When Fear Takes Over

When Fear Takes Over

I have always struggled with fear and truthfully thought I had it all under control. But then it came for a long extended visit, without my approval. It came in a totally new form than I’ve ever seen before.

I used to be fearful of situations and anxious about plans and how things will get done. But this uninvited friend has started making its way into my relationships. I have started allowing myself to run down the “What If” path. What if they get hurt, what if I hurt them, what if they hurt me. What if they realize they don’t want my friends anymore, what if they stop caring. What if I mess up and lose them.

I hate this. Because I will talk myself into a hole and bury myself in my own imagination. I have cried the most I have ever cried this year and I think it’s because I am letting fear play a major role in my relationships.

And I’d love to sit here and say that I know how to kick fear from your life but I have no idea, obviously, or else wouldn’t be struggling so much.

But I do want to tell you that the scenarios you think up in your head hold no weight. Don’t trick yourself into thinking that you’re not worth friendship. Don’t allow yourself to run full speed down the “what if” path because it only leads to emotional, physical, and spiritual destruction. It not only affects you, it also affects the people in this relationship with you.

People can tell when you don’t trust them and when you’re putting the relationship on eggshells and tip- toeing around all the time.

I want to be vulnerable and to allow people to get into God-glorifying friendships and relationships with me. So fear needs to mosey on outta here. I have no clue if any of you are seeing this in your own lives but I hope this post can meet you wherever you are. Because no matter what struggle you’re facing right now, you’re not alone.

Fear needs no place in our lives. As Christ followers we have hope… we don’t need fear. I know it’s hard and I know it will take all we have some days. But I’m doing it too, I’m struggling and finding a way out of this trap.

XOXO, The Christian Prepster

 

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Working Out for the Right Reasons

Working Out for the Right Reasons

When I was in elementary school I would work out all the time. I know that sounds super odd because no ten-year-old needs to work out but I just loved the feeling and loved pushing myself.

But then I got to middle school and started working out because I thought I needed it. I needed that extra strength and endurance to win the boys vs. girls daily freeze tag game during recess (Of course). Now I’m totally for wanting to improve yourself and meet the athletic goals you have, but sometimes I find myself working out for the wrong reasons.

I recently read a blog post that mentioned our bodies as a temple and not idols. This was super convicting to me because being healthy is good and encouraged but I never thought you could be idolizing fitness and idolizing yourself.

Now, I by no means have this “not idolizing yourself” thing down, but I am committed to working on it because I don’t want to worship anything except for Jesus Christ.

Working out is a wonderful thing but I just want to make sure we are all doing it for the right, God-glorifying, reasons.

IDENTIFY YOUR WHY//

Before you start working out, just take 5 minutes (maybe even less) to identify why you are working out. That could look like a time of reflection on how God has created you and thanking him for making you just the way you are and for giving you the ability to work out and improve yourself. Or this could be a time when you get refocused and remind yourself that you are awesome just the way you are. God made you beautifully and working out should be a way of worshiping the Lord instead of trying to fix problems you don’t like about yourself.

Give Yourself Grace//

I think another thing to keep in mind when working out is that you are perfect, I’m not perfect, nobody is perfect. The super fit people on Instagram, aren’t perfect either. So why beat yourself up about it?

We’ve all heard the popular saying,

“Comparison is the theief of joy”

It’s so true when dealing with fitness. So let’s just stop allowing it to enter into our lives. The comparison trap is a consciousious choice and every time to allow comparison to happen, we hand over our joy into Satan’s hands.

Find Ways to Worship//

I mentioned this in my last work out post but I want to elaborate on it a little more. I think working out is a gift and a perfect way to glorify God. I love incorporating prayer into my workouts. When I run, I love just looking around and mentally thanking the Lord for his beautiful creation and asking for endurance to run the race he has laid out before me and in my Christian life.

Also when I;m doing exercises and reps of drills, I love listening to Christian workout music. Spotify has a great playlist and I encourage you to make your own as well. These songs help keep my mind and heart focused on Christ and to work out for the glory of God and not myself.

These things may not be easy at first but I know that God will give us strength as we strive to glorify God through our workouts. So keep going and keep pushing yourself both spiritually and physically!

XOXO, The Christian Prepster

Leadership Conference Reflection

Leadership Conference Reflection

I recently went to a leadership conference for the very first time. I have never been encouraged and inspired as much as I was those two days. I left with a notebook full of plans, one-liners, as well as a reignited heart for leadership.

I was able to hear from some of the most loving and impactful Christian leaders and want to share with you some of my personal highlights.

“Respect everyone always.” – Bill Hybels

Kinda sounds elementary but boy does it have a punch. Immediately when I heard this I thought… “Wait, everyone… and always?” Ohhh I don’t do that all the time.  Over the course of the whole conference, this statement had a lot of emphasis. I think the key to being a great leader in our world today is just in caring and loving the people we are leading. You don’t have to be the best speaker or a millionaire to lead. It’s all about love.

“When you’re offered a seat on a rocket, you don’t ask what seat, you just jump on.” – Sheryl Sanberg

I love this one because I think it applies to so many different areas of our lives. For example, When God is at work, I don’t need to be concerned with whether or not I have a big role or how this will affect me. I just need to hop in and enjoy the ride.

“Friends show up for friends… you don’t have to be someone’s best friend from the first grade to show up for them.”- Sheryl Sandberg

If I had to choose one takeaway from this conference, this would be it by far. I have always struggled with loving people like crazy (what God calls us to do) if I am not someone’s bestie. But that line made me realize that I am just making up excuses. I need to be there for people no matter what. Who cares if I only know their name… how do you become close to someone if you aren’t there for them?

I have so much more amazing takeaways that I’m sure will find their way into my future blog posts. But for those of you in a leadership position of any kind,

My challenge to you is to love and love like crazy. You lead out of brokenness and what would you lose from being open and letting people know that their brokenness is welcome?

I love you guys and I pray for you daily! Keep up the great work!

XOXO, The Christian Prepster

Seeking Truth

Seeking Truth

I started getting really insecure. I had this desperate need to hear exactly what the Lord has to say about those areas in my life. It was the first time in my life when nothing else would fill my need. I couldn’t just play some good music and feel better, I couldn’t just go to bed and start fresh the next day… I needed the truth and only the truth.

Maybe it is just a girl thing, but one day I can feel so confident and the next I am just so insecure. I’ve struggled with this for awhile because I so desperately want to be extroverted but some days my introverted-ness just seems to take over. All my fears come back and I slip into this person who needs everyone’s approval.

So I decided to look into what God has to say about this. I found a verse in 2 Corinthians 3 that really spoke to me.

5 “It is not that we are competent in ourselves to claim anything as coming from ourselves, but our adequacy is from God.”

As I wrote before, I was feeling this lack of confidence, like I was inadequate of being the person I felt like I needed to be.

Then it was like this verse just come up out of the blue… really I don’t think I’ve ever seen this verse (maybe it’s a different version or God just hadn’t spoken to me through it before.) Either way, I needed this verse.

I love the first part. How it states that nothing is from us. Nothing competent comes from my humanity.

When I read that first line it took so much weight off my shoulders. It was a reminder that I can’t control everything. God didn’t give me the task of being adequate… that’s all up to Him.

Our confidence, adequacy, and abilities come from God, not ourselves. 

Once I realized that I had to face my confidence problem head on.

If one day I’m confident and the next I can’t find one ounce of self-esteem, then I have a problem in my spiritual walk.

If all of my confidence and adequacy is supposed to be from God then I need to trust that He has it all under control. I need to stop searching for confidence in how I look, how well I perform a task, and how I am handling situations.

Because when I mess up, when I totally and completely fail, the Lord wants me to be confident in the fact that none of those things make my adequate.

Every failure acts as a reminder that those things don’t make me adequate.

The Lord and the Lord alone grant me confidence.

XOXO, The Christian Prepster

Recent Devotionals and Studies

Recent Devotionals and Studies

So I finally have a job… I’ve never really had a consistent job before and let me just tell you, that paycheck is a very nice thing! With said paycheck, I have purchased the She Reads Truth Bible and a brand new devotional that I’m really loving.

I wanted to use this post to tell you about these awesome products as well as share what I’m learning from them.

 

SHE READS TRUTH BIBLE//

I was kind of in a slump. I needed a fresh template, something just a little bit new. I feel bad saying that I was getting bored with reading my Bible but it’s true. I just wasn’t finding that desire to really dig into my study anymore. Luckily it was time for a new Bible so I hopped onto the internet and clicked “Order”.

This Bible is so awesome. For starters it BEAUTIFUL. I know the creative directors of SRT worked very hard on making this Bible beautiful. It also has detailed maps, timelines, and areas of background information (that is easy to understand for those who aren’t Biblical History experts… a.k.a. me :D)

Now, the thing I’ve loved the most is their reading plans and devotionals inside the text. They have laid out ways to deeply study a book of the Bible while offering other verses to help you and SRT devotionals to go along with it.

Right now I am going through my favorite book of all time… Esther. I thought I knew this story like the back of my hand but boy was I wrong. On the first day of the reading plan, I read through Esther 1 which talks about Queen Vashti refusing to attend the king’s party.

That part never really made sense to me. I know that the Bible says that wives are supposed to submit to their husbands and obey them, but I also know that the Bible says to stay true to the Lord and stand up for your dignity.

Esther 1 is where the King calls for his queen because he wants to show off her beauty to the other men attending the party. The SRT devotional talks about both, Vashti the Bad (who disobey’s her husband) and Vashti the brave (the one who stands up for herself).

BROKEN & REDEEMED DEVOTIONAL//

I have never really been an S.O.A.P fan. S.O.A.P is a method of studying the Bible that has you,

S: Scripture (Write out a specific scripture verse or passage)

O: Observations (Write out one or two observations from the text)

A: Application (Write out ways you can apply this to your life)

P: Prayer (Journal a prayer)

But I was in desperate need of a new devotional and decided to give this one a try. I had always found that devotionals with these repetitive methods became boring and were easily rushed through. But, thus far, this has been great for me.

I am only two days in, but I have already seen progress.

The first day started with reading some of Ruth and focusing on Ruth 1:20-21.

20 “Don’t call me Naomi”, she told them. “Call me Mara, because the Almighty has made my life very bitter. 21 I went away full, but the Lord has brought me back empty. Why call me Naomi? The Lord has afflicted me; the Almighty has brought misfortune upon me.”

This challenged me to recall the times in my life when I felt broken and like the Lord had abandoned me. But then, in Ruth, we see that Naomi was never alone… she had her daughter- in -law, Ruth.

The Broken and Redeemed devotional is an easy, in depth study, that I can already tell, is making serious changes in my heart.

I am happy to say that the slump I was in concerning my spiritual walk has been thrown out of the window. If you find yourself in a dry season, I encourage you to find a creative way to encounter God. It can make all the difference.

XOXO, The Christian Prepster

 

Dear Work of Art

Dear Work of Art

 

Dear Work of Art,

I know sometimes you don’t feel like a masterpiece. Some days you just roll out of bed and make do with what you’ve got that day. You quickly peak in the mirror and decided you must leave because there is nothing else you can do.

I know this feeling, the feeling of, “I am not good enough… I can’t even do a ponytail correctly this morning.” Then we see this,

“For we are God’s masterpiece  He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.” Ephesians 2:10

 Why is it so hard for us to believe this? Why can’t we just see the beautiful children our Heavenly father delights in, every time we look in the mirror?

I know sometimes we can’t see it but I need you to do something for me. I need you to try. Give yourself grace and realize that you’re perfect just the way you are.

God didn’t say you were His masterpiece just to say it… He actually meant it. He designed every little part of you and He is proud of you.

When he sees your messy hair and sleepy face, he smiles. When he sees you trying to juggle all of your responsibilities, he reminds you that he is always here for you.

You are his creation and He is proud to call you his.

So work of art, I’m sorry if you can’t see that sometimes, but I’ll always be here to remind you of that and so will the master artist.

XOXO, The Christian Prepster 

 

Fully Known & Fully Loved

Fully Known & Fully Loved

“Fully known and fully loved. “

What a profound statement. I believe it’s so hard for me to accept that I am fully known and fully loved because I haven’t experienced that kind of love before.

I’ve experienced the earthly love from family, friends, and loved ones but that love isn’t what’s being talked about here. This fully known love is so much deeper.

When I attempt to grasp the meaning I start asking these questions, What does it mean to be fully known… and how can someone be fully known?

I remember when I was a little kid and first realized that God knew everything. I was astonished to hear that He was aware of my thoughts and everything I did. That realization was scary at first but then transitioned to a sense of comfort. I then knew that I would never be alone, I would always have someone by my side to talk to.

That’s what I think it means to be fully known. Because God created every single cell in our bodies and delights in us, He knows our hopes, dreams, and fears. He cheers us on as we work for those goals and takes a hold of our hands as we conquer our fears.

That also means He sees our sins and our slip ups. He sees when we give into temptation or pass by a hurting soul without saying a word.

But here is where the next part comes in… Fully loved.

Even with seeing all of our bad and all of our mess, He still loves us, more than anybody else. He has a sweet spot in His heart for you. he loves YOU so much He gave up His life for YOU.

That is what being fully known and fully loved looks like. Having a heavenly father who loves you in your darkness as well as in your light.

The crazy thing is that His love for you will never fade away. He is a, “no strings attached” love that isn’t going anywhere… no matter what.

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More wallpapers can be found here!

XOXO, The Christian Prpester