Posted in Encouragement, Hope, Love

Love is Easy. True Love is Not.

It is so easy to say you love things, people, places, books, food, etc. But, how hard is it to love that random stranger that just cut you off in traffic, in the rain, on Monday morning?

This morning during my quiet I’ve been thinking about a couple things:

  • Saying you are praying via meme on Facebook, and actually allowing yourself five minutes to pray are two different things. We need more time alone with God, and less time on social media.
  • Truly allowing God to break your heart for what breaks His, is a really big thing to pray for, but there is such beauty in it.
  • Above all I’m thinking about Love this morning, the perfect kind of Love. Not like the I ❀ Pizza kind. The Love that is overwhelming, gracious, unwavering, deep, faithful, and true. The kind of love we can only learn to feel when we accept to Love the father has for us.

With that being said this verse has hit me hard this week, so much so, it might be in my wedding vows someday. Over the last year, God has been shaping the way that I love, so drastically! Showing me what true love for family, friends, people, and life is. Showing me, that without him, there is no true love, and that the love of this world won’t last without him at the center.

Friends, I encourage you not to just read this verse, and even if you’ve read it a thousand times before, let this time be more, let it sink in. Read the words, and feel what Peter is saying here:

“Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.”

-1 Peter 4:8-

This isn’t the romantic kind of love, the movie perfect love, or even the easy kind of love. No, this is the walking in, when everyone else has walked out love. The catching up even when you don’t feel like you have time. The helping someone with groceries because they are struggling. The love that tells someone you’ll pray for them, and doing so. The love that involves putting someone else’s needs before your own. The love that tells it like it is, not out of spite, but out of care.

I’ve heard people say, or share on social media that they believe love should be spread, and that love conquers all. And they are right. True love does win. However, if the person who so avidly shares this opinion, is one of the most bitter and cranky people you know…friends, my heart breaks for these people.

This by no means makes me perfect, or say that I know all, or have it all together. I’m just saying, if we could be that person. Go the extra mile, smile a little more, hold the Joy of the Lord in our hearts, and pour out His love…

OH….what a great world this would be.

If people could stop with the “I’m too busy” or the “well they don’t -fill in the blank- for me, so why should I”? If we don’t get off our high horses, and down into the trenches, with the people we love that are hurting. Can we actually say you love them? And I know, loving someone from a distance is easier, but loving someone through the mess, and DESPITE the mess…is so much more rewarding.

Something that spoke to me is something I’ve heard my pastor’s wife say often. “There are two types of people: One that walks in the room, and says “Here I am!” and one that walks in a room and says, “There you are!”

Friends this week I challenge you to love on people, encourage them, write them a letter, shoot them an email/text, remind them that you love them, and are praying for them. Tell them how thankful you are for them. It takes a few seconds to do, and could make their day so much better! Loving stuff can be easy, but truly loving takes time and effort. It might not be easy, but it’ll be worth it!

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XOXO,

Alie

 

Posted in Encouragement, Hope, Uncategorized

Pencil in Time

Hey friends! It’s been awhile. There are so many great things I could tell you about graduate school, life etc. But I wanted actually talk a little bit about all of those, and the main thing TIME. Which most days, seems like we don’t actually have enough of!

Grad School has taught me a few things:

  • There is no more “I don’t read textbooks,” you kind of have to, too bad, so sad. Bleh.
  • They tell you not to work during grad school because holy moly, it is a job.
  • Having that said “job” is literally reading/note writing/ lecture watching/lab doing/note writing, and repeat, day in and day out.

SOOO? My question to you is what things in your life do you need to do or accomplish? (Stay with me there is a point). Let’s look at one week. Job, bills, gas, groceries, eating healthy, gym time, school/work, kids?, family? significant others? time for leisure? drive time. That is just a few of the things that some people deal with daily, not to mention the little things around the house like laundry, cleaning etc.

As of the last few weeks have progressed it became very clear this stage of my life was not going to be like undergrad. There is no more “Sure I can do this later and go out for awhile,” because it is so lengthy and important that there is no time…. or is there?

See friends, over the last couple weeks I’ve noticed, that I want to make time for fun things too, and not feel the chaos or guilt of thinking I should be studying. So I’ve been making myself wake up EARLY! OH GOSH. I know….not what you want to hear right?

Stay with me though….

We have so many roles, tasks, and things to accomplish in our daily lives. But during all of this you have to also achieve peace. Peace knowing that the King of Kings is guiding your path. That he put you here on purpose.

Waking up early, is a lot easier when you realize who you are living your life for! Sure, when my alarm goes off the first thing I think is well, I could just skip that and sleep more. But oh, when I get up, get to the gym, shower, make coffee, have my quiet time with my bible, have more coffee and get to start my day, all before 8:30! To me that is just a glimmer into my life that is to come when I take on other roles. Like wife, employee, mother. These are things that successful role models in my life, do all the time!! I used to think they were insane for getting up early. Now….I’m one of them.

I am not saying it’ll be easy. BUT, it will be worth it. Y’all…there are never any regrets you could have with getting up to make the most of your day. I challenge you to try it. And if you are struggling, just remember it is habit forming, it will take time!

Also remember to call on the Lord, and ask him for help in this. It may seem silly, but if you truly want to live your life for the Lord, let him guide, mold, and shape your habits to best glorify him! Maybe there are some he wants to clean out of you? There was some in my life.

If you’re like me this morning, and up before the sun, I hope your day is smooth sailing and full of blessing. And if you are not up that early this morning, I pray that maybe this speaks to your heart, and your need for a better routine. Find time for the things that matter, before you spend 20 years developing things that are going no where.

“Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.” -Nehemiah 8:10b-

P.S. Here’s a picture of what beauty you get to see when you’re up before the sun!

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XOXO,

Alie

Posted in Uncategorized

Live Every Day Loving and Being Loved

A lot has been happening in the last couple weeks! We moved some of my things up to my new condo, my grandmother turnedΒ 80, and we’ve had lots of family in town! I love that we got to end my time at home, and my eight month “spiritual retreat” with a bang.

Having family around, is one of the most crazy, fun, and tiring things ever. And with my family, it is anything but quiet. We’re loud, we love food, and the conversations are ever filled with laughter. It makes my heart so full. What makes your heart feel full?

Something else that made my heart so happy is the surprise party for my grandma who is EIGHTY! Holy wow, when did that happen?? We’ve had this secret planned for like five months, and we got her good! She had no idea! And she couldn’t believe we did it.

On a side note…. does this woman look eighty???

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Also, this is the best picture I had with them all night considering I was behind the camera most of the time and my mom doesn’t like using my “fancy camera.” HA!

Point being, just having all the attention on her and celebrating was great. But my favorite part of the night was after we’d played her a video of everyone who couldn’t be there (she loved it)!

I went and asked my grandpa what he thought of the video. And he sat silent for a second only to say, well it was good. But, November 18th, 1956 was the best day of my life. (It’s their anniversary). He followed that by saying it is going to be 61 years this November, and that he’s thankful to be here, and that this year is better than last.

Two things about this, this man does not get emotional. He loves his wife, kids, and family, but he’s not always one to be sappy. I think his 82 years has brought that out of him.

But the second on is that last year, he was in the hospital, for a few weeks, and came out of that weak. We all weren’t sure if that would be the last times we got to spend with him. His first few days were spent there, while my other family was in town for my grandma’s birthday.

He talked a lot to my mom about how he felt bad for ruining the day for her. When we all got home that night before her birthday, I stayed up late making her a cake, that I know, that next day when she blew out the candles, even without her saying so, she wished for him to get better.

My grandparents have never really been outwardly affectionate people, but those few moments of little notions of love (deeper than you can post about on Facebook), are the ones that fill my heart with the fondest memories.

I know that someday they will not be with us anymore, but I hope I can live a long happy life, where I can look back and say that my wedding day, and every day since, has been among the best days of my life.

Friends, our time is short. But I want you to know today, that you are loved. So so loved.

“For God so loved the world that he gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” -John 3:16-

XOXO,

Alie

Posted in Uncategorized

Faith Over Fear

Lately I’ve been really focusing on giving my fears to the Lord. Because friends, I am a worry wart. I didn’t really used to think so, because I do trust the Lord’s plan and I know he’ll guide my path.

BUT I’m talking about the everyday worry. The what if worry. The ridiculous thoughts that control your emotions type of worry. The waste your time throughout the day worries. The ones that usually don’t even matter. I have stuff that will creep in my head and grow to be huge issues because I LET THEM. Instead of just giving them to the Lord and living for today!

So today, I decided to share some of the things I worry about with you, (seriously don’t laugh) some are big, some small, some that are genuine fears in my heart of hearts.

Though not to belittle them, I trust god right? Right! So I shouldn’t feel the need to stress or worry myself silly over these things!

-Afraid of being not good enough or looking silly while doing something. (This is something I work at daily, not worrying what other people think, because most of the time they aren’t even paying attention to me at all- in the negative way I perceive it that is)

-Afraid of not being able to have children someday. Am I ready for that? No. Am I married? No. I just have always wanted them, so it’s things I think about. (And in my heart of hearts I know, if I can’t physically have them, there are plenty of other options to extend your family. The lord has a plan)

-Afraid of spiders, snakes, sharks…. (okay this one might seem silly, but fear paralyzes, it is a weapon of the enemy. And sometimes it makes it to where I over think about what’s in the water around me at the beach, and I get out! Also something I’ve been working on!)

-Afraid of darkness while walking, because of stepping on something. Y’all I use my phone flashlight everywhere!!! I don’t know what people did without them. Seriously.

I’ve slowly started realizing that the enemy will do everything he can, to twist God’s promises and word to be something you question, and don’t understand.

I’ve realized how good he is at sending you on a goose chase, for happiness that this world appears to be able to offer. But, it’s when we slow down, take a step back, and realize that God is in control, that there is freedom.

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Freedom from the worry, shame, or guilt. Freedom from the lies of the enemy. Freedom to be happy, and live your life on purpose!

Can I just tell you today that you are loved! There is a plan for you. And yes, there is an enemy that hates you, and will seek to ruin your existence, BUT if you seek truth in the Lord he will answer and rescue you. He will show you your worth. Everyday. Forever.

Can I remind you that if you feel like no one gets it, he will. If you feel lost, he is the light. If you feel hopeless, he gives hope. If you feel dead inside, he is life!

Friend, I encourage you today, talk to Jesus, tell him your fears, big or small. Lean on him, for even the tiniest things, he’s there. He’s waiting, ready to make your fearful heart, into a fearless one!

“for, ‘Everyone who calls on the name of Jesus will be saved.'” -Romans 10:13-

XOXO,

Alie

Posted in Uncategorized

Words That Speak Life

A while back I heard about a study showing that if you write down positive things in your life, things you are thankful for, or just happy things, you’re more likely to be happy and have better health in then. I’ll attach the article here:

http://www.health.harvard.edu/healthbeat/giving-thanks-can-make-you-happier

The great part about this is, that having a thankful heart can truly make you feel so happy for the day you’re about to endure.

I keep a journal with my bible, I write down notes from church, prayers, things I’m thankful for, thoughts, etc. I can’t tell you how much it helps to start writing what you are thankful for. You start to realize there is so much more you have to be thankful for too!

Sure, life isn’t always cupcakes and rainbows, I get that. But people who walk around in the doom and gloom of life, are typically pessimistic people, who tend to look for the bad things.

I’m not going to belittle anyone’s circumstances. Because, life is tough! BUT. You are in control of your attitude! You can choose to be happy, and if you don’t think that’s true. I challenge you to start writing down a list of things you’re thankful for! (And please don’t tell me there are none).

Life is so sweet and precious, and every thing is working for our good. We have a god who tells us so! Here are a few things I am thankful for today:

*The sun rose this morning!

*For my shower, for real y’all. Hot showers are the best. We are so blessed to have running water!

*For family (we currently have family driving from Texas to come see us! How fun!)

*For a job

*For food on my table

*For Coffee, honestly this should’ve been like on this list seven more times.

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*For my car! (Even though the windows in the back don’t work, and the AC is broken. It still works! Praise God!)

*Thankful for Free Will, and the choice to choose God every morning.

Need I keep going? I could all day! There are so many things in our daily life we forget so much about. Like the fact that in some countries they make one to two dollars A DAY doing back breaking labor, where here in America, we could easily spend that, plus some, on 1 coffee. How blessed are we to have that chance!

(But also how cranky are we when they accidentally put 6 pumps of hazelnut and 2 pumps vanilla when we specifically asked for 7 pumps of vanilla and 1 hazelnut?! Being thankful for every aspect of your life will also help you not sweat the small stuff!)

Life is sweet if you remember to think that way!

“Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever.” -Psalm 107:1-

Xoxo,

Alie