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Are We Gathering Stones to Commemorate or to Condemn?

Stones to Commemorate or Condemn?

Gather the Stones, Joshua

Recently, I have been doing a study through the book of Joshua with Good Morning Girls. Not long ago we looked at the Lord commanding Joshua to gather stones from the Jordan to build a memorial. God wanted the future generations to be able to see this and ask questions.

5 And Joshua said to them, “Pass on before the ark of the Lord your God into the midst of the Jordan, and take up each of you a stone upon his shoulder, according to the number of the tribes of the people of Israel, 6 that this may be a sign among you. When your children ask in time to come, ‘What do those stones mean to you?’ 7 then you shall tell them that the waters of the Jordan were cut off before the ark of the covenant of the Lord. When it passed over the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan were cut off. So these stones shall be to the people of Israel a memorial forever.”

The stones were taken from the Jordan so the people could always remember what God had done. The stories would be passed down and the generations would know that God brought them through the river. God did not want the people to forget what He had brought them through. His hand was upon them and His hand would be upon the generations to come.

The stones were a memorial. They were there as a sign to look and remember. Just as we build statues today to commemorate events and people Joshua was to put the stones there to commemorate their crossing.

Isn’t it interesting that God did not command for stones to be set up for when the people rebelled? God did not set up signs for them to remember their shortcomings but His ability to overcome.

The Stones We Gather

As we walk through life we seem to gather two types of stones: commemorative stones and condemning stones.

Every day of our life we walk through things. We have bad experiences and good experiences. There are mountains and there are valleys. Along the way, we gather memories. Some memories are things that we store away as times that God brought us through. Other memories are stored as condemnation. We look at our choices and condemn what we did.

God does not gather stones of condemnation. Think about the woman drug out to the street by the religious leaders. She had sinned and they were ready to stone her to death. They were more than happy to condemn her to death. But what did Jesus do?

He got down, wrote in the dirt, and put the leaders in their place. It was not about what she had done, but what she would do after her encounter with Jesus. The Messiah had stopped the stones of condemnation from killing her and she was given the opportunity to go and gather commemorative stones now. She was no longer bound to the condemnation of others, she had been set free.

Do we gather stones to build memorials or mortuaries?

Are the memories we carrying building up our faith in God? Or are they killing us?

Rocks in the Road

When we choose to remember our downfalls we place rocks in the road of our lives. When rocks are in the road we stop all progress. We cannot move. We are stuck. Rocks prevent us from walking the path of our destiny. Rocks in the road keep us bound by where we have been and not where God wants us to go.

God wants to remove all the rocks from our life. He wants to be the dynamite that completely removes that rock pile of past mistakes and failures.

What if we stopped gathering rocks from our mistakes and started to collect memories of the miracles?

When our children come to us and ask us about our lives will we recall the rocks that blocked us from God? Or will we recall the memorials of all the Jordans God brought us through?

The rocks only stop us if we let them.

We can’t let life be about the memories that condemn. It needs to be about the memories we commemorate and celebrate.

Blow it Up!

Take time this week, today even, to evaluate if you have stones that commemorate or condemn. As you come upon those that condemn ask God to be the dynamite and blow them away. Allow His forgiveness to wash over you. He forgives as soon as you ask now it is time to forgive yourself. Blow those rocks up and begin to gather stones that honor God’s faithfulness. You can even gather physical items to help you remember. Pick up a stone, take a picture, write out a verse, do something that helps you to remember what God has done.

The Stones we Gather

Live the Lovely

Rhiannon

 

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You Don’t Have to Dig in the Trash

You Don't Have to Dig in the Trash, Baby

Curiosity

Curiosity. Curiosity can be a wonderful thing. It can open us up to new things, new foods, new places, new people. It can also lead us into situations that are harmful or painful for us. We are curious about smoking so one day we try it out. We think it helps us fit in so we do it again, and again, and again until we can’t stop. The same can be said for drugs, alcohol, sex, and even food. We are curious about how these things will make us feel so we test them out. Sometimes we walk away unaffected, other times we end up addicted.

I get to see innocent curiosity almost every day. Life with an almost-two-year-old is full of curious moments. She wants to try new things or push new boundaries. She wants to step outside what she knows because everything is exciting to her right now.

When I hear this word I have a tendency to think of the show “Curious George.” He is a very curious monkey and at times that is good. He explores, he creates, he helps. At other times his curiosity can get him into trouble.

When we are curious it can be hard to know if what we grab will fill us or disappoint us.

The Bag in the Trash

Last week, after Eleanor’s nap and changing her diaper, I sat her down to walk with me into the kitchen. After nap, we have a snack, and so she was ready to eat. On her way to the door, she caught sight of the empty chip bag in the trash. Her daddy had finished a bag the night before and she was now captivated by them. She knew what that bag was supposed to be, she knew it could contain food and she wanted it. What does she do? What any child would, she grabs the bag.

Of course, it wasn’t a big deal because it was empty, but she was slightly put out. She was sad that this bag from the trash can did not contain what she wanted. I saw her dilemma and told her, “Put the bag back in the trash, baby, we are going to have a snack, in the kitchen.” My sweet girl proceeded to look at her empty bag one more time and then replaced it to head into the kitchen and find some good food.

Eleanor thought that this bag would provide immediate gratification. She knew it looked familiar and she knew it was easy to get to. Instead of waiting for the better food I had in the kitchen she wanted to try what was easy.

Sounds kind of like my life sometimes.

Trash Isn’t Worth It

In our lives, it can be easy to reach for what we see in front of us. Waiting is hard and indefinite so instead of trusting God’s guidance we grab from the trash can. We grab that drink because it helps to numb the pain. We give in to that boyfriend that’s been asking us to “get serious” because maybe then he’ll commit. We decide that the immediate gratification is better than the journey to the kitchen.

There are so many times we settle when God’s trying to tell us, “You don’t have to dig in the trash, baby.” He is trying to lead us to the kitchen where He has prepared good things for us. Instead of obeying or trusting we reach for that empty bag. It looks so good and it looks familiar, but once we grab it we realize it holds no substance. It can’t fill us because it’s empty.

 

The trash of our past, the trash of sin, holds nothing that can fill us or sustain us.

 

That alcohol may numb the pain for the night but tomorrow it’s going to hurt just as bad if not worse.

 

That one night stand won’t fill that longing in your heart to be truly held.

 

Even that table full of physical food can’t fill us.

 

All of these things will bring immediate gratification but once the momentary satisfaction has faded the emptiness will invade again.

He Is Worth It

One of my favorite Hallmark movies is called “The Magic of Ordinary Days.” The leading lady has agreed to marry a man she has never met because she has discovered she is pregnant with a soldier’s child. The soldier left her and since this is set in the 1940’s her family cannot handle the scandal. At one point she opens up to her new husband about her reason for giving in to the other man. She says, “I gave my life away just to be held.”

 

How many times have we given ourselves away to what is in front of us simply because we thought it could comfort us? We thought that man would love us? We thought the drugs would help us escape? We thought the food would help us cope? And it all left us empty, longing, broken. 

God wants to take your hand and lead you to the kitchen of good things He has waiting on you. He is calling out to us, “You don’t have to dig in the trash baby. I have a whole kitchen of fresh, delicious food waiting for you. Come to Me.”

You don't have to dig in the trash, baby. God says He has a whole kitchen of good things waiting for us.

He is worth waiting on. He is worth trusting. He is worth following. What He longs to give us is truly satisfying. Like the woman at the well, He will give us water so we never thirst again. 

No Trash

You don’t have to dig in the trash. You have a God that loves you and has prepared a feast for you. What He has is so much better than anything the world can offer. The world offers counterfeit, God offers the genuine article.

As a way to remember that God has good things for you, for us all, I created this set of bookmarks. These are my gift to you. I pray they encourage you and surround you with His love, His peace and remind you of his goodness. Click the text to save and then you can print them off, share them, hang them up, use them any way you like. All I ask is that you allow God to lead you to the kitchen of His goodness and let Him show you the delicious delicacies He has for you.

5 FREE Bookmarks to print off and keep!

Live the Lovely

Rhiannon

 

 

 

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Some Days It Just Doesn’t Happen

Some Days It Just Doesn't Happen

Ideal Mornings

She has fallen asleep in my arms, I walk her to her room, lay her down, whisper, “I love you always and forever,” then slip out to begin my nighttime routine. On good nights this consist of a lot of screen time. Blogging groups, artwork, graphics, promotions, etc. She is asleep by 9 or so and Momma is up until 11 ticking away. Typing, sorting, designing, brain buzzing here and there. Moms of littles with a creative passion you understand what this is like. At night you come alive and your brain begins to soar.

Come 5 or 6 the next morning, though your brain is telling you to turn the alarm off and go back to sleep. “Oh, silly phone alarm. Why must you be my Jiminy Cricket and try to get me to do good and get up early?”

The ideal morning usually consists of getting up while the princess is still fast asleep. Not because I don’t enjoy her rambunctious little self, but if Mom is up first I can gather my thoughts and begin on a high note. Bible study, check. Blog up, check. Blogging groups, check. Coffee, (hello lovely), check. The day can now begin.

That’s the ideal morning, mind you. Reality looks slightly different.

Real Mornings

Real mornings usually play out more like this.

Roll out of bed to the sound of the princess hollering, “Momma. Momma. Momma.” Gather her cute self up, change her diaper, fix her milk, prep my coffee, evaluate what breakfast can be. Begin gathering the necessary items. All the while praying she remains occupied with her play kitchen set or one of her hundred toys in the living room so momma can attempt to fix edible breakfast.

When our real mornings take place my Bible study is put off, my blog is put off, the groups are not done and the book is not typed up. My body revolts and refuses to obey the alarm so I pour out of bed at the same time as she does instead of waking prepared.

That’s reality. It happens. 

Real days are just that, real. No filters or smoke-screens. No fixes or do-overs or cut and re-do. They are real and they make up our fun, chaotic, ever evolving life. They should not be viewed as failures, simply moments. They are moments where things didn’t go as planned.

Can I let you in on a secret?

That’s okay.

Grace Upon Grace: Some Days It Just doesn't Happen

Days of Grace

If you spend any time on social media you will see the inevitable #momfail. I have been guilty a time or two myself of labeling my mishap for the day as a fail. I did something wrong, I forgot something, I overslept, I did this or that and things went haywire. It happens. But we decided that instead of just letting things like this happen and finding the good in the mess we label ourselves as failures.

No.

I am not a failure because plans didn’t work out. 

I am not a failure because life was messy.

I am not a failure because I wasn’t perfect.

I am a mom and even the hard days don’t make me a failure, they simply make me human.

Plates will drop and they will shatter, but instead of seeing it as a failure perhaps we should see it as an opportunity for grace.

Spilled milk is spilled milk, there is no making it better by labeling it. We can only make it better by responding in love and cleaning it up.

Some Days It Just Doesn't Happen

It is not the mess that is the issue, it is how we choose to respond that is. Women are so quick to place blame on ourselves when mess happens. We are good at taking ownership of failures but not so good at taking ownership of victories. We bear the burden of not doing things perfectly, but rarely stop to soak in the moments when we succeed.

Real Days are Good Days

Today, don’t allow yourself to think #momfail. Walk away from the moments where things weren’t perfect and let them go. Don’t carry the guilt over burned dinner or soiled laundry. Stop beating yourself up over the fact that you forgot to brush your toddler’s teeth last night. Go ahead and make PB&J for dinner. Grab a sheet, sit on the floor and tell everyone it’s a picnic family night.

Somes days routine won’t happen. Our ideal days will seem like a far cry from our real ones. That is okay. Today is a day for grace. Real days are good days. Rough moments can be cherished memories if we choose to respond in love. Don’t allow the mess of the moment to create a memory of pain. Clean up the “spilled milk” and laugh about it.

Have you found yourself having a lot of “real days” lately? How do you deal? Have you ever thought of yourself as a failure? Were you quick to label yourself with #momfail? How about a new #? Let’s kick out the failure and welcome in the grace #momsgrace. Just breath and give the ones around you some love, even if they are driving you crazy. Haha.

Some days it won’t happen the way we want and that’s okay. Give yourself grace and keep going Momma, you are doing great.

Live the Lovely

Rhiannon

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Coloring Scriptures for Life

Coloring Scriptures for Life

*Affiliate links are present in this post

Childhood

Who remembers countless hours of coloring or doodling as a child? Do you remember designing the colors in your mind or trying to stay in the lines? Maybe you were a free spirit and you preferred to go off the grid and use plain white paper to display your creativity. Whatever way you chose to express yourself then do you find time to do it now? Do you take the time to channel that inner child and let your creativity roam free? Do you grab some paper from the printer and pencils from the shelf to doodle and express the artistic side of yourself?

Coloring Scriptures for Life

Well, as a mom I know it can be hard to find time to do that. I have to get up early to even find time to get some Bible Journaling in let alone find time to sit and draw or color. What if you could color while feeding your spirit? What if what you were coloring was an encouragement to you and not just a way to relax? What if it helped bring the Word to life for you?

I might have found something you will enjoy.

Creative Scriptures

Earlier this year I remember being in Wal-Mart and seeing the “Life Verse” journaling set. I absolutely loved it and wanted to purchase it then and there but with finances being tight it wasn’t an option. It stayed on my radar, though. I had reviewed the “Whatever is Lovely” coloring book and raved about it, but the idea of this being compact was appealing. I enjoyed how small the journals were and that it came with a blank one so you had room to express yourself in whatever way you wanted to. How cool is that?!

Not long after this, I saw that this set was up for review through one of my book sites. I did a happy dance. I was thrilled to be able to dive into the “Life Verse Creative Journal” and find out what it was all about for myself.

Coloring Scriptures for Life

Can I say this set did not disappoint!

Talk about inspiring, the scriptures in this book are stunning. They are beautiful, delicate, challenging, and inspiring. The scriptures are written in a bold calligraphy style print for the most part and some plain playful prints as well. The art used to depict the verses will knock you down.

One of the most inspiring aspects of this journal, though, it is designed by a Mom and her teenage daughter. What amazing talent runs in that family! It goes to show what God will do with your talents if you give them to Him.

Live Verses journal review
Life Verse Creative Journal

 

Grab Some Pencils

It’s your turn! You can begin to let the creative juices flow again and fill your spirit as you fill in the intricate details of the “Life Verse” set. One journal is full of pages for you to color and read scriptures and the other is completely blank for you to spread your own designing wings. The size is perfect! They are just the right size to drop in a purse or stick in a backpack without causing bulkiness. I actually stick the blank journal in my purse all the time to take with me to church for notes or on trips for ideas the come to me. It has been my favorite little journal!

These books are easy to use with colored pencils, Crayola Twistables, or even good quality ink pens. My preferred option would be pencils. I tried crayons simply because I had some on hand and the tips are just too bulky for the intricate designs. Pencils worked great and even my Twistables.

Coloring Scripture for Life

It’s time to have a blast from the past and embrace the creativity of your childhood. Let those colors pour out of your soul and let your spirit be filled as you color these verses to life. Take a minute or to for you, grab some pencils and create.

—->Here is the link to grab your own<—–

Live the Lovely

Rhiannon

 

 

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When Did We Forget He’s A Lion?

When Did we forget He's a Lion

When Did We Tame the Lion?

This month I started a study through the book of Joshua with Good Morning Girls and it has been so rich and convicting. Joshua had such intimate faith in God. When God told him to do something Joshua didn’t run from the command or try to wiggle his way out of it, he simply obeyed. He did not doubt that God was God. The phrase had not been released at Joshua’s time, but if it had I think Joshua would have fervently agreed that the Lion was fierce and worthy to be praised. 

Where did that mindset go? When did we tame the Lion of the Tribe of Judah and begin to treat Him like He is a common everyday house cat? When did we stop melting before the King of Kings?

I see so many people be so flippant about their walk with God. They act like it is nothing to say, “I’m a Christian. I believe in God.” Then they walk off and cuss or stop off after work to have drinks with the boys. What?! What?!

Obviously, they haven’t met the same Jesus because if they had they would realize that there are places where angels fear to tread because HE is so majestic and holy. He isn’t a kitty cat. He is a LION and He is far from tame.

When did we strip the King of His power and decide He was better in a box?

He won’t stay in the box no matter how we try. Even if some places try to contain Him, His roar will be released somewhere else. He is not a house cat, and He cannot be trained.

The Lion Is Roaring

I feel like there is a generation starting to hunger and thirst after the pure, uncontained, unfiltered power of the Most High God. Imitation will not satisfy us. Lights, order, a well-set schedule aren’t impressing us. We are coming into churches, homes, meetings desiring God to show up. We want to hear the roar. It’s not about hearing stories of others that have heard it in the past it is about hearing it for ourselves.

The ground is beginning to rumble. Mountains are moving and things are shaking.

Do you feel it? Can you feel the vibrations? The roar is being released and it is coming out of you and me. 

A time is upon where content isn’t cutting it. Church service like clockwork isn’t getting it done anymore. Schedules, programs, lights, and sounds, aren’t enough for the hungry. We will go to a damp barn if we know God is showing up. We will lay on the floor in our rooms in puddles of our tears to encounter the Lion.

Yes, The Lion Still Roars

Lion Roars at Home

It’s not about how it has always been done it is about what God wants to do now. It is about being endued with power from on high to be His witnesses. And I will go so far as to say it’s not even about going to the four corners of the world, it’s about our Jerusalem. It is about loving the hell out of those we work with, shop with, and live with. We have invested in missions and carrying the Gospel here and there but we are missing revival at home. We are missing the roar in our cities, but it is coming.

It has been long enough that we have sought emotional highs or gratification from momentary movements of the spirit and even supernatural counterfeits. The real deal is moving in and He’s going to shake things up. 

The Fake is Being Found Out

Have you noticed how more and more people are flocking to movies, books and tv shows about the supernatural? We had a whole movement kick up in 2009 with the release of a certain vampire themed book turned feature film. Ever since then people have been pouring time and money into all things mythical or magical. TV shows designed for children that are full of spells, books written for pre-teens that feature witches and warlocks, adults addicted to shows about the dead walking. Why?

Why?

Because they are drawn to the supernatural and what they can’t seem to find in the church anymore the devil is more than happy to supply them with it in secular entertainment. We shrug it off as fake or imaginative but if it was then how come Peter rebuked Simon the “sorcerer”? He practiced magic that was demonic and Peter knew it was not of God. When Simon saw what Peter carried he knew what he had could not compare. He knew the power he had was fake, he knew the power he was tapping into was nothing compared to the power in Peter. God’s power is bigger but we neglect it because we deem it to be too much or having died with the apostles.

Yes, The Lion Still Roars

It Didn’t Die

If it died then how do we explain the healing revivals that have exploded throughout the hundreds of years since their death? How do we explain miracles happening in our day and age? Last I check the devil can’t heal so it can’t be demonic.

Last I check the devil can’t heal so it can’t be demonic. 

Magic, sorcerers, spells, witches and warlocks can’t hold a flame to the power of God. They have a tiny “meow” compared to the roar of the Lion we serve, yet we buy into the fake and box up the real.

The fake is being found out and the box that we have put the real in is beginning to burst at the seams. God will not be shut down, shut up or boxed in. He is NOT a gentleman that wants to do all things on our terms.

He is a wild, mighty, roaring, Lion that will come in and mess us up but once He does we won’t be satisfied with anything else but all He has. 

LION!

When did we forget He's a lion? He is the Lion of the Tribe of Judah and yet we treat Him like a common house cat.

In the book of Joshua, the first 6 chapters do a great job of explaining why we should still tremble, why we should still melt, why HE is still the Lion.

In Joshua 2:11 Rahab was telling the spies, “that once the people heard what God had done they melted, and there was no spirit left in them.” All the other nations needed to hear was how powerful God was and they melted. They lost their fight and they began to fear because the knew if God was for the Israelite people then they would not be defeated.

When was the last time we melted at the power of our God? When was the last time we looked in awe at the majesty of a lion in the wild and thought, “Wow. My King is the heavenly version of that?” When was the last time we stopped to wonder at His splendor and be captivated by His gaze? When was the last time we simply knelt and wept because the power of the Most High overtook us? When did we decide He was no longer worthy of our awe? When did we put Him in a cage and assign Him a litter box?

He’s busting out of that cage and He isn’t sticking around to be tame and do things decent and in order. He is releasing a roar because He is still the Lion!

Live the Lovely ( HEAR THE ROAR)

Rhiannon

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I Wasn’t Always Brave

I wasn't always brave: How Mom life changed me

Before Becoming Mom

When I think back to life before my daughter I find it is hard to remember. Oh sure, I can think of certain events and remember snippets of things, but as for the day to day, it seems foggy. Almost as if life didn’t really exist before her. I went to college, I made amazing friends, I got married, I finished school and then there she was. In January she will turn two and it seems as if the past two years of my life have been my whole life. 

Before her I could sleep in, I watched old movies as I pleased, I could spend guilt free time pursuing hobbies, I lived for the moment. If Andrew came home and we wanted to go out to eat we did. If I wanted to travel or go into town I did. Before becoming a mom it was easy to do life as I wanted. After becoming a mom life is about what someone else wants and needs.

After Becoming Mom

Once we welcomed Eleanor into the world we could no longer just pick up and go. Every trip out the door required luggage and planning. How long would stops take, would the store have a place to nurse, what do I do if she gets fussy, what if we have a blowout diaper? The “what ifs” were endless and until I found my groove we spent months at home.

After becoming mom we stopped eating out. Not in a bad way but because we chose to invest that money in real needs, not momentary ones.

After becoming mom sleep always held a 50/50 chance of happening. She slept really well for a baby but being a nursing mom required frequent night time feeds. It’s not easy to sleep during a feed so sleep was not consistent so not awesome. We eventually found our routine and as we did sleep became less important. As long as Eleanor was happy what did a little-missed sleep matter.

The after of becoming a mom brought so many changes to my life. I had emotions that were on a daily roller coaster, I lost my body, I lost the ability to go out, but what I gained outweighs all of those things 1 million to one.

I Wasn't Always Brave

Who I Always Was

Before becoming a mom I was somewhat of a chicken. Yes, fearful of the dark, harmful bugs (like wasps), hated storms, etc. etc. I was scared of a lot. I was always known as the shy one, the one who was scared of the dark and I would definitely be the one to scream at all bugs.

I also had very little drive. I thought life was something to coast through in a way, I had no clue that I could actually dream dreams or set goals. I was existing and doing fairly well at it.

I had nothing to strive for or no reason to be better than I was. What difference would it make if I became something, my only plan was to stay at home anyways?

Who I always was before she came along was pretty mediocre. I knew that having a child would change life in general but I had no clue how it would change life emotionally.

We Aren’t Always Born Brave

There are certain character traits that we are born with. Many of us develop some over time and others of us will discover there’s more to us later in life. For me, this is what happened. I can admit that I don’t feel like I was born very brave. I was the youngest child, always a mommas girl, very protected and very scared. Having Eleanor changed that.

Who I always was I couldn’t be anymore.

I remember the first storm we experienced. It was just me and her and it was dark. A storm rolled in and here in Tennessee you never know if storm means tornado so I was freaked out. We were laying in bed as it got worse and I remember her laying with me in her boppy. My instinct was to cry or begin to panic but as I looked at her I told myself it’s time to be brave. I knew in that moment I had to begin to be strong for her. It was no longer about what I was afraid of, it was about being strong so she wasn’t afraid. She was only about 4 or 5 months old at the time, but that storm changed me.

From that moment on I stepped into my new found bravery. Mom life was a new life and this new life was making me bold, daring. Wasps would fly in and my mother bravery would overcome my natural fear and that wasp would be killed. Before I would have screamed and cried. Well, that was no longer an option.

We aren’t always born brave but there can be shifting moments in our life where we begin to step into our bravery. For me, it was becoming a mom. For some, it might be a new job or a promotion. When we are given responsibilities that require us to go outside of ourselves we begin to find instincts in us we did not know were there.

What have you Always been?

What has come as a shock in your life? What event changed you? Was there a moment or a memory that sticks with you as the very moment it clicked for you?

You know we aren’t born perfect either. We are born into a fallen world and we live in a fallen nature until we receive the life changing love of Jesus into our hearts. I wasn’t born saved, but there was a moment in my life I realized that I could be more than I was. What you have always been you don’t have to always be. God can change you. Christ can transform you. Love can renew you.

I used to be fearful, but then I became a Mom

I used to be fearful, but then I became a mom and it made me fearless. The same happened spiritually when I asked Jesus to be my Lord and Savior. He changed who I had always been into what He had created me to be.

Live the Lovely

Rhiannon

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Some Days I Need You More

Some Days I Need You More

Days That Are Real

Do you ever have those days where emotions overtake you and you feel overwhelmed? Days where you feel forgotten, alone, or left out? I do.

Yes, I have those days. I have days where, for one reason or another, life just hurts. When I was in my early teens and some in my early 20’s on those days I would cry to God to remove me from earth. I thought the answer to the hard days was giving up and being with Him. I mean I was in pain, emotionally and heaven was perfect couldn’t I just quite life and leave? 

I am older now and I have grown to realize giving up is not the answer. Life hurts more than words can describe but pain can make us stronger.

Now the pain seems to come from different sources than it did in the early years. Now the pain that creeps in is loneliness and the feeling of being invisible. I didn’t know being a mom would feel that way at times. I didn’t know that for some people I would stop existing as me and begin to only exist as “Eleanor’s Mom.”

Those are the moments I find I need God more than ever.

My “Some Days” Prayer

Dear God,

 Some days I am brave. Some days I feel as if I can take on the world. I accomplish things. My house gets cleaned, the dishes done, laundry folded, family fed, I conquer the world.

Some days I sing. It is not earth shattering or record label worthy, but I still sing. I lift up a joyful noise because some days my heart is light and my voice is free.

Dear Lord, some days I get frustrated. Things aren’t done, the Princess is ill, the house is a wreck and I lose my cool. It isn’t easy to die to self on those days. Those are the days I want to rant and rave, I want to cuss and throw fits, but I try to pray. I try to find my strength in You, even on those days when I find myself frustrated.

Then there are other days. Days where I feel invisible. Days I feel alone. Days the tears well up from a place deep in my soul and it is on those days, God, I need you more.

It’s those days I long for God in the flesh to come and sit and hold me. It’s those days my hearts only desire is to feel the arms of the Father reaching out. Those are the days I am not brave. The days I am not put together and the days where life just feels off. On those days I cry. I pray. I try to keep busy. On those days, days like this day, I need You more.

I feel weak for these emotions but God, I know that when I am weak then You are strong. On my some days please give me the strength to grow. Give me the peace to carry on. Give me the wisdom to do better. 

Something in me hates to ask for help, but God, on these days I find I have no other choice. Help me. Help the others that may feel like me and help us continue to come to You alone.

Same Yesterday Today & Forever Hebrews 13:8

Better Days

The “some days” do end. We lay our heads down on pillows, often times with tears pouring, but morning does come. The sun comes up, strength is renewed and bravery is once again acquired. On those days the most important thing to remember is not to give up.

A short time ago I heard the news of a young mother putting her 4-month-old in daycare, driving to the end of a dirt road and taking her life. She had a “some day” that turned into every day and without the hope of Christ, she saw no way to recover or keep going. My heart broke for her family and for her during her last months. It is hard to go from being you to being a mom. People forget you are still a person and without the comfort of Christ, it can be a very lonely transition. 

Keep going. When you feel alone reach out. When you feel invisible do something that makes you smile paint, write, go for a ride, walk around and window shop, get out, remember you are still you.

The battle may endure for a time, but victory is the Lord’s. I sat here, tears streaming as this came out and all I could sense was God saying, “someone needs this.” Friend, you are not alone. I am not alone. We are in this together and one day at a time, one prayer at a time, one step at a time it gets better.

Some Days I Need You More

We have our brave days and we have our “some days” but we have to remember that every day we are loved by a love that is everlasting and the same from day to day. 

Live the Lovely

Rhiannon

Posts to Encourage You on Your Journey:

When You Feel Forgotten

Who You Are Matters

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4 Valuable Mom Essentials for Better Days

 4 Valuable Mom Essentials for Better Days

What is an Essential?

Essentials. Two years ago this word had a different meaning for me. A few essentials might have included my purse, my phone, my wallet, and stuff of that nature. Two years and one 19-month-old later, things have changed. Sure, I still need my wallet because let’s face it a license can be useful, but the purse I traded for a diaper bag and I’m trying to limit the phone usage. Things change as life changes and my essentials have evolved to things that help me stay focused and stay sane.

The dictionary defines an essential as, “absolutely necessary” and “extremely important.” As a mom, there are more than 4 that could fall into this category such as diapers, wipes, snacks, etc. But these four essentials are not focused on needs so much as tools. These are 4 essentials that keep me together and keep me on track so I can keep everyone else together.

 

Valuable Tools

Have you ever helped someone try to fix something or build something and they ask for a tool that you don’t have? “Hey, can you hand me that socket wrench?” Ummm, well if I knew what that was. Ha. It is hard to do a job well without proper tools.

The same is true for Mom life. Yes, Moms have done a fabulous job for years without some of these items but as humanity has learned more we have produced more tools to help our efficiency. Tools simply help us to get the most out of our days. Life can get crazy and I know Moms that have ridiculous schedules. There’s no way I could keep up with the amount of stuff some parents are involved in. With so much going on it is handy to have assets in life that help us keep track of everything.

There aren’t many things I consider “valuable” as a tool to help me in being a mom outside of these 4 things. Without them, I feel like I would be a basket case 95% of the time. Maybe you can relate?

My 4 Essentials

Without any more chatter, here are the 4 essentials that have been so valuable to me in being the best mom I can be.

 

  1. Bible

  2. Planner

  3. Journal (notebook)

  4. For fun book

 

The Word

I have talked about my Bible before, but I use a Crossway Journaling Bible and I cannot say enough good things about it. It gives me room to write or create or doodle. It’s perfect in overall size and the ESV is probably my most favorite translation so far.

The Planner

Using a planner is something I just got into this past year. I will admit at one time I even spoke out in disbelief that people spend so much on planners. I was taken back at how someone could spend so much on something that they can only use once. Well, dear friends, I am eating those words. I spent the first portion of this year using a simple planner from Walmart that was getting the job done. But then my birthday came and I met my dream Kate Spade planner (cue Angels singing). 

My 4 Valuable Mom Essentials for Better Days

Isn’t it pretty? It is simple, elegant and just what I had wanted. It’s easy to pack because it is not huge. It is hardcover so not flimsy. It is perfect for this Mom. What is your dream planner? If you sign up to get e-mails you can get 15% off your first purchase at Kate Spade. Just in case you wanted to know.

The Paper

Notebooks, journals, notepads, white paper. I enjoy all things paper related. Funny enough, this year my mom actually picked up a journal for my birthday that matched my planner with the gold accents. She had no idea of course, but I put them together and it was so cute. This item does not have to be fancy, it can be a simple notebook, it just needs to be a space for you to jot things down.

I read about brain dumps last year sometime and I thought, “That’s a good idea but who has time.” Well, now I try to do it throughout the day. No joke. As a words person titles, stories, posts, books, etc. all run through my brain non-stop. If I didn’t write them down I would be lost all the time. I have to write these things down as I think of them so I can keep track of ideas and whatever else pops in my mind.

A picture of my books…

The Fun Book

It is vital to feed our spirit. The Word of God is a must for a productive life and better living. The great thing about God is that He also inspires gifted authors to release books that speak to our souls as well. I have been learning in this year and really, ever since college that it is important to always be reading. Find what interest you, and inspires you and have a book going at all times. Not to add to the growing “to-do” list, but as something to help you grow as a person. I just finished “The Happiness Dare” by Jennifer Lee and it was incredible! I am now part of a launch team for a book coming soon called “Life Creative.” It’s an epic book for creative Moms (more coming on it soon).

In short, find genres that feed your soul nurture your mind and pick up a book. Find a few of my picks here if you need some ideas.

If you like love, suspense, mystery and good values this series was amazing!

*WARNING* You may experience sleepless nights and less productive days because you will get caught up in the story.

My 4 Valuable Mom Essentials for Better Days

What Are Your Essentials?

Okay, it’s your turn? What are your daily essentials? You may not be a mom, you may be in the workforce, retired, single, I want to know what you use to stay on track? If you are a mom I want to know what you use too! If you had to make a list of your own what would be on it? Share below so we can get new ideas and all have better days together!

 

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10 Old Movies to Fall In Love With

10 Old Movies to Fall In Love With

Old Soul

When I was growing up my Nana always loved to watch old movies. I don’t know what it started with but some of my earliest memories include “Singing in the Rain,” “Meet Me In St. Louis,” and other gems. I fell head-over-heels for the music and the wardrobes. Have you ever watched movies from the 1950 era? Their clothes were stunning! The details, the colors, the shine! Makes me happy just thinking about it.

I have noticed that movies prior to the 1960’s seem to be less than popular these days. This makes me sad. There are so many gems that should not be put away and forgotten. Sure, the picture may be slightly grainy and the reel my spot from time to time, but the content is beautiful. If you are having a bad day turn on Fred and Ginger and just try to stay mad, I dare you.

10 Old Movies to Fall In Love With

Audrey has always been my favorite. She had such a sweet air about her. She drew you into her roles and made you feel every emotion coursing through her part. She was genuine and I appreciate that. 

With this drifting away from the old I decided to renew some favorites of mine and share them. Classics should not be forgotten, especially when they are so captivating. Of course, this is not my extensive list. I’ll save some for a future post.

Old but Not Forgotten

10 Old Movies that you will fall for and it might even make you fall in love with love again.

10 Old Movies to Fall In Love With

 

  1. Duchess of Idaho

  2. Meet Me In St. Louis

  3. It’s A Wonderful World

  4. Seven Brides for Seven Brothers

  5. Texas Carnival

  6. Shall We Dance

  7. Good News

  8. Shop Around the Corner

  9. Sabrina

  10. State Fair

 

 

Now the search can begin. I will admit these movies are not always easy to find, but they are most definitely worth it. I have enjoyed each one of these numerous times and I own over half of them. They are such a joy to watch. From Esther Williams doing beautiful water ballet numbers to Judy Garland singing her heart out to the boy next door to Howard Keel trying to keep his 6 brothers under control. They are each a fun adventure and the best part of all they are all family friendly.

10 Old Movies to Fall In Love With

Can I talk about that for a minute? Why is it so hard for Hollywood to produce films families can enjoy? Why is it that culture feeds on putting trash in their minds? Do we really need more death, cussing, sex, and drug abuse? Isn’t there enough of that in society without it infiltrating our television screens?

I’ll come off my soapbox now. I am just very disappointed in Hollywood and the lack of decent shows being produced. God, please revive the entertainment industry.

Now, back to these 10 lovely films. Enjoy them, come back and share if you have seen any, and if you have others you would add to the list. I’m always up for more golden oldies to fall in love with.

Live the Lovely

Rhiannon

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Do My Small Prayers Really Matter?

Do My Small Prayers Really Matter?

My Prayers

Have you ever breathed a prayer never thinking God really heard you? You let out a small sentence straight from your heart. Nothing long or elaborate, but sincere and meaningful to you in your season. Have you ever gone back and felt as if that prayer really didn’t matter? You look at the world around you and tell yourself, “Well, my prayer was inconsequential compared to all that is happening.” So instead of believing for it or even taking it to God again you let it go. You scratch it off as silly or small. You might even completely forget about it. But God didn’t.

As I have shared lately this year has been kind of tough on us. We had some very rough, stretching months. Tears, fears, prayers, and more tears. God has been faithful and He has brought us through those trying months. He has helped us to get on a budget and it has done wonders for us. The only bad part about our budget is it tells all of our income where to go and there has been no wiggle room for extras. 

Small Goodies

Now, I should say we were never extravagant spenders before, but from time to time it is nice to go for groceries and add some tasty treats just because. That had been out of the question. We have a set budget and with that, there has been no room for anything but necessities.

With this budget, we started to miss certain foods because they were too expensive. For instance, meat was one and for me to miss meat it had to be a big deal. Instead of complaining about it though I just whispered to God that next week it would be nice to be able to afford some chicken. Well, God is faithful and that next week we were blessed to have extra in the grocery budget and we got chicken.

That was not the last time, oh no. In passing, I mentioned that I would love to be able to get some cereal. I eat cereal as a before bed snack sometimes, but with the cost of milk and a bag of cereal it just wasn’t a necessity so we did away with it. Hello, God. The following week of that prayer we had money for cereal.

For almost a month now God has done this over and over again. He has brought finances into our home for the small goodies that I once would have thought were unimportant to Him.

Small Is Big

When we breathe those small prayers we sometimes convince ourselves God is too big to care about those things. I want to tell you He does care and He does listen. One last example that has blown us away and brings tears to my eyes as I share it happened two weeks ago. 

Small Prayers are Big to God

Last Sunday night when we got home from church I reached into Eleanor’s bag to grab something. When I opened it sticking in the top pocket was a roll of money. Well, Andrew and I panicked a little. We thought someone had stuck money into the wrong bag and someone was going to be lost without this money. For us, it was a fairly large sum and we went to trying to find who it belonged to right away. Come to find out someone had stuck it in the bag as a blessing to us.

Wow! Wow! We were overcome with the love of God. We were so touched by this blessing that we really didn’t even know what to say to each other except for WOW GOD!

Small is big to God. He knew that earlier that week we had given away the money we had saved for my birthday and He knew that even though I was trying to be brave about it I was slightly crushed. He knew that I was trying to be faithful and as a way to show me He was listening to me He blessed our socks off that week.

Our small prayers are heard in a big way. Usually, it’s the small prayers that mean the most to us so we have to realize they mean a great deal to the Father as well.

Let Him Know

As this week gets started and we go about our lives lets remember not to ignore the small prayers or the small moments. God is listening and God does care. I’m in tears just thinking about how God took the time to show me this very thing this month. My small prayers matter in a big way to our big God. We just have to be more open to sharing them with Him.

What small prayers have you whispered and saw God answer? Would you share it with us in the comments below?