4.12.2016

Faithful


Bryan an Kim Rogers are those people for me. Fifteen years ago my world was turned upside down when my parents divorced. When I was fourteen they moved to the church we attended from Texas. My dad actually helped bring them to our church. I very quickly became close to their family...babysitting, hanging out in my free time, and of course getting to know them through our youth group gatherings.

From the time I learned that my parents were going through a rough season until I went away to college, Bryan and Kim were always there for me. I recall sitting on their front porch, and Bryan reminding me of who my Heavenly Father is, that He will never leave us, and how much He loves us. There were many times Kim did the same. We had many conversations of this sort during my high school years. We also talked about normal teenage things...where I'd go to college, boys that I liked, and high school drama. Bryan and Kim took me on my 1st mission trip and my 2nd. They were a huge part in molding me as a young girl who loved Jesus.

When I was a freshman in college, they moved their family back to Texas, but this did not change our relationship. We kept in touch quite often, and I even went to Texas once to chaperone a trip for their youth group.  Over the years, life has been busy, but we've still kept in touch.

It's been over fifteen years since my parents divorced and fifteen years since I experienced any huge trial in life. Recently I wrote a post about my current battle with anxiety. I wasn't sure about putting myself out there for the world to see, but I'm so glad I did. The next morning I woke up to a message from Kim. "Hey Magan, I read your latest blog about your anxiety experience.  I found myself thinking I was reading Bryan's words." As I continued to read, I was reminded of Bryan's experience and was very quickly drawn to her invitation to give Bryan a call to hear his story.

Fast forward to tonight. I just got off the phone with Bryan. I am seriously in awe at how the Lord works. Once again,  He has reminded me of His goodness. As I listened to Bryan share his experience and encouragement, I could not believe that the same things I'm experiencing, so did Bryan. It was so encouraging to hear how Bryan overcame his struggle in the same ways I feel the Lord is encouraging me to overcome mine. Waiting is not easy, but God doesn't promise easy.

I am so very grateful for how the Lord provides when we need it. Fifteen years ago God brought this sweet family into my life and used them to encourage me. Now, as Matt and I struggle through this current battle, God has used Bryan and Kim to encourage me again.

As I finish my post, I am reminded of something Bryan used to say... It might sound cliche', but it's true...God is good, all the time. All the time, God is good.

Mama Kim & Daddy Bryan, I am forever grateful for you!

4.06.2016

Good Shepherd

I was really unsure about writing this post. In fact, I waited a few days to be sure it was the right thing to do. I am usually a pretty open book, but sharing our struggles isn't always pretty. However, I do know that the Lord can use my story to help someone. I've talked to many friends recently that have shared their story, and it has helped me so here we go...

I was recently sitting on my back deck, soaking in the sun and enjoying a quiet moment to myself while listening to Amanda Cook's station on Spotify. I was planning to sit and journal a little, but was intrigued by the lyrics of her song "Shepherd." As I sat and listened to the song, it was like God was speaking directly to me. Every lyric describes exactly how I feel about my current season of life.

Without typing out my life story, I've had a recent bout with anxiety. I've always been a pretty high strung person, but I've never experienced anxiety the way I have the past few months. I'm not 100% sure if I'm where I am because of a reaction to a medicine that my doctor gave me, or if I really do struggle with an anxiety disorder. Nevertheless, I am where I am, and I know that God's going to see me through.

"Shepherd" 

In the process
In the waiting
You're making melodies over me
And your presence
is the promise
For I am a pilgrim on a journey

You will lift my head above the mighty waves
You are able to keep me from stumbling
And in my weakness
you are the strength that comes from within
Good shepherd of my soul
Take my hand and lead me on

You make my footsteps and my path secure
So walking on water is just the beginning
Cause my faith to arise, stand at attention
For You are calling me to greater things

Oh
how I love You
how I love You
You have not forsaken me
Oh
How I love You
how I love You
With you is where I want to be

It's been a while since I've felt like I was in a hard season of life. There are days I hear clearly from God that He's got this, and there are other days that I don't hear or feel Him, but I know He's still holding me. This journey has taught me many things, and I've just recently been able to find joy and thank the Lord for what He is teaching me. I've memorized a lot of Scripture. I've learned what it looks like to surrender my life to the Lord on a daily basis  (sometimes several times in one day),  I've learned to literally take my days one minute at a time, I've learned to slow down and to listen, and I've learned that God really does give us exactly what we need for each day. 

My overflow is pretty much nonexistent right now. I don't have a lot of extra to give away, but as the days progress I feel as if He is teaching more and more about His goodness. He's teaching me more and more about the person He's called me to be, and I am confident that soon my overflow will be plenty. I look forward to that day. I look forward to being able to be myself again and to love people and serve people like I know I've been created to do. 

One of my favorite verses that I've read recently is Hebrews 10:23 and it says "Let us hold tightly without wavering to the hope we affirm, for God can be trusted to keep His promise." I know that He promises to never leave or forsake me. I also know that I will never fully understand His love for me. 

His promises get us through the stormy seasons. He loves us and is ALWAYS with us. Our hope in Him gives us peace and strength to get through each day whether it's a stormy season or not. He is THE good Shepherd. 

4.03.2016

In the Middle of the Storm

It's been a hectic season for our family. Probably more of a stormy season than a mountain top... I've been dealing with some health issues, and Matt has been slammed at Journey. Our poor kids somehow seem to flawlessly survive whatever is thrown their way, and they are thriving.

This weekend was no exception to our busyness because I had to do April meal prep, and Matt had some extra work that had to be done at Journey Saturday and Sunday.

Friday, we had a babysitter and a date night. We left here at 5:30 on Friday evening with zero clue as to what we were going to do because we hadn't had time to plan anything. Matt drove without really even thinking about where we'd go, and we ended up downtown at Chuck's. Chuck's is our favorite burger restaurant downtown. We ordered our favorite burgers and fries (all homemade with dipping sauce), and I broke my no soda rule (been trying to stay away from them) with a glass bottle Cheerwine. Afterwards we headed to Jubala (our favorite coffee shop) over by NC State. We enjoyed our favorite lattes and walked around Hillsborough Street to catch up on life. With things being so crazy lately, there hasn't been time for sharing deep thoughts. It was so nice to be able to have a conversation about what God's teaching us, where our heads are, and what's going on without little voices interrupting (we do love our kids...promise).


Saturday after breakfast I spent some really sweet time with the Lord while enjoying the rain on our front porch. The rest of Saturday was spent calendar syncing with Matt, April meal planning, grocery shopping, and squeezing in a nap for the kids. Matt spent most of his day at the church working on a project that had to be finished before Sunday services. When the kids woke up from their nap we headed to Lowes to purchase things for our very first little herb garden. I have NO clue what I'm doing, but we're excited to give it a shot. We bought our favorite herbs (not starting from scratch this year since I'm a beginner), and the necessities to get our little garden started. The kids also enjoyed some tractor time while were there.

Saturday night we hung out with friends from our early Journey days and enjoyed catching up on life. We were out super late, and Matt didn't get to join us until 10:00, but we had a really great time.


Today was busier than a normal Sunday because Matt had to stay late at the church to work on a stage design. He didn't get home until 5:00 this afternoon, so the kids and I enjoyed lunch on the back deck and they took a nap while I graded papers. Once Matt got home, I left for a long overdue "run" (aka fast walk).  I've been trying to find some balance between me time, family, school, and everything else. My exercise time has become a sweet time of solitude for me in this season. 


I'm not really sure why I felt compelled to write a public post about our weekend, but I do know that it sure does help me realize how grateful I am for my sweet little family and the life God has given us. While I feel like we're still in the midst of a storm, I can say that God certainly has blessed me in so many ways. Tonight, as I prepare for another week of teaching/momming/wifing, my heart is full and my blessings are overflowing. God is good friends. In the midst of chaos, in the midst of the unknown...His love is unending, His grace is sufficient, and He is constant!