Yearning


IMG_3827.JPGIMG_3827.JPG

We are all looking for something to fill us, to be satisfied and content. There is a longing deep inside that just leaves us wanting more. But often times we try and fill this hole with other things, leaving us dissatisfied with the result.

Shopping, eating, alcohol, and being famous won’t fill this void. Sex, looking for the next boyfriend or girlfriend won’t do it either. Having more possessions, or the newest thing will just keep you running to the wrong thing for more. Drugs will only numb the pain for awhile. Getting married, having kids, buying a house and all this will only fill us for a bit. All these things, good and bad will never give us what we are ultimately looking for.

And we will keep going back. Doing the same thing over and over again, with the same unsuccessful results.

I write this as one who struggles myself. Every day I have this longing for something more. More than what this world can give me. But instead of going to what will fill me, I get caught up in things that can’t and never will. It seems so much easier to get the quick fix. I reach for the things right in front of me, because how can someone/something satisfy me when I can’t see it? The physical seems better than the spiritual.

But when the fix or the excitement wears away, I am exactly where I was before. Lost, and longing for true filling of my soul. I’m again reminded that only Jesus can do that. He is the one thing that satisfies the thirst in my soul for something more. I long to be near him, and have him involved in my life.

Becoming aware of what I tend to run to instead of Jesus has helped me fight off the temptation to go to other things but him. Whenever I feel the need to get my fix again, I pray and ask the Lord to help me remember where I can find true satisfaction and worth. In nothing but him.

All other things are temporary. Ask him to fill you because he is able. 

You Look Cute Today


 

Early one morning I was on FaceTime with my husband. As we were talking he said, “You look cute today!” I kind of brushed off his compliment, because it was 10 in the morning, and I was in my normal daily attire which most of the time is work-out gear and no make-up. Not very glamorous! I have become mostly okay with what I look like on a normal day, but on occasion I am a little embarrassed to go out like this. I feel much better about myself when I have showered and put an effort into what I look like, especially when out in public. But I have been wondering about this lately. Why is it like this? And I don’t feel like I am the only one.

I sometimes hear other ladies (including myself) apologizing for not looking their best when they go out in public. As if we need to have make-up on, and an outfit that is put together to go out of the house. I can remember a few times personally when I have thought less of myself because of not putting in more time on my appearance when I have gone out. I know there are occasions that require being more dressed up than just “casual”, but the problem is feeling chained to an idea that it is unacceptable to go out without being made up.

I am a firm believer that when we don’t live out of our worth in Christ, we can fall into the trap of needing to be all done up in front of others. It feels good to hear from others that you look nice. Compliments are a good thing, but can become bad when we rely on them solely for our worth. Seeking the approval of our looks from others can become like a drug. The more we experience it, the more we want it. But it doesn’t fill our need to feel valued for long. Once the feeling runs out, we just go back for more. Our outward appearance will never fill our deep longing for worth like Jesus will.

I have experienced this in such a way that I become obsessed with how I look when I get ready. I can strive for a level of perfection that will never happen. If something doesn’t look just right, I waste more time to make sure it does. Changing from one outfit to the next. My unrealistic expectation is never met. And usually what I have done to make me feel better about myself just leaves me feeling less satisfied than before.

Finding freedom in putting workout clothes on almost every morning has been a blessing in disguise for me. I may not have put in the time to get all dolled up, but strangely it seems I feel better about myself. I am not worrying if my hair looks good, or if my make-up is just right. I struggle a little bit with feeling like I look plain, but not as much as when I get ready.

In my struggles with all of this, I have continuously been learning that my worth fully needs to come from Jesus. It will come from nothing else. There are times when we should look our best, and it all depends on where we spend our time each day. But I hope my struggles with this issue can let someone else know, you are not alone. Our beauty is not in what we look like each day, it’s in Jesus.

 

Just In Case You Forgot


It is easy to forget who the God is we serve. Thinking something might be too difficult for him. But just remember he was the one who brought creation into existence. He made the skies, stars, and everything we see around us. He made each person that has ever existed. And not a single one of us is the same. We are all unique. He has walked on water, healed people, and performed miracles. He defeated death by coming back to life after being crucified. He is an all-knowing, always present, never failing, unchanging, all-powerful God. There is NOTHING that is too difficult for him. 

So rest friends. Our God is more than able. 

3 Words That Make Easter Life-Changing


“It is finished.”

I was thinking about these words today.

We celebrate what Jesus did for us this time of year. He chose to take on the punishment of the cross. He hung there, for us. Enduring what must have been one of the most painful deaths. And right before he breathed his last breath, he said those 3 words.

 “It is finished.”

He took our sin upon himself, so it would no longer control us. It can no longer hold us down. We are free. He made a way for us to have a relationship with him.

What does this mean for us?

It means that we have life. He not only died for us, but came back to life. His death was not what finished it, the resurrection was.

For me personally, it gives so much hope to my daily life. My depression, fear, anxiety, or anything else that I struggle with have no power over me anymore. Mistakes and failures I have made are no longer remembered in the eyes of Jesus. He sees me as a new creation. Beautiful, free, and loved.

I need to remember this as I go throughout my day. When my insecurities or struggles start to creep in my life again, I can remember what Jesus said on the cross.

 “It is finished.”

I can live in freedom, and claim his forgiveness because he has taken any condemnation that was keeping me from knowing him.

He finished it. For you and for me.

So we can live how he meant for us to live.

Free and with him.

What areas of your life do you need to claim the words, “IT IS FINISHED?”

Alone


lonely.pnglonely.png

Loneliness. It is something so hard to admit. Feeling alone. Wanting to have connection with others.

I can remember certain times when I have been lonely:

-Growing up a pastor’s kid, we moved when I was going into 6th grade. It was lonely not knowing anyone at my first day of school there.

– My first year of marriage, Adam and I moved as newly-weds so he could start his masters for becoming a pastor. So far away from family and what we were used to, it was hard not to feel alone at first.

– Seeing pictures of people on social media who have been hanging out together. I sometimes wish I could of been apart of the fun.

– Being an introvert in a large gathering of people can be lonely. Overwhelming to the point that I just don’t really know who to have a conversation with.

We all have a longing to be known, and to know others.

Loneliness can often be seen as a bad thing. Or we might try and mask it by filling our need with other things. Things that only numb it temporarily. Not really dealing with what is facing us.

What if we realized that it wasn’t such a bad thing to feel lonely?

And what if we could understand that we really never are alone?

Jesus promised us when he left the earth that he would not leave us alone, but those that know him would have the Holy Spirit dwelling inside of us.

How comforting is this? The Spirit of the Lord lives in us. Even when we may be by ourselves, we actually are not. He is always with us.

And maybe our loneliness isn’t always a bad thing. It may be a chance to spend some time with the One who dwells in us, and can reassure us that we never are alone.

But the Lord doesn’t want us to do life in isolation either. There are times when we need others around us. It might be that we need to make an effort to make that happen.

Some things that have helped me: 

-Joining a small group. I don’t think there is a better place where someone can grow in their faith and get to know others at the same time. Find a group where you can be real, and do life together. Commit to coming to the group. Some of my closest friends have been because we got to know each other in that setting.

– Don’t wait for an invitation. Initiate, and invite someone else to hang out. Sometimes we have to take that step in order to make it happen.

– Look for others who may feel lonely. Reach out to them, and invite them to do something.

Life doesn’t have to be lonely. We can enjoy the company of others, and of our Lord.

Even if you feel alone, you never are. 

“And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever…”       John 14:16 

  

I Have Dreams


I have dreams. I have goals I want to accomplish, I think we all do. Something deep down inside of us yearns to be let loose. And because I know that Jesus knows everything about me, I pray a lot that He would help me live up to my potential, and help me accomplish these things. 

But sometimes it can become more about those dreams, and not as much about Jesus. That’s where it becomes a problem.

I realized this after being at a conference this past weekend. I have such strong desires to do something great with my life, but I tend to forget who I should be doing these things for. I want my life to have meaning and purpose, but I am not going to find that solely through achieving my goals. It should flow from the relationship I have with Jesus. He is my everything.

So I have had to ask myself some hard questions:

– Can I give my goals and dreams over to Jesus and pursue Him?

– Can I trust that He has so much more planned for me than I could even imagine?

– Will my worth be found in Him or in what I can accomplish?

Some thoughts to consider as I pursue my calling. Hopefully this resonates with someone else as well.

Praying that we would pursue Jesus fully each day and trust Him with the rest.

Failure


If there is one thing I could share starting off in 2017, it is this: YOU ARE NOT A FAILURE! You may not succeed on every attempt, you may make mistakes, make a wrong decision, or stumble sometimes, but nothing about you is a failure. I share this because I too feel this way at times. I can feel like I am failing at being a wife, a mom, a friend, or just at life in general. And when I feel like this, it is so easy to get sucked into a depressed state where it is hard to even get out of bed in the morning. So I need to hear this just as much as anyone else. No matter how many times I screw up, failure is not what defines me. JESUS DOES!

He loves us. He can take what is broken, and make it new. He can redeem us. He can set us free from the fear of failure.      

He created us, and called us good.

He gives us purpose and life. 

Read and study the Bible to see what he says about us.

Jesus, help us to start seeing ourselves for who we really are. Priceless and loved by you.

Let’s go into 2017 living this out. ❤

Abraham Believed


I have been reading through the book of Genesis lately. It wouldn’t be something that is typical for this time of year being Christmas and all, but I have just kept up with my plan for reading it. Abraham’s story has really stuck out to me, especially since it is this time of year. 
 

Genesis 12 says that God promised to make Abraham into a great nation and that others will be blessed through him. In Genesis 15, Abraham is promised that even in his old age, he will have a son. And his descendants will be more numerous than the stars in the sky. After being promised these things, Abraham believes what the Lord has told him, and he is counted as righteous. 
 

I don’t know if Abraham had any idea of what the Lord had in store for the future, but what an example that is set. Because the Lord said it was so, he believed. I am sure there were times that he doubted, and even wondered what it all would look like. I think there are others like him who took the Lord at his word, and believed. 
 

How could they even imagine what was to come? That Jesus, God himself would come to this earth. And as a baby even. That God’s promise would be fulfilled through Jesus. 
 

As I reflect on this, I can’t help but be thankful to get to celebrate the birth of Jesus. What was promised to so many has happened. Jesus came, he lived among us, he died for us, and saved us. What a privilege to be on the other side of what so many in the Old Testament hoped for, yet did not see. They believed God, because he promised them. 
 

And this isn’t even the end of the story. We can wait with full assurance knowing that Jesus is coming back again. But until then, he has given us everything that we need to live a life that is pleasing to him. We have no need to fear, because we know the end of the story. Why? Because he promised us all of these things. There is no reason not to believe what he says. And we have the promise of Jesus fulfilled to stand on. 
 

So as you celebrate Christmas this year, remember that you can trust our Lord, because he is faithful to do as he says. 
 

Merry Christmas! ❤

Brokenness


It’s ok. You can hand Jesus your brokenness. I know sometimes it’s hard. It just seems safer to hold on to it ourselves, to carry it.

It can be a safety net. Fooling ourselves into thinking we are protected.

We can conceal it so well, making others think we have it all together. Because what would happen if others found out we weren’t actually that perfect? That we are broken. That we have been hurt and misunderstood, or taken advantage of. If only they knew the pain we deal with.

Or they might know all about it, because we have told the story one too many times. How we are never going to forgive the ones who hurt us, and how could they have done something like that.

Jesus knows and he understands. And he offers to take our brokenness, and make us whole again. Yes, he wants us to forgive, and he will help us. He wants us to heal. And instead of carrying the weight of being broken, he wants to show us how beautiful and freeing it is when we let go. That it’s ok to be seen, imperfections and all.

We can use our brokenness for good, to help those in need. To gain understanding of what others are going through. And see the purpose of living an authentic life. You never know who your life will impact.

So trust Jesus when he asks you to let go of what is broken. He knows how to mend it, and use it for good.

Calm In The Storm


IMG_6677.JPGIMG_6677.JPG

I love these verses. We live in such an uncertain world. I can about imagine the disciples felt like we do sometimes….fearful, anxious, and afraid. But then Jesus does nothing but speak, and the storm is calmed. And he asks them why are they so afraid? I think the same thing could be asked of us who believe in him. We can be so fearful and paralyzed about what “could” happen. Yet we believe in the one who controls the wind and the waves, and by just speaking can calm them. What could possibly happen that he could not handle? And do we believe that he is capable?

I know it is hard for me too. But lately I have wanted to believe Jesus for who he is. The one who can control the storms in my life. All the anxiety and worry are for nothing when he is the one I trust in. I want to cling to this. Because it is the truth. 

Don’t be afraid. Instead be in awe of the one who can calm the wind and the waves.

%d bloggers like this: