The One who Hears it

There’s this quote that I love about prayer. In fact, I love it so much that I’m writing an entire blog post about it.

What is this mysterious quote, you may wonder?


Praying feels so complicated sometimes. But, really, all it is is talking to God. Like the first line in Lucado’s quote, “Our prayers may be awkward”...yeah, they are going to be awkward. And our attempts may be feeble because sometimes we really don’t know what to do, and it can seem scary to pray to a God that you can’t see; It can feel like you’re just hopelessly talking to yourself. But I assure you, that is not the truth. The truth is that when we pray, God in Heaven bends down to listen (Psalm 116:2).

“But since the power of prayer is in the One who hears it, and not in the one who says it,...” We can’t pray to ourselves or to one another, we have no power. Apart from God, we can do nothing. The power of our prayers does not come from within us, it comes from God. The One who hears it.

And because of that, our prayers do make a difference.

Our prayers mean something.

And our prayers change things.


So, about a year ago, probably early November or around there, I started feeling really sick at church on Sunday morning. With Crohn's Disease, I would often get pains in my lower right abdomen (sorry to go all "medical term" on ya, I can't find any other way to put it), but this time it was on my left side. I don't know why, and that's probably irrelevant to the story, but it feels relevant because that had never happened before. It always hurt on the right side. So my mom and I were sitting in the hallway, and a (wonderful and amazing) friend of mine came walking by, when she saw I was upset and in pain she stopped and prayed with me. A few minutes later we decided to leave, and as I was walking to the car some family friends saw that something was wrong, so they came over and prayed with me in the parking lot. I turned to continue walking and right in front of me (like, seriously, right there) is a license plate on someone's car that says "prayer changes things".

I ended up being fine. Like, miraculously and instantly fine. Maybe it's all a bunch of coincidences, but honestly I don't think so. God was moving in me that day. Pulling me a little closer to Him, through people, and events, and love, and prayer.

Prayer really does change things, it really does make a difference. It's an incredible thing, let's not forget that.


So, I know this is a short post (although that's not a bad thing). Anyway, I wanted to share this scripture with you to help answer the question of “how do I pray?”, and also it’s been a passage that I've been reading and thinking about lately so it seems fitting to add it in here.

Matthew 6:5-13:

“And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him. “This, then, is how you should pray:
“‘Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from the evil one."

Thanks for reading!

For the girls

Published on 6/28/16

Hey y'all! It's been a while, sorry. (And yes, I am aware that I seem to say something like that every time I write).

But this time I actually have a reason. Two friends that I know from church run this facebook/instagram page, Verse of the Night. I've followed it and enjoyed it for quite some time, and several months ago I actually had the opportunity joined them. One of us posts a verse every night and then breaks it down and talks about it a little bit. So, I've been spending some time studying verses and writing about them which kind of made me lose interest in blogging for a little while.

Long story short, while looking at Proverbs 31:30, I wanted to post it for Verse of the Night but I realized that I just had so much to say about it that it required an entire blog post.

Here's the verse:
"Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised." Proverbs 31:30 ESV

So, sorry guys, but I chose this verse for the girls. Because I think it’s a really important topic. A weird, uncomfortable, sometimes overdone and cliche kind of topic, but still important.

I think the first part is pretty simple, “charm is deceitful and beauty is vain”. We think beauty is something incredible to be sought out for..but God tells us something different. This beauty distracts us from our Kingdom purpose. When we set our sights on being pretty, flirty, cute, etc., we lose sight of God.

Ever hear that saying "you can serve money, or you can serve God, but you cannot serve both". It applies here as well...just, we're not talking about money. You can serve yourself and your desires, or you can serve God. But you can't serve both.  See, we were bought at a price, (that price was Jesus’s life), so that we would honor Him. Not so that we would slander our bodies and disrespect God’s handiwork. We want to look like the rest of the world, and don't realize how dangerous that is.

The second part is “a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised”. When I was little I used to think "I don't want to be afraid of God! He's my friend." But now that I'm older, I get it. It's not like a bad's a healthy fear. Like, the kind of fear you have of your parents. I know that if I disobey them there will be consequences, and it's the same kind of relationship that we're talking about here. It's not so much "fear" as it is respect. The way you respect the Lord reveals a lot about you, that's for sure. It affects your whole life. If we were not fearful and respectful of Him, we would not obey Him. We would just do what we want, like a child who pays no mind to the discipline from their parents.
So, I think the point in that is...don't fear the way that the world will see you, but fear the way that God will see you. Decide who's approval/opinion you are seeking.

As hard as it is, we have to look ourselves in the mirror every single day and say "I am made beautiful and perfect in His image. He loves me, He chose me. And I chose Him. I will set my eyes upon Him and I will not be conformed to this world.". We have to look at what we're wearing, what we're participating in, what we're singing along to, etc., and decide if it reflects Jesus in us..or if it reflects the world.

Or something like that.
Thanks for reading,

Is there enough evidence to convict you?

Do You Believe premiered at the end of March, 2015. While I’m not here to review the movie, I do want to talk about something from the movie. Actually, from the movie trailer. Because when I first watched the trailer, there was a quote about halfway through that has actually impacted me greatly ever since. The question is, “If you were ever accused of being a Christian, would there be enough evidence to convict you?”.

I’m not talking about some kind of works-based faith here. Let me just say this, there is no way to get into heaven or please God by doing good deeds. There is nothing we can do. Our salvation is a gift - A free gift.

Let me share some scripture with you.

“8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9 not by works, so that no one can boast. 10 For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”  Ephesians 2:8-10

Really, I could break this into two different things. The beginning of the passage might be geared more towards new believers, or even those who have not yet placed their faith in Jesus. And the latter part would be more for those who are already Christians. It’s like this, verse 8 talks about how you are saved (through your faith in Jesus, not by any works or deeds you do), and 10 talks about what we are supposed to do after we are saved (we then show good works, because this is what we have been created to do).

But, all three verses are very important, so I’d like to talk about them all.
In my bible it has study notes at the bottom of the page (I have the ESV Student Study Bible in case you were wondering), which have helped a lot in breaking down these verses.


What this talks about for verse 8 is mostly what faith is, what grace is, and what salvation is. It says “God’s grace offers and secures salvation” When we accept this gift, we put our faith in Jesus. Our faith is our confidence and our trust in Jesus. And the term “saved” means that our salvation is secured. No one can take it away! God gave it to us, it was His gift to us, and it is secure in Him.
Now in verse 9 we see that, if salvation was through works, then we (the humans) would receive the glory for it! Because, all of a sudden, it wouldn’t be something that God gave us. It wouldn’t have anything to do with God at all! So, can you imagine how much “boasting” there would be? The world would be filled with prideful sinners who claim to have done enough good things to outweigh the bad, therefore they have redeemed themselves. It’s a rather crazy idea, so shall we just take a moment to thank God for the incredible gift of grace that He has offered us?
Verse 10 tell us that, while we are not saved by good works, we are indeed saved for good works. As a Christian, our actions reflect upon our inward change. That sounds super cliche, my apologies, but it’s true.
I’m going to chase some rabbits real quick because I want to point out that the next part might be confusing at first, where it says: “..Which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” Let me show you a few verses that help explain this. 
What does it mean when it says that God has prepared us to do good works beforehand? Ephesians 1:4-5 says that “Even as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before Him. In love He predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of His will”.
And for the second part, “That we should walk in them”, We can refer to Colossians 1:10: “so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to Him, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God.”.
So, yeah, this means that God chose us. He chose us to be saved, and as a result of our salvation we are to bear fruit in His name. To sum all that up..God chose you to do good works in His name. I think that’s pretty cool, and I look forward to exploring this topic more in the future.

Okay, rabbits have been chased and we are moving on.

Basically, that question “If you were ever accused of being a Christian, would there be enough evidence to convict you?” Could be reworded into “Does your life, after receiving salvation, show evidence that you are a new creation and you have glorified God through your actions?”. See, your “deeds” aren’t just tasks that you perform. It’s your personality; your heart. It’s the way you speak, the way you treat people. It’s the way you love people. These are all things that show evidence that you are a new being.

So, does this mean that volunteer work and serving in my church is more important than actually having a relationship with God? Which one should I focus on? They both go together. When you are saved, when you become a Christian, you immediately focus on your relationship with God. And we should never stop. And at the same time, we are bearing fruit in our lives. Re-read Colossians 1:10 above. We walk with the Lord, learn more about Him, and bear fruit. Neither one outweighs the other, but they are instead both part of a relationship with Christ.

So, what does your life show? I don't know what mine shows. For as long as I've been searching for an "answer" to that question..I never realized that there was not a yes or no answer. Is there enough evidence to convict me of being a Christian? I go to church every Sunday, but that doesn't mean I'm a Christian. If you talked to my family and friends, what would they say of me? If you looked at the things I do, the words I say, and the way I lived..what kind of fruit is there in my life? See, it's not a yes or no question. And it's not up for us to decide the answer. It is up to us to focus on obeying God. Jesus came to this Earth and lived to set an example for the believers. So, when you aren't sure how you're supposed to live, or what this so called "fruit" looks like, look to the one who never sinned. If we live like Jesus did, there will always be evidence in our lives that points to God.

Thanks for reading along,


I don't want to go through the motions.

Hey y'all!
I'm going to cut the intro and just get into the post, because this is a really serious topic to me and I've wanted to write about it for a long time, but I can never find the right words.

Why is everybody so sad lately? At first I thought it was just me, then I noticed with almost every single person I see. It started out subtle, but now I notice this..this "thing" (I don't know what to call it..) in almost everyone. Or maybe it's just me, and I'm going crazy and through my eyes I see everyone like this. I'm going to choose to ignore the latter one. Anyway, as I was saying, whatever's going on just doesn't feel right. All of us seem to be emotionally drained, physically strained, short-fused, depressed, angry, and tired. Families don’t get along, kids are exhausted, friendships are dull, conversations are dead, and I’m going to just stop there. Don’t get mad at me for overstepping here.. okay, actually, get mad at me if you’d like, I don’t really care, but I’m going to be honest. I’m going to be as honest as I can.

First of all, I’m angry. I’m just angry at humans (again, myself included) and how we live. (Okay, not like specific humans, just the whole human race in general, and how "life" seems to work. That makes sense, right?) Really, I could fill this whole page with examples, but I probably shouldn’t. See, our lives are filled with anxiety and stress, and our struggles are a result.

Nobody even tries anymore. We live our lives, try to manage things the best we can, maybe we even go to church, or maybe get really involved in our church. You teach a small group, you host get-togethers, Christmas parties, and Bible studies, and you even have weekly coffee with that accountability partner. But your soul is heavy, hurting, and empty. There’s nothing left in you, nothing left of you.

Why do we ignore it?
Why do I ignore it?

We’re too busy. Pre-occupied. See, I always forget what’s real and what’s not. I mean, I forget the real reason I’m here. I forget about God, Jesus, salvation, Heaven, commandments, and all that. My life and my problems just seem so huge! Tests, colleges, pressure, friends, drama, relationships, etc. etc. I get into this mindset that that’s all there is! What more is there to this life than this? It is so, so, so hard to stay focused.
It reminds me of this one night when I went downstairs for something and my dad had the Weather Channel on, it was on some show about strange weather and it was talking about floods. It showed these ants, and when the floods came they piled on top of each other in order to save their colony, and they would stay like that for up to weeks at a time. It was a life-or-death situation for them, it was like some kind of Antmageddon. And I realized how, to them, this is everything. In their little ant holes, that’s all there is. What else is there to life? For all they know, this is it. They don’t know that we’re here, with all of our “human” problems. And, how are we any different from the ants? I mean, we don’t pile on top of each other like a raft in order to save our colony because, well, there’s too many people in the world for that. Duh. But there is something bigger above us! Something that we can’t even wrap our minds around, and we don’t even try to do anything about it because 1) we are scared. And 2) We are pre-occupied.

Scared because, well, what if we actually have to get up and do something? What if we have to change? And we're scared because we don't want to stand out. We all want to fit in, right? Nobody wants to embarrass themselves. I don't know about y'all, but I happen to have a terrible fear of embarrassment. But, at the same time, the fear of doing nothing is overwhelming.
And we’re pre-occupied because of life. We don’t have enough time for everything on our schedules, we have too many things going on, we are distracted, and overwhelmed. Our bodies and minds are so overwhelmed, yet our souls are so deeply underwhelmed.

We just go with the flow of life. Like Matthew West's song, "The Motions". This song has always spoke to me. In it, he says "What if I had given everything, instead of going through the motions" and "help me fight through the nothingness of this life". Can you see how this relates to what I'm talking about? I urge you to, at some point, take a quick listen to that song. Just click the title of the song up above and it will take you right there.

To fight this so called "nothingness", we have to really be intentional about it. See, my mama always told me about being intentional. In every life scenario, I needed to be intentional. And in order to inspire life change, we have to be intentional! That means that we stop sitting around waiting for something to happen when we don’t do anything to actually make that thing happen. Like, say you really, really want and need rain, and you know you need to pray about it and make your requests known unto God, but you ignore it and hope for the same results still. Or, it’s like desiring a daily bible study, feeling eager to explore His Word every single day, but never actually sitting down, planning, and coordinating a time to do so, but we still expect the same results (I am so guilty of this one). If we are not intentional, nothing will ever happen! If the ants were not intentional about taking action to survive the floods, they’d all float around and eventually drown! They'd all die because they didn’t care. And because they didn't care, they didn’t do anything. They were unintentional.

In order to embrace change, we have to be willing to take action.
Without any intentional actions, there will be no change.

Life, here on earth, kind of sucks. It has wonderful moments, don’t get me wrong, but you all know what I mean. But we can’t allow ourselves to be content just floating along with it. To escape this dull, emotionless, draining, sad life, we have to acknowledge it and change it. As Christians, we are supposed to be the ones that step up and redirect the path. And we don’t achieve that by sitting around and doing nothing. 
I wish I could have all the answers, and I wish that this was some incredible piece of life-altering advice, but it's not. I wish it didn't sound all convicting and preachy, but it sort of does. This post is probably a jumbled mess of my thoughts, but, hey, at least they’re honest, right?

Thanks for reading along,

What to ask (and not ask) kids

Hi there!

I thought this might be a fun topic to address. I know the title implies I'm writing specifically about kids, but, really, it's appropriate for teens and older kids alike.

As a teen, there are a lot of thing that bother me, but this was one thing that I could actually do something about. I present, the two worst questions (in my opinion) that we ask kids (And how to avoid them).
Oh, I should clarify, I meant how to avoid the bad questions, not how to avoid kids. Sorry to get your hopes up.

"What do you want to be when you grow up?"

Chances are, we've been asked this since we were old enough to talk. And, if you're like me, your future job changes about every month or so. I feel like almost every kid, at some point or another, wants to be a veterinarian. Am I the only one that notices this? I can't be the only one! Okay, that aside, it's rare to find a kid, or even a teenager, who actually is sure of what they would like to pursue later in life. I (finally) have narrowed my options down, but I'll never be definite. And that's okay! So, it really frustrates me when people ask what you want to be when you grow up. First of all, there are so many different ways to word this! To ask what you want to be when you grow up does not even have to relate to a career, what I mean is, when I "grow up" I want to be kind, I want to be gentle, and patient, and a Christ-serving wife and mother. That is all I want to "be".
Other questions that might be more straight-forward would be things like,

  • "Do you have any plans for the future?"
  • "Are there any specific careers or fields that interest you?"
  • Or, if the child is younger, "What kind of things would you like to do/accomplish when you're older?"
  •  "If you could have any job right now, like a grown-up, what would you choose?". 

Maybe I'm the only one who has a problem with this, or who sees any difference in these questions, but I hope it might help somebody, somehow. Personally, I feel like just a little tweaking in the question can help a child think and develop their realm of interests in a different way. Not in a bad way, just a little different than what we are usually taught to do. Or this is all crazy and stupid, that's okay, too.

"How was your day?"

So, I don't go to public school now, but that doesn't mean I avoid these types of questions. Whether it's referring to school or some other activities, let me guess, in most cases it goes like this: 
"How was your day?"
"Fine." (Or the occasional "Good.")
The end!

I guess it's just such an overused, cliche phrase that no one really knows how to answer it anymore. There's better ways to ask, and different types of questions, too. Such as...
  •  "Did you learn any cool facts today?"
  •  "Was there anything that made you laugh or smile?"
  •  "What are some things that challenged you today?"
  •  "Did you do anything nice for somebody today?" (Or did anybody do anything nice for you)
  •  "If you were a teacher, what would you teach your class about, and why?" 
  •  "Did anything really cool (or funny, scary, etc.) happen?"
  •  "If you could choose a theme song (or an emoji) to describe your day, what would it be?"
  •  "If you could re-live this day, what would you change?". 

Pretty much, the point is, almost any question is better than "how was your day?". And, maybe, when we start asking kids questions like these, they'll start looking for ways to answer on their own. Like, searching for ways to do something nice for someone during the day. 


Okay, yeah, I know I'm just a teen myself, so why am I giving this kind of advice? Mostly, it's because I'm tired of being asked these questions ever since I was little, so I'm trying to change something. But it's more than just questions, because the biggest thing that anybody can do is listen. Whether it's kids talking to each other, parents talking to kids, or any other situations, the worst thing any of us can do is show the other person that we don't care. Like, by being on your phone, for example. 
I hope this may have helped in some way, thanks for reading! I'd love to hear your feedback, and maybe even some questions you like or don't like to ask (or be asked).