Merry Christmas Eve {Family Pictures 2020}

Christmas is looking a lot different for the Eterno Crew this year as we’ll be celebrating a QUARANTINED Christmas at home. Two from our crew started feeling under the weather this week so needless to say, we are staying home and keeping our germs to ourselves 🤪. This isn’t how we wanted to spend the holidays and we will miss our family terribly, but we are choosing to focus on the positive. I think that’s what 2020 has taught us, don’t you?

Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18)

As I tucked Mackenzie into bed last night she was so worried about what we were going to do for Christmas. I assured her that we would make the most of it! It may look a lot different this year, but it will definitely be a Christmas we won’t forget.

We had our family pictures taken last month and I wanted to share a couple of my favorites with you!

Merry Christmas Eve, friends!!!

XO

Two More Sleeps

Happy Wednesday, friends!!! Can you believe we have TWO more sleeps until it’s Christmas?! I am so excited and a little sad that this season is almost over.

If you follow me on Instagram, I shared a little bit about how I am normally a grinch and scrooge when it comes to Christmas.

I normally get lost in my long to do list and focus on the material side of Christmas. I wish for for the season to be over before it even begins.

Every year, I’ve gotten a little bit better about it, but this year I was determined to enjoy the season to the fullest. I set out to make the most of it and I can honestly say that I truly have.

It all started with the Advent study I found from a blogger on Instagram. It kept my heart and mind on the true meaning of Christmas-Jesus! It made me see Christmas in a whole different way. The birth of Jesus is the fulfillment of a promise and prophecy. And it’s just as important as the death and resurrection. I don’t know if I ever looked at it that way! I am so thankful for this study and I will for sure do another one next year.

If you want to read the recap of each week you can read them here:

Advent Bible Study Review of Week 1: HOPE

Advent Bible Study Review of Week 2: PEACE

Advent Bible Study Review of Week 3: JOY

Advent Bible Study Review Week 4: LOVE

Honestly I can say that mindset is everything. Instead of looking at my to do list and dreading what I HAD to do, I looked at my to do list as a list of things I GOT to do. I turned on the Christmas music, watched Christmas movies, wore the christmas attire, chose to be merry and joyful and guess what? Eventually it went from forcing myself to do it, to all of a sudden I was really enjoying it!

You know the saying, love is a choice not a feeling? I think that goes for a lot of things. We can’t just sit and wish to feel a certain way. Losing weight and eating healthy isn’t something you “feel” like doing most days, you have to make that choice. And eventually it will become second nature and something you enjoy doing.

Mindset and perspective are everything, friends.

Let’s all turn our frowns upside down this Christmas and choose to be joyful and enjoy it to the fullest.

I hope y’all have an AWESOME Wednesday!!

XO

Advent Bible Study Review Week 4: LOVE

It’s been a super crazy day! Thank y’all for being patient with me in getting the post up!

Today we are reviewing our final week of Advent! I can’t believe we have come to the end of our bible study. I don’t know about you, but I really have loved doing this and I know that I will definitely do it again next year.

Day one, God Loved, God Gave.

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. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.” John 3:16-17

God loved us so much that He sent His son to die for our sins. We all are so familiar with verse 16, but like our book said, “many people would find greater comfort if they read John 3:16-17 together. Jesus is reassuring us that God’s motives are good. His motive isn’t to judge, but to save us through His son. After Adam and Eve sinned, God could’ve said, “oh well” and went about His ways. But instead, He made a way for us to be saved. All because of His great love for you and me.

Day two, Love Was God’s Idea.

Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us. (1 John 4:7-12)

“God is the author of order, not chaos, and the sending of His Son into the world was not an act of random happenstance. God planned it from the beginning of time; it is rooted in His loving and unchanging character.”

On page 112 it talked about the two reasons that God sent His Son. He sent His Son for the purpose of satisfying the penalty for sin, but in 1 John 4:9-10 it says that it was also because He loved us.

I also loved how it reminded us that God’s love isn’t passive love. We don’t receive it once and that’s it. His love is forever.

Day three, Love is Action.

God’s love was shown through the action of sending his Son, Jesus. He laid his life for us so that we could be saved. There is. no action greater than that.

Day four, Christ’s Love Compels Us.

Once we accept Jesus as Savior and Lord of our lives, the Holy Spirit lives in us and we are made new. Also, Jesus dying on the cross gave us direct access to Him. We don’t have to go through a priest to talk to Him. We can talk to Him wherever we are and whenever we want.

As a new creation, we are told to go out and make disciples. Because we have received His love, we are to share it with others. This week was big on this. Ask God to place someone on your heart that needs to hear the good news.

Day five, The Wonder of His Love.

See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him.” (1 John 3:1)

What if we saw Jesus’ birth with the same sense of wonder as the shepherds and wisem men did? The last couple of weeks, Advent has helped me really think about that moment and how amazing it must have been. Can you imagine?

I’m just speechless and in awe thinking about it. And it gives me chills to think that all of that happened because of God’s love for us.

I don’t know if you’ve ever received Jesus as Lord and Savior of your life, but I can’t end this study without sharing this with you. God sent His son to die on the cross for you. He loved you that much. You, too, can have eternal life with Him by receiving Him as your savior. We all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. We are lost without Him and destined for a life apart from Him. Heaven is real and He wants you there. But He’s not going to make you. He gives you the choice.

If you want to know more or if you would like to receive Jesus today, contact me. You can comment below or email me at don’tlookbackbabe@gmail.com. I would love to talk to you more about it.

The last four weeks have been so good for me. It has truly been exactly what I’ve needed. I shared that Christmas, for me, is always a time of stress and dread. I focus on all the things that the world offers instead of focusing on the ultimate gift which is Jesus. I hope these weeks have also helped you and encouraged you.

Thank y’all for doing this with me!

XO

Throwback Thursday {4.28.20}

Good morning! I hope you all are having a great week. We are two days away from Christmas break!! One more wake up and we are done. We got this!

Today’s Throwback Thursday is a post from April of this year. I hope it encourages you this morning!

Let Go of the Old and Receive the New

I am struggling to find the words, y’all. The last two mornings have been a bit of a challenge and I haven’t had time to sit and really dig into God’s Word. I don’t like writing just to write so I took the day off. But I wanted to share something that I’ve thought a lot about the last two days.

On Sunday, we listened to Steven Furtick’s message about letting go and I’ve been thinking a lot about it.  He said,

“Certain changes are not embraced, they must be forced.”

Our natural reaction when something is being taken away from us is to fight to keep it. Or when change comes, we don’t welcome it and instead wish for things to go back to the way they were.  I know I’ve had times in my life where I made myself miserable trying to resist change.  You probably have too.  But won’t you agree that on the other side of change, when we finally surrender, we are better for it?

Many of us are frustrated and ready to go back to our “normal lives.”  But what if God has something so much better for us than our “old normal lives?”  What if we are so stuck on our past that we can’t see what God is trying to do for our future?

I used to struggle with my past.  I allowed my failures and mistakes to keep me from walking in the freedom that Jesus gave me when I chose to follow Him.  I allowed my past to keep me from truly experiencing His mercy, His grace and His love.

But I think we can all do that.  We can be so hard on ourselves and live life offering all the grace and forgiveness to everyone else, but when it comes to us, we crucify ourselves for the mistakes we made.

But 2 Corinthians 5:17 says,

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!”

We are a new creation!  We can’t receive the new if we keep holding on to the old.  Read that again.

WE CAN’T RECEIVE THE NEW IF WE KEEP HOLDING ON TO THE OLD.

God wants to set you free today, but you have to do your part and let go.  Let go of the hurts, the past mistakes, anger, resentment, bitterness, defeat, worry and anything that is keeping you from walking in the freedom that Jesus has given you.

You may be reading this and have never experienced this freedom.  Maybe you’ve never given your life to Christ.  If this is you, I would love the opportunity to share Jesus with you.  God sent Him to take our place.  He took our sin and all of our brokenness and He died on a cross so that we may have eternal life.  Life forever with Him.  You can experience this freedom by simply acknowledging your brokenness and admitting that you are a sinner.  Your sin has separated you from Christ and you are in need of a Savior.  And that Savior is Jesus Christ.  He stands with open arms ready to fully accept you just as you are.  He loves you so very much.  If you want to experience that freedom and choose Jesus today simply pray the following prayer,

Dear Jesus, I know that I am a sinner in need of forgiveness.  I know that you are the son of God sent to die on the cross to save me from my sins.  Lord Jesus, I choose you today and everyday.  Forgive me of my sins and save me today.

If you prayed this today, please let me know. I would love to pray for you. You’ve made the best decision you could ever make.

Willing and Available

Good morning, babes!

I hope you are having a great week! We are almost to Christmas break and I can’t wait.

Today, Joseph and I are headed down to Hilton Head Island to take appliances, a window and bathtub to our current house project. The workers are rocking and rolling. They have gotten so much done already. I can’t wait to see the progress.

A couple of days ago, I shared my new to me Willow Tree Nativity Set on Instagram. A friend of mine found it in her attic and thought of me!

I’ve wanted a set for a couple of years, but could never find one. I finally set it out on my foyer table and I love it. As I came down the stairs this morning and saw it, I thought about that night in the manger. I really do get speechless to think about that event. And now as a mom, I see Mary so differently.

Mary’s song is one of my favorite passages in the Bible. You can read the entire song in Luke 1:46-55.

“And Mary said: “My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has been mindful of the humble state of his servant. From now on all generations will call me blessed, for the Mighty One has done great things for me— holy is his name.” (Luke 1:46-49)

I can’t imagine how Mary must have felt to know that the baby she carried and delivered was Christ the King! The Messiah they were waiting for was finally here. Jesus’ birth was the fulfillment of a promise. The promise of a Savior coming to save us.

Mary was willing and available to be used by God. She placed her fears and doubts aside and accepted God’s will for her life. For goodness sake, she gave birth in a manger! I mean that alone…wow!

I encourage you today to set your fears, anxieties and doubts aside and look to Jesus. Give all of that to Him, He can handle it. Whatever He’s calling you to do, take that first step and do it.

I hope y’all have a wonderful Wednesday!

XO

Be a Joy-Giver

Today is my daddy’s birthday! If you are new around here, my daddy passed away five years ago. He was the epitome of being joyful in all circumstances. I could write a book about my dad’s life and everything he went through, but here’s a shorter version:

My daddy was a pastor. If you know a pastor, you know that’s not an easy calling. I could go on and on about that, but today I want to tell you about the final 10 years of his life. In 2006, dad ended up in the ER with stomach pain. This ER visit forever changed his life because it was then that he not only had appendicitis, but they discovered his diabetes was out of control and his kidneys were barely functioning.

This began a long journey for dad. Dialysis for years, but eventually did receive a new kidney that allowed him to live a more normal life for a little while. He actually almost died during that surgery….so crazy. But that surgery allowed him to go visit his family in Mexico. Something he had not been able to do in years! During those 10 years, he developed vascular disease. He basically had no circulation in his legs. After multiple tries to try to help this, he had his first leg amputated. And then a year or so later, he had his other leg amputated, too. He then was diagnosed with prostate cancer a couple of years later. It was stage four and had spread throughout his body. He passed away almost a year after his diagnosis.

During the last 10 years of his life, dad was in and out of the hospital. He had good days, but he also had terrible days. My mother, a legit angel, was by his side through it all. She lived out her vows until dad’s very last breath and still continues to live them out today.

But even through all of dad’s hardships, he didn’t lose sight of Jesus. He fully trusted in God’s plan for his life even when it seemed that God had turned from him. When he had his leg amputated, he could no longer drive on his own so he depended on my mom or one of us kids to take him anywhere he needed to go. That’s when dad began to use his resources to love people and continue to spread God’s word. He would skype his sermons to churches in Mexico and he wrote devotionals and recorded videos for his Facebook friends. He also never missed your birthday! He personally called all of his church members on their birthdays.

Dad was an encourager. He loved people no matter who they were or what they had or didn’t have and he didn’t miss an opportunity to share Jesus. When he passed away, the funeral home was very gracious and gave us special pricing because they said dad was always there when they needed him. If they had a hispanic family without a pastor, they called him and he always showed up.

He woke up every morning at 4:00 AM to spend time in prayer. I still remember hearing him from my room. I’m so thankful for that example. But I’m also thankful for the time he spent in prayer. He showed me the power of prayer.

I share all of this with you today because I want to encourage you to to be a joy-giver. In our advent study it describes a joy-giver as “ one who is confident in the Lord, content, likes being around positive people, seeks to be obedient to the Lord, enjoys celebrations, and rests in the Lord’s plan for their life.”

My dad was not perfect by any means. But that’s the beauty of the Gospel, right? Even in our faults, mistakes and terrible choices, God still uses us to fulfill His purposes. He uses us just as we are to make a difference in the lives of those around us. Today, I don’t remember my dad’s faults or mistakes. I remember how God used him in the lives of all of those he came in contact with.

Stop worrying about your mess ups and failures and choose to live a life for Jesus. Choose to love God and love those around you. Be confident in the Lord. Be content. For goodness sakes, be happy with where God has you. See the positive and choose to rejoice.

Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” 1 Thess. 5:16-18

This verse tells us how to do it. We rejoice always by praying continually and giving thanks to God no matter the circumstances. True joy is about trusting God, not our emotions or circumstances.

My daddy prayed continually and he always, always found something to be thankful for. And I believe that is why he lived a life that was full of joy no matter what he went through.

So today, in memory of my dad, find a way to give joy to those around you. Choose to fully trust in Jesus.

And if you have never chosen Jesus to be your Savior, then please let me talk to you. I would love to tell you about my Jesus.

Happy Birthday, dad. Thank you for the example and the legacy that you’ve left us. Thank you for choosing to love God with all your heart, mind and soul and teaching us how to live a life of joy no matter what we are going through. I can only imagine what heaven is like and how much joy you have being in the presence of your Savior.

I hope this encourages you this morning. Rejoice, pray and give thanks always my friends.

XO

Advent Bible Study Review of Week 3: JOY

Happy Monday, friends!! One more week of school and then we are out for Christmas break!

Today I am reviewing week 3 of our Advent study. I can’t believe we are starting our final week. It’s been such a good study for me personally. I hope it has for you, too.

This week we studied about the source of joy and how we can have joy in every circumstance that life throws our way. We also learned how we can be bearers of joy through service and our lives.

Day One, Joy In Our Shepherd’s Care, began with taking about unmet expectations. I particularly loved the following quote that said,

Expectations can be an idol, and joy is not based on my circumstances but in the choice to live in God’s extravagant grace.”

Have you ever had a time when you experienced unmet expectations? How did you respond?

I know for me, I like to have a plan for everything. So when my expectations are not met, it throws me for a loop. I can let my emotions get in the way and ruin an entire day if I’m not careful.

I’m sure Mary and Joseph had so many expectations of how life would be. Never did they imagine that she would be giving birth to Jesus. Yet, Mary and Joseph both, chose to trust and walk in the Lord’s plans for their lives.

You may be in the middle of a difficult season with unmet expectations and unfilled desires. But the Bible tells us that we can have joy in midst of all of that.

Psalm 23 tells us that we have a Shepherd caring for us every step of the way.

We can choose to be a joy-giver and not a joy-taker. I really loved the descriptions on our book of these two.

I don’t know about you, but I want to be a joy-giver!

“A joy-giver is confident in the Lord, content, likes being around positive people, seeks to be obedient to the Lord, enjoys celebrations, and rests in the Lord’s plan for her life.”

“A joy-taker exhibits self-pity, focuses on comparison, is a complainer, is a negative influence, is overcommitted, and is even constantly exhausted.”

Day two, Joy May Come Through Suffering, is pretty self explanatory. Our culture today believes that if we do the right thing, we will earn a comfortable life. But if we do the wrong thing, we’ll earn a life of suffering.

“In the upside-down way of the kingdom, though, suffering isn’t merely a form of punishment reserved for the disobedient. In fact, Scripture is clear that the obedient will suffer, and that their suffering is actually a sign of their status as children of God.”

Even Jesus suffered. Being God’s son didn’t disqualify him from going through hard times. He is the High Priest who is able to “sympathize with our weaknesses” because being tempted in every way, He never sinned.

“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” (James 1:2-4)

Day three, Serve With God, we all know Matthew 20:28 that says that the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve.

We are called to serve and love others. Yesterday our pastor said it best, Christmas is about Jesus and people.

How can we serve those around us? Let’s pray every day for God to send us opportunities to show the attitude of Christ even in the inconveniences of our days.

Day four, Joy Comes in the Presence of Jesus.

You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.” (Psalm 16:11)

David found fullness of joy in the only place it can be truly found-with God.

There is no joy apart from Christ. God knew this and that is why He sent us His son so that we could experience eternal joy with Him.

“Choosing to find joy in Christ and not in what the world offers can be hard. Hurrying off to spend time in His presence when the world is full of so many appealing distractions is challenging.”

Just as Martha chose the good portion, we should do the same. Don’t get lost in the hustle and bustle. Take time to spend time in His presence every day.

Day five, Joy is Contagious, reminded us that when we are joyful we can’t help but share our joy with others.

This season and every season, let’s be joy-givers. How can we experience more joy ourselves and also give more joy to others?

And that’s this week’s review! I hope you have a wonderful day. This week we are studying about love. I can’t wait to see what’s in store for us.

XO

Rest: Throwback Thursday {1.9.14}

Y’all! I found my old blog! It goes back 10 years!! So crazy and so much fun to go back and see all the memories. Today’s Throwback is from 2014! You can see the original post here, but I’ve also copied and pasted it below. I hope y’all have a GREAT Thursday!

“When I obsess over things out of my control, it makes me act out of control. A much better place to park my mind is to look for God’s protection, provision, and lessons on perseverance in the midst of whatever I’m facing.”

-Lysa Terkeurst

This quote could not have come at a better time in my life. As 2014 began, Joseph and I were faced with some hard decisions. Decisions that I don’t want to make because they are not exactly what I had planned for MY life.

On Friday as Joseph and I talked, I found myself becoming more and more bitter. I was angry and upset and didn’t want to look at the “bright side.” I wanted to drown my sorrows and cry “woe is me.” What I really wanted to do was soaked in a hot bath, close the door and stay there. Instead, I spent most of the day angry and wanting to cry.

I knew all of the right answers. I knew what the Bible says and what God’s promises are. Trust in God, He is faithful, He will never leave you or forsake you, He is an ever-present help…. Yes I knew all that, but at that moment I did not want to hear those answers. I wanted to be mad.

As Joseph and I talked he reminded me of a Beth Moore quote that a couple of months ago I had shared with him. She said that people aren’t looking to see how we act when we have it all together. People are looking to see how we act when we don’t have it all together. I politely told him that people were going to have to look away, because at the moment I didn’t care. Ouch, thinking back on that hurts my heart.

I spent most of the weekend trying to be angry with God. Asking the “why me” questions and telling him this wasn’t fair. I wanted so hard to be mad and give him the silent treatment. But it was hard, it was as if my soul wouldn’t let me be mad at God. So I quietly told Him, “I wasn’t ready to “talk” about it yet.”

On Sunday we went to church and the Sunday school lesson was so appropriate for what we are going through. It was harder to hear because of course Joseph was teaching, but even he was comforted with the fact that God knew we would need this that day. I tried my best to not let the lesson touch my heart. I wasn’t ready to “deal” with it yet, but I couldn’t fight it. Outside I was fighting, but inside I could feel my heart changing.

As we sang “How Great Thou Art” my heart could not refuse to worship. It was in my soul, in my innermost being…that desire to worship Him because He is great. The message went right along as Dr. Bob talked on prayer and I felt my heart soften more.

As we went home, I apologized to Joseph for my attitude over the past few days. God reminded me that no matter how hard I try to push Him away, I can’t because He lives in me. His Spirit dwells in my soul and I can not bear the thought of life without Him. My mind was flooded with memories of the past. Memories of God’s provision in our lives. Memories of times when I didn’t know how I would get through, but God brought me through. Times that were painful, full of heartache, but God was ever so constant. Why should now be any different? Why, after living all those memories, should I doubt or not want to trust and believe that He has a plan?

I’ll tell you why. Because it’s not the way I planned it. You read that right. I didn’t plan this, I didn’t see this coming, I didn’t want this. But does this make me less blessed? Does this change the fact that God is faithful and worthy of my trust? Absolutely not.

I am thankful that He gave me the time I needed to be mad. To be angry and to try my best to ignore Him. Because it reminded me that life without Him makes no sense. Without Him, there is no hope.

On our way home, I told Joseph that my soul couldn’t bear being mad at God. And that no matter how much I tried, my soul ached for His comfort. This reminded me of Mary, in Luke 1:46-49

And Mary said: “My soul magnifies the Lord,

And my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior.

For He has regarded the lowly state of His maidservant;

For behold, henceforth all generations will call me blessed.

For He who is mighty has done great things for me,

And holy is His name.”

You see, Mary had hopes and dreams. Those hopes and dreams I can assure you were not what God had in store for her. Yet she put aside her own desires and chose to join God on an unforgettable journey.

Her soul magnified the Lord and her spirit rejoiced. My favorite part of the passage is when she says, “For He who is mighty has done great things for me, and Holy is His name.” Mary’s dreams were changed, but I would bet you she has no regrets. She has no regrets because she chose to take on God’s promises and trust in God, her Savior.

Maybe you are going through a time where your hopes and dreams seem to be put on hold. Or you are standing in pieces of those hopes and dreams that have shattered before your very eyes. Maybe it seems as if you will never achieve what you set out to do. Or maybe you feel that God has you on this rollercoaster and is completely changing the direction you were travelling on. Your head and your mind are spinning and your heart is aching because you just want to shout. “BUT Lord, this is not what I had planned! This is not the way I wanted my life to be! Yes I love you, yes I trust you, yes I know you are faithful, but I am just not ready for this Lord!!” And He whispers, “I will carry you. You don’t have to do a thing but trust and I will carry you.”

God has taken Joseph and I on a crazy journey over the past year. And from the looks of it, we are only beginning. These decisions I speak of are private at the moment. But they will change what we call “normal” right now. These decisions make me want to throw a huge tantrum and act a fool, but instead I am choosing to come back to the only ONE who has never failed me, who will always be there and never leave me.

Are you running? Are you so mad you can’t stand it? All I can say is stop. Stop running, stop trying to stay mad at God and just REST and place your hope in Him. Stop obsessing over what is out of your control and start relying on Him. Remind yourself of every single time He has come through for you. I promise you, you will never run out of memories of those times. Stop running and hand it over to the One who loves you more than anyone else in this world. And when you do, you will quit trying to do everything in your power to control the situation and you will be able to rest. He will bring you rest.

XO

The 80/20 Rule

**I shared this on social media yesterday, but wanted to share it on the blog today***

December is such a busy and crazy month for everyone. I feel like it’s only the 8th, but I’m already so behind with everything that needs to get done.

Then you add in the kiddos’ sports schedules, work stuff, family stuff and life can quickly become really overwhelming.

Isn’t this season supposed to be the happiest time of the year? Yet for me, it can be the most stressful season if I’m not careful.

I’m an all or nothing girl, so during busy seasons like these, I often quit what I can’t do 100%. But this year I’ve learned (thanks my coach, Blaire) that being consistent most of the time still yields great results.

Don’t give up just because you can’t hit the gym or workout every single day. Sometimes taking a day to catch up on laundry does more good to your mental health than getting your workout done.

Don’t pass up the company Christmas party or birthday dinner because you don’t want to eat cake. Eat👏🏼the👏🏼dang👏🏼cake. Don’t be so hard on yourself. Find a balance. Follow the 80/20 rule.

I have seasons when I can be 100% most of the time. But during these busy seasons, follow this rule. I force myself to be ok with doing a little less while still being consistent.

Fitness and being healthy doesn’t come easy for everyone and I know that when life happens, that’s often the first to go.

Especially as women, we put ourselves on the back burner while we do for everyone else.

So today, I want to encourage you to not quit just because you can’t do something at 100% right now. Every season in our lives is so different. I remember when I had three littles, I didn’t work out. But after I had Mary, I decided to make some changes in my nutrition. And at the time, that’s all I could do.

After Mackenzie was born, I decided to train for a half marathon. I had to wake up before everyone woke up to get my runs in. And that was ok with me. Honestly that time was so needed to prepare me for the day.

I had seasons where I could do a lot and others when all I could give was three days a week. And I wish that I wouldn’t have been so hard on myself.

That’s why I want to encourage you today to do your best with the time you have in each season of your life. Three workouts a week is still better than none. Five days of being on point with your nutrition plan is still better than eating whatever you want all week. 80% is still better than 0% and I guarantee you will still see results. Or you may just maintain this month and hey, that’s ok too!

Set realistic goals this season to help keep you on track. And don’t be so hard on yourself for missing a workout or having a glass of wine at Christmas dinner.

I love this quote that Blaire shared with me a while back,

“Life happens. Rarely are circumstances going to be ideal. Moving away from the all-or-nothing mentality and letting yourself be consistently good enough will get you further than an all-or-nothing mentality which frequently leaves you with nothing.”

Doing what you can do is still better than doing nothing. So don’t quit. And don’t put off starting just because you can’t give 100%. Do the best you can with the time you have. You’ll be happy you did six months from now!

Happy Tuesday, friends!!

XO

God Cares About The Small Stuff

Morning, girls.

I’m sorry I didn’t write a post yesterday. To be honest, I’ve been in a really weird headspace. I’m not sure if it’s hormones or what, but my emotions have been all over the place. I go from feeling like I want to cuss someone out to wanting to cry. Ugh. Being a woman sucks sometimes, doesn’t it?

I’m currently trying to work through my feelings and emotions and not offend or yell at anyone in the process, ha! So y’all pray for me! Better yet, pray for those around me , haha….

Ironically, this week’s Advent study is on peace and today as I did my quiet time I read all about God’s peace in our lives. But something I read really stuck with me and encouraged me today.

There is nothing too big or small to place at the Lord’s feet when we approach the throne of grace in prayer. He can handle our burdens, our frustrations, and our hardships. He can handle the messiness.

Lord have mercy I am messy today. Just call me hot mess express over here because that is how I feel today. And as I’ve sat and festered all morning on small and insignificant things, I’ve failed to do the most important thing: PRAY.

I’ve been irritated and angry and to be honest I have no idea why other than because I’m a girl. I’ve allowed my emotions to get the best of me and I’ve wasted almost a whole day being up in my feelings because I haven’t stopped and given it to God.

We forget at times that God cares about every single detail of our lives. Every little thing. There is nothing too small to take to the throne of grace in prayer. He cares about all of your feelings, all of your emotions. He cares when you feel left out or rejected. He cares when you are having a bad hair day. Why? Because that bad hair day is probably making you feel insecure about yourself and the enemy is using it to stir up emotions and feelings in your heart and mind.

The simplest things we don’t want to bother Him with are oftentimes the very things that can start a downward spiral in our lives. Philippians 4:6-7 says,

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

It doesn’t say do not be anxious about the big stuff. It says “do not be anxious about ANYTHING“. It doesn’t say to take some things to God in prayer, it says “but in EVERYTHING by prayer“.

Anything and everything, my friend. God wants you to take it all to Him.

There’s nothing too small or too messy for Him. He can handle it all.

What’s bothering you today? What have you convinced yourself is too small to take to God? I want you to stop what you are doing and give it to God right now. Spill it, girlfriend. Give it all to Him. All of your messiness, all of your fears, all of it. Quit dwelling on it and just pray about it.

Take your worries to the Lord in prayer and ask Him to help you trust Him completely with whatever is weighing you down today.

I love y’all

XO