Breathe {Blog/Devotion Series} + Haley & the Hound giveaway

Monday, May 16, 2016

Lately I have been super stressed. With everything going on in life and trying to be a Christian teen in a world full of sin is not easy. I know I'm not the only one who struggles with this. In a study in 2014, 30% of teens were depressed/sad because of stress and 31% were overwhelmed because of stress. 36% said stress makes them tired and another 23% said they stopped eating because of stress.

Stress is high among us teens, Christian or not. So I decided to come up with a devotion/blog series called Breathe. Every Tuesday and every other Thursday, I'm going to provide a devotion that helps me and can possibly help you. Today I'm going to kick off the series with giveaway from Haley & the Hound. A memo pad to take notes and jot down thoughts and a koozie to kick off summer.

Breathe Devotional Series: Vol. 1: The Pretty, Perfect Girl

Proverbs 23:17:
Let know your heart envy sinners,
but continue in the fear of the Lord all day

Proverbs 31:30:
Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain.
but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.

Veronica, also known as the pretty, perfect girl. Veronica was a cheerleader. She was charming and beautiful,wooing anyone in her path. She was rich, popular, tall and skinny. She had everything but God. Veronica also had daddy issues. Her dad was cheating on her mom, which mean her parents fought all the time. She had an eating disorder. She always felt unworthy and empty, turning to guys and alcohol to fix her problems. Even after the countless number of guys, now matter how skinny she was, no matter how much she drank, no matter how much money & clothes she had, she was still empty and unsatisfied.

Then there is Amanda. Amanda is you average girl. She wasn't promiscuous or charming. She was a good girl. She went to church every Sunday and was an active member in youth ministry. She worshiped God, went to Young Life, etc. She was a happy, peaceful Christian.  But she envied Veronica. She envied her because she saw the outside and how "perfect" she was. She envied how Veronica didn't have a care in the world and how she could charm and have any boy she wanted. Little did she know what happened behind closed doors. She didn't realize that Veronica was human too. She cried herself to sleep, she struggled with body image and worth. So on. She was sometimes so caught up in being jealous of Veronica, she started questioning God. Slowly she was becoming ungrateful, angry, focusing her mind on the wrong things.

There's so many lessons that can be learned from this scenario, but I want to focus on two.
1. Envy
2. Faking

If you read the first two scriptures above, it'll lead right into or first lesson/issue.

Envy //noun// a feeling of discontentment or resentful longing aroused by someone else's possessions, qualities, or luck.

Amanda envied Veronica for all the wrong reasons. We have all been there at some point. The bible says in Proverbs to not envy sinners, for many reasons of course {Psalm 37:1-3}, but also envy or jealousy is a sin. It leads to discontentment, anger, and questioning/untrust of God. It can lead to desiring things that's not of God. But even if we are not envying sinners but Christians. We are supposed to be happy for our fellow brothers and sisters, not envy their accomplishments or blessings. What's meant for someone else might not be God's plan for you. We are to rejoice. If we envy and get angry, how can God bless us. We have this blockage up and bitterness due to someone else, how can God come in? Will you be satisfied with what he gives you, or will you long for more?

A mask. As girls, or teens in general, we tend to put on a mask and say everything is okay. When in reality, everything is not. Veronica had everything in life. She was seen as perfect. But Veronica had deeper things within her. She was dealing with so much. She kept it in and went around like everything was OK. She turned to worldly things to comfort her, but it never did. It lead her to always wanting more and empty. But here's the thing if we just take off our mask of pretending everything is okay and go to God, everything would be so refreshing. My pastor's wife said something back in April that sticks in my head, "He can never wash you clean if you keep denying that you are dirty." When I heard this, I was mind blown. I still struggle with this sometimes. We sometimes try everything but God. We try running to everything but God. My mom has this saying when people ask her why she's christian. She says, 'I tried my way. It didn't work. Tried their way, didn't work. So I finally tried Yahweh, and that's where I've been ever since.' God is our comforter, he is available whenever we need him. He is there to wash us of sin, comfort us, be a refugee, etc. But he can't do it unless we want it. So instead of holding things in and being an Veronica, we need to fall on our knees and surrender to God. Pray. Find someone to fight with you. God will heal and comfort you of all problems, but WE have to take the mask off, we want to have to put away the pain and struggling. The stress. We have to want it. We want to have to want finally breathe peacefully and happily without burdens on our shoulders. Go read Seeking Christ for more.

The jist I was going with Veronica & Amanda is that envy can hold us back from blessings and getting closer to God. Be grateful with what God has provided you with.And everyone isn't what they seem they are, if anyone seems perfect, there is some darkness in it. Surrender to God and serve him wholeheartedly. He is your refugee and comforter. God's plan wasn't for us to suffer and be stressed or live in the darkness. We are free and peaceful in him.

Today God, I come to you and ask that you renew my heart and mind. I ask that you allow your spirit to come in and dwell in me. God I ask that your forgive me of all sins and selfishness. I ask you wash me anew God. Lord I ask that you allow me to walk in peace and blessing and have full of praise and thanksgiving. I ask that you allow me to humble myself in you and be a cheerful giver and help someone today Lord. I ask that you be my comforter today as well and allow me to love myself and others. God I thank you for this day and all the things you blessed me with and things you have coming my way God. In Jesus name. Amen.

Your turn:
  • When you find yourself envying sinners, what do you envy? What does the envy reveal about your revere.
  •  What are some things that hold from surrendering to God?
  • When/Why do you find it hard to open up about your problems?
  • Are you Amanda or Veronica? What can you do to fix that? If you're an Amanda read, Psalm 37:1-3. Veronica, read: Proverbs 13:7 & Hebrews 11:6. 
Complete instructions below for your chance to win a Haley & the Hound memo pad, sticker and koozie. Good Luck!

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Tools I use:
Journal, Coral with Gold Labs – Haley And The Hound

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  1. Wow this was what I needed today! I remember when I envied a girl in my youth group only to find out she was a lot like Veronica.


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