Throwback to Thankfulness

While it’s not Thursday, I’ve decided to throw it back to this plaid shirt that I posted on Instagram a few weeks ago. Since it has been restocked at Hadley Rae Boutique, I figured it was time to write about it on the blog. The truth is that if it was socially acceptable, I would live in a plaid shirt. Or, I guess, if I was a farmer… But, let’s be honest, you are not going to find me tending to any sheep anytime soon. The only flock I’ll be taking care of are the ones that resemble God’s children. So whether you are wearing plaid at the farm or to deliver the message of His love, this shirt is the way to go.
 
It is no secret that my church has been going through a transition lately. While that transition has brought on feelings of hope (and worry) for the future, it has also been a learning experience. Being a pastorless church has opened the door for us to hear from many great Christian leaders from all over the country. And while I am eager for a new face to permanently brace the stage, I am grateful for the lessons learned over the past few weeks.

Waiting for the NEXT step is always an anxious time. For me, it’s in these times of anxiousness that I lose sight of the past – or, the times that God has fulfilled. Instead, I spend time focusing on the possibility (or worry) that comes with the future. But this past Sunday, our church recapped all the amazing things God has done (and is doing) through His people. These things didn’t happen because of a pastor. Rather, these things happened because through his people, God makes the unthinkable a reality.
 
This recap of the church’s blessings got me thinking about my past year. About all that has transpired. The good, bad, and ugly. But regardless of the labels attached to these memories, each one gives me something to be thankful for. Each memory shaped me into the person I am today.
 
Since Thanksgiving is just two days away, I want to propose a challenge to you. I know that right now you are probably not reflecting on the past year of your life. Instead, you are focusing on the decorations, the food, and the fact that it is finally appropriate to start playing Christmas music (I have secretly been listening to my Dave Barnes Christmas playlist since August).
 
But instead of focusing on the events to come, take a minute to sit down and look at the past. Take in all the times, big or small, that found you this past year. Try to see the good that came out of these moments. And try to see how these moments could shape you next year. The Lord delights in seeing His work through His children. You are a blessing that was delivered to this world to love and be loved by Him and by His people. 

"Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us, to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen." - Ephesians 3:20

Interrupted

Photography by  Madi Flournoy Henderson  || Dress:  VICI

Photography by Madi Flournoy Henderson || Dress: VICI

Anyone else struggling with the fact that the calendar says fall but the heat says SUMMER? Well, I am. All I want to do is throw on a cozy sweater, sit by a fire, and take in the leaves falling from the trees. But since the highs are still in the 90s, I don’t see any fire-sitting happening anytime soon. This heat is really interrupting my “fall feelings.” Thankfully, this dress from VICI screams fall BUT can still handle the heat. And isn’t the pink color just so pretty?!
 
Speaking of interruptions, that topic has been on my mind a LOT this past week. As a teacher, I get interrupted at least a hundred times a day by the eager thoughts of little children. But even when I am not teaching, I still get interrupted. We all do! How often do you find yourself focusing on something at work when suddenly a co-worker barges in and totally makes you lose your train of thought? Or, you hit traffic, which completely interrupts your schedule and ability to make it to that important meeting on time? 

Interruptions not only seem to get in the way of our daily tasks, they also seem to prevent us from accomplishing our goals. Yes, interruptions only add to the stress that already comes with being busy. But, are we too busy to hear what God might be trying to tell us?
 
Lysa TerKeurst once told me (okay, she didn’t actually tell me personally, but I promise she was looking right at me when she said this), “When we run at a break-neck pace trying to achieve, God is sitting there saying, ‘I simply want you to slow down and receive.’” The world today is constantly telling us where we need be at every step, age, job, or place; but, WE need to get better at listening to where God is telling us to be. We need to “trust the Lord with our pace and our place.” (Yes, Lysa told me that, too). 

Instead of looking at these interruptions as inconveniences, maybe we should look at them as opportunities… A chance to see a lesson we might be missing because the deadline is fast approaching. Holly Furtick says that “some of life’s greatest invitations come packaged as interruptions.”
 
So, today when you get interrupted (because you will), see if it is actually an invitation from God. It could be something small, but it could also be something REALLY big that He wants you to see. 

"With God's power working in us, he can do much, much more than anything we can ask or think of" - Ephesians 3:20