Hey guys! It’s been awhile. I’ve missed ya! :)

My friend Morgan Landskron had a revelation the other day, and it honestly made me cry, because I can relate so well that it’s scary. Hopefully this will be an encouragement to you as it was to me; thanks for letting me share your beautiful and honest words Mo! <3

April 2, 2014.
I cried tonight. Real, authentic tears, for the first time in what seems like forever. Over the past two years, I’ve been building up an emotional wall. I kept building it higher and higher, hoping that I could block out all my pain, my sins, all my regrets, my shame, and my failures. But most of all, I’ve been trying to block out my problems. I guess, I was hoping that, if I blocked out all my problems, I wouldn’t have to deal with them, and I could go on living a happy life. Little did I know, that all the while I was building this wall to block everything out, everything kept getting in somehow. And little by little, my problems kept piling up, until I became emotionally numb. I didn’t feel anything. I’ve felt apathetic. I didn’t care about anyone, or anything. I didn’t care if I succeeded, or failed. I didn’t even care if I tried, so I just didn’t. After a while, I got so used to my apathy that I tricked myself into thinking it had gone away, when really it was still there the whole time. These past two years, I’ve just felt dead. And this whole time, I’ve been trying to figure out why. I wanted to blame all my problems on everyone else. They were the reason for my pain. It wasn’t my fault. It couldn’t be, could it? But it was. In my efforts to push out my feelings, I managed to also push out my family and friends, and the one person that I cared most about. This whole time I was trying to avoid heartache, and all I did was create more and more of it.
I searched for the answer to why I was in so much pain. I searched for a long time. And I finally figured out that it wasn’t because of others, but because of the fact that I had blocked out God. My Savior, my Redeemer, the only person that I could TRULY rely on in my life, and all I did was push him away. I think I blamed him partially for my pain. I asked questions like, “Why? Why am I going through what I’m going through? Why won’t you fix me?”
I wanted easy answers, and an easy way out. I didn’t want to work at it. I wanted God to do it all for me. I wanted my life to suddenly become perfect without me lifting a finger. And when that didn’t happen, I became angry and bitter. So I pushed God out. I stopped going to church, I stopped praying, I stopped singing, I even stopped playing my guitar, the one thing I love to do most.
Now, you’re probably wondering what brought on the tears and revelation tonight. Honestly, it has been God working on me all this time, and I’m only seeing it now. Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about my future. I just recently made the decision to attend Calvary Chapel Bible College in Murrieta, CA. At first, the reason I wanted to go was because I thought being at a Christian school would fix my majorly messed up life. I thought I’d just wait till bible college to change, and then everything would be “just peachy”. But I’ve been realizing just in the past few days that I can’t wait till then to change. I have to change now. The past few weeks, I’ve been trying to reconnect with God and find it in me to soften my heart. I was reading my bible some, and reading devotionals that I receive daily through e-mail(I know, I must still be in the dark ages or something if I still use e-mail). Each day, these devotionals give me a prayer to pray, and then have a message from a scripture. And every single day, and every single prayer, has been just what I needed. They have said perfectly what God has been trying to teach me. One of the prayers from a few days ago said just what I have been searching for. It reads, “God, please, please give me an insatiable desire and thirst for Jesus, for Your Word, my Savior. Open my eyes that I may see myself as You see me, that I may see and love others from Your viewpoint, that You would be the absolute center and guiding light of my life. Refresh my daily walk that I may walk with You in quiet places, in heavenly places, and throughout all of life into eternity. Thank You, God, my source of life and comfort and being. Bless You, Lord. In Jesus’ name, amen.” This is what I have been looking for, and as I’m reading this right now, I realize that tonight is an answer to that prayer! I used to have such a passion for scripture, and for apologetics, and had such a desire to grow closer to God daily. That is what I have been missing, and that is what I have received tonight. I’ve been so caught up in my sins and failures, and I finally just broke my wall down tonight. My walls came a-tumblin’ down.
One of the verses that has stuck with me the past few years is James 1:2-3, which says, “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 NIV)” this verse has been such an encouragement to me! I used it in a speech I wrote a few years ago titled, “Why Does God Allow Suffering”. *yes, I give you permission to laugh here*
The speech was very therapeutic to me at the time, but I obviously didn’t get it through my thick skull. But what is so cool is that I can still look back at that speech and this verse, and still learn so much from it. I love the song by Tenth Avenue North, The Struggle. They played it at a Winter Jam I attended a few weeks ago, and the chorus spoke to me in a way it hasn’t before. It says, “Hallelujah, we are free to struggle. We’re not struggling to be free! Your blood bought and makes us children, so children drop your chains and sing!!” We are FREE to struggle! We’re not struggling to be free? We’ve already been freed by Jesus’ dying for our sins! I haven’t been chained all this time. I have been holding on to my chains. All I have to do is drop them! t is truly amazing, the ways of God. As I sit here typing out all of this, I am so thankful for all the pain that I went through, because I know God is using it for my benefit. Jeremiah 29:11 says, “For I know the plans I have for you, declares The Lord. Plans to prosper you, and not to harm you. Plans to give you a hope and a future.” Another passage that has been a blessing to me is this, ““Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life…which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble. (Matthew 6:25-34 ESV)”. I love that part at the end. I love how the NIV puts it; “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. (Matthew 6:34 NIV)” I remember the first time I read that verse, I literally said, “Woah. Mind. Blown.” Tomorrow will worry about itself, and each day has enough trouble of its own, so why put more trouble there by worrying about everything?? And that’s exactly what I was doing, worrying, adding more trouble. But God reassures me that I don’t have to worry. What a BEAUTIFUL promise from our Father in Heaven!
Now, I know a lot of you won’t read this, but for those of you who do, I pray that if you are struggling with worry, or fear, or depression, or apathy, or any of the things that I went through, that this will touch you in some way. And I ask that you help keep me accountable. Ask how I’m doing with The Lord. Challenge me to do new things, not ignore the hard things, and to continually put my trust in God.

Baby Steps to “Realness”

I’ve always seen depression as a hole, a looming, unshakable darkness that consumes all light. For two years now, I’ve been stuck in this hole, this “dark place” of depression, and quite frankly, I’m sick of it. I hate being tired, grumpy, lonely, a-motivational, (it’s ridiculously difficult JUST to get myself to shower!) unsociable, and pessimistic. Basically, I feel like Eeyore from Winnie the Pooh. If you’ve ever struggled with depression I’m sure you know what I’m talking about.

 

But today, for the first time in a LONG time, my perspective has changed. While talking to a friend, I realized that I was being honest and authentic naturally. This may not seem like a big deal, but for me it’s huge. All my life I’ve struggled with being myself. I often “hold back” because I’m overly concerned about the reaction I’ll receive from people when I’m “me”. And I try to be real and honest, believe me I try, but it’s a huge and life-long struggle. The fact that I was “myself” with this person without giving it a second thought is kind of a miracle.

 

It made me wonder what had changed in me that helped me not to second-guess myself. And the answer shook me, body and soul. Depression changed me. Depression! The realization forced me to ask myself, “How could something so dark and miserable help me to be more real?”

 

Probably, I’ve been more real because of the tiredness I’ve experienced during this season of depression. And I’m not just talking about physical exhaustion, depression has made me tired of pretending; pretending that everything’s fine, pretending to be normal, pretending I’m something I’m not. Constantly keeping up with these pointless facades has proved to be utterly exhausting.

 

And not only has depression made me tired of pretending, it’s helping me to accept myself. Lately, I haven’t been as concerned about other’s opinions of me, or the things I say and do. I’ve just been me, and I’ve realized: a lot of people are ok with that, they like it even! And I’m learning to like it—to like me—too.

 

I think this realization of how depression has had a positive effect on me is the first step in a journey toward self-acceptance and “real-ness,” if that’s even a word. I can’t wait to see where this journey takes me! And I hope you’ll be along for the ride. ;)

 

Love,

LE>xi

Romans 12:1

“Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.” (NIV)

Several things stick out to me from this verse.

1) Worship is purity.

This is a very different kind of worship than music and dancing, but that doesn’t make it any less important. Actually, this is more of what I was talking about in Worship: Part 1, because purity is something you can practice every day. It’s not just a Sunday thing. In fact, we are obligated as followers of Christ to remain pure if we want to please GOD.

2) Our bodies are living sacrifices.

As Christians, we not only offer GOD our souls and spirits, but also our bodies; HE is lord over the living and the dead (Romans 14:7-9). That means that whatever HE wants us to do with our bodies, we do it. If HE calls you to use your mouth and witness, you do it. If HE tells you to use your hands and become a janitor, you do it. And if HE says to stay pure, you do it.

3) GOD is merciful and deserves our worship.

Jesus gave everything to save us. When we were all destined for an eternity in Hell, Christ came at just the right time to redeem us (Romans 5:6). We cursed HIM, we spat on HIM, and we betray HIM every day when we sin. Yet, HE still loves us, and still longs to spend eternity with us! HE has the power to destroy us, but instead HE traded HIS life for ours. What an amazing gift! Since HE has done all that for us, we can at least worship HIM with our purity.

Honor and please GOD by staying pure every day. Offer your body to HIM as a living sacrifice; HE is totally worth it!

 

Love,

Lexi

 

Worship: Part 1

Worship is not a show, though we often treat it like one.

Do you ever wonder what the church would look like, if we didn’t have programs and schedules, but if we all just got together and worshiped? And I’m not just talking about music, I’m talking about what GOD moves each individual to do.

Well, I have.

Honestly, I believe that the church has such a distorted view of worship; it has become synonymous with music. But I also believe that GOD called it to be so much more!

But what is it, really?

The Bible says that worship is a proclamation of thanksgiving. It’s saying, “GOD, I trust YOU even though I’m depressed and sometimes suicidal. GOD, I love you even though my little girl was taken from me in a car accident. GOD, I know that YOU are in control even though there is slavery and poverty in this world. And GOD, I thank YOU for being who YOU are, no matter what’s going in my life or in the lives of others.”

With the way we do things now, that kind of worship is impossible. For us to worship like that, we would have to ignore everyone around us.

A friend of mine named Sharla Eaten posted this on Facebook, and I thought I’d share it here:

“Whatever has your focus becomes your reality. As believers we must use intentional focus and seek the Lord above all the negative. Its posturing ourselves in the seat of Thanksgiving and worship no matter the circumstance. When we do this we close the door to every foothold the enemy may be trying to take and align our hearts with the Father’s. In this we make room for growth, advancement in spirit, and blessings. There’s a reason for the phrase, praise your way thru. 
Praise is best in every test. 
Worship is the key to the door. Thanksgiving is the path where we find the Lord
And learn to live out of peace and rest.”

If you are focused on what your friends are going to think of you, you’re not worshipping. If you are concentrating on all the bad stuff in this world, you can’t worship. It’s not about you, it’s about GOD.

So why have worship and church become a show, starring us? When did church become more about socializing and less about praising? Why do we look around and see what our friends are doing? Why can’t we simply look up to Heaven, and thank GOD for being GOD?

Next time you are called to worship, I challenge you to ask the LORD how HE wants you to do it. If you have to close your eyes to block out everything else, then close your eyes. Just focus on HIS presence and bask in HIS glory!

For further study, check out these verses on worship and thankfulness:

Psalm 100:4, Psalm 16:11, Nehemiah 8:10, 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

http://www.whatchristianswanttoknow.com/20-encouraging-bible-verses-about-worship/

Have a great day, you guys! Don’t let Satan steal your joy!

<3 Lexi

Hey kids!

If I remain diligent :), the next few posts are going to be about worship. What it is, what it isn’t, and who knows what else!

Fair warning. ;}

Lexi

It is really hard to continue doing something you believe in when you don’t get a desirable response from others. Like putting posts on facebook and getting 3 likes, or singing a song and being told it was “okay.” Of course, such things shouldn’t be the source of one’s worth, but hey, I’ human. And as much as I know I shouldn’t, I do care about that stuff.

Unfortunately, it is really hard for me to be obedient to GOD when what HE asks me to do makes me “unpopular” or “uncool.” That might seem childish, but even kings and presidents care about their reputations and genuinely long to be liked. Maybe some of us want to be adored a little more than we should (I’m SO talking to me!)

So, what do we do to fix the problem? Well, I haven’t exactly figured that out yet. I am still finding my voice. But I know that GOD gave me one for a reason, and I was not put on this earth to be quiet and make everybody “comfortable” (never did like that word anyway!) So, no matter how others feel about it, I choose to serve GOD and live a Spirit lead life. It’s gonna be hard, but I know GOD is calling me to speak up, so I am gonna speak; it’s the least I can do for the man who saved my life by giving HIS! ;}

Hope you’ll stick with me along this CRAZY journey!!! ;}

When I Was Young…

As I am looking through a journal that I’ve had since 2008, I’m instantly humbly at the simple honesty, innocence, and submission in it’s pages. The foolish really will shame the wise, and 12-14 year-old Lexi just taught me a lot. She was sure a fearless kid, and very obedient to GOD. Yeah, she cared about what other people thought, but she loved GOD even more. And she obeyed HIM. And she was happy. What things could you learn from your younger days? Comment if you wanna share! ;}