bible, Faith, Lifestyle

Your Weekly Encouragement: Diving Into Gratitude

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Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever.

1 Chronicles 16:34

In the past six months, I have suffered from being in content. In today’s world, everyone is doing their workout routines, wearing cute and expensive outfits, and going on amazing trips. I struggled with being jealous of others because of their amazing opportunities and it was just such a negative mindset honestly. Sometimes when I would watch YouTubers, I’d be thinking “Wow I want a pair of lululemon leggings and that cute Louis Vitton tote that I could take to class with me” or I would think “wow I want to go to SoulCycle every morning then take tropical vacations every few months”. These are all things I have envied in the past and still struggle with today. 

When I was praying the other night, suddenly I began thinking about how blessed I truly am. I have my own room, I have hot water to take a shower, I have parents that aren’t divorced, I have a closet filled with clothes, I have an iPhone, I have the access to Bibles, I have everything I need; which is something so many people in the world do not. Whenever I feel jealous of others, I have begun feeling convicted by the Holy Spirit. I have so many amazing opportunities that have been given to me by God. I feel like when I get jealous of what others have I am telling God that what He has given me is not good enough. Whenever you feel in content with your life, think about all the amazing things God has done for you and all of the amazing things He will be doing in your future. 

I know I have talked about God’s provision in the past, but I want to touch on it again. God is going to provide you with every single thing you need in order to further His Kingdom. He will make a way for His plan even if you are in the darkest of situations. He knows exactly what He is doing even on the days where you lay in bed and think about how terrible you have it. 

Remember that being jealous of what others have is going to destroy you. Be joyful always, and have a heart that thanks God through every phase of life and every situation. Because there will be a time for you to celebrate your victories as well. You have amazing things coming up in your future that you cannot even imagine yet. God is constantly working in your life and He will bless you as you let go of everything else for Him. 

Also, take note that all of the things you have right now won’t have any significance in heaven. God is the center of our lives and He is the most important aspect of who we are and how we live our lives. We will not be able to take any of our material items with us to heaven, so don’t put too much value in the things you own. It is better to give than to receive, so try to donate money when you can instead of using money to buy something expensive that you probably do not need! 

I hope that this short post encouraged you and helped you with having a different mindset for your week! I want to be inspiring to you all and help you focus on God instead of life here on earth. 

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Lifestyle

How To Strengthen Your Faith All Year Long

 

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And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together

Colossians 1:17 

Okay, so I have totally gone through phases where I am so on fire for God. I do all the right things that a Christian should do. I wake up thirty minutes early, read my Bible, and do my daily devotional before starting my day. I’m sure this routine works for some people, but that routine isn’t what sets me on fire for God. throughout my life, I have definitely gone through so many ups and downs in my faith, and I have struggled with consistency. I hate setting a routine when it comes to my spiritual life, and I can’t wake up and do the same thing every day. So today, I am going to give you six tips for keeping your spiritual momentum and fire going all year long!

  1. Spending Time in Prayer 
    • The first thing you can do to keep your momentum going in your relationship with God is prayer. Prayer is so simple, so effective, and such an easy way to communicate with God. Whenever I pray, I feel like a weight has been lifted off of my shoulders. God is that person you can talk to about anything without barriers, so make sure you talk to Him about everything without putting boundaries on your prayers. It is hard to pray about certain things, but make sure you do it. Something I pray for is my relationships and that if God doesn’t want certain people in my life, He will take them out. This is so hard to pray for, but it is more important to know that you are following God’s path.
  2. Spending Time in Worship 
    • I love love love worship. Worship can be so diverse and can be expressed in so many different ways, and I love seeing how people embrace worship and feel God’s presence. Some people feel God by art, some by music, some by serving, etc. There are so many possibilities. I love worshipping God through music. I’m not a musical person or a good singer by any means, but I love to listen to worship music and feel God’s presence. I also love to worship God using writing. I love to write and I love it when God uses my skills to share messages with others all around the world. Make sure to involve worship in your daily life throughout the day, because it is so important to feel God in your day to day life.
  3. Having the Right Mindset 
    • Mindset is also a large part of keeping up the momentum in your faith. If you decide to just give up and not attempt to get closer to God, you won’t be actively working on your faith. Make sure to keep an eternal mindset in your life. Your life here on earth truly does not matter. There is so much more for us in heaven and life right now is just a little tiny part of God’s love and purpose for us. Focus right now on growing closer to God and doing everything you can for Him because that is all that truly matters.
  4. Listening to Sermons
    • Youtube has been so helpful for me honestly. You know how you will go to a conference and get super on fire for the Lord? Thanks to youtube, I have been able to listen to some of the most well-known and spirit lead individuals every.single.day. This is so amazing guys! You can listen to sermons every single day, so do it!! Something I always say is “Sermons aren’t just for Sundays” and you should listen to spiritual sermons and podcasts daily, too! Here’s a challenge for you: every day while you get ready, listen to a sermon. It will change your life, mindset, and set up your day for success!
  5. Take Time to Journal 
    • My next tip: get a journaling Bible. I am that person who writes down a million notes whenever I am listening to a sermon or when I am reading my Bible. Having a journaling Bible has been so beneficial to my spiritual life and it is also so insightful to look back and see all of the notes I made in my Bible. It is so important to have a Bible that you love. Get a Bible that makes you feel inspired to read it and draws you in!
  6. Having Good Friends 
    • Having good friends is so essential. Even if you have one good friend who encourages you to be the best Christian you can be, that is still way better than having five good friends who are lukewarm Christians or people who don’t follow God at all. Have discernment with your friends, and don’t be afraid to stop hanging out with people who don’t encourage your walk with God. If you don’t have good friends right now, pray that God will bring them to you in His timing. Be friends with people who make good decisions, have a relationship with God, and pray for you.

Thank you so much for reading today’s post! If you have any other ways that you keep the momentum in your relationship with God, comment down below! You can also email me at camidahms@gmail.com (I love hearing from you guys) or message me on Instagram (thoughts.from.cami) I’m praying for you guys!- Cami

Faith, Lifestyle

Weekly Encouragement: Letting Go of the Lies

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Therefore, encourage one another and build up one another, just as you also are doing 

1 Thessalonians 5:11

Hey everyone! I know I have been posting like crazy lately but God has been laying so many different things on my heart lately and I feel so inspired to share with you everything God is revealing to me. Maybe I should add a third post every week haha- a post for my women’s ministry series, a post of weekly encouragement, and a more personal post. But here is the issue I am running into- I feel like all three things often intertwine together and correlate. I want my whole life to be all about ministering to others, encouraging others, and using my life and personal stories/struggles to encourage you! Every time I post I pray that God will allow ONE person to read my post. That ONE person who will be encouraged and feel the Spirit’s love and security. I have been praying over and over that my life will be used by God to build other women up. As I was praying today and spending time with God, I was reminded that God seriously has some amazing things for me.

Today I was encouraged that I need to let go of the lies the enemy is telling me. I felt so empowered and encouraged by the Holy Spirit to let go of the voice in my head ( the enemy ) that is telling me that I’m not good enough, that I’m alone, and that I will never have a true purpose or value. This thought made me think of Eve in the Bible when she ate the fruit. Even though she made a huge mistake and did what God did not want her to do, God still offered her hope. Even though Eve ruined her covenant with God, God still brought hope and salvation to the situation. In Genesis 3:15 which discusses the fall, God talked to the serpent and said “I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head and you shall bruise his heel” this is very powerful and shows the omniscience of God. The point I want to make here is this- bruised heels still crush the head of the serpent. You can be at your lowest point, and you can still get rid of the enemy’s voice inside of your head that is telling you that you can’t do it.

Killing the voice in your head that tells you that you can’t do anything will change your perspective and point of view. It will cause you to celebrate all of the times God says “no” in your life. When God closes a door, He is leading you closer and closer to His amazing plan for your life. Keep in mind that every person who doesn’t accept you, every relationship that ends, and every job that rejects you; every single one of these “no’s” is leading you closer to God and His plan for your life. Other people will discourage you or say that what you are doing with your life isn’t smart or accepted, but you have to just look at God and trust in His plan and His miracles.

My advice to you is to stop diluting your prayers with your fears. Pray that God will destroy everything that isn’t for you and your purpose. Pray that God will clothe you in His righteousness. Pray that you will feel His presence walking with you every single step of the way. Allow Him to lead your life instead of you trying to lead it by yourself. Pray that God will take away all other options in your life so you know that He is the one performing the miracle in your life.

Something I’ve thought about today is who are my dream spiritual mentors. These mentors are people who I want to mirror and people who inspire my life. I encourage you to do this too and figure out what you like about those people and what traits you want to emulate from them. The first person that inspires me is Sadie Robertson. She inspires me to be fearless and to demonstrate true joy and courage. The next person that inspires me is Francis Chan. He has such a giving and loving spirit that discourages materialism and self, and that is something I want to have in my life as well. Finally, I am encouraged by Rachel Hollis. If she was my mentor, I would want it to be for business because she started as a blogger like me and I think she is so inspiring and has a great business mindset. Keep in mind those people in your life/ those people you admire and work on living like them. You obviously shouldn’t copy them exactly, but look at their faith in God and try to mirror some of their habits and mindsets so you can feel encouraged daily.

Something cool that I heard in a sermon today was the fact that if you are on fire for God, those around you will start to be on fire for God too. This can apply to most relationships in your life. Following Christ puts a light in your life and will shine so others can see it as well. I always pray that I can become one of those people that you feel the presence of God around. I know a couple of people like this in my personal life and I always hope that I can be like that, too. For 2020, this week, today- chase God’s presence. You will never regret the time you spend with God. I’m praying for all of you who read to this point and I hope you guys aren’t getting too annoyed at me yet. I love you all and I appreciate everyone who reads all my posts! If you are a new visitor and are reading for the first time, comment down below so I can welcome you to this community. I love you guys! – Cami

For more blog updates and content, follow @thoughts.from.cami on Instagram!

Faith, Lifestyle

Your Season Matters

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“The Lord has made everything for its purpose”

Proverbs 16:4

Hey everyone! I hope you had a great New Year and congrats on making it to 2020! Welcome to my first blog post of the DECADE. Woah, that’s crazy to say! I keep thinking about where I will be in ten years from today. What will my blog be like? What will I end up doing with my life? What is God’s plan for me in the next ten years? So many questions! The questions I have been having and considering my hopes and dreams for the future have made me so excited, but also discontent in the season I am in.

The past few months have been weird for me! I have not had very much going on, and I feel like I’m stuck in a rut. I discussed this a little bit in my last Women’s Ministry blog post “Your Passions & God’s Calling” which you can find here on my website. Today’s blog is as much for me as it is for you guys, so I hope this will encourage both of us and help you guys feel inspired!

The first piece of advice I am going to give you today is that if you are not dead, God is not done. This phrase encourages me to continue this season of my life with hope and trust in God and His plan for my life. Right now I have so much free time on my hands, and I have begun thinking about what I am going to do with all this free time. I have some big plans and dreams, but right now it seems like I don’t have the tools to achieve some of those things. So I am deciding to focus on what I am passionate about AND can do as much as I want, which is blogging and writing. I am devoting the first five months of 2020 to build an online community, to grow closer to God, and to prepare for the next season of my life. If God is giving me so much free time to get into His Word and build my relationship with Him, that must mean that He has something big for me in the future that requires skills that I can work on cultivating now.

Another important part of appreciating your season is your mindset. Feeling overwhelmed? Turn to God with all your problems. Going through something super hard? God is using your situation to grow your character. He can bring good in EVERY situation. He is always loving, always positive, and always providing. Right now, I feel bored with my life; but God knows that big things will come, things that will make me miss these simple days where I can drink black coffee and work on my blog all day long at my cozy desk. Love the person who you are today because you have a purpose. Be creative! Think about how God is going to use you and how he is equipping and encouraging you today to take the opportunity to grow closer to Him. I had to sit down and write out some goals I have for the next few months. Along with working on my blog, I also am hoping to devote a large amount of time to reading my Bible and growing in my Biblical knowledge. I also hope to do some awesome things on this blog like collabs and possibly creating a Bible study. I want to make this season of my life valuable, productive, and amazing.

So what are YOU going to do with the season you are in? Consider how you can use the season you are in to further the kingdom of God. Your season is important and has a purpose right now. Remember that if you have a pulse, God has a purpose for your life.

PS: I made an instagram account for my blog, so you can check there for updates—>@thoughts.from.cami

Lifestyle

My 2020 Goals & Becoming My Best Self

img_8108 “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters” 

Colossians 3:23

Hey everyone! I decided to add in a second post every week that will talk about more personal and fun things so you guys can stay up to date with my life. I also wanted to make a few more lighthearted posts on this blog. I am so excited to be blogging again and I have been feeling so inspired lately and I love all you guys who are so supportive and read all my content and engage with it! I seriously appreciate you guys and I feel so thankful that I cultivated this community online. 

I have been really into goals and resolutions lately, so of course, I wanted to make a post about my goals for next year and my goals for becoming my best self. I have a huge list in a google doc, so I am going to be sharing some of it with you guys in paragraph form so we can talk about it more:) On a side note, I have a blog post on here from January of 2018 that is about the same topic and I am cringing so hard haha! If you want to laugh or cringe go check that out hahaha. Anyways, hopefully, my goals for this year are not as cringeworthy. Alright, let’s get started!! 

When I envision my best self I am eating….

So this is the first thing I am talking about, my diet!! For 2020 I want to mainly be eating proteins, fruits, and veggies. When I am at home needing to cook a meal I usually just make an omelet with three eggs, peppers, onions, and cheese (pepper jack is my favorite). I want to keep doing this because it is so good for you and makes you feel so full for the rest of the day. Something else I want to work on is eating more meals. Lately, I have only been eating like one meal a day which is obviously not good for me! So a big goal of mine is to fuel and nourish my body so I have more energy and have a more balanced diet. 

 When I envision my best self I am drinking…

Black coffee. Guys, black coffee is seriously my favorite thing, especially in the morning! I love black coffee and I am so glad that I transitioned to it this year. I used to put a ton of creamer in my coffee and it was so bad for me and made me feel so sick! Now I hate creamer and forced my taste buds to get used to the strong taste of black coffee. Black coffee is so much better for you and it still achieves helping you have energy and get your daily coffee fix. I also want to continue drinking water and make sure I drink at least sixty-four ounces a day. Whenever I go out for coffee, I usually will go to Starbucks and get a venti cold brew with white mocha and a shot of espresso. It is honestly so amazing and tastes so good BUT will keep you up and energized for about eight hours, so proceed with caution haha. 

When I envision my best self I am doing…

 Traveling…

I love traveling and I hope that I will have some awesome experiences with the trips I have planned this year! The first place I am planning on going in 2020 is SINGAPORE. I am so excited about this and will obviously be making some travel posts about it! It is gonna be tropical and warm so that is super exciting as well! Another thing I want to do is go visit Bryce at least two times! I graduate in May so I am hoping that I will get to go see him and hang out for a few days during the summer and then I want to go again in the fall or winter months (depending on my schedule). Other than this, I hope that I can visit another state and just have fun with family or friends! 

Cleaning & Organizing… 

The past few months I have gotten so obsessed with cleaning and keeping all of my stuff clean. My room is honestly never messy and I want to keep it that way in 2020. I do a general clean up every night for about five minutes and I do a deeper clean about once a week. Hopefully I keep this up in 2020 because it feels so nice to come home to a cozy and clean room! 

Blogging… 

I have so many goals for this blog in 2020! My first goal is to blog twice a week. I want to have consistent content and really put my whole heart into this blog. I would love to make blogging my actual job instead of just a little side hustle, so I’m ready to devote so much time and energy into this website! I also want to reach other women and cultivate a community that is encouraging and honoring to God. 

Faith… 

This is obviously the most important part of my 2020 and for the rest of my life. I want 2020 to grow me and help me become more of who God wants me to be. I hope that this year I will be stretched and make some decisions that will be God-honoring. I want to spend more time in my Bible and in prayer. I want to grow and gain spiritual knowledge that will help me for years to come! 

Okay guys, that’s my list!! Comment some of your goals down below so we can motivate each other! I love you all so much, thank you for reading!! 

Lifestyle

Your Passions & God’s Calling

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And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good

Romans 8:28

Hello everyone! Welcome to the first official post in season two of my blog. I am so excited to share with you my thoughts, prayers, and focus for the past week. This week I really focused on my passions and how I can use them to glorify God and how others can as well. I discussed this a little bit last week, and I thought it would be the perfect topic to introduce you to season two. 

The first thing I am going to say is that if your relationship with Jesus isn’t thriving or isn’t the first priority in your life, any passions you have are going to burn out. This is a concept I have been thinking about for the past couple of months. For a span of time, I did not know what my passions were anymore. I felt so unhappy and I didn’t know what direction to take with my life or what I should be doing every day. I prayed that God would reveal to me why this was happening. I had been so passionate before and I had so many things that I wanted to do with my life, but because of my mindset and actions, my alignment and priorities were off. After praying for a while and feeling sad, God revealed to me that if my relationship with Him is not first, then everything else in my life isn’t going to match up with what my heart desires. So if you are feeling unpassionate or uninspired, I encourage you to dive into The Word, turn on some worship music, and pray. God is our giver of all things, the sustainer of life, and the one who comforts us through all things. Psalm 42 says “As the deer longs for streams of water, so I long for you, O God”. This demonstrates how I was feeling. If we aren’t seeking God, our hearts will always be longing for Him. If our heart is in the wrong place, so will our priorities and desires. 

Sometimes it is complicated trying to figure out what your calling is. At times, I go around and around in my brain trying to figure out what I should do with my life. However, even if I don’t know what is next for me, God does. He has a plan that is so amazing, so fulfilling, and so pleasing to Him. Sometimes it is hard to trust that God knows exactly what is going to happen next. However, it is necessary. When feeling confused or conflicted about what is to come, it is important to pray. When you pray, God potentially answers you by opening doors for you and closing the doors you don’t need so you can follow His lead and direction.

Another key aspect of discovering your passions and your calling is not being afraid. Sometimes, the only thing holding us back is ourselves. Proverbs 24:16 says that “though the righteous fall seven times, they will rise up again seven times.” Failure isn’t something that should pull us down, it should be a stepping stone that leads us closer towards Christ and the plan He has for us. James 2 talks about this in verses 2-4: “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” This shows that if you persevere through the difficult times, it will produce character in your life and will aid you in becoming who you are supposed to be. 

Sometimes I feel like we are passionate about everything but God. When you ask people what they are interested in; they usually will say things like fashion, sports, their jobs, etc. But our main passion should be following Jesus. Without Him first, nothing else will fulfill the desire in our hearts for more. 

This week; remember to put Jesus first, trust in God’s plan, and don’t be afraid about what is coming up next. If you read this post all the way to the end, thank you for reading and I hope you enjoyed the debut of season two. If you have any questions, prayers, recommendations, thoughts, etc; feel free to leave a comment in the comment section down below or email me at camidahms@gmail.com. Once again, thank you all! I’m praying for you!! 

Lifestyle

Season Two

img_6553Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.

Proverbs 31:30 

Hello everyone! I hope you have been doing okay during my hiatus from blogging. I have seriously been lost about what to make this blog and where to go with it since my life hasn’t had anything crazy going on. I have only blogged five times this year because I only wanted to post when I felt inspired or when I knew God was putting something on my heart. 

I’m calling this post “season two” because that is what this is. My blog is going to have a ton of new content and I am preparing so many awesome things for this blog and I am genuinely so excited.

Season one of my blog was filled with so many different things. Faith posts, life updates, and everything in between. I grew so much during my four years of high school and not only did I learn about myself but I also learned about blogging. In the past, I blogged just for the views and to put out content. And now I am going to focus on being more intentional. I thought about giving up on blogging because I was feeling so uninspired and I had no idea what to post. But I feel like it is time to start this again and not give up on my readers or a passion that God has given me. 

Now I am going to apply the skills I learned the past four years for season two of my blog. Season two is going to be so amazing and exciting. I am so ready to start posting (once a week!!). Season two is also going to be a lot different from season one, so let’s talk about that for a second. 

Season two is going to be me praying and really diving deep into the Word of God for six days of the week and sharing it with you on day seven. For 2020 I am really going to focus on spiritual growth and learning more about who God is. Season two isn’t going to be about me, it isn’t going to be about views, and it isn’t going to be about anything except for Jesus. My intention for this blog is to further the kingdom of God. 

Lately, God has been laying women’s ministry on my heart, and I have decided to use a platform I already have to see how I can aid other women in growing their faith. I want to walk with other women, pray with them, and lift them up to God’s loving arms. That is my mission statement for this season of my blog. I pray for each person reading this blog and that God is doing radical things in their lives. I want to start a healthy community for women to grow in their faith. 

I can’t wait to start making content for season two, this is going to be an amazing journey.

Lifestyle

The Senior Speech I’ll Never Give: How + Why I Graduated Early

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Processed with VSCO with m5 preset

Proverbs 16:9

“We can make our own plans, but the Lord determines our steps”

So for some reason, God decided to keep putting me ahead in life. I grew up pretty quickly at a young age when my brother was diagnosed with a brain disorder and was in the hospital for weeks at a time. I decided the night before school started to switch to a private Christian education. God opened the door for me to be in a program where I would graduate from my senior year of high school with an associate’s degree as well. And now He has opened the next door for me as well. Suddenly, I graduated high school on August Third. Either I am just an impatient girl, or God really needs me to be in a certain place at a specific time.

Before I go into my recap of my high school career, I want to get into the logistics of how I graduated early. Since I am in a college launch program and getting my associates degree, I had all of the credits I needed to get my diploma by the end of the summer. If I would have stayed with my high school, this would not have been possible because I needed a couple more credits my school required ( which is totally fine ). Since it is a Christian high school, I needed a couple of Bible credits which are not Indiana diploma standards.

I’m not graduating early because I hated my school or the teachers. They all taught me so much and being in a Christian environment everyday set up such an amazing foundation for my faith at such a young age, and I am so thankful for that! Nothing in me regrets going to a Christian school! I don’t know where I would be today without going to a Christian school. I am also not graduating early because I got kicked out of school or something like that. The reason I am graduating early is simply that I wanted to. I decided to graduate early, so I did it. It was a super easy transition, and God opened the door. I decided to walk through it, so here I am on this new path!

Going from preparing for my senior year of high school to becoming a high school graduate in the matter of a couple of weeks was a plot twist I didn’t expect. I don’t know what is going to happen next for me, or what I am supposed to do with my life now other than take my college classes until May. But God is going to be doing some crazy things, and I can’t even imagine right now what those things are. I am so excited to look back someday and see why God is doing this in my life right now.

I prayed and prayed for God’s guidance for my future. I prayed that he would lead me clearly to a specific thing, person, or location. But now God just rushed the entire waiting period I had, the security senior year brings. He is probably laughing at me right now because all of my “plans” for my life get thrown out the window. But on a positive note, without the waiting period, the feeling of dread and worry is gone. It’s all about just giving it to God and putting my whole mission here on earth totally in His hands.

I used to think I knew exactly what I wanted to do with my life. I planned my entire future. I picked my college and my major, I planned my future wedding, and I planned who I wanted to be. But the more I follow God’s path for me, the more I realize how much better life is for me right now because it is wrapped in God’s love and provision every step of the way. I’m human, and I still worry like crazy about what I am supposed to do after this, but it is such a comfort to know that God is handling everything. I don’t have to do it myself because He is in total control.

Over the past three years, I am not going to say I had the perfect high school experience. Freshman year I was involved in every single school activity and I was struggling in my faith and who I wanted to be. Freshman year I started this blog, hoping to have a voice in the crowds of people. I slowly started becoming who God wanted as the year continued, but I was still growing. Sophomore year crushed my spirit and wrecked the girl I used to be. Sometimes I miss her. I was the person who was the loudest in the room and didn’t care what anyone thought of her. But slowly, after God took many people out of my life and allowed things to happen to me; I was a new person. Someone who never felt good enough. Someone who knew they needed God in those dark times more than ever before. Trials create character and spiritual maturity, and that is something I will always stand by.

I totally can’t write all this self-reflection about my entire high school experience without talking about Bryce. Bryce is the one who reminded me of the blessings God brings in the hard times. If I didn’t have Bryce through sophomore year, I don’t know who I’d be today. My Sophomore year taught me that the whole world can be against you as long as you have one person who stands by you unconditionally and sees the person God created you to be when they look past the brokenness.

Anyways, Sophomore year got a bit better as it continued, and soon I was given the opportunity to join a program where I could start working on my associate’s degree and get it at the same time I graduated high school. So, I decided to do it. I am so glad I attended the meeting that evening. I was so hopeful for the next year of my high school career. I was ready for the challenges that would come and the future benefits it could bring.

That August, almost exactly a year ago, Bryce left for boot camp. I didn’t know how I was going to survive without him. But God got me through, which is evident if you have been keeping up on my blogs the past year. I had to learn how to be strong and independent by myself, which was good for me and taught me many valuable lessons.

Junior year was the best year of my high school career. It was also the fastest school year of my entire life. I was so focused on school and so busy with volleyball and cheer that it flew by. I loved my classes, and I loved being so busy all of the time. I felt like I had a purpose and a bigger goal in life. I am the type of person who wants to do great things, but I don’t know exactly what that great thing is yet. Getting my associate’s degree is a great start to whatever God has for me. Even though Bryce is stationed in Virginia, we still got to see each other every couple of months which was such a blessing. I hope that this upcoming year I can visit him just as much.

And now, all of a sudden, I am done with high school. Though it was sometimes the worst experience of my life, some of it brought memories I will never forget. I am so thankful for all the volleyball games and team dinners, arguments in Bible class, and sleepovers on school nights. I’m glad I had the high school experience I did because, without it, I wouldn’t be the same person I am today. It wasn’t your typical high school experience by any means. I only went to school half of the day my sophomore and junior year. I didn’t love high school as so many people do. Which is totally okay! Everyone is different and has different needs. God created us to be that way.

The main concern people I have talked to about me starting college when I’m 16, getting my high school diploma at 17, and my college diploma at 18 is me missing out on my senior experience. But in today’s world, everyone’s story looks different. So don’t be afraid to be different. People will judge your choices no matter what you do, so follow God’s plan. Don’t do what everyone else does if it makes you unhappy. Go against the flow of this world, follow the difficult but rewarding path God guides us down. Through Him, we have strength. Through Him, we have confidence. And through Him, we have a life that has been created and cultivated by God. God never calls us to plan our own life. But he does have a plan he created for each and every one of us. Just surrender and follow it one day at a time. Hand Him the pen to write your life story, and He will create something better than you ever could have expected. That’s all you can do.

See ya later,
Cami

Lifestyle

He Walks With Me

On August 9th, 2018, I was at a tough crossroad in my life. I was starting my first college classes a couple weeks from then, and I felt very nervous and overwhelmed. I had never taken a college class before, and I seriously had no idea what to expect. On top of starting my first classes, I also had lost Bryce to boot camp two days prior. I sat outside at a coffee shop in town, feeling very lost and confused. I did not know what life was going to throw at me this year. I felt so sad and I wished that Bryce would have been sitting across from me at the small, wooden table. I missed his jokes, his smile, and his company. I did not know how I was going to survive the upcoming months without him.

Yesterday was May 8th, 2019. Exactly nine months after I sat all alone outside, reflecting on my life and feeling so strange. Yesterday was the last class I had until summer break. After my class, I went for a little walk outside, simply because I felt free from the stressors I had felt weigh me down the past nine months. Somehow, I found myself sitting at the coffee shop in the exact same seat as before. I was alone, and I was looking at things for the future and all the different options that I had.

Life goes by so fast. The college classes I was worried about all flew by, and now this year was a thing of the past. It felt like my life was in fast motion. In August, I didn’t know how I was going to survive. I didn’t know how I was going to handle all of the things on my plate. I just felt so fearful and unconfident in myself and in my abilities as an independent person.

Yesterday, I sat alone with confidence. I was so joyful. I was so confident because of the confidence Christ gives me every day. I realized that true self-growth isn’t self. Rather, it is the growth in Christ that will truly change your life. It is trusting Him in  good times and in bad. God walks with you. Sometimes you don’t realize it until it is months later, but you are never sitting alone at the table. God is always right there across from you, inviting you into His presence.

Yesterday, while I was sitting there looking up different options for my future, I prayed that if there was something I was called to that He would give me a sign of it right at that moment. About two minutes later, a dad and his daughter sit down a few tables away from me, and they looked so happy and excited. I thought it was really sweet and I smiled to myself. A few minutes pass by, and about six people show up to greet the dad and his daughter. They all were so happy and excited. They said things like, “Our flight was so long!” and “It is so nice to finally meet you!” They were all on the urge of tears, and to be honest, so was I.

These people, as they happily continued their reunion, reminded me that first of all, whenever God calls us somewhere, He is going to bring people into our lives that accept us with open arms. God always surprises us. The other thing I was reminded of was how God always welcomes us back into his arms in such a gracious way. Even if we fall far away from Him, He always welcomes us back into His presence. It seems like following God is a long, hard journey. And it is, but before we know it, we will be in heaven with him.

Something that has been worrying me lately was that people will think whatever I do with my life is insignificant or boring. I always try to find super exciting hobbies and job ideas to pursue because I fear being uninteresting or mundane. God revealed to me recently that I need to be focusing on what He is calling me to do instead of doing things that the world defines as successful or exciting. Our truest contentment is found in God and following His purpose for us. I think that is a truth I have forgotten at times, so I figured others would benefit from it as well.

Thanks for listening to my rambling thoughts today 🙂 – Cami

Lifestyle

Getting into God’s Word

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Hey everyone! I hope you have all been having the best of weeks. With a new session of classes beginning and the cold weather coming, I have been pretty busy ( and cold ) haha I am NOT a fan of cold weather. Anyways, today I want to talk to all of you about how I have improved at getting into God’s Word.

So, before I begin lets do a little bit of background information on my journey of getting into my Bible. Whenever I would read books or other blogs about reading the Bible, people would always talk about how it changed their lives. They talked about how they craved it and always mediated on it. They talked about how close it made them feel to God and how they would hear Him speak to them daily.

And me? Well I just wasn’t feeling it. I would try to read my Bible, but I just was not identifying with others growth. I didn’t feel more connected to God and I didn’t know how to get into a routine of reading my Bible. I would read the entire book of Exodus in a day and not understand why I didn’t feel different. I would listen to Christian speakers or teachers at school and not get how significant God’s Word was.

But something I had to realize was the Bible isn’t just a book. It isn’t a romance novel or your college textbook. You can’t read, enjoy, or study it to the fullest potential if your heart isn’t in it and if The Holy Spirit isn’t in it right there with you. You can’t read the whole Bible in a certain amount of time and expect to suddenly be the “perfect” Christian.

The Bible is so much more than just a book. It has so many layers of deep meaning. It changes our lives. It is the guideline of how we should live our lives and it is literally God speaking to us. His Word is active and it is alive.

So, I think the first step in the journey of consistently getting into your Bible is to realize what the Bible is and the depth of God’s Word. Sometimes it takes people longer to understand this than others. If you think the Bible is just a average book, you won’t feel a difference. If you want to grow in your Bible studies you have to have a growth mindset. The Bible is like a stream through the desert, we need it in our faith. It gets us through this life here on earth.

The next step I would offer is to pray more. Before you read your Bible, take a few minutes to pray that God’s presence would be in your Bible reading. You could thank Him for your day, or even pray over a verse!

A blessing in my life that has helped me so much is having a journaling Bible. I am the type of person who loves to take notes over literally anything, and I love taking notes about sermons or in Bible studies. Whenever I had sermon notes or a handout that I took notes on, I would always just put them to the side or even throw them away. I also would try to write in the margins of my Bible really small to the point where you couldn’t even read it! So, I was so blessed to discover journaling Bibles! You can take notes in the margins and it is the best Bible ever if you are a note taker like I am. Having a Bible you like can really help you enjoy getting into The Word even more.

Finally, get into The Word everyday. When I have a day where I don’t read my Bible, I feel so off centered and off. Have a set time to read your Bible! I usually prefer to read mine in the morning before my classes. I know that some people prefer to read their Bible at a different time of day, which is fine as well! Make your experience with the Lord personal to you because His relationship with you is personal to Him as well.

“Nobody ever outgrows Scripture; the book widens and deepens with our years.” -Charles Spurgeon

Thank you so much for reading today’s post and I hope you enjoyed it! If you have any questions or comments feel free to ask:) – Cami

Lifestyle

The Best Fall Break (Bryce’s Graduation!)

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Hello everyone! It feels like it has been forever since I’ve last blogged even though it’s only been like a week. Life changes so quickly. The leaves are falling, the air is getting a little chilly, and a hot coffee is the one thing I am always craving. Today I am going to be talking about my ( very short ) trip to Cape May and getting to see Bryce. I always have been blessed to go on a trip every time I have school off, and I am looking forward to go visit Bryce for some of my breaks from school!

So on Wednesday, my family began the long drive from Indiana to New Jersey. I am not a huge fan of road trips, especially when all of my little siblings are in the car, but I was still very thankful for it because it was a way to get to Bryce. I spend the entire drive working on my interleaved Bible, listening to music, and sleeping. Here is a list of some songs I couldn’t resist playing over and over this trip 🙂

So Will I ( 100 Billion X )~ Hillsong United 

Speechless~ Dan+Shay 

Broken~ lovelytheband

Sheep~Mt.Joy

Thick And Thin~ LANY ( and basically every song on every album haha )

Anyways, after driving until about one in the morning, we stopped at a Airbnb in Lancaster. Then, when we woke up the next morning, it was my birthday! I got to have Starbucks for my birthday so that was pretty exciting. I got the Pink Drink ( which is the most basic drink but it is honestly SO amazing! ) and a breakfast sandwich so I was pretty pumped. We had about four more hours to drive, and I started getting nervous!

I had not seen Bryce in ten weeks, so I didn’t really know what to expect. I read some articles online that said some girl’s boyfriends completely were changed after boot camp. For some reason I was worried that Bryce wasn’t going to like me anymore or something, which was dumb! I know that I tend to get caught up in worries sometimes, and I’m sure there are other girls that do as well. But we have to constantly remind ourselves that God is in control of the entire situation and He has a plan for every course of action in our lives.

Anyways, after those few hours of driving, my family finally  arrived in Cape May! We did some sight seeing and I got to get some cute stickers for my water bottle. Most people don’t do this, but if you’re a teenage girl, you understand haha. There are sooo many cute streets and shops in Cape May so I will for sure include some cute aesthetic pictures down below.

Anyways, after some sight seeing and getting some ice cream, we went to our next Airbnb so we could get to sleep pretty early because I had a big day that I had been waiting for since August Seventh! I was so excited to see Bryce and I was also really nervous because I hadn’t seen him in so long.

The time to see him finally came the next day! I made my way to his graduation and sat through the entire thing just waiting to see him. That hour of watching the graduation was the longest hour of my life! He was right in front of me and I was just ready to give him a hug!

I finally got my hug and was reunited with him. He looked sooo good and I was so proud of him. Getting to see him graduate was honestly such a life highlight for me. Those ten weeks of being sad, praying, and missing him so much were finally over. I was so happy, and I am so lucky and blessed that I got to see him that day.

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After the graduation and a super long drive home ( I got home at four am ) I got to sleep in and then go see Bryce at a wedding. Him getting to come home for a few days was also a huge blessing. We spent my whole fall break visiting with his family, watching movies til super late, and having so much fun.

It was really hard for me to have him leave again this Wednesday. Having someone back for a few days and then having them leave once again makes the pain even worse. Thankfully, I get to talk to him more now and also will get to go visit on Christmas break. I already miss him so, so much and I don’t know how it will be to not have him here for who knows how long. But, I will of course support any decision he makes and will be so proud of him through every life situation.

All of this has honestly been really hard on me, but God has a plan for me and Bryce. He works in such amazing ways that we sometimes don’t see until we look back at our lives a month, year, or decade later. He knows what’s going to happen next, so I don’t need to worry about anything. Prayers would be greatly appreciated for Bryce since he just started his first job in Virginia. Pray that I will do okay without him being here! Thank you for following our journey, I hope you will stay tuned until next time. Xoxo~ Cami 🙂

Lifestyle

Sixteen Lessons I Learned At Age Sixteen

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Hey everyone! Since my birthday is this Thursday, I thought I should make this post to talk about lessons in life I have learned this year. I have had an amazing year and I am so thankful for how blessed I am! So, lets get started!!

  1. Social media doesn’t matter as much as you think it does. It is so easy to get caught up with likes, followers, etc. I went through a phase this year where I was totally obsessed with those things. No one actually pays attention to this kinda thing so you shouldn’t either. Put more time into being a real, interesting person with a life outside of a good Instagram picture or funny tweet.
  2. Be kind to others and put genuine effort into your relationships. If you put in a mediocre effort into others, you will have lukewarm friendships. If you are kind to others, it will bring so much joy into your soul and spirit! You will find yourself a happier and mentally healthier person. People will pour into you if you pour into them!
  3. Read your Bible all of the time. It will get you through literally anything life throws at you. I think in my life I have been pretty bad about reading my Bible honestly. But the past few months I have deeply dove into The Word and it has changed my life and perspective so much. If you struggle with reading your Bible, try getting something like an interleaved or journaling Bible. I know having both of these things has helped me a lot, plus lots of prayer of course!
  4. Work really hard in all that you do, you will never regret trying your best. Put your best foot forward in all of the things you are involved in. You will gain so much out of your efforts!
  5. Everyone doesn’t hate you, so don’t be shy! I used to be super paranoid about what other people think of me, but now I don’t care as much. Instead of being the awkward person quietly sitting in the corner of the room, this school year, I have tried to reach out to others instead. Through being friendly, I have made so many more friends and am so happy!
  6. Don’t be fearful or worry. I have struggled with this a lot this past year. Oftentimes I catch myself thinking, ” What if…” and it doesn’t help anything. I still struggle with this, but I am trying to trust in God more instead of worrying too much. Things like college, future jobs, marriage, and life in general seem so unknown to us. BUT God has a plan for us. If he told us right now what His plan was for us, we wouldn’t even believe Him because He is that amazing! We have authority over what we think about through Jesus Christ. Have an Isaiah 41:10 mindset!!
  7. Spend less time on your phone and more time on things you genuinely love. For about six months of this past year, I went through this weird phase where I didn’t know who I was or what I even liked to do with my free time. I seriously think that it was because the only thing I did was play on my phone! I still am on it more than I would like to be, but I also set aside times where I can paint, read, blog, and pour into my friends. Life is so much more fulfilling when phones are out of the picture! Be a person who is fully in the moment.
  8. Pursue your passions, but don’t idolize them. There are so many things I love! I love school, I love volleyball, and I love making blog posts! But I have idolized them way too much at different times this year. I was too obsessed with this blog, so now I don’t post just for views, I post when I genuinely want to talk to you guys about my life and what God is calling me to. The only way to conquer these idols is to love God MORE.
  9. Portray yourself in a Godly way. One of my life goals is to have people not see me when they look at me. I want people to see Jesus. I want to be the kind of person where The Holy Spirit is so filled in me that others feel it. Sometimes I don’t act like I should, and I’m sure others see it. I want to be blameless, transparent, and pure. God calls us to clothe ourselves in righteousness not just when we are in a easy setting, but all of the time.
  10. Your reputation or status literally does not matter at all. After being in college these past eight weeks, I realized that high school does not matter at all. I get to be myself at college! I don’t have to try to uphold an image of being cool because cool isn’t a reflection of who we are! You are so much more than being popular. You are a person that God made in His image. Be who you are, not who the world tells you to be!
  11. Mindset and perspective changes your life. Be thankful for that class that seems hard because God has blessed you with an education! When you are going through something difficult, remember that it is a blessing. God is teaching you so much and teaching you how to have perseverance. Be joyful, because life is so beautiful and amazing. Seek His kingdom.
  12. Don’t be insecure, you are made in God’s image! I struggle with this one big time! I always want to look a certain way or uphold an image. But, God is telling us something totally different! He sets us apart. His standards are constant, they never change, and He seals his approval on our lives. Be beautiful from the inside, not the outside. Focus on the inner beauty because one day the outer beauty fades and you will be old and wrinkly!
  13. Love what phase of life you are in right now because it is not eternal. In a couple months from now, your life may be totally different. Be in the moment. Love your friends and your classes. Embrace the world around you and enjoy it. Don’t take time with friends and family for granted.
  14. You HAVE to put your faith first in your life. Nothing else, no matter how much you love it, will fulfill you like Jesus Christ. People aren’t perfect, they will fail you sometimes no matter how great they may be. It will help you conquer the hardest points in your life. It will fulfill you so much that it will overwhelm you. Have confident trust in God. Don’t have confidence in yourself, have confidence in Christ alone. He provides us exactly what we need in this life.
  15. Life is hard, but you can conquer them and grow from them. This year has thrown some super tough things at me. Gaining and losing friends, having Bryce go to boot camp, and some other personal problems have had me laying in bed with headphones in pleading to God to provide me with comfort through the trials. And He did! God helps us conquer all problems and He has a plan for us all. The suffering we face now will not compare to the glory in our lives that is to come.
  16. We have to be willing to say “yes” to God. We hold ourselves back more than anyone else does. Let go of everything you are and instead give yourself to Him. Confide in God. Step up and be who God has made you to be. The time is now!

So there is my very long list of lessons. This year has had so much spiritual growth. I am so excited to see what being seventeen will throw at me. For those of you who have followed my journey this long, thank you for bearing with me! Have a blessed week- Cami