Tag Archives: Transparency

Learning Through His Faithfulness

Faithfulness

{These graphics are free for you to enjoy}

 

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 ❤

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 ❤

It’s Never Too Late For a Happily Ever After

gsd-new-begining

{These graphics are free for you to enjoy}

I’ve been given up on. I’ve been abused and neglected. I’ve seen things I would never wish on anyone and have used my circumstances as an excuse to be bitter and downright mean. I’ve made mistakes and said horrible things I wish I could take back and I’ve hurt people who don’t deserve it.

I’ve seen God change my heart and my mindset.

I’m hanging out with my God Sized Dreams friends today! Click here to read how I learned to embrace new beginnings and a happily ever after.

~ 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

{These graphics are free for you to enjoy}

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

Thirteen Miles of Grace

I jumped out of bed as quickly as I could. Normally 6:17am hardly qualifies as late on a Saturday morning but in this case it did because I was supposed to be at the starting line of my half marathon that was thirty minutes away.

Even though the race didn’t start until 7am, it was necessary to get there 30 minutes early because there were 2,600 other runners that needed to line up too. Thanks to my alarm clock I was now running extremely late. I had less than 15 minutes to reach my destination.

I threw on my clothes and grabbed my stuff. My husband and I headed out the door as quickly as we could. God had favor on me and I arrived to the half marathon with 5 minutes to spare. I had a few problems though…

My late schedule caused me to run out the door without eating anything or even going to the bathroom. This meant that I had to run 13.1 miles with an empty stomach and full bladder. Running a half marathon is hard enough. Frankly, I didn’t need anything else to make it worse.

As I stood there in running position, waiting on the race to start Paul’s words from 2nd Corinthians 12:9 began to echo in my head. Over and over again I heard.

Grace

{These graphics are free for you to enjoy}

So when the race began I held on to those words. As my feet hit the pavement I thanked God for my ability to run and begged him to help me get through this race. I finished the race in awesome timing. My goal was to run the half marathon in 2 hours in 15 minutes.

did it in 2 hours and 14 minutes. Yup, I beat my time by one minute even though I was running on no food. God’s power worked in my weakness. He helped me through the whole thing. 

Have you ever had one of those moments when you just thought that you couldn’t do it because you didn’t feel strong enough? Well heres the thing, you aren’t strong enough, but your Creator is.

His power works best in your weakness so sit back because He has got your back.

~Lovelle ❤

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.