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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,
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!
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!
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,
I miss the loud moving van advertisements at 7 in the morning
I miss the giggles of school-age kids as they come home from a long day of classes
I miss the broken English
I miss the neighbor dog that never stopped barking
I miss the sound of a downpour on a tin roof
I miss hearing the worship band practicing familiar songs in Spanish at the church behind the apartment
I miss dancing and talking with my students
I miss my girls at the orphanage
I miss the hundreds of hugs given to me daily
I miss the looks I get from people who aren’t used to see such pale skin and blue eyes
I miss the price of groceries
I miss the mountains I saw just outside my door
I miss the hammock laying
I miss walking every where
I miss the dusty feet that were bound to happen the minute I walked out of my apartment
I miss watching fireworks in the Center from my apartment building
I miss the two children that were practically my own
I miss the independence
I miss the noises, the scenery, the culture.
Honduras will always be part of my heart, no matter how long I’ve been away. Even though I spent three of the most challenging months there, the memories will never be forgotten.
Although God has pulled my heart elsewhere, I know that Honduras will always be special to me.
Don’t panic, I’m not asking you to pray for the ability to sin, we’re already very capable of that!
I always find it interesting how conversations, sermons and reading all wrap around each other over a period of days or weeks. I love that I’m reading through Jeremiah in the month of September, and learning about the love God has for us, regardless of our sinful and wicked ways. The devotional that I read through each day, from #shereadstruth has been going through Hosea, which is touching on all the same subjects! I have been blown away by how what God is teaching me through my reading, completely lines up with what the ladies over at #shereadstruth are writing about.
Just the other day, the devotional shared the idea of praying every day, for two weeks, about our personal sin. That God would reveal it, challenge us, and give us the heart to work on and overcome it.
This is something that has been prevailing in my life. I find that the second we feel that we are “good enough” is the second we are in danger, because we’re no longer seeking improvement. And there is always something to be improved. We so often want to hear the encouraging words the Bible has to offer, and ignore all the challenges that it has for us. We put ourselves in a vulnerable place, because we aren’t pursuing the Word in the way God intended it.
So in the last two weeks of September (14-27), I’m going to be praying for sin. I’m asking that God would reveal my sin to me, and I ask that you would pray that for me too.
If this is something that presses on your heart, I challenge you to join me in these weeks of prayer!
It will be eye-opening, painful, challenging, but oh so victorious!
Sow righteousness for yourselves, reap the fruit of unfailing love, and break up your unplowed ground; for it is time to seek the Lord, until he comes and showers his righteousness on you.
Have a blessed day!
I read an article the other day that broke my heart. I’m not referencing it here because I don’t write for the sake of arguing or even defending my faith. I write out of the desire to share truth in a world blinded by so many lies.
This article talked about the issues that happened to a woman who waited until marriage to have sex. She stayed a virgin and when things didn’t pan out as she had hoped after her wedding day, she blamed it on the church and regretted her decision to wait until marriage. First off, I would like to say that a decision to wait until marriage to have sex should not only be a personal decision, but it also is not designed by the church, it is designed by God. Secondly, being a virgin should not be our identity, but being a child of Christ should be. It truly made me sad that this woman was not only raised in a church that put her viriginity on a pedestal and let it define who she was, but that she connected that part of her life with the church and not Christ.
I have nothing to back up my ideas other than faith and my belief in the Bible. I also know that writing something on this topic is opening myself up to many negative responses, and I’m okay with that.
I was raised in the church, and although sex and waiting has been encouraged and talked about, it was never created as an idol. In a society where sex is the norm, staying pure until marriage is rare. It’s even becoming acceptable in the church.
It breaks my heart to see that women, even girls, are not able to find love and affection in any other way. They too easily give of themselves, without understanding just how much they are actually giving.
Staying pure goes beyond sex, it includes emotions as well. Although I’m still a virgin, I am the first to admit that I have given of my emotions and heart too freely. The Bible says we should protect our hearts (Proverbs 4:23), but we all have a God-shaped hole in our heart and we will try to fill it with anything that comes our way.
I hate that the enemy has gotten such a strong grip on our generation. He has gotten us to believe that if we just give of ourselves, we will be satisfied. What is so unfortunate, is that it never fills the hole in our hearts.
I’m 21, single and have never really been in a relationship. I’m the Moses of this generation, because I don’t have much experience in this department, so maybe I have it all wrong. But I also know that as a young person, I’m able to and should be an example (1Timothy 4:12). If we as Christians are not living as the Bible calls us to, then what makes us any different than the world?
You see, abstaining from sex until marriage is not an identity, and it shouldn’t even be tied to the church. If you’re remaining a virgin for the sake of praise from others, then you’ve got it completely wrong. As I’ve said on so many other topics, it always comes back to the heart.
God created you sacred, pure and you are His child, His artwork. Forget all the tactics that are used to push people towards abstinence, and simply bask in the fact that you are a masterpiece. Would you take the Mona Lisa to the beach and set it in the sand? Would you take a Van Gogh piece and lay it on your lap while eating spaghetti?
Then why would you take a masterpiece God created, which is invaluable, and give it away so freely?
Sex is prevalent in our culture. You can hardly turn on a show or movie without it being referenced or included. The biggest struggle is to understand that it was created as something sacred. Sex is a sin (1 Corinthians 6:18, Hebrews 13:10, Matthew 15:19). There are no ‘if’s or ‘but’s about it.
It’s sad that this woman had a bad experience, but I think it’s worse that this is publicly displayed. I can’t even imagine the many lies that are filling the heads of young women everywhere who happen upon this article. They instantly question their decisions, or believe that sex is not sacred or giving of self.
My prayer is that Jesus would prevail in this generation. That sex before marriage would no longer be the norm. That women and girls would see themselves as beautiful and precious treasures to be discovered, not a toy to be used and left behind.
There are so many blurred lines in our culture, and the difference between a God-fearing woman, and non-Christian woman is becoming far to small. We should be honoring our bodies as the masterpieces God created them to be. We should be waiting for the man that desires to protect us as if we are precious treasures. We should be desiring more than what the world has to offer, because we have a God who can offer so much more. He will fill the hole in your heart, and He is the only thing that can.
Have a blessed day!
Click here to read Part 1 of the Job series! Do you ever feel overwhelmed? Do you ever feel that there is too much going on in life than you can handle? Do you ever wonder if God allows us … Continue reading
Well, today I bought a domain name and hosting account in celebration of two years of blogging. I figured that was a long enough go at it to start putting money into my love of writing. After a very long and confusing evening (with free starbucks refills being the only silver lining) I am back to square one. Maybe, someday, my dream of having my blog become a .com will come true, but for now I’ll just keep writing on WordPress!
I want to take a moment to thank all the people who have supported and encouraged me in my writing over the past two years. If it weren’t for the initial encouragement of a friend, I wouldn’t have even started blogging. If it weren’t for the encouragement of others over the past two years, I wouldn’t have continued blogging.
It’s so interesting to see the many seasons I have walked through and written about. To see how my writing style has changed and developed. It’s exciting to see growth and movement in my spiritual walk.
This space has become a tool for me to use when I need to understand something better or to simply clear my mind! God has used this to teach me so many new things, and my prayer is that He has used it to do the same for others!
Have a blessed day,