An open letter to the Addict

To that person struggling with addiction whether it may be alcohol, cigarettes, porn, food or drugs.

I know how you feel. I’ve had to overcome my addictions. It wasn’t easy, but I did so with help.

This is letter is for you.

Dear Child of God,

You were created by your Heavenly Father. He knew you before you were born and knows the exact number of hairs on your head. He knows your strengths and weaknesses. 

Struggles and weaknesses are all about being human…

We all have struggles. Whether it is addiction to sex, alcohol, cigarettes, drugs, money, etc. There’s something we all struggle with. There’s something we struggle with saying no to, or something that we try and we continue to do it over and over again until we are held in chains by whatever is chaining us down. There’s something that holds us in bondage. 

but guess what? you don’t have to stay in that bondage. you don’t have to be chained to your addictions. 

Jesus bore the sins of the world so that we could be set free. He overcame death on the cross.

I’m not saying that it’ll be easy….in fact it’ll be hard. you may be tempted to order a glass of wine when you and your friends are out at a restaurant. you may be tempted for “one” more cigarette. you many say yo yourself, “I’ll quit gambling after I win $300”. Or maybe you say, “I’m not addicted to weed. I can quit at any point”.

You may have to attend meetings. You may have to have a accountability partner, someone who you can call when you struggle and are tempted. You need a support system.

Oh yes….it’ll be difficult. You may cry. Get angry. It may take weeks, months, years. In fact there may be times when you may backslide. There may be times when you want to give up and give in to that addiction. 

When I was struggling with addiction a friend once told me, “Every day that you say no to your addiction and temptation is a victory with Jesus”. 

You’ve already been set free by Jesus. John 8:36 tells us, “So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.”

You’ve already been set free. Lean on Jesus, friend. Lean on Jesus.
Lean on Jesus in the moments when you most struggle and are most desperate and tempted.
Don’t give up.
You can overcome with Jesus because you’ve already been set free from whatever is holding you in bondage.
You are free in Jesus. 

Ease and grace,


Elizabeth Louise

//Who// are you?

I’m sure you’ve heard the saying, “You are who you hang out with”.

This topic will be focused off of that saying more or less.

You start to look like and become what you believe in and who you surround yourself with.

Whatever you start to believe in with all your heart, mind and soul will be distinct to everyone, it will begin to grow roots inside of you.

Likewise, who you surround yourself with plays an impact into who you become and what you start to believe in.

It becomes the root of who you are. It becomes the way people see you. It becomes your legacy on this earthS

So who are you?


Who do you surround yourself with?

Do they race cars? Do they play D&D? Do they like Doctor Who? Do they drink all the time? Are they constantly cursing? Do they read? Do they like to try new things? Are they open or close minded? Are they loving? Are they exclusive? Do they gossip? Are they humble? Are they prone to anger? Are they patient? Do they judge?

What are your beliefs and values?

do your beliefs fall somewhere between legalism, racism, exclusivity, fear, and privilege?…..if so you are probably going to end up looking like a racist, bigoted and arrogant person.

do your beliefs fall somewhere between love, mercy, grace, hope, patience, gentleness, and loyalty?……you will look something like that.

I long to be an example of the love of Christ through my words and actions.

I long to welcome those who are made to feel unwanted, uninvited or unforgiven. Because at the table of Christ we are all welcome, forgiven and wanted.

I long to be an example of love.

I long for my fruits that I produce to be fruits that Christ can use to produce fruits from.
Friends, who do you strive to be?

Grace and ease,

Elizabeth Louise

Adventures of lavender fields and coffee.

Today I went on a road trip with a good friend of mine. Went opted to go to Delaware, moreover because I have never been and one of my goals this year is to visit new states when I can.

Off we go to Delaware and within 15 minutes we stop for lunch because we are starving. Didn’t get that far, did we? lol gotta love road trips. I don’t know about you guys, but I just LOVE Chick-fil-a over most fast food places. They just came out with a new sandwich so of course I had to try it. Show of hands, whose tried that barbecue bacon chicken sandwich with the new watermelon mint lemonade? I promise you won’t regret it. Eating it made me feel as though I was sitting at a picnic eating chicken right off the grill. Perfect meal for the summer(you know, for fast food).

So we get back on the road and fight traffic here and there. Eventually we get to the Lavender farm- Lavender Fields at Warrington Manor. The flowers weren’t in full bloom yet, but they were still magnificent. And who knew that there were so many different kinds of lavender?

I even got to do a short little meditation in the midst of all that lavender and the fresh air.


After buying a few Lavender products we headed back home. On the way we stopped at a coffee roastery that was inside of a local art and antique gallery-anything from essential oil diffuser necklaces, to antique clocks, to Christian yoga t-shirts, to comics. After looking around and buying a few things I tried a coffee drink I’ve never tried before-affogato(ice cream and coffee).


After awhile we once again headed on our way home, this time not stopping anywhere else which was surprising knowing how ADHD we get.

From today I learned three things I want to share.

  1. Don’t get frustrated with small things: Traffic stinks no matter where you are. You get stuck behind a person going 30 miles in a 50 zone, or maybe that guy behind you is WAYYY too close to your bumper. I get it, I do. But, get upset and frustrated doesn’t help anything. Play some music, talk to God, or play a game in the car. Take a deep breathe and relax. Everyone else is probably just as frustrated as you are.
  2. You can find beauty in the simplest of things: Walk outside and find beauty in the sunrise and sunset. Find beauty in that field of lavender that is not fully bloomed yet but is still magnificent. Find beauty in each person you come across. Find different ways to see beauty  and embrace it.
  3. Live Jesus through your life: You don’t have to be a Pastor or minister to preach the Word of God. The coffee shop we went to today-Amity Coffee Roasters. They sold beautiful necklaces and bracelets that had simple messages about God and Christ. The space they share with the art gallery? Well the art gallery sold clothing like yoga shirts that went “Free. John 8:36”. They sold wall art with inspirational quotes and God. If you love coffee, then open a coffee shop and serve people and show them the love of Christ through your life. If you want to be a teacher, shoe Jesus through your life. Show Christ through your words and actions. Be an example of the love of Christ. Use your gifts and passions to reach people.

Elizabeth Louise

26 Things That I’ve Learned In 26 years.

26.
That’s how old I will be on Tuesday.
I know I may look like a 21 year old, but I’m actually 26.
Wow. I’m another year closer to being 30.
Geez…..I’m getting so old.

I haven’t written a blog post in awhile due to focusing on writing my book. I recently thought about what I wanted to write about in my next blog post. Do I want to do a serious topic? No. Not right now.
I ended up deciding on writing about 26 things that I’ve learned.
Without further delay, here they are:

  1. It’s okay to say no: I like to please people. It’s something that I struggle with. I don’t want someone to think less of me if I say, “No”. Over the course of 26 years though I’ve learned that sometimes you just have to say, “No”, even if it means someone may not speak to you for a day, or two. Even if it means they may think you were rude by saying no.
  2. It’s okay to take self-care days: Life gets hard. Can we all agree on this? We have so much to do, whether it’s classes, picking the kids up from school, that 5th load of laundry, grocery runs, making the bed, oh and don’t forget squeezing in that daily workout. Sometimes we need to know when we need to have a glass of wine and a bubble bath. Sometimes we need a massage. Sometimes we need a day on the beach. It’s okay to take self-care days. We all need them.

 

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  1. It’s okay to ask for help: I like to try to think that I can do everything on my own. I feel guilty when I feel the need to ask someone for help. I feel like I’ve done something wrong when I need to ask someone for help. Honestly though? There are times when we all need help.
  2. It’s okay to admit when we don’t have the right answer.
  3. Stress only produces more grey hairs, God has everything under control.
  4. It’s okay to not go with the flow and just stand out.
  5. Meditation has become something I look forward to doing each day.
  6. I’m actually a morning person. I enjoy sipping a coffee, enjoying the sunrise and doing my yoga flow.
  7. Baseball has easily become my favorite sport.
  8. I actually really don’t like confrontation: I will avoid it if I can. But, there are times when confrontations happen and you need to take a  deep breath and power on.
  9. I’m basically a hipster. I drink kombucha, I do geocaching, I’m a yoga instructor.
  10. I find great joy and beauty in exploring abandoned buildings and places. I love to see places that are now forgotten and unused and see the stories that they tell and the beauty in them.
  11. Friends will come and go: This is key. Sometimes you need to let people go, maybe the friendship/relationship is abusive, maybe you need to allow God to work in these peoples lives. Whatever the reason may be, there are times when you need to know when to let people go. You will meet new people and gain new friends as your hobbies and location in life changes.
  12. Don’t settle. Sometimes we get impatient, it’s no reason to settle for something less than we deserve.
  13. People change: Change is inevitable. If you aren’t changing, you aren’t growing. Change can be scary, but needs to be tackled head on.
  14. There are times when you need to be blunt and not sugar coat things: We all like to say the truth while finding the right words to delicately put things. Honestly, sometimes you need to say the truth. There are times when you need to say what a person needs to hear.
  15. Having a filter with honesty is key though: On the flip side of being blunt is knowing WHEN to be blunt and brutally honest. For example: You wouldn’t call someone out for offending you on the day they are attending a funeral. Or you wouldn’t tell someone that they seem to have gained a few pounds after having a child. You need to have a filter and discernment on the timing.
  16. You are not defined by your mistakes: Each mistake, each mess up, is a new opportunity for you to find out who you are. It’s a new opportunity for you to grow and learn and move forward.
  17. I still don’t like mushrooms: I’ve tried mushrooms, I’ve eaten them before. I still do not like the taste of mushrooms though. Ugh.
  18. I prefer more of a pescetarian lifestyle: I do eat meat off and on. However, I mainly will eat seafood, veggies and fruit.
  19. Always be humble: Sometimes we get a little too full of ourselves. It’s great to humble ourselves, and remember that it’s not all about us. It’s great to show some gratitude.
  20. Challenge stigma and prejudice when you see it. Always stand up for wrong doing and for people that are treated unfairly. If you see something, or someone being treated unfairly speak up against it.
  21. Be open to hearing peoples opinions: Whether you agree with them or not, it’s great to hear other people’s opinions out and see things from their perspective.
  22. Be kind to yourself and love yourself: We are sometimes our own biggest enemy: More often that not we are our biggest enemy to ourselves. We judge ourselves more harshly and often we are our biggest critics.
  23. There is only one of you: I think we forget this one. We like to wear the same clothes, shop at the same stores, do the same hobbies, listen to the same music. It’s okay to shop at other stores. It’s okay to listen to a band that nobody has heard of. It’s okay to be you. There’s only one of you, so don’t spend your life trying to be someone else.
  24. Quality over quantity of friends: Having genuine friends is the best. Seek out friends with the greatest qualities, rather than seeking a large quantity of friends.
  25. Social media is a blessing and curse: Can I get an amen on this? It helps us keep in contact with those friends we went to first grade with, but sometimes it sucks us in when we spend 3 hours on it. It’s necessary for me to use social media to promote my brand, my blog, my book, etc but there sometimes a time when I need to unplug.
  26. Talk less, and do more: Something I think we all struggle with is talking more than we actually do something. When someone asks us to pray for them, how much easier would it be to either write down their prayer in a book, or to pray with them at that moment? If someone says they need us to help them, how much easier would it be to help them in the moment rather than say okay and forget about it? Let’s do more, and talk less.

Heart over words

We attend a Bible study or a gathering, and usually there is prayer involved at some point. Whether it’s one person, or going around the circle taking turns as you feel called to pray. Sometimes you hear words like, “Edification”, or “Infallible”, or “Discernment”.

You’ve heard these prayers and maybe you are a new Christian just thinking, I’m so nervous. I just want to say a simple prayer, what if I don’t want to use big words? Maybe you get nervous. Maybe you awkwardly sit there and don’t say anything because you’ve over thought it now.

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I know I did. I used to be petrified of praying in front of people, I didn’t have the right words to know what to say and I wasn’t as strong of a Christian as some of the others who had grown up in Christian homes.

Honestly though? God doesn’t care how BIG the prayer is or how impressive the words are. Prayer is simply communicating with God. Over the years of growing and walking with God He’s become my Creator, Judge, Counselor, Parent and Friend. He knows my strengths and weaknesses. He knows my thoughts. The Bible is filled with people communicating to God through prayer. Psalms, Job, etc.

These people they express their feelings, their hearts to God.

In 1 Samuel 1:10 Hannah prays to the Lord, And she was in bitterness of soul, and prayed to the Lord and wept in anguish.

Further down a few more verses in 13 Now Hannah spoke in her heart; only her lips moved, but her voice was not heard. Therefore Eli thought she was drunk.

God wants your heart in prayer more than he wants to hear impressive words.

Sometimes we feel hurt, in pain, sad, rejected, etc and the only thing we know to do is cry to God in our tears. Sometimes the only thing we can say is “Thank you God”. Sometimes the Holy Spirit moves in us and gives us these “big, impressive words”. Other times we may not have the right words to say out loud, but God hears our thoughts even before we speak them. He sees the condition of our hearts before we even know if it’s condition. 

Don’t be afraid to communicate what’s on your mind and heart to the Lord. However big or small.



-Elizabeth Louise

Childlike Faith with God

There are so many phrases and sayings that are thrown around in the Christian circle and culture. Sometimes just like with anything we use these phrases and sayings so often that we truly forget the beauty associated with them.

“Oh, you need to make sure you have a childlike faith with God“. Childlike faith with God is one of these phrases that we’ve tossed around so much that it’s like a worn out football. if we dive deeper into this phrase we find that it holds truth and goodness. It holds beauty.

Jesus desires our lives with him to be like. a. child.


Where do we get this saying from? Matthew 18:1-5 

At that time the disciples came to Jesus, saying, “Who then is greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” Then Jesus called a little child to Him, set him in the midst of them, and said, “Assuredly, I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore whoever humbles himself as this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. Whoever receives one little child like this in My name receives me.”

WOW! that’s actually a lot to process at one time. often times we actually only associate childlike faith with God to mean dependency on God, right? Children depend on their parents. But what about the other half?
When you think of the nature of a child what comes to mind? kids ask why, kids ask how, kids say can you explain, kids say I don’t understand. They carry questions, doubts, and are willing to admit they don’t understand or need it explained. They worry about the tiny things in life. Things you and I probably wouldn’t even focus on. They are curious and always wanting new knowledge. 

What God desires for us in our faith is to vocally express our doubts and concerns to Him, such as that of a child. But fear and doubt are supposed to be what the enemy uses against us, right? Wrong.

We are allowed to ask questions. We are allowed to doubt. We are allowed to ask for explanations. We are allowed to ask how. We are allowed to take those fears and doubts and form they into questions and vocalize them to God.

You see, it’s when we allow these fears and doubts to go unvocalized, unexpressed and allow them to fester in the back of our minds that the enemy uses them as seeds for temptation and sin. 

It’s okay to have fears and doubts. It’s natural. We all have fears and doubts. Let’s not suppress them or dismiss someone’s fears or doubts. There is so much freedom found in asking, admitting we don’t understand, admitting we need God’s help, and asking how things work. It’s okay to be curious and have questions. God wants you to vocalize the questions, doubts, understand, explain it to me please, I need helps, etc. He wants to hear it all. 

Let’s all strive to dive deeper into this childlike faith with God where we ask why, how, when, idk, can you explain. Let’s dive deeper into being more vocal with what makes us doubt and what scares us.

Let’s be children in Christ.
Blessings,

-Elizabeth Louise 

How I contributed to bullying. 


I’m sure if you don’t live under a rock then you’ve heard of a new tv show called, “13 Reasons Why”. When it came out there were mixed reviews, people raved about how great it was and how it brought light to the topics of bullying and suicide. People ranted that it should have shown that suicide was not the only option and that it might make people consider suicide.

Either way, the topics of bullying and suicide are difficult to approach because of the severity of them. Recently I had asked a good friend of mine, Julianna Bouffard to guest write a short piece on how she’s overcome a bullying situation over her years at school, where people with bigger egos than their heads are constantly finding fault with her and spreading malicious content.
Speaking honestly? I’ll admit at some point or another I contributed to this “bullying” of my childhood best friend, who was more like family, as close as a sister. Sometimes you feel frustrated and call people venting about someone, the next thing you know those very people are using that information to spread malicious gossip about that person. 
For awhile I went along with it, I didn’t want to lose friends. I’ve been through a lot in life, various types of abuse and control have brought me to the point where I don’t like to be told what to do. I want to feel like I can make all my own decisions, nobody controls me. 
It got to the point where I felt I could not ignore the bullying of my best friend. The constant, “Oh I hope she doesn’t come back to school” or the constant whispers and questions about her.

Why do I share this you may ask?

See, sometimes I think we go along with what people do not realizing that it’s bullying. Maybe we do realize it and just don’t care, or are afraid to stand up for those victimized. Perhaps maybe we gossip, not realizing the full extent of our actions and how it may affect others.

My friend has dealt with contemplating suicide on multiple accounts, she as well as I struggle with depression on a daily basis. 

I think Ephesians 4:29 sums it up correctly: 

Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.

We are all human and whether or not we want to admit it we have gossiped, or done something hurtful to another person. 

However, let us build each other up in Christ. There is so much grace and freedom and forgiveness in Christ. Whether or not someone offends us, frustrates us, or maybe we don’t get along with them let us approach situations and people with grace and ease. After all, Christ was nailed to a cross by the very people he came to save and he forgave us of our trespasses.

Side note: If you ever feel so victimized to where you feel like suicide is your only option, know that Christ has a greater plan for your life. Know that there is always someone to reach out to and to talk to. 

Blessings,

Elizabeth Louise