He is with us;

I’m crazy in over my head, and crazy blessed and crazy overwhelmed. Fall is here, and the startup of school has put me in the center of a whirlwind of activities. 

Particularly this fall, my prayer is to build my relationship with Christ and manage my time so that I prioritize Him, as well as just honoring Him through my actions! 

Hope all is well–

D. Fayth

 

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Summer Grew Wings and Flew

And, once again, summer grew wings and flew. All were in awe and amazement at the speed of the feat had been accomplished.

Wow, this summer has been crazy full of arguments, building friendships, new experiences, and adjusting to uncomfortable situations. This marks 2k15 as the summer that I held my first non-seasonal job. Since June, I’ve worked between 20-30 hours a week, which, for a part-time job, a decent quantity of time. Volleyball has kicked back up and is now in full swing – it is such a time commitment and whirlwind journey that takes me up and down and makes me hate and love the sport. Praying for a season full of memories and confidence and growth with the Lord, other individuals, and abilities.

I’ve been doing an awful job of posting as of late, and, also, I’m stretching myself with extreme procrastination with summer homework. Therefore, I should probably stop typing and go do something about that. Pffft, speaking about proactivity that is not going to happen quite yet…

In my recent ponderings, I’ve mulled over the change and responsibility that accompanies aging. Every year becoming a little bit older brings an awareness that younger individuals are looking up to me – this is especially realizable when it comes to any team or group effort, in my case, my volleyball team. When looked at this way, I feel a sense of intimidation and also shame when looking at a reflection of my actions at the age I am now. Still, it is with God who I confide in to put those past actions aside. We no longer have the ability to control the past, so we learn from it and move on. We do have the ability to, at least partially, control the future, so it is with great hope that I can be a decent model for those observing and succeeding me.

A fault of mine that has particularly come to eye recently has to be judgement. I hear a few words spew out of the mouth of an individual, gauge their general air and others’ reactions to them, and too often find myself thinking thoughts or making remarks that I have no designated worthiness to make. It is my prayer this fall to stop this automatic judgement and instead to receive people I encounter with an open mind and willing amicability. 

Anyhow, I hope and pray that all of you are having smooth transitions from the end of summer into the next season of this year and life.
Here’s to a new school year with faith and love preceding all other things. 

With trust in Him,

D. Fayth

The Future

What a daunting, stressful, and exciting subject.

The future: typically consisting of college or university, high school graduation, choosing a profession, earning a living, and doing something with your life.

We worry too much. Yes, we all want to do great things. Or, at least, I want to do great things, however, there will always be mountains to climb and valleys to stumble in before we achieve greatness. And, also, everyone thinks of greatness as something different. To me, earthly greatness is finding something to do in life that I love, and to spread God’s message through it.

Last night was my older sister’s high school graduation party, so it was rather nostalgic and a glimpse at what I will encounter in the near years. I am, to be frank, a worrywart. I stress about my grades, I stress about busy schedules, but all at the same time, I love to be doing things and am excited about the future. How exactly does that work? I’m not sure, but God knows.

Yes there is pressure on myself, especially for school, from people who know I am academically blessed and myself. However, there is a line between having a life and perfectionism and working too hard. I need to come to terms with this, and yet, I pray that I will learn how to live my life accordingly. Life can’t be worth living if all that is prioritized are grades and earthly matters.

There are many challenges and trials in life that God gives us for a purpose, and He has blessed me in unique ways that I want to stretch and utilize in order to please Him. He additionally has given me weaknesses, also accordingly, so that I may learn and grow in the process of living life in the future (for the future).

The future, there’s that daunting subject yet again. If we’re speaking in technical terms, at this very moment, I am living the future. We are all living the future. We live in the future. The future is here and now and it is in every single breath I take. I don’t even know if I can reference the future as a subject, or even an object. The future is all part of a concept. Today’s past was yesterday’s future and tomorrow’s future will be the day after tomorrow’s past. Things get messy real quick if you reference the whole time concept of future in that regard.

Pressure almost always surrounds the concept of future. Often times there are massive walls of individual’s expectations for you to excel and achieve a level of “success” however it is deemed.

Yet, while keeping all this in the back of your mind, don’t stress out too much. Simply focus on what God throws at you each and every day. You tackle the future every moment of your life. What some people consider a waste of time could be a necessary period of relaxation. Don’t cave and subject yourself to worry and stress about the future based on what other individuals think or say, but live your life and view the future with a swing in your step and Jesus in mind.

He has plans for you, plans for you to prosper. Only He knows how they will turn out, and every single instance of your life plays out for reasons entirely unknown to everyone except God.

Speaking of the future, consider what you might think when you look back at yourself now in ten years.

God has a plan. I am excited. I am scared. The future is daunting, but I would like to think of myself as ready.

This was such a discombobulated post, but I hope someone out there gleans from my emotions and what I am trying to express through these words.

With a determination to look at the future from a different perspective–

D. Fayth

Words of the Week

Life has again sucked me up into a whirlwind, and it’s about time that I sat down and reevaluated my time management and my priorities. Always remember, He is ever with us. I too often forget it. It is a comfort, honor, and, in its own way, a confession to hear this:

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I want to live for Jesus not out of self-obligation but out of love for the amazing and awe-inspiring Creator. He is my rock, and He has promised me salvation. It is through this that I am saved, and I am beyond blessed to live this life on Earth with no need for fear for the future.

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Have a blessed week! I hope your summers are faring well. I hope to post some full-fledged content posts soon.

— 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

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?

‘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

Quote of the Week

I stumbled across this gem the other day.

Take some time to go about your day and live with intent. Show your true gratitude, kindness, and love to others. For God loves us and asks us to love others before ourselves–

I encourage you to live with purpose; consider more then simply existing.

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Blessings and prayers,

Fayth

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.

Quote of the Week

Sometime last week I really looked into a Christian artist duo called For KING & COUNTRY. I came away with a joy-filled heart and worship on the tip of my tongue. These two brothers sing incredibly inspiring and encouraging songs for those of the Christian faith. I bought their new album that released on Tuesday, and I couldn’t be more satisfied with my purchase. Please go search them and let their words remind you of God’s desires. Here’s a verse from, in my opinion, one of their most powerful impacting songs. Be blessed and strive to achieve what God has made you capable of–

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Lord, fix my eyes on you.