Right in Front of You

It’s Friday….I always seem amazed when Friday shows up again. I greet the day with a sigh of relief…I made it here again.

This week I particularly feel a sense of relief. It has been an emotional rollercoaster, but God is good and continues to breathe His truth into my soul. 

In Psalm 37:3….trust in the Lord and do good, dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness…

When I read that passage recently, I reflected on the name of​ my blog. Faith. Hope. Love. Food. My original intention for my blog was to share my food struggle journey, but God revealed a different focus to me.

The food that fuels my soul…His faithfulness, His goodness, His love, His peace, mercy, grace… have ​been so clearly evident and alive this week in my life.

Sometimes, what you are searching for is right in front of you, you just need a reminder that it’s there. My prayers this week have been an intense sense of needing direction, His direction. I have been feeding on His faithfulness and staying in the Word, praying His promises.

Ever heard someone speak to you and know it was exactly what God needed for you to hear? Ever received a hug and felt the love so deeply? I did this week. The answers I sought were right in front of me, I just needed reminded.

If you are struggling with making a hard decision, feed on His faithfulness and keep praying. The answer you yearn for just may be right in front of you.

One Lovely Blog Award

Hello and happy Saturday morning! It is a bittersweet morning as I enjoy the quiet moments of the morning before my family is awake knowing that my vacation time is coming to an end. That being said, I am trying to finish some things up before I jump back into the day to day busy routines of normal life.

One of the things that I want to do this morning is to take a few minutes to thank a wonderful blogger for nominating me for the “One Lovely Blog Award.” This award is all about honoring and supporting one another in sharing our stories with each other. Talasi Guerra over at  Braver than Before    has graciously chosen me as one of her recipients for this honor. Her blog has offered inspiration to me and reminds me that I am certainly not alone in the struggles and journey over anxiety and fear.

As part of the One Lovely Blog Award honor, I am asked to share seven facts about myself.

1. Mornings are my absolute favorite time of the day. I will willingly sacrifice sleep for some quiet time during the early still hours of the day. I love to spend quiet time with God and read, write, and reflect over coffee or tea before the rest of the world is awake and moving.

2. One of my passions in life is serving older adults. I have worked with older adults in some capacity since I was a freshman in high school. I have always had a close relationship with my grandparents. I love the wisdom and stories that elders have to share.

3. If I had to choose mountains or the beach, as difficult as this decision might be, I think my heart is in the mountains. There is something peaceful and quiet about the beauty of the mountains.

4. I started this blog as an avenue to share about my frustrations and hope with my food related issues but realized that my journey of food issues had much more to do with my spiritual growth than simply learning about healthy eating. I discovered quickly that I am not a food blogger.

5. I married at the young age of 18 to my high school sweetheart. We have been married almost 20 years and are still learning things about each other. It’s been a good life and it grows sweeter with time.

6. I love music. Although I can’t sing well, I listen to music much of the time. I have also been known to have new “favorite” songs every few days and then listen to that same song over and over…

7. I love dark chocolate…the darker the better. 🙂 But as much as I love chocolate, Jesus is the absolute love of my life. Without my faith and relationship with Christ, I would be lost. He provides hope and healing daily.

And now for the honor of sharing some of my favorite blogs that have inspired me and encouraged me in this journey of life. I nominate the following blogs for the “One Lovely Blog Award”…

Heartandsoul974

Hand Washed Grace

Fearfully Made Mom

Beauty Beyond Bones

Help Me Understand

Girly Christian

Quiet Confidence

My Parallel Life

Bloggers, if you choose to accept the One Lovely Blog Award and pass it along, you will find your instructions below:

  • Thank the person that nominated you and leave a link to their blog
  • Post about the award
  • Share 7 facts about yourself
  • Nominate at most 15 people
  • Tell your nominees the good news!

#onelovelyblog award

Have a great weekend!

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Wednesday Words

I have really enjoyed my little piece of quiet stillness in the mountains these past few days. I have enjoyed lazy mornings, time to relax and reflect, the beauty of nature, witnessing hope in healing from the fires, and time with those whom I love.

Simple moments matter. Sometimes, doing nothing is the something that you need most.

As I bid the mountains farewell, I want to share some great words with you that have been staring back at me each day here in this cabin retreat.

Have a great day. I challenge you to choose a phrase from the picture and live those words today. As for me? I will strive to listen to others with my whole heart.
Have a great Wednesday. Make the best of it!

Moments…

A few days ago, I wrote about the noise on the basketball court. Tonight, God spoke to me through that noise.

I was late to my son’s game. Always running out of work… Always a few minutes late.

I made my way into the stands. I saw him there…charging down the court, full of confidence. He shot. He missed but he had made the attempt. Moments later, he snatched the ball, charged down the court again, and made that basket.

He made his shot. 

I made it for his moment.

Life can quickly become routine. Work, household chores, games, sleep, repeat. It can become so easy to get lost in motions and lose sight of the moments. 

Life is really a beautiful collection of moments.

Tonight, no, I did not see the start of the game. I did witness his moment, though. His confidence. His shot. His basket. Slapping the hands of his teammates. Teamwork.
I have been focusing on my shortcomings for too long. I have been dwelling on dreams not yet reached. I have been harboring guilt at being late to games. I have been placing a lot of pressure on myself to be all things.

I have been exhausted. I am not all things.

Christ is enough, and in Christ, I am enough.

Yes, I need to find a better work life balance. Yes, I need to improve my communication. Yes, I want to grow as a leader. Yes, I have many dreams I still yearn to reach. Yes, I continue to work through my anxiety struggles and second guessing.

But, you know what? I am making progress. Through the noise, I can hear God’s love and grace.

I am learning to let go of second guessing myself.

I am learning to give myself permission to not be perfect.

I am learning to make the most of moments. Everyday life moments.
Sometimes, it takes a little noise to grab our attention. 

Be present for the moments that matter.

A Beautiful Mess 

My back yard is a mess. A wet, muddy, swampy mess. Last weekend, with the help of friends, we demolished our pool and rotting deck. Our kids no longer use the pool, and we decided we would rather have the additional yard space as grass.

Now, we have a mess.

But, we have a vision… a vision of a grassy back yard with a fence tore down where we can more easily interact with our neighbors. It will take work, but the vision and desire are there 

It’s a lot like this church sign I saw the other day…

Let God bless your mess.

Our lives can get messy…swampy, muddy…but don’t let the mess of circumstances drown the vision. God can take the mess and bless it into something beautiful when we surrender everything to Him. He sees the whole picture.

And yet, You O Lord, are our Father. We are the clay, and You are the Potter. We are formed by Your hand. Isaiah 64:8 NLT

Encouragement for Anxiety

Worry breeds anxiety. This may sound crazy, but I never thought of myself as a worrier until my best friend pointed that out to me…less than a year ago. My grandmother was the worrier in the family, not me. As I  took a step back and let my friend’s words sink in…. “you might be the biggest worrier I know”….I realized, okay, maybe she has a point.

I just read something on Facebook the other day that reflected on how worrying about things that might happen actually causes more stress and fear than actually facing what we fear.

Losing a job, financial concerns, paying for college, health, the list goes on and on…things that might happen, things that I am in the middle of, trying to figure out…so, what’s a girl to do, a now self-professed worrier???

Turning to the Word, I have found two passages that really, really help me when I feel worry and anxiety.

S0, here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life-your sleeping, eating, going-to-work and walking around life-and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out.    Romans 12:1 MSG

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That passage encourages me so much. God truly cares about every detail in my life-my drive into work, my interactions wtih others, the everyday stuff that can threaten to drag me down, my comings and goings. I remember doing a Bible study group with some ladies from my church. We were reading through a book, and the author described a situation where she had prayed to God to help her find the perfect dress for an event she needed to speak at. The author struggled with acceptance of her body image as well as some financial struggles. I’ve never forgotten that…it really resonated with me. God cares about the little details of our lives when our lives are surrendered to Him so our hearts can be open to receive His blessings.

The other passage that I have found extremely helpful to break down and pray over is this:

Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank Him for all He has done. Then you will experience God’s peace which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.             Philippians 4:6-7 NLT

I find it helpful to break down these verses and pray over them. I tell God what I need. Then, I reflect on the ways He has already worked in my life, and I thank Him for  all He has done, trusting that He loves me and will carry me through.

One other thing has been very helpful in changing my perspective. During some difficult months at a challenging job in a challenging environment, I kept a gratitude journal. Each day, I looked for things that happened that were positive. Day by day, this became easier and my list grew longer each day.

Yes, our days will be filled with trials, bad news, difficult situations, but God cares about every detail in our lives and  wants us to pray over everything. And, a little gratitude can go a long way! The promise of spring really does come.

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True Help

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I look up to the mountains-does my help come from there? My help comes from the Lord who made heaven and earth.
Psalm 121:1-2 NLT

Do you need help today? Whether in something big or something small, turn it over to Him, surrender your worries, your troubles, the things that can cause you anxiety…. Give it to Him, where true help is. I can’t, He can.