Be The Light

Be the light.

How many blogs, memes, sermons, Instagram posts and other social media platforms have you seen this quote used on? I have seen it used SO many times in many different places but I still love it. I love this phrase because of the verses that it stems from. I loved seeing it posted on a random wall in Seattle. I loved it so much that I asked my friend to snap a photo of me posing next to it! Then, I started to think about how heavy these words truly are. Seeing these words posted in the middle of this big city, full of people walking by and snapping random pics, really got me thinking about about my own light and how bright it shines. Does my light even shine? Do people see me as “set apart”? I wish I could say that my light is always burning bright but the truth is, there are days you wouldn’t even know I was a Christian.

After this feeling of conviction set in, I decided to look up the most popular verses about light and I stumbled across John 3:19-21. It was already boldly highlighted in my bible with bright yellow marker just asking me to read it.

The verse says;

“This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their dees will be exposed. But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God.”

I then started thinking about the most obvious natural source of light, the sun! The sun is so bright it lights our planet at 92,958,412 miles away. Holy stinking smokes! It’s SO bright, that it even shines on the moon and provides us with a light in the darkness. Did you know that the moon only reflects 3-12 percent of the sunlight that hits it?! The brightness of the moon on earth also depends on where the moon is in its orbit around the planet! So it can appear to be more bright during different seasons, depending on its position.

Guys, after reading all of these facts, I came to the conclusion that I am in fact a moon.

Now let me explain this- I can’t be the sun because that is the source of light. For me, my source is Jesus.

John 8:12 records Jesus words about this subject. He says;

“I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”

HE gives ME the light that I need, but only if I choose to follow him.

I relate so much to the moon because the only way I’m able to shine is if the source shines on me. There are some days I’m in position to reflect the light more than other days. And, unfortunately, there are times that I only reflect a small percentage of light.

I think something that sets me and you apart from the moon is that we can reflect as much or as little light as we want to. We don’t have to only reflect 3-12 percent. We can actually move closer to the source and allow Him to make us even brighter!

Matthew 5:16 reads

“In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.”

Another thing that sets us apart is that we can receive and reflect light from other sources than the sun. I’m talking about light from anything that isn’t the natural source. Like light from a bulb that we can turn up and down. Light that’s like the joy we share with people that we get along with or the smile we flash to our friends and loved ones when we are happy. Nice words that we can exchange with people that benefit our lives.

We have a choice to be like the moon and only reflect the natural light, received from the truest source. This is the light that steadily shines even when things don’t go our way or when we are with others who can’t reflect the same light as we do. We can’t help it, we have to shine this light when situations come up that don’t favor us because we are in view of the source.

Matthew 5:46-47

“If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that?”

Jesus tells us that our light is to be set apart. To be supernatural. It should shine even when bad things happen, even when others are ugly toward us, even when we’re mocked and made fun of. Even when NO one else will shine with us, when there would be no proof of the darkness we’re taking part in.

If the world didn’t have a moon how could any of us see in the darkness? If your friends who don’t know Jesus don’t have you shining how will they know who he is?

More importantly, if we don’t have contact with sunlight, where are we receiving light? If your source is anything but Jesus, the savior of the world, it will be like a light bulb, burning out quickly and easily, gone with the flip of a switch. YOU have to be close to the source to shine. You have to position yourself in such a place that He can shine on you so that the darkness will not overcome you. Are you hiding in the darkness so that your actions won’t be seen? Are you prioritizing this darkness above the light that wants to find you and guide you? If you’re claiming to have “the” light but you’re living like everyone else, please be careful. You could be leading your friends astray. You could be showing them a false gospel. This is so dangerous, but unfortunately, so many of us choose to do it.

My hope in writing this is that the next time you see these words written on a blog, wall, book, etc, you would stop, bask in the importance of these few words and ask yourself “am I really shining? Do I need to move so that I can receive the sunlight necessary to do so?”

I know I will.

Love, Cass

Advertisements

What are you doing with your chairs?

Finding a church is tough enough to do one or two times in your life but, if you’re military, you know this is a challenge you face every few years. You’re uprooted to a new place, and have to “church shop” yet again.

You know how when you finally pick “the church” and consistently go, you kind of have your own chairs? Not officially, but everyone knows that’s where you sit every week. That’s your spot, those are your chairs. Fred doesn’t roll in and sit there because he’s got his own chair and he knows those are yours. That’s how it was at our last church at least, and I think we’ve found “our chairs” at our new church as well.

Today while sitting in church, on the far left, second row front the front, first two chairs in the isle, I was thinking about our chairs at GLACE, our old church, that we love so dearly. I was thinking about the people still there, that we left behind. The ministries we poured ourselves into and the growing pains we had while doing life with all of those people. I imagined being back there, with people we called family. I imagined the joy that would overcome us seeing our sweet friends. And, hopefully, the joy they would have as well. I imaged all of the kids that we lead during our time as youth leaders, hugging us and sharing laughs once more. I imagined sitting in the nursery monthly, playing with the toddlers and teaching the elementary kids about Jesus. I was thinking about it all and wondering how everything was going since we left.

As I was daydreaming, I felt the Lord almost stop me in my thoughts and say “but what are you going to do with THESE chairs, the ones you’re sitting in now?”

Talk. About. A. Gut. Punch.

“We’ve only been here a month Lord!” I thought. “I still have time to get settled and decide if this is really our new home.” But the more I thought about those words I felt the Lord place on my heart, the more convicted I felt.

Let me give you a little background to our church in Italy and the church we’re attending now.

GLACE (Italy church), was planted while we were there. Woodland (Washington church), was also planted while we were in Italy. Within months of each other these churches planted. GLACE, meets in a rented office building and was very small when we started out. Woodland also meets in a rented office building and has started out small. GLACE needed volunteers with all of its ministries because it was so new. The ministries were born while we were there. Woodland, is still growing and getting its ministries established, and needs many volunteers. Do you see a trend here? It’s like we are picking up right where we left off.

When we first got back to America, in November, I thought about our future church, I imaged relaxing, being able to just attend Sunday service and possibly help out/attend the women’s ministry. Involved, but with very light work is what I thought I’d be doing. The churches in the US were more established. They didn’t need us as much, I thought.

I was ready for a vacation, but, as soon as my husband brought me to the new church he found, I could have literally laughed out loud. It was like I walked in to the same environment I had just left in Italy. I was like ok God, I see what you’re doing here. But in all reality, regardless of how established, the church needs us. They need us to step up, into our God given roles and help out! They need us to get our hands dirty and live, life on life with those around us. In our chairs in Italy, we had many different titles. We helped wherever we needed, whenever we needed to. We filled roles we wouldn’t have ever imagined and did things we didn’t think we were capable of doing.

In these chairs, God is calling us to do the same. He’s calling us to be active. To seek out the roles he has for us here and to not be sedentary.

Can I just challenge you today? Can I ask who are you when you sit in your chairs? Are you the random guy or girl who shows up every once in while and leaves directly after service? Or do you attend church weekly but don’t talk to those around you or engage in any ministry? If you are not helping out, volunteering your time where you are, you aren’t helping the body!

Romans 12: 5 says “So in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others”

1 Corinthians 12: 14 “ Even so the body is not made up of one part but of many.”

You have a role! No matter who you are or where you’re at in your walk, God wants to use YOU!!!!

When I was younger, I called myself a Christian but I did NOT walk with the Lord. I did whatever I wanted when I wanted. I went through some really tough lessons and God had to spend some extra time polishing me. But now, man, when I am doing the things God calls me to, I truly feel alive. I feel like I’m doing the things I’ve literally been created to do. Because I AM! It took me 21 years to figure this out… but now that I have, you better believe I’m never going back. What’s God calling you to do? What are your giftings? Where can your church use you?

Are you saying “well I don’t know where God wants to use me” right now? Let me tell you how you won’t figure this out, by sitting there and doing nothing week in and week out. As soon as I heard the Lord ask me that question today, I went back to children’s ministry and I said “I want to volunteer my time to help out in the children’s church.” And then I went online and filled out and interest form for other ministries. Do I like being in the nursery with my own kids? HECK TO THE NO, MAN. But God will use me there. It’s a start, right? He may have me in a complete different ministry in a few months but I saw a need for children’s min, so I went. God doesn’t always show you clearly where you should volunteer but he will bless what you’re doing if you’re walking through doors and meeting needs.

We were only at GLACE for ONE year. A year that was so pivotal in my walk with God. A year that gave me more responsibility and experience in a church than I’d ever had or could have imagined. God radically changed me in the one year I submitted my time to him and I jumped in. I didn’t just use “my chairs” to sit every Sunday morning and I won’t do that with my chairs here either. Right now, in our chairs at Woodland, we’re just Will and Cassidy, but man am excited to see what God does during the next year and how he changes our titles.

What are you going to do with your chairs?

I will NEVER be enough

The past month or so I have felt like I’m not doing enough. Like I need to make more money, I need to jump in on this #ladyboss thing and actually gain followers, gain attention for who I am and all the things I’m doing, that I need to sell something to be successful. I HAVE to get paid for the things I’m doing or I’m failing. I’ve felt like I need to conform to what everyone else is doing to have a community that surrounds me. That I need to market a product to consumers in order to be fulfilled. These questions have passed through my mind: “what can I do to make money?” “What’s the best way to gain a following?” “Which MLM can I join to gain more success and an income?” I have literally broken down in tears recently because I have not felt good enough in today’s society. We are so hungry for success and earning more money that we have completely forgotten who we REALLY are. It wasn’t until a few weeks ago, when I almost pulled the trigger and joined an MLM team, that I felt I was awoken. I felt God say “what are you doing? Why are you trying so hard to do things I don’t want you to do?” I felt uneasy when I was about to join but I pushed it out with feelings of excitement to earn money and acceptance by others, people on the same “team” as me. The more I sat alone with myself I didn’t feel a peace and a comfort. I had to decline the opportunity because I felt something in my spirit saying this is not right for you right now. I truly felt the truth was revealed to me and I want to share with all of my friends because this is a message that needs to be shouted from the rooftops, ESPECIALLY in today’s world.

The biggest lie I have been told is that my happiness is the only thing that matters. That I am worthy and deserving of anything and everything I set my mind to. That I need to seek after things the that bring me monetary wealth.

Let me tell you what the truth is, I will never be enough. I will fail, others will fail me. I will fall and I will get hurt. My success could end any day, my money could all be gone tomorrow. My friends may turn their backs to me and I may lose family members. But my faith in the Lord, that will last forever. I have had to learn that success in worldly standards doesn’t define me. It shouldn’t define you! Who you are in Jesus should define you. The way you treat others and the time you spend in His presence, diving into His word matters. Everything the world has to offer you WILL be gone one day.

“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal, but store up for yourselves treasure in heaven.” Matt. 6:19-20

“Live our your time as foreigners here in reverent fear.” 1 Peter 1:17

I’m talking to you right now, stay at home mom. You may not be enough, but God is. You don’t have to seek fulfillment by joining a marketing team. You don’t have to grow your followers to be seen and heard. Your validation comes from the Lord. His grace and love is sufficient, He wants your attention. He wants to speak with you, to have a relationship with you. Your job as a mother is so important. You are worthy of love, you are important and you are heard. God values what you do even if you “just” chase babies, cook and clean. You are fearfully and wonderfully made!

Let me make something clear, I’m not telling you that it’s wrong to want to make money or to join a MLM team and sell products. These things are not bad or wrong. What IS wrong, is lust, is discontent, is jealousy and envy, filling a void only the creator of the world can fill. No matter what you do to make money, what your hobbies are, who you hang out with or what you do with your free time, I want you to ask yourself something, “am I spending more time and energy on this than I am with Jesus and making an impact for his kingdom?” Ask yourself, “is Jesus enough? If he asked me to leave it all, would I do it?”

If the answer is no, I strongly encourage you to spend some time today in prayer. Ask God where he wants you right now. He may just want you to be still.

Guys if you are seeking the world, if that is the desire of your heart, you WILL get that. God will give you the desires of your heart but please hear me, it’s not worth it. Nothing in this world compares to the love of God. Nothing compares to knowing you are walking with Him and trusting Him to make the moves in your life.

I’m not sure who needs to hear this today but I just felt it soooo heavy on my heart. I’m so thankful I stopped what I was doing and decided to turn my ear to the Lord. He was calling me to stop, to be still. To listen to Him and to submit to His plans for my life. A relationship with Christ doesn’t always mean earthy success and acceptance.

“What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit your soul?” Matt. 16:15

Because I stopped and listened to Him, he’s rocked my world the past few weeks. I’ve spent time praying for so many friends. I have had time to study my bible more. To serve my friends, my kids and my husband. And to just be still and listen! My heart has been softened and redirected. His plans are always better mine, even if it stings a little to die to myself and my own desires. He is so good and so faithful. The times I’ve felt the most alive, the most myself, are the times I’ve given submission to the Lord and let Him work through me.

A quick note: if you’re apart of an online business or MLM and you’re successful, YOU ROCK! Please don’t hear me condemning you. These words were ones I felt God lay on MY heart during this season, my own convictions and they may not apply to you. ANYTHING can be made an idol, not just our business. Use your platform to encourage people to seek Jesus. No matter what product you are selling, that is the most valuable thing you will ever give them.

I love you guys and would love to hear from you about how you’re doing or how I can be praying for you. I truly care and I make a point to get alone and pray for you when you ask.

Thank you for reading. ❤️

Love, Cass

DIY Farmhouse Curtains

If you have been following my Instagram page or blog you know that recently, we moved from Europe back to America. What you might not know, is that we are making much less money here than we did there. Decorating on a budget can be so tough but I’m determined to get this house feeling cozy and really make it home for us without breaking the bank! I’m sure you’ll see more home DIY blog posts in the future because you know we’re gonna be #BallinOnABudget. I’m so excited to share this hack with you guys because it is SO CUTE and SO inexpensive!!!! I was searching high and low for curtains that were my style and weren’t gonna cost $50-$100. I even went to Ross, TJ Maxx, and Marshals searching. While they did have good prices, the curtains I “made” are much much cuter and more my style. My sister actually suggested this idea to me and I hadn’t even realized I had seen these curtains posted on TONS of home bloggers Instagram pages, I just assumed they had paid a million dollars for them! 😆 Alright, I’ll quit blabbing and give you the info you want:

What you’ll need:

  • Paint Drop cloth x2

  • Curtain clips x2 packages of 7
  • A tape measurer (if desired)

Drop cloth

I got my drop cloth from Home Depot for only 12 bucks a piece. They are the 6×9 ft and fit perfectly. We have a really tall and really big window, 96″ from the top of the window to the floor, and 95″ horizontally. It’s tough finding curtains that long but these work amazingly. If you wanted a more full look or have a bigger window, you could go with the 9×12 ft drop cloth, that one is $24.77, still not a bad price for huge adorable curtains.

Curtain Clips

I bought the clips from Target. The color online isn’t accurate, they are much darker and went perfectly with the rod I bought from Ross for $16. They have a few different colors and you can find them at other stores. I think Walmart has them for like a dollar cheaper but they are already pretty inexpensive.

Step 1

Wash and dry your drop cloths. This gives them a softer look and gets rid of any wrinkles. It also helps make them smell pretty. 😜

Step 2

Make your measurements. Usually you’ll want your curtains to be a few inches above your window and a few inches out on both sides of your window. This gives the appearance of a bigger window and room. Make sure if you want your curtains to rest on the ground and bunch up a little bit you add an inch or two to your measurement. To be honest, I just stood on a stool while holding my curtain to see where I wanted it. 🤷🏻‍♀️ Not the most accurate but whatevs.

Step 3Lay your curtains flat on the ground. Make sure to measure and fold to the length desired. You don’t have to make the fold (you can cut it off and put the cut side toward the ground) but I think they are more cute with the fold at the top like they are in my photo. I could have done without the fold and made them rest more on the ground but you can’t even really see the bottom and I loved how the fold looked too much not to.

Step 4

Clip your rings onto the top of the curtain. Make sure your fold is even all across and start clippin!! If you want to be supper accurate, use your measuring tape. I just folded the curtain in half and eye balled it. I think they look pretty even, though!

Step 5

Hang em up!! Get those babies put on the rod and let em hang! Send me pics when you do it and let me know how much you love them. I’m so obsessed and even more pleased with the price- I think I’ll do all the windows like this!

Enjoy!

Love,

Cassidy Faith Slater

Blake Noelle

Three years and nine months ago, I was in North Carolina with my husband of just a few months. We had just heard that there was an opening in Italy and we were hoping we would get it! I always said wanted to enjoy newlywed life and travel the world with my husband. It would be like and extended honey moon, just he and I, experiencing the world together. We did what we wanted, when we wanted. We stayed out late and didn’t think much about the future. We were able to be selfish and didn’t want to have babies for at least a few years. Then one day, I was driving home from work and I just felt different, so I stopped to get a pregnancy test. Those two lines changed my life forever.

My sweet Blake Noelle,

The little girl that made me a momma, who flipped my whole world upside down and came as such a surprise. The little girl who grew my love in ways I could have never imagined. The little girl that is so wild she chipped both her front teeth before two and knocked one out before three. The little girl who tests my patience every day with her strong will and adventurous spirit. The little girl I didn’t plan for….. man, do I love that little girl more than words can say. You, my sweet Blaker changed me. You changed everything about me. Your presence has made me a better person. You have made me re evaluate every choice I make and inspire me to seek the Lord with everything that I have, because I know little eyes are watching me. When you look at me with those big blue eyes and tell me you love me SO much, I feel like the most special momma in all the world. Blake, I may not have planned you but God definitely did. You (and your baby sister) are my biggest blessing and I would do anything for you. These past three years I’ve experienced the most growth and change, I’ve gone through the toughest trials and become more strong than I thought possible and I’ve done it all with you by my side. You are my motivation and I am so so thankful God blessed me with you baby. Happy birthday to my angel, I love you SOOO much Blake Noelle!!!!!

Our Two Month Move

Well, it’s been a whole MONTH since I’ve started my blog and a month since I’ve written in it. Recently, when a friend of mine asked when I would post again I joked and said I had no inspiration because I’m living in my moms basement. 😂 It’s true though. I feel like I’m living the same day almost every day!

*I should add why I’ve been here for so long. If you don’t know much about the military you wouldn’t know how long it can take for all of your belongings to ship to a new duty station. The shippers tell you two months is the window they have to get us our things, but most people receive them sooner. For us, tomorrow will be two months and our stuff still isn’t here. No stuff means no pots and pans, plates to eat on, no beds, no tv or couch to hang out in the living room, no pillows and blankets, etc. So we decided it would be best for the girls and I to stay in spokane where we have all of those things, and then drive to Tacoma when our stuff arrives.*

Moving back to my hometown temporarily has been awesome, don’t get me wrong but its also been really difficult. I thought I’d be staying here till MAYBE January 1st and then I would be reunited with Will over in Tacoma. If you look at the date, it’s already almost a week past the 1st but it feels like forever. 🤪 Things feel so different coming home this time and here’s why:

• I’m a mom now. Of TWO.

When Will and I left Spokane, we were 20 years old and had been married a few days. We’ve lived away from home for the past 4 years! During those years we had two babies and grew up a lot. With those babies came more responsibilities and an over all change of lifestyle. So, coming back and trying to find my footing while still trying to see friends and have a little bit of a social life has been difficult to say the least. None of my good friends have kids yet (I still see these friends often and love them the same) and the girls I know that do have kids, already have a friend group as well as a place and routine here, this is their life. It’s hard for me because I want to have more friends that have a similar lifestyle but I also know I could be leaving here any day so I don’t want reach out and try to create new relationships and connections with people.

• I’m not sleeping in my own bed.

While I’m SOOOO appreciative of my mom and step dad for giving us a bed to stay in, a roof over our heads, and food to eat, (If I could pick anyone in the world to stay with, it’d be my mom hands down) it’s so hard not having our own house to do with what we’d like. I miss waking up in my own bed and the girls having their own room. I miss hosting dinners and game nights. I’ve even started to miss cooking and cleaning y’all. 😂 We do have a house already (I’ll be posting about that soon! 😍) so I’m very excited to decorate and make it our own as well!

• Everything has stayed the same and everything is different.

This point is kind of similar to the first point but I feel like it needed it’s own explanation. I have all my family here and my two besties from high school but life has obviously gone on without the Slater family and people are doing different things and hanging out with new people. They have established their lives here and I had established mine over in Italy. I had friends who’s husbands were also military and lived the exact same life as me. Many even had babies the same age as mine! Here, everyone does different things and life is so busy. People have crazy schedules and rarely have friends that are doing the exact same thing as them. Most moms work, at least part time, and in Italy it was so hard to find one of the three jobs available there😉, that most moms and wives just stayed at home. While I’m in the same town I’ve always known as “home” it feels much much different now as an adult.

• I have no responsibilities outside of being a mom.

In Italy I was very involved in different things. I held a weekly bible study in my home, I helped out with women’s study on base, I was a youth group leader, and helped with different things in the church. I usually only had Saturdays “off” but I LOVED everything I was doing there. While it’s nice to have a break, I miss having leadership roles in different ministries and can’t wait till I can jump into a church In Tacoma! I also can’t wait to do the little things like cook dinner for my family, and wash my husbands clothes. Haha! Never thought I’d say that. 😉

So there ya have it! The struggles I’ve had during this TWO month move!! Have you ever moved to another state or country? I’d love to hear how your transition was.

Now, with all of this “real life talk” about how difficult things can be I wanted to end this life update on a good note:

• I love Spokane and the people that are here.

I am probably biased but I have the best family and friends out there. I have missed them more than words can say! My mom and sister have been angels and have watched the girls whenever I have asked so that I could go hang out with a friend, go to target 🙌🏼, or even just head to Starbucks to have some alone time with Jesus. The girls and I have so enjoyed being able to go to my cousins basketball games and cheering them on. Wills family and my own have made us delicious dinners often, have taken us out to eat countless times, and just let us relax on their couches and invade their lives. For all of this and so much more I am SO stinking thankful. Yeah it’s hard to be here temporarily, and it’s hard to not know when we will be moving, but things could be much, much worse for us. We are all happy and healthy, we get to spend extra time with the people we love most, and we’re getting spoiled every day. Thanking Jesus for all we have and for the people that surround us! ❤️

Hoping this month comes with more inspiration and blog posts too. 😉

Thanks for reading!

Here are some photos from the past two months:

Love,

Cassidy Faith Slater

The House That Built Me

Don’t take it for granted.

Remember the chatter of the Italians in your neighborhood and the church bells chiming every hour. Yeah, your street is small and it’s hard to drive down (remember that time you side swiped your brand new car turning down it? 😉) but it keeps your home hidden from the gypsies so you don’t have to worry about break ins or traffic while your babies are outside playing in the rocks. Oh and the rocks! You’ll miss those too, because every time you have to pick them up from inside the door way, you get to glance out and see your sweet girls toddling around on the gravel. You’ll be greeted by the eyes of a curious little Italian man poking his head out the door every time you pull up. The girls will LOVE your neighbors. They will become nonnas to them, family.

The tile is hard to get used to, mostly for Blake, because she’ll crack her teeth in half before she’s two and then lose one of them before she’s three, but you’ll always have the memories.

You’ll bring your babies home here, in that tiny back room up the stairs is where they’ll sleep every night for the next few years. You’ll be tired. The days are long but the years go by way too quickly.

You’ll hear so many giggles AND crying in this home.

You’ll fight worse than you ever had with your husband but grow closer than you thought possible.

And your faith in the Lord, that will make this place paradise for you. I know you don’t feel close to him now, but you’ll sit at that end table chair in your dining room reading the word, weeping, studying, praising, repenting, consulting, and just talking to your father. Man those times will define you. They will stretch you and they will grow you.

Say yes to God when he asks you to start a bible study. It will change your life, you’ll meet some of the girls you’ll call your best friends. You’ll pray more than you ever thought you would in this home. You’ll pray for everything. Your marriage, your babies, your future, your friends, for forgiveness, grace, wisdom, peace and eventually strength to say goodbye when the time comes.

Don’t take any of it for granted. You’ll be saying goodbye sooner than you think.

A letter to me, the pregnant, newly married, lost and confused, me, the first time I walked into this little Italian house, written on the day I said goodbye.

Monisa J Photography