Hello! I'm Amanda. I'm a Christ-follower, and my favorite things to do are read, write, sing, swim, and play with my cats. :) I appreciate you taking time to read my thoughts! In case you were wondering about the title of this blog, I simply chose it because love is always the answer. Anything can be fixed with love, and nothing is anything without it. :) Whether you are a Christian or not, I hope that my posts encourage you, as well as help you gain different perspectives. Have a spectacular day, and don't forget how loved you are. :)

Friday, May 30, 2014

Things Change

Change is a huge part of life, as you may have noticed so far. A lot of people like it, and a lot of people don't. If you are not a fan of change, well, that's totally understandable. It can be hard. You had finally settled into a good routine, you were finally content--and then something shifts. Even if the change is good, there's usually a catch. 

You could think of life as a lawn...You grow luscious green grass, and sticky, poky weeds. You grow colorful flowers and plain ones. Some plants thrive, but all plants die. During certain seasons, it's rainy, and during other ones, it's sunny. You spray some weed and bug killer on there, and sometimes it works, and sometimes it doesn't. Things end up being planted whether you agree with it or not. You grow a yard full of nice things, only to have the mowed over. And yes, sometimes dogs do their business in your lovely yard. ;) Everything is out of your control--except how you react to what happens. Change is never ideal, but you know what? Life would be so boring without it. If you just did the same exact things and stayed in the same place for years, life would be terrible. While it is definitely hard to leave stuff behind and move on from things and people you love, it would be equally awful if everything stayed the same. You would only learn from books, never from experience. You would see the same exact environment every day, there would never be any diversity. You would have the same social circle, you would never meet new people and gain new perspectives. What would life be without adventure? In real life, you never know what to expect! Now for most people, their first reaction to that statement is fear and reluctance. What if I don't like what happens? What if things are worse than they are now? What if, what if, what if. But it's all about perspective here. Never knowing what to expect can actually be pretty cool from the right standpoint. It's exciting! If you always knew what was coming, things would be awfully dull, don't you think? Imagine that throughout your whole life, every time you watched a movie or a television show, read a book, or listened to a story, someone spoiled the ending. It's perfectly reasonable to assume that you would be pretty darn frustrated about the fifth time it happened. There might be some point in still watching, reading, or listening to it, but it would certainly make the journey through it far less exciting. Now, apply that to your life. See how humdrum that would be? Knowing what kind of change is coming would not make it better. You'd think that at least you could prepare for it more efficiently, but trying to figure out how to prepare would just lead to more stress. There's simply no way to fix it--but you can always fix your point of view. 

Even if you have trouble finding a perspective that gives you peace, there is one thing you can have in your life that never changes--and it's a good thing it never changes. There's no catch, you don't have to do something magical or hard, and it will not suddenly go bonkers on you. Too good to be true? Not at all. God really is that great. He never changes a bit, and He doesn't need to, because He's already perfect. Life is tough. You can try everything you want, but even staying 100% optimistic won't stop the storms from surrounding you. The great news though, is that no matter what changes in you or your world, God is still the same. No matter what life throws at you, He still loves you, He still has an abundance of grace to give you, He's still merciful, He's still all-powerful, and He's still never-changing. What changes you could never hope to change God. So if you feel like everything is in disarray, be comforted by the fact that God is always the same, even when things change.

"Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and forever." ~Hebrews 13:8~

"Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go." ~Joshua 1:9~

--Love, Amanda

Saturday, May 24, 2014


Martin Luther King Jr. said, "We must learn to live together as brothers, or perish together as fools". In other words, the ability to get along with each other is necessary to progress in life. How we treat others is a vital part of society. That's one of the reasons why society is so messed up. In our communities and friend groups, we turn everything into a competition. Who is the most fun to be around, who can look the best, be the most popular, gain the most friends, have the coolest house, throw the most parties--you get the gist. For every kind word, there's a harsh one. For every selfless act, there's a selfish one. For every mended friendship, there's a broken one. For every apology, there's a fight. We're filled with jealousy, spite, and greed--and for the silliest things nonetheless. We gossip, openly express our dislike for certain people, say things that ruin our trustworthiness, hold grudges, hide things about ourselves--and honestly for what? I mean, it seems like there would be some reason for doing any of that, but can you think of one? All it does is harm you and the people around you, until all we're left with is fear, sadness, and rejection. All it would take to fix it is an apology, a second chance, a tiny share of forgiveness, a little mercy, a kind word, a humble gesture. 

No one wants to be alone. No matter how introverted you are, we're all human, and we need other people in our lives. When I say alone, I don't mean you have no one to sit with at school or hang out with all the time. I mean "alone" as in you have no one to trust, and no one who loves, respects, helps, or listens to you. We go through tough times, we need friendship. And I don't mean the most common kind of "friendship" where people talk behind your back, criticize you, lead you down the wrong paths, and don't actually like you for who you are. I mean the true kind of friendship where people love you deeply, hold you accountable, encourage you, and stay by your side to fight storms with you. That's what we need more of today. Be that person for someone. If you yourself are alone, then search out someone who feels the same way--I promise they're there. 

Life is far from easy. We all know that. However it's much harder for life to get you down when you have 1, 5, 15, 30 people holding you up. If we can all just get over our petty disagreements, we can create awesome communities. Until then, we're stuck in a swamp of our evil, alone. Trials becomes better when we choose to be selfless and help each other out. Boring times become better when we choose to put aside our haughtiness and develop the ability to laugh with each other. It all simply starts when we choose to live how we were meant to live--together.

"Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up! Again, if two lie together, they keep warm, but how can one keep warm alone? And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him—a threefold cord is not quickly broken." ~Ecclesiastes 4:9-12~

"And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near." ~Hebrews 10:24-25~

--Love, Amanda

Thursday, May 22, 2014

The Magnitude

I try my best to be generally aware of how much God does for us, but only occasionally does the magnitude of it dawn on me. I know that I mess up a lot, but on some days when it seems like I'm doing even worse than usual, I suddenly realize how much grace God must have. Honestly, think about it for a couple minutes. Think about every single thing you've done since you woke up today. How many of your thoughts were well controlled? How many of your actions were kind? How many minutes of your day were you patient? How many minutes did you spend being grateful? How many times did you think about someone in a loving way? How many times did you think before speaking? How many times did you choose to be selfless? For all of us, it piles up to a whole lot of things that displease God. I don't think anyone can say that even just today, they didn't fail in those ways. We're all imperfect. But I'm not just going to finish there--or, more like God isn't just going to finish there. He very easily could. He could just leave us to rot in our never ending pit; we certainly deserve that. Maybe you did something kind today. Great! Unfortunately, God is perfect, so you've still got an impossibly long way to go. Ready for the good news though? God loves you too much to leave you in that pit to rot. Every time we do something wrong, He should strike us down with lightning--but that's where His mercy comes in. The absolute only thing able to save you, is if someone perfect died in your place. But even if a person was perfect, who would be willing to do that? I mean, come on, we're born with sinful desires. We slip up every 30 seconds. We do awful, awful things, to God and to each other. Well I suppose there is Jesus--He's perfect. But He's God, He never did anything wrong. He's actually the one person in the universe who does not deserve to die. But He did die. For me, for you, for everyone. He didn't just take the blame and punishment for one person's sins. That alone would have been spectacular. No. He took the blame and punishment for every single person who will walk this earth. Billions and billions of people who will do billions and billions of wrong things in their lives. All we have to do is accept God and strive to live for Him, which is not all that hard, because He's pretty awesome. Not only does God willingly offer payment for our sins, He loves us more than we can imagine despite our wickedness. Now, on another note, this amazing grace does not give you a free pass to sin all you want. It is because of this grace that He deserves your effort to follow what His Word says. 

Every day, try to take time and reflect on what God does for you. He deserves every bit of your thanks. And just be sure to never forget the magnitude of His grace. 

"Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need." ~Hebrews 4:16~

"But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us." ~Romans 5:8~

--Love, Amanda

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Be Real

These are some lyrics that I like from the song What If We Were Real by Mandisa:

"We keep trying to make it look so nice,
and we keep hiding what's going on inside.
But what if I shared my brokenness,
what if you shared how you feel?
And what we weren't afraid of this crazy mess?
What if we were real?"

Anyone would be lying if they said they were not going through trials right now. It's just a simple fact that everyone will have struggles in their life; it's something that can't be avoided. However, for some reason, we feel the need to act like these things don't exist. We worry that others will judge us, avoid us, treat us differently, give us crazy looks, and shame us, if we simply admit what we're going through. People also make the assumption that they are the only ones who experience their kind of pain. "You wouldn't understand", "you just don't get it", "you'll never know what I'm feeling". On the other hand, tons of other people understand what you're going through. We don't realize this, because we aren't willing to talk about these things! We all live on the same earth, therefore we all face similar problems. If you'll just speak up about what's on your chest, you will be shocked at how many people are experiencing the same thing. Holding onto a burden is only harmful. And seriously, I'm not saying you need to go stand on your roof and shout your problems to the whole world. But I guarantee you there are at least a few people in your life who will be completely happy to listen to you, and provide help if necessary. Find those people and talk to them! It will be so relieving when you let go of whatever is on your mind. Don't worry about what anyone will think of you--if someone does treat you badly because of what you've admitted, you have every right to ignore what they're saying. Don't let one person's silly opinion discourage you. 

Hopefully it's at least a little comforting to know that other people are going through your same struggles. Want to know something even better? God understands what you're going through as well. And He's there to support you 100% of the time. You can talk to Him whenever, you can read what He says about it, and you can take a swim in His sea of grace. ;) He's sitting right there next to you, waiting. He's always willing to protect, provide for, comfort, love, and embrace you. Friends are great...But they're still only people, and people are unreliable. God is reliable. He's beyond enough. He already knows the real you, so there's nothing you have to hide from Him. If there is absolutely anything on your chest, then I highly encourage you to pour it out to someone--or at the very least to God. :) And never be afraid to be real.

"Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls." ~Matthew 11:28-29~

"Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of sufferings are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world." ~1 Peter 5:9~

--Love, Amanda

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

The Lies

Why is it that every day, we try to live up to something that isn't even real? It's quite alarming how unreliable everything is in the world. It's like we're all walking around blindly, desperately hoping to grasp onto something satisfying, too stubborn to use our eyes. And if we just wait a liiiiittle longer to open our eyes, we might stumble onto what we're looking for. If you earn enough money, you'll be happy. If you stick to this diet, you'll be thin enough. If you buy this product, you'll never want anything else. If you let everyone else live their own lives and do whatever they want, we'll all be better off. If you conform to what everyone else thinks, we will forever be in harmony. If you change just a couple things about your personality, people will love you. If you only go down the career path of your stereotype, everything will work out great. If you live out these 5 simple tips, your life will be fantastic. 

Unfortunately, none of this is true. "Oh, but if I just"--no. No matter how hard you try, no matter how much you think you accomplish, it will always fail you. Being wealthy is great, until you go on your first spending spree and wind up in endless debt. Being skinny feels awesome, until you realize that you're still not thin enough for society, and you never will be. Buying this product will totally make you happy, until you find yourself addicted to possessions. Never caring enough to hold your friends accountable makes your life far easier, until you watch them go down paths of destruction. Being able to tell your friends you agree with them is wonderful, until you look around to see everything you once stood for laying in ruins. Changing yourself makes you super popular, until your "friends" dump you, and you don't even know who you are anymore. Sticking to your stereotype is easy and makes life fine and dandy, until we all turn into identical robots with no unique creativity. Remembering these rules will make your life amazing, until you hit a bump that your handy rules don't mention the solution to. 

Okay, so if all this stuff is worthless, then what now? Our only options are to willingly live a life of lies, or sit around doing nothing, because if we try, we'll only fail? Not at all. Despite the illusions surrounding us, there is one thing that you can count on. It doesn't cheat you, it doesn't leave you, it doesn't lie to you, it doesn't turn on you, it doesn't fail you. Jesus is the only thing in the infinite universe that is 100% reliable, 100% of the time. What better person to handle your life, than the One who made it? Maybe you don't believe me. That's fine by me--but I'd highly encourage you to find out for yourself. God deserves a shot. He won't miss. God loves you more than you can imagine, and He knows exactly what you need and when you need it. He is always with you, and unlike money, popularity, beauty, and possessions, He will never run out. He has an abundant supply of grace and mercy, and even when you slip up, He stands firm. If you already follow God's path, I figure you know that He won't fail you. However I'd encourage you to remind yourself how spectacular God is, and next time you're being pulled in the wrong direction, tell the lies that you're sticking to the Truth. 

"And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free." ~John 8:32~

"Jesus said to him, 'I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.'" ~John 14:16~

--Love, Amanda