4th of July Freedom and Free to be You!

Does anything feel better than being who you are? Feeling free to be you? The you who you truly are?!fireworks 2

The 4th of July is a day about freedom . . . the day our country declared independence from Great Britain, being no longer under its control. Since the king’s laws were unfair, the people wanted freedom to govern themselves. And even though it took a while, they finally became free!

What’s so awesome is we can be free, too . . . from worry, fear, what others think of us, just to name a few . . . But for all that to happen, we need to receive Christ into our hearts and trust Him as our Savior and Lord. Maybe you’ve already done that, and if so, that is great! But if you haven’t just yet, just know that He wants to set you free from sin, or going your own way, since that separates you from Him. And once you ask Him into your heart, you’ll be at the start of an amazing adventure. Just imagine . . . a relationship with the Creator of the universe and your Heavenly Father. And what’s amazing is when you turn your life over to Him, you totally become free! . . . free to be who you love to be . . . to be uniquely you . . . the you who you truly are!

So how does that work? Well, only God who created you and the entire universe could work that all out! The more I surrender, the more me I become! I can be free from fear or worry, knowing He knows what’s best for me and what I truly desire. And the same is true for you!

“Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” John 8:32

So how will you celebrate the 4th with your family and friends? A picnic? Baseball? Bar-b-que? Of course, fireworks, too! When you take a moment to remember what this day’s all about, don’t forget to celebrate your freedom in Christ and freedom to be you!

HeartDream Chat – What are your plans for the 4th of July?  Tell how it feels to be free . . .

Colorful Confetti

Colorful Confetti

Those Hot Summer Days . . .

Been loving summer? Having tons of fun? Been a bit hot and need to cool off?

When I was little we’d run through the sprinkler. It was the really cool thing back then. And the coolest thing to keep cool.

Or we’d take trips to Dairy Queen. The choices were chocolate or vanilla. You’ve sure got it made!shutterstock_116126008

But my favorite memory was when my dad took all of us, late at night, to A & W for root beer. That’s when the AC had gone out at home, and we got to ride in the car in our PJ’s with the windows rolled down taking in the late night summer air. We sure thought that was great!

So what do you do when those summer days are hot and the sweat’s dripping down?

Do you sip on something cool? Chomp on ice cream? Dive in a pool or lake?

Whatever it is, I’m sure it’s refreshing.

And you know what? That’s the way it’s with God . . . when we feel hot, in trouble, in ‘hot water’ . . . when we need a way out, a way to cool off. Whether it’s friends, parents, or just simply life. Remember, He wants you to come to Him. He’s got the answer for what you’re dealing with, and He will cool you and refresh you when you listen to Him.

Jeremiah 31:25 says, “I will refresh the weary and satisfy the faint.” I love that verse!

So when things are hot and you need to cool off, turn to Him, run to Him, and let Him cool and refresh you . . . just like you do on a hot summer day.

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HeartDream Chat – How do you keep cool in the summer? How has God refreshed you?

 

 

 

 

Summer’s Coming!

Ready for summer? It’s coming . . . !! Are you envisioning all those things you can’t wait to do?

  • Staying up lateshutterstock_126592436
  • Sleeping in
  • Bar-B-Ques
  • Summer sleepovers
  • Watching movies
  • Days at the pool
  • Picnics
  • Reading fun books
  • Writing in your journal
  • Hiking and biking
  • Boating at the lake
  • Summer camp
  • Vacationing with your family
  • Visiting relatives
  • Discovering new places

So how about getting into those fun summer clothes? Your swimsuit? Will you love it or dread it? Do you love wearing less or would you rather not go there? You know, there are some girls out there who don’t love how they look . . . They look at others and feel they don’t measure up. They cover up or hide so others won’t notice. Some even starve themselves or end up throwing up. You probably know this as being anorexic or bulemic. Maybe you know someone who is, or maybe that someone is you. If so, know you’re hurting yourself and hurting God, too. God loves you and doesn’t want that for you. So stop and get help. Talk to a friend. Ask your parents for help. You don’t have to do this alone, and God will help you, too. It’s about taking care of the body He’s given you . . . to eat the right foods and be active and to enjoy your life!

Philippians 4:13 says, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” And that means exactly that! That Christ will give you strength to do whatever you need to do, no matter how difficult. Just trust Him and see!

shutterstock_106049945HeartDream Chat – So what’s on your list of summer fun? Would you like to feel great about your body image? If so, seek help from others, and seek God’s help, too. Then finish that list, and jump right in! Happy Summer to you!!!

 

 

 

 

 

When You Don’t Know What To Do . . .

Do you ever feel stuck, like there’s no way out? When you feel you’ve tried everything, and nothing has worked? shutterstock_1435012

Maybe your best friend’s avoiding you. You know something’s wrong. But when you try bringing it up she says nothing is.

Or maybe your parents are arguing lots. You fear they’ll get divorced. Maybe you’re taking sides and feel stuck in the middle.

Or maybe you didn’t make the cheer team when you’d practiced for days.

If you’ve ever felt stuck, know that we’ve all felt that way. Know you’re not alone. So the next time it happens, remember God’s always with you. He has the answer you need.

And just how do you get that answer?

First, God wants you to pray. Give the problem to Him. Pour out your heart, and tell Him every detail, even though He knows about it, anyway.

Next, listen to what He’s telling you. Just be still and listen. He may give you the answer right then, but if not, He will.

Finally, while you wait, just trust Him. He loves you and wants the best for you and knows what you want and need.

Proverbs 3:5-6 says, “Trust in the Lord with all of your heart, and lean not unto your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.”

So what does that mean? . . . to not try and figure it out yourself. He wants you to look to Him and lean on Him. Remember, He’s the Creator of the universe and knows everything! He knows everything you’re going through and is saying, “Wait on me,” and “Trust me,” and He will answer your prayer.

So what do you do when you don’t know what to do? Pray to God who loves you. Then listen to Him and trust Him. He’ll give you the answer you need!

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HeartDream Chat – What’s something you’ve felt stuck about? How did God answer your prayer?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Say ‘No’ to Doubt!

So how’s it been going? What’s happening in your life? Are you doing those things you love to do? . . . those things God’s put on your heart? Or do you doubt sometimes you can do those things and that your dreams will come to pass?

Did you know when God says something He means it? His promises are true, and we can count on Him to do what He says. He loves us so much and wants us to know that what He’s put on our hearts will come to pass. They really will. We just need to trust Him.shutterstock_86139091

So what is your dream? Acting? Dancing? Or maybe it’s riding and jumping horses, or becoming a Christian singer leading others to Christ. Just remember, whatever it is, He’ll make it happen.

But don’t forget . . . we all have an enemy, the devil, who’s against those dreams coming true. So if doubt enters in, know it’s coming from him. That’s not to scare you, but to remind you to stand guard against him. And the way to do that is to say ‘no’ to the devil, and trust God for those plans.

Jesus says in Mark 11:23, “For assuredly I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will come to pass, he will have whatever he says.”

Now isn’t that awesome? So if ever you’re going about your day and doubt creeps in, just speak to that mountain and just say ‘no!’ And God will help you do just that!

HeartDream Chat – Do you ever feel doubt? What will you do the next time it creeps in?

Love, Love, Love . . .

The month of love . . . ahhh . . . there’s nothing like love! We were born to be loved . . . we live to love . . . to love and be loved. Isn’t that what life’s all about?shutterstock_127262711

And what’s so amazing is that love is how we all got here in the first place . . . God’s love. That because of His love, He created you and me.

I love thinking about the ways He loves me . . . they’re like wrapped-up little gifts . . .

  • He’s always with me . . . day and night
  • He will never leave me . . . ever
  • He knows me in and out and knows me better than I know myself!
  • He knows what’s best for me
  • He knows everything I’m going through
  • He’s there for me on my very worst day
  • He’s always for me and is on my side
  • He cares about everything that concerns me, no matter how big or small
  • He comforts me when I’m lonely or sad
  • He protects me and keeps me safe
  • He shows me the way to go
  • I don’t have to be perfect . . . He doesn’t expect me to be
  • He forgives me when I mess up and is there with open arms
  • I can bring every problem to Him, and He’ll tell me what to do
  • I can give Him all of my worries and fears
  • He’s always there to listen, and I can trust Him to work things out
  • He wants me to ask and dream big and to expect Him to answer my prayers
  • He has awesome plans for my life, the desires of my heart, when I turn my life over to Him

I John 4:19 says, “We love because He first loved us.”

Love, Love, Love . . . that’s what it’s all about. He’s crazy about you! He’s crazy about me! Now what is more awesome than that?!

shutterstock_127517594HeartDream Chat – What things do you love about God? What are the ways He loves you? 

A ‘God’s Girl’ Chat with Natalie

It’s been awesome getting to know God’s Girl* Natalie M., age 14 . . . (*God’s Girls are those who are happy because God is in their lives!)

Come take a look . . .                                                     

What does it mean to become a Christian, and when did that happen in your life?

Becoming a Christian means that I accept/acknowledge Him as God AND give Him control, living in His ways.  I was pretty young when I accepted Him into my heart, at about 5 years old.  But the second part, giving Him my WHOLE life, didn’t come until just a few years ago.  I had always gone to church and said I was a Christian without really giving Him my all. Everything changed at a youth conference at my church, when I really felt God’s presence for myself.  My whole life was transformed because I felt how great and worthy God really is.

When do you spend time with God, and what is your favorite Bible verse?Bible

I spend time with God in the mornings, and I have LOTS of favorite Bible verses.  These three are themes that come up over and over in my life, and always encourage me:

Proverbs 3:5-6  “Trust in The Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding.  In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight.”

Jeremiah 29:11-14 “For I know the plans I have for you, declares The Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.  Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.  You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.  I will be found by you.”

1 Timothy 4:12 “Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, and in purity.”

 What difference does God make in your life?

God brings me joy!  I feel peace leaving everything in His hands.  Just knowing that I’m NEVER alone makes a huge difference.  And it impacts the way that I can love others.

What desires has God put on your heart? What do you love to do?

Music has always been a huge part of my life.  Ever since I was 3 years old, I’ve been playing the piano.  I am a competitive classical pianist, and I play jazz and contemporary and Christian music.  I’m just now learning to play guitar (and ukelele!) and I love dancing and singing.  I thank God for the incredible gift of music!

What dreams do you have for your life?

Really, I want whatever God has for me.  I’ve always known that I would have a career in pianomusic, and I’m so excited to see where He leads.  I’d love to become a worship leader and/or some kind of music teacher.

What encouragement could you give a tween girl about the challenges they will face in life?

Give it all to God.  If you get in His presence to really grasp who He is, you’ll understand. Every opportunity I’ve had in worship (playing in a great band, getting to be on albums, leading worship, etc) has been because GOD has opened doors, not because I’d been looking for it.  If you trust Him with your life, He will move!

 Natalie’s ‘Favorites’ . . .

Favorite Color – aqua blue

Favorite Food – brownies!

Favorite Animal – puppies

Favorite Place to Visit – anywhere warm!

Favorite Way to Spend the Day – shopping or playing music with my family and friends

HeartDream Chat – Thanks so much for sharing with us, Natalie!  It was awesome hearing about your life! Have a comment or question for Natalie?  She’d love to hear!

Things That Are New

New clothes, new friends, a new look, a new year . . . Don’t you love things that are new?shutterstock_101952877

New things are fun, fresh, exciting, adventuresome . . . going to new places you’ve never been . . . doing new things you’ve never before done.

What’s awesome is that God has new things for you, too, when you let Him lead the way.

What new hopes and dreams has God put on your heart?

Isaiah 43:19 says, “Behold, I will do a new thing . . . ”

So let Him take you there, and watch what He’ll do!!

Happy 2019 to you!!!

Happy New YearHeartDream Chat – What new things do you love? What are your hopes for the coming year?!

Christmas Bliss

Christmastime’s a ‘favorite’ for most people I know. I love how special it is, thinking what makes it so . . .

Gentle snowfalls or raging blizzards, a white blanket all around; early shopping and hiding presents, trying to not make a sound

Skating on the frozen pond, sledding down steep hills; skiing on a mountain top, seeking wondrous thrillsshutterstock_91395926

Decorating the tree with shiny bulbs and twinkling lights; “oohing” and “aahing” at the sparkly sight

Baking yummy cookies shaped in stars, bells, and snowmen; after nibbling on a ‘few,’ later wondering where they all went

Wrapping presents with bright colors and bows; listening to Christmas songs and singing cheery carols

Sipping on steamy hot chocolate or spiced apple cider; watching a holiday movie, cozying up by a crackling fire

Glowing candles flickering tiny light; a festive holiday mood, bringing great delight

Giving gifts to those you love; ripping yours open and thanking the One above

Christmas Eve and Christmas morn, celebrating when Christ was born!

Thinking on these things is blissful, and God loves it when I do. Enjoy this wondrous holiday season, and Merry Christmas to all of you!

Philippians 4:8 – “. . . whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think on these things.”

HeartDream Chat – What do you love about Christmastime?

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Turkey, Love, and Thanks

Man Carving Turkey at Christmas Dinner

Thanksgiving . . . a season and day of thanks, turkey, and those you love!

So what are you thankful for? How about making a list?!

Here’s mine . . .

  • that God chose me to be born
  • my dad’s zest for life, my mom’s heart for serving
  • love from my family and friends . . . loving and giving and sharing with them and people He puts in my path
  • growing up in Minnesota . . . the cold snowy winters and fun summers at the lake
  • living in Colorado . . . hiking and skiing in gorgeous mountains
  • evergreens, aspens, and palm trees
  • the ocean and white sandy beaches
  • sunrises, sunsets, and gentle falling snow
  • puppies and monkeys
  • movies and songs that touch my heart
  • Swiss cheese omelettes, wedge salads, shrimp stir fry
  • comfy jeans, a fun sparkly top, black dress boots
  • a warm cozy home
  • my relationship with God and how much He loves me
  • peace and joy in surrendering to Him
  • His perfect plan for me

Psalm 106:1  says, “Praise the Lord. Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; His love endures forever.”

Happy Thanksgiving! I hope it’s a wonderful day.

Happy ThanksgivingHeartDream Chat – What’s on your list? I’d love to hear . . .