Keep Moving Forward and Do It With Love

Some days are harder than others. For each of us, we go through seasons that often bring change, and the change doesn’t always feel great. There are times when we have been pushed into a new unknown, but all we want to do is head back to what is comfortable. The hard part is, without moving forward, there is no growth. I know for me, I get so caught up in the future and wanting to be in the place where I feel like I’ll have “made it,” that I forget the immediate and the opportunities to love other where I am. Last week I talked about having the reaction of love with others, but today I want to talk about loving yourself.

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Love First

February is always a fun season. You get to see all sorts of pink Valentines stuff that no one really needs, unless it’s the heart shaped Reese’s candy. It’s a season of love, the end of the winter season is around the corner and we remember being in class and getting those great little paper notes. Love is so much more than this, it can often just be seen as the romantic, but the reality is that love is so much more than feelings toward another person, it is an action and one that should be our first choice.

I’m struck by how little love there is around us.

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Controlling What You Can, Leaving the Rest to God

Hello again there! How has your year been so far? Keeping up with the goals and words to focus on? I know for me; the year has already begun to throw challenges our way. From the job searching that feels like I’m hitting walls, to our apartment complex that won’t contact us about our deposit (Yikes!), and my second semester of my Master’s Degree kicked off. There is a lot going on, it feels like my head is constantly spinning and thinking. In these moments, I find it difficult to focus on what I can control when so much of what I can’t control is all around me.

The thing is, I know God has me, I just have to trust him.

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Fanning the Flames of Faith

“I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands. For God did not give you a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, love, and self-discipline.” 2 Timothy 1:6-7

I’ve recently started enjoying making fires. Let me explain that when I say this, I’m meaning fires in fireplaces, I have always respected Mr. Smokey Bear. Being able to create a fire in a fireplace, starting small and then building up into a fire that can warm a space is calming for me. What I’ve been able to see is that there is a key element in burning, you can’t suffocate the fire and you need to fan the flames. Fanning the flames allows for oxygen to enter into the mix, and fire can only burn if oxygen is present. I have been reading through Paul’s letters and I have begun to love the way Paul encourages Timothy. Timothy is a part of the next generation of leaders and Paul is pouring into his life, encouraging him to remain faithful even when life seems tough.

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Journey Update: Setting the Right Goals for the New Year

Another year has passed, and it may just have been one of the most eventful years. For me, heading into this new year, much like my previous new year reflections, was how I can use what I learned to create strong goals for this year. Last year I wanted to be more creative and do more, but what I learned is that in order for me to be the best I can be, I need to know who I am. I found that when the world shut down, I was given time to process my past in order to grow into where I feel called. It was a year to grow and a year with set aside time for that growth.

With this new year, I have more goals, and I want to make sure they are the right goals for the new year.

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What a Year of Choosing Love Showed Me

At the start of this year, dear Danielle and I chose a word that we would focus on. Similar to many ideas that come with the new year, we chose a word that we wanted to add to who we were, a character trait that would be pressed into in order to grow closer to who God is calling us to be. That word was “lover.” We wanted to move into this current year with forgiveness and make sure we showed love through every part of us. We wanted to be active in our love for people, because people matter.

Little did we know that a global pandemic would happen.

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Peace: The Blessing of Uncertainty

I am continually amazed by how terrifying life feels. It never seems like there is a clear direction, and as much as I would love for someone to show up and tell me what I need to do, this has never seemed to be the case. Maybe it would be to bizarre for me to understand the plan, or maybe my current way of thinking hasn’t gone through the growth it needs to experience the plans of the future. Last week I talked about the reflection and growth that comes with the new seasons, looking back at the blessings of what brought you here. The thing is, it brings us to now, and what do I do now?

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Reflection and Growth

“Now we see only a dim likeness of things. It is as if we were seeing them in a foggy mirror. But someday we will see clearly. We will see face to face. What I know now is not complete. But someday I will know completely, just as God knows me completely.”

1 Corinthians 13:12

Two things keep sticking in my mind over the past year; reflection and growth. The start of the year, dear Danielle and I chose the word, “lover,” to be the word we would focus on and attribute to our mindset. Little did we know that this would be tested as everything changed in a crazy way. I am so thankful that we chose this mindset, because this year dealt with a lot, and there was a lack of love all around. I was ready for a year of busyness and wanted to focus on how to love better, but what happened was a year of resetting rhythms. I am thankful for that reset, I’m thankful for the time or reflection over the past and a growth towards what may be next.

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You are Worthy

“But here is how God has shown his love for us. While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”

-Romans 5:8 (NIRV)

Three years ago, I wrote a post called, “Made Worthy.” It was during a time that God started putting the idea over my heart that we are all made by him, and that meant we were worthy of love. That was during a season where I felt clarity, and to be honest, I can’t remember what specific time I was referring to. The thing that makes me laugh about that, is that I was certain I had a plan, but the reality was, my clarity was coming from understanding my worth. This has been a battle I face on a daily basis; my worth has been a stronghold that Satan has set up in my mind. Yeah, that sounds like a plot to some medieval story, and it sort of is. I have battled this idea that I am not worthy of love or the time of others. I know this isn’t true, yet at the same time, I let this fear creep in a control my actions. It normally manifests in a need for the approval of others, and it used to be so hard to not switch up my personality.

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Finding New Rhythms

I love coffee shops. I started this blog in a coffee shop that used to be in Greensboro. I was in college and really loved tea (origins of the name of this blog), every week on Mondays before my classes, I would sit in “Geeksboro” and write about life and what I was learning. That shop doesn’t exist anymore, but I remember living with that rhythm, each week waking up early and driving to the shop just to drink a warm tea or chai then write. It became my own little space, a space where friends of mine knew exactly where I would be and I would occasionally have a friend show up to join me in my writing. I say all of this because since that point, life has changed so very much.

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