Tag Archives: Relationships

how God is giving me the desires of my heart

how God is giving me the desires of my heart

Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart.
-Psalm 37:4

If there’s one promise of God’s that people love to remind me of, it’s this one. That if I delight myself in the Lord, He will give me the desires of my heart. He’ll give me what I want if I just like Him a little bit more. And if I don’t have what I want, it’s probably because I want that thing more than I want God – ergo I do not get that which I want.

At least, that’s what I was lead to believe this promise meant.

I’ve got a birthday coming up somewhat soon and I’m not the most thrilled I’ve ever been about a birthday. And trust me, I LOVE BIRTHDAYS.

I told a friend this week that it feels as if I’m getting farther away from the life I desire(d) for myself. That I’m moving away from what 18-year-old Kayla pictured 26-year-old Kayla would be. And not in a good way. I feel like the desires of my heart are not being given to me in the time frame I assumed they would.

You see, when you grow up in a small town, the assumption is that you will graduate high school, maybe go to college, and be married by the time you’re 23 if not sooner.

I haven’t followed those plans.

But the kewlest thang is that, even though my life isn’t what I imagined it would be, even though I don’t have the desires of my heart that every True Love Waits era female has, God is still giving me the desires of my heart – it just isn’t in the way I thought He would.

What I thought He would do: give me a husband and some babies and the illest job I ever dreamed I could have.

What He has done:

  • placed me in a community of Christ-followers that I didn’t even know could exist. The church that the Lord has dropped me into fills my heart with the grace and love I believe we are meant to experience as the Bride of Christ.
  • given me friends that know me more intimately than anyone ever has. God has been so faithful in healing my heart from past hurts by the people who were closest to me by giving me friendship that I truly can’t explain. There are people – men and women – in my life that love me so well I don’t even know what to do with it sometimes. I cried earlier today thinking about the ways in which I am known even though I am not someone’s wife. The ways in which my people rally around me to make me feel accepted and loved is something I hope everyone feels in their lifetime.
  • given me friends that have really great husbands. I get to witness men value and love their women in ways the world doesn’t understand. God has placed a new desire in my heart for what a Godly man should look like because of the men my friends have married.
  • given me little ones to love on even though I don’t have a child of my own. Just this week I’ve had the opportunity to have some legit quality time with some of my favorite littles. I have the privilege of being a part of their story – of speaking life into their lives. I get to sit on a bedroom floor and step into the world of Super Bad Girl, Belle, and Prince James as they overcome their differences to save the day. I get to rock a 1-year-old to sleep, tears rolling down my cheeks because I can’t believe that God has placed me in his life, in this role, to love him and help raise him to be a man that warriors on for Jesus. I get to be a woman that loves children well, whether I’m their mom or not.

You see, the desires of my heart are being given to me by the Lover of my soul. He knows me so well – knows my heart and my desires better than even I – that He gives them to me. It may not be in the form of a husband and a house and a dining room table full of my own children, but it is in the form of long days with friends, late nights on a couch in a living room, a drink on a Thursday night while the restaurant shuts down, a hug from a psuedo-brother, a high-five from a middle child, a quiet night with a baby in a rocking chair, Finding Dory with best & her husband, tears over coffee, and a Savior that is making me more like Him day by day.

In all of this, I can see that my greatest desire is to know and love Jesus. To be like Him. To walk step-in-step with Him. To delight in Him.

And I think He and I are doing just that.

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communing well

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It’s Sunday and I just got done with church. Well, I didn’t just get done. I got done, then I went and ate some nachos, and now I’m having coffee. But, I went to church today. That’s the point of this whole thing.

One of my most treasured times at our church is that every week we partake in the meal of communion. Our Pastor presents the elements that Jesus instituted as the meal of remembrance for His people – that they would feast on this meal until the day He returns.

As we approach the table, the communion servers speak the words, “This is the body of Christ, the bread of heaven. The blood of Christ, the cup of salvation.” When I hear these words spoken over me, I think – every time – that I am given life by the Bread and redemption by the Cup.

I am often served communion by some of my best friends. And I get really emotional on those days. But that’s besides the point. Just a little extra nugget of what it’s like to be me. You’re welcome.

Dictionary.com defines communion as: “a group of persons having a common religious faith; association, fellowship; the act of sharing or holding in common.”

I love that every week, my church reminds me that I am in fellowship with the One who brings me life. That I participate and share in the act of redemption by the body & blood of Christ.

And communion is starting to mean a little more to me. I’m starting to realize that, as I walk down the isles to the table and as I partake in the elements of communion, that I am continually learning what it means to dwell with my Savior, and in a group of people who have a common faith. I am constantly learning that communing well with those around me means that I am open and honest about my life.

That I listen well to the needs of those around me.
That I not only pray for, but act on, the moments of joy and sorrow that enter into the lives of those I’m ‘communing’ with.
That I allow the truth of the Gospel – that Jesus’ body was broken and His blood poured out so that I can stand in right relationship with the Father – to transform my life. Not just for the sake of my happiness, but for the sake of His great name.
That I know in the depth of my soul that the meal Jesus offers will never run out – He will never say, “Sorry, we’re all out of queso.”

Communing well means that I receive and share in the redemption that Christ freely offers – no strings attached – and live in the freedom that my best efforts, and my worst moments, have no effect on the offering of the bread of heaven & the cup of salvation for me.

if you’re interested in knowing more about the lovely place I call ChurchHome, click here and join us some Sunday!

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the marriage of discipline & trust

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I’ve struggled in keeping up with this whole blogging thing this summer. Truth is, I haven’t struggled in blogging. I’ve struggled in discipline. I always have.

I grew up as a disciplined athlete, but every other area of my life way always in disarray. When I stopped playing sports, then I really lost all sense of discipline. I’m just not the greatest at being a self-disciplined person, no matter how much I want to be.

And the reason for that is that I’m really good at talking myself out of it. I’m probably the best person to convince myself that I can put certain things off. I can make myself believe so easily that I’ve earned a night off. “It can wait until next week. I deserve to nap instead” has been the motto of my summer when it comes to this blog.

And you know what I’ve also lacked in this summer? Trust.

In my lack of discipline in searching God in my single life, I have lacked in trust that God cares about my single life.

This blog has not only been a way for me to write out some (hopefully) helpful commentary on my experiences within the church as a single person, but it has also been a tool for me to really seek the Lord – intentionally and specifically in the area of relationships.

I’ve come to find that discipline and trust are married. And that they work really well together. And that when one is off running around, not being faithful to their union, the other one just kinda floats around with nowhere to land.

And I’ve also learned that when they are both filling their proper roles – and when I’m actively engaging in both – they form a really great union. (Marriage type union…not construction workers union…)

When I am disciplined in seeking God – through prayer, study of Scripture, meditation on His Word – I can trust Him more fully. And when I trust Him more fully, the discipline of seeking Him becomes a pure joy in my life. Which leads to more trust. Which leads to more discipline…

See what I mean?

But when I’m not seeking Him, I’m not trusting Him. Which leads me to not seek Him. Which leads to less trust…

You get it. You’re a smart person.

So, here’s to discipline. And grace. And a Redeemer that loves even me – the undisciplined sinner that I am. And here’s to trusting that God is God, and God is good, even when I don’t blog for 3 months or so.

*watch Sue’s engagement surprise here!

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great expectations (not the Charles Dickens kind)

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First of all, I haven’t read the classic by Dickens, so maybe this is exactly the Charles Dickens kind. You’ll have to tell me.

If there’s one thing us ladies can miscommunicate with people in our lives about, it’s expectations.

I would assume that most of us have pretty high expectations in relationships across the board – with family, friends, boyfriends, coworkers, etc.
And I would also assume that we are usually the only one in those relationships that knows about and acknowledges the expectations.

In my life I have placed unknown and unrealistic expectations on all sorts of people in my life.

I have expected a friend to know that they hurt me with their words, so I hold out on communicating with them until they finally come around and apologize. This is a mishap because if I don’t tell said friend I’m hurt, they don’t know they may need to apologize, or that we need to have a conversation about the situation.

I have expected a friend to know that I could really use some quality time (my love language, hhaaayyy) because my life feels all out of sorts, but they’ve already booked their weekend so I don’t let them know I’m feeling sloopy (just made that word up) and instead hold it against them and think, “Well, they really don’t care that much about me then!” This is a major mishap because 1) I’m putting them in the place of Jesus, and 2) again…no communication.

I have expected a boy to realize that spending a lot of time with me is causing my heart to leap to places that may be unhealthy without a definition on the relationship. This is a mishap because I’m expecting the man to know my heart as his own when we aren’t engaged/married/or (potentially) DATING, and this puts him in the place of Jesus. (Whitney told me to tell you that married people can fall in to this trap as well!)

I think I can even place an unrealistic expectation on God when I expect Him to act as my personal genie and just give me what I want, when I want it. This is a mishap because…well…God is the sovereign Creator of the cosmos who came to the world to redeem and restore sinners…not to make my life a Disney fairytale. (But speaking of fairytale, I saw the new “Cinderella” with some friends and it was DREAMY!)

But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble. (Matthew 6:33-34)

The highest expectation we should place on ourselves is to seek first God’s kingdom. Then everything else falls in to place. I don’t have to worry about unrealistic expectations.

Bottom line, don’t be afraid to communicate and clarify expectations in relationships. It will only help to alleviate heartbreak and confusion, especially for you! And you just might find deeper, more meaningful connections with those around you in the process.

*for all you comedy nerds out there that remember MADtv you’ll enjoy this throwback of Lowered Expectations with Stuart!! and for those of you that have no idea what I’m talking about, go ahead and enjoy for the first time! Click here!!

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a Ross & Rachel kind of love

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I’ve spent a fair amount of the new year watching “Friends” on Netflix. (PS, THANK YOU Netflix for FiNALLY streaming this beloved series)

The more I watch, the more I fall in love with this show. Super witty, heartfelt at times, and just down right fun.

And also, there’s Ross & Rachel.

Even if you’ve never seen a minute of Friends, if you live in America and are over the age of 12, you’ve heard of Ross & Rachel and know about their frantic, often confusing, on-again-off-again relationship. It’s possibly the most notable storyline of the show. I cried the first time they broke up (last week).

However, as unpopular as these next words will be, I’m not a huge fan of their relationship. I don’t really want a Ross & Rachel kind of love.

They can’t seem to trust each other. They are extremely jealous at times (see: trust). They can be manipulative. I’ll just stop there while I still have some friends of my own left (no pun intended).

Yet, as I think about it, I kind of do have a Ross & Rachel kind of love. I can’t think of a relationship I’ve been in where I have always been 100% trusting, non-jealous, and not manipulative to some degree. But I don’t want that. I want to love in such a way that trust is easy and I don’t have to maneuver my way around to keep the guy.

And the only way this is possible is with Jesus.

Apart from security in Christ, I’m never going to trust someone. Apart from identity in Jesus, I won’t be able to keep myself from manipulating another human.

When I come to fully know the love my Jesus has for me, I can then know how to love another person fully. I can see how unlovable, untrustworthy, and undeserving I am, yet still chosen. I can act out of that great love, because Christ completes me. And chances are I’ll have a love greater than Ross & Rachel.

Now pardon me, I have another episode to watch.

*enjoy this fun little video montage of the lovebirds from the internets here!

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