Saturday, April 30, 2011

5 Month Check Up

On December 31st, I posted Goals for 2011.  Can you believe that 2011 is almost half way over?  I sure can't believe it.  I wanted to evaluate where I am at so far.

Career Goals:
1. Find a job that is spiritually, intellectually and emotionally fulfilling.
Not yet.  Note previous posts about my job.  I am making the best out of the situation I am in now.  God isn't ready for me to move on job wise yet.

Educational Goals:
1. Make all A's and B's in my last two semesters at CPCC
Grades are not in yet, but I should make almost all A's and B's. 
2. Graduate from CPCC in December 2011
Still on track!!
3. Make a plan for furthering my education
Not even close to accomplishing this one yet. 

Financial Goals:
1. Build my savings account
Yes!  I am putting 10% of each paycheck into savings EVERY PAYCHECK! Get it girl!
2. Start paying the bills my parents are paying for me
Yes!  Mommy and Daddy are no longer paying any bills for Keirstin!  I'm a big girl now! 

Additional goal I set for myself - After posting this, God put it on my heart to increase my tithing.  I am not tithing 20% of each paycheck to Elevation Church.  I love this!  I am going above and beyond, and the sacrifices I have had to make have been well worth it!  I love knowing that my money is doing something!

Personal Goals:
1. Lose 30 pounds and keep it off!
Yikes! Nah.  I was close then fell of the wagon.
2. Run my first 5k
3. Stop eating fast food on a regular basis
Same thing.  Had stopped, then fell of the wagon.
4. Work out at least three times a week
Again.  Same thing.  Joined Gunn's Fitness.  Was going three times a week and kicking butt, then fell of the wagon.  Still have 7 months to change this one around!

Relational Goals:
1. Get to know my brothers better
Working on it...
2. Gain an understanding on my parents resistance to church
Not doing so well on this one. 
3. Visit my grandparents at least four times
I have visited twice already! :-)
4. Visit Victoria at least four times
I have visited her twice already!!

Spiritual Goals:
1. Gain a better understanding of the Old Testament
Not yet.
2. Learn from my New Testament class
3. Finish the 8 month Bible Reading Plan
4. Finish Sun Stand still
Yes! Yes! Yes!!!
5. Have a more personal relationship with God
Working on it!
6. Learn to follow God's direction without hesitation
Daily struggle, but it is getting easier.  God has asked me to stay at Chesterbook, and I am.  I do not know why He wants me there.  But I am there.
7. Serve on at least three Outreach projects
Thank you Love Week!  I served for Samaritan's Feet, made care baskets for first time moms, and served parents of children with Down Syndrome.  I also donated to a project the eGroup was working on!
8. Become a better eTeam leader for Host Services
I am unsure on if I should cross this off or not.  This is an interesting, vague goal that I set for myself.  I assume that someone thinks I have become a better leader because I was asked to become a Coordinator.  I still have a lot of room to grow!
9. Join an eGroup for the first semester of 2011
Thank you, Nicki Koziarz for letting me in!  I seek so much truth from her, and gain so much truth from her. 
10. Lead an eGroup for the second semester of 2011
Can't wait!
Out of 24 goals that I have set for myself in 2011, I have accomplished 7 of them.

Next Steps:
Create some 4x4 goals (Four Goals in Four Weeks)!

God is good.

"For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."
Jeremiah 29:11

Yesterday started out as a normal day at my job.  My co-teacher and i get along great. We were just doing our thing.  After nap time, things changed a little bit.  Management has put me in a place for the last few months were I have to do what is right for management and inappropriate for my children.  I hate having to do this, because I am going to school to learn how to be the best teacher in the world, and sometimes they ask me not to be.  Let me say this though, I love my job!  I love my class, I have the best group of parents that I have ever had in 7 years of doing this, I love my co-teacher.  I just don't love the management.  They pay me a decent amount of money to not have a degree.  So, I stick around.  But when they begin to ask me to do things that I know are inappropriate, I get upset.

Yesterday afternoon was just another one of these scenarios.  I was asked to do something that I know to be inappropriate, but if I were to speak up and say it were inappropriate, I could loose my job.  As time went on, I began to get more and more frustrated.  I was shaking, I started crying.  I had to tell, not ask, tell my boss to come in my room for a minute before I lost my cool.  I went in the bathroom and cried and cried and cried.  I balled my eyes out.  I looked at myself in the mirror and reminded myself that I needed a job.  I know I need a job.  I can't get fired.  I can't walk out.  I need a job.  I have bills to pay.  I can't get fired.  I can't walk out.  I need a job.  I calmed myself down as best as possible, and went back to my classroom. 

I left work yesterday feeling very down.  I cried a little bit.  I asked God why He is putting me through this.  I told him that I am ready to put my white flag out and surrender.  I am questioning everything about myself because of this job.  Do I want to do this for the rest of my life?  Am I meant to do this?  I have reminded myself that I can't do anything else, because this is all I have ever done.  I wanted to hang out with someone, because otherwise I was going to mope in my room alone.  Well, I ended up moping in my room alone.  I watched The Kids are Alright and ate pizza in my bed.  Then, caught up on Private Practice and Cougar Town.  I was still feeling very down.  Then, I had an amazing conversation with Sam, a girl from my eGroup.  Actually, I more talked and Sam just kept me going.  I preached an amazing message to myself. 

I serve a good God.  I serve a God who would never harm me.  Jeremiah 29:11 says so.  Proverbs 1:33 says whoever listens to Him will live safely.  Isaiah 58:11 says He will guide me always.  Proverbs 19:21 says that the Lord's plan will always prevail.  1 John 3:20 says God knows everything. 
My God will always have my back.  The harder this struggle is, the better the reward will be.

So, to you... What are you dealing with today?  Do you think He isn't there?  Do you think He isn't listening?  Are you wondering why He would put you through this? Whatever this may be, He knows you are there.  Better yet, He brought you there for a reason.  He would not have brought you there if He did not know you could overcome the struggle.  God is going to teach you something great here, if you will let Him.

Sunday, April 24, 2011


Happy Easter.  This is not going to be your typical It's Easter so I am going to explain the importance of Easter and remind you that it is not all about the Easter bunny post.  I had something amazing happen to me and I want to share it with you.

A few weeks ago, may amazing trainer, Regina Gunn sent out a mass email to all of her clients about surprising her fiancee and his flight in Korea with a huge Easter package.  As I was reading this email, I felt God telling me to write them cards.  The more I thought about writing them cards, I felt as if God wanted me to make it personal.  He didn't want me to write one card that said a generic, Happy Easter to everyone in Kevin's flight.  Thank you for your service in Korea.  I hope you have an amazing Easter and we can't wait for you to come home, sort of thing.  I felt like God wanted me to write a card for every one in Kevin's flight.  I was so excited to do this.  I quickly reply to Regina and ask her how many people are in his flight.  She quickly responded, and her response was over 40.  I was immediately overwhelmed. 

I began diving into the Bible on my lunch break.  I prayed before writing each card.  I wanted the card to be personal.  The only thing that was the same about each of the cards was the beginning that said, Happy Easter!  My name is Keirstin, and the end that said, Happy Easter, Keirstin.  In a majority of the cards, I thanked them for their service.  And then, there was a Bible verse.  No two cards had the same Bible verse.  I wrote a little something about what this Bible verse meant.  On several of the cards I told the story of my baptism last Easter and what being baptized symbolized.  On a handful of the cards I told the story of Easter and the importance of being saved.  I prayed about how many cards to write.  Because Regina didn't know how many exactly, I needed God to tell me how many to write so that everyone got one.  Before I gave them to Regina, I prayed over the cards.  I prayed that God would make sure that each person would receive the card that they needed. 

The Lord had been all over this entire process.  He revealed passages to me that I had never read.  He gave me strength to write all of the cards in a week and a half.  He gave me the words to make each card new and fresh.  Anytime that the Lord is working in your life, the devil will invite himself into the process as well. 

The devil was working in my life through the cards as well.  He kept telling me that nobody was really going to care about these cards.  He kept telling me that the ones where I shared the story of Easter was too pushy.  He told me that the people who picked those cards would be offended.  The devil worked very hard to stop me from sending those cards.  After I gave the cards to Regina, he kept telling me that I didn't write enough and how bad it was going to look because not everyone got one.  Rightfully so... The devil doesn't want the kingdom of God to be advanced, and he knew that it was going to be through these cards.

So, do you want to hear about how God worked through these cards?

There were exactly enough cards for everyone to get one.
Each person was challenged by the card they received.
Each person is closer to God through the cards.
Each person is amazed that someone who isn't in their family, who they have never met, and probably never will meet took the time to write over 40 cards for them, and that they were all personal.  And through this, they have seen the love of God.

All of those things are straight from Kevin.

This entire process, especially hearing that there were exactly enough, reminded me of how good God is.  I was reminded of the importance of obeying His word.  I can't imagine what guilt I would be feeling now if I hadn't taken the time.  Each of their lives were changed and it was because I obeyed God.  We never have a reason to doubt God.  Any doubt you ever have about something God has told you, is straight from the devil.  The devil doesn't want you to  obey God.  The devil doesn't want you to act on God's word.  The devil just wants you to feel inadequate for the job, the devil wants you to doubt. 

The truth about the devil is that every word that comes from him will sound as if it is from God.  Because, guess what... we are inadequate.  But, we don't have to worry about being inadequate because we have God on our side.  Pastor Steven did a sermon on this concept.  I do not remember the series, the Bible reference, or the sermon title.  But, I do know that when the devil is attacking your life.  Tell him that you know that you are inadequate, unworthy, incapable, but because God is on your side, you can do anything.  Shut the devil right down.  Do not let him work in your life.

Happy Easter.  I hope you were inspired by this story.  I know that it will be inspiring in my life forever.  Just to know that there were exactly enough cards blows my mind.  God is amazing.

Sunday, April 17, 2011


"And now what are you waiting for? Get up, be baptized and wash your sins away, calling on his name."
Acts 22:16

I woke up this morning thinking it was going to be another Sunday morning at Elevation. I love serving at Elevation. I love serving the 11:15 because we always have loads of first time families. I was expecting God to show up. But, can I be honest with you? I wasn't expecting Him to show up like He did.

There were 10 baptisms planned during each worship experience this weekend. At the 11:15 service, Pastor Steven felt as if there were a lot of girls being baptized. He called out the men of Elevation, and asked 5 men to step up, be obedient and get baptized. More than 5 men got up immediately... more than 10 got up immediately. John Bishop was baptizing these men. Pastor Steven told the people of Elevation, 'If you are at another campus, leave and get to Matthews now. They will baptize you.' When I say people kept showing up, I mean... THEY JUST KEPT COMING!! People came from the other three campuses. How many people you ask?? 134 people. 134 people were obedient to the call that the Lord had put on their heart, and came to get baptized this morning/afternoon.

I had planned on leaving the Matthews campus at 12:30. Then, I felt led to ask if I could help. I helped out until 3:00. It was amazing. People showed up until 2:15. There was water everywhere. There were towels everywhere. It was amazing to help. It was amazing to serve the people getting baptized. It was an amazing day.

I cried on my way home today. I am so thankful to get to be a part of Elevation Church. I am so thankful to be a part of this move of God. God showed up in ways that no one could have expected today.

Wondering what the final baptism count for the weekend is? 203. That is 203 people who declared their faith in Christ publicly today. There were husbands and wives (one of which I know!!!!!), brothers and sisters, moms and dads, whole families...

Today is a day that I will never forget. I will never forget how God showed up at Elevation Church today. I will never forget the number 134. Although 134 was not the last count, 134 was the amount of people who were spontaneously baptized at the 11:15 service. I was in the auditorium for numbers 93-134. Those are not just numbers, those were all people. Each number is a life. Each number is a life who accepted Christ, and wanted to let the world know their life is new. People who responded the the call the Lord put on their heart. People who had walked away from Christ for years. People who had met Christ weeks before. People who baptized with their whole families.

I apologize if you are reading this and feel like there isn't much direction. There isn't. I am still just in awe of what happened at Elevation today.