Posts tagged relationship with Jesus
Why God Must Be at the Center of Our Quest for Identity

Growing up, I didn’t spend a lot of time thinking about my identity. I didn’t sit at home and ponder why I was the way I was. I didn’t spend much time contemplating my decisions or trying to be a certain way. I was just me. For the most part, I really liked who I was. But as an adult, I began to process my identity more and more. Why did I act a certain way? Why did people say hurtful things about me? Why did that situation bother me so much? Why was I the way I was? What was my identity?

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Unrefined, but Loved, Creation in Progress

There are dozens of versions of me I imagined as a child. Research scientist, doctor, gymnast, and a dozen more before I graduated high school. Even when I thought I had figured things out in college, my path changed again. The older I got, the more reality hit, and the more I worried I would see myself as a disappointment. I wasn't in med school. I wasn’t on my way to six figures. I didnt know how to reconcile the dreams I had as a kid with the reality of my desires and abilities as an adult. How could I look at myself in the mirror if I just became "this?” Who would care about the girl who does "that" for a living?

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It is Christ Who Knows Me

Before opening up my phone to find out this month’s topic, I found myself talking to my sweet friend Julia about where we find our worth/affirmation. We were discussing times we strived to get the approval of those we felt reflected the Lord through their lives most. Leaders, friends, you name it.  We came to this common realization that we felt like we had been letting down the Lord when the leaders in our circle weren’t calling out the good things we did or the kind people we are. It was as if the people we admired had the authority to judge us in the same way our God does, but not because God said so. We had given them this power.

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The Miracle that Changed Everything: A Car Wreck Survival Story

“I distinctly remember my hands turning the wheel to the right and my car was resisting and still going straight. Next thing I knew, my car was over a cliff and the last thing I saw was a stream of water below me before I tightly closed my eyes.” Have you ever lived through an experience you cannot find the words to explain? Born and raised Montana girl, Chaeney Latimer survived this deadly car wreck of 2010 completely unscathed — a miracle merely unexplainable. Despite the ways this accident defied all laws of gravity and science, one thing remains true: Chaeney’s life was not destined to end that day. After finishing her sophomore year of college, Chaeney packed all of her belongings into her red Toyota Cobalt and set her sights on home.

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Peace in the Eye of the Storm

I used to think I was a pretty peaceful person who took the chaos of other people’s lack of peace as it came at me. But, in this current season of life, I have been very unsettled by things happening in the lives of those closest to my heart — as well as within myself. All sorts of feelings have been stirred up that have resulted in an overwhelming sensation of anxiousness. I cry even more than I normally do, which was already nearly every day. I scream at the top of my lungs at God when I am driving. I cannot even sit through a full day of ministry school without abruptly leaving to go battle out my frustrations elsewhere. I don’t want to specify exactly what trials are hitting against the walls of my heart, but I will say they have caused me to question my Heavenly Father.

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A Prayer for Peace

Having peace is really important. So here’s a prayer I often pray that gives me peace: “Dear God, Thank you so much for this day! Thank you so much for all the love and grace you give to me. Even in the darkest moments and the times where I just want to give up, you’re still there, continuing to love, encourage and support me. I will forever love you! Thank you for never making me feel looked down on, judged, unloved, and forgotten. Even if I have some of those feelings on earth, I know you would never think that about me. Thank you for filling my heart with joy, peace, love, patience, kindness, faithfulness, gratefulness, and thankfulness!”

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Series Introduction: Peace

Experiencing solitude among nature, or creating a space for personal relaxation are my go-to solutions for feeling at rest. In a world where anxiety and immediacy rule, it’s often difficult to find true, long-lasting, genuine peace. Thankfully, I don’t tend to carry much worry or anxiety with me. But, in high-stress situations, I usually let peace fall to the wayside. Here, my circumstances steal my composure and I’m led by an anxious space of my soul known for not seeing things clearly. Stress clouds our judgment and hinders our ability to see a situation for what it truly is. Often times, we dig ourselves into a worry pit that was never initially there. Yet, we continue to grab the shovel and allow the littlest of things to take us deeper into the dirt. 

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Why Applause Doesn’t Make You Somebody

In a recent episode of America’s Got Talent, Paul Potts, the first winner of Britain’s Got Talent, talked about the impact winning had on his life. He said, “I walked onto that stage a nobody and left it as somebody.”  The crowd erupted in applause, and the judges nodded in agreement — but my heart broke. I wanted to reach through the screen and tell Mr. Potts he was a somebody long before he walked on the stage of Britain’s Got Talent. Perhaps, he was not well known. Maybe he wasn’t asked to sing for the queen or to perform all over the world. Likely, only a handful of people knew he could sing and appreciated the gift he had been given. But, he was not a nobody.

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I Am All He Says I Am

If I were to treat others the way I treat myself, I wouldn’t be the nicest person. I am so hard on myself as I am sure most people can relate to. I don’t take compliments from others well and I am even more so challenged in the area of complimenting myself. It is so much harder for me to look inward than it is for me to look into the hearts of others. I love telling people how wonderfully made they are. I’d even say I have more recently developed a sixth sense of seeing people through God’s eyes. To look at people and ask God to show me who they are growing into is one of my favorite pastimes.

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You Need More Than Just Ambition

When I was 9-years-old, I wrote a book. It took a lot of ambition to write this book! I always wanted to write a book at a young age because I wanted to show you can do amazing things when you’re young! I knew when it was time to write it, God would say, "Go." On April 10, 2018, I heard God say "Go.” I went downstairs and went to my mom's room. I told her, "I'm going to write a book!” I took the computer, went outside with my Bible, notebook and pens, and sat there. I was just so ambitious and ready for this moment I kind of forgot I actually had to write a book!

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Finding Fatherly Love Amidst Heartache

When I was a little girl, my dad had a wife who hurt me deeply with piercing words of my worthlessness for years. Even though I only spent a few months with her each year as I was growing up, she had one of the greatest impacts on my heart and self-image as a child. She hurt my heart deeply. She convinced me I was lacking value — that I would never be as good as her daughter, that I was a liar and a waste of space. Each day my dad would leave for work in the summer, I felt abandoned. I felt left behind.

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Burn Survivor Wears Her Crown with Victory

Scars, both physical and emotional don’t have to be a negative reminder of pain. Their very image shows the body’s strength and resilience. Dawn Monique Brown has bore her scars with confidence for the last 14 years after a traumatizing allergic reaction. While this experience altered her life forever, Dawn has claimed her victory — scars and all. Back in 2004, Dawn paid a visit to see the doctor about her cold — or, so she thought. She was diagnosed with a sinus infection and given medication to take for the next two weeks. Unfortunately, her symptoms worsened and she returned to the doctor.

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What's in a Name

Naming my kids was one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do. How do you choose what a child will be called her entire life? How do you know from the moment you look at him, what name will fit his personality? It is a huge responsibility to choose what name a child will answer to, what name she will write on every form, what name she will speak over herself every day for the rest of her life. “Hi, I’m…” I believe there is power in a name. What is spoken over you matters. The words you use are incredibly valuable, and a person’s name is spoken over them again and again from birth until death.

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Those Lies in Your Head Don't Know Beauty

I am sure you have been bombarded with all the clichés about self-love and how your truest form of beauty lies within. If you are like most women you might have even saved a motivational quote to your phone, laptop or printed it out and hung it to your wall. If you are like me, these reminders may sit on your heart — yet so many times I will forget they pertain to me. Many times I forget my own beauty. I fall into the trap of lies that I am not enough, or I am too much.

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God Defines Beauty, Not Me

Before I fell in love with Jesus and took the time to learn the truth about who He made me to be, I was always desperately searching for ways to become beautiful. I thought beauty was something to gain outwardly. Every morning I would wake up, watch YouTube tutorials on how to beautify my face (since I had no idea how to do makeup without assistance) and put on an outfit I had spent hours planning out over the weekend.

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