Maple Alps

Faith

Will I Be Still?

FaithAmanda Walter | Maple Alps3 Comments

We live in a noisy world.

A few months ago, as I sat at my desk to work, I became aware of the theme from Family Feud playing. I knew that it was Family Feud because I used to watch it with my siblings growing up (an unimportant detail). I realized it couldn’t be coming from our little apartment, since we owned no TV or loudspeakers, and I was home alone. The floor started vibrating from the intense frequencies, and it clicked that it was our downstairs neighbors, who often had the TV volume turned all the way up (or at least it sounded that way).

I relocated to my husband’s empty office, and not seconds after getting myself comfortable in his cushy swivel chair, a car alarm sounded—ringing through the air for a good amount of time before being shut off. A truck then sped out of the neighboring community. I hope whoever it was wasn’t trying to be stealthy because the whole block heard them.

I thought that just maybe, it was now my turn. My turn to have silence. However, people across the way started shouting, and a convenience store truck (I didn’t even know those existed) started driving around wailing, “The Entertainer” out of its built-in speakers. The downstairs neighbors started wrestling elephants, and an exceptionally long train drove by. Judging from the duration of the tones, I’m guessing that every train car had its own horn to toot.

We live in a noisy world - or at least I do.

 

 

Intentionality Spotlight: Blog Love: Worried Sapling

Faith, Intentionality SpotlightAmanda Walter | Maple Alps8 Comments

Today we continue with Intentionality Spotlight! Similar to Women of Intention, different bloggers will be featured in an interview style. Unlike Women of Intention, the focus will be more on their blogs themselves, as well as an area of intentionality in their life.

I am excited to invite Callie of Worried Sapling to talk with us today.

Intentionality Spotlight: Blog Love: Worried Sapling | www.maplealps.com

 

First some easy stuff: Tell us a bit about yourself. What is your work, passions, and interests?

I’m Callie, an English teacher, graduate student, rambler, jogger, and reader. I’m passionate about all things English-related (including English Language Learner education!), learning to be passionate about healthful living, and uh…an overly detailed long list of over things. I’m intensely interested in blessing others in tangible ways, too. I think Jesus has given me gifts in writing, speaking, and teaching, so I try to use those often!

 

I'm so glad you started a blog so I can enjoy your writing regularly! How did you come to begin Worried Sapling, and what is your goal for it as a blog? Did you always intend this to be your blog’s focus?

Well, thanks! I have General Anxiety Disorder with Panic, and I could never find balanced resources on it—I either needed to meditate and take lots of medication, or I just needed to “pray it away.” Though all three of those options can be part of the answer, I don’t feel like it answers it completely. I believe the Bible holds the answers to many anxieties because I’ve found much of my anxiety is rooted in unhealthy thinking patterns.

People with mental illnesses are largely overlooked and marginalized within the Christian context, and I think this has a lot to do with ignorance and fear. In Worried Sapling, I try to show the vulnerable side of anxiety while also explaining my experience so people can grasp it. There are a lot of devotionals, too, and principles of healthy relationships; relationships are a huge source of anxiety for me, so it goes along with the overall theme.

 
Worried Sapling | www.maplealps.com
 

I wanted to write a book before a blog occurred to me (still working on that book…). I was actually going to make a teacher blog; but once I started framing my content, I realized it was overwhelmingly anxiety and mental health related. After my initial launch, I was overwhelmed with the positive response I received by both people with anxiety and those without it! I was not expecting that. I thought only my mom would read it (haha!). I’m just thankful that my ramblings have blessed people.

 

 
Worried Sapling | www.maplealps.com
 

I love how you write so passionately and intentionally about your faith and the lessons you learn from everyday life. How do you draw parallels from your life into spiritual lessons? Does this come easily to you, or did it/does it take practice?

Honestly, it comes pretty easy to me. I see life through a filter of patterns and principles, and the blog posts generally reflect that. I’m a sucker for object lessons, parables, parallels, and “moral of the story.” It’s definitely become easier with practice, though, and I notice that I start to lose the filter when I’m not writing as regularly. But in general, I just live life, talk to Jesus about the life, and principles and patterns emerge through prayerful reflection. The hardest part is writing it down. Anxiety makes it hard to be productive (actually working on a blog post about that right now!)

 
Intentionality Spotlight: Blog Love: Worried Sapling | www.maplealps.com
 

What is one specific area in your life you find that intentionality is critical? How do you exercise mindfulness in it?

HEALTH. Mental, physical, spiritual, social, emotional…all of it. I exercise intentionality, especially in physical and mental health. When I’m not physically healthy—regularly exercising, eating balanced meals, sleeping 8 hours, and drinking mucha agua—my mental health deteriorates, and then everything is thrown. It’s as predictable as the sunrise. I also need intentional mental space for myself: silent, alone time, time to read, time to write, time to breathe. Without these two, I can get nothing done. Having GAD, I still have anxiety attacks sometimes, but they are largely managed by self-care and prayer.

 
Intentionality Spotlight: Blog Love: Worried Sapling | www.maplealps.com


 

If you could give one piece of advice about this to someone who struggles with it, what would you tell them?

"The reason you feel so awful is because you need to fuel and move your body." I laugh at myself thinking of how terribly I was treating my body and yet wondering why I felt tired, irritable, and just…awful. Oh, man. Praise God for healthy living. But this affected my anxiety so much, too! Everyone’s anxiety is different and requires different solutions, but mine is deeply rooted in intentionally taking care of myself.

 

Find Callie at her website, Worried Sapling and on Instagram


 

Bible Verses for When You Feel Worthless

FaithAmanda Walter | Maple Alps4 Comments

I’ve put off writing about this for quite some time because I have struggled with it a lot, but I have truly become convicted that self-worth is not worth the wrestle. It is much easier to say than to practice, but we should not be defined by how we value ourselves. Instead, we should remember how Christ values us

The world engages in a lot of conversation about self-esteem. There are countless books about self-esteem and how to improve it and there are more subtle messages than others. Many Christians, however, miss what I think is a major point: our esteem should not be found in self. It should be found in Christ. The book of Jeremiah calls our heart deceitful - how then can we determine in our own selves our worth? Well, we can’t. 

 
We should not be defined by how we value ourselves. Instead, we should remember how Christ values us. 
 

There may be times when you, like me, feel worthless, unappreciated or unloved. The amazing thing is that we are worth so much in God's sight. I mean, He sent His Son to die so that we might live forever with Him.

While there is more I could share on this topic, for today's post I wanted to share some encouraging texts. Below, you will find some Bible verses to meditate on when the lie that you are worthless goes through your head. These are great ones to commit to memory for when the devil throws discouragement your way.

Bible Verses for When You Feel Worthless | www.maplealps.com


 

But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:8, ESV)


I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
Wonderful are your works;
   my soul knows it very well. (
Psalm 139:14, ESV)

 

No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you. 16 You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you. (John 15:15-16, ESV)

 

Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. (Matthew 11:28, ESV)

 

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. (2 Corinthians 5:17, ESV)

 

For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence,
   for my hope is from him.
He only is my rock and my salvation,
   my fortress; I shall not be shaken. (
Psalm 62:5-6, ESV)

 

Why, even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not; you are of more value than many sparrows. (Luke 12:7, ESV)


   But now thus says the Lord,
he who created you, O Jacob,
   he who formed you, O Israel:
“Fear not, for I have redeemed you;
   I have called you by name, you are mine. (
Isaiah 43:1, ESV)

 

Fear not, for I am with you;
   be not dismayed, for I am your God;
I will strengthen you, I will help you,
  I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. (
Isaiah 41:10, ESV)

 

God is our refuge and strength,
   a very present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way,
   though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea,
though its waters roar and foam,
   though the mountains tremble at its swelling. Selah
There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
   the holy habitation of the Most High.
God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved;
   God will help her when morning dawns. (
Psalm 46:1-5, ESV)

 

For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control. (2 Timothy 1:7, ESV)

 

For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence,
   for my hope is from him.
He only is my rock and my salvation,
   my fortress; I shall not be shaken. (
Psalm 62:5-6, ESV)

 

He saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, (Titus 3:5, ESV)

 
bible promises www.maplealps.com
 

What Bible texts bring you comfort when you are feeling worthless? Let me know below!


Are you feeling worthless today? I can assure you that you are not! Here are some Bible verses to meditate on when you are feeling worthless
 
 

15 Bible Verses for Thanksgiving

FaithAmanda Walter | Maple Alps5 Comments

Lately, I've been adding a gratitude spread to my bullet journal, and even though some days I really have to think hard about what I might be grateful for in a day, it has really helped me be more thankful. There are so many blessings, even when things seem like they're going every which way but well. 

I love how during the last two months of the year, there is quite a bit of emphasis on being thankful and doing good for others, but how awesome if every day of the year were like that? This year, I thought I might just share fifteen of my personal favourite verses on thanksgiving. Number ten is right up there, so stay till at least then ;-) 

15 Bible Verses for Thanksgiving | www.maplealps.com

Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth!
    Serve the Lord with gladness!
    Come into His presence with singing!
Know that the Lord, He is God!
   It is He who made us, and we are His;
   we are His people, and the sheep of His pasture.
Enter His gates with thanksgiving,
   and His courts with praise!
   Give thanks to Him; bless his name!
For the Lord is good;
   His steadfast love endures forever,
   and His faithfulness to all generations. (
Psalm 100, ESV)

 

And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him. (Colossians 3:17, ESV)

 

I will praise the name of God with a song;
   I will magnify Him with thanksgiving. (
Psalm 69:30, ESV)

 

Sing praises to the Lord, O you His saints,
   and give thanks to His holy name (
Psalm 30:4, ESV)

 

Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. (1 Thessalonians 5:18, ESV)

 

And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit, addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart, giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, (Ephesians 5:18-20, ESV)

 

Give thanks to the God of heaven,
   for His steadfast love endures forever. (
Psalm 136:26, ESV)

 

Out of them shall come songs of thanksgiving,
   and the voices of those who celebrate.
I will multiply them, and they shall not be few;
   I will make them honored, and they shall not be small. (
Jeremiah 30:19, ESV)

 

Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.(Colossians 3:16, ESV)

 

But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. (1 Corinthians 15:57,ESV)

 

He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness. You will be enriched in every way to be generous in every way, which through us will produce thanksgiving to God. For the ministry of this service is not only supplying the needs of the saints but is also overflowing in many thanksgivings to God. By their approval of this service, they will glorify God because of your submission that comes from your confession of the gospel of Christ, and the generosity of your contribution for them and for all others, while they long for you and pray for you, because of the surpassing grace of God upon you. Thanks be to God for his inexpressible gift! (2 Corinthians 9:10-15,ESV)

 

I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through Him who strengthens me. (Philippians 4:12-13, ESV)

 

Let us come into His presence with thanksgiving;
   let us make a joyful noise to Him with songs of praise! (
Psalm 95:2, ESV)

 

Oh give thanks to the Lord; call upon His name;
   make known His deeds among the peoples!
Sing to Him, sing praises to Him;
   tell of all His wondrous works! (
Psalm 105:1-2, ESV)

 

But thanks be to God, who in Christ always leads us in triumphal procession, and through us spreads the fragrance of the knowledge of Him everywhere. (2 Corinthians 2:14, ESV)


 


What are some of your favourite verses about gratitude and giving thanks?


 
bible promises www.maplealps.com
 

7 Ways to Saturate Your Life with Scripture

FaithAmanda Walter | Maple Alps5 Comments

If you’ve chosen to read this post, chances are you have met or are one of those Christians who aim to read the Bible every year. Bible reading plans are often printed out and laid next to our reading areas, but somewhere around February (Or 1 Chronicles - whichever comes first), the boxes stop getting checked off. The important thing is you tried, and you realize the importance of reading God’s word. But don’t let the discouragement stop you.

Since this is not a post about why you should read the bible, but rather how you can saturate your life with scripture, I will not go deep into that topic.

Just know that the Bible is literally God-breathed (2 Timothy 3:16) and is God’s very word to us! It’s His love letter and His guidance for our lives, and the very key to knowing who God is.

Reading the Bible guards against false teaching, changes our hearts to be more like Christ, challenges us in every way possible, and is for each of us.

I would say that is reason enough! So how can we saturate our lives with Scripture and keep God’s word in our hearts? I am sharing 7 practical ways that have helped me personally. Please stay till the end and tell us in the comments how you practice keeping scripture in your hearts!

Saturate Your Life with Scripture | www.maplealps.com

 

Set aside times every day

I’ve caught myself go a whole day without stopping to read the scriptures. Don’t let this be you! Set timers to wake up early in the morning. Set alarms to remind you to read before bed. Whenever you feel you want to spend time in the Word, do it - but it helps to create habits. We are, after all, creatures of habit.

 

Don’t just Read The Bible - Study It

In this fast-paced world, it’s tempting (and unfortunately common) to read fast just to say we’ve done it. Resist! Take your time. Don’t just read the Bible. Study it. For more on how to study the Bible, check out this post here.

 

Memorize Scripture

“Thy Word have I hid in my heart that I might not sin against Thee.”

Take time to memorize scripture. It will make it easier to resist temptation and help you discern what is good in your life.

 

Use Scripture Art in your home

Sure, you could keep some sticky notes on your bathroom mirror, but you could also try putting up framed verses on your walls to make it pretty. Display your favourite scriptures all over your home in sweet, attractive ways.

 

Listen to an Audio Bible

This is a fantastic thing to do, especially when you have a long commute. The Bible itself talks about the “hearing” of the Word, so I think this fits quite nicely. Sometimes you will hear something that you missed while reading, and when you go to read it later, it will be reinforced by what you heard. You can even find audio Bibles that are dramatized or read in an engaging way if you’re afraid it will put you to sleep.

 

Share God’s Word

Don’t hide your light under a bushel! Share what you have learned with others! This not only spreads the Good News but also reinforces what you have already learned. You never really know something until you tell someone else. That’s probably why my friend in medical school tells me all about the things she learns before a test now that I think about it …

 

Pray through Scripture promises

I talked a little bit about this before, but pray through Scripture promises! The Bible is full of promises for us to claim. Once I became aware of this, I couldn’t stop seeing them every time I picked up the Bible! God has so much He wants to bless us with - all we need to do is humbly ask!

 

bible promises www.maplealps.com
 

How do you saturate your life with Scripture?