Happy Wednesday, y’all!
I can’t believe it’s been a month since our last guest post from my girl, Allie. Having these girls share their hearts on She’s Taylored has truly been such a blessing. Every woman has something to give – whether that’s encouragement, wisdom, or straight up truth. I’m loving this series and can’t wait to share today’s!
Everyone – Meet Maddie.
Y’all. Maddie has the biggest + sweetest heart. Oh my. I met her a few years ago when she started dating one of Ryan’s best friends (their one year MARRIAGE anniversary is in less than 2 weeks! EEP!). I came on too strong the first time we met because I immediately went for the hug and she was normal and went for a handshake. I don’t know if you remember that, Maddie, but I STILL laugh about it. *facepalm*
Maddie is one of those people who is wise beyond her years. She’s so smart and kind and has a genuine love for people. She’s also super funny and goofy and just pure joy to be around. It’s cliche to say, but Maddie is just real. She just gets things and knows how to encourage right in that moment.
She’s just great and I’m thankful to know her and call her my friend.
BLESS ON, MADDIE.
Have you ever had a really bad day? I’m talking like an “Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No good, Very bad day” type of day… If you’re a human with a face, the answer is probably yes. If you’re anything like me, bad days are accompanied by their mean cousins: anxiety, feelings of inadequacy, frustration, sadness, feelings of being overwhelmed, etc. Before you know it, you are spiraling down a dark pit of despair and it feels like you will never get out of it!
But what if I told you that you CAN get out of that pit.
What if I told you that you can nip that bad day and his evil cousins in the bud right from the get go?
HOW? You may ask. No, it is not some Harry Potter magic spell or wearing special shoes or something like that. The dark cloud of a bad day or tough circumstances can be turned into a sunny and 75 type of day by practicing one thing:
When I was in Jr. High/High School, I had a really big problem of letting my circumstances take control of my emotions. At this time in my life- as most tween/teenagers are, I was a little bit dramatic… OKAY, OKAY I WAS A LOT DRAMATIC LEAVE ME ALONE. (and I have the cringe worthy Facebook “On This Day” memories to remind me of that daily, ugh) Anyways, my parents would always tell me to “BE EEEEEEEVEN” *makes smooth flat motion with hand*. I. HATED. IT. One time, my husband found out about it and did it to me (jokingly of course) and I just about smacked him into next week. He hasn’t done it since. Anyways (again) what finally helped me get out of this habit of letting my circumstances control my emotions was learning how/what it means to be “even.” I’m very close with my family, so once I moved to college any time I was feeling overwhelmed or having a dark pit of despair type of day, I would text or call my parents to tell them what was going on- and I still do that to this day. Every time I text or call them, I immediately know what their response will be. In addition to telling me to pray about it and spend some time with the Lord, they always, always, always, tell me to:
List 3 things to be grateful for
Even after listing just ONE THING, the dark fog begins to lift and my feelings of anxiety, inadequacy, frustration, being overwhelmed, sadness, etc. begin to lift. By the time I list three things to be grateful for, I realize that I could go on for HOURS thanking the Lord for his bountiful blessings. As I continue thanking Him for things, I remember the HE HAS ME, and I don’t have to worry! Romans 8:28 tells us that,
“In all things, God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to his purpose.”
IN ALL THINGS! Even the worst of days, even the toughest of circumstances, God works for our GOOD. If that isn’t reason to be grateful, I don’t know what is! I am so grateful to have god-fearing parents who are willing to call me out when they see that I have fallen into the trap of focusing on the bad things and not trusting the Lord. It is so important to have a church body and Christian community to remind us to be grateful. Colossians 3:15-17 says it perfectly:
“Let the peace of Christ rule in your hears, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful Let the message of Christ dwell in you richly, as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, through psalms, hymns, and songs from the spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, giving thanks to God the father through Him.”
First of all, we are called to peace. WHAT!? When we allow ourselves to be consumed with worry-we are not being obedient to that call. I’ve noticed that the times I find it hardest to just pause and be grateful is when I have not let the message of Christ dwell in me richly.
Worry does not glorify the Lord
Because it means that we do not trust him. Gratefulness is glorifying to the Lord and it replaces worry with peace because it reminds us that we can trust Him.
Recently my dad has been going through a transitional season that has contained a lot of uncertainties and question marks. It would be very easy for him to be consumed with worry instead of trusting the Lord, but he has continued to walk in faith and that has given him peace in the situation as he seeks the Lord each step of the way in this new journey. One day we were on a run and he was telling me about what the Lord is teaching him through this season and he said that he isn’t consumed with worry or doubt because God has always taken care of him, and He always will. As we continued to run, my dad told me about a time that he was walking on the sidewalk and noticed a flower growing between the cracks of the concrete. He felt so grateful for that flower because it reminded him that God is always working (for our good, as the verse in Romans told us earlier) even when it seems like nothing beautiful or good could possibly come from our circumstances. There is no way that a dainty flower should be able to spring forth from an ugly slab of concrete, but God has a beautiful way and habit of surprising us.
I think that what God has done in the past can be easily forgotten if we do not reflect on it often with gratitude. So, if you haven’t been in the habit of a grateful heart, I want to encourage you to start today, look for that flower growing from the concrete, look for the friend who encouraged you even though they had no idea you were sad that day, and thank God for it. He has always taken care of you, and He always will.
Currently listening to: “The Secret Place” by Phil Wickham + Madison Cunningham
Currently studying: the book of James
Currently reading: “Take Back Your Marriage” by William J Doherty. It was SOO GOOD. Even if your marriage isn’t struggling, it gives a lot of great advice for struggles you may face in the future. Also just read, “Next Door as it is in Heaven” by Lance Ford. It talks about living out God’s Kingdom in your neighborhood and reflects on how close knit neighborhoods used to be and gives insight into how to make that a reality for us in our neighborhoods or apartment complexes!