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Thursday, April 27, 2017

Some Random Bits of Life Advice (From someone who totally doesn't have it all together ;)

Hey, guys!
So today's post is a little different than normal. I am mainly going to be addressing Christian young ladies, (as far as I am aware that is my main demographic anyway ;). As I mentioned in the title, I totally don't have it figured out. I am not a super Christian. I don't consider myself wiser or holier than you. 

But God has done great things in my life, and has taught me and shaped me over the 10 years I have been following Him. I am still learning every single day, and I hope to continue till the day I die, but here are a few little tidbits I've gleaned so far! These are things that I would VERY much like to tell my younger self if I had 9 or 10 year old Mykaela standing in front of me. Some points are silly, some very hope is that someone somewhere will get a little something out of it. (I know, that was a lot of "some's" ;) Also, special thanks to Kimberly for inspiring this post with her post on turning 20. :) Also, pretty much every single thing below I am still working on myself. Maybe we can work on them together! :)

So here we go...have a seat, grab a mug of coffee (or tea if you are weird), and chat with me for a while! :)

  • Your parents love you a LOT. And they do want what's best for you, no matter what it may seem like to you sometimes. Honor and cherish their wisdom. They aren't perfect, but they are doing their best, and a day will come that your heart will break over all the times you broke theirs.
  • Say thank you all the time!! It's becoming a lost art.
  • You are not as wise or smart as you think you are. Ever. Please, please do not blurt your opinion dogmatically in front of people, unless it is straight out of Scripture. I promise you, at some point you WILL end up looking like an idiot, and it will be sad. :(

  • Save your money. I know that thing looks really awesome, but ask yourself if you will still be using it in a year. (If it's not food obviously, lol!). If the answer is no, it may be a good time to rethink that purchase!
  • Try to make at least a few moments of stillness every day. No phone, no computer, no talking...just being still. Take this time to think about Who God is, and to thank Him. It will make your day so much brighter! :)
  • Use makeup wisely. You aren't a clown, you are a classy young lady of grace.
  • Read good books. Especially history books, they'll come in handy later! ;)
  • School kind of stinks, but do it quickly and with integrity, and at some point you'll be glad you did it. I'm still waiting for that point to come. :'D (JK! Sort of.)
  • You will sometimes fail at things. That doesn't mean you are a horrible person, or even that you are bad at that thing! Get back up and try it again! <3
  • Bread is always always always better warm!! If I come to your house and you serve cold dinner rolls, I'm going to ask to use your microwave, or just straight up use it without asking. ;P Warm up that bread basket 3 minutes before you eat, I promise it will be super awesome.
  • Little kids have it right...sometimes you just gotta go splash in a mud puddle and go down the slide backwards. Who do you have to impress?!
  • Learn to cook...I really need to work on this more myself. (I highly prefer the unhealthy skill of baking. ;P)
  • Be. Modest. In dress AND demeanor. A flirt is something you should NEVER stoop to being. Ever.
  • Take care of your body, but don't obsess. God has made you perfectly, and seriously EVERYONE has a pooch in front, okay? You are not fat, I promise. Stay active, drink water, and eat wisely, but don't stress over it! It's so much more lovely to see a woman who is confident and has inner beauty shining forth than someone who can fit a size 0 dress with room to spare, but has a rotten outlook or is body-obsessed. (If you are naturally that small, don't take offense, just saying. ;P) Also, I know a lot of guys who would back me up on that. :)
  • Speaking of guys, they should not be the highlight of your existence...Christ should be! I know it's hard if you are 13 and you are just discovering this new world of males opening up before you. But really truly, you will have so much time for that later, it's REALLY NOT worth thinking about right now. I cannot stress this enough! If you are not old enough to get married tomorrow, please don't have marriage be your focus!!!!!!!!
  • Sometimes you will have more money, sometimes you'll have less. Learn to be frugal, but more than that, learn to be content with wherever God has you financially right now. Hard lesson, but well worth learning. :)
  • People don't care as much as you think they do. That sounds weird, but honestly, in 8 years no one at all will remember that embarrassing thing you did...except you. Don't keep cringing over it, it's okay, really. People have too many of their own embarrassing moments to hide from to worry about keeping track of yours. :)
  • When in doubt, dress UP, not down. Being the only one in denim at a black tie event would not be a fun not risk it. ;P
  • Don't expect people to notice when you get your hair cut. Don't ask why, this is just something that I have learned, and you just have to accept it. :'D
  • Try to notice the little beautiful moments and things in life, because they really aren't little. Suck in those memories, jump into adventures with both feet, cherish the precious times....they won't be here forever. 
  • Pearls are pretty much always a good idea. As is lace. :)
  • Keep a journal. It doesn't have to be long or detailed, but just write something. It will become an absolute treasure later.
  • Print off pictures when you can. I know, I this digital age it seems stupid and outdated to make prints. But really, when your computer crashes and all data is erased, or your hard drive is somehow destroyed, you will be sooo glad you have something!
  • Strong perfume is never a good idea. Just don't.
  • Love your family!!! Friends come and go, but family is stuck with you forever, and vice versa. ;)
  • While friends do come and go, they are brought into your life for a reason. If you discover a friend that sticks with you through thick and thin and encourages you closer to The Lord, keep them!! :) True friends are hard to come by! You will have arguments, but communication, prayer, and forgiveness will go a long way to gluing your friendship together even tighter. 
  • Prayer is so important...I don't know how to be more serious with this, but it is the life blood of your walk with God. Don't neglect it!!
  • Read God's Word before you touch electronics in the morning. We all need to work on keeping Him first priority!
  • Your church family is a GIFT. Treat it as such.
Wow, this got a lot longer than I intended! If you are still reading all the way down here, then THANK YOU for sticking with me! :D What would you add to this list? What stuck out to you the most? Any advice you have for me??? Let me know in the comments, I love hearing from you guys! Have an awesome weekend! :) Love,

Sunday, April 23, 2017

They Gave. What Have You Done?

Abel gave an acceptable sacrifice.
Enoch gave absolute commitment.
Noah gave manual labor.
Abraham would have given his only son.
Joseph gave up his hopes, dreams, and plans.
Moses gave strong, Godly leadership.
Joshua gave good council, both in war and in peace.
Rahab gave shelter to the spies, by faith.
The Judges gave justice and guidance in troubled times.
Ruth gave unconditional love.
Elijah and Elisha gave healing, judgement, and hope.
Nehemiah gave up time and personal safety.
Esther gave deliverance to her people.
Job gave everything precious to him.
David gave mercy to his enemies and passionate praise to God.
Solomon gave of his wealth.
Isaiah gave prophecies of the coming Messiah.
Jeremiah gave truth where truth was not wanted.
Ezekiel gave God's Word, though everyone hated him for it.
Daniel gave his whole heart, mind and strength.
The three Hebrew children gave their bodies to violent death rather than disobey God.
Hosea gave to those who were not worthy.
Jonah gave under protest.
Matthew gave up his dishonest livelihood.
Mark gave his service.
Luke gave his talents.
John gave humbly.
Paul gave writings, time, and strength.
The widow gave two mites, all her living.
Mary gave precious ointment.
Martha gave her skills.
Zaccheus gave back four times as much as he took.
The little boy gave his loaves and fishes.
Peter gave bold deliverance of The Word.
Barnabas gave compassion and support.
Dorcas gave help to widows.
One of the ten healed lepers gave God the glory.
The woman at the well gave her testimony.
Timothy gave behind the scenes work and encouragement.
Philemon gave undeserved forgiveness.
Onesimus gave up his freedom.
All of them gave their lives.

And One Jesus Christ of Nazareth gave more than all of these. He gave His perfect, holy blood. He gave His ALL. He gave so we could live. He gave matchless grace.

What have you given?

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Guest Post: Perfect Love

Today I am excited to present a guest post from a lovely friend of mine, Jenny! You may remember Jenny's sister, Katie, who guest posted for me a few months back. You can read that post here. Jenny is such a blessing and encouragement to me, and she is truly gifted with words!! She could be a very compelling author...I'm still working on her about that. ;) Without further ado, I shall let her writing speak for itself! :)

Perfect Love
"As the Father hath loved me,so have I loved you: continue ye in my love."
~ John 15:9

John 15 speaks of so many things, the main theme being the importance of abiding in God's love. But right now,I'd like to focus on this verse, because it really jumped out at me recently. What does that mean, "As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you"?? How does God the Father love His Son Jesus Christ? Well... He loves Jesus perfectly, the kind of perfect love which "casteth out fear" (I John 4:18) He loves His Son completely, fully. A father's love is a strong love, a love without end. I know that my Daddy loves me. No matter how much I mess up, he'll never stop loving me. And since God is love (I John 4:16), how much more must He love His Son? I believe that God the Father loves His Son with the truest love in the world...even more than Mr.Darcy and Elizabeth, even more than the "wuv,true wuv" of Wesley and Buttercup in The Princess Bride! :)

And then the other part of the phrase..."so have I loved you:" Wait, wait. Does that mean that Jesus loves ME that much? As much as His Father loves Him?? Me? How can He? I can think of hundreds of different reasons for Him not to love me like that. I am not worthy. I'm so weak, so sinful. So filthy in His presence. (Isaiah 64:6) And yet He loves me. Enough to die for me. That's an overwhelming thought! I know better than anyone how unlovable I can be. To think that Christ loves me like God loves Him...? Sure, I can deal with the song "Jesus Loves Me". That's easy to say, but when faced with the reality that He loves me perfectly? Completely? Endlessly? Thinking about that makes me want to cry!

Jesus loves me. But not only me! The wonder goes on, as I try to fathom that He loves each and every person on this earth, despite our great sins against Him. (The clear teachings of Romans 3:10,3:23, First John 1:8,and Ecclesiastes 7:2 show us that we've all sinned!) Yet He has suffered and bled and died for our sins, because He loves us with that deep, abiding, everlasting and unconditional love. As that song goes, "Red and yellow, black and white, they are precious in His sight." It doesn't matter who you are, or what you've done. It makes no difference to Him, for He is no respecter of persons. (Acts 10:34, Romans 2:11) He loves each and every soul alive, as well as those who've already passed on. To each of them He offers Himself to cover their sins. To each He offers eternal life. Romans 6:23 tells us "For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." Salvation is not limited to any denomination, race, gender, or age, but it is available for everyone. "For whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved." (Romans 10:13)

So, now that we are starting to realize just how much Jesus loves us, we arrive at the last phrase in the verse. The part where we are to continue in His love. The part where we live out the rest of John 15, such as verse 17: "These things I command you,that ye love one another." First John 4:11 puts it this way.... "Beloved, if God so loved us,we ought also to love one another." The amazing, powerful love of Jesus Christ should spread to those around us, those whom He died for!

Do you have a hard time believing how much Jesus Christ loves you? Are you loving Him as He loves you? Is God's amazing love for you being evidenced in your life? Is it shown through your treatment of others?

I am so thankful for Jenny writing this sweet post! What an amazing thing is God's love for us. I'd like to add that one of the most powerful evidences of His perfect love is the fact that Jesus Christ rose from the dead for us!!!! As we celebrate His resurrection this weekend, let's meditate on how very much God loved us to send His Son for our salvation. Christ is risen!

Saturday, April 8, 2017

He's Got the Whole World in His Hands!

Psalm 104:24-30 O LORD, how manifold are thy works! in wisdom hast thou made them all: the earth is full of thy riches. So is this great and wide sea, wherein are things creeping innumerable, both small and great beasts. There go the ships: there is that leviathan, whom thou hast made to play therein. These wait all upon thee; that thou mayest give them their meat in due season. That thou givest them they gather: thou openest thine hand, they are filled with good. Thou hidest thy face, they are troubled: thou takest away their breath, they die, and return to their dust. Thou sendest forth thy spirit, they are created: and thou renewest the face of the earth.

This passage has always been beautiful to me. Small and great beasts, from the tiny ant all the way to the staggeringly large whale shark or elephant...they all look to God their Maker for sustenance and life. Even the dumb animals know to rely upon The Lord! 

I've thought about this a lot this past week... My family and I have been watching a documentary series about the different areas of the earth, (deserts, mountains, jungles, etc.), and the millions of species of creatures that inhabit them. Our planet is absolutely astounding, you guys. Newsflash, I know. ;) But seriously, I'd like to take a minute to talk about a couple of the things I've recently learned about these animals:

  • There is a frog that lives in the jungle, called the Glass is microscopically tiny, no bigger than your fingernail. Its skin is translucent, making the internal organs of the frog visible from the outside. The male frog has to guard its eggs for over two months from the literally hundreds of different predators that would love a mouthful of frog eggs for lunch. He will fight off wasps his own size, kicking at them with tiny hind legs, always sticking by his eggs so at least some of them get a chance to hatch. Unbelievable.
  • A particular type of beetle (I can't recall the name), lives in the Namibian deserts, where daytime temperatures can top 125 degrees Fahrenheit. The only water in this incredibly stark environment is found in the mists that sweep the tops of the dunes every morning for a scant period of time. This beetle will climb to the top of the dune every single day, and using its body, distill water from the air. Special grooves in the beetle's body channel the water down to the will distill and drink a quarter of its bodyweight before the mists disappear. Oh and by the way, the height of the dune, compared to the beetle, would be like a human climbing 3 Mt. Everests. Just think on that for a minute. 
  • There are chameleons that will sit at the bottom of the sand dunes, waiting for the aforementioned beetles because they KNOW THAT THE BEETLES COMING DOWN ARE JUICIER THAN THE ONES GOING UP.  Okay, I'm sorry guys, this is just incredible to me?!?! 
  • Galapagos marine iguanas are born under the sand a little way inland from the ocean edge. The very instant that they emerge from underground, Racer Snakes (you guessed it--they're really fast), attack. Hoping to make a meal of a baby iguana, they will set up ambushes to catch it as it flees toward the safety of the beach. The tiny iguanas KNOW, even 2 minutes after they are born, that the snakes cannot see very well. They know that the snakes can detect movement, so they freeze. Once it is practically on top of the iguana, the snake will finally realize what's going on, but by this time the baby is off and running again. Sometimes the iguanas will make it to the beach...sometimes the racer snakes get a meal.
  • A bird called the Sandgrouse will fly 120 miles round trip every single day for 2 order to get water for its babies. And how does it carry the water? It flies 60 miles to a water hole, where there are certain hawks that wait specifically to kill and eat sandgrouse. While dodging the talons of the hawks, it will land in the shallow puddle of water and wait while special feathers on it's underside soak up the water. It is a time consuming and extremely dangerous process. After he has soaked up as much as he can (about half his body weight if I remember right), he begins the 60 mile trek back to his family, where the chicks are waiting to drink the water from his feathers.  :O
This is a tiny, tiny sampling of some of the unbelievable creatures out there. Anyone who thinks that there is not a God who perfectly designed these animals for their specific habitat is simply delusional. Or insane. "Willingly ignorant", as The Bible puts it. The instincts that God has built into these creatures are so amazing!!! If He cares enough about a black beetle to give it perfect water grooves, or if He cares enough about an iguana to give it preinstalled knowledge about racer snakes...I think He can take care of you and me. In fact, I am positive that He can. :) 
Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows. 

God provides for the smallest of animals, so why do we have so much trouble trusting Him with our lives? Even more sobering question: We are willing to trust God with our eternal destiny after why can't we let Him take care of things while we are alive? I hope some of these things made you think today. We serve a gracious, mighty, and perfectly faithful God Who will never fail to provide for us. Just look at the way he takes care of the rest of creation! Fear not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows. :)