Coming to Terms With Failure

|| Coming to Terms with Failure ||
Matthew 6:19-21

“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will also be.” 

Failure is never an easy thing to deal with, especially when you feel like you’ve done everything humanly possibly to succeed. Yet the better you get is never good enough or worse, you don’t get better. At one point or another in our lives we face failure. It's a life lesson which we must all come to terms with.

I absolutely hate to lose, and what I’m about to write is definitely not saying we should strive to lose but rather pay attention to what importance the failure has on our life. This topic is super raw for me because I’ve recently dealt with failure of my own, where you can’t quit but every bone in your body is tired of trying. I tear up just thinking about it but my recent failure has taught me a lot about myself and I hope to provide some type of insight for you in your past, present, or even future failures.

First thing I learned, I am not a good team player unless I’m on top of the team. It’s easy to be supportive of those that you’re better than but what do we do for those that beat us? We should support them no matter what, but let me tell y'all, I stink at it! I love to win and find myself more frustrated at my defeaters than myself. When you lose it’s easier to hate the ones that beat you rather than evaluating your own effort or capability in something.

I have learned that it is never someone else's responsibility to make you better at something. It is completely your own and no one else should be blamed for your own short comings. I’m terrible about this too! I learned to stop crying about things I could fix and be proactive. Which is exactly what needs to be done in our Christian life. Instead of feeling bad for someone, pray for them. Take action.

I have learned to know when it’s time to stop. Practice makes perfect can be true but I’ve become much more aware of my strengths and weaknesses. We have to know when we’re not good at something, and learn when enough is enough. God’s blessed us all with talents but no one person can do it all, and He doesn’t expect us to! It’s much better to put all hard work and determination into something for Him that honors and glorifies His name instead of wasting your precious time on something that isn’t doing anything for you!

I have learned not to put so much importance on earthly wins but wins for the Kingdom of God. We love to win the trophy, medal, prize, or have our names featured in the newspaper. Yet we could care less if we’ve failed the only one who really matters: God. I ask myself daily how can I get better grades or be better in this or that, but when was the last time I said, "God I’ve failed you." It's easy to see our earthly failure and be concerned, yet we neglect to see our shortcomings in our relationship with Christ. We work so hard to achieve goals in our daily lives yet we seem to forget we should be achieving goals for God!

I finally remembered something I learned a long time ago, my failures in a worldly event aren't of life-or-death concern level to God. What have I done for His team lately? Stayed up late studying HIS word, telling someone all about His awesome power, devoting my time to serving Him? No, because I found myself desiring a win in the world that isn’t going to stay for long. It’s not going to matter what I did on earth for myself but what I did for His Kingdom, that’s why we’re here, to bring honor to Him not ourselves.

The Bible says it’s important to store up heavenly treasures because those we gain on earth will ALL fade away. Now don’t get me wrong, competition is a great part of life along with failure. But we have to watch our lives as Christians. Are we putting off a witness for Him and being devoted wholeheartedly to God's kingdom or are we so wrapped up in our earthly teams or individual competitions we forget what’s most important? I know I did and I see the mistake now but it took nearly a whole year to realize what I had become: someone who couldn’t come to terms with her failure. A girl who loved God but loved the win. I went through times where my happiness was dependent on success and couldn’t face people knowing I had failed at anything. I abandoned the thought of failing God, unconcerned about my personal relationship with Him because if I could finally win, all would be well with the world.

But it wasn’t, because I failed at something much more life altering.

I failed to remain committed to God the one who sent a Savior for me.

Thank the Lord for open arms! I look back on this time of searching for success and while I regret lost time I also thanks God for the chance to really fail. When we fail we’re brought to a low place where we see some things we don’t see at the top of a success mountain! It’s easy to feel special when we’re being told how special we are by the world. It’s harder when people see us fail. I cared so much about people's opinions of my success I just left God, watching and waiting for me. I didn’t care what I was winning or losing for His Kingdom, I just cared how I felt.

The craziest thing is, I thought that I could really make myself happy once I was on top, but I couldn’t. God doesn’t work that way, He loves us at our lowest points. Not only when we’re succeeding in our walk with Him but when we’re at our breaking point. He cherishes us for all of our failures, he sent His Son to save us for a reason, because He loves us. We’re all failures who are literally nothing without God. We’re of no worth or value without the King, the One who created us.

So, ask yourself, have you come to terms with being a failure? Have you realized that’s what’s so amazing about God? He loves us despite all of this.

In his Love,

Elleigh Ann

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Happy Birthday Kenzie!

It's a very special day today. It's Mackenzie's 17th birthday! Woohoo!! 

From Bethany: Oh man. Kenz, you are amazeballs. Ever since I met you for the first time over lunch in the ATL airport in August, you've blessed me by your wisdom, love, and pure craziness. Haha. And it's a privilege to do life, magazine making, and 3am work dates with you. I can't wait to make more memories with you here in Minneapolis and beyond! Keep chasing God + His beautiful calling on your life! Happy birthday you fabulous chica!

From Ciera: Happy Birthday, Kenzie! I love you so stinkin' much!! You are a fabulous friend and I'm so thankful God has placed you in my life! :) Here's to another year full of getting lost on crazy adventures + staying up 'til 2am video chatting about nothing + giggling about everything under the sun! :) HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!

From Sarah: Kenzie Pie, You are my beautiful butterfly! Happy Birthday to you! Words can not express how incredibly honored I am to walk in this beautiful thing called life with you, Jesus is just crazy, wild, good! You challenge, encourage and inspire me in so may ways & I hope your birthday is the best yet! I can not believe that I will get to see you in less than 24hrs! AH! xoxo!

Now it's your turn to wish Kenzie an awesome birthday!! Leave a comment below or post on her Facebook page :)


Living {IN} Visibly

Hey ya’ll, happy Monday! I am really excited to share with you all a few things the Lord has laid on my heart & opened my eyes to this past week.

This week is my last week of school, which means finals are awaiting & the fight to remain at peace and content, instead of stressing out and being anxious, has commenced. But OH how the Lord has just been so good to me through this all. As I was making my way through Ephesians this past week, one verse really just. Stuck.

Ephesians 5:13-14 
But everything exposed by the light becomes visible, for it is light that makes everything visible. This is why it is said:
“Wake up, O sleeper,
rise from the dead,
and Christ will shine on you.”

It was at the moment that things just started to click & the dots started to connect. Jesus is the light, HE should be the visibility of our lives. We are born in sin, we are the invisible. It is because of His goodness that we are visible.

This also reminded me of John 3:30:

“I must decrease so that He might increase."

I think it is all too easy to put our faith & per se our “visibility” and value in the things around us. Whether that be your school work & finals or the friends you surround yourselves with. We will only find our visibility in this world through Jesus Christ.

Be {IN} visible. Find rest & contentment in the visibility of Christ. I was so in love with the insight the Lord gave me through this that I wrote the word “visible” on my wrist, as a constant reminder that it is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. Step into the visibility of his light, that it might shine on you in a radiant & undying way.

{ sweet serendipity }

Sarah Delanie


What if I made a mistake...

 Somewhere in between entering middle school to graduating high school I developed this view of an ‘ideal’ Christian. I did the right things, said the right words, even dressed the right way and, from the outside world looking in, I was doing everything... right.

It’s so easy for me to slip into this pattern of thinking… That if I follow ‘the rules’ that I’m a good person. What happens when I make mistake… When I mess up bad? Then what? Well… Truth be told we’re all human. We’re all flawed and we all sin. But the beauty is that our sins have already been forgiven and we can be washed clean.

Realizing that trying and making mistakes is part of the journey is probably one of the best things in the world. You are going to mess up, you are going to do things wrong, but Christ has already covered you. You have already been forgiven; you just have to accept Him.

“To have faith in Christ means, of course, trying to do all that He says, There would be no sense in saying you trusted a person if you would not take his advice. Thus if you have really handed yourself over to him, it must follow that you are trying to obey Him. But trying in a new way, a less worried way. Not doing these things in order to be saved, but because He has begun to save you already. Not hoping to get to Heaven as a reward for your actions, but inevitably wanting to act in a certain way because a first faint gleam of Heaven is already inside you.” – C. S. Lewis, Mere Christianity

These past few weeks I've been learning to strive for the best but walk in grace while doing so. I would love to hear what you have been learning in the past couple of weeks. Leave a note in the comment section below! :)

xoxo, Ciera Chante


Make Your Own Journal + A Giveaway!

Have you ever wanted to make your own homemade journal? Well you easily can! And Elianna (a contributor to our Spring Issue) has put her DIY skills into showing us how to make one. And if DIY's aren't your thing, stay tuned till the end of this post to win the journal Elianna use as an example :)

This DIY project is great because it costs about the same or a little less than a regular book, but is made with a ton more love. Its a lot easier than it sounds and most of the items necessary for the project can be found around the house. Since I already had a glue stick  a small piece of canvas, a needle and thread, cardboard, and some patterned card-stock  I didn’t add these into the overall cost. The most expensive item is the remnant fabric. Even this item doesn’t need to be that pricey. You can substitute the remnant for fabric from Goodwill. You could also cut up an old shirt or pillowcase to save even more money.

The Price Breakdown

Remnant Fabric: $6.66
Cardstock: $3.99
Satin Ribon: $1.99
Inside Patterned Cardstock: Found around the house
Small Piece of Canvas: Found around the house
Needle and Thread: Found around the house
Gluestick: Found around the house
Cardboard: Found around the house

Approximate Total Cost: $12.64

To start with, you take your plain card-stock paper and fold it in half. The size of my paper is 8.5 x 11 so the size of my book will be 8.5 x 5.5. Once you’ve folded your paper, divide them into signatures. (a group of 3-6 pieces stacked on top of each other) The thickness of the card-stock will determine how many pieces should be in each signature.

After gathering, stack the signatures on top of one another.

Now that you’ve done that, determine where the holes need to go for sewing. This part is tricky so practice on some printer paper before doing the real thing. You need to have an even number of holes. Since my book is going to be 8.5 inches high, I measured an inch and a half in on each side and then one more inch from that.

After you mark where the holes should be located, use an awl or other skinny pointy object to make them. Again, practice on scratch paper. This next part is the most difficult part so take your time so you don’t make mistakes. Take your needle and thread and your first signature. When sewing, remember to go from the outside of the folded paper. Keep your thread tight!

An inside look...

Once your done with the first signature attach the second signature, like so.

When sewing, you can hold the signatures together with a binder clip.

Once you’re done, then tie off the ends. Completely cover the spine in glue, then place it under something heavy until its fully dry. If you want a book marker, also glue this to the spine. (That’s why you have the skinny ribbon)

Now that the spine is totally dry, glue the canvas piece on as well. The piece should be shorter than the book and have extra on each side. I recommend that you cut your canvas 1 inch shorter and 1.5 inches wider than the spine. Glue on spine over book mark and let dry completely.

Now take your cardboard and measure the covers and spine of your book. My book is 8.5 x 5.5 and I want the pages inside, not flush with the cover so the amount of cardboard I cut out for the spine will be 8.75 x 1.00 and both of the covers will be 8.75 x 5.75.

Glue it onto your fabric with about a .25” space between each piece. Cut your fabric so there’s about a .5” border around the edges. Be careful when cutting!! Especially the corners!!

Glue the edges of fabric over the cardboard, put weight on it, and let it dry.

Put glue on both sides of the canvas (attached to the book) and glue it to the front and back covers. For this part you’ll want to use stronger glue. I forgot to take a picture of this step. Close the book part, while making the sure the canvas has been glued in place and let it dry under some weight.

Take your patterned cardstock and measure both (front and back) to be the same size as your original paper. For me, this would be 8.5 x 11. Fold it in half and make sure it fits nicely between the cover and first page of your book. Lightly coat the back of the page with glue. Attach it to the cover and first page of the book, then close the book to make sure it stays in.

Any questions on this project? Email me at: dancingstar98@toast2.net!

There you have it y'all. How to make a lovely journal for your prayers, plans, or dreams. But for those of us that can't sew/glue to save our lives, we are giving away this journal that Elianna made for us. You have a week to win it ;) And you have no reason not to!

May 9th: The winner is....Sarah Holmes! Expect an email from us within 24 hours, Sarah! Thanks everyone for entering!

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