#simplyplants

I’ve been struggling with this for a long time. Well, maybe struggling isn’t the word…debating? It was always just a little twinge in my heart that I didn’t want to open up and discover. I wanted to continue on in my ignorance. And if I know anything, I know that’s not right. That’s not God’s way. We are to search thing out to see if they are true. () We are to pay attention to our convictions, no matter how “little and insignificant” they seem. It’s the little things that plant the seeds that root the much bigger issues. So this past week, I finally started looking at the facts again and coming to my own conclusion. (Which I pray and hope is Spirit-led. I believe that’s why I’m here today…)

“One who is faithful in a very little is also faithful in much, and one who is dishonest in a very little is also dishonest in much.” Luke 16:10

Veganism.

No, I’m not crazy. I’m not a wacko or a hippie, tree hugging, eco-sensitive flower child. Yet. (I jest! But do I? Yes, I do.)

I will admit to being a little bit of a free spirit. And I’m drawn to a lot of things that were popularized by hippies in the 60s, but I also see their flaws. I see the gaps in their worldview. Because they, like everyone else, needed– needs Jesus.

On an earth that has traveled to the moon
I still see so much wrong
And I don’t need to look far
Times are coming when you won’t have any food
And I know for sure that your money won’t get you very far

Oh, oh the world needs Jesus
~Malcolm & Alwyn, The World Needs Jesus

But, to get back on topic:

Plants vs Meat

Actually, it’s not even really that…And that’s exactly what I’ve been coming to terms with. It’s not “plants vs meat”, it’s a matter of ethics. Humanity vs Cruelty. I have no problems with eating eggs that came from properly cared for chickens or eating meat that was slaughtered in a caring and humane way. It’s the factories that I’m against. The mass-produced, the hormone bloated, disease-ridden factory farmed animal products. The callousness that is prevalent. The abuse that is recorded. It is not godly. It is not God-glorifying. And I cannot consciously be a part of supporting that any longer.

I don’t feel like getting all scientific and technical today, but there is plenty of information out there for you to do your own research to test and see if what I’m saying is true. Studies have proven that our bodies can run even more efficiently on a vegan diet and we all know how many health problems the United States is overwhelmed with right now simply because of diet. So not only will this be beneficial for my mind and my conscience’s sake, it will be good for my body too.

Now let’s tackle some questions:

We’re not under the law anymore. We’re free to eat whatever we choose. Isn’t that what Peter’s vision was all about? So why make such a fuss?

-If you know anything about me or have even read the name my blog, you should know I am all about freedom in Christ! However, not only is that not what the passage (Acts 10:9-16) is about, the Word never contradicts itself. And in Proverbs 12:10 it explicitly states, “Whoever is righteous has regard for the life of his beast, but the mercy of the wicked is cruel.” There’s also the story of Balaam and the donkey in Numbers 22 and verses in Ecclesiastes 3:9+Exodus23:5+Deuteronomy 25:4 and more. We know our Heavenly Father cares for the wellbeing of His creation, man and beast, and we should too. We should be good stewards of the creation He has left in our care. Again, it is not sinful to eat meat. It is sinful (unrighteous) to flippantly disregard life, whether animal or human.

What about protein?!?!?!

-This is the first thing anyone ever asks me. Why is everyone so concerned? Again, statistics have proven that not only do we reach our protein “goal” on a daily basis as American Meat-eaters, we exceed it. That being said, there are plenty of protein-rich plant-based foods out there just waiting to be enjoyed. And I’m fairly certain everyone would agree that most of us don’t eat enough vegetables. We should be more concerned about the vitamin deficiencies we’re prone to, not protein deficiency.

*On a side note, there are so many generally vegetarian/vegan cultures out there that don’t have a choice economically to indulge in meats or culturally desire to. And most of those people groups are much healthier and live much longer than we do, with our high cholesterol+sedentary lifestyles.

If you have any other questions popping up in your mind, feel free to leave them down below! I’d love to talk this out with anyone willing to care and share. ♥

 

 

Live like it.

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Is it too much to want a group of believers surrounding you?

People you can call on for prayer.

Advice.

Leadership.

Comfort.

People you can worship with, laugh with, share your heart with–

People who will listen when you speak and truly care…

But will care about Jesus and your relationship status with Him even more.

Is it wrong to expect more out of the ones closest to you than the time of day?

Or the weather.

Or their latest day-to-day routine.

Work. School. Whatever. Does it really matter?

There’s a place and a time for chit-chat, I know, but shouldn’t it weigh in at 10% to 90 of Christ and Him crucified instead of the other way around? Shouldn’t His affect on our life be the next big thing? Shouldn’t “our” lives be only tinged with stories of ourselves and painted over with tales of His work in us instead?

After all, we are no longer our own. We were bought with a price.

So shouldn’t we live like it?

Inspired.

sonlight

I see this as a picture of my future. Radiant. Glowing. Full of clouds, yes, but still the radiance of Christ, the glory of His Light and Love shining ever through. It fills me with hope. It fills me with awe. And I am feeling inspired and motivated by God and His plans for my life today. It’s days like today where my chin is up and the Son is beaming through the clouds that I need to document and remember. And so I am.

The verse I’ve been meditating on has been the prayer of my heart this week:

Turn my eyes from vanity

All those worldly, meaningless things that distract–

Let Your priorities be mine,

And restore me with renewed energy in Your ways. (Psalm 119:37)

Today I have envisioned what I desire my future to look like…what I want to be doing with all the time I’ve been blessed with on this earth. I’ve had a general goal and idea for a while now, but today I specified. Today I planned out details. Now, I don’t want to get too detailed and I’m praying God is the one behind these dreams. If He’s not, I want Him to stop me. But there’s nothing wrong with planning. It’s good stewardship of your time. But I’m also trying to learn to balance my so-called “control” over situations with trust in the Lord. Whatever that looks like. I’m praying I’ll find out.

“If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that…” (James 4:15)

So yes, I completely understand my dependence on God and His will and His plans. I’m just praying that the desires I have are what He’s planted in me to blossom and flourish and grow.

And what are these aspirations?

Not much has been changed, but merely modified and adapted into something attainable.

-I still feel a call on my life to international, intercultural, overseas missions. I want to specifically reach out to and serve the orphaned and abandoned children in third world countries. And I want to provide Biblical council and encouragement to those I come into contact with, especially women and children.

-I still love to write and want to use this gift to glorify God. Interviews. Newsletters. Blog posts. I want to get other people’s stories out there.

-I am having a growing interest in photography and editing (to a minimal extent) and want to begin exploring furthering my outreach through video content and pictures and books. Podcasts? Vlogs? Documentaries? The possibilities are endless. I want to create.

So today I take a deep breath and I ask, what’s the first step? And I take that step. And then I ask “What next, Lord?”

“Your future is painted by the brushstrokes of your feet.”

Growing Pains.

Today’s entry in my journal…

A long time ago I had the dream to start an orphanage–

I said I would know just how to teach them because I was homeschooled.

When I graduated high school, Dad promised to do whatever he could in his power to make that a reality, if that’s what I truly believed God wanted me to do.

I didn’t know at the time.

And he’s forgotten all about that promise by now.

But, I’ve always had a heart for the orphans– as long as I can remember, I’ve longed to help them and care for them and love them. And now, I believe God is getting me on that path again. His path.

I just don’t know exactly where it leads…

Will it end with an orphanage that I’ve started?

Is that why I’m in Real Estate right now? (Something I absolutely did not like the thought of at the time) Am I making connections to help me when I need to purchase a property? I can only wonder as wonder and hope and wanderlust fill my once empty heart.

When I was at my lowest–

I had forgotten who I was

And who God created me to be.

I wasn’t true to myself and my God-given goals and visions, dreams and desires.

I had friends that brought me down. I should have paid more attention when I told them that I felt like I was degrading in maturity.

They told me I wasn’t.

God whispered that I was.

Guess who was right?

trust

 

“I am leading you along a way that is uniquely right for you. The closer to Me you grow, the more fully you become your true self, the one I designed you to be. Because you are one of a kind, the path you are traveling with Me diverges increasingly from that of other people. However, in mysterious wisdom and ways, I enable you to follow this solitary path while staying in close contact with other. In fact, the more completely you devote yourself to Me, the more freely you can love people.”

~~~

“Please don’t wait. If you feel something stirring in your heart….go with it. That pull is God grabbing you by the hand and wanting to show you something magnificent. Even if you don’t exactly know what to do when you are following the right path, don’t turn back. Be patient and still and know that you are about to be used in ways you never thought possible.” –Wandering With Mary

“A part of me worries that I am running away from something. But more than anything I feel the confidence to chase after my wanderlust dreams because God is with me wherever I go. He created this amazing world and all He wants to do is wander with me in it.”- Wandering With Mary

*Note: In the religious circles I run in, Jesus Calling does not have a good reputation. I have never read the book or done much research on it myself however, I can appreciate the quotes that I posted here as something that resounded with what God has been teaching me recently. 

When God Says Wait

Author’s note: I had this saved in my drafts to post in the summer of 2016 and in the winds of change in life, never got to it. How apt that the Lord is teaching me these simple truths yet again at this very moment. Faith. Trust. Waiting. “Praise Him in the hallway!”

Waiting on God requires the willingness to bear uncertainty, to carry within oneself the unanswered question, lifting the heart to God about it whenever it intrudes upon one’s thoughts.
― Elisabeth Elliot

As I prepared to write this post, I had all these things I was going to say, all these points I was going to make, instances I was going to relate–but that all faded away in the midst of God moving in my life. It’s such a perfect picture, us having everything figured out and God stepping in and being like, “Whoa now, hold on. I got this.”

And isn’t that the essence of this post anyways? Giving up our “control” to God and trusting Him to be all that He says He is, to be faithful and just and true. To fulfill all that He’s promised?

Waiting is hard. It is definitely not a strength of mine. I like to know where I’m headed, have everything mapped out and know who I’ll meet along the way. But that’s not how God works. That’s not faith. And it comes down to this: do we really trust Him? Would we put our hopes and dreams, our plans and ideas and expectations, our very life on the line and give it all over to Him. To die to ourselves and our selfish ambitions and become who He wants us to be. To live the life that He wants?

We say that God will provide, we might even claim it or use it as an answer when we don’t know what to do, but do we truly believe it? Do we believe that He has our best interests at heart?

Let me tell you, He does provide. He is the great Help in time of trouble. He gives us what we need and only just enough to teach us to rely on Him. That is why He should be our daily portion. Not weekly. Not yearly. Daily.

tozer

Wow.

These last few months have hit me like a tidal wave.

I’ve been drowning in emotions more times then I would prefer to remember, have had so many “major” decisions thrown at me, and have experienced God’s hand in my life more vividly than before. I am so thankful for our loving Heavenly Father who holds us in the palms of His hands and lifts us into His loving arms when we think we’re sinking and the world is disappearing into life’s overwhelming icy depths. Praise the Lord for His gentleness and compassion on us! On you. On me.

Our God is the God who heals.

I’ve been recovering from many deep relational wounds and a past of what I believe to be Spiritual abuse. I have grown. I pray I have become stronger. I pray that my heart will soften and that these scars won’t continue to mortar walls of bitterness in my life. I pray that Christ’s love will heal me, comfort me, and flow from me to all the other broken and hurting souls out there in this world, believing or not.

I pray for a fresh start, a fresh passion, a renewed vision.

I pray for direction.

I pray for 2017 and what it holds.