Tag Archives: Lord

Sh’ma Yisrael

8 Dec

I memorized the Shema (or Sh’ma) during my time in Colorado. I thought I would put it up here to remind myself.

Sh’ma Yisrael, Adonai Eloheinu, Adonai Echad.

Ve’ahavta et Adonai, Elohecha be’chol levac’cha uv’khol naf’sh’kha uv’khol m’odekha,

Ve’ahavta, reyacha, kamocha.

Hear O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is One. Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. Love your neighbor as yourself.

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hair dye and Ebenezer

18 Apr

So I still have hair dye all over my hands/arms. Last night, I went with some friends from my cosmetology school to a church “ladies night” event to cut and color hair. It was so fun! There were tons of ladies wanting all kinds of fun colors and things, and I didnt get home until after 1am! Was it totally worth it? Yes. And not just because it was fun, which it was, but because of the people – my friends from cosmo as well as the girls at the church.

 

We all set up our lil makeshift salon in the back half of this small room/kitchen, and had the girls sit in those metal folding-chairs randomly placed all over. Everyone was everywhere and there was so much laughter and interaction in this sort of laid-back “fellowship” environment that I couldn’t help but smile and be genuinely glad to be participating in their community, even if just for a few hours. It was like catching a glimpse of family. The ladies were all so nice and fun and they kept making us plates of all kinds of snacks and desserts and drinks they had all brought. They were all ages, from middle school to grandmas, and even a handful in their 20s like me (although most of those were already married with babies). They all commented on how “cute” we all looked, haha, and I noticed that most of them actually learned our names. Maybe its just me, but I think there’s just something about being addressed by your name that makes you feel like that person actually cares about you, especially if you have just met them.

 

At one point I looked around the room at all my cosmo friends as we were workin away and laughing and enjoying it all, and I thought about how blessed I was. I have only known these girls since starting the program in August, but already I care so much for them. They are my friends. They all have stories, they all have issues, and they all have big hearts. We are not so different. That’s the thing about people I guess, when you really get to know care enough to get to know their hearts, then they open up to you, and you see them in a different light, on a deeper level, no longer as just co-workers or acquaintances but friends. It reminds me of that quote that’s cheesy but true:

Nobody cares about what you know until they know how much you care.

When I looked around that room, I wanted to take a mental picture, capture the feeling, put the moment in my pocket so I could pull it out whenever I wanted to be reminded of all the good things the Lord has done. Look what the Lord has done! Hidden in that simple moment was a symbol of His provision and faithfulness to me. He has brought me this far.

Then Samuel took a stone and set it up between Mizpah and Shen. He named it Ebenezer, saying, “Thus far has the LORD helped us.” (I Sam 7:12)

I love this story in the Bible, here’s my short version: The Israelites were about to get slaughtered by the Philistines, and Samuel was praying to God on Israel’s behalf, offering burnt sacrifices and whatnot for their sins (this is the old testament and all) – so God delivered Israel by sending massive thunder and such to the point where the Philistines were scared and in mass confusion and started to panic and run away, at which point Israel ran after them and killed a lot of them and won the battle. Then Samuel set this rock he named “Ebenezer” (literally means “stone of help”) at the place where Israel chased the Philistines down to, proclaiming that the Lord had helped them that far.

 

When I was in Colorado, we had a retreat where we made these “Ebenezer journals” that we could use to keep record of the big (and little) times where God helped to bring us through hard and painful times in our lives, like, the milestones – marking the places where we know and saw and experienced God helping us through. Now on the other side, we can say “the Lord has brought me this far.” I don’t use the journal as much as I should, but it’s cool to look back in it and remember specific times where you know it was all God, that He helped you get through that. 

God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. (Psalm 46:1)

 

PAUSE: I keep thinking about the church I went to last sunday for Easter, it was my first time there and the worship was more like a bluesy jam session (I loved it), and at one point they started to sing this line “oh oh oh, Look what the Lord has done, oh oh oh, I like it that way” and then, while they were still jammin out, they started passing the mic around to people who wanted to share what the Lord was doing in their lives with everyone – saying look what the Lord has done, look how He has helped me thus far! It was beautiful and I loved it. [unpause]

 

When I look back on all the events and circumstances of my life that led me to this place, I am amazed. Did God really plan this out so perfectly? Did He really put these people in my life at this specific time on purpose… for a greater purpose? How did each of us cosmo girls end up in the same place at the same time in the same program at the same starting semester…. ? It’s crazy to think about God having worked in so many behind-the-scenes ways to get that to happen. You know? I mean, I choose to believe that in my life everything happens for a reason, and God orchestrates things to where I cross paths with certain people at certain times and for certain seasons. That there’s almost always a deeper meaning, that life is not all just a bunch of coincidences and meaningless happenings.

And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them. (Romans 8:28 NLT) 

I know this is just barely scratching the surface. And I know this is not where it ends. I am still on the journey. I hope to always be on the journey. I don’t know why I am at this place on the journey, and I doubt I’m getting everything I am supposed to be getting out this season right now, but God has brought me this far. For a reason.

being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. (Phil 1:6)  

 

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