Renewed Day By Day

Just wanted to share some thoughts with you.

This summer has been a rewarding, yet challenging season in my life. Some new things have happened. Some old things remain. But most of all, I’m trying my best to learn, grow, and live for Christ more and more each day.

Sometimes, a slow season is needed, so you can reset certain things or areas in your life. You get to take time to reflect on your life: what’s going right, and what needs to change.

Change can be good. It can also be scary. But I’m learning to start thinking about change as an adventure. This is just a new journey and a new adventure about to happen.

I’m not a perfect person. Not even close to it. There are many days when I feel so unworthy of God’s love for me. I’ve always tried to do the right thing in life. However, I have not always made the right decisions. I fall short.

But, God is so beautiful and lovely. He gives us this amazing thing called grace. He loves us even when we are broken, hurt, tired, weak, and unloveable. He still wants you. He’s still waiting to hear from you.

I’ve learn that many things in life are not certain. Almost everything. You don’t know how long you have to live on this Earth. Life may not turn out the way you thought. But in everything, there is a season and God is always there.

So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.

– 2 Corinthians 4:16-18

The Bible tells us that our inner self is being renewed day by day. Even if you cannot see the progress you are making, you are being renewed every day. What a beautiful thing. Every day is a new day to refresh and start again. God knows that we are not perfect. But it’s because of our brokenness that we need a Savior to save us. And He does just that.

Don’t ponder too much on your past and the mistakes you’ve made. Don’t worry too much about the future and where life is going to take you. Instead, focus on the present. The right now. Focus on the beauty of just living in the moment full of gratitude.

To anyone reading this, I pray that whatever stage of life you are in right now, whatever seems frustrating or uncertain, that you can remember it will get better. God is renewing us day by day. We are continuing to grow more and more and what a beautiful way to do so. With Him.

Life is really beautiful, even when our earthly world is broken and evil. Sometimes, we have to do a little more than just seeing with our physical eyes to really see the beauty of God and His creation.

“Live in each season as it passes; breathe the air, drink the drink, taste the fruit, and resign yourself to the influence of the earth.” – Henry David Thoreau

With love,

Claire

Morning Thoughts

I’ve had a hate/love relationship with this quarantine life. There’s been some bad things that have come from this such as unemployment, death, frustration, and confusion. Life lately in the world seems very upsetting and uncertain. However, there has been some good that has come from this season so far.

For me personally, this quarantine life has allowed me to slow down and take a step back from busy life. I have been able to reflect on my life and notice some small changes that needed to be made for my own wellbeing. I am thankful for this season because of that.

I’ve learn a lot over the past 90 days that this season has been going on. I’ve learned how to cook new things. I’ve learned some new TikTok dances. I’ve learned how to take care of myself better, in different aspects. But most of all, I’ve learned how to truly focus on the present moment.

I found a quote that I’ve really been holding onto for the past few days:

“Today I am at peace and my mind will no longer over-analyze the past or stress about the unknown ahead. I am present in the moments in front of my eyes.” – Jennae Cecelia

I think our mind can go into thoughts about the past and the future most of the time. We think about past situations and say “did I do this right” or “I should have done this instead”. We think about the future and say “is this going to work out” or “what’s coming up next”. However, we don’t spend a lot of time thinking just about the present. Noticing the small things around you like the wind and the warmth of the sun. Noticing the beauty of the Earth and that the One who created it, created you too.

I think it’s important to make sure you are spiritually, physically, and mentally staying healthy. And sometimes, that requires you to learn some new things. Learn how to exercise in ways that are enjoyable for you. Learn how to eat healthier. Learn how to spend more time with Jesus on a daily basis. Plan out that time. Learn how to shift your thoughts and your perspective on things. Take a break from social media. Take a break from checking in on everyone, and just check in with yourself. 

We extend a lot of grace to people because Jesus extends so much grace to us. But start giving yourself grace. You are still learning day by day how to handle this life you are given. How to try and do the right things. That doesn’t come over night. But day by day you will see the progress you are making.

I really just wanted to write out my thoughts today and wanted to share what I’ve been learning during this time with you. Hope this helps anyone who is struggling during this time or just feels exhausted/stressed/confused.

Stay safe everyone.

With Love,

Claire

Power of the Holy Spirit

This morning, I woke up feeling like I needed to just go get some fresh air and read a good book. So, I grabbed a book, got some coffee, and went to a nice grassy area by the reservoir. I laid out a blanket on the ground, took my chacos off, and thought to myself “wow, this is so nice and calm”. Barely anyone was there.

I opened my book and read about a page and a half when I heard a loud tractor near me. I thought to myself “hmm that sounds pretty close”. I stood up, and the tractor was about 8 feet away from me and moving right towards me.

Quickly, I grabbed my things and headed back to the car, trying not to get run over or cause a scene with the tractor man. I got in my car and immediately, I was a little annoyed. I thought “man, no one is even here. it’s so nice and peaceful here. I just want to read my book and get a change of scenery.”

After a few seconds, I looked down at the tractor man, and I just started laughing in my car. I wasn’t exactly sure why at that moment I was laughing, but I think I just thought the whole situation was funny. I felt like everything was nice, peaceful, and chill when I was laying down. Then, a tractor comes along and for a hot minute, he “ruined” the moment. I say “ruined” because the tractor man didn’t really ruin anything.

I still had my book and was able to read it in my car. I still got a change of scenery and some fresh air, while sitting in the back of my car with the hatchback open. Life was still peaceful, nice, and chill. It was just different than what I expected.

I think that’s what is kind of humorous about life. We go through it with all these expectations and plans. Sometimes, those plans can get canceled or delayed, which can be really upsetting.

But sometimes, they can still happen, and you can find some joy in those moments.

A good chunk of the time, we can be tempted to fall into a mood when things don’t go the way we plan. But, I think it’s important to realize that even when the circumstances look different than you planned, you are still able to have joy and gratitude in your heart. You are still able to focus on the good.

Why is that? Because if you have accepted Jesus as your Lord and Savior, you have the Holy Spirit inside of you.

I think in the world, we tend to forget about the power of the Holy Spirit, that literally lives INSIDE of you. It’s always there.

In Max Lucado’s book, Unshakable Hope, he focuses on the power of the Holy Spirit in a few chapters. He made this one statement that still blows my mind every time I read it:

“The Holy Spirit is central to the life of the Christian. Everything that happens from the book of Acts to the end of the book of Revelation is a result of the work of the Holy Spirit of Christ.”

How cool is that? From Acts to Revelation. That’s a good chunk of the Bible (and most of the New Testament).

The Spirit lived in the disciples and gave them the strength to do more work for God’s kingdom during that time. The Spirit also allowed them to not only think the way that God thinks but also love others the way God loves. And the Spirit can do the same for you and me.

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Against such things there is no law.” – Galatians 5:22-23

The Spirit is also able to give us fruits and gifts. Since we have the Holy Spirit inside of us, we are able to be joyful, patient, kind, and faithful. We are able to love like Jesus and see things the way He sees things. Jesus tells us to ask and we will receive it.

“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.” – Matthew 7:7

Now, just like fruit on a tree, it takes time for it to grow. But while growing with the Lord, you’re able to not only receive theses fruits but also learn so much more about your worth and purpose in life. You’re able to come to an understanding that no matter what circumstances are around you, you are in Christ and the Holy Spirit lives in you. And that’s a POWERFUL thing right there.

So, the next time something doesn’t go exactly the way you plan, focus on the good in the situation and laugh it off. Ask God to give you an understanding of the situation and a sense of joy. Try to make the most of the situation and remember the power of the Holy Spirit that lives inside of you, friend.

With love,

Claire

Let's Build Each Other Up

A few days ago, I had a lot of mixed feelings about this whole coronavirus issue. I was annoyed, disappointed, and frustrated. Graduation got postponed. Plans got cancelled. The future looked completely uncertain.

Here’s the thing though. The future has always been uncertain, even when we felt like we were in control. Yes, we had plans in motion, but there are a thousand and one ways to where those plans could have not happened. Maybe you went on a trip recently. But think about it, the plane could have gotten delayed, the weather could have been super bad, the electricity could have gone out, your car could have died, etc. There are tons of ways to where your trip could not have even happened or not have gone the way you thought.

That’s the thing about control. As humans, we think we are in control of almost everything. But I think God likes to remind us that we are not in control as much as we think. God wants to show us that He is in control. He wants to teach us that the only thing we can truly control is OUR ACTIONS.

So what now? Now that our plans got cancelled. Now that we have to do this “social distancing” and stay home. What do we do?

I’ve been live streaming church services since this whole pandemic started. And every time I watch a live stream, there’s always this saying that is said:

“The church is not a building. It is a body of believers.”

You might have heard that before or something similar to it. But think about it. We aren’t going to a physical church building until this is over. We aren’t gathering together with a large number of believers as much as we use to. Things look a little bit different now. But we are still called by God to do the same things.

Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. – Galatians 6:2

They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. – Acts 2:42

In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven. – Matthew 5:16

We are still called to carry each other’s burdens. We are still called to fellowship. We are still called to glorify our Father. We are still called to love. The only thing that has changed is the Earthly environment around us.

So what can we do during this time?

1. Pray. Pray for the country. Pray for the world. Pray for the leaders. Pray for the workers, who are serving in different places. Pray for your family. Pray for your friends. Pray for your classmates. Pray for your co-workers. Pray for yourself.

Prayer is so important to our lives. It is so significant for us to continue to rely on each other and support one another. In the book of Galatians, God calls us to carry each other’s burdens and pray for one another. I know sometimes asking for prayer can be nerve-racking or scary. You might be thinking “people are gonna judge me” or “they aren’t even gonna care”. However, prayer is powerful. God can do some amazing things with our prayers.

I’ve created a prayer request form. It’s anonymous and will remain confidential. If you know that you need prayer for something and do not feel like you can carry something on your own, use this. Doesn’t matter what the prayer request is. What matters is that you aren’t on your own. You are being prayed for and God hears your prayers.

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSdDB0P_6kAC4Dg9o7-z9EFN74bTmbVbgNFSFzyvxUj6Pt_7wA/viewform?usp=sf_link

2. Fellowship. Social distancing is still important, but God has blessed us with many forms of technology now. We can call, message, and FaceTime with each other through technology. Use that. Call a friend you haven’t talked to in a while. Check-in on them. Message someone and send an encouraging message to them. Let’s continue to fellowship and build each other up.

3. Lastly, remain in Christ. During this time of isolating, we might have a lot of extra time on our hands. We aren’t constantly on the go, having to do fifty different errands. Instead of spending all of your time watching tv or playing games, open your Bible. Start a new bible study. There are a bunch of apps that can help you with this.

Play some worship music. Make a gratitude journal. Remember who God is and what He is doing in your life. Make a note of the good things going on in your life. Make a prayer journal. Make good use of your free time and listen to what He has to say.

During this time, glorify God in all that you do.

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. – Philippians 4:8

Let’s use our time wisely. We do not know what could come next, but whatever that is, let’s be prepared to face it together with Christ.

To whoever is reading this, you are loved, you are seen, and you are heard by our incredible God. During this time of uncertainty, remember that our God is good, and He is in control of the future! Stay safe!

With love,

Claire