Saturday, July 14, 2018

Be Yourself

from Pinterest 

Being yourself. I think this is a very important topic, especially for tweens and teens.

Often in our culture today, we seem to get the impression to conform to what others think. We want to be "cool" or "normal". We often want to be like most other teens. We want to dress like they do, read what they do, act like they do, watch what they do- the list goes on and on.

I myself, dealt with some of this in my late tween and early teen years. I was afraid to stand out, to be different.

One day, it finally dawned on me what I was doing, and I started being myself.

I could hardly believe how changed I felt. I was real with people- I showed the real me. :) Being yourself is an awesome feeling. I personally felt let out of a cage- free! I felt like I could breathe again, instead of feeling stifled.

I am no longer afraid to be who I am, who God created me to be. No two people are the same- we're all different. God has shown me and is showing me who He says I am. I am chosen, I am not forsaken, I am His, I am loved by the Creator of the universe.

It was a few years ago, that this all happened, and I cannot even begin to express how awesome it's been to just be myself. I am okay with standing out. (I sometimes even enjoy standing out) ;) As Believers in Jesus, we are called to stand out, to be different. We are in the world but not of it.

Leviticus 20:24 says, "I am Adonai your God, who has set you apart from the peoples." (TLV) We are called to be set apart- not like the world. Set apart, for our Savior, who gave everything for you. For me.

I pray this post reaches someone who needed to hear this.

Be yourself. Be who you were meant to be, who God called you to be. Don't care what other people think of you. God cherishes you for who you are. You're set apart for Yeshua! He loves you the way you are. Be you. Be real.

from Pinterest

Here's a song I really enjoy! I love the bridge- where it talks about who God says we are.

Thursday, July 5, 2018

Enjoy the Little Things

Enjoying the little things. This is something I've been trying to remember to do lately. June is already over, we're already into July! Time goes by so fast. (especially summer) ;)

Sometimes, especially as we grow up, (or get older), we get busy, and we lose track of all the little blessings God sends us in our lives. I've noticed in my own life, when I get busy with school, life, etc., I lose track of what matters most. Like when your brother draws you the most adorable picture, your sister leaves a note on your nightstand, a favorite flower in bloom- whatever is special to you. We often seem to overlook or ignore these special moments.

God gives us blessings, and often times they're little blessings. Don't lose these moments. You'll never get them back. Instead of worrying and stressing, focus on the good things. The special things, the meaningful things. I don't want to look back and realize I wasted the precious moments.

Don't let life pass you by. Sometimes when life gets overwhelming, we just push ourselves to get through the day, week, month, even year. What I've noticed is when I let this happen, I look back and think, Oh, if only I had enjoyed the moment! Life goes way to fast- don't lose it, don't waste it. Focus on what matters most.

Take a moment and count your many blessings today. :)

Saturday, June 30, 2018

"The Breakup Song" by Francesca Battistelli

Francesca Battistelli has a new song that came out recently called "The Breakup Song" This song is good! Here's the lyrics:

Sick and tired of being sick and tired
Had as much of you as I can take
I'm so done, so over being afraid

I've gone through the motions, I've been back and forth
I know that you're thinking you've heard this before
I don't know how to say it
So I'm just gonna say it

Fear you don't own me
There ain't no room in this story
And I ain't got time for you telling me, what I'm not
Like you know me, well guess what
I know who I am
I know I'm strong and I am free
Got my own identity
So fear, you will never be welcome here

Take a minute let it settle in
You probably never saw it coming
Something's gotta give, so I give up you

There's no room for you here, yeah I've had enough
The no vacancy sign on my heart is lit up
In case you didn't hear it
Here it is again

Is there anybody out there just like me?
Anybody needing fear to leave?
If you don't know how to say it
Sing along with me

Sing fear, you don't own me
There ain't no room in this story
And I ain't got time for you telling me what I'm not
Like you know me, well guess what
I know who I am
I know I'm strong, brave, and I am free
Got my own identity
So fear, you will never be welcome here
Goodbye, goodbye fear
You will never be welcome here

This song is another song I think we really need in today's culture. Fear often overwhelms us- it often stops us from doing what we love, and what God calls us to do. Sometimes fear just paralyzes us. With Jesus' help, we can cast out all fear. Don't let fear overwhelm you. Trust God, and cast out all fear from your life.

"There is no fear in love, but perfect love drives out fear." 1 John 4:18 (TLV)

Friday, June 22, 2018

I Don't Dance Blog Tour - Review

Today, I'm posting on a new book that just came out yesterday!!! This is the third day in the blog tour for the release of I Don't Dance. Jesseca Wheaton is one of my very favorite authors- her books never cease to amaze me. ;)

About The Book:

Ty and Jen have been friends for as long as anyone can remember. But when Ty goes off to college and leaves her behind, he has to face the reality that he cares for her as more than just a friend.

As graduation approaches and with only one summer left before he begins basic training, Ty must make a decision. Military life is never easy; is it fair to force it on the one he loves?

In the midst of wrestling with the question and coming to the realization that summer is quickly drawing to a close, Ty struggles to face questions he cannot answer, and is forced to examine his own heart.

Is it possible that God has a future for him with Jen? Or will the summer close with only memories of days gone by?

Their relationship would be considered old-fashioned. But that was okay. Because old-fashioned and whimsical fit perfectly with a southern summer.

My Review

The first thought I had after finishing this book was, wow. Amazing! Beautiful! Adorable! This book is on the top of my list of favorite books!

This book is written under the genres of contemporary-romance/Christian fiction/military. However, this book is definitely not your traditional romance, which is awesome! I love books that stand out. :)

Ty and Jen's relationship- adorable! I thought it was sweet that they were best friends before they had a strong interest in each other. I loved how God was the center of their relationship- He was very evident in this book. The way that they trusted Him with their relationship, and trusted Him to guide their steps, was really awesome. Even when God said "wait", their faith in Him never wavered. Ty and Jen (along with many others in the book) all had strong, personal relationships with Christ. I loved that! Jen and Ty's relationship was not based on physical appearances, but of who they were inside. Ty and Jen- they're totally two of my favorite characters! 

The whole book, and especially the epilogue, paint a sweet, realistic picture of what true love looks like- it lasts forever, when rooted in God's love.

Mike is quite the character! He's like, one of my favorite characters. He is Ty's best friend. Mike is hilarious, teases all the time, but when needed, he can be serious. 

This book was a beautiful picture of what happens when God is the center of your relationship and orchestrates your love story.

I Don't Dance, is totally one of my favorite books. (I know, I have an enormous amount of books I really love, but this one is on the top of my list) ;) This book deserves 5/5 stars!

My favorite quote from this book: "I wanna marry someone who's my best friend. Someone who doesn't keep me from pain and trials, but rather goes through them with me." - Jen

About the Author:

Jesseca is a daughter, sister, and child of God. Her days are spent reading, cooking, spending time with siblings, or playing piano. And writing, of course! At an early age words fascinated her, and her love for the printed pages has only grown. She lives with her parents and seven siblings in the sunny state of Kansas, and she's convinced there's no place like home.

Giveaway Info:

First Place: Paperback copy of I Don't Dance + Scotty McCreery's Clear as Day album (U.S. winners only)

Second Place: E-book copy of I Don't Dance + $5 Krispy Kreme Giftcard

Friday, June 15, 2018

"Joy" by For King and Country Song

Today I'd thought I'd post about a song that I have really been enjoying lately. It's a relatively new song, called "Joy". This song is For King and Country's newest single they released. You might want to listen to the song while reading the lyrics, because you might not quite understand some of the phrasing until you do. ;)

Here's the lyrics:

Lately, I've been reading, watching the nightly news
Don't seem to find the rhythm, just wanna sing the blues
Feels like a song that never...stops
Feels like it's never gonna 

Gotta get that fire, fire, back in my bones
Before my heart, heart, turns into stone
So will somebody please pass the megaphone 
I'll shout it on the count of three
One, two, three

Oh, hear my prayer tonight, I'm singing to the sky 
Give me strength to raise my voice, let me testify
Oh, hear my prayer tonight, 'cause this is do or die
The time has come to make a choice

And I choose joy
Let it move you, let it move you, let it move you
Yeah, I choose joy
Let it move you, let it move, let it move you

Yeah-eh, back when I was young, my eyes were full of life
But now that I'm older, I live at the speed of light
Feels like the cycle never...stops
Feels like it's never gonna

Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of night
Oh, with You by my side, I'm stepping into the light
I choose joy
Let it move you, let it move, let it move you

I need that joy, joy, joy, joy
Down in my heart, down in my heart to stay
I need that joy, joy, joy, joy 
Down in my heart, down in my heart to stay

This song is amazing! The words in this song I think we really need in today's culture. With everything that's going on, this song couldn't have been released at a better time. This song talks about choosing joy- not just being happy when things go your way. With Jesus' peace in our hearts, we can brave any storm, and still have His joy in our hearts. Joy isn't based on physical circumstances. 

Here's the song! I hope you all enjoy it as much as I do! 

Friday, June 8, 2018

Trusting Him

Trusting God. This is something I've been thinking about lately and struggling with at times. Trusting God, it seems so simple, yet sometimes it's so hard.

We humans, just don't seem to do a very good job of trusting God.
Many times, I've had a hard time trusting Him. Whether it's the present, future, or something you're going through, anything- it can be hard to trust God. However, we need to trust Him.

For all of us I think it's a journey. A journey in drawing closer to Him and trusting Him more. A journey to learn how to leave it all in God's hands. Whether it's school, your future, job- anything. Trust Him with it. There's no use in worrying about it. Give it to Him.

When we give our lives to Jesus, I believe amazing things can happen. When we quit wrestling with Him and with ourselves, and just give it to Him, He paints a beautiful picture far surpassing what we could have ever imagined. He plans everything in His timing. He's got a plan for your life.

No matter what you're walking through, God's right there, leading you and guiding your paths. Let Him lead you. Trust Him.

Ask God to help you trust Him. He will help you. Draw nearer to Him.

Hebrews 13:5 says, "...For God himself has said, "I will never leave you, or forsake you."" (TLV)
God won't ever leave, even if your whole life is crumbling around you. His promises are trustworthy. He'll never leave you.

Don't waste your life by worrying about tomorrow. God's in control, He's got this. He holds your future in His hands. Trust Him with it.

Sunday, June 3, 2018

Prophet Book Review

Prophet, Books of the Infinite Series #1   -     By: R.J. Larson


Close your eyes, Ela of Parne. Close your eyes and you will see. 

Ela Roeh of Parne doesn't understand why her beloved Creator, the Infinite, wants her to become His prophet. She's undignified, bad-tempered, and only seventeen-- not to mention no prophet of Parne has ever been a girl. Worst of all, as the elders often warn, if she agrees to become the Infinite's prophet, Ela knows she will die young.

Istgard has turned their back on Me. See the evil they do.

Yet after experiencing His presence, she can't imagine living without Him. Determined to follow the Infinite's voice, Ela accepts the sacred vinewood branch that is sent to bring the Infinite's word to a nation torn apart by war. Here she meets Kien, a young Traceland ambassador determined to bring his own justice for his oppressed people. As they form an unlikely partnership, Ela must surrender to her destiny... and determine how to balance the leading of her heart with the leading of the Infinite.

Will you accept the branch and speak My will? Will you be my prophet?

My Review

This book is part of a three book series called Books of the Infinite. Prophet is the first book in the series. This book is one of the best books I've ever read! I have re-read it numerous times. :) I adore Pet/Scythe and the other "destroyers"! They are huge horses, and they are fiercely protective of their masters. They are called "destroyers" because they destroy gardens and anything that is in their way. Pet/Scythe is hilarious! He is one of my favorite characters. Some people call Pet/Scythe "Pet" and others call him "Scythe".

The Infinite is also one of my favorite characters in the book. The Infinite is the one true God who talks to His people who will listen. It was stunning to see how much the Infinite is like God and how much He loves everyone, even the bad guys. I really admired how many of the characters had a personal relationship with the Infinite. It was wonderful to see how the Infinite works for the good of those who love Him.

Kien Lantec is one of my favorite characters too. (I have a various number of favorite characters from this book) ;) Kien is sometimes funny, and it was awesome to see him learn to trust and follow the Infinite.

Ela is a prophet, and Tzana is Ela's little sister. Tzana is so sweet, and the way she trusts the Infinite is beautiful. I liked how Ela is always concerned for the lost people who don't know the Infinite. Ela's branch from the Infinite was really amazing!

There is an overabundance of things in this book that are similar to the Old Testament.
This book has challenged me and encouraged me in so many ways. I would totally recommend these books to anyone! I give this book 5/5 stars!
R. J. Larson is an amazingly talented author, and you should totally check her books out!

About the author

R. J. Larson is the author of numerous devotionals and is suspected of eating chocolate and potato chips for lunch while writing. She lives in Colorado with her husband and their two sons. The Books of the Infinite series marks her debut in the fantasy genre.