Emotional Health, Faith, Fitness, Mental Health

Goodbye 2018

I believe that we should always be evaluating and pushing ourselves to grow, not just during the beginning of a year. However, that is where we find ourselves today – so there is no better time!

I am starting off 2019 with a new job! I am so excited to learn, grow, and get into a new routine, while making sure not to neglect parts of my old routine. Aside from my job, I am also blessed to have a husband, an amazing family, great friends, a car that runs, a home, two silly dogs, coach kickboxing, and lead worship at church (and who knows what will get added to that list in 2019!)

Some of my goals for 2019 include: getting better at guitar, spending more time in God’s word (I hope to read the entire Bible from start to finish), pushing myself to become a better wife, and creating more time in my schedule for physical activities. But, none of these will happen if I don’t plan for them to happen!

Set goals, create reminders in your phone, on your calendar, on your bathroom mirror, journal – do whatever you need to do to take accountability and get tangible results. Consistency is key! Creating more time in my schedule for physical activities looks like me setting my alarm and sticking to the plan. Even if that means waking up earlier, or clicking pause on a really good Netflix series; I will need to follow through! That is an easier goal to measure. What about being a better wife? Well, that depends. I plan to journal more to reflect on situations, my reactions, to think of my self less, and brainstorm creative ideas to make my hubby feel loved! Some days that may look like doing the dishes, or mowing the lawn, and some days it may look like picking up peanut butter M&M’s for him on my way home. Either way, I want to push myself to serve like Jesus!

Change is a necessary and beautiful thing. For some reason, we humans find the New Year easiest to set goals and make changes. Perhaps the change of the year causes us to finally slow down and reflect on the past 365 days and envision what we would like for the next 365 days.

I challenge all of you to set a few goals for 2019 and beyond. Where do you want to be? How will you get there? Be sure not to compare your year or your life to others. Set your own goals. Write them down. Speak them over your life. Start today and continue tomorrow, and the next day, and the next. Don’t let failures or set backs stop you. Embrace the seasons as they come and go. Remind yourself that they will come and go. Work for what you want and be open to the plan God has for your life – even when it doesn’t make sense. How different would our lives look if we treated every new morning as if it were truly a fresh start?

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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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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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