Category: Faith

Summer Bucket List 2017

Do you make bucket lists for the summer for yourself? Since summer has finally arrived, I thought now would be a good time to make a summer bucket list for myself. I find that often the summer goes by way too quickly, and as I have been studying during the summers for the last three years, it is easy for the summer to go by and leave me feeling like I didn’t really enjoy summer to the fullest. Which is why I decided to create a bucket list for this year.

To be honest, my summer will be fairly short and it will go by quickly. I will be writing my Master’s thesis for most of the time. I will also be working on a few Bible camps. I’m also starting my speech therapist internship in early August. I’m sure most of August is spent on trying to adjust to the internship and working as a speech therapist full time. There is also some time set aside for traveling in July, as there is a Christian Conference coming up that I’m attending. So there will be quite a few things that will keep me busy this summer!

This bucket list is made of the things I love the most about summer; like going on a picnic and enjoying the nature. The Finnish nature is absolutely beautiful in the summertime, which is why I want to make sure to stop and enjoy it.

Summer Bucket List 2017

Summer Bucket List 2017

  1. Have a picnic.
  2. Visit a national park.
  3. Go to the beach.
  4. Swim in the ocean.
  5. Movie marathon.
  6. Read at least 5 books.
  7. Go stargazing.
  8. Work on my lettering skills.
  9. Visit a Farmer’s market.
  10. Explore a new town.
  11. Go out for frozen yogurt.
  12. Go berry picking.
  13. Travel.
  14. Pick wild flowers.

Have you made a bucket list for this summer? If yes, what is on your list? I’d love to hear!

Linking up: Glimpses Link UpMonday’s MusingsGood Morning Mondays#MomentsofHopeModest Monday






Find Your Spiritual Gifts

Finding our spiritual gifts is something that comes up in conversations often. Just a few days ago, I sat next to a friend when she brought up spiritual gifts — and the feeling of purposelessness that kept holding her heart. It wasn’t the first time that I sat there, looking into a pair of beautiful eyes that held hopelessness beneath all the smiles and light jokes.

Find Your Spiritual Gifts

Our need to find a purpose for ourselves, is something that raises up from deep within us. There is the feeling that this life and all that we have in our lives is not all that we were created for. We imagine the potential, the ideal — and the weight of purposelessness is heavy on hearts when we feel like we aren’t doing anything.

What does God’s Word say about the spiritual gifts?

The Scripture passages that speak about spiritual gifts are Romans 12:6-8 and 1 Corinthians 12:8-10.

Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, let us prophesy in proportion to our faith; or ministry, let us use it in our ministering; he who teaches, in teaching; he who exhorts, in exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness.” (Romans 12:6-8)

The gifts mentioned in these passages are prophecy, service/ministering, teaching, exhortation (or encouragement), giving, leadership, mercy, word of wisdom, word of knowledge, faith, healing, miracles, discerning, tongues, and the interpretation of tongues. This is not all that God’s Word says about the spiritual gifts, though. In 1 Corinthians 12, we are told that these gifts are given to us by the Holy Spirit. He distributes all these gifts, and He alone decides which gift (or gifts) each person should have.

It is also important for us to see that these gifts are given to us for the edification of the body of Christ. We are all members of the one body, and all of us are needed for the body of Christ to function well and in a healthy way. This is why I think it is important for us to know our gifts, so that we can pray for God to show us how to use our gifts for the edification of the church and community that we are in.

 “For as we have many members in one body, but all the members do not have the same function, so we, being many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another.” (Romans 12:4-5)

Did God give me any spiritual gifts? 

I believe the Holy Spirit has given each one of us at least one of those gifts, some of us a few. I think it can be hard to see our gifts ourselves. I would recommend asking about your gifts from those people who know you well. I have done this with my best friends, as I can easily name some of their gifts and they can do the same with me.

As I already mentioned, I think it is important for us to know our spiritual gifts so that we can use them. We should also be praying for God to show us how to use them in our community.

We can always pray for the Lord to give us more of the spiritual gifts. They are all God’s to give, but I honestly believe we should be praying to have more of the gifts as it delights God to see us using our gifts for the edification of the church. Ask Him to show you your gifts, and then how to use them for His glory. I’m sure He will honor this prayer.

How to find your spiritual gift

In trying to find your purpose and talents, I would ask you: what do you like doing? Singing or playing an instrument? Studying Scripture? Talking about Jesus with others in a way that they are captivated? Listening to others? Hanging out with people? Having people over at your place? Making food? Looking after and being with children? Arts, like drawing or painting or writing? Helping others practically, like cleaning or helping them with their errands? Do you know any other languages? Are you interested in people coming from other cultures? IT stuff or graphic design?

Those are all gifts and talents that can be used for the edification of the church. I am saying this because I see all of these at my church. Yes, there are those who go out to evangelize or teach or lead worship. But please don’t glorify those gifts. They are not any more important than the rest of them.

Just as important are those who take care of toddlers on Sundays so their parents can listen to the sermon or make meals for the sick or maintain the church website and make graphics for the church or clean the church or host a brother or a sister if they need a place to stay or take the time to sit down with a new believer to answer all their questions or sit by those who are hurting and comfort them or reach out and maybe even translate for those who don’t speak English or donate clothes (or make them!) for the families who don’t have much money. All of these are so important.

Friend, I am sure that God has a great purpose for you. Sometimes it can take a while to arrive there. It can take a while to see how God would like for you to use your gifts and talents. But that’s okay too. Sometimes it is like that because the right moment, the right people aren’t there yet.

Linking up: Monday Meditations#MomentsofHopeGood Morning MondaysModest MondayGlimpses Link Up

When Fear Keeps You From Living

“She seemed to suffer from… you know, the fear of life.”

It was this phrase I heard while walking down the corridors at the University, passing by a conversation while I was deep in thoughts — but this phrase, these few words caught my attention and kept swirling around in my mind for many days after.

The fear of life.


In all honestly, I so understand that. I am looking at this season of endings and beginnings, of completion and new things. I am graduating with a Bachelor’s degree this month, and I am already more than half into my Master’s. In two and a half months, I will start my internship (as a speech therapist) after which I will be graduating very soon. Suddenly, I am staring at this thing called life where so many options seem to be open and there is the desperate seeking to know whether this option or that option is right or wrong — and honestly, it is quite terrifying on most days.

So this phrase, the fear of life — it makes sense these days.

I keep wondering, that maybe it comes easily to the heart that has crashed and burnt one too many times. Maybe it is the way that a heart remembers the bleeding wounds, the same way scarred skin still remembers the cuts. Maybe the hurts of the yesterdays, that we thought were long forgiven and forgotten — still sway our hearts and beg us to take cover, to build these walls of safety around us.

When we come to that crossroad where decisions need to be made for the future, it seems like this iron-fisted fear takes hold of our hearts and steals our strength, creeping into dreams in the restless, fitful nights and leaving a weight on our chests, heavy enough to make us forget to breathe. What once seemed like barely manageable but somehow doable, now becomes this impossibly great mountain — and on most days, we are too exhausted to even try and take the first step.

But the moment we make giving up an option, I know the iron-fisted fear keeps pushing us towards that and only that option. Though giving up seems like the best option — it is also the option that forgets our Maker, whose scarred hands carry us through every season of life.

“My flesh and my heart fail; but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.” (Psalm 73:26)

But we are all only human. I think we forget that quite often, requiring this supernatural knowledge and capabilities of ourselves — so that when failures comes around the corner and bumps into us, we stumble and fall hard, our balance thrown off in the swirl of life because no part of us thought that falling could ever be an option.

Fear keeps us from living so easily. I wish it would not, for your sake and mine. Because fear has a tendency to make things bigger and worse than they actually are — and the truth is, you are a conqueror in Christ.

So maybe that is where we are right now. Empty-handed and exhausted, the fear of life looming behind our shoulders and we let the shadow of fear cover us, cover that spark of hope that is set in our hearts. Maybe we have nothing to offer — and yet, that is always the biggest lie that keeps us from living for the glory of God. Because when we have nothing to offer? We have everything to offer, as we raise our empty hands to the Lord and ask Him to fill our hands with His purposes.

Maybe the only thing you have right now to offer, is your heart — the one broken, bruised heart that has been knocked around too many times to bear much more. But with that heart comes your faith, your dreams and prayers — and with those, your nothing becomes everything.

Because in all of it, God is with you. He is able. He is willing. He sees you, your weaknesses and failures, the fears and doubts — and He loves you. Just as you are. He wants to use you. Just as you are. And He wants to bring you forward.

Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.” (Isaiah 41:10)

Dear friend, I wish I would have the right words, the needed advice on how to let go of fear. I wish I could tell you to live life with a heart that is free from fear, that isn’t stopped by the crippling anxiety of the unknown. But all I can do is to remind you, like I am reminding myself so often these days — that your soul has been redeemed and set free. Death cannot touch you; the darkness cannot hold you down. His grace is always greater than any circumstance. He is with you. You are so much braver than you know.

Linking up: #MomentsofHope Link-UpGlimpses Link UpModest MondayGood Morning Mondays#HeartEncouragement ThursdaysGrace at HomeTune In Thursday

Just Be Brave

I am only starting to learn what it means to be brave in the midst of this mess that is called life — how to share from this trampled soul of mine; how to touch gentle with His redeeming love; how to pour out the overflowing grace and pour into that darkened place of a broken heart. But I know this: that though I am not, I know the I AM. I know the One who has set us free. And maybe we truly are building the walls of Jerusalem here — brick by brick, side by side and all the while, His brilliant grace will show us the way.