Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Embrace the Truth


So many times I get tricked into believing the lies planted by Satan. So many times I get wrapped up in his lies that I forget to embrace the real truth. 

Satan tries to get me to believe that I fall short. That I’m not good enough, not pretty enough, not extraverted enough, not strong enough, not brave enough, not smart enough, that I’m not enough.

But God tells me the real truth, that I am enough. I’m enough for Jesus to come down to this earth and die on the cross for my sins.

Dear those of us who want to embrace the truth,

YOU are good enough.
Because…God wouldn’t have opened this door if you weren’t ready.

YOU are beautiful.
Because… you are fearfully and wonderfully made. Psalm 139:14

YOU are unique.
Because… God didn’t make any of us the same. No matter the personalities, you are made to be YOU.

YOU are strong.
Because… you won't give up, and you will rely on God’s strength.

YOU are brave.
Because… you obey and put your trust in God.

YOU are smart.
Because… God has given you a very detailed and complex mind.

YOU are enough.
Because… God’s love makes you enough!

YOU are chosen by your loving Heavenly Father. You are enough, and don’t ever believe otherwise! 

Whenever you feel your self image plummeting and know that Satan is trying to make you believe the lies, a good exercise is this: 
I am____. 
Because…____.

It is up to us to choose NOT to listen to the lies, but instead to embrace the truth! 

I’ve made three fun designs as reminders. Feel free to take a picture of your favorite design to use as your screensaver, or print them off and put them around your house so that you can be reminded that you are enough! 






➳✩➳✩➳✩Have you ever felt like Satan was trying to get you to believe a lie about yourself? Have you ever felt like you don't know how to choose to embrace the truth?  What are some ways that you embrace the truth?
How is your July going? What is one thing that you have learned this month?           Lets talk in the comments below!➳✩➳✩➳✩

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

God's Way, Not Ours



A few months ago, late at night, my Dad decided to put together a bike he had bought for me that day. I had needed a new bike because my old one was to small and we were getting ready for our triathlon. Go HERE to read about the triathlon! 

Anyways, I like putting things together, so I decided to help him. The bike came in a big box and was already halfway assembled. Unwrapping the protective bubblewrap, styrofoam, cardboard, plastic and zip ties that covered the actual bike took quite awhile.

Once it was all laid out, the handle bars, seat, and the front tire were the parts that needed to be attached to the main frame. This bike came with instructions on how to put it together and a few tools. Laying on the floor, the bike didn't look much like a bike to me. It’s pieces were scattered about in various piles and looked more like a mess than a bike. 

The directions went something like this. It showed a diagram of the bike. Named bike parts using the alphabet, Part A and Part B etc. Then over the next few pages, it gave us the steps and order to accomplish these said steps. It even had pictures. Going to be easy, right?

This was our first time to assemble a bike, in the past, we had always just bought the bike already put together. Since this was a first time thing, we had to keep close attention to the instructions. It told us to attach the handle bars first, so we took the bolt cap off and slid the handle bars down into the frame. There was a line on the handle bars that said how far to push it down. That went fairly well, moving us along the list of steps in the instruction booklet. 

Next up was the front tire. This proved to be more difficult. All we had to do was put the frame over the tire and where the spokes met, tighten and secure it to the bike. The problem was our bike frame was too wide to correctly fit over the wheel. I wondered if we had the wrong part, maybe the manufacturers gave us the wrong size tire or frame? 

My Dad tried to force the frame together to make it smaller, but it still was too loose fitting over the tire. We tried different methods of securing it, but nothing was working. Stumped, I went back to the instructions. I carefully reread over the steps and realized that we had overlooked one small, teeny tiny step. Our problem was we needed to put this certain part on the tire BEFORE putting the frame over it to attach it. We were trying to put it on AFTER. Once we realized how to put it together the right way and in the right order, we finally finished the bike!  

Then, after we put on the seat, it was time to test out our bike assembly skills. I looked over the bike and knew all the bolts were tight, I knew everything was locked into place, I knew it was ready to be tested out, but something gave me hesitation. What if we put it together wrong? What if when I sit down, it all crumbles back into a bunch of pieces again? The visual of me lying in a mess of broken bike parts did not sound appealing! Pushing my doubt aside, I climbed up on the bike anyway. I was choosing to trust that it would hold.

 And it did! I now had a brand new bike! 

So you might ask, what is the reason for this post? How can I apply how you put a bike together to my life?

Well... 

Have you ever felt like you live under a protective layer of bubblewrap, styrofoam, cardboard, plastic and zip ties? Ok, not literally. You know what I mean. 

Have you ever felt like you hide your mess of disassembled pieces under that layer? 

Have you ever felt like you just want to lay the real you out all across the floor and see the scattered piles and pieces? Your worries, your fears, your wants, your hopes, your thoughts, all the jumbled mess. Even if it doesn’t look much like how it is supposed to look. 

Where is our life going? 

Do we get a book of instructions to know what happens next?

Have you ever felt like you overlooked or skipped a seemingly small step, but it turns out a 
important one? 

Have you ever tried to put the blame on someone other than yourself?

Have you ever felt like you tried to force it to work?

Have you ever went back to the instructions and realized your mistake?

And then, have you ever felt like you now know, the right way and in the right order?
Have you ever had to push aside doubt? 

Have you ever had to choose to trust?

These are questions that we all have to ponder ourselves. But I will say, we couldn't have put the bike together without taking all the bubblewrap off. Only after we saw everything laid out and unwrapped, could we move forward and build the bike. We can't move on and live the life that we were meant to live without letting go of our outer mask. Our so called protective layer of bubblewrap.

God sees through the bubblewrap. God know’s everything from our smallest worry to our biggest fear. He know’s the dreams that we have and the plans that we make. He sees all of this! He sees the good and the bad and loves us just the same. He loves us because we are His children. We are His chosen people (1 Peter 2:9)  And He has a plan for each of us. A unique and beautiful plan. One that turns our messy and scattered piles into someone that we were meant to become. God can make us whole. 

We need to realize that not all of our plans are His plans. His way is the right way. We might think we have it figured out. We might think we can just skim read through the instructions and be good. But we will miss the important steps to building our characters and the life that we long to live. We need to read and follow our instructions very closely. 

~The Bible is our Instructions and our Directions. It tells us steps and shows us how to live. 
John 14:21 
“He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest myself to him.”

~The Bible is our Guideline. It give us a perfect example. 
John 13:15 
“For I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you.”
1 Peter 2:21 
“For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us and example, that you should follow His steps:”

~The Bible is our Map. It tells us where we are going if we follow in Jesus footsteps.
John 14:1-3 
“Let not you heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me.
In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.
And if I go and prepare a place for you I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.”

~The Bible is our Recipe. It gives us the ingredients for how to live.
John 15:12 
“This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.”

Lastly, we have to choose to trust. God’s got us. Don’t let our doubts creep in and tell us otherwise. God has a plan and is in control. Take each day one step at a time. Lets strive to read through our instructions God has given us. Lets open up and let Him come in and create in us a new heart. Lets ask him to give us peace and help us trust in Him. God is not finished with us. Lets choose God’s way, not ours!

Proverbs 3:5,6 
“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 they paths.”

➳✩➳✩➳This was really deep, wasn’t it? Have you ever put together a bike before? 
What are your thoughts on God’s Way, Not Ours? Can you relate to anything I said? Have you ever felt like you don't know how to trust? 
Have you ever felt like you don't know how to find the peace that surpasses?
 If you have read through this whole post, 
I want to say thank you and your amazing! This was a very long post and if you have persevered, then I give you a two thumbs up! 
Lets talk in the comments! And, ya'll, this is my 20th post!!! ➳✩➳✩➳

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Happy Fourth of July!



Today is July 4th, which means it's the Forth of July! So, since today we are celebrating Americas independence, this post is going to be a little bit different. I will talk about how my family celebrates the Fourth. It might be a little random, but lets have fun with it! *twirls sparklers* 

The Reason For Our Celebration! 

On July 4, 1776, the Continental Congress approved of the final wording for the Declaration of Independence. We celebrate the Fourth of July like a birthday for The United States of America's Independence.

We Celebrate With Daytime Fireworks! 

Fireworks are super awesome to watch! We have daytime fireworks like small parachutes that we chase after. All different kinds of fireworks that spin, spark, fly, snap, crackles, and pops. (And yes we are still talking about fireworks and not cereal!) 

We Celebrate With Good Food And Cake!

My mom, my auntie, and my nannie always make the yummiest food ever! Especially on special occasions! And our tradition is this AMAZING FLAG CAKE!!! The recipe for the cake we always make for Fourth of July is at the end of this post! Be sure to try it sometime! But this cake does come with two warnings: 1# You will have a very hard time stoping once you start devouring it! And 2# My family tries to eat healthy food and this is an exception to the healthy eating rule. This cake is not considered "healthy" at all (even if it does have raspberries and blueberries on top.) But it is so worth a little tiny cheat day! :D

We Celebrate With Friends And Family!

All of Winds of Faith come together for this celebration! We have a blast! (if you know what I mean:D) We also invite our friends and church family. 

We Celebrate With Music! 

I'm not in charge of the music, but I hear we have quite a few Patriotic songs on a playlist that we will play while we shoot off the nighttime fireworks!

We Celebrate With Nighttime Fireworks! 

My dad and uncle have lots of fun shooting off the fireworks, while the rest of us sit in lawn chairs to watch the show! And at the very end, we have a grand finale! Fireworks are just so cool! (Or hot, get it?!?) (I'm really into the jokes today, aren't I?) (I'm not even trying!)

*******

Speaking of Jokes, want to hear something funny? Something that I get teased about?!

Me: "When is the Fourth of July?" 
Sister: *looks at me funny* 
Sister: "ON THE FOURTH OF JULY!" 

Duh! I know, but let me explain... I was wanting to know how many weeks until the fourth of July. I guess I should have been more specific. Now I get teased about it at my house, and it gets told to everyone else as a blond joke! 

*******

Here are some Fourth of July quotes/sayings I found on Pinterest...






Here's some Patriotic pictures I found on Pinterest...






Here's some picture of fireworks I took...





*******
Ok! Now for the amazing, birthday worthy, Fourth of July cake! 

We got this recipe from Barefoot Contessa:

  • 18 tablespoons (2-1/4 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 6 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 cup sour cream, at room temperature
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • For the Icing:
  • 1 pound (4 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1-1/2 pounds cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 pound confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • To Assemble:
  • 2 half-pints blueberries
  • 3 half-pints raspberries
Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour an 18 x 12 x 1-1/2-inch sheet pan.
Cream the butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment on high speed, until light and fluffy. On medium speed, add the eggs, 2 at a time, then add the sour cream and vanilla. Scrape down the sides and stir until smooth.
Sift together the flour, cornstarch, salt, and baking soda in a bowl. With the mixer on low speed, add the flour mixture to the butter mixture until just combined. Pour into the prepared pan. Smooth the top with a spatula. Bake in the center of the oven for 20 to 30 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool to room temperature.
For the icing, combine the butter, cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mixing just until smooth.
Spread three fourths of the icing on the top of the cooled sheet cake. Outline the flag on the top of the cake with a toothpick. Fill the upper left corner with blueberries. Place 2 rows of raspberries across the top of the cake like a red stripe. Put the remaining icing in a pastry bag fitted with a star tip and pipe two rows of white stripes below the raspberries. Alternate rows of raspberries and icing until the flag is completed. Pipe stars on top of the blueberries.
Enjoy!

What was your favorite quote/picture? How do you celebrate Fourth of July? Do you have family traditions for Fourth of July? How about other holidays? 
 Do you like cake? If you do, are you going to try this recipe? 
Was this post fun to read? 
Are you doing Camp Nano this July? I decided to give it a try! So far it is really exciting! I might end up opening a page to post Camp updates on my writing projects. Would you guys like to read about my Camp NanoWriMo experience? 
Anything big happening this July? Is this to many questions? :D 
Lets talk in the comments!!! 











Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Freedom is Mine



Freedom is Mine
Written by Brooklyne

Locked and enslaved
Worked and must obey
The wishes of my master 
Long hours I’ve braved 
Food, once every day 
The wishes of my master

Hope stretched thin 
But clinging with all to
The promises of God
Knowing He will win
And will see me through
The promises of God

Seven letters 
Freedom, it is mine
Free, yet only in my dreams 
Standing before bidders 
I’m auctioned time and time
Free, yet only in my dreams

Bought by a man 
Kindness, his eyes said
My chains, he set me free!
He takes my hand
“Sorry, my brother, my friend.”
My chains, he set me free! 

For now I choose
To serve the Master
He has paid so I can be free
His side, will not loose
He has paid so I can be free


I rejoice much
For freedom, I taste 
God, my loving Master has won!
His mercy with such
Abounding grace 
God, my loving Master has won!

John 8:36 
"If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed." 

1 Corinthians 6:20
"For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's."

Romans 8:2 
"For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death."

This poem tells a story. A story of a slave who gets set free. 
We are just like this slave in my poem, because God sent His only begotten Son to die on the cross so that we could be saved. 
Wow! Jesus offers us a way out, a way to be free!
That is true love! What amazing grace! 
Lets choose, today, to serve our loving Heavenly Master.

I tried to post the song, Amazing Grace My Chains are Gone, but couldn't figure out how to do that. 
But I think we all know how the song goes, and I thought it fits good with this poem! 
How did you all like this poem? 
Do you like my new header?!? I can't believe June is almost over! Is anyone doing Camp Nano in July? I'm thinking about it! 
Any suggestions for trying Camp for the first time? 
I hope you are having a GREAT day! 
Lets talk in the comments! 






Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Quicksand



In a world of quicksand, how do we survive? 

I’m not literally talking about sand that sucks us down and devours us, I’m talking about everyday life problems. Problems that are so overwhelming and stressful that they pull us down and make us miserable. All of us have our own kinds of “quicksand.” Problems are problems no matter how deep they sink us.

How do we get ourselves out of our quicksand predicament? Is there a secret to dealing with these problems? 

A very long time ago, I read in a survival book that if you are sinking in real quicksand, the first thing you must do is to stay calm. The more you struggle, the faster you sink. It also said that if you have a backpack or anything that you can try to get on top of, then that will slow your sinking. The last thing to do in a quicksand situation is to hold out your hands above your head  that way, when help comes, they can pull you out. 

That is all nice and logical, but what if you were actually being swallowed up in real quicksand?

Picture yourself walking along in the desert. For some odd reason, you are by yourself. You take a step and all of the sudden, your foot starts to sink! Pulling with all your might, you try and try to get that foot unstuck, but to no avail. It keeps sinking lower and lower. Just when you think it starts to loosen, you get thrown off balance and instead of falling to your knees, you catch yourself with your other foot. Only to find that now both feet are stuck. 

Panicking, you start struggling and sinking. Sinking faster now, you feel helpless. Wind stirs up the sand around you, and it stings your face. By this time, the quicksand is way past your knees and you desperately need help. Holding your arms up, you cry out, hoping against hope that you will receive it. 

Do you see the anguish in this situation? Do you ever feel the panicking of every day problems? 

There is a story in the bible that is very similar to our quicksand scenario. 

It is found in Matthew 14:27-32. 

“But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, ‘Be of good cheer! It is I; do not be afraid.’
And Peter answered Him and said, ‘Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water.’ 
So He said, ‘Come.’ And when Peter had come down out of the boat he walked on the water to go to Jesus.
But when he saw that the wind was boisterous, he became afraid; and beginning to sink he cried out, saying, ‘Lord, save me!’
And Immediately Jesus stretched out his hand and caught him, and said to him, ‘O you of little faith, why did you doubt?’
And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased.”


Peter walked on water! But as soon as he took is eyes off of Jesus and saw the waves that the fierce wind was making, he became afraid. He began to doubt and lose faith in Jesus, making him sink deeper and deeper into the water. Crying out for Jesus to save him was his only hope. Immediately Jesus caught him.

Walking on water and the quicksand are like our everyday walk. Not necessarily the physical act of walking, but our life journey. When we focus on Jesus even when it is hard, even when there are distractions and BIG waves, even when we are scared, He will make it possible to walk on water. But when we don’t focus on Jesus and our doubt takes over, we start to sink in our problems. 

We all have felt like we are sinking before. In school, in relationships, at work, at home, on the farm, in the city, even at church. Yes, there is quicksand and boisterous wind everywhere, everyday. Don’t struggle in your problems. Instead, call out to the only One who can save you. Immediately, he will. Have faith, because God will catch you and pull you up. 

There is no amount of quicksand, water, or problems that God cannot handle.

Psalm 46:1
“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.”

Has God been calling you to trust him with your quicksand? When you feel like you are sinking, what do you do? What are some ways to keep our eyes on Jesus even when we are overwhelmed and busy? What is one thing God has been teaching you this June? Lets talk, comment below!