"trust me, i've got you."

June 5, 2019
hello! my name is Paige and i've been asked by the lovely Karina to be a coauthor on her amazing blog! i hope the words i am about to share with you help your heart in some way, Lord willing. recently, my youth pastor texted me to see if i would be willing to do a devotion for the girls in my youth group. i excitedly texted him back and said that i would be more than happy to speak to the girls. over the next few days i worked on a devotion i was SURE i was going to give to the beautiful girls in my youth group. but then, i got a completely new devotion from the Lord and worked on it the night before i had to speak. after finishing my writing at around two a.m. (i'm a night owl) i felt accomplished and in the Lord's will. speaking to the girls the next day made me feel so joyful in the Lord and i hoped that i spoke in a way that left something on their hearts. that night, Karina texted me and used her encouraging and positive words to make me feel even better about my devotion and then she asked me to do this (again. super encouraging. i love Karina and her vibe). so now i think i'm going to actually start my devotion(:

sometimes everyone, even the best of us, need reassurance. we need it to feel better about particular situations or simply life in general. so that's what i want to do for you wonderful people today! life happens, and often times it is difficult to remember that God has us and he's saying, "trust me, i've got   you." with things like graduations or other life changes, it's easy to let these things overwhelm us so much that we forget God is telling us this all the time, in good times and bad. it's our job to find comfort in this and know that he has a plan for our lives.
here are some verses to help me remember these things:
  • Matthew 28:20- he is with you always, whether life seems sunshiney at the time, or the stormiest it's ever been. 
  • Hebrews 13:5- he gives you the promise of never leaving you, in any walk of life. this should be comforting to you as it is to me, the God who created mountains and stars and overcame death makes the promise of always staying with you. 
  • Jeremiah 29:11- this verse doesn't just talk about God having a plan for you and your life, but a perfect one that was created just as intricately as you were. God doesn't just throw plans together like we do. he takes his time to make sure they are just what they need to be.  
at the beginning of the year, i felt like so many things in my life were changing, and rapidly. normally i am good with change, and oftentimes encourage it. but these changes were things that overwhelmed me, and made me question what God was doing in my life. it's funny how we always question what God is doing. as if we don't think he's good enough to take care of our lives, or maybe we think that we could do it better. at the time i wasn't in the best place i could be with God, the one who i needed the most. because of this i couldn't understand what He was doing, or why, and i even questioned if he heard my prayers. as if they were getting lost or overlooked. (quick reminder: he hears your prayers, you just have to remember He has you and you don't know the big picture yet, give things time.) i couldn't see the big picture, so when new opportunities and blessings came about, i was skeptical and untrusting. i wasn't trusting the one who had me. my lack of trust almost made me miss out on some of the biggest blessings that are in my life now. i also wouldn't be in the solid place i am in my walk, and i probably wouldn't have the opportunity to share my heart with all of you beautiful people. something that helped me in my time of healing and trusting the Lord was to read a book. it sounds odd but my youth pastor told me to, and at the time i was desperate to feel okay again. so i read a couple books by Bob Goff, an author who i highly recommend. once i finished his books i read his wife's books. her name is Maria and she is also an amazing author! with these books and the thigns i had learned during this time, i. made some tips on helping you bring yourself, or keep yourself in a place of trust with Him. 

  1. have a "board"- a group of Christians you can go to that you know will give you legitimate Godly advice. if you're going through a good or bad time in your life, you need these people either way. 
  2. break if you need to- yes this is an odd tip for someone to recommend, but sometimes you need to break. this gives God more pieces to work with. it's good to break for the Lord. 
  3. trust him- another odd tip, i know. things are that simple though, we just make them complicated ourselves. He knows what He's doing and nothing is going to change that. you have to change though. trust him. pray about it. do what you need to to get to that point. i promise He'll surprise you, and give you a peace that only He can give you. 
i hope that some of my words helped your heart. thank you so much for reading this, and thank you to my friend Karina for giving me this opportunity, it has been a blessing to me. have a happy day(:

i won't go speechless.

May 28, 2019
"ok, i posted it." said my mom who was referring to an interesting article on bullying. her caption stated that bullying was something that everyone can be faced with it at any age and it can also be experienced within a church. we both knew that posting an article like this would cause a stir that could potentially end in ruins, our suspicions were correct. followers started to comment, sharing their experiences with bullying and shortly an interesting comment was posted that was later deleted by the commenter. we expected there to be a commenter who wouldn't be happy with my mom speaking up on the topic of bullying, but we didn't expect a phone call instructing for the post to be deleted. this commenter's family didn't want mine to speak up. they wanted us to be silent. they wanted us to remain speechless.

my household counted down the days, and maybe even hours, until the live action disney aladdin showed in theaters. my sister, alanna, was especially excited because this is her favorite disney movie. our original plan was to see it the very day it was released, but we decided to have a yard sale (they are our specialty :D)  therefore, our plan was delayed until the next day. 

after we packed the leftover items from our successful yard sale into our car, my parents took the items to goodwill. then we changed into nicer attire and drove to the nearest movie theater that was showing aladdin. as the movie began to start, my sisters and i looked at each other and grinned because the moment that we had been waiting for had finally arrived. then, the main character, *sighs* aladdin, made his way onto the big screen. sophie, my youngest sister, whispered to me "woah, he's cute." and of course i agreed because who doesn't like a guy with a nice smile, right?! the movie was very similar to the original; the classic genie and the lamp, the handsome wanna-be prince manages to sweep the princess off her feet, the phenomenal songs that everyone knows by heart- but there was also a new and powerful song sung by the princess herself. 

Here comes a wave
Meant to wash me away
A tide that is taking me under
Swallowed in sand
Left with nothing to say
My voice drowned out in the thunder

But I won't cry
And I won't start to crumble
Whenever they try
To shut me or cut me down

I won't be silenced
You can't keep me quiet
Won't tremble when you try it
All I know is I won't go speechless

Try to lock me in this cage
I won't just lay me down and die
I will take these broken wings
And watch me burn across the sky
And it echoes saying I...

Won't be silenced
No you will not see me tremble when you try it
All I know is I won't go speechless
as i listened to those lyrics i recalled the time when my family was asked to remain silent. we were asked to not talk about a topic and act that has left many people broken. we were asked to go speechless. we made the decision not to remain silent and we were shamed for it.

i don't doubt that i am the only person in both christian and non-christian circles who has been asked to remain silent against certain topics, life circumstances, etc. but just like princess jasmine, we should not be forced to be quiet. we should not be locked in a cage. we should not be silenced. nobody can take away your freedom to speak and i encourage you to be bold, brave, and do not remain speechless even if you are shamed for speaking up.

i won't go speechless, will you?
-karina grace

a precious tea cup.

May 22, 2019

i heard my phone buzz as i was making my famous recipe of hot chocolate on a warm august day (yes, i am that type of person). i reached for my phone and found a notification from my friend from south africa. the message informed me that she was participating in an international teacup exchange and she thought that i might enjoy participating in it as well. after a few minutes of filling out the required details in order to participate, my heart was filled with delight because i was going to send a teacup package to somebody that i have never met before! then i thought to myself, "hmmm.. what devotional can i include that correlates to a teacup?" but then i remembered a devotional that my mom once taught from "and the bride wore white" by dannah gresh.

"i wish you were here with me right now. i would pamper you nearly to death. i would grab some of my favorite hand lotion—probably pear or peach scented—and I would give you a wonderful hand massage all the way up to your elbows. then i would take you into my dining room where i would have the table covered in silk and lace. dainty, valuable teacups would be waiting for us with your favorite steaming tea at the perfect temperature. i would have godiva biscuits lying in a crystal bowl near your table setting. close your eyes and go there with me. rub your own hands and relax. hear the relaxing music in the background. imagine the beautiful teacup as you lift it to your lips. crunch into that delicious biscuit, smothered in just the right amount of chocolate. mmmm-mm! This is excellent. i feel pampered. do you?

oh, wake up! all i really gave you was a lousy bag of dead leaves in some hot water. that’s it! (okay, the godiva was a bit costly.) but it was not what i gave to you that made you feel special. it was how i gave it. the lace and silk and fine china cups gave value to the actual gift. how i presented everything was what made you feel valued.

you see, i could have walked down the hall outside my office to a cold steel machine and, after plunking a few coins into it, brought you a styrofoam cup full of leaves and hot water. there would be no great memories there. i gave you something “trashable.” i could have driven you to the local coffee shop and ordered us a ceramic mug of hot tea and maybe a bagel or something to go with it. that would be okay, but if the mug broke or we never got to go there again, no big deal. the mug wasn’t treasured and valued in the highest sense. but pull in the fine china and silk and lace and godiva treats and we have a memory that we want to keep around. you and i would both be crushed if one of those precious cups broke. they are treasured possessions to us. let me ask you something. In your dating relationships, are you a “trashable” styrofoam cup, an everyday ceramic mug that is easily replaceable, or a valuable, priceless teacup. it’s all in the presentation."

dannah gresh is informing her readers that there are three different types of cups, or in other words, three different types of women. styrofoam, ceramic, and teacups:

1.) the styrofoam cup.
the styrofoam cup is something that is taken advantage of. often people chew on the rim and leave behind stains from the beverage that was previously poured into it, and when they have received what they wanted the user will toss this cup into a trash bin, never to be seen again. it is not valued.

2.) the ceramic cup.
the ceramic cup isn't as "trashable" but they often develop a chip or two over time. occasionally these cups are accidentally dropped and shatter into a million pieces. but who cares, right? all you have to do is pick up what's broken, discard the undesirable mug, and replace it with something new. it is not valued.

3.) the teacup. 
unlike the styrofoam or ceramic cup, a tea cup is cherished. this precious cup is held with respect. it isn't chewed on and rarely brakes; but if it were to brake the owner would carefully repair the damaged pieces. a tea cup is delicate and fragile but is also strong and durable. it is valued. 

i absolutly love that illustration and i hope my teacup package recipient enjoyed it as well! which cup do you value yourself as; something trashable, breakable, or precious? if christian women were to act similar to a tea cup they would be treated with both respect and delicacy, and would be remembered as a woman who has the strength to overcome the hardships that may come into her life.