On the Bright Side

 

It has been brought to my attention, that some people do have things go according to plan.

I was a little shocked, to be honest.

In my life, things don’t go according to plan all the time. Things I order online can get lost, or they send the wrong thing. I am a bona fide red light magnet. I have to allow 5 extra minutes whenever I go anywhere.

And I always pick the longest line at the grocery store. ūüėČ

I’m not being cynical at all. These are just really common occurrences in my life, so I look at them as facts.

Things go crazy, life is turned upside down. But where is your focus when everything comes crashing down? A lot of times, my focus is on me. My troubles, my decisions, and how and when it will all end.

But that is where anxiety creeps in. When you are so focused on all the what-ifs, you lose sight of the big picture. Worse than that, you lose sight of the One who has the complete picture.

So here is your chance to take a step back, and try to see things from a new perspective. Yes, the little things in life will get to you. They will frustrate you so much that all you want to do in sink into self pity. But look up, and see that the Light is still shining.

Light of the world

John 8:12 “When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, ‚ÄúI am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.‚ÄĚ

Let His light shine on your circumstances, and you’ll see that they are not as dark and bleak as you had thought before. Even on your darkest, saddest days, His light still shines. Will you walk away from it, or towards it? Reside in the light of His Presence, and know the peace that passes all understanding.

 

 

heart ~Ariel

Bible reference: Bible Gateway

Picture: Pinterest

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Be Still

Be still

Stillness.

One thing I continually struggle with is being still.

I like to go, to see, to explore and discover. I am a hiker, a reader, a writer, a friend. So why would I ever need to be still?

Stillness is such a rare value in our world today. With crazy hectic schedules, and everyone working or going to school, being still just doesn’t seem to be an option.

That’s because we have chosen to fill our days to overflowing. But if we are honest with ourselves, how many of those activities do we truly enjoy, need, or do very well?

Whenever I get overwhelmed with the schedules and to-do lists, I forget to be still.

But Christians are called to be still; so that we can know God better. And when I make time in my busy day to be still before the Lord, He never fails to reveal His love and grace to me. When I truly quiet my own heart to seek His, he floods my spirit with peace. Have you felt this kind of peace? This is the kind of peace everyone wants, but few attain.

So I ask you, what would your day look like if you scheduled time to meet with God, to pray, and read His word? It will be more than worth it. The Lord will amaze you, if you give Him the chance.

Love in Christ,

Ariel

Who Are You?

"Just be yourself. Let people see the real, imperfect, flawed, quirky, weird, beautiful, magical person that you are."

Who are you, deep down?

Are you the person you had always hoped you’d be?

Why or why not?

I have always been one to support authenticity. You, being you. I don’t get hung up on what other people think of me.

But that wasn’t always the case.

I’m a recovering people pleaser. I still love to bring a smile to a person’s face, and do all I can to make their day brighter. But my goal in life isn’t to win the affection or attention of others.

My goal is to please and bring glory to God, every day. I used to think this was really hard to do. After all, how do you please the One who is holy and fully righteous?

You please Him by using the gifts and abilities He has given you to show His love to people. You please Him when you go out of your way to help someone. Spend time with Him in prayer and quietness. Realize that he delights in you!

“The Lord your God in your midst, The Mighty One, will save; He will rejoice over you with¬†gladness, He will quiet you with¬†His love, He will rejoice over you¬†with singing.”
Do you believe that God loves to rejoice over you? That you are His beloved child?
The opinions of others will never change the fact that God. Loves. You. You don’t have to live your life trying to gain approval from the world. If you are seeking the Lord and His will in your life, I can assure you that you will see His love and peace fill your heart and soul.
Are you ready for that?
In Christ,
Ariel

Say Goodbye to Ordinary!

Ordinary.

This word is usually associated with being boring, normal, average, or just okay.

Maybe you view your life as ordinary. Maybe the monotony of your day to day life has worn you down, and caused you to see the glass as half empty.

But life is so much more than meets the eye! The possibilities are endless. God is infinitely creative, and loves to work in the lives of those who have faith in Him.

2 Corinthians 5:17

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!”
We don’t have to be the way we were before Christ came in and turned our world upside down. Actually, there’s no way we could ever be the same! He has called us out of darkness, and into His marvelous light.
The light reveals the good, bad, and the ugly. That must be why some of us run from it. But God can make beautiful things out of the ashes of broken dreams and stained lives.
Dig into His word. Pray. Find out all you can about the One you follow. As you pursue God with your whole heart, you are on the grandest adventure imaginable!
I’ll be honest with you. It won’t be predictable, easy, or always fun. But you know what it will be? It will be beautiful, peaceful, joyful, and full of the love that only God can give. This is how I live my life, and I couldn’t imagine it any other way.
I love this song by Gungor:
So what do you say? Want to exchange the ordinary for the extraordinary adventure God has called you to?

In Christ, Ariel

Bible verse found at: www.biblegateway.com

The Sun Makes All the Difference

Spring is struggling to overtake the cold of winter in Colorado. I went on a prayer walk this morning, and it was a chilly 48 degrees. Not too bad for a girl that likes the cold.

But factor in the wind and clouds, and it makes for an unpleasant walk.10425173_10202929640681786_4259218163954076281_n

Until the sun came out.

Have you often stopped to appreciate how the sun makes all the difference? I turned around, and let the sun warm my face despite the cold breeze.

It was powerful, bright, and cheered me up.

Then I realized that even more important than the sun, is the Son that makes all the difference.

The life and sacrifice of Jesus Christ changes the way I live my daily life. Because of His gift of grace and eternal life, I am a new creation.

2 Corinthians 5:17, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come:¬†The old has gone, the new is here!”

Do you believe the sun is still shining on the bad days? Are you letting the Son shine in and through you? What would your life look like if you were seeking to please Him above all else?

Cristi, a good friend of mine, helped me put it in perspective a few years ago. We were discussing how things had gotten stressful, and how we couldn’t see the end of it all. It happened to be an overcast day. By the end of our conversation, we came to this mutual conclusion: Even though you can’t see the sun, you know it’s still there. It’s that way with God too; He is always at work in our lives, bringing about His good plan in our lives… even on the hard days. Hold on, sunny days are coming!

At work, when I’m with friends, and when I am writing, my desire is to share God’s love and encourage others. You may feel like the world around you is crashing down, and that the sun may never shine again. If you gain anything from these words today, I hope it is this:

When Christ is in you, the sun is always shining. There is always hope… Because the Son makes all the difference.

In Christ,

Ariel

Do You Trust Me?

TrustLet’s Call it a Theme

I don’t have New Year’s resolutions this year, because I know they tend to end up being unrealistic and unfinished. Instead, I came up with a theme for this year. In hindsight, I was probably asking for some challenges…

Trust and Love. Trusting God through all the ups and downs. Through the health problems, work challenges, and friendship struggles. Learning to love through these trials isn’t easy, especially when a person is the cause of the problem.

Often, God is working on my attitude towards the problem. If I fall into self-pity, it’s a lot harder to dig my way out than if I bring the anxious thoughts to God right away. He calms my fears and replaces them with peace.

Time to Practice What I Preach

As some of you know, I am a fresh out of training flight attendant! I recently went on 8 test flights. At one point, there were way too many things to keep track of, and I was falling behind because of my inexperience. I looked at my instructor, informing her that one part of the process wouldn’t get done. She frowned at me, let me suffer through most of it, then came to my aide.

I almost panicked. How could I keep up with the demands? It was then that God told me this wasn’t the end. He had been faithful all the way through training, and even through healing my feet so I could stand for my long shifts. He reassured me that He was still with me, and gave me peace.

The rest of the flight I was a little shaky; and I knew I was off of my game. But God wasn’t done encouraging me. My first class passengers were great, one even smiled at me every time I walked by. After making it through announcements, beverage service, and landing, all the passengers deplaned. As they left, they told me I did a great job, and to keep up the good work! Those were the kind words I needed so I could finish the rest of my flights with more confidence.

You see, God knew what I needed. And once I trusted Him to work in and through me, the obstacles seemed smaller. All obstacles are small compared to the greatness of the God I serve!

Are you trusting God for today? Do you trust Him to take care of tomorrow? If you do, that is all you’ll ever need.

Broken Girl in a Broken World

To be honest, I’m so broken.

I try so hard to always be upbeat, to encourage, to brighten your day. This is a very integral part of who God made me. We all need someone who redirects our focus onto the good, and reminds us to have hope. Because there is always hope.

I struggle with physical health issues. I don’t usually talk about them, because they make me feel weak, broken, and like I have less to offer. I think that somehow, my issues will turn you away.

Then God told me that this is part of His plan. That His power is made perfect in my weakness.

2 Corinthians 12:9¬†“But he said to me, ‚ÄúMy grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.‚ÄĚ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my¬†weaknesses, so that Christ‚Äôs power may rest on me.”

So I won’t try to hide it. I have a big boot on my foot right now, something I wasn’t anticipating. Apparently I’m such a hardcore skier that I injured myself without even falling down ;). This road to recovery is coming at the most inconvenient time, as I just got a new job that has me on my feet all day. I haven’t started the job yet, so Lord willing I will be on the mend before I have to be on my feet.

This is definitely going to slow me down. I’m usually running around, doing Zumba, meeting up with friends, volunteering, hiking, you name it. So “slow” is not something I’m keen on. But I’m going to keep my eyes open and heart in tune to what God needs to show me. There is a purpose in this, even though I can’t see it.

Maybe you struggle with health issues too. You aren’t alone, and God is not punishing you. We live in a broken world, full of broken people. The way you handle your unfortunate health problems is a testimony to those around you; either good or bad. Will you choose to seek God, and be open to learning? That is my goal with my latest news.

Keep fighting the good fight! Don’t let your circumstances steal your hope and joy. For God’s love is constant, and never ends. These trials just make heaven seem so much more amazing, and I look forward to being there!

This song never fails to lift my spirit; hope it does the same for you!

Follow Through

Why don’t many good people follow through on what they say they will do?

I’m talking about the basics. Your friend tells you she/he would like to have dinner or coffee with you. You set a time, and are happy that you shall see your friend again. The time comes for coffee, and they bail on you. As if they had never suggested it in the first place.

It’s disappointing, isn’t it? It seems as if your time and expectations mean little to nothing. You had set aside time for them, and are hurt that they don’t respect your time. It especially hurts when your main love language is quality time*.

I’m not saying all your friends do this to you. I certainly have a few steady friends that I can count on, and their friendship is priceless.

When your friends let you down, don’t let it ruin your day (or week). We all have different characteristics, and once you know someone well, you will be able to appreciate them for who they are, quirks and all! Friendship takes two people who work on it, so if it is always one sided, that’s a different issue.

It makes me remember the one who never lets me down… God. Does He always work in the way I hope or expect? No. But He never leaves me to figure things out on my own. His love never fails. He continues to guide me, moment by moment, through His word and the Holy Spirit.

Romans 8:38-39

“38¬†For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,¬†neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39¬†neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

*Don’t know your love languages? Check out the fun, free online short survey at:¬†http://www.5lovelanguages.com/profile/¬† I really enjoyed taking the survey, and it helps if your family and friends take it too. Then you know how they receive and show love.

The Art of Authenticity

au·then·tic

adjective

: real or genuine : not copied or false

: true and accurate

: made to be or look just like an original

The world is full of people trying to be someone they are not. Trying to force themselves into a mold that people around them have designed for them. Caving to what the media says is true.

But who are you, really? What makes you, you? Are you the outgoing, social, upbeat one in the group? Or are you quiet and reflective? I’m a mixture of both; I love being outgoing, but I’m still an introvert because I need alone time regularly.

A friend told me the other day that I’m very genuine. I’m not worried about what others think of me, for the most part. I like being myself, and I have nothing to hide. I love Jesus, and am not afraid to live it out. I don’t apologize for being me, though I am quick to apologize when I’ve hurt someone.

Authenticity is an art form; completely unique to you. There is only one of you, you are God’s original masterpiece. When you have a child, he or she may look just like you, but you quickly realize they have a mind all their own. Their own personality and qualities shape their outlook.

We change over time. We become more knowledgeable, more experienced, and more unique. Our experiences and upbringing shape how we see the world around us.

Don’t try to shove yourself into a mold made for someone else. Ask God what qualities He wants to grow in you, and try not to be surprised when He sends challenges your way. When you seek God in and through the challenges, He will develop your character… and your authentic self will become one that pleases God, loves others, and is filled with the Holy Spirit.

Be real. Be genuine. Be you.

Definition from:

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/authentic