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

Advertisement

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

FREEDOM

Coming up to my 30th birthday, I’ve been doing SO much reflecting. Like really- it’s almost unhealthy (LOL) but in all seriousness birthdays for me are like my own personal new year. It’s when I reflect on the last year and plan for the next year. My hopes, desires and ideas all come out like a flood and it’s a wonderful time for me personally.

This year has been a little extra because I’m changing decades! And that’s a pretty big deal. Leaving one and stepping into another I can only think to myself- My 20’s have been amazing!! What could possibly beat them? I got saved and married, began working in ministry, I bought my first house (and car), I became a mother for the 1st and 2nd time, I became an ordained Pastor, changed career paths (twice) and then graduated with tons of other mini victories in between. Literally so much- how could any decade compare to the last??

I literally want to know, how? How could my thirties possibly be better than my twenties? I’m not sure but I can say this- I believe that in my 30’s I will experience some aspects of my same life in a different way and from a different place. I believe that I will walk into and through my thirties from a place of full and total freedom.

Let me elaborate… The one thing I can say is through my 20’s is that although many great and wonderful things happened to me on the outside, we all have a battle and I am not except of that. My husband and I struggled early on in our marriage with employment and housing but truthfully, most of my battles weren’t external, they were internal. And for me, while things have always appeared well on the outside, I have had a waging war on the inside for quite some time now.

I cannot even begin to tell you the struggle I’ve dealt with. The anxiety, stress, fears, bouts of depression and straight up mental torment! If it wasn’t one thing, it was another but I can honestly say I have come through by the grace of God stronger on the other side. But this year, I believe will be different. This year I’m believing for grace not just to get through but to overcome.

This year, as I’m really coming into my own, I’ve realized that these attacks have been less about me and the frivolous things that flare them up, and more about the place it takes me and the way it debilitates me. The place of isolation, weariness and withdraw that keeps me from being the woman God created me to be and pursuing the destiny that he has mapped out for me. The place of frustration and fear where the enemy whispers ‘I told you so’. The place of feelings of failure that convince me quitting would be no worse than sucking this bad. The place where if I could just hide, forever, I would.

But over the course of time, I’m coming to the divine realization and internal revelation that it was never about ‘those things’. It was never about the broken relationship; it was about instilling a deep rooted fear of rejection and validating that through offenses. It wasn’t about me actually being ‘ugly’; it was about the way I would withdraw from people in order to hide that insecurity. It was never about having poor reading comprehension or being ‘stupid’, it was about silencing the voice God had put within me.  It was never about the things that caused so much guilt and shame but rather the way my shame separated me from God the Father. It was never about ‘not being good enough’ for my then boyfriend (now husband) it was about creating a divide that would attempt to stop heaven’s plan for our life together.

My 20’s has taught me that it’s not about those things, it’s about stealing the thing that Christ died for- my freedom. My 20’s have showed me that I don’t want to be free, I need to be free! It’s a matter of life and eternity, destiny and calling, influence and expression. I need to be free because if I’m not, who will be who I’m called to be? Who will do the things I am gifted to do? Who will walk in the anointing assigned to me? The answer is no one. And the last thing I want to do is leave a void on earth that heaven wanted to fill through me. I will not allow my frivolous feelings and fears do that, not to me, not to humanity because yes, I do believe I have something to offer humanity.

I have learned that God’s word is truth and all else is merely opinion. I refuse to live my life based on opinions of man over the truth of God. I have for a while, but I won’t anymore.

And can I tell you something? You don’t have to either! I’m not special, I’m not the only one chosen or the only one that God has a plan for, YOU DO TOO! And if you would realize this sobering truth, I believe you too can influence Earth for Heaven’s sake.

Over the next week or so, I will be sharing little bits and pieces of my story and what I’ve learned along the way. I encourage you to join the journey and share your own thoughts and reflections! I would love to hear from you.

xx… Lori

EFFORTLESS WAVE

I’m obsessed with Pinterest. I love looking for ideas—ideas for my home, my yard, my wardrobe, my writing. You name it and I’ll find inspiration for it on Pinterest. Recently I was trying to get a certain look for my hair- I wanted a wave- a loose, effortless wave. I started looking on Pinterest for ideas. What’s the best tool? I’ve been using a flat iron to curl my hair but is a curling iron better? Maybe even a wand? All questions I really needed to know the answers to!

I started searching. Little by little, I found tools, tips and products, pictures and tutorials; basically everything I needed! Then it happened, I came across one specific post titled something like ‘Effortless Wave’. JACKPOT!! This is exactly what I needed, an effortless wave. I’m a busy woman, I have a lot going on and I don’t have a lot of time to spend on my hair so I need this! I NEEDED EFFORTLESS.

I clicked on the link and began to read through the steps.

  1. Wash your hair
  2. Blow dry your hair
  3. Add root volumizer
  4. Use a wand
  5. Separate your hair into sections
  6. Curl the mid-section (not the top, not the bottom, just the middle)
  7. Clip, pin and lift the curl.
  8. Spray the curl
  9. Shake the curl

Blah, blah, blah! This isn’t a beauty post so I’ll spare you the details, but the point is once I started reading one thing was evident; the effortless curl is anything BUT effortless. This bummed me out a little. I was really looking forward to finding the key, getting that flawless Kardashian curl without the stylist, extensions or team of people working to make me look great.

I really wanted that effortless curl but what I got was far more valuable.

When I got to the bottom of that post, reading less and less as I went on, skimming more and more out of pure frustration, I found this; I found that things aren’t always what they seem and if you want to see the prize, you have to commit to the process.

When I’m searching Pinterest or Instagram for ideas or inspiration, it’s really easy to see someone’s highlights and want it for myself. Why can’t I have the effortless beach wave? Why can’t I have that slim waist and flat stomach? Why can’t I have the nice car, clean house and perfect family? Why not?!

Why? Because things are always what they seem. What you see online or on social media isn’t the whole truth, in fact it might be everything BUT the truth. That’s hard to swallow because most of us post on social media sites all the time and the assumption is not that we are liars, but think about it- that picture with your kids? How many tries did it really take? How many bribes (or threats) took place? The picture on the beach on vacation? How annoyed where you all morning? The perfect selfie? How many times did it take to get ‘the one’? It’s not that we’re all liars, it’s just that not everything is always what it seems. There’s always more to the story. There’s always more to what you see. It’s not as simple as snap and share- life is complicated! Life is messy! It’s much harder then it appears and while we love to believe things fall into place by osmosis, and everyone else has it so much easier than us, it doesn’t and they don’t. Life is just as difficult and messy for those around you as it is for you. This should be encouraging! You’re not alone in you’re struggle, you’re not alone in your dysfunction, you might feel alone- but you’re not.

This leads me to my second realization- if you want to see the prize, you must commit to the process. Quite honestly, as much as I love the effortless wave, I don’t love it that much! I’m just really not willing to invest all that time and effort into something that I believed to be ‘effortless’. Does it mean that I can’t ever? No, absolutely not! But it does mean that until I am willing to commit to the process, I’ll never see the prize at the end.

Now this example may seem trivial to you, but the concept can go to anything. When we want to reach the prize, achieve the goal, grasp the promise- we must first commit to the process. There’s simply no other way. There aren’t any short cuts in life, as a believer I hold onto hope and grace, but I surely know that prayer is not a substitute for hard work nor is hard work a substitute for prayer. When I combine the two, that’s when I find the most success, that’s when I find myself living a fruitful, meaningful life.

For a long time (and even on a bad day I’ll find myself reverting to this) I would look around and see what everyone around me was doing, achieving, receiving etc. I would wonder why it was so much easier for them or why they are more fortunate then I was. It wasn’t until I experienced some personal growth and maturity that I realized, things aren’t always what they seem and there are no easy fixes in life. Life is hard, for all of us! And when we get a grip of that, we can focus on our fight and not the one to the right or the left. When I was much more insecure and self- conscious of my body and appearance, I would look at a beautiful woman and think ‘I wish I could look like that! Why can’t I have her body? Why can’t I have her hair?’ I was constantly measuring up to other woman and comparing what I didn’t have to what they did have, in time I’ve been able to look at those women not as a threat or a sign of my weakness but a symbol of strength and encouragement that if they can do it, so can I.

Society is always telling us that we aren’t good enough but what if I told you- you are! You absolutely are!! Every thought of effortless, let it go- there is no such thing! Every thought of- I can’t, let it go! You can! Every feeling of ‘I can’t compete’ let it go!! You don’t have to!!

We are all running a race, chasing a prize- your journey might look different then mine, but we all have one nonetheless. Take courage! Be brave! Be bold! And most importantly, be confident. You are doing far better then you think you are.

Stay encouraged, you’re doing better then you think you are!

xx.. LB

TOP TEN

My routine is far from perfect but here are the top ten things that help me to be successful and keep my sanity!!

1. WAKE UP EARLY –> There is nothing worse than rushing around & starting your day in a panic. Wake up on time & prepare to slay. If you’re a Momma like me, something that helps make my mornings a bit smoother is waking up well before the babes do. This means I’m able to shower, dress & get some coffee in my system before they’re even up! I know this means for an EARLY morning, but it also means a stress- LESS morning.

2. PRAY–> While hard work is required for success, so is grace. Never underestimate the importance of divine connection. PRAY & slay, it’s the only way to live a truly satisfying, successful AND FRUITFUL life! Prayer has made the difference in my life more times than I can count- pray about everything, worry about nothing.

3. PLAN –>After prayer comes planning. If you want to be successful, plan for it. Make room for it. Success doesn’t just fall into place. For me, this includes a planner. I write everything down. It helps me remain accountable while being realistic about my time and availability. Don’t be someone to over commit and under deliver. Be a person who DOES what they said they would do.

4. COFFEE, COFFEE AND MORE COFFEE!!–> Start your morning with a good cup of coffee at HOME! Save time, money and you’ll be certain to have the perfect cup, the first time! If you’re brave enough, ease off the sugars to prevent a crash later in the day. Invest in some cute travel mugs, this will inspire you to bring your coffee rather than always buying it.

5. GET DRESSED –> Whatever your agenda involves, dress the part & do it well. How you look effects how you feel. If you’re hitting the gym, don’t be afraid to invest in some cute workout clothes, if you’re heading to work; dress well! Be neat, clean and put together- the ‘I woke up like this’ is cute on Snapchat, not in real life, not in a place of business.

6. BELIEVE –>Believe it’s a good day, believe the best about others, believe in yourself & most importantly; believe God has a plan for you. Whether you’re an at home Mom (which let’s be honest- is a LOT of work!) or you’re working in an office, whether you’re full time ministry, or unemployed- God has a plan. If you believe that, you’ll carry on throughout the days with much more purpose.

7. ACCOMPLISH YOUR #SQUADGOALS –> Everyone wants to be surrounded by people who love, support & encourage them. Find those people. If you’re having a hard time, no worries, begin to BE that person to those around you. Set the tone & watch your relational rhythms change. One of the enemies of destiny is a distracting relationship- do not fall into that trap. Surround yourself with solid, faith filled, destiny chasing, big thinking people.

8. DON’T HATE, APPRECIATE –> This goes for every aspect of life. Stop hating your job, life & spouse, the mess your kids made, your co- worker, your car, the person you think is doing just a bit better then you, etc. Appreciate what you have. Love those around you. A grateful heart is a healthy heart. When you see success, don’t shrink back with insecurities, reach out! What’s working for the successful people around you? Remember; insecurities say ‘I can’t compete with her’ but confidence says ‘I don’t have to!’ Collaboration NOT competition is the key. Never be afraid to learn from someone else. Learning from others and asking for help has definitely made a difference in my life!

9. APPROACH OPPORTUNITY WITH OPTIMISM –> When opportunity presents its self, don’t focus on every reason it won’t work, focus on why it can! Don’t let hard work intimidate you- face it and dominate. Too many times we shy away from things because it’s ‘too hard’ or ‘too much work’, friends, let me tell you- NOTHING worth having comes easily.

10. WORK WILLINGLY –> If you’re a Christian then you know Colossians 3:23 tells us to  ‘Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people’. Your place is your platform. Your service is the stage in which God can present himself to others, USE IT. Don’t want for the pulpit, many of us will never make it there. Embrace THIS place and work willingly as though you are always working for the Lord, because you are!

These are some of the things that work for me, what about you? What does your routine look like? What’s helping you reach your daily #goals? Or what are you struggling with? I would love to hear from you! Leave a comment or shoot me a message 🙂

xx… Lori

I AM EVE.

If you’ve been in church for any period of time it’s likely that you’ve heard of Eve. Eve was the first woman created in the Garden of Eden; I imagine her to be beautiful, bold and brilliant, full of wisdom and zeal, passionate and poised, not to mention absolutely gorgeous.  Essentially, she was the prototype for women and because of this; I can only imagine that God took His time with her, He showed off with her.

Sadly, when we think of Eve, we don’t always think of her in this way. Often times when we consider Eve, we consider her to be the reason behind the fall of mankind and the introduction of sin into humanity. We say things like ‘If she had only listened’, ‘How could she be so foolish’ or even worse, ‘It’s all your fault Eve!’

Eve isn’t always remembered for her purpose, but rather, for her shortcomings. We judge Eve based on one decision and nothing more. What I wonder is; why are we so hard on Eve?

Eve’s greatest mistake was being so fixated on what she couldn’t have that she completely missed out on everything that was right around her, at her disposal and for her pleasure. She traded God’s purpose for her own plans.

I feel for Eve, I can relate to her.

At times, I too find myself at a place where I have the choice of looking at all God has given me, all He has promised me and all He has assured me of or to look at the one thing I don’t have, the one thing that isn’t working or the one relationship that is broken. In doing so, I, like Eve, sacrifice what is for what I believe could be. On more than one occasion, I have traded all that God has given me for the one thing that I view as ‘missing’.

Eve just wanted to know! She wanted to know what she was ‘missing out on’, she wanted to know what that glorious fruit would unveil, and she wanted to know if there was anything worth having waiting for her on the other side of her Father’s no.

I’m not mad at Eve. In fact, the more I look at her, the more I realize, I am Eve. I do settle for less, I do long for the little I’m missing, I’ve often traded God’s promises for my own plans and sometimes, I JUST WANT TO KNOW. What’s on the other side of this no? What’s on the other side of this situation? What is waiting just outside of my grip? If I could talk to Eve, I would tell her that I’m not mad at her, in fact, I can totally relate.

It’s easy to point out in Eve what we’re unwilling to forgive in ourselves. We all make mistakes, we all lose focus at one time or another, we all forfeited what we want most for what feels good now but it’s ok, we will learn and we will grow. I’m not mad at you Eve, and I’m not mad at myself either. Thanks to Jesus, I get a second chance. And even a third, fourth, fifth, sixth and so on… I do not have to be subject to my mistakes forever. Everyday I’m given an opportunity to love loud and live fearlessly without condemnation. Eve is not a merely a product of her mistake and neither are you.

Whatever regret you’re holding onto, whatever failure you’re fixated on, whatever plan you’re willing to place over God’s purpose, let it go. Let go and move forward, your destiny awaits you and the Lord delights in you. What more can we ask for?

Be encouraged gorgeous lady. God loves you, He’s not mad at you! You are more than your mistakes.

Xo… Lori

PURPOSE.

Over the years I’ve heard questions like ‘What is purpose?’, ‘What is my purpose?’, ‘How will I know when I find my purpose?’ or ‘Do I even have purpose?’

All of these are great questions, the concern is valid and truth be told, most of us have asked ourselves these questions more than once.

So what’s the answer? How do you find purpose? Is it told? Is it showed? Is it discovered? Does it evolve? How will we ever know what we are placed on this earth to do?

At this point, I wish I had some profound answer to each of these questions. I wish I knew. I wish I could tell you! But I can’t… The only thing I can tell you for sure is that your purpose comes from God and was deposited in you before you even reached your mother’s womb. As for the rest of the questions, they are so personal to each of us, that the answers can only be found within ourselves.

What I can tell you are three practical truths that I have found on my journey.

  • Your purpose is for people, not in people.

Now this first one is going to be difficult for the Momma who’s knee deep in dirty diapers and believes she is only on earth to wipe butts or the woman who believes her purpose will be found in a spouse or the Pastor who believes his or her value is found in the size of their ministry. (All of these examples are close to my own personal story, yours might be different and that’s OK!) What you have to offer this world is not found in the form of another human. Period. Your purpose is for people, not in people. Be very careful not to confuse the two. As a mother if I believe that my purpose is changing diapers, doing laundry and reading bedtime stories, what happens when my little people grow? Does my purpose diminish? Of course not! Your purpose will outlast the people in your life. No matter how close those people are to you. Knowing that your purpose is for people, not in people will free you from the entrapment of people pleasing.

Have you placed your hope and purpose in people only to be let down? I’m certain that wasn’t God’s original intent for you. Don’t quit your purpose when people fail you, your purpose is for people, not in people!

  • You can’t find what you’re unwilling to face.

In my experience, purpose is usually tied to a strength disguised as a struggle and it isn’t until you’re willing to face both that our purpose truly begins to unfold. Through grade school I had two very specific struggles that now I can look back on knowing  they were actually intentional attacks on my strengths that would build walls of fear like a fortress around my heart and purpose.

They began when I was young and truthfully, I have struggled with these two things almost every day since then. First, I was rejected and excluded. When I moved to a new town and began a new school, I was just that- the new girl and it was clear that I would not be welcomed into the ‘in crowd’. I was left out, forced to ‘prove myself’ and yet, I never quite fit in nor was I accepted the way I had hoped.

Secondly, I was extremely insecure- not only about my appearance but my abilities. I still remember the first time I was made fun of for the acne on my face and the day that I realized that I could never and would never read out loud AGAIN! (Let’s just say this experience involved the word pesticides and resulted in a room full of young, mean and relentless teenagers laughing my soul into a state of panic!) I will never forget these experiences. I will never forget the journey that began on each of these respective days when fear, rejection, hurt and pain filled my heart and tried to wage war against my purpose.

What I didn’t know then is that I was called to stand out of the crowd. I was never meant to fit in with the group or flow with the crowd. My purpose would require me to ‘stick out’ in a sense because if I looked like, acted like and become like everyone else, what impact could I really have? What better way to attack my strength then to make it my weakness? To make me believe that I could not impact ‘the group’ because I wasn’t even worth being a part of ‘the group’?

For a very long time after this, I had a hard time facing people. I always felt like I would be on the outside, and often times I was! This only further validated my dysfunction. Once I began to realize that I had a purpose and in my purpose I just couldn’t fit in with the crowd, it became ok for me to be on the outside. Secondly, being made fun of for my inability to get through a basic paragraph in my school textbook without error made me think that I couldn’t, shouldn’t (and wouldn’t) speak out loud ever again. But that was also a lie. I am called to write, read and speak! My biggest weakness was my strength in disguise.

What is your biggest fear? Insecurity? Worry? Obstacle? I’m certain that if you would face your weakness, you will find your strength and your purpose will be nestled nicely in between the two.

  • Practice your purpose.

Don’t wait until you feel as though you’ve arrived to get going on your purpose. That day will never come. We will never ‘arrive’ on this side of eternity. We will always be what I like to call ‘a work in progress’ and that can’t be a reason to stay stagnant. You have to start!! Where are you right now? This looks differently for all of us but if you can begin to practice your purpose in a practical way, you will begin to see it unfold in a supernatural way. What does this look like? Well for me, I believe that I am going to be an author. I’m not (yet), but I do believe that is a purpose I have in life. Often times I get messages from friends or family, ‘Can you read this?’ or ‘This is what I’m trying to say, how would you word that?’. So what do I do? I practice my purpose and I write. I’ve become quite the ghost writer! Anything from cover letters to speeches to emails and more! I write on the boards at work, I write in my notebook, I write in my planner. I write as much as I can because I’m practicing my purpose in a practical way! Whatever your purpose looks like, make an honest effort to practice it, daily and it will grow.

Purpose is a beautiful thing and like any mosaic masterpiece, all of the pieces need to come together in order to make the full picture. The world is waiting for ‘your piece’ to arrive. Get started, right now, where you are, with what you have. Begin to explore, discover and practice your purpose. The world is waiting for you.

xo.. Lori

I FORGOT TO SAY NO.

I shared this on my blog in January of 2014 and when it popped up on my Timehop today, I felt like the message still resonates within me. If you’re like me and you struggle with starting and stopping before reaching the ‘finish line’, this is a blog for you! Enjoy 🙂

xx… Lori

Have you ever set a goal? Began a pursuit for something more? Searched for a life of meaning? Something deeper? Something greater? Something better?

If you’re like me, the answer is yes. Absolutely. Over and over again I’ve begun a relentless pursuit for something, and over and over I’ve found myself stuck and stagnant. I start off with the best of intentions and yet over and over again, it all falls apart. Sometimes in days, sometimes in weeks, sometimes even months but my plans inevitably come crashing down to a fast finish.

Why does this happen? What is the big looming issue? Why can’t I just finish what I started? Why can’t I just stick to the plan? Why can’t I see it to completion? What is standing in my way? Is it the devil? Is it God wanting to “save me for something better”? Is it my family? My friends? My responsibilities? What is it??

I’ve thought about this over and over again. I’ve talked about it, I’ve prayed about it, I’ve read about what could be the problem, I’ve sought out a solution, I’ve asked for advice and encouragement and still, nothing. Nothing seems to help, nothing until now at least.

Recently I’ve felt so strong in my heart that the problem is me. I am the only thing standing between me and my destiny. It’s not my situation or circumstance, it’s not my availability, it’s not my support system or lack thereof, it’s not the devil, it’s not a test or trial, it’s simply me.

I forgot to say no.

I’ve come to the conclusion that a lack of self-control is the leading issue in my failure, or better yet lack of success. I don’t believe I’m technically a failure, I mean I live a pretty decent life, I’m doing well by most standards but deep down inside I know there is so much more and I stand in my own way daily.

I forgot to say no,

  • No, I won’t do that
  • No, I won’t go there
  • No, I won’t watch that
  • No, I won’t eat that
  • No, I won’t say that
  • No, I won’t listen to that
  • No, I won’t snooze one more time
  • No, I won’t take a nap
  • No, I won’t skip this
  • No, I won’t answer that call
  • No, I won’t reply to that text
  • No, I don’t have time
  • No, I won’t post that
  • No, I won’t respond to that
  • No, I won’t buy that
  • No, I won’t spend that
  • No, I don’t need that

No, I can’t and I won’t.

In a desperate attempt to make everyone happy (including and primarily myself), I forgot to say no. I forgot what that even means. I forgot what boundaries were. I forgot that it is healthy and appropriate to place limitations on my lifestyle. I forgot that just because I can, doesn’t mean that I should.

I can blame everyone and everything around me for why I fail daily to complete even the most miniscule of tasks, or I can realize that it is MY responsibility to have self- control and discipline. That is not anyone else’s responsibility. There is a reason it’s called self– control and self– discipline.

A life without limits will be a life without legacy.

Do you want to see a change in your life? The way you eat? The way you work? The way you spend? The way you live? Get out of your own way. Let God be God. Do what you need to do, not what you want to do. Develop healthy habits, biblical boundaries and learn the art of saying NO once again.