The Importance Of Rest

Let’s be honest—life can be busy.

Between school, work, responsibilities, and trying to keep it all together, it can be easy for rest to fall to the bottom of my priority list—if it ends up on the list at all. We live in an on-the-go society, between fast food and texting. Interstates and highways. A-hundred-and-fifty-character tweets.

Life is meant to be fast, we’re told—so we always have to move just a little bit faster to keep up.

While it’s good to be busy, and God wants us to work hard at whatever we do, we’re not meant to go 24/7 without rest. Even Jesus, who was God-in-flesh often disappeared by Himself to spend time alone and rest. Even God the Father rested on the last day of Creation, after his work of creating the world was finished.

Sometimes, we need to do the same.

Sometimes we need to be still, and hear what God is trying to tell us.

Sometimes we need to unplug from our busy lives, and take time to kick back and read.

Sometimes we need to spend time with old friends, and recharge enough to be at our best for the rest of the week.

Sometimes, we just need to turn on Netflix, and put on an episode of our favorite show.

These things may seem small, especially in a world that tells us things must always be faster and busier, but they’re essential to human flourishing. They’re the moments that God wants us to cherish—as they’re gifts that He’s given us.

There’s no time like the present to open them.

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30

Nineteen Lessons For Nineteen Years

Hey everyone – big news! Today is my nineteenth birthday! 

Thus, inspired by my friend Mfon from Dainty M., I’m going to write down nineteen lessons that I’ve learned so far in my nineteen years!

  1. Trust God with your life – This one can seem so easy yet be so hard at times! So often, we want the full picture when God will only show us a small piece of the puzzle. But if we trust Him, the whole thing will all come together beautifully in time.
  2. Believe in yourself – I know this one is SO cliche, but it’s important! God made us just the way we are, with all of our quirks, details, and gifts – with an intent to use us for something amazing! So have some confidence in the beautiful you that He created!
  3. Work hard – nothing in life comes without hard work. From our goals, to our dreams, to making a basic paycheck, a good work ethic is essential to a fulfilling life. So keep on fighting and do your best in everything you do!
  4. Go easy on yourself – This one may seem counterintuitive to the one above, but it’s really not. Sometimes, as hard as we work, we should allow ourselves a chance to rest, and give ourselves a mini “sabbatical”. Even God, Creator of all things took a rest after an intense process of creating the world, so why should we expect to go with no breaks?
  5. Stay young – One of my good friends has always made a point to stay young at heart. She always notes that she still loves “kiddish” stuff and doesn’t want to become stiff and stuffy as an adult. I believe there’s a lot of wisdom here, and a little bit of a kid in all of us. Embrace that kid sometimes, we can’t adult all the time, right?😉
  6. Don’t be afraid to dream – Dreams are something that sustain all of us to some degree. Without dreams, we lack motivation, which can result in pretty depressing existence. Set goals for yourself and trust God to help you fulfill those dreams in his timing. Your dreams might just be a part of His plan.
  7. Appreciate your family and friends – Family and friends are some of God’s greatest gifts to us. They’re the people who help us grow and see us through the good times and the bad times. Never forget to take care of those relationships, and continue to nurture them even through the business of life.
  8. Keep learning – To often we limit learning to just school, but the truth is, learning is (or should be) a part of our daily lives. It’s continuing to grow and being open to new experiences. It’s allowing God to speak to us through our life experiences. Learning is part of what helps us grow as people.
  9. Be your best self – It can be easy to drag through life on some days. We’ve all had moments like that, haven’t we? Days where we just want to stay inside and watch Netflix on repeat. While it’s OK to have these somedays, try to embrace life with vigor and excitement, giving your all in each day. We only get one life—and it’s our job to decide what we do with it.
  10. Think of others – Jesus says to “do unto others as we want them to do to us”, and I believe this is a great motto to live by. Imagine what would happen if everyone looked out for others interests as much or more than their own. The world would be drastically different for the better.
  11. Never believe you can’t make a difference – It can be easy to feel like because we’re only one person, there isn’t much of an impact that we can make, but this is a lie from the enemy. God gave us this life and has equipped us with everything we need to accomplish the purposes He has for us. Plus, even the smallest acts of kindness can make somebody’s day.
  12. Find your passion – Passion is the thing that adds color to life. For me, my passion is writing. I love the sound of the written word and the shape of sentences. I love creating something and I love jotting down words that can help and inspire others. For you, your passion could be music, art, or teaching. Whatever it is, follow it! God has given you your gifts for a reason – steward them to the best of your abilities!
  13. Don’t be afraid – Fear can be crippling, and while there are some situations where it’s called for (AKA, dangerous situations), most of the time it is simply a hinderance. One of the biggest areas of fear can be the future, but God has gone before you. He’ll be with you every step of the way – all you have to do is trust Him.
  14. Enjoy the little things – God has blessed us in so many ways on this earth, but sometimes, when we get too busy, it can be easy not to notice the small gifts we experience everyday. As a wise man once said, “don’t be afraid to stop and smell the roses”.
  15. Try new things – I’m admittedly bad about this one, as I tend to be very into routines and what I’m accustomed to, but oftentimes trying new things—whether it be a hobby or a new food, can often lead to something awesome.
  16. Read (at least a little) – Though I’m probably more of a book worm than some people, I believe that everyone can benefit by writing. Pinpoint something your interested in, or an author you absolutely love and find books accordingly. If nothing else, read the Bible, because I can promise that book will change your life!
  17. Take time to unplug – It can be easy to stay attached to technology in the world we live in, but sometimes it can be good to take a break. Read. Hang out with family. Walk your dog. Enjoy life outside of a screen.
  18. Look up to wise mentors – God has put people in your life for a reason. Look to those who know Him and who seem to have a lot of wisdom for guidance. It’s always helpful to have seasoned Christians around to help guide you through life!
  19. Be a role model – Be the kind of person you’d want your sibling or little cousins to emulate. Try your best, follow God, and be the kind of person others could consider a role model in their lives. Someone’s always watching, even when we aren’t aware of it.

How about you? What lessons Has God taught you over the years? I’d love to hear about them in the comments! 

A Poem About Adulting (Part Two)

Good morning y’all,

I wrote sort of a heavy post yesterday, as I was frustrated trying to come up with a new blog topic and struggling with some personal things I’m dealing with in my own life. Thus, I would like to summarize my thoughts today in the form of a much lighter poem about adulting.

Please don’t take this post too seriously, as it’s meant to be comical.

Adulting

Job, job, where can I find you?

As the resumes fly here and there 

I am looking for one, searching for one anywhere 

At the store, in the morgue, oh job, you must be somewhere 

Taxes, taxes, the next thing 

Why must you be so confusing? 

With your numbers and your fancy words 

Your attempts to trip me up with your worth 

College, college, when will you start?

In my gap semester, it’s already March

With the essays and the homework that I miss so much 

Hopefully you’ll start soon, with any luck

Friends, friends, with too much to do 

When will I be able to hang out with you? 

With your classes, jobs, and miles away 

When will you come back to hang? 

TV, TV, my only hope 

To get me through this crazy road 

With your Netflix shows and weekly airings 

As my life seems to be disappearing 

I’ll get through it, oh yes I will 

Yes, before I know it, I’ll be over the hill. 

– By Courtney M. 

Feel free to post this to your blog, just as long as you link back to 1timothy412girl.com!

I promise to get back to more substantial posts soon!😜

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Thirty Day Blogging Challenge Day #2: Thirty-Nine

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Day Twenty-Nine: Bullet Your Whole Day

  • I woke up (Although, considering you’re reading this, I guess that’s pretty obvious!).
  • I wrote a couple of blog posts (Which you can find in previous entries)
  • I ate lunch (Vegetarian chicken nuggets)
  • I brushed my teeth and washed my face (Yeah, the boring morning routine)
  • I drove to the grocery store (Three cheers for Wal-Mart!)
  • I began my application for Liberty Online (I’m going to start soon!)
  • I studied for the CLEP test (Yay?)
  • I emptied the dishwasher (My day just keeps getting more exciting…)
  • I talked with my mom (My day is finally looking up!)
  • I worked more on blogging (Hey, it’s my responsibility to keep this site going!)
  • I ate dinner (Spaghetti!)
  • I finished a book by Karen Kingsbury called Return (It was really good!)
  • I’m about to wants TV with my mom (The Middle, and than Black-ish)

That’s all for today! I’ll be back tomorrow with the last day of the challenge. Until then, I hope y’all have an awesome night!

New Years Resolutions

This is a new year. A new beginning. And things will change—Taylor Swift. 

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As 2016 comes to a close and we walk into 2017, I wanted to take some time to create some resolutions and share them with y’all. I believe that the new year gives us a great opportunity to better ourselves and press more into our goals, hopes, and dreams.

Since I try to be transparent on this blog, I decided to share my resolutions. I would also love to hear yours, if your comfortable sharing them. I can’t wait to see how we all grow and where God leads us in 2017!

Thus, without further ado, the resolutions! 

  1. Read a little bit every day – As much as I love reading, I don’t do it nearly enough. Nonetheless, I received a bunch of great new books for Christmas written by authors such as Karen Kingsbury, Tim Lahaye, and Ron J. Sider that I cannot wait to break  into (I’ve already broken into a couple)! They should last for at least a couple of months, but regardless, this resolution remains. I plan to make a conscious effort to be an avid reader in 2017.
  2. Continue learning – My school situation went a little crazy this year, as I recently made the decision to transfer from my current college to Liberty Online. Nonetheless, it’s a little more pricey than my family had originally planned, so I’m taking the spring semester off, leaving me with what I’m calling a “gap semester”. During this semester, I want to continue learning, even if it’s informal. I want to research topics that I’m interested in and keep up with current events relevant to society right now. Just because I’m taking a break from formal schooling doesn’t mean I have to stop learning!
  3. Journal regularly – Recently, my pastor’s wife has begun mentoring me and as we’ve talked, she’s encouraged me to keep a journal to write about what God is showing me. I started this year and I’ve found that it’s been really helpful to have a private place to reflect and talk to God. As a recent high school grad, there are a lot of changes and decisions ahead, and I believe that journaling (and God) is going to be the thing that will keep me sane through it all. It is definitely something that I’d like to continue into the new year.
  4. Complete a book I’m writing – As I’ve mentioned before, I’m currently in the process of writing a series that I’ve been working on since freshman year of high school. Needless to say, it’s changed a lot over the last five years. I would like to continue working on it in 2017—hopefully completely book two in the series before the end of next year!
  5. Read my Bible faithfully – I fell into a bad habit with forgetting to do this for a while, but this past December, I’ve begun to make it a priority and have been faithfully reading it every morning. I believe that staying in the Word is vital as a Christian and I’d like to continue reading it faithfully in the new year.
  6. Stay in touch with friends – I think one of the hardest things about being a high school grad is trying to stay in contact with friends. When I was in high school, I literally saw almost everyone every week, having regular discussion and the privilege of being in close quarters. When everyone is spread out at different colleges, you have to really be intentional about keeping those friendships intact, through email, texting, and get togethers. In 2017 I would like to be more conscientious about staying in touch with everyone.
  7. Be healthier – This is pretty much the token resolution, right? Eating healthy, exercising…all that jazz. Nonetheless, it is something that I would like to be more intentional about, as I steward the life that God has given me.
  8. Find a job – This winter/spring I’m going to have a lot more time to find a job. I have already started a resume and I’ve been looking at different places in the area to work, and have currently narrowed it down to three options. Hopefully, as I enter into the second year of adulthood, I’ll be able to secure a position at one of them.
  9. Step out of my comfort zone – In 2017, I would like to take more (practical) risks. I have a tendency to stay within my comfort zone, but as I go into the new year, I would like to consciously look for ways that God may be calling me out of my comfort zone. By risks, I don’t mean anything crazy (I am not sky-diving y’all!), but simply obeying God’s call to do things that I may not dare otherwise.
  10. Blog more consistently – Admittedly, I’m horrible about having set days to write, but I would like to change that in the new year. Rather than blogging sporadically, whenever I have some free time, I would like to set a schedule of days that you can expect to see new posts on 1 Timothy 4:12 Girl, so stay tuned!

How about you? Any resolutions for 2017

Three Day Quote Challenge #2: Day One

Hey everyone, I hope you guys had a Merry Christmas! I can’t believe it’s’ already over, but I trust that we have more great things to look forward to in the upcoming year. 

Anyways, I was just nominated a couple of days ago by Mandie from afcrocks99 to do a three day quote challenge! I’m a little late, as I’ve been crazy busy with Christmas stuff, but better late than never, right? 

The first quote in this challenge is going to be a quote by none other than America’s sixteenth president.

In the end, it’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years – Abraham Lincoln

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With the new year on the horizon, I figured this would be a fitting quote to start with. We all have a number of days, weeks, months, and years given to us by God, but it is our job to decide what we do with them. How will we steward the time that’s ours to borrow? 

For many of us (myself included) it can be easy to fall into routine and drudgery. School, work, and a variety of other responsibilities often take claim to our time, making it difficult to find the time to do the things we love—the things God is calling us to.

Nonetheless, I believe that if we’re honest, we can all find some spare time in the day that is ours and ours alone. What will we do with that time? Will we spend it scrolling through social media (I’m guilty of this) or putting our God given gifts to work, and following the dreams that God had put inside of us? Will we spend our time in front of the television, or will we reach out to our friends and family, making the moments count with those who matter most to us? 

We all have a question that we must ask ourself – How will we spend our days? Someday, that time, those moments, will add up to the sum total of our life—how will we spend it?

I believe that we’re each put here for a purpose. God wants us to make our life count, touching other lives in the process. None of our lives happen in isolation—we were made for community and interacting with others. We were made to make a mark, in both big and small ways every day. 

“So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom” – Psalm 90:12

How will you make the years in your life count? How will you bring your years to life? 

As always, I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments!

 

What Are You Chasing?

“What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul?” – Mark 8:36 

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What are you chasing? The answer to this question is different for everyone. For some, it may be a better job, or any job at all. For others, it may a relationship—either romantic or platonic. Still for others, it may be a dream or goal you have yet to achieve.

What are you chasing? 

The truth is, we’re all chasing something. The thing that we’re chasing is often the thing that we tend to obsess the most over—the thing that takes up our thought space in our free moments. It is often accompanied by thoughts such as “I’ll be happy when…” or “This will be my moment…No one is immune to this chase, because deep down inside, something tells us that we were born for it—we were born to pursue. We weren’t meant to stay stagnant. 

This pursuit is not a bad thing, but it can become a bad thing when focus more on the things of this world than the things of God. It can be such an easy trap to fall into that most of us don’t even realize we’re doing it. Truth be told, I struggle with this on a nearly daily basis. I’ve written in previous posts that I struggle in a big way with OCD and perfectionism and often those tend to be the driving forces in my chase.

I’ll analyze something that I’ve completed over and over again to the point of insanity. I’ll make a long and detailed bucket list that I absolutely must complete before I die. I’ll set up grand, exciting goals for myself and worry whether they’ll ever actually happen at all.

Again, I’ll clarify, having dreams is not a bad thing. Desiring to be in a relationship or have a family is not bad. Hoping to get a good position at a job is not bad. They only become bad when they take the place that only Jesus should have and become an idol. God wants to give you the desires of your heart, but first He wants to become the desire of your heart. Matthew 6:33 says “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” We are called to seek God before we seek anything else we desire.

Here are some points to remember as we go throughout our week and strive to put God first.

  1. It’s not about you – Recently, God has convicted me that I have unintentionally made my aspirations about me. The ironic part about all of this is, many of my goals pertain to ministry—things that are supposed to further His kingdom and reach people for Christ.  Nonetheless, I’ve somehow managed to turn these callings into what ‘I’m’ going to do.’ I’m’ going to change the world. ‘I’m’ was going to leave my mark. I’ve made God’s callings about me rather than God, and I repent of that. Sometimes, we can make ministry and outreach the focus, rather than an outpouring of the One who should be our focus.
  2. Everything but Christ will someday fade – Moments don’t last forever. Someday, that goal that you’re working so hard for will only be a past memory. Someday, that wedding day celebration that you’re planning on Pinterest will only be a photo in an album. Someday, that glamorous job will loose some of that excitement it once had. The only thing we can chase that will never fade away is Christ, Who is outside of space and time. 
  3. Let Go And Let God – I know, this saying is beyond cliche—but it’s true. In the words of a recent Jason Gray song “You can’t add a single day by worrying…You can’t change a single thing by freaking out, It’s just gonna close you in, Oh don’t let the trouble win.God is going to do things in His timing, which is often different than our timing. There have been many times in my own life where I’ve wanted something to happen right. this. instant. Usually, in those situations, God tells me to wait. I’ve found that when I listen, and wait on His timing, it’s always for the best.

How about you? What are some things you’ve been chasing? I’d love to hear your thoughts and stories in the comments section!