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Let’s be real…

(This was not a planned post, this post was written on the way to my first college audition this past week.)

I need to be real with y’all. I hide behind my blog. I post happy and uplifting posts, but sometimes I’m not happy when I type them. Just because y’all don’t know me in life, I feel like I can fake it and I feel safe. And even the few who actually know me, I hide from y’all. When I’m blogging and people like my post, comment, or follow me I feel confident, strong and brave. But y’all don’t see the real me, the me the struggles. I’m not confident. In fact, I lack self confidence. I’m not strong in my faith, and I am definitely NOT BRAVE.

I’m afraid. But what am I afraid of?  Afraid of the unknown. Afraid of being rejected. Afraid of failing. Afraid of being judged. Afraid of the future. Maybe even afraid of fear itself. I don’t want to be afraid! Some of my favorite songs are songs about letting go of fear or trusting God in every situation, but I still fear. I sing about being free, but I’m not. I’m held captive by fear.  As I start flipping the pages to start a new chapter in my life, I fear. I fear people laughing at me, or worse…doubting me. I fear that my plans won’t be His plans. I fear going with the flow. I WANT to stand out in the crowd, I want to stand out for Jesus.

I don’t want to hide any more. I don’t want to hide behind my blog, but I don’t want to hide in life either. I’ve gotten so good at hiding it’s like I don’t realize I’m hiding. I don’t know what it’s like NOT to hide. I hold all my struggles and emotions inside to make others happy, to not weigh down on them. But I’m not happy, I’M weighed down. Why do I always feel like running when I can’t see what’s ahead. My heart tells me to stay, but my mind tells me to run. It’s a constant battle. I know we’ve all dealt with fear and hiding from something, then why do I feel like no one understands? When everyone says “you’ll do great”, or “you’ll do fine”, I’m over here shaking in my boots!

I know His Word is filled with many truths and verses about trusting Him and that I ‘m not alone. (Joshua 1:9) I know He is with me, but the fear still remains. I yell at my fear and my doubts, but they never seem to go away. I think to myself, “it’s hopeless, I will always be afraid”, those words haunt me day and night. They say I’ll be fine, but they don’t see what’s inside. All the fear, anxiety, and doubts all bottled up inside waiting to burst out. I’m ready to explode! I say I’m okay, but I’m not. My stomach is tied up in knots. Everyone believes in me except me…

I know what I need. I need peace. Not just any peace though, the peace that can only be found in Jesus. Because Jesus is peace. He tells us not to be afraid, and He leaves us His peace. (John 14:25-27) Then why am I still afraid, and why do I not have peace? I’ve felt this peace before. I remember the moment I found this peace. Beach trip waking up early in the morning, sitting outside on the deck, talking with God. Out in the cold, my mind racing, my heart stressed and weak, longing for peace and comfort. I opened the Word and found peace. A peace that comforts and calms.

I open the Word now and I can’t find peace for my soul. Was it the environment? Or is it me? Is it my heart? This stubborn hardened heart? But I’m willing and I’m crying out for peace Lord! Do you hear me? I ask. My fears, my nerves, they overwhelm my peace and my strength. You say to trust you Lord, and I try but fear surrounds my soul. It overtakes me. It swallows me whole. Everywhere I go, there it is. I try to be confident in You, but sometimes I just can’t find the strength to do it. I cower when I should stand up and shout. I need Your strength so I can fulfill what You have in store for me. (Philippians 4:13; Psalm 119:28)

While saying all this song comes to mind. “I have confidence” from The Sound of Music, I would change this to I DON’T have confidence. Here’s what it says, with me editing it:

I (DON’T) have confidence in the sunshine,
I (DON’T) have confidence in the rain,
I (DON’T) have confidence that the spring will come again!
Besides what you see I (DON’T) have confidence in me.

I’m supposed to have confidence. Confidence in Christ. But I fear, I worry, I lack self confidence, I lack true strength. God’s Word has answers for all of these. Fear not! He says in His Word. (Deuteronomy 31:6) Do not worry about anything. (Matthew 6:34) He tells us to be confident in Him (Jeremiah 17:7) He will give you true strength (Psalm 46:1) We are supposed to rejoice in every situation, but sometimes I don’t feel like rejoicing. In His Word this is what God says in Philippians 4:4-9:

‘Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable-if anything is excellent or praiseworthy-think about such things. Whatever you have learned from Me, or seen in Me-put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.’

What does this mean? Does it mean we can just fake it all the time and act happy? NO! It means SO much more than that. (This is my understanding of this set of verses. It could mean something completely different to y’all) To me this verse means that everything I just wrote down means nothing. NOTHING. I’m free because Jesus died for me. I don’t need to worry my brains out about what will happen. If I do start to worry (which I will still do because I am human) I need to pray and bring my fears to God. He will give me peace. The peace that calms, comforts, and restores. Even more, I need to guard my heart and mind from all evil things. Finally, I need to put all of this into practice, but not just what this verse says, what the whole Bible says.

Once I put all of this into practice, with God’s help, I will be FEARLESS, CONFIDENT, STRONG, FREE.

Afraid by Tenth Avenue North: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WohcTuNRBFE

No Longer Slaves by Bethel Music: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f8TkUMJtK5k

This one is now my life song. It reminds me that I can be Fearless with God by my side. Fearless by Jasmine Murray: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3h-kQkcrOok

(I own none of this music! All rights go to the artists and producers)

❤ Mandie

 

 

 

Recognition Blogger Award!

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Thank you Sarah at Forever Aspiring Writer for nominating me for this award! Sorry it took me so long. 😦

The Rules:

~ Write a post to show your award.

~ Give a brief story of how your blog started.

~ Give two pieces of advise for new bloggers.

~ Thank whoever nominated you and provide a link to their blog.

~ Select 15 other blogs you want to give the award to.

How my blog started: Well there is not a very big story behind the start of my blog. My friend got her blog, and then my sister, and then I joined them because I thought it would be fun! And I am so glad that I did start blogging!

Advice for new bloggers: First of all, be yourself. Don’t try to copy what other people blog about, unless that is what you are passionate about.

Write about things that you love. I am not a poet and I know it! So why would I write poems (attempt I should say) and post them on my blog? I love music and encouraging others, so that is what I post the most.

Communicate with other bloggers. Blogging is a community. I think it is so important to talk to and communicate with the bloggers who follow you and who you follow! It shows that you are interested in them and fully support them.

My biggest tip is this one: don’t get upset if you don’t post regularly. I used to get really upset with myself because I didn’t post a lot. It can be really hard sometimes if you don’t have anything to post about. But don’t get upset, just move on. Try to sit down sometime and just brainstorm ideas for posts, so that when you haven’t posted in a while you will have some ideas to post about.

Here are the bloggers I nominate:

Savedbygrace2009

1Timothy412girl

A Barefoot Gal

Blog of all Lovely Things

Sonshine Seeker

A Farm Girl’s Life

Simply for One

Sapphire Life Writer

iChristian

katiescottagebooks

I just put a few nominees, but if you are reading this you are nominated! Love y’all! ❤

Mandie

 

I’m Back!

Hey y’all! I have missed y’all so much! I am sorry that I left with no explanation. I was struggling to finish all of my schoolwork and have gotten behind in the past two months. I hope that I will be able to keep on blogging and stay in touch with y’all! Thanks for all of the support, I wouldn’t be here without y’all! ❤

Mandie

P.S. I will be continuing the “You Are…” blog series by the end of the month. And have many new and exciting challenges for this next year!

The Liebster Award!

img_7125-1I would like to start off this post by thanking Courtney from 1Timothy412girl blog for nominating me for this award. Thank you so much! And sorry that it took me so long to get this post out!

The rules are

  1. Answer the 11 questions you are provided with by the person who nominated you.
  2. Nominate 11 new bloggers who have less than 500 followers.
  3. Post the Liebster award to your blog.

Now let’s jump on into the questions!

  1. What is the funniest thing that has happened to you? Oh that’s hard…I guess when my cousin, my sister, and I were at our grandparents house. Here is the story; all three of us were sitting on the porch talking, when we saw a chipmunk climb into the bottom of a birdbath in the backyard. Time out…a little explanation is needed here! The bowl part of the birdbath had fallen off of the top, so all that was left was basically an upside down ice cream cone with a whole on the pointed end. Anyway, that is where the chipmunk jumped into the birdbath. So of course we went to see if we could “capture” it. We were able to see it, and I even took a picture of it, but I must have deleted it, because I can’t find it anywhere. Shortly after we were trying to help free the chipmunk by lifting up the edge of the birdbath, but he wouldn’t come out. We put the edge back down and then suddenly the little chipmunk shot out of the top of the birdbath straight towards us! It was so hilarious!
  2. What is your dream job? A singer/musician, or worship leader. Music is something that I thoroughly enjoy, and I believe that God has gifted me with this talent to glorify Him.
  3. What is your favorite song, and why? This is such a hard question! You all know I love music! Right now I would have to say Thy Will by Hilary Scott, because it has some very powerful lyrics.
  4. Do you have any pets, and if so what are they like? My family has one dog named Daisy. She is an Austalian Shepherd/Short-haired Collie mix, and she is about three and a half years old. She is super energetic, and can sometimes be a little sassy if she wants attention.
  5. Are you a night owl or an early bird? How early do you wake up, or how late do you stay up? I guess I would say I am an early bird. I wake up at 6:30 a.m. and go to bed around 8:30 to 9:00 p.m.
  6. When you were little did you have any imaginary friends? If so what were they like? Yes of course I did. I don’t remember much of them, but I do recall having one named Fred…
  7. What is your favorite food? And what is your favorite dessert? Favorite foods would be anything with potatoes, pasta, and bread. Favorite dessert would be cheesecake, or ice cream. So I guess cheesecake ice cream!
  8. What are your beliefs? These lyrics from the Newsboys state most of my beliefs…     In this time of desperation
    When all we know is doubt and fear
    There is only one foundation
    We believe, we believe
    In this broken generation
    When all is dark, You help us see
    There is only one salvation
    We believe, we believe

    We believe in God the Father
    We believe in Jesus Christ
    We believe in the Holy Spirit
    And He’s given us new life
    We believe in the crucifixion
    We believe that He conquered death
    We believe in the resurrection
    And He’s comin’ back again, we believe

    So, let our faith be more than anthems
    Greater than the songs we sing
    And in our weakness and temptations
    We believe, we believe!

    We believe in God the Father!
    We believe in Jesus Christ!
    We believe in the Holy Spirit!
    And He’s given us new life!
    We believe in the crucifixion!
    We believe that He conquered death!
    We believe in the resurrection!
    And He’s comin’ back again!

    Let the lost be found and the dead be raised!
    In the here and now, let love invade!
    Let the church live loud our God we’ll say
    We believe, we believe!
    And the gates of hell will not prevail!
    For the power of God, has torn the veil!
    Now we know Your love will never fail!
    We believe, we believe!

    We believe in God the Father
    We believe in Jesus Christ
    We believe in the Holy Spirit
    And He’s given us new life!
    We believe in the crucifixion!
    We believe that He conquered death!
    We believe in the resurrection!
    And He’s comin’ back,
    He’s comin’ back again!
    He’s comin’ back again!
    We believe!
    We believe

  9. What are the things you stand for? I stand for peace, Jesus the only real source of peace. I stand for loving one another just as Jesus loved us. I stand for impacting the world, and sharing Jesus with others. I stand for fellowshipping with others.
  10. What is the most important character trait in someone? That is a hard one…I would say being Christ-like, or humble. Having the fruits of the spirit are also very important traits to have. And those are love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.
  11. Who is your role model in life?  Jesus.

Here are my nominees:

Saved and Blessed

Janie from the blog of all lovely things

Rayleigh from accelerate the Jesus movement

Sunny from everything fun under the sun

Sarah from forever aspiring writer

Em from world pen

C. B. Cook from the world of a writer

Hannah from awkwardly artistic

Sonshine Seeker

Megan from a barefoot gal

Hannah from to knit or knot

Y’all can answer the same questions that I did! Have fun! I love all of you and thank you so much for reading this extremely long post! 🙂

Mandie

 

The Amazing You Tag!!! :D

Thank you so much Proverbs31teen for tagging me to do the Amazing You tag! My second blogiversary is coming up soon, too! Let’s get on to the questions! (My answers are bolded so that you can follow easier!)

AmazingYouTag

1. You’re on a deserted island, and you find a cave. What would you expect to find in it? Well, I would probably want food or water, if I’m on a deserted island! So I guess food or water!

2. If you could have one superpower, which would you pick? Teleportation! Because I hate being late to places, so that way if I’m late, or almost late to something I could just teleport there!

3. What one song would you choose for the theme music for a movie about your life? Through All Of It by Colton Dixon. It is such a powerful song, but knowing me it would probably change a couple million times…. 😀

4. You can only wear one color for the rest of your life. What color would you pick? Only ONE color!?! I’d have to say blue, because there are so many different shade of blue, plus that includes blue jeans!

5. What’s one thing you want to do that’s wild, crazy, or unusual? I want to be on American Ninja warrior when I’m old enough!!!!!!

6. If you had to give a speech to the whole world for five minutes, what topic would it be about? Probably about not letting anyone change who you truly are, or how Jesus loves everyone no matter who you are! Most likely the second one though…

7. You get to have lunch with any three famous people, present or past! Who would you pick? You’re making me think to hard, just give me a minute….Only three? Hold on…Okay this was way to hard, because I would want to have lunch with ANY Christian Music Artist! But I finally decided I would have lunch with, Bethany Hamilton, Jamie Grace, and Gabby Douglas! There are so many more that I would love to meet, but I’ll just stick with these three!

8. What is your favorite smell, and why? Fresh baked cookies, bread, muffins…why? Because they smell so good!!!

9. Share one of your favorite quotes. I don’t really have a favorite quote…but I’ll find one! Okay here’s one that I found by Mr. TobyMac, ‘Be Kind. For Everyone You Meet Is Fighting A Battle You Know Nothing About.’

10. Give us two true statements about yourself and one false statement, and see if your followers can guess which one is false. Okay here are my three statements:1. I live in the south, 2. I love exercising, 3. I’m great with computers. You figure out which of the three is the lie and which two are the truths! Have fun!

IF YOU ARE READING THIS I TAG YOU!!!!! 😀

Thank you all for reading this! Bye for now!

Matthew West!!!

Here it is what you guys have waited for! A song by Matthew West called Live Forever! This was one of my favorite songs that he played at the concert. It was also the name of the tour that Matthew West, Colton Dixon and Mr. Talkbox were on! (More exclamation points…) Matthew West is such a great person, not just through the songs that he writes, but in general! He was funny too! He has such a great heart for the Lord! Who else is excited for more great music from him?

Music Monday!

Sorry I forgot to post last Monday and Tuesday! I have decided to start posting more often! Do I use exclamation points to often? I just love them!!! Anyway I went to a concert not yesterday but the Sunday before that, with Colton Dixon, Matthew West, and Mr. Talkbox. So I decided to post some of their songs. First, Colton Dixon’s amazing song Limitless. Tune back to my blog in a few days for music from Matthew West and Mr. Talkbox! 😉

New posts!!!

So I just had this random idea last night and thought I’d give it a try! Please comment and let me know if you like it or don’t like it! It’s called the #! Today’s is#STRONG. I kind of got stuck on food…next one will be better! 🙂

#

Spinach

Tomatoes

Red onions

Olives

Nectarine

Green smoothie

 

It goes up and down, it’s a little confusing…. 😦