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You weren’t made to be handled or tolerated, you were you made to be enjoyed and celebrated.
I recently told someone that they handle me well. Their response was that it wasn’t a matter of handling me, but that they genuinely enjoyed me.
It was difficult for me to understand, and it still is at times. How can we truly understand that we weren’t created to simply be put up with.
1 John 5:16 says, “So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him” (ESV).
Genesis 1:27 says, “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them” (ESV).
So, if God created us in His image and He is love, doesn’t that lead to the idea that He created us in love and to be loved?
You are made to be loved, cherished, enjoyed, celebrated and appreciated.
In fact, in Christ, you already are.
Too often we look for the validation and approval of others, to remind us that we are enjoyed. I think that once we understand that our value lies in Christ and Him alone, it gives us a confidence, peace and joy that radiates from us. People are fascinated and attracted to those qualities, and tend to be put off by insecurity, unhappiness and negativity.
Oftentimes, this idea that we are handled and not enjoyed is self-developed. We have this idea planted in our minds that we are a challenge, annoying or difficult to tolerate. Whether it’s from words we once heard, or actions done to us, I’m not entirely sure, but it’s there.
I used to feel like I was the only one that felt this way, but the more I have this conversation with others the more I realized that I don’t stand alone.
This is a sad realization for me, because that means we aren’t fulfilling our calling as Christians. We aren’t loving our neighbor as fully as we could be. We aren’t spreading God’s love as frequently as we could be. We aren’t showing others that they were created to be enjoyed and celebrated as much as we could be.
I’m not saying we all need to pack our bags and head overseas, because the mission field is all around you. Ask a stranger how they’re doing. Talk to the cashier who never seems to smile. Pay for the coffee of the customer behind you. Smile and actually, yes I’m going there, make eye contact with people you pass by.
It doesn’t take much to make people feel noticed, and you truly can’t understand the impact you could be making.
Show people that they have been created to be celebrated and enjoyed.
Know that you were created to be celebrated and enjoyed.
Have a blessed day,
I’ve talked before about vulnerability, and that it’s sometimes difficult to write because a lot of vulnerability is required (See “Gifts Used for Growth“). In everything that I write, a piece of my life, heart and/or mind is revealed to the readers.
That is one part of writing that is scary, but there is another I find to be much more significant. The aspect of writing that probably scares me the most is influence.
I used to be able to write with freedom and post without much forethought. I wrote about what I was learning and put it out for the world to see. As I’m getting older and am a leader in my church’s jr. high youth group, I’m understanding the power of influence.
What scares me is that someone might read what I’m learning, my thoughts and opinions and fully accept them for their own. I try my best to write honestly, to admit that I don’t know everything, or even very much at all. To show that I have weaknesses, and I fall short often. I do this in hopes that people won’t take everything I write as perfect and true, but to instead take it with a grain of salt.
The best example I have of this is when I wrote my post titled “Sex and God“. In all honestly, I didn’t even want to write it, but I also didn’t feel like I had a choice. It was my response to a blog post by a woman who walked through some difficult circumstances with intimacy in the beginning of her marriage. She wrote about why waiting to have sex until marriage messed her up. What bothered me the most while reading her post was seeing the potential influence it could have on others. I thought of any of my jr. high students reading it, accepting it and acting on it. That was what pushed me to write my response post, along with God’s graceful guidance. I wanted to add some Truth to a situation full of lies. I wanted to add some positive influence to a situation with the potential to have an incredibly negative impact.
The weight of my influence can sometimes be scary. I never want someone to read my writing and accept it without thinking through it on their own first. Not everyone will agree with what I have to say, and not everyone should.
I would say that one of my most common prayers when I sit down to write something new is discernment. I want to write honestly, I want to be open about what I’m walking through, and I want to encourage others towards growth, but that takes prayer, diligence and discernment.
Although influence is a scary thing, and in the wrong hands it can be deadly, it can also glorify God and bring honor and praise to Him. That’s what I want. I want everything I say to be God-honoring and to walk away knowing that I only write because of Him and the words He gives me.
Where do you have influence?
Do you understand the value in being a positive influence to others, in everything that you do and say?
Are you using that influence to further the Kingdom of God? If not, what are you using it for?
Do you recognize the weight of having influence over any single person?
Have a blessed day!
She’s an incredible, beautiful and godly woman.
If you were to ask me to explain why she’s my best friend, I would ask you how much time you have.
Her and I have been through so much together. We look back on things that seemed monumental, and just laugh. We have had our fair share of arguing, break-ups and reconciliation. We have also shared many laughs and inside jokes.
I couldn’t ask for a better best friend. Or as Chelsea puts it: I could, but I probably wouldn’t get one.
We’ve walked through so many life situations together. Like the time that I forced her to watch a sad movie with me, knowing she hated sad movies. When it got to the worst part, she got upset. I slammed the computer shut and went to bed and she left and went home rather than staying the night. We look back and shake our heads at how silly we were.
We’ve had a couple friendship “break-ups”, which have mostly been me thinking “You want to be a missionary, and once you graduate you’re going to leave me and never talk to me again, so why should we be friends!?”…talk about commitment issues! Thankfully we’ve worked through that (a couple of times).
Speaking of being a missionary: Chelsea is one of those people that does the impossible. Most new missionaries with the CMA church go through a two-year process inside the country, she somehow managed to get to the other side of the world to freezing Mongolia for hers. She’s a go-getter, she doesn’t quit and she doesn’t settle. Those are all things that I highly admire. They are things that make me sure she will go far in life.
We’ve come to understand that our friendship has prepared us both for marriage in so many ways. We’ve learned to be there for each other, especially when it isn’t easy to be. We’ve learned to ask the hard questions and give honest answers. We’ve learned to assume the best and give copious amounts of grace. We’ve learned to take the good with the bad, and love each other anyways.
She is one of few people that I’m willing to ask, “What are a couple things I need to work on?” and trust that she will give me an honest, and yet loving response. Yes, we actually do this for each other.
Do you understand what I mean by “How much time do you have?” I’m only getting started!
But I will end here, because I don’t have enough time to write my first book right now.
When you ask me why we’re best friends, I could give you one hundred and one reasons why. She’s stubborn and impulsive, but she’s also determined and sincere and I love her for all of it.
I’m writing all of this, because sometimes we take the people in our lives for granted. We accept it as something we deserve, but in no way do I deserve having an amazing woman like Chelsea in my life.
Who are you thankful for today? Take the time to tell them why.
Have a blessed day!
“You are exactly where you are supposed to be, now and forever.” This was my reminder all through high school and into my college days. I needed to remember that 1) God was holding me and 2) He could use me exactly where I was standing.
I’ve been starting to recognize the irony of the situations God places us in. He has given me the gift of writing (or so I’ve been told), and a passion for literature and writing. Yet, I have some major issues with vulnerability. I can fake it well, I can seem like an open book. I also can be vulnerable with select people, but to be vulnerable to anyone and everyone who happens to stubble across my blog? That’s a bit terrifying. I’ve always been a private person. I still talk to people, there are always people who know what’s going on in my life, but it’s limited.
A little while ago, while talking with a mentor, I began to realize that writers must be vulnerable. Anyone who writes anything, in any form, is being vulnerable. Whether you’re writing a blog post, song or poem, you are revealing something about yourself. Some forms of writing are revealing your deepest hurts, frustrations and weaknesses. All characters we write are related either to us or someone we know. All story plots have a little pieces of our real-life stories connected. All song lyrics hold some emotion that was found somewhere within yourself.
How funny is it that God would use the very gift He has given me, a strength, to push healing and growth in one of my biggest weaknesses.
I’m not always the best at being completely vulnerable on here. There have been many a post that I have scraped because I feel like I’m revealing too much of myself. Of course, I do have to use discernment in this area, I can’t share just anything, but I still aim to be real and relevant to anyone who reads.
Take a minute to think about your gifts and your weaknesses, and I bet you’ll find some connection there.
Who says God doesn’t have a sense of humor?!
Have a blessed day!
I watched as the two year old pulled himself up one step, and onto the next. Once he realized he was getting further from the ground, he stuck his hand out for mine. I held his hand and used my strength to help him make it to the top of the stairs.
I was at the playground with a little boy that I babysit, and continued to be reminded of how often we need the help of others. There were a couple of times that he didn’t reach out for me, and yet I sat there hands and arms ready if anything were to happen.
It got me thinking about how, as adults, we do the same thing.
Have you ever reached out your hand hoping for it to land on something stable in order to catch your balance?
Have you ever thought you didn’t need something stable, out of stubbornness, and fallen?
I feel like this is how we can treat God at times, too!
We sometimes know that we need Him, and we put our hand in His in order to receive the strength and grace to make it through whatever we may be facing. Then, there are other times that we believe that we don’t need Him, and yet God is still holding out His hand, ready to catch us shall we fall.
Usually, when we attempt to do things on our own we stumble and fall, maybe even take steps in the wrong direction.
I’m learning the importance of having a support system. I believe that God gave humans the ability to love, connect and relate to each other so that we could have a body of people to lift us up. This support system has a natural hierarchy that builds up when we really begin to look at it.
When looking at this triangle, we can see that God is at the top. He is the ultimate source in which we can find strength, peace, fulfillment and wholeness.
Learn to key into those times that you truly do need God’s hand in yours, and what it truly means to receive it.
Check back for further parts of this series Support System.
Have a blessed day!
It’s been a little bit since I have been able to post, but I have so many new posts in the works! God has been teaching me so many things and putting so many great people and incredible conversations in my path!
A quick update: if you don’t have me on social media, you wouldn’t know that two weeks ago I spilled coffee on my Macbook. Very, very sad day. I’ve only had a few panic moments.
It will survive the spill, eventually. Just a matter of figuring out the issue and fixing it.
In the meantime, I only have access to a computer while at work, so I’ve been spending a lot of time there. Probably to much, actually.
Therefore, by the time I’m done work and caught up on school, I’m ready to go breathe some fresh air. In breathing fresh air, I haven’t had time to write and post!
Hopefully that will start changing here soon!
So there’s my update. For the changes, things are much more upbeat!
I’m building a website! It will no longer be at a WordPress address, but my very own ‘.com’! I’m beyond excited for this project and to see a dream of mine come to life.
I’m not sure how long it will take to finish, I’m thinking at least thanksgiving, if not mid-December.
Life is crazy, but I love every minute of it. Things don’t always go the way we plan, but God is in every circumstance.
Stay posted, because there are lots of great things coming your way!
Thanks for all you support and great encouragement!
Have a blessed day!
For the month of September, I decided to read through the book of Jeremiah. I challenged everyone else to choose a book or two to work through throughout the month as well.
There is something so powerful about being in Scripture on a daily basis! It creates a time of not just solitude, but also of rest and refilling. It seems to be one of the biggest struggles Christians have, to keep a habit of Bible reading.
I’m once again, challenging each and every person to read through a book or two during the month of October.
I will be reading through 1st and 2nd Corinthians.
A really great resource to look at while reading through Scripture to make it stick a little more is http://www.ivpress.com. The best way to find your book is to search “iv press” in Google, along with the title of your book. An Introduction page should be the first to show up that looks like this: https://www.ivpress.com/bible/1cor/
Lastly, I find that setting things up ahead of time helps because it gives you something to stick to. I create a calendar in a word document and write out what chapters I’m reading on what days. Catch up (or grace, as I like to call them) days are also really helpful and important.
Best of luck and have a blessed day,
What an incredible God we serve. I wish this was something that I spoke as often as I breathe, because it puts everything into perspective. It draws me out of my emotions, situations and attitudes and places all of my … Continue reading
We seem to be a future-driven society. I’ve talked about this before in past posts. From a young age we are asked what we want to be when we grow up. In jr. high we start taking personality tests that lead to career results. In high school all the focus seems to be on college, degrees and careers. Future, future, future.
Planning for the future isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but we lose a lot when we are only focused on the future.
BUT, I’m not writing today to talk about how we need to be focused on the present. I’m writing to take a step back, look on the past and see how far we’ve come.
Think back to this time last year. Think of how much you have grown, learned and changed in just the past year. Pull out an old journal if necessary, and read about what problems surrounded you a year ago. Walk through all of your familiar places, and find the differences in your world today.
Although I think dwelling in the past can sometimes be discouraging, I do think that reflection is valuable.
There is something to be said about progress.
A year ago, I had only been back from my three months in Honduras for a couple weeks and was still in a foggy, reverse-culture-shock state. I’m pretty sure it was around this time that I went to the grocery store to buy orange juice and was completely overwhelmed by the wall of options, as opposed to the big or small sizes available in Honduras, that I left the store without buying anything.
I hadn’t started with youth ministry yet, and now it is the highlight of my week. There is no other form of ministry that I would rather be doing right now.
I’ve learned so much academically and in my spiritual walk that it makes me giddy!
God is so good!
So, take a moment to step back, reflect on the past year and think about how far you have come. Think about all the positive changes that have happened to you or that you have made. Think about your growth in Christ. Think about the sour or unhealthy relationships that you walked through and away from.
It is far too easy to only look back and see all of the trials, and miss all the triumphs. God is more than the valleys, He is the victory on the mountaintops.
If you look back and you’re disappointed, then this is just as valuable for you. Look back and see the things you missed, the problems you wished were different. And do something about it. Reflection is only valuable when we use it for improvement and growth.
It won’t all be good, because we are broken people living in a broken world, but pray that God would reveal to you the progress you have made!
Look back, reflect and move forward!
Have a blessed day,