Genuine love

So I’ve mentioned how much I LOVE coffee and I’ve mentioned how much I LOVE traveling. Coffee fuels me for my travels… they pretty much go hand in hand. But I haven’t mentioned yet the core of what REALLY fuels me: My faith. My faith in Jesus sets my soul on fire. I have felt the Holy Spirit in me since I was 5 years old, but for the last 6 years I have felt God’s presence in my life more than ever before. Thanks to a few inspiring role models, I have been able to grow in my walk and truly realize what it means to *thrive* off of my faith in Jesus. It is my prayer that every person gets to experience Christ’s love at some point in their life. The peace that His love brings is unexplainable and if you have never felt it before, you are truly missing out. To know Christ is to know genuine love. And to be genuine about your faith is one of the most pure qualities a person can have. To truly believe in God’s power and desire to have a relationship with Him is so rare these days. Many people base their Christianity on going to church every Sunday, or having good morals. Unfortunately, neither of those will give you a relationship with Jesus. Revelation 3:16 says, “So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth.” One of my favorite things about reading the Bible is the bluntness of living for Christ. It’s black and white, there are no gray areas. Jesus says this in Revelation to tell us that he would rather have a genuine relationship with us, or not one at all. He wants us ALL in. He wants us to love Him with ALL of our heart, soul, mind, and strength (Mark 12:30). This means no gray areas. No claiming to know Christ because you know OF him, but claiming to know Christ because of your relationship WITH Him. You have to work hard at your relationship with Christ more so than a relationship with anybody else. We’re not perfect, we make mistakes. But the perfect thing about Christ is that His love in UNFAILING. He forgives us, loves us, and craves a genuine relationship with us. Being in a constant state of prayer and communication with Him….. and not just on Sundays. Once you seek Jesus, you get to experience more than just genuine love. You get to change for the better. The Holy Spirit changes the way we interact with others. We have more patience, more passion, and more love to share with one another. And when the world is filled with genuine love, good things happen. Christ shows up, and the enemy flees. That’s the power of Jesus. And with that power, you can accomplish ANYTHING with Him by your side! (Luke 18:27)

Top of the world…

…Looking down at creation… or so it seemed. Another recent adventure I had the opportunity to experience was to Stone Mountain in Atlanta, GA. Our trip went downhill (literally) once the sky lift dropped us off on the top. By the time we took in the breathtaking views, captured precious moments on the camera, and got the hair out of our faces from the wind, we were ready to take the sky lift back down to the bottom of the mountain. Or so we thought… because the wind was so strong, the sky lifts shut down which forced us to hike down the mountain instead. I would love to say that we were all prepared and wore proper shoes, but that wasn’t true in my case. Hiking down a giant rock means one thing: it’s slippery. And if you don’t have shoes with good grip, the walk down becomes very challenging, very quickly. I made the poor decision of wearing my Tom’s that day, shoes that the soles consist of a rubber/leather combination… not ideal for a long walk, let alone somewhere slippery! Luckily I had a team of 4 to help me down the steeper parts of the mountain. On the plus side however, I only fell twice and it was well worth the incredible views we saw.

It was hard to get a good picture of the 3 of us with the strong winds… This was the best one we got. Sorry Abbey….
Trust me, it’s harder than it looks.
Hung on to that railing for dear life!