Our Differences Make Us Stronger

Differences

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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 ❤

Prayer Works

PRAYER WORKS

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The Lord is good but we live in a world that isn’t. As a mental health paraprofessional who works with teenagers abused or struggling with addiction I guess you can say, I have seen it all.

I’ve seen young kids taste a little bit of sin and end up deep in an addiction before they even realize what hit them. I’ve seek kids with abuse stores that are mind boggling and hard to even begin to try to wrap your head around.

Sometimes, as I leave work my head doesn’t even feel like it’s mine anymore. It’s full of stories and visuals of those who need the healing hand of Jesus. My clients fill my mind and my heart starts to ache for those affected.

I’ll be the first to say,  I have no idea how to fix the problem. In fact, I can’t fix it. Only God can. Sin and sorrow is Jesus’ specialty. That’s the whole reason He came down to earth and sacrificed Himself for us. It was because He knew we were never too far gone.

It doesn’t matter what we do. It doesn’t matter how unrealistic or bad our situation is. It doesn’t matter what happened to us.

From the outside looking in, it may look like someone we know or truly care about won’t change or even get better but friend, never ever put a period on a sentence that isn’t finished yet.

Always remember; in a world full of hurt prayer works. It may take years or even decades but God is working in the background. I hold close to that promise as I am interceding for every single on of my kiddos through prayer on my way home from work.

I call each of them out by name and cry out for their situation because I know that my eyes can’t see the whole picture. God has got their situation worked out already. I pray for God to show them who He is because I know from the bottom of my heart that if they realize that, He can start changing their circumstance.

In this world full of pain not only in my job, but in the recent events we have gone through as a country I will continue to hold this truth close to my heart. Will you join me? Prayer works folks.

~ Lovelle ❤

Christ Is Freedom

Freedom

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She told me her sin, and the look on her eyes told me that the mistakes she had made cut her pretty deep. What hurt my heart wasn’t her sin, it’s the way she let it define her. She let her sin make her feel unworthy which started a cycle of settling on the dreams God had for her.

The adversary loves to make us feel unworthy because of our mistakes. He loves to make us feel like we are dirty and the lies he whispers into our ear makes us feel like we are too far gone but friend, I’m here to remind you that it’s not true. 

You are never too far gone.

Jesus didn’t lay down His life for us on that cross for us to settle because of our past mistakes. After all, He took tax collectors, sinners, and people considered dirty in the world’s eyes and made them disciples. 

Every trial is a testimony. Every single mistake gives us an opportunity to relate to others in a unique way. What if our trials can help others truly comprehend the grace of our Lord?

Mind blowing, isn’t it? There is worth to your dirtiness. That was God’s plan all along. Those who have found Christ are a new creation. The old is gone {2nd Cor. 5:17}. Don’t you ever forget that. 

God loves you where you are right now. In this very moment. In His eyes you are pure. My prayer today is that you not only remember it, but feel it deep in your precious soul.

~ Lovelle ❤

Wherever I Am God Is Enough

He Is Enough

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I had just graduated college. I worked so hard to get to that place and I was finally done. I thought to myself, “surely I will get hired quickly. I will figure out what to do with my life. I love speaking so God will open up doors for me to speak again right?”

I had these dreams and goals that I wanted to achieve immediately but God doesn’t work in our timing and life happens so I found myself in-between jobs. It seemed like God was completely silent. I had no offers to speak, and doors to potential jobs closed in every direction.

To make some money and occupy my time I began working at a thrift store where I had previously been employed. As  I sat there cleaning the dusty area filled with trinkets and vintage items I couldn’t help but cry out to God.

“Surely I am called for more than this God?”

I asked that question a lot. Every time I cleaned the bathrooms and sorted through clothes I would ask Him again. As time went on God started refining my heart. He whispered into my heart. “Lovelle, I am enough.

It doesn’t matter where I am. If I am a garbage person, a cashier, the CEO of a prestigious company, a stay at home momma, or a speaker. I can do anything and everything my heart desires but if God isn’t my contentment then nothing I do will ever be good enough. My life will be completely worthless.

“Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that I could gain Christ”
~ Philippians 3:8

HE IS ENOUGH

As time went on I did in fact get a job offer. It’s not my ending point but it is going to give me tools I will need in the future and I get to make a difference. Where God has placed me now is enough.

When I get discouraged and lose contentment I will hold on to those words. Will you join me? Friend, He has you right where He wants you. A God that knows every hair on your head is surely putting you where you are for a reason.

~ Lovelle ❤

Bringing Life To Our Thoughts

Words

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“How precious are your thoughts about me, O God. They cannot be numbered! I can’t even count them; they outnumber the grains of sand! And when I wake up, you are still with me!”
~ Psalms 139:17-18

We all know that words hurt, and that includes words we say about ourselves. I don’t know about you, but I am my biggest critic. The word says to give grace, love, and mercy, and I do it to everyone but myself.

It’s hard to speak life into what we do and who we are and it’s awfully easy to talk bad about our weight, body image, mistakes, and sins.

How amazing is it to serve a God that thinks precious thoughts about us? He is crazy about us. Once we ask forgiveness we are as white as snow.

Oh how easy it is to forget…

He never leaves us and even in our darkest moments He walks beside us. Today, let’s take a step back and remember what God thinks about us. Remember friends… His thoughts for us are only good.

~ Lovelle ❤

Remembering All God Has Done

WildFlowers1

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“In the future when your descendants ask their parents, ‘What do these stones mean?’ tell them, ‘Israel crossed the Jordan on dry ground.’  For the Lord your God dried up the Jordan before you until you had crossed over.

The Lord your God did to the Jordan what he had done to the Red Sea when he dried it up before us until we had crossed over.  He did this so that all the peoples of the earth might know that the hand of the Lord is powerful and so that you might always fear the Lord your God.”
~ Joshua 4: 21-24

I remember my first half marathon like it was yesterday… I felt like I had been through it all. Abuse, homelessness, obesity, fear, anger, survival, and bitterness just to name a few.
Someone got injured and gave me her spot in the Bentonville running festival. I didn’t know if I could do it but I knew I had to try and I succeeded.

After crossing the finish line and walking to my car alone I was reminded that God could help me run this race in life and I held on to His promise that everything was going to be okay even though it didn’t really look like it at the moment.

Three years later, 70 pounds lighter, and a fourth half marathon completed, I still hold tight to that reminder. I’ve watched God do the unthinkable in my life.

For 13.1 miles I get to reminisce on how much one year can really make a difference.

I get to enjoy the fact that when I cross that finish line I won’t be alone like I was the first year. Now I have parents and a husband waiting for me. They are there cheering me on and believing that I can run the race of endurance and become the woman God wants me to be.

Even if I don’t always see it.

That’s why the first weekend of April is my favorite weekend of the year. God has changed me inside and out. On this day, I get to push myself as hard as I can and as my feet hit that pavement; for 13.1 Miles I let Him take me on a wild journey of remembering just how He did that.

I guess you can say my half marathon is my, “stone.” Just like the Israelites, I use my runs and my races to remind me just how far God has taken me and one day when I have little ones, I am going to tell His story through my running shoes.

They will know that their mom’s runs are for more than just exercise. Their mom is running the race of endurance and thanking God for everything He has done.

Do you have a “Stone” set up to remind yourself of how God has brought you out of the wilderness? I would love to hear what it is!

~ Lovelle ❤

God Has Given Everyone a Sweet Spot

Called Us To Do

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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 finally got home. It was one in the morning on a Monday and boy had it been a long day already. The day before I had taken four eighth graders on a four hour long car ride and spent the whole day with them so that they could attend a christian concert.

Two out of the four of them had spent the night at my house the night before that so I guess you can say my weekend was packed and exhausting. There was a lot of bickering, yelling, and at times arguing but as I tucked myself into bed that morning, my body may have been tired but my heart felt so full.

Our nourishment comes from using the gifts God has given us to do exactly what He has called us to do.

It’s those moments when we put everything we have into a particular person, job, or hobby that we fully understand those words in John 4:34. You see, Jesus had a job and He loved every single minute of it. It wasn’t work to Him.

It may have been hard but every single time He healed someone and gave them the gift of salvation, He was nourished and that’s exactly how He created us to live our life.

I love those girls.
I need those girls just as much as they need me.

Every time I drop them off and am so exhausted that I can hardly get myself into bed I know that being involved in their life is exactly where God wants me to be. Today I am encouraging you to find your sweet spot. God has given you one so be involved in it as much as you can.

P.S. if you aren’t sure what God’s called you to do then I would highly recommend the Strengths Finder Test and the Myers Briggs test. They both helped me find my “sweet spot” and it really showed me that some of the things I didn’t think were so good about myself actually are an asset in the Kingdom of Heaven.

~ Lovelle ❤