Wednesday, August 26, 2015

The 13 stages of growing in humility

 From personal experience.

1. The "I got this" stage.

Oh this sweet phase. When you think you've mastered something, anything.

And just like that, you kinda-sorta somehow manage to forget how desperately you need Jesus.

Naturally...something goes wrong.

2. The victim stage.

Anyone or anything that disagrees with you is the enemy.

3. The "You and what army?" stage.

And everyone who loves you is basically obligated to take your side.

4. The lonely stage.

Turns out your loved ones don't even agree with you. Which leads you to feel neglected. Which leads you to question everyone's loyalty.

"They said they would be here."

5. The attempting to seek the Lord for wisdom: part one stage.

Except you are still in denial and try to convince God to agree with you.

"Dear God, show them I'm right. In Jesus name."


6. The "Ok, I'm ready." stage.

Now that you've prayed, you're good.

7. The not quite stage.

Time to put your new-found understanding to the test.

8. The epic fail stage.

9. The learning from your mistakes stage.

This time around you are left with no option but to humble yourself and seek the Lord's face.

10. The attempting to seek the Lord for wisdom: part two stage.

Except it actually works this time.

"Dear God, I was wrong. Help me to see things the way You see them. In Jesus name."


11. The revelation stage.

The part where God still cares enough to embrace you.

12. The conviction stage. 

You feel a little naive but mainly just really, really loved.

13. The final stage.

Lesson learned. That's all that really matters right.
It doesn't matter how, it only matters Who.
And He loves you.
Before the process.
And way after.

Lastly, you apply what you learned and thank God for being right by your side.

At every single stage.

If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.
[2 Chronicles 7:14]

Thursday, August 20, 2015

How to be vulnerable in a social media world

Because no one ever said knocking down walls would be easy.
• • •

Everyone's life is so perfect on social media. We have nice clothes, we do community service, we workout, we eat good and our friends are so much better than yours.

It's pretty tough to compete out here. Thats why you shouldn't.

The first step in being more vulnerable is- accepting that we don't need to have it all together. And I know what you're thinking- you've read this post a thousand times before.

Spare you, I know.
But it' true. It is still ok to be real. It's ok to admit your weaknesses, even when they aren't the "glorified sins" that only make you seem cooler.

But I mean, God's working on me.
Christ is exalted most in those moments of raw, scary transparency. 

It's ok to not have a deep, super spiritual quote to post as your Facebook status. And it's ok to not get the deep, super spiritual quote your friend just posted.

Another tip for being more vulnerable- let people in. It's hard to let people see the real you in this social media world, it's even harder to let them know the real you.

We send text messages instead of calling, Facetime but don't go visit and "like" opposed to appreciating. The idea of community is changing, but the need for it remains the same.

It's important to let people in and not keep all your secrets...a secret. Even if that means going out of your way to cultivate genuine relationships.

ok...see ya 
Community allows you to confess those ugly sins to other people so they can pray for you and remind you to repent and give the situation over to God.

(Remember when I blogged about the 10 people you need in your life.)

The last step I want to take to become more vulnerable is- being open to go deeper in my faith. I'm not talking deep like spooky deep.

Can I talk yo you about Jesus?
There are plenty of things to learn about God that aren't mysterious. Striving to be more like Jesus by growing in love, righteousness, mercy and humility is complex enough. Admitting you've never heard of a certain verse or don't know the specific bible story, is not a sign of weakness, it is exactly the opposite.

There is always room to go deeper without compromising the gospel.

He has shown you, O man, what is good;
And what does the Lord require of you
But to do justly,
To love mercy,
And to walk humbly with you God?
[Micah 6:8]

Do you have any tips for being vulnerble in a social media world? 
(I need the tips. All the tips.)

Friday, August 14, 2015

How to give gifts in a social media world

Thank you Prayer Packages for sending free products! All opinions are my own.

Because technology.

I kind of feel like gifts are becoming a thing of the past.
I sure hope they aren't...I have a wedding coming up.

But anyway, this isn't about me. Unless of course you insist, in which case I do love gifts and I need a new phone. But I mean

Everyday is someone's birthday. Literally. Probably. I'm sure. You get on Facebook and you get a little red notification, "Hey it's so-and-so's birthday!"


Now you are faced with two options:

1. Comment on their page. Add some kind words.
2. Post a picture of you together. Add kind words.

(It is mandatory that you look better than them in the picture!)

say cheese sucka!

With so many convenient options, sometimes I forget the importance of giving an actual gift. Like picking out something thoughtful, meaningful and even valuable.

The good thing is, social media and the world wide web also make it much easier to contact someone and ask for their address. I remember a few years back, a friend sent me a message on Facebook:

"Hey Holly, how are you? Could you send me your address, I'm trying to bring snail mail back!"

And just like that, she found an old friend from high school and got what she needed.

Come to think of it- I never did get that letter.

it's all good tho, no pain no gain, am I right?

There are a lot of neat ways to send gifts these days, but I want to talk about one in particular. I am a firm believer that the best gift you can ever give is the gift of prayer. And when you add a physical gift to that prayer...umm can you say best gift ever?

Everything on earth will surely fade away, but prayer is a conversation with our eternal Father. Prayer is so important to God that He is waiting for you to cry out to Him so that He can answer. Not because He doesn't already know your thoughts but because He wants you to engage Him and grow in your relationship with Him (Isaiah 30 18:19.)

So, prayer is good.
Gifts are good.

That's why when I received my Prayer Package in the mail, I was ecstatic!

It came in this cute purple box with envelopes and fancy packaging. First things first, I read the "please read" card that gave me a heads up on what to expect inside. It said there would be a message written in the "I Am" voice of God. Mine read-

"There's a big world out there ready to be conquered. I Am here to support you as you dream big and turn limitations into opportunities."

Honestly, that was my favorite part of the whole package. But there was certainly more.

There was a bracelet.

A Target gift card! (How did they even?)

coke not included

And even a cute little token in a cute little bag.

My favorite thing about Prayer Packages is you can let someone know you are praying for them. My second favorite thing is you get to choose the gift inside the package. You can personalize it for the occasion and the individual.

If you are interested in sending someone a prayer package, the sweet founders are giving my readers $10 off! Just use the code FREE10 in checkout.

How do you send gifts in a social media world? Also- let me know what you think about Prayer Packages!

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

5 people you need when you're going through a hard time

Because you can't hold it all in.
• • •

1. The person who does not tolerate gossip.

Not only do they refuse to participate in negative conversations, they won't let you either. 

Sometimes when we vent about what we're going through, we get caught up in the hype. What was once just "blowing off some steam" turns into a full on session of bashing the one who hurt you.

The person who doesn't gossip will get you back on track when your words no longer glorify God. But don't worry, they will do it in the most loving way possible.

Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers.
[Ephesians 4:29]

2. The person who will disagree with you.
Eh, not so much.
When you're wrong...and you can be (total shocker I know) it is crucial to have someone who is comfortable letting you know. If you confide in a friend who agrees with 100% of what you say, they might neglect the truth just to reassure you.

Warning, the person who disagrees with you can be somewhat tough to accept. At first, they come off as a complete and utter traitor.

But the fact is they love you enough to tell you the truth.

But, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head -- Christ.
[Ephesians 4:15]

3. The person who is not condemning. 

This person doesn't want you to feel bad for what you're going through.  Your convictions will lead you to repentance, not their shaming.

They won't switch up on you when the going gets tough.

There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.
[Romans 8:1]

4. The person who knows you.

Not just someone you know, but someone who really, really knows you. This person may be a close or longtime friend or a family member, especially a parent.

If you run to a stranger to share your problems, their advice will only be based on what you tell them about the situation. However, someone who knows you can also assess the situation based on your tendencies, preferences and even your dreams.

Therefore, confess your sins to one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.
[James 5:16]

5. The person who prays.

This person's biggest agenda is to bring your situation before the Father. They want to contend on your behalf. They have witnessed firsthand the power of prayer and they pray like they believe it works.

Now I beg you, brethren, through the Lord Jesus Christ, and through the love of the Spirit that you strive together with me in prayers to God for me
[Romans 15:30]

Who's your go-to person after Jesus?