Quote of the Week

A wonderful friend sent me this in a text as encouragement during preseason the other day. She is a dear prayer warrior and sister in Christ. I hope you find comfort in these words, as I did.

“My love for you is deeper than the deepest sea and higher than the highest heights. It is divine, lavish and beyond your wildest imagination. It penetrates to the deepest caverns in your soul. I love you like My Father loves Me. As I am the apple of His eye, so you too are the apple of My eye. Nothing in your past, present or future will ever cause you to lose My love. I rejoice over you. I take pleasure in all that you do. Walk in My love. Remain in My love. Take confidence in knowing that you will never be outside the fervent awareness of my extravagant love for YOU!”

Advertisements

Verse of the Week

This post is apologetically late, but I am tired, content, and sunburnt from the most lovely, refreshing day at the beach today. I truly am blessed, and as I venture forth into the unknown of this coming school year I will go with peace. God is fighting for me.

Quote of the Week

Forever grateful for God’s gracious love and sacrifice. Looking beyond the past to what He has promised us–

2k14 in All Its Glory

Can I saw wow?! Woah, so much has happened in this past year, and it has quite possibly been the best year yet of my short life. 2k14, or, more technically speaking, 2014, has been a drastic year of growth, of change, new friends, new experiences, more memories, and disappointments as well as joys.

Let me just say that now I look at myself last year and think: how was I so oblivious?

I did some stupid stuff, and I thought I was cool and knew stuff that I literally knew nothing about. At the same time, I know that next year I’ll look back at this year like that, and so on and so forth.

I was just talking with my dad the other day about how we have the tendency to always look back on times that we thought we knew a lot and had everything working out for us, but in reality we knew little or close to nothing. He assured me that it happens every year, and how college will make you look back and high school and wonder, and how when you’re 30 you’ll look back at college and wonder, and it continues on and on. I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s a cycle.

As far as new year resolutions for 2014 held up, I honestly have no clue. Chances are, I didn’t manage to accomplish all of my goals. I don’t even remember what I had hopes for in 2014.

I vaguely remember myself reminiscing 2013 and all that held. Let me jump back to here and reread my reflections post for 2013. Ah, yes, 2013 was a year full of realizing what friendships were most valuable to me and establishing the existence of my faith. I fully admit that last year was a struggle with doubt and wondering if Jesus was really in my heart.

This year, with my faith a better understood, I was blessed and overjoyed to have climbed over and pretty much conquered doubt. There was still anxiety and a little creeping of doubt here and there in my faith this year, but I knew in my heart that Jesus was there, and that I, indeed, am saved. This was a relief and a joy, it brought pleasure to me and helped me focus more time on further developing my faith vs. establishing it’s existence.

Like always, the sea that is faith was ever changing, the tides were high, low, and in-between. Nearer to the end of this year, I finally started really delving into Scripture again to be inspired and motivated by the word of God.

Job was a really inspirational book for me, and I am amazed by God’s servant’s faith and trust in the Lord. Admittedly, after Job was over, I have again been lacking in spending time in the Bible, but I hope and pray to continue to read more and more of God’s Scripture in this coming year. Wisdom, hope, love, and words of encouragement lie within the Bible, and they are always a blessing.

Let me recount some of my blessings in 2014:

  • I scored a summer job, corn pollinating, but a job nonetheless (also, two weekly mowing jobs) — This made me extremely happy because I had been continually searching for a job, and, at my age it was hard to find one.
  • I purchased a Retina MacBook Pro! — After researching and gazing at MacBooks for almost half a year, I finally spent some of my savings (thanks God for the summer job!) to buy this fabulous machine that I am typing on right now. As an avid lover of technology, having a high quality laptop of my own meant that I could use it as I pleased and whenever I pleased, something that is super convenient although not necessary. Also, with my interest and enjoyment in graphic design, once I have enough to purchase the Adobe Cs6 Design software, a Mac is definitely one of the best laptops to run it.
  • The start of the school year was a smooth one. With 2014 only being my third year in the public school world, and not being the most gifted in the sociable area, I was very thankful to start the school year off well with new friendships, old friendships, and additional acquaintances.
  • A trip to the beach with my cousins was successfully made. I love the beach, nature in itself is absolutely gorgeous and God mesmerizes me with all his intricate creations and creativity, but I have to say that the beach is one of my all time favorite places. Additionally, my cousins are some of my all time favorite people who I am blessed to have strong friendships with. All of us were stuffed in a tiny house, and two of the days were a little drizzly, but lots of memories and quality time was spent at the beach, and there was fun in nearly every moment. The beach is my happy place.
  • My dearest friendships have stayed intact. Although I didn’t worry too much about this, I am ever grateful to have my close friends by my side. We can support each other in Christ and just life in general, regardless of what schools we attend and where we live. This, in itself, is a major praise and I am extremely thankful for them. They are among the best blessings.
  • My faith has grown. Of all of these, I am completely and incredibly thankful that I have gotten to know myself and my Creator better than ever before this year. 2014 has been full of experiences that have shaped and continue to shape me as a person and Christian through trials and joys. With prayers and words heaven bound and worship in solitude and union, I rejoice for He is the Almighty, and through Him I am challenged and strive to make the most of this life on earth.

As I venture into the new year I know that I am not alone, for He is with me, and I have my friends and family by my side.

I am extremely excited to see what 2015 brings in life and faith. Incredibly thankful for a wonderful, wonderful 2014. 2k14 in all its glory ladies and gentlemen!

I am praying for a lovely end of 2014 and a spectacular start to 2015 during this wonderful holiday break off of school. It is my hope to take advantage of opportunities of sharing Jesus’ good news this coming year!

To living and loving for Him, and a new year holding lots of joy–

Cheers my friends!

‘Tis the Festive Time of Year

December 2014 is almost over.

What did I just type?! This year has been off the charts, and God has blessed me with so much. Merely an hour ago, I was let out of school with arms open wide to embrace the eagerly awaited Christmas break. No school for 12 days, minimal homework, family, presents, friends, and Christ are all with or going to be with me in spirit and actuality.

The next time I’m back in school to learn will be in another year! 2015, the year of the future in the 80s Back to the Future movies (fabulous for a laugh).

With the festive season in full swing, I plan to do some last minute Christmas shopping this evening and then fully enjoy the rest of my week. I am again reminded and amazed at how fast a year can zip by, it seems like only yesterday we had received the news of Nelson Mandela’s death.

As gifts have already started to be exchanged, I have found that this year especially so, I find more joy in giving than receiving. Of course, everyone loves a good present, myself included. However, the joy that comes in picking things out to give to people that mean the most to you, and seeing their excitement at the gifts you have given, trumps all.

And without further ado, be joyful in this season as we remember Jesus and his gift of salvation to us.

Merry Christmas Eve, Eve! And if I don’t get back here until after Christmas, Merry Christmas as well!

–Fayth

Friends

Honestly, I am so unspeakably blessed by amazing friends who don’t care to judge me. I don’t see them too often, but whenever we get together we gel. We have this awesome dynamic that gets offset whenever one from our camaraderie is missing.

We share a mutual connection to Christ, and all of us are linked by similar yet totally different interests. We’re all a blend of colors on a palette, one might not think we’d go together, but we mix and make something surprisingly beautiful.

As one gentlemen told us as he took our picture at the movie theater last night, “you’re a motley crew”, and I realized how true it is. God chose to bring us together and continue our friendships, despite our differences. I’m privileged to be able to be in the company of such lovely people.

Today, as always, I’m grateful for such friends, who I can be utterly myself with.

Jesus brings amazing people into your life, He certainly did for me, and I bless them as they each walk their own journeys.

I am blessed beyond measure.

Perfection and Utilizing God-Given Abilites

To start this off, I honestly do not consider myself a perfectionist. I am not perfect by any means, and I don’t necessarily try to be perfect in everything that I do.

Now, there’s also a question to address. Is it okay to try to be perfect? Is it wrong to try to do your best at everything? The answer to that is: absolutely not! God has given us all unique abilities and talents and He loves to see us use them as best we can.

Nevertheless, I do think the whole concept of perfection can make a person become obsessed with the idea. Too much energy wasted and time spent to attempt to be perfect at everything, or too much stress arisen by failure to meet the standards of perfection is not appealing by any means. God doesn’t want us to strive to be perfect and distress when we’re not, because we are not made to be perfect. I believe that the constant strive for unattainable perfection and mindset that it is unacceptable for anything less just sends Christians, and for that matter, anybody, in a downward spiral. That is why perfection ism is seen in a negative light.

We’re human. God is not. God is perfect, and we are sinners. That’s just how He decided to set up this world.

Back to the beginning, I’d like to think I know myself well enough to truthfully say I’m not classified as a perfectionist. I’ve been called an overachiever, but perfection is not my dire goal.

When it all winds down to it, the whole reason why I was inspired to write this post is the current situation of my grades.

Unsurprisingly to those who know me, the times I have been called an ‘overachiever’ relate to school-situations. I try to give good amount of effort to my academics, and some might classify my ‘good amount’ as ‘above and beyond expectations’.

I’m naturally gifted in the area of academic schoolwork. For some reason, God has blessed me with the ability to learn and understand easily. Getting solid A’s isn’t necessarily a piece of cake for me, but I don’t have to work quire as hard for my grades as others do.

So, the case is, last year I had a bangin’ school year. My grades were exceedingly high, and my classes were reasonably easy. I passed with high scores in a breeze.

Naturally, I expected myself to be able to pass with solid grades this year as well, with perhaps a little more work required. As I entered this school year, I was not surprised to find that classes were slightly more difficult, as they tend to progress from each grade. However, I took a class only to discover that

a) the teacher wasn’t the best

b) there weren’t many grades to make your grade ideal

c) it was different, and it required more work than any of my previous classes on my part.

Currently, my grade for that class isn’t perfect. I scored some low grades during the course of the class and worked to raise them, but I couldn’t raise them as high as I would’ve liked to in the allotted time. I have less than my normal high A, but that’s okay.

The grade I have isn’t bad by any means. Some might consider it excellent.

However, I’m left with the daunting thoughts: God has given me the ability to excel at school, and if I would have studied more and worked harder than my grade could’ve easily been higher.

If I would’ve made the time for extra studying then I could maybe have a high A.

All in all, it doesn’t matter. It’s okay to not be perfect.

It’s all part of the learning experience. Forget about the maybe’s and the what ifs, but remember the lesson you learned from not achieving your expectations, whether that be perfection or higher than what received.

This has been an eye-opening experience for me.

Do I value my grades too much? Also, what can I do to better utilize what God has given me?

Not everything can come without some good effort, including grades, even for those who would be considered academically blessed.

However, it is a hope of mine that I can manage to excel at academics through the rest of my high school career since God has given me the ability, so I should take advantage of it.

Everyone is blessed in different areas. Firstly, realize that it’s okay if you’re not the top of your class, or the fastest runner on your team. Secondly, use your God-given abilities for the best you can to honor God.

He loves us when we succeed, but more importantly, He loves us when we fail and make mistakes.

He Has Risen

20140420-073844.jpg

20140419-214324.jpg

In the Now

There are days, like today, when I look at my life and reflect. Realization dawns on me about how right now, in the now, I am blessed.

God has taken immaculate care of me in that way of His, and I have barely taken the time to thank Him for what I do have. More often than not I focus on what I don’t have and what I can fix about myself and my actions. What I need to start doing is focusing on the good that’s happening in the now. How can I bless others with the advantages I have today? How has God blessed me right now? What good things has God enabled me to do this week?

For example, recently I’ve had the fortunate opportunity to build good friendships with girls on my volleyball team. Now that the club season is almost over I find myself sad because I will miss my friends, and I have no guarantee of seeing them next year. They have been an absolute blessing to me. Their antics and lovely qualities make me smile, and God knew of His blessing to me when He had our lives cross paths. God has blessed me with these people in my life, as well as others, but I have been too busy focusing on building up other friendships at school, etc. I now am determined to love them as friends should even more, and I thank God for bringing them into my life.

So often I brush aside occurrences and “lucky” happenings in my life, and I take them for granted. God has opened up my eyes, and now my prayer is to live, breathe, and praise Him in the now.

As Easter approaches I also realize how incredibly blessed I am to know Jesus as my Savior. God died for me on a cross, and I have received an amazing gift because of my exposure to His word and the Christians in my life. I can only pray that I can help bless more people with knowledge to receive the same gift of redemption. Every day is a new opportunity, and every moment shouldn’t be wasted.

I journey into tomorrow with a fresh outlook on the day, Jesus by my side, and a will to live and love my best for Him in the now.

–Fayth

I’m Insecure, Don’t Know What For

Yes, the title of this post is in fact a famous line from the most well-known One Direction song out there. XD

I have so many insecurities. Boy, what is it with me admitting my faults in these posts? It’s the best way to be open, honest, and relieve stress I guess. In a semi-recent vent/rant/sob post titled Lost on here, I wrote about my biggest insecurity.

To put it simply, I have an immense fear/guilt/anxiety outbreak whenever I receive a negative or even neutral response from anyone.

For me, that insecurity is even more evident when I don’t know the person, who does or does not give me the response, well.

What I’ve realized is that by living for Jesus and only focusing on treating everyone I stumble across with respect, it doesn’t matter.

If people hold grudges against me for little stuff I supposedly do, and I apologize if I know why, and treat them with the respect I want to be treated with then it’s their loss.

If humans aren’t willing to forgive and forget like you have , then don’t hold that against them. At the same time, don’t be affected by their actions towards you.

I’ve found that Bible verses help me immensely, and I really must delve into God’s word on a regular basis for support.

James 1:2-5 is a great short passage about joy through trials. My insecurities are trials of a sort, and the guilt I feel from doing nothing fades away when I believe and praise Him.

Thank you to gallopingstallion who put the Scripture reference of the James passage in the comments of my Envy & Friendship.

Here are the verses:

James 1:2-5

Trials and Temptations

2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters,[a] whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. 4 Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. 5 If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.

All in all I pray that I will take these words to heart.

I have no reason to be insecure. I don’t know why I am. Well, it’s the fear of rejection which I’ve let creep in that’s taking it’s toll. It doesn’t matter though. Jesus is holding me up, and He is always by my side.

With Him I can do everything, and without Him I can’t even breathe.

Jesus washes away my sins, and helps me to treat others with due respect. He reaffirms me that my insecurities need not be insecurities, but lessons and blessings. After I cleanse myself of my wrongdoings, I pray that I will cast aside all guilt because then God has made me blameless.

Jesus I pray, help me let go of my insecurities, and let me live and treat others wholeheartedly for you.

Thanks for keeping me in your prayers.