Through the Eyes of God

Broken. Dirty. Scared. Alone. A middle aged man, homeless, living on the streets. Everything he owns fits in a back pack.

Frustrated. Exhausted. Chaotic. A single mother, left with the duties of both parents, trying to make ends meet. Her family disowned her.

Scared. Self-conscious. Depressed. A teenaged girl, wishing to be left alone, feels like the world would be a better place without her. She cuts herself to release the pain.

Driven. Successful. Unsatisfied. A man in the prime of his life, living the life, yet feels so empty. His dreams have all come true, now what?

Everyday we walk by these people. Uninterested in their stories, their pain, their struggles. Instead we judge them for what we can see.

The homeless man looks malnourished, dirty, he reeks of drugs and alcohol.

“How dare he ask me for my money? Why doesn’t he live up to his full potential and get a good job like the rest of us?”

The single mom is in her sweats, her child is throwing a royal fit in WalMart, she’s a mess.

“That lady needs to get a grip on her child!!! Parents these days don’t know what they’re doing!’

The teenage girl wears heavy eyeliner, lots of bracelets, and can’t look an adult in the eye.

“She needs help. You can tell she’s depressed.”

The successful man looks put together. He has a way with people.

“What a nice young man! God has blessed him!’

Why are we so fast to judge a person? It’s human nature to find anything we can that’s wrong with others. Almost like a mechanism to help us forget our own, very large problems.

If Jesus saw these same people, what would he see?

The homeless man: A broken soul who has given up all hope. He has been hurt more times than he can count. All his loved ones have passed. “The streets are a sure way to not get too attached…again.” The man whispers under his breath.

That homeless, dirty man is a beloved creation of Christ.

The single mom: A brave woman who chose life. She chose to view a her unborn child as a gift. All her loved ones left her. “I made a mistake, but this life has a purpose.” IS her anthem as she tries to survive.

This single momma is a precious daughter of Jesus.

The depressed teen: A lost girl born into a dark world. Searching for love and acceptance. All she has received is judgement. “I am useless. No one would even miss me.” She writes in her diary.

This hurting teen is loved by the Maker of Love.

The successful man: A performance driven man, with the fear of failure. He has taught that if you weren’t rich then there was sin in your life. “I have to do this. I am strong enough.” He repeats in the mirror every morning.

This empty young man is treasured for his heart, not his skills. 

What if we, as Christians, took the time to see those around us through the eyes of Jesus? What would happen if Christians put down their arrogance long enough to care for the broken? Love the dirty, help the hopeless? What could be changed in this world?

Jesus Himself said, “Do not judge by appearances. Who are you to judge? For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on outward appearances, but God looks at the heart.” John 7:24a James 4:12b 1 Samuel 16:7 

How dare we judge God’s most precious creations: man kind? Only when Christians begin to love, with the love of Jesus, will this world change. Let us see others through His eyes.











My Perspective vs. His Perspective

A child struggling to get away, while his mom tries to give him a much needed bath. A dog, using all his strength to resist getting a rabies shot. An adult wishing for a different life, when right around the corner is the biggest success of his life.

All these pictures are similar in that, often times we don’t see the whole picture to a situation. So we fight it. We struggle and resist. What if we took the time to see our lives through God’s perfect perspective, instead of our very limited view of our lives?

That little child has no idea that he stinks. If he doesn’t get a bath he may get a rash or an infection. The dog can’t understand that the temporary pain of a needle may save his life someday. We can be just like that in our lives.

Oftentimes, we have no clue as to what the Lord is doing in our life. It’s uncomfortable, heart breaking, and scary. That’s all we know. So we run away, stress out, or run to things that numb the pain, but ultimately hurt out souls.

Jesus never offered us a pain-free life. In fact, quiet the opposite, He promised us that we will have trouble on this earth.

“In this world you WILL have trouble.” John 16:33a

He also didn’t leave us alone, with no hope in these troubles.

“But take heart! I have OVERCOME the world!” John 16:33b 

I’m talking about trails…”a test of performance or quality.” Not a consequence for something we have done wrong. Step 3 to trusting God is… Seeing your trials through His perspective. Let’s look at God’s perspective of trials.

1.He is with us!

Praise the Lord, we don’t have to face the hard times alone! He promises to always be with us!

“I am with you always, even to the ends of the Earth.” Matthew 28:20

“Even to the ends of the earth.” Your struggles may feel like the end. But our God is still there.

“Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for You are with me.” Psalms 23:4

There is no place too deep, that the Father’s love will not reach.

“And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death, nor life, neither angel nor demons, neither our fear for today nor our worries for tomorrow-not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love.” Romans 8:38

Take heart, dear child of God, He is with you. You can rest assured that no matter what, God loves you. People we love may leave us, but God never will.

2.  Let Go and Pray

Times when things don’t make sense, are the perfect times to rely on Christ. It’s a scary time. It can also be a beautiful time. A time to let go of control, and trust the all mighty Creator of the Universe. Is it easy? No way! Worth it? 100%!!!

“Those who know Your Name trust in You, for you, O Lord, have never forsaken those who seek You.” Psalm 9:10

“All we can do is pray.” Is a false statement. It seems to say that praying is a very little, insignificant action. Prayer, is in fact, the very opposite. Prayer changes things!!!

“The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.” James 5:16

I have seen prayer turn a heart of stone, soft. I have seen prayer change even the most stubborn of minds. I have seen prayer cast out demons. I have seen prayer save a lost soul. I have seen prayer heal the broken. I have seen prayer perform miracles. I have seen prayer transform a life. Prayer is POWERFUL.

I challenge you to prayer everyday for God’s best in your life. This action alone will change your perspective towards Christ. Be faithful in your prayers and trust God with His answers.

“Keep praying. But be thankful that God’s answer is wiser than our prayers.” Mother Tereasa

Pray that you will see the storm you are in through Jesus’ eyes. He alone is perfect. He alone can change your perspective.

4. You can Grow

Think of things, that need to break, in order to grow stronger. A rose bush must be trimmed for it to grow more, healthy branches. A muscle must tear before it grows stronger. Gold has to be purified through fire to be of good quality.

We are made the same way. Hard times can make us closer to God and to the ones we love. The trials can be turned into beautiful testimonies. If we let them. This is a choice every Christian has to make. “Will I try to take control and rough through this? Or will I lean on God’s strength?”

Imagine if a rose bush could say, “I like this rotting branch. I can make it better on my own.” Or if the gold decided to stay the way it was, unrefined. The rose bush would die and the gold would continue to not be fully pure. Isaiah 45 talks about this same picture but with a potter molding the clay.

“Woe to those who quarrel with their Maker…Does the clay say to the potter, “What are you making?” Isaiah 45:9 

If we choose to rely on the Maker of us, to take care of us, then He will make us stronger through the storm. We have to daily choose to TRUST. Then, and only then, will we grow.

Let us choose to have His perspective over ours.









“Heart Check”


“Mom, I’m sad. My heart hurts.” Said little me, many years ago.

“Let’s talk about it sis. You know I am always here for you. How about you ask God what your heart looks like?” Like a superhero, my mom always knew just what to do. She reached for a piece of paper and a black crayon. Then carefully drew a huge heart on the paper and smiled at me.

“Here’s a big heart because your heart is full of love.” Her eyes were so inviting. I knew I was safe to tell her anything. “Now pray and ask God what He sees when He looks at your heart.”

I drew on the paper heart my mom had made.

“What’s that?” My mom asked, pointing at my picture.

“He says it has a band-aid on it.” Little me says with tears in my eyes.

“Ask Him why there’s a band-aid.”

“Momma, the owie is there because Nana died. The band-aid is you and daddy’s love. He says that He is going to heal the owie.” Little tears ran down my cheeks as my mom gave me a big hug. (Side note: I believe that Momma hugs are one of the most powerful forces in the world.)

“Let’s pray that God will continue to heal your heart. The Bible says “He has sent me” that’s Jesus, “to heal the brokenhearted.” As I bowed my little head to pray, I knew that God could heal and that my mom would always be there for me.

This scene happens often in my home. “Heart Checks” have been a normal thing in the Garlinghouse home. My mom and dad do them with us to help us grow and so that they knew how to pray for us.

Just have to say a shout out to my parents…As I have grown, I have realized how special my parents really are. They have loved me through many trials, dried many a tear, talked about the hard stuff, and so much more. They really are the modern-day super parents.

Are they perfect? My parents are humans…so no. But they are always willing to make things right, doing above and beyond to heal relationship.

What is a heart check? Is it only for kids? What if I can’t hear God’s answer?

These are the questions I will be addressing in this blog.

What is a “Heart Check?”

“Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.” Proverbs 4:23

The heart, in the Bible, refers to your soul, your inmost being, your deepest desires. It appears 830 times in the King James Bible.So, God obviously values our hearts, shouldn’t we?

Think of your heart as a garden. We are the gardeners. Weeds are always popping up. Our job is to guard our “gardens”. Till the ground(have faith), plant the flowers(good thoughts, God’s Word, love), and destroy the weeds(evil thoughts, worldly things, sin, bitterness.) This is a full time job. With time and hard work, our garden will be a beautiful field of flowers.

“Search me, and know my heart.” Psalms 139:23

It’s as simple as that. Ask God to give you a picture of your heart. Document the answer. Talk with someone about it.

Once God has spoken to you, the healing process will begin. That unspoken hurt will now be able to heal. That broken piece will now be able to be used for His good.

Is a “Heart Check” just for kids?

Absolutely not. Adults have hurts, scars, pain, and trials just the same as kids. It’s just part of living on this world, unfortunately. You are never too old, or too young to talk to God.

What if I can’t hear His voice?

There are three reasons why a person can’t hear God’s voice.

  1. You aren’t His child.

If you haven’t made Jesus the Lord of your life, confessing your sins, believing in your heart that Jesus died and rose again, then you will not be able to hear His voice.

2. Sin

Sin is like a wall. It comes between a person and God. It blocks communication with God. If you have an unconfessed sin in your life, remember that He is fast to forgive. He WILL take that sin and cast it as far as the east is from the west. (Psalms 103:12)

3. Noise

God speaks in a still, small voice. (1 Kings 19:12) Our world is loud and busy. Maybe you just aren’t being still enough to hear His voice over the noise.

“Be still and know I am God.” Psalms 49:10

(Warning…Once you begin to surface some of the hurt, things will get hectic. Your life may have seemed perfect. But you knew deep in your heart that things needed to change. The healing process is just that, a process. It will take time. It will be a mess. Trust God in this time. He is able.)

You have all the tools now. The question is will you use them? Today, will you ask God to show you your heart and let Him heal you?

(Special thank you to my Godly parents for giving me these tools. I couldn’t be more thankful for them. Love you mom and dad!!!)






Relationship Status: Happily Single

Growing up, all my favorite movies ended with the heroine finding true love in this BIG romantic way, she has a beautiful wedding, and lives happily ever after. All her problems are gone. Everything is suddenly perfect, the moment she says “I do.”

As I’ve gone through life I have found the opposite to be true. Often times (no offense guys) relationships make life MORE complicated, instead of making everything perfect. Now, don’t get me wrong, I like boys, I know God has one who will be my husband someday. But I think our attitude on singleness is all wrong.

Why wait to be “happily married,” to be happy? Why not be “happily single?”

Think about it, we only have so many years to be single. Then “till death do us part” our lives will be spent with our love. This makes these years of singleness special. What a waste of this special time, if we spend them moping around, wishing for something we don’t have.

Here’s 3 Ways to be “Happily Single.”

1.Fall in Love with God 

There is so much healing in the fact that we are not alone. God has been and will always be with you. He is the “Lover of your Soul.” The Bible even says He is our husband.

“For your Maker is your Husband, the Lord Almighty is His Name…” Isaiah 54:5

What does that mean? It means that the Lord will fulfill ALL our needs. Physically, emotionally and spiritually.

Read His love letter to you, read God’s Word. Read it with a new fervor, a renewed excitement. So many amazing things lie there, waiting for us to find it.

This is the time, the time to grow close to God. We must fall in love with our Maker. The Bible says that “God is Love.” Without being close to God we will never be able to rightly love another.  Become the best you, so that when that person comes, they are left speechless.

2. Pour Into Others

God has wired humanity in such a way, that we feel our best, when we choose to be selfless. Helping others makes us happier than anything else in this world. Choose to think of others first, serve at your church, do community service, love others.

“God is not unjust, He will not forget your work and the love you have shown Him as you have helped His people and continue to help them.” Hebrews 6:10

3. Don’t Rush

Wait. It’s a hard word to hear. If you’ve ever been in a bad relationship you know that it is 100% better to wait. Waiting on God’s timing is tough. But He is the Ultimate Match Maker, He knows what He’s doing. You can trust Him.

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, lean not unto your own understanding, in all your ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct your paths.” Proverbs 3:5-6

4. Have FUN!!!

So, you have some free time…go have FUN!!! Do something adventurous and maybe even a little crazy! Travel the world, go to an opera, write a book, ride a horse, go skydiving. Do that thing you have always wanted to do. Cause who knows when you’ll have the chance to again.

I’m a Happily Single Lady!!!

Who knows when this season of singleness will end. As for me, I’m gonna choose to make the most of every season in my life. I choose to be “Happily Single.”

My Thoughts vs. His Thoughts

You have entered this journey of trust with me. Step one completed! You agree that in order to serve Jesus rightly, you must give Him ALL. The question remains…How can we give our EVERYTHING to Christ?

I asked God the exact same thing. His answer was “Start with your thoughts.”

The more I thought about it, the more this statement made sense. I mean, before we make an action, our brain has to make the order. Everything from lift your hand now, pick up your  right foot, say “banana.” EVERYTHING we do begins in the mind.

I don’t just mean keeping your mind clean, though that is critical, What about the thoughts of doubt? Or the rebellious thoughts? Or the times we take control of our lives in our minds? Here’s a kicker, what about when we have prideful thoughts?

All that being said, this is where we are going start to our journey: Our Thoughts.

  1. Examine the Thought

“Take every thought captive to make it obedient to Christ.” Philippians 4:8  

Have you ever seen a calf roping at a rodeo? The tension is high in the room. A cow poke, sitting on the back of a horse, is anxiously waiting for a little calf to run across the arena. Once the calf is set free the cow poke starts off, full speed towards the calf, twirling his rope the whole time. Once the calf is captured he wrestles that little thing down to the ground, ties him up, and bows for the crowd. Of course this whole event is timed to see who can rope that calf the fastest.

I picture our thought life like the picture of calf roping. We must grab that thought, tackle it, and examine it just like that cow poke does with the calf. Once we have done that, we decide if the thought can stay. If it is “true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent, or praiseworthy,”(Philippians 4:8) then let that thought prance and dance in your mind as much as it so pleases. Let it have a party!!! On the other hand, if this thought does not qualify in that list, cast it out like rotten meat. It has no place in your mind.

2. Protect the Gates of your Mind

“The eye is the lamp of the body. So if your eye is healthy, your whole body will be full of light.” Matthew 6:22

What we let into our minds through media, music, books, tv, WILL affect our thought lives. Our eyes are the lamp of the body. What are you letting in?

If Jesus went into your room and saw what you were watching would you be embarrassed? Only you can answer that question. We all have different struggles, for some people watching a certain show would cause them to stumble, when for some it may not be a problem at all. Just be careful what you let into your mind.

3. Pray

“Look to the Lord and His strength; seek His face always.” 1 Chronicles 16:11

Pray, pray, pray, and if in doubt, pray again, pray, oh look, you should…PRAY!!!

We have to keep God in this or we will not succeed. He alone hears our every thought. (Which is awesome and scary at the same time) God alone can give us the strength to trust Him with EVERYTHING!!!

There you have it, another step to giving your All to Christ, your thoughts vs. His thoughts.








My Plans vs. His Plans

“I’ve had plans
Shattered and broken
Things I have hoped in
Fall through my hands
You have plans
To redeem and restore me
You’re behind and before me”- “Control” Tenth Avenue North


You had a time line for your life. Thinking that by a certain age you would be graduated, have a stable career, be married, have kids, travel the world. You had such amazing plans for your life. Everything was going to fall into place. Then life hits you. When you look around, you are nowhere near the goals and expectations you had for your life. You feel like a failure.

We are all given the question…”Can I trust God with EVERY aspect of my life?”

One evening I was driving home, the sky was filled with the most beautiful colors. Almost as if God had skillfully picked up a paint brush and made a masterpiece. As I drove, I could hear that still, small voice saying…

“Shai, why don’t you trust me? Look outside. See that beautiful sunset? I did that for you. Remember that I made this world? That I made you?  You can trust me with your life.”

This humbled me. I needed to be reminded of WHO was in control of my life. At this point, I was already floored and He wasn’t even done yet. (Don’t you just love those God moments?)

“Daughter, if I can make the sky this lovely, don’t you think I can make your life even more so?”

In that moment, God was asking me to trust His plan for my life. Not my pre-determined time line. Not my plan for my life…But HIS.

Now here’s where I went wrong. I told myself, “trusting Jesus means that all I have to do is rely on Him, listen, and obey. I can still have some control over my life. Still hold on to my agendas, my predetermined time lines. He wouldn’t ask me to give that up too, right?” Wrong!!!

“If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me For whoever would save his life will loose it, but whoever looses his life for my sake will find it.” Matthew 16:24-26

There’s not a lot of room for us to have control in that verse. He is asking us to die to self (or say no to what our body wants, but is wrong), take up the cross (or remember the price that was paid), and follow Him. We must rely on Him and His strength.

Will it be easy? No. Giving complete control to anyone takes a huge amount of trust. This takes time. It takes a letting go of each and everything about your life. Not just your future but also your past, EVERYTHING! From what you eat, to what you wear, to which movies you should watch, When I say EVERYTHING, I mean EVERYTHING.

“So whatever you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.” 1 Corinthians 10:31

Will it be worth it? One hundred percent, YES!!! For only then will He be able to do wonderful things in and through you. This is easier said than done. I am still in the process of doing this myself. As I learn and grow I will be writing down what the Lord teaches me, or His fingerprints.

So the question remains…Are you ready to start this journey with me? Will you put your trust in God to control EVERY aspect of your life?







You Might be a Preschool Teacher if… You say these 15 Things Everyday


The joys of being a teacher are endless. The moments that touch your heart are unmeasurable. When a kid calls your name out of a room of teachers, their warm hugs, the owies that you heal. Everyday those kids, “my” kids, bring such joy to my life.

Along with those joys are the everyday challenges that are associated with working with children. Little arguments, discipline, and my personal favorite, repeating the same instruction over and over again. Makes you feel like a broken record. (Actually, a recording of me saying the instruction would be really helpful. Save my voice the work. )

To be clear, this is not me complaining. I love my job. Just thought this may bring a smile to some of my fellow teachers/parents of toddlers.

Here’s a list of 15 things Preschool Teachers Say Everyday:

  1. “Mommy and Daddy will be back soon.”-Is it just me or is this the most common fib we tell kids every day? I mean, relatively, their parents will be back sooner than later, and a kid has no sense of time anyway.
  2. “Put away our backpack.”-We are constantly having to remind them where to place their stuff. Put on your jacket, put your artwork in your cubbie, get your backpack. It never ends.
  3. “Keep your hands to yourself.”-The nice way to say…”LEAVE that poor kid alone!”
  4. “Let’s use a Kleenex.” -It seems that there is never a break from boogers running down the kids faces. We all know that if its down their faces it will somehow, magically end up on us. I’ve decided I’d prefer poop over green runny snot!
  5.  ” You need to apologize.”-I love how kids are more often than not really fast to acknowledge their mistakes and make it right. Then they can also be very fast to forgive. Something we could learn from them.
  6. “Do you need to go potty?”-We all know the potty dance. When the kid is all dancing yet denying the fact that potty time is needed…cracks me up every time.
  7. “Use your nice hands.”-The number of times this is said in a classroom is innumerable. Turns out even adults need to be reminded to be kind with their hands. Maybe they didn’t pay much attention in Preschool.
  8. “Time to wash your hands.”-Drop Off, Wash your hands. Potty time, wash your hands. Snack time, wash your hands. You ate, wash your hands. Craft time, wash your hands. The list goes on!!! As a teacher your hands will feel the brunt of so much soap and scrubbing. Lotion is a teachers best friend. That and coffee.
  9. “Don’t forget to flush.”-The joys of finding a toilet unflushed is something teachers deal with every day. Teachers need a stomach of steal to deal with some of the “surprises” they find.
  10. “Let’s sing our ABCs.”- The go to song. Sometimes singing a song can calm down the atmosphere of a classroom. Plus kids love to sing. Especially when they can show off their ABC abilities.
  11. “Do you know what color this is?”-A great way to review the colors is pointing at an object and asking them to remember what color the item is. It’s a great way to break the ice as well.
  12. “You’ll be ok.”- When a kid is stressed and having a melt down, often times just saying this will help them to calm down. An adult reassuring them that they aren’t dying is a great comfort to them. Owies happen, so teachers say this one a lot.
  13. “Class, class?”-The nice way to say, “Stop talking!!!”
  14. “Walking feet.”-Running through the halls or in the classroom is a no no. The kids know this. I think some times they try to see how long it will take us to catch them.
  15. “Do you need help?”-Sometimes you can tell a kid is struggling but its always good to give them the option. Some kids are more independent and really want to try for themselves. I love when they try and try then succeed. The looks on their faces are priceless.


So there you have it! 15 things a preschool teacher says everyday. Most of the time several times a day. Do we love it anyway, you betcha! Because there’s nothing more rewarding than showing than pouring into a child’s life.



Someday My Prince Will Come

0715d2874cbba29ef40377512bbd2821[1] Someday, I’ll be dancing with the only man who has my heart, Jesus. I’ll be wearing a robe of white. There’s a crown on my head. I am the daughter of the King after all. Then, somebody will join us.

Jesus locks eyes with me. A look of pleasure on His kind face. As if I was His most prized creation.  My hand rests comfortably in His. I know I am safe in His arms. We talk about everything as He twirls me this way and that. Everything that is in me is captivated by my Maker.

As I spin, I start to notice a man who is also enthralled by my dance partner. I look at Jesus. There’s a twinkle in His eye, as if He’s planning something great. I begin to feel my partner  softly nudge me towards this new, strange man. I stop dead in my tracks and lean in to whisper something in Jesus’ ears.

“Lord, why are you changing the steps? I was liking our dance before.” His face shines with love. ” My dear Shai, you can trust me. I am the Ultimate Matchmaker after all. I created love.”

Before I know it the man is very close to me. I smile. Jesus made this man very handsome indeed.

“Jesus,” I lean in and lock eyes with my first love. ” Is it okay to love this man? I will never stop dancing with YOU. But could he join us? We would make a great team to bring glory to YOUR Name.”

A chuckle roles out of His throat. “That has been my plan all along.” Jesus gently places my hand in the man’s. Together we dance with Jesus as our instructor. And live life to put a smile on His face.

Someday, that day when my prince will come, will appear. Until that day, when I am given away at the alter, I will dance with Jesus.



A little about me!

about-me-leon-severan-we-buy-housesHere’s 20 random facts about yours truly 🙂

1. I am Twenty Years Old

2. I am the oldest of six kids

3. I live in the beautiful state of Oregon

4. I am currently enrolled in Salt Lake Bible College

5. I work at a Christian School

6. I love kids

7. I have a dream of owning a tea cup pig someday

8. I love to sing and dance

9. I am a Pastor’s Kid

10. I have visited Africa, India, Croatia, Austria,                                                                 Ecuador, Alaska, Canada, and Mexico

11. I have lived in four different States

12. I love the color pink and anything floral

13. I hope to get a degree in Christian Counseling

14. I  also work at my church in Children’s Ministry

15. I love anything antique

16. I’m all for saving money in any possible

17.  I love God’s Word

18. I became a Christian when I was eight years old.

19. I hope to leave a legacy of loving God and others

20. I love to write!!!

There you have it. I’m just a girl, in love with Jesus, living life.




Welcome to “Fingerprints of God” by Shai Garlinghouse. My goal with this blog is to bless others with lessons I have learned from God. Or as, I like to call these lessons the “Fingerprints of God.” We will address hard topics such as relationships, jobs, how to love others, and how to grow closer to Christ. As well as fun topics like silly situations, jokes, entertainment, and more. I’m excited to begin this adventure with you!