Coffee Date: Hand Over The Worry

I'm a worrier by nature, always have been. But when we gain Christ, when we live life as a believer, we learn through the Gospel we're to hand over all the worry and count on our faith to carry us through. Friends, can I be real for a second? I struggle with this on a very serious level. 
In this season with my relationship with the Lord, I'd say we're in a lovely, strong place. But? But my worry is something that continually clouds my belief and feeds me the lies of the enemy. I want to be still in this Lent season. I want to lay it down - all of it. I mean, my word of the year is 'surrender' yet here I am battling His will with my worry. 
In the weeks leading up to Easter, I want to be especially intentional to quiet the buzz of the hustle so as to tune my heart to hear His voice. He presents Himself to us continually, but how often are we so caught up in the busyness of life that we miss out on what He's telling us. I know, for me, it's far too often. 

If I'm going to surrender my worry and fear and anxieties sincerely over to Him, I've got to hush the buzz of my self-created busyness. No more will I let busyness quiet the Lord's voice in my life. No more will I be more present on social media than in His word. No more will I let the hustle take over my heart. No more will I allow my worry to override His will. 
If handing over my worry and busyness will allow the Lord to be present in my life then that's what I'm choosing. I'm taking my eyes off the busyness and focusing them in on Him. I'm releasing the hustle and giving Him my heart. All the worry and pride and sin of my life, I'm laying at the cross. Let's allow the Lord to draw us in.
This week my prayers are focused on this verse:
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus”
— Philippians 4:6-7
Friends, I pray you're getting low before the Gospel this season. I pray that you're welcoming Him  into your hearts. I pray that you're laying yourself before the cross in repentance then lifting your hands and eyes to Him in praise. If you're looking for guided scripture this season we recommend the She Reads Truth plan. Also, the Bible YouVersion app offers a handful of devotions focused on studies for the Lent season. We're also reading through the Hillsong 40 Days of Revival.

Coffee Date: No Logic, Just Love

I’m expectant this Lenten season. My heart can already feel His presence stirring in the different facets of my life, but what I’m hearing most loudly is this: it’s not about me, it’s never been about me, it’s always been about Him. 
Gratitude changes everything. Grace changes everything. He paid a debt we could never pay on our own. Our Father sent His son to flip the script on death and give us the greatest gift of all: eternal life. There is no logic at Calvary, only love. 
Our Pastor said something last week I can’t shake. He said, “before we can build for His kingdom we’ve got to admit that we are a sinner, that we have junk in our heart.” The thing of it is, even after we’ve had our conversion moment, declared that our life is His, we are still in sin, we still need to go before Him in repentance daily. The hustle overtakes our hearts, and we need to slow down and realign. 
“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.”
— John 10:10

What if we got low before the Gospel? What if we got still and humbled and read the Good News as new news rather than old news? What if we received the Word with clean hearts?
For too long I lived life for my plans and my will. It took years for me to bend my will to His, to see that He is for me if I’d just acknowledge that His plan is greater. Through any pain and suffering, He still reigns and He is still good. I went before Him in repentance many times knowing through the Gospel He forgives me (1 John 1:9), but I was missing out on a key factor: actually receiving His forgiveness. Friends, if you’ve asked for it, His hand is reaching out to you with love and forgiveness, you just have to accept it. Don’t let your shame bury his grace.

So? Surrender. Lay it down at His feet and pick up His cross.

I want to challenge you as we prepare for Easter to be still. People will tell you that in Lent we give up something. This always rubbed me the wrong way mainly because people forget to disclose the vital part of giving up something: taking on more of Him. We give up something to gain more of Him. This year commit to fast from something that’s genuinely taking time and attention away from Him in your life.

I’ll be giving up a bit of sleep and a bit of television time so as to rededicate that time to studying through several devotional plans. Last year, I got low before the Lord in a new way and it changed my life. Last year, all that old news was finally seen as new news and He stole my heart.

My prayer as we enter into Lent is that He would invade our hearts. That we would be overcome by His presence. That we would fall before Him humbled, expectant, and prepared for His will to reign in our lives not just this season but for all of our days.  
This week we're featuring two lock screens, one a bit more feminine than the other. My hope going forward is to offer a lock screen option that the man in your life would use enabling you and your partner to meditate on the same piece of scripture throughout the week. 

Coffee Date: Love With Abandon

I may have done a mental high-five to my husband when our Pastor announced we'd be studying through Ruth in January. Friends, Ruth is my favorite love story of all time. I'm fairly certain the love story with my husband is an obligated favorite, but confession: Ruth wins, hands down.
If you've not studied the book of Ruth or her story, put it on your list. Rather than spoil the details of her redemptive love story today, I'm going to share a sweet taste of the love He showers down in this book. 

Ruth was a woman not born into faith. But Ruth? Ruth finds herself under the wing of God’s providence. When life hands Ruth and her mother-in-law a seemingly raw deal, we see His plans were only just beginning to play out in their lives. This is so reflective of our everyday. Both big and little tragic moments tend to make no sense until looking back to the big-picture plan He was orchestrating.
“Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God. ”
— Ruth 1:16
The Lord is after our hearts, and in this moment Ruth declares that He has hers. This, friends, this is Ruth’s conversion moment, and it absolutely makes me want to do a happy dance each and every time I read this verse. Ruth isn't simply clinging to her mother-in-law in this declaration, she is clinging to the Lord. 

I find myself clinging to Him lately, too. Not just reading His word or praying routine prayers, but desperately clinging to my Savior. My heart is thirsty for Him in a new way this winter season. 

Throughout the book of Ruth we see His sovereign hand at work. Ruth steps out in faith, taking radical risks in the department of love. Love for her mother-in-law, love for her future husband and love for her Savior. 

At the top of my February goals you’ll find “love others well.” It seems simple enough, but friends if we aren’t openly receiving His love we’ll never be able to love others well. If we push Him away, if we keep grasp of control, if we refuse to fully let His love lead our lives then we’re going to miss the mark on loving others well and abiding in Him. 

He loves us relentlessly. Let us receive that love and in turn love others and Him with the same relentless abandon.

February Goals with Grace

January brought on all!the!things! And truly, I caught myself walking around the office many days mumbling "all the things." I had no words. None. Someone would ask for help and my response was simply, "all the things." 
All the emotions. All the tasks. All the calls and responsibilities and stuff! It was a lot. I knew January was going to be a marathon, but I guess I'd not done quite enough training. There were days we shared high-fives and patted ourselves on the back for a job well done, but there were days we left burnt out. And friends? When I'm feeling all!the!things! at work, it means I'm feeling all!the!things! at home too. 
My January spark got a bit out of hand and often felt like a fire. But good news, God's nearness was felt so closely along with all the emotions. He carried us in a way that we could never have done on our own, and for that I sing His praises as we enter a new month.

Review of January Goals:

  • Be intentional in checking goal list. I remembered to daily check my PowerSheets tending list 3/4 of the month. Progress! 
  • Meaningful Bible study. Y'all. I studied through the book of John last month and oh my how it's set my heart in a beautiful place just weeks before Lent. 
  • Be present. This meant disconnecting from my phone and this one is a toss up. I still have progress to make in this department, but I will say I spent more time just staring at Jackson. Memorizing his little laugh lines and snuggling on the couch after work.
  • Have 1 "big" family adventure.  
  • Draft of new products. How about draft AND launch new products! We launched six new print designs in the shop last week. Each design is a chunk of my heart, and I hope you'll hop over to the shop & grab yourself a new design :)
  • Draft of branding project. Didn't get there in January. The print design launch took more out of me than expected. It's starting this week, though. An inspiration board for this project hits the blog next week!
  • Consistent scheduled blog posts. Friends, I hope you've been reading the blog because it's beginning to fill up with heartfelt content. Blogging is a big part of what we hope to share through by Erin Creative Co. Scheduled posts went well last month and I hope to have a lot more coming in February!
  • See through Initiation with our Chi Omegas. We did it. All 125+ new members are now sisters of Chi Omega. It was exhausting and overwhelming, but as always rewarding. 
  • Find a new community group at church. Yep! Eek! Excited and nervous about this. Last semester was our first time with a community group at church and we unfortunately didn't quite get out of it what we hoped. Praying this semester will be the change and community we're looking for. See also: lots of boys for Jackson to play with in the new group!
  • Read 2 books. (The Best Yes and Make it HappenOk, I made it through one book and little progress on the other. I managed to finish the Make It Happen book. Lots of tears and laughter later, a dear friend and I are putting together a local book club to go through the book together. More news to come! I'll be amending the 2 book per month goal, but more on that in a minute. 
  • Clear some clutter in the garage. My husband likely wishes the answer to this was different, but I only made it about half-way through clearing my clutter in the garage. 

February Goals:

  • Love others well. Valentine's Day has me feeling the urge to love others well this month.
  • Schedule ahead: blog posts, social media blasts, play dates, all of it.
  • Intentionally serve my husband. AKA pick up my slack around the house.
  • Be in community: play dates, community group.
  • Launch Daily Routine coffee mug pre-orders
  • Start and finish branding for the new by Erin Creative Co. line!
  • Prep Make it Happen book club for local group.
  • Read 1 book. (finish The Best Yes)
  • Choose studies for Lent.