Working for God

You ever get mad at work?

My co-workers and I always discuss why we go home for lunch, if we can. Let’s be real and honest here, work can get old. It’s easy to burn out after so long. Having only a twelve minute commute and an hour long lunch, I have the privilege of “resetting,” during my lunch break. Resetting as in I need coffee, my recliner, and to do absolutely nothing in the comfort of my own space for about thirty solid minutes. I always tell them that when it’s time to go back to work, I pretend I’m just now leaving the house and I only have a half-shift or less of a work day. It’s dumb, I know. Whatever works.

But another reason I feel the need to completely drive away from the premises is because it gets me out of my “work” perspective. It gets me out of the loop of frustration my mind gets stuck on. It helps me see the bigger picture again, and even though I’m human and something will annoy me again before the end of the day, I can at least enjoy a few minutes and “reset.” I remind myself that this  is what it’s all about. Being around loved ones, enjoying what God has provided, and working on how I can contribute to His Kingdom. It’s not about the drama, the questionable decisions, or the messed up schedules.

With all the hollering, the noise, the steady flow of customers, the constant changes, the never-ending circle of work, having general anxiety is a given.

Not all days are bad, believe it or not. Some days go by so fast that I really don’t even mind being there that day. But then there are those typical days of chaos, confusion, and disorganization that leaves me questioning every decision I’ve ever made. One person gets flustered, everyone gets flustered. These days really make me feel like Robin Williams in that Snickers commercial. Although I can say the same for when I’m hungry, I can be “not me” when I’m flustered. I hyper-focus on the (quite honestly) stupid annoyance that I (quite honestly) have no control over. Let’s face it, I forget who I’m working for.

Colossians 3:23-24 (CSB)

23 Whatever you do, do it from the heart, as something done for the Lord and not for people, 24 knowing that you will receive the reward of an inheritance from the Lord. You serve the Lord Christ.

This verse. It’s so practical and so… useful. I could start practicing that very thing immediately. It didn’t mean that all the annoying things vanished into space (although a girl can hope), but they certainly weren’t getting to me as bad. When I realized and embraced an attitude of serving God rather than serving managers, those kind of things didn’t matter. When I forget who my earthly boss is and meditate on who my true Boss is, work somehow becomes less soul-sucking. Suddenly, the real job becomes clear.

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Ephesians 4:28 (CSB)

28 Let the thief no longer steal. Instead, he is to do honest work with his own hands, so that he has something to share with anyone in need.

Working for God is a huge blessing in and of itself. But what does working for God mean? It means we serve Him first, by sharing His love, keeping His Word, and doing honest and hard work. By doing that work, we help others get to the finish line. By doing that work, we learn about ourselves. When we get paid, God has blessed us, and when we get paid, our work for God continues as we use that blessing to help others. Working for God isn’t mere busy work. It’s serving. Serving Him and serving others.

Advice Tip #40: Serve God in the workplace by being a light of an example of who His people are. Let it be known through your actions the God you serve. Be patient. Be kind. Slow down, even if only mentally. Memorize pieces of Scripture throughout your day to help you stay focused on the real job: to lead the lost to the light.

Matthew 5:16 (CSB)

16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven.

Does your workplace challenge your faith? Does it challenge your character? What can you do to be a light to your coworkers and customers? What are some ways you can strengthen your faith in the work-cycle?

Thanks for reading,

Sarah

 

 

 

 

 

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Into the Wild

Last night, as I was reading my current non-fiction, I read a chapter that surrounded the analogy of life and the wilderness. Each statement seemed quotable, and I had to stop myself from highlighting the entire chapter.

I’m realizing that a lot of my control issues stem from lack of faith and crippling fear of the unknown. I’m learning that life happens to everyone, that we all end up lost in the forrest of life’s trials.

If we’re sticking with this analogy, I feel as though I just got back from a solo camping adventure in the depths of Alaska during their sunless season. Call me Alexander Supertramp.

No, really. Now that I think about it, that’s kind of how I’ve felt through this season of life.  I set out on my own adventure to self-discovery, worth, happiness, and a fresh new perspective. At first, things go well. The scenery is breathtaking, and I’m confident in myself that I’ll survive on my own. But one careless, seemingly minuscule, mistake, one tiny evil thought, could turn this soul-search into a costly nightmare, especially if I go in it alone.

We can’t make it through the wilderness alone, but we sure do try. God is the guiding sun gleaming through the trees and we insist on trying to make it through with our eyes closed. Why is that? Regardless, He is patient. He is love. He is light. And we have all-acess to that light through His son Jesus.

Proverbs 5:21-23 (ESV)

21 For a man’s ways are before the eyes of the Lord,
    and he ponders[a] all his paths.
22 The iniquities of the wicked ensnare him,
    and he is held fast in the cords of his sin.
23 He dies for lack of discipline,
    and because of his great folly he is led astray.

So many loved ones of mine are hiking through some serious woods right now. Forrest so thick you can’t tell if it’s day or night. They’re lost, they’re scared, they’re hurting, grieving, and searching for that guiding light.

Sometimes it’s hard to find, let’s be real. The only presence you feel is the darkness surrounding you. The emptiness of feeling like you’re so far gone that you can’t be found robs you blind of hope.

I want to try to help; to give you a flashlight, if you will. A flashlight that has infinite battery life. In fact, it doesn’t even need batteries! Because this flashlight is the Bible.

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Recently, I was listening to a podcast episode that was more or less a Q&A on the Bible, in general. What’s the best version to use, where should I start, ect. The host was really going into detail on the importance of reading straight from the Bible “on your own,” without the prompt of a devotional, and explained why in one short sentence.

“Devotionals are too fluffy.”

Now don’t get either of us wrong, she’s done them, and I’m a total sucker for them, so no worries! Devotionals are still strong, over here.

But she went on to explain the importance of just reading straight from your Bible, without a devotional “fluffing” up His Word that, quite honestly, doesn’t need it. I’m only six chapters into John on my first shot at reading straight from the Bible every day and I’m already in love with the way it’s written, the symbolism, the meaning behind almost each and every word, how beautifully it still correlates with now.

I’ve noticed that when I let go of distractions and simply breathe and read something so life-giving that I feel a peace I’ve never felt. And no, I wasn’t overcome with a glowing beam of light. It wasn’t overwhelmingly powerful, just enough for me to notice. All I’m doing is reading a book within a big book, and one that I’ve only just begun. If I’m feeling even the slightest ounce of peace just from reading a few chapters about who Jesus is, imagine what can happen by the time I’ve read every book?

2 Corinthians 4:16-18 (CSB)

16 Therefore we do not give up. Even though our outer person is being destroyed, our inner person is being renewed day by day. 17 For our momentary light afflictionis producing for us an absolutely incomparable eternal weight of glory. 18 So we do not focus on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind is my absolute, like absolute, favorite movie of all time. I can feel my loved ones rolling their eyes from here (it’s going on a ten year long obsession, they’ve heard it all)! A novel could be written on all the reasons why it holds such a special place in my heart, but for the sake of time, I’ll just pick one to share.

The first time I watched it, I thought, “Okay, that was pretty cool.” When I decided to watch it the second time, I noticed something I didn’t catch the first time and it blew my mind. Like, how did I not notice that?! So, I watched it a third time, fourth, fifth, one hundredth, and by this point I can probably quote every line, but there are still things I find every time I watch it. Being about 16 when I first saw it, I’d never seen anything like it. How one movie could hold so many hidden-in-plain-view details, so many meanings and references, filled me with a fascination I’d never experienced.

The Bible is the same way, but infinitely times more beautiful and fascinating. Because, as much as I love that movie, it doesn’t breathe life with every word. It does not provide endless wisdom and hope. It doesn’t challenge me in life-changing ways. It doesn’t give light. It can’t guide me through a wilderness.

You can read God’s Word and know it like the back of your hand. You can drop verses when they’re needed and pray entire chapters. But God will always have something new to teach you no matter how many times you’ve read it. There will always be those things you’ve never noticed. It will always be your flashlight. The only one you will ever need. The only one you can use over, and over, and over, and it’s power will never flicker, never dim, never short-out. You will never be left alone in the dark.

Psalm 65:11-12 (CSB)

11 You crown the year with your goodness;
your carts overflow with plenty.[a]
12 The wilderness pastures overflow,
and the hills are robed with joy.

 

Advice Tip #39: God’s Word is the ultimate light in our darkest days, but it doesn’t have to stop there. You can surround yourself with His light with music, good friends, and books that challenge, encourage, and inspire your faith. I once heard in an interview with an ex-New Age now Jesus believer who made a comment along the lines of how even nature praises God. When the birds chirp, they sing. The trees rise up to the heavens as arms reaching out to our Father. Some may think that’s a bit much, but honestly, why not see life that way? If we really think this way, we are truly surrounded by praise, worship, thanksgiving, love, and light.

How has God been a light for you in the past? What resources did He provide for you? What did you learn after climbing that forrest-covered mountain? Are you wanting to start reading the Bible and don’t know where to start? Let me know, and I’ll pass you the map 😉

Thanks for reading,

Supertramp

 

Spiritual Warfare

I’m not sure how to start this post. I guess I’ll start first by saying that I want to be as real as possible on this blog. I want it to have a raw aspect, and a transparent feel. Some posts are practical, some personal.

Like this one.

I’ve never been this aware of spiritual warfare. The inner spiritual battle that I find myself astounded by every day for the past month is a whole different kind of weight. It’s weight that I don’t know how to get rid of.

Everything has stopped: my motivation, my excitement, my energy, my creativity, my increasing happiness; my walk with God. It’s like I’ve wondered off the path somehow and got lost.

I’m currently sitting in a dark place. So much so, that I’ve been finding myself becoming more and more numb every day to certain things. I’m so focused on what’s going on inside that the outside isn’t phasing me as much. I wish it was a good thing. And I’ll be honest, I can see why people become this way. It just gets to where something’s gotta give. Can’t control everything except yourself, and sometimes not even that.

I’ve noticed a trend with this, but this is the worst it’s been. It’s always been there. Any time you seek God, the Enemy will do anything to stop you. So needless to say, he does not like that I started this blog.

Every time I start gaining momentum, getting inspired, receiving positive feedback, it hits me like a brick wall. Just… boom. Suddenly, I don’t even have it in me to open my laptop to type. Reading becomes a chore. Clothes pile up. My appetite fades. And there I am, emotionally unconscious, and shaking uncontrollably for seemingly no reason.

That’s how I’ve felt. More and more every day, I question everything, and I know that this is what the Enemy wants, and I know that he is winning.

Defeated. That’s the word. Truly defeated. I am surrounded by Christ-followers and people who love and support me. I believe in God, and that He loves me. I go to church every week, I pray.

Yet, I still struggle. And that’s the cold hard truth of life as a human, and yes, that includes Christians. This is real life. This is my life. And unfortunately, this is a lot of other people’s lives.

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So, if it’s okay with you, I’d like to open up a leetle bit about the events that unfolded this week.

First of all, let’s just say, the only thing I remember from Sunday is giving someone a hug at church, and I will expand and touch more on this in a later post.

On Monday, I had a terrible episode, due to what happened on Sunday (again, I won’t leave you hanging forever. I will explain when I’m ready). Like real bad. The past couple of months have been rocky for me, but this time was the worst. I was so low and so gone, that I was no longer me. My day literally started this way, and the only thing I remember afterwards is posting something on Facebook about the movie “What We Do in The Shadows,” which (totally unrelated) is a hilarious movie to watch when you’re having a hard day.

Ever since then, I’ve been trying to bounce back. It has been such a weird week. Weird schedules, weird events, weird moods, and weird weather, even. I had at least three different people come up to me at work asking what was wrong when, not gonna lie, I totally thought I was playing it off. I try my hardest to keep my outer life emotions out of my work life… it’s a work in progress.

Today, Friday, has probably been the weirdest, other than Monday. It started out okay. It was an off-work day, I slept in, did relaxing things. I even took a selfie.

Everything was fine until I went to, “the Walmarts,” as my dad’s friend says. Leave it to Walmart to trigger you when all else fails! Something happened that threw my day completely off, and I’ve been battling the shakes ever since, and they are getting worse as this anxiety fades into my work anxiety (Saturdays are the absolute hardest for me). The shakes were one hundred percent visible about an hour ago. Thankfully they’ve calmed down now.

This is just how it is sometimes. And let’s be real here, it sucks. It is so hard. Everything, just sitting up and getting out of bed, is difficult. When they say the Enemy has you in chains, I don’t know about you, but for me it’s starting to literally feel like chains.

But despite today’s weirdness and difficulty, God has literally shown me love. On my way out the door this morning, before any of this happened, I received an extremely sweet and encouraging text from a dear church friend that made me smile. Then I went to see my dad and brother, who never fail to make me laugh, and then Dad spoiled me with going out for lunch.

I’ve been trying to learn how to recognize God in people. Like the song, “What if God Was One of Us,” kind of mentality. I know that He uses people, amongst virtually everything else, to speak to us, and today He did. And He did it at a Cracker Barrel.

Our local Cracker Barrel has an amazing waiter named Charles. He’s been my waiter about three times and he’s always wonderful. I always say it takes a certain personality to thrive in the food industry, including waiting, and he definitely has it. He always has encouraging things to say, he’s always upbeat and friendly, and he always puts a smile on my face. Today, I shook the man’s hand and he gave me a hug as we left.

He took our order, and as we waited, I began venting to my dad about my current state, and basically everything I’ve mentioned above. In the middle of our conversation, Charles came back to our table and out of nowhere gave me, specifically, one of the most touching and encouraging compliments I’ve ever received. He said that he almost didn’t want to tell me, but I’m so thankful he decided to.

He went back to his other tables, as a waitress double-checked on us. By the time I looked up to answer her, I had tears streaming down my face. Then I laughed because, well, me.

My dad sat there in disbelief by the fact that that just happened in the middle of me needing encouragement. Call me crazy, but I firmly believe that was God. Dad agrees.

1 John 1 (NASB)

What was from the beginning, what we have heard, what we have seen with our eyes, what we have looked at and touched with our hands, concerning the Word of Life— and the life was manifested, and we have seen and testify and proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and was manifested to us—what we have seen and heard we proclaim to you also, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father, and with His Son Jesus Christ. These things we write, so that our joy may be made complete.

Advice Tip #38: Try your best to look and listen for His words. Turn on worship music, open your Bible, or even just focus on His blessings for you, no matter how mundane, throughout the day. I’ve literally had to make conscious effort to keep praising Him for even the smallest things like a compliment, a genuine smile, or the extra doughnut someone gave you that they didn’t want (shoutout to my coworker who always shares his snacks!).

Battling depression, anxiety, and anything else like this is obviously not easy, and the Enemy is going to kick you while you’re down, if you let him. We have to actively seek the good that God sprinkles throughout our day.

Bonus Tip: Remember that the Enemy is loud, and God tends to be (but not always!) more subtle. But also know that He knows when you need that love and will make sure you receive it one way or another.

Have you ever felt like this? Have you ever noticed God’s love through the little things?

Thanks for reading,

Sarah

 

 

Journaling

I’ve always loved journaling. I’ve had half-filled notebooks since I was old enough to write. They’re half-filled because every time I saw a pretty journal, I begged for it, or they were gifted to me. I’m obsessed with the design, the paper, the material, the pens and pencils, the freedom to do whatever you want on those pages, and how therapeutic it’s always been for me.

There are so many benefits to journaling, it’s kind of weird how something that is seemingly so simple could have such an impact.

I want to share with you today both facts and personal experiences with journaling. For one thing, the magic of writing something out on paper and increasing the chances of becoming reality is extremely fascinating (at least for me). As for another, it can really help your strengthen your relationship with Christ.

Health Benefits

  • Strengthens immune cells (T-lymphocytes)
  • Decreases the symptoms of asthma and rheumatoid arthritis
  • Acts as a stress management tool

Personal Benefits

  • Helps you understand yourself
  • Helps you to problem solve
  • Helps you to understand misunderstood situations and others’ point of view

(source)

Spiritual Benefits

  • By keeping a prayer journal, you can track how God answers your prayers, jot down verses to meditate on, and prayer requests.
  • Journaling helps you unwind by writing out your thoughts without editing, or thinking. Just write, and whatever comes out, comes out. God can also use this way to speak to you. You never know when He may take hold of your hands.
  • Keeping a nighttime journal can help you sleep better by writing out your concerns and whatever else is on your mind and giving it to God. Write them out, and forget about ’em.
  • It’s a release for thoughts you feel as though you can’t talk about. There are some things in life that, for whatever reason, either because it’s triggering, or it’s simply uncomfortable for you, and the only way to process those thoughts and feelings is by writing them out.
  • You can strengthen your prayer life by turning your entries into prayers, or worship, even.

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Bible Journaling

Bible journaling is a great way to help you understand the Word. The method that has worked best for me is the SOAP method, which also seems to be the most popular.

For those who have never been introduced to this method of journaling, here’s a brief explanation.

  • S = Scripture
  • O = Observation
  • A = Application
  • P = Prayer
Scripture 

Writing out the verse(s) you’re studying can help you grasp and familiarize yourself, helping with memorization.

Observation

How does the Scripture speak to you? What do you feel God is trying to teach you?

Application

How are you going to apply the Scripture in your life? This is one of the many places where post-its come in handy! Leave yourself reminders, copies of the verse, and whatever helps you to stay focused on it throughout the day.

Prayer

If you’re new to prayer and have a hard time knowing what to write, turn your notes into one big prayer. Thank God for the Scripture and wisdom, ask Him to help you apply it to your life. You can even practice turning the verse, itself, into a prayer.

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Illustrated Faith

Illustrated faith is just art journaling, but in your Bible, mostly. This is a not only a great stress reliever, as you get to express yourself, but is also a great way to familiarize and soak in His Word. Pick a passage, and express how you feel about it or what speaks to you about the passage. I personally love using water color and washi tape. There are tons of tutorials out there to help you get started and inspired! Here is the one that I use.

Personal Favorites

Two of the most fun journals I’ve ever had are the Wreck This Journal series and the Listography Journal.

Wreck This Journal is a super fun journaling series that provides bizzare and creative ways to get your thoughts out. From random acts of silly-ness, to painting or coloring in shapes, these books pick your brain, make you think, and are also really fun to do with friends.

In my opinion, the Listography series is more for older teens and adults (some of the lists are slightly dirty, which is why I don’t recommend for anyone under 18). I stumbled upon it at a Barnes and Noble in high school, and had never seen a journal like this. I’m so thankful that someone out there thought of it because it’s such a unique way to journal! There are all kinds of list prompts from your favorite movies, to your favorite memories, favorite quotes, favorite places to shop, cities you’ve been to, and so many more. Not to mention, the illustrations are adorable. These books are great conversation-starters and a super fun way to get to know yourself and others.

What are some of your favorite ways to relieve your emotions? Has God ever spoken to you through journaling? If so, what did you learn?

Thanks for reading,

Sarah

Update

Hey, everyone!

Due to my work schedule lately, amongst other things (that I plan on sharing in the next few weeks), there simply hasn’t been enough hours in a day for me to catch up!

But I am, in no way, complaining. It’s a good busy!

I feel like I hear from a lot of social media users such as Youtubers and even some bloggers who are wishy-washy and inconsistent, and I truly hope I haven’t come across that way, due to my inconsistent posts every so often. It actually bothers me when I wake up on Friday with nothing to share for that week, because I do love this blog and have really big plans for it. I have been praying that God can use me to help others through their pain by using not only my past, but from lessons I learn every day. But once I’ve caught up on my current to-do list, the very last thing I plan on doing is making sure I’m at least 4 posts ahead and ready to go, so that way I’ll be ahead of the game and will most definitely be more consistent with my weekly posts.

This is the first blog I’ve truly invested in, as I have found passion in helping, understanding, and relating to those who struggle with finding beauty in their brokenness. I’ve been praying almost everyday for this to be God’s will for me, as I have also found passion in writing (more on that later, as well) and using my creativity to create something special for those who struggle with mental illness.

I feel as though God has guided me back to a long-lost creative passion that  I had a few years back. I feel like it was Him who gave me this flood of ideas. I felt as though He simply used my hands to write them down. Next thing I know, I have pages and pages filled with ideas for a very special project that I cannot wait to share with you when it’s ready. It’s something that I am praying will help as many others as it has helped me since childhood.

I’ve also been working on updating the blog’s look, which has been taking up a lot of time, but it’s honestly my favorite part about blogging (other than blogging, of course). It’s allowing me to live MySpace vicariously through my blog appearance (Rest in Peace, customized profiles. Lost, but not forgotten).

As you may know from my last post, my fiancé, Trey, and I have been given 2.5 acres of land (every bit of glory to God – I can’t wait to share everything He’s provided for us in upcoming posts!).

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The land needs a lot of work, as his Great-Grandmother has gotten to a point where she can’t maintain it on her own, so we now have a huge summer project that I cannot WAIT to get started on today (fact: I LOVE landscaping). Also, I will be posting on both my blog and on Facebook about our tiny house journey. I’m excited to incorporate this project into my blog, and opening up our life a little bit more, which will bring more content to this blog that I think will be really unique and special, and I’m so excited to be able to start sharing more of my every day life with you (maybe a vlog every so often? What do you think?).

With all that being said, although I am going to allocate several posts during all my free time, there might be a week here and there where I won’t be able to post once we really start getting to work on the land… Because I’m gonna be there a LOT.

In these cases, I am hoping to find someone(s) who would like to guest post for the weeks I won’t be able to post. If anyone at all (don’t worry if you don’t have your own blog, you can reach out to me on my Girl, Anxiety Facebook page, send me a copy of what you’ve written, and I’ll take care of the rest) is interested in sharing any advice, here are some topics we could cover :

  • Products that help such as: essential oils and foods that reduce anxiety, or medication that has helped you and how it may have improved your relationship with Christ.
  • Creative ways to reduce your anxiety and depression.
  • Things that light up your spirit (i.e. going for walks, reading books, painting, yoga, ect.)
  • If you’re a reader who has a book that has helped you with your struggles, has lifted your spirits, or provided wisdom, anything like that, you can do a book review!
  • Songs and movies that you would like to share and why they speak to you or how they helped you come out of your darkness would also be good reviews!

These are just a few examples. If you have any other ideas that you would like to share or if anyone has any requests for a post on a specific issue that I’ve yet to cover on the blog, please leave me a comment that you’re interested and I’ll get in touch with you. I’ve never had a guest post and I think it would be so much fun! I’m open to all the ideas, so send them my way!

I have so many plans for this blog that I can’t wait to share. I’m hoping to launch the slightly new look in the next week or two, and I am welcoming all feedback and suggestions. I’m so excited!

What would you like to see more of on the blog? Have a story or advice on how God has helped you overcome something? Leave a comment, and let’s get blogging!

Thanks for reading and for all of your kind support. Your feedback means more to me than you know!

Sarah

 

 

Seed of Faith

As soon as I turned thirteen, I started dreaming of having my own place. I always told myself I’d have a cute little apartment by the time I turned eighteen (lol). Next thing I knew, I was nineteen, working my first job, thinking I could get my own place within a couple months. It didn’t take long before I realized I was going to have to step it up and make more for that to happen. So I got a job that paid better. Still didn’t happen. I feel like I made enough to share a space with a roommate, but I had to buy a car, after being without one for over a year. So there went those checks.

Year after year, I wondered if it would be the year it finally happened. And at the end of all those years, I always ended up nowhere near my goal. Most of the money I made went to my car payment, insurance, student loans, food, and my phone. I was making more money than I’ve ever made, and still couldn’t keep up. Reality was beginning to hit me hard. It wasn’t long before my hope of ever having my own roof turned into hopelessness. I would go in circles in my mind every day, trying so hard to find that, “Ah-ha!” moment that would make me successful enough to at least find a shabby studio apartment.

But it never happened. Nothing worked. It seemed like everywhere I looked was getting more and more expensive every day (which it is, being only thirty minutes away from Nashville. Why is Nashville so popular, again?).

My fiancé and I have saved, and saved, and saved, only to have something happen that took it away every time we started getting momentum. Cars breaking down, getting scammed, unexpected insurance increases, situation after situation kept getting in the way of our goal of having our own home.

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Anyone who has known me in the last five or six years, knows about my obsession with the tiny house movement. I have spent countless upon countless hours dreaming, drooling, and pretend-planning my future tiny, scrolling endlessly through Tiny House Swoon’s website.

But I knew it was a far-fetched dream. I knew that the chances of us finding the right amount of land at our age was just a fairy tale. So I settled with simply hoping for anything. A trailer, an apartment, a small shabby house we luckily got a good deal on, a nice cardboard box. My tiny house dream was just that. Nothing more than a fantasy. It was way too much to ask from God. I’ve always had this negative belief that God doesn’t care about what I want. I just need to be thankful for what He provides and don’t bother asking for anything, because I have no place to. Who am to ask God for something as material as a cute tiny house?

I’m gonna give it one last shot. 

When I finally had the house to myself, I got down on my knees, and prayed.

God, you know the desires of my heart. You know my dreams, but you also know my plan. If this is not in your will for me, I accept. Father, I’m not asking for a gold-plated mansion on top of a hill. All I want is a cute shed on wheels in the middle of nowhere.

Genesis 15:1-2 (CSB)

15 After these events, the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision:

Do not be afraid, Abram.
I am your shield;
your reward will be very great.

But Abram said, “Lord God, what can you give me, since I am childless and the heir of my house is Eliezer of Damascus?”

Weeks passed with no sign of answers. Feeling as though I’m running out of time to find a home, get married, and start a family, I was so overwhelmed with the feeling of being stuck in our current situation, feeling as though we were never going to get out of it. Living on our own and settling down was a dream of mine that was beginning to diminish rapidly. I began trying to reason with it, deciding that it just wasn’t in the cards for us. This is our life, and we just have to get over it. It was getting more and more difficult to get out of bed each morning. Just picking clothes up off the floor was an exhausting task. I didn’t want to talk to anyone, and just wanted to be alone. Sleep was all I could process, it was the only thing that comforted me as I wrestled with the unknown of our future.

My soon-to-be mother-in-law finally wanted to get out of me what was wrong, and I broke down crying as I rambled about everything I had been holding in for the last few weeks. I was just so frustrated with life not moving. With this rapidly growing desire to become a wife and mother, and with no answers or direction, I felt like God was giving me tough love. I truly felt hopeless, my faith was fleeting, and my expectations were low.

Before ending the conversation, she said to me, “God knows what you want. He knows you want to be a mother, and that you want your own place to live. He’s going to take care of you.” I nodded, told her thank you, and went back to bed feeling even more drained.

Genesis 15:5 (CSB)

He took him outside and said, “Look at the sky and count the stars, if you are able to count them.” Then he said to him, “Your offspring will be that numerous.”

Two weeks later, she knocked on our bedroom door, peeked her head in, and asked my fiancé if he’d told me yet.

Told me what?

She turned to me and said, “Remember how we were talking about how God just… does things?” Afraid to speak, I nodded.

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My fiancé’s great grandmother has lived on these three acres of land since the sixties. She has this cute little house on the first acre that they built when they got the land, and has lived there ever since. I’ve been to her house several times and had no idea what lied beyond her backyard. I had no clue anything more was even back there.

Behind her house are the woods, including a creek, and another small (now abandoned, but very cool) house in the very back of the lot. For the last two years, she’s wanted to ask how we felt about inheriting the other two acres behind her house. But because she thought there was some particular reason we were still living with my fiancé’s parents, she kept it to herself. That is, until about a month ago, when she finally asked my mother-in-law what we might think about having that land.

Now, don’t get me wrong, we wanted it. Bad. We wanted to cry tears of joy and celebrate this incredible gift, but we were hesitant. A few years ago, we were in a situation where we thought we found a place, sent the deposit, and found out the hard way that we were scammed out of $500. It broke our hearts. Fearing that this would be a similar situation (not that we would get scammed, but that it just wouldn’t work out), we’ve put off all the excitement until it was officially in her will: signed, stamped, and legal. In the meantime, we went and checked out our possible future home.

Flat areas privately surrounded by trees and bushes, a bridge crossing the creek into the back lot, a rustic old swing where a new one would one day sit, a huge lot of open vibrant green land on the other side of the small fence, the sun peeking through all of this gorgeous, almost majestic, scene.

It’s perfect.

Not only is there a perfect spot for a tiny house, there are three perfect spots to choose from that we’ve already narrowed down to two. And not only does this land give us options for our future tiny, but it’s the actual perfect spot for a wedding ceremony.

How is this even real?

Galatians 3:29 (CSB)

29 And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, heirs according to the promise.

A couple weeks ago, our pastor did a sermon called Seed of Faith, where he talks about Abram’s fleeting faith in God’s promise to give him children. All these years had passed with no answers. But God renewed his faith, and God proved faithful.

I truly felt connected with Abram in this story, as I was beginning to lose faith in my future, altogether. The more God proves His faithfulness with this whole situation, the more I think of Abram and Sarai (later known as Abraham and Sarah. Coincidence?). How even though they had to wait an insane amount of years before anything finally happened, God still followed through.

This is the messiest my talk-notes have ever looked. It seemed like every word he preached was meant for me. I’ve heard of Abram and Sarai several times throughout my life, but I had no idea how much I’d ever relate to them. For anyone who needs encouragement, here’s a few things that spoke to me:

  • You have no idea what God may produce through a single seed planted in faith.
  • We tend to think addition, God thinks multiplication.
  • “If God met all of your expectations, He wouldn’t have the chance to exceed them.”
  • “Just because you don’t see it, doesn’t mean God’s not doing it.”
  • “Just because you don’t see the fruit,  doesn’t mean the tree hasn’t taken root.”

    Matthew 17:20 (CSB)

    20 “Because of your little faith,” he[a] told them. “For truly I tell you, if you have faith the size of[b] a mustard seed, you will tell this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”[c]

Okay, God. This isn’t funny. If this is Your will, I will be filled with more gratitude than ever before in my life. If not, then I get it. You’ve shown what you can do and how quickly you can make things happen when it’s on Your time. But please, please, let this be your will.

I only told immediate family and two close friends, so we could have a few more prayers. I honestly didn’t even want to tell them, at all, until everything was said and done. I didn’t want to jinx anything or be embarrassed if nothing ended up happening.

After all the praying and anticipation, as of this past Monday, the will was signed, stamped, and is now official. We are now budgeting for a trailer to build on, making official design decisions, and praising God for this incredible gift.

Advice Tip #37: Even if you feel like you have nothing left in you to give, I urge you to give it one last shot. Pray your heart out to our Creator, give Him your worries and your desires. Ask for His help by giving you patience as you wait for His answer, and live by His timing. Abram only wanted a son, and God fulfilled His promise in more ways than Abram could fathom.

Have you planted a seed of faith? Are you watering and nurturing that seed by continuously seeking God and living by His Word? Or are you struggling and need encouragement? What is something you’re having to put a lot of faith towards lately, and what have you learned so far? How has God proven faithful in the past?

He has not forgotten you. He is there. And He knows.

Thanks for reading,

Sarah

 

 

When We Fall

Well. This has been a week of slip-ups.

I’ll admit it, it hasn’t been the best week. I’ve snapped, I’ve cried, I’ve gotten sick, and I’ve had to apologize and learn things the hard way. I’ve had to step back, calm down, reassess, and admit that I was wrong.

That last one was the least fun.

One thing I’ve learned about myself is that I’m a very passionate person, and it can either better me or destroy me. It usually destroys me.

As I mentioned in a similar post a couple weeks back, something I need to work on is how quick I am to react to things, especially things that upset me. I’m quick to get fired up about things, end up saying things without thinking, and making a fool of myself. It’s a really cute look.

One of my biggest regrets in life is not standing up for myself when things got out of hand at school. And by that, I don’t mean picking fights. I mean taking a stand by simply removing myself from the toxic situation and going with the alternative route. As a result, I’ve gone from never saying anything and letting people walk all over me, to being a little too quick to express my anger and defend myself. Looking back at the events that unfolded throughout the week (except for getting sick. That was 100% the leftover frozen pizza), I think I can see God trying to prove something to me:

Hey, Angry Sarah, shut it.

Just so we’re clear, I’m not referring to rightful anger. I’m talking about the “I’m-not-getting-what-I-want”, and the, “You’re-wrong-I’m-right,” type of anger. The one that makes a fool out of you. The one that has made a fool out of me all week… And most of my life.

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Proverbs 17:28 (ESV)

28 Even a fool who keeps silent is considered wise;
    when he closes his lips, he is deemed intelligent.

I love the line in Christian rapper NF’s song, All I Have, “I’m a Christian but I’m not perfect.” It solidifies that we all make mistakes. Everyone slips up.

But do we learn from them?

To be honest, I rarely do. And if I do, it takes a while. My blonde runs deep, and I get really bad rainbow wheel. As I’m reflecting on my actions in the last few days, I’m realizing just how big of a problem this is becoming for me, especially as a Christian.

Christians are held to a very high standard. We are watched very closely. Anything we say can and will be used against us. We are given very little room for forgiveness in the world. That’s why this week is showing me just how important it is for me to remember that.

I’m not worried about being perfect. I know I will fall short. I know I’m not perfect, that I will never be, no matter how strong my faith is or how many verses I memorize. But that’s one of the several beautiful things about our Savior: His grace.

He knows I’m going to make mistakes, that I have a problem with speaking before thinking, and for speaking too much. He already knows that we’re going to sin, but loves us and is patient with us, regardless. He takes these mistakes and helps us better ourselves.

Advice Tip #34: Slip-ups happen. Life happens. Mistakes happen. No one on this earth is perfect. But how we react to things, how we pick our battles, and the words we speak matter. Especially in today’s world. Take action to begin getting out of the habit of being too quick to respond by memorizing what the Word says about it. Every time you start to feel yourself getting fired up and find yourself wanting to react, remember what you’ve memorized. As for me and my habit, I’m putting the verse above on ALL the post-its.

What is a bad habit that you struggle with, and what do you think God is trying to do with that? Are you quick to react and say things you don’t mean? What verse have you chosen to memorize to help you battle these habits?

Thanks for reading,

Sarah