Look at you! You graduated high school; congratulations! You had an awesome summer of freedom, you attended new student orientation, you have the greatest roommate and no classes before 10 AM, so you’re ready to take on college. You feel unstoppable, like the world is at your fingertips. And in many ways, that is true.
You will love college. You will find your people and your major, your favorite spots in the library, the greatest intramurals. You will figure out which days the caf is not worth it, and which restaurants in the student center will make you sick every time. (Why did Chinese food on a college campus seem like a good idea?)
But there’s something I need you to remember. This is, and I’m risking a cliche here, the beginning of the rest of your life. Start it with Christ as the foundation, or it will crumble. Here is a letter, from my heart to yours.
Life is hard, and it’s far too easy to focus on the negative aspects of it. Today, it’s easier for me to complain about an upset stomach than it is to be thankful for the groceries that we can afford. But I heard a message on the radio the other day about finding the awesome in every situation, and I love that thought! God has given us awesome lives, and we need to focus on that instead of our problems. Since that’s easier said than done, let’s look at how we can find the awesome in every situation!
Christians, our priorities are messed up. I say “our” because I’m a part of it, too. I am not immune. We prioritize movies, TV shows, and music over our faith. I’m not talking about the time that we spend on those as opposed to the time we invest in our faith, because I think that’s another post for another day, but I’m talking about the entertainment choices that we make. Friends, listen up. It is time for us to start prioritizing faith over entertainment.
“When my fears, like Jericho, build their walls around my soul; when my heart is overthrown, Your love is my battle cry, the anthem for all my life.” (Every Giant Will Fall – Rend Collective)
I struggle with anxiety. It’s been a lifelong struggle, but it has really come to light in the past few years. In the past, I’ve struggled with anxiety attacks, sleepless nights, and physical pain caused by anxiety. By the sheer and utter grace of God, I have overcome that severity, but the devil still wants in, so he attacks me in little ways.
Caleb and I have several young married friends who have suffered miscarriages recently. It is painful beyond words to watch our friends go through this, and to imagine ourselves in their shoes is unbearable. We’re a young married couple, and we may start a family soon, so the devil thought he could sneak in and attack me here. Yesterday at church, during altar call, our pastor was praying over his 9 year old little girl who is fighting an infection in her finger. Something about praying over kids always brings me to tears, but before I even knew what hit me, I was down the trail of what ifs. What if that’s us here in a few years? What if our baby was sick, or I had a difficult pregnancy, or we lost a baby? Continue Reading
After graduating college, I spent two years teaching in public school. The first year, I taught 4th and 5th grade reading, writing, and social studies. The second year, I taught 6th through 10th grade technology, as well as advising the yearbook. After my second year, I resigned to be a homemaker.
Both years had their ups and downs. I loved my kids and I loved being able to teach them. Though I love being a homemaker, there are moments when I sometimes miss teaching. Teachers are a special breed of people, and I don’t say that just because I was a teacher. 😉 It takes someone gifted to be able to pour into children and dedicate their lives to shaping these kids into adults, teaching them not just academics, but morals and life lessons.
However, it’s not just the kids that are taught lessons. My students, as well as my fellow teachers, taught me a lot of life lessons during my short time teaching, and I think they’re crucial. Here are 4 lessons that I learned in my 2 years of teaching. Continue Reading
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We live in a world dominated by fear. Cultures fear their way of life is being threatened. Officers fear their safety is being threatened. Citizens fear their rights are being threatened. It is far too easy for the devil to wrap us up in his lies of fear and uncertainty and strip away from us the peace that passes all understanding. We cannot choose to live in fear. As Christians, we must stand tall, strengthen our stance, and fight for the peace that God promised us.
“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” – 2 Timothy 1:7
The search for peace often comes up empty because we are looking in the wrong places. We look for peace in our friends, our family, our spouses, yet that is not where God has placed our peace. Our peace is in God alone, and we must look to Him to find it and experience it.
“And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” – Philippians 4:7
Music helps me. I find the peace of God in a guitar strum, a gentle voice, a violin in the background. I believe God uses music to touch the hearts of His people. I want to share with you 6 songs that God has used to touch my heart with peace in times of fear. Continue Reading
Today is July 4th, Independence Day. It is a day of celebration for our country. We are proud to be Americans. But for us, it’s another celebration, as well. Today, Caleb and I have been married 100 days! Yaaayyyyy! It’s been amazing, and we know that it will only be greater as we go. We are enjoying our life now and we are so excited for the future and everything that it holds. 🙂
I read a blog post the other day from Heaven and Hearth entitled Marriage Isn’t Hard (click the link to visit that post). Kali is wise beyond her years. In her post, she talks about how the phrase “marriage is hard, but worth it” has essentially become a mantra in the Christian culture. She disagrees, as do I. Is marriage worth it? Absolutely. Is marriage hard? No. Sin is hard, and we are sinful creatures. “But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace to me was not without effect.” [1 Corinthians 15:10] God’s grace enables us to live a life pursuing His holy desires, and enables our marriages to be filled with grace, love, and mercy.
This is not to say that hard times will not come. Many of you will look at this and roll your eyes because we’ve been married a little over three months and of course nothing difficult could have happened during that time. (You would be wrong.) In fact, quite a few people have told us something to the effect of, “Oh, sure, marriage is good in the beginning, but you just wait.” If that is you, please stop. Speak life into newlyweds, please. We know that there will be difficult paths to navigate, but by the grace of God and with His mercy, we will triumph.
Marriage is good. We love it. We love each other. We’ve learned a lot about each other, marriage, and God in the last 100 days, and we want to share some of that with you. Continue Reading
Being an adult is hard, am I right? We’re asked to make decisions that don’t make sense half the time, to think about our future, and to step out in faith. It’s scary, it’s stressful, and sometimes we royally screw it up. There’s no formula to follow to make a right decision, but I’ve begun to believe this mantra: “If you don’t love it, don’t do it.”
Now of course this doesn’t apply in every single decision. I don’t LOVE scrubbing the bathtub, but it has to happen or mold will take over. I don’t LOVE going to the dentist, but I should go if I would like to keep my teeth. I don’t LOVE paying my car registration, but I do love not going to prison, so I (get my husband to) take care of that. Some decisions are a given because they’re necessary. But sometimes, we have a choice. Continue Reading
We live in a world where girls are usually taught ones of two things: they’re “just” pretty, or they’re absolutely equal to men and should do the exact same things. The first was an unfortunate development of self-esteem movements, and the second is the ugly mission of feminism. I don’t agree with either.
Girls should be taught that they are beautiful. It’s important. God has created them to be beautiful and He finds joy in their recognition of His work. But let’s face this logically. Girls aren’t equal to men. We aren’t as strong, we aren’t built to do hard labor, and many of us find little, if any, joy in the work of a man. We’re made differently. Wonderfully, but differently.
But where does this leave us when it comes to bravery? Many girls are taught to be the damsel in distress, waiting for the man of their dreams to save them from the dragon. I don’t buy that. I’m not that kind of person. I also don’t buy into the fact that the girl needs to slay the dragon. There must be an in-between.
There is. God calls girls to His beauty, and also to His bravery. He calls them to be intercessors, prophets, healers, worship leaders, teachers of the Word, the list goes on. And His gifts are best manifested in us when we step into those callings in bravery. Continue Reading
We live in an ugly world. It is full of pain, hurt, and tragedy. So let’s take a few minutes and just be honest. We’re not going to blame-shift. We’re not going to try to come up with solutions. We’re just going to discuss the real issue here.
The enemy. The devil. Satan. Stupidhead. Whatever you want to call him.
“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy.”-John 10:10
Saturday night, 50 people were killed in a mass shooting at a nightclub in Orlando. That is 50 families, 50 groups of friends, and 50 sets of coworkers who are hurting deeply for their loved ones. It’s unthinkable, unimaginable, unbelievable. My mind can’t grasp a hold of 50 people laying there, dead. It’s insane.
I’m sure you’ve all heard the actual news surrounding this tragedy, so let’s bypass that and get to the question that everyone wants an answer to: