Tuesday, December 20, 2016

All About Who?

Happy Tuesday all! Apologies for the late post, it's finals week for me, so I've been studying and keeping fairly busy.

So I recently had some things I just had on my mind and I wanted to share with you. I was reading a book about American Christianity (general view of Christianity today) and how it compares to the LCMS church in particular. Even if you aren't of this denomination, I think you might find this post interesting...

I've read countless things about people and their "decisions for Christ" and I have a big news flash for you...you didn't choose Christ.

You might be thinking, "Sure I did! I decided to become a believer!" 

Nope. Let me explain why.

It has been made extremely evident throughout Scripture that we are sinners, dead in our trespasses, and unable to do anything on our own (Ephesians 2:1, Colossions 2:13). The phrase "Choose Christ" is simply silly, because it implies that we, as sinners, did the right thing all on our own. That's like putting the choice of salvation in our own hands...no no no. The old Adam in us keeps us in the darkness of sin, and not able to save ourselves. We needed a Savior. The Savior that would later be born to us in a manger. 

I think it's very important to remember, especially during the Christmas season. Christ did not come to earth because we asked Him to, He came because God promised us He would send us His Son to save us! It was prophesied in the Old Testament on numerous occasions and so we get to rejoice that the Word was made flesh (John 1:14) in order to fulfill the Law perfectly when we could not (Matthew 5:17).

Now you're probably wondering, okay well then where does my participation come in? Wouldn't your stance argue that everyone is saved? 

Nope. Not that either. Our faith comes to us through the Word. The Holy Spirit instills faith in us. That wasn't a choice, it was rather a gift. Those who are not believers simply reject this gift. There is no "choosing" to take the gift, it's already yours! You can only turn it away (Ephesians 1:13-14 and 2:8-9).

There is no "me" in Christianity, but there is CHRIST, and that's who this faith is all about!

I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas season remembering the birth of our Lord and Savior! Prayers for you and your families during this time of year. God is so good.

When I am hurting, I look to the cross and see that Christ has already come to me. He has promised me an everlasting love and comfort despite anything I do.

Blessings upon blessings,
Marissa Mayer
Source: Has American Christianity Failed? (Bryan Wolfmueller)

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Letting Go, For Me

Good afternoon! Sorry this post is yet again, a day late. Had my Christmas concert last night so I was up late and unable to write. As always, I pray that you're all doing well.

Let me preface this post by saying, if you aren't happy in your current daily life, you should definitely do anything and everything you can to help yourself. You come first.

I think that all of you can relate to a time when you were overwhelmed and wanted life to slow down and just get a little easier. Well, recently, that was me. I'm caught up in my school work, my job, music, and dance team. It's too much to handle right now.

Every morning, I wake up dreading the day that lies ahead of me. My body aches from the moment my eyes open and I can almost feel my depression groaning as I drag myself out of bed. No, this isn't simply a sleep deprived teenager. This is mental illness with just one of its finest side effects. 

I'd have to be at school early for various music groups and there'd be days I would have to stay late for dance practice and then performances. I missed the simplicity of going home and enjoying time with my mom or having an adequate amount of time for homework and just relaxation. I became agitated with my somewhat chaotic schedule. Something had to change.

I'm not on medications because my parents don't want me to be, therefore, overcoming my daily battle with depression is something I have to figure out on my own (even with medication, I'm sure I'd still feel the need to make adjustments).

After a lot of prayer and consideration, I knew it was time to move on and make some sacrifices for my own mental health. I needed to quit dance...and I did.

I contemplated writing about this because I know that I have a wide variety of viewers from the community, and I also thought that this was still premature and perhaps I had done the wrong thing. However, after today, I feel a new sense of freedom and a load of stress lifted off my shoulders.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying this will be easy. It's going to suck watching the girls perform without me. I sincerely loved performing and am incredibly grateful for my time as a dancer, but it feels good when I remind myself that I finally did something for me. I made a sacrifice of doing something I love to make me feel better and I can't wait to see the benefits that come from doing so. 

I think that in today's society, teenagers especially, feel pressured a lot to be involved in everything and are just overall stressed out. And I guess the purpose of this post is to tell you all that it's okay to give up things that you need to. The same goes for unhealthy relationships, jobs, hard classes, etc. To those on the outside, it might seem selfish, but in the long run, your mental health is top priority. It's during those times of "letting go" that it's also important to be in God's Word and attending church so that you can hear the promise of His comfort and be reminded that He will provide for your needs.

Sometimes, letting go means becoming free,
Marissa Mayer



Tuesday, December 6, 2016

12.6.16

Happy (and late) Depressed But Blessed Tuesday! I saw that my views went up yesterday, I'm sure you were all expecting something...sorry! I planned on writing before I went to bed, but an exhausted Marissa caught up with me :)

Anyways, just an update for today.

I've been feeling a little weird lately. The highs are high and the lows are definitely low. I can be on top of the world for a minute but stuck in a pit the next. Let me tell you, it's more than exhausting. I'm also experiencing a mix of stress between school and work. I'm either having terrible anxiety or I'm super calm and ignorant about it all. Depends on the day I guess.

Dance is stressing me out more than I really want to admit. I had a rough day last week and going to practice definitely did not help that. Not only did I feel bad, but I was noticed by the team and my coaches. Honestly, it wasn't in my intentions to bring the team down, but that's the vibe I got. I felt guilty even though I hadn't said anything negative, I had just remained quiet. I think a lot of people like to thrive on my positivity when it's around, and I just can't do it all the time. But I promise I'm trying my best. 

There's also a lot of days that go by when I wonder if this blogging thing is really for me or for how long I will continue to write. I have my doubts but I also have a little confidence in what I'm doing. 

On a more positive note, I officially became an LCMS member this weekend and was able to commune next to two of my sisters in Christ (along with all the saints of course). It feels really good because for a lot of my life, I have questioned my belonging. I didn't always feel like I belonged in my family, or at my school, or at my job. But now I have a church family in the body of Christ, and I'd be lying if I said it didn't feel absolutely beautiful to be a part of that. It's comforting to know that God has spoken to me loud and clear, and now I'm exactly where He wanted me to be.

Beyond all the abnormalities and craziness in my life recently, I'm also getting pretty excited for Christmas. I'm praying that the holiday season is more joyous for me than difficult this year. Praying for all of you too, of course.

It's gonna be a busy few weeks ahead of me. So much to do, and I'm glad I can rest in God's Word when I need some reassurance.

Keep your chins up my loves, we're in this together,
Marissa Mayer

"The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged." -Deuteronomy 31:8