// Speak your testimony //

Our testimonies are a part of us, they tell how we came to Jesus and what Jesus is still doing in our lives. Sometimes people like to hear the juicy testimonies. You know, the ones where that person was pregnant at 16, or was in a biker gang on the streets and growing marijuana. Or those stories of how that person was gambling and drinking. Or maybe those stories of how that person survived a shooting and found Jesus afterwards.
Your testimony doesn’t have to be that exciting though. Your testimony is YOUR story with Christ and how He is continually working in your life. It’s okay if you grew up in church and accepted Christ at an early age. It’s okay if your testimony doesn’t involve drugs, alcohol, gambling, etc.

 

 

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The above photo is something that I feel resonates with me. If you know me, you know I absolutely love exploring abandoned buildings, and places. I love seeing the beauty in the old, and run down. 

I grew up living in various different countries and because of this I was exposed to different cultures, religions and different ways of living. My family never really attended church regularly, although my parents always encouraged my siblings and I to embrace our individuality and to branch out to and form our own opinions and beliefs.

It was middle school when I started realizing I had a void inside of me that needed to be filled. I started looking for answers in Islam, Mormonism, Buddhism, and even Wicca. But, I found that each of these all had a “works” based faith and I was left feeling more alone.

In high school I began drinking and getting high. Oh those teenagers years…..
One of my good friends started bringing me to church and answered any questions I had about God or the Bible. She eventually handed me my own Bible.

I eventually found a local church near my house, and had a “coming to Jesus” moment. If you can even call it that. I took my salvation as, “I believe in God, I’m going to Heaven, I can do whatever I want”. It was like a “get out of hell” free pass.
Once more I began to let alcohol and drugs control me and fill the void inside of me that was only meant for Jesus.

It wasn’t until 2012 when I went on a mission trip to the Dominican Republic that I finally understood that my sins were separating me from God and though I was far from God, God had never left my side. He was constantly there even when I wasn’t there, He still wanted me, He still loved me, He forgave me.
I can’t tell you how much I cried in that moment when it finally hit me like a hurricane…

My story with God doesn’t stop there though. Since then God has continued to work in my life, through the ups and the downs. He has reconciled friendships over the years, He has used my tears, heart breaks, aches and pains to teach me to cling closer to Him and seek His will. He has saved my life in moments where I would have thought I would have died. He has taught me to trust Him even when life is throwing all it has at me and is trying to knock me down. He has taught me to not find my identity in people or things. He has taught me that my identity is not found in having a significant other.

 

 

 

I love hearing other peoples testimonies and walks with Christ. If you are up to sharing your story, please DM me on Twitter or feel free to e-mail me at Elizabeth.Louise@holyyoga.net

 

 

-Elizabeth Louise

 

 

 

 

God doesn’t need you.

One of my absolute favorite books to go through is Exodus. There is so much truth to soak up. I remember leading a Bible study that did an in depth study of Exodus.

In Exodus 3:7-12 God and Moses are having a conversation after Moses has come across a burning bush. 

So I’m going to paraphrase the interaction, but I want to encourage you all to read these verses. So God is telling Moses, “Look, I’ve seen the pain and suffering of my people and I’m going to take them out of Egypt and bring them to a land flowing with milk and honey. I’m going to use you and send you to ask Pharoah for freedom”. 

Moses is listening to all this and his question to God ends up being found in vs. 11 But Moses said to God, “Who am I that I should go to Pharoah and bring the children of Israel out of Egypt?” And I LOVE the response God gives in vs 12. He said, “But I will be with you, and this shall be the sign for you, that I have sent you: when you have brought the people out of Egypt, you shall serve God on this mountain.”

Who is Moses that God should use him?

Who
am I that God should use me?

Who
are you that God should use you?

Nobody.

We are like ants compared to the magnitude of who God is and what He can do.
We are here one minute and the next we are gone.
Even the most well known person on the planet right now, I can guarantee there are people in villages with no internet or phones who know of them.
We can be so well known but in the end we cease to exist, and someone else comes along.

See. God doesn’t need us in order to do great things… If you say no to Him, God can still make His plan happen without you.

The thing is though. 

  1. HE. Loves. You. 
  2. HE. Desires. You.
  3. HE. Is. Constantly. Pursuing. You

I don’t know what you are struggling with today. If it’s feeling so alone like nobody is there or like nobody wants you.

I don’t know if you are looking to drugs, or alcohol or porn or money to solve your problems or to find happiness.

Or maybe your anxiety and depression are telling you that you aren’t worth it.

I’ve been there. I’ve cried myself to sleep many nights feeling so alone and doubting my worth. I’ve looked for answers in places, people and things that only God could ever solve or answer for me.

If there is something that I can leave you with right now it’s that, you are so loved by the Creator of the universe, world, and every single plant, person and animal. 

The Creator of the Universe even created you. He knew you before you were born and has given you immense worth.

So yeah, compared to God we are ants on the spectrum. Ants with immense worth and value and who God desires to love so intimately.

-Elizabeth Louise 

One Step at a Time

I love the saying, “One Step At a Time”.

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It’s normally said when someone is going too fast and wants to skip right to the end part.
Like when you are building IKEA furniture and you are already on #4 of the directions when your family or friends are still on #1 and trying to figure out which piece is which.
Or maybe you need to start from the bottom up when starting a career, and you want to skip that step and get yourself to the top.
We all get impatient, and we all want to skip ahead at times.

I know this is really important for me to hear on a daily basis, “One step at a time, one step at a time”.
I get impatient and instead of waiting I hurry.
Usually in my hurry, I make a mistake that I probably would have otherwise caught I were going one step at a time.

There is a verse that I love that I think helps with this subject.
Psalm 119:105 Your word is a lamp to my feet
                           and a light to my path.

Close your eyes for a second and read these words aloud.

YOUR WORD
IS A LAMP
TO MY FEET
AND A
LIGHT
TO MY PATH

When you picture a lamp what do you automatically associate with that?
Light.
God’s word is a lamp.
It illuminates our path for life.

Whenever I read this verse I stop to imagine that I’m lost in a really dark cave without the ability to see anything or understand where I’m headed.
But instead when I lean on God and His word the path in front of me becomes a little bit more clearer.
Although I still may not know what lies ahead on the path, what I do know is that God does and He will lead me through the darkness.

You see.
When we want to rush ahead in the darkness without God or leaning on God’s word, we stumble and fall. Maybe we get back up and try again.
Whenever I want to rush and go two steps ahead, instead of going one step at a time, I try to picture God holding my hand in this dark cave, and maybe sometimes I get brushed against a sharp edge from time to time, or maybe I lag behind and I stumble. But, God is leading us through a dark cave.
His word provides light to us.
If we don’t hold His hand and follow Him and instead run off on our own, we are left running through a dark cave with no idea where we are going or what we are up against.

Friends,
Let’s take life one step at a time.
Let’s allow God to lead us and guide us.
Let’s dive deeper into God’s word and allow it to illuminate our path.
Let’s trust God is lead us through the darkness.
Let’s not hurry life.
Let’s practice patience in the moments when we want to go two steps ahead.

 

Grace and ease,

Elizabeth Louise

Iced Peppermint Mocha Recipe 

Good morning!

If you are a coffee lover like me you just can’t get enough of it. Am I right? Some days I think I drink between 3-4 a day…… 

Summer brings hot weather & iced drinks. Which is why I am bringing you guys a special blog today. 

Iced Peppermint Mocha recipe:

1. 1 tsp of Un-sweetened Cocoa Powder
2. 1 drop of Pepperming Essential Oil.
3. add in Coconut Milk(or almond milk or any alternative)
4. Dont forget the most important ingredient though. the COFFEE.
5. Stir it or blend it.
6. add sweetener if necessary.

To get your Peppermint essential oil click here and use Distributor ID: 11577392 

11 labels to stop using

Labels.
We’ve all judged someone and labeled someone.
We’ve all been judged and had someone label us.

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I’m going to tackle a few of the labels that I feel we need to stop using:

  1. Addict:
    Being an addict is actually very serious. Naming someone an addict just because they struggle with something may actually prevent them for realizing they need help or they may feel shame.
  2. Republican/Democrat/Libertarian:
    Just because someone votes differently than you doesn’t mean that they are defined by their political party.
    People are so much more than how they vote or what party they associate with.
  3. Snowflake:
    I’ve heard this insult thrown around by all kinds of people. Usually they mean it as an insult when someone is being overly sensitive about something. While, I do think that there is a time and a place in which you need to learn to take criticism well and hear people out, just because someone gets touchy is not a reason to label them a “snowflake”.
    They may be dealing with deep rooted issues from their past and calling them names is not going to help them uncover those issues and start to get past them.
  4. Fat/Skinny:
    People are more than just their bodies. Labeling someone based off their body image can be hurtful and body shaming.
    They actually may be dealing with loving themselves, they may be anorexic, or they may just have actual health issues.
  5. Gay:
    Again, people’s sexuality doesn’t define them.
    I’ve heard people use this as an insult, “Oh, you’re so gay”
    Using this as an insult suggests that there is something wrong with people who may consider themselves gay.
  6. Black/White:
    Let’s stop only seeing the color of our skin and allowing that to separate us. Your worth is not found in your skin color. Your skin color does not say who you are. There is more to a person than just their skin color.
  7. Whore/Slut:
    We need to stop referring to women with names like these. Honestly, it’s obnoxious that we have a double standard where it’s okay for men to sleep around but if a woman does, she is labeled as a slut or a whore.
    Not okay.
  8. OCD/Depressed/ADHD:
    We need to stop with the saying, “You’re so OCD, you just cleaned your room” or, “You’re always so depressing to be around. Stop it”.
    These are really serious illnesses, and labeling someone as OCD just because they like something a particular way or labeling someone as depressed or “depresso” because they seem sad over a death of a relative or a situation, doesn’t mean they are struggling with these illnesses.
    It also may make them feel shame if they are struggling with these issues.
  9. Druggie/Alcoholic:
    States have started legalizing marijuana and it’s common to socially drink. There are medical benefits to using marijuana. Just because someone is using marijuana does not automatically make them a druggie. They may have cancer or have deep rooted anxiety. Just as a person drinking alcohol doesn’t make them a alcoholic. Labeling them as such may prevent them from realizing they have an addiction and thus getting help.
  10. Retarded:
    Dyslexia, ADD, ADHD, Autism, Down Syndrome, Aspergers, etc are serious disabilities.
    Calling someone “retarded” just because they may struggle with a disability or have a different way of learning is actually really un-loving.
    We are all beautiful, and different in our own ways.
    Often times we call friends, “retarded” when we want to call them stupid or think they’ve done something stupid that we think was clear.
    It is used to take away peoples worth and make them feel less than.
  11. Boys will be boys:
    This one isn’t so much a label as a saying. Am I the only one who thinks it’s annoying when people go, “Oh, boys will boys. Can’t change them”.
    Excuse me. No.
    If a boy messes up it is the parents job to raise and correct the wrong type of behavior.
    It should not always be blamed on girl to be “better”

 

When we allow labels to dictate how we see others, we miss out on the chance to truly know and see the person for who they really are.  We miss out on seeing the beauty of the differences in each of us.

More and more I pray that I can see people from the eyes of God. To love people with no boundaries. To not let differences define who people are.

 

Elizabeth Louise

Do others see Christ in you? 

I’ve had an eventful day today.
I went to clear my head today at a local beach.
I found a boat with paddles that looked like they hadn’t been used in years-but were in fairly good condition.

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Me being up for an adventure and something new got into the boat(not always recommended btw).

At some point into this and halfway out in the water my dogs jumped out and flipped the boat over.
Luckily, a handful of my friends from high school live nearby and were out on their dock.
After having their fair share of, “What were you thinking?” they got me back to shore.

So I’m now soaking wet and lost. The dogs and I end up on the highway 3 miles south of where I’ve parked.

I call another friend who lives close by to come pick me up, she has a busy schedule so that falls through. Continue walking and eventually get to a restaurant where this lady looks from the worn out dogs, to me and my sweaty face. She goes, “If you know where your car is, I’ll drive you. Get in”.
We load the dogs in and start driving to where I’ve parked my car. Driving? It was less than three minutes. If we had continued to walk we would have gotten there in another hour.

Something that I’ve learned today: Be the person who will go out of your way to help others even if it’s a stranger.
Now we all get busy, we all have moments when we really don’t want to.
Myself included. I can’t count the times I’ve been like, “I can’t. I’m sorry” or “I’m not up to it”
But, this lady who I don’t even know, loaded two tired dogs and a random person in her car full of empty baby car seats.
She was willing to go out of her way.
Just as Jesus went out of His way to help others. When we say, “I don’t know this person, but I’m going to reach out and help them” we allow others to see Christ in us.
Now, I don’t know if this lady believes in Christ, but I am so thankful to her.

So, I’m going to leave you with a question, “Do others see Christ in you?”.

Elizabeth Louise

It’s okay to un-plug.

Technology is wonderful. 
Social media is a great tool. It helps us to connect not only with family and friends but it provides businesses with a tool to reach customers that they might otherwise not have been able to reach before.

lets be honest though…. our technology and social media can be so distracting and harmful.

for instance like when we are in school and you start texting in class.
or how about when we go out with friends and every single one of us is on our phones…
maybe perhaps its how we just have to instagram that photo of our Bibles and coffee or that delicious meal we just ordered.

Yes, technology and social media bring people close but they can also be very divisive.

As I’m sure you can probably tell, I love photos of the water and sunset. The other day I went to a local park to journal and catch the sunset. As I sat on one of the pillars underneath the bridge I looked around.

Some of the people were there fishing alone or with their families.
Some were crabbing.
Some were laying out on blankets in the grass.
Some were having picnics with their dates or families.
Some were sitting on benches catching up with friends or family.

They were for the most part un-plugged.         They were enjoying quality time with each other.                                                                       They were basking in the summer weather as the sun was going down.

There is so much beauty to be found in each other and in the world when we un-plug. It’s okay to just sit and enjoy a meal and not Instagram it. It’s okay to not take a photo of the sunset once in awhile, and instead just enjoy the colors of the sunset. It’s okay to put your phone away and make eye contact and listen to people.

It’s okay to un-plug. I want to encourage you guys to un-plug this summer. To really enjoy the beauty of spending quality time with family or friends. To enjoy quality time just making memories. To enjoy this beautiful earth God has created.

Elizabeth Louise