when God smacks me

This year I’ve been reading through the Bible with the She Works His Way  plan, and today God smacked me right upside the head.

Often I get lost in Old Testament wording. I get lost in the rules and rituals. I wonder “whyyyy is this important?”

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Today, I asked God to show me what I need to know; show me why it’s important. (Because ALL scripture is important!)

“I am Holy, so you be holy.”

That’s the takeaway.

Do I believe that? “Do you not know, that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God?”

The Old Testament teaches me what it means to BE His temple.
I don’t get to eat what I want, do what I want, worship how/when I want, surround myself with who I want, dress how I want, fill my mind with what I want….

No ma’am. I am not my own. I am bought and paid for. I am OWNED by my God. I am His.

Do I take that seriously? Thank God for grace when I don’t. Thank God for Jesus who makes this possible. But may I never forget the weight of His holiness within me.

2018

Are you a New Years Resolution person, or a Word of the Year person? I’ve become more of a goal-setter/Word of the Year gal, myself. For the past 2-3 years I’ve thought of a word that I could apply to multiple areas of my life. A word that would motivate me and get me back on track when it pops in my head. A couple of years ago it was HYDRATE (reminding me the Jesus is my true source of life…the well that never dries up.. also reminding me to drink more water!), and last year was Deliver/Follow-through (helping me focus on being true to my word and finishing what I start).
When trying to settle in on a word for 2018 I circled around a few, but kept coming back to one: PURPOSE.  More specifically, Purpose before Passion.

There are so many things I’m passionate about in this life. (Music! Theater! Healthy living and being a good steward of the life I’ve been blessed with! … to name a few… ;)) Things that bring me joy, that I could talk about for hours, that I would gladly choose before any obligation.
But following my passions first and foremost is NEVER in God’s best for me. Often it leads to a life of selfish desire/ambition and forgetting what is most important in my life–what He has put me on this earth to do. (Namely WORSHIP & serve Him by serving others; at the top of that list–my husband and my beautiful daughters.)
Don’t get me wrong, I believe that God places within us the ability to dream and imagine. He gives us drive and discipline, and He often allows hard work to be rewarded with worldly success. However, if passion comes first–if my “want to” is put before my Purpose, then I’m in for a dangerous fall. And sadly, I may never see it coming.

“Don’t let Satan hijack and use for evil, what God intended for your good.”

Satan, the enemy of my soul, has a way of hijacking what God meant for good in my life, and he will absolutely do that if I’m not ACTIVELY walking in the Spirit each and every day. I must be intentional about pursuing my purpose and seeking God’s will with gratitude.

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I see this prayer every time I look in my mirror, and I love how it preps my heart!

So, this year my intent is to put purpose before passion. In order to do that to the best of my ability, I need to incorporate all these words as well:

~discipline                                            ~seek                                              ~encourage
~intention                                             ~watch & pray
~consistency                                         ~zeal
~confidence                                          ~love
~peace                                                   ~care
~compassion                                        ~serve

Will you pray for me as I aim to create habits that will make my purpose second nature? Will you join me in pursuit of our higher (and most fulfilling) calling? Will you pray BOLDLY for yourself, that God will release you of any desire or passion that would hinder you from putting your purpose in Christ first?
(THAT is the hard part for me, my friends. Honestly asking my Creator to step in on my behalf and take away my selfish desire, take away the dreams in my heart that don’t align with my purpose…because deep down, I want to be a little selfish sometimes. I want to dream big and grasp for more money, more recognition, more, more, more…and THAT is why this word is so important for my growth this year. PURPOSE.)

Dear Lord, help me to see my purpose ever so clearly each day when I open my eyes. Help me to walk forward in YOUR best for me, truly submitting my will to Yours. Help me to be brave and courageous while I live every day with Your purpose for me in mind. Give me wisdom and discernment as I seek your Truth & Word daily. And help me to never grow weary of doing good and never grow weary when putting your will first, before anything my imagination can dream up. And Father, strip away anything in my heart that doesn’t come from You and doesn’t lead me closer to who You created me to be….

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A Princess is…

When you think of the word “princess” what comes to mind? Bratty? Spoiled? Arrogant and entitled?

Sometimes that’s what people think… but if you fall into that category, I’d love to challenge you to think differently. Think about real royalty. Maybe Princess Diana or Princess Kate? A real royal has responsibilities on her shoulders because of the life she either chose or was born into. And if you are found in Christ and have been added to His Church my sister, you are ROYAL. You are a Princess; called to be…
Noble. Selfless. Trusting. Humble. Kind. Respectful of her Prince.
This is a series we will tackle over the next few weeks based on the Princess Warrior lesson I tackled a while back.

A Princess is noble. What does that mean? Can one be royal and not noble? Absolutely. Is nobility an easy characteristic to gain? Perhaps for some. Is it impossible to achieve? Absolutely not.
A quick internet search landed me on this definition of Noble: Dignified, strong moral character, upright, righteous. Someone who does the right thing, in any situation. Of a higher status; to be admired; dignified.
A quick Biblical concordance search landed me in a few verses as well… First, Proverbs 8:1-21. Wisdom is speaking here and she says “hear, for I will speak noble things, and from my lips will come what is right, for my mouth will utter truth.” (Prov. 8:6-7a)
Wisdom.
Righteousness.
Justice.
Honor.
Understanding.
Nobility.
Keeping these words in mind, go with me to Isaiah 32:1-8.  In these verses you see a contrast of noble (or righteous) verses foolish. God often speaks of the fool (some translations read “vile person” and I under NO circumstances, want to be labeled a fool in God’s eyes. Reading these verses, especially 5-8, I am reminded of Matthew 25:34-46.

37 Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? 38 And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? 39 And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ 40 And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’ 41 “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42 For I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, 43 I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not clothe me, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.’

Here, Jesus makes clear the duties of the righteous.  And you know what I found fascinating? They didn’t even REALIZE it! The RIGHTEOUS will ask, “when did we ___ ?” Because, friends, the righteous ones aren’t serving to be noticed. They aren’t seeking to encourage the poor and imprisoned in order to gain ANY earthly recognition or reward. THAT is what makes them righteous! They are fulfilling the needs of people God puts in their path, regardless of who sees it. But the foolish… oh the foolish will have not done any of that. Because their mindset is this “if we had seen YOU, Lord, of COURSE we would have helped you! If it were YOU, Lord, stranded on the side of the road, of COURSE we would have stopped. For YOU we would’ve done anything!” But you see, that’s not the servant God (through Christ) calls us to be.

 “The fool says in his heart, “There is no God.”
    They are corrupt, they do abominable deeds;
    there is none who does good.”
~Psalm 14:1

I’ve heard it preached that the original Hebrew here means not “there is no God,” but rather it means “No, God.” I don’t have sources to cite here (other than my flawed notes from the sermon), but for the sake of what I’m about to say let’s just go with it.
The fool says in her heart, “No, God.”
Wow. We’ve already established out terrible it would be to be called a fool by God. And how often do I tell him “no”? How often do I feel the prick or conviction of the Spirit in my heart to lead me toward Godly change, and turn my back on it–making that conviction diminish and go away entirely? How often do I get a sense that I need to encourage someone right away, but let myself get distracted by other things?
My friends… I believe in these instances we are telling our God no. How foolish.
Because how often have you LISTENED to that prick or nudge telling you to encourage someone right away, and they respond with “I am SO GLAD you wrote/called/came by to see me. You have no idea how badly I needed this” ?
God is working my sisters! As His daughters, Princesses, covered in the blood of Christ (Romans 6, Gal. 3:25-29), we are His hands and feet and must always be ready to act in faithful obedience.

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Sweet little hands

IMG_8350So many thing running through my head this morning.
1) um.. southern Texas got SNOW?! 😱❄️☃️ how cool is that?! It didn’t come where we live, but Bel has been praying for snow  so I am confident it’s on its way here this winter!
2) last night my sweet baby was in tears over her chapped hands. We put “working hands” on her and she cried. We put unscented lotion on her. She cried. (I FORGOT about my plexus Body Cream! 🤦‍♀️😭) This morning her hands look a little better, but she’s still complaining about their itchiness. So I did a quick FB search about Plexus and chapped skin, and goodness me y’all!! The testimonies! 🙌
I quickly called for Ali and put some Body Cream on her little hands. No tears!! No fight! She actually said “here too Momma.” Pointing out places I missed. 🙌😱💗 I’m looking forward to seeing how much better her hands are tonight.

Mommy & Ali hands

**notice** I pick at my cuticles. So they aren’t very pretty. But my hands don’t hurt and bleed like they used to! (And like sweet Ali’s are doing now.)

3) my hands used to chap just as badly as hers are. (She is my mini-me after all.) I remember having to put Vaseline or Utter Balm on my hands before bed and cover them with socks. 😦 My lips also used to chap and crack like crazy. Have I upped my lip balm? Nope. I’ve cleaned my gut. Gut health and unhealthy skin are related, my friends! So here’s what I attribute my non-chapped/cracked skin to this winter: water, probio5, Slim, and plexus Body Cream.
Ask me how you can get your hands on a free sample! Or click here to get yours! (Free gift from me if you order Slim & Body Cream/Probio5 as a preferred customer!)

4) The last thing on my mind this morning is the sweetness of little hands. What will these little hands grow up to do? Where will they go? Who will they help? What will they make? There’s a whole world of potential wrapped in these little hands. And I pray she uses them for good all the days of her life. ❤️

Busy, but lazy…

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In Bible study last week this hit me like a ton of bricks. 
All too often I find myself drifting toward laziness… I really don’t “do” enough. 
And so in my effort to combat that tendency, I fill my days with activities. 
If I’m “on the go” I can’t be lazy, right?

Wrong. 
The opposite of laziness is DISCIPLINE. Just because I’m busy, doesn’t mean I’m disciplined.

Ya know, the wonderful thing about God is His TRANSFORMATIVE power through Jesus and the Holy Spirit.

“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.”
‭‭Romans‬ ‭12:2‬ ‭ESV‬

I am selfish. Jesus is self-less.
I am weak. He is strong.
I am broken. He is the glue.
I am sinful and wretched. He is Holy and perfect.
I am lazy. He is the ultimate disciplined servant.
I am unworthy. He is worthy of ALL praise.

Or maybe I should say “was” in all those things. Without Jesus, yes I am all those—but with Him. Oh the sweet beauty here, with Him those ugly bits can be just a memory.
“He must become greater, I must become less.” (John 3:30)

Sweet sisters, let’s stop striving for busy and run-down to combat our lazy tendencies. Rather, let’s surrender that ugly part of ourselves to Jesus and let Him transform our hearts to be more like His heart: disciplined, purposeful, servant-minded, beautiful, and perfect.
Each and every day.

“But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”
‭‭2 Corinthians‬ ‭12:9‬ ‭ESV‬‬

1 Peter 5:8-11

Hebrews 12:6-11

“New Normal Drift”

The “new normal drift.” That’s what I call it anyway.
Have you ever started something new and loved it? You saw the results you wanted and you were truly dedicated for weeks, maybe even months! This new habit created your new normal.
And then you start slacking.
Maybe it’s a diet/workout regimen you’ve had great success with… and now you allow some cookies and gingerbread.
Maybe you’ve started new supplements and they having you feeling GREAT! But then you skip a few days here and there.

And before ya know it, you’re feeling less great. Your old normal starts creeping its head back into your new normal life. And then–lightbulb!
“Oh! I guess what I was doing really was working. What I was doing really DID make a difference. I need to get back to that, pronto.”

That’s me. I’ve been a Plexus girl for over a year now, and I’ve had several of these lightbulb moments throughout my journey. I start consistent and truly feel AMAZING.
Allergies, moodiness, depression, fatigue, all under control if not gone completely. My new normal.
And then I slack off on my supplements. They become more of an afterthought instead of a priority–after all, I’m feeling great now!
And then “not so great” sets in. And I must get back to consistency and prioritizing what works.

So welcome to my Monday. My fresh start for December. The first day of getting back my “new normal.”

And if you are looking for a way to beat the blues, the fatigue, the seasonal allergies, the insomnia, the stomach problems, the joint pain, etc. send me a message or click here. I may have something that can help you get to a great new normal! ❤️Processed with VSCO with f2 preset

When it doesn’t go my way

Y’all… up until yesterday, I was prepared for Halloween. I let the girls choose their own costumes online. Filtering through several and finally deciding on one. When the girls had decided for sure, we ordered them and they got to us a few weeks ago. I felt like the best mom and my girls were going to look ADORABLE together.

Yesterday morning, Bel tries hers on (now keep in mind, she tried it on when it first came and was fine with it) and FLIPS out because it feels “too small”.

It was not too small.

And so begins our day. Fussing with each other over the Halloween costume.

“Please can I wear something else?” “No! I bought that for you so you either wear it or you don’t go to trunk or treat!”

I know. I was a monster about it. But honestly the idea of my ruined plans for the girls (they were supposed to both be fairies and look darling together) made me sick to my stomach.

My plans! I was prepared! We weren’t going to have to do a last minute throw something together or rush to the store, thing that we’ve had to do in the past. This Mom wasn’t having her plans derailed.

And then…

“Grace…” I felt being whispered to my soul. “It’s just a silly holiday that’s supposed to be fun. It’s just $30. You spend that on things you don’t wear all the time. Give her grace.”

After sweet affirmation from my husband, we let her choose: either the purple fairy costume, or think of something you can put together at home that costs no money.

She looked around and saw a hat she wanted to wear, thought about some makeup, and then Justin and I suggested, “a scarecrow?” “YES!” She jumped up and down with excitement.

She chose a scarecrow–and let me please tell you–I had SO much FUN helping her put this together!! “This is what it’s all about, Rachel.” I kept feeling that whisper roll over me while I was helping her put on my flannel shirt, braiding her hair, and fixing her makeup. We were both gentle and smiling and her excitement for holiday grabbed me, too.

It’s not about who “wins” at parenting or which child is in the most extravagant costume. It’s about the memories. The bonding. The laughs & smiles. The time to look back and treasure.

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Sweet bonus? Ali got to wear her sister’s fairy costume and LOVED it! And we ALL had a very Happy Halloween.

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When you’re doing everything right…

…but you still feel low.

You pray. You count your blessings. You exercise. You take your vitamins and supplements (if you don’t, check mine out! Clinically proven + non-gmo. I’m happy to answer questions about what they’ve done for me, just send me an email).

And yet… you find yourself in a funk.

Maybe it’s because you haven’t had enough water. Maybe you haven’t spent enough time filling your mind with life-giving Truth. Maybe you’ve been going so much that you’re just burnt out. Or maybe you’ve simply just forgotten your purpose.

Processed with VSCO with f2 presetIn these moments of funk, here’s what I suggest:

1) Pray specifically for God to remind you of your purpose. He has given you a job to do that He’s entrusted to NO ONE ELSE. What is that job? Ask God to reveal it to you if you don’t know. Mine is being a wife to Justin, and mother to my girls.

2) Plan a day of REST. If I don’t have a rest day planned, I tend to get overwhelmed and rest TOO MUCH during the week. But those rests end with me feeling guilty and not at all rested. Give yourself PERMISSION to take a day off and recharge. You’ll find yourself much more productive on your regular days when you can look forward to rest.

3) Do something that pours into your purpose. Do you have kids? Go fill their love tank by spending time with them doing something THEY want to do. Whatever your answer to #1, pick an activity that will pour into it–it may help you come out of your funk, and remind you why it’s your purpose in the first place.

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I hope you’re encouraged today! I’m praying God blesses you with a funkless weekend full of purpose-filled FUN! 💗

Mom says “no” again…

“Momma, can we get a Lunchable?”
“No babe. Not today. You know those aren’t good for you, and we are getting good groceries today.”
“Momma, can I get a Gatorade?”
“No ma’am.”
“Awww!!”
“Please stop asking for things. I don’t mind telling you ‘no’, but I realize it upsets you and I don’t want you to be upset. Please stop asking for things right now; I’ll always give you what you need, and treats when I feel like you deserve them.”

I sure wish my kids would ask for things that I’m teaching them will HELP them. I would love for my kids to request foods that help their bodies grow healthy and strong… I would say, “Absolutely you can!”

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Boy was this a lesson for me. It’s amazing how often in parenthood I think, “ohh. Thank you God for your patience with me. I get it now.”

How often do I ask for things that are ultimately not for my good?
All the while He’s whispering, “No my dear child. That is not good for you. Please stop asking because it pains me to constantly have to tell you no. Get on board with what will better your SOUL, then I will bless you abundantly.”

“Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.”
‭‭Psalms‬ ‭37:4‬ ‭ESV‬‬

No, a trivial “Lunchable” is not what He wants to give me. That will not be the blessing of my delight in Him. If I am truly delighting in my Father, He is all I need and anything I want outside of His love must be grounded in His will.

I sure do love the lessons I am learning DAILY in motherhood. So many things I wish I had learned long ago, but I’m thankful for the opportunity to learn them now. ❤️

Halloween Socks

“Momma! I just learned something!”
My sweet Ali says as she runs into my room.
“What’s that babe?”
“I learned that it doesn’t matter what you wear! You can wear what YOU want to wear; what matters is what’s in your heart!”
“Yes, baby! That’s exactly right! I’m so glad you learned that.”
“I used to fink people only would like you if you were pretty. But now I know it doesn’t matter! It’s just what’s in your heart!”
“Why did you used to think that, baby?”
“I don’t know!”
And she runs off to play…

Why DID she used to think that? We intentionally say otherwise in our house, so where does that teaching of beauty and outer appearances mattering more than the heart come from?

“the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the LORD sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the LORD looks on the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7

Apparently, it’s just human nature. To make snap judgements based on outward appearances. It’s wrong. And yet it’s what we do–especially when we are letting our flesh rule our spirit….

But God through His Son, calls us to live differently doesn’t, He?

“Do not judge by appearances, but judge with right judgment.” ~John 7:24

I know a lot can be said about this topic, but I don’t think I could say anything that hasn’t already been said. So I’ll leave you with that. 🙂 And this:Processed with VSCO with c1 preset

Today, I’m taking advice from my daughter (who LOVES Halloween, btw), and am wearing what I want to wear strictly because I want to wear it. I am Halloween down to my socks y’all! And it’s stupendous. 😁🕸🕷🍂👻🎃