Finding Abundant Life in Christ

So, it’s currently Sunday as I am starting to write this, and this blog post will, Lord willing, be going up this upcoming Tuesday (edit, it’s up Thursday XD). Normally I don’t write posts this last minute, but life has been pretty crazy lately. XP 😉

Anywho, with that said, today’s post is going to be a bit more raw than most of my posts. I want to share some things that God’s been teaching me lately. So, let’s go!

Lately, I’ve realized how much I tend to stray from God. My phone continually distracts me and steals my attention – and when I’m on it, it doesn’t even fill me up with real joy, in fact, it tends to steal my joy. The distractions that the enemy tries to trap us in are all like that – they seem relaxing, they seem nice, they gratify our current wishes, but in the end, they never satisfy.

Unlike distractions, I love how God exceeds our expectations and overflows our cups!! I went to a dance last week, and I was so excited for it. I had a fun time, yet it wasn’t quite what I expected, unfortunately. That reminded me that, unlike people/events/etc, God is ALWAYS going to bring us joy and life, and meet and even exceed our expectations. Even when life isn’t stable, or things go wrong, He can be trusted. He always brings us joy and abundance! When we choose to put our hope and joy in HIM, and not our circumstances/events/people we know, we WILL find true life that we cannot find anywhere else.

Yahweh (God) loves you so much and wants a deep relationship with you. He wants you to put all your hope in Him, and wholly surrender your life to Him to hold in His oh-so-capable hands. God wants to pour His love into our hearts until we overflow. He has abundant life for US that He wants us to experience.

Jesus said in John 10:10: The thief only comes to steal, kill, and destroy. I came that they may have life, and may have it abundantly.

Life is spent outside of your phone, outside of chasing boys, outside of chasing after the wind. There is so much MORE for you, and it’s all found in knowing the Lord. He wants to have a relationship with me and with you and give us what our hearts desire – to be known and loved. ❤

Hebrews 12:1-2 says: Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. (emphasis mine)

What are you eyes set on? If they’re not on the Lord, you will be feeling empty. We must keep our eyes always set on Jesus, the Author & Perfecter of our faith, running this race with endurance. It’s all about Him, not all about us.

We find abundant life in Christ when we lay our lives down in surrender, repent of our sins, and accept Jesus into our lives. Once we are saved by His glorious grace, we then get to have a relationship with Him on a daily basis. By getting in His Word and praying and worshiping daily, we learn from Him and grow in Him. We are strengthened to do what we were made to know – know God and make Him known with our lives.

I want to encourage you girls to be intentional to get in the Word & prayer daily, and to repent and fight against sin and the enemy. Build your life around Christ, and find your joy, hope, and LIFE in HIM. Life is too short and too valuable to live in any other way. We live in a dark world. How will YOU seek Christ and make a difference? Will you surrender your all to Him? Will you spend your time glorifying Him, or gratifying your lusts and desires? Will you place all your joy and hope in Him? I pray, my friend, that you will. 🙂

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Q & A – My Thoughts on Dating, Productivity, & More!

Hey dear sisters!

Last week on Instagram I asked my followers to send in questions for a Youtube Q&A! You all sent in some amazing & deep questions, and I answered them ALL in today’s Youtube video! I talked favorite worship songs, my thoughts on dating/kissing before your wedding, productivity, & MORE! Click the link below to check out the video.

Blessings!

-Caitlyn 🙂

3 Tips for Overcoming Anxiety & Fear

So many of us (myself included) struggle with anxiety and fear. In today’s post, I want to dig into where these things come from, and how we can overcome them.

We all face thoughts every day – some good, and some bad. The question is, where do BAD thoughts come from? I believe that bad thoughts of fear & anxiety come from the enemy. John 10:10 says: “The thief only comes to steal, kill, and destroy. I came that they may have life, and may have it abundantly.” The enemy comes to steal, kill, and destroy us, and how can he begin to do that? Through our minds. Think about it – actions come from thoughts.

2 Timothy 1:7 gives us some insight on fear. It says: “For God didn’t give us a spirit of fear, but of power, love, and self-control.”

This verse clearly states that God did not give us a spirit of fear – He gave us a spirit of power (that can stand firm in God’s Truth and against lies), love (that casts out all fear), and self-control (other versions say a sound mind; this shows that we can control what we think about and do). 1 John 4:16-19 is another amazing passage on fear:

We know and have believed the love which God has for us. God is love, and he who remains in love remains in God, and God remains in him. In this love has been made perfect among us, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment, because as he is, even so are we in this world. There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear has punishment. He who fears is not made perfect in love. We love him, because he first loved us.

When we know and believe in God and His love, that casts out all fear. Why? Because we will be so secure in who God is, that fear has no place in our minds and lives. We see that God doesn’t give us fear; and we know that the enemy wants to steal and destroy our lives, so fear must be from him. 1 Peter 5:8 says: “Be sober and self-controlled. Be watchful. Your adversary, the devil, walks around like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.”

Fear is not of God. Because we live in a fallen world where sin is prevelant, and where we are merely flesh, we will face anxiety – but what will we do with it? Even though God’s Word tells us to be anxious for nothing, and Jesus tells us that being anxious won’t add any more time to our lives, we still worry. How can we overcome it?

If you, like me, struggle with feeling anxious or worried or stressed, please know you’re not alone. Know that there is a battle going on – Satan and his demons are real things, and he tries to attack us and get us down. However, that’s not the end of the story, praise God! Here are a few ways to daily work towards overcoming fear and anxiety.

Spiritual Warfare

We have power through God’s Word and Jesus’ Name to overcome all fear! We can resist the devil, in Jesus’ Name, and stand firm on the Truth of God. This is often called “spiritual warfare.” As previously mentioned, Satan and demons are real things – we see them in the New Testament in Jesus’ day, and we see people being tormented by them today, often through anxiety, depression, etc. Stand firm in the faith, quote Scripture, and take every thought captive. It’s a daily battle, but God is on your side; who can stand against?

2 Corinthians 10:3-6 // For though we walk in the flesh, we don’t wage war according to the flesh; for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but mighty before God to the throwing down of strongholds, throwing down imaginations and every high thing that is exalted against the knowledge of God, and bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ; and being in readiness to avenge all disobedience, when your obedience will be made full. (emphasis mine)

Memorize Scripture & the Armor of God

We can daily arm ourselves with the armor of God, memorize His Word, and focus our minds on Him. His Word is sharper than a double-edged sword, and when we know the Truth, it sets us free. Make time each week to memorize Scripture and also memorize the armor of God found in Ephesians 6. Memorizing might not be your strong point, but we can all do it. I like to write down a verse on a card and practice reading it aloud 5 times, then reciting it 5 times. Find ways to memorize that work for you.

When Jesus was tempted by the devil in Matthew 4, the devil tried to twist Scripture so Jesus would believe lies. However, because Jesus knew God’s Word, He could quote it to Satan, which silenced all the lies and made them look dumb and tiny. This is JUST what happens when we cling to God’s Word when Satan fills our head with lies. Don’t doubt the power of knowing God’s Word!

John 8:31-32 // Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”

Hebrews 4:12 // For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

Psalm 119:11 // Your word I have hidden in my heart, that I might not sin against You.

Praise God & Set Your Mind on Him Throughout the Day

One thing God has taught me as I’ve struggled with anxiety is how important it is that I set my mind on things above, like it says in Colossians 3:2. Philippians 4:4 tells us:
Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice!

When we set our minds on God, praising Him and praying and rejoicing, anxiety has to leave. Darkness cannot be in our minds when the light floods in. Focus on God throughout the day – thank Him for all the little blessings, sing praise songs to Him, and fix your mind on how GOOD He is. This will help renew and refresh your mind to focus on the Truth.

I hope & pray that this post has encouraged you as you battle fear and anxiety! Know that you are not alone – God is going with you every step of the way, and He is your Good Shepherd. Lean on Him, friend!

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13 Book Recommendations for Teen Girls

Hey awesome people! In this weeks’ Youtube video, I shared 13 awesome books that I recommend to teen girls. I hope you enjoy it and get some new books to read! I listed the books and their Amazon links below, as well as in the bio of the video. 🙂 God bless!

Kisses from Katie by Katie Davis: http://bit.ly/kissesfromkatie

A Place of Quiet Rest by Nancy Leigh DeMoss: http://bit.ly/aplaceofquietrest

I Kissed Dating Goodbye by Joshua Harris: http://bit.ly/i-kissed-dating-goodbye

Girl Defined by Kristen Clark and Bethany Baird: http://bit.ly/girl-defined

Love Defined by Kristen Clark and Bethany Baird: http://bit.ly/love-defined

I Dare You by Isabella Morganthal: http://bit.ly/i-dare-you-isabella-mor…

Uninvited by Lysa TerKeurst: http://bit.ly/uninvited-lysa

12 Ways Your Phone is Changing You by Tony Reinke: http://bit.ly/12-ways-your-phone-is-c…

Porch Swing Girl by Taylor Bennett: http://bit.ly/porch-swing-girl

The Coronation by Livy Jarmusch: http://bit.ly/the-coronation

The Rebellion by Livy Jarmusch: http://bit.ly/the-rebellion

Regal Hearts Season One by Livy Jarmusch: http://bit.ly/regal-hearts-1

Regal Hearts Season Two by Livy Jarmusch: http://bit.ly/regal-hearts-2

Regal Hearts Season One Book Review

Four sisters. Oh, and they also happen to be princesses, except they don’t know that yet. Also, they don’t even know that they have sisters…

Regal Hearts is the tale of these four girls. They were separated at birth when the King & Queen of Bella Adar, their parents, were brutally murdered by a ruthless man named Raymond. The girls are separated to keep them safe, and, in this series, are now finding out who they and their sisters are. Livy Jarmusch writes this series in a unique, TV-series style, which makes the series interesting and feel like you’re watching a TV show!

Today I’m sharing my review of season one, the first “book” in the series. Let’s go!

This book tells how 3 out of 4 of the sisters find out about their royal identity. They are sent away from their homes by an organization called the URIA to California to meet each other, as well as to be kept safe. Raymond (the evil man that usurped the throne) is suspicious that the girls are still alive, which means there is a threat to the throne; the girls must be protected.

It shows the lives of these girls – Aurora, a popstar, Lena, an average girl, and Elizabeth, an Amish girl – as well as the lives of several other characters that come into their paths. It feels very much like watching a TV-show, as the scenes switch from one character to the next.

There are so many characters in this book, and they are all so sweet and wonderful! I appreciate how ‘Regal Hearts’, like all of Livy’s fiction, is Biblically-based and God-honoring. This tale is an interesting and intriguing one that will make you feel like you’re watching a really fun but intense-at-times television series!

There were a few things I noticed in this book that I personally didn’t like as much, and I wanted to quickly share them in my review. The first thing was that all of the girl characters know guys who are potential love interests. Obviously, all we girls have crushes, amiright? 😉 However, I personally felt that all of them having love interests felt a little cheesy, and can make us girls feel discontent. The second thing I noticed was that all the guys in this book seem to be kind of similar and perfect, which can seem unrealistic to me. Lastly, one of the characters’ wives filed for a divorce, and the book ends without that being addressed, and finding out if they end up staying married or not. I just wanted to throw that out there, because I know some people aren’t allowed to read books that discuss divorce/things concerning that. 😉

With all that said, I still enjoyed this book. In my opinion, it can feel cheesy, and it has less action than Livy’s other books I’ve read; but I still enjoyed this book and would recommend it to teen girls and young women looking for a fun and Godly book/series to read!

Regal Hearts is an intriguing and fun book, full of lovable characters and moments! There were some unpredictable moments, some sappily-sweet moments, as well as a moment that made my heart break right along with one of the characters. (No spoilers 😉 ) There are a few parts in the book where characters encourage others in Biblical truths, which I thought was awesome. Livy weaves royalty, a hint of action, sweet romance, friendship, and Biblical truths into a wonderful book for teen girls.

If you enjoy pure and Bible-based reads and are a young teen girl or young adult girl, I would recommend Regal Hearts to you! It is written in a very unique style, and has terrific and totally lovable characters that you will fall in love with. AND it ends on a cliff hanger…so…you’ll want to check out season two once you finish this book. 😉

Get Regal Hearts on Amazon!!

About the Author


Livy Jarmusch is a twenty-something author, singer, and songwriter. She enjoys crafting YA fiction that is pure, lovely, inspirational, and of course, entertaining! When she’s not writing, you can usually find her playing guitar, blogging, drinking peppermint tea, connecting with new friends, planning her next trip to Disney, or pinning images of Europe and Golden Retriever Puppies.

Check out the interview I did with Livy here!

Check out Livy’s Blog!

Interview With Author & Blogger Livy Jarmusch

Today on Salt & Light Blog we have a special treat. Livy Jarmusch, YA author, blogger, singer, Youtube-er, and a super sweet human being answered some questions for a fun interview!

I heard about Livy almost 3 years ago through her website, Crown of Beauty Magazine. Since then, I’ve been part of numerous blog tours & book teams with her. It has been so much fun to work with this girl, read her many amazing books, and get to know her awesome self along the way!

Recently, Livy released a blogging course called Fire Starter. I was privileged to be able to preview the course before it came out. I wasn’t able to get through all of it in time for this post, but what I did go through was amazing. I’ve blogged for 2 going on 3 years now, but her tips and tricks were so helpful & inspiring! Livy offers amazing advice & encouragement.

In this interview, we talked blogging, writing, the Fire Starter program, what God’s taught Livy recently, and so much more! God shines through this girl and I know that her answers will be an encouragement to all you girls. Let’s get into the interview!

Caitlyn: Hi Livy! So glad you’re joining me on Salt & Light Blog today. 🙂 Can you introduce yourself to the readers, and tell us a little bit about yourself, who you are, & what you love to do?

Livy: Aww, thank you so much for having me! Yes, ma’am! 😀 My name is Livy and I’m a twenty-something author, blogger, singer, song-writer, YouTuber, designer, (I have a lot of passions, hehehe) but most importantly I am in love with Jesus and want to see this world set on fire for Him! 

C: When & why did you start getting into writing & blogging?

L: Oh wow, that’s kind of a long story! I guess you could say I started “blogging” (or creating content online) back when I was around 11 or 12 on the American Girl Club. I’m not sure who remembers or was part of the American Girl Club, but I was SO excited by the idea of being able to connect with readers all across the country who loved the American Girl books as much as I did. These were the days before Instagram and Facebook, so getting to “talk” to friends online was incredibly cool.

I started a newsletter on there, and enjoyed writing and collecting articles written by myself and others, and mailing them out to dozens of girls online. It was such a blast! I was pretty heartbroken when the club abruptly closed, but Mom told me I could share my email address with a few of the girls (gasp!) and stay connected that way.

After the club ended, I decided to start my own website. So, GirlZ of America.! was born. (Emphasis on the Z in Girlz, haha!) It was then, at age 12, that I started exploring web-design and designed my very first website. Obviously, GirlZ of America.! didn’t endure in popularity, haha, but even after I closed the site, my dream of creating online content for other girls my age continued.

It wasn’t until after I graduated High School that I launched Crown of Beauty Magazine, which was a huge launching point for me. Since then I’ve written and published a handful of books, planned conferences, spoken at events, connected with readers from all over the world, and seen the Lord move so much in my life!  

C: What’s the biggest challenge you’ve faced as an indie author and blogger thus far?

L: Hmm, I think one of the biggest challenges has been mentally – keeping myself encouraged, even when I feel like my writing might not appear to be “successful” as it could be in the eyes of others. The world (and the church) has cultural ideas of what “success” is, and they don’t always line up with the way God thinks about things. 

As a young girl, one of my biggest dreams was to be a traditionally published author, so I was a little surprised when God directed me down the indie path. Independent publishing has been absolutely amazing, but there’s a bit of an unspoken stigma that goes along with it, as if you’re not “good enough” to be traditionally published. While it’s true that there are a lot of poor quality books published independently, there are also some amazing indie authors I know whose stories are far more spectacular than what you might find in Barnes and Nobel! (My opinion anyway. 😉 )

Both traditional and independent publishing have pros and cons, but for me personally, I feel as if God is calling me to go independent in this season of my life. I know the stories I write do not fit the cookie-cutter formula expected to go to mass market, and as I’ve researched more and more about what is required to sell in traditional markets, I don’t feel like that’s where my stories are meant to be, right now anyway. If the Lord leads into traditional publishing in the future, I’d be all for it, but right now I just have to focus on blooming where I’m planted.

With all of that being said, the biggest challenge is to be confident in where He has me, even if it might feel “smaller” or “less than” what some of my other author friends are doing. But the Bible warns us against comparison: it is SUCH a confidence thief! God calls us all down different paths, and we have to trust that He knows what He’s doing! One of the biggest things the Holy Spirit has taught me through this writing journey so far is how much value there is in the small, and how much God delights in the everyday extraordinary. I’m in a season of life where I have time to truly connect with my readers, build friendships with them, respond to emails, interact on social media, and do fun interviews like this one! A lot of activities I know would not be possible if I was on a massive book tour as a New York Times Bestseller author. 😉   

C: What’s your favorite part(s) about being an author and blogger?

L: Two things! Number one: Writing! I get so much joy out of allowing my creative mind to dance on the page! Storytelling has been in me ever since I was a little girl, and for me, writing fiction is like being on the playground again. I have SUCH a blast! 😀 

Secondly: Connecting! I love, love, LOVE people and being able to connect with them makes everything I do, one-hundred-sixty-million percent worth it! Writing is a solitary activity, but the fruits of writing are not! We write with the purpose to bless and impact others, and you can’t do that if you don’t step out of your comfort zone and strive to connect! So yes, connecting with all of you is one of my favorite things ever! 😀

C: What’s a lesson you’ve learned in your blogging experience that you feel other bloggers should know?

L: God SEES you! He sees what you’re doing. He sees your faithfulness. He sees every word, He hears every prayer. 

Blogging is HARD, you guys. There’s no way around that fact! Pouring your heart onto the page, posting it on the internet for everyone to see, week after week, month after month, and then as you’re giving so much of yourself, you have no idea who you’re actually reaching. Comments and responses are few and far between…so how can you stay encouraged? 

Something I talk about a lot is knowing your why. Before you dive into the wonderful world of blogging, know why you’re going to do it. Are you hoping to become internet famous? Make a ton of money? Get lots of comments raving about how fabulous you are? Those are all terrible whys. They’re not sustainable. If you blog with the purpose of serving yourself…guess what? You’re going to feel awful. Anything we do, when we place ourselves at the center and hope others will serve us and make us feel good, turns out really, really bad.

As Christ followers, we are here to serve. Every word I write, every book I publish, every post I make is all a gift; it’s an offering. It’s me stepping out in humility, sharing my heart, and offering what I have to a broken and hurting world. Will they accept it? Will they read it, embrace, it, apply it, and thank me for it? I have no idea. But that’s not my responsibility. All I have to do is be faithful with what I’ve been given. So long as I keep planting, keep sowing, keep praying, keep writing, keep sharing, keep believing, keep encouraging, keep loving…God can use that.

Jesus said if anyone wants to be great in the Kingdom, we have to humble ourselves and serve others. Blogging requires humility. Knowing your why, having a heart that burns with love for Jesus, and for others, is the only way you’re going to keep running the race and finish strong. So many bloggers and authors suffer from burnout. Why? I believe it’s because whenever we adopt that “me first” mentally, everything goes downhill. I know that for myself, personally, when I start to compare myself with others and ask, ‘Why aren’t people buying this product? Why am I not getting more comments? Why am I not getting a response from this?’ I need to stop and check myself. 

I’m here to love. It doesn’t matter what people do with the gift I extend, whether they reject it or receive it, so long as I’m faithful with what God has given me, and don’t hide my light under a basket. I know my reward is in Heaven, and it’s all good! 

C: Your blogging course, Fire Starter, recently launched! WOOHOO! Can you tell us a bit about that, and why you decided to create it?

L: YAY! Thank you! I am SO EXCITED to share this course! It was my first time creating a full-blown video course, complete with printables and everything, and wow, it was a massive undertaking!

I created Fire Starter with the purpose of encouraging both new and aspiring bloggers! The idea of starting a blog can be super, super intimidating, especially considering the fact that there are so many different platforms to choose from. Over the years, I’ve gotten a lot of emails asking, “What did you use to create your website? How can I grow my email subscriber list? How did you get interviews with bands and artists? How did you grow your website? How did you grow your Instagram, etc.?” These are all SUCH great questions and I love answering them and helping you all out! But, instead of sitting around replying to emails all day, I decided to create a resource that explains EVERYTHING.

I literally walk you through the entire process in a 20 Day Video Series, covering everything from choosing the right platform, designing your site, creating content, connecting with readers, growing your reach, earning income on your website, and SO much more! I honestly think I went a little overboard here, haha. I’m not sure if anyone wanted to know QUITE that much, but if they do, this is definitely the program for you! You can check that out here: https://www.livylynnblog.com/2018/08/21/fire-starter-launching-a-blog-that-blazes/

C: If you could share encouragement or advice with a large group of girls & young women, what would you share with them? 

L: Jesus loves you so, so much. His love is truly beyond anything we can fathom.  Just because His love is so far beyond anything our minds could ever imagine, doesn’t mean we should dismiss it and think, “Well, I’m never going to fully understand it anyway, so whatever.” Paul prayed in Ephesians that we would KNOW the love of Christ and be filled with all the fullness of God! That is a massive, massive prayer, but I pray that over all the girls and women in my life!

As women, we have such a desire to be loved, known, cherished, and treasured as the priceless jewels that we are. However, the world is constantly bombarding us with an opposite message – a message that says we’re not worthy of love, that we’re not pretty enough, smart enough, wealthy enough, interesting enough; the lies go on and on. We have to remember that’s ALL they are: LIES. And the deeper we dive into the reality of God’s love, the more those lies loose their power! 

C: What is something the Lord has taught you recently?

L: Wow, He’s been reminding me of SO much recently! In January, I really wanted to go back to the simplicity of the Gospels, so I read through Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. I know we’ve all read the Gospels like a million times, and it’s almost as if some of those stories and the words of Christ lose their impact on our hearts over time, because we’re just so used to them. I wanted to go back with fresh eyes and pretend like I’d never read them before. To truly imagine what it would’ve been like walking by the sea of Galilee, meeting Jesus for the first time as He tells me to drop my nets and follow Him. To be with Him every moment as He performed miracle after miracle and declared the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand! To experience the wonder and awe of every miracle, every word, and renew my mind in that.

Romans 12:1-2 tells us not to conform to the pattern of this world but to be transformed by the renewing of our minds, and we see that Jesus was ALL about that in the Gospels. Pretty much everything He said and taught was a total opposite from the culture and the same is true for us today! We have to continually return to His Word and renew our minds on a daily basis, because there is so much toxic thinking and so many lies that creep their way into our minds without us even realizing it. So yeah, I guess simply returning to the simplicity of the Gospel and making sure my vision for the future is 100% lined up with His!

C: Favorite aspect of God?

L: OH MY GOODNESS, THESE QUESTIONS! AHH, we could talk about this for hours! So good, haha! Wow. It feels impossible to pick a favorite aspect of His character because He is so, SO GOOD. But His faithfulness is something my heart always returns to. I just can’t get over how perfectly kind, loving, and patient He is, and the fact that He’s totally committed to the process of seeing me transformed into His image, even when we have such a long way to go, haha! He never fails and He’s always with me and He is SO trustworthy! 

C: I know you LOVE to travel; what is your favorite place you’ve traveled to, and a dream destination you have?

L: Yaaassss! My favorite travel destination thus far, has been….*drum-roll*…Disney World! (Yeah, no surprise there! Haha). I recently re-watched my Disney World vlog and laughed so hard because I’m ooo-ing and ahh-ing and hyperventilating over every little detail, my poor viewers must’ve been like, “what is wrong with this chick?” (You can witness my excitement here LOL:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wm_L8ZLax30&t=1s) If you guys think that video was insane, this is only a foreshadow of the craziness that will go down when I finally go to London!

London, England is definitely my number one dream destination. In my novel, The Tales of Tarsurella #2: The Rebellion, I introduce a character named Jane Akerly who has a slight obsession with all-things-London and that may or not be a direct reflection of me, hehehe. I also dream of going to Paris and castle hopping ALL OVER FRANCE, which I hope to do in the same trip. 🙂  

HUGE thanks to Livy for answering my questions for this interview! If you’re a blogger, or would like to start blogging, go check out Livy’s new course! I know that it will be an encouragement and huge help to all you bloggers/aspiring bloggers out there! Check out Fire Starter here.

3 Tips for Finding Contentment in Christ Alone (Purity Series pt. 5)

For the other posts in this series, click here.

Contentment in God alone can be tough to focus on in your daily life, ya feel me? We have so many distractions, and guys can easily be one of them. It’s easy for us girls to be so focused on guys or things of this world, that we place our hope and contentment in things other than the Lord.

The truth is, only God can satisfy our hearts. When we place our hope in other things, we’ll always be dissatisfied.

Have you ever found yourself jealous of other girls who have boyfriends or are getting married?

Have you ever found yourself placing your hope and joy in the ONE DAY when you’ll meet “the one?”

These thoughts are completely normal for us girls to face, so please don’t think you have a problem if you’ve thought these things. The problem is when we let these thoughts consume our minds, and we place our contentment in whether/not we have a guy, or even in other things like friends and social events, etc.

The question is, HOW do we find our contentment in Christ alone, when we so easily place it in other places? I want to share a few ways with you girls today.

Read More »

Why It’s Important to Pray for Your Future Husband (Purity Series pt. 4)

For the other posts in this series, click here.

Praying for your future husband is something that is so exciting and wonderful for us as single women to do. We get to pray for the one that we’ll one day be married to, and already honor him, although we haven’t entered into a relationship with him yet.

Why is it important to pray for your future husband, you might wonder? Well, there’s a few reasons why, and I want to share them with you today. 🙂

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5 Tips for Having God-Honoring Friendships with Guys (Purity Series pt. 3)

For the first 2 posts in this series, click here.

Guy friendships can be complicated – it can be tough to know how far into the friendship we can go before travelling down a road that could lead us to having unwanted feelings for each other/being in sinful or tempting situations.

I believe guy friendships are wonderful & important. However, I also believe there’s a balance that we, as Christian girls and young women, need to strive for. We shouldn’t refrain from guy friendships altogether because they’re too complicated, and we shouldn’t have super tight-knit guy friendships who we share everything with, because that can lead to intimacy that neither of us intended for.

What is this balance? Well, it’s different for everyone, and please don’t think I’m trying to force you to legalistically follow these boundaries. In this post, I want to dig into a few ways to have God-honoring friendships with guys. Let’s go!

Hang out With Guys in Groups

It can be easier for feelings to develop for a young fella when we hang out with them one-on-one. Personally, I believe that it’s super important that we focus on hanging out with guys in group settings, where there is a good mix of guys and girls. This will help keep unwanted feelings and tempting/sinful situations from arising.

Evaluate the situations you’re in with guys – are you together alone? Are you both in places where you would be tempted to sin? Strive to promote purity for yourself and for the guys you know. Hanging out with guys in groups  helps to keep temptation as well as thoughts/feelings deeper than friendship at bay. No, it won’t necessarily rid us of all temptation and feelings, but it’s an important way to promote your own purity and the purity of your guy friends.

Colossians 3:5-6 // Put to death therefore your members which are on the earth: sexual immorality, uncleanness, depraved passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry; 6for which things’ sake the wrath of God comes on the children of disobedience. 

Don’t Flirt

When you’re with guys it can be tempting to be flirtatious to get their attention. However, we are called to honor God in all we do, and flirting puts the attention on us rather than God. Read & think about the following scripture:

Whatever you do, in word or in deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father, through him. – Colossians 3:17 (emphasis mine)

Take a moment to ponder about & evaluate how you are acting around guys – is it the same that you act around your girl friends/family? It might be different in some ways, and that’s ok. But are you always trying to get guys’ attention by being flirtatious, even in subtle ways? I know it’s easy to want attention from guys, as well as to unknowingly flirt. That is why, in every conversation, we must be careful that we are drawing attention to God, not to ourselves.

Philippians 2:3-4 gives us some encouraging truth: “doing nothing through rivalry or through conceit, but in humility, each counting others better than himself; each of you not just looking to his own things, but each of you also to the things of others.” (emphasis mine) We are called to do nothing out of vanity, but to look at others interests before our own. I encourage you to strive to point the guys around you to Christ, not to yourself. Be intentional in all your interactions to honor God.

Don’t Treat Guy Friends Like Your Girl Friends

The dynamics of guy-girl friendships are different from girl-girl friendships. We can tell our close girlfriends everything, and text them everyday without it being weird. However, with guy friends, we must be careful – doing these kinds of things can easily make it seem like we have feelings for a guy, and can create a deeper & unwanted attraction/connection.

When we hang out or communicate with a certain guy often, it communicates that we like them. Evaluate how much you communicate with guy friends. Texting and chatting is totally ok, but be careful. Are you always texting him first? Do you text each other every day? In group settings, do you two always talk together by yourselves? Spur him on to godliness, even if it means communicating less.

Hebrews 10:24 // Let us consider how to provoke one another to love and good works, 

Surrender All Guys & See Them as Brothers

Sometimes when you’re friends with a guy, feelings develop. You think this guy is super awesome, but don’t know what to do because he seems to only see you as a friend, or hasn’t made “a move.”

I encourage you to surrender all the guys you know to the Lord in prayer, even if you don’t have feelings for them. Give them wholly to the Lord, and ask Him to help you see them as brothers. 1 Timothy 5:1-2 says: Don’t rebuke an older man, but exhort him as a father; the younger men as brothers; the elder women as mothers; the younger as sisters, in all purity.

When you surrender guys to God in prayer, it helps you have the right mindset – you’ll remember that you’re both in God’s hands, and that if any guy is meant to be more than a friend, that will happen according to God’s perfect plan.

Encourage Them

In a world where guys are put down when they behave like true men, all guys need encouragement. When a guy holds the door open for you or offers to carry something for you, genuinely thank him. Encourage the guys around you to be men, inspiring them with the word of God & words of life.

Proverbs 27:17 says: Iron sharpens iron; so a man sharpens his friend’s countenance. Strive to sharpen your guy friends, and encourage them in godliness. This is so important and needed!

I hope & pray that this post has been an encouragement to you in navigating guy friendships. Strive to honor God first & foremost in all you do, and uplift the people around you! We are called to be salt & light. 😉

Let’s chat!

What’re some things you’ve struggled with concerning guy friendships?

Which of these tips was most encouraging to you, and why?

How will you promote godliness to the guys around you?

For my blog post on tips for when you have a crush, click here.

4 Tips for Living in Purity (Purity Series pt. 2)

Purity can often make people feel uncomfortable or confused. What does it mean? How do we live it out? In this post I want to dive into some practical ways to live out purity in your own life.

Before I dive into this post, I want to remind you of something: purity isn’t a checklist. It’s not something that we can live out perfectly because we aren’t perfect. God’s Word describes purity in Psalm 119:9:

How can a young man keep his way pure? By living according to your word. (emphasis mine)

Purity starts in our mind, as I talked about a couple weeks ago in the first part of this blog series. However, it doesn’t stop there. We must live out what we know to be true.

I don’t know your past, but God does. If you have messed up and sinned in any way, including in purity, there is forgiveness for you. Romans 3:23 tells us that we have all sinned & fall short of God’s glory. Then Romans 6:23 says that the wages of our sin is death – yet, God has given us a free gift through Christ Jesus – eternal life. Come to the Lord and confess of your sin, and ask Him for a new heart. Ask Him to come into your life and to save you from your sin. Believe that Jesus died for you and that He wants you to have eternal life. You can live a lifestyle of purity.

With all that said, let’s dive into four tips for living in purity!

1. Know God’s Word

Knowing the Truth of God’s Word sets us free! (John 8:32) Getting into the Word daily is so important, and it helps us live in purity. When we face situations where we are tempted to compromise, we will know God’s Word and be better able to make God-honoring choices. Daily set aside time to spend with the Lord, and memorize verses and passages of Scripture. This is the most important part of living in purity – it all begins with knowing God & His Word and growing in our relationship with Him!

Psalm 119:11 // I have hidden your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.

2. Establish Boundaries

Boundaries are very important to living in purity. Think about it: if we don’t establish certain boundaries and limits, we will go and do however our heart desires. Jeremiah 17:9 tells us about the sin that is in all of our hearts: “The heart is deceitful above all things, and it is exceedingly corrupt: who can know it?”

While there may not be any specific Bible verses/passages that say we must establish boundaries, they are very important. Romans 13:14 says: But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, for its lusts. (emphasis mine)

We should be careful how we interact with members of the opposite sex. If we aren’t careful & don’t have boundaries, we can get into sinful situations. God calls us to be holy, as He is holy, and boundaries help us to practically do that.

A few boundaries that some embrace are to hang out with guys in groups, not be alone with them at night/in a car, and not to put yourself in situations where there would be provision to fulfill the lusts of the flesh. These are a few ideas to consider; most importantly, I encourage you to think about situations where you or others would be tempted to compromise your purity, and make a point to stay away from those kind of situations by establishing boundaries.

3. Remember God’s Good Design for Sex & Intimacy

As we read the Bible, we see that God created intimacy & sex to be something that is saved for marriage. When people take it and use it outside of marriage, trouble always seems to happen.

1 Corinthians 6:18 says: Flee sexual immorality! “Every sin that a man does is outside the body,” but he who commits sexual immorality sins against his own body.

Sex and intimacy is a beautiful and wonderful thing, but it is meant for marriage, to be an act between husband and wife. When you remember this, and that God calls us to holiness, it will help you remember the beauty of saving sex for marriage.

If you have compromised your purity, remember that God forgives and is always merciful. Whether or not you have compromised in the area of purity and sex, you can start walking on the path of purity today. Learning about God’s good design is super helpful in walking in this path.

There is so much more to learn on this topic, more than I can share today. If you are interested in learning more about God’s design for intimacy and sex and relationships, I highly recommend checking out Girl Defined ministries, and specifically, their book, Love Defined!

4. Repent & Turn from Sin

Daily we must allow God to search our hearts and know them, pointing out any and all sin. We can daily pray Psalm 51:10: “Create in me a clean heart, O God. Renew a right spirit within me.”

Purity isn’t merely setting up guards, trying on our own strength to be holy & refrain from sex. It’s daily letting God cleanse us from sin, crying out to Him, “make me holy, as You are holy.” True holiness comes from denying ourselves and our sin, asking God to cleanse us and give us strength to live righteously. Daily ask the Lord to search your heart and show you your sin, and then repent of it. Ask Him for strength to live victoriously over sin.

Purity isn’t a checklist. These tips aren’t meant to be something that you must legalistically cling to, and following them won’t necessarily keep you out of sin or tempting situations. However, as we daily strive to seek God first, establish boundaries, remember God’s perfect design for intimacy and sex, and repent and turn from sin, we will grow in God and in holiness! I’m going to leave you with this encouraging passage to inspire you to seek the Lord first, turning from sin to a path of holiness. We’re in this together, sister. ❤

Hebrews 12:1-2 // Therefore let us also, seeing we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, lay aside every weight and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising its shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

Let’s chat!

When have you been tempted to compromise your purity?

Which of the 4 tips was most encouraging for you?

How will you start living in purity, today?