Thursday, November 6, 2014

When setting my table, will I be Mary or will I be Martha?

School, work, friends, guys, teachers, leaders, parents, family, homework, projects, exams, graduation.... it just goes on. Life is such a chaos majority of time. Either sibling games at the fields or driving to college every other day or to hanging clothes at the GAP.. it just seems I don't seem to catch a break. & when I do , I immediately just want to crawl in bed & snooze all day. See, life is busy. that is just the truth I have learned. Don't get me wrong, I am SO very thankful to God for the opportunities & people he has placed me with currently. God never promised we wouldn't feel  as if we could pull all of our hair out from the things piling up. As I grow older & continue to progress through the journey, things WILL continue happening. The stress will grow as I continue my education. As I work, the tasks will get greater & longer. Eventually, I will be on my own. ( scary I know ) It wont magically get easier. Recently I have felt like I don't have enough time to breathe much less actually be a productive human being when I am not actively somewhere else like school, church, or work. When I get home or am not "scheduled", I feel burned out. Irritated to say the least. Ya know when you feel like you are being targeted in all angles so youre the deer in headlights just kinda stunned to a stop in the road. yeah, I feel like that deer paralyzed by the headlights coming. The choice I am realizing is how I am going to deal with it. AM I going to let irriatation invade my heart like it has been ? Or am I going to put my priorities in the hands of my father in heaven? Tonight I really dug into the word more than I have in several weeks because I have gotten in the terrible habit as I said of just crashing when I get home. The thing is.. I feel SO much better after I read truth & have the living word of God flowing into my heart. In the she reads truth devo today, they took a look at Luke 10: 38-42. I LOVE THIS STORY & LESSON Jesus teaches in these few verses. 
 As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. 39 She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. 40 But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!”
41 Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, 42 but few things are needed—or indeed only one.[a] Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”
I am so Martha right now.. I am tossing through college flyers.. flying through hundreds of emails.. working like crazy.. homework piling up for finals.. I am trying to prepare my table as the she reads truth devo connected it to this story. I just want it planned & ready. I need it perfect so I can pursue my dream & passion.. which is for God. But.. I keep squeezing him out of it while I set the table. This really made me sit back & just say goodness this is Jesus speaking to my troubled busy soul right now.. QUIET. Kalyn, just sit before the Lord & listen. Listen to his word. Listen to his goodness & grace. Embrace yourself in his presence. Be more like Mary who sat at the Father's feet before she attempted to figure it all out. That's my prayer & foundation for this week, that I will make more time for God & put him FIRST before I try to have the feast all sorted out. Without God, I will never know what he wants & where he will lead me. The only way to my full purpose & calling in God's story is through the writer. Allow him to be the writer today before you run off to edit it. God's love will endure forever. His love & grace will not be taken away. He will never leave nor forsake us. Thank you for reading, hope this encouraged you in some way :)
Much love

Saturday, October 18, 2014

What does God say about me ?

Insecurity. That word, we all cringe over & about a thousand things start whizzing through our minds before someone even finishes the word. From physical flaws to personality issues. To words your loved ones said that completely crushed your heart to being rejected by a guy you thought was the sweetest guy on Earth. They stem from every direction. They intertwine, unfold, disappear, then come blazing in from another direction. The other night at our Impact ( my youth group ) Big Nite, we had a "panel" of very qualified, insightful adults & even some pretty incredible, gifted teenagers answer questions that students had submitted a few weeks ago. I always love this kinda service because it shows how the word is alive as it transforms through perspectives & situations. It also gives a look into the struggles of these teenagers. This Wednesday there was a theme I noticed.. it was insecurity. I know everyone has it, so I just sorta overlook it. I mean again, what can I do to fix it, it is just a part of life.. but see once more, boy was I wrong. So I take you to this picture above that you're probably wondering if I just wanted to show you for the fun of it.. but, it is a bit more than that. In this picture above, you probably noticed the beautiful background & my surroundings. Maybe you noticed my dress or my hair. Or teared up a little because it's my senior pictures which means graduation is getting immensely close. ( it seems unreal, you have permission to cry  ) .. Chances are you didn't notice the insecurity I felt in this moment. You can't see my struggle of feeling too large. You can't see my desperate plead of wishing my arms were a thousand times smaller. You can't see my glands flaring up because I am thinking about the acne that I just know is invading this photo. You can't see my hives I am almost positive I had because of the feeling of just not being good enough. You can't see my heart breaking from hurt & rejection I have felt & am feeling. Or the guilt I feel of my past. Or the worry that floods through my every thought. You just see a picture of a girl..  Now, lets be clear.. This is one of my favorite senior pictures ( done by the insanely gifted Missy Frank , Inframed Photography). So now, you think, ' Kalyn, you just said like six negative things about yourself that this picture brought up, but you say you love it?' yes, I may just be crazy .. but you'll hopefully understand after this blog is wrapped up... Back to the question at hand during Big nite.. it was " What does God say about insecurities?"
hmm so good question.. in my head, I was like well hello, he doesn't want us to be insecure but I am & that is just life & how it is going to be. ( I am a stubborn person my dear friends, not exactly in my favor typically) Well the answerer said the word.. Validation. Validation? What do you mean? I am validated.. . Now, you think " girl.. I am a teen, I am not barely validated to drive much less anything else".. but that's where yourself & I am so so wrong. We are validated as a daughter. That statement just.. feels my heart with such comfort. When I think of a daughter.. my mind automatically sees a daddy looking at his babygirl with such love & awe because my brain just does that. Some of you don't have that in a dad active in their lives & some have active dads ( or mom), just they fall short of this picture. The beautiful thing about Christ & what I have been really learning through the past few months is that picture in my head of a father with that look of absolute adoration for his daughter.. is my Father in heaven looking down on his daughter in which he loved so much he sent his son for.. that daughter is me. it is you. The past few days ( & few months.. this topic keeps occurring repeatedly in my life.. I think Jesus is trying to paint me a picture) I have really been looking at this picture. It is a beautiful picture, everyone I have shown has fallen in love with the simplicity of it. I have looked at this picture so many times, along with pictures for years thinking  about all the negative I can find. But, as one of the wise teens on the panel said.. ( I am paraphrasing bigtime) " I may not have confidence in myself all the time, but I do have confidence in who I am in Christ.. & that is a daughter" So perfect. Because the truth is my weight didn't go down.. my acne is still on my face, & my hurt is still an everyday thing.. but with my savior Jesus, he covers with love. When I see this picture, I feel confident now. Confident that I am the daughter of a king who is bigger then the comment in 6th grade bashing my arms. I am the daughter of a king who is greater then the rejection I feel of being alone. I am the daughter of a king who is mightier then any flaw the devil tries to use to bring me down to less then who my Father says I am. When I look in the mirror, I say straight back to the devil when I nit pick over my image , that I am fearfully & wonderfully made by my God who overcomes all. Nothing in all creation can separate the solidity & everlasting love my prince of peace has for me. Have a pep talk with yourself, declaring the Lord's love & promises over your beautiful soul. You are more than gorgeous in the eyes of the Lord of Lords. Take this world's judgement, & give me Jesus.

Friday, October 10, 2014

surrounded in the hurricane, taken by the waves

Close your eyes. forget where you are. Now picture a hurricane, but you're in the middle of the water. The ocean is swirling, the sound of the crashing as the waves meet accompanies the lighting striking down around you. Wind is howling through your hair. The sky is a dark mix of black & gray seeming to trap you in the storm, blocking you from what's ahead in the distance .The waves are closing in around you. every chance that you get a quick breath of salty air, another wave comes to knock you over again.  It drags you under, twists you & turns you under the water. You don't understand where you are, or how you got here. These waves used to be so beautiful, a few hours ago you were dipping your toes in to relax in the amazing creation of this vast ocean. The sky was sunny & blue as far as you could see. You were above the waves, staring out into the distance. Unmistakeningly giving praise to our mighty creator for his amazing painting. Now you are drowning.. you are wondering if you should fight to get above the waves to knowledge that you will get knocked under yet again or just simply let the wave take you on into the depths? This is where this blog began. This is where my strong walk began.. When I faced the difficulty of the storm. Many of you know what I am saying when I tell you my faith has been shaken like an earthquake throughout the last year & a half. I lost my grip on my purpose & honestly just the point of life. The troubles, worries, hurts & doubts just kept adding to one another. I didn't understand why God wasn't stepping in to save me. One day I was just crashing down, & my sweet leader was just listening to me cry in a mess of jumbled feelings & I was trying to explain to her how I felt.. the description I opened up with was what I said to her. That the waves were knocking me over, over & over everyday. I had been knocked over so many times. too many times .I felt as if I couldn't breathe anymore. I felt like just suffocating because the hurricane was taking me under with it. I often thought that it would be easier to choose option B then to continue with the fight leading me through the pain & confusion I felt. I questioned living at times, this was one of my darkest times . I remember it so vividly. The feeling of giving up. The feeling of I just cant take this hurt. This storm was too big for me to handle, & for some reason God wasn't stepping in. I felt that God had decided to just leave it on me because that was how I felt with this world. I didn't want to bother anyone because I know everyone has their problems & they don't need mine to add to it. I didn't wanna look weak because I knew I needed to be strong, but the thing is that I am not strong enough for my storm. That is the absolute truth. But good news is that through my times of worship, reading, & writing my praises I have fully realized that I am not alone, it is not just me. God knows me. He loves me. He knows my worries & troubles. He is God. Soon after this state of giving up, I read a scripture that speaks so perfectly to my heart.
 "He calmed the storm to a whisper and stilled the waves." psalm 107:29
This verse, just ahh I can not even explain to you the comfort it brings to me. He calmed my storm to a whisper. To a faintness. Yes, my storm may be there. It may hurt sometimes, but it is but a whisper. He speaks over my storm, over the waves. They are hushed. It is my favorite scripture in the Word that I have come across. It is in my bios, I have it written on my journals, written on mirrors, on notecards. It is my senior quote. I mean the spirit is wrapped up in this verse to me. The word is so alive , it speaks so differently to every situation. On Sunday, my Pastor talked about storms which was just the reminder I needed as I face more unpredictable storms. In Mark 4, Jesus calms yet another storm. I love this passage as Jesus shows his great power in such simplicity.
35As evening came, Jesus said to his disciples, “Let’s cross to the other side of the lake.” 36So they took Jesus in the boat and started out, leaving the crowds behind (although other boats followed). 37But soon a fierce storm came up. High waves were breaking into the boat, and it began to fill with water.
38Jesus was sleeping at the back of the boat with his head on a cushion. The disciples woke him up, shouting, “Teacher, don’t you care that we’re going to drown?”
39When Jesus woke up, he rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Silence! Be still!” Suddenly the wind stopped, and there was a great calm. 40Then he asked them, “Why are you afraid? Do you still have no faith?”
41The disciples were absolutely terrified. “Who is this man?” they asked each other. “Even the wind and waves obey him!”
 I ponder over Jesus' question , " DO YOU STILL HAVE NO FAITH?"  Kalyn, do you really have so little faith even after the many blessings I have given you & showed to you ? Waoh,, conviction right on the nose. Faith is believing in what you can't see. I can't see the end of the storm, but we need to have faith that he is at the end. It is like a dark tunnel through a mountain where you can see nothing , you don't see the light until you get to the end. Then you emerge into the beautiful creation & his light he so very much wants to give to you. The inevitable is that we live in a world of sin, we will have trouble. We without a doubt will have storms, but how will we handle the storm. will we let it drown us or will we call out to him to be with us to be a light to our path ? The song , " Oceans" , by Hillsong United just speaks this.
And I will call upon Your name
And keep my eyes above the waves
When oceans rise
My soul will rest in Your embrace
For I am Yours, and You are mine
Keep your eyes above the waves, the oceans will rise but our father in heaven sees the rainbow ahead. He uses storms, these faith testing hurricanes, to draw us closer to him. I am crazy bout some analogies & I often use this one when I feel like the tide is taking me under.
"The righteous shall flourish like the palm tree"
Pslams 92:12
 Palm trees make my heart happy, when I saw a palm tree I automactically was like oh my goodness how beautiful, now I am awe stricken by these masterpieces. God puts me in a sense of absolute speaklessness when he uses the most simple everyday things to show us his heart & purpose. His purpose is not to let me drown under the waves, he wants me to build up my strength & faith to be stronger.
 I learned this through our Pastor, flourishing like a palm tree. Palm trees are strategically placed in areas of strong potential of hurricanes, such as Florida. These trees are deep rooted in the ground , so they do not snap, they bend in the storm. Bending in the storm, can be seen as kneeling to God for his guidance through the wind & the rain. After these massive storms, typically these palm tree roots are stronger then ever because of their need to become deeper rooted. Being rooted in Jesus is what allows us the hope of getting up above these treacherous waves that seem to be against us. He is the light in the stomy skys that darken our sight. Lean in to Jesus, he will be with you through it all. Not for a second will he forsake you.

Monday, September 29, 2014

To succumb..

To succumb to the enormity of the problem
is to fail
the ONE
I am so excited to finally be sitting down & blogging about this past weekend. A whole lotta stuff has been settling in my heart & mind recently. SO this last Friday was the annual women's conference at my church. Hundreds & hundreds of women gathered to worship together, which I must add is such a crazy amazing experience ( join me next year because I am already pumped ). I have been looking forward to this event for months because uhmm hello, it's with my best girlfriends plus a whole lotta Jesus, worship, shopping, & sister love just a flowin in the atmosphere. But there is more... the speaker was Pastor Leigh Ramsey who is the founder of the SHE RESCUE HOUSE ( ). This organization helps girls who have been trafficked, raped, sexually exploited, or at risk. MY heart nearly exploded as I realized she was going to be coming to speak. This woman inspires me with her bravery & passion for these girls being served such an injustice.. as one of my leaders texted me, she is ' My passion's CEO'. So needless to say, I couldn't walk my short little heeled boots any faster into that building Friday. Her message has really sat deeply on my heart more & more so as the days go on. I had already fallen in love with her ministry & spent hours & hours researching the cheapest way for me to fly to Cambodia to volunteer in anyway they would let me. Visiting the website constantly, I have seen the quote I opened up with. And I was like 'oh yes, that's perfect for this situation.' To succumb means "to yield to superior strength or force or overpowering appeal or desire." Hence, this quote all summed up is letting the overall size ( whether energy, numerical, stress level, time, etc.)  of your problem stop you from pursuing either speaking up or helping out. Human Sex Trafficking is an ENORMOUS problem that seems so unfixable that most just decide to not even bother trying. There is an estimated 27 million people enslaved right this second. That is insane to even fathom. Every 30 seconds someone is a victim of this trade of humans. It seems nearly impossible to even consider trying to help because at this rate you are one person trying to help 27 million people who are usually hidden in brothels or never given justice due to the severity of the problem & danger they are placed in, but what about the one? What about the one young 6 year old girl who has been repeatedly raped & sold for money for years who is OWNED by a man who could care less about her ?? What about the one young boy who is gang raped because he is sold by his parents in order to make a living for the household? What if Pastor Leigh hadn't of helped the ONE girl who needed help for her friend? What would have happened to that sweet innocent soul who was being sold in a brothel? chances are she would have been left for dead in the street whenever they were done with her.. Thank God she realized that just because she couldn't save them all.. she could save that one girl who was given a hope driven by a shot of bravery. what if YOU decided to help THE ONE? What if YOU decided to speak up for THE ONE? Over & over this quote has just pondered along in my mind & heart. I just keep repeating it over & over like a song I just cannot seem to get out of my head. It is what so many of us do. We let the enormity of the problem keep us from being brave enough to help who we can even if that may only be one. Brave.. when I think of brave I see a woman who doesn't let fear, doubt, circumstance, or doubt enter her heart nor her mind. She does what needs done even when she is unsure she will succeed. Pastor Leigh brought up Esther.. Esther had everything she could have ever wanted. I mean she was bling bling up in a castle. Then she was faced with a mega super problem.. now, (pause) who thinks she is (a) gonna continue eating the fancy foods & twirling her rubies, or (b) is Queen Esther gonna one up her problem ? I am just going to assume you choose choice b. YES, Esther shows bravery. She shows heart for her passion, heart for God's kingdom. she does not let the failure of what COULD happen stop her from DOING what she knows is God's plan. Sure, she probably was like 'man, I just don't know if I can actually do this because the problem seems so much bigger then me', but she didn't yield to the problem at hand, she busted right through it. ( Esther is the bomb).. but too often I choose the what could happen instead.. Is that not what so many of us do? We hide behind the problem.  We use it as an umbrella on a hot day to just shield us from the sun which is bright because we are scared it may burn us even though we have sunscreen on ( yes, I just used sunscreen & Jesus as metaphors ). We decide, that we would rather not have a hint of failure even if it means we change someone's life forever. Now, I realize not everyone's' passion is mine, so this is not geared just solely at the problem of trafficking. This is geared to what stops YOU from stepping out to make a change. When I was thinking bout all the different areas I let the enormity of my problem stop me, I immediately thought about my high school/ college. The situation of the ENORMOUS percentage of students who have decided Jesus is not a person they need & most don't really care if they know him at all. I see it all the time, everyday. The majority of the teenagers/adults I attend school with do not know Jesus as their lord & savior. They are intimidating. Now, you may have the mindset I originally did.... which is.. ' Well.. I mean, I love Jesus, I love church, I love ministry. I know God wants me to share what he has done in my life BUT nobody is going to listen to me anyways if I start being 'religious,' so I think I will just keep my mouth shut'' .. yep, that was me & to my teenage friends out there.. I feel you. It is easy to just turn our Jesus love lights on dim. but we so are not called to do that. I feel the fear of being made fun of or 'doing it wrong.'  Like if I show the joy or love Jesus gives me, I'll be walking around smiling all big & they will think I am out of my mind smiling to myself on a rainy monday. .. Or the fact jumps in my mind that chances are I will not reach every last person in my school. I feel like a failure of not being able to share the word of God 'good enough' to get everyone to Christ.. but what about THE ONE. What about the one person who gets a taste of living water? what about the one girl who is feeling abandoned & just needs the love of a heavenly father? or the one guy who is on the verge of suicide or substance abuse because he has no hope?.. but you decided to let the fact you may not be able to draw his friend to Christ , stop you from bringing him to Jesus who can & will spare his life?  ... the one. YOU can help THE ONE. Be brave.. brave enough share the life change Jesus did for you.  Don't keep it all for yourself, God gave us mouths to share his word. No matter what is spoken to you , even if someone says it is not worth it because you will never be the change for them all.. be the one who can say I, by God's lead, was the change of THE ONE. Afterall.. you were someone's.. the one.

Monday, September 22, 2014

life or death

" The tongue has the power of life and death,
    and those who love it will eat its fruit. " Proverbs 18:21
The tongue produces words. There are over 250,000 words in the English language. Approximately each person speaks between 7,000 to 25,000 words each day. Men obviously being on the lower end leaving the women on the upper end. We talk, everyday, all day. Our voices carry a large amount of our words. But in this day & age it is easier, quicker, & requires less energy to just type some words up. We voice our opinions daily via social media. Twitter statistics show that 600 tweets are posted per SECOND, along with Facebook posts averaging 700 per SECOND. The level of output we use our words with daily is astonishing. I have always thought that the fact that we can voice out loud what we are thinking is so crazy cool, but do we ever think about who is hearing our words? Chances are you just bit your lip because you just had an 'oh crap' feeling, That's okay, me too. I talk a lot, & I talk loud ( right mom ?) & without thinking. I love being able to say what I am feeling or just come out of my head for a little while. The thing is, we hide behind this curtain of entitlement. That we have the ' God given right to say what we want.' But the thing is that we don't. We do not have what this world calls 'freedom of expression' which is in my wording ' you do you because we don't wanna argue or get sued because of it.' Being a Christian means we abide by what the word of God says. In the verse I opened up with it talks about the tongue being life & death. What you outwardly put into the environment around you whether it be natural or cyberspace, it is adding something to this world & will directly impact someone. Adding something of life means showing Christ. It means humbling yourself behind what you may be feeling & extending grace & encouragement. I love those people who just are a breathe of clean fresh air because they just shine their light on my soul. I want to be that person people are like ' I know I can count on Kalyn because she is always using her words, tweets, facebook, pinterest, & instagram to encourage me.' yeah well I wish I could say that I am always an uplifting person, but I cannot. This is a struggle that is deep in me & I find it hard to break sometimes. I do not even mean to do it 98% of the time. I just burst out in attitude about something I really am not even mad or upset about. I won't think about how I word an answer or a comment to where it will come out as helpful instead of just a big wrecking ball of negativity. I know I do it & sometimes I just have to say ' Kalyn just don't say anything,' because I get carried away in what I think & too little about if I am encouraging the other person that I am broadcasting my heart to.
A good person produces good things from the treasury of a good heart, and an evil person produces evil things from the treasury of an evil heart. What you say flows from what is in your heart. Luke 6:45
So when I am not focusing my words on producing life in my words, that means the overflow of my heart is not where it needs to be. It says this is an evil heart. WOAH, you're probably thinking 'man she just called me & herself out on being evil, what is wrong with her?' I am not saying I do not love God, I do. I love his word, I love praying, & worshipping & teaching . ( so why are you saying you may have an evil heart sometimes? ) We all learn who is evil, the enemy Satan. We know he only wants to kill, steal , & destroy us. ( John 10:10). It compares him to a thief because he takes any opportunity to rob us of our joy or hope. When we speak death, we let him manifest in our words to be carried to what will destroy the receiving end of the words we put out. The enemy wants us to think that God doesn't love us or that we are not forgiven. He will take any opportunity to swoop in to remind us of just what we did that brought us so much shame & guilt. This recently happened to me as a person I used to be very close to, sent me a text that directly brought back a massive mistake I made. A few short words brought me back to that place of being lost & feeling so unloved & drowned with shame. I texted my mom & her response was this " The devil is using he/she as his mouthpiece." This was the truth as I took a step back to look at the situation more clearly. Yes what this person said was completely true, I DID mess up & I DO still deal with the consequences. But, God is continuously working in me to restore my heart & mind to his will. The message was not meant to contribute encouragement to me. It was meant to tear me down when I started to be joyful & look up again. This was the enemy being allowed to get in my head in a sneaky way through someone he knew I cared what they said. He knew I would start to question whether I could be loved by God fully again without a label of my sin stamped on my forehead. I do not want to be the person who allows the enemy to be apart of my words I speak or contribute in any way. I want to speak life, not death. I fail daily. After receiving that text, I immediately fired back by posting on twitter a very obvious tweet directed at the person. I just did what they did, right then. It is in our culture to just post away when we are mad. I contributed to the death & I allowed Satan to be apart of my words for the day as I posted a tweet not full of life in replace for a tweet to retaliate against the person who hurt me. That was so wrong of me to do. I want to be a woman of God, not of the world which is always looking for a way to hurt someone. I am not saying that it will be easy or that when you slip up, you are automatically done for life & stamped an evil person. You aren't, with Jesus we have grace. As the children of God, we are expected to show Jesus through our actions & words. I know some days it is like people are just asking for you to snap, but will you give in to the enemies plans or will you turn to the word of God & what it says?  Make Proverbs 18:21 the prayer of your day when you come into communication with others. This world is in desperate need of a life giving conversation or post. Shine your light to the world as you think about your words before you type or say them. Are your words bringing life or death ?

Saturday, September 20, 2014

letting your stresses overwhelm your present

Overwhelmed. Stressed. Crazed. Exhausted. Anxious. Booked. Tired. Overdrawn. These are words I hear everyday. I hear them from friends, family, students, teachers, workers, kids, adults, elderly, & myself. This world yells "OVERWHELMED"  My church is even doing an entire series on this phenomena. It is a common theme of having a list of to-dos that runs on
    & on
           & on
 with no stop in sight. You're shaking your head right now saying 'yep, I am just about to lose my mind.' I know, the majority of us are just running around saying ' what's next, what else could there possibly be to do ?' These past few months I have felt as though everyday just about never ends, but everyday there is not enough time to do just everything I have to do. From having to come out of some relationships to coping with issues interloping every aspect of my life to beginning my senior year, I feel like I might have come to the edge of giving up about a trillion & 6 times. Starting college ,I have struggled in a math class in which is above my level. The feeling of being inadequate & the enemy's lie of ' Kalyn , you are too stupid to understand' have invaded my thoughts each time I sit down in that desk. Not having the comfort of my regular "crew" because they are an hour away all together at a different school has cut like a knife.Reading chapter after chapter just to be able to understand what is going on in class has became a hassle of time & energy to get done just to stay ahead of the instructor. Not to mention knowing I didn't have to go this route causes this overwhelming question to if I made a mistake. I could have easily stayed where I was comfortable, but I decided to go the other way. Doubt eats at me almost constantly. As students, especially seniors, we are so worried. We are worried about graduating. We are worried about our relationships, the ones we will keep & the many that are likely to fade away as soon as we get our diploma. We are worried about where to go. Should I stay close or go away? Should I go north or south, east or west, up , down, or all around? Should I even go?? What if I don't? Oh, but I need to , so then what type of school to attend.. university, community, private, or technical ?  I have a big blue binder stressing me out under my feet hidden stacked full of college flyers I have collected & hoarded in the past four years because I have freaked out even thinking about that decision so I just shoved them under my desk. And how am I suppose to ask my parents to pay this obsurd amount of money  due to fees that is required even with hope or what if I don't get this scholarship I need? Then you have this blank staring at you, waiting to be filled in on every college application:
Major: ____________
 what on earth am I going to major in??? What am I going to do for the rest of my life? I have gone from meteorologist to psychologist to writer to social worker to nurse to counselor to just pure I literally have no idea how I am going to pull this off in a few months. I know where my heart is but I don't know how to major in human sex trafficking? Do I go in the medical field, education field, journalist field.. the options are limitless. I have had friends call me with the same desperate plead of 'help me figure out my life' because I just don't think I can do it. This all added on to the fact that SO many of us have baggage carried with us. From separation of parents to past relationships to failed classes or low gpa to helping with siblings to jobs to money to car problems to just everything it seems. Plus the realization of peer pressure, what will people think/ what are my peers doing? It just adds up to where we have this list of things, lists of decisions, lists of past things we simply did not have time to do. All this anxiety leads to me being a ticking time bomb. Hard to believe right ;) I just out of nowhere am in this terrible mood. I don't want anyone to talk to me or even look at me. I snap if someone asks me a question or engages in any kind of interactive conversation. And all I want to do is sleep so ya know, I don't have a freak attack on someone. Man, I just have a problem. I was thinking tonight about why I have been acting the way I have been.. & it hit me. I am so focused on the future, I am not focused on now.  I found myself today thanking God I get to move out next fall just because ya know, I am a teenager & that's the kind of crazy stuff we say. But, I have absolutely no idea if I will actually move next fall. Sure, I want to wisk off to school & have my college experience, but what can I do right now to make this life less overwhelming? The answer is, I seek God. I sat tonight & looked for God on my list of things I had to do this week. Yes, I journal & I do a devo, but really I had to be real with myself. Was he the one I am seeking to make my decision about where to go to school? What to major in? No, I was taking a quiz online designed to just tell me my future. It is frankly so dumb of me to sit around complaining about all these decisions about my future when in the end, my future is his. My life is to glorify him,the one who I know holds my life in his hands,  not my successes or skills. My hands, mind, voice, heart, absolutely everything are made to sculpt his kingdom on earth. I pray he will be a lamp to my feet daily, but why am I making it so difficult for me to see the light? I see this constantly on twitter ( I am so guilty) , " uhhhhhhhhhhhhhh I have so much to do" " uhhhhhhhhh stupid blah blah blah" " uhhh I am so tired of trying" ... Why do we do this to ourselves? why do we choose to pile things on instead of giving to God what is rightfully his ? Jesus is the one who will supply you true peace right this second. He has a plan for then, but he also has a plan for now. You are called as a child of God to spread his light. A serious attitude problem is not going to lead people to Christ. A complaining, anxious spirit will distort your light that you are so capable of spreading to people like you, who need a savior who gives hope & peace to his sons & daughters.  This is my challenge for myself ( yes, mom you can call me out this week) & you is when you feel like you are about to just take your stress out on these innocent people around you who may drive you crazy or beat yourself up , give it to Jesus. Ask him to overwhelm you with his goodness & faithfulness.  He is waiting to give you peace, hope, joy, love, & a future. He loves you right now in this moment. he wants you to be apart of his story, just ask for your part & he will guide you wherever he has called you to be . He knows your past present, & your future. Seek him with me as we battle this fight of not letting our stresses overwhelm our present.
love yall ;*

Monday, September 15, 2014

True value

"Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it " Proverbs 4:23
Chances are you've heard this verse before, chances also are that you think it's a sweet verse, like the one you would post in your instagram bio or on a #selfiesunday caption. Trust me, I am guilty as any other.  It sounds so strong & so wise, so perfectly worded. I have seen about three hundred thousand different diy crafts, posters, tattoos, clothes, & so on & on & ON based on this verse just on pinterest alone. Women  ( sorry guys, I'm focusing on the ladies today ) LOVE this verse, so why do the majority of us not apply it ? Why do we decide to ignore this life saving principle in the word of God? The reason behind it is that we/I, like so many other ladies, have been washed ashore by the waves of pressure to conform to this world. This world says, ' it is okay to show everything you have' , ' it is okay to have sex outside of marriage' , ' it is okay to watch inappropriate content online', ' it is ok to let a man completely disrespect you' , ' IT IS OK' ... because everybody else is doing it. This generation of people scream that it is ok to just do whatever you want. We are told that these principles of respect are void because this is a 'different time.' That life is without consequence, & that you can simply break anybodys' heart or flounce around with the three words , ' I love you' because ya know, who cares right?? .. I wish sometimes I could say yes, that heart break isn't a consequence, that when you are devalued by a boy.. that it doesn't change you. I wish I could say I haven't said ' I love you' to a multitude of boys & I wish I could tell you that every man you meet is going to treat you the way you deserve.. wait, ' deserve '? This is what I have struggled with for so long. See, I was/ am working on not being 'boy crazy' . by this I mean the desire to have a 'boyfriend' , everybody else had one, so why not me? This started about 8th grade. I decided I as gonna 'go out ' ( note : I never actually went anywhere with them, I even avoided them at school) with these boys, which ultimately just ended up with me balling my little eyes out because well, he was a 13 year old boy. My mom then would say, ' Kalyn, guard your heart.' & ya know what I did, I pursued another. Over & over, & over I just slid my heart on down my sleeve. I am 17 now, its been about 4-5 years of giving myself emotionally away to countless guys who frankly, did not deserve it. I spent hours trying to get them to like me. I changed my interest so they would think I was interesting. I literally tweeted things I didn't even care about just so they would think I was 100% interested about whatever they were into. I obsessed over my weight & outward appearance to their taste in girls. I have let guys use me & forsure did not guard my heart. The enemy snatched me up right there by deceiving me of the truth with the comparison of my relational life with that of others. The thing is that I didn't care what the guy did, I ' cared' if he respected me, but my view of respect was the world's view. On twitter, all I see is boys calling their   ' wcw ', sexy or retweets about a woman's body. Then their girlfriend's response is ' awww baby I love you." I am so guilty of this so I am not calling you out, but Ladies, here me out.. A speaker we had, explained it this way : Everytime she  ' broke up' with a guy, he left with a piece of her heart. Well after so many, you have nothing left to give. Like so many girls, this happened to me. I ran out. I became bitter, I find it a constant struggle everyday to be loving, caring, or self controlled because my heart is overflowing with the brokenness of these years & years of heartbreak due to my lack of application of an extremely important verse that is directly pointed toward this generation I feel. I find it hard to find value. I find it hard to trust. I find it hard to believe in myself or respect myself. I do not think that God wants me to be in a relationship with a boy who can not stop touching me or a boy who frightens me by violent threats. Girls, this is such a topic raging on my heart recently. ONE IN FOUR COLLEGE GIRLS REPORT BEING RAPED OR IN A SITUATION OF RAPE. One in four! I know because sad to say, but this situation has happened so very personally to me & many of my friends. No, thank God the situation did not progress in my personal story as it does in so many others, but it happens daily. This number is so ridiculously high because of these beautiful young girls who too often fall into the trap of thinking they don't deserve the absolute best.  Girls around the world are manipulated into the horrid trade of girls for sex & money . These girls honestly feel they deserve this kind of treatment, but if only they knew they deserve respect & love. Love that transcends all understanding. Women just want to feel loved, needed, & wanted, we will do just about anything to keep a guy who we constantly feel so ' in love ' with around, even though they speak & treat us as if we are so little.  When we are craving that attention, it is easy to give up what we know is right for something that just seems like a ' small disadvantage.' An amazing man of God spoke to a group of children the other day & he addressed the young innocent girls in the room by telling them that when they do on a date, & the guy does not open the door then turn around & go home. Wait.. hold up.. that sounds ridiculous right ?.. because I mean this guy is CUTE , & my friend's boyfriends don't open the door for them.. He continued by saying the boy is not leading you, he is behind you. I have heard rare girls say they would forgo a date because he didn't open the door... & I sure as all get out, would not have left because I don't see the value I have through God's eyes when I let a man treat me disrespectfully. Your standards are never too high. You being the fearfully & wonderfully made daughter of God you are, DESERVE the absolute best. When I let a boy speak to me in perverse language or I let a boy touch me in a way he should not, this is not being valued nor is it recognizing what I deserve. You deserve chivalry, you deserve love, pure love, but pure love comes when your heart is seeking the Lord, as well as his. Chivalry is not dead & neither is the man God has so perfectly set apart for you. find your beauty in God, find your comfort in a Savior who is always there instead of a boy who is only there when he gets something out of it. Have respect for yourself as your heart & body belonging solely to God. Patience darling, your man of God who is ready to lead you will come with the almighty's timing.. I know it is tough & sometimes a very lonely road, but Guard your heart, & you will walk in the fullness of a pure heart & spirit who never walks away.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Resting in the shadow of the Almighty

"He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty " Psalms 91:1

In this chaotic world full of bad news, it is easy to fall into a place of terror. It is so easy to be paralyzed by fear when all we hear is the news of a radical group rapidly trying to eliminate us, Christians, as well as any minorities. It is scary to think about nuclear wars, or just a war in general. The world scares us of who is real & who is not. Who is a liar, & who is corrupt. I mean I have a 50 minute class every other day discussing the many faults & threats of this world. It gets overwhelming. It makes us question everything in this life because of the worldy concept of fear. Fear has ate me up for the past few months. I have been absorbed into this mold of being at stand still because I am in a blinded view of what the world has to say about these situations. The thing is that God is not of this world, he is bigger & greater. A few weeks ago, a good friend of mine taught a lesson to some kids about the topic of fear. I needed to hear it, see I was listening to what CNN told me, & not what the living word of God told me. He taught on the amazing song of Psalm 91. This is when I realize the word is living when it completely wraps you up, spins you around in a 360, & gives you a safe place to dwell. Dwell, that word makes me think of a cozy log cabin up in my favorite place, the mountains, just warm, relaxing, & peaceful. I immediately thought well sign me right on up for that party. I love God & love serving, but I got a reality check as I read this book. It says shadow, well we all know how somebodies shadow comes over us right? right, they have to be bigger then us, circumstance, anything towering us, in order for the shadow to fully cover. Now I was not putting God above the fact of checking CNN every 5 seconds on my app anxiously waiting for the bad news of an attack on this country. Yes, it is so important to be aware of the situations & to be face the realness of the fact these threats are so real & close, but God does not want us to be fearful.

"For God has not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind." 2 Timothy 1:7

God is bigger. The enemy wants me to be on the fence, so he can swoop in when I am still with fear. The devil takes any opportunity to get my faith to flee from me. BUT in Psalms 91, our God, our awesome amazing God, promises to help whenever we face danger. He does not promise this world to free of from danger because with sin all around, that is the fact of this world.
He covers us, fully. He gives us refuge. A place to go, a warm welcome under his great wings in which shield us from the destruction of the mind as we fear. In the bible, "Do not be afraid" is written hundreds of times because our God knew it is human nature to be scared, but with God our human nature becomes overcome with the fruits of the spirit as we allow peace to override our worries.
This verse just uplifts my soul so much. I speak it over & over throughout my day because it is God overcoming what the world uses to break my faith & pull me away to their plans. Read Psalms 91 right now, ask God is soothe your troubled heart about this world. Prayer works, he hears your cry. God is alive, he is so alive if you just look around. look within yourself as you ask for his presence to fill you & walk with you. Become aware of his presence constantly. Bad things, terrible, scary things will happen but take heart, for he has overcome the world. Thank you Jesus.
" He will call upon me & I will answer him " Psalms 91:15
Dear Savior, our king, our God almighty, Lord I thank you for your word. Your word in which directly reflects you. Thank you for saving us. For being our strongtower & our dwelling place. Thank you for this opportunity we have to share you , for this opportunity to be a disciple to the lost & also the found. You know our worries, you know our hearts troubles. Lord I ask you break the chains of fear on our lives. Lord that we would be overtaken by your spirit of peace. Father, we ask for your protection over your people. That our faith would be made stronger in your shadow. That we would have the faith in your power & word in which we can ask for your presence & you never leave God. Thank you so much for psalms 91 & your promise to help us in these times of fear & distress. God you are so faithful to your children. I pray for your word to overcome our hearts, that we would hold tight to your promises to your beloveds in everything we do. That we would not be shaken because in your arms is where we stand. In your arms, the everlasting father & creator of the world. Father, we love you. We thank you for Jesus, the prince of peace, for coming & dying for our sins, so we can have this intimate relationship with you. We love you Lord. IN Jesus name, Amen.

(also I am going to start posting more so , God is really moving & I know he is going to grow in each of us more & more. Thank you guys so much for reading & investing your time in this blog. I have gotten good words back about how God is moving in people's lives as they read these words I feel God wants  me to share, so continue sharing, commenting, & reading. Again, thank you guys so much !)


Monday, August 11, 2014

Throne of Grace

In my #shereadstruth devotional this morning, we are studying the book of Hebrews, which opens us up to who Jesus was & still is. We all typically know the "basics" which is that Jesus was here, didn't sin, & was crucified for our sins so we now we can have an intimate relationship with him, but who is this Jesus? What is this intimate relationship he craves to have with us?   " Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. "( Hebrews 4:16) Throne of grace, this name for Jesus makes me have hope & see Jesus as such a safe, comforting place to be. Somewhere & someone I want to draw near to..  Jesus extends grace to us, he knows us fully. " For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin." ( Hebrews 4:15) Jesus is the son of God, but he also was here on this Earth before. He was tempted by anger, worry, lust, substances, & so on. He cried out to the father in prayer because he needed him, just like us. " Although he was a son he learned obedience through what he suffered." ( Hebrews 5:8) Jesus suffered much pain & temptation, it was hard to not give in even through he was the son. He learned through drawing near to his Father. I feel like so many people, including myself, feel like Jesus doesn't understand or that he doesn't want to hear our tears or our sob story. I actually feel bad when I breakdown in front of Jesus because I don't want to him to feel like I just am unhappy with how my life is going. The truth is, he knows our hearts, our thoughts, & our futures. He wants to help, he loves us with a love we will never be able to even comprehend.  Tell him, cry it out to him. He loves you. forever. no matter what. He wants to extend his grace to your hearts, you just have to ask him. You have an invitation to the throne of grace.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

All the Poor & Powerless

Now before you read this, I would like for you to listen to this song.

I am assuming that you just listened to this amazing song that brought me to tears a few weeks ago. This song that I feel like completely describes how I feel a majority of the time. Poor & Powerless. Like I am just stuck in a situation I cannot contain or help which leaves me feeling discouraged & useless. This feeling of being washed up by my past or current circumstance. Powerless to the point of not even wanting to try anymore. Just literally do not think I can continue. The feeling like running up a ridiculous mountain while being out of shape. You feel like your legs are going to give out. Your heart starts beating out of your chest, you just do not think you are going to make it to the top.

All the poor and powerless
And all the lost and lonely

I know so many people, very close people, that feel so lonely. Loneliness is a bitter feeling. Trapping your hurts & insecurities in your head with nowhere to put them. It gets a bit crowded in there, doesn't it? I know it did for me, I turned to just sleeping unbelievably much. Just so I could catch a break. Lost. Not knowing what to do or what to even say to try & make it. Not having a plan will drive me into a frenzy because being lost is like walking through the dark. You run into things & imagine things that really aren't there. You lose sight in a dark room causing you to feel powerless against the dark. I feel this is me in so many aspects of my life. I let things control me to where I feel so powerless against the darkness that washes over me.

All the hearts who are content
And all who feel unworthy
All who hurt will nothing left

Some hearts are content. What a beautiful thing a happy heart is. I am constantly saying " that makes my heart happy." I say this because I crave that feeling of a content joyful heart. It makes me feel lighter & brighter. Thank God for content hearts. Then there are these people who feel unworthy. These people who let their mistakes, failures, & past define them. It is a self doubt the enemy loves to throw over our heads. It eats you up every single time you try to move on. And there is hurt, hurt where you feel so empty. Hurt where you go home & shut down. Hurt where you are nothing but a body.  Now you ask, Kalyn ,this song is sad, why are you so crazy about this song? Like it is just saying how miserable it is to do life. This where our Jesus comes in.

Shout it, go on and scream it from the mountains
Go on and tell it to the masses
That He is God
These 22 words give me chills up my arms. They bring tears to my eyes. They make my heart so happy. Why? Because that is where my freedom lays. When we were in the Daytona & the Big Stuf band played this song that I had never heard of, it spoke loud. Everything I kept bottled up & everything that I felt was tearing me down, I told it to the mountain. I told the mountains in front of me that I don't have to be my hurt because HE IS GOD. I told my mountains that I am not poor but rich in Jesus' great love because HE IS GOD. I told my mountains that I am not lonely because of circumstances because HE IS GOD. I told my mountains that I am worthy in my renewal with Jesus Christ because HE IS GOD. I told them that I am powerful in my Savior because my God is holy.
All will sing out, Hallelujah
We will cry out, Hallelujah
WE. we the poor. we the powerless. we the lost. we the lonely. we the content. we the unworthy. we the broken. WE will know that he is holy. He changes us because he is God. This is why this beautiful song of breakthrough was burning in my heart today. Because when I feel let down or alone, I have my Jesus who covers all circumstance because he is God. This song shouts freedom from our insecurities & doubts & situations. Realizing that in Christ the mountains of life have no authority to block us from God's will, which is not to watch you sit & suffer, but to run to him because he is your God & lover in all things.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

You have searched me & you know me

1 O LORD, you have searched me and you know me. 2 You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. 3 You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways. 4 Before a word is on my tongue you know it completely, O LORD. 5 You hem me in--behind and before; you have laid your hand upon me. 6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain.    ( Psalm 139:1-6)

These verses just speaks to me. It makes me so giddy inside. Kind of like when you are at the mall & some cute guy makes an effort to make eye contact & being a teenage girl, your heart just about sinks down to your feet. That is what we crave, to be pursued. We love someone to want to know our weird hobbies & somebody to share secrets with. As humans, we just love to be desired. That is why we jump on any opportunity to be shown to someone & why we want so badly to be in a relationship. I want Closeness. Chances are, if you are human, you want closeness too. The good news is that we are pursued by a God so much better than a boy at the mall. He wants us so badly. Our Jesus searches us. He never says " I am too busy to deal with your mistakes right now." I refrain from telling people my heart a lot of times because I hate the phrase , " In a minute." It gives me this feeling that my problems, though typically silly teenage issues, aren't important to them. But to God, they so are & he listens the second I cry out because he already knew my heart. He cares so much about me & so so much about you. He longs for us to tell him about our day before we go to sleep. God is so observant. God is so loving. God is so caring. Right now God is pondering through my millions of thoughts zooming through my head. Thoughts of the past, present, & future. It is crazy to think that someone so good & so power, I mean the King of Kings & Prince of Peace is willing to let me pour my heart out to him. That just amazes me in so many ways. I read this quote from one of my favorite authors that really explains the last verse to me.
People want to understand why God cares to know our thoughts. Why a God so powerful would mess around with listening to a long lists of praise, hurts, or just simply a conversation. I don't know the answer, I don't know why he loves me so much when I constantly fail, but I know he does. I know he is real & I know his word is true. He is better than our minds could ever imagine. 

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

What limits us to not letting Jesus work through us ?

Miracles. We all know of the great miracles in the bible. I googled "miracles in the bible" & up popped a list of 123 miracles preformed in the bible, & it was only a partial list. It seems that it is just overflowing with these great miracles. Jesus walked around literally giving out miracles of healing & restoration to these suffering people. He never let something be too big for his power because it simply wasn't. When we come to know Christ, we recognize that Jesus died for a reason. He died for our sins, but also we received the gift of his spirit being in us.
"I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the Life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith of the Son of God, Who loved me and gave Himself for me." ( Galatians 2:20) What would happen if we did our works not of ourselves, but of him? At my grandparents church, this has been the topic the past few services. That God can do miracles today. That Jesus literally lives in us. We are to be the hands & feet of this amazing God who is not dead. He is alive right this second in me & in you. Tonight we watched this movie/documentary called " Fingers of God." It was so good. I fully recommend it to anyone who is interested in seeing our God do miracles today. My favorite part of this program was the section of young college students being on fire for Jesus. Now, when I say on fire I mean these young people were raising a blaze for Jesus. These students meet every Friday & pray together about what/how/who/when  God wants to work through them & a partner for that night. They then write down what they believe God to be telling them, compare, & they set out. These kids are brave & they are so trusting of God's faithfulness. They go to these places & seek out the person they believe God is telling them to speak to. Then they actually pray for these people. These students have become a vessel of Jesus. They see healing, bondage being broke, restoration, salvation, & literal miracles all the time. They are invested in the truth of God's spirit living in us. They allow God's power to affect lives & be an impact on this world of his children. It was absolutely inspiring. How amazing would it be if you & I could heal people through the power of Jesus Christ? I have thought this many times. The thing is that it isn't an "if" question. There is no doubt whatsoever that Jesus craves to be moved in this world through his children trusting & walking out in faith. So many of us are scared to look "stupid" or "weird." The thing that I am learning is that it isn't about me, it is about his, The Great I Am's, will being done. Just have to say yes, God. Send me. Let his kingdom come.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

All around us

Honor and majesty are [found] in His presence; strength and joy are [found] in His sanctuary. ~ 1 Chronicles 16: 27(AMP) 

Presence. The definition of presence is "existence in place: the physical existence or detectability of something in a place at a particular time." I used to hear pastors speak on stage before a message with the prayer of , " let your great presence fill this room." As a young believer I was like, uhmmm God is in heaven. I actually remember looking around like Jesus was just gonna walk in the through the back doors through the pews & just sit with us. Yeah, no, I was wrong. I didn't learn about this amazing blessing we are given of his presence until about two years ago. I learned that it is the holy spirit we were so graciously given as Jesus died on the cross for us. That God is the holy spirit that lives in us & all around us. Well, I was still kinda new at the opening up to God & truly diving in so it was awhile until I really decided I wanted to try this out. So one day, the youth band was playing the song " With Everything." Everyone around me had just got back from this conference, Motion. These kids, my friends, were on fire. Like I mean you felt it when you walked in that sanctuary. God had touched them. I am a very observational person, so I watched. I watched how they forgot this world, and they seemed to disappear into what seemed to be another part of this world that I was DYING to see. So I prayed this prayer, " Lord, I wanna feel what they feel. I believe in you & your word, but I want more." & God sure did answer my prayer. I raised my hands, closed my eyes, & just sang , " with everything, with everything we will shout out your name. " Tears immediately fell from my eyes & chill bumps raised up out of nowhere. It wasn't cause it was cold, because it was summer crammed with students in a rather small space, it was the presence of God that touched me. I felt safe. I felt this love wash over me as I praised him. This is a memory that I will never forget because it was the day I truly began my journey.  Yes, I had already said the prayer to make him Lord. But, that day I began my intimate romance with my Savior. I am so thankful I began this walk. It was the best decision I ever made. It is amazing how God prepares you so abundantly before the storm. Two years ago I didn't know where I would be. If somebody would have told me the relationships, the struggles, the loses, the gains, the good times, and the bad, I wouldn't have believed them. The thing is that God knew. He knew that my life would be shaken. He knew that I would cry & yell. He knew I would be attacked in ways that I didn't even think possible, but he had showed me himself. Countless nights I laid in my floor uncontrollably crying just talking to God because he is my bestfriend. He is what I held on to when I felt this huge blackhole of mourning, sorrow, & confusion was going to drag me into this neverending hole of darkness. A girl at camp asked me our small group about presence. OH how I loved telling her that God is already here. He is right here. He is with her. He is with me. He is with you right now. He is just patiently waiting for you to make that decision to come into his presence. Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence?
Psalm 139: 7 He is a call away. Jesus died to have an intimate & real relationship with us. He loves us. The song " oh how he loves us" is so true. It is why I break down in tears & feel this peace in my soul. Because God is better than this world. He is bigger than the hurt. He is greater than the depression. And He said, “My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.” ~ Exodus 33: 14 He is the calms the storm. He wraps us in his loving arms. He openly shows us love & favor because we are his children.

A few months ago we had a speaker at my youth service. It was about relationships, I know you should have heard the complains because no teenager wants to be told that they are too young to be in a serious relationship. Trust me, I am guilty. The guys & girls were split in separate rooms. And we all got prepared to be told the same thing again.. I thank God quite often for that speaker many days. She doesn't know it but she opened a door that day. I so often, like many other girls, love to fill up my empty spaces with compliments & boys that really probably don't care all that much about me. That message was about letting God be first. About this romantic relationship with Jesus. I never looked at it like a romance until that day. At the end, she did the most beautiful thing I have ever seen. I wish I had it on video to play for all of you. She put on the song " Dance with me" by Hillsong. Which came on my Pandora during my facebook scroll & brought me to tears yet again. What she did was dance with Jesus. Literally. She turned it way up & fully forgot us. She wrapped her arm around his neck, took his hand & danced. It was so perfect. That night I went home, locked the door, & did the same thing. It was probably the most intimate thing I have ever done. I may have looked crazy, but I was having a deep conversation with my Savior as I let him lead me. I find myself doing this dance when I feel alone or unloved. His presence never fails you. Surrounding yourself in his love & grace makes life so much easier. You have someone holding you up. You constantly have a bestfriend to tell your hurts & celebrations with. Like Pastor Rob Stribling said, " he wants to be part of your celebrations." God doesn't just want you when you are on your knees because you are so broken, but when you are praising him for his miracles & joyful for his favor on your life. You will show me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore. Psalm 16: 11 Put yourself in a constant flow of his presence. The devotional , Jesus Calling, is always teaching about keeping open communication. Listening to him & talking to him all day. Giving thanks always for everything. Diving into his unfailing love & mercy.
The earth shook; the heavens also dropped rain at the presence of God; Sinai itself was moved at the presence of God, the God of Israel. ~ Psalm 68: 8


Friday, June 27, 2014

The book of Ruth - God's name for me defines me , not my circumstances in this world #shereadstruth

s there a discrepancy between the names by which Jesus calls you and the names you give yourself? Are there circumstances in your life to which you are giving undue power, power that rightfully—and in reality!—belongs to our sovereign God alone?  Sister, who names you today—your God or your circumstances?

Funny how this book of Ruth has so unbelievably & completely matched to my thoughts & wonders these past few weeks. God reassured me greatly in this devotion ,which has focused on this beautiful woman. I fell in love with this lady of audacious faith, love, & obedience. A lot of my previous writings focus on this topic as well because it has bothered me & so many other teenage girls, especially, I have come to find. We are so wrapped up in what this world expects of us. I am guilty of this. We follow these worldly so called "expectations" of what we are to act like or become. So often, I feel so small. I feel so desperately tiny compared to this oh so massive world. I am just one of seven billion people. I feel like my little steps don't matter to anybody, but in this woman of God it just showed me just how a faith & obedience can truly affect the world immensely. A move based on solid faith can truly matter. We feel like our story isn't great because we haven't been a superhero or won a gold medal. We buy this lie of statistics. That if you have a broken family, you are broken. You are immediately doomed to this stereotype of rebellion. I honestly bought into it. I blamed my decisions on feeling unimportant because I felt my importance laid in the attention being placed on me by this world. Ruth took a step of leaving her homeland. She didn't have anything but Naomi. She looked up to this woman of God & declared to follow her God. This made me think, Naomi was so strong in her faith that she made a woman step out in faith to a God she didn't even know. Ruth just saw the woman Naomi was & cherished it. I believe she craved to be that kind of woman. I hope to be a woman who draws people to such a graceful & perfect lover who makes tiny steps into such a gorgeous story. Now Ruth and Naomi travel to Bethlehem. When these women get there the people questioned if it was Naomi. They did this because there was an obvious struggle to her life, that she was tired & worn. Naomi had lost her husband plus her sons. That would be the worst feeling I think I could imagine, to lose all the men in my life. She told these people to call her Mara, which meant bitter. She was drained. I see her because I have been so drained where I literally just take on the title of "depressed", " lonely", "unimportant", & "bitter." This is so true though in so many of us. That we take on these identities of our circumstances. We look at our life & think, I just can't keep it up. The thing is that to our Great God, we are not forgotten. We are not our circumstances. I am forgiven. I am blessed. I am free. I am free to be God's daughter, his beloved child. Just like Naomi, we are called to be redeemed. I have hidden for so long under my struggles. I have thought so many times, God where are you ? The truth is that he is always here. He is our storywriter. A great storywriter knows how to pan it out. Naomi and Ruth sought his face still through this time of hurt & confusion.  Then God let the right man, at the right time step in to take care of them both. They waited. They believed in God's favor coming. Their faith was built up because before they reached their high points because they had to believe in their valleys of what seemed like death, that their God who is so faithful would provide. Ruth's great faith led to the journey of the birth of Christ. Jesus Christ who is our savior & is my very hope on this Earth. What if Ruth had let her circumstances name her instead of God? If Ruth had hash-tagged herself as " forgotten" ? The thing is that Ruth named herself a daughter who is blessed. I am blessed. You are blessed. Our small steps through faith, in the dark, are a huge part in God's extraordinary story of forgiveness, grace, and redemption.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

love that will never walk away

Love. The word that the basis of our human lives seems to revolve around. It is this need. This need of being wanted, of affection. No matter who you are there is a part of you that craves this feeling of being adored. About a year ago, when somebody said the word love I would automatically jump on the scene of when Noah and Allie die in a hospital bed, holding hands into an eternal love. Man, that's love. Isn't that the scene America loves to show as love. But what about love that isn't a romantic relationship like the ones we constantly are shown. What about the love of a father or mother? Or the love of a dear friend? Recently God has opened my eyes to the forms of love. That just as bad as I want this love, that I can never be satisfied until I believe I am loved. We feel as if these mistakes are now a part of our past .  On the days I feel like nobody cares, that I have just disappointed everyone to a point where they just cant love me. So many of us have this hole it seems of where we know we should feel love. We see it around us. We see this little girl who is being so tenderly loved by both parents. Or these bestfriends who are laughing until they cry. These couples who are holding hands and telling eachother " forever." Why can't I have that? Why am I feeling like everyone is so loved but me? This lie has haunted me. I didn't feel cared about. Sure I can put on a smile and say I'm fine, but the truth is that I just felt like I needed to feel this hole before I completely caved in. This led to lust. Anything that would just make me feel loved. This led to anger, so that I could just feel something, anything. I was numb. The thing is that I was missing my foundation of love. That I had strayed from the one who never leaves and never forsakes. He is there when I need to cry. He is never too busy. He thinks I am beautiful. He forgives. He is my rock. His name is Jesus. Let me tell you that Jesus sets free. Jesus is love.  Through Jesus , I am a beloved daughter. I am a child. I am a friend. This has filled that hole. Yes, I need human love, but I learned that I can't love others until I believe I am even worth loving. Jesus is my portion. oh, how he loves us. me and you. My prayer is that you would open your hearts to see that he is the only one who can satisfy fully. He heals your broken heart. The scars that boy left who you gave yourself to, he heals. The feeling of abandonment from family, he heals and revives your soul. The friend who you feel you can't talk to about your problems anymore, but you feel like you just have to vent to, he heals. He is the best listener. I have cried to him. I have yelled and screamed. I have laughed and smiled. He never leaves. He knows your heart, he wants you to get to know him. True love is the love in which gave up his life on a cross for you and me when we so don't deserve it. Open your heart to this everlasting love to renew your soul. His love never fails. I promise and so does he.