Building Castles

I told my mom that I don’t feel like I’m doing anything important with my life. Her response?

“Some of the most beautiful structures were built by people who never saw the results. Just because you’re not seeing the impact your life has on others, that doesn’t mean God is not using you. Someone’s life will be better because of you– even if you never realize it. Trust that your life is a contribution to something beautiful.”

Isn’t that an incredible thought? I hope that image inspires and humbles you as much as it does me. If you’re feeling discouraged, just remember– God is using you to build castles. You may never see the beauty of the finished product… but others will.  

Ever Blessed

Yesterday I was reminded that circumstances constantly change.

I spent my volunteer shift at the hospital rocking a newborn baby to sleep. As I drove home, I received a text informing me that a friend had a miscarriage.

In the evening I had dinner with one of my best friends who is moving across the country this week. As she leaves, other friends are returning home to start their post-graduation lives.

Two of my dearest friends got engaged last night and cannot wait to start their lives together. At the same time, I know people enduring the devastation of divorce.

Even the best of circumstances change.

I’m reminded that there are some things this world can’t satisfy. Beauty, wealth, security, youth– it all fades eventually. Even if I’m blessed with a beautiful marriage and a dream job someday, I know I’ll face challenges that I can’t even imagine.

In the past, I pursued God because I wanted Him to change my circumstances… But, in that pursuit, I fell in love and His love lifted me above my circumstances. And even though it feels like everyone is moving on and doing great things with their lives while I’m standing still, I’ve never been more blessed.

Maybe happiness isn’t receiving all of God’s blessing on our terms. Maybe happiness is the result of being humbled in the light of who God is. Without Him, I am nothing. In Him, I have everything.

“God gives, God takes. God’s name be ever blessed.”  –Job 1: 21

Reasons to Love You or Leave You

Letting go gets harder as I age. The reasons for leaving and being left have changed.

I used to leave out of anger or because, well, I just felt like it. I could slam down the phone in frustration and say, “we’re done.” You could do the same. Either way, I’d be over it by the end of the week. Some things aren’t meant to last.

I learned not to choose the wrong people though. Not to choose the ones who were certain to leave because that’s easier than being surprised by the ones I expected to stay. I lost the ability to untangle my heartstrings from someone else’s in the midst of a rash decision.

Now I make lists. There’s a list of reasons to love someone and a list of reasons to leave. I separate the emotions into columns and see which is heavier.

I love you because of who you are. I need to leave because of who I am with you.

When someone leaves me, I can’t blame it on one particular thing anymore. It’s just that the list of reasons to love me was too short, too insignificant, to stay.

He Has Said, I Will Never Leave You Nor Forsake You

I’ve battled fear and anxiety all week. The future can be scary, can’t it? It’s easy for me to write and talk about my hope in Christ, but when life starts stretching me I still panic. Sometimes, in the midst of chaos, I forget how many blessings I’ve been given. I forget that my life is a blessing.

Above all else, I want my life to glorify God.  I want to choose joy and hope over despair and fear. I want to seek God’s grace and beauty with all that I am. I want God to reign in my heart and reveal a new world to me… A world of kindness, light, and appreciation.

I may be terrified of change and apprehensive about the future, but today I choose not to let that hinder my spirit. Sometimes we just have to be bold and courageous enough to face something scary and call it something beautiful. We have to choose to worship, dance, sing, and create hope in our lives.

God won’t forsake us and having the courage to not just say that– but live, breathe, and wear that– is quite beautiful.

There Are Only So Many Tomorrows

I don’t know where God is calling me and that scares me.

I’ve spent the past 4 months applying for jobs because my current position isn’t full-time. Doors keep closing and I’m starting to lose confidence and enthusiasm. I’m also beginning to wonder whether I even want the doors I’ve been knocking on to open. My prayer journal is littered with entries that say, “God, please use me.”  But, for now, I’m still waiting for clarity and answers.

I love working with children and have always wanted to volunteer in an orphanage. After graduating recently, I applied to be a caregiver at an orphanage in Latin America for 13 months. My application was denied due to a lack of Spanish fluency. I took that as my sign to start looking for a 9 to 5 corporate job and that’s what I’ve been doing.

But, I’ve realized that I can’t just let my passion go. The deep longing in my heart is to serve people and I believe God gave me that desire for a reason. I don’t really care that I’ve already been rejected, or that people are pressuring me to establish a professional career, or that I’d have to give up comforts to volunteer for a year. I just want to do something simple and beautiful with my life.

This is where I’m at: unsure of my purpose and unsure of how to move forward. If any of you wonderful people have advice or know of a program I should look into, I’d love to hear from you. I hope you’re all doing well and walking in love today.

The First Time

  1. The first time you turn your high heels around and walk away from a bad situation is the first time you realize that you control your own happiness.

  2. The first time you do something kind for someone who cannot repay you is the first time you realize that giving love to others will bring you infinitely more joy than trying to receive love from others.

  3. The first time you realize that we’re not all given equal opportunities is the first time you get the chance to treat everyone equally anyway.

  4. The first time you make a big mistake is the first time you realize that every mistake comes with an equally important lesson.

  5. The first time you love someone deeply is the first time you realize how much sunshine one person can bring to your world.

  6. The first time you look in the mirror and smile is the first time you realize that God created your face and you get to create the expression.

  7. The first time you decide to tell the truth when it would be easier to lie is the first time you realize that having character is more important than avoiding confrontation.

  8. The first time you cross a finish line– whether it’s a literal one or an emotional one– is the first time you realize how strong you really are.

  9. The first time you experience something traumatic is the first time you realize that life is precious and should not be taken for granted.

  10. The first time you face something that scares you is the first time you realize that life is worth living when you take risks.