Growing up and closer to the Lord Jesus Christ one step at a time…

The 40 Day Challenge

On December 15th I made the decision to begin a great adventure. But first I probably need to give you a bit of an update.

Lately my spiritual life has been feeling rather, blah. At first I attributed it to Facebook and all the negativity that has been getting thrown in all of our faces recently. (Don’t pretend that your news feed isn’t infested with post and adds that only make you more aware of how far we have fallen. Don’t lie to yourself.) It turns out that wasn’t the real problem. I thought maybe it had something to do with school or that I was working to much. Turns out that’s not what it was either.

What it was is that I had not read my Bible in over a month. Now, I know what you are thinking. Honey, if you felt like you were spiritually dry wouldn’t that be the first place you look? My answer is well, no. Because reading your bible and making sure you spend time with God takes work and I’m lazy and a terrible procrastinator. I’ll put it off again and again until it finally hits me what I have done… That I have given up my quiet time for a few more minutes of sleep, a few more minutes of this episode, five more mins of Facebook or homework. I’ll admit to you that last one gets put off more than it should too.

Now what I said about Facebook, school, working and whatever else is true. I give them to much attention. But, I can’t really blame them for where my spiritual life ends up. It is my personal responsibility to lay aside time to read and pray. I can’t help but think that I should joyfully look forward to this part of my day. That it should be the highlight of my day. When I come home after a long day should not be to flop onto the bed and watch 2 or 3 episodes of Chuck. It should be to my chair and talk to Him and to read about Him and discover who He really is.

Then I had a thought. If you died right this second would you go to heaven. My first thought was “yeah I think so”. It was followed by, “well aren’t his children suppose to want to spend time with him? Don’t they crave Him and seek to glorify him in everything they do?” I kinda shocked myself. I had been putting the most important relationship in my life on the back burner. Then I thought, “I don’t know if I would go to heaven.” And if the thought of burning in hell fire for eternity doesn’t make one realize the error in ones ways I do not know what else can. Hell FIRE y’all! That is just not how I want to spend eternity.

That’s not the only reason why I wanted to get back on track. I have been blessed with so many wonderful people in my life. Godly people who’s love for the Lord goes before them. I want my love for the Lord to go before me. I want people to see Him in me before they see anything else.

So, my plan for the next forty days is to begin another forty day challenge. I’m told it takes forty days to turn something into habit. I have tried to do this before but I always let something get in the way. So this time that is one of my goals to let nothing come before God. And of all the times I would decide to do it… It would be before Christmas. That’s where the challenge comes in I guess.

What do I hope to get out this.

First and foremost. A deeper love and understanding of who God our father is.

Secondly. To be content in where I am in life.

Thirdly. To focus on important things and not get distracted by less important things. Learn how to prioritize I guess.

Fourthly. To become less of a people pleaser because we were not put on this earth to please man.

Fifthly. To not notice boys. I can feel myself becoming desperate because when ever I see someone from the male species I have started thinking “are you the one.” It is absolutely the most ridiculous thing ever. I don’t like it. It all goes back to being content and at peace with where God has you in life. So, I’m kinda sorta not really becoming a Nun for forty days.

Wish me luck and pray for me! And if you want to do this with me feel free. I may post updates and then again I may not. I do promise to write a post at the end of this journey. If I ever get there.

Blessings,

Claire

Crave

It is the strangest of feelings… After a long day that didn’t start out so pure to end it with a feeling of being blessed beyond all compare.

Do you know that feeling you get when you feel like your falling short of God’s plan for you? Where it seems that there are so many things happening on top on the issues in your life? Well, today that sorta kinda happened. I woke up to an issue and then off to my work I went. I was happy to work. My hands needed the toil.

At 2:30 I went to pick up a girl from school which wouldn’t be so bad but I am coaching a volleyball team and would be cutting it close to make it there on time after dropping her off. Now here is where the day began to get stressful. You see, when I couldn’t figure out where I was suppose to pick her up or that I couldn’t see her anywhere I let myself get stressed out over something that wasn’t that important. I’m not the only coach so they could have covered for me if I had been late.  I should have stopped and prayed for God’s peace. I should have also prayed because I have been having trouble loving this girl unconditionally. I should have stopped an prayed to be given God’s love for her.

I arrived at volleyball practice fifteen minutes early. When I get stressed however it doesn’t leave when I am removed from the stressful situation. It sits on top of my chest and threatens to send me into hyperventilation or grumpy bear syndrome. But, I’m about to be around all these young girls and I can’t tell them they have to leave their drama on the court and then just bring mine along with me. Again instead of praying about it I grabbed some volleyballs and “warmed up” my arms by hitting a few at the wall and then practicing my jump serve. It helped a little. The other stressful part is that this is my first time to coach by myself. I’m in charge of these girls, what they learn and how they develop through the year. I feel overwhelmed and ill prepared for this task that I accepted with open arms. I love these girls though and I hope that they’ll survive.

After practice I went and picked up some mini shakes at sonic and brought one to my friend. She unfortunately had to get steroids shot into her hips which have been causing her problems for years. This is where the day got better. We always make each other laugh. It can’t be helped after being best friends for fifteen years. We know exactly what to say to make each other crack up. We watched a movie and had a great and hilarious discussion after. One that I hope I remember years from now.

On the way home I realized just how blessed I was. To have a boss who I love, a girl who challenges my ability to love, a team to pour everything I know about a game that I love into, and a best friend who even in her pain can laugh with me about life… but mostly for a God who loves me regardless of my flaws and teaches me more about his love through these busy days.

All day I had a song stuck in my head. Just the beginning of the chorus. “And I get pulled in every different direction,
trying to steal me from you…” It was only until I got home and listened to it and read the lyrics how perfect it was for this day and the coming sophomore year of college. All day I felt like I was getting pulled in every different direction and that I was getting distracted from the Lord by the day, my personal struggles and by every other thing that tries to steal me away. After pondering these things I know that God had this day happen for a reason. If none other than to remind me that college is coming again and there will be even more distractions trying to pull me in every different direction. But, when they do I know that if I continue to pray that my Father in heaven will pull me right back to him. For He is truly the one thing I crave… 🙂

‘We Don’t Care What They Say’

by Crave

“I can’t explain this feeling I get
When your love wraps me up
to no end
And I only have my eyes on you
I’m lost in you, so lost in you

And I get pulled in every different direction,
trying to steal me from you but…

We don’t care what they say
You can’t take away this love

In you is where I find all I need
Nothing else can satisfy my craving
Oh Your beautiful in all you do
I’m all for you, I’m all for you

And I get pulled in every different direction,
trying to steal me from you but…

We don’t care what they say
You can’t take away this love

You and me were meant to be
together forever you are mine
You supply everything that my heart needs there’s nothing else I want

We don’t care what they say
You can’t take away this love “

Summer Sanctus 6

Hey People,

I have returned from camp. It was one of the most amazing experiences of my life. Let me just tell you a bit about it. The first day of camp is filled with anticipation as you make your way there with the promise of seeing old friends and making new ones. The hugs that one receives upon arrival and the greetings are heartwarming. I had one dear friend in particular that I hadn’t seen in four years and honestly hadn’t really talked to. But, the great part was that it felt like it had just been a few days!

We had mixers and games and you meet new people. People who are being accepted into the family. Because we are like a family and every year we have a reunion! Then the first lecture gets there and you wonder to yourself how is this going to go because they are doing it differently this year. Before they picked a topic and your beloved pastors spoke to you on it. This year their was one speaker and one topic. You sit there afraid because what if he is terrible and you fall asleep. What if you can’t trust him to teach you.

Then something wonderful happens. He is introduced and he begins to teach and you find that not only are you suddenly drawn into his teaching but that you actually love this man before you who’s faith goes before him. This man who is pouring love into your soul. When the lectures end you are sad because you want more. You suddenly realize how very thirsty your soul was for this. You realize that you have been walking in a desert of lies that you have been telling yourself. “God can’t possibly love me.” “My sins are surely to great.” “I’ll never understand what it really is to be Christian.” Those are probably bad examples… But, you sit there and slowly the depths of His love for us is revealed to you… and for the first time you are overwhelmed… not by life and suffering… but by love. Pure, sweet, compassionate love. Love that died for you and thought of you before he surrendered to the will of God.

You are surrounded by friends. People whom you love dearly and that love you. It’s an unconditional thing. You know full well that each of you have walked through fire and has their own story. You know that some have gone through worse and some have yet to really get to their hurts. But, everyone has a story that has shaped them to the point where they are. And for a few days everyone is there for each other in whatever way is needed. The talks before bed or after breakfast are the best…

The counselors are like temporary moms and dads that keep you in check and make sure you are taken care of and where you need to be. I had the best counselor this year. She was always making us laugh and ministering to us in the most unusual ways. 🙂 The pastors are like shepherds watching over their flocks making sure that we are all taken care of spiritually.

You come away after your heart has been touched beyond description with a sense of peace. I came a way with a goal… maybe even a calling. I came away with my ability to love others doubled if not tripled. And we all leave with the resolutions to stay in touch and to message the ones that couldn’t make it this year. Sometimes it happens and sometimes it doesn’t. But one thing is for certain… when you come back. You will pick up right where you left off and there will be more good talks and your soul will be watered again.  You will be loved in that home away for homes where the spirit moves and lives in all of everyone.

Image

Until next year… 🙂

Hey Y’all,

So, I made an anonymous post on our college secrets page saying that I needed a work out buddy. I am overwhelmed by the amount of feedback I received. Some very nice other girls replied and I’m so excited that this actually might happen. I might actually get back in shape! I have to thank God in his provision of the other people to do this with me. I’m also excited because of the prospects of new friends.

I happened upon a website and it told me something great. I do not need to run. Running is actually bad for women metabolisms. I will try and post the link because it has some good stuff. I’m not going to say that they are 100% right but that if you take the things that make sense from things and put them together… you actually have some really good ideas. Be smart. Don’t do stuff that is unnatural and try to understand your body and how it works. I think understanding your bodies functions and tendencies is really important.

Here is the link http://www.dangerouslyhardcore.com/5343/why-women-should-not-run/and another link to a girl who is associated (kinda sorta I think) with them http://www.youtube.com/user/Rachierach1983?feature=watch. Listen for the things that make sense. 😀

Good luck! I’ll keep y’all updated as I go out upon this journey and my quest for health!

Blessings!

CRW

The College Life

Hello Blogging World,

I have suddenly realized that I am almost done with my freshman year of college. How time has flown! Then I started thinking that you future freshmen might need to know some things. Firstly and the most important thing is that God is always faithful. I remember one week I had so many things due and to turn in and I remember mentioning to God. “God, I really need some more time. Please help me get everything done.” The next day two teachers decided to move a due date. He makes time for you!

The Tips

1) When your first class comes along. Don’t be to nervous it’s all going to be okay! Sit in the front. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Pay attention and don’t play on your phone. If you can’t resist to check or play on it for an hour while you are in class you have a problem. The professors put there time and effort into class so don’t disrespect them. Also it distracts everyone else. 🙂

2) Make sure you sleep. You need it. It will make your life better, trust me!

3) Eat healthy food. You can have a day a week where you pig out. It’s not what you do once in a while that hurts you but what you do every day.

4) Work out. The freshman 15 is real! For the former athletes it is the hardest. You go from playing sports year round and leading active lives to sitting in class, dorm rooms, libraries, cafeterias and where ever else. Always sitting! So work out from the very beginning. I’ll be honest. I did not do this and I’m paying for it now.

6) Don’t live for the parties. I see so many kids who try to seek out having fun through sex, drugs, parties and meaningless relationships. Do something meaningful with your free time. Hang out with good people not the ones who are just trying to get something from you. Girls, don’t fall for the guys with perfect hair and smooth words. Guys, same goes for you.

7) When you are walking a long and you see a group of good real friends stop and sit and enjoy them. Maybe, once in a while and I can’t believe I’m saying this… skip class to be with those friends. BUT! Only if it is a class that you can skip.

8) When your friends get into relationships, get engaged and get married and you’re still single don’t get discouraged! This is something I have to remind myself all the time. It’s so hard to be content in the place that God has us when the grass looks so green on the other side. You have to hang in there because this is just a season in your life. God is preparing you for the right person. You have to remember to serve him while you are waiting.

9) Go to church as every Sunday. Take every Sunday off and relax. Try and attend a Christian Social group during the week because you’ll need the recharge.

10) Be confident and be yourself! Be easy going. Just take things as they come. When the good things come embrace them and when the bad things come embrace those to because you will learn so much from them. The bad stuff makes you stronger and makes you appreciate the good moments in life so much more.

I constantly find myself praying that God would just draw me closer to him. As much as seeing all the couples walk around campus or the packs of sorority girls dressed to the nine depresses me sometimes… I know that he has me exactly where he wants me. I have dreams of things that don’t necessarily involve being married or even having a boyfriend. I want to travel and see the world. I want to get my degree and become an amazing teacher who inspires the next generation. I want to make music and write books. I wants to make videos an take pictures. I want to raise my chickens (who are named after Call the Midwife and Supernatural characters) and go fishing in my pond. I want to do so many things. But, none of these things are dependent on me having a boyfriend or being in the it crowd… I could have both of those things if I wanted. But, what I want is a life of substance and meaning. I want my life to enrich others… I want it to point people in the direction of the one thing that matters. The Lord Jesus Christ.

Happy Trails,

CRW

 

 

Life!!!!

I continually think that I will be an avid blogger. That my experiences will inspire people. That I can help them. It’s makes your experiences worth it. They have more meaning. That God uses them not only to draw you closer to him but others closer to him as well. Life has been moving so rapidly that the only place I have even had time to write down anything has been in my journal. That is usually only when I need help processing. Journaling is great for that. I highly recommended it.

My sister is going on a great adventure soon. She is going to be a travel nurse over seas. Words can’t express how proud I am of her. She is taking on the world in ways that many people will never dream of. She will be gone for two years. I have to say I will miss her.     She is staying with us until she leaves due to circumstances that shall not be ventured into here. Don’t get me wrong I am thankful for this. She has been cooking sensational food that gourmet chiefs can only dream of making. I can’t lie though. Having her here has not been easy. I’m afraid we sometimes rub each other the wrong way and like normal siblings we know just how to push each others buttons… I think we fall into that sometimes… Pushing each other buttons to show the other we can. I don’t think it would be so bad if you were just pushing them but when you know that the other is trying to push your buttons it’s so frustrating… I have to constantly tell myself to be gracious and humble with my family in those moments. I find my self sending up silent prayers for his help because like every relationship it needs Jesus and work to make it…

Prayer. It is a wonderful thing. I had never really encountered  how miraculous and powerful it could be before. (I finally did) It really is a personal relationship with God. And He really does listen!! I was given this book called “Why Pray?” by John Devries. It is absolutely amazing. He paints such a beautiful picture of what prayer really is. He helps you truly understand it. I think I will write a post entirely about that…

Visiting my family Down South has made me feel truly blessed. They are wonderful. Coming down her is always wonderful. My soul is glad. They say it’s because it’s in my blood… and my very bones seem to recognize it. My heart is happy and content when I’m around my family. The Spanish Moss is enchanting. The food is amazing. Will write more on that later to… 🙂

Moving on. My service group is taking off again. I am so proud of them. How we have all grown. I remember our first meeting where I was so scared because this was an idea and I wanted so badly for it to take root. It did. We didn’t do much at first. I am just not the type of person who plans things. I have an idea and I like to give it to someone else or help somebody else with their ideas. So we had a recent change in command. I believe I got voted to be president in the beginning because the group was my idea… But recently my friend came to me and humbly suggested that we should get the group started back up again, that he would be happy to make some calls, and we could have the meeting at his house. I agreed wholeheartedly. My sister suggested that he should be president and I should be more vice-president. I again agreed. I stepped down a position and then appointed him president there and then. Well, we had our first meeting. I couldn’t be there but they skyped me in. It was great. We came up with a lot of good ideas… I was sitting there listening to them chatter in between ideas. This used to annoy me but today I loved it. I loved that we can goof off and still get things done. That we can enjoy the company of one another and know that truly our hearts are in the same place. To glorify God and enjoy Him forever.

My sister needs the computer. We found a whole bunch of old pictures and she wants to scan them and make photo books for everyone! 🙂

All my Love,

CR

I was reading my old journal entries yesterday and the amount of Gods grace was unbelievable. I pondered over the way I was, and how much I have grown. I am truly blessed. I have been surrounded by people who have given me support and carried me through some hard times. God’s mercy is sure… He has given me a gift more precious then anything in this life. The gift of His unfailing love.

He loves me through every sin. His love is like that cool summer breeze in the afternoon. When your sitting outside on the porch swing. You feel it on your face and skin. You close your eyes and hear it rustling the leaves. You look up at the leaves and see that the sun has given them a golden halo… You are filled with peace… Perhaps my heart is like the leaf… Without the son it is nothing but a heart pumping blood through this purposeless body… but with God it beets with the purpose… The purpose of fulling Gods calling…

What calling? What is my calling… I invite you to come with me on my journey. As I continue further into my finale year of high school I will be searching, waiting patiently for the time when God opens the doors and windows of my future so that I may see clearly. I shall continue with the hope that God is for me as I continue advancing heavenward…

With Love Eternal,

~Claire~

P.S… Remember this… Mans chief end is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever… So I shall… everyday… in everything… For He is all I need…

Faith, hope, and love are some good things to have... but the greatest is love...

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