Teaching your Feet to Dance Again

And when the music stops and everybody goes home, I want you to keep on dancing.

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I want you to feel the floor under your feet, the way your toes move to the beat of your heart. I want you to feel the freedom it gives and the joy it brings to your smile.

In life, you will go through seasons where the music plays its happy tunes, seasons where all you want to do is dance until your feet fall off. But there will also be seasons in your life where the music grows quiet, when your feet seem to lose its passion for dancing.

But why? Why do your feet lose that wonder, that fire?

Maybe it’s because you are burned out. Maybe it’s because you taught your feet to focus on lesser things, that it took your focus away from the grander purpose. Maybe it’s from that rejection, that deep place of hurt where your learned to inhale the bad things and exhale the good. But whatever it may be, God will always give you a new song to dance to.

For He wants you to inhale life fully and deeply, to teach your feet to dance upon disappointment.

God,

let Your peace be the song I dance to, let your truth be the reason I keep dancing even when the music stops playing. Forgive me for trying to find a love from people and things that only YOU can provide.

“Let His assurance & promises reset your atmosphere”

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And when you teach your feet to dance again, let it be for a purpose. Don’t go through the motions, for that only hardens the heart and steals your JOY. Make every move and motion meaningful, bringing peace, contentment, and greatness to any situation. Surrender the things in your life that are holding you back from dancing…give it to God and watch Him turn those burdens into beauty.

He hears you, sees you, and wants you to cling to what is GOOD.

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“Taste and see that the Lord is good, blessed is the one who takes refuge in Him. Fear the Lord, for those who fear Him lack nothing. The lions may grow weak and hungry, but those who seek the Lord lack no good thing.” PSALM 34:7-10

Turn to Psalm 46:1-10 & remind yourself of the promises that God has spoken into your life.

  1. He is our REFUGE
  2. He is our STRENGTH
  3. He is an ever present HELP in trouble
  4. DO NOT FEAR

So even when we may not believe that it is well with our soul, please remember that he reigns. He has already conquered the world. It will be challenging & at times we will fall, leaving bruises and scars that show the battles we have faced. But if you fully trust in the Lord, He will pick you up, dust you off, and tell you to get back out there. For there is deep beauty in deep pain.

And when you go through periods of drought, whether it be in your prayer life or your passion to know Christ, remember what it felt like when you first started to find Him. Remember the times of surrender that brought tears to your eyes, the days He loved you when you felt unlovable. And look back and see that He has provided & has had a hand in your life every step of the way. Remind yourself of these things, rejoice & give thanks, and God will ignite that fire in you that you need and crave for.

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Dance again, not for the praise from others, but as a reminder of all the things that God has done for you and will continue to do.

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Learning to take the path more traveled

“Farther along we’ll know about it, Farther along we’ll understand why” -Josh Garrels

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Lyrics that speak true to our hearts, a song that convinces us that we are all castaways in need of rope. We might not know the purpose of our lives or how it will play out, but Jesus knows. He’s telling us daily “don’t run, but stay a little while. Stay like you aren’t afraid, but as if you believe in magic and the grace of God.”

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Each day, we are tempted and tried, confused when we see evil acts occurring in the world around us, questioning how God can cry for those who commit such brutal acts. It feels as though you are in a house full of distorting mirrors, looking at the multiple EXIT signs around you. What we forget though, is that the role of God isn’t to explain or justify, but to comfort…to take people by the hand and guide them back into the sunshine. And the good news is, we will understand one day, so “cheer up my brothers, live in the sunshine”.

There’s more to life than what we see, there’s more beauty that will be unveiled to us. All of the confusion and fear will be washed away by the river of unbounding love.

In the mean time, take the path more traveled.

Don’t rely on your own compass, but give yourself a challenge. Don’t check off the opportunities that God gives you just because they don’t fit into your box. Learn to be dependent on the One who knows all.

“He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth its fruit in its season, whose leaf also shall not wither” -Psalm 1:3

I know that experiences in your life will hinder you from venturing out and facing your fears, but don’t let it blind you. Explore new possibilities, be one to head out and declare your life as courageous. Pray fervently while you do so, but remember that His love will follow you there, no matter what path you choose.

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“Be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart, all you who hope in the Lord” -Psalm 31:24

Sometimes, taking the path more traveled means taking baby steps and reaching a hand out to someone you’ve lost contact with, other times it will be showing up to an event where you know no one. It’s about going against the grain and learning to love the process. Celebrate your little victories and baby steps, and put your trust in God & you won’t fear.

In Ecclesiastes, the 3rd chapter, it says,

“To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under Heaven”

A time to heal, a time to plan,

  A time to dance, a time to love.

Through it all, God is there. And until the day comes when the sky rolls back on us, put your voice to the test and rejoice.

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Be courageous and take the path most traveled.

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To the girl with the flowers in her hand

May you never lose that wonder…may you always be wide-eyed and mystified.

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When I was a little girl, I would remember going out on a warm summer day to take a look at all of the wildflowers in the couple acres in front of our house.

I would listen to the sweet sounds of the breeze, letting it whip the hair across my face every couple of seconds. I would picture myself dancing around the field like Julie Andrews from the Sound of Music. Once I finally reached my destination at the wildflowers alongside the creek, I would automatically be drawn to the purplish wildflowers along with the daisies, and of course the dandelions that would stain my hands & make them smell all funky.

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Now, all these flowers would be for my Mom, so I always wanted to impress her with my findings. So I would pick up the flowers that I found to be beautiful, and I would head down the dirt path back to home sweet home. Along the way, I would notice these pebbles hidden in patches of shorter grass. I picked up a few and took a liking towards them…they were nothing special, no unique shape or color…they were just pebbles.

My hands would suddenly be filled with smudges of dirt here and there, but I didn’t want to let go of my pebbles. I believed with my whole heart, that these pebbles were so valuable & thought I would lose so much if I gave them up.

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I was afraid to lose what I gained because I thought that my flowers wouldn’t be enough to give to my Mom. Eventually, I would come to reality and tell myself that my rocks would probably be thrown out anyways. Looking back on those times….I failed to realized that God was saying,

“Child of mine, give me your pebbles. Come to me as you are and be confident in knowing that your flowers are enough. I will give you more glorious treasures if only you learn to surrender what you already have been given.”

& we want it OUR way because in OUR minds…it is so perfect, but when we let go of those pebbles, we let Him work our hearts into something amazing…

“She fell in love with Jesus & everything else soon fell away, every other desire…she fell in love with Jesus and everyone’s approval fell to the side. She wasn’t deterred by reject or concerned with meeting their standards. She could live without fear, she could live with joy, she could live for Him”

To this day, this girl sometimes (most times) holds onto those pebbles…even sometimes builds a mountain out of them. She thinks that she can build her own strength & rely on her own security. Little does she realize that the mountain she made out of pebbles would soon be a crumbling piece of dirt and debris.

She needed grace to bring her back down to safety. And once she was safe, she’d let her head rest against the ground and look up and feel a huge rush of peace enter into her soul. She didn’t have to live in fear of falling, she didn’t have to feel incredibly small & insignificant anymore. She didn’t have to be confused and she didn’t have to hit a dead end.

She could just lay and breathe deep. Her heart & mind would become clear & she would find a place of quiet in that evening sunset.

And then when night would hit, she could look up into the clear sky and pull a blanket around her. She could finally have confidence again that the One who hung the stars would also hold her tight. She was free.

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& in freedom, she found the joy of surrendering. & whenever she starts to have those doubts and wants to pick up those pebbles again she thinks of Philippians 4:8,

“Finally Brothers and Sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable-if anything is excellent or praiseworthy -think about such things.”

She holds onto this truth. And as the girl with the flowers in her hand ages, she prays that those younger girls may never lose their wonder…& prays that all can be just like a child, staring at the beauty of our King.

 

 

The Wave that goes Unnoticed

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I’ve been wanting to write this for about a month now, but haven’t had the right words to express my thoughts (not an uncommon theme in my life). But today…today is the day.

About a month ago, my best friend and I were in a car driving down a quaint back road, windows down, jamming to some Dibs by Kelsea Ballerini. Ways down the road we saw this older couple enjoying a nice little morning walk, minding their own business. As we made our way towards the couple OUT OF NOWHERE, A SQUIRREL JUMPED OUT RIGHT INFRONT OF OUR CAR. We slammed on the breaks and sat in relief that we didn’t just end that fragile little squirrels life. Out of the corner of my eye I saw the older couple look at us like we should be locked up in the coocoo house. Without thinking, I waved to the couple from inside the car and smiled my awkward smile…long story short, they looked at me and looked away. All of the sudden a wave of embarrassment fell upon me.

I felt stupid for waving, and felt like the couple didn’t think I was worthy enough to be waved back to. The next couple hours after I sat and thought to myself why I was such an awkward person & why the world & people seemed so distant…I didn’t find the answer I was looking for until a couple days ago when I talked to my lovely friend who spoke a lot of truth to me on that day.

We put too much pressure on ourselves. We put our worth in PEOPLE & CIRCUMSTANCES that always let us down. We think the world is against us, we make ourselves feel inferior…full of disappointment. We think to ourselves, “why cant I be as wonderful as this person, or why am I never good enough to fit in?”. The truth is, you’re not the only person to feel this way. The world isn’t against you, people don’t want to make you feel awful, but you are against yourself. You build up negative images in your head of who are you and you put your worth in places that don’t contain any value.

Reach out your hand. Be the person to open the door for someone else’s life and get out of your comfort zone. LOVE PEOPLE. Don’t believe the lies that the devil whispers into your ear, and don’t diminish your worth or your role in this world.

Be confident in who you are and your identity in Christ. You may think of yourself in a non healthy way, but if you ask somebody who knows you like the back of their hand, they will tell you that in their eyes you are a powerful, inspirational human being with a light that nobody can diminish.

You aren’t awkward…you aren’t unimportant…you aren’t incapable of fitting in, you are who you are because of the one who dwells within you. You might feel different from others because God made you so that you wouldn’t fit into the mold of this world. You are a brighter light, a child of God who makes people see their real worth.

The world isn’t against you, you are against yourself.

We’re not on this earth to be perfectly beautiful and healthy creatures, but we’re here to be a light in this dark world. We long to be free from all of the pain, fear, & suffering but we long even more to be like JESUS. He didn’t have it easy, so why should we?

Jesus had people who tried to drain Him, His character, & His purpose…but instead of doubting Himself and the promises of His father, He loved the unlovable, He gave grace to those who deserved it least, and showed His kindness, His understanding, and His forgiveness. He was a joy to be around. He showed people the true character of God and He made intentional and meaningful relationships with people and spoke truth to all. People loved Him for His heart, and you should love yourself for your own heart.

Don’t try to exhaust yourself in pleasing others and neglecting yourself, but be a person who is confident in who you are and the person you are trying to be like…AKA Jesus.

Take time for yourself and tell yourself that you are loved, you are wanted, you are important. Cause I have a little secret for you, you are all of those things. Nobody can fulfill your role in other people’s lives like you can.

So don’t be afraid to wave to the next person you see, whether it be in a car, on the sidewalk, in a coffee shop, or even in the supermarket. Go out and show love…your little acts of kindness will change a person’s life…and your own.

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Welp, there you have it. Goodbye 2015, hello 2016. In 2015 I have witnessed people come and go in my life. I have seen people laugh, I’ve seen people cry, and I’ve seen people change. 

Isn’t it crazy that people and feelings evolve like the weather? 

But the one thing that has stayed constant all my years has been Jesus. His love is a stream that is D E E P, + F U L L as ever. Hebrews 13:8 states, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.” He is CONSTANT in the storm and He is constant in the stillness. 

That being said, people can also be a constant in your life. I see Gods love through people everyday. There are some people who you meet that you know right away will be in your life for a long time, but then there are also people with soft hearts who ease into your life like a gentle nudge. This year, I am so taken aback by how many constants God has put into my life, even in a world where all you see is change. 

Friendship & companionship are such a gift. It’s the people who walk into your life, love you flaws and all, and still love you despite your sinful nature. Jesus knows who to place in your life at the perfect moment…He orchestrates the very best things.

….now to the nitty gritty stuff.

Okay, so we all have those resolutions we plan to stick to whenever a new year rolls around. We plan to eat healthy, go to the gym more, get better grades in school, get more organized, blah blah blah. They are the same every year and I know for me, after day 2 I’ve already gone back to my regular routine. We don’t realize how hard we have to work to accomplish our goals.

But what if this year, our resolutions resided in Jesus? What if this year we made a firm decision to keep God a constant in OUR lives? What if we set aside 10 minutes throughout the day just to thank Him, to love Him? 

What if I told you that once you started doing that, you would learn to love better, learn to show forgiveness better, learn to be a better version of yourself? Would you stick to it year round? Hey, nobody said it would be easy, but man would it be a sight to see. 

Jesus’s wish for us is just that. He dares for us to show better compassion…He wants us to talk to Him. He’s like a dog who just waits patiently by His friends side to hear how is day went. He has BIGGER + BETTER plans for us than we could ever picture for ourselves. We might have our own set of resolutions, but God just patiently stands beside us saying, “Oh, you just wait for what I have in store for you”. 

Gods whispers will change your life.

So let that be a resolution for you this year! Let Him in, dare to be a better friend, a better child, a better human being. Let 2016 grow you, and shape you, and change you until you are one step closer to being the person that God has created you to be. And remember, seasons come and go, people will leave your life, new people will enter your life. But remember to look up and see the one who is always present

He loves you and wants the best for you. So, allow God to be the constant in your life this year and all years! He will thank you ever so sweetly. 

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I also want to thank these people for letting me intervene in their lives, and for them intervening in mine. 

to Chandley – thank you for being one of the constants in my life. Thank you for being the one I run to, tell everything to, + being that one person who has shown me that you done need to be blood related to have a sister. You have no idea how compassionate and strong you are, but I do ;). Jesus shines in your heart and I know God has some pretty wonderful plans for you.

to Tess– thank you for being that or person who slides into my life so unexpectedly. Thank you for being my lighthouse whenever I am lost, and thank you for letting me cry on your shoulder at 2 in the morning. Thank you for making life so magical and thanks for your constant love and unending encouragement. You are more beautiful thank you’ll ever know! 

to Teeona– Thank you for being my rock and my comforter. You might not ever know how important you are to me, but just know that you’re a diamond in the ruff. Thank you for always being there, and for being you. You have helped me so much in this past week, and you probably don’t even know it. I love you! Never forget how precious you are to me and Jesus 🙂 

to Alyssa H.– it was love at first sight. Thank you for being my sunshine everyday 🙂 thank you for the ways that you love, and always  wanting the best for others. Thank you for singing Dibs with me in the car, and for understanding me when I can’t speak English. You’re heart is pure gold and always remember your worth! You have shown me how to love better, and for that I am forever grateful! 

to my messiah family- you know who you are! Thank you all for showing me what it means to love God more than anything else! You all have shown me patience, kindness, generosity, and how to be a good person. You guys make me laugh like no one else, and you guys are my family away from home and I am BEYOND blessed to know such incredible people. Thank you! 

to my mom + dad– Thank you for loving me even though I am THE BIGGEST BRAT in the world. You guys mean the world to me and I couldn’t have asked for a more loving and caring home. You guys are my best friends and I will always love you to the moon and back! 

 

 

 

Falling into the arms of love

I’m messy, broken, and unworthy. None of that will change, but grace IS and WAS enough.

Before my journey with Christ, being broken was a sign of weakness…but now, being broken has taken on a whole new context. Because of Jesus, He has taken my broken pieces and has made them fit together to tell a beautiful story.  He is writing on my heart, and yours too.

When I look at my life, I see the mistakes I’ve made, the people I’ve let down, the silly insecurities  I’ve had, the unlimited failures and defeats. When God looks at my life, He might laugh and be dissapointed at times, but He looks at my failures with love and equips me with the Holy Spirit in order to carry out His works throughout my life. He laughs at my fears because He knows that there isn’t anything that can overcome Him.

When I look at people in the world, I see people that love to point out eachothers flaws. I see that people find joy in other people’s mistakes and use it to tear eachother down. Why? Why do we let first impressions define the people we meet? Why are we afraid to be ourselves? Why are we afraid to love? And why are we a people who find self-worth in looks, job descriptions, + material things in the world rather than finding worth in CHRIST?

Do you know that God is your strength? Do you know that He had given you an armor suit that cannot be destroyed? Jesus’s blood runs through your veins, no weapon formed against you will prosper. God puts himself in front of you during battle, and fights the fights that you cannot win yourself. He holds the stars in His hand and knows them all by name. Aren’t you more precious than the stars in the sky? He LOOoOVESs you and is never against you.

Before I found my worth in Christ, I found my worth in earthy things. I was searching for hope…I was searching for a love so unquenchable.

 For so long I wrestled with the voices inside my head telling me that love doesn’t exist, that all people had the worst intentions, and that I had to put my worth in good grades, athletic capabilities…and time into focusing on my looks and caring about what other people thought of me. I knew I would find myself when I laid it down…but I didn’t want to yet. I doubted God, I placed Him on the back burner. I thought I could handle it all by myself, I thought I could write my own story.

Boy was I wrong.

I finally reached a crossroad. I got to the point where it was like I was juggling 18 cups on my head. I couldn’t control EVERYTHING. I couldn’t balance 18 cups on my head and hope that one didn’t fall. But I found out that with God, juggling those 18 cups becomes possible. My cups were full of insecurities, bitterness, anger, resentment. When I finally felt all of them crashing down on me at once, I looked up. I realized that God was right there, picking up my broken cups. And since then, I’ve realized that our God is a God of deep, deep love songs and redemption stories. He took my empty, broken cups and overflowed them all with grace, love, and forgiveness.

Lay down your broken cups. Lay down your hurt and come as you are. Time with Jesus can heal any amount of pain. Since my journey with Christ has began, I’ve looked back and have seen that He has been my God through ALL of it. I’ve seen His face in every tear, every moment of happiness and joy, just in every moment. Most days, I get scared. I fall into the trap that God doesn’t care about me. I look for God when it feels like all four walls are closing in.

I search everywhere, and I panic. Then, when I fall into silence and start to give up, I hear Gods voice. He reminds me to stay calm, to be BOLD, to be vulnerable. If I allow fear to break me down, my heart will harden and I will become distant and lonely. If I choose to turn away from fear, then I choose to let love in. Letting God into your heart will allow you to love SO much and SO hard to the point where you start to feel brave. You’ll be able to conquer the days where it gets a little harder to see, and the days when you think your plans are better than His plans.

He’s holding you and I and is reminding us everyday of His unending grace and mercies.

And I’m falling into the arms of love…and there’s no better feeling than that.