Soul Searching

There always comes a time (or times) in a person’s life where they have to REALLY sit down and do some good ole’ fashioned soul searching.

I am in that time.

What type of soul searching am I doing?

Friends

We all need friends. No matter if you are introverted, like myself, or extroverted. We all need TRUE friends. REAL friends. Not just people we talk to about the weather or what they did last weekend. But friends we can confide in. Friends we can be real with without fear of judgement. Friends who will hold us accountable. Friends who ain’t afraid to smack us on the head when needed. Friends who will tell us the truth, even if it’s hard. Friends who share our values, our faith, our passion.

When I sit and think of my biggest passion, I can say without a shadow of a doubt, my BIGGEST passion is:

CHRIST. Jesus Christ… and loving others unto Himself.

I love Jesus more than words can describe. He has done SO much for me. So much more than I deserve.

Jesus Christ is the string that binds every other thing I love together.

My husband. My children. Church. Reading. Decorating. Singing. Painting. Music. Cooking. Photography.

Everything I love and do, I love and do because of Him.

Because of Jesus.

My most recent thing I have been asking myself is:

Do the friends I keep reflect how thankful I am for Christ? Does the closest company I keep mock the reason I know I am alive? Do they mock Christians?

Do they mock Christ?

I have no issues being friends with those who do not know Christ. I desperately want them to come to the saving knowledge of His grace.

I read the Gospels and see that Jesus himself hung out with those others thought were “too bad” or “too messed up,” because He was love. He was Truth. He was Grace.

But I also read of times where Jesus let people walk away. He presented His life changing grace. The bread of life. Eternal life.

And they laughed in his face. They wanted nothing to do with it.

I am beginning to realize there’s a huge difference in having a friend who may not know Christ YET, than continuing a relationship with someone who mocks Christ.

There is a huge difference between friends and CLOSEST friends. Jesus hung with those far from Him, yes, but his closest group, his most intimate friendships were a group of disciples who desperately loved him and wanted to make his name known. Even among those 12, Jesus had a select few that he was closest with.

How can someone tell you that you can still be friends when they mock the biggest part of your life?

I don’t think they can.

The Bible tells us that we need to watch who we surround ourselves with. Bad company corrupts good morals, it says.
A pastor I love says it awesome:

“Show me your friends, and I’ll show you your future.”

The Bible talks of not being unequally yolked with people. Most think this is in a marriage relationship. While that is a huge truth, I believe it also applies to friendships. It can mean Christian and a hateful non Christian. I also think it can even apply to two believers.

I want all I do to bring glory to Christ, and that includes the company I keep.

What about you?

❤ XOXO
~Emily

Friendship Lessons

bad company“Do not be deceived: ‘Bad company ruins good morals.'” 1 Corinthians 15:33

God has REALLY been showing me the desperate and unwavering truth of this verse lately. I have been holding too tightly to friendships that were not healthy. I have had to let go of some, even long time ones.

It is remarkable what realizing the power of this verse can do for you. If you set your “bad company” free it can set YOU free. I have had to let go of some because some complained constantly, talked bad about their young children, talked bad about my Savior, twisting scripture or having false views of it, and just overall, brought me down. Some had their “treasures” in the wrong place. Some were so focused on material things, it just did not mesh with my belief that our treasure is in heaven, not here on Earth.

Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal,20 but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Matthew 6:19-21 (ESV)

That last verse is a key point for me, and God is helping me realize that… Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also… This means that a person will talk about, do, act like, want, etc etc what it really in their hearts, and what is in their hearts is what they most treasure. Some may not admit to it, but it is true. The Bible has many verses on this.

“The good person out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure produces evil, for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.” Luke 6:45

We need to watch who our closest friends are. We need to make sure our hearts are aligned to the same thing. If they are not, it can cause trouble, and cause us to begin to waiver and compromise.

The people you hang out with the most are important. You will end up behaving as they do, for the most part, taking their habits. I found myself complaining a lot, not enjoying my children, getting easily angered and frustrated too often, and worse: questioning what I KNOW to be biblical Truth…

I heard God speak to my soul. I knew what I had to do and I FINALLY obeyed. The peace and joy I feel are remarkable. The way I am enjoying motherhood, my children, my husband, and my Savior are GLORIOUS.

We must surround ourselves with positive influences… because all too often the negative behavior rubs off on us, not the other way around.

change the people

Friends

I love my friends. I am truly blessed. True friendship takes time to grow, but when and as it does, it is one of the most beautiful blessings ever. Like a flower. It takes nurturing, nourishment, time, patience, willingness, give and take, etc… but it can blossom into something truly beautiful. I know my post is a bit cheesy, but I was overwhelmed by love today. You see. Today is my birthday 🙂 I am an old fart now… I am GASP…. 31!!!! hahaha can I just keep turning 30? just kidding. I am not afraid to age. BRING ON THE WRINKLES AND SAGGY SKIN!!! Little old ladies, esp ones still with their hubbies, or seeing them with their BFF’s… are SOOOOOO cute!!! 😀

I woke up this morning to loving family members giving me hugs over and over and covering me with kisses and smooches and loving words. My mom visited last week and spoiled me and loved on me. My mom in law got me the RED MIXER I have been wanting! I have been blessed. BUT, I also got online to see that even by 8:00 am I already have MANY friends giving me those birthday wishes as well. I have so many who have already loved on me, encouraged me, cared for me, showed that friendship, that I am honestly overwhelmed! If I tried to thank all of you individually, I know I leave someone out. SO. THANK YOU guys. Thank you all. I know many of you I am sure my brain forgot to wish YOU happy birthday, but you wished me one anyway. I love you guys and love all my friends so much. You are all very special to me. Each in unique ways. You each add something special to my life and I thank the Lord for you.

“I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers.” Ephesians 1:16

Another cool things about friends is true friends, it doesnt’ matter how FAR apart you are! I have friends here,  other states, other countries! It is SO awesome. However, I feel just as close to those friends whom I can only stay in touch with via internet or email or text messages or phone calls (which I am awful at calling and it makes me anxious for some reason haha) as those friends I may see on a weekly basis! I think God is cool like that. The bond of friendship doesn’t care how many miles are between you. If friends are willing to put in the time it takes to stay in touch, I know from experience, that the friendship will continue to grow and thrive regardless.

SO! this is a shout out to my friends… and to the Lord God for allowing us to have the bond of friendship with people. What would life be life wihtout friends!? So so sad. Jesus had his disciples and other friends and family. I picture Jesus laughing and talking and sharing with HIS friends, just like we do with ours. I know friendship is one of the many blessings from out heavnely Father. AND we have a BEST friend in Jesus! Amen to that! 🙂 And you know what? We can’t see Jesus physically, but through reading his Word (how he talks to us) and talking to him (prayer) that friendship can THRIVE, just like with friends here on earth. Cool huh? 🙂

In fact… Jesus was a friend of sinners….

“The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, ‘Look at him! A glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!” Matthew11:19

He doesn’t care if we are perfect. We CAN’T be. He loves us despite our flaws. Now, he does want us to grow and mature and change and repent from those things harmful to us and our relationship.. but think about it… a TRUE friend here on earth does the same. I am SO blessed that I have SO many who love me despite my imperfections and who HELP me overcome them and grow and change… and trust me. I have alot.  LOL. I am a OCD, crazy, worry aholoic, overly sensitive, big ball o mess at times…so THANK you all for loving me still! And Thank you JESUS for loving me.

And by the way… big ball o’ mess list could go on and on. TRUUUUUST. ME. LOL. I am not always the most easy to get along with person at times… especially once every, ohhh about 28 days or so. HA! I must apologize to my BEST friend here on earth, my husband, for that one, and probably my family as well. SORRY! 😀 I still LOVE you all! you ROCK! This is me at times… BAHAHAHAHA! Hey. I should get brownie points for making fun of myself 😉

“Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up! Again, if two lie together, they keep warm, but how can one keep warm alone? And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him—a threefold cord is not quickly broken.” Ecclesiastes4:9-12