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Insecurities... cause don't we all have them?

So, lately I have been hearing a lot about insecurities and more specifically, the pressures women feel that lead to unhealthy relationships with food and their body and such. I have noticed myself being overcome by my own insecurities and have seen other people in my life greatly impacted by anxiety. It seems that nowadays pretty much every girl starts suffering from these issues in her teenage years. Sometimes it’s merely an annoyance, but sometimes it leads to very dark places (depression, anorexia, etc.) It’s not something to be trifled with and the ramifications are no joke.
Well, I preface with those things just to tell you that this topic has been heavy on my heart. It’s something people talk about a lot (which is much better than acting like it doesn’t exist), but the so-called solutions I often hear of are quite appalling. People say that you must train your mind to think positively. You must decide to “believe in yourself”. You must look in the mirror and tell yourself you…

Thoughts

Well, it’s been quite an emotional month and a half to say the least. I have had some of my darkest moments and some of the best moments as well. I honestly find it difficult to put it all into words. I have doubted the Lord’s faithfulness more times than I am willing to admit. There were plenty of moments when I knew it was all I could do to keep from screaming. I don’t know if the difficulties and insecurities I have been facing are over, or even close to it. However, I have learned at least one thing over the course of this month and that is this: that the only place where true and lasting and perfect joy is found is in Jesus. It’s in knowing that despite my MANY weaknesses, a perfect Father loves me. Joy is in the realization of my ultimate purpose—to glorify God and to further His Kingdom, not my own. I have learned that no matter how dark my days are, there is peace to be had at the foot of the cross in moments of true honesty with God. It’s in the moments of being physically o…

Reflecting...

Well, I have been back from China for over a week now. As thrilled as I am to actually enjoy my meals, spend time with my family and friends, and sleep in my nice comfortable bed, it's also hard to just resume life normally again. I keep thinking about what life was like while I was in China. Some things were just a lot easier and simpler.  I didn't have time to think about myself a lot. I didn't have time to think about how I looked or what I wanted to eat or anything like that. I miss the reality of being so consumed with the Lord and so filled with the Holy Spirit that it left no room for self-absorption. I clung to the lyrics from various songs, such as O come to the Altar, which says, "I have come to the end of myself. I thirst for a drink from the well". I truly was thirsting for the Lord and being filled with His strength the entirety of my days there because I simply couldn't do it on my own. 
In realizing these things, I specifically have thought a …

Week Two

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WEEK TWO: (written during and right after week 2)
It is currently Sunday and the new kids arrive tomorrow. I am eagerly anticipating what God has in store for this next week and what all He is going to do. I am also not quite so eagerly anticipating the exhaustion to come this week. I am realizing, though, that the tiredness and the frustrations that these weeks present simply push me to a greater dependence on the Lord. On my weakest days towards the end of the week, I learn to lean on Him and depend on strength from Him for every single moment. It’s rather a beautiful state to be in because don’t we all want a greater dependence on the Lord?  There are moments when I feel like I can’t do it anymore or when I feel like the last thing I want to do is go help get my kid dressed for the day, but through prayer and through strength from God’s word in the morning, I am able to move forward. 

We hiked up a beautiful mountain to see a view of Chongqing. It was very steep and difficult, but…

Week One

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WEEK ONE: (I wrote this during/ shortly after the first week that I was in China) 
Wow. It has been a crazy ride so far. God is working in many ways in my heart as I am serving the kids from the orphanage and as I am fellowshipping with the college age translators here. The two girls placed in my "family group" for week 1 both have pretty severe disabilities. They are sweet and loving and desperate to be loved back.
MAGNIFICENT:  One girl, whose Chinese name means magnificent, is the happiest, most joyful and content child I have ever met. I didn’t see her frown from the moment she arrived. She simply loves life. Although we cannot speak the same language and cannot communicate very effectively, her eyes light up when I hug her or tell her I love her in Chinese. She has such a big heart and she is teaching me so much about Jesus through her constant joy. She is showing me what it looks like to be fully content in any and every situation. She is 13 years old and has cerebral…

Saying Yes

So, I wanted to take a minute to explain my heartbeat behind releasing this blog to others. For the past couple months, I have kind of used it to journal for myself when I feel like God is trying to teach me something, knowing that no one else is actually reading it. However, I feel like God is calling me to share what He has been teaching me with others because I never know how that could encourage someone else or remind them that God is ultimately in control of their lives. By no means am I saying that I have this life thing perfect or that my relationship with God is seamless. It is actually quite the opposite. I am reminded daily of how much I have to learn about God and how much I need to continue to grow in my relationship with Him. I want to do some of that learning and growing on this blog though, in hopes that God could use it to encourage someone else.
I am particularly releasing it this summer because I am embarking on a new adventure that I feel the Lord has called me to.…

SOAPS: daily devotion

It's a love relationship. It's meant to be intimate. It's going to take hard work and intentionality. It's meant to be honest. It's meant to be humbling. It will convict. It will remind. It will confuse. It's a conversation. It's learning about who He is to see His beauty more clearly to worship more fervently. It's a SOAP.

Okay well as amazing and romantic as that description sounds, if I am being honest, it's not always that pretty. It is not always going to bring you to tears or bring you to your knees. There will be days when you feel like you got nothing out of it and you will begin to question why you do it. But then you remember. You remember on the days when you lean into what you are reading and God speaks to you or convicts you or encourages you through his word. You remember why you spend 15 minutes every morning starting your day with Him and His word.

It is Scripture Observation Application and Prayer. I read simply a chapter a day and …