Love, Timothy.

“Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, and in purity.”  1 Timothy 4:12.

 

high schooool

When I was a student teacher a few years ago, I had a student in my  fifth grade class who had this Bible verse written on his binder by his mom. ^^^ The verse has stuck with me forever because it is short, but so powerful!

For those of you students (of all ages) who are headed back to school or already in school, Timothy has given us some great words of advice that you should bring to campus with you each day:

1.  Speak only words that you are proud of.

Everything, and I really mean everything, will come back to you.  Every word that you speak will effect someone or something, and it will always, always, always come back to you.  Make sure that whoever you communicate with, whether it be a teacher, friend, or stranger, that you always speak the truth and use kindness with them.  This is something I wish I had realized when I was in school. Gossip hurts everyone involved, including the person who spreads it. Be the better person in every conversation you are involved in!

 

2.  Act appropriately and respectfully at ALL times. 

Let’s be real here…it is not always easy to act righteously all the time.  Sometimes we want to be cool or rebellious and go against the rules.  Though, just like spreading gossip, acting inappropriately will only hurt you in the end. Skipping class will negatively affect you, staying up all night (though it may be fun) will probably cause you to not do so well in school the next day.  Also, be kind and respectful to people even if they do not show it back (Jesus did the same thing).  I know its cliché to say to pray for those who hurt you, but honestly, it is the best thing you can do.  You never know what that person may be going through, and you may be the ONLY person who will pray for them.  Think about the impact this may have on someone’s life.

 

3.  Treat others with love.

People are going to be crazy and ridiculous at some point this school year.  They are going to annoy you and make you angry.  Love them anyway. Show them kindness anyway. Seriously, like I stated before you may be the ONLY person to show them any kind of love or kindness. We need more people like that in this world!!!!

 

4.  Keep your faith.

There are going to be great times, and not so great times during the school year.  During both of those times, remind yourself that God is in control.  He wants you to do your best and be yourself, but at all times He is in control. Keep the faith even when it seems like everything is falling apart; He’s got you!

 

5.  Don’t give into peer pressure. 

Y’all it is HARD out there.  It is way too easy to give into peer pressure, especially when you’re in school.  The number one thing you can do is surround yourself with others who are on the same path as you and want what is best for you.  Pray for those who try to drag you down, and talk to an adult if these people are doing things that could harm themselves or others (you get my drift), but do not allow yourself to go down that same path. Rise above in all situations!

 

You are amazing, incredible human beings who are an inspiration to myself and so many others around the world.  As a teacher, I am so very proud to see students like you come into school everyday.  You are world changers, and I cannot wait to see what you will do.

I highly recommend putting 1 Timothy 4:12 somewhere in your school bag.  Maybe in a binder or folder or in your locker.  Just stick it somewhere to remind yourself of who you are and the POWER that you have inside of you to make a difference for yourself and others in this world.

I wish you nothing but the best as you continue on this journey!

-Kristin

**Original piece by Kristin Schrader written for the [REAL] 30 Day Challenge blog in 2016.

Spared.

“But He knows the way I take, and when He has tested me, I shall come forth as gold.” -Job 23:10

forth

Photo by SJ Photography

I had the opportunity a few years ago to be in this amazing young-ish adult group for single people from ages 25-35. We had a discussion as a group and then broke off into smaller groups of three. I was very young and had snuck into the group at the age of 24. My group mates were on the older end of our group and, in my opinion, were the most wise out of everyone.

We took turns talking about our real life struggles. You know the ones that are deep and you don’t like to talk about to others. We were supposed to pray for each other and give Godly advice if need be.

We came to my struggles last. I was going through a particularly weird and kind of sad time of life. I was honest with them and said I felt lost and wasn’t really sure what I was doing in life and that trusting God through it was harder than I expected.

And they held my hands and they prayed for me to trust God through this season of life, and said God had a bigger plan for my life than I realized.

I did not really feel better after, but I just kind of accepted it and moved on with the rest of the group.

But I think my group mates felt it, because they came up to me after and the man specifically looked at me and said “sometimes you just are living the life of Job during certain seasons of life.”

I wasn’t really well verses on the book of Job. All I knew is that Job had a bunch of terrible things happen to Him and He loved God through it, but that’s all I really knew about it.

He went on to explain that just as in the story of Job, that I was going through hard times but that God was looking down upon me smiling and bragging to the wicked one that no matter what, I was His child and that I would love Him and stay faithful through it all.

They both reminded me to stay faithful, that I was incredibly loved, and that God would always be there for me if I struggled with understanding this was all happening. Their love and advice meant so much to me.

So I now carry this story with me close to my heart, because it changed the way I can choose to see things that happen.

When things are on the downhill and there is no sight of happiness in my journey, I have two choices. I can lose faith (which real life is what I often chose first because it’s hard out here y’all) and give up or I can remember that God is a proud father watching over me and loving my continued faith despite what I’m facing.

I’m a work in progress over here, but I’m trying to look up more when things happen instead of down, because my Father in Heaven doesn’t lie below me.

Eyes up.

-Kristin