Doing All the Work

Revisiting WordPress today for the first time in months feels kind of funny! But I wanted to stop in for a second to share a thought with you…

I always find myself (disgustingly!) wondering what things would be like if I didn’t “improve” the situation? Do you ever do this?…  I mean wondering:

-What would the kitchen look like if I didn’t clean it?

-Would anyone do laundry (or have clean clothes) around here if I didn’t?

-Would the dishes just pile up if I didn’t load the dishwasher & put them away after?

It’s not a pretty thought. I should gladly help with a smile on my face. 

While cleaning the counters today, after prepping all the ingredients for homemade pizza with sweet friends tonight (:, my mind began wandering. I had to think how much more mothers must feel this way. I know I constantly let my mom do stuff for me without as much a “Thank you!” (Much less the hug she deserves.)  As humans and women, I think deep down we want the recognition. We feel so proud we completed this and that and marked 47 things off our to do list in one day…

But I write all this to say, How much more recognition does Jesus deserve? 

He constantly picks up after me. I forget to acknowledge that.

He cleans up all my messes. I rarely say thank you.

He goes before me into each day. I get there and enjoy myself without ever turning to him.

He makes sure I have a clean outfit heart. I even take that for granted.

And He does it “with a smile on his face,” without expecting anything in return but Faith in Him~ Something this girl needs to learn.

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Heavenly Father, I love the way life can practically throw me into realizing how great You are. You sent your Son for me. How could I deserve that? You know I don’t. The way You love me feels tangible in these moments. Incredibly thankful. Thank you for working for me even when I fail You. Amen

Lies

Cleaning my room is no fun and a lot of fun at the same time. I love some of the stuff I find; and even end up thinking “who is this girl?” about things long forgotten. It actually cracks me up.

But Thursday night, I found a notebook with notes from a bible study Lauren and I led last semester. I want to share a few things with you just to spur your thinking, if nothing more.

3 big lies women believe:

{1} Who I am and What I Struggle With are the same thing.     Isn’t that an easy trap to fall into? It makes me think of the AA thing.. “I am Billy, and I am an alcoholic.”

{2} Who I Am and What I Do are the same thing.    This is similar yet different. It is more about letting your job, sorority, or hobby define you. Yes, they are apart of you, but not who you are.

{3} Who I Am is not good enough.     Can I get an amen? As women, it can be a constant battle to fight against Satan whispering this in our ears.

Let’s no longer believe these lies. What if we let Jesus Christ’s identity truly affect ours. Would that impact our behavior and daily lives? Would we let it impact more than our words, actions, and the bumper stickers on our car, but our thoughts too?!

Our behavior and thoughts represent our beliefs. But I would go further to say our behavior and thoughts reveal our beliefs.

This shocked me.. it was so spot on. It was so convicting. I hope to throw off these lies and run without abandon into the arms of the Man who speaks only truth- life giving truth- as I enter my twenties.

Truths to replace these lies: 

{1} What you struggle with does not define you.

{2} What you do does not dictate who you are.

{3} We, YOU, are good enough. You were made in the hands of the Almighty carpenter.

Carry these truths with you and have a sweet, relaxing weekend. xoxo

I know that full well

Lately, I feel easily overwhelmed with certain things. Sometimes, the blog feels that way.. so I just push it off for a rainy day. I was attempting to type my latest post when this whole blog thing started to feel incredibly incomplete.

You see, there’s more to the story than you know. With blogging, it is easy to only share the fun stuff. Unfortunately, this can make the author seem “perfect,” simply because I am more likely to post on good days than to share the not so pretty areas of my life on the world wide web. Today, I want to share something with you that will be hard to write down, to catch you all up. But I think it must be done in order for this to be genuine, to build a trust between us. I am a filthy sinner, with a past. I also think it might be less overwhelming for me if it’s on paper and not just swirling in my head. My memory is spotty, but I think it all started around 13.

I wouldn’t call it bullying, but a few comments in the lunchroom to the tune of “ever heard of the Subway diet?” have affected me more than I realized at the time. It was 6th grade, I was 5’2″ and remember wearing a size 6.. Now I know that is not big. AT ALL. But being bigger than most of the other girls was the worst part of all. The most important thing at that age was fitting in. I didn’t make the dance team my sixth grade year, which didn’t help.

By seventh grade, I had naturally grown up and slimmed out some. I got interested in working out, going to spin classes with one of my best friends and the “baby fat” that stayed way to long dropped off without to much effort.

I don’t know where it began, but I think around 9th grade, I became obsessed with my weight and exercise. Self comparison. Numbers. I honestly don’t even remember this time at all… I’ve just found notebooks covered in weights and calorie counts I didn’t even realize I had been keeping track of for so long. I knew, and still know, calorie amounts of almost everything. It’s like a terrible talent.

I remember eating until I was so overly full I couldn’t think of anything else, throwing up just to relieve some of the guilt. No one knew I struggled. I was never out of a normal weight range, so it was an internal battle… between what I knew deep down was right and I let other people, the media, and modern ideals tell me would make me happy. If I wasn’t 120, I wasn’t perfect.

Baby food diet, Drop10, Weight Watchers, Weigh down workshop, calorie counting, bite counting, all fruit, no carbs, all protein, all liquid, you name it, I’ve tried it. For a few hours at least. I am one of the lucky ones. I was able to avoid the worst. I was never determined enough to take any of these extreme ideas for more than a test drive I quickly got out of. I always drifted back to eating normally until the next great idea came along. My weight really never shifted more than a couple pounds.

This post is more for me than for you. It feels like a weight lifted off my chest to get this craziness out of my head. Maybe, sometime, I can help someone escape the harsh reality of how hard eating and body image can be for girls. It was never a topic that was spoken about in my middle and high school years… yet tons of girls around me were all suffering from the same thing.

I don’t have any explanation for you as to why I’m writing this, other than to give you my full history and to get it out of my head. I should be writing my speech on artificial sweeteners, but here I sit, words flowing from my fingers.
I know there is a reason I’m okay with pushing the publish button.

My God is healer. He has removed me so much from this time of my life that the memories, are just that. 

I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; 

your works are wonderful, I know that full well. 

Psalm 139:14

Early Mornings

Ever wake up before the sun?

I know… it stinks, you’re tired, your eyes won’t open, it is cold, you can’t even see… just. one. more. minute. I almost always beg.

When I fight the urge to stay under the abundance of fluffy white linens, I end up thanking myself God for it.

My ideal morning has me arising in the darkness, quietly tip toe ing around the house to get just ready enough, grabbing every belonging in my house it seems and heading across town to a coffeehouse. My living room will work too, but that never requires more than PJs which means my eyes are more likely to assume they can slack off on the job.

Preferably, Starbucks would not be my destination, although it absolutely suffices.

For early, quiet mornings, it has got to be the town’s best kept secret… A “hipster” atmosphere makes it that much better.

I have fallen in love with the ease of parking with only 3 other cars in the lot… the way the barista’s whisper before 9 am.. the clicking of the keyboard or turning of old wrinkled pages.. the way my pen runs across a blank page… the promise of new mercies, not yet tainted… It’s warms my soul. It is when I start my day early, in communication with my great God (in all truth, coffee is of no importance) that my storm of a day is less tragic. I am aware of my fresh start, that my sins of yesterday are forgiven, thrown to the side. For this, I keep coming back for more.

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via Pinterest

Starkville’s newest addition called 929… hits my idea of morning perfection on the head. It is located on Main Street, adding to the unmatchable atmosphere. You use unmatching mugs and check out at a counter made of old wood, beautifully battered. I just love their details.

via 929 Coffee Bar on Facebook

via 929 Coffee Bar on Facebook

via 929 Coffee Bar on Facebook

via 929 Coffee Bar on Facebook

I’d relate the hours of say 6-9 am to the calm before the storm. You can check your email, but there will hardly ever be more than the 3 am LOFT, Banana Republic, and Coach sale notifications. No teachers asking for homework assignments, yet. But when I close my Bible, leave that place, get in my car, and venture out into the world, onto campus, wherever my day takes me, I will never be in the same state I was in, until tomorrow morning.

Double Time

I have noticed in studying the Word recently that many verses are repeated, almost word for word. I love to find them; specifically because I feel that anything recurring must be important!

One passage I recall is Luke 6:46-49 says, “Why do you call me, ‘Lord, Lord’ and do not do what I say? I will show you what he is like who comes to me and hears my words and puts them into practice. He is like a man building a house, who dug down deep and laid the foundation on rock. When a flood came, the torrent struck that house but could not shake it, because it was well built. But the one who hears my words and does not put them into practice is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. The moment the torrent struck that house, it collapsed and its destruction was complete.”

Matthew 7: 24-27 states, “Therefore, everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man building a house on rock. The rain came down, the streams rose and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall. But everyone who hears my words and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built a house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.”

Whether it is an actual recurring verse or just seeing something twice, I cannot ignore it after the second time!! 

Today, it was Ephesians 2. Rachel at bible study asked what we would say if someone asked us why we are Christians/what the Gospel is? and I was convicted. I can give you a “sunday school” answer, or phrase it in my own, lacking words. But I can hardly think of an exact scripture to share. I am nothing without God!

She encouraged us to memorize Ephesians 2, a condensed passage laid out perfectly for explaining to someone who didn’t grow up in church or has no knowledge of our Lord and Savior. I made note of this and planned to look back later…

Once I got home, I started to look at Multiplymovement.com, a study focused on making disciples from a book by Francis Chan. Not two paragraphs from the beginning it says EPHESIANS 2. 

Okay, Okay, I cannot ignore it. 

I encourage you to read Ephesians 2 as well. Would you be ready if someone approached you about the word of God today? I know I am unprepared. Luckily, I think God would intercede and speak through me, but I must memorize scripture so that I am able to speak His words, not mine. 

We are called to memorize. 2 Timothy 3:16-17 “All scripture is God breathed and useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting, and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.”

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from Pinterest

Our only way to fight satan is with scripture. 

“…take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.” EPHESIANS 6:16