Summer List: Reading, Leading, and observing

image

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

dbec400588f987075afd9196ac94c381

 

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…

image

 

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

 

My Year of Growth

image

 

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

 

Painful Expectations 


I know this sounds bad, but this exact week and time of year always makes me a little sad and angry. It sounds bad because the end of the year brings so much hope and joy for the future. So many things (school in particular) come to an end and summer starts. Those things all make me happy.     It’s around this time when I let my expectations get the best of me. I think of what could happen and (in my selfish mind) the things that I deserve to get or deserve to have given to me just because I’ve worked really hard. In fact, I remember writing a blog post around this time last year. And it’s crazy because I’ve grown so much since then yet I still find myself in the same spot. Hurt and broken because of my own expectations. 

    So I don’t know about you but from my own experiences… I think we need to work on our expectations. Because more often than not, those are the things that make us heartbroken. When we work really, really hard and expect to get rewarded but don’t. When we push ourselves and challenge ourselves and don’t see it paying off the way we thought it would.

    Don’t take this the wrong way, I’m not saying to just work hard and push yourself to get some reward or trophy. Because it’s not about the trophy, it’s about our character and about Christ. Truthfully, I don’t think motives are a problem for us. I think we just seek some encouragement… someone to come alongside of us, take our hand, and say, “I see the work you are putting in and I want to tell you to keep going girl.”

    So this post may be more for me, to remind myself of the truth that my hurt is being self inflicted and that, even if not recognized for my hard work, that I have done a great job and will keep doing a great job.

    If you get anything out of this today I pray that it prepares you for the time when your expectations get the best of you and leave you in tears over something you dreamed up in your fairytale. Because girl (or boy) you work hard and I’ve noticed your growth and how you’ve challenged yourself. This has been a great year and I need you to keep pushing. 

    I am praying for you guys, especially around this time because I know it is hard and I know that hurt we can bring to ourselves. 

XOXO, The Christian Prepster 

Me Too: Dealing With Heartache

image

 

I’m coming to you today as a friend because sometimes I think that’s all our hearts need… a good friend to talk with.

So I get it. I know that some days are WAY better than others and that sometimes it takes all you have to get through the day. I know what it feels like to be hurt by people’s words and actions. I have had many nights spent in tears but have also have had nights filled of laughter.

So friend, I am coming to you with open arms. Because it is so hard sometimes to suck it up and start loving the people who hurt you. But I can’t do much to help, all I can do is tell you I’m here for you if you want to talk, I get it, and I’m sorry.

But luckily for you we know someone who can help way more than me,

“For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin.” – Hebrews 4:15

“Choosing rather to endure ill-treatment with the people of God than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin” – Hebrews 11:25

 

Christ experiences first hand the cruelty of humanity. He not only experienced betrayal and denial from His two of his most trusted disciples (Luke 22), mocked and scorned before his inhumane death on the cross (John 19), and tempted for forty days (Matthew 4). Yet with all of that and more, Christ still was the only example of true, unconditional love. He loved radically, even those who nailed him on that cross. He loved. Despite all the cruelty he went through, He died for us.

Every time I read Hebrews 4:15, I picture Jesus saying to me, “Me too… I get it.” Because he does, he does get it. He was tempted and hurt more than you have been and yet he was still without sin.

Kinda puts things into perspective, doesn’t it? But please know that what you are going through is hard and tough. I get that… Christ gets that. But let’s just chalk it up to the result of a sinful world. In the end, that’s the root of all this hurt you are experiencing.

Now, I’m giving you a warning because what I’m about to say you may not like too much. And I know we can’t be perfect like Jesus but we are called to try. *FYI I am not even close to getting this right, it’s hard… I get it.*

In Hebrews 11:25 it talks about Moses and how he could have easily chosen all of the comforts and riches of life as a royal, yet he didn’t. This action of purposely choosing discomfort is something my selfish brain can’t comprehend. I love the idea but when given the chance to live it out, I can never seem to do it.

To choose ill-treatment with fellow Christians instead of the passing pleasures of sin is not an easy task. Because I think, in the moment we see it more like this choice:

To choose to get over deep cuts in our hearts and persecutions …. Or…. to love those who love you back and hold grudges over our persecutors.

No wonder it’s so hard to live out what Hebrews 11:25 says. We need to train ourselves to see it as kingdom work. As us suffering as Jesus suffered and choosing to deal with it as he did. Love, grace, and sacrifice.

XOXO, The Christian Prepster

The Underwater Faith

image

 

It was a Thursday afternoon after track practice and I was sitting at my desk just looking out of my window (I was trying to find motivation to do another SAT practice test… whoops). This little bird, I don’t even know what type… all I remember was that it was brown, I think. Anyway, this little bird came into my view of sight and it captured every ounce of my attention.

As the little guy pecked into the ground in attempt to find food, I started allowing myself to let my mind run wild. I thought,
“Wow, lucky bird. That little guy doesn’t have to take the SAT or any test for that matter. That bird is only concerned with finding food. Gosh, sometimes I wish I was a bird, just flying around enjoying God’s creation.”
Then I was reminded of a verse I heard awhile ago,

“‘For my thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,’ declares the Lord. ‘For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways And My thoughts than your thoughts.’” – Isaiah 55:8-9 (NASB)

In the past years of my life, this verse has always confused me a little bit. Because I have never been able to grasp the fact that my thoughts and worries are lower than God’s. But it wasn’t until I sat in my gold chair that Thursday afternoon that I started to understand.

That bird was only concerned with finding food, yet I had these crazy big things going on in my life. My thoughts are obviously higher than the birds thoughts at that time.

In that same why, the Lord is not worried about the things going on in your life. Now don’t take that the wrong way, He cares about the things going on in your life, He wants to hear about them, but He is not worried about them. Just as I was not worried about that bird finding food.

I love the picture for this post. I love it because you see the bigger picture. You have the little people in the boat, but under them is this amazingly massive creature. However, the main reason it has been my screensaver all week is because it is so symbolic for our faith.

Just as Isaiah 55:8-9 says, the Lord’s ways are higher than our ways, His thoughts are higher, and His concerns are higher. So when things in life (I like to call them curve balls) come our way and throw us a little off balance, we need to remember that the Lord isn’t even worried about those momentary curve ball. And that is what I call the “Underwater Faith”.

When we try to comprehend the big picture, the behind the scenes heart work happening in our lives, and when we don’t allow the enemy to trick us into believing that the things of this world are a “big deal.” That is Underwater Faith.

Going back to that bird. What the Lord revealed to me that Thursday could not have come at a better time (Let’s all just applaud God for his perfect timing, like seriously He is on point every single time). Because this SAT coming up has been stressing me out to the max. But you know what, It isn’t even a worry on God’s radar. He is working on the future me and how I will further the Kingdom of God…not on my SAT scores.

    So fellow people who get caught up in the world sometimes, I’m reaching out to you and challenging you to take my hand in this idea of Underwater Faith. I know we will never fully comprehend the truth written to us in Isaiah 55:8-9 but I want you to try. Try to allow your worries and thoughts to be silenced, so that you can just fly around enjoying God’s creation.

“‘For my thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,’ declares the Lord. ‘For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways And My thoughts than your thoughts.’” – Isaiah 55:8-9 (NASB)

XOXO, The Christian Prepster