christmas eve eve

Saturday, December 23, 2017

hey friends! it's been awhile, but i'm back. i don't know about you, but winter kind of puts me in a deep hole. i mean it is scientifically proven that winter can make depression and anxiety worse, hence why i haven't blogged since november (oops).

but like seriously, does anyone else feel like the holidays are just about the busyness, stress, chaos, craziness, etc? i mean it's Christmas eve eve and i still haven't ordered my dad his Christmas present, i haven't given my secret santa the second half of her gift yet, my face is breaking out like there is no tomorrow, my eczema is attacking me, and don't even get me started on my depression. i just feel like i've forgotten why we even celebrate Christmas. can you relate? i'm sure you can, because you are human, aren't you?

i don't want to just talk about stress and depression, because that's not what this post is for (peep a future post maybe). i want to give myself and maybe you some steps you can take on this Christmas eve eve to center yourself with God and remember the reason why we're celebrating.

before i give us these steps, because we are in this together, let me just set the scene and tell you the story of Christmas. so now imagine you're sitting in your snowflake pajama pants, sipping on a warm beverage. the tree is adorned with soft white lights and ornaments from your childhood. the fire is crackling and Christmas classics are playing in the distance. you spot the manger under the Christmas tree, portraying the greatest event of all time, the birth of our Savior.

approximately 2020 years ago, a baby was born. this baby wasn't just any baby, He was born to a young virgin woman, in a manger, surrounded by animals. this baby was God in the flesh, He was to be light in a dark world. He came to save sinners, to love the broken, to take the punishment that we all deserve. yeah presents are pretty cool, but what's even cooler is that God came down to earth in the most vulnerable form, a baby, to give us the gift of salvation.

so now that you've been reminded of the greatest thing that has ever happen, let's move onto some steps you can take to remember this everyday of the year, but especially through the next few days when chaos tries to overwhelm you.

01) sit and listen. right when you wake up just sit and listen. don't say anything. just let God speaks to you. we typically grab our phones and see what everyone is up to before we can even hear God's voice. He might have something really important to tell you, so take a second and breathe.

02) open your Bible. try opening to a random page and just start reading. underline anything that stands out to you. ponder on words that you need to hear.

03) grab a pen and some paper. write out your thoughts. i'm not a good talker, but i like to think i'm a good writer. maybe you'd rather just talk to God, either way, He'll hear what you have to say. He wants to spend time with you.

04) go to church. attend a Christmas eve service or even a Christmas day service. if you're in the metro detroit area check out northridge church tomorrow. and if you're in the grand rapids area check out crossroads tomorrow or on Christmas.

05) ask for help. many times we feel like we're weak when we ask for help, but i think we're more weak when we pretend we're fine. we are all broken, so seek help if you need it. talk to a pastor, talk to a friend, or talk to a mental health professional(use code GRANDVALLEYAS). God gave us resources, it's time we use them.

so i hope these helped you out, because now i'm gonna go spend some time with the man who started this all, Jesus. hopefully i'll be back to blog after Christmas, if not it'll be after passion (oh yeah I'm going to passion in dc! if you'll be there tweet me, or tweet me even if you're not going.) anyways, Merry Christmas friends! love you all lots.

xoxo, Aubrey 

fall thoughts

Thursday, November 2, 2017

is it seriously the beginning of novemeber? where in the world has the time gone? also, where have i been? I haven't blogged since september 12, and i'm just going to say sorry and move onto this blog post. so it's fall and i've just been doing some thinking, so here are my most random fall thoughts.

01. cafe miel is the best espresso drink in the world. it's basically a latte, but it's made with cinnamon and honey. it's just the perfect warm drink for the cold weather. you can't get it at starbucks so don't even try. but you can find it at most independent coffee shops. if you live in the gr area, madcap and the rower's club both have it + they're my favorite places to hang. try it and love it. 

02. a la croix a day will keep the sadness away. i mean it won't actually make your problems go away, but it will make you feel some happiness for the amount of time it takes you to drink it (aka 5 seconds). 

03. if you can complete one tiny task a day you should be proud of yourself. make your bed, brush your teeth, brush your hair. start your day out doing something, even if it's mundane, you still did it. go you! 

04. leggings are pants. don't let real adults tell you that leggings aren't pants. pants suck in general and if you try telling me that the comfiest pants aren't actually pants, then bye! 

05. you gotta splurge a little sometimes. pay your rent and celebrate by buying something you really want. go to trader joe's or go on redbubble. get some food or some stickers or anything else you really really want. 

06. Jesus wants to hang out with you. i struggle with talking to Jesus because i don't want to bother Him with my problems, but for real, He wants to hear about your problems because He's really the only one who can help you with them. He's never bothered by you. 

07. when you put struggles into a Christian, the end result is beautiful. this past weekend at church, my pastor talked about struggles and how we grow from them so yeah, your struggles will have beauty in them, i promise. trust me, i know how hard it is to see beauty in brokenness, but it's there. 

08. spend money on cups. @ all my friends who tell me that i spend too much money on cups. i like my cups, they are pretty. my cups make me happy so, i will continue spending my money on cups, good day. 

09. there is nothing i love more than worshiping my Maker and Redeemer. i've been trying to worship Him more everyday, whether it be diving into His word or spending time in prayer. worship is the one gift that we can give to Him. don't you think He deserves this gift, especially after all He's done for us?

10. i'm almost 20 and i want to not. i do not want to be half way to 40. i do not want to be an adult anymore. can i just not please? let me just switch the 2 and the 0 and be 02 because being 2 years old is a lot easier than being 20.

i know these thoughts were random, but it's what's been going on in my head. hopefully i'll be back soon, or maybe i'll take 2 months again.

xoxo, Aubs

i am where i am

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

right now, i'm sitting in the marketplace starbucks at gvsu. i'm taking a break from my huge load of homework to write this blog post. it doesn't seem like a very great idea to stop doing my homework, but i just feel like God is pushing me to write this right now.

i'm sitting here in athletic shorts (even though i never actually do anything athletic), a little mermaid t-shirt, my hair is damp, and i have a massive zit on my forehead that not even 3 layers of concealer can cover. i'm trying to plan out the rest of my week, mainly my free time because i find it hard to relax unless i schedule it in. i'm pondering on some things that are hard to comprehend and having a lot of anxiety around them and just daily life. i miss my people back home, but i love being here as well. i'm feeling a little stuck in a rut. but hey, i am where i am for a reason.

God has put me in this place, without showing me the way out, but he's doing this for a reason. i am right where he wants me in this moment. it's hard to believe that God would ever want me stuck, but i believe He is doing it to teach me something. i am in a place that no one posts about on social media, that no one has glamorized, that no one really talks about. but hey, i am talking about this place because i strongly believe God wants you to know that someone else (me) is in a rut just like you. that hey, we are both going to get out of here. that, we're going to get those bricks off our chests soon. that, your panic attack or depression or loneliness or feeling of rejection; isn't where you have to stay forever.

now, i don't exactly know how to get out of the rut i'm in, but i also know that i don't need to get out of it at this exact moment in time. i know that maybe this rut is where i'll meet someone else in a rut and we will help each other out. that, maybe this rut will help me grow closer to God. that this rut has a purpose, other than being utterly annoying. this rut is where i am right now, and hey, that's okay with me.

xoxo, Aubs 

uteruses before duderuses

Friday, September 8, 2017

"ovaries before brovaries"

girls only from this point forward, unless you want to learn about periods...
"what is more cuterus than your uterus?"

I'm casually quoting every instance Leslie Knope mentioned female reproductive parts before I dive into talking about periods. Let's be completely real here, periods suck and they will always suck. And if your period doesn't suck you can leave the period club.

But for those who have periods and care about what they put into their body, this post is for sure for you. If you have a period and could care less about what you put in your body, you should still read this post because it is very important.



Periods suck, but tampons and pads make them suck even more, especially since they aren't officially regulated. Tampons and pads can be made with synthetics, bleach, random cancer causing agents, fragrances that are nerve distributors! The FDA doesn't care what you're sticking up there, because they don't care that you have a period. But there are a few people who care about people with periods, and they have even made organic products for us. WOO THEM! So I made it easy for any of you who are interested in organic tampons and pads, I tried them out and rated them for you down below (no pun intended).

So why go organic when it comes to tampons?

1. Because organic is better for you and for the environment.
2. Any synthetics, dyes, pesticides, etc. that make up a tampon are being absorbed through one of the most absorbent parts of your body.
3. You are less likely to develop TSS (Toxic Shock Syndrome) when using an organic tampon.
4. The chemicals used in conventional tampons are linked to cancer, endometriosis, and other health hazards.

I have tried everything from playtex, tampax, and now I'm at kotex. Seems weird to me that they all end in ex, maybe because they suck as much as our exes? Or because soon they will be our ex-tampons? Enough about those overrated options, let's talk about the superior ones!

I took these photos unlike most product photos. I wanted them to seem real because real people use them.

I have created an extensive (not at all) rating process. My ratings are based on comfort, price, and level of environmental friendliness. 5 is the top rating, while 0 is the lowest rating. I'm so excited to review for you! So let's begin, shall we?

This is L. 

This product came in a clear container, so that you can see exactly what you are getting. I purchased my first box from Target because I was very intrigued by them. The price is pretty good considering they are organic. On their website you can select up to 3 products for $10.95 a month or you can buy a box at Target for $6.99. These tampons are amaze-balls. They are also BPA free and the packaging is all recyclable. So let's move onto the ratings.

Comfort: 4/5
Price: 5/5, same price as U by Kotex.
Environmental friendliness: 3/5
Overall Rating: 4/5


These tampons are kinda cute, like the packaging. I would actually love to flash these around to people like I'm super sophisticated or something. There free trial only costs $3 for shipping which is pretty great, so you don't have to purchase a whole entire supply before you try, but their subscription is $18/month. They are super comfy. They're vegan, and BPA-free. Pretty awesome, if you ask me!

Comfort: 4/5
Price: 2/5, maybe better if I wasn't in college
Environmental friendliness: 3/5
Overall Rating: 3/5

These were the very first organic, subscription based tampons I heard about and I was amazed! Kinda shocked that I never realized how awful tampons are, but amazed! 1. Didn't get to try, so can't rate comfort. 2. Price is fairly reasonable. I mean $10 for one box or $9 for 2 or more boxes, seems too good to be true! 3. So environmentally friendly, it's insane! I mean they're GMO free and bio-degradable (I can compost these in my composter, which is so crazy to think about and kind of strange!). So let us move on to the ratings.

Comfort: N/A
Price: 4/5
Environmental friendliness: 4/5
Overall Rating: 4/5

Sustain Natural
These tampons are all about you and the world. This company is very much about making sure what you put in your body is also good to put on the earth. I mean their whole name revolves around sustainability and natural living! They are for sure the most eco-friendly product I have looked at thus far. I unfortunately didn't get to try these, so I can't rate comfort for you.  At $8.95 for a box of 12, they're a little bit out of my price range, but yet again, they are organic. Ratings time!

Comfort: /NA
Price: 2/5
Environmental friendliness: 5/5
Overall Rating: 3.5/5


At first I was worried about trying these tampons because they have cardboard applicators and I hate cardboard applicators, but once I figured them out they weren't that bad. I just can't seem to get over my hatred for cardboard applicators though! They're environmentally friendly, which is just perfect for a "granola head" like me (just a name my uncle recently called me).  They're pretty pricey, at $16.99 for 32 tampons; if I was rich, then maybe I'd buy them. Kali also sent me some other products to try out. Their wipettes are very nice along with their panty liners, I definitely want more of these. I don't typically use pads, so I didn't try those, but they did sent them as well. All in all, Kali is a great company.

Comfort: 3/5
Price: 2/5
Environmental friendliness: 4/5
Overall Rating: 3/5


Besides having super friendly customer service, these tampons actually rock! They pretty comfy, but it didn't feel like they weren't there. They're made with 100% organic cotton (as are all the others) and the applicators are BPA-free. These tampons are also 100% biodegradable (compost 'em!). These are super duper awesome tampons made by super duper awesome people! They have two price options, $10 for 18 and $15 for 32. Now let's move on to the ratings.

Comfort: 4/5
Price: 3/5
Environmental friendliness: 5/5
Overall Rating: 4/5

Now that the ratings are all done, I am not going to declare a winner. But I would encourage you to try these tampons out for yourself and make a decision. Periods are all about personal preference, pick the comfiest tampons girls! These companies all rock, I mean they're making periods a tad bit better (if that's even possible). So that being said; turn on your heating pad, grab the chocolate, take some advil, and try out some organic tampons. You got this girl!

love you all!

xoxo, Aubs

things i learned the summer before sophomore year

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

this summer has blown by, like i'm serious, where did it even go? one minute i was checking out of my dorm room and the next thing i know, i'll be picking up the keys to my apartment. i'm freaked. although this summer was way too fast, i still found time to learn some valuable lessons.

01. although you think you can take an online math class, you shouldn't.

i took stats this summer and i wanted to quit so quick, but i still pushed through it. honestly, stats is one of the hardest classes for people, but it makes it even harder when it's online and you must teach yourself everything! i am never going to take a math class online ever again, and i don't think you should try to ever.

02. take chances and let God guide you.

i had my whole summer employment planned out and then it didn't actually work out how i planned, like at all. so here i am, working this internship that i LOVE, but not actually babysitting twice a week like i thought. so what do i do? i don't have money, i have student loans, i want to panic about everything. so i pray, a lot. i apply to shipt, and i get the job. i don't do it a lot, but at least i've made some extra money and hopefully i'll be able to pay my loan off in full by the end of the year. God will provide and He will make it all work out, just take that chance.

03. your friendships won't be the same.

you've changed, even if you don't think you have, you have. everyone changes, especially when they leave high school, go away to school, and then come back. you've made new friends at school and you've become who you're meant to be. you all know what you want, and typically, it's different things in life. it's okay if you're friendships have changed, you don't have to hate them because you never see them. let your friends do their thing, and let them know you still love them from time to time.

04. embrace chaos.

chaos is everywhere and the longer you hide from it, the more it is going to bother you. relax, tell God He is in control, and let it happen. chaos isn't all bad, i promise.

05.  k-cups are too expensive for me and probably you.

okay k-cups are great and all, but also cost a lot of money and are horrible for the environment. my mom bought me a french press and now i'll be making good coffee from trader joe's in my fancy french press. $13.99 for wake-up blend at trader's, heck yes!

so i didn't necessarily learn anything that was extremely important and life changing, but i did learn some things that were pretty good. i hope you take my lessons and use them in your life.


what exactly is my calling?

Monday, July 3, 2017

let’s chat about vocation. not vacation, although that would be nice, we’re going to talk about vocation.

first, what is vocation? vocation is what you feel called to do. example: “my vocation is to be a first grade teacher” (that’s not my vocation, but you get the idea). A lot of people will simply say, “this is my calling” or “God has called me to...”

second, how do you find your vocation? now this is where a lot of people won't agree with me, but just hear me out. we all have the same vocation/calling. we have all been called to share the Gospel with the world. now, before you stop reading and tell me to shut up, listen. God didn’t call you to teach math to third graders or simply serve food at a restaurant. God called you to share the hope of Jesus Christ. Now, he may have placed you in various positions to do that and a lot of times we confuse those positions with our actually calling.

Now, if that doesn’t make sense take me for example. I serve as an intern in Northridge Student Ministries, not because I feel like this is my “calling” but because I am using interning to fulfill my calling. I am using student ministries to share the Gospel with students who are at the most vulnerable stage in their lives. I am using student ministries to better equip myself to share the Gospel with a variety of people. I don’t feel called to simply own a cafe, but rather to use my cafe to proclaim that Jesus is king and to bring more children home to Him. I don’t feel called to be a wife, but rather to have a partner to help me share His love and hope. I don’t feel called to be a mother, but rather to share the Gospel with my future children and to equip them to also share the Gospel. I wasn’t called to own a cafe, be a wife, be a mother, serve in student ministries, live in Michigan, write this blog post, or drink this cup of coffee that I am currently drinking; I was called to share Jesus’ truth with the world, and so were you!

third, but how come I was taught my whole life that Jesus will call me to my vocation? Because Jesus will call you to your vocation, He will call you to serve Him. Now, Jesus is going to call you into various positions, but those aren’t your number one vocation. Your number one vocation that He calls you to, is to be a disciple, to evangelize, to serve Him, to share the Gospel. I read an article, while researching the topic of vocation and it said, “The calling to follow Christ lies at the root of every other calling.” (source) Now, this is simply saying that no matter what you do in life or feel like you are “called” to do, your main calling is to follow Jesus.

fourth, why does the church emphasize on calling and vocation so much if we all have the same one? because God has called us all to belong to Him and to work for Him. the church teaches that in order to do both, we must follow where God calls us to work, which is absolutely true. But, it is also true that we are all essentially called to do the same thing, to use our jobs and positions in life to serve Jesus. If the church emphasized on the fact that we are called to share the Gospel through our jobs and positions, rather than have a job and serve God as two separate things than we’d bring more people to Jesus and be filled up with grace.

and last but not least, what authority do I have when it comes to telling you all this? I really don’t have any. all I know is that God has called me to use my blog as a platform to express His truth and what He teaches. Also, I woke up at 3 am from God speaking very loudly at me, to write this blog post. So hi, I’m Aubrey Sochacki. I have average Bible knowledge and I am a servant of the King, but I really don’t have any authority on any of the topics I blog about. So, if you’re being stirred up and questioning all that you’ve ever known about about vocation, then simply pray about it. Because I might not have the authority on this topic of vocation and calling, but you know who does? God does.

xoxo, Aubrey

singleness isn’t a disease, it doesn’t need to be cured

Monday, June 26, 2017

In the past 3 months or so, we talked about a variety of topics revolving around God, being single, and being in a relationship. This has been a true learning season for me and I hope it has been for you too. To recap that past season, let’s discuss a little bit about each topic.

one. finding Him and him
we must find our fulfillment in Christ alone, not in a woman or a man.
two. if it’s not good, it’s not God
if it is a part of God’s plan for you, than it will be good.
three. they’re not yours to fix
don’t try and fix someone by being in a romantic relationship with them.
four. a real christian love story
talked to my mom about her relationship God and her relationship with my dad.
five. prayers for your future spouse
praying for your future spouse is an act of love towards them, even if you don’t have a clue who they are.
six. un(lovable)
no matter how unlovable we feel, we are loved by God who makes us lovable to others.
seven. trusting God in the midst
Olivia spoke about finding God in the midst of a hard breakup and letting Him lead you.
eight. waiting game
Nicole spoke about waiting for the one that God has planned for you.
nine. singleness isn’t a disease and doesn’t need to be cured
And now today, our last topic of this wonderful learning series! A topic that some of you who are single are going to fight me on, and that is, we don’t need to be in a romantic relationship. None of us need to be in a relationship, we don’t need anything as long as we have Jesus. Singleness really shouldn’t be a problem in this world, not when we are surrounded by God’s love for us and other Christians who cherish us. If we truly implanted Jesus into every aspect of our lives, we wouldn’t worry about tomorrow, we wouldn’t worry about our plans for the year, or for the next five. If we let Jesus take control of our lives, we would let Him lead us through everything, including our season of singleness. If we stopped asking God when He would give us a spouse, then we’d have so much more time to ask God to guide us, to help bring more children to the kingdom. Our main purpose on this earth isn’t to get married and have children, our main purpose on earth is to spread the Word and to share the hope of Jesus Christ. Now how are we going to share the hope, if we’re too distracted by waiting for our future spouse? God has a plan for each and every one of us, if we would just trust in that plan, then Jesus will take care of us, He will sustain us. We must stop the nonsense of constantly waiting for God to give us a person, when God gave us the best thing already, His son. I’m going to share some steps you can take to stop worrying about your singleness and to start worrying about where God can use you.
the first step to being comfortable in your singleness is to accept Jesus as your Savior. Jesus wants all of us to know Him and to be saved, so He made it fairly simple, all He requires for us to do is to pray to Him. To ask Him for forgiveness and to proclaim that we accept Him as our one and only Savior. If you’d like to talk to someone about what it means to accept Jesus as your Savior, contact me and I can talk with you or put you in contact with a pastor.

being single will always be something that we struggle with, especially when we know God desires for us to be married, but we must pray to Him in our waiting and struggling. If you ask God to guide you through the hardships, He will, He will walk right beside you, He might even carry you through it. pray that God will help you through your worrying and use you for His kingdom.

dive into the Word. the Bible is full of wisdom and clarity, which are two things every human needs. the Bible is also filled with love and lessons from God. when we take a leap into His arms, when we ask Him to guide us, and when we dive into His Word, we are beginning to surround ourselves with God.
now some of us are going to be single forever and some of us won’t be, but none of us are going to prosper if we try to do life alone. so go out, go to a church group, join a ministry group on campus, find a church that you feel comfortable in, reach out to christian communities, find christian friends. if you surround yourself with people who you are equally yoked with, you will all come together to praise the Lord, and they can even help pray with you during your struggling with being single. God doesn’t want us to do life alone, that’s why He created friendship.

when we keep in our faith and we make a habit of praying, diving into the Word, and meeting other christians; then we will continue to grow. ask your christian friends to hold you accountable, ask God to help you grow closer to Him, make it a daily habit to read the Bible. keep going to your groups, keep putting yourself in Godly situations. when we grow, we start to see others grow too.

as christians we are called to share our faith, to share the hope of Jesus Christ. stop focusing on whether or not you are going to meet someone and start focusing on those who don’t know Jesus and start helping them to know Him. stop saying “my calling is....” and start saying, “God has called me to share Him with the world.” stop saying “God give me a boyfriend/girlfriend” and start saying, “God lead me to a person who needs you and help me serve them, help me share who you are with them.” we aren’t called to do anything, but to share who He is.

That all being said, singleness isn’t the biggest issue we face, and it really isn’t an issue at all. The biggest issue we face, is knowing that not everyone knows Jesus. We should be focusing on how we can grow in Christ and how we can serve Him. We should focus on bringing more children of God to the kingdom. Your singleness isn’t a disease, it doesn’t need a cure, it’s not a problem. Stop making this about you and start making it about God. “Father, I don’t want to think of my singleness as a problem anymore. I know that you will take care of me, no matter what. I know that whatever happens, I will be okay. Lord Jesus, use me. I want to serve you and only you. This is about you, not me. Lord, use me to expand your kingdom. I know my purpose, I know I’m called to share who you are with the world. Lord, help me share your hope. Lord, this is all about you and your kingdom. Lord, I love you and know I only need you. I pray all of this in Jesus’ name. Amen.”

Thanks for hanging out with me for this series, until next time!

You, Lord, are all I have, and you give me all I need; my future is in your hands. How wonderful are your gifts to me; how good they are! I praise the Lord, because he guides me, and in the night my conscience warns me. I am always aware of the Lord's presence; he is near, and nothing can shake me. And so I am thankful and glad, and I feel completely secure, because you protect me from the power of death. I have served you faithfully, and you will not abandon me to the world of the dead. You will show me the path that leads to life; your presence fills me with joy and brings me pleasure forever.” // Psalm 16:5-11 GNT

waiting game

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Hi all, my name is Nicole Grover and Aubrey asked me to write from another perspective on relationships and waiting for the right person to come into your life. (To catch up on the series click here!)

These past couple of years, God put my level of patience to the test. I struggled watching my friends find great guys that soon turned into long-lasting relationships. I constantly wondered when it was my turn to meet “the guy". Seeing most of your friends happy and in a committed relationship makes tons of emotions run through your head. Half of you is glad your friend found someone that makes their days better and the other half of you is jealous; jealous of the fact that she/he found their person that makes dark and gloomy days turn bright and sunny. Thinking that I may end up alone was a thought that went through my head often. God showed me in many ways that I wasn’t alone now and that I wouldn’t be alone in my future. “In order to love someone else you must love yourself.” These words stuck with me since the day I heard them. I began to realize that this was God’s plan for me and I wasn’t supposed to rush His plan.

My freshman year of college was the year God truly tested my patience. I saw floor mates, building mates, or even just other freshman walking throughout campus making connections with others. I tried, but I knew that God’s plan was in the works and a connection wouldn’t be forced, rather it would be effortless. Half way through the year, I began to accept that God was in control of my life and the relationships I had made and relationships to come. Letting God take control of my life and letting His plan take over was a big step for me. God puts different people in your life to teach you different lessons. Over the last couple years, I watched some friends lose their relationships, some enter relationships, and some be in unhealthy relationships. Having experienced their heart aches, pains, and the happy feelings with them, I knew that this was God showing me what I should be treated like and what I shouldn’t be treated like. This made it even more clear to me that patience was the right choice.  
So, my friends, being single is nothing to be ashamed about, rather it’s something to be glad about. Knowing that God has a special plan for you makes waiting for your perfect person even better. Although those lonely thoughts still will run through your head, it is important to know that God loves you for you and only you. He has a plan for you and the day you meet your person will come soon enough. Keep praying to God for He will answer. Pray for your future spouse, or your person. Pray they are living a healthy life and will continue to live one. On the days you feel lonely, pray to God as He knows what your path is.

“Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.” // Ephesians 4:2

trusting God in the midst

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Hello everyone! My name is Olivia Van Wyk and I was asked by the lovely Aubrey Sochacki to write a blog post in order to give another perspective on relationships(which you can learn even more about here). This past year I have had the opportunity to gain many great relationships whether it was through Godly friendships or even a closer relationship with God himself. But along with so much gain there were also many seasons of loss and loneliness in this past year of my life. Long story short I was a girl in love with a man that I had been dating for almost 2 years. He was my best friend and definitely the person I saw myself marrying, having a family with, and just growing old together. Then one day, all these dreams and the reality of my relationship came to an abrupt and unforeseen end. I was devastated, confused, and just angry with the plan that God had for me. Although, after I gave it some time and allowed myself to go through the stages of grief I finally understood what God's plan was for me, and I also learned how to use this next stage of my life to live for Him and accept His plan.

Now with all that being said I definitely wasn't overwhelmed with the answers and an explanation of God’s plan for me, but I was rather overwhelmed with His comfort and presence in my life. But throughout this season of my life, it took time for me to open my eyes and my ears to the Lord and it took time for me to understand and trust God’s plan for me. Thankfully during all this time, God never failed to love me and be patient with me even when I began to question Him. I remember asking why God broke my heart and why He was making me so sad and alone? But then, I realized God does not cause this harm onto His beloved children, but He does allow them (us) to hurt for a reason. Sometimes people need to lose something really important to them in order to realize what is more important in life. This is why God allows our heart to break because He wants us to see how important a relationship with Him truly is. God wants to use this season of your life (and every season, at that) to work through you and to use you to better His kingdom.

Now I’m sure you're probably thinking the same thing that I was; I mean how could God use me when I feel so broken? But the truth is that everyone is broken in their own way and God loves to use these broken people because there is space within Him that can be transformed into something strong and beautiful through the Holy Spirit. For example, in ancient Japanese culture there is a tradition where a sculpture would make a beautiful piece of art and then eventually they would purposely break it. After the piece was broken the artist would use gold to repair the item and make it more beautiful and unique than it was before. In this situation God is the almighty sculpture and has made you perfect in His eyes, but eventually He will allow you to reach a point where you feel broken, and this is where you allow God to be the gold in your life. Allow God to fill in the broken pieces of your life and also repair and restore you! Allow God to make you beautiful and unique through your brokenness and remember that God has a plan for you.

So I keep talking about this plan that God has for you and sometimes you know exactly where he is leading you and other times you may be unsure. Regardless as to what outlook you have towards God’s plan you must remember that God is in control and you are not. As a human this is a hard aspect to accept and follow because we so badly want things to go our way and we want to be in control. For me, I so badly wanted my boyfriend to be a part of my life and a part of my plan, but in reality God has a better plan for me and it will be better than I could ever imagine! With that being said, I will fully trust in the Lord’s plan and I will give Him every part of my life and I hope that you can do the same in any situation of your life; whether it be a heart full of love or a broken heart of some sort. Like I said, as humans, we don't have control over experiences in life and the plan that God has for us, but there is one way we can take action into our own hands and prepare our heart, mind, and soul for the presence and work of God. By creating a relationship with God and using the power of prayer we are able to prepare ourselves for whatever life and God throws our way. So pray that God will work through your brokenness and use you for His purpose. Pray that you will be more Christ like, so that you can see yourself, the ones you love, and the world through His eyes and His beauty. And most importantly, trust in God my friends and remember that He is always there for you even when you feel completely alone and heart broken.

“I am not alone, for my father is with me.”/ / John 16:32

things i have learned & fallen in love with & i'm done with my first year of college

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

As I stated in the title, I am done with my first year of college (it will be exactly 3 weeks since, on Thursday) and I am beyond happy to be home. I miss the friends I have made and staying up until 3 a.m. with my roomie. I do not miss campus food or dorm life. Aside from all I miss and don't miss, this post actually has a real purpose. I have learned a lot and fallen in love with a lot this past year, so yes, that is what I am going to talk about. Let's start with what I've learned and go from there.

what I've learned:

1. nothing is better than a home cooked meal
I truly cherish all the times that my friends and I would gather in our tiny dorm kitchen and make meals. Whether it was something extravagant like a big pasta dinner or something smaller like breakfast sandwiches, it was always better than campus dining. If you eat at least one home cooked meal a month, you'll be happier and healthier (proven fact)!!

2. mental health should be put above everything else
As many of you know I had a battle with seasonal depression and anxiety this school year. I noticed that I was putting way too much on my plate and not giving myself enough alone time. I really didn't know how to take care of myself, because I always want to take care of everyone else. I became a Maven ambassador in the summer and hadn't used it for much, other than a few nutrition questions and cold remedies. I found myself needing someone to talk to, someone who wasn't just a friend. I began talking to a mental health provider on Maven (Elyssa Kilman, to be exact! She's fantastic, if you need to talk to someone) and saw a lot of improvement. I also began to make time for myself (as an introvert I need alone time to refuel) and began to gain a lot from it. If you aren't putting your mental health above your education, work, relationships, etc. then chances are they aren't going to be what you'd like them to be.

3. grocery stores are a rad hang out place
I'm pretty sure my friends and I would just go to Meijer for fun, hiding in the toilet paper and such. Or sometimes I'd drag them to Trader Joe's with me. In the end, grocery shopping is always fun and who doesn't love food? 

4. caffeine is a blessing sent directly from heaven
I have a serious caffeine addiction, like I get headaches if I don't drink a cup of coffee as soon as I wake up. But also, caffeine helps you stay up until 3 am to study for your exams, what a cool thing caffeine is! 

things I've fallen in love with:

1. God
I mean I was already in love with God, but I think I've fallen more in love with Him. College helped me realize so many things about myself and about my faith, it helped me grow so much stronger to God and made me lean on Him so much more. College is cool because you make your own decisions, such as whether or not you go to church or join a ministry group on campus (like Cru!!). 
College = growing in faith

2. painting
I am a writer, I write to relieve my stress. But writing was making me stressed this school year, so I couldn't use it as a release, so I began to paint. I painted a bunch of Bible verses with watercolor for fun and for stress relief. 

3. netflix and spotify
hahaha, I watched so much netflix this past school year. 
here is a little list of some of the shows I watched this year:
stranger things
jane the virgin
call the midwife
how to get away with murder
parks and rec (again, again, again)
13 reasons why

I watched more than just those, but I think you get the idea! And spotify premium is half off for students, which is a wonderful thing. 

4. new friends
I made a lot of new friends this year, a lot that will be life long friends. I am so blessed to have met these amazing people and to have gotten to know them. 

That being said, I hope you learned some things this past school year and that you also took time to fall in love with the little things. My prayer for you is that you continue to learn from God and all that he has to offer to you and that you do everything out of love.

Thank you for taking a break from the Cure To Singleness series (which will be back next week) with me! thanks for reading :) 

xoxo, Aubs


Thursday, May 4, 2017

I began writing this post about how I’ve heard so many people call themselves unlovable, but then I realized that I probably couldn’t get my point across that way; I knew that people wouldn’t relate to my post that well, unless I talked about my own life.

Contrary to popular belief, I am not perfect. I have never been perfect and I never will be. I have called myself unlovable, I have thought about how no one could ever love me and how annoying it would be to be married to me. I mean I complain a lot, I pick the raisins out of my trail mix and the peas out of my fried rice, I’m sometimes a crazy driver, I’m an occasional backseat driver, and I have my own set of regrets and brokenness. But I know that I am still lovable, because of Jesus. We (that includes me) think of all the things we’ve done that we aren’t proud of and we can’t imagine anyone loving us if they knew of these things. I know we all tear ourselves down and come up with a reason for our singleness, we think it’s because of all the bad we’ve done; we think that we are unlovable. If one person in this world is unlovable, then we’re all unlovable. None of us live a life free of sin, I mean we can try, but we aren’t perfect. We’ve all done things we aren’t proud of and we’ve all strayed from the path.

The more we say that we are unlovable, the more we begin to believe it; we are so far from the truth. Tell me, why do we continue to call ourselves unlovable, when Christ died for us, out of love? If you are so unlovable, why did Christ die so that you could be with Him in eternity? If I am so unlovable, why did Christ love me even before I loved Him?

you’re lovable to God
Now if we are to believe that Jesus is God, we are to believe that God came down in the most vulnerable form, out of love. He felt the same hurts and temptations of this world, out of love. He didn’t want heaven without us because of His love for us. He was nailed to a cross, out of love. He rose again three days later, out of love. He proclaimed that he would be back to take us all home because of His love for us.

Jesus loves you so much so that He died, for you. He washed away all sins, for you. He felt immense physical pain so that you could one day be with Him in heaven. He shows you grace every single day. He cheers you on, even when you won’t even let Him sit on the sidelines. You’re so lovable to Him, that it shouldn’t matter if people love you or not, but He will send people to love you anyways.

you’re lovable to someone
We’re not meant to do life alone and we know that, but sometimes we isolate ourselves because of our sin. We repent and we know we are forgiven, but our past sins still haunt us. We have let Jesus heal us, but we still live in the past. We know that Jesus loves us, but we don’t think anyone on earth ever could, “How could someone love me after I (fill in the blank)?” We’ve all said it or thought it. The truth is, God made someone to love you. That someone could be a spouse, but they could also be a friend. God didn’t promise that we’d all get married, but He did promise that we wouldn’t be alone. You’ll find that person who will love you for all of you. Even though you’ve sinned, you will still be loved. Even though you've sinned, you are still lovable.

you’re lovable
The bottom line is, that you are lovable and you are so loved. No matter what, God always has and always will love you. And because God loves you, He will send someone to show you love on earth. Just be preparing and praying for that person, whomever they might be! Your past does not define you, your future does not define you, you only find your worth in God! Stop living in your past sin and start living in love! YOU are so lovable, to God, to me and to someone else in your life.

I pray that you will know that you are loved by the Father and that you are lovable. I pray that you find that person that finds every single part of you lovable. I pray that you'd find healing, that you'd find joy in God's love. I pray that whatever you need from God, that He will provide you with it. I pray for you, friends.

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. / / John 3:16

prayers for your future spouse

Thursday, April 20, 2017

If you need to recap you can do that here. (I've pretty much made this mini series a full blown series that is probably going to be the focus of my blog for a while.)

Praying is such an important part of our faith, it is a time for us to converse with our Almighty Father and talk to Him about everything and anything. He already knows what is on our hearts, but He wants us to come to Him and build a relationship. He so desperately wants us to pray for others, as well. If you haven’t noticed yet, this post is all about praying. It is specifically, about praying for your future spouse, because they need your love even before you know them. So get praying my friends!

Recently my friend, Maria, told me about a girl who was challenged to buy a tie to remind her to pray for her future husband every night. The story is a good one and reminds us all to continue to pray for our future spouses. God works in mysterious ways and this story highlights that. You can read more about this story here.

So Maria, Olivia and I were intrigued by this idea, so much so, that we decided to do it ourselves. We prayed that God would lead us to the exact tie that our husbands would receive from us on our wedding days, whether it be something funky or something more classic. We had such a fun time picking out a tie for our future men and praying for them. We went to several different department stores in the mall and looked at the ties, then we sat down at a couch in the middle of the mall and prayed. We prayed that God would lead us to the tie that would one day go to our future husbands. This was such an amazing experience, I was actually getting choked up thinking about it. Now we are writing letters to go along with our ties, which I will talk about a little bit later on in this series!

I don’t want to post pictures of our ties on here because I feel as if these ties are a very personal object, that we will one day share with our husbands and until then, they will remain private. Women, I encourage you to go out and buy a tie for your future husband. Men, I encourage you to go out and buy a bracelet for your future wife. I encourage you all to pray for your future spouse and pray for your own heart, that God will prepare you to one day be a husband or a wife. I hope that one day you and your spouse will be able to exchange “prayer-soaked” sentiments.

Below I have added a few prayers for your future spouse that I found on Pinterest. Don't be surprised by the power of prayer. You might pray for something great, but end up with something magnificent! Happy Praying!

"Therefore I tell you, everything you pray and ask for-believe that you have received it and it will be yours." / / Mark 11:24 CSB