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Saturday, January 21, 2017

Be Not Weary...


2 Thessalonians 3:13 But ye, brethren, be not weary in well doing.


"May I never grow so weary with fighting this daily battle that my sword falls from my hand. May I never become like so many around me--complacent, content to dabble in the mud at the foot of the holy mount, instead of pressing step by step to the summit. May I instead be like a strong, thriving tree, pointing others to heaven. Like the moon, brilliantly reflecting the sun of my Saviour's righteousness. May I be a warrior, valiantly struggling against the enemies of the truth. May I be a lamb, meekly accepting instruction and enduring persecution and suffering, with the knowledge that I am ever in The Good Shepherd's hands. May I live passionately, fervently, in sweet communion with my King, not caring for the opinion of others. May I live so victoriously that those around me will glorify God because of my life. May I pour out my time, my energy, my talents, my desires, my very life at the feet of Christ, allowing Him to use them as He will. May my heart never be wandering or distracted, but instead fixed solely on performing the will of The One who redeemed me. May it never be said of me or any other true follower of Jesus, that I became weary in well doing."
~~Anonymous

Just wanted to share this with you all. I pray you each have a blessed day in The Lord's house tomorrow, and a great week to come! Let's start off the week in praise to God! :) 
Mykaela

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Fun Post: Liebster Tag


So I know I just did a blogger tag...but I was recently tagged by my good friend Kimberly over at Peculiar on Purpose, to complete her question list. :) Here is a direct quote from her blog on what "Liebster" means. ;)


"Liebster. 

No, it's not English. 

'Lieb' means 'Love' in German. The suffix '-ster' is very similar to an English superlative. 'Liebster', then, means something along the lines of 'Beloved', or 'Most Loved'. 

As far as I can tell, the Liebster Tag (previously, "Liebster Award") began as a way to recognize and promote your favorite and/or new bloggers."

So there you have it! ;) I will tag someone else at the end of this post. :) Here are Kimberly's questions for me...

1. Besides the Bible, what is one book that has changed your life?
Wow, this is a tough question!! I think I'd have to say One Thing You Can't Do in Heaven, by Mark Cahill. One of the best books on personal evangelism you will ever read.


2. What color are your bedroom walls?
Eesh. Right now my walls are rather unattractive brown paneling. ;P We are going to be tearing them all out and replacing them (I live in a basement that used to be a studio apartment, but that was quite a long time ago.) Hence the lack of loveliness. When we get drywall up, I am going to be painting them a very pale blue. :)


3. Favorite season?
I think summer and fall are tied for me. I absolutely love swimming, so summer is fun because of that. But fall is when my birthday is, the leaves change, the weather is awesome...I can't pick. ;)


4. Beaches or Mountains?
Another difficult one!! I guess mountains, because there is more you can do in the mountains than on the beach.

5. Have you figured out how to answer the "What do you want to be when you grow up?/What do you want to do with your life?" question? If so, let's hear what you've got!
I want to be a full time wife and mother. I would like to write and do music stuff on the side, but we'll see how much I am able to do that. Until then, I am staying home, working, helping my family and church, and just enjoying where God has me at the moment. :)


6. If you had a time machine, when and where would you travel first? Why?
I would travel to the time of Christ, so I could see for myself the amazing miracles and messages of Jesus!!


7. What is your purpose behind blogging?
My purpose behind blogging is to be a blessing and an encouragement to everyone who comes across my blog. Specifically, to be an influence in the lives of those I may never be able to reach in person.


8. What is your current "life verse"?
2 Peter 1:5-7, which I just posted on! ;) You can read it here.


9. If your house was burning down, and your family was already safe, what two things would you grab?
My goodness, there are too many hard questions here...(thanks, Kimberly. ;P) I think my Bible and my journal. My Bible because my dad bought it for me right after I got saved, (coming up on 10 years ago now!), and it's very precious to me. My journal has soooo much family history, and I'm actually the only one in my family that has kept a journal fairly regularly for the past 13 years or so.

10. What do you wish you had more of?
Friends that lived nearby. I have actually never really had a friend that lived close enough that I could call them up and be like "Hey, want to go shopping/go out for coffee/come over..." etc. Well, I did for a few months, and then she moved away. Ahem. You know who you are. ;) Anyway, I would love it if some of you could just move here already! ;D

11. If you could broadcast one sentence across the entire earth, where literally every human being alive would hear your words in their own language, what would you say?
Jesus Christ is the way, the truth, and the life, and if you turn from sin, (lying, stealing, lust, etc.), and ask Him, He will give you eternal life with Him! (Long sentence, but it was just one! ;P)

Thank you so much for these awesome questions, Kimberly!! I would like to tag Sarah over at Dreams in Alaska to do this tag. She has some really good, thought provoking posts over there, you should definitely check it out! :) My questions for her:

1. What are some of your favorite Christian artists or groups?
2. What genre do you enjoy reading most?
3. What person has been the biggest influence or made the biggest impact on your life?
4. What is your most important goal in life right now?
5. What's one of your favorite childhood memories? 
6. What are a couple of hobbies or talents of yours?
7. Is there one song that you always go back to for encouragement or just because you love it? :)
8. What is a food that you really don't like?
9. Favorite instrument? (To listen to or play)
10. Early bird or night owl? ;)

If anyone else would like to do the tag as well, just let me know and I'll link you in!! :D Hope you guys enjoyed this, because I sure did! :) Have a lovely weekend! 
Mykaela

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Adding, Growing, Thriving!


2 Peter 1:5-11 And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.

For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins. 

Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall: For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. (emphasis mine)

These verses have really been changing my life lately, which is why I included a longer passage today. My dad has been preaching through Second Peter 1 in his Sunday morning messages, and it has been SO good!! 

What I used to think when I read these verses ran something along these lines... "Add to my faith virtue, and to virtue knowledge...how will I ever know where I fall on this list?? Like yes, I have my faith in Christ, and I am working on virtue and knowledge, etc., but no one is ever fully virtuous, or knowledgeable, or Godly, or anything! How do I know when I've grown enough in one area to move on to the next?" 

I realize it probably sounds dumb, but that's how I understood it (which was wrong ;). Thus, I never ended up really applying these verses to my life, because I could never truly understand them! Here are some of the points my dad made as he was explaining.

1. Giving all diligence...
"Diligence" speaks of fervency and commitment. It is the purpose of your life to work on this.

2. Add to your faith...(etc.)
Here's the part where things finally made sense to me. He described this process like a tree. When you plant a tree, the seed doesn't think, "Ok, I need some roots. I'm going to create a massive, spreading root system. Alright, that's done, now I need a trunk, I'll shoot a trunk straight up, 80 feet high. Check. Now we'll need some leaves, lemme just pop those out of my big trunk...oh, whoops, forgot the branches, I'll put those out now, along with some twigs." Have you ever seen a tree grow this way?! ;P If you do, put a camera on it, because that's an extremely unusual tree. ;) How trees grow is all at once! They grow the trunk, branches, twigs, leaves, roots, and bark, all at the same time. And this is how we are supposed to be growing in faith, virtue, and the rest--all at once! Day by day, striving after holiness and growth in every one of the things on this list.

3. For if these things be in you...
If you are diligently growing in all of these areas...

4. They make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Who wants to live a spiritual life that is "barren" and "unfruitful"? Any takers? No? Yeah, I didn't think so. We all want to be vibrant and fruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ!!

5. But he that lacketh these things is blind...
If someone can't see far off, we call them "nearsighted". Someone who is lacking growth in these areas is spiritually blurry, nearsighted, even blind! How sad of a Christian life is this? :(

6. If ye do these things, ye shall never fall...
What if you went into a battle, or even a game, with the absolute, 100% certainty that you would win? As in, there was zero chance of you losing? Would you be nervous or scared going into it? Of course not! If something is dead sure, you don't even have to worry about it! In this passage, God just gave us a certain recipe for victory in the Christian walk. No fail. Impossible to lose. Ye shall never fall! So a Christian that is diligently seeking after and growing in all these things, will not be barren, unfruitful, or blind! He will be thriving, fruitful, visionary, and growing in the knowledge of the Saviour. 

7. For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
The phrase "ministered unto you" is translated similarly to a word used in the days of the Roman Empire. When a General successfully conquered a new land, or won a great battle, etc., a wealthy person in the General's home city would sponsor a great feast or a series of games. This person would provide everything needed for a huge celebration on the General's return. This is what "so an entrance" is talking about. What this is saying is that Jesus Christ will make the entry of a truly faithful servant into His kingdom to be glorious. It's SO an entrance. There is no word to describe the incredible beauty of this homecoming celebration, it's just so an entrance. And just as people praised the senator who would sponsor the games more than the general who was the guest of honor, thus the glory will go to our Lord. The One who ministered such a glorious entering in for one of His faithful and steadfast servants. This is how I want my entry into Heaven to be!! Don't you?
Mykaela

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Fun Post: Get to Know Me Tag!


Hello, everyone!
Today I'd like to do a blog tag I found online, just for fun. :) It's a list of 21 questions, so anyone joining the blog in the New Year can get to know something about me, (such as exactly HOW crazy I am. ;). Let's get started!

1. Are you named after anyone? No, I don't think so. My dad and mom just really liked the name "Mykaela". However, fun fact...right around the time I was born, there was an extremely popular T.V. show that had a main character named Mykaela. My parents did not know this. ;) So then about 5 years later, everyone and their uncle was naming their kids that after the show! ;P So funny. Now there are a lot of kids from my generation with the name.

2. When was the last time you cried?
Umm...unpleasant question. ;) I cried about two weeks ago because of some pretty extreme pain. :/

3. Do you have kids? No, but I would love to someday!!

4. If you were another person, would you be a friend of yourself? Yeah, I think so! I would most likely be slightly weirded out by me, but I think I would still be friends. ;)

5. Do you use sarcasm a lot? Me?! Sarcastic?! Never.

6. Will you ever bungee-jump? You would have to pay me a very, very large amount of money for me to do that. And I'm a super adventurous person! Roller coasters, yes. Ziplining, yes. Cliff jumping, yes. Skydiving and bungee-jumping, no. That's where I draw the line. ;)

7. What’s your favorite cereal? Ahhh, this is such a hard question!! I'm going to name three because cereal is a weakness of mine. Um...I think granola, Cracklin' Oat Bran, and Honey Bunches of Oats. :)

8. What’s the first thing you notice about people? Whether or not they look friendly. If they are smiling, etc. It preps me for how the conversation might play out.

9. What is your eye colour? I have medium blue eyes.

10. Scary movie or happy endings? Happy endings, absolutely. I see no point in movies being scary just to be scary, I think it's stupid.

11. Favorite smells? Fresh bread, newborn babies, summer evenings, and fall candles.

12. Summer or winter? I love both, but I think I'd have to say summer, because I love swimming so much. Can't swim very often in the winter time. ;)

13. Computer or television? Computer. I haven't had a television in my house since I was 5, I barely remember it.

14. What’s the furthest you’ve ever been from home? Samoa. I took a trip there in the summer of 2014, and it was SUCH an amazing experience.

15. Do you have any special talents? I play piano, and write music. I have my own cooking show, I've been knighted, and I can hold my breath for 30 seconds. (Only the first sentence of this was true...the rest is a quote from a movie, bonus points if you know which one. :'D)

16. Where were you born? I was born in Salem, Oregon.

17. What are your hobbies? Piano, singing, baking, reading, journaling, blogging, Pinterest, thrift store shopping, and hanging out with friends. :)

18. Do you have any pets? I don't, but I would love a dog at some point. I'm not at the right stage of life currently. ;P

19. Favorite movie? Eesh, another hard one. Again, I'm going to name a few. Ever After, Pride and Prejudice 1995 (a.k.a. THE ONLY REAL P&P), Narnia, all of the Elizabeth Gaskell movies, Princess Bride, disney movies....

20. Do you have any siblings? Oh, yes. ;) I have 7 younger siblings. Five brothers, ages 17, 15, 10, 8, and 6, and two sisters, ages 12 and 2. :)

21. What do you want to be when you grow up? "When I grow up"? I don't plan on that ever really happening, so... ;P I would love to be a Godly wife and mother, if The Lord allows. I'd also like to continue to be a songwriter, but perhaps to get some of my songs published. 


And that's all, folks! :) I hereby tag Kimberly, to continue in my footsteps of this get-to-know-me post. Have a great weekend, everyone!
Mykaela
P.s. Don't you love the picture at the top of this post?? It made me so happy. :)

Monday, January 9, 2017

My 2017 Goals


Lamentations 3:22-24 It is of the Lord's mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness. The Lord is my portion, saith my soul; therefore will I hope in him.

I always love the feeling of a new year beginning. It is a fresh start, a time to reevaluate priorities, and to set new ones. It's a time to begin different "traditions", so to speak, or new daily habits and routines. 

I personally don't like using the term "New Year's Resolution" at all, however...simply because it brings up negative thoughts to me. ;) I think of that term, and it means a temporary commitment that people make, and fizzle out on by the time February 1st or so rolls around. 

For me, as I start this new year, I do have goals that I'd like to strive towards, but they are just that--goals. Targets. I know that I'm going to miss the targets sometimes, and that's ok. I'll start again in the morning. :) That's how The Lord works in His mercies to us...they are new every morning! And that's how I hope to be as well. On January 1st, I spent an hour or so alone in my room, just thinking and praying about what I would like to accomplish this year, both spiritually and generally. Since I now have an answer on the full time work I applied for, (I didn't get it), I still have a very flexible job. And I don't want to squander the opportunities that creates. God is so good to give clear direction on stuff like that! Without further ado, here are some of my "targets" for 2017. (Not in any particular order.)


  • Learn something new. Be it a skill, like rock climbing, (something I really want to learn), or an area of knowledge I haven't previously studied out...I want to keep learning new things, even though I'm not in school anymore!
  • Read through God's Word at least twice. After doing it in 30 days, 6 months is nothing! ;)
  • Save money when I can. I do plan on having some bigger output this year as far as missions giving, travel expenses, etc., but I want to be careful of how often I get a piece of clothing I don't really need, or grab a breve at the coffee shop. ;)
  • Maintain my weight. While it's been a bit difficult lately due to the holidays, and some health issues I've had, I do want to continue to be mindful about this. By the middle of this past year, I was able to reach my goal weight, and while I have gained some since then, I really would love to stay close to that point by thinking about what I eat and staying active. (Both great things to do anyway, weight management or not! ;)
  • Pick up a new instrument. I haven't learned a new instrument for several years now. I miss it. :) I want to watch Craigslist and see what treasure I can get. Nothing fancy, I'd just like to learn something new in the way of music! (See first point.)
  • Build up my hope chest as I am able.
  •  Pray. A lot. As in, about 10 times the amount I'm doing now. I need to make it a constant, daily habit!
  • Work on holding my tongue. I just need to shut up for more of the time! ;P
  • Write out my songs. I have a hard time staying motivated and on top of this...it's one thing I really tend to procrastinate on. However, I do need to get at least lead sheets done. 
  • Witness verbally more. I have already started working on this in the past couple of weeks!
  • Start each day with gratitude. I'm writing out a little paper each morning with just one thing I am thanking God for. I'm putting them in a jar, so I can look back on them whenever I want to. :) Today's was "cozy clothes". Not life changing, but when there are 11 inches of snow outside, I am thankful for soft sweaters and fuzzy socks!!
A couple things I would like to do this year, but they are not goals, more like dreams....

  • See a new country. Possible, since I may be going on a survey trip to the Pacific Islands with some church members...
  • Go to a concert of Dan Forrest's music. Jubilate Deo in particular!!! 
  • See some of my faraway friends and family. Grandma McDowell, Kimberly, cousins... :)
  • Record an album. Certain people keep breathing down my neck about this. :/ ;P
There you have it! I know some of them are kind of ambitious, some would maybe say unattainable. But hey! Again, I'm just working on them! I don't expect to achieve every single thing on the list, I just want to reach for each one of them in some way this year. :) 

Today I went sledding and probably messed myself up internally (I literally got like 2 feet of air. On a disc sled. On a hill packed into a sheet of ice. That impact can't be good for my spine. :'D). But what does that matter when you're having a great time with your family, right?? ;) How is your winter going? Do you make goals at New Year's? I'd love to hear from you in the comments! :) Have a wonderful week,
Mykaela