Happy Monday

Good morning my friends! I hope you had a wonderful weekend. Ours was jam packed and honestly, I’m still recovering from it!

Joseph and Jojo spent the weekend in Hilton Head with family and friends. They attended the RBC Heritage Golf Tournament. They had a blast and I am so happy that they were able to experience this. Joseph said Jojo was in heaven!

The girls and I had a full weekend, too. Mackenzie had four soccer games and Mary had a birthday party and spent the night with a friend.

Needless to say, I need a weekend from my weekend, ha!

I shared this picture on Instagram this weekend.

I would normally be mortified to post this picture because of all of the laundry on the bed and the floor. But this is real life, y’all. The bed doesn’t always get made and laundry backs up more than I’d like it to, but I’m learning to be ok with that.

For someone who is OCD and needs their house to always be put together, this is a hard thing to accept. But the realization that time is fleeting and that I have EIGHT more years before this one graduates high school, is teaching me what is truly important in life.

Jojo has FOUR years and Mary has FIVE before they’re off to college and y’all the thought of this is truly overwhelming. It’s making me rethink so much.

Mommas, the days are long but the years are definitely short. I used to hear people say this and I didn’t believe it, but now I do. Time is precious and we have to live each day to the fullest. We need to invest in our kids, spend time with them. Teach them the facts of life and pour into them. They need it desperately right now.

There is so much pulling for their attention and if we are not careful, we are going to lose them to those things.

So instead of coming home to catch up on laundry and clean up, I took Mackenzie out to dinner and afterwards she asked to go to Kroger to pick up some ice cream.

We came home, put on a movie, sat on the couch and ate our ice cream. And the laundry is still there today. That’ll be what I’m working on today.

One day when I’m sitting in my clean and organized house with no laundry to do because all of my kids are gone, I will be thankful that I chose them over the laundry.

Love is truly spelled T-I-M-E.

I hope y’all have a great day!

XO

Throwback Thursday {4.20.20}

Good morning! Today’s Throwback Thursday is from last April. I pray it encourages you today.

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God Can Restore Our Brokenness

On Easter Sunday, Elevation Church sang a song called Rattle.  Since then, I’ve been thinking a lot about the story of the dry bones in Ezekiel.  This morning I went to the passage in Ezekiel 37:1-14.

God takes Ezekiel down to the middle of a valley where it was full of bones.  Very dry bones.  God then tells Ezekiel to prophesy over the bones and when Ezekiel does as the Lord says, the bones begin to rattle and come together.  Not only do the bones come together, tendons and skin begin to appear.  Then God tells Ezekiel to prophesy again in verse 9 which says,

“Then He said to me, “Prophesy to the breath; prophesy, son of man, and say to the breath, Thus says the Lord God: Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe on these slain, that they may live.”

So Ezekiel did as God said, and breath came into them and they lived and stood on their feet, an exceedingly great army (vs.10)!!

Could you imagine???  Stop and think for a minute.  Dry bones, turned into flesh and came to life!  And not only that, God used a mortal to do it.  Ezekiel obeyed and did as God said and watched this unfold right in front of him.

God told Ezekiel that this army, these bones, represented the people of Israel.  They were dry, feeling cut off from God and without hope.  He promised that He would bring them back to the land of Israel and that He would put His Spirit within them so that they could live.

I began to think about how all of this happened in the middle of the valley.  Many of us find ourselves in a valley right now.  We are going through struggles, hardships and tough circumstances.  We are trying our best to hold on to our faith, but each week as life gets harder we can feel our faith weaken.  We are like those dry bones.  We feel cut off from God, dry and parched and have began to lose our hope.

In verse 4, God tells Ezekiel to prophesy over those bones by telling them, “O dry bones, hear the word of the Lord.”  And I believe that God wants us to do the same.  He wants us to Hear the word of the Lord and to declare it over our lives.  God wants you to live.  If you are a follower of Christ, His Holy Spirit is within you and He says live.  1 Peter 2:16 says that the will of God is for us to live as people who are free.  He’s brought you back to life and has placed His spirit within you.  You can be free of whatever is holding you down.  You can live and be filled with hope.  And that hope is Jesus.

Just as God took those bones and put them back together and gave them life, He can do the same with you and your situation.  He can restore and redeem the broken areas in your life.  I love the saying, “there’s nothing too far gone for God.”  I’ve lived far from God and I’ve experienced His embrace and love when I came back to Him.  He will not turn His back on you, He will love you and accept you just as you are.

Whatever is broken in your life right now whether it’s your finances, relationships, or your heart- God can restore it.  He is faithful and He will do it.  Hear His Word today and declare life over your situation.

Dear Lord, help us live a life fully surrendered to you. Help us continue to trust that you are working in our lives even when we don’t feel you or see you. Lord, help us live the way you’ve called us to live. Help us walk in the freedom that you’ve given us. Thank you Jesus for coming to save us so that we could live a life to the fullest in you. I pray that you will restore the areas in our life that are broken. Lord I believe that you can pick up the pieces and create something even more beautiful than what was there before.

XO

Children Are Great Imitators

Last week I was reminded that sometimes my actions speak louder than words.

I try my best to wake up early every day and spent some time in God’s Word. In the mornings when Mackenzie wakes up, I am normally sitting in my keeping room reading my Bible.

The other night she made the comment that she wanted to start doing her quiet time before school and asked if I could wake her up at 5:30 am.

I told her that was too early and that she needed her sleep.

At 5:45 am the next day, I heard footsteps and there she was. She sat with me and read her devotional book and filled it out. I helped her find verses in the Bible that she had to read. It was a special morning.

When I picked her up from school that afternoon, she mentioned that a girl was mean to her that day. But she also told me that she chose to be nice to her because in her devotional she read that we should love and pray for our enemies.

“But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,” Matthew 5:44

She had no idea that I needed to hear this message that day.

I’ve never really forced my kids to have a quiet time. I will read a devotional to them in the mornings here and there, but nothing consistently. Mackenzie is my child who loves to read her devotional book and is very disciplined about it.

But the fact that she does it just based on what she sees in me, reminds me that our children are watching. Our actions speak louder than our words sometimes and this was a perfect example of that.

I was also challenged to do better about encouraging them out loud to have a daily quiet time and to go back to reading a daily devotional with them each day.

I know how much better my day goes after I spend time in God’s Word and I want them to experience the same.

Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.” Proverbs 22:6

If you don’t have a daily quiet time, I encourage and challenge you to start. Just five minutes a day, sit and talk to Jesus and read His Word. You can read a chapter in Proverbs a day or read a Psalm a day. Fill your soul, heart and mind with His truth. As you begin to practice this, it will spill over into your family.

As you love the Lord with all your heart soul and mind, you will see that you will use every opportunity to share it with your kids. Use learning opportunities to share God’s truths with them. Remind them of who they are in Christ and encourage them by using God’s Word.

You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.” Deuteronomy 6:5-9

We don’t have to be perfect. We just have to be consistent. Children are great imitators so let’s give them something great to imitate!

Have a great day, friends!

XO

Be You, Do You! You Are Loved!

Good morning, friends! Happy Monday!! Anyone else counting down the days before Spring Break? I can’t believe how fast this school year has gone. Once Spring Break is over, I feel like the countdown to summer begins. And we LOVE summer around here.

This morning I wanted to share a little bit of my heart. I shared this quote on my Instagram stories last week and so many of you commented on it.

It’s so easy to get wrapped up in what everyone else is doing and how seemingly perfect their life seems to be.

I actually just did that today as I read a blog post from another blogger. She always seems to have it all together and she’s incredibly organized. I allowed my mind to go there. You know where there is…the pit of “I wish I could be her.”

I began to wish that I was more organized, more efficient with my time, a better mom, a better cook… you get the picture. I began to wish for better and more.

Thankfully my husband quickly bounced me back by reminding me that nothing is as perfect as it seems.

And not to say her life isn’t great! She just has strengths that are different than mine. And that’s ok!

We are all different. God did not make us the same. And thank goodness He didn’t because how boring would that be?

But even though He didn’t make us the same, guess what? He does love us the same!

He loved us all enough to send His only son to take our place and die for our sins.

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

And this love, we don’t have to work for it. We don’t have to earn it. We don’t have to do one thing. God loves us just because. And He offers us a gift. A gift that we don’t have to work for. And that gift is eternal life. All He asks of us is to choose Him. And when we do, He promises us a life with Him for eternity.

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. Ephesians 2:8-9

I know that it’s easy to compare our life to those that we see on social media. It’s easy to go down that road of saying our lives aren’t as good as so and so. But I’m here to tell you that your life is exactly what God has designed it to be. And when we look at someone’s life and wish for what they have, it keeps us from seeing all of the blessings that God is pouring into our life.

There’s a difference in being encouraged by someone’s life and being envious of someone’s life. And being encouraged is where I want to be.

I heard something a while ago that I’ve tried to put into practice when I feel comparison begin to steal my joy. It’s super easy to do and I want to encourage you to do the same.

It’s quite simple actually, when you feel yourself begin to get jealous or envious choose to compliment that person instead. Choose to be a cheerleader. It forces your brain to turn those negative thoughts into positive ones and it completely changes your mindset.

Instead of ignoring their post or stories, choose to comment and cheer them on instead. It may feel forced at first, but it will become second nature. I promise, I’ve done this and it’s changed my life so much. I suffered for years with discontent. And I refuse to allow myself to go down that hole again.

Sure, I still have my moments like I had today but I’m able to bounce back a lot quicker. I’m able to say, “gosh, she’s such an amazing mom and wife but so am I. Our lives just look different.” I’m able to believe that God may have given us different strengths and talents, but his love for both of us is the same.

And it also allows me to ask her for advice in the areas that she’s good at. I’ve learned so much from this particular blogger. Her posts about organization and time management have helped me tremendously.

And that wouldn’t have happened, had I let comparison get in the way.

Comparison not only steals joy. It has the power to steal friendships and families.

It’s ok to want to better our life just don’t convince yourself that your life right now isn’t great. Work towards goals while enjoying your journey.

So today I want to challenge you to be a cheerleader. When that post pops up in your feed that makes your skin crawl with envy and jealousy comment something positive. Compliment that person. Just do it once and see how it makes you feel. I can promise you that instead of dwelling on how much better their life is for the rest of the day…you will actually think about it only for a second and then it will be gone.

We have to be content. We have to work on our families and our lives. The grass isn’t always greener on the other side. It’s greener where you water it.

Stop trying to be her. Be you. Work on you. Do you. Water your family and choose to look for the good every single day.

I can promise you that her kids are throwing tantrums, too. She has bad days, too. She needs encouragement, too. Nobody is perfect.

I know that this post is all over the place, but I really hope that I was able to truly get my point across this morning.

If anything, I just want you to know that you are loved by the King. Joseph shared a song with me yesterday that’s on repeat right now. And one of the phrases that stuck with Joseph was this, “I’ll never be more loved than I am right now.”

Friend, He loves you. He loves you so very much. He created you and designed you for a purpose. Don’t devalue your purpose by trying to be someone else. Be who God made you to be. And if you feel like you aren’t there yet, then join the club. This life is not a sprint, it’s a marathon. We are all working towards our purpose. A purpose we will not achieve until we are in glory with Him!

Fight the fight. Fight YOUR fight.

I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing. 2 Timothy 4:7-8

I love y’all!! Click here to listen to the song Joseph shared with me. Make sure you listen to the lyrics. They are powerful!

XO

Where is God in our Pain?

Morning, friends!! I hope you had an amazing Monday and I hope your Tuesday is off to a good start.

This weekend I heard an amazing message about why we go through painful experiences and where is God in those situations.

The speaker said something that I’ve repeated in my head over and over again.

The presence of pain does not mean the absence of God. Read that again, the presence of pain does not mean the absence of God.

So many times when we go through things and we ask ourselves, where is God? Why am I going through this?

The answer is SIN. Because of the whole Eve ate the apple event, sin came into the world. We could unpack that, but we will leave that for another day.

What I want us to really focus on this morning is, where is God in our pain?

The speaker used the story of Lazarus. Mary and Martha were so upset and told Jesus that had he been there, their brother would not have died. As Jesus looks around and sees everyone so upset about the death of Lazarus, we find the shortest verse in the Bible, John 11:35, Jesus wept.

He wept. He felt their pain. He knew what he was about to do yet He still wept. He was moved by their heartache. He was right there with them.

And friend, that’s where Jesus is in your pain. He is right there with you. At times you may not feel Him or see Him moving, but His Word is true and it tells us that He will never leave us or forsake us. He tells us that we can take heart because He has overcome the world.

Sin brings sorrow, pain and heartache, but Jesus brings joy, comfort and peace. And the best thing is that He promises us a life without pain. A life where we will live forever with Him.

Revelation 21:4 says, “He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”

Yes, sin came into the world but God loved us so very much that He gave us a Savior. A savior who conquered death! We may experience pain here, but we do not experience it alone.

God does not leave us in our horrible circumstances. He’s with us every step of the way. Hold on to Him. Do not let go and do not take your eyes off of Him. Believe Him at His word that says in Genesis 50:20, “As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today.”

It doesn’t mean that your pain is good, it means that goodness will come from your pain. Your pain will not be in vain. Trust Him.

The speaker also said at the end of the message that he knew his message was intellectually satisfying, but not emotionally satisfying.

I know that the “christian answer” many times doesn’t comfort us. But I think that’s when we have to dig in deep and force ourselves to trust God. And how do we do that? We get in His word, we fall on our knees and pray and we surround ourselves with other people who are like minded that will pray and encourage us in our pain.

Life is hard. I know. Don’t do it alone.

How can I pray for you today? Head over to my instagram and send me a direct message or comment below.

I hope you all have a great day!

XO

What Are You Picking Up?

Morning, friends!! Today I want to share a devotional from Proverbs 31 Ministries by Arlene Pellicane.

I read it this morning and talk about conviction. It’ll only take a couple of minutes! You can read it, here.

I am so guilty of this and truly needed to read this today. I hope this challenges and encourages you today.

Have a GREAT Monday!!

XO

Throwback Thursday {10.12.20}

Morning! Today’s Throwback Thursday is from last October. If you are feeling exhausted and overwhelmed, I hope this encourages you today.

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This weekend I finished The Fight to Flourish by Jennie Lusko. I know I sound like a broken record, but I loved this book so much! As I finished it this weekend, this journal entry Jennie shared really spoke to me. And I think it will speak to you, too.

“And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.”

Revelation 21:4

Jesus defeated the power of death. But on THIS day, death will die.

Today:

  • Have confidence in Christ.
  • Walk close to Jesus.
  • Don’t let anything be wasted.
  • Be a good wife.
  • Be a fun mom.
  • Take your role seriously, but not yourself.

Lord, have your way in me today. Open my eyes to see how you see.

This is my prayer for today and I encourage you to make it your prayer, too. Lord, help us be confident in you, walk close to you and make the most of every moment we have. Help us be the wives and moms you call us to be and to have fun while doing it! 

If you are feeling exhausted and overwhelmed today, stop and breathe. Girl, you are doing an amazing job! We are so hard on ourselves and we are our own worst critic. Today, see yourself as Jesus sees you. You are special, loved, His masterpiece, His daughter. You may not be strong, but He is. You may not feel like you are enough because you are not. No one is. But we serve a God who is more than enough!

Rest in Him, embrace your journey, love those around you and stay close to Jesus.

XO

Tuesday Talk: My Favorite Praise and Worship Songs

Morning, friends! It’s Tuesday Talk!

Once a month I link up with Erika and Ashley and share a little randomness with you.

In February, I updated you about my Five in February Challenge and shared with you how I use my planner and make lists. You can read it, here.

In January, I told you all about my new pair of Spanx Faux Leather Leggings and how much I loved them. You can read that one, here.

Today, I’m going to share with you some of my favorite worship songs that I’m listening to right now.

I shared about this one yesterday…I don’t think I’ll ever get tired of it. The Blessing is an amazing song full of scripture and truth.

This song came on my google home in the morning and I loved it. I Came For You is all about welcoming the Holy Spirit.

I heard this song on Sunday and it has been on repeat. Sinking Deep is soooo good!!

If you want an upbeat and energizing song, then Man of Your Word is a good one!

I’ve shared this one before, but I still listen to it every single morning. It’s actually an arrangement of two songs, Raise and Hallelujah and Surrounded. Individually they are great songs, but together…wow!!

And up last, is The Battle Belongs. So powerful!!

I love worship music. I love turning it on first thing in the mornings. When I’m feeling anxious or scared…it’s the perfect way to be reminded of God’s Word and His promises.

I hope y’all enjoy these! Let me know what you think.

Have a great day, friends!

XO

Monday Musings: A Blessing For You

Good morning, friends! I hope you had a great weekend. Ours was truly wonderful!

This morning I was catching up on my Bible reading. I wasn’t able to read my chapters this weekend, so I had a couple more than normal to read. If you’ve ever wanted to read through the Bible, I am loving The Bible Recap. I know I’ve shared about it before and I’m sure this time won’t be the last.

One of the things I’ve noticed so far is that God continuously reminds His children of what He’s done for them. In Deuteronomy 5, He reminded them of how He brought them out of Egypt, the land of slavery. And then in chapter 8, He reminds them of how He led them through the wilderness for 40 years.

This isn’t the first time He reminds them. We’ve seen it all throughout scripture how He constantly reminds us of who He is and what He’s done for us.

I’ve done a lot of remembering myself lately. Especially thinking back about this time last year and how uncertain everything was. Yesterday as I heard the song, The Blessing, I was reminded of how God truly took care of us.

This song is so special to me. This blessing, these words were spoken over me daily by my daddy. He prayed this over us and anyone he knew. Every prayer he prayed, he closed it out with this blessing.

When I first heard the song, it was a couple of days before the world shut down. Such perfect timing because it was my saving grace during those days to come. I remember running our neighborhood with this song blasting in my ears on repeat as I fought back the tears.

As I listened to the song yesterday, I thanked God for His blessing in my life. In the most uncertain of times, His presence went before me, beside me and all around me. He was for me not against me. And today, all of that remains the same.

Things were so crazy a year ago. No one knew how things would turn out. But God did.

I don’t know what your year was like, but I encourage you to think back and look for God in all of those moments. Remind yourself of his goodness. Don’t forget the way He brought you through.

I think that’s why He constantly wants us to remember what He’s done. We tend to forget, especially when we are going through hard times. As humans, we focus on the now and when the now is hard we can’t think of anything else. When we remember, our trust is strengthen because we know that if God did it then, He will do it again. He is our unchanging God. Always present and constant in our lives.

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever (Hebrews 13:8)

He is for us. He is not against us. He goes before us. He protects us. He wants what is best for us.

So today, I invite you to receive this blessing. I love how Kari Jobe said, It’s the heart of the Father for His kids. This blessing is for you. For your children and their children.

The LORD bless you and keep you; the LORD make his face shine on you and be gracious to you; the LORD turn his face toward you and give you peace. Numbers 6:24-26

I love you, friends!

XO

Rest

It’s something that I don’t do well. Honestly, I thrive on the thrill of constantly being on the go. But lately I have felt so worn out.

I normally try and keep things positive around here, but today I’m struggling. And I feel that, maybe, you may be struggling too.

Life at the moment is so crazy. If I could only tell you what all is on my plate, you would probably tell me that I’m insane.

And today, it’s weighing me down and I’m just trying to hold it all together.

You probably have many hats you are currently juggling. Between being a good wife and making sure your kids get to where they need to be, the laundry (ugh), the meals, the cleaning, the doctor’s appointments, the homework, the grocery shopping…etc. And then if you work from home or outside of the home, you have responsibilities there as well.

For the most part, you keep it all together but every now and then it collapses and you just need to step away and take a day.

I’m here to tell you that it’s ok to step away. It’s ok to stop something you are doing. We have to reevaluate and re-prioritize sometimes. When responsibilities are added to our plates, we may need to let something else go.

We may need to learn to say, “no”.

If you are currently feeling overwhelmed with life, I want to take today and pray for you.

Dear Heavenly Father,

I just want to lift my sister up who is currently at the end of her rope. She is balancing all of her plates and one of them is about to fall and break. She is giving her all in too many things and it’s leaving her exhausted, frustrated, drained and completely empty. She doesn’t have much more to give. I’m asking you Jesus to give her the rest she desperately needs. Help her step back and see what is causing her stress. Allow her to pull back from anything that is not bringing her peace at the moment. I pray that right now you will give her strength. Your word says that you are our strength when we are weak, and Lord we are so weak. You give rest to the weary and today, we need that rest. We need your peace. I pray that today, she will be able to feel your presence in a way that she’s never felt it before. Help us get through our day. Allow us to do the things that we need to do. Help us find that joy that can only be found in you. Help us rest in you, today.

Friend, I’m with you. I know how you feel. I understand you. Don’t lose sight of who you are. And especially don’t lose sight of God. Keep Him as your focus. Rely on Him. Talk to Him. Pour it all out.

I loved this quote I shared on Instagram last night…

“A strong woman loves, forgives, walks away, lets go, tries again, perseveres… no matter what life throws at her.”

But I want to add to that quote. The only way that we are strong is through Christ. And because of Him, we can do all of those things.

I hope you have a great day. You know that you can always reach out to me if you need anything.

XO