Life

 

Some quotes that have been resonating with me lately ♥

“Either we are adrift in chaos or we are individuals, created, loved, upheld and placed purposefully, exactly where we are. Can you believe that? Can you trust God for that?”

Elisabeth Elliot

 

“Until the will and affections are brought under the authority of Christ, we have not begun to understand, let alone accept, His lordship.”

Elisabeth Elliot 

 

Stop beating yourself up for phantom achievements you were “supposed” to achieve.

Unknown

 

“Lord, I give up my own plans and purposes, all my own desires, hopes and ambitions, and I accept Thy will for my life. I give up myself, my life, my all, utterly to Thee, to be Thine forever. I hand over to Thy keeping all of my friendships; all the people whom I love are to take second place in my heart. Fill me now and seal me with Thy Spirit. Work out Thy whole will in my life at any cost, for to me to live is Christ. Amen.”

Betty Stam

 

“Remember this. Had any other condition been better for you than the one in which you are, divine love would have put you there.”

Charles Spurgeon

 

“I realized that the deepest spiritual lessons are not learned by His letting us have our way in the end, but by His making us wait., bearing with us in love and patience until we are able to honestly pray what  He taught His disciples to pray: Thy will be done.”

Elisabeth Elliot

 

“He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God; And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform. And therefore it was imputed to him for righteousness.”

Romans 4:20-22

 

“The supreme test of our confidence in God lies, perhaps, in those moments of complete inner darkness in which we feel as though we are forsaken by God. Our heart feels blunt; our prayers for strength and inspiration sound hollow… An impenetrable wall separates us from God.

An ardent belief in His love; a steadfast conviction that He is near to us even though we are, or imagine ourselves to be, far from Him; an unbroken awareness that ‘He hath first loved us’… these must carry us across the chasms of darkness and lend us strength to blindly let ourselves fall into His arms.”

Dietrich Von Hildebrand

 



Faith

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Today I thought I’d write about one of my favorite writers and greatest spiritual inspirations, Elisabeth Elliot.

For those of you who don’t know who she is, she was a well-known author and the widow of the beautiful and inspiring martyr, Jim Elliot, who died in 1956. She wrote such books as Let Me Be a Woman, Passion and Purity, Shadow of the Almighty, etc. All books which my sister and I have.

I don’t remember when I first learned about her, but I think it may have been sometime before her death (which was last year in the summer of 2015). My sister and I were reading some of Eric and Leslie Ludy’s books and she was mentioned in their writings. Soon after that, I heard about her death and I started to read more about her. Stumbling upon some of her quotes immediately captured my attention. There was such maturity in her words, such keen understanding, such wisdom – she wrote in a way that my feminine heart could identify with.

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I learned more about her and then bought her book Shadow of the Almighty: The Life and Testament of Jim Elliot. It was there that I learned about the death of her husband, how he was martyred, and the joy with which he went to his death. Through his letters and journal entries, I gained entrance into a heart that was sold out for Christ, a soul that was bent on sharing the gospel, and a mind that was so intensely human and yet so extraordinary in its spiritual maturity.

Time and time again, I return to Elisabeth’s writings and my soul gets fed on such quotes as:

“The secret is Christ in me. Not me in a different set of circumstances.”

“We never know what God has up His sleeve. You never know what might happen; you only know what you have to do now.”

“Faith does not eliminate questions. But faith knows where to take them.”

“God has promised to supply our needs. What we don’t have now we don’t need now.”

“Waiting on God requires the willingness to bear uncertainty, to carry within oneself the unanswered question, lifting the heart to God about it whenever it intrudes upon one’s thoughts.”

“One does not surrender a life in an instant. That which is lifelong can only be surrendered in a lifetime.”

“Of one thing I am perfectly sure: God’s story never ends with ‘ashes.’”

“Freedom begins way back. It begins not with doing what you want but with doing what you ought. That is – with discipline.”

“When obedience to God contradicts what I think will give me pleasure, let me ask myself if I love Him.”

“Today is mine. Tomorrow is none of my business. If I peer anxiously into the future, I will strain my spiritual eyes so that I will not see clearly what is required of me now.”

“The will of God is never exactly what you might expect it to be. It may seem to be much worse, but in the end its going to be a lot bigger and a lot better.”

“Waiting silently is the hardest thing of all… But the things that we feel most deeply we ought to learn to be silent about, at least until we have talked them over thoroughly with God.”

“Is it more important to understand than to obey? Is it more important to me to know than to believe?”

“When people are depressed, they are almost invariably angry, and the anger almost always leads to fear. Put your trust in God.”

“Don’t dig up in doubt what you planted in faith.”

“Fear arises when we imagine that everything depends on us.”

“The fact that I’m a woman doesn’t make me a different kind of Christian, but the fact that I’m a Christian does make me a different kind of woman.”

“We are not meant to die merely in order to be dead. God could not want that for the creatures to whom he has given the breath of life. We die in order to live.”

“When you don’t know what to do next, just do the thing in front of you.”

“I have one desire now – to live a life of reckless abandon for the Lord, putting all my energy and strength into it.”

“To be a follower of the Crucified means, sooner or later, a personal encounter with the cross. And the cross always entails loss.”

“If your goal is purity of heart, be prepared to be thought very odd.”

“Restlessness and impatience change nothing except our peace and joy. Peace does not dwell in outward things, but in the heart prepared to wait trustfully and quietly on him who has all things safely in his hands.”

“He says no in order that He may, in some way we cannot imagine, say yes. All His ways with us are merciful. His meaning is always love.”

“Leave it all in the Hands that were wounded for you.”

“You are loved with an everlasting love. And underneath are the everlasting arms.”

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I hope these words bless you as much as they do me. Elisabeth Elliot, and her martyred husband, were truly a man and woman of a great God.

Life

inspiration quotes

I’ve been having a series of uninspired days. I don’t feel like doing much of anything. If you’re having one of those days (or weeks) too, then this post is for you! Enjoy.

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“Hold fast to dreams,
For if dreams die
Life is a broken-winged bird,
That cannot fly.”

Langston Hughes

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“The flower that blooms in adversity is the rarest and most beautiful of all.”

Mulan

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“If you’re reading this…
Congratulations, you’re alive.
If that’s not something to smile about,
then I don’t know what is.”

Chad Sugg

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“We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty.”

Maya Angelou

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“Pain is temporary. Quitting lasts forever.”

Lance Armstrong

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“What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make.”

Jane Goodall

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“I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.”

Philippians 4:13

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“I dream my painting and I paint my dream.”

Vincent Van Gogh

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“They that sow in tears shall reap in joy.”

Psalm 126:5

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“You can’t wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club.”

Jack London

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“The only person who can pull me down is myself, and I’m not going to let myself pull me down anymore.”

C. Joybell C.

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“With the new day comes new strength and new thoughts.”

Eleanor Roosevelt

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“Your life is an occasion. Rise to it.”

Suzanne Weyn

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“My Lord God, I have no idea where I am going. I do not see the road ahead of me. I cannot know for certain where it will end. Nor do I really know myself, and the fact that I think that I am following your will does not mean that I am actually doing so. But I believe that the desire to please you does in fact please you. And I hope I have that desire in all that I am doing. I hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire. And I know that if I do this you will lead me by the right road though I may know nothing about it. Therefore will I trust you always though I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death. I will not fear, for you are ever with me, and you will never leave me to face my perils alone.”

Thomas Merton

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I hope these quotes inspired you like they did me. Feel free to share!

Writing

I saw this mini Q&A on Advice To Writers and I thought it’d be fun to do the tag!

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How did you become a writer? 

Through reading. I always adored books. As a child, I wasn’t as interested in writing as I was reading – probably because I was inherently lazy, and I just remember being exhausted at the idea of figuring out an entire story and creating characters when I really just wanted to continue traveling to other worlds, without all the tedious bother of writing it down. But I did write. Poems, short stories, etc. I remember having a running series about a girl named Lisa when I was around nine years old: Lisa’s father had a private jet and Lisa spent her days cozily nestled on a plush seat, stroking her white kitten while tapping away on her high-speed laptop (fantasies circa 2003). I remember writing another story… it took place on Christmas Eve, and a little girl with a baby brother named Elijah wakes to a winter wonderland, neighbors cheerily calling out greetings outside her window as they string their houses with twinkling lights. Downstairs the scent of muffins and cinnamon wafts from the kitchen where said little girl’s mother happily bakes enough to feed a small army. #lifegoals

From these two examples, you can learn several things about me: I was obsessed with having a laptop of my very own (I once saw a business associate of my father show a small group of people a demonstration on her laptop and I literally could not stop thinking about it after that). I was obsessed with kittens. I was obsessed with my little brother Elijah. I was obsessed with the idea of traveling. I liked to fantasize about my father being ridiculously wealthy. I grew up in Puerto Rico and the closest I came to winter or snow was the television set, but I liked to dream about it all the same. And, naturally, food. Because what kid doesn’t dream about buckets and buckets of baked goods?

Name your writing influences (writers, books, teachers, etc.):

Writers: Harper Lee, Ann Brashares, Emily Dickinson, Irving Stone, M.L. Stedman, Laura Hillenbrand, Tracy Chevalier, Jane Austen, L.M. Montgomery, Charlotte Bronte… and so many more, it’s kind of ridiculous. But I’ll leave it at this.

Books: To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, The Agony and the Ecstasy by Irving stone, Girl With a Pearl Earring by Tracy Chevalier, The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman, Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte, Night by Elie Wiesel, The Diary of Anne Frank…

When and where do you write? 

At my dining room table, surrounded by people. Mostly during the afternoon.

What are you working on now? 

I’m starting the preliminary work on my second book, which is the second half of my memoir. I actually have a large chunk of it written, but I’m working on an outline.

I also have a couple of fictional pieces that I work on when I have spare time.

Have you ever suffered from writer’s block?

Every day of my life. Isn’t that somewhat counter-productive? You might be thinking.

The answer is yes, it’s as counter-productive as you can imagine. Join me in my bewilderment.

What’s your advice to new writers?

Read as much and as often as possible. Read everything. You’ll soon be able to differentiate between the Good and the Not Good, and from there you’ll start forming your own opinions on writing style, giving natural way to your developing your own.

The reading of all good books is like a conversation with the finest minds of past centuries.

Descartes