the storm.

when i was little i used to be terrified of storms. i would either hide in the basement or run to my parent’s bedroom….it was always some place INSIDE where I felt safe and secure. (thankfully, i have conquered that fear and i now LOVE thunderstorms!)

today, we hands down had the biggest and best storm of the summer.  for a second I thought it could be a tornado from the jet black sky and the way the walls in my office were shaking!  and then someone sitting in front of me said “man…I’m glad we’re inside right now!”

and with that simple statement, it really got me thinking about life.  it’s inevitable that at one time or another we are going to face a storm in life, but what’s on the INSIDE of us that is going to keep us safe and secure?  and as I was driving home, there were huge tree branches all over the roads…some roads completely blocked with debris and leaves. 

STORMS and DEBRIS. think about those in relation to life.  ever been through a storm? ever had some debris you just needed to get rid of? what gave you that feeling of safety and security while weathering the storm?  and how did it feel after getting rid of loose hanging debris?

as a little girl, i ran to my parents to find safety and security during thunderstorms.  now, as an adult, when I face a storm I turn somewhere else. the one place where I feel the safest and the most secure: my relationship with Jesus.  i know it’s something that will never falter nor fail.  that alone is amazing.  does that mean i’ll never face storms? ABSOLUTELY not. but it does mean one thing: I won’t be facing them alone.  so many times storms are viewed as negative, but I think there is a sense of beauty to them.  before a thunderstorm, there is usually an unspeakable stillness and silence. during the storm there is crashing thunder, flashing lightening and heavy downpours.  and when it’s all finished, it goes back to the stillness and silence from before.  God puts us through storms so that we can be tested.  to clear out any unnecessary debris so that when we come out from the storm, not only do we get rid of what we don’t need, but we have a brand new sense of stillness and silence to appreciate the beauty of life He created.

i really feel like the storm (now storms!) today represented the beginning of a new season.  a time for things to be shaken up.  a time for breakdowns, breakups, and BREAKTHROUGHS.  i know i say this every time, but i’ve never been more excited or encouraged to just LIVE LIFE!!  i’m so excited for what God has in store and to live by HIS will.  this verse has been put on my heart for the past few months, “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him” 1 Corinthians 2:9.  so when it comes to living this life, i want to love HIM.  He’s the reason why i’m here today and i want to do nothing more than to prepare and discipline myself so i live my life to please Him.  i encourage every person reading this that if you are in the midst of a storm or just got out of one, search for what is inside of you.  really question who you turn to when you’re in a storm and why.  build up your endurance during the stillness and silence so that when the next storm strikes, you’re ready.

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what is worth?

the word worth. it can take on many different meanings and can be used in the form of a preposition or a noun.  According to Merriam-Webster dictionary, here is how worth is described:

— preposition

  • good or important enough to justify (what is specified): advice worth taking; a place worth visiting.
  • having a value of, or equal in value to, as in money: This vase is worth 12 dollars.
  • having property to the value or amount of: They are worth millions.

–noun

  • excellence of character or quality as commanding esteem: women of worth.
  • usefulness or importance, as to the world, to a person, or for a purpose: Your worth to the world is inestimable.
  • value, as in money.
  • a quantity of something of a specified value: ten cents’ worth of candy.
  • wealth; riches; property or possessions: net worth.

 How do you measure YOUR worth?

the type of car you own or drive…how many closets you can fill with the latest trends in fashion…the size of your house…how many friends you have on facebook or followers on twitter…dependency on someone in a relationship…annual income…fitting into that next smaller size…and the list goes on and on.

don’t get me wrong, some of things can be great. But how do they measure what you’re really worth? Imagine yourself standing naked in the most desolate place that comes to your mind. just you. no clothes, no phone, no computer, no car, no money, no friends. no one but you.  By yourself. What would that feel like? Perhaps at this feeling of nakedness it is then that we can begin to imagine our true worth.

the concept of digging deeper into worth has come to light over the past few months, but significantly over the past three weeks.  Two of my passions in life are the campus life and relationships.  I find both extremely fascinating and when you combine the two it takes it to a whole other level.   nothing is more intriguing to me than these young college girls who are searching for worth in a relationship, and I’m probably so interested because I was one of them. I see a part of me in these girls and want them to know there is something so much greater out there. something you will never find in any dating relationship.  I identify with wanting to be in a relationship so bad you’re willing to give up what you know is right. Totally disregarding any morals you may know are right and just going after what YOU want.   If you’re reading this and can identify with any part of what I’ve said so far…keep reading.

I had a choice. YOU have a choice.  Continue to seek satisfaction from relationship to relationship but always feeling empty after each one ends OR decide you’re done feeling empty and alone by giving your life to Christ. If you have chosen or are choosing to live your life for Christ, I will be the first to testify that it is not a walk in the park.  There are challenges, tragedies and temptations that I never dreamt of facing, but without the grace of God I would be lost beyond measure.  So how does this relate to worth? (I’m getting there!)

have you ever heard someone say, “Sometimes you have to lose some of yourself in order to gain something greater?” If a person would have come up to me and said this statement a couple of years ago, I would have looked at them like they were crazy!  After all, I was doing what I wanted to do.  Satisfying MY needs and desires. I had all the answers and knew exactly what I was doing.   But where was that getting me in life? I know this may sound a little odd to some of you reading this, but the most complete I have ever felt is when I totally lost who I USED to be and became solely dependent on God’s will for my life.  To you young ladies out there who may be seeking your own needs and desires in a relationship, I challenge you to take a long hard look at why you’re really in that relationship.  Is it because you’re scared of being alone? Of no one loving you? Wanting to satisfy your worldly desires? Of wanting to get married? And how is your guy treating you? With respect? With care? I’m not talking about when he feels like treating you nice, I’m talking about everyday and in every situation.  If he’s not treating you for what you’re worth, then tell him goodbye.  But realize you must value your own worth in order for someone else to treat you with worthiness.  And if you’re a guy reading this, I challenge you that before entering into a relationship, really figure out what the desires of your heart are.  Sometimes this can take months or even years to discover what desires God has put on your heart.  If you find a young lady WORTH pursuing, do it with all the right desires and treat her like she deserves. Do nothing out of selfish desires, but with a pure heart.  So I challenge you….what do you need to lose in order to gain this greater plan God has for you?

go back to that place of nakedness.  It doesn’t matter what you look like, how much money you earn, what type of clothes you wear, what type of music you listen to, where you’ve been, how much or how little you’ve accomplished….what matters is how much you’re worth.  So what does worth look like for you?

Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” Romans 12:2

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seeking to find…

Every time I venture out to the west coast it’s always an enlightening experience.  I come back refreshed and with a sense of revival.  this past time was no exception and it inspired me to create this very blog.

As I got to LA, my first stop was in the bathroom where there were two young ladies, probably around my age talking about plastic surgery and what they need to change about their bodies.  I looked at them like they were crazy because they were both beautiful girls already!  As if the wheels weren’t already turning in my head, on my flight from LA to Sacramento this gentleman sat down next to me and he made the 1 hour flight seem like 10 minutes and reassured the reason for me going on this little trip.

A few weeks has past since that trip and nothing has ever been revealed to me more clearly during this time than the struggles young women are facing about their self image, fitting in and finding security within themselves.  In two different instances I had two young girls come up to me asking questions, “Well what if I’ve never had a guy tell me I’m beautiful.  I feel like I need to change this about my appearance” or “I feel like I’m going to be alone forever.  What can I do to change that?”

And in pursuit of these answers, it is so easy to turn what the world displays as acceptable.  Perhaps skip a couple meals here or there to lose a little weight or hang out with that guy even though you know it’s not the right thing to do.  But because everyone else is doing it, why not join in? Right?

Eventually these seemingly mindless changes we make to please others will give way to addictions and habits that must be broken years down the line.  The purpose of this blog is to show all you young ladies that there is more to life than pleasing other people. God made each of us in our unique way so we can share our experiences and struggles with one another, not to insult and pick out our insecurities and weakness and use it against each other. 

If as a young lady you never seek to find a sense of security and beauty within in, all exterior beauty might as well be like chewing gum stuck on the bottom of someone’s shoe.  You’re stuck to the bottom of a shoe of person you don’t even know; so you’re along for the walk but you don’t know where you’re going and no one can see you.  And even worse, with each step you get dirtier.

Is this really different than someone who looks great on the outside but has no true sense of who they TRULY are?

As spring is swinging in to full action, I’ll leave you with this verse:

“I am a rose of Sharon, a lily of the valleys.” Song of Solomon 2:1

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