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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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A Christian response to the events in Charlottesville 

I don’t know about you guys but after watching the news this weekend and seeing the photos from Charlottesville 

I’m devastated by seeing such hate.

I’m disgusted that these so called “white-supremist, nazis” actually think that just because they are a certain color that they’re better than those who aren’t.

I’m fed up from hearing and seeing such rhetoric and hate. 

As the child of parents who worked with the government, I moved to different countries, traveled to others on vacation and went to several other countries for mission trips.

I’ve seen and met people of all colors, of all religions, and of all backgrounds. 

Each person on this earth is created by God and is known by God. Each person on this earth was created in the image of God and has immense value and worth.

Each person holds such beauty and worth.

Nobody is “better” than someone else because of their skin color or ethnicity or because they are a male/female. We are all sinners, broken and in need of redemption and the grace of God. 

Friends, let’s not brush off this weekends events and go on with our lives a few days later. We should acknowledge that black lives do matter. We should be reaching the hurting people and acknowledging their pain. We should speak out against this type of hate that we saw this weekend. Hear the concerns of others, don’t diminish their hurt just because it’s different than yours. Speak out and stand up for the oppressed. 

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In Jesus we have a safe place

whether you are feeling alone, scared, struggling to find worth, hopeless and worn out, dealing with depression or anxiety.

I want to remind you. Jesus is for you.

He is standing on the sideline even when you’ve given up. He is your biggest fan encouraging you to not give up. He is your biggest fan even when you make mistakes. 

there will be times when you face trials and moments that will try and tear you down. there will be people that you come across that will be against you.

Jesus is with us through it all. Never leaving our side even when we leave His

Continue to look to Jesus for direction and comfort. In Jesus we will always find a safe place. In Jesus we find hope for our weary souls. In Jesus there is peace. In Jesus, all of our fears are washed away.

The next time you become overwhelmed by guilt, fear, hopelessness, worry, and  loneliness, etc 

breathe.

and remember these truths. Remember to cling to Jesus. 

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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 

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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