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Not enough time in your day?

Wake up, hit the alarm and sleep in a bit longer, finally wake up, get your kids up and dressed and fed, drop them off at daycare or school.

…….maybe if you are lucky you get to grab a coffee before you need to be at work

You get off work exhausted and either pick the kids up if they haven’t been picked up already and then remember that you forgot to pick up the dry cleaning, get groceries, and make that long overdue dentist appointment.

If this isn’t your daily routine then I’m pretty sure yours is similarly filled with countless daily to do’s and chores that often leaves you feeling like there aren’t enough hours in the day to get everything done.

YIKES!!!!!!!

No wonder we get stressed and overwhelmed….
We often feel like we have to get everything done and all at once.

Take a deep breathe and relax.
Inhale, exhale. Inhale, exhale. Inhale, exhale.

Are you ready?

We have been given 24 hours in the day to get done what we need to.
How much time are you spending on Facebook?
How much time are you spending on your phone?
How much time are you spending watching Netflix or Hulu?
How much time are you spending on Snapchat or Instagram?
How much time did you spend sleeping in when you could have been up early? 

That time that you spent on Facebook for 30 minutes could have been spent doing your laundry.
That time you spent on your phone for an hour and a half could have been spent finishing that book report that is due on Monday(hopefully you don’t actually have a book report due on Monday since it’s still summer!)
That time you spent sitting on the couch all day watching tv, you could have made that doctors appointment or picked up your dry cleaning.

 

Some things that we can do to better manage our time:
1. Use a daily planner: If you are anything like me, free, disorganized, lives for the random and unexpected then you really need a daily planner to manage your schedule. You can write down all of your events so that you don’t end up attending that birthday party two days earlier….
2. Use your calendar on the iphone: Technology is cool, right? We have the ability to plug our events into our calendar, and ask Siri to set reminders for us.
3. Use an alarm: On any given day, I have about ten different alarms going off. My iphone alarm, my Doctor Who alarm, oh and this alarm that will literally run around the room until you get out of bed to turn it off….. really fun to do in the morning.

Even with all of this….
What I’ve come to realize is that we are often the harshest judges of ourselves.
We overthink, we panic, we beat ourselves up and feel bad for not getting everything done.

You. Are. Going.To. Mess. Up
You.Are.Going.To.Make.Mistakes.Daily.

Give yourself a little grace.
You aren’t supposed to try doing everything on your own.
You aren’t perfect.
Nobody is. 

That’s the beauty of needing Jesus.
Where we are broken, and flawed and dirty from our sin that separates us from God
Jesus is beautiful, flawless, whole, and He overcame death on the cross.
Because of Him we have been redeemed and made new.

With Jesus we can overcome what we may not have been able to overcome before on our own.

The next time you get stressed out that you overslept by 5 minutes, didn’t pick up your dry cleaning, get the eggs or toilet paper from the store, forgot to make that dentist appointment and forgot to pick up your grandma Esther from the airport(hopefully you haven’t actually forgotten to pick up your grandma at the airport…) take a deep breathe and realize that you aren’t a superhero.

The next time you or someone else messes up or forgets to do something, stop and take a deep breath and extend grace to others as well as yourself.

 

I would love to hear what ways/tools you use to manage your time better? Feel free to leave a comment below!

 

Elizabeth Louise

 

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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.

People-Word-Labels-1024x739.jpg

 

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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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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//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

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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

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It’s okay.

There a days when we can’t find the right words to say.
There are days when we run a little late.
There are days when we forget to put on makeup.
There are days when we forget to do our homework.
There are days when we feel like our world is falling apart.
but thats okay!

its okay for us to not have all the answers
its okay to not always have our makeup on
its okay to not be perfect

It’s okay. Take a deep breathe and relax.

The next time you are running late text your sister, mom, friend that you will be running late.
The next time you don’t have all the answers, it’s okay to look someone in the eye and admit that.
The next time you forget to put on makeup, don’t sweat it! You look gorgeous.
The next time you take a photo on your phone and you don’t look as “skinny” or “beautiful” as you think, don’t delete it. Love yourself.
The next time you forget to do your homework, or turn it in. Admit it, do the homework, but don’t beat yourself up over it.

Take a deep breathe. It’s all okay.

It’s okay to admit we aren’t perfect. So let’s all start with that. We aren’t perfect. We mess up.

It’s okay.