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.

 

 

Finding God In Your Every Season

FaithAmanda Walter | Maple AlpsComment

Today, I'm sharing a post that is dear to me. The best of it, you will find on The Called Company (link below), so head over there to get the good stuff!

 

For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven. (Ecclesiastes 3:1, ESV)

 

I have had many seasons in my life. My guess is, so have you. I’m not talking Summer, Winter, Spring and Fall - though we’ve likely all experienced our share of these. My favourite thing about God is that everything He does has a purpose - down to the times of the year. We see object lessons if we look, and amazing truths can be discovered. The same could be said in each season we find ourselves in.

In the last 3 years alone, I’ve found myself in so many different ones: as unemployed, as a graduate student in a city where I knew no one, as a newlywed and homemaker, as a part-time teacher’s aide, and now as a full-time teacher juggling many responsibilities. This one is extremely busy. Each season has been trying in their own way and some were even satisfying and fulfilling, but in every one of them, I’ve come to learn that true contentment that comes only from the Lord. I have also learned that even though it is difficult at times to see, God is in every season.

Finding God In Your Every Season | www.maplealps.com
 
 

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


 

On Adding Value

Faith, RelationshipsAmanda Walter | Maple AlpsComment

The other night, my husband turned to me and said the sweetest thing:

“You add value to my life.”

It really got me thinking. I’m always trying to be intentional about what I add to my life, but am I intentional about what I add to the lives of those around me? I’d like to think that I’m always considerate and intentional, but sometimes it’s easy to let our words or behaviour slip through the cracks. Today, I want to explore a few broad guidelines to keep in mind when interacting with others intentionally that will help you add value to their lives.

On Adding Value | www.maplealps.com
 
 

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)

 

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