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Ellie's Tips to Conquer Envy

Anastasis Faith
I remember going to a camp where literally every girl was stunningly gorgeous. Not only were they beautiful, but they had done their makeup and hair just right, brought their cutest clothes and shoes, and they all had great personalities. Every year this was the week where I was very envious of the girls around me. I felt like I wasn't cute enough, didn't have the right shoes, and in comparison, I felt like I had a bad hair day--everyday.
Envy is a struggle for many--if not most--of us. It's hard to catch, sometimes, because it can be so subtle. Even if it is just a longing glance at a model's great lashes on a magazine cover or just a twinge when your friend beats you on a test, envy is dangerous and we must learn to guard against it.
Today we are so blessed to have another 30 Days of Surrender author, Ellie Youngblood, with us today! One of her articles is Surrender Envy. Today we're going to dive into the topic of envy--one that is very relevant and applicable for us as girls.
Surrender Your Envy
What did you learn while writing for 30 Days of Surrender?

I learned to not be afraid of writing about my personal struggles. I realized there were other girls that desperately needed to hear the truth. It hit me that my fears could keep others from being free. Ultimately, I learned how seriously many people are chained with struggles and how the Holy Spirit can set them free.

You wrote about surrendering envy. What made you pick that topic?

I choose this topic because of a past struggle. I am so grateful to God that He opened my eyes to see how selfish and jealous I had been of a friendship. I was so close to my friend, and then a new girl entered the circle.  I did not want to lose my close bond. Next thing I knew, I was reacting sinfully. Thankfully, the Lord opened my eyes, and I slowly began to surrender the envy I held.

In Surrender Envy, you talked about dealing what seemed like a friend's betrayal. What advice do you have for girls in similar situations?

Yes, I had wanted to be deep and connect the story with what truly seemed like a friend's betrayal. It is maybe one of the deepest wounds I have felt. I wrote in my devotional that, What can feel like desertion and abandonment from a friend can pierce the soul like arrows.” An arrow in a body must be pulled out. Skin must be stitched and then the body must heal. Surrendering yourself—your emotions, thoughts, everything concerning the friend—to Him is the exact same process. In time, He will mend your heart. Love as He loves no matter what.

Aside from the examples in the devotional, what are some other ways that either you personally have struggled with envy or seen others struggle?

Comparison is another area I have struggled with envy. When I see other girls that are achieving more than I am, I have felt the temptation to despise them for their achievements. But I must stop and remember the verse in Psalm 139 that says I am “fearfully and wonderfully made”. Each person is uniquely created by Him! We each have a gift given to us, to glorify Him. He deserves all the glory.

What daily habits would you recommend for avoiding a lifestyle of being controlled by envy?

I would encourage constantly reading the Bible, filling your mind with its truth, and memorizing it. When our eyes are fixed on truth—on Christ—it will be that much harder to be distracted by the flesh. Direct your focus to the Maker when you feel the sting of envy. The root of envy is discontentment in your soul. Your ultimate satisfaction needs to be firmly in Him. He alone can fully satisfy. Delight yourself in Him as Psalms says.

If you could break down overcoming envy into three steps, what would they be?

1. Surrender.

Surrendering involves being truthful about everything to Jesus.  Though He knows everything, the simple action is life changing. Admitting you are wrong is a huge part of the freeing process. Verbally say you want to change. Surrender.

2. Find your satisfaction in Him alone.

Only He can fulfill your every desires and dreams. No human is perfect, and as a result, your joy needs to come from Him, who is Perfect. Read about His character and memorize His Truth.

3. Pray.

No matter what. This is another one of those simple actions that can be absolutely life-changing. Pray for the relationship. Pray, pray, pray. Pray daily, no matter what emotion rises within you.

Ellie Youngblood is a Texas girl who loves the Lord, her Savior. When she is not pursing her degree in chemistry, her adventures lead her to faraway lands in fictional books, jamming out with music, or living out her dream as an archer. She also has a deep passion for writing, whether it be devotionals filled with God’s truth or creative writing. She currently resides in east Texas. Find out more at her blog, Broken and Beloved.
If you liked this interview with Ellie, you will love our new ebook, 30 Days of Surrender. You can purchase it here.

Can you think of a time recently when you struggled with envy? Any tips for those who struggle? Share in the comments!

When Your Rights Are Violated

Anastasis Faith

This past summer, my family’s house was up for sale. It was a big house and took hours to clean. I remember having my days lined out: I would wake up at 5, work on 30 Days of Surrender, go for a run, get ready for the day, and then go to work. But then we would get a text saying that we were showing the house the next morning. All plans were cancelled and everyone dropped everything to frantically clean the house.
 Needless to say, these were definitely times where God taught me about surrendering my perceived “rights” to my time. Schylie La Belle was a wonderful edition to the team of Surrender authors and her devotional was Surrender Your Rights. Today she is here to talk about surrendering your rights. She goes more in depth in our new ebook 30 Days of Surrender that is now available for purchase!
When Your Rights are ViolatedWhat did you learn while writing for 30 Days of Surrender?
Writing a devotional in 30 Days of Surrender took a lot of work. I learned a few things as I wrote. I learned to persevere in spite of roadblocks and frustrations. Writing wasn’t the hardest part; editing was. Rarely do you right something and publish the first draft. It took perseverance to keep reading, writing, and editing my devotional.
I also learned to work diligently. I had to submit my first draft by a certain deadline. The revised editions also had to be sent in on certain days. This helped me to work methodically and make sure I wasn’t late. Procrastination is so easy to fall into and I certainly did not want to put my obligations off until it was too late to complete them accordingly.
You wrote about surrendering rights. What made you pick that topic?
Surrendering personal rights really hit home for me. The examples in my devotional describe how difficult this is for me. Perhaps it is because I am a naturally quiet and reserved that I sometimes get overlooked and brushed aside. It is at times like this that I feel ready to stamp my feet and demand to be noticed and heard.
When Your Rights Are ViolatedThis is why I chose to write about this topic. It is hard for me to surrender my perceived rights to my time, possessions, and other things, and use these things for the Lord instead of for my own desires and promotion.
In Surrender Your Rights, you talk about how it can be frustrated when someone takes up your time. What advice to have for girls who struggle with surrendering their rights to their time?
Remember that God gave you everything: your family, your talents, your possessions, and even your time. Ask the Lord to show you how He wants you to use your time. There is a heart change needed in order to truly give up your rights for your time. It’s not until we see that the Lord is God of our time, and our hearts truly and completely desire to please Him, that we can surrender our time and seek the Lord in how we use it.
What daily habits would you recommend to help us crucify our need to fight for our “rights?”
In order to see everything through the eyes of God, we need to learn what He loves, what He hates, and what He requires of us. The best way to do this is to immerse ourselves in His Word. Read the Bible daily and thoughtfully. Pray through the passages. Mediate on the verses.
Another important habit is to commune with the Lord in prayer. God speaks to us through His Word, but we also need to communicate back to the Lord through prayer. Talk to Him; tell Him of your failures, your successes, your hopes, your trials, and your sorrows. As we draw near to the Lord, we will become more like His Son, Jesus Christ. In this way, the Lord will help us to turn from serving ourselves and claiming our “rights,” to seeking Him and His will and serving others.

Practically, how do we as Christian girls fight our flesh and, for the sake of the Gospel, surrender our rights?
Even after we are saved, we still have sinful hearts which want to serve and please ourselves. To fight against the flesh, we have to go against the grain of our evil hearts. Practically, this can look like a few different things. When you are doing something and are asked by a family member to help with something else, choose to promptly assist them instead of demand your “right” to your time.
Think of ways to use your time to bless others. Babysitting for a single mom at church, raking leaves for an elderly neighbor, or volunteering at a soup kitchen are all ways you can use your time to bless others.
Regarding your possessions, look for ways to bless others with what you own. Maybe you can give money to a needy friend, or make a meal for an ill neighbor. Because our sinful hearts are always looking for ways to please and pamper ourselves, we have to actively look for ways to work against those desires. You’d be surprised how many opportunities there are in our lives to serve and bless others.

Schylie La Belle is the second oldest of 7 children, living with her parents on Cape Cod, Massachusetts. She is a graduate of Cape Cod Community College, with her AA in Liberal Arts, class of 2017. This September, she will be leaving for Uganda for a year-long mission trip. She enjoys writing Christian fiction stories, taking long walks, eating delicious healthy foods, and spending quality time with her siblings.
If you liked this interview with Schylie, you will love our new ebook, 30 Days of Surrender. You can purchase it here. In it, Schylie goes into greater depth about what we think our rights ought to be, how to surrender those, and what it means that God has given us the right to be children of God. Purchase it here!

What areas in your life do you feel you have rights to? Are those Biblical? What are some common unbiblical places that we think we have rights to? Share in the comments!

Breaking Free from Bondage to Your Emotions

Anastasis Faith
Last week, 30 Days of Surrender author Savannah Morello joined us to talk about overcoming overwhelming emotions. Click here to read that post. We are finishing up this wonderful interview with her today about breaking free from bondage to our emotions. 

Breaking Free from Bondage to Your Emotions
What daily habits would you recommend for avoiding a lifestyle of being controlled by emotions?
          Knowing truth is knowing God’s Word; it is the ultimate measure of truth. I would encourage you to spend time in the Bible every day. Good, quality time. I know how hard it is to read over today’s verses and leave it at that, but what good is a mirror if you forget what you look like? Dig deep into the passage you have chosen. What did the author mean? Could there possibly be a deeper truth than the one that pops off the page? How does this apply to your life? What will you do today to live out this verse? I especially love the application questions at the end of every devotional in 30 Days of Surrender because they help us do just this.
          Still, I guarantee that you will not be reading the perfect verse every time you face temptation. Memorize verses so that they are always on hand! Every Sunday school student knows Psalms 119:11. “I have hidden Your word in my heart,” why? “That I may not sin against You.”
          Another huge part of fighting any temptation, but especially emotion, is prayer. Lately, I have been realizing again and again how powerful 5 minutes of speaking your heart to God can be. Ladies, it is so refreshing! He never fails to point me to truth and show me how crazy it is to doubt an all-powerful, sovereign God. This is an especially powerful tool when you don’t have a memorized verse ready at hand.
          Now I know that “read your Bible and pray” seems to be the fallback answer for every struggle with every sin. But there is a reason for that! Don’t just discard it as cliché. The Bible has power no other book does. And a direct link to the Maker of the universe – what’s more powerful than that?

If you could break overcoming a life strongly driven by emotions into three steps, what would they be?

1. Identify places where you are being led by emotions.  
          You can’t fight a theory. Look for specific examples of things in your own life where you are following feelings over truth.
2. Decide to fight them.  
Breaking Free from Bondage to Your Emotions
          I know this seems like a given, but it is more important than you think. In my own life, chores tend to make me grumpy. When I finally catch on to my bad attitude, I am very tempted to spout off a prayer along these lines: “Father, I know I’m being grumpy. Please help me stop. But I really don’t like vacuuming, and I just did it last week. And my back hurts. And my audio book won’t download. Everything is going so wrong, and….” Somehow, I don’t think that train of thought would help me. I need to decide to get rid of my sin, not wallow in it.
3. Keep going back to the Lord. 
          You cannot fight this fight on your own. As the song goes, “Take it to the Lord in prayer.” As many times as the temptation comes, pray.

In Surrender Emotions, you brought up how we can use emotions to glorify God. How does that work in contrast to being controlled and overwhelmed by our feelings?
          Our ebook 30 Days of Surrender wasn’t named that for nothing. Glorifying God with our emotions essentially lies in that one word: Surrender. That means laying everything out on the table and letting God choose what to keep or toss.
Just like every other part of human existence, the Fall warped the emotions God gave us. Happiness, sorrow, anger: God created these emotions with a purpose, but we have used them for sin. As my mom says, “No matter what a mixer may want, it will never be satisfied trying to be an oven.” When we use God’s gifts in ways they were not intended to be used, it grinds us down and wears us out. Let God show us when to rejoice, when to weep, when to grind our teeth, and He will be glorified. He has given us guidelines in scripture already: “Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep” (Rom. 12: 15). Delight in the joy of others and praise the Lord for all His great works. Lend comfort to each other with tears of sympathy and fellowship. God even uses anger. No one can read John 2 and say Jesus never got mad.
          Yes, surrender goes against our nature. It wouldn’t be called surrender if we were doing what we naturally wanted to do. And yes, surrender is hard. But sin lands us in a smoldering wreck, yet surrender leads us to freedom in Christ. Emotional freedom is found when we reach the end of ourselves and lay down our life at the foot of the cross. 

If you liked this interview and if you appreciated Savannah's thoughts, you will love our new ebook, 30 Days of Surrender, which you can purchase here.

If you could give one piece of advice to a girl who was overwhelmed by her emotions, what would you say? Share in the comments!

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