I'm SO excited this year to be a part of a bible study outside of Master Plan! Don't get me wrong, I LOVE LOVE LOVE our bible studies with college students. But this year God has given me the opportunity to branch out and get more involved with more of our church body. So far it's been a wonderful part of my week! I love knowing I get to hangout with women of all ages and dig into God's Word together at least once a week.
We're beginning the year with a study through James. So far we're only have way through the first chapter, but I'm amazed by how much God has wanted to reiterate to me (go figure!). James 1:2-4 says,
"Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything."
When first reading through this, I thought God was wanting me to study this to heal me from my hard semester last year (long story, but I had a rough time with multiple things). But, just like every time I assume something of God, He's been showing me how it's not just for healing and reassurance, but for RIGHT here and RIGHT now!
Yesterday, I got a call from my stepmom telling me that my dad was in the hospital. Not exactly the most encouraging and uplifting way to start your day. My first reaction was to worry and start thinking of worst case scenarios (something I tend to jump to), but then bible study popped into my mind, and God's Words rang in my ears "consider it pure joy... when you face trials of many kinds..."
"Ahhhh... I see what you're doing here, God!" I thought to myself. "Alright then. Thank you for taking the time to make me more mature and complete. Help me to trust you today with this circumstance."
I spent the rest of the day baking, since every time I would sit, I would want to stew and worry - my natural tendencies to not trust God in situations, which He tells us not to do for almost an entire chapter. So I kept moving, kept praying for anyone and anything that came to mind - which Dad came to mind a LOT - and I kept singing praise to God.
By the end of the day, when I got to actually talk to my dad, I couldn't help but think, "Gosh, I can't believe I spent the day not freaking out. If I was doing this in my own power, today wouldn't have happened!" So I just wanted to post and thank God for being AMAZING!! I'm so thankful I have eternal life in Him, and that I have Him living in me so I can do all things these things that are impossible on our own (Philippians 4:13).
Dad texted me this morning to tell me he got liquid breakfast this morning (food means improvement), and hoping for solid food and home today. So if you could keep him in your prayers, that would be wonderful. =)
My goal today is to work on our newsletter, so you can hear all about what's been happening in the lives of the Hillewaerts (cause we are ever so exciting...), but more importantly hear about what God is doing in and through students at Fort Lewis College! Until then....
I LOVE finding and sharing recipes! So here is all of what I made yesterday:
Apple butter in the Crock Pot (Started the night before)
Roasted Pear (which I kind of followed this recipe for what I had in my cupboard, and roasted the night before) and other-such-things-I-threw-in frozen yogurt (this whole thing turned out good, but didn't really have a set recipe. If you're interested in what I used, just ask and I'll tell you what kind of things I used.)
"Plum-kissed" pear jam (I got the idea from this link, but ended up following the instructions on the instant pectin I got from the store)
Pumpkin Spice syrup for lattes and such - which my friend, Angi, first made - you should read her blog about it!
Spanish Rice for couple's night potluck - I followed the first review suggestions