he knows your limit

Temptations can be anything and anywhere. They can sneak up on you, deceiving your mind into thinking they’re quite innocent, until you realize they really aren’t, but by then it’s too late. Sometimes they can be as simple as an unencouraged habit, but they can just as easily turn around and be as severe as a life-changing situation. Lies, deceit, bitterness, slacking off, breaking promises, mentally or physically harming yourself in any way, the list goes on and on, and it all seems just so easy.

“Just one time wouldn’t hurt, right?”

“Oh, I’ve only done it once before, I can let myself do it again.”

“Eh, it hasn’t happened that many times, and it’s not like I’m going to make it a habit or anything.”

The thing with temptations, is they’re constantly nagging you, eating away at your conscience. And if you give into them enough times? They’ll devour your conscience completely until there’s nothing holding you back. It may not seem that big of a deal at first, but you never know when it might snap back at you, whether it’s two days or two decades from now.

But you know what Christ says about that?

“No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure.” – 1 Corinthians 10:12-13

Wow. So wait, the Lord is testing you? Yeah, He really is. Man is naturally born as faulty, so we are instantly drawn towards deceit and sin. Don’t worry though! God isn’t just some classic bully from school testing to see how much it takes to blow your fuse, because He created you and knows exactly when to stop so you won’t break. Pretty neat, huh? He knows what tests can push you to your exact limit, so that when you do pull through them–and He makes sure that you do–you’re relationship with Him will be stronger than ever.

However, don’t be getting any big ideas where you can just give in to any temptation that comes your way because “If God makes sure I overcome this in the end, I can totally still do it!”

No. Just no.

“As obedient children, do not be conformed to the former lusts which were yours in your ignorance, but like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also in all your behavior.” – 1 Peter 1:14-15

The Lord doesn’t want us to just up and forsake Him and do whatever we want in the hopes of Him saving our butt whenever we get in a pickle. In response to Him handing us the free gift of salvation, He wants a little something in return. Our faith. He wants us to glorify Him in everything we do, so when we are stuck in the middle of a struggle, we have the mindset to keep going and look at the Light at the end of the tunnel. His Light.

“Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.” – Philippians 4:8

So keep pushing, no matter the size of test, temptation, or struggle, because God has your life in His hands and knows exactly what to do with it. Even if nothing is fixed in this earthly life, we still have something a thousand times better to look forward to. One day everything will be set right, and we will be able to experience the full splendor of Christ in all His glory. We just need to keep our eyes on the finish line and trust that He will see us through to the end.

suzy

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Keep Dreaming

Sometimes, life is hard.

Of course, as we get older, we learn that life was never supposed to be easy. Back when we were young, our lives most likely consisted of dress-up games and make believe and wonder and learning.

We are still young. But sometimes we stop dreaming.

I sat down to type this post, not knowing what to write. I haven’t written a real post since the end of May. There are many reasons for that, a lot of which I won’t go into, but there was a lot of fear. What if my post is too short? Too long? What if people don’t like it? What if I let everyone down again, like I always do? I was letting my worries take over – my creativity was at a stop, and suddenly everything fun (blogging included) was just more pressure. Then I realized it didn’t have to be.

There’s a lot of talk about the struggles of high school. Not just the intense schoolwork, but the pressure of being on the verge of adulthood. We’re told we need good grades to get into a good college, we need to have good friends, the list goes on. So often, we turn into zombies, just following the rules, doing what we’re told.

We are still young, but we are no longer dreaming.

But remember how freeing it is to dream? Your favorite song comes on the radio, you’re alone, you stop to dance. You’re hit with a story idea in the middle of the night, you turn on your lamp, you spend the next hour writing it. It’s snowing outside on winter break, you sit down in a cozy chair, you read a mystery for hours until you’ve finished. When it’s late and you can’t sleep, your mind is racing thinking of all your hopes and passions, no matter how crazy society says they are. I’ll bet it’s fun just to think about.

I don’t know you. Not really, anyway. I don’t know your struggles, nor the cause of your pain, nor exactly how to help you. But I will encourage you to keep dreaming. Let yourself be happy. Find a way to make time for the things you love. Cut out things in your life that upset you, if possible. And most importantly, pray.

God knows you, friend, much better than I do. He is loving and all-powerful, and He is willing to help you. All you have to do is ask. And help might not come like you think, but God knows what you truly need, not just what you want. God’s will is perfect.

Stay strong. Keep dreaming. Be inspired.

~Josie

loving your neighbor as yourself

My dad asks me and all of my siblings the same question every night: “What are the two greatest commandments?

We always answer with the same thing. “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind, soul, and strength, and love your neighbor as yourself.” (Matthew 22:36-40)

That second commandment, “love your neighbor as yourself,” seems pretty easy to interpret. You’ve probably been told to “treat others the way you would want to be treateddozens of times.

But that isn’t true.

You shouldn’t treat others the way you would want to be treated.

You should treat them the way they would want to be treated.

Think about it – we’re all very different. When you’re upset, you may want to be comforted and talked to, while someone else may prefer to have some time to themselves instead. When that person is angry or frustrated, if you treat them the way you would want to be treated, you wouldn’t be showing them kindness.

How could you ever love someone like that? It feels impossible.

You should love others with the extent of love you show yourself. What I mean by this is that there are things that you are passionate about and that you love, things that you will go to great lengths to be able to have. You should take that same passion and drive that you use to achieve the things you love – and use it to love others.

We can never love anyone perfectly. But we can show kindness, we can help in big and small ways, we can put ourselves in someone else’s shoes, and we can try to genuinely care for others. We can be a little part of God using many people in many different ways to show someone that they are loved.

______

-Clara ❤

a memorial

Vietnam.

The World Wars.

The Civil War.

The Revolutionary War.

All of these happened long before I was born, yet we hear about them all the time.

There are things going on all around us that we have no idea about.

Yet, we should know. We should find out.

Many have paid a great price so we can be free. Whether it’s the major wars, like the ones we hear about in history class, or “small” battles that happen all the time, brave men and women have died in these protecting their country.

We have Armed Forces Day, for those currently serving. We have Memorial Day, for those who have passed in service. We have Veterans Day for those who have served and lived through it.

Yet, those are just days we have a cookout, say a prayer, or enjoy the time off.

We should have an attitude of gratefulness. Respect when we look up and see the flag instead of just going through the monotonous pledge once more.

I know it’s been a week since Memorial Day. But this year, this holiday means so much more to me than ever before. I know more. I care more. I feel like I finally understand.

So, join me in a memorial all year round to those who have given the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom.

~Josie

on the horizon

dreams are always on the horizon.

they look like they’re a measurable distance away, and yet they’re not. they’re relative. they seem to get farther away with every step you take toward them. people tell you that with enough work, you’ll reach them, but it takes so long.

until you realize something.

you have your entire life ahead of you. you have your entire future ahead of you. God has plans for you, and although the horizon always seems to be shrinking and swelling and falling and rising, always out of reaching distance, just remember that there’s something magical in the getting there — something gratifying about fighting for every step.

life likes to throw the unexpected in our faces to throw us off track, but God is always there for us. He leads us, guides us, loves us. and He knows what’s best for us. even when things get tough on the way, He’ll always hold us up when we lean on him. we can rest on his faithfulness and unfailing love and trust Him to direct our paths.

so keep on going. keep watching that dream on the horizon, and keep building on it. and don’t ever lose hope of anything, because God is always supporting you. and if your Creator is behind you, you better believe that you’ll find your dream someday.

the journey is the best part, so treasure it.

~

hey guys! i hope you all enjoyed my mini reflection on pursuing your dreams and trusting that God will guide you along the way. as young people with big dreams, it’s important that we don’t give up on them and that we take time to experience the journey.

as you may or may not have noticed, there was an absence of a post last weekend. we had some issues with scheduling, and some of our contributors were having internet issues, but we’re hopefully back on track now. just know that if we have to miss a post or two, we’re still working hard to provide quality content and will return soon.

we love you all! see you next weekend and have a wonderful week.

–sarah

quantity over quality

​Confession time: I do not attend a church regularly.

Yes, you did read that right. I, Suzy, am not a member of a one specific church, and only visit one about two to three times a month.

Crazy, right? But it’s true, and very discouraging.

I feel a lack of my faith by not being part of a worshiping community regularly. I go to a homeschool co-op, and all my friends there attend pretty much every event or fellowship their church has.

But not me.

I’m home alone pretty often, as my family’s in a small financial crunch at the moment, and everyone except me works almost every day. Including Sunday.

The church I visit is an hour away from my house, but it’s the closest one that matches my family’s theology. We go to the morning service on Sundays when we can, but no more than that. Never Sunday school, never youth group, never retreats or potlucks.

It’s a little hard to bear sometimes, as a couple years ago we left a church I’ve been a part of for most of my life. I’d grown up there, knowing practically everybody there by name. It was a small church-only around 200 people at most-so if there was an event, almost everybody took part. It was a great community and had nice people.

Somewhere along the way, either my family or the pastor changed sight of how the Word should be taught, and we had to leave. This was the very year I’d first become part of their youth group. It was an awesome group, with yearly mission trips and fundraisers, game nights, amazing leaders and youth pastors, very encouraging teaching, and just overall some of the best people to be around. My four older siblings all gotten to experience that through their entire junior high and highschool lives.

But I didn’t.

I’m just little ol’ me, sitting at home and wondering what to do with my life. 😛 I try my best to watch recordings of sermons online and read a couple Christian books and study them (I personally really enjoy Saved Without a Doubt by John Macarthur and Do Hard Things by Alex and Brett Harris), but it’s not easy when you aren’t regularly meeting with fellow Christians to talk about His Word.

It’s not exactly something I can control, as I’m sure my parents don’t like it just as much as I do, but I still feel like I’m not strong enough in my faith because of this. I don’t feel adequate for God, and at times, I wonder if I’m a Christian at all.

This problem has been troubling me for some time now, but a couple weeks ago the pastor we’ve been visiting said something that really spoke to me.

It’s not the quality of your faith that matters. It’s whether you have any faith at all.

This encourages me so much. I still try my best to study the Lord’s Word, even if it’s infrequent. I still praise my Savior and think of Him when I’m troubled. I still believe He died for my sins.

And to be honest, that’s all you really need. Yes, it’s important to go to church, worship with other believers, and hear the Bible being preached, but it’s not necessary. It’s not about how much you believe in God that makes you a Christian or sends you to Heaven. It’s about if you really believe in Him in the first place.

I just thought this was so uplifting, and really wanted to share it with you. Because if there’s anyone out there in a tough spot like me, just try to remember this and it’ll all turn out for His good in the end. 🙂

He has a plan, and it’s our job to believe in it.

– suzy –

Jesus replied, “Truly I tell you, if you have faith and do not doubt, not only can you do what was done to the fig tree, but also you can say to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and it will be done. -Matthew 21:21

a welcome to May 2017

april was an amazing month.

it was a month of new beginnings, of spring weather and blue skies, of smiles and celebrating God’s gift to us of life beyond this world. for many writers, it was a month of busy wordsmithing. for the dreamers, it was a month of imagination and goal-setting and daydreaming.

we gained almost thirty followers after posting for three weeks, designed a simplistic header and button, established a schedule among the contributors, and kept better equipping ourselves to provide you with inspiration and encouragement once a week. in May, we hope to continue improving and developing this up-and-coming collab blog.


the young and dreaming is a blog that has been in the works for months and months, and we finally were able to welcome you all here a few weeks ago! if you were able to take some time and look around, you’re probably aware that we currently have four wonderful contributors — Ashlynn, Bella, Josie, and Suzy. here are the two posts that they wrote for this month, not counting Suzy’s welcome post.

// A Blessed Day: Resurrection Sunday →  Bella’s wonderful reflection on the amazing sacrifice that Jesus made for us, and the fact that he is not dead but alive and loving us more than ever!

// {Never Ending} → Josie’s beautifully written post on how each and every one of us is fearfully and wonderfully made.

thank you to each and every one of our amazing followers and readers! we love you all so much regardless of who you are.

let’s look forward to a wonderful May and all of the memories that we’ll make. ❤

-with love from everyone at The Y&D-

p.s. help us reach fifty followers this month by displaying our button on your blog sidebar or button swap page! you can copy the code in the box and paste it into a page, post, or sidebar widget.

{Never Ending}

2 Corinthians 4:16:  Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.

Do you recall the day someone told you that you have an obnoxious laugh, that your style in clothes was odd, or that you were annoying and your opinions were stupid?

I’ll bet you remember it perfectly.

Now, every time you start to laugh at a joke, you hold yourself back. When you get dressed in the morning, you double check to make sure you fit with the trends. You never disagree with anyone and keep your mouth shut half the time.

During each one of these incidents, their words still ring in the back of your mind.

I let their words in. I let them get the best of me. — Worth it by Cimorelli

For many of you, insecurities fill your mind every day. Your hair is the wrong type or color, you’re not skinny enough, you have too many pimples; basically, you believe you’re a waste of space

So, you try to find a way to cope.

You change your appearance. You keep yourself busy. You lose weight. You act out. You refuse to let yourself cry.

Everything should be perfect then, right?

Wrong.

Pretty girl, don’t need to hide the part of you that you don’t like. Turns out, it’s my favorite thing about you. — Freckles by Maddie Wilson 

You’re still depressed, and you don’t know why. It’s never enough for anyone, and you still aren’t happy with yourself.

Oh, darling, you were never meant to change. You cannot find your fulfillment in what other people think; it’s a never-ending search. However, our fulfillment comes from God our father. Everything else will end in hurt, pain, and disappointment.

Psalms 139:14a: I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made.

He made you: your smile, your laugh, your complexion, your style, your weight, your height, your personality, your talents — the Bible tells us we were even made in God’s image.

Song of Songs 4:7: You are altogether beautiful, my darling;
    there is no flaw in you.

In God’s eyes, everyone is beautiful. Think of yourself as God’s work of art. He spent time on you, crafting every part of you.

Romans 6:23: For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

And when you get saved, your sin has been wiped clean.

I know this is a thing that a lot of people struggle with insecurities. Sometimes, it originates from people’s words. Their insults stick to us and we remember them for a long time. Even after they’re practically forgotten, we still feel insecure.

When things get hard, we try to find ways to cope, but at the end of them, they never seem to work. However, God gives us our worth, and can I say: you all are very, truly amazing. Like a piece of a puzzle — when one goes missing, the whole picture is ruined.

I hope you enjoyed this second person story/poetry/Bible verse/song lyric compilation! Share your thoughts in the comments below.

~Josie

A Blessed Day: Ressurection Sunday

Tommorow is a glorious day.

Jesus, our Lord, will rise from the dead, bringing new hope.

Matthew Chapter 28, Verses 5-7 says,Then the angel said to the women in reply, “Do not be afraid! I know that you are seeking Jesus the crucified. He is not here, for he has been raised just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay. Then go quickly and tell his disciples, ‘He has been raised from the dead, and he is going before you to Galilee; there you will see him.’ Behold, I have told you.” 

What a miracle, right? Jesus, the Son of Man, was raised from the dead! He died on the cross so we didn’t have to, and now, three days later, he rises, showing death is not the end. If we believe, we will go live with him in Heaven after we die, and have eternal life.

How cool is that? God loves us so much, He was willing to send His only son, and sacrifice him for the sake of the world. No matter what you’ve done, you’re never so far gone that He can’t reach you. He loves you unconditionally, and always has, and always will. Easter is a great reminder of His unfailing love, the lengths He’s willing to go for us, and the hope Easter gives us. Jesus’ ressurection gives us wonderful hope, hope in him, and hope in our eternal home.

bella's-signoff.jpg

welcome

hey there, readers! i’m suzy, and i’ve been given the pleasure of welcoming you to this brand new blog. thanks so much for stopping by! we’re all glad you stumbled across this small corner, and we hope to grow it into a flourishing community soon. you may be wondering what exactly this blog is and what it’s about, so i guess i’ll just jump right into it.

about the blog

the Young & Dreaming-or Y&D-is a collaboration blog of teen Christian girls. we all share a love for Christ, and want to spread our love to as many as we can. and that’s why we are here, with this blog as our window. it’s a place where we can share our thoughts on the troubles and triumphs of life. to give encouragement when needed and brighten someone’s day. we want to give quality posts about our one and only Lord and Savior, for He is the brightest light.

who we are

the contributors here are girls varying from ages 13-17. as of right now, there are four of us authors including me, Ashlynn, Bella, and Josie. there is also the creator of this blog, but she wishes to be unmentioned at the moment. you know who you are, and you rock, girl. 🙂

what we believe

each of us has different beliefs about details of our faith, but when it all comes down to the rock hard truth, all of us believe that Christ is the son of God, who died on the cross to pay the penalty of all our terrible sins. we believe He was crucified, and raised three days later, returning to His rightful place at the right hand of our Father.

what you’ll find

using that as a basis of this blog, our posts will be about anything and everything that’s encouraging and inspiring. you’ll find thoughts, poetry, prose, articles, reflections on Scriptures, musings, etc. about once a week. some material may be lighthearted and cheerful, while some may get into the deep discussions. but with this in mind, everything will be quality-filled emphasis on optimism, faith, and encouragement.

and of course, that doesn’t mean all our readers have to be Christian either! we welcome anyone who needs a little inspiration, no matter what your beliefs.

why to follow

there are plenty of other Christian collab blogs out there that post about everyday with plenty of followers. and we know that they are all fantastic blogs with an awesome purpose, but what sets us different is we strive towards quality over quantity. the Young & Dreaming will spend time on each post, so that we can provide quality content that helps with any struggles you might have in life. if you’re having a gray day and just need a little push to keep going, you’ve found the right place.

let’s do this

so come along! join us dreamers on our ever-changing journey. we don’t know where our paths will take us, but we definitely know Who guides them.

– the Young & Dreaming team –