Jesus

Love Challenge

If you have been reading my blog for the last month or so then you know I have a new teaching job. I am a pull-out teacher for first and fourth grade, and if you care about it, you can read more about what I do here. Well, some days I get pulled to sub for certain classes if they couldn’t get a sub. Last Friday and yesterday I subbed for the same second grade class. After being there for two days, I already feel like I know the students in that class so well! I was amazed at how quickly they became attached to me and trusted me. I think I got about six letters that said “I love you” and had hearts drawn on it yesterday.

Isn’t it amazing how easily a child loves someone? How quickly a child can love someone without thinking twice about it? Now think about this some more. What can children teach us? Should we as adults love as simply and easily as a child? Why does it seem as we get older we love less and loving seems so much harder? Is it what we go through in life? Do circumstances happen that then make us harden our hearts to love others?

And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love. 1 Corinthians 13:13

“The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.” Mark 12:31
“Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.” 1 Peter 4:8
“Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God.” 1 John 4:7
“And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.” Colossians 3:14
Do you see what I’m getting at here? 🙂
I know not all of you reading may be Christians, and that’s okay. We all have our own beliefs, but Christian or not, I think we can all admit that love is very important and something our world desperately needs.
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Now I am not just talking about the love you feel for a spouse or boyfriend or girlfriend, I mean the love we should show to all of the people we come in contact with.
It’s easy to get caught up in our own lives and everything that is on our to-do list, but I feel that we have such a greater calling in life than to just mark things off our to do-list, go to bed, just to wake up and do more things for ourselves. What type of life is this? What is the purpose of this? Think about it, our world keeps getting more and more selfish, and as this happens, we love less and less people.
If you are a Christian, then you have a huge responsibility! God died for you and for me, not just to forgive us so we can go on living guilt free for ourselves, but he forgave us so that we would live for Him and use our lives to glorify Him! What a better way to glorify Him than to love the people in our lives? Even the people who aren’t always easy to love.
 “But to you who are listening I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. If someone slaps you on one cheek, turn to them the other also. If someone takes your coat, do not withhold your shirt from them. Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back. Do to others as you would have them do to you.”               Luke 6:27-31
That’s hard. It’s just natural to not like the people who are mean or rude to us. But think about it. How much better would our world be if we all just worked on loving people more? If we worked on loving the people who aren’t nice to us or on loving the people we see every day at work or the store but never give a second thought about. Every person in our life is there for a reason. Maybe that reason is so that you can show him or her love. Maybe you will make their day or change their life.
love people
Showing love to someone could be as simple as holding a door open for them, lending them a dollar, or just even asking them about their life and listening to them. Maybe you have a few extra cookies or treats around your house, why not share them with someone? Send someone a text saying you are thinking about them. Give someone a hug. A hug might be exactly what someone needs.
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How do we love someone though who we hardly know or is mean to us? Well, we have a good example.

“Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” John 15:13

Jesus, God, the Almighty Creator of the world, the only perfect one to ever walk this earth, died for us, a bunch of sinners. I mean he died to save the people who killed Him! How is that for loving those who it’s hard to love?? Now we can’t love people like this naturally, we have to ask God to give us the same love that He has for His people so that He can shine through us.

Here is another definition of love:

“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.” I Corinthians 13:4-7

Basically, I think we need to think of ourselves less, and think of others more. If we do this, I think we will naturally love more! Think about the people you normally don’t give a second thought about, and then think about how you can make them smile. 🙂 Think about how you can make a difference.

This is where the challenge comes in. I challenge you to love people more. Love those who are hard to love. Love those you barely know. Make someone’s day. Make our world a better place. I mean, if we all do this, think about how much better it could be! Plus, I honestly believe that if we start thinking about ourselves less and loving others more, we will be happier! Let’s try to love as easily as a child. 🙂 But you might not want to give an adult a letter that reads, “I love you” with a bunch of hearts. That might be a little creepy coming from someone who is older than ten years old. 😉

Will you take part in this Love Challenge? If so, think of something you can do differently today and this week! 

I would love to hear any of your comments!

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My Hope For You This Christmas

Merry Christmas Eve everyone! I woke up so happy today! Christmas just puts me in a perfect mood. 🙂 I wish Ryan was off all day, but he gets off at 11:30, so I’ll take it!

Ryan and I celebrated our own Christmas last night for our final date night of the 12 dates of Christmas. It was wonderful, but I’m not going to recap today. I will save that for another day. I want today’s post to be short and to the point. I want to share with y’all my hope for each of you this Christmas.

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1. I hope you remember the true reason for Christmas.

“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” Isaiah 9:6

“An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified.  But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.  Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord.  This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”  Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,  “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests.” Luke 2: 9-14

Jesus is the reason

It is so easy to get distracted by the lights, decorations, music, and presents, (don’t get me wrong, I still love all of these things), but these are not the reasons we celebrate Christmas. Take some time to pray and thank God for sending us his son, Jesus, to save us from our sin.

2. Enjoy your family and treasure this special time with them. 

Put down your phone, technology, and social media for a while just to enjoy being with the people you love.

3. Have fun, eat good food, be thankful, and be merry!! 🙂

Those are all of my hopes for you this Christmas! Short and sweet! Now I have to go eat breakfast and finish up a few last minute things  before we head to my parents’ house when Ryan gets off! 🙂

Merry Christmas everyone!

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I Can’t Help But to Share

I had a few other ideas I was going to write about for today, and I actually had a post already written about my most recent race, but after I spent some time reading the Word, I put those ideas to the side. I couldn’t help but to share this.

This post will be short and sweet, but this was such a great reminder of how we as Christians should live. Here are a few verses that really spoke to me. I hope they speak to you as well.

Isaiah 12: 4-6

“And you will say in that day: ‘Give thanks to The Lord, call upon his name, MAKE KNOWN his deeds among the peoples, proclaim that his name is exalted. Sing praises to The Lord, for he has done GLORIOUSLY; let this be made known in all the earth. Shout, and sing for Joy, O inhabitant of Zion, for great in your midst is the Holy One of Israel.'” 

As Christians, we have the Holy Spirit in our midst, and this is so GLORIOUS!! We need to be making Him and all of his deeds known in everything we do every day! I know I already knew this, but God spoke to me through His Word today, and I needed to be reminded of this today.

This is why, even though I consider this to be a healthy living blog, I try to keep Jesus in the center because my whole life is His, and I try to dedicate everything I do to Him. After all, I believe a life isn’t truly healthy without Jesus in it anyways. 🙂

Has God spoken to you lately through Scripture? If so, what verse?

What do you think of the verse I shared? 

Faith in My Friday-That’s Just Life

It has been quite a while since I have taken part in Melissa’s “Faith in my Friday”, so I am glad to join back in!

Faith in my Friday pic

Okay, time to be real and be honest. I have not spent time in God’s Word once this week. I am not proud of this, and typing it makes me feel horrible. But I say this so that everyone understands that it is something I struggle with. It is so easy to get busy with other things, things that are even good things, and not make time to read and listen to God’s Word. I have prayed much this week, but I know that is me talking to God. In order to let Him speak to me, I have to read His Word. I feel like many people struggle with making the time to sit down and read the Bible (maybe I’m totally wrong and everyone has it all together except me) just because in today’s world it’s all about go, go go! But that’s not what the Lord says it is about.

“He says, ‘Be still and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.'” Psalm 46:10

In case you don’t know, I am the type of person who has a hard time sitting still. I like to always be moving and always be doing something. This verse is a constant reminder to me.

There is always something that needs to be done: work, cleaning, cooking, blogging, hanging out with friends, spending time with family, volunteer work, etc. I mean, let’s face it, the list could go on and on. If we didn’t need sleep, I am sure we could all find something to consume our lives with all 24 hours of the day! Sometimes I wonder how I can possibly get everything done that I need and want to do. Well I have finally learned, that’s just life.

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Life is busy, there are many things to do, and in the midst of everything we are supposed to keep things in perspective and know that God comes first. Because after all, He has given us everything else, and He is all that matters! This past summer was filled with Ryan and I getting married, moving into our first home, getting organized, cleaning, working, writing thank you letters, seeing family and friends when we could, working out, and studying for my teacher certification test. Because of all of this I didn’t get to start blogging this summer until this past week. Well, that’s just life. 

When life gets super busy, I mean it’s always busy, but sometimes things just seem to get even more hectic, I have learned that I have to prioritize my time and my activities. The Lord needs to always come first. If He is not first, something is wrong. When I am not putting the Lord first I can usually always tell.

put God first

After God, Ryan, my husband comes next. As his wife, I want and need to submit to Him. Time I get to spend with Him is important, and I love and cherish this time very much.

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Sidenote: This is a picture from our honeymoon; I will have a post about our honeymoon soon! 🙂

Next, is my family and then friends. These are the people God has placed in my life, and they have blessed me so much. My family and friends provide me with love, support, and guidance. I can’t let these people disappear from my life.

After I do the things that are necessary, but not always as fun in life (school, work, clean, etc), I can make the time for fun activities that I love. This includes, working out, blogging, reading, looking through Pinterest, etc. I really did try all summer to get back into blogging, but the way I had to prioritize my time, it just didn’t fit in. I really do love writing on here though, and I love communicating with other bloggers and making and maintaing friendships with some amazing people! I looked back at a lot of my older posts this morning, and it is funny to me how my blog has changed since I first started it. I used to write long posts every single day, trying to document everything I ate or every workout I did. It finally changed to shorter posts that also included my life, my faith, with some food, recipes, and workouts thrown in when I felt like it. That’s when I started to love my blog. When I quit making my blog all about a certain subject, but instead just about my life and what I enjoyed. I enjoy reading blogs when I actually get to know the reader and they open up. I hope I have done that for y’all. I hope y’all can see that I am a regular young lady, trying to live her life for Christ to the best of her ability, trying to be healthy in a not so healthy world, trying to love and serve my husband as I should, and trying to be the daughter, sister, and friend that God wants me to be to everyone in this world. I have learned that I might not be able to blog every day, but that’s just life. I do love writing here though, so I am hoping I can write here regularly. 🙂

So, what the Lord is showing me is that when I don’t have time for everything it is okay, as long as I am keeping things prioritized as they should be, and keeping Him first in my life. God has blessed me abundantly, and everything I have is His, so everything I do needs to be devoted to Him. That is why I have devoted my blog to Him, and if one day there are other things I need to do for the Lord besides blog, I just have to go with it because that’s just life. 🙂

Questions:

1. Do you ever have a problem just being still and being with God?

2. Is it ever hard for you to find time to read God’s Word in today’s busy world?

3. What do you think of my blog? Do I include enough about myself? Is there more y’all as readers would like to know about me or something else I should write about? 

4. Has God been laying anything on your heart lately? 

Faith in my Friday and Saying Goodbye to the BSM

Yay for Friday! Today is a special day for me because it marks the end of my first semester of student teaching! Just one more semester and then I can graduate in December! 🙂 I have been at a teaching conference all day, which is why I am just now getting the chance to write.

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I absolutely love Faith in my Friday. Thanks so much Melissa for continuing to host it on Freeingimperfections.com. In my most recent Faith in my Friday post I wrote about how much my faith has grown since Ryan and I have got engaged because I have had to put all of my trust in God’s plan and let go of my own. As Ryan and I get closer to getting married, our faith in God is also having to grow stronger. Let me explain.

We get married in 1 month and 4 days. We do not know what city we should live in. We aren’t sure what city we should be looking to live in. We do not have a house to live in, or even a prospective house to live in.

That is scary to think about when we know we need a place to live fairly soon. We have been praying and asking God to show us where He wants us and what He wants us to do. However, right now, God is just telling us to be patient. I know God has an amazing plan, and He will reveal it to us on His own timing. And let’s be honest, His timing will be the best possible time.

Faith in God's Timing

In the next month God is going to show us a lot and we will get the answers to the questions we have had for so long. God always answers His people!

Today Ryan’s sister-in-law, Krystal, text us both with this bible verse:

“In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps.” Proverbs 16:9

This was exactly what we needed to hear from God! Krystal told us that she was praying for us and that the Lord would make Himself clear to us in housing, jobs, and finishing school, so that He would receive all of the glory and honor!

God speaks to people in many different ways, and I think one way is through other people. God definitely spoke to Ryan and I today through Krystal. I am so thankful for the family and friends in our lives that God has blessed us with. The Lord is determining our steps for us, and whenever Ryan and I finally figure out what God wants for us, He will get all of the glory and praise!

Workout

Yesterday I did this awesome workout from fitncookies.

fitncookies trainer tuesday 2

I was a sweaty mess after this workout, and I loved it! As I was looking at Heather’s workouts I found another one I wanted to do, so I did this one today.

Fitncookies Burpees, arms and abs workout

I hate/love burpees. So hard, but such a good workout! Both of these workouts wore me out! I love trying out new workouts from my fellow blogging friends! Thanks Heather!

Saying Goodbye to the BSM

Last night was a sweet and sad night. While we have been in college Ryan and I have been very involved with our school’s Baptist Student Ministry (BSM). This ministry holds a very special place in my heart for many reasons. I have had so much fun being involved in it throughout college, I have met most of my friends through the BSM, and most importantly, this is where I first met Ryan my freshman year of college.

Last night was the spring banquet, and our last event with the BSM. 😦 I don’t even know if I should put a sad face at the end of that sentence because I know it is good we are moving on because everyone has to graduate and go on to that next step of their life, but it is still sad. We had a blast though, and it was nice to have one last big party with our friends!

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In case you can’t tell from this picture, I am blessed with an awesome group of friends whom I love very much!

Every BSM banquet has a theme, and this year’s theme was western. (Ryan and I didn’t dress for the theme, but decided to dress up instead. 🙂 )

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Here is Marlee, my maid of honor, roping. I thought this picture was so cute and had to post it. 🙂

The banquet was held at a cowboy church, so it everything fit the theme perfectly. And of course we had barbecue for dinner! Here is the table full of food!

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I enjoyed some brisket with barbecue sauce, a baked potato topped with some cheese, baked beans, and salad. Plus, since I knew we wouldn’t really be having the healthiest dinner ever, I ate an apple right before we left for the banquet.

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Why did I take this picture? I’m not really sure except I thought it might turn out cute. Most definitely did not, but I still decided to share it with y’all. 🙂

Tip for everyone out there, anytime I’m going to a party or a banquet where I know there won’t really be healthy options to eat, I try to have something healthy before I go. That way, I won’t be quite as hungry and won’t have to fill up on so much junk food at the party. Away from that side note, back to the banquet!

Some awards were given out and all of the graduating seniors gave some words of wisdom to everyone else. Even though I am not graduating until December, I was considered as a senior since I won’t be a part of the BSM anymore.

Of course last night called for lots of pictures!

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I love these girls!

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Ryan and I with our wonderful BSM director, Joe.

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I love all of these girls and the fun times we always have.

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Is my fiance the most handsome man ever or what? 🙂

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And of course needed a bride, groom, and maid of honor picture. 🙂

The BSM has been so good to Ryan and I during college, and I am so thankful for the friendships and relationships I have made. For anyone who is in college, I highly suggest finding some type of group or organization to be involved in. It really does make your college experience so much better!

Questions:

Has God ever spoke to you through someone in your life? 

Do you find it hard to have faith in God’s plan at times?

Were you involved in any type of organization in college?