WHAT’S NEXT?

Anyone else ever ask themselves this question? Or maybe you haven’t asked yourself but someone else has asked you. Depending on the stage of life you’re in (or state of mind for that matter) this question could prompt excitement and anticipation or fear and frustration.

You graduate from high school or college, what’s next?

You get engaged or married, what’s next?

You have a baby, what’s next?

You go on an amazing trip across the world, what’s next?

Or maybe you find yourself in a more difficult season of life.

You’re facing divorce or a bad breakup, what’s next?

You’ve been fired or laid off from your job, what’s next?

You’re kid ends up in rehab, what’s next?

You’ve lost a loved one and you’re gripped by grief, what’s next?

You’re faced with the sobering reality that life is short, not promised and fragile at best, what’s next?

Maybe you’re facing something that isn’t so externally obvious to others, but it’s slowly killing you on the inside.

You’ve been fighting depression for months to no end, what’s next?

You’ve been anxious for everything and everything, what’s next?

You’ve been struggling with insecurities and now it’s beginning to effect your relationships, what’s next?

 

For me personally; I’m about a year out from graduation, I’m pregnant with my third child, this year marks my 3rd year at the company I’m working at and my 10th wedding anniversary. I find myself stagnant on my own personal endeavors which leaves me frustrated (and slightly annoyed) so I often find myself asking the question ‘What’s next?’

 

I’ve noticed that no matter where I am in life, whether good, bad or indifferent, this question remains; what’s next? This year I’ve been asking myself this question ALL- THE- TIME. I sound like a broken record!! I realized the depth of my dysfunction when my little girl, Savannah who’s just four years old began to ask me ‘Mommy, and then what?’ meaning, ‘what next?’ … I remember gently nudging her and saying ‘Savvy don’t worry about what’s next, just enjoy what’s now. Enjoy this moment.’

How many of you know that sometimes as you speak to someone else’s situation, dysfunction or concern, God is able to speak to your own?

I realized that moment that I’ve been so busy asking myself ‘what’s next?’ that I totally miss out on WHAT’S NOW moments of life.

What’s happening now?

What am I doing now?

How am I feeling now?

How can I live in this moment?

How can I better enjoy this season?

I want to ask myself more often, not what’s next, but rather ‘What’s now, Lori?’

 

Life is so fragile, I want to live with expectation of the future, yes, but also with a commitment to experience the present.

What’s next? I’m not sure. I might never be, in fact, it might never even come… But what’s now? That I do know, that I can see, that I will live in.

This post isn’t to belittle the planner, the thinker, the goal setter; I am that person. It’s more of an invitation to this awareness that while we can expect great things in the future, we can also appreciate this moment now.

I don’t want to be so farsighted that I miss this moment looking into what could be the next. I also don’t want to be so focused on what was that I miss out on what is.

I want to enjoy this season of life, of love, of marriage, of ministry, of mothering. What’s next? I’m not completely sure, but I do know that what I do now, how I invest now, what I believe now, what I live now, will determine if the next ever gets here.

For me, my now is embracing this place of amateur writing, embracing the sleepless nights, the toddler tantrums, the stretching belly, the extra pounds, the routine of life and marriage. I’m embracing the unknown yet very familiar, steady season I’m in.

I don’t want to miss a moment of it. I don’t want to leave an ounce of opportunity for this season because I’m fixed on what’s next. I want what God has for me now.

TRIGGERED

Have you ever stopped in a moment and prayed something like this;

‘Lord, give me patience to deal with them!’

‘Jesus, please help me get through this meeting with this group of crazies!’

‘God, I am SO ANNOYED and frustrated, help me to be at peace.’

‘God, what is wrong with people!?’

If you’re like me, you pray prayers like this all the time desperately trying to get through the madness we face on a regular basis. Sometimes these desperate prayers just come out, quick and easy, without any thought or effort but lately, it’s been different for me. When I find myself praying these prayers, asking God things like ‘What is wrong with these people?!’ I feel the Holy Spirit nudging me towards a different kind of question…  Questions like ‘Why does this trigger me?’

Since I started to get this little leading from the Lord, I’ve been asking myself over, and over (and OVER) again- this very question.  ‘Lord, why does this trigger me?’

 

Asking the right questions has helped me to get to the root of MY ISSUE and become more accountable, rather then pointing the finger at someone else and expecting God to ‘fix them’ or change my situation.

Today I had yet another ‘God, why does this trigger me?’ moment.

I was dropping my daughter off at school already feeling frustrated that the morning derailed and turned into a yelling and crying match. I walk in and Sav’s teacher begins with the small talk, ‘How are you? How are you feeling?’ and then continues to tell me all about Savannah’s progress with her letters.

Now for the sake of back story, this wasn’t the first time I heard this. The first was via progress report that was sent home. After reading the progress report and the recommendations the first time, I was upset and frustrated.  I thought of everything I would say to this teacher. Things like;

‘I would like to see the curriculum you’re teaching.’

‘What’s your plan to give Sav’s letter memory more attention during the school day?’

‘How often are you doing letters throughout the week?’

But when she began to speak, I just teared up with Savannah, standing next to me full of smiles and totally unaware of what was happening. I think all she heard was the great job she was doing with most of her letters and totally disregarded the portion about the letters she didn’t know. In an effort to keep it together, for Savvy’s sake at least, I just nodded my head in agreement, kissed Savannah good-bye and then left to my car where I cried my way to work.

‘Why did this trigger you?’ I felt the Holy Spirit ask me in my no words, tear filled moment.

Why did this trigger me? Why was I losing my mind over this moment? I reasoned with myself that my husband and I sacrifice a lot financially to put her in this school, we wanted the best for her, isn’t this their job? And that’s why I felt frustrated. Then I thought about how she would be starting Kindergarten next year and I wondered ‘will she be prepared?’ Being that kindergarten is about 7 months out, this was a premature concern so then the question remains, what is it? Why did this trigger me?

As I drove, guilt the weight of this world began to crush me.

–          I should have more time to work with her.

–          If I wasn’t working full time, I would- I could!

–          If I could just be there for her more, this wouldn’t be an issue.

There it was, the trigger; the feeling of ‘being a full- time employee makes me a part time Mom’ guilt.

I was so upset because I felt like it’s all my fault, I felt like I can’t be there for her the way I want to be because I’m working, I felt like life will always make me choose and I can never, ever have the best of both worlds, someone or something will always feel the burden of this sacrifice.

Ugh. I hate this trigger. Of all the triggers, this is the worst because it attacks one of the things I hold dearest to me, motherhood.

I wish I could say in that moment, I shook it off, moved on and forgot all about it. I wish it was that simple, but it’s not. I felt frustrated, sad, even confused. Even as I pen this note, I’m asking the Holy Spirit ‘so what’s the answer?’

And all I hear is this; GRACE.

There is grace for this place. There is grace for this life. There is grace for this, not just for me but for my children, for my husband. I believe firmly that when you are called to something, anything – whether its motherhood, marriage, ministry, a job or career, school or training- whatever it is, when you are called to that, the Lord graces you for the journey as well as those who are meant to be on the journey with you.

For example, I know that I KNOW my husband is graced for me and my life as I am for his. Going to school, the personal aspirations I have, the fact that I was a dozen babies (joking- kinda), he is graced for that because he is meant to be on this journey with me.

Today, I’m reminded that my girls are also graced for this journey. Out of all the wombs that God could have placed sweet Savannah in, He chose mine. And that sweet and sassy baby girl is graced for this journey. She is graced to have a mom in the workforce, she is graced to be raised by parents in ministry, she is graced for this life because when God chose me as her mother, He graced her to be my daughter and when He chose her as my daughter, He graced me as her mother.

God didn’t slip, fall and drop her into my lap, or womb for that matter. This was a precise decision made in Heaven and if it makes sense there, surely it’ll make sense here.

Maybe you’re not a mother or this isn’t your struggle but I would challenge you that we all have triggers. This was my trigger today, other days my triggers vary. What’s your trigger?

I just want to encourage someone today who’s been triggered by something and it’s sending you into a spiral of frustration and guilt-  you’re graced for this! And so are your children, your spouse and the people who are meant to be on this journey with you.

Be a good steward of what’s before you. All of it. Don’t resent or despise it because God, in all His wisdom chose you for this path. Is He, I mean could He, ever possibly be wrong? I think not.

STOP THE SNOOZE

12 days into the New Year and can you believe I haven’t actually written down any ‘New Year Resolutions’ until now? Sinful, right!?

I guess for me; my own personal New Year is my birthday!! And that’s when I sit down, plan out my own personal new year, set goals, deadlines, expectations and prayer petitions. My birthday is in May so by the time the actual New Year rolls around I feel like I’m just getting over the halfway point of my REAL new year and I’m not really ready (or willing) to make new plans! Instead, I usually stop and reflect on where I am, how I’ve been doing and if I’ll meet my goals by May.

This particular year however has been different for me and I find myself thinking about resolutions more then normal. I mean, what’s the big deal?? Why do we give this big glass ball so much power and place so much pressure on ourselves to perform when the clock hits midnight?

I really don’t know. I think it’s a combination of hope and expectation and the belief that at the start of something new (a new year, a new day, a new relationship) things can be different. This idea that life can drastically change and all your dreams can quickly become reality.

So this year after not really putting much effort into my own, I was driving on the highway (after another semi- crazy morning) for my regular double drop off routine just thinking;

‘Why do I keep doing this?’

‘Why must I torture myself?’

‘Day after day, week after week, month of after month, I just can’t seem to get this one thing together!’

‘BUT WHYYYY?!’

You’re probably wondering at this point what I’m talking about, why do I do what?..

SNOOZE!! Why do I hit that horrid, chaos inducing, demon button called ‘the snooze button’.

Is the extra 9 minutes (x4) of restless, partial sleep really worth the rush? The frustration? The late start and hectic beginning to our day?

I would have to say, no, no it’s absolutely not.

During this internal contemplation, the Holy Spirit ever so graciously chimed in; Don’t you see what this is doing to you? You have no sense of urgency; you’ve become desensitized and complacent. It’s easy for you to put off for later what needs to be done now and it’s not isolated to your snooze button each morning either.

Can you say ‘shots fired?!’

WHOA! I wasn’t even asking you! (Ok, I’m so sorry Holy Spirit- I appreciate your love and correction towards me, I was just caught off guard)

But seriously- WHOA! I really wasn’t expecting that, at all. And as much as I felt the sting, it felt right; it felt like that correction fit my dysfunction.

I do snooze every- single- morning (literally). But I snooze much more than my alarm clock on a daily basis.

I snooze the dreams God has given me.

I snooze the plans He’s placed on my heart.

I snooze the purpose He’s given me.

I snooze the divine moments where He wants me to catch something, see something and I’m just ‘too tired’ for it.

I snooze those hard decisions I’m not ready to make.

I snooze the tough stuff that is easily over looked rather then addressed.

Gosh, I snooze a lot!!!

In that moment, I decided it’s time to stop the snooze. It’s time to arise, fully awake and ready at the right time. Not at my time, not when I’m ready but rather when the alarm goes off. When the Holy Spirit says NOW. When I feel the push, when I get that nudge, when there’s a little stir within me; that’s the time. Not 9 minutes or even 9 months later, the time is right in that moment.

I felt convicted that day because I realized how much I really snooze. Starting first thing in the morning. That’s literally how I start my day! That is the tone I set, the very first act of every new day is procrastination and procrastinator is the last word I want to be used when describing me or my life.

Motivated.

Determined.

Committed.

Consistent.

Persistent.

Relentless.

Those are the kind of words I want to describe me and guess what, none of them come from snoozing life away.

So there it goes; my one and only New Year resolution; stop the snooze. In every single way possible.

When the urge to sleep for five more minutes comes, I won’t fall for it.

When the Netflix prompts me to play another episode, I won’t sit for it.

When the Holy Spirit presses on my soul, I won’t ignore it.

I refuse to be a woman whose life can be described as lax or passive.

Change, success and all things worth something don’t come from a passive posture, they must be pursued. I promise stop the snooze and pursue Jesus, life, love and purpose with all that I have, in every single way possible. Will you join me? What have you been snoozing? It’s time to wake up, face the day, own your moment and pursue purpose with all that you have.

It’s time to stop the snooze.

HIDING PLACE

Bedtime with my baby girls is always an adventure. Some nights I literally want to pull every hair out of my head in frustration but other nights, they are simply magical. My little ones will snuggle close, prompt us to pray and then thank Jesus for things like the day, Daddy’s lunch or our little family.

Moments like this melt my heart but with these unpredictable two, I never really know what I’m going to get! Anything is possible, anything can happen and a couple of nights ago my youngest daughter surprised me yet again.

‘I’m scared of the dark!’ she cried.

‘Are you really?’ I asked her.

Now I’m wondering to myself, Did she just today decide to be afraid? Because every other night she’s fine. So much so that we don’t even own a nightlight at this point.

‘I’m so scared!’ she cried again as she literally cocooned herself under the blankets and into even more darkness.

‘Ry, it’s not even that dark in here!’ I pleaded.

You see with the bedroom door open and the lights from our Christmas tree coming down the hall and a small illumination from the street light, the room was dark, but not pitch black.

Now Ms. Rylee B. has cocooned herself into the darkest of dark and is literally hiding from the dark, in the dark.

‘Rylee, come out from there. It’s darker under the blankets then it is out here!’ I tried to reason with her, but she wouldn’t budge.

‘Ok, ok- I’ll leave you alone, but Mommy is right here you don’t have to be afraid!’

And then, as I’m sure you can already guess; the Holy Spirit spoke to my heart.

‘Isn’t it so sad when our children hide in what they fear most?’

Ugh. Yes Lord, it’s so sad!

In that moment, as Rylee fell asleep in the darkness of her cocoon, I began to think about all the times I hid within my fears so much so that they became comfortable to me.

The times I let the fear of rejection keep me isolated.

The times I let the fear of failure keep me from even trying.

The times I let insecurities disable me from doing my best.

The times I let the fear of being hurt keep me from developing good relationships.

All these times I hid from my fears, in my fears and it felt totally normal.

All these times I let the darkness validate my fear rather than letting my faith validate my freedom.

Sheesh, the list could literally go on and on but in that moment I realized far too many times I’ve allowed fear to push me into a corner and I end up hiding in the very thing I fear the most.

When I saw my daughter do it, I just wanted to pull her up, take her out of the darkness and hold her safe in my arms. I don’t want her to live in fear; I don’t want her to live in hiding. I want her to live wide open in love and faith.

If that’s my heart for my daughter, imagine the heart of the Father for us. He loves us more than I could ever love Rylee. That’s a hard concept to grasp but it’s the truth. In all my heart, in all my life, I will never muster up more love then the love for her then our Father has for us. He is love so His love tank isn’t dependent on anyone, isn’t contingent on anything, His love just is.

Gosh I want to come out of hiding.

I want to live wide open.

I want to find shelter and safety in the Father’s arms even when I face the darkness and shadows of this world. I really, really want to let His arms of refuge become my default hiding spot rather than hiding in my fears.

I want to hear His words ‘Come out of there, you’re safe here with me’ and actually move, actually go, actually allow myself to come out of this hiding place and realize that I’m safer in the shadows with Him then in hiding without Him.

I let my daughter rest there that night. Not because I didn’t love her, not because I didn’t want to hold her and snuggle her to sleep but because I love her enough to let her learn. She came out eventually. I imagine when it felt hard to breathe in there and when that small space became confining and uncomfortable, she finally came out of hiding and rested in my arms.

If you’ve been hiding in your fears for too long, please know that God isn’t letting you stay there because He’s in agreement with you, He’s simply loving you enough to let you learn.

When you’re ready, right outside the darkness, right outside of your fears, right outside of your worry He’s sitting there waiting for you. When you finally break free from the confinement of that small space you placed yourself into, He’ll be waiting, arms open wide, with endless love and space for you to rest in.

Ironically enough, Rylee actually means courageous. That means even when she is afraid, I call her courageous, I call her brave. Can you hear what the Father is calling you?

I hope little Rylee B. has encouraged you as much as she has me. She’s a little treasure to me just as you are to your Father in heaven.

 

xx.. Lori

GET BACK UP

Have you ever heard of the smart phone app called ‘TimeHop’? This app links to your social media accounts as well as your camera roll and every day it hops back in time to show you what you posted and/ or took pictures of that day the previous years.

I love TimeHop because I get a moment to reflect on how big my kids are getting, how much they grow and changed in a year and even large milestones that I may have forgotten. For example, today my TimeHop populated this adorable picture of my oldest daughter holding an ultrasound picture. On this day, 3 years ago we announced the pregnancy of our second daughter. Usually the memories are bright and light hearted like this one but this past Sunday, TimeHop made me feel all sorts of {negative} ways about my life!

You see Sunday, December 10th, was my one year- vlog-iversary!! One year ago I finally committed to doing the video blogs I had been longing to do for some time. When the TimeHop came up it was a reminder of such a great night, a night I faced all my fears, a night I pursued purpose, a night I really just let go and walked into my daydream. But what that TimeHop also revealed is that it had been one year since I actually did a video blog. Yes, you got that right! My vlogging journey started and ended on December 10, 2016.

How sad is that!?! When I saw this Sunday morning I felt all sorts of feelings but later that evening when I received a screenshot text of this same post from a close friend, all my feelings came to a boiling point.

She quoted me saying ‘What does it look like to live out the very thing that sets your soul on fire?’

Well, for the single day I did it, it felt amazing. I looked at the pictures I took succeeding that post and let me tell you, the amount of joy in my eyes is unexplainable. I never felt so good, so alive, so thankful, so expectant then that moment that I stood up, stepped out and did something I always wanted to do!

But then….

‘But then what?’ you’re probably wondering. The answer is; I don’t really know.

But then life?

But then fear?

But then busyness?

But then priorities?

But then kids?

But then work?

But then school?

But then….

We all have a but then moment or season that derails us. It might be a moment that is marked in your life forever or it might be like a wave that comes suddenly and slowly but surely pulls you out of place over time. It could be a decision you make to step back but it could feel like a moment that you can’t even recall yet it changes the trajectory of your life forever.

I won’t act like this moment is over for me, I’m still kind of working through the muddied thoughts I have towards myself and this particular moment in my life however what I can tell you is Monday morning, as I drove into work, still feeling the sting from the night before I felt the Lord remind me of a portion of scripture in Proverbs.

‘Although a righteous person may fall seven times, he gets up again….’ Proverbs 24:16

Gosh. These words hit me harder then the defeat I felt, harder then the frustration I was carrying, harder then the disappointment I was working through, these words hit me in the best way possible.

The Lord began to whisper; it’s ok to fall, as long as you get back up again.

I want to encourage someone today who’s feeling like they’ve fallen too many times; it’s OK to fall but to stay down, that’s the problem. When you slip, get back up. When you fall, rise again. Never, ever think that your success is measured based on the number of falls. The story isn’t over until you stop rising again.

When you’re a Christian, meaning you follow Jesus and believe that He defeated it all, even death, for you and for me, you know  that there’s nothing too hard for Him and although we fail and falter, we are ultimately walking from a place of victory and strength, not defeat and weakness.

Gosh, I’m so thankful for that reminder. That moment when I realized even 366 days later, it’s ok to get back up and try again. There’s no shame in the process and there’s no victory in submitting to defeat. The only way to lose is to quit. As long as your living, rising, walking, moving, trying- you are operating from a place of strength and victory.

I encourage you today to rise.

Rise above defeat.

Rise above hate.

Rise above your frustrations.

Rise above your limitations.

Rise above it all and move on.

The moment you move, you’re going back to a place of strength and victory.

The lie is ‘you’ve fallen too many times’ the truth is; you can still get back up again.

As always, I hope you’re encouraged to know you’re not alone in this journey!

xx… Lori

BOSS BABE

If you follow me on social media you’ll often see me post a picture or a status update with a hashtag ‘bossbabe’ after it. It could be a picture of my daughter playing in the backyard with a caption like ‘Fun in the sun. #bossbabe’ or maybe a pre-work selfie with a coffee cup in hand and the caption ‘Caffeinated and ready for the day! #bossbabe’ 

I love the term BOSS BABE! But what does it mean to be an actual ‘boss babe’?? Is it something you do? A status you achieve? Or is it simply just a state of mind. I would like to believe it’s the latter of the three. 

To be a boss babe isn’t about what you do it’s all about how you feel. 

A boss babe has contrast. She is bold and beautiful, strong yet sympathetic, confident, secure and unrivaled in her approach to life. She lives, loves and laughs out loud. Faith is her foundation and her possibilities are endless. She is without compromise.

A boss babe doesn’t compete for the spotlight, she simply shines amongst the darkness. A boss babe isn’t afraid of collaboration, she loves her sisters and honors her brothers. She isn’t afraid of living and loving out loud.

A boss babe is the everyday girl with endless possibilities because she is confident in her Creator.

She is married.  

She is single.

She is widowed.

She is the everyday mom.

She is the working professional.

She is the dreamer.

She is the doer.

She is the go getter.

She is faith filled.

She is bold.

She is a visionary.

She is you.

Over the next several weeks I’m going to be doing a mix of blogs and vlogs that talk about this idea of being a boss babe! If you’re desperately looking for something to wake up the boss babe within you, I encourage you to subscribe to my blog and join the journey!!

Also- if you have a particular interest or need, let me know! I would love to hear from you and I would love to have the opportunity to write in a way that is intentionally edifying for my readers.

I hope to hear from you soon.

xx.. Lori 

OPEN THE DOOR

Do you ever wake up with a feeling of ‘there has to be more to life’ in your heart? I’m not talking about a discontent or frustration with your current circumstances; I’m talking about a deep feeling of I was created for something bigger, a feeling of there has to be more.

I believe that feeling is heaven’s purpose for us, crying out from within. Heaven’s purpose can’t be filled with Earthly possessions or accolades. When you have a heaven sized hole deep within you, only heaven can fill it.

This morning I was walking into work thinking exactly this. Contemplating this thought, the feelings I had and how that would translate into something more. As I’m doing this, I got off the elevator, followed a man to the exit door and with just about a step and a half of space between us, he just releases the door (rather than holding it open as good manners suggest) and it slams right in front of me.

Boom. It was closed.

Slightly offended, I lifted my head, extend my hand and as I pushed open that door the Holy Spirit whispered;

The door will open whether they hold it or not.

Far too often we associate closed doors with dead ends but did you ever think maybe, just maybe the door wasn’t closed to stop you but to insure you opened it yourself, you put in the work, you blazed the trail. Yes, it’s polite and even expected that the person in front of you would hold the door for you, but that’s not always how life works.

Imagine in that moment if I looked at the closed door, dropped my head in disappointment, turned around, got back on the elevator, went back to the second floor, got in my car and drove away. All because someone didn’t hold the door for me. How silly would that be? How upset would my boss be? ‘They didn’t hold the door for you? Really? That’s why you won’t be in work today?’

I wonder how many times God looks down on us thinking ‘Really? They didn’t hold the door for you? That’s why you won’t walk in destiny today? That’s why you won’t fulfill purpose today? That’s why you’re going home for the day?’

Not everyone will hold the door for you, but that doesn’t mean the door is closed and locked for good. Sometimes God closes doors in our life intentionally, but other times we walk away from destiny simply because we’re afraid of a little more work.

It’s a silly concept when you think about it, but this silly concept could be the reasons many of us will never feel that sense of heavenly satisfaction.

Not every door is meant to stay shut, some we just need to open for ourselves. Today I encourage you; open the door. Take the step. Make the move. Even if every person who has gone before you has slammed the door behind them, it doesn’t mean it was meant to stay shut.

It’s time to open some doors for heaven’s sake!

xx.. Lori

IT’S NOT A COMPETITION

Have you ever been scrolling down your timeline, looking at pictures or posts, trying to unwind with some mindless entertainment and then before you know it, you find your brain full of thoughts, questions and concerns that weren’t there moments before?

 

How did she lose all that weight so fast?

How are her kids already potty training?

Wow, her husband brought her flowers, again?..

Another date night!?

They are always going somewhere fun!

If I didn’t have all these kids, my life would be a little more adventurous.

How are they getting married?

Oh my goodness, I need those shoes!!

Look at that car!!

Why can’t I have a cool job?

What am I doing wrong?

Everyone around me is so blessed and then there’s me..

 

The list could go on and on and on. We all fall victim to it at one time or another. That feeling of ‘look at them’ that makes us feel like we’re just below the mark. It happens to me sometimes. I’ll be scrolling, trying to clear my mind and before I know it, my mind is full of junk!! It happens so easy, as if a simple crack of our hearts door allows for an avalanche of crazy to come flooding in.

For me personally, I get this feeling sometimes when I see mothers with their children. Working full time leaves me with less time than desired to be with my kids so sometimes when I see fun day trips or parents with their babies, it makes me sad! Not because they get to do it, but because I don’t.

Thoughts like ‘You’re such a bad mom’ or ‘Maybe you made the wrong choice’ flood my mind. I think about how I wish I could be with them more, how I should be with them more. I think about how I’m selfish for ‘putting my career first’ when my babies are little. Thought after thought comes in like a tornado taking down every truth, promise and revelation God has ever given me about my life, and my journey.

When I was in school, I could vividly remember the time and place God told me to enroll yet during times where I was stuck doing homework, when I had to decline invitations to study or I had to spend 4 hours in a classroom after a long day of work I literally could not see past that moment. I would forget that God had placed me on assignment. I would forget that He told me surely there would be enough grace. In the face of comparison, I would forget everything that mattered most.

It’s amazing that even with knowing I’m in the right place for this season of life everything, knowing that God has anointed me for this assignment, knowing that He is with me and for me, all that I know to be true just crumbles under the weight of comparison.

I’ve heard it said before that comparison is the thief of joy but it’s so much more destructive than that. Comparison robs you of your best life, the life that God has graced you for.  Comparison tells you that what you have is not enough and what others have is better. Comparison says that the road you’re on leads to nowhere while your neighbor is on a path to destiny. Comparison silences the voice of God in your life.

I remember several months ago, having an ‘insta-episode’ as I would like to call it and I looked at a picture of a gorgeous woman. Looking at her long hair, curvy body and gorgeous face I thought to myself ‘Dear God, I can’t compete with her’ and the Lord whispered back ‘You don’t have to’.

 

Insecurities tell you it’s a competition.

Insecurities tell you that you’ve got to compete.

Insecurities tell you that you have to do better, be better, buy better.

Insecurities tell you everything you have is nothing compared to what they behold.

 

But confidence in Christ reminds you that you don’t have to compete. You don’t have to fight for first place. You don’t have to look at your co-laborers as competitors. Life is a collaboration, not a competition and when you realize that, you’re released to simply be all God has called you to be. Someone else’s success does not equal your failure. There is more then enough purpose, success and destiny to go around. The idea that when someone else is doing well means your doing bad is a lie straight from hell that needs to be torn down.

No more looking to the left or to the right, no more comparing and contrasting, no more feeling sorry for yourself, just the freedom to be everything God desires you to be. The idea of beauty and success in our society is a moving mark. It’s one thing one moment and something different the next. But the purpose God has placed in you, the man or woman He destined you to be even before He laid down the foundations of the Earth, that does not change. That does not grow old. That does not go out of style.

God was and still is obsessed with you. God has always and will always delight Himself in you. God is not a moving mark, He is stable and secure, steadfast and strong, He is the one that claims you His and purposed you for Heaven’s sake.

Friend, look away from the screen for a moment- maybe not forever, but long enough to fix your eyes on things above. All the things lovely and admirable that God says about you, all things beautiful and steadfast, all things true and tangible.

God is obsessed with you, never forget it. Let Him be your obsession as well.

xx.. Lori

MAKE ROOM

Have you ever had one of those God whispers that literally touches your soul? Your heart skips a beat, you’re suddenly smiling and you just feel lighter inside? Like someone literally shined a light into a dark place or pulled a lump of heaviness off your chest?

I had one of those moments this week.

Let me set the backdrop for you… Several months ago a felt the Lord wake me up in the middle of the night and He began to share a series of affirmations with me. He spoke to my marriage, motherhood, work, ministry and most importantly, just me as a woman and as His daughter.
It was beautiful. It encouraged me, it inspired me and it honestly, it stretched me because I don’t always view myself the way the Lord does. I typed it all down in my phone as it came to me and then the next day I read it, and re-read it and then read it again. I then transferred it into a word document, I printed it out and I’ve kept it with me ever since. I read it sometimes for inspiration or encouragement, on my worst days I want to remind myself of how God sees me despite how I see myself.

But as you can imagine, sometimes inspiring things can also be intimidating things. I went from really encouraged, to really discouraged. Really excited, to really exhausted. ‘How could God see this in me?’ I would ask myself. ‘Maybe I heard wrong’ I would reason. ‘How am I going to do all this?’

But deep down inside I knew that God does see me lovely, I didn’t hear wrong and it was never about what I could do but what HE can do. I was having a hard time reconciling my fickle thoughts with the thoughts of my faithful Father and I desperately needed some insight.

Since then I’ve sporadically prayed about this night, His intention and purpose for it. ‘What now, God?’ I would ask. I didn’t want to feel intimidated by Him, I wanted to be encouraged by the word of the Lord!!!

So fast forward, months later- I heard a still, small whisper.

‘Make room.’

That was it. That was the answer I was looking for. As I heard the words, I knew exactly what it was the answer to; how, where, what, when, why. All the questions I had answered in two words; MAKE ROOM.

Immediately I saw this vision in my mind of me literally moving things, making room for the Lord to do what He said He would do. I saw myself making space for the Father to work. Literally, figuratively, spiritually, emotionally; in all ways, in all things, I saw myself creating space for the Lord.

I want to ask you today, what are you waiting on? What prayers have yet to come to fruition? What promises have yet come to pass? What purpose has yet to develop within you? And now ask yourself ‘Am I making room?’

I know for me, this was a reminder that although we pray, although we believe, we must make room for God to work. Maybe that means making room in your schedule for the Lord. Maybe it means making room literally for a project or purpose He has assigned you with, maybe it means making room emotionally in a hardened heart for the Lord to work in you. Whatever it looks like for you, make room for Him. Create a space, in fact create many spaces the Lord can move in on.

My hope today is that you too would be inspired by the greatness of the Lord and His plans for you rather then being intimidated by them. We don’t need to know everything, we don’t need to have it all figured out, but we can make space for God to do what only He can do.

Be blessed & stay the path!

xx…Lori

I AM A LIONESS

Since I first saw this imagery and read these words, my soul was arrested. Yes, yes and more YES! This is all of my heart for this season of life in one picture and two sentences.

Lioness

‘I am a lioness. I will not cringe for them.’

Do you ever just get sick of shrinking back? Settling in on fear? Submitting to insecurity? Subjecting your faith to paralyzing doubt? Overthinking yourself into a frenzy? Letting worry become a way of life? Have you ever just gotten to the point where you’re like ‘Enough is enough! I’m done!! I’m so sick of this!!’

It feels like there’s always something or someone pulling for your attention, probing at your emotions and pushing you until you reach what feels like ‘the end’ and yet, in some bittersweet phenomenon, you just keep on going. But you’re not going in the direction you want to go, you’re not doing the things you want to do, you’re not living the life God has designed for you, you’re just going- and going nowhere, fast!

It’s so easy to get wrapped up in frivolousness that this world has to offer, the bitter substitute for fruitfulness but what about daring to step out and up? What about living in the potential, fullness and greatness God has placed in your soul? What about being the #BossBabe you dream about? What about that?

A couple of weeks ago I began to lose sight of this and in a moment of frustration I heard a sweet whisper from heaven…

‘You’re thinking small. Look up, think BIG!’

To my sweet friend on the other side of this blog, I want to remind you to look up and think big. Whatever is before you, won’t be there forever. All of heaven is behind you, God is with you- He is for you! You, sweet sister, are a lioness. Do not cringe for them!

One of my favorite passages from the Message paraphrase says it best..

Dear, dear Corinthians, I can’t tell you how much I long for you to enter this wide-open, spacious life. We didn’t fence you in. The smallness you feel comes from within you. Your lives aren’t small, but you’re living them in a small way. I’m speaking as plainly as I can and with great affection. Open up your lives. Live openly and expansively! (2 Corinthians 6:11-13)

I hope as you read these words, something within you begins to stir. Something inside begins to flutter and you can’t help but get up, stretch out, put you chin up, shoulders back and face the world with a revealed confidence in Jesus.  Pray and slay, boss babe!!

xx.. Lori