About Impact

Sunday, November 26, 2006

God is up to something...

God is up to something. I have no clue what it is but God is up to something. This week I’ve been thinking about how I’ve been barely pulling myself along the journey that God has been taking me on over the last few years. I’ve been praising God that for the first time in years I’ve felt like I can start to get up and walk or at least crawl on the journey. I’ve finally started to experience glimpses of hope that haven’t vanished as quickly as they appeared. And I can’t help but feel like all of this is for a purpose, all of the pain and all of the healing. The last few days as I’ve been praying and talking with God, I feel like he is in the process of preparing me for something. All I know is that I want to stay faithful and be obedient no matter where God takes me or places me.

I’m the type of person that doesn’t like to have people help me. I like to figure it out myself. One of the biggest lessons I’ve learned throughout this journey is that God places people in our lives to love and support us. I have one friend who has been telling me over and over again that God is preparing me for something big. Every time he and I grab coffee or talk he tells me this. He always gets so excited when we talk about it and sometimes it drives me nuts. I’m falling apart and he is smiling, just waiting for God to make the move. I always understood what he meant, but now the understanding has moved to my heart and I can feel the same excitement he has.

So what happens now? Like Mark Beeson shared last weekend, you start where you are. Jason said something in a message that will probably stick with me for life. “It is always about being completely obedient right here, right now.” So I figure out what it means to love those around me right now. I pray that God would teach me to see them through his eyes and love them like he does. I learn who they are and how I can serve them. Of course this is much easier said than done.

This weekend Dr. Bob talked about seeing the lost as God does, as a treasure. I loved it and then I started thinking about the people I’m surrounded by. Many of them are the types of Christians that only love people who fit their idea of what a Christian is. They point fingers at all others and boost their own egos by reminding themselves what great Christians they are because they aren’t like everyone else. I’ll just be real honest with you it drives me absolutely insane. I get so angry and upset with how close-minded they are. They have missed the complete picture. Sometimes it is hard for me to love these people and be patient with them. Maybe it is because they are painting my God to be someone they aren’t or maybe it is because they jump down my back because I don’t fit their picture of a Christian.

The first step starts with those around me. Why does it seem so hard to do? I pray that God will give me patience and teach me to love more. And as I press on to love God more and those around me more the rest of the journey will continue to be an adventure.

Lord, even though the circumstances in life may never change, change me. Make me more like Jesus. That is all I ask.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Thanksgiving...

It is expected that one must blog about the things he or she is thankful for every Thanksgiving. Of course I don’t really have a problem with that but it just saddens me that we aren’t more thankful throughout the year. This will be my attempt to meet this expectation. To name all the things I’m thankful in one post would be impossible so I’ve decided to write about some things I’ve been especially thankful for over the last few months.

BELLA VITA – Just like Winnie the Pooh has his thinking spot, Bella Vita has become mine. I’ve graded more papers there than anywhere else. There is nothing like a good cup of coffee by a fire while spending time with Jesus. Who cares if it is 45 minutes away!

MUSIC – This fall I’ve had the chance to play a lot more than I have in the past…horn, piano, trumpet, and other random instruments, it doesn’t really matter. I’ve also started writing music again. I gave it up for quite some time for varies reasons but it has been great to get back into it.

FAMILY – This is a given but let me tell you my family is AWESOME. They have been so supportive throughout all the changes and junk I’ve had to face the last few years. Listen we may be a wild and weird bunch but we kick butt. And just so you can enjoy part of the excitement at the Koutz house I’m going to end this blog with a couple of quotes from my niece and nephew.

FRIENDS – There have been a lot of changes in some of my friendships. I’ve had the chance to spent time with friends I don’t usually get to and have been blessed and encouraged by them. I’ve also been able to spend more time with a few of my closest friends. I was thinking about some of these friends last night and realized how much those relationships have grown since all of us first became friends. What a blessing!

GOD’S SOVEREIGNTY – If I haven’t learned by now that God is sovereign then I’m never going to get it! And when I’m stubborn and tend not to believe it, God is patient with me and still loves me the same. I’m so glad that he is over all things and knows what is best for me because I definitely have no idea!

LITTLE THINGS – The little things in life such as duct tape, moccasins and cameras.

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2006 Thanksgiving Quotes

First thing Taylor says to me when she gets in the house.
Taylor: Aunt Sarah, will you teach me how to play the flute today? (as she hands me her recorder!)


While leaving a message for my sister-in-law’s father…
Nicole: Say Happy Thanksgiving Grandpa
Logan: Happy…Happy…Happy Thhh…Thh…Happy Thh…Happy Cats!


Taylor was telling us her secret that daddy is number one in her heart and how he got there since he physically can’t fit in there, she explained it all to me and told me I could do the same thing.
Nicole: Sarah has to find a boyfriend first.
Taylor: No she doesn’t. She just needs a friend boy.


Logan: I like to drink, but only milk.


Happy Thanksgiving Friends!

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Hard Relationships...

I had a great conversation today about relationships of many types. It was very thought provoking and challenging. As much as I love people and being around them, I don’t understand relationships. Over the last month I’ve come to realize this more and more. You would think that as we get older we would grow in our understanding of how relationships work. I, however, just seem to get more and more confused and realize more and more how much I don’t get about the whole subject.

To be honest it kind of frustrates me because no matter how hard I try I just don’t seem to get it. God created us as relational beings, yet something about letting my guard down and connecting with people seems so impossible. Past experience has shown me that when you do start to let that guard down it never ends well. I’m so afraid of being hurt by people that I end up missing huge chunks of friendships. In this conversation today I was made aware of how much more there is for me to learn about all of this. I fear I’ll never understand it and never learn how to give AND take from those around us.

This week I have been blessed to hang out with some of my favorite people and it saddens me to think that I might not be living up to the friend that God has called me to be. So I’ll keep praying that he slowly teach me what being a friend and having healthy relationships is all about.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Friends...

Somedays it scares me to think were I might be if it weren't for close friends. I don't think I can thank God enough for friends. It makes me so sad to think there are so many people in the world that don't have friends. I want to find those people and give them a big hug.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Trust

The last two-and-a-half years have been a very rocky journey and many days it seems like it will never turn around. Right before I left my apartment this evening to head to Granger I received some not so good news. That has been the way the last month has been, one hit after another. I knew Mark Waltz was going to be speaking on stress and worrying at New Community, so I knew God would have lots to say to me…and he did!

Many of Mark’s thoughts were reminders of things I’ve known but seem to have hidden away in the corners of my mind. One of those areas he talked about was trust. I’ve always despised the t-word. The t-word and I don’t get along very well. Mark challenged us to be honest with ourselves about what we really believe. I know that I have a hard time trusting, even trusting God. I know sometimes I just don’t do it. But tonight I realized just how much the “sometimes” affects the “all the time.”

Mark shared that sometimes when he sings the hymn “Tis So Sweet” he really sings, “I’m so glad I am learning to trust him. He also shared that sometimes he doesn’t sing the chorus because it really isn’t true. I was so glad to hear I wasn’t the only one who does that. I get so angry with myself that I can’t just simply trust him. I get frustrated that my head tells my heart to do it but my heart won’t. He then reminded us that it is a process. I finally realized God isn’t so caught up in the fact that I don’t always trust. God doesn’t ask me to have it all together. He just asks me to keep following. As I follow, I’ll learn to trust. What a huge relief!

I don’t see the circumstances in life turning around anytime soon. They may but they may not. Either way I have to keep following Christ and allow him to change my heart. He’ll teach me to trust and he’ll still love me when I don’t quite get it right.

Is there something that you need to be honest with yourself about? What do you REALLY believe?




Side note: Thank you Jeff and Amy for picking me up…again!

Today I...

Summing up today seems to work better in the form of a list

Today I...
paid my rent!!!
am behind schedule.
am tired and frustrated.
had to teach some tough topics.
discovered someone has put my scouring seminar to good use. Way to be Brenda!
started looking for a new home.
got hit with more bad news.
wished someone would have been there.
wished I knew what God is planning.
wonder if things will ever turn around.
can't wait for Christmas break!
long to be closer to friends.
feel forgotten and ignored.
wished I could go to La Senorita's with my brother.
am learning more about who I am and who God has called me to be.
am excited to go worship Jesus at GCC.
am living life.