You Were Created to be Loved

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,

-Sadie

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My Best Friend

Chelsea PostThis is Chelsea, and I want to take a moment to talk about her.

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.

I love her sense of humor and her ability to understand the heart of the matter, rather than only seeing the surface material.
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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.IMG_6110

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!

-Sadie

Gifts Used for Growth

“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!

-Sadie

Update and Changes

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!

-Sadie Grace

Speak Life

“I’m not as smart as him.”

“I probably can’t do it.”

“I’m not as pretty as her.”

“She’s a better mother than I could ever be.”

“I always mess things up.”

“I’m so stupid.”

“I’m not good enough.”

These are all thoughts that we’ve had, myself included. The last one especially. Philippians 4:8 says, “Brothers and sisters, think about the things that are good and worthy of praise. Think about the things that are true and honorable and right and pure and beautiful and respected.” This verse is often used in reference to thinking purely, but the more I read it, the more I realize how broad it is. True, pure, good, beautiful. Those are a few of the words that really stand out to me when I think about negative thoughts.

God has really been putting a burden on my heart for speaking truth into the lies that others have bought into. This morning as I was looking to Scripture to find direction for my thoughts, I kept coming to the words “encourage”, “lift up”, and “life”. I’ve written about the significance of words in previous posts, because as a writer I have been able to directly see the weight of them.

Today, I want to focus on Ephesians 4:29. There are so many verses that state our obligation to encourage and lift others up. I use such a strong word, because the Bible doesn’t say, “It’d be kinda cool if you could…” it just says to do it! Not to do it only if you’re having a good day, or your mood allows for it. This verse says, “When you talk, do not say harmful things, but say what people need—words that will help others become stronger. Then what you say will do good to those who listen to you.”

I was recently talking to a friend on the phone who is nearing graduation and beginning to have plans for her future come together. Others have been starting to recognize in her the insecurity she holds and how that impacts her thought cycle. While we were goofing of and enjoying each other, she said a comment, that she probably figured was in passing. All I could hear in her words were lies, negativity and insecurity. I called her on it. She tried to move on, but I just could not let it go. In that moment, I could feel God speaking life into her. It was not my own thoughts, words or heart being spoken to her in that time, but rather God using me to reach her.

I’m not sure why this passion and burden has been set so strongly on my heart recently, but what is so beautiful about it is that I can actually do something with it! I can confront those words when they are spoken by others.

I want to challenge you to do the same. I believe that’s one of the best parts of relationships, is the ability to build others up! When you hear someone speak down on themselves, whether clearly or in passing, don’t just idly hear it and continue on. Stop the conversation, call them on it, and speak life into the negativity. Honestly, it is a challenging thing to do, it’s much easier to just let it slide, but I think this is one small aspect of what it looks like to love others as yourself. If I were to say things about myself that were flat-out lies, I would want someone to attack it and encourage me.

Just a thought to roll around in your mind!

Have a blessed day!

-Sadie

The Busy Competition

It’s like we’re constantly comparing our busyness to others. I’ve done it and I’m sure I’ll do it again. It makes me feel less-than and insignificant, which are complete lies of the devil!

We have this idea, this false belief,  that busyness is equal to success.

I’ve heard and even seen some cases in which busyness has led to destruction. Busyness, generally, causes stress. You have a schedule that is steady and you are responsible for keeping track of everything. That along causes stress! Actually doing each of these things is an additional wear and tear on the body. Although I do believe there are a few cases in which stress can be helpful, it is mostly a damaging force.

I think that our schedules should be something decided between us and Jesus. I love The Message version of Romans 12:1-2 which says, “So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.”

This verse fully expresses how much our lives should reflect Christ.

If having a busy schedule works for you, if you don’t find yourself comparing it to others or keeping it busy simple to detract from having time to actually think, then kudos to you!

Right now, I’m in a weird place in life, and it has busy extremely busy. There are times that I wish to just run away for a week and ignore my chaotic schedule and responsibilities, but most days I love what I’m doing. Yes, I very much so long for the days of having one job, rather than four, and not trying to balance school, jr. high leading and relationships all at once. I am constantly reminding myself that this is temporary, and also of what a blessing all of my jobs have been.

If I ever find myself comparing my calendar to someone else’s, my goal is to stop and pray about it. To pull my focus back to Christ and remind myself that busyness does not equal success. Not to have more down time, but rather to make sure my attention is on God!

I strongly believe that this competitions between schedules has to end. Having a slower schedule does not make you any less. Having a busier schedule does not make you any more successful.

I’ve been recognizing how many of these ideas we have are serious heart-issues. I recently wrote a post on Modesty and as I was writing something “clicked” and I understood that what we wear is more about where our heart is. This is so incredibly similar!

If you find yourself comparing what your life looks like to someone more successful, busier, more creative, or smarter then you need to stop and truly check where your heart is at. God calls us to so much more than this!

Have a blessed day!

-Sadie

Post 100

Woah!

Post 100!?

I actually posted something completely different, but then realized the significance of this post!

I want to just discuss some of what God has done through this blog and my dreams for it.

What this is:

I started this blog a year and a few months ago. It was started as a way of staying connected with another friend who was away at university. It was my third or fourth blog. All me previous attempts at blogging failed. I would be so excited about it for a month or two, but then I’d move on to bigger and better things (or so I thought).

This blog eventually turned into a spiritual and creative outlet. It’s a place for me to share my heart, thoughts and learning experiences.

God has used this blog as an outreach to others as well. Every so often, I receive an “Amen!” from a friend or a stranger. My blog used to be read by a friend or two, my mom and her friends (my awesome cheerleaders). Now I watch as God takes it to reach a greater crowd. It has literally provided me with two of my current jobs.

God has used this small corner of the web to foster my gift for writing. I have always doubted my abilities, and still do at times, but every time I write something new, I receive positive feedback.

I continue to pray over this blog and the words I write. My prayer is that God would direct it in the way He sees fit, and that I would attempt to glorify His name in the process. Because of this prayer, I have had to make decisions on the directions I wish to take it.

A couple examples of this are when I posted about growing out my pixie cut and about how to make hassleback potatoes. The audience I reached from those were incredible. I actually got a “like” from Chef Nedra who was on Season 11 of Hell’s Kitchen (what?!). I realized pretty quickly that I could have continued with similar posts, and gotten the publicity. As soon as that thought appeared, I knew that wasn’t what I wanted. My heart is to reach people for Christ; to encourage and connect with others. I may occasionally write posts about recipes or beauty, but that will never be my focus.

I want to do this because God is calling me to. I will continue to write and post here as long as I feel God directing my thoughts and words.

My dreams for this:

I’m almost afraid to write these out. Not out of fear that I can’t or won’t accomplish them, but because I understand how important it is for our dreams to fall under what God may have for us. That dreams like this would pull us closer to Him and our purpose, and not pull us away or allow us lose focus.

More of me is excited to share this so that I may look back on it in the future and see what God has done!

I have had a dream of writing a book for a while. It’s been an extremely slow development, and I’ve decided to leave it on hold until I undoubtedly know what that is supposed to be. For now, I’m going to write here. My dream is for this to become a place that cultivates greatness.

I do not mean cultivates me as great, but rather God. A place that followers of Christ can come for a moment of rejuvenation and encouragement. This is an outlet for me, in many ways it is a blessing. For other people, writing is more of a stress than a freedom from stress. Faithful followers are giving their energy, preferences and time up in service of others, but you can’t give without being filled up first. I want this to be a spiritual gas station. A place that people can come to receive that little bit of fuel to continue accelerating. My hope is for this to become a place for devotions. Where each post acts as a devotional, but they aren’t specific to any theme and aren’t dated.

My dreams and passion for this blog are forever evolving. I’m slowly learning what works and what doesn’t, but my prayer is that God would continue to use it in whatever way He sees fit. That I would simple be the vessel to spread his mercy and powerful grace!

If you think to, I would love any prayers you’re willing to send up for me. For my blog and that God would do His work in it, and for me that I would continue to pursue these things without skipping ahead of Christ first!

I can’t thank everyone enough for stopping by and reading and for all the amazing input and feedback. I feel so incredibly blessed to have this place to process life and share real-life craziness with you!

Have a blessed day!

-Sadie

Overwhelmed

You fall asleep a couple of days before departure, and mindlessly walk through life and complete tasks on your to-do list. As you return to America and begin living life here, your mind and body slowly wake up and are able to process things and be emotionally present in situations.

This is the best way I have learned to explain the process of returning back to Ohio after being in Honduras for 3 months.

The past few days have been pretty overwhelming for me. I went grocery shopping for the first time since being here. I have been shopping several times with friends and family, but never for groceries.

I also haven’t been this mentally and physically present in two weeks.

I stood staring at orange juice for ten minutes. When you get used to have two or three options, and usually all dependent on size rather than brand, having an entire isle of options is crazy.

Later, I walked down the international foods isle to look for a couple things and began seeing  products I would have seen at the Economica where I used to buy groceries in Honduars. It’s wild that looking at a can of beans can make me tear up.

Every day since I have been back, I have gotten at least one message or comment from a student. I miss my kids so incredibly much. They could be so challenging at times, but when you get to actually touch their lives, it makes it all worth it.

The other night, I got a friend request from a student I was positive didn’t even like me. He was constantly rolling his eyes and mocking me (and not in a fun way). I accepted and quickly got a message from him. He told me that they all miss me and told me he was sad. That threw me for a loop. I really made a difference in the lives of these kids. They are part of me and I am part of them now. That was overwhelming for me, and still is, to wrap my head around.

I haven’t had my breaking point yet. I thought for a few days that maybe it simply wasn’t going to come (yeah right!). As I’m able to process things and actually live life, I’m realizing that that moment will most certainly come. I haven’t even cried. My heart hasn’t had a chance to process, even though my mind might be beginning to.

This coming week is overwhelming me. I’m starting work at the library, and working with two of my new jobs as well. I also plan to finally begin with the jr. high youth group at my church. There are a lot of exciting things happening, and yet I’m feeling overwhelmed.

This morning as I was getting ready for church, I began praying. I was beginning to feel lost.

I felt like there was nowhere to turn, or nobody that I could talk to that would get it. I felt this way because satan is a jerk. The most amazing thing that has happened for me in returning is realizing just how many people support me. God has shown me over and over again just how much I’m loved and cared for.

I spent over a year not truly living in Ohio. I hurt a lot of people because of that, and yet every single one of them has stuck by me. They supported my decisions and my passions, even if it pained them to do so. I sincerely want to apologize to anyone who has been affected by this. I cannot thank you enough for walking through this with me.

It’s overwhelming to me to know just how many people have my back.

I’m extremely tight on money, far more than I’ve ever been. I have been doing work here and there but still haven’t gotten money yet. I know it will all come together, and God will provide where needed, but until I’m truly back on my feet financially, I will be feeling overwhelmed in this.

I’m feeling overwhelmed this morning.

I’m overwhelmed by the many incredible blessings in my life that I don’t even deserve. I’m overwhelmed by actually living life in America and adjusting to normalcy. I’m feeling overwhelmed by the experience I had in Honduras and the many ways God provided for me during that time.

I’m slowly learning what is means to truly rest in God during this time. I’m learning to hand my burdens to Him. I so much so want to be overwhelmed by His presence and not the many things that plague me throughout the day.

This is where I’m at this morning. I’m feeling many different things. I feel like I can’t be completely present yet, but that I’m slowly getting there. Small things seem to be more overwhelming than the bigger ones.

And yet God is ever-present.

I cannot be more thankful for that.

Have a blessed day,

-Sadie

Quite Honestly: Rejuvenation

I used to workout every other day, and it became something I actually looked forward to after a long day of work. I then got caught up in Honduras, and my future and everything else going on and that healthy habit slowly disappeared from my life. Lately, I have been finding myself wanting to go for a run or bike ride more and more. Unfortunately, because of being in Honduras, I can’t really do that. I have had to find creative ways to get a workout in without and videos or equipment. I love the way that a quick 15 minute workout can help to shed the stress laying on my day and rejuvenate my spirit.

As I was working out today, and was feeling the stress leave me body as I did jumping jacks, my mind began to think about the idea of rejuvenation. What does it mean to be rejuvenated? Mirriam-Webster dictionary defines it in several ways, but my favorite was “to make young or youthful again : give new vigor to”. It is my favorite because that’s what it really feels like. When I finish a workout, I feel revived; I feel like I’m ready to tackle any difficult tasks I’ve been putting off.

Of course, that led me to thinking about spiritual rejuvenation.

Every morning, the first thing I do is read a devotional. I do this before talking to anyone, before pulling out my computer or reading any other book. It is my way of connecting with God and starting my day off right. This is a habit I have wanted to form for many years, and I’m so glad I can finally claim that. Not only does a morning start with many promises, but when the first thing you read are the promises of God, it’s like everything is right in your life (even if just for a moment). It’s that same rejuvenation of the spirit!

As I posted about a couple weeks ago, and have been continuing to touch on in my posts, I am relearning the basics of my faith. God is doing a lot work in my heart and I have come to understand something.

It has been and is a rejuvenation of my spiritual life.

God is making me “young again” and I’m getting “new vigor to” my walk with Him. The passions that kept my fire aglow in high school are returning to me as I seek Him. The many thoughts and habits that kept me on track throughout the day are slowly returning as part of my life. To say it has been a challenge would be an understatement.

I’m constantly having to check myself and assess my life. I have to look at the habits I have versus the habits I want and figure out what I need to do to attain them. I am constantly in need of God’s grace as I mess up and readjust my life. I am also learning to give myself a lot of grace in this walk. I have always been really hard on myself, and gotten disappointed in myself easily. I’m learning how to praise and reward myself for moving forward and to learn from the times I don’t without getting discouraged.

Life is a delicate balance of give and take. I’m still learning those balances and am just beginning to grasp the idea of balance as a whole.

The one thing I can say with full confidence, is that this has been the most rewarding thing I have done in my life.

There are always going to be things that need improvement, or to be eliminated completely, but it is so important to rejoice over the accomplishments and the transformation!

What are some things you can do to rejuvenate your spiritual life? Maybe you’re in a place that you’ve grown so distant from Christ, you’re not sure how to find your way back:

Start by praying, start by singing, start by praising, start by being honest with yourself. It’s a difficult process, but the most challenging step is the first one. God has not left you in the deep-end, to watch you suffer and drown; He has been holding out his hand to you all this time so that you may be held in His perfect grace.

Maybe you’re at the height of your spiritual walk, and have never felt so close to God:

Find a new habit you can include in your life or new activity that rejuvenates your spirit. May it be starting a journal, a vlog, or going on a prayer walk. There are so many opportunities for us to step out of this world and into Christ and spend time being rejuvenated!

Have a blessed day!

-Sadie