Friday, November 21, 2014

our weekly coffee date (now in red cups!)...


If we were on a coffee date, I would order something in a red cup, most likely a peppermint mocha, at 130, because I am not a fan of hot drinks, actually.

If we were on a coffee date, I would tell you that I am all about this “Blank Space” epidemic. It’s my new jam, and I don’t care who sees me car dance. Also, Hilary and Kate are my new obsession and they just happen to be doing a free show at a local, hip coffee shop in December. SIGN ME UP.

If we were on a coffee date, I would gush about how much I love being a substitute teacher at our local Christian junior high and high school! It’s the best, but I don’t think I will ever get used to being called “Miss Howell”.

If we were on a coffee date, I would talk to you all about my Christmas crafts. America is in full-blown Christmas mode, and I just can’t fight it anymore. I may have bought myself a mini tree. And put my Christmas table décor out. And began listening to Christmas playlists. And WHO AM I RIGHT NOW? Seriously, Christmas belongs in December… (Right?)

If we were on a coffee date, I would ask you about your holidays and Friendsgivings and Christmas plans. Sometimes, friends and family can be crazy at this point of the year, and it’s good to talk about it, all of it, the good, bad, and ugly. Those crazy uncles and weird traditions, lets talk about all that.

If we were on a coffee date, I would remind you that God sees you. He sees you, wherever you are, whatever valley you are in, He sees you.

What is your go-to red cup drink? Something with peppermint? The new latte from Starbucks? (Sidenote: for the love, there are like 12 different nuts in that thing, I am slightly intimidated and don’t feel like I want to order that business.)

*These posts are inspired by this lady. She's a new favorite.*

Thursday, November 20, 2014

who He says He is...


“He said to them, ‘But, who do you say that I am?’”
-       Matthew 16:15

Reputation is powerful. Sometimes, what people say about us, what people perceive about us, speaks loud. Jesus had a very vast, robust reputation. His reputation both drew people to Him and away from Him.

Even in the 21st century, He’s complicated. Some have heard more that He is homophobic, rather than that He is Healer, or that God is all love or all lightning bolts. And we sit here, somewhere between comfortable and complicated, and Jesus asks us, “Who do you say that I am?”

It’s funny, because we know. We know who He is, because He tells us. He defines Himself perfectly, and yet we distort it.

Jesus tells us who He is, and we still get it wrong.

Our sin and flesh and circumstances deter us and deceive us and we arrive at a place where Jesus says, “Who do you say that I am?” And we stumble and question and doubt. He meets us in that place, asking us how we see Him right where we are, and its funny, because after He asks us who He is, He reminds us who He is. All throughout Scripture, we see that God is just, righteous, wrathful, good, the one who gives and takes, the one who sees us; He is healer, redeemer, comforter, sustainer, and Savior.

How graceful and merciful He is with us! We constantly stray from truth, clinging to what we feel God to be rather than who He has revealed Himself to be.

Friends, who do you say He is today? 
Do you say He is healer, redeemer, Savior? 
Do you say He is good? 

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

our weekly coffee date...


If we were on a coffee date, I would tell you that being overwhelmed and anxious and a little bit scared does NOT mean that you are depressed, clinically anxious, or in need of help. Sometimes, we get so wrapped up in hard things that we forget who we are, and that's kind of normal. Don't let fear or people tell you who you are, stay rooted in truth.

If we were on a coffee date, I would remind you that it’s okay to take a break. Take some time to rest, to love on yourself, to do something silly and seemingly stupid.

If we were on a coffee date, I would be totally transparent with you about the current storm I am navigating. It is teaching me to trust in the manna God gives for TODAY, not for tomorrow, but today. Trust Him for who He is today, not for who you think He will be tomorrow.

If we were on a coffee date, I would tell you all about the silly things that my junior high girls say. For the love, they will be the reason I have wild wrinkles and laugh lines at a young age. Alex from Target? Ebola? Farmers.com? Yes, we talk about all of that business.

If we were on a coffee date, I would tell you about how two nights ago I dreamed that I was getting married, and, the best part? LANCE BASS MADE MY WEDDING CAKE. It was a backyard wedding, complete with twinkle lights and long tables and a cake made by my favorite boy band boy. If that's not one of the best dreams you have ever heard of, I don't know what is. (#nsyncforlife #allaboutthatbass)

If we were on a coffee date, I would ask you if you have already planned out your Christmas wish list, broke out your favorite Christmas Spotify playlist, and made impulse purchases at Target (their Christmas section… WHY?). I would then judge you, because it’s only November 5, for the love!


*These posts are inspired by this lady. She's a new favorite.*

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

our weekly coffee date...


If we were on a coffee date, I would order something over ice, because for the love, it is still in the 90’s here in Southern California.

If we were on a coffee date, we would talk about how this Friday is Halloween, which means the holiday season is upon us! Thanksgiving and Christmas and New Years… let’s resolve to not let our plans and to-do lists and Pinterest projects run our lives this season, okay?

If we were on a coffee date, I would ask you about your secret place; the place where it’s just you and God, where you are able to get on your knees and be honest and messy.

If we were on a coffee date, my journal would make an appearance. Lately, I have been learning so much, and we would most definitely be talking about that.

If we were on a coffee date, I would tell you that this past weekend was a breathe of fresh air. Celebrating my birthday with great friends, food, laughter, and adventure.

If we were on a coffee date, I would ask you to pray for me, because the struggle is REAL.

If we were on a coffee date, I would ask you about the times God has delivered you and proven Himself faithful. I would ask because I think we all need people to remind us of those times once in a while, you know?


*These posts are inspired by this lady. She's a new favorite.*

Friday, October 24, 2014

#twentyfivethings...


For the past 25 years of my life, God has been so good to me. I look at each year, each trial and blessing, and through both, have been incredibly thankful for all. I have learned so much, and those lessons have not come cheaply.

This year, my 24th, has been a complete rollercoaster. Friends, many of you have seen me through some wild times; there has been rejection, loss of dreams, beautiful and hard ministry, new opportunities, travel, questioning, health issues, spiritual issues, and so much more. My life has been filled to the brim, rich in every way; the lows have been overwhelmingly dark and the highs have been a radiantly bright.

25 Things I’ve Learned in 25 Years
(in no particular order)

1. Drawing near to Jesus is just as important in the joys as it is in the trials. 

2. Learn to be still and let the Lord fight for you sometimes; this life is not meant to be lived under your control, but the control of the Almighty. Accept this and life gets a tad bit easier.

3. Sometimes the greatest Friday nights are spent on the couch. Cue the candles, comfy blankets, popcorn, and mildly inappropriate shows (The Mindy Project? Marry Me? New Girl? YES, ALL OF THEM, YES.).

4. Don't be afraid of the hard things. 

5. Sometimes it’s okay to break the budget on a Target spree (those dollar bins and Cartwheel and Shopkick and for the love, THERE IS ALWAYS SOMETHING ON SALE).

6. Laugh at yourself. Literally, laugh at yourself in moments of stupidity, embarrassment, and failure. If you take yourself too seriously, you will end up missing some of the greatest moments of life.

7. Striving to appear perfect is a waste of time. Christ didn’t die for your perfection; He died for your hot mess of a life.

8. Don’t be ashamed of your past, your family, the skeletons in your closet.  Everyone has their thing, so don’t be insecure about your thing.

9. God is for you, not against you. Emotions tell you differently, cling to truth.

10. Saying no is okay. Learning to say no to good things gives you the ability to say yes to the great things.

11. Anxiety is a real thing. 

12. Singleness is just as sanctifying as marriage.

13. The best way to kill a spider is with hairspray (#singlegirlwoes [see above]).

14. There is such a thing as too much Pinterest. Stop comparing and striving and live your life.

15. Sometimes being between a rock and a hard place means you’re between a good thing and a godly thing. Follow the godly thing, always.

16. There is something powerful about calling your mom and hearing her say that you are going to be okay. Being an adult is hard, and to have someone who knows you deeply tell you that you are going to make it? Soothes the soul like WOAH.

17. Don’t underestimate the power of a solo dance party.

18. You are not the friends you have, the medicine you take, the career you pursue, the man you marry, how well you fit into your jeans… You are found in Christ. Know that, believe that.

19. Take yourself on a date. Drive to the beach, go see a movie, eat lunch at your favorite café, splurge on a frilly coffee or a new dress.

20. The best way to grow in the Lord is on your knees.

21. Social media is a highlight reel. Real life is messy and gritty and wild and unfiltered. Live in that place.

22. Sometimes, the only accurate, valid response to life is a cuss word. (I am a sinner, obvi.)

23. A mentor can be the greatest, wisest choice you can make for yourself. Find someone who encourages you, challenges you, speaks truth into you, and texts you eCards and emojis and takes care of you when you have surgery and freak out over WebMD articles.

24. Prioritize rest.

25. Your high school crush is probably just as dreamy as he was in high school. At least, mine is…

What are some of the greatest lessons you have learned in your short time on earth?
Are you a fan of the solo dance party, and if not, WHY?