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Monday, May 1, 2017

eighteen.

So I just turned 18.
I am an adult now. (wait, what?!) I don't feel like an adult, but how many people really do when they are this age? *please tell me I'm not alone, peoples* 
As a little kid, I always thought that eighteen would be a magical age when you get all the answers and figure out everything for your life. In fact, if you talked to me a year ago, you would know that I had big plans for this year. I definitely had a picture of what my senior year would look like, but God has a way of showing us that HIS plan is greater and usually much different than our own!
To be honest, this year was tough. For a while, it seemed like nothing could possibly go right again. I felt stuck. I felt alone. And I struggled a lot with fear. I was worried and stressed about things that were quite insignificant, really. There were so many things happening all at once and everything inside of me was screaming against it.

No, I didn't know that I was going to struggle with fear. I didn't anticipate losing a pet. I didn't want to find out about that "friend." I didn't know that I would reach a point where I didn't have any clue what was happening or why it was happening.

But it happened.

And it was necessary, because God used my struggles for good. He is using them for good.

Through my battle with fear, I have come to know the importance of vulnerability. When we tell a trusted friend about the things that hurt, the things that we dread, and the things we struggle with, we expose them. We bring them to the light, and the darkness is dispelled in the blinding truth of the Gospel. The hurt is healed by the love and grace of our Heavenly Father, and we no longer dread what is to come because we are never alone.

After all that happened this year, I found it difficult to feel excited about next year. However, I have realized how important it is to remember that God is still in control. Everything is working out for good. Even the hard things that brought me down are shaping me into who He wants me to be, and they are bringing me closer to Him. I am learning to let go of my fear and hand it to God. On my own, I can't handle it. I really can't. But through HIS strength, I can. And so can you.

You can live loved, because you are. You can live confidently, because you have victory in Him. No matter how inadequate you feel, no matter how small, unimportant, or awkward you think you are, just remember this: If you are a follower of Christ, your identity is found in HIM, not what you feel like, what you did, or what people think of you. You are chosen. You are loved. You are forgiven. And you can't ever change that.
No matter what your year looked like, you don't have to stay in a place of doubt. There is grace for every day, and every morning, you can start over. Start each day with renewed faith in God, with hope, joy, and excitement for the amazing plans he has for you. Trust me, He has AMAZING plans for you! Not only that, He gives you just the right amount of strength that you need to get through today, and He is not going to abandon you.

It is hard, but I am learning this every day. I am learning to let go. I am learning to replace the fear with faith, the doubt with trust, and the dread with hope. But most importantly, I am learning to give my frustrations and fears over to the only One who can truly handle them. Because that is the only way to truly find freedom. 

♥♥♥

Thank you for reading this rather rambling post..I haven't blogged in so long, and it felt SO good to get my thoughts written down, no matter how un-sorted they may be. :p

Much love! ♥

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

when life leaves you stressed....

♡  pray. pray a lot.  ♡  write it out.  ♡  bake cookies.  ♡  cozy up with a cup of tea and your favorite book.  ♡  find some old letters and read them.  ♡  write a letter for someone else.  ♡  go for a run.  ♡  pick some flowers...or buy some.  ♡  talk it out--find a listening ear.  ♡  get creative and make a new Pinterest board.  ♡  watch your favorite movie.  ♡  look for verses in the Bible that apply to what you are going through, and memorize them.  ♡  write down 20 things to be thankful for, then thank God for them.  ♡  find an organizing project.  ♡  clean your space.  ♡  stretch.  ♡  re-decorate or re-arrange your room.  ♡  call a friend and hang out.  ♡  take a walk outside.  ♡  unplug.  ♡  listen to music.  ♡  take a nap.  ♡  look at the stars.  ♡  breathe.  ♡

  it's gonna be ok.


~ ♡ ~
No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not allow you to be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will provide a way of escape, so that you may be able to endure it. 
1 Corinthians 10:13  

Thursday, March 2, 2017

I'm back!...kind of...


Happy March! Wowwww. It has been way too long since I sat down to write a blog post! I am here to explain my absence and give you a heads up on what's happening.

As you might have guessed, I haven't been blogging lately because my life lately has been pretty crazy. One reason is that I am in a play, and we are coming up on tech week! (eeek!!)  I have been spending much of my spare time studying my part, doing schoolwork, and tending to the rest of life's demands. There are several other things that have been consuming quite a bit of time, and I have not had the mental energy or time to really sit down and think out a blog post! I miss it so much though, and can't wait to have a chance to do it again!

I am also here to let you know that I am not able to get back into blogging regularly again yet....In fact, I am writing this in preparation for things to get even crazier! I did want to let you know that yes, I am still alive, and I promise that as soon as I get a chance, I will be back into the blogging swing of things again!

Thank you for being so patient, you fabulous people! Much love to you all! ♥

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Thankfulness Thursday {2.9.17}



I had a particularly rough day last week. I was stressed, tired from the day, and generally just didn't feel good. As I was on the way home, I was thinking only about what had happened through the day, what to do about a problem that was constantly on my mind, and I was generally stressing about life. But God has a way of bringing encouragement and joy right when we need it the most, and that day was certainly no exception!

As we were driving, the sun was setting, and the sky was blazing with the most gorgeous colors ever. I was watching the sunset, and I had such peace in my heart as I realized that God is always good. No matter what happens during a day, the sun is still going to set, and God is still going to be there. He never leaves us to our problems, and even though things may not be looking very good, he is a Good, Good, Father who has given us so much. Things like sunsets seem common, but they are far from that.  Each one is a beautiful gift from God, a reminder that even at the end of a hard day, he is still there. He is ever-present, and he loves us. No matter what we have done or what we are feeling, he is always there. I am so thankful for that promise!

From the rising of the sun unto the going down,
the name of the Lord is to be praised.
Psalm 113:3

Saturday, February 4, 2017

don't give up.


i see that you're hurting
what can i do
you don't talk about it
but your eyes speak volumes.
your smile fades just a little too fast
and when you laugh it never seems to last
you gaze so wistfully
at people passing by
yet you say
"i'm ok"
"yeah, i'm totally fine."

i know that you aren't
it hurts me, you know
i see your heart breaking and
mine breaks a bit too
just let me in
i care about you

He made you
He called you
He says you're redeemed
and nothing you do
nothing you've done
can pull you away from his
deep deep love
if we look around honestly
we'd see it all plain
you're not the only one
feeling pain

you aren't weird
all alone
or strange
i promise you that
everyone here
has a weight on their back
but you see
you don't have to
i'm here for you
we'll do it together
He'll see us through

you've been lived for
died for
loved oh so deeply
don't shut help out
please just hear me

i love you
He loves you
don't ever forget
that no matter the pain
the hurt
or regret
i'm here for you
you can stay in my arms

He'll carry you through
no matter how dark
so whatever you do
just please

don't give up.


-----------------------------------
(a rather roughly written little piece of my heart that i may regret publishing someday because of the bad grammar and breaking writing rules but whatever. :p )

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

grow.

Can you believe that January is already over? We have made it through the first month of 2017! *claps* 
 I have always been big into goals and resolutions, but this year I really just wanted to learn and grow, both in my comfort zone and in my relationship with Christ. Life is hard, but it is so amazing. And God. God is so good. Even just this month, I have really seen Him working all around me, and it has been incredible. He is teaching me so much, I am finding things that surprise me every single day, and I have experienced so much grace and love. It is overwhelming. I have a lot of growing to do, and there is always so much more to learn, but I am finally getting to a point where the thought of growing up and experiencing new things isn't as scary.
Take the leap. One of the big things that I wanted to do this year was grow and expand out of my comfort zone. I am graduating, a lot of things are changing in my life, and I really wanted to just take this year to grow and experience things that I normally wouldn't. I get nervous about things very easily, and lately I have really had a big struggle with fear, but I have decided not to let that stop me anymore. The only way to overcome the fear is to quit listening to it and listen to God's voice instead. I am taking chances that I would normally be totally freaked out about, and I am choosing to listen to God's calling on my life, instead of letting Satan's lies control me. There is such freedom in acting on faith, and while I know it isn't going to always be easy, I know it is what God has called me to do. So I am taking the leap. I'm doing the thing. And I refuse to give in to fear anymore.

Love and kindness are always worth it. You know those people who make your day so much better just by one little thing they do or say? You could be having the worst day of your life, but talking to them or even sometimes seeing them and getting an encouraging smile is all you need to feel better. I know people like that and it blows my mind to see the love that they show other people. They have made a habit of kindness, and that is an extraordinary thing. Kindness is something that seems scarce in the world, especially right now. Things that bring differing opinions also bring harsh language, rude comments, and angry insults from both sides. I'm not saying we should all agree; I am saying that our disagreements can be handled with dignity and love. The world would be a much, much better place if we were more kind about the way we communicate.

Life is truly beautiful. The beauty of life is in the snowflakes falling softly on the ground, it's in the laughter in a group of friends, it's in the giggling of a baby, it's in the inquisitive little squirrels gathering seed, it's in community, family, nature, silence. Life is not only full of gifts, it is a gift. And with the life that we have been given, we can share that gift. Be the gift. Appreciate the gifts God has given us. It is hard, and even seems impossible at times, but there is nothing quite like the joy that you experience from searching for the little gifts and being truly thankful to the Giver for them.
 
A solid group of friends is priceless. This month, I have come to realize the importance and treasure of my Christian friends. It is such an encouragement to have a place to be vulnerable, to share struggles, and give each other advice and support. Community is extremely important. Believe it or not, everyone is going through something, and when you can talk about your struggles together, you may even find that someone else is going through the exact same thing you are. It is always important to have a group of people to keep each other accountable and work through struggles together with lots of prayer. I am beyond grateful for the real, authentic friends that I have in my life right now. You guys are extraordinary and beautiful souls, and I cannot say enough about how much of a blessing you are! ♥ 

God's Word is so important. I have really begun to realize the value of the Bible this month. It is the most powerful weapon against the devil's lies, it is comfort when I am worried, it is full of convicting truths and advice about literally everything that could happen in my life. It is so, so valuable, and I am experiencing the sweetness of God's Word more and more every day!

I will never be perfect, but God is. I am someone who loves things to be in order. I tend to be a perfectionist, and when things are messy or unorganized, it drives me crazy and I feel like I have to fix it. That not only goes for things around me, but also for my own character and life. I know my flaws, and I want to be perfect. I want to fix myself. But the thing is, God did not choose me because I was perfect. Jesus did not die because I was flawless. Instead, he died for me because I was just the opposite. Because I am so flawed that I cannot possibly change without Him. Because He loves me even though I am a sinner. And that is a beautiful thing. I am learning that I don't have to "clean myself up" so God will accept me. He has asked me to give Him all of my broken, messy, ugly humanness, and let Him change me from the inside out. When I allow Him to exchange all I am for all He is, that is where I need to be. I will never be perfect in this life. It is not possible. But I am being changed and transformed by a God who is perfect and who is full of mercy and love. He has taken my broken mess of a life and is weaving it into His story. That is an extraordinary thing, and I am so, so grateful!

Friday, January 27, 2017

Thankfulness Thursday (or...Friday?)

 I am finally sitting down on Thursday night to write this up, so I guess it will be a day late. So sorry about my posting being completely off...my entire schedule has been off lately, so finding time to blog has been hard. I really wanted to post the Thankfulness Thursday today, especially since I missed it last week!

thankful for...

encouragement from dear friends
fuzzy slippers
the adorable kids I babysit (GAH I love them!)
post-it notes
morning coffee
cough medicine
homemade cookies
taking the leap
stuffed animals
finding my favorite missing pens

_________________________________________________________________________

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever! 
Psalm 107:1