C.S. Lewis

These are a few quotes by C.S. Lewis that I have been thinking about today.

“If you want a religion to make you feel really comfortable, I certainly don’t recommend Christianity”

This quote reminds me that being a Christian actually requires some effort. Every day we should be renewing our minds and growing in our relationship with God. We should never stop growing and learning. But this does not just happen. We have to come before God and spend time with Him. We have to read His word. And the results are uncomfortable. We will realize things in ourselves that have to change and the ways that we are called to serve others, even if that means that it costs us something. That is not a comfortable process, but it is necessary.

I also like this quote: “We may ignore, but we can nowhere evade, the presence of God. The world is crowded with him. He walks everywhere incognito.”

We talked about this concept in devotions this morning. Sometimes we forget that actually God is everywhere…all the time. We may feel His presence more at certain times than other times, but that does not mean that He is not there. He does not pick and choose certain times to be present and other times to be checked out. He is with us always. Like the quote says, we might ignore His presence, but there is nowhere that we could go where God would not also be. This is a good reminder.

Much love, B

Advertisements

Transformation in every day life

We are reading in James for our devotional time currently, and there are some ideas that have stood out to me the past 2 days. Yesterday we read James 2. It was about having faith but not doing anything with that faith. Verse 17 says, “Faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.” When we accept Christ into our hearts there should be an inward transformation that occurs, and the outward working of that transformation should be that we do good deeds and physically care for the people around us. This doesn’t mean that good deeds gives us salvation, because that is not true. But it does mean that our faith in God should affect the way we interact with our neighbors. We should be loving our neighbors in tangible ways that meet the needs that are there.

Today we read James 3 about holding your tongue. This is probably one of the hardest things for me to do, and I know that it can be a struggle for other people as well. Verses 7-8 state, “All kinds of animals, birds, reptiles and sea creatures are being tamed and have been tamed by mankind, but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.” Our words can either speak life into people or can be like poison. Again there should be a transformation that happens for believers. This does not mean that once we become Christians we are magically able to hold our tongues at all times. We are human. But it does mean that we should be building the discipline of holding our tongues every day. It is important that we are a blessing to the people around us through our actions AND our words. People should feel loved by us at all times.

It is certainly a challenge for me, but I will continue to work towards these principles!

Much love, B

Cooking assignment

Every intern at Hillside has a cooking assignment where they have to cook a meal for the office for $8 or less. The meal has to also meet 33% of the daily nutritional guidelines. The point of the assignment is to show that you can make good meals for a bunch of people while on a tight budget. I was first up for this assignment and let me just say that I was not super excited about it. I am not a cook. I don’t cook…like ever. I actually really don’t enjoy cooking, especially if I have to do it by myself. This assignment definitely frustrated me in the moment. I had to look up every single detail from how to cut certain foods, how long to cook things for, how you are supposed to know when the food is done, etc. I also had no idea about portion sizes and could not tell whether it would be enough food or not.

On top of those things, it took me 3 hours to complete. I knew that it should have only taken an hour, but it took me triple the time because I did not know what I was doing. DIMG_1444espite all of those frustrations though, I completed the assignment, and it actually was not that bad. I made a kind of stir fry or fried rice kind of meal. I used rice, black beans, eggs, broccoli, carrots, and peppers. And I used garlic powder, salt, and soy sauce to season the meal. I did all of that for under $8 and fed 15 people with it. I also had some leftovers as well! I am proud that I was able to complete this assignment. It has shown me that I am capable of cooking, but that I just need to practice. I am proud of myself for completing this assignment!

Much love, B

The people that get me

These girls are the people that understand me the best outside of my family. I got to spend the weekend with them, and it was wonderful! We talked for hours and hours and hours. We laughed and just spent quality time together. It was much needed. I like spending my time with people that know me inside and out because our time together is easy and relaxing. I love them dearly!IMG_1381

IMG_1363

My worst enemy

This is a poem that I wrote while I was struggling with anorexia in college. It is a reminder to me of how far I have come and how much God has rescued and redeemed my life. At the time, I thought that I would never break free. I didn’t want to live like this, but my mind was so deceived that I could not see a way out. I thought that I would struggle with this forever, and I doubted that God would do anything. But He had other plans. God broke these chains, and I have never been the same since. God transformed me completely. I do not struggle with anorexia at all anymore. The lies were indeed shattered and were replaced with Biblical truths. This was my reality then, but it will never be my reality again.

My Worst Enemy

I look at it and ask, “Mirror, mirror on the wall, who is the fairest of them all?”

And it responds, certainly not you; do you see your skin and your stomach?

You are going to have to do better than that if you want to cut it.

It tells me that I need to be thinner to look better.

It tells me that if I just become a little thinner then I will be beautiful.

If I just become a little thinner then I will be happy.

If I just become a little thinner then I will be content with myself.

And of course I listen.

I go back every day and every night asking the same question,

But the answer is always the same.

And I am never content or happy or beautiful.

You could be thinner; that motto has become engrained in my mind

You could be thinner; it whispers in my ear

You could be thinner; it plagues my mind

You could be thinner.

And I guess it’s true, because I can in fact always be thinner.

So I wake up, repeat the process, and am still not happy with what I see.

So what do I do?

Stop eating

Then later I look in the mirror before bed,

But the answer is still the same, and I am not happy.

So what do I do?

Exercise obsessively

And I go to bed hoping that somehow I will be thinner tomorrow.

But the next day brings the same results.

So what do I do?

Take diet pills and laxatives.

But it doesn’t matter what I do because it will never be good enough.

So now I look in the mirror and what have I done?

Destroyed myself.

Every piece of me swept away; only a glimpse of the person I once was.

And I think to myself, how will I ever break this curse?

I long to be able to smash every single mirror in my life,

And watch as all of the lies fall to the ground, shattering into a billion pieces.

To break free of the power that the mirror holds on my life; that is my dream.

But for now, the mirror will continue to be my worst enemy.

Always sitting there as a haunting reminder,

Taunting me as I fade to nothing.

 

Much love, B

(I am free because God’s truth set me free.)

 

Just as I am I come

Some days I feel inadequate. I feel like my skills are not useful or that I am not skilled to do the things that I would like to do. I am reminded of my weaknesses. I become reminded of skills that I do have that are being wasted, and it makes me frustrated. Today is one of those days. In these moments it is worship songs in general that tend to speak to my soul the best. I was reminded about the song “Jesus I Come”. This song is a great reminder for me today that I can come just as I am to God. I can bring all of my insecurities, weaknesses, doubts, and frustrations to Him. He covers me.

“Jesus I Come”

Oh how I need Your grace
More than my words can say
Jesus I come Jesus I come
In all my weaknesses
You are my confidence
Jesus I come Jesus I come

I will rise stand redeemed
Heaven open over me
To Your name eternally
Endless glory I will bring (oh)

Oh what amazing love
We need Your cleansing flood
Jesus I come Jesus I come
In every broken place
You are my righteousness
Jesus I come Jesus I come

Thank You Jesus
Just as I am I come
Hallelujah
Oh what amazing love

I pray that these words would ring true for you today as well.
Much love, B

Faith in Action

Today we read Hebrews 11 during devotions, and it was a great reminder of the ways that God has been faithful to His people. All of these people led their lives by their faith in God. They were not passive about waiting for God’s promises. They acted because of their faith in God, trusting that God would provide and watch over them. We talked about how many people say that they are waiting to hear from God on what they should do in life or where they are supposed to go, instead of taking action now. These people in the Bible knew about God’s promises, but did not just sit around waiting for life to happen to them. “Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.” We can’t just wait around hoping for some grand revelation to hit us over the head. There has to be faith in action.

Verse 13 stood out to me in particular:

“All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance, admitting that they were foreigners and strangers on earth.”

These people were faithful until the end even though they had not fully received the promises of God. They trusted that God would be faithful. How hard is that for us to do? I feel like I often get tossed around sometimes because of circumstances in life. I doubt the faithfulness of God’s promises because I can’t see how it will work out. But that is not how faith works. Faith means that we have to trust in what we cannot see or cannot understand. We have to remember the character of God. God is faithful. Therefore He will deliver on His promises. I am continuing to grow and add to my faith so that I can be a person that is faithful until the day I die, even if I do not see the fullness of God’s promises during my lifetime.

Much love, B

Silly frustrations

Do you ever look back and think, wow why was I so frustrated by that? Sometimes in the moment things seem really big because we get tired, or little annoyances build throughout the day, or we feel like something was unfair. When these things build, something that is actually really small gets blown out of proportion later on. I had to remind myself last night that small things need to stay small and be let go. This might seem obvious, but I feel like it can be really easy to say you’ve let something go, and then it actually just sits in the back of your mind. It takes a conscious effort to release the small things, brush them off your shoulder, and then move on.

So what made me frustrated last night? Well it is actually pretty silly, but like I said in the moment it was super frustrating. I was playing in an indoor soccer game last night and had two fouls called on me for things that I did not do. The referee claimed that I had pushed another girl into the wall both times. The reality was that I had not touched her either time. She had actually pushed herself against the wall in order to block the ball from me. The referee told me that he would throw me out of the game if I did it again. That is when I became super frustrated, because I could be thrown out of a game for doing nothing. The other girl even admitted to me that I did not touch her, but was not willing to let the referee know. This just made me angrier because there should be a level of sportsmanship involved here. We are not in the World Cup. This is a recreational league for adults.

Luckily I did not get thrown out of the game. The frustration did carry over throughout the game, but I had to remind myself that in the grand scheme of things this is really small. Yes, it was unfair. I actually play with integrity, so it was frustrating that the referee assumed that I was purposefully doing these things and not being honest about it. But I am only in charge of my actions and not other peoples. I had to decide to be a good sport anyway. We get to choose our reaction to things that happen. In these moments it is important to view things that are small as small. We can’t let the small things take away from living a joyous life!

Much love, B

Friendsgiving

Yesterday my small group had Friends-giving together, and it was amazing. There was so much food that we could have had another Friends-giving using just the leftovers. Everything that you would typically have for Thanksgiving was there. IT WAS SO MUCH FOOD. There were drinks and desserts in abundance as well. It reminded me that we are definitely blessed to be able to partake in something like this. We were cozy and full and content.

26 of us gathered together for our Friends-giving. The room was filled with laughter and people chatting together. As I looked around the room, I thought…this is family. We are one big family that has its ups and downs, but that loves one another and does life together. Ifeel extremely blessed to be a part of this community…my second family. We all did a toast together where we toasted that we would be together forever! And I truly believe that. We were put together for a reason, and we have banded together and grown together over the last year and a half. I love my small group. We will forever be “The Good Community Group.”

IMG_1319.jpg

Much love, B