Today, Sydney shares with us thoughts on how we are wanted by an Everlasting God, a shower that was almost baptismal and the moment she wants to see through God’s eyes.
Inspiring biblical passage of the moment: “For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.” 1 Corinthians 6:20
This passage speaks to so many parts of my life right now. Just to sit and think on the words “bought with a price” makes every earthly struggle seem so much smaller. To know that we are not only WANTED by Jesus, but to be able to rest in the fact that He wanted us and loves us so much that He would pay the unthinkable just to have us… that is a love that changes my perspective about everything. And then the second part of this passage: glorifying God in our bodies and our spirit. This can be a daily struggle for me. I am the opposite of perfect, and I fail daily. But when I’m reminded that this body and even this spirit are not mine, but belong to the One that paid that ultimate price for me– boy does it seem a lot easier to just let God do His work within me.
“Just to sit and think on the words ‘bought with a price’ makes every earthly struggle seem so much smaller.”
Spiritual growth focus at the moment: Right now, I’m really trying to focus on following God’s lead to making me a better wife and a person that is impactful for the Kingdom. My goals have changed so much in the past few years, and I think I’ve gained a better understanding of what really matters and what God has called me to. So, my goal is to be a more loving wife and a writer that makes an impact on lives.
Profession: Interior Designer & Blogger/Content Creator. I studied design in college and currently work in the field. I’ve loved the industry from an early age, and I absolutely adore helping women learn to love their homes. Blogging is fairly new for me, but I knew it was what God was calling me to. I have been pleasantly surprised by just how much I enjoy content creation.
A one sentence bio of yourself: I’m a coffee-addicted, design-loving writer, just hoping to share her story in hopes of encouraging other women and pointing them back to Jesus.
When did you first encounter God and how did you encounter Him? Growing up in a Christian home, I was aware of God from an early age and even made a profession of faith when I was 6 years old; but, like many girls in that situation I never really understood Him for myself until I was in college. I’ll never forget the moment I finally understood that He loved me. I had just gotten out of an abusive relationship, and I was learning who I was outside of that. I felt so ashamed and useless, before Him. I was standing in the shower in my dorm room, my roommate gone for the weekend. I was clean physically but still felt so dirty, somehow. That’s when He whispered to me just how much He loved me and how clean He saw me, in that moment. I sat on the floor of the shower, water pouring over me and sobbed. Everything was different from that moment on. I knew God in a whole new way, and He and I have been growing closer ever since then.
“I was clean physically but still felt so dirty, somehow. That’s when He whispered to me just how much He loved me and how clean He saw me, in that moment.”
What has helped you grow spiritually in this season? Hands down, my husband has helped me grow spiritually through this season. Not only has he encouraged me to pursue what it is I feel God calling me to, but he is a daily example of Christ’s love to me. He is so patient and understanding. He picks me up, when I fall into pieces. He’s the most faithful person I know. He inspires me every day to just trust God’s will and make the most of my time here on earth. He points me back to Jesus, whenever I get overwhelmed by this world’s standards. I struggle a lot with body image and my relationship with food and he always helps see the Lord’s love for me despite my own issues with myself. He makes sure we are always where we need to be, spiritually, as a couple. I don’t know what I would do without him.
Just read/currently reading (and what has it taught you?): So, I know this has been out for quite some time, but I just read The Shack, and I will never be the same.
My view of my relationship with Jesus has completely changed. I’ve learned to see Him as a friend and as a father at the same time. It really opened my eyes to how He feels about us as His children. It’s such a beautiful relationship.
Everyone needs to read this book… it will totally change how you view being a Christian and encountering God.
I’m also currently reading through Embraced by Lisa Terkeurst, and it is encouraging me DAILY. It’s really helped me focus on making time to spend in the word every day and helps anticipate encountering God each morning.
Top three essentials: So, the things that I just have to have to get through my day are coffee, yoga, and time spent writing. Whether it’s for the blog or just part of my prayer journal, writing really helps me process my thoughts and get in touch with my creative side.
How did God speak to you recently? Lately, I have really felt God pressing on my heart about my prayer life and starting to ask for the big things. He’s been reminding me of what a powerful God He is and that my dreams all rest in His capable hands. He led me here to this platform as a blogger, and He’s been doing amazing things through it. I just feel like He’s pushing me to seek big things from Him, to look for the miracles of God, to stop settling for just ordinary and really start praying for the extraordinary.
“He’s pushing me to seek big things from Him, to look for the miracles of God, to stop settling for just ordinary and really start praying for the extraordinary.”
Hobby: I love being in the kitchen! Baking is therapeutic for me, and I love just creating something from scratch with no recipe. There is just something about making something with my hands that can nourish my body. It’s my favorite way to show love to people – you can always count on me to be the first one to bring food if you’re having a really bad day or a really good day.
Top three practical tips for staying spiritually strong: First, you have to pursue God daily. It may look different every day, but even just a few minutes of intentional time with Him makes a world of difference.
Second, seek out a strong community of believers. I think a lot of people think they can just get by with spending time with God, but the truth is that we need other humans to share our faith with. You need people in your corner who are going to keep you accountable as well as be there when you need encouragement.
And lastly, you must be willing to go/do whatever it is God calls you to. Part of growing in spiritual maturity and strength is being surrendered to God’s will for your life. That means that we are hardly ever going to be comfortable, but the good news is that whenever we feel uncomfortable that is just God refining us and molding us into who He created us to be.
Favorite person in scripture? So, I would say that my favorite person in scripture in a toss between Daniel and Hosea, mainly because of both of their obedience to God. Daniel’s story was one I often found myself turning to in college when I felt discouraged – his obedience and courage were two things I lacked in my early college days, and I think I just found so much inspiration in the passages about him.
Hosea’s story is one I just find so full of grace. He was obedient to God’s leading as well, but in a very different way. What he was called to made no sense on the surface – but it was God’s call on his life nonetheless. The love he became an example of… the grace that his story tells of… what a beautiful picture of the relationship we share with Christ… He wants us no matter who we are or what we have done or how many times we have been unfaithful to Him. That is the ultimate love story.
What do you want people to learn about God when they look at you? That no matter who they are, what they have done in their life, or what mistakes they have made… His love is always enough. I would want everyone who encounters me to be welcomed with a smile, with understanding, and with grace. If I can prove to even one person that they are never too far gone for God to redeem and love… then I’ve helped teach them what the love of Christ really looks like.
Favorite season? If I had to pick, I would have to say late fall (though spring is a close second). I just love the crisp air, the cozy outfits, and all of the yummy fall & holiday foods. For my husband and I, the end of the year is our slow-down time with both of our careers and it means a lot of time spent with both of our families plus our anniversary trip. It’s a time of relaxing and reflecting for us, and I think that makes it the season I look forward to most each year.
Favorite holiday? Christmas, hands down! We are Christmas fanatics around here! You can catch us jamming out to Christmas music on November 1st, we put up our tree as soon as the Thanksgiving dishes are done, we spend a good amount of time watching Hallmark Christmas Movies, and we go all-out on Christmas baking and decorating. It’s the most wonderful time of the year, and we waste no time starting the celebrations.
A dream you have? I would love to be a published writer someday. Whether it’s a series of devotionals, a cookbook, a design book, or just my own story and journey– I’m not sure – maybe all of the above! It’s a dream I’ve had ever since I can remember and it would be absolutely amazing to see that dream come true.
A special tradition you and your family engage in or keep: So, my family always kept mostly holiday traditions. We always watched A Christmas Story on Christmas morning, after opening gifts while we ate my mom’s homemade cinnamon rolls for breakfast.
Now that I’m married, my husband and I have tried to create blends of both of our traditions. So, we watch A Christmas Story with my family, but I make a copycat recipe of his mom’s monkey bread (which is what they always had Christmas morning). He and I also get a Christmas ornament every time we take a trip together (I told you, Christmas fanatics). We also take a trip every year to celebrate our anniversary – but we always go somewhere different. I think in a lot of ways, we are still figuring out our traditions.
Question you will ask when you get to heaven? Honestly? I want to see the moment my husband and I met…through His eyes. I want to know how he felt in those moments. I know that seems silly, but I that’s a moment I would relive a million times.
“I want to see the moment my husband and I met…through His eyes.”
Thing you want to raise awareness about: I would love to raise more awareness about abusive dating relationships, particularly obsessive or possessive ones. I journeyed through one for years before I finally gained the courage to walk away. No girl should ever feel as if the guy she is with owns her. Obsessive and possessive behavior should never be taken lightly – I know first-hand what an emotional and mental struggle it can be and the long-term effects it can have. It’s so easy to lose ourselves in relationships, especially as women who grew up in a world that tells us our relationship status defines who we are. I want more girls to know that it is never okay for anyone to make you feel trapped in a relationship and abuse of any kind is the complete opposite of God’s plan for our lives.
What do you usually do before 9 a.m.?Drink my first cup of coffee, do some journaling and usually a devotional of some sort, check my emails and social media (if I’m being honest), and I usually try to squeeze in some yoga if I can and then I’m out of the door by 8 a.m.
What is on your nightstand? Phone charger, book I’m currently reading, and my retainers (thank you, braces).
Define Christianity in a sentence: A relationship with the Creator and Savior of the world that should constantly be growing in such a way that one is becoming more and more like Christ every day with a focus on loving others and serving them.
For more Sydney:
Pinterest: Sydney Sweetly
Until next time, keep witnessing!