I Won The Jackpot!!

image

Iย bought my ticket yesterday and was thinking and dreaming with my hubby of all the things we would do with the winnings… First and foremost we would have taken the cash offer and left the country! Not even kidding. Just long enough to where the hype died down and people forgot you won (if that ever really happens??) and then come back and live a quiet quaint little life on some property with like a bazillion dogs! (I love dogs!!) I would love to help people in 3rd and 5th world countries too! Get them access to fresh water and help them with sanitation/sewage. Wowza. $1.5 billion?! The possibilities are endless! With that much money what COULDN’T you do?! But here’s thing. I won alright, but not the winnings you’re probably thinking of! My ‘jackpot’ is in Christ Jesus himself! Jesus is my winning ticket! Of course if I’m honest though, it’s hard to be this uplifted and super positive about not winning the actual money jackpot (especially when one of the winners lives in a city where the median household income is $96k…… Need I say more?!) and don’t get me wrong I would have loved for the winnings to go to someone down on their luck who maybe really needed it. Or shoot what if the lottery just gave everyone in America a piece of the winnings? Does one person really need that much money?! Gah! Stop!! Hold the phone. Let me get back on track. With all this talk about money and slight feelings of disappointment or even the dreaded “why me” or even ” why NOT me” I think the Lord spoke ever so kindly to my heart this morning.

I try to read a chapter in Proverbs everyday. Today is the 14th, so I read Proverbs 14, and oh how I stopped in my tracks when I came across verse 30. It says “A heart at peace gives life to the body, but envy rots the bones.” (NIV) Ick. Rot. When I think of that word I think of oooey-gooey, icky, stinky, yuck! Decay even. Gross!!! Ok enough talk about that, you get the idea! But ‘rots the bones’. Ewww. I don’t want my bones to rot. I want absolutely nothing to do with rot! I don’t even like talking about rot! But I believe that’s a nice little warning –caution– from our loving Father in heaven! Reminding us, hey I have you EXACTLY where I want you. I created you, I made you, trust me. I know what’s best for you. Put your joy and hope in me! I mean think about it like this. You buy a car and completely blow off the owners manual and everything in it. Nah, I don’t need to put oil in it. I don’t like oil, I don’t want to pay for oil, NOOOOOPE! No oil for me! So you go on and drive your new car never ever changing your oil. Umm. That wouldn’t be so good after a while. Eventually if the oil is not changed, the entire engine will shut down and have to be replaced! No bueno! So why would we want to ignore our car owners manual and not change the oil? We wouldn’t. Well, the Bible is OUR owners manual for our lives! We need to listen up and pay attention to what God has to say to us. He made us and created us so I’m pretty sure He knows what’s best for us! ๐Ÿ˜‰

So I may have not won the cash money, but like I said in the beginning of this post, I did win! I won big! The biggest prize there ever was and ever will be, Jesus! But wait a minute. Let’s change that word prize to gift! A prize is something you have to do AND then win to receive. A gift is something willingly given! See the significant difference? I don’t have to do a darn thing but confess with my mouth, and believe in my heart and then BAM! I’m saved! (Check out Romans 10:9-10 for the non-paraphrased version) I have my hope, my trust, my life in Jesus’ hands! He came and died for me! Little old sinful, rotting (ick!) bones ME! Not just me either, but US! All of us! That sure brings a huge smile to my face and redirects my heart, shifting my focus back on Jesus! Jesus my joy! The one who will help my rotting bones, give me peace, fill me and make me whole! Who needs a jackpot prize when we have the greatest and most precious gift of all time!!

Blessings ๐Ÿ’› Sarah

29 Life Lessons I Learned Before Turning 30!

But First, Coffee

I haven’t blogged in months because well, life happens! But as my 30th birthday inches closer and closer, I’ve been thinking of my 20’s and I’ve compiled a list of lessons I’ve learned over these last 9 and 7/8 years ๐Ÿ˜‰ — 29 of them because it just seemed fitting! In no particular order, here we go:

1) Facebook + social media is/are the biggest time wasters.
2) People get so incredibly “bold” behind a computer screen. I can’t believe people say the things they do without even thinking twice about it.
3) Put your phone/tablet/whatever down for just a little bit each day. It’ll be ok. Whatever is there I promise you, will still be there when you get back on.
4) Enjoy the company of those right in front of you the most.
5) Don’t do things just because everyone else is. Seriously don’t.
6) It really is ok to say “No”.
7) Waiting is one of the hardest things to do.
8) I would rather someone hurt me with the truth, than comfort me with a lie.
9) True (and I mean really true) friends are truly hard to find.
10) I want friendships that are as close to 50/50 as possible. It hurts when you give your all to a friendship and you don’t get the same in return.
11) Friends really do come and go. That saying rings so true more often than I’d like.
12) Don’t hold grudges. We are all imperfect people living in an imperfect world. Pray and ask God to help you with it because I guarantee you can’t do it on your own!
13) More often than not, people care more about themselves than others.
14) People with the most money are (often times) the most stingy.
15) Credit cards are SO dangerous! If you can’t afford it (or afford to make the payments on it) then maybe you shouldn’t buy it.
16) Money isn’t everything. Don’t fall into the trap/lie/deception – whatever you want to call it – that feeds on making you think that.
17) Stop and enjoy all the things in life that money can’t buy. They are simply beautiful.
18) Don’t get too comfy in your present situation. You never know when things could just flip!
19) Always fulfill your end of a bargain, even if the other party does not.
20) Don’t take advantage of people. If you wouldn’t want them to do it to you, don’t do it to them.
21) You don’t need to have a college degree to be successful. Or happy for that matter.
22) Having children is a privilege not a right, denied to many.
23) Don’t be afraid to age! Being alive is an incredible privilege!
24) You absolutely cannot choose your family.
25) Be extra super duper careful if/when you’re match-making! You very well might regret it one day!
26) Shoot, just don’t match make anyone! (See lesson above)
27) God made you and created you. Trust Him that He really does know what’s best for your life!
28) Stop and realize, Jeremiah 29:11. It’s a verse (along with every other one) breathed from the breath of God that is so powerful and so true. Don’t just take it and leave it. Reflect on, meditate with, memorize it, and most importantly remember it when life just seems crappy. Because life isn’t perfect and crummy things do happen, but the Lord has a plan for you, one to bring you hope and a future. Not to harm you. I absolutely and completely love that.
29) God really is the only one who will never let you down. Ever!

What are some lessons you’ve learned in your lifetime? Feel free to comment below and share with us!

Blessings ๐Ÿ’› Sarah

Interlude

FaithfulnessDeuteronomy 31:6 – Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. (NIV)


Talk about faithfulness. He will never leave you nor forsake you. Wow. That verse leaves me simply in awe, especially considering the sinful state of humanity. There are so many people in this world who not only leave us, but also forsake us. The heart wrenching thing too is it’s not just necessarily our enemies who do that, most often it’s close friends or family members. Those people we thought would never do that to us, did. They do. I am so thankful that our Lord and savior will NEVER do that to us though. No matter what happens in this life, no matter who leaves us or forsakes us, our Abba Father never will forsake us or leave us. When we so often very much deserve him to do so. That right there is what I call total and complete faithfulness.

Blessings ๐Ÿ’› Sarah

Interlude

1 Thessalonians 1 Thessalonians 5:24 – The one who calls you is faithful, and he will do it. (NIV)


I came across this verse yesterday in my through the bible reading plan and I’ve been thinking about it pretty much all night and even into today. It’s so short and simple and yet so powerful at the same time. He is faithful and he will do it. Do what you say? I’m not sure exactly, but the verse prior to this one (vs 23) does say at the end, …at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. So, at the minimum, I believe it’s expressing to us that He is faithful about coming back. Ah. That just fills me with such joy! I’m sure there is so much more to this verse because that’s just like the Bible. It’s like a huge onion where you just keep peeling back layer upon layer. If God is only faithful in this one thing (which I know he is faithful in SO much more) I am certainly thankful for it. He is coming back! He is faithful! And I am forever thankful that he is faithful.

Blessings ๐Ÿ’› Sarah

I Want A Good Ending

GoodnessI love me a happy ending. That warm fuzzy feeling you get or that ‘feel good’ feeling after a great movie or book. Maybe it’s just me though. Living in a strange make believe world where I want it to all work out and for everything to be happy and simply wonderful! I want a good ending!

One of my New Year resolutions was to read more. I’m not a reader. I never have been and if we’re being honest here, I really don’t enjoy it. So when I heard about this challenge of reading 26 books in 2015 (You can check out the challenge here:ย 26 Books) Iย thought I’d give it a shot. Why not! Maybe it’ll make me enjoy reading more. Not likely, but you just never know! ๐Ÿ˜‰

I just recently finished the Divergent Trilogy. If you look at my Aboutย section, you’ll see it was listed as one of my current favorites. I wrote that before I had finished the last book and quite frankly I want to take it back! *Spoiler alert* that was an awful ending! My heart was crushed and I never thought I would have got into a book as much as I did those three. Like I said, I’m no reader and I’m certainly not a writer but in my nice little fuzzy bunny, rainbowy, sunshiny world, that ending stunk. Sorry but it did. I felt awful inside like something died and I was frantically finishing up the last chapters to see if what I just read wasn’t true, maybe there was some twist – where is the happy ending?! My husband on the other hand, had a totally different perspective on the ending. He thought it was heroic that she “sacrificed herself” – when quite frankly, it should have been her brother. Tris and Tobias should have peaced out, leaving the city to start their new lives together! Come on now! – Alas to my dismay that wasn’t the case. The ending was what it was and I thought it was terrible. Terribly sad.

Now if you ask me, the Bible doesn’t have a much better ending. It’s filled with disaster and sadness, weeping, wailing, and gnashing of teeth. Total and utter darkness. That’s even worse than the Divergent ending! Man oh man, I thought I was writing about goodness today and after all this, I just feel so….not good. Sad. So yah, um, let’s get on to the goodness, and a good ending – that’s where I was originally heading.

The beautiful thing about the ending in the Bible is that it doesn’t have to be that way. Your ending doesn’t have to be filled with weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth. Total and utter darkness. Jesus paid the price, he bore the shame and endured the cross so that WE (every single one of us) could get our happy ending – heaven. ๐Ÿ’œ ย The only way we won’t end up in heaven and end up in hell, is if we reject the work of the cross. If we reject Jesus. Step over his dead, bruised, beaten up, torn apart body and say “I don’t need your sacrifice I’ll get to heaven on my own.” My dear friends no. It doesn’t work that way. There is only one way to heaven and that’s through Jesus and his work on the cross. (John 14:6 Jesus answered, โ€œI am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.)

Now that’s my kind of happy ending! The work is done! It is finished! We don’t have to work our way into heaven (Ephesians 2:8-9) we just have to accept the work Jesus did for us and believe on him (Romans 10:9-10). That’s it.ย That’s really how easy it is. What Jesus did for us and his sacrifice was not easy by any means. He died the most brutal and painful, awful, wretched death there ever was or ever will be, but praises be to God because of what was done and the ease of what we have to do. Believe. Confess. Accept. Accept God’s goodness. Accept the free gift of salvation. Get your happy ending today. I can guarantee you, you won’t regret it.

Blessings ๐Ÿ’› Sarah

Interlude

WaitPsalm 38:15 – Lord, I wait for you; you will answer, Lord my God. (NIV)


Are you currently waiting for something? Ever feel like you’re waiting for something? Boy oh boy do I know the feeling, especially in our current jobless situation. In our current time of waiting, I was looking for some verses on that topic and I happened to come across this Psalm. I love the Psalms, I really do. They are packed with so many emotions – good, bad, and everything in between. They are so real and so relatable.

I chose this verse for today’s interlude because I just love the simplicity of it. “You will answer, Lord my God”. It doesn’t say, I “hope” you’ll answer or I “think” you’ll answer. Nope. You WILL answer. So in the meantime of whatever you’re going through or waiting on, just rest on the Lord. Wait patiently. God will answer you. Whatever that answer may be, remember he will answer.

Blessings ๐Ÿ’› Sarah

Interlude

Keep onPhilippians 3:12-14 – Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. (NIV)


You can’t move forward if you keep looking backwards. Think about. If you’re running you’ll slow down (or even fall) if you keep looking behind you. It’s a crazy cycle we get on, or at least I do. Trying to move on, but still dwelling in the past. Past hurts, failures, sins, anything negative, we seem to dwell on. Rather than continuously looking behind, let’s strive to look ahead. Keep on pressing on. It wont be easy, but with God ALL things are possible (Matthew 19:26). Lord help us press on and strain towards what is ahead and help us to forget what is behind.

Blessings ๐Ÿ’› Sarah