Posts in Living with Purpose
The Purpose of Perseverance

Persevere. This word God has spoken to me more times in this past year than any other. "Be patient. Trust me. Keep going. Don't quit. I've got this." At times I've wondered if I just skip this lesson, will God let me move on to the next one? Maybe the next one will be more to my liking. Maybe it will be less uncomfortable. Maybe it will produce a quicker result. But aren't those thoughts precisely why God is being so thorough with teaching me perseverance?

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Finding Joy in the Mundane

Have you ever read or been told that you’re doing “kingdom work” by taking care of your home and raising your kids? Did you smile and nod outwardly, but inside you were rolling your eyes or laughing? I’ve been there. When you’re right in the thick of it—the messy, noisy, long, repetitive days of motherhood—it’s hard to see the bigger picture. But, finding joy in the mundane may just be the key to unlocking the peace and contentment that you need.

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Failing Forward

As I thought about a theme for the first month of this new year, “productivity” came to mind. January often begins with high hopes and even higher expectations of what we imagine we can accomplish in the next 12 months. I thought about covering topics on bullet journaling (my favourite way to plan and keep my mind organized), on setting priorities and focus, and on how to organize your life to accommodate your highest priorities. While those are all worthy topics of discussion, I felt my heart pull in another direction as my fingers hit the keyboard. I want to first address failure.

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Allowing Time for Play

All work and no play makes everyone a dull boy (or girl). But how can we make time for play when there always seems to be so much work to do? It took me several years into adulthood to figure out that no matter how much work I did on a particular day, there would inevitably be more waiting as soon as the next day started. Whether it’s university papers, dirty dishes or laundry, or take-home work from our day jobs, there will always be something more left to do.

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Living with PurposeAbby
Fear of Being Overwhelmed

Sometimes life can be overwhelming. Like, really overwhelming. You’ve probably had a few times in your life when things just pile up and get crazy. Jobs, kids, moving, big life changes, etc. Things add up! I really don’t know how I am functioning this last half-year and month, and on a day-to-day basis. Between working, planning a wedding, buying a house, selling a house, packing to move, and job-searching, our lives have been so busy we barely have time to sit and think, let alone spend quality or quantity time together. Our time together for the last couple of months, and still between now and the wedding, has pretty much been pre-decided for us by what all needs to get done and when it needs to get done by.

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Fear of Exposure

Some people naturally feel more comfortable around others--we generally call these people "extroverts." We believe that it's a personality thing, something we either have or don't have. But what if feeling comfortable around people has less to do with our outward personality and more to do with our inward beliefs?

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Fear of Missing Out

The fear of missing out, or FOMO as it's referred to online, is a fairly new phenomenon. This fear is often born and sustained by the ever-growing popularity and number of social media channels. Instead of sitting on our couches wondering what our friends are doing, we have a magical, handheld device that can update us on the locations, actions, and thoughts of everyone we care about (or are just plain curious about.) It's pretty amazing, really; but could it actually be harmful? This fear of missing out that causes us to keep our eyes fixed on our phones can cause us to miss out on our own lives. We miss out on the moments that matter most, and this keeps us from experiencing joy and contentment.

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Fear of Forgiveness

I'll never forget the day I experienced the wholeness and completeness of God's forgiveness. It was the morning after a night filled with tears and freshly remembered memories from the past. But despite the pain the night before, all I felt the next morning was a deep sense of peace. God spoke to my heart that day: "You've already forgiven and been forgiven." This new information changed nothing. It was God's personal message of "It is finished" in my own life. There is a power in forgiveness.

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Fear of Differences

In the wake of the Orlando, Florida shooting just over 2 weeks ago and more recently the attacks on Istanbul’s Atatürk international airport, I've had many thoughts running through my head about hate and prejudice... I've also had God take some hard jabs at my own heart and failings as a human being. No, I'm not a terrorist or the person responsible for a mass shooting. But I have not loved the unloveable the way Jesus wants me to. And I have most certainly judged when I should have given grace.

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Fear of Letting Go

I believe that so many of us lose out on the favor and blessing of God because we are not willing to give our whole lives to him. So often we can give our Sunday, but not our Monday to Saturday. We can be generous in one area of our life, yet clench a fist around another. Sometimes we can be so caught up in the world that we are blind to the distance it is taking us from our Father. Too easily, we can make God our Savior, but neglect to make him Lord of our life. Pricilla Shriver said, in one of her sermons I was listening to: “There are over 8000 promises in the bible for us. That are just available to us--our inheritance. But God did not place them in our hands. He placed them in our reach. We have to actively participate in the experience of those promises."

So often we want the life God called us for. We want God's favor and blessing, but we don’t actually want to do the thing that gets us there. We fail to just let go and let God be God.

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Fear of Success

When I wrote about the Fear of Failure for the first part of our Fear Series, I was able to write it from a place of victory. It was something I dealt with primarily when I was in my late teens and early twenties. However, this topic--the fear of success--is one that I'm right in the midst of. It is the current battle within my mind and my heart. But why? Why do I, and many other women, struggle with the fear of success? When we get past our fear of failure and start to see the potential in ourselves and the benefit of trying new things, we often find ourselves staring down a new fear: the fear of success. Just as equally as our fear of failure can keep us paralyzed, so too can the fear of success.

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Fear of Failure

Fear of failure has held women back for far too long. We've based our worth on our ability to achieve perfection (and ultimately avoid failure of any kind) which has led us to lead lives void of risk, exploration, and adventure. We have in turn lessened our joy, undervalued God's faithfulness, and lived half lives. Fear of failure forces us to shy away from the ultimate plan God has for us. But here's the catch: Failure is inevitable. Perfection is unattainable.

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The Vine

Have you ever felt a little nudge from God to change something in your life? Have you ever ignored that nudge? I know I have. For months God was placing it on my heart to get rid of my Facebook account. You know how long I toiled with God over Facebook? Too long to admit. I made excuses over Facebook; I mean, that's laughable. Shortly after taking the plunge, I came across this passage and man, I love how the lord can just bring clarity to your life in an instant.

I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. - John 15;1-4

I love how Jesus is the “true” vine. There can be a lot of imposters in the world, but there is only one True giver of life.

I love how God is the gardener. The gardener has wisdom, the gardener has a view of the whole garden--he knows what's best. The gardener is hands on, invested, working rain or shine, if he feels like it or not…. the gardener remains. The gardener planted the seed, and he has a purpose for that seed.

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A Look at My Bullet Journal

Have you ever thought you hated something until you stumbled across the perfect fit? Like you thought you always hated wearing jeans until you discovered the perfect brand and style that were comfortable and made your butt look amazing. Or you thought you didn’t like avocados (ok, seriously, that can’t be true!) until you tried your friend’s homemade guacamole? That's how I feel about my bullet journal! I was the absolute worst when it came to any type of planner, journal or schedule. My love for stationary would always push me to buy some book or notepad to try because surely this would be the magic pill I needed to finally get my life together. I would even throw in some fun new pens and some sticky notes for good measure. (Did I mention I love stationary?!)

But without fail, it would fall by the wayside.

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God's Timing is Not Our Timing

We all know that God’s timing is not our timing. Or do we? Sometimes we forget, and we try to do things when we want to do them. There are often times when we want to forge ahead with our own plans, but we just can’t seem to make them happen in the time frame that we want to.

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