Monday, February 24, 2014


Surprise! I was a cheerleader in high school.

Pompom waving, pleated skirt wearing, "Let's Go Stallions!" cheerleader. In addition to Friday night lights, my team competed three out of the four years I spent on Varsity. As you can probably imagine, competitive cheerleading requires an incredible amount of gym time. After tryouts in April/May, the team goes to camp, then summer practices, then competition routine practice in August. We would spend months in the incredible heat of a Florida Fall just trying to hit that stunt, tumble pass, motion, one more time. 

But sometimes it was hard.

Hard to separate one bad two minutes and thirty seconds from another.

I'd get hit in a stunt or fall trying to tumble and that bruise would stay with me through the next run and the next and the next. Why? Because I couldn't separate my past failures from my future. I let what was already done and gone get in my head and sometimes I couldn't shake it.

But in those situations I have to remember:

"And since we died with Christ, we know that we will also live with Him. We are sure of this because Christ was raised from the dead, and He will never die again. Death no longer has any power over Him. When He died, He died once to break the power of sin. But now that He lives, He lives for the glory of God. So you also should consider yourselves to be dead to the power of sin and alive to God through Jesus Christ." Romans 6:8-11

There are too many people trying to live in the grave of their pasts. The thing about living though, is that you can't do it while you're dead.  2 Corinthians says you have been made a new creation. That's it. New, beautiful, life-giving, is what you are. Who you were is gone in the eyes of my Jesus. Listen, if we are going to live in the newness of life we have got to get up and walk out of that grave. Leave the past behind because we have been made new. WWJD? Walk out of an empty grave, that's what.

I encourage you to walk out of your grave today. There's so much that only you can do while you grace this earth with the beauty of Him through you. Regardless of what anyone else has said to you, you are loved and the world is super lucky to have you.

Like what you're reading? Follow me on Twitter @smashley355. 

Friday, February 7, 2014

Being a Regifter

Have you ever been given a really good gift? Like a really good one that didn't even need to be regifted? That gift was probably so on point that you used it until it was falling apart. You may have even accidentally "shot your eye out" you loved that thing so much. "Things" have a way of becoming a part of us, whether we intend for them to or not. I want my life with Jesus to look like that.

You see, we have been given this gift of life. By grace through faith we have been saved by someone who wants us to do more than just exist. Why do we work so hard to keep our lives perfectly in line and then fall to pieces when we realize we were never really filled in the first place? My theory is that we treat our lives like gifts we are so afraid to get dirty, messy, or worn because we are professional "regifters." We're too busy to even take care of ourselves because of school, kids, friends, jobs, whatever it is. We regift every last bit of unused life to anyone and everyone that will take it. We give it way like we really just don't appreciate it enough to use on ourselves.

For so long I was terrified of appearing flawed to the people around me. I needed them to know that I had everything under control so that if anything ever came up, whatever it was, I could be there to help. I was always "regifting" my life. I kept up with these habits until one day when my entire world shattered in an instant. I stared down the barrel of three unbelievable words: You are replaceable. Instantly my heart was ripped so far out of "perfect" that I still hurt, months later.

But you know what happened? I changed. Suddenly I was at ground zero with nowhere to go but up. I decided that I needed to invest in what I loved. I started to write, read every day, run more than ever, spend more time with my boyfriend and girl friends, and wear my life out. I began to be so filled with what God had for me, what I was passionate about, that I couldn't help but smile. All of a sudden worship became more beautiful, people became more of a blessing, that "C" on a test wasn't the end of the world, and a thousand other little problems I didn't know I had corrected themselves in light of my Savior.

I want my life to be so filled, stretched, worn, and torn that I begin to bust at my seams only to have love flow from my weakest places. When I'm not even trying to give patience or mercy or kindness but I give it anyway because that's who I am in Jesus. 

In her book Anything, Jennie Allen recounts a time right before she and her husband adopted their Rwandan son. After praying "Anything" to God she writes,

"Just because we were willing didn't mean it was easy. I still wanted God to be more clear, so we could be more sure. I asked a friend who had adopted if they were 100 percent sure when they adopted their two kids from Rwanda. I expected her to say yes; instead she laughed out loud, hard. She said, 'Of course we weren't sure. At some point you just jump, doubting all the way down.'"

-Jennie Allen

I have decided that life is worth the risk or failure. I don't want to look back at the end of my life or even this year and wonder why I'm not different. Jesus deserves more than for us to stay the same year after year. Today I challenge you to find out what you love, what brings you more joy in the Lord than anything else in the world, and go for it. 

Like what you're reading? Follow me on Twitter @smashley355.

Oh! And if you're thinking you may need a little bit more of a pep talk to get you passionate about life, here's kid president to help you out: