Saturday, April 25, 2015

Faithful Friday: Having the Words of Jesus With Me


I wanted to share something that has been such a blessing to me!  I recently got a new phone (my old phone was a graduation present from my parents, so it was a few years old and not working right anymore) and was so excited to have the free space that I had not had on my other phone so that I could download an app I had wanted to have for a long time.  The app is called "Words of Jesus Daily" and I am so in love with the fact that despite being so busy with school and life and everything, I still get to have a little spiritual 'breakfast', so to speak, that I could not have otherwise because of how I have to rush around in the mornings.  I often don't have any choice but to go to bed very late because of assignments and projects (like now, it is almost 3 A.M!  But that is okay- I'm a night owl☺), so I am someone who will sleep in and press snooze as many times as I possibly can and then get ready and out the door in fifteen minutes if I have to because I would rather sleep.  So, I find myself waking up and reading this right away or walking into my bathroom and plugging in my curling iron and reading the scripture for that day while it heats up.

This has been so wonderful.  I LOVE waking up and seeing the sweet yellow bird (a dove, I think?) in the corner of the screen and opening the verse of the day and getting to read it.  I made it a point to do this as the first thing I do when I wake up because I love the thought of starting my day off reading the very words that Jesus spoke... and applying them to my life as I think about them.

A couple of years ago, I had a Proverbs Daily and then a Psalms Daily, and those are two of my favorite books in the bible, I must say that my heart is especially overcome with the greatest joy when I read every day's verse with this because they are the words of the Savior!


This has blessed my day, my attitude, my strength, and my spirit each day.

If you are looking for a way to bring God's word with you or read a verse each day to make sure you can fit in at least something (because you can also skip ahead and read multiple days' verses), I recommend this.  I am loving it.  I am so thankful to have it start my day.


Have you ever used this app? Or do you have another app or another way that you start your day with faith inspiration or verses?

.            .            .


This month has been so busy, and I realize I have been posting only on Fridays for the most part, but I am looking forward to having more time soon to share posts I have had ideas for and to write more often again :)  ...Especially since there are so many bright, fun things I am inspired by in spring!
(Speaking of spring, I had fun changing my header this week, which I decided to do when I realized my blog title was somewhat hard to read on top of the polka dots.  So, I switched it up a little bit and I found the pink watercolor and flowery, springy banner on top of it to be so cheerful!)


I hope you have a wonderful weekend!
Blessings to you!


Saturday, April 18, 2015

Too Short of a Dash







Instead of Faithful Friday this weekend,
I wanted to write about something that has been close to
my heart lately as I think about it... and I have to say that the
example of this girl and her attitude and faith have grown my own
faith, so this is fitting for a post about faith and character,
of which she was a model of, above and beyond.

Last week, the world lost Lauren Hill,
a girl whose story made headlines for her positive, 'never give up'
attitude and her beautiful spirit in spite of the imminent death she faced.
She was diagnosed at 18 with a rare form of brain cancer that is
inoperable.  She was told soon after her 18th birthday that she would
have zero percent chance of survival and would likely not make it through
the end of 2014.  But she did.  She made it to April 10th.
And thank the Lord that she did, because she deserved every last minute
possible to live the life she chose to, one of dreams and perseverance,
passion for helping others, and selflessly being determined to inspire and fight
for others despite her own illness.

I had followed her story and was so touched by her loss.
I found myself watching videos about her, like the ones I've shared above,
and crying... because of so many things... because I was so sad for
her that someone with such a beautiful heart and soul had such a short
life, because I am so close to her in age and I couldn't imagine being told
that it was the end of my life when it was just beginning, because we had
a lot in common, and because I imagined the loss her family felt, her parents
and siblings going through the worst kind of pain at losing her,
because they were expecting it and had to prepare
for it like no one should have to, and because she had to do the same.
At age 19.
And because I saw a photo of her with her dog where she is smiling
and healthy, before all of this, and I suddenly imagined her dog lying
on her empty bed and wondering where she was.  Perhaps
that made me saddest of all to think about, in a way.





Thank you, Lauren, for teaching me through your life 
and story the truest meaning of strength. Your attitude through
 what you faced and your grace and courage will forever inspire me
 and stay with me, especially your words that you were actually
 glad that you were the one this happened to so you could fight
 for the children and others who have the same type of cancer you did.
 We were close in age, and I can't imagine knowing suddenly
 that you have a zero percent chance to live and you cannot do anything
 about it, but you handled it without bitterness. 
I hope you knew what impact your beautiful life and resolve to 
not give up had on the world- and is still having.
 I'm glad you aren't suffering anymore. I pray I can
 live with a fraction of the drive and positivity you did, and
 I have faith I'll have the privilege of meeting you one day. 
Rest in peace emoji 1995-2015. WAY too short a dash.



Lauren's own words, an inspiration to me in faith and selflessness...

"Last January, I said to God I'll do anything to be a voice for this cancer and all the kids that can't speak their symptoms. I prayed I'd be the voice and that I'd do anything that gave me an opportunity to raise awareness and raise research money.
"I believe God has the last say. And I feel like I've accomplished what I intended."



And you did, Lauren... with the greatest strength imaginable.



Friday, April 10, 2015

Faithful Friday: "I'm Holding Onto Virtue"


These words are such an encouragement.
I have thought about this often, but probably never more than now.
I feel that I am at a place in life where people are talking more about and 
doing things that I do not wish to do or take part in.
I don't remember facing  this in high school nearly as much as now.
In my classes right now, there are so many sweet girls.  They all are, really.
And though several of them that I have gotten the chance to talk to
and get to know a little have upstanding values and have become friends
and girls I enjoy talking to, there are also some who are kind, but they
 lack morals.  Some of them talk openly about
certain things they did over the weekend or about how they just moved
in with their boyfriends, or even about how they got sick from drinking
too much over the weekend.  Some of them talk without any thought 
about these things and they are normal to them.

These things are so far from my mind and my values that it is
sometimes hard to sit there and listen to it.  And the most prominent reason
for this is that I feel sorry for them and it is sad for me to hear that
girls my age who have so much potential are living their lives like that...
that they are using these years seeking fulfillment in such empty
things.  They talk about bad breakups and being hurt and going through
things they wouldn't have to if they weren't doing the things they're doing.
I pray that maybe I would be able to say something that could make
them think twice, just subtly, even for a moment.
I pray that maybe they could be inspired to live more godly lives.

I think the strongest feeling I have about it is sadness
 that they don't know God or the rich beauty of living a life
 of pure and sweet release that comes certainly not from 
worldly pursuits, but from  seeking Him.  
And sadness in the same way for those who have
compromised their values when they got older and started 
to think that they could decide what was right better than
God could.

And then there is the feeling of thankfulness in a very different way...
 because those people whom I hope come to know the
amazing graces of living differently also encourage me...
to hold onto virtue, to not go their way.
When I started thinking about this, I thought it could be an
example- as it is to me- of how others who live the world's way
do not have to influence you badly.  Rather, they can have the opposite
effect; they can inspire you to walk righteously and to live the exact
opposite lifestyle.  They can remind you that you are 
DIFFERENT
and that you have the
STRENGTH
not to settle or 
COMPROMISE.


As you look around you and notice that you are one of
very few who are making the effort to keep up your standards
and live with values and morals and be a light for God- letting Him
lead you, not the world- you can be proud that you are holding onto
VIRTUE.
Don't ever feel ashamed or embarrassed to stand out from
the crowd, because surely this is the best way possible to
be different.  Through being different, what an amazing example you
have the chance to set for others who are lost or lack values,
an example that could even plant the seed in them for leaving
those worldly aspects of their lives behind.


And may we not only do that, but even more so,
pray that those ones could know God as you do...
know that unadulterated beauty and true fulfillment
that comes with knowing Him.


"...make every effort to supplement your faith
with virtue, and virtue with knowledge."
2 Peter 1:5

"Let no one despise you for your youth, but set
the believers an example in speech, in conduct,
in love, in faith, in purity."
1 Timothy 4:12




Have a lovely and blessed
weekend!!


Friday, April 3, 2015

Faithful Friday: He Sent His Son


The Faithful Friday falling on the week/end that the most incredible sacrifice ever made took place so many years ago is undoubtedly the most special... because at this time, I feel so indescribably and deeply aware of the amazement of how God sent His son on behalf of us- sinners through and through- that we might live.

This verse, along with perhaps the most well-known verse of all time, John 3:16, are so precious and beautiful because they convey in the most clear words the most significant sacrifice ever made and the very reason that we even have hope and faith in the first place.  Without this, we would not have the privilege of being owned and loved by our Savior.


Getting to read so many powerful verses tonight and meditating on the love that God has for you and me is so moving that it is emotional to think about.
Can you imagine anyone else who would show such immense love that He would lay down His life in sacrifice so that a group of people that would include ones who He knew would slander and even hate Him could have a chance at everlasting life?  I certainly cannot.  Only Jesus had that love for us, a love like no other.

When I study the verses over the last supper and the moments leading up to Christ's death, his death itself, and his resurrection, I am reminded of the greatest love that has ever or will ever exist... and I wonder whole-heartedly how it is that I ever doubt God's plan for my life in moments of weakness.   I hope God forgives me for those moments and helps my heart to trust Him fully, to show Him my appreciation for what He did for me despite my sins and imperfections. Something God and Jesus did not have to do, but wanted to.


Wanted to!  That is the most amazing part.





Happy Friday to you!

May you have a very blessed weekend!!


Friday, March 27, 2015

Faithful Friday: Commitment to God



Two sentences.  Only two sentences, yet these are so prolific and meaningful when I think of them in application to how I want to live for God, the way I know I don't want my relationship with the Lord to be- I don't want it to ever come to just being a fan.  I love how this is put in this quote.
How amazingly said.  Belief is not enough- showing God that our love for He and His son is a love of truth and devotion involves living out His word in our lives.

I remember when this has been discussed in sermons at church... I remember it being discussed in terms of a parable of friendship.  When you have a friend and you tell them they are a great friend and you appreciate them, they will not believe you if you talk badly about them to others, or are rude to them, or do other things that go against what you have said.  Similarly, if we claim to believe in God, we cannot say we love Him and are devoted to Him and then live our lives in ways that go against all that He stands for.

May we never be just fans in our faith.  May our faith and belief in the Lord be fully accompanied by an undying resolve to live out all that He is in our lives.

How beautiful it is to purpose to put God ahead of our selfish desires and bad habits, to show Him that our love for and devotion to Him involves COMMITMENT and is vastly more important and worthy than something that is tempting us to live out our lives going against His commands.



Hugs and blessings!

I hope you have a wonderful weekend!!



Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Spring Has Sprung


Happy Spring!

Southern Living always has the most delightful quotes come
Springtime, with words that make me feel the soul of Spring and all that
it is... the blooms, weather and breezes, color all around to come, and just
the sheer beauty.
I love this one, but I would take out the word "hateful" in
describing winter because I love Winter, but I am so excited for Spring.

Isn't that just the most heavenly feeling when you can feel Spring
on your skin when you walk outside, smell the scents of it all around!
We are enjoying the beginnings of Spring in this part of
the South and hoping it lasts a loooong time.  Because
usually Spring is five seconds and then Summer is here.
So please hang on a while, Spring! ;)


.           .           .


I hope your start to Spring has been a lovely one.
Depending where you are, you may have flowers blooming up
all around to remind you of the changed season, or you may have
snow outside your doorstep.  It's always so neat to me to think of
how different the same time of year can be for each region of the country,
and of course the world.

I think the telltale sign of Spring here is this sight every year
along the county roads and highways...


I don't believe there is ever a season's view in my home
that makes this land feel more a part of my heart or makes me feel
more in love with this place than this.
From bluebonnets, to Indian paintbrush, to evening primrose.
God is so good to give us all such beautiful wildflowers in each
place we live, to experience and savor in Spring.
I'm so thankful for these glorious seas of blue.


Spring here has been characterized by wildflowers
and taking in their loveliness.
Aside from that, it has so far been spent inside
as I've spent time trying to make my mama feel better from
a flu she has.  But that has been a blessing in a way because it has
forced us to rest.
I was sick along with her over much of Spring Break
last week, so we stayed inside and rested together, but
it made me think of how easy it is to take for-granted rest
and spending time taking it easy with your family.
An entire day of watching classic Disney movies
was definitely a reminder of how lovely the simple things
are... like watching those dreamily wonderful
movies that translate generations and make you smile inside.
I was so happy to watch The Little Mermaid especially.
My favorite.



I think I write this every Spring, or have since I have started
writing here, but I think this blessed season has such an air of hope
and new beginnings with it, a freshness that settles in along with
it.
Maybe it's because it is the Season for spring cleaning?
I don't know.  It just has that essence about it.
There is so much to look forward to.

Gardening.
Spring desserts.
Spring decorating.
Flowers shooting up
to bring cheer.
Sweet swallows with their song
and iridescent hummingbirds

And there is such a gently wonderful beauty
to the fact that all of these things roll around each Spring, the
same things to look forward to, yet they are new and
exciting once more because of how they have
been missed.



Happy Spring to you!

Have a lovely day!!


What is a sure sign of Spring's arrival where
you live?

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Baseball Mitts and Baby Blankets


I was reading through my post titles and realized
that I had started a post over a month ago that I never finished.
It is simple and actually inspired by an entry I made for my
writing class, and I decided to finish it and share it today :)

•          •          •

In one of my classes last week, I got the joy of seeing people at their most beautiful.
Their eyes lit up, their faces beamed, some of their voices had sadness, some of them
joy, all of them depth as they spoke... the commonalities being that each person had
 something in their hands, an object that they treasured, and that no matter 
what the emotion, there was always meaning that showed
 through so magically.
Magically... through their eyes and face as they held
those things: 
a baby blanket, a book, a locket, a ring, symbols
of beginnings, of endings, of much more.


Our prompt was to bring a "sentimental object."
I thought for a few days about what I would bring.  I have things lining
my shelves, in my momento boxes, and notes and photos that I treasure,
 tucked in places in my room.  I am a very sentimental person and I keep everything
that has had significance to me because I think the closest thing there is
to traveling to the past and the memories we cherish are in those very items.


Some of my most cherished objects are dried roses. 
Each one has a different meaning to me according to what event it 
came from.  Some are from funerals of my loved ones, the newest being
 a white rose from this past August.
They rest atop my tallest bookshelf, placed together in a bunch.
I would have taken one of those to share, but they are so fragile and
I was afraid to risk having it be crushed or dropped.


In the end, I decided to bring 
something else that is also always resting on my shelf...
my baseball mitt. 
Black, leather, slightly worn from me using it
all these summers- to play and to bring to games
to catch fly balls.
It holds so many memories that feel as if they have been infused
into its leather... memories of the day I got it at the ballpark when I
 was only five, the day my Grandma- who is now gone- wrote my name on it
 for me in pink pen that still remains, of all the games I remember going to-
 that I'm still going to and always will, of the pictures scattered of those 
nostalgic, sweet moments in everyone's albums, the photos I hold close,
and of all the hot summer days when nothing was better than
going out to the park and practicing batting and pitching with my
Daddy.
It's a child's glove, but it still fits me today.


What amazes me...
is how one object, no matter how small or seemingly simple and
meaningless to someone else, can have the most monumental
meaning to you... the most prolific impact on your mind and heart,
bringing upon you a wave of nostalgia for another place and time,
or even tears to your eyes as it evokes thoughts of 
those who may no longer be with you.
Whether a baseball glove or a baby blanket.


I think that is one of the most priceless, inherently, and distinctively
precious things of life... that, just like photographs, these
things are a ticket to the past to bring us back to a moment
that will forever feel like it was just yesterday.



•          •          •




It is Spring Break week for me and it has been such
a wonderful time to rest and relax, as well as enjoy time
both out and at home with my family.
I'm thankful for this week.


I will be taking a short break from posting until next week.
I will "see" y'all then ♥



Hoping your day is very blessed!




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