Seasons – Winter And Spring, Both Of Them Beautiful!

Can you all hardly believe its spring!? I AM SO EXCITED!!! And now that its May, its pretty much a given that the snowfalls are over and the flowers will be coming out soon. What a beautiful and joyful time of year!

I wanted to present some thoughts I had on winter and spring, that I’ve only begun thinking about this year. I hope y’all enjoy my musings!

(Note: none of the quotes or pictures are my own. All credit goes to the original creators. 🙂

I’d like to give y’all a second perspective on springtime, and have a discussion on what it means for us, literally and philosophically. By this, I mean to spark a question in your heads as to why we see spring as the hero to save us from the icy world of winter.

Because, the majority of people see winter as terrible. They see it as the worst part of the year. They don’t try to do better because they feel unmotivated, and they do even worse without motivation! All of a sudden, when the seasons change, people seem to wake up, stretch their sedentary mind-muscles, and commence to enthusiastically perform every task they absolutely refused to do in wintertime.

I’m sad to see people bashing winter (although I’m certainly not always it’s passionate defender!) I have lived just under half my life under the lock and key of winter’s grasp, and I have had such a beautiful life, made beautiful not only by the weather and the warmth, but because of the opportunities and people that God has put in my life.

Yes, spring gives me hope for a fresh start (and I will certainly be feeling more productive and ready to tackle my tasks!) But I have no excuse to keep from doing what I know I should do simply because I’m not in a “spring mood” yet. The way I feel isn’t a good excuse to be unproductive, and neither is a lingering winter. I am completely responsible for myself, and my actions do not hinge on the whether the weather outside is frightful or delightful. What’s inside me is what ought to drive me.

Winter is cold. Winter can be unfriendly. Winter is hard. But hard times makes us stronger.

Let’s not decry the winter and its winds. Let’s not dismiss our spiritual and motivational winters as “a stage” to escape as soon as possible. Let’s accept the inevitable as “seasons”; something to savor and enjoy, even if its hard; to learn from and do the best we can, even while we’re in it. I admit I dislike those hard times as much as the next person, but I’ve been finding strength in seeing my failings as seasons of growth. Someday, the spring will arrive in the midst of the winter of my soul.

I want to draw this all to a close with a recapitulation of the main things I really wanted to say.

  1. You do it. Not the weather having a miraculous effect on you, or the temperature rising by degrees – its you. Don’t let your motivation die with the grass. Your motivation needs to come from inside you. “What do I really want out of life?” “Why do I do ____?” “What’s the most important thing I could do today?” Ask yourself questions to stimulate the conversation in your head, and find out where your motivation is really coming from.
  2. The enemy is not winter; its the way we perceive winter. I love the allegory of a wintry, hard season of life making us stronger in spite of its bite. Please don’t feel lost or disillusioned in the winter. Live in the winter of your life. Enjoy the life you’ve been given. Take time to enjoy and savor slowly, even the hard things. Don’t be afraid. If the season you’re in is currently winter, don’t worry; the spring will come. Even if you’re in despair, wondering why in the world you keep making so many mistakes or why so many disappointments and hurts are coming your way, I pray that you would find hope in knowing that it is not forever. There is a reason for every season, and I truly believe peace can be found in seeking God.

Bloom, my friends! Have you ever seen crocuses poking up through the snow? I once saw those beautiful purple flowers in person. They bloom early, unafraid of the lingering chill in the air. Don’t wait til the winter is over to bloom with what drives you inside. And please enjoy the gifts God has given you even if you have a little snow and ice on the way!


What are your thoughts? Do you agree? Have you thought about these ideas before? What’s your favorite quote pic? Isn’t winter just as meaningful as spring? Comment below #fellowseasonlover if you agree! 😉

Have a lovely day, everyone! Thank God for the winter we had, then get out and enjoy that spring! 🤗🤣

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Autumn Musings; Followed by Music, Life, & New Goals!

Hello everyone! I hope you’re all doing well! What are your future plans; special days, special get-togethers with others, and activities you’re stoked to try? Let me know below, friends!

The end of summer has filled the beginning of autumn with a flurry of preparations! For some reason, our family has been super busy this autumn, so school had to take to the back burner for a couple weeks; although, for a couple days, I managed to get done quite a bit before the busy part of fall!

Autumn is such a gorgeous season; especially in the Pinterest photos! 😉 I only wish that my backyard could always contain the idyllic autumn-themed black iron-wrought lamp-posts, red brick walls, orange and yellow and red and burnished umber leaves, and pumpkin arrangements among the burlap and twinkling fairy lights! Out in nature, the autumn is majestic – the bright colors speak for themselves without a pruner or gardener to maintain during its short-lived flight towards winter’s approach.

Autumn may be able to share its glory with us without much effort – the season does the work for us! But what about when the transformation requires a bit more dirty work?

Take home improvement and upkeep, for example. Washing windows, scraping off peeling paint, and making repairs are all part of maintaining a house in condition to weather the approaching seasons. When finished, the work is beautiful. It’s noticeably so much better than before.

Photo by Artem Saranin on Pexels.com

What about ourselves? Are you feeling confident in your ability to “get back into the swing” again? Or has school and academic pressure overwhelmed you like a sudden tsunami? Maybe you’re disappointed in yourself for how much you seem to have “lost touch” with your school routine, or feel sad to be “behind” in school, even if nobody else cares.

But don’t be discouraged. Yes, we’ve fallen, slipping as we attempt to scramble up the slope of our own expectations. Yes, we’ve failed, though it may be ever so minute, or seem so to others from the outside looking in. Yes, although nobody really knows how you feel or how much you’ve beat yourself up over your apparent shortcomings; there is hope.

A little bit of trimming here, a splash of paint and a dab of water to wipe clean the little stains, a whole lot of good honest effort; and you’ll get it again. Your habits and abilities will come back. You can do it.

We can “autumn clean” for the school year, pick up these responsibilities, and honor God through it all. Don’t give up; it should be an honor to work hard for the King.

“And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men, 24 knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the Lord Christ.”

~ Colossians 3:23-24, NKJV

In this beautiful and fresh season of autumn, I want to encourage you all to take a deep breath. Exhale. Close your eyes. Take a sip of water. Glorify God with the breaths you take of the Breath He gave you. And don’t sweat the pressure, because that’s exactly where your enemies want you. Take care of yourself, friend! Enjoy the opportunities, even if they’re stressful. Instead of falling into temptations or time-wasters, find an accountability partner *ahem .. parent* to keep you steady and on track with your school, especially if you’re homeschooled and self-taught. And instead of worrying about your grades or that tough assignment, laugh in the face of those who think you can’t do it. Eat tough assignments for breakfast. In the colloquial sense, of course. 🤣

I just want to encourage you that no matter how behind, how inadequate, how dumb or busy you feel, YOU. CAN. DO. IT!

“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”

~ Philippians 4:13, NKJV

Because my life is so interesting (bows to my fans), I’ve put together a list of some of my recent favorites in a short attempt at reconciliation for being gone from the blog for so long! I hope you all enjoy the following thoughts and short bursts of hilarity from my recent life!

Moments:

  • Getting told I’m a blonde, getting asked if I’ve ever heard of blonde jokes, and then getting laughed at when I said I’d never understood them. XD
  • Stealing a friend’s whistle on a backpacking trip, and leaving clues around our campsite for him to find!
  • My mom and I talking about how tired we both were, then her telling me the only difference between her and I was that I stunk! (Background: I had just returned from the said backpacking trip in the previous bullet point. So yes; stinky teenager. XD)
  • Some great conversations and personal realizations. Tough times make for tough people. 💪
  • Making coconut flour cookies, a recipe of my own design, and getting the shock of my life when my Dad, the pickiest culinary expert in our house, told me they were good!

Music

My friend Laurel Jean at laurel-jean.com just made a music swap post that was so fun I thought I’d share my many recent favorites in a post of my own! I hope you all enjoy listening to my recommendations – they’re all perfectly clean and family friendly! (I haven’t listened to all recently, but they’re all dearly beloved by yours truly!) Please forgive the repetitiveness of the artists … I know, I’m stuck in the genre of Christian pop! 🤣 If you have a favorite song that gets you really bubbly and energetic, let me know! 😉

  • “Dead Man Walking”, Jeremy Camp
  • “Control”, For King and Country (Somehow, this one always makes it onto my list of favorites! XD)
  • “Healing”, Riley Clemmons
  • “Until Grace”, Tauren Wells
  • “Defender”, Jeremy Camp (SOOOO GOOOOD!!!)
  • “This Could Change Everything”, Francesca Battistelli
  • “Known”, Tauren Wells
  • “Godsend”, Riley Clemmons
  • “God’s Not Done With You”, Tauren Wells

Favorite posts:

Goals for Autumn (and the new school year!)

  • Go hiking
  • Bake a pie
  • Begin school – which I’ve already done!!!! (Come on! I know it IS stressful, but surely I’m not the only one who’s excited!! 🤣)
  • Watch some OLD movies as school assignments … should be fun!
  • Spend as much time outside as I can!
  • Listen to great music while driving (The best combo ever! 👏)

Well, guys, I’m swamped with such amazing blog post ideas but not enough time to write them! About seven pretty cool drafts sit unfinished and unedited in my drafts box, waiting for a time when I and my proofreader are a little less busy! 😅 I’ve received some great encouragement that’s helped me to feel wanted on the blogosphere, by some sweet friends! I hope y’all will forgive me, and thank you to all who have chatted with me during my absence!

I hope you are all doing well, and, as I said at the beginning of the post, please feel free to let me know what you’re up to! And what – tell me, do – what is your favorite fall baking recipe? (By the way, my proofreader *ahem, AKA my mom* wants to know what y’all’s favorite pumpkin recipe is! 🤣) Have a great week!

July Goals + Inspiration!

Well hello hello everyone! HOW is it already July?!

I’m excited to start this new month and even more excited that I’m actually getting my goals post out in time! YES!! What have y’all been doing in the last … few days? 😂 I’m keeping cool during the heat wave in my area and doing some school to finish off the last day of June! Farewell, beautiful June! *gets sentimental* But hell-lo July! *spirit revives*

Is anyone else craving some rich spiritual meat right about now? Me too. I don’t consider myself a provider of wise words that satisfy, but perhaps my thoughts on this first day of July can be somehow beneficial to my readers and encourage them in some way! 🤍

Lately I’ve been thinking about my future a bit (as mentioned in this post). I found an amazing verse that helps me in the stage I’m in, as a teen girl with fewer responsibilities than a career-woman, wife, or mother. While I’m here in my current phase, with certain responsibilities as a daughter, I’m curious as to what I can do right now, for the future ahead. Within Ecclesiastes, (a book some believe to have been written by Solomon, the wisest man in the world,) is a little jewel that gives me a bit of relief.

“Nothing is better for a man than that he should eat and drink, and that his soul should enjoy good in his labor. This also, I saw, was from the hand of God.”

Ecclesiastes 2:24, NKJV

Although this certainly relieves pressure, we do carry a certain responsibility during the teen years. Near the end of the book of Ecclesiastes, there lies an encouraging yet sobering message.

“Rejoice, O young man, in your youth,

And let your heart cheer you in the days of your youth;

Walk in the ways of your heart,

And in the sight of your eyes;

But know that for all these

God will bring you into judgment.

Therefore remove sorrow from your heart,

And put away evil from your flesh,

For childhood and youth are vanity.

Remember now your Creator in the days of your youth,

Before the difficult days come,

And the years draw near when you say,

“I have no pleasure in them.”

Ecclesiastes 11:9-10 – 12:1, NKJV

There are ways that in my heart I long to follow. There are desires I have that are unfulfilled as of now, and dreams that may never be fulfilled. But as the verses above show, we have a responsibility to remember that while we pursue our dreams, we pursue them in a way that honors God and His plans for our life. May we pursue our future in a way that let’s our light shine as a witness to the world.

Additionally, I’d like to encourage all of you to let it go, if you’re feeling overwhelmed. I believe that our Father wants us to do His Will with ALL of our hearts, not grudgingly because we think we should. So if you feel guilty, pressured, or uncertain, my friends, just cast your cares and burdens on our Father, and He will give you His perfect yoke, which yields freedom and peace.

“Cast your burden on the Lord, and He shall sustain you; He shall never permit the righteous to be moved.”

Psalms 55:22, NKJV

” ‘ “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” ‘ “

Mathew 11:28-30, NKJV

(These three songs are some of my favorites! Listening to these songs would be a big favor to your musical ear! XD)

Alrighty, let’s get into July Goals! see below! 👇🙌

THEWILDFIREGIRL.WORDPRESS.COM

#1 Drink in the sun, but stay wise! (The last few days I swam outdoors, but I wasn’t very careful about applying sunscreen, so right now my face and arms are .. unbelievably red! So, going forward, I’m going to treat my body with a little more TLC when in the sun!)

#2 Swim at rivers, lakes, dugouts, wherever I can! I need practice in order to complete my next goal ..

#3 Pass my Bronze Medallion and Bronze Cross. (I have never been a competitive swimmer so I’m a little intimidated by the idea of timed swims. I’ve been praying so hard that I’ll be given strength and energy to pass!)

#4 Hike two related trails *hopefully!*

#5 Read one Proverb and five Psalms a day (This will enable me to get through the books of Proverbs and Psalms in one month, without burning out, especially throughout the week of the Bronze courses.)

#6 Wake up at 5:30 so I can train for volleyball before the day gets hot! (And, of course, to give me an incentive to wake up earlier!)

#7 Get to lesson 140 in school, 29 lessons in both subjects.


My own pic! (drinking sunlight counts as a drink, right?)

So there we go!! A little inspiration for the month ahead, my goals, and some pretty pics! What thoughts are running through your mind as July shines down into your backyard? Do you have any goals you’ve got planned to smash? I’d love to hear about it all, down in the comments!

Farewell my friends, and we’ll hopefully talk again next time!

June Life Update!

Hey everyone! I hope you’re having a fabulous day! If I haven’t talked to you lately (even if I HAVE talked to you lately XD) tell me how you’ve been!! I’d love to know what y’all have been enjoying (and thinking about) lately! 🤗 And of course, if you don’t comment, I’ll just look at who liked my post and come ask you myself, “so, what’s up?” XD

How have we come to the end of June and I have STILL not posted my goals? *brain blows up* Well guys, I have a lot of posts in drafts but the time doesn’t feel quite right to post them yet. Suffice it to say though, I hope to be on here a little more in the near future. I haven’t given up on y’all! 😂 So I thought I’d do a little “life update” post to update y’all on my June goals, plans for July, and bucket list status!

Although I didn’t complete all my May goals, I worked at them and learned a lot of huge lessons over the month of May, like realizing that I’d like to spend more time reading the Word, and I’ve been working on that during this past month of June. Even if its just a couple chapters a day, going forward, I think that it will be key for me to make time for reading the Bible, but not put pressure on myself to complete a certain number of Bible books per month. Even though that can be fun in it’s own timing. 😂

And, here are my May favorites! (Plus some all-time favorites that I’ve been wanting to share for some time! XP)

  • Some articles, here and here, from my friend Noelle over at “A Rose For The Lord”! I really loved these posts and found them inspiring and fun, so be sure to check them out at Noelle’s Christian life-style and love-style blog!
  • My friend Keziah’s podcast, which already has several great episodes. I’ve really enjoyed listening to it while doing chores! She has some really great thoughts and tips for us Earth-dwelling and Bible-believing teenagers!
  • Going hiking!
  • Singing and playing guitar in a worship session.
  • Redoing my bedroom! (Don’t worry, I WILL eventually post on this! 😜)
  • This post, by Tanyaremkiv. So good.
  • Finding a poem I’d begun writing a while ago (to my great joy and thankfulness! I’ve been scarred for life by the loss of a ton of files, so I was really grateful to find at least one of my literary flights and make it intact!) 
  • Allie’s blog! Allie is just a barrel full of fun and passion! Check out her most recent “get to know you” post here!

This month of June, I wanted to keep my goals simple. I only had a few things that I really wanted to accomplish during this month, so I thought I’d focus on those, and on recuperating and getting my strength back up for school in the Fall!

  • Go hiking
  • Help lots of people with gardening!
  • Practice volleyball
  • Cross a TON of stuff off my bucket list.

And, like perfection, it happened! But of course, there are still three days left in June, so maybe I can try to “redo” some of these! XD

School

First of all, now that it’s the summer before my last “first day” of school, I’m really stressed and nervous about getting the appropriate coursework done before graduation next spring … I’m considering doing Government, American History, American Literature, Chemistry, Trigonometry and Calculus, studying Electrics modules, studying Piano, and trying out for the volleyball team. *wipes beads of sweat just thinking about it* As a homeschooler, (and this might be most homeschoolers’ experience,) I have been pushed to the limit academically before, but I never had to spend much TIME on it. It was difficult mentally, but it never took me long to complete assignments or essays.

Now that I’m working on Grade 11 coursework, I’m overwhelmed by things that shouldn’t seem so insurmountable. It will take a lot of committed work to attain the educational goals I’m aiming for.

Update of how my Summer Bucket List is coming along …

  • Hiking … twice!
  • Lots of volleyball!
  • I have not worn make-up in months. It’s Insane.
  • Talked to people! *fist pump* That is, talked concisely and maturely. 😉
  • GOT TO LESSON 111!!! 🎉🥳
  • baked a couple things I never had before …
  • made smoothies (this took SO much work … 😜)
  • I have studied three of my electrics modules! Only thirty-six more to go! XD

Personal + The Bible

Lately, I’ve been thinking a LOT about the future, and what I’ll do in my future. I know that everyone has a different path, and I’ve been seeking God’s Will in this, by praying and asking Him to reveal my steps. It’s so hard. And its also really hard. Did I mention its really hard? XD Another burden that I’m struggling to bear, is knowing that as I seek God’s Will, there will almost certainly be things that I don’t want to do. There might be so many of them that I’ll wish I hadn’t prayed. But, according to the book of James, I have a responsibility to pray for wisdom, in faith, and to follow through on the directions God gives me.

“If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.”

James 1:5-8, NKJV

One of the things that I am SO grateful for is that I am blessed with a supportive family. My parents love me in different, but complementary ways. My mom is always ready to listen, and my dad always says the right thing. (Oh, and not forgetting my brothers, who are brutally honest, but can be very sweet!) Put them all together, and I have the most amazing support group ever! XD Seriously, I have been given so much peace whenever I’m feeling really stressed, by talking about it and getting my family’s advice and encouragement on what I should do, what steps I should take … AND, by just not thinking about it! I try to do the best I can with what I’ve got going on right now, and not worrying about the future.

“Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. 33 But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.”

Mathew 6:31-34, NKJV

Of course, the Bible has been so helpful to me in this search. Striking a balance, doing what God wants me to do as well as taking the initiative, taking tiny steps while looking up at Him every once in a while to make sure I’m going the right way, is SO difficult, and I think is the MOST difficult when the only specific and definite life direction I’ve ever received from him is what I’ve read in the Bible, which applies to everyone generally … but its not so clear what the Bible has to say on the specific details of my future career. #stillpraying


During the first whole week of July, I will be taking an intense lifeguarding class which has minimum fitness requirements far beyond what I am used to. I’m not too concerned about the head knowledge testing but have been praying over the approaching class. It lasts from 9:00-5:00. Monday to Friday. 😳 So yeah, for a week I essentially have a fulltime and part-time job. *tosses math book in the trash* *for now*

I’ve also got high hopes for more hiking, beachgoing, and maybe even some kayaking. I’ve been realizing more and more, that its so hard to “plan” a summer as one kid out of four siblings, with lots of work and chores also begging for attention, and trying to arrange schedules, but it has also been amazingly surprising how my parents have planned so much fun stuff that I already wanted to do, so I’m feeling the blessings! XD

I’m not going to share too many specifics, since I’m planning to make a “July Goals” post pretty soon, so stay tuned for that! For now, I’ll just say to all of you who have made it this far, thank you so much for caring enough about me to read this long (and probably confusing!) post! Your support and friendship means so much to me! 🤗


I hope this gave you a bit of a window into what I’ve been doing lately! I’m going to leave y’all with a song of the day, one that I immediately enjoyed the first time I listened to it, and one that is so encouraging and amazing! *keels over* Anyways, hope y’all enjoy! See you next time! 👋

Let’s Talk About Brothers And Respect …

Yep, I’m another one of those girls with a heap of brothers! Today, I want to talk about respect .. respecting our siblings, and helping them to learn to respect us. My brothers are fun-loving, mischievous, loud scamps who drive me crazy, but they love me and show their love by respecting my personal space and my opinions. I have a brother who is very close to me in age, and he is one of my best friends! As a teen, he has begun to mature in ways that amaze me. Not only does he respect me, he has also protected my heart, protected my body, and kept my secrets. Not every girl is so blessed as I am.

Thoughtless comments, rough physical touch, ridiculing, teasing, bugging on purpose … how does any sibling, and child of God, deserve to be treated this way? Some brothers treat their sisters with carelessness, not with care. These brothers might not bad guys – they just have a bad habit of treating their sister with less respect than she deserves, not only as their sister, but as a woman, as a daughter of God.

This makes me wonder … why do brothers fail to respect their sisters? I understand occasional kind-hearted teasing, (goodness knows, my brothers have dished out their fair share often enough!), but what about when it becomes an epidemic of unkind words and actions? What drives young men to treat their sisters this way?

I’ve learned that for some boys, they don’t feel like their sister deserves respect. They feel that she is a baby, or that she’s mean to them, so why should they be nice to her? They might have bad examples in their parents, who treat their daughter with less care than they should. Or, they might feel that they don’t measure up to their sister, and the only way to deal with their bitterness is to act out of it, rather than releasing it. Whatever the reason, our brothers need to understand that respect is not necessarily deserved (because of course we will fail and disrespect them sometimes) but respect is something that you give freely, like love.

We love because Christ first loved us – so why don’t we respect our siblings the way Christ treats His brothers and sisters in the faith?


Another thing that we girls need to realize is that, although we may crave our brother’s respect and kindness, we may be making it difficult for them by treating THEM unkindly. In the same way that girls can show kindness to our guyfriends by dressing in a way that does not provoke them to immoral thoughts, so we should act in a way that makes it easier for our brothers to love us back.

  • We need to respect THEM first. Although there is no excuse for our brothers to disrespect us simply because we disrespect them, we cannot expect a major life change to occur in their hearts unless WE change first. Maybe your brother will change on his own, but as an older sister, I can tell you that our brothers will, to a certain degree, mirror our actions. Respecting them is a great way to show them the kind of respect we want.
  • Our brothers are the men of tomorrow. If these young men don’t learn to respect us as their family and the people they live with, then what kind of respect will they have for their wives, sister-in-laws, and even their own daughters? I’m not saying that their fate rests on your (and my) shoulders alone, but I am saying that we can be the change in their lives. Encouraging them to respect us in their words and actions will prepare them for the day they realize that their wife wants to be respected too.
  • Even though it hurts to be disrespected, you must know that you’re not in this alone. Your parents are the ultimate enforcers in your house. If the situation has come to a place where the line has been crossed between simple teasing and ridiculing, then don’t be afraid to ask your parents for their advice, or ask your dad to talk to your brother. Communicate clearly with them that you love your brother, that his disrespect makes it difficult to respect him back, and that his attitude hurts you. Not every brother is man enough to take it humbly, and to actually change the way he relates to you, but some WILL own that responsibility.
  • Don’t forget to PRAY. If you’re a sister waiting for your brother’s heart to change towards you, don’t wait without doing anything. Pray that God would touch his heart and his responses towards you. God can do anything, even fix your relationship with your brother, so don’t be afraid to bend the knee every once in a while to seek his help in mending the fences.

And to those of you guys who are reading? Please, please, examine your heart, thoughts, and actions. Are you respecting your sister? Or are you putting her down? She doesn’t need to DESERVE your respect. But if you truly believe that all of us matter to God, then you need to treat your sister like you love her with GOD’S love. And who knows? Maybe she will blossom under your affirmation. And maybe not. But no matter what happens, are you man enough to respect your sister like you will have to respect your wife someday?

And while you’re at it, love them. Help them. Protect them. Serve them. Know that your actions are being seen, not only by those who will come into your future someday, but also by the One Who holds your future in His hands.

Well, sisters, you should know that my heart hurts for those of you who have been hurt by a brother’s disrespect. When my brothers disrespect me, I feel abandoned and rejected, because I want a loving relationship. So I understand what you feel like. Please don’t be afraid to take steps to love and respect them, even if they continue to hurt you. In the end, we are to love our enemies. You’re brother might not be your enemy, but the principle remains; to love all, even those who don’t love you back.

And if you have friends who get disrespected by their brothers … let’s protect them, shall we? Let’s stand up for them. Because, even if nothing changes in their lives, we have a responsibility to love the unloved and respect the unrespected. And once we do that, one thing will for sure happen – you will be a voice of hope and change in your friend’s life.

A Woman Of Resolutions …

Hey everyone! Today I’ve got something short and thoughtprovoking for ya.

As I read through a friend’s post, (a Life Update with Recent Reads from Laurel Jean, at laureljean.com), my eyes stopped at a quote she had included from “The Resolution for Women”, a book by Priscilla Shirer.

“Right now – whether you realize it or not – you’re choosing to treat people a certain way, to stay committed to certain activities, to live a certain life, to be a certain kind of person. You’re already a woman of resolutions.

Immediately after I read this, I was hit with the realization that my resolutions are not as pure as I’d like them to be – not as selfless, not as godly, not as honorable as I’d like to see myself.

And I also realized that I AM a woman of resolutions. I’ve made my own opinions, formed habits, made friends, publicized ideas, and now I have to live with every one of those choices, those resolutions. But I know that where I am now is no where near where I desperately want to be … in a place of trust, success, and security.

And all of you out there reading … YOU are men and women of resolutions. You live with a mindset that has been formed throughout your whole life, and you live with habits and actions that are a result of what you value most. You might not be setting a goal to succeed, but you unconscionably develop aspirations. Aspirations that you may achieve in glory and fame – or which may simply always be a pile of dreams in the back of your mind, collecting dust.

So I challenge YOU – Make a conscious Resolution. Think hard about yourself. Are you who you want to be? Or have you given way to pressure, procrastination, or the world?

Then make a Resolution to CHANGE. To become the young man or woman that God wants you to be. Seek to align your resolutions and your character to Yah’s character.

My best tips for using extra notebooks!

Hey guys! If you’re like me, you love anything to do with writing or creativity, and collect all kinds of pens, pencils, paints, notebooks, stationary, sketchbooks, workbooks, and so on! The thing about that is … I end up with tons of extra notebooks stacked in my already-messy closet!

So, if you’re like me, and you want to use your gorgeous notebooks, but you don’t know how, then please, by all means, read on to see my tips on how to use your empty notebooks!

1. Journal! I try to keep a daily journal, and I have ever since I turned 13. (Its been 3 years?! Aaah, I’m getting old! 😂) But there are SO many more things you could journal about! Workouts, bible study, creative arts, even a songwriting journal would be so cute!

2. Write stories. Maybe you love stories and constantly get story ideas! Write down the date, then your idea. Or write an entire story in one notebook. I did this once and it was so much fun! (Although the story was rather predictable and immature!!)

3. Keep lists. You could make wish lists, to-do lists, bucket lists, goals, etc. If it’s a spiral notebook, you can write down your to-do list and rip it out if you want.

4. Dress up the covers and give them away to friends as a gift. I know I LOVE getting notebooks from friends, I don’t know, there’s just something about it! 😄

5. Make a devotional or an encouragement diary and give it to a friend. I have been toying with this idea for a while and I’m planning on trying it out. It would be so much fun and you’d basically be writing a book!!

6. Keep an inspirational idea journal. This is different from plain journaling because it involves everything, literally every good idea, quote, sketch you come across in a day. Carry a mini notebook around with you (like I do) and you’ll see what I mean. The ideas just come to you and you’re caught scribbling madly before you lose the spark!

I hope you enjoyed! What other ways do YOU use your empty notebooks? I’d love to know! Maybe I’ll add your ideas to the list!

You are SO Beautiful!

Have you ever known a girl who was just so beautiful and had such an attractive personality in her own way, but … she just couldn’t see it? In fact, maybe she even thought she was ugly … or dumb … or annoying … and maybe she wanted to be somebody else! Maybe that girl …

Maybe that girl … was you?

That girl was me.

Surrounded by what society calls “beauty”, I looked around, and saw that everyone else had clearer skin. Everyone else had skinny legs. Everyone else had a crush who liked them back (Presumably because of their looks.) And then there was me.

Can I tell you something, little girl with a crown? What you are doing is comparing yourself to others. And each of those girls are comparing themselves to you. And you are both coming up on the short end because you don’t realize that God made you YOU and even if you weren’t born with your struggles, get this: The YOU that God made is gonna have to put up with the hard times as well as the good times. And God will help you! He loves and won’t leave you hanging!

Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.”

Deuteronomy 31:6 (emphasis mine)

And listen: If God is for you, than who can stand against you? Don’t let the world stand against you! Don’t measure yourself by their standards. Trust in God. Commit yourself to developing a beautiful character, an inner beauty.

Little girl with a crown, you are God’s child, and he will give you the desires of your heart … when you seek first His kingdom and righteousness.

I know it’s hard to wait, hard to be different, hard to keep going, hard to change your thinking … But you can choose to let the hard things make you better. Diamonds are formed under intense pressure. In the same way, your pressures can crush you, or it can create a sparkling beauty.

Things to avoid …

  • Stop comparing yourself to other girls. Every time you catch yourself, chastise yourself. Tell God, “Thank you for your beautiful creation. We are both beautiful because we are made in YOUR image.”
  • Don’t make the situation worse. If you are REALLY down in the dumps about your weight, acne, school, or something more serious, seek help! Talk to your parents or a caring friend, do a little research, you could even talk to me!😉 Seriously … you are not alone!

Step 1 – KNOW that outward beauty is second to inward beauty. Inner beauty is oh-so-important and comes FIRST.

Step 2 – LIVE what you KNOW. Work on your inner beauty. It’s okay to wear make-up and care about your clothing and try to look nice, but really cultivate your inner beauty. Let your inner beauty shine through the clothes you’re wearing. Let your happiness and contentment give your skin a glow.

Step 3 – Wait on Yahweh, and be strong. It takes strength and patience to wait, and these are both elements of inner beauty. Find a role model (your mom, aunt, even a friend) who shows you what inner beauty looks like.

I’ve been there, done that. I’m here for you, girl!!

Stay strong in the Word.

Inner Beauty – Start with your Heart (part 3)

Yes, I may be reading the Bible. Yes, I’m a lot nicer and more polite to my siblings. I’ve been getting better at honoring my parents. But my heart’s not right.

Yesterday we were all singing praise songs. I felt sad and moody and I could hardly sing because I was worried I would burst out crying! What happened? Exactly nothing!

I didn’t feel right. Now you may chalk it up to me only being able to play mandolin for one song. Maybe. But it felt bigger than that, like a stone in my stomach and a bees-nest in my head.

I thought back on the week. I only read the Bible when I had time. I still have a bit of a temper and a habit of acting quickly without thinking (even though I didn’t have bad intentions.)

I wrote this on my vision board last week. I had no idea how much I’d need it.

“Start with your heart.”

I was trying to do all the things, but my heart wasn’t in it. If Yeshua had come back during singing, what would he have found me doing? Sitting on my butt feeling sorry for myself?! Worrying about the future?! That’s not the way I want to live.

Take a pause. Are you trying to do ‘all the things’, but your heart isn’t in it? Are you exhausted from trying to be someone you’re not? Are you disillusioned or depressed with working and striving and never stopping to think about the whys?

I want to live each day like it’s my last. I need my heart to be soft and my spirit willing to do WHATEVER! I need to stop in the tough moments and take it to Yahweh. I need to give Yahweh the very best of myself and my abilities. Obedience. Hard work. Patience. A loving and soft heart.

As a huge milestone in my life approaches (my 16th birthday) I’m worried I won’t be ready or mature enough to deserve it, to shoulder the responsibility and the change that comes with it. I had so many goals for my 16th year, goals I haven’t completed, won’t be able to complete anytime soon.

It has to remind me to be worthy of each and every single day that God gives me. To use my time wisely, down to every hour. To live like each day is my last. When I feel Yahweh asking me, “What have you been doing, daughter?” I want to be able to confidently answer, “The work of The Lord.”

BeautifulYou Tip: Start with your Heart. Focus on the best and only reason to have inner beauty and a strong faith – Yahweh. Get yourself right with God … He’s coming back soon!

“Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour in which the Son of Man is coming.”

Mathew 25:13, NKJV

I took a pause that day. I didn’t like what I saw in my life. I didn’t like that I wasn’t in it with my whole heart. So I started right then to fix my heart. I know it’s not going to happen right away – it’s going to take time. But I am going to do it. I won’t live a superficial life of exhaustion and striving. I’m going to love Yahweh my Elohim with ALL of my heart and soul and mind and strength.

Taking Inner Beauty a step further … (part two.)

In last week’s post on Inner Beauty, we covered the first step – reading your Bible, the guidebook that God gave you. Now we’re onto the next step … trying to act in beauty in a world that makes it very difficult.

In your family, siblings (and even sometimes parents) can frustrate us and make us feel like they are squelching our inner beauty. But one thing that we all have to realize is that we are only as beautiful as we are at our worst. We all have a great responsibility to treat our families with the same beauty as we would our friends and teachers.

Sometimes it’s easier to act nicer to your family if there are other people around. But if you can have a beautiful attitude when no ones looking (or when you think no ones looking,) that is the best kind of attitude.

Yes, this takes time. But you can start small. Thank your family members for things they do for you – folding the laundry, picking up your book, driving you to basketball. Smile to show them you care. Show a little interest in their interests, and maybe they’ll even invite you to join them.

I’ve never had an older sibling, but as the eldest, I can tell you that I love it when my younger bros tell me “thank you” and “good job”. You might not think your older sister wants your approval on her outfit, but I bet she’ll smile big when you tell her you like it.

And outside the home, with September fast approaching, your friends, activities, and homework are all going to require your immediate attention. How will you handle them? Will you carry your inner beauty with you everywhere? Will you say no to evil and yes to good? Will you abandon the secular and popular and embrace the straight and narrow?

Beautiful You Tip: Remember who you are, whether you’re at home with your family or hanging out with your friends at school. Say ‘no’ to the enemy.

You are an ambassador of God’s kingdom to the nations. Let them see Christ in you, in your inner beauty. Honestly, same thing for the boys. If a guy is cute but has no character, his personality is hardened and ugly. Be a good representative of The Kingdom.

If this all seems too lofty or hard, don’t overthink it. You will mess up sometimes, we all do: But don’t ever think you can’t do it, because YOU CAN!!!

“I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.”

Philippians 4:13

Come to God for the strength to do this. Stay strong in The Word of God and in prayer.

Love y’all!

Makayla