My Testimony – The Full Version

As I said in a recent post, I felt strongly prompted to share my story. I did a very short version on The Day I Finally Gave Up. Here’s the long version. I can’t believe that I’m sharing this with you all, just to be perfectly honest. It makes me feel very vulnerable because it’s a very personal thing to me. 🙂

I may be only sixteen, but God has worked so much in my life. I have seen his power and felt his love in a true and personal way and I want to share that story with you. I’m not sure how to describe it all, but I’ll do my best. Continue reading “My Testimony – The Full Version”

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The Influence of a Mother

Sunday was Mother’s Day. Perhaps you may think this post is late, but it’s really not. Because, hopefully Mother’s Day prepared you for this post. All across America, and probably other countries too, people were celebrating the gift of motherhood. At the same time, others are sitting back wishing they had a mom to celebrate with. I feel for you. But I have a little challenge for you. Celebrate her, even though she isn’t with you. The fact alone that she brought you to this world has had the deepest impact on your life! Celebrate that.

I, personally, am extremely grateful for the moms in my life, but especially for my own sweet mother. She has spent countless hours teaching me, doing things for me I couldn’t do myself, and loving me even when I was incredibly naughty. She taught me to love music and was (and is!) an amazing example to me of a Godly woman. Continue reading “The Influence of a Mother”

From the Best Day of My Life {Pictures}

Which was the best day of my life? Easter. Yes, Easter of this very year. You can read why here. Actually, that post was written the day before, so I’ll explain a bit more. The reason Easter was so special, was because I had finally given everything up to God and learned who He really is. I could finally celebrate his resurrection with energy and zeal. No pangs from a guilty conscience.  Continue reading “From the Best Day of My Life {Pictures}”

Finds From the Old Notebook: The Faith that Saved

For all of you who are just joining the party, Finds From the Old Notebook, is a series of stories I wrote when I was younger that I’ve dug up from the dustbin of history (Okay, okay, I’m really not as old as that sounds). Some are ridiculous, unrealistic, silly, awkward, funny, or… once in a while, real life happenings. So continue reading at your own risk! 😉 Continue reading “Finds From the Old Notebook: The Faith that Saved”

The Day I Finally Gave Up

I had hit the bottom. Literally. For weeks, I’d been struggling, trying to balance a myriad of responsibilities, financial problems, and a ton of various pressures (both perceived and real).

Most of the time, I was able to keep up-beat. But every once in a while, exhaustion over-whelmed me, and I would spiral downward into a pit of despair. To add to the mess, I was trying to cope with some ongoing health issues that only added worry and affected my sleep. Not good.

It all came crashing on my head, when I figured up my taxes. I didn’t even have that much in my bank account! Fortunately, I do have some cash saved back in hopes of buying a piano some day. But anyway, Good Friday evening, I had a splitting headache. I felt terrible. I was so desperate, I asked my mom to come to my room, and we had a really, really good talk. I was finally able to spill out all that I had been feeling for the past months. It was so good. Continue reading “The Day I Finally Gave Up”

Resisting the Devil

“Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” James 4:7

We all come up against temptation in our lives. It has happened so many times for me personally, that I don’t even want to start trying to count them all. Continue reading “Resisting the Devil”

Before We’ve Even Asked

“…for your Father knows what things you have need of, before you ask him.” (Matthew 6:8)

This is such a profound thought. God knows what we need. He knows our deepest desires, our longings, and our emotions. He knows when our hearts are crying with pain and we need to be comforted. He sees when our bank account is empty and there is nothing to buy food. He knows everything about us.

God lets us make the choice: if we want his help or not. He doesn’t just step in and make everything go hunky-dory for us. But when we see the need for his help (and it is literally all the time!) and ask for it, he is right there ready and waiting. Continue reading “Before We’ve Even Asked”

The Chance to Make an Amazing Masterpiece

We’re here folks! 2017 has finally rolled around, and the new year is laid before us like a blank canvas ready to be painted. Okay, yeah, so I’m artist… but I think it is a pretty good representation of the new year. Huh?

So what do you think your canvas will look like by the end of 2017? A smeared blob, an average level portrait, or a beautiful masterpiece?

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Actually, it’s a more important question to ask yourself than you might first think because the attitude with which we face this crazy thing called life makes a HUGE difference! Writing a list of goals is great, but how well has it worked for you? If you are a person like me, you make list and then proceed with a halfhearted attempt and fail only halfway through January. Why? Because you probably don’t have your heart in it.

Life is something we only go through once. When it’s over, we get no second chance. We can’t go back and change something, no matter how much we long to do so. So instead of allowing this to be another mediocre year, let’s all join force to make this year truly beautiful.

Starting small.

You don’t have to do huge things from the start. Remember that sometimes, a little goes a long way; in fact, sometimes farther than we could ever imagine ourselves. If the heart is in it, that is where great things start.

It’s not about you.

If you are living for your own benefit, your canvas will become more smeared and messy than ever before. Having an outward, heavenward focused mind and lifestyle, while sometimes crazy, is the most satisfying way you could ever live. Seriously. It is something I have been learning over the past while that has made such a huge difference on my life. Not only does this mean others before yourself, but an attitude of thankfulness, helpfulness, and really, when it comes down to the very core of it all, self-sacrifice. Ouch! A painful nerve I know! But this is what love towards others in its purest form looks like. It’s what Jesus demonstrated to us, when He came as a helpless babe, grew up, was tempted and outcast, and then literally bore all the grief, sorrows, and sins of the world on the cross so that we might be FREE. The biggest burden ever. And that is what a truly others-focused life looks like!

Ask God for help.

In the art world, you will never create a masterpiece without learning from a good teacher what the best tools and techniques are. Same way with life. We can’t make our canvas beautiful if we aren’t learning from the Greatest Teacher Himself. Learn from Him. Study the design of other pictures He has helped create (other godly people’s lives), and learn all you can from His Word. Talk to Him and listen to Him speak to you. I can’t stress these things enough, for they are the foundation on which a truly worthwhile life, is built.

So will you join the force?

I encourage you to focus your heart on the things that really matter the most. In the life of a Christian this means learning to live out and be the person that Christ wants you to be. Will you join me and hundreds of others in this crazy adventure? Strive for the best, and with God at your side, you won’t fall short of His plan!