Guest-Writers, Taylor's Posts

{Marriage Week} Devoted and Devotionals.

Written By: Taylor Fast

2016 is already bringing in so many changes for my husband and I.  I am in my last semester of graduate school and therefore my hours are extremely tied up with schoolwork and my placement requirements at the hospital.  I love the work I am doing, but coming home late and having little time to spend with my husband is an area that I wish could change.

My husband has always been so supportive of my dreams to become a social worker, and I am 3 months away from completing that dream, but the time in between is busy, stressful, and expensive!

I attempt to cherish anytime I have to just relax with him and talk about other things beside school and work.  I need this time to de-stress and I am so thankful for every chance I have to do so.  For Christmas, we were given a Couples Devotional Bible from my grandparents, and it has made our quality de-stress time even more valuable.  The opportunity for my husband and I to share our ideas and read the Bible together is something that allows us to grow together and with God.

“And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ.” (Philippians 1:9-11)

I give my husband a lot of credit for working around my busy schedule and supporting me.  I am so thankful that we have these times together so I can continue to show love to my husband and allow for God to strengthen our marriage.

I encourage everyone who has a spouse or a serious relationship to look into doing devotionals together, this can be a great opportunity for growth in God and help give you a better understanding of your significant other.

Until Next Time,
~Taylor

 

About Taylor: 

Taylor Fast is in school to get her Master’s of Social Work, graduating in April 2016 as well hoping to work within the field of addictions. She cannot wait to begin working in the Social Work field and see how God will use this passion to help her lead others to Him and help empower those around. She loves being involved in her home church, which includes participating on the worship team, helping with the young adults group, and going on missions trips whenever they are offered. She is married to her Best-Friend Darrin. She is loving the new adventure of marriage with her wonderful husband by her side that God handpicked.

Taylor's Posts, Uncategorized, {Beauty}

{Beauty} Taking Care of Yourself

Taylor BeautyWritten By: Taylor Fast

Have you ever been asked if you’re tired…cause you look tired?  I hate when I am asked that question.  Usually once finals for school roll around, I get asked that question a lot.  Though, this question reminds me that I need to take care of myself.

There is a lot that we can get caught up with in our daily lives.  Our society is one that is built on getting things accomplished as quickly as we can.  So where does that leave room for taking care of ourselves?  We have a duty to take care of ourselves spiritually, emotionally, and physically.

Spiritually, we need to make sure we take time out of our day to spend time with God.  We all have some time in our day that we can save for Him, whether this is during a lunch break, in the morning, or before you head to bed.  This time with God is important as you can recharge your batteries in a way!  Spending time with God allows you to think about His word and apply it to your own life.  It allows you time to reflect and come to God with the concerns of the day.  This time is necessary for your spiritual health, and your walk with God.

“You are my hiding place; you will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance.” Psalm 32:7

When I think of some beautiful women that I look up to, I can see in their lives that they take time for themselves.  Their beauty radiates because they love themselves for who they are and they respect their bodies.  I challenge everyone reading this, to take a well needed break today.  Even if it’s just for a few minutes, spend this time being mindful of the life you have.  Let your body relax, and give thanks to God, who cares for you and loves you always, just as you should care for and love yourself.  This well needed me time is an act of love towards yourself, and nothing is more beautiful than that!

Until Next Time,

~Taylor

Taylor's Posts, {Beauty}

{Beauty} Beauty does not have 1 Definition.

Written By: Taylor Fast

There has always been this quote that has stuck with me. I am unsure of who the author is, but I love the meaning behind the quote. “ We don’t see things as they are, we see things as we are.” I am sure we could all interpret this quote in different ways, which is kind of the whole point of this quote. Everything we do and see and how we interpret our daily life is all impacted by how we were raised, our education, the activities we take part in, the friends around us, and the list can go on. Therefore, I can see a flower as beautiful and you could see it as a weed. So whenever we define things as good or bad, other people may look at them very differently.

Have you ever told someone they are beautiful and they look at you like you just said the most ridiculous thing possible? We are all so harsh to judge ourselves. Others can see us as beautiful, but we cannot even call ourselves pretty. There’s something very wrong with that. If I told you to think of a beautiful woman, what would she look like? Every one of you is going to have a different picture in your head of what this women looks like and what she does. I challenge you to think of yourself as that beautiful woman.

Society says you need to be thin, have perfectly luscious hair, be tanned, and showing as much skin as possible. I promise you, this is not the definition of beauty you need to become. You are all beautiful in very unique ways. Beauty cannot be defined by one definition, beauty is different for everyone- we all are beautiful.

Genesis 1:27 “So God created man in His own image…”

How can we call ourselves ugly when God made us to reflect Him? What an incredible verse for us to hold onto today. Remember how uniquely beautiful each of you are. Remember God has an incredible plan made specifically for you based on your skills and strengths He gave you. Find hope and truth in that. So do not alter yourself to fit the ideal beauty image society gives us. Stay true to who you are and love yourself.

Until next time,

~Taylor

Taylor's Posts, {Faith}

{Faith} Having Faith in all Circumstances.

Written By: Taylor Fast

This past year was a very exciting year for me, and it continues to be! At the beginning of last year I was planning my wedding and saving every penny I could. It was brought up to me around this time that my church was going on a mission’s trip to Honduras. I have known for years now that I have been called to short-term missions and it broke my heart to think I would not be able to go this year, due to my lack of money. You see, there were other concerns that needed to be taken care of, my fiancé and I were looking at houses, wedding expenses, and all those other lovely bills that come along with this new transition. It was pretty obvious to me that I would have to miss out on this mission’s trip, but I decided to pray about it anyways. I prayed that at least God would give me peace about not being able to attend this year.

James 1:6 “But when he/she asks, they must believe and not doubt, because those who doubt are like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.”

The trip was still frequently on my mind, but I stayed consistent with my prayers of God giving me peace with the situation. Not soon after I got a phone call from one of the most beautiful couples I know, my grandparents. They called and told me they felt it on their hearts to help pay for me to go to Honduras. I immediately burst into tears! How could I ever thank them for something like this? Through my faith and prayer, I was blessed in an incredible way, which allowed me to bless others in Honduras. My experience in Honduras was life altering and I am so glad it was apart of God’s plan to allow me to go on the mission’s trip.

When we have faith in God we have the opportunity to bless others and/or be the one who receives the blessing. For those of you who are wondering why a certain situation is not necessarily going your way. Have faith, God has a better plan than you could ever imagine! Even if you cannot see the path right now, pray, read your Bible, and seek support from positive influences around you. Walk by faith, not by sight.

Until Next Time,

~Taylor

Taylor's Posts, {Love}

{Love} God’s Version of Love Vs. Societies

Written By: Taylor Fast

Love taylor september

What is love? Everybody would answer that question differently. People give and receive love in different ways. Love can be as simple as reminding someone to put a seatbelt on and as complicated as wanting to marry someone because they “complete you.”

In society today we see so many people dating for a short time, having sex, breaking up, and moving on. For some reason though this is called love. They say I love you, they tell everyone they are in love and then it ends, just as quickly as it started. We see it in our friends, coworkers, and celebrities’ daily. Holy cow, if that is love I do not want any part in it!

I’d like to think that what my fiancé and I consider as love is much different from what is mentioned above. Love for me is unconditional. You do not leave each other because you aren’t willing to put the work in to figure stuff out. Love is about working together through all our flaws and all our successes. Love is having complete trust in the other person. Love is pure, with no judgments, and love has a willingness to grow and learn from each other. Love is passionate, remarkable, incredible, and long lasting. This love relationship with our partner can be a lot like a relationship we have with God, though we are called to love God more than anyone else. Imagine, the love He has for all of us- let’s try and match it!

What does God say about love?

“Love is patient, love is kind, it does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, and it keeps no records of wrongs. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, and always perseveres. Love never fails.” 1 Corinthians 13:4-8.

Wow, do I ever want my marriage and my relationship with God to mimic what God says love is. How much more beautiful and fulfilling does this kind of love sound?

I love that there is no mention of looks in these verses. Society now a days is all about looks, how sexualized a women is= how dateable she is. What an awful thing to be teaching our kids and youth. Most ads show women as sexual objects and teach us that love is about looks and when you are tired of the person it is time to move on. We need to truly learn what love is. Remember that the type of love you deserve to receive and give is found in 1 Corinthians 13, it’s not found in the latest dating advice column of a magazine.

Until Next Time,

~Taylor

Guest-Writers, Taylor's Posts

{Gratefulness Week} Being Grateful in all Circumstances…

A week of gratefulness

Written By: Taylor Fast

 
Being grateful is easy to do when life is going our way and it is a simple task to smile and thank God for all that is going right in our life. Though, on the flip side it is hard to thank our God in situations where we feel nothing is going our way, and we are not sure if God is watching out for us anymore.  When I find myself getting down on circumstances in my life that I wish were going in a different direction I attempt to remind myself that God has a better plan for my life then I can even imagine. I think of this verse every time I find myself not putting all my trust in our God.
 
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.” (Proverbs 3:5-6)
I remember a time in my life last summer where I was having a battle with God. I am sure he was just waiting for me to give in to His will.  What I wanted and what He wanted for my life were two completely different things. It took me a long time to feel comfortable and trust God with this new change in my life. I was upset, hurt, and felt like God wasn’t listening to me. 
 I had to lean on Godly people in my life and the word to help me look for answers. Though it took me some time to heal, this moment in my life that felt like an eternity brought me closer to God. I went back to the basics with God and searched for Him through the Bible for my knowledge and strength.
 
“I sought the Lord, and he answered me, and delivered me from all my fears.” (Psalm 34:4)
 
Though it took me a while to be grateful for the circumstance I was in, I learned. When I was hurting, people were there for me and kept me positive and listened to me through my hardship. What a blessing and something to be grateful for!  
Now a year later I look back and am so grateful that I went through that trial in my life as I would not be on the same positive path I am and I do not believe my relationship with God would be as strong as it is now.
 
I say all that to say this, I urge everyone when they are going through a negative situation to write out all the positive things/people that are still around you, or the positives that come from a negative situation. I also suggest you write down verses that bring you strength. In my circumstance, I did not see the positive right away, but now that I do I am so grateful for letting go and giving it all to God. 
I would not have all the blessings I do right now if I would have stuck with my path instead of God’s a year ago, and that is a scary thought to me!
 
“He heals the brokenhearted, and binds up their wounds.”(Psalm 147:3)
 
Remember to be grateful in all circumstances, because even if you can’t see the positives, God can and I would much rather rely on His plan than my own! God’s blessings for us will be better then we can imagine if we stay faithful to Him. So be willing to trust, dive into God’s Word, and always give thanks.
 
About Taylor Fast:
Taylor is in school to get her Master’s of Social Work, graduating in April 2016 as well hoping to work within the field of addictions. She cannot wait to begin working in the Social Work field and see how God will use this passion to help her lead others to Him and help empower those around. She loves being involved in her home church, which includes participating on the worship team, helping with the young adults group, and going on missions trips whenever they are offered.

She is married to her Best-Friend Darrin. She is loving the new adventure  of marriage with her wonderful husband by her side that God handpicked.

“We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, sure and steadfast.”  ~Hebrews 6:19

Taylor's Posts, {Faith}

{Faith} Faith without Borders.

Written By: Taylor Fast

faith taylor september

A couple months ago my fiancé and I were out canoeing for our first time together by the lake that is very close to our new home. That particular day it was very chopping out. The water was extremely wavy and I was quite hesitant to get in the canoe in fear of us ending up in the water. Rowing for me was quite difficult with trying to keep my balance in the canoe and using my strength to cut through the waves with my oar. (Muscles are an area I may be lacking in.) I had to put all my faith in my fiancé to help keep us in the right direction and stop us from falling out. I am sure there were moments we were both frustrated as this experience that was suppose to be relaxing, ended up being quite nerve racking. In the end, we managed to work together and learn from each other for the next time we go out and know to maybe check the lake before we plan a date!

I thought after about how this experience is so much like our walk with God. We have all these great plans in our head about what we are going to do with our life and how awesome it is going to be. We get started on these plans and all the sudden they aren’t going as perfectly as we thought. What do we do? This is where we need to lean into God to calm the storm and settle our mind. It is important that with every decision we make; we pray, we trust, and we listen to what God has planned. God can get us through any weather that life may bring, whether that be peaceful days or stormy nights, we have a God that does not leave us.

“Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank Him for all He has done.” Phil. 4:6 (New Living Translation)

There are moments where we can be asked to do things for God or get into situations where we are not sure if we can trust the outcome. I want to challenge everyone to stretch your boarders. God is with you in every situation, and your faith will grow with the more experiences you let Him lead in your life. I find that the more you say yes to God, the more you are blessed in your own life.

Until next time,

~Taylor

Taylor's Posts, {Beauty}

{Beauty} The Beauty of our World.

Written By: Taylor Fast

beauty taylor september

Have you ever gone somewhere and just stood in awe of God’s Creation? I remember the day I was proposed to, we were on a hike in Manitoulin Island where we stopped for a picnic. We were at the top of this hike where you could literally see half of the island. I was in awe of God’s beauty. The lakes, trees, rock formations, the height, and the beautiful sky- it was enough to take my breath away.

Sometimes I think we get caught up with everyday life. We have a routine, we follow it, we get stuck in that pattern, and soon enough we stop paying attention to the beauty around us. God created one remarkable world and it is important that we literately remember to stop and smell the roses.

I find when my fiancé and I haven’t done something new that involves being outside in a while we start to get antsy, especially in the wintertime! God calls us to go- to spread His word through all the nations. What a wonderful opportunity to see all the beauty God has created and get out of our own world that we can so easily get caught up in!

“In His hand are the depths of the Earth, and the mountain peaks belong to Him. The sea is His, for He made it, and His hands formed the dry land.” Psalm 95:4-5.

This verse gets me excited; imagine the beauty in the world. God created the whole world, so we know there are some amazing things we could see out there! And what a better time then to share the love of God while we travel to all these places!

Being with nature can really bring us peace, I love to be by the water and just let my stress melt away. I encourage everyone to take a step outside, somewhere new- and soak up the wonder of all God has made. This can be a great reminder of what an amazing God we have in our corner. This can also bring great opportunity for us to be an influence to others around our communities and the world as we venture away from our home. I encourage everyone to look at the beauty around you today and keep an eye out for those who we can bless while we are out and about. It has a way of making the world seem brighter.

Until Next Time,

~Taylor

Taylor's Posts, UYM

{Worth} What makes you worthy?

Written By: Taylor Horner

How do you define if you are worthy of people’s love and attention? Is it what you wear? How you look? How many friends just liked the new photo you posted? Maybe it’s the amount of stuff in your home or room? Or is it how many times you went to church this week? The amount of times you prayed? The amount of times you opened your Bible?

Let’s get real honest for a second. NONE of the stuff above matters if you are doing it to get the attention and affection of others. You know who wants our love and attention? We all know the answer… God. In everything we do there should be an awareness of God. We should want to go to church, pray, and read our Bible, but we should be doing these things because we want to grow closer to God. That means giving Him our undivided attention and having a moment where we can be selfish, but in a good way. This time with God is just for you and Him – no one else! We need these moments because, through the blood of Jesus, we are now worthy to be in God’s presence and grow in Him. He is worthy to be the one who we seek our love from.

Is it wrong to want attention based on how you look, what you posted, or the amount of stuff you have? I think there is a fine line. It’s okay to have nice stuff and look nice, but we cannot let these things take over our thoughts and measure how worthy we are of love or attention. Stuff doesn’t matter; it doesn’t come with us to heaven! You are not made worthy to people because of what you have or how you look, and if people do make you “worthy” to befriend them because of the outward appearance, they may not be the best examples to have in your life.

So what does make you worthy? God sees you worthy at any time, any moment, of any day to spend time with Him. There are no exceptions. He’s always willing to listen to His child. It doesn’t matter if your outfit is killing it that day or you’re lounging in sweat pants, He is always available.

The next time you are feeling the urge to buy stuff to feel better or are saddened by the amount of “likes” on your post, remember that none of those things make you worthy. What makes you worthy is being the best you can be through God who has washed away your sins and is willing to spend time with you whenever you need. How amazing is that? You are worthy.

“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through Him.” John 3:16-17

Until next time,

~Taylor

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{Special Video} The UYM Project.

The UYM project image

We are so thrilled to share this sweet video put together by a precious friend, Lauren Rivest for our ministry. Thank you Lauren, for assisting us in the creation of this beautiful master piece.

Another HUGE Thank you, to the hundreds of readers in whom were also so highly involved in the creation of this video. UYM wouldn’t be where it is today without you all!

             Special UYM Project video.