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

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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

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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. 🙂

 

Here I am Lord Use Me

Use Me

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Two girls sit down on the couch with a cup of coffee and reminisce about life. They talk about how they both expected to be in completely different places. Both equally determined and hard working individuals who are in completely different life stages. So different, yet so similar. They relate to one another and acknowledge that a healing cup of coffee and the simple words, “This isn’t where I wanted to be” is good for the soul.

One girl is married with a child on the way. The last day at her “job” is only a few short days away. Never in a million years did this girl expect to be a stay at home mom. She loved working outside of the home and still has that desire but in this season, it isn’t financially possible. The thought of working to pay for daycare and missing out on all of her child’s milestones just isn’t worth it to her, and it isn’t what God has called her to do. 

The other girl is single and is a blessing to everyone she she comes into contact with. She has a heart for others and a strong desire for community. Her Friday evenings are typically spent socializing with friends, unlike the married woman who typically stays at home watching Netflix with her husband. She thought she would be married by now with one or two kids. Instead she’s single. Even though she’s pretty social, that longing for a husband still pops up every once in a while and sometimes it’s hard to ignore. Even in the middle of a social engagement.

Two girls with polar opposite lives and yet, they still manage to be close friends. They both thought they would be walking in the other persons shoes. They lift their coffee cup up to heaven and say confidently, “Where you have me right now is enough.” They refuse to believe the lie that each other’s “job” or stage of life is more important. Titles mean nothing in the kingdom of heaven. Instead they refill their cups and hug each other. They talk about God’s faithfulness in their lives and are reminded that He will continue to be just as faithful.

Life is full of bittersweet seasons. You know, the ones where you are excited for what’s ahead but sad that it didn’t look the way you wanted. Maybe you’re even scared and afraid that you aren’t qualified to do the task God has asked you to do. I’m learning that it’s okay to feel that way sometimes. It doesn’t make me a horrible person and it doesn’t mean I love God any less.

This I do know: The Lord is faithful and His plans for our lives are better than we can ever imagine. In the moments of confusion, happiness, and even when I feel sad because something didn’t go the way I thought it would I will find a friend, grab a cup of coffee, and confidently say, “Here I am Lord use me.” 

~ Lovelle ❤

#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 ❤