Reach

I want to explain what you are about to read. The first part is something I felt like I needed to write back in February but never knew how to finish. So, I never published it. Little did I know, I was writing for my future self.

The second part is something I wrote today in September of 2018.


February 14, 2018

Woah. I am currently reading the book of Matthew in order for the first time.

Jesus is wild.

In the first 14 chapters, he is legit healing and saving people nonstop. We have all heard/read these stories individually, but when I saw them together, I realized something.

The people He helped were not those who were praying in the synagogues (or churches) utterly wrapped up in religious pretenses. No. The people He helped were those who came to Him, humbly cried, and reached out to Him with everything they had. They were the people who were lost, broken, and devastated by the world. They were broken by their sin (as we all are) but didn’t pretend to be otherwise. They had absolutely nothing and no one else to turn to but God. They didn’t cloak themselves in self-righteousness or prideful self-reliance. Most were not even Jewish. In fact, most were the outcasts, marginalized, and enemies of society. Most were publicly known for their sins.

Yet, these groups of people recognized who Jesus was and the hope that He is. Because of this, they did not waste their energy attempting to find their hope in the world. Instead, they used all of their effort to reach for Him – the One who created the world.


September 22, 2018

RAHHHHHHHHH. I have found that when I reach a really good place mentally, the devil uses all of his power to tear me down – to use every possible thing to make me insecure and discontent. (Who can relate? ūüôč‚Äć‚ôÄÔłŹ) The devil uses everything in his power to make the void we all have (that only God can fill) feel like an insurmountable chasm cleaved through the center of our chests.

Haha I realize that that was a pretty dramatic sentence.

Nonetheless, it is how I feel right now,

and I know I cannot be alone in this either.

As I am writing this, I have come to the realization that I have been unknowingly attempting to fill this void with:

*drum roll please*

crap.

(mindless entertainment, Netflix, social media, wishing for a relationship, attempting to “figure out”¬†*cough* control *cough* my future, comparison, etc.)

HA, and I wonder why I feel so bad.

{Note: wanting a relationship is not bad, peeps. God made Eve for Adam for a reason! However, if you take a step back and realize that the devil is using this to steal joy from you today, tell the devil to back the H E double hockey sticks up. :)}

I have slowly taken the contentment and hope I placed in God and given it to other people/things.

What does any of this have to do with anything?

I want you to know that you are not alone. Life is not a continuous state of sunshine, rainbows, unicorns, aesthetic instagram feeds, and Britt’s donuts. Sometimes, it consists of sickness, losing a loved one, Hurricane Florence ripping through your community, insecurity with everything, and heaven forbid: the Paleo diet for a diehard food lover (RIP).

Yet, regardless of what is going on, God is still there within reach.

All this change in circumstances means is that it may take much more effort to raise your arms and reach for Him.

Take heart, my friend.

Take heart, and reach.

XOXO,

Cat

A letter to my high school peeps

Hey guys! How’s it going?

We can all agree that high school is better than middle school (*let’s have a moment of silence for our middle school selves*), but it is still rough. You are no longer a kid, but you still feel like one. You are trying to figure out who you are and what you believe. You have so much pressure on you to do well in school, perform athletically, have a fantastically instagrammed social life, get into a relationship, look a certain way,

and fit in.

This pressure to be the same as everybody else drives me NUTS. God intentionally made you how you are. Do not change what you are passionate about, what you believe in, how you dress, and how you act just because everybody else is doing it.

In this season of life, you may be blessed with a great group of friends, or you may not. You may find a great significant other, or you may not. You may have a super packed social life, or you may not. I am writing this to let you know that what you are worried about right now will pass. This is just a season in your life like any other. It comes with good stuff and not so good stuff. Just do not let your focus be consumed with the latter.

Everything works itself out. If you don’t believe me, try to think about a time when something hasn’t worked out. It may not have gone according to your plan. It probably sucked for a while. But, it (God) pointed you in a different direction – a direction towards something greater and away from something (or someone) not meant for your life.

I am writing this letter to encourage you. I’ve been there. I survived. You will too. Do not compromise on who you are or who you want to become. Be fantastically you.

Focus on the good.

This is just a season.

XOXO,

Cat

 

The Sophomore Slump

What is up my people?! It has been quite a while since the last time I posted something here.

What’s new with me you ask? {Ha you are SO kind!}

hmmmmmm… let’s see…

Oh! The sophomore slump? Heard of it? Well, let me tell you, IT IS A REAL THING.

Haha sorry that was a tad aggressive… I was just shouting to make sure you heard me in the back.

For those of you who are not familiar with the terminology of the cool kids these days, the sophomore slump is basically just as it sounds: a low point during your sophomore year.

In some ways, it’s just like the freshman 15: everyone jokes about it but does not actually warn you that¬†IT IS REAL.

Haha now that we have established I am 15 pounds heavier than when I first entered college, I believe this is the perfect moment for one of my favorite sayings of all time:

“It’s always Sugar Honey Iced TeaS and giggles until someone giggles and Sugar Honey Iced TeaS.” {Haha figured I probably shouldn’t curse here}

Translation –> the sophomore slump hit me really hard.

I have come to the conclusion that there are several factors that create a sophomore slump:

  1. All of the magical glitter surrounding college¬†has been blown away by a strong gust of less-exciting reality. (Don’t get me wrong, college is awesome, and I am super thankful to be here. However, nothing can sustain super awesome forever.)
  2. If you now live in an apartment, you are no longer surrounded by 50+ amigos to constantly do fun stuff with = you spend more time by yourself.
  3. You have pretty much no motivation to further your education at the time when your course load becomes significantly harder. You have to grind.
  4. You begin the year thinking that you’ve got this all under control because YOU survived freshman year – Ha! Nice one, Cat.
  5. You feel way more alone no matter how many amazing friends surround you.

I am going to focus the rest of my tangent on the last two.

I don’t know about you, but I have the tendency to rely heavily on God in uncertain situations (ex. going off to college freshman year). As time goes on and I feel like I have a better grasp on the situation at hand, I rely less and less on God. This is not a conscious decision, but I begin to feel like I have this whole thing called life under control. Then, without knowing it, I begin to rely entirely on my own strength and will.

I forget that God constantly gave me the strength and will to make it to where I am in the first place. Therefore when I am weak and have no motivation (because I am no longer relying on God), I do not know what is going on or why I cannot seem to fix anything.

I do not realize the mistake I am making until I hit a really low point. This time it was my sophomore slump.

I felt empty, alone, anxious, unprepared, and far from God for months.

Every time I reach a point like this in my life, I realize now, I am quick to distract myself with social media, watching Netflix, hanging out with friends, etc. I subconsciously do not give myself a moment of silence – assuming that what is going on will pass.

I was still going to church and campus Christian organizations on the reg hoping that doing this would change what was happening. {Unfortunately, Christian things cannot fill a God-sized hole}

 

Fake it till I make it right?

Wrong.

There is no faking it with God because He is, ya know, God.

 

Do you know what did help a ton?

Silence.

Stillness.

 

Why?

Oftentimes, these are the conditions in which God is the most present.

 

Why?

This is where God has your attention the most.

 

This whole relationship with God thing does not work if you do not hold up your end of the deal. You have to pursue Him as much as He pursues you.

Satan uses “noise” (everyday struggles, goals, social media, work, school, music, Netflix, To-Do lists, chores, projects, homework,¬†even going to church/Christian things out of habit, etc.) to get us so utterly wrapped up in everything around us that we forget to stop… and look up to God. We stop relying on Him because we are so consumed with filling the void within us – thinking that we can accomplish this with our own strength and determination. We only find Him again when we have nothing else left.

Learn from me, and do not let your subconscious rule your life. Make a conscious effort to pursue God in every moment. Fight for silence. Fight for time with God.

Silence the noise. Be still. Wait on God.

 


‚ÄúBe still, and know that I am God! I will be honored by every nation. I will be honored throughout the world.‚ÄĚ

-Psalm 46:10 (NLT)

“Cease¬†striving¬†and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.‚ÄĚ

-Psalm 46:10 (NASB)

 


Group prayer time!

Please take a moment to pray for every person who is stuck in a slump right now and sees no way out. Pray that they stop fighting this battle on their own, get on their knees, and look up to God.

XOXO,

Cat

 

 

 

Midterms.

Who out there feels overwhelmed by life right now? I know I do.

It is the week before spring break, and midterm season has arrived.

If you know me, you know that I have a tendency to procrastinate. However when I procrastinate, I don’t push the stress out of my mind and do something actually enjoyable¬†like take a nap worry free. No, I stressfully watch Netflix or procrastinate in some other useless way holding on tight to my anxiety.

{Hahaha if you follow me on Instagram, you will find how I turned my procrastination into a very therapeutic way of dealing with stress this week. Thanks Christine! ūüėĻ}

The stress builds up to the point that it becomes¬†paralyzing.¬†I know I should be studying and doing the¬†thousand other time sensitive things on my list…

…but I just can’t.

My stress level was reaching a really high point yesterday when God put things in perspective.

Take a deep breath, my friend.

If you are like me and stressing about midterms, stop and thank God. This is the best possible stress to have in the ENTIRE WORLD. If you are worried about midterms, this means you have both the OPPORTUNITY AND ABILITY TO LEARN. If you are worried about midterms, you are not worried about your HEALTH. If you are worried about midterms, you are not worried about being HUNGRY. If you are worried about midterms, you are not worried about your SAFETY or OVERALL WELL-BEING.

If you are not literally worried about an exam, what is the figurative¬†“midterm” in¬†your life right now? Pray for perspective.


If you are worried about some of the things I listed, you are being tested in a different way. I absolutely HATE that you are going through this. However, I assure you that God is with you every step of the way.

Do Not Worry

25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?

28¬†‚ÄúAnd why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29¬†Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30¬†If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you‚ÄĒyou of little faith? 31¬†So do not worry, saying, ‚ÄėWhat shall we eat?‚Äô or ‚ÄėWhat shall we drink?‚Äô or ‚ÄėWhat shall we wear?‚Äô 32¬†For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33¬†But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.34¬†Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

-Matthew 6:25-34

Praise God for the midterms of life, for always being there, and for blessing us beyond what we deserve.


{Group prayer time!}

Please pray that God gives every single person who reads this peace and the knowledge that everything is going to be okay regardless of what is happening right now.

XOXO,

Cat


{Seriously, go check out my Instagram if you want to laugh ūüėĻ @worldofcma}

Wake Up.

These last two weeks have been long.

Between my mad procrastination skills digging me into a deep hole and the fact that time with God has not been at the top of my priority list, I have been living class to class in a haze.

I woke up from my haze this morning.


Merriam-Webster.com defines complacency as, “self-satisfaction especially when accompanied by unawareness of actual dangers or deficiencies.” Complacency is a¬†state that occurs from spending all of your time seeking¬†satisfaction in yourself, your plans, and your circumstances. Therefore, because you are not actively¬†seeking God, you are¬†unaware¬†of the dangerous¬†situation in which the devil is slowly placing¬†you.

The devil uses busyness as one of his tools to make us complacent in our faith Рto make us passive in our faith Рto make us slowly set aside our faith.

Then, complacency leads to indifference.

It is SO EASY to fall into the trap of indifference. Indifference¬†is that weird in-between where you know what you should be doing, but you lack the drive to do it.¬†You are too busy. You are too tired. You are too…(fill in the blank). You become unconcerned. Then, you slowly become¬†indifferent.

Our faith is the one thing in this world with which we cannot afford to be indifferent, complacent, or passive. Faith is not something we can just push down the line to figure out when we are older because we are not promised tomorrow much less, years to figure it out.

Wake up, my friend, please wake up.

“What are you going to do to fight your natural drift towards indifference?” – Samer ¬†Massad

Fight for your faith. Seek God, seek God, and seek God again. He will lift you out of the trap of indifference that you have fallen into.

“You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” -Jeremiah 29:13

{Group prayer time!}

Please pray that every person who reads this will continuously look to God to rescue them from complacency and indifference. Pray that God gives us the strength to fight for faith every single day.

XOXO,

Cat


Hey guys! Many of you know that music is my soul food. If you would like for me to share my playlists, let me know in the comments! NF is an artist I found recently with lyrically some of the best songs I have heard in a long time. His rapping is straight up poetry. Check out “Wake Up”:


{Thank you Port City Community Church, Overflow, and Samer Massad for delivering a message that has been weighing heavily on my mind the past few weeks! You guys are the bomb!}


Also, If you have a second, check out my friend Imani’s blog post on complacency:

https://sojournersays.wordpress.com/2016/09/13/to-my-friends-caught-in-complacency/ 

Her post is incredible!


“Complacency.” Merriam-Webster.com. Merriam-Webster, n.d. Web. 2 Feb. 2017.

Distracted.

Rahhhhhhhhhhhh! Why do we {I} allow ourselves {myself} to get so distracted by the WORLD? If we recognized and praised God for everything single thing He has blessed us with every single day, we would never get off of our knees. Yet, here we are, standing in our own strength and will, with eyes on everything but God and His goodness.

Our eyes are¬†locked on everything that brings¬†us fear, worry, and discontent…

…instead of the One who gives¬†us assurance, peace, and contentment.

Why?

Yes, we are only human, but we cannot keep using this as an excuse to keep from trying to be better.

Having and showing gratitude has to be our top priority.

Being grateful will completely change our perspectives.

Therefore, being grateful will completely change our lives.

Refuse to complain about your day even if it is raining outside, you are drowning in a new semester of classes, and you spill an¬†entire bowl of lucky charms in your lap in the dining hall. {True story :’)}


{Group prayer time!}

Pray that God gives every person who reads this the strength and wisdom to find¬†His goodness in the midst of life’s¬†daily chaos.

XOXO,

Cat

Obedience.

Many of you know my mom. That lady is the best. A few years ago, she spoke to me about having a word for the year. She told me to pray for God to reveal a word or something specific to keep in mind throughout the coming year.

So, I did just that.

Last year, my word was patience. Many of you know my story and how God blessed me tremendously through praying and fighting for patience {haha even now when I talk about it, happy tears still make an appearance}. The year before that, my word was perspective. Keeping my perspective on God in that particular span of 365 days ended up being incredibly important.

Eighteen days into 2017, my word has been made very clear:

Obedience.

I see it almost every single day.


{This is a great¬†platform to spread God’s awesomeness, so let’s do something awesome. How does a quick group prayer sound?}

Please pray that God gives not only me, but every person who reads this the strength to be obedient to His call in 2017.

I pray you know that God is in control of this year, next year, and every single year after that. I pray God gives you the guidance, wisdom, and strength you need for everything you are going through right now and will go through this year.


If you pick a word for the year, let me know! I will be praying for you and the unbelievably AWESOME things God is going to do in your life in 2017. Have hope. God is the bomb, and His plans for you are the bomb.com.

All you have to do is give Him the reins.

‘”For I know the plans I have for you,‚ÄĚ declares the Lord, ‚Äúplans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”‘ Jeremiah 29:11

XOXO,

Cat

Relief.

Life is tough. I know every single person who reads this will agree. To be real with you, we go through straight up crap sometimes. Heartbreak, loneliness, disappointment, sorrow, fear, stress, worry, insecurity, hurt, rejection, anxiety, uncertainty, peer pressure, pain, depression, loss, and sickness sometimes seem to be playing on an endless loop. We are trying to weather this storm called life. We are trying to find relief. In fact, we are adamantly searching for relief.

The question is: where are you finding your relief?

Alcohol, drugs, “perfecting” your outward appearance {Perfecting is in “…” because¬†God¬†made YOU with intent, my friend. Do not forget that.}, work, school, money, people, and relationships are all TEMPORARY solutions. In fact, they are not even solutions at all. According to Merriam-Webster.com, a solution is “an answer to a problem.” None of the¬†things listed are the answer to any of our problems. If they were the answer, why do¬†they constantly fail us? They act as a mere band-aid to¬†the¬†much greater¬†pain we are experiencing. Therefore, the relief they offer¬†is not only temporary, but it is also not proportional to what we need.

So, what will give us relief?

It is not a what.

It’s a who.

“He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.” Psalm 147:3

What God offers is not a temporary solution or just a “band-aid” on your pain. He offers complete healing, restoration, comfort, and hope – the ultimate form of relief.

XOXO,

Cat


“Solution.” Merriam-Webster.com. Merriam-Webster, n.d. Web. 11 Jan. 2017.

Passion 2017

image-1-7-17-at-6-07-pmOn January 2-4, 2017, 60,000 college kids filled the Georgia Dome, and the stadium shook as they praised God. It was an experience that truly cannot be put into words. Many people say millennials have abandoned their faith. However, those people definitely have not attended Passion before because WOW IT WAS AWESOME.

Passion¬†was almost too much to process. Between the famous speakers and bands, it was one incredible¬†moment¬†after another. At one point, the stadium went black, and CARRIE FREAKING UNDERWOOD APPEARED OUT OF NOWHERE and performed “Something in the Water.” (Haha can you tell I was excited?) As I was trying to recover from that craziness, they hit¬†us with the fact that they were giving¬†every single person in the stadium¬†a free copy of the Jesus Bible. They raised $800,000 to do this!

Crazy.

Oh! Did I mention that in a stadium full of broke college kids, we sponsored ALL of the children¬†on the waitlist in El Salvador, Tanzania, Rwanda, Indonesia, and many in Bolivia with Compassion International? I MEAN WHAT?! It was incredible. :’) {*happy tears*} Haha there were a lot of “happy tears” moments.

Crazy.


{There were so many amazing speakers who gave incredible messages, but these are just two of the people who impacted me the most.}


Christine Caine

“You will not build the life you want to live without endurance… You do not build endurance on the path of least resistance.”

Endurance. It is a HUGE component of having faith. We have to endure the hard times. We cannot stop believing when times get tough. When we endure, our faith grows so much stronger.

“You can’t say you are going to do great things for God one day if you are not doing anything today.

This hit me hard. I have such big dreams for what I want to do in the future. But, so many times I get stuck doing just that dreaming.

“Do nothing of selfish ambition… Not even Jesus did what He wanted to do. He did what God wanted Him to do.”

I had never thought of it this way, but it is so TRUE. Seek God’s plans before your own always. Then, be obedient to His call.

“CHRIST ENDURED EVERYTHING.”

Whoa. Nuff said.


Francis Chan

“We value our own thoughts too much.”

As a professional¬†overthinker, this couldn’t be more true. I always get utterly¬†stuck in my¬†head, my plans, and desperate grasp for control of my life. HA! Nice one, Cat. How about checking out the next thing Francis Chan said.¬†‚Üď

“God’s thoughts are infinitely higher than ours.”

Preach, Francis, Preach. God’s thoughts are infinitely higher than ours. Therefore, God’s plans are infinitely greater¬†than ours, and God’s grasp on¬†our lives is infinitely stronger and better than¬†ours could ever be. Which leads us to:¬†‚Üď

Stop listening to yourself and trust in God.”

Can I get an Amen?! ūüôĆ


Honestly, I could write pages about¬†those three days in Atlanta, but I’m going to end it here:

If you ever get the chance to attend the Passion Conference, go.

XOXO,

Cat

Fighting the Disconnect

Christmas is so close, and I am¬†PUMPED. I love this time of year because I get to spend time with those I love. It is straight up awesomesauce. But…

…that is not why we celebrate this day¬†at all.

I am not sure if it comes from being a Christian for so long, or the fact that the Bible was written so long ago, but somewhere along the way the stories of the Bible became just that: stories. We (I) have become disconnected from and desensitized to the tough reality of the truth they bear.

Right now, I want you fight this disconnect.

Think about someone who means the world to you. It could be your brother, sister, mom, dad, or best friend. This person is someone who you care tremendously for and who cares tremendously for you. Really picture this person.

Now, think about some of the mistakes you have made this far in your life. There are too many to think about, right? Add this to the fact that you are going to make countless more in the future. How could we ever deserve heaven?

Think (I mean really think) about your beloved person willingly experiencing tremendous torment, torture, and ultimately a brutal death for you so that the stain of your sins would be wiped clean. They suffered because of the love they have for you. They chose this utterly selfless act so that you could have HOPE not only to get through this life here on earth, but also so you could have the hope of heaven!

The person you thought about, the one that means so much to you, is not perfect, yet just thinking about them taking the punishment you deserve is utterly heartbreaking. However, Christ is perfect and CHOSE to endure the unthinkable for US. He chose to bear the weight of each and every sin we have and will commit on His back, so we would be able to have the hope we could never deserve. He chose to take the punishment for the sins a girl would commit two thousand years later, so she could have hope.

December 25th marks the beginning of the fiercest act of love to ever occur.

Fight the disconnect, and thank God for His endless love.

XOXO,

Cat