Back to the Basics

{a peak into my journal}

New month. New season. Change! Ah I have always been such a huge fan of change, like redefining myself or going somewhere new and doing new things. I will randomly go get my haircut or go get it done just because I really like change. I love love love change. And now here I am, October first. A brand new month. A brand new season. A brand new pen even! The leaves are changing and I am yearning for something else to change. Something inside of me. Something to spark a fire and light me up.

I know what I need to do, I know how to go about it. I know what needs to change.

I have got to get back to the basics.

Coaching volleyball, Daddy always says to do the ordinary things well. If you can get the basics of volleyball down, you’re good to go. I have decided that in order for me to light a fire in my soul, I must must must get back to the basics of my sweet Savior. I must learn about and dive into Christ again like it was the first time. I want to encounter Christ’s love like it was the first time. I just wanna be on fire for Jesus. So I decided I was going to just constantly remind myself of the Gospel. I must remember who He is, I must remember what He has done and also how He loves. I gotta get back to these basics.

Recently, like all this year, I haven’t been so focused on Jesus but “what Jesus wants for me” and “His plan” for my life. Don’t get me wrong, that is super important and exciting and I can not wait to see His glory and my story unfold but how can that even be possible if I forget what has all happened in order for me to even be here? To be alive and breathing and to even have this hope that is an anchor for my soul?

Sooo here it is. I am getting back to the basics of Christ and falling in love all over again already! He is such a loving God, such a mystery but so beautiful at the same time. Ahh it honestly gives me chill bumps. I started my “back to the basics” journey in Ephesians 2:1-10 ~

Made Alive in Christ

As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our flesh and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath. But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. 10 For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

I don’t know what about this gets me so fired up. Maybe it’s the fact that I am nothing and I was dead and Jesus came down and saved me, He rescued little old me. He literally brought me to life! I was so wrapped up and drowning in this world and then God, who is rich in mercy made me ALIVE with Christ.

  • I am alive
  • I am redeemed
  • I am loved
  • I am saved
  • I am enough
  • I am accepted
  • I am His portion
  • I am beautifully and wonderfully made.. I am God’s handiwork
  • I am His

God is good, and God LOVES and adores me. Oh how He loves.

I am so excited to get back to the basics of the Gospel. So excited to get back into the Bible and stop looking for answers for all my life questions but just simply remember who God is. Remember what He did. And know how much He loves and delights in me.

Can’t help but smile!

Cheers to new seasons and change!

xx. Austyn


My Favorite Disciple

This is an excerpt from Kisses From Katie, a book by Katie Davis (go read and be changed). I really really love this. I love how relevant the Bible is thousands of years later. I love how I can relate to people Jesus walked next to and had face to face conversations with. I always thought Peter was the coolest disciple. He jumped out of the boat and walked on the water (already writing my take on that incredible act of faith, stay tuned). He denied Christ three times, I feel like I deny Christ  more than three times a day, but Jesus being the grace-filled Savior that He is redeemed him and me (and you). He was such a go getter, just willing to jump up and get going and spread the Good News, I can so relate to that, probably on a more selfish level like- get me out of here Jesus I am seriously over this place! haha. But anyways, I feel like everyone has a Peter part of their heart. So this is awesome. I didn’t write this, Katie Davis is amazing. And I just really wanted to share her words.

I am Peter.

Peter is the rock which God built His church, but first, Peter was probably the worst disciple ever. I am Peter.

Jesus tells Peter that he (Peter) will deny Him 3 times, Peters says “No! I love you, I could never deny you, Lord” yet we all know that Peter does in fact deny Jesus 3 times. I know in my heart and my soul and the core of my being that I love the Lord, that I would do anything for Him, go to the ends of the earth for Him, but how often do I forget to give the glory to His name? How often do I take compliments without giving Him the credit? Do I, like Peter, deny Jesus the glory that is His?

Jesus told His disciples that it was God’s will for Him to be arrested. He went willingly when the soldiers came to take Him, but enthusiastic, loving Peter raised his sword and cut off a soldiers ear. “Put your sword away,” Jesus commanded. “shall I not drink the cup the Father has given me?” I am Peter. I have my own time frame. When I don’t see things happening, I try to make them happen. And Jesus says “put away your sword, put away your plans. Shall we not do what the father has asked of us?” So, like Peter, I put away my plans, my defenses, and watch as everything happens perfectly in Gods own timing!

After Jesus had risen, He appeared to His disciples while they were fishing. When Peter saw His beloved Savior, he excitedly jumped out of the boat and began swimming to where Jesus stood. Needless to say the boat probably reached the shore before Peter.

I am Peter- excitedly jumping into things and then standing, sopping wet at the feet of the Lord, smiling at my stupidity! I get excited, forget to think things through, and end up doing them the long way. Every time though, just as with Peter, Jesus welcomes my soaking wet self into His arms and is simply happy to see me.

I am Peter who made many mistakes, but I am Peter for whom God had great plans, whom God established to do His work. Peter is the rock on which Jesus built His church. The very night Peter foolishly jumped out of the boat Jesus reinstated Him in the presence of the other disciples.

“Do you truly love me?” He asked. “then feed my lambs” “Do you really love me? Take care of my lambs” “Peter, do you love me? Feed my sheep and come follow me”

For each time I deny God the glory that is His, for each time I follow my own will instead of listening to His, for each time I jump ahead without first consulting my Lord, He asks “daughter, do you truly love me?” and I do. “feed my sheep. And I will. And I do. “come follow me” And I am, or at least I am trying.

I am Peter. I mess up. I make mistakes, I am far from perfect and God will use me. God will establish great things through me.

You are Peter. God already knows that you will make a mess, but His plan for you is great. Go. Feed His sheep.

Perfect Timing

Timing. Man, timing is weird. I could write for days about how I really don’t get/really don’t like time and the concept of time. It comes and goes and it’s gone but where does it go? No where, it’s just kinda gone. It honestly freaks me out a little. I don’t like time; I never seem to have enough. That is also largely because I am a terrible procrastinator and spends hours of time wasted on Netflix, which is not so wise in the long run. Timing, though, perfect timing…

Here’s how I know my perfect timing and God’s perfect timing are on opposite ends of the spectrum.

I used to have a legitimate timeline of what my life was going to look like from the day I started college to the day I died (give or take a few days, I mean I gave myself some wiggle room). And today, I am sitting here seriously laughing out loud at myself. Because oh my gosh ya’ll, my whole idea of how my life should have looked is so so off. I had my days mapped out and my friends all in order and where I was going and what I was doing and how my apartment would be decorated and who was going to be my bridesmaids and when I was going to get married (but funny because I was/am SO single and I didn’t/don’t have a promising groom lined up). So here’s the big stuff: I would finish school in 4 years (and have the time of my life obviously) and get a teaching job right out of college. My fairytale wedding would be during the summer between my senior year and first year teaching, I’d spend roughly 2-3 years adventuring with my soul mate then bam 3 kids, close enough to be in school at the same time but not close enough to have all the same friends. I had names picked out, a school I was going to teach at, my wedding colors, even! Thanks pinterest! To top it off, I had a dream job for my husband haha! Yeah the one I don’t even know yet! It is all so comical now looking back but I can promise you, I thought this was how my life was to play out.

This was before I knew my Savior as a friend instead of a religion.

Now here I am, head over heels in love with Jesus… but let’s take a look at the timeline. I am in my third year and not close to being finished with school, like real behind, I don’t go to the big university I had planned on attending, I don’t have a cute DIY decorated apartment with 3 of my closest friends, I do not have even a hint of a boy in my life, I barely have friends (and by barely I mean I have like 3)! I am so far off the track I created and dreamt up and I am not going to lie, it is FRUSTRATING sometimes. I am often find myself angry, asking why me.. why not her? Why is this so much harder for me than them? It’s easy to blame God, because I mean if God wanted me to have an easy perfectly timed life, He could give it to me right??

So that is how mine and God’s ideas for my life differ, and here is why I trust His plans over mine. Here is where Jesus swoops in, saves me, and answers all my questions at once. I am about to sound like a stuffy old preacher, but let’s turn to John chapter 11.

{Back story real quick- Jesus was best best friends with the 12, but He also had a special place in His heart for Mary, Martha, and Lazarus (siblings). They hung out a lot and were very good friends.}

So in verse 2, we find out L (Lazarus is kind of annoying to type over and over) is sick, so sick and basically on his death bed. So the sisters sent a message to Jesus and get this: it didn’t even say “L is sick, hurry home”, it said “the one YOU LOVE is sick” the one You love, I mean that is top friends on snapchat status, BFF, like Jesus you LOVE this guy. So L was sick and really this is not a problem though, because Jesus LOVES him and heals people daily, people he doesn’t even know. In the sister’s mind, this is an easy fix for the Savior of the world! And He did this all the time! He would be back in perfect timing to save L and get the glory.

And Jesus got the message and said (vs 4) “this sickness will not end in death but is for the glory of God” Praise the Lord! Here He comes to the rescue! Or so we thought… instead of rushing to His friend’s side and healing him, Jesus heads in the opposite direction for a few more days. Wait WHAT?? Why didn’t Jesus do what He should have done OMG HOW ANNOYING!! Why isn’t Jesus doing what I think is best for this situation?

This is where I find myself a lot. I think I know all the answers, I think I know what’s best for me and those around me. I think I know what Jesus should be doing and when He doesn’t, I get frustrated.

Isaiah 55:8-9 ~ For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.”

This. Soak that in. Just as Heaven is higher than the earth, so are His thoughts higher than my thoughts. Makes so much sense yet, sometimes I find that so hard to trust.

Jesus didn’t come when he “should have” or when our silly little human minds think he should have.

And L died.

Jesus returned to find Mary and Martha mourning the loss of their brother and broken by the fact that Jesus, the Messiah, the Savior of the world, their friend, had pretty much left them hanging. Mary cried out to Jesus “Lord, if only You had been here! My brother would not have died!” (vs 32). AKA if you came when we asked instead of playing around for a couple of days, we’d all be happy! Where were you Jesus? Why didn’t you show up when we wanted you to? What in the stinkin world?!

BUT WAIT.. The story isn’t over.

Jesus was sad and he cried and he was angry at himself (yeah guys Jesus was emotional too sometimes!!) and finally said “Remove the stone” And Martha is over there like “Jesus, he’s been dead for FOUR DAYS, let it go man” and Jesus replied “didn’t I tell you that if you believed you would see the glory of God?” (vs 38-40). Throwback to when Jesus said God would be glorified in this. Jesus goes on to pray “Father, I thank you that you heard me. I know you that you always hear me…” (vs 42) and then He yelled out “L COME ON OUT!” AND L CAME OUT!!!! He was four days dead, but at the sound of Jesus’ sweet voice, he came out alive and well!

What if Jesus just healed him instead of raising him to life… sure God would still get glory but what a more beautiful way to bring praise to the King right?! He raised a man from the dead! I MEAN HELLO! Glory to God. What a Savior, literally.

This story means so so much to me. And it has for a really really long time. When I think about the anger Mary and Martha and honestly probably Jesus himself felt about L dying, I feel so understood. And I don’t know about ya’ll but being understood brings so much comfort. I often get so annoyed, angry, let down by God’s plan and how it isn’t what I had planned. But this life I’m in, it’ll end in God’s glory. All this pain and loneliness and everything in my life that seems so off track works together not only for my good, but for God’s glory. So I cling to that truth, His ways are higher than mine and I’d take the God of the universe’s ways over mine any day. Plus it’s a much cooler story.

Thankful for His Perfect Timing.

xx. Austyn

Here Goes Nothing

This is my blog. I am writing a blog. I have started my own blog.

I feel like I am seriously not cool enough to say any of those things. I know in my head, a blogger is someone who wears cute baggie flannels and knits cutie winter hats and sits in really hip coffee shops and bears their soul to their macbook. I, on the other hand can barely rock a flannel, definitely cannot knit, and I don’t even own a macbook (or an iphone but that’s a different saga). I am too spazzy and spacey. I can barely talk, much less write my thoughts. I am far too distracted to sit and write, to be still…

But here I am, 11:04 on a Tuesday, sitting, being still, writing. I have wanted to start a blog for a long long time, but I am the girl who is too scared to post a selfie because I don’t want people to judge me or see who I am. This, my friends, is so much scarier than posting a selfie. In my head, a blog is revealing a raw part of myself to all you (or maybe no one LOL who knows really). I am petrified. But none the less, I feel like there’s this bigger, louder part of me who wants to shout from the rooftops the mess that goes on in my head. Maybe someone will get something huge out of these random, sporadic posts or maybe this will give ya a good laugh cause I am pretty weird and not at all normal. But really, I just want to get these thoughts out of my head. So what better way than to post them on the world wide web, right? Right! Okay!

So with allllll that being said, here goes absolutely nothing. My prayer is that somehow, Jesus will make a breakthrough in someone’s heart with these words. That I may be His scarred hands typing away my thoughts, ideas, worries… and that through my mess, He may reveal His message.

xx. Austyn