Posted in Encouragement, Hope, Jesus, Life, Love

A Letter to the Kid on the Diving Board

I am undeserving of the person you are. You’re strong-willed, organized, funny, loving, and so faithful. I love watching you work on literally anything, your concentration, your mind at work. Your endurance overwhelms me, I feel like I grow weary watching how hard you press on. For the life you want, for me, for your family. I can’t help but be overjoyed that’s the type of spouse and parent you will be. I love being the one you come to, about life, about anything. I cherish those conversations more than you will know. I wish I could explain the amount of joy it brings me to see your heart at work. You may not see it, but I do always, you have a big heart. The biggest. And like most people are, or will be, you’ve been hurt, and scared too many times. Unfortunately, there will probably be too many more in this lifetime to count. I wish I could protect you from them all, but I’m only human.

Sometimes the world will try to make your heart hard.

But we have a choice, to close ourselves off, or to dive right in.

Sometimes I feel like you’re on the diving board. Like a little kid jumping off for the first time. You want to turn and run back down the diving board, and slip safely back into the pool from the side. All the while, your Father is waiting for you to jump, with arms wide open. He’s been waiting for you the whole time. Treading the water, willing you to jump right in. I will be with you He says. While you stand wavering on the diving board, wondering what it’s like to jump right in. Do it.

When you let go, and let the Father catch you in His arms, it is freeing. In that moment you feel like there is nothing you can’t do. And with Him. It’s true. You can do all things through the Father. Sometimes just a leap of faith is required. Just like on the diving board. It may seem scary, or not worth the risk.

BUT OH MY…

When you jump in, you’ll want to again, and again, and again. And keep coming back to the Father. You can’t stop. You want more of the thrill of life that jumping to Him gives you. The joy you feel when you land in His arms. The safety that is His presence.

~      ~      ~     ~

For those of you who are wavering on the diving board, come on in. The water is swell. The presence of the Father is flowing just waiting for you. He wants to catch you, arms wide open. Jump into the pool. You won’t regret it.

XOXO,

Alie

Posted in Devotion, Encouragement, Hope, Jesus, Life, Love, Uncategorized

New Year, New Worries?

Hello 2018,

This is something I have been trying to write in my head for days now. Waiting to have something good, a nugget for this year. A way to better myself in the new year. Well I am not one for New Year’s resolutions. I’ll tell you this, everyday is a new day, an opportunity to change yourself for the better. Or some days, the not so better. You feel? However, each day the sun rises because He is faithful. And that gives each of us a brand new day to change, grow, and learn, about God and about ourselves.

This year I’ve been trying to think about who I want to be, more specifically what kind of person, friend, girlfriend, daughter, student, and sister. I’ve been trying to think about what needs evaluated in my life to get better. I’ve been praying some big things for 2018. Most of which are going to play themselves out in God’s perfect timing. My boyfriend is job hunting, and that’s tough. My parents are working really hard for my mom’s business to flourish. My sister is in high school, and we all know how many trials there are there. My brother is becoming a young preteen and growing to become the person he will be. For myself, it’s my first full year attending OT school (I survived 1 term, what’s seven more?)

God is good. God is good. God is good.

All of those things will work out for HIS timing. Maybe not in the way we’d expect, but none the less. They bring worry. Worry of not fitting in, not making the money you need, not being able to find a job, not passing. All of this is just to say thinking about all of these things, and the uncertainty of life is just so prevalent right now. I am in the process of reading a devotional called Flourish: Live Loved. Live Fearless. Live Free. By Margaret Feinberg. After a long prayer about how I wanted this year to go, I open the devo only to read something that slapped me so spiritually hard across the face, I smiled. He is good.

I challenge you if you’ve read this before ask God to show you something new. He sure showed me…

“So do not worry, saying ‘what shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all of these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” -Matthew 6: 31-34

Did you catch it? Mostly people focus on the do not worry about tomorrow… but here read it again.

“So do not worry, saying ‘what shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all of these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” -Matthew 6: 31-34-

HE KNOWS!

Friend he sees you, and your concerns, worry, and doubt. He hears you and he will provide. He is faithful. That stuck out so much this morning! I hope it can encourage you too. He knows what is to come, for tomorrow, for this week, for 2018, and forever. That is freeing. It gives us so much more time to feel joy, and enjoy this good good life. And if you’re like me and don’t know what you want out of this year yet. Shoot for one thing first. His plan. And then Joy. You won’t regret it.

Happy 2018, may it be the best year yet! Full of growth, new beginnings, challenges, and joy! Always Joy.

XOXO,

Alie

Posted in Encouragement, Food

Food worth Mentioning

So cold weather has finally decided to grace us in Florida with it’s presence. Y’all I’m SO thankful! This mean stews, and soups, and warm hearty dishes! The kind that bring comfort and warm fuzzy feelings! Not that you can’t eat hot food in every other part of the year here…. I’m just saying the ones that you feel cling to your bones! Good ole’ comfort food.

And okay, don’t judge but being that I love spaghetti, and all Italian food, in any capacity, I also know that whenever I find clean eat shortcuts to these food, it is a great day. And for those of you who know that squash is in season right now…. brings me to the next point. Use zucchini chunks in place of pasta, and your favorite meat sauce to make more a of stew feel. Italian flavors, hearty substance textures! AND it’s healthy! It is a win-win-win!

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This is zucchini, and a turkey sausage marinara sauce! YUM.

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This bad boy, is a play on Chicken Parmesan. I don’t use dairy, but to be honest I don’t miss it all that much. (Ice cream is a main exception, but they have so many alternatives now it doesn’t really matter!) Anyways, the chicken is coated in egg, and then “breaded” with flax seed meal, almond flour, and Italian seasoning (I pan toast these together to brown it and crisp it up!) I alternate pasta by using spaghetti squash, and I use whichever sauce I fancy for that day! So simple! And I have leftovers for the next day! Which is even better.

Learning to love your body with the food you put in it is such a reward. And it doesn’t have to be complicated ingredients, or yucky bland food!

“So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.”

– 1 Corinthians 10:31-

XOXO,

Alie

Posted in Encouragement, Food, Uncategorized

Smoothie Bowls and Sundays

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For the Smoothie: Blend all ingredients together, pour into a bowl.

1/2 cup frozen blueberries

1 banana

1/2 cup frozen strawberries

Small handful of baby spinach

Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk (enough to blend to whatever consistency you prefer)

Toppings:

1 kiwi sliced

A Few chunks of frozen pineapple

Chia seeds

Flax seeds – whole

A sprinkle of frozen raspberries

ENJOY!

It is really that easy!

 

“Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart.”

-Psalm 37:4-

XOXO,

Alie

Posted in Encouragement, Hope, Love, Suicide, Uncategorized

You Matter to Me

Hey y’all,

I’ve been thinking a lot the last week about life. How precious it is, how fast it goes by, and how we need to make every moment count. There was news from my home town that a boy committed suicide, he was a friend of my younger sister’s boyfriend. When I got the text from my mom, my heart broke. For the family, for my sister and her boyfriend. For the kid who thought his life didn’t matter. The boy who had so many things going on in his mind, that he felt there was no other option.

Friend, if that is you today, can I tell you, I have been there…

I know what it’s like to feel like no one cares, to feel like you’ll never find love, like no one likes you, like you are an outcast, like you aren’t enough.

Can I tell you that those things come from the enemy? Those things are anything but true. Why? Because he comes to kill, steal, and destroy.

Kill your dreams… You can’t do that, you never will be good enough

Steal your joy… No one loves you, or will ever love you, you have nothing, no reason to be here

Destroy your Story…Nothing you do will ever make a difference, you will always stick out. 

Friend, I feel your pain, I do. If anyone hasn’t told you today, I care about you. Truly, I do. I also have good news! God cares about you too, and all those things are lies, whispered to you by the enemy. Who would do anything to get you to believe him, over the word of God!

BUT…THIS IS WHAT THE GOOD NEWS SAYS!

He comes to give hope and a future! (Jeremiah 29:11)

You are fearfully and wonderfully made! (Psalm 139:14)

The joy of the Lord is your STRENGTH! (Nehemiah 8:10)

You can laugh with no fear of the future! (Proverbs 31:25)

You can be strong and courageous! (Joshua 1:9)

He so loved YOU, that he gave his son to die for you! (John 3:16)

In him you can find rest! (Matthew 11:28)

If you don’t believe it, or feel like it could be true for you, let me just tell you that half of this life goes on up top. In your mind, there are a lot of brilliant dreams, plans, hopes, goals, and aspirations.

You are the only YOU.

There will never be anyone else just like you, because you are here on purpose. You are perfectly made by the creator of all things. You have a purpose, that only you can do! You may be sitting and hearing all the reasons why you can’t. But can I tell you one thing, the Lord will never lead you astray. He will guide your path, and give you the purpose he designed for you, if you let him!

About 8 years ago I found out we were going to be moving to FL, I thought my life was ending! My parents were the worst, they were trying to take away my whole life. Etc Etc. I wanted to go back “home” so badly, on the way to FL, I was in the lowest of the low mindset, mind you, there were other factors to this. But, I just felt like there was nothing left for me. Hopeless. Thoughts of taking my life crossed my mind, many times, thankfully a friend talked with me, and adjusted my thinking. Made me realize how much there was to be thankful for, and to look forward to.

Looking back over the past eight years, and thinking about all of the wonderful things that were yet to come, overwhelms me with feelings. In those eight years, I have met the man of my dreams, graduated from high school, community college, college, and now am attending graduate school (for a major a few years ago I’d never even heard of)! I joined a sorority, I made friends, I’ve had jobs some good, some not so good. I’ve had birthdays, and parties with people that I care about. I’ve grown, realized how much of life there is to enjoy.

Friend, a few years back, I never would’ve dreamed that I would be where I am, and it hasn’t always been easy. I still struggle daily with insecurities, but I am always working on them, asking God for guidance.

Please know, if you are considering that there is nothing left here for you, there is. SO MUCH. God has big plans for you. I believe in you, I care about you, and so does He. You are on purpose. You have purpose. Be strong and courageous. Reach out, ask for help, I so glad that I did.

You are so loved.

XOXO,

Alie