By Melanie Shankle
"For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of the light for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness, and truth."
I drive Caroline to school most mornings, and we always pray for her day. And then as she gets out of the car, I almost always remind her to "Let your light shine bright!" It's just my reminder that we are always called to be a light in the world and that some of the kids who walk the halls of her school desperately need to see a little light.
Part of the reason I encourage Caroline to let her light shine bright is because it reminds me that I need to do the same. Where can I help? How can I encourage someone going through a hard time? Who can I reach out to with a kind word? Because I remember what it feels like to walk in darkness and fear and loneliness. But that's where Jesus comes in. He is the light. And He shines His light in us and on us, and it's up to us to be the light in our little corner of the world. So make the phone call. Send that text. Smile at that stranger. Speak a kind word.
Let your light shine bright.
1 Corinthians 12:12-20 says "Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ. For we were all baptized by one Spirit so as to form one body—whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink. Even so the body is not made up of one part but of many.
Now if the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason stop being part of the body. And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason stop being part of the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be? But in fact God has placed the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be. If they were all one part, where would the body be? As it is, there are many parts, but one body."
In a symphony, instruments work together to create a splendid, wonderful piece of music that simply cannot be played on the same caliber with one instrument alone. The symphony is like the body of Christ. Its beauty and power is dependent on many different instruments of different sizes, shapes, and sounds all being themselves to come together to create something remarkable. An oboe is not going to try to be a trombone, nor is a flute trying to be a piano. The symphony needs them all, as they are, just as the Lord uses each of us, as he created us, to do beautiful, amazing things in His world. You were created the way you are on purpose and for a purpose. You need to do nothing but be yourself!
Happy almost finals week!! Just wanted to encourage everyone during this time to study your hardest but don't let finals season rule your life. While grades are important, don't let academic achievement sit on the throne of your heart. So study with friends, take study breaks every now and then, and just remember to not let the stress consume you! Continue to love your fellow Panhellenic sisters and everyone around you because let's be honest, we all need a little extra love around finals week. Good luck with your finals and have a safe and happy summer!!
Today I wanted to share a little bit from this book Becoming by Jim Branch.
"A few months ago, as I was meditating, I came to a realization. I tend to go through life trying – to create a self each day rather than to simply receive a self each day. And any self that is created by anything or anyone other than the Creator, the God that breathed me into being, can only be false. Any self that I create or manufacture is a false self because it is just a cheap imitation, adaptation, or distortion of the me. I was created to be by the One who dreamt me into being before the foundations of the earth. My true identity can only be bestowed, it can never be achieved. So my challenge, each and every day, is to stop the ongoing pattern of trying, in desperation, to create a self that has in fact already been fearfully and wonderfully made; and to simply receive my true self in peace and in freedom from the God who made me uniquely and loves me dearly. It is funny how much I strive to make a name for myself, when only he can give me the name I was made to bear – my true name. How incredibly freeing! It is as if God is saying: “I have given you your value and your worth. I have bestowed it upon you and it can never be lost. So stop measuring. Stop earning. Stop comparing. Stop acting. Your worth is not hanging in the balance. It does not depend on anything you achieve, or on any accomplishment you attain. So relax. Live in the freedom of knowing you are loved deeply and fully and completely – as well as eternally. Instead of working so hard to prove yourself, just fall in love with Me"
In life, it is easy to try to be someone else. To copy someone else's clothes, instagram feed, social circle, etc. We feel pressured by comparison to create an identity that is different from the person God created us to be. It is so much more fulfilling to embrace the self that we were born with than to create an alternate self. Instead of trying to measure up the people around us, we need to work on only focusing on ourselves, and embracing the joyous life we were given!
So don’t worry and don’t stress about anything because your worth does not depend on anything you do or don’t do or how you appear to everyone around you, your worth is already determined by the God of the universe who loves each and every one of you so well!!
Hi everyone! With this verse, I wanted to talk about your mindset as you go through life. I've found that I'm so much happier when I really take this verse into consideration, especially "in everything give thanks." When you have a grateful heart and attitude, you're thinking about the wonderful things of life- your friends, family, opportunities; it so much better to think of these things than to think about everything that's not going according to your plan. So even when your formal date cancels last minute or your plans fall through, just know that God has your best interest in mind and that we are called to rejoice always and give thanks in all circumstances because this is God's will for our life, and it is SO good!
Hi everyone! This verse is such a reminder for me to live each day to the full and to have an abundant life just as this verse encourages. Having a grateful heart, being present in each moment, and making the most out of every opportunity are such easy ways to live each day to the full. I encourage everyone to live an abundant life and to have a great week!!!
Hey everyone! Happy Galentine's Day! I want to encourage everyone to show some Panhellenic love today as we love and thank all the great girls in our lives!
This quotation really hit me when I first saw it- a lot of us are people pleasers and strive to make everyone happy all the time. Also, a lot of us desire to be liked by everyone. This is a common struggle among college students, especially girls! But with this, I encourage you to just be yourself and don't worry about seeking validation from others. You are so great!! You don't need anyone else to tell you that!! You can be the best version of yourself and some people still won't like you and that's not your fault! Focus on being your best self and don't worry about others' opinions. So go out there, be the ripest, juiciest peach in the world, live your life to the fullest, and have a great week!!
This week I read a blog post from Grace Valentine at Council. It's titled "Read This If College Kinda Sucks." With test week coming up and interviews and campaigns going on, I wanted to read something to remind everyone (and myself) that you are not required or expected to be perfect or successful all the time. There is beauty and good things that come out of failures. For instance, I am able to lead by example in that I am nowhere near perfect and I do not have it all together, as seen by my forgetting to read the second half of this article tonight at Council!
I've linked the article above but I wanted to quote one of my favorite parts. "Your identity is not found in Greek life, your mistake last weekend, your GPA, your weight, the amount of friends at your brunch, or even how much money is in your bank account. Your identity comes from the One who created you. The One says you are enough. The One who sees your failures, your worst mistakes, and your weakness and says 'Come as you are.'"
Each one of you is so loved!! It is so easy to try to define yourself in something superficial but this will only disappoint and discourage you. Finding your identity and purpose in serving, loving, and praising the Lord and loving others to the best of your ability will allow you to thrive and to be your best self!! With this I hope that each of you will remember this truth and have the best rest of the week!!