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Thursday, March 19, 2015

Thursday Thoughts

Thursday is the 2nd best day of the work week. The end is near. (That sounded very The Walking Dead-sih) I mean the end of the week is in sight, weekend is right around the corner, better days are a'comin'! No better time than a Thursday to link up with Meagan.
 
Beautiful Things

- speaking of The Walking Dead... I am reeeeeally digging this Alexandria story line. I can't believe only two more episodes until the finale already!
Also, any of my real housewives girls dying over the RHONY premier coming up with Bethenny being back?
never gets old!
- spring sunrises (pretend it's not blurry) God is THE best artist!

- I joined a new gym and have been steadily trying to get working out back into my regular schedule. so far so good. summer body here I come!

- baseball season is coming

- my love affair with avocados has officially gone to the next level

- my friend Amy's honest post about Love without Sex. If she didn't live all the way across the country I would be sitting on her couch tonight talking (probably crying) about this one face to face.

- cute dog accounts on instagram & twitter are my newest guilty pleasure

- made for more messages

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Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Lent Update

Here we are, almost a month into the season of Lent - so about halfway through. I just wanted to share an update of what has transpired since I wrote my "Enter the Season of Lent" post on February 19th. I said in that post that Lent has taken on a new meaning for me this year. I'm learning more about what the history of what it means to me as a follower of Christ, and the miracle that we celebrate during this time. There is incredible power in this season!
 
These were my exact words about what I wanted to give up this Lent  (from the previous Lent post): "So this year for Lent, I want to give up serving myself and all the fears and doubts that go along with that. Lent is ALL ABOUT recognizing our sins and turning away from them, in order to kneel down at the cross. It's about intentional prayer, intentional steps to avoid distractions and just revel in the beauty that is our walk with God. That means diving into my "messy" and revealing the parts of me that cry out to be healed. It's much harder than giving up Diet Coke or social media, but I know it's something that I must do. I want to slow my pace, obey the Lord and I will wait expectantly for him to rekindle that fire in the my soul."
 
We can all agree that it's pretty awesome how God works, right? Literally leaves me in awe. Maybe you don't know God and so you cannot right now recognize all the ways that He is working around you, in you, through you, but friends TRUST me when I say that it's a mind blowing concept! I say that because I begged God to turn me inside out and reveal to me the areas where my sin was overwhelming my good intentions. And I have found that when I beg the Lord for things that He can use to draw my heart closer to His, He surely does it.
 
Being a Christian does not exclude you from sad times or bad days. When I wrote that first post a month ago, my heart felt heavy heavy heavy. Initially giving up serving myself sounded hard. The actual act of readjusting my thoughts and actions to try and do so has been even harder! It's embarrassing how easy and natural it is for me to act selfishly. But I have become much more aware of these actions and have definitely been wrestling the convictions that come along with that - which is progress. Turning away from serving yourself and into serving the Lord with all your heart is really a process. It doesn't happen over night and it requires massive amounts of patience. Remember, Lent is a messy season because we are messy people. It's about dealing with our messes.

Over the past month, none of my life circumstances have changed. I'm still single, my job still feels stressful, I'm still paying the same old bills with the same amount of paycheck, my family is still certifiably insane, same old things - but I am being shown that God will always be bigger than any of my life circumstances. Always.

The struggle with true repentance can be difficult. Truths revealed to you about yourself can be heartbreaking to accept. Shameful, even. But that feeling of shame is not what God wants for us. He offers us grace. A powerful, overwhelming, all encompassing, freedom from sin and shame. He knew all along that we would struggle - because we are human. Yet when we do he does not aim to condemn us, but picks us right back up and reassures us that nothing can separate us from his love.

My point here is not to lead you to She Reads Truth or to preach to you. My point is I literally cannot help but sing the Lord's praises after all that he has done for me and all the ways that he continues to change my heart. I read my old posts on here from a 3 years ago when my life was in a totally different place, my heart was far from God, and I can see the HUGE ways he has changed my life. I'm living proof of the redeeming power of the gospel. And if my life can be changed, then I promise yours can too. None of us are ever too far gone for grace. You don't have to clean yourself up for God. You don't have to do anything but have faith.

Here are some truths that I feel the Holy Spirit has been speaking to me this Lent season. We have been singing this song at church lately called "Unstoppable Love" by Jesus Culture and it is EVERYTHING. Listen to the words. Makes me tear up every time.


From Day 22 of the SRT Lent Study:
"The consequences of my sin are devastating, but more devastating still is my lack of repentance. Lack of repentance breeds shame, and shame whispers lies in my ear. Shame tells me I can’t be forgiven. Shame tells me I’m not worth forgiving. But the Cross tells a different story—the true story."

These verses have comforted me a lot in the past week, and they come from the She Reads Truth Lent Study (Day 23):
 
 Psalm 32:8-11 NLT
The Lord says, “I will guide you along the best pathway for your life.
I will advise you and watch over you.
Do not be like a senseless horse or mule
that needs a bit and bridle to keep it under control.”
10 Many sorrows come to the wicked,
but unfailing love surrounds those who trust the Lord.
11 So rejoice in the Lord and be glad, all you who obey him!
Shout for joy, all you whose hearts are pure!
 
The more I begin to fully come to recognize God for who he truly is, and not just who I have thought him to be, the more I fall in love with him. The more I feel the depth of his love for me, the harder it becomes for me to keep my mouth shut about him.

Anybody else experiencing God's love this Lent season?? TELL ME ABOUT IT!!
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Thursday, February 26, 2015

Thursday Thoughts

I'm a sucker for a good link up. When I was first establishing my blog and getting into a flow, link ups helped me form structure and meet so many new bloggers. I can never resist them. Bloggy besties are made through linkys! I think Thursday Thoughts are supposed to be one liners so I'll have to work on that... y'all know I'm long winded...

Let's hang out with Meagan today for Thursday Thoughts.
Beautiful Things
 
 

I loved the Parks and Rec finale on Tuesday night! Pawnee forever!
 
I believe I'm turning soft in my old age. The Parks and Rec finale really brought this fact to my attention. I have never been a fan of overly happy endings in books or movies. It just never seemed like real life to me. I loved an open ended finale or even a plot twist that knocked my socks off (I'm looking at you, Gone Girl). But my sappy little self was just crying along with all the happy endings in Parks and Rec. It's official I'm losing my edge...

I struggle with body image. I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that WE ALL do. I loved this read this week - My Boyfriend Loves Fat Women. 
 
Sunday I'm flying out to Florida for a work trip. Even though I see rain in the forecast, I'm confident the sun will show her pretty face. I need some Vitamin D in my life.
From my November 2014 work trip to Sandestin
I lost my one of my favorite Alex & Ani bracelets a couple weeks ago at Winter Jam. I keep hoping it will find it's way back to me. Sad face.
 
Wanna know what else I struggle with? Being judgey. Oh you mean it DOES count if I say "I'm not trying to be mean" before the nasty comment? Oops. I'm a recovering mean girl and I still find that my sharp tongue can rule the day if I'm not careful. This is an awesome read about perspective.

I got 5 inches of snow at my house after midnight last night. Woke up for the 4th time in two weeks to this beautiful sight. I really love the snow. (spoken like a true southerner, I know)

Happy Friday Eve!!
 
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Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Yeah, Maybe

All my fellow book lovers out there, this post is for YOU! I know we are always asking each other what we are reading and trying to find new books. Just so happens that I have the next big thing for you.
 
My incredibly sweet, talented and beautiful friend, Joey is a writer. And she's fantastic. If you don't follow her blog then stop what you are doing and go follow her right now! I'm a huge fan of her style. This girl definitely keeps it real (which you know I love), she's a runner, she's so funny and she always has the best nail inspiration!
 
I'm kind of an awful friend too because I haven't read her book yet... you know, life and stuff.
 
THIS WEEK though her book (the ebook edition) is on sale on Amazon for $1.99!! Since this is her first book, let's give her lots of love and support! If you are a reader, PLEASE check out Yeah, Maybe and then give her your feedback. She wrote a great post on Monday telling the story of how the dream of her book even became a reality.
 
 
Here's what she had to say about the promotion on her blog:
 
"I share this story with you today because THIS WEEK my book, Yeah, maybe is on sale for $1.99!  It would mean the world to me if you gave it a chance.  You might love it.  You might hate it.  And maybe you'll feel something in between.  But ultimately, I just want you to give it a chance.  Share it with your friends, discuss your opinions.  Rate it on Amazon and Goodreads.  Tell me what you liked, what you didn't.  I want to grow, and the only way to do that is to face my fears.  And in order to do that, I need your help."
 
I figure most of us bloggers are pretty good at giving our opinions on things. That's part of why we do this, right? Let's channel that into something productive and help her out. The blogging community can be an amazing support system! When women empower other women, the world is changed - one story at a time. Yeah, Maybe is also part of the Kindle Lending Library so if you love it, please share it with someone else who might fall in love with her work!
 
Thank you, thank you, thank you in advance to everyone who takes the time to do this!! Means a lot to me and I know it will mean the world to Joey!

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