How to Overcome a Spiritual Funk

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I think we all know what it feels like to be in a funk. You know, the ones where it just seems like you don’t know how to get motivated, energized, or moving? To tell you the truth, I catch these so-called “funks” often, when I have a lot of work to accomplish, or even when I feel like I have nothing to do. It’s not uncommon, but did you know there’s such thing as a spiritual funk, too?

These are quite similar to normal “funks,” but instead of lacking the motivation to be productive, it’s being unmotivated in your faith. If you ask any Christian, chances are they’ll tell you about several of the spiritual funks they’ve been through, merely because we face them every day, even if we don’t realize it.

Before we come to terms with these spiritual dry seasons (another term I like to use to describe these types of funks), I think it’s important (like, vitally important) to realize that getting out of one doesn’t mean you’ll never fall back in. It’s like setting a mouse trap. If a mouse manages to avoid a trap the first time, that doesn’t mean he won’t run into another, or even that same one! It’s sort of like a test, if you think about it. (No, not the school tests, because those don’t teach us valuable life lessons that actually need to be learned..) I’m talking about the tests of true faith, when the outcome of a situation you’re in is determined by the sturdiness of your faith in God.

I don’t know if you’re currently in a dry season, or if you just got out of one and want to know how to avoid them in the future, but I figured sharing a few tips on how to beat those funky ruts out of your life could come in handy some time or another! So yeah, LET’S GO.

1. Pray.

Some people often feel that prayer doesn’t work as well as others say, but does anyone ever come out of prayer regretful? I don’t think so! Prayer is one of the most powerful parts of worship, and talking to God can help you get through this dry season. Keep on praying, even when the situation gets tough, and I promise you He’ll get you through it!

2. Know you’re not alone.

Trust me, you are not the only one going through this dry season, even when it feels like you are! It’s normal to be unsure of what to do in your faith from time-to-time, but you have to remember that going through this season alone will only make things worse. Find a person (a parent, preacher, whomever you choose) you can go to when things get tough, and just spend a couple of minutes, maybe even an hour or so, talking about any questions or concerns you have about your faith. Just knowing you’re not alone can make all the difference!

3. Journal about it.

I’ve found that journaling whenever you’re in a dry season can be super duper helpful. In the evening, or whenever you have the time, set aside a few minutes to jot your feelings down. Not only is this a great way to get your emotions out, but it can also be helpful for future references. Who knows–maybe you can look back on your journal entries and be reminded of how you got through the tough times. (Which you so can do because you’re strong, amazing, and important!)

4. Remember God’s promises.

God didn’t say that life was going to be easy, or that we wouldn’t experience tough times and seasons, but He also didn’t say that we had to endure them all by ourselves! One of His promises was that He would be with us wherever we went, even if we didn’t feel like He was there. Some of my favorite verses that remind us of this are Joshua 1:9, Isaiah 41:10, and Romans 8:38.

5. Take care of yourself– emotionally and physically.

Sometimes being in a rut is physically and mentally exhausting, so it’s important to remember to take care of yourself when you experience one. Fill your heart with God’s truth, and remember to be kind to yourself and your body. These funks do not need to define you, and you don’t have to let them!

6. Go to Christ daily.

Most spiritual funks cause us to lack the motivation or want to spend time with Jesus, but you can fight that by choosing to go to Him daily. Fill your days and nights with God’s Word, making sure to keep His promises with you despite the dry seasons you’re experiencing.

7. Consider the problem behind the funk.

What exactly is causing you to experience this dry season? Could it be too much time spent on stress, work, school, or friends? Whatever it may be, it’s necessary to analyze the motives behind being stuck in this dry spell, so you can get out of it quicker! If you’re unsure of what this “funk creator” is, take a moment to make a list of everything that has been taking up your time in recent days, and examine it once you’ve finished. If you find that something has been causing you to give less effort into spending time with Jesus, try to limit or cut back time spent on it. Jesus matters most, y’all, so you gotta make Him a priority!

Let's Chat

Have you ever found yourself in a spiritual funk? What are some ways in which you overcame it? Feel free to share! ❤

Love, Sarah Beth

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Dear Church: Please Stop Doing This

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For a while now I’ve noticed the modern Church becoming more and more…modern. The sermons are evolving into motivational speeches, rather than moving people to follow Christ. The Church itself seems to revolve more around money than it does salvation, and to be quite honest, the Church’s definition of Jesus has turned into a figure who wants everyone to be happy.

Just by reading this, can you honestly tell me that the Church is functioning as it should? Can you verify that Jesus is preached truthfully and raw in every sanctuary? Tell me, can you describe the last sermon you heard that actually preached the gospel, instead of encouraging you to find happiness?

I don’t know about you, but I’m starting to believe that the modern Church is not a true representation of what a church should look like. You can argue or disagree with me all you like, but let’s face it–today’s Church is not what it used to be. We have taken God’s home and turned it into an office, to put it simply.

I think it’s about time that the Church realized that good works, finding happiness, money, and motivational speeches cannot and will not get us into heaven. The only ticket to heaven is through the gospel. God sent His son to die for our sins, knowing that we might never love Him in return, and we have a job to believe that He is our only way to eternal life in heaven. THAT is what the Church needs to remember–not that God wants us to be happy all the time, or that doing good deeds grants us a promotion.

Dear Church: where is the diversity? Where is all the talk about the hard stuff, like homosexuality, abortion, divorce, etc.? Why is the Church keeping silent on all these things, when it’s obviously something that needs to be addressed? Why are we keeping silent on sharing the gospel? Following Christ? Learning to live like Him?

But most of all, when will we start teaching that there is no such thing as a perfect Christian?

Wake up, Church, and open your eyes to the fact that, whether we like it or not, Jesus needs to be the head of the Church. Not perfection, not money, not good deeds, not motivation, and most certainly not happiness.

Of course, not all churches are like this. The rare few actually preach the raw, hard stuff, and these churches are the ones reaching out to the world. But the sad part is that they are only few. The Church in general should be reaching out. It should be preaching truth, not the lies that are fed by the enemy to destroy it!

I can’t name all the sermons I’ve listened to on YouTube that fail to see the original design of the Church. Preachers like Joel Osteen and countless others refuse to see that happiness is not the most important thing in the Church. They preach on God, yet they care more about being happy and fulfilled with money and materialistic things, rather than having a relationship with God and warning others about the dangers of sin.

This is not the definition of God’s Church. We are not meant to be built upon an office-like structure, feeding lies to the congregation for money.  We don’t need motivational speeches that are designed to tell us that we’re perfect, or that we can find happiness in materialistic things that we know will never make us whole again. We don’t need people leaving the service without a change in their heart.

The church is meant to be built upon the solid foundation that is Jesus Christ. We need sermons that show us the true way to eternal life, and how to have a meaningful relationship with God. We need churches that are focused on convicting the heart of the congregation, allowing them to leave with a newfound purpose. Dear Church: we don’t need the monetized version of worship.

All we need is Jesus, and only Jesus. Only when we direct our focus entirely to Him can we become the true Church.

 

 

Thoughts on Modesty

Ah, modesty. The word that appears to be taboo in today’s world. What is it? Why is it important? Who should practice it? These are all questions that have appeared in various blog posts across the internet, both in approval and disapproval. I’ve read a fair amount of posts on modesty in my time as a blogger/reader, but I can 99% guarantee you that, after reading each one, I’ve found myself asking this one question:

Why on earth is modesty such a debate?

Let me explain myself. You see, these posts on modesty will give you different viewpoints as to why it’s such a despicable or praise-worthy thing. You’ll see bloggers encouraging women to cover themselves up to “protect” the guys from lustful thoughts, and then you’ll see the media encouraging girls to reveal themselves in every way possible to get a guy to like you, or to prove yourself as a strong, powerful woman.

Now do you see why I’m questioning the modesty thing?

All my life I have believed that modesty was a simple, normal thing. If I ever had a shirt that revealed to much, or shorts that came up too far, I would just feel uncomfortable. I would see girls in the media, or even at my own school, dressing this way, and I’d ask myself how on earth are they comfortable like that? Now I know the answer.

It’s what the world wants. 

This world constantly feels the need or obsession to sexualize women and young girls, making them feel like they need to dress (or underdress) in a certain way to win its approval. Well, let me tell you a little something.

To all the girls and women out there that have been pressured by this world to do this, I want you to know that you don’t have to show your body off to win someone’s approval. You don’t need to flaunt yourself for boys, or for the media, to be powerful. And you know why?

You are already beautiful. Showing your body off can’t add or subtract to that. 

You see, this is what defines modesty. It’s not covering up just to keep the boys pure. (Honestly that statement makes me cringe so much, you don’t even know.) It’s not wearing floor-length skirts and dresses all the time, or even at all. What it is, however, is realizing that you are enough. It’s knowing that your heart is what matters above all, and that anyone who tries to say otherwise is wrong in all forms. It’s honoring God, who created you perfectly and beautifully, by letting others know that you respect what He created.

Modesty shouldn’t have to be a taboo, or controversial topic. Modesty, however, should be a form of power talk, because it is powerful in so many ways. It is respect above all else, and it is a way to show others that you know how to work it without flaunting it.

Let me get this straight: I am nowhere near condemning girls for showing their bodies. I’m not trying to tell you that you have no respect for yourself, or that you’re unworthy if you show your body.

But what I am saying is that a strong, independent woman doesn’t need the world viewing her body to be powerful. You don’t need to find confidence in being sexy. And most of all, you don’t need to prove yourself to the world, to boys, or to your friends.

Because you, darling, are beautiful by just being you.

Is Fear Your Decision Maker?

parmesan-cheese.pngI won’t lie to you and tell you that I make all my decisions from my heart, or with sincerity. I won’t lie to you and tell you that I have turned down amazing opportunities because I simply didn’t want to pursue them. I also won’t lie to you and tell you that the decisions I do make aren’t always based on my wanting to do them.

But I will tell you this: almost all of my decisions are either refused or taken out of fear. And this is no lie.

Can you relate to this statement?

A few weeks ago I shared a bit more about my anxiety, and my experience with it, so I’m sure you know that I struggle greatly with fear. But basing decisions on fear doesn’t always come with anxiety. Sometimes, rather, it comes with the fear of the unknown, or the fear of failure–two fears that are more than able to appear without actual anxiety.

Have you ever declined an offer simply because you were afraid you would fail? Maybe you took a position primarily because you feared for your reputation. Whatever decisions you have made in the past, I can guarantee over half of them might have been out of fear.

I want to share something with you today on that note: making a decision through fear is not the way to go.

I could give you a list of reasons why this is such a bad idea, but the main point I want to give you is that fear should not have power over your life in such a way. Anxiety, or fear, should not be holding your life, your decisions, and your emotions in a place where you can’t reach.

Fear is the one thing that can whisper something in your ear, and tell you a single phrase to keep you from making a good decision. You’re not good enough. You’re not strong enough. You don’t have power over me. 

But the truth we all have trouble seeing is that fear is only a liar, placed in our lives to tell us that we’ll never amount to anything. It’s there to keep us from reaching our purpose, and our dreams.

Below are lyrics from a song called “Fear is a Liar” by Zach Williams:

“When he told you you’re not good enough
When he told you you’re not right
When he told you you’re not strong enough
To put up a good fight
When he told you you’re not worthy
When he told you you’re not loved
When he told you you’re not beautiful
That you’ll never be enough

Fear he is a liar
He will take your breath
Stop you in your steps
Fear he is a liar
He will rob your rest
Steal your happiness
Cast your fear in the fire
Cause fear he is a liar”

You see, you were never meant to be overcome by the fear that limits you from making decisions. You were never meant to believe the lies that fear has spoken over your life, because they do not define who you are. Child, you were not given a spirit of fear, but of love, and courage, and bravery.

So stop!

Stop basing your decisions on those fears of failure, and losing your reputation. It’s about time you started making your decisions by what God is telling you…

~You can do anything through Christ who strengthens you.

~Fear has no power over truth!

~You are worthy, enough, and so loved.

…instead of living the falsehood of fear…

~You can’t do anything.

~This will ruin you.

~You aren’t enough.

You were made to walk in courage, and truth. So today, make that decision from your heart. Make it from the truth that has been spoken to you, because you don’t have to be defined by fear any longer. And most importantly, you don’t have to walk in the chains created by the falsehood you have believed.

Because fear? He is a liar.

Blogging Tips {From A Newbie Blogger}

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Hello loves!

Today I thought I would share a few of my favorite blogging tips in honor of 1,500 page views, and 100 followers! (Thank y’all!) *Disclaimer: I’m a newbie to the blogging world, so I am no expert on how to blog professionally. BUT, if you want to start a blog, and want to know how to run one, I’ve gathered a few tips from other bloggers and myself to share with you on that.*

So, happy reading!

Running Your Blog:

Be yourself.

This is probably the most important tip that I can give you! If you personally love photography, blog about your favorite photography tricks. If you love food, blog about your favorite recipes! Don’t just to blog about the “in” topics. If you choose to be yourself with your posts, people with the same interests will be drawn to your blog, and you’ll build more community that way.

Use proper grammar.

I don’t know about you, but I am not attracted to blogs that use incorrect grammar! (It’s a pet peeve of mine, but for others, it might not be.) My suggestion would be to re-read each post before you publish it to catch any spelling or grammatical mistakes. (Be on the look-out especially for “your” and “you’re.”) That way, you’ll know for sure your posts come across as professional and well-planned! Of course, it isn’t required to use correct grammar, since it’s your blog done your way, but I highly encourage it. 🙂

Create a blogging schedule.

I actually don’t have a blogging schedule at the moment. Originally I planned to post every week, but then it came down to every three days. Now, I don’t really know when I’m going to post throughout the week. Since my life is pretty busy right now, I honestly don’t have that much time on my hands, so I’m considering having a new schedule set to Monday and Friday. It all depends on how much time you have according to how busy your life is, so devise a schedule that works best for you!

Use quality content.

I love blogs that offer nice and attractive eye-candy, haha! 😉 What I mean is that blogs with interesting, and good quality, photos and content tend to attract my attention more than than blurry photos and posts that aren’t well-written. I recommend taking your photos and designing your blog yourself, but if you don’t want to, there are websites that can help. Unsplash is a free-photo site that offers thousands of photos you can use royalty-free without paying for a license. Or, if you are looking for designs for your blog, there are several bloggers who actually offer up free blog designing. I would recommend doing some research on both before you decide what to use.

Do not copy content.

I have a notice on the sidebar of my blog that prohibits others from copying my posts without written permission. This is because many people tend to steal ideas and/or post content without consent from the owner, something that is never okay to do! Never copy someone’s post; being original when writing posts shows that you care enough to put time in your work! (It’s perfectly fine to use *inspiration* from another blog, but always be sure to never copy it exactly.) Going along with this, I also suggest placing your own notice on your sidebar for this sake.

Growing Your Blog:

Build community.

When I mean build community, I’m referring to responding to comments, and taking the time to interact with your readers. People want an interactive, meaningful blogger–not one who doesn’t even acknowledge them! Sometimes it’s hard to find the time to interact, but even if you respond to a few comments, it’ll show people you appreciate their support.

Use social media.

I only recently opened an Instagram account for my blog, but since I did, I’ve noticed more traffic being drawn here. I know for some people it’s impossible to use it, but for those who are able to have social media, I highly recommend starting blog accounts on multiple platforms! But I have to warn you that it’s very easy for a blogger (or anyone, for the matter) to fall into the comparison trap through sites like Instagram. Just remember that a lot of people hide behind fake perfection, when really their life isn’t as sparkly as on social media. You do you, and don’t worry if your posts aren’t good enough, or pretty enough, or aesthetic enough. People will love your blog for what it is.

Do not self-advertise when it’s not necessary.

By this, I mean going around and literally asking bloggers to follow you! It is perfectly okay to leave a link to your blog at the end of a comment, but otherwise it gives the impression that you’re needy for followers. I won’t say that I haven’t been guilty of this before, because I used to do this right around the first time I got Instagram, so I am nowhere trying to criticize anyone for doing it. But just remember that building a community happens when bloggers support each other organically–not by asking for followers, and not by asking for likes. If people want to follow you, they will follow you!

Incorporate discussion into your posts.

Be sure to include ways for your readers to interact with you on your posts, too! Perhaps you could ask your readers a discussion question at the end of a post, like this example:

What is your favorite way to study?

Be sure to ask a question that relates to the topic of the post, though, so you don’t go leaving them confused. 😉

 Love what you write about.

For a lot of people, blogging is merely for the money, and for the attention. But the beautiful thing about blogging is that you can be who you are, share what you love, and document things that happen in your life! It isn’t about the money, or how many followers you have. It’s about the platform you build, and the community you create with other bloggers. Your blog is what you make it, and you can choose to write about things you love, or things you think will gain a ton of attention or money. Be yourself, and share the things you personally think are out of this world! That’s what blogging’s for, right?


I hope y’all enjoyed these little tips! Like I said, I’m no expert, but I’ve come to know a few things that I wish I knew when I first started. And if you want to start a blog, I say go for it A.S.A.P, because the more time you waste, the less impact you’ll make! You got this!

Do you have any blogging tips not on this list you would like to share? I’d love to know!

I hope you all have a super duper blessed week!

Love, Sarah Beth ❤

{Photo by Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash)

open waters {a short poem}

As I view my life unfolding into new beginnings,

I feel Your grace entwining me,

just as the river beds

embrace the roaring currents

of a stream.

Help me to keep a steady flow,

letting myself glide

on a narrow basin, straying

from the harsh rapids

of this journey.

I long to pour into the

wide ocean of Your reckless, inimitable love,

surrounded by the soft waves

of hope of tomorrow.

Guide me to the open waters,

where my purpose lies ahead.

Lead me, my Lighthouse,

to the open waters–

where I can truly be free.

Where I can at last be in

the presence of my Savior.

💛, SB

Liebster Award

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Hi friends! Today I’m doing something a bit different, as I was nominated by Beth for the Liebster Award! I’ve never been nominated for one of these before, so if I’m doing this wrong, I apologize. ❤

RULES

  • Acknowledge the blog that nominated you for the award
  • Answer the questions they gave you
  • Give 11 fun facts about yourself
  • Nominate 11 other bloggers for the award
  • Give them 11 questions to answer

 

QUESTIONS

Who is your most recent follower? Someone in the email list, whom I shall not name for privacy reasons. 😉

What is your favorite blog to read? Hmmm… This is hard. I would probably have to say Carly’s blog, or Kaetlyn’s!

How many pets do you have? I have two! A dog named Daffodil, and a cat named Sofia.

How many members are in your family? Oh geez. I have a fairly large family, with a BUNCH of cousins, so I honestly don’t know!

What is your favorite snack? I would have to say the Sargento cheese snack packets, or something sweet.

What is your favorite hymn? I love “How Great Thou Art”, but I think they’re all beautiful.

What is your family’s favorite thing to do together? Every holiday we get together for dinner, and it’s just always been a tradition of ours.

What makes you smile? Honestly I can’t name just one thing. I would have to say mint chocolate chip ice cream, and sweet texts from friends. Oh, and you can’t forget peppy music. Gotta have something to dance around to!

How many sports do you play, if any? I play golf, and I’m pretty decent at volleyball and basketball (if you count almost spraining my wrist, and hitting a guy at church on the head, then yeah, I’m decent). I’ve never considered myself an athletic person, though, so I don’t play competitively (which is probably a good thing).

What is your favorite word? Oh my goodness. Panqueques (pan-kay-kays). It’s Spanish for pancakes. I just love saying it.

Where do you like to vacation? Pretty much anywhere in the mountains/countryside. I’m not a big fan of the beach or anywhere tropical, but I can tolerate it. (Unless you put me in the ocean..that’s where it ends. I once got so much salt water in my eyes, I had to follow my friend’s voice just to get out of the water. I’m pretty certain I looked like a dying turtle or something out there.)

FUN FACTS

1. I can’t stand meatloaf.//2. I’ve had a total of three(?) turtles as pets.//3. I can’t draw hands…Mine end up looking like rubber gloves that were deformed at birth. (Is that possible, no, but you see my point here).//4. I make an insane amount of puns if you give me the chance.//5. I have fallen way too much in front of my church group. (Thankfully most of the times went unseen..whew.)//6. I’m mildly claustrophobic. I once played paintball with my friends, and had to leave the game because I couldn’t stand the mask.//7. I am very quiet if I don’t know you. So don’t take it personally if I don’t sound like an elephant until I meet you.//8. I relate on a deep, personal level to memes.//9. I once went on a Harry Potter pun rant. Thank God for this person still being my friend after that, gosh.//10. I love anything to do with mystery. Believe me, I have tried becoming Nancy Drew, but it just isn’t possible…yet. (shhh).//11. I still have Christmas decorations in my room. (Don’t judge. They go with the theme.)//12. (An extra because I love doing this haha) I am in the process of writing a novel. I’ve been in that process for over five years, but I’ve only started and ended novels. And short stories. And works of complete nonsense.

Now, for my nominees…

Drum roll please…..

I nominate: Zielle, Mckenna, Kaitlyn, Faye, Madison, Maddy, Lissa, Carol, Hannah, Zach, Ivy and Em, and Abigail!

My Questions for Y’all:

1. Why did you start blogging?//2. Who is your biggest inspiration in life?//3. What’s your favorite music genre?//4. Share an embarrassing fact about yourself.//5. What’s the most recent book you read?//6. Dream job?//7. What is one lesson you learned recently?//8. What’s the top item on your bucketlist?//9. What is your favorite blog?//10. Do you have any nervous habits? If so, what are they?//11. If you could meet any person in the world, famous or not, who would it be? Why?

Have fun, and thanks again to Beth for nominating me! ❤

Love, Sarah Beth