Falling in Love with Fall : My List of Fears/Truths

Bears do winter the right way — hibernating. I’ve never been a big fan of the winter. The cold air with bare trees. Although we are just approaching fall, the impending winter is coming soon. I think I can learn how to love winter. It’s the same idea of smiling to chase away the glum feelings.

Brown bear

All seasons begin and end. Have you ever been in a season that doesn’t feel like it will ever end? Where impatience grows like a weed and spreads into your whole life? I know what it’s like to apply to jobs for over ten months, get interviewed and turned down over and over again. I am not a stranger to self-doubt, confusion and disappointment.

Recently, I decided there must be a reason for this long season. If there is a lesson to learn, I want to see it! Sooner rather than later in hopes this season will come to a close.

Prompted by a sermon I listened to about God’s promises and our fears (www.b4church.org/sermons) I created a list of all of my worries. Everything that causes me to wake up and want to hit snooze on my alarm and stay under my covers in an effort to block out the noise of the world.

All of my doubts and fears:

Place to Live: No one will want to move out with you. You will never be independent.

New Job: You will never be hired. You’re unqualified and unwanted.

Dreams/Goals: You’re a starter and not a finisher. You will never reach your goals so there’s no point in making a list.

Health: You will never be faster or stronger. You will never be able to eat gluten or dairy.

Relationships: You have to make noise to be noticed. Your family loves you, but you won’t be noticed unless it’s an emergency. Your friends won’t want to be around you until you’re successful at your career.

Finances: You will never be debt free. You set too big of goals. You will always be restrained by a financial prison.

Identifying the lies is the only way to kill them.

Instead of letting these lies linger one day longer, I looked up Bible verses to combat them:

Place to Live: Matthew 6:25-34 “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?”

New Job: Proverbs 16:3 “Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and he will establish your plans.”

Dreams/Goals: Psalm 127:1 “Unless the Lord builds the house, the builders labor in vain. Unless the Lord watches over the city, the guards stand watch in vain.”

Health: James 5:15 “And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise them up. If they have sinned, they will be forgiven.”

Relationships: Hebrews 12:14-15 “Make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord. See to it that no one falls short of the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many.”

Finances: Matthew 6:33 “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”

I know fall is here and winter is coming. I also know spring and summer will follow. The hope of tomorrow leads me on today. I know I will find a job and a place to live. I will be financially free and own my own house someday. I will accomplish my goals and grow to be a healthier person from it.

tree

I’m learning this set of worries will change, die and grow with the seasons. Being grateful for what I have and satisfied with where I am at now is essential. Life will always present new challenges. But through it all, I am determined to grow and learn.

I hope to share one day when my list of goals and dreams are fulfilled. Until then, I want to be present in the mess. I am not perfect and won’t pretend to be. I know God is good and much bigger than I can imagine.

What struggles are you facing and excited to see God have the final say?


One last verse of encouragement:

James 1: 2-4 “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”

Elevator Speech

Hi,

My name is Laura Stewart. I'm a student of the world who wonders. I'm curious how people interact with each other. How do we know someone? Stories. 

I am a storyteller. Through social media, writing, photographing, and speaking. 

People inspire me, and I hope to inspire them to take on challenges. What's my next challenge? To share stories of businesses. How? Advertising. A sticky, sometimes misused word. Boiled down it means to simply share the journey of a business in a few words and images. Storytelling. Do you know anyone who wants their story told? 

Pro Joy : It's A Choice

Today after a long drought of not writing, I have arrived at my keyboard again. Clicking and typing away. I have an important notice for you!

Graduating this year with a Journalism degree with a concentration in Advertising.

I have started my senior year of college. And I'm loving it! A bit of an exaggeration yes. However, I am determined to make this year great. How is this possible? I have no control over my circumstances, but I do control my reaction. I can choose to see today as a blessing. I can choose to see this joy draining, life sucking sickness as a way to strengthen my immune system. The point is...I get to choose joy! I always thought the people who were the happiest were ones with the best circumstances. I was dead wrong. 

The people closest to me went through a rough patch these past couple of months. I definitely wasn't as supportive or forgiving as I could've been. But, my lack of humility wasn't what surprised me the most. It was their abundance of joy. Even in the stinkiest and muddiest stuff life could send their way, they chose to be loving, honest and joyful. 

All this to say - it's more than just a choice. They would attest to that. It wasn't through their meager human power they were able to get through it all, but the love and support of Jesus. Jesus shows up in the most uncommon ways. He shows himself in the rain. In getting a shift covered at work. In a free cup of coffee from a stranger. 

Anything based out of love comes from Jesus. So, really the only way my close friends and family (and I) made it through this dark valley is because of Jesus. 

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.
— James 1: 2-4

Life as a Public Figure

I left off on a cliff hanger. I officially chose a place to live for the school year. I'm at the Onyx House for my forth year. Surprise! I realized all along I was trying to run from what God told me almost four months ago. As my good friend Rian said, I pulled a Jonah. Avoiding what God says only leads to confusion and chaos (as shown in my previous post). I feel at peace being where God wants me. I sense He has something really important for me this coming school year.


First off this is probably one of the only times I'll mention politics in a post. As a public figure, you are held responsible for every single action and word said. Or in Melania Trump's case, repeated word for word. Election time is the perfect example. All sorts of slanderous slogans and background checks come to the forefront. Like Hillary Clinton's email scandal.

I'm not a public figure, but I understand some of the pressures. All of my thoughts are revealed to the online world. I allow the world into my living room and deeper still into my head. Is the loss of privacy worth the sacrifice?

In short, yes. Why?

To relate. To learn. To grow.

Relate: We all struggle. Being able to sympathize with someone in their joys and distress is freeing and empowering.

Learn: The best way to learn is through example. Collaborating with others sharpens our perspectives and ideas.

Grow: The best part about conversations. We get inspired to take action.

I hope my blog is a place where we can realize we are all human. We make mistakes. But, the good news (thank goodness there is good news) that there is grace and redemption through Jesus. More on this later...