Close To Home

The other day I went to hang out and swim with a group of teen girls from a local childrens home. There was about 11 girls in all from ages 12-16. Even though I only spent a couple hours with them, I got attached to them. Though I am a youth pastors wife, whenever I hang with teen girls I still get nervous. Life is so complicated for a young woman. You have pressure from every angle and there’s no safe place except home.. but these girls didn’t even have that. They either got sent to that shelter by the court, they went there because the foster system is full, or they got in trouble with the law.

There was this one girl in particular that I met today named Jamie. She was almost 15, and had such a joyful spirit! In the midst of whatever circumstances placed her there, she seemed upbeat and happy.  I was shocked when she told me that she used to lived on Foster Chapel road before being sent there… it was the same road I spent half of my childhood on??! How can someone so beautiful and happy and so close to my home end up there? How many other people around have gone through something and me not know? I get so caught up in my own little world that I don’t see other people as souls. Compassion is so rare and much needed. I wished I could have stayed longer just to watch the girls have fun and so I could try to fit all their names with their faces. But I do pray that God showers them each with His love and opens their eyes to know how much they are worth.

I hope this story reminds you to pray for those around you. And to pray that God changes your outlook on life. To help you look beyond what you can see to what only He can.

I dont know what God is trying to teach me through that day. Maybe it’s gratefulness, maybe it’s to bring me back to earth and show me how each person is a soul. Maybe it’s to soften my heart. I don’t know. I might not know for awhile.. but it has made me rethink not only my life but also the lives of those around me.

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Summer Essentials 2016

Because this is my favorite time of the year, I wanted to share my favorite products that I use in the summer:)

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I am pretty good at drinking water not only in the summer but year round. Cute water bottles like this make it easier to stay consistent:)

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The hot summer days only add to my oily skin:/ These are a must for me in summer. What’s great is that they don’t smudge my make up underneath!

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Even though I have oily skin… I really love a good highlight;) Lunch Money from Colourpop has been my go-to. And its cheap!

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I’m the type of person who changes their perfume based on what season it is. Fresh & Clean from Pink has been my #1 summer body for a couple years.

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Because the days are longer and hotter. I really hate having makeup and dirt on my face at the end of the day. The Garnier Micellar Water is quick, easy, and leaves my face feeling soft:)

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Sunscreen is probably the most important item you can use during summer. I used to never wear it…. but I have gotten better over the years!  I keep this one with me when I travel and I have a face sunscreen at home:)

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Some people like sunglasses, others prefer hats. Im too clumsy for sunglasses (I’ve tried). So I stick with hats to keep the sun and my hair out of my face!  This is my favorite one I own. I got it from Florida (obviously) on my senior trip:)

So what are your summer essentials??? Let me know in the comments!

May Favorites!

Summer is finally here!!! And with it, my May favorites! I have some beauty products and some random stuff that I have used a lot and enjoyed this month. Let me know some of your favorites in the comments!

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So I actually read about 5 books in May but these two were my favorites♡♡ Dee Henderson never disappoints and Taken was one of her best. If I Run was…. I don’t even know. Outstanding. It was sooooo good! Although I didn’t know it was the first in a three part series:/ so I have to wait a year to read the second one:( This book was amazing though. One of the best I have read suspense wise in years.

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This is Lunch Money from Colourpop. I have had this highlighter for about a year but I recently started using it again and fell in love:) It’s a pretty champagne toned cream highlight.

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Another beauty favorite is this Wet n Wild blush in Rose Champagne. I am not a blush person. I just never reach for it and when I do its the same blush I have used for like, 5 years. Lol
But I seen this at Walmart and fell in love with this color! It is so different than what I have seen before. And the quality is as good as my Sephora blush (Wet n Wild never disappoints).

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Considering this is the only eyeshadow palette I have used this month… there’s no need to say how much I love this palette. If I could only have one palette forever it’d be this one:) I did a review with swatches if you wanna check that out:)

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I have been using this concealer on work days and whenever I just need to go somewhere real quick. By no means does it replace my Nars concealer but for every day, its a good option because its cheap and does a decent job:) A little goes a long way with this concealer and I love the coverage:) I got a shade too light for me though so I am going to purchase a darker one soon:)

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My two favorite songs have been these two.  But I have been listening to Bizzle’s album Surrender nonstop. Every song is awesome:) Especially Better With You:)

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Mind Games

I think a lot. When I’m working, I think about work. When I’m with my friends and family, I think about recent events or things I thought was funny. When I’m at church I think about church stuff (and food thats waiting at home for me I’m not gonna lie;). When I’m at home, I think about everything. The cats, books, outside, how to keep my potted plants from dying,  what I’m gonna do the next day, what I should be cleaning but probably won’t, YouTube videos I want to watch, etc….
I’m sure you think alot too. If you’re reading this your probably thinking “What do I think about?” 😉

2 Corinthians 10:5 is possibly one of my favorite scriptures in the New Testament.

“Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;”

Did you catch that? Every thought captive. Not just the bad ones about your co-workers,  the lustful ones, the hateful ones, the ungrateful ones. EVERY thought.

Do you know how many thoughts on average a person has per day??
50,000 to 70,000. In one day?!!

That’s alot of thinking. How many of those thoughts have I brought captive to Christ? I’m gonna say in the low, well… under a hundred probably.  What about you? How many out of your 50,000 thoughts have you taken captive today? What have most of your thoughts consisted of?
We tend to think about the same things that we did the day before.

So how exactly do you captivate thoughts?  It’s not like you can trap them with rope and food like wild animals.
Hebrews 4:12 tells us of our thought-trapping device.

“For the word of God is quick,  and powerful,  and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing assunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.”

The Word of God can discern our thoughts for us. It can pierce through our flesh to our spirit.

We are suppose to meditate on scripture. Day and night.

Joshua 1:8a
“This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night…”

Psalm 1:2 “But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.”

We are here to glorify God. Every thought we have should be to His glory!

Can you imagine how letting Satan get into your head 50,000 times a day will do to your relationship with God?

Can you imagine how bringing every thought captive to Christ 50,000 times a day will do to your relationship with Him?

It’s definitely a game changer.
I’m not saying that you and I will ever get to that point. We are human and will mess up every day, hour,  possibly minute. But isn’t it a humbling perspective to see how we much we fail in one day, and yet God’s grace still covers us?
Isn’t is awesome that Jesus took every thought captive while He was on Earth?

If you think your thinking doesn’t affect you, well you’re wrong. You are what you think. What you desire and long for stems from what you think about. How you view life’s circumstances is through the lens of what you think on.

Philippians 2:5 “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus.”

As christians we should strive for our thinking to be like Christs. We are to be Christ-like. Try to align your thoughts up with the Bible, see how it effects your relationship with God.

Meet Catsy Cline

So our little family consisted of 2 cats Audrey Hairball and Chibi Bear, and a turtle named Noah. Until last week when we found a kitten under our house!

It’s kinda a funny story… Last Tuesday me and Tj (my husband) decided to go to the local animal shelter to look for a dog to adopt! We have really been wanting a puppy recently. We looked around and even though I wished I could take every dog there home with me… we left empty handed to think about which ones we seen and who would fit best for us.
That night, it rained hard for about 3 hours straight. But through the sound of the rain we kept hearing a meowing sound from under our house! I crawled under there and found a kitten I had seen the momma carry across our yard earlier that day. We wanted a dog but I guess God decided we needed another cat;)

We named her Catsy Cline and she is spoilt rotten!

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As you can see…  she loves sleeping! ;P

What You’re Worth To Me

Lord I try to write
And make the perfect rhymes.
I think of what life is
And all I do is come up empty handed.
Im tired of writing empty words
I’m tired of wanting my own thoughts to
Be whats heard

Because what are they worth? A penny at best.
What are my words worth on the bestselling list?
A hint of fortune, a flicker of fame.
What else can I write
Its all been written
What else can I say?
It will just be forgotten.

Sometimes I feel like you put something on my heart
Then ill put it to ink,
But it doesn’t leave a mark.

I have waited years
To hear from your voice
I have hungerd for words
But then hunger became a curse
When my words became more
Than you who spoke
When did i begin to think
That it was me who wrote?

The things that are beautiful,  that pierces one’s heart.
Every line written, every work of art.
Each flower that bloomed from Creation till now, every creature that breathes, from the birds to the cows.
It all points to you.  It all gives You praise
What gives me right to think I shouldn’t do the same?
My words are meaningless. They’ll burn up like grass.
Each letter is a memory. Soon it will all pass.
My thoughts will become nothing, Articfacts of old. My tales of splendor now, will never be retold.
The only thing thats left, This one thing remains. The only thing worth saving, (if we are capable to save).
The only thing that stands in my ever moving mind, is the words you have spoken Lord, they have stood through time.
My life is nothing special,  but special you are to me.
I hope my simple words praise you. I hope they show you as my King.
I hope they give a glimpse, of what I have down inside.
I hope they show my struggle, how sometimes I want to hide.
I want them to be convicting, mainly to my heart. I want you to speak between the lines. I want you to place each mark.
In the end I know, this one thing I have seen,
All that my life is worth, is only what you’re worth to me.

My Struggle With Diligence

Lately I have felt so unmotivated to read, study, write, even pray. I don’t feel inspired or close to God.  Sometimes, I will feel like this for months, of just being numb. I know how hard hard it is to read and pray everyday.  It shouldn’t be…. but for me it is the most difficult thing to do sometimes. Either I’m too tired or just lazy. I don’t feel like reading the Bible because I don’t want to put the effort into it. I would rather relax by doing my own thing like watching YouTube videos, reading books, listening to music, or watching tv. I know that Christians in other countries have died trying to get Bibles and that many people and have died for God’s Word. I have been told that and guilt tripped my whole life into reading my Bible. Either by teachers at school, elders at church, even my friends. Yeah I feel guilty for not reading it… but I won’t feel convicted. God’s conviction will do alot more to my heart than someone making me feel guilty ever will.

So reading the Bible and praying is the most basic thing in the Christian walk. Yet also the most crucial…. and difficult. Sometimes, I will read my Bible consistently and I will feel so close to God. Other times, I won’t read for a month and I will just feel… numb. I know this isn’t how the Christian walk is suppose to be. Whenever I feel detached from God, that is when it’s crucial that I read and pray! Not give it a break and try again later because God apparently isn’t in a talkative mood at the moment. No, when He remains silent it is then that I should remain diligent!

Proverbs 13:4 “The soul of the luggars desireth, and hath nothing: but the sould of the diligent shall be made fat.”

No, it doesn’t feel good. A lot of times reading and praying seems worse than doing dishes or folding laundry (gag!!).

Last Sunday, my husband preached over Matthew 15:21-28. A woman goes to Jesus crying after him to save her daughter who was possessed. What did Jesus do? He ignored her…. So she went back home and and gave up trying to talk with Him and instead was a bland, numb woman who felt empty inside for forever…

Just kidding that’s probably what I would do.. (I do it now). This Canaanite woman went a step further.. she worshipped him! And asked again! But what did Jesus say to her? “It is not meet to take the children’s bread, and to cast it to the dogs.” Um.. I don’t nknow about you but if someone has just told me I wasn’t good enough for them and compared me to a dog… I would probably cry;P But.. she answered him, “Truth, Lord: yet the dogs eat of the crumbs which fall from the master’s table.” She showed diligence. She didn’t give up when Jesus remained silent. She didn’t get angry.  She kept at it.

Next time God is silent when I seek Him, or He answers in a way I don’t like… maybe I should keep at it. (By the way, her daughter was healed. Don’t you think because she had to seek him diligently and press a little harder that when her daughter was healed, it was that much more satisfying?).

Luke 11:9 “And I say unto you, Ask,  and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock and it shall be opened unto you.”

Keep in mind… the promise God makes us in Luke 11:9 doesn’t say how many times we have to knock or how long we will have to seek.. But it does promise that we will find.

“Breathe” by Priscilla Shirer Week 1 Insights

So lately I have been doing the Breathe study by Priscilla Shirer. It is a 5 week long study that you can do by yourself,  or with a group of people. Since I’m doing this study by myself, I decided to just buy the book. But audio lessons and video lessons are available too(My next study I do from her I will be buying the audio lessons to go with it).

So even though I just finished Week 2,  today I’ll be writing a couple key points I learned from Week 1. Since this was two weeks ago… this post probably won’t be very long.

Week 1 taught me that I had my view of the Sabbath all wrong. It’s not just a day you go to church and worship God. The Sabbath or, and Sabbath Margin, is a lifestyle. It should free us from our life taking control over us. To keep blessings from becoming bondages.
Another point I learned was that Creation wasn’t complete until the Sabbath. God didn’t rest because He was tired? He’s God!!!! He rested because He created rest on the 7th day! Genesis 2:2 says that on the seventh day, God completed His work! Week 1 of this study made me realize the things I was putting above the Sabbath. That I have chains I don’t want to let go of because it would mean I would have to trust God. I’m just like the Israelites who when gathering manna, tried to gather extra for the next day because they didn’t trust God.  I have become a slave to work!  It also made me realize that in our culture, we have turned a day of rest into a burden. Since when has anyone felt rested on a Sunday? I haven’t in yeeeaaarrss. Because there’s choir practice, buses, making food, sticking to the church schedule so it all runs smoothly…. Sunday’s are no longer a blessing ( which God intended them to be) but a burden.

This week helped me set boundaries in my life so I don’t become taken over by things, people, church, work, etc….

For the past year I have struggled with juggling life and finding time for everything and everyone… My life really has become a master over me and I never knew it. I can’t begin to tell you how much of a blessing this study has been so far! If you are interested in thia study,  I bought mine at Lifeway.com for around 9$!

Stay tuned for my insights from Week 2:)

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Too Faced Natural Matte Palette Review

So for my birthday I went to Ulta and one of things I bought was this palette:) Ever since I got into makeup I have wanted the Too Faced Natural Eyes palette… Until they came out with the matte version of it!!

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First of all… the packaging is goooorrgeous!! It’s a tin palette with almost a victorian flare to it:)

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But even though they killed it on the packaging, it’s the inside that counts;)

I’m a sucker for neutral colors. Especially when it comes to eyeshadow. I honestly dont stray away from neutral colors very much. Every now and then I’ll throw in a purple, blue, or a peach. So these colors are some that I will get a lot of use out of.

This palette is designed for 3 different eye looks. A day look, classic look, and a fashion look which I guess is the most dramatic. It comes with a little pamphlet that shows you how to achieve each of these but honestly,  I haven’t even looked at it;P It is nice for beginners though!

This is my first Too Faced palette and when I bought this I expected great things. I have heard sooooo many good things about their palettes. Especially the chocolate bar ones! The only high-end eyeshadows I have to compare this palette to is Urban Decay, and Tarte (their shadows are amazing btw).

When I first used this palette I was surprised at how powdery they are. I felt like I kept having to apply shadow to get the color to show. Especially with Honey Butter, and Strapless. The longevity of these are about the same as my Urban Decay shadows. I used eyeshadow primer yet I still noticed some creasing. But thats normal for me because I have hooded eyes and oily eyelids (that just sounds weird right? ;P).

I swatched the darkest shade, Sexpresso, next to my Tarte eyeshadow in Picnic Basket.

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That’s two swipes of Sexpresso and two swipes of Picnic Basket.

Tarte eyeshadows are soo creamy and buttery so compared to those, the Too Faced shadows are powdery. BUT….. compared to Urban Decay’s matte eyeshadows, Too Faced’s are more pigmented.

So, in simpler terms… I would put Too Faced right in between Urban Decay and Tarte.

Here’s some of my favorite shades:) (I marked them with a really cheesy heart sticker in case you can’t tell;)

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Would I recommend this palette to a friend? – Absolutely!

Would I repurchase this palette? – Yes. I love the colors and the size of this palette. Plus it’s been the only shadows I’ve used since I got it!

Would I rate this in my Holy Grail makeup products? – For now, yes I would! But who knows what the future holds so of course that could change;)

Weak Minded Christians

I feel that since I am a Christian,  I get looked upon as being ignorant,  or weak minded. For example, I had a girl tell me one time that she has been all over the country and has seen more things and experienced more than I have. Therefore my belief in God was childish dreams. She knew God wasn’t real because of what she has experienced. A lot of people think christians are weak minded because we use God as a “crutch” to get through life. For example, death is a lot easier to bear if we believe we will see that loved one again.. Which it is, but it’s also harder to go through when you don’t know if that person went to heaven or hell.

A big thing in our culture is education. I’m 20 years old and work at Walgreens. I can’t begin to tell you how many strangers have tried talking me into going to college. I have nothing against college! I love that anyone can go and better their education and do great things with their life somtimes I wish God would have choose that path for me.
And I’m not against experience. I would love to go to different countries around the world and be a part of different cultures.

But what is all the knowledge and experience in the world worth if you don’t know Christ?

“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction.” -Proverbs 1:7

You don’t truly know anything until you know the Lord! I have an uncle who has traveled the world. He has been to soo many countries and seen so many breathtaking things, but he doesn’t know God. His knowledge doesn’t add up to anything. His experience doesn’t mean anything.

Proverbs 15:14
“The discerning heart seeks knowledge: but the mouth of a fool feeds on folly.”

Whenever I am talking to a nonbeliever about God or prayer or etc… I always get this look from them like they just feel bad for me. They think I’m naive because I believe in a God who cares about me and I actually think He listens?! To the world’s eyes, its easy to believe in a god that doesn’t exsist just so I have some kind of hope in which I can handle the difficult things in life.

But honestly, being a Christian isn’t just a walk in the park. The Bible even compares the christian walk to warfare.

“Thou therefore endure hardness as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.” 2 Timothy 2:3

There are numerous verses that cautions us about the dangers in life, and teaches us about the spiritual battle we fight every day.
No, I haven’t experienced different cultures or lifestyles. I don’t have a degree of any kind. I’m just a cashier and photo tech at Walgreens! But because I know Jesus as my savior, I have more knowledge and understanding than the smartest nonbeliever on Earth. 

2 Peter 1:3 “According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue.”

I don’t use God as a crutch to bear the burdens of life. If anything,  being a Christian has added difficulty to my life. I battle my flesh every single day. I’m constantly at war with my fleshly desires!

No, I have never been through a traumatic experience or anything like that. But I do know people who have been, and those experiences has strengthened their faith in God.

I don’t have all the answers… but the Bible does. I do know that being a Christian isn’t being “weak minded”. It’s about weakening our fleshly desires and striving for our purpose in life, worshipping God. It’s easy to say God doesn’t exist, or that He doesn’t care about us. It’s difficult to go against our flesh and know there is someone greater than us who knows the bigger picture.

I’ll admit I get intimidated meeting people who study in college (like physcology or science,  etc..) or who have seens things I can only read about in books.. it is easy to feel almost awestruck by someone like that. But, if that person isn’t saved, they know nothing of worth. And its mine and your responsibility to share the knowledge of salvation we have with that person. If you went to see the Taj Mahal or the Amazon Rain Forest, would you keep it all to yourself and not tell anyone of your adventures? 

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Of course not! You would want to share your experience with those around you and show them the beauty of it! And it should be the same way with our knowledge in Jesus Christ.