Goodbye for now

Tomorrow I leave on my adventure to study abroad in Vienna, Austria! I will probably not have time to keep up with this blog while I am gone, but I will be posting on my other blog, Lana in Vienna, as much as I can! Read along if you want to come on this journey with me!

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go. {Joshua 1:9}

Blessings, Lana

Thoughts from God

Sometimes when I journal I like to write down my thoughts as if God is saying them directly to me. Here is something I wrote in my journal a couple months ago. I wouldn’t normally share things like this, but I think anyone who is single and struggling with focusing on God needs to hear this often.

It is easy for me to write this out, but to actually listen to these words seems to be so hard sometimes. I’m slowly learning to trust in his timing and seek him for peace.

He is truly the only one that can make us content and fill our hearts with joy. Let’s not settle for less than the best that God has for us.

{Be patient, darling, I will bring you your true love when the time is right.
Do not rush.
I know your desires, I know what you need.
I am preparing the best for you. A match only for you.
I know you feel alone, but I am right here. Give me your heart. I will keep it safe. Until his heart is ready.
Then you can meet.
Be patient, darling, I will bring you your true love. But for now lean into me. I’ll keep you safe. I’ll keep you strong.
You’re beautiful, darling, you deserve the best.
Be patient, darling, I’ll bring you the one when I think it’s best.
But, for now, give me your heart. And take a rest.}

I challenge you to write out your feelings this week and to also write a response to yourself from God.

2015 Non-Goals

I recently read this idea on the blog Design for Mankind and I really enjoyed it, so I thought i’d give it a try. Instead of picking things to work on for the new year, I’m going to look back on all of the good things in my life. These are things that bring me joy, things that I can embrace and things that I am thankful for.

1// I am learning that it is okay to be alone. I actually enjoy time alone and sometimes I feel guilty about not being social. I’m learning that I need this alone time just like I need air to breathe. It’s good time for me to think, relax and not worry about what others think of me.

2// I’ve started becoming more adventurous and I really like that about myself. The fact that I am stepping out of my comfort zone and trying new things is letting me know that I am beginning to really live life.

3// I finally picked and declared my college major. Now that I have made a decision, I can focus on things I can do to be successful and grow.

4// I’ve learned a lot about who God is and the actual story that the Bible tells this past year and I am thankful for that. I am embracing who God is and the story of His wonderful people.

5// I am realizing how important family is. Being away from home has helped me grow and learn in so many ways, but when I come home I remember who I am and see how special the people supporting me are.

I know big things are ahead for 2015 and I am thankful for all of the people in my life who love and continue to show me kindness.

What are some of your non-improvements for this year?

Prayer isn’t easy work

If i’m being honest, my biggest struggle in my walk with God is prayer. I’ve made it my New Year’s resolution to pray more over and over again and nothing has really changed. I’ve started journaling my prayers a little bit this year and it has been quite helpful.

When I really think about it, prayer is so important. It connects us to God and shows him that we acknowledge and trust him.  So looking back at my prayer life this year, I haven’t been acknowledging him or trusting him very well. I haven’t been inviting him into my life because I haven’t been communicating with him. How can he help me and comfort me if I don’t tell him what’s wrong? How can I show my thanks to him if I don’t tell him thank you?

In my favorite college class this semester, we studied a verse about how God is always working. He is always working. He is always, always working.

Jesus said to them, “My Father is always at his work to this very day, and I too, am working.” John 5:17

If God is always working and we are supposed to follow his lead, then we should be working also. It is not just a one-way relationship. If God is working for us, then we should be working for him. Working on our prayer is the first step!

I know now that if I don’t start talking to God, then I am not really giving my all to him. I am not trusting him and I am not really loving him if I don’t communicate with him. I’ve decided to come up with some simple things to help me this year (instead of making prayer my New Year’s resolution). 

Keep journaling and journal more often. I find that when I write my prayers down, then I actually do pray. I don’t even have to write out a complete prayer, but by writing my thoughts down to God, I am focusing my thoughts towards him and acknowledging his existence.

Bring God into everyday tasks. I’ve found that I don’t have to make time to pray. I just have to make everything I do a prayer. I have to make little things like doing dishes, running, or even getting ready in the morning all about God. If I am constantly focused on him, then I am constantly praying.

Pray before eating. I know this is a common one, but I tend to skip it all the time. It’s such a simple task to see food and automatically give thanks. I feel like if I really am thankful, then I will start thanking God for what he has provided.

Stop making excuses, just do it. I make excuses such as forgetting to pray, being afraid to pray in public, or even just a simple “I’m so hungry,  I have to eat now!”. It’s time to stop making excuses and not be ashamed.

It’s time to really be serious and intentional about my relationship with my Heavenly Father. No more excuses. He loves me so much and when I go days without praying, he wonders if I really mean it when I say that I love him.

When you don’t want to be single anymore

I’m currently reading Annie Downs book, Let’s All Be Brave, and just finished the chapter about being single. All of her points are valid about the way it sucks to be alone and how sometimes it hurts more than others, but I also find encouragement in her words about how Jesus is always with us and how we are never alone. It is so very true that He is with us through this season of life.

As I’ve scrolled through Facebook and Instagram these past few weeks, I’ve seen nothing but engagements, weddings and relationship statuses changing. I find myself wondering, “When will that be me?” and begin to doubt God and His promise to me that He knows what is best for me.

This is where things start to get bad… When I try to take it into my own hands and not trust God. When I see a cute guy and automatically think, “What if he’s the one?” And when I have a somewhat friendship with someone and start messaging and texting them and over-romanticizing the situation. I have to really stop and tell myself, “Wake up!!” Just because he is a wonderful guy (with all of the things on my list) does not mean he is the one for me. It definitely doesn’t mean that I am ready for a relationship just because I think i’ve found the perfect match.

Honestly, sometimes I’m just scared. Scared that I might miss out on this awesome person if I do not take the chance now. I feel like if I don’t message him, text him, ask him to hangout, or try and get him to notice me (even when I swore that the next guy I’d like would be the one asking me out), then will I be missing out on the “ONE” that is meant for me in this life?

This is all wrong… I don’t believe that God would let a guy pass me up if he is the “ONE”. If God knows my desire to be “pursued” by a guy, then God will let me be pursued when the time is right. It’s just up to me now to wait. Yes, there I said it… WAIT. I have to be patient and know that if I don’t wait, then I am not getting God’s best pick.

Something a lady at my church told me last Sunday stuck in my head, “Whoever ends up with you has to be a very special guy.” I think this stuck in my head for two reasons: 1) because she thinks I am going to end up with someone!!!!! 2) because she thinks that I am not just meant for anyone, but someone really special.

The same is meant for you! You are more than likely going to end up with someone and you are meant for someone special. As much as I don’t believe my own words, my wish is that young girls would know that they don’t need a boyfriend. They don’t need to date someone in high school. They don’t need someone to make them feel special or beautiful.

As much as it hurts to wait and be “lonely” for awhile, I have a big hope that it will be worth it.

Besides, right now I can watch as many Hallmark movies as I want, while I cuddle up on the couch and eat all the chocolate my heart desires.

Until then, I need to not take my singleness into my own hands, but give it up to the One who loves me and knows my heart completely. I know He will choose a guy much better than any I could ever pick.

-Lana

The Daily Struggle

Sometimes I wonder what my life would be like if I did this or that.. What if I traveled to see my friends this summer? What if I chose the coconut paleta over the coffee flavored one? What if I wasn’t afraid to talk to someone new today? But there are two main options that I struggle over about what to do with my life..

The first is to finish college, find an awesome internship somewhere in a cool city, hopefully get a boyfriend, and get a cute little apartment and decorate it. All of these things would be so nice! I would go to all the cool coffee shops and cafes. Hopefully be apart of an awesome church and maybe even help lead a youth group someday? 

But then something else tugs on my heart…

The second is to forget EVERYTHING I just said and to travel the world and be a missionary. Who needs a cute little apartment, when some people don’t even have a home? Who needs the comfort of a shower everyday, when some little kids don’t even have clean water to drink? Who needs a job or internship, when there are people around the world that just need to be shown love?

I know that God is placing something on my heart. I’m just not sure yet. I also know that achieving my dream job, getting all of the newest material items, and finally finding a boyfriend that i’ve wanted for so long is not going to make me feel fulfilled or content. 

The only thing that is going to fulfill me is My Creator and Savior. 

I may not know what I am doing this summer, or next, or even what I am doing after college. But I can be sure that God will lead me where he wants me to go. 

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11

Who we really are

Sometimes you just have to let go…

Life’s too much. Sometimes you just want to hold back the tears. Tonight my emotions are really getting the best of me. My loneliness. My jealousy. My comparison. Hating who I am.

I get really mad when I think lowly of myself, but I can’t help it. I don’t feel good enough. I don’t feel like anyone will ever love me. I don’t feel like I am as great as all of the other girls around me. All of these are lies from satan. I need to stop believing them.

The only way that I am going to stop believing all of these lies is if I put my whole heart and focus on God. Let’s see what God says about me…

You are made in My image.

You are chosen.

You are loved.

You are Mine.

God says “I know you are discontent here because you weren’t made to live in this temporary, broken place.” (Restless by Jennie Allen)

We were made for more. We are made to believe that we are His and we are important. Once we believe this with our whole hearts, we will stop believing the lies that satan feeds us and starting living with joy and purpose in our Savior.