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

Praise Worthy Wednesday

Photography by  Madi Flournoy Henderson

Does anyone else feel like this week has flown by? Because I do! We have been busier than ever. Even though I am totally exhausted (thanks to Halloween on a MONDAY), I love when being busy involves spending time with my people. From wrapping up our kickball season, showering the most deserving mama-to-be, and celebrating Halloween with some last minute costumes, it was a week for the books.

While I am all about singing the praises, I am also about saying the prayers. So, what are you praising this week, and what are you praying for? As always, my biggest PRAISE is to each of you who stop by my little blog. I am so thankful. Prayers for a great week, friends. 

- Praise for this entertaining, talented, caring, always forgiving of my poor fielding skills, kickball team. They bring me more joy than they will ever know. - 

- Praise for being reunited with my "boys of fall" at our high school friend's gorgeous wedding. - 

- Praise for plaid shirts from Hadley Rae Boutique - 

- and Praise for this reminder from She Is Called

"Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own." - Matthew 6:34

"Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own." - Matthew 6:34

Up All Night

I’m going to let you in on a little secret: I am a nap person. I live for a good afternoon nap. So, when I find a shirt that is soft enough to wear during one of these little naps, it is considered a win. This top is not only soft, but it also provides just enough warmth for this so-called fall weather we are currently experiencing in Tennessee. And since it comes from Hadley Rae Boutique, you know I’m going to say that the price can’t be beat. This look will be on her website tonight so be sure to check it out. 

Another secret of mine is that I don’t sleep well at night (which is probably why I need all the naps!). My mind races through the ENTIRE day’s events before even processing the concept of sleep. Yes, it is beyond annoying; but, unfortunately, it’s the way I am wired. Making matters worse is the fact that the nights where it seems as if my brain is never going to turn off are also the nights where I wrestle internally with whatever anger I have pent up throughout the day, weeks, or months.  In other words, these are the nights where the bad in my life seems to outweigh the good. My mind goes a millions miles a minute. My energy is so strong that I could probably get out of bed and run six miles (which I have NEVER done in my life) all out of frustration. And nights like this always leave me with a miserable, sleepy feeling the next morning.
 
In Genesis 32:22-23, we are told about the story of Jacob, who “wrestled with a man until the dawn began to break.” Of course, when you read the story, you quickly come to realize that Jacob is not wrestling with a man; rather, he is wrestling with God. He fights with God while attempting to understand His ways. It is through that fight that Jacob realizes he is blessed, sought after, and loved. He realizes that God has a path and plan for him and that he doesn’t need to be angry anymore.

Sometimes, we get so angry about situations in our lives that it overtakes our thinking. But when we allow that kind of anger to take over our mind—and even worse, our hearts—it is near impossible to see the peace that lies ahead. We all have negative thoughts and difficult situations that we wrestle with on a day-to-day basis. But if we hand even the smallest amount of these struggles over to God, we will quickly find moments of peace instead of moments of doubts.