Tuesday, April 30, 2013

renewed heart.

Good afternoon friends!

I love reading all of your posts and understanding your hearts more and more. I am encouraged by the each of you. I love hearing about your different walks with the Lord.

One of my favorite experiences I have had during my relationship with the Lord is seeing how much my heart has been changed because of Him. I am so thankful the Lord was so concerned with what was going on in the inside of me, that He immediately began working on my heart the moment I invited Him inside.

Whenever I ask the Lord to renew my heart, I think I make it a bigger deal than it is. I'm scared that He won't accept my brokenness. I'm scared He wants something more, and that I am not good enough. Then I read scripture and I am revealed the truth. He tells me that there is nothing more that He desires from me than for me to give Him my brokenness (Psalm 51:17), so He can continue to make me new.

God never stops working on us friends. Every day He reveals to us new parts of our hearts that need renewal, or that need growth. It's exciting, not upsetting. It means God wants ALL of you, not just a few small parts.

What are some things that Jesus is currently working on in your heart? What are some awesome ways that you have experienced change in your heart through your relationship with God? I'd LOVE to hear! It would put a smile to my face. Grab a cup of coffee and make yourselves comfortable, friends. Post some lovely comments on here!


Monday, April 29, 2013

want it love it gotta have it. {durrruh}

Okay guys...I had to share with you a few things I currently am obssessed with and also despertely want. The thing is, I need to get a job first. So I could use some prayer on that, because this lady is going to need to be a working lady this summer to make all of these wonderful purchases of mine come into my hands!!

Sidenote: Lately, I feel a bit distraught. Like I'm trying to take control and Jesus is just crying out for me to STOP. I am such a control freak, so it is so hard for me to give Jesus the complete wheel. He already has it, it is just I find myself at little moments throughout the day wanting to take over. I gave Jesus complete control of my life a couple months ago, and since then, its been both the best decision of my life but also extremely difficult at times. You know what though? If it wasn't hard, it wouldn't be worth it. Jesus makes my life WORTH living.

I love Him, that's all I know, and I'm going to keep pursuing Him and trusting His guidance, because I would be lost without Him directing me. I would appreciate some prayer requests on finding a job, because that needs to happen STAT. Also, I have no motivation for school right now, so I would appreciate some prayers for that. I believe in the power of prayer, so if you have anything you would like me to pray for you for I would love to do so. Just send me an email and I'll get on that right away friends!

Today I also had a lot on my mind with confidence in the Lord. He truly is my confidence, and that is a beautiful thing. I see other people with self-confidence, and I'm like that's cool, but confidence in God is so much cooler....;)....but seriously.

Okay on to the wish list. Sorry for my random ramblings.

1) A CAMERA!! Guys, I want a camera sooo bad. Like a nice one, like this beautiful canon. I have no idea what kind it is. Do any of you have suggestions on a good camera to buy that is reasonably priced but also pretty dang good? :) I'd be willing to spend a little over 500 or 600.

2)  Skinny jeans from old navy. Guilty of purchase. They are only 34.50, and they have them in a ton of cute colors! I decided to go with white, because I have been wanting a pair of white skinny jeans for the longest time, and you can never go wrong with Old Navy's awesome prices.

3) SANDALS for summer!!! I found this picture on Pinterest, but aren't these just flipping adorable?! Old navy and Forever 21 have TONS of super cute sandals for summer online right now, so be sure to check that out. They have styles very similar to the shown ones in this photo.

4) This adoarable green top from Old Navy. Yep, I think it's clear I like Old Navy a lot. They didn't have my size left when I was shopping online, so I withheld my purchase. I'm hoping they get more in stock, because I seriously love this top. It is on sale online right now at Old Navy for 22.50$, major bargain!

5) NECKLACES!!! Lately, I am loving all of the adorable big chunky necklaces I am seeing being paired with cute dresses and other outfits. I am currently on a hunt to find a few good ones of my own. Do you guys have any good suggestions on places to shop for pretty necklaces? Lemme know, I'd love to hear!

6) Marc Jacobs pink watch. I LOVE this watch. I know it's Marc Jacobs and probably super expensive, but I saw it on Pinterest and I fell in love. I absolutely love the color of it, pink is one of my favorite colors. I would totally rock this watch all day every day.

7) This adorable brown purse by Prada. Okay, there is no way I could afford this bag anytime soon, but it is definitely going on the wishlist in the future. It's just so pretty, and could be easily used for both a casual outing or something super fancy. I love the size of it too, not too small or too big. I'm all about brown leather purses, my friends. I am not really a purse person in general, I stick with one or two purses and call it good. This is why this purse would be perfect for me, I could bring it everywhere and use it all the time!

8) ESSIE's beautiful summer nail polish collection. I already have a couple of these babies, and I am obsessed.  Essie's nail polishes are typically about 8.00$ a tube, but they are definitely worth the little extra money. Essie is my favorite polish because it stays on so long and they have so many beautiful colors. I just love nail polish in general and painting my nails. I have a new color on every week, sometimes sooner than that. Yep, no shame here.

9) Revlon Strawberry Shortcake Lip Butter: Uhhhh-mazing. This stuff not only stays on forever like normal lipstick, but it also makes your lips feel super smooth and nourished. I love it! They are about 8.00$ a tube, not too expensive in comparison to other lipstick brands. I tried a couple colors before realizing Strawberry Shortcake was the best fit for me. I have already gotten a few compliments while wearing it, and I was glad to know that I didn't look like a crazy person with a awkward shade of lipstick on...;)

I hope your having a good week so far and giving all of your burdens to our sweet Jesus. He desperately wants to carry all of them for you so He can give you His peace in exchange. I don't know what I would do without my savior, He gives me purpose, He gives me passion, He gives me LIFE.

Love you guys! Happy Monday!

Then Jesus said, "Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.
Matthew 11:28


Sunday, April 28, 2013

Weekend recap

Well hello there friends!

Happy Sunday! I hope you all are having a wonderful day today. Here are a few pictures from my weekend, I had a lovely time spending it with my family {who were in town visiting} and friends.

This is my mother..love her beyond words :)
 My brother and I. He's super awesome.
My parents were in town, so we went on a little hike and saw some BEAUTIFUL scenery. God's creation is magnificent. Geez.
My adorable parents.
 Found some pretty flowers and decided to take a photo..love!

Today, our church service at Grace city was awesome. We had a guest speaker come; he was a preacher from Canada. I am so bad at remembering names and I feel really bad for saying this but I cannot remember his name right at this moment. I'll ask my friends from my church group on Wednesday and get back to you that. :).

Hope you all had a beautiful weekend!


Saturday, April 27, 2013

My first Vlog: Hi I'm Jessica

Ohhhh Hey it's me. I vlogged. I just wanted to introduce myself in a more "realistic" way, and let y'all know how much I'm loving the blogging scene and all the ways you guys are encouraging me!

  Have a beautiful weekend my friends :)



Friday, April 26, 2013


Hello friends! Today I decided to partner with Leslie at Blonde Ambition and link up with her "Why I blog' idea. You can click HERE to check out her awesome blog and read more about why she blogs herself. I love this post idea!

Well, I actually just VERY recently started blogging. In fact, it was only about a month ago. I had been surfing around on instagram and I found a couple of awesome blogs that I LOVED. I remember thinking to myself that I could see myself so easily becoming addicted to this whole blogging thing. At the same time, I didn't know what I would blog about. I had been thinking about starting a "healthy eating" themed blog based on my weight loss story, but I didn't feel like I had enough passion inside of me for a blog specifically made to focus on that topic. Instead, I felt the tug from the Lord to make a blog dedicated to HIM.

I actually remember the exact night when I made this blog. I had been reading an inspiring blog called Bloom {click HERE to check Bloom out}--her blog is so encouraging in my walk with Christ--I share her blog with many of my friends because I love it so much. She is gifted no doubt. Anyways, after reading one of her amazingly encouraging posts, I was like "That's it. I'm making a blog. I can't take it anymore." I knew it was going to be a lengthy process figuring out how to make a blog and get it going, but I knew I wanted to do it AND make it dedicated to the Lord. I was tired of going back and fourth with making one or not.

Here are some of the main reasons why I blog:

1) My faith in Christ
This blog is dedicated to walk with my Christ, and my passion for serving Him. I was definitely called to make this blog by Him, and I am excited to see where He leads me with this blog. He wants me on here friends, there is no doubt in my mind about that. I am beyond thankful He has given me such a strong desire in my heart for blogging--because I seriously look forward to it every single day. God is good! {Whats new? ;)}

2) Building Community.
I have only had this blog for a month and I am THRILLED by the community of awesome women I have already communicated with. It brings me so much joy knowing that there are other women on here passionate about Jesus, and that I am able to build a community of friends on here. I am so thankful for all of the wonderful comments I have received from many of you, and I love each of your hearts. I pray that I can make some awesome friendships on here, because I have read some wonderful stories on here about bloggers becoming real-life friends. What a blessing that would be. Regardless if I make close friendships on here or not, I know that my passion for blogging will never go away. I love waking up in the morning to read others post. I love that some of you are fashion bloggers, sharing your cute outfit ideas. I just love blogging basically.

3) Vulnerability.
I love that I can be vulnerable on my blog and share my heart with the each of you, and also try to encourage you in any way I can. I feel like blogging can be so therapeutic {not in a overly outpouring way} but in an awesome way. Sometimes, you just need to let it all out, and blogging is perfect to fulfill that need. I love it when I read another blogger's post and I'm like "That is EXACTLY what I have been going through today." It's like a gigantic support system, through the internet. What a blessing.

3) Encouragement.

Since my blog is about my walk with Christ, I initially joined the blogging scene to follow each of you awesome Christian bloggers and read your posts for daily encouragement. I never thought I would be encouraging you guys in any way. I pray I can continue to do that, but we'll see. That would be a majorly awesome to keep this whole encouragement thing going for a long time.

That about sums it up friends. I can't wait to see where this blogging adventure takes me, its only been such a short amount of time and I have been majorly blessed with it. 

Can I get a TGIF? So happy. I am looking forward to this weekend, I have a lot of fun things planned. I am just looking forward to the future in general, friends. God has put a lot of exciting upcoming events on my heart lately, and I'm thankful for the hope He gives me. I am thankful that because of Him, I can dream. I am thankful that because He loves me, I can rejoice. I am thankful for each of you and all of the encouragement you provide me with on here. Have an amazing day friends!



Thursday, April 25, 2013

Giving it up to Him.

 Good morning friends!
I hope that each of your days are off to a lovely start.
I just wanted to let each of you know I appreciate SO much the wonderful comments that you have left here on my blog. They are so sweet and encouraging. If you have anything you want for me to be praying for you for, or if you just want to ask me some questions and get to know me, feel free to email me at jess37272@gmail.com :) Love y'all!
I have some exciting news coming up, that I will announce in a few days. (hehe, excited face)

In the meantime, I want to encourage the each of you to be FEARLESS today.
Whatever is making you nervous, anxious, fearful, or full of worry, let it go.
Today I'm going to be out and about job hunting, and I am pretty nervous about that. I'm scared that I'm never going to find a job, and I'm scared that I'll be sitting around all summer doing absolutely nothing. I know that isn't the reality of the situation though, because when I look to Jesus and keep my eyes on Him, He keeps encouraging me to move forward and follow my dreams.
God wants you to give ALL of your cares and worries up to Him, He promises to carry our burdens my lovely friends.

1 Peter 5:7
"Cast all of your anxiety on Him because He cares for you."

 I'll admit to you, this past week I haven't been giving all of my worries and fears up to God. But I'm learning that I can't allow myself to become so discouraged just because I slipped up. I'm always going to keep doing that as I continue to grow in the Lord's strength throughout my life. I simply just need to recognize this nudge of the holy spirit to me and keep moving forward in the future that God has promised to bless me with.

Why does God want us to be fearless? So we can have peace.

 John 14:27
"Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid."

 God wants us to simply trust Him with everything He has given us in our lives. Whether for you that means a new job, a relationship, friendship... or whatever it is, just trust Him. God blesses us in our lives with amazing things, there's no doubt in that, but the hard part is learning how to completely trust Him with everything He has blessed us with. We worry about things to go completely wrong, and if where we are is exactly where God wants us. My advice? Pray ALL THE TIME that God would guide and direct you in your lives, and that His will would be done, not your own. God will direct you, you just have to ask Him and give Him total control. It is important to remember that the blessings He has given us in our lives are never completely ours as well. Look at each of the things you have been blessed with in your life with open hands, knowing that God is the one who is in ultimate control of everything around you and all of the things that He has placed into your life personally.

2 Timothy 1:12
 "I know the one in whom I trust, and I am sure that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him until the day of his return."

 What I am working on right now is to learn to trust God WITHOUT wavering. Most of my days I do trust Him, but I find myself at random periods throughout the day wavering in my faith and allowing myself to come under spiritual attack by the enemy. Don't let that happen, that's never what God intended for you. I'm going to focus on praying the next time I slip up and do this.

Hebrews 10:23
"Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful."

 I love y'all! Have a beautiful day.
And because I'm a nerd, here's a heart I made with my own two hands that I wanted to share with the each of you...;)

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

My story. {Coming to Christ}

      I remember it like it was yesterday. Well, for the most part. I kind of have a bad memory, but when it comes to spiritual stuff, I have most of it down.

Who I used to be was far from who I am now. God is still working on me every day, but it is safe to say that I have completely changed. All throughout high school and for the first two years of college, I began to put my identity in other people. I sought attention from boys. I began to feel seriously convicted of my sin, but I continued to ignore it. I was searching for something to fill the emptiness inside of me. There was a longing inside of me for something more. I needed something to fill my grief and sorrow, so I figured that the only way I would be able to fill this hole in my heart was by searching for the answer in other people.

I was insecure. I didn't have any self-confidence, and half the time I wasn't happy with who I  was. I wanted to find the joy that I remembered experiencing in my past, but for some reason I just couldn't grasp it anymore. It was gone. I was dead in my sin. I began to develop depression through the second half of high school. I figured that I had no choice but to be hopeless forever in the situation that I was in.

Once college came around, I still felt hopeless. I thought that by leaving my hometown and going on a new adventure at college would cure my depression, but it didn't. I still felt lonely and miserable once I arrived at college and started my freshman year. I joined a sorority, hoping that I could somehow find my identity in that and find the answer to my loneliness.

I began to seek more attention from boys, hoping that they would see something in me that I couldn't see myself. I gave myself away physically instead of saving sex for marriage, which tore me apart on the inside.  Everyone else around me was having sex, and since nothing of the past had fulfilled me up to that point I thought that maybe sex would. Maybe, just maybe, sex was the answer. Yet, sex destroyed me. Sex made the darkness inside of me grow darker. Unlike everyone around me who was loving the world of sex, sex made me miserable. The guilt I felt inside of me was so unbearable that I could barely stand. As I continued to hang out with the wrong crowd, I convinced myself that the hope I was looking for would eventually be revealed to me, even as I continued to put myself in the wrong situations.

By the time I was about to finish my sophomore year of college, I was pretty miserable. I developed a friendship with a girl named Julia, who was a Christian and would often talk to me about God. As much as I loved her and was inspired by who she was, the enemy often put lies in my mind when I was around her that I could never be like her, or let alone any type of Godly woman out there. He told me I wasn't good enough, and that I would always be a failure. He made me hide in corners and all choose the "safe way" out of everything. I believed that I could never do anything on my own let alone have the courage to do half of the things that I truly wanted to do in my life.

Julia and I continued to become better friends, and one she said something to me during our spring term of living in the sorority that I still remember to this day.  She said: "It's crazy how alone you can feel despite living with 60 girls in a sorority." I remember immediately thinking to myself, "There is something different in this girl that I have never witnessed in anyone else."

Julia was involved with Young Life, (to learn more about Young Life, click (HERE) and had been asking me every Tuesday night to come with her to girls group, a weekly Young Life event. Naturally, I made every excuse possible. I really didn't believe the answer to all of my problems would be there, in some Christian organization.

One Tuesday night after Julia had asked me about 6 times to go with her to Young Life and I made up another excuse and told her I couldn't make it again, she became seriously MAD at me. She said something like, "Jessica, COME ON. You always have excuse after excuse, week after week." Now friends,  I just wanted to make it clear that Julia is one of the sweetest girls that I have ever met, so when I saw how mad she was at me, I was extremely caught off guard. I immediately agreed to go with her to Young Life that night, out of fear. (I'm so beyond thankful she did that.)

That night at Young Life girls group with Julia, I still remember the message being shared by the Christian woman who was speaking that night. She was talking about how she used to put her identity in boys, and how she would seek them to fulfill all of her desires. She also talked about a guy named Jesus, and explained how he had been the first person to come into her life who filled her completely and who had helped her to stop seeking boys for fulfillment. She said the fulfillment Jesus had given her resulted in complete freedom for her soul. I felt God's presence there that night with me after hearing that woman speak. I felt Him beginning to call out to me, yet I wasn't quite ready yet to give Jesus my everything and completely trust Him at that point.

During that summer I spent in Corvallis before my Junior year of college, I felt God slowly directing me into a relationship with Him. Julia came and visited me a couple of times and brought me a Bible study book, because she could tell how bad I needed Jesus. I went to a couple of small Young Life gatherings during that summer, I was just trying to figure out who this Jesus guy was and why He would even care about a girl like me. I personally at that time didn't know if Jesus was the answer for me, but I did know that there seemed to be something new sparking into my heart that I had never experienced before. It was too soon to tell what exactly it was, but it was clear there was definitely something new going on inside of me.

Once the fall term had started for my junior year of college, God had seriously been working on my heart. I asked Julia if she wanted to do a Bible study and have coffee together, and she happily agreed. We sat at inside of Starbucks on a sunny day in the early Fall, reading a few verses in the Bible together. All of a sudden, the most unexpected thing happened to me. I remember it so clearly to this day. Out of nowhere, I heard God speak silently into my heart. Abrupt and with great concern, He told me ever so clearly: "I love you, come to me." Suddenly on the verge of tears, I looked at Julia, overwhelmed with a mix of emotions. She could tell something was going on, but she was silent. I felt convicted of my sin with the overflow of guilt inside of me.

After that, Julia and I walked around outside for awhile. I told her that I was in a bad place in my life, and I really wanted to seek God. I didn't know what that looked like, but I know that I needed him and I knew she was a Christian so I figured she could help. She suggested that I become a leader for Young Life with her. Completely surprised, I said to her, "Me?! Really?!" She simply responded with a loving "Yes, of course, you totally should do it!" She was immediately so accepting, and I loved that about her and was so thankful to have a friend like her.

From that point on, I began seeking Jesus with my whole heart. I gave Him the pieces to my broken heart, trusting in Him to put it all back together. Oh yeah, and this is also when I lost 50 pounds. So yeah, I lost 50 pounds and came into a relationship with Jesus at the same time. You can read more about my weight loss story HERE.

What began to change in me once I started seeking Jesus? Well, everything. I began to develop my own personal confidence in God, and that gave me great joy. I began to overcome the strongholds in my mind that the enemy had lead me to believe, and I began to understand who I really was in Christ. I no longer was depressed, because I could finally put my hope in God. I began to understand that I no longer was the victim of my fears and failures, but I was the victor. I now had a new weapon to use against the enemy, and that came through my relationship with God and His living word through the Bible. I replaced my fear toward life with my faith in Christ, and I began to develop courage. I began to become more confident in myself based on my faith in Christ. People began to notice, and before I could even look behind me I was beginning to be remade.

 “No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us.”
Romans 8:37

I began to develop a passion for growing in Christ, and that led God into give me a passion for serving Him in many other ways. He put the desire on my heart to be a middle school leader for Young Life with Julia, and to lead each one of my girls closer to Jesus through this position. I let go of all the bitterness and hurt that I had carried with me from the scars my past, and left it all in God's hands. I asked Jesus to forgive me for all my sins, and He did. He took the heavy burden of guilt off of me. I felt free again. I felt beautiful. I felt AMAZING. I was new.

"This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!"
2 Corinthians 5:17

I am here to tell you that this verse about me is completely true, and it can be true for anyone who comes to Christ. I am a new creation. I am not who I used to be. I am in Christ, and it is a beautifully amazing thing. Jesus died on the cross to rescue me from the destruction of sin, and in Him I have hope for eternity.

 Getting to know Jesus and allowing for Him to take complete control of my life has not be a simple process. It's been very hard, it has taken a lot of time, and it has taken a lot of discipline. I had so many things in my life to work on, and also so many things in my life that needed renewal. But, God is faithful. He has continued to make me new day after day, and He has given me a glorious, inexpressible joy. Although these past two years of seeking Jesus haven't been easy, they have been so incredibly worth it.

Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy.
1 Peter 1:8

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Young Life Photoshoot!

     Hello beautiful friends! How are you? Happy Tuesday. I hope you all had a blessed day. Today, it was sunny and warm. I was very happy. Happy heart, and all is well with my soul.
You may not know this, but I am a leader for Young Life. I lead for a group of middle school girls who are the light of my life. I am so thankful for each of them. These past couple of years I have been so blessed by being a Young Life leader, and I am so thankful for that. A Young Life leader is someone who mentors others, and for me personally that means I am a mentor for my middle school girls. I try to lead them closer to Jesus. My middle school girls are wonderful. Spiritually speaking, they are so advanced. God's word speaks right through them. They are each very wise, and they are always encouraging one another with scripture.  I lead Young Life with one of my best friends Julia, who is an amazing woman of God. She is so encouraging, everything that comes out of her mouth is uplifting to everyone around her. She is the sweetest thing. She is the girl who forced (yes forced, I made a million excuses for the longest time) me to come to Young Life with her for my first time, and God bless her for doing that, because that was the first night that God spoke into my heart. When Julia and I lead Bible study together with all of our girls, we always leave feeling encouraged beyond belief. It's pretty awesome. Thanks Jesus!

This is Julia. (Ain't she purrrrrrty??!)
She is an amazing photgrapher. You can click HERE to check out her photography website, and click HERE to like "Julia Green Photography" on Facebook. She is getting HUGE! She started doing photography when we both were living together in the same sorority a couple years ago, and let me tell you friends, it's amazing to see how far she's come. I watch this girl with the camera and I'm mind-blown. She's a natural and super professional. I actually told her yesterday that I want her to be the photographer at my wedding, because she's THAT talented. And the other obvious reason would be simply because I just love her to death. Anyways y'all, I just wanted to share about how much I am blessed by my friendship with this girl! 
Next, meet RACHEL!!!! sorry I get really excited because I love these people so much.
     I met Rachel a couple years ago when I started leading for Young Life. She loved Fro-Yo, Justin Bieber, and Jesus. That says enough right there. We instantly clicked, and we hang out all the time. That's how it is with all of these Young Life gals in my life! We just clicked. Could it be more obvious that Jesus has orchestrated every single one of my friendships? I think not...Anyways, she's wonderful. She's a ball of joy, a woman of God, and simply stunning. Rachel and I were blessed with the opportunity yesterday to do a photo shoot together for Young Life leadership, with Jules as the professional photographer. Here are some pics from our lovely day :)

Gosh, what a day. I am so thankful for friendship and the ways that the Lord has blessed me with my many friendships this year. He is good my friends. I don't know what I'd do without His faithfulness and love in my life. My beautiful savior.

The verse of the day is a verse in 1 John. It's about God's light. In Him, there is truth, In Him, there is only light. In Him, there is no darkness. In Him, we are set free from everything we used to be. He accepts us just as we are, and promises to make us new if we simply just trust Him.

"This is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that God is light and in Him we have no darkness at all." 1 John 1:5

Such beauty in that scripture, such truth. When I think back to who I used to be, I get sad sometimes.  I get scared of going back to that dark place. But then I think of my amazing savior and I am filled with light and joy. I know there's no way I could ever go back, because to go back, that would mean Jesus wouldn't be with me. And friends, I could never leave the best thing that has ever happened to me.

                                               "The beauty of the cross is that your Grace has found me just as I am..."


Sunday, April 21, 2013

Emotions versus FAITH

Hello friends!

Dear Sunday,
I am not ready for you at all. Instead of doing my homework, I think I'll go do a Young Life photo shoot with some of my most favorite people on the planet.

Dear Senior year of college,
 I am so over you. I have no motivation to work with you anymore, and my senioritis is officially kicking in.

Dear God,
Your amazing. Thank for such a wonderful church service today at Grace. My pastor, my community, my ekklesia, I am truly blessed by them all!

Dear Boxer Puppy,
Get in my life STAT. I have been searching for you with great determination lately and my family and I want you in our life NOW.

Dear new wonderful friend,
I like you very very much. Is it August yet?

Lastly, I just wanted to share with you all something God has put on my heart today. He has told me how important it is that my faith in Him does not reflect my emotions. I won't lie to you, these last few days I was a wreck. I was overwhelmed with a mix of emotions. I found myself doubting God and my thoughts leading wandering to dark places. Today however, I feel lifted up. I feel that God lead me into the dark these past few days so that I could share with the each of you this new bit of wisdom that I have discovered from Him. When we look to ourselves, we are hopeless. When we look to God, we are full of endless joy and complete trust.

"Those who look to him for help will be radiant with joy; no shadow of shame will darken their faces." Psalm 34:5

Don't' give up, beautiful. God is not done with you yet. You are His masterpiece in progress.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Be still.

Hello friends!

      Happy FRIDAY. I admit that this morning I actually didn't realize that it was Friday, I honestly thought it was Saturday. Geez, that's what being a college student will do to you, your track of time is completely gone! That's okay though. I am just thankful that it is the weekend and I can relax. Somewhat. ;).

      This morning as I woke up I felt the Lord putting something on my heart. He was revealing a new truth about my relationship with Him. It was a new conviction. {not a condemnation, a conviction friends! don't allow for yourselves to feel condemned by the holy spirit, see it as a joyful tug on your heart leading you in the right direction to God's grace!} Anyways, this conviction from the Lord couldn't be more clear. He said to me: "Jessica, you clearly in no way doubt my love for you, but do you really TRUST that I am sovereign over every single area of your life?" Yep, God hit the nail on the hammer with this conviction in my life. I don't truly trust He will provide for certain areas {very BIG areas} of my life. I say I do, but I don't really mean it. Well, here we go Lord. I'm ready for this next trial, ready as I can be. This is going to be a definite stretching of my trust muscles for the Lord, but He knows I desperately need it.

      So much on my mind, so many things to think about. Grad school, where I will be living next year, finding a job, what I will be doing...and I'm slowly realizing that each of these things are completley out of my control. I can finally admit that I am at the point in my life where I have truly given the Lord the keys to my car. I'm not in control of anything. As much as I still slip up and seek to control the areas of my life, every day ends where I realize I can't do that anymore.

      As happy as I am about finally making it to this point, I'm terrified. I don't like NOT being in control. I want to be in control and I want things to go my way, because I'm a selfish sinner by nature. Thankfully, the Lord is graceful and forgiving, and He is willing to continue to work on my naturally selfish ways.

      One of the verses the Lord has put on my mind today is a very powerful, very simple verse. He whispered deep into my soul: 

         "Be still, and know that I am God." 
        Psalm 46:10

      {And then he said to me: "But seriously Jessica. Be still. Because your freaking out for no reason as you ALWAYS do and your allowing the enemy to jump right in...AGAIN. Don't do that, He's a thief of the joy I died to give you."}

    So God, I'm sincerely sorry for not trusting you. Forgive me of this subtle, yet extremely crucial, sin. I'm listening to your voice today Lord. Help me to be still today and recognize your power over every area of my life. Lord, what do you have for me today? How can I seek you whole heartedly today? Lead me Lord, and please pray I wouldn't doubt your sovereignty over my life TODAY in any way. Like I did yesterday, and the day before, and the day before that...

I love you father. You're my everything.

I hope you all have a blessed day!

Christ is sovereign over your life. EVERY SINGLE DETAIL. Remember that. And when you feel the enemy trying to creep into your thoughts, cry out to your beautiful savior. He's the answer to all of our problems. He is the beauty in the breakdown.

Ps- I think it's AWESOME to hear about other Christian bloggers making friends on here, and I LOVE to connect with others! Please feel free to message or email me, I love making new friends! God bless ya'll today. {I secretly wish I had an accent...one day ;))

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Waiting, Waiting, Waiting

Happy Thursday Everyone!

     I am happy to announce I managed to FINALLY figure out how to add the "follower" gadget to my page. Whew, this blogging stuff is complicated! I'm just glad it didn't take me over 2 months to figure out. Haha. I feel the Lord calling me to blog more and more, and I am thrilled! I am super passionate about blogging, I don't know what it is. I love to write, especially about what the Lord is doing in my life.

     Yesterday, I went to go pick up my cap and gown for my college graduation this June. What a surreal feeling it was, let me tell you. These past four years have been full of such significant changes in my life. So much growth, and so much more growth to come. I am thankful to the place where God has brought me. I am also excited to see what the future holds, however that doesn't mean that I'm not scared about the future. In fact, I am terrified when I think that far in advance, but thankfully the Lord is there to remind me to keep my mindset in the PRESENT. That is honestly the only way I can ever have peace in my life.  

      Right now I am in period of waiting in my life. I am waiting to see what the answer is from the Lord on what to do next year. I am waiting on answers on him if I should go to graduate school or not, I am waiting on him to see who he wants me to live with, I am waiting on him for his direction in new relationships, I am waiting on him to continue to heal me in all those little places where he still hasn't touched me yet. I wanted to share with y'all some scripture on waiting on the Lord and why this is such a significant part in our relationship with Him. More specifically, waiting on Him with patience. Waiting on Him with trust. Waiting on Him with contentment.

A couple of my favorite Bible verses about waiting on the LORD: "Wait patiently for the Lord.
    Be brave and courageous.
    Yes, wait patiently for the Lord." 
Psalm 27:14

"But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength.
They will soar high on wings like eagles.
They will run and not grow weary.
     They will walk and not faint."
Isaiah 40:31 

      I love these verses because they speak so much truth. When I'm waiting on the Lord, I should be strong and courageous and trust that He will provide for all of my needs. I fail to do this a lot of the time, but I know that at the end of the day that God will provide for me. Sometimes my faith in the Lord my waver, but that doesn't mean He has given up on me. He is always there, encouraging me to come back into His loving arms. I have SO much more to learn from Him. That is how it is always going to be in my relationship with the Lord. Growing, Learning, Becoming more like the one who saved me.

     What are some of the things you struggle with in trusting God to provide for you? Have you confessed this to Him and given Him the chance to speak some truth into your life? Speak, He's listening!

      My FAVORITE song right now? This one!
  It's soooo good! I can't stop playing it.

     My favorite show right now? Well here's a little hint...:D

      What can I say, I'm addicted and it's hilarious!
         Hope you all have a beautiful rest of your day today!



Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Fallen World

“Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.”
                                      Ephesians 6:10–12                                      

Bombings. School shootings. Terrorist attacks. It's like the more I turn on the news the more I want to never turn it on again. I hate hearing about people being murdered in my country. When I first heard about the Newtown school shooting, it broke my heart. This is a crazy world we live in friends, but thankfully my hope is not in this world. My hope is in Christ. This world is fading away. I was thinking about today how much opposition I have been facing in my relationship with Christ, and also my new relationships with others (they know who they are ;), so blessed by them!). I’m growing a lot. Many things are changing, and the enemy HATES my growth. He likes to see me stuck. He likes to see me immobile. He wants to see me fall and never get back up. Thankfully, the good news is that is if I continue to put my faith in Christ and constantly seek His grace, none of that will ever happen. 

     Before I knew Jesus, I didn’t know I had an enemy. Funny thing is, this is exactly what he wanted. The enemy doesn’t want people to know that he is real, because he wants everyone to think that he doesn’t exist. He wants us to think this way so that he can continue to take over our lives. Jesus doesn’t break us, the enemy does. Jesus came to put all of our ugly pieces back together and make us new. I didn’t know I had an enemy until I met Jesus. Jesus is the secret to life, and the enemy hates Him. Well that sucks for the enemy because Jesus already won the battle. Let me tell you friends, the enemy isn't wise. His schemes are weak and God is strong.

You must remember it’s important to be aware of the enemy's evil schemes and fight back when necessary. I wanted to share with you some of the ways I do when I feel attacked, and I hope it can encourage you.
If your in a relationship with God, there will be opposition. In fact, there ALWAYS will be opposition. But, God is faithful. Trust Him. Seek Him. Know Him. Believe in Him.
1) Keep your eyes on God. 
“My eyes are always on the Lord.”Psalm 26: 15
It’s easy in life to get overwhelmed with other people’s opinions of us or the situations that we are placed in. People will always be there to talk about you, and the problems in our lives will never go away. But you see, these are some of the extremely lame ways in which the enemy works. He will put you in situations where he seeks to make you stumble. I saw somebody at the store the other day who brought back some memories from the past that I put behind me a long time ago, however I found myself upset after seeing them. I quickly reminded myself that I wasn’t going to let the enemy do this to me again. I wasn’t going to let him steal the joy that Jesus died on the cross to give me. I told myself God has a plan for me that is greater than I can ever imagine, and I HAVE to keep my eyes on Him alone if I’m ever going to find true happiness in this world.

2) PRAY!

“Pray in the spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere.” Ephesians 6:18
the most IMPORTANT tool you have against the enemy? Prayer! Pray continually. Pray when you’re walking to class. Pray when you’re driving your car. Pray when you go to bed. Pray when you wake up. Okay, the point I’m trying to make is that you don’t have to be at a certain time or a place to pray. God gives us the opportunity to call on Him continually. Remember who is fighting your battle; remember who is your strength. The other day I was feeling really discouraged and overwhelmed with my life. I looked up and said to Jesus: “God, I can’t do this on my own. Help me to stop fighting my own battles. Replace my fear and discouragement with your peace and trust.” It was an awesome prayer that I secretly stole from Jesus Calling, but I have been using it since! I like to be descriptive in my prayers, cause I’m a nerd. Haha. But God just wants you to seek Him, your prayers to Him don’t have to be fancy, He just wants them to be real. So when your getting attacked by the enemy, PRAY!

3) Seek the Mind of Christ.

“We capture their rebellious thoughts and teach them to obey Christ.” 
2 Corinthians 10:5
One of the most sneaky, cunning ways the enemy gets at us? Our thoughts. He loves to whisper lies into our minds. “Your not good enough.” “You’ll never be like THEM.” “Jesus actually doesn’t love you.” I actually just laughed as I wrote that. His lies are so pathetic, yet I easily believe them most of the time. As it says in the verse above, (2 Corinthians 10:5), God commands for us to take every single thought that comes into our minds and make it obedient to Him. What does this type of  thoughtful obedience look like? Well, make sure every that thought that comes in your mind matches with scripture. Does a thought come into your mind and tell you that the only way you'll ever feel complete is when you meet your future spouse? Well read Colossians 2:10 and know the truth about that thought, which is that Jesus is the only person who can make you feel complete on the inside.  The enemy is a liar, so it's important to remember to make sure that your strong in God’s word so that he can't deceive you.

Julia and I at YL Club.. Western themed :)

Our YL Girls! Love them sooo much.

Pied in the face for the first time with one of my best friends!

My family and I on Easter Sunday. Jesus lives!

 The other day my neighbor let me hold her adorable Alaskan huskie puppy, Meeko. In love with this little guy!

Goofing around with one of my YL girls, savannah. I love her a bunch, shes awesome!