Monday, January 9, 2012


I think one of the most challenging things for a Christian girl who is striving to live a set-apart life is making sure that her appearance, words, and actions come across as modest to the opposite sex. If only you knew how many times I wondered how I came across to the guys I've talked to. Was I too sarcastic? Were my favorite jeans just a little bit too tight? Was I blending in too much with those girls whose goal in life is to get a guy's attention?!? Okay, maybe I think a little too much of myself, but I often wonder these things.

Dressing modestly really isn't too hard for me. I've never been one to gravitate towards extremely short shorts or plunging necklines. It really isn't until I'm faced with stacks of clothes in a dressing room that I question why I spend so much time striving to be modest and then I wonder if modest is really hottest! But after all the questioning God brings something to my attention (like this blog post by Leslie Ludy) to remind me that it's all worth it and to show me that I'm really pleasing my Heavenly Father, and hopefully a few brothers in Christ, when I make sure to buy clothes that are modest.

Dressing With Dignity by Leslie Ludy

It is easy to assume that true modesty means drab, shapeless, unfeminine clothes that make us extremely unattractive. But God’s pattern doesn’t bring oppression and ugliness - it brings liberty and beauty. Contrary to popular belief, feminine beauty doesn’t have to mean sensuality. It is more than possible to exude the kind of dignity, grace, and true feminine beauty that will captivate a man’s heart - without using sex appeal.

So I will continue to strive to be modest and show off my true feminine beauty which really comes from within. Because I'm really only trying to please God and He "does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart" (1 Samuel 16:7). It would be nice if a guy would take notice though. Just saying!

Plus it doesn't hurt to stand out in the crowd instead of conforming to it (Romans 12:2).

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Anticipation and Preparation

Tomorrow night my cousins are coming over to spend the night. I think that we've decided that no matter how old we are we could use an occasional all-girl slumber party.

It is amazing how when I am planning on having a guest over I quickly go into preparation mode. I want to make sure that the house is clean and organized, I want to have good food to offer them, and I want to make sure I look my best. However, on a regular day, when I'm not going to entertain company, I'd rather not clean up my messes, I'm not particularly interested in the food I'm going to be eating, and I might go around in my pajamas for, at least, half the day. When I'm not anticipating the arrival of a guest I'm not focused on preparing for one.

So I was pondering over this earlier, while I thought about what to feed my cousins, and I had to stop and say "Wow." Is this not a metaphor for how we approach the second coming of Christ?

As we go through our daily lives we don't really dwell on the fact that He could come back at any moment. Because of this, we don't really focus on cleaning up our lives through prayer and reading His word and we don't necessarily feel the need to bring Him our best. However, if we would live each moment with the thought that He could come back in the next second, minute, or hour wouldn’t we work hard to be ready? Wouldn’t we go into preparation mode with the anticipation of His arrival?

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Jesus Calling_January 3rd

For Christmas my mom gave me the 365 daily devotional book by Sarah Young called Jesus Calling. Young has a talent for taking verses from scripture and paraphrasing them in a way that it sound like Jesus is talking just to you. I have to say, when I first began reading it I was little skeptical. I mean, God's word is alive so we really don't need someone else paraphrasing it for us to help us connect to it. However, there is something about the word choice and the flow of it that tugs at my heart.

This is today's reading: January 3rd

REFRESH YOURSELF in the Peach of My Presence. This Peace can be your portion at all times and all circumstances. Learn to hide in the secret of My Presence, even as you carry out your duties in the world. I am both with you and within you. I go before you to open the way, and I also walk alongside you. There could never be another companion as devoted as I am.
Because I am your constant Companion, there should be a lightness to your step that is observable to others. Do not be weighed down with problems and unresolved issues, for I am your burden-bearer. In the world you have trials and distress, but don't let them get you down. I have conquered the world and deprived it of power to harm you. In Me you may have confident Peace.

(Psalm 31:19-20; John 16:33)

I hope that this has blessed your day as it has mine. My one resolution for the new year (that I'm willing to stick with no matter what) is that I will pray for more of God's peace and that I live with "a lightness" in my step. I don't just want to ask for peace I want to LIVE God's peace. I want to experience His confident peace every day.

Monday, January 2, 2012

What God Expects From a Relationship with Us

For Christmas my dad requested that my sister and write papers answering these questions:

What does God expect from a relationship with us?
What do we expect from a relationship with God?

Here is what I wrote to answer the first question:

As Christmas arrives we are often reminded of the childhood tradition of writing a Christmas wish list to Santa Clause. According to any Christmas movie or song, Santa knows if you been naughty or nice and if you are a nice little boy or girl you will receive what you asked for. Sadly, many Christians approach God in the same manner. Their prayers often sound more like wish lists which end with promises that they will be good to ensure that God will grant them their wish. Many Christians are so wrapped up in what they can get out of God that they forget that God wants something out of the relationship as well. Then there are those of us who cannot fathom why the all-knowing, all-powerful, Holy Creator of the universe would want anything to do with us in the first place.
From the beginning of God’s word it is evident that God had a purpose in creating human beings. In Genesis 1:26 He said, “let us make man in our image, in our likeness…” He did not merely create us as pawns He could play with, He wanted a relationship with man. This is the main theme throughout the Bible. Amazingly enough, the Mighty, Holy God who created the universe expects only three things from us. These are found in Deuteronomy 6:5 “love the Lord your God with all your heart with all your soul and with all your strength.” Although these three things may not be simple they are easy to remember and from them stem the holy, set-apart lifestyle that is talked about in the New Testament.
To love the Lord with all of our heart we must relinquish anything that might stand in the way. Jesus reminds us in Matthew 6:24 that “no one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other.” Because God created us He knows that we cannot be wholly devoted to more than one person, place, or object. Thus, we must love Him with our whole heart, putting anything else second.
To love the Lord with all of our soul we must obey His commands. As James 1:19 says we cannot simply listen to or read the word we have to do what it says. By obeying God’s commands we are serving Him exclusively.
To love the Lord with all of our strength we must not conform to the pattern of the world (Romans 1:12). As God’s children we must imitate His holiness.
In one verse, God has covered all the bases.  By loving Him with all of our heart, mind, and strength we ensure a life wholly devoted to Him, free from the hold of sin. By loving Him with all of our heart, mind, and strength we exude His love to others, fulfilling Jesus’ command that we “go and make disciples of all the nations” (Matthew 28:19). By loving Him with all of our heart, mind, and strength we will gladly strive to live our lives for the glory of God (1 Corinthians 10:31).
The Creator of the Universe is not a Santa-like figure, nor is He a stern Dictator who pushes us around like pieces on a game board. The Lord our God is a jealous God who wants us all to Himself. He wants us to love Him with all of our being and He will not settle for less.

Out with the old, in with the new.

So, as you can tell....I am an avid blogger.I can't let a day pass without writing something. I would write two posts if I had the time!
Okay, hold on, I guess that doesn't really describe me. I'm sorry! I'm a disgrace to the blogging world! However, it is a new day and a new year and I have more motivation to write more often. Can I do it? I'm not really sure, but I'll try. :)

I hope all of you have had a wonderful Christmas and that you are looking forward to the new year! 2012...can you believe it?? I have to admit that when the ball dropped for the 2nd time on TV on New Year's Eve I felt kind of strange. Don't get me wrong, I'm excited about the new year. A lot of new and exciting things are in store for me (at least I hope so). However, even though I'm looking forward to 2012 I always get nervous when something new is approaching. I'm not a big fan of change. For example, the year I decided to cut my hair really short I deeply regretted it, I think I cried several times over it, and I still loathe the pictures from that era. Since then I can only handle getting a few centimeters cut off and even that makes me sad! Yes, pathetic I know.

Anyway, the idea of the new year is still growing on me. Maybe it is for you too. I hope that for both our sakes God will bless us with His peace as we endeavor to embrace the changes 2012 will bring.


Before I sign off maybe you want a little update about me?? It has been 5 months right? Maybe I'm just being hopeful that anyone even cares. Anyway, I finished my first semester of education classes. Yes, I'm back in school preparing to become a English/Language Arts/ Reading teacher for 4th-8th grades. I completed 3 classes with all A's and a huge important standardized test with a passing grade! It was a pretty amazing semester. Starting the 17th I will be student teaching at a local middle school in 7th and 8th grade. I know nothing about this age of kids!! So I'm pretty nervous. Some may say "you were that age once", but really...was it the same? I don't know, I have a feeling that a public school 7th or 8th grade in 2012 has a lot more world knowledge than I did as a homeschooling 7th and 8th grader in whatever year it was back then. I do pray that God will give me a great love for every kid I come into contact with. I want His perfect love to spill out of me and pour onto all of them!

On top of that my Reading professor, from this past semester, wants me to consider continuing graduate school and work towards my master's as a Reading Specialist. Once again I feel like I'm at a crossroads, but this time there are amazing options available. Either I could teach my own class in the fall (if I am able to get a job) or I can teach my own class and take a graduate class or I could become this professor's graduate assistant and take a full load of classes. My head spins thinking about it.

As I welcome the new year I look forward to the new things I will experience. Although I'm nervous about change, I know that God has a plan and is preparing the way for me.

I hope you will join me as I look to our Heavenly Father for direction, understanding, and discernment. I'm so thankful that I don't have to figure it out on my own. He already has the answer. I just have to wait for it.

Happy New Year!