The Urgency of Loving Your City

The Urgency of Loving Your City

I have moved around a lot and have honestly loved every place we’ve moved. Now, moving is a strange thing. Because you basically start all over. You know nobody and no one knows you. It’s both beautiful and terrible at the same time.

This last move has been so different though. I moved from a bigger city to a small town. I moved from a college town with huge schools and many options to a town with one high school and about three places to eat.

And I LOVE it. I have never loved a city so much. I have learned about fellowship and community and have so many great memories here.

It took awhile to get to this place. At first, I hated not being able to just go get Chick-fil-A whenever I wanted. I missed my friends (and I still do). I missed my school and my church and all of the good things I would miss out on.

I, so desperately, wanted to just stay home with the only people who knew me (my family) and just wallow in my depression. Moving is hard.

But I had to make the decision to like it here, I had to get up, I had to get involved, and I’m so glad I did.

The moment I started getting intentional with this city and starting seeing these relationships as ones that will last a lifetime and not ones that will just fill a blank space until I moved back to my real home, that’s when I started to love this place with all of who I am.

I’m telling you guys all of this because I need to get a point across. God places people in cities for a reason. It’s not a coincidence that you’re in the city you are in. You work where you work for a reason.

The cities we are in are not here to please us and make our lives easy peasy… We are in those cities to love the people and make their lives easier.

We can’t take this lightly. I’m thankful that the Lord has given me an urgency with this. Because I don’t know how much time I have left in this city. College is coming faster each day and I will eventually be forced to leave (which will be good because I’ll go to another city and love all of the evil out of it).

So I’m living life with a ticking clock, we all are. The time you have in your city is limited… so love it up!

Take the time to pray for your city and to pray for change in the hearts of the people around you (including yourself because we all can use some serious heart change).

I’ll be doing the exact same thing for my city.

XOXO, The Christian Prepster   

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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

 

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

Overcoming Worry Problems (Guest Post)

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I have an amazing blogger friend who I’ve known for a couple of years. We both started blogging around the same time and I’m happy too say that we are both still going strong.

In my blogging journey, I have had many “worry moments”. I worry when I accidentally hit publish when I meant to hit save. I worry when I have major typos and (seemly earth shattering) grammatical errors.

Now, my struggle with worrying doesn’t just come from blogging… it comes from my heart and thus appears in every aspect of my life. When I have a worry problem, I have a God problem.

If you have those same problems with worry… I encourage you to take a look at what my friend has to say.

Don’t Worry- The Literary Artist

We worry a lot as human beings. We worry about things we cannot control. We worry about things that are weeks, months, even years from now! And while worry is in our human nature, worry is not a characteristic of someone who has faith and trusts God to do what He is doing.
We think that we have to do something because our human minds don’t think God has it all under control sometimes. But He does! The One who is giving you breath to live in this moment, right now, knows EXACTLY what He’s doing. He has a plan and a purpose for your life, a path that has been planned since before you were formed in your mother’s womb.
I was listening to a YouTube sermon the other night as I was doing my hair. It was about being a friend of God. And the pastor said something that made me stop and think about my life and the anxiety and worry floating all around in my overthinking-prone brain. He said worry was a sign that you aren’t a friend of God. Because worry shows that you don’t have trust. And if you don’t trust in the Almighty God and have that relationship with Him, how can you be His friend?

Jesus tells us in Matthew 6:25,

“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear, ls not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes?”

So while I know we are still in summer, as we come upon a brand-new school year, and we experience new things and classes, may we remember that we have no need to worry. The Creator of the universe has it all under control.

God bless 

Community

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I am a huge pinterest person and recently have loved little inspirational quotes. I was scrolling through my boards and saw that picture. It’s so true. I see the need to just come together and say,”You know what, me too, I need you and you need me.

I think a lot of us may feel alone in our struggles or alone living these lives. But I am here to tell you that you are not alone. And God never intended for you to be alone. In fact, you are always within His love even when it doesn’t feel like it.

Now I know it is easy for me to sit here and type this, and press publish, but I really want you guys to believe me when I saw that You are not alone. The things you are going through are nothing God can’t handle, in fact, He is ready to hear your heart and the hurting aches going on in your mind.

Then again, this may not apply to you right now. You may be sitting there like, “Girl, I get it life is hard but it’s summer and I’m doing fine.” To you, all I have to say is praise the Lord. These happy times in your life are a blessing and please don’t take them for granted. If you are feeling dandy then I STRONGLY encourage you to come along side of your friends, family, and fellow christian brothers and sisters and give them a big hug.

Christianity was meant to have community and sometimes I think we forget that. It is so good and healthy for us to have fellowship with other believers in different stages of life. To lean from each other and pour out our hearts to one another.

There is a reason why Jesus had 12 disciples, despite the main goal to train them and equip them to spread the gospel, Jesus wanted to set the example of community. He knew that humans need other humans to support and encourage each other. He n=knew that when things get tough we need people to hold our hands and tell us everything will be alright. We need people to pray and intercede for us when we can’t see clearly.

Sometimes we just need a group hug.

Now I’d don’t know if you are one of those in need of some love right now or one who has enough love to share with others, but either way, I pray you have that support group of people you can got to and people who will have fellowship with you.

If you are in need of some love and encouragement, I am always here… but more importantly, God is always here for you. He was with you the day you came into this earth and has never left you.

I know it is hard sometimes and I know you may feel alone but please know that I am here for you and am praying for you. Even if we’ve never meet, our belief in Jesus Christ is what bonds our struggling hearts together. If you ever need someone to talk to, please send me an email thechristianprepster@gmail.com… really I would love to hear your stories.

Remember, God is always there for you and will never leave you, even if you feel He is far away.

 

XOXO, The Christian Prepster

My Year of Growth

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My school year is officially at a close. It is kind of a bitter sweet moment because so much happened at my high school this year. I remember praying for this year to look different from my past school years and praying that I would focus more on being intentional with my faith than with my grades. As I’ve said in many other posts, I also wanted 2017 to be my year of growth (aka my DO IT year). Thankfully, God has answered my prayers more than I thought was possible.

This school year has been the best thus far. I saw so much good and meet so many sweet people who I will never forget. I like to think that I helped/encouraged people in their faith.

I know, at least for me, I was WAY less concerned about my final product, than I was with the people around me and my spiritual life. I took some big risks, had some hard conversations and did a lot of “growth crying”.

All I want to accomplish in this post (as I write to super dramatic jazz music LOL) is some encouragement to you as we enter into the summer fun. Because growth is sometimes scary and hard.

But I want to have you take a step back and think about your life right now and ask yourself these questions:

  • Are you happy with the things you are involved in?
  • Do you like the way your life is going?
  • What did you think your life would look like right now?
  • What do you want your life to look like?

After you have seriously answered those questions, I want to give you the seemly bad news. If any of your answers don’t match up how you want them to, you are in need of some growth and change.

It will be hard, It will cause you to practice some selflessness, and it will be worthwhile. But to my fellow students reading this, now is the best time to make some changes. You have two months of summer to grow and challenge yourself. To those with fulltime jobs and families, I want this summer to be your best yet. I want you to care deeply for your children and coworkers, be more than just a busy face.

What I’ve learned from this past school year is that growth and challenges are amazing things. They mold you and shape you and lead to a strong heart.

I AM NOT KIDDING WHEN I SAY THIS, If you need any encouragement or what to share your challenges, struggles, and growth stories… please shoot me an email: thechristianprepster@gmail.com I want to be here for you guys and I know it is not easy to grow. So guys, I’m here, ready to grab your hand and grow through things together.

XOXO, The Christian Prepster

 

Pecan Pie

This is a guest post from my mom.
pecan pie

Yesterday was Sunday.

Yesterday was the day I begged for the hands of time to stand still.

Yesterday was the day I ate a piece of pecan pie.

To be honest, I don’t particularly like pecan pie. In fact, under normal circumstances, if pecan pie was my only option for dessert, I would pass. But I didn’t pass on pie yesterday.

Our lunch outing was coming to a close.  The plan was to finish lunch, then to get in the car and drive the 6 1/2 hours back to our home.  My heart was aching.  My eyes were burning as tears were fighting their way to the surface and beginning to pool around my lashes.

“Pie!”  I could stall with pecan pie!

It had been 19 years of breakfasts, lunches and dinners…and teddy bears and leotards and sleepovers and giggles and sloppy kisses and “sort of funny” jokes and made up dances and dirty faces and messy rooms and pony tails and bathtub bubbles and hair bows and finger nail polish and boy troubles and texted check-ins and bonfires and all of a sudden it was Sunday.

As soon as the piece of pecan pie was gone, we would be leaving our middle daughter at college.  I have never eaten so slowly in my life.  As I gently skimmed the surface of the pie and trimmed off the tiniest morsel of pecan possible,  my mind was racing.  Would she be safe? Would she be happy?  Would she find friends?  Would she know not to wash her black volleyball socks with her white cardigan?

Then, I glanced into the face of my husband.  There he sat, strong and brave.  His lunch plate was empty, his glass of water, gone.   His lunch was over.  He was ready.  How could that be? How could he be so certain that SHE was ready?

He didn’t shed a tear.  He hugged her tightly, smiled and told her he was proud of her.  He didn’t linger to watch her walk away.  He was ready.

I, on the other hand, swallowed hard in a poor attempt to hide my emotions.  As we drove away, I could hold it in no longer.  Tears streaming, heart breaking, I surrendered to the ache and allowed myself to quietly weep.  Gently, my husband reached his hand to mine and held on tightly.

After months of the whirlwind of college visits, recruiting trips, transcripts, scholarship application deadlines, pros and cons lists, praying, planning, preparing, equipping, shopping, packing and unloading, in my quiet weeping, Christ reminded me that SHE BELONGS TO HIM. From the moment she was born, SHE HAS BELONGED TO HIM.  He reminded me that he loves her  so much more than I am even capable of loving.  In this transition, she will learn to depend on him more than ever.

He promised me this:

When she is lonely, and she will be – He will give her comfort.

When she is sad, and she will be – He will give her peace.

When she is hurt, and she will be – He will provide healing.

When she is sick, and she will be – He will be her great physician.

The quiet moments in our home – when she would normally be telling us about her day or dancing around in her awkward but beautifully-fantastic style, I have to remind myself of these promises.  Whatever her future holds, I know that Christ is in control.

As for Mr. Toughguy…on the drive home, he lingered in a gas station convenient store waiting for her to emerge from the bathroom – like he had done a million times before – standing vigil to ensure her safety.  It took him a minute to realize that she wasn’t coming out.  Our new normal is a little strange, a little uncomfortable, a little painful, but exactly what it needs to be.  Our middle girl is growing into an amazing young woman for Christ and we wouldn’t want it any other way.

The more I think about it – Pecan pie isn’t really all that bad.  It’s not my favorite, but I think if I really try to embrace the idea of a pie made from nuts and sugar, I might actually be able to appreciate it.

 XOXO, The Christian Prepster’s Mom