my season is here.

There is nothing that warms my heart  more than knowing that fall is just around the corner.

I know that some people look forward to spring and all the wild flowers, some summer and trips to the beach (plus who doesn’t love a nice tan), but not this girl. Fall has my heart. Always has, and I am like 99.9% sure it always will. There is just not one thing that I dislike about the fall season. Plus, just think of all those amazing candle scents that come out each fall.

Let me share with you why I am in love with this season…..

  • pumpkin spice lattes (insert heart eyes)
    • what is better than a hot, delicious pumpkin spice latte. It a yummy combination of pumpkin, nutmeg, cinnamon, and clove- topped with whipped cream! Oh my gosh! I am very tempted to get up off this couch and go get one. So happy that Starbucks has brought it back from the discontinued list! #pslforlife

Image result for pumpkin spice latte 2016

  • football season begins (#teamGiants)
    • nothing beats Jesus and football. Sunday’s are the best days, especially in the fall! I love going to church, coming home, making Buffalo Chicken Dip, and preparing for  all the games of the day! The cheering, the pacing of the room, and the yelling at the television (nothing can beat it)
    • plus, lets not forget the friends that come together to watch football. I absolutely love spending Sunday’s with my roommate and friends watching, and my Thursday Night traditions with one of my best friends! Football brings entertainment, friends, laughs, excitement, delicious food, and tasty drinks.

Image result for football ny giants touchdown

  • its the season for the leaves to start changing colors and making the Blue Ridge Mountains look GORGEOUS.
    • I grew up in the GREAT state of New York- where there is pretty much nothing that compares to those autumn colors. But, I think if there is another place that comes close on the east coast, it is definitely in Virginia. I am surrounded by the Blue Ridge Mountains- and when all the leaves start changing colors, it shows just a glimpse of God’s beauty. You see bursts of color EVERYWHERE, but they mesh so well together. I seriously fill up my iphone library with pictures of trees, leaves, and the mountains.

Image result for fall mountain scenery

  • and lets not forget, boots & scarves come back into style in the fall!
    • Boots. Boots. and more Boots!  My favorite fall fashion involve, you guessed it, boots! Tall boots, short boots, brown boots, black boots, pretty much any boot. And we cannot forget about the amazing scarf fashion that comes out every year.

Image result for boot outfits

 

Well, September 22 could NOT get here quick enough!

I am so excited for my season to be just around the corner. Anyone excited with me?

trust.

Many of us know what it feels like to be betrayed by those we love, or left heartbroken by those who we relied on. It is hard to trust others because we have trusted before and were left feeling empty and alone. With trust comes vulnerability, and being vulnerable is terrifying. It means opening up doors knowing that pain could lie on the other side. I have been told throughout my life that I need to grow “thicker skin”. I am one of those who would easily trusts others, and over the years I have been left feeling betrayed, and hurt (time and time again). I’ve learned that after the pain passes, we get up, dust ourselves off, and move on- the outcome however being, that we learn to not trust just a little more.

With people being so selfish within today’s society, it seems as though there are fewer and fewer people to trust. Without knowing it, we begin to view God in the same way we view people. We stop going to Him because we think that He will be unwilling to help us. We choose walk the other way because we figure that He will just let us down. We rely on our own strength instead of His because we think, in that moment, that our strength is enough.

The truth is, even when we feel that there is no one left to trust, not even ourselves, we do have One who we can turn to. Our Savior is the only One who you can truly trust with everything; our circumstances, our finances, our relationships,  our future, with our heart, with our family, with our job, etc. I know that it may sound too good to be true, but it’s the truth. Even when we cause Him pain by being disobedient, running from Him, and choosing sin- He continues to love us and bless us. (His grace boggles my mind)

Isaiah 40:28-29 says “do you not know? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and His understanding no one can fathom. He will give strength to the weary and increase the power of the weak”.

Our God is constant. He will not forsake us, not for a moment. So when you feel as though your world is spinning out of control (which WILL happen)- I encourage you to reach to the One who is always there; the One who won’t betray you, who walk away, and who will never abandon you. He will be there with you through it all; all of life’s wonderful ups and downs!  We have to remind ourselves of the cross, and that Jesus was willing to suffer and die for us.  He did that, not so we would live in bondage or fear of Him, but so we would live in freedom with Him. To live free, is to trust Him with all we are, and with all we have. Step out in faith the next time you feel alone- and know that He is there ready to comfort you, listen to you, provide you strength, replace your anxiety with peace,  and love on you.

thirty and single.

 I never thought that I would be thirty and single. I guess I always saw myself being married and having a family by the age of thirty. I imaged a beautiful house with dutch doors, a big back yard for the kids to play in, and a gorgeous farmhouse sink in the kitchen. It was hard for me when I turned thirty this year and realized that all those dreams and plans I had envisioned for myself were not going to happen. That I was going to enter my thirties a single lady.
It has been a long and difficult journey. One I was not wanting to ever have to venture on, but one that I find myself taking. I struggled with discontentment. There were times that I cried out to the Lord because I thought that there was a small chance that He forgot about me. That He missed the memo that I was suppose to be thirty, married, and have two kids (twins if possible). However, it was through that struggle of discontentment that the Lord broke me down, and revealed to me that He hasn’t forgotten about me (not in the slightest). He taught me what true reliance and faith looks like.
It was in those moments of discontentment and crying out to the Lord that I started to pray. While my prayers started out being very selfish based, the Lord was able to change my heart and my focus in those moments together. My focus stopped being so much on what I wanted for my life and more on what the Lord wanted for my life.  It was in growing closer to Him that I realized my focus on being married had been ALL wrong. For the longest time it was about the status/title, or making sure I didn’t turn into a cat lady, or that all my college friends were married and starting families. I even worried what my married friends were saying about me and my singleness (foolish, I know). I was focusing on a mans finances, his status, his job, and the way he looked. All things that can be great qualities, but are not the qualities that TRULY matter. God revealed to me that the most important thing to look for wasn’t those things I just listed, but his relationship with our Heavenly Father. While the journey of letting go of my own expectations was no easy journey- it was crucial. I stopped focusing on how much money he made, his status, how big his muscles are, or his job position. All those things are really great and nice, but if he doesn’t have a personal and real relationship with Christ, he honestly has nothing to offer me. I know that sounds pretty harsh, but its the truth. (insert shrug emoji).
While I have so many GREAT and WONDERFUL friends who try to set me up on blind dates. I am not one to date just to date (not my style),  and don’t get me wrong, I freakin love my friends! They seriously have the best intentions and just wanted me to be happy. I had to step back and really examine myself though. I realized that even though I thought I was ready for a relationship, and even though my friends thought I was ready for a relationship- I honestly wasn’t. I needed to grow; I needed to grow in my relationship with the Lord and also in knowing who I am in Christ. So I decided to take a year off from dating! In that time I really focused on my walk with the Lord, who He says I am, and how valuable I am in His eyes. I think their comes a time in our lives when we have to just sit down and set standards! We begin to think about marriage and spending the rest of our lives with a significant other, we stop wanting to get attention from random men, and we want to date with intentions of getting married // someone who will run alongside you, raise a family with you, and be your biggest fan.
Matthew 7 talks about how a tree is known by their fruits. It is hard enough walking the straight and narrow alone. I need a man of God who removes himself from tempting situations, who reads the Bible with me and discusses it in detail with me, who prays with me and seeks Christ daily, and a man who loves Him more than he loves me. A man who loves me like Christ loves the church.
My close friends would tell you that I am picky when it comes to relationships recently and I will have to say…I agree with them. I do have high standards (they are also very realistic standards). The man God has picked out just for me will measure up and I refuse to settle for anything less than His best.
John 15: 5-8 “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.” 

busyness of life.

I am definitely one of those people who still carries around a black book. I love being able to cross off tasks, pencil in coffee dates, make sure all my deadlines are highlighted & completed, and to help make sure I keep my commitments. While I am sure that some people would be impressed with all the “important” things I keep myself busy with- it can be extremely overwhelming.

I have realized lately that when people ask me how I am doing, my instant response has been “busy”. There are times when I feel like I am being stretched in every which way; trying to be a good friend, meeting all my work deadlines, make change/difference in the lives of my clients, spend time in my relationship with the Lord, and enjoy the life that the Lord has blessed me with.

Now don’t get me wrong, I definitely don’t think that busyness by itself is wrong. But busyness does require intention. We need to be intentional with our time. We need to make sure that in all we do, that we are serving and allowing God to be our motivation.

God can and WILL accomplish what He needs to in the time He has given us. Sometimes 24 hours does not feel like enough- but God has blessed us all with the same hours in the day. Making God our top priority will relieve us from the stress that we put on ourselves. He does not expect us to do everything on our own. He loves us too much for that; He wants to walk with us EVERY day through EVERY situation. Focus on doing the best you can, and leave the rest in God’s hand.

My calendar is busy, and I have a lot of deadlines and appointments that are important to keep- but I have learned that making time to rest in the Lord is the most important appointment to keep. I make time for so many things- making time for my relationship with the Lord needs to be priority. The benefits that some from trusting my life in His hands and resting in Him are well worth the effort.

Colossians 3:23 “whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord”.

so thankful

Being unable to sleep can definitely be a problem, especially when you have a very stressful job that requires you to get a good night of sleep. Last night was one of those nights where sleep was just NOT in the cards for me. Last night, as I lay in pain just praying that the pain would go away I suddenly became upset with God. I was upset that I was in so much pain, and that He was choosing not to take that pain away. My thoughts were…”He heals the leapers, raises the dead, and makes the blind see, so…why could my pain not go away for a minute so I can have a sense of relief”.
I learned last night- that in the most painful of circumstances, even when we have no idea why something is happening, He is in control. I can be very stubborn, especially when it comes to pushing away physical pain. I would much rather be in pain than have to go talk to some doctor about where my body hurts, why my body hurts, ect! Anyway, since last night I was unable to sleep, I instead spent that time on my knees. After becoming upset with God I was quickly convicted of how selfish I was being. Who am I to be upset with God? What has He ever done to deserve my anger? Was my pain His fault? To answer those: I am in NO position to be upset with God, He has NEVER done anything to deserve my anger, and of course my pain was NOT his fault. Once I felt the conviction come over me I chose to thank God for everything He had given me. The truth is, I am extremely blessed and even in the midst of pain, I have so much to be thankful for. Example: I have ears to hear, I have a mouth that can worship His love and bring encouragement to others, and I have eyes that can see His beauty and the many things He has blessed me with- so again, what do I have to complain about? NOTHING!
No matter what life throws at us, we have a God who is merciful, mighty and oh-so loving! This morning I read Romans 8:38-39, which says “For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” It amazes me how even when we question why, He reveals to us His love. Trials will come, I can pretty much promise you that- BUT, He promises to never leave us or abandon us in those times. If you ask me, that sounds like a good deal to me! Nothing can ever separate us from His love…absolutely NOTHING. That is so refreshing and so encouraging.

Oh, life

Life can be pretty hard at times. I know you are probably thinking, well duh! But if you really think about it, it can be extremely saddening. There are storms in our lives that seem to be raging around us and wanting to pull us under. At times when we feel that the tide will pull us under, we do the only thing that comes naturally….we panic. We may try to swim harder, pull at the air hoping it will keep us afloat- but when all is said and done, we are exhausted from the fight. No matter what the storm is in our lives, it feels overwhelming and scary. When that current becomes too strong and we honestly start to believe that it is too much for us to handle, we tend to feel that fear factor. We fear that the outcome will not be what we want; we fear being stuck in a state of loneliness and are afraid of failure.

Truthfully, when it comes to wanting our own way, we tend to not leave much wiggle room for God to work. We forget that He is in control and is wanting to provide us a way out. It is as simple as getting in the boat, but we choose to swim against the current. In a nation that is constantly talking about being independent and having complete control, we try so hard to hold on to as much control as possible and learn to rely only on our own strength.

With the need to be in control, we get upset when things don’t go out way. When God shows us what He has planned, or He closes a door that we wanted to remain open- we become bitter and anary. We want what we want, when we want it. We live in a greedy world where materialism seems to be on the rise. The answer to having peace when it comes to the future is to give up what you have planned and allow God to show you what He has planned. It is definitely easier said than done, but I strongly believe that He will guide us and He will provide the comfort we need in any storm we are faced with. While God wants us to be strong and steadfast, Satan wants us to be weak and defeated. That’s why it’s so important to not go through life attempting to do things in our own strength- I can promise you when you do that, you will most likely struggle every time.

We all hate failing. Failing is not something that people tend to get excited about. The amazing fact about failure is, that it is all in your perspective of things. We can say we are failures, but according to whose standards? God certainly does not think we are failures. He knows that we are imperfect; He created us. He knows that we will make mistakes; probably the same one, numerous times. God knows us, better than we know ourselves, and He chooses to love us unconditionally. We may not really understand why, but He chooses to. Ephesians 2:4-5 says that, “but because of His great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive in Christ even when we were dead in transgressions- it is by grace you have been saved”. Grace is why we are not failures.

The storms will come, its inevitable. BUT, we don’t need to be afraid of them. We can rest and have peace because we are protected, loved, and saved. The current will be extremely strong at times, and it may feel overwhelming. God however, is stronger than ANY current that is trying to pull you under. He is asking you to take His hand and to trust Him. Trust is hard, especially when we live in a society that teaches us not to trust. I guess that is where obedience comes into play- God calls us to be obedient, and He calls us to trust and rely on Him. I guess it is time to stop swimming and to climb in the boat.