Chelsea Crockett

JESUS | BEAUTY | LIFESTYLE | FASHION

Single and Not Ready to Mingle?

Society loves to tell us that we’re single for a reason. “Oh, do you not like dating?” “Have you not found anyone you’re interested in?” “Did your last relationship go…

Society loves to tell us that we’re single for a reason. “Oh, do you not like dating?” “Have you not found anyone you’re interested in?” “Did your last relationship go badly?”

When I was younger, I was asked these questions every once in a while when I wasn’t in a relationship. It was like if I remained single people made it seem like something was wrong with me or that there had to be a reason behind it. Can you relate?

This stigma around singleness that society has created can oftentimes pressure us into something we’re not ready for or a relationship we should’ve never gotten involved in in the first place.

I remember the parts of singleness that you don’t get to experience when you’re married, dating, etc. You get to take advantage of the abundance of alone time with God that we so often forget we even have in the first place!

Your single days are your days to focus solely on yourself and on God. You have all the free time in the world to spend in the Word, doing daily devotionals, etc. It’s a chance to focus on bettering yourself and figuring out where God is leading you next in your life.

If you’re single and not ready to mingle, let me be the first to tell you: that’s OKAY! God wants us devoted to him, spending time with him, and making him our priority above all else.

Ecclesiastes 3:1 says, “For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven…” If you’re in one of your seasons of singleness, do what YOU want to do and follow the path God wants you to. When you’re leaving your season of singleness, you’ll know when it’s right and that God is guiding you in that direction.

Maybe your season is over and you’re happily in a relationship. Maybe your season will end months, or even years from now, when you finally meet the right person. However long your season of singleness is, know that it’s okay no matter how long it lasts. Thankfully we have a God that fills our every need and desire. Even if loneliness tries to creep in, He is our comforter and the most incredible relationship we will ever have.

Let me tell you, the wait is worth it! When you’re ready to start praying for guidance when it comes to beginning a relationship, focus on where God is wanting to take you.

Remember, it’s okay to be single and not ready to mingle! Everyone’s path is different and God knows when the right time for every season is! Trust in Him and allow Him to guide your footsteps!

– Chelsea

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How to Start Eating Clean

Nick and I are always trying to eat healthier – who isn’t? I’ve been interested in trying clean eating, which allows you to eat lots of yummy foods that are…

Nick and I are always trying to eat healthier – who isn’t? I’ve been interested in trying clean eating, which allows you to eat lots of yummy foods that are both nutritious AND delicious, but also satisfying. This means cutting out foods that are processed, have lots of preservatives, etc. We also love eating out, so I started looking into clean eating tips that even non-health nuts like us could follow. Here is what I have found!

  1. The easiest way to start is with the things you already eat. Take recipes you love and make them clean! Nick and I love tacos. So, to make them clean, we can use grass-fed beef and other organic and high quality ingredients. If you are eating it with a side like rice, use wild rice or brown rice instead of white.
  2. Plan ahead. I find that I eat the worst when I am in a pinch. Most times, the most convenient things to make are the unhealthiest. Planning a weekly menu ahead helps avoid this! Meal prep is also a must. Many “clean” foods are ingredients and not ready-to-eat foods. So, preparing them ahead saves you time in the long run. Cut up that produce and have it ready to eat when you get in the snacking mood instead of just washing it and putting it straight in the fridge.
  3. It is not all or nothing. You decide how strict you want to be. It is overwhelming to think about eliminating all processed foods – and unrealistic to think that you can and should eliminate them completely from your life. I don’t think I could go forever without a Reese Peanut Butter Cup. Not possible. So, make clean eating work for your lifestyle. Do your best to eat natural and clean most of the time, but don’t think that Chinese food on a Tuesday night is out of the question. Make your goal to eat clean 75% of the time and you will be much more successful than if you try and go 100% cold turkey.
  4. Take it one thing at a time. Make your healthy changes slow. If you usually take chips for lunch as a snack, switch them for carrot sticks and humus. If you typically eat white rice, switch it to brown. Your body will thank you for the slow transition rather than a shock to the system.

If you are interested in starting the clean eating journey too, I hope these tips helped you! They definitely helped me feel more confident about committing to the lifestyle change.

Chels

 

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Setting Boundaries in Marriage

What does it mean to have healthy boundaries in our marriages? And why is it important for us to set boundaries in the first place? Boundaries are like the fence…

What does it mean to have healthy boundaries in our marriages? And why is it important for us to set boundaries in the first place?

Boundaries are like the fence around your house. They provide a safe “fence” around your marriage, and they are unique to each relationship. They are meant to protect you, just like a fence. Your marriage should always be protected – Satan would love nothing more than to see your relationship fail. Boundaries allow you to be on the same page in life’s many situations, alleviating worries and unnecessary future arguments. So, how do we set boundaries?

  1. Pray that the Lord will give you both the courage to say what you truly feel and ask for guidance as you build this fence of protection around your relationship. Praying before discussing boundaries will help you both understand each other’s intentions and receive what they are saying in a loving way instead of feeling attacked or put down.
  2. Talk it out. This process is bound to bring up some awkward or touchy subjects. If a subject is being brought up, then it is important to you or your spouse and should be heard out rather than made into an opportunity to argue. Things to discuss are everything from boundaries with your kids, to family gatherings, to in-laws, to where you will spend which holidays and more. Obviously you cannot prevent every future issue that may arise, but there are some that you can see coming. You might have to talk it out for a while in order to come to an agreement on these, but make sure by the end of the discussion you are both on the same page. Tweak them until you are both comfortable with the end results.
  3. Follow through. Put these boundaries into action. You did the hard work, now let them work for you. It is both of your responsibilities to uphold these. There may, and probably will, be people in your life that will not be happy with some of the boundaries you have set, but just remember why you are setting them. You are doing this to protect your marriage – the most important relationship you have besides the one you have with the Lord.

Now go build that fence!

Chels

 

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Compassion International

Compassion is an organization that has been a big part of my life over the last few years. If you’ve never heard of Compassion, they are a child sponsorship organization…

Compassion is an organization that has been a big part of my life over the last few years. If you’ve never heard of Compassion, they are a child sponsorship organization that is Christ-centered, church-based, and child-focused!

If you’ve been keeping up with my social media, then you know I recently went to Haiti to actually meet the child I’ve been sponsoring. It was such an amazing experience, and I wanted to tell you all about it so you can know more about the incredible benefits of sponsoring a child through Compassion!

Compassion took us on a trip that showed us the ins and outs of Haiti. This organization has changed families’ lives because of the program they’ve implemented in several countries around the world.

Chelsea Crockett - Haiti

I was able to visit my sponsored child because Compassion picked him up in his village 4 hours away in northern Haiti and brought him to have lunch with us. He didn’t know what a typical fork or spoon looked like and he had never seen people that didn’t look like him. His mother expressed the gratitude she had for my sponsorship as she has 3 others kids and works hard to feed and house them all. In the area where my sponsor child’s family lives, people live in very small shacks and share rooms. Most times their beds are made of material that are not very comfortable because they can’t afford a mattress to sleep on.

Chelsea Crockett - Haiti

My trip to Haiti opened my eyes to see what Compassion is doing not only in the lives of the children there, but in the lives of their families, as well.

The biggest part a sponsorship helps with is providing resources to the family so their kids can learn about Jesus. They also learn how to work with their hands so that they can make a living on their own someday!

Compassion’s Child Sponsorship Program is so much more than just a donation of money. It offers medical checkups, health training, food and supplements, educational assistance, and more. Depending on the age of the child you sponsor, you even get to write letters back and forth and establish a relationship with them!

Chelsea Crockett - Haiti

If you have even the slightest interest in sponsoring a child, check out Compassion’s website to learn more about how you can get involved! It’s only $38 a month, but what that child receives in exchange for your donation is worth so much more than that.

Be a part of the already 1.9 million children sponsored all around the world! You can take part in God’s mission and offer encouragement in Jesus’ name to your child that would otherwise never get the opportunity to hear about Christ. Be in prayer over Compassion and the children involved, that they may receive the help they need and invite Jesus into their hearts!

Check out their website here to learn more about sponsoring a child: https://www.compassion.com/sponsor_a_child/?referer=589416.

– Chelsea

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Advice for An Overflowing Relationship with God

We all want that overflowing, abounding, “on fire for the gospel” type of relationship with God. The type of mutual love that not only God has for us, but we…

We all want that overflowing, abounding, “on fire for the gospel” type of relationship with God. The type of mutual love that not only God has for us, but we have for him.

Like every relationship, it requires work. I like to treat my relationship with God as if he were one of my best friends. He’s the first person you want to run to, talk to, vent to… You have to make time for him and be open and honest with him in order for you to grow in your relationship!

There’s a ton of advice I’ve learned to follow to gain this overflowing relationship with the Lord. It’s been so beneficial for me, so I wanted to share it with you all, as well!

There’s a difference between simply reading the Bible and really studying the Bible. How often does your mind wander and you realize you weren’t even paying attention to what you were reading in the first place?

I know for me, this used to happen all the time. But then I began to journal about what I was reading, write down prayer points that came to me, etc. These small changes will help you fully understand what you’re reading and allow you to get closer to God! When we’re reading and meditating on his word, we learn more about God and who our identity is in him!

Vulnerability and transparency are two concepts I’ve really come to know throughout this past year. To be transparent is to be completely open and honest with God. He already knows even the smallest details of each one of our lives, but he wants us to fully surrender and let him see the darkest parts of our hearts. To be vulnerable is to know that the possibility of feeling ashamed, guilty, or embarrassed exists.

These two words will make your relationship with God so much more intimate. It’s okay to be vulnerable when it comes to him. In fact, he wants you to let your walls down and open up. Practice transparency and vulnerability in these next few days when you’re talking to God and see how it changes your relationship with him.

There are a couple different verses that are the key to this overflowing relationship with God that we all desire. Jeremiah 29:13 says, “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” And Matthew 6:33 says, “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.

The bottom line is: seek God first and everything else will follow. When we leave our old selves behind, we create our new selves with God.

When we make it a conscious effort to turn away from sin and seek faith, trust, grace, mercy, etc., we naturally fall more and more in love with the Lord.

I encourage you to let down your walls and allow God to see the real you, flaws and all. When we let go of our pride and selfishness, we fall into God’s love. He is always there waiting for you to take the first step!

– Chelsea

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Thy Will Be Done

“To pray ‘thy will be done’ I must be willing, if the answer requires it, that my will be undone.” – Elisabeth Elliot How many times have we recited the…

“To pray ‘thy will be done’ I must be willing, if the answer requires it, that my will be undone.” – Elisabeth Elliot

How many times have we recited the Lord’s Prayer and said the line, “Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven” without even thinking about the gravity of those words?

Often, we use prayer to ask for things from God. Many times, when we need help, especially in desperate situations, God is the only one we can turn to. In the Lord’s Prayer, Jesus is saying that prayer is less about asking God to give us our way and more about seeing God’s will done here on earth. Our worldly priorities and the priorities of heaven are in constant conflict. This means that prayer is about aligning our expectations to God’s purpose rather than asking God to conform to OUR expectations.

Jesus prayed “thy will be done” and was the only person – ever – to completely fulfill God’s will. Jesus did this for us. We can try to do God’s will, but not to earn His favor but to spread His goodness to the world. We listen to God’s word and obey his will because it is our joy, not because we think it will make God happy. This is what we were created for.

So what does it mean to pray “thy will be done”? One thing it represents is asking God to come into our cities, government, culture, and homes and defeat every kind of evil. He calls us to desire to see our world looking how God intended it. God’s will is for abundant joy and lasting peace. His will is to eradicate sin, evil, and death and wipe our slate clean through Jesus’s resurrection.

We are assets in this by surrendering to him and aligning our priorities with His. Using our prayers to ask for these things will accomplish His will and, in turn, answer many of our own prayers. And if not, He is still good.

Chels

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5 Biblical Ways to Show Love

One thing marriage has taught me is that there are many ways to show love – some easier than others. Showing love isnt always a physical action, many times it…

One thing marriage has taught me is that there are many ways to show love – some easier than others. Showing love isnt always a physical action, many times it is emotional and verbal. As a wife, I want to strive to “out-love” my husband every day. He does the same for me. The Bible is a great resource when it comes to advice on the best ways to show love to those we are closest to.

  1. Trust without doubting. “Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.” 1 Corinthians 13:7. Simply put, trusting your significant other – and showing them you do – is a clear expression of your love. They will know they have your full support and confidence in them. There is nothing better than feeling 100% trusted and supported in the decisions you are making.
  2. Let it go. “Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice.Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” Ephesians 4:31-32. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.” Colossians 3:13-14. Forgiving and letting go is a beautiful way to show love to anyone, not just a significant other. Looking past the ways they’ve wronged you or hurt you is a clear act of love.
  3. Practice patience. “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.” 1 Corinthians 13:4. This is a big learning curve for any relationship. One of you may be a morning person and one a night owl, one may be always late and the other always on time, and many other little differences that can drive the other crazy. Being patient and learning to be flexible is a way to show love and that you are willing to adjust.
  4. Give selflessly. “Some people are always greedy for more, but the godly love to give!” Proverbs 21:26. One thing I try and give selflessly is my time. I feel like being sacrificial with this precious commodity shows tremendous love.
  5. Keep the complaining to yourself. “Do everything without grumbling or arguing,” Philippians 2:14. I have noticed that complaining just exasperates a situation. If you have a complaint, approach it in a loving way. Your man will be grateful for your gentle reminder rather than starting an argument.

Are there any lessons on love that God has been teaching you recently?

Chels

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Sharing Your Faith 101

“But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have….

But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.” – 1 Peter 3:15

Sharing your faith can be both awkward and uncomfortable, while also being amazing and life-changing at the same time. I know sharing the gospel can be intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be. When you truly understand the work you’re doing for the Lord, you’ll realize that God is changing hearts and moving mountains in the lives of those around you!

The above verse from 1 Peter talks about the preparation of sharing your faith. It’s so important to know what you would say if the opportunity presents itself.

A few years ago, I remember being caught by surprise when someone asked me my story and why I believe what I believe. After doing my best attempt to tell my story, I realized I could’ve told it much better if I would’ve known exactly what I wanted to say.

I read an article about the importance of preparing your testimony and the benefits of writing it out on paper. So that day, I sat down, grabbed my journal, and wrote out my testimony word-for-word. I was able to collect my thoughts and think of what I would want someone to know about my story if I were presented with that opportunity again. Now I can tell my testimony and include all the bits and pieces I wanted to originally! Always, always, always, be prepared!

I’ve realized that the more I talk about Christ to others, the less awkward and uncomfortable it becomes. It can be exciting, life-changing, and so much more!

Sharing our faith isn’t just something we can do but something we should do. Jesus commands us to as his children in Matthew 28:19-20. It says, “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.”

We are called to make disciples and spread the good news. Whether that’s in the form of sharing your testimony, praying with someone, or simply living your life like Jesus would, you’re still witnessing and being a light to those around you.

Set a goal for yourself this week. It could be as simple as sharing a few Bible verses with a friend who’s going through a hard time and needs to hear them! Or you could be even bolder and share your testimony with someone close to you. Whatever your goal may be, know that you’re carrying out God’s mission and doing the amazing work of the Lord!

Be bold. Be brave. And be courageous. Don’t let the devil trick you into keeping the good news to yourself. The story of Jesus is too incredible to not be shared!

– Chelsea

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“God, I Can’t but You Can”

“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” – Philippians 4:13 There have been so many times throughout my life where I’ve ignored the verse above. Thoughts of…

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” – Philippians 4:13

There have been so many times throughout my life where I’ve ignored the verse above. Thoughts of doubt and frustration have too often stopped me from carrying out God’s plan for my life.

It’s easy to forget how powerful we really are as a member of God’s kingdom. Maybe you’ve passed up a great opportunity in the past, or let anxiety stop you from doing something God wanted you to do. We’ve all been there, but it’s time we start replacing thoughts of doubt and confusion with six simple words: “God, I can’t but you can.”

These six words can make a world of difference, not only in your work, school, or home life but in your relationship with God, too. When we let our walls down and finally admit that we can’t do this alone, God is right there, ready to take over.

When we wave our white flag and get rid of our prideful mindsets, God will start to work in ways we never even knew were possible. It’s a humbling process that we have to experience in order to give ourselves fully to God.

1 Peter 5:6-7 always gives me the reality check I need when I think I don’t need God’s help. It says, “Humble yourselves, then, under God’s mighty hand, so that he will lift you up in his own good time. Leave all your worries with him, because he cares for you.

When I have thoughts of pride and independence, I immediately feel embarrassed and guilty and think of this passage from 1 Peter. God’s love is so incomprehensible that we take advantage of it. We compare it to worldly love that so easily withers and fades.

You may feel a weight on your shoulders to perform a certain way or succeed in all that you do. Maybe you start a new job next week and are rehearsing exactly what you’ll say and do down to the hour, minute, second… This is when you surrender to God and humbly acknowledge that you can’t do this alone.

We are God’s precious children, and he wants us to ask for his help. Once we accept the fact that we simply can’t do this life on our own, we allow him to work in ways we never even thought were possible!

I urge you to surrender to God every morning before you even get out of bed. Write down a prayer in your phone, journal, notes, etc., to pray when you want God to know he’s in control.  Let Him in the driver’s seat because through Him, anything is possible!

Sometimes you just have to pray and say “God, I can’t but you can.” These six simple words can move mountains and allow God take over the reins on your life. This phrase is the perfect start to full devotion to God and a faith that cannot be shaken!

– Chelsea

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I’m a Rough Draft, and So Are You

“We’re all rough drafts of the people we’re becoming” Bob Goff I love this quote from Bob Goff. We are all works in progress, no matter what age or stage…

“We’re all rough drafts of the people we’re becoming” Bob Goff

I love this quote from Bob Goff. We are all works in progress, no matter what age or stage we are at in life. It’s God’s grace that keeps us in the “revision” process, even when we are content in our unfinished state.

Do you remember having to write rough drafts in grade school? Your teacher would probably give you a fill in the blank sort of prompt and you would have to write your introduction, paragraphs, and conclusion into boxes. After that, you would turn those pieces into a full draft, and keep revising until it was worthy to turn in. That’s how life goes. We start living one way, then see a need for revision and change, and the cycle continues. Sometimes it is others telling us that we need to make some changes to the draft. Other times, we see the need ourselves. We are all in a state of constant revisions, and thank goodness for that.

Think of it this way. If you left your paper in its original draft state, the way you first put pen to paper, warts and all, and turned it in, you would probably be pretty unhappy with the feedback from your teacher. If we give up on improving ourselves, we are selling our future selves short. The person you’re becoming is counting on you to not be content with the “same old same old”. To quote Hannah Montana, “nobody’s perfect”, which means no one is a final draft ready to turn in to the teacher. Some of us are “rougher” than others. But, like the Bible says in Proverbs 27:17, As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.” We can use the people in our circle and those we look up to for inspiration and guidance as we go through our personal revision process.

Genesis 1:27 tells us that we are all made in the image of God. In this case, I interpret this verse as saying that we are all works in progress and masterpieces all at the same time. We are still good, but we are growing, changing, and improving. I am so thankful for God’s patience and grace as we navigate life, stumbling, falling, and failing at times. He loves us through it all.

Chels

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Girl, Read Your Bible

There’s a good chance you’ve heard of the book “Girl, Wash Your Face” by Rachel Hollis. It is a super popular motivational book that came out in 2018. I’d like…

There’s a good chance you’ve heard of the book “Girl, Wash Your Face” by Rachel Hollis. It is a super popular motivational book that came out in 2018. I’d like to offer a different set of advice, and that is “girl, read your Bible.”

In a world and society where girls can easily rattle off their favorite music group, coffee order, place to shop, and favorite travel destinations, be the girl that recall a memorized scripture to encourage someone right when they need it. We are tired, stressed, and looking for a release from the tension of life. Be ready to show your faith on a dime. Instead of using cliché phrases or quotes when giving advice, give biblical guidance. The problem with inspirational books and quotes and Instagram posts are that they take God out of the picture and lead us to self-empowerment. Our confidence should be based in Christ.

In a world and society where girls spend hours learning how to do their hair and makeup and style clothes to look more trendy, be the girl that seeks beauty that is not skin deep but in your spirit. That is true beauty.

In a world and society where anxiety and depression are becoming more and more common, be the girl who recognizes that the only hope and joy in the world is found in Him and not in the world. You can use your wisdom found in God’s Word to point these girls towards the One who offers true happiness.

In a world and society full of girls, be a woman. Be a woman after God’s own heart and a woman who seeks first the Kingdom of God, not what is trendy. When life is tough, draw near to Him and His word. Lean on Jesus and go to scripture before go to anyone or anything else. His word should be our first response, not our last resort.  When we do this, He provides the peace, confidence, and rest that we need. Rest your soul in Jesus. Only then will you find true peace.

Girl, go read your Bible.

Chels

 

 

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Defeating the Pressure to Prove

There is no feeling worse than having a constant weight on your shoulders or a voice in the back of your head that just won’t go away. Feeling consistent pressure…

There is no feeling worse than having a constant weight on your shoulders or a voice in the back of your head that just won’t go away. Feeling consistent pressure can affect you mentally and even physically if it gets bad enough.

Unfortunately, this feeling of pressure will come and go throughout your entire life, but how you approach it is what will make a world of a difference!

Feeling this pressure to prove ourselves is normal. Whether it be in school, work, our relationships, etc., it’s a normal feeling to want to prove we’re smart, pretty, talented, or whatever it may be.

No matter what your motive is behind it, I have good news for you. The Bible talks about all of these different feelings: pride, insecurity, the desire to be enough… And we can look at these passages in the Bible to conquer this pressure to prove!

1 Corinthians 3:16 says, “Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you?”

God has already won the battle for us. We no longer need to constantly try and prove that we’re smart enough, confident enough, wealthy enough… Our Father says that we’re fearfully and wonderfully made, despite what we may consider flaws!

Like the verse says above, think about the fact that YOU are God’s temple. Once you fully grasp what this means, your insecurities will quickly wash away.

2 Corinthians 12:9 says, “But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”

God’s grace is sufficient for us… In other words, HIS grace is enough! We don’t have to prove ourselves to anyone, for Jesus already proved our worth when he died on the cross for us.

I love 2 Corinthians 12:9 because it says to boast about our weaknesses… What a funny and ironic thing for the Bible to tell us to do! Because God’s power is made perfect in weakness, then we should delight in our own weaknesses so he may rest in us!

The society we live in is all about this pressure to prove ourselves. We want hundreds of likes on Instagram, so many retweets on Twitter, the most views on YouTube… It can get exhausting.

Stop trying to prove your worth when you have a God that made you fearfully and wonderfully, even when you don’t always feel like it. Remember these verses and make them your daily prayer to conquer the feeling of pressure! God is right alongside you, helping you every step of the way!

– Chelsea

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Tithing… Why Do It?

Tithing is a difficult topic to talk about. For some reason, talking about money makes us uncomfortable and we don’t know how to approach it. If tithing is a hard…

Tithing is a difficult topic to talk about. For some reason, talking about money makes us uncomfortable and we don’t know how to approach it.

If tithing is a hard topic for you to fully grasp, I understand! No one likes the thought of giving away money, especially if we don’t understand the true reasoning behind it. Luckily, the Bible tells us the “why” behind giving money to the church and also helps eliminate some of the uncomfortable feelings that come along with it!

One big misconception with tithing is that if we give, we will get more in return. Although this isn’t always false, tithing is much more than simply giving to receive. It comes with so many more benefits that allow you to get closer to both God and the place you’re giving to.

I think 2 Corinthians 9:6-8 is the perfect passage to sum this up:

“Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.”

Now, let’s break down what 2 Corinthians is really saying. When we give with a gracious heart, God will bless us abundantly. He sees when we so willingly give toward his kingdom with a joyful heart.

I think the middle part of this verse is so important. God doesn’t want us to give reluctantly or under compulsion. He wants us to give cheerfully, hoping that he will multiply our gift and take it further than we could’ve ever imagined.

Tithing also allows us to be involved in something much bigger than ourselves. It allows us to invest in our church, into missions, etc. We get to see our own money benefit others, which leaves us with an even more joyful and generous heart than before!

I think Jacob said it best in Genesis 28:20-22: If God will be with me and will keep me in this way that I go, and will give me bread to eat and clothing to wear, so that I come again to my father’s house in peace, then the Lord shall be my God… And of all that you give me I will give a full tenth to you.”

Tithing results in the strengthening of our faith and the growth of our trust in Christ. If we know that God is always faithful, then we should trust him with our money and even our most prized possessions. Especially since HE is the reason we have these “prized” things to begin with!

I encourage you to set a financial goal. Day by day, week by week, month by month, build up to this goal until you reach it! It will benefit you in more ways than you could’ve ever imagined!

– Chelsea

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Hidden Gems of the Bible

Let’s face it… The Bible is a huge book filled with so much knowledge and truth! Page after page, there are verses and passages that we oftentimes forget about, but…

Let’s face it… The Bible is a huge book filled with so much knowledge and truth! Page after page, there are verses and passages that we oftentimes forget about, but are just as equally important!

I consider these verses “hidden gems of the Bible.” Verses that aren’t repeated over and over again in church but are just as important to study and meditate on!

I first came up with the idea to write on this topic because I love discovering new verses that turn into my new favorite verses. Although John 3:16 and Philippians 4:13 are incredible verses, I wanted to highlight a few of my favorites that don’t always get the spotlight!

One of my favorites books of the Bible is James. Verse after verse, there is so much to be learned throughout it. It was hard to even pick out my favorite verses because each verse teaches you something completely different!

James 1:22-24 says, “Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like.”

I love when the Bible uses these analogies so we can truly understand what the passage’s meaning is. When we read the Word but don’t obey it, then what’s the point? If you consider this analogy, why would we look in the mirror only to forget what we look like soon after? God is telling us an important message here. Don’t look passed it!

Another passage I stumbled upon again recently and fell in love with is Hebrews 10:24-25. It says:

And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another – and all the more as you see the Day approaching.”

To spur one another on means to motivate each other toward following Christ. We can do this through accountability, encouragement, simple acts of kindness, etc. Sometimes we spend too much time focusing on ourselves, that we forget to ask our friends how they’re doing. Maybe they need that motivation and encouragement but are too afraid to ask. Always remember Hebrews 10:24-25!

Lastly, 1 Peter 1:8 gives me such a peace and comfort that I can’t even describe! It says:

“Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy…”

I feel as though this is the basis of Christianity. This verse describes where our faith comes in and how we can follow God without seeing him face to face. It leaves me filled with joy knowing that one day I will be seeing Him face to face in heaven!

What verses do you consider your own found hidden gems of the Bible? I know I have so many more that I’ve come to know and love as my favorite verses! God is always teaching us lessons throughout the Bible, you just have to look for them!

– Chels

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How to Make and Keep Friends as You Get Older

Friendships are some of the trickiest relationships to start, cultivate, and maintain. Romantic relationships have the reputation to be the hardest to keep up with, but it can be even…

Friendships are some of the trickiest relationships to start, cultivate, and maintain. Romantic relationships have the reputation to be the hardest to keep up with, but it can be even more difficult to find new friends while keeping in touch with old ones. Don’t let the fear of the hard work keep you isolated, because friendship is so important for our happiness and even our health!

Even though we are constantly connected to so many people on social media, studies have found that our generation is actually becoming lonelier. We have fewer friends than our parents’ generation, and the relationships we have on social media are not satisfying our need for friendship. A lot of us feel like we don’t know how to make new friends or feel left out or forgotten by our old ones. Here are some tips on how to cultivate new friendships and strengthen existing ones.

Finding the new:

One great way to make new friends is to have a friend introduce you to their group. Ask if you can join the next time you hear they are going out with their posse. You may strike up a new connection or two! Also, whenever meeting new friends, always be your genuine self and try not to put on some sort of front. You will find that you have things in common with people that you never would have imagined! Another great way to find new friends is to go and pursue your hobbies and meet people that way. If you like cooking, take a cooking class and be open to making new friends there. Love hiking or running? Go do a group run or hike. When you are doing things you love, you are bound to find people who share the same interests. After you make contact with a new friend, follow up with them and invite them to coffee or send a follow up text saying it was great to meet them. If the friendship doesn’t work out, and if they turn down an invite to hang, don’t take it personally.

Maintaining the old:

These are the friends who have known you since your days of bad hairdos and braces. These are the friends who, even though you don’t see or talk to them much anymore, you still want them in your life. When maintaining an old friendship, the first tip I have is to go easy on them. Maybe they forgot your last birthday or missed your bachelorette party. Instead of assuming they just don’t want to be part of your life anymore, remember how busy your life is and how overwhelmed you can be. They are probably in the same boat! You both have tons of adult responsibilities, so cut them some slack. Another tip is to be virtually present, even when you can’t physically be, and this is as easy as liking their Instagram post or commenting on a picture of theirs on Facebook. It is a great way to simply remind them that you are here and still keep up with what they do. If they like to talk on the phone, maybe give them a call and catch up every once in a while. If they prefer text, shoot them one every so often just checking in with them.

Friendship is work, but the payoff is priceless.

Chels

 

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He Left the Ninety-Nine to Find You

“Oh, the overwhelming, never-ending, reckless love of God. Oh, it chases me down, fights ‘til I’m found, leaves the ninety-nine” – Cory Asbury, “Reckless Love” Have you heard the parable of…

“Oh, the overwhelming, never-ending, reckless love of God. Oh, it chases me down, fights ‘til I’m found, leaves the ninety-nine” – Cory Asbury, “Reckless Love”

Have you heard the parable of the lost sheep? It talks about how, if a shepherd has 100 sheep and one of them wanders off, he leaves the other 99 sheep and goes to find the lost one. “And if he finds it, I tell you the truth, he will rejoice over it more than over the ninety-nine that didn’t wander away! In the same way, it is not my heavenly Father’s will that even one of these little ones should perish. (Matthew 18:12-14)”. Luke 15:7 goes on to say, “In the same way, there is more joy in heaven over one lost sinner who repents and returns to God than over ninety-nine others who are righteous and haven’t strayed away!”

This helps explain why God would leave the ninety-nine to find you. The ninety-nine have one another to support each other and to love and care for each other. God wouldn’t leave any of His people, even for a moment, if he didn’t think they could handle it. He has the confidence that they have the knowledge and know what to do. They aren’t lost, and if they do begin to wander, they have a support system to keep them on track. The one who wanders completely from the group is alone and has no one. If you are the lost one, He will come after you. Maybe you have been at a point in your life, or maybe you are there right now, where you feel your faith is thin and you have wandered from the path Christ meant for you.

If you are the “one” and not with the “ninety-nine”, I hope you see that there is nowhere you can go where God will not go to reach you. Just like the song “Reckless love” says, there’s literally no mountain he wont climb and wall he won’t kick down to come after you! His love will reach you wherever you are. He wants to bring you back to the flock and reconnect you with your family of believers. If you are one of the “ninety-nine”, God never really leaves you when he goes after the lost, He is with you always.

If it weren’t for the love of the Lord, we would all be like wandering sheep lost in the wilderness of life. Thank goodness for the overwhelming, never ending, reckless love of God!

Chels

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