10.31.2012

She - Part 3

“I’m just so down on myself all the time...”

Her friend says this and she nods knowing exactly what she meant.

She tells her friend it’s okay and that everybody feels bad about themselves sometimes and her friend nods silently and gently reaches out for a hug. They embrace, say goodbye, and head their separate ways.

The past few weeks have been good to her.

She’s happy at her job, things at home are more relaxed, and she hasn’t thought too much about her weight, appearance, or what people think about her in a while.

‘This is good, Lord, thank You.’ she prays silently. She looks up at the sun and smiles. This is good.

Then it happens.

She wasn’t prepared for this attack. It came out of the blue. All the truths she’s practiced over and over again were now slowly leaving and the lies began to spread again.

No, no, no. Not this time. I just can’t seem to shake this. Oh, God, where are You?

Nothing. Her prayer is answered with silence.

She doesn’t know what to do so she doesn’t do anything. She listens to the lies and the process starts again.

The lies are kind of like an old friend that treated you poorly. You don’t know whether to leave them and pursue something better or because you want some company, keep them near and just listen.

She chose the latter. She always chose the latter.

One day, she thinks, this won’t be a problem.

But hope is quickly lost and she remembers that for today, it is a problem, and she doesn’t know how to solve it.

She won’t pray today. Or tomorrow. Or the next day because she think it makes no difference.

She just doesn’t know what’s coming.

--
Come back next week for the final installment of 'She'. Have a great day, guys!

10.30.2012

Moments Don't Last Forever

I want this moment to last forever.

This moment that seems so perfect. Wrapped in His embrace, whole, warm, happy, content.

Yet I know this moment won’t last forever.

I know this moment will come to a close and I’ll find myself (again) face down, crying, begging, and pleading for Him to make more of me. For Him to make me whole, happy, and warm again.

I know the moment will come when the attacks of Satan prove to be too much for this faint heart and I’ll have to plead for strength- His strength- to fall on me so that I don’t fail Him again.

But I will fail Him again.

It breaks my heart to write those words and know them to be completely true, yet I know that they are indeed, completely true.

I love how He knows I’ll fail Him, move from Him, walk away from Him and yet His love never changes. His love isn’t based on my actions. His love is who He is. God is love. And so I know it Him, to be this love overwhelming.

I try and cling to the moments that seem so perfect, but I’ve realized that if that moment in time were to last forever He would not move me from it.

So I’m not clinging to the times that seem so amazing but will eventually come to an end. That would be idolatry. I enjoy them, I rejoice when I have them, and I thank the Lord for giving them to me. But I don’t cling to them anymore.

I cling to my Abba. My Redeemer. My Healer. My Provider. My Beloved. Because He is worth clinging to.

Moments don’t last forever. God does.

10.29.2012

Breathe - Monday Reflections

Is this happening again?

The words swirl over and over again and don't make sense to anyone but me.

The thoughts, the attacks, the fear, the irritation, the jealousy.

This is too much.

I sit down, I think it over and decide that for God it's not. He can handle this too. All that's left to do is pray and believe. Trust and obey. Lay it down and wait on Him.

Breathe.

Sometimes the best thing to do is stop- breathe- and then let the Lord fight for you.

 
"The Lord will fight for you; you must be quiet." - Exodus 14:14
 
 
“Stop your fighting—and know that I am God,
exalted among the nations, exalted on the earth." - Psalm 46:10


 
Whatever you go through today, tomorrow, this week or the next remember to breathe and know (really I hope you know with no doubts in your mind at all) that the Lord is fighting for you. You may have limited strength, but His strength is limitless. What a Savior!

10.25.2012

Word Vomit Happens Again...

Yes, folks, it does. Words are coming. Not in a pretty, organized, wonderful order but in a reckless, gotta get it off your chest kinda way.

Have you ever been in one of those places where you have so much going on inside of you and you just need to get it out, but there's no one there to talk to for hours and hours so you just write it all out on your blog?!

Yeahh.... I'm sure you're not like me. :P

Anyways. God has blown me up this week. Like BLOWN me up. Ever prayed for Him to move in big ways? Scary prayer, awesome aftermath.

It started Monday. I got angry over something really stupid and started questioning everything in my life. Mostly the motivation for everything I do.

Conviction ensued.

I asked God why I post verses, quotes, thoughts, etc. on twitter and facebook- for me or Him? For my glory or His? Was it so I looked like "super Christian" or so people saw the real God above?

Sadly I learned that a lot of it was based on how many likes I could get and trying to impress others. Lame, I know.

God freed me from that.

Then, I was having some loneliness. Ladies and gents, it's not always easy being single (psshh like I have to tell you!). Sometimes I just want someone to come over, hold me and watch a movie (God does that too, btw!). I got super down and was thinking like, can I really do this single thing? God is this what You have for me right now? Really? Is it?

It is.

Tuesday, Wednesday, and today the Lord reminds me of the truth in being single for His glory and how to live it everyday.

I'm so content right now. It's such a perfect place to be in the Father's arms. No worries (that doesn't mean there's nothing on my mind, just I have trust in my Abba:), no complaints, no regrets, just love and warmth.

I'm wondering about you. The person who reads this. Do you know the joy of Christ? Do you know that warmth or love? Have you ever even been embraced by love Himself? Not just an "oh, i love ya'!" but deep, crazy, radical, beautiful, endless love that can only come from Jesus... do you know that?

I'm praying for you right now. I hope you do know it and live in it and give it.  If not, seek it. Seek that love from Christ. You'll find Him because He says you will and I believe it because I have.

10.24.2012

She - Part 2

If you missed last week's post (Part 1) you can read it here. Hope you guys enjoy part 2!

--
She’s at work.

Keeping herself busy is probably the best thing to do. No thoughts of how fat she must look, no feelings of hatred toward herself, no time to over analyze her every move.

Unkind words don’t just hurt her. The burn her. They stab her. One unkind word you brush off is the worst thing that could ever happen to her.

She’s hurting.

In pain, sobbing herself to sleep every night. What for? She hates herself and believes everyone else does too. Love is distant to her, almost unreal. She’s never known it and she’s not quite sure she’s ever felt it.

She goes to church. She believes in Christ and loves Him, but her love for Him is half hearted because she’s scared He’s angry at her all the time and hates her.

That’s so far from the truth.

Am I not worth loving? Is there something wrong with me? There must be because everyone hates me. I’m worthless. Why am I even here?

The thoughts swirl. She tries to fight, but she’s tired and lonely and numb.

She stops, looks around to see if anyone has noticed that her working has stopped and her thoughts have taken over. They haven’t. ‘Invisible, she thinks, I must be invisible to everybody.’

After a few moments she collects herself.

Her shift is over. She heads home. It's indifferent at home. Not too good, not too bad.

She goes to her room, lays down her keys and bag, and collapses into the only position she can think to have- knelt down. She prays for the first time in days. She’s desperate.

‘He hears me’, she thought, and the darkness seems to be breaking.


Come back next Wednesday for part 3 in the series!

10.22.2012

Always Running - Monday Reflections

I’m always running.

Always.

I run from problems. I hate to deal with them (can I get amen?!). I don’t want to confront anything. Yes, I realize this is a bad way to be. No, I’m not too worried about it because I know God will work it out.

My idea of a nightmare is having to tell someone that they are doing something that hurts me or the body of Christ. To confront that? Umm yeah, gimme a rain check.

I run from God, sometimes.

Oh, sorry. That probably offended someone just then. You know, the perfect people who never have those thoughts or problems with the Lord. Ha! That ain’t me. The Lord shows grace upon grace over my life because this little girl does not always submit.

I’m not boasting in my running but in His grace.

Sometimes I’m scared of the thoughts I have in regard to my Savior. Sometimes they aren’t pretty or nice. Sometimes they are mean and stupid. Sometimes they sound like someone who doesn’t even know the Lord and sometimes I refuse to confront any of that.

I run.

I run from the thoughts, the problems, the annoyances, and I flee into a corner of simplicity and darkness. Away from everyone and everything and then I’m alone.

But I’m not alone.

I look up, and there, before my very eyes, is a hand extended towards me in love.

“Let Me love you.”
“No, Lord, I can’t. I’m scared, I’m hurt. Let me sit here, alone, just to be. Not to think or talk, just to be.”
“Rest in Me, child.”

And so I will.

I will rest in my Lord. I will stop running from the problems, the issues, the hardness of life and I won’t even confront those things right now. I will simply rest in my Beloved and wait for Him to move me.

What are you running from? What do you run to? Is it possible that you just need to rest in the Lord and let Him guide you?

10.19.2012

R-E-S-P-E-C-T

He says, “Hey baby! You got a boyfriennnd?”

“No. I don’t want one either.” I say in as polite a tone as I can muster.

Then I pray.

I pray for this man who doesn’t know the Lord. I pray he finds his identity in places other than how many girls he can holler at. I pray for this anger and bitterness that rises towards men to go away.

I wonder how many times this has to happen before I do something about it. Before we as human beings do something about it.

I noticed something the other day. I was walking and saw a young lady being catcalled. I felt sorry for this sister that had to deal with this embarrassing and uncalled for behavior.

Do you know what happened next? She walked toward him. She freaking walked toward this man who clearly had no respect for her and she was okay with it.

We are raising young women and young men who don’t know what the word respect means.
They don’t know what it looks like, how it smells, or what to do with it. Girls seek after the “bad boys” who will break their hearts in a million pieces and probably take their purity with them. Guys are looking at porn and getting in relationship after relationship after relationship just to “experiment”.

This has got to stop. Right here, right now.

Do you know what happens when you do something over and over again? It becomes a habit, a pattern, and eventually it becomes part of your life. Sometimes it is your life. You eat, sleep, breathe, crave that attention, that feeling, that comment, that face.

Ladies and gents, respect yourself.

Before you can respect yourself you must respect God and how He made you. When you get past that I think you’ll find you’ve already learned a lot about respecting yourselves.

You do not have to accept that man yelling at you. You do not have to accept that girl who wants to break up because she thinks you’re a chicken for not wanting to have sex. You don’t have to accept the “status quo” that is shoved down your throat every day.

You were made for more and you matter. Drink those words in, friend, because they are true and your Heavenly Father speaks them over you daily.

**Big thanks to Emily for inspiring this post.

10.17.2012

She - Part 1

She started the day as she did every other... getting out of bed and heading for the shower.

She was thankful for the few moments of peace she had before she really had to start her day.

The last few drops of water dripped off and she wrapped her hair in a towel and headed for the foggy mirror to begin her battle.

Oh, you didn't know? She's in a war.

She wipes the mirror in a circular motion and sees her reflection. She hates it. She grabs her makeup bag and begins the process of covering up everything she can until she's unrecognizable to the person who was just there moments ago.

She tries to fight these thoughts, really she does. The thoughts that call her ugly and worthless. She's a Christian, she's read books on her image, memorized the verses about how she's created in His image and that image is beauty, but she still doesn't see it. She can't believe it. She won't believe it.

The war is over for a few minutes.

She smiles at the way her eyes now sparkle and the way no blemish or pimple can be seen anymore. She's satisfied.

She then makes her way to her closet, picks an outfit, and the war starts all over again.

"If I weren't so fat," she thought, "then this would probably look good."

She tried several other things on and finally crumpled to the floor in tears. She's frustrated and tired. Not just for this time being, but for this moment that occurs every day of her life.

--
I remember that being my life for years. Call me dramatic if you will (and of course, that tag would probably be true :P ), but this is so many girls lives every single day. You think it's just being vain and thinking only of their appearance but the issues go much deeper than that.

It comes from a lack of identity, purpose, fulfillment and satisfaction in Christ and how they were made. It may also come from the "friends" who always put them down, the father who isn't around, or the mom who has suffered so much pain she can't bring herself to uplift her own daughter.

If you resonate with this, know I'm praying over you right now. Please seek the Father and His love. Don't try and find it elsewhere, because I can tell you from experience, you'll never find love or worth outside of Christ.

If you know someone who is dealing with these things, be there for her. Love her. Pray for her. Be a friend to her.

You might be the smile that turns the day around for another child of God.

Note: This is part one of a series I have started. Come back next Wednesday for the next part!

10.16.2012

Why Being Honest Is A Form Of Humility

Have you ever been going through a really tough struggle and dealing with just straight up junk and been too afraid of telling someone because they might judge you for it?

Holla!

As a Christian, I think there is this unspoken word of how you must be perfect and never struggle. It's predominately called pride.

Pride is what keeps a person from speaking their problems to another soul. Pride is what makes the response from the other person seem so far away from the issue because they have "never had that problem".

We could be more honest with one another if judgement weren't so ensuing. Being honest is a form of humility. It shows others that you know you struggle and that truly Jesus is the One who is perfecting you daily. It shows that you aren't afraid to admit you're hopeless without Him.

One of my biggest pet peeves is sharing a struggle with a person and them telling you to just suck it up and move forward. Sometimes that lights a fire and helps you through, but more often than not that's not the response you need. What if God said, "Oh, you're having a hard time? Well, you'll get through it eventually."? You'd probably say He wasn't a loving Father. But He doesn't do that. Even when we're completely out of line He still holds us to His side and loves us.

The answer to problems should always be in love and care. The response could sound like this, "I know what you're going through is rough and so I'm gonna hold you and be by your side all the way through it."

"People won't care how much you know until they know how much you care."

Jesus saves me every day. It's a never ending process. He is my strength, but on my own I lack strength and this little heart gets confused at times or maybe just goes through a downright hard day and that, my friend, is when I need a good hug and some hot chocolate.

Pride. Let's let go of it on both sides. The side where all you see is your problem (you weren't made for this world.) and yet won't seek a solution and the side that sees no problems because they believe it makes them look "weak" in Christ to actually suffer. I think Paul would have something to say to both.

Here's my challenge for you this week: I believe God made us to need one another. You can't be real, true friends with a person without sharing struggles. Share one struggle you're having with a person you can be real with. Don't just bring it up and drop it- work through it. Talk it out. Get God's Word and seek.

Judgement shouldn't be the response, love should. Are you judging or loving?

10.15.2012

The Radical Question & A Radical Idea - review

 
 
You can read this book in day, but God will use it to change your life for much longer.
 
David Platt is definitely one of my all time favorite pastors. I remember reading Radical for the first time and being completely blown away by this idea of being more than a church going, no cussing, Christian.
 
I didn't read the second book to Radical, but heard great things about it and as I've been reading through 'A Radical Idea' I've definitely added Radical Together to a list of books I want to read.
 
Maybe you have or haven't read Radical. That's okay either way. Wanna know why? Because if you have read it, this quaint little book will re-ignite that passion you had when you first read it and if you haven't then you'll definitely be wanting to pick it up afterwards. This is definitely something the Lord uses to give us all a heart check.
 
Often times we live in our cute houses with our nice cars and cool clothes and never stop to think of the person who is starving to death or without a home or without a family. Can you imagine actually being thankful for your family? Ludicrous I know! (That's sarcasm by the way.) Do you really believe that this life of luxury is the life the Lord intended for us to live? The One who said to "love your neighbor as yourself" and yet we constantly overlook our neighbors as if they don't exist. I certainly don't believe a life lived for ourselves is what God wants. I believe that's a complete contradiction to what He saved us from and if you read this book you might be enlightened to this point as well.
 
This book is definitely one you can read in a day,but it's probably one you might want to work your way through bit by bit because you will for sure have thoughts about your life now and how you might or might not be making His name known.
 
I encourage you to cross the threshold and see your life through the Lord's eyes in no fear and giving it all up for Him. Ultimately you must answer this question that Platt asks,
 
What is Jesus worth to you?
 
Note - Waterbrook Multnomah Publishing Company gave me this book for free for reviewing purposes.
 

10.12.2012

Father, help me love

I have to rely on Jesus to love.

Loving is scary. I don't always like it. I like the way love makes me feel, but to give it? To risk being rejected and still give it? Yeah, I don't like that too much.

Can you imagine being Jesus, walking this earth, completely sinless around a bunch of messed up, sinful people? Can you imagine giving love to people who think you're crazy and whisper about you when you pass by (to clarify- that's not in the Bible I don't think, but it probably happened.)? I mean He knows these people (us!) would reject Him, fight Him, ignore Him, blame Him and yet He still chose to love us all the way to the Cross.

Dang. I want that kind of love.

I squirm a lot when being pursued by someone. I've squirmed more than I can count while the Lord pursued me and pressed me to His heart. Love is uncomfortable sometimes. It's gritty and scary and sometimes it looks really stupid to other people. Sometimes love is confrontational and sometimes it's silent and all of these things don't come easily or naturally to me.

You know what I constantly have to ask God for every day? Help in loving! It's not that I don't possess love because I do (fruit of the Spirit, say what's up!), but I lack the discipline and heart to exercise it sometimes.

I think love is scary and hard for us because He wants us to ask Him to love through us. It's a trust, reliance, relationship thing.

I guess I could give you points on how to love others better or more effectively or truly, but then I'd just be another messed up human giving another messed up human false logic.

The truth is, I don't know how to love. I don't know what I'm doing. I do however know, that God knows what He's doing and so I ask Him to help me. I ask Him to break me and move me into His love and then I ask Him to take over completely.

Father, help me love.

10.11.2012

When In Battle

Satan attacks me all the time. Wanna know the main way he gets at me through?

Distractions.

The kid eating a Reese's behind me at church, rattling the paper every few seconds. Eventually I'm so focused on that noise that I'm barely hearing the pastor.

The guy who pops up every few months to see how I'm doing and wondering if we'll get back together.

The little tiny comments from other people that literally drive me up the wall until I know just exactly what they meant when they said what they did.

I figured since last week was kinda crazy that Satan would lay low for a while because, dude, I'm seriously not in the mood for an attack. You know what? He figured the best time to distract me would be now, because of the craziness of life.

Satan will try and wear you down and break you until you cave into his small schemes.

Fight.
You have to fight and be strong in the Lord. Just because you're not fighting doesn't mean Satan isn't attacking, ya' know?

Be in constant awareness of God's presence. I cannot tell you how that has blessed me! Being reminded that this isn't me, it's all Him is a blessing beyond words. You know what distractions do to me? I end up being so focused on those things that I'm not even considering what the Lord is doing or that He's even right beside me. So that's a good thing to know when in a spiritual battle.

Give Up.
Bet you didn't see that coming did you? Well, let me explain what I mean by "give up". I don't literally mean throw in the towel, but in a way- I do.

Give up to Christ. You were never, ever, ever meant to do life by yourself or in your own strength. Let go of those distractions. Give them up to Him and let Him take care of the things that are clearly out of your hands.

Satan will attack you today. My prayer for you is to be strong in Him and rely on Him and bring glory to His name by withstanding the attack.

Don't forget He's with you. Fight. Give up. Let Go. Breathe. You are never alone. He is by your side always.

10.08.2012

Grace Is God - Monday Reflections

Get this.
When I'm weak- when I fail and mess up, God is still strong. He never changes even when you and I do.

He is still strong.

Why is that so hard to believe? Why do we work for the gift He's already given us and told us before that we can't earn?

I've never received a gift before and then said, "Oh, let me buy that from you." Have you? Yet when it comes to His grace and mercy, we try and earn it.

I think the reason we try and earn His grace is because we've had to earn other peoples or we expect others to earn ours.

Right?

If you have to earn it, that's not grace.

If you're a Christian you've probably been taught that when you sin you have to beg for forgiveness. I'm not too sure about that anymore. I've begged for it before, but I wasn't really begging for His grace, but rather I was begging for the feelings of condemnation and shame to go away.

Maybe His grace really is enough and we need to accept it as the gift it is.

Grace transforms you. It's not just a word, grace is a verb, a lifestyle. Grace is God.

You can't think of the Father and not think of His grace. My whole life is a testament to His grace. There have been more times than I can count that I ran from Him and He still pursued me to the point that eventually I gave up to Him and allowed Him to change me.
He could've left me. He could've stopped seeking me out.
He's God, y'all! He can do whatever He wants. He wanted me so He pursued/pursues me.
He wants you and is pursuing you right now.

You don't have to beg for grace.
Grace is a gift. Just like all gifts, you must decide to use it and what for. His grace is for your good and His glory. Using it outside of these is then like spitting in His face. Keep in mind that the fear of the Lord is the beginning, the very start, of knowledge (thats in Proverbs 1:7 folks). By fear, yes it means to respect and revere Him, but I think it also means to actually have a healthy fear, i.e. scared, of the Lord. Not to the point that you don't want to be around Him, but you fear your parents when you do something wrong, don't you? If not, lemme me holla at your 'rents! ;)

Being His follower means living a certain way- His way. But that doesn't mean He won't be there when you fail at doing so, because He will. That's grace. That's God. Don't worry, either, because He will help you live out His callings on your life. Trust and obey. That's it. Pretty simple, right? Don't mistake simplicity for lack of difficulty because living for Him is difficult, but a life lived in grace, with the Father, is greater than a life lived without.

10.05.2012

Is it...?

I was steaming. I told God I wasn't sure why I felt like this about something pretty minor, but I was extremely mad.

I yelled.
I said some things I shouldn't have.
I apologized.

Hours after I was sitting comfortably in my chair and the Lord hit me with a thought,

"Is that patience?"

I was broken by that statement. I started thinking. I mean really thinking. My response of course was no, that was definitely not patience and then I thought of the fruit of the Spirit in Galations 5...

Love. Joy. Peace. Patience. Kindness. Goodness. Faith. Gentleness. Self-control.

Where are these in my life? Where are they in yours?

If you're a Christian then you already have these because you have the Spirit. The question isn't do you have love or peace or any of that, but whether you are exercising it in your daily lifestyle? Are you letting God live through you? Are you making an effort to rebuke Satan and listen to God's voice?

What does that even look like in your daily life?

Maybe it's not yelling at your baby sister or brother when they are annoying you. Maybe it's thanking God that you have a sibling.
Maybe it's showing your parents appreciation and respect even when you disagree with what they say (and that's super hard sometimes, but we can do it by His strength!:).
Maybe it's praying, "I surrender, God." when you're so scared that you don't know what to do.

I don't know what your situation is, but I know God has given you the strength to overcome anything He asks you to walk through (1 Corinthians 10:13, Philippians 4:13). Remember that He never asks you to walk alone; He's always by your side.

Next time you're tempted to fall away from the Spirit living inside you, ask for God's help and then ask yourself, is this patience? is this peace? is this love? etc.

You might just find that He gives you the strength to stop and really think before you allow yourself to be controlled by circumstances and not His love.

10.04.2012

Who You Are, Who You Represent

I asked my lovely cyber friend Katie to guest post for me about something she's learned out in the real world basically. She talks about something that I think is super valuable. You can go to her blog here and her twitter page here. Happy reading!

--
It was one of those traffic laws only a local would know. Her rental car didn’t come with a page of unique local laws. (I’ve always thought it would be nice if rental companies did that).

When she got pulled over—unsure of what she did—she looked down and noticed she was wearing her employee ID from Big Name Christian Company (BNCC). She pulled it off and hid it in her purse, unwilling to tarnish the name of BNCC.

Her copilot dug through her own purse to pull out her name badge, in hopes that being a BNCC employee would get them out of a ticket for whatever law they broke. She was willing to sacrifice the name of BNCC to cover their mistake.

Just as my friends represented BNCC on the city streets they weren’t accustomed to, you and I represent our schools and workplaces.

"Remember who you are and what you represent" was drilled into my head during high school but it sunk in further after college.

Sure, I did my best not to disgrace my alma maters but now that I’m working for several different organizations, I hold myself to a higher standard. Now I need to maintain the expectations they’ve set, uphold the reputation they strive for. I expect more of myself because of the names I’m associated with.

No matter what you do, what you say, or how you act, your name is now associated with your employer, your school, and your church.

Are you holding yourself to the standards they set? What are people saying about them from what has been displayed in you? Are you using their name—dragging it through the mud if necessary—to protect yourself or are you sacrificing yourself to protect a larger name?

Would you be embarrassed if your boss was standing beside you as you do this? How about your mom? Your pastor?

More important than "who you are and what you represent" is to remember "whose you are and who you represent."

If you call yourself a Christian, you have voluntarily chosen to wear Christ’s name badge. Wherever you go, you represent Him. Everything we do reflects Christ, either well or poorly.

Are you holding yourself to the standards He’s set? Are you quick to judge, quick to scorn, and quick to get angry or are you quick to love, quick to give grace, and quick to help? Are you representing Him well, sacrificing your own name when necessary, or are you dragging His name through the mud for your own glory?

Whether we want to or not, we wear the name of Christ everywhere we go. Everything we do reflects Him. I often wish I could remove my Christian name tag because my actions are not Christ-like. I’m quick to judge, quick to scorn, quick to get angry.

 
Because I’m not going to take off my Christian nametag, I’ve got one choice and one choice only: intentionally strive to do better.

10.03.2012

Unstoppable - Book Review

Unstoppable by Nick Vujicic!
 
I'm not too sure why I chose this book to review at first. It just sounded interesting. I don't typically read these kinds of books.

What kind? you ask. Well, the really encouraging, super positive kind, written by guys whose last names I can't pronounce. Haha! I tend to go for the ones that make me question everything in my life, cry rivers, and overuse my brain.

This is by far one of the most positive books I've ever read.

I wasn't sure I'd like it at first but after getting through the first chapter I knew I would.

Nick Nujicic was born without arms or legs. Can you imagine that? Um, yeah, me neither. I tried to, but I just kept coming back to how strong of a person you have to be to go through life without either of those things. I thanked God for giving me arms and legs. I'm dramatic enough without that problem thank you very much. :P

He's super positive about it though. Nick said he's struggled before with why God would place him on earth without them, but then He showed him why. He's a motivational speaker (and in this case, a writer too!). Unstoppable... yes he chose a perfect title because you'll think of that word over and over while you read this book.

My favorite chapter had to be chapter 3 where Nick talks about some of his struggles and how he met his wife (ladies, the story will have you smiling and possibly crying it's so sweet! ^_^ ).

So this book just came out and I think you should get it. Especially if you're going through a tough time because God just might show your pretty little mind some new ways of thinking (more praise-worthy, less complaining). :) Let me know if you get it and what your thoughts are!

Happy Wednesday, loves!

Note: this book was given to me for free by Multnomah publishing company for reviewing purposes.

10.01.2012

Why Your Identity Matters

Hey friends! Happy October! ^_^ I'm pumped to see what God does this month.

So, in my last post I kinda ended it with talking a little bit about identity. Hours after I posted it I was sitting on my bed writing in my journal and God told me to write some more about identity and why it's important so... here we go.

I scribbled in my journal these words -

"My identity is important because it shapes how I live."

I believe that firmly.

Think about that for a minute. If you believed that your identity is found in how you look then you would live life making sure you looked as good as possible, right? If you constantly thought of yourself as "not smart" or "ugly" then you would do everything you could to try and make those things not true about yourself, when in reality, they were never true to begin with.

Tackling the issue.
The problem isn't just with your mind and how you think about yourself, your problem is in your heart and how you think of God, and also how you believe God thinks of you.

I'll share a story with you.

For months and months and months I struggled to believe that God would actually love me. My little brain didn't understand it, but my little heart refused to believe it. So I didn't. I spent months praying for God to reveal His love, praying for Him to help believe His love for me, and the problem was I really wouldn't lay down my logic of why I was so "unlovable" and pick up His Word and believe I am who He says I am. Psalm 139, anyone? Dude I read that passage, prayed it, and wrote it until I knew it by heart.

In those months of praying and reading there was a breakthrough. It didn't happen overnight, but it did eventually happen. I found my life in Him, who I am in Him, and it changed my life. He changed my life. For real.

I found so much peace in Him and so much joy in knowing (and actually believing) that God loves just as I am. Thank You, Lord!! I still struggle with it and there are definitely times I have to pray for help believing, but He always answers with His love.

During that time and before that time I was very angry and bitter and you probably wouldn't have been able to tell. I could barely tell. I found myself speaking evil words at people or about people and that's when He revealed my heart to me.

Your identity matters because it shapes what you believe of yourself and others.
Your identity matters because it shapes what you believe of God.

So, how can we find our real identity? After many years of searching I got this (sorta :P )!

We were made by God and for God. Ephesians 2:10 says so,

"For we are His creation, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared ahead of time so that we should walk in them."
 
Boom. I like that. I liiikkkeee that!  We are HIS creation.

You find your identity in your Maker because HE made you, so HE knows you.

I could go through everything the Bible says about us being His creation and who we are in Him (and who knows, maybe one day I will!), but I think if you seek it out yourself you may find because you were apart of the seeking process and that its coming straight from God's Word, that it touches your heart far deeper than hearing it from another party.

So here's what I'm doing this month and I hope what you will do too, I'm going through His Word to not only find Him, but to find myself; my identity in Him.

Your identity matters because once you find it, you'll stop searching for the labels that "fit" or "don't fit" and live out a life with an amazing purpose to glorify Him in all you do. We are His. Hallelujah!