There's a Lady at the Gym Who Hates Me

Photography by  Madi Flournoy Henderson  || Top:  P  roverbs 31

Photography by Madi Flournoy Henderson || Top: Proverbs 31

There’s a lady at the gym who hates me. Well, okay… Not really. But, in Lysa TerKeurst’s book, Uninvited, there’s a lady at the gym who hates her for no “real” reason. Or, so she thinks. Because she allows the power of rejection to interfere with her heart of grace, she starts to believe the lady at the gym truly hates her. When, really, she probably doesn’t think much about her at all (those are Lysa’s words, not mine). Through this interaction, Lysa decides it’s time to “live loved.”
 
When you live loved, you surrender yourself to God. You put Him first in every encounter, action, and daily moment. You don’t do it in hopes for something in return. Rather, you do it because a life living loved offers the greatest gift of peace. “Living loved is sourced in your quiet daily surrender to the One who made you.” Living a life of love is something I want to do everyday; but, it isn’t an easy. 

You know what else isn’t easy? Running. There is nothing in this world that I have a love/hate relationship with more than running. I allow my mind to overtake my body and tell me over-and-over again to quit. It’s too hard. You’re too tired. You can’t do this. And for me, running is a lot like living a life loved. It feels impossible sometimes.
 
My sister is a runner. Unlike the rest of our family, she actually enjoys jogging for miles each day and participating in things like half marathons. I once asked her how she stays so focused mile-after-mile. I asked her how she is able to keep her mind from overtaking her body. She told me that for every mile, she picks a different person and prays for them. It helps her focus on her time with Him, while also pushing away the negative feelings that come when the run gets tough.
 
Living life loved is like running a marathon. It takes time, practice, planning, and patience. It involves serious commitment to devote each and every day to Him.
 
I’ve started using my sister’s running trick when I workout. Since I am not running miles, I try to pray for someone different every couple minutes or so. And you know what, it helps me live loved. It also helps me go that extra mile – not just in my workout, but also in my faith. So, however you need to live loved, I pray you find that first step. Maybe it’s devoting more time to him, or maybe it’s adding prayers to your run. Whatever it is, I pray that you will see that living loved is a life worth living.  

"The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing." - Zephaniah 3:17

Praise Worthy Wednesday

 Outfit Linked Below and  Here

 Outfit Linked Below and Here

When life gets super busy, it is important to take some time to rest. However, those precious moments of rest haven't been in the cards for me lately... Which, oddly enough, I am so thankful for. Life has been the best kind of busy.

But even with the "best kind of busy," I could still feel myself getting a little lost in the shuffle. I knew it was time to get back to the basics with a few things in my life. The never ending to-do list was missing a very important item to check off. That item was time with Jesus. Even when I spend just a couple minutes studying His Word, I feel like I am mentally (and emotionally, for that matter) in a better place. So, this week, I am offering a praise to the First 5 app from Proverbs 31. For me, the words that greet me each morning from this little box on my phone are just what I need to find those elusive moments of rest in the midst of a busy season. 

My prayer for you this week is that you find a moment of rest with Jesus. Time for you to learn from Him, talk to Him, and grow closer to Him. 

As always, you taking the time to read my blog is my biggest PRAISE, but I've listed a few more for this week below.  Prayers for you and your week ahead. 

- Praise for the first birthday party of the littlest member of this groups - 

- Praise for a quick trip to Knoxville to celebrate this Momma-to-be - 

- Praise for celebrating the engagement of lifelong friends - 

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- and Praise for the reminder of this verse from my girl, Lysa TerKeurst  -

She Speaks

This was a weekend of firsts for me.  It was my first time to go to Charlotte. First time to rent a car. First time to stay in a hotel room BY MYSELF. First time to attend a writers’ conference. First time to attend a Christian conference. First time to show my book to the publishing world. HELLO. That last one was enough to send me into a nervous breakdown.

The days leading up to She Speaks had been nothing short of stressful, but the second I walked through the doors, I felt those worries slip away. I knew I was exactly where I needed to be. Even though I was hundreds of miles away from anything or anyone I knew, I felt like I was home.

I heard so many talented women speak. Their words taught this eager, hopeful, future author so much about the writing world. I learned about font size, pub board, freelancing and SO MUCH MORE. Shauna Niequist gave me peace in the timing of His plan by explaining that “the most beautiful things in life are never made quickly.” Lysa TerKeurst provided the roadmap for discovering my best idea yet and told me to “trust the Lord with [my] pace and [my] place.” And Cindy Bultema literally had me in giggles while teaching valuable lessons about the blogging world in which I now live.

But even after all that advice, the best lessons from the weekend came from the loving hearts of three of my newest friends. We are so excited for each other. We are all on a journey to share the good news and answer a calling God has placed on our hearts. The prayers and support from these girls is the greatest example of His love for me.

At the end of She Speaks, we were told to pick three things from the workshop to improve upon. Of course, I have WAY MORE than three things to improve upon as an author, but I suppose that’s a good place to start. So, without further adieu, here are my three things: 

1.         Pray more often; 

2.         Spend more time with His word; and 

3.         Trust in His timing. 

I realize that none of these things appear to have anything to do with my writing; yet, they are the three things that are MOST important to my writing. So, now, I am challenging you. What are the three things you want to focus on for improvement? Whether they are in your work, home, relationships, or dreams, just remember that God is cheering you on.

"May He grant you the dreams of your heart and see your plans through to the end." - Psalm 20:4