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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Loving Your Streets

This past week I went on a mission trip to Compton, California. It was one of the most growing experiences of my life and I am so thankful I was able to go.  I left with a new challenge, to love my city as much as the amazing people of Compton love theirs. I was awestruck by the love and care they have for each other and the well being of their area.

As I flew back to my town, I was seriously convicted. I was thinking,

“I thought I was loving and caring for my city, but man does it look like hate compared to what people in Compton are doing.”

It was a huge wake up call for me. Now I am on a mission to love my streets. To reach out to the people and start taking responsibility for where I live.

Now, I also learned that this may not be easy, and I can certainly, not do this all alone. So if you have this same conviction as I do, then we need to start doing stuff.

There are SO many great, service-minded, opportunities you can get involved in. I suggest you talk to your local church to see what ministries they are already doing in your town.

While I was in Compton, we were able to stay with a pastor who recently started a Screen Printing Company called Compton Proud. (Their shirts are seriously the cutest things ever. If you’ve ever been to Compton or just want to encourage and promote Compton and this business, I suggest you take a look at their website.) He and his family, are dedicated to producing products that promote this mindset of being proud of where you live.


How awesome is that?

Now ask yourself these questions,

  • Are you proud of where you live?
  • If not, what would it take to change that? If yes, what are you proud of?
  • How can you become more involved?
  • What are some needs you see?
  • Can you meet those needs?

My friends at Eventbrite have all the tools you may need to start loving your streets. I encourage you to take a look at some of their events as well as brainstorm some of your own service dreams.

I pray that we can all start loving our streets more. That could mean volunteering our time or just dedicating prayers to our city. Every bit helps.

 

If you are interest in reading more about my mission trip experience, below is a Facebook update I wrote in the middle of my trip to Compton.

 

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View of L.A. from the Griffith Observatory

I haven’t fully adjusted to the L.A. time change yet so I’ve found myself running out of sleep at 6:00 AM every single morning this week. The first few days I was saying to myself, “Come on… just sleep you fool.” But today something else happened.

I was still bright eyed and bushy tailed at 6:00 AM but I woke up with a new sensation… a sensation to just admire God.

I went outside of the Treehouse (the name of the beautiful house we are staying in on Compton) and sat on the wooded swing attached to a massive tree. I sat there for about 5 minutes not knowing exactly what to pray for or what to read about. Then I cracked open my Bible and started reading Ruth.

I’m pretty familiar with the story of Ruth but in that moment, the Lord revealed himself to me in a way I haven’t experienced before.

All of Ruth is a glimpse into the life of a girl who optimizes the definition of faithfulness.

Her husband, brother in law, and father in law all have passed away. Ruth and the women in her family are left alone to provide and take care of themselves. The first chapter conveys how hard the mourning process can be and how we sometimes feel as though God has (in the words of Naomi) “dealt very bitterly with me”.

I feel like I can relate to that feeling. And truthfully, I felt that way this week. I was not feeling connected to my team and like I had nothing left in me to give.

At this point it was about 6:20 (I’m still one of two people up) and was really feeling Ruth’s story deep in my heart.

Then we get to chapter two. (V.1) “Now Naomi had a kinsman…” This is the part of Ruth when things start to look up. When Boaz is introduced and the story starts to get good.

Here I got a different glimpse. Ruth wanted to be married and start over, but she also wanted to remain faithful to her mother in law and love her through this hard time.

Ruth was strong. She was able to stay faithful when her heart wanted to pick up and go live the glamorous life so many women her age were living.

Then it clicked. Mission work is not glamorous. Mission work takes faithfulness even when the storms rain out every ounce of sunshine left in you. Mission work is like Ruth’s story. Well at least it is for me on this trip.

I have a deep desire to love these people and to love Compton. But sometimes the desires of our selfish hearts want to be back home hitting the snooze button until our hearts are content.

But then God helps us stay faithful. God gives us the strength to serve Him joyfully and from a willing heart.

Those few minutes of quietness this morning have changed my view of mission work. Looks like I’ll still be up 6:00, sitting on that swing, trying to get to know my king a little better.

 

Attached is some audio of the amazing worship we had on our mission trip.

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 

For the Girls Who Dream of Being More

For the Girls Who Dream of Being More

 

As humans we have this deep craving to be happy all the time. There is nothing wrong with wanting to be cheerful and smiley all the time… but if you are anything like me, I’m not always happy and it irritates me.

I want to be the girl who always has a smile on her face and is secure enough in who she is and who’s she is, to be able to be vulnerable. I want to be the girl who doesn’t have to sometimes force a smile on her face.

Now I am not saying that I am never happy and am drowning in deep sorrow, because that is not me at all. Just some days are hard. More hard than happy.

But you know what, I am tired of saying, “I want to be the girl…” I’m tired of wishing I was better or the girl I dream of being. It is time for me to start becoming her, start praying over my heart and start getting secure in who I am.

If you are in the same boat as me, hold on because this could be a bumpy ride. I’ve talked a lot lately about the future and our aspirations for ourselves. And I know that is not by accident. I think the Lord is telling me it’s time to stop wishing and writing about these things and actually start making them happen.

I don’t know how to become the girl I want to be, I have no idea how to become more secure in who I am. But I do know one thing…

The God of Esther, Ruth, Mary, and Abigail… is the exact same God as the one I can always talk to. The God of David, Job, and Paul is the same God who created me.

So here is to becoming better versions of ourselves. Here’s to wanting more from life. Here’s to accepting the challenge.

But I want you to remember… even when we can’t seem to put a smile on our face, remember that we have the Joy of our Lord. We ALWAYS have a reason to be thankful and joyful.

XOXO, The Christian Prepster

P.S. Next week I am going on a Mission trip and won’t be able to blog. So I’ll be back in two weeks!

Love you all!

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

 

 

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

I tried something new…

I tried something new…

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So I tried something new last night. I was driving home from VBS at my church and just wasn’t feeling the music I was listing to (Sorry Jack Johnson… It’s nothing against you). I decided to turn off the music and talk…yeah just talk, like out loud to myself.

The first few seconds I felt ridiculous, like people probably are looking in my car and am thinking I’m going crazy. But I just kept going. I talked about what went well, what didn’t go well, and that lead to me to began praying.

I started just having a conversation with God about my night and the day and how beautiful it was outside. That conversation then bled into every area of my life. So I prayed for my family, friends, school, this next year, the new opportunities, the people going on my mission trip, and the kids at VBS.

It was the best car ride I’ve ever had. Just being able to unpack my whole day and cover the next in prayer… does’t get any better than that does it? So that 15 minute car ride, that use to be my time to jam, turned into a holy car ride. Where I refocused my thoughts and heart on God. I was able to use my downtime to glorify God.

Truthfully, I’ve always meant to pray a lot… haven’t we all? We know prayer is powerful and very useful but how many of us pray for all of the things we mean to pray for? I’m guilty of it to, you are not alone at all.

But having just covered every aspect of my life in prayer (or at least attempted to) I can tell you it pays off. Just today I’ve been more focused on God and have tried to challenge myself to be the person I want to be and who Christ wants me to be.

Now I know we may not all have enough time to sit and unpack our days with prayer, but I want to encourage those who may be feeling out of it. I want to encourage the ones who are having trouble praying or feel like they are drowning in work and stress.

There is someone so much greater who delights in you and wants to hear about your life. He wants to help you and take away your burdens.

And don’t push this off, even if you are on a spiritual high and nothing and nobody can bring you off your smiley mountain top… you still need to pray, thank the Lord for this time and ask him to remind you of this time when things aren’t going so well.

Just to let you all know, you were also prayed for during my drive. Thank you for reading my posts and for wanting to grow in your faith. Life is hard but we are in this together. You got this, but more importantly… GOD’S GOT THIS. So keep pushing!

XOXO, The Christian Prepster