10 Positive Things To Do Today

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Hello dears, and happy Thursday. 🙂

Today I wanted to share a few ways in which you can make some positive changes in your lifestyle, to perhaps boost mental health and productivity at the same time. If you struggle with finding motivation, energy, or if you struggle with anxiety and stress, making a few positive changes here and there can actually help more than you may realize.

I don’t want to keep this intro too lengthy, so let’s get into this *long* post, shall we?

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1. Unfriend, unfollow, or block the people that have a negative influence on your life.

{Okay, maybe this doesn’t look too positive at first, but hear me out.}

For me, it’s always hard unfriending people. I worry about their feelings, and how they will react when I do this. But I also know that it’s hard seeing people post about their “perfect” lives, and their accomplishments that seem to override your social media feed with so much jealousy and comparison. It gets overbearing at some point, and the only way to really keep that comparison from rising is to unfollow that person. It’s okay to cut out the negative influences in your life—if it’s damaging to both your mental health, or even your faith. The same goes for friendships and relationships in real life. If you have friends and acquaintances who constantly tear you down, instead of building you up, it’s okay to stop hanging out, or being close.* I know it might sound rude. I know it might sound mean. But this is your health, and your well-being. If something has that negative of an influence on you, it’s honestly for the best.

*Although it’s wise to keep the negative influences out of your life, that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t be the positive influence in theirs, either. You can still be kind, and loving, to someone who isn’t to you. When and if it’s necessary to talk to them, always be the gracious one, even if the other isn’t.

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2. Disconnect for a while. 

Social media is a big part of our lives. We get to communicate with our friends in an instant, and share important moments of our lives with others. But sometimes social media has a negative impact on us. We get so caught up in wasting our time seeing other people live “perfect” lives, that, in reality, we forget to live our own. That’s why it’s important to disconnect for a while, or for as long as you need to gather your thoughts, and to organize your life. Your friends, family, and followers don’t need to know right away–or even at all– what you had for lunch every day this week, or what awesome event you went to last weekend.

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3. Schedule some alone time to replenish.

The world keeps us going, and going, and going, until we no longer feel capable of taking a break. So schedule that “me time” you’ve been craving. Take a long, hot bath with a bath bomb, or bath salts. Spend some alone time with pets. Curl up with a good book. Take a nap (my personal favorite). It’s important to take breaks from time to time, even if you feel like your life is far too overloaded with tasks to accomplish, and people to impress. Never forget that rest is important, too.

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4. Stop saying “yes” to anything and everything.

I know it’s hard to say “no” when the time comes. I get that you feel like you’re letting someone down if you decline that party invitation, when you really don’t feel like socializing. Trust me–I’ve been there. But pretty soon you’re going to find yourself saying “yes” to things that have no positive influence on your life, like that new relationship you know deep down isn’t going to end well, or that friendship with someone you know is a bad influence. Take the time to learn how to say “no” to something you know is a bad idea. You’re not being rude. You’re being honest.

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5. Toss out the processed junk food, and start putting better food into your body.

I’m not going to lie: junk food, sugar, candy—they’re all weaknesses of mine. I will gladly eat a whole bag of chips in one sitting, but I realized a while back that putting all that junk into my body isn’t going to make me feel better about myself, or my problems. Our bodies—they all react differently to different foods. But if we don’t make that choice to start fueling ourselves with good, healthy meals instead, we’re only destroying our health to the point of sickness, or disease. Food will not make us feel satisfied, or happier, if we keep letting ourselves go to it for comfort. So start drinking more water, eating more fruits and vegetables, and limit yourself to one junk food per day. You deserve more than that garbage companies make us believe is healthy for us.

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6. Get a planner, write down everything that needs to be done, and get productive.

What is your dream, or goal in life? Is it to become a teacher? A writer? A lawyer? I don’t know what that may be, but there is a saying I like to quote whenever I feel myself getting unmotivated–

“Dreams don’t work unless you do.”

If you have a dream, and if you want that dream to come true, it’s not just going to walk up to your door and present itself for you to take. If you want it, you need to go get it. You need to pick yourself up off the floor of your bedroom, stressing over everything that needs to be done, and you need to tell yourself that you can do anything if you want it that badly. Only you have the ability to reach that goal; others can’t and won’t do it for you.

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7. Work on your attitude. Yes, I sound like a grandma. But do it.

I’m not trying to tell you that you should be happier, because we all know that takes time. What I’m trying to tell you is that you should take a step back, and analyze how your attitude has been these last few months. Have you been kind to others, or have you been quick to become angry at the smallest of things? Have you been giving, loving, and reaching out to those who are struggling, or do you remain in your comfort zone? Have you been handling situations with a positive outlook, or have you been stressing about everything? Whatever it may be, it’s always important to detox your attitude towards the situations life hands us. So be kind. Be loving. Step outside of your comfort zone once in a while. There is a whole world out there that needs every ounce of you that you’ve got.

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8. Work on building your faith.

Maybe you’re reading this in the middle of a rut. Maybe you’re stuck in a crossroads wondering which direction to turn. Or maybe you’ve fallen into something that seems impossible to escape. I don’t even know what your faith is. How could I? I’m just a girl behind a computer screen, trying to write a motivational blog post. But if there’s anything I’ve learned from going through these ruts, it’s that God’s going to help you get back up from that hole—if you let Him. But you also need to work towards it, too. You need to say to yourself “I can do this because God did this.” He took on the cross, the pain, and the brokenness. He took on everything that we’re going through—that we’re feeling. I don’t think we have the nerve to say to ourselves “I can’t do this” if He got through death. So work on building that faith. Work on building that relationship with Him. He’s got this, and so do you.

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9. Take a moment to appreciate all the blessings you’ve been given.

You may be thinking “I don’t have the newest phone, or a boyfriend/girlfriend, or a—” STOP. Stop thinking about what you don’t have, and start being grateful for the things you do have. You have a roof over your head, clothes on your back, and food to keep you healthy. You have blessings that some people would trade the newest iPhone, or a Gucci bag, for in a heartbeat. Don’t start taking that for granted.

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10. Be the reason someone wakes up tomorrow.

Everyone is fighting their own battles. That girl at school who has the nicest smile? She could be secretly fighting depression, or anxiety. That guy on the math team who’s bullied? He could be secretly planning to take his own life, and no one would know it. It’s horrible to think about—I know. But y’all, it’s reality. Our world is messed up, and unless we make a change, people are going to continue feeling like this–living like this until the point of no return. So be the reason someone wakes up tomorrow. Be the reason someone decides to keep living, to keep breathing. You have the opportunity to change someone’s life just by the way you treat them.

***

This is your life. This is your health. This is your lifestyle. You have the chance to make a difference, whether it be made in your own life, or someone else’s. Please don’t pass up that opportunity to make a change.

You are loved, you are seen. Have a blessed week.

 

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School Dress Codes and The Modesty Debate

Ice Cream Party (2).pngEarlier today I found a news article on the topic of school dress codes, and the idea of “how far is too far” when determining an outfit appropriate for class. The subject of the article, a teen girl, got in trouble for wearing ripped jeans to class. The school argued against the jeans by saying that rips above the knee were not allowed, and that, if the teen were to cut the rest of the jeans off, the remaining “shorts” would be fine.

Because of the article’s gaining popularity, I thought it would be appropriate to address the controversy surrounding school dress codes, and how they apply to women and young girls in schools.

For starters, I think it’s important to address that school dress codes do have reason, and meaning, behind them. The origin behind the dress code is solely for the purpose of keeping students from becoming distracted from learning, and, in often cases, it is beneficial for both students and education.

However, I think that, in today’s times, there is a fine line between eliminating distraction among students, and shaming females for wearing an item of clothing the males are allowed to wear.

For example, a clothing item commonly discouraged by the dress code is the tank top. Young women in schools are prohibited from wearing any article of clothing that shows a certain amount of shoulder, as it can be a cause of lust for the boys in classes.

However, the problem with this is not that the women are prohibited from wearing such things. The true problem is that the boys are able to wear an item of clothing prohibited for the girls, and they are able to get away with it. 

It is often seen that boys are allowed to wear tank tops, and in return, the girls are shamed for wearing that item of clothing.

Do you see the problem?

In our education system, the focus is directed more towards the females, and their “responsibility” to keep the boys pure in thought. However, if we took a closer look, we would see the school system doing absolutely nothing about teaching boys about their responsibility to not let a clothing item on a girl’s back distract him from his schoolwork. 

These are teens we are addressing here. Being a teenager ensures raging hormones, but the problem is that we are blaming such ideas on the young girls, rather than offering education on how to respect women and their bodies.

Am I saying that modesty is a bad concept? Not at all. In fact, I think it is respectful, and I believe it shows that your heart, and your personality, should be what others see when they look at you.

But what I am saying is that there is a difference between placing a dress code in schools to encourage modesty, and allowing the shaming of young girls while boys are excused.

I would also like to mention that allowing young men to wear tight shirts and shorts in class can also become a source of lust for girls, too. But are schools teaching men that? Is society teaching that modesty is not only for females, but for males, as well?

As an education system, our job should be to teach young girls and boys the importance of respect, and value, of the opposite gender. Shaming girls for wearing articles of clothing that supposedly “makes them objects” for the boys to view is not right, and I don’t believe it should be condoned in our schools.

As for the young teen’s ripped jeans, it is also important to consider that there is such a thing as taking judgement of an article of clothing “too far.” If the student had been wearing a top that, say, revealed a female’s entire chest, the faculty’s motive for suggesting a clothing change would be understandable. However, ripped jeans that show the knee are likely not going to cause a young boy to “lust” after her. If anything, shorts would be more of a “lust-attracting” article of clothing, and yet, schools allow girls to wear them.

Modesty is such a debatable topic in society, so it is difficult to come to terms with what is the right option, and what isn’t. But there is a problem in our schools, and our communities, with the treatment of the dress code. And until the terms change, our students are nowhere close to learning the importance of respect for the other gender.

Let's Chat

What is your opinion of this subject? Do you believe that dress codes are placed for our protection, or do you believe that they are unjust? Feel free to share your thoughts! *Keep in mind that any disrespectful or harassing comments will be ignored.*

Have a blessed week!

-Sarah Beth

Writing Prompt #1: The Napkin

Hello dears, and happy Tuesday!

I thought I’d pop on and share a response to a writing prompt I found today on Pinterest. I’ve never done one of these before, so I thought it would be nice to finally write a short story based on that prompt! But before I do, I wanted to make it clear that all credit goes to the author of the prompt (not sure who). I’m in no way trying to pass it as my own, and I just wrote the story to go along with it. 🙂

That said, I hope you enjoy! *Note: I tried to make this as least violent as possible. I love thrilling stories, so I still kept some of it in. Just wanted to make that known. ;)*

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“Sir, you dropped your napkin!” I called after the man as he hurriedly dashed to the front door of the restaurant. I sighed, already standing up to throw the cloth away, if he wasn’t going to come after it. However, as I glanced down, I noticed a single word, written in ink pen, that at once made my spine curl.

Run.

I panicked, thoughts running wild in my mind. What in the world? Is this some sort of joke? I hurried to gather my purse and phone from my booth, eager to retreat from the restaurant before something did happen. Watching the news daily told me this was probably not a joke.

I left a few dollars at the table, and headed towards the front door, where I watched the strange man leave. As I placed my hand on the glass frame, I heard a single gunshot fired from the back of the restaurant, followed by the screaming of families and friends gathered for a nightly meal.

I froze, either out of pure fear, or stupidity, and struggled to get out the door as waves of customers frantically began to evacuate the perimeter. I was squished, squashed, and pulled before I could manage to step outside into the cold air.

As I began to run to my car, however, I spotted the man who dropped the napkin in my lap leaning against a pole in the parking lot. Our eyes met, and something in my gut told me that the shot fired was most likely tied to that napkin.

Fear bubbling somewhere in my stomach, I bolted towards my car, eager to leave and notify the police. I fumbled for my keys, wishing I had bothered to clean out my bag before I left, and settled myself inside my sedan as I began having a panic attack.

I watched customers get into their cars, and leave in a hurry. I held my keys. The steering wheel was right in front of me. So why wasn’t I leaving? In a state of panic, I couldn’t move, let alone breathe normally. I needed to get out—to go home, where I would no longer be in danger. But I couldn’t. And I didn’t know what was wrong with me.

I glanced around me, attempting to find Napkin Man. Why, I have no idea, considering he was probably a mob boss looking to rob the place. Or me. Or worse. But he was no longer standing against the pole, and that worried me. Did he leave? Or is he inside the restaurant?

Out of the corner of my eye, I glimpsed the slightest of movements. Two men, dressed in all black, were exiting the restaurant, followed by another figure (Napkin Man, possibly) carrying a body over his shoulder. Panicking, I hunched down in my seat, attempting to make it look like this was just an abandoned car. I held my hand over my mouth, trying desperately not to scream, and waited my fate. I heard voices—muffled, but strangely loud. These people must not be trained in robbery, if they’re talking like that.

I could faintly make out what the men were saying, but it took me almost straining my neck, shoulders, and legs before I could hear clearly.

“Put ‘em in the car, Frank. The police are prob’ly on their way by now.”

“What do I look like, a dummy? Eh?”

“Why you—”

“Hey, hey, settle down you big goons. We need to leave, so hurry it up!” While the first two voices were scratchy and masculine, the last speaker had a melodic tone to his voice that sounded a bit familiar. Tell me I don’t know a crime lord.

After the last voice spoke, the conversation appeared to be over, much to my relief. I heard several car doors slam, and the engine of a vehicle (a van, perhaps) roar to life. Headlights shone in my rearview mirror, slowly disappearing as whoever came out the restaurant exited the scene, leaving me shivering in a quite uncomfortable position in the floorboard of my car.

I released the breath I didn’t realize I was holding in, struggling to get back into a normal position. I didn’t bother to think about what I just witnessed; I needed to get home, to lock myself in my bedroom, and never come out.

I glanced around me once more, making sure the coast was clear, and finally started the engine. I kept my headlights off, out of fear of someone catching me. But as I began to pull out of the parking lot, I felt my old sedan hit something, causing the seats to rattle, and I screamed. Oh no. No, no, no, no. This cannot be happening. I turned the car off, and sat for a moment before regaining consciousness. The little color left drained from my face, and I at once began worrying if I had hit a pole, or even a person.

I reached for my umbrella, hoping to use it as a weapon if needed, and began moving slowly to the trunk of my car. I couldn’t hear anything except the buzz of the parking lot lights. Maybe I just hit a pole or something. Or maybe it’s a shopping cart! Yeah, there’s a store in this plaza.

But I yelped when I reached the back of the car. There, lying face-down on the pavement, was Napkin Man. I was sure of it. My first instinct was to feel proud of myself. I mean, I just ran over a possible crime lord with my car. But I also felt guilty. Even if he was a crime lord, he still dropped that napkin. Or was it even meant for me in the first place?

Suddenly, Napkin Man rolled over onto his back, attempting to regain consciousness. I startled, whacking the man in the chest with the umbrella out of fear. He writhed in pain, attempting to rise, but fell back down again. When he saw me standing next to him with my polka-dot umbrella, he tried to move once more, but I blocked him.

“You. What do you want?.” I pointed the tip of the contraption at his chest, poking him so he wouldn’t think of trying anything. He studied me, and I could have sworn I saw guilt in his eyes. But it only lasted for a second.

“And why would I tell you that? You’d just report it to the police.” The man grimaced, wincing in pain as he struggled with the umbrella. I know your voice. I know you. But I can’t remember where from.

“Well, because—because I just want to know what you want. With me, and with this place.” I scanned his figure for a gun, but he appeared weapon-free. Still, I kept my position, beginning to feel as though I was a detective in a mystery movie.

Napkin Man sighed heavily. “Listen, I know what this looks like, but I was the one who gave you that napkin. I warned you, so shouldn’t that make me the good guy?” I scowled, fired up from the stress this man had caused me.

“But if you’re the good guy, Mr. Napkin Man, why are you here in the first place? And why were you talking with those goons?” Napkin man narrowed his eyes at me.

Mr. Napkin Man? Oh please, that’s ridiculous. Just call me John, if you must.” He attempted to get up once more, but I held him down with the umbrella.

“Okay, John. I asked you a question, and I’m not letting you go until you answer it.” I glared at him, eager to know more about the scene I just witnessed. But before I could get an answer out of him, I heard police sirens approaching the restaurant. Napkin Man—John—sighed, closing his eyes in defeat as three squad cars and an ambulance pulled into the parking lot.

Flashing lights blinded the both of us as we watched several policemen get out of the squad cars, guns aimed at us.

“Put your hands up. NOW.” I screeched, dropping the umbrella to the pavement as I raised my arms in the air. Napkin Man tried, but getting hit by a car kind of kept him from moving all that much.

Though help may have come, something told me that this was not over yet.

 

Live Fearless (Sadie Robertson) Book Review

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Hello dears! Happy Sunday!

Today I thought it would be interesting to share a little book review I updated yesterday on Goodreads. To be quite honest, reviewing does not come natural to me, considering I only have five on GR…hehe, yeah, I just haven’t had the time, okay? Okay. 😉

Today’s book I’m reviewing is Live Fearless by Sadie Robertson. I’m 99% sure you’ve heard of her from either her family’s show, Duck Dynasty, or her brand, Live Original, but even if you haven’t, reading her book should be all the more interesting!

So, let’s get going, shall we?

**Original review here.**


To start off, let me share the little synopsis from Goodreads:

“Sadie Robertson, bestselling author and star of Dancing with the Stars, has an important message for her generation: you don’t have to be held back by fear, anxiety, or loneliness anymore. In Live Fearless, Sadie takes you on a thrilling personal journey toward power, passion, and purpose as you live at the center of who God created you to be!


Personal Rating: ✰✰✰✰✰

Average Rating: ✰✰✰✰

If you are new to this little blog, you might not have had the chance to learn that I have struggled with anxiety for the past three years—and I’m not talking about the little worry spells everyone gets from time to time. This is the gut-wrenching fear that pops out of nowhere—for hardly any reason at all—that I’m addressing.

So when I heard about Sadie’s new book, it intrigued me. Part of me didn’t want to read it, considering anxiety is challenged by a lot of authors who attempt to convince those who struggle with it to just “let it go”—from a viewpoint that has no history of anxiety whatsoever. I didn’t want to pick it up because I thought Sadie would be one of those people.

But I was actually pretty surprised when I did choose to read it.

You see, Sadie is the rare author who actually knows what having anxiety is like. She’s personally been convicted through her situation, unlike those authors I mentioned. She knows what it’s like to experience that fear that can keep you from doing so much—from following your dreams.

Most importantly, she knows what it’s like to OVERCOME that anxiety. She didn’t just wake up one day without any fear. She didn’t just give up on life because of that fear. It took time, and effort, to overcome. It took the power of God. It took guts, y’all—and that is the reason why I am reviewing this book of hers.

This book is raw, real, and full of truth that will leave you in tears because it relates so much to what you’ve personally been going through. It’s like having a conversation with a close friend, talking over the hard stuff, and working out the problems through prayer and community.

It tackles what needs to be said, and what needs to be done, rather than just giving a few tips on how to “treat” anxiety.

So if you personally have struggled with anxiety in the past, or even if you’re struggling with it now, the most important advice I can give you is to read this book. Not because it’s entertaining, or popular, or comedic (all of which it is, but that is not the point).

I want you to read it because it’s TRUTH. It’s REAL. And most importantly, it’s LIFECHANGING.

So go find it if it’s possible for you. Visit a bookstore, Amazon, or ask a friend who has it if you could borrow it. You’ll not just love it—you’ll grow through reading it.

I hope you found this review somewhat helpful! I definitely recommend this book to anyone who struggles with managing fear, anxiety, and even insecurity and comparison. I hope y’all have a blessed week! ❤

Love, Sarah Beth

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

Note: Photo credit to Unsplash.com

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?

I’ve always thought modesty to be a normal concept. If I ever had a shirt that revealed too much, or shorts that came up too far, I would just feel uncomfortable, you know? I guess part of it has a lot to do with one’s personal conviction, as everyone’s opinion of modesty is different.

But before I knew how pressuring the world was, I would see girls in the media, or even at my own school, dressing as though they liked wearing revealing clothing. 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 glorifies 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 told that your worth is found in your appearance, 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.) Depending on personal preference, it doesn’t have to be floor-length skirts and no pants. What it is, however, is realizing that you are enough. It’s knowing that your heart is what matters above all, and that when people look at you, they see your personality shine above all else. 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 anyone for their personal opinions on clothing. I’m not trying to tell you that you have no respect for yourself, or that you’re unworthy, if you personally feel that wearing revealing clothes is okay. There are too many people who feel as though they should judge if they see someone with a different opinion than theirs in the world.

All I am trying to point out 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.

You don’t need to look for worth in your appearance, or the way you dress.

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