Anyone else ever feel like they’ve been trying to let something go but can’t seem to shake the feeling that nothing is happening?? Or to receive forgiveness from God for something you’ve done but still feel like you’re not fully forgiven?? I’m sure raising my hand!!
You’re NOT alone. I struggled with this for so long, and honestly still do at times. I have to constantly remind myself of Truth and refute the lies the devil whispers into my mind.
I’m not worthy.
I’m too scared.
God could never love me after what I’ve done.
If only you knew my thoughts.
I have no value to God.
Have you ever heard or believed those lies about yourself?? Well that’s exactly what they are – LIES. You are worthy, you are qualified, you are a child of God and there is nothing even you could do about it. Your Heavenly Father adores you and pursues you relentlessly. Take a look at this scripture:
“When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, having canceled the charge of our legal indebtedness, which stood against us and condemned us; he has taken it away, nailing it to the cross.” – Colossians 2:13-14. Can we just do a mic-drop on this one please??
“The Lord directs the steps of the godly. He delights in every detail of their lives. Thought they stumble, they will never fall, for the Lord holds them by the hand.” – Psalm 37: 23-24
“So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus. For the power of the life-giving Spirit has freed you through Christ Jesus from the power of sin that leads to death.” – Romans 8:1-2
“Now you are no longer a slave but God’s own child. And since you are his child, God has made you his heir.” – Galatians 4:7
“And I will be your Father, and you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty.” – 2 Corinthians 6:18
“He does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities.” – Psalms 103:10
“As far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.” – Psalm 103:12
“Do not be afraid, you will not suffer shame. Do not fear disgrace; you will not be humiliated; you will forget the shame of your youth.” – Isaiah 54:4
“But whenever someone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. For the Lord is the Spirit, and wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. So all of us who have had that veil removed can see and reflect the glory of the Lord. And the Lord – who is the Spirit – makes us more and more like Him as we are changed into His glorious image.” – 1 Corinthians 3:16-18
“But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: WHILE we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” – Romans 5:8. Did you catch that?! While we were still sinners! He didn’t wait for us to become perfect (which would never happen), he loves us right where we are.
There are SO many more of these, but you get the point. GOD LOVES YOU. He loves you for you, just as He created you – not as some perfect robot who never needed to have a relationship with Him. He wants you, He desires relationship with you, He relentlessly pursues you. You have nothing to do but to accept His love.
When you feel condemned or far from God – repeat these scriptures out loud to yourself. Remind your soul of the Truth and destroy Satan’s lies.
I allowed myself to believe the lies from the Enemy condemning me for every mess-up and every flaw. I ended up separating myself from a joyful relationship with God because I was ashamed. But the thing is – God NEVER condemns – He only convicts. He recognizes the mistake, but provides hope and turns darkness into light – every. single. time. Your job is to recognize when you feel condemned, because that is absolutely not from God. Refute the lie with Truth and command Satan to leave you in Jesus’ name. There is power in this! Do not be afraid.
You will feel immeasurably more empowered when you allow yourself to fully trust God. He wants your love and your trust. If you don’t fully trust Him you can’t truly love Him!
We were so excited we got to visit our family and friends back in NC for Thanksgiving! We had four different Thanksgiving meals and were definitely in a food-coma for a little while – but it was SO worth it. It was such a joy to get to catch up with everyone and spend time with our loved ones – our hearts are so full! The laughter, stories, and fellowship just make me the happiest. I wish we could’ve stayed longer!
We even got to see some dear college friends and were just over the moon about it!! We missed them so very much!
This pier is the same pier Stan proposed to me on!! I love walking down this pier nearly four years later and remembering those twinkling lights and mason jars, but most importantly, that sweet sweet man waiting at the end of it!! So many wonderful memories!!
Horses are my absolute favorite and I love getting to visit them when we’re home! I’ve been riding since I was 4 years old and just can’t get enough of them – they are the most BEAUTIFUL animal! Or as Stan likes to call them – big cats 😉
What did you do this Thanksgiving??
You guys! I am so excited that I can FINALLY wear booties and a sweater. I mean can a girl catch a break here?? It’s November 13th!! Poor ‘ol Texas just has not caught on that it’s supposed to be chilly and breezy this time of year. As a girl born and raised in New England – this is just ridiculous. BUT – I do have to say I’ll take 70 degrees over freezing weather any day.
Anyone else feeling like the warm weather is making you feel like Christmas is farther away than it really is?? I sure am!! Thanksgiving is just in a couple of weeks and we haven’t done any Christmas shopping (or even really thought about what to give as gifts yet!). Yikes!
What are your favorite sweaters and booties to wear in the fall?? I’d love to know!!
I am SO excited about this one! I seriously use this spray all the time in my home. It smells SO GOOD.
I use it for practically everything, it smells so fresh. My hubs is always raving about how nice it smells on our pillows and blankets! The part that makes me the happiest, is it’s made up of just a few ingredients and none of them are chemicals – makes this girl very happy 🙂
Here are some ways I like to use it:
DIY Lavender Spray Instructions :
4 oz glass spray bottle
1 oz witch hazel
3 oz water
10 drops YoungLiving Essential Oil
P.S. If you’re new to oils and would like to try them out, please read more here or reach out to me with any questions!
So I was about to walk out the door wearing a sweater and booties …. but then I remembered that it’s 87 DEGREES outside. Okay Texas. Time for some fall.
I decided against sweating profusely and slipped on this SUPER comfy dress instead. This dress is my go-to, easy to deal with outfit. I was jumping for joy when I got it in the mail. It is incredibly soft, and my favorite part – p o c k e t s. Need I say more??
Behind the scenes moment: While I was standing next to this gorgeous blue door a lady came out and it made the loudest bang – I nearly jumped out of my skin and we laughed hysterically. Thankfully that photo wasn’t caught on camera – it would not have been pretty 😉
We had our two year anniversary this May and still CANNOT believe it’s already gone by so fast! Now I guess we’re just a couple of ‘ol married people. Who says married people can’t be fun, right?? 😉
We contacted a local Austin photographer who we met through Kate Anfinson, who did such a great job with our photos last year (but moved to CA). Emilie did such an amazing job and we’re so thankful to have such sweet photos to treasure! Photo cred: Emilie Anne Photography
She drove an hour and a half to meet us out at Enchanted Rock in Fredericksburg in the blazing heat in June. We arrived around 5pm and started shooting around 5:30-6pm but thankfully as soon as the sun set behind some rocks we had some relief from the heat! I also made Stan wear the wool pants he wore at our wedding, because I love them on him, so the poor thing was reallyyyy sweating. Good thing is – he won’t feel that hot forever! ha. We also had to get them tailored a week before the shoot because he danced so hard at our wedding he tore the seam right down the middle of his pants – don’t want to see all that in these pictures! Talk about TMI.
We’re incredibly blessed to have these photos to treasure for the rest of our lives. They’ll remind us every time we look at them of the victories we’ve head over the past two years together – big and small. How God has faithfully brought us through the difficulties we’ve faced and been constant through it all. We’ve been in a season of rejoicing, and are so thankful for all God is doing in our lives. It’s such an incredible feeling to look back on the trials and hardships we’ve encountered (and especially the good times too!) and see how God had His hand over every single situation. Nothing was left to chance. He was entirely faithful through it all. It’s so encouraging to fully know & experience the victory of choosing to place trust in God even through the blurriness, confusion, messiness, and lies that Satan uses in an attempt to suppress our soul and keep us from entering into all the good God has in store for us. When the season of trial ends and your faith remains strong, trusting in Truth, you begin to grasp the sheer power of Jesus and His goodness. Through these past seasons God taught me to truly keep my eyes set on Him and Him alone – despite anything that was going on around me, He wanted Him to be my focus in times of trials and rejoicing.
“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” – James 1:2-4
In trials and times of great blessings, may you always find joy in Christ and put your trust in Him alone. He is shaping and testing your faith so you may be stronger and know Him more deeply. He is all about relationship and wants you to know Him as much as He knows you.
Stan and I have grown so close through facing difficulties like moving half way across the country, starting a life (and new marriage) in an unfamiliar place, crazy bosses, and anxieties. We’ve also rejoiced together in so many blessings like bringing a sweet puppy into our family, becoming first time homeowners, buying a car together for the first time, finding a church family and serving together, and so so so much more.
I want to brag on how amazing this man is. He trusted in the Holy Spirit’s tug at his heart to move to Austin, and faithfully worked his butt off to find jobs when we first moved here and nailed the dream job he was praying for 9 months later. He’s worked long hours to provide for us, he’s prayed over us and he’s worked so hard to continue to grow himself, and has done every little diy project I’ve asked him to help me with. He’s even loved me through my enjoyment of jump-scaring him 😉 He is my person, my encourager, my support, and my favorite human. I wouldn’t want to be doing life with anyone else! I know it’s cliche, but I’m going to say it anyway – God really knew what He was doing when He brought us together. Stan is the coolest cucumber on earth and I am the go-go-go, have-to-be-doing-something, worrier. We always joke that the hamster in his head is relaxing in a recliner with a beer-hat and I have a fleet or army of hamsters on steroids in my head. Point being – we make a great team. He asked me the other night what the best piece of advice was that I’ve ever gotten and my response was something he always tells me…”it’s going to be okay, just keep moving forward.” He’s always so calm and steady and grounds me when I’m flying at a million miles a minute. He’s taught me to stop all the crazy and experience all the good that is going on around me, to listen to God and to spend precious, intentional time with Him. Words cannot express how thankful I am to get to love such a sweet soul. God is GOOD.
“Where you go I will go, together physically. Your people shall be my people, together emotionally. Your God shall be my God, together spiritually, where you die I will die, together faithfully.”
This post is a little overdue – but I love these pictures too much not to share anyway 😉
My mother in law visited us over Mother’s Day weekend and we had a blast! We went visited some of our favorite restaurants as usual, but one of her requests was to visit Magnolia Market in Waco – so we made sure to go!
Stan and I had visited once before but we enjoy finding a cute little accessory for the house when we go and the food trucks (the smoothie one was my fave!) are pretty darn yummy. We brought our dog Kevin and of course, he got a ton of attention and pets. One of our favorite things is listening to people try to guess what kind of dog he is (Shiba Inu) – my favorite is “oh, that’s definitely a Corgi”. I meannnn… really?? Not even close, bud.
Thankfully this time we went we knew where to park (in our secret spot) and the line was short and fairly easy to navigate despite what a beautiful day it was! We enjoyed smoothies and sitting at the picnic tables chatting and catching up.
We love what Chip and Jo are doing and super happy to support them!
We went to a For King and Country concert featuring Moriah Peters last weekend and I left filled with joy and a newfound strength. I’ve always liked their music, but hearing them live was absolutely incredible. Each member of the band plays like 91209849743874 instruments perfectly. Moriah opened for the band and is the co-lead singer’s wife – makes touring super easy for them I’m sure! Every single musician on that stage had such a glowing joy, faith and love for Christ that I found renewed my spirit.
I’ve been praying about revealing my heart on here for a couple weeks now. Earlier this month I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s hypothyroiditis. Thankfully, it’s something that many people have, especially women, and is usually very treatable. I was really shocked for a while, then I felt trapped, which led to more anxiety. I’ve had so many people tell me everything is going to be okay, even plenty of people that have the same disease I have. But I couldn’t get over the fact that I was facing this at 22.
All throughout college I felt tired, anxious, oddly emotional, and random ailments would pop up that I couldn’t explain. I didn’t really tell anyone, but it was extremely frustrating and I eventually convinced myself that everyone must feel like this and they just handle it better.
Then Stan and I graduated, got married, and moved to Austin and things really started to hit. Even through all the most wonderful and precious moments of my life, I was facing very difficult obstacles for the very first time.
I was always extremely happy go lucky, positive, and determined my entire life. But now I was feeling uncontrollable anxiety, facing panic attacks, and depression was creeping in. I was terrified by what was happening to me. And Satan new it. He used every single angle he could to attack me – and honestly, it worked for a little while. Those were the darkest times of my life. Even though I appeared far from it from the outside looking in, inside I was at rock bottom. The only two things that got me through was God and my wonderful, sweet husband.
I was paralyzed by fear. Fear because for the first time I felt two major psychological issues that I had never faced before personally. I had no idea how to handle anxiety and minor depression, especially both at the same time. I had all these things I wanted to do, especially since we were in a new city and we were newlyweds, but I could not get up to go do them.
I would cry out and pray constantly for help, and I would hear God whisper that this was all for a reason. Why, I still don’t know. But what I do know, is that God makes all things beautiful, and He would use even this for good. Quite honestly, a lot of the time I felt like I was alone and Christ wasn’t listening to me because my problem wasn’t bad enough – even though I knew that wasn’t the truth. I had to remind myself constantly that what I was feeling wasn’t what was really happening. Satan used my emotions, anxiety, fear, and everything else he could to wedge himself between me and Christ. I’m so thankful that I’m so stubborn and determined, because everyday I’d have to push through all those lies that often buried me and my spirit, and keep pressing into God, His truth and His overwhelming grace.
Right before I was diagnosed I grew ridiculously fatigued, my aches worsened, and my anxiety grew so bad that anytime I felt just minor stress my chest would hurt terribly. Of course, no one knew this but Stan. I truly felt that I had to maintain a normal exterior because, maybe if I did it enough, I’d get better. But I had no clue what was going on inside of me except that something was very wrong. Even though I now had a reason for all the strange things that were happening to me, I still had no idea how to handle any of it. I’m just beginning to feel that I have more control over how they affect me.
After a week or so after we got the news, I grew even more frustrated that I’m so young and should technically still be in college being crazy and staying up into the early morning – yet, this was happening to me. I felt trapped in my own body at 22, newly married, and I was incredibly blessed with every single thing that was happening in my life around me. I had a new husband, successful job, new puppy, and we just became first-time homeowners. So WHY in the WORLD couldn’t I get up to go on a walk with my family around the neighborhood to meet people? Why couldn’t I go explore all of Austin and go hiking, kayaking, swimming, shopping and do all those things I love doing? Of course, all these thoughts just added to my anxiety and depression. To this day I’m still frustrated with myself and my situation. But the Lord has BLESSED me beyond belief with an incredible family, prayer warriors, and the most understanding and loving husband in the world.
Let me just take a quick moment to brag on Stan. He had absolutely no idea what was happening when my symptoms first started to really show. He educated himself as best as he could and the most precious of all, he prays with me every night specifically for my health and our marriage, for all of it to glorify Him. His sweet love, rock solid faith, and understanding blows me away. As I’m sure you can imagine, I don’t feel very attractive or loveable at the moment, but he continues to make me feel more beautiful each and every day. I still pinch myself to make sure I’m not just dreaming that I married him! God is GOOD.
I had a very rough weekend, probably the worst I’ve felt in a long time, but the past few days the dip in my thyroid levels has evened out and my mind and body are somewhat clear again. I was driving home a couple days ago, had the windows down (first fall weather for us in Texas!), and Oh Fear started to play over my speakers (listen to it in the clip above). Here I was stuck in major Austin traffic and God reached deep into my heart. In that moment I knew I was whole again, I had my fearless faith back and felt physical strength again too. This song is so dear to me because it’s my heart’s cry. As I was singing it in the car I could feel every fear, anxiety, and depressive burden leave me and God’s peace and fearlessness replaced them. Throughout that dark season that started last fall I knew this freedom would come, that I needed to go through all of that for a reason, and I’m so thankful that freedom is here.
I still feel somewhat restricted in what I can do physically, but the only thing I really care about is that my spirit is back and my strongest faith restored. Now that the strange cloud that was blocking me from seeing Christ clearly is gone, I feel like myself again! Sometimes you just have to look fear straight in the face and tell it exactly where it should go 😉
I’m blown away by how Christ continues to pursue me relentlessly. Every moment I look back on He’s been there holding me, teaching me, and making me smile. He’s held me throughout that entire season that I felt so far from Him, but He used it to grow my faith and allow me to hold on tight to Him and His promises. Just like any relationship, I feel even closer to Him because we went through something extremely difficult together. I’m so blessed by this disease because of what He’s taught me through it. I’m reminded (whether I like it or not!) that my strength and very life itself comes from Him and Him alone.
Friends, I say all of this because no matter what darkness we go through, God is always good and He is always with you. We weren’t made for this world, we were made to be with Him in a place that we cannot begin to fathom in these earthly bodies, a place that is vibrant, full of light and love, and best of all, Him. Satan tries to make his darkness seem bigger and scarier than it really is, just remember we are the children of a very big God who knows and loves each of us, right where we are, just the way we are, simply because we are His. Nothing in this world can overtake you.
“For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, ‘Abba, Father.'” – Romans 8:15
… not counting all day Friday of course. but it’s basically the same thing anyway, right??
Stan’s been working on a major project for the past couple of weeks so I’ve been hangin’ with Kevin (our pups) most nights – which is by far incredibly entertaining. But I really miss my hubs. Can’t wait for this next week to hurry on up and that deadline to be over!! And VERY excited for this weekend so we can hang and see the Minions movie! What better way to spend a Saturday? Am I right?
Can’t believe we’ve been married for over a year now! Just got our anniversary film scans back and we’re completely in love with them! Thanks so much to Kate Anfinson for taking these beautiful pictures!
So I recently stumbled upon this amazingly talented group of artists called I Am They. I’ve always loved this folksy sound because it’s always made me happy and usually start dancing around.
These guys are one of the best Christian artists I’ve found so far. Love their sound.
I’ve been listening to these two songs on repeat for so long that Stan is probably ready to strangle me. But they’re such joyful songs! They’ve brought me back to the basis of my relationship with Christ – His amazing love and grace and the joy I take in Him. That’s what this whole thing is about, right? 😉