Worship Like Jesus

Worship devotional, daily encouragement, devotions for women, devotionals, spiritual growth, what is worship, scripture, positive affirmations, prayer, prayer journal, inspirational

I started reading this book, Adamant by Lisa Bevere and let me tell you, if you haven’t already read it… go get it now. It is so so good!

Today, I want to share with you a part that has stuck out to me.

“We were created in the image of God, and God is spirit. Though it is invisible, the spirit is as real and as near as the very breath we draw. And yet it is something deeper than the passage of air through our lungs. It is the quickening of God dwelling within us. The God of fire and love consumes all that hinders the expression and reception of his love.” Pg.36

“God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.” 

John 4:24

First, I want to start off by saying, that worship is more… way more than the “pre game” to the sermon at a church service; It is just one avenue of entering into God’s presence and it’s one of my favorites, 😊 but isn’t the only way in which we are called to worship.

We experience true worship in our daily lives, not just once a week. In our devotions, in our marriage/ relationships, in ministry, in our parenting and the way in which we reach out to others… in our prayer.

If we truly have Jesus dwelling, moving, living and breathing in us, then our worship should reflect  just that. Our worship should be unhindered, immovable and undivided, regardless of where we are or who we are around.

We are called to be like Jesus, right?

Through out the New Testament, he tells us that we are to be a light, that we were made in his image, that we are to love one another, that we should share his word and teachings to others, etc. And one thing that amazes me about Jesus, is that he DID NOT CARE where or who he found himself around. He was always going to worship, preach, heal, pray for, raise back to life… regardless of Him being in the midst of  his disciples, pharisees, Jews or gentiles, unbelievers… HE WAS ALWAYS GOING TO WORSHIP!

He was unchanging and because of his devotion, his worship was pure, true and full of the spirit of God.

We aren’t called to be perfect. Our days are not always going to be great. We will go through hardships. We will have “haters” and doubters.  We will be in uncomfortable situations, but  how we respond to each situation is where we truly see if God is really dwelling within us the way we think.

Many times, we like to keep him and his spirit in a box. We don’t want to be labeled the “weird christian.” We don’t want to lift our hands during a worship service. We wake up not really feeling like being nice to people. We don’t feel like spending time in the word or prayer. We don’t feel like volunteering at the church event…

but if we constantly live our lives this way, what will our worship look like?

Empty? Vain? Calloused? Angry? Mediocre?

How can God speak to us? Move through us? How can his presence dwell in us? If we aren’t worshipping him daily in every aspect of our lives, regardless of what we are going through or who’s watching?

Let us not allow our worship to be defined by and dictated by our circumstances. Rather, lets allow our worship to speak volumes despite what our day looks like, who we are around and regardless of those throwing stones.

“Don’t settle for religion void of God’s presence or for turning the pages of the Bible without the wind of his Spirit. His voice speaks life.” pg 37

Let us allow God to “consume all that hinders the expression and reception of his love.” So that our worship (daily life) can reflect his love, joy and peace that surpasses all understanding!

Choose to live a life of worship in a world that wants you to be distracted by the mundane.

Hope this has encouraged you today.

Xo,

Lo

 

Disney World Planning

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PART 1

Hello all you Disney lovers! 😁

This post is all about, you guessed it…

Disney World!

The first time I ever went to Disney world, was for my 15th birthday. My parents gave me a choice of either having a quinceanera or going on a trip somewhere… well I chose an experience! I’ve always been fascinated with travel and while we have barely begun to experience the world, Disney is one world we are well acquainted with! (did you see what I did there)? 😎 ok, I’ll stop.

***Before I begin, I want to add a disclaimer. I am not a travel agent, Disney travel agent, or being paid/sponsored etc by anyone. This is all just my personal opinion and experience through traveling here with friends (some of whom have actually worked for Disney) and lots of my own personal research, planning and experience.

Anyway, there is a whole lot to talk about when it comes to Disney World, so lets begin!

RESORTS

Obviously, the first thing you’ll want to look into before booking, are the various resorts all around Disney; specifically on-site resorts. We’ve only stayed at an off-site resort once, so this post, won’t be much help in that department if you’re looking for off-site suggestions.

If you really don’t know anything about Disney resorts, there are three categories: Value, Moderate and Deluxe.

The Value resort we’ve stayed at is, Pop Century. The resorts in this category will be the most affordable, and in one room, can accommodate your family of four. If you have more members in your group, you’re now looking at having to reserve two rooms. (This is typical for all of the resort rooms in every category, except for family villas which can accommodate bigger families).

While staying at these resorts, keep in mind that the main reason you’re there, is for the parks. The rooms will be just to get some sleep and recharge to hit the parks the next day. They won’t be “luxurious” and are plain rooms, just Disney themed. They also aren’t single-building, hotel style resorts.

In the Moderate category, we’ve stayed at Port Orleans-Riverside and Coronado Springs, which ironically (because we’re from NOLA), our favorite of the two was Port Orleans. Maybe it was due to the fact that Port Orleans was already refurbished when we stayed there versus the room at Coronado Springs, which was not… lets just say I’m glad Coronado springs is actually still being refurbished, because WOW, our room was struggling! Sorry!😬

Anyway, as you’ll gather, these moderate resorts will be about $100 more per night than the values. They are a little nicer, but not drastically, to be honest. The moderates are also spread out into different buildings.

Keep in mind, that if you’re not driving, you’ll want to request to stay closest to a bus stop, or you’re looking at more walking. I honestly didn’t mind it too much, except on the late nights because of EMH or hanging out at Disney Springs. It was dreadful having to walk back when all we wanted to do was fall onto the bed…😴

Lastly, you have the Deluxe resorts and villas. We have not yet stayed in any. We are staying at the Copper Creek Villas this December and we booked it through DVC-rental. So, you’ll have to keep up with me later on in the year to read all about it!

If you stay at the Deluxe resorts, transportation is easier. The perks of some of them, are that you can walk right from your resort to Magic Kingdom! This is awesome, especially if you have babies/toddlers. It’s so much more convenient! They also have more modes of transportation available such as the Monorail, boat and even “Minnie Vans.” (Actually the Minnie Vans might be available at all resorts now). The transportation here, is less crowded, and also less crowded than the value and moderate, which brings me to the next topic.

TRANSPORTATION

I will say this, we flew to Orlando for our trip back in September, and while having the courtesy shuttle, Disney’s Magical Express* (picks you up at the airport and drops you off at your resort and vice-versa), was great, having to wait for and plan for the bus schedules to get to reservations, parks and other resorts, was miserable for us. I’ll say it again… IT WAS MISERABLE!

If you have older kids, disregard this part.

In my family, our girls are still young and having a stroller was a must. That was also the case for our friends. The miserable part was having to wait for the bus (who very frequently, was late), having to break down our stroller before getting onto the bus and finding a spot to sit or stand, because these buses get PACKED; especially at night after the parks close.

That was a huge downside for us, because it made it very difficult when the kids would be asleep at night, one of us having to hold both girls, along with the bags, while the other had to break down the stroller, all while others are packing in the bus, and then lugging it inside with no where to put it.

However, here’s the game changer y’all: LYFT AND UBER! The whole time, I kept suggesting for us to just uber everywhere and the rest of the group was like “nah, it’s fine.” (it wasn’t 😒).

It’s getting even better to use those services around Disney World, because, if you have young ones, you can suggest a car with carseats!

This year, we are choosing to drive and this won’t be a problem for us. It’s about a 10-12hr drive from New Orleans, but I love being able to hop in our car without having to wait and then pack into a bus.

Recently, Disney announced (if you do choose to have a car), that they will now be charging daily fees for parking, so that’s kind of a bummer… but inflation I guess? 🤷🏽‍♀️ HA! (any time prices go up for anything, I always say “inflation”). 😂 So, just be aware of that and factor that into your budget.

Also, I forgot to mention that the Lyft and Uber rides, weren’t expensive! I’m talking $8-$10 to get from resort to park. Everything in Disney is close by, so the fare isn’t going to be much compared to outside of Disney. Well, this was also back in September, so make sure you find out for yourself… I wouldn’t doubt if it’s more now, but it’s definitely worth finding out.

*Disney’s Magical Express: When you book your trip and choose to fly, you do not automatically get this courtesy. You must make sure you add it to your booking by signing into your MyDisneyExperience account. They also mail you where to go once you arrive and provide you with luggage tags as well.

On Site Perks

Once you’ve decided how many days you’re going for, which resort you’ll be staying at and how you’re traveling, then comes the real planning! I will save that for the next part of this blog, but I’ll leave you with this:

The biggest perks, in my opinion, of staying on Disney property, is the reservation window you get for restaurants and fast passes. For restaurant reservations, it’s 180 days in advance and for Fastpasses, it’s 60 days in advance! This is a big deal y’all! Especially with all the new exciting rides that recently opened up, like Pandora’s Flight of Passage in Animal Kingdom and now with Toy Story Land opening in June at Hollywood Studios!

The fast passes get booked up quickly, even if you’re up at 6AM and click refresh to start booking! The 180 day mark is crucial for those good times too, if you’re looking at getting into Cinderella’s Royal Table or Be Our Guest.

You also get to enjoy extra magic hours (EMH), which you also need to keep in mind when deciding which parks you’ll go to each day. Disney will post the schedule for the EMH and any other special events going on. So make sure you refer to it to make sure you take advantage and have a well put together plan for your restaurant reservation times/places and your fast passes.

Having all of this information, to me, is crucial to having a well put together plan of what your days will look like. Each time we’ve gone, it’s been for 7 days and each day counts. It’s not a strict, no time for potty break, kind of schedule… we’ve even had down times where we’re just sitting around enjoying a snack! However, planning every detail out has helped keep our sanity all while still making the most out of our time and being able to see and do everything that everyone wants!

So, stay tuned for the next post which will have more details about how I personally schedule our days, what to bring and our favorite restaurants and fast pass worthy rides!

XO,

Lo

 

Chicago

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I cannot believe it’s already been almost TWO weeks since we took our trip to Chicago. Time seriously needs to slow down a bit, because that means my girls are growing fast too!

Sam and I went on our baby moon to the wonderful Windy City. The first time I went to Chicago, I was just entering my teenage years and it was for my brother’s boot camp graduation. It’s crazy how different things look to you as a kid versus an adult. I just knew, despite the harsh cold, that Chicago was a pretty cool city, and obviously memorable. I’m glad that I finally got to go back as an adult and with my most favorite person in the world!

Every year since our oldest was born, Sam and I have made it a point to get away together without the girls.

(Also, let me add that my anxiety goes through the roof, having to leave my babies! I don’t like leaving them, but I know that Sam and I really need the time alone).

Day in and day out, we have the same routine of responsibilities we need to take care of. After a while, Sam and I get worn out and stressed and barely spend time together because we’re so tired. Date nights aren’t enough to catch up and take a breath.

Don’t get me wrong, they’re absolutely needed and important, but after a while, you need some alone time with your spouse that lasts more than a couple of hours every few weeks. SO, that’s why we made it a point to get out of town without the kids every year.

Last year on our anniversary, however, we did a little 3 day “staycation” in the city, where we’d spend all day exploring, adventuring and relaxing with couples massages, and came back home at the end of the night to the girls; and that was lots of fun and gave us the alone time we needed just as well.

We feel and believe that as parents, and even if you don’t have kids, it’s good to disconnect from everyone else except each other. We get to focus on just each other and really catch up and talk…actually have conversations without distractions and screaming kids asking us for something every .02 seconds! lol

Anyway, Chicago has so much to offer! We ABSOLUTELY loved and enjoyed it. We went for 4 days and despite battling the cold weather, we got a lot done! Here’s some of the highlights of our trip and if you’re thinking of visiting, hopefully serves as some inspo!

DAY ONE

We caught a super early flight and as soon as we got to the hotel to check in and leave our bags, we headed out in search of BREAKFAST! HA We were hungry, y’all!

Luckily, there was a restaurant called Yolk right across the street from our hotel. Which by the way, we stayed at The Langham and it was absolutely amazing! It’s a beautiful hotel with exceptional service and an A M A Z I N G spa!

After breakfast, we explored Magnificent Mile, before heading back to our hotel for our couples massage 💆🏽‍♀️💆🏻‍♂️ it was much needed and very relaxing.

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The only picture we got of our hotel was the hallway 😂
Baby moon
Feeling relaxed after our massages and ready to eat up some steak!
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I didn’t get a picture of our steaks and our “millionaire potatoes,” which O M G… but here’s our yummy dessert! The cotton candy was complimentary.
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To finish off our first night, we did some bowling, which was also located across the street from our hotel.

I LOVE that everything was literally within walking distance from our hotel. We were right on the river and a short walk from Mag Mile and TONS of different restaurants.

DAY TWO

Ya’ll… day two was CUBS GAME DAY! It was literally a check off of my bucket list! A dream come true for me, as I’ve been a cubbies fan since I was a kid.

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I bought that hat when I visited Chicago the first time! I told myself that one day I’d be back and wear it to my first Cubs game!! It’s a 14 year old baseball cap y’all!!

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The Cubs lost, but that’s ok! The experience was still AMAZING and Wrigley Field is AWESOME!

Thanks babe, for making this girl’s day!

After the game, we headed back to our hotel and for dinner we decided to check out the famous Chicago deep dish at Giordano’s, and lets just say, it did NOT disappoint!

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I meeeaaan!! drool…

 

DAY THREE

Started the day with a yummy breakfast with a view at NoMi located in the Park Hyatt.

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View of the water tower

 

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Delicious cornbread toast with pear

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After breakfast, I of course had to get the girls a gift… so we hit up the American Girl store and got one each for them. Sam was over it after two minutes of searching for their perfect doll lol

Then it was off to Millennium Park to get in that tourist pic, of course!

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Lastly, we couldn’t leave without catching Hamilton! We were able to see it on Broadway and loved it! We listen to the soundtrack all the time!  So, we had to catch it while in Chicago and it was just as amazing.

Hamilton musical, chicago theater, theater, things to do, entertainmentProcessed with VSCO with a5 preset

DAY FOUR

Was our check out day, we ate breakfast at Yolk again, and just had some good old fashioned date fun. We went to FTW which is like Dave n busters and just had fun feeling like little kids. Afterwards, as our last stop, we went to a little hole in the wall, suggested by a friend, called “Da Lobsta.” It was actually really yummy, we don’t typically eat lobster, I prefer shrimp and crawfish, but this was Maine lobster, the way New Englander’s eat it in a roll and it was yum!

So, that’s it! That was our trip to Chicago! Lots of fun spent with my favorite person, best friend, and baby daddy! We were supposed to check out the Navy Pier but had put it off till Saturday, to kill time, but it was rainy that day… so to that we say, we’ll check it out next time because we’ll definitely go back to Chicago!

xoxo,

Lo

 

 

God First

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We live in a social media driven world. It’s so easy to get distracted by Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, the News app etc. We fall victim to their rabbit holes and before we know it, we’ve been scrolling through our phones for an hour!

I’m talking to myself here too. This verse says, “Seek FIRST…” not second, not when you have time, not when it’s convenient for you, but FIRST.

Lately, I find myself first thing, as soon as I open my eyes, reaching for my phone and opening Instagram or whatever app to see what I missed while I was asleep.

It became second nature, an addiction of sorts.

Man oh man did conviction hit me like a ton of bricks! I felt God asking me where He stood in line in my life. Talk about a wake up call!

The funny thing about it all, is that most of what we miss while we’re asleep, is nothing but vain, negative Nancy, look at my flashy this or that news. It’s nothing that really fills your life with positivity, joy or encouragement.

Most of today’s news is depressing, aggravating, and honestly makes me mad that we live in such a world as this.

When we have access to Jesus news right at our fingertips; that talks about hope, joy, love, freedom, and all we have to do is go to HIM FIRST. How much better would our day go if we spend time with Jesus as soon as we open our eyes?

The answer is A LOT!  “…and all these things will be given to you as well.”

Not that our days will be perfect by any means, but when we rely on Jesus as our main source of energy and fuel, we’ll be able to deal with our day a lot better than we do when we’re handling it on our own; when we first fuel our spirits with what social media has to say.

When God is first in every area of my life, I can be a better wife, mom, sister, friend… a better me. I can wage a better war against the enemy and his lies. I can better see the traps he tries to get me to fall to.

Even better… my relationship with Jesus is better, stronger and alive! Our faith is stronger, our anxiety is gone and peace can take over!

Let’s put God First every day and wake up with Jesus!

XoXo,

Lo

It’s a…

Just wanted to share with you all, what baby 3 will be! A little gender reveal, with just the four of us! It was fun to do it this way.  Feel free to watch us find out below!

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gender reveal, baby girl, reveal party ideas, baby girl outfit, baby,

xoxo,

Lo

EASTER

Easter is already right around the corner! Today I want to share some things I like to put in the girls’ baskets, little traditions and activities and how we celebrate.

If you’re new to my blog, welcome! ☺️

We love Easter and the meaning of it all… JESUS and His love for us that couldn’t be overcome by death!🙌🏽

An awesome reason to celebrate amirite?!

The bunny, baskets and egg hunts are just extra… just to have fun in life.

My oldest, who’s 4 has become more aware of egg hunts and the bunny tradition through school, and while I entertain her questions and fantasies about how the easter bunny leaves eggs, I always make it a point to point it back to Jesus and the fact that He is the real reason behind Easter.

“He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification.” Romans 4:25

“All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. It is by his great mercy that we have been born again because God raised Jesus Christ from the dead. Now we live with great expectation, and we have a priceless inheritance…” 1 Peter 1:3-4

TRADITIONS

On Easter morning, since little baby still sleeps with us (yes we’re co-sleepers), and Ava makes her way into our room every morning, I like to wake up and start the day with prayer. After we pray, we read the kid’s version of the story of Easter from “the Bible App for kids” it’s super cute and interactive with questions to ask at the end, to make sure they understood.

Then comes the goodies! The girls walk out to their easter baskets.

I love to put different, fun things and things to inspire their creativity in their baskets. Nothing over the top, just simple things I know they’ll enjoy. and I only put a couple of eggs filled with treats.

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I haven’t finished filling their baskets, but these are a few of the things I’ve picked up so far. Lately, they’ve both been into painting, so I got them some paint brushes and still need to pick up some new paint and paper for them to paint on.

I found these cute baskets at Homegoods for only $7 each! All the goodies, I find either at Target, Michaeal’s or Hobby Lobby.

If you have kids close in age, like mine, then you know that you’ve got to buy 2 of

E V E R Y T H I N G… or else it’s a battle you don’t want to have 😒

Oh kids!

Anyway…

We go to church, which actually depends on what Easter service our church has asked us to lead (we’re worship leaders). And afterwards, we meet up and have yummy food with family.

Since Ava was about 1, we’ve always read and done the cute little resurrection eggs. It basically goes through the story of the final hours before the death of Jesus and his resurrection. They always enjoy opening the eggs to see the symbols from the story. Easter, traditions, Easter Traditions, Family, Family traditions, faith, holidays, Easter ideasI also picked these up at Hobby Lobby!

After all of the above, it comes time for the highlight of their childhood Easter memories. THE EGG HUNT!

The last two years, we’ve hosted easter with my side of the family. We like to set up the backyard with bubble machines blowing bubbles to add to the “magic” and experience of it all. This year I’ve picked up some cute little signage from the dollar section at Target, just to add a little more pizazz! 😁

We lead them outside and countdown, before they run off. It’s nothing spectacular or unique, other than it’s for our kids to enjoy it and watch them light up finding the eggs. Watching them shake them close to their ears and throw them in their baskets… it’s our joy to bring them joy!

What are some of your family’s Easter traditions?

xoxo,

Lo

 

What Were We Thinking?!

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We began building our home in early 2016 and that October, we moved in. It was so hard to make decision after decision after decision. From light fixtures, to door knobs… who knew it could get so frustrating?! This is what my husband does for a living… he builds other people’s houses, but being on the deciding end for EVERY LITTLE THING, was aggravating for him too!

By the time it came to pick out our furniture, we were done. SO DONE. We had been looking and looking and looking and none of it spoke to us. We finally found the right furniture store and before we walked in, we told ourselves, this had to be it. We HAD to find what we wanted here, or we were just two crazies who were super duper picky, apparently.

So, we did. After hours of deciding what color, cloth or leather, metal or wood, ottoman or no ottoman, what kind of rug, table finish… we finally did it. It was done and all there was left to do, was send off our request and have it made and ready in about 8-10 weeks! That was perfect, it’d all be done by the time we were ready to move in.

The day came, the furniture arrived and man did it look so beautiful! It fit so well, we were happy. Lots of people gave us the eye when we said it was a white/creamy couch. Our response? It’ll be fine! We will “train” the girls not to put their dirty hands or shoes anywhere near the furniture.

That lasted for ALMOST, if I’m being generous, a year! Maybe more like 6-8 months. Now, it’s got that worn look to it… it’s still a beautiful couch, but why didn’t we punch ourselves in the face when we thought that the white would actually work?! WITH KIDS!

Did we get the protection plan? YES. YES WE DID!

Did we call them to come clean it? YES. YES WE DID!

Did they do a good job like they said they would?! NO. NO THEY DID NOT 😒

Seriously, what were we thinking?!

Anyway, now we’ve got our eyes set on the most comfortable couch our bodies ever did feel… and it’s LEATHER. Oh we learned our lesson. We’re just playing the waiting game and being patient before we bite the bullet and pay the price for it.

We do love our two little leather chairs on the side, and those have held up to our wild daughters, just fine.

*note to self* leather=kid friendly

I’m not at all mad at my girls for just living their life and being, KIDS. I don’t want them to grow up resenting me for not allowing them to be children in their own home. You live and you learn. You let kids be little. Teach them obedience and discipline of course, but let them have fun! They’re only this little ONCE.

I want them to be wild, young and free. Use their imagination, be creative and keep on pretending like our couch is their fortress… in a few months, it’ll be leather, so it’s going to hold up to their hands and feet crawling everywhere anyway.

Moral of the story?

Don’t get a white couch when your kids are toddlers.

XOXO,

Lo

An Introduction

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lifestyle blogger, fashion blogger, mom blogger, mompreneur, faith, kids, parenting, parenthood,

INTRO TO MY INTRO

I’ve taken a little break from blogging. In fact, I believe I’ve only posted once, so far this year. Lately, I’ve been really thinking and praying about this blog and where to go and what to do from here.  With that being said, I really want to work on branding myself/blog and branching out into the social media world, mainly Instagram and Pinterest.

I actually manage an Instagram and Facebook account that on Insta, has grown to 60k+ followers in less than a year; so I’m confident that I can do the same with my own, maybe just not as quickly but who knows?!

It just makes sense for me to take my blog in that direction, and not really see it as a hobby, but as a job that I want to succeed at. If it doesn’t, I can at least say that I actually put myself out there and TRIED. I know that it requires me to really hone in and focus on my content and actually blogging, since, after all, I’ve been blogging every now and then about how I want it to take off, grow my writing and inspire/encourage others.

………………………………………………………………………………

Without further ado, here’s the start of it all with introducing myself a little more than in my “About Me” section. My blog is called “The Mommy Diaries,” because I am a mom, obviously, to two beautiful girls: ages 4 and 2. At the moment, I am pregnant with my third, due at the end of July. We don’t know what baby is yet, even though I’m practically 21 weeks, but we find out at the end of this month.

This pregnancy has definitely stretched me and tested me in ways I haven’t known before. So, lets just say that if this was my first, I probably would’ve stopped there. 😬

I am happily married to my high school sweetheart. We met in 9th grade, began falling in love (unbeknownst to each other) in 10th grade and began dating our Senior year. I tell him that to me, he’s the best thing that I got out of the high school we went to! In 2010, we tied the knot and have loved every minute, good, bad and ugly, of our marriage.

We both practically grew up in church, Baptist and NonDenominational, and both began leading worship at young ages. Once we became engaged, we began leading worship together on a weekly basis, at our current church. Late last year, we also released our first album EP, which you can find on SoundCloud, Apple Music and iTunes, FYI. And we’re also working on putting a full album out later this year, hopefully.

Anyway, I love to write. I feel I’ve always had a knack for it and it’s also where I can really express what’s going on in my mind and heart. Growing up, I never really got much encouragement, and for so long I felt weighed down by negativity. Now, as an adult, wife, mom, worship leader, etc., I WANT to encourage those around me. I want to speak words of affirmation over those who feel weighed down the same way I did. I want others to feel encouraged and empowered to pursue their goals. I want others to succeed and accomplish things they never thought possible, especially my girls who look up to me so much, already at such young ages.

That’s my hope. That’s my desire for this blog. That’s my goal. I hope that you can come here and read something encouraging, helpful, insightful, fun and as a sigh of relief. Where my heart is not to judge and point any fingers or be jealous of other’s success.

So, here’s to a new start! Hope you can come back and see what happens next! ❤️

xoxo,

Lo

 

Family Portraits

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Back in November, my husband and I decided to take some pictures to use for our album. We decided to go ahead and also do some family portraits as well.

I am absolutely in love and obsessed with just how beautiful they came out! We have Marissa Lambert Photography to thank for these beautiful pictures all shot on film!

Here are just a few:

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poses, what to wear, outdoor, ideas, with toddler, park
It took little baby a while to warm up to the camera.

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She loved working the camera!

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Apple Seeds

 

It’s almost 2018! What?! How?! It is crazy how much time just passes us by in the blink of an eye.

What a year this has been! It’s been great for my family and me and I’m excited for what 2018 will bring.

Bearing Fruit, Growth, Flourishing, Motivation, Growing, Blogging,

The other day, I was eating an apple. It was so delicious, that  I ate another one. As I was cutting up my second apple, I noticed the seed; this small little seed. I looked at it, observed it and went about getting the rest of that apple in my belly.

It wasn’t until later, as I was doing things around the house, that I remembered how good that apple was. Then, the seed popped back into my head. I thought, wow, it is crazy how from that tiny little seed, came something so pretty and delicious.

I also thought about how crazy it is, that I’ve birthed two beautiful girls. I am fascinated by the fact that one small little organ inside of my body, can stretch and accommodate and house a tiny human being! God really didn’t leave out any details when He created us and molded us; to be able to do and create amazing things.

As I thought about the seed, I realized how we are very much like that apple seed. Many times in life, we undervalue and underestimate our talents and abilities. We think of our goals and we dream up dreams, but soon squash them because we tell ourselves, “I’ll never make it.” or “I can’t do that.” or “I’m not good enough.” or (insert your own excuse here).

We come up with excuse after excuse and we fail to see ourselves the way God sees us. When He thought us up and began to mold us, we were just tiny little seeds inside of our mother’s womb. However, He didn’t stop there, He knew that that tiny little seed would grow into something bigger, more beautiful, full of life and full of purpose.

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“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart;”
‭‭Jeremiah‬ ‭1:5‬ ‭NIV‬‬

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As we grow up and learn the world and hear the whispers and lies of the enemy, of our “haters,” of the media, of growing up without a mother or father, we lose sight of who we were created to be. We begin to fall victim to the lies and start to conform to the shape of the box instead of thinking and growing outside of the box.

Imagine if someone saw that apple seed and just threw it away? They would have never known that out of something so small, would come a huge tree that bore these beautiful fruits. Someone saw those apple seeds and saw past their size. They had faith when they planted them, that something much better would come out.

They took the time to plant the seeds, and watered them daily. They were persistent and never gave up. It took time and effort, but the fruit…the end result, was worth it.

It takes nine months for us to go from an embryo to a fully developed baby. It takes 13 years for us to go through school. It takes 20+ years for us to become adults. It takes 4+ years to obtain a professional degree and it takes an apple tree 8+ years to grow and bear fruit from a seed.

And so, our own personal seeds (passions, goals, dreams) also need the persistence, the patience, the time and the right tools to grow. Because of the world we live in, it’s so easy for us to give up. It’s so easy for us to think we’ll never make it. It’s easy to quit and move on to what we think will make us happier; or we just settle for mediocrity.

As we grew up, school took effort. Growing up under our parents authority took effort; being obedient to them, their discipline, their advice etc. College took LOTS of effort but when we walked across that stage, it was worth all of those papers, midterms, finals and late nights of studying. We had something to show for ourselves and were proud that we did it, we made it, despite all of the obstacles and aggravations of college life. All of the seasons and ages and things we go through in life, take effort, persistence, tears, sweat, sleepless nights, but the fruits of our labor make it worth all the effort.

Going through 9 hours of labor for both of my kids… that’s what you call a “labor of love.” It wasn’t easy, but man holding them was worth all of, not just the hours of labor, but the months of holding them inside of me.

What I’m trying to get at is, if you have seeds in your hands, plant them. Cultivate them, water them, be persistent and patient and watch them sprout, bloom and grow. Don’t let fear or negative influences, self-doubt or lies stop you from flourishing.

Over time I have planted seeds, dreams and goals of mine, but have failed to water them daily, have failed at being persistent. One goal of Sam and mine that has finally bore fruit, is getting our songs out there. We did it, we’re being obedient to the Lord and have put them out there for the world to hear. It’s very vulnerable and scary, but seeing the fruits of our labor and walking in obedience has given us that extra push that we needed; a sense of accomplishment and the fear of what people might think or say is wearing off, bc those opinions don’t matter… God’s does!

In 2018, my resolution is to pick up that watering can and water my seeds (two of those seeds are my precious daughters), because I know that one day they’re going to bear many fruit. God has called us for so much more, but it’s up to us to put in the effort and water our God-sized dreams and goals.

What desires has God placed on your heart? Chase after them. Pray and seek Him and wait patiently for the fruits.

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“Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.”
‭‭Psalm‬ ‭37:4‬ ‭NIV‬‬

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And take delight in knowing that there’s beauty and joy in the journey; in growing; in learning, succeeding and failing.