The Time We Found Out My Brother Was In A Car Accident

The Time.jpg

This post was written by my mom a couple of years ago (and originally posted on my old blog, which is still around: thepaintedukulele.blogspot.com). It’s about faith and Isaiah 41:13.


A number of years ago, when our family was going through a particularly rough time, Olivia would encourage and comfort me with verses. She would email verses to me. She would write verses on cards. She would paint canvases with beautiful, comforting scripture. One treasure she gave me was a square of baked salt dough and on it she painted “For I the Lord your God hold your right hand; it is I who say to you, ‘Fear not, I am the one who helps you.’ Isaiah 41:13”

That gift has lifted my spirits many times over the years. The beautiful, warped and cracked salt dough. The precious, uneven edges. Isn’t that like us, followers of Christ? His word, his unfathomable spirit, in our broken vessels. A thing – no, a person, of inestimable worth in this jar of clay. When I look at this square made from material that probably only cost 10 cents, I see a treasure of immeasurable worth. The word of God. That is what our heavenly father sees when he looks at us. We may be broken vessels, but he sees the magnificent glory of his son. Praise God!

 

One of my 17 year-old sons was on my mind all day yesterday. He had gone on a short road trip with a friend, and I couldn’t shake my concern. I prayed throughout the entire day. I had to discipline myself to turn my chanting prayers of, “Lord, please protect him. Lord, please protect him,” into “Lord, thank you for protecting him.” Then last night, as Olivia and I walked down the dark driveway to leave Bible study, her cell phone rang. My phone was off, so when she said, “It’s dad,” my heart dropped to the cold, hard concrete. I could hear the serious tone in his voice when he said to her, “Let me talk to your mom.” Fearing the worst, I started shaking even before I said “hello.” My son had gotten into a car accident.

 

Praise God, my son was not hurt. Praise God. It could have been so much worse. I am weak with gratitude to my Lord. Thank you, Lord. Thank you. He heard my prayers. He watched over my son.

 

When I decided to have children twenty years ago, I didn’t realize I would be giving birth to my own heart; that for the rest of my life, my heart would be walking around in these three precious lives in a scary, unpredictable world. I am continually teetering between my faith and trust in the Lord with my desire to protect my children from harm and the uncertainty of life.

 

This morning, with reawakened gratitude to the Lord for his love and protection, I once again walked by that salt dough plaque and read, “ For I, the Lord your God, hold your right hand; it is I who say to you, ‘Fear not, I am the one who helps you.’”

 

My thankful heart overflows.

Blessings,

Olivia
isaiah41

5 Christian Instagram Accounts to Start Following

5 Christianto Start Following

I love that technology gives us new ways to read the Word and have fellowship with other believers. Since creating an Instagram account for this blog (which you can find here), I’ve found a lot of great Christian accounts to follow. Today, I’m sharing a few of those with you.

gracious.script

~ Through it all I will trust in You ~ (‭‭Psalm‬ ‭33:21‬) – “In him our hearts rejoice, for we trust in his holy name.” Y'all ever just feel sad? Ya know, just sad? Don't know what to do to feel better? Well, TRUST IN GOD! When we give all our trust to God, we will feel a weight lifted off our shoulders. A weight so heavy that we will no longer have a reason to be sad because we know God's got this! Whatever you're going through, give it to God. Trust Him to take it and take care of it. We all have problems, but when we trust in God through it all, we will have no weight on our shoulders any longer cause God's got this. Trust in Him through everything. Give it all to Him. Trust Him to take care of it, because He will. Through everything you're going through, trust Him to have your back. He will lift that weight right off your shoulders and you will rejoice in the trust you have in Him. You will rejoice because you will have no reason to be sad or depressed because you know God's got this. That it's not on you. There's a reason for it all. And through it all, we can trust in Him. Hope y'all enjoyed that!!! This is the third, and final, part of my mini theme Trusting God! Comment "✌️" if you read and liked this!

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I love the devotionals that go along with Jessica’s pictures on this account. They’re so relatable. Plus, the fonts used are super cute.

teen.christian.girls

This account has so many pretty pictures with good reminders, such as to be a light to others. Though the name includes “teen”, I think it is valuable for any lady to follow!

lead.by.love

What a Heavenly Father we have…

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I love the gorgeous nature pictures on this page, along with the verses. Perfect for the Christian girl with wanderlust!

daughterofdelight

If you're a driver you'll follow this analogy and if you're not, just work with me: Picture someone driving their car down a busy street. Better yet, picture what their feet are doing. Their left foot is likely on the floor and their right foot is either pushing down on the gas or the brake or is in a moment of transition between the two. I remember when I first started driving that I asked my Dad why I couldn't use both feet. Why not have one foot covering the gas and one covering the brake? It's seemed safer. That's ludicrous. It would be absolutely silly to try to spend my driving moments with two feet battling for control. Instead, my right foot does all the work. It's a basic analogy but I kind of see it as helpful when thinking of surrender with God. Let's just say He is the right foot. The One who is seasoned at His role, and who needs no help from that left foot — us. God is in control. He isn't a new driver who wonders if maybe it'll be a good idea if two feet happen. No! He's been in existence as God forever. He isn't confused about His role. So why do I wonder about His ability? Why do I stop my life (left foot interference!) on so many occasions to make sure that things are working as I'm hoping? Why can I get crushed by disappointments? I think it's because ultimately I sometimes want to be the driver. I want to be the one calling the shots. Let's pull back in to that car analogy. Picture a young child trying to drive. If her foot is even reaching the pedal, she certainly can't see outside. And if she sits so that she can see, her feet can't hit the pedals. God is the adult. And maybe that seems condescending but it's actually freeing. Because we get to sit beside Him. His feet at work, His eyes scanning the mirrors, His knowledge of which exit to take. Our God is good. He is trustworthy. He's a good driver. God is God. We are not. That's a gift and not a hindrance to a good life. Are you trying to drive or are you comfortable in surrender? {words: @nadinewouldsay ; photo: @missy_e} #shedelights #daughterofdelight #Jesus

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This page looks so modern, and I love that their mission is to empower women through their God-given purpose. It’s definitely worth checking out.

sheknowsherworth

Today's Declaration: 'The light within me is bursting out of me. The world needs what I carry… The Love of the Father that is shed abroad in my heart. Even when I least feel it, the flame ignited by Jesus in me is catching fire whenever I go, even in the most mundane of places, I need to remember that the fires of His love are consuming everyone I come into contact with. People see the light of Jesus in me and I am a spark, alighting others to the flames of His love like wildfire, disintegrating darkness in its path.' Matthew 5:14-16 “You are the light of Christ to the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good deeds and moral excellence, and recognize and honor and glorify your Father who is in heaven.

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This page is unique in that the posts are declarations about who we are in Christ. It’s all about knowing our worth is found in Jesus. These posts are reminders of how to live that truth out. Love it!

I hope you’ll find encouragement through these awesome Instagram accounts! Christian fellowship can be found even in an app. Blessings,

Olivia

13 Ways to Be Productive on Pinterest

13 Ways to Be Productive on

Pinterest is my favorite website. It’s so fun to look at all of the amazing ideas. Pinterest is a great way to relax and spend some down time, but there are also productive advantages to the website. Here are some ways to be productive on Pinterest:

  •  Use it for meal planning: Not only are there articles on how to meal plan on Pinterest, there are so many unique and easy recipes. Most of my dinner recipes are from Pinterest. I love the pins that group a bunch of similar recipes together, like groups of slow cooker recipes or recipes using chicken. It saves me time since I’m not trying to come up with dinner recipes off the top of my head. I also don’t get stuck in a food rut since I’m finding new recipes all the time. You can also find a lot of decadent dessert ideas, yummy drinks, breakfast ideas – really any type of recipe. This is a great resource to use when planning food for a party.
  • Plan a Party: I’ve seen a lot of ideas for “Frozen” parties based on the movie. Search for any theme party and you’ll probably find a lot of fun (and probably DIY) ideas. You might even be able to find printables to make it even easier.
  • Save Money with DIY ideas: There’s no end to the DIY ideas on Pinterest. They range from cute jewelry DIYs to pallet furniture for your home. You can save a lot of money by finding DIY tutorials instead of buying things. I love the pins with DIY versions of Anthropologie or Pottery Barn items. DIYs are a fun way to personalize your home. You’ll also become more crafty and resourceful. On a related note, you can use Pinterest to get your finances in order. There are a lot of resources to help you make a budget, get out of debt, and start saving.
  • Use it to Promote Your Own Blog or Etsy store: Pinterest is a great way to get new followers for your blog. By posting pins of your new articles, people who follow you on Pinterest will see them. If your followers pin your article, their followers will see it as well and the process continues. People are also more likely to continue reading your blog if your articles are showing up on the Pinterest home page. You can also use Pinterest to promote your Etsy store by pinning your items.
  • Network through Pinterest: Follow other blogs with similar topics and connect with other businesses. Doing this can garner lots of new followers for you and help you become more known. You can also use it for your career. I see a lot of pins related to nursing and teaching. I’ve also searched for pins related to my field and found some good articles to read. It’s worth a try!
  • Follow Your Favorite Blogs: Similarly, following your favorite blogs on Pinterest keeps you easily updated on their new posts and gives you a way to save your favorite articles from their blog.
  • Get Decorating Tips: Pinterest is known for it’s decorating and organization tips. There are tips for painting your house, ways to arrange wall art, and DIY decoration ideas. There are so many pictures of furniture and houses to give you inspiration. There are also a lot of helpful tips for maximizing small spaces and decorating dorm rooms. Who needs an interior decorator when you can just look at Pinterest? While you’re at it, organize the rest of your life. Once you’re done decorating, you can organize your desk, your hall closet, or your kitchen pantry. There are a lot of ingenious ways to organize lots of areas of your life to mark everything run smoother.
  • Get Perspective with Inspiring Quotes: Sometimes you just need a paradigm change. Looking at quotes on Pinterest is a great way to alter your perspective and give you motivation.
  • Plan Your Wedding: Pinterest gave me a lot of wonderful wedding ideas. I found love quotes to use for decorations, bouquet ideas, and dress inspiration. There are a lot of fun guestbook alternatives on Pinterest and planning tips as well. Pinterest is especially perfect for planning a rustic or vintage themed wedding.
  • Life Hacks: Life hacks are awesome. They make life easier and a lot of simple ways that make a big difference. Just do a search for them on Pinterest, and you’ll find a bunch.
  • Make your Bucket List: Making your bucket list is a lot like daydreaming, but the point is to make a list of things your really want to do, and then actually go out and do them! Search “bucket list” on Pinterest and you’ll find a lot of cool ideas to add to your bucket list, like “swim with dolphins” or “learn to surf.
  • Work Out: Working out from home is a wonderful way to get fit without having to push yourself to go to the gym. You can find workout videos and charts with workout moves and reps. There’s a variety of exercises you can find on Pinterest, so you can find something that works for you. With all of the dessert recipes I pin, I am grateful for workout pins! 🙂
  • Design Your Dream Home: For a lot of us, designing a house is definitely daydreaming, but it is a reality for some. And who’s to say that we won’t eventually make enough money to get to this point? As the Gilmore Girls say, “If all else fails, you can marry rich.” There are a lot of gorgeous houses on Pinterest, and there are even some floor plans. It’s the perfect resource for design ideas. I can’t guarantee that you’ll stay within budget, though.
What’s your favorite way to use Pinterest? 
Blessings,
Olivia

7 Ways to Glorify God in Your Daily Life

How toin yourdaily life

“Ascribe to the Lord, you heavenly beings, ascribe to the Lord glory and strength.
Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name; worship the Lord in the splendor of his holiness.” Psalm 29:1-2

A lot of our purpose as humans and as believers is to glorify God. This purpose often seems abstract to me, so it can be difficult to know how I can glorify God in my every day life. I thought of 7 ways to glorify God daily to help us apply this purpose.

  1. Be thankful.

“I will give thanks to You, O Lord my God, with all my heart, And will glorify Your name forever.” Psalm 86:12

Showing gratitude for what God has already done in your life shows Him that you are content with how He has blessed you. It gives Him glory when you recognize how He has moved in your life. Telling others of His deeds in your life can bless them as well.

2. Sing worship songs.

“Sing to the Lord a new song; sing to the Lord, all the earth. Sing to the Lord, praise his name; proclaim his salvation day after day. Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous deeds among all peoples.” Psalm 96:1-3

The easiest way for me to get into a worshipful mindset is to sing praise music. Focusing on God through song is a way to surrender ourselves to His will. He desires our hearts and wants us to look at Him and not our earthly lives or problems. Worship songs often make me feel a lot of gratitude for God.

3. Stay connected to Him.

“And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” Colossians 3:17

This means prioritizing quiet time with Jesus as well as keeping your focus on Him during your day. Pray continually throughout the day to remind yourself of His presence with you. Doing so will give you peace and perspective, and it shows God that you put Him first.

4. Serve others.

“…Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave— just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” Matthew 20:26-28

Jesus came to earth to serve others and to bring us salvation. As His followers, we should do what He did and serve others. There are so many ways to do this, and it’s often little things. It can be as simple as giving your spouse a break by doing a chore that they usually do, or paying for a friend’s lunch. You can also serve others through community volunteer opportunities, mentoring someone at church, leading a small group, or simply being there for someone. Putting others first shows the love of Christ to them.

5. Share the Gospel.

Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Matthew 28:18-20

This is the first thing I thought of as a way to glorify God. Our main purpose on earth is to further God’s kingdom by sharing the good news with people. How amazing is it that God allows us to be a part of His divine plan by telling others about Him!? Sharing the Gospel, especially when it’s uncomfortable, shows God that we value His will over our own.

6. Fulfill His purpose for your life.

“Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.” 1 Peter 4:10

Along with our main purpose of sharing the Gospel, God also has individual purposes for our lives. He made us unique with certain gifts and talents that we can use to glorify God in our own way. Don’t squander the gifts He has given you. If He made you a talented singer, use that gift to sing on the worship team or record videos of yourself singing and share them online. If He made you with the desire to encourage others, find opportunities to speak truth and kindness into people’s lives. God made you with a specific purpose that only you can fulfill. Doing so shows that you are grateful for your gifts and want to use them for His glory.

7. Pray for eyes to see these opportunities.

I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, and his incomparably great power for us who believe…” Ephesians 1:18-19

Sometimes, we’re too focused on our daily lives and problems that we miss opportunities to glorify God. We might not notice a good time to share the Gospel with someone, or we may feel too busy to have quiet time with Him. If we ask God to keep us alert to these opportunities, He will help us to see them. Your desire itself to serve God is a way to glorify Him.

I hope this post encourages you to look for chances in your daily life to glorify God. These opportunities are more abundant than they seem!

Blessings,

Olivia

Light Links #6

Light Links #6

Hey y’all! How was your week? I hope this post will help you finish your week out strong and inspire you for the weekend! Here are this week’s light links:

Blessings,

Olivia

14 Ways to Live Like a Gilmore Girl

GoldTreeGilmoreGirlsText

“Gilmore Girls” is my favorite TV show. You can’t beat their quick wit, charming town, and quirky characters. Plus, who doesn’t love watching a show that has a set that is decorated with twinkle lights, snow, and fall leaves? I would love to attend some Stars Hollow events, like the Founders Day Festival (just don’t drink too much of Ms. Patty’s punch). Since I can’t actually live in the show, I’ve come up with some fun ways to live like a Gilmore Girl.


1. Drink Coffee

Even if you’ve only seen a couple of episodes from the show, you know that Lorelai and Rory love coffee. It’s an essential. They don’t head to Starbucks for a fancy flavored cup, though. They just get some from their good friend, Luke, who “keeps them in coffee.” (find reference)


2. Wear Chinos and Jean Jackets

This applies more to the earlier seasons, when the show was at its best. Rory especially wore a lot of chino pants and jean jackets. They also wore corduroy pants and jackets. Similarly…


3. Be fun with your style

Lorelai wears what she wants to wear, and always looks fabulous. She wears cheetah print, loud colors, and lots of jeans. I love the sweater she wears in [episode] with a sparkly kitten on the front. It may seem childish, but I love that it says that she’s wearing it because it’s fun, and she doesn’t worry what others might think of her outfit.


4. Wear braids

Along the same lines, and more applicable to the early seasons, Rory and Lane wore a lot of braids. Rory often wore two face-framing braids on either side of her head with her hair down. Lane liked to wear pigtail braids. Braids are a fun way to pull back your hair, and you can style them to look casual, like Rory and Lane usually wore them, or more put together.


5. Value a few strong friendships over a lot of acquaintances

Rory and Lorelai have a few very close friends throughout the show, and they nurture these relationships instead of juggling a lot of sort-of friends. Rory has Lane as her best friend, and Lorelai has Sookie. Rory is also friends with Dean and Paris, who becomes one of her best friends later in the series. Lorelai and Luke have a funny, sweet friendship that’s made stronger by the hard times they go through before, during,and after dating. While they love and are loved by their town and all of its characters, it’s obvious that it’s important to the Gilmore Girls to have quality friendships with a few people.


6. Keep Investing in Your Relationships with Family

Even though Lorelai and her parents often have disagreements and hurt each other, their relationship continue to be important to them. I think even before Lorelai asked her parents for money for Rory’s school and was still very distant from them, she still desired to have a better relationship with them. They go through times of feeling like they should just give up trying to get along, but the eventually mend the relationship and keep on going. Emily sometimes seems unsupportive and unloving, but it’s motivated by her love for Lorelai and her desire for Lorelai to have a good life. The problem is that Emily and Lorelai have different definitions of a “good” life. Despite these difficult times, Lorelai appreciates the love that her parents show for Rory, and both Lorelai and her parents enjoy giving to each other.


7. Give People Second Chances

Rory and Paris did not have a friendly relationship when they met, and it continued to be a rocky relationship for a while. Eventually, they became true friends. Rory had a lot of patience with Paris, and she saw Paris’s good attributes even when others wouldn’t. Rory also understood that a lot of Paris’s behavior came out of a bad family life. Rory and Paris challenged each other in school and helped each other become better students and friends. It’s valuable to have a friendship that helps you become a better person, and the hard times in the relationship are worth it.


8. Add a Feather Boa to Your Stuff

Rory’s alarm clock has a pink feather boa across the top, and Lorelai decorated a hammer with pink boas when Rory volunteered to build a house. Rory even mentions that Lorelai decorated her white-out bottles to look like people.


9. Pursue Your Dreams

Lorelai and Sookie dreamed of opening their own Inn for years, and they always had hope that they could do it. They had confidence in themselves and worked to make it happen. They didn’t wait around until it was easy to do, because they knew it would be a tough but rewarding process. Lorelai especially had a hard time saying goodbye to the Independence Inn because of the memories she and Rory had there, but she was so happy to run her own inn with her best friend.


10. Don’t Let Calorie Counting Rule Your Life

Obviously, the amount of food that Lorelai and Rory eat, and the types of food they eat, is really unrealistic considering their slim figures. However, I do think that a lesson can be learned from them. It’s important to take care of yourself, but it’s also important to live life and eat a mallomar once in a while.

 

11. Reference Your Favorite Books and Movies in Conversation

The Gilmore Girls are known for their fast talking and pop culture references. You don’t have to understand all of their references to be a savvy conversationalist. Referencing the books, TV shows, and movies you like is a fun way to get your point across and introduce people to some awesome culture.


12. Go to Fun Events

Stars Hollow has a ton of fun events throughout the year, like the aforementioned Founders Day Festival. They also have the summer carnival, the dance marathon, the knit-a-thon, the winter carnival, the Festival of Living Art and the Thanksgiving celebration. Rory and Lorelai always participate, and these episodes are always extra fun to watch. Look for unique events and festivals near where you live.


13. Stay True to Who You Are

Rory is given a hard time by administrators at her school when they think she isn’t socializing enough. Instead of sitting with a large group of people at lunch at school, she likes to take that time to listen to her Walkman and read a book. When she’s told that this could affect her recommendation to university, she tries joining a group at school. Once this group, a secret society, breaks into the school one night for an initiation ceremony and is caught by the headmaster, Rory stands up for herself. By telling the headmaster that she was just doing what he had demanded and that she was fine with her life the way it was, she avoided punishment and was left alone. Rory knew who she was and knew that she didn’t need to change her personality just to please others.Similarly, Lorelai knew she didn’t want a life like her parents, and followed her own path as soon as she could.


14. Don’t be Afraid to be Silly

Sookie is so adorable and genuine. I love that she dances, sings, and jokes around with confidence. Her personality is playful, and she’s unafraid to be silly. Life is too short to be serious all the time.

Are you excited for the Gilmore Girls revival? Are you team Dean, team Jess, or Team Logan?