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Guest Post_Kelsey

I am beginning a whole new, much needed daily routine. I will spend my quiet time with The Lord outside. This will preferably occur in the mornings. I think God is trying to show me different perspectives; altering them on days like today.
I woke up feeling in a daze, almost like I was still in my dream. I let this feeling take ahold of me… until I sat down to pray, drink coffee, journal, and read scripture. As I sit on my parents’ deck in the suburbs I grew up in, I am reminded of all the things I forget when being cooped up in an apartment in the city…
the beauty of the breeze,
families making sounds while playing outside,
friends taking walks,
and birds chirping.

I realized that all of these things are so beautiful in their own way, but we never take the time to appreciate them. They are everyday things for someone living in the suburbs… like brushing your teeth. It is not always something you pay attention to between your long list of things to do. That is a matter of perspective. When we are having a “bad day”, we groan at all of the small moments of irritation. But when we have having a “good day”, we  think of those small things as so minimal compared to all of the positive aspects of our day. That is perspective. I dream of living in the mountains or by the ocean while I’m cooped up in my apartment. This hinders me from seeing any of the beauty around me in the city; from feeling God’s constant presence, even in a concrete jungle. This is perspective! I think He sometimes tries to mold our perspective back to what it should be, but our stubborn hearts refuse. We simply need to listen and pay attention!

Scripture: James 1:2-4 (NIV)  “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trails of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith provides perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be full and complete, not lacking anything.”

This struck me because I hadn’t even meant to turn to this page, but it caught my eye because it was highlighted. It goes along so well with what I was just thinking about. When we are facing what is seemingly a burden, we can’t fully learn until we change our perspective on it. It is easier said than done for us humans, so I think this is a great reminder passage. 
Scripture: James 1:19 (NIV) “… Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to become angry.”
Scripture: James 1:26 (NIV) “Those who consider themselves religious and yet do not keep a tight reign on their tongues deceive themselves, and their religion is worthless.” 
I loved these because this is the very thing we need to do! Listen, but do not speak right away. God may need to change your heart before you effect another person’s. Our hearts are so reflective… the people we interact with are directly affected by ours. Even when we think we are coming into a situation with a kind and gentle heart, we could easily be wrong. This person may say something that we initially judge, or we may want to share our story that is similar instead of talking about theirs. Or, we may be having a bad day and their story seems so trivial to us that we believe we have “better” or “more important” things to worry about. Or, this person may have said something inconsiderate to you about a loved one and you simply want to give them a piece of your mind. Be still for The Lord and let him change your perspective from your own stubborn heart to his perfect one. Reflect back a heart that has been changed by your King. 


About Kelsey

My name is Kelsey Shanahan and I am a student studying Human Services. I am currently a Youth Ministry Associate at my church and hope to become a youth pastor after I graduate. I have a significant other and we plan to move to South Carolina in a few years after we get married. It has only been a year and a half since I came to Christ, but I now see my troublesome past as a blessing because I am better able to relate to the teens I work with!  Connect with Kelsey via her blog, Prov31aspiration.