To My Future Beloved

Love Birds

Hello lovely,

It’s me again, your future wife. I just wanted you to know that I’m praying for you like crazy. My heart aches to meet you like it never has before. I hope this means that the time is getting closer. I seriously can’t stop thinking about you, who you might be, the precious time we’ll spend together, the laughs we’ll have and the love we’ll share. I know they’ll be some tears too, because nothing is perfect, but we’ll always communicate and work things out.

I can’t wait to start our day with devotions and prayer, and of course some coffee too! I’m definitely looking forward to where the Lord is going to lead us and the adventures He’ll send us on along the way. I know that, because we have God at the center, our marriage will be rock solid and filled with love. I pray that you too, are using your season of singleness to pray and prepare your heart for me. I’m bursting with excitement to see what the future holds! Until the moment that the Lord finally decides it’s time for us to meet, I’ll continue praying for you, preparing my heart, and drawing closer to Him.

Until next time, lots of love!

Your Future Love ❤

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Hello wonderful readers and followers! Just a quick post to let you know that I just created a page for this blog on Facebook! So, if you would like to get a behind the scenes look at the writing process, or maybe just some quick thoughts that go through my head throughout the day that aren’t necessarily enough to devote an entire blog post to, then go give this page a “like” on Facebook! It would be much appreciated! Thank you, thank you THANK YOU for each “like,” comment, and view here on WordPress as well! I never imagined that I would reach this point when I created this crazy thing two years ago!

There’s a Facebook “like” box on the right side of the page, or just click HERE to visit the new page!

❤ Thanks!

“Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think.”

Ephesians 3:20 (NLT)

Your Dream isn’t Necessarily God’s Reality!

A.W. Tozer

Sorry to break it to you ladies and gentlemen! Just because YOU have your heart set on a path for yourself, it doesn’t mean God is in agreement. But believe me, God’s plan for your life is so much better than anything you could ever imagine for yourself!

“But I want…” “Why can’t I…?” “Do I have to…?” The one that sticks with me is “I could NEVER do that! I’m not good enough.” or “I’m not qualified for that!” I’m not sure who’s credited with this quote, but it sticks with me… “God doesn’t call the qualified, He qualifies the called.” If God only called the qualified, I’m pretty positive that NO ONE would be qualified enough to accomplish the tasks He has set out for each of us in His will for our lives. Without His grace, love, and guidance we really can’t do anything. Let me share how He’s been working in my life over the lsat few years and maybe you’ll see what I mean! 😉

When I started high school, I had NO IDEA what I wanted to do with my life after I graduated. There wasn’t one area of my life that I excelled at and could make a career out of. I was super quiet, got average grades, and at that point really just planned on taking a year off after high school to get my life figured out. Then, at band camp the summer before my sophomore year, something sparked inside of me and I decided that I wanted to make a career out of my music. So, I quickly started taking lessons, I was blessed with a teacher willing to push me farther than I thought I could go and keep up the momentum to make up for the lost time.

Three years of clarinet lessons, a crash course in music theory, some piano (HA! Definitely not a strength of mine…) and two years of choir later, I made it into my music program of choice. Through many auditions, recital performances, lessons, piano quizzes, I was a ball of nerves. (There’s a reason I wasn’t a performance major, my nervousness was it.) Long story short, I made it through the first semester, came home for Christmas break and ended up absolutely dreading going back.

HOMESICKNESS. DEPRESSION. STEESS. Basically I was an emotional mess! So when the end of the second semester FINALLY arrived, I went in to play my jury, (basically a huge final playing test that lets music majors move on to the next level of classes, if passed.) feeling pretty confident…

Scales.

Prepared piece.

SIGHTREADING.

Oh shoot, sightreading… another one of my weaknesses. (Ironically, I’m pretty good at it now. I have no idea how that happened…)

In the end I failed it, came home for the summer and decided that it just wasn’t in the cards to go back the following Fall.

Now, I had to figure out something else that I liked well enough to make it into a career. Easier said than done. I dabbled in photography, overpopulated field. Business Administration? Pretty flexible, but I’ve heard it’s like watching grass grow, so I’ll pass on that one too. Okay, now what?

You see, the Lord used this time to draw me closer to Him and really begin to work in in my life to help me become the woman I am (and am still working on becoming) today! He uses our rough patches, valleys, good days, and bad days to shape us into Godly men and women who reflect His love into the lives of others.

I thought the calling for my life was to be a middle school band director, now I look at my life now and then look back at that thought and laugh. Really hard. (No offense to all of you middle school band directors out there, you are superheroes, really!)

Where am I at now in life? Well, for now I feel drawn to a career in Christian counseling with a concentration in drug and alcohol abuse/addictions. I’ve found my place musically, playing clarinet at church with a beyond amazing piano player by my side, singing on praise team, and teaching clarinet lessons. I have a wonderful Monday through Friday job that allows me to stay as involved as I am with my amazing church, and I also just recently started teaching Sunday school. (That last one is a shocker even to me, never in a million years would I have seen that one coming! Thy will, not my will, right? 😉 ) I’m exactly where God wants me to be as He continues to work in me and through me and I’ve never been happier!

So, after all that, what am I trying to tell you?

Wait on God.

Wait for the Lord;
be strong and take heart
and wait for the Lord.

~Psalm 27:14 (NIV)

God’s way is better than your own.

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways,”
declares the Lord.
 As the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts.”

~Isaiah 55:8-9 (NIV)

Trust Him completely with your life.

Never say never. (Although it holds a lot of truth, I cringe a little every time that phrase gets thrown around because of it’s affiliation with Justin Bieber… seriously.)

God works in mysterious ways, never doubt His faithfulness.

And hang in there, God knows what He’s doing, I promise!

God is good, wait on Him!

God is Good If you’ve been following my blog for awhile, you probably remember my post from a few months back entitled “My Friend Lazarus.” If not I’ll link it HERE so you can go read it and get a little bit of a back story on my situation and have a better understanding before you read this.

I’ve been searching for a job for what seems like FOREVER. Sure, there were plenty of jobs that I could have applied to and been employed before this point, I’ll admit that. Fast food, hostess positions, retail, etc. were all possibilities. I even put in apps for a few of those positions just to try to keep my options open, but nothing ever came of them. The thing with my job search is I was being extremely picky and rather stubborn, I refused to settle, continually put my trust in God, and waited on His plans and timing. I didn’t want to work Sundays. I’m so involved with my little church and it just wasn’t something I was willing to give up. Singing on praise team, weekly rehearsals with my accompanist so she and I can play during service as often as possible, (in case you missed it at the top of my page, I’m a clarinet player…) nearly everything that makes me a happy girl is wrapped up in my Sunday morning activities. So, I was obviously looking for a job that would allow me to continue those things.

Most people, upon finding out that I was being THAT picky about employment, would tell me that I was probably going to have to compromise and work some Sundays, or even ALL Sundays for awhile until I gained seniority in my place of work. No, I wasn’t having it, I couldn’t imagine my life without being in church Sunday mornings, even just for a little while. I waited, prayed like crazy, and continued to be picky. Guess who got a job today that doesn’t require me to give up my Sundays and allows me to continue teaching clarinet on the weekends? Yep, this girl! As an added bonus, it’s doing something I love!

It just goes to show, if you trust in the Lord and wait patiently on His timing, He WILL provide. You’ll be placed where He wants you when and only when He wants you there! You don’t have to settle for anything less than God’s best for your life! He’s slowly beginning to piece mine back together and I’m beyond excited to see what He has in store for me next!

“Wait for the Lord;
be strong and take heart
and wait for the Lord.”

Psalm 27:14 (NIV) 

A Challenge for your Week!

letter-writing-pic As I laid in bed trying to fall asleep last night, I got to thinking about all of the incredible people the Lord has brought into my life. I’m sure anyone who reads this can find at least one person that makes your life happier, can always put a smile on your face, or would drop everything to help you in a time of need. Does that one person really know how much you appreciate their friendship? Have you told them lately what a blessing they’ve been to you? If not, let’s change that!

My challenge to you this week  is to take time to write someone a letter. Yes, that’s right, I said write… meaning pen and paper. Even if you don’t have their address, find a time that you could hand it to them. Whether it be your Mom, Dad, a former teacher, a pastor, you get the picture! Letter writing is becoming a lost art, and sometimes it’s a hand written letter that can mean the most to someone and we don’t even realize it. For someone to know that you were thinking about them and took the time out of your schedule to hand write them a thank you note, a simple note just to say hi, or a letter to let them know how they’ve impacted your life in a positive way, I’d imagine it’s a pretty good feeling! So this week, take a look at all of the wonderful people in your life and pick at least one to reach out to. I wrote a letter this morning and got it in the mail right away! I plan on writing a few more throughout the week as well! Let’s all take time to let our friends and loved ones know how much we appreciate their presence in our lives. If you think about someone while you’re busy and can’t take the time to write a letter, give them a call. Text messages are great for when you can’t be on the phone, but they’re so impersonal! Go the extra mile to reach out to someone meaningful in your life! Who’s on your heart this week?

From Me, with Love

Dear Future Husband,

I’m writing to tell you that I pray about you every night, asking God to put you into my life when the timing is right.  Some days it’s really hard to wait for you as all of my friends are hanging out with significant others and so adorably in love with each other. I know you’re out there somewhere, when I find you I pray that you’ll be my first love and my last. I pray that you’ll love Jesus more than you love me, pray for me on my rough days, laugh with me as much as possible, and support me in whatever I do. I promise to do the same for you. I’ll always be there to support you, be loving, forgiving, and understanding. I pray that we will bring each other closer to God through our relationship with Him and with one another.

You should know that I’m a little crazy. I dance around the kitchen, make funny faces just because, and sing along to my favorite songs terribly. I think kisses on the forehead are the cutest thing, and watching movies snuggled on the couch means just as much to me as a fancy dinner out. My family means the world to me and then some, so moving away from them would only be possible if it was the Lord’s plan for us. Even then it would be incredibly difficult.

As for our wedding, I ask that we pray over our future before I walk down the aisle to meet you… no peaking of course! It would mean the world to me to get married in my home church and to have my pastor marry us.  I’ve saved myself for you completely, I pray that you have done the same for me. Every other girl dreams about a Prince Charming, I just want a man of God who will lift me up to the Father, be there to catch me when I fall, and agree to raise our children in a God fearing household no matter what this fallen world tries to throw at them. I know we’ll have ups and downs, but with God in the center of our marriage, we WILL make it through. I haven’t even met you yet and I already love you with all of my heart. I can’t wait to spend the rest of our lives together glorifying the name of Jesus and loving on His people.

With Love,

Your Future Wife

Tide to Go and The Grace of Jesus

“What in the world do the Grace of Jesus and Tide to Go have to do with each other?” You might ask. The title got your attention, didn’t it? I thought it might! Tide to Go:JesusReally though, there is a connection, at least in my brain. I wore a white dress to church Sunday morning, I had no idea there was a coffee stain on the side of it… thankfully it was small enough that it wasn’t screaming “LOOK AT ME! MANDI SPILLED COFFEE ALL OVER ME LAST MONTH!” (Completely forgot about that incident…) Anyway, I got home and my grandma pointed it out to me. “It’s okay, I’ll just throw it in with a load of whites and some bleach, all will be fixed!” Then I read the tag… “Hand wash only, DO NOT BLEACH,” now what am I supposed to do… Later, as I was digging through drawers trying to find some music, I came across a Tide to Go pen, YES! Goodbye coffee stain! I plucked my dress from my pile of whites and started stain fighting.

*Enter Mandi’s crazy thought process*

Wait a minute, my dress, that WAS white as snow, is stained. Jesus blotted out our “stains” with His blood, on the cross. Because of that we became pure, and white as snow. “Liiiiiightbuullllbbb…” (Despicable Me fans? Couldn’t resist…) JESUS IS LIKE A TIDE TO GO PEN! Despite the fact that He ultimately washed us of our sins when He died on the cross, we’re still imperfect. We still sin and end up staining our white garments throughout our lives. We have to go back to Him, repent of our sins, and ask for forgiveness. By no means am I saying that we should take advantage of His grace and forgiveness and use it as an excuse to sin or do whatever we want to, even when we know it’s wrong. I mean you wouldn’t purposely dump pasta down the front of your favorite article of clothing just so you could whip out that Tide to Go pen, would you? I didn’t think so… The Grace of Jesus, like Tide to Go, should be used as a “just in case…” We all still make mistakes, but He’ll always forgive us when we do. Keep Him with you at all times, but don’t sin just because He’s there to quickly blot out your “stains.” The difference? Tide to Go eventually runs out, the Grace of Jesus never will. (And Tide to Go smells kinda funny…. ha.)

And that is what the Grace of Jesus and Tide to Go have to do with each other!