Happy Thanksgiving Fam:)

Dear Friends, from my house to yours, I hope you enjoy a beautiful thanksgiving everywhere you find yourself.

This year has been full of so many emotions, and I hope that amongst them all, we will choose to cling to gratitude and hope.

May our hearts and homes be full of gratefulness for the many blessings we have been given. May we remember the beautiful moments we’ve been given through a tough year and dream together with our loved ones of better days ahead.

Friends, this year might not look like we imagined it to, but we get the chance to be grateful for the life and breath and joy that still remains among us and in us.

“Rejoice always, pray constantly, give thanks in everything; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”
‭‭1 Thessalonians‬ ‭5:16-18‬ ‭CSB‬‬

Peace & love to you today and always- liz:)

BONUS POST: Letting Go – For the Parents of Seniors by Davina Gorsh

            Dreams…I’m not talking about the ones that come and go as we sleep. I’m talking about the ones that start the day we get the positive pregnancy test. The ones that we don’t even realize are taking hold in our hearts in a deep and permanent way. These dreams grow and change as our babies grow and change. They get lived out right before our very eyes in the eyes of our son or daughters.

            Often the dreams we have are challenged by the world around us, by circumstances and even by our children because without knowing it we are handing this dream over to our children. We don’t even know we are doing it. But it is happening.  When they strap on that backpack that is way too big for their little 5 year old body. When they learn to ride a bike, make their own lunch, go on their first sleepover, go on their first date, wear their first work uniform, and start making plans to leave our home. They are learning to own their own dream and we are moving towards this moment. The leaving that God has so wisely designed.

            This is part of the gig, right? We know this even before we have children. We know they will leave our homes. We jump in knowing this and yet when we get to this point it becomes heart wrenching.  As moms and dads, we have willingly and lovingly given so much of ourselves in raising these young people. So much has gone into the process to get them to this point. It leaves us without words at times. Sometimes all we have are tears. So many tears. Tears of joy because we are so proud of them. Tears of sadness because we just want one more minute of chubby fingers and sticky cuddles. Tears of gratitude because God trusted us to raise these amazing humans. Tears of fear because what if we didn’t do enough. Tears of faith and hope.

            Here’s the thing. This heart ache is a part of the dream. They are leaving because we were enough. We gave them so much in all those years. They are leaving home because they are strong enough to take this step. We have helped them pack those bags. All those years on our knees praying for wisdom that felt like it didn’t come. While we were walking in faith, not always knowing if we were doing things well, God was doing what only He can do (Roman 8:26). Not only was He sustaining us but He was also imparting His strength to them (Ephesians 3:16). 

            It is now our time to grieve our role changes, walk shoulder to shoulder with our young people and continue to pray on our knees. God sees the ways our heart aches, He sees all of our tears, collects them, and records them all (Psalm 56:8). He sees our kids as they walk into a new season of their lives, He has a plan to sustain them, His grace is sufficient (2 Cor 12:9).

            As your tears start to subside I pray you will see the hope in the ache. As the dream evolves and takes up a new place in our heart may we walk in faith and expectation for the new joys to come. For the Lord restores our soul (Psalm 23:3). There is such goodness in this process. May you take the time to be in God’s presence with it, to let Him counsel you with His Spirit and His word. Release your tears for His safe keeping, be still, and wait expectantly on the Lord (Exodus 14:14 and Psalm 27:14) for He is good. 

-Davina

Meet the Author: Davina is a life-long learner, lover of books and great coffee. Being a 4w5 on the enneagram she loves equal parts time with friends and time alone. She is also the only woman in a house of men. She is happily raising 3 boys alongside her husband, two dogs, and one cat.

Liz’s Note: I can’t say enough about this amazing friend of mine! She’s been such an inspiration to my faith journey and instrumental in my journey of motherhood! Not only that, Davina has been such an encouragement and support throughout my writing journey, and for that I am so so thankful. I’m also grateful for the friendship God has allowed us to cultivate over these past several years over coffee and deep conversations. What an honor to have her heart and message shared on the blog today! -liz

Go The Extra Mile: Trust me when I say that it’s the exact song for this specific season of parenthood. Do yourself a huge favor and listen to it all the way through and think of the journey you are experiencing with your senior students and those who are heading towards that season. It’s such a fitting song and we know it will bless you today.

Hold On: Encouragement for the School Year

I recently remembered an old movie I watched called, “Scaramouche“. It’s a classic and if you haven’t seen it, you totally should. With buttered popcorn…and peanut m&m’s:).

There’s a great scene where the main character is learning how to fence. The instructor tells him to hold the foil like a little bird, “too tightly- you’ll choke it, too lightly- it will fly away.”

Hold it like a little bird.

In the last few months, we’ve walked our children through some crazy and unpredictable times. This year, we have a a little guy who’s entering 3rd grade, a freshman in high school, and a freshman who just moved to college. But when this whole pandemic began, those same children entered the school year as a 2nd grader, 9th grader, and you guessed it- a senior from the Class of 2020. Daily we would find ourselves having to learn to hold the days like that little bird mentioned above, firm yet gentle. The tighter we gripped, the more we felt things almost vanish and be ripped from our children’s school year; the more loosely we held it it seemed to just kind of fall between the cracks of our hands.


Like many of us all over the world, we weren’t sure how to adapt and adjust. We weren’t sure how long this season would last. We weren’t sure of much at the time however, we knew we had to find a way to still hold onto the good in the midst of all the bad and difficult that seemed to surround us.


In the movie I mentioned, the main character eventually developed the skill needed for the task at hand. He became a great fencer, and was able to anticipate the next move of his opponent & and adjust his next move accordingly. In my humble opinion, our role as parents in this season is much like that of a fencer- we must learn to hold onto God’s Word as we adapt and adjust to the challenges that will come – and they will come friend. Try as we might, we cannot fix these experiences for our children. What we can do is demonstrate to our children what is of most importance: Holding firmly to God’s Word & trusting in His promises. Ultimately, we must learn to hold onto hope with them for God’s best, even when the season we find ourselves in changes and plans have to be adjusted.


Friend, this new school year will be unlike any other. It won’t be normal, but we have the advantage – we can cheer each other on! Heck, we ourselves are still walking through all of this with you.


You, dear friend, are guiding and leading your kiddos into the unknown (cue Elsa from Disney’s Frozen!). Especially your seniors! The class of 2021 was granted a front row seat to watch their upperclassmen walk through a difficult season. Classes went remote. Lockers were cleaned out with the hope of returning. The return was cancelled. Classes finished online. Graduations & continuations were cancelled. Graduations and continuations became Drive-thru and online experiences. Some didn’t even get to have a ceremony. We were super blessed that our district was able to put ceremonies together in July (#weared51). And yes, it was crazy hot and we cried through the whole thing. It was worth it to see our sweet girl experience a dream come true even if it looked different than once imagined.


All of those experiences happened for a reason- to prepare your students, Class of 2021 (and you too, mama), for this season. Seasons change; that’s what they do. I think that’s why I love Fall so much is because you can visibly see the changes occurring in nature. Leaves change color and float to the ground. Fruit that was once on those same trees can be enjoyed later because they have been preserved. I truly believe that in this school year, as experiences continue to change, we will get to see some preservation. We just have to hold onto God and choose how we will respond to life as it happens.

Milestones can still be momentous and the experiences of this year can still be epic.

To your students, I say this: Hold onto the joy that this season can still bring. It might look totally different than you could’ve imagined but, you can do it. Whether learning remotely or in person, in a hybrid way or even homeschooling for this season, you have the opportunity to learn from those who literally walked before you and approach your school year with complete trust in God.

Parents of this new school year- Hold on. Class of 2021 -Hold on.

Friends, you and I get to choose how we will enter this season and how we will respond to ever-changing circumstances. Will we huff and puff and be mad at every turn because one more thing has been stripped away from our children’s experience? Or will we sing and even give thanks for how God will use these moments of loss for His glory? Let’s choose wisely friends. May we hold onto each other with gentleness and grace as we stick together and hold on to Him.

Let’s Pray: Dear Heavenly Father, today we just want to thank You for the strength You provide for us. Thank You Lord for enabling us to hold onto You and Your promises in the midst of all that we experience in this life. Lord, we choose today to hold Your Word deep within our hearts. It’s so easy to become frustrated at this new normal we are all experiencing, but You Lord, have offered us a better way – You’ve offered us the choice to put our hope in You. Today we know that this school year will not be like any we have experienced before. Lord, we surrender our expectations and ideas of this school year to You. We know that You are still providing ways and opportunities for us to stretch our faith and trust in Your plans. When our arms feel weak from the tasks of each day, help us to hold them up in surrender and worship to You. When our hearts and minds feel overwhelmed with decisions we are making for our children or with our children, help us to hold onto Your peace as we navigate this road together. Lord, help our eyes to see the joy that still remains and to help redirect the eyes and focus of our children – that they too may focus on the joy and beauty of this season as you prepare all of us for the seasons ahead. We trust You and invite You to do Your will in our lives and in the lives of our children. Amen.

Go The Extra Mile: This song below has been on my current playlist for a few weeks now…the chorus invites us to surrender and invite God to do whatever He wants to do. Friend, I pray this song blesses your heart and places hope deep within you. His way is better.

BONUS MATERIAL: Here is a pic of us with our 2020 Graduate on her actual graduation day. It happened almost 2 months later than planned but it happened! Praise God!

Book Review: Ready to Rise

Ready to Rise by Jo Saxton

Ya’ll seriously need to get this book into your hands!

Hey friends!

I have been honored to be a part of the launch team for Jo Saxton’s new book, “Ready to Rise“! I was excited to be a part of the team because I am a HUGE fan of her voice and her leadership (and she’s from the UK!), and I was blown away by the message she shares and the next steps she provides to help us all RISE..

If you are a woman in leadership, work with women in leadership, minister alongside women in leadership, wonder if you have any gifts to use in leadership or want to help your young daughters grow into all that God has for them & their gifts, do yourself a favor and buy the book. It has been a blessing to me as a mom, wife, writer, and mother.

Here is my personal review:

“So So Good!!! This book is exactly what I needed in this season of leadership! I’m so glad I got my hands on it and I am so thankful that I was able to share it with my daughters who are growing into womanhood & leadership! Jo Saxton has a way of delivering a powerful message we all need to hear, asking the questions we all need in order to grow into leadership AND help us with the game plan to move forward with our village!”

peace -Liz T.

Ready to Rise: Own Your Voice, Gather Your Community, Step into Your Influence by Jo Saxton

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


Ready to Rise: Own Your Voice, Gather Your Community, Step into Your Influence

If you read it, please be sure to let me know! I’d love to hear how it encouraged & inspired you!

Go The Extra Mile: Share your own review with Jo on her website and post your review to all the places you can share it! Thank you everyone!

Great (Unmet) Expectations

I have a rather large pile of party decorations sitting in the corner of my dining room. Graduation decorations to be exact. Red and silver balloons, confetti, maps, globes, suitcases, you name it – I have it.

My eldest daughter is a senior this year and I’ve been collecting the decorations for her party for months now. Her heart is to travel and I wanted to be sure we captured that spirit of adventure when we decorated. She, like many others, has an adventure up ahead.

But the adventures, and even the celebrations ahead will look differently than any of us could have anticipated.

We’ve all been feeling the loss of unmet expectations. Our seniors were expected to walk across the stage and have their name called. I was expected to cheer so loud that I would embarrass my daughter and family sitting with me. We were expecting to throw a massive party with numerous friends and family making the trip to celebrate. We were expecting to capture all the important “lasts” of her final year of high school, all the “lasts” of our middle daughter’s final year of middle school, and the final days of our son’s 2nd grade year. We expected to take pictures of graduations, continuations, and end-of-year swimming parties. But everything has changed and will look differently moving forward.

We’ve had tears from learning the school year would be finishing up here at our house instead of in the hallways of their schools, and we’ve had lots of sighs because we’ve been feeling all the feelings. 

We’ve also had the following:

We’ve been blessed to video chat with our family and friends catch up on life. Seeing faces and hearing voices makes such a difference!

We’ve had face masks that were lovingly made and delivered to our doorstep by our church family.

We’ve had beautiful yard signs made and delivered by friends to honor our senior girl.

Cake pops were delivered to our middle girl by a friend from her middle school – out of the blue.

Meals and treats have been delivered to us by friends across town and across the state.

A Surprise Easter Egg Hunt was lovingly delivered and placed in our front yard for our kids to enjoy on Easter Sunday.

More than just these wonderful expressions of love, we’ve had hope delivered to our hearts.

Yes, everything we expected to do won’t happen quite like we planned. But believe me when I tell you:

Our Seniors will still graduate.

Our middle schoolers will still continue on to High School.

Our littles will still finish out their school year with the excitement they always have with summer ahead.

Above all, Our God will remain faithful. That’s who He is.

Those events and celebrations will happen, they will just look differently than we expected.

But in the midst of this, we can still find hope, celebrate, and find reasons to discover joy. 

Celebrations will look differently for all of us. At our house, we are going to do our best to throw a backyard Prom, a Drive-Thru graduation Party for local fam & friends, an 8th grade Continuation Dance, and a 2nd grade End of Year Party. Why? Because celebrations still matter and I can’t let this crappy virus steal any more from my kids.

Our senior girl will still dress up in her Cap & Gown because Caps & Gowns Matter and if you’ve been following my blog for any amount of time, you know that message means a lot to me. If you are new to the blog, here is another reason why it matters: Click here.

This time of being at home has definitely felt like a loss in many ways, but I also feel as if God is giving us back so much. 

He’s supplying our needs.

He is providing us strength and new mercy every single day.

He is helping us to think creatively about how to make the most of our time, and how to connect with others in our community.

He is sustaining us with His love and quieting our minds with His peace.

He is making His love known and His gospel accessible through things like online worship experiences, through food banks being open, and through community outreach programs for all who have been affected.

He is helping our entire world

S

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He is giving us a chance to see the world through different eyes, and giving us the opportunity to respond to the needs of those around us as best as we can with what we already have. 

Friend, if you are reading this anywhere in the world today, chances are, you’ve felt loss at some level during this pandemic. I’d even venture to say you have felt a lot of loss. Whether it be personal loss, or feeling the weight from what your children have lost, we are all walking through this together. A beautiful reminder that we are not alone. 

My hope for us is that we reflect the love we have been given and the hope that has been delivered to us. That our children, young and old, can watch how we respond to unmet expectations. I pray that our families would see the resilience that comes from thinking about doing celebrations differently. Moving forward may not look the same as in times past, but that is probably a good thing. I keep hearing leaders say the same thing, “Do we want to go back to the way things were?”. I don’t want to go back to normal- I want to grow through this whole experience and learn to look at life and people differently.

As we inch closer and closer to the dates that these celebrations would’ve been taking place, let’s be mindful to show those around us that we too can hold onto hope while walking through uncertainty. We can still seek God while we wait for Him to move in and around us. We can shout for joy while we wait for restrictions to lift. We can honor the achievements of those we love while providing for the needs of those around us. It’s not one or the other; it can be both. It must be both. Here in this image is the verse I am praying over you, and today, let’s all begin to pray it over each other:

Lana's View
That’s my girl:)

Go The Extra Mile: Today, take the time to check out one of my all-time favorite songs. A beautiful reminder that we can hold onto hope in the midst of uncertainty. God is our hope and He is truly the anchor for our souls.

Do you have a senior or someone special you;d like us to celebrate with you in this season? Tell us about them in the comments!

peace-liz

Easter Experience 2020

Our family enjoyed some quality time by creating an Easter message on our sidewalk through our #JCCChalkTheWalk project!

This Easter was definitely a different experience altogether. Being a family in ministry, we are so accustomed to getting ready early and worshipping with our church family in person. This year, while getting ready in the early morn, a friend messaged us saying there were eggs in our front year for a surprise-egg hunt for our kids. That’s when my heart was overwhelmed with joy.

We have some amazing friends in our lives that blessed our kids and made their day bright because of the lavish love and thoughtfulness of friends who know that for kiddos, these ever-changing times can be overwhelming. It was a beautiful reminder to them, and to us, that we are not forgotten and that goodness is still happening in our community.

What an egg-cellent surprise!

The entire fam was up and ready before our first online service began, so our kiddos went out to find the candy-filled eggs (hooray for chocolate!), and then we began our online worship experience. We are very used to hugging our church fam as they walk through the doors and in this time of experiencing Easter from home, it was beautiful to see friends and family near and far stream in and hop on to our worship experience with us. We were able to say hello to friends and family in different time zones, and hear from God’s Word together. We hosted our own watch party for each service and every time a new friend or family member joined online, my heart began to swell with joy. I’m so thankful that our services are live-streamed and our pastoral team made the online experience feel like we were home at Junction Community Church.

This pandemic isn’t stopping us from getting together. No, in fact, this time where we are all sequestered is proving to serve as a time where we are digging in our heels and learning new rhythms of community. Especially as the church; we are learning new ways to express and demonstrate our faith and embracing new ways to engage and develop our community.

For this, I am so grateful.

Another exciting experience we got to be a part of yesterday was a “Virtual Choir”. You have to know- a huge piece of our heart is for the city of Sumter, South Carolina. God allowed us to serve as youth pastors there a number of years ago (I know that’s vague- but if I tell you the number of years I will feel really old, lol). So, when our dear friend and brother asked for friends to help join his church’s virtual choir for Easter, we couldn’t resist. My husband, my oldest daughter, and I were all able to participate, and when we saw the finished product…again, my heart was filled with incredible joy. There were familiar faces of friends in the choir that we haven’t been able to physically worship with in years because of distance. But yesterday, we were able to worship together. It was a powerful experience and I am honored that we got to partner with such an amazing group of worshippers.

I wanted to share it with you – first, because number one: you are part of my community. And two: because I am blown away by how beautiful it is to see the church being the church and bringing the hope of Christ to everyone, virtually everywhere. This experience made us feel so deeply connected to the body of Christ near and far, so I hope it also brings joy to you wherever you get to watch it from.


Easter may be finished, but let me assure you – the story continues dear friend.

How beautiful to know that we were all loved so much by God that He did in fact send His Son Jesus to die for our sins. And not only did He do that hard and painful work of suffering and dying on the cross for our sins, but He conquered death and gives us new life in Him. He resurrected to give us that new life and ascended to The Father so that He could send the Comforter, The Holy Spirit, to fill us with His power.

Friend, we might all be staying home, but we do not have to let our story end at home. Our story in Christ continues. And because He lives, we too can live, being moved to action by the Holy Spirit’s power in our lives. This verse was a part of my reading today and I found it fitting for us:

My prayer is that during this time, we would wait on God and seek to be empowered by His Spirit, to move into action using your unique gifts and abilities. Just like the disciples of old, let’s wait and pray; seek God and continue to love others well.

Easter may have been different this year, but sometimes different is good. It definitely made us appreciate the rich and vibrant community of faith and family we have both near and far. It also brought to mind the unique opportunity we have been given during this time of staying home: time to slow down and embrace a new way of experiencing God’s presence and a new perspective on how we can still connect with our family and friends during holidays.

From my family to yours, I hope you know you are remembered and loved and created on purpose for a purpose. Our story continues friend, so let’s keep doing what we can with the time we’ve been given.

We were going for that peep-yellow duck color palette:)

Go The Extra Mile: In case you are searching for an online worship experience, please know that I am personally inviting you to join me at Junction Community Church online Wednesday nights at 6:30 p.m. (MST), and Sundays at 9:00 a.m. & 10:30 a.m.. You can also check out previous messages and services on our YouTube channel. I’d love for you to join me online!

peace- liz:)

New Post: Pain Management

Almost one month ago, I gathered with my family as we walked and are still walking through an incredibly difficult moment in our lives – the passing of our father. There aren’t words to describe the amount of loss we felt then and still feel even now. It hurts. It’s an ache I can’t even put it into words. Watching our earthly father draw his last earthly breath and enter into eternity with Jesus was painful. But there was something beautiful happening at the same time: Our dad was transitioning to a new life, completely whole and healed, dancing on the streets of heaven.

The tears burned as they poured out of our faces and we all cried aloud, lamented, and felt the absence of his presence with us. Pair that with the fact that we can’t have a Celebration of Life service for him because of the current restrictions from this pandemic, which many others are experincing right now. It’s a tough pill to swallow, but even in the misdt of this pain, I can’t help but thank God for His very real presence in that room that night. And His healing presence still meets us each morning; when we wake up feeling the loss come in waves over us, He is there. On the good days and the really really hard days (because grief comes and it hits when you don’t expect it), He is still here, right next to us. Our God is always on call.

Our Great Physician doesn’t sleep or take breaks – the psalmist says he is close to the broken hearted.:

He even promises to be with us until the very end of the age. 

Do you ever think we avoid Our Great Physician as much as we do our earthly ones? Does the pain we feel inside feel altogether too much to pour out to Him as he intakes our emotional, mental, and physical history?

I think we often try to run from the ache of the pain- from the ache of the evaluation of our ourselves, and also from the pain or suffering we might have to endure in order to feel healed and whole again. 

Don’t run friend. Don’t avoid the powerful and healing love of God that reaches the very source of our suffering. 

Sometimes the remedy is as simple as a prayer of surrender. Other times it takes some work and therapy on our part: like making that phone call, getting ourselves into therapy, or forgiving those who have wounded us in some way, even when that someone is us. These steps must be done without delay – especially in this everchanging season when so many are canceling events and postponing gatherings, those phone calls and next right steps could be incredibly healing (more on that in an upcoming post). 

Let’s call on The Lord in prayer; let’s surrender to His ways. Let’s ask Him for the wisdom to make that next right step – then, let’s make the next right step. Make the appointment (even if it has to be through video conferencing because of this current Covid-19 situation). Let’s make the phone calls we’ve have been wanting & needing to make. Let’s listen closely to that voice that cannot be replicated in text messages. If an apology is needed, let’s give it gladly and with sincere love. If forgiveness is required, let us give it graciously and abundantly. Whatever we need to do, let’s do it together because pain & suffering do not have the final say in our stories.

Friend, we don’t have to manage pain with avoidance or denial when Our Loving Father is on call 24/7. Our Great Physician has more than just our physical form in his sight. Our mental, emotional, and spiritual state matter to Him because He designed us and formed us. My prayer today is for all of us to remember that Jesus is well acquainted with pain and suffering. In fact, that’s what we are remembering today, this Good Friday of Holy week:

“He was despised and rejected by men,
a man of suffering who knew what sickness was.
He was like someone people turned away from;[b]
he was despised, and we didn’t value him. Yet he himself bore our sicknesses,
and he carried our pains;
but we in turn regarded him stricken,
struck down by God, and afflicted.
But he was pierced because of our rebellion,
crushed because of our iniquities;
punishment for our peace was on him,
and we are healed by his wounds.
We all went astray like sheep;
we all have turned to our own way;
and the Lord has punished him
for[c] the iniquity of us all.” (Isaiah 53:3-6 CSB)

Take heart friend, Jesus has already paid it all- for our forgiveness of sin and for our complete healing of mind, body, & soul. All of it has been completely covered by his plan. And no surprise bills come in the mail. 

He’s a specialist and the best in every way. What a Savior! What a Surgeon! What a Healer we have!

Let’s PrayLord, on this Good Friday, we choose to remember that You are still Good. You know exactly what pain and suffering look like and feel like. We thank You for understanding us and our circumstances even better than we do. Lord, You see the entirety of us all- our past, our present and our future. Lord, when pain rises up in front of us we pray for the strength to run into Your arms. We are done running away from the hurt and the anguish. Our desire today is to run full-force into Your embrace as we pour out our hearts to You. We are done feeling alone in this – because You have already promised to never leave us or forsake us but to be with us until the very end of the age. Help our hearts to hold onto Your truth this morning! We don’t want to walk around avoiding pain- this world is full of brokenness and experiences that wreck our hearts. Lord, we come to You, knowing that You fully understand, and knowing that we can turn to You in our pain and brokenness. Thank You for Your love that walks us through it step by step, moment by moment, so we can live lives that are healed and whole. We will remember Your sacrifice for our salvation and for our healing today. And Lord, let us not forget that You didn’t avoid the pain of the cross or the depths of the grave; You finished the painful work because of Your great love for us. We are loved by You Lord, and we love You and thank You today for embracing us in the pain and through the healing, Amen.

Go The Extra Mile: We’ve been singing this song recently and it often comes to mind these days, so give it a listen and I pray it encourages you!

This post is dedicated to our amazing Daddy, Ricardo B. Sanchez

The One and Only Rico

Queen of Hearts Wrap Up: Heart Condition

In the past few weeks we’ve covered the often misplaced emotions that can dwell inside of us, the portions of our hearts that still need the warmth and light of God’s love, and the challenge of learning how to pour out our hearts to God. Definitely not lightweight material. But remember, since we are trying to live our lives in truth and honesty  before God, these are the things that should get our attention. 

Not to violate our hearts or to make us feel shame, but so that we can begin to feel hope rise up and walk in victory. 

Our life isn’t just for us friends. As long as we are on this earth, we each have a mission to carry out. We can either do so by living this life with hearts that are broken and hurt or, we can live with hearts full of life, hope, and healing.

The choice is ours to make.

I wanted to share a portion of my daily devotion with you today. Just the notes I took from the study I am currently working through. This morning, I was reading through passages in the Bible and the repeated pattern I saw was that the people of God also had a heart condition with the following symptoms:

-Hardened hearts, hearts that didn’t fear The Lord, stubborn & rebellious hearts, and hearts that they allowed to lead them astray.

These might have been the symptoms from a people long ago, but friend, I can hold up the magnifying glass of scripture and find those attributes in myself. Can you too?

All those symptoms stem from the same place: The Heart. This heart condition also comes with a warning from The Great Physician Himself:

“Do not harden your hearts as at Meribah, as on that day at Massah in wilderness where your fathers tested me; they tried me, though they had seen what I did.” (Psalm 95:8)

Do not harden your hearts.

What’s even greater? There is a treatment and prescription for this condition:

Worship & Bow Down. Kneel Before Our Maker in Surrender.

Why?

Because there is a world in need around us, waiting for us to heal so we can bring life, healing, and hope in Jesus’ Name.

Friends, below is my prayer from this morning. Real and honest. And if you’ve stayed with me this far, I invite you to pray it with me. Let this be OUR prayer today as we wrap up this series and continue this lesson. I don’t want to be the Queen of Hearts. I want to surrender to The King of Kings.

Let’s Pray: Lord, help our hearts to be softened to You alone. We don’t want to repeat history again with hardened hearts. We don’t want to be negligent of this condition that can overtake so quickly and destroy so much. We will come to You in worship and surrender, with joy, because You are God and King Most High. We will yield to You in reverence Holy Spirit, and come to You in worship as we bow down to counter act the hardness in our hearts. Thank You Lord for helping us to understand that we can give You total control of all that is within us, because You know how to care for those who belong to You. Amen.

peace- liz

Go The Extra Mile: I hope you’ve enjoyed this series and the music selections I’ve been adding – I’ve enjoyed creating these posts for us here on the blog, and I LOVE MUSIC! This song holds a special place in my heart, and I hope it meets you right where you are today:)

Queen of Hearts: Pour Out Your Heart

I’m a huge fan of British shows and all things UK and one show that I found intriguing was “The Crown”. One particular episode caught my attention because it had another one of my favorite things: letters. In this episode, the brother (Edward) who had abdicated the throne was featured showcasing his attempts to find work and move back closer to the family. A few of the scenes showed him at a desk at the end of the night, writing out his thoughts and feelings to his dear wife- the one he chose and the one he shared everything with. It struck me. Not because of the content he was writing, but the faithfulness to this routine which many of us might not be familiar with: Pouring our hearts out at the end of the night.

I know this to be true: When we don’t pour out our hearts to God first, we end up with hearts overflowing with all kinds of unresolved feelings.

Let’s hit the switch.

I have a challenge for us this week: Instead ending our days throwing around hurt and complaints, I want us to pour out our hearts. Just as a warm cup of tea is slowly poured into the vessel it is being served, let’s slowly pour out:

the thoughts that we know are holding us captive,

the situations beyond our control,

the conversations and assumptions we have held in our heart,

the inner messages that we keep on playing that we know are lies and not truth,

the hurt that we’ve been hanging onto and holding against others,

and anything else that’s tried to make its home inside of our hearts.

Pour it out. All of it. Every single drop.

Holding onto all those things is a habit that we think gives us control. The truth is, we don’t have control. We have pieces of hurt and pain. We have pieces of frustration and anger. We have pieces of fear and anxiety. And each piece, is like a habit of laying bricks – thinking that it is keeping us safe when in actuality, we’ve imprisoned ourselves. What we thought was a defense system actually isolated our hearts from those we love and those who love us. It also separates us from God- because we’ve tried and tried to handle this habit in our own strength without sharing it with Him.

Friend, I want to remind you that God isn’t afraid of all that we’ve bottled up or built up in our hearts. He’s not. He actually invites us to come to Him:

He desires to spend time with us and that we spend time with Him, pouring out our hearts. We see this even when creation was perfect – God came down to walk with Adam and Eve in the cool of the Day (Genesis 3:8). To walk and talk. Even after the fall, God still wanted mankind to share life with Him. Not just the pieces of our heart that can rejoice when life is going well, but He also wants to share life with us and hear us pour out the hurts and break the habits that have been holding us back from experiencing His best for our lives.

Our hearts matter to Him friend. They matter to him and they matter in eternity. How we use them, what we choose to hold onto, what we choose to let take root, what we treasure in them- all of it matters. 

So what will you pour out to Him today?

Will we let go of that which entangles us today?

I’m raising my hands friend- I want to pour out my heart to Him. I’m hoping you do too. I’m telling you the honest truth- my heart is heavy right now. As each little piece of our heart (yours and mine) trickles out to Him, it gets easier and easier to pour out the rest, like a steady stream.

Let’s Pray: Lord, let everything within us come out to you first, as an offering of surrender. We surrender our hearts to You in this moment. We surrendered to Your love and Your light that shines bright in the dark places. We surrender to a Your Truth that shows us a better way. We surrender to Your loving arms that welcome us in and hold us together when everything else feels like it is falling apart. We are done holding it all in, and we declare that we are ready to pour our hearts out to You so that in turn, You can use our lives to be poured out in service for Your glory. God, we thank You for the finished work of Jesus that allows us to be healed and made new. We accept it and we will choose to give you the praise for the healing that is taking place deep inside of us as we pour out our hearts to You. Amen.

peace – liz

Go The Extra Mile: Check out one of my absolute favorite messages in this song from The Belonging Co! The lyrics, “I don’t want it if You’re not in it I just want You…Your heart, Your ways, show me Your face…” that’s the whole point behind this series- to align our hearts to look and operate more like His and to become more intentional about our relationship with Him.

Be Mine:)

Happy Valentine’s Day friends! I just wanted to show y’all some love because each time you check out my blog or comment on the posts, you are uplifting my heart and impacting my own life!

Wherever you find yourself today, know that you matter! I’m so very grateful to you for your support and for the contribution you make to the world by just being you!

And I had to share this additional pic that I snapped this morning while gathering sweet treats for the fam:). This place totally gets me:)

Thanks @SweetKiwi for giving me a good laugh while wait in line for amazing pastries!

Have a beautiful day everyone, and love those around you today with the love of God- because there is no greater love than this!

Peace-liz:)