Monthly Archives

January 2015

1 In Blog

Be Still, Listen, and Seek

A dear friend and mentor told me one day to be still and listen. I had been on a path of worry, frustration, and in a whirlwind of to do lists–my devotional was just another one of the items to check off my list.  I felt guilty if I did not read my devotional, like God would be mad or disappointed. But when I was so concerned with just checking something off my list and something like a devotional became a job, I knew I had to make a change. God did not want that time to be a job, but wanted it to be a moment of peace and love. So what I did was stop. I stopped doing my devotionals over the summer and did as my dear friend said–I stopped and listened. And when I stopped I heard–I mean really heard what I needed to.

In this world there I constantly feel like I am go go going. It is hard to feel like I have a moment to myself, and when I do I just want to veg out and watch tv. At the end of the summer I began my devotionals again and though I forget sometimes, I find myself looking forward to those moments where I can sit down and read and feel the peace that God provides. Now my devotionals are feeding my soul, and quenching my thirst. Over Christmas I felt an overwhelming sense of peace, love, and joy that I have never felt before. But now as I have come off that Jesus high I find myself seeking for this experience again.

My devotional time takes a solid hour and sometimes more. It is hard to find an hour a day where I can just sit, be alone, and do my devotionals–but I am working hard to keep myself on track. That peace and rest I found over break came from a consistent working at God and my relationship. Tonight I read something in my Jesus Calling: Enjoying His Peace in His Presence by Sarah Young that reminded me that it is not all about me in this relationship, there are two people here and I am just one. “Together we can make it!” (Sarah Young 19). I am not alone, God is with me and together we can make it through everything. I have to make that time for God, Jesus often gave the instructions to:

“Follow Me.” (John 21:19)

“Then he said to them all, ‘If any want to become followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me. For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake will save it'” (Luke 9:23-24).

[Offering Living Water] And Jesus said to her, ‘Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but those who drink of the water that I will give them will never be thirsty. The water that I will give will become in them a spring of water gushing up to eternal life'” (John 4:13-14).

I have to make the choice to seek out God and that time, and now I have found myself wanting to deepen our relationship. I struggle with insecurities and not recognizing my value–I often feel like I am not enough. But drinking in this Living Water is helping me, and I know that I am not alone in whatever hardship I may face.

So my charge for you this week is to be still, listen, and seek. Whether in need of a drink of living water, rest, help, or thanksgiving–be still, listen, and seek.

[Psalm 27:8-9] “‘Come my heart says, ‘seek his face!’ Your face, Lord, do I seek. Do not hide your face from me.” (When you seek God–God will not hide)

May the Peace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you all.

0 In Blog

Violence and Terror

Lately I have had writer’s block and haven’t known what to say. I still am having difficulty with what to say but I figured I should just write through it on a subject that has been on my heart lately.

This world is scary–not just scary but terrifying. It seems that every time you turn on the news another violent act has occurred. One of the most recent events being the massacre in Paris. I had the most wonderful pleasure of visiting Paris this past summer, and it saddens me greatly that this beautiful city in a wonderful country was terrorized.

I do not believe in violence. Violence is not the way to impact the world, today I had a conversation with a dear mentor and friend and I asked “Why can’t we just be nice to one another?” Why is it so hard for us to accept differences? Why is it that we must put others down, bully them, or strike out against them? I am going to tell you what I believe, you do not have to agree with me but I am going to lay out my personal beliefs. I believe that Jesus Christ is the way and I put my hope and faith into this but I also believe that we are all God’s children. When I say all, yes I mean all. Those who have different beliefs than me and maybe worship a god under a different name, they are my brothers and sisters. Those who believe in nothing–they are my brothers and sisters. So my heart hurts and I know God is incredibly saddened by the way we are treating one another. We live in this world together and this world is not big enough for us to blow one another up because of our differences, it is not up to us to judge what is right and wrong.

[Romans 14: 10-12] Why do you pass judgement on your brother or sister? Or you, why do you despise your brother or sister? For we will all stand before the judgement seat of God. For it is written, “As I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall give praise to God.” So then, each of us will be accountable to God.

The world is dark and hate filled. One of my favorite people is a strange little Indian man who is very famous, Gandhi. This man fought hatred and violence with peaceful nonviolent protesting. This man’s encouragement of nonviolence brought the ruling country of Great Britain to its knees eventually securing India’s independence in 1947 through nonviolence. This man was not Christian, though he had a vast knowledge of the Christian faith, and he delivers some of the most powerful messages. Messages that inspire hope, and we should read these and take them to heart.

“Power is of two kinds. One is obtained by the fear of punishment and the other by acts of love. Power based on love is a thousand times more effective and permanent then the one derived from fear of punishment.”

“Non-violence is the greatest force at the disposal of mankind. It is mightier than the mightiest weapon of destruction devised by the ingenuity of man.”

“When I despair, I remember that all through history the way of truth and love have always won, There have been tyrants and murders, and for a time they seem invincible, but in the end they always fall. Think of it–always”

This last quote ties into one of my favorite verses from the Bible, Romans 8: 28.

“We know that all things work together for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose.”

God is going to take care of us, but we are called to love one another. So I am going to ask you, my readers, to do something. Please pray; pray for those men and women who were brutally killed because of their opinions families and friends, pray for the citizens of France, now for the hardest pray for those who caused this pain and suffering. The last one is one of the hardest things to do, but pray for them because it is so sad that they believe that their god wants them to hurt others. It is so hard to pray for those who hurt us and hurt others but they are some of the most needing people of our prayers.

Je suis Charlie.

May the peace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you all.

0 In Blog

New Year’s Resolutions

With the ringing in of a new year people begin to think about their resolutions and what they want to change and who they want to be in the new year. I have been working on my resolutions for about a week now, “researching” and thinking about who I want to be, where I want to see myself in 2015 and the best route to becoming her. I am a huge Pinterest person, anyone who follows me knows I pin a gazillion things everyday. In the past week I have been pinning and pulling a bunch of different quotes and these quotes have helped compile my list of resolutions for 2015.

I will not be fearful. Fear is the enemy of happiness, peace, and love. When you let fear seep in your joy begins to drain and its incredibly hard for you to feel peace. So this year I refuse to let fear seep in and ruin my happiness. I will not be fearful of failure, trying new things, of challenging myself, and change.

[Joshua 1:9] I hereby command you: Be strong and courageous; do not be frightened or dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.

[Psalm 46:1-6] God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change, though the mountains shake in the heart of the sea; though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble with its tumult.

[Psalm 56:3-4] When I am afraid, I put my trust in you. In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust; i am not afraid; what can flesh do to me?

You all know that I am the queen of worry. But the past few months I have really been working on looking at what makes me happy, trusting, and not worrying. So for 2015 I am going to be continuing the path of peace and will be trying to stop this anxiety and worry. It also helps that I have a boyfriend, friends, and family who will remind me not to worry, coaches are great to have, no one wants to do it alone! I am putting my trust in God and trust in the fact that it will all work out how it should–God’s got this.

[Philippians 4:6-7] Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of Go, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

I am going to trust. God’s hand has been leading me throughout my whole life;I can look back and see the places and decisions God has led me to and I know that God will continue to lead me.

[Psalm 40:4] Happy are those who make the Lord their trust, who do not turn to the proud, to those who go astray after false Gods.

[Isaiah 46:4] Even to your old age I am he, even when you turn gray I will carry you. I have made, and I will bear; I will carry and will save. (That last sentence–God is with us no matter what and will carry us and protect us, we are God’s children)

[Isaiah 26:3-4] Those of Steadfast mind you keep in peace–in peace because they trust in you. Trust in the Lord forever, for in the Lord God you have an everlasting rock. (I love that–an everlasting rock. How can we be on shaky ground if we trust in the Lord, because God is our everlasting rock!)

This next one is one I really struggle with. I am going to love myself–with exactly who I am. I feel that many of us have been told not to think too highly of ourselves because you do not want to come off as vain. However, if you take this advice too far the other way you could end up like me and think too low of yourself. Honestly, in the past few weeks I have started to see that I am special–I am unique, no one is exactly like me and special in the same ways I am. We are all special! We are God’s children and have been given incredible gifts. 2015 is the year that I am going to start accepting that I am special. I am enough, I have value, and I am favored. But I also am realizing these gifts are not just mine to keep all for myself–no God wants me to use my special gifts to glorify God. And that is what my hope is–I hope that I can take these gifts and help someone else while also glorifying my incredible God.

[Psalm 139:13-15] For it was you who formed my inward parts; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; that I know very well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth.

Along with loving myself, I am going to take myself out of competitions. You know those competitions humans by nature get into–who made the better grade, who got what for Christmas, who is busier ect. These competitions that tend to make us feel bad about ourselves and like failures. Well this year I am not participating. I am going to stop comparing myself to others and recognize that I am enough exactly how I am.

“Confidence isn’t walking into a room with your nose in the air, and thinking you are better than everyone else, it’s walking into a room and not having to compare yourself to anyone in the first place” (Anonymous–Found this quote on Pinterst)

My main hope is that I can remain close to God, trying to walk the path that God has planned for me. 2015 is a time of incredible change for me, I am going to graduate college and move into the real world. It is a bitter sweet feeling but I know that I am well equipped to handle whatever life throws at me. I know that no matter where I go God will always be with me.

May the Peace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you all! Happy New Year! Remember you are very special and precious.