God, I want to be a kid again…

lightstock_178104_download_medium_moriah_faith A Prayer from Matthew 18

I’ve wanted to be the coolest, the prettiest, the best. But You showed me a little kid. You said I need to be like her if I want the best — Your best. That kind of humility is what You want to see in my heart.

And God, the innocence of that child is so easily messed up. You hate to see her stumble. You hate it when someone makes her fall. So, give me that purity of heart. Let anything dirty in it make me vomit. I would rather be with You than to enjoy those things that make you sick.

Father, You treat me like a princess. You’ve even assigned angels to care for me. You know I’m stupid sometimes, like a sheep that runs away from it’s safe home. But God, You are a good Shepherd. You’d drop everything to go find me and bring me home. You smile when I’m back in Your arms.

And Lord, there are times when other people hurt me or someone I love. Sometimes they don’t listen when I confront them. Sometimes they don’t listen to anyone. But you know their hearts. I trust you to take care of it. You’ve promised me that whenever I pray about the things that bother me, You will listen!

Jesus, I’ve struggled lately with forgiving the people who hurt me over and over. I get frustrated. I mean, how many times should I forgive them before I just give up? But your answer every time is “keep forgiving them because I keep forgiving you.”

God, You have seriously forgiven me so much! It would be ridiculous to hold a grudge against someone else when you’ve wiped my slate clean. Thank you for loving me that way! Thank you for showing me how to love others!


I got some great responses back the last time I posted a prayer like this so I wanted to share another one. If you can’t tell, it comes right out of Matthew chapter 18 which is a passage that I’ve been challenged with recently. It’s so cool to be able to go to the Father with whatever is on our hearts and just pour it out. Praying the scriptures has really helped me feel more connected to God’s word. Instead of just reading words on a page, I can apply them to my situation and pray them back to God! So, what do you think? Leave a comment below!

I hope you have a beautiful rest of your week!

Blessings,

Moriah

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30 Day Cleanse Recap!!

lightstock_366519_download_medium_moriah_faithAlrighty, folks! It’s time for the big “I’m a better person now and maybe next time we’ll all go vegan” post!!

So, if any of you weren’t aware, on December 23rd I challenged myself to 30 days of cleansing my life. And in case you weren’t fooled before, it was more of a “discovering my weaknesses” challenge.

I had set the ending date on the day of my SAT test (it went well, Praise God!) and included studying for that as an educational challenge in addition to the health, fitness, spiritual growth, social media fast, and general life reassessment *ahem*

My first step, as you may remember, was quitting the job that I had for the last year. Thankfully the transition to being unemployed has been amazing for my emotional well-being. Not so much for my bank account, but anyways. That post is coming later this week. 🙂

The health and fitness part was an interesting challenge because I’m a total foodie AND stress eater. However, my love for running seems to make up for that… for the most part. My siblings and friends dragged me out nearly every day for a 4+ mile run. I was kind of a failure with the muscle fitness routine I had planned (sorry, Hannah😢) but did get in quite a few workouts.

On to the social media fast. My main reason for doing this was to eliminate stress and to get back the time I would spend scrolling through other peoples business. I was about 95% succesful with that. I experienced less stress and spent more time doing things like writing, running, and talking to people in real life. The funny thing is, a LOT of people got engaged, married and had babies in those 30 days! Thanks, Facebook.

Now here’s the Jesus part! And I really hope you’re still reading. God has done some seriously cool things in my life this last month! He moved in hearts during coffee dates where acquaintances became new friends and old friends became closer friends because Jesus was there. He brought me to meeting several new people through unusual circumstances. There was even a total “God moment” where I found myself holding a friend who was bawling on my shoulder for ten minutes. A week later, she and I got to talk about how God was already using some really terrible situations in her life for good! What’s more? Over the last weeks, I’ve sensed God’s presence so much more. I’ve felt His smile in the sunshine and the rain and the sunsets that dip below the treeline. As a penpal of mine wrote me today “the difference is Jesus.” The difference is always Jesus.

So, I just wanted to give y’all a couple of examples of ways that we can tweek our daily routines to live healthier, happier lives and serve our God better! Always remember, the better YOU are doing physically/emotionally/spiritually, the more you can improve your environment and the living quality of those around you!

Is there something small that you want to challenge yourself with in this next month? Leave your thoughts in the comments!!

Blessings,

Moriah

Way of loving

lightstock_176485_medium_moriah_faithI’m going to try and keep this super short because I just wanted to share this thought I had tonight. My mom and I were having an awesome conversation about different personalities and how to not just cope with them but to pull out their potential and motivate them toward that. So we got to talking about love and how, you know, you can’t build someone up like that without loving them because that’s what love is; supporting and encouraging growth. And then the question was brought up of how to love and build up someone who’s not very lovable and not very “put together” in our book. I mean, doesn’t that add this whole new dynamic? It’s easy to love a new baby until it spits up on you or you have to give it a change. See, that’s when you have to redefine love. You decide to love that person when they completely mess up, or aren’t “good enough”, or straight up stink. So this conversation kind of came full circle when we were then reminded that God loves us that way. And I don’t want this to sound cliche because it’s this amazing part of the nature of God that just captivates me every time. Think about this: we can only love other people with that unconditional love when we have experienced God’s kind of love. AND, in addition I think that we don’t really understand how beautiful God’s love is until we’ve loved someone who is difficult, and sinful, and breaks our hearts. Because that is exactly how our amazing Father loves us.

If you think that’s something to be excited about, leave a comment about a time when you’ve experienced God’s kind of love.

Blessings,

Moriah

30 Day Cleanse

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Okay, you may be thinking “Hold on, I didn’t think this was a health blog” or “It’s not even time for New Years resolutions yet.” But this is something I think you’ll like. And if you don’t like it, at least maybe you’ll be challenged a little bit.

As you may have surmised by now, my life has been one big box of tangled Christmas lights lately. Only this one has deadlines. Big ones. And dreams too. Big dreams. I’ve decided to study nursing in college which starts next year. But if any of you have been through this process before, you know that getting ready for college starts waaay earlier, especially if you’re hoping for a good looking transcript and some nice scholarships. So let me get to the point.

I need time. But not just that. I need to use the time I have as wisely as possible. Carpe diem. So I’m starting a life cleanse. Like I mentioned, it is a bit early for the resolutions so no pressure, but maybe this will give y’all some ideas.

First, I’m quitting my job… today. I’m putting in my two weeks and I’ll be out by January 6th, exactly one year from being hired. A first job can only last so long, and while I enjoyed aspects of it, it’s definitely time to move on. I’m planning to post soon about my work experience so stay tuned for some cool stories.

Second, also starting today, I begin preparing for the SAT. I’m giving myself exactly one month and God willing I can improve my score 140 points from last time and get into my dream college. 1-2 hours a day MINIMUM should give me the preparation I need but will require focus. I’ll also be applying for one scholarship per day because those deadlines are approaching quickly. This all will mean I’ll spend more time on more profitable things and have less time for things that don’t matter.

Next–and I know you’ve been waiting for this–I’m doing a social media fast. This doesn’t include basic/necessary communication but it does cut out the scrolling through other people’s business that takes up my valuable time. God knows we need a break from that kind of information overload every once in a while.

Also, I’m working on my health. Cleaning up your diet around the holidays is not easy but hey, I always like a challenge. This also includes exercising regularly (let me know if you want a copy of my fitness plan 😉). In addition, I’m tweaking my daily routine, using a minimum or no makeup, prioritizing a healthy amount of sleep, and getting the right nutrients in my body.

Lastly, and most importantly, the change that no cleanse is complete without. I want to not only submit every day to God but submit to God every day. I desire that my life choices honor my Creator. The way we spend our time and energy matters to God! Our health matters to God! Our educations and careers matter to God! Our heavenly Father wants the very best for us. He wants us the organize our lives to better serve in His kingdom. Christ deserves our first fruits. He deserves our first thankful breath in the morning, our praise when the day is over, and every ounce of strength we have in between.

So, PLEASE check back here soon for new posts as I will be updating you all on how this cleanse goes and sharing lessons I learn along the way!

Meanwhile, let me challenge you with this…

-Are there any steps you could take to improve your education or career?

-Is there a time consuming part of your daily routine that you could healthily live without?

-Is social media taking up too much time or emotional energy?

-Are there changes you could make to improve your physical health?

-Are you currently giving God an important place in your schedule and heart?

Thank you all for reading this blog and if you haven’t subscribed yet please do so that you don’t miss anything!!

Leave a comment with whatever is on your mind and I promise I’ll reply ☺

Blessings,

Moriah

First

Starting this week, I will begin posting a challenge of the week. This is mostly so I don’t forget about this blog entirely (I apologize for the fact that I have a life outside of the internet world, haha). But it’s also for you and me, as a challenge to get one step closer to God.

So here’s this week’s challenge…

Make God first.

This doesn’t mean you’re never going to go a minute without thinking of Jesus, or an hour without praying, or a day without sharing the Gospel with someone. It means you make little changes. And here are a few ideas…

Declare Jesus as Lord – Wake up in the morning and say it out loud. “Jesus is the Lord of my life, this home, my family.” Think of how it strengthens a relationship when you say “You are my friend/husband/daughter” etc. And bonus points for offending Satan, btw.

A moment to meditate – Take a minute before or after your day to just sit down, take a deep breath and think about what God has done for you. Send up a prayer of thanks.

Say something – It’s easy to be a quiet Christian. But this week, make an effort to speak up about your God. It could be anything from a simple “Praise God!” at work to telling someone that you’re praying for them.

Pick one or two simple things to hold yourself to this week. Comment below which one you want to do. Write it on your chalkboard or in your journal, and then watch what happens. And remember, this isn’t a “good deed” to earn God’s grace. It’s a humble response to His love and goodness to us. I hope you have an awesome week, so I’m going to leave you with this song by Lauren Daigle called “First”! Enjoy!

Blessings,

Moriah

Give Yourself A Compliment – Guest Post by Kristen Gutierrez

Today I have the honor of publishing a guest post from a sweet new friend of mine. Kristen has some amazing wisdom to share with you girls and I hope that you will all be touched in the same way I was by this message. Kristen, thanks so much for sharing. You’re a great writer and such an inspiration to me!

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Have you ever paid yourself a compliment?

Like when you’re at a department store and you see a blouse and think “That’s cute.  I’ll try it on.”  You try on this blouse and are surprised it looks nice on you.  Suddenly you are all smiles and say “I didn’t think it would look this good on! I look pretty!”  So you buy the blouse and return home in a good mood.

We always surprise ourselves like that.  We are surprised that we are prettier, smarter, more creative, than we really thought we were.  Why can’t we just have the confidence to know that we are pretty, smart, creative, good natured, etc.?  Why can’t we just pay ourselves a compliment.  We’re always trying act like someone else, except for the two people we should be acting like.  The first one is God, and the second is yourself.  We’re so busy focusing on everyone else’s lives, that we forget our own personal growth.

And as daughters of God it is important that we realize our worth in the Lord’s eyes. But that is not to say that the Lord’s daughters don’t go through growing pains.  In fact it can be worse than non-Christians.  And the hardest struggle of them all is self confidence and self worth.  And it is no secret that every young girl will go through this.  We will always go through a rough patch, but when we are young it is important that we learn from these hard times. I would like to share my own personal story about how I struggled with my appearance.

When I turned twelve I remember a family member asking me if I felt different.  I told them no, I felt the same as I had always felt, I felt like any kid.  If I was asked the same thing when I turned thirteen, I would have said the same as before,but I did not feel the same inside.  I was a little confused actually. Was I still a kid? I knew I was not an adult. I wasn’t an older teenager, so I couldn’t act like that.  But how should I act?

Not only are you growing inside and out, but different thoughts appear in your head.  Questions about the adult world.  About how life works.  And the question I asked the most, how do I find my place in life?  For me the I started to mature when I turned thirteen. But I didn’t know that I would have to cry a lot in the next two years.

I remember one day, and quite clearly too, the day I started to feel uneasy about my appearance.  I was thirteen and  I was getting dressed, and I stopped in front of my mirror to brush my hair, and a thought came into my head.  “Gosh, my face is so wide!” And that was the beginning of a lesson that I could only learn through tears, prayers, and through God.

Over the next year I practically obsessed over how I looked.  I was worried that I looked like a child, and not like a cool teenager.  I worried about my weight, my hair, my attitude, and mostly about the shape of my face.  I hated that my face was so wide. That I couldn’t be a few pounds lighter.  That I couldn’t have that easy going, chill attitude.

The thought that I wasn’t pretty enough, well behaved enough, or good enough, slowly crept into my mind.  I remember thinking thoughts like, “Ugh, why can’t my stomach be flatter.”  “I look horrible and I feel horrible.”  “I look so fat.” “I hate that my face is so wide!”  I would pull on my cheeks, suck them in. “Why can’t my face be thin like this?”   I even had the thought “Why did God even bother to create me?”

I was also wracked with guilt over feeling disatisfied with myself.  “Dear Lord,” I would say, “I know you made me this way, but I just don’t feel pretty. I really want to look pretty.  Please make me pretty.” What a prayer! To pray to the Lord that His creation was made wrong. That He made a mistake.  How hurtful I was!

And so, that was how things were for two years.  I didn’t like my appearance because I didn’t look like other girls.  I didn’t have that flat stomach, that perfect height, that perfect attitude, that winning smile like other girls.  And I wasn’t comparing myself to models on magazines, or celebrities on television shows.  I was comparing myself with girls I saw at the market, at the department store, anywhere.  Every girl looked prouder, acted better, was prettier, and was, in my mind, what I needed to act like.

It wasn’t until I was fifteen that I noticed something.  One day I was sitting on my bed, just relaxing and reading.  Some how the thoughts of my appearance came to me. Why wasn’t I skinny like other girls?  Why didn’t I have that flat stomach? Why didn’t I have a smaller chest?  Why didn’t I have thinner thighs?  Why did I have big feet? Why did I have a big nose?  Why couldn’t I be cool? Why? Why? Why?  All these thoughts were piling on each other, one after another.  I remember shaking my head and saying “Enough!”  I closed my eyes to try and block those thoughts. I told myself that this was enough, I did not want to feel like this anymore.  Something yelled at me in my head “You are beautiful!”  And I felt peace and quietness. Then the most amazing thought, “I want to look like Kristen. I don’t want to look like anyone else.” And suddenly I didn’t care about looking like anyone else except a girl named Kristen Gutierrez.  I wanted to look like a girl who is a dreamer.  Who dreams of becoming a doctor, of traveling to Paris, of a family.  Who loves doggies and chocolate!  I wanted to look like me!  I truly did feel comfortable about my appearance. Finally the tears were over.

Sometime later (I don’t remember how long) I remember this one day I was in front of the mirror fixing my hair, and an old thought crept into my mind, “My face is so wide!”  Oh no. But this time I asked myself,  “Well, why is your face wide? God made it so for a reason.”  And it came to me!  God knew that I would need a wider face than most girls because I would inheirit the big eyes in our family.  Big, dark brown, beautiful eyes.  And those eyes would need space! He knew my face needed to be wider because I would have a big smile.  He knew I needed a wider face, because a small face would surely get lost in all that curly fly away hair I would have! “God knew!” I was overjoyed at the thought that God knew everything about me.  I immediatly prayed.   I prayed to the Lord to forgive me for doubting Him, for thinking that He had make a mistake creating me. I thanked Him for finally opening my eyes to see how special I really was.

Sometimes I find it hard to believe that I overcame what many girls struggle with.  I do sometimes catch myself thinking things like “Wow, she is really pretty. And thin too.  I wish I-” But I immediatly catch myself and say “No, if you looked like her, then you wouldn’t be Kristen Renee, the girl God wanted you to be.”  I started to compare myself to other girls less and less. I am happy with the way I am. That is how I started to give myself compliments.  And not only compliments in the beauty department.  But everywhere.

Like, “That person was very rude.  But I’m proud of you that you were nice to them.”  or “That math problem was pretty tough! But hey, you did good! You did great!”

Perhaps giving yourself compliments sounds vain to others. But I’m not saying I’m better than other girls.  I just want the confidence that I need to be the true person I am.  I do tell myself “Yay! My hair looks great today!” And yes, it does make me feel better.  And on those days when nothing seems to go right, from bad hair to a bad mood, I still try to find something to be thankful and cheerful about.

I turned seventeen earlier this month, and looking back to my early teenage years, I wonder at how I could ever have felt so horrible.  Why did I feel like I was not worthy? Why did I feel ugly?  Sometimes I wonder if it was imaginary.  But it was not all in my head.  It was real.  And I over came that.  I struggled, I cried, I prayed, and in the end the reward was as sweet as honey.  And just the fact that I can share my story and that somebody could really take something away from it, well that is well worth the tears.

So after all this reading, what should you do? Well, here they are.

One. If you are girl who compares herself to other girls based on their looks, popularity, attitude, or even their spirituality. Please know that there is no need to be anyone else but YOU.  God made you the way that He knew best. He didn’t make you like every other girl because that is not who you are.  You are a unique individual.  He made you for a special reason.  And you must search for that reason and use it.  If you feel like you aren’t beautiful without makeup, certain clothing, or popularity.  Sit yourself down and ask yourself why.  Why do you feel the way you do?  What does God want me to learn? And pray that God opens your eyes to learn this lesson He has put before you.  Maybe right now you don’t feel pretty. Maybe you feel like the ugliest girl on the planet, and maybe you’ve cried because you wish so badly that you looked like anyone but yourself.  Please know, that right now you may not feel like it, but you are a beautiful person.  One day you will have that “Enough!” moment, and all insecurities will go away.  But you need to work at it and pray.  Remember, if you looked like anyone else, then you would not be YOU, and you are a unique and beautiful girl, and more importantly, a Daughter of Christ.  And always give yourself compliments!

Two.  If you have beaten the pressure that the world has put on young girls, that you need to be perfect.  That you need to wear what everyone else is wearing.  That you need to look like every girl out there.  That you should  “fit in”.  If you have beaten that, then I am so happy for you!  You have won!  But please, please tell someone that you have! Help someone. Tell them that you, a confident woman, and have no desire to be anyone else than yourself.  Tell your friends, cousins, anyone.  Beause you never know who could be struggling and who needs help. Shout your victory from the roof tops. And always give yourself a compliment!

Thank you for taking the time to read what I have wrote. It makes me happy that I can share my experience with everyone.  I have a great desire in me to help others, in any way, shape, or form. It really warms my heart that God has given me the chance to share my story.  Again I thank you for reading and I hope that you get some postive meaning out of my writing. And don’t forget to give yourself a compliment!

And thanks also to Moriah, for inviting me to write a guest post, God Bless you!

-Kristen Gutierrez.

10 Facts You’d Never Know About Me

I’ve decided that instead of lecturing you guys all the time, I’m going to throw in a couple short/fun/personal posts every once in a while so y’all don’t get tired of me and unsubscribe 😉

Do you ever feel like you’re the only one who ever… anything? Okay, ’cause I do all the time. Probably because I don’t socialize much.. but that’s another story. So here I’ve listed 10 random facts about me…

1. Everything in my inbox is marked as read. ALWAYS. I can’t live with a messy inbox.

2. I don’t usually get tired of a song until after I’ve completely memorized it.

3. I love typing almost as much as I love writing itself. Is that okay?

4. When I’m in social settings I spend most of my time studying people’s personalities… which makes me seem really shy.

5. I live in my mind and have probably had more imaginary conversations than real life ones.

6. My day is never complete without a workout.

7. Being the center of attention is super stressful for me. I can’t stand it.

8. It’s hard for me to sit down long enough to watch a whole movie. I don’t know how other people do it.

9. I carry a weapon everywhere I go and I apologize if that freaks you out.

10. I’m way more comfortable writing than talking.

So that’s it! Hey, if we have anything in common, comment down below and we’ll share the awesomeness!! Oh, and if you haven’t subscribed yet, please do. You have no idea what you’re missing out on!

Have an fantastic day!

Blessings,

Moriah