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Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Hallway Complacency


Psalm 27:11a "Teach me thy way, O LORD, and lead me in a plain path..."

Psalm 31:3 For thou art my rock and my fortress; therefore for thy name's sake lead me, and guide me.

Psalm 32:8 I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go; I will guide thee with mine eye.



"Earth to Mykaela, Earth to Mykaela, come in Mykaela."

"Mykaela to Earth, I am alive and have no explanations for my absence. Over and out."

:'D

I have not posted a thing on this blog since over a month ago, and I'm feeling a bit bad about that. ;P My humblest apologies to anyone who happens to still be waiting for signs of life from my corner of the universe. ;)

Anyway, today's post is about something that God has been teaching me lately through several different circumstances. 

I'm sure you have heard this popular phrase at least once: "Until God opens the next door, praise Him in the hallway." It's a good thought. However, I could never have guessed that sometimes, the hallway can be pretty nice...and that I would become complacently happy just sitting there. 

Don't get me wrong, this quote is supposed to encourage contentment, which I totally agree with! However, there is a big difference between contentment and complacency. Contentment says, "I will find joy wherever God has me at the moment, and if and when the time comes where He changes those circumstances, I will follow that leading and find joy in the next situation!" Complacency, on the other hand, says, "This is really nice here. I think I'll just settle right in, get myself some lemonade, and put down some roots. God had better not move me from here, because I like this situation just fine!"

Sometimes, it is easy to sink into this attitude, especially if you've been working on and praying for contentment for a long time, and God has finally taught you that difficult lesson. And yet, it is so important to be able to find joy in wherever God is leading you! Sometimes, when He starts opening doors, even to something good, it can be hard to follow and walk through those doors, because new openings mean change. As I discussed in my last post, change is hard for me, as I think it is for many of us ladies! For me, sometimes I'll see a new opportunity for growth and development open up, and even as I KNOW that it would be a good thing, I resist...simply because I'm happy with the hallway. But wouldn't you know it? God usually doesn't let me stay there too long when He is leading me elsewhere. ;) Also, true to His longsuffering kindness to me, that new door is always, always for the better. It leads places I never could have imagined from my little waiting chair in the hall. 

I feel like this post is a little incoherent, but I just want to challenge you today...if God is leading you to pursue new or scary challenges, go for it! You only live one life, the best thing you can do is live it for The Lord! And you never know just how many beautiful, amazing things God will show you through that step of faith. <3
Love,
Mykaela

Saturday, January 20, 2018

When Sorrows Like Sea Billows Roll


Hey everyone!
I hope your new year is going splendidly so far...mine certainly is! :) A few weeks ago, a friend from a church I really love asked if I could write a post for their ladies' newsletter. I was thrilled for the opportunity! If you have time, you should definitely check it out online at Grace and Honor...they have articles for women of all ages and stages of life. I've really enjoyed reading them! I wanted to include the post that I wrote on my blog as well, so here it is. ;)

~~~~~~~~~~~~ 
Do you ever face something in life that looms over your heart like a black cloud? Perhaps it's a tough decision that you desperately need wisdom in. Maybe a time of grief or pain over losing someone you love, or sorrow over family and friends that have turned away from following God. It could be a time of upheaval or change...we ladies sure do love change, right?

Not.

For me, change is a struggle. I know that God is at work, and that everything will turn out for His glory if I am following His will. But when I am here and now, in the thick of it, change is hard. Life can be challenging and scary at times. It is not fun to go through trials, to make difficult choices, or to have someone dear to me pass on to be with The Lord.

Sometimes, when facing these looming issues, it's so much easier to be brave and strong during the day. There are things to do, places to go, people to see. It's not hard to keep myself distracted.

And then comes the night. Stillness closes around me, and with it, the difficult thoughts I've managed to push away all through the day. Fear knocks hard at the door, demanding entrance into my mind. After all, just look at how big and scary this thing is! The weariness of the day tugs at me. Tears begin as a dull ache deep inside--yet another obstacle to grapple with. Sleep won't come, not yet. A choice faces me, and I have to decide which path to take.

From all around, my thoughts are crying at me to follow them. "Break down, have a good cry! Overthink this situation! It's natural that you should worry about this, it's a big deal!" Their clamor can almost drown out the still, small voice of The Spirit.

Praise God, in His mercy He pulls me back from the path of my own fearful thoughts! If I make the choice to pause and listen, He brings dear, familiar words back to my mind, words I memorized long ago... "Be still, and know that I am God" (Ps. 46:10) "Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you." (1 Pet. 5:7) The echoes of His voice grow stronger. "Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the LORD thy God, he it is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee." (Deu. 31:6) "Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness." (Is. 41:10)

His precious promises flow over me in a healing flood. The sinful thoughts, full of worry and care, are completely crushed by the weight of God's perfect, eternal love for me. As I seek His face, He is so faithful to bring comfort and peace!

When I can't rise, He lifts me up.

When I am grieving, He comforts me.

When I am afraid, He calms my heart.

When I sin, He convicts and cleanses me.

When I'm confused, He gives me light and wisdom.

When I cry out to Him, He hears me.

When I am overwhelmed, He strengthens me.

When I feel lost, He brings me home.

"Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name; thou art mine."

"For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts."

His strength, not mine. His robes of righteousness, not mine. His thoughts, His plans, His ways.

Not mine. Never mine.

In His presence is fulness of joy, and the emptiness of grief has no place. In the palm of His hand is perfect peace, and turmoil no longer tears at my heart. In His Word I find the wisdom and strength I need, and confusion disappears. At His throne of grace I am accepted through the blood of His dear Son, and rejection by people here on earth is irrelevant. In His embrace is deepest comfort, and the ache of tears fades away.

His plans for me are just, holy, and right. I don't need to know what the path looks like around the bend, because my Lord is holding my hand and asking me to simply take the next step. As my Shepherd, He knows exactly which steps I need to take as He grows me and draws me nearer to Himself. In the darkness and unknowns, He shows me treasures and reveals His perfect holiness. He goes before me, leading the way.

Tomorrow may hold blue skies or gray, rough roads or easy. That's in His hands.

But tonight, I will take a breath, give this to God, and go to sleep.
Mykaela

Sunday, January 7, 2018

2018 Here We Come!


Isaiah 43:18-19 Remember ye not the former things, neither consider the things of old. Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert.

Happy New Year!!!
Thank you thank you to all of you awesome people for bearing with me as I went MIA for such long stretches! :D What an amazing year 2017 has been. Looking in the archives on this post, where I looked back on 2016, and this one, where I set new goals for 2017, it is such a blessing to see all the ways God has worked. 

I want to quickly go through my goals from this past year, since a lot of you helped keep me accountable for them! ;) 

1. Learn Something New
Well, I definitely accomplished this one! I switched jobs, from the library (which I'd done for three years and knew well), to a Sew and Vac store, which is extremely different from anything I've ever done before. Every day I am finding new things I'm still ignorant about at work! ;P Also, I picked up watercolor painting as a hobby. I'm still at a super beginner level, but I love doing it! New mediums for hand lettering are always nice. ;)

2. Read through God's Word at least twice.
I sort of did this...I went through the whole Bible in 90 days, and I went through the New Testament at least 3 times, and the Psalms many times. So while I didn't get the whole Bible done twice, I definitely kept busy on it, which is always worthwhile. :)

3. Save money when I can.
I did ok with this one, but the missions trip made a large dent in my savings. ;) Which was absolutely 100% worth every cent, so I have no regrets. 

4. Maintain my weight.  
This stayed pretty consistent through the year, and I kept very active, so yay! :)

5. Pick up a new instrument. 
I didn't get around to this one, sadly. :( I couldn't find the right instrument for the right price. I still want to do this soon!

6. Build up my hope chest as I'm able.
This did not happen at all. :/

7. Pray much more. 
While I have SO far to go in this area, I definitely did grow in prayer this last year, with The Lord's help.

8. Write out my songs. 
This didn't happen either!! :'( Ugh...

9. Witness verbally more.
This went up and down...I did better sometimes, and other times I failed completely. Still working on it!

10. Start each day out with gratitude.
I didn't keep the gratitude jars going, but I kept on doing my daily journal of my favorite part of the day. :) God is so good!


This year I was able to fly across the globe to Fiji and Samoa, meeting so many precious friends through the miles. I also grew older relationships...Abby Geist and I spent the entire three weeks of the trip in each other's company 24/7--and didn't hate each other afterwards. ;D My awesome friend Kimberly left to live in Taiwan for 6 months, meaning that our communication was slowed considerably. :( That turned out with one happy consequence...Janan, a dear friend of Kimberly's that I hadn't gotten very close to yet, was able to talk with me a lot more, since neither of us could chat with K as much as normal! ;P As a result, our friendship grew greatly, and I am so very blessed by her. :) I was able to go to Jenny's graduation, which was awesome, as well as spend a day with her family at a lovely cabin in the woods, just before Christmas! I am deeply grateful to God for all of my sweet friends, too numerous to mention here, who love me for my weird crazy self, and don't judge me TOO harshly. ;D

Like I said above, I swapped jobs, which was a bit of a scary decision. I don't sew, and all I know about vacuums is that they suck. (Sorry, bad pun there. ;) However, I have some awesome coworkers who are so gracious to put up with me and teach me all the things I am confused on. Which is a lot. I'm enjoying learning a new line of work, though. :)

One exciting thing that has happened this year is that we have set up a plan for teaching a Bible institute in Jamaica! My dad is heading down there today, actually, and every other month someone from Bible Baptist will be heading down for a week to teach another seminar. We are thrilled that God has opened this opportunity! Jamaica is steeped in doctrinal confusion, and the churches there are in desperate need of good Biblical training. Please pray for these efforts!

My goals for the upcoming year overlap a bit with last year's goals, so I won't expound too much on them, but simply list them out as I wrote them on a slip of paper in the early morning on New Year's Day. :)


  • Read God's Word at least 3 times.
  • Memorize 12 chapters of Scripture-one per month, perhaps?
  • Be very careful about saving money.
  • Pray for at least 30 minutes per day, growing that throughout the year. If I don't set specific goals on this, it tends to slip, sadly. :'(
  • Write for at least 20 minutes a day.
  • Learn a new skill (trying again with the instrument idea, but it might end up being a language or something. ;)
  • Spend less time on my phone.
  • Cook on a much more regular basis. I bake ALL the time, but I don't make "actual food" as much as I should. ;P
I am praying that God will grow me throughout this year, prepare me for whatever comes next in my life, and teach me to live to the fullest every day that He gifts me with. Praise The Lord that He gives second (and third and fourth and fiftieth) chances, because I am so flawed! I know I'm going to mess up and miss some of these goals, but God willing I will strive towards them! :) 

What are some of your goals for this year? Do you like setting goals at all? Let me know in the comments, and as always...THANK YOU for taking the time to read my humble little blog!! :) You all mean so much to me. God bless you!
Mykaela



Monday, December 25, 2017

Merry Christmas!


I am alive and remain, you guys! ;)

I wanted my next post to be about my trip, which was amazing, but as of yet I have not had time to write that one. It will inevitably be a very long one, just so you know. :)

For now, I want to wish you all a very merry Christmas! What an incredible gift our God gave us in sending His perfect Son to be born in human flesh! I am so deeply grateful for the love He has shown me throughout this year. I can't believe 2017 is almost over?! Wow. The picture at the top of this post was taken this past week, and I really love the way it turned out. For those of you that are interested, here are the names and ages of us all. ;) 
Back row:
Miriam (Papa is holding her)--nearly 3.
My dad, Michael
Malachi--15
Micah--18
Me--21
Front:
My mom, Kami
Mercy--13
Kourage--11
Kayson--9
Kebron--7

The last three boys go by their middle names. ;)

This Christmas and New Year's season, let's not forget to take the time to meditate on the things God has done. I know things can get busy, and houses need to be cleaned, and guests are coming...but don't let that crowd out the beauty of just being still. I think one of the best things you can do this time of year is to get alone for at least a few moments, and just breathe, pray, and meditate on God's Word. I don't know about you, but my personal devotions tend to slip when there is a lot going on in my life. How wrong of me! If anything, my time with The Lord should INcrease, not DEcrease! 

When Christ was born in that tiny stable many years ago, and the shepherds came to witness the advent of their Messiah, the Bible says that Mary "kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart." (Luke 2:19). May each of us take the time to ponder and be grateful for the precious gifts God has given us!

May you have a blessed holiday season and a happy New Year! Love,
Mykaela

Monday, November 27, 2017

Adjusting Sails: A Letter To My 16-year-old Self (Guest Post!)



Hello, Everyone!
By the time you are reading this, I will be in Fiji fellowshipping with the churches there, Lord willing! 

Today I am thrilled to present a guest post by my dear friend, Janan! Her and I have never met in person, but we have a mutual friend whom all of you know from many previous posts--Kimberly! :) Over the past year or so, I have come to value her friendship so much, especially as Kimberly has been living in Taiwan and there's just a little bit of a time difference between us that makes communication difficult. ;P Anyway, I hope Janan's post is a blessing and an encouragement to you!
 ~~~~~~~~~

Adjusting Sails: A Letter to My Sixteen-Year-Old Self
 

It’d be nice if we always got to stay in our comfort zone, wouldn’t it? No changes other than the ones we want, gliding effortlessly across smooth water without a care in the world. Naturally, I’m not one to adapt well to change. I fight it, I tell myself it’s a bump in the road. That it’ll smooth itself out. It won’t stay like this because it’s not supposed to, right?


Life can’t always stay the same, and neither should it. At twenty-one years old, life is so much more different than I could have ever imagined at sixteen. Today’s me would have told that girl five years ago a lot of things. And she probably would have shrugged them off because she knew better, obviously.


The one thing I hope she would have listened to though, is this:


It feels good to be sixteen, doesn’t it? I know you’re excited for all the plans you’ve made. You’ll be graduating next year, going to music school after that. You’re full of hope and optimism. Full of anticipation of what the next few years will bring because they ARE the most pivotal years of your life. You’re transitioning from teenager to adult. More responsibility. More work. But you like it. You’re wanting to learn everything you possibly can because you know things are only going to get busier from here on out.


If I asked you what your life was going to be like five years from now, you’d probably say something along the lines of being graduated with a Bacherlor’s degree in voice and hopefully singing for a living, maybe a little bit of happily ever after thrown in, too, right?


What if I told you that it was all going to change? What if I told you you’d travel to the other side of the world with your best friend? What if I said you’d be studying business instead of music? What if I told you there were wonderful things ahead, but they come with a price? And what if I said that price was change? Change in leaving your comfort zone. Change in being vulnerable, but finding yourself. Change to let God make you who He wants you to be.


I guess it’s pretty scary. You don’t want change. You have everything planned out just right. The years ahead aren’t going to be easy. Sometimes it’ll be downright difficult. You’ll have days where you sink to the floor, crying because life doesn’t make sense. There isn’t a way to get around any of that, but I can promise you this: as good as things seem now, your best days are ahead. Sure, maybe some of your worst ones, too, but how can you appreciate smooth sailing without some storms?


Let God take you where he needs you to be, and don’t be afraid to adjust your sails.



I’d like to say I’ve come a long way from those days, but I’m still me and that letter will always be applicable, really. What I’ve come to realize is that God doesn’t want me in my comfort zone all the time. Hardly ever, actually. Because that’s the only way I’ll grow. It’s the only way I’ll learn to trust in Him and not my perfect plans.


I’ve learned to embrace change and the ups and downs it brings. They’re exciting to me now. I’m not saying I enjoy it all, because I definitely don’t. But I do love when I’m able to look back on a trying time and see how much I had to rely on God and how He was able to grow me through whatever life brought.


So next time the winds change, adjust your sails and see where God takes you.


**


A huge thank you to Mykaela for asking me to guest post! She’s the best. :)


Janan

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Guest Post: The God of ALL Flesh


Hey there, all you awesome people! :)
Back in February of this year, my dear friend Katie wrote a guest post that has been one of the most popular posts on this blog to date. You should absolutely go check it out at this link if you missed it! Today, Katie is back again, with another thought provoking and convicting post. I am so thankful to have good friends that edify and encourage me to draw closer to The Lord! Welcome back, Katie! :) 

**(Just a side note here, there are going to be a couple of guest posts in the next few weeks due to my trip. But that's ok, because like I said...I've got some pretty amazing friends with fantastic writing abilities. ;)

~~~~~~~~~

“Behold, I am the LORD, the God of all flesh: is there any thing too hard for me?”
Jeremiah 32:27


The God of all flesh. That means He’s the God of the atheists, the Mormons, and the Buddhists, whether they know it or not. Their life is in His hands… Job 12:10 says “In whose hand is the soul of every living thing, and the breath of all mankind.” They will all stand before Him someday (Rom. 14:10). Everyone will worship the true God of the Bible eventually, whether they will be spending eternity with Him, or in Hell.

Isaiah 45:22-23 says, “Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: For I am God, and there is none else. I have sworn by myself, the word is gone out of my mouth in righteousness, and shall not return, That unto me every knee shall bow, every tongue swear.” In Romans 14:12, Paul adds after quoting Isaiah, “So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God.” Philippians 2:11 clarifies it further: “And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”

In the last year, I’ve had the opportunity to talk to Mormons, Jehovah’s Witnesses, and an atheist. It was difficult to talk to the atheist because since he didn’t believe in God at all, we had totally different worldviews. But it was somehow even more difficult to talk to the Mormons and JW’s because though we agreed on many things, we couldn’t agree on who God is. But they will each bow before Him one day. God makes Himself known in Creation; He does not cause anyone to be ignorant. They are allowed to be ignorant if they choose (II Pet. 3:5), but they have no excuse for it (Rom. 1:20).

What about those of us who have accepted Jesus Christ as our Lord and Saviour? Do we act like it? I sometimes forget that I can’t dwell on only the enjoyable aspects of God’s character; I’ve got to take seriously His more terrifying characteristics too. God is good. God is merciful. But He’s not anyone to mess around with! God is my Father. But because He is, He is going to discipline me when I sin (Prov. 3:12, Rev. 3:19). If God sent His chosen people, Israel, into captivity because of their idolatry, it is foolish of me to think that God will always show me mercy and favor when I am putting anything else above my relationship with Him.

God actually desires us to know Him, talk to Him, and have an intimate relationship with Him. He wants to answer our prayers and cause us to live victoriously. We are no more deserving of it than those who reject Him. And yet we forget to thank Him, try to do everything our own way, fall asleep reading His Word, and use prayer as a last resort rather than continually being in a spirit of dependence on the One who gives us all things. How sad. He is giving us each breath we breathe. Let’s act like He’s our God!
Katie

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Father, Thank You!


Psalm 30:11-12 Thou hast turned for me my mourning into dancing: thou hast put off my sackcloth, and girded me with gladness; To the end that my glory may sing praise to thee, and not be silent. O LORD my God, I will give thanks unto thee for ever.

Hello, friends!
I promise I am still alive, contrary to all appearances. :) The last few weeks have been a crazy whirlwind of activity, most all of it good, but still...not too much free time to blog lately. ;)

November is a month of thanksgiving. A month of praising God for His grace, mercy, and bountiful goodness to us. Today, I would like to give thanks to Him for the many things he has done for me just in the past couple of weeks, and the opportunities to come in the next few.

In October, some friends from Alaska came to Wenatchee for several days for a family conference. The services were so good, and the fellowship was sweet. I was able to go to Leavenworth with some of the lovely Humphrey ladies (missed you, Aimee and Krista!! :'(. The fall colors were in full swing as we walked the gorgeous trails in the area, drank some awesome coffee, and ate Bavarian pastries. ;) No matter how many times I've been to Leavenworth, it never gets old. :)

After that, Bro. Doug Hammet and his wife came for a visit. Bro. Doug has been a good friend and mentor to our family and church for a long time, but I didn't remember meeting him in person. (Although apparently I met him at 4 or 5 years old? ;) Anyway, it was a blessing having them stay in our home and being able to talk with them about their amazing ministry to southern Africa. 

This past week, we went over to Oak Harbor for our annual missions conference. As always, it was an absolute highlight of the year! Convicting messages each night, and special missions forums every afternoon were a great challenge to me, especially in the area of personal evangelism. This is one area I very much tend to fail in unless I am actively seeking ways to build good habits. I want to be so much more faithful and bold in this area! I also got to practice tons of music with the group that is going to Fiji. There are 11 of us total, 10 who are singing, so it was really special to sing with them and get ready to minister to the brethren we will meet on the trip. 

One area of this year's conference was difficult, in that my great grandma went home to be with The Lord. She was 97, and had been a faithful Christian for many years. My mom was not able to make it to most of the conference due to being there with her, but I am so glad she was able to! I think it was truly important that she be there. I am deeply thankful to The Lord for making a way through His blood for me to see her again! Even though it hurts and there are tears now, I know that this is not a final separation. In a week and a half, we will be heading up to Canada for her memorial service, and I'll be heading straight from there to Oak Harbor in preparation for the Fiji trip!!

That means I have 11 days from right now to get ready for three weeks overseas. 10, if you are reading this on email. I can NOT believe it's so close!! I'm so excited for this incredible opportunity to return to the South Pacific and be a blessing in every way I am able! We will be attending a 4 day conference, as well as going to a couple of different churches for the guys to preach in different areas. We will be singing a lot as a group and in smaller duets and trios. It will be interesting seeing how everything works out, as many details can't be planned out until we are there. If then. ;) I think a lot of more minor things will just be done on the fly. Which is cool with me! International travel is unpredictable and just a bit scary anyway, a few more little unknowns aren't going to make a difference. ;P I will be away for 3 full weeks, (Thanksgiving Day through December 14th), so the blog may be neglected unless I can get some good Samaritans to send me a guest post. Ahem. Any volunteers? ;) 

A few more things I am super thankful for this month...

Hot soup on cold days. Huge sweaters and steaming coffee. My new job at a Sew and Vac store!! Long late night phone calls. Snail mail letters that make me laugh. My new tangerine clove candle that smells like Christmas. My Peaceful Guitar playlist on Spotify (so nice to fall asleep to!). Autumn colors blazing on the trees. Driving through the Cascades and being blown away by the majesty of them for the thousandth time. Cozy socks. Folding fat quarters at work. :) Christmas coming up. Siblings' birthdays. 

What are you grateful for? <3 Have a blessed Thanksgiving if I'm unable to post again before then!! Love,
Mykaela