30 more seconds

It’s been way too long since I’ve last posted. But I felt like I needed to post this. I’ve been thinking a lot about following Jesus because I’ve been listening to Judah Smith’s most recent series, “The Truth About Following Jesus.” And it’s hectic. I’ve always wanted to know the next step as to where I’m going and as to what I want to do with my life. And especially in college, everyone is always asking- “So what are your dreams? What are you going to do after college? What’s next?” And I do have plans and desires in my heart of what I would like to do after, but ultimately, following Jesus is just taking it 5 minutes at a time. Following him for the next 30 seconds. And then another 30 seconds. It isn’t easy following Jesus but it’s so worth it seriously. And during chapel yesterday, it talks about trusting God and I’ve been having a tough time trusting him lately for finances, but God spoke to me during chapel to be patient in the waiting. The speaker spoke on Luke 5 and how Simon Peter hadn’t caught any fish all night. But when Jesus asked Simon to fish once more, even though he thought that he knew better and that HE indeed was the fishing expert, he obeyed. So even when things are seeming to go in a different direction or you’re feeling disappointed, just keep being faithful with what God has placed in your hands, keep being consistent, keep loving people. The speaker compared this concept to Mr. Miyagi in The Karate Kid- and it blew my mind! The kid wanted to learn karate but Mr. Miyagi instead have him a sponge and told him to”wax on wax off” and then he gave him a paint brush and told him to paint, etc. And he could have given up since it didn’t seem like he was actually learning karate. But he kept being faithful, he kept showing up and he was patient in the waiting. And in the end, these seemingly mundane chores he was given to do by Mr. Miyagi were the means for what he needed to do karate.

So my encouragement for you today friend, is whatever season you’re in Ecclesiastes 3 – God has made everything beautiful in its time. So find the beauty in every season and in every moment. Even when it’s hard. Recently my friend told me, “You can’t get the harvest without the waiting.” So just when you feel like you can’t be any more patient for your promise, just try waiting 30 more seconds. Try following Jesus for 30 more seconds. Try trusting in Him for 30 more seconds. You got this.

have your will and way in me.

Hello Friends!

So it’s new year’s eve in Australia right now. I just got back today! I’m stepping into a new season that is so scary and I’m unsure of it, but I’ve been reading this book thats been inspiring me so much! It’s called, “Hinds’ Feet On High Places” and its an allegory about this girl named Much Afraid, and its about this journey she goes on, up a mountain, to being who her Shepherd has promised for her to be. And its SO GOOD. I feel like I’m just like her. She goes through phases of being super brave and then phases of feeling like she wants to give up and go back to her sad and painful and fearful life that she lived before. But the cool thing is that her brave moments are when she is with her Shepherd. She calls to him, and in the the next moment he is right beside her. He protects her and gives her courage and faith that surpasses any situation that she might find herself in.

This is my favorite part so far:

“Do you believe that I will let you be put to shame on the way up?”

Much Afraid looked at him and then said something that she had never been willing to say before. “I don’t think I mind so very much if you do, only have your will and way in me, Shepherd. Nothing else matters.”

I literally almost started crying when I read this because that’s how I feel right now!!! I feel so afraid of the future and failing and being put to shame in front of everyone I know, but if I have that heart, “God have your will and and way in me, Nothing else matters.” It takes the focus off of me and what I am doing with my life and gives all the control to God. If I succeed its God’s doing, and if I fail, I trust him that he’s doing something greater that I just can’t see yet.

God is greater than whatever you may be facing. And if you feel overwhelmed by something that’s going on in your life, just get into his presence ASAP! It will give you courage and strength and comfort shifting your focus from your own shortcomings and problems and onto the grace of God that is in and through every inch of your life.

eat your heart out

So there are a couple of things that I really want to say, but I want to share what I read tonight because my hands were getting clammy as I was writing it so its got to mean something right? HA!

Everyone loves eating. Its easy. Its enjoyable. It makes you happy. It fills up your tummy. It energizes you. It calms your hanger(hungry anger).

I’m reading 1 Samuel right now, and I’ve made it to chapter 9 so far.  Here’s the verse I’m talking about–

“So the cook took up the thigh with what was on it and set it in front of Saul. Samuel said, “Here is what has been kept for you. Eat because it was set aside for you for this occasion from the time I said, ‘I have invited guests.'” And Saul dined with Samuel that day.” (1sam9:24 NIV)

That sounds a bit random, but here’s the context, Saul is about to be made king because that’s what God wants (see 1sam9:17). But at this point in Saul’s life he’s a bit timid and insecure about him not being good enough for the job. And so Samuel brought him to dinner at his place and chatted with him about life and encouraged him and stuff. This is the connection I made in my head that I think is soooo cool!!!

God has the whole lot of our lives in sight. what we can’t see, he sees. He sees the big picture. Though we can’t see the big picture we can trust the one who can and who loves us so much! The things God has planned out for us have been planned all along. The things that I get to do right now in this moment were set aside for me to do. For me to EAT. and all God is asking me to do is to come and eat all that He has prepared for me. Eat your heart out he’s telling us! This life, the things that you’ve been through and will go through and the places you’ve been allowed to go were predestined for you specifically. Someone said this recently, “YOU are the right person, in the right place, doing the right thing, at the right time.” He trusts you with every season he allows you to go through.

This life is all yours for the taking. So come and eat it up with love – joy – peace – patience – kindness – goodness – faithfulness – gentleness and – self control. Don’t waste a moment prepared personally for you, by God.

 

what a good Dad

Today is Father’s Day in Australia! For me this holiday could go two ways:

One way is I could get super depressed and sad thinking of dads, because my dad isn’t really present in my life anymore. And to be honest, a couple of weeks ago one night, I ugly cried thinking about my dad and wanting to just have a good dad that loves me and wants to know how I’m doing. And then also thinking of my niece who passed away and won’t need to FaceTime her parents when she’s away at college. It was just a wave of emotions that hit me, probably because I was on my period. But even still, holidays like this are really hard for a lot of people.

But one other way I could look at this day is looking to God. My incredible father in heaven that is better than any dad I could have in real life! Because he loves me and WANTS me. He doesn’t need me, but he wants me. And that is really cool to me! He desires to have a relationship with me. He wants me to want him.

BUT its really not even about me! I feel like the Bible so often speaks of how much God loves you, how he takes care of you and he formed you in your mothers womb, and he knows every hair on your head. I think God knows how badly we need affirmation, so he tells us over and over again how much he loves us. But I don’t think that should be the end goal. The end goal should not be you knowing that you are loved and you can trust God to provide for all of your needs, and to make all things work together for good. That should be just the beginning! Once we get over the fact that we don’t need to worry about a thing and we can find our identity in Christ, thats where the really cool stuff starts happening! We get to help others out!

God wants to speak to us, so that we can speak to others. We aren’t just supposed to be a stagnant body of water where we are constantly learning and receiving but never giving anything out! Don’t be selfish with the revelations that God is giving you. Because what if you’re learning about something that is helping you and could be changing the lives of those around you?

But one more thing… ha! I’ve been learning this a lot lately. Don’t read the Bible and don’t talk to God thinking of what you can get out of it and what you can receive in order to help others. Am I contradicting what I just wrote? I don’t know. It doesn’t matter what I think, but I feel like we need to go to God and talk to God just because we love him so much. Not to receive anything but just to be in his presence. Because his presence is so good and so perfect. And just by being in his presence we are changed.

I read this somewhere, but its like, you have a dad that has been away for a little while and then arrives home to his child eagerly waiting for his return and she runs up to him and he scoops her up into his arms and snuggles her. She isn’t running to see if he got her any gifts on the trip. She is only running to him to be with him. And thats how I want my relationship with God, my father to be. I want to want him, not for his provision, or his peace, or his gifts, or even his grace. But for God himself. He is wonderful and he is all I need.

Shift Your Focus

“When we stand to pray publicly, are the words geared to God’s ears, or to those listening?”

I read this quote from Kyle Idleman yesterday, and then this afternoon, I wrote this in my journal:

So this is what I’ve been thinking about lately. Praying is talking to God, so why do we try to cater what we say to those that are listening? Today in kids I closed worship in prayer, but lost my words and started not knowing what to say because I was trying to think of a way to say what I felt in my heart in a language that they would understand. Buts its not our job to make people understand. We are just vessels. God is doing the work and he can give them understanding if we would just genuinely talk to God. In prayer, our focus needs to be God. Not even on other people we are praying for. Because as we magnify Christ, the things that we are praying for and begging for, as we see God’s glory and how good he is, and his power and sovereignty, what we are praying for becomes much smaller and way less scary than we thought before we started praying…

So often when I pray in front of people, it’s shameful to admit it, but I am thinking less about God and more about what people think of my prayer and if I’m saying the right thing and if I sound legit. But its not about me!!! And even if I say the wrong words, God is omniscient and knows what I’m trying to say and loves our words coming from a pure heart surrendered to him. Whether it sounds well put together or not.

But these are just my thoughts and I don’t know much. So don’t listen to me. But its something to think about for sure!

“You’re blessed when you get your inside world– your mind and heart– put right. Then you can see God in the outside world.” {Matt. 5:8 msg}

body mind and soul

ohmygoodnessgracious HELLO!

It’s been over a month since I last wrote to you all but I’m going to share with you what I’m learning and how I’ve been feeling lately and yeah! So today is day two of our two week break before second semester starts. And I’m sick with a cold right now, but its all good! It’s perfect timing actually because I can be resting and not missing out on anything! Anyway, I just moved into my new place and I love it so much. I feel so at home already. I’m in a new city and I’m about to start a new semester of college. So many new things so I’m trying to start new habits right now and I’m so pumped.

So I feel like God has been teaching me lately that I need to be a leader in every area of my life. Not like this in one area and then completely the opposite in a different area. I want to be consistently someone that people look to and see Jesus through me. Since honesty is what I’m all about in this blog, I’m gonna be honest. You may have noticed or you may not have noticed, either way I don’t really care, but I’ve gained weight since I’ve arrived in Australia 6 months ago. And it sucks! But looking back at how hard it was and all the adjustments and living in a new country, its a reflection on how my heart was doing. Not that I was doing bad, but as much as I told people I was doing good, there was part of me that was really not doing well. The part where when I would feel sad or lonely or missing home, I would turn to sugar, and chocolate and cookies. And I didn’t realize it in the moment, but you can never see as clear in the moment as you can looking back. Because looking back you can see the big picture. And things that seemed huge and crazy and scary in the moment aren’t that big anymore. When you look at a few things all at once through the lens of “God is in control of all of this”, things seem a lot smaller and a lot less scary.

So all that to say, I’ve had a rough time. And I really believe that what goes on on the outside of you really is a reflection of whats going on on the inside of you. If you can’t control what you consume on the outside, how can you control what you consume on the inside? And for me, it wasn’t porn or drugs or bad things that were crazy. It was just my thoughts about myself and my self worth. It was little by little allowing different thoughts sink in and become a normal habit in my life.

So back to being a leader in every area of my life, I want to be a leader not only in reading God’s word and being a light in a dark world, and encouraging people, but also in what I eat and taking care of my body, and in keeping my room tidy, and having good healthy skin! It sounds dumb to me sometimes, but really! So much of this affects how I view myself. Why give satan a foothold in my life to tear me down and make me feel insecure?! What are you sowing today that will affect your tomorrow? Are you slowly slicing your way to death and bad habits? Or slowly slicing your way to success, to a person that glorifies God in every area of life? Every day, in every moment, you get to choose your thoughts and your response to whatever may come your way.

I want to glorify God in every area of my life. In body, mind and soul. That might sound cliche to you, but I think cliche is just what people say when they haven’t had a revelation from God! I don’t know! Sorry for this lengthy-ness but also #notsorry. 🙂

1 Thessalonians 5:23-24 “May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. The one who calls you is faithful and he will do it.”

second wind!?

Hey guys!

So last week I was on my break from college and it was amazing. I did a whole lot of NOTHING! Hanging out at cafes and reading a lot and went to see some good ol nature. And after having this break, I feel like I’m getting a second wind! You know, like when you go for a run (don’t identify with this illustration too much) and you go hard at the beginning and then you feel super tired, but somehow you get something inside of you pushing you to go hard again. And I feel like that’s where I am right now. And its amazing!! I woke up this morning, June first, realizing that theres only one month left of my first six months of living in Australia. It’s so crazy and this place has been nothing short of the crazy unexpected, but its been the best, hardest thing I’ve ever done…. best hardest thing God has ever allowed me to do and be a part of.

But I woke up this morning realizing the last time I blogged was like 15 days ago! Like I feel like time goes by so quickly here because I’m constantly doing SOMETHING. And I woke up with this thought, “I’m not gonna let June just happen to me, I’m gonna happen to June!! I’m gonna suck every little thing out of this month.” and I don’t know exactly what that’s going to look like, but I’m really excited. And I’m writing to sort of be able to look back and remember how I felt today. Stoked and EXPECTANT. I’m going to do my best this month, to not let a day go by without encouraging someone or reminding myself of how I’m in AUSTRALIA. what the heck?! I just don’t want this to become normal. I don’t want to become complacent or ungrateful. So yeah! That’s where I’m at. God is good all the time and all the time God is good.