You Know You’re a Girl When…

Anastasis Faith

…You look at your phone and it says, “18 Unread Messages.”

…You decide to wear your too small Sperry’s and pack an extra pair of flats for when the pain becomes unbearable.

…You skip that party because you’re having a bad hair day.

…You can’t go shopping alone.

…You realized you packed more pairs of shoes for your trip then the number of days you were going to be gone.

…You randomly melt into tears and everyone asks you what’s wrong and you honestly answer, “I DON’T KNOW!”

…You walk up to your friend and just start braiding her hair.

…You spend over an hour getting ready because “the outfit just isn’t happening today.”

…You always have long hairs in your socks. Don’t ask me why.

…You have bobby pins on your floor…in your purse…stuck in your shower drain…in your socks…behind picture frames…in your pillows…everywhere. But when you actually need them, they are nowhere to be found.

Can you relate to any of these? What are some funny girl things that you find yourself doing? :) Share in the comments!

Tearing Down the Walls

Anastasis Faith

“Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful; and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near."
Hebrews 10:23-25

“Therefore encourage one another and build up one another, just as you also are doing.”
1 Thessalonians 5:11

I was spending time with a dear friend recently and it was a time of tears, joy, shared fears, and pouring out our hearts to each other in raw honesty. That conversation left me in awe of our great God’s grace, power, and overwhelming love, as I pumped my fist toward the sky saying, “Yay God!” with the hugest grin on my face. But it also made me think. Our souls can’t help but be thirsty in this desert of a world, so parched and starved of godly rain. The world pours in at a constant rate and if we’re not careful, it will drown us.
Most times it’s just so much easier to lock away all the hurt, pain, and problems we face…to stuff them down deep and cover them up with that fake smile. Way easier. It’s hard to face them again and go through the exhausting roller coaster of emotions that comes along with that, but I ask you—how else can we heal? How else can we let go of that sorrow if we keep hoarding it away in the recesses of our soul until we are so crammed full we explode?
I want to ask you something else as well. I know pain is never fun and heartache seems unbearable. I know it often feels as if God doesn’t care or has abandoned you, but what if everything you’ve gone through—every bruise, ache, and failure—has been for a very special purpose? What if those things are the very things that make you who you are, with a completely unique view of the world? And what if you shared who you really are inside? What if the person you shared it with was hurting deeply, but too afraid to share it, wondering if anyone in the entire world could understand? Then, what if that completely unique view allowed you to understand that person’s pain like no one else can?
It’s hard to open up and expose the real you, that bruised and scarred heart, because it means being vulnerable to someone who could hurt you…again. I get it. But we need that more than we know. We can’t keep stifling our pain, lying to ourselves and others that we’re okay. The truth is, most likely the person you think would never understand because they’re way too perfect all the time is the very person who would shed tears of joy just to know there’s someone who understands the pain they too have been hiding behind their own smile.
We need each other. We are sisters in Christ, and we need to bond together and tear down this foolish wall of lies that we’re doing fine all by ourselves.
Life is beautiful, but life is also hard. The only way we can make it through is by the grace of God and the support of others. Don’t try to go through it alone. Don’t tell yourself to tough it out. That’s how people slip into despair and give up all hope.
I’ll say it again—we need each other. You would be amazed at how people respond when you simply let down your guard and are real. It’s like a breath of fresh air. If they see you have the courage to show the raw edges of your soul, it gives them hope that maybe, just maybe, they could do the same. The Lord will use you and shine through you if you tear down the wall that’s smothering His light. He created you for a beautiful purpose and takes the ashes of our lives to creates a masterpiece, if we allow Him.
If we don’t pour God’s word into our thirsty souls and surround ourselves with godly people and friendships, the world will drown us and suffocate our light. However, friendships will never deepen unless we invest in them. People can sense when you’re not being real, and if we box ourselves in, we shut others out too.
Don’t be afraid to show who you are. You might be surprised at how many people can relate and will let out a sigh of relief just to know they’re not alone. Sure there might be some who don’t understand you, but isn’t it worth it if there’s even a handful of people you have a chance to encourage and lift up in so many ways?
Who knows, yours words of, “I’ve been there and it’s hard, but you’re going to make it through. God will give you strength and He will never fail you. He has a plan for your life,” may be the one thing the Lord uses to keep that person going when they feel like giving up.
We are broken people desperately longing for hope. Just by being the love and the light of the Lord through your honesty, you could change someone’s life. The Lord may use you to be or to speak His life-giving hope to a hurting heart. Will you be willing to let Him? You never know, maybe that sweet fellowship with a  fellow believer that comes along with opening your heart and exposing your soul could be the very thing that will heal you as well.
Keep pressing on, friend, through the power of Christ’s love and the hope we have in Him. You are beautiful and perfect in your Heavenly Father’s eyes because of the sacrifice of His Son, no matter the scars adorning your heart.

Sunny Bodenhamer is a Christian, homeschooled girl learning to be a light in this crazy, amazing life we’ve been given, reach for the stars, and believe that anything is possible through Jesus Christ. She believes that every day is a miracle full of second chances and beauty, if we stop and take the time to see it. She loves to write, crochet, drink coffee, and hopes to inspire and encourage through the written word.

Have you ever seen God use hurt in your life to heal others? Do you have a hard time opening up to others? Thoughts or stories? Share in the comments!

I Didn't Have Someone for Valentine's Day

Anastasis Faith

We’re a bunch of single girls and our favorite holiday is Valentine’s Day! Riiiiight?
Why? Because we look around and see all these adorable couples. We see guys getting girls flowers. The chocolates. The kisses. The romance.
It’s everywhere.
And those of us who are single in stark contrast against those who do “have someone.”
Ladies, this is one of those times when we just have to surrender our desire to “have someone” and turn to God to fulfill that desire—because that hole is only truly and lastingly filled by Him.
Maybe you’re thinking about that guy who you wish had gotten you a gift and asked you to be his girlfriend. Maybe you really like someone, but cannot do anything about it.
There have been times when I’ve been overwhelmed by the love that I feel for someone and unable to express it completely. Or I try to express my deep affection for someone and their response is disappointing. Or there’s no response at all.
It occurred to me the other day, “What if God feels this way about me?” If He loved me so much to send His Son to die for me—then He must really “love so much it hurts.” Imagine if you loved someone so much that you were willing to offer your only child to save them, just to have them run away from you.
God loves us so much that He wants to shower His blessings upon us. He wants to spend time with us, hold us, protect us, tell us He loves us, and overwhelm us with good gifts. Think about an infinite God who has infinite love for a finite being. My heart cannot hold the weight of His love. It would crush me; it is so deep and overwhelming.
Sadly, we run from Him and choose other things over Him.
I believe Jesus knows far too well what it feels like to love someone so intensely but not be able to express it, because we often don’t want it, and even if we did, we couldn’t handle the enormity of His love.
Your heavenly Father is brimming over with love for you. If He did not spare His Son for you, then He will not spare any other gifts from you (Romans 8:32).
But imagine how much more of God’s love you would see if you did not run from Him. He would lavish you with gifts and blessings.
You see, His love for you—His love for me—is more than a human heart can ever comprehend. We will never understand the depths of His love for us, but we will have all of eternity to explore it.
Jesus wants to love you with all that He is. And He just wants you to love Him back with all that you are.
If God’s love is all this and so much more, then why would we EVER feel discontent with our lot in life? He’s given us these beautiful single years as a gift to be used for His glory and there is no other time in your life that you will be freer to spend time with Him. And also, marriage will never satisfy us completely like God does—and it for sure will not solve all of our problems.
Jesus loves you. And it’s when you finally realize this that you will discover that you do have Someone for Valentine’s Day—and every day for the rest of forever.

What was your response to Valentine’s Day yesterday? What are some other things that we single girls struggle with on this holiday? Any thoughts? Share in the comments!

Two Years!

Anastasis Faith

Today is Morning Glory’s TWO YEAR ANNIVERSARY!! I can’t believe it’s already been two years!
To celebrate, I’d like to share some things that a few young ladies had written in to me talking about how God has used Morning Glory in their life!

One fifteen-year-old girl writes,

Morning Glory has blessed me in many ways.
First of all: Being connected to so many girls, my age, has been wonderful! Knowing that someone, quite far from me, could be reading the same things I just so cool!
Second: Writing for Morning Glory has been fun too! I have enjoyed the time I get to spend reading and studying God's word! Now, when I'm reading my Bible, I look for verses that would make a good devotional!
Third: Morning Glory has actually helped me grow closer to my family!
All the writers have been a HUGE blessing to me! And all the readers too! It all means so much!

A seventeen-year-old girl writes,

I started getting Morning Glory daily devotional emails about a year ago. I had been looking for a good daily devotional program thing, and was super blessed to find this! I try to read the devos every day and I have been SO touched by all the blog posts.
It has been SO encouraging seeing what verses have stuck out to people and what it means to them. There have been many days where I read the devo, and I can tell it was completely an answer to prayer for that day—just what I needed to hear. They always remind me of important lessons or refocus me on what really matters. They help me keep my eyes fixed on GOD. They remind me of God's promises, His blessings, His mercies, and His love.
All the blog  posts are encouraging. They are convicting. Some bring joy. Some bring tears. All in the very best way. Every day, I hear truth spoken from the verses, and some REAL person's thoughts about it.
With the devos, it has been such a blessing to hear what Christian girls my age have to say about their favorite verses, and how it applies to their lives.
With the blog, it's been SO helpful and convicting and encouraging. The posts deal with very real issues—things that I face in my everyday life—and give very mature and solid advice and encouragement.  God has really blessed me through Morning Glory!!

And a college senior says,

Wow, what a joy to celebrate two years of Morning Glory!! This devotional has been such a catalyst for growth in my life: Both reading the poignant thoughts of fellow ladies and writing what God has placed on my heart have encouraged me in my walk with the Lord in numerous ways. I am extremely grateful to be part of such a loving community of girls found at Morning Glory. Praise God for sustaining this for as long as He has!

Thank you all so much for a wonderful two years! Today we’re doing something fun—forwarding today’s devotional and/or a link to your favorite Morning Glory blog post to EIGHT GIRLS that you think would be interested! Please join in!

If Morning Glory has meant something special to you, please share in the comments!

Our Great Reward

Anastasis Faith

This has become one of my favorite songs. It always seems to refocus my heart and remind me that I don’t have to worry about all those silly things. It helps me remember WHY I’m here on earth and why God made me—to glorify Him. And it helps me remember that God is my great reward in life and in eternity. Click on the link below to see a video where Tim Timmons talks about his cancer and sings this song.

I trust in You for every heartbeat
As long as I'm alive
Your love endures when I wake
And when I close my eyes

Help me to know You are God, I am not
Remind my soul You're in control

Praise to the Father
With every breath I take
In joy and sorrow
All for Your kingdom's sake
Be Thou my vision
Be Thou my hope restored
Now and forever
You are my great reward

I won't demand to know the reasons
For my suffering
These open hands will trust Your wisdom
Beyond what I see

Help me to know You are God, I am not
Remind my soul You're in control

Praise to the Father
With every breath I take
In joy and sorrow
All for Your kingdom's sake
Be Thou my vision
Be Thou my hope restored
Now and forever
You are my great reward
Oh Lord, my great reward

I know this is dangerous
Daring just to pray this
I will trust You Lord
The rock throughout the ages
You make me courageous
I will trust You Lord
I will trust You Lord

I know this is dangerous
Daring just to pray this
I will trust You Lord
Help me trust You Lord
The rock throughout the ages
You make me courageous
I will trust You Lord
I will trust You Lord

Praise to the Father
With every breath I take
In joy and sorrow
All for Your kingdom's sake
Be Thou my vision
Be Thou my hope restored
Now and forever
You are my great reward
Oh, my great reward

What are your thoughts on this song? Share in the comments!

An Often Ignored Attribute of God

Anastasis Faith

“For the LORD your God is a consuming fire, a jealous God.”
Deuteronomy 4:24

You remember that Christmas that your sister got the toy, purse, whatever that you wanted. You remember moping and giving her glares. What did she say?
“You’re just jealous.”
Then your parents rebuked you and told you to “stop being jealous.”
But in this verse, it says that God is a jealous God.
We like to call God loving, faithful, and caring. Do we like to call Him jealous?
We often like to skip over that passage and ignore those words, “a jealous God.”
Why is that?
Because we don’t have a proper understanding of the word jealous.
In everyday life, we’ve made it a synonym for envious. But in fact, it has a very different meaning.
What is the definition of jealousy?
The Mirriam-Webster Dictionary says, “intolerant of rivalry or unfaithfulness.”
If you’re married, your husband has promised to being completely committed to you and you alone for life. Wouldn’t you feel jealous if you saw him flirting with another woman? 
From Diffen:
Envy is the emotion when you want a possession someone else has. Jealousy is the emotion when you fear you may be replaced in the affection of someone you love or desire.
Now do you understand why God is a jealous God?
God is jealous of you. He created you and bought you with His blood—He deserves your complete devotion. Do you give it to Him?
If you’re human, then no, you don’t.
Even though Christ is working to sanctify us, we still run from Him. We still get distracted from pursuing Him.
I want you to stop reading this post right now and make a list of five things that you think have been distracting you from pursuing Him with your whole heart.
Going back to the marriage illustration, you would feel very jealous if your spouse was cheating on you, right? How do you think God feels when we run after other things?
He feels jealous. And He wants you back.
That’s the good news—no matter how many times we run, if we are one of God’s children, then He will always bring us back. He does not lose His children. God is a patient God. Take your list of five things and spend some time in prayer with God, asking Him to show you how to love Him first.
However, do not think that He will tolerate our idolatry. Do not think that He will be replaced in your life.

Now that you understand what it means that God is a jealous God, does it make you hate your sin more? Want to share any of your five things? How do you plan on overcoming them? Share in the comments!

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