite number! and why I started running. 

Every time I watch that scene I get cold chills.  It never fails: I feel like getting out there and running with the soundtrack playing through my headphones.  [What’s stopping me? knowing that i just ate, and that it’s below freezing right now.  But I can get back in the gym tomorrow!]  Tonight I watched it 4 times.

I’ve never seen such drive, such commitment in a runner. . . He unnerves me! Abrahams.

So, what do I admire in Eric Liddell and what does it have to do with this SUPER LENGTHY blog post? Glad you asked!  Eric’s sister was concerned about his spiritual life – she didn’t think that he could be following God’s will on a track but was insisting that he reconsider going back to the mission field.

I believe God made me for a purpose, but he also made me fast. And when I run I feel His pleasure.  Liddell

I believe God made ME for purpose, and that is to be a nurse.  I am having to work very hard for it, but we all know worthwhile things never came easily!  I’d love to just call it quits, leave my apartment, bills, and snow behind and take only my fishing pole and running shoes and head to Rockport and live in Fineview and eat at Charlotte Plumbers – maybe work with a humanitarian clinic or something and spend my free time fishing, running on Fulton Beach Road….  But maybe one day, when my famous husband retires we can do that 😉

For now, I must pursue this job before me, that the Lord has called me to: Appalachian State’s nursing program, and my job as a pediatric nurse with the coolest kid in Boone (who’s 4th birthday is today 🙂 ).

But who am I doing it for? the furthering of Christ’s kingdom?

reminder!

“Remember these things, O Jacob,
And Israel, for you are My servant;
I have formed you, you are My servant,
O Israel, you will not be forgotten by Me.

“I have wiped out your transgressions like a thick cloud
And your sins like a heavy mist.
Return to Me, for I have redeemed you.”
Isaiah 44:22

Church – One Thousand Gifts Parts XV & XVI

So, many of y’all know I’ve had the privilege of being in good churches in my childhood.  When I moved to North Carolina, I was looking for a group of believers to grow together.  Well, long story short, I found a great church!! The way the Lord brought me to it is a random story (a friend’s new husband that I had never met introduced me to someone else who invited me to go to church with this OTHER friend…).

Anyways, the preacher sounded like John Piper and I was intrigued. 😉  I called my dad and we checked out the website and he was excited.  I’ve been going ever since, heard a few different elder’s preach, and am so thankful that the Lord brought this answer to prayer.

This past Sunday, they started back Sunday School, and so I met a bunch of new people.  Three of the twenty or so are from Texas… soooo I fit right in. 😛

But for real, I am so thankful.  If any of y’all are in Boone, come join me at Alliance Bible Fellowship.  If you want to hear some of the sermons, or check out their website:

http://www.abfboone.com

https://itunes.apple.com/podcast/user/alliance-bible-fellowship/id121773241

Thank You, Lord, for the gift of a body of believers that are seeking YOU!

ALSO, thank You, God, for the gift of my Mother!!! Happy birthday to her.  🙂 Getting to facetime her today was such a blessing. I love her so much!

Facetiming Mom

Hope in the Lord’s Forgiving Love – One Thousand Gifts XV

Out of the depths I have cried to You, O Lord.

Lord, hear my voice!

Let Your ears be attentive
To the voice of my supplications.

If You, Lord, should mark iniquities,
O Lord, who could stand?

But there is forgiveness with You,
That You may be feared.

I will wait for the Lord, my soul does wait,
And in His word do I hope.

My soul waits for the Lord
More than the watchmen for the morning;
Indeed, more than the watchmen for the morning.

O Israel, hope in the Lord;
For with the Lord there is lovingkindness,
And with Him is abundant redemption.

And He will redeem Israel
From all his iniquities.
Psalm 130.