Yo Broz I’ve Fallen, but I Can Get up

It has hit me. But no I do not want it to hit me baby one more time because I cannot afford another break down as it is my hell week in college, and that means I’ve already experienced 98 meltdowns today alone. It has hit me as to why this period of doubt has been occurring. And you have guessed it peeps, I am here to tell you just what that “why” is.

If you are Christian, it is likely that you have heard of John Piper. I listen to one of his sermons ON REPEAT. Seriously on the weekends, on the rowing machine at the gym, in the car, doing the worm, wherever and whenever. This guy knows his stuff. If he were in high school, he would be leader of FCA I’m sure (eye roll because I was never important/knew enough to be a leader in this club(; ) . But he really is invested in his faith. And he says a lot of really great things. I want to make it known he is definitely someone I look up to for his love of Christ.

Because of this one sermon I watched of his on repeat that really spoke to me, I just accepted the fact that he was probably the most Christian guy to walk the earth right now. I thought he was like THE guy. If John Piper walked up to me, I would have been sure there would be a physical halo around his head, and he would be floating and strumming a harp quite nicely. So of course if I ever had a question in regards to Christianity or my life, I would go look up what John Piper had to say about it. Because obviously this trumps going directly to the LIVING Word of God that is so easily accessible to me (#sarcasmpeepz). So basically, it became so clear that I have been idolizing John Piper for so long without even realizing it until this morning. LIKE WHAT, ME, JOHN PIPER IS NOT JESUS. But for some reason I treated him like he was.

But that has changed. Finding out that John Piper’s views on evolution and on abusive relationships COMPLETELY differ from mine really shocked me. But it also opened my eyes to the fact that this man does not know all of the answers (That is not to say that I do either. Please everyone I just heard the story of David and Goliath in full today lmao). He is an incredible man of God no doubt, but he makes mistakes. He says the incorrect things. He is human. He falls short of the glory of God because John Piper is not God.

And that is exactly why depending on others alone will not allow you to stand on solid rock. It will allow you to be misinformed, misinterpreted, and essentially will allow you to be lead so far away from truth that you end up at an AA meeting begging God to give you a sign that He is even real in the first place. I encourage you reading this to instead of going first to your version of John Piper, whoever that may be, I encourage you instead to seek first the kingdom. Seek first Jesus Christ. And you cannot do that without seeking first His Word. TTYL Homiez.

Focus on the Gospel

Since becoming Christian at the middle of high school, I have never really doubted. Of course, I have had the occasional “oh my goodness this seems so unfair” when I put money into a soda machine, and nothing comes out (#rude). But in reality, the Gospel is anything but fair. Jesus dying is not fair. It should be us on that cross. It most definitely should be us.

However, this weekend (well starting Thursday night, but same dif), I found myself up all night. Which is crazy considering I have a prescription for sleeping medicine. I was screaming, crying, worrying, calling my old Bible study leader, calling adults from my high school church, and if I had the Pope’s number, you bet your booties I would have speed dialed him so quickly, too. Here’s why.

I am majoring in special education, therefore I am taking a number of education classes. One class in particular is called Critical Issues in Education. So what do we do in there? Talk about critical issues in education. Duh people. On Thursday afternoon, the topic just so happened to be regarding the Texas State Board of Education. There is a man on the board that is EXTREMELY (and I do mean extremely) literal in his interpretations of the Bible. Which, it is his right to be. But the problem we were discussing is that he is trying to push his beliefs into the wording of various textbooks for public schools. Obviously, this is not acceptable for a multitude of reasons. However, he is finessing the system anyways. If I ever go to jail, no doubt his booty is racing to the judge to be my lawyer. The main thing I want to get across though is that one of the things this man believes is that the earth is 6,000 years old. I have never in my life heard this before. So when I did hear, it really shocked me because of all of the evidence that points against it. My entire class and I, professor included, could not wrap our heads around why he believed it. (I want to emphasize again that people’s beliefs are their beliefs, and they can believe what they want whether or not I do, though).

Blahblahblah, the class ended. Later that night I was meeting up with my friend from Bible study. We were catching up and telling each other what we had been up to earlier that day (duh because that’s what friends do). Anyways, I just want to say that at this time, I was unaware that the earth being 6,000 years old was more than just that one man’s belief. In fact, a large amount of people share that opinion (which again is totally their right). So because I was unaware, I say something like oh you know what was really weird is that I heard today in my education class that this Christian guy believes the earth is 6,000 years old. And of course, you guessed it, I should not have said it that way because in fact, she believes this, too. Which, again, is her right. But for some reason this one thing just kept picking away at my faith. If you struggle with anxiety, you will understand that sometimes you just cannot shake a thought, and that thought takes over your entire mind. From this one thought, I somehow found myself believing that if I did not believe everything the same exact way she did, that it meant that I was actually not Christian (which is untrue).

This one minor topic got me extremely upset and anxious, and if I am being honest, I was (and am wrestling with it still) in a season of doubt for the first time in my Christian life (it has gotten quite a bit better, but I am not that far into the story yet geez people). Finally, after a Thursday night of intensive worries and sadness and fear and doubt, I broke down in the dining hall. Yup, every last brussel sprout was DRENCHED in my salty af tears. You know that feeling where you just want so badly to believe, but you are doubting so much? That was how I felt. #SUE #ME.

A few hours later, I decided to go to the gym because #gainz always relieve some stress for me especially when they come from dank workouts. I was still a complete and utter wreck. I prayed GOD PLEASE IF YOU ARE REAL SHOW ME A SIGN. And I meant it from the bottom of my heart. Before I go on I would just like to say that God and I have a lot of inside jokes, which I will write about in another post. But keep that in mind. So I passed by some church I have never been to, and I see two men inside. I think oh my goodness it is a sign. I must go inside! So here I am, sobbing pretty much, going into this random church facility. I go up to the two men, who were covered in tattoos and leather, and I ask them if they are the priests. Of course because God has my sense of humor and we have inside jokes that I will write about later, these people were not in fact priests. They were there for the AA meeting that was about to start. (seriously LOL) This AA meeting was spiritual, they told me. It was not specifically Christian, but I was desperate and at this point would take any advice from any older figure. They pointed me back to God, but I had been up all night reading and watching videos about specifics, and honestly just needed to talk to someone who knew the Bible a whole lot better than I do.

I was about to leave, but then one of the men told me I could stay and just be around people and listen to the AA meeting because he did not want me to make any rash decisions if I left and was alone with my thoughts. So of course because I just found it hysterical I was at an AA meeting and was also that girl who NEVER drank in high school (different story in college), I stayed for the heck of it. Well thank The Lord I did. When the meeting ended, the same man that invited me told me that the older gentleman that was at the meeting has actually been a minister for the past fifty years and taught religion at well-known university for twenty years. He also said he would be willing to talk with me.

So, let’s say, Ted was this INCREDIBLE man I got to speak with at a Waffle House the next day. I told him everything. Literally every last detail. He was probably bored from the specifics, but I just had to get everything out to him.(luhhh you Ted). And his advice and wisdom CHANGED MY LIFE. He told me that because I live in the South, a lot of people are going to interpret the Bible literally, but it does not make me “not Christian” if I do not view it in the same way. He told me that he doesn’t take a lot of the things in the Bible literally like how I do not, and he still is Christian. And I know that sounds obvious, but it was not to me. And side-note his personal story rocked my world, as well. But it is not mine to tell.

The point of this is that I have never been exposed to open-handed issues in the Bible because I am so, so new to Christianity. It does not come easy for me, and I do not know all that much. Because of this, I did not know people believed things very differently. But, what I did see first-hand is how these differences can wreck faith; it crushed mine for those few days. And what Ted reminded me is that it is the Gospel that is important. These open-handed issues do not change the fact that Jesus died on the cross so that we may have eternal life with Him. They just don’t. And for that, it is well with my soul.

gone, gone, gone (to the theme of that song from American Idol)

There comes a point in time where one will question the purpose of life and the things that they are doing. For many, this occurs after college. After they have outgrown the party phase. After they have gotten their degree. After they hit their midlife crisis. For me, this point happened in 2016 at the end of high school. And while 2016 was without a doubt the most difficult year of my life, I have ultimately developed as a person because of it. For that, I am grateful.

I will spare everyone the details of some of the major crises that were piled on to me this past year because frankly, I do not really think the 43 followers on here care so much as to read through my exact thoughts and feelings. I do not even know if anyone will read through this entire post. But I do want to touch on one thing. That one thing is Jesus.

I do not know if I would have survived this past year if I did not know the Lord. Jesus is hope. And He is home. Life here is not forever, and ultimately, fixing our eyes on worldly things will not get us anywhere. Somewhere in the Bible (not sure where because I am not a nun sorry #notsorry) it says naked we come and naked we leave. We came into this world with nothing. We leave with nothing. Not your career, not your social media following, not your body, not your food, not your clothing, not your new Christmas gifts. Nothing. That in itself should tell you one thing. That focusing on anything pertaining to this world is useless.

Today, I found myself questioning why I am doing the things that I am doing. I found myself asking if the things I am doing are ultimately glorifying the Lord. For a lot of these things, the answer is a bold and astonishing no. And I didn’t even realize it until I took a step back and looked at my life from an eternal standpoint.

For one thing, having multiple social media accounts like my “fitstagram” did not serve any true purpose for me. I spent a lot of time looking at people for no reason really at all. I spent a lot of time liking photos of friends that I did not even really know that well. And we all know I spent a lot of time tagging everyone in dank memes. Basically, that time could have been spent elsewhere, and I am sure something greater than giving Sally her 100th like on her selfie could have come from that time.

I am not saying that now I want everyone and their mothers to delete all of their social media because I did. Also let’s be honest, even if I did, that one family who posts literally 92948 times a day updating people on their every last action on Facebook would downright refuse this request. I am just saying that being more intentional with my time is a great lesson I have learned this year. You never know when you are going to die. You really do not. Time is so precious. You do not get it back. Focus on things above.

Exercising with My Homie J

If you are anything like me, you have an attention span that is shorter than my natural eyelashes. Meaning, it just does not exist. Because of this, doing cardio on any sort of machine is actually the equivalent to drinking bleach. Not exaggerating whatsoever. Sometimes, I even feel like funneling that bleach right on the elliptical because it is seriously that excruciating.

The only way that I have been able to get through my cardio recently is going to shock everyone. Seriously, take a seat. This advice is coming from the same girl that stumbled into her youth pastor while she was drunk downtown back in her partying days (I would not expect anything else with my luck, honestly). But, this advice has changed the cardio game forever.

You know that Bible app? Ya, the same one my good friend deleted to make room for Tinder (Again, I never claimed to be among saints over here). Well, it turns out that it is the most useful app I own. Shocking, I know.

First of all, you can listen to an audio version of the Bible on this app. Like whaaaa? Technology these days always keeping me young at my ripe, old age of 19. It gets better. You can change the voice to have a British accent. It is basically like you are listening to a cute guy read the verses right in front of Big Ben nomsaynnn’ gals?

Anyways, what I like to do is hop onto one of the cardio machines (lately have been choosing the rowing machine because it feels the most outdoorsy, and I am trying my best to be more granola) and listen. Not listen to music. Not listen to youtube. Not listen to Netflix (although One Tree Hill will ALWAYS be my back-up). Listen to The Word.

What is truly incredible about The Word of God is that it is living. It can LITERALLY change you. And I don’t mean change you into train wreck dumpster fire garbage arugula salad. I mean Jesus has the power to make you alive. Jesus literally turns the dead alive. That always amazes me. Even more than the googley eyes on ice-cream do.

And if you are already Christian, if you have already accepted Jesus as your Lord and Savior, The Word can help you in your walk, or if you are like me, your extremely slow shuffle with Jesus. There is so much it can do, and I wish I was a nun or something (okay no I don’t, but you get the point), so I could more accurately describe all of its potential.

Please everyone I am begging you all to find a way to let me know what your favorite book of the Bible is so that during my next row down the Nile (also known as the stationary spot facing a brick wall at my gym), I can listen and meditate on it!

My Middle Name is STOOOOPIDB

Yesterday night, I had the wonderful idea to sign up for personal training at 5 in the morning today. I am very aware that it is normal to workout in the morning, but for me, it is a huge stretch. Like, I would normally rather place my hand onto a hot stove for twenty-seven hours than be at the gym at that time. Let’s be honest, I am not too great to be around before the sun rises unless you like looking at things that resemble monsters and ugliness.

But, I had this weird feeling in my soul that I was meant to workout at this time today. Probably because I like the idea of being one of those people who has their lives together and works out in the mornings and wears lulu lemon. When my alarm went off at 4:20 (blaze it sista frans amirite), I actually wanted to fall to my knees and sob. Instead, I put on my junior shirt from high school, which is totally the exact same thing as lulu lemon, and marched my butt to my electric vehicle. You know, the one all the cool kids are driving these days.

I got to the gym. I did the workout. My butt is now so sore I cannot even tell you this feeling I am experiencing. I am walking like there is a literal twig up my ass. I think I need to call an ambulance to take my to the walgreens urgent care if it gets more severe in the next few hours.

So, all is fine at this point. I am totally just a gal who has it all together since I worked out at this time. My life is totally not in shambles because of this one thing I did one time only. I sit on my couch, and pass the actual heck out. Not even my mom yelling at me to stop being lazy could wake me up. And her voice resembles like a mean Billy Ray Cyrus yelling if he was not country. It is brutal basically.

I wake up from my amazing slumber, look down at my phone, and realize it is 9:57. I am supposed to workout at 10. I look down at my outfit, realize I am wearing the same one as yesterday, change faster than I ever have, and race my butt to the gym. I have never decided on an outfit faster. It was truly a miracle.

When I get to the gym, I see my phone and realize that it is still the same day. It is still Friday. I had worked out four hours earlier. My dumb butt thought I slept through an entire day and woken up tomorrow. I actually wanted to take an axe to my neck, chop my head off, and throw it into a local canal because of all of the unnecessary stress I caused myself.

All in mother freaking all, I am quite the dumb b.

Have you had any experiences like mine? Let a b know!

 

Okay Fine! I’ll Get a Manicure!

This time of the year brings about a lot of stress for me, and I am assuming I am not alone in feeling this way. And if you are anything like me, your nails suffer from stressful times. I am not talking like the little oh-my-gosh-i-broke-my-pinky-nail-my -life-is-over either. I am referring to the fact that it looks like I went to war and wrestled a darn grizzly with my bare hands. My nails are nonexistent in the winter months and are constantly doused in blood and bandaids. And surprise it is all because I am Katniss Everdeen! I actually shoot arrows and cook birds and do outdoorsy things like that on the reg right in my suburban backyard. Sorry not sorry next door neighbors that shield their kids from every drop of violence!

But seriously, I have gotten to the point where there is nothing else for me to do except get acrylic manicures. It is the only way to cover up my nails without being able to pick them apart. I am considering getting red or something festive for the Christmas time, but honestly I am not sure if I can pull off red. I am not freaking Gwen Stefani okay?! Geez, I am more like Flo from the progressive commercial. Not kidding I can rock the hell out of an apron. Ask my teacher from elementary school chef camp. I was bitchin in that dang kitchen.

One of my annoyances with getting manicures is that without fail, every single darn time that I go into the nail salon, a crowd of nail ladies swarm over to my nails and ask why the absolute heck they look like shit. Like geez Louise ladies, can a girl catch a break? I have already been verbally assaulted by my own mother for single handedly destructing my nails. I know they’re no Kylie Jenner daggers. I just came in here for a relaxing time. And okay, also the free lifesavers. But mostly the relaxing time.

Anyways, stress is a real buzz kill on the realz. What do you all do combat stress? Do you have the finger situation, too? What color do you suggest I on get my nails? Let a b know!

Way Up Feelin #Blessed

Want to know what is cool? No, it is not those mittens that double as gloves when you take the tops off, although you KNOW darn well I have multiple pairs of those babies. It is not even the OG girl scout cookie, mint chip ice-cream from Bruster’s only available during the spring months. The longer I live, the more I realize that Jesus is the coolest, most incredible (ya, I only know descriptive adjectives on the second grade level 😉 ) God imaginable.

As I sit here on my futon in my dorm room avoiding studying for finals as any girl with borderline grades should not be doing, I cannot help but to be overwhelmed by Jesus. Overwhelmed by the sacrifices He made for not only me, but for each and every one of us. And I cannot help but to be hopeful.

I am so hopeful that there is purpose in all of this suffering. I am so hopeful that God truly does work all things together for the good of those who love Him. I am so hopeful that Jesus is exactly who He says He is.

So now as I peel the blankets off of me and head on to what feels like a seventy-three mile walk to the library (in reality it is probably .2 miles), I will probably shed a few tears of joy knowing that The King of the universe gave His one and only Son so that I may have eternal life. (Ya again, I am a #weaksauce from time to time. No shame.)

I want to leave the one to two readers of this blog with this verse because it is truly one of the dankest, and it has truly been carrying me through these past few months. Let me know which verse you have been digging recently!

“So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light, momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.” – 2Corinthians 4:16-18

Catching up on the Basic B Stories (and by Basic B I mean Basic Bible) ;)

A few weeks ago, I found myself in the gospel of Mark, which is pretty unusual for me because I tend to float more towards Esther when I am just reading the Bible for the heck of it. This is obviously due to the fact she is actually a boss ass b. Fight me on that one. Anyways, I grew up avoiding church at all costs. I did not want to be associated with what I considered to be boring, unfunny, judgmental people. Because of this, when I was supposed to be at church learning about God per my dad’s requests, I would actually be driving to local smoothie and acai bowl restaurants and sipping those dranks and snacks instead. Ya, I was a holy mofo.

Long story short, I missed out on a lot of what is considered to be common knowledge to Christians. So when I started reading Mark 8:1-13, which is titled Jesus Feeds the Four Thousand, I was honestly blown away. Not even like a little hair caught on your chapstick blown away; I am talking full-force, Carrie Underwood soundtrack Blown Away people.

I live in Athens, which is a college town. Downtown Athens happens to be filled with numerous homeless individuals. If you know me, you know that for some unknown reason, homeless people really have a special place in my heart. Not kidding, if I just see a homeless person, there is a good chance I will start crying because it just breaks my heart. I’m a #weaksauce for real.

ANYWAYS, in this passage I was reading, the first thing that Jesus says to these people without food or anything at all before He performs this miracle is that He has compassion on them. He does not ask why they are in the position that they are in. He does not ask why they do not have jobs. He does not ask if they do drugs. He does not ask if they spent their money frivolously, and that is why they are in the position they are in. No. The first thing that my God does is have compassion on them. (My God is also a #boss).

I know it can be hard to simply have compassion, especially if you live in a place where common advice is quite the contrary… if it is that if you do not like the way your life is going, change it. I know because I have received that advice so often. It can be hard if everyone around you, yourself included, has never been in the situation as the one struggling. Heck, having compassion can be difficult for a number of reasons. But it can be done. Jesus has shown that it is not only possible, but it has happened. Having compassion as a reflex has happened.

Jesus is hinting at me (and by hinting at me I mean throwing a microwave at my head) through all of this passage to make compassion my reflex.

This really has quite literally nothing to do with the gym or anything like that, but it is a lot more important. Life is but a breath. Focus on things above. Focus on The Lord. But still do not forget to focus on the #gainz amirite ;).

 

What I’ve Learned in College thus Far

I am not perfect. I am not, and I will never claim to be.

I came into college messy, broken, and deeply saddened. I did not come into college like I once thought I would. I did not feel excitement when rushing to join a sorority, so I dropped out of rush. I grew up thinking everyone joined a sorority. I did not feel a sense of community when I met with the first small group I was placed with, so I stopped going to that small group. I have been told for the past two years that I have been a Christian that small groups are where you thrive and truly grow in your faith. I tried so many different clubs and organizations, but none of them made me feel anything great, or anything at all. And this confused me.

It confused me because I grew up telling everyone that college was going to be the best four years of my life. I grew up telling my neighbors I could not wait to leave them all in the dust (sorry neighbors 😉 ). I could not wait to truly be independent. To be alone.

But that is not what The Lord wants for anyone.

The Lord does not concern Himself with you having the perfect college experience. He does not care about you maintaining the same grades you had in high school. He is not worried about you getting into the best sorority and having the perfect big. He is not concerned with you having the best four years of your life. He does not want you to leave behind everything and go on alone. He does not want you to run to all of these different things- Christian oriented or not. He wants you to run to Him.

Jesus Christ came to save the messy. The broken. The confused. The lost. Jesus Christ ate with the sinners. He ate with the Christian that came to college, but even still got a little too crazy just last weekend (me). He ate with her, and He did not leave her because of her mistakes. Jesus does not want you to eat alone. He does not want you to be independent. He wants you to come to Him. He wants you to have a relationship with Him. To trust Him.

Matthew 11:28 literally says “come to me”. Jesus desires a relationship with you. He wants you so badly, whether you are tired, weary, and broken or not. You were not made to be independent. Not at all. You were made for relationships, most importantly a relationship with the Creator.

So, like it says in Hebrews 4:14-16, let us hold fast our confession, the confession that God is not ever disappointed in you because of what Jesus has done, and draw near to the thrown of grace. Draw near to The Lord.

speak UP BISHEZ

I am very annoyed with myself because I keep finding myself in situations where I fail to stand up for myself. (And yes, I did just use “myself” three times in the same sentence… Suck it Mrs. Brand!!!).

I could list many excuses as to why this reoccurs so often in my life. My favorites are that I am too lazy to say something. I am too tired to say something. I just forgot to say something. I use those three a bit too much on a daily basis.

But if I am honest with myself, it is because I am scared. I am scared of other people, and I am most definitely scared of those people being angry at me or raising their voices or throwing something or being violent. I just do not like to risk it WHATSOEVER.

That is a shitty way to live.

Knowing your worth is of the utmost importance. Standing up for yourself does not mean the other person will steal your credit card information, thus winding up stealing your identity (Lol… this was my excuse as to why I could not speak up once; I am not at all kidding). It means you will not allow people to treat you like an object, garbage, a third wheel, a side hoe… You get the point.

Do not live in fear. That is not living. Speak up, take the necessary risks, and TRUST, TRUST, TRUST that God makes all things work together for the good of those that believe in Him. (Trust is hard; trust is also worth the risk).

So, this could mean saying that no offense, but you do not actually like the dinner Mom (lol). This could also mean a lot more serious things. You decide what is appropriate for you, and act upon that.