Uncomfortable

Faith

The title above literally is the one word to describe my life right now!

What if comfort isn’t the goal?

We live our lives constantly chasing after what is comfortable and we therefore think that these things are ‘good’. Think about it practically, we eat ‘comfort food’ (chocolate for me) when we’ve had a bad day because we want something to make us feel some sort of safety. We don’t take those opportunities to meet different and new people because that might be awkward and not very comfortable at all. We make ourselves have daily routines to feel comfortable in our days. Even down to wearing PJs because they’re loose and we don’t have to ‘suck in’ and therefore they have the upmost comfort.

These are all things that we are prone to do because being uncomfortable is awkward and weird and it’s quite frankly horrible. So then, why does God call us to be uncomfortable?

‘Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation’

Could you imagine how uncomfortable it would be to start preaching the gospel to literally everyone? The backlash would be something incredible and I doubt that I am only speaking for myself when I say that preaching the gospel to the world sounds like something they’d rather someone else do because you don’t want to feel like a weirdo, someone that sticks out, someone that’s different to the mould that society now has created. And why don’t we want to feel this way? Because it’s uncomfortable.

BUT, what if I told you that actually you feeling like this is purely evidence that you belong in heaven with God. If we felt at home in this world, if we felt normal when we told our friends that we spent our Friday night with our youth group or that we spent the Easter holidays on a church holiday, then we would be destined for right here. We feel uncomfortable because we feel weird because we are different, we are called to a different place for a purpose that is much greater than any of our worries about being uncomfortable or weird. If we felt normal telling other people that we believe in a God who is both man and God at the same time, is 3 in one and that he came back to life after being murdered by Romans, then the likelihood is, we are telling people who already know and believe the same thing. But because we are telling people that don’t believe this, we become even more aware of just how weird it all is. Yet, take hope in your uncomfortability because it only means that your purpose is heaven, your home is heaven not the world.

As C.S Lewis puts it ‘If we find ourselves with a desire that nothing in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that we were made for another world.’

You see recently I have realised that being uncomfortable means that you are doing something right. I began to realise that we only have one life, and these decisions that we make don’t only effect us but they effect generations to come. I know that I want my life to reflect that I believe that Jesus came and died for me to have life and life in all its fullness (John 10:10) and I want my life to be for his life in order for more to know this love that I am so wrapped up in. I sound like a lunatic right? I am aware of this and that’s why I feel awkward and uncomfortable half the time but this is all I want for my life and so my decisions even down to the way I talk must reflect that. My passion cannot and will not be held back purely because I feel uncomfortable because what is uncomfort in the face of God? Absolutely nothing.

So, with all this said, it brings me back to a quote by Paul David Tripp ‘The goal of the Gospel isn’t human comfort but human transformation.’ Nowhere in the Bible does Jesus say that comfort is the goal, so why do we strive for it?

Please leave a comment or message me directly through my Instagram ‘libbyjaxon’ with any questions or thoughts, I’d love to hear them!

Also, if you have any prayer requests feel free to send them through.

-L

This is my Prayer in the Fire

Faith

“You intended to harm me, but God intended it all for good. He brought me to this position so that I could save the lives of many people.”

Genesis 50:20 [NLT]

You might be familiar with this phrase of a God who can change a situation of defeat into an incredible victory but you may not know the context of this verse. This verse comes from the story of Joseph a little while after he is reunited with his brothers. Now Joseph had been thrown into his situational ‘fire’ by his brothers. They had betrayed him, they disliked him so much that they almost left him to die in a pit, however, they changed their minds and decided to sell him as a slave to some Egyptians that were passing by. Although Joseph did go through many trials in Egypt, to cut the story short he gets the pretty important job of being in charge of Egypt, which later sets him up to be in exactly the right position to help his family when their land faces a famine.

Though his brothers had planned to get rid of him, even to the extent of pretending he was dead to their own father, God kept and protected him. All those years of uncertainty must have been a struggle, but look at his attitude. Joseph used that time alone to grow both in his faith and in the wisdom God had put inside of him, which led to him to become a respected leader in Pharoah’s eyes.

One thing we can take from this is that no matter what our ‘fire’ is, we can step back and look to God to lift us up. This doesn’t mean sitting back and doing absolutely nothing but intentionally taking the time to sit and listen to what God might be saying to you in this season. This may be through picking up the habit of reading your Bible, or over a coffee with a mentor/leader or by just investing more in your quiet time with God. All of these things will remind you of the promises that God gives us throughout his word (see affirmations) and help you find direction.

I’ve learnt this year that though illness, exam results, self-doubt (and so much more) may come and seem too difficult to face but we have this incredible hope in God. We have the confidence that our God is greater than anything and more than willing to give us peace when we feel overwhelmed. He really does have a plan for you and it’s far greater than anything we can imagine (Ephesians 3:20-21).

So, keep praying. Keep praising. God’s got you.

-A

If you’re struggling right now, our prayer page is open! Drop us a message and let us know how we can be praying for you☺️

Comparison kills, but you can prevent it.

Lifestyle

Whether it’s consciously or sub-consciously, we compare ourselves to other people. Whether it be on bodily appearance, facial appearance, their intelligence, humour, lives, relationships or wealth, we all do it.  

Summer, statistically, heightens the rate of comparison especially of body image, it seems that Instagram becomes an atmosphere that celebrates ‘bikini bodies’ and who has the best figure, often forgetting that our bodies do incredible things and are healthy even if you do get rolls when you sit down or bend over. See, this is the danger of comparison, it makes you believe that you aren’t normal, or attractive or healthy because you don’t look like the people on the TV. Take ‘Love Island’ for example, gorgeous, toned, young men and women all locked up in one villa for the whole nation to watch and not one of them look bad, no one actually has any bit of flesh that isn’t joined to muscle, no one has legs that wobble a bit when they walk, none of their thighs touch when they walk, they all look gorgeous all the time, they all have great clothes, lovely hair and never ever get a sunburn. However, we are tricking ourselves if we compare ourselves to these people, because I bet you weren’t aware that when you sat and stared at Megan’s (Love Island) frankly flawless face you didn’t know that actually there is unlimited and free Rimell make up in the Villa. There is also a range of Missguided clothes that they can choose from, there is an indoor hair-stylist for them and let’s not forget, these people have trained solidly in the gym knowing full well the whole nation is going to see them in basically underwear. So, next time you feel yourself comparing your hair to their hair, remember that they don’t always do their own hair, a professional does.  

I think we often forget that not everyone’s lives are as they seem, and still, we compare ourselves to them and actually put ourselves down because of it. When in actual fact 9 times out of 10, you are healthy, you are successful, you are funny, you have a great relationship and you spend your life with those you love. It’s unfair on yourself to be comparing yourself to people like Kim Kardashian, I think we are all guilty of logging onto Instagram and scrolling down your feed to see Kim K posing in next to nothing or just nothing and staring, wondering why you don’t look like that and then punishing your healthy and wonderful body. But this is unfair, there is no point comparing yourself to Kim K because most of us, if not all of us, live a very different life to her. We don’t have the money for the best personal trainer, nor a gym in our home, or the skincare treatment she gets, or the clothes she buys and gets altered to suit her even more. It would be like comparing a fish and a monkey on how well they can climb up trees. It makes no sense.  

So why don’t we stop? Why don’t we, instead of looking at those hideous rolls of flesh on our stomachs, look at our cute rolls of fat on our stomachs which are there to protect our insides in a season of illness or cold temperatures, that are fun to play with and poke. Why don’t we, instead of staring at our big round arms in the mirror, look at our arms that allow us to dance, to walk, to run, to get dressed and even shower. Instead of wishing our boobs were bigger, can’t we just appreciate the perkiness? Instead of comparing your body to someone else’s, why don’t we appreciate our bodies, our hair, our intelligence, our humour, our lives, our families and our health before looking at anyone else’s. I think that sounds a plan.  

-L

5 Ways to Beat Revision Blues

Lifestyle

We at Rooted know that most of you are well into exam prep by now, but study leave can seem pretty intimidating. You might be like I was, daunted by the idea of trying to spend whole days revising but that doesn’t have to be the case. Here are a few ways I’ve managed to stay calm during exams…

1. Study in Different Places

One thing I find is that studying in your room can be the worst revision block you can give yourself. Disagree with me all you want but learning biological processes is pretty difficult when you’re in a room that meant for relaxing. A comfy bed, your pile of unfinished books and your Netflix set up are all here.

Once in a while, head out to a small café set up your laptop and notes and get to studying. Or better yet, get to a library and you might find some books to help you out on difficult topics. I find that if I have to make an effort to get to where I’m going, I’m much more intentional about how much work I’m doing.

2. Take a Productive Break

Did you know that the average amount of time that humans can concentrate for is 45 minutes? It’s good to take breaks every hour or so to refresh your brain. Cramming it with information may mean that you’re not actually taking in your notes.

If you want to take a productive break; take a quick walk around your house/school, make a cup of tea, do a 7-minute exercise challenge, nap for 20-30 minutes, bake a cake! All of these things are activities that are completely unrelated to school but have a distinct cut-off time.

Breaks like watching Youtubers, films or social media scrolling are for disciplined people because they may start as an innocent 10 minutes but can quickly spiral into an hour or two of time wasted. Try and save these activities for your longer breaks or a treat for once you’ve finished (See number 4)!

3. Set Manageable Targets

Let’s face it we all have that one topic/subject that we can’t struggle to get through, mine was GCSE Geography. The trick to success in these is to set mini goals that you want to achieve that session. This helps to divide the work into manageable chunks, for instance instead of writing ‘climate change’, you can write ‘causes’, ‘effects’, ‘management’. Set yourself targets and tick them off as you go.

4. Treat yourself

This is my favourite tip of all. Coursework and exam season is long, make sure to take time out to enjoy days with your friends and family. Go to the cinema, the park, museum, play some Fortnite or Fifa. Whatever your style, don’t forget to do the things you love in the midst of working so hard.

Don’t forget to do the things you love in the midst of working so hard. Maybe you can pay it forward and surprise your friends with some of their favourite things or invite them over to work together.

5. Talk to someone

If you really can’t get out of a revision slump let people know, there are so many people cheering you on to achieve your personal best but we know that it can also be really overwhelming.

It’s okay to take time out to breathe and it’s more than okay to reach out for help and tell people when you can’t cope. Especially as we approach exam season, speak to your teachers about the topic you are stuck on, let your personal tutor know how you feel and chat with your parents or youth leaders about what they can do to help you.


So in summary; take time to rest, study well, be confident and just do your best.

 

-A

 

P.S. I know there are a lot I’ve missed out but if you have any revision tips that I’ve missed, leave a comment below and good luck in all your exams!

What does Easter really mean for us?

Faith, Uncategorized

I found it was really well explained in the book of Romans. It’s found in the New Testament, written by Paul probably around the year 57AD, it has 16 chapters and 9,447 words. I think it’s so important to really read into Romans 8:37-39, which states, ‘No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.’ 

So, let’s take it in steps and see what it really means.

Let’s take the first sentence, ‘No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.‘In all these things’, is referring to different situations in life, which he later explains but the emphasis here on ‘all’ is incredible. In that Paul is stating that from his understanding of Jesus (which is probably more than we will understand in our lifetime!) that the life, the death and the resurrection of Jesus is so that in every single situation we could possibly face in life, we are ‘more than conquerors through him who loved us.’ Meaning that through Jesus, through the death and resurrection of Jesus, you are a conqueror to everything that can face your way.

Paul continues, ‘For I am convinced’, convinced is defined in the dictionary to be ‘completely certain about something’, which has great significance within this passage as Paul describes what the death and resurrection of Jesus actually means, pragmatically, to us, he is certain of it! Absolutely sure, it’s like fact for him. We should be so encouraged by this, Paul knows that this is what Jesus has done for all of us and so we should all take confidence in it too.

‘Neither death nor life’ – People find death a scary thing, it seems permanent. Death isn’t right, but Paul is certain that even death, cannot and will not separate you from God’s love. So, even in the most permanent thing humans can comprehend, can’t separate us from the love of God! So, of course, it goes, that nothing in life can either. No illness, no fallout, no crime, no sin, no relationship, no grade, no job, no human can literally ever take us away from God’s love. There is freedom in God’s love.

‘Neither angels nor demons’ – Effectively meaning that anything in any realm can’t separate us from God’s love.

‘Neither the present nor the future’ – Many people are fearful of the future and what it might bring, whether you’ll get the grade, marry ‘the one’, whether your kids will graduate, whether your money will make it that long and so on. Yet here, Paul is promising us that in any concern whether it be now or in the future, the one thing that is constant and will never change is God’s love for you. No decision, no position or choice could possibly take this away from you.

Nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything in all creation’ – Here, Paul is eliminating anything you could possibly think of. But this has a massive importance because he is stressing to us that literally nothing can separate us from the love of God. All these things were defeated, when Jesus was on the cross and died for you and I.

This is Easter. This is the love that takes shame away, and sets you completely free, because what have you to fear? NOTHING! You are, and you will be loved for all of the days, through all of the situations you go through, in every decision and even in death, you are connected to the love that sets souls free. So be happy, rejoice and live in this freedom because that is the reason for the cross, that is the reason for resurrection. You are so loved.

-L

Affirmations

Lifestyle

There’s power in the words that we speak over ourselves, 2 years ago, I read a blog in which Emma (Francis) Borquaye was talking about self-confidence, the title was “how do you see you”? That challenged me because although I’m not the grumpiest person in the morning I still didn’t wake up feeling ready to ‘attack’ my obstacles. I woke up, got a shower, did my reading and went to school. But after reading that post, I watched the video that she had linked where this little girl stood on her bathroom sink telling herself the things she liked about her life, from her hair to her room to her pyjamas (above).

Then a few months ago, ‘The Scene’ released a video of fathers telling their daughters similar things and I just thought “That’s exactly how God sees us!” The Bible is full of parables and verses of how God views us. Just like the fathers in this video, God wants to tell you that you are “loved, so unconditionally loved” (John 3:16), that you are wonderfully made (Psalm 139:14), that you can achieve amazing things with his help (Philippians 4:13), and that most of all, you have a purpose.

Now, maybe you already have someone in your life who tells you these things but it’s so important that you believe in yourself too!

Challenge for this week: Start your day with 5 daily affirmations that are short, snappy and make that process of waking up early a little bit easier. The first few days might make you feel ridiculous because you’re talking to yourself. But look in the mirror, say it with confidence and watch how your mood changes.

Here are a few ideas:

  • I am kind.
  • I am smart.
  • I am loved.
  • I matter.
  • I am talented. (Sandwich making is definitely an art form)
  • I love my hair.
  • I love my friends.
  • I am funny. (Even if that’s to yourself)
  • God is with me. (Psalm 16:8)
  • I have a voice. (Esther 4: 14)
  • I am a child of God. (Galatians 4:7) **probably the most important one to remember and will get its own post later on**

Link to Dad Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hkqi3D-oN8Y

Link to Emma’s Original Blog Post: http://emmalouisefrancis.blogspot.co.uk/2015/03/how-do-you-see-you.html

-A

Be Content

Faith

“Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said “never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” Hebrews 13:35

Reads easily enough, but the Bible becomes real and relevant when you see how it might fit with your life. So, the first question would be:

What do you have?

This question, I find, we state all the material things we have. A car, a house, the newest phone, food and water and so the list continues. All of these are great things to have and those who have them are, of course, fortunate and we should be massively thankful. Yet, these are the easy things to think of, what about the people in your life? Your family, whether biological, adopted, however dysfunctional you think they are, the people who get you through, day by day. Your friends, your actual friends, the ones that get you, that see value in you, the ones that build you up, they are people to be thankful for. Some of you may have a SO (significant other), be thankful for them, they help you get through day by day.

However, the things we hardly ever think about are the things we might take for granted, but they play a crucial part in who we are, how we were made, and what gets us through days, months and years. Interest and passions, these shape us, give up energy to go out and do what we do. They create culture, create differences and create something for us to learn about and get involved in. Human Rights, we should never forget how lucky we are to have these. Joy and humour, literally makes us feel better, it is known that when we laugh, we actually release endorphins (the same hormone that is released during exercise that makes us feel good) meaning that laughing, caused by joy and humour makes us feel good. Freedom of speech, without which I couldn’t be doing this, no movements would have been caused, no change would have been made and well, we would be silenced.

So, when God calls us to be content with what we have and not get obsessed with what money can get us, we can see that we have a lot. Without which we would not be who we are. Be content in this, content in your joy, content in your humour, content in your peace, content in your rights, content in your interests, content in your passions and content in any health that you have.

Does this mean money is evil?

It’s crucial to notice that within the verse it states ‘love of money’, not ‘money’. Some people are blessed with money, some work hard for money, and some don’t have any money, this verse is not about slamming those with money, but about stopping those who are in love with money. Those who are obsessed with money, do everything to get it, think about it time and time again, and end up revolving around it. If this is you, and you’re struggling, I feel urged to point out that you cannot be alone in this, this was an issue in 65 AD when Hebrews was written. Further, I believe that the Bible is words inspired by God, so God understands you in your struggle with this too. All will be well.

Please feel free to comment and get involved,

-L

Overwhelmed But Not Overcome

Faith

Do you ever have one of those days where everything just seems to happen at once? First, you wake up late, then you forget to take money for lunch, you forget to bring in the one piece of homework you’ve actually done and then get about 5 hours of homework for the next day? Me too.

It’s a little-known fact that I did not handle stress well during A-levels, I was always super chill in public only to then go home and cry about everything I had to do. Productive, I know. But the great news is, God hasn’t called us to live a life like this, he’s called us into a life where we know where to put our fears. Now, take note I didn’t say that we’re to live a life without problems, Jesus himself says:

“I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.

John 16:33 (NLT)

So, if Jesus tells us that we are going to struggle in life, why should we bother becoming a Christian? The above passage comes in the context of Jesus telling his disciples that he will soon be leaving them, he says that “you will weep and mourn over what is going to happen to me… you will grieve but your grief will suddenly turn to wonderful joy.” Jesus is explaining that there is a purpose for the pain that he will go through on the cross, even though in the moment they will not understand why such a thing should happen, the pain Jesus endures is only a pathway for incredible love to be uncovered. And though forgetting your lunch money may not be that big of a deal, you can read and apply John 16:33 to the bigger storms in your life.

Look at the underlined portion of that verse, the phrase ‘take heart’ is another way for Jesus to say, ‘remind your heart of this’. The word of God is not something that we should look at once, highlight and then move on from. We should constantly go back to it and remind ourselves of the promises that God has made over us. Promises such as “…you are fearfully and wonderfully made // The Lord will fight for you; you only need to be still” or even “…in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.Reading these verses weekly/daily/hourly remind us how great God is and how much he cares for us in little but incredible details of our lives!

He says that he has ‘overcome’ the world, which means that it doesn’t matter if our battle is with anxiety, stress, insecurity, anger or illness; the truth is that, in the end, we win because God has already won. Winning doesn’t mean an easy road and it certainly doesn’t mean that we won’t struggle (I know I do), but it means that we can struggle hopefully, pray confidently, and work practically to move forward.

-A.

 

Featured Photo by Japheth Mast on Unsplash

10 Reasons why Monday’s are actually great

Lifestyle
  1. They offer a new start every week.

    A fresh start with healthy eating, your new hobby that you promised yourself you’d start but didn’t, your promise that you’d be nicer to people, your new Gym routine, getting 8 hours sleep every night. It’s like having a New Years every week.

  2. Re-find your motivation

    Monday gives you an opportunity to get motivated again. Get moving, do what makes you motivated and excited, make sure you have the best week yet!

  3. Perfect time to set new goals

    Break old habits, set a mark that you want to get on your exam, a length you want to run. Monday gives you the perfect place to start these new goals and work towards them.

  4. You have a whole week to accomplish what you want to get done.

    You have a brand new 7 days to accomplish absolutely everything that you need to accomplish, which all start with Monday, your first day to get things sorted and solved to organise yourself in preparation for the following days.

  5. TV shows

    Everyone knows that all of the best TV shows start on Monday’s, there is always at least two decent shows on a Monday night.

  6. Hating it doesn’t help

    You can’t go on hating that much of life, hating 52 days of the year will not help with dealing with the day anyway. 

  7.  Clean hair!

    Yesterday was Sunday. Sunday means hair wash day, so Monday means clean and shiny hair to flick around with pride!

  8. Monday means less rain

    According to statistics, Monday is the least rainy day in the week, giving you all the more reason to get out there and do something that you would previously be putting off because of the weather.

  9. One step closer to the weekend

    Yes, only 4 more days before the weekend start, you’ve done one get up, what’s four more?

  10. All the other reasons

    There will be over 5,000 weddings, 10,000 childbirths and 42 million hugs. 600 people will get a promotion, 600 dogs will be adopted, 35,000 balloons sold and 800,000 skittles sold. Finally, the words ‘I love you” will be said over 9 million times. Enjoy Monday.

    -L

5 Things to do with all your Christmas chocolate 

Lifestyle

Chocolate, sweets and money are the 3 most common things my family buy me for Christmas, so by January time I’m obese but slightly rich. So, here are 5 things that I have previously done with all my chocolate that save me eating my body weight and means that other people get a little treat too.

  1. Chocolate Fondue – the best thing for a cosy night in with friends and family. It’s practically healthy too if you use fruit, I mean can you really have strawberries without chocolate? All you need is your favourite chocolate, a microwave, some fruit or marshmallows and some skewers and you’re all set.
  2. Chocolate cake – cupcakes or a big cake it doesn’t matter, this way you get to enjoy some baking and get to spread some love in this gloomy post-Christmas period. Just make sure you have some cute cupcake cases to go with it.
  3. Brownies – I don’t know why these haven’t made it to the top of the list if I’m honest but oh well. Brownies go with anything, custard, cream, ice cream, hot and even cold. Plus you can put endless amounts of chocolate in it so you can get rid of a lot of your chocolate in just one go. For the best brownies, I use BBC good food brownie recipe.
  4. Cookies – who doesn’t love a good cookie? Warm, gooey, melt in the mouth good cookies. The perfect way to light up anyone’s day, and use up even more of your chocolate. I find American recipes are the best, but any work.
  5. Smore’s – perfect for any time of the year, marshmallow’s, biscuit (chocolate digestive is THE best) and a little fire.

Hope this helps with having 10 Kilos of chocolate,

Enjoy,

-L