Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Dear Fear

Hello again. Its been awhile since I'd last seen you and I was really enjoying that apart time. I thought I had gotten rid of you but slowly you began to creep back into my life. I tried to ignore you but you didn't want to be ignored. You kept on pestering me and bugging me until now I have felt the need to write you this letter. Let's start with our history shall we? I remember the night I felt the most terrified. It was awful. Never had I ever experienced that sort of fear; it gripped me and pulled me and I broke down in tears that night. Funny enough that ended up being the best day of my life. That was the night I met my Savior. What you intended for harm, God used for good. I remember being young and you were always there. One night I caught a few scenes of a movie I shouldn't have and you swept in right away, seizing the opportunity. I can recall how you would come most nights and I was too young to push you away. For years those few scenes dominated me; I had nightmares and from that and I was stripped of a love for a beautiful creature because of the twist you put to them.

   Even to this day you continue to follow me. Everything I see on the news, every dark and cloudy day, things people say, songs, movies, a thought; you come in. You torment me. You make me lay in bed and dwell in that state; utterly paralyzed. On my very first day at camp you came in and I couldn't think straight. But I'm older now, I don't fall for the same tricks anymore and I've learned a few myself. I ran to my leader and I cried and told her all about you and our messed up past. That was the day I decided that I didn't need you anymore. I didn't want this for myself. I got fed up with you. You took my life and now I want it back. That was a rough week for me; because the more I fought you the more you fought back. We struggled all week but finally towards the end I talked to my leader again and said it was done; you needed to go. She gave me ways to conquer you and get rid of you. She also told me that I would have days like this; of course I would slip back to you but when those days came, I needed to get right back up and not continue in it. So in the words of Barlowgirl I say to you, "I'm so done listening to you, its time for you to go. I refuse to give one more day to you...No more wasting my life on this worlds addictions. Its time for me to take you to find your place. I am letting go."

   I don't need you anymore. You don't own me. I am owned by the God of the universe, He holds everything in His hands and He holds me and my future and the entire world. I have nothing to be afraid of. So on the days I feel weak and the days I feel like I am a slave to you, I will remember that Christ has set me free. He came to give me abundant life, not a life lived in fear. When I feel burdened by you I will give that burden to Him and I know that He will give me rest. (Matthew 11:28-30) I have my weapon to fight with. I have my bible and book of promises. Your lies mean nothing to me because I have discovered God's truth. Let me share with you some lyrics to a song I would like to dedicate to you. Fly On The Wall by Thousand Foot Krutch.

   "I'm on the run from a thief I've let into my head. I know I hold the key so don't be scared when I turn and shout 'I don't think I need you anymore! Take your words and your lies and just beat it! I don't think I need you anymore! Take the hurt and the pain, I don't need it! I want to live I want to be the change. We can all be kings and queens if we can just learn to believe."

   So this is a goodbye letter. Try not to miss me too much ok? "Go ahead, you're never gonna take me. You can bend but you're never gonna break me. I was yours, I'm not yours anymore. You.don't.own.me." That was from Dear X, You Don't Own Me. It was a good run, but I'm over it now. I know I have the strength of God flowing in my very veins, so now I'm going to show you what real fear is. I am free and I will rejoice. I know I am a conqueror, (Romans 8:37) so prepare to be conquered. I know why you've followed me all these years; you were acting in fear. You knew that if I knew just what I was capable of, I would be unstoppable. Well I figured it out. I know it must be hard to be you; you're nothing but a tool of the devil. He sent you to try and keep me from reaching my full potential. Ha, even the devil is scared of me. Too bad I figured you out. It really was a good plan; try and keep me afraid and curled up in a tiny ball on my bedroom floor my whole life, petrified by fear. It almost worked too. But God came and showed me something. He showed me your schemes and tricks and I realized that I could rise above it. You tried with every ounce of your being to attempt to keep me from seeing the truth but I would like to be the first one to tell you that you have failed miserably. And guess what? Its not going to stop with me. In a few minutes this very letter is going to be posted on my blog and shared with hundreds of people. And it won't even stop there. Because I'm going to expose you and your lies and help to free all of the other people you've held under your captivity.

   So to sum it all up: suck it, Fear.

      -God's Princess Faith.

Monday, August 19, 2013

A Lovely Weekend

So on Friday I went out to my aunts lake house with two of my sisters to spend the night there. Let me just say that it was gorgeous out there! I loved just sitting out on the pier and listening to the waves crash up against the beach. I also got to ride out on a boat and I was allowed to drive it! That was super fun. It was such a relaxing place to just feel God and listen to Him which I really needed. On Friday night we also went and saw a movie in the park; they were showing Finding Nemo.

You can't really tell but there was a rainbow outside of my house the other day. 

This is my aunts lake house!:)

   I took Ben (my new camera) and was able to take a lot of fun pictures while I was there, and it was the perfect place to do it! It was a beautiful day and the sun was shining bright and there was a nice breeze. It couldn't have been more perfect. After I got back from that little vacation I headed straight to my brothers best friends graduation/birthday/going away to college party. That was also fun.


   On Sunday I biked to church in the morning and Lassie (my bike) actually broke on the way there but luckily I was able to fix him up and finish the ride there. The sermon was good as our pastor wrapped up his series on Ecclesiastes. After that my friend and I biked down to the mall where we met up with another friend of ours. We basically had the best day ever. God really blessed me in more ways than I could write in this post. It brought me to tears last night simply because of the tremendous amount of joy I had in me. I am so excited to see where He's leading me. Yes, I am really nervous and stressed about school but right now I'm ignoring that to focus on the good things. Its so crazy because I never could have planned any of this for myself. And none of this took God by surprise; He knew this years ago back when I was still convinced I knew where my life was going. But His plans are so much greater than mine and for that I am thankful.

   Now, another exciting thing that happened this week is....my brother has a girlfriend:) I just have to tease them about it on here because I know she reads my blog. (Hi Darby!) He is going away to college on Friday so that's going to be really hard for me and my family, I'm going to miss talking to him and getting advice from him. Seriously I have no idea how I'm supposed to know what to do without him.

Shane and Darby!





   So yeah! My youth group had a challenge meeting for students who want to help shape the group and step up and lead. Other than that I've been struggling with writing posts for my ministry website and trying to get more publicity for that. But I have felt God using me in a few ways and for once when He called me to do something, I didn't back down. Sorry its all vague; maybe soon I'll share more. But for now, that is all. God is so good.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Catalyst

I thought that I would only need to do one quick post about love to just kind of sum up 1 Corinthians 13 and then be done. But as it turns out, God is continuing to teach me about love and so of course, blogging helps me to organize my thoughts so once again the topic will be about love. I mentioned last time in my post 'Love Is...' that 1 Corinthians 13 had been on my mind a lot and I wanted to learn how to love someone, not just in a romantic way, but as a sister in the body of Christ, so when I wrote that post it was more about brotherly love. But today I want to lean more to the side of romantic love.

   I've been praying and asking God for a ton of wisdom when it comes to my relationships lately because it seems like I'm in one giant mess with my friends. It's a crazy situation; and to make that even crazier...well, there's a guy involved. So I've been asking God how to proceed in terms of my friendship with this guy and last night He really spoke to my via my older brother. Now Shane has said that I'm not allowed to date previously mentioned guy and since I would expect any guy to ask my brother to get permission to date me first, I was a bit worried as to why he would say that. Last night I finally asked him about it and his answer left me with a ton of things to think and pray about.

   "A catalyst." He told me. Of course I had no idea what he was talking about so he had to elaborate more. "Say you have two elements that don't react together at all, but then you insert something there that works as a catalyst, and it makes the elements react and in some cases, blow up." I didn't see how that had to do with me and my guy friend but he continued. He explained that we (me and my friend.) both have the same fatal flaw. Anger. He pointed out to me that when I get angry, I fight. I love to argue. My friend also has that same tendency. So what happens when we both get angry? I've had to talk to him before when he was upset, but I was calm. What were to happen if we were both upset about something? There was that part of me that wanted to say that of course I would push my wants aside for someone else, but I was forced to get real with myself. Would I actually give up what I wanted?

   Its so easy to say that you would be able to give up anything for someone because you love them. But would you? Sure you can say that now when you're just a silly teenager who's falling head over heels for a guy and when he smiles at you and your heart races and you want to just be with him forever because he sent you a good morning text. You swear you would give up the world for him. But would you still think that when you're trying to clean up the house and all he's doing is watching TV? What about when he wants the air conditioning on but you want to keep the windows open? And of course that day when you have a giant argument because the bills need to get paid and no one knows where the money has gone so when you lay down in bed at night and don't face each other or say anything at all because you just want him to listen to you for once. Can you still give up your way for him? Even when he's not doing the same for you.

   I'm finding out that that's what love is. Love isn't a feeling. We like to think it is, but it isn't. Because in marriage, you won't always feel like loving your spouse. Love is a choice. It's choosing to say "I care more about our relationship than whatever it is we're arguing about." You won't have those butterflies in your stomach when he accidentally threw away something of value to you, but love is when you bite your tongue and don't yell at him for it, because you love him more than the object he threw away.

   Shane pointed out a fatal flaw of mine with the potential to ruin my friendship with someone I care very much about. After he pointed this out I began to notice the ways in which this flaw of mine has started to corrupt other relationships of mine. I realized that I often let my selfish ambitions trump my love for my friends and I am way too quick to anger which completely goes against what the bible tells me to do in James 1:19-20. "But each one of you must be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to become angry. For the anger of men does not achieve the righteousness of God." That's a verse I am going to be thinking very hard about and keeping in mind a lot. I have asked God to help me with my little "catalyst" problem so that means I'm probably going to have people annoying me up and down this week and I'll be tempted to yell a whole lot. I read James this morning and a lot of the verses stuck out to me about taming the tongue and other such things. In the beginning hand last night.it says that if you ask God for wisdom, He'll give it to you. I experienced that first hand last night

   I hope this gave you something to think about. What is your "fatal flaw?" Ask God to reveal it to you and give you guidance as of how to overcome it.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Shots From New Camera!

If you Like my blog on Facebook or follow me on Twitter than you probably heard that I recently got a new camera. (And if you didn't know that then you should follow/like them. Check out my Contact Me page!) Ben is my new Nikon Coolpix L120. This is the nicest camera I've ever had and even though its not perfect I am blown away by it! Money is something I rarely have but lately God has blessed me with enough of it to buy the camera I've been saving up to get. I haven't really gotten a chance to go out and take many pictures because I've literally taken pictures of everything around my house already and since I don't have a camera bag yet, I can't take it anywhere. And my family doesn't have a car so I bike or bus everywhere...yeah I can't take my camera with me for those trips. But here are just some shots I took the past few days. I'm still trying to learn about the camera and adjust to it and all that, since I've never had a camera like this before so there are all these news fun settings to mess around with. And I realized I overused to word 'camera' in this post but whatever! Enjoy the pictures! Tell me what you think!









I can't wait to see how my photography skills will develop now that I have a better camera. But I also remembered that I have a few other pictures that I took with Lucy (My Kodak camera.) that I want to share with you just because. And if this works out correctly, a video from the twenty one pilots concert.



video

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Love Is...

Once upon a time I started a blog series called 'What Is Love?' and I was going to blog each day/week/whenever about each description of love from 1 Corinthians. Of course, that failed. But lately that passage has really been in my head. I started thinking about it because I have a friend who whenever she gets in a play argument with someone will say to herself "Love is patient, love is kind. Love is patient, love is kind." Just to joke around. But I really thought about that and thats actually a really good idea. So God has put that in my head a lot. Whenever I get angry or fed up with someone I'll start to go over what the bible says love is. I've really been learning a lot from that passage in many different ways and I want to go over them with you. I had wanted to do it as a blog series in case it got long but oh well.

   One angle I've been looking at it from is this: When someone is getting on my last nerve whether it be my siblings or a friend or whoever, I'll remind myself that love is patient and kind. And another angle is this: I want to be able to love someone that way some day, as in, a romantic love. One day I want to be able to love my husband with that sort of love; to be patient and kind and not arrogant. So in practicing this now I am preparing myself for the future. Today I wrote out these verses twice, just to make them stick. I've had a lot going on with my friends the best few months so this is really good stuff to keep in mind. I've been trying to see how I can practice each attribute of love in the situations I have with my friends.

   Love is patient. That's the first one and it might be the hardest; because lets be honest, who likes waiting? It can be very hard to do but its what we are called to do.

Love is also kind. Sure that seems fairly easy, but what about when your friend is being less than kind to you? How can you demonstrate kindness to them even when it isn't mutual?

Love isn't jealous. This is a very tricky one for me and its the one that really sticks out to me. I can say without a doubt in my mind that I love my friends, but I am such a jealous person. So do I really love my friends the way Christ wants me to?

Love doesn't brag and isn't arrogant. Have you ever just wanted to shove something in someones face to stinkin bad? Because I know I have. Like, HA! Sucks to suck! I can really be a jerk at times. But why would I want to brag to someone I love? Is that something that Jesus would do? Heck no.

Love doesn't act unbecomingly. Or a different translation says "dishonor others." I really thought hard about those words the other day. It doesn't act unbecomingly. That means it is always in check and doesn't act out of line. It is respectful and treats others well. That means love isn't "wild" or "crazy" as the world likes to tell us, in fact, its quite the opposite. Love is kept in check,

Love doesn't seek its own. This one....you see, I'm also really selfish. The first thing that pops into my head during a situation is "How does this benefit me?" and if it doesn't benefit me, then what's the point, right? Well obviously my flesh is wrong and its then that I need to let the Holy Spirit guide me. I've been really praying for a renewing of my mind because I want the first thing I think of to be "How can I help someone else, even if it means giving up what I want."

Love is not provoked. Or "is not easily angered." That can also go hand in hand with patience. That means listening to others and not throwing out your opinion whenever you have one and biting your tongue to not let hurtful words come out.

Love doesn't take into account a wrong suffered. Love keeps no track record. Real love, the love Christ wants us to use, doesn't say "Well remember that one time when you..." No. God doesn't look at us and say "Well you sinned X amount of times today so..." That means we shouldn't do the same with our friends or significant others or our family. Don't hold grudges.

Love doesn't rejoice in unrighteousness, but in truth. Don't envy wicked people, don't praise sin or lift up unholiness. Rejoice in truth; God's truth.

Bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Hard, huh? Can you bear all things? Can you hope in the best, even in the worst? Can you endure even the worst of situations instead of walking out? This is where I think of romantic love. One day I want to have the kind of love that will believe no matter what situation my husband and I find ourselves in. I want our hope to be in the Lord. I can only pray that the man God has for me is learning that same lesson now.

Love never fails. My brother did an amazing talk about these verses at youth group one night last year and it left us all in tears. He talked about how can people believe all that this chapter says about love because we experience the opposite. Marriages fall apart all the time, relationships crumble, and friends drift away. But yet the bible's truth still stands. Love never fails. The love God has for us never fails. Of course, we're human and we fail, but the love we should strive for is this never ending, patient, unprovoked, love. My dad left my family. I remember asking him all the time about the day he met my mom and I adored hearing that story and I always wanted a husband who would tell his kids all about how he met me with a smile on his face and a light in his eyes. After all that happened with my dad my faith in love was a bit shaken. But I still believe in all that the bible says. Love is scary, it takes faith and it requires great risk. Love means putting your heart out on the line and taking a chance knowing you could get hurt.



   One day I want to be able to love someone in this way. I hope God has set this desire in his heart as well to love me in this way. But right now I get the honor of practicing this with friends and family and learning to be the bestest friend I can be. And that means not smacking someone with a brick, even when it seems like a good idea, and choosing to love them.


Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Identity Crisis

Have you ever started watching a new TV show and you begin to tell everyone about and they think you're crazy because no one has ever even heard of it before, but then you wake up one morning and its everywhere you turn and its popularity has dramatically jumped through the roof? If you've ever experienced this then you probably know that feeling you get afterwards. That "I liked it before it was cool..." feeling. Suddenly you're no longer unique in that way. You look like just another crazed fan wanting to fit in with the crowd.

   See, at my church I'm known as the girl who loves Star Wars. Really, everywhere I go people just know me as the one who's obsessed with Star Wars. That's who I am. But recently I've gotten a few other people to share my passion. Sure, I love that! I really do. But now the one thing that made me different from the others is gone. I don't stand out in that way anymore. That has really bothered me lately; but it also taught me something. I've been finding my identity in that. I let this thing, as beautiful as it is, determine who I was. God gave me this passion to use for Him but lately it hasn't been supporting me.

   The danger of finding your identity in something of this world, something feeble and unstable, is that it can be stolen.

   I want to emphasize that point. If we let ourselves be found in worldly things then those things can be easily taken from us. That's why it is essential that we find ourselves in Christ and in Him alone. Because if we build our whole beings around something and then it gets stolen, we're left with nothing. It will strip us of everything we are and we will be left broken, hurt, and alone. God is our firm foundation. When we find our identity in Him then we are finding ourselves in something that can't be shaken nor stolen. He is God.

   Lately God has really been teaching me to find my identity in Him and to love myself because He created me. I am not beautiful because of how I look; not because I have blonde hair or seemingly nice brown eyes, but because I have God's fingerprints all over me. I am His handiwork. I am unique; not because I'm the most knowledgeable Star Wars fan in my community, but because I was created differently. I was created to be different from everyone else. Like snowflakes, each one of us is unique.

   Is there something that you've been finding your identity in that isn't God? Maybe its time for a little bit of reflection and self examination.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

My Amazing Week

Hey guys! So today is an amazing day for Princess Faith because.......I reached 40 followers!!!! I'm sure all of you people with hundreds are probably like "Whateverrrrr" but I'm excited! Because I'm almost to 50! I didn't think I'd ever make it that high! But I did! All by God's amazing grace. So this is really just the cherry on top of a perfect week for me! Honestly, this week was fantastic. Alright, prepare to hear all about it.

   I guess we'll start off last Saturday when I got to visit some friends up at the camp I just got back from. I got to go with another friend of mine and say hi to people and really just walk around and enjoy the fresh air and the beauty of it all. I really enjoyed that. Then on Sunday I had church which I always enjoy and that night I got to watch Mean Girls with my older brother. On Monday that same brother and I got to meet up with our youth leaders like we do every week but this week my best friend was also there as well as my youth leaders daughter. The girls met to discuss my ministry that I run with my best friend, Diana. (To learn about that click the ministry tap up top.) Our youth leaders daughter, Sarah, has worked in the field that we want to go into some day so she was able to help us a ton and that was very encouraging to hear from her. On Tuesday I got a letter from my friend who's at camp and I wasn't expecting it so that made my day. Wednesday I biked to my friends house and got to talk to her for a bit, she's been at camp for a few weeks so that was cool. After that I biked to Diana's house and we did RAIM stuff and watched SHARKNADO!!!!! So then on Thursday I biked to her house again for bible study and we got to talk a lot and we walked to the Walmart that we didn't know was a few blocks from her house.

   Friday. So.....my sister won tickets to go see a private twenty one pilots concert....so on Friday we got VIP tickets to a private concert and meet-and-greet. Plus we got free signed pictures. I basically died. You don't even understand how happy I was...I'm still smiling. I'm obsessed. Seriously though. They were freaky nice! I wore my "Jesus shirt" (its just a shirt that I own that says 'Jesus' on it.) and they said they liked it and they were really chill and awesome and....yeah....I'm so happy:) I had such an incredible time. Their music is so deep and I've been listening to them every day because they make me so happy.

   Ok I'm done with my twenty one pilots rant. Now, on Saturday I went up to camp again and this time I stayed there allllll day. I had the best day ever. (well, second best. Because Friday was my favorite.) I got to see all my friends and we hung out by the lake and talked. My two little brothers are also there because they're staying the week. Noah is actually in the cabin that I stayed in when I went up, and his leader is a guy I know from camp. Yeah. We also got to go and get frozen custard from this place that all the camp kids love. We also got pictures of my best friend inside a dryer. (She's short...) And today was church and a lady I know gave me a card that made me cry and I went out with friends. We went to Guitar Center and drooled over all the amazing guitars. I actually pretended to play a few of them. I also realized that I really want a ukulele.

   So yeah. My week. Sorry if that was long/boring. But I really had an amazing week. Now I'm just taking it easy and listening to twenty one pilots because seriously I love them so much. How was your week? What did you do? What is one little thing that made you smile?