Fearfully Wonderfully Me

Growing in God and Inspiring Young Women Through Faith and Fashion

Category: life (page 1 of 11)

These Little Moments: A Letter to the High School Graduate

To the High School Graduate,

I know it feels like it’s taking forever to leave school, and that you can’t get out fast enough. But slow down a minute, I promise it will be worth it.

Maybe you’re excited to leave; to embark on new adventures such as college, a new job, or independence from your parents. Or maybe you’re more like me, leaning on the side of terrified because you have no idea what to expect.

You see, this is the pattern of life that never ends. We expect, hope, and dream. We fear and are lost as to what the future holds.

You might not get into that college you applied to, and even if you do, it won’t be everything you’ve ever dreamed it would be.

You might not land that job you thought was easily yours. Maybe the one you do get will take you to places you only dreamed of going.

You might not end up with your high school sweetheart. In fact, you might be single for quite awhile. That’s okay. It’s good to learn about yourself, and to be comfortable with who you are without somebody else.

You might not follow the path or timing of everyone else, and that’s okay too. After all, a late bloom gets to enjoy days of longer sunshine and warmer weather.

College is exciting, daunting, and confusing. There is so much to learn and so many new people to connect with. Choose your friends wisely, as they help determine the course of your future.

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Remember that you are more than your work or your grades. Though these things can bring you purpose and joy, they should never be your source of fulfillment.

You see, the only thing that ever really lasts forever is what is rooted in eternity–in heaven. If you have Jesus, then you have the one thing that nothing in this world can take away from you.

When you’re young, you feel invincible. Although the trials of life will come, they can never take away your salvation.

Breakups, failure, job loss, disease, disability, unmet expectations, addiction, and even death can never separate you from the love of God. As long as you hold fast to His presence, you have all you will ever need.

Although there are trials and pain in this life, there is also great joy. The joy of a bonfire with close friends, or the smell of coming home during Christmas. The joy of accomplishing something you never thought you could, or the mysterious adventure of falling in love.

Hold on to hope and expect joy. Life is offering you amazing opportunities, so take them and run.

Keep on wondering and wandering. Stop and look at the world around you, never losing your childlike spirit. Everyone is rushing ahead to grow up, and while you should always be growing, never forget that the Kingdom of Heaven is made for children.

Never give up; not on faith or hope. And always believe in the power of love. As you walk across that stage, take a deep breath. Slow down–if only for a moment. These little moments are what shape us for a lifetime.

These little moments are what shape us for a lifetime.

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

(Photography by Baim Hanif and Annie Spratt)


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How to Survive Politics as a Christian Woman

One Hot Mess

Last week for one of my classes, I underwent a media deprivation experiment. The goal was no TV, Internet, or news media (except for what was necessary), for four days. When the experiment was over, I realized something profound about today’s American culture.

We are a hot mess politically, and it’s driving us crazy.

It seems that in modern day society, if you’re not following the crowd on certain political stances or ideologies, then there’s something wrong with you. Just look at the Golden Globes and the Grammy Awards from this year. Everyone’s making a statement–to the point where it’s no longer about movies or music at all.

Now I’m not writing this to tell you what to believe, lovely reader. You can decide for yourself. And I’m certainly not suggesting that we stay silent on important political issues. On the contrary, Christians should be outspoken on issues such as abortion, sexual assault, and racism.

So how can Christian women find balance in this secular political climate? Here are 3 points to consider.

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Find the “Why” 

Everyone believes in something. And as Christian women, we believe that Jesus Christ is God and has died for our sins to save us from hell. He came as a man to usher in the greatest rescue mission the world has ever seen, so we can have eternal life with Him!

This should be our core foundation when we ask ourselves why we stand for a certain political party or ideology.

I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth. (Revelation 3:15-16 NIV)

There are a lot of people who are “rebelling” against traditional values…to the point where they are becoming conformists! Most people are lukewarm about their beliefs because they are afraid of stirring the pot. But that’s not how Christians should be. It’s one thing to think critically on certain issues, however, our values must always be clear.

Another reason to know the why behind your beliefs is so that you can defend them.  If I say I’m pro-life but do not have any reason for it, then no one will care. Our why should be spiritual, as well as logical. Our beliefs about this world should reflect our belief in the hope of Jesus Christ.

Our beliefs should reflect the hope of Christ.

Be Kind

But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect (1 Peter 3:15 NIV)

Although we must understand the reason for our beliefs and be able to defend them, we must do so with kindness. This world is full of division and hatred, even among Christians. However, we are called to gentleness and maturity in our conduct.

We must realize that no political party or ideology is perfect. We are human beings, so we tend to mess things up…a lot. Whether you are a Republican or Democrat, or something in between, please don’t fall into political idolatry.

It isn’t wise to enter a conversation with people of different political beliefs to try to change their minds (it doesn’t work anyway). Seek to understand them and their background. Ask God to help you empathize with them as you politely state your views. This will glorify God.

Seek Godly Wisdom

The Internet and cable news is filled to the brim with information trying to sway our beliefs. How on earth do we make a wise decision?

 If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. (James 1:5 NIV)

What an amazing gift! I think we tend to forget that God is our Father, and that we can climb into His lap and ask for His love and wisdom. Don’t put God into a box. He will guide you in all areas of life, including political beliefs.

One of the best ways to find wisdom is by reading the Bible. Scripture is full of wisdom on how to live a Godly life. Don’t know where to start? Try the book of Proverbs. Even if you read one chapter a day, in just a month you will gain a lot of Godly wisdom.

This world is full of ideas and beliefs–many of which are totally against God. Although we might not be able to disconnect from all media and news, we can find balance in politics. A woman of faith must walk in values, kindness, and Godly wisdom. If you strive for this, then you will not only survive politics, you’ll thrive.


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Life Update + Liebster Award

Hello lovely readers and followers! I know it’s been a while since I posted, but life has been…life. There are twists and turns that take you up and down in ways that you can never imagine. Although a lot of these twists and turns have been challenges, I can see the growth and blessings behind every single one of them.

As many of you know, I am recovering from a broken elbow. This has made writing difficult, but not impossible. A few weeks ago I also lost my beloved cat, Lunabelle.  I have never felt such pain before, and I know my family has experienced a lot of loss lately. Despite everything, God has shown His faithfulness to me. And I want to celebrate that in this post.

Two amazing bloggers have nominated me for the Liebster award. Both Courtney and Lea are young women who are passionate about Jesus and writing. Please check them out when you have time!

I have modified the rules a little bit in order to make this post easier on my arm, and I decided to take my 5 favorite questions from each blogger.  Since I know so many blogs who have gotten Liebster awards, I will not nominate 11. If you would like to participate, please feel free to nominate yourself and tag me in your post!

The rules for the Liebster Award are:

1. Acknowledge the blog that gave it to you and display the award
2. Answer the 11 questions that the blogger gives you
3. Give 11 random facts about yourself
4. Nominate 11 blogs and notify them of their nomination
5. Give these blogs 11 questions to answer.

My Questions

Lea’s Questions

1. What is your favorite animal?

I’m a huge animal lover, but I would have to say that cats are my favorite. I’m just a crazy cat lady. Lunabelle was my first cat, and I’m so grateful God gave her to me. 

My cat Lunabelle

 

2. Favorite thing about blogging?

My favorite aspect of blogging is interacting with the readers. Your comments mean the world to me. I love to see God moving through the words that I write. It gives me so much joy.

3. Share something you love about yourself.

I love how I’m a caring person who has great empathy for others. It can be hard, as it makes me more sensitive. But I know that it is a strength.

4. Share a vision you have for your future you.

In the future, I see myself publishing a novel. I also hope to see myself getting married and having many adventures with Jesus.

5. Tell me 3 things you are grateful for.

I am grateful for God’s grace, my family and loved ones, and books!

Courtney’s Questions

1. What are your Christmas traditions?

I know the holidays are over, but I thought this was a fun question. I love putting up the Christmas tree with my brother and sister-in-law and hiding the pickle ornament. It’s a German tradition that came from my Grandma Jean, who passed away last year. The one who finds the pickle first gets to open up their present first.

2. What are your New Year’s Resolutions?

My New Year’s resolutions are to write daily (I’m slowly getting there LOL) and to find hope in each day.

3. What was the last movie you saw?

I honestly can’t remember. I don’t watch a lot of movies. But I did watch the Twilight Zone TV series recently and found it pretty interesting!

4. What was your best moment from 2017?

I suppose one of my best moments was falling in love… and not just with my boyfriend. I think I fell more in love with my friends, family, and God this year than ever before.

5. What was one of your most difficult challenges in 2017?

The challenge from 2017 that I’m still struggling with is losing Luna. Learning to trust God while recovering from my injury has also been a struggle, but a huge blessing.

I Nominate

Nikki

Melinda

Desiree

Melanie

Grvya

Tianna

Questions for My Nominees

  1. Why is writing/blogging so important to you?
  2. Do you have any pets? If not, would you want to adopt a pet?
  3. What is one band or musician who you are obsessed with?
  4. How do you feel about New Year’s resolutions?
  5. Do you journal?
  6. Name something you are passionate about.
  7. What is the last book you’ve read?
  8. Who in your life has been an encouragement to you lately?
  9. What is your favorite way to practice self-care?
  10. Where have you traveled? If you don’t travel much (like me), where would you like to go?
  11. How do you feel about winter?

Here you go! I’m excited to read all of your responses. I pray that everyone reading this has a blessed and healthy New Year.


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Connect with me on Instagram @fearfullywonderfullyme

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How a Broken Arm Showed Me God’s Faithfulness

Happy Friday everyone! As many of you may know from my social media post, I have recently broken my arm and had to have surgery. Because of this, my posts have been more sporadic.

I’m going to start posting again, but a lot of them will be much shorter. I plan to write devotionals based on a single Bible verse for some inspiration during your holiday season.

An Unexpected Plot Twist

Have you ever felt consumed by life? I know I’ve felt that way before. The morning of my accident, I was getting out of the shower when I saw a large spider coming down from a web right next to my head.

Like any other sane human being, I freaked out, but tried to exit the bathroom as carefully as possible. Somehow I still managed to slip on water and fell, breaking the radial head on my left arm… which just happens to be my dominant arm.

My radius, which is one of the long bones in your arm, was completely broken off from my elbow. I had surgery and now have a piece of metal holding this bone to my elbow. I am now bionic woman! Recovery is challenging, that’s for sure. But I’m doing much better and will be getting the splint off next week.

Managing the pain, preparing for Christmas, and making up school work have all been hurdles. But the most tragic complication from this accident was that it took away my ability to write.

I have found creative ways such as talking into my phone…which is exactly how this blog post is being written. But it’s just not the same as actually writing things out. And of course, book editing is now on hold.

An Unexpected Lesson

Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. (Lamentations 3:22-23 NIV)

Even though sometimes it feels like I’m being consumed by this injury, I realize that the Lord’s great love for me has sustained me. He has gotten me through so much, both in the hospital and at home. I know that He is healing me and teaching me lessons in faith and trust. I am also grateful for all that I have, since so many people are worse off.

God's faithfulness

Although being injured wasn’t a part of my holiday plans, God brought good out of it. I know that He did not want to see me suffer. Even though the enemy tried to hurt me, Jesus is using it for good. He is always faithful.

What about you, lovely reader? How have you seen God’s compassion and love in your life recently? As you look back on 2017, try to see the ways that God has been faithful to you.

It may just surprise you how some of the things that you thought were meant for your destruction actually ended up being God’s faithfulness in disguise.


Thanks for reading! Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below 🙂

Connect with me on Instagram @fearfullywonderfullyme

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The God of Messy People

I felt like I was watching a reality TV show unfold right before my very eyes. I found myself glued to the window as a young woman was handcuffed and patted down right on my very street.

I live near a busy road and have seen many police stops. But never in my life have I witnessed someone being arrested–until now. It was kind of addicting, watching this woman being hauled off to jail. I felt awful, but I couldn’t pry my eyes away. I have no idea what she’d done, and it really wasn’t any of my business.

So why couldn’t I stop watching?

Eventually I went on with the rest of my day as usual. And that’s when God reminded me of something.

With Easter weekend just fading off of the calendar, images of the cross and Jesus’ death and resurrection are still fresh in many of our minds. However, I think that a lot of us tend to forget that our Lord and Savior died the death of a lowly criminal.

And they stripped Him and put a scarlet robe on Him. When they had twisted a crown of thorns, they put it on His head, and a reed in His right hand. And they bowed the knee before Him and mocked Him, saying, “Hail, King of the Jews!” Then they spat on Him, and took the reed and struck Him on the head. And when they had mocked Him, they took the robe off Him, put His own clothes on Him, and led Him away to be crucified. (Matthew 27:28-31 NKJV

Jesus was bruised, mocked, and beaten. He was stripped and humiliated. He was hung on the cross between two criminals.

Jesus took my place.

Jesus took your place.

Jesus took the place of the woman I’d seen being arrested.

Our God chose to die a lowly criminal’s death so we don’t have to. Even though we all mess up and sin, our eternity with God is secure if we believe in Jesus (Romans 10:9).

Watching that woman being arrested is a lot like the drama in our culture that most of us tend to feed off of. Things like reality TV, tabloids, and celebrity gossip. Can I get an amen, lovely reader?

As I started to ponder all of this, I wondered how I would have felt if I were in that woman’s place. Of course, I don’t know what she did, and I am thankful for our justice system for keeping us safe. But I wondered how humiliating it must have been for even a guilty person to be arrested in broad daylight in the middle of a quiet suburb.

And then I wondered how awful it must have been for our sinless and perfect Jesus to go through some of the roughest torture a prisoner could go through. I’m telling you, experiencing God’s selfless love will change your perspective on humanity. 

Though I am far from perfect, I am gratefully covered by God’s grace and freedom. And I want to extend this grace to all human beings, and sometimes this means putting my lust for entertainment aside in order to give a person going through a rough time their dignity.

We all tend to go about our lives, unaware or unsympathetic toward those who are lost and broken. But Jesus is always in the midst of these messy people, calling them His beloved children. And you know what? I’m so thankful God gets into the middle of my messy life to call me His daughter.

Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. (Philippians 2:3-4 NIV)


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