Thursday, April 30, 2015

Wild At Heart

     I love to read and I'm always on the lookout for books with amazing stories or that are trying to teach me something. And then every so often comes a book that helps you see certain things in a new light. Such is the case when I finished reading Wild at Heart by John Eldredge. 
     This book isn't something I would normally pick up, but I was intrigued by the title as well as the description that stated Discovering The Secret of a Man's Soul. I have a younger brother and one day asked him if he would like to come outside and demonstrate some of his "stunts" or as he calls it Parkour as I photograph him. 
     "Oh really?!?! Can I like hop over the fence and you capture it when I'm in the air?!?!? Okay let's go!!..." I have never seen a boy's eyes and smile so widened and full of excitement at the permission to be reckless. 
     Boys. I never fully understood why they like mud, shooting games, bloody scars and the list goes on and on. My little brother loves to dress up as his favorite super hero and slash the enemy and save the day... whereas I was always the beautiful and lovely princess who waited for the brave prince to come to the rescue. 
     As cliché as that sounds, isn't it funny how boys and girls grow up adoring these characters and wanting to be them? Even though you might not realize it, these qualities are still very much the core of many plots in today's movies. 
     I realize though how incredibly beautiful and awesome these differences are that distinguish men from women. If we are created in God's image, then it's safe to say that God has all the qualities that make up a man's heart and a woman's heart.
     God gave men the hearts of warriors. Deep inside their soul comes alive when there is adventure awaiting. They strive to be someone's hero, they proudly showcase their bloody wounds, and at the same time have a passionate heart. 
     But I find that we have sort of drifted boys and men away from this position over the years. The whole "boys save girls" is no longer deemed as chivalrous as it once was. And in turn, boys grow up feeling it isn't necessary to be that hero to someone any longer. But why?
     Chivalry is never dead. It can't be dead, it's something you are born with.... it's within your soul. You may not be fighting on a horse in a bloody battle with swords, but every man has their own battle to face in this world. And so don't be afraid to fight for whatever it is you are facing, and whatever it is that is in your heart. Don't be afraid of fighting for a dream or for love. Fight the good fight that is within you. You were created to be a valiant leader, and no matter what the world tries to convince you of... always stand up for what is right.  
     There are many men that follow what the world needs, but do what makes you come alive. Whatever it is that you love, do it. The world needs people who are passionate and have come alive.
     I smile now when I hear my little brother making his crashing noises as he plays his games. It reminds me of just how imaginative and passionate he is being just as he was created to be. Beat on brave warrior, beat on. 

Monday, April 27, 2015

Weekend Getaway: The Pine Barrens

     Every once in a while it is good to have a getaway. Whether it be a vacation to a faraway place or even somewhere not too far from home, taking a few days away gives your mind a chance to press rewind. I spent the weekend with a few friends by the Pine Barrens in a cute cabin by the lake. I bought a sleeping bag for the first time and boy am I glad I did. The unexpected cold had us all huddled together with 20 layers of clothing and zipped up like Hot Pockets in our sleeping bags. 
     We visited a nearby Winery, told stories, roasted marshmallows, had a classy dinner including homemade pasta sauce (and everything else you can imagine at an Italian dinner ;)...and finished the night dancing around our small cabin. Not your typical outdoorsy experience, but who says you need to follow any specific guidelines right? :) Here are a few photos I took...Happy Monday!

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Easter 2015

     As humans, we often think we need to constantly do and prove things to be saved by God. That somehow there is a way we can "buy" or secure our salvation if we do. Truth is though, there is nothing we can do or say that will make us good enough in front of God's eyes. Not being a "good person". Not giving money to the poor. Not Religion. Not doing good things. Not giving up our favorite candy bar for a month. Nothing we can do, can ever make us righteous before God.  
     You see, though we tend to compare ourselves to one another based on what we do.... God sees us as all the same. We are all separated from Him by our sins.... our bad decisions that affect our daily lives. But see here is the good news... God loves each and every one of us so much, that He provided a way for us to walk back into His loving arms and be truly, entirely forgiven. 
     He sent His own son, Jesus Christ to be born on this Earth as a man, to walk, live, and be tempted in every way that we could be. But Jesus, the only truly righteous man that ever lived... lived His entire life sinless, and walked in total love. He hungered, He cried, He laughed, and He loved... just like you and me. He also feared knowing His time was at hand, but willingly suffered and took our wrongs. Jesus, truly innocent accepted all of our past, present, future sins....and offered His life in exchange for our freedom. 
     But why? If we constantly fail Him, aren't good enough... why would He do such a thing? Because He loves us. He didn't do it to get anything from us. He did it because He loved us and always will. He just wants our hearts. What Jesus did can't be bought.... because it was a gift. It was free, that's why it's called grace. 
     Jesus actually died. He took with him all of my fears, my doubts, my selfishness, and weaknesses to the grave. But a love so wondrous, so amazing, so great.... cannot be contained in a tomb. Jesus came back to life... TO LIFE!!! He conquered the one thing we fear most: death, and He set us free once and for all. He made me a new creation, so that through Him... I no longer need to be perfect, I am set free. So you may wonder, how can I be set free? What do I do?
     Believe. It is never ever too late to call on upon His name. No matter who you are, no matter what you did, no matter what anyone says about you.... it is never too late in your life to reach for God. Don't wait to have things together in your life... come exactly as you are, where you are. He waits for you with open arms. Happy Easter!

For it is by grace that you are saved through faith, and this is not of yourselves, it is the gift of God. 
-Ephesians 2:8