Christian Artists.

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ImageWe have all been here. SItting in the crowd anticipating our favorite artist coming out on the stage, and as he/she does we act way younger than our age. Come on, admit it! Well, the other night I was listening to a few songs by a few of my favorite christian artists and got a little curious. Then I started looking up the reason behind the song. Why did they write and sing what they did? Was it just a word from God? Or an experience in their own life? Or maybe someone else’s? I just wanted to know the story behind their beautiful songs.

ImageThe first song I looked up was Plumb on her song “One Drop”. When I looked up her testimony for that song she talked about how her songs are normally on the darker side, and speak more of what most people don’t. She had said something about her song “Need You Now” ,which I absolutely LOVE, so my nosey self wanted to know what that song was about. I then switched over to that testimony of that song. Wow was I surprised, but in such an amazing way. When she first started writing that song it was about her stomach problem she has had. She has dealt with anxiety since she was little and one day at school she was just laying on the bathroom stall telling God that she needed Him now. Then she went through a painful divorce that she never imagined going through. Through this time she found herself calling out to God saying the same thing. God I need you now.

For Plumb to come forward, to say what the song truly means to her is such a blessing. The world view on Christians tends to be that we have to be “perfect”. While that is so not true, we (as christians) tend to live up to that standard so that we don’t let the world down. I can’t imagine being a musician, or artists where the whole world is looking at you and your life. It is hard enough being just an everyday person, I can’t fathom how hard it must be for these artists who we like to put on pedestals. Plumb came forward and shared about her heartache, shared about her divorce and how hard it was for her, and the struggle she went through. She was making herself vulnerable, telling the world that she isn’t perfect. She has some of the same struggles as you and I do. She is human just as you and I are, so why is it that we tend to put them higher than others?

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Another one I looked up was Natalie Grant. She has been one of my all time favorites since I saw her at The Revolve Tour twice when I was in middle school/high school. At the time I was dealing with eating disorders and self-harm and just with life. (It is hard to be a teenage girl now a days.) She shared her story of her song and book “The Real Me”. When she began sharing of her struggle with bulimia I was pretty much shocked. This whole sharing your story as a christian thing was still pretty new to me, so for a famous artist as herself, up there sharing her heart and story took me by surprise. As she went further into her story I found myself relating time and time again. I broke down. I curled up in a ball on the ground and just cried. I started talking to God, but then realized I wasn’t sure what I was suppose to say so I just said His name for a while. She was on that stage being vulnerable, sharing her testimony. I know for me I have struggled with sharing my testimony the last two years thinking “well what if they think bad of me’, or ‘what if they can’t trust me as a christian because of my past’. Let me just tell you, I am SO glad that Natalie Grant did not hold back. She has influenced me the last 6-7 years through my eating disorder, through getting better. I am able to look at her, she was a christian when she started being bulimic, was an artist and singing for the public. To know that she can overcome it, and be herself and still be on that stage, I know I can.

Her newest song ‘Hurricane’ also has a story. I love that song and have since it came out. It has helped me through a log and I know that it will continue to help me. She wrote the song out of her suffering from PPD (postpartum depression). After she had her youngest she struggle with depression, why and how, and what it was exactly. She was so open with her story, hoping that it could help someone else going through it. She explained that she didn’t know anybody with it and that was the hardest part, was that no one understood it. She had said that when she felt at her lowest she knew that God was still there reaching out his hand. She could be in the biggest storm yet God would always be there reaching for you. How beautiful is that? How amazing to know that no matter what we do or what we are going through that God is constantly holding out His hand for us to grab hold and Him pull us out.

I am hoping that one day, we as christians are so scared of what the world thinks. That instead of worrying how others will react, that we tell our story because it COULD help someone. You could be someone else’s blessing. God could be working through you, but if we are all too scared, then that other person won’t get to hear. Even if you help one person out of everyone in the whole world, wouldn’t that be worth it? To me it is, and this is why I am beginning to tell my story. It is still a work in progress, and there are still parts that I am not open to one day, but God is taking it step by step.

Do you feel like you don’t have a story? I promise you you do. Whether you have dealt with suicide, or the fact that you haven’t done anything and how you feel bad for it? You have a story. I promise! Pray about it, ask God what you could be sharing to others. What does He have for others from you? I will be praying for you all. Praying that you get the courage to tell your story, to share what God has done to you, and how you have overcome everything.

If you have any questions or comments, please comment below or email me at arielpaige5893@yahoo.com I am here to listen, or just to talk if you need it!

God Bless,
Ariel(:

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Transparency.

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It has been almost 7 years since I first started my first dance steps with the devil on self-image. I had recently gone through a tragedy in my life, losing a friend to a car wreck, and I was broken. My life around me was falling apart. I couldn’t get along with my parents; they didn’t get along with one another. I had recently quit being friends with my best friend and I really had no one. Actually, I thought I had no one. The Lord was with me the whole way through it all. Every single step of the way. 

The last 6-7 years have been hard. There have been a ton of trials and a million and one roller coasters going up and down in my life. When my life seemed to be spinning out of control, no matter what was going on, I turned to my lack of self-image and tried to get approval through losing weight, and also self-harming. It was an extremely dark time of my life. I have hit rock bottom a couple of times. 

2 years ago I went to church camp after hitting rock bottom and trying to work myself back up. It was a huge realization time for myself. The whole week of camp was about how to love yourself. Can you say a huge 2×4 right in the middle of my forehead. It could not have been any clearer. The biggest concept that stood out to me at the time was…

“If you had made a ceramic pot. You worked for weeks and weeks on this pot to make it perfect. When it is all done, you take it to your best friend to see what he/she thinks and she starts nit picking your masterpiece. He/She finds flaw after flaw after flaw with your creation. How do you feel? Obviously, you will be extremely upset and will most likely want to throw the pot in her face. (Just kidding) But honestly, you will not be happy. You were so excited to show her this work of art that you worked so carefully on to make it just perfect, and here he/she is tearing it apart like it’s scrap. God has created you and I. He has worked to make each of us perfect in His eyes. He has made us us for a reason. If you stand there and think/talk about all of the “flaws” you have, how do you think God feels? He has worked hard on this “master piece” and here you are tearing it apart just like your friend tore apart your pot.” 

 

At this point I was just like “I am done. God you have been reading my diary and I don’t appreciate it.” The more I thought about it though the more it made sense. A lot of events had worked it’s way up to me being back in the youth group and having the chance to be at church camp that summer. I was about to go off to college not knowing anyone and if it wasn’t for that church camp and trying to turn my life around I would not have stayed on the right track in college. It’s amazing to know that even though we go through hard times, God is still there, directing our lives trying to better ourselves. He didn’t give up on me. He kept trying to get me to come back to His loving arms. I was a lot of work, let me tell ya!

For those of you out there who have reached the end of your rope. Who have been dealt a tough hand at life, and just want to give up. For those who feel like there isn’t much more you could do, and who really cares anyway. For those of you who have given up hope, and just want to curl up in a ball and stay there… You aren’t hopeless. You have so much going for you. You have a God who loves you and just wants you to run into His arms and say “I Love You”. You are loved. You are cherished, and cared for by a God who has created you as you for a reason. 

Start to think of your darkest day, the hardest trial you have gone through, the steepest mountain. How did you feel? Did you feel alone? Did you realize the Lord was there? Now try to picture Him standing beside you. Now before you brush this off, He isn’t ignoring your hurt. He knows you are hurt, He knows how you feel, but did you reach out to Him. He was standing there the whole time holding out His hand waiting for you to reach for Him. He is waiting for you to take that step of faith towards Him. It is easy, just reach for Him. Whisper His name. He hears you, I promise! 

1 Peter 5:10-12. And it says ‘the God of all grace after you have suffered a while will strengthen, perfect, establish, and settle you.’

The Lord isn’t done with you. He has wonderful plans for you. You might be going through a hard time, but look at the above verse. The dark times are to make you stronger, He is preparing you for battle. Imagine, if I was to never go through what I have gone through, I would not be able to share this testimony with you today. I am now able to use my story to share hope through eating disorders, and self-harm. I am able to share my story to show girls that it isn’t the end of the world and we have a Lord that loves us even through the times where we can’t love ourself. 

Remember, you are loved. Don’t forget that. 

If you have any questions, (I am completely open to anything) please ask. Email me at arielpaige5893@yahoo.com or comment below. I would love to hear your story, whether it is about this topic or not. How is God moving in your life? Have you had some of the same struggles as me? Please share, I would absolutely LOVE to hear from you!

God Bless,
Ariel 

Take a breath. Stop for a second. Smell the roses.

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I am sure you have heard the saying “stop to smell the roses” or something similar to the meaning of taking a moment and enjoying it. I heard this a lot as child, but I also heard “Hurry up.”, “You are taking too long.”, “We are going to be late.”, “You can do that in the car.” I have always had a fast pace life. Even as a child, my mom HATED to be late. She almost refused to be late. With that, we always were in a hurry to get out the door so that did not happen. My mom kept me busy as a child. She was a single mom raising a little girl and a special needs little boy. (BTW she did a fantastic job I think(: )

She had me in dance, twirling, flute lessons, and piano lessons. It was everything that was offered in my little hometown. In middle school I got involved with the band and twirling. In High School I continued with the both which kept me extremely busy along with being in all AP classes. At this point in my life, I started to realize how much I was really like my mom. I constantly was in a hurry and never slowed down. It had gotten to the point that my brain couldn’t slow down and I had insomnia. That is not healthy.

Now that I am in college I still don’t know how to slow down. I am constantly doing something if it isn’t going to class, and studying, I am doing something with Chi Alpha, or going to church, or helping with Glory Gang, or babysitting, or giving dance or twirling lessons. It is ALWAYS something. I don’t have time to hardly sleep much less “Smell the Roses”. Who has time for that these days. I constantly have a planner with me with hour to hour schedule. (I know it is a bit ridiculous.)

Just a few minutes ago I was planning out my day for tomorrow. I have a lot to do tomorrow morning before leaving to take my Math Test in the city. (It’s my final. Prayers are greatly appreciated!) I am starting to make a sign language music video in the morning and wanted to involve my whole getting ready process including doing my hair and make up mostly. As I was writing down my schedule which consisted of 1) waking up. 2) Devotional. 3) Shower. 4) hair and make up video. 5) study. 6) leave for test. 7) come back home. 8) Take reading test. 9) ride quads. 10) work on sign language music video. I took a step back to look at it and realized how pathetic this truly was. I have to plan time to take a shower. CRAZY.

At this point I just put it all away and sat here thinking about life. As a child I wanted to grow up. I wanted to be an adult out on my own making my own decisions. Now that I am halfway there I want to go back to my childhood when I was carefree and didn’t have bills, decisions, or to deal with responsibilities. Why is that we want to grow up so quickly?!?

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I was saying earlier how my mom was always trying to hurry me up for me to catch up to her pace. Why are we doing this? Why are we trying to hurry our kids? Granted, I am not a parent yet, but I do work with kids a lot in the nursery and everything else I do. I catch myself saying it a lot. Especially when I am babysitting and I have somewhere to be and they are taking their sweet sweet time. Every time we say “Hurry Up” or imply it in a way, that is just putting into their head that it is okay for them to hurry up in life. For them to grow up quicker than they should. Let’s let our kids be kids. Let’s let them take time to smell the roses. We could learn a thing or two from the faith of a child. Their innocence is so pure. What is wrong with putting your schedule on the back burner and taking life as it is. In the bible it says to not worry about tomorrow in Matthew 6:34. Yet we constantly worry about what’s for dinner, what do I have to do, where do I need to be and when? Take a breath. Stop for a second. Smell the roses. Enjoy the life the Lord has given you. Don’t waste it away!

If you have any questions or just want to talk email me at arielpaige5893@yahoo.com or comment below. Would love to hear your stories and what God is laying on your heart.

God Bless, and Much Love,
Ariel

On the way home today I took a

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On the way home today I took a different route so I could visit an old friend, Sara Click. I took 21 the whole way home so I could stop at her grave site and visit for a few minutes. While I was there I prayed, talked to her, and just thought about life. I typed the following part on my phone and thought I would share it. 

“Life is precious life is sweet, like the earth beneath my feet.” This song is sung by Wes King. It just started going through my head as I sat on the bench by her grave. I was staring at her grave stone, which has a beautifully engraved picture of her on it. She was 16 when the tragic car wreck happened and she didn’t make it. To think that I have made it four years longer than my sweet, dear friend Sara. Life is just too short. It was 6 years ago. 6 LONG years ago. There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t think about her, her smile, and laugh, the way she was kind to everyone, and treated everyone as though they mattered when they truly didn’t to anyone else. She was a great role-model and her smile was always contagious. It doesn’t get easier, I have learned, but it does become bare-able. Somedays are harder than others, but I make it through each and every day. We don’t know when our time to go is, we don’t know how much longer we have? My question for you is, “What are you doing with your life?” Are you making the most of it? Are you showing others the true love of Christ? Are you reaching out to those that aren’t lovable? You know those are the ones that Jesus spent the most time with while he was on earth as human as you and I? Again, what are you doing with your life? Maybe you aren’t loving those around you? Maybe you aren’t reflecting Christ? Maybe you haven’t even accepted Him as your Lord and Savior? It isn’t too late right now! Make a change, turn that attitude around, start loving those that are around you! Tomorrow might be too late, so don’t wait. Jesus died on the cross for you and I, the least we can do is to show others His love. THey deserve it just as much as we do. They might not have tomorrow either, so why wait to show His love? Show it today, in a smile, a nice greeting, or a random act of kindness. Don’t hold it in, let it shine bright. 

Hope you have a fantastic day! 

If you have any questions or comments please email me at arielpaige5893@yahoo.com

God Bless,
Ariel

 

Persistence, not perfection

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A little background about myself.

I have always been the one to need approval from all. Was never an “attention hog” I just wanted to make sure that I was liked, and that no one had a problem with me. This here was a problem. I was constantly striving to be a complete people pleaser and it tore me down. Instead of looking to my heavenly father for advice, or guidance, I was looking to others to see what they would do so that they would like me for my choices. Conflict drove me crazy, so I would be miserable just so people wouldn’t have this conflict. It was a really bad situation for myself.

My devotion this morning was about just this!

We are suppose to let God’s love run through us, to permeate us. We are suppose to trust in God, and His ways, since they are far above our own. How are we to be walking with Him when we are constantly seeking approval of those on earth? The last line of the devotional was, I look for persistence–rather than perfection–in your walk with me.”

How beautiful is that? How amazing to know that God knows that we are NOT perfect and He still wants to walk with us? He just wants to know that you are continual in your wanting of Him, not to be perfect, because we obviously aren’t. Such a reassurance this morning! It was much needed!(:

God Bless,

Ariel

These are the devotional books I am currently doing right now. The quote came from the one on the right. Image