Tuesday, February 24, 2015

God is our anchor

right now the snow is falling and I'm dreaming. dreaming of warmer weather. the beach. and a boat. a boat with an anchor held so tight that it barely rocks with the small crashing waves.

right now Ava is napping. sleeping peacefully with that little hiney in the air.

right now I'm thankful for this little break. today has been a great day though. but as of late, Ava has been more independent than ever before. little miss is trying so hard to grow up on me! she no longer wants most foods to be cut. she wants to sit on a booster seat. at the table. she wants to do things that I used to do for her. it can be very frustrating trying to figure out what she wants especially when she can't vocalize it. so when I feel like I have no idea what to do or that I am in it alone I remember who's with me. the Holy Spirit. he's with me always. he's my anchor.

"we have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure." {Hebrews 6:19, NIV}

he's what keeps me grounded. while daddy's at work the two of us have to work together. sometimes that requires me to call on Jesus. to help me understand my sweet baby girl who is flopped onto the hardwood floor. crying. hah!

your struggle may not be an independent toddler. right now your struggle might be finding the right job. right now your struggle might be refraining from the temptation of your most desired sin. right now your struggle might be choosing to smile in the midst of your darkest storm. those small crashing waves in my dream represent our struggles in life. some of the waves do look small. and some of the waves are much larger. some of them seem miniscule. pointless. either way, God is keeping us afloat. his anchor holds.

so remember where your help comes from. remember his anchor. strong. secure. firm. he will never leave us. and it doesn't matter how big the waves are. how much your boat will rock. his anchor holds. he's holding on so tight to you. call on him. ask him to give you hope for your days to come. our hope lies in knowing that we have been saved from our sin. our hope lies in knowing we can walk our life together with God by our side.


{you can print the picture for free here.}

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

God's gracious love

our God loves us more than we may ever know. more than we could ever imagine. his love endures forever. how reassuring & refreshing is that?!

he is love.
he is the creator of love.
he shows us love.

so how does God show his love in our lives today?

--- his love is shown through the forgiveness he granted us on the cross when he died for our sins.

--- his love is shown through the trees. the flowers. the sunset. the coming & going of the waves.

--- his love is shown through his provision. through healing of the body.

--- his love is shown through the miracle of a newborn baby.

how do YOU see God's love in your life?

there are different kinds of love. a mother's love for her child. a husband's love for his wife. a child's love for a toy. but HIS love is different still. His love is everlasting. it never ends. did you catch that?! it NEVER ENDS. that means no matter what we do. no matter how many mistakes we make. God still loves us the same. yesterday. and today.

~ "For God so loved the world that he gave his one & only son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life." {John 3:16, NIV}

~ "Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers a multitude of sins." {1 Peter 4:8, NIV}

~ "But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: while we were still sinners Christ died for us." {Romans 5:8, NIV}

listen to this: God's love for YOU is so wide. deep. vast. that he let his son Jesus die. so that we could live. His love for YOU is so great. never ending.

God's love was there for you in your greatest sin. in your darkest time. His love still remained....remember that.

in whatever you're facing today. right now. in this moment. know that God's love is with you. he's right beside you. his love will lift you up. he's stronger than you. you don't have to walk through the valley alone. when all is stripped away. this one thing remains. love.

find God's love today. in his creation. in your workplace. in his still small voice. in your time of prayer. he has a never ending amount of love to lavish on every one of us.


Wednesday, February 4, 2015

our little valentine

we're just about one week away y'all! that's right. valentine's day. you either love it or hate it. me....well, I just LOVE it!!! I love taking the extra time to let my loved one's know just how much we care about them. sending cards by mail. making cute crafts with Ava. leaving flowers. buying candy. wearing heart shaped sunnies. wearing pink & red. you know, the good stuff. the chocolates. and you can't forget those conversation hearts!

sometimes we go out to dinner. sometimes we go out for dessert. but mostly we just stay home. he usually cooks a lavish meal. typically seafood with king crab legs cuz that my friends is my fav! it doesn't matter to us where we are. we have our love. and that's enough.

annnnnd even though I feel loved by my husband 365 days out of the year....there's something about the way he treats me extra special on valentine's day. it makes. me. melt. I won't go any further. hah! 

what makes you love {or hate} valentine's day? 

enjoy these sweet pictures of our little valentine. 

photography: my "mom-tography" skills at work 
photography site: windsor castle park
fabric tutu: handmade using cotton fabrics 
headband: BirdyBows

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

friends, through it all.

throughout life we go through hardships. turmoil. uncertainty. having someone to walk with us through these tough times is important.

it's important to find a friend who you can be open & honest with. someone that you can be raw & genuine with. where there is no judgment. someone who can keep you accountable. this person would be your spouse. a close friend. I believe the accountability friend should be of the same sex {disregarding the spouse}.

in the past, my accountability was friends who I shared my sin to. who I shared my fears with. my dreams. my secrets. my hopes. my concerns. my happiness. my questions. knowing all the while that they were granting me grace. lifting me up. giving me forgiveness when needed. helping me. crying with me. laughing with me. encouraging me. praying for me. never judging. never condemning.

these friends weren't just what I like to call "fare weather friends". they weren't just there for me when I "needed" them. when I was going through a hardship. they were also there for me when I was happy & doing well. this is what made me feel safe. comfortable. find an accountability friend that will be happy with you & be sad with you. a true friend can share in your joy as much as they can share in your sadness.

it is so important for our walk with God to have friends that can come along side our life journey to cheer us on for greatness.

I'd like to make it clear that along with our accountability, we need to approach God first. the reality is, our friends & spouse may not have the right answer. or the best advice. after we have gone to Him, it is ok to call on a friend. we simply cannot let our friends or our spouse to be our Savior. we already have one. his name is JESUS.

here are a few reasons why it is important to have an accountability friend:

// our accountability keeps us in check. they can call on us & we can call on them. anytime. any place. they help keep boundaries that we have set. when tempted, you can call your friend to talk through the temptation. "girrrrrrl! I really want to eat that 3rd donut, help!" {1 corinthians 10:13 "but when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it."} you're not going through it alone!

// our accountability can pray with us. sometimes all it takes it to text my husband & ask him to pray. at the end of conversations with my accountability, we pray. this helps us bring back our focus to our relationship with Christ. it's easy to simply talk about the problem. or to gossip. but we have to bring it back to what does God have to say about it all? talking out the problem is very therapeutic but praying at the end in some ways solidifies that we want to involve Christ. {matthew 18:20 "for where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them."}

// our accountability can ask the hard questions. {with permission of course.} sometimes it's scary to answer the hard questions. but in answering comes enlightenment. awareness. freedom. can you say freedom!!! and ultimately healing. sometimes just by answering questions & speaking out loud I have had epiphany's about other issues in my life. {galatians 6:1 "...restore that person gently."} when asking questions it needs to be done with kindness & grace.

// our accountability wants to see us succeed. they encourage through bible verses. through prayer. through listening. they speak life over you. not death. {proverbs 17:17 "a friend loves at all times."} the heart of a true accountability friend is to see you do better. to see you acquire health. physically. mentally. emotionally. spiritually.

// our accountability will help us to mature in Christ. {proverbs 27:17 "as iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another."} we both grow into more mature Christ followers. better friends. stronger in our faith. if your friend is bringing you down & not helping you to mature, it's time to find a new accountability.

what are some reasons why you have accountability in your friends & spouse?