Despite what Disney tells us, a happy life isn't about all your wishes coming true, it's about the motives of your heart. What are you wishing for in the first place? John Piper says,"We can live for our will or God’s will, or we could have our passions so transformed that we need not choose between the two." If the desire of your heart are properly aligned with God's will, when you love what he loves, when you want what he wants, that's the real dream come true.
When the slight adjustments to my schedule weren’t enough to silence my anxious thoughts, I questioned whether this was my “new normal”? Were my carefree days over? Was I going to live a life of anxiety from here on out? I realized that I had reached the end of myself.
My Grandma often scolds me that I do not take time “to stop and smell the roses”. She’s right. I don’t. I like to keep busy and do as much as possible. Even when I’m spending time with the people that I love, I like to squeeze in the memories and “maximize” the time. Thankfully, I'm married to a man who knows how to slow down.
It’s wise to treat yourself kindly, to speak to yourself like you would a friend, and to love who God made you to be. You are stuck with yourself after all. However, so many young women’s ministries tell girls it’s imperative to love yourself. Tell yourself, "You are beautiful. You are worth it." Learn to love yourself! But, is loving yourself really the answer?
Love makes it okay to have sex. I’ve heard that line more times than I can count. But, no matter how good it sounds, I can’t find it anywhere in the Bible. In fact 2 Timothy 2:22 urges us to flee from youthful passions so we can pursue love instead. "So flee youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart (2 Timothy 2:22).”
As an unapologetic optimist, I used to assume the best about people which made me an unfortunate judge of character. Sometimes I honestly couldn't identify fake friends from real ones. But the sarcastic words? The little insults? They were the hundred paper cuts that eventually made me bleed. I had to learn the hard way that not everyone likes Ashley. And some people never will.
Sometimes, saying we can’t overcome sin is an excuse to avoid the hard work of sanctification and enjoy living in it a little longer. But more often than not, laziness isn’t the problem. We are scared. Scared of what lurks in the dark corners of our heart. Scared that if we dig too deep we will discover something about ourselves that we don’t like. Scared of being vulnerable. Scared of being found out. Scared of the shame of our own shadows.
Constant compliments. Special date nights. Lots of hand holding. It's nice to think that your love language will match up effortlessly with your significant other, but what if it doesn't? That's the case for my husband Joseph and I.
Sex is confusing. The church has overcomplicated it. The world has overcomplicated it. But it doesn't have to be that way. God's ways are actually quite simple. Our co-founder & director, Ashley Giovannucci, spoke about holistic purity with one hundred 6th-12th graders at the One Heart Youth Conference last weekend. She talked about failed attempts to navigate our sexuality - the purity movement of the 1990's, abstinence education, and the free love movement. And she ultimately shared how the simplicity of God's way brings clarity to our lives.
I can date whoever I feel like dating…I need a boyfriend… It’s not really sex… I can’t handle the loneliness of staying pure. Those are some of the sexual lies that the book bluntly addresses while tactfully counteracting them with truth.