Worn Bottle

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Two mini topics are going to be shared this time; no worries, there is a connection (I think.) One topic is the campus carnival that happened today at Lyco. This fundraiser for clubs and organizations on campus helped me discover something beautiful that I really needed to be reminded of lately. For an hour I was stationed at the UCM table, where you could try the semi-challenging game of “Stand A Bottle.” While watching participants over and over again try to stand up a glass bottle with a ring at the end of a pole, the Holy Spirit worked inside of me. Let’s say: God is the person trying to win a piece of candy from standing the bottle upright, we are the ring, and Jesus is the bottle. Please take a moment to envision playing this game. Trying to put the ring on the bottle is probably the hardest part; patience is required if you’re like me and have shaky hands. The ring will get so close to the top but often it slivers around the edge or completely misses all together. The first objective is to get the ring around the mouth of the bottle so you can then concentrate on finally standing the bottle up (which is frustrating at times if and when the bottle swivels around and doesn’t stay in one place.) Watching this being done multiple times let me realize…

This red ring (us) doesn’t give up because there is someone helping at the other end of the pole (God.) All God wants to do is help and guide us into something extraordinary (Jesus.) God knows that we have the strength to stand upright with Jesus and walk alongside of Him but the swiveling done by the ring (us) exemplifies the conflict and sin in our life that keeps us from Jesus. Thankfully after patience and understanding of the way the world works, contact with Jesus is made – all thanks to the help of God (who was there all along.) Once the ring and the bottle connect, strength is created through love for one another and then both are able to stand up and keep going. Without Jesus, we slip and slide all over the place. We can’t do this thing called “life” alone.

Which brings me to topic number two.

I’m worn, already. Yes I’ve only completed one week of my senior year in college so far…but man am I irritable, busy, and just physically, emotionally, and spiritually worn out at the moment. I’m praying that the upcoming weeks and months will be better, while also reminding myself that the unexpected silver linings in my day are because of my faith. Jesus is walking along side of me and I know He isn’t going anywhere. Because of being busy and stressed lately, my depression has taken some deep dives too. Negative thoughts run through my mind often; however, Friday night helped a lot. City Alliance held a get together for students to play lawn games and eat pizza on the Quad. It was wonderful, even though I would not have known that because I almost didn’t go. Watching from my bedroom window (yes I’m a creeper because this particular window happens to be right in front of where Jared set up this event) let me soak in my sadness in private. Eventually, something inside of me chased away the negative thoughts and my mind flooded with positive reminders. My friends were outside. Pizza was outside. Corn-hole was outside. God was outside, always close by. I felt lifted and when I arrived I was greeted with hugs and smiles that warmed my heart. God has placed certain people in my life for especially on the days when I feel down and all I want is a hug. He is amazing like that. He is good all the time and He never runs out of patience and love for me. He never runs out of His righteousness for you either! Whether you’re a student anticipating this upcoming week of classes (like me) or an adult with a job to go to tomorrow, I hope you take the time to rest in His presence. If you’re worn out, soak in His word. If you’re stressed, cry out to Him (and sometimes that means literally.) Know that everything will be okay. & I pray that this next week full of classes, events, meetings, homework, and more is one full of silver linings. I pray that you be reminded of your strength to make it through each day. You are beautiful and wonderful, and sometimes a worn out bottle, but with Jesus lifting you up, anything is possible. ❤

 

Heartbeat

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Have you ever heard the sound of a heartbeat? As you’re cuddling with someone and lying on their chest, you’re hearing this beat. [beat] As you’re hugging someone close and your ear lands perfectly on their chest, you’re hearing this beat. [beat] As you’re watching an ultrasound of your own baby boy or girl, you’re also hearing this beat. [beat] This consistent, everlasting, and beyond beautiful heartbeat. Lately, I have thought about this and I find it absolutely phenomenal. [beat] … [beat]  … [beat] No matter what you are doing right now, no matter where you are, no matter who you are with, it is still there. [beat] You could be at a coffee shop enjoying a nice cup of coffee with a few friends. [beat] You could be in your room simultaneously watching TV with your roommate. [beat] You could be at work taking a break from reality with your coworker. [beat] You could be at the White House signing a bill of some sort with Obama. [beat] You could be in class taking notes, sleeping, riding a roller-coaster, eating, at church, reading, making out with someone, dancing, or just sitting here writing a blog like me…and we all have this melody in common. [beat] Sometimes it speeds up [beatbeatbeat] or slows down [beat         beat       beat] for different reasons but it never goes away. It keeps us going. Even when we don’t want to or when we think we can’t, it keeps going. [beat] Even when we are in love with someone or when we are full of hatred and anger, it keeps going. Every second, minute, hour, day, week, month, year. [beat] Isn’t that absolutely incredible?! The thought of this makes my own heart happy. [happybeat]

 

& this heartbeat shouldn’t be taken for granted. One day, it will go away…but that shouldn’t scare us (more on that later.) This heartbeat of ours is fascinating. Sure, we are going to be broken-hearted, head-over-heels, nervous, joyous, upset, or frightened on certain days…but once the thrill goes away, we are back to a consistent, everlasting, and beyond beautiful beat. I know God is the one who fully understands and loves our heart and its beat more than anyone. I know God is letting me continue having a heartbeat for a reason. I know Jesus is walking with me each day to help keep my heartbeat healthy. I know the people in my life (besides my doctor) cannot hear this personal pulse (unless participating in previously mentioned examples above); however, I also know that I can display the rhythm of my heart daily and that is something I should be grateful for. You have a heartbeat that is similar yet different from everyone else’s. The sound of a heartbeat identifies life, passion, patience, and grace. I don’t know if much of this made sense but I do know that if you’re reading this, your heart is beating right now. No matter what you go through each and every day, please remember your heartbeat and its wondrous melody. It means a lot to me. 

Bad For Me

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If I were to ask you right now to name something that is bad for you, what would you say? It can be anything: physical, emotional, and/or mental. We all suffer from a certain sin that is bad for us (because we are human.) Whether it be some form of addiction, not eating right, talking to the wrong guy/girl, etc. We want to please ourselves in the time being but afterwards we want to scream out loud and we hate ourselves for going back to something so unhealthy. Isn’t that crazy? We do recognize how awful it is yet we insist on going back to it over and over again. The human mind can be very manipulating. The song “Bad For Me” by Megan and Liz reminded me of this topic I thought I should blog about. I can relate to this song, as I’m sure other people unfortunately can too.

The chorus starts off with these lyrics:

“Cause you make me feel so right, Even if it’s so wrong. I wanna scream out loud, Boy, but I just bite my tongue.”

Do you see something wrong with that?

Satan can trick us into thinking something makes us feel “so right” for only a certain matter of time…even though WE KNOW that this particular sin is “so wrong.” And then the result of that would be: “I wanna scream out loud” but instead of doing so (therefore making our sin visible to the world) we just bite our tongues and keep the secret inside. Is that healthy in any way, shape, or form? I don’t think so. & I know that actually RECOGNIZING and ADMITTING to this crummy cycle is hard and it sucks so I’m here to remind you of something that isn’t bad for you…and that something is JESUS.

Jesus can actually make us feel good for the right reasons! He isn’t bad for us! He wants to walk with us through the times that we want to scream out loud and cry on someone’s shoulder. And He especially does not want us to bite our tongues. He is there for us no matter what, every second of every day. Instead of holding sin (that Satan tries to convince us is good when it really isn’t) inside and running back to it when we feel most vulnerable or worthless, Jesus wants us to confess it to him and allow him to help us. We cannot handle what is bad for us alone. We need other people and we need Jesus. No matter the circumstances, how hard life gets, or how much you have sinned, God wants to protect, love, and save you through Jesus. He is understanding and full of grace, which we all need. What we don’t need is that addiction that makes us feel unworthy. What we don’t need is that mindset of food making everything better. What we don’t need is that guy or girl who only causes harm to our hearts. Jesus is healthy and almighty; He is never “yes, no, or maybe.” He is “I’m right here, right now, ready to help you through whatever battle you are fighting.” God is good all the time and I pray that whoever reads this, you start to weed out the bad in your life. Faith in God means faith in His timing, which is never easy (patience is another blog yet to come), but trust me when I tell you that He is GREATER than WHATEVER is bad for you.

Human

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How many of you know the song “Human” by Christina Perri? I heard it today and because of Robin Williams’ death recently it made me think. I don’t know much about Christina Perri (say as I would about Demi) but I think this song is a perfect example of someone living with depression.

“I can fake a smile. I can force a laugh. I can dance and play the part. If that’s what you ask. I can do it but I’m only human.”
“I can turn it on. Be a good machine. I can hold the weight of worlds. If that’s what you need. I can do it. I’ll get through it but I’m only human.”

We shouldn’t have to fake or force or turn on anything that’s not us. Society frowns upon depression and the world is scared to talk about it. But guess what, just like Christina Perri says: we do bleed, we do fall down, we do crash, and we do break down. We are hurt daily by words and thoughts and actions. BECAUSE WE ARE HUMAN. We mess up and sin and we can only take so much. We are human beings and we need each other to help and love and take care of one another because if we don’t, that is when people have had enough. That is when people break down and feel unworthy of life. And this breaks my heart. Depression shouldn’t be something we have to hide. Saying “I suffer from depression” shouldn’t be embarrassing. Robin Williams was an incredible man who proved that laughter really is the best medicine; however, his illness got the best of him. If you are suffering from depression, I will be the first one to tell you that it is OKAY and that getting help is OKAY because YOU ARE HUMAN and YOU ARE LOVED.

❤ {88} ❤