March 28, 2009

The House Search

As some of you may know, Garrett and I have been looking at homes and condos for a year now. It seriously has been a rollercoaster ride of emotion, but most of all a growing experience. We have learned a great deal about real estate and being wise with our finances... we have also learned a lot about trusting God and knowing that He has the perfect place ready for us, when He is ready to give it.

Lately at our church we have been discussing our purpose of life on earth and the short time that we ultimately have here.... that this is not our home. The other night I learned that while I was starting to feel convicted for having so much "want" in my life and devoting so much time to my future here on earth, Garrett was also starting to feel the same. We talked about it and know that God has us where He wants us for right now. There are other reasons in favor of not investing so much into our future by buying a house: like not being able to stay home with my future children and not being able to help others when they have a time of need. And while having all of the extra space and being able to personalize everything is a huge and exciting thing to think about, I am thankful that we have gotten our wake up call and finally feel... content.

My prayer is that we continue to be content in what the Lord has blessed us with. We live in a cute apartment with cheap rent that is right next door to my brother and his family, as well as one of my greatest friends and her family. We also have met a ton of great people from Church that live nearby and have been really enjoying our time with them. I know that when I am constantly seeking out what I want, that that means I need to take a look at my relationship with God... because the Bible says that "the Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want..." He gives me everything I need for now and I do not need to be concerned with the future because He will also provide for that as it comes along. It has taken a long time to fully understand this and I desire to live it out.

Thanks to you all for your prayers as we have been seeking a new home... please continue to pray for our contentment and trust in the Lord's ways. Even if God has a home for us soon... we will continue to seek contentment and joy in the life He has us living now.

March 15, 2009

I thank God....

This past month has been absolutely amazing for Garrett and I! I have so many things to be thankful for right now that I cant seem to stop praising God for them. So when I realized that I should sit down and do a blog for this week, I thought, what better to blog about than God's amazing blessings in my life :)

1) God's Grace- The weekend before Christmas '08, my Grandpa passed away. This was actually a huge wake up call for me... God used my Grandpa's passing to remind me of His saving grace. My grandpa was never a believer up until the summer before he passed away. I never knew that the man that always silently looked away as I mentioned that I would be praying for him, would eventually be telling me that HE was praying for ME! After many years of saying prayers for him, that he would come to a saving faith in Christ, God was faithful and worked in many ways to draw my Grandpa to him in the end. I am thankful that his passing was not just sad but joyful too! I am thankful for God's everlasting grace and mercy that He has on our souls... that He loves us even when we choose to live for ourselves instead of for Him. The song 'Amazing Grace' now has a new meaning for me and I love it!

2) Open Doors- For awhile now, Garrett and I have been struggling in our walks with God - not going to Church, not reading our Bibles, praying or really doing anything for God. However, through that we grew a hunger and desire for Him more and more. We were weak without Him and quite unhappy. After begging God for direction and help to renew our minds and hearts for Him, God started opening doors last summer that have grown into life changing experiences. Our Church started doing 'community groups' in order to better spread the gospel to our neighbors, as well as to get to know and fellowship with our neighbors that go to Church with us. (This can be a difficult task when you have around 5,000 people in attendance at your Church!) The pastor of our area invited us to join them for a gathering and we have been attending every Thursday since last Fall! Through this we have built some amazing relationships with other strong believers and have gotten more involved in serving those that go to our Church. We are now working to reach others from the Church in our area, as well as our unbelieving neighbors. Garrett and I both have been very challenged through all of this and it has really changed our marriage and lives!

3) My Parents- I know that it may be hard to believe that sweet little Amy was not the perfect daughter in the world, but it is true! I was a pretty strong-willed (and selfish/spoiled) little teenager. Amazingly enough, I can honestly tell you that my parents have always stuck by me and supported me 100% even despite all that I put them through. More than ever I can see God working in both my mom and dad's lives and I am excited to be able to say that I have a godly example directly from my parents, which is not something that everyone has. I am so proud of my dad for making it to his 2 year anniversary of being sober this year and I know that plays a huge role in what God is doing through him and my mom. He finally gave it all over to God to help him conquer his addiction and allow God to use him. It is great to see them both be active in their Church and in the lives of their family and friends. I am thankful that they are not only that example but also have an unconditional love for both Garrett and I-- it feels good.

4) My husband's desire - I have seen Garrett's desire grow, as well as my own, to read the Bible and to grow in our love for God. He has gone out of his way to help keep the house tidy, to help with my household stuff, to share what he is learning from his studies and to spend time listening to me. I believe this is a direct result of consistent prayer and lifting him up to God daily. I strongly encourage any wife to do this for their husband and trust that God is faithful to make him the best provider, lover, leader and godly example that he can be for you. (Love the book The Power of a Praying Wife by Stormie Omartian, that I have read through countless times since we have been married for the last 2 1/2 years!) I praise God for his power and faithfulness :)

5. My Nephews- This weekend, Owen (3) and Seth (18 mos) spent the night in our tiny apartment! It was so much fun but tough at the same time. I have to say that I do not know how Tim and Kate do it! Especially Kate, since she is home with them all day! They are wonderful children and great listeners.... just a lot of work :) There are so many wonderful things about all three of them that I cant even begin to explain how much I love them. I just love them and thank God so much for the joy they bring into our lives!

Thanks for listening to my praises! I hope that these can also be an encouragement to you. Remember that God is in control, that He has your best interests in mind and that He loves you unconditionally with all grace and mercy. Have a great week!

March 02, 2009

Mammoth... here we come!

So for my mother in law's birthday we all went up to Mammoth for a three day snowy weekend! It was a great time... Garrett got some snowboarding in with his dad and I got some shopping and cooking in with the girls! It started snowing on Sunday and it was a total blast to play around in it with Holly and Jenna :)It is always a bummer that these weekends can not last much longer but it is always a great time no matter what.


The people that shared their cabin with us had a huge collection of books and it was just perfect for a quiet and snowy weekend. I picked out a book called "Auschwitz" (sorry, dont remember the author) which was about a man who was determined to withstand the torture that the Gestapo put him through simply to defeat them for a moment at a time. I only got to read four chapters one evening but it was an amazing read. You might think I am crazy for wanting to read about torture but I am fascinated by people and how they think and react in real-life situations. This man was able to observe the Gestapo and use it to his advantage... and to me, that is amazing. I may try to buy the book to finish it.

We took a lot of great photos but I dont want to overwhelm my blog... so below is the link to the online album that I created for you all so check em out if you so desire! Snow is simply beautiful. While I truly love the beach and am forever dedicated to it (haha) I loved being in the mountains and enjoyed the opposite experience that it gives...

http://amylizschultz.shutterfly.com/

 

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