Saturday, June 29, 2013

Things that make you go hmmmm???

Tonight I was in the midst of a conversation with a friend... without going into details it got me thinking... "why do we as women willingly settle for guys that we know aren't good for us?" or that are just out to have a good time with no commitment? 

After having a situation arise in my own life recently where my heart was invested with this guy only to find out I was his back up plan and there was another girl in the picture... I am on a mission... Kind of two fold... first and foremost... not to settle on anything less than God's best.  I've heard it is well worth the wait.  If God's word says for husbands to love their wives as Christ loves the church... a love that ultimately took Christ to the cross... then that is the kind of love that I am waiting for.

Second is about accountability... anyone in my life that knew about the before mentioned case and is only NOW telling me of the warning signs they say... I ask of you... why didn't you share this when you saw the red flags?  I much prefer the wisdom of friends given in love over the fear of hurting my feelings or our friendship.  My feelings may get hurt but if it saves me from making a huge mistake down the line, you are a true friend.  In the future, I want my dear friends to hold me accountable.  We were put in one another's lives to uplift and encourage as well as correct and admonish when needed. 

SO in a nutshell... don't let me settle for less than God's best and hold me accountable.  Feel free to ask the tough questions.


This one word is not a word that I would use to describe myself at all.  I struggle and cringe when God's Word says a woman is to be quiet (1Timothy 2:11)... as I am so far from that.  However God uses me despite my loud and boisterous nature... and there are times when the Spirit is working on my heart that I am speechless. 

Tonight was one of those instances... at worship we were singing a new song and the lyrics truly hit me. 

SPEECHLESS by Adam Ranney
Unending, always on time
Unfailing, but never unkind
Unmerited, favor is mine
Oh but I receive Your Grace, 

Lord your grace
Oh I need it, I receive it
I'm amazed, so amazed
When I see it, I am speechless
You take my breath away
You take my breath away
And You breathe life into me
I'm nothing without You
Without grace, where would I be
Nowhere without You
And You breathe life into me
I'm nothing without You
Without grace, where would I be
Nowhere without You

We sing songs all the time about His grace... but the lyrics on this one that state "I RECEIVE IT" spoke to my heart.  I am quick to give grace to others... however I am very slow to give it to myself... or to receive it. 

I am given the choice when GRACE is given to accept it or refuse it and unfortunately most of the time I refuse the grace that others give to me by living in my own self- condemnation. 

 "There is therefore now no condemnation to them that are in Christ Jesus." Romans 8:1

May I encourage you to receive HIS grace!  It will truly take your breath away and make you SPEECHLESS!

Friday, June 28, 2013

Call me crazy

End of week two of grad school and call me crazy but I am relaxed and enjoying it.  At the moment my heart is beyond blessed and thankful... for friends... for comforts like hot showers and a comfy robe... for rest from the craziness of the past few months... for people that listen to the story I have to tell and commit to pray... for brothers and sisters in Christ that truly understand... and for drive thru windows that sell frozen strawberry lemonade past 8 pm.

Since I am in this mindset at the moment I thought I would share what brought it on.  I have been thinking and have come to some big revelations...  In my search to be the woman that God has called me to be...

1.  He has not called me to be the "perfect" Proverbs 31 woman.  I fall short every time and need to give myself grace.  (BTW... the verses in Proverbs 31:10-31 were written as an acrostic from a mother's point of view for her son... as mother's we pray for our children's spouses...however because we live in a fallen world our children's spouses will never live up to our ideals.  Just a thought the next time you are trying to live up to the Proverbs 31 woman... she wasn't an actual person!)

2.  God has put amazing sisters in our life to fellowship with and stay accountable to... be the kind of friend you would want to be friends with.  Life is too short for the catiness and jealous that sometimes shows up between women.  Really just lay down the pride and bear your heart.  More than likely if you are having a struggle, God is placing people around you with the same struggle just different stages.  If you don't share you miss out on carrying the burdens of another and encouraging on another.

3.  Don't say "I understand" unless you HAVE been through the same situation.  In tough times just be there.  No words have to be exchanged... just be there... and PRAY!

4.  Last point before I drift off to sleep... don't judge yourself by the worlds standards... go by God's.  He created you for a plan and purpose... you are fearfully and wonderfully made in HIS image... we are individuals designed to glorify and worship the creator of the Universe.

You are perfect just the way you are.  Break free from the lies of the enemy and the world that state... you need to look like this... dress like this... act like this... talk like this... YOU are set apart.  Live like it!

Friday, June 21, 2013

Care Package 101
With moving day quickly approaching... the question about care packages has come up numerous times!  Every time the question is asked, first of all I feel very LOVED but at the same time apprehensive as I don't really know how to do this internationally. 

SO after asking around and doing some "research"... here is what I have found...

1.  There is a delay... 3 weeks at the fastest but usually 1-3 months... so should probably stay away from perishables.

2. Customs fee... I will have to pay a customs fee (up to 54%) which will be a percentage of what the package is "valued" at...aka. list things very low on the customs form!!! "Educational materials" also go through better than things labeled like "chocolate" on the customs form!!

3.  No valuables... Just in case you were wanting to send diamonds or a million dollars  :) ... don't  send anything of great value as it could likely be stolen.  Also don't put money or a check in the box as those will not make it to me!  If you want to send a monetary gift send it through the ITFM US address with my name on it.

4. Think of light-weight items to help with shipping costs. Remove all cardboard and plastic wrap that is really not needed to help reduce weight for shipping.

As a friend in Kampala said... "The Ugandan mail system has all gotten much better and faster through the years and hopefully will continue to!"

My address in Uganda will be:

ITFM- Integrity Primary School
c/o Angela Calhoun
PO Box 71748

If you need some really fun ideas... here are some links from pinterest...

Again... I am so blessed to know that people are thinking of me and praying for me throughout this journey!  This journey/adventure will be much more fun shared with friends.  If you are not up for sending a care package, that is fine, I understand but envelopes with cards... notes of encouragement... pictures of the kiddos... etc... are always accepted!  Also anything "hand-delivered" will also be much appreciated!!   Maybe if things are mailed now... I will actually get them when I arrive in September!  LOL! 

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

I won't be shaken!

A few years ago I had a dream about mountains (symbolizing situations in my life that were looming around me).  (See... )

Throughout the years, ground has been taken but the mountains have not been conquered.  The enemy has used his evil tactics to shake things up and try to gain ground...making the journey unclear.  A couple of Sunday's ago, the MBC worship team introduced a new song that spoke to my heart instantly.  It is by Building 429 entitled "We won't be Shaken." 

This world has nothing for me
This life is not my own
I know You go before me and I am not alone
This mountain rises higher
The way seems so unclear
But I know that You go with me so I will never fear
I will trust in You

Whatever will come our way
Through fire or pouring rain
We won't be shaken
No we won't be shaken
Whatever tomorrow brings
Together we'll rise and sing
That we won't be shaken
No we won't be shaken
Oooh oooh oh
Oooh oooh oh
Oooh oooh oh
No we won't be shaken

You know my every longing
You've heard my every prayer
You've held me in my weakness
Cause You are always there
So I'll stand in full surrender
It's Your way and not my own
My mind is set on nothing less
Than You and You alone
I will not be moved oh

Whatever will come our way
Through fire or pouring rain
We won't be shaken
No we won't be shaken
Whatever tomorrow brings
Together we'll rise and sing
That we won't be shaken
No we won't be shaken

We will trust in You
We will not be moved
We will trust in You
And we won't be shaken

No we won't be shaken
I think there are times in our lives that God gives us a theme song... if so, this is mine for right now...  so many of these lyrics speak in a way that only God himself can comfort my aching heart that feels like it is being shaken to pieces.  With God by my side... no matter what mountain looms ahead... I will not be shaken.  I am going to hold tightly to HIM and trust in HIM and that trust is going to solidly ground me in what HE is doing in my life.

Friday, June 14, 2013

A lesson on friendship

Two months ago I battled with my fleshly desire to start breaking relationships.  In my mind, leaving would be so much easier (at least for me) if I just isolated myself.. severing current friendships and definitely not investing in new ones.  Thankfully I shared this during naptime one day with a couple of coworkers (and dear friends) and they wouldn't hear of that.

So after two months of being held accountable to not isolate myself, I have learned some very important things...

  1. People matter... they matter to God and they should matter to me!
  2. People are the only thing with eternal value.  They are valued because they are created in His image.  Their value is not based on what they do (or don't do) for us but in who they are.
  3. No matter how much you try to live peaceably with all, some people just don't want to be friends and you can't take it personally.
  4. Sometimes people surprise you.  If I had not invested in "new" friendships, I would be missing keep people in this journey of life (fellow sojourners!)
  5. Yes it is going to be hard to say goodbye but it is really not a permanent good bye just a "til we meet again" cause 'friends are friends forever if the Lords the lord of them!'
So to all of my friends, I pray that I have been the friend to you as you have been to me.  You are a blessing in my life and this journey was not meant to be done alone!

Sunday, June 9, 2013


Reality is setting in that I leave for grad school in five days.  As my stress level rises with all the things left to do... my dear Savior quietly beckons.  "Spend a few minutes in my arms."  So instead of reading another ECE chapter before going to bed I pick up the other book on my nightstand... "Having a Mary heart in a Martha world."  Appropriate title and a much needed reminder.

There is going to be stuff left undone and people let down because of un-met expectations.  But at the moment I need some quiet time with my Jesus!

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Breakthrough in piles!

Well I think I finally had a breakthrough today... the last few weeks have been quite emotional in this transition from MKK to Uganda.  The past couple of days that has translated to a tired, fussy Angela that is not motivated to finish cleaning or packing.  Despite the lack of motivation I have powered through knowing that my time is limited.

The goal for today was MISSION: Yellow Room.  The last bedroom left to clean out and pack up stuff.  It also happens to be where I am storing my "stuff" for the next year.  Everything needs to fit in the yellow room closet so that it is not in the way of the friends living here.  So far so good... plus I have 4 empty boxes that have not been needed so I don't have as much stuff as I thought!

So started finding the floor in the yellow room this morning around 8am... stuff that has been put in there to pack or to get out of the cats reach or items that needed to be gone through or craft items and the list could go on.  Finally got most of the boxes in the closet and labeled.  Started sorting the craft stuff... what to keep and what to trash.  Last step was to clean out from under the bunk beds... piles of papers... pictures... scrapbooking stuff etc.  Before this happened... I realized I needed a nap... so once I was well rested life was much clearer on what to keep and what to toss. 

With rockin' worship music blaring, I started powering through memories from the last 30+ years... I am serious... I found a certificate from field day when I was in kindergarten and a going away card from my pre-k Sunday school class.  Anyway... in the piles I realized how blessed my life is... how much God has allowed me to do (travel... lead teaching conferences... run a marathon...etc) and how many people God has brought into my life that have impacted me in so many ways. 

As I look back on wedding invitations... baby announcements... funeral notices... thank you cards... all while listening to how GOOD God is on the worship cd... my heart was filled with an amazing sense of peace that as one chapter closes another one will open that involves more of these life events and people.  Now I am almost certain there will still be tears in the weeks to come... there will still be sadness... but know how much God has blessed me with is a great reminder of HIS faithfulness to take care of each detail along the way!

Saturday, June 1, 2013

He calls me BELOVED

In the midst of cleaning out, I ran across a letter written to me by Hilary (a young lady that God brought to live with me for a time)... can't remember exactly but some where around 2007-2008... A perfect reminder of how God puts people in our lives to bring encouragement and uplift.  Had to "publish" this because it still blesses my heart!

dear Angela,

Let me tell you a story... there was once a woman who said, "LORD, I will go wherever you send me." and He said "even to an island in the middle of a vast empty sea?"

and she said, "Yes, LORD"
and He said, "even all alone?"
and she hesitated.  All she'd ever wanted was to be known... but her heart stirred, and from the deep, she spoke out, "Yes, LORD"

So He sent her across the continent.  Across the sea, to an island, small and wild and lonely and filled with beauty and brokenness.

"These are my children, love them." He said.
She gulped.
His children could be so hard to love. So trying. So hurtful.

"Love them like I love you" He whispered to her daily. "Love them like I love you"

The years passed by... heartache and toil and joys in between.  For seven years she continued on lonely.

"Oh, God, I am so lonely, no one knows the depths of my heart, the secrets of my soul." she said
"I do" He answered
"God, just send someone to love me."
"I do" He answered again.

Along came a young man.  He looked at her differently.  Like he noticed her before he saw anyone else in the room. 

He said things to her that echoed thoughts that had never left her lips.

She felt known.

She felt alive.  Beautiful.  Desired.

One day, she was hurting, and the young man didn't understand.  He was standing right before her and she felt utterly alone.

She walked away.

Confused.  Still hurt.  And now her soul stinging with salt in its wound.

"Oh God.  I am so lonely.  No one knows the depths of my heart or the secrets of my soul." she said.
"I do"  He said
"I just want someone to love me." she said
"Darling, I do" He said

And for the first time, in perhaps a very long time- those words pierced her heart.  All walls crumbled down.  She heard HIM.  Her LORD, declare His love and devotion to her.

"Therefore, behold, I will allure her, bring her into the wilderness and speak kindly to her... in that day you will call me husband, you will no longer call me master.  I will betroth you to me forever.  Yes I will betroth you to me in righteousness and in justice, in lovingkindness and in compassion.  And I will betroth you to me in faithfulness.  Then you will know the LORD."

She heard His voice, and she knew Him.  This was not her master, this was her Husband, and she was His beloved.

She was not alone and she was known.

Daily, she enjoyed life as the Bride of the King.  She learned what it was to be loved by Him... what it was to truly be know.  She learned how to love and have compassion and lovingkindness.  Her days of intimate time with Him, the LORD brought her more joy and wisdom than she had ever known. 

She was free to love.  And be loved.

One day, a young man came again.  She tried to shove him away- she wanted nothing to separate her from this glorious love she knew with God.

But the LORD smiled.

And the young man stuck around. 

"My darling, you've learned to offer love, and to receive it, and so much more." said Her LORD.  "Now go be with this one I have prepared for you.  Share in my love.  Delight together in me, and in each other."

So they did. 

And they knew the power of true love.

Because they knew WHO their Beloved was and what it meant to BE LOVED!