Mission Trip- Guatemala!!

As you know, God has truly been working around the clock to shape and mold me into the woman He created me to be. It’s been three short years since I officially accepted a relationship with Christ, and the Master of the Universe has been busy in my life. I was blessed to go on a mission trip to Costa Rica in 2008 where I met a young student whose education I now sponsor. I also moved to Atlanta in 2009 where I am now teaching at a private Christian school, working on a Masters in Biblical Studies, and serving at an amazingly spirit-filled and gospel- driven church. I am out of breath just thinking about all that God has done in a very short period of time!

I am now being offered another amazing opportunity to travel outside of the United States and minister to people in Guatemala. I have been asked to chaperone the trip with two fellow teachers as we take nine of our students into a life-changing situation. Not only am I honored to have this opportunity, I am also humbled at the thought of getting another chance to travel and serve for God.

In order to go on this mission trip I will need to raise funds and build up a lot of prayer support. It is not just the person who goes ON the trip who is blessed; it is also the people who partner up to help that person along the way, be it through prayer, encouragement, or financial giving. I am asking you to prayerfully consider partnering with me with a one-time financial donation to go abroad. I need to raise a total of $1000.00 by February 14th, 2011. If you decide to make a financial donation, donate to danielletabor@gmail.com using pay-pal services (www.paypal.com)

I believe this trip to Guatemala from March 7th-14th will be an amazing experience for myself and my students. I have high expectations of what I believe God wants to do in and through us!

“Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever! “

Ephesians 3:20


I just wanted to write an update to my post from last night, “My Alarm.” I decided to try this whole thing again, and I resolved to actually get some peaceful rest, knowing that I hadn’t set my alarm clock.

God woke me up at 5:47 this morning. Let me be clear, this is NOT a time I usually pop up to use the restroom or turn over (that’s more like 3:32AM).

2 days in a row, He said to me ” I love you, THIS MUCH!”

Truly, how GREAT is our GOD?

My Alarm

Last week was interesting, to say the least. Being cooped up in an apartment alone for an extended period of time isn’t my idea of fun, so when I had a chance to get out and about this weekend, I took it! I went shopping with no agenda, which is such a refreshing activity. Anything I purchased was a mini treasure; a fun surprise that I didn’t plan on. One such treasure was an awesome pair of red heals which were on sale and just my size.

I wore those shoes the very next day to church, and they looked great with my outfit! I would say that the only setback to my adorable Sunday garb was the excruciating pain my feet were in after hour 3 at church. Note to self: wear comfortable shoes to church. ALWAYS.

As much pain as I was in, I still found an excuse to do some browsing around Garden Ridge after service. Again, I didn’t have an agenda at that store; I simply wanted to walk around and see what was available. About twenty minutes into my wandering session, I wanted to scream. I had managed to meander to the back of the store at the moment my feet decided to go on strike, and my escape seemed miles away. As I hobbled up the front of the store, getting closer and closer to freedom, I noticed a large table with discount books. Being the nerd and literary hoarder that I am, I HAD to stop and see if any titles tickled my fancy. The first book I picked up turned out to be a huge blessing from God. For $3.12, I walked limped away from Garden Ridge with a book that has elevated my views of the single life. I read it in less than 24 hours.

The book was written by Patti Gordon (who actually lives in Atlanta now) and is titled Press Play:Taking the Single Life Off Hold. You can see it here.
With her consuming and relatable anecdotes, Ms. Gordon reveals the beauty of being life-long single lady who not only trust God for a husband, but also isn’t waiting around for him. I didn’t have any intentions of finding or reading this book, or anything like it. But God had ( always has) better plans.

As I finished the book last night, the last section stuck with me into the night hours. Patti talked about a friend of hers who, for a month’s time, allowed God to be her alarm clock. Literally. She didn’t set an alarm, even on the night before she was scheduled to take a major test that would reveal her competency after years of studying and hard work. God woke her up everyday. After that conversation with her friend, Patti felt lead to (reluctantly) try this out. She didn’t set an alarm on the night she needed to be up at 4AM to finish an important work deadline. God woke her up at exactly 4AM.

I read her stories about heartache and trusting God, but for some reason this one sticks out the most to me. How often do we say we trust God for all things, but aren’t truly showing it in our daily walk. I am not saying we need to leave our doors open and jump off cliffs, but for me, I find it hard to accept that I actually trust God when the thought of not setting an alarm in hopes of Him waking me up gives me sweaty palms and heart palpitations. Seriously, I don’t have asthma, but I need an inhaler stat!

So, I didn’t feel comfort going to be last night after reading about Patti’s bold and crazy trust in God. I usually set two alarms because I simply don’t trust myself, and I was actually considering leaving both OFF and trusting God to wake me up. As I thought about it, I had to laugh. God is the creator of the Universe, the Master of time and space. He also gave me the job that I was so worried about being late to, and He shows His love for me daily. Why can’t I trust Him with a simple wake up call? As a matter of fact, what better way to wake up than to be greeted by the presence of God?

So I didn’t set my alarm. Well, okay, so I set it, but I shut it off after a minute when I knew I wouldn’t be able to live with myself. Though I was just coming off 10 days of reckless staying up late and sleeping in late, and my sleep schedule was all out of whack, I HAD to see I could put my money where my mouth was. And, let’s be honest, I wanted to see if God would too.

So, I tossed and turned with fear, and I am not proud to admit it. Every time I popped up from slumber, I looked at the clock. But you know what, it almost felt like Christmas; like when I actually did wake up in the morning, I was going to be greeted with amazing presence (not presents). I kept smiling in my sleep-waking, and I kept repeating to myself, “The God of the Universe is going to wake me up today!” That is so cheesy to admit, but it’s true. And what do you know, at 5:48AM, my precious cat Simba- who makes a bed at my feet each night- bit my toe. This cat hasn’t bit me in the two years I’ve had him. He’s loving, friendly, and always lays at my feet, so any jerking or frantic movement doesn’t bother him. So after all that tossing and turning, that clock watching, the God of the Universe used my cat to wake me up this morning. On top of that, He did so at a time that allowed me a to comfortably get ready for work without stressfully running out of the door with half of my clothes on (normal routine if I wake up with an alarm clock).

So, I won’t say I passed this test perfectly. I won’t even say I feel comfortable doing this again tonight. I will say this, though: The God of the Universe woke me up this morning, He was my alarm. And if I am going to be honest, it felt and feels amazing to think that in all the world, He chose to be with me at 5:48 this morning, simply to say “I love you, THIS MUCH.”

That’s an alarm I could get used to….

You are ____er than you thought….

In November, I realized that if I wanted to accomplish one of my life goals, I would have to literally get started. I signed up to run my very first race, a 5K, and I completed that race on January 1st of this new year. I didn’t run the whole length of the race, as I mentioned in my previous post about the race, but I did finish within an awesome time. Tonight, I am signing up to do my second race on February 12th, and my current goal for that one is to run the whole time.

As much as I want to accomplish this small task (small in comparison to the major goal which is running a whole marathon within the next 2.8 years) I mentally can’t wrap my mind around being able to physically accomplish this task. Even today, when faced with the task of running 25 minutes straight without stopping, I hesitated to get off of the couch and onto the treadmill because 25 minutes is a long time when you’re a new runner. I set out to run as long as I could without stopping, allowing myself a 1-2 minutes break somewhere within the workout. I was wrong about what I thought I could accomplish. I ran the full 25 minutes without stopping.

I think I often do this: I assume I am not strong enough, smart enough, brave enough, to accomplish certain things. I set smaller goals that my mind can actually wrap around, but I have to be honest, I am just trying to avoid disappointment or rejection. I’m done with that madness. Seriously.

If I trust in and believe in a God who is greater than my wildest imagination can fathom, I can also trust in and believe in the power that resides within me because of that Great and Awesome God. I am stronger than I thought, and it has nothing to do with my own physical abilities, and everything to do with the abilities and talents He put inside of me. Let’s be honest, if you know me, you can tell I don’t look like a “runner”, and as much as my physical size is a work in progress, it’s also a reminder to me that what the physical eye sees isn’t always the truth!! How awesome is God?

So, tonight served as a nice reminder that getting in my own way doesn’t make the mountains I have to climb any smaller; it simply postpones the inevitable journey up.

What mountain are you afraid to climb? What issue are you avoiding? What goal do you think you can’t accomplish?

Trust in HIM; you are _____er than you thought…. 🙂

Played this game before….

Have you ever found yourself in a life situation that seems to simply be a repeat of a previous one? I like to think of these events as failed tests; ones in which I keep repeating because I didn’t get it right the first time ten times.

In my walk with Christ, I am learning that each and every time I face a situation in life, be it a difficult decision of what food to eat or what man to date, I have complete control over what decision I make. You have control of what you do, and you don’t have to make the same mistakes you made in the past. Know this: you can consciously decide to make a better choice this time, and stand firm on that decision. You control the situation; it’s not the other way around.

Genesis 3:21

I was talking to some my friends the other day reading the Bible in a year. I expressed my failed attempts in the past, and also my annoyance with re-reading through Genesis again! I mean seriously, how many times have I read that one book and failed to even touch some of the others? I want to read the Bible in a year, but can I skip the books I have already studied?

It’s not that I don’t understand the importance of God’s word, nor do I negate the fact that new revelation comes with every reading; I simply want to accomplish this task and I fear that if I spend time reading that which I have already read, I won’t have steam to read the new books. Sounds really silly when I type it out, but that was my faulty logic when I was discussing these things with some friends the other day. Regardless of any fear or hesitation I had, I signed up for the Bible in a Year and God blew me out of the water on day one.

No matter how many times I have read Genesis, I am convinced I have never seen or registered the following verse:

Genesis 3:21- Also for Adam and his wife the LORD God made tunics of skin, and clothed them. (NKJV)

We should all know the pretext of this scripture: it’s after Eve and Adam eat of the forbidden fruit and are punished for their actions. As they are about to be taken out of Eden, the author of Genesis slips in this verse and it speaks volumes about the LOVE, I mean PURE LOVE, that God has for His creation. He clothed them. Even after they did what He told them not to do; after they chose a path He hadn’t planned for them, which lead them to comprehend and feel shame for their nakedness. HE STILL CLOTHED THEM. God made clothes for the beings He planned to be naked, and put them on their beautiful hand-made bodies, and in doing so He shows a love that I can’t understand.

Imagine how heartbroken God must have been to see that the one creation He made to resemble His image had chosen a path that was apart from Him. How sad to think that His plans for Adam and Eve (and all of us) were to walk intimately with Him, and He gave them everything He could offer, except the fruit from one tree. They chose that tree, and a life apart from God. But even after that chose, HE STILL CLOTHED THEM. This small action, to me, is the first step toward the Cross. In covering Adam and Eve with clothes, God is setting us all up to be covered and cloaked in the BLOOD of Jesus.

He still loves me, even when I do what He told me not to do. He has clothes ready to place on my body, and THAT love is so wild, I can’t believe I get to experience it everyday.

It’s not about avoiding pain

First of all, Happy New Year to all of my readers! I pray that you began 2011 with loved ones surrounding you, even if it was simply your pets. 🙂

As for me, I started 2011 by achieving one of my 100 life goals; I completed a 5K race. I combined running and walking to finish the 3.1 course, and I have to be honest with myself and with you: I am excited! I know I didn’t finish in record time, I know that I walked more than I ran, I know that my body aches, and that I have a long way to go before I reach my goal of running a marathon before the age of 30. However, I also know that simply showing up and completing the course was a huge accomplishment for me.

I have always been overweight, and in 2008 I dropped 80 pounds, some of which I gained back. Even after losing that amount, I was (and still am) overweight for my height. I come from a family of big people, who happen to be big eaters as well. But regardless of my genealogy and build, I did something I didn’t think I had the courage to do today, and I honestly think this is the start of something.

As I was run/walking the course today, I was passed up by people who were older than me, younger than me, heavier than me, and much skinnier than me. My flesh wanted to feel sorry, and get irritated at the fact that at 27 I couldn’t keep up with an 80 year old woman. But you know what? She was running a race that was all hers, and I was running one that was mine. The whole concept of running MY race really dawned on me today when I was literally doing it: I couldn’t do what others were doing because I simply wasn’t supposed to! I was supposed to show up today and run Danielle’s race (in the pouring down rain, might I add) and that’s exactly what I did. I admire the people who lapped me, and who finished in less time than it takes me to brush my teeth; I really do! My hope is that as I progress and get stronger, I can run (MY OWN RACE) with endurance like them.

And that’s another fun lesson I learned today. As I relaxed on my couch, fully ready to take a nap that has to this hour still not happened, I started looking up marathon training plans and running tips. I slowly became a little deflated when I continually read people’s laments about the pain that comes with running, and after a while my flesh did not like what I was reading. Then a question popped in my head, that makes me smile now: Why do these people still run?

Why? Why put yourself in that painful situation? Why push your body to limits unthinkable for a t-shirt and a trophy? Why spend hours of training and running as your body suffers damage that only be repaired by rest? Why show up? And then God answered my milieu of questions with this intriguing truth:

It’s not about avoiding the pain that comes with life; it’s about finding a way to endure the pain that will inevitably come in life.

I have spent 27 years avoiding pain. Honestly. Think about it. I have avoided a lot of situations because I thought it would enable me to escape pain, but in reality I have just been experiencing a different kind. For example, you don’t go on dates because you don’t want experience rejection. Sound logical? However, you end up feeling the pain of loneliness and unmet desire. Trading one for the other….

So, as I push my body past physical limits this year (Atlanta Marathon in October!!!), I am encouraged to also push my heart a little further as well. I don’t want to fool myself anymore; I am holding out, and in essence that’s not symbolic of trusting God. It’s time to stop avoiding pain, and find out how to run with endurance in all areas of my life.