be real & accept your brokenness

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

This past weekend I was at a church retreat. Our whole theme for the weekend was to live a life without filters, to be real. We live in a filtered society. We try to cover up every ounce of ugliness and turn it into something beautiful. Truth is sometimes things are just ugly. We just need to accept that we are broken people that live in a broken world with broken relationships & broken perspectives. Brokenness does not need a filter to fix it, brokenness needs healing.

things I've been learning lately

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

i think a lot of times we ignore what God is teaching us in our day to day life. we search for answers in huge miracles & God given signs that are undeniable. truth is, life's not always like that. i'm sure you've figured that out by now, but just because Jesus isn't bringing people back from the dead right before our very eyes or feeding thousands with a couple loaves of bread, doesn't mean he's not still teaching us things. i believe he is teaching us big things, through all the little things we experience everyday. so here are just a couple of things that God has been stirring in my heart lately,

you are extraordinary

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Okay is it odd to anyone else that right now you are reading this with 2 little round things in the front of your head that we call "eyes"? or that we stand on two legs that are oddly longer than any other part of our body? or that attached to our odd shaped feet are 10 stubby little things we call toes? like whattttt, why on earth are we like this?? here's the one that really gets me, hair. I mean besides that fact that I would look like an egg without it, why is it there? When I really think about the detail & intricacy put into each and everyone of us, I have nothing else to say but WOW. God truly is hands down the greatest artist ever.  We are all so detailed & unique, it's crazyyyyy. I forget this truth a lot. Society makes us believe that we have to think a certain way, look a certain way, & act certain way. Often times I get caught up in trying to  pursue this "certain way" & by doing so I cut out a lot of the beauty & potential God has for my life. Our beauty is found in the name of Jesus, and the name of Jesus is heard when we live a life true to ourselves. By trying to form ourselves to the standards this world sets for us, we are just saying that we're normal. Normal can be a good thing if we are talking about something like our health, but as a person, I don't want to be normal- that's boring. We are all so oddly unique & interesting, yet we still label ourselves as normal. If God wanted normal he would have made us all an army of identical robots, but he didn't. Instead He made you & no one else comparable to you- so stop striving for normal because your better than that.

keep your eyes open

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

"That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every name confess that Jesus Christ is Lord." - Philippians 2:10

One day this will happen.

One day all heads will bow.
all knees will hit the ground.
all hands will be lifted high.
all hearts will be surrendered.
& all tongues will be saying only one name, Jesus.

what if

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

whenever a "what if" question pops into my head, I try to ignore it. I think about it for a second & then talk myself out of whatever I was thinking about because answering the question comes with risk. & before we start let me get this straight, i'm not talking about stupid stuff like what's going to happen if I jump off this bridge?? no no, please don't do that!! I'm talking about the kind that we probably should do, but we don't. 

 The thought of not knowing what's going to happen absolutely terrifies me. I like to know the answers. I like to know the plan. I simply just like "normal" & most of the time, the answers to "what if??" are out of my "normal" and that doesn't settle well with me.

I can think of a lot of "what if" questions that I don't want to know the answer to.

what if my dad loses his job again?

what if my family gets in a bad car accident?

what if someone I love gets sick?

I don't want to know the answer to any of these. But there are 2 kinds of "what if's" in life- the kind you have absolutely no control over & the kind that it's all on you.

The ones that we have no control over we, need to let go of. Worrying doesn't change the outcome of anything. So for my planner obsessed, control freak friends out there- we just need to breath. When we were born, Jesus didn't give us a book perfectly in order with numbered pages and no tears or bends labeled with your name on it. Wouldn't that be nice!! Instead he gave us a book that's out of order with scrambled up words. But that's okay because when we finally finish the book, it will be wayyy better than we ever thought it could be. filled with so much more adventure and excitement than any perfectly organized chapter book could ever give you. The moment I finally accepted the unexpected is when the weight of stress & worry were not as heavy on my shoulders.

Now as for the "what ifs" that we have control of, that's a different story. When I get to the end of this crazy life, I do not want to be saying 

what if what if I looked up from my phone a little more often?

what if I didn't care about being "too nice" because I don't want to be thought of as naive?

what if I learned to love every situation life has to offer?

what if I gave someone a genuine compliment everyday?

what if I listened to all the little nudges at my heart of God telling me to do things?

what if I stopped listening to the harsh words & lies of the devil and filled myself with the unchanging truth of the gospel?

what if I had the guts to forgive people that are so-called "unforgivable"?

what if I didn't automatically think the worst of people?

what if I stopped living in fear of failure & just lived?

what if I sat and listened to someones story instead of it always being "me me me"?

what if I stopped hating people just because they did or said one thing to offend me?

what if I just took a minute to stand in awe of God's glory in the midst of chaos?

these are not questions I want to be floating in my head when it's all said and done. I want to be living the life filled with answers to all of these questions- not wondering what if. I don't want to just sit back and wonder anymore, I want to know. I can only imagine what our world would be like if we found answers to our "what if" questions by living them out. so what do ya say will you stop wondering with me & go out and find some answers?

lots of love, j

keep fighting the good fight

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Do you ever just have those days where you are just flat out tired of fighting for things to go right? your hair looks bad, failed a math test, & more and more just keeps piling on to this list that never seems to end. any of this sound familiar? 

The devil is always ready to fight & y'all he's good at it too. When he fights he's after only one thing, your joy. That's it, all he wants is your joy. The devil doesn't care about your health, job, family, relationships- he doesn't want any of this. He wants to steal your joy right out from under your feet.
I don't know about y'all but I hate to lose, & the thought of losing my joy to the devil just makes me furious. So if the devil is stealing your joy right now, don't let him.

Keep fighting the good fight. 

On those days when things just won't go right, fight. In the midst of disappointment & chaos, fight for your joy. Don't let the devil win.
Know that your situations here on earth do not change the hope we have in our Heavenly Father. Know that your joy comes from unchanging love of Jesus. So keep on fighting friends- the moments you want to give up the most, are the ones that it's the most crucial to fight the good fight & win back your joy.

lots of love, j

"old fashioned" things that we should not lose sight of

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

i always joke around saying that i could be born in a different generation & i would love it! i think it's just something in me that loves the idea of living a life that's just straight up simpler. ya know? now don't get me wrong i love me some social media and all the other new things that we have access to, but i do believe some of the generations before us had it right with somethings!! somethings that we might forget & that's kinda scary because i believe it's things that we need even more than ever in our world right now.

1. write letters. we have it at our finger tips to send a text to someone within seconds. while this is all fine and dandy, a letter means soOoooOoo much more friends!!!!! one of my sweetest friends sends me letters every few months & man do they put a smile on my face. something about the fact that someone took the time to write you a letter to share a piece of their heart with you is just super special. so slooowww dooowwwn & take the time to write to someone. it doesn't have to be super long- just send em a bible verse, encourage them, tell you your praying for them (& then do it!). i guarantee it will make someone's day!!!!!!!!!

2.  pick up the phone & call. just do it girl. texting is really great most of the time, but sometimes ya just need a good talk with your girls (aka my boos - s/o to y'all for listening to all my probs over the phone!!!) but seriously just trust me, it's refreshing for the soul;) and also, call your grandma if you can- they loveeeeee to hear your voice!

3. print out pictures. i loveee pictures, there is nothing better than just snuggling up with a cup of hot coco and looking through old pictures. so print them out!! don't just swipe through on your phone - it doesn't have the same affect. plus it is super easy. all you have to do is get the Walgreen's app and upload photos straight from your camera roll & then go pick them up! you pay in store so you don't even have to put in your credit card information! also a good tip is wait till they have a deal going on because it is wayyy cheaper and they always have them going on. printing out pictures may seem like extra work for no reason, but i promise you it's worth it!!

4.  no calls at the dinner table. just don't do it girl. it doesn't matter who you are with; friends, family, a date- talk to them!!! i know it can be super hard not to check that text really fast or open the snap to see what your best friend just sent, but it can wait- i promise. spend time with the person right in front of you. there is no better time than eating yummy food to get to know someone & talk about life....don't miss out on it ;)

5. the term "gentleman." okay, this is an important one that is getting sooo lost in our generation. what does the word "gentleman" mean to you? for me it's the guy that holds the door for you. the guy that has the guts to ask you on a date in person, risking you saying no face to face because your worth the risk. the guy that listens to what your saying. the guy that treats everyone he comes in contact with with respect. the guy that loves God more than you. yes, i said more than you. these are all the things that make "that guy" a gentleman. so while these things may be fading in our world, they aren't gone yet. it's our job to hold up these values- do not settle!!!! but also hold up your end of the bargain, act like a girl worthy of being treated like a princess. okay now don't get confused, every girl is worth being treated like a princess... but what guy is going to want to be "prince charming" to one of Cinderellas evil step sisters, ya know what i'm saying?

6. being neighborly. spread the love man!!! smile at people. give someone a hug who is having a rough day. hold the door. bake some cookies. live as Christ did - to serve others!! 

xoxo, j

oh and also everyone should watch the Brady Bunch, that should never be forgotten... like ever.

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