Not So Ordinary Dreamers- Ryan Cirkles

I decided to interview a few of my friends about who they are and their dreams. My first dreamer that I will be featuring is a great friend, Ryan Cirkles. 

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What were your childhood dreams for your adult life?

It would be easier to give a list of things I didn’t dream of becoming.  In my formative years I cycled through desires of being a professional in just about every part of the sports world.  My formative years would prove to be inadequate in their production, leaving me far too small to continue in this path.  Adolescence would see me delve into passions including, but not limited to, roller coaster design, the culinary arts, and crime scene detective.

Now that you are an adult, are you childhood dreams close to your life now? What do you do professionally? Or are you a Student?

I’m not sure my life could be further from what I dreamed.  I am not a star in any sense.  You won’t see me on ESPN any time soon.  I don’t solve crimes. (At least, not as my day job.  I’m pretty impressive when it comes to detective shows on Netflix).

Am I bummed?  Not a bit.  Life has a way of leading you to something that matters.  When I truly surrendered to Jesus as Lord, He showed me that a life given to others was far more satisfying.  He would know.  I’m in full-time ministry and plan to be, in some capacity, for the rest of my life.

What are you passionate about?

I love seeing people encounter the heart of the Father God.  My entire life my dreams, my focus, and my perspective – changed when I first heard the words, “I believe in you.”  That love cannot be stopped.  A person shown that love is empowered beyond rational thought.

The love of the Father says, “Nothing you can do can change what I know about you and nothing I know about you can change what I still see in you.” I will give my life to propagate this love to every person, place, or space that I have the privilege of knowing.

Are there any particular causes or issues you desire to or currently advocate for?

I want all people to come to know the Father’s love.  I believe that one of the most effective ways is for people to know the love of A father.  I long to see all spiritual and natural orphans find a family.  In whatever way I can, whether through prayer, finances, taking part in adoption personally, or as Jesus opens opportunities for personal involvement in these areas, I will give my life to adoption because I believe it is the Father’s plan.

Is it hard to keep believing in your dream when you don’t see any results?

A dream, unfortunately, is ultimately birthed out of a desired end.  It can take us a while to realize that the real enjoyment is in the means to that end. Those means take a lot of trust.  In our minds we don’t see results, but the only result that we would recognize is the finished product.

God drops a dream into a person’s heart.  He shows us a glimpse.  He uploads his passion and compassion for this idea, project, or Kingdom reality into us.  He shows us the end, but we assume that this sneak peak IS the dream.  In reality, He’s building and accomplishing the dream in us daily.  He holds the blueprints.  We only saw the artist’s rendering of the finished copy.

This is why we write down the end goal.  We make the vision plain.  We write every note that he whispers about that dream as time goes by.  We’ll see as we look back at these steps and moments that there was NEVER a time that He wasn’t working on our behalf.  We’ll learn that, just as it was His dream to begin with, it was His dream to work in us, not ours to build alone.

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Describe the moment you knew without a shadow of a doubt that this (whatever your “this” is)  was what you were born to do.

God had really been taking me on a journey through the idea and identity of sonship in my first year as a student at Texas Bible Institute.  He had so affirmed me as His son.  I knew that He would always be everything I would need. I felt safe.  I was taken care of.  I could not step out of His love.  I could not change what Jesus had done. I was at an event, surrounded by 2 or 3 young men that I had really grown to love and believe in.  We were worshiping and as I looked at them I believe I heard the Holy Spirit speak clearly, “You will make copies.”  I would love to say that in an act of great obedience that I high-tailed it to the nearest Kinko’s, but my fervor was still growing.

This was a good thing because, as it turned out, God wasn’t wanting me to make copies in a literal since.  He began to show me that this identity I’d grown so strong in was His heart for everyone.  He wanted me to duplicate this in others.  I would give them the truth of sonship and, as a result, I would learn to be a Father.

What does it mean for you to intentionally live your life for Christ?

Since you have been raised to new life with Christ, set your sights on the realities of heaven, where Christ sits in the place of honor at God’s right hand.2 Think about the things of heaven, not the things of earth. 3 For you died to this life, and your real life is hidden with Christ in God.(Philippians 3:1-3 NLT)”

It is important to note, when you have decided to surrender your life to Christ, that your life is no longer of earthly import. This should not cause sorrow.  It is not that a person’s life no longer matters.  On the contrary, the effect of that life has increased in innumerable measure.  That life has been ridden of vane, shallow meaning and has been opened to eternal purpose.  How does this relate to daily life?

“14 Either way, Christ’s love controls us.[c] Since we believe that Christ died for all, we also believe that we have all died to our old life.[d] 15 He died for everyone so that those who receive his new life will no longer live for themselves. Instead, they will live for Christ, who died and was raised for them.16 So we have stopped evaluating others from a human point of view.(2 Corinthians 5:14-16 NLT)”

Christ has been revealed to me.  Everything has changed.  I know that there is more now.  It is my job to allow the Holy Spirit to continually point all I do and every person I see to Jesus.  Everything is now spiritual in some context.  This isn’t an extra burden to add to our mental checklist.  It isn’t our responsibility. It is the privilege that Jesus Himself invites us into.  It is His work.  He asks us to join in and see miracles on a DAILY basis, “not by might, nor by power, but by His Spirit.(Zechariah 4:6)

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ryan CirklesRyan has been faithfully serving in church ministry for 12 years. Ryan is a worship leader and operations manager at Believers World Outreach Church in Katy, Texas, as well as an aspiring Netflix sleuth, citing BBC’s Sherlock as the bulk of his experience in the field.  He has dedicated his life to seeing people come to know the love of the Father God that he has so gratefully received himself. He also has a strong desire to visit Iceland.  Who wouldn’t?

Follow Ryan on Twitter and Instagram: @cirkles

Everyone has dreams. What are yours? Comment below!

The Tough Part About Moving

Call me a silly dreamer but I did not think moving would be hard. In fact, I felt like it would be a piece of cake.

WRONG.

WRONG.

WRONG.

Moving has been great but it has not been as easy as I expected. The knowledge that I now “visit” home and no longer live there hit me like a ton of bricks after I got back from California. Now some of you may be wondering why I am such a wimp about this because you are seasoned in moving and starting over or maybe you have moved even further away from your family, so you “got this”. Well pray for me because I don’t “have it”, yet. I am working on it. It’s really not the distance that gets me. Its the comfort of knowing that my people are around the corner. That’s really it. Its the comforting hug from my older brother when I feel like giving up. The prayer and laughter with my mom when I question if I can achieve my dreams or not. Its the “I love you Fay Fay” from my dad while we watch tv and eat good food. Its the girlfriends that call me late at night to come sleepover or hang out. I simply miss my people.

While I am meeting new people and enjoying my church immensely. Change is purely harder than I expected. I work for the same foster agency but I am at new office with new co-workers, New church, new friends. Its all beautiful and challenging at the same time.

So, as I sat in my car today crying (feeling like a little kid), the dreamer in me was not adventurous or feeling brave. I was feeling weak, silly, and helpless. I was feeling like my bravery led me to a city away from all that I knew, and I was questioning it. The problem is, there is no room for questioning. I am here. I moved. I am going to stick it out. I am going to do something I have never done before. I am going to learn how to stand on my own two feet if it is the LAST thing I do. I will do it. No one said venturing out was easy. No one said, accomplishing your goals would be a breeze. No one promised that. There is no ticket to success. There is purely hard work and trusting in Jesus. Without Jesus I would not be where I am today. Simply put, I would not feel like I could make it and move on. I would feel lost.

I have been able to see the sacrifice and diligence it will require to see my dreams come to pass. Dreaming is easy if you are just dreaming but when you are putting your dreams into action, it can be hard at times. Even when that happens, don’t give up.

One of my big dreams is HHope (A non-profit for teen mothers). We have a baby shower coming up  for students in Alief ISD and we still need a lot of donations for 10 teen moms. We have two weeks to see God work a miracle. I believe he can and he will. So if you feel led to give or buy some donations for our baby shower, please do! Every little but helps a ton.

So people, that is how my day went. A bit emotional but filled with hope.

Whatever you are going through, remember that you can do it!

xoxo

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Chivalry isn’t dead, I just don’t know how to respond to it.

I’ve found that since our culture has changed and we have said that “chivalry is dead” sometimes we as women don’t know how to accept genuine kindness from a man without thinking he has ulterior motives. I mean, I struggle with letting a man open the door before I shove it open internally stating, “I am woman, my hands aren’t broken, I can get the door, thank you.” When I am with my guy friends I have to remind myself to let them be kind. I have been wondering what my issue is? Why is it so hard for me to accept genuine kindness from a man? These are the questions I ask myself.

[small rant about my own personal immaturity]

Let’s face it. All the christian purity conferences ruined me. They talked about how a man should be intentional and how we shouldn’t date around. They talked about the importance of friendship before a relationship, all great things but if the context isn’t taught correctly, then we have to “re-teach” ourselves about fostering healthy relationships. I found it was hard to have a meaningful friendship with the opposite sex without assuming that maybe-possibly-kind of-there could-be-or-may-never-be-something-romantic there. I eventually got annoyed that mentally my guy friends move to potential husband candidates because we were “building a friendship ” I mean, how was I supposed to know their intentions otherwise since they were never verbalized but subtly expressed in moments? Most likely we would be friends,scope each other out, “pray about it” and live in a gray area for a while before any action or no action at all was taken. I misunderstood a guy flirting for a guy being truly interested. Let’s face it. People flirt all the time. Thus, this stupid confusing way of being a Christian and honoring the Lord through vague friendships with the opposite sex [and wondering if there was something more because the only glimpse of a deeper relationship was occasional flirting] became really confusing and weird. This is when I had to put my brothers advice to the test (My brother told me, “If a guy didn’t tell you he likes you, then never assume that he does.”). Guys weren’t being forthright about their intentions. They were playing games. I didn’t understand why some guys wouldn’t open their mouth and say “hey I like you, I would love to get to know you better, can we go out sometime?” I understand it’s hard and guys don’t want to be rejected. Just a hint men, if you ask a girl out on a date, most likely she will say yes.

But back to men and chivalry.

For example: if a guy friend buys you a gift, that doesn’t mean he likes you. It simply means he is being nice. My brother gave me the best advice ever. “If a guy didn’t tell you he likes you, then never assume that he does.”
If a guy buys your dinner while out with friends or if you two are just hanging out, you don’t need to go pray and ask God if that is your husband. He was just being nice.
The problem we (I) have is that we can’t accept genuine kindness from a man without assuming that he has bad intentions toward us. Some men are kind and honest. Some men want to be friends only. Some men want to be more than our friend and those men will pursue us. We need to learn to trust more and worry less. 

Trust me, I struggle with this. I have had guy friends show me genuine chivalry by opening my car door, paying for dinner, driving out to see me, and they only looked at me as a friend. Guess what people? Because I did not have a healthy view of chivalry there were times that I thought my guy friends must have liked me. However, I took my brother’s advice and remembered not to make assumptions about a guy’s feelings towards me in a romantic way. Can I just tell you that none of these guys ever told me they liked me. They were just interested in treating me well and being my friend. The sad thing is, I’m not used to any men besides my family being a gentleman. So when a man is kind, caring, and thoughtful, I assume they want something from me. In my stubbornness, I can project the vibe that I am not grateful for their kindness towards me, when 85% of the time I am truly thankful and humbled by genuine kindness.

I think in our fear of being betrayed or allowing ourselves to be smooth talked by a guy, we start in the defense every time. We assume that a man who approaches us has other intentions. We assume that.

This perspective that they are “all the same” is dangerous. Just because a guy is kind to you doesn’t mean he likes you. Or if he is interested in you it doesn’t mean that he is trying to manipulate you by being kind.  It can simply mean he is being kind. My guy friends have told me how hard it is to be a gentlemen to women nowadays because we can be so abrasive. I think we need to be more mindful of how we treat men because the very man we are sitting around praying for (or complaining about) could be right in front of us.

Let men be gentleman and let’s learn to accept their kindness without proving that we can do it all on our own. Men know we can open the door or carry our own suitcase but if they want to display kindness, let them be men. There are still good men out there.

xoxo

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24

I’ve wholeheartedly been looking forward to turning 24 for many years now. I always felt like it would be a significant year for me. In my mind, 24 represented independence and change. After 23, the hardest year of my young adult life thus far, I was ready to move into a new season. Despite the challenges I faced this past year, it has been the year of birthing a dream: the launching of HHope. I made new friends. Grew personally. Moved to a new city. Learned more about myself. I made mistakes and learned from them.
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I am finally confident in who I am and who God has called me to be. I know who I am and I’m not changing for people or popular opinion.

I discovered a deeper passion for advocacy and politics. Sometimes I wonder where this passion came from but truth be told, I know this is a God given passion. I plan to get more active in my community and local organizations. Plug in where you can be apart of change locally.

I have learned that impatience does not yield a good return. I’ve spent so much money on car repairs that could have been avoided if I was paying attention and not being anxious. Anxiousness in dating, my life, or the “next big thing” robbed me of contentment. It left me seeking after the next “big thing”. The next “potential” relationship. Finally, I got the memo and stopped worrying about what I wanted but didn’t see happening and decided it was time to learn how to enjoy my life.

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I’ve cruised into 24 wiser because I had women of prayer pouring into my life and taking me under their wing. My mom cheering me on constantly. My dad and brother reminded me of my worth. I have the most amazing girlfriends who have laughed, prayed, and held me accountable. I am forever grateful for the people surrounding me. I choose my friends wisely because those are the people who influence you the most.

24: I am believing that this is a year of new beginnings.Restoration.Answered Prayers. HHope growing and expanding. This is my year to launch out, do new things and not allow myself to my crippled by fear. Last year my scripture was Micah 6:8 and it wrecked me daily. I still strive to live that scripture out in my personal life. My scripture for this year is 1 John 4:18. “There is no fear in love [dread does not exist], but full-grown (complete, perfect) love turns fear out of doors and expels every trace of terror! For fear brings with it the thought of punishment, and [so] he who is afraid has not reached the full maturity of love [is not yet grown into love’s complete perfection]. (‭1 John‬ ‭4‬:‭18‬ AMP)”

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Thank you dear reader friends for the birthday wishes and for your support. You all are the best!

How will this next year be significant for you? What are you believing for?
Feel free to comment below!

Xoxo
Faitth B

Sorry, Not Sorry

There comes a point in life where you have to accept the fact that you as an adult have grown and changed. You are not the person you used to be a year ago or even a few months ago. In the midst of all this change are a handful of people who may not agree with changes you’ve made. So when you find yourself changing your opinions/views on things and reuniting with these people, it can be weird sometimes. Your shared opinion on that last theological/moral issue is now different. Your desire to do what you used to do has changed. Your thoughts about life, family, God, church, may have taken a new shape. Everyone changes. So if you are feeling bad that you aren’t friends with that person anymore due to life changes and seasons ending, don’t worry about it. It’s normal. We all change. Truly only a handful of people were meant to be in our lives long-term.

I think we need to support one another more. Everyone won’t agree on life, ethical issues, politics, etc. We have it all wrong if we think the people we surround ourselves with have to be just like us or agree on every issue like us. So when your friend shares a personal struggle or a thought about an issue, listen to them. No one should have to say “sorry” for trying to use their critical thinking skills and discover why they believe -what they believe, vote, and advocate for what they believe in. Go adventure out and discover the beauty from truly immersing yourself in discovering who you are. There is nothing more beautiful than understanding what is truly important to you. May the questions, discussions, and fun begin!

What are some of the things you are questioning or thinking about?

xoxo

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P.S.

(Disclaimer) Making life changes/decisions out of a place of rebellion/spite is not healthy.

I don’t have it all together.

(Disclaimer: due to my move to ATX, I have not done a good job about writing every day and posting it. sorry people)

Day 13

I got a henna tattoo with the symbols that represent "God is greater than the highs and the lows." I love that phrase.
I got a henna tattoo with the symbols that represent “God is greater than the highs and the lows.” I love that phrase.

I can’t tell you how many people have said these words: “You are perfect” “You are right next to Jesus” “You probably don’t do anything wrong.” The list could go on. For me, I hate hearing those words. It makes me feel like I have this standard of perfectionism that I have to live up to. What happens when I fail or falter? Will those people still be around to cheer me on? What will they say then? What will they say when they see my mess and imperfections? My weaknesses? I used to strive for perfectionism and I was left empty.

I don’t strive to be perfect anymore. I felt like I had to live up to people’s words and if I didn’t then I would be viewed differently. I am not striving for perfection. I find myself oftentimes telling people, “I will fail you. I will hurt your feelings. I am not perfect.” Something in me doesn’t want people to expect perfection and then get disappointed when they see a display of my flesh. Let’s face it, I am human. I have a flesh, I am not nice all the time. I am not gracious and merciful all the time. I am wrong sometimes. I fail and I falter. I have done things I regret. I have made mistakes. I don’t have it all together. I don’t get things right all the time. I don’t. Growing up in church, going to Bible school, going to a Christian university and getting my associates in Biblical Studies, doesn’t make me perfect. It doesn’t make me a better Christian. None of it. None of it matters really. I could do all that stuff and still be empty.

It’s not the doing “stuff” that matters. The heart behind what we are doing is what really matters. Why do I love people? Because Jesus loves me in spite of the fact that I am a mess and utterly lost without him. Why do I love families and children? Because Jesus healed my broken heart when my family when through a tough time and I want to share that love and compassion with others. Why do I love missions? Because I am apart of something bigger than myself and I learn to lay my selfishness down. Why do I give? Because I know what it is like to go without.

I don’t have it all together and I am not trying to. I am endeavoring to seek God and make him first in all that I do. I believe out of a genuine love for Christ, he takes all my mess and mistakes and forms something beautiful out of it because he loves me and I desire to know him.

Last year I didn’t really read my Bible. I was searching for answers. Comparing myself to others and unfulfilled. This past year has led me to a place of growth and healing in such a big way. So much so, that when I felt the nudge to move to Austin, I moved. I moved because I knew that I needed a change. I knew that I needed to trust God over my fears. For the first time, I did something without wanting all the answers and knowing every detail. I trusted God. I can’t tell you all how hard that has been for me, however, trusting God with this move has been the best thing I have ever done. So much has fallen into place and it has taught me that no matter where I am, God see’s me. He knows where I need to be. Now, I didn’t hear God audibly say, “Faitth move to Austin.” I felt peace in my spirit when I prayed about moving, job opportunities opened up, people approached me and said things that confirmed what I personally prayed about. So the rest is history. Here I am in ATX. Loving my job and this grand new adventure.

So here I am an imperfect woman who has been incredibly humbled. Jesus rescued me (Psalms 18:19) from bitterness,shame, perfectionism, hurt, and pain. I choose to live and love from a place of humility because I have been forgiven much so I choose to love much (Luke 7:47). This love and forgiveness inspires me to grow as a woman and continue to seek God’s face.

Anyone else out there struggling with fear? Perfectionism? How did you overcome it or what have you learned from it?

I love journeying through life with you all.

xoxo

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Don’t Pack Alone

Day 2

Delivering the news to two of my closest friends that I was moving was not easy. I worked hard to establish a friend base in Houston outside of my older brother. Although he and I are best buddies, I have to have my own crew too.

So after work, everyone came over to make a “message” out of my mess and help me organize my crazy little life.

With every laugh, box packed, and memories shared; I was reminded that we need community in life. Although it was a bitter sweet moment and none of us where prepared for my abrupt move. The fact that I was transitioning with my friends meant a lot. To me it signified unity.

A unity that we dream to attain here on earth. Especially when the world is falling apart at the seams.

While our topics of conversation varied and our laughter carried on all night. It was reassuring to know that I had the right people with me. I had the right people in my corner. People willing to get down and dirty with me. People willing to see past my mess, failures, insecurities, and scars. These people have demonstrated Christ’s love to me here on earth.

We need friends we can reach out to and lift up but we also need friends that can help lift us up. Because sometimes life serves up a little hell that we must overcome and commit to God. Life is not perfect. There are challenges but I will be forever grateful for the day Jesus lifted me out of the pit and rescued me because he delighted in me. His love changed everything.

I wasn’t packing alone.

Neither should you.

Whose in your corner?

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