A Shout of Thanks

A quickie post to thank all of you who visit my site each month! I am incredibly grateful for the faithful followers who enjoy my voice. I truly believe each of you who visit are getting my insights, pieces of heaven, and inspiration to fuel your day. I am working diligently to give you all the gold I have inside. I want you to be truly blessed when you close the window or tab and go about your day.

Stay tuned, as I grow in my craft. Here is what to expect in the months ahead.

  • I’m working on my writing so much so that I can give you an incredibly delicious read. Expect articles that are intellectually stimulating as well as some of the best soul food you will get online.
  • Look for me on other websites. I will post the links where you can find me!
  • More posts about art, music, travel, and life with God.

A special thanks to my Brazilian audience! You guys are the number one reader (aside from my native country) in my stats! Thank you. I am fascinated with your culture and your rich history. It is one of my dreams to visit Bahia, Rio De Janeiro, Sao Paulo, and Iguazu Falls and even take a tour of your Rainforest. Any travel tips?

Thank you again everyone! I appreciate any comments, likes, and shares on your social media accounts! If you want to join in any conversation with me follow me on Twitter and Instagram. I will follow you back! If you haven’t subscribed to follow the blog and you’ve found a heart of inspiration here, do it!

Peace and blessings to you all.

 

Grace At The Homefront

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I’m so blessed by the people that have supported me in my life and have blessed me by God’s grace. I have been sweetly surprised at times. As an introverted person I tend to miss a lot of social and relational cues. The friends who have over the years overlooked my mistakes and give me grace are my most treasured relationships.

For me, it’s not easy being in position to receive His grace. You know what happened when I asked Jesus for more grace? That same week, my car broke down, our dryer stopped working, and I’ve had to get a job. I’m thinking…”So you want me to be a miserable, fussy mess with wet laundry dripping out of the room, and oil splashing all over my garage?” The answer is no. He doesn’t want that. He wants me to depend on Him for His unearned favor.

So I have found grace on the other side of my mess saying cheerfully, “I’ll help.” I am pleasantly surprised at how happy Grace is. She smiles, she blesses, she is calm and understanding. Grace is confident and assured. Grace giggles when she gives. She is everything I am not in a moment of weakness.

So when I ask the Lord, to take away this burden I carry, or even my thorn of missing social and relational cues, he says, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” I can see this Lord, but can I boast?

It’s difficult for me to be on a receiving end of Grace. My mother taught me to be “self-sufficient” and independent. I’ve treasured her teachings because when its time to buckle down and get the work done, I can. I boast in that. But in seasons where my “go-power” is stuck in the mud, I’m learning to work for Grace. I am learning how to boast of what God does, instead of what I can do. That’s tough to do, but seeing Grace work is much more satisfying.

Thank you for Grace. Thank you for your favor.

If you would like to support to me, any amount you can give will be wildly celebrated! Click the link to give: 2016 GoFundMe Campaign.

Trusting God When the Whirlwind Comes

What are you doing God? Why does my life feel like it has been picked up by tornado winds? These thoughts are hard to face if you don’t believe in God’s goodness. My life has felt like tornado season. But instead of becoming scared, I choose to trust in God’s goodness and grace.

I have made it a goal and aspiration this year to push through my limiting beliefs and failures of the past in order to move ahead with the Lord and his promise of blessing. It’s not easy looking back, and it’s not easy looking ahead. Let me tell you why.

When I look back I have to face my failed relationships and failed hopes and dreams that I have left by the wayside. I have to face the belief (the lie) that I can do things on my own. I face the pride that had left many of my friends wishing for more of an authentic relationship. I have to see the girl whose ears just weren’t open to the small cry for connection and reality (not even for herself).

When I look forward, I am faced with uncertainty. I know I’m needing to dig deeper within and continue to ask God into places that my heart is not ready to open. But I’m convinced at this point its necessary to live into the promises he has for me. Looking forward is hard because change is hard, and that is what is coming. I am positive, hopeful, and even excited but learning to trust God when I really can’t see anything ahead is equivalent to walking a high wire for me.

I want to walk into the promises of God, but realize I come from a path of broken relationships, pride, narcissism, and such a passionate spirit I’ve likened it to a firebird that every now and then I self-destruct. I’ve also likened myself to the Hulk at times, not so incredible if I’m really trusting God. Can you imagine a Christian Hulk in a fit of rage? “I AM TRUSTING GOD>>>>AAARGH.” Now that is just ridiculous.

So here I am in the whirlwind of change. I struggle. I am not perfect. I nearly always miss the social cues for gracious connection. And now, I’m being tested in this: Grace, Faith, and living for and in Christ.

Moving toward grace: Today is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it (Ps. 118:24). With delicate sensitivities and a heart that trusts in him, I reach for the hand that can save (Zeph. 3:17), the thoughts that are not my thoughts, and the ways that are higher than my ways (Is. 55:8). I don’t understand what is going on. I won’t know the outcome until some future day. But I know my maker has a plan for my life (Jer. 29:11) and his grace is sufficient for this day (2 Cor. 12:9).

 

I NEED TO DRINK MORE WATER!

fontcandy-7I have a confession on my water drinking habit. I don’t have one. Really, the idea of drinking water got lost in my coffee addiction. Coffee is just “water dressed in black,” right? All I drink throughout my day is coffee, and… I have a strong inkling that I should change that. At least mix up my daily beverage with a little sip of water water here and there!fontcandy-8

No, this is not a new years resolution. This is not a wake up call. I don’t know maybe it’s just my instincts telling me I’m going to die soon if I don’t drink water all day. My body may be telling me that I may develop a strange disease from all of the chemicals Starbucks soaks their beans in thank you, Time for Natural Health Care writer, for all the wonderful life changing facts you gave us. Is there a hidden agenda to sabotage the Great Starbucks here? I’m from Seattle, so nothing you say can change my loyalties! Starbucks for life…or until death do us part!

I desperately need to drink more water throughout the day though. I thought I’d post this just in case, there’s anybody else who rebelliously sips everything but water. Are you in need of that God given life source called water? Side comment and possible rabbit trail: It’s funny how other countries don’t have water like we do. And here we are avoiding it like its the plague! On the other side of our spectrum: We get so crazy over the water in the USA. fontcandy-10We want sparkling water, flavored water, water with lemon, purified water, distilled water, “Water from heaven ONLY, please.”

Here I am trying to bring myself to acceptance that it is not the plague. I am just really trying to drink any water.  When I forget, I find myself in a dehydrated frenzy chugging it anywhere I find it! I’ll pick up an abandoned glass on the counter, coyly look around to see if anyone is jumping out of there seats. And just go for it. Gulp! Sometimes at the end of the day, I’ll drink the water on my nightstand that has been sitting there for days (because I planned to drink it but never did) and I’m SO DANG THIRSTY!  I’m like an elephant trampling over my kids to get to the water hole before they do! (One minor detail: It’s the water I gave to them to drink!)fontcandy-11

So, to avoid that scene, I created a water checklist to laminate (to reuse) and stick on my fridge. CHECK OUT MY FREEBIES PAGE FOR THE PDF!!! It is a reminder and check off list for all the glasses of water I need to drink for the week. Download the pdf HERE.

Are you curious about how many glasses of water you need to drink? I’ve heard it is 8-10 glasses a day -about 64 ounces of water. Or it can be half your body weight. I’ve seen people carrying around the gallons of water…not my thing. Plus, keep in mind one gallon is 128 ounces. The gallon option could work for you if you want to look like a diehard water drinker! You’re so hardcore!

If you don’t like the water taste, coconut water is amazing! And it is full of electrolytes your body needs in order to function right. Okay, cheers! Remember to download the free checklist!

Best to all my rebellious water drinkers…I pray that water will win our hearts and we can leave the stampeding to the waterhole up to the elephants.

Mama, You’re Doing Better Than You Think

As I read Psalm 32 this morning, I was filled with the confidence that I am doing a good job. I am far from perfect and make mistakes everyday from moment to moment. But I seem to have somethings right; I always want to obey the Lord, I confess (more and more) when I am wrong, and I trust the Lord.

At the end of Psalm 32 it reads, “Many sorrows come to the wicked, but unfailing love surrounds those who trust in the Lord.  So rejoice in the Lord and be glad, all you who obey him! Shout for joy, all you whose hearts are pure.”

It’s easy for mothers to feel like they’ve failed. That overwhelming sense of defeat and failure comes in and pricks our minds just enough to cause our countenance to drop and our hope to wane. But God doesn’t want us to live in defeat. His desire is for us to know and live in his unfailing love. So today here is a word of encouragement.

Today, don’t let the lie of failure stop you from doing what is right and honorable before the Lord. Don’t let the enemy steal your joy and the love you have for your family. ACTION: Write a list of good things that you do everyday for your children, then find scriptures that reflect your patterns. And rejoice! If you follow the Lord, and desire to do things his way you are doing better than you think! If you read the Word, confess before him, and if you trust the Lord to perfect your lives, then your example is successful. His unfailing love will surround you and your family. There is no better witness to the great high God for your children, than a mom who trusts and obeys him.

Godliness with Contentment is Great Gain

“Yet true godliness with contentment is itself great wealth.”                 1 Timothy 6:6

No matter what we do this year, if we learn godliness with contentment, we will cultivate great wealth. How many of us grumble while looking at wealthy or successful people? How many of us complain about what we lack? Even as Christians do we have the habit of cultivating a bitter or overwhelmed heart by our lack mentality or discontentment? Are our habits making us poor in the Lord?

If you have $1 in your bank account and food in your fridge you are more wealthy (resource wise) than most of the rest of the world. If you graduated high school, have a college degree, can read, have a good job and are not in any position of having to lie, cheat, or steal, you are fairly wealthy I’d say. But when we let bad decisions and circumstances steal away our happiness, we lose quite a bit of that wealth.

Below are five ways to be wealthy in spirit by growing in your contentment and godliness.

1) Read the Bible and do what it says. It’s not easy and there are stumbles along the way. But straight and narrow is the path that leads to life (true wealth). When you fall, get back up and keep going towards the high standards you read about in the Word. When you doubt, cling to that promise he has given you until it happens! It takes courage to believe and obey His word.
2) Give thanks. Giving thanks and showing an appreciative heart communicates to God that you enjoy blessings no matter how great or small or how they come. Be open to receiving whatever the beautiful moment can bring. Having a grateful heart and seeing the value in everything is a gift. But you know what? It can certainly be developed and cultivated too.
3) Seek understanding. Between not having and having too much there is a lot of emotion. When you seek understanding, you add wisdom and knowledge to your experience. You are able to counterbalance the emotional polarity of lack and abundance with understanding. Therefore, bouncing back to this state of knowing what you have is okay for right now, there could be a lot less, and there will be room for more.
4) Shake the bad habits and beliefs. To have any form of godliness one must have faith and discipline. Faith to believe God’s promises and discipline to walk worthy of receiving those promises. When cultivating godliness and contentment, you have to check for open doors and windows. Is there a “spiritual draft”? God wants to pour his blessing in. And those open doors and windows is how we miss the blessing of the Lord. Walk worthy, notice the changing currents, God is always blessing. We just have the doors and windows open. Faith says, “I believe in God’s promises. They are on their way, on their way, on their way.” Discipline says , “I’m shutting those dang windows, I want those blessings for real!”
5) Stay focused on Jesus. We get distracted and lured into wanting what we don’t need and what isn’t necessarily good for us. All we really need is Jesus. In every moment, it is him we are really lacking. But where are our eyes? Its on what we don’t have most of the time when we find our selves discontent. When we realize we have Jesus, we have it ALL.

Blessings!

Elle

 

Be The Change Devotional Week 43: Be Clear

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To be clear is to know without a shadow of a doubt you are on and will continue upon the best path for your life. Although, the shrubs, trees, vines, and shadows of this earth engulf your physical existence. You go forward into the unknown with one thought, one purpose, and one power without distraction. It is clear what you came here to do.

Everyday we have “voices” of insecurities, our dreams, our fears, our accomplishments, voices of friends, family, spouses, or just social buzz which are quite loud. We pay attention to these things, we absorb them. And without even noticing the impersonal and often irrational effect upon us, they destroy our clarity.

I noticed the noise a couple of years ago. Being a mother of two young toddlers it is next to impossible to think one thought through from beginning to end during waking hours. I love every minute of being alive and my boys, but I found my focus slipping away into the chaos of life.

I soon rediscovered the importance of clarity. Being clear drives your actions. Being clear gives you confidence. Clarity is a key quality of powerful leadership. Being clear lessens the possibility of error and failure.

I want to have the mental ability to stay focused. This week I will clear the vines, the bushes, and the trees that distract and block my vision, and stay clear on the path that is best for me. I want to press on with confidence, power, and resolute actions that brings about successful leadership.

We weren’t created to be the sounding board of worldly noise. There is a still small voice and a stirring within that instructs us along the best pathway for our lives. The one clear voice which brings us back to the heart of the matter. Are we living authentically? Is our vision clear?

How about you? What do you want? Do you know how to get it? Are you distracted by the chaos of life? Do you need clarity? What is your thing?

This week get clear. Week 42 will provide opportunities and people that will open your mind and bring clarity to your purpose. From the little things to bigger events and decisions, becoming clear is what you need this week. Sometimes it will appear as a negative chaotic thing, or perhaps a closed door. Try seeing it as good! The more doors close, the more clear you can get. See it as an opportunity to rethink, repurpose, and stay the course of your ultimate life! It’s amazing how things start opening up and lining up when you are clear.

Be open. Be positive. Be proactive.

BE CLEAR.

Discover the good life with me! Follow Grace For Elle?

What Will You Make of 2016?

 

fontcandy-5The New Year is right around the corner and of course we all anticipate it with great joy. It’s like we can put 2015 to rest and say to ourselves, “Ah, thank god, a new one is starting!” So what will you make of 2016?

I have been searching for inspirational people on Instagram to follow and I found one! She had a great booklet for sale all about achieving goals for 2016. I thought, I’m on my way to sure achievement! I went to buy it tonight…sold out! Here’s to 2016; I should quit while I’m ahead.

The point is this: To make 2016 a year of accomplishment and great achievement I don’t need flashy new journals with cool stickers (although, I would’ve LOVED to have one). No one needs more stuff, really. IMG_8534They need a clear mind, a dedicated heart, and a will to take action. The rest of the details will work themselves out. But here it a smidge of direction and reminders for starting off right in 2016:

A clear mind: Having a clear mind will keep you focused on the goal and the need at hand. Setting Daily, Weekly, and Monthly goals will propel you into achieving what you set out to do.

A dedicated heart: A dedicated heart will pursue a cause. She will educate herself, study the task and subject, make choices based on knowledge, not feeling. A dedicated heart knows the why, and a clear mind will keep it in focus.

A will to take action: The will for action is one who will choose to be an inspired participant rather than a lazy observer. Once she knows what to do, she will jump in. Anyone can watch someone else do the hard work, then come along when the doing is done.

IMG_8535With that said, I am setting out to have a clear mind, a dedicated heart, and the will to do what I say I will do. I’ll let you in on one.

I want measurable achievement/success. For years, I’ve always measured my success on whether I find myself content. But for 2016, I’m desiring something tangible. A tangible reflection of all that contentment and joy I live within. Whatever that may be has yet to be determined…or kept secret!

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My inner ninja…get it!

I understand that the true treasure is within. But if I really want to impact the world and I DO, I’ll have to step it up and work hard at achieving some measurable progress: Making a salable product?

How about you? How will you go about in this New Year? Do you have any spectacular goals or dreams? Leave them in the comments!!! I’d love to hear about them! And pray for you to achieve them this year!

Be The Change Devotional Week 42: Be Enthusiastic

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Listen to these quotes about enthusiasm! They are so good I couldn’t hold them back from you!

“Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

“If you have zest and enthusiasm, you attract zest and enthusiasm. Life does give back in kind.” Norman Vincent Peale

And my favorite, “Enthusiasm is that secret and harmonious spirit which hovers over the production of genius.” Isaac D’Israeli

In the original greek the word enthusiastic or “enthous” means to be possessed by a god. If you were to look up the definition today the dictionary would give you a basic understanding of the word: “Having or showing intense and eager enjoyment, interest, or approval.”(Google Search definition).

Aren’t we like fish sometimes? We see a shiny light, trance-like state ensues….”Go toward the light…just go toward the twinkles!” Let this analogy demonstrate how three possible ways of how we lose our enthusiasm.

  1. Many hooks, and no goods. We see it sparkling and shiny. And as we believe, we aspire to great things enthusiastically. And if it proves to be nothing we are let down. And so we stop believing that God could actually be apart of every moment.
  2. Life begins out of the waters of familiarity. Like fish who jump up to grab the bait they immediately swim back down holding tight to their treasure. Finding their comfort in the familiar, they do not venture beyond the surface. They only want the trinket, not the transformation. Am I speaking to any of my readers on this one?
  3. Fear of being “hooked.” Fish are afraid of being hooked. Afraid of the unknown. What would they become as a fish out of water? Their whole world would be turned upside down. Its possible they could grow wings and fly. They could have a new way of life if they were unafraid.

Week 42 is about becoming enthusiastic! If something seems magical and wonderful, indulge it! It could be that secret and harmonious spirit which hovers over your brainchild or genius work! When dealing with disappointments, understand God works all things for good. Your moment can be filled with god if you let it. The enthusiastic person sees opportunity in every moment (yes, even the “bad” moments). Pray that God will reveal it to you and fill you with intense interest, desire, and satisfaction for your life and those around you.

Develop a taste for enthusiasm! Don’t just be satisfied with one little bite and swim back into your world. Get outside of your world and create enthusiastic moments beyond what you know. You will find troves of treasures in every day moments.

And who knows? You may just find yourself with a whole new life. Could that be so good? Being enthusiastic is magnetic. Get outside the waters of familiarity, talk to different people. Are they holding something sparkly? Love it. Talk about it. What makes them light up?

Be unassuming, be interested, be intense, be fascinated. Share your joy, share you happy, share your smile, share god with someone.

BE ENTHUSIASTIC.

Love you guys, thank you for reading.

Discover the Good Life with me? Follow Grace For Elle.