5 Lessons I Learned in 2015

5 Lessons I Learned in 2015

Hello, everyone! Happy New Year!

 

Wow, I can’t tell you how good it feels to be back to blogging again. It’s only been two weeks, but man, I really missed it!

 

A quick shout-out to all my readers. If it weren’t for you, I wouldn’t be writing. It fills me with such joy to have such amazing feedback day after day and week after week. Thank you for making 2015 – my first calendar year blogging – a huge success.

 

Currently, we’ve hit over 100 posts, over 1,000 comments, over 10,000 page views, and over 160 subscribers. That’s pretty fantastic, in my mind. Keep sharing my posts with your friends!

 

2015 was a very interesting year for me. My faith grew tremendously, and I say that if it wasn’t for this blog, I wouldn’t have grown as much as I have. Here are five lessons I learned in 2015, through the ups and downs.

 

Number One: Life Isn’t Always Easy or Predictable.

 

In my life, things tend to happen without my prior planning or consent. Things just happen, and I have learned to roll with it all. This past year, I’ve learned that though life isn’t predictable, and accidents really do happen, God is unchanging. He doesn’t change like shifting shadows, as it says in the book of James. That’s such a relief for me when everything around me is going crazy!

 

Number Two: God Helps Us Through Everything.

 

I experienced some quite challenging things this year, but looking back, I realize how blessed I am. Not blessed because everything was a breeze, but because God helped me through. Time and time again, God has shown me how faithful He is, even when I am not. Every trial in my life has helped me to put my trust in Him more than I had before. In that way, I am so blessed.

 

Number Three: God Loves to Give Us Good Things.

 

I’ve been blessed with getting to know some online Christian friends very well. I consider this such an amazing gift from God. Just because you haven’t met someone in person, doesn’t mean that they don’t exist! I’ve gotten to Skype, use Google Hangouts, and FaceTime with some absolutely wonderful people this year who have encouraged me in my life and faith. If you are one of these awesome girls, please know that you are so appreciated. Hugs all around.

 

Material and non-material things have a way of brightening up our lives, and God knows this. He loves to give us good gifts because He loves us so much.

 

Number Four: The Gospel is Incredible.

 

Growing up in church, I never saw the Gospel as more than something cool and “I’m glad I get to go to Heaven now.” This past year, in dissecting chunks of the Bible, I’ve learned not to take it for granted. I see it now as such a miracle – the miracle that it is – that Jesus chose to came to earth to save us, when we did not deserve any grace or mercy. We were rebellious and sinful, and He yet offers us forgiveness. Honestly, how can we take that for granted?

 

Number Five: Joy is Not Circumstantial.

 

Joy comes from knowing the love of Jesus, and not from circumstances. We all have things that go on in our daily lives that we can let crush us. Should we become downcast because of unfortunate circumstances? No way. Joy is more than an emotion. Joy is a choice to accept God’s amazing love for us and find peace in all circumstances. Despite whatever may go on, we can have joy. That is amazing.

 

I plan on posting a survey about Scattered Journal Pages soon. I’d like to hear your honest feedback on how I can make my blog better.

 

Now it’s your turn. What have you learned this year? I love reading comments, and whether you’ve been here for two minutes or two months, I can assure you that I read and respond to all comments you leave. I love hearing about your lives! Thanks for letting me share my life with you, and thanks for opening up your lives to me!

 

Happy New Year, everyone. God bless you all.

 

*aj

Advertisements

Four Life Lessons from SoulFest 2015

SoulFest 2015

Good morning, my friends.

Just as a heads up, this post is going to be shorter than usual, for it is already 1:30am on Friday night as I’m starting to write this and I’m exhausted and about to pass out. That delicious chocolate hazelnut coffee I had at 9pm has stopped working, so I’m on the verge of collapsing.

I’ve been at SoulFest in New Hampshire since Thursday, and Friday night I was at an amazing show until midnight. Hehehehe.

So as a tribute to this amazing annual Christian music festival…I’ve gathered up a few life lessons to take home with me and share with you.

  1. The Gospel is NOT something to be ashamed of.

Over and over again, artists and speakers alike are sharing their faith in front of thousands of people. You know why? Because the Gospel changes lives from the inside out. It’s not a cult…it’s a relationship with the Creator of the universe; a relationship that we were made to crave. It’s so amazing, and so inspiring when someone shares their story, because it is so true that we will never be satisfied in life until we know the love of God.

  1. God sees us as beautiful, and there are no mistakes.

We all have a story being written. There are no mistakes written by the pen of God, only beautiful purpose. And beauty comes from broken things, like us. We’re all sinners, saved by the amazing grace of God. We are seen as flawless in the eyes of our Creator, for our being saved has absolutely nothing to do with what we’ve done. His perfection is given to us, for He is the picture of love.

  1. God isn’t finished.

Just because life is dark, it doesn’t mean the night will last forever. The sun hasn’t died. His love for us is as sure as the sun, as is His purpose.

He never will leave or forsake us, and He can see it all. Like a song I heard live today says, “To You, my future is a memory.” (Already There by Casting Crowns)

He isn’t finished. Just keep trusting!

  1. God can use anyone.

Our life purpose doesn’t necessarily have to be singing on a stage in front of thousands of people, or it might be. Our ultimate life purpose is to bring glory to God and others to know Him, so whether that’s singing every day for a living, being a light in your school, raising kids as a stay-at-home-mom, or whatever it may be, God will use all of us. Are we willing?

When I come to full consciousness, I will have more to say. But for now, I do not, and I’m just going to ponder these four truths in my mind for a while (*cough cough* as I sleep).

Enjoy your lovely Saturday. I’m praying for all of you!

*aj