Stay planted in faith 

My path often gets blurry when I take my eyes off of the one who directs my steps. I can blame it on others, location, and circumstance all I want, but in the end I know it’s on me. Maybe it’s a sense of over confidence, where I think “it’s ok God I’ve got this, things are great right now you can take a break I can take it from here.” Silly me to think I can expect growth when I’m in control, it’s more of a rough current when I think I’m in charge. Boy have I been stuck in a current lately, literally being pushed under, and turned around by crashing waves. Oh and those waves… they aren’t God’s fault, but brought on by me because I’m driving the boat that’s causing the wake. (Hope nobody is getting seasick by my metaphors 😉  I get so frustrated with myself for having to constantly pull over and refocus. Even more so, when I remember that God allows me to go through this; He is such a good good father that He doesn’t force me to move over. He patiently waits, and softly nudges me to remind me that things are better when I’m not directing my own life. I feel guilt for times my trust is lacking, because He stands by through it all. Though I wedge a gap between us, His love for me is the same. How amazing is God that he still loves us even when we have days where we act like we don’t need God! There is never a time where we don’t need God, so how can I act like that?! It doesn’t mean trusting God will always be easier, but He knows our every thought & move before we do…He allows us to drift off to realize we need to readjust our focus and lean back on Him. He’s always in control even when I think I’m in control. He wants us to trust in His timing. He wants us to stay planted in faith; where we are currently, as we are. We don’t have to “clean house” before God can work in our lives, He loves us even though we are so unworthy. 
“The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” Lamentations 3:22-23 

“He must increase, but I must decrease.” John 3:30

“For everything there is a season and a time for every matter under heaven: A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck what is planted; a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to to mourn, and a time to dance; a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; a time to seek, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away; a time to tear, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; a time to love, and a time to hate; a time for peace” Ephesiams 3:1-8 

 

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Pretty pink excuses 

Recently I have realized how much I talk more than I actually do. I have about 10 dozen excuses wrapped in pretty pink bows, ready for every occasion. The enemy has been swooping in during times of being too tired to read my bible, too distracted by my own thoughts to pray.  Blinded by constant comparisons of where I think I should be at my age, that I forget to be grateful for how far I’ve come. 

When I’m in the midst of a rough season, I find myself not relying fully on Jesus. I’m good at talking about doing it when things are fine and dandy, but when life loses its sweetness and the enemy throws SUV sized negative thought bubbles my direction… I have a tendency to take matters upon myself. Of course by that I mean I roll up in a ball exhausted and overwhelmed. I know I can’t do life without Him, so why do I constantly leave Him out by my excuses?

When a curveball is thrown, I act as if Jesus isn’t enough. How can that be? Jesus is certainly more than enough, so why do my actions show otherwise? One of the biggest lies the enemy has played repeat many a times in my life, is my battle with depression/anxiety. It is an encapsulating fog that leaves me feeling trapped, momentarily believing God can’t get me through this. The even bigger lie, was thinking my depression went away or that I was done struggling with it. It’s something I have to accept as something I do and will struggle with, but I’m trying to view it as God using those dark times to draw me closer to Him. One gift from it is meeting other people who wrestle with the same issues, reminding us we aren’t alone and that we need people during those times. 

Thoughts still processing… More to come. 

Your Love Blossoms Me Anew 

Raised to love you, grew to know you, slowly influenced away, and then all at once. Without force, or guilt your love for me has always been honest, and pure. You knew I would take the brush to paint my own lines in life, covering my empty spaces with one mistake after another. Losing sight of the big picture, I painted myself further from you. You loved me just the same.

You were always there, but you never smothered your love upon me, you watched as I blended into the darkness. As I underestimated my self worth, catching the attention of the unworthy. I stood out for being the loud opinonated girl, I should have been known for shouting your praises. Instead of standing up for you, I fell into the shadows of the crowd. I craved the compliments on the outside to distract from the bitter brokenness on the inside. You loved me just the same.

Something always felt missing. I was constantly searching for myself, losing pieces of my heart in the process. When the world takes what it wants leaving my remains, you take me as I am. When all my ears hear are whispers telling me my pieces are forever lost, your presence silences the lies. Your love is enough to make my heart whole again. I will always live with the consequences of the jagged path I carved, but you take those indiscretions and allow them to blossom into something better. You love me just the same.

Your love blossoms me anew. Your arms gently carry me from the enemy. Though I will be continually tempted, you give me the strength to overcome. Though I will continue to stumble, you will guide me through. Without you, I don’t have a purpose. Without your love, I would never strive to be anything better. Without you loving us first, how would we truly know how to love? I fought the truth you always held, my heart is designed to love you, Lord. My love for you will never be the same.

My ever changing Sundays

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Sundays are different to everybody, for me as a kid they were meant for going to church. Sometimes I loved going, others I dreaded it.  Sunday school was fun for the most part. In high school, I went to church about every week but I mostly helped in kindergarten, and second grade classrooms. I had so much fun being apart of teaching about Jesus to a room full of adorable little kids with a heart for God. My mom was a Sunday school teacher, so that’s how I initially got involved, and then the hours counted towards community service for my high school. I did enjoy going, but I probably needed to be more involved in a high school group, but those were less appealing.

It was either my Junior or Senior year of high school when my parents changed churches, so I followed suit. I didn’t like the new church as much, but my parents did. I started dreading going to church almost every time, my heart wasn’t in it. When I hit my first year of college, we had chapel 2-3 times a week, and church. I thought it sounded great at first, but I grew tired of it, feeling forced to go all the time. I didn’t have a good attitude, and outlook about it. Looking back I realize what an amazing opportunity it was to grow & be with people who desired the Lord. I do have regrets for not seizing the opportunities I was blessed with, but I was lost & guess my heart wasn’t truly willing.

This past year my Sundays consisted of working at a restaraunt downtown. I slowly stopped taking Sunday shifts, but not to go to church, to hang out with friends. A friend from work, and I used to go bar hopping on Sunday nights, our “Sunday fun days.” Then when I got into a relationship, Sundays became our date nights. Sundays lost their previous meaning for me, it just became an ordinary day where I didn’t think of God at all.

I’ve spent more than enough time lately dwelling on the past and things I cannot change, so I’m actively trying to start fresh, and focus on the present. I haven’t consistently been to church since my first year of college, which sadly was about 6 years ago. I have been to church since but again not with a willing heart, and it was usually because my family went. I shamefully admit it was only a few times a year, maybe for Christmas, Easter, and times I accompanied my best friend. But I didn’t desire to go every week, I didn’t go with an open heart, I didn’t really focus on the message, and let it sink in. I definitely did not think about it much the other 6 days of the week. I went about my life, doing the same things. I honestly didn’t think I needed church, or didn’t think it was for me anymore, and a part of me felt like it was too hard to keep going because I would have to change my ways. I would often feel guilt when going to church, feeling uncomfortable, and who wants that? Nobody wants to be out of their comfort zone, and feel guilt, but often times that’s what we have to go through to grow. I kept ignoring it, and just gave up.

Fast forward to the end of June, the night before I ended up breaking up with my boyfriend I went to church with my friend. It had been a long time since I had been, it was a new church. I actually wanted to go, it was something that had been weighing on my heart in the last couple months of my relationship. I was hesitant to tell him because I knew he would think it was weird. It felt so good being there, being around people who needed, and wanted Jesus in there life.

I was finally at a point in my life where I was no longer ashamed to admit I needed Jesus in my life. I felt convicted, refreshed, safe, not feeling lost for a moment. I was so tired of feeling lost, but I didn’t realize what I needed to no longer feel that way. Only God knew exactly what I needed, and He knew the perfect timing. It was definitely God who put this desire in my heart. I used to think church was only for those who have it all figured out but it’s absolutely not the case. Nobody will ever have it all figured out we are all sinners who fall short of the glory of be Lord, but by His grace we are redeemed.

I’m so thankful to my best friend, she knows who she is! 🙂 She has always been a great example in my life of following Christ, and living by faith. I’m so blessed to have had her as friend for all these years. Even through times when I wasn’t the best friend in return, and when I wouldn’t tell her everything because I knew she would judge me, but honestly I deserved it, and needed to be held accountable to my actions. I’m so glad we are able to go to church together, and grow, it’s been fun trying different churches. I’m excited to continue going to church, this time with a willing heart, a desire to grow. I thank you Jesus for changing my heart, opening my eyes, and taking me back no matter what I have done, and how far I strayed from you. I thank you for your mercy, and endless grace.

Handmade Watercolor Cards 

I’ve been making Encouragement cards, with water colors & oil pastels. The ones below are all watercolor with some acrylic paint as accents. The painting is done for these, still need to add sayings to some of them. The clothes-pins are just for the purpose of taking the photos. Going to make some ‘Thank you’ and ‘Just because’ cards soon.

#1

#2 Front View

#2 Back View

#3 Front View

#3 Back View

#4 Front View

#4 Back View

#5

#6 Front View

#6 Back View

#7