Tuesday, March 31, 2015

A deep breath

~Tuesday Thoughts~


I'm a perfectionist. And I'm homeschooling this year. For those who do either you know it's kind of hard. And really stressful.

Lately I've been challenged to take breaks. To relax. To treat schedules as guidelines instead of law.

And it's been wonderful. I have and will probably still have in the future those doubts and low times and all. Those times when rest seems an unreachable luxury. But even then, I can find rest in the one way it really really matters - in Christ.

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest." Matthew 11:28 (NIV)

How about you? Have you been pushing yourself too much? When was a time you took a breath and relaxed?

Monday, March 30, 2015

Citizenship in heaven

~Monday Movies & Music~


"Where I belong" is an awesome song by Building429. Here are the lyrics.

"But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ," Philippians 3:20 (NIV)

It's easy to get caught up in the little details of life and stress over things we'll forget about the next day. We need to remember that, in the long run, this isn't even our home. We are heaven's citizens!

Saturday, March 28, 2015

When the heart aches

~Saturday Stories~


Tessa Emily Hall does writing prompts every couple of weeks. This week I joined in.


I fell into bed and crawled under the blankets. It should have been freezing, but all I felt was a numbness. I grabbed my headphones off the dresser, but then thought against it. Crying was better done in quiet. I let my hair fall from my ponytail - the one Ana always said looked good on me. It didn't matter anymore. I had jumped up and down when Mom finally conceded to letting her stay for the weekend. Now I wished she had given me that disapproving look she always did and declared "no" in a huff. Ana was going to bring a puppy. We were going to play on the trampoline and swing oh-so-high on the swings. Were. Not anymore. God, I whispered. Help me.


How about you? Have you lost anyone dear to you? How has God helped or is helping you through?

Friday, March 27, 2015

Lonely

~Friday for Friends~


Loneliness can creep in at all sorts of times. We can be in a crowd or by ourselves, busy of free for a bit, in a church, or a school, or in our house.  Sometimes we feel totally invisible, like no one would notice it if we weren't there.

How amazing it is that God will never ever leave us! He will always care! And, though it hurts to be lonely, we can know that nothing will ever separate us from His love. And that is worth so much more than the care of those around us.

"Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?" Romans 8:35 (NIV)

"For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,[a] neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord." Romans 8:38-39 (NIV)

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

A time for everything

~Tuesday Thoughts~


Not too long ago Tessa Emily Hall wrote a post on finding satisfaction in every season of both the year and life in general. 

"There is a time for everything,
  and a season for every activity under the heavens" Ecclesiastes 3:1 (NIV)

God knows His plans for us and His timing is perfect. Let's pray that we enjoy every season He gives us!

What about you? Are you in a tiring, stressful season? What are some (perhaps small) beauties of it?

Monday, March 23, 2015

While we're young

~Monday Movies & Music~


"While We're Young is a song by 1 Girl Nation. Here are the lyrics.

"Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity."1 Timothy 4:12 (NIV)

Though young, we can still live for Christ. Amen!

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Out with the In Crowd by Stephanie Morrill

~Saturday Stories~


Typical Skylar: I don’t know what they told you at the retreat, but it doesn’t fix everything overnight. Just like me. I thought accepting God’s plan for my life would make it easier. Most of the time, it’s only made it harder.

With her dad and mom back together and an always-caring Connor beside her, Skylar seems to have everything going for her. Until Connor starts spending time with Jodi and mom declares her plans to  move to Hawaii. And since Abbie is intent on ignoring baby preparations, Skylar has to buy all the stuff for Abbie's soon-to-born girl. Wasn't life supposed to be easier after accepting God's plan for her? Had she made any progress at all?


I loved most of Out with the In Crowd- the last quarter especially. The beginning was a little dry and I felt it could use a new character to spice things up. However, the ending was intense emotion-wise and it was awesome. Again, I wish more was said about having and deepening a relationship with Christ. God helping one change was accented, but not the relationship itself. In this book, however, Skylar tried to pray which was good. I enjoyed Out with the In Crowd and recommend it for older teen girls.

This is the second in the Reinvention of Skylar Hoyt series. The first and third are Me, Just Different and So Over It. Stephanie Morrill also has a novella, Throwing Stones, free on her website.

For more on Stephanie Morrill visit her website and Facebook page. She also is the founder of Go Teen Writers, a blog with lots of writing advice.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Two are better than one

~Friday for Friends~


"Two are better than one,
    because they have a good return for their labor:
 If either of them falls down,
    one can help the other up.
But pity anyone who falls
    and has no one to help them up." Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 (NIV)

Having and being a friend like that can be amazing! But ,what's even greater, even if we don't have a friend nearby or at all we can always have God. Hallelujah!

How about you? Do you have good friends? Are you a friend to others? When was a time God comforted you?

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Making choices - today

~Tuesday Thoughts~


Life is full of choices big and small. And sometimes we get sucked up trying to make the right big choices that we ignore the small ones. We wonder and ponder about colleges or future relationships so much that we forget to look around and invest into today.

It doesn't have to be big.Take a minute and say "hey, what's up?" to your sibling. Listen -really listen -when your mom says she's tired. Laugh with a friend. Chat with someone you don't know at school.

Let's shine with our lives. Let's love others and let them think "wow, something's different with him/her." And then let's point them to the reason for it - Christ.

"In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven." Matthew 5:16 (NIV)

"'By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.'" John 13:35 (NIV)

How about you? How can you shine for Christ today?

Monday, March 16, 2015

Overcomer

~Mondays Movies & Music~


"Overcomer" is a song by Mandisa. Here are the lyrics.

"for everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world? Only the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God." 1 John 5:4-5 (NIV)

Our God is so strong and through Him we can do anything. It might not be easy, but God's always there for us. Amen!!!

Saturday, March 14, 2015

"Life is just too complicated" and more quotes

~Saturday Stories~


“Life is just too complicated.”
“No. I mean, yes, life is complicated. But it’s not too complicated.” ~ Selena & Austin, Purple Moon

“You know, maybe that’s why we’re not allowed doovers,” I said. “The events we’d erase, God uses to shape our lives.” ~ Skylar, Me, Just Different



“Everything you’re doing is right, though, and that’s God working in you. Your spirit is being led by His spirit—your two spirits are in open communion. It isn’t up to you to figure out where this is all going. The whole point is to go where God leads and leave the journey up to Him—including the destination.”  ~ Mrs. Isaacsen, False Friends and True Strangers

"Nobody can control their own destiny, and I tried being true to myself, but I started going under. I'd rather be true to the Lord. It's way more fun!"~ Christy, Summer Promise

How about you? Which quote is closer to your heart? What quote(s) can you share?

Friday, March 13, 2015

Tell them!

~Friday for Friends~


"“You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.
 “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven."" Matthew 5:13-16 (NIV)

You might have heard this before. Maybe you do shine a lot. And if that's the case, I'm very glad for you. But for me it's so so hard. I'm basically all up for sharing Christ in my writing, but when it comes to plain talk... it's scary. But so many friends and relatives don't know our Savior.

Will we step up and say something? Will we let our friends hear more about the Healer, the Creator, the Lord?

It isn't ours to change souls themselves, but we can go and proclaim the message!

"Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”" Matthew 28:18-20 (NIV)

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Stressed

~Tuesday Thoughts~


It is SO easy to become stressed, isn't it? There are so many things on the to-do list. So many distractions we keep turning to. So many things we keep on failing to master.

But we don't have to worry. In fact, God tells us not to.

What should we do instead of experiencing the seemingly ever-present stress? Pray. Yes, it might seem too easy of an answer. And of course you can write, play the piano, or start randomly coloring a coloring book if that helps you - as long as you pray too.

"Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:6-7 (NIV)

Praying works. God cares and He is always available to listen. You can really have that peace.

"Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you." 1 Peter 5:7 (NIV)

How about you? Do you often feel stressed? How does God help you to overcome the stress?

Monday, March 9, 2015

Lord, I'm ready now

~Monday Movies & Music~


"Lord, I'm Ready Now"  is a song by Plumb. Here are the lyrics.

Like Jonah, we sometimes try to run from God, thinking that will somehow be smarter or safer or something. There are at least two problems with that:

1. God loves us and has the best planned for us. 

"For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV)

"And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who[a] have been called according to his purpose."Romans 8:28 (NIV)

No point in running away from the best life we could ever have and the best Gift we could ever have.

2. God is with us everywhere.

  "You hem me in behind and before,
    and you lay your hand upon me.
  Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
    too lofty for me to attain.
  Where can I go from your Spirit?
    Where can I flee from your presence?
  If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
    if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
  If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
    if I settle on the far side of the sea,
   even there your hand will guide me,
    your right hand will hold me fast.
   If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me
    and the light become night around me,”
   even the darkness will not be dark to you;
    the night will shine like the day,
    for darkness is as light to you." Psalm 139:5-12 (NIV)

There is absolutely nowhere you can go to run away from Him - no matter how hard we try. 

Let's not try running away from God, but instead run toward Him.

Blessings!

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Me, Just Different by Stephanie Morrill

~Saturday Stories~


Typical Skylar:  “I’m so what?” I attempted to sound forceful enough to make Connor rethink this whole line of conversation. “Cliché,” he said. “Cliché!” Far worse than the profane description I assumed he’d assign me. “I’m anything but a cliché.” ... “I’ve never been told something so offensive in my entire life.” I could feel the twitch of my left eye as I struggled to hold in tears. “What makes me a cliché?”


After a night she wish she could forget, Skylar knows changes have to be made. Changes like going back to church and not driving her sister to her boyfriend's place. But she never thought it would be so hard.  It doesn't get easier when she finds out her sister is pregnant and her parents are on verge of separation. Is it even possible to change? Are there people out there who won't let her down?

I enjoyed Me, Just Different a lot! It kept me turning page after page with its beautiful story. Skylar learns that change is not easy and that God is the only One who will never let her down. I wish more was said about having a relationship with Christ. God helping you change and become nicer was accented, but not the relationship itself.  I enjoyed it immensely and recommend it for older teen girls.

This is the first in the Reinvention of Skylar Hoyt series. The second and third are Out with the In Crowd and So Over It. Stephanie Morrill also has a novella, Throwing Stones, free on her website.

For more on Stephanie Morrill visit her website and Facebook page. She also is the founder of Go Teen Writers, a blog with lots of writing advice.

Friday, March 6, 2015

Joy from Him

~Friday for Friends~


"You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand." Psalm 16:11(NIV)

Sometimes it feels impossible to rejoice at all. Our family is having a hard time. Our friends are against us. Or we don't have any friends. We got seriously cheated. We're hurt. But God, our greatest Friend, can give us joy! Hallelujah! Let's share that today!

How about you? Do you feel His presence even when everything else seems to be going wrong? Who can you share this wonderful message with?

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Scared

~Tuesday Thoughts~


"Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity." Colossians 4:5 (NIV)

I feel guilty sometimes for not just sharing about Christ wherever I go. Doesn't Matthew 28 explicitly say I should? Maybe you're also wrestling with fear of telling others about our Savior. How about praying together for the courage to speak about Him? Blessings!

Monday, March 2, 2015

Dreaming?

~Monday Movies & Music~


"To The Dreamers" is a song by for King and Country. Here are the lyrics.

Sometimes we can think that we'll never reach those dreams we have made for ourselves. And, to be honest, maybe we won't. But we can always trust that God has something grand for us.

"For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV)

How about you? Have you had dreams that never came true? What are some awesome things in your life that you believe God placed there?