Processing

Hello,

It has been so very long and I have missed this ever so dearly.
I hope you are all doing well. 🙂

Please excuse me if I am a little rusty.

Please know that I am happy to be back, to hear the soft clicking of my fingers tapping each key and the warm hum of evening acoustic in the background that makes me feel at home. I lean back into the familiar comfort of the living room couch and feel the support of the pillows stacked behind me, as I take a deep breath and collect the the courage to share & remind myself to not fight the stillness, but rather to embrace it.

This has been a season of processing.
Since we last spoke, I have graduated from college, moved, got engaged & married.

I have come to the realization that there are so many things that no one tells you (cue crying laughter/well duh emoji here). 🙂

But I am also seeing grace, sacrificial service and faith in a whole new light.
Marriage has taught me more about my relationship with Christ and revealed to me more about the relationship between our Heavenly Father & His people than anything in my life has up until this point.

Every day I must die to myself so that I may allow the Lord to work in & through me, if I want to love my husband well. Then there are times when I am faced with my own brokenness, selfishness & humanity, times where I feel as though I have let my best friend down or hurt him. In these times, I come to him and ask for forgiveness – knowing full-well that I don’t deserve it, yet, he embraces me, kisses my forehead and says “honey, it’s okay, I love you & I’m not going anywhere”. Then of course, I breakdown in tears (okay, let’s be honest, I was probably already crying) – but in that moment, I am completely overwhelmed, because I feel & know just how much another human being loves me. At that moment, I realize that the creator of heaven & earth, the all-powerful, all-knowing, ever-present, eternal, Lord, whom I call my Heavenly Father, loves me infinitely more than that. He not only sent His son to carry the weight of ALL of my sins, before I was born, he also took the time to create & form every aspect of my being. Each day, He takes the time to hold me, to be with me, to talk to me, to listen, to teach me more about Himself and to pull me close and remind me of His love for me and His promises to His people, but in order to experience these things, I must come to Him, seek Him. When I seek Him, I never fail to be amazed at the fact that it was finished at the cross, I am forgiven and I am loved – He is not going anywhere. ❤
Not because of anything that I have done, but because of who He is.

Yeah, it’s really that good. And He really is that Great.

Friends, if you, like me, are in a time of transition, reflection or decision-making, please know that I am praying for you, that you DO matter and that you are NOT alone in this.

Thank you for having me back & for your grace as I jump back into the blogging world.
I hope these words encourage your dear soul this evening.

All my love, because trust me, you ARE loved. ❤

Sky

 

You Matter

I am a mess, No, I am human.

I want to say the right things at the right times, I want to have the words, the compassion, the shoulder to cry on, the ray of light shining into the darkness of what you are experiencing, I want to have food to feed you when you are hungry, a smile to give you when you need it most, I want to have the piece of wisdom that will fix your problem(s) and the love to share with you to mend your heart & to make you whole – My heart aches to bring hope to a hurting world, to remind every person whose heart is beating just how precious they are to their Creator and just how much of a purpose they have in making this world a better place. I want to shout “You matter” on a mountain top and to have every person in the world fully comprehend in their heart of hearts that every one of their breaths matters, that their words and actions can change someone’s life drastically for the better.
We think far too little of ourselves even though we think about ourselves all the time.

When you look in the mirror, what do you see?
Do you see every minuscule “flaw” and become fixated on it? or do you see a human being created by a loving, intentional, everlasting, unwavering, good, just, trustworthy, Heavenly Father? Do you see your life story and all that you have overcome? Do you see all of the little mercies and moments where the Lord was clearly with you, where He clearly provided when you had no means of providing on your own? Do you fixate on the struggles, the shortcomings and compare your life to others? or do you focus on the things you are genuinely thankful for along the way? Things that have brought you joy, people who were there for you when everyone else walked away, challenges that you overcame, goals you never thought you could accomplish – but you DID! 🙂
Friends, please know, I am not pointing fingers, I am not shaming you, I am not playing a game of “holier than thou” – good heavens no. These are questions, that as I fervently type, I am asking myself.

As much as I want to have all of the words, to know what to say & exactly when to say it, as much as my heart aches to make all of us whole – I cannot.
But, I do know someone who CAN do all of these things, the Lord is faithful friends, the catch is, it is in His timing, not our own.
What I want now, He may know that it is best for me to have it at another time.
The great news is that He DOES have the power AND the desire to make us all whole one day, when we come home to be with Him, that hole deep within our souls will be gone forever.
For now, here on this earth, He offers us a precious gift – the gift of His presence and He reminds us of our worth – a worth found in Him – He created us, He sustains us, He loves us no matter what and He paid a hefty price for us.

Friends, no matter what you are going through, your life is worth living.

You were created on purpose and for a purpose.

Jump into a community who loves you for who you really are (which means opening up & letting others see the real you – scary at first, I know), spend time in silence (& dig into how your soul is doing – if it helps to do this with a counselor, go for it! Facing the deepest parts of ourselves is worth it.), spend time talking with your heavenly father (without distractions) & allowing Him to care for your soul. Again, these are challenges that I am currently working on myself – we’re in this together!

That’s it, that’s all I got for you this evening friends.
If you take nothing else from these words, it is my hope that you take away the fact that you are loved and that your life matters.
I love you all, I am thankful for you all and for the fact that you have stuck with me all of these years.

I hope you have a phenomenal week. 🙂

All my love,

-Sky

Free

1.) It’s been a long time, I am truly sorry about that. I have missed you all, and this. This process of sitting in a quite space, flooded with emotion, freely allowing words to flow onto the screen to get them out of my head, while hoping that the Lord will use their message to encourage your dear hearts in some way.

2.) I honestly don’t know where to begin… In the spirit of keeping it real, I am at a complete loss as to topics, themes, specific things to write about. I just feel led to write (type) and to keep on typing (writing).

My mind has been so incredibly flooded lately, I think this may be the only way that I can sift through it all, eliminate that which is not helpful or necessary and get some clarity as to well… everything.

I believe I wrote, a hot minute ago, about some crazy awesome encouragement that a dear friend of mine had given me, “our God is not a God of confusion, but a God of clarity” Amen sister! This still gets to me. Whenever my mind and, honestly, my fears and worries become too convoluted, chaotic and clustered in my mind, I feel confused. I have to remind myself of the truth behind that statement. God is the maker of heaven and earth and of every fiber of my being, as He knit me together in my mother’s womb. The earth is His and so is everything in it. Therefore, He knows me and everything that I am going through better than anyone else ever could. Including me.
On the same token, He is my only true, lasting and constant source of peace and joy.
If the thoughts in my head are chaotic and I feel overwhelmed, I need to come to Him. We need to have some one-on-one time, talking it all through, getting it all out and I need to be reminded of His truth and the sweet, sweet promises He has made to us throughout it.

So, if you are like me this week, with a lot on your mind, a lot of decisions to make ahead and spiritual warfare like no other, join me in taking a deep, deep breath, opening up the Word, dusting off the keyboard, sharpening your pencils, finding a pen that works and turning to an empty notebook page. Let’s go to the Lord, talk through it all with Him, leave it all at His feet, entrusting it all into His more than capable hands and then, let’s take another few deep, deep breaths before calling it a night or starting our day. let go.

Remember whose you are.

He’s got you. He loves you, more than you could ever imagine. He will provide.

Goodnight sweet friends,
Thank you for allowing me to freely share the ramblings of my heart with you this evening.

I hope you have a wonderful week, walking in freedom, and the peace and joy that can only come from Christ.

You are SO loved.

xoxo,

Sky

Writing and Grace

From rushing words and a light and expectant heart to tired eyes, no more words and frustration.

The inspiration is gone, the fears are still present and the yawns won’t stop coming.

Words are not something that you can push, to speak with your soul, you have to let go, you have to relinquish control and just let them flow onto the page – even if it seems as if they are fumbling more than they are flowing. Get it all out there, onto the page, then on the next review, revisions can be made.

One of the reasons why I adore writing so, is because it forces you to show yourself grace. It mirrors life in that way. Although I will be the first to admit that showing others grace is not always easy, I would also make the argument that we believe lies far too easily and blame ourselves; we really can be our own worst enemy…                           Yet when we show ourselves grace and recognize lies for what they are…(lies),       from there, we are then able to come to Christ on our knees and ask to see ourselves, others and situations in life, as He sees them.

So the next time you wake up feeling defeated, the next time you feel worthless, discouraged, hopeless and/or broken, remember grace, remember to breathe,

pull over, stop what you are doing and take one. big. deep. breath.

Then, turn to The Lord, ask Him to take the blinders off, to strip away the lies and to allow you to see yourself the way that He sees you. Because believe it or not my friend, no matter what you have done, He sees you as beautiful, worthy, blameless and brimming with potential, you are His child, His beloved, His masterpiece.
He won’t give up on you. Don’t give up on yourself.

If you are still breathing, He’s not finished with you yet. Hold on, rest in Him.

“Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, “My graceis sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 10 That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” – 2 Corinthians 12:8-10 NIV

” For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. 10 For we are God’s handiwork,created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” – Ephesians 2:8-10 NIV

So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.” – Hebrews 4:16

Grandma Pat<3

June 6, 2015,

She told me not to cry, I promised her I wouldn’t.

But nothing could have prepared me for this day…

I lost control when she quietly let go.

I sit here alone by her bedside, watching her “sleep” with peace-filled rest in her closed eyes,

just waiting, ever waiting for her chest to move up & down as it did for so many days & nights while she slept peacefully, before she let go…before she went home.

I still feel her here with me, as if, if I were to speak to her, she would answer me sweetly or with humor as she often would do, because let’s face it, for most of us, a good laugh is long overdue.

She always knew just what to do. ❤

In the midst of it all, I looked up, face soaked with tears, and I heard her whisper, “Sky, I told you not to cry.”

I laughed to myself and every tear was overcome by a smile, acknowledging once again, that she was right.

She always knew just what to do. ❤

Grandma Pat,

I love you. ❤ For all of eternity, I will love you.

I will cherish, with every fiber of my being, the time I had with you,

the example that you set for my sisters and me,

the way you gave oh so selflessly,

the way that you stood up for yourself & for others, yet still, around those you loved, wore your heart on your sleeve, teaching us vulnerability and authenticity.

I want you to know that you did it right, you left quite the legacy, an entire army of amazing people who love you & who love like you do.

The world is a much better place because of that.

I also want you to know that everyday we think of you,

we will never be able to listen to Dolly Parton or any true country music without thinking of you,

we will never be able to see Cracker Barrel the same way we once did,

we will never be able to look at each other without seeing you.

I could go on, you made quite an impact while you were visiting earth.

But as painful as it gets sometimes, in those moments when I am shocked, overwhelmed and in awe of the fact that you are no longer here,

I am overjoyed, in awe and overwhelmed with peace & love knowing that you are dancing with our Lord, that you are home, that you no longer know what pain is, and that in every moment, you are looking after us – rejoicing, as grandma’s do, at our accomplishments, as our #1 fan and listening intently on our hardest days or when we don’t know what to do.

I know that we never lost you and that we will never lose you.

We just have another precious, loving, one-of-a-kind, absolutely amazing, indescribable grandmother to greet us at heaven’s gates when the Lord invites us Home. ❤

We can’t wait to hug you both!

Love,

Your granddaughter.

 

 

Keeping it Real

I think it’s safe to say that the number one complaint with social media today is that it is not an accurate depiction of what life is really like. With every status update, picture and six-second video, all we see is a perfectly crafted, cropped and overly idealistic snapshot of “life” that isn’t really, well…. life.
The more time we spend on social media, the more we wonder why our lives don’t look like that. When the storms of life come crashing in and we feel, with every ounce of our being, our own human frailty, we feel alone, as if we have no one to talk to, because no one around us ever feels like this… I mean, how could they? Have you seen their Insta feed lately???

Let me start out by saying that I am just as guilty as anyone else when it comes to the ‘only posting the most artsy, phenomenal, glamorous aspects of my life’ phenomenon.

But, I would like to follow that up with the fact that all of those thoughts, of loneliness, the ones that say that you have no one to talk to and/or that everyone else’s lives are perfect and you are just behind or just don’t have it all together “like you ought to” are Big Fat LIES!

Regardless of where you are in life, God is present, God is working, He is pursuing you. Whether you know Him, desire to know Him more or don’t know Him at all, He is working all around you and desires to have a deeper relationship with you; He desires to use you for a far greater purpose than you could ever imagine.
This, by its very nature breaks through those lies. The Lord can and WILL use you, love you and provide for you right where you are. (Oh my heart… can you imagine what we could do in this world if we lived each day fully believing and trusting in this truth?) We are all living in a state of imperfect progress. We break down, He knows that, we fail, He knows we will, we say things we wish we wouldn’t have, He knows we didn’t mean to, we do things we wish we wouldn’t have, He knows that too. There is no facade with God (no matter how good of a filter we attempt to use). “You have searched me, Lord and you know me….” – Psalm 139. But no matter what, through it all, He loves you.

Friends, we are all fighting battles… physical ones, mental ones, seasons of overwhelming decisions, transition, change, sorrow, loss, confusion, heartbreak and pain. Yes, there are BEAUTIFUL seasons too, life itself is a miraculous thing the way it all works together, and a life spent walking with the Lord brings unspeakable joy and peace in the midst of all that this life throws our way. But it’s a process, life takes work, it is not perfect and we don’t get to simply crop out the parts we don’t like. We need to lean on the Lord, to be there for one another and to be real.

Brokenness should be celebrated. It is something that we all experience, something that in a world of distractions – brings us together and reminds us of what is really important in life.

Not only that, but it teaches us to surrender, so that the Lord can work even more in and through us – His power is made perfect in our weakness, when we let go, get out of the way and trust Him to move & to work as He sees fit (2 Cor. 12:9).

So friends, fellow humans, gente, let’s be real, let’s love each other well, let’s celebrate imperfections and growth and community. Let’s be more intentional with the time we have and the resources we have been given to make sure that individuals are not doing life alone, that they don’t feel so alone and so that lies are replaced with the Truth.

Praying for you all this week. I look forward to seeing how you “keep it real” on social media and in life and the way that the Lord works through it.

God Bless friends,

Sky

 

 

New Year, New View

Happy New Year!

As I prepped to start a new year, my number one goal was to find a new devotional that would challenge me throughout the year, one that could help me start my days off grounded in the truth (I tend to be a night owl. I process information better and my thoughts run wild at night; therefore, this is when I usually study the word). Finding a solid devotional was crucial to me as I have experienced that if I do not have a dose of Truth in the morning surrounded by prayer, my entire day turns from an abundant, opportunity-filled, fresh start to further the Lord’s kingdom to a day filled with missed opportunities, forgotten grace and decisions made from a selfish heart… all leading to hurting the one’s I love unintentionally and a frustrated and unsatisfied soul.

After asking around, I decided to purchase My Utmost for His Highest by Oswald Chambers. My whole life as a believer I have known that following God means dying to ourselves; it means surrendering our (my) desires, will and life to Him and trusting Him completely with it all. I have a reminder of this tattooed on my foot for goodness sakes!

But, as I read the devotion for January 1, I paused after reading “surrender your will to Him absolutely and irrevocably.”

2014 flew by!!!

It has only recently hit me that I am only three semesters away from graduating college, that I am only six months away from being 21 (Don’t even get me started on the finding a ‘real’ job, marriage, etc. etc. train….) and amongst all of this, I have been flooded with conviction to follow the dream(s) that the Lord has laid on my heart, no matter how impossible, big or intimidating they may seem.

This season of life seems to be flying past me, filled with one decision after another and very little time in which to make them. The Lord has recently opened by eyes – thanks to an awesome sister in Christ – to the fact that He is NOT a God of confusion, but rather He is a God of clarity and Truth. Therefore, it is not up to me to make a decision based on the options that I feel I have or the ones that this world offers me, rather these decisions are simply a matter of obedience. The Holy Spirit speaks as a still, small voice in the midst of the storms of life (1 Kings 19:12) and the decisions that are left up to us are: to listen to His voice and to follow Him (do what He has asked us to) no matter what the cost, or to ignore His call & stay inside of our comfort zone.

“surrender your will to Him absolutely and irrevocably.”

This line hit me like a ton of bricks and changed the way I view surrender because of two, simple words: ‘absolutely’ and ‘irrevocably’.

Even in my best attempts, I don’t surrender absolutely to the Lord. For example, the areas that I said “don’t even get me started on” earlier, usually get left out; leaving me with self-inflicted heartache worrying about them.

The second word, ‘irrevocably’… once we surrender to Christ we are not meant to take it back in to our hands and attempt to carry the load on our own. That is the antithesis of the meaning of ‘surrender’…

Can you imagine what your life (what my life) would look like of you (I), surrendered absolutely and irrevocably  to God?

The work that He could accomplish through you (me) if you (I) did?

 

“Have you been asking God what He is going to do? He will never tell you. God does not tell you what He is going to do; He reveals to you Who He is. Do you believe in a miracle-working God, and will you go out in surrender to Him until you are not surprised an atom at anything He does?…Let the attitude of life be a continual “going out” in dependence upon God.” – Oswald Chambers- My Utmost for His Highest (January 2)