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

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

Happy Thanksgiving!

I know this year has brought a lot of uncertainty and hard times, but I pray that even in the hard times you will rejoice. I pray that you will go before God boldly and present your needs to Him. Give thanks in everything and remember that He is faithful.

Hebrews 10:23 says, “Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful.”

Place your hope in Christ. Not in the things this world offers because they don’t last. Trust Him. Take Him at His Word. And live out your faith confidently and courageously.

Happy Thanksgiving, friends! There is always something to be thankful for.

XO

Printable Homelife Family Time Calendar

I’m always looking for quick and easy ways to pour scripture into my children’s hearts. And as I scrolled through Instagram I found this calendar by Homelife Magazine.

It has a verse each day to read along with a question or two that you can use to discuss.

You can download the calendar here. They’ve also included some scripture art that you can print out and put in a frame to hang around the house.

I think it’s so important to read the Bible with our kids and talk about what the verses mean. I don’t do enough of this, but I’m trying to be better each day.

How do you incorporate scripture at home?

TRAIN UP A CHILD IN THE WAY HE WILL GO AND WHEN HE IS OLD HE WILL NOT DEPART FROM IT Prov 22:6

XO

Lord Jesus, Calm My Anxious Heart

16 years ago, I went through one of the darkest and scariest seasons of my life.

On my way to see Joseph one night, I experienced what would be the first of many panic attacks.

I honestly didn’t realize it was a panic attack, I thought I was maybe getting sick and didn’t think too much of it.

But then it happened again a couple of days later. I started feeling nauseous and like I was going to throw up. My hands were sweating, my heart was racing and I felt like someone was sitting on my chest. I was in my car again when it happened and pulled into a gas station to grab some water and see if I felt better.

This became my normal every time I’d get in my car and I quickly developed extreme anxiety whenever I drove anywhere. After several weeks of this, I felt like I was going crazy. My stomach was always a wreck, I was on edge. By now, Joseph and I were married and what was supposed to be marriage bliss was a total nightmare.

The anxiety and panic attacks caused me to fall into a deep depression that I didn’t realize I was in.

I fought this life for years. Years. And for a long time I lived my life trying to put up a front and tried my best to keep the fact that I was falling apart hidden from everyone. I was embarrassed and felt like a total weirdo. I know that’s a strange word to describe the way I felt, but I completely felt like a weirdo. Like something was wrong with me and I was defective.

It took years for me to heal and finally feel somewhat normal. I still remember all of the late nights I would wake up crippled with anxiety wishing that God would just take me because I literally felt like I was going crazy.

As hard as this journey was, God never left me. And He brought me through it stronger than I ever was. He placed people in my life to carry me through my hardest days and His Word was my comfort during those late nights I felt I couldn’t keep living.

I wish I could tell you that I never experience anxiety anymore. I wish I could tell you that one day, the anxiety miraculously disappeared. But that’s not my story.

I still struggle every now and then. Not the way I did back then, but I have my moments when I feel anxious.

Last night was one of those moments. I’m not sure why, but I kept waking up through the night feeling so anxious. But the difference now is that instead of wishing God would take me, I cling to Him for strength. And I did that last night.

1 Peter 5:7 says, Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.

And that’s what I did. I kept repeating this verse saying, “God, you tell me to cast my anxiety on you and that’s what I’m doing right now. I’m casting my anxiety on you.”

The anxiety didn’t go away completely, but I was comforted that no matter what God was taking care of me.

When I woke up this morning, I felt like God wanted me to share this with you all today. I don’t know if you find yourself crippled with anxiety or depressed, but I want to take this opportunity to tell you that you are not alone.

Stop trying to do this on your own and give it to God. Cling to Him. Take Him at His word and declare it on your life.

I know it may feel like it’ll never get better, but it will. The biggest thing I learned was to take my life day by day.

Matthew 6:25-34 tells us not to worry about tomorrow. For tomorrow will bring its own troubles. It tells us there’s no reason to worry about the small things because God takes care of us. Just as He feeds the birds of the sky and the flowers in the field grow, we will be taken care of. Because are we not more valuable than the birds and the flowers? And worrying won’t add a single hour to our life. So stop worrying and give it to God.

Consume yourself with God. Write out verses on notecards and put them in places that you will see them. Surround yourself with Christian friends and prayer warriors that you can reach out to. When we are going through something like this we are so crippled that even praying isn’t possible. There were so many times when I was so anxious, I couldn’t think straight. But I had people in my life that I could text or call at 3:00 AM and they would pray for me.

Stop fighting in secret and tell someone about it. You are not weird. Stop thinking that there’s something wrong with you. You are a child of God. You are weak, but He is strong, you are weary, but He will hold you up. You are not enough, but He is!

Don’t let the enemy win. Don’t let him convince you that sharing your struggles will make you look weak. Find someone to share them with that will commit to praying for you and with you.

Choose to fight. God is on your side.

Take your Bible right now and read Romans 8. Read it, believe it. You are more than a conqueror.

I hope this helps someone today. I always say that I hate that I still struggle on random days with anxiety. But sometimes I think it’s for a reason. Because experiencing it allows me to help others going through the same.

I pray that if you are struggling that you will choose today to trust God and cling to Him. Believe in His promises and declare them over your life. He loves you. He cares for you.

I love y’all.

XO

Don’t Get Lost In The Scroll, Babe!

Morning friends!

I was scheduled to link up with Shay and Erika for their Let’s Look Link Up. They are talking all about their Holiday Menus this month. Feel free to go check it out!

Instead of linking up I wanted to take a minute to just be real with you guys about something on my heart. Because this is where I struggle with blogging.

I understand that many of the bloggers have made a very good living doing what they do. And I admire that. I really do. This is no way is a bash to them. It’s just something that God is all over me with and I wanted to share it with you today.

I fear that we as a society are allowing ourselves to fall deeper in the comparison trap than ever before.

We scroll through social media and see all of these perfectly, staged, edited and beautiful pictures. The perfect family in matching Christmas pajamas, sitting in front of their beautifully decorated foyer with their King of Christmas Tree in the background and all of the expensive holiday decor displayed for all to see. And then the caption reads, “Oh you know, just having a fun family night decking the halls!”

Let me tell you what decking the halls looks like at my house. We decorate my tree from Walmart with ornaments I’ve collected through the years. They’ve come from Target, Walmart, Dollar General and gift exchanges. We normally watch Elf and back non homemade cookies.

You better believe my kids will make some kind of competition out of decorating the tree because they are my children. The winner will be happy and the loser will cry and whine and threaten to go upstairs. And then Joseph and I will probably lose our patience, yell things like “you need to learn how to lose” and “you can’t always win” and “don’t be a sore loser.” My OCD will force me to tell them to stop and let me just finished the rest of the tree and then we will sit and watch the rest of Elf, take a pic for the gram and then go to bed.

But when I go to post the picture, I’ll probably say something like, “Decked the halls with my amazing crew tonight. We had the best night doing all the Christmas things.”

And I stop and wonder….why? Why not just be real and say how it really went down?

And I truly believe it’s because society doesn’t want real. Real makes us uncomfortable. Real is looking someone in the face and saying, “today sucked” or “my kids are driving me bananas.” Real is showing all of our imperfections and messy lives. Real is hard.

But y’all. I need real. And in my heart, I know you do too.

We already struggle with trying to find our purpose. We try to figure out what big thing God has for our life. In our soul, we just want to leave our mark, leave a legacy for our family and make the most of the time God has given us.

But we got lost in the scroll of all the pretty pictures and assume that everyone else is killing it and here we are changing our 5th diaper, reheating our coffee and still sitting in our pajamas at 3:00 in the afternoon.

The world tells us that we can do anything we set our minds to do, that we control our own destiny, we are our own boss and we can get things done. But at the moment, we feel like we can barely make it through the day.

Jamie Ivey writes about this in her new book, You Be You. She says that the danger in these sayings is,

“that they can’t hold up under pressures of the world. Because, no, you’re not enough, girl. You ain’t got this. You can’t hustle enough, can’t get enough things done. You can’t do everything you set your mind on, no matter how badly you want to do it. You don’t control your own destiny, because the One who made you has the days of your life already numbered, planned, and written for you. And sometimes, life can be so hard that there aren’t enough bootstraps in the world to pull yourself up with.

We are only enough because Jesus is enough. The only good things coming from you and me are coming from the Father”

The world wants us to believe that we can do it all. It wants us to focus on all the pretty Instagram posts and kill ourselves financially, physically and psychologically trying to keep up.

It wants us to compare our real lives to the highlight reels of others.

And I am here today to remind you that not everything you see and read on the internet is true.

We need more real. We need more posts about how we are struggling with our kids or posts sharing our testimonies with others in hope that it will point people to Christ.

We need to learn to admire the pretty picture without wishing we had what is in the picture.

“I think we have been asking ourselves the wrong questions about our lives. Instead of asking, “Did I do enough today?” what if we asked ourselves, “Did I become more like Jesus today? Instead of asking, “Was I successful?” What if we asked, “Was I faithful?” Less about us and more about Him. Less about our accomplishments and more about our hearts. Less about my glory and more of His glory. Less about comparing our life to their lives, and more about comparing our faithfulness to His calling on our lives.”

Less me. More Him.

Psalm 26:2 says, “Test me, LORD, and try me, examine my heart and my mind;”

Where’s your heart today? Where’s your mind? Are you too busy focusing on the highlight reels of others instead of going to work with what’s right in front of you?

Don’t get lost in the scroll, girlfriend! Bring your focus back to Christ.

I hope this encouraged and challenged you today.

XO