Tag Archives: Life

Friendships Worth Fighting For

NeverUnfriended

{These graphics are free for you to enjoy}

 

Growing up I didn’t really have an example of what a healthy  relationship looked like so I frequently found myself looking for attention and love in all the wrong places. One of those places happened to be in friendships. I tried out friends like I tried on shoes at my favorite stores.

I would try the friendship out out real quick, maybe over a quick conversation involving coffee and some shallow topic. I would then decide if they were comfy enough to continue on to phase two. If they passed my inspection then maybe I would buy into investing some intentional time.

I would  often adore my friendships for a while but when the tiniest scuff appeared I got rid of them because they didn’t fit my expectations anymore. To me, a scuff meant that I could get even more hurt and I’m not about that life.

I continued that cycle for a long time and it was pretty lonely but then I met this girl at church with curly brown hair who was really interesting. She had managed to break down my walls more than any of my other friends and walked with the Lord in a way I hadn’t seen before. I guess you can say we hit it off pretty quick. All was well but then our friendship got a scuff.

“our relationships have subtle, yet powerful, lifelong impacts on us. This means that while they can burden us with unwelcome PTSD, they also have highly reparative capabilities too. The relationship patterns we have learned can become clues that lead us back to the scene of the original crime and equip us with tools to investigate, understand, and prevent it from happening again.”
~ Lisa-Jo Baker Never Unfriended

After some bickering we both left the conversation with some hurt and we weren’t sure how to fix it. We avoided each other for some time and it wasn’t fun.  Weeks passed and she asked me to meet up for coffee.

We had a pretty painful conversation and in the midst of it I remember saying the words,“your friendship is worth fighting for.” before I knew what had come out of my mouth. That conversation pointed out some bad habits I had kept harbored in my heart.

I realized that the personality God gave this woman was worth trudging through the occasional pain and conflict to find a resolution. Her walk with the Lord made me desire to be a better person and I looked up to her so much because she followed Jesus in a way I wanted to. She was worth being vulnerable and getting hurt. She was a friend I couldn’t even imagine unfriending over a petty argument. 

My friend and I still talk about the fight we had but now we look back and are so thankful it happened because it made our friendship stronger. After that fight I learned to stop making my friend carry the weight of unreasonable expectations and I began to embrace her for the person God made her.

My close friendships are like my favorite pair of shoes (my chaco’s) They are durable, comfortable, and I can walk through life with them because those things last forever. 

I would HIGHLY RECOMMEND Never Unfriended: The Secret to Finding and Keeping Lasting Friendships by Lisa-Jo Baker. This book has helped me go out of my comfort zone to make new friends and it’s given me wonderful tools to be a good friend. If you pre-order the book before April 4th you can even get some free goodies!

I promise, after reading the book I can honestly say, your friendships and your soul will thank you. I know mine did. 🙂

~ Lovelle ❤

Life and the Storms: This, Too, Shall Pass

It was a bright and sunny day and the temperature was perfect. Although I felt like winter lasted forever, the amazing weather I saw made me think that things were going to lighten up and boy, was I excited. I was ready for the warmer weather, and all that came with it like trips to the lake, pretty flowers, and walks outside.

I looked at my phone to find a notification from a local news station informing me that the area was under a severe thunderstorm warning. I scoffed at my phone in disbelief because from what I had observed, there was no way a storm was possible. The weather was amazing and there wasn’t even a cloud in the sky. A couple hours later the meteorologist proved me wrong, and the storm came down hard.

As I sat on my couch listening to the rain fall and thunder bellow outside my house I couldn’t help but think that this is what life is all about…

I was reminded that life is full of up’s and downs. The adversary has undesired surprises hidden in every corner. One moment things are fine and then bam, you are hit with an unexpected expense or sickness. Happiness is drowned in the midst of a storm. Through all the hardships that come from life, I am so thankful that my God is in control.

This too shall pass

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Are you going through a storm right now? Were you hit with a situation that seemed to knock you right off of your feet? Take heart, my dear friend, because our troubles won’t last forever. Our loving God is full of comfort and guidance. Even if you can’t see Him, He is present in your situation and there is hope because  this, too, shall pass

A New Meaning to My Half Marathons

As I peeled off the sticker that had remained on my car for what seemed like forever I began to remember the significance of my first half marathon. I remember that race like it was yesterday. I was so overwhelmed with thankfulness that I cried. With the Lord’s help I had ran 13.1 miles and completed a race that I never would have even imagined competing in.

In the process of three years, I had successfully lost 80 pounds and was healthier than I had ever been before. To me, my half marathon symbolized how far God had brought me and how He would continue to push me even farther.

The day after my half marathon I purchased a sticker at a local running store. It said 13.1 and once that sticker was on my car, everyone who drove by would know that the girl in the ruby red Ford Fiesta ran a half marathon.

As far as I was concerned, I had earned my bragging rights. I had literally earned that sticker with my own sweat and tears. 

Here’s the reality; Everyone could see that I ran 13.1 miles, but they couldn’t what God did for me. 

So two half marathons later with a third on the way, I found myself taking off the 13.1 sticker that I had become so proud of. I didn’t take it off because it was old; in fact, those large black numbers could be seen a mile away.

I was taking off the sticker because with every scrape, I was one step closer to completing an even bigger race. My life isn’t about my success and in no way do I ever want to glorify myself, so with one last scrape, the remains of the sticker were gone and a new symbol was made that day.

13.1

{These graphics are free for you to enjoy}

The absence of the sticker was the beginning of my discipline. In that moment, I promised God that I would run as fast as I could towards His presence and that day I made a commitment to give Him the rightful glory He deserves for  EVERYTHING He has done.

~ Lovelle ❤

What I Learned From My Dog: Approaching God Without Expectations

When my husband told me that I could get a dog for my birthday, I was over-the-moon excited! I love dogs but I had never had a stable home environment so it had never been possible. With that decision came expectations.

We wanted to adopt though the Paws for Prison Program. Through this program, the dogs are taken out of a shelter and trained by prisoners. After their training they can be adopted out. I was scared of training a dog because I did not have the attention span or ability and I thought that this program would give me the ability to be a better dog owner since they did the training for me. So with those expectations in place and a determination to adopt the perfect dog, I applied.

I got so excited when they called me about the dog I had applied for. I was almost certain that I would get the dog and we would live happily ever after… And then I got turned down. I was a little disappointed but I tried again.

I filled out the paperwork and got another call back only to find out the dog I had applied for got really hurt and could not be adopted out.

Really???” I told my mom. “How hard can it be to adopt a dog?

Be patient” she said. “God will give you the perfect dog.

Like all moms out there, she was right. We went into PetSmart to get cedar chips for a dog we were watching only to find out they were showing dogs from the local animal shelter. I walked over to the area where all of the dogs were and sat down. To my surprise the most precious dog walked underneath my chair and planted himself right in between my legs.

My husband looked at me and said, “I think that dog chose you.” He had, and we brought our baby home two days later.  His name is Buford.

The funny thing is that our dog did not fit the expectations we had put in place. He didn’t come from the program we wanted to go though and he was bigger than we originally wanted.

I was so scared of training, but our dog was potty trained within two days, and through the program we have him in, he is learning a lot of commands. Our trainer says he is one of the smartest dogs he has ever seen.

Buford

God did give me the perfect dog! I couldn’t ask for a better workout buddy. It turns out Buford was neglected by his previous owners. All he really wanted was love and well, God knew I had more than enough to give him. I had worried for nothing.

I learned through this situation that we shouldn’t approach God with expectations. He has a plan and it will come to pass. The moment we let fear of failure cause us to take matters into our own hands is the moment we will fail. 

What expectations are you approaching God with? What has got you scared today? Know that God has got your life in the palm of his hands and He will neither leave nor forsake you {Deuteronomy 31:6}. When it comes down to it, our life has nothing to do with us. It has everything to do with Him and who He is.

The Waiting Game: What I wish I Was Told When I Was Single

I had this dream that was tucked inside my heart so tightly that hardly anyone knew about it. Everyone in the world saw a completely content and independent woman, but deep down all I wanted was to be married.

I was ashamed of this dream and at times, I felt that I obsessed over it too much. After all, a woman’s heart should be so hidden in God that a man has to seek Him just to find her. I was taught in church that I should be content and my impression of content was to be happy single.

The problem I had, was that I wasn’t happy single. Instead I was stuck with an unwanted desire… 

I would pray to my Creator because I wanted Him to take away my feelings. I was sick of guilt and I thought that my desire for a husband meant that I wasn’t content.

After years of struggling and an extreme amount of guilt, God gave me an answer to my request but it didn’t involve Him taking away my desire. He gave it to me through a simple scripture.

I want you to be free from the concerns of this life. An unmarried man can spend his time doing the Lord’s work and thinking how to please Him.
~1 Corinthians 7:32

I learned through this scripture, that there is nothing wrong with my desire for a husband. God created me that way. I learned that I should embrace this chapter of my life by spending my time doing the Lord’s work and thinking about how to please Him. This verse taught me what it really means to be content.

Being content means that you are making the best of your situation. The fact is, we all have unwanted feelings. Paul says it best in 2nd Corinthians. In two powerful verses he tells us how to be content in the midst of hardships.

I asked the Lord three times to take it away from me. He answered me, “I am all you need. I give you My loving-favor. My power works best in weak people.” I am happy to be weak and have troubles so I can have Christ’s power in me.
~ 2 Corinthians 12:8-9

Despite what I was taught in church, desiring a husband isn’t a bad thing and it does not mean that I am not content.

You see, God designed us with a desire for companionship. Since the beginning of time, man has struggled with loneliness. We see that in the book of Genesis. Adam was lonely and needed a helper so God made Eve {Genesis 2}. When Adam saw her he praised God because he thought that she was a wonderful gift.

“At last!” the man exclaimed “This one is bone from my bone, and flesh from my flesh!”
~Genesis 2:23

The Christian culture tells us to be content with singleness, and yes that is true but often times we think that a desire for a spouse means that we aren’t. It causes us to feel shame because we think that our desire means that we aren’t having faith or trusting in God. How we handle that situation often involves us feeling guilty, stuffing our feelings inside, and hiding them instead of embracing them. 

I am married now and I absolutely love it. Ironically enough, I met my husband a couple months after God changed my perspective but as I look back at the four years I struggled with singleness there are a few things I wish I would have been told because they would have helped me through that season in my life and it probably would have made my time as a single woman more useful.

If you are struggling with singleness I want you to know that your feelings are completely normal, in fact, they are a gift from God. I’ll be the first to admit that being single is REALLY hard. Friends are great but on those cold days, there is something really depressing about not having someone to snuggle with.

Here’s how you get through it: Focus on advancing God’s kingdom. Take advantage of your time, and minister to people.

Hispowerinweakness

{These graphics are free for you to enjoy}

p.s. If you’ve ever struggled with feeling like you need to be perfect, my mom Holley Gerth’s new book will encourage you. You’re Loved No Matter What: Freeing Your Heart from the Need to Be Perfect.

The New Site: A Place Where You Can Grow

I fell in love with the Sunflower last September when I attended an amazing retreat called WHATEVER Camp Create in Kansas. My favorite color had a whole new meaning when I looked at those beautiful, strong, and large flowers all bunched up together in a field of magnificence. What I loved most about the Sunflower was its design…

Every person who has seen a Sunflower knows of its large head but if you look really close you can see that underneath the flower is a strong stem holding it up. In that moment when I was standing in a field full of flowers that were taller than me I realized something; God is my stem and he holds me up too.

Life is hard and at times overwhelming. It’s so difficult to stay rooted in the truth when the adversary does everything in his power to knock you down.

Colossians 2:7 says “Let your roots grow down into him, and let your lives be built on him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness.”

Genesis 2:7 Says that the LORD God formed man from the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.

Grow

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My theme for this website is “Seeds for your Soul”. My hope is that my words can help encourage you and keep you rooted in the truth through every situation you face.

Another fun fact about the Sunflower is it’s ability to spread rapidly and as a living soul made by our Creator we have the ability to spread love and encouragement rapidly as well!

On my website I have some free gifts for you! They are located in the area titled “Free Seeds to Sow. Based on the verse in Ecclesiastes 11:1 which says, “Send your grain across the seas, and in time, profits will flow back to you.”  These encouraging creations are yours to enjoy, download, and share however you would like.

With that being said, my prayer for you can be summed up in 2 simple verses:

I pray that from His glorious, unlimited resources He will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit. Then Christ will make His home in your hearts as you trust in Him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong.
~Ephesians 3:16-17

Welcome to the new site! I hope you find it enjoyable and useful!

I owe a big thank you to Lisa Larson, the mastermind behind all this awesomeness! You can find her at her blog thecopperanchor.com.

~ Lovelle ❤

I drove into the parking lot of the country club where my meeting was supposed to be and did a double take. “Surely this isn’t where the meeting is” I thought to myself. With determination and a little bit of desperation I typed in the address again only to find Google maps doesn’t lie… This was in fact the building.

As the realization hit, all the confidence in my abilities suddenly diminished. I had only been to a country club once in my life, and that was because I had gotten a scholarship to attend an event.

As far as I knew poor people didn’t attend country clubs. I didn’t even think they were allowed in.

I took one last look at my underdressed self through the rearview mirror and attempted to straighten up my messy hair I took a deep breath, and stepped out of the car.

Excuse me.” I said to the fancy lady at the front desk. “I’m here for the chaperone meeting.

She smiled and pointed me down the hall to the conference room filled with women who I thought were all better off than me. “What do I have to offer. They are so blessed.” I thought to myself. Those thoughts remained throughout the meeting and they almost made me change my mind about helping until God whispered a powerful statement.

Receiving blessings often means you have more blessings to give to others.

Boy was that a kick in the butt from Jesus… Here’s the best part. I was walking to my 2013 Ford Fiesta that the Lord had BLESSED me with! I was also reminded of God’s response to Samuel when he was picking the next king after Saul’s reign. Like any normal human, Samuel assumed the good looking tough guy would be the chosen king. 

Not Our Ways

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The Lord said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”
~1 Samuel 16:7

The same goes for us. Making assumptions about a person is like trying to see in a deep fog. Just like it is impossible to see in front of you when it is foggy, it is also impossible to see the true character and beauty of a person when assumptions cloud your view of them.

When it comes down to it, we are all blessed. When we forget that we are blessed, we become jealous and lose confidence in who God made us to be.

My prayer is to ditch the labels and see people like God does. The next time I walk into a country club {probably a very long time from now} I will be confident and genuine because I know that every one in that building as well as myself was fearfully and wonderfully made by a Creator who loves us deeply. {Ps. 139:14} 

~ Lovelle ❤