Blogger Recognition Award

Recently a fellow blogging friend sent me a notification that she’d selected me for a Blogging Recognition Award.

This blogging friend is Tina from God’s Kid Speaks. Check her blog out at http://godskidspeaks.wordpress.com/

She’s a fantastic writer with great insight, tons of wisdom, and a plethora of encouragement, and she had received the same award herself a few days before!

Thanks so much Tina for nominating me, this was a first for me also and I truly appreciate it!

I love that this award came at this time because my husband and I just attended an awards banquet a few weeks ago for the company he works for. Each of the employees were recognized and awarded for their number of years of commitment to the company. It was neat to meet and spend time with the CEO of this very successful company, to watch his humble presence and mannerism was absolutely remarkable! So the idea of awards was already fresh in mind from that.

It got me thinking of God’s humble attitude with us and how He longs to award us in Heaven one day.

Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving. Colossians 3:23-24

I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Philippians 3:14

For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each of us may receive what is due us for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad. 2 Corinthians 5:10

Blogging Recognition Award: How it works?

Thank the blogger who nominated you and provide a link to their blog. Write a post to show your award. Give a brief story of how your blog started. Give two pieces of advice to new bloggers. Select fellow bloggers for this award. Let each nominee know you’ve nominated them and leave a link to your post.

How my blog got started:

I’ve been writing since I was a young teenager. I always kept diaries as a teen but when I read over them in my late teen years I destroyed them because I thought they were ridiculous. I wrote (some) during college in one of my English classes after the death of my dad and that was such a stress reliever.

Then I took a looong break from writing and in 2013 when I allowed Jesus to fully grab my attention I picked up a notebook and pen and began writing again—mostly quotes, or different ways God spoke to me. I remember being in Haiti a few years ago with a best friend of mine and I journaled a lot while I was there because I wanted to hold the moment captive, it was such a sweet impressionable time. Anyway my friend and her family would joke, “Alicia, are you writing a book while you’re here?”….but I couldn’t help it, I just had to write about the experience of being in Haiti. Sometimes pictures just can’t capture a moment the way words have the capability to do so and that was definitely one of those times.

Over the past few years I’ve been reading devotions from Proverbs 31 ministry, which are emailed to me every week day and I just loved these women’s style of writing and I learned from it and sort of adopted it. When some of my writings resembled devotion type styles like theirs I decided I wanted to be able to share with others how God had and is working in my life. My only goal through this blog is to point others to Christ, that’s it. I just want to see people saved, that’s all. 

Writing has been a huge element in understanding myself better and for that I praise the only One who deserves credit. As long as God continues to prod at my heart to write, I’ll do so! When God uses my writings to speak something to you I hope you glorify Him:) FYI I pray a quick prayer over each post before hitting publish, that God would use it to reach people…For His Purpose.

Two pieces of advice for fellow bloggers:

  1. Be Real. If it’s something you can’t see yourself saying to someone in a conversation then you probably shouldn’t be writing it. Just simply write what’s on your heart, people love and are drawn to genuine character. When someone can relate to what you’ve shared in your writing, relationships have the opportunity to grow.
  1. Get active. And in an ever crazed world of athletic emphasis and health nuts, I’m not referring to sports! What I am suggesting is that you seek out fellow bloggers who share the same interests as you, follow one another’s blog and from there encourage and build one another up by hitting the like button and commenting on posts.

Now I’d love to nominate other bloggers whose words have encouraged and inspired me along the way.

It’s not necessary to repost your nomination, if you would rather not that’s totally fine. If so just follow the Instructions above. Regardless I want to recognize you for the purpose of my blog and how you’ve inspired me through the comments you’ve left on my blog or something you’ve written on your own blog. Thanks so much, keep “write” on with your amazing blogging adventure!

https://plantedbylivingwater.wordpress.com

https://eyesofabeliever.blog/

https://becominghistapestry.com

https://miraclesformalachi.com

https://thesarahgriffithblog.com

https://heatherroo.com

https://fracturedfaithblog.com

https://thegoodnewsfamily.com

Also again thanks Tina for the nomination and I’d send it right back at ya because I love and agree 100 percent with everything you blog!!

http://godskidspeaks.wordpress.com

 

The Three “F” words: Faith, Family, and Four-wheelers

Reblogging a post from a year ago…with some added photos at the ending from our recent camping trip

For His Purpose

Originally written and posted on 9/4/17, reposting on 9/4/18

Children are a gift from the Lord; they are a reward from Him. Psalm 127:3

“It was either a grasshopper or a mouse—just smacked me in the face and bounced off!”, I joked with my kids and they giggled and snickered behind me wildly.

We were on our annual camping trip, complete with four-wheelers, miles of sandy trails shaded within a thicket of pine trees, and of course marshmallows toasted over a camp fire in the evenings. My two youngest children rode securely behind me on our four-wheeler while my husband and oldest daughter trailed behind, each on their own ATV.

Just for the record, safety is a must…pony tails fly in the wind under tightly strapped riding helmets and boy hair shows sweaty evidence whenever the protective headgear is removed, chicken legs are always covered with blue jeans, and little…

View original post 695 more words

Thank you!!!

August marked one year of for His purpose blog—100ish followers, just over 30 posts, and lots of thought.

I want to take the opportunity to thank every one of you readers. Thank you for taking the time to read, to hit the like button, to comment, to encourage, to support, to drive me to want to continue writing.

Thank you!!

Because of this blog I’ve been able to put words to major parts of my life—parts that never made sense before. Parts of my life that seemed so broken and life shattering—I’ve now found the words to piece the broken areas together for His purpose, and goodness have I ever drawn closer to Him in the midst.

God is good.

This weekend our family finds ourselves at one of our favorite camping spots where we can include our four wheelers. I’m convinced every time we show up at this campground that the most important things in life are (without a doubt) God first, then family and friends, and then of course four wheelers.

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I know, I know no helmets..don’t judge

My daughter (Paige) and I rode together while the little kids rode on the big four wheeler with Nate yesterday evening. A fresh rain had just come through so the pine trees were soaked and it smelled like Christmas all over as we blazed along the sandy trails.

I allowed Paige to drive the two of us and she insisted we bring her dog. He’s just a teeny tiny Yorkie which is a good thing—because I can’t imagine myself with my arms around Paige and then trying to hold a bulldog on her lap…that’s right he’s very in love with Paige so he had to ride on her lap BUT since she had both hands on the handle bars that meant me holding him while I sat behind her on the four wheeler, trying to hold the dog on her lap. We got some funny looks as other riders passed by us.62C4A9B4-1DE2-4905-8404-36AA53EB46B0.jpeg

Paige is a good driver—she knows when to upshift, and downshift at the right times with me prompting her just every once in a while. Honestly I’m not sure what the deal was last night though, maybe it was the awkwardness of her dog bouncing around all over her lap, he’d lay content for a bit but then pretty soon he’d want to climb up so that he could sit perched up on her shoulder, it was quite comical…nevertheless he really does love riding, he doesn’t get scared so no worries about feeling sorry for him..besides a dog on a four wheeler-ride sounds pretty spoiled to me! And that he is!

Anyways Paige, for whatever reason, kept driving a little too close to the embankments, drifting from one side to the other. At one point she even ran over a small log that popped up and smacked my shin. I probably have a bruise from that one. Either way we had fun regardless.1B245D1F-FAD9-4B47-893C-1E3238612E7C.jpeg

The two of us love to sing when riding and right now our current jam is anything from the movie The Greatest Showman. We’re slightly obsessed, so as we rode along we sang and thankfully the noise of the four wheeler drowns out “my voice” anyway. Paige, on the other hand, has a fantastic voice and I LOVE to hear that girl use it just as long as it’s not when she’s being mouthy.

Riding deeper into the heavily wooded sand hills the temperatures dropped dramatically and the fog nestled in around us. The trails were covered with decent sized balls of hail from the storm that was traveling along minutes ahead of us. It was such a beautiful sight, like a winter wonderland. We were the only crazy ones out on the trails at this point and we were loving every bit of it.BDD420AF-0D95-4D09-A900-614E2B108837.jpeg

Yet again I’m reminded of how incredibly amazing God is. I’m thankful for these moments He orchestrates and I count them as blessings.70050C71-EAA8-4FDC-9B10-F380B84658CB.jpeg

Time spent with my family is one of my greatest treasures; I love the adventure of a wild ride! I’m thankful I recognize God in the midst of it all. This blog serves as a way to note all of the good things God has and is doing in mine, my husband, and our kid’s lives. I love the idea of being able to read it in the years to come and see the ways of God’s goodness and faithfulness with us.207D1E84-9F3F-4341-AFA7-EF3CB1F994A63650E0B7-D21E-47F2-B70B-AB62A861FA19

Thank you once again for reading—for His purpose.

I’m going to (very soon) repost a blog from last year titled The Three “F” words: Faith, Family, and Four-wheelers. It was one of my first posts but never got much attention because I didn’t have many reading my blog at the time..it’s probably one of my favorite posts to-date and one that was written last year at this time…

My family is now begging to go ride, so until next time…enjoy! and more importantly don’t miss out on the adventure God is giving you.

What’s your idea of a great adventure?

Do you make it a priority to include Him? …Because I can guarantee if you aren’t, you’re not fully living that adventure.

 

Just Peachy!

Just Peachy: Fruits of the Spirit

I wish we could sit across the table from one another, sipping on crazy amounts of coffee and snacking on freshly sliced peaches, while having this conversation:

I’d ask how you are and when you’d ask me, I’d likely respond, “I’m just peachy!”—LITERALLY!!!A8116F0E-2E9B-4843-9145-A1FB68E3A3E7.jpegIt’s peach season and we have an abundance of peaches growing on our peach tree this year in our backyard. They’ve been ripening at different times over the past few weeks which has been nice because what I consider a “rare delicacy” has lasted just a bit longer than in the years before!

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My girls picking peaches

I absolutely love this tasty fruit, from its sunset shaded color with velvety soft skin—to the benefits of its nutritional value, offering an assortment of vitamins and minerals.

According to dr.axe.com the peach is a high-antioxidant food with anti-inflammatory and anti-fungal properties which makes it a great (additional) resource for fighting disease and promoting a healthy immune system.

I also love that they’re such a versatile food. We’ve been eating them right off the tree for a quick snack or dicing them up over top of vanilla yogurt or hot oatmeal.

We’ve made peach pie, peach crisp, peach smoothies, and we’re fixing to make peach ice cream..we’ve canned them, froze some with a little lemon juice to use year round, and made peach jam in the past as well.

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Mc..someone in our house can bake! Yaaa!!

Last week I even tossed some firmer slices into my salad along with berries and nuts, fresh spinach, and then drizzled Italian dressing over it..that might seem desperate but for any of these peaches to go to waste would be the “pits” (lol) so I do try and get creative, and it was actually really yummy.

Continue reading “Just Peachy!”

Get Real…

 

803D61DA-A202-42D8-9F09-C90DE3D9166EI’m a hairstylist, and although I know it shouldn’t be this way there are times (I’ll admit) that I live under a ridiculous falsehood:

‘that when my hair is fixed and looking nice I’m gonna feel and appear like a total put together mama, and I’ll be able to handle any challenge that may come about that day…I’m gonna feel good about myself…no matter what…all day long.’

On my “very” best days my hair is colored, which means grays are covered and I start the day out with a female version of James Bond’s can-do attitude…My husband is going to read this and be like, “do you even have any idea who James Bond is?” and I’ll simply reply, “…not really.”

…I’m 34 years old and I have more than a fair amount of gray hair. I experienced a lot of childhood trauma, therefore I blame it on that. Nevertheless, I feel my age is far too young to parade gray hair around so I color it and it drives my husband absolutely crazy. Nathan believes I should embrace this premature graying and accept it for what it is, but I can’t bring myself to do it at this point. Maybe when I’m in my 40s, but in my 30s it’s just not gonna happen.

I realize there are some who would agree with my husband, BUT I also know there are a lot of people out there who are covering up “gray areas” of their lives…

Whether it’s depression, an eating disorder, a spending habit, perhaps a lump on their body, an addiction, a broken heart…you see, some of us are covering up “gray hairs” also, so to speak.

As I spoke with one of my best friends on the phone the other day I explained to her how ‘even though I’m so, far-removed from my past mistakes, there are still times I allow my insecurities (the shame from my past) to fester and sometimes even surface. It gets uncomfortable. This is especially true when I’m around certain individuals. I feel insignificant or insecure of myself while in their presence, like I’m not good enough.’

I’ll never forget her simple and reasonable response, “most likely you feel that way around those people because they don’t share their true feelings.”

They’re a closed book, very private, refusing to share or show feelings and emotions.

Perhaps hesitant to open up at the risk of becoming vulnerable themselves.

…Allowing only the rich vibrant color to show, covering over the dull, dreary shades of gray.

The truth is: everyone has or is dealing with something. We’ve all faced or are facing a struggle.

The danger is: many refuse to admit it or open up about it.

Another best friend and I share the darkest, deepest areas of our mishaps with one another. Once we’ve equally vented, we jokingly mock the ever popular phrase, “#thestruggleisreal.” 

BUT it’s true!!, the struggle is real, we just don’t always show it. We put up this facade; posting the happiest pictures and updates on social media, meanwhile true inner feelings (those gray hairs and struggles) are covered over.

I’ve been there, I’ve done that. For years I was a closed book. Shame ran rampant in my heart and self, but my face and words spoke otherwise. I was as unreal as imitation vanilla or imitation crabmeat—neither of which are as good as the real thing, right? (sidenote: both of which I buy because I’m cheap) …When asked by someone how I was doing, I’d bottle my thoughts and bend the truth; never wanting anyone to know my hurt and self-pity. I was a wrecking ball damaging my integrity, losing sight of who I needed to be…Surely “observant people” noticed.

When I finally allowed Jesus to grab my attention He purposefully highlighted the gray, showing me how it could be a light in a dark world.

What Satan intended for evil, God has used for His glory.

I’ve now shared my testimony with many people, who after hearing my story seek me out, thanking me for just being real. They’re able to see the radiant color over what was once a dark, concealed undertone.

When we open up and spill the story of our life, our troubles, our worries we become relatable. We suddenly find out we’re not alone. We live in a broken, messed up world, and when we get real and push down the walls of pride sharing our weaknesses with one another that’s when relationships are built, standing firm and strong.

So even though my hair color may not be real, you can bet my story is. I’ve learned to uncover my struggles in a way that others may see the vibrant beauty of God’s big picture. Know this, it’s not okay to approach just anyone or at anytime revealing all of what might be a messy past, but when we listen to God’s prodding on our heart we learn to recognize just when, how, and where to open up and share our stories, always remaining honest while doing so. May we work to uncover our real thoughts, feelings, and emotions connecting with one another in a way that points to Jesus.

Romans 12:2 Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

Good Good Father

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Photo taken in Ouray, CO

Chris Tomlin (a Christian musician) sings Good Good Father, a song regarding and recognizing God’s immense love for us.

The other morning I listened to this very song and noticed I can finally get all the way through without choking up as I sing along to the words. I wasn’t always able to do so before…And I’m thankful beyond measure.

I’ve intentionally and passionately pursued Christ for the past five years, not perfectly but with great effort. I’ve read and memorized scripture. I’ve counteracted and demolished negative thoughts by applying God’s faithful word where fear and worry long to thrive.

But in all that, can I just be honest and admit that for a long time I failed to see that God loves, loves, loves me deeply and without limitations…He LOVES me with unconditional genuine love. Keep in mind I’ve believed in Him since I was a young girl, and was taught of His love from a young age but the idea and reality of His love never struck me until more recently.

God absolutely loves me even though I mess up everyday and I don’t deserve His love. I simply didn’t understand and couldn’t grasp that concept until I allowed the words of this song to sweep in and settle throughout me.

It’s like this: We can read the same verse three or four times and it may just come across as words and nothing more. It may not be until reading that same verse for the 100th time that we finally realize the power and hope found in those very words. And then it hits us like a ton of bricks and we have that “ah-ha” moment.

Sometimes God uses His people to amplify the meaning of His words, whether it’s through a song, a devotion, a church message, a fellow believer…fill in the blank.

For me, I was just taking for granted the raw truth of God’s love for me. I was missing an important key ingredient to my faith..functioning and believing in Him—but not absorbing the fullness of His words. I was reading scripture and applying it to my life, but not always in a heart-pounding, adrenaline-rushing way.

If you’d have asked me if God loved me I would’ve been quick to respond with, “yes, absolutely!”…because I knew the answer in my head from reading scripture, but my heart didn’t know and feel it.

The first time I heard Good Good Father was nearly a year ago. I was driving alone and as the music spilled from the car’s radio those words melted over my heart overwhelmingly. Tears ran down my cheeks as I soaked in the lyrics—

You’re a good good father
It’s who you are, it’s who you are, it’s who you are
And I’m loved by you
It’s who I am, it’s who I am, it’s who I am.

Those words brought me to tears over and over every time I’d hear that song because it became this revelation of finally understanding and realizing that I am loved by God.

I AM LOVED BY GOD!!

(It kind of makes me want to head to Colorado and shout it from the mountaintops).

There’s something about knowing who you are, more importantly knowing who you identify as (as a follower of Christ) and knowing who He is.

Being able to declare that you are loved by God…there’s just simply nothing like it.

It’s when you feel lost, hurt, broken, or lonely but knowing and saying, “everything is going to be alright because I AM LOVED BY GOD regardless of my circumstances or feelings.”

I don’t know anything or anyone else in the world that can provide that kind of grace, mercy, and truth. When you’re in those moments of despair all you want is to feel love, because relationships are all that really matter and Jesus’ love offers the ultimate healing and restoration.

It causes me to consider those who don’t know God as Lord and Savior, where do they draw hope and comfort? I’ve said it before: “I’m still kind of a mess some days, but without God I’d be a bigger mess.” I’m so thankful for a life with Him as my Good Good Father. I’ve tried it the other way (with me in control) and it’s always left me empty and disappointed.

You aren’t living, until you’re believing and living IN HIM—immersed in all He has to give as truth.

Do you know and trust that God loves you unconditionally?

Check out Good Good Father for yourself by clicking on the photo link.

Part 3: Remembering My Dad (lessons and spiritual growth)

That was nearly twenty years ago; I can still feel the sting of the pain even now…Goodness I miss my dad…

*This is part 3 of a 3 part series- links to parts 1 and 2 are located at the bottom of this post

Growing up I took for granted the idea of family time and commitment. We had many fun times, but I failed to place much value on our years together while they were occurring.

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Winter of 1999-a few months after my dad’s motorcycle accident

I’ve managed to mentally revisit and collect the moments we spent together and I hold on to those precious memories now.

I can also identify our number one struggle as well. We believed in God, but we were far from a relationship with Jesus, therefore our family-dynamic suffered in following Christian morals, which led to lenient parenting. Often times I was absent—drinking and partying with friends. House rules and expectations were shallow for me; late nights and a selfish mentality were abundant. Mistakes and poor choices were high as I ran wild.

It wasn’t until I was married with three young children and in my mid-twenties that I recognized the hurt and brokenness in me. I thought I could fix it on my own and I tried for the next five years.

I watched as my mother, meanwhile, had found healing over my father’s death by seeking Christ. I remember relying heavily on her for wisdom during that trying period and she pointed me to Jesus every time.

And then one day I finally submitted… Continue reading “Part 3: Remembering My Dad (lessons and spiritual growth)”