Monday, May 27, 2013

Round Two...

As many of you know, I'm currently on my way to Atlanta. Which means I have officially finished my first year in Life Action, and FCC. Now I'm getting ready to do both ministries all over again! 

Atlanta is where I started after graduation last year. I can't wait to get back to see all my FCC Tigers! This is going to be a great summer filled with awesome things God has in store for all our camps!

If you're not sure of what I'm talking about I'm heavily involved in two ministries. 

The first ministry I just finished with is called Life Action. I serve as a teacher for four year olds through first grade teaching them biblical principals and truth from God's Word during a period of up to two weeks per church. We travel for nine months around the United States (and sometimes Canada) to different churches seeking revival. 

Thank you so much everyone who has supported me with your prayers and generous donations that have literally kept me going this past year. As a missionary in the US I am required to raise support so that I can continue doing what I know God has called me to. This year, headquarters for Life Action has announced that we need to raise, $3,500 for training camp (three weeks in Michigan) and then anything else we will need to pay for on the road during the nine months that we stay in the homes and in churches we minister to (I.E. shampoo, toothpaste, makeup, etc.).
If you would like to support me you can go to, Life Action's website here and click on my name in the staff member section. 

My parent's asked me how would I sum up my first year in Life Action. I told them it was humbling. God broke down the pride that was in my life. Not only in my daily life but the pride I had in very important relationships and God sewed them back together through forgiveness like I've never seen before. I'm humbled and grateful for all my experiences. There is no place I would have rather been this past year, and nowhere else I want to be next year, than doing what God has called me to do. To serve, and to teach children. 

In the other ministry Fellowship of Christian Cheerleaders I work the summers as a staff instructor. We hold Christian cheerleading camps for teams to come learn clean and professional material for the sport they love. As well as being able to freely express they're love for Jesus, and worship together every night after a long day of camp. Often times as an instructor you will counsel many teams, and it's amazing to see what God does through these campers in just a matter of days. I can't wait to see all the campers, some old and some new. Please join me in prayer as I prepare for the summer, that God will be with me, my co-workers, the campers and coaches as well! 

Round two here I come!

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Single or Married... Something to Think About

I don’t know about you, but lately I have had a large number of friends or family members, either in the process of preparing their summer wedding, engaged, or beginning a new fruitful and promising relationship. While I’m trying not to become bitter or jealous. Struggling with the fact that I don’t even have someone to talk to that might eventually lead to some of those things.

My sister married at eighteen, and has been married for almost five years now. My best friend married at eighteen when I was home for Christmas break. After Christmas break at least seven couples I know, if not more, are now currently engaged. It would be really easy for me to be jealous, or sad, about feeling lonely every now and then. However, when I start to think a little more about all the couples, God softens my heart. I’m glad God has given them someone to love, and that they are getting ready for this big step in their lives.

I would then proceed to pray about my future spouse. “God please send me someone who loves You more than me, a man after Your own heart, and someone who desires to do Your will." There is nothing wrong with praying for your future spouse. I think it’s a great thing to do and I encourage it. However, at one point not only was I praying about my husband’s characteristics, but I was more concerned with his other “qualitites.” Things like, how tall he is, or the color of his hair. I back myself up with the Word, God says he knows the desires of my heart (Psalm 37:4), and that He cares about the little things in my life (Matthew 7:9-11).

That being said, I was watching a movie with one of my favorite actors in it…

Ryan Gosling
I think he’s a very attractive man and I love the movies I’ve seen him in.

As I was watching, Crazy Stupid Love, Ryan Gosling was playing the romantic yet masculine role. Then I started to really wish I had a man like that in my life. A masculine, romantic, good-looking, funny guy. Then I said to myself, “God, would You send me someone like that?” Again, I know God knows the desires of my heart, and that He cares. So why not pray about it while I can? As far as I know I haven’t met “Mr. Right” yet.

So I pray for a good looking guy. Why not?

Then I was watching, Captain America, and Chris Evans had just gone from short and scrawny, to extremely handsome and muscular.

“God, you know, you could just send me Captain America. That would be okay too.”

At this point I’ve prayed for a God to send me someone who’s good looking, romantic, masculine, funny, or just your regular super hero. You’d think the list might stop there, but it doesn't. Because that would be amazing enough. Right?
But God made me special. And by special, I mean idealistic. A big word for, "I wish my life was like the movies, and that nothing would ever go wrong." Also I’m a girl so there’s not much more to explain.
Nevertheless, I love watching movies. It’s a big hobby in my family.

Not long after that, I was watching, Safe Haven, with Josh Duhamel.

He plays a really sweet guy, that’s just completely taken back by Julianne Hough's character. As soon as he see’s her, she immediately intrigues him. He wants to know more about her. Then he wants to be around her all the time.
 You get the idea.
I went from praying about my husband’s  important qualities of loving God and being a man after God’s own heart, to only praying that God would send me a fictional character that I watch in movies. But not just once… All the time. Every movie I saw I began to wish so badly it was my life, that my heart ached with pain. This continued for a while and my idealistic mindset grew more idealistic. (If that’s even possible)

Then a few weeks ago I was sitting in team meeting. We had a guest, Mark Bearden, who was telling us about prayer. In the middle of Mark’s message, I remembered a conversation I had with a friend of mine back home. I was struggling with something entirely different about friends and school and she said to me,
“Marina, life isn’t a movie!”

Life, isn’t a movie, and I can’t keep waiting for mine to turn out like one.
I can watch all the movies in the world, with the most romantic men in it. But in reality they’re just acting. Only God is perfect, and only God can possess all I need. My time with my husband is going to be so short compared to how much time I’ll spend with Jesus in heaven.
So essentially, I can have what I’ve prayed for. Someone to love me, and be perfect at all those things all the time. And that person is God.
 I wish and pray for perfection in a human, but God is the only one with constant never ending perfection.