Monthly Archives: April 2017

Nothing Wasted: An Evening for Women coming up!

 

What does God use to do amazing things?

We want to know the answer to that question because we want to do amazing things. Yet, we often get the answer wrong. We often think God uses what we don’t have. We often think God uses what we have yet to acquire. We often think God uses what someone else has, but not what we do. Whatever we think, we certainly often struggle believing God can use us to do the big, cool, impactful amazing things we so desire to be apart of.

We are going to spend the entire next Collide event for women answering this very question in the hopes that women will not only be inspired, but they will take steps to say yes to God using them for greatness in this world! This is the last Collide conference for women of this academic school year so be sure to get your tickets here. We have women driving over from good ol’ Sunnyside, Washington, women who have rented vans to travel together from Camano Island and woman who are traveling up from the Greater Seattle area all to join women from across Whatcom County. We have women who are 12 and women who are 82 coming. We have women who are Baptists, Presbyterians, Pentecostal, Catholic and atheist, all coming. So you should be here too:)

The night is shaping up to be a beautiful conversation and will include dramas, a resident artist for the night, an amazing calling coach, a woman whose cancer led her to start something that is changing lives around the world, a local mama whose heart for refugees found her needing to do something about that passion, a 7 year old little girl who is changing the world. We have Gladstone, a local band coming, a worship band, dinner or shall we say, lunch for dinner, and so much more.

Will you pray that lives are changed and inspired? Will you grab your girlfriends and come? Will you keep asking questions like; “What does God use to do amazing things?” Will you allow Him to answer that question and then say yes to God, so that our world and all those who need help and rescue in it, will find just that?

He is after all, an amazing God, who does amazing things.

Through us.

 

 

Out of Gas by Laurie Arndorfer

The Your stories blogs are a place where women can bravely and authentically tell their story as it really is. We invite women to collide with Jesus and share how He is meeting them, transforming them and redeeming them. We hope this “your story” meets you in yours…

 

I woke up the other day just as tired as I was when I went to bed.  Out of gas.  I am going through a season right now.  A season of insomnia.  This has happened to me numerous times for as long as I can remember.  Yet, each time I am surprised, irritated, exhausted.  Each time I have to force myself to take my own sleep hygiene advice:  set a regular bedtime and awakening time, turn the clock around, don’t nap, don’t lay in bed longer than 15 minutes if you can’t sleep, get up and do something else to help you relax.  Don’t exercise right before bed.  No screen time in the hour before bed.  I know the drill.  Yet sleep eludes me.  

Why do I struggle with this?  I ask myself this question.  I ask God this question.  I may go months with the most minimal amount of sleep.  But I am someone who really needs 8 hours.  So it affects me, a lot.  It is hard to think, I get headaches, I get cranky.  My family can attest to this.   Every day I have so much to do!  How on earth can I possibly get it done if I am tired?  I grouch at God (and everyone around me!) a lot about this, by the way.

But maybe I am asking the wrong question.  Maybe the question is really not “why can’t I sleep?” but “What might You have for me instead of sleep right now, God?”  I’m not saying I’d choose to stay awake late into the night on purpose.  I’m just saying that there is nothing productive about lying there and being upset.  There is nothing productive about worrying about what I won’t be able to do, won’t be able to focus on, won’t be successful at.  Panicking about my lack of sleep has done absolutely zero to change this issue.

So, I try everything I can think of to sleep.  Counting sheep, drinking sleepytime tea, exercising enough, getting enough fresh air.  I cry about it, fret about it, gripe about it.  But many times, I forget to pray.  Truth be told, if I get myself out of bed and spend some time talking and listening to God, it helps.  If I read the Psalms when I am feeling at my most wired and irritated, it helps.  If I write in my prayer journal, it helps.  So, why are these the last resorts?  

“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things…and the God of peace will be with you.” (Philippians 4:8-9)

I think there is a bigger issue.  I want to be in control.  When things don’t go my way, I get frustrated and upset.  I want to be able to sleep, so I “should” be able to, right?  I do everything I can…  That’s the key.  I am doing everything I can in my own power, but I am not asking help of the One who has the power to fix my issue and calm my angst.  I don’t trust that God will get me through it. I’ve survived a hundred of these bouts of insomnia, or more.  Yes, I am tired when they occur, but they are not life threatening. I come out of them on the other side.

I have empathy for those who can’t sleep, probably precisely because I am their worry-wart bosom buddy, their companion in the wee hours of the night.  Yet when I do turn to God and surrender this issue to him, things get better.  I’m not saying that all of a sudden I can sleep the next night.  But I am able to view it differently.  I am able to thank God for the extra time with Him.  I’m able to do a lot of creative thinking and journaling and planning if I can let God have the sleeplessness, and use the time He gives me for good.  I can be calm instead of panicked.  At peace instead of fighting and struggling and pushing myself to “JUST SLEEP!”  

So I may be out of gas, but I’m not out of hope.  Not by a long shot.  Little sleep means more time to hear from God.  So I’m going to try to let Him have the reigns.

“Draw near to God and He will draw near to you…” (James 4:8)