Monday, May 26, 2014

Every Plant

I'm in college, a workout enthusiast, a perfectionist and a Jesus lover. So my morning thoughts usually look like this: 

Morning already? 
Do I have time for the gym? 
Yes, I should if I get up now. 
On 3. 1, 2... no.  
But what if I don't have time for breakfast or a devotional? 
If I don't have time for breakfast, then I may pass out in class.
Then Jacob would have to leave work to come and get me. 
No, can't have that. 
So, breakfast then. 
But what about that homework? 
Ugh. I forgot about that. 
I'll fail for sure. 
I should probably get up now and get started. 
1, 2, yes! 

That's all before getting out of bed. Writing it all out here on the screen makes me think about how ridiculous those thoughts are. So many of us do it though:

Will I have time for...? 
What if my kids don't...? 
How will I handle it if...?

We weren't created for worry. Physically, spiritually, mentally and emotionally. Today's culture has so normalized being worried and afraid of the unknown when God just says "Stop". We often think about sin as lust or gossip but the truth is, by letting little things like worry take root in our lives we end up choking out the truths God has planted there Himself. We actually put those thoughts before what God says, creating idols. We are consumed with: 

What if I'm not good enough? Instead of "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." (2 Corinthians 12:9)

What if something happens? Instead of "You are not far from the Kingdom of God." (Mark 12:34)

What if I'm not taken care of? Instead of "Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find." (Matthew 7:7)

I say all of this because I am studying a book that is waking me up. It's called "Weeds of the Mind" by Aaron Maners, a pastor in Orlando who came to speak at our church yesterday. In just the first few pages, I'm wrecked forever. He talks about how weeds are sneaky, slow to creep in, and tend to take over. That's exactly what these thoughts have been in my life. I am so concerned with what might happen that I lose sight of what Jesus has already said will happen: 


Matthew 15:13 says, "Jesus replied, 'Every plant not planted by my Heavenly Father will be uprooted.'" To me, that means the stuff I've gotten so used to hearing that I believe it. 

What weeds could you identify, isolate and remove from your everyday life to make room for joy today? 

I would love to hear your thoughts about this. Comment below or follow me on Twitter @Smashley355 and Tweet me your experiences with "weeds". 

Friday, May 2, 2014

Being Endorsed

You know those days when your fullest intention is to be this superstar christian and read an entire book of the Bible but instead God just won't let you forget one verse? That verse ends up being so prevalent in your life that you can't seem to not think about it all day long?


That happened to me this morning. I spent at least twenty minutes soaking in Galatians 1:1 (NLT).

I know, right. Of all places to get stuck- the starting line. Here's what the verse says:

"This letter is from Paul, an apostle. I was not appointed by any group of people or any human authority, but by Jesus Christ Himself and by God the Father, who raised Jesus from the dead."

Lately I've been battling lies of the enemy. He tells me no one cares and that I'm not equipped. He reminds me of the hurtful words of others. He sinks his nasty claws into my flesh and doesn't let go.

But I have called you, daughter. You are called and special and filled with purpose. 

God showed me that human endorsement means absolutely nothing when it comes to His calling on my life. Paul had no one on his team when he first started his ministry. In fact, most people-religious people-were out to stop him, on purpose. But Paul had hope in nothing less than Jesus Christ who called him. That endorsement means a thousand times more than any Twitter Followers, Facebook Likes, or books sold. I could write for the rest of my life without one reader and God would still be proud because I did something with His calling on my life.

So will you pray with me today? That we would be a people with a thirst for life in Jesus' name; A people who don't wait for life to happen to us. I'm praying today that we would happen to life.

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

Thursday, May 1, 2014


Wow! Is it really already May? All of a sudden I find myself in my junior year of college, about to turn twenty, living in a condo in the middle of my city. I can walk to get groceries from Publix and a bagel from Panera. Needless to say, my life is becoming my favorite.

You know what I mean? Like I'm no longer (for the most part) concerned with how he's living his life or how she conducts herself because I am me, and my life is my favorite.

But before I get in too deep, here are a few of my other favorites from this past April:

Olan Rogers:

I cannot say enough great things about this guy. He loves Jesus, storytelling, and pizza parties. This particular video is about his paint-balling experiences as a middle schooler. Needless to say, it is one of the most quoted videos in my home.

Packing Light by Allison Vesterfelt: After accepting Jon Acuff's Empty Shelf Challenge, I embarked on a book frenzy of sorts. My 13th read was Packing Light by Allison Vesterfelt and to say I was convicted would be an understatement. Her words about a trip she took across the country challenged me to leave behind unnecessary baggage and "leave my expectations at the door." From now on, I'm packing light.

I dare you not to like this meme. I was at small group last night when my leader started talking about this story about Peter from the Bible. I absolutely could not picture this scenario any other way. I mean, seriously. This is hilarious!

"Imagine if Christian and Ben were secret agents. Who would be 007?" My small group played this game the other night. Normally, I'm really not one for board games but to avoid being that person in the room that refuses to play, I decided to give it a go. I can honestly say I haven't laughed that hard in a while. Most of the answers were totally bogus, but I feel like if you can't laugh at yourself every once in a while, you are seriously missing out on a whole different realm of joy.

All in all, April has been a pretty great month full of newfound joy in the little things. I feel like God puts these funny things in my life to remind me that He has put me here on this earth to enjoy life. I pray that you get to discover a little bit more of His joy in this coming new month!

Now, what were your favorites from April? I'd love to hear about what God is doing in your life! Feel free to leave me comments :)

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