Friday, January 29, 2016

Everything will Always be Okay || My Reminder

Today I am in awe of how amazing my God is. I am in awe of His work; His beauty. I am in awe of the ways He touches my heart right when I need it. He speaks to me through His word. He encourages me. He cares for me. He LOVES me.

Today He taught me that sometimes I need to take a step back, take a breath, and just remember that everything will always be okay. This life is only temporary, anyway.

I have let doubts control me. I have let fear control me. When things like doubts and fear begin to take over, it's easy to let that destroy certain areas of your life. (Important areas)

I get so consumed with my "right now" I forget He already has the entire story of my life already written out word for word. So whatever I go through is all apart of my story and who He is making me out to be.
Not going to lie, that is super hard for me to remember. The "big things" in my little bitty world seem like huge deals to me. I stress, cry, and shut people out to wallow in my own discontentment.
But ya know, I've learned I just need to relax a little.

He has taught me that He is a God of PEACE.
The definition of peace is "freedom from disturbance"

I have FREEDOM from my doubts, my fears, my troubles, etc.
Yes, I am still going to have them. But I'm not bound by them.
I can have peace even through the phases of my life when I feel as if I can't hear Him. He has already made a promise to me I can always hold onto, even when I don't see Him working. That promise is from John 14:27 and John 16:33 where He says:

"Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you.
I do not give to you as the world gives.
Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid."

"I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace.
In this world you will have trouble. But take heart!
I have overcome the world."

That second verse has been one of my favorites for as long as I can remember. It has encouraged me through many, many various situations.

We are never promised that we won't have troubles. We are humans living in a broken world. Sin entered the world and we're cursed by it. But while we are living in this broken world, He tells us to take heart. For He has already overcome it! Isn't that something?

We could go through the absolute worst thing that we could possibly go through, and He's still already overcome it.

It doesn't mean it won't hurt. It doesn't mean it won't test us. It doesn't mean we won't still struggle with fear, doubt, anxiety. But it means we have a weapon against all those things. We have HOPE. 
We have a God who is ready to fight for us, lead us, and to ensure us that He is able to do immeasurably more than all we could ever ask or imagine. (Ephesians 3:23) 

He is ready to work all things together for my good because I love Him. (Romans 8:28)

He is able and He is ready. He just wants me to trust Him. 

Today I was sitting outside on a blanket in my backyard with my bible and my journal. I was praying about some specific things that have been troubling me lately and He touched my heart in a way I can't even describe with words. 
I sat there alone in my yard holding my bible with the sun shining on my back and the wind blowing around me. 
I really felt His beauty. His presence. His peace.

As I sat there in awe with tear filled eyes, the only words I could think to write in my journal for today were: "It is days like today that you remind me everything will always be okay."

God is so good to us, and what a wonderful gift it is to be alive. 

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Poem #3 | What Matters

Usually I keep the poems I write hidden away in a notebook under my bed for no one to read but myself. I've shared a couple of my favorites on here but still not typically one of my favorite things to post. BUT, today I was cleaning out my drawer full of ten million notebooks and I came across this one I wrote a few years ago.

It was one of the first few "real" poems I wrote, that actually made sense. 

It's not my best work, but I liked the message that was on my heart while writing it. So I've decided to share it with you guys. :) 

"She stood quietly, her hands folded tightly
Not making a move or a single sound
But somehow her presence screamed louder than the crowd
The slight smile on her face was priceless
Dirty clothes, dirty face, but she couldn't care less
Her pale skin stained brown with dirt and dust
But still, she shone. 

The poorest of them all, yet somehow the richest.

Others around her tried to shine too
But falsely with lies, leaving them with hearts broken in two.
Her hair was knotted and her body too thin
But still she was beautiful, for it came from within. 

No one else understood how she shone so bright
They had everything in the world, but their lives seemed alone, without any light

They were the richest of all, but somehow the poorest. 

Her heart sprang with warmth and laughter 
To her, money and gifts didn't matter

There was something about her that made every head turn
She had a way of making the coldest of hearts feel a burn
It wasn't her beauty and it wasn't her wealth, for her treasure was not there
It was her genuine kindness and heart full of love and care.

The poorest of them all, yet somehow the richest

Others sneered and laughed with pride, but she never even noticed
They pushed her down to elevate themselves, only bringing themselves the lowest

The richest of them all, yet somehow the poorest

They faked their kindness, building their own popularity
All in hopes of hiding their insecurities 
Making their own names known, in hopes of shining too
But still, she was the only one who shone

The poorest of them all, yet somehow the richest.

The others longed to know her secret
But she didn't even know it herself
For she was so lost in her creator, she forgot about everything else

Her life was full of love, and her heart was set above
Hardly any possessions of her own, but all she had was enough

Her secret wasn't really a secret at all
She was a selfless person and that is what shines brighter than them all

So very poor, yet somehow the richest.

It's easy for me to write about a girl like that but OH BOY is it so much harder to live out being a girl like that!! The world around us is constantly saying "build up yourself", "love yourself", "do what you want." "Get as much as you can"
But we serve a God that says "Give ME the glory." "Love me with all your heart, soul, and mind." "Follow MY will for your life." "I AM ENOUGH."

In a world that teaches us that it's all about ourselves, I'm learning to say "it's all about YOU, God." 
I'm learning that HE is always enough for me.
An art I will probably never master, but will never stop working at. 

I've written sooo many poems that I've never shared with anyone. Tell me what you think! Should I post more? Check out my new contact page to find out how to contact me. 

God bless,

Carlie :D

Friday, January 15, 2016

Moments |

Moments have always meant a lot to me. I think that's the reason I love pictures so much. When I take pictures capturing sights and people that make me happy, I can keep that moment forever. Years down the road I can look at an old picture and remember the happiness captured through the picture and feel that same happiness again.
It might sound kind of the cheesy but it's true. Little moments of happiness and beauty mean a lot to me. 

It's so normal to live for the big things in life. But when you think about what makes your heart the happiest, it's probably not the things you have: your money, your success, etc. 

It just feels like we forget the importance of our relationships and interactions with people. Life is absolutely breathtakingly beautiful but how often do we stop to realize that? 

My wallpaper currently is also my most favorite quote ever: 

I love that. If you were to ask me what makes me the happiest, my answers would be similar to what I wrote about in one of my first few posts: 

I love the colors in sunrises and sunsets. I love dandelions in the Summer. I love looking at the lovely night sky. I love road trips. I love singing lyrics at the top of my lungs with my friends. I love when my boyfriend randomly hugs me or holds my hand a little tighter than usual. I love laughing. I love family traditions.
All these things sound so small and stupid, but they're the tiny moments, places, and people that make life lovely. But a lot of times we're too busy to stop and recognize these things. 

Another one of my ALL TIME favorite quotes is:

I think we just get too caught up in our own business way too easily (@ myself!) 
But life is actually pretty lovely and beautiful and so are people and I think we should all spend more time simply enjoying it. 

I don't want to look back one day, and only remember pointless things that won't matter. No matter how big they may seem now. I want to look back and remember the beauty and smiles in life. I want to remember the things that are actually important. Not what only seems important at the moment. 

Another one of my resolutions for 2016 is to "live for right now" 
Not in the stupid, "you only live once" type of way. But in the smart "you only live once way" 
(It makes sense if you don't think about it) 

What I mean by that is simply that I don't want to look back and regret. We were made to seek Him and to live fearlessly FOR him. Seeking Him and seeking out the beauty He's created. 
I want to seek Him and live fearlessly FOR Him, instead of seeking and living for myself. Where's that going to get me anyways?

He has made this life breathtakingly beautiful. He's blessed us with lovely people and lovely places. Even though there's darkness all around, there's also a lot of beauty and light. (The light shines even in the darkness and the darkness can not overcome it!! See John 1:5) 

I think we just have to open our eyes and hearts and choose to see it. 

What moments did you let pass you by today? Don't make the same mistake tomorrow.

A few lovely moments from last couple of weeks:
Morning Jesus + chocolate milk (not much of a coffee person) 

Lovely sunrise while doing a parking lot check at work in the FREEZING COLD but it was worth it.


Super cool sunset.

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Monday, January 4, 2016

Breaking the Negativity || Seeking the Positivity

What if we had a "Backspace" button with the words we speak? 
As I'm starting this post, I backspaced twenty thousand times because the words just weren't...right.
I was planning on writing an entirely different post, but something struck my heart and I'm going to go for it.

So, like I said, we don't have a "backspace button" for the words we say. Once they're said, they're said. So why is it that most the time, we're hardly even cautious with our words? We hurt and we tear down so easily without even a second thought sometimes? 

One thing I've noticed a lot lately is just how much negativity is out there. It seems like anywhere I go I see/hear people tearing down and there's not always a lot of building up going on. I've noticed how much negativity I have myself.
It is really easy and (unfortunately) natural to tear someone down. We are all imperfect people with flaws just radiating out all around us. So we notice those flaws and for some reason think it's perfectly okay for us to point those flaws out. It's not.

One of my resolutions for 2016 is to break the negativity. 
I hate how normal it has become for me to see the flaws in other people. I want to break that negativity. I want to demolish it completely. 

Going even farther than just "breaking the negativity" I want to be "seeking the positivity"
I want to seek the good in every individual no matter how weird that individual may seem to me. Because newsflash: They're still a child of God, and God values them as much as he values me.

I read this quote earlier that I thought was quite fitting: 

"Be careful with what you say. You say something hurtful in ten seconds, then ten years later, the words are still there" (Joel Osteen) 

Ya know, the tiniest little insults can actually hurt a whole lot. So I think it'd be a good idea to be more cautious of which words we're letting flow through our mouths. 

Philippians 4:8 "Finally brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellent, if there is anything worthy of praise, THINK ABOUT THESE THINGS." (Emphasis my own) 

Fill yourself up with true, honorable, just, pure, lovely, commendable, excellent and praiseworthy thoughts, and that's exactly what you'll speak. It all starts when you make a choice to break the negativity. 

OK in closing, I have a challenge. A positivity challenge. 
Every time you think something negative and you want to let it out of your mouth, keep it in. But not only keep it in, but also, replace that negativity with something positive. Compliment that person. 
Mine was my resolution; something I want to work on all year. But set your own date, maybe even just for tomorrow. Learn to break the negativity and add to the positivity. 

Friday, January 1, 2016

Living Victoriously || Overcomers

Living victoriously. This is a really random topic that just popped in my head the other day on my way home from work. (Love when that happens!)
But I've been thinking on it for a couple days and decided to try to put these thoughts into words.

One of the notes I wrote down for this post was "Fighting through life" 
I've been thinking about our fight as Christians. We are fighting through life; fighting for the good we believe in. But I feel like we forget really easily that our fight has already been won.

It's easy to get discouraged at all the darkness in the world that seems to be rapidly taking over the world. But John 1:5 says "The light shines in the darkness and the darkness cannot overcome it."
The darkness can't win. We've already won through Christ. 

So why aren't we living victoriously like a winner would? I don't mean being full of pride and a "I'm better than you" attitude. But an attitude of courage and boldness. We have won. Now it's our job to bring that light into the darkness in the world. 

It just.. really bothers me how comfortable we get. We play church and live mediocre lives and call it "walking the walk"
But we are called for so much more. We shouldn't be content just getting by. We should be living courageously and actually DOING SOMETHING to further His Kingdom and share His love.

I feel like our mediocre should bother us a whole lot more than it does. It really bothers me. But when I'm thinking about it, I think "Well. What are you doing about it then Carlie?"

John 16:33 says "I have told you these things so that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have trouble, but take heart! I have overcome the world." 

He didn't say "For I WILL overcome the world." No, he said "For I HAVE overcome the world."

Already done. He overcame, which means WE are overcomers. We've won. So we should live like it, don't ya' think? 

Since a new year is here, I think a good New Year's resolution would be to "Live victoriously" Pray for strength and courage to really live as an overcomer through Christ.

We've already won the war, we're just not done fighting it. Let's live like it.

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Happy New Year, friends!