Thursday, November 10, 2016

3 WAYS WE CAN ALL MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN

Alright, I'm going to try and keep this as short as possible.

They say it's better to be silent than to say too much.

I've remained silent through this presidential election for the most part.

To be honest, I just don't like to get in the middle of everyone's debating.

We are all different.

In fact, I took this personality test once at a missionary conference I attended in the Netherlands.

It was a test to see which role each person would play in a team setting.

My role was "the harmonizer".

I like harmony.

Harmony is good.

I like it when people are able to come to a consensus and a compromise.

I like it when we can all get along and agree on a solution.

Unfortunately, I concluded that I was unable to convince Team America to come to a unified decision.

I have seen many people who are still trying to though.

Here's a quick reminder, the election is over.

That means you can't change the results.

Just throwing that out there.

Anyway, I decided to remain silent.

I did, until now.

I wasn't going to post any type of political response whatsoever but then I figured my blog is my family.

Hopefully, I can speak from my heart here and harmony will still exist.

Did I mention I like Harmony?

It is very good.

Alright, back to keeping it short and simple. Here it goes.

Ok let's be real, the "United" States is completely divided right now.

Miraculously, it is almost perfectly divided in half.

I am blown away by what I have been reading and watching the past couple of days.

People are angry, furious, terrified.

I don't think there has ever been such hatred toward political candidates before in history.

Not to mention, the hatred toward each other in general.

Everyone is calling everyone else ignorant.

It reminds of the movie The Incredibles when the evil villain wanted to take over the world with his masterplan to get rid of superheroes by making all of the humans super and shouted, "If everyone is super, no one will be!! Muahaha...ha..ha".

Except in this case if everyone is ignorant, no one will be.....muah...ha..right?

Or maybe everyone really is ignorant,

Or maybe there are just levels of ignorance,

But who's to say what ignorance even is?

So why do we all feel entitled to call each other ignorant anyway?

Maybe no one is actually ignorant, but rather just uninformed on every single concept...

Ahhhh ok that's enough, my brain hurts.

Moreover, I believe that this is the new evil plan.

The plan to make us all hate each other and make us all ignorant in each other's eyes.

"Whose plan?", you ask.

"Oh, the evil villain."

"What villain? Trump? Hillary?", you ask.

"No. Satan."

"I don't remember seeing a 'Satan' running for president", you reply.

"Well actually Satan is the prince of evil, but he is trying to be king over all*."

"Who else is in the running for king?" you ask.

"No one. God will always be King but Satan still believes he can overrule Him".

You see, Satan wants us to be against each other. He loves division and hatred.

He wants us all to call each other ignorant and blame each other.

He wants us to feel scared and vulnerable.

So, Donald Trump is President.

He is also human.

He is the leader of America and he needs prayer.**

Not only does he need prayer for guidance, but also for the evil that will be coming against him.

It doesn't matter who you are, evil will always come against you, especially in a position of leadership.

My point here is, let's try to come together and understand that people aren't who we should have our hope in.

People are people.

They can only do so much and they will never live up to our expectations.

Yes it is good to be informed and educated on the issues,

But we can talk and talk about issues, forgetting that our hope needs to be in God.

We shouldn't try to figure out every single problem and assume one person will fix it all.

We should be handing the issues over to our King and letting Him lead us.

America is great when we put our hope in the right place.

If not, we are lost, confused, and living in constant anxiety.

"In God We Trust", that is the key to our peace.

Satan will try to make us trust him.

He will tell us lies and make us believe that horrible, unspeakable crimes like murdering babies are not sins.

He will deceive and demoralize.

He will destroy and convince us that we do not have to be responsible for our actions.

He is the opposite of justice.

He wants us all to fight and be at war with one another over all of this.

I urge you, don't let him win.

America can have harmony and we can individually make the change happen.

The future of this country doesn't depend on one man.

It depends on the people as a whole.

We can be unified if we love one another.

Each person has to act on the future they want to see every single day.

So what can we do daily to be great again?

Let's go to the main source for the answers.

The source that was given to us way before America was founded.

The source that provided direction to those before us and continues to provide for us all.

As always, let's go to the Bible.


Love your neighbor

The best way to have harmony is to love one another. Love changes things. It can change a city, a country and even the world. Calling each other ignorant and constantly tearing each other down is not loving. Satan wants hatred and evil. He wants to stir up anger but the way we can stop it is through loving and recognizing that people are not the problem. God loves people and wants everyone to be saved. We need to see the world through His eyes and know that Satan is the source of any evil, not people. People are for loving, evil is for hating. Loving each other is God's greatest commandment to us all, not condemning each other.

"And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” Mark 12:30-31
* "And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience—" Ephesians 2:1-2 
"For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm." Ephesians 6:12-13

Pray

The President needs our prayers. The United States needs our prayers. The world needs our prayers. We cannot be successful, safe, or smart without the wise guidance of The Lord. The verse below is a command. It is telling us to be "thankful" for authority, no matter who it may be. This is how we can live in peace among each other and among the rest of the world. I am thankful for President Trump and I will be praying for him, will you?

** "First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth." 1 Timothy 2:2-4

Trust in God

If we want God to bless the United States, as He has done for many many years, then we need to trust in Him. It's really that simple. We need to put our hope in Him, rather than people, and He will be faithful to us. God already overcame the world through His Son, Jesus. That means there is no need to worry because it is already finished and if God is for us, then no one else can be against us!

"Blessed is the man who makes the Lord his trust, who does not turn to the proud, to those who go astray after a lie!" Psalm 40:4 
"I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” John 16:33 
"What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us." Romans 8:31-34


Oh, and just a tip....

Remember not to spend all of your time talking about your political opinions.

Ok? Because that can be embarrassing,

But you didn't hear it from me (look below).

"A fool takes no pleasure in understanding,
    but only in expressing his opinion." Proverbs 18:2

"Even a fool who keeps silent is considered wise;
    when he closes his lips, he is deemed intelligent." Proverbs 17:28


Always love,

Darcy







Monday, October 24, 2016

WARNING: THIS IS THE ONLY EVACUATION ROUTE

I know this is a sensitive subject right now.

I know many people are still suffering from the effects of hurricane Matthew.

I know over 850 people have died because of it.

I know homes and cities have been destroyed.

This is very serious.

It is very sad.

It is something we will never forget.

My heart aches and I can't imagine what people are going through.

I feel helpless and unworthy of the blessings I have received.

Over the course of the storm, I had a lot of time to think.

Most of us were stuck in our houses for several days.

Personally, I evacuated further inland, away from my home near the beach.

My family stayed behind in a hurricane shelter.

It was scary.

It was a time that tested our faith.

We prayed that trees wouldn't fall and waves wouldn't flood.

We prayed for safety and protection.

There's something very unsettling about knowing something destructive is coming that you can't control.

Before the storm came, people were anxious.

They rushed to the gas stations and the grocery stores.

They urgently gathered what they needed to survive in the worst case scenario.

Water and bread disappeared from the shelves.

Gasoline ran out.

I almost wrecked multiple times on my drive home from the store.

People were running straight through red lights.

They were cutting each other off.

Their minds were solely fixed on what they needed for their families.

Nothing would stand in their way.

The air felt thin.

Everyone was on edge.

I had never seen such urgency in my entire life.

I couldn't help but think about something it reminded me of.

It's something I hesitated to share with you all.

I've been waiting for the right time.

Again, I know this is a sensitive subject right now.

Nevertheless, I am going to share the analogy that came to my mind throughout this disaster.

What if,

What if, we were all told that something much worse than hurricane was coming.

What if, we were told that there was only one way to evacuate and if we didn't, then we would surely die.

Of course, we would take it right?

Not only that, but we would want to tell everyone to get out...now!

We would be urgent.

Nothing would stand in our way.

Yet, we would also have a sense of peace and safety because we knew we had a place to go.

We would have hope and assurance.

We would want everyone to have it too.

It would be our responsibility to tell everyone how to get out, or else they would be left in the rubble.

I share this scenario now because it has never been more real for me.

When I close my eyes and think about it, I can feel a similar feeling to the one I just had previously during the hurricane.

Do you feel it?

Ok, now that you feel it, I have some news.

That scenario is true.

It is happening right at this moment.

That urgency we feel should be felt everyday.

Why?

Well, the honest truth is that we are all facing destruction.

The earth will be completely destroyed soon.

When?

I do not know.

In fact, God says in His Word that no one knows the date.

Still, it is coming.

So now what?

Now, we can do one of two things.

We can choose the evacuation route or the route to destruction.

We can choose to accept the saving grace of Jesus or reject it.

The only way out is through Jesus.

If we don't follow Him, then we will die.

It sounds extreme, I know, but it's the cold hard truth.

I know because I've read it right in the Bible.

Here are just a couple of examples:

 "He will punish those who do not know God and do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. They will be punished with everlasting destruction and shut out from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might on the day he comes to be glorified in his holy people and to be marveled at among all those who have believed. This includes you, because you believed our testimony to you." 2 Thessalonians 1:8-10 NIV
"This is how it will be at the end of the age. The angels will come and separate the wicked from the righteous and throw them into the blazing furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. “Have you understood all these things?” Jesus asked." Matthew 13:49-51 NIV

Clearly, we must believe in Jesus and obey Him or else we will face punishment.

Yes, that means hell.

For those of us who already believe in Christ, we will be able to enter the presence of The Lord one day.

Now the question is, why aren't those of us who know the way to heaven urgently telling people how to be able to come with us?

Why aren't we letting everyone know that destruction is coming?

Why aren't we giving them the evacuation route?

Why are we scared to talk about this subject and why do we keep it to ourselves?

It should be like a hurricane warning.

We should be helping people evacuate, fast.

We shouldn't be solely focused on ourselves and what it takes for only us and our families to survive.

We might not be able to see the coming destruction with our own eyes, but we do know that it's on its way.

I absolutely love this quote spoken by a popular atheist.

"I’ve always said that I don’t respect people who don’t proselytize. I don’t respect that at all. If you believe that there’s a heaven and a hell, and people could be going to hell or not getting eternal life, and you think that it’s not really worth telling them this because it would make it socially awkward—and atheists who think people shouldn’t proselytize and who say just leave me along and keep your religion to yourself—how much do you have to hate somebody to not proselytize? How much do you have to hate somebody to believe everlasting life is possible and not tell them that. I mean, if I believed, beyond the shadow of a doubt, that a truck was coming at you, and you didn’t believe that truck was bearing down on you, there is a certain point where I tackle you. And this is more important than that." - Penn Jillette

He is saying that he respects Christians who at least try to save people from hell.

He respects people who talk about it because if they didn't, then that would mean they don't even care that the people around them are facing eternal destruction.

So even if you are reading this and you don't believe in Jesus, then know that I only want to help you.

It's kind of like I am a weather woman on the news.

I am just a messenger, telling you the facts I have learned from the doppler radar.

If you don't believe what I say, then go to the main source.

Go to the Bible.

Go learn about Jesus as a person.

Go research the historical proof that He lived and was crucified 2000 years ago.

Sometimes, even if someone claims there's a storm coming, we still want to see it for ourselves.

We aren't satisfied with just seeing a person talk about the weather on the news.

We like to see the visual evidence.

We like to watch the radar for ourselves before we really believe it and that's totally understandable.

Moreover, if we already know Jesus and want others to know the facts too, then we need to be urgent.

We need to do whatever it takes and not let anything stand in our way.

This is the most important thing and it's time we take it seriously.

Passion is in the doing, not just the feeling.

We may feel passionate about our faith, but if we don't do anything with it, then we've lost our purpose.

This is our purpose for living.

We are here to follow Jesus and share the gospel to the ends of the earth.

We are here to experience the saving grace of Jesus and share it with others.

Our time here is short and we must use it to let people know the only evacuation route.

The hurricane is coming.

Let's be urgent.

Yes, those of us who know Jesus already have hope and assurance of our safety but we can't rest in that.

We must act...now!

pic: disaster.salvationarmy.usa


Always love,

Darcy





Sunday, October 2, 2016

HAVE COURAGE AND BE KIND

Everyone paused in awe as she ascended down the palace staircase.

"Who is she?" they whispered.

"Is she a princess?" they asked.

The prince stood at the far end of the ballroom, astonished, almost star-struck.

The crowd split in two as she reached the bottom step.

Slowly, the prince walked toward her.

Her eyes met his gaze.

They looked closer at each other, as if no one else existed.

Gracefully they began to dance across the open floor.

The guests stood in a circle around them and marveled.

Something was different about the girl.

Though she looked undeniably beautiful outwardly, something shown from within her as well.

She smiled humbly and carried herself with a gentle grace.

It was not as though she wished to impress, but rather she was content as she was.

"She must be a princess. Yes, she must." they mumbled amongst each other.  



Most of you can guess what movie I just finished watching a few minutes ago.

Yes, Cinderella.

Not the cartoon, though that one is always a gem.

No, this time I watched the real-life version.

Ok...ok maybe it's my fourth or fifth time seeing it...not counting in theaters..

If you've seen it, you should agree with me that it is quite enchanting and even inspiring.

If you haven't seen it, hopefully some inspiration will carry over into this post.

Oh, and you really should see it,

But before I begin I would like you to know, I am not paid or sponsored by Disney.

Although with all the promoting I do for them, I really should be. Just saying.

Anyway, not only am I inspired by their lovely, royal-sounding accents in this film, but also their characters.

By this, I mean the actual self-character of both Cinderella and her Prince.

Believe it or not, we can all learn a lot from these two,

Whether we are ladies or gentleman.

Deep down, most of us want to be like them.

We want to have good character.

We want have integrity and the strength to do what is right.

We want to find true love and happiness.

We want to have courage and be kind.

We want to leave a legacy and be remembered as someone who loved unconditionally.

These are the qualities of princes and princesses.

In fact, I've noticed a pattern with every princess movie I've watched.

I've realized that each princess goes through a time of very difficult circumstances.

Perhaps, her whole life has been a struggle.

She may have a broken family or a situation at hand that she can't control.

Still, she finds a way to control one thing.

That is, the way she reacts to her life.

Instead of being miserable, she is the opposite.

She is happy and content.

She takes what she has, and does the best she can with it.

She comes up with creative ways to use her time and works hard everyday.

Of course, she dreams of better days to come, but she doesn't waste away her thoughts wishing constantly.

She hopes, but she still lives in the present.

She smiles and sings.

This is what makes her so beautiful.

This is why we admire her and secretly want to be like her in real life.

Not to mention, the greatest part of all is, even though she is happy where she is, she ends up much happier in the end.

She ends up with more than she ever dreamed of.

Then, we all watch and smile at the screen because we see that out of all people, that girl deserved to be a princess because she went through such a hard time, yet remained true to her character.

She didn't react harshly when people treated her poorly.

She was kind to every person and even every animal.

She stayed true to her promises and never ever gave up.

Of course her Prince did the same.

He was determined and strong.

He was patient and genuine.

He was sensitive and caring,

...oh and charming, might I add.

The point is, these are the qualities we all wish to have.

This is the story we all want.

Sometimes, though, we only see the end result and we don't look at the struggle it took to get there.

Let's say, somebody out there didn't know Cinderella's full story.

They may assume, "Oh, that's just all fake, nobody gets their lives handed to them like that. All princess movies are just tricking people into thinking they can get whatever they want without working for it".

In reply I'd say, "Cinderella had a very difficult life and she worked very hard. Ultimately, her love and kindness brought her what she gained in the end and that is more deserving than anything else".

Just so, your life might look like Cinderella's did in the beginning.

You might be working very hard everyday, and remain unnoticed.

You might be scrubbing the floors and cleaning up messes or working at job where people mistreat you.

You may have a broken family or you may have to carry the burden of loss.

This is real-life.

We all have stories of hardship.

Cinderella offers us her secret though, and that is,

"Have courage, and be kind".

Through all of it, we must be able to find joy in our circumstances.

We must remain kind, and that takes true courage.

Here's the problem, though.

We don't live in a fairytale world.

We live in a fallen world.

None of us can live up to a perfect character.

None of us can truly love, without some form of self-seeking.

There was only one Prince who lived, and did this perfectly.

He had all of the qualities we strive for.

He kept every single promise and He never stopped pursuing us.

He waited patiently for us.

He was kind to every person He met and He had the courage to even sacrifice His own life for love.

His love for us.

His name was Jesus.

His name is Jesus, and He rose victorious.

He now stands at the right hand of the Father, The King.

One day He will return for us on a white horse and rescue us from our brokenness.

Until then, we must be able to build His kingdom here on Earth.

We must do the best with what we have and find joy through it all.

Life definitely isn't a fairytale but heaven is even better than a fairytale.

It may seem hard to believe, but it is true. Heaven is real and it is where we will go if we decide to follow Jesus in this life.

We can have hope in the days to come and the only way we can find true, real love and power to remain courageous is by knowing Jesus while we are here on Earth.

The more we know Him, the more we know of His qualities.

We may look at the movies and be inspired by characters,

But Jesus is real, not fiction.

He has all of those qualities, perfected in reality.

With Him, we can have them too.

We can love others, even when it's hard.

We can be kind, despite cruelty toward us.

We can have the courage to press on,

And we can only do this fully with Jesus, not on our own.

Then in the end, after our toil is done, Jesus will take home those of us who believed in Him, and we will end up in a kingdom far greater than any we could have imagined.

The King will look at us and say "Well done, my good and faithful servant".

He will see Jesus and consider us deserving.

He will smile at us and be pleased.

Not because of our work, but because of Jesus.

We will enter His gates and it will be like a fairytale beyond what our human mind could have ever comprehended.

Until then, we must keep going and have hope in what is to come.

We must let Jesus shine through us, so that people see His kindness,

So that the world can see Him and also receive the courage we've found.

Of course, God's blessings on Earth will come to us,

But we don't have to wait around expecting a "better" life,

Rather we can be content as we are, and where we are.

We can sing and have joy, praising Jesus for saving us.

We can be princes and princesses, because that is exactly what we are.

We are daughters and sons of God, the one true King.

So let's live like we are.

Let's possess the qualities of Jesus.

Let's bring heaven to earth, as we allow the Holy Spirit to work through us.

Let's smile and have joy that seems like something out of a Disney movie.

Let's have courage and be kind,

Because we know Jesus would.

He is who we should really want to be like.

His character is what we should really want to have,

And as we walk down the staircase of life, people will look at us and see something different shining out from within us.

They'll say to us, "There's something different about you".

Then we'll say, "Well it's definitely not anything we've done because without Jesus we all would have tripped and fallen down every single one of those steps, literally and metaphorically".

"Oh..so you're not royal?" they'll ask.

"Well technically we are but that grace you see isn't from ourselves, that grace is from Jesus."



Jesus said to him, “You have said so. But I tell you, from now on you will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of Power and coming on the clouds of heaven.” Matthew 25:21 ESV 

His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant.You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’ Matthew 25:23 ESV

You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore. Psalm 16:11 ESV

If anyone serves me, he must follow me; and where I am, there will my servant be also. If anyone serves me, the Father will honor him. John 12:26 ESV

Beloved, we are God's children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is. 1 John 3:2 ESV


Always Love,

Darcy






A photo from my visit to the beautiful (very royal-like) city of Lima, Peru! :)






Tuesday, September 13, 2016

LIFE IS LIKE A PAIR OF RIPPED JEANS

"Poor girl...we need to buy her some new clothes", she said.

"No grandma, that's the style now. They are supposed to be that way", I said.

"She probably can't afford any new trousers", she said.

"Rips are cool grandma. It's hard to explain", I said.

This conversation was a lost cause. It was a true, real-life example of an extreme generation gap.

Today, ripped jeans are fashionable.

In fact, the more rips, the merrier.

Now, they are even labeled "destroyed" on the tags.

Yes, that means they were manufactured to be torn up...on purpose,

And yes, that's identified as cool for many of us.

For my grandma, on the other hand, ...well in her eyes, it is not cool at all.

Instead, it's a public declaration of being homeless,

An automatic target for pity,

And an outward cry of total desperation,

All at once.

Still to this day, when I think about that conversation we had about my friend's jeans, I laugh every time.

It didn't matter what I said, she would never understand,

And you know what, this scenario reminds me a lot of life.

Yes, life. Very broadly but also very specifically.

Just like ripped jeans, life can also be very torn up.

It can seem destroyed actually.

It can appear to be falling apart.

Yet, somehow it is still put together.

Life? ..Put together?..

Yes, and sometimes it's hard to explain how it can possibly be restored to someone who doesn't understand how the pain could ever make sense.

Well, here's how.

God created us, knowing that we would be broken and torn.

Originally we were not manufactured to be that way, in the beginning,

But when sin entered the world, so did pain, brokenness, rips and tears.

Yet, God still managed to turn it all into something beautiful.

Through Jesus.

Jesus came to restore the brokenness of the world.

That doesn't mean that He made the mess just go away when He sacrificed Himself for us.

No, the world is still very torn and full of sin,

And yes, horrible things still happen everyday,

But Jesus made a way to see it all differently, from a new perspective.

He made it so that God would see His perfection, rather than our destruction.

He made it so that we could be restored and beautiful once again.

Just like a pair of wrecked jeans are still put together to form a nice outfit,

so our lives are just walking wrecks, still put together through Jesus to form beauty.

Those who don't know Jesus, won't get it at first,

Just like my grandma didn't understand the jeans.

Many will look around and view life as meaningless mess,

With ultimately no tangible source of hope, whether in life or death.

Until, one moment of truth, when they meet Jesus for themselves.

That one moment when they open their eyes to see that maybe it was meant to be that way,

And maybe it will make sense someday,

And maybe God has a bigger plan to restore humanity into something greater.

This involves reinventing the old plain law, and bringing something new and exciting,

Bringing Jesus.

Jesus read our tags. He knew we were destroyed,

But He saw that we were worth buying, even at the cost of His own life.

He proved that just because something is broken, doesn't mean it can't be made beautiful.

Even though our lives are ripped up, falling apart, complete messes, Jesus can restore them still and call them worthy of loving,

Worthy of using for a greater purpose.

Without Jesus we are just a pair of ripped up jeans, with with a baggy old stained T-shirt, crocs, and a cowboy hat.

It just doesn't work.

With Jesus we are a pair of ripped jeans with a trendy top, perfectly rugged boots, and sweet shades.

It's a match made in heaven and in the end it's all put together, just right.

The big picture is the full story, the full outfit, not just the torn up parts,

But something about the tears adds to the story anyway and it wouldn't end up the same without them there.

After all is said and done, a life with Jesus, including the brokenness and all, will end up beautiful.

It will end in eternal life and everlasting glory.

So what will you do?

Will you let your life be paired with the hope of Jesus?

Or will you pair it with a world of hopelessness?

If you don't know anything about Jesus, you are probably reading this and responding a lot like my grandma did.

It's hard to grasp how everything is coming together to form one big story of restoration.

In all actuality, I didn't grasp it as well either until last week.

Before last week, I had a few rips here and there in my life,

A few little mishaps,

But last week, I acquired a gaping hole in the right knee.

I experienced the most brokenness I've ever felt.

Everything I thought was good in my life, fell apart.

I labeled it as finally hitting rock bottom.

I was at the lowest point I'd ever been in,

But of course, here I am writing this blog, with the hole still there,

And I'm here to tell you that just because it's there, doesn't mean I have to give up hope and throw my life away.

As a matter of fact, I've also experienced more hope this week than I've ever had,

Hope in Jesus.

Hope that this hole is here for a reason and that it will be made beautiful in it's time,

Because that's just what Jesus does, because He is good.

There is a good plan for all of us, despite the hardships and trials.

This is how we can still have joy, even when we can't see why hard times are happening.

In desperation we also learn a lot about what or who we are depending on.

Now I can say I have surrendered what I was holding on to and,

All I want is Jesus,

All I need is Jesus,

Every second of every hour of every day.

I want to pray to Him, sing to Him, and live intentionally for Him every day that I'm alive,

And when my life is at it's end, I'll look back on this time and I'll say two things.

For one, I'll say "What in the world was I thinking wearing jeans with holes in them, that was seriously the strangest trend this world has ever created".

Two, I'll say "Wow I thought my life was messed up when I was 21, but you should see it now, it's literally torn up to shreds. One thing hasn't changed though, and that is the fact that Jesus was there through every single tear and He's the One who brought me through it all."

To my defense, writing an analogy comparing the gospel to a pair of jeans, isn't the easiest thing to explain.

So cut me some slack here,

But hopefully it made some sense and you weren't blankly staring the whole time like my grandma did during our conversation.

Instead, I just hope you'll remember Jesus throughout your day and never forget the gospel.

It's crazy how even the most simple things can remind us of Him, when we choose to see the world that way.

Even an old, tore up pair of super cool, trendy, washed out jeans can be beautiful.

"Right grandma?"

"....."



Always Love,

Darcy


Wednesday, September 7, 2016

4 THINGS TO DO WHEN YOU CAN'T STOP OVERTHINKING

Dear overthinker,

Right now you are probably wondering if you have time to read this.

You are considering whether you should just scan through it or if it's worthwhile.

The reason you are thinking this is because you know you've already spent too much time scrolling through social media, when you decided to stop by my blog.

This happened most likely because you are trying to avoid something else you need to do.

But you still have to finish thinking about it before you begin anyway.

So you might as well mindlessly spend this time allowing your brain to be consumed with the thoughts that you must address regardless.

Well, my fellow friend, hopefully this post will be worth your time and slip some helpful, almost sub-conscience ideas into your overwhelmed mind.

I am one of you.

I understand.

Life isn't easy when you can't flip off the switch inside your head.

Yes, I do believe there is a switch up there.

I believe it because I've seen the evidence of it.

I know people who can literally think about nothing at any given time.

Frankly, I cannot grasp this concept even when I try to close my eyes and imagine a switch causing the room inside of my hollow head to go pitch black.

Even then, a little sheep ends up running by.

Then that sheep reminds me of my cousins who are sheep farmers,

which then reminds me that I need to visit them soon,

which then reminds me that I need to spend more time with family and friends rather than being busy,

which then reminds me that I'm busy,

which then leads me into my never-ending to-do list on repeat.

Something like that.

Am I just crazy?

Don't answer that.

But maybe, just maybe, all of us overthinkers are a bit crazy.

And maybe, just maybe, it can be to our advantage if only we allow it.

You see, the reason we think so much is because we want to do things right.

Some call it perfectionism, others call it paying attention to detail.

Either way, when every aspect of a task is thought of before it's done, it usually turns out pretty awesome.

Thing is, it took forever to get to that point because you thought about it for so long.

So a plus side is that we do things to the best of our ability and usually we have some pretty great ideas to bring to the table.

The downside is the emotional toll that overthinking takes on us.

On top of the tasks we are thinking about, comes the thoughts of all of the struggles that we need to work through.

Then, all we can do is think about the pain.

We replay every insult we've heard, every mistake we've made, and every heartbreak over and over.

We blame ourselves.

We blame everyone else.

We believe it when we feel like we are "too much" or "not enough".

Many times, our thoughts are self-directed and self-degrading.

We can't understand why they won't go away.

We can't understand why they are there in the first place.

We can't see why God allowed any of the heartache to originally occur.

We can't see why it doesn't make sense.

Why can't it just make sense?

No matter how much we think about it, we can't make sense of it.

So what do we do?

Well, we just keep thinking about it until maybe one day it does.

Until one day, when God decides to show us why He allowed all of these things to happen and we will finally be able to see how every single painful event strung together to form a perfect story.

A beautiful story.

Someday, it will.

Until then, we wait...and wait...and wait

And the sheep keep appearing over... and over ...and over.

And yes, we even go a little crazy.

Now, I know this is technically just advice from a fellow struggling overthinker BUT I do believe I have a few tips to help when your head is about to explode and you're desperate to make your mind stop.

In order to clear my head I usually resort to four things:

1. I go to the beach. The beach is my happy place and my sad place. It's where I go when I want to get away from it all and let the wind carry the thoughts away from my poor tortured soul and throw them into a sea of vastness, where they can never be found again. That is, until they wash back up when I return back to reality. Still, the beauty of the beach distracts me from my tasks and my problems. So my suggestion to you is to find a place that you love to go, and let it free your spirit, even if it's just for a short time. Let it be so amazing that you can't help but think that since you're there, life isn't so bad after all.

2. I listen to worship music. Something about music soothes my soul every time. I forget how much it helps sometimes and don't always realize the necessity of it in my life. In fact, having it constantly on in the background at all times, changes the atmosphere and slows down my thoughts in general. I find myself subconsciously humming and singing along, which scientifically improves morale (fun fact). Not to mention, worship music invites the presence of the Holy Spirit, who is the Prince of Peace, bringing a sense a calmness and reassurance. In His presence, is where we can find rest in the midst of our restlessness.

3. I recite verses of truth in my head to distract any thoughts that contradict what God tells me to think on. Here are a few of my favorites:

For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds.  We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ, being ready to punish every disobedience, when your obedience is complete." 2 Corinthians 10:3-6 ESV
I love this verse because it reminds me that the war that I am having with my own thoughts is not against myself, but rather against the enemy who is putting the thoughts inside of my mind to discourage and destroy. Ultimately, I have control over what I am thinking about if I choose to acknowledge every useless or ungodly thought and replace it with something good. (Of course, this is still a daily work in progress for me.)
"Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect." Romans 12:2 ESV
The reason why many of us overthink is because we are trying to figure out what we should do next. We are listing pros/cons, weighing the options etc. When really, we simply need to renew our minds with God's truths and promises, in order to understand His will for us. This is all we really need to do, we don't have to try to figure everything out.. but trust me, I know that's not very natural for us overthinkers. 
"Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things." ESV 
If our thoughts are running rampant we need to test them against this verse and if any of them don't line up, try to take them captive and replace them. 
 4. PRAY. We need to pray that God will take away any anxieties, fears, worries, doubts, pressures, stress, restlessness, etc and thank Him for all of the good things we have. We can be thankful for so much and talking to God continually throughout the day helps us turn our struggles into prayers and our pain into praise.


Now, I am far from perfect at doing all of these things consistently everyday.

In fact, I zoned out several times while writing this blog and started drifting into daydreamland about other things in my life.

But I do believe these are the keys to a calm mind.

I know because they are in God's Word and everything He says is true.

Plus, I've experienced His peace that passes all understanding when I am participating in them and I know it can only be divine (aka it's impossible for me to experience it on my own).

I will be praying for each of you reading this to find peace.

I know it's hard, especially in heartbreaks and struggles.

But everything starts with our thoughts.

The second we let them go, we let our whole selves go.

Sometimes all I want to do is let my mind run wild, and wallow in my misery.

But it's really not worth it.

All God wants is for us to praise Him and seek His presence in our lives.

If we are doing that, everything else will work itself out.

So let's do our best to not even try to make sense of it all.

Or else we will just be left with a whole lot of sheep and a farm full of worries.

I always have to end with something weird like that, sorry.

But you have to admit, it was pretty profound.


"May the God of peace be with you all. Amen." Romans 15:33





















Always Love,

Darcy

Saturday, September 3, 2016

I DON'T WANT TO BE A BLOGGER ANYMORE

I wasn't planning on writing this blog.

Usually I have a rough idea of what I am going to write about before I begin.

This time, I'm just making it up on the spot because it's coming straight from a passionate build up of self realization I've had over the past month.

Now, I know I told everyone that I was going to blog about my travels and write a book review on my most recent read.

Yes, I had an amazing time on my trips to Chile and Peru.

Yes, the book I read was incredible.

And yes, I do still plan on writing about those eye opening experiences in my life.

But you know what I've found on my path to self discovery?

I've found that I am not very motivated to be a "blogger".

What?!

Yes. Yes it's true.

Why? You ask.

Well to be honest, "bloggers" write about traveling, DIY, fashion and little tips and tricks to improve quality of life through crafts and cooking.

And that, my dear friend... that's just not me.

Don't get me wrong, I love reading those blogs and that's why I started blogging in the first place.

In fact, I am very involved in all of those areas.

I just don't particularly like writing about them.

Trust me, I've tried to copy those perfect bloggers and I've planned so many beautiful posts.

Key word: Planned

Thing is, you don't see those blogs anywhere on here do you?

Nope.

That's because I can't be somebody that I'm not.

I am an emotional human, and I must express it somehow or I feel trapped in a fake mold.

My feelings are written all over my face and even though you can't technically see my face, I think you can still clearly "read" my emotions.

Eventually I envision this blog being jammed packed with my world travels, photography, music, business, and all of the things that I love to do in life.

I want that, I really do.

Unfortunately, I can't guarantee if it will be written in the traditional blog form or not, so no promises.

Every time I try to write a practical post, I end up spilling my feelings all over it, like a hot cup of coffee on a new white shirt.

That's just the kind of writer I am.

I am not a typical blogger.

Rather, I am in the field of what I like to call "Emotional Relations"

...I totally just made that up

...or maybe it's a real thing, I have no idea.

Anyway, yes that's me. I like to relate with people on an emotional level.

Of course I want my writing to help people.

But not in the practical "DIY" type of way.

I want you to read my posts and be like "YES, me too, I feel that way all the time".

Not "YES, I can't wait to cook that recipe tonight".

Ya feel me?

So yeah, I am not going to quit blogging.

I'm just going to quit trying to be a blogger.

Because if I try to be something I don't enjoy, then it won't really get anywhere, as you can see from my lack of writing motivation recently.

I think this lesson applies to everything in life.

Actually, it could be the one thing that you can take away from this strange little post of mine.

That is, "Don't try to change your style to match everyone else, just be you."

It sounds a bit cliche but it is so true.

God made each of us with unique talents and gifts.

We can't add or take away from how He made us.

We can improve, yes.

We can learn new things, but ultimately we are who we are.

The best part is that we were made exactly how He wanted us to be, so just because we may lack in one area, doesn't mean we can't approach it in our own different way and be great at it.

We need to embrace our strengths and accept that we can't be anyone else.

For example, I have come to accept that I can't be a perfect blogger, like the ones I admire when scrolling through my Insta feed.

But I can be the perfect me, the way that no one else can.

And hopefully I can use my style to relate with you on a deeper, personal level because that's what I am truly passionate about.

So I QUIT.

I quit being a blogger.

You can't fire me for completely procrastinating on all of the posts that I planned to write for the past month!

No, because I quit! So hah!

And guess what?

I already have a new job.

In.. Emotional Relations.

Sounds very professional, I know.

Thank you, thank you very much.

But for real, I love you guys.

Thanks for letting me be me and share my heart with you.

I hope I can help you feel understood and let you be you too.

I can't wait to write more but for now, I won't plan anything.

I'll just prepare myself for spontaneous moments of emotional overflow.

See ya next time.

But just make sure you don't wear a white shirt because before you know it, you'll end up spilling your own feelings all over it too.

That was really cheesy.

With that being said, I think I'll just stop here.

Ok bye!























Always Love,

Darcy







Wednesday, July 6, 2016

MY TAKE ON MODESTY AND MINIMALISM

Before you get turned off by the word "modesty", keep reading and hear me out.

This is for gals and guys. Old and young. 

The word modesty has become somewhat misconstrued over the years.

When we hear that word, we associate it with women wearing long skirts and dresses.

In reality, it is defined much differently than than that. 

According to Dictionary.com modesty is :
  1. the quality of being modestfreedom from vanity, boastfulness, etc.
  2. regard for decency of behavior, speech, dress,etc. 
  3. simplicity; moderation.
Therefore, modesty is a lifestyle.

It is more than just clothing. 

Many people have a bad view of modesty,

In particular, some girls remember when they were younger and a cranky old woman told them their outfit looked inappropriate.  

Or a strict parent volunteering at a youth group told them that their shorts were too short and unacceptable for church.

Or a teacher at school sent them to the office for violating dress code. 

The word "modesty" has almost become a punishment.

When really, it means something completely different.

Modesty can come in many forms.

We can be modest with our words and behavior.

We can be modest with the way we present and respect ourselves and others.

We can be modest by having a humble attitude.

Actually humility is a synonym for modesty as well.

Moreover, there is a new movement sweeping through our culture called "minimalism".

Becomingminimalist.com gives us a clear meaning of modern minimalism by explaining,
"It is marked by clarity, purpose, and intentionality. At its core, minimalism is the intentional promotion of the things we most value and the removal of everything that distracts us from it. It is a life that forces intentionality. And as a result, it forces improvements in almost all aspects of your life."
At first I viewed it as just another fad.
But then I realized that living minimally is actually a great concept and it can go hand in hand with living modestly. 
Living modestly is more internal and living minimally is external. 
Minimalists are known for having limited material things.

They live simply and keep their belongings...well minimal.

There is even a phenomenon called the "capsule wardrobe"

This involves limiting your clothes to somewhere around 30 items and getting rid of the rest.

These 30 items can mix and match but you can't add to it or go shopping for more after you've chosen.

This way, you can learn to be content with what you have, keep your closet clean, and not worry as much about your appearance.

When I first heard about this, I said there's no way that I could ever do that.

I love shopping and I love keeping up with the trends. 

And what if Forever 21 was having a huge sale...then what would I do?

Oh I know, how about just never do the capsule wardrobe?! 

Yeah, good plan.

Then, just the other day it came up again and I began to reexamine my lifestyle.

Was I really living modestly?

Was I making my life more stressful, cluttered and complicated than it needed to be?

Yes.

Time for a change.

I've seen how the effects of shopping and accumulating material things have impacted people I love firsthand. 

I've seen how clutter has invaded a home and how the utilization of a sale can become an obsession.

So I've decided to try make my life more minimalistic... Starting now.

Less stuff, less stress.

Especially since I'm not a naturally organized person.

On top of that, I have a theory that living with less will also contribute to living modestly internally.

When I have less things to deal with, I will have more time for taking care of my own needs and the needs of others, without being overwhelmed with too much. 

Unnecessary tasks and to do lists keep my mind occupied on the mess, not the beauty in life.

There's a quote that says "My goal is no longer to get more done, but rather have less to do" - Francine Jay

We can live minimally and in modest moderation by limiting our tasks and keeping it simple.

This way our whole lifestyle can be more relaxed and we can focus on the most important parts of life. 

Our entire persona can change.

So I've decided that when I get home from traveling this summer, I'm going to give away most of my clothes and other unnecessary belongings and choose not to acquire much more.

I may not be a pro at the capsule wardrobe but I'm definitely going to try and see if I can at least have a conscious awareness of minimalism in all aspects of my life. 

I refuse to let busyness and clutter get the best of me.

And I refuse to let sales constantly pull me into buying things I don't need.

Studies show that 1 in 6 people have a shopping addiction to the point where they can barely resist any bargain they see.

This could easily happen to any of us and the world is full of ads to entice consumers.

This is why our stuff keeps piling up.

I've decided to stop the cycle in my own life and only buy and keep items that have significant meaning in correspondence with my values.

Of course, I'll still get things that I genuinely need to survive. 

But I don't want anything flashy and expensive.

Actually, I take that back.

Just because something is expensive, does not mean it is not a wise investment.

As a matter of fact, I believe the key to minimalism is quality over quantity.

Yes, it may cost more but if it will last a lifetime then it is better than buying a ton of junk that breaks and needs to be replaced.

This way, less is more.

Overall, I just want the minimal, modest life.

My life was not created for earthly treasures or stressful living.

In fact, Jesus himself was quite the minimalist.

The best of all time I believe.

He traveled from place to place without a moving van or an RV full of stuff.

He didn't even bring a designer suitcase with a matching carry on bag!

Impressive, I know.

He only possessed the minimal survival necessities.

And He urged the people following Him to do the same.

One time a young ruler asked Jesus what was required of him on earth, in order to go to heaven.

Jesus answered,
"When Jesus heard this, he said to him, “One thing you still lack. Sell all that you have and distribute to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.” But when he heard these things, he became very sad, for he was extremely rich." - Luke 18:22-23
So basically he told the guy to be a minimalist too.

Yeah...he didn't like that idea.

Kind of like me when I heard about the capsule wardrobe.

Now, I'm not saying everyone has to get rid of everything and I don't think Jesus meant that either.

The point was that there was an unhealthy attachment to the stuff.

An idolization of material things.

Jesus just wants us to be willing to give it all up in an instant if needed.

Because what we accumulate on this planet means nothing.

In heaven nobody will care about what your house looked like or if you didn't have one at all.

Jesus went on to say in verse 25, "For it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God."

Gotta love Jesus' analogies.

He said that because if anyone is unable to put God first and love Him above what their money can buy, then they are in serious danger and won't go to heaven whatsoever.

Money can be blinding and controlling.

Most of all, Jesus wants us to simply love Him and live free from any bondage. 

Free from the bondage of stuff, stress, busyness, and cultural expectations.

Remember the first definition of modesty.

1. the quality of being modestfreedom from vanity, boastfulness, etc.

Freedom.

Freedom from being conceited and consumed with greed etc etc etc.

It goes on and on.

Modesty and minimalism provide freedom from earthly attachment.

So what do you say?

Wanna follow Jesus together and let go of anyTHING holding us back?

I know I do.

Let's live more, with less.

Nobody said anything about how many pairs of boots you can have for the capsule wardrobe right?...