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One Step at a Time

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

stepbystep
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

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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 

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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

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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

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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

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Viewing God like we view a sunset. 

The other night I was sitting downtown Annapolis journaling and writing a new chapter in my upcoming book.

The water has always been a place of calm for me, something about sitting on the docks staring off into that blue water always bring me such peace.

I was fortunate enough to catch the sunset, and boy these photos don’t do it justice. Our God makes magnificent sunsets.

Staring at the sunset, it made me think, “What if we looked at God the way we do when we see a sunset?”

You know how captivating those sunsets can be, all those beautiful pink and orange colors in the sky, it leaves you in wonder. Just think of how many times you’ve just had to stop and Snapchat or Instagram a sunset because “it’s the most magnificent thing you’ve ever seen”. Almost as great as chocolate chip cookies and puppies. Am I right?

We look at sunsets with stillness and adoration the way we should look at God. What if we began to look at God the way we stop to look at sunsets? How would this look? 

Being still with God is something we all struggle with. Just being in the moment with God without texting, being side tracked by our hobbies or even our family and friends. Yes, finding complete stillness in God is often hard. Because sometimes even when we aren’t on our phones or with friends, our minds are racing with errands we still need to finish, whether or not we got that job we wanted. If we were to be completely still with God we would be like a young toddler soaking up the magnificence and wonder of God. We would be like still water in a river, calm and at peace. We would be so in wonder of WHO God is that we would silence ourselves just to be in the very presence of God. 

This ties in with adoration. Adoration is a type of affection, a type of love you have for someone. “I adore you so much!” you may say to a significant other or a friend. Adoration leaves you looking at a person in wonder and lovingly. If we were to look at God with adoration we would be so captivated by the very character of God. We would be so breathtakingly in love with the mere though of just sitting in the presence of God!

Guys.

I don’t know about you but I want to daily see God in stillness and adoration. I know sometimes it’s a struggle for me. Sometimes I’m not still in the Lord. Sometimes I don’t even look at God with adoration. Sometimes I rush through my devotional because I have such a big list of “To do’s” for that day. I know I’m a terrible person…..

My prayer for us is this:

Lord,

Sometimes I may rush or I may forget to go spend quality time with you. You still pursue me and love me. You hold nothing against me and I am constantly amazed by your love and grace. Lord, I pray that I will be so in love with you that I will look at you so adoringly that my heart will be calm and still. I pray that I never stop looking at you with adoration. That just by being in your presence I will be completely still. 

Amen 


Ease and grace,
Elizabeth Louise 

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Prayer in midst of disagreement

Recently the news was headlined with “Kathy Griffin beheading Donald Trump in a shocking photo shoot” in which she appeared holding a bloody head of Donald Trump…..

Before a start this. Man, that was disgusting and disturbing.

We all have our differences. We may be Republican, Democrat, or Libertarian. And it’s okay to belong to a different political party than your next door neighbor or cousin does.

You can still follow Jesus and be a Democrat just as much as you can follow Jesus and be a Republican.

Two things I want to touch on today:

  1. God has created each and every one of us: Psalm 139: 13-14 For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. If we are to read this verse one can safely understand that God knew us in the womb and even formed us while we were in there. So God knew us before we even exited the womb. 
  2. We are all sinners and struggle with sinful nature: Romans 3:23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. Did you catch that? Some? Nope. All. We all fall short of the glory of God. We all have sinned. 

Donald Trump is far from perfect. But which one of you can say that you are perfect? Yes, he may act like a child tweeting and complaining at 2 am. And yes, he’s said questionable statements regarding women. But we fall short and mess up just as much as he does.

Whether you are gay, straight, Muslim or follow Jesus. Whether you are a Democrat, Republican or Libertarian. Whether you are white or black. Whatever differences you have with him, whatever you disagree with him on. 

Lift him up in prayer

He is leading a nation full of people who are sinners-whether they know Jesus, or don’t. He leads a country where some people agree with him, some people don’t. He is leading a country while he himself is a sinner. 

Guys….we should be praying and lifting him up. Praying that he seeks guidance and insight from God. Not wishing death on someone whom God has created and formed so uniquely. 

Grace and ease,
Elizabeth Louise