Category Archives: Truth

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.

 

#MomFails Don’t Disqualify Me

HeIsStrong

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It’s 4 in the morning and there is no hiding the bags under my eyes. After dealing with a child that was screaming her head off all night I just couldn’t take it anymore. In fact, her screaming was about to cause me to scream.

I was  angry because I couldn’t understand her needs. I was upset because I felt like I just wasn’t cut out for this whole mom gig. I felt guilty because in that moment, I was wondering if there was a return policy…

It didn’t matter how many times I googled, “reasons a one week old cries” I couldn’t seem to find an answer that would help my daughter calm down. So… I gave up. I promptly laid my child down in her crib, turned on the video monitor while making sure it was on mute, closed the nursery door, and went to our bedroom to wake up my husband. “I just can’t do it” I told him as I shook him awake. “You deal with it.”

He got up and went to console our daughter who was screaming bloody murder at this point and he closed the bedroom door. I covered my ears because I just couldn’t take the crying anymore. The moment I heard that door click I just lost it. I screamed into my pillow and cried about as much as my daughter was crying in the other room.

As I look back I can’t help but laugh. My poor husband woke up to not one, but two crying girls and let me just say, he handled it like a champ. In that moment though, there was absolutely no laughter involved. Just guilt because the adversary loves to hit us in our weak moments.

For some silly reason I thought that putting my daughter down meant that I had abandoned her. I associated seeking help with failure. I didn’t realize how quickly the adversary would fill my head with lies. I guess I thought there would be a week or 2 of peace before the battle??? I was wrong, completely naive, and not prepared at all.

In my weakness the Lord is strong (2 Cor. 12:9-10). As I step into motherhood this verse has a whole new meaning. I’m learning to look at my #momfails with grace.

  • Putting my 3 week old down while she’s screaming will not cause her to be emotionally scarred.
  • Accidentally hitting her head lightly on the faucet while attempting to put her in her bathtub is not abuse. It was an accident. She will be okay.
  • No, I am not my biological parents. My child is so loved and with God’s help, despite my many #momfails (and more to come), my child will turn out okay.

So… Where do I go from here? Well, I’ll start off by treating myself to a pumpkin spice latte since I’ve successfully kept my daughter alive for 3 and a half weeks. Those little successes in life matter too. Then I’ll keep holding on to God’s truth.

I’ll make sure to remember that in my weakness, the Lord is strong. When the Adversary tries to feed me lies, i’ll quiet my spirit and listen real close for God to whisper his truths deep into my heart. In your moments of failure my prayer is that you do the same.

~ Lovelle ❤

 

Learning Through His Faithfulness

Faithfulness

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The more stable I become, the more I miss the days when I had no one but God to rely on. The days when I saw God perform miracles right before my eyes. I remember like it was yesterday, taking the last sixty dollars that I had to my name, putting my hands over my eyes, and quickly putting that money in the tithing bucket before I could change my mind because I trusted in a God that was bigger than my paycheck.

I remember the fuel sign coming on in my car just a few short days later and the panic I felt in my heart because college classes and jobs don’t cater to your gas tank. I remember the loud and passionate prayer I said with a hand held high not caring what people were looking at me as I drove because I believed in a God that answered prayers. A God that taught me not to be afraid of how I appeared in front of others when I sought after Him whole heartedly.

I remember the blanket of peace that covered me in the midst of the unknown after that heart felt prayer on the way to my house. I will never forget the person that handed me a $50 gift card to a gas station when I arrived, “just because” and the shock on their face when I explained that moments before my gas tank was on empty. They felt led to give me that gift card but they had no idea how much I really needed it.

Like a parent the Lord provided for me. Often times, literally handing me what I lacked. Using His people to impact me and show me that He heard my cries. The days of intense struggle are behind me and although I’m thankful, I find myself putting God in box. Like a “Pick 2 meal” at my favorite restaurant, I find myself choosing the paths that look best at the time and saying a quick prayer of thanks later.

I miss the Lovelle that consulted God before doing anything. The girl that felt so small in the big ol’ world she lived in but knew the fire in her heart for her beloved Father defined her. The girl that chose joy in the midst of some of the worst situations because she knew that joy was a gift from the Lord that and it’s here to help us get through tough circumstances. I was once a girl that took every curve ball life had thrown at me with ease because I had the armor of God latched on tight and I believed in the power of it.

Like a dandelion in a field full of luscious flowers whose petals have been blown away by a brisk wind, so has the fire for the lover of my soul. Replaced by a different kind of knowing. A knowing that doesn’t require so much work. Luckily, I serve a God who sees the best in me. Not for what I lack, but for what I can be. He doesn’t let me settle for a life absorbed in my own selfish security. Slowly, I’ve seen Him transform my heart and give some of it back.

He shows me through situations that force me to depend on him (even when I sometimes walk into those situations kicking and screaming). I feel it in the little kicks from the miracle inside my womb. I see it through the tears of joy that come from my adopted mom who’s been given the experience birth when she didn’t think God had those plans in her life.

I feel the seeds of the Holy Spirit spouting up  in my heart like flowers in spring time. I find God in the daily lessons where He ever so softly touches my heart and reminds me of what really matters. Taking my life in His hands, as if it were clay, and molding it the way He wants.

Breaking habits, I shouldn’t have and changing my thoughts so that they reflect Him. I see Him change my heart daily so that He can use me the way He sees fit even if I don’t feel so usable. Slowly but surely, I’m feeling like my old self again…

 I’m thankful I serve a God who doesn’t settle for a relationship that goes one way. He teaches me His ways and reminds me to rely on His faithfulness alone so that my heart is no longer divided between this world and who He is.

~ Lovelle ❤

Growth and Connection

GrowthandConnection

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I’ve heard the Easter story a million times. I’ve listened to the sermon and have been brought to tears because I am reminded just how much I am loved. I’ve heard how Jesus died a martyr’s death because He loved me beyond all my mistakes and mess ups.

I’ve been told more times then I can count that God see’s something in me. He invested a lot of time and energy by creating me because He sees the good in my sinful heart. That should make me feel better right??? Well, sometimes, not so much…

 

Today I am going to tell you a vulnerable truth. I often miss the whole point of what Jesus did on that cross for me because I forget that I will never be good enough.

I  find myself running around like a crazy woman trying to be the perfect wife, perfect daughter, perfect friend, and perfect “Christian.” I want to please God and everyone around me so bad but somehow I feel like I always fall short. I exhaust myself trying to earn love and affection. It’s never enough so I’m left feeling hollow and empty.

“Life isn’t about Perfection it’s about growth and connection.”
– Holley Gerth –

We will never be good enough and God knew that. It’s a hard truth to take in. Trust me, I know. I struggle with it daily but thats when I have to remember God meets me where I am. Jesus died to bridge the gap.

Our imperfections are the reason why God sent His son. He sees something in us. He knows the daily tug of war that goes on inside our sinful hearts. He knows that we try really hard to follow Him. He walks beside us when we hit the T in the road. When we have to make the daily choice between good and evil. His Hand is on our shoulder while we choose which path to take and He keeps His grip tight, even when we choose the path we shouldn’t.

He picks us up when we fall and is there to redeem us when we are so low we feel as if we can’t possibly get up. When we utter the words, “forgive me Lord” He’s there to remind us that His love conquers all of our sin. We may not be good enough but He is.

I am going to hold onto that truth today. Will you join me?

~ Lovelle ❤

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 ❤

When The Struggle Is Real

burdens

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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 ❤