A Godly Teenage Girl

A good woman is hard to find, and worth far more than diamonds.

Today’s culture celebrates and encourages sin. If you’re not sinful, to the majority of people, you’re an outcast. However, if you are a good woman, you have true worth more than precious jewels.

Proverbs 31 is often referenced as a good verse to define womanhood, and I agree! However, a lot of these verses apply mostly to married women and follow the customs of Bible times, so I thought I’d dive into wisdom we can take away from these verses even as single teenage girls in today’s culture. I’ve used the Message translation for the purpose of this post.

Her husband trusts her without reserve, and never has reason to regret it.

A good woman is always faithful, and not once has she ever broken anyone’s trust. We must understand what it means to give our word, and know that yes means yes and no means no unconditionally.

Never spiteful, she treats him generously all her life long.

A good woman never holds grudges and is always kind, even when it’s inconvenient for her emotions. Teenage girls are known for being catty and always getting revenge, but we can be the city on a hill by loving everyone, friend and enemy, without spite.

She shops around for the best yarns and cottons, and enjoys knitting and sewing… She’s skilled in the crafts of home and hearth, diligent in homemaking.

A good woman enjoys passions that are productive and wholesome. This doesn’t necessarily mean knitting and sewing, as much of that is machine-done now, but back in Bible times knitting and sewing provided clothes, blankets, and other goods for the family. Therefore, it is a hobby that doesn’t waste her time and does good for others. What we do in our spare time should reflect that; and we should often check the fruits of our labors.

She’s up before dawn, preparing breakfast for her family and organizing her day… First thing in the morning, she dresses for work and rolls up her sleeves, eager to get started. She senses the worth of her work, is in no hurry to call it quits for the day.

A good woman knows how to handle her responsibilities, even if it means getting up before the sun does to do what needs to be done, and she keeps working well into the evening. It can be hard to get up on time for school and afterward we just want to relax and watch TV. However, getting up earlier and persevering gives us time to accomplish all our school assignments and any other hobbies we want to pursue.

She’s quick to assist anyone in need, reaches out to help the poor.

A good woman is charitable. She doesn’t stop and think about herself first or worry if helping out will get her hands dirty. We should always be willing to be Christlike and help those in need, not just for volunteer hours, but out of love for others.

She doesn’t worry about her family when it snows; their winter clothes are all mended and ready to wear.

A good woman is prepared. If an emergency were to happen, she has a backup plan. We can show this in our lives by doing things ahead of time, not just waiting until the last minute. Who knows what change of plans could happen?

She makes her own clothing, and dresses in colorful linens and silks. Her husband is greatly respected when he deliberates with the city fathers. She designs gowns and sells them, brings the sweaters she knits to the dress shops. Her clothes are well-made and elegant.

A good woman excels at what she does even though it is hard work. We’re growing up in a culture that teaches us to complain when something is hard or a webpage takes longer than thirty seconds to load, but a good woman knows how to do the work and do it well.

… and she always faces tomorrow with a smile.

A good woman doesn’t worry about tomorrow, for she knows that tomorrow can worry about itself. She sees each day as a new opportunity. Even though the world is crashing down around us due to sin, we have the hope of Jesus Christ in our hearts and should always be optimistic.

When she speaks she has something worthwhile to say, and she always says it kindly.

A good woman only speaks what is wholesome. This means she doesn’t gossip, talk smack about others, brag, or lie. She only says things that are true, noble, right, pure, lovely, and admirable. We must be careful what we say, online and offline, to make sure that we don’t waste our words.

She keeps an eye on everyone in her household, and keeps them all busy and productive.

A good woman knows how to influence others when she is in a position of leadership. For example, many teens babysit or are put in charge of their little siblings, and this is a great way to live out this verse.

Her children respect and bless her; her husband joins in with words of praise: “Many women have done wonderful things, but you’ve outclassed them all!”

A good woman is recognized by those around her who have seen the many great things she does and how holy she is. Our parents, teachers, and coworkers should be able to see that we are different.

Charm can mislead and beauty soon fades. The woman to be admired and praised is the woman who lives in the Fear-of-God.

While society may try to tell us what they think a good woman is, the happiness from that will soon fade. A godly woman will have longer lasting joy and admiration from the right people.

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The Fortified Tower

Trembling, scared, afraid, emotions spilling over the top.

Tears spilling, nonstop, slowly becoming numb.

Blasting through your ears, forgetting about where you’ve come from.

On the phone, trying to explain, scared to talk.

Your best friend says it feels like you’ve already died.

The sad part is you think you want to.

Blood, scars, shame, humiliation, the world it dark.

You need someone, something, anything to protect you. It feels like no one cares and if they do they won’t understand.

And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us. – Romans 5:5

Then Pilate took Jesus and had him flogged. The soldiers twisted together a crown of thorns and put it on his head. They clothed him in a purple robe and went up to him again and again, saying, “Hail, king of the Jews!” And they slapped him in the face… As soon as the chief priests and their officials saw him, they shouted, “Crucify! Crucify!” – John 19:1-2, 6

The name of the Lord is a fortified tower; the righteous run to it and are safe. – Proverbs 18:10

God loves us. He has poured His love into our hearts through the Holy Spirit.

Jesus understands. He was sent to earth and died one of the most painful deaths surrounded by people mocking Him. He lived a life of temptation and pain just as you and I.

The name of the Lord is a fortified tower. If you run to it, you will be saved.

That verse isn’t a fill in the blank. You can’t say “Music is a fortified tower. If I listen to it, I will be saved,” or  “My boyfriend/girlfriend is a fortified tower. If I run to them, I will be saved,” or “Self-harm/drugs/drinking is a fortified tower. If I run to them, I will be saved.”

Sounds ridiculous, right?

Except we drown ourselves in our music to forget the world. We find people to date to make us feel worth something again, but it only ends in heartbreak. We self-harm to make our lives feel justified or do drugs and drink to forget the world around us.

But does the Bible advise us to go running to all that?

No. God tells us to run to the one Who cares about you more than anyone else, the one Who understands you better than you understand yourself, and the one Who will never fall apart, leave you with more pain, or only give you a temporary solution.

When I said, “My foot is slipping,” your unfailing love, Lord, supported me. – Psalm 94:18

Every single time I’ve messed up, God has always been right there. Sometimes God tells me not to do things that hurt myself and I do them anyway, but He’s never said to me “You’ve messed up too many times and you’re no longer worthy of My love.” He’s always given me a reminder that He loves me and that He’s already paid the price for my sin; I don’t need to take guilt into my own hands.

So run to the Lord, and be safe.

If you are feeling suicidal, have had suicidal thoughts, or have harmed yourself, please talk to a trusted adult. There’s no issue “too small” to go over with.  If you ignore it, the problems will only snowball over time. God loves you and doesn’t want that life for you. Feel free to email me if you ever need to talk.

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20 Things You Can Pray For Daily

It’s easy to forget how powerful prayer is. We’re actually talking to the Lord of all creation and as Christians, I think we often take that for granted.

 

The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective. – James 5:16b

A few weeks ago, I wanted to create a list to place on the wall near where I keep my Bible to remind me what to pray for and just to keep praying. I wrote down everything I could think of, but when I went to go look up more ideas, Google left me pretty empty. Everything I found was a short list of stuff I’d already thought of.

In case any of you are with me on this, love prayer, and/or want more ideas of things to pray for, here are the ideas I came up with.

Personal

Pray for. . .

 

1. God to use you to share the Gospel with someone

This is something my pastor encourages our youth group to do every morning when you wake up. Pray that God will use you to share the Gospel, bring someone to Christ, and be a light to others.

2. Strength to avoid temptation

As we go through our day, the devil has many temptations set to lead us astray. Pray that God will give you strength to avoid these temptations.

3.  The fruit of the Spirit

. . . Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.  Galatians 5:22-23

Pray that you will be filled with these virtues so that you may reflect Christ and become more godly.

4. A forgiving heart that doesn’t hold a grudge

Because we were forgiven, we can forgive. Pray that you don’t hold things against others and will have the strength to resolve a fight instead of make it worse.

5. God to use your talents to glorify Him

For me, that looks like praying over my words before I write to leave it in God’s hands or for the growing worship team at my church. Pray that whatever your talents are, that God will use you for His glory.

Friends and Family

Pray for . . .

6. Those who are sick

Especially with flu season going around, pray that God would comfort those who are sick and bring them a quick recovery.

7. Who/what you’ve said you’ll pray for

How many times do Christians throw around the phrase “I’ll pray for you!”, and how many times do we actually pray? Be true to your word and pray for people you’ve said you’ll pray for.

8. Friends who are unsaved 

If you know your friend is unsaved or aren’t sure, pray for their souls and pray that you can play a role in their salvation.

9. Your future spouse

This is something I’m new to, so I don’t know as much about it, but pray for your future husband/wife.

10. Your neighborhood

There’s an amazing website called Pray4EveryHome. I recommend you check it out and follow the instructions on there!

Church

Pray for . . .

11. Requests from church groups

Pay attention when people ask for prayer in church/youth group/etc. They could really use your prayer.

12. Your pastors 

There are so many things you can pray for your pastors! For example, to bless the sermons they write and to give them strength to do their jobs.

13.  Your church’s vision to be fulfilled

Lately, my church has been taking a lot about our vision. Pray that it is fulfilled and that you can play a role in that.

14. Biblical unity 

Unity in the church is another thing we’ve been talking about. Basically, getting along with everyone in the congregation and being a good community. Pray that you can connect with others in your church and for the ability to prevent fights.

15. Missionaries

For the missionaries in your church. If your church doesn’t have any (or even if they do), missionaries around the world. List them by name and specific needs if you know of any.

Other

Pray for . . .

16. Your enemies

Bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. – Luke 6:28

I bet some of you saw this coming, didn’t you? 😉 Yes, pray for your enemies. If they’re unsaved, pray for their souls; pray for you to behave in a Christlike way; pray for anything specific to their needs.

17. Our country’s leaders

Some of you like our president. Some of you hate him. Some of you know the other people in office. Some of you don’t. Either way, pray that God would give them wisdom, even if you don’t like them —  all the more reason to pray.

18. Your blog readers

You can interpret this in any way you like, but pray for your blog readers! This is something I’ve recently been doing. 😀

19. Human trafficking victims

This is something I’ve recently learned more about. There’s still slavery going on in many ways. Pray for their freedom and for peoples’ eyes to be opened.

20. Charities 

What’s just as good, if not better, than donating to a charity with a noble cause? Praying for them! Pray that they would be able to do their work well and that they would have sufficient funds.

“If every prayer you prayed in the last 24 hours was answered, what would happen?”

I’m not sure where this quote originated, but it makes you think. What am I praying for? Who am I praying for? Am I even praying?

What would you guys add to this list? Share with me in the comments! Praying for you all,

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How to Gratitude Journal

Last year, I took a homeschool gym class at our local college campus. My group of friends hated it, but it wasn’t always that bad. Even when I had fun in our basketball unit or that semester we had epic teachers, I couldn’t really say that without getting a strange look.

This caused me to realize we can choose to love a situation for the good in it or hate a situation and focus on the negative  — but life would be all the better with more love.

That’s where the idea gratitude journaling comes in. It helps you focus on the good in life and makes you a happier person in general.  I got the idea from Christina and Amy Cimorelli. They mentioned this in their book, Lessons Learned. After hearing their own processes and how they’ve benefited from it, I’ve come up with my own routine I’m sharing with you all so you can see if it works for you too.

How to Gratitude Journal:

  1. Pick out a journal you like. You can do this physically or digitally; whatever works for you.
  2. Decide when to do it. I’ve found it’s most effective at two times: first thing in the morning or when you’re in a bad mood/have had a bad day. It’s been said the first ten minutes of your day set up the rest of your day, so why not start with a thankful mood? As for the latter, finding the good in your life when you’re in a bad time is totally life-changing.
  3. Come up with a structure. This helps you stay focused. Personally, I come up with five things to be grateful for and write it out exactly like “I’m so grateful for —”. Then, under each thing, I write “Thank you” three times to praise God for these things and really feel grateful for them (though now that I think of it, I should probably be writing “Thank You” 😉).
  4. Be grateful! The things you write can range from experiences (I’m so grateful I got to spend time with my friends today) to the things we take for granted (I’m so grateful I have a roof over my head) to random things that seem small (I’m so grateful for candles); you get the point. Be creative and try to come up with something new each time.

This has done nothing but positive things for me and been able to turn my mood around pretty quickly. I encourage you all to try this out and come up with your own way to do this!

Josie

smile

“Smile.”

You’ve been told that many times, each person with different intentions.

Smile, because you always do.

Smile, because I want you to. 

Smile, because I want you to see you happy. 

Sometimes you pretend to be happy so others don’t worry about you. You hate it when they needlessly worry, yet at the same time you want to know someone, anyone cares to break down your walls.

Sometimes you just want to break. Sometimes you use anger to cover up sadness. But when you are sad, you’re always told to… smile. Your feelings get stored up over and over again, hiding behind your plastic face.

It’s hard to be strong. What you don’t know is how much strength it takes to let yourself feel.

So frown. Cry all you want. Then smile – not because you’re supposed to or because someone tells you to. Smile because you are truly happy and because you are loved.


I guess all of my posts have kinda had a theme recently of being pretty short and talking about emotions. They’re usually based on what I’m learning in life, so I guess I’ve been learning a lot about feeling. Hopefully they’re inspiring and relatable to you guys too. 🙃

artists feel everything

It’s okay to feel sad. 

Feelings are complicated things. We all have them, whether we’d like to admit it or not. But take a step back to think about it. Joy, fear, pain, hope, love, the list goes on.

Some days, it can be really good to just feel. It’s okay to be happy and joyful without fearing disappointment, and it’s okay to feel the satisfaction of crying and letting out all your pain. It’s okay, and it can impact your art.

I’m going to take a guess and say that most, if not all, the readers of this blog like some kind of art form, whether it be writing, music, dance, drawing, etc. Just for a minute, close your eyes and think about your art.You’ve probably heard the advice to make people feel something through art, but it can be easy to forget that we have to feel it first. How can we make others feel an emotion we haven’t felt ourselves?

Take music. As you practice songs, remember how the lyrics make you feel. As you compose your own pieces, remember not just to compile together what sounds nice, but to tell a story. As you write lyrics, remember that emotional honesty makes a song stand out.

It hasn’t been until the past couple days that I’ve really taken this to heart. Go feel something. Don’t be an emotionless robot, no matter what anyone else thinks. Use your emotion to fuel your passion.

I dare you.

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

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

{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