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!

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

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!! 

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!! 

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.

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

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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

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