A Year of Learning

2015 was a crazy year. I experienced new highs and lows that I would never have guessed I would be concerned with. It’s always a whirlwind of emotions and thoughts when I reflect on a year, and each year is more vivid and fresh in my mind than the last one.

I learned what areas of my life and lifestyle that I need to work on. There are definitely habits of mine and actions/quirks that I am not the most proud of, and I know that I need to make a few changes. Nagging, doubting others, and striving for material perfection are a few of those bad habits that I want to turn around.

In order to address these works in progress, I’d like to try and apply 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 to my daily lifestyle. Am I patient? Am I kind? Do I envy? Do I boast? The goal is to work from the top on down, so that at some point I can say that I was patient and I was kind and I did not envy or boast, and so on.

I also learned that I need to determine and evaluate the true importance of everything I seek and dream of. What should be prioritized? How can I healthily go about doing this? How can I ensure that this is a healthy ambition, or that I pursue my desires in a healthy manner.

I think 2015 also taught me that I should sleep more. Sleep is important and I am always forgetting that.

Another goal of mine is to start eating healthier and putting effort into exercising in the off-season! Trying to eat natural and fresh foods has always been appealing to me, however, working at a grocery store makes that hard!

Additionally, I have so, so much to be grateful for this past year.

I now have my driver’s license! Through various journeys, the miraculous patience of my parents, a few tears, and more life lessons, I acquired that coveted piece of plastic.

I have strengthened existing friendships and invested in genuine new ones. A new school year and more shared adventures are always exciting in that they bring me and other individuals together in various relationships. I am so, so blessed and I celebrate my friendships today! 

And, finally, all of my cousins from Guatemala were able to come and visit us here in the U.S. for a month! We had a such a fantastic time reuniting and investing real-life time and energy into our friendships. It was a magical Christmas in that regard. I am so lucky to have many cousins that come from both of my parent’s families. Cousins make forever friends. It was a great December season to feel loved, be loved, and give love.

In regards to prayer requests for myself and the coming year, what comes to mind is this: church. I currently am not affiliated with any official church or body of people for the purpose of meeting routinely to worship and grow in faith together. Although I do this with my friends, I am not sure if it is in God’s plan for me to find another church or group to further develop my faith with. To be frank, visiting churches scares me. I don’t want to do it. It’s often uncomfortable and I feel like Christians judge more than those who are not, which is the sad truth these days. However, I’m asking you to pray for me and that I would face this fear and that it would dissipate, and also that God would show me another church or group that I can grow to comfortably be a part of if He wills it. Thank you.

I have learned and grown in a multitude of ways this past year, and I am so excited to see what God has in store for me this coming year! Here’s to a year of learning and the coming year of applying the knowledge received. 

It’s time to sleep.

D. Fayth

Advertisements

Quote of the Week

This needs to become my thought process. Jesus has me in His arms. Yesterday is done, tomorrow is yet to be determined. Let’s go invent tomorrow! The past is nothing compared to the future that is yet to come. Heavens gates will open and Jesus will rule forever! He is mine, but most importantly, I am His.
Quotefancy-2271-3840x2160

Quote of the Week

This is such a good reminder for me. God is not there simply to relieve me of my problems, but He is to be praised and thanked and worshiped for His undeserved grace and generous love.

11033076_965410230137818_2372386768546260725_n

“We shall rise”

In lieu of writing a lengthy thought-provoking post on Easter, I’ve decided to leave you with a still thought-provoking, yet shorter, post. I pray this leaves you with something to glean or ponder!

Jesus’ crucifixion, his horrible death, and his unmerited sacrifice were all definitively tangible. He bore the torture and went through the agony of human cruelty and human sin; lashes, thorns, nails, asphyxiation, and crucifixion. Yet, on the third day, He rose. God has conquered death, and He has conquered all. His miserable suffering won us life, and death no longer holds a sting. Rejoice and live jubilantly today, as a reminder for all days, to sing praises and worship to the undeserved indescribable Savior who has gifted us salvation.

Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. For we know that since Christ was raised from the dead, he cannot die again; death no longer has mastery over him. 10 The death he died, he died to sin once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God.

11 In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus.

Romans 6:8-11

photo-1

I will leave you with the words of Phillips Brooks:

“Let every man and woman count himself immortal.  Let him catch the revelation of Jesus in his resurrection.  Let him say not merely, “Christ is risen,” but “I shall rise.”

His blood price bought our lives, that we might live. And today, He rose. And in the future, He shall rise again, and because of the sacrifice, we shall rise with Him.

Immeasurably blessed and humbled–

D. Fayth

Time Management: A Skill to Finesse

To all you older and wiser readers, I must confess that I am not particularly skilled at managing my time. Ah, time management..what a tricksy skill to master. If it is a skill at all, because is it really? Does it get any easier to handle with age? Actually, don’t answer that. I think that was a pretty rhetorical question.

Perhaps time management is something that is inherent, but it needs to be awakened. As a young individual, I often (*cough* …almost always…) find myself juggling my time precariously. However, it probably is around the time that I accept the facts; my school load is only going to increase from here, finishing out high school, college, employment, receiving more rigorous workloads, and the list goes on. I have concluded that, probably, something must be done.

Time is precious. Spending your time in a way that is valuable to you, is essential. Meditating and praying in God’s word every day should be, and I’d like to think is near, at the top of my list. It is something that I deem as extremely important, and therefore I must manage my time to fit that in my schedule. With daily emails, I have become increasingly better at this, but then it all comes down to my matter of priorities, which might need a bit of reorganization. It is so crucial to put God first in your life, and I strive to do that, but let’s save that for a different day.

Would you like one example that aroused my realization of this problem? Well, besides the fact that my Dad outright told me I needed to manage my hours better (in a joking matter, but in all seriousness we both knew his words were true), I currently am typing this blog post when my homework is calling my name and two tests are anticipating my completion tomorrow.  Oops. Yeah, again, priorities..

Well, let’s think of it this way. There are only 24 hours in a day. 24 hours that people constantly complain aren’t enough. At the same time, these days are hours spent by people complaining there is too little time, rather than making the most of it.

Why do we even gage time? Is the concept of pursuing goals and aspirations in life, while letting time simply run its course, that far-fetched? Obviously, as Americans, we must have some sort of schedule or master planner to make sure everything is timely. Or, on the other end of the spectrum, we don’t care enough to actually try, and then arrive ‘fashionably’ or ‘not-so-fashionably’ late.

Anyways, moving on from my mini-rant sesh, I suppose I should go about devising a plan to keep myself accountable for managing my time in an orderly fashion. That is, strictly so that my faith and grades and health don’t suffer. Note: Folks, my use of ‘and’ in the previous sentence provides a lovely example of a polysyndeton. My English teacher would be proud! Also, why is such a grammatical term marked with a red dotted line? I did spell it correctly. Ah, the english language for you las damas y los cabelleros (ladies and gentlemen, respectively, in the Spanish language of course.)

Moving on, as ineffectual as improper time management is, I pray that I will begin to hold a constant awareness of how I am spending my time, and if my use is of value to God and myself. Time management is something that I may never achieve in finesse, but I don’t expect to. It’ll take a lot of learning experience and decisive wisdom on my part to not get too carried away. Life has an abundance of ups and downs and ins and outs, and I intend to live my life fully for Jesus.  All the same, this doesn’t necessarily mean that from now in every second of my time will be enjoyable, restful, productive, or ‘useful’ and ‘efficient’. I can assure you that I will still procrastinate, for I am a teenager and sometimes things just don’t feel like they need to be done.

Still, I am all over setting a realistic goal for myself, in order to hone my time management abilities. By the grace, mercy, and undeserved blood of God, I am ever grateful to be equipped with the strength to do all things, including juggling my time.

With a sleepy, thankful heart, and many blessings your way,

–D. Fayth

Quote of the Week

A few words for thought.

10408485_10155043006935251_6712233453469942743_n

Take Heart

As 2015 progresses, we’re already halfway through January! Crazy isn’t it? We’re a 24th of the way through the new year.

This new year has started out with blessings and also some happenings that were unexpected. Unexpected doesn’t necessarily mean bad or good, but I’m praying that God will give me wisdom through these situations.

John 16:33 has such a message. God’s word continues to impact me daily as I read it. I reread this verse the other day about a week ago in one of my ‘Bible in One Year’ emails.

It goes like this: “In this world you will have trouble, but —
20150115-065609.jpg

Jesus has overcome the world! Why do we even worry? No matter what happens, even if it hurts or doesn’t make sense, God has overcome the world. Our troubles are all temporary. He assures us that we will face trials, butHe is with us, He has power over all the world, and therefore He has power over any trouble within it.

Be strong and persevere, take heart in this knowledge.

On a side note, today is the anniversary of when I created this blog two years ago! Technically, I didn’t post anything on it till the 20th (of January), but still. I am ridiculously thankful that God showed me how to share my not-so-eloquent writing and get my musings out there. There are now over 200 of you!

Thank you so much for all your support and just for listening.

Take heart,

— D. Fayth

Death

…a topic that is often referred to as morbid but then again sometimes thought of as a blessing.

Everybody’s views of death differ. Drastically so, when faith is incorporated into the subject matter.

There is the question of where do people go after death: do they just fade into oblivion, does their existence simply end, do they end up burning in hell, or do their souls live on in heaven?

As Christians, although grief accompanies death, rightfully so, we know that our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ are in a better place after death.

Heaven is so much better than on earth, and we rejoice, often bittersweetly, that our loved ones have finally met their Father, and King. Angels rejoice and embrace those who leave their earthly bodies behind, and the souls released from their bodies can start to truly live.

We never know exactly why God chooses the times he does for every person to die, but we do know that God takes people off the earth when He sees fit. Everybody has a day when their time in the material world is up, and then God will take them however He has planned.

Rarely does death ever occur without a portion of sadness, pain, heartbreak, and grief. Mothers lose their children, children their parents, and everyone, their friends.

Still, God’s word leaves us this reminder:

The righteous perish,
    and no one takes it to heart;
the devout are taken away,
    and no one understands
that the righteous are taken away
    to be spared from evil.
Those who walk uprightly
    enter into peace;
    they find rest as they lie in death.

–Isaiah 57:1-2

Death brings suffering, but death also brings joy. If we are impacted by someone’s death, then they have left a legacy behind. All in all, Christians who enter the void of death find peace and walk heaven’s roads of gold.

Jesus is the Creator, the Almighty, our Father, and our Lover. When Christians leave this world, they go to be with the Savior.

I pray that I, as well as others, will be inspired and motivated to go  out there and spread the good news of Jesus, so that when death comes, people will go to a far far better place.

I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.

–Romans 8:18

I pray for those who are currently grieving for their loved ones. Father, be with them. Do not be discouraged by death, but rather share God’s love with others so that rejoicing will take place when death is near.

Oh death, where is your sting?

Verse of the Week

So I’ve recently made time for daily Scripture readings again. After sorting through my priorities, I finally found that a regular intake of God’s Word is so inspiring and helpful for me in my daily Christian life.

I’m not exactly sure why, but I decided to start with Job. What a man Job was! I can barely even imagine having so much taken away from me for seemingly no valid reason and managing not to curse or blame God. One day I hope to be like Job, wholeheartedly unwavering and loyal in my faith.

This verse especially stood out to me in Job the other day:

We all face trials, and I currently am a little bit lost and confused, but who are we to accept good and not trouble from our Lord?

Although we know God has already won the battle, earth is still full of evil that we will encounter.

Place your trust in God and prevail through the hard times, because love does win out in the end.

Blessings,

Fayth

How Do I Want to Live

If you’ve read some of my previous “deep” posts on this blog you may have taken a guess that I’m not exactly the most cheery optimistic person you’ll ever meet. I wouldn’t go as far to say that I’m a pessimist, but I’m not on the other end of that scale either. Certainly, I have been called out on acting pessimistic in some way or another on occasion.

Anyways, on to the subject. Recently I’ve been eagerly counting down the days until summer. There are only 23.5 days of school left, and I am looking forward to when the count is down to 0. Nonetheless, I’ve also reasoned with myself and I realize that I don’t necessarily want to have that outlook on life at the moment.

Maybe this is all those quotes that I see catching up to me. They read something similar to, “don’t live all your life for Fridays, weekends, and the summer, live for now”. I feel as though God is telling me to really contemplate this though, and so, I shall.

How is it possible to have fun in school when you’re just looking ahead to summer? With your focus on the future, it’s often quite hard to live life to the fullest in the present. However, my life motto is not exactly “carpe diem” or “live life to the fullest”. No, what I want to live by, and what I try to live by is in the footsteps of Christ. Each morning I tell myself to remember that He is with me throughout the day, and that I should live for Him.

That’s what I tell myself, but do I live up to that? To be honest, I really have no idea. I have my faults, I stumble, I stutter, I disappoint myself in staying quiet, I find joy in new friendship, and I sin like the rest of us. I ask myself, am I just saying that I’ll do this? Or am I actually doing this? More often than not I feel as though I’m living for myself, and not for Him.

The truth is, I don’t have the strength alone to go about my day with a positive attitude and living for Jesus. Simultaneously, I also don’t have the time to let Satan give me doubt and get preoccupied with it.

This weekend I got the chance to listen to the inspirational Joni Eareckson Tada speak, and wow is she inspiring. She went through so much and still has managed to serve and find happiness thorough her trials. So, again, I alone don’t have the strength, but God does.

God can, and will give me the strength.

I pray that God will give me the strength to go about these next five weeks and live my life for Him in school. I only have the opportunity to serve Him in high school for so long, and so now isn’t the time to cop out. I appreciate your prayers as well and am very appreciative that you’ve taken the time to actually read and listen to what I’ve just written.

Bless you,

–Fayth