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Love is found at the Cross

Friends,
I don’t know where you are at right now. Maybe you’re happily married, engaged or just started dating the greatest person. Or maybe you are on the other side of the spectrum and Valentines day is not the greatest day for you this year. Or you could be in the middle, you could be single or in a relationship and just feel that Valentines Day is way too commercialized(you aren’t alone!). 
I want you guys to know that for years Valentines day was super hard for me. I either had memories of an abusive boyfriend or of a boyfriend who wouldn’t celebrate it because he thought it was way too, “sexual” and instead would lecture me on it. 
I get it. 
This post is for you guys.
I just want you to know that Valentines day isn’t what defines love. 
You are loved & known. You are seen & and heard. 

 
Valentines Day!
It’s right around the corner….

For months supermarkets have had aisles stocked with teddy bears of all sizes holding hearts that say, “I love you” along with heart shaped boxes containing candy of all flavors and sizes.
Flower shops are quickly gathering orders together, and preparing for the Valentines Day rush of loved ones sending flowers to one another. Restaurants are also bracing themselves for the crowd of people preparing to descend upon them on Valentines Day evening.

So, ladies and gentlemen, what exactly is love?

Is love when your significant other brings home flowers to you?
Is love when your significant other brings you chocolate?
Is love when you have sex?
Is love when your significant other brings home a teddy bear bigger than Mars with a heart that says, “Love”?
Is  love when you get up early to cook breakfast for your loved one?

The answer to all of these is no.
These are all things that you do for someone because you want to show them love or appreciate them.
They are actions that show people that you love them.

But, they aren’t love necessarily.

In John 3:16 the Bible tells us,  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.

How many of us would give up our children for the world?
How many of us would give up our loved ones for the world?

For God so loved…..

You.
Your sister.
Your brother.
Your parents.
Your aunt and uncle.
Your cousins.
Your best friend.
Your husband/wife.
Your boyfriend/girlfriend.
Your ex-boyfriend/girlfriend.
Your teacher.
Your mailman.
The waiter/waitress at your favorite restaurant.
The politicians in D.C.
The Olympic athletes.
The world.

God gave us His one and only son. That whosoever may believe in Jesus, may have eternal life.
The God who created us, who knows our thoughts even before we speak them. Who knows not just the good about us, but the bad too.
He gave up his one and only son.
Jesus died on the cross for the entire worlds sins.

Society has commercialized love to mean that it comes in a “heart” or that love somehow goes with a certain day.

True love is found on the cross and is found daily.

Happy Valentines Day guys!

Elizabeth Louise

Side Note: Ever since I went to see The Greatest Showman I can’t stop listening to the soundtrack on Spotify. So I decided to buy it to listen to it in my car as well. Anyone else addicted to the soundtrack?

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Sweden Pocket Dress – Cleo Madison

Happy Wednesday!

This is the first time I’ve ever done a fashion type blog post- I must admit I am slightly nervous, but I’m beyond thankful for the opportunity.

The one thing that I have always noticed and struggled with in my shopping is to find modest clothing. Ladies, raise your hand if this is an issue for you as well. You want to find a beautiful dress that isn’t too flashy or inappropriate. Or a t-shirt that is comfortable and modest. The struggle is real.

For this blog post I have partnered with the clothing boutique – Cleo Madison. They specialize in modest clothing for dresses, skirts, shirts and even swimwear. And everything is SUPER affordable and cute.

I will admit though- normally I don’t like wearing long dresses because I’m short and sometimes trip in them.

Whatever nervousness I had about long dresses was washed away when I tried it on.

This dress is super comfy, and super soft. I can’t even describe how soft it feels – if you guys could feel it over the internet, you would say the same.

Oh!

Did I mention this dress comes with pockets?

Which was definitely something I loved because I love having pockets on me to hold my keys or phone or a few dollars of cash.

To get this dress visit the link here(Sweden Pocket Dress – $29!!)

At first I paired it with long, black boots but they also went with blue boots I had.

It’s been chilly here lately so I ended up using a jacket at some point.

But, on a lovely day you wouldn’t need the jacket.

To check out more of their SUPER adorable and affordable modest clothing visit their website.

Click here to shop Cleo Madison

I hope you all love their clothing as much as I have.

Let me know if you get anything and your thoughts!

-Elizabeth Louise

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That “No” may be a blessing in disguise.

We’ve all been there.
We’ve prayed and prayed only to end up receiving a “No” from God.

I don’t know about you guys, but often when I’ve gotten a “No” from God I’ve ended up feeling disappointed, hurt and devastated.
Sometimes I’ve actually even questioned God and asked Him, “Why God? Why?”

I mean, we pour our hearts out to God about a want or need in our life, only to receive a “No”.
We pour our hearts out to God about a situation or circumstance in our lives that we want resolved, only to receive a “No”.
We pour our hearts out to God about a job interview we may have just had only to have it fall through and receive a “No, that’s not the job for you”.

What we fail to realize is that every, “No” isn’t meant to be devastating or hurtful. Yes, it absolutely sucks when something we’ve been praying for doesn’t turn out the way we wanted it to.
In every “No” there is a hidden blessing from God.

When I prayed to God about mending a friendship with a friend and He said, “No” I learned that some friendships aren’t mean’t to be fixed. Some people are in our lives for only a season, others for a lifetime.

When I was applying to jobs and kept getting turned down over and over, even after praying frequently to God I learned to turn to God and ask Him for direction in my life. I learned to lean on Him and His understanding for my life.

When I was completely stressed out and trying to figure out how I was going to afford to pay to go on a mission trip to India for the summer, and it fell through I learned that while it is important to go out into the world and lead people to Christ, there are people in your hometowns, cities, and even states who need Jesus just as much.

You see, inside every “No” I learned to cling to God more and lean on His understanding and not my own.
I learned that I hold but only a fragment of the puzzle of my life while God sees the whole puzzle of my life completed in all it’s beauty and chaos.

When you receive a “No” from God, don’t view it as a punishment or even a bad thing.
Keep trusting Him and know that He has great things in store for your life.

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So, you’re stuck in a period of waiting?

WaitingonGod

 

Sometimes following God requires periods of waiting.

For anyone waiting can be a struggle. Especially if you’re waiting for an answer to a prayer and you expect God to answer automatically; like a Genie in a bottle.
Maybe you’ve been through periods of waiting that last anywhere from a day to a week. Or maybe you’ve dealt with longer periods of waiting such as two weeks to two months. Maybe it’s been years of waiting and you’re still waiting.

I don’t know about you guys but I’m sometimes really awful at waiting. Heck, sometimes waiting in the line at the grocery store especially when it’s longer than usual is a struggle for me.

How many of you suck at waiting, too?

Before I begin I’m going to state something: God is not a genie in a bottle. He is not here to grant you every wish and desire for your life.

Sometimes in life we have to wait and waiting requires a great deal of patience.
Periods of waiting require holding steadfast to God and being open & available to God’s will.

After talking to God, we often have this idea that he’s going to answer our prayers right away, or at least hopefully within a few days. When God doesn’t answer our prayers right away we get frustrated and feel like He’s ignoring us. Continue to cling and hold steadfast to God during this time of waiting. Talk to Him, draw near to Him, and actively find ways to grow and serve God during this time.

Another helpful thing during periods of waiting is to make yourself available. How many times have you prayed for God to use you and then complained about what He wants to use you for? How many times have you asked God for a job and then when the opportunity came, you made no effort to get it? Believe and know that God is continually working on your behalf even during periods of waiting.

Sometimes maybe what you prayed about or what you want isn’t what God has in mind for your life. Be open and available to God saying, “No” or even to Him saying, “No, not  right now”.

I can’t even begin to count the number of times where I’ve been in periods of waiting and after awhile I’ve gotten so frustrated that I’ve either stopped clinging close to God because I’ve felt like He has totally abandoned me and forgotten me, and because of that I’ve stopped being open to His will and what His plans are for my life.

Whether the period of waiting you are in is only for a few days, weeks, months, or even years keep holding to God and allowing yourself to be open and available to His will for your life.

 

 

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//What people don’t want you to know\\ Be authentic 

Scrolling through Instagram, scrolling past the usual coffee photos or photos of that friend you haven’t seen since 10th grade eating a fancy dessert, or maybe a photo of a college friend getting engaged.

Facebook isn’t that far off, what with all the posts about people getting promotions or engaged or even expecting a baby.

Sometimes you might think everyone seems to have a perfect life.

So, what’s the truth?

The truth is: nobody has a perfect life. Nobody.

You can post as many photos that have been perfectly edited, you can post the most positive statuses and tweets. 

It still won’t change the fact that none of us are perfect.
We are all imperfect and flawed.
We all have something we’re dealing with.
There are moments where we all just feel like wearing sweatpants and a t-shirt and drinking hot tea. Or maybe we just want to unwind with a bath and a good book.

Heck, I get that way.

I still get zits and use toothpaste on them.
Most days I don’t wear matching socks.
I’m probably the most organized disirganized person-ever(I have a system to my disprganization).
When I watch tv I have to have something to drink or nibble on.
I strongly hate mushrooms.
If I could, I would wear flip flops all year.

It’s okay to be real and not try to act like everything is perfect.
We don’t live in a fairytale guys.
It’s okay to put a photo of yourself up that isn’t staged.
It’s okay to admit you’ve just had a crappy day.
It’s okay to admit you don’t understand something.
It’s okay to ask for help.
It’s okay to be different.
It’s okay to be authentic.
It’s okay to be you.

It’s okay if your path in life looks a little different than someone else’s. God is writing your story, trust Him and His plans for your life.

In a world where too many people try to be someone they aren’t, be yourself.

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3 Truths about God

Christmas season is in full swing.
Truth be told it probably began weeks before Thanksgiving, what with the all too familiar commercialism of Christmas.
Stores began putting out Christmas decorations and toys, Starbucks released their annual red cups, radio stations started playing Christmas songs, and even before we had a moment to digest our Thanksgiving meals people were lining up for Black Friday deals.

But, what if money is tight?
What if you just lost your job?
What if you are struggling to buy all those extravagant gifts your relatives have on their lists?
What if you are struggling to find joy?
What if you are struggling to see God?
What if you are completely stressed out?

You aren’t alone.


So many people feel this way.
So many people are left burdened and stressed by the commercialization of Christmas.

Truth be told I’m one of these people. I feel so overwhelmed by the season already. I’m already thinking of how I’m going to buy all those gifts for loved ones, and coming to the realization that it won’t be possible.

Today I want to remind you of 3 simple truths.

  1. God is Immanuel : Matthew 1:23 “Behold, the virgin shall conceive  and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel” (which means, God with us).God is with us, never forsakes us, never leaves us, and understands us. Whatever you may be going through know that God sees you, understands and is with you through it all.
  2. Jesus is the “Prince of Peace” : Isaiah 9:6 says “For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” Man! What a verse! Jesus is the Prince of Peace. Through the blood of Jesus we are able to be reconciled with God and with one another. Through Jesus we are able to find peace.
  3. God is “I am”: In Exodus 3:14 God it states, God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: “I AM has sent me to you.” God claimed the title of I AM and in that moment He took away the ability to be boxed or defined, as well as defining all the things He was. How often are we defining ourselves or others by human standards? When you begin to struggle with trusting God, remember all the things He is. Remember not to box Him in with human definition.

God is not boxed in by human definition.

Sometimes we are so blinded by our own definitions we fail to see HOW God will work in a situation or in our daily lives.

We fail to remember just WHO God is. We fail to remember all He is and has done.

If you just lost your job……..God is with you.

If you’re struggling to find peace with someone from your past……… God is not only with you, but is for reconciliation.
If you can’t afford fancy Christmas gifts……Know that Jesus is the greatest gift of all(I know that sounds cheesy). It’s not the price of gifts or the size. Give from the heart.

Whatever you’re going through friends, you aren’t alone.

God sees you and is with you.
God provides peace when Satan tries to flood you with fear and doubt.
God is not limited to human 
definition, He is not defined or boxed in by our labels.
He surpasses all human understanding.

 

Keep trusting.
Keep looking to God.
Keep asking God questions even when you don’t understand or feel like giving up.

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Who would you be?

Hey you,

Close your eyes gently.
inhale through your nose and exhale through the mouth.
Do this a couple times.

WHO would you be….

Without the weight of legalism and religion weighing you down?
If you didn’t have to run and hide?
If you embraced the freedom you had?
If you were more certain about your identity in Christ?
If you saw the beauty that God sees in you.
If you knew your worth and believed it.
If you knew that God has already reserved a space for you at the table.
If you knew there was no judgement.
If you knew how much God loves you.
If you didn’t let the weight of all the hate and anger in the world in.

BE THAT PERSON. ❤️❤️❤️