My Crazy Life As… A Yarn Addict

Confession: I am a granny on the inside. I have this slight obsession with crochet and it’s super ridiculous. I go to stores (my favorites being Hobby Lobby and Michaels) and go straight to the yarn section and could stay there for hours if I had the time. If I had the money, I would literally buy every single ball of yarn. I even told my sweet boyfriend that he never has to wonder about what to get for me… Because if he got me yarn, I would be just as happy with that as I would be anything else.

But I wasn’t always like this. It was definitely a slow mountain to climb to get to the place where my scarves weren’t 12 different widths and looked like it was rippled when I wanted it to be straight. Holes were found in random places and I just kinda guessed at which stitches to work in.. Needless to say, you’d think I’d read up and research how exactly this whole crochet-thing worked.

So I gave up for awhile. I did. I put my yarn in my chest at home and didn’t touch it from around April to Christmas time. I rediscovered all my yarn after Pinterest had beckoned me to learn correctly after seeing all the beautiful blankets and such you can make with just simple strands of yarn. So I researched. I practiced. I tore quite a few projects back down to the starting stitch trying to get it right. After Googling how-to’s for different stitches and techniques (you can Google anything these days…), I finally made a circle scarf. Nothing fancy- but it was straight…ish. Mostly straight. I ran into the living room to show my parents, yelling “LOOK AT IT! IT IS BEAUTIFUL!” After then it was all downhill.. I’ve learned so much more and my projects turn out much better the first time rather than 12 times of ripping stitches out.

I was in 1 John this morning (Random switch to the Bible, but it ties into EVERYTHING).  I was reading in chapter 5 in verse 3 which says, “For this is what love for God is: to keep His commands. Now His commands are not a burden, because whatever has been born of God conquers the world. This is the victory that has conquered the world: our faith.”

I have this wonderful Holman Christian study Bible that has super crazy good points that put things in such great ways. For verse 3: “Knowledge of God transforms the human will, making what was once a burden light and easy to carry (Mt. 11:30)”

That got me thinking… In everyday life, isn’t it easier to do something once you have the knowledge about it? It’s much easier to take a test when you know the material on it, making your grades less of a burden. It’s much easier to put something together when you have the instructions telling you how to put it together in the correct way (even though most of us don’t use instructions.. ever..). Finally, it’s a lot easier to crochet once you have the knowledge of stitches and understand the concepts of the whole art.

It’s crazy how God makes everything tie back into Him and His teachings. When we understand God and who He is, His commands, and know Him personally- the “commands” that He gives us are not a burden. Not only because we are filled with such a wonderful love for Him, making us have a desire to please Him by fulfilling His commands, but because we understand why those commands matter because we finally understand God’s thinking on it. This doesn’t come naturally, of course. This takes digging into God’s word, breaking it apart and really trying to understand God’s mind on the matter. He’s so faithful to show us so many things if we are just faithful to spend daily time in His word, being surrounded by His presence.

Once God transforms our minds, we are then able to think more like Him and less like the world. This is an every day work that makes His commands that once seemed impossible now possible with Him.

→Do not be conformed to this age, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may discern what is the good, pleasing, and perfect will of God. (Romans 12:2)

→ I am able to do all things through Him who strengthens me. (Philippians 4:13)

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My Crazy Life As… I try to beat the waves

Since we kids are getting older, more spread out and having less time to come home, my family tries to go to the beach every summer so we can all have at least a week together.

We are the ultimate beach people. Dad and my older brother fish on the dock while the rest of us hang on the beach and catch some rays. One of our favorite things to do, however, is walk the beach and look for shells.

Every summer we always come back with at least a shoebox filled with shells… now whether those shells ever see the light of day again is a totally different story, but we have fun gathering them up and seeing God’s beautiful tiny masterpieces.

Shells are funny though.. You can spot a good one, you just have to be quick enough to catch it before the waves come in and carry them off. Even if they hang on the sand, if you walk back by you may never see it again.

This is the scenario that always happens to me- it really never fails. We walk.. I see a beautiful shell.. I say to myself, “That’s a nice shell.. I’ll pick it up on the way back so I don’t have to carry it the whole way”.. and on the way back when I’m looking for it, it has disappeared in the course of the two miles that we had walked and I come back to the condo with only the shells I actually picked up when I saw them.

I started thinking about this and how I regretted not picking up one of the shells as soon as I saw it. It even passed in the back of my mind that I probably wouldn’t find it again on the way back, but I still chose to go with the comfort of waiting and not having to carry it back to the condo.

Isn’t this the way we usually are? We choose the more comfortable way and miss out on catching something beautiful and then miss the opportunity entirely.

“5 Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity”

-Colossians 4:5

God’s been teaching me this lately, how to catch opportunities as soon as they come, before life or time sweep them away. On so many occasions it has passed though my mind, “maybe I should say/do this”, but I choose not to because it’s the more comfortable route.

“10 Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.”

-Galations 6:10

God doesn’t call us to do easy things; He calls us to obedience. When we choose to obey, even when it may seem to be a bit awkward, He blesses us tremendously and opens our eyes to so many other opportunities that we have every single day to bring all glory to Him.

“But God doesn’t call us to be comfortable. He calls us to trust Him so completely that we are unafraid to put ourselves in situations where we will be in trouble if He doesn’t come through.”

-Francis Chan

There are so many inspiring examples of people in the Bible who were called by God to make the most of the opportunities in obedience and because of their obedience, they were blessed and made a huge impact. Esther saved her people, even when standing up and taking the opportunity could have meant death. Abraham could have blown God off when God called him to sacrifice Isaac, but because of Abraham’s act of faith and obedience, God blessed he and his family and fulfilled His promises to Abraham. Noah was probably ridiculed and laughed at for building the ark, but because of his obedience, Noah chose to build the ark and because of his obedience, he and his family were saved. Rahab could have chosen to send the spies on their way, but chose the dangerous option to hide them and save their lives because she knew that these men had a powerful God. She was blessed because of her obedience and is listed in the lineage of Jesus because of that courageous obedience. The writer of Hebrews writes the whole eleventh chapter about people who acted in obedience and how God used them to do big things for His kingdom, just because they took their opportunities and made the most of them.

“15 Be very careful, then, how you live–not as unwise but as wise, 16 making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.”

– Ephesians 5:15-16

So we should not only make the most of every opportunity that we’re given, but we should be looking for the many opportunities that He gives us every day, however big or small they may seem, and making every effort to give Him the glory and trust Him in obedience, even when it may not be the easiest or most comfortable thing to do.

My Crazy Life As… A Tech Junkie

Let’s face the facts, World- we are too technologically dependent. It’s just kind of a fact at this point in life, one in which my family and I firmly prove is correct by the number of computers, phones, kindles, and anything else and the amount of time spent on all of them.

Look around and you see it literally everywhere, with both its pros and cons.

During VBS my 5th grade girls had phones and took pictures with me and posted them instantly to Instagram… 5th graders, y’all. I was literally still playing with Barbies at 5th grade (don’t judge me… I still don’t want to grow up. I jump at the chance to play with them while babysitting so it can be seen as socially acceptable.) I didn’t get my dinky little flip phone till I was 13 or 14 while these 5th grade girls have the newest iPhone 5… I don’t even have the iPhone 5!

Needless to say, technology is gradually forming our lives. How often do you check your phone for a new text or call? I don’t even wear a watch since I usually always have my phone with me to check the time. How many hours do we spend a day on our phone, surfing the web, on apps, or playing games? (I know for me it’s a ridiculous number that I seriously need to work on).

It’s when I leave my phone in my car when I go out in the country or put it away to have a meaningful and intentional conversation with someone that I realize how attached to my phone I am. It’s in those times that I really listen or take in the beauty of something.

This ridiculous dependence on technology usually hits hardest around the times when I really need to pay attention or be away from it. One of the prime examples is during my quiet time with God every day. It’s one of the main reasons I don’t like to have an online devo or read the Bible from my phone for my quiet time, because I will get so distracted and somehow end up on Facebook. It literally happens every time, so I’ve gotten to where I just set my phone away from me face down (so I don’t see the light flash up… because we all know how tempting it is to check once you know you’ve just gotten a text or notification) and not look at it till I’m finished.

While reading out of my new favorite little devotional book, Jesus Calling, it actually talked about this thought that I’ve been thinking about the past few days. On one of the days it said (as God talking),

“You need a buffer zone of silence around you in order to focus on things that are unseen. Since I am invisible, you must not let your senses dominate your thinking. The curse of this age is overstimulation of the senses, which blocks out awareness of the unseen world.”

Sarah Young, the author, was spot on when saying this. This age is over-stimulated by so many different forms of technology and entertainment that we fail to see the simple beauty of those things of God. We fail to enjoy the simple quiet and peace that comes with spending that ALONE time with God. ALONE referring to not only people, but technology and any other form of entertainment. When not all our focus is set on God, then literally everything else dominates our mind and we are not giving God all the attention that He definitely deserves.

Coming into a quiet time filled with distractions is like going to a lunch date with a friend and bringing your computer while also playing on your phone the whole time while, on top of that, multitasking to talk to a few different people at the other tables. Do you think your friend having lunch with you would be super thrilled that the attention wasn’t given fully to them after them coming and trying to meet with you and tell you things? To be honest, if someone did that to me, I would be extremely offended, as would anyone else, even though I know I have probably done that very thing on a number of different occasions.

 

So when coming into a quiet time, think of it as your alone time with God, because that’s what it is… “QUIET” time. Quiet of all distractions. Quiet and still to be open to hearing what God has to say to us through reading His word and the stillness when we can hear the Holy Spirit speaking to us.

 

Put away the computer. Put the phone down. Shut the door. Be still and know that He is God. [Psalm 46:10] Focus on what is NOT seen (that would be God… for the obvious reasons) and let go of looking at what is seen (that Instagram app.. That Facebook main page) [2 Corinthians 4:18]

 

Let’s start to give real life a try and soak in the simple beauty of Life.

 

My Crazy Life As.. I Learn To Never Say Never

So in my life, (you know, those long 19 years), I’ve learned a lesson. This lesson is – never say never.

The phrase, “I’d never..” or “That would never happen to me” have come out of my mouth quite a few times, and every time I wish I could have erased those words.

One of these phrases crossed my mind when working a Disciple-Now weekend in the early spring. The whole theme of the D-Now was about the heart. The minister wrote the Bible studies from the angle that we ALL get broken hearts for some reason at some time in our life, whether a death, loss of a friend, a normal romantic-type heartbreak, or a disappointing experience. The lesson continued to teach what we should do when those heartbreaking times come- Draw near to God and give Him all the pieces instead of trying to put it back together ourselves.

So when reading through this Bible study, preparing to use it during Bible study times during the weekend, that thought passed through my mind. The thought was, “How can I relate to this? This doesn’t apply to me. I’m so happy to be where I am now.”

Biggest. Mistake.

Because God will find a way to give us an opportunity to apply a lesson in our lives. In this case, I thought I was focused on God, but I knew that all things weren’t right between us; I knew that 110% of my focus had not been on Christ. God has a way of making that right and getting our focus back on Him.

The D-Now was great, I went on with my life, and then it came- heartbreak. Heartbreak came unexpectedly at the most inconvenient time, so I had thought.

The lessons from that D-Now that I had taught came flying back to me like a boomerang.

God used that heartbreak to draw me closer and closer to Him and putting my focus back to where it needed to be. He used that time for me to rely on Him and give it all to Him when it sometimes got to be too much for me to handle.

I love in one of the lessons written “My Paper Heart” how the minister wrote, “Broken hearts happen to BELIEVERS! No one is exempt in this life. It is through our brokenness that God works! If we never had issues of the heart, God would have nothing to examine in us. ONLY GOD can look on the heart. It is our communication piece with God. Our heart connects with His.”

I think we forget that we Christians aren’t exempt from heartbreak and hard times. It’s when those times come that we are able to rely fully on God and really understand that as humans, we are so weak, yet Christ is so strong.

“That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”

-2 Corinthians 12:10

My Crazy Life As… An Extreme Food Craver

I’m a girl. I like food. I probably eat as much as a full grown man… That’s not a joke either… even if I weigh around half that…

But really.. most of the time, when you think “female”, the nouns “chocolate” and “cravings” follow closely behind.

Me, myself, and I mostly crave icecream… and peanut butter.. Dairy Queen is my weakness… [ when my mom was pregnant, let’s just say the workers at Dairy Queen probably knew their faces well..] I also enjoy a good burger and may be slightly in love with cookies..

All in all, the majority of people are usually “craving” something.. For some people, like myself, that craving is for food. For others, the craving may be for attention, money, addictions, or anything else imaginable.

Let’s face it.. Humans are cravers [that may or may not be a real word.. but I’m using it]

Can you imagine if we craved the right things? I mean, rarely do you hear anyone saying, “man… I’m really craving some celery and brussel sprouts..” NO. We crave greasy burgers and sugary icecream!

That’s how we are with most things of this world… We crave attention, but usually from all the wrong places. We crave food, but usually the unhealthy kind that’s not good for our bodies. We crave all these “things” from the world.

Have you ever noticed how we crave things where our thoughts dwell and what we focus on?

If you’re boy-crazy and that’s all you think about- like I was in middle school- then you’re going to crave that attention from guys and visa versa. If you think of food, you’re gonna want food.  ..Maybe that’s just me..

Have you ever noticed whenever you go through the grocery store, you literally crave everything you see? Why, you may ask, does this happen? Because we are entering into a place that contains all these crave-worthy items on an empty stomach. If you don’t focus on what you came to get, you’ll end up with all these random items that you usually never get all because in your extreme state of hunger, it has crazed you enough to pick up everything that is filled with fatty, sugary, goodness that won’t even really satisfy that hunger.

That’s how it is with our faith.. If we don’t fill up on what can truly satisfy us before we enter that grocery store ( aka the world ), we’ll end up losing our focus and start craving things that we never have before and even end up taking these things home with us.

What we need to be focusing on in our lives, we don’t. We get so focused on the things we crave from the world that we lose focus on our craving for Christ, the only thing that can truly satisfy that hunger.

In Psalm 20:4, David says, “May He give you what your heart desires and fulfill your whole purpose”.

Now that statement immediately think, “Oh yeah! God’s gonna make me rich, give me a tall, dark, and handsome prince and all the icecream I can eat!”

Later in Psalm 37:4-6, David touches back on this subject, but this time focuses on another aspect of this promise from God. -> Delight yourself in the LORD and He will give you the desires of your heart.

David is saying, “yes, God will give you what your heart desires, but only after ‘delighting’ yourself and ‘committing your way’ to Him FIRST.” When you delight yourself in the LORD, you start looking for what God wants in your life, not the cravings of this world. After delighting yourself, God changes your heart, changing your desires to match His and focusing you on things that matter.

->Colossians 3:2- Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.

->Colossians 3:16-17 [Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly]

When “Delighting yourself in the LORD” happens, cravings will come.. but these are good cravings, cravings for God’s word, craving to hear from Him and seek His voice in every aspect of your life. Just like in my previous blog post, after exercising, you crave it because it feels good and you know it’s good for you too.

->Main point: Crave good and godly things

->Apply it: everytime you crave something, whether it be icecream, pickles, or a good burger – remember to crave the things of God.. to refocus your focus on what’s good for you, to delight yourself in Christ, and then He will give you the desires of your heart and fulfill your whole purpose, because when you delight in Him, what you want for your life will soon change to what HE wants.

Titus 2:11-12-> For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men. It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and wordly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in this present age.

1 Thessalonians 4:7-> For God did not call us to be impure, but to live a holy life.

1 Corinthians 10:13-> No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, He will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.

My Crazy Life As.. A Lazy Couch Potato Cont.

So we all know that working out can’t just happen one time to see results…

It’s a seriously sad fact, but oh so true.. It takes SO much effort to not be lazy.. Maybe that’s just me though..

-> let us not become weary in trying to do good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up [Galatians 5:9]

With working out, I’ve found that whenever you stop for awhile, picking it back up is much easier than the first time you started. Your body remembers how great it felt and gets back into motion quicker and you can still do near the same amount as you could before you stopped; you don’t have to start over from scratch.

The same is true with our faith. When we first start, it’s a little awkward, but when we get into the groove and become more comfortable with it, our quiet times get longer, prayer lives more focused, and understanding the Bible gets easier because we now know how to hear God’s voice. When we stop for awhile, after we come back we remember the times God spoke to us and our real encounters with Him.

-> Therefore, we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary struggles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. [2 Corinthians 4:16-18]

I like to keep journals.. Prayer journals, devo journals, Bible study journals, thought journals. I love being able to look back and see answered prayers and the things God has spoken to me in the past.

I like to look at those journals when my faith feels dry, when I need new inspiration to start again. Like working out… Goodness knows I try to avoid the health and fitness section on Pinterest because it always makes me feel guilty and want to work out. But I try to remember how good I feel after the workout, the time invested was worth it.

With our faith, the investment we put in will be so blessed by God, because the benefits from working out only last so long after the workout. Our bodies will eventually fail on us, but our faith is an entirely different story. The benefits from working out our “spiritual muscles” will out last anything we could possibly do with our bodies. We get heavenly benefits and rewards for our spiritual endurance.

But what we do is nowhere near where we should be. We can’t do this walk by ourselves, we are only human and we fall and fail all the time. This is why we have Jesus, to show himself through our weaknesses and failures, to show the world that what we do and have is not from ourselves, but all from Him and to His glory.

-> But He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weakness, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong. [2 Corinthians 12:9-10]

So now every time you work out, remember to work out those spiritual muscles too! In time, you will grow stronger in your faith and closer to Christ. Journaling helps to see progress and encourage you to keep at it, even though sometimes it gets difficult and finding time can be crazy.

So let’s get off the couch and get at it!

My Crazy Life As… A Lazy Couch Potato

So working out… I’m not the biggest fan always. I go through phases.

Lazy.. Workout.. Lazy.. Lazy.. Workout.. Lazy..
I’m the kid who works out and then slams their face with ice cream..
( which is what I’m actually doing at the moment.. Going at it on the elliptical so I can have ice cream later)
And I personally see nothing wrong with that set up
But on the real.. Working out is a lot of work..
… This is what I usually look like when I run… no joke.
First of all.. You have to have the will power to even start (which I usually have only 2% of…)
Second, you have to persevere through the times you don’t feel like getting off the couch watching Full House or NCIS
( which is what I’m usually doing in my free time.. )
Third, you have to keep going and being consistent even when you see no progress.
Fourth, you’ve got to go with it fully or it’s not going to do anything that you’ve hoped for…
but I’ve found that when I work out, I feel 100% better. Not because I sweated my guts out, but because I actually did something. I got up and ignored the soreness and lactic acid build up in my muscle tissue.
( what can I say.. I’m a biology major…)
Endorphins are also a huge part of it.. When you work out, it gives you the same feeling as eating chocolate… which I’m a big fan of.
Isn’t it funny how God has created everything to work in the way that it points straight back to Him and our relationship with Him? I love it!
-> so whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God 
[1 Corinthians 10:31]
In the same way that working out is hard to be consistent with, so is our walk with Christ.
We have the same excuses for both..
” I’m too tired / don’t have enough time/ don’t feel like it”
But the same thing happens when you make time and you read your Bible and take time to pray and spend that special time listening to God.. You start to feel SO much better. You have a free feeling and get excited and brings you back to where you left off.
 
-> Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. [1 Corinthians 9:24b-25] 
Working out, I’ve found out, does not help tremendously if you don’t go at it with all you’ve got. If you want big results, you can’t just put minimum effort in, you’ve got to go at it with 110%. That’s what this verse is saying. Keep your main goal and focus in mind, it’ll keep you motivated not to slack and get lazy. When reading the Bible, we need to read with purpose, full of expectation, not just skim over the words to say we read.
Every camp or retreat I’ve been to, the leaders always start off saying, “you’re gonna get out as much as you put in”. The same view is true with our walks with Christ, we will get so much more out of it if we really put the effort into it.
So for all of us couch potato champs, we need to get our momentum going, as hard as that is sometimes, and start to press on towards our main goal and start building those spiritual muscles and grow in our relationships with Christ. Yeah, it’ll get hard, and yes, some days we won’t feel like doing much of anything, but we need to keep in mind why we’re doing what we’re doing and keep at it, because Christ will bless us over and abundantly for making the effort!

My Crazy Life As.. A Sea Shell Seeker

My family loves the beach. The waves, the sand, the sunshine, it’s all amazing. We aren’t really the type to go play in the water too much though… ( Obviously too many “shark weeks” watched ) Our specialty is finding sea shells. My dad loves sand dollars and we kids just like finding as many as we can! … This gets us in trouble however…

” We can make something out of all these!” “We can decorate with these somehow”

So that translates into “we have to try to find as many as possible”… And you know what happens to all those gazillion of shells?

They sit. They sit in boxes in our garage only to be found 10 years later still sitting there not decorating anything..

So therefore, we ( my sister and I ) decided to find shells we could actually make into something!

( The boys still like to be competitive.. My sister is too.. She just decided to steer it in a more productive area, whereas the boys just try to find as many whole shells as possible… Hence the boxes and boxes of shells in our garage )

So my sister and I had this great idea that involved coquinas!

Coquinas are the small shells that make the tiny holes in the sand after the waves recede

                                                                                    These would be coquinas…

We started to look in the water for them, but the waves were keeping the sand stirred up and moving the shells around every second, so we then decided to look around the crust the waves leave behind…..

Can we say JACKPOT?!

In this “crust” stuff, were tiny baby shells! I’m serious, these shells were tiny tiny tiny! Much smaller than your fingertip and so crazy detailed. They were amazingggg.. So we started grabbing those too! Look at how small these shells are!

Right above the purple shells is a grain of sand… Do you understand how small a grain of sand is?! It’s TINY! That’s how small these shells are! Do you see the tiny spiral in the bottom right corner? I love it! So detailed, God is truly an artist!

These tiny shells are gorgeously detailed even though they are tiny tiny tiny…. And that brings such joy to my heart!

Wanna know why? Huh Huh Huh? Okay.. I’ll tell you (:

If God can put such intricate detail and thought into each of these tiny tiny tiny baby shells…. can you imagine just how much time He has spent on us???

No really, think about it. Look at those shells again if you need to. These shells are tiny. I understand that the bigger shells have cool designs and everything, but these are the same thing, but on a much smaller scale! I think we lose track of what amazing craftsmanship we are! These shells, though similar, all have their differences that make them perfectly unique. God has given us all differences that are uniquely us. No one else has the exact same interests and dreams as others, we all have our quirks about us!

Such as : I love teeth. So therefore, I want to be a dentist. Not many people like teeth enough to do that. My brother likes ketchup on his bread rolls… See, all quirks! We may all have different or similar interests, but we all won’t have the exact same opinion on every single thing. We are all uniquely different in every way possible.

You wanna know why God gave us those quirks? So we won’t be totally BORING. Our God is not a boring God. Have you seen the shells? Have you seen all the different types of animals, fish, flowers, etc? He even has a sense of humor! I mean, have you seen giraffes? or elephants? .. I like them(:

So why do we try so hard to all look and act the same as everyone else?

“Why fit in when you were born to stand out?” – Dr. Seuss

Smart man, I say..

God didn’t want us to be boring, that’s why he have us the quirks as perks ( See what I did there? (:  ) He made us unique for a reason, for a certain purpose, that maybe only we can do. Maybe He gave you a certain gift or quirk that you find out you can do something with to further the kingdom and give the glory to God. Who knows what that could be, but God grants us the certain things we need to fulfill our purpose that He has for us. He made us uniquely us to fulfill a unique purpose that He has for us for a unique reason. He needs us to be who He has called us to be to do what He has called us to do.

” Today you are you, that is truer than true! There is no one alive who is youer than you! ” Dr. Seuss (:

So… Life lesson of the day in a nutshell ( or a seashell .. See what I did there? (: ) is :

Be uniquely you, who God has called you to be, to do what God has called you to do. He made you different and unique for a reason, so use those to bring Him all the glory. So every time you see a shell, think about what effort and detail went into making it unique and then think about how amazingly detailed and unique God has made you for a certain purpose.

So go and use those quirks to bring Him all the glory!

Oh, and this is what my sister and I ended up making with the shells.. aren’t they presh?! :

My Crazy Life As.. A Professional Fish Cleaner in Training

So guts are obviously a very good topic.

Seriously.. you can come up with so many great lessons out of it, such as my previous blog post. Well.. here’s another for ya.

So the scene we filmed where the guts came up was Papaw Phil teaching me to clean fish. He ripped off their skin vigorously.. As you can imagine.. While I pretended to watch in horror.. Okay, that part actually was pretty devastating.. I mean, can you imagine how awful it would be for someone to just go to town ripping your skin off? Anyways.. After he skinned them, he cut them open and pulled out the guts…When he pulled out all the guts and chopped away the bones, he was left with white, perfect meat.

And that is where this blog post idea came from… I’m telling you, if you need inspiration, just go clean some fish.

So in the same way Papaw Phil had to clean the fish, the same is for God cleaning out our sin. To make us perfectly clean and ready for our purpose, we have to be stripped of all the bad stuff ( aka sin ) ( the fishies’s purpose being fried and eaten.. Us to live out our walk with Christ and do what He has called us to do ).

The fish’s skin was pretty easy to get off, just like the surface sins seem easy to throw off too.. Where the hard part comes in is the bones. No one wants a bone in their fish, it’s just a lot easier to eat without it. The bones of sin in our lives are the deep sins.. The sins that we try to cover up and let no one be able to see. These are the secret sins we hide. Yes, the meat on the outside looked good, but if it still has bone in it, it’s a pain to fully enjoy it. So God doesn’t just want to take off our surface skins to where we look good on the outside, He wants to get every single bothersome piece.

God wants to take every single small piece that hinders our complete washing away of sin. He wants to take off the surface, and the deep down sins. He wants to get rid of all the guts of sin so that we are able to be what we are supposed to be in life, to be who He has called us to be, to be able to fulfill our purpose, and to enjoy life to the fullest.

So when the fishies are completely rid of any guts, skins, and bones, they are free to be fried up and enjoyed by all!

When we confess our sins to God and let Him get rid of all our sin, we are free to be who He has called us to be!

Betcha you never thought about that while cleaning a fish, have you? (:

My Crazy Life As… I Play With Fishguts…

Filming with Duck Dynasty was probably one of the coolest experiences of my life.

We did all sorts of things for the episode I’ll be in, which I explained some in earlier posts.. Holding catfish and such…

Well I’m about to explain my favorite part.. And I’m seriously not joking… This was my favorite part. I loved it. Shows that I am a true Biology major…

I got to play with fish guts.

Of course, I had to look disgusted… But all I wanted to do was play with them. Not in a gross or creepy way, mind you. In a dissection type way!

So there I am, acting disgusted ( note: key word is acting ) as Papaw Phil chops into this fish, cleaning it to get it ready to fry, and he pulls out this HUGE string of organs and guts from this 12 lb catfish… You could see the gallbladder, liver and all kinds of stuff!

Literally, as soon as the shot was over, me and John Luke just stood there with the bowl of guts in front of us playing in them. Sounds gross, but it was like a Biology class.. So not quite so strange if you think of it like that.

So then Ms. Kay comes over and says we are going to put the fish guts in her flower garden because it makes great fertilizer.. I act surprised and disgusted as she’s talking about it and then we take the bowl out and she starts digging small holes around her plants. I drop the guts in and she covers them with dirt and then TADA. Fertilized plants..

Later, I started thinking about this.. We dropped all those fish guts by the pretty plants to make them grow to be even prettier. Something nasty is going to make something beautiful.. Shouldn’t that be the same concept with our lives sometimes?

No really, this makes perfect sense, hang in there..

Our mistakes in life are like the fish guts.  If we don’t let God use them somehow for something good, all they are going to do is stink. But if we give them to God, He can use them in our lives to make something beautiful.

I was at a DNow earlier this year and our speaker said ” Turn your mess into your mission.”

Just like the fish guts, your mistakes don’t have to sit there and rot. Yeah, try your best in everything, but we all slip up every now and then, but that doesn’t mean God can’t use it. If you hand all those mistakes to God, He will bless that and be able to use them in ways that you never even could think. It could be relating to someone who has done the same thing and that allows you to say, ” yeah, I’ve been down that road, but look at what God has done in my life despite of my mistakes”. It could be the chance to save someone else from doing that same thing. It could be a mission statement for your life after seeing where you’ve been and where God has taken you despite your mistakes.

Don’t let your mistakes sit there and just be mistakes. Let God have them to make something beautiful not only in your life, but also for the world to see.

Those plants that Ms. Kay planted with the fish guts… Those are going to turn out better than any store plant you could ever buy with store fertilizer.  It’s all because she saw a way she could use the fish guts for good.

God wants to use our mistakes. Just like the song “Beautiful Things” by Gungore. Look at these lyrics :

All this pain
I wonder if I’ll ever find my way
I wonder if my life could really change at all
All this earth
Could all that is lost ever be found
Could a garden come up from this ground at all

You make beautiful things
You make beautiful things out of the dust
You make beautiful things
You make beautiful things out of us

All around
Hope is springing up from this old ground
Out of chaos life is being found in You

You make beautiful things
You make beautiful things out of the dust
You make beautiful things
You make beautiful things out of us

You make me new, You are making me new

Love it(:

So lessons learned : Fish guts make great fertilizer and God turn our mistakes into our mission.