Wretches in the Midst of Sanctification

Temptation is sneaky. It creeps up on you at the moment you least expect – but should have been expecting all along. 

We are so short-sighted. 

I had been taking small steps for a long time. Indulging myself in little things that didn’t seem important. They felt good because they were a way to escape my restlessness. They didn’t seem like a sin. They were just feelings.

But then, my flesh saw an opportunity – saw how weak I had been becoming – and struck. 

I failed the test.

We don’t realize how wicked we are ninety-nine percent of the time. But then you fall flat on your face, caught in the middle of a wretched act. You stand distraught in front of your rebellion. 

We are rebellious creatures. We desire worldly, sinful, dirty, lowly things. We look defiantly into the face of God and choose them over Him.

Yet we don’t see it. We think we are holy. We think we are righteous, good people. We compare ourselves with others and think we are doing better.

Down inside, we are all utterly rebellious and wretched. The sinfulness is always there, we just don’t notice it.

Why are we so self-righteous? That’s not what Jesus called us to be.

Jesus called the Pharisees white-washed tombs. Clean on the outside. Rotten on the inside.

 At times like this, it’s discouraging because I see my utter darkness and wonder if I’ll ever be sanctified. Jesus has promised to sanctify us in this life, to an extent, and then fully in the next. 

We are all being sanctified – but that doesn’t mean we are sanctified. 

Think about that.

Paul expresses his disgust at this paradigm in Romans 7:21-24:

So I find it to be a law that when I want to do right, evil lies close at hand. For I delight in the law of God, in my inner being, but I see in my members another law waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members. Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? 

We want to serve Him, and yet our flesh doesn’t. Who will deliver us from our state?

Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin. (Romans 7:25)

Through Jesus Christ, although we are sinful and wretched, our sins are atoned for. We are washed clean, presented to God the Father as holy and blameless.

In His eyes, we are holy. 

What mercy!

So how do we deal with the sin that won’t be destroyed until our Savior returns? The more we notice our sin, I think that’s a sign that we are being increasingly sanctified. The older you get, the more you notice your sin. Perhaps it’s like getting closer to the blazing glory of God, and the closer you get you see your blemishes more clearly.

The sin is lessened, but it becomes increasingly visible.

And that is mercy as well. The more we notice our sin, the more we realize the vast distance between God and us. How far He had to go to save us. He had to lay down His own life – the most valuable thing in the universe.

When we are shown this monstrous contrast, we fall humbly before God’s feet, thanking Him for the work of His Son.

Because we are nothing, and He is everything. When we acknowledge that, we are free to live as what we are: wretches saved by the grace of God.

“And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent. For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross. And you, who once were alienated and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds, he has now reconciled in his body of flesh by his death, in order to present you holy and blameless and above reproach before him”

Colossians 1:17-22

Fifteen Blog Tour

Hello dear friends! Today, I have the immense honor of hosting a part of Amie Anne Woleslagle’s Blog Tour & Scavenger Hunt for her new poetry book, Fifteen, which releases on October 23rd! I got to interview her about herself and her book, and I am so happy, practically struck by stars, to be able to share this with you.

I’m happy because I need a book like this. I struggle with thoughts in my mind – dark shadows floating and piercing – and poetry is such a beautiful way to shine a light into people’s hearts.

Also, here is the beautiful cover:


Hello Amie Anne! I’m so glad to have you as a guest on my blog! First of all, if you could describe yourself with four words, what would they be? *Also I really love your name, it’s so unique and beautiful.* 

Awe, thank you. I think I would describe myself as loyal, ingenuitive, dedicated, and vivacious.

Also, what’s your favorite flavor of tea, or if you aren’t a tea person, go-to Starbucks drink?

See, I love both tea and Starbucks, so I shall answer both. My favorite flavor of tea is lemon at the moment, though it changes. I also love chai, Irish breakfast, English breakfast, and Earl Grey. 

Can you give us a quick description of your book?

Absolutely! “You’re not the only person who struggles with mental health issues, not the only person with demons floating in your mind. Fifteen is a book of poems crafted from one teenager dealing with mental health issues to another teenager in the same place. It covers true friendships, embracing joy, self acceptance, and living your faith while struggling with mental illness, all the while showing that, in the end, flowers will bloom in the ashes of your pain.”

Why did you write this book and what was the process like?

I wrote this book as a project given to me by a friend, and then it snowballed from a freebie for my email list to a book that I’m publishing. Definitely not where I saw it going, but I believe God knew just where it needed to go and who needs to read it. 

What has been the funnest (that’s a word) part of the process?

Definitely connecting with people. It’s been such a wild ride, but it’s been amazing to be able to connect with authors and readers alike.

What has been the hardest part?

Not giving in to the anxiety. I’ve never done all of this, and every step of the way there’s been these crippling fears and moments where I just want to scream because I. Don’t. Know. What. I’m. Doing. But God’s been there, and He’s given me grace and people to help me through this. 

Who/what has been the most influential in the creation of this book?

There are so many life experiences and people who have influenced this book. Each of the poems speaks to a different experience and different lessons learned thanks to different people.

What are your plans/dreams for the future?

*laughs* Well, those don’t really exist once the new year appears, so I guess everyone (including myself!) shall just have to see. 


If this hasn’t gotten you excited, I don’t know what will. I am so thankful to have been part of the tour. I have already gone and pre-ordered the book, and you should too! 

You can pre-order the paperback copy here, and the e-book copy here. If you pre-order it, you can sign up for some beautiful pre-order goodies that will be sent to your doorstep! You can fill out the form for the goodies here

Peace by Storm

I am tired, frustrated, and restless. I guess this year was not what any of us expected. I know that’s an understatement.

I just – feel so tired. Physically, spiritually and mentally. I don’t feel peace.

However, God’s truth and love triumph over my feelings. I know that. Then why can’t I bring myself to bathe in the Word?

Why, oh my soul, do you not just breathe and give thanks?

Praise Him, oh my soul! Bless Him.

I thank the Maker of the skies for a blanket of dark blue clouds heavy with rain. I will thank Him for the rain that is yet to come.

I thank the Maker of the birds for the soaring wings of seagulls. They don’t worry or fret. They soar, held up by His hand.

I thank the Maker of the storms for the lightning far away and the gray rolling in. I thank Him for the silence that has hushed all creation before He roars with thunder.

I thank the Maker of the winds for the gentle cool breeze, bearing whispers of a strong loud gale to come.

I thank the Maker of the storms for the thunder I now hear. For the power to be displayed. I thank Him for the reminder that He is. He is.

Hush my soul, be still. He is nearer than you know. Trust Him. He is faithful, it is so.

Rumble. Deep and full. The thunder is His voice stilling my soul. He is powerful and mighty.

The dark gets darker. But I am not afraid.

Even the bird scurries to hide for cover from the oncoming rain. It’s coming.

White. Flash. Like God took a photograph. It’s bright and nothing stands in its way, lighting up all. As to crash down into a busy world and say: “Look! Look! Look!”

Up. The blue patches become scarce as the pregnant clouds form a deep, dark wall. Thick.

The clouds are the backdrop. White flashes through and lights up the wall in purple and blue.

Boom. The thunder yells.

The first drops fall.

Birds scurry.

Windows close.

The long-awaited blessings stream down.

The thunder becomes deeper and louder and closer. The cracks of electricity rip apart the clouds with light.

The rain flows earth-ward.

The hum of raindrops hitting the ground fills the air and it grows louder. It whispers… and shouts. Be still.

Be still.

All are drenched in wet and peace.

The air is full of heavenly waterfalls.

Lavender – neon light fills up the sky.

A display of majesty.

Long-awaited silence.

Hush my soul, be still. He is nearer than you know. Trust Him. He is faithful, it is so.

My Newest Endeavor: Organization and Productivity

When I started up school about a month ago, I knew I was in for a challenge. I had just discovered the world of online writing. I was excited and had posted biweekly on my blog all summer long. I had big plans. Then I realized that school was coming up. What had started as a summer hobby had become a passion, and I didn’t want to stop. 

How was I going to maintain my writing while juggling eleventh grade? I’m not homeschooled. I don’t have the most flexible schedule in the world. Then it hit me. The one major area I lacked in was organization.

Organization: Why It Doesn’t Come Naturally To Me

I am a creative and spontaneous person. My mother will be the first one to tell you that I’m horrible at finishing what I’ve started. I always have a new project to work on. I get so excited about the project that I don’t strive to complete the first one. She’ll also tell you that I think deeply, and she has me repeat instructions to make sure I’ve heard them. Otherwise, I’ll continue on in my own world without realizing what she’s said.

With a personality like that, you can do great things, but you also have many struggles. You guessed it, a significant one is organization. With such a spontaneous personality, I am apt to forget, get lost in some thought or activity, or be lazy. Often because I think a structured schedule would be too hard to maintain. It’s not that I couldn’t do it, it’s that it’d be especially demanding and difficult. 

Organization: Why It Matters

I could just say, “Well, I’m bad at organization. It doesn’t come naturally to me. I’m not one of those people.” Most of society would accept that excuse. After all,  (1) I’m a teenager, and (2) it’s not part of my “personality”. Why in the world would I try?

My writing instructor on YWW (the Young Writer’s Workshop), Brett Harris, encourages teens to rebel against the low expectations the world has for us. My thought was that I couldn’t organize, schedule, and plan easily and therefore I shouldn’t be expected to ever be successful in that area. 

But I needed to answer God’s calling to take on responsibility. I was being lazy. I was making excuses for myself. That’s not the kind of Christian I want to be. 

Productivity and organization isn’t about getting more done. On the surface, yes, that’s the goal. However, what I am learning is that our ultimate goal in organizing our time, energy, and productivity is to serve others as we glorify God. If I have done everything on my to-do list but haven’t served others or done it to the glory of God, it’s been a wasted day. 

That’s a huge struggle. Ninety-nine percent of the time, I waste my day. I’m lazy, or I am productive but for wrong reasons. I want to belong, or be known, or make a mark. 

But what if work and productivity was about creating beauty, serving others, and learning to be humble? What if organization was a tool to be a good steward? What if I was gifted in a certain way so that I could bless others and point them to Christ – not so I could draw attention to myself? What if my driving force in everything I did was that I was not my own? That the Creator has given me a tiny piece of His clay to help shape?

Organization and Productivity: What I’ve Done To Achieve It

I am just starting this journey. I am not an expert on the top five ways to structure your week or what timers you should be using. 

However, there are tiny steps I have been implementing in my days and weeks. Every little thing helps. Here’s what I’ve done so far…

  1. I’ve started a morning routine. My ideal morning routine looks like this: I get up at 6:30 am, make my bed, grab a cup of tea, and sit on the balcony to have devotions. After a half an hour or 40 minutes, I sit down to write for 15 minutes. This 15 minute writing session was inspired by Cassie Watson, a fellow YDubber who’s been doing a class on productivity. Although I often fail to implement this step, when I do, it’s extremely rewarding. I find that I have a ton of mental energy in the mornings so my writing sessions are more productive than a 30 minute session after school. I then go on to have breakfast, get dressed, and sit down for online school.
  1. I’ve bought a paper planner. People structure their time in different ways, but I decided to buy a paper planner this year, and I’m so glad I did. I’m still figuring out all the ways I can use it but it’s helpful to have all your organization & to-do lists in one place. It’s also aesthetically pleasing – a.k.a. happiness.
  1. I’ve made an ideal week schedule. Also inspired by Cassie Watson, I’ve created a Google Sheets schedule of what an ideal week of mine would look like, from 6:00 am to 10:30 pm. It’s color coded, and I have school, lunch, writing sessions, breaks, family time, and other things planned out in blocks. The idea is to plan my actual week around this schedule. I’ve yet to do this – it is a recent addition to my productivity endeavor – but I’m hoping to use it next week, and if I stick to it, for months after that. 

Those are three things I’ve tried to do to help myself out, but there are many other tricks and tips. I’d love to chat with you all about organization and productivity. What do you do to manage your time? What does your schedule organization look like?