Be Kind To Yourself

Okay. I’ve written, deleted, rewritten, deleted again, and am now writing this post again…third time is the charm, right? And like most days, after trying on five different outfits for work, I usually end up in the outfit I first had on, I am back to my original post idea.

A while back I heard this song on the radio called Be Kind To Yourself by Andrew Peterson and immediately resonated with every word sung, every note and chord played hit me, it felt as though the song was written for me. I hesitated to write this post because it almost felt self centered and self focused to say, be kind to yourself, but the more I thought about it and the more I prayed for what I was supposed to write, I kept coming back to the same idea: I am my worst enemy and being kind to myself is harder than being kind to others. But I fully believe God wants us to be kind to ourselves as well as others and it is not selfish or self centered.

Luke 10:27, Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your heart. And your neighbor as yourself.

I am the world’s worst perfectionist and therefore when I mess up, whether it’s a big mess up or a small one literally no one will notice. I become the worst critic and the dialogue in my mind is full of self hatred and all the ways I should have done better, studied harder, I could have been more helpful, I would have prevented that person from being mad or that situation from happening if only I would have done things better than I did.

In essence, I remove the grace God has given to me when I mess up and sin and replace it with a mere attempt to self atone by better good works. I remove the work that God is doing in myself and those around me because I take control and attempt to fix everything because I fell short of my own standards. But removing grace and love that God freely lavishes on me each day is never going to result in growth, but only destruction. When I choose to not see myself the way God sees me, I instantly forget my worth in Christ.

So what does this all have to do with kindness? Great question.

The bible, specifically in Luke 10:27, we are told to love our neighbors as ourselves. If we do not love ourself or if we are not kind to ourselves, how can we expect our kindness to be genuine toward others and not just another act of good works?

One of the verses of the song goes like this: You can’t expect to be perfect
It’s a fight you’ve gotta forfeit
You belong to me whatever you do
So lay down your weapon, darling
Take a deep breath and believe that I love you

Now, if I understand the song correct, it is being written from a father to his daughter…to me, this song is something God is singing to me. I can’t fight to be perfect because I am not nor will ever be perfect, I will not always be kind, but when I truly believe I am loved by God, the kindness that pours out is no longer an attempt to look good and be better, it’s not even from me. It’s the kindness of God coming out of a heart that has been transformed by the work of the cross.

So, be kind to yourself. Learn to live out of God’s love and let His kindness rule your every thought, word, and deed. But don’t stop with being kind to yourself, extend it to everyone around you…even if you do not believe they deserve kindness.

Until next time friends,

Christi

Be Kind To Yourself Andrew Peterson

Stormy Seas, Jesus, and Me

Have you ever heard the phrase, “don’t pray for patience unless you actually mean it?” And so you intentionally do not pray for patience as a mere attempt to avoid needing a smidge more patience than normal…

But what about those times you get a healthy dose of needing an abundance of patience, yet never asked to grow in that particular area?! This is where I find myself. In a season of life where patience is not exactly my greatest character quality, but it’s the one being most refined.

You see, I work with kids for a living…need I say more about needing patience? 😉 Some days are incredibly easy and everything runs smoother than planned, everyone is smiling and happy, no major toy-stealing-conflicts to resolve, or time to put play doh away tears, in essence, there are no train wrecks and the day just moves by peacefully. But then there are those other days…when it is one train wreck after another, no one is listening and doing what they want, and I wonder if I accidentally prayed for more patience in my sleep.

Life is very similar. Some seasons move along with few or no bumps on the road, little conflict, fun and terrific memories, laughter that makes your stomach hurt, spontaneous outings, and only minor difficulties.

But then the stormy, hurricane, and tornado weather hits and your life boat is flipped upside down, shredded to pieces, and it seems as though everything has fallen apart and you’re drifting away in an abyss of the stormy seas.

The lightening is bright, thunder loud, waves crashing down, winds whirling around and all you wonder is when the storm is going to pass?!

I find myself in the latter of the two life “scenarios.” Personally, I can’t remember asking God to grow my patience, but I do recall asking Him to continue to mold me more into His likeness, to burn away my impurities and refine my heart, creating beauty from my ashes. I would argue until I am blue in the face that the most growth occurs in the strongest storms. We grow the most in Christ when we are stripped of our idols, when we have sin brought into the light, when the seas of our life are raging wild, and we can’t see the shore line, just the next wave crashing upon us.

It wasn’t until recently I made the correlation of trials to the work of patience God is doing in my heart. You see, like most people, I want problems fixed on my watch and command. I want things on my terms or no terms. Under no circumstance do I want to wait to see answered prayers and have life’s hardest moments turn for the good, yet so often Jesus asks me to wait. Not because He is holding out on me or being a jerk…in fact it’s for the complete opposite reason. It’s because He loves me too much to allow me my own way, or to allow me to stay in stagnant waters.

Growing up, my family and I lived in a waterfront house, simply meaning, there was a river at the end of my front yard. In the summer, we loved playing on the rocks, swimming/canoeing upstream, tubing, etc. I feel like we were in the water quite a bit. And so, naturally, a tubing trip with our cousins was in order. It was a super hot summer day and we dropped in the water maybe two miles up the road from the house. We all assumed it would be maybe a two hour tubing adventure and brought no food or water…since you know, it was NOT going to take all day. Low and behold, we hit stagnant water, shallow water, a herd of cows, and about seven hours, yes you read that right, seven hours later, we arrive back home. In the moment of each of these at times peculiar obstacles, not one of us found humor or enjoyment…but looking back, it’s an adventure I am so thankful for.

Life trials are not usually that humorous and no, I do not normally look back fondly on these stormy seas because it was fun or gave me a good chuckle. But I look back and I see growth, I see Jesus molding my heart to wait on Him, I see my heart changing…not necessarily my circumstances. I look back and Jesus standing on the waters with me, helping me fight each wave, I look back and see Jesus as my anchor, the hand guiding me, the Father protecting me, love and grace surrounding my every moment. It’s these times I am also being taught patience and sole surrender to Jesus. He’s not going to let me drown, but the waters may not part the second I command them to. Jesus is not only teaching me patience and waiting on Him, but He’s also showing me how to let Him fight for me…

Psalm 27:14, Wait for the Lord; be strong and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord

Exodus 14:14, The Lord will fight for you. You have only to be silent

I can wait and be patient in Him, knowing I am being molded and refined. So, yeah, life is crazy hard right now. My patience is running thin, I want the seas to be calm and the hardest days to cease, but I wouldn’t trade this season for the world.

In my season of waiting and needing patience, the Lord is teaching me to have faith in Him, not my circumstances. To rely on His promises, not my understanding.

I know God is with me, I know He is faithful, I know He is working in my life. I know I can trust him, and so I keep walking. One step at a time, one wave at a time, hand in hand fighting life’s battles with God going before and behind me.

Have patience in whatever season of life you’re in. God is still working, wait on Him and cherish the moment He has you walking in, no matter how easy or difficult.

Love you friends. Until next time,

Christi

But I Hate to Wait

I feel as though the only appropriate way to start this post is to admit I hate being patient. I hate waiting. I hate not knowing when or how something is going to happen. Patient is not exactly the word I would use to describe myself…nor do I think anyone else would describe me that way. Though, despite my lack of enjoyment in waiting, I find myself in good company as the bible is littered with dozens of people who had to be patient and struggled in the midst of their waiting.

Taking things to a personal level, most times when God asks me to wait, I believe it’s because He just doesn’t care about what I want. Or He’s holding out on me. Or maybe He just didn’t hear me when I prayed asking for *fill in the blank.* And those are exactly the thoughts the devil wants us to believe and begin processing through. As these lies creep in, slowly we begin to drift deeper and deeper into deception and before long, the Voice of Truth is silenced, our sinful heart takes charge, and impatience masks the work Jesus wants to do within our season of waiting.

There is absolutely nothing easy about waiting and being patient, yet all over the bible, I find verse after verse encouraging my heart to continually wait on the Lord…

Psalm 27:14, Wait on the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord

Psalm 37:7, Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him…

Psalm 130:5, I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in his word I hope.

These are the first few verses that jumped out to me for a few reasons…

Waiting is hard. Jesus knows that. In these three verses, there is a common phrase of ‘wait on the Lord.’ Maybe it’s just me, but I believe we all can identify with the struggle of waiting on Him. The closer the situation is to my heart, the harder I find being patient to be…at times I wish getting my prayers answered would operate like amazon prime, two day shipping guaranteed. Though, more times than not, it is in the seasons of patience that I find I grow closest to the Lord. Anyone else agree?

Jesus knows far better than I do what I need and when I need it. Just as I tell the kiddos I nanny to take a deep breath and have patience, so also is God asking me to do the same thing. I love how the bible teaches us to have a child like faith, children ask a million questions but also seem to get the gist of life far better than most adults. Where is your heavenly Father asking you to wait? In the midst of your waiting, be in communion with Him, talk about how hard it is, the places you’re doubting and struggling. He already knows your heart, but longs to hear you express what you’re thinking and feeling.

Do not dread this season of waiting and patience, instead allow God to continuously minister to your heart.Take this time and allow your relationship with Him to grow deeper and sweeter, remembering that His timing is perfect.

Until next time friends,
Christi

 

 

Peace of Repentance

When I take a step back and look at this world, my life, the things that surround me, peace is not exactly something I think of or immediately see. The news tells of acts of violence, day to day life brings a variety of trials, doing life with those around me often times does not result in peace but is messy and hard. This got me thinking what exactly I define “peace” as and how in the world am I going to write a couple blog posts about it.

And I didn’t know if that answer would come in time for this post and then I slowly began to find a different understanding of peace. An understanding of what peace is not. If I am honest, learning my understanding of what peace is not had me quite frustrated and I have struggled to put this post into words. This past week I have asked God to show me what His peace is. What it feels like. Where it comes from. How does one attain it. At first, He did not reveal anything and again, I got quite frustrated.

Until one night after photographing a concert for Ginny Owens. The show went a lot later than expected and I already was under the weather and fighting a cold, so the volunteer coordinator let me leave the show early. I was walking out of the venue and in the background heard the words “Jesus thank you for the fire” being sung. This got me thinking…a lot.

I live over an hour away from the venue and had lots of time to think and process. I admitted with a slight chuckle that I do not thank God for the fires in my life because they just are not fun and are often chaotic and overall just hard seasons to walk through. I asked God to humble my heart and what turned into a prayer for a sister of mine, resulted in a prayer from the deepest parts of my heart asking God for help, forgiveness, comfort, guidance, and ultimately to give me His peace. I came to realize repentance was missing in my world, thus my lack of peace was because there were parts of my heart I didn’t want God inside of. I started to put to words what peace is not:

Peace is not the absence of chaos.

Peace is not a life void of trials.

Peace is not always a quieted mind.

Peace does not always come in a stilled soul.

As these understandings of what peace is not started to fall into place, I began to comprehend what peace is to me. Yesterday (Tuesday) I was preparing for community group with my church later that evening, we were having a relatively chill night around a campfire and devoted the night to prayer, looking at the crucifixion of Christ, and reading a couple verses in Philippians. The two verses were the flip side of the peace equation I was trying to solve….check it out…

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me–practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you. Philippians 4:8-9

Peace is that still small voice inside my heart that whispers the promises of truth in the midst of chaos.

Peace is feeling when my trials seem to overtake me that then gives me the courage to take one more step toward the finish line.

Peace is when my minds won’t stop racing and my heart is overwhelmed, but falling into the arms of Jesus

Peace is when my soul is all stirred up and that faint whisper reminds me to rest and be still.

To me, peace can be found in the quietest places of the forest or the craziest parts of our lives. Peace is that still small voice in my heart that reminds me of what is true, honorable, just, pure, lovely, and commendable in God’s eyes. Peace comes when we are obedient to Christ, when we repent of our sinful ways and turn to the cross, then sprint back into the arms of the Prince of Peace.

Since that car ride home from the concert, no circumstances in my life have changed, but my perception of them has. I am overwhelmed with peace because God has tuned my ears to hear His voice above the noise and chaos in my heart. Wherever you are, find a place to be still and ask the Holy Spirit to incline your ear to His voice, to bring conviction and lead you in repentance, to take you back to Christ. And then rest there. It’s a beautiful place to be.

I hope you find peace this week. Go be with Jesus and ask Him for it

~Christi

 

Joy in Trials and Suffering

There are times at the house where my roommates and I will either group text, or simply announce (when we are all together) it is an “honest *fill in your name* moment…” and then we proceed with our comment.

Well guys, honest Christi moment…I am coming into this post unsure how to even begin. Joy is something I am struggling to feel and experience in this season of life and now I am going to tell you how and why we can find joy in our suffering. I’ve been on a journey filled with being pushed outside my comfort zone, living with unknowns, and simply needing to place my faith and trust solely in Christ to guide my next step, knowing His promises are true. And it has not been easy, but I seriously would not change this season of life for anything because I am learning to live out what James tells us about counting our trials all joy. Before diving into James, I think it is essential to bring definition to this word “trial.”

According to Merriam-Webster, a trial is: a test of faith, patience, or stamina through subjection to suffering or temptation

James 1:2, count it all joy my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds…

Now, just reading this verse, my first thought is why? Why am I supposed to rejoice and how am I to find joy in the heat of the darkest nights during trials and hardships? First question I attempt to answer is the why. Why are we called to find joy in the midnight hours of life? I believe we have to look to verse 3 to find the answer.

James 1:3 …for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness.

There is purpose for the testing of our faith, it is never in vain or with no purpose. During these moments of suffering, which we are told time and time again in the bible that we will encounter suffering in this world, are meant to deepen and increase our faith. I’ve often found in my deepest suffering, my hardest trials, and in the greatest unknowns of life, I see Jesus the clearest. It doesn’t happen overnight, but at some point there is like a switch in my heart that goes on and I simply see Jesus in the middle of my midnight hour.

I’ve talked about why we ought to rejoice but I still have one other question of how? What does it look like? How do we keep joy when joy seems absent?

I wish I had some deep and insightful answer, but I am about to give the obvious.

Jesus.

Jesus is the how. I find my mind and my heart at times are clouded and my vision to see the truth of the gospel in times of trial and suffering are foggy and that is when I need to refocus my sight. The only way to do that is to look and see Jesus. I just started reading John, one of my favorite gospel accounts, and simply asking myself…who is Jesus? And Who am I in Christ? You see, my circumstances have not changed, but God is changing my heart and that is reason enough to rejoice.

I heard it said once at a concert like this. Back before GPS’s and maps, and the internet, and easy ways not to get lost, when sailors would sail at night, they would use the constellations in the sky as a guide. Which means, the darker their night, the more clearly they see the stars align. The same goes with our lives. In our darkest hour of our hardest night, God’s promises do not change or become more true, they simply shine a little brighter. We see them a smidge clearer. And when we stop looking at ourselves and our circumstances and place our eyes upward and on the cross of Christ, joy seems a little more natural.

Joy takes work, but also rests in Christ. I am struggling to feel joy. I am struggling to keep my eyes off my circumstances and keep them on Christ, but I know I can count this season of life as joyful because my trials are producing steadfastness, and I can rest in Christ, knowing this too shall pass and God is refining me and molding me more into an image of Christ.

Until next time,
Christi

Joy of The Lord is My Strength

As we start this journey in writing about joy, if I am honest, it is something I have been lacking the last few weeks. Joy has been hard to feel and at times I have wondered when that whole ‘joy comes in the morning’ thing is going to kick in.

In my community group at church, we have been traveling through the book of Philippians. Now, it does not take you very long to learn after Saul became Paul, joy became an innate characteristic of Paul and also a major theme in his letters. At times, I read Philippians and was like ‘seriously, Paul…you’re showing off…’ because he ALWAYS finds a reason to rejoice.

Why?

He is rejoicing in Christ. He is rejoicing because he KNOWS there is something far greater than these earthly afflictions awaiting us. Check it out:

Romans 8:18: For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.

Paul is not saying that there will be no suffering if we have Christ and everything is going to be a bed of roses and frolicking through a dandelion forrest. But what he is reassuring us is that these hard times when joy is hard to come by, we must look beyond our circumstance and gaze heavenward. When we fix our eyes on Jesus and not our circumstance, all of a sudden, we begin to realize how temporary earth is and how glorious heaven will be. My pastor recently stated it this way:

We either have citizenship in heaven or hell. This earth is not the end and when I think about where I am going to spend eternity, joy seeps through my pores and my heart slowly goes from gloom to joy.

In Philippians, Paul is writing a letter to the Philippians as he is chained up in prison…and writing about the JOY he has because the gospel is going forth.

Philippians 1:12-13: I want you to know, brothers, that what has happened to me has really served to advance the gospel, so that it has become know throughout the whole imperial guard and to all the rest that my imprisonment is for Christ.

Now, I don’t know about you…but if I was chained up, most likely to a roman soldier, being beaten and persecuted, joy may be the last thing on my mind. I would be tempted toward anger, resentment, bitterness, wishing my circumstance was different. But Paul? No. He is still rejoicing…why? The gospel is going forth.

I could quote several other verses from not only Philippians, but all of Paul’s letters about how he rejoices in trials. But I want to bring this to a little more practical level. If we are honest, not many of us will be persecuted the way Paul was, most of us will never be chained to a roman guard in a prison cell 24/7, yet that does not mean we do not face hardships in our lives in which joy is hard to come by.

All of our trials are going to look different, some may be easier to find joy in than others. When we fix our eyes on the cross of Christ and off of our circumstance, joy seems more natural…why? Because in Christ is where we find true, genuine, and everlasting joy. I’ve heard it said many times, it is not our circumstance that needs to change, it’s our hearts. That can be a hard pill to swallow, but it is truth. God wants my heart to change and become more Christ-like and in order for that to happen, trials must come.

I’ll end with this illustration. When people make gold, they have to heat a fire so incredibly hot that it burns away the impurities covering the purity of the jewel. The same goes for us, we will be put under fire and hard times that will burn away the impurities of our hearts, bring sin into the light, it will hurt and it won’t be fun, but ultimately, we can rejoice in those times because we are being made more into the image of Christ, our Creator.

Friends, don’t lose heart because life may be hard, look to Jesus and find your joy in Him. Listen to one of my favorite songs by one of my favorite bands, Rend Collective called “Joy of the Lord” Joy of The Lord, Rend Collective

Until next time,

~Christi

 

A Love That Endures

If I am honest, it’s Tuesday morning, I am supposed to have my post up for Sarah to look over this morning and I had a devotional planned out and written in my head…but as I tried to write it, God kept drawing me to write something different. So I am sitting at the island in my kitchen, sipping my coffee, Ellie Holcomb is playing in the background (seriously…go listen to her new CD Red Sea Road, it’s incredible!), writing a completely new post from what I planned. I hope and pray God uses it to remind us to rest in His love that never fails and is unconditional. This past weekend I was away at a retreat with my churches youth group and the theme was all about learning to be still before the Lord in a loud and distracting world…be still my noisy soul and know He is God. We had times of silent meditation after all the sermons where it was so quiet you could actually hear a pin drop to the floor. During this time, I wrote out prayers, fears and insecurities, hopes and dreams, distractions keeping my eyes from looking at Christ, etc. but also during this time, I kept thinking of God’s love for me. His love for you. His love for this world.

Worldly love fades. It comes and goes, often times has stipulations and conditions, ebbs and flows with circumstances, and is lost in an instant. We just celebrated Valentines Day last week and again, if I am honest, my favorite part of this “holiday” is the day after because all the chocolate is half off ;]. I am always reminded of how our culture distorts love into something it’s not…now, to be clear, I am not bashing buying chocolates and teddy bears and planning something awesome and romantic to show love, I think it’s great. But as a girl in her mid twenties who is single yet again for V-day, it can be hard to rest assured in God’s love to me in the midst of this particular day. Dozens of social media posts flooded my news feeds about ‘the love of my life’ and I actually got mad at God for not giving me the love of my life. And then came the sweet conviction that in the moment you hate but ultimately leaves you in more awe of our Creator.

God ever so tenderly reminded me earthly love is feeble, but His love endures forever…check it out:

Psalms 36:5

Your steadfast love, O Lord, extends to the heavens, your faithfulness to the clouds.

Psalm 100:5

For the LORD is good; his steadfast love endures forever, and his faithfulness to all generations.

Psalm 145:8

The Lord is gracious and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.

All of these verses have a few themes: God’s love endures forever and He is faithful, gracious, compassionate, and merciful.

This past weekend, I had the privilege of tasting this kind of love from my gracious Father. It’s the kind of love that leaves you speechless and wondering what you did to deserve it. The greatest thing about God’s steadfast love is we do not deserve it—He freely gives it to us. You see, God sent Jesus to earth to seek and save the lost…why? Because He loves us. Jesus emptied himself of absolutely everything, including humbling himself to the point of not counting his equality with God the Father something to be grasped (Phil 2), humbling himself to death on a cross, pouring out His unconditional love upon humanity.

At times this kind of love seems too good to be true, like that perfect fairytale we only read about in Disney princess stories. But this love is not a fantasy. It’s real. We all have those failures that make us feel unlovable and we’ve all had those moments of anger where we made someone feel unlovable. God’s love is different.

God’s love never fails.

God’s love is unconditional.

God’s love looks not at what you have done to deserve it, but what Christ did on your behalf.

God’s love does not need to be earned.

God’s love is behind and before you.

God’s love is steadfast.

God’s love goes to the depth of your deepest shame, but doesn’t stop there…it goes even further.

God is love.

It’s easy to think about God as some ruler someplace in the sky sitting on a judgment throne and yes, he is sitting on the throne and yes he will judge the earth, but he is far more than just that. God is our loving, compassionate, merciful, faithful Father. I do a bunch of nannying kids and babysitting and when a kid falls down or gets hurt, what do they do? They come running, with tears falling down their faces, arms lifted high, just wanting to be held and loved, comforted and feeling safe. We, as Children of God, are the same way. When life beats us down, God is waiting, with arms open wide and full of love to pick us up and be our comfort. I heard it put once that when we worship and raise our arms, it is not to show off or be “macho spiritual,” but it’s expressing our deep desire for our Father to pick us up and draw near. This picture has changed my view of God so much; instead of running to fleeting love found in this world, I simply need to look up to my Heavenly Father and receive His love. Love is steadfast. Love endures. Love is vulnerable. Love is hard. Love covers a multitude of sins. God is love, may my love for others emulate God’s love for me. Live out of the love that has been poured upon you, it’s more freeing than living without love.

Live Loved.

Love unconditionally.

I mentioned Ellie Holcomb earlier and she has this song called “You Are Loved” here is the chorus…but you should definitely just listen to the whole album.

And you are loved
Not because of what you’ve done
Even when your heart has run the other way
Nothing’s gonna change His love
And you are wanted
Not because you are perfect
I know that you don’t think you’re worth that kind of grace
But look into His face you’ll know
That you are loved

 

Love Is A Verb

Growing up I always looked at the word ‘love’ as an adjective, a descriptive word that I used toward things I thoroughly enjoyed or people I was fond of. And though that was not and is not wrong, love is far more than just a way to describe things.

I love coffee/coffee shops

I love being outdoors

I love going to camp

I love writing and photography

I love mac and cheese

The list goes on…

But

Love is also a verb.

Love is also an action.

As I have been thinking about what love is and is not, the various ways I see it functioning in my world, I kept thinking of the ever so classic verse, John 3:16. Anyone who grew up in the church can probably say this verse with hand motions and their eyes closed; it’s also the one verse I told myself not to use in this love series because I felt it was just ‘cliché.’

For God so loved the world that He gave his only son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.

John 3:16

 This got me thinking about how I love, specifically others. Those who know me know just how introverted I can be. Groups of people most times bring me some form of anxiety, talking in a group setting is almost unheard of, and if I had the option of staying home in my cozy safe place or going out, 7/10 times I will stay home. I was talking with one of my roommates the other night and was expressing my struggle to be around people right now and she simply said something along the lines of “what are we called to do as believers? Love others and that means stepping outside of yourself and being around people.”

**Disclaimer: having alone time and staying home is not always the wrong choice—it sometimes is the best thing we can do

But When I look at John 3:16 I see that God did not stop at just loving the world, he loved so greatly he GAVE. He didn’t stop at love the adjective; he continued to love the verb and calls us to do the same. Jesus gave sacrificially, love is not just doing the minimal, love goes above and beyond what is expected…not for the great things we do to be seen or heard for our glory, but to bring glory to Love Himself.

I was at a women’s retreat with my church the other week and one of the application questions asked was where is God calling me to say Yes Lord?

And I am asking you the same, where is God asking you to say yes? How can you love your neighbor this week? Maybe it means stepping outside of your comfort zone and speaking up in a group setting or choosing to go be with people versus staying home. Often times that is what it looks like for me right now, but it may be different for you.

If you feel so led, leave us a comment about how God is calling you not let love stop at describing something, but instead letting love become a verb. We’d love to hear from you!

Also, if you ever want to email us about any questions, thoughts, etc. visit the contact us tab :]

 

Until next time,

~Christi

Oh, The Places You’ll Go

Hey guys!

First of all, welcome to Mission: Millennials! My name is Christi and if you want to learn a few somewhat useless and random facts about me, visit the About Us page. But for now, I am a coffee loving, picture taking, adventure seeking, summer camp counselor, concert goer, impulsive at times, twenty-something-year-old and I love Jesus with every fiber of my being. I have a not-so-secret secret dream of moving to Nashville and one day, it will happen…I’m just not sure which day that is yet. I don’t like sitting still for too long and I am constantly dreaming of my next adventure, wondering all the different places life is going to take me.

As Sarah mentioned last week, we both met at camp this past summer and literally became overnight friends. Fun fact, she was also my boss and one of my ‘go to’ people when life got overwhelming. She texted me a few months back and said we must Skype cause she had this idea to tell me about; now, I am thinking idea like coming to Pa to visit or me going to NY or some crazy idea about being partners in crime at camp next summer…and I could not have been more wrong.

Her crazy idea was this. This blog. Reaching out to those around us and pointing first and foremost our hearts more toward the Lord, but also the hearts of those in our life. Honestly, I almost told her no. I wasn’t sure this was a good idea and had a long list of [irrelevant] reasons I should not do this and all the ways I could just support from the sidelines. I had no intentions of saying yes to this, nor did I think it was something I could do. And then God stepped in. He challenged my thought process and crushed every reason I had not to do this and I told Sarah it was time to start our next adventure. Neither one of us know where this is going to take us, but we both hope and pray at the core of every post, with each word written and read, Jesus is proclaimed, the gospel goes forth, and we grow closer together as the body of Christ. Being lumped into the label of “millennial” often comes with a negative vibe. We’re the generation who can’t get our life together, the lazy folk, those who don’t work hard or value morals, we expect to get places without putting forth effort, and the list goes on. Sure some of that may be true, but it is not a millennial problem, it’s a sin problem. Yes we are born in the millennial generation, but no, that is not our label, those who are in Christ, we are children of God and He is our identity.

So, from here we are launching our first series. Sarah and I went back and forth with various ideas and settled on the fruit of the spirit. Each month we will tackle a new fruit starting in February. Now, it would be super cheesy and quite cliche to do ‘love’ first in Feb which is exactly why we are doing just that ;). Tune in next week for Sarah’s first post in Fruit of The Spirit: Love.

Until then,

~Christi