Feb-25-12

Trust

posted by mrsnunar

This year has been very difficult and I have had to trust God more than ever that He is guiding me down the path He wants for me. I have been struggling to get everything done at work and I have been feeling this “nudging” to try to look for another job. So many staff members will be exiting with our retiring principal and I feel like it’s just not the same place that I accepted to work in 7 years ago. So many questions…Is God telling me to move or stay? There is so much there thst I’ve built up, so many resources, so many family connections….but then again, there is the tension, difficult confrontations, things I’ve said that I want to take back, and feeling of “fight or flight”n all the time. I’m tired of fighting.

Three songs have spoken to me lately. Two from a Christian artist and one is not, but they both calm me and remind me to trust in God. I feel like everyday I am praying the same prayer: God, please show me the path you have me on. Tell me the future. But I know it’s up to Him to light the way even when I cannot see.

Here are the videos to encourage you and me. Trusting is so hard, but I am so thankful I have God to trust. Having to trust in someone even though you can’t see them is so much better than knowing that they are not there.

 



Until the next post,

~Sarah

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Jan-25-11

Hope amidst the sadness…

posted by mrsnunar

There is a co-worker of mine whose husband was recently diagnosed with Cancer and given 6 months to live. This has been a hard time for all of us at work, grasping for the right words, holding up a friend in need, and covering for her when she is breaking apart. My own fear of cancer has come to the surface during all this and I have been experiencing a lot of personal sympathy for my friend and a lot of accompanying tears. There has been one thing that has comforted me through this, however, and that is the music of Steven Curtis Chapman and Sara Groves. These two Christian artists both inspire me with songwriting that is real, honest, and open to God’s power singing through them. I recently redeemed my iTunes gift card from Christmas and purchased a few of Sara’s new tracks from “Fireflies and Songs”. When she writes songs about marriage, I am humbled and think of my own tumultuous relationship with my husband, but I am always encouraged by Sara’s (Gods) words of hope and restoration. Similarly, Steven Curtis Chapman inspires me with his personal resilience to the horrible things of this world, such as the tragic loss of his daughter. Listening to his latest , Beauty Will Rise album, I am led to tears with almost every song, and yet in my sobbing I am comforted by the fact that there is hope in Christ, hope for tomorrow, and for a world beyond here that there will be no more pain or disease. The great Healer is preparing a place for all of us, and I am so thankful for artists like this who can step beyond their pain to share this and to be a vessel for God’s truths.

Here are a few verses that have encouraged me this month:

Revelation 21:4
He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.

Romans 12:12
Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.

It is my prayer that this posts and these verses might also give you hope, in Christ, as He died to set us free and clear of all our pain and suffering, so that we might live forever someday with Him, affliction-free, and no longer plagued with worry or grief.

Blessings,

Sarah

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Oct-29-10

When Satan Attacks…

posted by mrsnunar

I was under fire today. It was the first day of my Fall break and Satan knew I would be all alone, at home, and at my most vulnerable. First, he lured me back to bed after dropping off the kids at school. He slyly convinced me that I needed more rest and to relax after working so hard this week. I slept until 12:30pm and woke up groggy. After getting lunch and starting one load of laundry I started feeling better, but them I got a phone call from the photographer I had called earlier in the week to get our family photos taken. I felt like I had an out-of-body experience as I talked to her and she talked me into a $50 sitting fee and I gave her my credit card number. Then she told me the package prices starting at $350 and I heard myself saying OK, but it was surreal. In the back of my mind, I could hear a faint voice, “This is not something we need. What about Christmas gifts or paying off the truck?” But another voice was louder…”This would replace the OLD portrait you had taken over two years ago. You can use half of the next paycheck and put off paying the truck off for another month. Just figure out how to shuffle the budget later. These are precious memories you will want to capture now.” Before I knew what I was doing, I hung up the phone and immediately felt that I was taken advantage of- but not by the photographer, but a dominating force beyond my control. I texted my husband and he made me aware of my mistake and brought me back into reality. He suggested I call back the photographer and postpone our sitting until later when we could afford it, or at least save up for a nice package. He expressed the importance of reaching our goal of paying off the truck this month and reminded me of how excited we were to be able to do that. I cried tears of truth as the realization that I had been under attack all morning became clear.

My friends, Satan is so powerful and he wants Christians on his side more than anyone else. He covets us and knows us inside out. I was feeling at war today with him and he knew I was vulnerable like a small creature cowering in a corner. I was off my schedule, middle-of-the-week, alone and thinking only of myself and my “vacation”, and sitting in my messy house which always makes me feel weaker.

At 4pm it was time to go get my daughter from daycare and I cried out to God in the car on the way there. I prayed for His presence and for Satan to be released from sabotaging my day. I begged for words of encouragement from K-LOVE radio or from somewhere else. I heard “That’s What Faith Can Do” and was reminded that my faith can get me through hard times. I had forgotten temporarily today and taken it for granted. Then I heard the Afters “Light up the Sky” and these words touched me:

When I’m feeling all alone
With so far to go
The signs are no where on this road
Guiding me home
When the night is closing in
Is falling on my skin
Oh God will You come close?

Thank God for quick answers! I decided that tomorrow I will be putting on God’s armor in the morning by praying first thing and reading from my devotional which I’ve put off for a while. I decided to make sure I have music playing all day tomorrow to block out the shouting words of Satan in my ear and distract me from the ho-hum of daily life at home doing laundry and making dinner. I’m going to meditate and try to memorize the following verse also:

“Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.” Ephesians 6:11

While searching for the correct wording on this verse, I also found this interesting link. So pray for me if you pray. I will be needing it this weekend as Halloween approaches- one of my favorite holidays, but also Satan’s as well.

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Jul-23-10

Frustration and Forgiveness

posted by mrsnunar

Colossians 3:13

“Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.”

This verse hit me like a ton of truthful bricks today. I’ve been having difficulty coming home from vacation and living with my two daughters (8 and 2 years old). It’s been hot. They’ve been fighting and screaming. The 2-year-old is getting into everything forcing me to re-babyproof the entire house when all I want to do is go lie down. I’ve been worrying about depression, anxiety about school starting soon, and how I’m not going to get anything done around here. Then there’s the guilt I have with them sitting in front of TV during the summer for hours because we don’t have a safe yard for them to play in or friends in the neighborhood their age. Am I a hateful neglecting mother? Am I selfish for not wanting to be around them? It’s a Friday and all I want to do is escape back to when I had the grandparents to watch and coddle them so I could have my 2 hour naps and feel like I didn’t have to own so much responsibility anymore. Then reality hits.

I read this verse on Facebook today as I gave up trying to nap and yell at the kids to be quiet. It stunned me that it spoke just to me at his moment. God is here. He knows what is going on. He’s telling me to “just deal”.  Forgiveness is a tough thing, cliched, I know, but true. I called my oldest daughter in to talk one on one instead of yelling. I asked her for help and shared this verse with her. I asked her if she could forgive her sister for being 2 and getting into her stuff. I asked her to forgive me for being cranky. Then I told her I forgave her and sissy for making me upset. They were doing their job as siblings with a little rivalry there, just a little loud. I forgave her for not knowing what to do when I sent her mixed messages about not bothering me and expecting her to parent her sister at 8 years old, then yelling when she was trying to count her screaming sister and put her in time-out.  “Bear with each other..” This will have to be the mantra for the coming weeks as we are out of money for camps and it will be the three of us in the house until August 13. It is so easy to see God in the beautiful mountains of Colorado, but He is here too. He is watching and forgiving.

Here’s part of a Third Day song I liked as I was coming down the mountain today:

When I climb down the mountain
And get back to my life
I won’t settle for ordinary things
I’m gonna follow You forever
And for all of my days
I won’t rest ’til I see You again

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Mar-7-10

Procrastination

posted by mrsnunar

Wow. Again I’m late with the blogging. Last day of Feb. came and went, but give me a break- it was a short month!

Seems like all I am doing is procrastinating these days. I took the time to finally sit down today and scrap my Resolutions for the year. Here’s the final result:

IMG_0974

For a more detailed look at the journaling, see this post.

I also scrapped a few wedding photos. No time like ten years later! Anyway, I looked up a verse on procrastination and found this:

Proverbs 18:9 (NIV)

9 One who is slack in his work is brother to one who destroys.

This is not good. I prayed to God to help me be more diligent in my work and put more heart into the work I am doing since everything should be ultimately for the Lord. Here’s a good article  on what the Bible says about Procrastination.

BacktotheBible.org has this to say:

It’s little wonder that Ecclesiastes counsels us not to procrastinate: “Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might.” Urgency is reflected in this pearl of wisdom because, as so many have already discovered, tomorrow is never guaranteed.

True, True. I just wish tomorrow wouldn’t come for another 2-3 hours then, so I could get everything done!! Oh wait… it’s already 12:24 am so I guess I’m already late. ;)

See you next month…hopefully!

In HIS Name,

~Sarah

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Feb-1-10

The last day of the month

posted by mrsnunar

Seems to be a trend with me- blogging on the last day of the month. But instead of getting down on myself for not blogging weekly as per my New Years Resolutions, I am going to think positively and set a new goal of blogging at least on the last day of the month. It seems like an appropriate time to take a look back on the events of the months and reflect.

This month I have been re-reading Battlefield of the Mind by Joyce Meyers. It has brought me to a place of humbleness again that I needed for a long time. I realize fully that I am still in a war with Satan trying to control my every thought. He has set up such strongholds in my mind telling me to worry about almost everything. I have to take a moment to remember to say STOP! and think about God and his plans for me. I have to meditate (which I read is just like worrying, only instead of obsessing about thoughts that are harmful, it is constantly thinking thoughts that are acceptable to God).  And if you think I’m going to be sitting in my room chanting and trying to get to some spiritual enlightenment…uh, no. But, I need to think thoughts that are healthy and right and model that for Anna most importantly. Her self-esteem is crumbling before me and I see in her the same strings being pulled that Satan tried on me. For whatever reason, she is feeling like she isn’t good, her handwriting isn’t pretty, and that I don’t love her. Despite all the consoling and counseling I do, she cannot seem to believe me. It is Satan entering in to her mind and I need to teach her how to recognize it. He is getting to me through her, too. I need to purge him out now! Holy Spirit help me to get rid of this stinking thinking!!

Chapter 2 tells me that I need to make this A Vital Necessity. The Bible says that a tree is known by it’s fruit. (Matthew 12:33) I always thought this meant I had to work at living a “good” life and producing fruitful works to get to Heaven. Buzzzzz!! That big X from Family Feud just appeared in front of my face! Now I realize that it means something different. A tree rooted in God’s Holy Spirit will produce fruit no matter what. It’s my thoughts that make the fruits taste pleasing to God or not. Not just lustful thoughts too. I used to think that this verse was aimed just at porn-addicts and slimy old men. Big X again. No- the thoughts can be anything from worry about earthly things I have no control over, to jealousy, coveting(which I do ALL the time), and the ever-present What-if’s that always keep me busy wondering instead of praying and praising. Satan knows my weaknesses. These thoughts in my mind will not impact whether or not I go to Heaven or Hell, but they can sour my relationship with God here on Earth for the time being. I heard in church today that those who have accepted Christ as their savior , but have taken license to continue sinning (and thus, thinking negatively or producing “bad fruit”) will be taken to heaven immediately by God instead of being allowed to live out their time on Earth. A controversial statement, but one worthy of considering if I want to be here to see my kids grow up and do wonderful things and such.

My memory verse for this month is an easy one…Proverbs 23:7 For as he thinks in his heart, so is he. Or rather, For as I think in my heart, so am I. I want to think about Jesus, so people will see Jesus. I want to think in my heart about positive things so I in turn can be positive and likeable. I want to please God by holding him in my heart. I’ll let you know next month how I’m doing. ;)

See you on February 28.

~Sarah

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Dec-30-09

Resolutions Past and Present

posted by mrsnunar

resolutionsI apologize for the delay in posting. Especially for those who were ready to follow along with me on the “Thoughts from the parking lot” series I intended to write. Sadly, that intention was there, but the willpower to keep up the writing each week got lost in the shuffle of holiday preparations, lateness to work, and physical anxiety over a mysterious rash that consumed my time and energy. I know excuses aren’t appropriate for God, but I feel like it was, indeed, the thought that counted. I will try harder in the new year to keep up with writing on this blog and thus, the time for resolutions is upon me once again.

Resolutions are so appropriate for blogging, I feel, because they are concrete and can be referred back to in the coming year.Here are my reflections from resolutions from 2009:

1)Grow closer to God- I think I grew a little closer. I certainly could have done more study of His Word, but in all, I kept up daily conversation and prayer, downloaded the Bible on my iPhone and read more often.

2)Keep less on my plate- Could have done better with this. I added 2 ministry blog designs, piano lessons for Anna, and dance at school. Need to work on this again for 2010.

3)Have more margian in life- Terrible at this one. I felt like there weren’t enough hours in the day to get everything done. See #5.

4)Freedom from negativity- Again, I think for the most part I did better with this. I need to keep it up more at home. Work was better this year.

5)Become an “expert” at a few things instead of dabbling in many- OK I focused on blogging, Orff, scrapbooking, backwards designing lessons, being a mom, and dance. Is that a few?? I think not. But it’s hard to pare down to two or three. Maybe my new counselor will have suggestions.

6)Give more of myself without expecting anything in return. – I did well at this one. I gave a lot and got a lot in return, even though I didn’t expect it.

So here are a few for next year and if I think of more in the coming days before Jan 1, I will document them also.I also plan to scrap them in the next days before I have to go back to work.

2010 Resolutions

1) Pray daily and journal in a blog once a week. – This will be either here, spiritually, or on my other blog urbanmusiceducation.org for professional journaling.

2) Say NO to adults more and say YES to my kids more.- They deserve more of my time than everyone else right now. There will be time for other things in 16 years.

3) Stop worrying about 2012. – I don’t know why this has bothered me. I need to stop worrying about things in general, but I decided to start with this. I am safe and secure in the knowledge that I will go to heaven, so it shouldn’t matter. What matters is telling people about Christ every possible moment.

4) Continue to go to counseling and try to reduce stress in my life. – I really enjoyed my first session and was glad to find out that my counselor is a Christian and a dancer. I am looking forward to having an outlet to vent.

5)Move towards a move. – I need a change this year and I think a new house will really enable me to cleanse. I know it will be a stressful event, but perhaps I can get through it with the help of this new counselor and with prayer. I really need to get the clutter out of my life too. If a move isn’t possible, then reducing the clutter certainly is.

6) Accept the fact that 140 pounds is healthy and appropriate for a 33 year old and that 120 is not and is in the past. What’s important is that I am active and am maintaining a high metabolism and that God loves me and thinks I’m beautiful, so I should too.

These are the main ones I can think of right now. I probably won’t write again until 2010, so have a Happy New Year and I hope these resolutions stick this year!

~Sarah

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Nov-23-09

Thoughts from the Parking Lot- week 1

posted by mrsnunar

Matthew 11:28-30(MSG)

“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”

I have been taking the time during the week to be silent with God each morning after turning off my car in the parking lot. This was spurred by my need to ask God to bless the day and be with me as I venture into the tough unknown that is the Urban Elementary School. At first the enemy tried to entice me with focusing on who was looking at me sitting there, and who I could show what a good Christian I was being, but I got past that and now just sit quietly with my head bowed and my heart open to what God has to tell me. I’ve been hearing things. Mostly the calm call to patience and to wait out the storm that is brewing in my life right now. That the tough times I am facing are not met alone, that He is with me holding me in his hand. Who knows if this is just me making it up, but I have to believe that thoughts don’t just “pop” into your head without cause, and it’s calming to know that it might just be a higher power that is guiding and nurturing me.

I have thought a lot about Jesus and the manger scene this week too. I thought about the wise men and shepherds coming to Jesus’ side at the manger, watching him rest and be still and silent. And just being there with him. They had to wait a few years for him to grow up, but they knew that he was meant for the hope of the hope of the world and that patience is what I need to have right now. The hope and patience that I am meant for great things in God’s time. That my own kids and my students are too. And that all that matters right now is that I rest with him and be still. He says, “Be still and know that I am God”. I’m going to continue to come to the manger and “keep company” with him as the Christmas season rapidly approaches. I will be reflecting on the moments that I have each week and I hope that by the new year I will have experienced more peace and rest that will allow me to learn to live more freely and lightly. I invite anyone who is reading to come along on this parking lot journey to the manger with me and to experience the stillness and rest that only can come through our Savior, Jesus.

Take care and God Bless,

Sarah

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