NEW SERIES: ANCHOR

Photo: @truphotography.co

Have you ever felt like you’ve been stuck on the seas without an achor? Tossed around by the wind and the waves of life? Me too.

The questions above sound more like the script to a suspense-driven movie, but can also resemble the way life can feel when we find ourselves in the middle of a storm. When we are exhausted from bracing for the waves that batter us, we can feel defeated – longing for the security and hope of Christ. Chances are, when our lives are tossed around, we can often be tempted to disconnect from community too.

The storms of life can leave us battered and bruised, ready to give up and give in. That’s what storms do – they pour down on us in seasons when we expect them and when we don’t.  It can often feel like we are gasping for air as one wave after another beats down on our hearts.

It’s the diagnosis you didn’t expect.

It’s your position at work that suddenly vanished.

It’s the move you didn’t know was up ahead.

It’s the empty chair at the dinner table that reminds you that someone is missing.

It’s all of these and so much more…

Now that I’ve described the water we’re all swimming in, I want us to figure out how to get back to the security of the shore; the security of having a sure hope and strong support system.

This I know for sure: Our storms don’t take God by surprise.

The storms we encounter are never encountered just by us. No, the One Who still has complete control and authority over the wind and the waves is with us. He’s present and prepared to give us hope right in the middle of what looks bleak and dark. His presence is our peace, and because He is ever-present, and because He has promised to never leave us or forsake us, we don’t have to lose hope or let go of Him. We don’t have to let the storm take hold of uso r disconnect us from those that help keep us steady.

The writer of Hebrews explains to us in chapter 6 the importance of taking hold of the hope set before us. The hope of Jesus, Who has gone before us, running ahead of us, so we could have a hope that anchors our soul in the midst of life and the storms that we face. It’s as if the writer of Hebrews knew that we would move through rough waters in our journey of faith. They knew we would be tempted to just let the wind and the waves overtake us because the storms felt too strong or the waves seemed to never end.

Yeah, it can often feel easier to give way to the storm than to grab the rope and anchor and throw it out in hopes of finding something to hold us still – something to keep us grounded.

What’s the opposite scenario? Finding ourselves disconnected from our anchor, and in many instances, finding oursleves adrift; floating further away from God and the community He’s placed us in.

In the middle of the storms, in the middle of feeling isolated and helpless, we need both Christ & Community.

Christ keeps us anchored, Community keeps us afloat.

Photo: @truphotography.co

God knew the difficulties we would face in a fallen world. He understood that we, as His children, would need something to tether us and help stand firm in the middle of it all.

God knew we would need and anchor for our soul – and He sent us His Son Jesus. He also lovingly provided others for us to traverse the storms with: crew mates and family members in Christ that are in the thick of the storm with us, reminding us of God’s goodness and His promises.

That’s why having our hope anchored in Christ is so vital – so we don’t lose connection and communion with our Father in Heaven. And part of being connected to Christ is remembering the beauty and friendship we find in sharing life with others – so we don’t lose sight of His goodness and presence in the middle of our storms or on the smooth and beautiful seas of life. 

In the middle of it all, we need hold onto Jesus and we need to reach out for others. We are made to hold onto the hope of Christ together.

When we each take turns holding the rope so we could steady our stance in the middle of the storms, we can lean on one another and brace for the battering waves. We can scream and cry and shout all we want – for we are not alone. He is in our midst and doesn’t want us to fret the worst – He wants us to hold onto hope. He wants us to rest secure.

I’m reminded of the discples on the boat with Jesus. While at sea, they were expereinceing a violent storm. In panic, one of the disciples cries out to Jesus, who was asleep. The disciple said, “Don’t you care that we are going to die?” (Mark 4:35-41 CSB)

Jesus was in the exact same boat with them, but His response to the exact same storm was “Peace”.

So often, I am more like the disciple who is shouting for Jesus’ attention in the middle of my storm than the peaceful and secure Jesus Who was very aware and yet still was at peace. God help me, God help us.

We have a choice friends, What will our response be today? Will we remember that we are not alone in the boat as the storms of life try to break us down? Will we trust in the Savior who demonstrated what it’s like to find rest in the middle of the storm because of the connection and anchor He shared?

God is with us in the middle of these storms dear friend. He is with us, and He is here to anchor us and keep us steady. And He’s kind enough to provide a crew of support around us to remind us of His presence and promise of peace.

Let’s Pray: Heavenly Father, we choose to place our complete trust in You. We choose to hold onto the hope that is found in Christ Jesus, and rest securely in the promise of Your powerful presence. Thank You for loving us, and for being the hope we can cling to in the middle of life’s storms. Thank you for the reminder that we are not alone – we are able to have peace because You are with us. Thank you Lord for surrounding us with friends and family members to journey with us and remind us of Your promises. Let our response to life’s storms be that of holding onto the hope that only You provide – together. Amen.

Go The Extra Mile:

One of my favorite worship songs is “I Will Trust” by Red Rocks Worship – this song points us back to the security we find when we place our hope and trust in Jesus. Check it out this and I hope you are able to breathe a little easier today, knowing we can completely trust in The Lord.

Chapter 42: A New Word To Hold Onto

Well hello friends! As previously promised, I am going to share my new “word” for the year. My word just kept popping up around me, everywhere that I went, so I took the hint and wrote it down (on my hand of course) so I could remember it and think about what it meant for me. Some call it a “push word”, but for me, choosing a word is more about embracing the season I’m in and selecting word to complement it. I’d like to push through this season just like everyone else, but I don’t want to force my way through it. I want to soak in every moment and reflect as I go along the way.

Before I get to my word, I want to share a little bit about the last few weeks. As we finished up January, I celebrated my 42nd birthday (yay me!), and was able to share in some special celebrations for some near and dear friends. It was a great way to start of this new year of life. It’s so important to celebrate the goodness that we see in the lives of others. This world has a way of trying to make us so self-focued that we can often lose sight of the beauty and blessings in the lives of those around us. Not every story comes with just beauty, but every story is worth celebrating. It’s wonderful to celebrate the days when there is something beautiful because it causes us to reflect on the obstacles overcome, the challenges faced, and the joy that follows.

That’s life. Overcoming and celebrating, so we can overcome and celebrate again, and again.

That’s how we can live contented lives – by remebering and celebrating God’s goodness and kindness, even in the seasons that are tough. That’s how we can demonstrate love and joy to those around us as we cheer them on in their hard seasons, and celebrate with them in the blessings they experience. We can live with contented hearts; satisfied with what we already possess and hopeful for what is yet to be satisfied in us.

Each new year, we get the chance to be satisfied by The One Who holds all things together…The One Who is already good, kind, merciful and holy.

We can be satisfied by The One Who knows exactly how to care for us in every season and year of life.

You might have guessed it, but my word for 2022 is SATISFY.

I want to live contentedly in this 42nd chapter of my life. I want to remember that Christ alone is able to satisfy me, because that is the truth dear friends. He is more than enough on the days when we feel weak and He is more than willing to offer us His strength. He is able to see the needs we have and the ones we don’t yet recognize. He is able to walk with us through our darkest vallies and on the highest summits. In the dry seasons that feel fallow and even when we are bearing visible fruit – He is The One Who satisfies.

I want to live knowing and demonstrating that He satisfies.

I want that for me. I want that for you – and for all of us, everywhere that we are.

He can satisfy us dear friends. In the depths of our soul He can satisfy. In the darkest of nights when we don’t have all the answers figured out, He can satisfy. On the days where we feel we have something special to celebrate and on the days were it’s hard to see anything worth celebrating, He can satisfy.

I’ve known this was my word since early January, but now was the right time to share it.

If you haven’t chosen a word yet to reflect on, maybe this can be your word too. And in the spirit of sharing, here is a verse that I’m keeping close to my heart to remind me of God’s ability to satisfy my own heart:

I’m so grateful for God’s Word and how it can be an anchor for our soul as we walk out this new year. Whether we are starting a brand new year of life or starting a brand new life because of what this year has brought us so far, I hope you’ll keep this verse close too.

Let’s Pray: Heavenly Father, today we recognize that nothing else on this earth can satisfy us like You. Nothing can even come close. Lord, we want to remember that You are good and You are more than able to satisfy us right where we find ourselves today. We ask that You help this promise from Your Word sink deep down into our souls for the days we need it most. We ask that you keep this reminder at the front of our mind so that when times of blesssing come, we can be quick to position ourselves to praise You. Thank you for knowing we would have needs to be met and for being The Only One who can meet them. Thank you in advance God, for the ways that you are already satifying our hearts and for all the ways we will get to experience complete peace and satifaction in relationship with You. Amen.

peace – liz

Go The Extra Mile: Friends, I have such a special song to share with you today! Right around my birthday, I heard this song and it wrecked me in the best ways. Check out “Just As Good” by Chris Renzema and Ellie Holcomb, and remember that God is still just as good and just as kind as when you met Him.

BONUS CHALLENGE: If you have chosen a word for this new year, share with us YOUR word for 2022 in the comments below! AND please share where you are reading this post from! Are you on the West Coast or from the deep South? Are you a friends from the UK or from India? We want to know where you’re reading from and what your word is! Ready, Set, SHARE BELOW!

Listening For Harmony

It never fails- anytime a song comes on the radio, I always join in with harmony. I can’t help myself.

While on a road trip, my husband asked me how I listen for the harmony in a song. I replied, “I listen for what’s missing.” My husband’s response was, “I’m gonna need something more than, ‘I’m awesome’.” The truth is, I’ve been singing for most of my life. And because I enjoy harmony so much, looking for missing parts has become both a skill and a joy to me.

I love the harmony parts.

I love tight knit vocal harmonies that are dynamic and fill space. If it’s the original harmonies in familiar songs from small musical groups, or even if it’s surprising arrangements of harmonies found in massive choirs – I’m here for it. Each harmony adding a richer sound to those listening; each part supporting and complementing the other. I thoroughly enjoy hearing what each part can provide to enhance the experience.

In the pursuit of trying to be the best version of ourselves, we can zero in with laser focus and almost forget that we aren’t here just to better ourselves. We are here to share our contribution for the betterment of our world. To enhance, to support, and even to uplift.

We’ve all been given this opportunity in 2022: To listen to the conversations around us. I’m not talking about eavesdropping. I’m talking about intentionally listening to each person we engage with. Whether we listen to those within our home, within our neighborhoods, those outside of our neighborhoods, or those in our circles of faith and influence- We have each been given a new year to listen to those around us and see how we can enhance, support, and uplift them too.

At the beginning of each new year, I usually write a blog post asking friends to tell me their “word”. It’s a regular rhythm for me as a writer, and this year, I plan on selecting my own words while hearing about the words of others.

I’d also like 2022 to be different. I’d like us to shift our focus for a minute.

While we try to discover our “word” for the year, I want each one of us, myself included, to stop and listen to our world and look for what’s missing in the same way I listen for harmony.

Not for what everyone else should bring to contribute.

Not what we wish would magically occur through a series of glorious events.

What only we can see that’s missing; what only we can bring.

What do we hear that is missing? How can we bring some harmony? What can we bring?

Today, let’s pause and listen and lean in to hear God share with us how through him, we can bring harmony to our world in this new year.

We might listen and hear that hope is missing from conversations.

We might listen and hear that love is missing from the actions and intentions of those around us.

We could even listen and hear that faith is missing from the hearts of those close to us.

What’s missing friend? Right where you are with the gifts you’ve been given, what can you provide today?

One of the most amazing things about harmony is that it’s always there – someone just has to sing it. Harmony enhances what is already beautiful in the original song. Harmony adds value and offers support so as the musical piece is performed, the whole experience is felt differently.

Hearing and seeing a choir singing moving arrangements has often been known to bring people to tears or give chills. Some performances even lead to standing ovations for the participants doing nothing other than their part. But they did it well. They did it together. They performed it with the exact amount of intensity and passion that was needed.

I am praying for all of us today- that God would show us how we can add harmony to this world we live in. Not so that our role or our gifting gets the attention, but so that together, we can become the most beautiful sound of worship as we offer our roles and giftings to The Lord together in harmony.

Let’s listen well friends, and let’s look for the spaces we can bring beauty and harmony through the gifts we’ve each been given. All for his glory.

peace – liz:)

Go The Mile: Alright friends, this is usually the space where I post one of my favorite songs for you to enjoy. But today, I’d like to hear from YOU! In the comments below, share one of your favorite songs that you know has sweet harmonies! I can’t wait to check out your suggestions! Ready, set, SHARE!

Happy New Year

Hello sweet friends near & far! I’m so grateful for this journey we’ve shared together throughout 2021 and I’m very excited to continue it in 2022!

I was super blessed to finish out 2021 with an anniversary getaway with my hubs as we celebrated 21 years of marriage, and then we watched then all drop with our kiddos in the comfort of our home! What a blessing to thank God for the year we were able to walk through because of His grace, and what a blessing to consider what He might do in and around us in 2022. One thing is for sure- He promises to be with us all.

Wherever you find yourself starting out this new year, know that I pray God would bless you and keep you and make His face shine upon you. I also pray that the gifts and dreams you’ve been dreaming of using start stirring in your soul, because guess what? This world needs your gifts and dreams too.

From our family to yours, we hope you have a great start to this new year we’ve been granted. Let’s enjoy the journey together. And as always, let’s live, write, speak, and do- all for the glory of God.

peace- liz:)

Photo: Drop Anchor Productions

Merry Christmas Fam!

Hello & Merry Christmas from the beautiful Western Slope of Colorado! We hope that wherever you find yourself today, you are able to enjoy the peace of Jesus and the promise of hope because LOVE came down for you and for me!

“But the angel said to them, “Don’t be afraid, for look, I proclaim to you good news of great joy that will be for all the people: Today in the city of David a Savior was born for you, who is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be the sign for you: You will find a baby wrapped tightly in cloth and lying in a manger.” Luke‬ ‭2:10-12‬ ‭CSB‬‬

What a blessing that we get to be connected in Christ across all of the miles and across so many blog posts! You dear friends, are some of my very favorite gifts!

Much love and peace from our family to yours!

-liz:)

The Trujillo Fam Five

Comfort & Joy

Christmas brings all kinds of gifts into our lives. Not just the shimmer-wrapped gifts that are gently placed under the tree, and not even the ones that show up in the driveway with a big red bow on top (does that even happen in real life?!). I’m talking about the gifts we didn’t know we needed– gifts of comfort and joy.

We live in a world where even amidst being in pandemic, the songs heard overhead in the stores are the merry ones- the ones that have some pep and happy lyrics. Everywhere we turn in town, we see colorful reminders that this season is a cheerful one. In the daytime we see the beauty of frost and evergreen, and in the dark hours of night we see the glistening glow of Christmas lights beneath soft blankets of snow.

Inside our hearts, we can feel the excitement and the anticipation of gathering with loved ones at parties or coffee meetups. We can feel the urgency to finish all the shopping for the big meal or the letdown of realizing we forgot to grab the bag of chips for the 3rd time this week (don’t ask me how I know). We can also feel the joy of wrapping up the thoughtful gifts we’re planning on giving away to our loved ones.

We can feel a lot this season.

During my last post on the blog, we looked at the feelings we experience during the holidays when our hearts are heavy with grief. How knowing we have a Wonderful Counselor to be our source of strength and hope during the holiday season.

No matter if we are living life to the fullest and everything seems jolly, or if we just can’t seem to catch a break and the hits keep coming – we are all in need of comfort and joy this season. God knew we would need both. 

Comfort 

And 

Joy.

We, you and me friend, need the comfort of His presence to remind us how loved we are and where we belong – close to His heart. We need the joy we find in His presence- lasting joy that doesn’t fade away when life feels out of control and hard.

We need both.

I need both.

Let’s take some time today to slow down to receive those gifts from God.

Speaking of slowing down, some of the most favorite and beloved Christmas songs are the slow ones- the ones that cause us to be still and to ponder; to wait for the “good part” or wait for the beautiful ending. On this Christmas Eve, may we create space to slow down for a moment and lean in to hear the “good part” – the part where the King of Kings sent His one and only Son, Jesus, to be Emmanuel- God with us. The part where Jesus came down to meet us at the very point of our need: our need for a Savior, our need for a Healer, our need for a Good Shepherd and Faithful Friend. The gift of His presence didn’t just end when He arrived, it continues to be with us today and, He promised He would be with us to the end of the age. He is our peace dear friends, and He has also given us the gifts of His comfort & His joy.

He is The Light that came to a dark and weary world, He is the Great Comfort we so desperately need and the Giver of Joy that this world cannot take away. He’s the Giver of Good & Perfect Gifts then, now, and in all the days to come.

May we experience comfort from His presence and joy from His Holy Spirit today and always.

Peace, Comfort, & Joy Dear Friends – liz:)

Let’s Pray: Lord Jesus, thank You for knowing our needs and meeting them too. Thank you for the promise that You are Emmanuel, God with us. Thank you for coming down for all humanity – and for being Our Light. We need Your presence today Lord, and in Your presence we find both gifts of comfort and joy. Your gifts are good because You are good and this Christmas Eve, remind our hearts that we have already been given these gifts for our soul. When the world feels cold and dark, shine Lord, so we can see Your goodness in front of us. Thank You Lord for the comfort and joy we find in You alone, Amen.

Go The Extra Mile: Check out one of my favorite Chrsitams carols below as The Petersen’s share, “God Rest Ye Merry Gentelemen”! This is a beautiful version and I hope it reminds us that we are given both comfort & joy because of Jesus!

BONUS: I couldn’t leave out my all-time favorite Christmas carol…I had to include my favorite version of, “O, Holy NIght” by Celine Dion! Enjoy it today as you prep for whever you’re going!

What’s So Wonderful About Christmas?

It’s a cold and frosty morning here on the Western Slope of Colorado and right outside of my dining room window, I can see the twinkling lights we set up last night on our bushes. I know- it’s a little late, but there are just some things that I wanted to be sure we still accomplished this season. Setting up Christmas lights outside of the house always brings a smile to my face. It brings light and joy to my neighborhood that is usually pretty dark at night. I love to see strands of lights all over the houses. At Christmastime, seeing those small glimmers of light in the neighborhood helps us to keep going down the street to discover more, and it also helps us keep going on our journey as we keep trusting that there is more light ahead.

The holidays can often feel dark and dreary for some. And when I say some, I include myself in that lot. Maybe the loss is still a little too fresh to your heart. Maybe the last interaction you had with an estranged loved one didn’t go the way you planned. You might even feel disconnected from the season because it holds more difficult memories and burdens from years past. Whether it’s an absence due to the loss of a loved one or the empty seat because a loved one hasn’t come home for many years – it can make us question what is so wonderful about Christmas. On this cold morning, I wanted to bring some hope to our hearts. This season is still wonderful – Not because of what we currently feel, what’s under the tree, or even what we have checked off from a holiday list. No, Christmas is wonderful because of Who is with us through it all. 

If this holiday season feels dark because of the shadow of grief or maybe even because of what life has thrown your way, I encourage you to look for the little bits of light around you today. Let’s look for the trail of hope that God Himself has set out before us in big and small ways – the hope for the hurting heart is real and available for us today. Like the string of lights beneath my windowpane, God has placed light and hope right in front of us at the exact right moments to lift our spirit. We don’t have to walk through grief alone this holiday season. We can reach out to friends for encouragement and prayer but even more importantly, we can call out to The Lord.  I’m so thankful to God for the invitation He gives us to bring our burdens to Him.  

This Christmas, we get to celebrate the birth of Jesus because He came down and lived, shared in our sufferings and understands our sorrows, and He experienced death so that we could have salvation from sin and have a new life in Him. God’s greatest gift to us was and still is Jesus – Emmanuel, God With Us.

He is with us right in the middle of the ache and in the middle of the tears that still fall.

He is with us in the middle of the celebrations that come with both joy and sadness because of who is around us and who is no longer here.

He is with us when the season doesn’t feel all that wonderful and even when it does.

He is the One that is Wonderful this Christmas season.

He is the One Who walks with us in the middle of the beautiful and the broken.

He is the One who sees the condition of our heart and comes to apply compassionate love and restores our joy. 

He is with us friend.

He is the Light in our darkness the hope of the world. 

He is still Wonderful this Christmas.

He is all that we were promised He would be:

“For a child will be born for us,

a son will be given to us,

and the government will be on his shoulders.

He will be named

Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,

Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.

The dominion will be vast,

and its prosperity will never end.

He will reign on the throne of David

and over his kingdom,

to establish and sustain it

with justice and righteousness from now on and forever.

The zeal of the Lord of Armies will accomplish this.” (Isaiah 9:6-7 CSB)

So when the season doesn’t feel so wonderful, let’s remember that He is still wonderful. Not only is He wonderful, He’s able to make our spirits bright with His love and light. 

peace-liz

Let’s Pray: Heavenly Father, we come before you today in the name of Your Son Jesus, and we bring you all of our hearts. All of the ache and all of the heaviness we place in your loving and compassionate hands. We want to cast our cares upon You because we know that You care for us. Lord, we ask You to shine Your Light on our hearts when the darkness and heaviness sets in. Thank You for the promise that You are a shelter for the weak and a strong tower that we can run to when we need security and peace of mind. God, remind us today that You are still wonderful and powerful and able to bring peace to our souls in the midst of the season. You are so kind to walk with us through all that we experience in this life, and Lord, we thank You for your presence right here with us. Thank You Lord. Amen.


Go The Extra Mile: Friends, I had to share this song with you today. It has been a comfort to me this season, so please take time today to listen to this song from one of my favorite bands, CAIN, and I pray your heart would be reminded of how wonderful God is.

Happy Thanksgiving Fam!

Hello Everyone & Happy Thanksgiving!

As we prep for the rest of our day, and as we gather around tables with few or with many, may we remember what’s truly important this season…

More than the tables beautifully decorated,

More than the dishes piled high with flavorful foods,

More than anything today,

May we remember the people beside us and connections between us. May we choose joy as we celebrate the gift of being grateful together, whether celebrating in person or over video calls…may we give thanks to God for the gift of His love, the beauty of community, and the blessing of friendship.

“And let the peace of Christ, to which you were also called in one body, rule your hearts. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell richly among you, in all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another through psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. And whatever you do, in word or in deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” Colossians 3:15-17 CSB

Photo: Drop Anchor Productions

From our family to yours, we wish you a very Happy Thanksgiving, full of love & hope & faith!

peace & pumpkin pie – liz:)

Go The Extra Mile: One song that has been on repeat for me these past few months is this one right here. May we find ourselves with our hands lifted up in surrender as we express our gratitude to Our Loving, Gracious & Generous God. Enjoy friends!

Celebrating Love In The Midst Of Grief

A love story is still worth celebrating, even when the ending isn’t what we thought it would be.

For more than 44 years, my parents shared a love story that was real, honest, good, and hard.
Not the kind you see on a movie screen with the right music in the background, or the characters played by leading men & women. No, my parents shared in a love story that shouldn’t have made sense, but it did.


A California kid & a Colorado girl who, by all intents and purposes, shouldn’t have made it, created a love story all their own. Full of risks and full of joy. Full of heartaches and full of hope.


They met. Got married. Grew together. Stayed together. Raised a family together. Grew their family together. Worked together. Made ends meet together. Trusted God together. Prayed together. Laughed together. Cried together. Adventured together. Fought together. Fought for each other together. Believed together. Lived out vows together.


Last year, we watched as our Mom kissed our Dad goodbye. She thanked him.


We stood there in the apartment- myself, my sister and my husband, and watching and crying as she thanked him for the years they spent together and for the beautiful family he gave her. And as our kind and gracious funeral director left the apartment, Mom grabbed onto my sister and I, holding us firmly by our arms. I’ll never forget what she told us with tears in her eyes and with a trembling in her voice…she encourgaed us to love our families.

These are the words we have seen our mom live out everyday for years, especially in the last years of our father’s life.


In that moment, she never stopped loving him. She didn’t forget all the good from their life together. She remembered the good, and so did we. She thanked him and also encouraged us to love. If you know our Mom, you know she lives from a place of love, so here response to us was fitting – because that’s what she does. She loves.


Mom & Dad’s love story was worth celebrating then, and today, on what would’ve been their anniversary, it’s still worth celebrating. That kind of a love story – the kind you choose, the kind you work for, the kind you sacrifice for, the kind you ache for is still worth celebrating.

Maybe you’re family is walking on this similar path of grief, and these anniversaries and holidays feel really, really tough. We get it; we truly understand. But no matter how long our love has lasted, no matter how brief it was, that love is still worth celebrating.


Today, I’m choosing to celebrate the love that our parents shared. Today, we as a family will give thanks to God for the love He allowed our parents to share for so many years. It’s still worth celebrating – even through the tears and the ache. Today, I’ll love my people a little harder in honor of my parents’ love story. I’ll also pause in the midst of the grief to try and encourage others to love their people too. After all, Mom still continues to love every single person she comes in contact with. May we know that love is still worth celebrating in the midst of the grief and heartache, and may we make it a point to love and appreciate each moment we have with our loved ones. Let’s love well my friends.

peace- liz

Go The Extra Mile: In honor of our Dad, I wanted to share one of his favorite songs. I can imagine he’s cruisin’ the streets of heaven blasting this song. He loved taking drives and listening to good music, and this one always makes me think of him. Thank You Rare Earth for reminding us to celebrate. Take a listen and take a drive and remember to celebrate love today friends.

Hold On

Last Sunday we came home from a whirlwind weekend in which we both celebrated our oldest daughter turning 20…#weareold, and we also celebrated and cheered on our middle daughter performing in the State Band Competition. Lots of travel, lots of activity, lots of planning and prepping, and partying. All of it was awesome!

I don’t think I’ve cheered quite as loud as we did for our percussionist. We (our family and some amazing friends) screamed loudly and shouted her name and funny phrases until she could hear us over the crowd and until we saw that we had sufficiently embarrassed her – blushing face and brilliant smile:).

I don’t think I’ve smiled as wide as I did the night we (our family and some amazing friends) sang to our young girl who is now growing into this incredible woman. We sang until we had acheived 3-part harmony, and until her face was blushing from the attention, and yet again, another brilliant smile:).

We later smiled and shared time at a local favorite lunch spot with some other amazing friends – a little itty bitty funny guy and his precious mama- and we laughed until our sides were hurting, and smiled until our cheeks were sore and our faces were blushing as well:).

In each moment, I was reminded how every person on the face of the earth needs these exact kind of people to surround them in this life here on earth. Friends who are timeless; friends who cheer you on and stick with you long enough on the journey to cheer on your kiddos too. Friends who show up to help in the hard times, and friends who show up to celebrate the good times. Friends who can literally call you on your junk and let you fall to pieces in their arms. Friends who want to take the time to go grab a coffee and walk around Target, even if just for an hour so you can let it all out while you find the thing you didn’t know you needed until Target told you so:). Friends who need a break and know you might need one too, so they take you for a coffee or Slurpee or if you’re far away in miles, they send you a hilarious text mesage or meme to brighten your day, helping you to breathe a little easier in the middle of your season.

Let me give you a little history here:

I met many of these friends when I was a teenager; while I was still in my formative years. Friends I didn’t know in childhood and friends I didn’t know I’d walk into and through adulthood with. But God did.

These friendships, like many of the friendships I’ve been blessed to be a part of, have been lifelines for me. Providing pivotal encouragement and support, sharing wisdom and hope in the seasons when needed most and sharing laughter and joy like good medicine for the bones. Even sharing in several greetings including many hellos, and farewells, as life has taken us each to different places than our original starting point.

That’s the beauty of friendship though, isn’t it?

Sometimes you don’t know how much hope it gives you to have a friend until you need a friend & have a friend by your side. In the seasons where they know you can use the extra hope to hold onto, and even in the seasons where they have no clue how much their presence, their smile, or their messages mattered.

We arrived back home and after a fun weekend and while unpacking, my husband brought in a rose that he had just cut from one of our rose bushes outside. He’s a keeper:). This rose was exceptional (see pic below). It was huge, in full bloom and it’s petals were various shades of hot pink. Mind you, it was end of October, almost November here on the Western Slope of Colorado. Our area has already experienced the dry heat of Summer, the chill of Fall setting in, and frost covering the housetops of our neighborhood. But this rose you guys, this rose held on through all of it to display it’s most beautiful colors and fragrance at the most unlikely time – in the middle of Fall. Not when the climate was sunny enough or when the sky was brilliant and bright; this rose was in bloom in the middle of a grey and overcast day.

The Beautiful Rose From The Hubs:)

My pink rose held on during the heat that saps life out of most everything, and endured rising and falling temperatures in the days that followed Summer. It endured wind and rain, tons of dust blowing around from nearby construction. It held on, and we noticed it’s beauty.

Friends, I don’t know what kind of season you’ve been enduring through. I don’t know what kind of season you are in the middle of right now. What I do know is that if ever there was a time for us to hold on, it’s now.

We must hold onto hope.

We must hold onto friendship.

We must hold onto God Himself.

Whether you are walking through some difficult times and need a friend to lean on, or maybe you are enjoying the best times in life, everyone is in need of friendship that both endures and helps us hold on to hope. I encourage you today, call up a friend, text a funny message to a loved one, or tell your coworker to send you their coffee order and pick up coffee before heading into work. Look for flowers and bring them indoors to bring a smile to someone’s face and joy to their heart. Here are the lessons I learned about friendship and flowers this past week – They are gifts that help us hold on. And through holding on, we have been given two gifts:

  • The ability to receive hope and healing when our friends speak words of encouragement and display actions that speak louder than words,

and

  • the ability to offer hope and healing when we allow our hearts to hold onto hope and overflow with that same love through our words and actions.

When we have received that burst of hope and that healing medicine to our bones, we too can be like that rose from my hubby – A display of enduring beauty in the midst of a cold season while sharing a sweet fragrance of strength for those around us to be impacted by.

Friends, may we not just know friends like the ones I have shared about today, but may we also be friends like that. May we also remember that because Our God offers comfort and hope to us daily, that we can choose to do the same for those around us too. And the next time we see flowers in the store or in our own garden, may we remember that they endured some seasons of their own, and we can too.

Let’s Pray: Dear Heavenely Father, thank you for the blessing of friendship. Thank you for the gift of receiving love and hope from others on the days we need it most and on the days that we didn’t realize how much it would mean later. You are the giver all all good gifts Lord – may we never take for granted the gifts of the family and friends in our lives who uplift and encourage us. Lord, we ask You to help us be those kind of friends for others – noticing where we can offer a smile or where we can administer a healing word or action. We thank you Lord that our life happens in seasons, and that no matter the season, You reveal to us that You Jesus, are truly the friend that sticks even closer than a brother. Thank you for demonstrating friendship to those around You all throughout You Word and for giving us a model to follow. You are our hope in the middle of every season we experience and You are the Author and Sustainer of Life. Lord, we humbly ask for Your help as we offer hope, love, and support to those around us. We also pray that in the seasons where our own spirit could use a boost of hope, that we would have eyes to see it around us and the endurance to fiercely hold onto it as we go from one season to the next. Lord as we hold on to Your hope, may we bloom beautifully right where we are and in doing so, may it bring beauty and hope to the lives of those around us. You are so kind to us – giving us the gift of friendship and God, we thank you for the blessing it is to share this life with others near and far. Amen.

Go The Extra Mile: It might be beause we have lived in the country a little bit these last (almost) 4 years, but this song hit just right today! Check out this song by Chris Tomlin & Chris Lane, “Gifts From God” and then calll up your friends to let them know how much of a gift from God they are to you! Such a cool song!