First of all, It's All Under Control is an amazing book!
Because it is so good, I would love to get a virtual group together for @dukeslee challenge next month! Message me if you're interested! It will be so fun but also something so many of us need!
Whose word stands, God's or ours?
Let us remember exactly WHO HE IS.
"Again and again I sent My servants the prophets, who said, 'Do not do this detestable thing I hate!' But they did not listen or pay attention; they did not turn from their wickedness or stop burning incense to other gods." 44:4-5
Why choose to be an object of reproach when God has called us to be His remnant? 44:7-8
The people were trying to make a decision about if they should go to Egypt (flee) or stay. They asked Jeremiah to pray on their behalf and ask God. They told Jeremiah they would do whatever God told them to.
42:7 tells us it took ten days of waiting for the word of the Lord to come to Jeremiah. This is what God said,
"If you stay in this land, I will build you up and not tear you down, I will plant you and not uproot you, for I have relented concerning the disaster I have inflicted on you. Do not be afraid of the king of Babylon, whom you now fear. Do not be afraid of him, declares the Lord, for I am with you and will save you and deliver you from his hands. I will show you compassion so that he will have compassion on you and restore your land." 42:10-12
But they wanted comfort. They wanted to make their own peace so they continued on, leaving and disobeying God once again.
When we seek answers we need to understand some things:
- sometimes it takes longer than we want but there is always a greater reason.
- God's word is ALWAYS right even if the answer makes us uncomfortable.
- true peace that comes from Him is worth pushing past our comfort zones.
His peace PASSES all understanding. In other words no understanding can top it!
Pray and seek Him for answers and then when He gives it to you, DO NOT DELAY! Go and do it just as He says.
He is FOR you!
He is WITH you!
He is all about LIFE.
So tell me, whom shall I fear? What answer shall I dread from His lips - only after my disobedience. So let us be obedient even when it's uncomfortable. Even when it costs us something. Even when it doesn't make "sense".
Fleeing made more sense but God was specific. He told them to stay.
Let yourself be uncomfortable if that is what it takes to do His will. His peace is worth it!
In my secret life as a #TraderJoes florist, these three are always and forever my favorite combination. That has nothing to do with the rest of this post, but just so you know. •
Friends, this month has been ridiculous so far. I’m on my second round of antibiotics and my third bottle of Wellness Formula, and after weeks of wondering how in the world a sickness could last this long, I’m finally feeling like a regular human being again. •
In the waiting, I’ve spent some time rereading old prayer journals and having honest conversations with the Lord. I have been laughing at chapters that have long since closed, aching in desires that feel as fresh as they did three years ago, and marveling in wonder at the God who orchestrates a thousand timelines at once. •
As much as I’ve disliked these last few weeks, they brought me a reminder I needed in my core: •
From Noah, Abraham, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, David, the Israelites, the whole world, and Jesus, right down to you and me— Waiting has always been best practice for a soul.
The 2 most important questions I am asking right now are:
1. What is God saying?
2. How am I responding to it?
Hear and obey. I can’t get away from it and I absolutely don’t want to.
I want all that You want Lord. More so, I want You.
We knew what to expect.⠀
We had been trained and prepared for this moment.⠀
But expectation pales next to reality, and we quickly realized that no amount of preparation could’ve readied us for this experience.⠀
For the lavish hotels surrounded by rampant poverty.⠀
For the beautiful humans trapped in bonded slavery.⠀
For the horrors of human trafficking.⠀
For the broken women clutching babies tightly to their chests, beating on our van window, begging for money.⠀
We gave—but it wasn’t enough.⠀
We spent time at @ijm learning and praying—but we felt small.⠀
We played and laughed with the sweet girls in our orphanage—but we wanted to do more.⠀
There is amazing work happening in this beautiful yet hurting country. God is mighty and moving.⠀
Do you want to be part of it?⠀
Partner in prayer with me. ⠀
And check out @starlingbox , a beautiful new mission to support survivors of human trafficking and at risk individuals.
You picked up all my pieces, put me back together
You are the defender of my heart
And all I did was praise
And all I did was worship
And all I did was bow down
And all I did was stay still
And hallelujah, you have saved me
So much better your way
Defender — Rita Springer
The pressure of trying to make things happen is off! 🙌
Our greatest call is to know God more.
“The One who calls you is faithful, and He will do it” (1 Thess 5:24).
➕Tag & encourage a friend with this truth.❤️
“The truest form of beauty has nothing to do with what makeup you wear or your jean size. It has nothing to do with how you may look but everything to do with how you think, act, and love others.
The truest form of beauty is how you care when a friend comes to you with a problem. Your truest form of beauty shows when you genuinely accept others and love them for who they are. Your truest beauty shines when you offer a compliment to a stranger.
Your beauty comes from living your life the way Jesus lived His.”
We are appreciating these words by @coleloves! If you haven’t read her post yet, take a few minutes to do so today. It will rattle your soul.
What’s so crazy is I wasn’t expecting to post more than once today.
My goal is to post something motivating and/or uplifting (normally something shown to me) and then go about my day.
Normally, I go to work with the most feigned attempt to try to have a good day and then I blow up like 1 Corinthians 10 where Moses got so angry, he lost God’s promise to him. He let himself get so mad he lost everything. I get mad like that and I lose friendships and acquaintances at work.
At work, I’m frustrated because on certain days, the person in charge of me takes advantage of their position. They slack off and disappear when we need them and it seems no one but those of us struggling to hold the line together understands the detriment of a lazy leader. They have the higher ups fooled while he fails to do his job properly.
My coworkers and I are much like the Israelites complaining in the desert but no matter what we say it seems like it falls on deaf ears.
I think what bothers me the most is I used to have his position and I lost it. Because I wasn’t where I should’ve been. That’s what I was told, I need more training. I need more time. But no one was giving me that training. And then I move stores as a regular employee. Getting paid the least I’ve ever been paid (because even when I got paid less I had more hours that made up for it). I’m doing more work with no recognition. I’m doing more than I’m getting paid for, everyone who’s talked to me gets paid more than me and I’m fed up. So I explode.
Ultimately, like Moses, my heart isn’t in the right place there. I feel my higher ups can see that, they can feel that. So I’m always going to get passed up, there are people I believe don’t deserve that position more than me that will get it because my heart is in the wrong place. I’m centered around me, money, and “ after all that I’ve done for you!?” I’ve learned, it’s not about me. I like to make it about me and it is not about me. It’s not about what I’m good at or what I’m not good at. It’s about who God is. It’s about trusting God enough to be who He calls you to be.
What bag or purse are you carrying right now? Right now, I'm obessed with all things Vera Bradley. This gorgeous bag is actually an overnight bag, but it's the perfect size to pack up my office and take it with me on the go! I'm sharing my favorite work essentials and what I use to run my online businesses over on the blog. ⭐ @verabradley #verabradley#bagaholic
One of our favorite topics is trauma.
What is trauma? An event, an experience or relationship that was so life threatening or over-powering it caused you to STOP.
TRAUMA is a wound to your brain, your heart, your spirit, your body, your soul, your relationships. It breaks you and often leaves you paralyzed to help yourself. But Jesus came for the trauma survivor!
Where did you stop?
“I will never leave you nor forsake you”
The Lord went before them by day in a pillar of cloud, to lead them onto their way, and by night in a pillar of fire, to give them light, that they may go by day and by night:
The pillar of cloud by day, and the pillar of fire by night, didn’t depart from before the people.
My niece is the most precious 2 year old, ever. (But I may be just a little biased.) When she was a baby, even just a month old, she liked to be in someone’s arms or just close enough to feel your body heat. When she was not that close she would panic and cry out, even to this day.
If she wakes up and does not feel body heat or see someone, she begins to cry out for who she knows is always there, “Mommy, Uncle, Auntie, come!!” It is simultaneously adorable and heart breaking.
I’ve been praying she wakes feeling God’s warmth presence instead of emptiness.
The point I’m trying to make is that she cries out when she feels cold, alone and abandoned and is calmed back to sleep knowing you’re there. Your presence alone is enough to console her soul.
Sometimes, the fog of sleep takes over us and we forget that if we just open our eyes, when we’re afraid, God is right there.
The pillar of cloud or the pillar of fire is right in front of us, always guiding like GPS, when we make a wrong turn, God is ready to redirect our route to the correct destination - His love.
If we feel abandoned, stranded and left behind, all we need to do, like my niece, is cry out and He will reveal his perfect peace to you.
Hebrews 11:6 says, “And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.” Your Father adores you! Trust His heart and seek His face and He will reward your desire to draw near ♥️
Found myself the other day complaining and giving up on something before I even tried. In my head I was overwhelmed and going through all the ways this couldn’t work. So I ran to scripture. And after I was like that was good Lord, but...... I still feel like XYZ. 🤷🏾♀️
And then a moment later my daughter comes running to me, crying about how she needs me to do something for her that she hasn’t even attempted to do. Annoyed, I found these words escape my mouth - “You can’t give up before you even try!” And I swallowed them real good. Got myself up, started laughing at God and did the thing I was cringing about doing 😂. 🙌🏾⠀
Don’t get stuck in giving up before you even try. Don’t sit in the “this isn’t going to work, why bother” mentality - because it can have you missing out before you’ve even given it a shot! Just try! Do the thing and don’t let fear or being uncomfortable in new things or new places rob anything from you! You can at the very least - TRY 😉❤️
FEELINGS. They aren’t evil and they aren’t from the enemy, regardless of what you’ve heard. God created us and He created emotions within us.
Every time we feel what we feel... we can ALWAYS take it back to God’s word to find the truth about what we are feeling, and we can understand more about how we’re feeling.
If it’s sadness, we can go to Gods word and see that we may be sad now, but joy will come again. And God instructs us on which way to go to get that. Also, did you know there’s such a thing as righteous anger? And fear - God created that for us as a survival response in situations where we are threatened.
We will feel what we feel. But we must remember 3 important things:
1 - NEVER act on what we are feeling in the moment of the negative emotion. Meaning, don’t make big decisions or react to others in those moments of emotion. Take the time to get quiet with God.
2 - REMEMBER, despite what we may think, we don’t know it all! In fact, we don’t know much. 😁 I’ve said for over 15 years now - the more I learn, the most I learn I DON’T KNOW.
3 - LAST - the Bible is ALWAYS right. Always. Always. (As a Christian this is the belief that I have that I am sharing to other Christians who believe the Bible as truth.🌷).
“Sharper than any double-edged sword." A sword with two edges has no blunt side; it cuts both this way and that. The Word of God is edge all over. It is alive in every part, and in every part keen to cut the conscience and wound the heart. Depend on it: not a verse in the Bible is superfluous or a chapter that is useless” - Charles Haddon Spurgeon
This is real life, people.
Do I read my Bible every day? Yes!
Does it often look like this? Yup.
Does it bother God that I have cartoons on in the background and my child keeps interrupting me to say hi? I don’t think so.
Let me explain what you see here. I’ve lived in fear. Had a full street address and was getting mail there too. Big ole house with tons of rooms. I would do stuff out of fear. And I wouldn’t do stuff because of fear. I’d silence myself and bury my feelings and ideas away out of sheer fear. Fear of rejection. Fear of failure. Fear of comparison. Fear of success. Fear of being different and fear of being the same. Just scared. Yesterday, I did something that wasn’t motivated by fear. I got plants. I was so scared to get them because I was afraid I’d kill them. I was afraid that people would think I was weird. I was afraid of people thinking I was trying to be like someone else, trying to overcompensate for my hidden identity. But I broke the prison. I remembered that as a girl, I loved to garden. I always wanted a huge garden when I grew up, but fear squelched that and I let it die. But in spite of all my fears, I got some plants. Maybe I will kill them. Maybe people will think I’m weird. Maybe people will think I’m trying to be like someone else or be trendy. That’s all fine and dandy. I’m just gonna enjoy this step into freedom. *Sings @jennjohnson20 We step into freedom. We step into all you have for us.*
Engineering the World: You have the opportunity to create your world—DREAM big for your future. ***This is what will be written on the board to go with today’s lessons. As I sat in some of Mr. Adam’s math and engineering classes yesterday I was so inspired by his story. His main goal was to inspire his students to work hard and achieve anything—Y’all, he was inspiring me! Isn’t this what our students really need today...to be first encouraged and then equipped and empowered for their future? To know someone believes in them. PS...this is your world too and it’s never too late to dream—and God believes in you. 💛 #alwaysateacher
Anxious or stressed? One thing that I’ve found that works for ME is creating and committing to a morning routine☀️
Working 12 hour shifts used to be my excuse to NOT do this, but now it’s my REASON! After waking up 45-60 mins earlier than I usually do for the past 6 weeks I really don’t know how I was keeping up with everything before. My mornings now are my quiet time to think, breathe, decompress, enjoy the stillness, & listen to God and what he says about me and for me.
My mornings used to be so rushed, crazy, dragging, running around, making sure things got done & half-assing my workout. ➡️ NOW I have the time to sit, drink my magical liquid sunshine which helps get me going, read a chapter in my personal development book of choice, work out and NOT rush it or only complete half of it, spend extra time with Cody, not rush to make his lunch & see him for a bit longer before he leaves for work💕
It may be daunting at first, but your body will eventually crave the routine and the CALM that these early mornings can bring💙
“I confessed all my sins to you and stopped trying to hide my guilt...And you forgave me! All my guilt is gone.” ~Psalm 32:5
Confession is good for the soul. He already knows what I’ve done and has forgiven, yet there is much peace and relief in admitting my sin and turning from it.
Pulling back the curtain to reveal some beautiful, open windows: you guys will slowly learn that I love to talk in metaphor, and my photography is no exception.
This week, I was challenged in my mastermind group to push deeper into serving my people. I’ll be real with you: social media is such an easy rabbit hole to fall down when it comes to counting numbers. Likes, comments, followers: it’s all a just a tiny piece of the puzzle, but I let it feel like everything.
Know why? Because often, when I post, I’m thinking about me. About how well MY words and MY images are appreciated. Not about YOU and whether or not I added value to YOUR day.
Now I hope I DO add value to your day, and it’s definitely something I strive for, but if I’m being honest with myself, it’s also something I forget to make my first priority.
That’s a tough truth to swallow, and it’s even tougher to share it with you. But I’m doing it because I want to pull back the curtain; I want to climb out of that open window. I want the freedom that honesty brings for the sake of the new opportunities it will unfold. ⠀⠀
Put differently, I want to serve you. And I believe the best way to do that is by getting a little uncomfortable about some truths that need to be said. This is just the beginning, but I hope it helps you see that we are all subject to a little forgetful vanity from time to time, and it doesn’t make us horrible, but it is a chance to grow.
I want you to know that your numbers do not define your value. Your purpose is not dictated by your followers. And you should not be afraid to show up on this platform, again and again, in a raw, authentic way. Because you have a right to occupy your space, and there will always be room for you to show up.
#childreninthesupernatural “When you’re sad, you take the heart of the lion and you walk to Jesus on the throne and ask Jesus to hug you. Then you won’t be sad anymore.” - Joy, 4-going-on-5 years old
We learn some deep truths from the little ones. To have the purity of a child + the wisdom of a king.
P.S. Some people have been asking if Joy is our daughter - she’s not! She is the daughter of our 2 of our @antiochacademy students. Alex & I invest a lot of our time into this young life because we see so much potential in her... and also because she’s just so cute and enjoyable 😊♥️
"If you are struggling today, with your assignment, whether you feel pulled in too many directions or exhausted because it's not the "ideal situation" that it seems everyone else has, don't jump ship too quickly. Instead of feeling discontent in a complicated circumstance, seek his face." - Somer Phoebus
Such truth to this. You know, being an entrepreneur can be hard. It’s not easy. Sometimes you are pulled in a thousand directions and sometimes you are exhausted....but when you lean in and allow God to direct your path...when you ask Him what he wants out of this crazy journey, that’s when magic happens. That’s when HE shows up.
My prayer for my team, and anyone who joins me is that they seek HIS face and allow HIM to work through them. This mission isn’t about us...it’s too big for us...the mission is to allow God to use us in a way that truly changes others lives. This mission is amazing, the mission to help other mamas work on themselves and not feel stuck, frustrated, alone. To find peace in their heart, mind, and health. Wow. Amazingly powerful right? If your interested in what this really looks like and how you can be apart of it, I’d love to chat!!
Habakkuk (like Jeremiah) also lived during the Babylonian attack on Judah.
He voiced his frustrations and questions to God. And God answered him, "Look at the nations and watch - and be utterly amazed. For I am going to do something in your days that you would not believe, even if you were told." 1:5
Habakkuk then has a second complaint. God tells him to write down the revelation and "make it plain on tablets so that a herald (or whoever reads it) may run with it." 2:2
God's message is ALWAYS CLEAR. It is our job to listen. Habakkuk was tasked with writing it down for the people. So they could hear what God wanted them to know.
- "the righteous person will LIVE by His faithfulness" 2:4
- "for the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord as the waters cover the sea." 2:14
- "of what value is an idol carved by a craftsman or an image that teaches lies?... there is no breath in it." 2:18-19
Habakkuk's prayer in chapter 3 ends with this, "YET I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior. The Soverign Lord is my strength; He makes my feet like the feet of a deer, He enables me to tread on heights." 3:18-19
When God asks us to do something may we do it. May we write it down. May we spread the Gospel! May we live intentionally. May we do ALL He has said.
May we walk personally with Him.
May we recognize Him as our true strength! He enables us to do all He has asked.
Let us be obedient.
No matter how different our lives look, you and I are both navigating the tension of what still isn’t. Sometimes we’re able to handle it fairly well, but other times we’re about to crumble under the uncertainty of when, if, or how.
I recently posted a blog sharing a few thoughts about what to do while we wait for what we’re hoping, believing, and trusting God to do. It’s full of the things I remind myself to do as often as possible because they help keep me in that thankful place.
To read them, click the link in my profile.
Also I’d love to hear what you do — what actually helps you live in the present even as you’re waiting for what hasn’t happened yet?
Grilled chicken and pizza zoodles for tonight’s pharm dinner 💚
I may or may not have had to re-heat this twice, talk to multiple patients, fill scripts and answer the phone but you know what — I made and ATE a damn healthy meal and ate it quickly. I didn’t skip a meal and didn’t eat candy for dinner. I’ll count that as a win for #retailpharmacy problems 😉👊🏼
Do you struggle with nutrition like I did!? It’s always a process and a journey, and absolutely NOT a quick fix. It takes time and little by little changes happen! One day you’ll look back at the changes you’ve made and you’ll see amazing progress in the process and be PROUD of how far you’ve come!!!🙌🏼🙌🏼
The nutrition program that I’m STILL consistently following which is more of a LIFESTYLE change than a program is on sale this month!! I’d love to get you more info and answer any questions on how I’ve lost over 25lbs and consistently kept it off since May!! 👏🏼 send me a DM // email // or 👍🏼 below!!
I love patchwork quilts, especially those whose patches are made of meaningful fabrics that become family heirlooms. The seamstress takes special care as each piece is carefully stitched together. Often, I think about how God takes what we find most important and carefully weaves those together. As my patchwork quilt has been sewn together by the Ultimate Creator, it is through those threads that I am held together and the pieces of what make me uniquely, Nicole DeAnn Lawrence, are forever laced into one beautifully imperfect life. This was the inspiration behind my blog. I have prayed and labored over this in hopes that it is a place where people can come and draw inspiration, encouragement, strength, and maybe even a few laughs. Some of my patches are worn and tattered, some bold, some muted, some still in progress, but it’s those threads that hold me together – faith, family, and fun. I truly love each of you whom come and read my words, divinely inspired and crafted with so much love! “that their hearts may be encouraged, being knit together in love, to reach all the riches of full assurance of understanding and the knowledge of God's mystery, which is Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.”
Colossians 2:2-3 ESV
Link in my profile!
In order to turn your dream into a reality you must apply ACTION!
Often times we become overwhelmed with the amount of action it will take to see our dreams come true. For those of you that are finding it hard to get started...
Start by spending just 5 minutes a day working towards your dream, for one week. The next week spend 10 minutes per day.
When forming a new habit, initially it’s not about the result you seek, but it’s about creating a new mindset to be to achieve your desired result.
We snapped this shot right after things didn’t go as I planned.⠀
But you know? Once I fixed my attitude, the alternative was just as good.⠀
The first thing I learned once I got married was how much I desire control.⠀
The second thing I learned was how to relinquish it. ⠀
And I’m still learning. Still trusting. And still being humbled.⠀
Do you struggle with needing control in this life like I do?