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

Sometimes, you just need some rest.

Wow. The past few weeks, I have just felt like a busy bee, going from one flower to the next, trying to soak up all the pollen. With test after test, meeting after meeting, paper after paper, I’m running on a lot of coffee, but still going. Sometimes, it’s a good thing to be busy. It keeps us focused and motivated. But we cannot let ourselves become too focused on the life around us.

“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

God wants us to have a time of rest, filled with His word. Even Jesus would leave His teachings and go spend time with His beloved Father. We, as Christians, must do the same.

Life gets busy and it gets crazy, but within the craziness of life, we must find rest, so we can be renewed and strengthen. The only way, we as humans, can be strengthen, is by our Lord and spending time in His word and prayer. It’s easy for us to be swept up in the world and all that is around us, but Jesus tells us straight and clear what He wants from us in Luke 10.

Now as they went on their way, Jesus entered a village. And a woman named Martha welcomed him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet and listened to his teaching. But Martha was distracted with much serving. And she went up to him and said, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her then to help me.” But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.” – Luke 10:38-42

Martha was distracted and caught up in all the worldly things around her that “needed to be done”. However, Mary knew that there were things that needed to be done, but to her, Jesus’ presence was WAYY more important than anything else. And Jesus completely noticed that.

Honestly, we are a lot like Martha most of the time. We get so caught up in the things that “need to be done” and miss Jesus’ presence around us. Let’s try to be more like Mary in these situations. I’m not saying that it’s easy, and it definitely takes some practice. But Philippians 4:13 tells us that we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us.

What an amazing reminder. CHRIST GIVES YOU STRENGTH. Today and every day. Believe it. Find rest in the Lord during the craziness of life. He will give you strength and peace through it all.

Love always,

Claire

A Deeper Look

Today, let’s look at Colossians 4:2-6

“Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. And pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ, for which I am in chains. Pray that I may proclaim it clearly, as I should. Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.” 

Here, Paul is writing to us so that we can clearly understand how we should live for Christ. There are many other places in the Bible where it says how Christians should live, but for me, this passage stands out a little different. So today, I want us to dive in this scripture together, sentence by sentence, so that God can reveal to us how we should live.

“Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful.” – Colossians 4:2

Here, it says the word “devote” when talking about prayer. Paul used this word on purpose. He didn’t say “pray daily” or “it’s recommend that you pray”. He chose DEVOTE.

God knows that it’s easy for us to forget to pray and thank Him for the good things. We get caught up in the craziness of life. BUT, that doesn’t excuse us from prayer. In everything that we do, we must devote to prayer. We can’t just push it aside and say “‘oh I’ll do that later”. We should want to talk to God everyday more than just once.

And pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ, for which I am in chains. – Colossians 4:3

To me, these sentence stands out and Paul is telling us that we should pray for the other missionaries in the world. The people who are in chains, other countries, or even right around you that are trying to get the word of God out there. He wants us to pray for the other believers and that they may proclaim the word of God to others.

This is so important because the power of prayer gets overlooked so much. Prayer can really change people’s lives and we sometimes don’t even realize that.

Pray that I may proclaim it clearly, as I should. – Colossians 4:4

This next part still follows the last sentence in that we should pray for other believers, but we also want to pray that what they say about the gospel is true. It doesn’t help God if people go around saying false words about Him. We want to pray that what others say about Christ is clear and right.

Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. – Colossians 4:5

Woah, Paul hit the head of the nail right here. He tells us clearly that we must be wise in how we act to others. We shouldn’t go around and excluding people just because of their race, gender, belief, etc. We should make the most of every opportunity. Now, this doesn’t mean that we have to go around to every single person on campus and have a gospel conversation with them. I mean, that would be awesome if you do that but here Paul wants to understand that we should make the most out of every conversation that we have with the people around us, the people in our classes, the people in front of us in the lunch line, the people that we have conversations with everyday and see daily.

Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone. – Colossians 4:6

We, as Christians, need our words to be kind. Our words need to reflect who are amazing God is. We don’t need to gossip; we don’t need to cuss. In every conversation, our words need to glorify the Lord.

The way Paul writes and the words that he uses make such a difference in this passage. Colossians is a wonderful book that shows us how we need to live and advice to get to that point in our lives. So, thank you Paul for writing such wonderful words, and thank you God for allowing Paul’s words to impact not just my life, but everyone out there.

I hope this has been encouraging and helpful to you as we went through this little passage together. I am praying that whatever you are going through, that you remember you are not alone and God is right there with you, fighting beside you.

Love always,

Claire

Caught Up in a Dry Thunderstorm

WOW. Do you ever have those seasons where you just don’t feel like anything is going the right way? You’re facing all these struggles and just feel so overwhelmed? The past few months have been rough. I feel like I walk out the door every morning, and I find myself in a desert, in a drought, trying to remember what rain tastes like.

Dry seasons, spiritually, are not my favorite time. For me (and maybe this goes for you), I feel like I have no motivation to do anything, physically, mentally, and spiritually because every time I do something, I feel like there was no point and that it didn’t help anyone.

But here’s something I am so guilty of forgetting: Even in the midst of a dry season, God is still present. Sometimes, it feels like you’re just praying to a brick wall, not getting any response, but Jesus is still there. It’s a lot easier to say that then to believe it at times, but He is still there. He’s always there, and He’s always got your back.

“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” -Joshua 1:9

Some of you may be facing hard struggles right now. You don’t remember what rain tastes like. You may have been in droughts in relationships, with illness, with financial problems, or just being so stressed or overwhelmed for the longest time.

It’s so important that when you are in this season of drought, you cling to the Lord. Make Him your anchor in the hardships. Dive in His Word, even if you feel like you aren’t getting anything out of it. Pray to Him even when you feel like He is silent. Remember that He has already won the victory for you, and His plans for you are going to be worth all the struggles that you’re going through.

Love always,

Claire