Lauren and Mikaela--identical twins living on opposite coasts--blog about the story of life and their adventures in faith.

7.30.2013

High School...Then What?


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Six months before I graduated from high school, when I had no plan, I felt as though I were racing at Eric Liddell speed for a giant ravine.  When the day came, I’d hold my breath, take a leap, and hope I made it across! 
 
Yesterday afternoon, five years later, I opened up an old hunter green composition book in which I printed in blue ink, “Life after High School.”  I still remember brainstorming the list, trying to think of every possible avenue to which the Lord might want me to give a wedge of time after I graduated.  Reading over it, I see a lot of opportunies I have completed, a lot of choices I still need to make, and a lot of options the Lord has recently brought that I never dreamed of at the time I wrote the list. 
 
Before I give my (updated) list, a few caveats:
·                     There is no human way to accomplish all of this.  Don’t try to stuff the ravine of the unknown with filler as a way to bridge the gap.  If a few ideas stand out to you, pray about them and bring them to your parents before cramming everything in.
·                     There is one noticeable exception to this list: college.  But I decided that was the old stand-by that everyone would write, so at 18 I left it off.  I still like that logic. 
·                     Be creative.  Just because you desire to stay under your parents’ authority doesn’t mean your list or life will look like mine!  This is just a compilation of a few ideas to get you started and productive. 
 

The List

1.      Memorize the Bible. (1 John, Psalm 119, etc.)
2.      Read at least one nonfiction book a month and write a report.
3.      Bake bread.
4.      Write a book.
5.      Help siblings with school.
6.      Advance in music.
7.      Teach music.
8.      Grow in character. 
9.      Be a servant.
10.  Help other mothers and learn from them.
11.  Put budgeting, buying, and making food into practice.
12.  Garden.
13.  Learn about car maintenance.
14.  Study and delineate Biblical guidelines on marriage, childrearing, and other relevant topics.
15.  Be a helper to my father.  Be a helper to my mother in practice to be a homemaker.
16.  Spend more time in prayer.
17.  Visit nursing homes.
18.  Be ready to defend my faith.
19.  Review First Aid.
20.  Study and apply So Much More.
21.  Write music.
22.  Sew
23.  Work on relationships with my siblings.
24.  Exercise.
25.  Develop other spiritual gift qualities.
26.  Work with a local homeschooling ministry.
27.  Blog!
28.  Look for ways to minister to other girls.
29.  Learn about natural health.
30.  Seek a mentor in an older woman.
 

Morsels to Digest


As a girl wanting to buck the world's status quo, don't get caught up in using your time, but do redeem it.

Don't find fulfillment in filling your schedule, but do be filled with the Holy Spirit and God's mission for you.

Don't measure your worth by your activity, but do judge your diligence by your habits.

It is a constant prayer of mine to be a productive, fruit-bearing woman of God, and I will be praying that for each one of you, no matter what season of life you are in!

What do you have to add to The List? 
 

“worldwide directions" © 2006 Andrea DM. Used under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/.

7.23.2013

The Beautiful Thing About Camping

 
 
What a special group of people this is.
 
 
Whether we're spitting,
 
 
smiling,
 
 
making music,
 
 
boating,
 
 
or working, we are striving to glorify God. No, we're not perfect, but Christ is evident in these people's lives, and what a blessing it was to spend the weekend with each one of them!
 
 
On our last day, Aidan gave his heart to Jesus and was baptized in the lake. What a day of rejoicing for us, but even more so for God and all of heaven!
 
 
Oh, and did I mention that we have fun?
 
Check out past Heritage Bible Church Family Camps (you might even find pictures of the man I was missing oh-so-much, who was sadly absent from this year's event):

7.16.2013

'Scuse Me: My Pigtails are Lopsided!



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As an eight-year-old, I think I thought grown-ups were invincible and all-wise—always knowing exactly what to do and when. 
 
In my mind I was just facing facts: my self-created pigtails always turned out lopsided, while Mama’s hair was always perfect. 
 
I was the one who infamously offered the gift of canned pickles saying, “Here, these are for you because we don’t like them!”  while adults in general seemed to know just what to say to smooth over an awkward situation. 
 
I had friend drama, and I made stupid mistakes, but I had faith that with citizenship in “grown-up land” would come all the benefits of wisdom, assurance, and invincibility.  I knew adults weren’t perfect—my parents were humble and honest with me about their mistakes—but I thought that at the very least they felt grown-up. 
 
I never dreamed that adults still felt like eight-year-olds on the inside. 
 
I never dreamed that grown-ups thought their pigtails were always lopsided, that grown-ups said awkward things about canned pickles too, or that they had friend issues and even bad days as well.  And I never dreamed that all those things were doubly complicated just by living in grown-up land. 
 
My eight-year-old friends and I had these problems, but we had simple conversations about the fact:
“My pigtails are lopsided.”
“Yep, they are.”
“Oh, well—do you want to play house?”
 
I’ve discovered that grown-ups have complicated, round-about deliberations:
“My pigtails are lopsided.”
“Oh, no—no, they look beautiful!”
“Do you think so?  No, I really think that I look terrible.” (And then proceed to dwell on it for the rest of the day.)
 
So while I thought that citizenship in grown-up land guaranteed wisdom and perfection, perhaps all it really guarantees is a good cover-up for that eight-year-old humility.  Perhaps that is why Jesus was so displeased when his disciples turned those sweet little ones away, and said,

“‘Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of God. Assuredly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will by no means enter it.’” ~Mark 10:14-15

Let’s have the truth out here and now: no 22-year-old or 50-year-old or 80-year-old feels like a grown-up or feels like she has it all together. 
 
But many 22-year-olds and 80-year-olds pretend to have it all together, alienating those around them. Others are going through the same things that we are but pretend they aren’t because we are pretending we aren’t because we feel insecure because of their perfection when really they are insecure because of our perfection…
 
I’m done with grown-up land.  Take me back to be one of those little children running to Jesus’ lap, my toothless smile the biggest thing on my face.  I am confident in nothing except that His open arms will be there to receive me, even when that big Judas who seems to have it all together steps in my way.  I am proud of nothing except that Jesus is wrapping me in a big hug.  I am not invincible or all-wise, but I am being held by the One who is. 
 



Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
Photo Credit: ishane

7.09.2013

God--You're Getting Bigger!



Which brings God the greater glory: to be worshipped by wretchedly sinful, incompetent beings or to be worshipped by completed, perfected beings?
 
I was that wretched, sinful, incompetent person, but this is the old me, because I am saved by grace and faith! I am bought with a price; God sees me through the blood of Christ; and my purpose and desire is to bring glory to God. Sometimes the old me shines through, though. I sob at the height and depth of a situation, which seems to me to encompass Mt. Everest and the Mariana Trench in one horrifyingly insurmountable distance. In my sobbing, I question God like Job's wife.
 
I stop counting it all joy.
 
I cease to give thanks.
 
I look only for my own glory in the situation and despise the glory of God.
 
Oh, foolish girl.
 
The more sanctified I am, the more glory I give to God. "For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known (I Corinthians 13:12)." Sinless angels worship at the throne of God night and day. In their perfection, these angels grasp the supremacy and awesomeness of God--and all they can do is worship and give glory to God.
 
I don't know what I will be, but I know that in that day when I reach heaven and He is revealed to me, that I will be like Him (I John 3:2). I can't see it now, but in that day when I reach heaven, I will realize that the sufferings of this earth are miniscule in comparison with the glory that will be revealed in me (Romans 8:18).
 
Understanding in full, being like God, and full of the glory revealed in me--in this moment, will I truly, finally, wholly glorify God. Heaven will resound with the cries of millions echoing the same refrain. He is worthy to receive glory and honor and praise! My adulation will not be short-lived. It will not come only in the deepest pleasures or the hardest sorrows. It will last for all eternity, for all eternity will not be long enough to glorify the God whom I know, just as I am known.
 
"The sun shall no longer be your light by day, Nor for brightness shall the moon give light to you; But the LORD will be to you an everlasting light, And your God your glory (Isaiah 60:19)."



New King James Version, © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. All rights reserved. Used by permission.

7.02.2013

Seek Refreshment

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Last Saturday, I had an immense blessing.  Like submerging in the icy creek that runs through my backyard on a sweltering day, I was submerged in a group of women and girls to whom one thing was important: God. 
 
Refreshing doesn't begin to cover it! 
 
Here's just the tip of the mountain that God gave me to share that day:

Distractions divide your heart: God’s forgiveness makes it whole.

Being a woman after God's heart is easier said than done.  I will be honest with you.  There have been many many times in my life when I have sat in my seat at church, singing hymns to the Lord, or taking awesome notes that go on for pages and pages in my notebook, but all I could really think about was getting home and finishing that novel I was in the middle of.  Or checking my email.  Or getting the latest gossip from a friend.  Or getting complimented on the special music I just did.  I don’t know about you, but sometimes I feel like that dog on the movie Up: "Squirrel?  Where? Squirrel?" 
 
But before I start to get discouraged, I remember that David, the man after God’s own heart, was a man who got distracted, too.  He, too had idols. 
 
He wasn’t a man after God’s heart because he had such a righteous heart, but because he had such a righteous God. 
 
David was human, and he got distracted, but he was a man who sought God’s forgiveness.  David wrote Psalm 51:10 after committing adultery and murder, “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.”  This is awesome news for us!  Not one of us is a perfect young woman, but God still calls us to lay aside our idols and distractions and seek Him, and He will cleanse and renew our hearts!    

You must seek God relentlessly!

Seeking doesn’t happen automatically like breathing or your heart beating or your eyes blinking. 

Nancy Leigh DeMoss says,
“We have to be willing to turn our attention away from other competing desires and distractions so that we can turn our eyes upon Jesus, focus on Him. We can't seek the one we love while we are loving and seeking after other things that compete with His place in our lives.”
 God’s Word also clearly shows that at any moment you and I are either seeking Christ or we are forsaking Him.  You can’t walk the ridgepole of the roof on this one—you either are on one side or the other.  In 1 Chronicles 28:9, David says,

"As for you, my son Solomon, know the God of your father, and serve Him with a loyal heart and with a willing mind; for the LORD searches all hearts and understands all the intent of the thoughts. If you seek Him, He will be found by you; but if you forsake Him, He will cast you off forever."
God does not hide: if you are seeking God, He will be found!

So I have to ask: are you seeking God?  What are you constantly thinking about?  What do you daydream about?  What can you not live with out?  What do you go to great lengths to obtain?  What do you do instead of spending time with the Lord each day?  You have a throne in your heart, and the answers to these questions reveal who is on it.  Either God is king of your whole heart, or you have substituted an idol.  Who is on the throne in your life? 
 
To watch my session "A Young Woman After God's Heart" at the Beautiful for God Girl's Conference in its entirety, click here and scroll down.  Be sure to watch the other sessions as well, as they are incredibly encouraging!

 


Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
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