Standing On The Sidelines…

She was standing on the sidelines, cheering her teammates on quietly. Smiling. Clapping. Yelling every now and then. Giving her teammates high-fives and telling them good job. But inside, she was screaming, ‘put me in, coach!’ She didn’t want to spend the whole season on the sidelines… on the outside looking in. For the first game she didn’t feel too bad, because a couple of her other teammates weren’t playing either. But then coach put them in…but she was still standing on the sidelines. She attempted to be okay with that. But, if she was honest, she was a little scared. ‘What if this is how all season goes? What if I never play…or only play every now & then ALL season…What’s the point of even being on this team if I never play?’ Her insecurity screamed at her. She tried to shake it off. She really did enjoy watching the game, but she wished she was out there, too. 

Well…I’ve got a lot to learn, huh?! Haha. You know what I think is cool? I think it’s pretty awesome that God made each of us SO different…with so many different passions and talents & gifts…and that, if we use our talents for our true potential, we can worship God and glorify God doing the things that we LOVE to do! And that’s true whether we’re playing volleyball or some other sport…or doing anything else, for that matter! I think that’s what 1 Corinthians is talking about:

“So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God!”

You can glorify God when you eat or drink. Don’t you think that means that you can glorify God through volleyball as well? I think it does! I feel like many people who say that ‘volleyball is only a game, why is it such a HUGE part of your life? It’s not really that important…’ Yeah, volleyball is a game. But I believe that God gave me a passion for it. I know that it is definitely not the most important thing in life…and sometimes I probably put it a little too high on my priority list (lol), but God gave me this opportunity to be on the JV team (sure, it’s not varsity and I realize that most people don’t come to JV games…), but I never thought that I would be playing in college at ALL. I only played for two years and those two years were not on very good teams…I have SO little experience, which the other girls have sooo much more than me! On top of that, I took last year off. If I wasn’t supposed to be on this team, I wouldn’t be here. It’s almost like I’m slapping God in the face when my insecurities sneak in and settle in my head. I’ve really noticed a couple things about myself when I start thinking too much about things:

1. It takes me out of the game. Sometimes I am preoccupied by why the setter isn’t setting me. I start thinking that she doesn’t like me/doesn’t think that I belong here. So when the set DOES come, I’m not really ready for it (which is MY bad…)

2. I stop having fun!!! Volleyball is supposed to be fun. Yeah, it’s work. But it really IS supposed to be fun, too. And when I compare myself to others, it really DOES rob me of joy. 

I think this is true in any situation/circumstance in life. Not just volleyball. When you compare yourself to others, you will definitely feel LESS joy, if it doesn’t rob you of it altogether. When you let insecurity speak to you instead of Christ, you will also have less joy…you won’t have fun; you’ll be too worried about what other people think about you. 

I have oh, so far to go in this area. But I want to get to that place of security in Christ. The place where no matter what happens that day at practice (whether I play great or horribly/whether I feel like my teammates like me or not) I will still have joy that can only come from CHRIST…I want to get to that place where I stop finding my identity in volleyball or other people, but in Christ ALONE. 

Anyway, it’s late and I feel like I’m kind of just rambling a little bit…that’s just a few of my thoughts and I should go to bed b/c I have to get up for an 8:30am class tomorrow :/ But on the bright side, it’s photography, so that makes it sorta worth it!! 😀 haha

Tomorrow will be a good day b/c God is good!

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The gift

I was reading “Lady in Waiting” today at work (because I worked late morning and through the afternoon and we weren’t very busy)…so I read a couple chapters. I wished that I could blog right there, but I couldn’t. The author talked a lot about how girls often try to manipulate a situation in order to get the ‘guy of their dreams’. Girls try to make themselves available and try to make it seem like they ‘just happened’ to be at the right place at the right time. Not always. But sometimes. I’ve been guilty of doing that, or at least thinking about doing that. And chances are, you have done it too. But think about it…

Dear Single Ladies, God is calling you to be single today. It doesn’t necessarily mean that He has called you to a life of Singleness forever, but it does mean that He has called you to be single today. So, how are you going to react? The way that I see it, is you can see this season of singleness two ways…

1) A burdon. A trial. A horrible time of life. A time to be afraid that God will never bring ‘The One’ into your life. A time of bitterness and loneliness. 

Or…

2) A gift. A season of life that you will never again have. Chances are, God has called you to meet a great guy some day and get married. But that day is not today. You will never again have as much freedom as you do right now! You have much more free time now then you probably ever will again! 

I don’t know about you, but I think that Satan delights to attack us where we are our weakest. For you, it might be the dreaded date-less friday night again. Or something to do with being single. He loves to see us discontent where God has placed us. I have bought into the lies that the first reaction lays before me. Maybe you have too. But, here’s the beauty of Christ: It’s never too late to turn around! It’s never too late to confess our sins, wether you went too far in a relationship, or if it’s just confessing for letting the ugly seed of discontentment grow where God’s best for you is for right now. God wants you to find security and joy in Him today. Tomorrow isn’t my problem. 

“Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrowwill be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.” (Matthew 6:34)

The author of “Lady in Waiting” also talked about not fantasizing about a certain guy. That doesn’t help anything. It often helps you get your heart involved far too soon, and I think that was part of my problem last time. It is very easy to allow your mind to ‘dream’ about your ‘dream guy’ that you just met, or just went on a first date with, or just hung out with, or thought that he finally started liking you before drifting off to sleep. I never thought about how harmful that can be, but now I can see that it really can be! 

So, I have made the commitment to pray about whoever the guy may be before I allow myself to get all caught up in the possible future. Even when I start to think about a possible guy, I will try my best to pray about it first and not let myself get carried away by anything. 

So anyway, my fellow Ladies in Waiting, I am excited to finally say that yesterday I made huge steps in moving on. And I am so excited to see where God will lead me this year as college is going to start this coming week! I believe that He has amazing plans for me if I would just stop being so stupid and stop trying to live life my own way, by my own rules! I need to just stop manipulating situations with wrong motives, and love my brothers and sisters in Christ and see what God reveals to me this year (: 

Keep calm and CU around! (:

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Just Like Eve

Wow…I have never thought of it this way before. I was reading “Lady in Waiting” by Jackie Kendall & Debby Jones, and this sentence really caught my attention:

“Ever since the Garden of Eden, women have often felt like they could and should know as much as God.”

Now, I don’t know if I’m just a super horrible person, but every time I either read it for myself, or hear the ‘story’ of Adam & Eve, I always think something to the effect of “Wow, how could she do that? Didn’t she know the consequences that would surely follow? If that was me I would never have done that!” Oh, really? I often forget that I know the rest of the story. She didn’t know what would happen. She lost her faith and decided to take her actions into her own hands. It costed her a lot. But doesn’t that sound a lot like what we do all the time? We don’t trust that God’s plan really is a TON better than ours. We try to manipulate situations so that we are sure to run into that certain guy that we have had our eyes on for a while. I’ve done it and I’m sure you have as well. In a sense, then, we have all been ‘Eve’…we think that we know as much as God when we try to manipulate situations so that we can meet ‘our Prince’. Oh, I wish I had the faith to stop doing that and just totally and completely release it all to God, who is, most likely writing my love story in a beautiful way that I cannot even imagine. But, if He’s not, then I know that He has something so much better for me! We can always start now, right? Start practicing releasing everything to Him and letting everything go!! Believe me, I know that letting go is not easy. It takes time. At least for me, it takes many times of failure before I even catch a glimpse of success.

But, if God is for me, who can be against me?!

Set You Free

I truly amaze myself. Not in a good way, obviously. Haha…you probably read that and thought, “wow, she arrogant” or something like that. lol. But no, what I mean is this: Why can’t I just freaking trust God all the time, every day? Some days I feel like I can so easily trust Him with everything. I am so peaceful and content and ready to take everything to Him and that is my first thought when something goes wrong or if I just want to talk to someone (to talk to Him!). But then there are other days when I struggle so much with everything and I don’t even remember to talk to God about it! Did I just admit to that? Yeah, I admit I’m a horrible Christian…or maybe I’m just human. Maybe I’m not the ‘perfect’ Christian girl that some people probably tag me as after all. 

Faith vs. Fear

Fear is the opposite of faith. Because if you have faith in God and trust that His plan is far better than yours, then you won’t be afraid of anything! I am oh, so quick to doubt and so quick to be fearful! It is so easy to be afraid of so many things, while I find it very difficult to just give it all to God, once and for all, and just have faith! Fears constantly crowd in around me. Fears about the future; fears about guys, etc. Maybe I’m the only one, but that’s where I stand. But I know that Faith is the choice that I should take, as opposed to fear! I have a couple amazing friends who encouraged me (and still do!) to take a certain situation that I found myself in to God every time that I thought about the situation or the person. Every time I thought about it, they told me to pray about it. I tried. Sometimes I failed. But I kept reminding myself (and they did too) and it slowly became a little easier! I can’t tell you how much that helped me! Even if I didn’t feel like it was solving the situation right away, He gave me peace when I started freaking out. Because, believe me, I had many freak out moments! lol As my best friends could tell you!! But God was there. And He has been working on healing me. It didn’t just take a day or two. It has taken a couple months so far, and I wouldn’t say that I am completely healed yet. It takes time. But I am on my way, thanks to Christ! I have my setbacks. I have the times when I fall down and I look around and I can’t seem to find a way to stand up. But that’s when I cry out to God and He will reach down through my hurt and confusion and fallback, and lift me out of that. Sometimes He won’t just lift me completely out, all at once. Sometimes it’s slower…He wants me to learn from everything that I have gone through. Sometimes it’s painful, but I know that I can still trust Him. 

When I started writing this, this wasn’t really the direction that I saw it going…lol, but hey, I’m just gonna let my thoughts take me where they will I guess :p haha

Anyway, hope this was encouraging to someone out there tonight (: Am I alone in this? Shout it out, woman of FAITH! You no longer have to be trapped by fear, for God can truly set you free! 🙂

All the Single Ladies {All the Single Ladies}

Hello lovelies (:

I hope your day has gone well 🙂 It has been several days since I’ve blogged, so I thought that I would write real quickly…even though it is 11:30 PM and I didn’t get much sleep last night and then I had a sort of stressful day (because I got lost a few times in downtown Dayton…haha! So not on my bucket list, but I found my way there & back again, so I guess that’s what matters!) and then I had to work and got stuck on drive-through for probably…an hour 1/2 non-stop…idk, something like that. So, to sum it up, I’m kinda tired.

Anyway, I will try my best to not ramble too much so that I waste your time or so that you won’t even want to read this. So, here goes:

To all my Single Ladies:

**YOU ARE GORGEOUS AND SO WORTH WAITING FOR** Oh, do you need proof of that? Psalm 45:11 says that “the king greatly desires your beauty”. In the message version, it says “The King is wild for you.” I don’t know about you, but I think that is just absolutely amazing! God thinks and says that you are beautiful! I know, this can be for any woman, but I’m directing it towards my single ladies tonight because (I am single, so it’s easier to speak to them, I think) but also because I think that it is SO easy to start believing the lie that you are ugly and not worth anything if you do not have a boyfriend/have never had a boyfriend. This culture beats into us the idea that you are weird if you have never dated by the time you reach college. Actually, the age is becoming younger and younger…if you have never dated before you reach high school, some people might wonder what is wrong with you. But let me share with you a secret. This is my personal opinion, of course, but here it is:

If you are single or haven’t dated many times throughout high school and even into the first years of college, I commend you!

The more times you date, I believe that you give pieces of your heart away. Been there done that. Don’t want to be there again. Honestly, I’m not sure why people put themselves through break up after break up again and again. I don’t know if my heart could handle that!  Every time you break up with someone (or they break up with you) and then, especially if done not long after that breakup, I think that you bring emotional baggage into the next relationship. I firmly believe that everyone is different in how long they take to get over someone. Anywayyy, I kind of rambled on for a little bit longer than I wanted too…haha. 

To the unmarried and the widows I say that it is good for them to remain single as I am. -1 Corinthians 7:8

Paul actually recommends that people stay single, as he was. Now, I’m not saying that everyone should be single. I still have dreams of meeting a great guy and getting married someday, but Paul was complete and content and fulfilled in his calling from God, even though he was called to be Single! That brings me to my next point. Please don’t miss this, ladies!

***Please don’t sit around at home wasting hours dreaming of when your life will start when you meet a guy!! Your life can start NOW!!***

I have fallen into this trap, as I’m sure many of you have as well, if you are completely honest with yourself. We settle into what we hope are ‘temporary’ situations…for you, it may be a ‘temporary’ apartment because you didn’t meet ‘the One’ in your college years. You may talk yourself into ‘one day’ being a part of a missions trip and doing great things for God, with a man at your side. (That is obviously not a bad thing to want, but I don’t think that it is God’s BEST). I believe that God has a best for every single person. So many times, though, we settle for what we think we are capable of…but in reality, I think that we can do so much more!! Do we ever actually reach our full potential? So anyway, I’m tired so I’m going to bed soon, so I’ll cut this a little shorter than I normally would (I will probably have more to say on this stuff later…)

So, my encouragement for my single ladies today would be this:

Live for today. That doesn’t mean to never look towards and forward to the future. I think we should look at the past, present, AND future. The past, to not dwell on our mistakes, but to learn from them and learn how to move on…the present to understand what God is calling for us to do TODAY (not get stuck on the ‘someday I will…’ thinking) and the future to work towards the bigger picture of what God may be calling us to do. If you are still reading this, my guess is, is that you’re single. Guess what? God has called you to be single for today. That doesn’t mean that this season will last forever, but it is a season, whether prolonged or shorter than expected, I think it can still be a beautiful thing if we learn to change our attitude about it. And think about it this way: You have more free time than you ever will again, if you are to get married & have kids, etc. 

Anyway, I’m off to bed, so goodnight my beautiful ladies! I hope you all sleep well and feel God’s peace ❤ He’s there for You, as am I! 

His Presence

The light, late-summer breeze gently blew back her blonde hair from her face. She sat on a swing in her backyard. She felt empty. Ready to give up in some areas of life. She felt defeated. She felt like a failure. She felt like all she could do was fail. That’s when she cried out to her heavenly Father. She didn’t even know what she wanted to talk to Him about. She talked. She listened. She poured out her heart to His ever-listening ear. She told Him her struggles, her sin, her past, her hope for her future. She gave him everything, again (it is such a daily struggle!). She (again) released her life, her plans, her dreams, her earthly possessions over to His strong, capable arms. She finally realized that everything was far too complicated and confusing and BIG for her to handle by herself. She released the death-grip of the pen of her life, and released everything to the One who gave her life

Tears of gratitude and thankfulness welled up in her eyes as she began to think of everything that He has faithfully given her…things that she daily overlooks and thinks nothing of. Even the things she complains about. Other people are not so fortunate. Other people go without. Without food, proper clothes, shoes, toys, etc…’why isn’t that me?’ She stares up at the cloudy night sky. ‘What have done to make my life so much better than someone else’s?’ His still, small voice never failed to answer. ‘You haven’t done anything, Child. And I haven’t given you all of this stuff to hoard it. I gave it to you to give it away. Bless others, like I have blessed you. What I have given you isn’t yours anyway, so why do you hold onto my gifts so tightly? Let them go, and will bless you, My Daughter.‘ She closed her eyes, feeling the light breeze on her face, imagining God speaking to her in person. 

She couldn’t explain why, but after talking with her God for about twenty minutes, she felt so filled and complete and content and joyful. Even after she sensed him telling her to not hold onto ‘her stuff’ so tightly. She knew that His plans were far bigger and better than her dreams, so who was she to stand in His way? As she stood up from the swing and walked towards her welcoming house, she smiled as she glanced up at the sky again, where she imagined God smiling, glad that they had talked just like she was. She really felt God’s presence