It’s been awhile since I’ve done a Cusp Convo post, but I wanted to bring them back because they’re a great, easy way to chat different topics with you guys. I would love to cover things here that you’re interested in or want to know, so please leave comments below or email me any ideas, questions, etc. that you might have!
After sharing some different encouraging quotes and verse the last few weeks on instagram, I was blown away by how many of you were messaging me saying how much you needed those too. I was getting messages back from each of you about your story, your struggle, and what you’re dealing with right now.
All I can say is wow. It touched me in such a special way that each of you would open up to me + share real, hard, vulnerable things.. me, someone you don’t even know.
It challenged me in a little way to be a little more vulnerable back. Something I don’t usually do here on the web – I’ve chosen to keep parts of my life private because so much of it is public, you know? But this time, I wanted to open up with you guys right back.. so here we are.
My faith is incredibly important to me. I grew up in a Christian home, went to a Christian school, and graduated from Liberty University. I’m currently actively involved in my church here in Connecticut and actually just wrapped up launching a huge digital project with them over the last 6 months. I could share so much about my personal life, walk with the Lord, and more.. but that’s all a story for another day.
In 2018, I’m really purposing to start out my day with the Lord. And funny as I’m sitting here writing this, I didn’t start today out that way. Full transparency here, girls! I am not perfect by any means, and even with the best of intentions, my day gets going sometimes before I’ve had time to sit down in my Word. But when I do do this, I notice an incredible difference in my day, ability to focus, my attitude/outlook, how I respond/react to my fiancé, and so much more. How you start your day is SO IMPORTANT. I read this quote the other day on facebook and it hit me so hard. I had to mark it down:
Your day is pretty much formed by how you spend your first hour.
Check your thoughts, attitude, and heart.
It was really heavy on my heart this year to be intentional about how I spend my morning. To refresh myself after the day before + whatever stresses, worries, decisions, or situations happened, and then to really set an intention for the day ahead. Align my thinking with Christ: His thoughts, His attitude, and His heart. Not my own.
We all have our own struggles, our own personal life situations, strongholds, hang ups, you name it. Two of mine are fear + discouragement, and these come from a generational mindset I am trying to break out of. It’s a struggle, let me tell you. But by refreshing myself with the Lord each morning, I’m reminded of His promises to me + for me. I’m learning to speak LIFE into my struggles and situations, and not dwell on the negative or “what if/could” happen or even what did happen. I’m learning to outwardly and audibly claim who God says I am and what He has spoken over me. He loves me with no conditions, He accepts me just as I am. I’m learning to constantly maintain an upward mindset, one that is full of joy, purpose, abundance, and blessing. It is SO refreshing to see the world, my life, and even myself this way. To not internalize the negativity of the world or those around us, even those closest to us.
For the first week of this year, I fought it. I didn’t want to sit down and spend time in the Word, reading, writing, and journaling (I’m a huge journaler.. like 6+ pages a day sometimes). You know why? Because I knew that if I did, it would require me to face the fear + discouragement that I was feeling, head on. And sometimes, that’s really hard. To look it right in the eye and say no.
But after the first week went by, I sat there and said no. I placed people around me who encouraged me to say no, who supported that no, who spoke life into my life, and who reminded me of the promises that God has spoken to me. I chose to get up and get out of my own way, and not allow myself to be bogged down with fear + discouragement – which are just lies and insecurities that are placed in our head by other people or Satan himself.
Who you place around you is so important. Listen up, if you’re reading this today – Who you place around you is so important. You have the ability to choose who speaks into and over your life, who influences it, and what kind of mindset is being portrayed. Choose carefully. Because if you allow fear, discouragement, insecurity, resentment, bitterness, anger, the list goes on.. to be spoken into you + over you, that will become your mindset. Run from that, cast it off. Openly say NO, I do not accept that over my life. It does not have power or place over me. It might have power or place over the person or thing it came from, but it does NOT over me.
I honestly can’t even believe I’m writing this – I actually had no idea where the direction of this post would go when I sat down and started typing, but here we are. I don’t get too vulnerable out on the web here usually, but I think that being real + vulnerable is a huge part of realizing where you struggle. If you can’t openly admit it or share about your journey (and I’m not talking about just talking about your problems or worries, I’m talking about sharing where you’ve come from + where you are now), then are you really improving or gaining a victory over that struggle? Sometimes we know what to do and think we’re doing it, but we actually aren’t.
Whoa, reality check. Yes, for me too.
This is a super condensed down version of where my walk has been the last few weeks, but I hope that even just this glimpse is an encouragement for some of you. That even behind pretty instagram photos, helpful blog posts, and all of that, there’s a real girl with real struggles, just like whoever might be reading this on the other side of the screen.
My morning’s aren’t perfect, I’m still working on making my quite time one of the first things I do. Some days I win, some days I don’t. That’s okay – it’s part of the struggle, growth, and process. But my heart and intention are right and aligned where they need to be. God sees that, He’s honoring it.
Now, I’m going to be a little bold and just ask – what are you struggling with? Is it fear and discouragement too? Maybe it’s something else.. Share below in the comments if you want – or even how this post may have impacted you or your mindset this week. So many of you have already opened up + shared on instagram the last few weeks.. REAL, tough life things. Struggles. Family issues. Divorces. Work related things. Like I said before, I’m so blown away by all of you just openly sharing with ME. I cannot tell you how much it has impacted me + just encouraged me that you guys are stepping out and sharing your story with a girl you don’t even know.. wow. I appreciate each one of you, your story, your struggles, and how you’ve opened up to me with me – please know you are in my prayers!
Next week, I’ll share more about the Bible in a Year plan I’m doing + maybe some other devotionals! If these kind of encouraging posts are something you guys love.. let me know, I think we can bring a little more of this around here and it would benefit us all. 🙂