make a wish

Can I talk to you for a minute?

A few months ago, I decided to dive head first in my pursuit of the Lord. I felt the God-size hole in my heart and it took almost 25 years for me to figure out that nothing and no one could fill that hole except for Jesus, His love and His grace. Ugh, I am HORRIBLE.

The days felt longer and so did the sleepless nights. I needed something. I needed community. I needed encouragement from Christian girlfriends. I needed prayer. I am sure you can imagine that some of my favorite friendships began to fall apart. I wasn’t really the fun friend anymore. People quit asking me to hang out on the weekends and I inherited the “grandma title” and was also called a “Jesus freak” HA–love it! After talking with one of my friends, I decided to text one of my old girlfriends and ask if I could join her Bible study. I was nervous, but I knew I wanted it-more like needed it. I needed support and encouragement–I needed community. I made a wish and the Lord blessed me with SO MUCH MORE.

As soon as I walked in, I automatically felt welcomed. I loved the girls and it didn’t take long for conversations to start and for introductions to be made. It felt like home. The study was a Jennie Allen original, Chased. ** I HIGHLY RECOMMEND THIS ONE, GIRLS. In this study we learned about David’s life and how he truly had a heart for the Lord. Throughout this study, I craved time with the Lord. It became something that I depended on. I needed it. I needed Him–still do.

During this study, I was assigned a prayer partner. She allowed me to lay my mess on the table. After coffee dates, late night chats, and many hugs this girl helped me sort out my mess. She didn’t judge and never rolled her eyes. She simply rolled up her sleeves and said, hey, we’re gonna get you out of here. I am here and even though we just met, I like you and I want to help you. Um, wow..speechless.

There is nothing like a prayer partner. If you don’t have one–grab one. Have them hold you accountable. Have them question if you have been in the Word. Tell them your junk and listen to theirs. Life is crappy — and we can’t deal with any of it by ourselves.

I just want to seriously encourage you to plug into a community. Small groups are incredible because they are so sweet and allow things to get really real. Ask someone to get coffee and listen to them as they tell you their mess. Some of my favorite moments are when a dear friend has grabbed my hand and asked to pray for me. The thought still gives me chills.

How flipping sweet?

In January, I will be starting a Bible study for college and high school girls. This study can also be for anyone in their twenties. If you want community and fellowship–we would love to have you. If you are looking for something a little different, I can help you find the group that will help you the most. Girls, don’t waste anymore time. We are fearfully and wonderfully made. Don’t question that. Surround yourself with people that will remind you of that and who have the same desires.

So yeah, love on your girls. Pray with them and encourage the crap out of them. We all have junk that’s no fun and what’s worse is to have to deal with it all alone. Community is awesome.

God knew EXACTLY what I wished for & He provided me with JUST that & SO MUCH MORE.

Last but not least, GRAB YOURSELF A PRAYER PARTNER.

 

 

what are you voting for?

Wanna know what I think? I think as girls, many of us have been through devastating heartbreaks. Ya know, the type of heartbreaks that cause us to Netflix binge, forget about the gym, and break out the tissue box kind. Yep, we’ve all been there.

Many times.

These type of heartbreaks cause us to put up a shield. This wall that we forget to let down and we refuse to let anybody in–even the good ones.

I am ashamed to say that I have turned down some really great guys because the guys of my past. Too many times I would say, “guys are all the same. Why should I even give him a chance?”

WHAT A COP OUT.

Do I honestly believe that? No. Is it a feeling of just being scared to let down the wall again?–yes.

Girlfriends, let’s not let previous relationships define every guy.

How would we feel if we weren’t given chances due to the reputation that some girls leave? You could be passing up the opportunity of a lifetime.

Let him be a gentleman. Let him open your door. Let him hold your hand. Let him step outside of the norm.

Let us cultivate CRAZY AWESOME relationships. Let’s take chances.

I am voting for a new dating scene. Something other than “Netflix & chill” something so uplifting and something that glorifies Jesus in every. single. way.

Are you?

 

are you living in a world of comparison?

Have you ever wondered what it would be like if we didn’t live in a world full of comparison? I mean really, think about it. It’s so hard to imagine a world so simple.

I grew up always looking up to other people. I never had an older sister but boy, did I grow up with an incredible older brother. Straight A’s, good hair, and never seemed to disappoint my parents. EVER. I on the other hand felt like the opposite. I was a little social butterfly always looking for some place to go–something to do. It always felt like I couldn’t measure up. Instead of trying in school, I would try to fit in. I lost my self identity. I forgot who I was in this place of comparison. Due to this feeling I resented him. When it felt like I was failing, it seemed like he was succeeding in everything. In fact; looking back I think I may have resented anyone who seemed to have their life together, and was on the road towards success. This includes my best friend who started pharmacy school, parents, friends that were starting a life of marriage, and friends that were pursuing the Lord with all of their heart.

Maybe you’re also like me and you constantly wonder if you’re doing the right thing. Sometimes I wonder why my roommates or best friends are doing  something different. Am I wrong? What if I am going overboard? I feel like I constantly live in a world of ‘what ifs.’

Stop.

God calls all of us to different things. Be confident in your choices. God is using you in CRAZY ways.

Sisters, we do not have to feel this way–this stuck. Ya see, God created me and He created you so so so so long ago. He made a plan for you and knew EXACTLY how many times you would fail and how many times you would succeed. I think that is so neat. Wanna know why? Because it’s your STORY. I love the idea that my story is so different from my best friends. My story may not reach some people, but somewhere out there, there is a girl who is struggling and feels like she is drowning in a world of not knowing who she is. My story may help her. Who could yours help? She may be right beside you or maybe she lives across the globe.

This world is full of people that are crying for help. I know because I was one of them. Luckily, I have been blessed with so many people that grabbed my hand and whispered sweet truths in my ear. I have girlfriends that have land hands and prayed for me and have sent encouraging texts and emails throughout the day. I also have been blessed with two wonderful parents that never gave up on me. My mama still picks up the phone (almost) every time, and a brother that never judges and has forgiven me for being so hateful and jealous towards him.

My brother always jokes around and says, “I am kind of jealous of you. You have fun stories to tell. Yeah, they got you in trouble..but at least you’re not boring and you can entertain people with your Friday nights.” I may feel the opposite about that but that proves that yeah, I compared myself to his “perfect” life but he was doing the same..it’s not always what you think.

SO STOP.

Stop comparing. You are YOU and that’s so incredible because God made YOU for his purpose. I challenge you to spend some time this week discovering what your purpose is and DO it.

“Not that we dare to classify  or compare ourselves with some of those who are commending themselves. But when they measure themselves by one another and compare themselves with one another, they are without understanding.” 2 Corinthians 10:12

xoxo, Allie

How To Get Here

Depending on who’s reading this, if you know me at all (or shall I say the old Allie) you would know that I HATED to read. I am more of a Netflix girl.. One Tree Hill, Gossip Girl, The OC, Grey’s Anatomy.. you name it–I watched it. After I finished a season, I started it over and watched it again. I loved knowing what was going to happen. I guess it made me feel like I had control in my life. However, my real life–you know the one that was actually real– I had zero control. NONE.  I am a HUGE avoider. I loved (still do) hanging out in my room–avoiding things & watching TV. It’s the only way I know how to unwind, besides going to the gym & who really wants to do that everyday?

NOT ME.

A few Christmases  back, my mom and I were Christmas shopping. We were in Alter’d Slate (one of my favorite stores) and there was this book called, You ‘re Already Amazing by Holley Gerth. (EVERY GIRL ON THIS PLANET SHOULD READ THIS.)  I decided that day to add it to my Christmas list because well, A. The cover was pretty and B. I wanted to find out how I was amazing. Needless to say, Santa dropped it in my stocking, but do you think I actually read it? Nope. I decided to spend my time watching someone else’s life on TV fall apart instead of being exposed to my own crap.

Last year, one of my favorite relationships was falling apart, being a teacher to 22 little ones became harder, and I felt like a terrible friend. If I couldn’t help my life get back on track, how did I expect myself to help one of my friends get theirs together? I started to realize, “Hey, I can not do this alone.”

I came home from school that day, and dusted off the book from my bookshelf, turned the TV off, and started to read the book. Not only did I read it, I took notes.. but let’s not get crazy–I didn’t actually start applying it to my life until a few months ago. However, the words were encouraging and they got me out of my slump.

Then I got dumped.

It was hard. REAL HARD. I didn’t totally understand but I immediately placed the blame on myself and what I was doing wrong–not even trying to look at the bigger picture. I then went to the bookstore and bought You’re Going to Be Okay by Holley Gerth, and WOW. I started seeing the light.

His Light.

It didn’t take long, I became the biggest book worm. To this day, I cannot put a book down. I love to read encouraging words instead of the junk on TV that makes me think that we are all doomed.

One day, when scrolling through my newsfeed on Facebook, I saw a post by Jordan Lee. It was about waiting and not wasting your time settling when God has something BIGGER and BETTER in store. She used an example of having to wait at a restaurant forever. Her hubby and her were both starving so they went and had an ice cream cone before dinner. Turns out they were both still starving. Their stomachs didn’t get the nutrients and food that they needed therefore their appetite and stomachs still wanted more.

I was immediately touched.

You know, the kind where you are covered in goosebumps? I quickly started following her on every type of social media there is. I bought her devotionals and made a friend. She is incredible and REAL. She exposes all of her junk in hopes to meet people where they are and grab their hand and lead them out. She helped me. She had taught me ways to get in the word and STUDY it and actually UNDERSTAND it. One of my favorite tools is the “Write the Word” journal. (You can purchase one on http://www.Cultivatetheword.com). I can’t tell you how much my life has changed by setting my alarm clock a little bit earlier and reading the word with a cup of coffee. I am sure my students appreciate it too. I hope that this encourages you to dive in too.

Cultivate your life in what matters. Trash TV was not my answer.

Here are a list of a few of my favorites that I HIGHLY suggest everyone read regardless of the season that they are in.

  • Uninvited-Lysa TerKeurst
  • Make It Happen-Lara Casey
  • Seasons of Waiting– Betsy Child Howard
  • You’re Already Amazing– Holley Gerth
  • You’re Going to Be Okay-Holley Gerth (not pictured; someone is borrowing) 🙂
  • Wait and See– Wendy Pope

XOXO, Allie

 

How Did I Get Here?

Well, here I am. I made a blog. I finally did what I said I was going to do a few years back. Making a blog always sounded like something fun to add to my list of hobbies but when it actually came time to sit down and get busy–I chose to do other things. It seemed like a lot of work…and it is. When completing a study last week, I had to answer a question about something that I wanted to do–I wrote “make a blog.” The next line said, “Make it happen” so here I am.

I am just going to get really real with you. These last few months have been real hard for a girl that’s fixing to be in her mid-twenties. I have always imagined that I would be married by now with children and well, my imagination was a little off. I am as single as a pringle with dog named Tucker that takes the place of my child–because let’s be real..he is one.

I am very fortunate to say that I grew up with a genuine, loving, and supportive family. I can’t remember a time when my parents weren’t honest with me about the mistakes that I was making. I used to say, “I am my own person..I need to learn from my own mistakes.” My mom would always cry and tell me that the thought of that KILLED her, because she deals with the pain from her mistakes everyday and she would never wish that on anyone–let alone her mini me. I never understood it until now. We all experience pain. We all travel through the valleys and make it to the mountains only to end up in the valleys again. It’s hard. Life has a comical way of pulling out the rug from under you when you finally feel like you have found some stable ground. At least that’s how it felt for me. My mistakes and my past haunted me like bad haircuts–yes, I still avoid pictures on my Time Hop. No matter where I looked–I could NOT find the answer.

Grabbing on to Jesus was and is the answer. I tried everything but that and I got no where. I dealt with a series of heartbreaks, broken friendships, a new career that just would NOT get better, and a constant empty space in my heart that could not be filled.I tried to fill that empty space with guys that would never even think about pursuing me the way that any woman should be pursued.I settled. I continued to allow myself to date and get hurt over and over again like a merry go round that never stopped.

LIFE. GOT. REAL.

I can remember the exact day that it felt like I was in the deepest valley–probably because it was two days ago. LOL. I felt so angry at God. I felt discontent, grief, anger, sadness, and was completely full of doubt. With the help of a sweet mama and good friends I made it out somewhat alive. I apologized to God countless times for being a brat and it’s crazy to know that He didn’t think twice about forgiving me.

Pretty amazing huh?

Grace is a crazy awesome thing. I don’t deserve it, not even a tiny bit but He gives it to me because I belong to Him and He reminds me that I’m worth it. I am thankful for the moments when life gets real. Yeah, it hurts, and if you are anything like me–you cry a lot. But in those moments when we feel the most vulnerable–we feel our need for God. Sometimes pride likes to pay a visit and when life gets real– I am reminded that I need God and I always will. Grace and strength are given to us day by day for that very reason. If God gave us enough grace and strength to last us for the rest of our lifetimes–what would His purpose be?

Join me in cultivating our lives in grace. This is a journey that we can’t do alone, sista.