Category Archives: Growth

Exciting News!!!

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Sooooo, I’ve got a confession to make…. I’ve kept a little secret for over a year. It’s been a struggle to keep it in and today I can FINALLY share it with you guys! (in)courage is releasing a BRAND NEW CBS Devotional Bible and I have some devotions in it! How cool is that?!?

Here’s the down-low…

  • There are 312 devotions written by 122 writers (INCLUDING ME!!!) with stories from women in all seasons of life.
  • The devotions are organized into 10 themes, and each theme has a distinct color and design in the Bible.
  • Each theme also has its own reading plan to guide you through a beautiful experience of Scripture.
  • There are 50 Women of Courage featured with biographical profiles throughout the biblical text.
  • Each of the 66 introductions (one for each book of the Bible) are original to draw you into the overarching biblical narrative.

There are soooo many more features — each one that has something special just for you!

This beauty will be released on October 1, 2018 and you don’t have to wait for it! You can sign up for a FREE 54-page sampler. It includes two full books of the Bible (Esther and Romans), several devotions, reading plans, and more.

You can also learn more about the bible by hitting up this blog post by (in)courage or checking out the video they posted today on their Facebook Page.

I am so humbled and thankful to be a part of this project. (in)courage has helped me so much in my faith and with life in general. From interning there in college, getting to know all the women on a personal level, and gaining encouragement at some of my lowest points. They’ve walked through so much with me and I truly believe that this bible can help you as you pursue God’s path for your life.

Last but not least, I want each and every one of you reading this to know how thankful I am for you. You’ve encouraged me, walked beside me, and believed in me. I’ve always felt called to speak and write but to be honest, I don’t always feel qualified or capable.

You’ve walked along side my journey and reminded me that God doesn’t need qualifications to use me. He needs my heart, willingness, and obedience to step out into scary waters. The words I’ve written in this bible come from the heart and they have you in mind. I hope you know that.

~ Lovelle ❤

The One Who Calls Me Is Faithful

Faithful

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There are days I feel like I am walking on a tight rope and I think I might just fall at any second. In 4 years my life has changed so much. I’ve skipped a social class and had to learn how to live life in a completely different way. Poverty and Middle Class are so different. There are so many unspoken things people don’t tell you.

I’ve also gone from being alone to having an adopted family as well as family I married into. I’ve had to learn to rely on and trust people. I had to come to the realization that accepting help doesn’t mean I am taking advantage, incapable, or weak.

Like a Chameleon, I’ve tried to blend into new family groups as if I’ve always been in them when I have no idea what “family” looks like and I feel like I just stand out. 

I became a mom and had to learn to care of someone other than myself in a healthy way when I didn’t have anyone growing up who showed me what that looked like. I’ve had to learn nursery rhymes, bible songs, and baby talk. I’ve had to learn to trust, to be loved, and to live life day by day.

I’ve had to learn to stop preparing for any possible situation because I no longer have to worry about getting kicked out, being homeless, or having enough money to pay bills. No longer do I have to choose between having enough gas to get to school or feeding myself for the rest of the week.

I’ve had to re-train my brain to stop making plans for the “what if’s and I’ve had to learn to stop expecting the worst to happen because it won’t. I’m stable now and I have people around me that will help if something goes wrong.

I’m not on my own anymore. I’ve had to learn to accept help and to believe that I am wanted when I was told that I wasn’t for 20 years of my life.

*sigh*

That’s how I feel some days. I just have to take a deep breath and keep going. So much around me has changed and I’m not sure that I am keeping up. I feel overwhelmed and clueless. Like I’m not cut out for whats expected of me and I can’t ask for help because not very many people have walked in my shoes.

The one who calls me is faithful.

Whatever we are going through, learning, or having to re-learn. The one who calls us is faithful. If we fall off that tight rope He will catch us. We are called for such a time as this. To grow and to learn. To reap and to sow.

We have a divine purpose that is preparing us for those pearly gates. Whenever I lose hope or get discouraged I try to remember that. I don’t know what your story looks like. Maybe you moved to a new town or are in an unfamiliar season.  Maybe you started a new job and are overwhelmed with having to adjust to your new “normal.”

The one who calls you is faithful. Our God is the initiator, sustainer, and finisher in the midst of our messy moments. You don’t have to be in control and you don’t need to know the outcome because the one who knit you in your mothers womb does.

~ Lovelle ❤

 

Hope for the Weary Momma

Matters

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It was 2:30am and I was still awake cleaning my house. I had gotten sick so my normal pickup and decluttering got neglected. I knew that unless I sacrificed some sleep, the to-do-to list would just pile up even more. So despite having to be to work at 8:30 the next morning, I kept going until it was finished. Or so I thought….

It seems like every time I check one thing off of my list 2 or 3 more things pile back on. I’m never done. I’ve got a child to keep alive and a house to keep decent. Between cooking, cleaning, nurturing, and picking up after everyone I am left with little time to do things for myself. I can’t tell you how many times I haven’t sat down and relaxed on the couch until 9pm or later.

I’ve had moments of frustration and anger. Moments when I just wanted to run away because I didn’t want to be a wife or a mom. I’ve felt exhausted and overwhelmed. I’ve thought like I can’t live up to what I am supposed to be. And you know what…. I’m pretty sure I am not the only woman who’s felt this way.

We are woman
Nurturers
Care Givers and a fighters.

Our armor consists of baggy eyes, spit up, and cold coffee in our cups. We fight hard for our people because we desperately want what is best for them. We sacrifice  for those we care about and will do anything to make them happy. We love hard and oftentimes, that means pushing our desires to the side.

We complete the task ahead of us and the bags under our eyes don’t define who we are as a wives or a moms. What we do matters and it is appreciated. We will love our people hard and give them our because that’s what the Lord does for us.

Momma, I see you. I see those dirty dishes on the counter and that basket full of laundry. I see the living room that keeps getting messed up even though you’ve picked it up like 20 times in the last hour. I see those dark circles and that extra big cup of cold coffee. I see the weariness and I wish I could hug you and tell you that it’s okay. Fighting is hard work. 

Keep goin’ momma. What you do matters even if you don’t see it and don’t feel appreciated. It’s totally cool to choose sleep over that shower for the second day in a row. You gotta do what you gotta do.

Find joy in that mundane to-do list and don’t forget to ask God for energy. Love your people hard and hold them close. God sees your sacrifices and uses it. You are doing great.

~ Lovelle ❤

Refining in the Hardship

We live in a world where we can get anything we want with the simple touch of our fingertip. It even includes 2 day shipping. There are so many times I get upset because I am not seeing myself progress in a “timely” manner. There are moments I get mad because my plans aren’t panning out.

In those moments I am reminded of Moses. He put in a lot of work. He endured a lot of hardship and listened to A LOT of complaints. After dealing with all of that, he didn’t even get to see the promised land. 

Friend, life is so hard. Can we just take a second to acknowledge that? It makes you ugly cry and want to scream into a pillow. It can bring out the worst in you.

There are times that God will ask us to sit in the hardship. We may not be able to see it but the misery is changing us for the better. The hardship leaves us with bruises and scars that remind us just how human we are.

We will fall down and make mistakes. But we will get back up and keep going. We will push ourselves further. Even when we don’t feel like moving anymore. We will look towards that cross because it is full of grace, mercy, forgiveness, and endurance. 

Consider me your virtual cheerleader. I’m waving around pom-pom’s while you take another step. I’m on the sidelines holding up a sign that says, “go girl!” and jumping up and down with excitement because I know you can win this battle.

We serve a faithful God who has a perfect plan for you. As you take life on like a boss, my prayer is that you somehow find His faithfulness woven into your steps.

~ Lovelle ❤

 

What Does Your Race Look Like?

Race

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I get out of the car and walk to the entrance of the trail. This trail  used to bring me joy. Lately it’s caused, anger, frustration, and pain both literally and figuratively.

I guess you can say running was a hobby of mine. I practiced a lot and my body was used to long distances at a decent pace. I’d spent 3 years training my body and had worked really hard. I was finally content with the speed, distance, and pace I was able to do. I was even training for a marathon.

Then life happened… I found out I was pregnant and week later I found out that I needed foot surgery. After 3 years of practice running was officially off the table. When I say off the table I mean completely taken away from me. I couldn’t exercise at all due to pain in my foot.

I had my daughter 9 months later and 6 weeks after that I had the surgery to remove a nerve in my foot. Two months after the surgery  I FINALLY got the okay to run again. In total, I had gone about a year without running and boy was I in for a huge surprise.

The legs that used to be strong enough to carry me could barely make it half a mile. My lungs were screaming. My mind told me I could but my body seemed to be saying, “not happening.”  

This is life. You work really hard only to have huge set backs. You think to yourself, “why am I even trying” and are tempted to just give up. The adversary tries to fill our hearts with lies. We feel as if we aren’t capable or good enough.

We make excuses for why we shouldn’t even bother. We forget that falling down gives us endurance and allows us to withstand attacks from the enemy. Sometimes our race looks different. Theres a time to run really fast. There’s a time to jog and a time to walk. There’s a time for hills and a time for slopes.

It’s not just about the finish line. It’s about the lessons we learn as we run towards God. The struggles make us stronger and draw us closer to Him. So I am going to keep showing up and as I struggle I will ask God what He wants to teach me. Will you?

~ Lovelle.

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.

 

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.