Leaning On My Own Understanding – Trusting in HIS Perfection, Strength, and Sufficiency

(Note: Post outline was written a couple weeks ago.)

One day I was praying and asking YHVH why I didn’t feel right about starting a new workout challenge. It dawned that I was reverting back to my old ways of “relying on myself” to change me into who I wanted to be, instead of trusting God to provide a way.

This doesn’t mean that working out is wrong. Far from it! Working out is a great way to have fun and stay fit. However, this situation made me need to really STOP and think about why I wanted to do it. Here were the answers I found:

  • Get a better body
  • Feel cool, like other workout warriors
  • Feel better about myself and my abilities

I needed to reframe my approach.

  • I work out because it’s fun, and it helps me physically and mentally.

In my school that day, I had a lesson on Augustine’s sermon XXVI, about Peter, and how he sunk because of the storm around him. Here’s the story: Peter stepped out of the boat with full confidence in Jesus’ power to hold him up. But then he saw the storm around him, and as he doubted and grew fearful, he sank. As he sank, he called out, “Lord, save me!” Jesus immediately rescued him and asked the piercing question, “Peter, why did you doubt?”

This is my main take-away from Augustine’s perspective – That Peter stopped relying on Yeshua’s strength, and tried to do it on his own strength. And he failed.

He failed just like the rest of us do, when we decide we don’t need to look in the Bible for an answer. When we don’t bother to pray about an issue. When we try and fix it ourselves, using logic or other people’s advice. We fail.

We fail because we are trusting on our own strength.

For me, this meant literally trusting on myself in everything. In my earlier teen years I thought in terms of logic and systematic analysis. That background has been great for my education, but not so good for when I was developing my own opinions on faith, life, and my future. Trusting in myself caused me to make plenty of mistakes, including the big one of doing a schooling curriculum that I knew God was telling me I would regret. And, although God worked through it to snap me awake and teach me some important things, I did regret it.

Now I trust in myself less – or at least I thought I did. Beginning this fitness journey, (which pretty much started at the beginning of December,) should have begun first with prayer and asking God to lend me his strength, instead of trying to figure it out on my own.

This morning, YHVH let me know that it’s not my biceps that carry me through the workouts – it’s the biceps he gave me to do the chores. It’s not my organizational skills that allow me to meal plan – it’s his organizational skills he gave to me to be able to get through the day smoothly. It’s not my talents – It’s His talents, for His glory.

Bottom line: STOP trusting in yourself. START trusting in God to supply all your strength. You have more strength through Him than you could ever have without Him.

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
And lean not on your own understanding;
In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He shall direct your paths.

Do not be wise in your own eyes;
Fear the Lord and depart from evil.
It will be health to your flesh,
And strength to your bones.”

Proverbs 3:5-8, NKJV

Just … wow. Reread those four verses.

We often trust in our own strength. Sometimes we don’t even realize it, like me with working out. When we fall, it’s our own fault for doubting that His strength is enough.

But when we fall – what’s the right choice?

To call on Him again. To say, “I failed – but you never fail. Save me!” And He will! Just like he did with Peter, Yeshua can save you with His strength.


“My son, do not despise the chastening of the Lord,

Nor detest His correction;

For whom the Lord loves He corrects,

Just as a father the son in whom he delights.

Proverbs 3: 11-12, NKJV

So, if you’re feeling the sting of correction that says, “Stop doing it yourself! Ask me for MY plans and MY strength”, then concede. Repent. Ask for His strength.

“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. Or what man is there among you who, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!” Mathew 7:7-11, NKJV

YHVH is your loving Father! He won’t cheat you or cheapen the gift by giving you some half-hearted attempt at a 20 lb weight! No way! He’ll give you the strength to lift a whole 300-pounder! (Metaphorically speaking.) THAT’S the kind of strength I’m talking about!

So STOP. Lean on Him. And he will give you rest and strength.

Makayla

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The Immorality of the Decameron

The Black Plague struck Europe in the 17th century, and modern historians estimate that it wiped out nearly one third of Europe’s total population. There was no cure – the people were helpless to save themselves. And many of them cried out to God – but there was no salvation. The Plague continued to spread.

The culture lost its faith in God. They began to revive the worldviews and thinking of the Ancient Greeks and Romans, renewing principles of logic and reason, and throwing themselves to enjoy things of the physical world, for they knew they could die at any moment. They lost a sense of morality found in Scripture – they drifted from the religious devotion of the earlier medieval periods because they felt that God had abandoned them.

Using the system of thinking I have learnt to adopt in this course, the changes become more marked and easier to see.

#1 – Sovereignty – In earlier periods, the people would have looked to God as their sovereign, but now they were going through hard times and believed that God had abandoned them. Even though God still held a position of sovereignty over them, they chose to ignore Him. The people didn’t realize that hard times may also come after choosing to follow God, as a test of faith.

#2 – Authority – As a result of the above points, the people switched from relying on both the Church and the State, to simply relying on the State.

#3 – Law – In spite of the fact that the laws of the land still existed and the State was in control, many officials were incapable of enforcing said laws, because of the great sickness and confusion. Moral law, however, was a different story – there was NO control, because the Church had lost its power in the eyes of the people. Since the people had decided that they didn’t want God to be their sovereign, they simply decided not to follow his moral laws. This led to an extreme moral deterioration in which adultery, murder, and theft abounded, and was often even glorified through the literature.

To quote “The Decameron” … “whereby every man was free to do what was right in his own eyes.”

To quote the Bible … “every man did what was right in his own eyes.”

The Israelites also fell prey to this mindset, yet God did not give up on them. The Europeans should have learned their lesson from the Israelites.

#4 – Sanctions – No one was getting punished for disobeying the moral laws that the nations had once held to, because there was no longer any punishment for disobedience of those moral laws. (Reason #1 – Moral decline. Reason #2 – Most potential enforcers of correct moral sanctions were unable to actually enforce them.) New sanctions were being presented, such as: If one should choose to commit adultery, let him – he may die soon anyway.

#5 – Inheritance – When faced with the bleak prospect of imminent death by an incurable virus, people lost heart. According to them, the end was near. They had no desire to work towards the future, because they had lost hope in the future. This resulted in many people living “for the moment”, doing whatever they wanted, regardless of the consequences. This calls to mind the age-old phrase, “Eat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow we may die.”


Boccaccio invoked the name of God in order to hide what he was really dishing out, which was smut literature, for the purpose of the satisfaction of sexual desires. I will not be reading the more unsavory parts of the Decameron, but the mere fact that in one chapter God’s name is called upon, and then in the next a sexual scene is described, impresses upon me that perhaps Boccaccio was not himself a man of moral uprightness and perfect character.

In general, the Decameron emphasized that religion required reason and sincere faith. According to the book, actions didn’t matter, as seen in the chapters in which impure conduct is described. Yet biblically, deeds displayed true faith. Moral uprightness shows the world that we believers truly are different and have a different spirit inside of us.

We even have this problem today. People believe that as long as they have faith in God, say that He is the lord of their lives, and accept the fact that Christ will forever be the only perfect man, they can do whatever they want. They say that actions don’t much matter to their faith – that, as long as they are sincere in merely their thoughts, they are “all good” under heaven. This is certainly not the case – but people didn’t get it in the 1700s, and they still don’t get it today.

Sadly, even contemporary literature displays this theme – a book may refer to God, in passing, but yet the characters themselves may act just like the world, with debauchery and impure swearing – in other words, like non-Christians. One example is the popular and exciting ‘Divergent’ series – yes, full of adventure, and it does throw a few bones to a supreme deity – yet full of moral decay to the foundations.

“People can’t read your thoughts to see if you have a truly sincere faith. A truly sincere faith is shown by the deeds and actions of the believer.”

Makayla

Finding Your Identity In God Alone- Inner Beauty (Part 4)

Hello everyone! Welcome back to the blog for another Inner Beauty post! It’s been a while since I last posted in this series, and y’all must’ve thought I’d forgotten all about it! I’ve been waiting for the right subject to discuss next.

(To see parts One, Two, and Three of the series, see the articles linked below!)

I know that the subject of “finding your identity” in God is touchy. No one seems to provide an answer for those who honestly want to know how to do it. The truth is, there is no “one” answer. However, I think there is a principle to follow in everyday life, in order to be sure that your life “lines up” with God’s will.

“Make your decisions based on The Word, but leave the resolution to God.”

Me 🙂

Recently I discovered that all of the files on my computer would have to be wiped. And I know I told some of you that there might be a chance it could be recovered, but it was a false hope. The shop just couldn’t clear the virus to grab the content.

You know what that means, don’t you? All the stories I’ve written, even some novels I was starting … Lots of essays, the essays I had been working on when I was trying to catch up and had almost finished … some songs I had written … and around 17 pages of blog post ideas.

The last one is just annoying, but the rest really hurt. I love writing, and I used to spend a lot of my time writing things that flowed right from my heart. I never backed up my computer, and now all those things are gone. What now do I have to remind me of those days, of those accomplishments?

I was really, really sad, when I first found out. (Honestly, I cried a lot.) It felt like something precious had been stripped away from me, and it had been. I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to rewrite some of those stories, and I certainly can’t remember many of the songs. My parents decided to let me skip those essays that I’d already written, so I don’t have to write them again. And I’ll continue to blog, dont worry! 😊

Life goes on … but when you’re smack in the middle of the pain, it’s hard to see it.

Photo by Vojtech Okenka on Pexels.com

In the middle of it, I felt peace. I was crying, but I felt at peace. I’m paraphrasing what I prayed, (because I don’t have a perfect memory!) but here it is:

“I don’t know how to fix this, but You can. But if You don’t, I believe that it’ll be okay. I won’t mourn, because I’d know that You wanted it to happen. And my identity is not found in these computer files – it is found in YOU, in who I am in You. Help me. I don’t know how this will affect my school either, but You will make a way.”

If my identity is found and rooted in my WIPs and albums and academic record, and any one of those things tanks, then I will be totally destroyed. But if my identity is rooted in The Most High, and He is the One I go to whenever there’s a passion-demolition, then I can’t be devastated.

(Another journal snippet:)

“But most of all, I know that though everything else be taken from me, I can never lose who I am – who I’ve become – and I can never be stripped of my faith.”

I know know KNOW that God’s got it. And He’s in control of YOUR situations too … whatever disappointment you’re dealing with right now, is His Will for you. Even if it’s something horrible that you never would have wanted for yourself. Girls and boys, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. I can see the light at the end of my tunnel. And because YHVH is the one driving the train, I know we’ll make it through okay.

This song is so so powerful. If I watched it right now, I’d cry. Because it’s exactly how I feel about what just happened in my life, and it’s exactly how I want to respond to every other hardship I face in the future. Watch it. That’s an order. XD


I guess this is where I provide you all with the catchy little phrase so you can remember this more easily. XD But I’d encourage you not to just look at the phrase – internalize it. Make it REAL in YOUR life.

BeautifulYou Tip: Identify in God alone. Bring every aspect of your life back to His Will for you. Praise Him for what He’s doing in your life, even if it hurts. Embrace the emotional strength and spritual maturity that develops as a result of trusting in God alone.

So get out there! Face your challenges. Instead of tearing yourself apart and frantically trying to fix them, leave them in God’s hands. Go ahead and do what you can … but in the meanwhile, He’ll be doing what no one and nothing else can do.

Makayla

Medieval Literature as Lifestyle Advice

When we think of a typical Christian life, we might think of someone who has devoted their life to loving Christ through obeying and trusting in Him and serving others. But practically, getting down to the minute level, what’s the Christian decision when faced with chores, or friendships? In these cases, where there is less scriptural perogative, we must rely on Biblical principles to guide us. Everyday life is full of pot-holes to any believer, but we don’t have to be afraid of them.

Two documents of the medieval period, “Song of Roland” and “The Little Flowers of St Francis”, attempted to show moral decisions in the everyday lives of extraordinary people. But what about us ordinary people? What can we learn from these examples? Some of us will never be faced with the problems that the characters were faced with, but we certainly have other problems! What do we do?

Song of Roland

The conflict between Oliver and Roland is one of the crucial points in the narrative. Yet, the way that the characters deal with the conflict is rather unsatisfying at best, and simply stupid at worst. If an idea is wrong, and you tell a friend, and you’re right, they should listen. But if they don’t listen, and it still results in a positive outcome, does that make their decision any less undesirable? Oliver was right and Roland was wrong, yet the latter wouldn’t budge, and did whatever he felt would save their honor, and that of his own family.

As far as ethical decisions go, I’m sure that it is plain to see that Ganelon’s betrayal was wrong. His punishment? Getting pulled apart by horses.

How can we, in this modern world, use this as an example as to how we should deal with betrayal today? The practice of pulling people apart by horses (dismemberment) was NOT biblical at ALL. If one of OUR friends betray us, should we follow Charlemagne’s example by tying their limbs to horses and tearing them apart? (To enlighten you; this is a rhetorical question.) So as you can see, not all principles (and in my opinion, hardly any!) constitute as moral enough to emulate in our everyday lives. However, the principles of love, loyalty, bravery, grief, and righteous judgement are all absolutely biblical gems to take away from this book, if you should read it.

Little Flowers

The earliest chapters of the book details St Francis’ rise (or perhaps I should say descent) to holy poverty. Many men join him and become his followers, his “brethren”. There are additional sections dedicated to the actions of St Francis himself, Brother Bernard, Brother Juniper, Brother Giles, and select other of the brethren. The chapters in the latter part of the book are more focused on ethics and guidance in heavenly matters than on detailed stories of the lives of those belonging to the order.

One trouble with the ethical advice given by Brother Giles in the final chapters of the book is that they seem to contradict at key points. He stresses the major importance of not working for salvation, not even bothering to work at ALL – then says we must be diligent. (Diligent in what? Being lazy?!) He says that chastity is the most important virtue – then redefines chastity as charity! (Which is absolutely incorrect.) The strict principles of the monastic and Fransiscan orders are anything but biblical.

Biblically, a man should be free to “eat and drink, and find satisfaction in his work.” He should be allowed to marry a good wife, “for her measure is far above rubies”. He could have cattle and sheep, and land, and children “as numerous as the stars”. He could be a great leader, and still be “a man after God’s own heart.” Yet, all these principles go against Franciscan tradition. Which begs the question – were the friars substituting God’s system with their own tradition?

These two books don’t satisfy a longing for truth. Neither of these books show us how to live, or even if we will go to heaven if we copy the characters in the stories. Yes, both contain concepts such as the sovereignty of God, tight systems of institutional hierarchy, obedience as crucial to success. Yet, although there were rules galore littering the chapters of these books, neither book dealt with or explained the true Law – the Law of their own God!

Makayla

I got nominated for the Liebster Award!

Hey y’all! I’m here with the awesome Liebster award! I was nominated by several people and I picked it up from another, so I’ve got a ton of questions to answer! Hope you find them interesting and thought-provoking!

Here are the rules!

  1. First, thank the person who nominated you, include a link to their blog, and add the Liebster Award badge to your blog and/or post.
  2. Next answer the eleven questions from the person who nominated you.
  3. Give eleven random facts about yourself.
  4. Nominate 5-11 fellow bloggers with less than 200 followers.
  5. Notify your nominees that you nominated them for the Liebster Award.
  6. Last, but certainly not least, ask your nominees eleven questions.

Firstly, I was nominated by Grace, from “Don’t you know I’m singing”! Thanks so much, Grace!! I loved how fun and deep your questions were! (Y’all, I have to admit though, I have the same answers as some of the other bloggers who were awarded! *covers face*) Here’s the link to her post … Liebster Award – Don’t you know I’m singing!

Questions and Answers …

  1. What is one line/verse from one song that you really love, and why? I really love this line from Rend Collective’s song ‘Revival Anthem’ … “We will praise you when our hearts are breaking, praise you when our world is caving, we will not, we will not be moved.” Annnd also this line from “Sing it from the Shackles” … “You’re my deliverer, My anthem throughout it all, When my strength and my fight is gone, I know You will come through.” These songs echo the hope I need right now.
  2. What is a song you absolutely hate, and why? “Closer”, by Chainsmokers. At volleyball they played it all the time, so when I started listening a little closer to the lyrics I was shocked it even existed! Then in my “Christian” Homeschool group, the other teens loved it! I’m not ridiculing them, but it seemed really sad to 14-yr-old me that they called themselves”Christians”, yet didn’t act like Christ-followers at all.)
  3. What are your thoughts on politics, and a Christian’s role in that realm? I know that politics are a big part of life, and especially as seen with the regulations imposed recently, our leaders have a huge impact on our lives. If we choose more carefully, perhaps our lives will be better, but I have come to realize that our hope is not found in our earthly leaders, but in our heavenly Leader. As far as my personal involvement in politics, it goes no further than animated discussions with family and friends, and eagerly awaiting the time when Christ’s kingdom will abolish all earthly “authorities”.
  4. Who, aside from your parents, siblings, and relatives, has been a role model in your life, and how/why did they become a role model to you? Many of my friends have become my role models, and in different ways – some of them I admire for their talents, some for their faith, some for their habits and accomplishments – I try to learn from those I admire rather than idolizing them or making them my hero, because no ones perfect. One of my role models is actually my mom’s best friend – she is a truly amazing woman, everything you could ever dream to be – beautiful, hard-working, loving and caring, a good mother, a wonderful cook and home-maker, a supportive wife, and full of vibrancy and faith. She bursts with energy and is always so sweet. I know nobody’s perfect, but she seems pretty close!
  5. Do you celebrate Christmas in your family? Why or why not? Our family does not celebrate Christmas, because it is not commanded or endorsed in the Bible and many of the traditions have some pretty scary pagan roots. We do, however, celebrate the Biblical feasts like Passover and Sukkot (Tabernacles), and they are so much more meaningful and fun than the worldly holidays!
  6. What’s your favorite aspect of creation? I think my favorite aspect would be the sky – sunrises, clouds, stars …
  7. If there was one talent you could magically have, what would it be? A perfect memory!
  8. Do you have any allergies/dietary restrictions? And what are they? I have no allergies (for which I am so grateful!) … however, we don’t eat any of the unclean foods described in Leviticus 11. With a little research, you’ll find that not only are we commanded not to eat them, they are some pretty nasty and unhealthy little critters too!!
  9. If you could time travel into the future or the past, which way would you go? Forwards or backwards? Backwards … I’d rather go back to happier times, than forward into uncertain times.
  10. What movie/book character have you read/watched whose personality seemed to be exactly the same as yours, and who was the opposite? I think I’m a cross between Phillippa Gordon, in the Anne of Green Gables Series, and Tris Prior, in the Divergent trilogy. I identify with Phillipa’s spur-of-the-moment attitude, love of her friends, honesty and insecurities, and bubbly personality! I love Tris’ daredevil qualities, loyalty, and blunt honesty. I’m the polar opposite of Jane Bingley, from Pride and Prejudice. (She’s nice, selfless, virtuous, and always thinks the best of people.)
  11. What are your personal boundaries on what you can/shouldn’t watch or listen to in the area of entertainment as a Christian? I try to evaluate my books on how I would feel if I died in the middle of them and someone found me like that! XD I hardly watch any movies and prefer not to, but if there’s a good (and I mean, it has to be really good) documentary or Christian film I’m in! The kinds of music I would listen to, and occasionally do, is music which uplifts and strengthens and encourages me, fills my head with good messages, and doesn’t make me feel things I shouldn’t. I don’t like cuss words, and I don’t like immoral messages, and that goes for all my literature, film, and music choices.

This set of questions was posted on my friend Jasmine’s blog! Thanks for nominating ‘whoever read it’, Jazz! 😉 She doesn’t do awards anymore, but I thought I’d grab this from the archives since it looked like fun (plus, it’s great publicity for her too!!) So head on over and check her out! Here’s the link to her post: Liebster Award – Bookworm.

Without further ado, let’s start in on the questions! *rolls up sleeves*

  1. Where do you see yourself in 5 years? (In 5 years, I will have graduated from high school. In the three years since graduating, I hope to have gotten a full-time job (or part-time business,) played volleyball on an actual team, and decided whether to ranch or become a lawyer.)
  2. Favorite ice cream flavor? My favorite ice cream flavor is either mint chocolate chip, or chocolate, or vanilla, or caramel, or … need I go on?
  3. Have you played or do you play any sports? Yes! I have played on soccer, basketball, and volleyball teams, but I play mostly volleyball now.
  4. Describe your idea of a perfect day! Go to bed at 8:45 in a tent in the BC mountains at Gardom Lake the night before. Wake up at 6:00 AM. Go for a walk with my best friends. Make breakfast in the lodge. Go swimming and kayaking on the lake. Study the Bible with Nehemia Gordon and Keith Johnson. Play volleyball and worship jam with my Bible study group. Get an email offer from Capitol Records to contract an album. Get an acceptance and scholarship letter from Prairie or Briercrest. My acne magically disappears. Roast marshmallows over a huge bonfire with all the gang. Sing campfire songs. Play dark tag – with flashlights – in the forest. Go to bed at 1:00 AM. Sleep in til 10:00. (Was that too detailed?🤣)
  5. Something you’ve made recently? A few sketches and paintings, some of which I hope to show in an art post sometime soon!
  6. Tell us where your ideas come from. I pull them out of my sock drawer. 😎 JK! Actually, when I get inspired, it could be from anything! Often, normal, boring activities make my poor brain try to compensate by making lists, or making up a story in my head.
  7. Tell us the book you’ve learned the most from. The Bible, hands-DOWN!! (I also loved “The 7 Habits of Highly effective Teens” by Sean Covey, “How to Win Friends and Influence People” by Dale Carnegie, “Horse Speak”, by Sharon Wilsie, and “An old-fashioned Girl” by Louisa May Alcott.)
  8. Fave magazines. I don’t have any magazine subscriptions but I love to read any fashion, interior design, or christian teen girl magazines I can get my hands on!
  9. Share a personal experience/choice that has improved your writing. Taking the Ron Paul Curriculum has, without a doubt, drastically contributed to the quality of my writing. (See this essay on the many benefits of taking the RPC!!) My love of reading has provided me with a pretty extensive vocabulary! Also, taking the Challenge program forced me to do my research and find synonyms in order to “not plagiarize”.

A few days later, I was nominated by Laurel Jean! Thank you, Laurel! 🤗 Please do check her out, she’s got some amazing posts which are great for reading and discussion! Heres the link to her original post: Liebster Award.

  1. How did you choose the name for your blog? (I chose “Yah’s Girl” partly because I wanted a name that drew attention to faith in YHVH instead of just to me, but also because I was out of ideas! I may change the name in the future, so any ideas from y’all readers out there?)
  2. If you could work any job for one week, what job would it be, and why? (I would love to be a firefighter for one week. I would need to be ready at any moment to give up my safety for someone’s house or workplace, or even give my life for another. If I came out of it alive, it would be a strengthening, awe-inspiring experience that I believe would change me forever.)
  3. What is the biggest thing you’ve learned from blogging? (Now that I think of it – one of the biggest lessons I’ve learned is that appearances aren’t always what they seem. Sometimes I follow a blogger, and later find out that the person I thought was pretty perfect is actually dealing with *gasp* issues!! (JK) Seriously though, it leads to becoming more sensitive to others and trying to really understand them; which is a great quality to develop.)
  4. What does your ideal weekend look like? (Sleeping in on Shabbat and eating breakfast as a family, then watching a couple bible teachings and discussing them; hanging out with the pals from the Bible Study group from noon til midnight, reading the Bible, singing, and playing sports or running games!)
  5. Do you set goals for the New Year? (I set new goals every month, but I don’t set New Years goals, per se.)
  6. What is the best book (aside from the Bible) that you’ve read, and why do you think so? (Aside from the Bible! Aw, come on! 😉🤣 I don’t know which I’ve learned the most from, but I’ll choose one, just for kicks! “Horse Speak”, by Sharon Wilsie. I read it when I was trying to figure out a friend’s horse, and although I don’t agree with everything in the book, I found it really thought-provoking as it forced me to think extra hard about the body language I show and how others could perceive it. My friends thought I was crazy for trying to communicate with a horse, but y’all, it’s legit!😅)
  7. What was the best thing that happened to you in 2020? So many things, but since you said ‘best’ … in the last few months I got real about my faith. I didn’t know how to have long prayer times or long Bible study times by myself. I love worship singing, so that wasn’t a problem, but I needed to expand my comfort zone and do it for YHVH. He is so good and is currently in the process of ripping out and replacing the drywall in my heart. It really hurts, but I know it’ll look better in the end. 😊🙏.
  8. Which historical figure do you most admire, and why? King Josiah of Israel. He walked in YHVH’s ways all the years of his life. What’s unique about him, is that he began seeking YHVH at age 16. I identify with him because of his age (lol!) but also because he sought YHVH at a time when it wasn’t popular. I feel its a similar situation today, and am so glad to see more teens stepping up.
  9. Where do you hope to see yourself in 10 years? It really all depends on YHVH’s plan, because there is no way I will proceed into the future without His blessing. BUT … In ten years I’d like to be married to an amazing guy, managing teens camp and discipling young teens in the Word.
  10. If you knew that today was your last day on earth, how would you spend it? I’d meet up with all my friends and tell them everything I’ve ever been hesitant to say – I’d write letters to people for their future birthdays – I’d get in my heart and help YHVH with that drywall job, because I want to be ready. In fact, maybe I’d better start doing some of that now …
  11. What is your favorite Bible verse, and why? I love 1 Timothy 4:12. “Do not let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers; in speech, in life, in love, in faith, and in purity.” I also love Romans 12:2. “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” These verses are pretty much my anthems – what makes me want to change and stay set-apart from people’s expectations of “an average Christian teen”, and be a part of something so much greater, although no one may ever think I’m famous.

Well thanks again, Laurel! I LOVED answering these!


I was just about ready to post this, when Grace over at Vibrant for Jesus nominated me!! I’m so glad she did, ’cause I love her questions! Thanks so much, Grace!!

  1. If you could only have three books of the Bible, which ones would you pick? Ahhh, don’t do this to me!!! Wellll …. I’ve recently begun to read the whole Bible straight through, so let’s just choose among the ones I’ve read so far on this goal, which would be Genesis to Micah. Ummmm, I’d have to choose Deuteronomy, Psalms, and Isaiah. But that was so hard! 😉 I’m so grateful that we have the WHOLE Bible!
  2. What’s something that the Lord has been teaching you lately? Whew, thats a question all right! YHVH has recently been teaching me that when I ask him for advice, I need to take it! It sounds crazy, but sometimes I ignore what he responds because I don’t like it – but that’s not trust, is it?
  3. How would you explain salvation to someone who has never heard of Jesus? “God, the one and only, has a name, Yahovah. He came into our human dimension as Yeshua, Jesus, so that he could bring us back into covenant with him. Jesus showed us what it means to fully obey and love God, and through His sacrifice we have forgiveness of all our sins, if we repent and turn from wickedness.”
  4. What are three of your favorite inspiring quotes? 1) “Work Hard; Dream Big.” 2) “Only in the darkness can you see the stars.” 3) “Imagine a guy, praying to God that he gets to marry you!” (I’ve included the image below, because it just pops with meaning! Listen, I know it sounds kinda cheesy, but it just fills me with hope for the future and peace about God’s plan. That ‘guy’, whoever he is, is out there, and praying about it, and imagining him praying about it, makes it all much more real and keeps me focused on the true goal in relationships – to honor God through it all, not turning it into something romantic or awkward, but keeping it real and present and having fun and enjoying just being friends. Aaaah, I have to make a post on this, cuz this is getting way too long! 😉)
  5. What three words would you use to describe who Jesus is to you? Emmanuel. Savior. King.
  6. What do you spend the majority of your day doing? Thinking. 😛 Really, I do a ton of variety during the day, but what it all boils down to are the things I love or believe in – working hard, education and learning, music and artsy stuff, and writing.
  7. What are five historical characters you admire? 1) Louisa May Alcott. Not only did she believe in a simpler way for women to be beautiful – through cultivating their inner beauty and their character – but she wrote fiction that showed young women blooming into maturity and beauty, and gave us all a glimpse of what a sweet and perfect young woman is. 2) The Ten Booms. During WWII, The Ten Boom family hid Jews from the Nazis who wanted to capture and destroy them. They were such noble and strong people, and the persecution that they suffered for protecting YHVH’s chosen nation was horrendous, leading to two of their deaths. Corrie Ten Boom escaped with her life, and wrote an amazing biography called “The Hiding Place.” I admire her so much for her resilience and faith, during some of the darkest times the world has ever seen. 3) Bethany Hamilton. Granted, she’s still alive, but she’s still historical!! I admire her determination for not giving up on surfing even though she’d lost her arm in a shark attack. She perservered and beat her own body, and gave thanks to God for it. 4) The leaders of the American Revolution. They had everything to lose, and nothing physical to gain. Their only gain? Freedom. Freedom to have faith. Freedom to support their families and move up in life, unfettered. Freedom to obey God’s Laws instead of man’s. That’s true freedom. 5) Arnold Schwarzzenegger. Yeah … maybe a little weird, but hear me out! While I don’t agree with everything in his personal life, he was a politician, businessman, successful actor, and a guy who broke the expectations set for him in everything (not to mention that he attained an insane fitness level.) He was committed and determined, and that’s what I admire about him.
  8. Do you prefer reading out of your paper Bible or your digital one? Oh, my paperback, ALLLL the way! I love underlining, circling, or starring important phrases/passages/things I want to remember, and to me it just feels so much more “I’m reading the Word of God” if I’m holding a literal book in my hand as opposed to looking at a screen. But I often do find it helpful to cross-reference using digital bible tools, like the interlinear.
  9. When you are sad, angry or hurt what’s a Bible passage that ministers to you? At the top of my head, Isaiah 43. It outlines just who we are as children of the King – sought after, treasured, and brought home. But it’s not often I seek any specific chapter in the Bible when I’m hurting – I’ll pray, or just blindly pick up the Bible and flip to where I’m reading in an efort to forget about whatever hurtful thing happened.
  10. If you are joyful, happy, or excited what’s a Bible passage that helps you worship? I don’t have a specific one, but I love to praise through any hopeful, joyful, or thankful passage that can be put to song! I’ve written songs based on Biblical passages in the past and it really makes the Word come alive for me!
  11. What helps you to be focused on Jesus throughout the day? Honestly, I often fail to be focused on Jesus throughout the day. Life catches up and I lose sight of what matters. But I find that I live more productively, consciously, and faithfully when I make studying The Word a priority.
This is not my pic – all credit goes to the owner, whoever they are. 😊

My nominees!

(Hehe … 12 nominees? Oh well! 😝)

My questions for all of y’all! Sorry that the first two are a bit goofy!

  1. What was your first thought when you saw your name on the nominee list?
  2. Did it take the ambulance members long to revive you after you realized you’d have to do this award? *giggles*
  3. What’s one of your favorite books of the Bible, and why?
  4. What’s your favorite genre of music?
  5. What is something you’re really passionate about?
  6. How would other people describe you?
  7. Where do you find hope when you’re feeling hopeless?
  8. What’s your favorite thing about yourself?
  9. What is your biggest fear?
  10. What is something you wish you could tell your ten-year-old-self?
  11. Where do you want to be in five years?

And finally, here are the eleven random things about me!

  1. I have a habit of sticking pencils in my hair … and leaving them there and forgetting about them!
  2. If you see me wearing a dress, it’s either because my parents made me, or my jeans are all in the wash. Or I might just be in a “dressy” mood (which almost never happens!)
  3. I’ve always wanted to learn to surf, but never had the chance.
  4. My room is almost never messy. (Ha. I just destroyed the typical teenager stereotype.)
  5. I am a night owl AND a morning person.
  6. I hated peanut butter with a passion, up until a year or two ago. And now I could eat it every day!
  7. I might be on a Keto diet, mediterranean diet, intermittent fasting program, or health kick – but the minute you set a cookie in front of me, I’ll forget it all.
  8. If I could spend all day with my friends, I would wake up happy for a week!
  9. I’ve never liked video games – the longest time I’ve played is around 10 minutes of minecraft when I was 10 years old.
  10. If I’m in my room, listening to a video, with my door closed, and my parents are on the other side of the house whispering, I can hear what they’re saying. 😶 Don’t worry, they know!!
  11. I have had so. many. often-weird. nicknames. (Mikki, Mik, Killah, Kayla, Sis, Jess, Rosebud, Mak, Makalay, Makayler, Obsessed-kitty-girl, KK, Bell Bottoms, and *shudders* Macky.)

This was SOOOOO much fun, and this time, I actually nominated the quota of people! XD I hope you all found this enjoyable! Any thoughts? Rants? Questions? Talk to me in the comments! 👇

Thanks for coming back to the blog! Be sure to subscribe for future content on faith, fitness, lifestyle and more!

Have a great day everyone!

Makayla

My December Goals – What were they, and did I achieve them?

Hey there again y’all! I’m back with another awesome life update, but this time, it’s not just for me! I hope my goals will inspire YOU to make some, because honestly y’all, it’s never too late! (Be aware that I revised some of these halfway through, due to the *ahem* impossible nature of a few of them!)

My December goals were:

Finish Chloe Ting 2019 SHRED Challenge!

This was so unexpected, but so fun! In this post, I talk about my experience, and in this one I provide some few tips for getting off to a great start!

Reading a Bible book every day … (definitely not completed!)

Originally I had wanted to read a Bible book a day, but when I reached the longer books it became too much pressure. Don’t worry … I’ll eventually work up the courage to actually do it! This month I went through 1 Samuel to Esther, and I’m in Job now!! It was awesome! I learned so many new things I’d never heard or understood before, and I’m so excited to read more of the Bible that I have literally never seen before! It’s been such a journey to finally make this goal to read the Bible straight through, from beginning to end, but it has been SO worth it. And I’m only partway through!

Complete Lessons 113-140 in all three of my Grade 10 RPC courses, and catch up on essays up to that point.

I didn’t get anywhere close to 140. I went from 113 to 130, which actually isn’t bad. What I’m really excited about is the fact I caught up on almost all my essays! *throws party* At one point I had a “to write” list of about 12 essays! 😱 Now the tally is down to 4 (plus editing the other ones, and making minor adjustments.)

Play violin daily with the goal of playing on worship team soon.

A friend gave me the Suzuki violin book one this month, and I’ve been noticing some amazing growth in my technique and sight-reading! I’m so excited to go find Book Two so I can continue growing! (No way did I play daily, but I worked slowly through Book One, various scales, songs from memory, and worship songs.)

Complete the Chloe Ting Ab Workout Challenge!

(I completed this challenge in tandem with the 2019 SHRED. It was very fun, and after the first few days it actually got pretty easy!!)

Learn to make salads that taste really good. That includes learning leafy, fruit, veggie mixes, quinoa, cream salads, and smashing some dressing recipes too! (By the way, if you have a fave recipe, please share!)

I didn’t start the month learning much, but I finally made a vinaigrette! Does that count? 😅 I discovered that I can handle spinach almost every day, in salads, green smoothies, and omelets. Work those greens, guys! (I’m going to say I didn’t get this one, but my eating more spinach means I get a B+)

Learn to draw manga freehand, without copying … ?

I got an ironic kick in the pants partway through the month when meeting a young man who drew manga (and was literally so good!) Maybe it’s peer pressure, but since then I’ve been sketching here and there, brainstorming ideas for a comic. (A small one.) It’s been really fun, and I’ve gotten experience as well as improving my hand.

Begin the Chloe Ting 2020 SHRED Challenge!

Yep, I began it! It’ll carry on into January since it lasts two weeks. (Check out my post here, where I discuss some specifics of the program.) Update: I completed the 2020 Challenge!


So there are all my goals from the month of December!! I’ve never had so many goals in one month before and it’s literally flown by so fast! I’m super pumped for January too, though … *peeks at the ever-growing “January Goals” draft in my folder …*

Inspiration from this month:

You’ve gotta dance like there’s nobody watching,
Love like you’ll never be hurt,
Sing like there’s nobody listening,
And live like it’s heaven on earth. – William W. Purkey

“So Jesus said to them, “Because of your unbelief; for assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you. However, this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting.” Mathew 17:20-21, NKJV (emphasis mine.)

“I spent some time praying about all this and eventually realised this: my day might not be perfect, and I accept that, so how can I make the most of whatever happens, and what can I do in addition to make sure I’m making the most of each day?” (quoted from This is the day – Part 2 (From Not So Perfect.)


Update On What I’m Studying

Guys!! It was Hanukkah this month!! For those of you who don’t know the roots of Hanukkah, it’s a festival day of remembrance, referenced in the Bible as the “Feast of Rededication”. Jesus remembered it in John 10:22. It’s a festival which commemorates the re-dedication of the altar in the temple in the 2nd century B.C.E. (To see an amazing speaker on Hanukah and the layers of meaning within the word, see Keith Johnson’s speech at this link. To see the entire series (and trust me, these guys are good!) see this link.)

Recently I’ve been feeling the need to rededicate myself … not just the soul that makes me me, but my faith and my actions. I pledged to be a Hanochite – a woman trained, a fighter, someone who stands for what’s right – because that’s who I want to be.

Giving up myself for His Glory means taking breaks from working out hardcore, especially on Shabbat, so that I can glorify Him on the day of rest. I have to give up some of those things I obsess over that keep me from having relationship with Him, or keep me from reading my Bible. I want to go further in school, paying better attention and writing quality essays. I want to look deeper into the Word, praying about a passage I don’t understand rather than looking it up online or merely skipping past it.

Most of all, I want to go wherever he leads me. I want to do whatever he asks of me. My flesh doesn’t want to – but it’s necessary for spiritual growth.

“But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear; having a good conscience, that when they defame you as evildoers, those who revile your good conduct in Christ may be ashamed.” 1 Peter 3:15-16, NKJV


Thanks everyone for coming back to the blog! Stay awesome!

Makayla

What were your December goals? What goals are you excited to start working on this month? Let me know in the comments!