Sunday, April 19, 2015

Joy in Confusion

I'm sorry to say I have decided not to do the 365 challenge anymore. So I hope you enjoyed the first two weeks. (Sorry, sorry) 
Life is so very busy these days, it's hard to keep up with the photo challenge posts and also have regular posts as well. 

Since I haven't done an actual blog post in a while, I think I will tonight. I've been wanting to write about "joy in confusion" for a while, but I have been thinking of the right words to say. 

No matter who you are, I know you've had experience with confusion. Whether it be in something minor, or maybe huge life changing situations. 

Sometimes life throws things at us we just don't understand. We try our hardest to understand, and we make ourselves sick trying to grasp things that I think, maybe, we just aren't supposed to grasp. Maybe never, and maybe just not right now. 
So I want to talk about where to find the joy in that confusion. Or, where I find the joy in my own confusion. 

One thing I'm learning right now, is to live life one day at a time. 

Last night at youth, one of our youth leaders was talking about stress and worrying, and he talked about the verse from Matthew (6:34 if you want to look it up) 

"Therefore, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of it's own." 

I know He will give me the strength to endure each and every day as it comes. I don't need to worry about tomorrow because my God is already there, and He will grant me the strength for it when it arrives. 

•Already There• (Casting Crowns) 

"From where I'm standing
Lord it's so hard for me to see
Where this is going
And where You're leading me
I wish I knew how
All my fears and all my questions
Are gonna play out
In a world I can't control

When I'm lost in the mystery
To You my future is a memory
Cause You're already there
You're already there
Standing at the end of my life
Waiting on the other side
And You're already there
You're already there" 

"The hands that bled for me, are the hands that cradle the stars."

Those same hands are holding me, my future, and holding my hand through my every phase of life. 

Yes, there are some things that I don't understand. (a lot of things if we're being real here) 
Sometimes confusion can hurt, it can be scary, and it can really start to weigh you down. 
But it can also strengthen you, and lead you closer to the One who holds you. For when we don't understand, we need someone who does. And we serve an all knowing, all powerful God who is able to do IMMEASURABLY more than all we could ever ask or imagine. (Ephesians 3:23)  

I find joy and beauty in the mystery He is unfolding little by little right in front of me. 
When I am scared, I only need to readjust and remember, I am not in control. I don't need to know. 
For when I don't understand, I only have more reason to cling even tighter to my Jesus. To allow Him to teach me, to guide me, and to hold me through out my every move.

He reminds me to be still and know that He is God. (Psalm 46:10) 

I will be still, and I will trust Him. Even when I don't understand. 

Sunday, April 12, 2015

•365• (4/6-4/12)


4/6/15 Monday

This week is going to be crazy busy. (Yay for grown up things like responsibilities and a job) 
So instead of the usual journal, I've decided to take my photos this week, and add quotes to them that I find fitting. :) 
So, here we go:

"Time stands still best in moments that look suspiciously like ordinary life." 

4/7/15 Tuesday

"A flower doesn't think of competing to the flower next to it, it just blooms."

4/8/15 Wednesday 

"Life is unpredictable, it changes with the seasons. 
Even your coldest winter happens for the best of reasons,
And though it feels eternal, like all you'll ever do is freeze
I promise spring is coming and with it brand new leaves."

4/9/15 Thursday 

"The darkest night WILL end and the sun WILL rise" ~Victor Hugo 

4/10/15 Friday 
"Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around every once in a while, you might miss it." 

4/11/15 Saturday 

"Keep your face always to the sun and the shadows will fall behind you." 

4/12/15 Sunday

 "Be always blooming" 

As you can see, I really enjoy nature photos. :P Have a blessed week everyone!

Sunday, April 5, 2015

•365• (3/30-4/5)

3/30/15 Monday

Another Monday has passed. Today was a great day. :) 
I wanted to post a picture that was more representative of my day, but I couldn't resist posting this picture of our cat. 
I'm actually not a cat person at all, but I will admit she is quite the pretty kitty. 

Today I spent the day at the fine arts academy we attend. (More on that in another post later on) 
But something that stuck out to me today happened this evening as the day was coming to an end. My family and I watched a couple "Ted Talks" 
While were watching the one entitled "How To Talk So Will People Listen."
In case you haven't seen that episode, he was talking about the things people do/don't like to hear. 
Then he gave an acronym for four things to remember during your everyday conversation. The acronym was "HAIL" 
H-Honesty. A- Authenticity I- Integrity L-Love. 
Four very important keys to conversation and simply everyday life. 
I challenge you this week to do your best to live out the "HAIL" acronym. 
Be honest, be authentic, have integrity, and most importantly.. love.
"Whoever guards his mouth preserves his life; he who opens wide his lips comes to ruin." (Proverbs 13:3)
May your words and actions always be inspired by love. (: 

3/31/15 Tuesday

Today was another lovely, lovely day. I could tell you all about my day, starting from 7AM workouts, to sitting here watching a show with my family before bed.
 But I'd rather only tell you about one hour of my day that meant the most to me. That was while I was sitting outside having my quiet time with my Jesus. I was sitting my backyard laying in the grass with my bible and the book "Crazy Love" I mentioned in last week's post. (Great book, READ IT.) 
The chapter I read today was "Profile of the Lukewarm" 
More specifically, it was talking about lukewarm christians. It was talking about how comfortable we get. How we make room for God, instead of making Him our absolute everything. In this chapter he gave multiple "Lukewarm people profiles" I want to share two specifics with you that I'd like you to think about. 
"Lukewarm people say they love Jesus, and He is, indeed, a part of their lives. But only a part. They give Him a section of their time, their money, and their thoughts, but He isn't allowed to control their lives." 
"Lukewarm people rarely share their faith with their neighbors, coworkers, or friends. They do not want to be rejected, nor do they want to make people uncomfortable by talking about private issues like religion." 
So my challenge for you is to start or to restart your process of falling completely in love with Him. Allowing Him to completely transform you, take over, and control every aspect of your life. Not just what you set aside for Him. 
To fall so much in love with Him that you can't even help but talk about Him and what He's done for you everywhere you go. 
I challenge you to defeat the Lukewarm.

4/1/15 Wednesday

The moon is so beautiful. Especially tonight. :)) 
Today I realized something I believe God has specifically been trying to teach me lately, and that is to love on His terms. Meaning, to love people regardless of how they treat me. Not loving them based on my own feelings or their feelings towards me, but loving them because that is what I am called to do. 
His terms, not my own. Which is MUCH easier to say than to do. One of my favorite reminders is the quote I mentioned in last week's post, "the chain reaction of evil must be broken."

Be the link that turns it around. Return their insult with silence or a friendly smile. Overcome evil with good. :-)

4/2/15  Thursday 

I may or may not have written this five or six times on our pavement today. The lyrics to this song are also my lock screen on my phone. 
Once again, I spent so much time outside today. I listened to this song while laying outside just looking around at His beautiful creation. Music with inspirational lyrics always relax and comfort me. It's late and I need to get to bed, but if you don't know this song, look it up. It's beautiful. 
Goodnight world :-)

4/3/15 Friday

Spending this week in a hotel for LTC 2015. I captured the above photo while sitting outside by the pool with friends. In honor of Good Friday today I'll share this quote my mom showed me today.
 "Jesus didn't just die to take your place, He died so He could give you His."  Today was a very busy day and I am super mega ultra tired so I don't have much to write. But I thought I'd share this verse (another one of my favorites) that goes along with today.
"He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed.” – 1 Peter 2:24 
By His wounds we are healed and by His wounds we are set free. My Jesus is amazing. 

Saturday 4/4/15 

Oh man, what a weekend. Great, but very exhausting. These two pictured above were a huge part of it. We competed in LTC with our church. I think it's safe to say we enjoyed exploring the hotel more than the events. :P 
I am so blessed by these two young ladies. This weekend was quite fun. 
I am exhausted so I'm heading to bed. Nighty night :-) 

4/5/15 Sunday

Happy Easter!!!❤️ 
So thankful for a fun day with family and friends and more importantly remembering and worshiping our Savior. What happened this weekend many years ago, is the basis of everything we christians stand on. 
Love Came Down came on today and it couldn't have been a more appropriate song for today. "Love came down and rescued me, love came down and set me free." 
I hope you all had a fun day in your nice Easter outfits, celebrating and visiting with family, but most importantly, I hope you remembered the real reason why you were celebrating. 
We serve a living Savior and we are made new every single day because of Him. By His wounds we are healed. 
Happy Easter, friends!