On Why I Worship, Who I Live For, and the Savior Who Rescued My Soul

On Why I Worship, Who I Live For, and the Savior Who Rescued My Soul.png 

In the midst of your pain, in the midst of your darkness, in the midst of the terrifying paths in front of us that we call the future – you’re so radically and beautifully loved. May we never lose sight of that.

 

i.

 

I sit peacefully on the porch, one leg curled under me, guitar resting on the other. I feel the cool breeze of the evening in my hair, the summer mosquitoes swarming around my feet, and I unwind as my fingers dance up and down the familiar strings.

 

And in the stillness, the quiet, the only solitude I’ve had all day, one thing comes to my mind – Worship Him. The Savior. Continue reading

Celebrating Life (with LIVE RECORDED SONG + annual survey)

Celebrating Life (with LIVE RECORDED SONG + annual survey).png

I absolutely, positively, love life.

 

Not that it’s easy, or pain-free, or pleasant all the time. It’s not.

 

But after a long string of posts about God feeling so far away, and finding hope in pain, and saying no, and inadequacy, and doubting God’s promises, and searching for meaning – I think we need a post on celebrating life.

 

Sometimes we wake up in the mornings, with a to-do list a mile long, a mess to clean up, and stress to deal with – and it’s honestly rather difficult at times.

 

But what if we decided to wake up with joy?

Continue reading

Joy in Anything

Joy in Anything.png

 

Happy Tuesday, friends!

 

Back in January, I wrote a post called Don’t Regret Where You Are. Honestly, it’s one of my favorite posts I’ve written on Scattered Journal Pages. (Go check it out if you haven’t read it yet!)

 

It came from a time when I was really questioning who I was. I don’t mean that I was feeling that when I wrote it, but I did deal with those feelings for a few years. That voice in my head that whispered to me when I was in the middle of so many changes, saying “Am I really doing what I’m supposed to?”

 

So today, while I’m not experiencing this question in my mind, I thought I’d talk about the flipside of this equation. Not just refraining from regretting what you’ve done and resenting where you are, but thriving in the place that you’re in and finding joy it.

 

When I was five, I told my cousin I wanted to be an actress and a singer when I grew up. Am I an actress? Not by any stretch, though I like to pretend I am. (That and a secret agent. But that’s a story for another time.) But am I a singer? Well, kind of. What once terrified me is what I now do on a regular basis, in front of real live people at church.

 

And when I think about this, as much as it can make me happy, it’s accompanied by a bittersweet feeling. Because as much as I do love music, and practically live at my piano, I haven’t played my guitar in a whole year. *winces*

 

And sometimes, that just upsets me. I taught myself how to play when I was twelve, and I’ll be sixteen on Saturday. (*insert happy dance*) I played guitar almost every day. I led worship every other week for my youth group with one of my closest friends.

 

I played guitar for three years…and then I just kind of stopped. Don’t get me wrong, I loved it. But now, it seems I don’t have the time to pick up one more thing – or even the motivation.

 

And so many times I equate what I can do with my self-worth. It’s absolutely ridiculous, I know. But don’t we all do it?

 

Sometimes I tell myself that if I were to have kept up with guitar, playing local venues regularly, I would have gotten “discovered,” or something like that.

However, if I hadn’t played the piano so much instead, I wouldn’t necessarily have been able to do music at my church, because the worship is piano-based.

 

And whenever I hear those whispers in my head that tell me I’m doing the wrong thing and could be better off doing something else, I have to shut them down and replace them with truth.

 

Because if there’s one thing I’ve learned this year, it’s that there is a time for everything. Just like Ecclesiastes 3 says.

 

If I had chosen different things to fill my time this year, I would not have gotten the incredible opportunities that I have now.

 

So many things have changed in my life this year, and I’ve had to just roll with them. But instead of looking at all the differences as miserable, I can find joy in all things, as Philippians 4 show us.

 

Because God’s power is not affected by our weakness.

 

His love is not dependent on our performance.

 

His grace is never invalidated by our doubts.

 

God’s presence is not determined by our faithfulness, but on His character.

 

His promises are unconditional.

 

And His plans are always best.

 

And no matter what we choose to do, God will be with us through it.

 

Instead of moping in what we’re going through, we should make the best of it. When difficulty rolls in, let us use those times as chances to grow. Chances to trust God more. To know Him even when darkness surrounds us.

 

Jeremiah 29:11 says,

 

“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.”

 

God works through the choices we make. Instead of regretting what we did or didn’t do, let us see our lives as beautiful.

 

Let us look for God’s hand in everything we encounter, and see trials through the eyes of someone who can grow through them.

 

And instead of filling ourselves with bitterness over where we are, let us find joy in the incredible grace of God.

 

*aj