Posted in Devotion, Encouragement, Fresh, Glory, GradSchool, Hope, Jesus, Life, Love, New, Spiritual, TheGoodGoodLife, WorldChanger

What is the Good Good Life?

Today, I am reflecting on just how good it is to trust in God’s perfect timing. There are so many things in life that I try to grab on to, and hold white knuckle. So many things I’ve tried to control on my own, to build in my own time. They ALL falter. Only the times in my life, where the original thought was from the one who made me, are the times where plans have not only worked, but they have WORKKKKEDDD. Like a YESSSS girl kind of moment, you feel?

God is so great in that way. He doesn’t ask much of us, only that we love him with all our hearts, and love others. The beauty of that is to know him. The more I get to know him, the more I want to be in his presence, because that is where I find such peace. There I find hope, love, and grace. Forgiveness. There is no condemnation, guilt, or shame, those things all come from the enemy, and he’s not welcome in the presence of god. Can I get an AMEN.

What an amazing love that is. One that doesn’t force us to love, or pressure us into things that make us sad. But, one that is so freely given, all you have to do is show up.

Broken.

Tired.

Shame-filled.

Lonely.

Frustrated.

Confused.

And he is right there, ready to take on whatever you’re dealing with, and he already knows. Why? Because he made you. And he created you with plans to prosper you, to give you hope and a future (Jeremiah 29:11)!

I used to hear the term “sit at the feet of Jesus” and think uh okay, how? Oh my how that has changed as I read about his love story to us. (That’s the bible in case you were wondering). How I long for the mornings I spend time with Jesus, talking to him. Asking him questions, telling him about my hopes, asking for clarity, asking for peace. My pastor at home always says “if you don’t know how to pray, talk to god about it.” It really is like talking to a friend, but it comes with practice!

How many mornings did it take to drag my butt out of bed to almost just fall asleep with my face in my bible?? SO MANY. Like probably a year or two to make it consistent…but now, I don’t rise early because I have to, friend, I NEED to. My soul needs to. I can tell if I haven’t had quiet time in the morning, because the whole day feels off.

Coffee drinkers out there (or other forms of caffeine), those mornings when you are somewhere without coffee first thing in the morning, or you wake up late and are in a rush to leave. That feeling you get when you realize it’s already noon, you have a headache, your cranky, and don’t feel quite yourself?

Well one, it’s an addiction to caffeine, oops. (The world runs on tired people y’all, just don’t grow weary)

But two, that’s exactly how my soul feels when I accidentally skipped quiet time because I over slept. Going through day without filling up with God in the morning. I get half way through my day feeling drained, like I am missing something. Something much more important than coffee! I get more grumpy in traffic, I get more judge-y to other people, who might just be having an off day too!! I’m not able to pour out the love that would normally fill my heart. I need my coffee just like I need my Jesus! Strong and first thing in the morning! Jesus and Coffee, Coffee and Jesus. Easily the best time of my whole day.

Side note I believe a lot of great conversations can happen over cups of coffee. Praise god for that!

If we were having coffee this morning and I could tell you all about the thoughts in my head, it would all boil down to this…

I’m in awe of the goodness of God. He brings me to tears of Joy almost daily! He is so good. And not only is he good, he is Good Good. God has brought me to a place in this life where I realized that I want to make the most of it, I want joy, and friendship, laughter, & love, and I want to help others do the same! I want to live The Good Good Life, because life isn’t meant to just be “good.”

You know like at church, the store, or school, this conversation….

Hey so good to see you! How’ve you been?

Good, and you?

Good!

Awkward casual small talk until you make your exit.

Friend, I’m not suggesting you tell every casual acquaintance your deepest darkest secrets, or all the intimate details of what you’re dealing with! My point is that life wasn’t meant to just be good. It was meant to be Good Good.

I firmly believe that is the mission that God has put on my heart, to learn and live. It doesn’t mean bad times don’t happen, but it sure does make them easier to face with a god who never leaves.

Are you living The Good Good Life?

Do you want to?

He loves you friend, and he wants you to live loved too!

“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith”

-2 Timothy 4:7-

XOXO,

Alie

 

 

 

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

He is in the Waiting…

Sometimes life feels lonely. You have all these people around you, yet you feel like your drowning in work, school, life. Friendship grow apart, and seem harder to keep in touch with. Waking up for an early morning gets greeted by more snooze buttons, and grows even tougher as the week goes on.

Have you had mornings/days/weeks/months like this?

The feeling where you are waiting for God to move, to show you that He is here and working. Meanwhile we are doing nothing but going going going. I have to remind myself of this often, SLOWWWW DOOWWWWNNN. Breathe. Take in this day. You only get one of these. One February 20th of 2018. There will not be another like it. If we are fortunate enough, we will see the sun rise and set tomorrow. But, that is not guaranteed.

Can I just encourage you to slow down today? Stop and smell the roses if you will. Write a list of things you are thankful for. Send a quick message to a friend you haven’t spoken with in a while, remind them that you love them!

Slow down today and realize how good we have it, even in the midst of hardships. God is faithful. So good.

That coffee this morning, so good.

Quiet time with Him, so good.

That morning traffic that we face, is more time to sing to the radio, in the car that we are fortunate enough to have, so so good.

An education (that at the moment seems impossible), SO GOOD.

The new day that you get to start fresh, so good.

Friends and Family, so good.

Are you starting to see where I am going with this? It is a matter of perspective. Even on the worst day, there is something to be thankful for. Finding that spirit of Joy and excitement each day can be tough. The best way though, is to speak life over each day. Even if that means saying it out loud 50 times a day, DO IT.

Today will be a good day.

I am so thankful for another day.

God is faithful and will provide.

It is a beautiful day.

Friend, say it until you mean it. Say it until that spirit leaks from every surface of your being. Say it until you not only believe it, you feel it, and you live it.

And no, it is not easy. Sorry. I’ll be the first one to tell you how much I struggle with being happy happy all the time. Or for being annoyed at the person who is (you feel?). But y’all, when you truly get to a place where you do believe there is good in every day… It gets little easier.

It all starts in your mind, and on your lips. Speak it. Fake it till you make it.

So today, slow down, take a look at the world that is surrounding you. Take a break from that hustle and bustle and…. just be. Reflect on all of the wonderful things in life that we so easily take for granted. Don’t let the little things bog you down, let them just be little things.

Today will be a good day! God is faithful. He put you here on purpose. Rest in that. Hold on to it for dear life. He is life. He will show you.

He will help you live that Good Good Life.

“Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is you strength.” 

-Nehemiah 8:10b-

XOXO,

Alie

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 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, 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