Posts tagged Encouragement
The One Thing That Will Set You Apart in this Generation

The number of people I hear complaining about their present situation in life is fascinating. While there are undoubtedly circumstances that are uncontrollable, the majority of these complaints are centered around things that are totally within their realm of influence. Of course, I make these judgements not merely based on my observations of others, but on an attitude of which I myself am all too familiar:

Passivity.

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What a Toothache Taught Me About Worship

I just saw Ann Voskamp” was not the first thing I thought I would hear after getting through the LGA airport security. I scanned my friend’s face as I would a map for some specific direction on our search for Ann, but we were dumbfounded. In one excited breath, Bethany described the sight of Ann’s adopted baby, and her slight remorse of not having the courage to introduce herself while she could have. I remembered the book inside my guitar bag was “The Broken Way,” and it was no coincidence that what I chose to read on my way to the Delight Retreat was written by the same woman that stood barefoot with Bethany, waiting for the very same normal and mundane airport frisk.

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The Search for True Joy

It’s something everyone is longing for, craving, desperately searching for, and can’t live without.

Joy. “We have it over here!” The world cries in our ears, loud enough to deafen even our own thoughts and ideas. We see the smiles and hear the laughter and tell ourselves, “This is what I’ve been looking for.” This must be joy. So we join in, slowly at first, but soon enough we’re diving head first into a life that we’ve been told will bring us joy.

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In Relentless Pursuit of My Passion

 

Passion.

I’ve always heard that word and felt super inspired. Like wow. Yes, passion, let’s do this thing! But do you ever feel like your “passion” isn’t going anywhere, or isn’t ever enough?

I’ve been pursuing a professional career in the performing arts since I was nine, and even before I knew exactly how to categorize it, I could feel a calling deep inside me: a passion.

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When You Don't Feel Qualified

Sometimes I feel I’ve lost my voice. Sometimes I feel like I have nothing to say, no encouragement to give—like I’m in a stuck place and can’t free myself, let alone help someone else find their way. And I wonder why God has called me to this: to be a writer, encourager, empathizer, counselor. To be a counselor, you must be wise and strong and patient. I think I am these things, but then I watch my interactions with people around me, and I cringe. I am selectively selfless—kind to those I want to be kind to, nice to those who are nice to me.

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When You Feel Abandoned by God

There is a reason why I don’t talk about God very much when I talk about mental illness. I think it’s because I’ve felt its sting myself. On hard days—days where panic rose in surges like a loose wire inside my chest, where I felt as though something inside my head had caved in and all the lights had gone out—I would try to express this struggle, try to ask for help.My well-meaning fellow believers would not quite understand what it felt like to spend my days holding darkness at bay so that I could get dressed, do my work, go out in public and smile and make meaningless conversation. Often they would hear this side of me, a side they could not quite connect with, the healthy-looking girl in front of them, and they would try to heal an unfamiliar ache with something familiar to them...

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Single with a Side of Creme Brulee

How many times I'd hovered on the edge of a pool of golden light, craving to step into its glow. Afraid to because I hadn't been invited – figuratively and literally. I stopped this time, unable to leave. I had wrapped up dinner with friends earlier than expected and had decided to wander around the historic downtown of the city with just my sister for company before heading home. Now my sister and I lingered here on this odd bit of cobblestone street, tethered by longing to this sight; a hot day had steamed away into cool darkness. The French bistro tucked into the row of darling shops had expanded tonight to include a pop-up outdoor cafe. A square of white picket fencing, two-top tables, gentle globe lighting. The rest of the cobbled street seemed lately deserted. Adorable couples occupied the few tables while Ella Fitzgerald's voice soothed over them from some hidden speaker.

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What Being Home for Christmas Truly Means

The glimmer of my tiny Christmas tree lights shimmer and I exhale, writing this to you.We are about to celebrate the greatest of all miracles in a few short days – God coming to earth. It is truly a miracle, that God came down to get us.

There are just some times and some seasons that we realize, we don’t know how to save ourselves. And some days, we don’t remember the way home. And then in the softest of those moments, we hear God draw us near.

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Victory on the Dance Floor

When I was in 6th grade, I went to my very first dance.  I watched as all of the boys and girls found partners, and began swaying an arms length apart from each other.  My mom had insisted on coming to the dance with me, and she made it clear that if I wanted to go, she had to go to. I learned in that moment, that boys don’t ask girls to dance if their mom is hovering over them.  I think mom knew that. And I also think that’s why dad bought me a huge wrist corsage that night.  He knew the night was a big deal for me, and he wanted me to have something pretty to stare at just in case no one asked his little girl to dance.

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How I Faced My Biggest Bully

I met this girl many years ago, although I don’t really remember how or when she became such a huge influence in my life. Nonetheless, here we are. She’s ruthless, cold-blooded, and extremely detrimental. She’s insulting and, frankly, she’s just annoying, and I can’t seem to get her words out of my head. I know I should just let her comments roll off my back, but they seem to come with a weight that I cannot carry on my own. She and I grew up together. In fact, we used to be really great friends. We’ve been through everything together. She used to give me great advice and comfort me when things weren’t going the way they should. She never left my side. We kept each other’s secrets and shared each other’s stories. Our conversations would go on for hours on end, causing many sleepless nights. She adored me.

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When People-Pleasing Goes Wrong

People-Pleaser.

I’m pretty sure if I were to have a phrase tattooed on my forehead, it would be “people-pleaser.” I know there are many of you who are reading this saying, “Yup! That’s me too!” Now in a way, people-pleasing can be a great thing. Jesus commands us to help and serve one another in love and without ceasing (1 John 3:17-18). So in a sense, it can be translated to “giver.”

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