Coping With Myself

We all have our faults; we all wish we could be more productive sometimes and that just doesn’t happen. We wish we could concentrate more and learn more, and strive to being able to pay attention in the most boring class. Coming towards the last week of classes for the semester before finals, you realize just how bad you want it to be oIMG_0683ver. Literally, I have 3 class days left, that’s it and it’s all that I can think about.

But I also cannot stop thinking about the stress I have right now to finish those last 3 papers and push through those 2 finals. Yeah, welcome to my world of being an English major. (insert eye roll emoji) I have stress on top of stress, and people can see it and feel it. But seriously, do I have the right to complain? I have an awesome support system and a lot of things to be thankful for, and all I can think about is ‘am I going to get all of these papers turned in on time????’

The answer is yes. Yes because I will “Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass.” Psalms 37:5. Because I believe, He will provide for me and carry me every stressful step of the way, not matter how much He wants to tell me to do it on my own He won’t. He won’t ever leave my side as long as I follow Him. Why is that so hard for us to understand sometimes??

“But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.” Isaiah 40:31. This is one that I need to work on desperately because I do not know when to let go and let Him take control. No matter how much a professor may pile on me during the last week of the semester, how much work stress I have while doing all the school work, or how much actual life happens, I need to let Him take control and fly.

We are all trying to run this race and we cannot see the finish line. I can see my graduation next spring, but I don’t see the almost perfect life that I will have. I can’t see it because I am not patient, “Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us.” Hebrews 12:1. We need to stop worrying about what is going to happen one or two or five years from now; God wants us to focus on the here and now and let Him take care of the rest. It’s only His business anyways 😉 . He tells us to “Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.” Isaiah 41:10.

Sometimes you just want to run away from all of your problems and hide from them, or tear them apart and wish they weren’t your dreams to begin with. But if we just stick to God and follow Him we won’t have to think about throwing our dreams and aspirations away, and we won’t have to hide from our problems. God’s got this, why won’t you just let Him take control?

The Shack Discussion: Reviewing God

               I’m not real sure how to start this blog because of the topic for this one. It may be a little controversial to some, and confusing to others. I’ve recently finished the book called The Shack by WM. Paul Young. Many of you are probably anticipating the moment you get to see this movie for the depiction it gives, it looks like an amazing movie to go see, but now that I’ve read the book I don’t want to go see the movie. The summary on the back of the book sums it up to be a life changing and altering book. Mackenzie Allen Philip’s, or Mack, lost a daughter named Missy to her being kidnapped by “The Lady Killer”. Which is a true story, I looked it up, but Mack blames himself for her death because it was on his watch, so “Papa” or God, puts a note in his mailbox one day for him to come back to the shack where they believe the killer brought Missy to have a weekend there, and of course Mack thinks it’s some kind of joke, but he goes anyways. And Mack has this dream/vision type thing that he meets God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit and it changes his life with what they show him. But get this, God is represented as a woman in this book, which blows all of our perceived presumptions of God out of context because you know God is a Father, our Father, He created the world and man, not she. But “God” in Mack’s vision starts out as a woman because Mack has father problems, and “God” tells him that he needs to forget about his perceptions of what man has made his appearance to be and do not focus on that. I get it. No one knows what God or Jesus looks like, but I wholeheartedly do not think that they should have shown God as a woman in this book in that image because it is not who He is, even if Mack has relationship problems with his earthly father.
But that’s just one thing that this book got me fired up about. God is love, but God is also punishment and wrath. We are to fear the Lord and be obedient unto him to reach salvation. Matthew chapter 7 verses 13-15 (KJV), “Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth to life, and few there be that find it. Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly they are ravening wolves.” The Shack is promoting the idea that God is only love, and to know God you must only love, which teaches forgiveness. God doesn’t want you to fear Him and live your life obediently to Him, He wants you to live your life to fullest with no concern as long as you have a “relationship” with Him. I was appalled! Yes, love God with everything you have, to love is Jesus’ greatest commandment, but one does need to live obediently to God the Father and live your life abundantly closer to Him showing Him in everything you do. But you should also fear if you are not obedient, “Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.” Philippians 2:12-13 (KJV).
The book has “god” state that he doesn’t punish people, he has no expectations or anyone, and the books jesus denies that his life is meant to be an example for others. If all of this was true, our path to salvation would be a whole lot easier, now wouldn’t it? I am using a blog that has collected articles about this book that other believers have put together to point out the false doctrine that is pouring out of this book, biblelovenotes.blogspot.com, if you would like to see where I am getting some help of page numbers and other stuff. On page 123, God the Father says, “I don’t need to punish people for their sin. Sin is its own punishment, devouring you from the inside. It’s not my purpose to punish it, it’s my joy to cure it.” Yes, sin is a punishment that we all endure because we are human. Yes, God wants to cure us of our sins, but you will be punished for your sin if you do not repent for them (in the correct way), which is left out of the book. Towards the end of the book, God talks about loving someone enough will lead them to repent for their sins and ask for forgiveness, but it never mentions baptism. You must repent, confess your obedience to Christ, and be baptized to wash away your sins. “One Lord, one faith, one baptism, One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all” – Ephesians 4:5-6(KJV) (If you haven’t read and studied Ephesians you should, it’s one of my absolute favorites). And to continue your faith in Christ, “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;” – Romans 3:23-25 (KJV). Acts 3:19 (KJV) says, “Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord;”
The one thing that I have been taught from the beginning is that we are told to live more like Jesus, to follow Him as our guide to salvation, and to seek him every day. The Shack has it jesus deny his life is to be an example for others. On page 158 of my book, “jesus” says, “Seriously, my life was not meant to be an example to copy. Being my follower is not trying to ‘be like Jesus’, it means your independence is killed.” He goes on to say that he will not force anything on us about living in him and with him, but the thing that stands out here is the fact that they say that we are not supposed to live like Christ! “He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him. He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked.” – 1 John 2:4-6 (KJV). And there are many other verses that I do not have time to name right now that tell us that we should live more like Christ every day, even though none of us will reach perfection like Jesus; if we stay steadfast in Him, every day, we will reach heaven with him and be made perfect there.
So, in summary, I recommend this book to someone who wants to cry emotionally at the true horror story that this man lived through with his daughter that went missing and for someone who is strong in the faith so that they may not be lead astray to some falsehood. And if you truly want to read this book to see what I am talking about, please study it. Study it to find out if it is true, study it to find out the truth because you may never know when you are being led to something that isn’t even taught in the Bible as the correct way. Ask questions, be curious of the truth, even if it may ruin your view on what you think is already right, look into it further for you can never stop learning about what Christ has to teach us each and every day. If you have any questions or comments or suggestions you are free to comment on my website, I would appreciate it even because I am always learning new ways to grow closer to God.

To The Man That Stole My Heart

Our one year anniversary in a few days, can you believe it??? People continuously ask us how we met, and we tell them of that day that you messaged me on Facebook and it all started from there… Not ideal to start talking through Facebook because hey you could’ve been a psychopath, but it all worked out in our favor :). I was nervous about meeting you because I hadn’t been in a relationship in a while and I was pretty set in my ways that I was going to be single for a while, and then you came along and changed everything.

Our first date started out perfect, you came to my moms to pick me up. You even came inside to meet her like the gentleman you are, and this was the first time we were meeting each other face-to-face because we had only known each other on the phone by this point. I was nervous, but not my usual nervous. I knew at that moment you hugged me hello that something important was fixing to happen in my life. We talked, or you talked all the way to Fort Smith, and I tried to keep up with you and how little I talk. We watched a movie first because we weren’t hungry yet, and it was the only time I think you stayed awake the whole time during a chick-flick :). We went to Texas Roadhouse after because who doesn’t love steak and bread(??), and it’s all going well. It’s late and the food doesn’t turn out as good and it’s loud in the restaurant so we aren’t getting to really talk to each other much unless we caught a break. I don’t remember talking much on the way home, but when we arrived back at moms neither one of us started to get out of your truck. I didn’t want to, I just wanted to be around you longer, and I think you did too. We stayed in the dodge until what felt like 4 in the morning talking, but who knows what the time actually was. But I wasn’t tired, I was infatuated.

I didn’t know then that you would change my life, but I am so abundantly thankful that you walked into my life at just the right time. I wouldn’t be the happiest girl in the world with out you, and I know for sure I wouldn’t be going to church every Sunday and Wednesday without your support. God knew what he was doing when he placed you in my life; I feel like I got a two for one deal and scored huge on it :). Ecclesiastes 3:1 says, “To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven”. We were placed into each others lives at the most perfect time, and I cannot thank God enough for you.

From the many surprises that started from day one and all the goofiness of your personality to you wanting to make things romantic and cheesy and perfect for me. To new dates and new adventures to you spending time with my family even if I am not even in town. From you offering to take pictures with me because you know I love them so much to you taking me to eat Mexican once a week (or more) 🙂 even if you’re tired of it.  You have shown me new things and adventures, and have shown me a new way to be happy with myself and to love even stronger everyday Zach.

My absolute favorite verses are 1 Corinthians 13:4-7, “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.” You help me love better everyday by the example you set for me, by the way you treat everyone around you and how understanding you are to every situation. You are the one for me, forever and ever…and ever 🙂

Happy Anniversary Love!

Always Yours.

The Struggle Is Real.

This week has been the longest ever…oh wait, it’s only Wednesday! How that is even possible with the week I’ve had I do not know, and to say that it’s been stressful is an understatement. This week has been awful, antagonizing, tearful, overwhelming, and just needs to be thrown in the trash. Period. End of discussion. Welcome to Midterm Week and getting those grades back that you so dread. I’ve never been the one to hop on the struggle

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Silas’ face here depicts the week.

bus of Midterm Week, and I didn’t think I would this semester either because I’ve just been floating along like it’s been a ride along the lazy river. I really thought I was doing well this semester, and even thought I was doing a great job on my exams/papers. Well welcome to reality Bailey, just when you think you’re going up, college has a way of sneaking up on you and kicking you in the butt.

 

I mean I’m not failing, but I am doing worse than I ever have in all of my school years. I got a D on a midterm for my Shakespeare class this week, I accepted it because I knew that I hadn’t done all the reading. It was my own fault, I know I can do better, but it’s a punch in throat to see it. I know I can get a solid B in the class if I just kick it into gear these next 7 or so weeks. (I have no idea how much longer I have till this semester is over, nor do I want to look and see how much more dread I have to go through.) I also forgot about a 100-point assignment this week that I thought wasn’t due till the end of the week, apparently not, it was just my imagination trying to spread things out further to make it seem less stressful. Hey brain, could you like get your stuff together so I can start progressing at all the things I need to be doing??? So now I just have to accept that zero because I have no lame excuse for my online teacher to cut me some slack, plus I may be afraid of him already and I’ve never met the guy.

And then today, I get back my term paper grade for my Linguistics class (yes, the name is just as bad as the actual class, dang communications minor), and it’s a C. I’m happy with it. It was a group paper so that was difficult in itself. We had to pick a language that we had no experience with and research the basic sentence structure and history from our informant and possibly one other source because he didn’t want to much conflicting research done. Uh ok, that’s when it gets hard. And you expect your teacher to have some slack on all of you because you’re studying a language you know nothing about and you’re trying to understand the basis of it, but no. No slack. The comments I got back on my paper started with MAJOR PROBLEM!!!. Uhh, ok then, thanks for the encouraging words on how awesome we did on trying to understand a foreign language!

If you’re bored by now I’m sorry, but I do have a point as to why I am writing this. It’s for me and for you.

1 Peter 5:7 says, “Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.” Even though this week has gone down the drain, all I need to keep thinking about is the love and care that God has granted me. He’s still here, watching over me every day, with every bad and good grade I get. I just need to look to him when I get discouraged about succeeding, and pray that He will guide me to what I want to achieve.

John 16:33, “These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation; but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.”

Psalms 118:8, “It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man.”

Romans 12:2, “And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”

Psalms 27:1, “The Lord is my light and salvation; whom shall I fear? the Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?”

It’s Wednesday, I get to go home to Ozark and go to church with Zach and see a bunch of friendly faces that make my week better. I don’t have to be at work at 7 a.m. for the first time in two months tomorrow, instead I get to hang out at moms’ house for a little bit. I only have one class Friday before spring break starts, and I got a morning shift Saturday so I get to start spring break earlier than I thought I would have. The I’ll be off school and work for almost 5 days. And the sun is shining today. Look at the positives, don’t dwell on your trials and tribulations that you may be facing during the day, week, hour or even minute. Think of the wonderful things that you have been blessed with and keep them close to you to keep you going every day. I am pushing those papers and exams to the side, and I am going to win back this semester! 😊

 

 

**As a side note: For a quick Bible verse lookup, if you are looking for something specific, download the app Bible. It’s free, and you can attach a keyboard to your messages that has categories for different emotions and it will give you the most relevant verses to what you are feeling, and will give you some encouragement, if you are needing it.**

Today: The Person I Am Becoming.

I’m figurinIMG_0404g out my life in my junior year of college. I’m almost done with my third year and many questions are coming to my mind, and many others minds. Where am I going? What am I going to do? My plan when I first started college was to become an English teacher and to get my masters in special education. This past year it has been English teacher and minor in communications. Now, I’ve been thinking that I’ll only teach for a few years, no point in going through the university to get my certification, just get it through the state. I don’t want to be in college for another year after I get my degree; who knows this could change, just like I’ve changed my mind multiple times already. I’m ready to start my life with Zach. I’m ready to start my family and settle down. God has shown me the one that I will spend the rest of my life with (hopefully) and people keep trying to discourage me from settling down because they think that my career is more important than being happy with my life.

                But I am happy with my life. I have a wonderful boyfriend, I have God, I have a wonderful family, I am finishing up my goal of graduating from a university with a college degree in the subject that I adore, but people still judge me for wanting one last thing. Starting a family. My goal of teaching the rest of my life was before Zach and I found each other. Things change, plans change. Believe me, when I first realized that I didn’t want to teach the rest of my life anymore, it was quite a shock to me. I kept thinking what will people think of me? Will they think that my degree is now a waste of time now that I am not going to use it the rest of my life? But why do I have to use it that long or at all for that matter? Shouldn’t getting a degree be an accomplishment in itself and whatever I do with it is nobody’s business but my own? I don’t want to disappoint anyone with my decisions, but shouldn’t I pursue something that is fulfilling to me?

                We have discussed it, it wasn’t his decision or just my decision, it was made together. People keep saying to me, “don’t let him control you or make decisions for you”, but he isn’t. I have my own mind, and my life goals are just changing the older and more mature I get. What I have been craving lately has been to start a family; I have been dreaming of staying home with kids (I may be going crazy, who knows). I have always been told that I am a homemaker. I clean, cook, do laundry, wash dishes, take care of kids well, read books, obsessive about keeping a home together (just ask my twin about our apartment). This is all that I want, I want to be successful in my career, yes, but I do not have to teach my life away to be able to feel successful in it. To teach my kids at home may be the most successful thing in my life, or just becoming a mother for that matter. I’m sorry I don’t have the strong feminist mind that a lot of women my age have. It’s just not in me. Ephesians 5: 20-25 points out what I am trying to get at here. My one day husband won’t control me entirely, but I will look to him for guidance just as I do God with God being first. I want my life to be a life based on God and his principles.

                Becoming a mother is a thing of the past these days. A woman isn’t supposed to want to become a mother anymore in the eyes of people my age. They tend to think that if you become a mother then you aren’t going to be able to do anything else, but be a mother. No fun, no love, everything is over. But that’s not what motherhood is. I can have my degree and substitute teach for schools, or I can have a teaching job at a school for a few years before I have children. I can educate my children at home, with that degree that people will think I’m not using, under my supervision, with the Bible being taught in my home too. What’s so wrong with that?? Everything, according to society. That’s what’s wrong with the world. Romans 12:2 says, “And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” God wants us to grow closer to Him, to teach and learn his word, but we people try to discourage and/or take it out of our regular education. The Bible can teach so many things that we need in our everyday lives. To be trustworthy, to not cheat or lie, to honor your parents, to have responsibilities, to know authority and rules. I cannot help feeling like the world is getting more lost and I am seeing it so much more now.

                So many thoughts have come to mind since my life has started to fall into place. If Zach had not come into my life, I honestly do not know where I would be at emotionally and spiritually in my life right now. I feel as if I would be entirely lost and bitter, and more worldly than ever. Zach has brought me into a church that I didn’t know even existed before I knew him, even though there was one on a road I used every single day of my entire life practically, that I continuously passed by. The church of Christ has been a life changer for me, and has made my relationship with God stronger than I have ever had, I cannot be more thankful than I am now. Shouldn’t that be my successful goal in life, to have a meaningful relationship with His church and Him? I have began to pray every day for my success in life (Jeremiah 29:11), and for it to be the path that He wants me to be on. I ask Him to take things out of my life that I do not need, all the things that I have been greedy about, or any evil thing. I have lots of work to do on myself and it will never end, but I feel confident that whatever I pray fervently for, God will provide me with what He thinks I deserve and I will praise Him for those things. Isaiah 41:10 says, “Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.” Philippians 4:6 says, “Be careful for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.”

                Some of you may not like my opinion, you do not have to; I just wanted to get my thoughts out. I know I am very sassy, and I am sorry if my posts offend you in any way. I would like you to take my opinion into consideration though 😊

Why write?

Hello everyone (or at least I hope a few people)! I have wanted to start a blog for a while now, but I have discouraged myself because I have never really thought of myself as a good writer (even though I write papers all the time for school). But lately I haven’t been able to find a reason why I shouldn’t write for me and not worry about what other people think of my writings. It comes easy to me to write about things in my life and the things that I enjoy talking about. I wish it was this easy to write a paper over medieval literature!

My blog, In Between the Lines of Me, will consist of God and my journey closer to Him, things happening in my life that I need to vent about, or other important events happening in my life, or even some important events that I feel the need to write about. I may even throw in some creative things or some yoga stories :).

I hope that you will enjoy my blog and I will welcome any constructive criticism or comments that you have for me. Enjoy!