Posts tagged hope
I don't know where I'm going from here, but I promise it won't be boring.

This post is dedicated to all those who find themselves in a season of quiet, question marks, and, at times, restless expectation. This post is especially dedicated to my single friends who are figuring out how to embrace where they are and live each and every moment to its fullest, trusting God to pave the path they are traveling. IMG_3107

A few days ago, I read an awesome page in Jesus Calling. The very first sentence was (in all caps); YOU ARE ON THE RIGHT PATH.

Wow, did my heart need those words — more than I even realized!

And then this powerful reminder from Him followed: Listen more to me and less to your doubts. I'm leading you along the path I've designed just for YOU.

It can be so hard to keep our eyes on our own path. But when we compare, when we doubt, when we question, we are MISSING OUT on all God has for us right where we are.

Comparison cheats us of the opportunity to see and appreciate the adventure to be found in the dips and turns and twists of our own journey.

And when we doubt and fear and question, we are taking on burdens we are not meant to carry.

If we are following Him, we can trust that we are where we are meant to be. We can trust that He knows what today AND tomorrow holds, and that He is working to bring the best out of our current and future circumstances.

I'll be honest, I have reached the point in my own season of singleness where really the only thing left to do is truly let go and let God.  I have listened to others' success stories and tried what they've tried, I've read the articles, and I've prayed the prayers — all to no avail.

But I'm beginning to think that maybe I'm not meant to plan or pray or work my way out of this season. Maybe I'm meant to really look at it with new, grateful eyes that are free to see the possibilities it holds. Maybe I'm meant to embrace it with excitement and faithfulness and HOPE.

I used to fear that if I was too content or "successful" in my singleness that maybe God would decide to just leave me in it forever. It seems silly now to believe such a thing, but I have, time and time again. And tonight, I've realized that when I'm believing lies like that what I'm really doing is listening to my doubt more than I'm listening to God.

So, tonight, I'm ready to say goodbye to all of that doubt, and I'm ready to listen to what HE has to say about my season instead . I'm ready to fully surrender my hope for marriage to Him (trusting that in His perfect time and way He will lead me into whatever new season awaits).

I'm ready to turn my attention back to today — to the stack of books waiting to be read, the new paints that will soon brighten up a blank canvas, and the words that might find their way into a poem.

Today is right in front of me, exactly as He designed it, planned it, and purposed it. Today is right in front of me, and I choose to call it good. I'm ready to embrace it and make each of its moments count.

I am ready to be and go and do exactly what He has planned for me in this beautiful and sometimes unexpected season, ready to live both with contentment and expectation (if I may borrow that phrase from the fabulous Lindsay Sherbondy).

And it's true that I may not know where I'm going from here, or when or how I'll get there...

But He does.

And I promise it won't be boring.

Neither will today.

P.S. I snagged this post's title from a piece of art in the new Messy Box from A Beautiful Mess.
God's Plan for You is Right on Time

NotBehind

If you follow me on Instagram or Facebook, you may have seen this photo. It's part of a new 'lil collaboration I have going with one of my talented friends Kelsey of Pinegate Road. It's my words + her lovely hand lettering. And while it's not a fancy or complicated collaboration by any means, it's giving me lots of fresh inspiration for new stories to write and tell. (You can follow this collaboration on Instagram using the hashtag #aptdnotes.)

You’re blessed when you stay on course, walking steadily on the road revealed by GOD. You’re blessed when you follow His directions, doing your best to find Him.  (‭Psalm‬ ‭119‬:‬ 1-2 MSG)

I've been thinking a lot about these verses lately and how it can be easy to take our eyes off the path God has for us. When I start comparing my story with others,' I'm tempted to veer off course and write things the way I think they should go. I wrestle with God over timing, circumstances, and the way my current season stacks up against those around me.

It's so easy to think someone else is living a better story than we are, isn't it? Or that because our story doesn't look as far along as theirs, something must be wrong with ours — or worse, with us.

But those thoughts are just lies that we believe.

And we don't have to believe them.

God's plan for us is right on time, and He will faithfully reveal each next step for us when the time is right.

The second part of those verses in Psalms does require action on our part, though. The writer of this Psalm is reminding us that we are blessed when we FOLLOW God and do our best to FIND Him. That means seeking Him in everything, asking Him for wisdom and guidance, and making Him a part of everything we do.

I find myself comparing more frequently and feeling the most dissatisfaction when I'm NOT seeking God regularly. And I think that's because when I'm not seeking Him and listening for Him in all I do, I can't clearly see the path He has marked out for me. Instead, I see the path that everyone else is on and what I think is missing or lacking in my life. I completely miss the opportunity to praise Him for what He's doing in my life and what is unique and special about the story He has especially for me.

I am so thankful that we can find Him in every season, in every chapter — in both the joyful and the challenging moments of our lives.

And even though I sometimes wrestle with some of my current realities, I take comfort in knowing that when I seek Him, He will continue to reveal the road before me and lead me step by step.

So, today, I am choosing to celebrate this particular part of the road I'm on, this part of my journey. I am choosing to look around at where I am with gratitude and with eyes that can see and appreciate beauty. And I am choosing to live with hope for what's ahead, for all of the twists and turns and bends that I cannot yet see.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You Make Me Want to Be Brave

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Because it’s been fear that ties me down to everything,

But it’s been love, your love, that cuts the strings…

Friends, for years I have blogged about my hopes to meet and marry my best friend. I have shared with a hopeful heart about my prayers and my journey, but if I'm honest, there have been so.many.times I've been scared to really believe God can make that hope a reality — and more importantly, that He will. I tiptoe around it, saying someday prayers and trying not to sound too assured, or even get my hopes up too, too much, because God is God, and we can't really KNOW what He'll do in our lives, right?

Well, yes...

* ...BUT... *

I don't want to live with such a fragile faith.

I want to live with a faith that FULLY believes in God and His plan for my life. I want to live with a faith that isn't afraid to say I believe God can do the seemingly impossible, a faith that trusts that all of the no's and closed doors have been leading me to a part of my story I couldn't have imagined on my own, even if I tried (and let me honestly tell you that I've tried plenty). ;)

I want to live with a faith that is bigger than my fear, bigger than my doubt, and bigger than every bit of my unbelief.

I want to live with a faith that continues to believe and pray about my hope for marrying my best friend — until God tells me to do otherwise.

And so, that is the faith I am choosing to embrace tonight, the faith that is fueling this blog post, the faith that will give me joy and hope and confidence, as I get ready to celebrate another birthday and continue to follow God on this unique adventure of mine.

I have chosen the way of faithfulness;

I have set my heart on your laws.

I hold fast to your statutes, Lord;

Do not let me be put to shame.


I run in the path of your commands,
    

for you have broadened my understanding.

The other morning, as I read these verses in Psalms, I was reminded of how much I want my love story to be God's doing and not my own. I am confident that my decision to wait for God's choice is the right choice for me. And while that doesn't always make sense to everyone — and it's certainly not always easy to do — I have chosen to be faithful and trust in Him.

But faithful and trusting doesn't mean timid.

So, as of tonight, I am going to stop saying someday prayers from a place of fragile faith.

I'm going to stop tiptoeing around my hopes.

I'm going to hold them with open, trusting hands — and with confident, brave belief  — that God will take them, with love and with purpose, and weave them into something more beautiful than I could have ever dreamed.

 

*Lyrics from the song Brave by Nichole Nordeman

Weekending: Dream a Little
 dreamsboard

"No matter what this week left you with or without, find time this weekend to leave it all behind for a simple moment being thankful. Ask yourself what you really want. Dream a little." ~Megan Gilger, The Fresh Exchange

Have you asked yourself what you really want lately, given yourself the chance to dream just a little?

I'm making space for that this weekend, space to clear my head and my heart and see what the Lord places in that empty, open, ready-to-receive space.

Wishing you a dream-filled weekend of your own.

PinablesFearless
:: dream collage design and typography by me; images — 1. 2. ::
Blessed is she who believes.

unsplashsunset Blessed is she who has believed that what the Lord has said to her will be accomplished.

This little line in Luke 1:45 has become a source of big hope for me. It's been just the reminder I've needed that the dreams and hopes He's planted in my heart are in safekeeping with Him.

I've written this verse on my mirror, so every morning, my heart is reminded of that truth, and every evening, my confidence is encouraged.

For the last few months, I've been praying for Him to help my unbelief — especially when it comes to my singleness — and He has been faithful to bless me with fresh hope and belief.

Choosing to believe takes courage, but thanks to His grace, it's a choice my heart will always strive to make.

::image::

Calling All Dreamers: Amber of Beautiful & Beloved

Hi, friends! I have been loving this Calling All Dreamers series so much. Each woman's words have blessed and encouraged my heart — and I hope yours, too. I'm excited to share the next post in the series today: Amber of Beautiful & Beloved . I've been so very blessed to connect with Amber. She has a soft, sweet spirit, and her words are always so lovely and encouraging. Welcome, Amber, and thank you for being here today! :)

{via}

I never fully understood the meaning behind this verse before.

I was never as full of dreams and desires as I am now.

I know that when I am with God, when I am trying to walk with Him and talk with Him, when I am seeking a relationship with Him, I begin to dream.

Big

Huge

Scary

This dream could not possibly come true without God's hand working ALL the things

Kind of dreams.

That is how I read this verse.

When I am delighting myself in the Lord

He will fill my heart with incredible desires and wild dreams.

Then HE will make them happen.

And when He does, I will point back to Him, and give all the glory to the one who deserves it.

The one who makes dreams come true.

The one who plants desires, and shines upon them so that they might grow.

The one who delights in me and I in Him.

Thankful to be dreaming with a Big God in my corner.

In awe of the desires that He has given me.

And excited for His will to be done.

Keep Dreaming Big with Jesus friends,

His good work in you is just getting started!

In Love,

 

Hi!  My name is Amber and I blog over at Beautiful & Beloved where you can read about beauty & love, God's grace & God's word, chaos & creativity.  I am the mother to 4 kids ages 5 to 9months and I am married to a handsome military man.  I am hoping to open my own boutique very soon so I am no stranger to God sized dreams and I am beyond delighted to be sharing with you all today!

My Summer Heart

SummerDreams As we head toward the summer months, I can't help but do a little dreaming and thinking about how I will savor the season and delight in all its blessings.

My heart is filled with all I hope to do and learn; it's filled with the wonder and possibility that comes with each new season's approach.

This summer...

  • I hope to spend time learning more about typography and practicing and developing my own unique lettering style.
  • I hope to whip up many batches of Almond Milk Iced Caramel Lattes, enjoying them porchside or poolside with inspiring books and people.
  • I hope to eat lots of in-season fruits and veggies, experiencing all the flavors and colors of summer.
  • I hope to make many trips to the market for fresh flowers and produce and local treats. (We have some of the best farmers markets in my city, and I'm finding that a morning spent wandering around the market, hot coffee in hand, is one of the loveliest ways to begin a sunny Saturday. I can't wait to visit all of the different markets this summer.)

What about you? What's on your list and your heart?

Making seasonal dream lists is one of my favorite ways to embrace where God has me. I love the changing seasons, and I love measuring my own life in seasons (so much more about that in my upcoming book!). Creating these lists makes my heart happy.

I'm not rushing away the spring just yet, though. I'm loving the clean, earthy smell after the rain — the smell of newness and fresh beginnings and hope. I'm loving the open windows and the cool mornings, the blossoms and blooms, and all the bright new greenery that's filling out tree branches that stood quietly and patiently waiting all winter long.

My heart has been there, too.

And as the spring brings its possibilities and warmth, sunshine and color, and hints of all the summer days ahead, I can feel God bringing those same things to this hopeful, dreaming summer heart of mine.

1 // 2 // 3 // 4 //

design + typography by me

What Moves Your Heart? What Fires You Up?
 whereitallstarts
 {image via Lara Casey }

If you've been reading recently, you know how much Lara Casey has been inspiring my creative process. What a blessing she is to women who have big dreams!

As part of her goal-setting process, I made a list of things that move my heart and inspire me, and as I'm working on my eBook in the weeks to come, I'll be thinking about this list of things that fill my heart with joy and energy and motivation.

{ Read more about creating your own list over on Lara's beautiful blog. }

So, here's my list...

I DELIGHT IN:

Art, living with lots of color, beautiful words, being inspired and inspiring others, blogging, books, antiquing, typography, fonts, hand lettering, hunting in antique shops for vintage treasures, spending an afternoon in a cozy coffee shop, historic buildings, God's truth and the way He speaks it so beautifully into my life, living life adventurously, taking RISKS for HIM, trusting in the story He's writing in my life, art journals and art journaling, encouraging and spurring others on, BIG DREAMS, music, poetry, HOPE, creativity and the creative process, storytelling, magazines, photography, writing honest, vulnerable, true-to-my-heart words, libraries, black-and-white photographs, polka dots, charm, whimsy, art as WORSHIP, collaborating with other creatives, intentionality, historical fiction, really good really dark chocolate, the beauty to be found in the changing seasons...

beautifullife

{image via Parima Creative Studio}

What would make your list?

Let's make it a point to do more of those things that move our hearts, inspire us, and fire us up. Let's live the abundantly beautiful lives He is calling us to live — for Him.

With God, All Things Are Possible

This post originally appeared as a guest post on my friend Christy's blog My Wings Are Made of Faith. If you haven't explored her beautiful blog, I encourage you to do so. :)

* * *

hopecollage

With Him, all things are possible.

Those words —and that truth — are on repeat in my heart today.

And, as I sit here, all cozied up, writing this guest post and reflecting, I’m realizing just how much I need to cling to them, believe in them, speak them, and pray them.

I knew those words before this morning, of course, but He must have known just how much I needed a reminder — because on my way to church, He placed them on my heart.

And then, amazingly, the same truth was repeated during our Palm Sunday message, as we talked about fixing our eyes on what is unseen, rather than what is seen. We talked about how hard it is to dwell in that unseen place, how it’s easier to put our belief and trust in those things we can see and know and feel and touch.

But this is what I’m learning (and what I was reminded of this morning): when we intentionally focus our hearts and minds on what is unseen, on the invisible spaces in our lives that He is filling up and working in, we experience so much more of His goodness and His faithfulness.

Because we can trust that He is at work in our lives, even when we cannot see it.

I couldn’t believe the timing of His message this morning. My heart drank in every word, desperate for the reassurance that He is working, and I am not forgotten.

I’m in a season where it’s often a battle to trust in His unseen work, a season where I often feel caught between waiting for His voice and the weight of the hopes on my heart.

But then He blesses me with a truth like He did this morning, and I remember who my God is and that truly all things are possible for those who believe.

As we look ahead to Easter and think about the huge significance of the cross and the resurrection and the beautiful redemption we find in Jesus, I’m reminded that this redemption isn’t a one-time thing — it’s something we find over and over again, each and every day, as we continue to put our hope and our trust in Him.

His mercies are new every morning.

And when I remember this, and I fix my eyes on Him and on the unseen, I am inspired to keep trusting, keep hoping, and keep believing that with Him as the author of my story, all things are beautifully, wonderfully, incredibly possible.

hopebigger