Because You Need A Pep Talk

*** I wrote this almost a year ago, but I figured the beginning of a new year was a good time to repost. What better way to start off than with a pep talk? I hope you find this encouraging. Happy 2016!*** 

It had been a hard week...a week full of lies to myself and a hurting heart. I turned my music up, sang truths to my heart, and prayed that God would give me rest ... "Come to me, all who are weary and heavy laden, and I will give you rest" (Matthew 11:28). Two nights before God planted that verse in my mind knowing I would need it. I prayed, He answered, and that night I decided I needed to give myself a pep talk. Too often we're hesitant to see our worth as God sees us and to remind ourselves of who we truly are in Christ. We might do this for a number of reasons...sometimes because we desire humility. Sometimes because we simply don't believe there's anything good to list. Sometimes we struggle to see ourselves as He sees us because somehow we find pain, loneliness, and sadness a thing too easy to dwell in, as if it's almost comfortable in some way. Thus, pep talks are few and far between, but we all need them. You need them

Here's a pep talk for your Monday, your Tuesday, your Wednesday, and...well, every day of your life because nothing on this list will ever change.

You are beautiful... You don't need your girlfriends or some guy to tell you this. Stop listening to society broadcasting lies that say you aren't and choose to listen to Christ.  You wouldn't follow every single fashion choice, hair cut, or makeup routine declared beautiful so why let society define you at all? Society does a horrible job of defining are so much better than anything they could ever say about you...bad or good.

You are loved, so much. It doesn't matter the number of people that tell you this or even the degree to which they mean it... God loves you bigger and better. There's no doubt about it, so don't listen to anyone or anything try to tell you otherwise. "...that you, being rooted and grounded in love may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge..." (Ephesians 3:17-19).

You are forgiven... You sins are nailed to the cross by the One who gave his life for you (Colossians 2:14).

You have guts... Let's face it, life is hard. But hey, life is really, really, really good too. I have no clue what you may be going through, but I know God promises strength. Trust Him in that. He's never failed, and He won't start now...or ever.

You are blessed... If you're able to read this you have greater advantages than the majority of the world. Your life is amazing. Never forget that.

You are not boring... Sometimes your interests and passions are different than those of your friends and you may feel like you're boring or weird, but God has given you your passions for a reason. Dream big, do big. Also, sometimes it's hard to hold true to your convictions when everyone else around you seems to be doing the opposite. Never be ashamed of convictions. It doesn't mean you're a better person, but it doesn't mean you're boring or naive either. God has made you the person you are for a reason and there will be people who respect that. When you struggle with this just read Galatians 1:10.

You are God's child... He chose you (Ephesians 1:4). He prays for you (Romans 8:26). He holds you (Isaiah 41:10). He rejoices over you (Zephaniah 3:17).

You are known... From your waking thought, the tears streaming as you're driving down the highway, your laughter, your steady breathing at night, your sparkling eyes, your make-up free face, your tomorrow... Jesus knows it all and gave His all because even while fully knowing you... He loves you.

You are valuable... You are a treasure. You are more valuable than a diamond in the rough... you are priceless. Nothing, I repeat, nothing can destroy your worth. God says you are His (1 Peter 2:9-10). You are forgiven. You were died for. You were wonderfully made (Psalm 139:14). Nothing can change that. God said, and it is so.

You were created... There is no accident in the fact that you were born. Before anyone even knew to think of you, God did. He planned you. He loved you before time, loves you in this moment, and will love you all of eternity. Just think, after all this time you finally get to love Him back. --This is actually a great song that you should listen to, here--

Today is a new day. Crush the lies of the Destroyer.

Dwell in truth.

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Loving and Living the Here and Now

I saw this picture on Pinterest recently and it made me stop and think. I feel like this message is something God has been trying to teach me lately.

A little over two weeks from when I'm writing this I will have graduated high school, finished my first year of college (dual-enrollment), second-shot my second wedding, and will be on a plane flying to the other side of the world. Needless to say it's going to be a busy couple weeks, but the past few months have hardly been less busy.

In all the busyness it's been easy to wish that I could skip this part of my life. I've wished for the days to come faster before I leave on my trip or that I could even skip the next few years of my college life and already be done with it all. I really just want to be done with school. I can't wait to be able to put more of my time and energy into my job that I love so much. But God has been teaching me thankfulness during this time.

Thankfulness is a word that has been going through my mind a lot lately. It's also been showing up in my devotionals and Bible, so I'm guessing I should take a hint. God is awesome in the way that He finds just the right words to speak to me at just the right time. He always knows what to say, and exactly when to say it.

Paul tells us that we are supposed to be thankful in all circumstances, which is mind-blowing. During the good times it's easy to be thankful, but the hard times are...hard. But God works everything out for good (Romans 8:28). The bad times teach us to depend on God, and the good times remind us of His love for us. Don't waste your life away wishing for the weekend, for this test to be over, or summer to come. There are so many reasons to be thankful for this moment you're living in right now. Love the story God is writing right now! You never know what incredible things could happen in the next five minutes, and even if nothing happens God is still there, still waiting for you with open arms. This day you wish would be over or the test you can't stand studying for is just a sentence in the story God is writing. Make it a sentence of thankfulness and joy. Even if every earthly thing is crumbling around you, God is here and He is faithful. Use the hard times to cling ever so closely to Him, trusting that He is on your side.

What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?
— Romans 8:31

It's Not About Giving Up


It throws us so many twists and turns we become dizzy.We get knocked down so many times we no longer understand the point of getting back up. Things don't happen in our timing or according to our plan, so we grow frustrated. All we want to do is give up, and sometimes we do. But many times we don't because there's something discouraging about giving up. Giving up means we fail and lose hope, so rather than fail we fight until exhaustion, and in exhaustion we still. keep. fighting.

Sounds courageous, right?

It is. So I understand your willingness to fight. Thumbs up to you.

But is fighting worth it?

No, because like I said, it's exhausting.

What if I told you the fight isn't about giving up, but letting go? There's a difference. Giving up we release hope and the fight. But letting go? Letting go we give up the fight, yet hold on to hope. Letting go we give God the fight, and trust Him to win. No more exhaustion or frustration, but instead rest and hope. I'm not encouraging you to never give up, because there are sins and some things outside of God's will that we must give up. But there are some fights where the winning is within God's will, yet we can't win them on our own. He watches us as we, with body and soul, fight in fear and frustration, wishing that we would only give it to Him.

Fighting through exhaustion sounds courageous, but giving God the fight in faith is more so. So today I encourage you to rise up in true courage. Today I encourage you to be hopeful; hopeful in the God who has the power to fight and win.

Today I encourage you not to give up, but to let go.

The Lord will fight for you, and you have only to be silent.
— Exodus 14:14