Friday, August 28, 2015

be a living testimony of His love and glory

Have you ever just started crying during worship at church? Like one of those totally-caught-up-in-the-music-and-how-awesome-Jesus-is moments? That happened to me last night and I can honestly say that's one of my favorite feelings ever. I feel at one with God when I'm dancing and singing his praises and I started crying such happy tears because I felt like Jesus was standing there holding my hand. (with one of those hand-squeezes that usually happen at the end of a prayer, ya know?)

I've been filled with so much anxiety about the new year and my new classes and new living space and everything so new. I wake up every morning filled with anxiety, my first thought being "WHY DID I HIT SNOOZE SIX TIMES?!" I worried through every part of my day yesterday; from running late to class, to hanging out with people I didn't know, to going to church by myself. Let me just tell you that God had a hand in everything that happened to me yesterday, telling me to find my trust in Him. I made it to class on time, I met some new friends, and God gave me a friend to sit with at church.

Y'all, honor God and He will show you so much glory! He wants you to go to class and sit next to that girl who ends up being your bestie, He wants you to go and worship Him (and will make a way for you to get there while having the best time), He wants you to go out there and be a living testimony. Pastor Blake Cotter at ONE last week said something that really hit home for me: "Your life is the only Bible some people will ever read." Doesn't that just give you chills (with a side of a little conviction)? Live in a way that people will say, "Are you always this happy? Why are you so pumped...? It's Monday morning..." Live in a way that people will want to know why you have so much love, joy, peace, and patience in your heart and just say "Jesus."

Get pumped for Jesus, y'all. Wake up everyday and remind yourself that this day is a gift from God and He's there in your walk to class (up that mega hill, who's with me on that Thach concourse?), He's there in that awkward conversation with that cute boy in class, He's there in that long line for Starbucks, and He's definitely there in those 8 AM's. God is there in the good days and the bad days and He loves you more than you will ever know. (10 billion+ times more than that boy who won't text you back or doesn't realize you're his future wife)

Love on someone this week, make a new friend, sit next to someone you've never talked to before, invite someone to church with you. Be in community, find an accountability partner, join a small group. Stop waiting for things to change and stand up and be the change you want to see. I love you all so much and I hope you have a rockin' year. Let God reveal Himself to you and really put your trust in Him. Live a life that makes people want to know Jesus.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

and if not, He is still good.

I have really been struggling with not getting what I want lately. I'm not talking about throwing a childish temper tantrum because I didn't get the orange marker that I wanted; I'm talking about getting my hopes up about things that I've wanted for my life for a long time and being extremely disappointed when they don't work out.

I had great plans for Summer 2015. I had a job planned out, I planned to meet some of my best friends, have amazing experiences, and grow as a person and in my walk with Christ. But that job didn't work out and I was extremely disappointed. Heck, I'm still disappointed. But each and every day, I'm trying to find the glory and promise from God in the rejections.

This is not as easy as saying, "God doesn't want me to do it, so I'm not gonna be disappointed anymore! Yay, I'm happy again!" Wow, do I wish life worked that way.

I was scrolling through the She Reads Truth shop online and admiring the beautiful products they have. I saw a t-shirt that was grey and had a black ampersand sign (& <-- this thing if you've never heard the proper name for it!) and I clicked on it because I figured there had to be some meaning to it. Oh man, was I right. The name of the shirt is "Daniel 3 Ampersand V-Neck Tee" and seeing as I'm not so great at remembering the contents of each book of the Bible, I read the description...

"And if not, He is still good. 
It’s become an anthem among the She Reads Truth community from the story in Daniel 3. Do you have something you are hoping God will show up and do? Do you trust that He is good and able to grant that desire? Do you trust that He is also good in the “And, if not…”?

Remember Daniel chapter 3, when Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego refused to fall down and worship King Nebuchadnzzar's image of gold? He threatened to throw them into a blazing furnace. 

"Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego replied to him, 'King Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter. If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to deliver us from it, and he will deliver us from Your Majesty’s hand. But even if he does not, we want you to know, Your Majesty, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.'" 
Daniel 3:16-18, NIV 
The Daniel 3 Ampersand Tee reminds us that our God is able to deliver us from all things. And if not, He is still good."

Dang, how compelling is that? I know that in the story, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego (I always called him Abindigo, #themoreyouknow), they are saying that their God will deliver them from harm and from death in the furnace, but I think this still applies to hurt, disappointment, and heartache.
A different way of looking at this statement is:
"And if it's not in God's plan, He is still good."

Just because it was in my plan, it doesn't mean it was in God's plan. God has plans for my summer and just because this one thing didn't work out, it doesn't mean that there isn't something else waiting for me. I tend to get angry and upset when things don't work out, but we have to remember that He is still good. He still loves us and we don't deserve it and when will we ever come to terms with that? I don't deserve to have "my plan" work out, I don't even deserve His grace.

Just some thoughts I've been processing lately, and I thought I'd share them with y'all. Hope y'all are pushing through spring semester if you're in school, and if you're in school or not, I hope you're having a great week. I've been holding onto some sort of illness for the last week and I can't get enough sleep these days but I'm persevering! I love y'all, I'm so thankful for you.
xoxo, Molly

Thursday, February 12, 2015

there's always more with God.

"The Lord will reveal to you Himself when it's time." Something I've been reminding myself over and over and over again lately.

I'm so quick to over-process and worry about what's to come when that's not my job. At church tonight, we had an awesome guest speaker come and give a sermon on "There's Always More With God." God's never done giving. He's never done making a way. Every time He provides, He provides more than enough. He provides so that all of our needs are met.

I sat down last night, thinking about my major and what's to come and I just kept hitting a wall. I actually wrote out a post with everything I was thinking, like it was a page in my journal but with no intention of posting it, and I just began to get more and more discouraged. Here's an excerpt:

"Most of my life has been so planned out and rational and really just well thought out.


I don't know what I want to do with my life.

That sentence above scares me.

I really want to help people.

And I really want to be joyful in all that I do.

But I don't know what major or career lines up with that.

I can't visualize myself doing anything."

Every time that I believe that I can do all of this on my own, I might as well be pushing God out and locking the door.

The sermon tonight was God speaking directly to me. I know sometimes He must think, "Molly, what are you DOING? Calm down, take a breath, and prepare yourself for what's to come."

I think I've got to have it all figured out but God just repeatedly comes back to me saying, "YOU CANNOT DO THIS ON YOUR OWN. YOU HAVE TRIED AND YOU HAVE FAILED. Anxiety is trusting that I will not provide for you and being anxious will not add another hour to the day."

I don't know what I'm doing right now but I feel the Lord revealing Himself to me more and more everyday.

My last few blog posts have been straight from the heart, and my goodness, how the Lord has used them to impact others. I've heard some stories recently and I just want to keep giving credit where credit is due to the awesome Creator that I serve. I might be typing exactly what someone else is dealing with but I wouldn't be typing the words and they wouldn't be reading them if it wasn't for God and His timing and plan for our lives. I might know when most people are checking social media and wait until then to post the link to my newest post, but God is orchestrating everything and how awesome is that? I don't want to take credit for any of that because lord knows I'm not that wonderful.

The Lord is revealing to me my love for writing more and more each day and I'm just letting Him take the wheel. ("Jesus take the wheeeellll..." lol sorry that's cheesy) I don't want to change majors until I'm sure of what I want to do and I think God's really changing my heart this semester and I seriously cannot wait for this journey.

We serve an awesome God. I think I probably said this in my last blog post but I'm gonna keep saying it as long as it's true. (so, forever. because God is good all the time and all the time God is good.)

xoxo, Molly

My prayer for each and every one of you reading this is that you start to pursue God this week. I'm not saying you need to go and declare yourself a believer because you aren't already; I'm saying to pursue Him. Have some quiet time, listen to some worship songs, and spend some time in the word. God has wicked awesome plans for you, I just know it! He wants you to surrender your doubts and fears to Him so that He can show you how He's going to provide. And even if you can't see that He's providing immediately, I think we could all use some time in the word this week, myself included.

[I keep wanting to end this with like "peace out, y'all" but I think that's extremely dorky. Then again, I just typed out my intentions to say "peace out, y'all" so nevermind.]

Monday, February 9, 2015

here, my hope is found.

At small group tonight, we talked about anxiety and stress and how, most of the time, our anxiety came from something that happened to us in the past. I'm all too aware of anxiety and what makes me anxious so this topic was something that really stuck out to me. While a lot of people encounter day-to-day anxiety, or small things that make them anxious, I'm almost always anxious. [committing to the sentence "I'm always anxious" fills me with anxiety but there are certain things that will always make me anxious.] I started talking to someone about it this semester and it's something that I want to work on this year. But ANYWAYS. We listed things that make us anxious and just shared some with the group and a couple that really get me are:
  • Feeling like I'm not good enough/worth people's time/or like I don't deserve good things
  • Feeling like I won't amount to anything/I won't accomplish anything
  • Feeling like I won't meet expectations from myself/from others
  • And just worry about the future, like God won't provide so I live in desperate need of control

Toxic thoughts, y'all. I mean seriously toxic. These are ridiculous things and I have no reason to believe these, except for how people have treated me in the past but in believing these lies from the world, I'm denying and ignoring the promises from the Lord for my life.

The Lord created us in His image exactly how he imagined. He knew us before we were even born and He knows how many hairs are on our head and how many days we have to come.

We read Matthew 6 and a few verses stood out to me:

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?" 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—you of little faith31 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 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.

God has provided with each day that has passed and will provide with every day to come. God's plan is infinitely better than any we could ever come up with or want for ourselves. He has a plan and purpose for our lives and how egotistical are we to get mad at the creator of our universe for not having "perfect timing" and blaming Him for "not providing?"

As I drove away from church, I plugged in my phone and turned on my "It is well" playlist on Spotify, a playlist full of worship music that just fills me with joy. The song "At the Cross (Love Ran Red)" by Chris Tomlin came on and I started singing along and started to see the lyrics that perfectly lined up with our topic of anxiety tonight. (Thanks for that little teaching moment, God.)

At the cross

At the cross
I surrender my life.
I'm in awe of You
I'm in awe of You
Where Your love ran red
and my sin washed white.
I owe all to You
I owe all to You Jesus.
There's a place where sin and shame are powerless.
Where my heart has peace with God and forgiveness.
Where all the love I've ever found.
Comes like a flood,
Comes flowing down.
Here my hope is found
Here on holy ground
Here I bow down
Here arms open wide
Here You save my life
Here I bow down
Here I bow down

I heard the lyrics "Here my hope is found, here on holy ground, here I bow down" and instantly thought, "That's exactly what I need to do. Find my hope in God in the circumstances I can't control and bow down to Him with my insecurities, doubts, worries, and obsessions, leaving them behind and chasing after Him."

His love ran red and my sin washed white so that I could be free from my anxiety and worry and instead be full of His love, mercy, grace, and compassion. How can I sit here and find my identity in what others think of me or think that I'm not worth people's time when I'm a daughter of Christ, made in His image? We serve an awesome God that has come so that we could have life and have it to the full (John 10:10). We should find our identity in Him and constantly point others back to Him.

Just wanted to share some truth with y'all because I know that this is a subject that affects everyone. You are beautiful and loved and He has awesome plans for your life. Stop blaming Him for not instantly providing and sit back, have faith, and praise God for being so dang awesome.

xoxo, Molly

I love you all so much and I'm thankful for people who read my jumbly thoughts. After sitting in small group tonight, I decided to challenge myself this year and start a year of thanksgiving. What does this mean? I'm going to (attempt to) Instagram something everyday that I'm thankful for. I think I've gotten caught up in what I don't have or how God hasn't given me what I've "really wanted" and I've lost sight of what I do have and how many things He has blessed me with.

#mollys365daysofgratitude starting on February 10, 2015. Let's go.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

little hike through georgia | FDR state park

I grabbed my new Canon baby and drove an hour away from my college town with a friend for a fun adventure on MLK day this past week and it was a really good afternoon. I had the sudden urge to do something outside since the weather was nice so it was a fun, little spontaneous trip.

how freakin' beautiful. always admiring God's creation.
{I said to my friend Corinne "that's such a cool picture, it looks like a star!" to which she kindly reminded me that the sun is a star...stay in school, kids.}

bright little sneaks ft. my untied shoe

i look gross but #neature

the aforementioned Canon baby aka the light of my life

i'm a mega-fan of panoramic pictures and tend to take them wherever I go... 
 the overlook was so cool

throw what ya know, theta style

we went to FDR state park and i snapped a few selfies with the prez himself (we're BFFs now)

What did y'all do for the long weekend? Did you have nice weather where you live? We were so thankful to have a few days of sunshine before the yucky winter continued.

xoxo, Molly

Friday, January 9, 2015

real beauty in the modern world

Y'all, this topic just came to my brain and I'm going to try and calm it down and put it into clear, fully developed thoughts so bear with me. This is going to be a sort of "stream of consciousness."

I was just looking in the mirror, admiring my shiny hair that I somehow forced myself to straighten today and trying to overlook the massive red spots on my face. I've been struggling with cystic acne for the last few months and even with makeup it's really hard to cover up. Days where I'm not doing anything I tend to just not do my hair or makeup and just sit in my room and do nothing. If I make plans with someone, I rush to do my makeup and improvise with my hair. I genuinely enjoy putting on makeup and taking cute selfies in rooms where I know the lighting is flattering but it's almost not an option anymore to go out without makeup on because my acne is so bad. If someone Snapchats me and I'm not wearing makeup, I either try to cover the spots with my hand or I don't respond. I'm sure I have so many friends that wonder why my Snapchats always feature my hand resting in front of my mouth and it's for that reason. I'm really insecure about my acne and I don't like it when people see me without any makeup on.

I really enjoy makeup and I think makeup is such a fun thing to accentuate your beauty but you cannot let it define your beauty.

I wouldn't say that I think I'm only beautiful with makeup on but I know that I really don't feel all that beautiful when I have really bad breakouts all over my face. And this is tough. I let the world around me make me feel so insecure about something so minor. Someone told me one time that "no one notices your blemishes even when that's all you can see." Can even you imagine that? I remember laughing and thinking, "Yeah, right. No one notices all of this? *motioning to my chin area* I call BS on this one."

I feel like this is such a controversial topic and a really fine line to walk along because society is generally one way or another. Makeup either makes you beautiful or makeup is completely unnecessary.

I'm not saying that makeup is a bad thing. Not at all. Please, come and see the amount of makeup I've collected or follow me around on a trip to Sephora. I love makeup and I really always have. Makeup is cool but when you can't do anything or go anywhere without putting makeup on, I think that's where the problem lies.

We have let society tell us that a flawless complexion is the only way to be beautiful.

I feel like when I walk into a store, they don't see my face, they see my uncovered acne. When guess what? ACNE IS COMPLETELY NORMAL AND ALMOST ALL HUMAN BEINGS HAVE SUFFERED FROM IT AT SOME POINT IN THEIR LIVES. (and if you haven't, go admire your perfect skin in the mirror while the rest of us complain.) When did we start ignoring that? I did not choose to put this zit in the middle of my forehead, people. And you best believe that I am trying to cover the zit in the middle of my forehead up as best I can. I did not attach it to my face and I am not spending time with it on the weekend because it's my best friend. Acne sucks, no one likes it, and sometimes it's not a matter of just washing your face regularly, it's a hormone thing.

Beauty is not your appearance, beauty is your personality and I think that's something we've all forgotten. Society tells us that in order to be beautiful we have to have the right clothes, perfect makeup, flawless hair and a bubbly personality. Well, guess what? Beauty is not found on the outside. Beauty is found in how you treat others. People who can be seen as "beautiful" on the outside aren't always beautiful on the inside. Beauty is found in your actions and how you love the world around you. Beauty is found in your kindness shown to others. Beauty is not defined by a number on a scale or what size clothes you wear but by your words and actions.

I think we've all gotten distracted along the way and we've let society and the media trick us into believing that you can only be beautiful if you look like the men and women who are shown in magazines or on TV and in movies. The world has so much possibility and if we all truly believed and bought into the idea of real beauty coming from within then I think we would see a drastic change in the media, in the beauty and fashion industries, in how we treat each other, and in so much more.

Just some food for thought. Hope y'all are having a great week and I hope you all know that you're beautiful in your own amazing and unique way.

xoxo, Molly

p.s. feel free to leave a comment with your thoughts on this subject! I'd love some feedback

Thursday, January 1, 2015

30 new year's resolutions you can keep in 2015

What's the problem with the resolutions we set? They're vague or highly unrealistic so they're impossible to keep. Here are 30 resolutions that you can substitute for the traditional ones that we all break every year {and if that's not you, give yourself a pat on the back and join the minority here!} and some that I'm going to throw in! 

1. Eat more fruits and vegetables.
{Substitute for eat healthy}

2. Go to the gym 2-3 times a week.
{If you don't work out at all, this should be an attainable goal to set}

3. Minimize caffeine intake.
{Insert your own realistic goal here, you soda/coffee-freak (i'm talking to myself here too)}

4. Set a budget for each month.
{Substitute for spend less money/spend money wisely}

5. Work on being happier.
{Kind of vague but happy people are fun to be around. This was my 2014 resolution and I can't tell you how many times I heard "Wow, you're so happy. How are you always so happy?" and Y'ALL, it's all in your mindset. I have bad days just like anyone else but it's how you choose to move on that show your true character. Fake it 'til ya make it, guys. (if I'm having a bad day, I like to avoid other people so I don't spread my bad vibes!)}

6. Get more sleep.
{Five hours of sleep every single night = an unpleasant and unhealthy person.}

7. Keep in contact with family and friends.
{This goes for those who are no longer at home, keep in contact with those who aren't around you because it feels so nice to have a long chat with someone you care deeply about and who deeply cares about you.}

8. Find your real friends and hang on to them.
{2014 was the year of this statement for me. College really tests your friendships and shows people's true colors. Find the friends who like you for you, not just your Instagram posts, and ones that will cheer you up on a bad day, help you get ready for special events/dates, and ones that you can talk for hours with and not ever get bored. You are an awesome person and you deserve awesome friends.}

9. Find new music to listen to.
{Further your collection, find someone or something new, and make really really good playlists. Oh and follow me on Spotify while you're at it?}

10. Get your eyebrows "on fleek."
{This saying was born in 2014 and I'm not letting it die just yet. Eyebrows frame your face and they really tie your whole face of makeup together when they look good. Tweeze them, wax them, fill them in, whatever you want to do.}

11. Get involved/give back.
{Join an organization, donate money/clothes/time. Helping others makes you happy and it doesn't cost a dime.}

12. Read at least one more book than you did last year.
{How easy is that? One book. If you can't read ONE book in an entire year, this resolution is not for you.}

13. Spend at least one more hour studying and one less watching Netflix.
{Again, one hour in your entire week. Set incentives. Your GPA won't get where you want it to be without studying. Trust me, I wish it would, too.}

14. Find your style.
{Find what you like and wear it. It's okay for your style to change because you aren't exactly the same person as you were in junior high, are you? Be brave and try something you wouldn't normally wear, too. Fashion is fun, don't take yourself too seriously.}

15. Start clearing out your Instant Queue on Netflix.
{I'm guilty of this too, y'all. My list is way too long and I haven't made time to watch half of it. Make this new year one where you try to finally clear it out. Words of wisdom: Don't start with Grey's Anatomy.} (if you're looking for something to watch, I suggest Gilmore Girls! :))

16. Travel.
{Go to a nearby city, another state, or a new country. You can learn so much from traveling.}

17. Take more pictures.
{Take pictures, print them out, and hang them somewhere you'll see them.}

18. Don't settle for less with boys.
{The boy who is meant to be with you will be with you and remarkably enough, it usually happens when you aren't looking for him. Set your standards high and if he doesn't meet them, he's not for you. It doesn't mean he's a bad person or not worth being friends with, he just isn't someone you should date. This resolution will save you some heartaches, awkward situations, and will make the long awaited "right guy" so much sweeter.}

19. Drink less.
{Lets all agree to remember our nights, drunks aren't fun to be around.

20. Go to more concerts/sporting events.
{Go with a friend or a group and make some good memories. You don't need good seats, just good company.}

21. Start a blog/YouTube channel.
{Have an idea? Start writing/filming. You don't have to have it all figured out, just start.}

22. Use social media less.
{You can look at a sunset without Instagramming it, you can think of something funny and not tweet it, you can hang out with friends without Snapchatting it. I'm guilty of all of the above, too.}

23. Put your phone away when spending time with people.
{It's actually pretty rude to ignore the people around you and stare at your phone screen all the time. I'm guilty of this one, too, okay? I'm not perfect, okay? Go on a date and leave your phone in the car. Ignore a text and give your date a kiss. Or don't, I'm just trying to help.}

24. Spend more time with your parents/family.
{Let them know you love them and spend some quality time with them. They love you, they raised you, they're the reason why you are where you are.}

25. Stop being so judgmental.
{People-watching is one thing, picking people apart without so much as one word between the two of you is another. Everyone has their own story and their own problems and their own walk through life and you never know where someone is in that walk. Someone they know could have just died, they could have cancer, they could be the CEO of a company, they could be absolutely brilliant. You don't know them, stop acting like you do. Give people a chance this year.}

26. Read a book of your Bible.
{Okay, this is a religious goal but it deserves its place on this list. I think it's tough to get through this one but a book of the Bible is doable. Pick one that has relevance in your life and read a devotional along with it so you can really get the most out of it. Read it with someone so you can compare thoughts. Read it with someone for accountability purposes.}

27. Set a goal; personally, academically, or at work.
{Set a goal that you can realistically obtain by the end of the year. Ex: If you're a student, set a realistic GPA goal. Don't set a goal that you can't reach because it will be a resolution you won't work for.}

28. Find someone to talk to.
{If you struggle with a mental illness or anxiety (or if you just want to talk to someone!), push yourself to go and talk to a professional or just an adult. This isn't something you can handle on your own and you really shouldn't bottle everything up. Find someone you can trust and talk to them regularly. Pushing yourself to go is the first step to getting help, coincidentally it's also the hardest.}

29. Take care of yourself.
{Take your makeup off at night. Eat a little better. Surround yourself with good people.}

30. Love yourself this year.
{Do things that make you happy and don't stop for people who get in the way of that. People who want you to be happy are worth your time and people who just want to get in the way aren't. Don't date guys who don't fit your standards. Guard your heart. Read more. Talk to your parents. Listen to good music. Listen to bad music. Do things that excite you. Do things that scare you. Go on adventures. Take a road trip. Be happy, make others happy, and spread your happiness.}

There are thirty resolutions in this list. You cannot tell me that you can't or won't keep one of these this year. Like come on, find music and read a single book are individually listed here. I've got faith in ya. Oh wait! I'll list another resolution that you can definitely take part in!

31. Read every post on doodleollymissmolly this year.

Y'all. I could probably count on both of my hands how many times I posted this year and that's going to change. (I probably shouldn't announce that it's going to change, that's usually when it doesn't work out.) Hopefully this little blog leaves you feeling a little happier, gives you a little laugh (my sense of humor isn't always laugh-provoking, I'll be the first to admit that), or inspires you a little. It's just whatever comes to my brain and I enjoy writing so it gives me a little outlet. I promise to throw in a joke every once in a while if you promise to half-smile or give me a pity laugh. Ooh, and maybe comment when you do it so I can get a visual? That would be great. Well, have a great 2015, y'all. I still haven't gotten over that. 2. 0. 1. 5. It looks weird. Have a great year, you deserve it.

xoxo, Molly