Chelsea Crockett

JESUS | BEAUTY | LIFESTYLE | FASHION

Tag: life tips

Laziness: It’s a Spiritual Problem

Laziness is no stranger to most of us. Even the most productive people have little ways that they let themselves be lazy. I sometimes give myself little excuses to be…

Laziness is no stranger to most of us. Even the most productive people have little ways that they let themselves be lazy. I sometimes give myself little excuses to be lazy or procrastinate and justify it as ok. But, as I am learning, laziness is actually a spiritual problem. We don’t consciously decide to set aside the things we are responsible for or not use the gifts God has given us. We don’t decide to be lazy out of nowhere. So, why IS being lazy a spiritual problem?

Laziness offends God. Yes, offends him. Diligence is a spiritual discipline, and when we refuse to honor our responsibilities and chose our own pleasures over honoring God, we cannot expect the other areas of our lives to flourish. This isn’t God punishing us, it is our own fault. If we direct our spiritual focus towards our goals, that will positively affect our time management which will affect our attitude and accomplishments. When you align your goals with God, laziness has no room.

Also, we were made to work. Not to be workaholics, but to do good work for the glory of God.  When God says that we need a day of rest, don’t mistake rest for laziness. Rest rejuvenates us and revives us. Laziness, and avoiding our responsibilities and goals, does not bring us anywhere closer to the Lord. God is always working on our behalf, so we should also be working on His.

Are you lacking motivation or feeling restless or useless? Don’t just wait around for those feelings to flee, do something about it. Start doing a daily Bible study focusing on your areas of weakness. Pray that the Lord will use this time to reveal in you the things that need improvement. He will lead you through it. Consciously chose to do things that motivate you to avoid laziness like volunteering or becoming a mentor. Don’t give up when things get hard, because it is inevitable that we will all face tough times. As we are diligent in our obedience to work towards our goals and be more disciplined, our lives become so much more fulfilling. Remember this – “…let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.” (Galatians 6:9). Your season is coming! Or, you may be in it right now. Don’t give up and let laziness rule your life! You’re stronger than that.

Chels

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Without Rain, Nothing Grows.

“Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be…

“Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” – James 1:2-4

Have you ever heard the phrase “Without rain, nothing grows. Learn to embrace the storms in life.”? I don’t know about you, but when I am experiencing one of life’s storms, one of the last things I want to hear is “embrace it.” But, truthfully, that is what I should be doing. Why? Because the Bible clearly tells us that we will go through trials and suffer in this life. Every one of us. We have the choice to either be joyous or miserable during those times. I think I’ll take joy, please.

Trials will meet us at every stage of life, but they don’t last forever. God did not promise that this life will be easy, but He did promise to use the storms for good. He also promises to be our strength and our shield as we board up our windows and fight the monsoon. Just as Psalm 28:7 says, “The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in Him, and I am helped; therefore, my heart exults, and with my song I shall thank Him.”

Your storm is not the end of the world. When you learn to accept the life that God has given you, your whole outlook transforms. Your life is unique, and it is beautiful. Having strength through the storms comes from accepting the life God has handed you and rooting your Faith in His plan. His plan for your life is better than the plan you have dreamed of. Once you accept that, you will find strength in it.

There will be days when you think that there is no way you can get up and face another day of rain. The storm is beating you down. But, you get up, and you live to fight another day. Do not give yourself a choice during your storm, just accept that it is happening and do what needs to be done. Consciously make an effort to choose joy instead of giving into misery. Because without rain, nothing grows.

Chels

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Sometimes It’s Not About the Answer, It’s About the Journey

I saw this quote the other day and it really resonated with me. It said “Sometimes it isn’t about the answer to prayer, sometimes it is more about what you…

I saw this quote the other day and it really resonated with me. It said “Sometimes it isn’t about the answer to prayer, sometimes it is more about what you learn while you are waiting for the answer.” I couldn’t agree more. Sometimes, we focus so much on wanting an answer to our prayers that we miss what God is trying to teach us in the waiting.

Many times, he makes us wait years for answers. He makes us wait for healing that we have been about for years. He makes us wait to give us what our hearts desire, whether it be a spouse, a new job, a baby, a house, anything. He could answer our prayers that we have been praing for years in one tiny second. The longer they go unanswered, the more we question whether he even hears us. Maybe He is keeping you at the point you are at for a reason: to build your faith. God is not deaf to you prayers or blind to your needs. If he is making you wait, there is a good reason for it. So, what can we learn while we wait?

The first lesson is a lesson in humility. When I find myself being impatient, I remind myself that the Lord put me in this place. My life does not belong to myself, and God does not owe me anything. I am not the only person on the planet, and the earth does not revolve around me and my wants.

The second lesson is trust. You need to trust that God is 2 things: loving and powerful. The Lord is loving. He pours care and purpose into all He does. He is faithful to us now and will bring us blessings later. His timing is perfect. He owes us nothing, but has promised to give us all that we need. He is powerful. This means that nothing that is happening right now is a surprise to God. He is in charge and has everything under control. When we get anxious in our waiting, we must remember that.

In my life I have struggled with listening to God say “wait” and then going ahead and trying to find ways to accomplish my goals myself. This creates distance in our relationship with the Lord. He wants us to learn to put our demands to the side and wait. Some of the Bible’s greatest figures had to wait many many years for God’s promises to come to pass. Everything that happened in the waiting was used to prepare them for the blessings God had in store. We need to trust in His goodness today and His faithfulness tomorrow. Giving Him control brings our hearts closer to his.

Don’t give up just because you don’t see anything happening. “Wait on the Lord. Be courageous, and he will strengthen your heart. Wait on the Lord!” Psalm 27:14

Chels

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How to Pray for Those Who Have Hurt You

Why in the world would you want to pray for someone who has hurt you? When someone hurts me, that is definitely not my first reaction. We have all been…

Why in the world would you want to pray for someone who has hurt you? When someone hurts me, that is definitely not my first reaction. We have all been hurt, disrespected, shamed, disregarded, and taken advantage of. How does Jesus expect us to pray for the people who treat us this way?

We first need to realize that Jesus knows that it is difficult because He knows everything about us. You do not need to hide how you feel from Him. You can share everything with Him – your joys, concerns, disappointments, weaknesses, challenges, all of it. Think about all of the times you have hurt someone – both intentionally and unintentionally. Did you feel bad once you realized that you hurt them? Would it have comforted you to know that they were praying for you? Praying that Jesus forgives you and shows you the error of your ways? Pray that He grants you patience while he works in the heart of the other person. Pray that He gives you the grace to accept what has happened, and the perspective you need to move on. Pray that the other person is led to Him.

Praying for the person that hurt you allows you to see things through God’s eyes. You will be able to see them as a person who is much like you. You will also be able to see your own wrongdoing – whether it be not showing the other person grace, talking about them behind their back, or not forgiving them.

I am not saying any of this is easy. We can be so paralyzed by our feelings of hurt and frustration towards the other person that we cannot even think straight. In these situations, we should go to the Lord in prayer and ask for His comfort and thank him for his unconditional love. We should ask for His guidance through this incredibly tough time, and the strength to come out of it stronger.

We are all works in progress. The Lord does not expect us to easily forgive those who mistreat us – but He does expect us to forgive them in the end. The next time someone wrongs you, turn to Jesus first. He is there with comfort, healing, and understanding. All you have to do is ask for it. He knows a thing or two because He has seen a thing or two.

Chels

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He’s in the Waiting

“And so it was that he, having waited long and endured patiently, realized and obtained what God had promised.” Hebrews 6:15 Abraham and his wife Sarah waited a good long…

“And so it was that he, having waited long and endured patiently, realized and obtained what God had promised.” Hebrews 6:15

Abraham and his wife Sarah waited a good long time for their prayers for a child to be answered. I think we could all take a lesson in patience from those two.

Waiting for important emails, waiting for packages, waiting for the perfect job, perfect house, perfect partner, waiting for answers. The phrase “patiently waiting” seems like an impossible task. Life is full of waiting, so we might as well learn to wait well. Waiting allows us to look forward to the good things that are in store, and it is preparing you for what is to come. I think all of us could learn a few things about how to wait.

  1. Be practical: Use your waiting wisely! Keep your mind busy and it will make the time fly by. I know how it feels to feel paralyzed by nerves, worried and waiting to hear back about something life-changing. Don’t let your waiting make you distracted – let it motivate you to get things done! Keep your brain distracted and your hands busy. Volunteer in the community. Clean out your car and closet. Go to lunch with a friend you haven’t seen in a while.
  2. Be spiritual: Spiritually invest in both yourself and in others during this time. Trust that the Lord knows the perfect time table and you do not. Use these times of waiting to dive deeper into His word. Journal, pray, read, and use your time alone with Him to find meaning in the waiting. His timing is perfect.
  3. Be invested: Live in the moment. Enjoy the season of life that you are in. Are you at a job you don’t like and waiting to see if you were picked for the new job you applied for? Invest yourself in your current job. Do your very best and enjoy the little things that you will miss when you leave. Don’t miss the joys of life that are happening right in front of you, and don’t forget to enjoy today by worrying about tomorrow.
  4. Be advised: Find someone who has been in your shoes. They can help walk you through the waiting. Find ways to grow and be mentored and advised in whatever is to come. Having someone who has been there and who can relate can be such a relief. They can show you that there is light at the end of the tunnel.

Enjoy every step and every stage of the waiting. God is using this time to equip you for what is to come and is writing your story. Find Him in the waiting.

Chels

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12 Things to do Solo

Sometimes a little “me-time” is good for the soul. We are around people most of our days, and connected to people by our phones 24/7, so there is not a…

Sometimes a little “me-time” is good for the soul. We are around people most of our days, and connected to people by our phones 24/7, so there is not a lot of time spent by ourselves. Being alone allows us to really get to know ourselves, what we like, what we dislike, and what we really think without being influenced by outside opinions. Here are a few of my favorite things to do when I need some time with me, myself, and I.

  1. Go for a run or hike. Georgia is beautiful and has lots of great outdoor exercise options. Also, my parents live in Colorado so there are endless hikes when I go and visit! It is good to keep your phone on you and let someone know where you are going before you go, just to be safe.
  2. Explore your hometown. You may find a new place to eat, a new place to work out, or even a new cute boutique to shop at. And, you are on your own time, so you can take as much or as little time as you want at each place.
  3. Go eat a certain kind of food that you have never tried before. I typically like to play it safe and eat things that I know I like, but sometimes it is fun to go outside the box.
  4. Try a workout you have never done before. I would love to try ariel yoga, where you hang in the air and stretch. It looks crazy fun!
  5. Do some volunteer work. Doing things for others is a great way to not only give you a “fulfilled” feeling but also do some major good.
  6. Be as un-productive as you want for one day. Having a lazy day every once in a while is healthy. Give your brain a break and zone out. Binge watch your favorite tv show, take a long nap, catch up on reading, or do whatever makes you feel relaxed.
  7. Clean out your closet, your room, anything that needs purging. I love going through my closet and my room and getting rid of things I don’t use or need. I almost feel cleansed afterwards. Going through my stuff makes me realize how little I actually use on a daily basis, and how few things I really “need.”
  8. Go for a drive with no destination in mind. Grab a coffee and hit the open road. Take back roads you have never explored before. Go drive to the next town over and explore. Driving with no end poit in mind is freeing!
  9. Do something you have been putting off. For me, this could be as simple as cleaning out my car. It is something that needs to be done, but gets put on the back burner more often than not.
  10. Go for a long bike ride and explore your local trails. Back home in Illinois, we had a great system of bike trails. You could ride all day and never see the same thing twice.
  11. Teach yourself a new hobby. I have always wanted to know how to garden, so this is next on my list of things to do solo. Growing my own fresh food sounds like a great challenge.
  12. Soak in a bubble bath with a good book. Any excuse to relax and read is a good excuse in my book.

What are some of your favorite things to do when you have some time to yourself?

 

Chels

 

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Prayer Road Map

Have you ever gotten stuck in a “prayer rut”? Do you feel like you don’t have the words to say when you pray, and your prayers fell empty? Many of…

Have you ever gotten stuck in a “prayer rut”? Do you feel like you don’t have the words to say when you pray, and your prayers fell empty? Many of us have felt like that at some point in our walk with Christ. We could all use a few tips on how to have more effective prayer lives, and God will show you if you just ask. He doesn’t need fancy words or long monologues, He just asks that we come to him with our hearts ready. He is always listening.

Luke 11 tells a story of one of Jesus’ disciples who came and asked for Jesus to teach them how to pray. Jesus gave them an example and gave us guidelines for what we should be both asking and thanking Him for. Even the disciples had trouble knowing how to pray sometimes! “Jesus said, ‘This is how you should pray: ‘Father, may your name be kept holy. May your kingdom come soon. Give us each day the food we need, and forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who sin against us. And don’t let us yield to temptation.’” (Luke 11:2-4).

So, let’s break that down into a prayer road map to follow:

  1. May your name be kept holy: We should give the Lord the honor and glory that He deserves. We should begin our prayers by praising him!
  2. May His kingdom come: Asking the Lord to return soon reveals the eagerness in our hearts to be with Him in heaven someday.
  3. Give us the food we need each day: We ask him for the things we need to get through each day because we know that He is our provider.
  4. And forgive our sins: By admitting we fall short and need God’s grace, we humble ourselves and show we know that we need him.
  5. Forgive those who sin against us: We should be merciful towards those who do us wrong.
  6. Do not lead us into temptation: Pray that he will keep you strong and guard your heart from giving into temptation.

Our prayers should be like a continual conversation between you and the Lord – because talking to Him every once in a while is not enough! There is nothing too big or too small for Him to handle. Sometimes the answers to our prayers will be a yes, sometimes a no, and sometimes a “maybe.” But, you will always get an answer. He hears and he cares. Never stop talking to your Father in Heaven.

Chels

 

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Wise Words from Women in the Bible

The women in the Bible were some pretty wise ladies. Their words inspire us, guide us, and give us insight. I love studying the relationship of women in the Bible…

The women in the Bible were some pretty wise ladies. Their words inspire us, guide us, and give us insight. I love studying the relationship of women in the Bible who had deep, rich relationships with Christ. When we look at their words, we are reminded of what powerful faith looks like. One thing that links them all together is that even in the dark days, they find their joy in the Lord. Their faith was not perfect, but it was strong. These quotes are shining examples.

  1. Rebekah: “I will go.”

– “So they sent away Rebekah their sister and her nurse, and Abraham’s servant and his men.” (Genesis 24:58-59). Even in the midst of so much uncertainty, Rebekah stepped into the unknown and married a man she had never met. She trusted the Lord and obeyed His plan for her life. That is an important lesson for us – where He leads, we should follow.

  1. Sarah: “God has made me laugh..”

– “…everyone who hears will laugh over me.” (Genesis 21:6). Sarah laughed with joy because God gave her a bigger surprise than she could ever imagine. She was very old, yet God gave her a child – a child she had prayed for her whole life. Our God can do the impossible. He can make a barren woman pregnant. Sarah had doubts just like we do, but they don’t have to be the finale of our story. The Lord will bring joy and laughter to our lives and in our hearts. We just have to be patient and trust.

  1. Ruth: “Your people shall be my people..”

– “…and your God my God.” (Ruth 1:16). Ruth’s life was very difficult. When she said this quote, she had lost her husband and was living her life as a grieving widow and taking care of her mother in law. Through her grief, she strengthened her relationship with God. Her faith remained firm even in her toil. She committed herself to God’s people and His work. Just like Ruth, we must not turn back in our faith. We must move forward and continue seeking the Lord.

We can learn a lot from the wise women in the Bible. These three quotes are just a few examples of that. We can use their hardships, losses and victories as inspiration for how to live our lives.

Chels

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Cultivate a Heart of Contentment

Comparison steals our joy. These days, being content with what we have and how we look is a struggle. If you ask a group of women what one of life’s…

Comparison steals our joy. These days, being content with what we have and how we look is a struggle. If you ask a group of women what one of life’s biggest struggles is, the overwhelming answer will be being content and not comparing ourselves to others. Contentment is something that we can and need to learn, because we are God’s children and He made us the way we are for a reason. Comparison and envy date back as far as Rachel and Leah in the Old Testament, where in Genesis 30:1 it says “When Rachel saw that she bore Jacob no children, she envied her sister. She said to Jacob, ‘Give me children, or I shall die!’” We not only compare whether we are as “good” as others, but also compare our struggles with others and whose hardships are “worse.” How do we put out the comparison fire that Satan lights in our hearts?

Accept your uniqueness: Think of something you are good at, and then think how long you have been working at it. Is it running? Bargain shopping? Cooking? Remember everything good in life takes work. Do you envy that a friend has lost weight and looks great? Tell her that she looks amazing, and let her inspire you to work hard as well. And remember that God designed us to be different and unique. Life would be so boring if we all looked alike, dressed alike, and had the same talents and skills.

Be happy for the strengths of others: This one sort of goes with the point above. If we aren’t careful, when we first met someone we can get sucked into comparing ourselves to them. Whether it is their physical attributes or the material things they possess, we can either make ourselves feel better or worse about ourselves based on our evaluations. It is so hard to overcome this habit. Try every day to see yourself as God sees you, and remember that comparison is selfish. See the real person behind their physical and material attributes. Consider their feelings, and work hard to compliment others from the heart. You never know, they could also be struggling with a comparison battle. You can also learn from others, and instead of making life feel like a competition, you can become a better person.

Get rid of the “me” mindset: Comparison is selfishness disguised. It has us looking at others and thinking about ourselves. We need to work to train our minds to want to impress God and not others. When we stop thinking of how others view us, we can be free from the burden that is selfishness.

Kick worldly expectations to the curb: Like I said earlier, comparison steals joy. Not only does it steal our joy, it also steals our contentment and our will to live a godly life. When we compare ourselves with others, we are not using an accurate measure. Dragging around the world’s expectations hinders us from the journey that God has in store for us. We cheat ourselves out of God’s blessings when we try to live the life we see others living. When you live your own life, and stop envying someone else’s, you see your blessings more clearly.

Let’s rejoice in our strengths, work on our weaknesses, and celebrate each other for the unique people we are!

Chels

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Be Present

Do you ever have trouble sleeping or paying attention because there are so many things going on in your mind? Do you find yourself constantly distracted? When was the last…

Do you ever have trouble sleeping or paying attention because there are so many things going on in your mind? Do you find yourself constantly distracted? When was the last time you stopped to think about what you were doing and why? Here are a few ways to be more present in your everyday life so that you can calm the chaos in your mind.

The first step in becoming more present is to prioritize and be intentional. You know that mile-long to-do list? You may cross some items off, but it is inevitable that more will be added in their place. Ask yourself what the top three most important items on it are. Put them on their own list and make them your priority. Then work away at the longer list as you have time.

Another way that I stay present is to journal. Writing allows my thoughts to run clearly and ideas to flow uninterrupted. Journal about your fears, goals, dreams, sorrows, joys, what you are grateful for, what you are sorry for, anything that will help get the clutter out of your mind and onto your paper. This opens up more metal space to be used on other things.

When I am constantly checking my phone, I find that I feel more stressed and aggravated with myself because I know I could be using that time more wisely. While looking at your phone your mind is processing tons of information. Unplug by a certain hour at night so that your mind can rest. Put your phone away and allow yourself to hear your own thoughts rather than consuming other people’s ideas, thoughts, emotions, etc.

Another way to be more mindful is to listen more and talk less. We have all been in conversations that feel one sided. When you are talking, you feel as though the other person isn’t even listening because they are trying to think of what they are going to say next. Next time you have a conversation with someone, be the person that listens more. Let them do the talking and acknowledge that you are listening to them. You will notice things that you missed before because you were trying to think about what to say next.

When you are more present in everyday life, you begin to appreciate life more. Life is not as stressful, overwhelming, or negative as society portrays it.

XOXO, Chels

 

 

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How to Start Reading the Bible

Sometimes I find myself staring at my Bible, knowing I want to study God’s word and be challenged by it, but not sure where to start. A few years ago,…

Sometimes I find myself staring at my Bible, knowing I want to study God’s word and be challenged by it, but not sure where to start. A few years ago, I figured I would start at the beginning and read Genesis. After a short time I lost interest with that approach. Typically I will find a good study and use that to guide my reading, but sometimes you just want to pick up the Bible and let it speak to you. The problem is, where do you start?

The Bible is so big that it can be overwhelming. Some Bible reading plans lose me because they assign so many chapters a day that it looks like too daunting of a task. Why isn’t reading the Bible easy all the time? Shouldn’t it be?

No. Reading the Bible does not require you to feel comfortable and know where to start. Yes, there are times when God guides you to the passage that you need to hear at a time in your life, but some/most of the time, reading the Bible is all about being open to hearing God’s truth. We can’t expect our Bibles to fall open to the right passage. But, we can start small. Dip your toes in, and then you will be able to full-on swan dive into the deep end. Do some research on the people in the Bible. See if there are stories that have lessons that you are interested in pursuing.

I did this and learned a ton about Esther and her obedience and diligence to God’s call for her life. She became a huge inspiration to me. Another story that I pursued was the story of the wandering Israelites. It reminded me of how much we need God. While dipping your toes into the Word, you may just fall deeply in love with it. If this is what you are searching for, then keep reading! Here are a few tips on how to start reading the Bible so it doesn’t collect dust on your shelf and instead becomes the source of your wisdom.

  1. Start with a short book of the Bible. Some of the best books are the shorter ones. Those small doses can pack in a lot of wisdom.
  2. Seek understanding each time you read. The Gospel is so full of beautiful life lessons that we need to really pay attention in order to comprehend them all. Try and gain a deeper understanding of God’s love and grace when you read. Whether you read one verse, one chapter, or a whole book, find the wisdom in it. It is truly life-changing.
  3. Don’t compare your walk with others. Your walk with Christ is completely different than your friend’s! Don’t let the comparison trap distract you from what God is trying to teach YOU. Give yourself the time and patience to figure out what reading the Bible looks like for you, because it may look completely different from what others are doing.

There are also tons of online resources that help you learn to study God’s word. I know that my love for the Bible has grown tremendously ever since I began spending time in it. I learn something new each time I go to read.

Remember, it is okay to feel overwhelmed with studying the Bible. All you have to do is dip your toes in. Eventually, you will be able to dive in and uncover God’s truths and promises for your life! They’re waiting for you.

Chels

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You Can’t Give Anything if You Have Nothing Left to Give

I constantly feel like my time and attention are being pulled a million different ways. I have school work to finish, business work that needs to get done, laundry that…

I constantly feel like my time and attention are being pulled a million different ways. I have school work to finish, business work that needs to get done, laundry that needs to be cleaned, finals that I need to study for, friends that I need to keep in touch with, a room to clean, groceries to buy, bills to pay, and then I go to sleep and wake up to do it all over again. I get buried in my “to-do’s” and forget about taking care of myself.

One of my friends recently reminded me that “you can’t pour from an empty cup”. She could see that I was letting my “business” get in the way of my self-care. If you keep living life with the pedal to the metal, trying to squeeze every drop out of each day, you will drain your “cup” and have nothing left to give. If you have nothing left to give, then you can’t do things with excellence. You aren’t doing anyone, or yourself, any good if your cup is drained.

As women, we tend to have difficulty taking time for ourselves and putting ourselves first every so often. We give ourselves to the people we love whole heartedly. Typically, the times when I show myself the most care are when I am sick and forced to do so. Physically and mentally draining yourself just sets you back from your goals. It is a constant cycle of “emptying” and not enough replenishing. When we are stressed out, self-care is one of the first things we put on the back burner.

I know it is hard to give yourself “me” time when you have so many other things that you could be spending your time on. But, remember, you are useless to yourself and others if you are not taking care of yourself. So, try and “treat yo-self” every once and a while. Take a few minutes out of your day to go on a walk. Watch an episode of The Office on Netflix. Go buy yourself a ridiculously overpriced coffee. Put on your favorite outfit. Or, put on your pajamas! Go to sleep early and get at least 8 hours of rest. Remember, you can’t pour from an empty cup. Take care of yourself, because you are worth it!

Chels

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Give it to God and Go to Bed

“When I go to bed, I sleep in peace, because, Lord, you keep me safe. Psalm 4:8” Do your worries keep you up at night? Going to bed worried is…

“When I go to bed, I sleep in peace, because, Lord, you keep me safe. Psalm 4:8”

Do your worries keep you up at night? Going to bed worried is one of the worst feelings. Letting go of things is hard and putting your anxious thoughts aside can feel impossible. Worrying about the future, about finances, friendships, things that you did wrong and things that you could do better, all of these things threaten to rob us of sleep.

A great piece of advice that I was given is to “Give it to God and go to bed.” Every morning God gives you a new day, He allows the sun to shine, and He holds the world in His hands. God does everything for a purpose, and if He can run the world and knows all the hairs on your head, so He can definitely handle anything going on in your life. I struggle with anxious thoughts. My mind can get away from me and start to run wild. I just have to remind myself that He has never failed me before. God won’t fail you if you seek Him first.

Even if you aren’t going through a tough time, every day life brings enough “storms” of its own. Worry affects every part of your life and is not healthy. Worry drains you of energy, happiness, and even drains your time. What is keeping you up at night is what is important to you. But, a lot of times, those are things beyond your control.

As Christians we can have faith that God wants the best for us, His children. We might not know what His plan is or what it looks like exactly, but He says that someday it will be clear to us and it will bring us good, not do us harm. It is hard to trust in what we cannot see, but that is what we have to do. Don’t let your worry consume you or back you into a corner, and most of all, don’t let it steal your precious zzz’s.

Let’s face it, we all need to be told to give it to God and go to bed.

XOXO, Chels

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Lessons on Hope from Zechariah

Zechariah and Elizabeth were a couple in the Bible who lived their lives in service to God. They were barren and could not have any children, and this was not…

Zechariah and Elizabeth were a couple in the Bible who lived their lives in service to God. They were barren and could not have any children, and this was not because they didn’t deserve to have children. They lived righteously. God made them barren so that He could display His work through them. God didn’t put them through this trail as a punishment. They were not rejected by Him, they were part of God’s perfect plan to be used for good. They had prayed for children for a long time. Then, one day the angel Gabriel appeared to Zechariah and said the words he had been longing to hear – he was going to have a son! They spent years and years praying for a child, and by the time God answered their prayers, their hope began to run cold. They had a hard time believing the news when Gabriel appeared to them. Even serious spiritual leaders like Zechariah struggle with keeping their hope alive. Here are a few lessons we can learn as we stand firm in our hope.

  1. God has a good plan for your life. His plans are to bring us good and Himself glory. Romans 8:28 tells us “we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”
  2. God wants to show us His work. Jeremiah 29:11 says “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” He wants to show us His plans for us!
  3. If we ask, God will increase our faith. Even spiritual giants like Zechariah needed to call out to God when their faith is strained.
  4. God always answers our prayers. Sometimes the answer is yes, sometimes it is no, and sometimes it is “wait.” When God tells you to wait, don’t think of it as denial. Think of it as God preparing you for what is to come. With God, all things are possible.
  5. God’s timing is perfect. We want things now, but God has the big picture in mind. We can only see what is in front of us. His ways are much higher than our own. Isaiah 55:8-9 tells us this.

Do you have prayers that you feel have been unanswered by God? Have you lost hope for those things you prayed about? God told Zecharaih and Sarah to wait, and he eventually said yes. He may be telling you to wait. Whatever the case, never give up hope because God has a plan for your life, He wants to show you it, He will increase our faith if we ask, He always answers our prayers, and His timing is perfect.

XOXO, Chels

 

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Leave It, Then See It

God’s timing is perfect. It is never early, and never late. We may not always agree with it, but it is divinely appointed and we can’t argue with it. Patience…

God’s timing is perfect. It is never early, and never late. We may not always agree with it, but it is divinely appointed and we can’t argue with it. Patience is something I, and I think most people, struggle with. We want things now, and we want them just the way we like them. Stress tells us that we need everything right this second and we need it to happen now. Faith tells us something different. Faith reminds us that everything will happen when God says that it will happen.

I saw a quote the other day that said “Those who leave everything in God’s hands will eventually see God’s hands in everything.” So, to shorten that quote, I say “Leave it, then see it.”

I am good at giving things to God. I cast my cares on Him. I share the anxieties of my heart and the worries on my mind with Him. I am good at giving things to Him. But, that doesn’t mean I am good at leaving them there. I have a tendency to want to take things back and do them my own way. I have never regretted giving anything to God. I have regretted taking things back.

Isaiah 41:9-10 says I took you from the ends of the earth, from its farthest corners I called you. I said, ‘You are my servant’; I have chosen you and have not rejected you. So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

This verse describes us as the Lord’s servants. We have been chosen by Him. We have no need to be afraid or dismayed because He strengthens and helps us. He loves us and upholds us. Why wouldn’t we leave everything in His hands?

What are you holding on – or trying to take back- from God? Is it career choices, financial struggles, health issues, relationship trials, etc.? Put your fears, doubts, questions and anxieties in the hands of the One who knows every hair on your head. He knows yesterday, today, and tomorrow. He can calm the seas with a single word. He gave sight to the blind. He made the lame to walk. What makes you think he can’t handle your worries?

I am still learning, and will be for a long time, how to trust the hands of the One who created the universe. He will give you peace and security. He will give you clarity. And, best of all, He will give you joy. Leaving everything in His hands means you can see His hands in everything.

XOXO, Chels

 

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When You Can’t See God’s Plan

I am a planner. I like to plan my days, and even months, out. I like to know that I have a solid agenda scheduled out. It helps me feel…

I am a planner. I like to plan my days, and even months, out. I like to know that I have a solid agenda scheduled out. It helps me feel like I have my life under control and, hopefully, prevents chaos. Nothing could possibly go wrong when you have your life planned out, right?

Wrong. The times when my plans didn’t turn out the way I had envisioned are the times when my faith is tested the most. These are also the times when I learn the most about myself – how I respond to crisis, how I react in uncomfortable situations, and how I recover. But why would God let this happen? Why would he disrupt your perfectly thought-out plans? Where is God in the midst of your situation?

The answer is simple to hear but difficult to understand: it is part of His plan. I recently went through a situation where I had planned months and months for something, and when the event finally happened, it was not what I thought it would be. I felt anxious, afraid, sad and confused. Why would God allow this? When I prayed about this and planned for it and searched for His will every step of the way? I am learning right along with you, friends.

James 1:2-3 was a verse quoted to me during my trial. It says “Consider it pure joy my brothers, when you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.” I didn’t want to hear this at the time, but it was the truth. It is what I needed to hear. I am supposed to feel joy in the midst of my crippling anxiety? Yes. I am supposed to feel joy when I am paralyzed with fear? Yes. How? Think about the end result.

Focus on the end goal. Remember that nothing worth fighting for was ever easy to achieve. Those trials will make the end success even sweeter. Knowing you pushed past your weaknesses and overcame your doubts is euphoric. Being on the other side and seeing the lessons you learned and the new things you found out about yourself helps all of the pieces fall in place. Everything begins to make sense, and God’s purpose becomes clearer. When you are in the middle of the trial, facing it head on and feeling as though you will never see the light at the end of the tunnel, it can be hard to understand why God would make you go through what you are going through.

Don’t let your situation cloud your vision. Keep your eyes on God. Keep your mind on His purpose and trusting in His plan, even when you cannot see it. Scripture tells us that God’s plan is not meant to harm us but to give us hope for the future. God made us and He loves us. He wants to see us succeed. That doesn’t mean he is going to make it easy. Who knows, maybe you are going through this trial because God wants you to be able to relate to others going through the same thing. Maybe He wants to use you to minister to others.

How you choose to react in trying times is so important. Your choices can either bring glory to God and be a testimony of your faith, or they can harden people’s hearts and turn them away from Him. Find God in the hard times by choosing to trust Him and find your hope in Him, even when you cannot see the way. Turn your pain into praise. Your heart will be filled with peace. And, trust in His plan. It may not be easy, it may not be pretty, it may not be anything you envisioned it would be, but His plans are greater than anything we could come up with on our own.

XOXO, Chels

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