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❤

The Truth Behind Our Mistakes and Trials

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{These graphics are free for you to enjoy}

“You sent your good Spirit to instruct them, and you did not stop giving them manna from heaven or water for their thirst…”
~ Nehemiah 9:20 NLT

Nehemiah 9 starts out solemn. The people of Israel realized they had fallen away from God again. They confessed their sins and worshipped their God. Then together in unison, the Israelites prayed to God and thanked Him for everything He had done for them.

Here are some of the things that they thanked Him for:

  • He made a covenant with Abraham. (Neh. 9:8)
  • He did what He promised because He was true to His word (Neh. 9:8)
  • He saved the Israelites from their slavery in Egypt and displayed signs to Pharaoh (Neh. 9:9-10)
  • He divided the sea and got the Israelites out of Egypt. (Neh. 9:11)
  • He led the Israelites by a pillar of cloud and fire to their promised land.(Neh. 9: 12)
  • He gave them bread from heaven when they were hungry and water from a rock when they were thirsty. (Neh. 9:15)

God literally provided everything for the Israelites. Here’s the thing; in the midst of the miracles listed, they still managed to sin a lot:

  • They completely disregarded God’s commands and forgot all He had done. (Neh. 9:16-17)
  • They worshipped idols. (Neh. 9:18)
  • They killed prophets who tried to warn them of the severity of their sin. (Neh. 9:26)

“Whenever your people turned and cried to you again for help, you listened once more from heaven. In your wonderful mercy, you rescued them many times.”
~ Nehemiah 9:28

It may be 2016 but sometimes I feel just like the Israelites. Life is like a roller coaster. Some days I feel like I do really good, while other days I feel like the worst human being on the planet. It’s an up and down ride of trial and error.

It’s in my darkest moments that I see God the most.

It’s when I am flat on my face crying out to God because trials come from every direction that I feel His presence more than ever. It’s in those moments that I can stand up and thank Him for every single thing that He has gotten me through and forgiven me for. I may forget sometimes but let me tell you friend, He’s done a lot;

  • He’s gotten me through homelessness
  • He’s walked with me through every single type of abuse
  • There were times when I hated Him, but He pursued me with His whole heart.
  • He’s been there when I was alone working full time trying to survive.
  • He’s instructed me on how to live a Christian life.
  • He’s taken me from Orphan to daughter.
  • He’s made me a wife.

Every single time I mess up He’s been there holding me. When I say, “Lord, I’m just not good enough.” He says, “That’s okay. That’s why I died on the cross.” 

Nehemiah 9 was my reminder that every trial is a testimony. Every mistake holds an opportunity for growth. I can rejoice in the hard times because those are the moments that God holds me ever so close…

~ Lovelle❤

 

Created For a Purpose

Making Me In Your Image

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A brand is defined as, “a unique sign, design, symbol, words or a combination of these used to create a certain image.” Every company, product, and even most blogs have a brand.

In order to brand, a person must pick a specific age group, logo, and cause they want to target. If a company or person tries to create a product for everyone, they won’t be able to sell it because not all of their “audience” can use it.

When a company defines their brand it defines their mission. After they create their brand, then they create products to fit their cause.

God has branded us with specific gifts and talents too.

There are so many times I compare myself to others because they have gifts I feel I don’t. It’s so important for us to remember that we were created for a purpose and it won’t look very different than our sister, friend, or co- worker. If we don’t have a certain gift, that’s okay because God has given us gifts that fit the work He has for us.

God defined our mission and cause before we were born. When he thought us into being he picked our gifts based on what audience he wants us to reach.

He understood that hospitality or thinking to give a teacher a gift on the first day of school was last on our priority list. He knows that it’s okay to lack in certain areas, because in the areas He has gifted us in- we will excel.

Here’s my brand (or what I am good at): Hanging out with teenagers, mentoring, helping the broken, encouraging people through tough times, planting seeds deep into a persons soul by encouraging them in order to help them stand strong when trials come.

By defining my brand (or what God has created me to do) I have the ability to combat the adversaries lies. When I feel my friend seems to pray better than I do or that I talk too much (and trust me, i’ve beat myself up for that a lot) I simply remember, it’s okay because, God is using me with the gifts he has given.

Friend, we weren’t created on accident. God put a lot of thought into us. Don’t you think for a second that He left something out…  Have you defined your “Brand” I would love to hear it! Feel free to tell me on the comments below.🙂

~ Lovelle❤

A Faith Better Than Our Circumstance

Who You Are

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For the past 5 years I have had an air freshener on my rear view mirror. It’s a cross with big blue letters that read, “Be still and know that I am God.” The smell is long gone and age has definitely set in but every time I think about taking it down I just can’t bring myself to do it.

You see, my high school librarian gave me that air freshener as a graduation gift and it was with me in some of the toughest situations I have ever endured. I would look at it when I was homeless or driving to one of my many jobs.

I would glimpse at that cross when I was in pain wondering why I had to go through life alone. It was my reminder that He was with me through it all.

This air freshener would tell me that God was in control and I need not worry. I still look at it daily and it means more to me now than it ever has. I have walked through the wilderness and God has brought me to my promised land.

I am writing this story because I want you to know a very important truth: You never know who you impact.

It took me years to truly understand how much my librarian helped me and it took me even longer to voice it to her. My librarian and quite a few high school teachers walked along side me in some pretty tough mud that I’m sure they weren’t certain I would get out of.

But guess what??? They also walked with me through my promised land too. One of my favorite memories is when three of my teachers crowded around me for a picture on my wedding day.

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They believed in me and that is the faith that God has called us to live. Being still and knowing who God is doesn’t mean that everything is perfect and it certainly doesn’t mean we are in control.

It means that we trust in a God that knows the end result even if it takes years to fully develop. My job is a hard one. I see kids in some of the worst situations. Some leave to a happy place while others leave in handcuffs.

No matter what, I don’t know what the end will look like for any of them. When I drive home I look at that cross and remember that I serve a God that knows every one of my kids’ situations.

What situation are you dealing with today? What uncertainty do you see? Trust in God and know that He has everything taken care of.

~ Lovelle❤

 

 

 

Our Differences Make Us Stronger

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“In his grace, God has given us different gifts for doing certain things well…”
~ Romans 12:6 NLT

I had just started leading a small group for a group of teens. This particular group had another leader who had been investing for 3 years. Going in, I was determined to be the best that I could be. I had all these plans and ideas that I was ready to put into place (notice the amount of “I’s” in that sentence?).

I’m hanging out with my God Sized Dreams friends today! Click here to read how I learned why our differences can make us stronger.

~ Lovelle❤