You Matter to Me

Hey y’all,

I’ve been thinking a lot the last week about life. How precious it is, how fast it goes by, and how we need to make every moment count. There was news from my home town that a boy committed suicide, he was a friend of my younger sister’s boyfriend. When I got the text from my mom, my heart broke. For the family, for my sister and her boyfriend. For the kid who thought his life didn’t matter. The boy who had so many things going on in his mind, that he felt there was no other option.

Friend, if that is you today, can I tell you, I have been there…

I know what it’s like to feel like no one cares, to feel like you’ll never find love, like no one likes you, like you are an outcast, like you aren’t enough.

Can I tell you that those things come from the enemy? Those things are anything but true. Why? Because he comes to kill, steal, and destroy.

Kill your dreams… You can’t do that, you never will be good enough

Steal your joy… No one loves you, or will ever love you, you have nothing, no reason to be here

Destroy your Story…Nothing you do will ever make a difference, you will always stick out. 

Friend, I feel your pain, I do. If anyone hasn’t told you today, I care about you. Truly, I do. I also have good news! God cares about you too, and all those things are lies, whispered to you by the enemy. Who would do anything to get you to believe him, over the word of God!

BUT…THIS IS WHAT THE GOOD NEWS SAYS!

He comes to give hope and a future! (Jeremiah 29:11)

You are fearfully and wonderfully made! (Psalm 139:14)

The joy of the Lord is your STRENGTH! (Nehemiah 8:10)

You can laugh with no fear of the future! (Proverbs 31:25)

You can be strong and courageous! (Joshua 1:9)

He so loved YOU, that he gave his son to die for you! (John 3:16)

In him you can find rest! (Matthew 11:28)

If you don’t believe it, or feel like it could be true for you, let me just tell you that half of this life goes on up top. In your mind, there are a lot of brilliant dreams, plans, hopes, goals, and aspirations.

You are the only YOU.

There will never be anyone else just like you, because you are here on purpose. You are perfectly made by the creator of all things. You have a purpose, that only you can do! You may be sitting and hearing all the reasons why you can’t. But can I tell you one thing, the Lord will never lead you astray. He will guide your path, and give you the purpose he designed for you, if you let him!

About 8 years ago I found out we were going to be moving to FL, I thought my life was ending! My parents were the worst, they were trying to take away my whole life. Etc Etc. I wanted to go back “home” so badly, on the way to FL, I was in the lowest of the low mindset, mind you, there were other factors to this. But, I just felt like there was nothing left for me. Hopeless. Thoughts of taking my life crossed my mind, many times, thankfully a friend talked with me, and adjusted my thinking. Made me realize how much there was to be thankful for, and to look forward to.

Looking back over the past eight years, and thinking about all of the wonderful things that were yet to come, overwhelms me with feelings. In those eight years, I have met the man of my dreams, graduated from high school, community college, college, and now am attending graduate school (for a major a few years ago I’d never even heard of)! I joined a sorority, I made friends, I’ve had jobs some good, some not so good. I’ve had birthdays, and parties with people that I care about. I’ve grown, realized how much of life there is to enjoy.

Friend, a few years back, I never would’ve dreamed that I would be where I am, and it hasn’t always been easy. I still struggle daily with insecurities, but I am always working on them, asking God for guidance.

Please know, if you are considering that there is nothing left here for you, there is. SO MUCH. God has big plans for you. I believe in you, I care about you, and so does He. You are on purpose. You have purpose. Be strong and courageous. Reach out, ask for help, I so glad that I did.

You are so loved.

XOXO,

Alie

Advertisements

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!

IMG_5135

XOXO,

Alie

 

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!

IMG_5123

XOXO,

Alie

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 turned 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???

DSC_2002

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

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.

IMG_4243

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

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.

IMG_3763

*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

Loving Yourself

Before I talk about me I just wanted to say a few things I constantly need to remind myself, that maybe someone else needs to hear too. You are beautiful. You are on purpose. You are beautifully and wonderful made.

Though for men it may not need to be the same sentiments. We’ll go with. You are strong. You are built in the image of God. He created you to be love and be loved too.

Lately I’ve been having deep prayer, and just lonnnnng conversations with the lord. Asking him to wash parts of me away that need cleaned.

Some I didn’t even know were there. I’ve been struggling with sin just like anyone else. A few months ago we had a section of sermons for the new year that were about finding the dead places in our hearts, and letting god work what only he can in them.

TRULY letting God into your inner heart and thoughts. And expose what’s in there. Yikes. I know!

Let me tell you what. It’s not always pretty. It’s caused a lot of uncertainty, and a lot of questioning about how I view love. And if I’m really honest. I’ve spent the last couple years looking to the world for that advice.

A world that tells you to be sexy, mysterious, and seductive. That if you don’t have a raging sex life, that you’re doing it wrong. And as a girl who has struggled with insecurities, sometimes you just don’t feel sexy. Or beautiful. Or like anyone could feel that way about you.

These last few months, of being on my what I like to call, a spiritual retreat. God has opened my heart to the fact that he designed love, sex, and marriage to be so much more than the lies that this world whispers.

He’s built and designed it to be beautiful. Within the constraints of marriage. He’s designed a husband and wife to love him first. To know that he loves each of us, as we are created in his likeness. And to know that this life will not be easy. But with him we can do ALL THINGS. In him we can be STRONG AND COURAGEOUS. Through him, we can love, and be loved. Through him, all sins and stray thoughts can be controlled and forgiven.

He has also shown me, that sometimes forgiving yourself can be the hardest of all….

On the days you don’t feel worthy of the things or people he’s placed in your life. On the days you feel less than good. He’s shown me that there truly is an enemy of our souls. Who comes to do NOTHING but steal, kill, and destroy. He wants you to feel alone, and like no one could possibly love or forgive you.

Can I tell you he’s wrong? And the crazy thing. He KNOWS he’s wrong, but he doesn’t care. He’ll use any excuse to twist gods promises, and make them seem like you have no hope of being forgiven, saved, or worthy.

Friends, if you’re in a season of change, and you feel like you’re just clawing your way through the mud. Keep going! Fix your eyes on the creator who created you to be like him! Remember that you can choose joy, even when you don’t feel it. You can take control of your emotions and focus on the true promises. Read your bible, they are there!

And a few reminders that I’ve been telling myself lately.

-It’s okay to not have the answers.

-It’s okay to feel like you aren’t perfect (news flash you aren’t)!

-You don’t owe anyone an explanation, or excuse.

-Sometimes you’ve got to retreat, and pray it out.

-Getting out the icky parts, is not at all fun, but it produces the overflowing healing tears that bring a new hope.

Friends I pray that if you’re in that season. Of needing to be cleaned. Or forgiven. Ask! And you’ll see you already have been! Just like that! Grace is pretty amazing that way.

Just remember. You have to forgive yourself too.

You are worth it.

“But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your forefathers served beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household we will serve the Lord.” -Joshua 24:15-

Xoxo,

Alie

Enough.

Lately I have seen a lot of heavy hurting hearts. Looking for love in ALL the wrong places. I can’t tell you how sad it makes me. Not because I’ve never done it. (Because I have.) But because I wish I could show you your value! You are enough. Period. You are good enough, smart enough, beautiful enough, strong enough, bold enough. You are enough because He is enough. You have someone who loves you beyond anything you could ever dream. A good, good father, who created us to be like Him. To love Him, to be close to Him. He created us to Love and be loved.

If you are out there today, and you are hurt. That boy never called back, that girl doesn’t feel the same. Your mom or dad is not in the picture when they should be. Someone has let you down time and time again. Your over it, done, beaten, worn down. Can I tell you, I’ve been there? Can I tell you it gets better!

Friend, can I tell you, that we are all human. And relying on humans…someone will ALWAYS let you down. BUT, take heart, because we have Jesus, someone who loves us, and protects our hearts. Who will never let us down. There will be trial and heartache in the world. But lean on Jesus. Let Him tell you that you are enough. Let Him show you that He is enough.

That empty hole inside you, that you can’t seem to find anything to fill…no matter how hard we try. Let the Holy Spirit fill it, and let God fill your heart with Joy. Pure JOY!

Friend of mine, can I just tell you. You are beloved. You are beautiful. You are on purpose. You are worthy. You are enough. SAYING LOUD FOR THE PEOPLE IN THE BACK!

YOU     ARE    LOVED!!!

This song I’ve been holding close to my heart today… it’s a good one. Hopefully it’ll encourage someone like it does me.

 

“Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous be shaken.” -Psalm 55:22-

XOXO,

Alie

Coming Home

Home. Sometimes it’s not only a place, but a feeling. Coming home means peace, finding rest, and comfort. Coming home from college, years of crazy roommates, tiny beds, walls that are boring, that you try to make your own for the time being…

My house, always the comfortable place, the place I could breathe, and relax, be myself. Not that I couldn’t in the other places, it was just familiar. I think we all know that feeling. I long to give my children that feeling someday. To be the place they love to come home to.

Another place I’ve reminded myself feels just like home lately is the feet of Jesus. I’ve spent a good majority of the last seven months on a spiritual retreat, of sorts. Just talking to God, finding, and trying, to follow His will for my life. This has let to some very uncomfortable days, weeks, and months. Some tough conversations with people I love, and distance with others. I’m still not one hundred percent sure where I am going, I only have a sliver of the destination.

But, over these last seven months, I’ve learned so much about myself. Though, church and the Lord have always been a big part of my life, I have reminded myself that He is the Good, Good Father. And, that through him all things are possible. I have learned that as much as I love feeling that earthly feeling of “home.” That my true home awaits me in heaven. This is NOT my home. (Though, enjoying what he gave us here on earth is wonderful too, we need to realize this is all temporary).

I challenge you today, that if you need that place of rest, and comfort. Solitude. Find Jesus, and sit at His feet. Talk to Him, get to know His plan for your life. You will not be disappointed. He will never let you down, he will give you such Joy! Seek his kingdom, and the ways of this culture will fade away. Find your way home. You’ll be SO glad you did!

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”

-Matthew 11:28-

XOXO,

Alie

 

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑