1.30.2014

Perfection, hope, and the world that screams there is none.


You wanna know what makes me mad?

The appearance of perfect lives.

You know what makes me madder? Not being able to actually live a perfect life.

I see pictures of smiling girls with babies on their hips, or people with lifted hands praising the Father God and in those moments life seems perfect. Seems.

But then reality sets in. The darkness falls over us. The fallen world we live in screams, "There's no hope!" and sometimes, if I'm being honest, I believe it. I feel it. Deep within me.

It's in the moments where hope seems lost that's it's most important to cling to Hope- Jesus.

It's on the days where depression is looming in the shadows, my feet feel heavier than anything, my breath becomes short and labored, and my mind becomes the biggest battlefield I've ever known that I look to Him.

"Trust in the Lord forever,
    for the Lord God is an everlasting rock." - Isaiah 26:4


I read this verse yesterday and a peace settled over me knowing that my God is the ROCK. He is sure and stable. Not only is He is the Rock, but He is the Rock ETERNAL (or everlasting). Never changing. Forever. Hallelujah!

I'm able to live and breathe today, not perfectly, not even close, but all because of Jesus. All because HE is the Rock Eternal and I can stand firm through Him. I'm a mess sometimes (read that: pretty much all the time), but I'll keep living and hoping and dreaming because in the LORD, I can.

1.28.2014

When Psalm 139 doesn't seem true

Sometimes the lies are just so loud the truth is hard to discern. Salty tears sweep your face because all you can think is, did I eat that? Am I really gross to everyone like I am to myself? What does God think of me? Am I disgusting to Him?

And no matter how many times someone quotes Psalm 139 to you, you just struggle to believe it over and over and over again. It's a vicious cycle really because you have periods where you can't get enough Psalm 139. You believe it firmly and shout it to everyone you know.

But sometimes the fog pools over and numbness and fear and hurt and pain settle in and then what?

You pray.

You pray for help through the fog and the pain. You pray for help believing when it's hard. You pray for strength to realize your value is so much greater than your pants size or how much of a stomach you have. You pray for help in not only ignoring the lies, but in believing the truths.

And when you're done, sweetie, pray some more. Because we can never reach a point where we'll regret praying to our Lord and we can never reach a point where our prayers are pointless. Believe that. <3

1.15.2014

I want my life to matter

I want my life to matter.

Words that have been prayed, written in my journal, prayed some more, spoken to others... and tonight God gave me a small glimpse of what a life that matters looks like.

We walk through life sometimes completely unaware of the people watching us; completely unaware of the people God can impact through us. We (I) think it's all about us (me) when we're here to glorify Him and point others to this great God of love and mercy.

What ways does your life matter?

Maybe you talk to that one person everyone else ignores.

Or maybe you see the potential in others that they can't see themselves and point them towards the life God has for them.

Maybe you quietly serve in the background, not looking to receive the praise or credit but looking to be of service because you love Christ and those around you.

Maybe you take the time to sit and pray before every church service that God would send an outpouring of His Spirit.

Those things matter. More than any of us may know. Oh friend, it matters what you do. Always.

Serve God in the small things and He'll for sure be glorified in the big stuff too. Seek His glory above all. Seek Him. I'm preaching to myself.

Sometimes I think going to a third world country would be awesome because then I'll be able to witness as much as I want and have so many opportunities and blah blah. But let's be honest. That's looking at world missions in this glimmering light that makes everything look smooth and perfect when you'll really be met with mess and hard.

"You don't have to go anywhere to minister if you minister everywhere you go."

I'm learning what that looks like in my life. It's hard, it's scary, but it's also exciting and rewarding.

God, live through us and be glorified.

1.13.2014

Actively seeking

160 pages in, 4 hours later, and 2 journal pages filled, I'm almost done with Anything by Jennie Allen.

We all have that ache at some point in our lives to go beyond our normal and embrace what God wants us to do- bringing glory to His name.

Not easy. Definitely worth it.

It saddens me how quickly I can embrace God's will and miss it within consecutive days and sometimes hours. Yet His grace is enough for me at all times.

I'm struggling to figure out what His will looks like in my life. I desire something beyond the American dream, beyond the "normal" and yet somehow I fail to glorify my God in the normal. So I think maybe the challenge is to learn to glorify God in the mundane so if and when the "radical" comes you're prepared to embrace it too for it is no different from your mission every day of your life.

God, help us. Help us be about Your glory and Your mission no matter what it looks like. 


1.09.2014

The Reason For My Hope - Book Review

I'm not really sure where to start this review. This is the first Billy Graham book I've ever read and it did not disappoint.

The Reason For My Hope is a wonderful book
to start the new year off with. The message of this book is the message of Christ: hope through Him alone. Billy Graham does an excellent job of pushing home the truth of Christ and what Christianity looks like in our lives today (or should) and how Satan has been blinding us to the truth from the beginning. He states the basic fundamentals of the Christian faith in an easy to understand way.

However, this is not an easy book to read. There were times it hit me in the gut like you wouldn't believe. But this is a book every generation needs because Billy Graham reminds us that Jesus is the only Savior and the only way to eternal life.

Next to the Bible, I would recommend this as a book every person should read regardless of age. I had a hard time putting it down and found myself underlining things in every chapter. It took me 4 days to read it and I was blessed by it. So now that you've read this review, go to your local bookstore and pick up a copy. You won't be the worse for it. :)

Note: I received a free copy of this book for the exchange of a review. 


1.02.2014

Failing in the new year, being lifted up.

One moment of weakness.

Regret, feelings of panic rise.

Stop.

Thank God for His voice and conviction.

Stopped.

Conversation for half an hour ensues. "How can we glorify God and keep Him the center?" Ideas flow. Prayer was offered and life moves on.

In His grace He turns the ugly and the mess ups into beauty, redemption, and a tool that draws us closer to Him and further from the things that bind. Thank God.

Morning dawns. Regret fills, shame blasts me. Satan attacks.

Pssh! You? Holy? God's child? Yeah, right. Remember __________? How do you expect to glorify God after that?

Hmm. Those thoughts filled and filled and I began to wonder and God began to release mercy and grace over my troubled heart. He redeems. He works. He is constantly shaping us for His glory. Me holy? Yeah. But not because of me. Because of Him. Because of Jesus. He took the cross and chose to clothe me in a robe of righteousness instead of a crown of thorns.

I would love to live a perfect life. To be able to stand before Jesus completely faultless because I escaped sin but the actuality is I won't. I will fail. Do I want to? No. Will I? Yeah.

My issue for years has been running. I'm a great runner (I'm not talking physically, 'cause y'all, I'm slow when I go run... yeah. :P What I'm talking about is spiritually and emotionally), but relationships take work and so you can either run from all struggles or face them, no matter how ugly, and depend on His strength.

By God's grace I will do the latter and attempt not to do the former... in His strength.

"Seek the Lord and his strength;
    seek his presence continually!" - Psalm 105:4


So I already messed up in the new year, BUT one mistake will not define or set the tone for this year. Because on my own, no I'm not holy. But maybe instead of turning holiness into a list of "I do _____, _____, and _________." and "I didn't do __________, _________, or ___________." we should realize holiness for what it is, or rather Who, the precious Messiah taking our place so we can be free to choose Him day after day no matter the mess up. Whoa. That's soooo freeing and exciting! Thank You, Jesus!

Happy new year! Messed up already? Depend on Him. Repent and move forward. He's got you.