Why I Write Even When I’m Not Sure

 

computer and pencil

 

I’ve got this nagging notification on my dashboard that stands as a constant reminder that I have seven days before my blog expires and goes wherever forgotten blogs go to die.

I’ve seriously thought about letting it go to “virtual heaven” more than once.

Here are some reasons, selfish as they may be, that I’ve seriously contemplated pulling my blog’s life support:

1. I’m busy.

2. Does anyone even read my blog?

3. I’m not sure I know what I’m doing.

4. I’m not as popular as [fill in the blank] blog.

5. Did I mention I’m busy?

Hey, I did not say they were good reasons, but they are reasons.

I think my ego gets in the way of my writing. I’m too busy comparing my site stats to remember why I’m even doing this blogging thing in the first place. 

 I love writing and the opportunity it affords me to ministry to the hearts of young adults.

I have gotten side tracked somehow. I forgot WHO I am writing for.

This isn’t about a writer’s platform or how many likes or shares I get on social media. In fact, many times, I don’t get any but I don’t write for that. 

1. I write for the one that IS reading my blog.

2. I write for the one that is seeking truth.

3. I write for the one that needs to be reminded that they are loved, cherished and desired by the King of Kings.

4. I write for you.

So thank you for reading. 

I guess I’ll be renewing my blog :) 

 

 

Brains and Beauty: Why Neither of Them Are Ultimately Important

 

Riley

 

I found myself in a very teachable moment this morning during my daughter’s morning vocabulary/spelling lesson. (We homeschool if you did not know.)

Riley Grace continued to call me over to help her on her lesson, in which I was sure she was fully capable of doing on her own. This is becoming a habit, not only at home, but I’ve noticed she “acts” clueless when she is around her peer group. It’s not just with the boys so I finally asked her “what’s up with that?”

Her response: “Because I don’t want everyone to know I’m smart. People that are smart are picked on and called nerds.”

It broke my heart, not only as a mom but as a woman as well.

I see this all too often with young women (and men, but on another post). How we view ourselves has been determined by how we look, how poplar we are or by the other millions of labels we put on ourselves.

In order for us to feel like we belong, we play the role of the harlot, the charmer and many times, the airhead.

And though I know that Riley Grace is very intelligent and should be proud of her intellect, I also want her to understand that her value does not come from her IQ or any other status.

And this is why….

#1. We are ALL fearfully and wonderfully made by a Creator that does not make a mistake. Your abilities, your looks or your intellect do not determine your value. It was already determined (Psalm 139:14)

#2. Beauty runs deeper than just on the outside. 1 Peter 3:3-4 tells us that our beauty should not be external but for our adorning to be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit.

#3. Christ loves us, regardless of how ugly our sins are. In fact, He loved us so much He died for us.

Now, that is beautiful.

The Missing Voice: Men and the Pro-life Movement

 

father in the delivery room

Standing watch

 

The fact that I experienced an unplanned pregnancy in college is not necessarily a secret.

I share my own personal experience in hopes that young women and men are empowered to make better decisions.My prayer, at least, has always been that my story will provide a beckon of hope that young adults can still accomplish their dreams, even when life changes.

The overall reason most women abort is because they have no support system.

Financially they are struggling and cannot fathom how their paycheck could possibly stretch any further.

Emotionally, they feel alone, scared and just want this horrible situation to end.

Pressured, by family and many times the father, the only “solution” appears to be an abortion.

In the past, I have focused solely on telling my story to the women because they are the ones carrying the life. But what I realized is that there is a key component to the pro-life movement that even I overlooked.

The missing voices in the pro-life movement are men.

So many times I have failed to share my entire story and why my unplanned pregnancy resulted in a life being born instead of a baby being aborted. If I am honest, there was a certain amount of shame that came with knowing I wasn’t the one wanting our baby.

My boyfriend, which is now my husband, was the voice that spoke out for our child, not her mother. And because of the selfless courage he displayed, he saved our daughter.

I was a Senior in college and was considering the possibility of law school. The entire world was at my fingertips and I wanted to explore every corner.

I was unstoppable, or so I thought.

I took a pregnancy test without my boyfriend knowing and I cannot begin to explain how that plus sign threw my world into chaos.

I wasn’t so invincible after all.

The next few weeks were a blur.The pregnancy was confirmed by a doctor, but besides a few close friends, no one knew.

Approaching my boyfriend, I was certain he would agree that an abortion was the best thing to do. After all, he wasn’t ready for kids either. He would support me.

“I want an abortion,” was all I needed to say. His composure spoke volumes.

I can still recall the feel of Josh’s hands on my stomach as he pleaded for his child’s life.

The words that come out of his mouth after shook me to my core.

“Give the baby to me if you don’t want her, but don’t take her life, Sarah. She deserves a chance to live.” He would later go on to tell me that he would not continue to see me if I aborted.

Some people might see what he said as “unfair” to me, that it wasn’t his decision to make. But I say it was because he took part in the creation of that life. When I saw that he would fight for our child, I felt strong enough to continue the pregnancy.

mom at hospital

 

I knew that he would be there for the baby and for me.

So many times, girls that are in a crisis pregnancy don’t have that reassurance and out of fear and loneliness, abort. How many more lives would be saved if men spoke up for their baby?

 

 

This is my entire story and how a man changed the fate of one child.

Josh, I love you.

dad holding riley

me

Life as a Potato

 

girl in a field

 

I could have just as easily used a metaphorical butterfly to compare our lives too.

Butterflies seem too cliché-ish.

Potatoes don’t get a fair chance, in my opinion.

Like I’ve written before, you just never know where you will get your inspiration.

Inspiration came to me while I was knee deep in dirt and potato plants.

Not sure I’ve ever mentioned my nickname before: It’s City.

I got the nickname from my best friend’s husband because of my obvious oblivion to country living.

It isn’t like I grew up as “girl in the big city” but the way of country life was foreign to me until we moved back home about two years ago.

With aging parents and adult responsibilities rearing its head, I got a crash course in farming 101.

My first experience with potatoes came over the weekend.

From the surface, all I saw was a green dried up plant that appeared useless. But when I pulled the plant up from its roots I saw little red potatoes under the rich dark soil.

I squealed with excitement each time I pulled another potato plant up from the earth.

A quick note on my husband:  If my nickname is City, his nickname would be Country.

He bared my obnoxious squeals and let me delight myself in this new “skill” I had acquired.

City: Official Potato Picker.

Here’s the point to my ramble.

Our life can be compared to a field of potato plants.

potatoes

From the surface, we may not look like much but when cultivated in the deep rich soil we produce one awesome harvest.

The deep rich soil in which we grow is God’s word and just like farming, it takes time for us to mature.

We might not always look like much, but God knows what produce we are each capable of.

And I would like to think every time He goes out to harvest His produce, God squeals in delight.

 

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When the Silence is Deafening

canyon

Rarely do I type and post. 

Believe it or not, it takes me a very long time to type out my thoughts in a way that would make sense to my readers.

Not today.

I need you to know something…..

Even when God is silent, He is deafening.  

The plights of our lives can be so noisy and its so easy to get distracted.

It is in these time that I encourage you to listen the hardest.

Friend, He is telling you something.

“I will lead the blind by a way they did not know; I will guide them on paths they have not known. I will turn darkness to light in front of them and rough places into level ground.” Isaiah 42:16

No One Cares About Your Medal……

soccer goal

My daughter’s photography debut!

Both of my kiddos play sports. We seem to have found our niche in the game of soccer.  And though I am somewhat bias, both of my little athletes are good.

Really good.

Each had the honor of playing in the soccer league championships over the weekend. One of them came away as soccer league champion while the other experienced a crushing defeat in round two, ending their season in second place.

At the end of the day, we were ALL exhausted and sunburned.

(SPF 50, you had one job. #failure)

If you want to see the true colors of parents and coaches , throw them on a soccer field and hold out a championship trophy for the taking.

It gets interesting.

We got front row seats, minus the popcorn.

Coaches were making threats to other coaches.

Parents were encouraging very un-sportsman like behavior.

Just an FYI Nana: elbowing your opponent, regardless of how they are acting, is never appropriate and will get you red-carded! ( I say that with much love and affection)

This post isn’t about the praise of the awesome athletic abilities of my kiddos.

This post is about a lesson that we all can stand to learn about our PURPOSE in life.

After the pictures were taken and the medals were given, we went on with our normal, everyday lives.

There was not an entourage of people lining the street where we live, applauding my soccer stars for their long hard fight.

No Eye of the Tiger played as we walked into our home.

First place kid went to their room and played video games.

Second place kid went to their room and colored.

My husband and I drank a gallon of Gatorade and collapsed on the couch, thankful the season was over.

It was fun.

It was exciting.

At the end of the day, it was just a game.

So many times in life, we place so much value on things that don’t matter.

Regardless of how athletic you are or in my case, are not, you are still important and have a purpose in this life.

“When all has been heard, the conclusion of the matter is: fear God and keep His commands, because this is for all humanity. For God will bring every act to judgment, including every hidden thing, whether good or evil.” Ecclesiastes 12:13-14 HCSB

Our lives will have meaning and worth only when we serve God.

My concern for the generations coming up is that this message is being lost in a sea of technology, status and the occasional sports medal.

No wonder we never seemed to be satisfied.

I am very proud of my kid’s accomplishments on the field.

I felt honored to be a part of a team of parents and coaches that represented themselves as positive examples to their team- win or lose.

But when we go home, our family doesn’t place their medals over the value of their souls.

I want them to be champions for a greater cause and that cause is Christ.

 Just a few points in closing:

1. Much like sports, growth in your relationship with God can be challenging and exhausting.

2. Sometimes, the “game” isn’t fair and the conditions not in your favor.

3. There will always be someone telling you to do something totally against your faith. Stick to what you know is truth.

4. In this world, you might lose more battles than you win. Know that you are playing for an eternity, not a season.

“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith” 2 Timothy 4:7

 

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All About the Benjamins: Avoiding Debt As A Young Adult

Dave Ramsey budget quote

 

Be it high school or college,learning financial stewardship can never start too early in life.

Of all the life “lessons” I have learned, being financially responsible is one that was the hardest for me to employ.

By the time I understood what debt was, I was in it. And it started when I was a young adult in college.

I used my ignorance as my excuse for a long time, but eventually, the excuse that “you didn’t know” just doesn’t cut it.

This post isn’t meant to be an in-depth financial how-to but more of a financial how-not.

If you are in debt’s snare, maybe this can help pinpoint where you stumbled. After all, admitting your financial irresponsibility is half the battle. If you are debt free, I pray that this can be a word of encouragement for you to keep yourself out of debt!

1.  Give back what God has blessed.  Tithing is a sticky subject for many of us. I have always struggled with tithing. The money never seemed to be “there” yet I always found ways to go out and eat or buy more stuff.

Regardless of how little it is, remember that everything we have belongs to God.

Get in the habit of tithing early, so as your cash flow increases, you aren’t forgetting to budget that money back into your monthly giving. (2 Corinthians 9:7)

2.  Avoid credit cards like the plague! If you cannot afford it when you purchase it, my guess is that you won’t be able to pay for it when the bill comes in.

70% of cardholders carry a balance with an average interest rate of 18.1%.

If you have credit cards, cut them up. Do you really need an American Eagle and Hollister credit card? Nope.

3.  If you are going to college, don’t take out student loans if at all possible. Student loans caused my debt to snowball out of control. By the time I finished school, I owed more than I was making.

Consider going to a junior college for two years where tuition is lower or possibly free.

In-state college tuition saves a lot. Buy used books. Work a few extra hours a week to pay on tuition. I cannot promise it will be easier, but a few sacrifices now will save the worry later.

 

“Good planning and hard work lead to prosperity,

 but hasty shortcuts lead to poverty.”

Proverbs 21:5

4.  Start budgeting now. Writing your bills down on paper will help you see what you have going out versus coming in. Nothing worse than realizing there’s more weeks left than paycheck.

You can use this PDF to help: BUDGET WORKSHEET FOR COLLEGE STUDENTS

5.  Save up an emergency fund and don’t touch it unless there’s an emergency. A new shoe purchase does not count ladies!

6.  If you get in financial trouble, ask for help. There’s a difference here between people who need a little help and people who want to be carried through life. Most parents will help you out of a tight squeeze but there’s no excuse for you to get back into the financial mess they just so selflessly helped you out of. 

Welcome to the world of adulthood. 

A few resources that are FREE and USEFUL. Two of my favorite things:

www.daveramsey.com

www.mint.com

Do you have anything else to add? Let me hear it!

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