Monthly Archives

July 2015

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Precious Ones

This post was a letter that I wrote for a very very special and remarkable friend. This young woman is truly incredible and I am so fortunate to have been blessed to have her in my life as a sister in Christ and a best friend. I wrote this letter to serve as a little reminder of how special she is and that she is one of God’s unique creations. But as God laid these words on my heart and the letter began to write itself I realized that we all need a little encouragement. For a long time I was down on myself and the opinions of others could shred me apart–but I have found my justification in God and that has made all the difference. And as I look around in this world I see that so many people struggle with their self confidence, it is time for us to start living a life in the freedom that comes with God’s justification and God’s love. I want this letter to serve as a reminder that you are all precious and beautiful. Let God be the one to justify you. Be reminded that God created you with intention and has declared you good. If you know anyone who needs to be encouraged, please remind them how special they are.

Precious Ones,

This is a letter to remind you that you are beautiful, that you are made with an incredible purpose and you are so remarkably special—not only to the many people you have touched here on earth but to an amazing God. You are a special and unique creation; no one is exactly like you and no one can add to the world what you can add. You add and share with this world a unique color that adds vibrancy to the lives of all that surround you—a color that only you, as you, can provide. My dear one, you deserve to be respected and loved by, not only, others but by yourself! Don’t you think it is time for you to be gentle, kind and loving with you? Don’t you think it is time to stop berating yourself for what society and others have made you feel? Don’t you think it is time to take a break and rest with the only One who can justify you, the One who loves you with an unconditional love and has claimed you good?

Cherished one, you are a unique and beautiful person, do you trust that God knew what the world needed when you were planned and created. No one in this entire world can do what you were created to do.

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.”

Read this verse and hear God’s love for you. You are fearfully and wonderfully made. Do you understand? God created you and has declared that you are wonderfully made. The next line states that we know God’s works are wonderful and guess what—YOU ARE ONE OF THESE WORKS.

I know where you are sitting, wondering why the world seems to declare you “lesser,” “not enough,” why it seems like you don’t fit in. Well I am going to let you in on a secret, it is because you were never meant to fit in, oh no my dear, you were born to stand out. We are not called to live as slaves to the opinions of imperfect human opinions—they do not justify us, it is the God who created you who justifies you and claims that you are good.

Genesis 1:27

“So God created humankind in his image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.”

We are created in the image of God—what could be more beautiful than this, and yet God does more, he declares us GOOD.

Genesis 1:31

“God saw everything he had made, and indeed, it was very good.”

Isaiah 43: 1

“But now thus says the Lord, he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel: Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine.”

You are called by name, and you are God’s. You do not belong to this world and society’s impossible standards do not apply to you, because you are above these earthly judgments—you are God’s.

Isaiah 43:4

“Because you are precious in my sight, and honored, and I love you. I give people in return for you, nations in exchange for your life.”

Precious, honored and loved—by God who is perfect, good, loving and who created everything.  The definition of precious, according to Google is of great value; not to be wasted or treated carelessly. You are precious, and you deserve to be treated as such, by those around you and by yourself.

When you begin to feel that you might be a mistake, or that something is wrong with you please, I beg you, to remember this: “Yet, O Lord, you are our Father; we are the clay, and you are our potter; we are all the work of your hand” (Isaiah 64:8).

The confidence and love that is being encouraged here is one of genuine acceptance of all that God has created and planned you to be. This is not a full-of-yourself, prideful confidence—no this is the sure, steadfast confidence that God created you to be unique for God’s purpose. You cannot expect to live fully into the life God is calling you to if you cannot accept that you are God’s good creation. You have to stop thinking you are not enough, because you are—God accepts and loves you with all your faults and imperfections. God uses imperfect people to do His work, imperfect people who embrace the gifts they have been given and who rely completely on their Lord and Savior for everything.

How can you use your God given gifts for God’s glory if you refuse to accept them as good and wonderfully made?

Romans 12:4-8

“For as in one body we have many members, and not all the members have the same function, so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually we are members one of another. We have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us: prophecy, in proportion to faith; ministry, in ministering; the teacher, in teaching; the exhorter, in exhortation; the giver, in generosity; the leader, in diligence; the compassionate, in cheerfulness.”

You have something special to share with this world, it is time you start believing it. You have to stop letting the opinions of others hinder you, and you have to stop letting that negative evil voice inside your head that whispers “you can’t”, stop controlling you. Turn to God who has justified you and declared you good.

First Corinthians 6: 19

“Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, which you have from God, and that you are not your own? For you were bought with a price; therefore glorify God in your body.”

Beloved:

“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds, so that you may discern what is the will of God—what is good and acceptable and perfect.”

It is time for you to be gentle with yourself. You are so unique and beautiful it pains God and it pains me to see you unhappy with the beautiful creation you are. Please let God be the only one who justifies you and know that you are precious, not only, in God’s sight but in mine as well.

Precious, honored, good and loved—that is what you are. Now please never question this again and love yourself a little.

2 In Blog

All In

Lately I have been talking with God and praying about something that seems too foolish or too trivial to bother God with. But I figured this is something that is important to me, who else am I going to share this with? If I do not feel comfortable enough to take this “trivial” concern to the One who knows my heart and soul completely and the One who is really in control of my life then something is not adding up. If we cannot trust God fully with our deepest secrets and biggest longings then who can we trust? I think we so often turn to God with the things that seem “Godly” enough that we forget that God so desperately wants us to come with all of our concerns–no matter how trivial they might seem.

God is not a genie God, I am not trying to say that you should wish to God for a pony but what I am saying is that God is our friend. We often just label God as a parent, someone who cares for us, protects us and provides for us but in a lot of cases we don’t want our parents to know everything. So who do we tell? Sometimes we keep them inside and a lot of times we tell our friends. While God as a parent is a significant, and I think necessary image of God, I think we should also relate to God as our friend. A close confidant that we can trust completely and tell our deepest darkest secrets and longings of the heart to. What would our faith look and feel like if we gave God our all?

One of my oldest, dearest and nearest friends and I hung out today and talked about being fully committed to God. We both have always been faithful and in close communication with God but recently in my personal relationship with God something has shifted and suddenly I feel as if I am deeper in my faith and relationship with God than ever. I used to read verse 17 in First Thessalonians “pray without ceasing” and think “well I am doing that-I pray to God all the time.” And sometimes those prayers included stuff like help my find a parking spot, let me merge onto the interstate without issues etc. (I think God has heard those prayers and answered them at times). I would pray to God about big stuff too but I don’t think I gave it my all, I don’t believe I was really all in with my prayers and my faith. To me, what Paul means is that we should be in deep communication with our Lord and Savior at all times; with murmurs of our heart that come deep from within our souls, with everything no matter how trivial or seemingly small.

Romans 8:26-27

“Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but that very Spirit intercedes with sighs too deep for words. And God, who searches the heart, knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.”

If it is important to you then it is important to God. If you trust God with the small stuff then you will be much more willing and able to trust God with the heavy big stuff. God searches your heart and knows everything that weighs it down but you will feel closer to God if you speak aloud the concerns, desires, fears, anxieties and joys that are there. God is here for you and greatly desires a relationship with you. Talk to God and know that God is right there with you sitting holding your heart and listening.

My faith has plunged deeper and I am in this incredible and unique place–one where I am learning to trust God with every aspect of my being, where I am all in this relationship and by being all in I am fully committed to the bumpy, beautiful and brightly colored life that only comes with being God’s. I think now I am beginning to fully understand what Paul meant when he said “pray without ceasing,” I still pray for help merging on the interstate and for serious stuff but I am learning to use my whole heart and my whole being to do it. I am wading deeper and deeper into the waters of faith and though, more times than not, I seem eccentric I have no doubt in my mind that this is where I am suppose to be. Paul has words addressing this as well:

Romans 12:2

“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds, so that you may discern what is the will of God–what is good and acceptable and perfect.”

Let us stop being ashamed of giving our all to God and being dependent for this is not weakness it is strength. Romans 12:9 “…’My grace is sufficient for you, for power is made perfect in weakness.”

Wouldn’t it be nice to live such a life with such a faithful loving friend? Trust God with everything no matter how small it may seem–God does not care, God wants you to share. Share everything with God, deepen the conversation and deepen the relationship with God because God is patiently waiting for you to. Go to the One who will always listen, always care and always will be there. Depend on God, give all of yourself to the One who is completely good and trustworthy. I promise you will never be disappointed.

Sisters and Brothers give God your all. Trust with every fiber of your being in the Lord who loves you and protects you. God wants you to trust him with everything–small, medium and large problems. Nothing is off limits with God–go and give your heart freely to the one who treasures it. Let us stop being afraid to profess our faith and express the goodness that God is.

May the peace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you all.1 Thessalonians 5.16-18

2 In Blog

Love the Skin You’re In

You may recognize the title of this post from an ad on TV. Olay has used the slogan “Love the Skin You’re In” for years. As I was thinking about what I could title this post this slogan crossed my mind, however, I couldn’t remember which company used it. So I turned to the trusty old Google to find my answer, but what I stumbled upon was even more amazing. I typed in the phrase but the first thing that popped up was a link to a site that campaigns for the empowerment of young women, to try and “Inspire young women to lead authentic lives.” I was blown away! The exact issues I have had laying on my heart are those of insecurities–not just those that women/girls feel but men/boys also feel. We all feel insecure in some ways, we all compare ourselves to others and we all are cruel to ourselves.

I am not sure about you but I am my own worst enemy, I constantly critique myself and compare myself to others which causes me to think I need to compete with them. Lately I have been really working on my self confidence and I have been practicing being kind to myself! We are taught to be kind to others and we need to be taught to be kind to ourselves. We try so hard to be perfect and the best that when we fail we are so hard on ourselves. How can we ever expect to succeed if we are are our own worst enemy, continually beating ourselves down?

It is time for us all to take a deep breath and remind ourselves that we were created with intention, a beautiful and meaningful purpose.

Genesis 1:31

“God saw everything that he had made, and indeed, it was very good…”

We are a big part of God’s good creation. We just need to start believing it. We need to recognize that we are special and we were hand crafted with all our quirks and imperfections and that God has declared these as good.

Isaiah 64:8

“Yet, O Lord, you are our Father; we are the clay, and you are our potter; we are all the work of your hand.”

And yet we look at our own brothers and sisters in this world and compare the work of art we are to the work of art they are. We compare ourselves and we usually declare that we come up short. This thought process has got to stop! So I am going to target one of the main enemies (at least among this generation). Social Media. Social media has its perks but it also has many downfalls; people use social media to project a perfect image of their life– without the flaws, ordinary life experiences, imperfections, hurt and realness. It is just an image–one that was probably planned out with the intention of getting attention and applause, that come in the form of likes. I am going to be honest, I have made myself MISERABLE looking at social media and comparing my real life to the perfect image of life others have posted. It was toxic and I was unhappy and insecure.  But since Easter I have not been on my Instagram’s newsfeed, I have posted here and there but I have not scrolled through its newsfeed. I stopped posting and checking snapchat’s My Story. And slowly but surely I have weeded out Facebook.

I feel free! I am much more focused on the life I am living here and now, I am not constantly on my phone (my phone’s charge lasts longer) and I have begun to stop comparing myself to others. I found a quote the other day that essentially stated that comparison is the number one enemy of joy. And I will be the first to admit that I know that for a fact. But I finally had enough and I cut it out–I do not want to be responsible for my own misery, my mental health is far more important that finding out where someone went on vacation.

Social media is not all bad but I can say that holding real conversations, nurturing real relationships, and living in real time is far more rewarding than wasting hours a day scrolling through social media comparing someones perfect image to your everyday life. Social media is a HUGE HELP to me with my blog. It has been a great platform to share my blog. I like the good that social media can do but I dislike the bad it can and does cause.

So my advice to you is find the things that make you feel insecure and weed them out. Social media was one of the things that made me feel insecure and I finally recognized the harm it was doing to me. If you know something is not good for your self confidence then stop it. You have the power to be kind to yourself so choose to be kind. Give yourself a much needed break and simply decide to love the skin you’re in. I believe we can never live fully into our God given purposes until we can respect and love the temple we have been given.

1 Corinthians 6:19-20

“Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, which you have from God, and that you are not your own? For you were bought with a price; therefore glorify God in your body.”

My dear sisters and brothers–you were bought with a price, please recognize what that means. You are worth far more than you could ever imagine. Be kind to yourself and others. And love the skin you’re in.

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

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Trust

Today I had a panic attack–something very crucial did not go smoothly and as a person who is very high strung, a worst case scenario thinker, and an overall worrywart I was in a tizzy. But lately I have been reading in my devotionals and in some outside readings about the relationship we are in with God and that in this relationship it is crucial for us to trust God. So lately I have been repeating  little mantra in my head “I trust you Lord/ I trust you God” When I started to feel myself clam up and become anxious I had to continually repeat my mantra…and when that was not a strong enough antidote I knew it was time to journal and listen to God’s responses through my devotionals.

Luckily I have had a very hectic past two weeks and have had two weeks worth of devotionals to catch up on. And guess what, every single one of my devotions up until this point have been about looking towards God and TRUSTING God in ALL circumstances. Letting God’s peace wrap around us and trusting in God’s plans, no matter how things may turn out. Trust is something hard for me to give so freely but it does make things easier to know that God is continuously the same and that God is good. It makes trusting God a lot easier knowing and believing in a kind, forgiving, loving and grace filled God.

Well friends, let me tell you something. I have a very special verse in the Bible, one that I hold onto because I fully believe and know that God used this verse to speak to me, to assure me that I was on the right path when I chose Scotland. I am not sure if you have read my post A Divine Protector but that post was in direct response to this verse.

Genesis 28:15

“Know that I am with you and will keep you wherever you go, and will bring you back to this land; for I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.”

And tonight as I went through my devotions God brought this same verse to my attention and I realized that God has got me. That no matter– what I am in the midst of a beautifully written and intentionally made story–one that God has intricately woven specially for me. In this story no matter what happens or where I go–God will be with me as my Divine Protector. So during this time of stress and haziness I am working on putting my trust in the Lord who will guard me, guide me and be ever present wherever I may go.

My hope is that whatever you may be going through, whatever trials that you may be struggling with you put your faith and trust into God. God will always be with you no matter where you may go.

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