Life goes by at the speed of light.
Our schedules are filled to the brim and we're constantly in a rush to do the next thing, to check the next task off our to-do list, to accomplish our next goal.
Surely I'm not the only one.
And if we're honest about it?
It really wears us out, doesn't it? We get so tired of constantly going and pushing forward. We are running on empty and don't know how to get filled again, because we never slow down. We leave ourselves physically, emotionally, and spiritually drained.
Maybe because we were never meant to do this ourselves?
The to-do lists, the goals, the dreams, the responsibilities, the work, the requirements. All of it. Maybe we weren't meant to do it on our own after all. Maybe the reason we feel empty and like we have nothing left to give is because we've been doing it all in our own strength, only to realize that we aren't as strong enough for it as we thought.
"Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light." (Matthew 11:28-30)
You know what happens when we take everything on ourselves and we constantly give out without taking the time necessary to breathe in His rest? We burn out. We run on empty. We give up.
When we don't take the time to rest in Him, we are putting unnecessary stress on ourselves.
Here's a truth for your soul tonight...you don't have to do it all. Because your worth is not measured by how much you do but by Whose you are.
Remember the story of Mary and Martha in Luke 10:38-42? In this story, Jesus visits the house of His friends, Mary and Martha. Mary chooses to sit at the feet of Jesus and rest in His presence and learn from Him. Martha however is so busy making sure everything is perfect. She's so distracted trying to serve Jesus that she misses out on getting to be with Him.
And that's what we do too, isn't it?
We serve Jesus. We check everything off on our spiritual to-do lists. We pour ourselves out until we're empty and then we keep going until we burn out and give up.
And we miss getting to sit at His feet.
We miss getting to be with Him, getting to enjoy His presence. We miss getting to rest in Him and be loved by Him.
In her frustration, Martha asked Jesus to tell Mary to help her. We do that sometimes too, right? We tell Jesus, "Well if my family would help more with these responsibilities, I wouldn't have as much to do." Or, "Why are so many people in my church leaving me to lead this ministry alone? It's not fair!" We sound like Martha: "Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Therefore tell her to help me." Ouch. She even told Jesus what to do.
But you know what Jesus says?
He doesn't tell her to keep serving. He doesn't tell her to do more. He doesn't tell Mary to help her.
He says so lovingly, "Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things. But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her."
Mary chose the best thing. She chose Jesus.
Next time life overwhelms you and your to-do list is off the charts, take a step back, even if only for a few minutes a day. When you feel that burn-out starting to hit and you've got nothing left to give, sit down at His feet.
Come to Him. Rest in Him. Let Him fill you.
His yoke is easy and His burden is light.
Good morning, dear readers! Sooo, I have a *very* exciting post for y'all today! *throws confetti*
On July 6, 2017 my dear friend Livy Jarmusch is releasing her brand NEW novel, "The Coronation." I am so thrilled about this book which makes me super thrilled to get to talk about it! I had the honor of reading one of the first editions of "The Coronation," and was totally captured by the story. I'm so happy to be a part of Livy's blog tour for her novel today!
Anyway, before I ramble too much in my excitement (because I'll be posting my review of the novel on July 15th!), I'll just invite you into the blog today to read an exciting interview with Miss Vanessa Bennett! Vanessa is probably one of my favorite characters from "The Coronation" (it's so hard to pick!), because she is so much like me personally! :)
So without further ado, I present to you a fun interview with Vanessa as we talk about her passions and the beautiful country of Tarsurella!
(Note: Vanessa is a fictional character, for anyone who may be confused by this. Livy and I simply created this interview as a fun way for you, as the readers, to learn more about Vanessa's character and get excited for the book release :) Prince Addison and the Royal Family and Tarsurella are fictional as well and do not represent real people or places!)
Bella: First of all, welcome to my blog, Vanessa! It is super, super fun to have you joining us today and I can’t wait to chat more about your adventure in Tarsurella! To start off, we’d love for you to share just a little bit more about yourself!
Vanessa: Aw, thank you Bella! I am so excited to be here! Yes, my time in Tarsurella was pretty crazy! It was my first time ever being out of the United States, so that was really special to me.
Okay so a little bit about myself? I grew up in New York, upstate. I’m not a fan of the snow. I love working hard and the feeling that comes when you’ve accomplished an amazing task or checked something off your bucket list. I just graduated High School and am currently taking a ‘gap year’ while I figure out what in the world I want to do with my life. (Ha! Good luck, right?)
My parents describe me as “passionate” although I think my personality can be a lot for people to handle at times! I just can’t stand to see innocent souls suffering. I have a huge desire to help the homeless and anyone who is hurting. I also adore animals and desire to see freedom and protection for whales, baby turtles, and other endangered species around the world. Sometimes I can come across as intense or overbearing, but I just have such a strong desire to see the wrongs made right, and justice served!
Bella: That's awesome, Vanessa! What do you love most about Tarsurella?
Vanessa: I’m a huge history buff, so seeing the Palace was amazing. It’s just incredible to think that ancient royals used to walk those very same halls. The Tarsurellian Palace is truly the most impressive and awe-invoking building I’ve ever seen. I think it’s really cool how they’ve been able to preserve the centuries-old rooms and historical artifacts, yet still add on some stylish tourist elements throughout the years. I absolutely drooled over the Queen’s Royal Library! If you’ve never been to Tarsurella you HAVE to go, simply for the sight of that library. Oh my goodness, it was like heaven!
Bella: That definitely sounds like heaven! I mean a castle and a library? I'd be in love! So what made you change your mind to stay in Tarsurella a bit longer and meet Prince Addison?
Vanessa: Meeting Prince Addison was actually a bit of a mistake. It wasn’t like I went on vacation with any intention of meeting the Royal Family. (I mean seriously, it wasn’t anywhere on my radar!) But Miss. Deborah, one of the sweet secretaries who works at the palace, struck up a conversation with me and ended up inviting me to a meeting with him and several other girls my age. Which was crazy! I mean, it’s not every day you stumble into a meeting with the Prince of Tarsurella!
Bella: What was your first impression of the royal family, and most specifically, Addison?
Vanessa: The thing about first impressions, is that there is always room for a second impression. And the Lord knows I needed a second impression of Prince Addison! Um, yeah. Before going to Tarsurella, I kind of despised Addison, his family, and their whole uppity monarchy thing. (Yikes, I’d better be careful what I say. The media can take a phrase like that and blast it all over the internet, completely out of context! I adore the Royal Family now, so please realize that this was all past tense. ;)) But my second impression of Prince Addison (once we actually met) revealed his true, kind nature, and inspiring Godly character. He truly does have a heart to serve the less fortunate, and use his Crown for good. I admire him and his heart for others. If anyone’s going to rock this whole monarchy thing, it will definitely be him!
Bella: Why does it matter to you so much to make a difference for the homeless in Tarsurella?
Vanessa: As I mentioned earlier, if I see someone hurting, I can’t help but do something about it. My heart breaks for those who are in pain, and I can’t go to sleep at night and rest in peace, unless I know that I did something to help those who need it the most. I have a great hatred for apathy, and I believe it has gripped the hearts of far too many in this generation. So many young people are throwing their God-given talents and potential to make a difference, out the window, or burying them in the dirt, refusing to make any kind of change or positive impact. But we have been called to so much more! I truly, truly believe that one person can make massive waves, even in their smallest most loving contribution to those who are ‘down and out’. My Mom always said, “One person can’t change the world. But, you can change the world for one person.”
Bella: I love that! If you could go back and relive one memory from your time in Tarsurella, what would it be?
Vanessa: It would most definitely be The Coronation Ball. ;)
Bella: And how about just for fun, what is your favorite room in the castle?
Vanessa: The Queen’s Library, hands down!
Bella: How do you think your decision to first visit Tarsurella has effected the rest of your life?
Vanessa: Wow. That’s a pretty loaded question! I think that at this point, I’m not even fully aware of all the deep ways that trip has changed me. It gave me a fresh and new perspective on life. In all honesty, it was exactly what I needed. I don’t think a girl can go to Europe and experience such amazing (and sometimes frightful) adventures, and not be completely changed! Not only has my perspective of The Royal Family and their sweet little country changed, but my entire outlook on life, love, and hope has been transformed as well.
Bella: Ending with one last fun question, what is your absolute favorite dessert that you would eat every day if you could?
Vanessa: Oh! SUCH a good question! I typically try to eat pretty healthy (emphasis on the “try”!) but if I’m in the mood to splurge, I would totally go for lemon cookies! Or lemon meringue pie! Of course I love chocolate just as much as any other girl, but I have a true weakness for anything lemon flavored. I love that perfect combination of sweet and sour!
Bella: I'd have to agree with you there! Well, thank you for joining us today, Vanessa! It's been a pleasure! ♥
If you loved this interview, you'll LOVE "The Coronation"! Keep up with Livy at her blog and Instagram for more details when "The Coronation" releases on July 6th! You don't want to miss it!!
We've all been there.
We've all had what the world has affectionately called a "crush." Girls, you know what I'm talking about. It's so easy for us to find a "cute" guy and start liking him. You start to feel butterflies in your stomach whenever he enters the room and you stumble over your words when you talk to him. And if the guy who has our eye starts showing us attention, then we're sure he must be "the one."
The thing is, feeling attraction for a guy or having a "crush" on him, is perfectly normal.
But we all know that normal things can be taken too far too.
So here are four signs that your crush has become an idol, and the ways you can put Jesus back on the throne of your heart:
1) He consumes all your waking thoughts. Yep, we know what this is like, don't we? A guy walks into our lives who shows us attention or who looks cute and suddenly he is all that we can think about. When this happens our family and friends have a hard time getting our attention, and we are often found staring out the window lost in thought. We allow everything to remind us of our crush and we listen to love songs that make us think even more about him. Girls, come on, you know you've done it too. But when we allow someone to control all of our thoughts, we are allowing them to have too much of our heart. Sweet one, your heart is special and priceless. A guy doesn't deserve part of it unless he is who God has for you. You know what else happens when we let a guy become all that we think about? We lose our focus on Jesus. When you're only thinking about that "special person" you don't have time to focus on your true Lover. You might be looking at me right now thinking, "I understand that, but it's so hard! I can't help it. I don't want to think about him, but I just do." And yep, I get that. But you are still in control of your mind and your thoughts. It is hard, you're right. But guarding our hearts and minds was never a guarantee to be easy. When thoughts of this boy start to consume your mind, determine in your heart to think of something else. You could decide that every time a thought of Him enters your mind, you could pray for his future wife, whoever that may be. Or you could pray for your future husband, whoever he may be. Maybe next time a thought of him enters your mind, you could call your best friend and just talk. Whatever it takes, get your thoughts on something else!
2) You start planning your wedding with him. Writing this makes me laugh, cause I know how easy it is for us to get to this point. Girls, we can sometimes be super dramatic (or wait, is that just me?), and if a guy starts talking to us, we can start planning how many bridesmaids we'll have at our wedding. Don't get me wrong, it's fun to think about your future wedding (I mean, come on, what girl doesn't have a someday wedding board on Pinterest? Just me again? Okay...). What I'm talking about here is when you start planning your wedding to a specific guy. Unless that guy has put a ring on your finger, he is not yours and you are not his. But I do know a truth for you: if God wills for you to get married, He does have the right guy for you picked out somewhere. And don't worry, when that right guy puts a ring on your finger, you'll have plenty of time to start wedding planning.
3) You compromise to get his attention. This one might be the most dangerous yet. When we start compromising our principles to get the attention of a young man, we are putting ourselves in a very dangerous position. Maybe you start dressing differently to catch his eye or you start doing things you know you shouldn't do to get him to like you. Whatever it is that you're compromising in, you are worth more than that. If you have to compromise to get his attention, he is not worthy of you and he is not who God has in mind for you. I can promise you that. So you stand your ground, you beautiful girl, and you wait for the one God has for you. Stand with Jesus.
4) You grow apart from Jesus because of him. Let's face it, if any guy in your life pulls you farther from Jesus instead of closer to Him, then this guy needs to go. I'm serious about that. If he is not making you fall deeper in love with Jesus, then he is not worthy of having you fall in love with him. If this is happening, I'm asking you to please cut him out of your life immediately. Your relationship with Jesus is the most important thing in your life. He is your true Love, He is your true Prince, and He is your Hero. No other relationship can perfectly satisfy you the way Jesus can. So please, if your crush starts causing you to grow away from Jesus, come running back. Run back to the arms of Jesus. It'll be the best choice you'll make.
Girls, you are a priceless treasure. You deserve the best and that's what God has in store for your future. Don't rush your story. Don't settle for less. Please. Yes, crushes are normal and you're going to have them because you're human and God created these emotions you're feeling. But when those feelings turn someone into an idol in your life, please evaluate your heart. Ask God to search your heart and keep it true to Him.
Fall in love with Jesus first, beautiful one. And when you do, everything else will fall into place.
"Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it spring the issues of life." (Proverbs 4:23)
It brings such a mix of emotions between the people who hear those words. Some are filled with joy and gratitude for the strong men in their lives who make them proud as their hero. Some are filled with hurt and loss for the men in their lives who weren't what they needed them to be.
I'm not here to talk about what fathers could do better or about why the role of a father is important.
Nope, instead I'm here to tell you about the Father who changed my life.
This is my Father's Day story from someone who grew up without an earthly dad.
I was five years old when He became real to me. I was eleven years old when I experienced His voice in the most true way I ever had. I was fourteen years old when I experienced His unconditional love and grace, even when I turned away. And now I'm twenty years old and I look back at these specific moments, but I also look back and see every moment, every year, in between and how faithful He was.
He was there with me when I took my first steps. He was there when I memorized my first Bible verse. He cheered when I wrote "the end" on my very first book. He smiled when I recited His words onstage in front of hundreds of people. And all along the journey of my life He has wooed me and drawn me closer to His heart. He has spoken truth, love, and light into my life since before I gave my first cry. He has protected, He has guided, He has held me every moment I have walked.
And because He didn't want eternity without me, He died to keep me.
So He did for you too.
You see, the same Father who has given me such an amazing story to celebrate today, has given it to you too! Whether you have an earthly father or not, your Heavenly Father is calling to you.
He wants to be your perfect Father. He wants you to be His child. His masterpiece.
He wants you. He loves you. He adores you. You are His. And whatever pain your past might hold from a father, He has something new to say to you:
"A father of the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in His holy habitation." (Psalm 68:5)
"But now, O Lord, You are our Father; we are the clay, and You our potter; and all we are the work of Your hand." (Isaiah 64:8)
He is our Father. He created us to be His children. With a love greater than any love on earth, He has loved you. With a song sweeter than any heard on earth, He has sung over you. With a joy greater than any known on earth, He has rejoiced over you.
So whatever Father's Day means to you right now, know this...you have the greatest Father ever. And He is crazy about you. You are His girl. Rejoice.
Happy Father's Day, Heavenly Father. You are my Rock, my Protector, my Joy, my Sanctuary...my Hero. Thank You for making me Your little girl. Thank You for being Mine. What a wonderful Father You are. I love You, Daddy... ♥
*throws some confetti and offers you a cupcake*
Friend, come on in and enter this little party, I'm so glad you're here! You see, today I am celebrating the 2nd anniversary--"blog-versary"--of my blog, Worth it All.
Although I did not create a Weebly blog account and set up this blog until June 11, 2015, this blog began in my heart years before that.
I don't remember exactly when I first had the idea, but when I was about thirteen and fourteen I really started aching to share my words with the world. At that point I'd been writing for several years and I was finally beginning to see that writing was what God had in mind for my life. I understood that He created me to speak to His people through the written word. It started like a spark in my heart, yearning to let other people read what I wrote, aching to inspire my generation with the truth of who God is and what He wants to do in their lives. That spark turned into a blaze that I couldn't ignore.
So June 11, 2015 I began this adventure of blogging.
Around this time I was releasing my first book, "I Dare You: Finding Your Passion and Lighting Your World," which would officially release a couple weeks later.
I fell in love with blogging over the last two years. I fell in love with being able to pour my heart into something that God would use to touch readers' lives.
So as I celebrate the 2nd blog-versary of this writing nook God gave to me, I have to first give Him the credit.
You see, it's so easy to get caught up in our accomplishments or in our dreams and think they happened because we wanted them to or we worked really hard. But the truth that I've learned over the last two years?
Every dream or accomplishment that comes true for us is because of God.
He is the reason I stand here today. He is the reason I picked up my pen and started writing. He is the reason I ached to inspire my generation. He is the reason I published four books. He is the reason I have my own magazine ministry that over 100 girls and women receive.
I look at these things and I am at a loss for words.
I am humbled that God would give me this platform to make a difference. I am honored that He would choose me to speak these words. Jesus, I'm overwhelmed. Thank You.
Don't look to me. Look to Him.
With that being said, I owe YOU a thank you too and I would love to sit down and have a cupcake with you for real if I could. Thank you for faithfully reading. Thank you for commenting. Thank you for making me smile. Thank you for giving me a chance. Thank you for letting my blog be a part of your life. Thank you. I couldn't be here without your support.
Finally, I want to end with one last thought.
I'm just a girl from the state of PA. I'm just a twenty-year-old who dreamed of changing her world.
But when you let God take control of your life and your dreams, they become His. Then it is no longer just a dream. Then you are no longer just a girl. They are His.
You are His.
And when something is His, He makes it amazing.
So you want to change the world?
Then what are you waiting for?
To God be the glory forever. Romans 11:36. ♥
Due to the subject of suicide discussed in this post, please get a parents permission for younger audiences.
When I first heard the plot of the new series 13 Reasons Why, I was a little bit shocked.
Before long, I was saddened and even heart broken. From movie reviews and articles I’ve read regarding the series, the content surprised me. There are so many movies out there today encouraging teens to do wrong, even harmful, things, or portraying something that goes against Scripture. But what hurt my heart most about this series is how it makes suicide appear. In this series, the main character who is actually dead, gives 13 reasons why she killed herself.
People may argue that this film promotes the end of bullying, or they may argue that it promotes everyone to be kind to others. I’d have to disagree.
Teenagers (coming from a young woman who has just recently left her teenage years) are very impressionable. As a teen, we are just beginning to grow up and we can be very heavily influenced by media, such as music, books, movies, or television. Because of this, it breaks my heart to think that any movie or TV series, no matter what it the show is, would romanticize suicide or make suicide look like an escape. Listen close, please. Suicide is neither an escape, nor is it beautiful in any way. It does not fix problems, it creates them. Suicide is not a way to get back at someone who hurt you. It only prevents you from having the opportunity to heal from your hurt.
So instead of writing an article giving my whole opinion on this movie, I chose instead to write my own article encouraging you that suicide is not the answer. These are my thirteen reasons why you should stay alive.
My 13 reasons why NOT to commit suicide.
1. You are loved. I think this world has a way of twisting our ideas of what love is. And I also think we all know that love isn’t really like a Disney or Hallmark movie. In the real world, love hurts, love is selfish, and love goes away. But the truth about this love is that it isn’t real. It’s a fake version of love. Real love is the God of the universe who sent His Son to die for a people who turned their backs on Him. Real love is Jesus dying on the cross when we still did not know Him and when we spit in His face. Real love is our Savior continuing to pursue us even after we continue to fail Him. That’s real love. A sacrificial, unselfish love. And here’s the thing, I know loving people hurts. Humans hurt each other. People you love may walk out on you, people you love may not return that love, and people you love may break your heart and trample on it. But that does not make you unloved or unlovable. Because the God who made you looks at you and calls you His beloved. He chases you and declares you loved. He gave up everything for you. He died on that cross for you, because He loved you. You are so beautifully, perfectly, and completely loved. And not one thing in this whole world can change that. (Romans 8:38-39)
2. You are a child of God. Some of you may have been hurt or wounded by your parents, because parents are human too. Some of you might not even know your parents. What I want to encourage you with is that you are a child of God and He is a good, perfect Parent. When He rescued us from our sins and died on that cross for us, He could've just said we could be friends or followers or even servants of Him. But He went way beyond that. He made you His child. And as a child of God you have purpose and meaning far beyond your wildest dreams. (1 John 3:1)
3. Your current situation won’t last forever. It may seem like it will, I know. But I promise you that it won’t. Do you remember how quickly the seasons seem to change? Summer always goes the fastest in my opinion. Before we know it though, winter has come and gone too. Just as the seasons change so quickly, so do our lives. One decision, one accident, one friend, one opportunity, one dream, can change it all. You may be in pain right now, you may feel like what you’re going through won’t end, but I promise you that this winter will end and summer will come one day. (Psalm 30:5)
4. God has a perfect and good plan for your life. If you’re anything like me, you’re a planner. Basically I mean I’m a five and ten year plan kind of girl. I plan out my entire life. But you know what? Life doesn’t always go according to our plans, does it? Accidents happen, the doctor’s diagnosis isn’t good, we lose our jobs, things just don’t always go how we think they should. But I also know that God is control of everything in your life. Nothing happens that He doesn’t see or plan. Yes, bad things happen because we’re human and we sin. We live in a sinful world. Yet that doesn’t mean God isn’t still in control, because He is. And His plans for you are good and perfect and meant to bring you closer to Himself. (Jeremiah 29:11)
5. You have an assignment. If you are breathing, you still have a purpose. If your heart is still beating, you still have a task to accomplish. You were put on this earth for a purpose and a reason and until you fulfill it, you are meant to stay here. God has a big dream for your life that is beautiful. He put people in your life that only you can reach. He put people in your path that only you can encourage. But if you’re gone, you can’t. You can’t leave until God has completed His perfect work in you. But if you’re reading this right now, your life and purpose isn’t complete yet. (Philippians 1:6)
6. Suicide does not fix the problem. God fixes the problem. Suicide is final. It can’t be taken back. It is not a way to get revenge on someone who hurt you. It is not the way to hurt the people who wounded you. Suicide only cuts off any chance of things getting better. Suicide only guarantees that the problem will not go away. God is for you and He will take care of what happened to you. He will restore what was taken from you and He will heal you and fix the problems, because He is the answer to everything. Revenge is His, not yours to take. (Romans 12:19)
7. You are a masterpiece. You are fearfully and wonderfully made. Have you ever made something creative and worked really hard on it? Maybe you’re an artist and worked really hard on a special painting. Maybe you’re a writer and worked super hard on a new novel. Isn’t it an incredible feeling when it’s finally complete? As a writer, I know the joy and love of working on a writing project and finally finishing it. As a creative person, I know how much joy I find in my creative arts. So can you just imagine the joy God felt when He finished making you? Can’t you imagine the way He smiled when you were finally complete? He loved every part of you as He beautifully made you complete. (Psalm 139:13-14)
8. Every day is a new beginning. Sometimes guilt makes us feel like we can’t go on, doesn’t it? Because we’re human and sometimes we make mistakes that devastate others or destroy our own lives. And it can be hard to live with the guilt of the mistake or the consequence of the choice. But this is a promise from God: His mercy toward you is new every morning. Every time that sun rises again, it’s a new beginning. Every day is a chance to start over again. (Lamentations 3:22-23)
9. You are priceless. The world tries so hard to cheapen the value of our lives. It tries so hard to get us to act, talk, dress, and live in a way that is cheap. I think the devil tries so hard to get us to view ourselves as cheap, because he knows that if we knew how valuable we really are, we would be unstoppable. You are more valuable than you know, my friend. Your life has worth beyond what you can see. You are priceless to the King of the universe. (Matthew 10:29-31)
10. Someone is looking up to you. Whether you know it or not, someone is watching you. Little eyes are paying attention to what you do. A little sibling, a younger kid from youth group or school, little eyes on the field or watching you on a stage. Wherever you are, someone is watching you and they look up to you. If you take your life, you will destroy them. Give them a real example. Step up and give them a reason to look up to you. (1 Timothy 4:12)
11. You haven’t lived your whole adventure yet. Ever since I was a little girl, I have thrived on adventure. Yet sometimes life gets in the way of our crazy, little kid adventure fantasies. But you know what? Life itself is a beautiful adventure God is placing before you every day. And you haven’t lived your whole adventure yet. There are still new oceans to swim in, exotic foods to try, people to meet, roller coasters to ride, and mountains to explore. Don’t leave yet. Tomorrow is an unopened adventure waiting to be lived. (Hebrews 12:1-2)
12. You are not forgotten. Being forgotten is an awful feeling. It leaves us feeling used, broken, and unnoticed. Being forgotten makes us feel worthless, unseen. And inside all of us, we desperately want someone to see the real us. You know what God—the God who is crazy about you—says? He says that even a mother can forget her child, something that seems unfathomable to us. But even if a mother forgets her child, God will never forget you. You are fully seen, fully known, and fully remembered by the God of all creation. (Isaiah 49:15)
13. You are not alone. He is with you. Right here, right now. Jesus is standing with you, holding you. When everyone else walks out, He walks in and He holds you close. When everyone else abandons you, He holds you tighter. When your heart breaks, He holds it together. When your tears fall, He weeps with you. You are not alone. You may feel like it, I’m not denying that. But feelings lie. Feelings twist the truth and they make you forget what is really true. Listen close as I assure you that the truth is that God is with you right now. He will never leave you. You are not alone. (Psalm 23:4; Zephaniah 3:17; Psalm 34:18)
Don’t leave yet. You’re here for a reason. You’re here for such a time as this.
You are loved.
Don’t give up.
A big congratulations to the two winners of my giveaway for the launch of my brand NEW book, "Yes You Can"! :D
Winning the first place prize, which is a signed copy of my first book, "I Dare You," and a copy of "Yes, You Can," is... Carissa P!!
Winning the second place prize, which is a signed copy of "Yes You Can," is.... Grace B!!
Both of you should be receiving your prizes in the mail shortly. :) Thank you to everyone who entered the giveaway and helped spread the word about my new book! I'm so thankful for each of you! <3
If you still want my book but didn't win, don't worry because during the month of May "Yes, You Can" is on sale for only $5 (plus $3 shipping) each!! Pretty cool, right?! And each of my other books is only $10. :)
Happy reading and congratulations, winners! ♥
"Do you have a boyfriend?"
That common question that gets asked to just about every single girl at some point in her life. Oddly enough, it keeps getting asked earlier and earlier, even to girls in middle and high school. It's also the question that just about every single girl usually dreads. The question us single girls are tired of hearing.
After I turned sixteen years old it became so much more common to hear this question asked to me. Friends, family, people I knew years ago, strangers, you name it. It's the question everyone wants to know the answer to because the world is obsessed with this Hollywood idea of "love."
We've been taught it from a young age. We've been trained since we were children that someday our prince charming would come and rescue us and until he did we would just have to wait for him. Or worse. The world today now teaches girls that if our prince charming hasn't come along yet, we need to go find him and take control ourselves. We are taught to act, speak, dress, and flirt in a way that draws the attention of the opposite gender. You don't have a boyfriend? Well, change your wardrobe or hairstyle a bit and maybe he'll come knocking on your door. Or so they tell us.
Maybe that's why us single ladies hate this question so much. Because if we answer "no" to the question of whether or not we have a boyfriend, we know the dreaded follow up question that is bound to come next.
"Well, why not?"
Although casual dating is kind of a newer thing, wasn't around a couple hundred years ago, it's now considered the "normal," and it's "weird" if you aren't casually dating or you don't have a boyfriend. So naturally if you are single the world is going to wonder why. Most people will mean well and even genuinely want to help. Yet this question still brings up dread in the heart of the single girl.
Because the truth?
We sometimes wonder it ourselves, don't we? We ask this question ourselves in the back of our minds. Why don't I have a boyfriend? Is something wrong with me? Why doesn't anyone want to date me? Will anyone ever love me?
If not kept under control, us ladies can begin to panic, wondering why we actually don't have a boyfriend, and eventually begin to critique all the things that we think are wrong with us.
I'm 20 years old and I've never had a boyfriend.
According to the world that's pretty weird (Let's be honest here though, most of my life is weird to the world...). And trust me, if I had a dollar for every time someone asked me if I had a boyfriend, I'd be rich by now. Now if you think you can handle it, I'll even share something that probably makes me even weirder...
Not only have I never had a boyfriend, but I also don't believe in casual dating either. Yep, I expected shock for a reaction.
You see, beautiful friend, your don't have to chase after boy after boy trying to find a love that will satisfy or trying to keep up with the world's idea of love. Casual dating is just that, casual. It includes no commitment. Someday if God wills that I get married, I want to enter into a dating/courting relationship with the mindset being commitment. Because I know that God says I'm priceless. You're priceless too. So here are 5 reasons why having a boyfriend should not be your only goal...
1. Your single years are a gift. Oh, sweet girl, your singleness is such a beautiful gift given to you right now. Every season in our lives is unique and beautiful, and singleness is no exception. If you are single right now, God has a very important reason for that. If He wants you to get married one day, He will and He will bring that right man into your life at the perfect time, His time. So for now, your goal is not to chase him down and find him. Your goal is not to pursue him or flaunt yourself to win his affection. Your goal is to use your time wisely. You're young. You only get these years once. You won't be this young forever. Why don't you use this time to do something great for God? Start a ministry for girls, begin a Bible study, write a book, invest in your siblings, learn how to cook (I'm still working on this one...). Use your single years wisely because they are a gift to you and a gift that you only get once in your life.
2. You already have a Prince. When you make finding an earthly love your only goal in life, you leave no room to pursue your true Lover. You see, the true Lover of your soul has been pursuing you since the day you were born. He has quietly been wooing you with His love and giving you reason upon reason to fall in love with Him. He is crazy about you. His love is the only thing you will ever need. His love is all that will satisfy you. When Jesus Christ died on that cross to rescue you, He was saying that He loved you more than anything else and would give everything up just to be with you forever. When you are secure in His love for you, that's when you understand that you don't have to have a boyfriend to be satisfied. You are satisfied in your true Prince. Use the time you have now to invest in your relationship with Him.
3. Your worth does not come from a boyfriend. This is a big one, girls. So often it can be easy for us to place our worth in man. It can be easy to convince ourselves that if we don't have a boyfriend, we aren't worthy of love or we are worthless. Listen closely to me as I cup your chin in my hands and look into those beautiful eyes of yours. Your worth does not come from any boy. Your worth comes from Jesus and He says you're priceless. He says you're worth dying for because He loves you. No man or person can take that from you.
4. Having a boyfriend is not the only reason you're alive. Honestly, neither is getting married. While both of these things are good things in God's timing, they are not why He created you. They are not the only reason you are alive on this earth. If these good things are in God's plan for your life, they will happen in His perfect timing and they will be a part of His perfect plan for your life. But your goal in life, the reason you are alive, is to honor your Creator. The reason you are here is so much bigger than yourself. Your goal should be to bring glory to His Name (Psalm 115:1). Your purpose should be to follow His will, whatever that may be in your life.
5. There's more to life than just boys. If you disagree, then your life is very boring. (Quote taken from the amazing Rachel.) It's so true, ladies. Life is not just about boys, falling in love, and getting a boyfriend. There's a giant big world out there to adventure in and discover! You've got goals, dreams, plans, adventures to live! Life is super exciting. I look back on what God's done in my life over the last several years and I'm amazed at the adventure He's led me on. If I was so focused on getting a boyfriend, I might not have had the time or energy to experience this great journey God has for me right now. He's got an adventure for you too, beautiful princess.
Girls, no boy will be able to complete you, so don't spend all your time trying to find one that will. The only One able to complete you already has. He calls you His princess. He has given you a gift right now of this moment and He wants you to live it to the fullest. It's not time to whine or sulk about wanting a boyfriend and it's not time to go out and flirt until you find one. It's time to embrace your princess identity and enjoy every moment of your life. It's time to celebrate.
Oh, and the next time someone asks you if you have a boyfriend?
You tell them you already found your true Prince and His Name is Jesus. ♥
It seems like just yesterday I turned thirteen years old.
I remember how excited I was. Finally a teenager. That lovely age where you're growing up. No longer a child, but not an adult yet either. A sometimes confusing, frustrating, yet beautiful age.
Now here I am today, at the dawn of turning twenty years old.
After today, I will no longer be a "teenager." My teenage years have come and gone.
I look back on the last seven years of my life and I'm amazing at how quickly they flew by. I ponder the fact that life is a vapor (James 4:14) and our days are numbered. They do not last forever. Time is a ticking clock that doesn't slow down for anyone.
The one thing about being young is that we feel we have our whole lives ahead of us. We think we have so much time. The common saying among teens today is "You only live once."
And that's right. You do only live once. But it's wrong, because it teaches that we can do whatever we want and not worry about the consequences because we can live however we want to. After all, when you're young you have so many years left to live well, don't you? Maybe. You don't know that.
The honest truth is that you don't know how many days you have to live.
You could die tomorrow. You could die in an hour. You don't know.
Yes, you may very well have your whole life left to live and may not die until you're old and have lived a long life. But what if you don't?
Would you be happy with the life you have lived?
It is so easy to put off stuff until tomorrow. Tomorrow is like a beautiful lie that we convince ourselves is ours to claim. We claim control of our lives and try to be our own master by treating our futures like they are certain. When they aren't.
We convince ourselves, "I'm too young to make a difference. I'm only a teenager. God couldn't use me. No one will take me seriously. I need to wait until I'm older to make a difference. When I'm older, then God will use me."
Oh, sweet friend, won't you let me tell a truth that is crazy awesome.
God wants to use you. Right now. Today. No matter how young you are. No matter how old you are. No matter how inadequate you feel. No matter what your past looks like. No matter what your fears are for your future. God wants to use you right here in the middle of your beautiful mess.
Because the great news?
He looks at your beautiful mess and He sees a story He has written waiting to be told. And this story doesn't begin when you turn 20, when you stop being a teenager, or when you become an adult.
No, this story is happening right now in front of us. Every moment God is whispering to you and asking you to join Him on the great adventure He has for your life. Right now He is asking you to let Him use your youth for His glory.
Time goes fast. Trust me, I know. When I was a young teenager--thirteen, fourteen, fifteen--I struggled so much with wanting to be grown up so I could "change the world." I wanted to do something big and great for God. I didn't think I could do that until I was older and so I wasted away my days dreaming about "tomorrow" when I would be old enough for God to use me.
Please, don't do that.
Please, don't waste your youth waiting to be older, waiting for God to use you. In the most mundane of tasks, God can use you to change someone's life, so don't you dare say for a moment that God can't use you right where you are. Because I promise you that He can. And He wants to! That's the amazing part of it. He doesn't need us, He wants us.
By God's grace I've published four books, started my own magazine ministry, created a blog, and have had other wonderful opportunities during my teenage years. God has been so amazing to me. I look back on what He has done, not just in the last seven years, but over my whole life, and I am blown away by His love for me. He loves to give good gifts to His children. He loves to give good gifts to you.
This is my challenge to you today.
Seize your youth. Seize today. Look to Jesus and ask Him what He wants you to do today to bring glory to His Name. What if it was your last day to live? What would you want to do today to show Him how much you love Him before you see Him face to face?
Serve Him today. Serve His people. Love Him today. Love His people. Glorify Him in everything you do. Let Him use your youth to do something amazing, something only He could do. You are not too young.
He has created you for this moment, right now. Seize it.
Make today amazing for Him, before today is yesterday. ♥
Hi, lovelies! I'm so sorry to do this but I have an Instagram live to get ready for in twenty minutes so I must end the party for now :( All of you can feel free to continue chatting if you'd like!
Thank you all so much for coming though and I so apologize for the delay and the short party and not being able to comment much! :( I hope you had fun anyway ♥ I loved celebrating this day with you all!
I will be posting a blog post later about why I published my book today, so stay tuned for that! ;)
Love you all!
Okay, girls, who wants a giveaway to celebrate?! :D
My computer is still not working right, so I'm trying to type this quickly before it stops working completely haha. xD So don't think I'm ignoring your comments, I just can't get to them at the moment!
So this giveaway is a big giveaway for all of my social media people! There are several ways you can enter. Each way you enter counts as an entry into the drawing so the more entries, the greater chance you have. ;) I'm using all forms of social media so don't worry if you don't have all of them. :)
The grand prize winner gets a copy of "Yes, You Can," AND a copy of my first book, "I Dare You"! The second winner will receive just a copy of "Yes, You Can." It will be a random drawing for each winner!
Now here are all the ways and methods you can use to enter! :) Make sure you contact me and tell me which ways you entered, so I know how many entries to give you!!
1) Give me one Bible verse you think sums up the message of my book that says "yes, you can do this!"
2) Share my blog link with one friend.
3) Share in a comment below why writing is important to you.
1) I'll be posting a post later about this so wait for that post, but when it goes up, tag two friends in the comments.
2) Post a picture with one of my books and tag me in it.
1) Share my cover image for "Yes, You Can" to one of your boards!
1) I'll be posting a post later about this so wait for that post, but when it goes up, tag two friends in the comments who love to write.
1) Share a picture of you with one of my books to your story.
1) Retweet my tweet about "Yes, You Can" being available now!
1) Share my post about "Yes, You Can" being available now.
2) Share picture with one of my books and tag me in it!
Yay! It's that time! Time to celebrate the release of my brand NEW book that came out today "Yes, You Can"! :) I'm super excited you've come to join me today and we'll be having lots of fun! :)
I'm sorry this is a bit late. Unfortunately, I am running behind schedule and rushing around so if I don't get to reply to all of your comments, please forgive me. :) Thank you for coming, I so appreciate it <3
To start this party right we're going to have a quick Q&A! Ask me anything you want about writing, publishing, my books, or just whatever, haha! :) Also let me know who you are and that you're here! Shortly I'm going to be posting some giveaway details!
And a one-sided Q&A is no fun so here are some questions for YOU to answer too! :)
1) Have you read either of my books and if so, which was your favorite?
2) What is your favorite Bible verse?
3) What is your favorite ice cream flavor?
Let's do this! It's time to party! ;)
Yes, You Can: A Guide to Writing and Sharing Your Story.
To God be the glory. ♥
TOMORROW is release day for my fourth book, "Yes, You Can"! If you are a writer this is my message for you that I want you to know more than anything, that yes, you can do this. This book was written for you. And tomorrow we're going to have some fun celebrating! :D
Join me over at my Instagram account (@thekingsprincessmagazine) at 6:30pm for an Instagram live where I will be sharing why I chose to release my book tomorrow. If you cannot make the live, I have written up what I am going to share into a blog post and will be posting it here at 8:00pm.
I will also be here at my blog at 5:30-6:15pm for a short, fun blog party! It won't be much, but we can still share some cupcakes and have some fun! ;) I will do a Q&A answering questions about writing, publishing, my book, or just whatever you want to ask me. :)
And stay tuned tomorrow on all of my social medias and here on the blog for some ways that each of you can be entered into a big drawing I'm holding to win an autographed copy of "Yes, You Can"! :D
Soli Deo Gloria ♥ See you tomorrow!
Have you ever been faced with a circumstance that threatens everything you know? Maybe it shakes up your world a bit and leaves you feeling confused and unsure of what to do next. Maybe it's a seemingly impossible task that you don't know how to accomplish or defeat.
Those moments are always the hardest to have faith, aren't they?
I'm not talking about having faith in the sense of believing in God for salvation. I'm talking about faith to believe that God is really who He says He is, and faith that believes He really does love you, even when it's hard to see. A faith that believes God is good and everything He does is good. A faith so radical that we know whatever happens, He will still be good.
One of my favorite chapters in the Bible (I say this a lot, I know), is Hebrews 11. Of course the whole chapter is eye-opening and amazing, so you should totally read it yourself, but I wanted to share with you today just a few of my favorite verses.
"Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." (verse 1)
"By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to the place which he would receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going." (verse 8)
"By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac, and he who had received the promises offered up his only begotten son." (verse 17)
I love these verses about Abraham. He gets like six or seven verses dedicated to talking about his faith in this chapter! Wow. What a faith he must have had. And if you look at his story you see just how amazing his faith actually had to be. How strong his trust in God was.
You know the story of Abraham almost sacrificing Isaac, right? You probably have, but let me give you a quick recap of the history behind this story.
So Abraham and his wife Sarah are pretty old at this point and they've waited a long time to have a baby and they still haven't had one. No kids. But God told them that one day He would give them a son and Abraham would be the father of many nations. Although he had to wait a long time to see this promise come to life, he had faith that God would keep His promise. Because, friends, God always keeps His promises. Finally, Abraham and Sarah have their son and they name him Isaac.
Then one day, a long time after this, God asks Abraham to go to a mountain and offer Isaac, his only son, as a burnt offering.
Yeah, I would be like "Okay, God, I think I heard You wrong, can You repeat that please?"
But Abraham doesn't.
Actually Abraham doesn't say anything. He doesn't say a word. He doesn't ask why. He doesn't hesitate. He just goes and sets out to do what God asked him to do.
If you want you can read the whole story in Genesis 22, but basically after Abraham goes to the mountain and ties up Isaac and is getting ready to sacrifice him, an angel of the Lord stops Abraham. God was only testing his faith to see how much he truly loved Him.
Okay, so I don't know about you but I would've not exactly had the faith Abraham had. I mean if that was my kid, my only kid, the heir to the promise God gave me, I'm pretty sure I would've been asking God some questions.
Sometimes I think we can make the mistake of looking at a story like this and thinking that Abraham was a super spiritual guy who probably knew exactly how everything was going to turn out and maybe that's why he had the faith he had.
But guess what. Abraham was a man, a human. Just like you and me. In that moment when God asked him to sacrifice his son, he had no clue what was going to happen. He couldn't see the future. All he knew was that God asked him to do something and he was going to obey God by faith, no matter how risky or scary or hard it was.
And you know what else?
You can have that kind of faith too.
Abraham had a promise from God that he was holding onto. He knew God was good and God kept His promises. And Abraham was holding onto that in faith so that he could have the courage to obey and trust God no matter what.
Friend, He's given you promises too.
He has promised to never leave you nor forsake you, no matter what happens (Hebrews 13:5). He has promised that He has a good plan for your life that will give you a hope and a future (Jeremiah 29:11). He has promised that His love will never end (Jeremiah 31:3). These promises are life changing!! Don't you see? When we believe His promises, we know that we can trust Him no matter what happens and no matter what He asks of us. Because He loves us, He has a plan for us, and He is so good to us.
Don't you want that kind of faith too? That faith so strong that it gets talked about and passed on through the generations?
All you have to start doing today is telling God that you trust Him. And then you must act on that trust.
What's He asking you to do today that requires you to step out in faithful obedience? What is He asking you to do today that requires you to trust Him, even if it doesn't turn out how you planned?
Won't you trust Him and have faith in His promises through it?
Here are some more verses from Hebrews 11 that are super special:
"And what more shall I say? For the time would fail me to tell of Gideon and Barak and Samson and Jephthah, also of David and Samuel and the prophets: who through faith subdued kingdoms, worked righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, became valiant in battle, turned to flight the armies of the aliens." (verses 32-34)
These crazy amazing stories of faith you hear about through the Scriptures? God can do that in your life too. He can stop the mouths of lions in your life, quench the fire of the trial you're walking through, and make you valiant for the battle He asks you to fight. He can do all of that.
All you have to do is have the faith and believe that He can.
And by faith, nothing will be impossible for you.
Isabella Morganthal (20) is a homeschool high school graduate who loves Jesus with all of her heart. She is a drummer, writer, creative arts director, and modern-day abolitionist.