Are You Bearing Fruit?

Make sure you are letting the seeds fall in the right soil.

I recently began a study on the Gospel of Mark. What better way to try and learn how to live like Jesus than by reading about his life here on Earth? Anyway, I came across one of Jesus’ parables in Mark 4 that really struck me and opened my eyes up to some things I felt called to share. So, naturally, here’s a blog post about it.

In case you want to read the full text of the parable, it can be found in Mark 4:1-20, and if you aren’t familiar with the Parable of the Sower, I encourage you to read it thoroughly. In summary, Jesus describes a farmer who was scattering his seed, and some of the seed fell in different places along the way. Some fell in rocky places without much soil, some fell in thorns, and some fell in good soil. The seed that landed in rocky places sprouted up quickly but died fast because there was no root. The seed that fell in the thorns grew up but was choked by the thorns and couldn’t produce crops. The seed that fell in good soil grew and produced crops that continued to multiply. Jesus then goes on to explain how each of these scenarios is a representation of how we perceive scripture/God’s word, and how it affects our life.

What resonated the most with me from this parable was Jesus’ explanation of the seed that fell in the thorns and the parallel analogy. In verses 18-19, he says: “Still others, like seed sown among thorns, hear the word; but the worries of this life, the deceitfulness of wealth and the desires for other things come in and choke the word, making it unfruitful.PAUSE! Red light! Whoa. What’s he saying here? He is saying that we may receive the word and know the truth, but the worries of our life, the desires for earthly things, pride, selfishness, etc. come in and choke the word, making us unable to bear fruit. I had to read this verse about five times to really let that sink in.

When we are caught up in ourselves and the things of this world, we aren’t able to bear fruit or be a light to those around us. I have found myself falling victim to this lately. I just spent a week in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico and had a lot of time to relax and reflect. I was reminded of how beautiful and precious life is. And if you are a believer, you know that this world is not your home. You are just passing through temporarily until you reach eternity in Heaven with our Father. This parable revealed to me that I get so worried about this or that, situations I’m facing, and struggles I’m dealing with that I forget what I’m here to do: be a light to others and point them to Jesus.

The last verse of the parable highlights what happens when you hold true to the word of God and allow it to bear fruit in your life. Verse 20 says:

“Others, like seed sown on good soil, hear the word, accept it, and produce a crop – some thirty, some sixty, some a hundred times what was sown.”

Don’t let your current situation or whatever you’re dealing with distract you from growing in your faith and bearing fruit. Someone around you needs that fruit. Make sure you are letting the seeds fall in the right soil.


No Pain, No Gain: A Look Back on 2017

God was propping me up for what would be the greatest victories of all time

(Warning: this post is vulnerable) Looking back on 2017, this year was the hardest year I have faced so far. There was a lot of change, a lot of inner battles, pain, and loss. I transitioned from what was up to this point a life consisting solely of being an athlete and a student to the workforce in Nashville without school and soccer, my two most familiar, consistent elements since I was 4 years old. I lost relationships and people in my life that I counted on being there until the very end. I faced a lot of walls I didn’t think would come down, mountains I didn’t know could be moved, hurt that I didn’t know I could feel, disappointment, and fear that would creep in at my lowest points. However, through all of it, I see more gain than loss.

Growing up in a Christian household, faith was something I never questioned having. However, I hadn’t faced much adversity to prove just how strong my faith was. This year showed me the magnitude of faith’s role in life here on earth. My relationship with God reached levels I didn’t know were possible, and my reliance on Him in “uncomfortable” situations produced a hope and strength that is hard to put to words. Another aspect of my life that grew stronger was my relationships with multiple friends and family members. The love and care that was poured out to me throughout this year by so many people is unreal, to say the least (you know who you are). When you yourself grow stronger, your relationship with Christ grows stronger, and your relationships with others grow stronger, you feel pretty darn invincible. You see, through all of these dark pits I felt I was stuck in and battles I didn’t think I could win, God was propping me up for what would be the greatest victories of all time: unshakable faith, unwavering strength, and unstoppable hope. And for that, I wouldn’t change a thing. 

There has been so much growth and self-discovery emerge this year that I feel like I’m entering 2018 a completely different person than at this point last year, ready to take on 2017 (I mean, who would’ve thought that I would end up developing a love for running, much less start a blog!?) I’ve also excelled with my job, gotten even closer to friends that would walk the world for me, joined a new church, gotten involved with a couple organizations, started reading again, started a girls ministry, and formed a confidence in myself I never knew I could have. It really is crazy for me to think about. And God was orchestrating all of these things along the way.

2017 has showed me that no matter what comes my way in this life, adversity produces hope, wisdom, joy, and a different perspective of life here on earth. 2017 is a year I will forever be grateful for. Even though I feel like my journey has just begun, I feel confident walking into 2018. No matter what comes my way, I’m ready to face the challenges, learn the lessons that come with them, and continue to grow. Roman’s 5:3-5 says:

“Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.  And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.”

No matter what you’ve faced this year, use it as ammunition as we enter a new year. Everyone faces trials and tribulations in this life, and you will go through harder years than others. It’s the strength you gain from those years that will propel you into the following ones ready and confident. And the way I see it is, no pain, no gain!


10 Things I Learned From Giving Up Social Media for 30 Days

It was causing me to feel things I didn’t want to feel and see things I didn’t want to see.

If you have any form of social media, you can probably admit to yourself that you spend too much time on it. You can probably also admit that there’s not a ton of good that comes from it, except maybe seeing news updates, sports scores, and who got engaged. A month ago, I came to the realization that I was spending way too much time on my social media, and worst of all, it was stealing my joy. Stealing my joy?! Okay, I know that’s a little extreme. But it’s true. It was causing me to feel things I didn’t want to feel and see things I didn’t want to see. So, I gave it up for 30 days. I decided to cleanse myself from all things Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat. Yesterday was the 30th day. I want to share with you 10 things that I discovered from staying off these sites for a whole month.

  1. You save phone battery and data
  • First and foremost, I have to state the obvious. Without social media apps on my phone, I was shocked at how much data and phone battery I saved. I would normally make it to the end of the day and still have 60-70% of my phone battery left. I also used a whopping 1GB of data… this was a huge improvement!
  1. You become less attached to your phone
  • Now for the real stuff. This is something I noticed right off the bat. I grew accustomed to not feeling like I needed my phone on my person. I’m not sure why social media contributed to me being attached to having it around 24/7, but without it, I didn’t feel like I needed it as much.
  1. You shed the addictive behavior that comes with social media
  • Before the cleanse, I constantly felt the need to check my social media – way more than necessary. It became addictive. If I would go long periods of time without checking it, I would feel behind. Now, I see how I can go days without checking it and not miss anything worth seeing.
  1. You become less distracted
  • I definitely felt less distracted during the cleanse. Instead of burying my face in my phone all the time, I found myself focusing on things that are actually important. And I can tell you this—what Jane Smith made for her post-workout meal isn’t important.
  1. You lose the desire to feel the need to post about everything
  • Without the opportunity to post about your life, you will realize how little posting on social media actually matters. Do all your followers care that you went to the pool today? Nope. Do they really care that you got a pumpkin spice latte this morning? Probably not. That might be harsh, but it’s true.
  1. You learn to stop comparing yourself
  • This is huge! Here’s the deal. Everyone puts their best self on social media. The moments that are worth bragging about, the fun things they get to do, etc. Do people post about feeling anxious or depressed? Or about their financial issues? Nope (most of the time). You’re only going to see the absolute best part of people’s lives, and then it becomes easy to compare your life to theirs.
  1. You weaken the desire to want to know what others are doing
  • If you delete your social media channels for just a month, I promise you, you will learn to stop caring what everyone else is doing and focus on yourself. You won’t have the option to check in and see what movie Sally Joe watched last night, and you won’t really care either.
  1. You learn to take in what’s around you
  • This is another important truth. When you don’t have social media to take up your time as the days go on, you are able to really focus on the moment you’re in and what’s around you. You will take in every minute, you’ll concentrate on who you’re with, and you’ll just be present.
  1. You grow closer to God
  • One goal I made at the beginning of the process was to pray or read the Bible every time I reached for my phone to check social media. You could imagine this happened a lot at the beginning—so yeah, God and I had some good talks.
  1. You grow farther away from matters that steal your joy
  • No matter what, you’re going to see things you don’t want to see on social media. Things that will disappoint you (like friends hanging out without you) or things that make you angry or upset. Staying away from social media will keep you away from these things, and you will be happier.

Honestly, after 30 days off of Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Snapchat, I don’t feel like I missed a thing. I don’t really care for it as much anymore. Here’s the thing: if someone needs to reach you or is going to tell you something important, they’ll pick up the phone and call or text you. I would encourage a social media cleanse for everyone. Trust me, it’ll be the best thing you’ve done in a long time, and you will feel more present and focused on what’s really important.


Just Be Still

Busyness is a loud noise – a distracting noise.

Do you ever feel like from the time your alarm goes off in the morning until your head hits the pillow at night you are just going, going, going nonstop? Life can be chaotic at times. For me, my routine looks a lot like this: I wake up around 7, get ready, inhale some breakfast, and rush out the door to work where I will be for the next 8 or 9 hours. After work, I come home, eat dinner, and move on to the next item. Whether that’s getting a workout in, going to see friends, going to small group, cleaning, playing in my soccer league, etc., there’s always SOMETHING. And before I know it, it’s 10:30pm and it’s time to go to sleep and do it all over again the next day. Nowhere in that schedule is a time to simply rest, whether it’s resting my mind and spirit or physically resting. Lately I’ve noticed that I am always constantly on the go, and there isn’t much time to just be still.

Well you might be thinking, “Lindsay, that’s how it goes once you’re in the real world. You have to ‘adult.’ No more binge watching Netflix shows like you did in between classes in college.” This is very accurate. I have quickly found that the adult life is taxing and strenuous. So, what does it mean to “be still?” What does that look like? What is the benefit of taking some time every day to relax and focus on being still?

For you, being still could mean you need to physically take 30 or so minutes a day to literally be still. To relax. To breathe. To think. My favorite part of my day is when I get home from work. I go into my bedroom, shut the door, turn the lights off, crawl into bed, and for ten minutes I just lay there in silence. I regroup. I have found this is necessary for me. Physically being still a little bit every day is one way to quiet the chaos.

Another way to be still is to slow down. Personally, I am always striving. I’m always looking for something new to get involved in, new friends to make, a new recipe I want to try, and so on to the point where I fill up all of my days and I don’t get much time to rest. Also, I find myself constantly wanting to move on to the next big thing in life. For example, lately, I’ve been looking into purchasing/moving into a condo in downtown Nashville. This would be a big decision for me, a huge investment, and something that would bring about a lot of change. However, instead of just making the plunge, I hear God’s voice whispering to me to just be still and give it time. To not make any quick rash decisions or rush. Why? I’m not sure, but there’s a reason I am hearing that.

You see, if your life continues to be chaotic day after day, you’re going to be so distracted by the noise that you won’t be able to hear God’s voice speaking into your life. You won’t be able to hear direction on which way to go or what decisions to make, because you’re just flat out busy. Busyness is a loud noise – a distracting noise. This is the biggest message I hear from God right now in my life. Instead of trying to make quick decisions, do a million things at once, stay busy from dusk until dawn, and look so far ahead, He wants me to just be still and listen. My favorite verse, Exodus 14:14, says:

“The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still.”

What would change in your life if you decided to slow things down a bit, to rest, and to drown out the noise of busyness and chaos with stillness and peace?


Thankfulness In the Hills and Valleys

When you are honestly able to be thankful for EVERYTHING in your life, your perspective will change.

When Thanksgiving time comes around each year, I’m always reminded to sit down and really dwell on all the things I am thankful for. I wish I did this more often – it should be a daily thing. I’m a lists person, so I normally make a list and actually write it all down. Obviously it gets to be a pretty long list. I’m thankful for my loving family, my incredible friends, an amazing job, an awesome city I get to call home, financial stability, and the list goes on. These are all things that make it easy to be thankful. I don’t have to think too hard about them because I feel blessed by them each and every day. But this Thanksgiving season I’m being reminded that it’s important to recognize and be thankful for all things in all seasons of life because this is what God calls us to do. We are not just to be thankful for the highs and the things that bring joy and love, but the trials, the tribulations, and the setbacks as well.

Those things aren’t normally what come to mind first when you think about what you’re thankful for, right? You don’t first think about being thankful for the friendship you lost this year or the sickness that fell on your family member or the car wreck that forced you to have to buy a new car. You don’t think about the raise you didn’t get or the job opportunity that didn’t come or the relationship that you lost. But why is it important to be thankful for those things as well? Because each trial and tribulation you face will bring good to your life if you allow yourself to see the good. If you allow yourself to see the growth, strength, and courage that come with difficult seasons then you will learn to be thankful for those times.

When you are honestly able to be thankful for EVERYTHING in your life, your perspective will change. Yes, it is important to be thankful for all the obvious amazing blessings. We easily forget how good we have it and how much we are blessed with. What I’m saying is that it’s important to be thankful in ALL circumstances. If there is an area in your life that doesn’t seem to have anything worth being thankful for, take a second to think about all angles of the situation. Is there a hidden blessing you might have missed? Is there a blessing in store for you down the road as a result of the situation? Maybe you are learning something about yourself through the process.

Today, I encourage you to consider these questions: Are you thankful for both the highs AND the lows? Are you thankful in the hills AND the valleys? Are you thankful for the comebacks AND the setbacks? As we approach Thanksgiving in just a couple days, keep these words from Paul in mind:

“Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”

-1 Thessalonians 5:18-



Let It Be

How do you fully let go, release control, and be content knowing that you just don’t know?

If you know me at all, you know I’m a planner. I live and breathe by my calendar (if it’s not in the calendar, it doesn’t happen). I’m serious… I even put “pack” on my calendar when I’m getting ready to go on a trip. Yup, I know this is a little excessive. I like being ahead of things, knowing what’s coming, and in control. You could say I’m about as “type A” as they come. Of course, this has its perks. But it also has its downfalls.

For me, when unexpected things occur or something happens that wasn’t in the plan, it tends to throw my whole wavelength off. I feel uneasy, out of control, and anxious. I also feel these things when I don’t know how something is going to play out. Every part of me wants to do everything I can to know what’s coming my way, know the outcome, and speed along the process. I like to be prepared and in control. However, we weren’t given control for a reason, and because of my personality, each and every day I have to learn more and more how to release the control. I’m trying to learn how to sit back, relax, and let it be. Currently, there are a few situations in my life where I’m anxious to see how things will play out. I won’t mention them specifically, but being 22 years old, you could imagine there are a lot of unknown things in my world right now.

How do you just let it be? That’s what I’m trying to figure out. How do you fully let go, release control, and be content knowing that you just don’t know? Well, I’m still learning how to do this well, but so far, the best piece of advice I can come up with is to pray. God is the only One who knows the answers. So don’t you think He should be the one you to talk to about it, whatever your “it” is? Instead of taking the reigns, the best thing to do is hand off the reigns. I’m talking to myself here. This is probably my biggest downfall lately. My “type A” personality has been put to the test a lot over the last several months. But right now, it’s my biggest focus. My biggest focus is to become better at letting it be. The Beatles say it best as they sing “There will be an answer, let it be.” And there will be an answer. It might not be on your own time and it might not be the answer you want. But it’s God’s answer, and He always knows best.

“Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.”

I know you’ve most likely heard Proverbs 3:5-6 before, but I think it describes the best possible way to let it be. We cannot rely on our own understanding for life’s circumstances. We cannot try to control the process or make things happen the way we want them to. We must submit our understanding to God’s direction. God’s guidance. God’s timing. God’s ways.



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The Power of Positivity

The more positivity you feed yourself, the happier of a person you will be and the more goodness you will spread.

WORDS. We forget how powerful they are sometimes – the words we say to others AND the words we say to ourselves. Words have the power to build someone up and tear someone down. They have the power to make someone’s day, or ruin it. Personally, the words and thoughts you feed your own self affect your attitude. It’s so easy to be negative, isn’t it? And something that I learned throughout my college years is the fact that negativity spreads. FAST. That’s why positivity is important, and positivity is POWERFUL.

Positivity radiates. But so does negativity, and that’s why it’s so important to be mindful of what you say and think. If you’re having a bad day at work, it’s so easy to go to your coworker and complain about everything going wrong. If your team is in a bit of a slump, it’s easy to sit in a circle and gossip about who just hasn’t been playing up to par. If you’re not where you want to be in life, it’s easy to wake up every morning and be negative from the start. Whether the negative energy is held within or expressed outwardly, it’ll still spread to others whether you mean for it to or not.

But just as negativity spreads, so does positivity. Imagine how much different your day would be if every person you encountered had an uplifting and encouraging manner about them. It’s powerful! One thing I love is a good compliment. Giving a compliment will make someone’s day, and it makes you feel good at the same time! The way I see it is that you can’t be too kind. Like someone’s outfit? Tell them. I mean why not? Compliments can go a long way, and you never know when an encouraging word might be just what someone needed to hear.

A close friend of mine told me that every morning she wakes up and prays that the Lord will send her positive thoughts throughout the day. I think this is important. The devil knows just how to sneak into our brain and take advantage of our thoughts to bring about fear, stress, anxiety, and negativity in general. Asking God to protect you from this and keep your mind on track throughout the day could be a game changer.

In closing, you are in control of your attitude. The more positivity you feed yourself, the happier of a person you will be and the more goodness you will spread. Positivity is powerful, and we all know how much encouragement and love this world needs right now. Here’s my challenge. Today:

  1. Give a compliment both to someone you know well and to a stranger.
  2. Make a conscious effort to control the thoughts in your head and the words you say to others – how’s your attitude? Are you building people up, or bringing them down (whether it’s intentional or not)?

Ephesians 4:29 says, “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.”


Patience in the Waiting

Don’t look so far ahead that you lose track of what is in front of you right now.

Have you found yourself in a season of waiting? I sure have. The truth is, as humans, we are always waiting for the next big thing. For some reason, we can’t be content just where we are. When we are growing up, we can’t wait to get to high school. Once we reach high school, we can’t wait to “get out” and go to college where we are “free.” Once we’re there, we can’t wait to get into the “real world” and start working (hint: if you are still in school, don’t wish this time away. The “real world” aint so glamorous). After that, it’s waiting for “the one” and marriage, followed by waiting to start a family, and finally, waiting to retire. And before you know it, you’re at the end of your life looking back and wondering where the time went. We are constantly waiting for what’s next instead of enjoying the season we are in.

What are you waiting for, right now? It could be graduation. Maybe it’s your future spouse, or you’re waiting to get pregnant. Or a job promotion. It could even be that you are waiting for healing from something. Whatever it may be, it’s so easy to dwell in the fact that you are constantly waiting that it becomes life consuming and your impatience reaches an all time high. But here’s what I’m learning: How are you going to be able to notice what is being done in your life right now when you are so focused on the future? How are you going to be able to continue to grow and mature into the person you need to be when you’re continually looking ahead past the current moment? It’s hard to change your ways, but it’s true. Yes, God gives us things to look forward to. He wants us to be excited about all He has to offer us. But He doesn’t give us these things so that we will lose track of what He’s blessing us with right now.

I was listening to a sermon from a church in Nashville called Cross Point Church a few weeks ago. The sermon happened to be on waiting. I won’t forget this point from the pastor that stuck out to me like a sore thumb: “What you do in the waiting is just as important as what you are waiting for.” Whew – chills. Hearing this stopped me in my tracks and forced me to take a step back. What am I doing in the waiting? Who am I in the waiting? Am I being patient and trusting that my time is coming? Or am I being impatient and making sure everyone around me knows it? It’s so easy to look at someone else and think, they are getting MY blessing. I was supposed to get that. But, I’m here to remind you that there’s reason in the journey. There’s purpose for the learning. And who you are, and what you are doing in the waiting, are just as important as what you are waiting for. And chances are, God’s not going to just hand you everything when you want it. He’s going to use this time to mold you and change your heart until you are ready for what you are waiting for.

In closing, if you are in a season of waiting, I suggest you study the following Biblical stories. Maybe you will find encouragement in what these guys faced and how the Lord worked in their lives.

  • Abraham and Sarah
  • Job
  • Joseph

Whatever you are waiting for, take heart and be patient. Don’t look so far ahead that you lose track of what is in front of you right now.


Embracing Change With Open Arms

Change is inevitable. How will you react?

2017 has showed me that life is full of change. Whether it’s major change or minor change, you will constantly experience change in some way, shape, or form. And with that change comes growth—every time (if you allow it). This year, there have been a lot of major changes in my life. Some “good,” some “bad” (is there really such thing as bad change?), but all of this “change” has brought on much growth. I believe that you can’t go through shifts in life without growing—spiritually, maturely, mentally, or emotionally. And with that growth comes wisdom—if you open up your mind to it.

Why did I decide to start a blog, you might be asking? I’m not quite sure myself. What I do know is that there are a lot of truths that have been revealed to me in 2017, and it’s only October. I feel like it’s best to put these revelations and lessons on to paper, and if others decide they want to hear about them, even better. I also think that as you grow it’s important to share your growth and progress in life with others. Galatians tells us to “Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.” Well, here it is. If you haven’t stopped reading by now, maybe you’re interested in hearing what this growth has been like for me. If so, keep reading. I intend to share exactly what God puts into my heart with this blog.

Today, I’m being reminded that change is inevitable. If you remain in a steady, comfortable safety zone your entire life, you will never be able to grow and mature into who you need to be. Therefore, I believe that there is no such thing as bad change. With each new situation that you face or new territory you are forced to dive into, you will discover new truths as well as new things about yourself. That’s why I am learning to embrace change with open arms. A lot of times, change is brought on without choice. You are left in a situation where you have no other option BUT to accept that things are changing. Other times, you know that it is time for change and you must make the decision to be proactive about it. Either way, how you react to a season of change will determine how you grow and mature in the process.

One truth I have confidence in is the fact that God doesn’t put change in your life if He doesn’t see it to be completely necessary. In other words, there’s a purpose for the change. And if you hang tight long enough, you’ll see exactly what that purpose is. If you truly believe and accept this truth, facing the unknown will be a lot less stressful and scary. Sometimes, we aren’t meant to know every plan and purpose of God’s. We are meant to trust that He is good, and He has your best interest at heart. Have you ever thought that maybe God wants to take you into the unknown so you will cling to His promises and truths? Maybe you need a reality check. You aren’t in control. You aren’t God. We need that reminder sometimes. We don’t always know what’s good for us, and if God sees you heading down a path that He doesn’t want you on, He’ll jerk you right back to reality. And even though that can be uncomfortable, He just wants us to cling to Him and trust.

Change is inevitable. Life is going to be uncomfortable at times. You will be forced to step out into the unknown waters. How will you react?