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 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