It's A Process.

"For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the freedom and glory of the children of God." Romans 8:20-21


This word has such a negative connotation. But does it really mean when what we think it means?My brain started rolling after a conversation I had. A friend was going to lunch with a guy one-on-one and I asked if her boy was alright with that. She then asked if Carter would be jealous. As I thought about my response I realized he wouldn’t be jealous, but he wouldn’t be happy about it. And if the situation were flipped, I wouldn’t be happy about it either. So did that mean we were jealous?Then I was reminded of scripture. Exodus 34:14 says, “Do not worship any other god, for the Lord, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God.” In James 4 Paul writes, “Therefore, anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God. Or do you think Scripture says without reason that he jealously longs for the spirit he has caused to dwell in us? But he gives us more grace.” So if God is jealous, and he deeply desires our love and devotion to Him, is jealousy wrong? Is it really how we define it?
When I was looking into the definitions, I saw the definition that we all know - “Intolerant of rivalry or unfaithfulness; hostile toward a rival or one believed to enjoy an advantage; an unhappy feeling of wanting to have what someone else has.” Intolerate, hostile, unhappy. Yep, none of those sound like good words. But then you read the other definitions, the ones that have fallen to the background - “Vigilant in guarding a possession; a jealous disposition, attitude, or feeling; zealous vigilance.” Vigilant, guarding, zealous. Now those sound like good words! So back to my original question, are Carter and I jealous? Yes. We are jealous because we believe in protecting our relationship. We are jealous because we do not want to allow any type of temptation to arise that is within our power to say no to. We are jealous because we are vigilant and aware that satan wants to attack our relationship. And yes, that means we do not go grab coffee or food with a member of the opposite sex alone that isn’t family. And yes, that means we do not ride in the car alone with a member of the opposite sex that isn’t family. There is a healthy, good jealousy. And there is a very bad, unloving and untrusting jealousy. I really feel like there should be two separate words! But next time you evaluate your jealous emotions, evaluate them on the basis of are you being protective and vigilant, or are you being hostile and intolerant? It’s a very good evaluation for us personally and for our relationships.

This word has such a negative connotation. But does it really mean when what we think it means?

My brain started rolling after a conversation I had. A friend was going to lunch with a guy one-on-one and I asked if her boy was alright with that. She then asked if Carter would be jealous. As I thought about my response I realized he wouldn’t be jealous, but he wouldn’t be happy about it. And if the situation were flipped, I wouldn’t be happy about it either. So did that mean we were jealous?

Then I was reminded of scripture. Exodus 34:14 says, “Do not worship any other god, for the Lord, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God.” In James 4 Paul writes, “Therefore, anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God. Or do you think Scripture says without reason that he jealously longs for the spirit he has caused to dwell in us? But he gives us more grace.” So if God is jealous, and he deeply desires our love and devotion to Him, is jealousy wrong? Is it really how we define it?

When I was looking into the definitions, I saw the definition that we all know - “Intolerant of rivalry or unfaithfulness; hostile toward a rival or one believed to enjoy an advantage; an unhappy feeling of wanting to have what someone else has.” Intolerate, hostile, unhappy. Yep, none of those sound like good words. 

But then you read the other definitions, the ones that have fallen to the background - “Vigilant in guarding a possession; a jealous disposition, attitude, or feeling; zealous vigilance.” Vigilant, guarding, zealous. Now those sound like good words!

So back to my original question, are Carter and I jealous? Yes. We are jealous because we believe in protecting our relationship. We are jealous because we do not want to allow any type of temptation to arise that is within our power to say no to. We are jealous because we are vigilant and aware that satan wants to attack our relationship. And yes, that means we do not go grab coffee or food with a member of the opposite sex alone that isn’t family. And yes, that means we do not ride in the car alone with a member of the opposite sex that isn’t family. 

There is a healthy, good jealousy. And there is a very bad, unloving and untrusting jealousy. I really feel like there should be two separate words! But next time you evaluate your jealous emotions, evaluate them on the basis of are you being protective and vigilant, or are you being hostile and intolerant? It’s a very good evaluation for us personally and for our relationships.

Time Management is an impossibility - Managing one’s self in relation to time is not.

Sometimes I feel like there are things that are worth opening back up the tumblr world for. This is (obviously) one of those times.

Two weeks ago I was in Atlanta with some of my favorite sisters in Christ from both Bosnia and America. It did my heart well to be around such beautiful and encouraging souls. One of our many adventures was to the local Bosnian restaurant in Atlanta (because when our Bosnian friends are in America, they have to eat Bosnian!) 

After we finished our meal, I sat back in my seat looking at my surroundings and taking it all in. This is what I saw: Three tables of friends just sitting around and enjoying each other’s company. You see, they had finished their meals a long time ago. But now, now they all sat together sipping on their coffee and simply enjoying each other’s company.

As a wishful smile came across my face, all I could think about was how much I missed that part of Bosnian culture, and how in America we do not value people in the same way. We most often view time like this as being “unproductive” or “lazy.” Why have we (including myself) let ourselves be convinced that spending time investing in others is a waste of time? It might in fact be one of the best things we can do for both ourselves and others.

Think about it, when is the last time you intentionally made time to go meet up with a friend or two, enjoy each other’s company, and discuss life - no phones, no computers, no distractions - just enjoying life and time with another person?

It is one of the most simple, yet most beautiful gifts in life. Give it a try.

One Plea.

I have spent the last few months going back and forth about whether or not I wanted to start writing again. I have had so many things on my mind and heart- encouragement, struggles, lessons. My summer alone could fill a book! But for some reason or another, I have kept my online mouth shut.

But I need to make a plea. One last encouragement. One more urging.

And that would be….

GO!!! Whether it is in Georgia, in the U.S., or across the world. Just go!

Eight days ago one of my girls stated, “Missions is where you belong. It’s where I see you. It’s where you’re comfortable.” WHOA, what? Missions comfortable?? I then proceeded to tell her about my first missions experience overseas in Bosnia. I knew no one on my team, nothing about the culture, none of the language, nothing. I was thrown what felt like 908453748 miles outside of my comfort zone.

But I would not trade that summer for anything in world. I was challenged more than I ever had been before. I learned more about myself and about God and about the Gospel in those six weeks than my 20 years before that combined. And I grew immensely in those six weeks- how to live in Kingdom community, what it really looks like to trust God, how to study the Word, how to share my testimony, how to do discipleship, and so, so much more.

A few days ago I was reading Josh Irby’s blog post: Finding Your Discomfort (http://joshirby.com/2013/09/18/finding-your-discomfort-zone/). In it he says:
               

What if I told you there is a place where:

Growth is abundant,
Skills are developed,
Weaknesses are exposed,
Character is strengthened,
Life is transformed.

Would you want to go there?

At some point or another you will be faced with an opportunity on how to spend your summer, how to spend your vacation, etc. And I strongly encourage you to take at least one of those and invest in the Kingdom. Whether it’s for two weeks, two months, or a year. Go, just go! Your life will be forever changed. 

Don’t know where to start? If your church or organization doesn’t offer mission opportunities check out Summer Projects with CRU. They have opportunities for high school students, college students, and adult internships both here and abroad.
http://www.gosummerproject.com/

Reblogged from calm--in-the-storm

Another Person’s Shoes.

Put yourself in someone else’s shoes. That’s what we are always told. But in reality, we often can’t do this until we are actually put in their shoes. And now, I have been on the other side. I have seen.

Let me rewind: At the beginning of this year, my boyfriend and I were discussing what was ahead for the semester. I was taking 18 hours, getting ready to graduate, taking all the graduation exams, doing an internship, and other ministry things. He works in the sports information department meaning in addition to his class load, his ministry work, and his family time, he would be consumed (almost every day) with baseball and softball games. We discussed having to be intentional with one another in both talking and making time. We jokingly said, “If we can just make it through this semester, we will be able to make it through anything!”

(Seriously, one day I am going to learn to quit saying things like that!) Little did we know what was ahead for our summers! He is doing a 10 week internship as a youth minister in Macon, GA. And I will be in Sarajevo, Bosnia for six of those weeks. Needless to say, the past semester prepared us for being intentional this summer. 

So what about those shoes?

When I left to head to Bosnia two years ago, I remember saying goodbye to my family and friends. Not a tear was shed. My heart was not even sad. And that was because I was so incredibly excited and ready to go where the Lord had called me. I knew without a doubt it was where I was supposed to be. And I was at complete peace. 

This weekend, I got to be on the other side of that goodbye. I had to say goodbye to the one who has been called, who only showed excitement and readiness, and who did not shed a tear. And wow, is it a different side of the spectrum. Mainly, it’s hard. I now see and understand where my loved ones were that day, and I feel like it has prepared me more for my goodbyes this time around. 

I am so proud of him and his obedience to the Lord’s call! I know these ten weeks will be life changing and full of learning. And I could not be more ready to leave for Bosnia! This summer is full of opportunities for and obedience to the Lord. And in the end every moment of it is for His glory and our good. I can speak for both of us- there is nothing we want more in our relationship than to be serving the Lord - even if it is difficult for us!

Goodbyes are hard. But they only last for a little while. Besides, what is ten weeks when you look at the whole picture? :)

Please keep both of us and our families in your prayers throughout the summer!

Reblogged from loveunlocked-deactivated2014011
You know, the Bible doesn’t teach us to be defensive in relationships. It doesn’t tell us to protect your heart and be extra cautious ‘cause you don’t know who’s going to betray you, who’s going to leave you, no it doesn’t say anything like that, it just says love. And it says love always trusts. And it always tells us to forgive; forgive means they’re going to wrong you first and then you’re gonna forgive. And then go back up and trust again. That’s what the Bible says about our relationships. It never says, ‘No, close your heart ‘cause you’re going to get hurt. Be protective. Protect your own heart.’ No, it never says that. It says, ’Get hurt, I will heal you, I’ll restore things, reconciliation is for you, and then get back up and love again. Trust again. Go belong to that group again.’ That’s how the word of God teaches us. Myunghwa Choi, ”Loneliness Unmasked” sermon 

(via beccawheelr)

Reblogged from abeautifulc0llision

Male & Female He Created Them.

“When God created mankind, he made them in the likeness of God. He created them male and female and blessed them. And he named them “Mankind” when they were created.”
Genesis 5:1-2

And that is when it all started. The differences. He created us differently. And this has been an ongoing learning process for the last three years for me. I have learned that as females:

-We respond to situations differently than males.
-We react differently than males.
-We process through things differently than males.
-We are more emotional than males. 
-We understand things differently than males.
-Plus many, many more…

We are different!


But why does this matter? The topic has come up in conversation several times over the last week about it. But it has come up in a way that has made me begin to realize what has happened and how our views as women have changed.

Let me explain: If one is to cry, you are vulnerable. Show too much emotion, and you are simply being ridiculous. Let something affect you deeply, you’re taking it too seriously.

We have seen ourselves as women fall into believing the lie that emotions and tenderness show weakness. And that we cannot be seen as weak. We often even beat ourselves up for “being such a girl.” But we forget the beautiful picture created in Genesis 5! He created them- male and female! He created us differently. Both genders were created to reflect God’s image! 

And when you look at the various aspects of each gender that reflect God, we see many of those differences. Females- you were created to be a tender, emotional, nurturing being. And there is nothing wrong with that! Do not believe that this is wrong. Do not let the world tell us that we need to be as solid as the men. We were not created just like them and that is how God wanted it! Or he would not have created them- male and female.

It’s a beautiful picture, and we must not lose sight of our purpose of glorifying Christ through every ounce of our being - yes, even our emotional being.

Now, this does not give us an excuse to let our emotions rule our lives and interactions. “Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.” If our emotions are not in line with Christ, then we are not letting the Spirit lead and control them. 

Embrace being a female. You were created that way. You are in the image of God!

"Being tender and open in beautiful. As a woman, I feel continually shh’ed. Too sensitive. Too mushy. Too wishy washy. Blah blah. Don’t let someone steal your tenderness. Don’t allow the coldness and fear of others to tarnish your perfectly vulnerable beating heart. Nothing is more powerful than allowing yourself to be truly affected by things. Whether it’s a song, a stranger, a mountain, a rain drop, a tea kettle, an article, a sentence, a foot step, feel it all- look around you. All of this is for you. Take it and have gratitude. Give it and feel love."
Zooey Deschanel

Reblogged from amandaspoetry
they told you to conform
they gave you a box and told you,
“this is where you fit,
this is where you belong,
this is who you are”
but no matter how hard you tried to step into that box,
to mold yourself like clay
to hold yourself the way they wanted you to,
this box was never meant to contain this wandering soul of yours,
destined for so much more.
with love seeping out of your eyes,
and grace flowing from your fingertips
and onto the skin of everyone you touch,
you are an adventurer of not only the world,
but of the human soul.
you find the other wanderers, the lovers, the adventurers, the ones who simply don’t fit in their own boxes,
and you help them burn the remnants of what the world says they should be
and the flames go up
and the dreams take flight
and you, adventurer of the human soul,
you change lives,
you are remembered long after the ashes blow away.
your feet, so beautiful and covered in soot from the places you have been,
barefoot, and bloody,
but oh how beautiful they are.
and I know sometimes the bruises hurt,
and the way the winds carry the things you love away
and the way the people who have touched your soul with the tip of theirs, sometimes find themselves wandering away,
but you risk it anyway,
you are an adventurer of the human soul,
so full of grace
so full of love
you are spilling over
and
over
and
over
please,
keep spilling
you are an adventurer of the human soul 

(Source: amandaspoetry, via beccawheelr)

Reblogged from oofpoetry
People are just as wonderful as sunsets if you let them be. When I look at a sunset, I don’t find myself saying, “Soften the orange a bit on the right hand corner.” I don’t try to control a sunset. I watch with awe as it unfolds. Carl R. Roger

(Source: oofpoetry, via beccawheelr)

Reblogged from alainajoyy
You will never know the fullness of Christ until you know the emptiness of everything but Christ. Charles Spurgeon (via breanna-lynn)

(Source: alainajoyy, via beccawheelr)

Reblogged from taytippett
spiritualinspiration:

Seven Secrets of a Confident Woman by Joyce Meyer
Secret #1 A confident woman knows that she is loved
The first and most important secret to being a confident woman is to know that you are loved by God unconditionally. Romans 5:8 says, …God shows and clearly proves His [own] love for us by the fact that while we were still sinners, Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One) died for us. Even if your natural father did not really love you properly, you can still get the love and acceptance you missed in your childhood from God.
Secret #2—A Confident Woman Refuses To Live In Fear
I think you will agree that refusing to be led by our feelings can be a challenge, especially when it comes to fear. But we must remember that fear is not from God. It is the devil’s tool to keep us from enjoying our lives and moving forward with what God has for us. When we attempt to walk in faith, Satan immediately tries to hinder us through many things, including fear. Fear of failure, judgment or criticism will cause us to bury our talents. It will make us draw back and live in misery and torment. Unless we make a firm decision to “fear not,” we will never be free from its power.
Secret #3—A Confident Woman Is Positive
Being negative and being confident do not go together. Like oil and water, they just don’t mix. Being negative opens the door to a lot of problems and disappointments, which fuels the fire for more negativity. Fear is the “dark room” where all your negatives are developed. So why not look at the brighter side of life and believe something good is going to happen to you?
Secret #4—A Confident Woman Recovers From Setbacks
In this life you and I are inevitably going to experience setbacks. The important thing is that we not see them as failures. We are not a failure just because we try something that doesn’t work. It’s only when we stop trying that we fail. The truth is, many people get confused when they’re trying to figure out what they’re supposed to do with their lives. This was definitely true in my life. I discovered my destiny by trial and error.
Secret #5—A Confident Woman Avoids Comparison It is impossible to walk in confidence and compare ourselves with others at the same time. No matter how good we look or how talented, smart and successful we are, there is always someone who is better than us. I believe that confidence is found in doing the best we can with what we have. God wants us to find joy in being the best we can be, not in competing or comparing ourselves with others.
Secret #6—A Confident Woman Does Not Live In “If Only” And “What If”
One of the worst things you and I can do is to focus on what we don’t have or have lost and fail to take an inventory of what we do have. I call it living in a state of “if only.” Does this sound familiar: “If only I had more education…more money…more opportunity. If only I were taller, shorter, older, younger…” and the list goes on.
Secret #7—A Confident Woman Takes Action
I have heard it said that there are two types of people in the world: those who wait for something to happen and those who make something happen. It’s true that we need to be careful not to get ahead of God, but we also must be mindful not to be lagging behind. I believe we need to step out into things and find out what God has for us. As I said earlier, if we make a mistake it is not the end of the world.
As a believer, Christ lives inside you, and you’ve got what it takes! I believe that as you seek the Lord and apply these seven secrets to your life, you too will begin experiencing the boldness and confidence God desires you to walk in.

spiritualinspiration:

Seven Secrets of a Confident Woman
by Joyce Meyer

Secret #1 A confident woman knows that she is loved

The first and most important secret to being a confident woman is to know that you are loved by God unconditionally. Romans 5:8 says, …God shows and clearly proves His [own] love for us by the fact that while we were still sinners, Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One) died for us. Even if your natural father did not really love you properly, you can still get the love and acceptance you missed in your childhood from God.

Secret #2—A Confident Woman Refuses To Live In Fear

I think you will agree that refusing to be led by our feelings can be a challenge, especially when it comes to fear. But we must remember that fear is not from God. It is the devil’s tool to keep us from enjoying our lives and moving forward with what God has for us. When we attempt to walk in faith, Satan immediately tries to hinder us through many things, including fear. Fear of failure, judgment or criticism will cause us to bury our talents. It will make us draw back and live in misery and torment. Unless we make a firm decision to “fear not,” we will never be free from its power.

Secret #3—A Confident Woman Is Positive

Being negative and being confident do not go together. Like oil and water, they just don’t mix. Being negative opens the door to a lot of problems and disappointments, which fuels the fire for more negativity. Fear is the “dark room” where all your negatives are developed. So why not look at the brighter side of life and believe something good is going to happen to you?

Secret #4—A Confident Woman Recovers From Setbacks

In this life you and I are inevitably going to experience setbacks. The important thing is that we not see them as failures. We are not a failure just because we try something that doesn’t work. It’s only when we stop trying that we fail. The truth is, many people get confused when they’re trying to figure out what they’re supposed to do with their lives. This was definitely true in my life. I discovered my destiny by trial and error.

Secret #5—A Confident Woman Avoids Comparison

It is impossible to walk in confidence and compare ourselves with others at the same time. No matter how good we look or how talented, smart and successful we are, there is always someone who is better than us. I believe that confidence is found in doing the best we can with what we have. God wants us to find joy in being the best we can be, not in competing or comparing ourselves with others.

Secret #6—A Confident Woman Does Not Live In “If Only” And “What If”

One of the worst things you and I can do is to focus on what we don’t have or have lost and fail to take an inventory of what we do have. I call it living in a state of “if only.” Does this sound familiar: “If only I had more education…more money…more opportunity. If only I were taller, shorter, older, younger…” and the list goes on.

Secret #7—A Confident Woman Takes Action

I have heard it said that there are two types of people in the world: those who wait for something to happen and those who make something happen. It’s true that we need to be careful not to get ahead of God, but we also must be mindful not to be lagging behind. I believe we need to step out into things and find out what God has for us. As I said earlier, if we make a mistake it is not the end of the world.

As a believer, Christ lives inside you, and you’ve got what it takes! I believe that as you seek the Lord and apply these seven secrets to your life, you too will begin experiencing the boldness and confidence God desires you to walk in.

(Source: taytippett, via beccawheelr)

Reblogged from itsallaboutchrist

Beautiful Words.

I love the Lord, for he heard my voice;
    he heard my cry for mercy.

Because he turned his ear to me,
    I will call on him as long as I live.

 The cords of death entangled me,
    the anguish of the grave came over me;
    I was overcome by distress and sorrow.
 Then I called on the name of the Lord:
    “Lord, save me!”

 The Lord is gracious and righteous;
    our God is full of compassion.

The Lord preserves the simple;
    when I was brought low, he saved me.

 Return to your rest, my soul,
    for the Lord has been good to you.


For you, Lord, have delivered me from death,
    my eyes from tears,
    my feet from stumbling,
 that I may walk before the Lord
    in the land of the living.

 

Psalm 116:1-9