Life Is Full Of Transitions

Life is full of transitions.

As soon as we get comfortable, as soon as everything seemingly starts to appear firm in its place, things change. We meet new people. We begin doing new things. New opportunities come. Maybe it's a switch in job, a switch in school, or a switch in home. Or maybe it's something you'd rather not lose or gain. Maybe you wish things could be like they once were.

Or maybe you're like me and just finished high school. My life is nothing less than a major transitional period right now. Tomorrow is the first day of college, and while I'm so grateful to have this opportunity of a college education and to be able to stay at home for the next year in order to finish up at the college I was already attending during my high school years (I was a dual enrollment student), life is still hard. This is a period of change, of growing up, of becoming independent.

I'm excited for this change but I'm also nervous. I wish life would slow down a little. I wish I could take a breath and experience life as it is right now, but things are just moving so quickly that I feel like it's easy to go through the motions and never really experience life at its fullest.

But as much as I wish life would slow down, life is life. It's full of transitions, it's full of unexpected situations and circumstances, but it's also full of opportunity. 

So, as I transition into this next part of my life, as I hope to grow into this woman that God intends for me to be, it is my hope and my prayer that I not only watch out and embrace opportunity (as the Lord surely has good plans and opportunities coming in my life!), but that I keep the foundation of my life in the only One who will never change.

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Jesus said: Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash. (Matthew 7:24-27)

In a life of transition, when everything is seemingly moving and changing at a speed so fast, Jesus says to build our "house", our life, on the rock. Jesus is the Solid Rock, the firm foundation. He will not change. Building our "house" on the "sand" (whether it's for fame or popularity, wealth, success, relationships, or anything else we may live life for) will just lead to an eventual crash.

In a life of transition, Jesus will not change. 

So as I walk into college tomorrow, as I finish up one of the best, relaxing summers of my life as a high school graduate, as I continue to face this transitional period of my life...

let Jesus be the foundation, the one thing who will not change. Let me embrace the opportunity and the plans He has for my life and let me be willing to grow into this woman that obeys and honors Him in all things.

Life is full of transitions. 

But Jesus? He is the same yesterday, today, and forever.


To Live Like A Cell Phone

The day begins. After a long night of being plugged into the wall, my cell phone is fully charged and ready for the day ahead. It's a daily activity that must be done. As we all know, once the battery has lost complete charge, the phone turns off. It reaches a point of complete shut down.

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Oftentimes, I spend way too much time on my phone during the day and before long, it dies much earlier than planned. Overworked and used more than it should've been, it only lasts a few hours before it quits. It was in one of these moments that the Lord revealed this truth to my life.

You see, just like anything else in life, cell phones only have battery life for so long. Whether it's nonstop work for several hours, or off-and-on throughout the day, the phone will quit at some point. And cell phones aren't the only examples. Cars must be refilled with gas, because at some point, they run out and will quit working. Even the light bulbs in our bedrooms won't last. Eventually, we have to replace, or the rooms lack light.

Cell phones, cars, even the light in our homes are not made to last forever. Constantly worked, even these simple, everyday objects need a recharge. They need to be refilled. They need replacement.
Isn't it the same way in life? We may seek to accomplish as much as possible. With a constant busyness surrounding our lives, we hope to do more, more, more, in as little time as possible. Our days are constantly on the go.

Our schedules are overbooked. At first, we may truly feel like we can do it all. Consumed with energy and enthusiasm, we may dive into our busy schedules with success and focus. But before long, we begin to miss out on the small things that matter most. It's not long before our energy begins to decrease and our motivation diminishes. It's not long until we hit the trials and the struggles of life.

We hit rock bottom.

Our battery level is at 10 percent in so much shorter of a time than we ever could have imagined. Overworked and tired beyond measure, our hearts are heavy. We feel as if we have nowhere to turn. Struggles overtake us, and it's hard to see beyond the challenges.

Jesus says, "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light." (Matthew 11:28-30). 
We are not called to live in constant busyness, by our own strength, in our handmade overbooked schedules. It's in these times that we begin to live in the motions. And it's in these times that our batteries eventually need recharge. 

Jesus calls us to so much more.
When the batteries of our lives are a few percentages away from shutting down, He is reaching out. His hand is ready and waiting. We need recharge, refill, replacement. He brings rest to our weary souls and hope to our burdened hearts. In the midst of tragedy, when we feel as if we're nothing but swallowed up in the hurts and constant busyness of life, Jesus calls us to be like cell phones. 
To plug into the wall of His presence.
Because when we cast our cares on Him and call upon the name of the One who sacrificed His life for us, we will realize the ultimate care and compassion He has for His children. When we tap into the rest that only our God can give, we will not only be filled with the strength and power that rose Jesus from the grave in the midst of our weakness, but we will find that taking the time to rest can actually be so much more satisfying than working ourselves to the point of brokenness. 
We all need recharge, refill, replacement. Hand your heavy heart over to Him, and let His grace consume your worn soul today. 
All you who are weary and burdened, come to Him. Tap into the power that only He can bring. He promises rest. And He never fails to fulfill His promises!


Embrace It (My Curly Hair Life)

So, I've had curly hair for all my life. When I was a baby, I was practically bald. Hair eventually started to grow but it was a prolonged process. And when it did grow, it was boy-length even in the first few years of elementary school.

There was a period in my life that I wished to be like every other girl. To have hair that was straight, and long, and would constantly grow.

However, I've come to a realization in the past few years.

Now, I wouldn't want my hair any differently.

Yes, it would be easier and maybe more manageable, even the norm, to have straight hair. But my curly hair is a blessing. It's what makes me...me. People pay money to have curly hair like my own. But most importantly, it's part of God's artwork. When He designed me, He counted every curl that would be on my head. He made them so curly that they would bounce back in place as soon as a single strand was pulled. He saw the curls He had made and said: "Wow. This is beautiful."

And if I were to ever lose my hair, I would be devastated. Completely devastated.

Of course my routine looks different than most people. I can't brush my hair dry. I have to wet my hair using a water bottle every morning, and then I can brush through. I have to use Mousse or there will be frizz galore. My curls have a mind of its own, so I can't exactly plan how my hair is going to look. Humidity and curls don't get along well. Not to mention that the longer my hair grows, the more it curls! So no 'real' haircuts have ever taken place in my entire life. Just trimming the dead ends. For years, my hair has appeared shoulder length, and so it's pretty much always down.

But these are the things that makes me me. These are the things that I would miss if I were to lose my curls forever. These are the things that I'm used to.

I've learned to love and to embrace my curly hair. My beautiful, cute curls. The way they make me stand out. The way I'm instantly remembered by people. The way they bounce and just the beauty of them...all the time.

Whatever makes you you, embrace it. Your hair, your nose, your smile, your body shape, your laugh, your freckles or dimples, your voice--all these things are a part of the great design that the Ultimate Artist thought up.

Don't wish for these things to leave your life. Don't look at your neighbor's grass, because the grass is always going to look greener on the other side. Instead, water your own grass. Begin to see yourself the way that God has made you to be. You are special and beautiful. He planned a design that would only fit you and your life. You are unique. You are loved.

Let's shove comparison and low self esteem out the door and let this be a reminder of how beautiful you are!

As the famous Dr. Seuss said, "Today you are you, that is truer than true. There is no one alive that is youer than you."
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Head up, gorgeous.

Embrace who you are. It's what makes you you.

That's what I've learned. Today, I love my curls!

Ginny Stephens Photography