8 ways to make your day happier.

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1. Start your day with Jesus.

As a Christian I have been trying to make it part of my daily routine to start my day with Jesus. That can take the form of reading the word, reading a devo, writing or praying. There is no right or wrong way to spend time with Jesus. He adores you and longs for relationship with you. I promise you will notice a difference in your whole attitude and mindset throughout the day if you start your day with him.

2. Write or speak out 3 things you are thankful for, daily! 

As humans I feel like it can be so easy for us to get caught up and focus on the negatives rather than the positives. I’m guilty of this. We are truly blessed, its time to start being thankful for it. I was convicted when I was doing my daily devo last week and one of the questions read : “Thank God for at least 10 things that you have that would be considered a luxury to many people”. Straight away I listed off 10 things within 10 seconds. We get so caught up in wanting more that we miss whats right in front of us. Shift your perspective and fill your day with thankfulness.

3. Minimise Technology.

We live in a generation that is unbelievably blessed with such advanced technology. I have recently started a book called Be Anxious For Nothing by Max Lucado (Incredible book if you do/have suffered from anxiety) it explains how technogoly is actually a cause of anxiety. Take the news for example. How often do you ever hear of anything positive? It’s pretty rare. Now on the other hand, How often do you hear of a terrorist attack, a natural distaer, a murder, a suicide, a beating, a robery. This list goes on. Being an anxious person, for me hearing these things constanly fills my mind with “what if’s”. I hate to admit it, but it puts a spirit of fear deep in my soul. If you are someone that thrives off the news, by all means, be my guest but if you aren’t, open up your bible and read God’s truths.

Social media

As a woman, I will be honest. I can get caught up in the world of aimlessly scrolling which then turns into the world of comparison. I’m not saying social media is bad, I flipping love instagram. But always remember to be aware of who you follow and how much time you spend looking at your screen. Don’t allow it to dictate or determine your life. Give yourself social media fasts and embrace the beauty of the world.

4. Have a Bath.

I love this. Anyone that knows me well, knows that I am a sucker for a long, hot bath. There is something about it that just brings clarity to your mind and soul. Add essential oils + epsom salts, watch a bath bomb fizz or fill it with too many bubbles. Give yourself time to r e l a x.

5. Pray, ALWAYS.

Life can be overwhelming at the best of times. Always remeber there is someone who is eagerly waiting to hear from you. Whether it’s a thankful heart, a repentant heart, a sad heart or an excited heart – He is ready.

6. Eat well. 

You know your body and it’s dietary requirments but nothing beats eating clean, whole foods. Your body is precious, nourish it and feed it well. You will notice a difference in your mental and physical self.

7. Move.

I have grown such a love for exercise. I used to do it for all the wrong reasons, i’d force myself to do something I didn’t want to in order to be “skinny”. My healthy exercise routine started when Gideon went back home to the states, I honestly went back to the gym as a distraction from being away from him but in the process actually grew a passion for it. I exercise to feel good and to aid my body in strength. I don’t have a particular exercise routine as such. I do what I feel like on the day. Somedays it’s cardio, somedays it’s weights, somedays it’s stretching. My goal is to just move.

8. Encourage others.

This is easily one of my favourite things to do. I’ve learnt that it is much more fulfilling to give than to recieve. A simple, genuine expression of encouragement can go such a long way. There is nothing more beautiful than seeing someones face light up from pure joy when you recognise their strengths and use your words for good. Making others feel good will make you feel good. Try it!

Stay happy, always lovely’s!

Beth xx

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Health + Wellness

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1 Corinthians 6:19-20 – Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honour God with your bodies.

I love when God places exciting new dreams on my heart to share with others. I am so happy to announce that I am going to be starting a section on my blog completely dedicated specifically on health and wellness.

I have really grown a passion and understanding in what it looks like to care for my body in a healthy and mostly natural way.

In order to flourish we need to take time to nourish. For me, health goes beyond just eating good foods and exercising. I have been on a long journey with practicing self-love and doing the right thing by my body; mentally, spiritually, emotionally and physically. I have had many turns along the way but those turns have led me to more extensive knowledge on all things health. A huge factor I missed on my health journey is knowing and being in tune with my body. I think once you nail that, it allows you to unlock a whole new side to your health and what your body is able to do and achieve. What I share with you are things that I practice and use daily to support MY health. I just want to create a space where I can give tips and advice in areas I have struggled but also grown in. Our God has given us endless natural resources on this earth to use to support our bodies and I believe that we should be utilising them as much as possible. If that encourages other women to try something new and live their life, known and loved by their Saviour then my goal has been achieved.

There are so many different factors that contribute to your health and your wellbeing. I am going to take you through a range of recipes, benefits of essential oils, skin care, super foods, beauty + health hacks as well as routines you can be incorporating into your day to support caring for yourself in the best way possible.

Get ready to flourish, lovely!

Beth xx

 

You are altogether beautiful, my love.

1 Corinthians 15:10 – “By the grace of God, I am what I am.” (NIV)

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It has been so long since I have actually sat down at my computer with my worship music playing, spilling my heart out and sharing the goodness of my God. Let me tell you, I’m one sentence in and I’m already feeling free.

This time last year I went through something that changed me. I haven’t had the courage to share about that experience in-depth, until now!

Peak experiences – It’s a time in your life when you aren’t transitioning, you aren’t waiting, you are just right where you are meant to be. 

At the end of 2016 I was living, embracing and walking out my peak experience like there was no tomorrow. I was content in my friendships, my job, my family, in myself… So I thought.

I began to focus on my health a little more than normal. I have always struggled with body image. I started out with a healthy routine, going to the gym a few times a week & cleaning up my diet but before I knew it, all of a sudden I was stuck in this vicious cycle of over exercising and restricting the foods I was consuming. It just happened and I couldn’t seem to gain control over the matter. All I was focussed on was loosing wight. I was fixated on a stupid, pointless number. I thought it would make me a better person, I thought it would make me feel beautiful, I thought it would make me feel worthy. I Believed the lies that every woman believes – “If you look a certain way you’ll be happy” “If you weigh this much, people will like you more”. I used to get angry, literally angry at myself if I didn’t workout or if I ate carbs. I lost my period, the very thing that makes you a women. My body was failing. I felt like I was failing. The enemy tainted my vision and I saw exactly what he wanted me to see, I was right where he wanted me.

During this time, I had my faith but I chose to listen to the world over my God. It breaks my heart to write that but I did. This season of my life was real, it turned horrible but it taught me ALOT.  I got a head of myself and I took God’s blessings for granted and as a result of that the bad got the better of me.

It wasn’t until I ran back into my Saviours arms – broken, lost, insecure and ready to be made whole in his presence again that my world began to turn around. It felt like my heart was rooted in the ground but it was covered in weeds and as soon as I fell at his feet, flowers started to bloom again.

Zephaniah 3:17 – The LORD your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves. He will take great delight in you; in his love he will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing. (NIV)

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Last year in Hawaii, for the first time ever I saw myself the way God see’s me. I don’t know if you’ve ever had a moment like that but it was the most beautiful, liberating and empowering moment of my life. It’s not something I can put into words because it was such a sacred moment between My incredible Jesus and myself. I still have days when I am insecure but because I am clinging to God and resting in his promises I have better control over those feelings.

Beautiful one, You are not defined by a number on a scale, you are not defined by how many friends you have or what you look like. You are made new and whole in a God that adores you, longs for you and see’s you as nothing less than perfect. You are made fearfully and wonderfully. You are more precious than rubies. Never feel like you are too broken to come to him, he wants you as you are. He is a God that can pick up the shattered pieces of your Story and make a masterpiece out of them. He is ready to shape you and mould you into the beautiful being he has predestined you to be. There is so much more to his plan than your outward appearance, let him free you of the negative thoughts that run wild in your head, allow his grace to fill your heart and soul so you can rest knowing how much he loves you.

Beth xx

 

Heart Photo: Pinterest.

A Thankful Heart, Dear.

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It has recently been thanks giving over in America and it really got me inspired me to write all around thankfulness. Funnily enough, it’s exactly what the Lord has been pressing on my heart to do more of lately.

Psalm 36:1 “Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good. His love endures forever.”

I am a very happy, energetic and confident person. I have always been someone who chooses optimism and positivity first but if I am honest, the last few months have felt SO opposite to that and it’s been so conflicting. It’s like I  was constantly churned up and every time something wonderful happened I would feel this tug on my heart and this unexplainable sadness filled the pit of my soul.

I have been in this constant up hill climb and I haven’t been able to see the top. I wrote in my last post about my gratitude for my friend Tess. I spoke about how I started to feel like myself again, for the first time in months.

Do you want to know why I started to feel like myself again?… Because the Lord invaded my heart and refilled my spirit with Thankfulness.

We are called to be Thankful in all circumstances of our lives. When we Praise and give thanks to our incredible Jesus we are ridding ourselves of the very thing the devil is trying to hold us down with. When we give Thanks, we receive blessing. When we choose to focus on the good things, we actually reap the benefit of the blessing by just feeling full again.

There is nothing more beautiful than the feeling of pure, genuine thankfulness. Our God wants us to live a life full of abundance and relentless Joy. He wants us to recognise his work and Praise him for everything.

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 – Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

I look at Characters of the bible like, Job, David and Paul. God – honouring men who poured their heart and souls to God with Thankfulness. They were faced with awful circumstances yet still they were able to walk out their day covered in crazy, unexplainable peace, simply because they were Thankful. 

My prayer for you is to always have a Thankful heart, that no matter what you are facing, you choose God and you trust wholeheartedly that you belong to him, the King of the world.

My Challenge for you is to count your blessings. As you wake up instead of scrolling aimlessly on social media, spend time in the presence of God and Thank him for all the wonder and beauty in your life.

What are you thankful for?

How has God moved in your world?

When did he carry you out of that place you thought you were going to be stuck in forever?

Who has he placed in your life that has made a positive influence over you?

I can 100% promise you, you are going to be setting your day up for success when you start it like this.

Beth xx

Let’s A D V E N T U R E!

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27.11.17.

Adventuring is in my blood, it makes me feel alive, it sets my heart on fire to the wild pursuit of exploring the unknown and delving deeper into the beauty and wonder of this vast world.

On Monday I found myself overly excited because my beautiful friend Tess asked me to go on an adventure with her. We had no direction or intention for the day, we were just free to roam where ever our hearts desired. We ended up in Newcastle, NSW, where we wandered upon a magical little mermaid hole just off the shore line. It was surrounded by the roaring ocean and a multitude of cliff face, textured and patterned so intricately. Beneath us was a whole new world of creatures, coral, seaweed and living organisms.

As we sat in the stillness of creation I felt myself feeling whole again. You see, over these last few months I have wanted to be alone. In that time my anxiety began to cripple me again and I found that dreaming became scarce. I stopped doing the things I loved. I stopped adventuring. I spent that time praying + seeking but I just found myself going around and around in circles.

God places different people in your life at the most perfect of times. I met Tess 5 years ago and she has been one of my most treasured friends ever since. Whether she knows it or not God used her in the most tremendous way this week.

Because of her asking a simple little question, my heart genuinely bubbled up with pure joy + excitement. A feeling I haven’t felt since America.

When I am given the opportunity to explore I feel the rush and adrenalin of adventure as well as the peace and stillness of my soul. When I am out in nature I find myself connecting to my creator in such a beautiful way. I am able to embrace and immerse myself fully in the wonder I’m forever marvelling at.

Please don’t ever stop doing things that bring you joy. Don’t let anxiety and painful thoughts hold you back from the beautiful opportunities that await you! The enemy is here to steal, kill and destroy, especially when you are on the verge of greatness! Don’t let him rob you of your joy, your gifts, your talents or your dreams. You have a God that loves & adores you. He has overcome the world and he is ready to take you on an adventure and invade your heart in the most indescribable way. All you have to do is trust and be completely open to his will.

Beth xx

I am Delighted in…

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Keep the word ‘delighted’ in your head and let me try my best to give you some insight of the value of this word in my life right now.

I have been a girl that has struggled with self worth and body image for most of my teen years and now into my early 20’s.. I thought this cycle of insecurity and discontentment in myself would have ended by now. I’ve written a bit about a few of my own personal stories in my self love journey in a place of coming out of negative thoughts about myself.

About 2 months ago I found my mind playing tricks on me again, I found myself listening to what the enemy thought of me and I believed it, more than ever this time.

I can honestly say, hand on heart I have never experienced self doubt like I have these last few months.

I know other women can relate when I say that I stood in the mirror and picked at every little thing on my body, I could see nothing good about me. The more I looked the more the enemy filled my mind with lies. There is no worse feeling than looking at yourself and just crying because you are so damn insecure of the person you are and feel nothing but worthless. I was caught in the trap of comparison. I just seemed to be in this rut and I didn’t know how to get out.

I had been back in Australia for a few weeks now from a 4 month trip to the states and I was still in this negative mind frame. I decided to take myself down to one of my favourite beaches and spend some solitude time with the Lord. I opened up to Psalm 139 – A beautiful chapter of poetry from the bible that speaks of all the goodness God sees in us. Normally, this would help me and ease my mind straight away but this time it didn’t.

I love that God knows me better than I know me because when I went to close my bible a highlighted verse popped up.

Zephaniah 3:17 – For the Lord your God is living among you.

He is a mighty saviour.

He will take DELIGHT in you with gladness.

With his love, he will calm your fears.

He will rejoice over you with joyful songs.

I was instantly taken back to week 5 at camp – Reboot.

One of the workshops we sat through was all about how the Lord delights in us.

I’m just going to re write that sentence because a lot of you would have just grazed over it… The KING of the universe, maker of EVERYTHING and EVERYONE takes DELIGHT IN US!

Some synonyms for the word delighted are:

  • Joyful.
  • Very pleased.
  • Ecstatic.
  • Happy.
  • Cloud 9.
  • Excited.

If that wasn’t the biggest slap in the face by God at the beach I don’t know what was. I was still in this proud state of mind while reading that verse because I knew it was God speaking to me but my brain was still believing the negative thoughts that were being fed to me.

I remember thinking why can’t I feel the way I did when I was sitting in that workshop almost 3 months ago now?

On the 3/7/17 I wrote in my journal.

I AM LOVED BY A KING WHO DIED TO KNOW ME.

You are my delight..

Every time I feel ashamed or down on myself I need to stop and ask God what he thinks of me. What is God proud of me for?

We were then given time to sit and listen to God and why he delights in us.

He spoke to me and said:

“I delight in you because…

You are courageous and you take risks.

Because you accept who you are.

Because you are loud and quirky.”

I then told my Saviour why I delighted in him.

I delight in God because..

He is my father.

He forgives.

His love is perfect.

He knows.

He is gentle.

He loves without question.

I am on a journey of self love and re learning to see myself the way Jesus sees me and I am determined to get back to the mind frame of where I was in week 5 of camp, except better.

I am not writing this blog for self pity, I’m writing it because I am the biggest advocate of self love and believing in who you are as a person but know that in different seasons of life come different challenges. Right now this is mine and it might be someone else’s too.

I want to encourage who ever is reading this blog that YOU are DELIGHTED in by a King. Who made you fearfully and wonderfully. He doesn’t make mistakes. He rejoices over you!!! God is Joyful for YOU, He is ecstatic for YOU, he is on cloud 9 for YOU and he is pleased with YOU.

I challenge you right now, Go and sit in a quiet place and write down 3 positive things about yourself. Embrace them and Embrace you!!!!!

By Bethany Calverley.

I belong at camp Sonshine!

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I’ve really struggled to start writing this blog because I just had no idea where to start. It’s been two weeks on from finishing camp and I have had time to process and reflect on what God has done over the summer, lessons I’ve learnt and how I’ve changed as a person. So now I’ts finally time for me to share my 2 and a half month journey of my unfolding of how I belong at camp Sonshine.

25th of May, 2017 – My mum and I jumped on a train to stay in Sydney for the night before my journey To Lincoln, Nebraska began. I remember sitting with her talking about camp and reading over the training manual. This was the moment when it all became real for me, when my emotions started to go crazy yet take control at the same time. I was filled with wonder of what could be, fear of the unknown and Joy because God chose me to go on this journey with him. Sitting on that train I had absolutely no idea what I was about to step into nor did I know the experiences I was about to have.

It got to the morning of me leaving and I was an anxious wreck. I have never felt so scared to do something before. My journey to Nebraska alone was 3 flights and about 2 days worth of travelling. Keep in mind I am PETRIFIED of flying and I had no idea what I was doing. If I’m being completely honest at this stage I didn’t want to go. I didn’t think I was capable enough. All I felt was doubt and fear but thank goodness my incredible Jesus stepped in and carried me the whole way. As soon as I said good bye to my mum and step dad at the airport I felt nothing but peace. This was a big leap of faith and a defining moment in my walk with God and I am so thankful I was obedient and listened.

Fast forward a few days – I have arrived! As soon as my plane landed and I got greeted by Lauren, Lulu and Adrianna with open arms and smiling faces. I knew this is where I was meant to be. I knew this season was going to be life changing.

The meeting process began. I remember feeling nothing but overwhelmed at this stage because I felt so connected to everyone almost instantly. I can honestly say I have never met a bunch of people as beautiful as the team I was blessed to work with this summer. Each of them made me feel welcome, loved and accepted. They were each a beautiful representation of what a Christian should be. They were different because Jesus shone through them.

I am changed because of the things God has done in not only me but through the people around me this summer.

During our training week we were asked to write out a vision for the summer, our goal, our purpose, what we wanted to achieve. When I first got accepted into camp Sonshine after reading their visions and values I said to mum “This seems like the type of camp I would have needed when I was younger”.

As much as I knew this summer, the people, Nebraska and camp Sonshine was a part of my new beginning, my purpose for the next few months was about others.

I love to encourage so this summer that’s exactly what my vision was.

Growing up I was an anxious little being and a lot of people Judged me for who I was and I HATED how that made me feel so I wanted to use my past experiences to help empower and encourage young people that they are enough, they are loved and they are worthy just the way they are – the way God made them. Each week I taught my girls about how much God loves them and how important it is to love themselves. I did this through talking about their fears, picking up rocks as a representation of what they had just stated their fears were and threw them into the pond so they are now rid of what ever it is that was holding them back. I did it through reading my all time favourite book – You are special by Max Lucado, I did it by filling up each others buckets – We would get in a circle and say something we liked about the person to our left. I did it by reading them Psalm 139 and then getting them to write down and speak out loud 3 things they loved about themselves to the group.

I was blessed to be given the opportunity to work alongside each age group over the summer. Through each of the precious beings I became friends with came many lessons.

I remember sitting in my room at my host home one Wednesday night, I was praying to God because I didn’t feel as connected my group as I had hoped on this particular week. I was praying for answers as to how to make a connection with them in the space of 2 days. I heard God instantly and as clear as anything.. Be vulnerable.

The more I thought about it the more it made sense and the more I sat on the thought of vulnerability with Children the louder God spoke.

I have been through a fair bit in my 21 years of living and I know that it hasn’t been for no reason so why shouldn’t I share my life with my girls? I prayed for the opportunity to be vulnerable with my little loves and I prayed it would be in God’s time. It says in the bible if you have faith as small as a mustard seed you can move mountains. Boy oh boy did mountains move that week. It came to Thursday afternoon and my group had become really interested in the concept of Heaven and hell. The girls shot out questions left right and centre during that afternoon group time. I kept praying as we had one more day left that their interest in this would continue. It got to Friday night during the over nighter and I decided to have my group by the archery stalls (right where everyone had their belongings to move into teepees and tents). I didn’t think the group would go for as long as it did but I heard God say loud and clear again.. Be vulnerable. So I struck up a conversation about how I felt the presence of Jesus and I started to share about my personal relationship with him. By doing this that then lead my beautiful girls to do the same thing. We spoke about our fears, things we’ve overcome with God, our self worth, our crappy times and how God has moved in our hearts.

I was super hesitant to share about a few things because the girls I had were 8 and 9 years old but I trusted God and shared about how dad had passed away and how God bought me through that time of my life. Being vulnerable really pays off because my girls shared about their experiences with death too. I remember when I shared this, my girls paused, some came and sat closer to me, some held my hand, others gave me their friendship bracelets they had made from earlier on in the week. There was a distinctive moment where one girl (I call her angel face or joy face because you feel nothing but happiness when you are around her, she is anointed with the love of Jesus and it is so so evident) She looked at me when she was sharing one of her life stories and She quoted the bible verse “Our God is a father to the fatherless”. I was so taken back because I was being encouraged by a 9 year old. She also shared an incredible story of how she felt the presence of Jesus. She said “I feel Jesus in my dreams, I have this dream where I am running up to Jesus on his throne and then we just embrace with this big hug”. This group time went on for about an hour when we were only given 20 minutes. All while these conversations were happening we had so many distractions around us with people moving their belongings, other groups were really loud as well as others packing up from s’more time. God gave me the opportunity to connect with my group in a way I never have before. We didn’t just have surface conversations, we were able to go deeper – We cried together, we prayed together and we felt the presence of Jesus TOGETHER. All because I was able to have the courage to be vulnerable. I will be forever thankful to my incredible Saviour for that moment.

The next big lesson I want to talk about is obedience. Obedience to God in my opinion is never going to be something simple but the outcome is going to be phenomenal. My first lesson of obedience on this journey was listening clearly to what God had called me to do. I was in shock when things started to piece together so quickly and so easily for me to come over to Nebraska. I had no idea why I was called to the middle of America to do a summer camp but I knew in my heart that I had a peace that I had never experienced before and I had to go.

It was the end of week 2 when I was sitting in a local church I attended during my time in America (Mosaic! Best church I have ever been to) when I felt God telling me to open up to John 13. I had absolutely no clue what story of the bible it was going to be but I was eager to find out. I began to read, It was the story of Jesus washing his deciples feet. My stomach instantly got butterflies and my heart began to tingle… I knew the Holy Spirit was calling me to not only share this story with my group in the coming week but to actually show an act of love by washing each others feet just as Jesus did. This was petrifying to say the least. I mean, really, who wants to sit and wash someones else’s feet, let alone make this experience engaging enough that the focus will still be on Jesus? The week started and days kept going by, I still couldn’t muster up the courage to do this devotion. This particular week was my absolute favourite week of camp ever because of the bond I shared with my girls completely through Jesus, it was incredible but I was still scared to go through with my devotion. It finally got to Friday and I knew I had to do it or I would be filled with utter regret knowing this is something God had specifically called me to do. We had just finished doing some spontaneous Yoga in the rain because the girls didn’t want to continue with pool time as it was a little cooler that day, we sat down for lunch underneath the white tent and we finished a lot earlier than expected.. It was time. God even gave me an extra 20 minutes to do this devotion. I went to Walmart the night before and bought some bath salts and moisturiser to make the experience a little more fun for the girls. We sat in a circle and I began to tell them the story of Jesus washing his disciples feet, I focussed on the fact that it was a complete act of love. I then told them that we, as a group, were going to wash each others feet just as Jesus did. At this stage I was SO scared of the reaction I was going to get but I was taken by surprise. The girls couldn’t wait to do it! they thought it was super fun and they grasped the concept of why they were doing it. They told me that it made them feel special, loved and relaxed. Then all the girls crowded around me to wash my feet and oh my, it was honestly the most humbling experience I have ever had in my life. We then went on to imagining how it would feel if Jesus washed our feet. I loved watching as their faces beamed with absolute joy and wonder of what it would be like.
My girls have were so hungry for God, so eager to learn about him and were such a reflection of all he is.

A few weeks after doing this, I got a little note from a mum from one of the girls in my group that week. It said.. “Bethany, Anya absolutely loved you. And it wasn’t just that you were fun, when I asked about her favourite part of the day she shared about your devotions and about you washing her feet. Thank you so much for being more than just a councelor. Thank you for purposely living out Jesus to my girl. She already misses you.”

With Obedience comes blessings that you can’t even comprehend.

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As wonderful as camp has been, I’d be lying if I said my growth was only through the good times because everyone that walks with Jesus knows that our real growth comes through the hard times and man oh man did those times come. I’m all about being real, raw and honest with my feelings and my writing so here it goes.

It got to the last few weeks of camp where I really started to struggle, I struggled in ways that I never have before. I struggled because I was doing ministry work, the work of the Lord. Looking back now it’s more of a compliment because the enemy saw me as a threat. There were so many times in those last few weeks where I just wanted to throw in the towel and give up. I was physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually drained. I was burnt out and I knew in those weeks I couldn’t do camp alone. The only reason I was able to finish was because of God’s strength. Working 12 hours days outside in 45 degree heat is not something my body would be able to do for 5 days a week normally. Not being able to talk to my family because I was working so much that when I  would be awake they would be asleep and when they would wake up I’d be doing camp. Not being able to spend more than 20 minutes alone with God because my mind was so distracted with planning for the next day of camp, spending time building relationships with people that I met in America or trying to have some time to only think about myself. From almost fainting a number of times, throwing up in corn fields, being sweaty, smelly and gross my God came through. I cried out to him (literally) because I was done but he wasn’t. I was sitting outside of the barn one night at camp and I was praying for help, I was praying for signs, I was praying for anything to get me through these next few weeks.

God started talking to me through the book of Philippians in the bible. It is essentially a bunch of letters from Paul writing to Philipi while he is in prison, in literal chains for having a faith. I know that my situation is nothing like Pauls but I took comfort in the fact that to some degree I felt like I was able to relate because I had to completely rid myself of me and all the things that I found comfort in to serve God in a way that I never have before. I was reminded that I have been called to Nebraska all the way from Australia to serve God. God chose me! He chose me to love on all of these little American babes and use me as a vessel to pour his love on them. WHAT A FREAKING HONOUR!

I received all of these verses in my time of a breakdown.

Isaiah 43:19 – See, I am doing a new thing!
Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.

Philippians 2:13 – For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him.

Philippians 2:17 – But I will rejoice even if I lose my life, pouring it out like a liquid offering to God, just like your faithful service is an offering to God. And I want all of you to share that joy.

Philippians 4:4-7 – Always be full of joy in the Lord. I say it again—rejoice! Let everyone see that you are considerate in all you do. Remember, the Lord is coming soon. Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.

Philippians 4:13 – For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.

Philippians 4:19 – And this same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from his glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus.

1 Thessalonians 5:16-17 – Always be joyful. Never stop praying.

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The list goes on and on to how much I have learnt and how much God has taught me over these last few months but I am changed because I’ve learnt how to be completely obedient, I am changed because I have learnt how to be vulnerable, I am changed because I have learnt to love like Jesus loves, I am changed because I now know my capability of how far I can push myself and I can only do that because of God’s strength, I am changed because I have learnt how to surrender the things I am comfortable with, I am changed because I let God do what he wants even when I am scared. I am changed because I belong at camp Sonshine.
By Bethany Calverley.