My Simple Secrets To Cultivate Joy

Consistency is the key to cultivating joy. I've found that purposeful practices in my daily routine allow my heart to uncover more joy in the everyday. There's a balance to be found between the heart in the hustle, and it doesn't have to be profound to be meaningful. 
Make the most of the joy in this season. Below are a few simple secrets to cultivate joy in your daily routine. 

Be intentional with social media. 

If God has given you a platform, for heaven's sake, use it for His glory! This sweet truth from a friend has been a seed of joy in my story. We control the influence social media has on our daily routine. Will we take it as an opportunity to sow the seed of joy or will we walk away parched?  Choose to feed yourself with goodness as your scroll through social media feeds. 
Action Step: Set a timer for 30 minutes; it's time for some pruning! Open up your Facebook, Instagram and Twitter (Snapchat, Periscope, and all the other things!) Weed through your social media outlets and fill it with only people and businesses that shine joy into your days. Find more on my favorite outlets of encouragement in social media here

Begin the day in Scripture. 

Scripture is the sweetest source of joy. With eyes fixed on Jesus we bring heart to the forefront of the hustle.  It takes daily surrender for spiritual growth. When we root ourselves in the truth of the Bible, we remind ourselves who He is and who we are in Him at every turn.
Action Step: Grab a set of Heart in the Hustle Scripture Cards to keep on your bedside table. Each morning before you grab your phone, grab your HITH Scripture Cards. 

Surround yourself with Truth and encouragement in Community. 

On the walls of your office, in the stream of your social media (see above), on the lock screen of your phone, in the company you keep, in the depths of your heart cover it all with joy. It's okay to need constant reminders. It's human to need reminders of joy! Scripture calls us to rejoice always (1 Thessalonians 5:16). To sow this seed well we'll need a community of accountability. 

Choose joy, every day. 

Choose joy in the desert, in the harvest, in the pruning. Shift the focus from the chase of happiness to the art of joy. Sow seeds in good soil and see the Good News take root in your life (Mark 4:20). This, friends, is where we find our portion. This is where we cultivate our joy.

Seeking Meaningful Margin In The Hustle

Margin is becoming a sweet spot in my monthly goals. I'm making room for margin because I've felt the sincere urgency to unrush my spirit. I'm a lover of the hustle, but friends the hustle moves at a pace that can quickly carry away the heart. When hours pass as minutes I find myself in great need of something more. Mainly, more of God.
The Word of God has done more to transform my joy in the daily routine than anything else. No other 'how to' post I could ever write would serve you as well as me pointing you to the Bible and the Gospel of Jesus Christ. 
Margin, for me, isn't space in my calendar, it's space in my heart. It's where I welcome the Holy Spirit to move in me and through me. Margin is where I end and He begins. Margin is where my whole heart is realigned to the One who matters most. 

I want the work of my hands, the words of my mouth, the lives that'll fill my legacy to know not that I did good works, but that what Jesus did for us on the Cross is the greatest work ever. 
Heart in the Hustle comes from a vulnerable place for me. It's the lessons of how I made this margin for God. It's a testimony we can all share: a broken soul transformed to a redeemed daughter. 
The chains can be undone. We've been set free, friends. There's no to-do list or measure of worldly success that can cover you in shame. Rather, we're covered by the precious blood of Jesus Christ. 

The Gospel brings unending, everlasting joy.
That's the heart I want in the hustle. That's the kind of margin I want in the daily routine. I want to be closer to Him. To know Him more and to reflect His heart in the hustle. 

How to Thrive in Survival Mode

I was once guilty of living my days in a not-so-joyful survival mode. I hustled through the to-do list on auto-pilot crossing off the items just to collapse on the couch as soon as possible. But there's no joy in that kind of survival mode. There's no room for fruitful growth when we let the emotion of survival mode rule every waking moment.
Much of this summer has been survival mode for me. Spring was such a sweet time of rest and delighting in the Lord's hand, but summer presented a season with little margin. I thrive on margin, but when my calendar won't allow for it I have to get really intentional with how I cultivate joy in the daily routine. 
Through weathering many seasons of survival mode, I've refined my process for thriving in these seasons. Joy is still possible even in seasons of survival, friends.

These are my go-to practices of thriving in tough seasons. 

Mental Download

Grab a piece of paper, your journal, a fresh blog post and empty yourself of all the thoughts stirring in your spirit. Set a timer for 10 minutes and just write. Then, read back over this sheet and bring all of these burdens, prayers, and praises before the Lord. He will hear you, friend and He's prepared to carry your load. 


Give yourself permission to accept that you're in a season of survival mode. This doesn't have to be a place of discontentment, rather a time to seek His provision in the meaningful mundane. You can thrive right here in the chaos of survival mode through the strength of the Lord. With God even an impossible season becomes possible (and joyful!)

Meditate on Scripture

Grab a moment to be still before God. When we're in a season of survival mode, nothing will quench our thirst like the Word. Though there may feel like not enough hours in the day, we should approach His word daily. God will take this time to interrupt us and re-establish our steps to His path. 

July Goals with Grace

I'm tapping into my stock of January spark again this month. I resolved to bottle up that sweet 'new year's spark' to carry with me to the first of every month in 2015, and it's been such a joy to dig in with an expectant heart every month.  At the very core of this resolution, you'll find a fount of gratitude. Because, friends, gratitude changes everything. 
“The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing.”
— Zephaniah 3:17
It's hard to believe that we're leaping into the second half of the year. Things are barreling forward, but I'm pausing here in the thick of it. Right here in the mess, I'm stopping to soak up the joy. To simply delight in His hand. 
My heart uncovered a lot of stuff in the past six months. I hustled out of my own striving rather than hustling with a Kingdom perspective. My heart was covered up by the mess of the hustle unaware of how I was stepping out of the path He'd prepared. 
The good news is, Spring always follows Winter, light always shines in the darkness, and new mercies are ours every single morning. 

I'm emerging from a season of pruning. Really, our growth is stunted without seasons of pruning. Without the Gardener we'd remain just a bud on the vine. But through pruning He prepares us to bloom in our story. The second quarter of 2015 was one which the Lord showed me how to humbly delight in His work through me.
What's to come in the back half of 2015 is sure to be pure joy, friends! Here's what on my radar this month.
Monthly Goals:
  • Implement and maintain new work flow schedule
  • Complete second round of 21 Day Fix
  • Delight in His Word through daily journaling 
  • Cultivate joy
Weekly Goals:
  • Be adventurous with my family
  • Tend to general business upkeep
  • Weekly Food prep on Sundays
Daily Goals:
  • 10-minute tidy up before bed
  • Water, water, water
  • Scripture study & journaling
I'm thrilled to pieces about the potential the rest of July holds! I'm a bit in survival mode, but I can see the fruit in this fresh season of abiding. Though it may be busy, it is most certainly full!

Scripture For Moms This Summer Season

You’ve snapped the official “last day of school” pic for Instagram, wrapped up Spring sports and grabbed every last peony bloom from Trader Joe's. It’s official! We can now grasp hold of the sweetness of summer.

My heart is feeling hopeful as we waltz into Summer. The joy of this season rivals even the best of Christmas mornings. As a mama, I want to thrive this Summer not just survive, and y’all I want that for each of us in motherhood. It’s time to steady our rhythm to the light breeze of Summer.

When you peel away the labels society places on moms you’ll find one common theme: we all want to see joy in the hearts of our children. Joy. It really is that simple.
So, here’s the goal this Summer: let’s be purposeful in how we cultivate joy for us and our littles.

Step 1: Inhale the bustle and stress of the school year.
Step 2: Exhale the joyful childhood wonder of Summer.

Summers look a little different for every mama. For some of you, school is out and you’re deep in the trenches of entertaining your kids every second of every day. For others (me included), we’re still in the grind of ‘working mom’ status and finding the balance between Summer fun and the usual daily routine. And still, there are the mamas who work from home and are now juggling their work hours with gaggles of littles all under one roof. Even with these differences I just keep coming back to our common goal: cultivate joy.

Wherever you find yourself this Summer, I have good news. You can have a fruitful Summer right where you are, with what you have. The Summer Bucket Lists are filling my Pinterest feed and the ideas for entertainment seem endless. But there’s a flip-side to this joy of Summer. The flip-side is we’re going to seek joy and we long to do it well, but without well watered roots we’re going to lose our way.

My pre-schooler reminded me just how not joyful Summer can be this morning. After the audacious request that he get dressed for Summer Camp, I witnessed the most epic of meltdowns. After 15 minutes of torturous debate with him, we were each sent to our respective time-outs (because moms you’re never too old for time out). And my heart whispered: Lord flood our hearts and home with joy and peace.

Moms, let’s not fool ourselves into believing every second of this Summer will be flawless. It will not be. But in the flaws there’s room for more grace and joy than we could plan for. 
Here are a handful of scripture verses to help us cultivate joy in the thick of it this Summer. 
  1. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. -John 14:27
  2. He tends his flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart; he gently leads those that have young. -Isaiah 40:11 (grab a free iPhone wallpaper download here!)
  3. She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come. -Proverbs 13:25
  4. The Lord has done it this very day; let us rejoice today and be glad. -Psalm 118:24 (grab a free iPhone wallpaper download here!)
  5. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. - Hebrews 12:2-2
  6. Gracious words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones. -Proverbs 16:24 (grab a free iPhone wallpaper download here!)
  7. The joy of the Lord is your strength. -Nehemiah 8:10

There’s no place we can hide His love won’t find us this season. He sees us there making bucket lists and great plans for our littles. He also sees us tucked away in the kitchen devouring that last piece of chocolate.
Let’s make this season one of celebration and joy. Let’s cultivate the art of celebration this Summer not just for our kids but for us too. And when we hit those weary moments in motherhood, let's cling to the One whose joy is our strength. As we water ourselves with Truth we can live well in response to His word. 
The art of celebration in the daily routine doesn't have to be done perfectly. It was never meant to be perfect, rather laid down in surrender for His glory.
A friend introduced me to Rend Collective's 'Art of Celebration' video recently and it's been a sweet spot in my step as we begin Summer. Take a few minutes to watch this video, it'll be a bright spot in your day and a little spark to your fruitful Summer.
This video gets right to the core of my mission to cultivate joy. Get a taste of the joy we can cultivate this season!

June Goals with Grace

The best plans, I've found, are the ones we never plan for. That seems to be how May went. Looking back at my May goals with grace, I'm humbled. The Lord did good things in May. I wanted to keep things simple which was good because we saw quite the shake-up in our daily routine in May. 
I tend to be the visionary for our family. The dreamer and planner who sees the many possibilities ahead. My husband stands as my biggest fan and encourager in chasing big dreams for our family. But in May? In May, I laid down my big dreams to lift those of my husband. We set everything aside and hustled for one of his big dreams. 
My biggest takeaway from May: God is good. God is good to me. God is good at being God. 
And with that, I continue to surrender my life to His will because, friend, His way is so much better. When I rest on the standards of our culture, I drown in a sea of unrighteous expectations. But when I look to the Lord, I'm assured that good is being done to bring glory to His name.
Though things won't happen in my time or according to my goals each month, I know He's planned good works for me and so I press on. I lean in to new paths and a revived spirit.

This last month, I felt a revival in my heart and in our home. The biggest challenges were bending my will to His will. I do this again and again. I lay it down but catch myself later trying to make things go my way instead of His. Despite this challenge, I went before Him and laid it all down again and again. His plan > My plan - it's just that simple. 
I had less self-doubting which made more time to delight in the mighty power of God to move in our story. I learned to pray big prayers, specific prayers and that no matter what He is good. This last month, I'm overcome with gratitude for His sovereign hand. 
This next month I want to make a fruitful summer happen for myself, my family and this creative company.
In similar fashion, I'm pruning my goals to leave plenty of margin for Him to move. 
Monthly Goals:
  • Business Batch Day (update all expense spreadsheets)
  • Finish re-doing our back deck & host friends for dinner and a play date
  • Be wild and free in Him
Weekly Goals:
  • Be adventurous with Jackson
  • Intentional time getting healthy & fit (aka complete 21 day fix)
Daily Goals:
  • 10-minute tidy up before bed
  • Hydrate
  • Prayer and Devotion 

May Monthly Goals with Grace

You'll notice that I skipped right past April goals. I left last with goals for March which centered on celebrating a handful of milestones and personal happenings well, and that's just what I did.
I spent time the first week of April unplugged from social media and plugged into a little spring break vacation with my family. In this time, the rhythm to my daily routine finally found a refreshed beat. My PowerSheets brought me to the 'Refresh' section gently leading me to a genuine reflection of 2015's first quarter. I found a renewed heart in the rare quiet of this season. 
April's goals began to mesh with my quarterly refresh and as fate would have it never made it to the blog. I'll plan to share a bit more on my first quarter reflection and those April goals, but for now let's just jump to May goals. 

This last month, I felt still before Him, refueled by His presence. My biggest challenges were getting ahead of my calendar and stabilizing my new workflow. 
I did more doing, trusting, seeking, seeing the blessings. I learned that even delighting in the Lord takes purposeful focus in the chaos of the daily routine. 

This month, I was grateful He lead the way, loving me in His constant presence. Next month I will focus on delighting in Him. I'll steady myself in a new workflow and make the most of the fringe hours of my days. I will continue to remind myself progress not perfection, and saturate my spirit in His word.
Monthly Goals:
  1. get ahead of blog editorial calendar
  2. delight in Him
  3. have a family adventure
  4. finish reading Do Over 
Weekly Goals:
  1. schedule weekly workflow with specific time limits every Sunday
  2. disconnect from phone
  3. date night
Daily Goals:
  1. devotion/prayer
  2. find joy and take note of the happy moments every night
  3. check goals
Simple and sweet this month. I'm taking on just a few specific goals this month to ensure I'll make purposeful progress on these items. Friends, I'm bursting with joy to start sharing sneak peeks of our newest product. It's a big piece of my heart for cultivating joy in the daily routine, and I pray it will walk with you to make much of Jesus.
It's going to be a great month! 
How are your monthly goals? Share them in the comments or leave the link to your monthly goal blog posts!

Coffee Date: Beauty From Brokenness

"Failure will get you further than fear," that's what Lara Casey told a room full of women last May. Hopeful as I sat on the edge of my seat looking to glean the spark God has set ablaze in her. Failure will get you further than fear. 
I teetered on the boundary line of my comfort zone and acting in obedience. And there she was, this petite, darling red-head speaking what He'd been telling me for weeks: "if He's called you it, then do it." We can come to Him just as we are. No need to tidy up all those messy parts of our lives before approaching the throne. His love welcomes us broken, His hands ready to cover us with grace and send us out with hope.

Going through the motions doesn’t please you, a flawless performance is nothing to you. I learned God-worship when my pride was shattered. Heart-shattered lives ready for love don’t for a moment escape God’s notice. ”
— Psalm‬ ‭51‬:‭16-17‬ MSG
A few years ago I walked into a storm that would break me in the most beautiful way. By accepting a new job I found myself tossed into the tides of a legal battle that would teach me the greatest lesson of my life: He orchestrates beauty from brokenness.
Month after month we forged forward using our gifts to pursue justice in the storm. Yet, day in and out more people were pulled into the wake of this storm with no light in sight. My heart clung to the justice system with a steadfast faith until one day it broke into a million little pieces. Right there in my little office I fell to my knees sobbing, looking to the Lord with empty hands, heart surrendered to His will.
Broken but not forsaken. 
In our brokenness, He is able to work good. From the depths of our brokenness, He writes a story of grace. In that place the we've declared a 'bad season', His Gospel is the Truth that declares us victorious. 
Let it break you. When we see the world through the lens of the Gospel it will break you. Going through the motions doesn't please Him, but when we come to Him with the broken pieces of our heart, He's able to begin the good work in our lives.  

He delivers us from our fears, and gives us opportunity to walk in His ways. It doesn't have to be flawless, it just has to be done, humbly. Let's bring ourselves to the Cross broken, allowing Him to mend us and send us out to build for His Kingdom.

“But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”
— Matthew 6:33
At our best, in our brokenness, His love never fails. I want my brokenness to sink into Jesus' presence and not just rest there but be propelled outward to share this Gospel love with others. All the coffee and hustle will never fully fill me if I'm not seeking Jesus first. Because of the Gospel we can hustle and not grow weary.
His loves allows us to hold ourselves to a standard of grace not perfection.
Loosen the reigns bit by bit until you've fully surrendered them to Him. It's okay to be broken. Let His word speak truth over you, friend. Heart-shattered lives are best prepared for His will to be done. 

Five On Friday - The Good Stuff

I want to breath in the meaningful of the seemingly mundane moments of the daily routine. I want to look to the Cross and know that because He lives I can walk free and full of joy. I want to delight in His ways and draw near to Him. 
Anyone else still reeling from the joy of Easter celebrations? Yeah. Me too. More on this and my April goals next week. That's right, my April goals are coming half-way through the month. Progress not perfection :)
Our purpose cannot depend on someone else’s yes. The only yes that matters is God’s.”
— Lara Casey
I have this awful habit of starting a book then never finishing it. I'm committing myself to reading (and finishing) at least four books this year. This number may be small to some, but I want to ensure I squeeze every ounce of grace & gumption out of each book on the list! First up? Lara Casey's Make it Happen book - find my book review and top takeaways here!
I've loved sharing my becoming a blogger series with you love the last few months, but when real life causes you to throw the editorial calendar out the window and choose present over perfect you just go with it. 
I served up grace for the blogger. Grab yourself some here

My favorite link to love this week: 3 Questions to Help you Define Success via Chatting at the Sky. Here's a little teaser: When my soul feels overwhelmed I can almost always trace it back to my trying to define success in terms of an outcome I can’t control.
I'm thrilled to pieces to have a clear direction for new products & services we'll be offering in the by Erin Creative Co. shop! My mission has always been to cultivate a life of joy and root this community, our families and brands in what matters most. Friends, I have a handful of products & services we'll be launching in the coming months to walk alongside you in sowing the seed you've received to cultivate meaningful legacies! insert happy dance [here] :)
NOW? Now I'm off wrap up the hustle of the work week and prepare my heart for a social media free weekend hopefully filled with belly laughs, date nights and curling up with this quarter's book!

Book Review: Make It Happen By Lara Casey

This year, I've added to my goals: read more. I want to really make the margin meaningful. Where contentment and joy meet, that's where I want to steady my heart. I need to silence the distractions stealing my margin to truly savor the goodness of the daily routine. So, I'll be replacing a smidge of social media time for diving into a handful of books. 
Through books I can nourish myself in a lasting way. First-hand memoirs of adventure, faith, refinement and the joy in the journey. To cultivate a life of joy I need balance between the heart and the hustle where I find a slow rythym to the daily routine. It'll take purpose on my part, but will no doubt be worth the efforts. 

“It is what you read when you don’t have to that determines what you will be when you can’t help it.”
— Oscar Wilde
I hope to make it through at least two books a quarter in 2015. This seems like a small number to some, but I want to ensure I take the time to squeeze every ounce of grace from each book on this year's list. 
When Lara Casey announced her book, Make it Happen, would be shipping out pre-orders January 1, I knew this would be the ideal way to start the year. And, oh my goodness friend, it really really was!

Amidst the growing pains of finding my way as a blogger, I stumbled upon Lara Casey's blog. Her mission to encourage others is evidenced by heart on her sleeve at all times. Each post published is sweet as honeysuckle yet simultaneously sparks fire in your heart to make what matters to you happen. 
Lara serves up grace and gumption to pull you out of the comfort zone and into a place where purposeful living can happen right where you are. Though I've read Lara's blog, attended one of her events and a handful of webinar's, I was humbled by the personal way she shares her story in the book.
You may as well be gathered around Lara's table for a glass of sweet tea prepared for an afternoon tending to Gracie's Garden. That's how this book brings you in. Delving deep into Lara's heart for knowing your story, planting good seeds, tending to the garden and cultivating a life of surrender. 
You walk alongside Lara as she lays it all down in surrender for His glory and her good. Lara breaks down all personal boundaries to let us in through career and marriage trials, family tragedy, therapy sessions and a big ole leap of faith to launch Southern Weddings. Through struggles we see refinement and Lara shares how she built on those seasons to cultivate a life of purpose over perfect. 
As she says, 'This book is an invitation to stop striving, be still, and let go of your struggles and fears. To surrender what feels like everything to gain what really is everything.' 

Broken down by sections the books weaves your heart in and out of reading and reflection. Be prepared with a pen and potentially an extra notebook. This isn't just a book for reading, this is a book that'll encourage you to get messy in the margins. And really? You can't dive into this book without being compelled to jot down all that's being stirred in your spirit. 
Live on purpose. It's a challenge Lara presents to the readers. Make 'it' happen. Lara is quick to credit God for making all things possible. It's her trust in His sovereign hand that carries her out of the comfort zones to live a life of purpose. And friend, that's just what she wants for me and you. 
Step by step you can make it happen in your life and Lara shows you how. The book breaks down your big dreams, life goals and biggest fears into small actionable steps to make what matters to you happen. 
What I love most about this book, and Lara herself, is that it's sincere. It's a life that's been lived messy and full of hope. She shares these words to encourage our hearts to live on purpose because she's been there and she'll tell you she's still sorting it all out herself. She's surrendered the fear. Taken the leap. Living on purpose.

Top Takeaway Quotes

If God is calling you to something greater, He will equip you in His way and timing. 
There are lots of ways to get busy and then be totally burned out. 
But there is only one path to purpose: Jesus.
No matter how lost and forsaken you feel, God's love never fails. He can change 
what feels unchangeable. God is real and always at work, even if everything in 
your life is telling you otherwise right now. Don't just pray about what seems 
logical and possible. Pray hard about the impossible. 
Our purpose cannot depend on someone else's yes. The only yes that matters is God's.

This is the first book I've had no trouble powering through in years. It was sheer joy to read this book.
I cried, laughed and nodded along as the pages turned. I'd rate this book a 9/10. I don't know what
my perfect book is just yet, but Make It Happen has set the bar high. 
You can order the book all over the place:
If you plan to read the book, I encourage you to grab a set of her PowerSheets. This set of worksheets
has helped guide my goals and quash my fears in the last year. They also just so happen to flow nicely
 with the book's action steps.  Grab yourself a set before she's sold out for the year!

Coffee Date: The Servant's Heart

If we were to sit down for coffee today, I'd be simply grateful. I see the bright glory of the Gospel as we teeter on the cusp of Easter. I couldn't escape the reminder of Easter weekend if I wanted to. Thankfully, Easter is my favorite.
I spend the weeks before Easter reflecting on the ministry Jesus lived out in the weeks leading up to that pivotal moment at Calvary. It's a revival for my spirit every year as I walk through these passages. If Christ died for me, for my sin, then what? Who am I not to turn my hands and heart open to Him in surrender?
Expectant as I entered into Lent, the eyes of my heart were opened to new direction. His direction.
I found myself somehow just slightly wandering from His path and forging my own once again. Don't we all? Yet, this Lenten season's takeaway has been consistent: drop all things, all of them, and follow Him. No questions. No contingencies. Just follow.
Jesus lived His life in obedient ministry. The mundane moments made holy through our Father. His every step was made in surrender. His every action one of a servant. 
“just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
— Matthew 20:28
The end of Lent is really just the beginning. My chains, your chains, they've all been broken. Because Jesus came with a servant heart, faithful to the Father, we can walk out with servant hearts for His continued glory. 

Where are you today, friend? Slowing down with a cup of coffee, perhaps. Stealing a few minutes before the Gospel, I hope. 

Grace In The Daily Routine

I've been burdened this week. My daily routine is one that's fairly consistent. Day in and out I could likely tell you that everything is the 'same old, same old.' But that's the burden. Everything isn't the 'same old, same old.' And, friends, that's okay to acknowledge. Each day He presents new opportunities, new trials, new mercies. 
No two days are the same, nothing worldly is a constant. And so, if I am going to cultivate a life of joy, I must cling to the one thing that will not ever be shaken: the Gospel. 
The daily routine, the hustle if you will, is constant but ever-changing with the passing hours. My burden is for you and for me and for women who want to make it happen for His glory. You've had a passion set in your heart. You're filled with potential. But the daily routine this week has presented you with a pre-schooler with the stomach bug, a boss who returned from vacation with the funk, a print package that needed to be redone completely.
Where's the joy? The joy is in the gratitude friends. Let's make our anthem this season, "thank you, Jesus." Let's make the distractions our focus. Let's focus on what He's put in front of us as it comes.

Wherever he's put you, lean into it. Whatever he's presented to you this week, welcome it with open arms. And friends, invite His grace and its bountiful glory into your daily routine.

He's placed you where you are for a reason. No more self doubt. No more talking down to yourself. We cannot encourage our people if we're too busy beating ourselves up over every detail and distraction. Lean into Him.

When we are weak, He will be our strength. When our souls are weary, He will be the traction under our feet. He will be our portion.

God has the ability to stretch your heart, calendar, and ability to make it happen. If He's put a calling on your heart, He will be the provision. Trust that He's moving in your story.
And when the feeling of overwhelm creeps in? Get still before the Lord. Being still before Him doesn't mean the world will stop moving or that you can stop the hustle, but it allows you to lay it all at His cross and walk away victorious, renewed and equipped.

Those God-sized dreams won't work unless you do, but they also won't work until we hand it over completely to Him. Faith in His provision isn't about making the daily routine perfect, it's trusting His plan is greater than ours. One foot in front of the other, the small steps matter

“Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”
— Hebrews 4:16

Do not hold your daily routine to a standard of perfection. In His timing all things will come to fruition. 

If we let the hustle overcome the heart, we'll lose focus. That was my February. The hustle won. The heart was buried deep in the chaos and brokenness of our world. But God. God redeems me (and you). He gives new mercies and He presents the opportunity for me to realign the hustle so its centered on the heart of what matters most: a life of joy cultivated through His Good News and sovereign hand.
There is abundant grace in the process. There is beauty in the drafting of our story.

March Goals With Grace

February. I have so few words to share about last month. I came to my keyboard to sum up January, and found myself thankful to Him for carrying my weary soul and showing me the goodness in our days. But February? Well, I sat to work through my PowerSheets page entitled "This Month Wins" and I had to be honest with myself. Last month did not win. 
Last month, I felt distracted, worried. I was filled with self-doubt. I grasped onto control rather than surrendering all to Him. When I dug deep in reflection of February, my heart revealed a lack of trust in Him to work good in the 28 days of February. 
We saw health issues in our own home. I saw serious mental breakdowns of persons in the profession around me. And then, and then, there was the persecuted church. Such a short month. So much tragedy. Those 28 days left me anxious, worried and breathing out 'why' in place of the praise. 
I declared March 1 my fresh slate. 
The good news is the Gospel of truth teaches His mercies are new every day (Lamentations 3:22-23. Through the struggles He refines us for our good and His glory. And best of all? The good news, the best news of all - Jesus came before us. 
My PowerSheets pep talk went a little something like this: I can do this! I am worthy and equipped because He has secured our victory. He has already accomplished everything on the cross. His love has won. He has set me free. 
And so, I drafted my March monthly goals with a clean slate and new mercies in mind. 
  • Meaningful Bible study. Full surrender of those little parts of worldly life I selfishly cling to.
  • Daily disconnect: turn off phone from 8-5 at work.
  • Weekend disconnect: delete social media apps on iPhone.
  • Celebrate Jackson's fourth birthday well and with a whole lot of love.
  • Celebrate three years with my law firm and attorney team.
  • Family trip to Nashville for Spring Break, intentionally planned for days well spent.
  • Adjust and adopt a new workflow around Saturday activities. 
For me, March is about acknowledging the small moments and lifting up praise for each and every one. His praise will ever be on my lips this month. No more 'why' only 'thank you.'