November 19, 2022

Good morning! I pray you have all had a great week and were maybe even able to stay on top of your thankfulness journals we talked about last week. If not, you should totally start this week simply by writing down one thing you are thankful for each morning when you wake up. I know it isn’t just me that is in disbelief we are only four days away from celebrating Thanksgiving. It just doesn’t seem right, I feel like it was last week we were celebrating the new year. I will say though, God has done some amazing things this year, after thinking about my life this far, I can definitely say this year has been one of the biggest in terms of my walk with Christ. Something about the opportunities, strait forward answered prayers, and blessings Christ has given me this year seem uncountable and I am forever grateful for each of them. With that being said, I am also thankful for the trials we have faced as a family this year because let me tell you there have been many. But I know that without the lows in life, we would never learn and the highs wouldn’t be as exhilarating. There is something about knowing you have came through a battle and reached the other side when it felt impossible that can completely change your outlook on life. I know for me, this was shown front and center in my life after my deep depression I experienced in early 2019. I remember looking out the window in tears not understanding why I was on earth? Why was God putting me through this? Was I worth fighting? To be 100% honest I no longer saw a purpose in waking up each morning. I wanted to end it all, however since the day God turned the light switch on and allowed me to see my purpose and calling in life, I have not even began to think any of those things. God brought me through hell but all in order to use my testimony to inspire and encourage others struggling and I wouldn’t change that for anything. 

 

Before I close today, I want to share a thought with you. As we go into Thanksgiving, it can bring a wide variety of emotions for many people. So this year, I want you to thank God for whatever feelings you have towards Thanksgiving. It might be something like  joy, excitement, inclusion or maybe you feel more alone, depressed, or hopeless. Whatever it is you are feeling, thank God for allowing you to wake up and have feelings that are ALL valid. It is OKAY to not be OKAY and if that is you, please reach out to someone before the holidays and let them know what your going through. If you cannot think of someone you feel comfortable confiding your struggles in, reach out to me and I would be glad to walk with you through this difficult time. I love you all to the ends of this earth and am always here for you. Please be safe this Thanksgiving and enjoy it to the best of your abilities. 

 

 

November 13, 2022

Good afternoon everyone! I hope you have all had a good week! My week has been so crazy! It feels like I have been all over the place since Monday and I have still yet to get my life together lol! Do you ever feel this way? Like life is just slipping out from under you and you cannot catch a break. You are busy, on the run 24/7 and can barely find time to treat yourself? I think this is something almost everyone struggles with. As a society, we so often feel the need to constantly be “doing” whether it is a job, chore, homework, studying, school, sports, volunteering, etc we fill our schedule to the point nothing else will possibly fit on the calendar.

Well, I hate to break it to you but this is called over commitment. I will be the first to admit that this is something I really have a hard time with. It is as simple as saying NO. While we can think about answering with a quick single word, it is a completely different thought when we find ourselves in a situation where we desperately feel the need to say yes even when we know we cannot take anything else. For me, it is a feeling of disappointment. When I need to say no to a task or even if I just need some time to think about it, I put this idea in my mind that if I don’t say yes right away, that person will be disappointed or let down by me. When in reality this is so far from true. I know if I was on the other end of the equation asking someone for their assistance, I would only want them to commit if they could give it their all. Days are only 24 hours and at least 7 of those should be time to sleep. Therefore, we cannot sign up to be beat down. If we don’t have enough time, we will not be able to give it our full attention resulting in more of an issue than if we simply said, “I cannot today” or “I have a lot on my plate”. 

trust me, I say all of this with a huge finger pointing back at myself because if you know Gracie, you know I hardly ever say no when people ask favors of me. Which is not necessarily a bad thing but I have come to see that I say no to personal time often when I feel the need to fill that time with service. I will say no to a date night with friends because I have signed up to host a zoom conference, or I will not be able to watch my siblings sports events because I committed to volunteering two shifts at the local coat drive. Yes, these are all good things, but we have to be sure we are balancing out or day to day lives. It is hard but it is possible. God doesn’t want us to get burnt out. Just as He took the seventh day to rest, we too need to take out time for ourselves. 

This is a lot to think about but I challenge you this week to make sure you are not overly committed. And if you find yourself to be, don’t turn back, but be sure in the future to take that time for yourself and to consider all that is on your plate. I love you all so much and I pray that this week, as we approach the Thanksgiving season, you will take a second to be thankful for yourself, the perfect creation God has made and the incredible story He has planned for you. Stay strong and let me know if I can help you with anything!

 

 

 

November 7, 2022

We have officially reached the last two months of twenty twenty two. Is it just me or does this blow your mind? I like to say we have now entered the holiday season which can be extremely difficult for many. Everyone’s holiday season looks different. Some may gather as a big family while others may spend the season alone. The truth is, no matter how you spend it, Christ is always with you. Remember the meaning of Thanksgiving and Christmas. Yes don’t get me wrong, the music, weather, festivals, food, friends, etc are all great. But there is nothing greater than knowing you have a secure spot in Heaven waiting for you. So I encourage you, make this year a little different. Enjoy all the annual activities and fun experiences of the holidays but be sure to really focus on where you are in life. I am going to do this by starting a gratitude journal. I used to to have one and it truly made each day more enjoyable so, let’s do it again. It doesn’t have to be anything extravagant, even a piece of notebook paper will work. (If your like me, it will be a journal with colorful pages and pictures) Simply start each morning by writing down three things you are grateful for. Put the date and a drawing if you want and I promise when you look back in a few weeks, you will be so glad you did it. C’mon don’t leave me hanging, you do it too. 

 

Lens change: I want to tell you all about something super exciting that is happening to me this week. I don’t want to tell you bout it with the idea to boast or brag, I really want to tell you so that each of you can get a little glimpse into the amazing work God can do in the lives of those who are broken. To be completely honest, if you would of asked four years ago where I would be today, I probably would have said still in the same boat I was in that day. Hungry, depressed, sick, with no hope of the future. But now to look back and see what all God has already accomplished though my testimony and what He continues to accomplish honestly amazes me. I say all of this to share that this Thursday I am being recognized for getting the STAR award by GCAPP. In short terms this is an award that is given out to one student in Georgia that has implemented change amongst their peers and others. The award is going to be presented to me by Jane Fonda herself and I cannot even believe it. I am so excited to have been given this opportunity to represent Georgia’s STAR award for 2022 and I just know God is going to use this to boost me to share even more. I give all of the praise to God for giving me a story and such a strong passion to be of encouragement to those around me.  I hope I will continue to be an inspiration to you as well as those around you. Please continue to share my blog with your friends and family, I would love to see how big we can make Bounce back Beautifully. I love each of you so much and will be praying for a great week!