Showing posts from 2019

When the Holidays Are Not Jolly

There is so much joy around the holiday season. There are cookies to bake, presents to wrap, lights to be seen, traditions to be upheld, songs to be sung, and family to be surrounded by. However, what about when the holidays are not jolly and wrapped up with a perfect Christmas bow? When there is a loss in your life, when the funds don’t allow for gifts, when you feel forgotten, when you feel unloved, when you feel like everyone is happy except for you, when your family may not always be around or close enough to see - these are the things we don’t always talk about that happen during the holiday season because we want everything to look and feel perfect and jolly. However, for many people this is a reality that they live every holiday season. A reality that to be perfectly frank, sucks. However, the very reason for the holiday season is because Jesus was born and he was born for a purpose. “A child is born to us! A son is given to us! And he will be our ruler. He will be called, “Won…

Have You Ever Felt Different?

Have you ever felt different?  I have felt like I don’t fit in with society or what’s cool probably my entire life.  I’m not sure it helps that I am an artist, who feels constantly told what I do has 0 value in the ‘real world’.  Although these people saying this don’t realize how much art rules our world.  But this is a different topic for a different time.  Or since becoming a mom, goodness!  Becoming a mom has for sure showed me I’m different than other moms.  Sometimes chatting within a group of moms is terrifying! Most of the time I embrace it, it doesn’t bother me.  But the last few years (yes years!) I’ve let it get the best of me.  I’ve let the world dictate to me what’s important, who is important, and how unimportant I am.   I’ve been playing the comparison game strong for a couple of years now.  Which has just come to a head in the last month or so when I’ve had to tell myself enough is enough! With social media, it’s incredibly easy to live in a headspace of comparing your…

Like Water Off A Duck's Back

Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation, 1 Peter 2:2

Have you ever watched water run off a duck’s back? That’s how you should treat unkind comments. ‘But they hurt my feelings,’ you say. Stop and think about that: if they are really your feelings, others have no control over them, other than what you give them. The truth is, almost everybody is more preoccupied with themselves than with you; therefore, you know more about yourself than they will ever know. It’s not what others say about you that counts. It’s what God says about you and what you say about yourself that counts. When you know who you are, you won’t allow others to define your worth. Jesus knew that His accusers were ignorant; that’s why they feared Him. People fight what they don’t understand. The mind tends to resent what it cannot master. Jesus never begged anyone to believe in Him. Why? Because He knew that integrity cannot be proven, it must be discerned. So He s…

Press On

Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. All of us, then, who are mature should take such a view of things. And if on some point you think differently, that too God will make clear to you. Philippians 3:12-15.

"Our chapter doesn't do enough to focus on Christ." "She is not letting anyone do anything." "I just don't even know if I want to be a sister anymore if this is what it's like..."

I cannot tell you how many times I hear this, even from the women who have spent loads and loads of time investing in the vision God gifted them with to see a Christian sorority at their campuses.…

The Spiritual Gift of Busyness

Let me introduce you to the lesser known of the spiritual gifts: Busyness. And since it's hard to detect sarcasm over a computer screen...that's sarcasm.

Here's a re-enactment from every. one. of. our. lives.

"How are you doing?"
"Oh I'm just so BUSY."

No. That is not how you are doing. That is how the world tells you you are doing. The god of busyness is not the God of grace. Smug senses of superiority for accomplishing many tasks don’t fit neatly into God’s kingdom. Measuring yourself by your achievements doesn’t match up with a gospel that saves by grace, not by more work. But, I bet you feel important, I bet you feel needed, I bet you feel wanted. Okay let me state a fact for you: you are all of those things when you're sitting in a chair at home reading a book. God calls you His child which means you are important, you are wanted, you are needed, and you are loved regardless of the amount of appointments in your day.

One thing I have to re…

You Can't Pour From an Empty Cup

Consider your life.  Consider your state of mind.   Consider your sisterhood and your position as a leader.  
There is excitement going into a new year, absolutely.  A fresh start. An opportunity to either build on the excitement from the previous year, or maybe it’s an opportunity to wipe the slate clean and build something brand new after a tumultuous year.   
Either way, whether your chapter is coming from a positive or negative place, one thing is certain:  you as a leader will face trials during this next academic year. (Wait, Magen, this is supposed to be a positive, encouraging word to start our group training… WHY are you being so pessimistic?!)   Let’s not call it pessimism, let’s call it realism. The reality is, and trust me, I’ve been doing this long enough to know, when you get a group of women together there will be conflict. It’s “when,” not “if.”  End scene, on to Act 2.   
So, knowing that you will face obstacles this year, what can you do to equip and prepare yourse…

When You Need The Right Tools...

For several months the toilet in our bathroom has been continually running. We would shut the valve off to attempt to save water. I bought the kit to replace all the parts. I watched all the YouTube videos for how to do it (again, because this wasn’t the first time I replaced the innards of a toilet), but I never seemed to get around to dealing with actually fixing it. Our water bill only comes once a quarter, and when the last one came, my jaw hit the floor! Forget the fact that I felt like a terrible steward of this precious resource, our bill was about 7 times what it should be… the toilet HAD to get fixed… it had already cost me TOO MUCH. 
Isn’t that kind of how life is? We know something is an issue, but we don’t get around to making a change until the cost becomes too great. We ignore the broken relationship under the guise of needing space. We read the self help book but never get around to the implementation. We throw up some quick prayers, but never dig into the Word or truly …

Making Bold Moves

I'm going to be honest with you, friends. This devotional is going to ride solely on what my college age pastor preached on this week at groups, and I'm not ashamed! Because if you had asked me 3 days ago if I felt I was ready to write this devotional, I would've said "Nope." But when I walked into groups last night with a tough weekend and an even tougher relationship on my shoulders, God said He would take care of me. And He did. 

Justin talked about "Bold Moves." My bold move yesterday was getting myself dressed to go to these groups, and to be honest the one thing that convinced me was the free food. I'm always down for free food. But I don't know if you've ever felt that the pastor is preaching straight to you and your struggles, but this is what I felt last night. Suddenly I wasn't just there for the free food. This is the statement he started off with: "You won't move very far in life if you aren't willing to make bold…

The Perfect Prayer

When someone first told me I needed to “pray daily” I thought that my prayers had to be wordy, thoughtful, and worthy of God. After all, this was what my college pastor, my mentor, my therapist, and my friends all did. But is this what God expects of me everytime I pray to Him? That’s a big fat, NO. I can’t tell you how long it took me to realize this. How many times I would pray in front of people or to myself, and feel an anxiousness wash over me as I racked my brain for the right “Christian” words to use. No one ever asked me to use words like atonement, tribulation, or intercession. No one asked that my prayers would be “perfect” or that I wouldn’t stumble over words and say “um” 7 billion times. (Okay, that last one is an exaggeration.) What God does ask of us is that we pray daily! This doesn’t mean pray perfectly daily. 

I asked one of the middle school girls I mentor to “pray out” one Wednesday night, and y’all...I thought she was gonna have a panic attack from being so scared…

Pride and Tree Roots

I'm a true believer in the notion, "pride is the root of all sin." Think about it this way: in order to sin, we are putting something in front of God's commandments for us. When we choose something other than what God has ordained as Good for us, we are declaring that we ourselves know better than God. This is the very same sin Adam and Eve committed in the Garden of Eden: putting ourselves and our immediate desires ahead of God's Goodness and Promises.

Adam and Eve were separated from God after their sin, and our own "iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, and your sins have hidden his face from you so that he does not hear" (Isaiah 59:1-2). This separation is the reason our God "made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death—even death on a cross!" (Philippians 2:7-8). Without our separatio…

To the Guy on the Bus

It’s been one of those days… Probably because it’s been one of those weeks… Probably because it’s been one of those months… Probably because it’s been one of those years. 2018 hasn’t been the best. When I look at why, I think maybe it’s because 2017 WAS the best - being filled with adventures, a move to a different city, a new job and an engagement.  Or maybe it was because 2018 really just wasn’t that great. People like to try to find one word to describe their year. For me, that word is failure. 
From the moment I rang in the New Year to this moment now, there seems to be more downs than ups. I was already failing at booking anything for my upcoming nuptials that were inching closer and closer. I felt like I was failing at pulling together a national convention that was also inching closer and closer. I felt stuck and frustrated professionally. There just seemed to be no “well at least this is going right!” Everything seemed to come with one major issue over the other and while I de…