Tag Archives: standing out

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 ❤

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

{These graphics are free for you to enjoy}

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

{These graphics are free for you to enjoy}

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 ❤

Another Form of Worship: Stepping Out and Loving People

As my feet hit the pavement my mind immediately began to relax. With my worship music in my ears I couldn’t help but think that maybe my runs are a way to worship God. It’s a way for me to drown out the world and focus on Him. It’s literally a way to run the race set before me. 

As the sidewalk turns my eyes lock on an older woman in what looked to be her late forties using a walker. Her face showed pain and just ahead of her was a little girl riding a bike with tricycle wheels. As hard as the woman tried, she just couldn’t keep up so on my way back around the trail I saw her up ahead, sitting on the bench while the little girl she is with burned the rest of her energy. 

As my feet began to continue past the lady my heart said something completely opposite and honestly, kind of scary. “Go pray with her”, that little voice inside me whispered. As excuses began to play over and over in my head about how random and offensive that might be to the woman, another thought drowned them out.

“What if I don’t?” What if all that woman needed was a little bit of socializing and prayer to feel better and I let myself bail because I was too scared. What if I refused to do something God has clearly told me to do?

That moment I realized, that I wasn’t thinking of the woman in need. I was only being selfish and thinking of me. 

I immediately stopped and turned around. With my head down, I awkwardly walked to the woman and introduced myself.

I’m going to ask you something a little weird,” I said. “Is there anything you would like me to pray for?

With a shocked look on her face, the woman answered with an abrupt, “Yes” and she began telling me about the painful situation she is currently going through.

It turns out this brave woman’s back has gotten so bad that no doctors will work on it. From observation I could tell that the woman was trying her hardest to be there for her granddaughter, but with the recent conversations she has had with many doctors, and an extreme amount of pain, Trish didn’t know if that was possible.

After our conversation and prayer, I left but as I was running back home I realized that Trish wasn’t the only one that got something out of our conversation.

Run the Race of Endurance

{These graphics are free for you to enjoy}

You see, When God speaks sometimes what He asks is a little scary to us. My situation with that woman made me realize why that is.

We think,

What if I fail?

What if I’m offensive?

What if what God said, really isn’t what I should be doing?

Do you see the correlation with all of those thought’s?

It’s the letter “I” 

In the midst of stepping out it’s easy to forget that it’s not all about us. Matthew 6:27 says it best by asking all of us if our worries add a single moment to our life..

It doesn’t… Instead worrying takes away time we could be using to benefit the kingdom of God.

Jesus commanded us to tend His sheep (John 21:17) and on that run I realized that one of the ways I can worship God is by putting aside the doubt, doing what He asks of me, and loving those in need.

~ Lovelle ❤

Jesus is Our Gluten

I wouldn’t be surprised if I were nicknamed “The Queen of Carbs” because, out of all of the types of foods I consume, foods that are rich in carbs make up the majority. Not long ago I had to change my diet for health reasons and the result was taking gluten out of my diet which pretty much eliminated all breads and anything with flour in it.

Gluten is an ingredient found in wheat and what it does is even more interesting. You see, gluten puts the “fluff” in bread. This ingredient helps the food keep it’s shape and represents sort of a glue, which helps hold the food together.

Needless to say, giving up brownies and bread was not easy. Gluten is in all the good food! One day as I was watching my husband eat a really good looking homemade waffle (I must admit I was a little jealous) God whispered a powerful statement in my heart…

Bread of Life

{These graphics are free for you to enjoy}

It’s easy for me to crave carbs and gluten, but am I really craving what’s important? I’ll be honest here and say there are days when I pick up my Bible out of habit. There are times when I go to church because “it’s the right thing to do.” As ashamed as I am to admit it, quite a few sermons go in one ear and out the other. I want to crave God as much as I crave gluten.

When Jesus made that powerful statement in John 6:35 He meant so much more than simply never being hungry or thirsty. He was saying that HE ALONE is the one who shapes us. He is the glue that holds us together and it is only through Him that we can truly live.

As cheesy as this sounds, Jesus is our gluten. God needs to be a part of everything I do and I need to crave him more than I crave anything else. Yes, I love carbs but there is also something even better that I can crave and digest without getting fat and that is God.

Unlike gluten that tends to shape my thighs and stomach through unhealthy foods, God shapes my spirit and mind. Every day He molds me more into the woman he designed me to be.

~ Lovelle ❤

Six Ways to Live a Healthy Life Inside and Out

6 Ways to liveA HealthyLifestyleInside

As I stated in my previous post, I have always struggled with respecting and honoring my body. I used to be overweight, and this caused me to disregard the importance of a healthy lifestyle. I was wrong because I didn’t take care of the body I was given. Since then, I have lost eighty pounds and although I take care of my body’s health, I find myself disrespecting my body through my words and thoughts.

That’s where the Bible comes in. It turns out my friends were struggling with the same thing so after looking through scripture we have found six ways to live a healthy lifestyle inside and out.

1. Physical exercise

 So I run with purpose in every step. I am not just shadowboxing.  I discipline my body like an athlete, training it to do what it should. Otherwise, I fear that after preaching to others I myself might be disqualified.
~ 1 Corinthians 9:26-27

Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is so important because it displays the care we feel for our Creator’s work. Running was one of the ways I got in shape, and this verse is one of my favorites. Exercise takes discipline. I have to make myself get off the couch and work out. I have to commit to do it on a regular basis. 

2. Eating Healthy-

And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all He has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind He will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship Him.  Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.
~ Romans 12:1-2

Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself.
~ 1 Corinthians 6:19

Lisa TerKeurst explains the importance in an amazing way in her book Made to Crave. Her outlook is that we were all made to crave. Sometimes there are things we shouldn’t crave though and for me, it’s food. One of the ways I can give my body to God is by eating healthy. This means not eating when I am hungry and avoiding a lot of junk I don’t necessarily want or need. Eating chocolate once in a while is not a bad thing by any means but food and cravings shouldn’t control you.

3. Studying your word-

Physical training is good, but training for godliness is much better, promising benefits in this life and in the life to come.
~ 1 Timothy 4:8

My friends and I are big believers on the importance of exercise. We also know that sometimes, exercise can aid our Spiritual discipline. Striving to live a Godly life is a workout and discipline of it’s own. Just like exercise, reading our Bible and praying should be done on a regular basis.

4. Kind words to yourself-

Oh, don’t worry; we wouldn’t dare say that we are as wonderful as these other men who tell you how important they are! But they are only comparing themselves with each other, using themselves as the standard of measurement. How ignorant!
~ 2 Corinthians 10:12

As I stated in my previous post, one of my biggest struggles is comparing myself to others. If I don’t fit the mold I see in others, I tend to knock myself down through comments like, “you’re fat” or “you need to work out more” and this is wrong. I may or may not need to work out more but that is based on staying healthy and honoring God with what I do with my body that he has given me. It’s not based on trying to fit the mold of others.

5. Keeping your security in heaven

We can make our own plans, but the Lord gives the right answer.
~Proverbs 16:1

No one can serve two masters. For you will hate one and love the other; you will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.
~Proverbs 16:24

As poor college kids, my friends and I know how hard it is to keep finances and other worldly items from becoming our security and we know the consequences of that. This life has no certainty. The only thing that stays the same is God and he will take care of us.

6. Kind words to others-

Don’t use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them.
~Ephesians 4:29

Kind words are like honey— sweet to the soul and healthy for the body.
~Proverbs 16:24

A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.
~Matthew 22:39

Let’s be honest, girls can be pretty hateful and that hate often occurs through words. Little whispers of gossip and slander are not kind or necessary and hateful words to someone’s face aren’t either. You can never take back what is said. I don’t know a single person that hasn’t been really hurt by hurtful statements. The Bible says that this is wrong so it shouldn’t be done.

There are a lot of things that my friends and I want to improve on this year. We believe every day holds a chance for growth. We know that these six basic principles will help aid us in the process of our personal refinement. We hope these can help you too!

What are some ways that help aid you in living a healthy lifestyle inside and out?

~ Lovelle, Karley, and Cathy ❤