Friendship, Relationships

What a Friend: Leaning on the Rock When All Else Fails

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Let’s imagine you’ve met this girl. She is beautiful, smart, and, most obviously, popular. You’ve met her in the hallway a few times – and get this – she’s talked to you!

You’re absolutely thrilled when she asks you to a party. You can’t wait! It’s been forever since someone has actually invited you somewhere, and it’s HER! The talk of the town, the girl who’s always at the center of attention, the trend-setter and leader of “the pack”.

You buy a new outfit for the occasion and take time thinking of the perfect gift. You want to look your best, so you spend loads of time doing your hair and makeup. Your mom offers to drop you off, but you opt to take the bus. Showing up to the party in your moms car would be embarrassing!

Finally, after a long bus ride and multiple transfers, you arrive at the party. You open the door, and here’s what you find.

The girl is (as usual) in the center of the group. Everyone is crowded around her. The group of girls are all whispering to each other. At first, you think nothing of it. She’s always the center of attention. Wanting to join in on the conversation, you start walking towards to group.

And then you stop.

You hear what she’s saying. It’s about you. She’s running you down, telling straight out lies about you, your grades, your home, and even your family. Every word that is coming out of her mouth is false.

You bite your lip and hold back tears. This girl, who you trusted, who you thought you knew so well and was your friend, betrayed you.

She didn’t actually have a true relationship with you. She brushed you off, just like she has to dozens of other people.

You’re hurt. How could this happen? If this has ever happened to you, know that you’re not alone. This has happened countless times to so many people

Girls, the message is simple. Friends are temporary. They come and go. There will never, ever be a friend who will be “the perfect” one. Your only true friend is in Jesus Christ. Earthly things will pass away, but HE is forever. HE is the rock. HE is there for you in the good times and the bad. HE will never leave you or forsake you.

Why? Because HIS love never fails.

Rebecca

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Beauty, Courage, Friendship, Purifying the Mind, Body, and Spirit, Relationships

Your Inward Beauty…

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Hey there, girls! How are you all doing?

So if you can’t tell by the title, this post is about letting your inward beauty shine just as strong or stronger than your outward beauty. As a teenage girl, I know sometimes I get caught up in my looks too much. My OUTWARD looks…

But I came to realize that I wasn’t actually looking for attention on my outward appearance. You see I was..and still sometimes am, but it didn’t give me the kind of satisfaction that I wanted when someone told me that I looked pretty…

Okay, so let me explain a little bit- don’t worry, I’ll try to make it short and not boring. So, I have long hair. Thick too…. and I get quite a few compliments on it. Now I like that, don’t get me wrong. But I was with someone for about a week and when it came time for us to write on things and say how we felt about each other, she said my hair was pretty. It shouldn’t have, but that kind of HURT. Not because she complimented my hair, but because she DIDN’T complement my INWARD actions. I wanted to hear “You’re a wonderful person. You’re loving, kind, and energetic.” Instead, it was “you have pretty hair.” Don’t get me wrong, that was really nice of her to say, and I’m glad she did… because it helped me to realize what I was truly looking for. I didn’t want attention on my outward appearance! I wanted people to think of me and how I really was, not how I looked. I know sometimes we get so caught up in our outward appearance that we forget about how important it is to have inward beauty. Let God’s beauty shine through you!

Look, I’m a teenager! I get it!!! So… I’ll share something kind of personal with you girls so that you know just how much I get this…

I had a boy tell me I was beautiful recently. I’ll admit it made my heart flutter a little bit. It’s not easy for me to confess this. I know I’m way too young to have a boyfriend, and I DON’T want to date yet!!! But there is a feeling that comes with someone – especially a really cute, nice boy- telling you that you are beautiful…and you know they mean it. I’ll also admit that I thought about that for a while… it made me realize just how much I HAD been wanting to hear something like that… But… I would much rather have someone like me (a boy) because he likes how I am on the inside, not just how I am on the outside, so I learned not to keep dwelling on it. Because it’s not that important. Also though, you need to know that it’s not a sin to like a boy. To think he’s cute, or to have a crush on him! Now if you let it get too deep, then yes, it very well can be a sin, but simply thinking someone is cute isn’t a sin. I used to think it might be…but I’ve since realized that it’s a natural girl behavior… SO don’t worry a ton about it… now on to the next topic…

Am I saying we have to appear ugly to everyone so that our inward beauty is able to be seen? Not at all!! But we have to be careful on how evident it is that we want to be seen with amazing outward appearance. It’s not bad to be pretty! But if your outward beauty outshines your inward beauty, then… you might want to examine yourself a little more closely…

Girls….you’re all so beautiful. You might say “how would you know? I don’t even have my face in my profile picture!” I know because you are reading this right now. I KNOW, because you follow this blog. I KNOW BECAUSE YOU LOVE JESUS CHRIST! I KNOW BECAUSE YOU WERE MADE BY GOD!!!! And the SAME ONE WHO MADE THE STARS, THE NEWBORN BABIES, AND THE SAME ONE THAT FORMS EVERY SUNRISE AND SUNSET

MADE YOU.

He made you! So you are BEAUTIFUL! Girls… be beautiful on the inside..AND THE OUTSIDE! This isn’t a lecture, it’s an encouragement.

Now, some helpful tips on this… (tips, not orders)

  • Watch what you wear

Now I know this one is hard sometimes… Now I’m not saying you have to dress like a hobo…but you can be cute without wearing clothes that show too much skin, or the exact shape of your body. Now if you believe that this is fine…that’s alright. I won’t judge you…but girls, this world is a crazy place..and it’s better to be safe than sorry. What I always tell myself when I think about this, is “Do I want my future husband to be attracted to me because of how I’m dressed or how I look? Or do I want him to notice my smile, my laugh, and my actions?” For me, definitely the latter.

  • Watch what you surround yourself with

This one is a struggle for me sometimes. I have to remember that looks aren’t all that matter. If you have friends that all dress a certain way, or criticize what you wear, it’s hard to stay modest and focused on your inward beauty. I find myself wanting to wear things that I think make me look skinnier or curvier (as weird as that sounds), but then I remember how much I love my friends that don’t dress like that too. Because of who they are on the inside. The people I look up to the most, I look up to because of who they are, not because of what they look like, or because of their clothes. So I remind myself to surround myself with people that are more focused on God, and inward beauty, and surround myself less with people who are focused too much on outward appearance.

The reason I put “Watch WHAT you surround yourself with”, is because there are things other than people that can be unhealthy. For me, one of those things is romance books. When I read too many, I start thinking only about guys, and hardly at all about praying, God, or reading my Bible. Also when I listen to certain songs, it can make me really sad or almost lonely, and cause my inward beauty to become less. Now I’m NOT saying that it’s bad to have friends that don’t ALWAYS focus on inward appearance. That’s not bad! You must be friends to them too! But you need to surround yourself with positive influences too, people to keep you accountable. In the same way, I’m not saying books or songs are BAD, you just have to limit yourself and ask yourself “Is this healthy for me?”.

  • Strengthen your walk with God

I can’t possibly stress how important this is! Girls, when you have a strong bond with the Lord…it literally makes EVERYTHING SO MUCH EASIER AND MORE FUN! You will be overflowing with God’s joy without even TRYING! This one is super important! And praying, reading your bible and such all go along with this too!!

  • Feel free to talk to us

We care about you! I – we – can relate to what you’re going through..and even if we can’t, I can promise we’ll pray for you as you’re going through whatever it is. It’s hard, yeah, but with someone to talk to, it can be SO much easier..

SO pretty much what I was trying to get across on this post was:

  1.  Let your inward beauty (aka God) be brighter than your outward beauty (aka clothing, looks).
  2. Strive to be noticed for your faith and attitude (in a good way) rather than for your looks and clothes.
  3. Look, you can still be a girl. And be pretty! Let God shine through you too though!!! He wants people to see him through you! And pretty soon, your inward beauty will OVERWHELM AND BECOME YOUR OUTWARD BEAUTY!
  4. Girls, believe me when I say this, even though it might not seem like it- there is DEFINITELY more to being a teenager than drama, looks, and boys.

I will now end with some verses for you all to ponder:

1 Samuel 16:7b

For the LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart.

1 Peter 3:3-4

Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes.Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.

Matthew 5:8

Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.

I love you, girls! SHINE FOR GOD!!!!!!

And FEEL FREE TO TALK TO US!!!!

K.A. signoff

 

Faith, Friendship, My Testimony, Relationships, Your Walk With God

Religion or Relationship?

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If you said I was born into a Christian family, that would be true.

But could you say that I was therefore born a Christian? Absolutely not!

When I was young, I “became a Christian”. Once I was nine or so, and actually understood (mostly) the faith, I renewed my salvation and faith. Now I don’t mean that as in “I believe that you have to re-say the prayer every three years to stay a Christian”, I just hadn’t fully known what being a Christian was. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve realized it’s not enough to believe just because your family does. You have to seek it out yourself. You can’t simply believe it because “they” do, you must “own” it, in a sense. You must truly be able to say “this is what I know and believe to be true.” You must call your faith your own and really have it belong to you. This is hard to describe, so I hope you get the point. You can’t just believe because you were “born with it”, you have to truly KNOW it and KNOW God as YOUR savior and YOUR BEST FRIEND.

Maybe this is your story too. If so, have you ever really asked yourself in your heart if God is more to you than a dreamy figure that’s up in the clouds? Have you ever REALLY considered it?

It’s not a presentation to God, it’s a conversation.

It’s not always a prayer, but a talk.

God is there for you.

He can be just as real to you as your family you EAT WITH every day!

But you have to let him be.

He’s not an impersonal figure that’s billions of light years away,

He’s a best friend that’s by your side every second of every day of your life!

That is, if you let him…

And I’m not talking about the whole “inviting him into your heart and life to become saved” prayer. (I’m not at all trying to make fun of any of this by putting it this way, I just want to get my point across)

I’m talking about the prayer that says:

“God, I’m here. Right now. And I want you. God, lead my life, take the wheel. My choices are leading me astray, so I want you, God, to decide what’s best for my life. I don’t want you to belong to me- I want to belong to you. I don’t just want you in my heart, I want you pumping through my blood, showing on my face, revealing yourself in my actions. Make my life yours, and make your power my power. Help everyone to know that I am yours… forever. In your name, Amen.”

When you say this, and really mean it, (not exactly those words, please make them your own if you are going to pray this) and bathe yourself daily in God’s word and talk to him ALL DAY LONG….

It makes life so much easier. And so much more fun! And it helps others not to see you as “The judgemental goody-goody that acts like a christian”, but the person who’s identity is wrapped wholly around their faith. Is it hard to get started in reading your bible and praying every day? Come to us (and other bloggers) for encouragement! I promise you’re not alone! You’ll find encouragement here from us! I’m MORE than willing to lend an encouraging voice… and shoot up some prayers for you! I also have troubles sometimes being as close to God as I should be!! I’m not perfect, far from it actually!

When you really search it out, you’ll realize that instead of being a “good influence” on others, or straining yourself to act godly around certain people, you can let it be your personality. It’s not only so much simpler and better for you, but it will help others (even if you don’t always know it) to see you as more of an “authentic” Christian, and less of a fake. What you’re shooting for, is to relax and be yourself, and have fun, and be the same godly person that you are when you’re at church or reading your Bible. I know multiple people like this… they don’t even realize that they’re like that!!! They are SO easy to be around, and is SO obvious that they are a TRUE LOVING CHRISTIAN! Even if you met them at a concert (or somewhere other than Church), you can tell!!! I love that so much in a person!  And those few people (Thanks, G, F, K and C ..and J…) are DEFINITELY people I want to be like! Constantly happy, not judgmental, and have the love of God shining through their being!

Get whatever you’d like out of this post, and don’t let it discourage you in the least! Let it be an encouragement to all of us!!! There will be hard times figuring out what you as a person believe, and what you want to know, but one of the main keys?
BE EXCITED!!! It may sound crazy, but when you think about it, this time in your life- of figuring out your identity, and what you truly believe and how you want to act in your life (also how others see you) – is WONDERFUL! Yes, it can be scary, but really, you’re shaping WHO YOU ARE! You’re shaping this WONDERFUL relationship with God! And maybe you don’t know someone like I was talking about. Maybe you’ve never met someone like that… if not, I want you to check out this youtube channel, and video. This is an AMAZING young lady by the name of Emma Mae Jenkins. I encourage you to watch some of her videos. You’ll love them!

I made this post as much for myself as for you girls. I’ve really been questioning a lot of things lately… and I know for one thing- I want that relationship. That brings me to the title- Religion or Relationship? So why did I call it this? Because I believe as strong Christians who love God, we need to have that bond, that strong love and connection between God and us. And I’m going to show you the definitions of these two words real quick:

Religion: the belief in and worship of a superhuman controlling power, especially a personal God or gods.

Relationship: the way in which two or more concepts, objects, or people are connected, or the state of being connected.

So are you just merely believing in God and not letting your faith go any further? Or are you CONNECTED to God? I’m not trying to get on to anybody, as it’s an ongoing trek of dedication to have a connection. But I’m willing to go through that, because I LOVE my God, and I want him to be closer to me than any human in the universe could ever be.

So if I could chose which I want, it would definitely be Relationship. And that IS my choice. Because I believe that when you are connected to God, then it is so much nicer to be firm and steadfast in what you believe, which makes it easier to tell others about your faith.

I’ll end with some verses:

Hebrews 11:6 – But without faith [it is] impossible to please [him]: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and [that] he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.

Deuteronomy 5:33 – Ye shall walk in all the ways which the LORD your God hath commanded you, that ye may live, and [that it may be] well with you, and [that] ye may prolong [your] days in the land which ye shall possess.

Colossians 2:6 – As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, [so] walk ye in him:

 

I hope you enjoyed this post! Thanks so much for reading!

And remember, if you ever need prayer or encouragement, we’re here!

K.A. signoff

Friendship, Guest Post, Relationships

Repairing a Relationship

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Broken relationships are as old as the Bible. In Psalm 55:12-14, David describes his pain because of a friend’s betrayal,

“For it is not an enemy who reproaches me; then I could bear it. Nor is it one who hates me who has exalted himself against me; then I could hide from him. But it was you, a man my equal, my companion and my acquaintance. We took sweet counsel together, and walked to the house of God in the throng.”

Because we invest love and time into our relationships, a part of us is destroyed when a relationship is damaged. Thankfully, there are practical steps available to handle a broken relationship. Here are four that I have applied in my life.

1) Meet in person

Technological communication can cause us to forget the real person with vulnerable emotions on the other side of the text or email. When a friendship is waning, arrange a time to see each other. If meeting in person is not an option, then try a phone or Facetime call. Talking directly forces you to engage with each other, which is often lacking from text or email. Establishing personal, direct communication can breathe life into a dying relationship.

2) Be honest

Dramatic confrontations are unnecessary, but we do need to be open about our feelings. Several months ago I mentioned to a friend that she was not responding to my texts. She explained that she had been extra distracted and busy lately, which eased my mind. In the past, I have overreacted to relationship problems, only to discover the facts later. My friends did not suddenly start hating me; they just had commitments that prevented them from contacting me. Being honest can save friendships and keep drama to a minimum.

3) Face your failings

Proverbs 28:13 says,

“He who covers his sins will not prosper, but whoever confesses and forsakes them will have mercy.”

This is especially true with family relationships. We cannot undo our mistakes. However, we can show genuine remorse to the person we hurt and express a desire to change our behavior. After genuinely apologizing to the person we hurt, we should recognize the problem with our behavior and ask for their grace and support as we work to fix that character flaw.

4) Ban bitterness

It hurts when a friend stops communicating for no apparent reason, but jumping to conclusions only worsens the situation. We are not aware of their present situation. They could be dealing with something that has captured their attention. Even if they have chosen to move on, we must remain positive because bitterness only hurts us. Whether or not that relationship is ever restored, we can choose to highlight the positive memories and diminish the bad. Just like David in the Bible, we will face broken relationships. Tension is a part of living in a broken world. But God is the repairer of broken things. When we surrender our relationship to Him and prayerfully take steps to restore the relationship, we can trust that He will give us His wisdom.

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LivingBlessedWithLess.wordpress.com

Friendship

Apologizing

apologizing

Apologizing.

That thing can be the hardest thing to do. EVER. Trust me, I know.

About five months ago, I got into a huge misunderstanding with my BFF.

I won’t go into details, but basically, for two months, I could not swallow my pride to apologize.

Me and my best friend avoided each other for TWO whole MONTHS. We were both miserable. Finally, one day, I swallowed my pride. I went up to her, and said, “I’m sorry.” Those two words fixed everything.

Sometimes it is so hard to swallow our pride and apologize.So here are a couple of tips to help you if you ever just can’t apologize.

Don’t wait. If you are waiting because you think it will be easier to apologize, it won’t. It will just get harder.

Pray. Pray to God to give you strength to apologize.

I know this was a very short post, but I have been super busy this past couple of weeks.

I hope you are all having a wonderful week, and that everything is going well for you.

In Christ,

chloe signoff

Friendship, Purifying the Mind, Body, and Spirit

Purifying the Mind, Body, and Spirit with our: Friendships

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Hello, girls!!

I have wanted to start a series of sorts for you girls on here for a while, but I couldn’t decide on the topic of the overall series. After some brainstorming and lots (I mean lots) of different (and cool) ideas, I decided on one that I felt like would be fun to talk about: Purifying the Mind, Body, and Spirit.

This series will be about how we can live a better life as we grow into womanhood. I will discuss how we can purify ourselves in all aspects of our daily lives in lots of different posts.

Today’s topic is Friendship.

How can we purify ourselves with our friendships, you ask?

Well, first off, I believe that we all need to set a couple of standards for people we are friends with. And I don’t mean all that “you have to do exactly what I say and do what I do” wishy-washy trash, I mean that, as Christians, we can’t go off befriending people who are bad examples for how we should behave as Christians. For example, here are my standards for friendship:

  • he/she DOES NOT use any foul language
  • he/she DOES NOT wear inappropriate clothing (at least in public)
  • he/she DOES NOT try to dishonor God in any way
  • he/she IS NOT a bully in any way or form to any person
  • he/she is able to treat me as a friend should be treated and vice-versa

So, those are my standards for the people whom I am friends with. I am not friends with anyone who does the opposite of anything on that list, and I do not intend to try to be friends with anyone who does the opposite of anything on that list.

Now, I’m not saying that we shouldn’t try to reach out to people who need the Lord  -because we should all do that – but I personally would not invite someone over to my house who swears, wears inappropriate clothing, and does not treat me (or someone else) nicely. Would you? Yeah…I didn’t think so.

But, we can’t just judge a person by their outside, right? We can’t just say “oh, that girl’s shorts are too short so I’m not gonna be friends with her”. Before becoming friends, I get to know the girl/boy a tad. Not, like, having him/her over to my house or hanging out “like friends do”.

I mean listening when he/she is talking (NOT eavesdropping) so that I know what he/she talks about. Sometimes (it depends on the person) I even ask a good, Christian friend who knows him/her and can tell me what he/she is like.

We all need to set standards for our friendships. It may seem like you are limiting your options for friends, but believe me, you will end up having a few very valuable friends rather than a bunch of bad influences that we call “friends”.

Make the right choices and you will have best friends who will be by your side for the rest of your life. 🙂

anika joy signoff