Honesty

Fearless February

686 686 Melissa Mayer

It’s the first full week of February and we are diving in fearlessly. My good friend (and editor here on LSK!) and I have been talking a lot lately about fear and how to handle fearful thoughts that creep in our minds. I first must say that having a friend who can relate is a great blessing to talk through all the feels and kick fear out together!

I always remember a quote from Louie Giglio: “Fear is faith in satan” when I am struggling in a season of fear, and it helps me every time because my faith is in Jesus, therefore I shall not fear. “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God.  I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:10 By saying no to fear, you are saying no to satan and showing the devil (and fear!) the exit door.

Francesca Battistelli has a great song out right now that I blast whenever it comes on the radio called “The Breakup Song“, but it is not your average breakup song; it’s about breaking up with fear:

Fear, you don’t own me
There ain’t no room in this story
And I ain’t got time for you
Telling me what I’m not
Like you know me well guess what?
I know who I am
I know I’m strong
And I am free
Got my own identity
So fear, you will never be welcome here

Can I get an Amen!? How good are those lyrics? Let’s all play this song on repeat this month as we declare that we are strong, free, and rooted in Christ, therefore able to stand up to fear and say no, fear, not today and not ever!

Last but not least, this passage from Andi Andrew’s book, She Is Free, has also been inspiring me lately to really stand up to fear with the armor of God and victoriously battle it straight out of my life.

“Remember, fear is a liar that only has the level of authority we give it. Starve it out by dwelling in and staying connected to God’s perfect love. Recognizing and discerning fear is half the battle. Once you see it, you can take authority over it.”  

So much praise for these words by Andi Andrew! Fear is a lie that has no authority over our lives. Let’s hold on to that truth and repeatedly remind ourselves that God is with us always, therefore we shall not fear. He is our refuge, our shield, and our protector…fear stands no chance!

Why I Just Love Being Married

578 579 Melissa Mayer

Hey guys! As you know, #MarriageMonday is a thing, so I thought I’d celebrate with a little love list of some of the reasons why I just love being married to Jase. Some may say it is cliche to say how being married to your best friend is literally the best, but it is TRUE! See below as I love on love and love married life! xo

*I love living together. It makes every day extra sweet, and I really enjoy the little routines we create.
*He makes me a better person. He challenges me in the most loving ways and is my biggest cheerleader.
*I love learning more about him every day + it is so special to grow together with time.
*I love learning more about myself through him. Being married reveals more than I thought possible! It is so growing.
*I cherish making decisions together. His perspective on life is one I will forever look up to + his trust in the Lord is so attractive to me!
*I love encouraging each other in our passions. It is such a joy to celebrate the areas where we each flourish and thrive!
*I love watching him live in his skill. He is the most attractive host, in my opinion 🙂 And I love seeing him stretch and challenge himself in so many areas of life.
*I love to see how he loves his friends and family so well. The way he develops and sustains relationships is so natural to him, and it amazes me every day!
*I love encouraging each other in the deepest ways. I feel like we know each other to the core, so it allows us to encourage each other deeply!
*I love date nights, which are sometimes just early movie nights in bed! Nothing gets better than this!
*I love traveling and making memories together.
*I love praying together. It is so vulnerable, brings so much peace, and makes me feel extra connected.
*I love growing together in our faith! This sets the ultimate foundation of our marriage.
*I love getting to know each other’s hearts better by the day!
*I love dreaming together and planning for the future. It is such a gift!

A Faith-Filled Book To Read This Year

682 1024 Melissa Mayer

You guys. I am sure you have heard that Lysa Terkeurst has a new book, It’s Not Supposed To Be This Way. I am here today to express the importance of reading this book ASAP! It is one of those life-giving, life-changing reads with gems of words of wisdom that will forever have a place in your heart and minds.

 

Jamie Ivey recently interviewed Lysa on her podcast and Jamie put it perfectly- Lysa’s new book is for anyone that has gone through or going through disappointment in life. If you have felt the pain that disappointing situations and circumstances bring, this book will reveal truth and point you to Scripture that will comfort and help heal, even during the midst of the prolonged processing of it all.

Lysa is by far one of my favorite authors because of her honesty, vulnerability, and truth-filled pages. I was blown away by and thankful for the amount of Scripture that was included in this book, making it a great book to keep near your Bible and a wonderful resource for when inevitable hard times come your way. Life is a beautiful gift from the Lord, but it is also promised with trials and things sometimes aren’t going to be the way they are *supposed* to be in our minds. But, as we all know, God is good, His plans for us are good, His ways are not our ways, and He is working things out. Have faith, take courage, seek Him, trust His ways, wait for His timing…and read this book!

A few favorite quotes from Lysa Terkeurst are below to hold you over until you get the chance to read her book:

“To trust God is to trust His timing. To trust God is to trust His way. God loves me too much to answer my prayers at any other time than the right time and in any other way than the right way.” -page 45

“No human is strong enough to withstand seeing too much of God’s plan in advance. It must be revealed daily. And we must be led to it and through it slowly. Jesus is the perfect one to show us the way, the truth, and the life.”  -page 47

“Weak moments don’t make weak faith. Weak moments make us even more aware of our need to press in to faith. A faith in God that help us know that what we see isn’t all there is. Weak moments are also clues telling us what needs to be addressed right now in this part of the journey. Don’t beat yourself up for weak moments. But don’t ignore them either.” -page 128

With love,

Team LSK.

This Season’s Word: Comfort

682 1024 Melissa Mayer

With Christmas next week, all the cozy, festive, holiday vibes are in full force. This season is so special and is such a gift for many reasons, but most importantly it marks the arrival of our forever, perfect gift; our Savior and Lord, Jesus Christ.

A word that has been on my heart a lot in 2018 has been comfort. As humans, an intrinsic motivation and desire is comfort. I recently heard two sermons on comfort (here and here) that confirmed what I knew to be true, but after these two back to back messages, the truth really took roots in my heart and mind. Comfort comes from one place and one place alone: Jesus. He is the only source of true satisfying comfort.


If we seek God, we will find comfort because He is our refuge, strength, helper, and place of safety. (Psalm 46:1-3, Psalm 61:3, Psalm 121:7-8 CSB) However, if we seek comfort first, we will find ourselves being comforted by things other than God. This is the tricky place where comfort can quickly become an idol in our lives without us really even being aware that idolatry is sneaking in. We must remember God is our comforter, not people or things here on earth. God is so good and knows just what we need (Matthew 6:25-27), is our great provider (Deuteronomy 2:7), and has good plans for us (Jeremiah 29:11). Fear not, He comforts us perfectly daily, including days of affliction…especially those days! We just have to seek Him and run to Him as our refuge!

As we enter in to 2019 shortly, seeking God and not seeking comfort is the direction of my heart. He is our True North, in His wings we find refuge (Psalm 91), and His name is our tower of safety (Proverbs 18:10). Seeking Him and loving Him with all our hearts will bring us comfort that the world can never offer. Amen and thank you, Jesus.

 

Merry Christmas to all! xo.

Gifts Guided By The Heart

1024 683 Melissa Mayer

Hey friends,

With gift giving season in full effect, we are preparing for the festivities with an excited heart, clear mind, and grounded feet! Meaning, we want to enjoy all the fun while keeping the true meaning of the season in mind. This means gift shopping with intention, quality over quantity, and refraining from getting swept up in the gift shopping craziness. Turning into a crazy-lady chasing down the next deal isn’t our best look, and we say that from experience 🙂

When gifts are guided by the heart, we believe they serve to bring joy, comfort, peace, and happiness to the person on the receiving end. The gift will be useful instead of another “thing” to add to their collection of “things”! Something that helps me gift well is to keep track of when I think of or see the possible “perfect gift” for someone. Writing these ideas down throughout the year helps with intentionality and purpose when it comes to gift shopping.

This year specifically, we are focusing on wellness gifts for everyone on our list. For example…a juicer to promote celery juicing, linen bedding sets that last, skincare from Primally Pure, cleaning sets from Branch Basics, a cookbook for baked goods made healthy, and so much more.

The LSK Wellness Gift Guide will go out to email subscribers this Friday and will be live on the blog next week! We hope that it will help guide you on the gift shopping journey and make for a calm, healthy, happy experience for all! xo.

images: felicia lasala 

Slowing Down

1024 683 Lauren Kennedy

Who else can hardly believe that the holiday season has arrived? It is so exciting, yet it is almost alarming how quickly this year has passed by. I also notice that this time of year has an interesting flow. It feels as though the majority of people (including me) are hurrying up to slow down in the career aspect of things, are trying to balance calendars with event invites coming into your inbox daily, and are planning + prepping for homes full of cooking and family.

I would like to preface and say that this time of year may be my all time favorite. It seems as though the cozy days that surround the holiday celebrations are focused more on community, which only heightens the sweet reminder that the people we love are the most fulfilling priority. Yet, for fellow introverts, this can feel quite overwhelming, yet at the same time really joy-filling depending on the freedom you feel in your relationships.

So let’s get to the point, shall we? The holidays are bustling with plans and travel and people galore, but how can we continue to balance our schedule amidst all of the hoopla? The holidays should be deeply enjoyed, yet sadly so often, they are filled with strain and emotional heaviness. Circumstances aside and for those who experience this, I have hope that a change can be made.

Scroll down for some tips that I have learned and am still learning to incorporate!
1. Space out your yeses.

My husband is a full on extrovert, so I always notice a bit of stress well up in me as the holiday season approaches. Spontaneity around this time seems to steal from my rest rather than bring extra adventure to our days because it seems to happen too often for my wellbeing. Not to mention, this week I received three invites for work related events just for Thursday night. I am so thankful, but in the same breath, #sos. When making decisions, I try to be open-handed while also remembering to shamelessly prioritize my own needs first. This may sound selfish, but I always want to bring my full self to anything I say yes to.

2. Space out your yeses / part two.
For those of you who are super driven, I feel like this will hit close to home. Currently life has been so project-full on top of this blog, LSKF, and Stranded, but in the sweetest of ways. We are in the midst of creating some much needed on-the-go wipes, I am interviewing contractors to renovate our new house so I am dreaming and planning for reconstruction plans and design, and am also working and editing The Clean Sweep, a three-month subscription program and hand-help guide on how to clean up your life that will be launching in January. My close friend came to me with a new project, and although I am dying to jump right in, I had to postpone starting until the Spring. These decisions are tough, but so freeing in the end!

 

3.  For you people pleasers, it’s okay to say no.
This has been a big one for me. I have learned over the past few years that saying no is almost always well-respected from the receiver. Often the anticipation of saying no and the assumption of the response is the most nerve-racking part. Attached to most holiday seasons is the angst to make sure everyone is happy: family, besties, and your significant other. Although it is so important to care deeply for others, it is not our responsibility to hold the burden of their emotions or carry the weight of everyone’s needs. Let it go. You will feel so much freedom, and I have noticed that as you practice saying no, it only gets easier. Doing this will actually allow you to love others better day after day!

 

4. Schedule time for yourself and plan ahead.
For me, I have to block out times in my calendar for myself, such as a facial, a massage, a walk, coffee with a friend, free time to read, otherwise, I will never do it. Also, for all of you gift givers, planning ahead is key. I start making my gift list in early November and try to have all of my purchases made by the end of November. It is the most freeing feeling, gives me time to think of thoughtful presents, and it also makes such a special thing so stress free and extra meaningful.

 

So to all of you, I am wishing you the happiest and most-freedom filled holiday season. Try to make some changes this year for your own well-being. I guarantee that even if it feels hard, you will feel so rested and content in the end.

 

This post is done in collaboration with the Refined Collective- be sure to read the other posts from the wonderful ladies in this group; The Refined Woman, Jess Koehler, and Jessi Green

 

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images: felicia lasala 
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