Examine me, God!

“Examine me, God! Look at my heart! Put me to the test! Know my anxious thoughts! Look to see if there is any idolatrous way in me, then lead me on the eternal path!”

Psalms 139: 23-24

This verse can be very powerful if you really read it. Examine me! Look at my heart! Put me to the test! This is an example of how we should be talking to God. We should be open to the idea that He can test our faith and examine us out of love. Life is no walk in the park. God is going to challenge you in ways that you will not understand. However, this does not mean His love for us is not strong. God’s love is the strongest force there is. That is why He is challenging you! He wants you to be the best, most equipped version of yourself. Lead me on the eternal path! Here God is showing us an example of how we can call on Him to point out our wrong doings and then help us get back on the right path. God wants to help you, not hurt you. Show him your ways, ask for guidance and forgiveness.

 

These challenges you are facing right now are to build you stronger than ever. Consider this the work out. Your body tired. Your mind telling you to give up. You can not imagine this can be as hard for everyone else. No one else seems to be sweating as much as you. But one day very soon, you will be able to see a change in your strength. When everyone else is giving up, you’ll be running passed. When your body says, “Stop!” You’ll say, “Not yet!” All your struggle and hard work is going to pay off in ways only God understands so stay diligent. Have a great day, guys!

 

 

 

Saving Grace Art Works 


Saving Grace Art Works is the name of my new business. I create one of a kind jewelry and art pieces. Because of my recent medical issues, having a job right now is not feasible. However, I am absolutely loving this new adventure! I get to spend all day focusing positive, creative energy into art instead of my illness and for that I am beyond thankful. This business to me, represents breathing new life into old pieces (I repurpose jewelry, wood, etc,) putting religious notes into every aspect of life (I paint tons of pieces with Bible verses,) and the new hope this business venture has given me. So whether or not you even look up my etsy account, I would like to encourage you to support local and small business. To large corporations, you are just another dollar; but to me and other companies like mine, you are hope! 
http://www.etsy.com/shop/savinggraceartworks 

Do not put off what makes you happy..

Sometimes it is so easy to get caught up in all the things you think you need to get done as soon as possible. Groceries need to be bought. Bills need to be paid. Dead lines need to be met. Now, all these things do need to be done; however, we do not need to get so caught up in these things that we forget the things that are more important. Read your Bible. Dance around the house like an idiot. Write.

My biggest issue in life as of late, has been not paying attention to the things I know make me happy out of pure laziness. Sometimes after you get everything done that just has to be done, you feel so tired that you lay on the couch and scroll mindless through Facebook. I do not want tiredness to be an excuse to not be happy, because laying on the couch is not going to make me happy either. This can especially be difficult when you have a chronic illness because sometimes I can confuse my “laziness” for my body actually giving up on me.

Take more time to do the things that make you happy and less time convincing yourself you do not have time do to those things. 

Looking at social media can sometimes distract you from your own happiness and inner peace.

God wants you to be happy?

I think somewhere along the journey of Christianity someone may have accidentally mislead Christians to believe that God wants us to be these lifeless, Bible-crazed, dry people. My opinion is very different from that. I believe that God wants us to be devout Christians, but no where in that definition says you have to be stale. I love seeing youth groups having parties and dancing. I love seeing videos online of church members who dance and sing with praise. I love the idea of Christians getting together and having tons of fun. God wants you to love Him, but also yourself. That means, to me at least, dance, sing, cry, paint, tell jokes, act crazy! Do not let other people’s opinions of how Christians “should” act influence you. People will always judge.. God is the only real judge. 

I am going to be honest, I do a lot of things God probably is not proud of. I have made him look down and shake His head more than I should have. I cuss way too much.. I get aggravated with the general public pretty often.. I judge people sometimes. Jesus was the only person to step foot on this earth that was perfect. Just because you make mistakes, does not mean God does not love you. He probably wishes you would stop and you will, especially since you know these things you will be better without. The point I am trying to make here, is do not be afraid to act a certain way because of what others may think of you. Only God knows the relationship the two of you have and that is beautiful. 

Remember, God gave his only son to set you free of your mistakes.. Work on improving yourself, your relationship with God, and your relationship with happiness, and the rest will fall right into place.

 

“Come to my home each day and listen to me. You will find happiness.” Proverbs 8:34

 

 

Today I was diagnosed..

Over a year ago, I began to notice strange symptoms. I started questioning my own health. I had several doctor’s appointments, but my symptoms were so broad no one seemed to be able to put the pieces together. I have been told everything from herpes to fibromyalgia, and everything in between all with negative test results. I decided I would stay persistent and do my own research. After months of looking into each mysterious symptom, I came across Behcet’s Disease. As soon as I saw those words, I just knew that is what I had. I told nurses and doctors, and all of them told me that disease was much too rare. To fully understand how tiring this process was I ask that you read Health Update and Biopsy Day, located under My Health Journey category.

A week ago, I visited the dermatologist to get a biopsy of an oral ulcer. This test would give me the answers and reassurance I had been looking for. Today I got the call saying that the test showed positive for Behcet’s Disease. At first, I felt happy that throughout this process I did not let anyone discourage me or change my thoughts on my own illness. I was also very happy that the tests can stop now. As time goes on, it is starting to hit me that I was just diagnosed with a chronic illness. An illness that for the rest of my life will pop up when I least expect it. Behcet’s is a very rare disease. According to the American Behcet’s Disease Association, it is estimated that 3-5 / 100,000 people have Behcet’s Disease in the United States. However, I am not upset. I understand that God gives us all certain struggles and there must be a reason he gave me this one.

I hope this inspires people not only to listen to their heart, but also to never give up. Trust me, if I can get through the tough situations that have came my way in the past year, you can get through the hardships you are facing right now too. Remember, God has a bigger plan for us than what we can even dream of so these trials are just to shape you into the person He created you to be.

“Always be joyful and never stop praying. Whatever happens, keep thanking God because of Jesus Christ. This is what God wants you to do.” 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

The Truth About Love

As a young teenage girl, I found myself in love with someone who was not the right person for me; like I am sure all of us have. I gave and gave and gave. My fault was giving too much. I poured every once of love, attention, and patience I had into this relationship for almost four years before finally one day I looked into the mirror and saw an unfamiliar girl.

Four years prior, the girl I would have seen in the mirror was full of light and self-confidence. She was bubbly and child-like. She believed she was a gift from God. Although she was quite fun, she was a cruel girl who had no understanding of people’s feelings. Four years into the future it was the same girl, but with many changes. This girl was scared. She had spent so much time feeling vulnerable she had no idea what it was like to feel secure. She was torn down. She had given so much that she had nothing left. She was a fool. She let people hurt her and somehow always let it slide. She was insecure and had issues with self harm. This girl had a long road ahead of her. Like trying to put a square peg in a round hole (old southern saying,) this relationship and many other aspects of her life would never work out because they were trials God had planned for her since the beginning to turn her into the person she was destined to be. After ending that relationship, the girl sought out God in a way she never had before. She felt her whole life needed a clean sweep and that is exactly what she did. Everyday she woke up early with a goal in mind, clean out the dressers, organize the shoes, paint the furniture, etc. While preforming these cleansing tasks, she would listen to peaceful Christian music. When she was done, she would read her Bible and make very descriptive notes almost to the point where she rewrote the New Testament. Within weeks, she could feel the damage of years being erased from her mind and body. Self-harm was never again a thought. Self-confidence came from within. Security came from saying, “God has my back.” Still far from perfect she looks back, not with fear, anger, or resentment for any of the past people that attributed to her downfall. She looks back gracefully and thankfully. Soon these faults she once thought she had, became some of her most treasured aspects of her own personality.

 

I love my child-like nature. No matter how much it may be perceived as naivety, trust me I am far from it. I love that I give people the benefit of the doubt because most people are so quick to judge. I love that I am a generous person because I get that from my mother. I have no problem admitting now that I am a lover, not a fighter and that is not a bad thing. Every experience you have with love will help you find your true self in the end. Just because something does not work out with someone does not mean either of you are bad people. Some people just are not made for each other. Some people are just in your path so you can learn more about yourself. Never be discouraged by disappointments in life because God has a bigger plan than what you can even dream of.

 

Now, love has several different meanings and facets, like a tree with never-ending branches. Love is reading my Bible. Love is a long conversation with my mother. Love is typing on this computer. Love is having a paint brush in my hand. Love is my boyfriend reminding me to do the things I love to do. Love is the sound of my nieces laughing. Love is trusting I will not be hurt again. Love is understanding people’s flaws as a deeper definition of themselves. Love is ignoring snoring. Love is praying for those who have hurt you. Love is being surrounded by family. Love is looking in the mirror and knowing I am so much more on the inside. Love is being sick and thanking God at the end of the day for your health. Love is praying for your family, friends, and neighbors. Love is embracing my true self. The truth about love is, classic tales of love, such as Romeo and Juliet, are shallow examples of what it can be. God is love. Love is everywhere and I am so thankful to have found it.

What is your hobby?

For those that do not know, when I am not blogging, I paint. I paint canvas, wood, even my nails. I love it. It gives me a chance to make the world how I want it to be, at least on that canvas. I paint Bible verses, angelic-like women, cartoons, and my favorite, fairies! The point is, this hobby of mine no matter how talented or the lack there of, gives me another sense of peace and creativity. I do not have a very busy life right now. I am taking a break from college for the summer, and I do not have a job right now either, in the next month I have had or will have six doctor’s appointments so most bosses would not find that appeasing in a future employee. That is okay though, this too shall pass. Moving on, even though it seems that my life is full of free time, I do not paint as much as I should. Why is that?

Maybe this is another way the devil sneaks his way in our lives and takes control over any positive activity you may enjoy. Or maybe the lack of motivation I have been experiencing is because I have felt pretty awful lately.. Maybe it is deeper than that. Maybe there is a part of me deep down that refuses to paint and proudly show my work off because of fear of rejection. No matter what the answer is, tonight I will paint. Within less than ten minutes of having that paint brush in my hand and paint surely on my face somehow, I will be overwhelmed with a sense of comfort, happiness, and freedom.

So find that hobby for you. Find something that fills your heart with joy and boosts your confidence at the same. Do not let a lack of motivation seep into your bones and keep you from experiencing this magic. I won’t for today at least. 

 

Check out Contact Me page for access to my art, nail art, and blog instagram and my easy account where you can purchase one of my creations!

 

Saturday Morning Bible Study 


“The Holy Spirit will give you life that comes from Christ Jesus and will set you free from sin and death.”‭‭Romans‬ ‭8:2‬ ‭CEVUS06‬‬ http://bible.com/392/rom.8.2.cevus06

I usually do not post Saturday Morning Bible Studies. Maybe I will start or maybe the terror that has stricken the world and my own personal life in the last few months is fueling my thirst for God’s word. If you have the Bible app powered by YouVersion, (I strongly recommend it!) then you’ll know that today’s Bible Verse is Romans 8:2 pictured and written above with a link to the Bible app. Now most Christians will not pay much attention to this verse.. It is simple and states a fact we hear very often. Jesus died on the cross for each of us and our sins. Maybe after you hear something over and over again, it takes away from just how miraculous it is. Like when your mother tells you everyday while your in your rebellious teenage years how much she loves you and you appease her with a monotone, “Love you too” before heading out the door. One day you will be out of those ugly teenage years and the very idea of hearing your mother say to you how much she loves you will fill your heart with warmth and joy. This is kind of like that. We may have taken the fact that Jesus gave the ultimate sacrifice so that we can be saved for granted. So today, let’s put it in perspective and be thankful.

“The Holy Spirit will give you life that comes from Christ Jesus and will set you free from sin and death.” Romans 8:2

Inside of you, you have the Holy Spirit, the spirit of Jesus, the spirit of God. This spirit gives you fight, love, peace, and like the verse says, life. Let’s think of life in a deeper meaning than just being alive. It gives you life. A light no one can take away from you. An inner peace that calms you in moments that should make you pull your hair out. It gives you a smile on your face on the hardest of days. A sense of meaning and purpose when everyone else makes you feel unwanted. This gift of the Holy Spirit burning inside you is one of the greatest tools and assets a person needs. This life came from Jesus, a man who never met you, but knew you were worth his pain and suffering. Jesus healed the sick. Jesus loved the people who hated him. Jesus carried the very cross he would be nailed to and tortured on with perseverance and grace. You have a little bit of Him inside of you carrying you through this life. More so, this great spirit and love does not stop there. It sets you free of your sins. All the times you turned your back on God, set free. All the times you lied for no reason, set free. All the times you’ve stolen out of rebellion, set free. All the times you hurt your loved ones with swift words, set free. You are free. You are not tied down by your mistakes, you are free from them. God loves you despite your mistakes. This Spirit sets you free from death. Your last breath here on earth is just a new door opening to an amazing world called Heaven that we can only imagine. Where we are allowed to walk hand in hand with our creator and rest without the hustle and bustle of life here on earth. That is how much God loves you. He knows you are special,  intelligent, beautiful, and worthy. Have a blessed day, guys!

 

 

Stand Together.

It is a scary time to be alive right now. In the past few years, we have witnessed terrorist attacks, multiple mass shootings, kidnappings, murders, rape, government conspiracies, think of your worst nightmare and it has happened here in America. Don’t get me wrong, I love being American and living in America, but that does not make these events any less terrifying. Let’s do some research..

The following is all directly from https://www.fbi.gov/news/stories/2015/september/latest-crime-stats-released/latest-crime-stats-released

Here are some highlights from Crime in the United States, 2014:

There were an estimated 1,165,383 violent crimes (murder and non-negligent homicides, rapes, robberies, and aggravated assaults) reported by law enforcement.
Aggravated assaults accounted for 63.6 percent of the violent crimes reported, while robberies accounted for 28.0 percent, rape 7.2 percent, and murders 1.2 percent.
There were an estimated 8,277,829 property crimes (burglaries, larceny-thefts, and motor vehicle thefts) reported by law enforcement. Financial losses suffered by victims of these crimes were calculated at approximately $14.3 billion.
Larceny-theft accounted for 70.8 percent of all property crimes reported, burglary for 20.9 percent, and motor vehicle theft for 8.3 percent
Police made an estimated 11,205,833 arrests during 2014—498,666 for violent crimes, and 1,553,980 for property crimes. More than 73 percent of those arrested during 2014 were male.
The highest number of arrests was for drug abuse violations (1,561,231), followed by larceny-theft (1,238,190) and driving under the influence (1,117,852).

The following is from http://www.gunviolencearchive.org regarding gun violence.

Total Number of Incidents 27,447
Number of Deaths 7,095
Number of Injuries 14,646
Number of Children (age 0-11)
Killed/Injured 314
Number of Teens (age 12-17)
Killed/Injured1 1,541
Mass Shooting 179
Officer Involved Incident
Officer Shot/Killed 170
Officer Involved Incident
Perpetrator Shot/Killed 950
Home Invasion 1,151
Defensive Use 845
Accidental Shooting 1,171

Gun violence and crime incidents are collected/validated from 1,500 sources daily – incidents and their source data are found at the gunviolencearchive.org website.

1: Actual number of deaths and injuries
2: Number of INCIDENTS reported and verified

Numbers on this table reflect a subset of all information
collected and will not add to 100% of incidents.

http://www.gunviolencearchive.org http://www.facebook.com/gunviolencearchive

Data Validated: July 08, 2016
Gun Violence Archive

I do not blame guns, race, sexual orientation, religion, cops, or even ignorance. I blame hatred and the devil. People whose hearts are filled with hatred are prime victims for the devil to invade their minds and corrupt them with even more hatred and violence. Crime and hatred is on the rise, which means the devil is on the rise. Christians, we have to stand together! The only way to eliminate this hate, is with love. So Christians, I challenge you to spread love everywhere you go. The devil’s followers want us to hate them! That means we let them win. So literally kill them with kindness. It is not our job to sacrifice these people with our words. Nothing we can say or do can compare to the wrath God will have on the devil’s followers. Smile to the lady who is rude to you at the grocery store. Scream “God bless you!” to the man that screamed curse words at you. Send flowers to your hateful boss on their birthday.  Pray for the evil people who attack our religion, freedom, and our lives everyday. Pray they find love, peace, and most of all GOD. God has to fight this war for us, but he won’t fight for a bunch of unworthy, unreligious citizens. God will fight for devout, loving Christians. Spread God’s love everywhere you go, that is the only thing that can fight the devil and his evil.

 

“I will bless your country with peace, and you will rest without fear. I will wipe out the dangerous animals and protect you from enemy attacks.”
‭‭Leviticus‬ ‭26:6‬ ‭CEVUS06‬‬
http://bible.com/392/lev.26.6.cevus06

 

“Think of the bright future waiting for all the families of honest, innocent, and peace-loving people.”
‭‭Psalms‬ ‭37:37‬ ‭CEVUS06‬‬
http://bible.com/392/psa.37.37.cevus06

 

Biopsy Day

Today I went in to the dermatologist office expecting them to do a biopsy on my oral and genital ulcers. After she examined all my ulcers she told me it definitely looked like Behçet’s, which to my surprise she has actually treated before! She told me because it looked so similar to Behçet’s she didn’t think the biopsy was necessary. She said we could do prednisone for three weeks, lowering the dosage each week, and if it responds then we would assume it is Behcet’s. I thought I wanted to do the biopsy because I just really wanted answers, but the doctor, nurse, and my mom all told me it was not necessary. As soon as the nurse and Doctor left the room, I started to cry. I felt like I would never be able to get answers without that biopsy. So when the nurse came back in I again asked if she thought I should do the biopsy and again she told me it isn’t necessary. I again started to cry and explain to her this has been a year long process of thinking I had this disease without any definite answers. So finally I had the guts to say, “Let’s do the biopsy.” The doctor came back in and told me the numbing would be the worse part of the procedure. She numbed it, I felt a slight pinch and a sting; however, it was not bad at all! Then she used a punch (looked like a cookie cutter) to cut the ulcer completely out. She then put the piece she cut out into a little bottle and put two small, silk stitches in. I’m a huge baby, but that pain was not bad at all. Now it’s an hour later and the numbing has worn off some so I’m a little sore and swollen. Once again, I’m very thankful that I listened to my gut and did the biopsy because now I will have a pretty accurate answer in just a week. image