“YOU SAY”

There is this growing need inside my soul and my heart to know even deeper the love God has for me. To find my true calling in life. To know my worth. To know that who I am is beautiful and loved.

Constantly, I am fighting a battle back and forth about who the world says I am and who God says I am (I am sure that I am not the only one). In the end, it is God who determines my worth.

There is an abundant need for YOU in this world, I cannot express this enough. I am constantly playing this through my mind, day in and day out because it is so easy, SO EASY, to believe the lies that this world is feeding us. Keeping your head clear and knowing the truth is way easier said than done because it requires a lot of effort and it becomes tiring at times. That is when you ask for help from Jesus, asking that he will continue to give you strength to remain true to the identity he has called on you and asking that he will continue to prepare you for the battle against the enemy.

There is an abundant need for YOUR contribution to the kingdom…

YOUR thoughts and words and artistic expressions…

YOUR exact brand of beautiful || Lysa TerKeurst

When you feel as if the world is judging you, remember that it is only God who can judge you. When you feel unworthy and unmeasurable to what/who you are “looking up to” or who you follow on social media, remember that it is only God who defines your worth.

I know, easier said than done. Every time someone other than God tries to tell you that you are unworthy, unfit for use, unmeasurable, unloved…hit right back with the words, “God says that I am.” When you continue to reiterate truth into your life, your outlook, perspective, and mindset begin to change and you will finally see what God sees in you and all of the noise and chatter of the world will grow strangely dim.

WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME?

The question I find constantly running through my mind, “what is wrong with me?” We talked about this topic about a month ago at church and I find myself constantly asking myself this question.

Why am I constantly doing things that I know I shouldn’t? Why do I continue to sin when I know what is right and what is wrong? In all aspects of my life, I am constantly wondering why I continue to fall short of the glory of God.

Romans 8:15 says, “For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate.”

Can anyone else relate to this verse? I know I can. It’s crazy how those words were written in the bible hundreds of years ago and we can still relate to that. Blows my mind. Many days I find myself just wondering why I do the things I do and then I find myself in a downward spiral leading to guilt and shame. Then I remember that the Lord shows me mercy and love even though I sin and let my flesh win.

Now in Romans 8:18 Paul writes, “For I know that nothing good dwells within me, that is, my flesh. I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out.”

I struggle constantly with fighting everything my flesh wants and what my flesh does. And if I am honest, my flesh wins 90% of the time. By God’s grace, he saves me every day even when I fail, and I fail a lot. I am so thankful that my God is a good and loving father, who looks upon my sinful self and loves me just the same. Wanna know some amazing news? He loves you too even amidst your sin.

SO, how do we do better? How do we stop letting out flesh win every battle? It is by confessing my sins and praying to Jesus asking for forgiveness, at least that is what I do. I find when I talk to God and pray I keep myself in check. When I am not talking with Him, I am 99% of the time out of line. So it’s important to hold yourself accountable and possibly have someone help you stay accountable! Whenever you find yourself wondering “what is wrong with me?” just pray, breathe, and remember who your father is.

FAITH 4-1-1

Think you don’t have much faith in God? or in anything for that matter? Congratulations, you’re in good company with many of the disciples when they first came to know Jesus.

Maybe if you are new to Christianity, or you just don’t know much about it, but faith is a key ingredient in your relationship with Jesus. You don’t have to be perfect to have faith in God and his ways, you don’t have to be “good enough” in order to have a relationship with Jesus, and you certainly don’t have to have everything together to have faith that God will provide. We get caught up in the devils lies that we have to be “good enough” for Jesus to love us, and that is false. We tend to believe the lie that if we have done x,y, and z, that only then can we have a relationship with Jesus, that is false as well.

The definition of faith: complete trust or confidence in someone or something.

I also like to put faith this way, it’s not believing THAT God is good and he is going to take care of you because believing that something will happen or is true is just a shallow attempt at believing. It’s believing IN God and believing IN his promises to us that he is good and he will provide. FAITH is believing IN God and giving the control of our lives over to him, trusting IN him to deliver his promises to us.

The Parable of the Mustard Seed

Matthew 13:31-32  ||  Mark 4:30-34  ||  Luke 13: 18-19

This parable shows up in the Bible three times and basically is one of those, “pay attention lessons.”

“Again he said, “What shall we say the kingdom of God is like, or what parable shall we use to describe it? It is like a mustard seed, which is the smallest of all seeds on earth. Yet when planted, it grows and becomes the largest of all garden plants, with such big branches that the birds can perch in its shade.” Mark 4:30-32

So, let’s break it down. He is saying that it only takes a tiny mustard seed to build the kingdom of God. Now to relate this to faith, he means that it only takes the smallest amount of faith, to trust and believe IN Jesus.

Faith the size of a mustard seed is better than no faith at all. 

If you want to really walk with the Lord, just do it. Tell him, “today is the day I put my faith and trust IN you. Surrender your life to him. proclaim2 to the world that Jesus is your savior. Give him your mustard seed and tell him that “this is what I have to offer, do with it what you will.”

You must walk in the FAITH knowing that God has already overcome the situations and circumstances in your life. 

A LITTLE SELF REFLECTION

Taking a little turn with this topic because I so strongly believe in it.

The topic of self-love, self-esteem, confidence, IS SO IMPORTANT. I am a huge advocate for loving who God has made you be and accepting that your differences make YOU BEAUTIFUL.

Hence why I wanted to join this movement and help with building the idea of self-love and self-confidence.

I am not perfect and I’m not trying to be, I honestly have zero intentions of reaching that standard. At the end of the day, I am the only one who can truly make myself happy. Other people may make me “feel” happy,  but those are just fleeting “feelings.”

Some days are better than others, I am sure you all can agree with me on that. But when we have those “bad” days, we have to remind ourselves that that does not define our image and that does not have to be our label.

Filling your mind with positive affirmations and building yourself up in so important. It is so easy to let your mind be mean to yourself. How we treat ourselves carries onto how we treat others as well. If we are constantly doubting ourselves, beating ourselves up for our “flaws” and “insecurities” than it is possible we are doing the same to our friends and family. What we really believe shapes what we actually say, both to ourselves and to others. 

I am one to compare myself to every single girl on Instagram who, in my mind, is “110% better than anything I could ever be or become.” At that moment everything I know to be true slips away, why? It’s our flesh. We are prone to bring ourselves down when we see something that we do not have or see all the ways we fall short. That’s a constant battle we have to fight every day.

Part of me wants to blame past relationships, not being seen as worthy to some, not being “good enough” for some, but then I realize that I shouldn’t even allow that to affect how I view myself. Just because I wasn’t what someone wanted isn’t my fault or my problem.” At the moment it hurts more than anything, but they do not define who I am. God defines who I am. Same goes for you who are reading this.

Self Reflecting Questions:

  1. Where/who is your faith in? Where/who do you look to for comfort?
  2. Do you often find yourself questioning your worth/purpose? Do you find yourself comparing yourself to other people on social media?
  3. Do you honestly think you are good enough right now at this moment? If you answered no, why do you feel like you aren’t good enough?
  4. When you look in the mirror at the beginning of the day do you immediately speak truth over your life (example: I am worthy, I am good enough, I am beautiful, I am going to conquer today)? Or do you speak negatively about yourself (example: I wish I looked like _____, today is going to be horrible/today is not going to be my day, I am unworthy of love)?
  5. What are ways YOU can do to remind yourself of your beauty and worth? (I personally like writing encouragement for myself on post it notes and leave them up in my room.)

To wraps things up (because I truly could go one forever) you are truly beautiful and unique in the eyes of God and to me. When you find yourself doubting your worth, your beauty, or your purpose…pray, cry, yell out to God to remind you of his love for you and his purpose for your being here.

 

ENOUGH

I’ve written about this before, and I will again and again. YOU ARE MORE THAN ENOUGH.

You are enough. I promise. Anyone is crazy to say you aren’t and they are crazy for not giving you the love and appreciation you deserve.

The confidence I have seems to only be for a fleeting moment. I constantly desire what others have rather than look and say, “I have enough. I am enough.” I struggle just like the next person does. I am not a saint. I am not perfect. My humanness is hard to hide and it is extremely difficult most of the time to work on it. One minute I feel like I am making progress, the next minute I find that I have taken 5 steps back. You seriously think he wants YOU of all people? You think she wants to be your friend? I think to myself all the time, “What am I doing wrong? How can I be better in this aspect of my life? Why am I not good enough for this person? I do not have what it takes. I do not have enough. I am not enough.” The moment I start to build myself back up, words and thoughts creep into my mind tearing the effort and work I had back down to dust, down to absolutely nothing. This leaves me feeling so hopeless and confused. Will I ever get back that now destroyed progress?

In the midst of these thoughts and words that are so damaging, I hear a quiet and soft voice speaking to me. A soft reassuring, gentle voice speaking to me… “My daughter… do not forget who you are, do not let this world crumble and tear you down. Look at me, look at who I am. I will provide what you need. Put your trust in me. My love is sweeter than anything you have ever tasted. My words will bring you peace. I will protect you. I will be your rock. Abide in me.”

You know, when you feel small and pushed to the side, it is hard to see anything past that. It is easy to get stuck in the mindset that because this person makes me feel small and unimportant, that that is who and what I am – small and unimportant. But that is not the case, whether you believe it or not. Just because someone treats you like you are unimportant does not mean that is what you are. God certainly does not look at you and think, “This person is unimportant to me.” Absolutely not. He looks at you and thinks, “Perfect. Redeemed. That is my son. That is my daughter. I love who they are and who I have created them to be.”

So, since all of this is true, why do I still struggle with feeling unimportant, small, uninvited, unworthy, unloved by the ones in my life? It’s the enemy. He wants you to feel isolated. However, when you are rooted in the fullness and love of Christ, you will be able to stand against the enemy.

John 15:5-7 || I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me, you can do nothing. If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned.If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. 

A SIDE NOTE: Be kind to yourself and to others. I cannot stress that enough. Be positive. Speak supportive and encouraging affirmations to yourself and to others. You never know what a simple smile or kind word may do to someone’s heart. Everyone is on a different journey and everyone is battling something. You have the power within you to spread the gospel and the love of God. Take advantage of it. 

 

One Word: L O V E

In the light of recent events, I must bring my option to the table. I am fully aware most people will not agree with me and I am also aware that my opinion is not what most people believe to be the most effect way either. I also want to note that we are all entitled to our own opinions. I have found in my personal life that some people think their way is the only way and their opinion is the only correct one. However, I am not asking you to agree with me, but whether you agree with me or not and before you exit out of this post, please hear me out.

1 Corinthians 13:7 || Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.

John 3:16 || For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

What this world is missing is Jesus and his overwhelming, never ending love. Now let me say this, I am not an expert in politics, nor do I follow every single thing that is going on in the White House or Congress, BUT I do think that there is only one way to fix these problems that are occurring over and over again within our country and the world: LOVE.  I don’t think there is any solution any politician can come up with to fix this God size mess we got going on in the world. From all the school shootings, to terrorist attacks, to differences between race…we all seem to be forgetting the fundamentals this country was built on. It’s in God we trust that our hope and peace should rest in.

God called us to LOVE, he called us to SERVE, he called us to TRUST in him. I believe that when we start approaching every situation with a Godly mindset, exhibiting love and mercy from the small situations to the big ones, we will see a change in our daily lives. I do think that there should be laws and consequences for the ones who are committing these horrible, horrible crimes and acts. And no matter what, there will always be evil in the world, always. It is important to remember where peace is lacking, you can always be sure the enemy is going to swoop on in and start attacking. That is why we must be on guard and aware when we start to lack in faith and trust in God. When we start to lack in our faith and trust, that is when the enemy will see you and come and attack.

1 Peter 5:8 || Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. 

John 10:10 || The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.

My solution and my opinion may not be in line with yours, but it is time for a change. It starts with our hearts and our trust in God. God love us even when we sin and disobey him… that is a love like no other. We don’t deserve his unconditional, unfailing love, BUT because he loves us more than we will ever know, he still gives us his love. Therefore we should be encouraged daily to love like our father loves us. 

I couldn’t earn it, I don’t deserve it, still You give Yourself away

Oh, the overwhelming, never-ending, reckless love of God.

THE TRUTH

Wanna know the truth?

I can honestly say that every time I sit down to write, I don’t always have a set plan. Half the time, I have no clue what I am doing. I just know I want to write. I want my words to draw one more person to Jesus. I want my words to give someone encouragement. I want my words to have a positive impact in this world, even if the story is not all sunshine and rainbows. But, other than that…this feels somewhat of a free for all.

One thing that I do know for sure is that this isn’t about me. I am not writing for the applause, or for the satisfaction of amazing feedback from friends, family, or even strangers. This isn’t about me and it never has been. I can’t say it enough… I don’t want the applause, I wouldn’t even have this blog if it wasn’t for God placing the idea on my heart. Truthfully, when I got the idea I was very nervous and asked probably more than 50 times “is this what you want for me?” and of course, the answer was yes.

 May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. || Galatians 6:14

I am more concerned with touching the hearts and lives of others. Whether it is random strangers who do not know Christ,  a friend who finds encouragement and love, or whether it’s a family member who finds new perspective in their walk with Christ by reading these posts. My goal with this blog is to just change one someone’s mind, someone’s perspective and their outlook on life and on Christ. I also try to be as honest as possible, because no one likes anything sugar-coated.

In a world full of hate, separation, and change one thing remains constant: Jesus! Yes, I said it,  J E S U S. His love never changes, His mercies are new every day, He unfailing. You may find that hard to believe. Maybe someone has failed you and you may think Christ will do the same, I get that, but I promise he isn’t going to fail you. This is another reason why this blog is a Christian blog, people need to know that there is someone much bigger than ourselves there for us and holding us in the palm of his hand.

He has gone so incredibly far, farther any of us would go to say that he loves us. Jesus willingly paid all of our sins, said it was finished, carried a cross and died on it for us. That is a love that goes far beyond what any of us can comprehend. That act of pure love for the sinners who do not deserve that kind of mercy is breathtakingly beautiful.

AND….. that is the TRUTH!

 

DARE TO BE DIFFERENT

Not everyone’s story is the same, just like not everyone is the same. Honestly, wouldn’t this world be incredibly boring if we were in fact… all the same?

We live in a society that tells us that if you are this size, you are beautiful. If you have this color hair or hairstyle, you will be pretty. If you are “just like this”, or “only like that”, or “be more like her”, and “just do what he does”, we will be identified as “ideal or normal.“I say, “no.”

Because I know that trying to be someone I am not, will just make me miserable. I’ve been there. I have tried in more ways than one to be “that girl” that I thought was going to get me noticed by my friends, by boys, by anyone. Sure, it worked for a while, until I found myself sitting on the bathroom floor crying one night because I was so exhausted trying to be this girl that I thought I was suppose to be striving for.

Now, I am not sure what your story is, but I am sure you can go back to a time in your life, or a moment, where you tried to conform to who society says you should be. It can be straining and take a toil on someone, especially a young male or female, specifically in middle school, high school, even college and it doesn’t even stop there. It trickles into adulthood and pierces at the heart. “If you could be more like this mom”, maybe your kids will like you. “If you hung out more with your kids instead of working”, maybe your wife and your children would appreciate you more. “If you just worked harder”, “if you only spent more time in church”, “if you only took better care of yourself”. These thoughts creep into our hearts and minds, if you say that they don’t or they haven’t before…I think I’d be amazed.

There is a fine line between doing something for yourself and doing something for others or because you want to conform to society. I have found many times that I think I am doing something for myself, then I take a step back and realize that I was doing it to please or satisfy someone else. BUT, there have been more times, recently, where I have started doing things because I WANT TO and because I have a PASSION for something. It takes time and a whole lot of courage to stand up for what you believe in and to break away from what society says is “beautiful” and create your own beautiful. It is worth it though.

This is what is so beautiful about Jesus and the gospel. We are called to walk in the fullness of God and just be OURSELVES. God doesn’t call us to be like everyone else, he doesn’t except us to fit in with what society tells us we should be. He wants you to embrace your differences and be unique. He will give you the courage and confidence to break out of your shell if you ask. If you think that there is nothing “special” or “different” about you…think again. God created you in his image, there is a whole lot of special just in that! Then you add on all the gifts he has blessed you with, you are one completely amazing human being! Sometimes it just takes a prayer, or a whole group of people to help bring that YOU out.

B O T T O M  L I N E:

You are the only one who is like you. You are the only one who has your story. You are unique. It is okay to be different, it is okay to show that to the word. Break away from conformity and let your heart shine. 

Lost & Found

What do you do when you feel so far away from God that you are worried what will happen if you return? Do you feel as if you have done something so terrible that you are unworthy of a second chance? Do you think that you are unworthy of being forgiven? Do you think that because of your past you don’t deserve love or grace?

Luke 15:11-32 || The Parable of the Lost Son || This is my favorite parable in the bible  because it is all centered around God’s love and longing to be with us. No matter how bad the son smelt like pigs and wore rags, the father still gave his son his finest robe, put a ring on his finger, and gave him sandals for his feet. Even though the son disobeyed the father, ran off with his inheritance, and part took in selfish and foolish activities, the father never stopped waiting for his son to come home.

We can all relate to the lost son in one way or another, along with the lost sheep and the lost coin. I think that is the reason why Jesus gives us this parable, so that we can see that we are not worthless and unwanted. Our FATHER is literally just waiting for us to run home to HIM. And when that time comes, he will have his arms stretched out ready to give you the biggest hug ever. Doesn’t that truth just bring a smile to your face? Doesn’t that promise just stir your heart up in faith and love for him? It does to mine and I hope it does to you as well.

Your past doesn’t define you. No matter how bad you messed up or think you have fallen. None of us have it together, but that doesn’t mean we can face our battles alone.

DEAR JESUS,

Dear Jesus,

I don’t know where to begin…

or what to say other than thank you. I can’t help but want to cry in total gratitude.

Honestly, I wouldn’t be here if your love didn’t came down and scooped me up into your arms, wrapping me in love and grace. You didn’t have to save me. You didn’t have to die on the cross and say “it is finished.” You didn’t have to forgive the ones who wronged you. You didn’t have to pay for my sins. You didn’t have to give your life. BUT, you did. And you did it all because you love me. You saved me because you see me as worthy, even if no one else does. You saved me, a sinner.

You know, there have been many seasons of my life where I have not put my trust in you or I have questioned your authority. There have been so many times where I think “I got this, I can do this on my own, I don’t need your help”, however you know that. You know my every move, every thought, what I am going to say before the idea even comes into my head. You know what my life will be like in five years, even until my last breath, you have my life all planned out.

And constantly I find myself questioning your plan and your power, when I shouldn’t because you know what YOU are doing. I think it’s because I don’t have all the answers, and honestly that frustrates me. Because all I want are the answers.

There are so many days where I just feel lost and broken. There are times I don’t believe that you are listening to me. There are times where I cry in anger because I convince myself I am not important to you or that I’m not important to anyone.

Do you understand me? Do you hear me? Am I worth it? Am I good enough? If I changed who I am would people like me more?

But you tell me I am beautiful, even when I feel ugly. You tell me I am worth it, even when I feel worthless. You tell me I am whole, even when I feel broken. You tell me I am loved, even when I feel far from it. You tell me saved and redeemed.

BUT…Without you, I wouldn’t be who I am. I wouldn’t have been given the opportunities that have been placed on my path. I wouldn’t have been blessed with relationships or met certain people. I like how I can only be open and completely honest with you. I couldn’t try and hide anything from you even if I wanted to. I don’t have to suppress my feelings. I don’t have to hide my tears. I don’t have to hide who I am like I hide myself from other people.

A thank you does not even do you justice. You deserve all the glory and praise, forevermore.