Small but Great

Small but Great

Sunday, April 6, 2014

YET I still belong to You.

Psalm 73:22-23 

"I must have seemed like a senseless animal to you 

I still belong to you...
You hold me by my right hand. 
You will guide me with Your counsel,
And afterward receive me to glory."

Do you ever feel like a straight up skum bag? 
I know I do. 
Apparently David felt like one as well.

I was reading Psalm 73 the other day and God just began to speak to me on so many levels. But the biggest thing he reminded me of is that even when we are arrogant, or even when we slip, we STILL belong to Him. Its powerful. He brings me back to this reality often and I always learn new things about what it means. Theres something powerful about the word, "Yet." It has many definitions but this one is my favorite: 
"Still; even (used to emphasize increase or repetition)."
"but at the same time, but nevertheless"

We repeatedly fall. Our flesh fails. BUT at the same time, nevertheless, God still wants us. He likes us. He knew what he was getting into when He called you!

Did you know that God desires communion with you? We were made for love, because the Father loves. We were made to love the Father, but he also created us so that He could love on us! 
He delights in our weak, weak love.
Have you just sat in His presence lately? 
Just told him you loved him? 
Just gazed on His beauty?
Often we go to Him with requests, with intercession for others. He hears you and He wants you to ask, but sometimes He just wants us to sit with him and let Him fill you up. He will. 
There's nothing sweeter.  
I can just feel him on my heart so strong today saying "push away the distractions, your stress relievers, I am here... I can fill that space, I can be your relief. Even now in your weakness." 

I always try to write this blog from an honest place. Today is no different. This is what God is sharing with me right now and what I am striving for right now. I hope that it touches a place in your heart. I hope it provokes you to listen to the heart of the Father. I hope it makes you curious to just try it, try turning off the noise, and just sitting. This is one of the hardest things for me to do personally. But man, when I do I feel so safe, so secure, so whole. 

If you want to try this today. Here is a worship set that I can just sit in for hours. One of my favorites and at about 43:00 it reflects everything that I just wrote in this blog. Heres the link:

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

[extra]Ordinary Moment

Today was one of those days that you drive home in complete silence because there is no sound sweet enough, no lyric poetic enough, to compare to the reality of an experience. Let me tell you a story...

2:17 pm I am at work and get a phone call from a man, Eric, who is simply returning a call from a number he didn’t know. I inform him that it was probably one of our prayer call volunteers who calls members of the church to ask how we can be praying for them today. The conversation went something like this:
Confused, he responds, “Ok…”
Me: “So, anything we can be praying for you about today?” (routine answer)
E: “Actually… yes.”
Now, I’m used to getting these calls… people wondering why they are getting a weird call, only to find out its their church, i take the prayer request, have a nice day. This time was different though.
            E: “I just want to get back on the right track… with God.”
            Me: “Ok, well is there anything specific (I started into the digging deeper process so I could fill               out my prayer request card)… or... can I pray for you now?”
I don’t always offer this. But I just felt like… eh… why not? He accepted. I prayed for him, a pretty general prayer. Nothing super. Just a small prayer, 30 seconds of my time. After ending the prayer, Eric said…
            E: “Thank you so much. What church did you say you were from?”
HAHA! He most definitely was not a member of the church, in fact, he didn’t even know where the church was located because he lived in another town! Tickled, I told my boss, “Well I guess he just needed someone to pray with him today.”

2:46 pm The phone rings again… I answer. Its Eric.
E: “I’m sorry… I am just still sitting here trying to figure out… how did you get my number? Haha!”
After we discussed all possible options… there was no natural way that we could make sense of the phone call. Wrong number was the most realistic answer we could come up with… 
A wrong number I would argue to say was actually the right number.
Eric continued to inform me that he was going through a very rough time, and I won’t go into all of the details, but that phone call was not by accident. He told me how the phone call happened at the absolute perfect time. He told me that he knew that God had heard him. Eric told me how God wrecked him in that moment, in awe of the power of the Holy Spirit to speak to us and use others to speak to us.
He thanked me.
In my usual awkward manner, I thanked him in return
But the reality was I was just as in awe as he was!

I hung up the phone… for the second time. But before I continued my work…
I smiled,
took a deep breath,
and held back tears.
I go to my job, my job where it is in the description to pray for people’s needs, and I do that every day. My job that I am humbled to have, but some days still feels like work. I make it a point to call people and pray with them, I WORK at doing this… very hard… and so does everyone I work with. But in that moment, God simply reminded me that He will put those in our path that need to be.
I smiled because it made me feel…. Relieved… to know that despite all of MY efforts, God knows who to place where and at what time. 
I took a deep breath because it made me realize that as long as we are obedient to that small voice that says… Pray for him now… that God takes care of the rest. 
I held back tears because I realized… He used me. 

So, as I drove my car in silence, for the 15 min trip home, I decided to share this with you. 
Two blogs back to back… I’m on a roll!  :) 

I hope it encourages you to pray for someone. I thought Eric was a member of our church, but he might as well have been a stranger at the grocery store. Now, I’m not saying to go grab a stranger at the grocery store and pray for them… your kids would be embarrassed and the stranger might not “feel the anointing.” What I am saying is, be sensitive to opportunities. 
Don’t say “I’ll be praying for you” when it is just as easy to say, “Can I pray for you now?” 
Don’t know what to pray? Just open your mouth. God doesn’t need your words anyways, He just needs that open door.
Try it.

I bet things will change for you.

Monday, March 3, 2014

4 Months Later...

Hey... There... Folks.

It's me again, procrastinating studies as usual.
I DO NOT have a clear direction for this blog. No life lesson. Just wanna say hello.

I've given my blog a facelift, as you can see. I've been inspired recently and have done some thinking about what exactly I want to do with this blog. We already know I don't have time for it, but yet here it is... staring at me, begging me to write words.

I've changed the name of my blog to "Discovering Madi" because I feel like this is what this page has become. Me, being vulnerable, and sharing with YOU these things in my life that are shaping me, leading me to discover deeper and deeper who I really am. A never ending process, but a beautiful one at that.

I enjoy writing. When I'm not being forced to write for school, or work :)
Funny how our gifts can sometimes seem like a burden.
I can't explain why I come back to this blog.
Maybe I hope that you read it and it puts into words what you've been feeling.
Or maybe I hope that I will write and figure out what I'm trying to say, or what I've been feeling.
All I know is I want to do it.
(I hope to do it more when I'm done with school FOREVER in 4 months.)
I want to because I love the way I feel when I read something inspiring.
I want to because I can't just let that inspiration sit inside of me, I must share it!
I want to because, sometimes I think we get caught up in our 140 character status' and forget that we have more to say.

It always amazes me when I come back to this blog, read my own words, and see how far I've come from the last post. How fast time flies, so fleeting, so important. It provokes me to continue. It encourages me to look at all of the small things in my life that are actually... quite great.

So heres to a new look, new understanding, new experiences, and new commitments.
Hopefully I will be back soon, writing about something with more of a purpose.
Until then...
Give yourself credit for your own thoughts. They matter. Write it down, even if it is just to encourage yourself in few months :)

You are an Overcomer

Friday, October 11, 2013

Be Still...

HEEeeeEEeeELLLOOOOOO (Horton Hears a Who Reference)

I always start these blogs by disclosing and apologizing for being inconsistent. 
So, for traditions sake, sorry

Glad that is taken care of. 

Oh... Life. A lot has happened since my last blog (nearly a year ago :D EEK) and I am not going to bore you with all of the details. But in case you care, In short and no specific order... 

I still live in Tulsa
Sometimes I try new recipes and make Micah's friends eat them 
I am 9 months away from being done with school forever
You can just call me Mrs. Madison Petersen MSW (soon)
I officially signed up for a half marathon (EEK)
I have an amazing job
 God's favor is abundant
I am secretly glad fall is here (although I love summer)
my husband is cute and has a beard
 and my dog smells like something died. 
P.S. I should be doing school work right now but somehow I ended up here...

If you are extremely close to me, you know that A LOT more than that has gone on, but that is not the important part of this message. Thank you to everyone who has invested in me during this past season, You are so important to me and I thank God for you. You know who you are. :) 

I will refer back to one of my previous blogs, titled "Overcome." I have been reminded that growing up, once again, is hard. But the reward is worth it. 

God has taught me a lot lately about: 
Making decisions
 Following His voice alone
 Trusting Him with my future
and not letting fear be the deciding factor.

A lot of really TOUGH, but IMPORTANT life lessons
Learning to be an adult and rely on Him alone.

There has been times where I questioned my calling, questioned my present, questioned my past... rough stuff. But again, not the point of this blog. 

In the midst of all of these really important lessons, decisions, and transitions I can't get away from the simplicity of God's love for us. Sometimes I think that we over think our lives... at least I do... 
"What am I going to do to serve you God? I can work harder, I can suffer, I can force myself to just do this for a while until I can be ready to do what you have called me to... I'm your FAITHFUL servant" BLAH 
when really God is saying, 
"Madi- Listen to me. I have a plan for you, it's good and far better than you imagine, and you don't have to stress or figure it out, 
listen to my voice, step by step, I will not lead you astray, I love you, CHILL OUT."

*I definitely have not mastered this, I don't know who has, but I share this with you to encourage you and strengthen you in hopes that in return I will grow*

I was at Yoga class today and the instructor challenged us (in a typical post modern fashion) to really live in the moment, be present, not be caught up in the past or the future but to just breathe in the present moment because it will never be the same again. Deep right... I always use the "meditation" times to pray during these classes and I was once again reminded of Psalm 46:10, "Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth."We get so caught up in our future plans, our past mistakes, or our current failures that we forget to simply be. 

Be Still.  
Be thankful for what God is doing in our lives RIGHT NOW
(Not distracted by what might happen in the next 4 months)
Be joyful
Be with God
Simply Be.

It is in this stillness that we can hear God! It is in this stillness that we can find rest. I think the fall season is such a good time to remember this. The weather is changing, there is a freshness in the air that reminds us that all things pass away and new things are born. Its quite beautiful actually. 

So as the leaves fall, and life seems hectic and busy, and as troubles come your way remember to take a second and be still. Trust God. Trust that you hear His voice and do not hear the voice of another. Follow Peace. Don't freak out and micromanage your future. 
And drink some Chai Tea because it is seasonally delicious 

You are an Overcomer.

John 10:3-5 "...the sheep recognize his voice and come to him. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. After he has gathered his own flock, he walks ahead of them, and they follow him because they know his voice. They won’t follow a stranger; they will run from him because they don’t know his voice.”

Thursday, December 13, 2012

“Let it Snow Baby, Let it Reindeer”

Merry Christmas (almost)!!

‘Tis The Season! I LOVE Christmas time for several reasons. I LOVE presents (totally my love language). I LOVE having time off school (although this is one of the last Christmas breaks I will have… I have to be an adult soon with a real job… boo). I LOVE family and spending time with them. I LOVE Christmas music of all kinds (I love the classics, I love the cheesy pop versions, I love Christmas music that you can worship to, I love instrumental… I think you get it). And most importantly I LOVE what this time of year stands for.

Our savior was born… 

Last year God really opened my eyes to the fact that Jesus was born… to human parents… in a human way. I know it may seem simple, but if you really take time to think about it… man is it amazing. 

This “revelation” experience started a few years ago when I heard the song “I Celebrate The Day” by Reliant K (which is my absolute favorite Christmas song). Please take this time to listen to this song…  

Ok ok ok… So the song says “the first time that you opened your eyes did you realize that you would be my savior”. Mind. Blown. But after dwelling on this concept I have come to realization that no, this tiny infant was no different than you or I. Jesus had to hear his calling, he had to walk in the spirit, he had to fight temptation, AND mere humans raised him. STOP IT.

Can you imagine Mary and Joseph… oh hey, I just gave BIRTH to the savior of the world #NBD. The thought of humans (like you and I) having the responsibility of raising Jesus makes me seriously tear up. Like, how awesome and terrifying at the same time. I can’t imagine what that responsibility would feel like. But, God knew whom to call and he knew that they would raise HIS SON in a way that he would hear his calling, and walk in the spirit, and fight temptation, and save the world. But it started in a manger, with humans holding a very small, fragile, newborn baby with all the potential in the world. Wow. Justin Rizzo wrote a song called “Incarnation Song” and it is about this very thing (my second favorite Christmas song). I couldn't find this song anywhere on the interent to put in this blog. BUT you can buy it on iTunes and I strongly suggest that... Here is the chorus (the words in the whole song are extremely touching, but this part particularly):

“Your lying there so helpless, your lying there dependent, your lying there your unable to stand on your own. You’re unable to do anything at all. You are Lord, God made flesh. King of glory coming, crowned in lowliness. Christ is born, come to earth. God from everlasting was born a virgin birth”.

It’s EXTREMELY powerful. I think we see the powerful side of Jesus a lot (and I LOVE that part of Jesus, I’m all for justice and righteousness and miracles and all that cool stuff) but it really touches my heart to think that he was once fragile and couldn’t even speak… I think it helps us (at least me) to see the extreme human side of Jesus. It just makes it that much more real what he really did for us. Praise the Lord!

“I celebrate the day that you were born to die so someday I might pray for you to save my life… pray for you to save my life”.

Merry Christmas everyone! Dwell on this thought and be blessed this year! 

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Turkey, Pumpkins, & Thankfulness

   So, everyone has been doing the “thankful-a-day” posts on facebook and it has seriously warmed my little heart. It has also inspired this blog! So, if you are still reminiscing about November (although December is here and Christmas is just around the corner!!!) this one is for you J.

November 1: Thankful for life. Life that God gave me. Life at all.
November 2: Family. I have the best in the world. Mom, Dad, you rule. Erin, I stinkin love you so         much. AND I have amazing in-laws. BAM!
November 3: A husband that I found early in life to help me through everything and be a strong supporter, encourager, and all around man!
November 4: Susan and Kevin Morris The house we are living in for free!!!  You two are special and generous people. Everyone that I meet that knows you says that you two are some of the most compassionate, amazing people they know. Thank you for all you have done for us.
November 5: My job (making dreams come true). Although I am almost done with working at Davids Bridal, it has been a blessing to me and I have learned SO much.  
November 6: The right to vote (election day!)
November 7: Lamar MO. I love that town.  
November 8: Running!
November 9: Social media (keeping me connected with friends and family)
November 10: COFFEE (The fact that Tulsa has coffee shops)
November 11: Gods plan, cause mine is not as good as I think it is… ever.
November 12: America . I am grateful for my freedom and for those who have fought for it.
November 13: Shelby the stinkin dog
November 14: Oral Roberts University. I am beyond blessed to attend “the most joyful university in this or any parallel universe”.
November 15: Crafting
November 16: God’s word. It never ceases to touch my heart in different ways.
November 17: The seasons (every one is beautiful and has its perks)
November 18:Friends (old and new)
November 19: Free Time (cherish it!)
November 20: Frozen Yogurt
November 21: An amazing home church, Lamar Family Ministries Center (and pastors J) And amazing church away from home (destiny church)
November 22: Thanksgiving. A day dedicated to food and being thankful…  
November 23: Health. My family is healthy, Thank the Lord!  
November 24: High school football. I absolutely LOVE watching my lil bro and relatives play. State Champs back to back! :D
November 25: My past. Without my past I wouldn’t have been led to where I am today and I wouldn’t be able to help people they way I will be able to help them now. Would I make different decisions if I could? Yes. But I am thankful for grace and the ability to learn and move on.
November 26: Hope for the future
November 27: Presents! (giving and receiving)
November 28: My SEESTER (her birthday was this day. 18 Years old… stop it, too weird)
November 29: Perseverance (finals, end of semester, homesick, everyday struggles) Romans 5:3  
November 30: That I have so much to be thankful for, blessed!

Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name.” Psalm 100:4

Monday, November 5, 2012

Hello everyone! You might not remember me, my name is Madison and I have proven to be one of the most inconsistent bloggers out there. But, I'm back!

Where did time go? Quick catch up on my life, I've been busy! I started (and am about to finish) my third semester at Oral Roberts University. Next semester will be my last and then I will be graduating in May. Where did time go? I am still working at Davids Bridal, making dreams come true every day. I still have a husband and a dog. So basically, not a lot has changed, but a lot will change soon. I can't believe Im graduating from college soon... I just started the application process for grad school and in about a year and a half Ill be a qualified grown up. AH. Where did time go???

Yes, I've been busy, but aren't we all! Something that I feel God has been showing me lately is this: "Although life sometimes seems like its flying by, take the time to stop and just gaze upon me. Take time to breathe. Take time to be creative." Now, understand that this is hard for me because I am extremely task oriented and I thrive on checking off things from my "list". But, I've really spent time the last few days and concentrated on doing this and I have been really blessed by it. I took time at work to not only help my customers, but talk to them and connect with them and I met some really great people and had some really encouraging conversations. I took time on my run this morning to just notice the beauty of fall and nature in itself. Small things in my life that I normally just "run right by" or that I just add to the list as a "sold commission"I have stopped to look at a little differently.

So today my blog is simple (gotta ease back into this). I encourage you this week to stop for a minute and appreciate what is around you. I think you will find that there are blessings all around. Although you might think your world is crazy and you might feel like you are running around like a chicken with your head cut off, God still wants you to realize that he is present among the madness (and it might not be so mad after all). Have a blessed week! I will see you SOON (I promise).

Psalm 46:10 "He says, “Be still, and know that I am God;
    I will be exalted among the nations,
    I will be exalted in the earth.”"