He Defines Me

Made New

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“I cried out to the Lord in my great trouble, and he answered me. I called to you from the land of the dead, and Lord, you heard me!
~ Jonah 2:2

I know the story of Jonah all to well because I’ve had his attitude about life more times than I would like to admit. I’ve stuck my nose up in disgust and went into a situation kicking and screaming. I’ve even ran away from God’s will and thrown myself into the the stomach of a whale willingly because I couldn’t bring myself to trust Him and His plans.

How wonderful is it that in the midst of my stubbornness God is ever so patient with me. When I am finally done forcing my way on God and am left shackled with the consequences of my choices I can just call up and ask to be rescued. He always answers and what’s more, is that He makes every moment a teachable moment. I think that’s my favorite part. Even when I think that I wasted both mine and God’s time, He whispers in my ear, “Daughter, I waste nothing”

I am choosing to embrace that today. For so long I lived a life feeling guilty because I didn’t always do the right things and I thought that’s what it took to be loved by Him. It feels so good to know I am not defined by my mistakes or my stubbornness. Nothing can separate me from His love {Rom. 8:39}.

In My darkest moment’s God is there. He’s seen me at my worst and He’s seen me at my best. In a world full of judgement and comparison He’s the one person I know will look at me for who I am and still manage to adore me. Instead of focusing on what I lack, I am choosing to focus on who I am:

I am Loved
Forever Made New
Always Forgiven
Called Out and Useful

Made Worthy
Always Wanted
AND YOU ARE TOO.

~ Lovelle ❤

Friendships Worth Fighting For

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Growing up I didn’t really have an example of what a healthy  relationship looked like so I frequently found myself looking for attention and love in all the wrong places. One of those places happened to be in friendships. I tried out friends like I tried on shoes at my favorite stores.

I would try the friendship out out real quick, maybe over a quick conversation involving coffee and some shallow topic. I would then decide if they were comfy enough to continue on to phase two. If they passed my inspection then maybe I would buy into investing some intentional time.

I would  often adore my friendships for a while but when the tiniest scuff appeared I got rid of them because they didn’t fit my expectations anymore. To me, a scuff meant that I could get even more hurt and I’m not about that life.

I continued that cycle for a long time and it was pretty lonely but then I met this girl at church with curly brown hair who was really interesting. She had managed to break down my walls more than any of my other friends and walked with the Lord in a way I hadn’t seen before. I guess you can say we hit it off pretty quick. All was well but then our friendship got a scuff.

“our relationships have subtle, yet powerful, lifelong impacts on us. This means that while they can burden us with unwelcome PTSD, they also have highly reparative capabilities too. The relationship patterns we have learned can become clues that lead us back to the scene of the original crime and equip us with tools to investigate, understand, and prevent it from happening again.”
~ Lisa-Jo Baker Never Unfriended

After some bickering we both left the conversation with some hurt and we weren’t sure how to fix it. We avoided each other for some time and it wasn’t fun.  Weeks passed and she asked me to meet up for coffee.

We had a pretty painful conversation and in the midst of it I remember saying the words,“your friendship is worth fighting for.” before I knew what had come out of my mouth. That conversation pointed out some bad habits I had kept harbored in my heart.

I realized that the personality God gave this woman was worth trudging through the occasional pain and conflict to find a resolution. Her walk with the Lord made me desire to be a better person and I looked up to her so much because she followed Jesus in a way I wanted to. She was worth being vulnerable and getting hurt. She was a friend I couldn’t even imagine unfriending over a petty argument. 

My friend and I still talk about the fight we had but now we look back and are so thankful it happened because it made our friendship stronger. After that fight I learned to stop making my friend carry the weight of unreasonable expectations and I began to embrace her for the person God made her.

My close friendships are like my favorite pair of shoes (my chaco’s) They are durable, comfortable, and I can walk through life with them because those things last forever. 

I would HIGHLY RECOMMEND Never Unfriended: The Secret to Finding and Keeping Lasting Friendships by Lisa-Jo Baker. This book has helped me go out of my comfort zone to make new friends and it’s given me wonderful tools to be a good friend. If you pre-order the book before April 4th you can even get some free goodies!

I promise, after reading the book I can honestly say, your friendships and your soul will thank you. I know mine did. 🙂

~ Lovelle ❤

When The Struggle Is Real

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The future I had so eloquently planned flashed before my eyes and dissolved in an instant as I looked at not one, but two pregnancy tests that had results I did not want. “This can not be happening.” I said to myself.

I looked up and saw my astonished husband with a hint of excitement in his eyes. The one dream he had treasured in his heart for a long time had come true. Not in the timing we thought but the big digital letters that spelled out PREGNANT couldn’t lie. Our life was about to change drastically.

I would love to sit here and tell you I was so excited about this news. I wish I could say I took it well, jumped up and down praising God for this gift not all women get the chance to experience but that would be a total lie.

When I entered this new season I came in kicking and screaming.  Graduate school, my crazy unrealistic idea of financial peace, and all the other dreams I had of working a job outside of the home were gone. They were replaced with the thought of staying home because babies aren’t cheep and momma’s need to take care of them. Like my amazing mother does for me, I knew that I had to accept putting my desires on hold to give this child the best life possible just like Jesus did when he died on the cross for me.

It’s surprising I know… I wasn’t happy that I was pregnant when I first found out. I was actually really ticked off. My face and my words couldn’t hide it. The fake, “thank you’s” when the news broke brought a lot of skeptical looks and not a lot of people knew how to respond. I got a bunch of, “I’m sorry. You are supposed to be happy’s” silence, and awkward stares.

The adversary tried his hardest to trap me with guilt. Children are a gift from the Lord right? I had seen first hand how hard it is on women to look at those negative pregnancy tests month after month and not be able to carry one of their own. I knew the pain my mom and dad felt while enduring 10 years of infertility. I knew first hand how it felt to not be wanted and here I was doing the same thing to our future child…

So here I am ten weeks later (a little more stable) and a lot more excited. We are gonna have a baby!!! I ALMOST believed the lie that my feelings made me a horrible person. As I spent time with Jesus He held me close, listened to my feelings without judgment, and spoke truth into my life. He also brought a few people who had been there to help me through this crazy process.

These lies right here are why I am writing this post. This is for the person going through a similar situation where your reaction isn’t resonating with society. This is for the child of God who never fully embraced how they REALLY felt Friend, I give you full permission and guess what??? So does Jesus.

Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.”
– Luke 22:42

Yes, our wonderful Savior who entered this earth; cried out to God because He wasn’t necessarily happy about the huge request that God was asking of him. God got him through his doubts and questions without judgement. He even did it for me, and He will do it for you too.

I grieved the future I so badly wanted. I cried out to God asking for help. With one test our future became so uncertain. I REALLY needed Him to change my heart and in time He did. He didn’t tell me that I was wrong or a horrible person. He sat there with me in my selfishness and unrealistic expectations, accepted my truthful feelings, and held me close.  My hope is that by reading this I can do that for you too…

It’s okay to not be happy about life hitting you like a ton of bricks. It’s perfectly normal to not have the “correct feelings”. When you embrace it, God can start working on your heart and draw you closer to Him. I promise, when you tell God how you REALLY FEEL, He WILL will be there to listen.

~ Lovelle ❤

It’s Never Too Late For a Happily Ever After

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I’ve been given up on. I’ve been abused and neglected. I’ve seen things I would never wish on anyone and have used my circumstances as an excuse to be bitter and downright mean. I’ve made mistakes and said horrible things I wish I could take back and I’ve hurt people who don’t deserve it.

I’ve seen God change my heart and my mindset.

I’m hanging out with my God Sized Dreams friends today! Click here to read how I learned to embrace new beginnings and a happily ever after.

~ Lovelle ❤

Thrive

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Then Jesus explained, “My nourishment comes from doing the will of God, who sent me, and from finishing his work.”
~ John 4:34

I’m not a mom but I have a dog and work with 10-15 teens 40 hours a week so that must count for something right? I’m hanging out with my friends at Raising Generations Today. I would love for you to join us! For your daily dose of encouragement click on over here.

If that doesn’t work the short link for this article is: http://wp.me/p39Ehj-1qT

~ Lovelle ❤

We Serve A Faithful God and The #DreamTogether Linkup

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As I look back at my life and where God has brought me I am overwhelmed with thankfulness. I feel like I’m on top of a mountain. After a long hard climb I am finally here in my promised land and I’m reaping the harvest of my endurance.

I’m hanging out with my friends at God- Sized Dreams today click here to see how I truly learned that God is not limited to our circumstances.

~ Lovelle ❤