Refine me.

Ever heard that old saying “If it isn’t one thing, it’s another“?

It is proving so true right now in my spiritual life.

All of a sudden, God is making me so aware of my filthiness.

It used to be that I struggled with a few (haha- bear with me!) “big” areas of sin. Little by little, I removed/let go of these sins taking over my life. I assumed that without these sins overwhelming my heart, mind, and life, I would be “okay”. I would be so much “better”. I wouldn’t be down trodden by sin. I was so wrong!- Now that I have moved on from these things, I am so much more aware of the abundance of my life that is other sin.

Pure, filthy, ugly sin. 

Praise the Lord though that He does not leave us in this helpless state to fend for ourselves!

As I am reminded minute by minute of my constant disobedience to God, the very Lover of my soul, He is refining me. He does not give up. With His bare hands, He continues working on His masterpiece, sculpting with intense purpose.   Ephesians 2:10  For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. 

He sees potential in my mess. He has laid out a plan for my life, far better than any of my plans or wildest dreams. He doesn’t give up on me when I choose Facebook, Instagram, and gossip {#worthlessthings} over time in communion with Him {creator of the Heavens and the Earth}.

Instead, He is maturing me in the midst of the muck.

But far better than that, He has already cleansed me. He forgave/forgives me completely.

I’ll leave you with this- Just listen.

As I have listened to it the past few weeks, I thought Landon sang, “For I am your God, I will still give you away.” haha- go figure! My girly mind goes straight to thinking of a wedding…  I finally googled it today to find the lyrics are actually, “I will still give you aid.”

However, I am choosing to stick with my version. My God is so merciful, He will still “give me away”; He will present me blameless. (Isaiah 41:10 and Phillipians 2:15) I am forever thankful for that grace that washes me clean each and every day.

Blown away by the Lord’s faithfulness to those with little faith,

Updates!

A Quick Workout for Busy Days

Travel days are always busy- even when the “traveling” is only 2 hours worth from Starkville to Memphis.

Wednesday was a busy day that involved finishing all my classes for the semester (woohooo!), completing a project, babysitting, and driving home!  Knowing all that the day held, I pulled myself out of bed and headed downstairs even though it was the perfect stormy morning for sleeping in!

I planned on having eggs like I have the last couple days (trying to get more protein), but I just wasn’t feeling it. My belly wanted carbs… in the form of cinnamon cereal. So I went with it. Alongside my cereal, my new mug I got for my birthday filled with coffee from the keurig, 2% milk, and stevia. Thanks Mom!

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The almonds and strawberries were a pre workout snack

Even in this busy day, I wanted to get a good workout in (without taking too much of the day) and make use of my new running hat 🙂 Thanks M!

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I hit the Sanderson Center after class for this:

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And let me tell you, my heart was pumping! It felt a lot better to ride in the car knowing I had 3 miles done.

Can you find 40 minutes to get your heart pumping? It’s not so bad if you take the Lifetime app with Army Wives on demand 😉

PS: Have you heard of She Reads Truth?! It is daily devotional for women.. I highly suggest you grab a cup of coffee and head on over there today. A new portion is beginning, with the focus on Hosea. It’s too good to miss. I posted a link on my Facebook this morning- I promise it’s so good.

shereadstruth

Overdraft

Saturday morning I woke up and immediately headed to the kitchen to find the waffle iron and get cooking. There is nothing better than fresh waffles on a Saturday morning!

While I cooked, my older brother called (the one who used to add up multiple charges from his debit card and subtract that one sum out of his check register..), and told my mom and I that last night when he looked at his Regions app, we both had negative balances…

I knew it couldn’t be right. I keep up with my credits, debits, deposits, everything on my Regions mobile app.. I had just checked it the day before and everything was fine.

After checking into it further, he was right. A check I wrote in February was just deposited, in April. My lack of writing in my check register came back to bite me! I had, in fact, overdrafted. Ughh- Now I was so frustrated at myself… If I had just written everything down, this would not have happened.

But, I called regions, told them my story and even went on to say, “I know it is really due to my lack of keeping track..” The sweet guy I talked to credited back $18 of the $35 I was charged. I was so glad.. although I did selfishly think that getting the entire $35 back would have been better!

Romans 6:14

For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace.

As I calmed down, I started to think of the grace, although partial, the bank had shown me. It reminded me of the amazing grace God shows us say in and day out.

We “overdraft” our “accounts” every single day.

We are naturally sinners.

But our “bank”, God, credits us back the fee, over and over. 

He doesn’t credit us back partially, but always fully.

He forgives and wipes our slate clean.

via pinterest

via pinterest

I couldn’t be more thankful for our forgiving God, and practical metaphors that show us clearly how he loves us fully and consistently shows us grace.

2 Corinthians 12:9

“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me.

celebrating

I couldn’t have asked for a better afternoon/evening! It somehow happened to include most of my favorites! Mitchell and I got into Collierville around 12:30, spent some time at his grandparent’s, then headed to Booyas with my mom! (My all time fave..!)

After Booyas, we had to hit up Target! I tend to have withdrawals while in Starkville with nothing but Walmart! .. It’s rare lately that my mom and I get to go without being in a hurry so this was so much fun!! Thanks Mom

Once we got home, Marley and I went for a quick run before getting ready & heading downtown.

Majestic Grill & Melting Pot were our destinations for the evening! I enjoyed every minute of it! It was so fun to think back on old memories and laugh- It’s crazy to think we’ve spent TWENTY of my birthdays together! So thankful for my parents, grandparents, bros, and M. It feels so clique to say “blessed”… almost even seems like it needs a hashtag before it- haha!- but truly, I am.

3rd birthday together- love it.

3rd birthday together- love it.

After lots of consideration of just about every item on the menu, I decided on Grilled Salmon with a Honey glaze, Sweet Carrots, and Garlic Mashed Potatoes- combined with a few handfuls of their famous parmesan fries we all shared- perfectly satisfying.photo 2

Me and the boys

Me and the boys

My Dad, My Mom, and I

My Dad, My Mom, and I

Nana, Me, and Poppa

Nana, Me, and Poppa

For dessert, we decided on two mixtures for the table. Bananas Foster (which included white chocolate and cinnamon and smelled phenomenal!) and Flaming Turtle (caramel and chocolate, too!- that actually came to the table flaming!). Our “dippers” included fresh strawberries, bananas, graham cracker covered marshmallows, brownies, cheesecake, and red velvet cake!! YUM. We washed it down with coffee. Just like I adore coffee in the morning, I love to have it after dinner.

The Melting Pot

The Melting Pot

Around here, we crack up at how long birthdays last.. it goes from one day to a weekend to a week to a month! So you probably will hear more about my entrance into the twenties before this is over..

More than ready to hit the hay now & wake up for more relaxin tomorrow.

I hope your weekend is awesome! The days pass slow, but the years go to fast.

Where is your mind set?

This morning, I woke up feeling just kind of BLAH… Not for any particular reason, just out of it sort of. My back aches a lot when I wake up (mild scoliosis + addiction to stomach sleeping)… so that didn’t help.

I reached for my Bible and journal **after checking twitter, facebook, instagram, and email– {nobody’s perfect}. After prayer journaling a bit, I wasn’t feeling into that either. I was praying specifically, “I feel sad for some reason, would You lift my head?”

I decided to open the Word and look up a couple verses Rachel sent this morning.

-Ephesians 6:19

&

-Colossians 3:1-4

which says, “If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.”

via Pinterest

via Pinterest

Ok God, I hear You. My funk is due to where my mind is. Class, back aches, my birthday, and the number on the scale are of this earth. They are worthless compared to the things of your Kingdom.

I think Colossians 3:5 needs to be repeated in my mind throughout everyday:

 Put to death what is earthly in you.

Easier said than done, right? But let’s all do it today, with the help of the one who is above all things. He is even above the tragedy in Boston yesterday. We were surprised/saddened/hurt by it. But to our God, it was no surprise at all. Let’s find peace in that.

Completely unrelated but while you’re here, check this out.

WIAW

This wednesday started like any other, (I’m ignoring the fact that there are only a few of these precious mornings with these girls left) at 929 with Rachel, Lesley, Lauren, and Magan.

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Zambia coffee for me with half & half and Splenda. (Did I mention my speech today was on artificial sweeteners? Oh, the irony.)

After our meeting, I had to finish up my speech. I spent every last available minute typing so breakfast was of the grab and go- drive and eat variety. A handful of dark chocolate almonds & a banana!

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I was so nervous for my speech I waited until it was over to have lunch! McAlisters & Local Culture~ decided a treat was in store!

Choose 2: Turkey Melt on Pita & a cup of Broccoli Cheddar Soup!

Choose 2: Turkey Melt on Pita & a cup of Broccoli Cheddar Soup!

This half white chocolate mousse/half orange sorbet concoction really hit the spot!

This half white chocolate mousse/half orange sorbet concoction really hit the spot!

Dr. Pepper ten between lunch & dinner for… well, just because I enjoy them. It is unusual for me not to have a snack between lunch and dinner, but I think today my late lunch and dessert with lunch helped!

Dinner was Salmon Mitchell made 🙂 with edamame and Annie’s shells & cheese. Easy, yet satisfying and delicious!

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Everything was successfully done oven-less.

The oven has been off limits around hear lately due to this situation. A few to many drippy sweet potatoes lead to some major smoke and need for cleaning!

The oven has been off limits around here lately due to this situation. A few to many drippy sweet potatoes lead to some major smoke, caked on gunk, and need for cleaning!

Somehow avoided the after dinner snacking, too! That is rare.

I am usually the one running around asking if anyone has anything sweet 😉

How was your day?

I know that full well

Lately, I feel easily overwhelmed with certain things. Sometimes, the blog feels that way.. so I just push it off for a rainy day. I was attempting to type my latest post when this whole blog thing started to feel incredibly incomplete.

You see, there’s more to the story than you know. With blogging, it is easy to only share the fun stuff. Unfortunately, this can make the author seem “perfect,” simply because I am more likely to post on good days than to share the not so pretty areas of my life on the world wide web. Today, I want to share something with you that will be hard to write down, to catch you all up. But I think it must be done in order for this to be genuine, to build a trust between us. I am a filthy sinner, with a past. I also think it might be less overwhelming for me if it’s on paper and not just swirling in my head. My memory is spotty, but I think it all started around 13.

I wouldn’t call it bullying, but a few comments in the lunchroom to the tune of “ever heard of the Subway diet?” have affected me more than I realized at the time. It was 6th grade, I was 5’2″ and remember wearing a size 6.. Now I know that is not big. AT ALL. But being bigger than most of the other girls was the worst part of all. The most important thing at that age was fitting in. I didn’t make the dance team my sixth grade year, which didn’t help.

By seventh grade, I had naturally grown up and slimmed out some. I got interested in working out, going to spin classes with one of my best friends and the “baby fat” that stayed way to long dropped off without to much effort.

I don’t know where it began, but I think around 9th grade, I became obsessed with my weight and exercise. Self comparison. Numbers. I honestly don’t even remember this time at all… I’ve just found notebooks covered in weights and calorie counts I didn’t even realize I had been keeping track of for so long. I knew, and still know, calorie amounts of almost everything. It’s like a terrible talent.

I remember eating until I was so overly full I couldn’t think of anything else, throwing up just to relieve some of the guilt. No one knew I struggled. I was never out of a normal weight range, so it was an internal battle… between what I knew deep down was right and I let other people, the media, and modern ideals tell me would make me happy. If I wasn’t 120, I wasn’t perfect.

Baby food diet, Drop10, Weight Watchers, Weigh down workshop, calorie counting, bite counting, all fruit, no carbs, all protein, all liquid, you name it, I’ve tried it. For a few hours at least. I am one of the lucky ones. I was able to avoid the worst. I was never determined enough to take any of these extreme ideas for more than a test drive I quickly got out of. I always drifted back to eating normally until the next great idea came along. My weight really never shifted more than a couple pounds.

This post is more for me than for you. It feels like a weight lifted off my chest to get this craziness out of my head. Maybe, sometime, I can help someone escape the harsh reality of how hard eating and body image can be for girls. It was never a topic that was spoken about in my middle and high school years… yet tons of girls around me were all suffering from the same thing.

I don’t have any explanation for you as to why I’m writing this, other than to give you my full history and to get it out of my head. I should be writing my speech on artificial sweeteners, but here I sit, words flowing from my fingers.
I know there is a reason I’m okay with pushing the publish button.

My God is healer. He has removed me so much from this time of my life that the memories, are just that. 

I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; 

your works are wonderful, I know that full well. 

Psalm 139:14

“Normal”

A sweet friend of mine shared this with me over a year ago, and I want to also share it with you.

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Have a fabulous day- see you soon!

Finding the Fit Bit

Off and on for many years, I have heard about the “FitBit” & loved the idea of what it can accomplish. It is a smll gadget that throughout the day, tracks steps taken (like a pedometer), calories burned, and mileage~ right up this girls alley!

I always assumed it would be overly expensive so I never checked into it. But while we were in Destin last week, we got to talking about Spencer’s mom having one and I got excited to check into it.

The FitBit Zip tracks mileage, calories, and steps for $60 while the FitBit One tracks all of that + sleep for $100! I love the idea of both but decided to go with the Fit Bit Zip for price & I have used the iPhone app– Sleep Cycle to track sleep! It is super cool. You lay your phone in the bed with you and it keeps track of your movement in order to interpret which sleep zones you’re in, how many “REM cycles” etc. Check it out!

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I was so thrilled to start using the Fit Bit last Thursday! It has been better than I even expected. I wear it on my hip from when I wake up until I get in bed each night. It has made me so much more aware of how much I move and how many calories I’m burning.

It is really helping me to get more exercise throughout the day! Pretty often now I’m telling Mitchell, “let’s walk there to get my steps up!” It’s like a competition. The fitbit website gave me the goal of 10,000 steps a day & I love reaching it and even hope to bump that up as more movement becomes a habit in my life!

The last week has looked like this:

Thursday      8,047

Friday            9,822

Saturday       10,882

Sunday           5,641

Monday          8,033

Tuesday        12,425

& today, Wednesday

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for a total of 68,691 steps & 30.25 miles since starting!

One goal I have is to make my days more consistent!

Almost everyday, it has pushed me to take a walk with Marley or drag Mitchell out for a walk to and from campus. 🙂 So that’s something to celebrate! Anything is better than all that couch sitting I had grown accustomed to! Today, I went with Whitney and Max for a 2 mile walk in Sanderson! So fun.