Faith

As we shift into the holiday season, I am reminded that we all go through seasons in life. Some seasons are rich in love, some are dry and lonely. Some are fast paced and difficult, while some seasons seem like a breeze.

There are those seasons when your pride is fed or when you’re humbled greatly. Seasons where you’re forced to give it all to God, because you can’t handle it on your own. You were never meant to.

My prayer is that no matter the season you are going through right now and the seasons to come, you would always choose to trust in Jesus. Choose to have an attitude of thankfulness and gratefulness no matter the circumstances. Thanking Him for EVERY season, because it is making you who He wants you to be.

Being content

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Faith, Organization

I have one small box for Christmas decorations. I do not want to feel overwhelmed by the thought of decorating or taking down the decorations after the holiday. I choose to minimally decorate for Christmas because that gives me more time to focus on Christ. (This will most likely change if kids are in our future, but for now this is me.)

If my home was full of nutcrackers and Santas they would drown out the simplicity of our Jesus and His upside down Kingdom. The reminder to serve others, to put them first. For me, less decoration and less clutter mean more time with my savior.

Maybe this isn’t true for you. And I’m glad it isn’t true for everyone, because I love driving by homes with lights and giant snowmen and reindeer in their lawn. I just don’t love that for my home. All the moving parts would stress me out more than they would bring me joy.

So, with minimal decorations or with tinsel in every corner, may we all take the time this season to really think about the baby that was born. That baby who was and is our God. Our God who knew we needed rescued. Our God who chose to come to earth, a humble servant, to walk alongside us messy humans. Who chose to live the perfect life that we could not live, and die the death that we deserved, only to be joined with us again. How beautiful.

A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic — on the level with the man who says he is a poached egg — or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God, or else a madman or something worse. You can shut him up for a fool, you can spit at him and kill him as a demon or you can fall at his feet and call him Lord and God, but let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about his being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to.
― C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity

minimal christmas decor for me

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Emotional Health, Faith, Mental Health

Chronic case of the “yes”

I love staying busy. I have a very active lifestyle and I can’t seem to sit still for too long unless I get caught up in a good book! I also love to please people. I find myself saying “yes” to any and every opportunity. My hand quickly raises at the opportunity to volunteer or help where needed. Even at times when “yes” isn’t my initial thought, I say it anyways, as to not upset the person asking.

In the rare event that I don’t say “yes” I often have trouble deciding the why behind my own “no”. Am I saying “no” because I am already stretched too thin, or am I saying “no” because I am being selfish and lazy? At times, I am also afraid that if I say “no” to something or someone, I am not being obedient to God and His calling on my life. I understand that boundaries are healthy, but I also understand that the human heart is naturally selfish.

Saying “no” at times is healthy and necessary; May I be reminded that saying “yes” to something always means saying “no” to something else. Honestly, this post is a reminder more for myself than for anyone. A reminder to take the time for myself. If I go throughout the day saying yes to everything, scrambling around, but did not take the time to sit and be still in the presence of Jesus, then what is the point? Without that time with The Lord, how much are my words and actions truly reflecting His love? Yes, God wants us to be obedient, and yes that often means going out of our comfort zone and leaving our schedules up to Him. But the best part about all of it is He does not ask us to do it alone. We are not required to do everything (or anything for that matter) in our own strength! He wants to give us His strength. God wants to walk alongside me and you at all times – the good times, the bad times, the busy times, the quiet times, the silly times, the crazy times – and share those experiences with us. No matter what we choose to say “yes” to, may we daily choose to say “yes” to Jesus.

If you’re anything like me, you put entirely too much pressure on yourself. May this be a reminder for all of us (especially me) that the pressure is off! You are beloved because of who Jesus is, not because of the works you do or don’t do! Let us rest in that Truth today.

(Disclosure: I didn’t check the yes box on the image below to please Tyler. I was dying to check yes since the moment I met him)

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Faith

In the book of John, chapter 8, we are told about a group of men who find a woman committing adultery. They want to stone/kill her immediately. You can read the short passage at the bottom of this page if you are not familiar with the story.

There is a lot we could discuss in just these few verses – like where were these men in the first place that they found this woman? Or, did they bring the woman to Jesus just to test him on the law/Moses? Who did they think they were? But instead – let’s look at the response of Jesus.

Jesus tells the men: whoever has not sinned, please throw the first stone.

After hearing this, one by one, the crowd began to leave. It says beginning with the older ones, the wiser ones. I imagine them loosening their grip, dropping their stones, feeling convicted. Hopefully they walked away and decided to look at themselves before judging others in the future. Hopefully they put themselves in her place, and felt the love of God.

Jesus tells whoever has not sinned to throw the first stone. He could have thrown a stone. He could have thrown a million stones. at her. at me. at you.

But He chose not to. In that moment and on the cross. He took your place. He took my place. He took her place.

How beautiful – just as the men with stones in their hands walked away one by one, Jesus erases our sins one by one: past, present, and future. He took it all for me and you on the cross.

May we “go and sin no more”. Not because of who we are, but because of who He is. Not in our strength, but His. Not our will, but Yours be done, Lord. We are so, so grateful that Your mercies are new every morning. Every second. And they will not ever end.

 

John 8 The Message (MSG)

To Throw the Stone

1-2 Jesus went across to Mount Olives, but he was soon back in the Temple again. Swarms of people came to him. He sat down and taught them.

3-6 The religion scholars and Pharisees led in a woman who had been caught in an act of adultery. They stood her in plain sight of everyone and said, “Teacher, this woman was caught red-handed in the act of adultery. Moses, in the Law, gives orders to stone such persons. What do you say?” They were trying to trap him into saying something incriminating so they could bring charges against him.

6-8 Jesus bent down and wrote with his finger in the dirt. They kept at him, badgering him. He straightened up and said, “The sinless one among you, go first: Throw the stone.” Bending down again, he wrote some more in the dirt.

9-10 Hearing that, they walked away, one after another, beginning with the oldest. The woman was left alone. Jesus stood up and spoke to her. “Woman, where are they? Does no one condemn you?”

11 “No one, Master.”

“Neither do I,” said Jesus. “Go on your way. From now on, don’t sin.”

one by one

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poetry

I enjoy the flowers, until they cause me to sneeze

I enjoy the food, until my stomach aches

I enjoy the relationship, until it’s too complicated

I enjoy the creatures, until they drink my blood

I enjoy the memories, often more than the actual event

I enjoy the wind, but only when I’m warm

I enjoy the ride, until I’m tired of waiting

I enjoy the sunshine, until my skin turns cherry

I enjoy the music, until that song comes on

I enjoy my space, until you’re gone too long

I enjoy the rain, until it floods my city

I enjoy it all, until I don’t.

Convenience

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Faith, Fitness, Mental Health

We Run.

A poem I wrote in 2014. Here is just a glimpse into my brain and why I love to run….


I run

My intimate time

The rhythm of my feet on the pavement begins as a metronome

My heart beat catches up

I am free

Nothing can touch me

Time goes on

The endorphins awake and give me a high that addicts throw their lives away for

As my feet alternate from ground to air, my worries spill out before the feet of Jesus

I tell Him about my day, my goals, my fears

Sweat drips down my nose

I take a different road than normal because I’m tired of my usual route

The Lord reminds me that no matter which way I go, He is there

And when I go astray, He is still there

I cannot go the wrong way as long as He is first in my life

He carries me when I feel tired

and shows me His beautiful creations every time

I understand deeper

I tell Him more about my dreams

He listens

We run.

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Organization

tiny tidy tips

My house is on the smaller side as far as houses go. As you’ll see in the pictures below, my couch and love seat take up more than half of the living room. When space is limited, it’s all the more important to keep things neat and tidy – clutter can happen in the blink of an eye! In order to have, keep, and maintain a tidy house, you need to change behaviors.

  • Have a place for everything – If everything within your home has a home, then tidying and cleaning up become way less stressful!

 

  • Be in a constant state of tidying – Take a moment every day to put things away such as clothes, shoes, mail, etc. If you “have a place for everything” then this shouldn’t be rocket science. I understand that this is easier to accomplish if you do not live with small humans – and even easier to accomplish if you live alone. Small efforts every day keep you from spending your entire week cleaning up before you have guests.

 

  • Don’t keep things on the floor – I have two items in my home that belong on the floor other than furniture, rugs, and standing lamps. Those things are both baskets/bins. One for shoes by the front door and one that holds the dog bones and toys. Keeping your floor clear is a major key to keeping your home tidy. It also helps when it is time to sweep/vacuum.

 

  • Storage – storage must be respected. Do not allow any storage in your house to be so completely full of items that you are not even sure what is inside. Storage is your friend when it comes to keeping a tidy house, so be sure to treat it as one. Pictured below: we keep blankets in the chest that also serves as a coffee table. We keep puzzles, games, and electronics in the hanging shelves. Also pictured: peep the bin near the front door that is literally labeled “storage”. This is used by my husband for keys, wallets, pocket knives, etc.

 

  • Routinely downsize and donate – Know when it is time to let things go. Walk around your home and really take a look at what you have stored in your home. Does that item still serve a purpose? Do you use it? Does it bring you joy? If not, donate it so someone else can enjoy it. Is it something you just can’t bring yourself to get rid of? Re-purpose it! Pictured below, I have a giraffe figurine from my mission trip to Kenya and my wooden elephant that my best friend sent me from Thailand living their best lives as bookends on my mantle. Learn to let go and enjoy items as they serve their purpose. Things will come and go in this lifetime, and some things need to go sooner rather than later. Isn’t this true in many aspects of our lives?

 

  • Keep decorations minimal – or they will become clutter. I am a firm believer that less is actually more. Pick a few key pieces and decorate. Don’t go overboard. May I remind you that empty space is a decorative statement as well.

 

Leading a tidy lifestyle will not happen overnight. It comes when you respect your home and your belongings. Respecting inanimate objects may seem silly, but it will carry into other aspects of your life as well, and will even make the atmosphere of your home and heart lighter.

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