Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Christians, let's start thinking about our actions.


Today, I'm feeling discouraged. Today, my heart feels so heavy. I've worked seven days straight, serving customers and putting on a fake smile. "Have a good day!" "Thanks for coming in!" "I'm so sorry, let me go get that for you." Over and over and over. Don't get me wrong, I'm so thankful for the job I've been given, and the people I work with, but sometimes it get's to be a little too much. 

On my sixth day of working straight, I just snapped. I was tired, emotional, and frustrated by how people treated my coworkers or spoke down to me. It continually strikes me dumb how many people are so willing to be rude to a complete stranger, just because they work at a particular restaurant and are suppose to be serving them. But nothing gets to me more than a family of Christians talking about Jesus, and then turning around and making some snarky comment to me about how long I'm taking to clear up a spot for them, or threatening to go find a manager.

Just last Sunday this happened. "Why, Pastor Joe's sermon was so good, I really do feel like God is teaching me a lot right now." "Right? Remembering to be kind to those who don't receive kindness is so so good!" (yes I'm totally paraphrasing but go along with it, k?) And then five minutes later. "Um, excuse me MISS, there's an empty seat right over there, are you blind? This is getting ridiculous little lady." And then her entire party just stood there nodding, like they were some part of social justice movement that was going to change the world. You're not, you're just an impatient party of 6 that have been waiting maybe seven minutes.

And honestly, I wanted to cry. (and also say that if Jesus was standing right there, He'd have said you all didn't learn anything, because that was not kindness). Because when as Christians have we started separating church and living out a Christian life, with how we treat others when things are not going our way? I see this all the time! A church family not tipping a server because their food took a little longer than expected, or getting angry that I gave them a server with a lip piercing, or finding a manager because whenever a door opens, it makes them cold. My coworkers often dread working on Sunday because they know there will be a bunch of "church people." Is this how Jesus called us to live?

And guys, I'm not saying I'm the innocent party here. We've all fallen into this trap! For me, it's been getting impatient at the bank teller because the person in front of me took forever cashing all their checks, or crossing the street because I didn't want to pass that bus station when there was a tired looking women sitting there smoking. But why? Christ has called us to live a life full of service and radical love, proclaiming His glory and light. Is making snarky comments at the hostess or avoiding someone because they have too many face piercings doing that?

So Christians, (Liz here included) please think about your actions. Remember, when you're professing Christ, it's not only professing His name with your words, but with your actions. Remember that people are watching you. What's the reputation you're giving to Christ? None of us are perfect, and we're all going to have our bad days where we snap at someone, or get impatient, but our lives are suppose to be glorifying to the Lord. Sometimes, you and I are the only Christian someone will meet. So how are we proclaiming Jesus today? 



1. How has God challenged you when it came to loving and serving others? And 2. has there been a time where you could've professed Christ with your actions, but chose to react with impatience, anger, frustration etc. instead? Let's change that! Let's remember that we are the light that someone is watching today. Let's remember to think about our actions.

All my love,

Elizabeth


Thursday, February 8, 2018

He's Still Good // When God's Plan Looks Different Than Ours



"and if not, He is still good."

   I've been thinking about this phrase a lot. It's easy for me to hike up a mountain in Yosemite and proclaim his goodness as I stare across the breathtaking view, or when I receive a job offer with good pay and valuable experience. But how often am I praising His name when I have a fever of 102 or someone I care about isn't doing too well? Not very often.
   Yet, I'm missing the point, because all the time, God is good. His perfect plan is constantly unfolding. "and if not, He is still good."
   I think about prayer when discussing this. Often times, when we pray, we're asking God for good health or financial stability or safety, because to us, that's what out perfect plan consists of. But what if God's plan looks a little bit different? 

   When I was 11 years old, by dad was diagnosed with cancer. Endless days were spent watching my once indestructible father deteriorate within the confines of the blinding white walls of the hospital. I knew God was good, so I began to pray.
   "Please please heal my dad, God. Oh please heal him. If your plan is healing him by taking him to heaven, fine, but please heal him so we can have more time together."
  This became the desperate desire of my heart. Treatment after treatment, my prayers became more constant, more fervent. After all, the more God heard my cries, the higher the chance of Him obliging, right?
   But my dad and I never got more time together. Instead, after 14 months of suffering, he slipped away from this world. God healed him by taking him home.
  But that's not what I wanted. Didn't God understand that I only added that part into my prayer so it would make me look good and further my chances of Him smiling upon me? I began to question, is God really still good?

"and if not, He is still good." 

   It took so long for that to resonate. And sometimes it's still so hard to grasp. But guys, from the depth of my heart can I tell you right here and now that I believe it. I may not always understand it, I may still experience sorrow beyond my imagination one day, but throughout those doubts and worries and grief, God is good.
   Sometimes it may be revealed right away why God's plan unfolded the way it did. Maybe you didn't go to that concert because that fatal car crash could have involved you. Other times it takes weeks, months, years even, for it to be revealed. Overtime, maybe, you'll see how trials and tribulations have shaped you as a person and have grown your relationship with Christ. Yet other times, it may never be clear as to why God let things happen the way they happened.
   Remember, we live in a fallen world, the consequence of our sin. God's original plan for us was to live without the fear of death, grief, or sadness. But that doesn't mean God has abandoned us. God doesn't promise to keep all hardships away from us, but He does promise to walk through them with us.  God's perfect plan will still be fulfilled, and in the meantime, we live trusting in Him. After all, God says that there is no trial given to us that we cannot overcome.
   So yes, there will be hardships and times you question why. But remember that even when things take a turn for the worse, God's goodness still prevails. Lean on Him and let it wash over you. Because even when life may not be going as hoped, God is still God. He knows. 

When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
and though the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you;
when you walk through fire you shall not be burned,
and the flame shall not consume you." 
-Isaiah 43:2

And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. 
-Romans 8:28




When have you clearly seen God's goodness in your life, and when have there been times it's been more difficult? I believe we've all had experiences where it's clear, and others times, not so much. Yet, his goodness prevails and the fire will not burn us, because His grace and love surrounds us. Amen? Amen.

Have a wonderful week my friends,

Elizabeth



Monday, January 29, 2018

2017 Year in Review



January.

started my second quarter of college and met one of my now closest friend (Demetria) in my Pacific Northwest History and Advanced Composition class.
was working on my poetry blog Chasing Moonlight (go check it out-I just posted something new).
really just did a whole lot of schoolwork, listened to a plethora of musicals, read a ton of good books, and dealt with being sick for a week or two.

blog posts:
Hey There January
Life Happenings
Favorite Period Drama Soundtracks
Job 1-2




February.

ate SO many hot fudge pop tarts after my yoga class. exercise made me hungry and they were always just right outside, sitting in the vending machine, waiting for my $1.
realized that blogging was hard and that working + being a college student made focusing on my passions very difficult.
spent a lot of time at the college laughing with my best friend Chloe, eating french fries, and talking in class (sorry professors).

blog posts:
Hey There February
On Vulnerability
I'm a Bad Blogger




March.

housesat in the middle of nowhere with two adorable pups to keep me company but also like no food and no coffee maker and no warm fire. i may or may not have slept with a bat next to my bed.
died because of finals but also killed them so really whose the real winner here?
went to Portland for spring break with my beautiful mama. we ate way too much food, did way too much shopping, and listened to way too many oldies. 10/10.
and visited Multonomah Falls which was super pretty but really cold.
also had to deal with super weird weather in Washington because one day it was like 60 degrees and sunny and then suddenly it would snow and i just couldn't handle it.

blog posts:
Hey There March
Job 3-5
Top Five Winter Reads




April.

started my third quarter of college and took some super awesome classes, including intro to fiction and journalism.
fell super behind on blogging and didn't post my travel diary till a little bit after I had returned from spring break.
redesigned my blog with the help from Julia and Sarah (bless you girls). i'd been wanting to do it for so long and I'm still super happy with it <3
celebrated Easter with my beautiful family and remembered the sacrifice of Christ and His amazing amazing grace.
got my senior pictures taken by the lovely lovely Elissa and she did such a good job guys!

blog posts:
Hey There April
Travel Diary: Portland




May.

went to homeschool "prom" and swing danced with a ton of my close friends and ate pasta and kind of killed my feet (heels are not my friends).
got accepted into my dream university but later learned that dreams change and life happens.
i got hired at my first official job at Red Robin and have since then ate many fries, learned that not everyone is always very nice (customer service ppl raise your hand), and met some pretty cool coworkers.
also murphy turned 1!! so that's pretty exciting.

blog posts:
Hey There May
Travel Diary: Multonomah Falls
The Ultimate Family Night




June.

my brother zachary got married to my beautiful sister in law, Nicole. but then they moved to montana and left us all behind, but still. they're so cute!
i graduated high school and also finished my first year of college, both with a lot of sweat and tears. i had my graduation party and got to celebrate with my family and friends.
the little bro turned 16 and got his license (which is so crazy!)
i went on lots of adventures with my family and friends including exploring seattle, hiking to a hidden lake, and hopping on rocks along the water.

blog posts:
Hey There June
Life Right Now
On Change




July.

4th of july meant sleeping under the stars, fireworks, roasting marshmallows, bike riding, and backyard baseball.
i started summer classes which was honestly the worst decision but oh well, you live and you learn.
created my summer bucket list which basically included lots of adventures and eating food with friends.
went on my first camping trip of the summer with my friend Demetria. we camped in the north cascades and explored Winthrop and died of heat.
bought my hammock and basically used it all the time. best purchase of the summer maybe?

blog posts:
Hey There July
My Summer Bucket List
Hiking Fragrance Lake
Camping in the Cascades




August.

the berries came out and murphy and i spent a lot of time eating them and getting sunburnt.
my dear friend sasha came and visited me and we drank lots of coffee and explored mountains and made plans for the future and ate lots of ice cream.
lots of homework happened as i fought to finish my summer classes without failing too many of them.
explored seattle part II. but this time it was with Chloe and we bought flowers and ate fish n chips and went on the ferris wheel and also struggled to find parking (because that's seattle for ya)

blog posts:
Exploring the North Cascades
Feeling Stuck




September.

said goodbye to chloe as she left for YWAM and the adventure of a lifetime <3
went on my first ever family-free road trip and even though i love my family, it was just an entirely different kind of awesome adventure.
first we stopped in portland and did way too much shopping. we also spent some time eating lots of food and dancing around flower beds.
then we went to in n out and OH MY WORD so so yummy
afterwards we arrived in yosemite which was honestly the prettiest place ever. the hike killed me but also it was so worth it.
then we hugged super big trees in the redwood forests.
and finally we drove up the oregon coast, ran around in the sand, visited lighthouses, and attempted to find campsites that were still open (it was a struggle).
i started my 2nd year of college and wow did it kick my butt.
i also got a job as the assistant editor of the college newspaper AND a writing consultant at my college's writing center, so all in all some pretty cool opportunities.

blog posts:
Walking the Streets of Seattle
Your Light Matters




October.

my mom and step dad left for a road trip and that meant parties at my house (aka chilling with the lil bro and eating lots of french fries)
sasha came to visit me again and i brought her to my favorite place ever, the north cascades. We did lots of gazing at mountains, shivering, and picture taking.
i dressed up like a cat at work and tons of little kids laughed at me.
pumpkin patch time!! totally carved my pumpkin with a christmas tree because i couldn't wait.


blog posts:
The Summer of 2017
When Life Gets Too Busy




November.

went on my first college retreat and had such an amazing time meeting new friends, worshipping Jesus, and having a 2010 dance party.
got an a on my psych presentation and i'm still so so happy!
my momma turned 50 and she's still just as beautiful and silly as ever ;)
all three of my brothers and i reunited and it felt soooo good. even though it was just a few days long and under sad circumstances, it was still such a special time.
my car got a little excited for christmas and wasn't afraid to flaunt it.

blog posts:
Why Christmas Starts on Nov. 1st




December.

fall quarter ended which meant lots of homework but then sweet relief.
i turned 19 and was able to have a whole bunch of my super close friends celebrate with me by going to bookstores and eating burgers.
my family and i went to leavenworth which is this super adorable town that celebrates Christmas like non other and has super yummy taffy.
christmas was magical because it meant lot's of family time and laughter with friends and i just love it.
also i was gifted all the illustrated harry potter books which are just so darn beautiful i could cry.
and i ended my year with family and friends and headed into the new year so happy and SO blessed (and also, again, in the north cascades).

blog posts:
Instagram Doesn't Show Everything




How was the year of 2017 for you? Give me a recap and let me know what you're grateful for this year. Having you all as readers and continuously supporting me has meant SO much and I cannot wait to continue on with the year of 2018!

Love you all lots,

Elizabeth

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