Family Time, Precious Time

Three years ago this summer I moved away from my family and friends and began a new journey in life in Texas. Twice a year I’m able to come and visit my mom, and it’s not until recently that I have really learned to appreciate everything she’s done for me. I’ve finally learned to really love my sisters and not see them as annoying. And I’ve really learned to love my stepdad and everything he’s done for me, especially the times he did things and didn’t have to.

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Sweet Sounds

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I’ve been a sinner my whole life; I run to God, get distracted, stumble, fall down, and yet every single time God graciously brings me back to Him with sweet reminders of who He is. For some reason I can believe that there is something out there that will be better for me than Jesus, and I am proved horribly wrong every time. God has been convicting me of certain behaviors and has been humbling me before Him so that I stop believing I can do things on my own. God wants to draw us to Himself and His voice is the sweetest of them all. He is not harsh when He calls us back to Him, but offers the kind words of forgiveness and love. What a wonderful God we serve!

Photo Source: http://instagram.com/p/UfKRTzIXGE/#

Prince Charming

Every girl who grew up on Disney Princess movies has an idea in her mind of what Prince Charming would look like if he was brought to life. I’m not talking about just outward appearances (although its a plus for him to be cute), I’m talking about personality; the kinds of things he will do and say.

Prince Charming is the perfect man. For me, he is the typical talk, dark, and handsome man. He pursues and woos the girl he finds special. He stands up for her, takes risks for her, and is a hopeless romantic. He laughs easily and is always smiling. He takes charge and makes wise decisions. He’s perfect…in my mind, that is.

There’s no perfect guy out there just waiting to sweep me off my feet. I think that I have finally accepted that fact. There is no such thing as the perfect guy.

But there is Jesus who is the perfect Savior. His sacrifice is better than any love story Disney can come up with. His love for His precious daughters is greater than the love any earthly man can give.

I just pray to one day be blessed with a godly husband who knows that he isn’t perfect, but also knows that through Jesus he can be the man he was created to be.

When life gets tough

Life isn’t easy. Life gets really tough sometimes and somehow we have to make it through another day. I got some really tough news this weekend regarding some family issues and as much as I want to lay in bed and cry all day I HAVE to get up and get through it. Satan throws some really sucky curve balls at us and we can’t dodge all of them. They can hit us right in the gut or they can hit us and open up an old wound. Either way, it hurts and it’s painful.

When I first got this news at home I did the first thing that came to mind: run. I got in my car and just drove out to the lake, sat in my car and bawled my eyes out for a good while. I like to think of myself as a pretty strong person, but Satan threw something at me that just broke me. I felt so hopeless.

And then I started looking at the lake, how the sunset was reflecting off of the water, how there were families out in their little boats having a grand old time, how there were ducks EVERYWHERE, and I was reminded that God is an amazing creator. I began to think about this study I’ve been doing on all the names of God in the Bible and one particular name came to mind: Adonai Yahweh, which means Sovereign Lord. This name emphasizes that God is sovereign over every single situation in life; the universe, nature, humans, politics, sin, salvation, EVERYTHING. AND THAT’S AMAZING.

Even my own life that seems so insignificant sometimes. But God cares about it and is in control of the chaos that happens.

I began to pray and thank God for all that He is. I prayed for healing and restoration. The Holy Spirit moved me to pray because I really just wanted to shake my fist at God and scream WHY? But instead I prayed. God is powerful and can do anything. I will trust in the fact that God uses for good what Satan means for evil. And that is where my peace comes from.

Life is tough, but God is a whole lot tougher.

In a world of hurt

Women are complicated creatures. I can testify to this because I am a woman. We have emotional highs and lows and everything in between in one day. We get angry, laugh, and cry in a matter of a few hours. We think too deeply about things and can easily be carried away. But the one thing I hate about being a woman is having today’s culture push us into thinking that we have to be, look, and act perfect.

I struggle with my body image every single day. I struggle with feeling like I’ve eaten too much and then skipping the next meal to “make up for it.” I struggle with comparing myself to other girls and wishing that my hair would lay perfectly or that my skin tone was just a little darker.

But tonight I was put to shock and awe by a close friend who struggles with her self image more than I ever will. My heart breaks for her because our culture and Satan have convinced her that she is fat, ugly, and unworthy. I cannot count the times tonight that she said she wished she looked more like me, that she was as skinny as me. Reality is, she’s almost exactly my size. She ate a Twizzler tonight and then proceeded to beat herself up over it because she has an eating disorder and believes that one Twizzler is going to make her gain 5 pounds. My heart aches for her to experience freedom from this eating disorder, to experience true freedom in Christ.

She is so beautiful though. She’s got a funny quirky personality, she’s the sweetest thing and the first to throw a compliment at someone. She’s been believing the lie that beauty is on the outside instead of on the inside. And I hate that. I wish she, and every other girl out there who is struggling, could see just how beautiful she really is. How much worth she really has. Christ thought enough of us to die on the cross for us. That cannot be taken lightly.

To all of you beautiful girls out there who struggle, whether it be mild or extreme, I want you to know that you are loved more than you can imagine, cared for more than you can comprehend, and desired by God more than you can fathom.

Getting Ready for Summer

Over the past couple of weeks I’ve been making some difficult decisions. One of those being whether or not I would stay at my church. I really wasn’t growing there anymore and felt drained when I left. I was also difficult to see Jacob each week and it wasn’t helping me to heal at all. I decided to leave and go back to my old church, which I am super happy and excited about. I’m also going to try to get my parents to go as well! That’s been the biggest thing.

Next to that I met someone and with God’s guidance was able to tell him that I am not in a place to be in a relationship right now. Let me tell you, being honest and up front like that is SO liberating. And that’s a big deal for me because I’ve always had a difficult time speaking up about what I’m thinking and what I know is right.

Another awesome thing that happened is that I got the chance to share my testimony with my girls Bible study I go to each week. It was a little crazy and overwhelming. Each week there have only been a handful of us there. BUT this week 15 girls decided to show up out of nowhere. I was in shock! I was expecting to share with girls that I had really been getting to know and building relationships with, and I got to share with them and a bunch of girls I had never even met before! The most humbling part of it was that almost every girl approached me afterward to say thank you for sharing. It’s really just amazing what God does every day.

In the midst of all of this I have been freaking out a little bit about getting ready for summer. I’ve got several travel plans that I want to save up for, a class I need to take, and will be working two jobs. It’s a lot to get my mind around. It just feels like so much to think about. I’m trying to get myself organized and I feel like I’m failing terribly at it. On the plus side, I did get all of my homework done for the night!

I’ve been a little AWOL lately

Life has been throwing me a couple of curve balls, but God is reminding me of who I am in Him. He used my roommate to tell me something really hard and I wouldn’t have seen the truth in it from anyone else. He is continuing to clean out my heart and has provided me the opportunity to get away from the city for a weekend and do some healing. So, I will disappear again tomorrow and hopefully will have some great stories when I come back.