The Comparison Game

Remember when you were 5 years old and you just did things like make a sandcastle or ride a bike, not because you had an audience looking at you, but just because you wanted to enjoy it? It was only 15 years since I was five. However, the world seems very different then it was back then. Today, I think people forget to just do things because they want to.

We tend to post a picture in order to get a bunch of likes or comments, instead of because we actually love that picture, or we loved the memory. People try to be friends with others only to increase their popularity ratings or following count, instead of because they really do like those people. Some people just want to be in the cool crowd and fit in because they want to make themselves look better, instead of them actually just being in it because they want to or because they love the people they are with. Some just date in order to make someone jealous or because they feel rushed into settling down instead of them actually just being like “wow I really love this person with my whole heart”.

I think today we are so caught up in entertaining our audience around us. We do things because we feel that those people around us need to know that we are “cool” or “popular” or “a good person” or “pretty”. But what if no one was watching? Would you send that text to that girl in tears? Would you share that picture of you helping at a food pantry?

See, we get so caught up in being OF the world, instead of just IN the world. I mean look at Jesus Christ. He had 12 disciples. He was the Messiah. God could have given Him a million friends, yet Jesus only had a few. He picked quality over quantity. When Jesus healed the sick and raised the dead. He didn’t tell the people to go tell everyone that Jesus Christ did this and He’s this amazing guy. Yet, the people did anyway, not because they had to, but because they wanted to praise this amazing person that saved them.

A man with leprosy came to him and begged him on his knees, “If you are willing, you can make me clean.” Jesus was indignant. He reached out his hand and touched the man. “I am willing,” he said. “Be clean!” Immediately the leprosy left him and he was cleansed. Jesus sent him away at once with a strong warning: “See that you don’t tell this to anyone. But go, show yourself to the priest and offer the sacrifices that Moses commanded for your cleansing, as a testimony to them.” – Mark 1:40-44

The only person we need to try to get approval of each day is God. He created this world for you and He wants you to enjoy it, not because you have to, but because you want to. He wants you to enjoy the little things and the big things that are all around you. He wants you to spend your days filling yourself up with Him instead of filling it up with the world and it’s approval. He doesn’t want you to play the comparison game.

He wants you to be still and grow with Him first before anyone else. So grow, explore. and strive to be your best self everyday with Jesus by your side.

Love always,

Claire

 

Freedom Can Be Found

There is a woman that we don’t know her name, or how old she is, or if she has any family, but we do know about her lifestyle. This woman had been bleeding for 12 years straight. She could never get better and only got worse. She probably didn’t smell that great and couldn’t go out in public that much, not to mention that she was probably an outcast in her society. Men probably didn’t want to marry “a girl like that”. And women probably were mean to her or just felt bad for her. Can you image how much shame she felt?

Some of us may can relate to the feelings that she had. Maybe, you’re seen as an outcast too or just don’t measure up to other’s expectations. Maybe, your life is filled with shame, guilt, depression, doubt, anxiety, etc. But God tells us that we are made in the image of Him.

So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. – Genesis 1:27

He doesn’t want us to be covered in any of these things. He wants you to find freedom. And this woman, who was suffering, found her freedom in Jesus Christ.

When this woman hears about Jesus and that he is in her village, she has to go see Him. She’s thinking “if I just go see Him, He will heal me”. And this is what happens:

So Jesus went with him. A large crowd followed and pressed around him. And a woman was there who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years. She had suffered a great deal under the care of many doctors and had spent all she had, yet instead of getting better she grew worse. When she heard about Jesus, she came up behind him in the crowd and touched his cloak, because she thought, “If I just touch his clothes, I will be healed.” Immediately her bleeding stopped and she felt in her body that she was freed from her suffering. At once Jesus realized that power had gone out from him. He turned around in the crowd and asked, “Who touched my clothes?” “You see the people crowding against you,” his disciples answered, “and yet you can ask, ‘Who touched me?’” But Jesus kept looking around to see who had done it. Then the woman, knowing what had happened to her, came and fell at his feet and, trembling with fear, told him the whole truth. He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering.” – Mark 5:24-34

I love how it says that she fell AT HIS FEET. In order for us to find our freedom, we have to move towards Jesus. We have to dive into His word and pray to Him.

This woman probably felt so terrified to go see Jesus, because of the social exposure, but she had so much faith that she left to go find Jesus. She knew that God wanted better things for her life. She didn’t want to go throughout the rest of her life living in this kind of condition. She wanted to be free of her suffering.

Maybe, right now, you are in a season of suffering or struggle. Things just aren’t looking up at all and you’re caught right in the middle of a storm. Jesus can give you freedom. You can find it. It won’t be an overnight thing, but freedom can be found in Him. However, it requires work and you have to move TOWARDS Him, not away. Anything is possible with Christ.

Love always,

Claire

As Hannah Montana Says “Nobody’s Perfect”

While I was sitting on my bed, I opened up my little devotional book/coloring book (shoutout to Jordan Lee) cause I thought “you know I need to just chill right now”. I started coloring with my fancy little pencils and I wasn’t staying in the lines too well. I thought “it doesn’t matter, no one except me is going to see this”.

Honestly, if I wanted to I could make the ocean purple, the sky orange, and the grass yellow. But I kept on coloring, and then my friend asked to see a picture of it when I got done.

Well then your homegirl felt pressured. When I almost got done with it, I looked at it and thought “dude this looks pretty bad”. Being the perfectionist that I am, I tried to make it look better. I tried to cover up my mistakes and fix most of it, so that when I sent it to my friend, it looked pretty good. I finally finished it and she thought it looked awesome.

However, my friend didn’t know that I had spent a good 10 minutes trying to fix the mess that I had created to make it look good. She didn’t know that I was insecure about it before I sent her the picture. All she probably thought was “oh Claire colored that in 15 minutes and it looks so good!”

She had no clue what was happening to me on the inside.

That’s the thing with us humans. We see a picture of this girl/guy who looks like they are living their best life. However, we have no clue what may be going on inside of them. That person may be struggling with the same thing as you or maybe something even harder to deal with.

I’ve been watching a lot of youtube videos lately of these girls that look like they would have their life together. They have the cutest clothes, fancy jewelry, sweet boyfriends, etc. but they get real on their videos and say how much they are hurting with anxiety, depression, comparison, grief, and so on.

Nobody is perfect. Nobody has the perfect life. Yes so people may have things that look so much better to us and make us feel like our life is nothing compared to their’s but I bet you, they are struggling with things that you might not even know about.

So I want to encourage you that whenever you get jealous of that boy/girl that looks like they have it all together, remember that nobody’s life is perfect. We are all humans and we all bleed the same.

Love always,

Claire

How To Resolve Conflict The Right Way

Let’s be honest. Drama is not fun. No matter how much you like it or hate it, it’s one of those things that is just not needed in life (unless it’s on TV). I always hated drama, being involved in it or seeing others involved in their own drama. When drama starts, people turn ugly real fast, but we have to realize how to handle conflict the way Jesus would.

A) Don’t get jealous too fast- Most of the time when drama starts, it’s probably because one person is jealous of the other person. We are all human. We are going to get jealous at some points; I’m not saying its not gonna happen. But we have to try and not focus on the things that make us jealous in life.

B) We are all different- God made you to be you, not someone else. We all go at our own speeds in life. It’s not a race to see who can achieve the most first. Sometimes, people cannot understand why you do things differently than them. It’s because God made us all differently and our human minds can’t grasp that concept sometimes.

Instead of comparing yourself to others, compare yourself to the Godly person you want to become. That’s a much better goal to strive for. 

C) Pray about the situation– When conflict arises, pray for the person and the fight going on. In most cases, some bad situation is going on in their life, and it really isn’t anything you’re doing wrong. Ask God to show you a way to end the fight. 

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.  -Philippians 4:6-7

D) Identify if any of your own weaknesses or sins have contributed to this situation- We have to man up sometimes and accept the blame when we are at fault. Pray for yourself too. Pray for your sins to not get in the way of the conflict and to repent.

“Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.  -Matthew 7:3-5

E) Don’t blame yourself too much- We all make mistakes from time to time. It’s best to acknowledge those mistakes and forgive and forget. Don’t hold on to the mistakes for too long.

F) End it with love- Even if the conflict doesn’t get resolved the way you had hope, end it with love. It’s hard to do sometimes, but it is well worth it.

Love your neighbor as yourself. –Matthew 22:39

I hope these little things help you when you are in a stressful conflict with others. Just remember that you are so loved by the amazing Creator. He forgives you even when you make a mistake. Prayers go out to all that are reading this.

Love always,

Claire

 

The Truth About Body Image

Summer is here. You know what that means? It’s swimsuit season (aka go to the gym every day season). I have always enjoyed swimming, but as I grew up, I began feeling so insecure about my body, especially during the summer. It really wasn’t my body that made me not enjoy swimming, anymore, but the looks that other girls gave me. (You know what I’m talking about. We’ve all given that “Oh she looks like that?!?” look to another girl before and it wasn’t a good look) And that “look” makes us think that we need to fix ourselves because we get insecure about our bodies.

Now every girl on the planet is insecure about one thing or another, and most of the time, it is the way our bodies look. We work out or try to diet to lose weight in order to look better. We use different skin care products to clear up the bumps on us. We put a bunch of makeup on to go outside so no one will look at the mess underneath. We always want to make ourselves look better to impress others or just to feel good. But here is the truth:

You are never going to be 100% happy with the way you look.

Now some of you might be thinking, “Oh, I love the way I look, there isn’t one thing I would change.” If that is you, then you have proven me wrong. But for the rest of you, let me tell you a little story.

A few years ago, I finally got to be 5’11” and I honestly hated it. I thought “Now it’s harder for me to find a guy taller than me” and “Why am I so tall, all of my other friends aren’t this tall.” (The rest of my friends were around 5’5″) I was always bothered by height because I was the “tall friend”.

Here is the reason why I am telling you this. We can try and try to fix things about our bodies, our skin, our weight, etc. but somethings just can’t be changed. I can’t change my height, naturally. Yes, I can put on high heels, but I am still going to be 5’11” without the shoes on. I can wear contacts to make my eyes a different color, but once remove my contacts, they will still be blue. God made us that way for a reason. He didn’t want you to look like the girl next to you. He wanted you to look like YOU.

“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is —- His good, pleasing, and perfect will.” – Romans 12:2

When we as women put a label on another person, it sticks with them, and it makes them feel bad and insecure about it. We need to realize that we live in a world where this happens a lot, and it shouldn’t. Instead of judging others and giving them “the look”, we need to be lifting them up and embracing it. Not every girl is going to look the same, and no one should try to look like anyone else.

“Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. Rather it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.” – 1 Peter 3: 3-4

God made you, YOU. Not the girl next to you. Don’t feel like you have to impress anyone because God loves you just the way you are, and Godly people should too. Satan tries to tempt us into thinking that we aren’t good enough, but he is wrong. God loves us and has already proven that to us. As Christian women, that is change we need to bring to the world. We need lift others up about their insecurities. We need to teach our kids that they don’t need to worry about not being skinny enough, or not being pretty enough because in the end, none of it matters. All that matters is the love that the Lord gives us and give it to the world.

“The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” – 1 Samuel 16:7

I hope that this swimsuit season, you feel beautiful and know that God thinks you are too. Don’t worry about what anyone thinks or says because you are YOU. Embrace it.

Love Always,

Claire

Every Snowflake Is Unique

You know when you were like in first grade and they taught you how to cut out snowflakes in like a line(I’m not exactly sure if there’s like a fancy word for whatever that’s called, and if so I’m sorry I didn’t put that instead) and they would say “now look kids, they all look exactly the same. Well if they did say that, they were wrong. It is scientifically proven that no snowflake looks exactly the same. Well that same principle goes for people too. No one person looks exactly the same as the other, even identical twins don’t. They may look very close to the same, but they aren’t the same. Now this doesn’t go just for how we look. It also goes for how are personalities are. We are all different. We all talk different, act different, look different, etc. However, that isn’t the only principle we have in common with snowflakes. When you catch a snowflake in your hand, you look at it and think it is an amazing piece of art. Then that one melts and you catch another one and look at it too with the exact same viewpoint(especially in the south where it never snows). In these little few minutes, guess what you didn’t do? You didn’t compare them to each other. You didn’t sit there and say “this one is smaller than the other” or “this one is prettier than the other”.

     So if we don’t compare snowflakes to each other, then why do we compare ourselves to other people? Now, I don’t think there is a single person that hasn’t ever compared his/her self to someone else cause I know I have many times. However, when we compare ourselves to others, we forget that we weren’t made to compete. We are made in the image of God. So when you look in the mirror, don’t look and say “I wish I was prettier like her”. Stand there and be proud of who you are and how you look because God created you exactly the way He wanted you to be. Don’t compare yourself to others because God loves you for the way you are and He wants you to be happy with being yourself instead of trying to be someone else.

     But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart. – 1 Samuel 16:7

     Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over the creatures that move along the ground.” So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. – Genesis 1:26-27