Category: Life

A Change Of Perspective

A Change Of Perspective

The other day, a sweet little girl sat in my office with me. She continued to amaze me with her bravery. Her hands shaky with nervousness, she sat there and focused hard on the language tests we were doing. She chatted along happily, not letting her fear and anxiety make her miss this moment of connecting with another human being. To be honest, I so wish I could do the same.

There was this moment, though, that stopped me in my tracks. I have not been able to stop thinking about this moment. I had reached over to point something out to her. She looked up from her task and noticed the paper where I was marking her performance. Right then, her face lit up as she looked at me and said, “Look how many points I have!”

You see, I feel like I am often in that position. It feels like my performance is measured, put down on a scale of standards. I get nervous, and often anxiety starts to build up. I start to wonder if I am reaching the standard. Whether I am performing as I should be or falling behind. I wonder how many points I should be getting more to reach the standard of great. When I see an area that needs more work, I declare myself a failure.

What I forget, is that really — I do not need to be performing at the level of great in all areas in life. So I see that I need a change of perspective, and I think I am not the only one. We need that change of perspective — instead of reaching a standard of great, we want to reach for a standard of grace.

“being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ” (Philippians 1:6)

I keep reminding myself of this: that growing is a part of life. Sometimes, it can be harder to notice this. The fall and winter seasons in our lives, we easily forget to note as parts of the growing cycle. Sometimes, some parts need to die, to be left behind for new things to grow. All of this is a work begun by God. And God is a worker who always completes, always finishes what He has started. There will be a day when we finally arrive. Oh, what a glorious day that will be. But until then? We get to rest in grace, knowing that God is the one to complete even this.

This fall has been a season of growing for me. This has been a season of growing in skills, in knowledge, in abilities — all at the same time as I have stepped into the world of speech therapy. The great thing about being an intern, is getting to learn within safe boundaries while stepping into a world of responsibilities and challenges. And I know, that growing comes with growing pains. But though there may be growing pains, there is grace to cover it all.

Linking up: Grace at Home#HeartEncouragementTune In Thursday

The Gift Of Four Hours

The Gift Of Four Hours

In a season of busyness, God has given me the gift of four hours every week. Two hours every Friday, two hours every Sunday in my car.

On Fridays, those two hours stretch endlessly before me as everything in me is longing to be home already. Home can never come soon enough. It is a silent longing inside of me, one that I don’t necessarily even notice during the week. But on the way home, to what I know is good and comfortable – I notice it.

I have been thinking about the gift of these two hours on Fridays. How I have been reminded that this is the way we all live while we are still here on earth. We live, we take our residence here – but we do not belong. Our home is not here. There is that little something, in the way we breathe more freely and it feels like our hearts expand when we are in the presence of the Lord. That, is our reminder of our home in heaven. Our days are clouded with darkness here and there. Some seasons we seem to walk through the valley. Other seasons, we are only reminded of the darkness when we see our shadows fall behind us. Still we know, we need more light. This is good and comfortable; but there is something better waiting.

On Sundays, I spend those two hours in awe. Home, family, church family and fellowship – these are all things that fill my heart in ways I cannot describe. Safe, secure, loved; always beyond what I deserve. I drive, my mind on the sermon and the ways God is changing my heart right now. Am I happy with how much I love these people of mine right now? How can I reach out? How can I love them better?

I look at the beautiful scenery of the countryside, the beauty of God often leaving me with a heart leaping with joy. I am a failure; I know I do not deserve this. Yet God has poured out His love and grace. His love is expanding before me in the wheat fields turning gold, in the leaves slowly taking on yellow and orange as autumn season falls upon us. There is something in the way the golden sun graciously, gently turns this scenery into art. I cannot help but wonder, how He does the same with my heart. This little heart of mine, so messy and mundane – yet He wants it. Like He wants yours. Did you know that? He wants your heart. He thinks it is beautiful.

These are such mundane things, these two hours every Friday and every Sunday. I drive because I want to be somewhere else, because I need to be somewhere else. This is the season of life God has me in: doing an internship two hours up north. I go sometimes with a grudging heart because I have a hard time not attending church twice a week. I even cried over it just the other day. But I am growing, as different and hard as this season is for me.

“Oh, that men would give thanks to the Lord for His goodness, and for His wonderful works to the children of men! For He satisfies the longing soul, and fills the hungry soul with goodness.” (Psalm 107:8-9)

Linking up: Word Filled WednesdayWise Woman LinkupCoffee For Your Heart

My Morning Reading Routine

Are you fascinated by how other people’s lives look like? What their morning routine is like? Because I am. Therefore I decided to share my morning reading routine with you, in case you are at all like I am. This is what most of my mornings look like. I allow at least half an hour for my morning devotions. If I am not busy, I usually spend at least an hour doing my devotions. If I have time after doing my devotions, I usually read a spiritual book to help me grow in my faith. Recently I have been (re-)reading Women of the Word by Jen Wilkin, which is such a great book.

Morning Reading Routine

The One Year Bible (NKJV)

The One Year Bible has been a part of my morning routine for the last four years. I find that it is the best reading plan for me, at least right now. The One Year Bible goes through the whole Bible in one year. Every day has a passage from the Old Testament, the New Testament, Psalms and a verse or two from Proverbs. This works great for me. There are different versions of The One Year Bible with different translations. NKJV is the translation I read almost always, which is why I have this one in NKJV as well.

Another added bonus for me is that this is an actual book. I do not like marking my Bible in any way. However, I like writing my insights and underlining verses in this one. It is sweet reading through the same book, and see what I have learned throughout these years. (Which, I’m sure, is how people feel about Bible journaling. There’s just something that stops me from marking my actual Bible.)

My Utmost For His Highest

I got My Utmost For His Highest devotional — the classic version — only last year, and I cannot believe I did not get it earlier. This is easily one of my favorite reads. The words of Oswald Chambers challenge me, encourage me, and inspire me to grow in my faith. There is so much wisdom in this devotional, and in my opinion it is one of the best reads for a Christian. Every reading in My Utmost For His Highest is fairly short, so it is a quick read. However, as short as these are, they still go very deep and have me thinking through the day.

Journal

Right now, I have a Moleskine journal. I do not write on my journal every day, but I write on most days. I write down the verses that speak to me. I write down the things that God puts on my heart. Sometimes I write quotes that have really spoken to me. Sometimes I write down prayer requests or the received answers to prayers. Some days, I also just journal if that is what I feel like. But mostly my journal contains writings from my devotions.

The Bible

During my devotional times I usually just read The One Year Bible. Sometimes, I want to study something deeper or I might even be studying through a book of the Bible. (Currently I am actually leading a small group Bible study through the book of Ruth.) These times I have my actual Bible with me as well. I have had the same Bible through all the years I have been saved. My brother bought this Bible for me, with my name graved on the front and I absolutely love my Bible. It is the NKJV Bible; but sometimes I also use the NLT as I like the way it words and gives me better understanding of a passage.

What do you read during your devotions right now? Do you have any suggestions? Let me know in the comments below!

Linking up: Monday’s MusingsGlimpses Link UpGood Morning Mondays#MomentsofHopeModest MondayCoffee For Your HeartWise Woman Linkup

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSaveSaveSaveSaveSave

SaveSaveSaveSave

Comparison Game and Why We Need To Stop It

I have been thinking about the comparison game quite a bit lately. If you know me, you know that I struggle a lot with feeling like I’m not good enough. Like I should be less and like I should be more at the same time.

Maybe it is because summer is the time when there are notifications of engagements and weddings all over the social media. People are graduating or traveling on the most beautiful summer vacations — and I cannot help but feel the twinge of jealousy as I compare all of this to what my life looks like right now. Not because I don’t like my life right now. Honestly, I so enjoy it on most days. But my life very rarely looks like Instagram perfect.

comparison game

The trap of the comparison game

A few weeks ago, I substituted at a daycare and found myself constantly telling the children that they were not in a race. Because these kids would turn everything from eating lunch to putting on clothes, into a race. They would be racing to see who was the fastest or who would be the first to complete the given task. Soon, there would be tears as disappointment took over the ones who were not the first or who didn’t even know there was a race going on.

I couldn’t help but think of how often we do just the same.

Every area of life suddenly becomes a race when we look at people’s lives over social media. Who has the best marriage? The cutest, sweetest kiddos? Who eats the healthiest, is doing Whole30 for the second time in a row or eats all vegan and gluten free? Who goes to the gym or runs 5 miles every day? Who is the most successful at school or at work? Who just got a raise? Who preaches the best sermons? Who dresses the best and is able to buy whatever is in fashion right now?

I can do none of that, in all honesty.

Why we need to stop the comparison game

We so easily forget that we are not in a competition with one another. Life is not a race. We were put on this earth to complement one another in the body of Christ, our gifts and talents working together to build up and edify. So we need to be aware of the competition game this life so easily turns into — and instead choose to compliment one another. We all have purpose in our being, and that doesn’t take away from you or me. It all works together in unity, to bring something beautiful and glorious when we choose to compliment instead of compare, to encourage instead of discourage.

“Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good. Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another; not lagging in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord; rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer; distributing to the needs of the saints, given to hospitality.” (Romans 12:9-13)

Dear friend, our God and Maker has created you so beautifully and wonderfully with a purpose. You have a purpose that only you, just as you are, can fill. We all have our parts, like different instruments have their own part in creating a symphony. It all works together in unity, creating something glorious and miraculous. So you can let go of comparing, trusting that the Lord has given you enough for the moment. Choose to compliment the beauty you see in others, as the same can be seen in you.

SaveSaveSaveSaveSaveSaveSaveSave