Why The Christian Life is A Lot like Play-Doh

The Christian Life is A Lot like Play-Doh

Last summer, I was at one of my best friends’ house, talking with her mom and though I don’t remember what about, I do remember saying “But I don’t like change!”

To which she replied, “Oh honey. the Christian walk is all about change. Changing from a lifestyle of sin to one that follows after Christ; Changing from living in the flesh to living in Christ!”

I’ll admit, at first, her response didn’t sit well with me. I didn’t want to be “put in my place”. 

It wasn’t really until the last couple of years since graduating high school that I’ve had to deal with change.

I’ve lived in the same house my entire life. Went to the same church, same school, same…EVERYTHING! 

Change? Yeah…not really something I experienced.

I’m a planner. I’ve planned everything from my future college, future wedding, future family, future home, vacations… I. Like. Plans.

They make me feel safe, comfortable and like there’s a measure of continuity. 

Most of all, I really don’t like when my plans are changed-even if it’s just going to Starbucks…don’t mess with my plans! They’re my plans and I want it.

And then I realized that that is just the problem…

They’re my plans and the things want and then I don’t leave any room for Christ and his plan and the things he wants for my life.

 ” “My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the Lord. “And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine. For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so my ways are higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts.” ” Isaiah 55:8-9 (Emphasis Added)

“We can make our plans, but the Lord determines our steps.” Proverbs 16:9

Have you ever heard the saying “Blessed are the flexible for they shall not be broken/bent out of shape?”

It may not be from the Bible, but it is so true!

The Christian walk is a lot like play-doh. When it’s soft, it’s mold-able; the creator can make it into what they see fit. But, if it dries out, it gets hard and the creator can’t do anything with it.

The Christian walk

When we resist change, our hearts harden like dried out play-doh and God can’t mold us into his image. But, when we are flexible, God can mold our hearts and use us to further his kingdom!

No, change isn’t always comfortable. Sometimes it means stepping out into the unknown. But, it also means having the opportunity to trust Christ and that what he’s doing and his plans are greater than ours. And this, in turn, will lead to a deeper more intimate relationship with him!

Have you been rejecting the change that God has been trying to make in your life?

Take a minute and pray that God will soften your heart and help you trust him that these changes-whether big or small-are in your best interest!

XoXo,

~Kristen~

Coming Changes

coming changes

Over the last couple of months, I haven’t been as busy on here as I could (and should) have been. In fact, I’ve had a few people notice as much and ask me what was going on.

Well, it’s actually been getting quite busy for me-summer always does! But, aside from that there have been some other changes and decisions that have taken the forefront of my mind.

Over the last couple of months or so, I’ve actually been feeling God shift some things with this ministry. I’ve been feeling things change for a while now, but I haven’t been sure exactly what those things were or how things were going to change with it. 

So, I’ve just been taking a little extra time to think and pray over these unidentified changes. Until recently…

You see, I’m not a sit-behind-a-computer-ministry kind of person (don’t get me wrong, I LOVE doing this, but it’s just not the true me). I’m a go-getter. I want to do. I want to be the physical hands and feet of Jesus. Getting right in the midst of things. Getting my hand dirty. (Growing up on a farm has that effect!) And lately, I’ve just been restless. knowing that I’m not living up to the full ministerial potential that God has put in me. Basically I miss physical interactive ministry.

Let me explain myself better; I’ve always been ‘mission minded’. I would go to church and hear big talk about the need and call to go out into the community and reach out to them, but when that didn’t happen, to say the least, I would quite get fired up. When I was in high school, I tried getting my youth group to do some sort of outreach in the high school. Something simple like giving candy bags out to the students during lunch break. Just getting the church youth doing something that would open up the doors to share Jesus with the community youth.

But, none of the adults that were involved with the church youth wanted to do that-or they just didn’t have the time to do it. 

Here’s the reason I’m telling you this. I’ve been praying over Unfading Beauty Ministries a lot lately, asking God where he wants it to go, and he has reminded me that the goal wasn’t to sit here and type ice words and nothing else. The goal of Unfading Beauty Ministries has always been-and will always be-to go and reach people for Christ. 

By this point, you’re probably wondering why I’m telling you this. Well, I write this because I want you to be aware of some of the changes that are going to be coming up.

First is a new website (hopefully we’ll have it launched by early to mid September). A new season of new changes calls for a new, fresh look!

Second is being more focused on doing more physical ministry. I’m praying that God will open up the doors for me to do more speaking engagements (if you’re interested in having me speak at your event, you can check out the Speaking Inquiries page for more info!) I’m also going to start planning the first ever Unfading Beauty Ministries Conference for Young Women! And pretty much just doing more outreach and follow the Great Commission:

Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.” Matthew 28:19

 

When you realize that you aren’t really fulfilling your full potential and calling, you find yourself worrying-at least that was the case for me!

I haven’t always been a fan of change. Change means that you have to step out into new and potentially uncomfortable situations, and after a high school career of uncomfortable situations, to say the least, I’m not a fan. However, as my friend’s mom told me a year ago: without change you can’t grow and without growth, God can’t use you. (Talk about a wake-up call!)

So, over the next several months, there are going to be some big changes; potentially even change in some of the content on this blog (don’t worry, it won’t be anything too outlandish! **wink**wink**)

So, at the end of this all, I would ask for your prayers that God will continue to reveal to me where he wants for this ministry to go!

XoXo,

~Kristen~

 

Does Your Social Media Testify that You’re Set Apart for God?

Does Your Social Media Testify that God Had Set Apart-

I have a love/hate relationship with social media. It has helped my keep in touch with far off family and friends, but it is also one of the biggest anxiety makers as well.

Recently, I’ve been noticing something that has, to be quite frank, disturbed me.

And, unfortunately, it’s something I’ve witnessed countless numbers of times over the last coupe of years. You see, I watch as people profess to being a Christian and then turn around and quite willingly cuss-some even cuss in the same post as they profess Christ’s goodness, or writing (more like bragging, actually) about how they got (or are currently) incredibly drunk.

Before you start indignantly saying, “Um…except nobody’s perfect,” hear me out.

I’m not talking about new Christians who are still in the early stages of learning these things, I’m talking about people who, for many years, have been professing to be a set apart young person.

I believe that one of the biggest difficulties of modern society is that, in an effort to try to stay relevant, we are forgetting that God has called us to live set apart. To live, speak and act different from the rest of the world.

“Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.” Romans 12:2 (NLT)

While it is important to stay up-to-date so you can relate to people, it’s also necessary to remember that if you act so much like non-Christians, it’s inevitable that eventually, people will end up looking at how you’re acting and start to question and think “why do I need to “get saved” if they act the same way I do now?”

Here’s a bit about what the Bible says:

“With the Lord’s authority I say this: Live no longer as the Gentiles do, for they are hopelessly confused. Their minds are full of darkness; they wander far from the life God gives because they have closed their minds and hardened their hearts against him. They have no sense of shame. They live for lustful pleasure and eagerly practice every kind of impurity. But that isn’t what you learned about Christ. Since you have heard about Jesus and have learned the truth that comes from him, throw off your old sinful nature and your former way of life, which is corrupted by lust and deception. Instead, let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes. Put on your new nature, created to be like God—truly righteous and holy.”

Ephesians 4:17-24 (NLT) (Emphasis Added)

It burdens my heart to watch young people say one thing and then act the other. How are you speaking? Are the words you’re using-and the topics speaking of-going to bring honor and glory to God and be a testament that he has transformed you and set you apart, or are they going to confuse people who see you write one thing one moment, but then say or be something completely the next?

“You must be holy because I, the LORD, am holy. I have set you apart from all other people to be my very own.” Leviticus 20:26

“Don’t use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them.”

Ephesians 4:29 (NLT)

Let me present this thought to you; Speaking encouragement isn’t just about speaking kind words to uplift someone. Speaking encouragement is also about speaking in such a manner that it encourages unbelievers to desire to know what it is that makes you want to speak in such a pure way.

Speaking encouragement

I want to challenge you to take a few minutes and prayerfully go through your social media-whether it be  Facebook, Instagram, a Blog you have, Twitter, Tumblr, Snap Chat…etc… and let God convict you of the things that could be/are causing harm to your testament of Faith and belief in Christ; the things (words, statements, actions…etc) that make people wonder if what you say about believing in Jesus is really real.

No, people aren’t perfect, but, as Christians, we need to let God transform us. We need to heed his word so that when we testify about our faith, people won’t question it.

So, let God transform you from the inside out. Remember, that is where Unfading Beauty originates in our spirit, heart and mind. For, what is in the heart, will flow out into every aspect of our lives-so let Christ and his word be what you are putting into your heart, it’s the best thing that a person could ever do-for them self, for others and most importantly, so that the Glory of God will be seen in and through you!

XoXo

~Kristen~

What Do You Do When God Changes The Desires of Your Heart?

hearts-desire

Lately, I’ve been noticing a lot of changes in me. More specifically, changes in my heart’s desires. 

Recently, I had a very part-time, very temporary job as a cook/dishwasher at local diner. On my second last day, I had a thought that came out of nowhere, “I think I’m ready to be okay with the idea of being a house wife/stay-at-home mom if that’s what God calls me to,” 

or me, this thought represents a big shift in the desires of my heart-as well as my thinking. For many, many years I’ve wanted nothing to do with staying at home full time-no matter whom it was for. I always equated it with being like a caged bird. That I wouldn’t get to go out and be free to have “me-time”. The thing is, as Christians, we are called to lives of surrender, sacrifice and selflessness-a life of servanthood.

Another thing that God has been changing my heart about is where I live. For as long as I can remember, I’ve always wanted to move-to leave the small town I’ve grown up in. Then. one day this last week, I woke up with one prayer in my heart, “Lord, I’ll go-or stay-wherever you want me to be,” 

Lastly, one other area God has been transforming my heart’s desires is in the area o my future husband–whomever he may be. For the majority of my teenage-and now into my twenties-I’ve had a long list of “necessary qualifications” my future husband must meet. But recently, I realized that I was starting to think that many of these qualifications on my list seemed frivolous and unnecessary. In the end, I have realized that there are only 2 necessary qualifications that I desire:

  1. He must love Jesus above all else
  2. He loves Me (and our future children) in the way the Bible calls him to

“Delight Yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart. Psalm 37:4

This is a verse that is referred to so often in Christian circles-and we even pray it over our lives-but then when God actually starts transforming and replacing our desires with his, we are at a loss as to what to do and how to handle it.

I don’t know about you, but when I realized all the shifts  and changes in my heart’s desires, it scared me. Part of me felt like I was losing an integral part of myself. I’ve invested so much time and energy into these dreams. I mean, they’re my desires. My wishes. Things that I want. Then it hit me, my plans and dreams and wishes pale in comparison to what He wants for my life.

” “For my thoughts are not your thoughts and neither are your ways my ways.” Declares the Lord. “As the heavens are higher than the earth; so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” ” Isaiah 55:8-9

So, how does one handle God changing the desires of your heart? 

I think it comes down to two things: First is Faith and Trust. We need to trust that God is doing a good thing in us. that we are living life out according to what he is calling us to-even thought it may be something that we didn’t want at first. Second is spending time in his presence. Reading his word.

Change is an inevitable part of life, but, I think it can be even harder when the change is occuring in a place as sacred and deep as the heart. A place where we invest so much emotion and time.

When we want to live out our lives according to God’s will;  when we ask for him to give us the desires of our heart, we better be prepared for him to do just that. And sometimes, that means being willing to let him transform our desires to things that we may not have desired before.

transform-our-desires

I recently read a story about a woman who didn’t want to have kids, but her husband did. She was afraid for a myriad of reasons, so, after much prayer and asking God to give her heart his desires rather than hers, she realized one day, that she was ready to try to have children.

Maybe you are fearful of the desires God might place in your hearts. And that’s okay. Fear causes us to lean less on ourselves and our own devices and more on Christ. It’s the living in fear rather than surrendering it and leaning on Jesus for strength that will cause heartache. Leaning on fear and holding it closely to our chest causes anxiety and stress. Leaning on Jesus in the midst of fear causes us to trust him more. And, the more we trust him, the more faith we have to let him transform us into the person he wants us to be.

I’ll leave you with this verse-of which is my prayer for all of you.

“I pray that your hearts will be flooded with light so that you can understand the confident hope he has given to those he called—his holy people who are his rich and glorious inheritance.” Ephesians 1:18

XoXo,

~Kristen~