March 28, 2015

The Single Girl Diaries: When Longer Equals Stronger

Happy Singleness Saturday. Okay, I made that up. But, for me Saturday just seemed to be one of those neon flashing lights that signaled I was still single. It's the day of the week where all the happy couples have not just date nights but date days and your all back at your house like "what up slipper socks and baggy sweatpants with a hole in the crotch."

It has been far too long since I have done one of these posts. My apologies. I think maybe the reason it has taken me so long to write one of these posts is because I have been in a season where I couldn't write from a place of strength. I was in a season where I felt like I was drowning in my singleness instead of thriving in it. No one needs Sister Feels Bad for Herself blubbering over your blogging shoulder telling you how awful and pitiful her life is. You don't need me to tell you that I can't even remember what a date is or that my friends are now having grandchildren and buying investment properties.


Our church had a women's conference {well we actually had two to be more specific} over the past two weekends where more that 14,000 women from around the world came together to sit under no other name, but the name of Jesus.

Over these two weekends I not only had the opportunity to serve these women, but also to sit in and receive from the guest speakers. Honestly, I had no idea how desperately my soul needed to be refreshed.

Between things going on back home with family and such and my "poor me" attitude towards singleness I had lost sight of my first love.

My friend posted a picture on her Facebook wall that said "She stopped loving love and fell in love with her king." This picture convicted me to the core. Had I abandon true love in pursuit of what this world says love is?

I went into the conference with this thought in my mind and a desperate cry in my heart for God to do something within me.

The words of the hymn Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus rang out in my heart:

Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
Look full in His wonderful face,
And the things of this earth will grow strangely dim,
In the light of His glory and grace. 

Not only had I abandon true love for a counterfeit, I had allowed it to consume my attention. 

One of the speakers used this analogy on the final night of the conference...

What do you see in this picture?

I'm assuming that if I could hear you, you responded with "a black dot."

While this is obviously true, we fail to mention the white space surrounding the dot. While, yes, there is a dot, there is a whole lot more white space surrounding the dot.

I realized I had done this with my singleness. No one is going to refute the fact that I am single, and most people won't even argue with me that sometimes this season can be poke your eyeballs out torturing difficult. I had been consumed by and only focusing on the black dot of my singleness and neglected to see the overwhelming amount of other things in my life that are going amazingly well, the white space. 

Turn your eyes upon Jesus. I needed to shift the focus of my heart. 

After that final night of conference, I cam home to an empty house and decided to use this quiet time as an opportunity to journal and download everything I had received over the last 48 hours.

In my journaling I wrote something that I believe was heaven breathed because it is far too beautiful to come from my own heart. In my journal on the page dated March 21, 2015 I wrote in regards to my single season: "I am willing to walk this road longer, if it means that others can walk this road stronger." 

Girls, God calls some of us to walk in seasons longer so that through our walking, stumbling, and occasional passionate running, others may hear our story and faithful journey and in turn walk the same season stronger. This may not be a season of singleness for you. It may be the season of waiting for the perfect job, to get out of debt, for God to fulfill the promise he gave you, to have a baby, to get into the college of your dreams. Whatever your waiting season my prayer is that you remember that your longer, could mean someone else's stronger. 

My single sister, when the weeks are long and the nights are lonely, remember that it'll all make sense one day and God will redeem every lonely night, every tear wept, and every pint of Ben & Jerry's consumed. Your sisters need you to walk longer so they can walk stronger. And don't worry, He told me to tell you, He's with you. 

"Never will I leave you. Never will I forsake you."
Hebrews 13:5

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March 26, 2015

Faithfulness: The Power of a Choice

When I began this blog three years ago {hello, how has it been that long already?} I didn't do it with a lot of direction just a deep desire to have an outlet in an emotional season. I called it a life style blog  {frankly because I had no idea what the heck I was even going to write about} and often blogged on fashion, makeup and hair tips and tricks, Jesus, coffee, crafts and anything else that popped into this random. little brain of mine. 
The blogging gurus would tell you that you should "brand" your blog and create a space where the reader knows what to expect when they click on your blog. Welp, I failed in this arena because my blog ebbs and flows with the seasons of my life. It often reflects my heart and passions in each season. I still love makeup and fashion and I will always be caught with a coffee cup in my hand, but the direction of this blog has certainly taken a more...Jesus-esque turn as of lately. I hope you don't mind, but I certainly don't apologize. This blog has never been about gaining followers or exposure but rather comes from the overflow of my heart. And right now my heart is consumed with Jesus. 
This morning in my quiet time I was reading Psalms 119. My soul felt like it might explode as the psalmist seemed to give words to my hearts cry. Things like:
I seek you with all my heart, do not let me stray from your commands. ~ v.10

Cause me to understand the way of your precepts, 
that I may meditate on your wonderful deeds. ~ v.27

And the one I want to settle on for this post:

I have chosen the way of faithfulness. ~ v. 30

Statistics say that an adult makes about 35,000 choices each day. It often starts with the choice of whether to hit the snooze button once on our iPhone for another short 9 minutes of sleep  or another 6 times {guilty}. We choose whether we will eat chocolate for breakfast like we want to or oatmeal like we should. We decide if we should really wear that red top we want to wear even though our nails are pink or if we should go with the safe black one. We make decisions so often in life, that though they are conscious decisions, we rarely even recognize we are making them - it's just routine. 

Oh, the power of a choice. 

We were in a lecture on Genesis a few weeks ago when one of my classmates posed the question to the instructor: "How is it that God's intention for the world was perfection, yet he knew Adam and Eve would eat the forbidden fruit causing the fall into sin before it ever happened?" His answer was incredible: "A choice of faithfulness is made powerful in the option to say no." 

Our yes is made powerful in our ability to say no. 

Every morning Jesus gives us a choice to say yes or no to him. I am not talking about whether or not you believe in Jesus {which I pray you do}, I am talking about whether you will walk the road of today with him. You see, he is faithful. Faithfulness isn't a characteristic of his personality, rather it is who He is. Whether we choose to be faithful to Him or not never affects the fact that he is always faithful to us. While His faithful to us is not a choice, our faithfulness to him is.

Will we be a company of women {or men} who will be faithful to fulfill what God has placed in our hearts with what is in our hands? Will we be faithful to following Him even when it's not the popular decision? Will we be faithful to Him when it costs us something? Will we be faithful when it means being uncomfortable?

I am not sure where you find yourself on the road of faithfulness, but wherever you are He is with you. You may not have chosen to walk with him yesterday, but he has chosen to walk every day with you, beloved. Yesterday is gone and today is a new day. Will you walk with Him today?
Jesus loves you and adores you. Why don't you decide to make one of your 35,000 choices today to be faithful to the one who had the sun rise to remind you that he is faithful and his mercies are new.
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March 22, 2015

She Gets it From Her Daddy

"You're just like your father..." if I had a dime for every time these words came from my mama's mouth I would be a rich woman. It normally goes something like this: "You're just like your father. You both always make the funniest faces when you're concentrating." {We have affectionately termed these "Daddy Faces"}. "You're just like your father. You always stick stuff in places instead of where it belongs and then you can never find it when you need it." "You're just like your father always eating while I am cooking dinner." 

My daddy has certainly passed down a lot to me. One of my favorite quirks I get from him is that we both get this silly enjoyment out of annoying people. {Not nice I know} I don't know what it is, but we both like to poke and pick at people, even when they are way past the point of getting a kick out of it. We both crack ourselves up with giddy laughter, and only ourselves because the other person is straight up ANNOYED. 

It's not just quirks that I get from my daddy, but also some of the stuff that I love the most about myself. Like his passion for writing and his love for public speaking {Even if I have to pee 26 times before I do it because of nerves}.  I have my daddy's legs and body frame. I have my daddy's dark hair and his more reserved demeanor. 

I get it from my daddy.

So God created mankind in his own image,
    in the image of God he created them;
    male and female he created them.
Genesis 1:27

As I write this I cannot help but to feel the tears welling up in my eyes and stream down my face. I get it from my daddy. Yes, I love and adore all the things that make me like my earthly father but how much more beautiful are the things I get from my heavenly father. How, beautiful is this. We can look in the mirror or look at everything good within us and say "I got if from my daddy."

It actually breaks my heart in repentance the number of times I have done just the opposite-looked in the mirror and despised the reflection that is staring back at me. Oh how I must have broken my daddy's heart in thinking these things, for when He sees me He sees is image reflected back in me. 

More than just bearing his image, I get his character too. I get the strength to walk through difficult seasons from my daddy. I get the courage to overcome my fears and walk in faith from my daddy. I get the love I have for people from my daddy. I get the victory in every trial from my daddy. I get the grace that triumphs everything wrong I have ever done because of what my daddy did for me 2,000 years ago. I get the redemption that says where I have been is not where I am going. I get royal birth rights because my daddy's a king. I get rest because my daddy is rest. I get peace because my daddy is peace.  I get a plan and purpose for living on this earth because my daddy's is the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end of all things and he has written my story into that of eternities. 

I get it from my daddy. 

Sweetheart, you are stronger than you think you are. You are bolder than you feel you are. You are braver than you imagine you are. You are more beautiful than the lies in your head say you are. How do I know? Because I know you're daddy...

She gets it from her Daddy.

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