I Can't Hear God, But I See His Work All Around Me

I Can't Hear God, But I See His Work All Around Me

Everything I forget to say thank you for.
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Dear God,

You're probably not used me to saying that. I apologize for thinking my life is too crazy that I don’t even have five minutes out of my day to talk to you. I apologize for not reaching out to you or thanking you every day because I should be. I know you work hard, so hard for me and everyone around me, and no matter what my excuse be, I know I should thank you.

Thank you, God, for putting beauty in my life.

For blessing me with beautiful friends both inside and out. Thank you for creating my beautiful family who shows me endless love; like angels who share the work ethic you do to take care of me, and who have shaped me into being a mixture of their beautiful qualities, and making me be the best me there is. Thank you for filling me with a place to live that radiates beauty made completely out of your hands. I don’t mean my house, I mean my world. From the greenest crisp grass in the summertime to the clearest and bluest salty oceans and the skylines that look like paintings, a different one every morning and night. And for all the beautiful sounds in a world that would be silent without them, like the birds chirping when I wake up a little bit earlier than usual on summer mornings or the sound of waves crashing that could put me to sleep. The sound of a babies contagious laugh from playing peekaboo, or when someone I love says “I love you too.” All are a part of your beautiful work, thank you.

Thank you for always having a plan for me.

I’m not always sure what is best for me or what great things I need to accomplish to get to where I need to be in life. As much as I hate to admit it, I struggle. Sometimes I don’t think anything I am doing will ever benefit me and I question myself “why are you doing this” or “why does this have to happen to me?” They’re all fair questions, but I know they’re not the right ones. I know you don’t want me to question you, but sometimes I'm not a believer in “God always has a plan.” I know you have created the best plan for me but sometimes it truly is hard to see when i’m stuck in the moment. So, I am sorry for questioning you, and for making you think I don’t believe in you and doubting the things I am doing and blaming my wrong decisions on you. I do believe that no matter what decisions I make you will help guide me, and I know there are no completely wrong decisions because you have helped place the right, and even the wrong decisions in my life. You might do this to make me learn or to guide me to what's next. I appreciate all of your cues you give me in my life plan.

Thank you for giving me options

I know you have a plan for me and I may not always follow it, but you let me wander and allow me to doubt you as much as I want because you want me to have a say in what I do in life. Thank you for letting me be a series of things, and things I want to be. You ultimately let me chose who I am and who I spend my time with and share my love with. I am only able to do that with your love and support even on my silly decisions that you would say “I told you so” to. Thank you for allowing me to chose who I am, not for giving me a skin tone or an accent or a gender or a race but everything above it, for allowing me to chose how I embrace those things and chose how to share them with others. Thank you for allowing me to explore the wonders of the world and the people good or bad, because I know you might cringe at how I interact with the people that won’t benefit me in life, but you let me follow through because you know one day I’ll see what’s best for me. Thank you for letting me choose the places I go, and what I get to study, and what I do in my free time, and what I eat, even though eating a tub of cookie dough isn’t the best for me, you allow me to do it and maybe even applaud me for it when I’ve had a rough day.

Thank you for giving me good health

I know this one gets extremely taken for granted by me, but I really don’t consider how good I have it when I think about my body and my mind and how strong I am. You’ve blessed me with the care of two loving parents and other loving family members who are healthy and willing to take care of any of my states of health. You’ve blessed me to be able to have my own doctor who I can visit regularly and who will take care of me. You have worked with me on everything I have struggled with mentally, like my body image and my self-concept, all of the positivity I have ever gained about myself I have learned from you. You have taught me that being a little chunky in parts of my body where I don’t want to have extra chunk, is nothing to be ashamed of, in fact others might even strive to have that as one of their problems and I thank you for allowing me to see my struggles through other’s eyes to know how blessed I truly am.

Thank you for taking care of the people I love up there

I’ll admit I’ve been angry at you and thought you took a big part of me away when loved ones of mine could no longer continue life on this earth. I thought you were being selfish and taking them away from me but I know now that's not the case. The truth is I know you took them for better and unselfish reasons. Those people needed you and you let them visit you to take their pain and suffering away and make everything okay for them again. Thank you for taking care of them up there and most importantly thanks for letting them watch over me like you do. I know I have your support along with theirs each and every day even if I don’t tell you, but I promise I see it. I see it every day in the multicolored sunsets while driving home. I see it every time someone wipes my tears away and tells me there are better things coming, I know it every time when I hear someone laugh an uncontrollable laugher and when tears start to form from someone feeling so incredibly happy, I know you’re there I know you care, and I could never thank you enough.

Sincerely,

Someone who know's you're here

Cover Image Credit: Mark Bosky / Unsplash

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15 Bible Verses To Calm An Anxious Mind

Finding peace in the midst of turmoil.
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Anxiety hits us from all directions. Whether it be school stress, work stress, a stressful family situation, or anything else in life that causes us to feel unsettled, tired, and afraid of the future; anxiety can feel like it's taking over our lives.

As someone who constantly struggles with anxiety, I know how hard it is to find peace in the midst of a stressful situation. When we feel anxious about something, we generally try to do all that is in our power to control the situation. When we can't control it, we become even more anxious. So how do we stop this downward spiral of anxious turmoil?

We must turn to the one who is in control of all things. God holds all of our lives in his hands and is the only one who can calm our anxious minds. When we frantically struggle to put the pieces of our life together on our own, we will fail.

The only way to gain peace in the midst of anxiety is to turn to God, trusting in His perfect will and His power to hold us in His hands. The best way to remember this truth is to look to the Bible. Here are some verses to help us remember God's provision in the midst of anxiety.

1. Philippians 4:6

We don't have to be anxious when we can freely talk with God about our needs. We can cry out to Him for help and He will hear us.

2. John 14:27

Peace is a wonderful thing. Notice how it says, "I do not give it as the world does." We have to remember that worldly peace is only temporary, but God's peace is forever.

3. Isaiah 41:10

Not only will God give us peace, but He will also strengthen us. The image of God "upholding us with His righteous right hand" is pretty powerful and very comforting.

4. Psalm 94:19

Anxiety can make us sad and upset, but knowing that God is with us can bring so much joy in the face of desolation.

5. Psalm 34:4

Freedom from fear is so empowering! Imagine God setting us free from all the fear that holds us back. Oftentimes fear can make us feel trapped, but God can set us free.

6. 1 Peter 5:7

God cares about us so much, that He allows us to cast all of our worries on His shoulders.

7. 2 Corinthians 12:10

Human capacity is limited. We can by no means do everything, in fact, we can't do anything without the help of God.

8. Philippians 4:13

Nothing can hold us back or scare us when we have the strength of God.

9. Proverbs 3:5

We always try to lean on our own understanding, but it will never be enough. We try to control everything, but it will always fall through. It is because of this that we need to trust in the Lord for everything.

10. Matthew 6:25-34

This passage, while somewhat lengthy, is such a great reminder that God is truly in control of everything. We don't need to worry about a thing because He has it all planned out. We stress out about things that were never ours to worry about in the first place.

11. 2 Timothy 1:7

We were not created to be afraid, but to be empowered and loved by God.

12. Isaiah 26:3

If we simply keep God in the forefront of our minds, we will have perfect peace. Trust in Him brings the greatest peace.

13. Matthew 11:28-30

How comforting is this? Anxiety causes a lot of weariness but knowing that we can rest in God is amazing.

14. Jeremiah 29:11

God has a plan for us, so we don't need to worry about it. His plan is always good and always exactly what we need. His plans will always be better than anything we try to control ourselves.

15. Isaiah 41:13

When we feel anxious and afraid we can take comfort in knowing that God is reaching out His hand to us to help us trust Him and walk with Him.

While anxiety can feel overpowering or terrifying, we should not fear, but rather trust in the perfect and never-changing love and peace of God.

Cover Image Credit: Huffington Post

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The Evolution Of Easter

Hopping through time!
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Among all modern celebrations throughout the year, Easter is one of the most ancient. It began as a Jewish tradition which turned into a Christian one and finally a secular one. Its diversity has led to many interesting celebrations. In the Jewish tradition, Passover celebrates the freedom of the Israelites from Egyptian slavery around 1450 BC.

It is named Passover because the enslaved Jews were to mark their doors with the blood of a lamb so that God would pass over them and not kill their first-born son. For Christians, Jesus Christ died on the Passover. After three days, Jesus resurrected which showed that he conquered death and sin. By his sacrifice, every person who believes in him will be freed from sin and death. This monumental event in Christianity is celebrated as Easter.

The transition from Passover to Easter was a long process. Early Christians celebrated Easter much like Jews had been celebrating Passover. There was even a big debate on whether to rely on the Jewish calendar for the date or create an independent way to figure out the date. As Christianity developed, Easter became more distinct.

In the end, Christians decided to create their own calendar. However, as time went on, even the new calendar became fractured. Now, Western Christianity celebrates Easter on a different date than Eastern Christianity.

In most other languages, Easter is better translated as “Passover”. But, in English, the name Easter comes from St. Bede, an 8th c. English monk who studied history. He wrote that Easter derived its name from the pagan festival of Easter, which celebrated the Anglo-Saxon goddess of spring, Eostre.

It was celebrated around the same time as Easter, and so, early Christians replaced Eostre with Easter. The name stuck through the influence of St. Bede. It literally means “dawn” or “east, toward the sunrise”.

In modern times, Easter has gone a secular transition as can be seen in the Easter eggs and the Easter Bunny. Originally, the Easter egg was a pagan symbol of new life. Christians adopted the egg as a symbol of Jesus’ resurrection and our new life. The empty egg is a symbol of the empty tomb Jesus was buried in. Today, the Easter egg is filled with candy.

Similarly, the Easter Bunny was a pagan symbol of Spring and new life since rabbits reproduce prodigiously. Christians adopted it as a judge who determined which children were good or bad during the Easter season. In Australia, the Easter Bilby is becoming a popular alternative to the bunny since they are pests there.

The long history of Easter and its interesting combination of cultures and traditions make it one of the unique holidays we still celebrate. Despite the many differences, life and people are at the heart of this celebration.

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