When Believing Is Hard

2Cor.5-7

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It was March of 2013. I thought I’d been through it all. I had spent a couple weeks couch surfing because I was homeless all while trying to keep my college grades up. I got my housing situation all sorted out but I still had a little problem…

My house was in a different state (a 45 minute drive to and from college) and I had class 5 days a week. Due to my hours being cut at work, I was REALLY short on cash.

I had $60.00 to my name and that just so happened to be the exact amount I owed in tithing. I had a choice to make. I could either save that money for gas or I could put it in tithing.

I was about  to pass the offering plate but I felt the Lord whisper into my heart. He said, “Lovelle, what kind of faith do you have?” So what did I do??? I covered my eyes with one hand and I put the cash in the tithing bucket before I could change my mind.

I thought God would fix my problem ASAP. Preferably after church. After all He said He’d provide right??? A few days went by and my half a tank turned to a quarter of a tank. Then it dipped below that. I remember saying, “Alright God… I need you to do something.” He didn’t…

Before I knew it my tank was on empty and I still had 3 days of school left. I thought it couldn’t get any worse. I pulled into my driveway frustrated and annoyed. I thought I did what God wanted me to do and for what??? From the looks of it I was going to fail college.

I walked into my house and one of the RA’s came up to me. “Hey” she said. “So we’ve been trying to work this out for a while and it just got approved today. We know how hard you work and we know that it’s a really long drive to school. Here’s a gift card to help you with some gas.”

A $5O GIFT CARD TO KUM N’ GO… RIGHT AFTER MY TANK WAS ON EMPTY.

Yes, I totally bawled my eyes out. That is the kind of faith 2 Corinthians 5:7 talks about. It’s having confidence through every circumstance and trusting God even when life looks like it’s not going to turn out okay.

I don’t tell you this story to say that I am a perfect example. I’m not. I had no choice but to wait and before I stepped foot in that house I had a yelling match with God about how He didn’t follow through.

In fact, I still need that reminder and maybe you do too?? There are still days where I get frustrated at God. Life is hard. It’s full of change and situations that come out of nowhere.

I don’t know about you but, I want to live a blindfolded life. One that doesn’t base success, failure, or comfort on what I can see in front of me. One day at a time right???

~ Lovelle ❤

P.S. Thanks for taking a second to stop by and read my second #soulseedsaturday post! Life is hard and you are doing a pretty great job getting through it. I’d love to be here to encourage you while you take it on like a boss. If there’s a specific area that you could use some encouragement, I’d love to hear about it! You can post it in the comments or contact me here

P.P.S. I am booking speaking engagements for 2018. I know right??? It’s here already! If you’d like me to come speak at your event or church click on over here and I’ll prayerfully consider your request.

We Are One In The Same

 

Battles

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I wobble into chick-fila with one of my small group girls in tow. It’s late July and my pregnant belly is huge. My hair is a hot mess, I’m sweaty, swollen, my clothes are tight, and I’m ready for this kid to get the heck out of my stomach.

I order my meal that consists of fried goodness because anything green makes me want to vomit. I’m so hungry that I shove it in my mouth and manage to get sauce on the side of my face. Walking over and grabbing a napkin feels like too much work for this pregnant girl so I wipe off the mess with my sleeve. I look over to the side of me and am amazed at what I see.

I see three moms in workout clothes and messy buns that look super trendy and cute. All their meals are laid out with fruit and grilled chicken nuggets. Before I can become too amazed that they ordered grilled food at the best fried chicken place on the planet, I glance a little further and see all their children at the table across from them. They are all quietly eating their kids meal (that consist of grilled stuff too). I hear, “Yes please” and “thank you” coming out of each of their mouths.

I look down at my huge belly, take a whiff of the fried goodness that’s almost completely devoured, and glance at the chic-fila sauce thats all over my sleeve. Almost immediately, comparison hits me like a ton of bricks.

“Why don’t I look as cute as them?”
“I’ll never be that good of a mom.”
“Why can’t I make better meal choices?”
“Man, I’m so fat.”

The adversary is a sneaky little guy. He plants lies of comparison in our hearts because He likes to make us feel like we aren’t good enough. I think this is especially true for women. Everyone is fighting their own battle. Lets hold onto that truth today. We may not be able to see what’s going on but it’s there.

The adversary doesn’t pick favorites. He tries to attack anyone and everyone He can. God made you the way you are for a reason. You aren’t meant to be like anyone else. I think there’s something to be said in the fact that no one person has the same finger print. If God put all that work into making us so unique, how about we put that much effort into embracing ourselves the way He made us? That’s my new goal for 2018.

~ Lovelle ❤

P.S. I am booking speaking engagements for 2018. I know right??? It’s here already! If you’d like me to come speak at your event or church click on over here and I’ll prayerfully consider your request.

 

The Real Meaning of Christmas

Isaiah9-6-7

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I LOVE Christmas. I love the lights, the tree’s, and I really enjoy making my house look festive. I love the snow, and how the holidays somehow bring everyone closer together.

Christmas is a time to reflect and thank God for the greatest gift we have ever received, but this season of “reflection” is soooo busy. As I celebrate my daughters first Christmas surrounded by friends and family- I want to always remember the real reason for the season.

Beyond the gifts, amazing food, and pretty decorations, there is a story greater than any that’s ever been told. A story about a God who loved us from the very beginning and somehow seemed to see past our faults.  A God who had one son that He sacrificed so that we could be made whole.

He gave us a gift that’s greater than anything we could ever ask or receive. Jehovah, Yahweh, King of Kings, came down from Heaven and took on our sins so that we could be closer to God. Jesus is the perfect example of true selflessness.

I never want to be too busy to remember that. I never want my daughter to see me too busy to remember that. I hope you have a wonderful Christmas that is full of fun, love, and laughter but I pray that as you surround yourself with your loved ones, you also find time to put down the to-do lists and travel plans for even just a few minutes to reflect on the true meaning and God’s love for you.

~ Lovelle ❤

P.S. Thanks for taking a second to stop by and read my VERY FIRST #soulseedsaturday post! Life is hard and you are doing a pretty great job getting through it. I’d love to be here to encourage you while you take it on like a boss. If there’s a specific area that you could use some encouragement, I’d love to hear about it! You can post it in the comments or contact me here

P.P.S. I am still booking speaking engagements for 2018! It’s still hard to believe that it’s here already. If you’d like me to come speak at your event or church click on over here and I’ll prayerfully consider your request.

MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!

 

 

God Knows The End Game

 

EndGame

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Then Moses went back to the Lord and protested, “Why have you brought all this trouble on your own people Lord? Why did you send me? Ever since I came to pharaoh as your spokesman, he has been even more brutal to your people and you have done nothing to rescue them!”

~ Exodus 6:22-23

The Lord and I have a very real relationship. At times we have screaming matches. When I say screaming matches I mean that I shake my fist up to heaven and yell in frustration because I don’t understand what the heck is going on. Not God, just me.

I am in a season of dryness. I read my bible and don’t feel filled. I feel like I am walking in a wilderness and at every turn theres a door that is slammed shut. Right behind the door is God and I just can’t seem to get to Him. The key doesn’t work and I am exhausted from banging on it trying to get to Him.

I want to act like a five year old, cross my arms, go sit in a corner and pout. At times, I actually do. As I was reading exodus I came across this conversation between Moses and God. Really, it was Moses getting real with God and not holding anything back. Oh, how we serve a patient God.

There are two things I noticed in this passage: The first is the word, “protest”. It doesn’t say, “asked or inquired” It implies an argumentative, sinful human pushing back and questioning God’s choices. The second is the explanation point. You can clearly see in this text that Moses was pretty ticked off at God and for good reason.

He already doesn’t feel qualified but does what God says and then the people he’s trying to help get punished by Pharaoh because of his actions. If the guilt isn’t enough, the obvious frustration from a ton of Israelites will make anyone go off the deep end.

Life is full of seasons where we can’t see the end game. You know, those times when we listen to God and things go the complete opposite of what we thought because we can’t possibly comprehend God’s reasoning. 

We try to help but only make matters worse and then think, “why the heck is He having me do this when I am so useless??” We question God and His motives. Like Moses we tell Him what He should do. This day in age it would probably include a word document with drawn out instructions full of bullet points.

It’s okay to voice our frustrations without holding anything back. We serve a pretty patient God. We just have to remember that He knows best. If we don’t voice our opinions, we might not get the encouragement we need to get us through. I needed to see this verse and I’m pretty sure God knew that.

I needed to be reminded that I’m not horrible for being real. Most importantly, I needed to be reminded that God knows the end game. It may have some dark turns but hey, if the Israelites can manage 40 years of them then surely I can handle a few as well.

~ Lovelle ❤

P.S. I am booking speaking engagements for 2018. I know right??? It’s here already! If you’d like me to come speak at your event or church click on over here and I’ll prayerfully consider your request.

Setting Aside Your Dream

Season-1 final

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One year ago my life changed forever when I saw the faint pink line on the pregnancy test. Since I had graduated college only 6 months earlier, being a stay at home mom had never even crossed my mind. I’d worked 5 years to obtain that expensive piece of paper. Surely, I’d use it right? Wrong.

I’m hanging out with my friends at God-Sized Dreams today. I’d love it if you would join me.

 

He Knows What’s Best For Me

Mantra-1

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At only 3 months old my daughter is a pretty determined and stubborn kid. She also has this talent of downing a bottle in like 3 seconds. When the bottle is empty she still keeps trying to suck that liquid gold out, and heaven forbid you take the bottle away if she hasn’t unlatched.

She’ll get mad and start screaming. She doesn’t realize that sucking on the bottle with only air coming out will give her a tummy ache and hurt her. She’s blind to the consequences but her dad and I are not.

I relate to my daughter so much because like her, I tend to be pretty controlling. I want every detail of my life drawn out with every step carefully plotted. Maybe even with a contract attached to it that says in big bold letters, NOT SUBJECT TO CHANGE.  I am unaware of the consequences and I tend to forget that in reality, my life belongs to God.

Like my daughter holding onto that bottle, I tend to hold onto the plans I’ve made and then I get upset when God changes them. I tend to forget how much pain I cause myself when I try to take matters into my own hands.

This past year God has changed all of the carefully drawn out plans I have made. Let me clarify… He didn’t rearrange them or tweak them a bit. He spun them 180 degrees, flipped them upside down, ripped up the contract, and dropped the ones I had made off the face of the earth. I handled the change about like my daughter. Maybe even a little worse. I walked into the new and unexpected season kicking and screaming.

My God loved me through my stubbornness. He wasn’t impatient or mad. He simply held me close and taught me a lot. When I mourned the life I wanted and walked into motherhood afraid of the unknown, He gave me peace and reminded me that everything was going to be okay.

I will never know what pain may lie ahead due to my carefully drawn out plans because God did what He knew was best. He guided my life the way He wanted because that’s what a parent does. My daughter is the gift I never knew I needed.

Motherhood is hard and scary. There’s times I am so overjoyed at her growth and theres times when I want to pull my hair out. I’d be lying if I said that at times I didn’t struggle with staying home. In those moments, I seek God and trust that He will give me the peace I need. Over and over again, I find myself saying, “Where you have me is enough.” I am learning to give up control and seek God before even making plans.

This is my new mantra: Lord, help me approach life with the confidence that You know what’s best for me.

~ Lovelle ❤

P.S. I’m doing this new thing called #soulseedsaturday. It’s a little bit of encouragement for your soul while you take on life like a boss. If there’s a specific topic that you could use some encouragement, I’d love to hear about it! You can post it in the comments or contact me here.

P.P.S. I am booking speaking engagements for 2018. I know right??? It’s here already! If you’d like me to come speak at your event or church click on over here and I’ll prayerfully consider your request.

 

The Gift of Family

adopt

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I had just moved into a new town and was about to start my freshman year of college. I was in-between jobs due to the move and had used up all my savings on bills. My first paycheck was about to come in so I was holding out hope that my gas tank would last a few more days until it could be filled.

Most cars tell you when you are low on gas. I didn’t realize that my ghetto 1993 Chevy Cavalier didn’t so I found myself stranded on the highway completely out of gas with no one to call.

This is what it’s like to be an orphan. There’s no parents to give you a couple bucks to tide you over. No place to crash rent free with a full fridge. No extra car to borrow if yours breaks down. No place to go on holidays, and certainly no one to celebrate achievements with.

You learn to fend for yourself and plan for everything. At the age of 18 years old I knew how to change my oil and the breaks in my car. At one point the antifreeze container broke so I went to the salvage yard to pick up a new one and borrowed someones tools to change it out myself.  You are constantly on edge and questioning everyones motive because as much as you hate to admit it- you are vulnerable and you can be easily manipulated.

I want you to take a second and think about all the things your parents do for you. Think about everything they taught you. Now take all that out of the equation. That was my life. I learned what I could and did my best to survive.

November is National Adoption Month. I am so lucky to have a support group when there are still many who don’t. There aren’t enough words I can use to express my gratitude towards God and His faithfulness. He gave me parents at the age of 21. The past 3 years have been so wonderful. I may be a little bias but I think I have the best parents in the world.

If I need any help they are only a phone call away. No more being broke down with no one to call. No more having to know anything and everything about my car. I enjoy holidays and look forward to spending them with my parents instead of working. I don’t even have to air up my tires anymore. There’s so much freedom that comes with knowing and utilizing support.

This holiday season I am going to sit with my family and thank God for all He has done. I am going to watch my little girl experience the holidays for the first time and smile knowing her life will look way different than mine. I’ll hug her close and thank God for the gift of family.

~ Lovelle ❤

P.S. Today’s my mom’s birthday! She really wants 40 little girls in poverty to grow up to be fiercehearted women. She’s teaming up with compassion and would love for you to team up with her too! You should head on over to her website and say happy birthday. If you feel led, maybe even sponsor a kiddo. 🙂