Bridging the Gap

Bridging the Gap

Summer is one of my most favorite times of the year. I love the ability to just rest and enjoy the nice weather without the stress of school. But there is something I find myself falling into a lot during these summer months… summer stress.

I love being busy and having things to do, so when I have free time, it doesn’t stay free very long. Which is great but I have to make sure I don’t run myself too hard and forget to enjoy this time I’m blessed with.

I wanted to share a few ways I’m able to keep my mental sanity when the summer fun starts taking a toll on me. Now I am not an expert at this by any means… I have my break downs and stressful days. But I’m learning how to recover better and bridge the gap between summer fun and stress less living. Because summer is a great time to pour into our Christ family as well as nonbelievers. We need to be on our A game in order to love others well, at least I do.

For me, that starts with a great night’s sleep. I know that seems odd and out of place but it’s so true. I can tell what kind of day I’m going to have if I didn’t sleep well (hint… it’s not a great one).  I need to be well rested in order to be upbeat.

Now this next part is crucial for overcoming summer stress… so focus in!

I’ve got to read my Bible first thing in the morning. I need to start overcoming my pride and selfish desires right when my feet hit the ground. It’s a daily fight and I don’t have anytime to waste. This is the time where my heart gets to rest, when my mind is able to stop and just delight in my sweet Jesus. I know I am held and loved by Him and those facts allow me to then love others.

Once I have those things covered, I jump back into the business, into the summer fun, and into the blessing of another day. For me, bridging the gap between summer fun and holy rest can be difficult when I’m not intentional with my time.

This past weekend my family went on a weekend trip to see my sister, and I totally failed at this “Bridging the Gap” thing. Here’s how it went down…

We arrived back at our house at 2:45 A.M. I was unable to sleep on the plane so I was exhausted… I threw my packed bag on the ground (managed to take my makeup off.. score!) and fell right into bed (notice there was no alarm setting… 😦 )

My amazing friend and I were going to meet to take pictures for my blog at 10:30, I had a meeting at 1:45 and then work that night. So I knew I needed a good nights rest for my busy day.

Then I awoke from my deep slumber… AT 10:25?!?! Looks like I forgot to set my alarm while  I was frantically getting ready for bed at 2:45 in the morning… ugh.

I rushed over to the shoot and my found my friend with a nice cold Startbucks drink for me. It’s as if she knew how rough of a morning I was having. God works in mighty ways friends… mighty mighty ways!

The rest of the day went a little better (besides getting gasoline all over my shoes… I’ll spare you the details, it was embarrassing.) But I can’t help but chuckle as I write this post because some days you just aren’t put together. But if you can get a little Jesus time and some sleep in, I can promise your day will be better.

It’s all about bridging the gap… being able to transfer from fun to work and vise versa without dropping all of the moving parts we need to function.

So from one mess to another, keep fighting and hang in there. Do the things tonight that you’ll be thankful for tomorrow.

I’m praying for you guys!

XOXO, The Christian Prepster

 

 

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Summer List: Reading, Leading, and observing

Summer List: Reading, Leading, and observing

 

Hello! I hope you are all having a wonderful summer! I was looking through my blog and realized that it has been like 7 months since I published a recommendation list. So if these posts aren’t your “cup of tea” just bear with me until the end!

//READING//

I’ve grown into a HUGE reader in the past few years and am kinda drowning in a pool of amazing books and not enough time to read all of them. However, the ones I have made time to read have been life changing.

UNINVITED by Lysa Terkeurst-

Uninvited is a book about feeling less than and unloved. I would 10 out of 10 recommend this to every single girl, no matter what stage of life you are in. As girls I think we always struggle with the feelings of loneliness and like we aren’t good enough. But man, my girl Lysa terkeurst just punches those feelings right in the face. This is a super easy read with amazing biblical insight.

YOUNG AND BEARDLESS by John Luke Robertson-

I have been obsessing over this book for the past year. I have already done a full length review over John Luke’s book but have decided to read it for a third time this summer. It is just packed full of amazing insight and I fear, no matter how many times I read it, I will always need to read it again.

Now just one classic 😀

FRANKENSTEIN by Mary Shelley-

I took a Sci-Fi reading and writing class this year and the last few weeks of school my group decided to read Frankenstein. I was a little hesitant at first but really enjoyed the story. Now I know Sci-Fi is most defiantly not for everyone but if you are into classical literature and are interested in a larger literature library, this is a great book that will ease you into the world of Sci-Fi.

//LEADING//

This past year I helped lead a Sunday school class at my church, and the  month of July is my little break from teaching. And during this time I am hoping to reflect on what I’ve learned about leading as well as what I’ve learned about myself.

The first thing that comes to mind was a lesson I was taught every single week. Leading is not always easy. Sometimes kids will throw a cup at your head (yes this happened and the kid did not do it on purpose… or at least that’s what he said :D) Sometimes the point or lesson you are trying to get across juts wont land the way you wanted it to.

But let me tell you something, the way God wanted that lesson to be heard is the way it will be heard. There is nothing you can do to mess with God’s plan, and that is included with leading. God has you in a leadership position for a reason. That was the biggest lesson I learned. That I matter, my appearance and presence in the class (even if I am just filling up water cups for snack time) is part of God’s plan for me and the kids I am teaching.

I also was reminded that leading happens outside of the classroom. It was like everywhere I went I saw one of those cute little kids from my Sunday school class. That challenged my character as well as my shyness. I am not a person who loves to approach someone and start a conversation just out of the blue (unless the Holy Spirit just takes over me, which happens a lot haha). But those cute little kids would run right up to me and give me a big hug. And that challenged me and pushed me to be more willing to make someones day even if it put me in an uncomfortable situation.

//OBSERVING//

PEOPLE’S NEEDS-

I have been trying to train myself to be more “others focused” and have learned a bunch already. I’ve seen that people just need to know you care for them. They need to look you in the eyes and hear you ask about them and their well being. Once you have that, you then need to show them through your actions, how much they mean to you. That may be through a small act of kindness, or even obeying them even when it’s really hard. It will take prayer and lots of it. But the God you’ll be talking to is a pro at caring for people. He will give you the strength… I have no doubt about that.

GOD’S MOVEMENT-

I know that God is busy moving and changing the hearts of people right now. It is so evident and I love it. One bug thing I have seen recently is that, as followers, we are getting better at praising Jesus in the midst of the storms. I think we are slowly being able to come to God with our broken hearts and confusion and still lift our hands up to him. And that is something so wonderful.

So keep up the praise people!

I hope you all have a great week. I challenge you to pick up a book and allow the words to speak to your life. Keep reading, leading, and observing. I’m praying for you guys!

XOXO, The Christian Prepster

 

 

Living Chosen 

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This past week I attended Winter Jam for the first time and it was so wonderful. I left changed and inspired… so a pretty successful event. Many of the artist and speakers talked about fear and how fear is a lie that hinders us from fully following the Lord. After some deep talks with some people I really love and some Bible study time, I have some news to share with you all this fine Wednesday morning.I have struggled with fear my whole life. I have been scared of letting people down and letting myself down.

Unfortunately I still struggle with fear but I have seen some serious progress in myself which is great. With fear being my biggest struggle, I am always on the lookout for new verses or songs to help me and last week at Winter Jam, multiple speakers referenced Isaiah 41. Surprisingly, I totally forgot about Isaiah 41 but when I got home (super late I may add) I broke open my Bible and started reading God’s truth. I encourage you to take a break from my words and read through Isaiah 41 right now.

This passage starts out so well. We are told to “Listen to Me in silence”. What a great way to start encountering Christ. When I first read verse one, this is what happened in my head,

“Shhh mind, shhhh voice, shhh soul…. Just SHHHHH”

Before I even began to hear what the Lord says about fear, I need to quiet myself. I need to silence my thoughts, insecurities, and my heart. The only way for God to do some major heart work is for me to be majorly humble before him.

As I continued on through Isaiah 41, verses 9 & 10 caught my eye. I love how, in verse 9, it says,

“I have chosen you and not rejected you.”

I think that we sometimes mix up being chosen by God with our feeling of being rejected. This goes hand in hand with my crazy annoying fear problem. Recently I have obtained this need to feel loved and accepted by other people and that’s why I think this verse hit my heart so terribly hard. The Lord has chosen me yet when I look around my life, I just see the rejection from others. And truthfully, I sometimes I think I need that acceptance from people. I feel this need to be chosen by them.

But then we come across verses like verse 9. Which say that the king of kings and Lord of lords has chosen me. And it’s in those moments that my need to feel loved and accepted is cast to the side because I have been chosen. Even though I may not feel chosen all the time, I know that I am.

Then we hop down to verse 10 which says,
“Do not fear, for I am with you; Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you. Surely I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”
I’m just going to take a moment and say that I seriously believe that this passage was written for me (lol). Because my goodness… this hits on my two biggest struggles. Two verses that just totally shake my world.

I love how the Lord uses reassurance to speak to the deepest parts of our hearts. He knows what scares us and stresses us out so he purposely gives us these little, power packed, verses to help us handle those hard situations.

 

XOXO, The Christian Prepster  

Becoming Set Free 

Becoming Set Free 

I would be lying if I told you that it’s a “breeze” not to grasp onto things we’ve already let go of. I am so good at saying I’m done being defined by some sin or that I am no longer under the management of myself but then the next day I go back on that statement. It’s so stupid.
I believe that we all have or will struggle with leaving things at the cross for the Lord to hold and fix.

But please hear me when I say that you need to do everything in your power to keep the things you’ve surrendered to God, in the hands of God.

You were never created to carry this heavy load alone. Truthfully you were not created to carry this load at all. The only one powerful enough to carry your load is Christ himself.
I wonder why freedom so hard to accept. Christ died for me and has given me freedom yet I still think that being enslaved by things is okay. I want to encourage you today and let you know that you can be free, you can overcome the things holding you back, and you can live a life in freedom.

“For you, brethren, were indeed called to freedom and have been called through love to serve one another.” -Galatians 5:13

I love how the word “called” is used in Galatians 5:13. My goal in life is to fearlessly accept the call Christ has placed on my life. But what if the call He has placed on my life is to live in freedom?

Truthfully, that is a huge call. Living free means not allowing this world to overtake you and stress you out. Freedom means the ability to move and live without fear of what may happen. 

I believe that the Lord is calling all of us to freedom. He so desires for us to live a life that is free of worry and fear. When our life mirrors that, we then can fully fall into the arms of the one true God.

Freedom is not easy to find… when you are looking in the wrong places. Open your Bible and spend sometime in prayer asking the Lord to give you lasting freedom from the things you are enslaved by. I can guarantee you will find the freedom you desire.

XOXO, The Christian Prepster