Thursday, December 8, 2016

Where we are. 2016 Edition.

2016 has been a whirlwind year!  Here on the east coast we are prevalent to hurricanes, so maybe it's been more like being in a hurricane than a whirlwind...but nonetheless.

Year 3 of seminary. Michael will be done either Spring of 2017 or will slow roll a few more classes until December of 2017. He's not in a rush, just obediently wants to finish. God called him to "go to school." That was the extent of the call. We have been listening, cleaning our ears out when we think maybe we've gone deaf, seeking, searching for God's call for the 3 years we've been here.  But every time the answer is just "go and stay focused on school." Michael will tell you that he's learned more about God in these 3 years than in his whole life combined. And not just book learning in classrooms at seminary, but learning through living a life walking in obedience will teach you a thing or two about your Savior as well.

We've learned that theology is hard. There are some hard truths that are just that....hard. Living for God is not easy, either. Sometimes people haven't understood why we would "choose" to live this way. Sacrificing, being uncomfortable, laying down that stubborn pride, putting God over things in life that would be much more fun or socially acceptable. We live in a really small house because we can afford it, we have at times lived on only pasta and PB &J, we've had to rely on our parents and others to help us with certain financial needs, we've had our power shut off (though only briefly as the paycheck came as soon as the power got shut off), Michael has worked some extremely odd jobs to make ends meet, we've had some hard trials to muddle through.

Michael has worked at our church for 2 of the 3 years we've lived in NC. God recently made it clear that wasn't where we were supposed to be right now. "Go to school" was the original call. We always try to step in and make things happen because we "think" that's what God is wanting. Instead of waiting patiently for Him to reveal it to us. So Michael stepped back from ministry in that venue to focus on school. Scary time for us because we have bills to pay. But, obedience.

(Okay, put on your seatbelt because this is where the hurricane starts sweeping us away! )...

Michael calls up a godly man in our small group named Danny.  He just wants to talk to Danny and glean wisdom on how to deal with the way things are going in our life.  They meet for chips and sweet tea at Moes. Danny asks Michael about past experiences he has in the work force, the Air Force, education, etc. As they are talking, Danny pulls out his phone and starts texting. "Man, that's rude" Michael thought, but "hey, he's a busy guy". After a few minutes of texting in between talking, Danny asks Michael if he's free for an interview the next day. Danny had been texting his business partner to tell him God has answered their prayers. Danny goes on to tell Michael that his company, Majestic Marble and Glass, has been looking for a guy with Michael's EXACT qualifications to lead a division in their company through structural and process change. (Michael has a Masters degree in Operations Management from University of Arkansas, by the way, which was what launched him into the Air Force before his call to ministry) They haven't only been "looking" for this perfect guy, they've been earnestly praying for God to bring this guy to them. Michael reiterates that he's finishing up seminary and that has to be his first priority right now, which Danny wholeheartedly agrees to. "You can work for me in between classes and just do your job when it is best suits your schedule."

Interview goes great, he's hired on the spot making double what he had been making the 3 years we've been in NC. A little room to wiggle and breathe and get out of these life preservers that's just keeping our heads above water?! WHY, YES! The timing of the pay increase went along perfectly with some other things God has placed on our hearts to start looking into. God's provisions for ministry that He has placed on our hearts. As my cousin, Schanon, once said, "If something is God's will, then it's also His bill."

Michael has now been working at Majestic Marble and Glass for the past few months. He loves everyone he works with and they all absolutely love him back. He is a gifted leader and he is leading well.  His job was to find waste in the company and scale that back so overhead wasn't so high. He was able to find hundreds of thousands of dollars being wasted that he saved the company. Michael is also a relationship guy and loves people deeply. His love is across the board for the lowest paid employee to the highest. Now he's doing ministry in a whole new way! The owner of this division has a son who has grown to dearly love Michael like a brother. Within the past few weeks, the owner has been talking with Michael about taking over this division of the company. He had been praying for a man of God to walk alongside his son to mentor him in the business world, help him with relationships, and teach him to be a good leader. The son will own the business, but Michael will run it and work alongside the son to teach him and mentor him. This has now raised his income to over three times what we started off with when we moved to seminary.

Money is now available to us to help those in need who God shows us to help, to go on mission, to finish paying for school because his GI bill runs out after this semester, to give, and to start putting away for the ministry that God has laid on our hearts. After years of having little, God has blessed us with more than we deserve.

My small group leader said in class last week, "God doesn't always pull us out of the water and the waves, sometimes He just swims alongside us." We have been swimming with God and His presence since we started this journey of obedience in 2010. For the time being, He has pulled us out of the waves, but we are fully prepared to go back in at any time that He wants us to.

If you know the Corsars, you know I do not write this blog to brag. That is the farthest notion. I write it to show the goodness of our God...in want and in plenty. The faithfulness of God...in trial or ease. The provisions of God. The legacy of the family I was born into is Jehovah Jireh, the God Who Provides, and He has shown Himself to be that to our family time and time again.

This portion of our journey is one I am SO excited to start. We thought we'd soon be leaving Raleigh, NC, but it looks like we'll be staying for a while. God has work for us to do on His earth right here for now. And our heart for Ukraine has been pricked, so we are excited to see what God does with that!  So many doors are being propped open for us to walk through.

"Go to school. Learn obedience. Walk with God." That's where we are. We cherish everyone who has supported us, prayed for us, listened to us, and disciplined us. The family of God is GREAT!


"The Lord directs the steps of the godly. He cares about every little detail of their lives." 
~Psalm 37:23

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Edge of 17

This girl. I love snapping candid photos of her when she can't be "posed". To me, it shows her absolute, natural beauty.

I was picking her up from McDonald's after her school's homecoming dance. She and her date had danced until they were exhausted and had walked over to McDonald's to get fries and milkshakes and rest their tired feet. Her sparkly high heels are a signature Alex piece, but may not be great dancing shoes.  :)

I text her to tell her I'm here to pick them up.  Her boyfriend goes in to the bathroom so she's standing there waiting for him when I pull into a parking spot.  It was at this exact moment, the song by Big Daddy Weave "My Story" begins to play. As I watch her sweet innocence standing there listening to these lyrics, tears begin to flow down my cheeks.

This girl, in her sparkly pink dress holding her sparkly, glittery high heels...is a warrior. She's been through so much and had so many things knock the wind out of her, but she gets up gracefully each time, learns a hard, life lesson, straightens her crown and moves forward. In her life, things don't come easily for her. It's her story to tell, and I've shared it on my blog in the past. The things she's overcome in the past 3 years have been truly inspiring and amazing.

So as I hear the words of the song play, "If I told you my story, you would hear hope that wouldn't let go. You would hear love that never gave up." The story you would hear is the story of how Jesus chose her, saved her, pulled her from the pit, set her feet on steady ground. And what a story it is! My favorite line as I sat there watching her was "If I told you my story, you would hear victory over the enemy. You would hear life overcome the grave!" AND WHERE MERCY WINS.

She's a warrior because she is winning her battle. Mercy has won.

She turns 17 this weekend. Her life is an absolute light in darkness. She has learned to trust God even when He makes no sense. No one can ever believe she's only 17 because of her maturity. I can't even express in mere words how proud I am of her. As amazing as she is, she has never won a Student of the Month award. As amazing a singer as she is, she rarely gets chosen and she waits patiently in the wings for God to give her a platform for her gift. But grace and mercy win. Her character matters more than any awards or auditions.

Happy Birthday, my sparkly, glittery warrior. I sit in awe of you. And I want to be like you when I grow up.


Monday, August 22, 2016

Ocean Epiphany


Our family took a little break by the ocean. It was nice to just sit there and watch the ocean in all its vastness, listen to the peaceful crashing waves, watch the seagulls soar through the air.

My husband and my daughter are very adventurous.  They swim out pretty far in the waters.  My son and I are not too adventurous and prefer to sit by the shore and just wade out a little bit.  For some reason we both have this fear of things touching us in the water and Evan has a deep fear of sharks.  He used to be obsessed with them as a child and read all kinds of books about them, so his fears aren't too unfounded.  He does know the research that shark bites are pretty rare, but the possibility still scares him.

So Alex and a friend were swimming out pretty far catching waves on their boogie boards.  Laughing and splashing and having much fun.  I sat on the shore and watched Evan holding tight to his boogie board standing with the water barely above his knees, fearful to walk out as far as they were.  Michael and I watched him for about 20 minutes as he stood paralyzed with fear to join them.

It made my heart so sad to see him afraid.  Michael finally got up and walked out to him and stood next to him with his arm around him watching the others play.  Then Michael slowly nudged Evan on his back pushing him out a little further.  He was eventually on his dad's back out as far as the others playing in the waves and having fun.  He wouldn't let Michael leave his side, and as long as his dad was with him, he was brave.

At that moment, this phrase in the Hillsong song "Oceans" came to mind: "Your grace abounds in deepest waters, Your Sovereign hand will be my guide.  Where feet may fail and fear surrounds me, You've never failed and You won't start now."

I then thought about how many times I've stood paralyzed with the fear of the unknown.  Standing there watching others be courageous and brave and adventurous while I stand aside too afraid to move forward.  Then my heavenly Father puts His arms around me and slowly nudges me in the direction where He intends for me to go.  He is the one who gives me courage and moves me along.  And He NEVER leaves my side.

The ocean is such a cathartic experience.  It was literally "church" for me every day we sat there.  As I thought about how God's love for me is "more than the drops in the ocean", a fabulous song by Hawk Nelson.  Every time we hit an "unknown" in our life...which seems to be a lot...I know God is right there with us.  The unknown used to scare the life out of us, but it's getting easier.  I guess that means we are growing.  God knows everything (1 John 3:20) and nothing is "unknown" to Him, so therefore, nothing is unknown to me.

What a perfect visual picture seared into my mind as we are called out onto the waters.


Monday, August 8, 2016

Permanence

When I start to struggle with something, God always gives me a word.  I will hear it once and it will grab my attention.  Then I will hear it in the most unlikely places.  It's then that I start to perk up and really start meditating on it and try to figure out what God is trying to cement in my heart.

The word recently is "Permanence". If you are a follower of my blogs, you know I struggle with not being really rooted in any one place physically.  I grew up in one house my whole childhood.  After I married Michael, that would no longer be the case.  Let me give you a snapshot here:  We were married 5 years before having our sweet Alex.  In those 5 years, we lived in 3 different places in college, then 3 more places before we had Alex.  Alex lived in 3 different places before her brother was born.  After Evan, we lived between my parents' house and Michael's training dorm for about 5 months. Then 6 more places after that.  Lost count yet?  That's 17 different domiciles in our 22 years of marriage.  5 states in all.  And seriously, we're not finished.  I thought we were finished in North Dakota and could settle down for good there, but God had other plans for us. For this is the life God has called us to, and we've surrendered.

I have always made a pun of the verse Philippians 4:11, "I have learned in whatever STATE I am in to be content." That was always my joke when we moved to another state.

PERMANENCE. It first tickled my ears in a sermon a few weeks ago in John 16. A sermon about joy and how joy is rooted in permanence...unlike happiness which can be fleeting. That took me to Colossians 2:7, "Therefore, let your roots grow down into Him, and let your lives be built on Him." There are so many verses about being "rooted" in Christ and letting the roots grow deep. Roots sound pretty permanent. Soon after that sermon and that word pierced my heart, it showed up again in my devotional.  The word "permanency" is not really a word that is thrown around a lot, so it grabbed me to see it again.  "Our relationship with the Lord is one of permanency..." (The Devotions of Charles Spurgeon).

The lyric in the old hymn that most grabs my heart, "Prone to wander, Lord I feel it, prone to leave the God I love. Here's my heart, Lord, take and seal it, seal it for Thy courts above." Another nod to permanency.

Lastly is a song I'll be singing with our choir called, "My Anchor". Anchors cause permanency...and seem to help things that try to wander. My favorite line in the song is "I hold on to You, and You hold on to me."

My permanency is in the person of Jesus Christ.  I am not of this world, so my home will never be here.  My physical address is in the heavens, and I can't wait to get home!

We have no clue where God will send us next. It may be right where we are, it may be overseas, it may be literally anywhere.  We have given Him a blank check, so it's up to Him where He needs us. But I have found permanence. Forever.

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Milking It

My prayer for my husband and daughter in Ukraine was for God to show them great and miraculous things!  And did He come through!

I haven't been able to talk to Alex much, so I don't yet know things from her perspective. But I have talked to Michael and he has told me about the amazing ways in which God has moved this week.

If you follow me on Facebook, you heard me teasing about the local farmer whom he talked to and had been invited to come milk his cows. Picturing Michael milking cows was an incredibly funny picture in my mind.  Michael is a city boy, a pretty boy, not one to get dirty really.  Michael spent his week really getting to know the farmer next to the teen camp.  Trying cows milk for the first time straight from the cow, eating the cheese the farmer made, and one morning at the crack of dawn getting up and getting a milking lesson.  The morning he was to get up he texted me and said, "I really don't want to get up this early and milk a cow." My response was, "Hey, this could be a gospel opportunity."

Last night at camp was the last night of preaching and the last time the Gospel would be shared.  The Word of how a loving God loved the people He created so much that He couldn't stand to lose them to their sin so He sent His only Son to die for them, to cancel their sins so they could reside with Him in Heaven instead of going to Hell and paying the ultimate price for their disobedience. Guess who "randomly" decided to show up to camp church service that night?  The farmer and his wife.

So on top of 3 teens, that the Ukraine mission team had been pouring into all week and building relationships with, who came to Christ last night....so did the farmer and his wife.  The reason why is what I want you to focus on.

The farmer had been hearing bits and pieces of the Word from the camp for the past 8 years.  He had told the Ukrainian pastor of the camp that Michael was the first American to ever speak to him about his farm and take an interest in him as a man.  Drinking his milk, eating his cheese, milking his cow.  He was impressed that an American pastor would get his hands dirty.  So that drove him to come check out Michael's "job" at the camp.  After hearing the gospel, he said he had never heard of God's love for him and that Jesus would care to die for him.

Relationships.  The key component to the gospel.

One of our concepts we remember while parenting is "Rules without relationship equals rebellion.  Rules with relationship equals obedience." The key to that concept is RELATIONSHIP.  When someone has a relationship with you, they listen to you.

Michael is a relationship guy.  If that is a spiritual gift, he is overflowing with it. I love how God used his gift and the way He created Michael to bring a farmer to Christ.  We were all created for "such a time as this." And sometimes we may have to take an interest in things that take us out of our comfort zone in order to do so.

How are you using your gifts to glorify God and bring others to His Kingdom?


Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Hosanna

A word we sing and use frequently, but have you looked up what it means?!  So cool.  You can check this link if you'd like or I'll pull out a summary of it for you: http://www.desiringgod.org/messages/hosanna.

Obviously, it comes from the New Testament Greek.  But before Greek, there was Old Testament Hebrew.  The Greek word is actually "hosanna", but that came from the Hebrew word which is "Hoshiya na". Hoshiya na is found in Psalm 118:25 "Lord, save us". Then verse 26 follows that up with, "Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord." That word, hoshiya na is answered with the New Testament Greek which changed the meaning of the word to a word of praise for He who is our salvation...He who has saved us. The meaning changed from "save us" to "our salvation has come."  Glory in the highest, for our salvation has come.  Can I get an amen?

That brings me to the point of my blog today.  (I'm long winded, I know.)  Michael has been in the Ukraine now for 4 days.  He has learned so much in just those 4 days, that I can't wait to see what God still has to teach him!  Three years of seminary culminating into seeing people yearn for truth and long for the teachings of God.

Our youth praise team had been working on several songs to sing in the Ukraine.  One was "Hosanna" by Hillsong.


As they had been practicing, these words were reverberating in Michael's soul, "Heal my heart and make it clean.  Open up my eyes to the things unseen.  Show me how to love like you have loved me.  Break my heart for what breaks yours.  Everything I am for Your kingdom's cause. As I walk from earth into eternity."

Each time he interacts with the Ukrainians, his prayer is for God to open up His eyes to things unseen and to break his heart for what breaks God's heart.  And God is doing just that.  He is seeing the great need for these youth camps that the Ukrainian church puts on there.  Many kids come to this camp several times a year.  Their dollar is extremely low, so it only costs the kids US $45 to attend this camp.  That is a lot of money for the Ukrainians, so the church absorbs a lot of that cost because over half the kids won't be able to pay it.  How easy it would be for us to come up with $45 in our lavish country.  Michael is learning what "poverty" really is...not like the American version of poverty.  

He was crunching some numbers to try to get them to make sense in his brain today.  He took his own monthly salary figure and asked the Ukrainian translator, "If someone in Ukraine made this much money how would they live?" The translator said that person would live like a king in Ukraine.  And there are just a very few people who live on that "much" money there.  "Open up my eyes"...to see that we are blessed, even on a lower salary than we are used to while we are in seminary.  "Break my heart for what breaks Yours"...in seeing how frivolously we spend our money when there is so much more Kingdom work that could be done.  We spend so much on temporary things that don't matter when we could easily spare $45 for a teen to go to camp and feed on God's Word.  And that is exactly what they do...they can't get enough of God's Word.  When was the last time we were that hungry for God's truth?

Our country seems to be shouting "Lord, save us", but I want to shout from the rooftops, "Hosanna...our Salvation has already come!"  

It's all wrapped up in a man named Jesus. 






Sunday, July 3, 2016

Ebenezer

I LOVE how God slowly unfolds things for me. I enjoy mysteries, and I think God knows that and likes to throw them my way. I'm starting to feel like it's a little game we play together. It's all part of our relationship.


Every time something awesome comes along, I want to blog about it and tell the world, but there is SO much back story that my blogs get so long. But God really doesn't do anything quickly and simply. He usually interweaves it through every area of my life. It makes what He does for me so much more satisfying because it shows me how much He loves those details. So, here goes...I'll try to keep it brief.


Last year, Michael's air conditioning went out in his car. It was a hot week until he realized he could add some freon and it was good for the rest of the summer. This summer, his AC went out again. Simply adding freon this time was not an option because apparently his compressor was shot. That would be a $1400 fix. His car is older, therefore we weighed if he really needed AC for $1400. That's not just chump change we have easy access to. We were then in a conundrum about trying to sell his car to find another car because that compressor has to be fixed first because the "service engine" light is on and in North Carolina a car can't be sold (or pass inspection) with that light on. (What a run on sentence, but you feel my frustration!) After some super hot, sweltering days driving with no AC, we really started to pray about it.


Now, we have learned in the past 6 years a definite difference in needs and wants. We can easily sacrifice our wants on the altar of things we need. No problem with that lesson. And seriously, AC in the hot, muggy south is a need. Maybe a first-world need, but it's a need.


So the prayers began. Prayers that we could easily fix his car and sell it and make enough to purchase something else. Prayers to find something in great condition because buying an older car from someone unknown to you is a scary event. Prayers for something safe because Raleigh drivers aren't known for their attentiveness on the road and I have a teen driver up and coming. Prayers for God to just work it all out because He knows we don't have extra money for a car payment nor do we have time or energy to deal with this right now! Jesus, take the wheel!


Ebenezer. What in the world does that have to do with anything, right?


I'm on the praise team at church and every time I am up in rotation we seem to sing, "Come Thou Fount". Every time I sing the phrase, "Here I raise mine Ebenezer, Daily I'm constrained to be." I love hymns, but had never bothered to look that phrase up. It's not good to sing things you don't understand, so I kept telling myself to research that before I sang it again. I kept forgetting to research it, then God brought it up because He had fully intended for me to learn it. We were sitting in small group a few weeks ago studying 1 Samuel and there it was.


"Then Samuel took a stone and set it up...and named it Ebenezer saying, "Thus far the Lord has helped us."" 1 Samuel 7:12


Up to this point, the Lord has helped us. God clocks me right between the eyes so frequently! My small group leader told a story of a friend who had a picture in his house that simply said Jehovah Jireh-Ebenezer. (God Provides and Up to this Point He has helped us). So, I sit in small group with tears in my eyes knowing God is there speaking to me. He used my favorite name for him (Jehovah Jireh) and now my new found mysterious name (Ebenezer) and let me know He was there and would help us AS HE ALWAYS HAS!


Okay, back to now. We have some seminary friends, Jake and Lauren, whom we love dearly. My kids lovingly refer to Jake as Jesus because he totally looks like him. They are heading to Canada for Jake to begin PhD work and were needing to sell one of their cars. Their move was sudden so they needed to get rid of the car suddenly. Jake asked Michael if he was interested in looking at it, so he brought it over to test drive. First thing Michael did was blast the AC! Everything on the car is exactly what we need (with some wants thrown in because God spoils us sometime). And the car is a super safe Volvo for when my precious teen cargo gets behind the wheel. We told Jake we would totally want it, but could not buy it so suddenly because we have to fix the old car and sell it first. With lovingkindness, Jake allowed us to go ahead and take the car and make payments to him until we get Michael's old car sold, then we can pay him the remainder. We had a need for a car; they had a need to sell a car. God blessed both His children this weekend.


As I sit basking in our blessing, these are the verses God brings to mind:


1 Peter 5:10 "In his kindness God called you to share in his eternal glory by means of Christ Jesus. So after you have suffered a little while, he will restore, support, and strengthen you, and he will place you on a firm foundation."

Matthew 7:9,11 "Which of you if your son asks for bread will give him a stone? So if you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give good gifts to those who ask him."





My Jehovah Jireh-Ebenezer directs the steps of the godly and He cares about every little detail of my life....



Monday, June 20, 2016

"I could have no greater joy than to hear that my children are following the truth."
                                                                                                                  ~ 3 John 1:4

Father's Day 2016. The day my Evan gave his heart to Christ. For reals.

I say "for reals" for a reason. When Evan was a younger child, I was his children's church leader. He was Miss Becky's son and in his mind, it was something that was expected of him to do. He believed in the things of our faith, but it was not something he had fully examined for himself.

Fast forward to present. We have been talking a lot this year about "working out your salvation" (Philippians 2:12) and making the faith you hold your own. As young adults, my kids can no longer lean on believing things just because mom and dad say it's right. They must examine those beliefs for themselves and see if they hold true in their own lives.

A few months ago at DNOW, Pastor Jim Gillespie was the keynote speaker. When I first met Pastor Jim, he scared me to death. A big burly biker guy who always wore jeans and black leather. Duck Dynasty beard and just all around scary looking guy. As I've gotten to know him over the years, and his family, wow, was I wrong! His son is Evan's best friend, his wife is the most beautiful lady I've ever known, and Pastor Jim is a massive teddy bear with a heart of compassion to see people live for Christ. At DNOW, Jim spoke about John 14:15, which very simply and plainly says, "If you love me, keep my commandments." Pretty simple and to the point. To the point, that's Pastor Jim. Evan and Alex both came up to me that evening at DNOW and their views on everything were radically changed.

Father's Day Sunday, Pastor Jim preached this sermon again, and Evan was so excited to hear it again. After service was over, he leaned onto me crying. When I asked him what was wrong he simply said, "I need to talk to dad." We went to find dad, who was ministering to others somewhere throughout the church, but who stopped everything when his son needed him. What a great dad! He sat Evan down with him and ended up leading him straight into the arms of Christ. For reals this time. It's now his own faith he wants to embrace...and no longer just the faith of his father.

What a fabulous Father's Day present. Like Alex joked, "How can I even compete with Evan's Father's Day present?" No competition, sweet girl. For now I can leave this world in peace knowing both of my children are walking with the Lord. "Not a sinless perfection, but a sinless direction", as stated by our lead Pastor David.

My favorite part of this story that keeps resonating in my soul was the phrase, "I need to talk to dad." When we face hard questions and issues in life, run to the Father. Find Him amidst all the things He's doing. He will stop everything for you! The One who has all the answers. The Bible calls God our Abba Father, a term of endearment for dear old dad. Crawl up into His lap and simply talk to Dad. He's always there!

Monday, May 16, 2016

I Will Trust in You

The hardest part of parenting has to be walking with your child amidst the parameters that God has placed in his/her life.  Guiding him/her to walk the boundary areas.

God blessed me with one very obedient child and one very strong willed child.  They could not be any different!  My fleshly heart wants to view my strong willed child as "bad" and "hard".  But my spirit cries out THANK YOU to God for giving me such an awesome challenge and for the opportunity to trust Him to create the renewed heart within her.  So, the key word here is TRUST.

As a parent, I sometimes think my kids are a reflection of me.  And if they are not acting right, then I have obviously failed.  If they are acting good, then I take the credit for that.  But how wrong can that be?!  I have seen first hand that children will turn into the people God created them to be, despite the parenting they received or the environment from which they came.  My job is simply to lead my children to Christ, disciple them to live under His commands, guide them on their journey through the boundary waters, pray for them, fight for them, help them out of the pit each and every time they fall into it, and then ultimately TRUST that our Father will do the rest.

My strong willed child is designed to teach me how to trust.  And God is on a mission to teach her to trust in Him as well.  She is a follower of Christ like no other.  She lives with full abandon.  She loves God more than anything and trusts Him even through her trials. I argue with God a lot that the challenges He has placed in her life are too hard for her.  I tell Him that if He would just make things easier for her the outcome would be so much better.  Can't you just hear him laughing at my "wisdom"?!  "But, God, our evening discipleship lessons are SO hard and deep and challenging.  The questions she wrestles with are far too deep for me.  When she screams to me that she can't....I have to figure out a way to encourage her that SHE CAN! If things came easier for her, God, I wouldn't have to have all these talks with her."

Then God gave me this song, as He always does, because music feeds my soul: Lauren Daigle, "Trust in You".  And the lyrics are SO perfect.  As my baby girl learns to trust in her Father and walk the parameters that He has set out before her, I am also learning to trust my Father to do the work in her that He has promised to do.  His ways are much higher than my ways, and His outcome looks nothing like mine....thank goodness.  He gives me glimpses of His glory in her life and I know He is up to something big.  I love how He loves her.

This is a new Fight Song for you, my dear Alex, whom my heart loves....

"Letting go of every single dream. I lay each one down at your feet.
Every moment of my wandering. Never changes what You see.
I've tried to win this war, I confess. My hands are weary, I need Your rest.
Mighty Warrior, King of the Fight. No matter what I face, You're by my side.

When You don't move the mountain, I'm needing You to move.
When You don't part the waters, I wish I could walk through.
When You don't give the answers, while I cry out to You.
I will trust, I will trust, I will trust in You.

Truth is You know what tomorrow brings. There's not a day ahead You have not seen.
So in all things be my life and breath. I want what You want, Lord, and nothing less.

You are my strength and comfort. You are my steady hand.
You are my firm foundation, The Rock on which I stand.
Your ways are always higher. Your plans are always good.
There's not a place where I'll go You've not already stood."


Monday, May 9, 2016

Loaves and Fishes

When you do things that haven't been done before, it's always a little scary.  The unknown is always a scary place.

Yesterday was Mother's Day.  Michael, being the Single Adult Ministry Director at our church, planned a fabulous Single Mothers Banquet to honor some single moms.  You never know on events like this how many to plan for or how many will show up.  So, he made his best shot in the dark, jumped off the cliff, and abandoned the rest of it to God to show up and show out.

Several new moms showed up; one brand new single mom to our church.  I started getting nervous that we weren't going to have enough food!  So, I started the "loaves and fishes prayer". Jesus fed 5000 plus with just a few loaves and fishes, so surely he could feed my roomful of single moms and their kids.

After the banquet where everyone was fully fed, almost everyone took a to-go box home because the food was THAT good!  And I'm sitting here right now eating up the leftovers that I got to bring home.  God seemed to keep filling that buffet enough to provide for everyone....then some.

Looking back on my blogs, I've prayed the loaves and fishes prayer for almost 6 years now.  No other way to live than to just jump off that cliff, abandon it all and let God show up and show out.  He NEVER fails!

Monday, January 18, 2016

It's time...

Sometimes I write things, but then they are just too personal and I sit on them a while until God prompts me to share them.  Corsars vowed to be transparent on our radical obedience journey, but sometimes the transparency is too much for our humanness.  But here you go.  I wrote this about a year ago and I'm finally feeling it's time to share it.  May God use it to bless you, encourage you, urge you on to feeling His presence.  He works all things together for GOOD:




Today I'm going to write a story, but it's not fully my own story.  It's the story of a young lady who has been fighting a big fight for the past 2 years.  She is an overcomer and she is my hero.  Her name is Alexandria Corsar. She has given me permission to write this on her behalf.

Radically following God's call on our life is something that has not been easy on our family.  I've been pretty honest about it since we started this journey.  Even though we made sure both our children were "on board" with our decision to uproot our life and come to seminary at God's call, there was still some fall out.  Some of this fallout has been so incredibly painful that I haven't wanted
to share it...until now.  But I am a firm believer that the fall out was all still part of God's sovereign plan to make my children even stronger than they were before.  One thing we have learned is to see God's hand in everything!  His hand is just as evident in sunny times as it is in the dark times.  

My daughter, Alex, has always been a strong human being.  "Strong-willed"  is what it is called in some contexts of personality.  That was a part of her that we had to come to grips with how to handle when she was just a newborn and had her own ideas of scheduling and sleeping!  She likes to do things her own way and she is 100% an individual.  The phrase "marching to the beat of her own drum" was a phrase created just for Alex!  It's really NOT easy to parent a child with this personality type, but through much prayer, research, reading, counseling, and more prayer we feel we have a pretty good handle on it now.  But this story is not about us...it's about her.  Our little fighter!  

We got to North Carolina the summer of 2013.  Finding good friends took a really long time.  She met a few friends at church to hang out with, but had a hard time going deep into those friendships.  She was longing for the friendships she had left behind.  She then began to spiral into a deep depression causing us to need to pull her out of school and homeschool her for 8th grade.  This fed the isolation she was feeling, but it did offer much time for us to talk about what God was doing in her life.  The overwhelmingness of life and the sadness of what had been taken from her took a toll on her teenage soul causing her to engage in self-harm.  At this point, we had to put her into counseling and watch her like a hawk.  Michael and I had never spent more time on our knees than we did during this year and half of this trial.  Every. single. day was a fight for her soul.  God was allowing her to tread this extremely dark valley and our  flashlights seem to lose their light at times as we tried to help her navigate.  She had a wonderful, godly counselor who helped her finally get to the other side of this darkness.  AS I type this, though, the wind is literally knocked out of my lungs as I remember back to these extremely dark times.  Fighting to hold on to my daughter, all while trying to encourage my husband to remain steadfast in God's call on our family's life.  I felt torn between two things I hated at the moment.  I hated her dark moment which I felt was caused by God's call and moving us away.  So, I was not a fan of either incident at the time.  Yet, through it all, God constantly showed Himself and reminded us that He was there.  He was our God through ALL OF IT.

Through much time spent in God's presence, my baby girl has overcome.  She courageously decided to go to high school this past year, even though I wanted to keep her homeschooled to make sure she was okay!  She pushed herself out of her comfort zone and she went soaring!  She made friends...still none as fabulous as her  North Dakota friends, but she is still waiting for God to bring those relationships to her.  She has learned to wait on God's perfect timing.  She has learned faith and confidence in herself placed there by the Creator of her soul.  She is discovering her gift of song and waiting for God to use her testimony to reach others in her shoes.  She realizes that God is writing a most amazing testimony of His faithfulness to her in her life.  The spiritual warfare is great, but she is dead set on Who will always win the battle for her soul.

We were driving yesterday and a song came on the radio.  She screamed, "Mom!  This is MY song.  It's literally perfect and says everything abut me!" As we listened to it, and she sang it loudly with such confidence, I struggled to keep my car between the lines as I cried tears of joy.  Here are the words to HER song.  They are perfect.


Like a small boat, On the ocean
Sending big waves, into motion
Like how a single word, can make a heart open
I might only have one match, But I can make an explosion.

And all those things I didn't say, Wrecking balls inside my brain.
I will scream them loud tonight, Can you hear my voice this time.

This is my fight song, Take back my life song.
Prove I'm alright song. My power's turned on,
Starting right now I'll be strong, I'll play my fight song
And I don't really care if nobody else believes
Cause I've still got a lot of fight left in me.

Losing friends and I'm chasing sleep, Everybody's worried about me
In too deep, Say I'm in too deep, And it's been two years
I miss my home, But there's a fire burning in my bones, And I still believe

Now I've still got a lot of fight left in me.

This is her anthem.  Let me now share the words to MY anthem.


There are days I've taken more than I can give, And there are choices that I made
That I wouldn't make again.  I've had my share of laughter
Of tears and troubled times, This has been the story of my life.

I have won and I have lost, I got it right sometimes, but sometimes I did not
Life's been a journey, I've seen joy I've seen regret.
Oh, and You have been my God through all of it!

You were there when it all came down on me, And I was blinded by my fear
And I struggled to believe.  But in those unclear moments
You were the one keeping me strong, This is how my story's always gone.

And this is who You are, More constant than the stars up in the sky
All these years of our lives, I look back and I see You
Right now I still do, And I'm always going to

Put our anthems together and you see that we are more than conquerors through Christ who is ALWAYS there for us!
"Can anything EVER separate us from Christ's love?  Does it mean he no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted or are hungry, or destitute, or in danger, or threatened with death? No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us!" (Romans 8:35,37)



Sunday, January 10, 2016

He works all things for good...

You've heard the verse in Romans 8:28, "And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them."  It's one of those verses that we memorize and just assume is true...that God is working things together behind the scenes of things we can't see.  But this time, God allowed me a glimpse behind the curtain and it was DIVINE!  I absolutely love when He gives me the privilege to make my faith my eyes.

Ill try to write it so you can follow the chain, so keep up!  :) 

A little over a year ago, I heard a song on Air1 radio that I just loved!  The artist's name was David Dunn.  Not really a big name that is known, but I was intrigued by this one song being played, so I looked up his album on Amazon and put it on my wishlist in hopes to purchase it at some point.  Our family puts things on our wishlist every year to allow our family an opportunity to see what we'd like for birthdays and Christmas.  I put it on my wishlist and kind of forgot about it, actually. 

This year for Christmas, I got the album as a gift!  I was so excited to listen to all the songs on the CD!  Now mind you, my kids don't usually listen to the kind of stuff that mom likes.  When I put in Sidewalk Prophets or Mercy Me or even Chris Tomlin, they aren't as impressed as I am.  And also mind you, my daughter had been put through a very challenging time in a relationship that literally broke her into a million pieces right after Christmas.  Heartbreak, sadness, overwhelming feelings for a teenager. 

To help you with the chain, this is kind of where all things start working together for good!  My daughter struggles with depression and I was concerned for her well-being more than I ever had been before.  I was praying for God to take control and make sure she was going to be okay.  I had my  new CD playing in the car one day as we were driving somewhere and the song, "It is Well" came on.  It's not the "It is Well" that you might know from the old hymns.  It's a new song.  Take a listen here:


The words to this song hit her broken heart to the core!  She has played it over and over every day and God is using the words as a soothing balm to her soul.  She said, "Mom, I love this song!  It's like it was written just for me! Where did you find this guy?" As I listened to her sing the words, tears welled up in my eyes as I realized that God made sure I heard this album over a year ago so that it would be purchased for me for Christmas so as to heal her brokenness right after Christmas.  Do you follow the chain?  She has given her pain to the Great Physician who is also the Great Lyricist who can write songs to woo our souls.  She journals of her pain and tells me that God is in control.  Thank you, God, for orchestrating her healing for the pain you knew was coming well over a year ago.  What great love He has for us that He ALWAYS has provided a way of escape.

"When the heartache and the headaches take my breath away, When the sunshine and the moonlight burn my skin.  When the sadness overwhelms  us and the troubled water rises.  When the reason for my bleeding don't make sense.  I'm not in control!  When my world comes crashing in around my head and I feel like I've got nothing left.  I'm not in control.  It is well with my soul.

When oppression and depression have their way with me.  When the hurting and the healing feel the same.  When the sadness overwhelms us and the troubled water rises.  When the reason for my bleeding don't make sense. I'm not in control. It is well with my soul.  

In the sadness that is tearing at my soul.  I'll remember that you've ALWAYS HAD CONTROL. You're love is crystal clear!"

When your daughter is a poet, God sure inspires some great poetry in lyrics.  All things, good or bad, always work together for good.  Thank you, Jesus, for that promise.