5 Essential Ways To Make The Most Of Your Time With God Every Day


I have a confession to make. I have been grocery shopping, for the past nine months that I have lived in Lancaster to be exact, but I still don’t really know how. Everything goes back to the fact that I hate cooking. No, not hate….more like absolutely abhor. I am not one of those girls who has her own apron, or monogrammed kitchen wear, or who saves up for a Kitchenaid mixer. I’m the girl who literally bought Hamburger Helper and was genuinely shocked that the meat didn’t come with it. Personally, I feel victimized by the commercials.

But suffice to say, I hate cooking. I just don’t understand how people enjoy slaving over something for hours, that takes them a few minutes to eat, but a whole night to clean up. Does anyone else think that the science is off on that one? To say that I end up cooking one meal in my crockpot to last me for five days is not an understatement; it’s the life I live.

Let me paint the scene for you when I go into the grocery store. I have a list clutched in my hand, as I try my best to not run into anything or anyone ( a feat that is difficult for someone as accident prone as me), as I zig-zag my way through the aisles desperately trying to find something on my list:

silently praying that I can find the off-brand salad dressing or a package of goldfish crackers, wondering why in the world they keep cool-whip in the freezer section and not in the dairy section, and getting so impatient that I cross off ingredients to my crock-pot meal as I go. I don’t check the prices, when things go bad, or who made them. I grab and push and sweat my way through the grocery store until I collapse in an exhausted heap into my car only to remember I forgot to get the shampoo. Sound familiar?

Now, you might be starting to get embarrassed for me at this point. You may think, Rachel, you can’t talk about how much you hate cooking when you aren’t even married. Or you may be laughing at me because you are Betty Crocker and the fact that I hate cooking is a ridiculous concept to you. But I am hoping there are some of you out there, especially my young adult college grads, that secretly harbor an intense hatred for the grocery store and cooking as much as I do.

I share this with you, not only because I am hoping it will make you chuckle, but because I think we can all relate to going into “grocery-shopping mode” for many things in life. You know the mode, where you don’t really want to do what you’re doing so you just check out for a little bit?

For you, it may be when you go on autopilot talking to your mom. It could be when you are huffing and puffing on the treadmill and are praying to God that it will all be over soon. It could be when you are doing a mundane part of your job, talking to a particularly exhausting friend, or doing something you have done a million times before. You go on autopilot, not always because you know what you are doing, but because you just don’t care enough to pay attention.

And unfortunately, I found a startling resemblance to how I act grocery shopping and my relationship with God.

Because even though I do care about my relationship with God, definitely at church on Sunday morning or talking to my Christian friends, sometimes I go into “grocery shopping mode.” Where I am just trying to check it off my list like items at the grocery store, but I don’t really bother to pay attention to the sell by date or the price. I just go through the motions, sometimes huffing and puffing and wanting to watch Hulu instead, until I’m finished with my devotions for the day and can feel like the good Christian I am.

To explain it better; I want to go through the two parts that I believe encompass going into “grocery shopping mode,” or putting your brain on autopilot. Those are being purposely half-hearted and hoping to get lucky.


For being half-hearted, I am talking about all those times we care, but just not enough.  So, for you, that might mean that you do pray every day, but you only pray for as long as it takes your eyes to close each night. You could read the Bible every day, but you just rummage and jump and open to random parts of the Bible each day hoping to be fed. It may be going to a young adult’s group or church every Sunday only to totally tune out while thinking about your mile-long to-do list or secretly beating your Candy Crush score on your phone. We all have certain tasks that we just go into airplane mood for, and unfortunately, when our faith gets stagnant or boring, it can be one of the first things to go.

Hoping To Get Lucky

The other element to “grocery shopping mode” is that I expect to be the rewarded for the shabby amount of effort I have put into it. Because every time I grocery shop, I expect to get the freshest ingredients, great deals, and not spend a lot of time or money. Unfortunately, what I think is victory normally turns into my salad rotting or my milk spoiling two days after I purchased it.

And we can be the same way with God. We can not want to give Him our full attention and our entire life, but we still expect Him to show up. To give us some truth nuggets when we are just rummaging through our Bibles aimlessly. To get a word or feeling from the Holy Spirit when we only pray right before our head hits the pillow. To provide for us, and protect us, and never cause us any harm, even when we don’t love Him as much as our cell phones.

And yes, we are fallen creatures living in a fallen world, but that doesn’t give us an excuse to put God on autopilot. To shrug him off like a cute, but itchy sweater, that we convinced ourselves we will wear one of these days. No, He deserves our full attention, so that He can give us the goodness, grace, and wisdom we need to get through the day. Because if we stop to take stock of our spiritual life when we are in “grocery shopping mode” we can find out that we hearts are rotting like a salad whose sell-by date is expired. And  I don’t want that to be me anymore.

We need to be careful to not turn our precious time with the Lord into something we resent or feel like we have to cross off our Christian checklists. So, how do we do that? And, how can we take our minds off autopilot?

Stick to a Schedule

Guys, I am still figuring this one out. As a full-time worker and just a person who needs an inordinate amount of sleep, who considers herself to be neither a morning or night person, getting in my time with God is a real challenge. But, don’t get stuck believing that you have to do your time with God in the morning, because that is when Jesus did it, or a certain way because that is what your most spiritual friend does.

Take some time this week to think about what you might need to make that happen. Is it a particular time of day, a specific spot, or a particular book or song you need to incorporate into your time? Find what works for you and stick to it.

The Holy Spirit Is a Breeze Not A Tornado

I mean that we have to invite the Holy Spirit to be apart of our lives, or He is not going to come. The Holy Spirit is not like you or  I. He is not going to hunt or chase us down. He is not going to drop a passive-aggressive email or social media post to get our attention.  He is not going to drop hints or leave missed calls on our cell phone. He is just going to leave us alone.

So every day, you need to invite the Holy Spirit into your day. To guide you, and direct you, and to cheer you up when your crock pot dinner burns. We can’t live this life alone, and the only way we can feel God here on earth is through the Holy Spirit. He is a gentle breeze trying to pull us back to God, but if we forget about Him, we are only going to be irritated by the sudden burst of cold, instead of seeing it as an opportunity to draw us towards God.

Love Is 99% Action And The Other .999% Feeling

There are going to be days where you wake up, and the last thing you want to do is read the Bible. There are going to be days you are so angry with God for something happening or not happening in your life. There are going to be days where you feel apathetic and listless, and just bored. But lean in! Those days will not last forever.

Feeling spiritually dry doesn’t make you spiritually inept, it just makes you human. 

So make sure that you realize that God is the God of joy and peace and faithfulness, but He is also the God of pain and sorrow.

When times are good, be happy; but when times are bad consider, God has made one as well as the other. ” – Ecclesiastes 7:14

So no matter how you are feeling about God at this moment or tomorrow when you wake up, make time with Him a priority. I hope that the quote below can give you encouragement when you don’t want to crack open your Bible.

The more that you refrain from God, the more mundane time with Him will become. 


When you are reading God’s word or praying, try writing down your takeaways. Instead of just skimming that chapter again in Matthew or a well known Psalm, really see if there is something there that you haven’t discovered before. Think of the Bible as the ultimate treasure chest, except that you will never stop finding buried treasure. No one has ever read the Bible enough to truly get everything out of it.

And, since we all have such unique gifts, personalities, and circumstances, you never know what verse might stick out to you that wouldn’t happen to someone else. Keep a journal or notebook by your side for those times so that you can remember the unique way that God spoke to you. You never know how many friends and loved ones could benefit from your insight as well.

Pray Anywhere and Everywhere

Especially if you have grown up in the church, it can be easy to think that we can only pray at certain times. Like in the morning or over dinner or on Sunday. That we have to be in our prayer chair with our Bible splayed out in front of us drinking coffee as the sun comes up like the perfect Instagram story.  But friends, that is not true.

We don’t have to be in a special mood, special place, or a special person to pray. 

We can talk to God whenever we want, wherever we want. You can talk to God driving, when you are cooking when you are answering emails at work, and when your stomach is crying out in pain as you do abs at the gym. Now, I am not saying that you shouldn’t set aside a particular time of the day where you really focus in on talking to God. Because if you don’t plan for it, it will never happen.

But, we also need to realize that we can talk to God beyond our perfectly crammed in and timed devotional times.

That He wants to hear from us every second of the day, even when are sick of ourselves. So, here are some of my favorite ways to talk to God during the day.

  • When you shower
  • Brushing your teeth/getting ready in the Am
  • Driving
  • On the elliptical or stair stepper at the gym
  • Running errands
  • Getting your hair done
  • Shopping
  • Doing something mundane at work
  • Cooking
  • Grocery shopping- haha
  • Walking outside

I could go on and on. But the point is, that we don’t have to come to God with our squeaky clean selves dressed in our Sunday bests and at 5 in the morning. We can whisper our need to God as we take in our disheveled appearance in the morning, when the guy in front of us is moving slower than molasses, when we are checking out the other women around us at the gym, or just when we are exhausted and overwhelmed after a long day at the office.

Unlike how we are to God, God never expects us to bring our best, to always be faithful to Him, to give Him our freshest ingredients. He just wants us to come. And when we do come, He will bless us with far more than we deserve.

To wrap up, I hope you learned today two things. 1. That Hamburger Helper does not, in fact, come with hamburger. And more importantly 2. That the God of the universe is just waiting to connect with you on a deeper level today, so are you ready to take your mind off autopilot?

Honest Confessions of a College Senior

When I was a little girl, and let’s face it still to this day, I used to be terrified of the dark. I was afraid that something was sure to grab me, kidnap me, or torture me if I didn’t have at least a little bit of light shining in my room. This, of course, seems ridiculous to someone who is older and wiser now, but I still can’t quite seem to fall asleep in absolute darkness. I like being able to see at least a sliver of the moon.

I wish I could say that the fears that plague me today are as easy to solve and cure as being afraid of the dark. Yet, there is no night light, cracked door, or moonlight sliver that can save me from the fear of the future or maybe just adulthood.  In around 30 days (give or take a few days) I will walk across the stage of my college and receive a piece of paper that represents the last four years of my entire life. It seems terrifying to me that something so easy to spill something on, be torn up, or blow away by the wind could be used to represent the most important four years of my life. That tiny piece of paper can’t begin to hold the countless friendships I have been blessed to find, the lessons I have learned inside and outside the classroom, the activities I’ve been able to lead and participate in, the tears I’ve cried, laughs that hurt my side, and memories that changed me into the woman I am today.

As I spend my last couple of weeks walking around the campus that has been my second home for the last four years I wonder, where has the time all gone?

I hope that you won’t scoff and laugh at my honesty too much in the rest of this post, but I hope that you can look at the words I feel compelled to write and feel a sense of relief that you aren’t alone. So what are my thoughts as I think about my life after college? It’s easily summed up in one word.  Terror.


I am terrified of being catapulted into a world where I have nothing to study, no new young people to meet, and have to make my own meals edible. I am terrified of never getting hired, or worse getting hired only to hate the job I have accepted. I am terrified that I will get fired from every job because my college education didn’t prepare me for the real world. I am terrified that my employers will hate me just because they can. I am terrified I will never make enough on a Communications salary to actually be able to live in an apartment, even with a roommate. I am terrified of losing touch with the amazing friends I have made in college. I am terrified of having no community. I am terrified of never getting married because I couldn’t find someone in the biggest pool of Christian boys I have ever known here at my college. I am terrified of getting fat because when will I ever have time to work out when I work a 9 to 5. I am terrified that I peaked in college. I am terrified that God is going to leave me alone to navigate this whole new exciting and terrifying world on my own.

And if you’re honest, I hope that you can admit and agree with some of my fears as well. I am not saying that I want to stay in college for years and years and never leave. I am simply saying that the date of graduation is approaching far quicker than I expected.

If I’m being honest, I would say that truthfully I have been pretty proud of myself for how I’ve handled this whole “college graduation approaching” thing. I have been calm, collected, trusting in God, and prayerful. I have not been intimidated when people asked me about my future because I so ardently believed that God had a great plan for me. One that preferably included me landing a job before graduation and moving into an apartment right after. I thought that my June would be filled with me beginning a new chapter in my life and going to craft stores to decorate my apartment. Even though I love my home and family, I was hoping I wouldn’t have to work at Tommy Hilfiger for the fourth summer in a row. So what happened? What happened to the girl who couldn’t be shaken in God’s plan for her? One word again, rejection.

I’ve had phone interviews, Skype interviews, in-person interviews, second interviews, third interviews, and what do I have to show for all of that?  One word, two letters, NO. Perfectly polite emails telling me, “Thanks, but no thanks,”  “If only you had 2 or 20 years of experience,” “We wish you the best of luck with your future.” And frankly, I just hit my breaking point.

To continue with my bout of honesty, I feel like I did the best I could to set myself up to get a job. I worked so hard on my grades in college, got involved in a wide array of activities that could help boost my resume, but also that I just really enjoyed, I stressed, I persevered, I singlehandedly led group project after group project, and what did I have to show for all that work? Oh right, no husband and no job. It probably wouldn’t seem that bad if the comparison hadn’t set in. It’s hard not to feel like crap when it seems like you are constantly surrounded by an endless wave of people gushing about their futures and exclaiming their great news through creative social media posts.  I am so happy and excited for all my friends that have their futures sealed up neatly with a bow, but it’s hard not to wonder why I can’t be as happy as they are too? Please, God, just this once?  Why does God always have to lead me through the path of mud, steep heels, and tree stumps to get to my destination? Why does God make it look so easy for everyone else?

Maybe you’ve asked yourself that same question. Maybe you’re wondering where the heck God has been when He’s supposed to be planning your happily ever after?


But I am here to tell you some honest news that I desperately need to hear as well. God is good. Not sometimes, not when He feels like it, not to just certain people, not depending on the weather, but always. He is always faithful. He is always just. He is always looking out for us. I can tell you the story after story about my life that sound just like this. God leading me through a path that is full of thickets and thorns, brush burns and scraped knees, which ultimately lead to me learning a lesson along with a journey that grew me into a more Christ-centered person. Because every time I have come up against a challenge and a period of waiting, God has revealed Himself as far greater than I could ever imagine.

“Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine.”- Ephesians 3:20

“ Our soul waits for the Lord: He is our hope and shield.”- Psalm 33:20

“Wait for the Lord; be strong, take heart, and wait for the Lord.” – Psalm 27:14

He was there when I was stressed out and crying because I had bombed my math SAT and thought I would never get into college. He was there when I was terrified of not making any friends in college. He was there when I thought I would never get an internship last summer, and provided me with one when the time was right. He was there when the social activities, papers, and assignments seemed to be all too much for my sophomore heart to handle.

God knows what we need and when we need it. He knows where we are going to be a year from now when we are so grateful for all the “No’s” we have received. He alone can build something good and beautiful out of the wrong turns, mistakes, and sins that our lives are littered with.

So take a look back at your life. Has there ever been a moment where God has not seen you through? Where His way has not ultimately made you the happiest and led to the best results? Where has He not had your best interests at heart?

Being a senior in college is a terrifying time, but instead of wasting our time pouting, crying, and stressing out about what is yet to come, we need to bow our knees before the King and ask Him to show us. Ask Him to strengthen our hearts as we wait. Ask Him to allow peace to invade our anxious and competitive souls. Ask Him to show us the path when we are left out of options and have absolutely nowhere to turn.

So in the honor of continuing in my honesty, there are still some days when I am really frustrated with God. When I see yet another Facebook post of another friend getting that dream job or getting engaged, but that doesn’t take away from the amazing and good plans God has already put into place for you and for me. There are days where I can barely fall asleep because my stomach is sick with the thought of what life after graduation is going to look like. Days where I cry to God because I don’t know why I was rejected from yet another job that seemed so perfect for me. Because we can’t see the big picture that God can. We will never understand why we have to endure struggles, see pain and have these frustrations, but we do know that God is ultimately leading us to Him.

Remember back to the beginning of this article when I was talking about my fear of the dark. Now, it’s the fear of the future. But this time, instead of the night light or sliver of moon to help me feel safe, I have something much better. And He’s just waiting to take my hand and yours and lead us out of the dark and into the light.

5 Ways To Stop Comparing Yourself To Others

Oftentimes, comparison to others can start off harmlessly enough. Someone that inspires you to be kinder, wiser, or dress better. But the problem with comparison, ultimately, is that it doesn’t just stop there. Soon enough everywhere we turn we find someone who is better at this or that, prettier, or more Godly. Suddenly what started out as a good intention becomes a nasty habit that latches itself on to our deepest insecurities and doubts.

I think as women we can all relate to times that we have become prisoners to comparing ourselves to others. To the times we’ve cried because we wanted to be smarter, prettier, funnier than the girl sitting beside us, one of our best friends, or a girl in our office.

Comparison has always been an area where I have greatly struggled in my faith. From wishing my prayers sounded like another girl’s at youth group, to wondering if I’m not a true woman of God because I’m not taking any Biblical classes, to striving to make my makeup look just as effortless as the girl who sits beside me in class; I constantly wish I was someone else.

At my smaller Christian college ring by spring isn’t exactly a joke. I definitely anticipated meeting the love of my life at this college. I easily pictured getting married the summer after graduation and then living happily ever after as all our children sported “Future Grover” onesies. I wish I could say I was kidding. Yet, here I am the spring of my senior year, just as single, though hopefully wiser, than my naive freshman self who thought all of this would happen. Being single is a great gift, but it can also be a curse. I know that there are hundreds of fabulous single people all around me on my college campus, but I don’t choose to focus on them.   I choose to spend my days focusing on the people that are dating. And trust me, I’ve heard plenty of the “The right person comes when you aren’t looking,” “God has someone so special saved for you,” and “Would you even want to date who are they dating, anyways,” crap to last me a lifetime. But some days, it doesn’t change the fact that I am confronted online every minute with pictures of happy couples, flashy engagement rings, and Pinterest wedding boards, all while I’m sitting across from a couple canoodling in a study area across from me. This is not to say that I am not wildly happy for my friends that are in relationships and getting engaged, I am, but I also want it to be my turn too. Let’s all be happy and dating together, am I right?

I have liked plenty of boys over the course of my 21 years here on this earth, and with that comes plenty of opportunities to both be liked and to not be the one liked. I constantly find myself in positions where I’m not chosen over another girl. Sometimes the boy has no idea I even liked them, sometimes they do and they only liked me as a friend, and sometimes I just annoyed them. But either way, it is too easy for me to find myself comparing myself to those “better” girls they chose over me. It is easy to get consumed about why you weren’t chosen. Is it’s because she’s funnier than me? Because she’s shorter than me? Am I too much, or not enough, or show my gums too much when I smile? The list can go on and on. And I’m left crying in my bed knee deep in her 8th-grade pictures on Facebook wishing that God had made me more like her. Because according to that boy I had obsessed about, she was worth it. And since I wasn’t picked, I was not.

That’s how I used to let myself think. I used to let myself get jealous of my friends’ successes, spend my days wishing I was someone else, and hating certain qualities about myself that made me who God wanted me to be. This New Year, I am learning to be expectant. I think it is all too easy at times to believe that God has great plans and ambitions for other people. The type of people who can recite whole chapters of scripture, who never have a bad hair day, and who always win awards. But that’s not the case. That’s a lie we have told ourselves again and again like a bad nursery rhythm to ease the pain that we are not enough. You are special, you are loved, you are chosen. Not enough? That thought is unfathomable to a God’s whose thoughts we can’t even begin to imagine. He wants to use you right where you are today.

In this crazy life we think we can be satisfied if we are given a sense of worth; if we win the employee of the month at our workplaces, get complimented on our outfits, or get the highest grade in the class. We think that our worth depends on what we do, who we know, and how we look. I’m here to tell you, it doesn’t. Our worth was determined for us long ago when Christ hung on the cross to pay the price for our sins. He didn’t just die for the people that have it all together, the popular kids in high school, the girls you think are more beautiful than you, He died for all of us. Because we are all worthy and equal in His sight.

For example, it’s like being the worship leader at a church. Because let’s be real, everyone wants to be the worship leader, right?  It seems so exciting to be able to lead people in singing songs to the King of the World. They show love to people during altar calls, stir up the Holy Spirit through a simply repeated verse,  and get the credit for picking songs that quite literally save people’s lives.  No one really thinks about the person pushing the words along on the PowerPoint. Unless, of course, they get off and you don’t know the words to the song. But the person who is pushing the slides on the PowerPoint is just as valuable and important in God’s eyes as the worship leader. The worship leader needs the person pushing the PowerPoint too. If people don’t know the words to a song, the worship leader’s job is irrelevant. No one’s lives would be touched, no one would get that “Come to Jesus” moment they are craving. Because to have a great worship service you need both parts.

“For the body is not one member, but many. If the foot says, “Because I am not a hand, I am not a part of the body,” it is not for this reason any the less a part of the body. And if the ear says, “Because I am not an eye, I am not a part of the body,” it is not for this reason any the less a part of the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would the hearing be? If the whole were hearing, where would the sense of smell be? But now God has placed the members, each one of them, in the body, just as He desired. If they were all one member, where would the body be? But now there are many members, but one body. And the eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you”; or again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.” On the contrary, it is much truer that the members of the body which seem to be weaker are necessary; and those members of the body which we deem less honorable, on these we bestow more abundant honor, and our less presentable members become much more presentable, whereas our more presentable members have no need of it. But God has so composed the body, giving more abundant honor to that member which lacked, so that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another. And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it.” – 1 Corinthians 12:12-14

And I don’t know you or the area where you are struggling with comparison today, but I can guarantee you that wishing for another’s gift will only lead to you wasting yours. We all have different purposes, different tasks, and different challenges we face every day. For example, I am not a girl who has ever been overly self-conscious of my body.  It breaks my heart to see my friends and loved ones spending their days hating the details of themselves that were loving crafted. But, where many of my friends have dealt with that issue, they have had no problem getting boy attention, where I have struggled.  Because the enemy wants us to believe that it’s just us who feel left out, abandoned, and less than at times; but that is not close to being true.

Maybe you’ve wondered if God could ever use you because you look around at your Christian friend group, church, or college and see plenty of people more prepared, and in your mind, better equipped to serve God’s kingdom. Maybe you wonder if there’s enough room for you to also have this dream, or that desire, or that ambition. What if you’re too late?

“The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few.” – Matthew 9:37

I am not a competitive person by nature. When I used to run on my track team in high school, I would literally size up the other girls on the race line to see if I would be ok with them beating me. “If she beats me I won’t be upset because she went to States last year, but that girl, she’s so annoying. I have to beat her.”  I’m all about pushing myself, but I don’t have much of a pain tolerance or a big desire to push so hard I throw up. The ironic part of all this is that while I would love to be more competitive on a sports team which is healthy, I chose to be competitive in comparison.

I hungrily read blog posts written by other strong Christian women, on the online magazine I often write for, or a book suggested by a friend and end up feeling miserable by the end. Because I’m afraid that her great article that has so much wisdom and knowledge means there isn’t enough room for me to post anymore. After all, she got more likes and comments than me anyways, right? Wrong. Remember the verse above, the harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few.


Just because she is very talented in the same area of you…doesn’t mean you have to get a new hobby.

Just because your friend got a job first…doesn’t mean you won’t also get a job you love.

Just because everyone around you is dating…doesn’t mean God is calling you to be a spinster.

Just because she has the same dress.. doesn’t mean you’ll look the same or less good when you wear it.

To be honest, while I was writing this article I took a break to casually peruse Instagram. Suddenly I found myself looking at photos of my friends studying abroad, seeing other friends reconnecting, and of course, date night photos. All while I was writing this article in my PJs on a Saturday night. I tell you this to let you know that I haven’t perfected this either. I can only give you some tips that have helped me and hope they can do the same in your life. Because like I said before, no one has it all together.

  1. Spend time with God each morning. This is a major struggle for me. If you know me at all, you know that I am a 10 pm in bed kind of girl. However, I don’t spring up and sing like Snow White in the mornings either. I like to sleep, 10, 12 hours. Getting up for me is never fun, frankly getting up from sleep ever is never fun. But I do notice a significant difference in my ability to control my thoughts when I do my devotions in the morning versus the afternoon or night. Every morning when we wake up we are facing a great battle. This happens between the enemy and our thoughts. Don’t give him any more ammo.
  2. Be on the lookout. Every day from God is a gift. We need to be on the lookout each day from the urgings of the Holy Spirit to talk to that person who looks lonely, speak the Bible verse our friends need to hear, and follow the call to sign up for a new club or activity. We need to realize that God has a plan to use us each day in big and small ways. Don’t miss your gift by noticing everyone else’s.
  3. Limit your time on social media. Social media is the food that feeds the comparison monster.  Though social media is a great way to keep in contact with others, it is also too easy to get caught up in how many followers, likes, and comments we get on something we’ve posted. Suddenly, we are comparing ourselves to Amy’s photos wondering why we aren’t cool enough to get as many likes as she did on that picture of her cat.  That’s the problem with social media. So I’m not saying to quit social media, but if you know that you struggle with comparison, limit the number of times you check it each day.
  4. Give yourself a break. Realize that you are going to have days where you are bloated, have zits covering your chin, and forget to pluck your eyebrows. On those days or other days where you feel like you could never be as good as insert name here, realize that you don’t have to prove yourself to anyone. God has already proved to you that you are worth it and worthy of being pursued. The moment those toxic thoughts enter your head, simply take a deep breath and relinquish it to God. He can take these thoughts and give you the peace you require. He can give you the confidence to stand on top of these thoughts and conquer them once and for all.
  5. Finally, fill yourself with what God says about you, not what others think of you or the horrible things that you think about yourself. Look to the verses that say that you were chosen, you were set apart, you are loved, you are worthy, you were created beautifully and with a beautiful purpose. God can satisfy our deepest desires and handle our deepest fears. Let Him shoulder your burdens, insecurities, and doubts each day when they’re too much to handle.

Remember that comparison is a battle that we all are constantly facing, but what do you say? Are you ready to win that battle today?

Why Your New Year’s Resolutions Keep Failing

2017. A year that looms before us unknown and sweet with expectations. It’s exciting to think that we have no idea what this year will bring. Many of us wish to find something new to fill the void in our hearts this year; a new person, a new hobby, a new figure. Many of us see this New Year as an opportunity to become the person we’ve always wanted to be. The person who spends time regularly with God, who invests more in other people, or actually gets on that workout regime.

But we face a problem as we hastily throw down resolutions after resolutions on notebooks and random scraps of paper. We face the problem of reality. It’s hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel when 2017 has just begun. It only takes a minute to look out at the gray and snowy January day for you to lose the hope that you had to complete the task. So why do we fail? Why do we forget about achieving our resolutions by the time March rolls around? Why do we not become those people that we hope to be?

I think that the answer is rather simple. We are set on being someone new instead of becoming someone new. From the minute our glasses clink ushering in the New Year, we are set on being this “new version” of ourselves.  Maybe for you, that meant being less selfish, gossiping less, or being a better friend. Maybe you hoped to find contentment, to increase your spiritual life, or to help out your family more. These are all great plans, but we must remember that nothing comes easily in life. The process is everything. We need help. We need God. We are broken and damaged shells of people. We are not our own.

In the Bible, we see story after story of characters undergoing trials and joys on a journey that would lead them to who they were ultimately designed to be. They didn’t just wish that God would use them in big ways, they took steps to put God’s plans into motion. Think about the story of Paul. He had a major transformation, yet he didn’t become God’s vessel to the Gentiles overnight. He probably was scared to death and afraid, just like many of us. Luckily, God can take our brokenness and weaknesses to be used for His strengths. We are able to read book after book of Paul’s spiritual and personal trials to see how he learned to depend on God above anyone and anything else.

Or let’s look at the life of Peter. When God first called him to be a fisher of men, did he become one of the main leaders of Christianity the next day? No. Face it, he was just a smelly fisherman that was curious and maybe even a little bored with his mundane life. But he took a step. He gave God the opportunity to shape him and make him into who he was intended to be.  By letting God see his heart, his loves, and his failures, Peter became the man who was the rock of the Catholic Church. Do you think after the rooster crowed he was thinking how powerfully God would use him in the lives of others?

Just know that you are not alone in trying to improve yourself but falling short. You are not alone in having great intentions that you couldn’t quite keep. We live in a crazy busy world. We spend our days racing from work to the gym to our quiet time to dinner to trying to squeeze in an episode of Netflix, all while trying to maintain 8 hours of sleep. Our eyes are bleary from the all-nighters we have pulled. And we find ourselves putting on more activities, finding new hobbies, maintaining more friendships, and having less time for God each year.  Have you ever stopped to ask God what desires and plans He has for your life? To ask Him how He wants to use and shape you this New Year? Maybe that’s where you need to start.

And then we face the question of what are the best resolutions? Thanks to social media and modern blogging( haha) we find that every publication, friend, and parent has an idea of what we should be working on this New Year. So we find ourselves up to our ears in self-help books, crazy weight loss solutions, and “read the Bible in a year” plans. All seem to promise that we will better ourselves, be someone different, and become who we always wanted to be just for signing up for their newsletter. That’s not true.

The only person who knows what we need to work on, what sins we need to improve, and what idols we need to kick, is God. Have you asked Him? Maybe this year He’s calling you to give up a bad habit, maybe it’s leading a Bible study, maybe it’s joining a ministry on your campus. But it could be as easy as smiling to everyone you pass on the sidewalk or talking to that girl who seems lonely in your humanities class. Whatever it may be, I urge you to spend time prayerfully asking God what He has in store for you this New Year. Every year has its fair share of ups and downs, but by having God as your constant companion, you can be prepared for whatever life throws at you.

Over these next few weeks, I will be introducing different resolutions I have for the New Year for you to either join in on or to ignore. This New Year, I hope to find ways to not be someone different but to begin the process of becoming the woman of God I have been created to be. I want to become more content, unplugged from social media, expectant, intentional with others, and more serving. Now, none of these are easy tasks that I can complete overnight. Unfortunately, I can’t offer you any quick tips to become these things in 10 minutes or any cheats. My only offer is to dig into these issues using scripture and to start a journey that most likely won’t be completed in 2017. Because we shouldn’t be striving to become better just for 2017. We should be trying to become the person that God will say, “Well done good and faithful servant,” to at the end of our lives.

So are you ready to become a better kingdom server for God? Are you ready to stop making resolutions and start making changes? God is ready to guide you through this uncertain and unknown New Year, all you have to do is ask Him to lead the way.


To The Girl That Has It All Together

Who am I?

This is a question that has haunted women for generations. From trying to wear the right clothes in middle school, to picking the right major in college, to even going through that mid-life crisis, we find ourselves asking, who are we? Where do our identities lie? Where do we get our satisfaction and worth?

The typical Christian response is from Christ. It can be so easy to say “Of course my identity comes from Christ.” But have you ever stopped to consider what that really means?

When I think about how I identify myself, so many words come to mind.

I am a daughter, a friend, a student, an athlete, a reader, a blogger, a leader, a lover of preppy clothing, an overachiever, a sorority sister, a regular sister.

But  I still have many sins to hide.

I am broken, I am selfish, I am prideful, I am judgmental, I am a gossip, I am hateful.

Yet, it can be so easy to forget the most important statements of all.

That I am redeemed, I am loved, I am worthy, I am beautiful, I am saved, I am a prize, I am His. 

I think that it can be hard for any of us to admit just how much we care about how other people see us. It’s easy to hide behind our plethora of activities, easy to hide behind our awards and achievements, and easy to hide our faith from the world. Every day we wake up and are faced with the battle of having to prove that we are worthy to the people around us somehow. So we force ourselves to get up early and make sure our hair is done just right, we interrupt our classmates in our pursuit to be the smartest voice heard, and we sign up for the mission trip we are unprepared for in order to get the accolades from our Christian friends.

But what if we stopped doing all that? What if we truly embraced our authentic identities in Christ alone? What if we didn’t question who we were in response to another?

“ But God demonstrates His love for us in this: while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”- Romans 5: 8

“Therefore I urge you, brothers, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God- this is your spiritual act of worship.”- Romans 12:1

We aren’t perfect beings. And we never are going to be. So no matter how many awards, “Job well done”, and praise we receive here on earth, nothing is going to wipe away our sins except for Christ. That is why it is completely impossible for us to try to find our identity in any other earthly element, because God is our creator who has made the ultimate sacrifice for us.

I am talking about this subject today because I definitely speak from experience. I would definitely classify myself as a grade A overachiever. I am involved in so many different events both on and off my college campus, and take great pride in the leadership positions I have been able to attain going into my senior year. But I take too much pride. I take too much pride in being the girl who seems to have it all together. The girl who gets good grades, dresses well, is organized, and goes to bed early. But I’m not the girl who has it all together, and I am never going to be. And unfortunately neither are you.

I am just as broken as any other individual on my college campus. I face trials, endure hardships, and cry in the shower when my days become too much to handle. I get stressed out, say things I shouldn’t, and care way too much about impressing fickle boys. When I put my worth and my identity into being the girl who does everything and has it all together, I fail. My identity needs to come from Christ and Christ alone.

Too many days I find myself not seeking God when I am stressed out or upset, but turning to other things to get comfort. I seek to find my worth in social media, how many friends I have, and reminding myself of all the things I’m “good” at. I allow myself to obsess over my reflection in the mirror, obsess over the conversation where I said something stupid, and obsess over posting a photo on Instagram to let everyone see how much “fun” I am having. But I don’t obsess about God. I don’t obsess about others and intentionally hearing them. I don’t obsess about the grace I have been given.

So let’s stop. Stop putting our worth in earthly awards and positions and start building up our treasures in heaven. To learn to love ourselves and to feel that we are worthy of love no matter how many campus activities we invest in. To be approachable and open about our struggles. To not be afraid to talk to our friends about Christ and encourage them to live life with Him to the fullest.

I can’t be perfect, you can’t be perfect, but together with God, we can become perfect. I have no idea what identity you have been hiding behind these past years. Maybe it’s being a really great athlete, or the mother of your friend group, or the smartest kid in your classes. But those things don’t define you, they are the only evidence of the gifts that God so richly blesses us with; don’t turn a gift into your self-worth.

“He rescued me because He delighted in me.”

He delighted in you. Not because you were president of student government, not because you were Homecoming Queen, not because you went on 12 mission trips, but just because you were little old you. Riddled by sin and desperate for grace. So embrace your fallen nature today, you never know how God is going to use your scars to bless another.


Being Content In The Midst of Uncertainty

There are many things in my 21 years of life that I have struggled with being able to do well. For example, I can’t cut in a straight line with a pair of scissors. I’m actually not joking you when I was in second grade my teacher was so concerned with my lack of crafting that she called the school psychologist to assess me to make sure I didn’t have a brain problem. I also lack a sense of awareness of my own body. That means, more often than not, I have been the blunt force that caused holes in the kitchen walls, random appliances to break, and stained my coffee table with nail polish remover. I can go on and on, but I think you get the picture. But despite being terrible at those more humorous and minor areas of my life, there has always been a big area of my life I have struggled with, finding contentment.

Being content is so frustrating because as Christians we think it should come naturally. Once we accept the Savior of the world into our broken hearts shouldn’t we just be overwhelmed with a constant sense of joy?  We wake up every morning and read the daily news about people starving, children being sold as slaves, and ISIS bombing more countries, and for that split second we realize how blessed we are. As we kiss our healthy families goodbye, run off to our jobs in our fully functional vehicles, that brief news update on the radio is what reminds us to send that “I’m so grateful that’s not my prayer,” up to the God of the universe. And then what do we do? We change the channel, we forget, we get so wrapped up in our minuscule problems and worries that we wallow, we cry, we pout, and we doubt.

Because whether we admit it in the confines of Christian friend groups or not, we like to think we have it all figured out. So we buy planners labeled with “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me,” we text our friends encouraging Bible verses, and we throw our hands in the air to truly surrender all to God, once a week at church. But what about when the storm comes? What about when a loved one gets a terrifying diagnosis, a boy breaks your heart, you don’t get that dream job, or a friend walks away from you forever? How can we be content and praise God when we feel like He’s messing everything in our perfectly planned lives up? Didn’t He know that our now ex-boyfriends were supposed to be our future husbands? Didn’t He know we had built our futures around those jobs and excitedly told our friends and families all about them? Doesn’t He know that when we tell Him to give and take we really only mean give?


As a senior in college, I have had my fair amount of doubts about my upcoming plans for the future. It’s hard to trust God’s every tumultuous plan when you have no job, no boyfriend, and no idea where in the world you will find yourself this time next year. Because my school is safe, the friends I have in college are safe, my Christian college bubble is safe, but the real world? That’s anything but safe. But one thing I have learned in this time of uncertainty is what it truly means to walk with God and be content. It doesn’t mean that I am joyful with all my circumstances or the current challenges I might be facing, but it means that I am accepting of whatever life throws at me as part of God’s sovereign plan. I realize in my hardships that God is still good, even when it doesn’t feel like it.

When you have more rejection letters than you know what to do with…….He is still good.

When you have to leave the best friends you have ever known to return to living at your parents’ house……He is still good.

When the boy you’ve planned your whole future around forgets to call, loves another, or isn’t found……..He is still good.

When your whole life is a puddle in your hands and you don’t even know how you are going to make it through…… He is still good.

Right now, I am in the midst of a serious time of having to rely on God and be content that His plan is always greater than any I can conjure up in my overactive imaginative head. This past fall, I had the opportunity to apply for a postgrad fellowship program. The program seemed to meet all the check marks on my list of “best job ever”. It was in Pittsburgh, PA right near my family, would give me the opportunity to be mentored both professionally and spiritually, give me the chance to serve in a capacity at a church, and live in community with other people freshly venturing into the realm of adulthood. In my mind, it was meeting all my expectations and God’s too; how could He not want this for me? All was going well with my application. I was meeting all the right people, connecting with others, and getting compliments left or right. Frankly, I thought this was in the bag.

Then, I got a call from the program director. Apparently, the internship I had this summer had “descriptively” wrecked me on the reference sheet I had asked them to fill out, and I was no longer a viable option for this prestigious program. The internship where I had loved the people I worked with, where they had given me a perfectly normal exit interview, and the very people I had just seen weeks earlier at my college’s career fair. You know how they greeted me in front of my school, God, and everyone else at that career fair?  My boss hugged me tightly and wished me the absolute best of luck in my job finding process. No, this wasn’t a perfectly orchestrated soap opera, this was suddenly my life. And when I said they destroyed me on this reference form, I’m not exaggerating. I’m not crying because they gave me a 4 instead of a 5. They so utterly destroyed my chances that my trusted teacher who saw their response could only describe it as “malicious.” He said he had never seen a reference form where the company said not one good thing about a person. Not. One. Good. Thing.

To say I was devastated was almost an understatement. Suddenly, my heart was full of fresh scars of rejection, pain, and loss. My confidence was shattered; I began questioning everything I was and who my identity was as a worker. Hadn’t I provided them with good material? Hadn’t I tried my best to carefully craft them social media plans, research, and blog posts? Didn’t I still have a thank you card from them sitting cold in the bottom of my desk drawer?

What was wrong with you God? Didn’t you know that I had picked this opportunity to best serve you and serve others? Didn’t He want me to be happy and thrive? Then I got my answer. No. No, He did not want me to be a part of this graduate program. No, He didn’t want me to serve others and Him in this way. No, this wasn’t His plan. It was mine. Talk about swallowing some major pride. Because when we are in the midst of the storm it is always so hard to see that there is good waiting on the other side. That we missed out on that seemingly perfect job opportunity because there was a bigger and better option waiting for us. We cry and cry and hold onto the strands of our heart the boy left us with, but we neglect to see how God wants to use us in our singleness or notice that quiet boy that could be God’s actual match for us.


Because life is painful, our lives are messy more than perfect, and rejection looms at every corner.  But it is the only evidence of a broken world, not the gracious and faithful God we serve and love. We have to believe at the core of our heart, at the bottom of every fallen tear, at the struggle of every unanswered prayer, that there is a God out there who knows so much better. A God who holds us in the midst of our struggles and is whispering His promises to our unresponsive hearts. Being content isn’t about putting on the right face. About faking it around your friends, about posting lots of cute calligraphy Bible verses on Instagram. No. Contentment is not about holding it all inside of you into you explode. It’s not being strong, it’s knowing that it’s ok to be weak.

But He said to me, ” Your grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”- 2 Corinthians 12:9

That it’s ok to ask your friends for help through prayer, it’s ok to mourn your losses and have a good crying session, and it’s ok to even be a little peeved at God. Contentment is found in our moments of extreme doubt and panic. When we dismiss the enemy and say “God’s got this”. It’s reading verse after verse in the Psalms about God’s provision and faithfulness. It’s about looking back at the hard times in your life and remembering that God allowed you to make it through unharmed into the bigger, brighter tomorrow.

I love this section from Jesus Calling,

“ Thankfulness takes the sting out of adversity. That is why I have instructed you to give thanks for everything. There is an element of transaction: You give me thanks( regardless of your feelings) and I give you joy( regardless of your circumstances).

He gives us joy regardless of our circumstances. Just let that sink in. So all those times we have chosen to freeze God out in favor of our favorite movies, food, person, or activity, we were just giving satan a foothold to add more negativity into our lives. We can’t always change our circumstances. We can’t change the hurt we have received, the closed doors were wish were open, or where God is taking us on our life journey, but we can change one thing. Our attitudes. We can choose praise when everyone else is choosing doubt. We can choose to praise God in our adversity and trials and view them as opportunities to see His goodness instead of having our hearts become bitter and hardened.

So, what am I going to do in response to my circumstances? I know for a fact that I’m not going to wake up every day praising God like I should. I’m still going to have times where I stress cry to my mom or roommate, feel hopeless, and get angry at God. But, this time, something will have changed. I won’t give the devil the satisfaction of causing my heart to become bitter and hardened. I’m going to take a deep breath, try to stop the string of fear and doubt running through my mind, and turn to God to pray. Friends, contentment isn’t found at the bottom of an ice cream container or fry basket, contentment is found on our knees as we present our requests to God and wait to hear His call of direction.

Contentment is realizing God’s plan will always be better than any you imagined in your head. It’s choosing praise each and every day when your head and heart are screaming at you to doubt. So be joyful, be excited, be encouraged; God has an amazing plan and area He is preparing to use you in. So, what do you say? Are you ready to surrender all to God today? To accept the good and the bad?

Because in the midst of our greatest tragedies is when our best stories are formed. Let what God is leading you through today be a story that can bring encouragement to others in the future.


How To Forgive Someone Who Has Wronged You

In today’s society, it can easy to look around and have almost anything cause you to become angry. Maybe it’s the political post of an annoying Facebook friend, the lies you just found one of your best friends has been telling about you, or a hurtful comment from a family member. Maybe for a long time, your heart has been angry at God for not granting you that one job or one thing you’ve always wanted.

Truthfully, I didn’t fully understand the depth of anger until almost two years ago. I was in the midst of starting my sophomore year at Grove City and I remember coming home on my fall break excited to relax with my family and finally not have to eat cafeteria food. Instead, I came home to my mother telling me that my father had left our house and essentially their marriage was over.

Now, I am not one of those kids who ever once believed her parents had a fairy tale romance. My father is a dairy farmer whose idea of spending quality time with me was forcing me to milk for him on Saturday nights. He wasn’t a bad guy, just not a good father. He never hit me or my brother or mom, he never cheated on my mother with another woman, but he also never made us a priority. It still stuns me to realize that there are girls out there whose fathers buy them flowers for Valentine’s Day and actually knows the names of their friends from college.

Since my parents have been separated for the past two-ish years, I have had to start to form a relationship with my father on my own. Nothing could’ve been tougher. At his core, my dad is a taker and not very much of a giver. My relationship with him revolves around his work. I hardly hear from him during the crop season of the summer, but he will be texting me all the time like we are the closest friends when he is bored in the winter. Even when my mom finally told us what happened, I had to be the one to call him first.

And it makes me crazy angry. Like, want to rip up something or scream in his face angry. Because people like my dad can never admit they were wrong. That they were the ones who neglected my mother, tormented my brother, and made me some sort of weird favorite. He can never admit that he actually messed up. And that’s the hardest part, isn’t it? Forgiving someone who doesn’t admit they are wrong or who doesn’t ask you for forgiveness. How do you forgive someone who doesn’t realize what they did was wrong?


Now I can’t pretend to know your story or relate to the pain that anger or a lack of forgiveness has had on your life. I don’t know the number of tears you’ve cried over the boy who didn’t like you but tried to ask out your best friend, the mother who wanted you to be perfect out of the womb or the parent who never made you their priority, but I know that holding that anger inside only destroys you.

The Bible talks plenty about God’s wrath and anger, but it also holds the answer to how we as humans can deal with our internal anger and conflicts.

Ephesians 2:26-27 says, “ In your anger do not sin. Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry. Don’t give the devil a foothold.”

Ecclesiastes 7:9 says, “ Do not be quickly provoked in your spirit, for anger resides in the lap of fools.”

It seems that the only person our anger benefits is satan. And I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to give him any more advantage over me then he already has. We can be hypocrites in our anger, becoming self-righteous and not forgiving a person often times for the same crimes we have committed. Sure, I did not abandon my family or put my job over them like my father did to me, but I have ignored God. I have ignored Him in favor of friends or Netflix episodes or sleeping in. I have put idols and my own desires ahead of God’s and rushed through my devotions to get to the rest of my day. Frankly, I have done just what my dad has done to me.

Now I am not saying that we as humans aren’t allowed to feel hurt and let down and angry. The problem happens when we let this anger consume and intensify to passive aggression, hurting other people, and letting it damage our self-worth. God is the ultimate judge of the earth and He will see that each person will pay the price for their sin. Just like the women who was being stoned for adultery, we are not worthy to cast the first stone.

There might be days where your anger is incapacitating, or you feel like you can never forgive the person who has hurt you, but that is a lie. The power of Jesus Christ lives inside you and He alone can help you to conquer this anger.

But how can you start?

1.Talk to someone. Whether that be a family member, counselor, or friend, sometimes you need to get off your chest what has been bottling up inside you. Let them give you wisdom and pray over you for healing.

2.Write about it. I have always felt a lot of relief from talking to God through writing. It is a great outlet to be able to say whatever you need to without having anyone around. It can also be a great tool you can look back on to monitor your improvement.

3.Let go. It can be hard to forgive and pretend like nothing has happened when someone has wronged you so badly. But I guarantee you that letting the weight go is going to give you the freedom and peace you are craving. So what that awful friend of yours is never going to apologize for gossiping about you? So what you have a dead beat dad that has a pride problem? So what you had your heart broken by an ex-boyfriend who you gave everything to? Being angry isn’t going to make them change or make you feel better. If you want to let go of your anger, you need to be the one willing to change.

Last summer, I postponed the last of the seven deadly sins from my series because I didn’t want to share my story with anger. But now I realize that this anger I feel doesn’t have to define me, and it doesn’t have to define you either.

Are you willing to let your anger go today?

How To Stop Missing God’s Plan

Do you believe that God has a plan for you? Do you sometimes feel like you are missing out on bigger and better things?

We are told countless times as we are growing up that God has a unique plan for all of us. We have loved ones write Jeremiah 29:11 in our Christmas and graduation cards and are told “it must not have been part of the plan,” when something unexpected happens. But once we get into college we start to become frustrated with God’s “so-called plan.” Yes, God is sovereign and His plan should take precedence, but why does that have to result at my own expense?

Why does that mean I never get to date the boy I’ve had a crush on for months who is equally yoked, don’t do well on the quizzes I actually study for in school, and get cut from a group that is called to serve you? Why do those with the strongest faith get wrecked by debilitating cancer, why do children get raped by ISIS every day, and why are there those living in poverty in the streets of our own country? How can these bad things be part of God’s plan? I can’t at all pretend to have all the answers, but I also know that God has to answer to no one least of all little old me.

One verse that has constantly frustrated me over the years was,

Take delight in the Lord and He shall give you the desires of your heart.”

It frustrated me because I felt like I was constantly trying my best to please the Lord and be obedient to His plan. So why couldn’t He start to show me some of those desires? In my mind, I was the perfect Christian. I didn’t drink, went to youth group every week, and wore a purity ring to school every day. I mean if anyone deserved to have their desires it was me.

It wasn’t until I was a freshman in college that I finally realized something. That verse about God giving us our desires isn’t about our desires at all. It’s about His desires. God gives us everything yet all He asks is one simple thing. He wants our hearts. And not the tiny corner we try to give Him as we groggily whisper prayers to Him as we fall asleep. Not the tiny corner we give Him on Sunday mornings when we raise our hands exuberantly to the worship songs. Not the tiny corner we give Him as we quickly sneak a prayer in before our meal date in a crowded college cafeteria. All of it.

Because our lives aren’t about us at all. They’re all about Him. When we start walking intimately with the Father we realize that what He wants most of all is to give us the plans He has already made in advance for us. His desires that His hopes will become ours. I have been praying for a year or so now to let God’s desires become my own desires. I would rather live the life God wants me to live with Him than live half a life with my own plans. Every time I have not gotten something I wanted from God, He has given me something so much better in return or protected me from something that would’ve hurt me so much in the long run. Have you ever stopped to consider that God knows what we need before we even ask for it?

My friend shared a great song with me lately that I have actually attached called Clear the Stage. The song really gets to my point on this post. Sometimes we need to clear the stage of all the plans, dreams, and things we are clinging to over God to make room for His plans, dreams, and the things He wants to bless us with. Because when put our desires and plans over God’s, we miss huge opportunities to serve Him and bless other people. Maybe you’re thinking that you actually don’t have an idol problem. Well, these words from a song can help enlighten you.

“Anything I put before my God is an idol. Anything I want with all my heart is an idol. Anything I can’t stop thinking of is an idol. Anything that I give all my love to is an idol.”

Sound familiar at all? These words remind me that my struggle against idols is far from over, but I know that with God all things are possible.

So what do you say, are you ready to clear your stage or are you going to be content letting God’s opportunities pass you by


Is God Your Number One Priority?

What consumes your thoughts? Where does your mind drift to when you’re day dreaming in class? Who is on your mind? Is it God? Because if I’m being honest that is not always the case for me.

When people think of idols in our modern day culture they think that they are outdated. They think just because they aren’t worshiping a golden calf  that means that they have made God their number one priority.

“The idols of this nation are silver and gold, the work of human hands.” Psalm 135:15.

I am going to tell you something that might confuse you. Idols can be good. Most idols start out as being good things, even gifts from God. They become bad when we decide to exalt them over God and spend more time dwelling on them than our Father in Heaven. They can be anything. School work, boys, friends, fear of being left out, how you present yourself on social media, etc, etc. For me, I feel like a big idol of mine has always been boys. I love to be that girl who has a crush and excitedly tells all her friends about the interactions I had with him during the day. I am also the girl who worries and worries and worries about if they like her or not. It completely consumes me. You know who is not constantly on my mind during those times? God.

I treat Him like a king if I was able to have a great interaction with my crush that day and like a pariah if I did not. I constantly didn’t understand why I couldn’t have the one thing I wanted. I had done in my mind what God had asked me to do. I didn’t sleep around, I didn’t send the boys I liked bad pictures of myself, all I wanted was a boy who I could love and help me to grow in my faith. But even though that is a great and normal thing to desire, it was taking all my time and energy away from the number one thing I should have been desiring. Sometimes God has to smack you in the face for you to realize you are not making Him your priority. We deserve nothing from God, yet oftentimes we expect everything

In our society it can be easy to look at the Israelite’s and scoff at them for worshiping a golden calf over the God of the universe. But we as Christians fail to realize that we do the same thing when we skip our devotion time to study with that cute boy from our chemistry class, work out instead of pray because our bodies have to look a certain way, and choose to put all our worth in academic success rather than considering what our life will look like in heaven. Because idols don’t just take us away from God’s love, they take away pieces of ourselves until we have nothing left to give God.

But I have good news. Because of Jesus’s death we are freed from these things that seem to take and take from our lives. We are not slaves to our idols, we are slaves to no one. So today I would encourage you to take a good hard look at your life and discern if it is truly one that puts God before anything and anyone else.

“Jesus replied, ‘Love the Lord your God will all your heart and all you soul and all your mind.”

Would you be willing to stand before God and say you did just that?

When You Want It All: Dealing With Greed

Let me start by asking you a question.  What defines you?

Is it the clothing of an elite label? Hiding behind the mouse of the latest Mac computer?  Or being first in line to buy Taylor Swift tickets? Do your passions reflect a love for God or the things your greed commands you to possess?

The definition of greed is an intense or selfish desire for something, especially wealth, power, or food. Sometimes we are so caught up in trying to outshine each other on social media, with our $600 dollar prom gowns and Jcrew statement necklaces, that we start to be defined by our stuff more than by personalities. Nothing is wrong with taking pride in your appearance or saving up your money to buy something you desire, but it is a problem when that need becomes an obsession. Suddenly we can find ourselves being more consumed with having the latest and greatest gadgets than our Savior.

If you know me well at all, then you know that I absolutely adore clothing. You also might describe me as little bit of a brand whore. To me who made the shirt matters just as much as what it looks like. I take an inordinate amount of pride in people knowing that “Yes, that shirt did come from Tommy Hilfiger, thank you very much.” But when I truly look inside myself I realize that the only reason I care so much about my appearance is because I care too much about what other people think. Ever been there? It can be easy in today’s culture to think that we have to buy the latest this or have a certain brand of jeans to be cool, but in reality these products are not going to be the things that last forever.

“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is there your heart will also be.”- Matthew 6:19-21. bible verse on greed

That verse definitely does not beat around the bush. We are on earth for such a short amount of time and when we die no one is going to remember that we were the first ones at our high schools to have a Michael Kors purse. They are going to remember us by our character. Were we kind? Did we put other people before ourselves? Or were we too busy tweeting everything that happens on our smartphones that we forgot to spend time with those around us?

As hard as it can be, we need to start thinking about eternity and more about how God perceives our actions than our peers. The love and grace of our Savior is the one thing that we can never buy and we never have to earn. He doesn’t care about the type of clothes we wear or that we start our mornings with Shakeolgy. He cares about the intimate details of our lives, like how many hairs we have on our head or how many times we’ve cried because we saw a picture of our friends going out on Instagram and have failed to be invited. He wants to know us even more and use us in bigger ways than we could ever dream or imagine.

But we can’t be used by Him as easily if we find ourselves being too consumed with making sure that all our friends see everything we’ve ever bought on social media. Posting endlessly about the new dress you bought from Lily Pulitzer is definitely not going to shatter anyone’s life, but putting that energy into showing God’s love could. Sometimes we have to take a step back and realize why exactly we post what we do. Is it to truly share our joy with other people, or is it to make other people feel bad about themselves?

So the next time you are stressing out because you don’t have the latest (insert blank here) ask yourself a question.

Do I want to be defined as the greedy girl who has a lot of stuff, or do I want to be defined as the girl who passionately loves her Savior?