Au Revoir Facebook, Hello Kindness!

KindnessI didn’t grow up observing Lent, but I’ve always been intrigued by giving something up for a period of time. So I decided this year I would give it a whirl and give up Facebook. How in the world will I get on with life? 😱 I don’t know, but I’m sure I’ll survive. 😉 I’ve noticed myself (especially recently) spending SO much time on Facebook, it was actually pretty pathetic. I would always get off and feel worse than I did before I got on. Seeing things people had that I didn’t, hearing about “exciting news” when my life is not so exciting right now, always hearing people say they are “blessed” when I feel like that word is thrown around so often and so often out of context. #blessed. Hashtag no. Just stop. Ugh. It was really getting on my nerves. I had to stop myself from reading comments on various posts too because people can just be SO mean! I always thought the “if you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all” motto was still in play, but I don’t think people agree. I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again, people get so bold and so tough behind a computer screen. They feel they are entitled to say whatever they want without thinking twice of who it may hurt and what they are actually saying. Sure we have freedom of speech and I think that’s a wonderful thing, but I don’t think we should be using it to tear others down! Add that to my list and you’re at about reason 24 of why I’m giving up Facebook for Lent.

I need kindness. I long for kindness. Call me crazy and say that I live in some sunshine, bubble gum, gumdrop kind of world but sheesh where has it gone?! Like for real. I know tough times come and hard things happen to us, but some of the meanest people are often the people who have the most.

I was reading an article/blog by Karen Ehman (love her!) and she has a “Reverese Lent Challenge” where rather than giving something up for Lent, you take something on. Such a brilliant idea that I’m doing both! I’m giving up Facebook and taking on kindness! I want to encourage others and build them up. No I don’t want to lie and sugarcoat things, but I want to express my opinions and my thoughts (even my advice) in a loving and kind way. Honest for sure, but kind about it. How in the world do I do that? I don’t know for certain, but I do know I’m going to start practicing thinking BEFORE I speak. So often I read something or hear this and that and I get fired up and want to shoot off at the mouth some snarky remark back or an “I’ll show them” attitude. No. Stop. 🙊 Kindness. Exuberate kindness. I know the saying is kinda cheesy but really, what would Jesus do? Would he really say what I’m about to say? Probably not. He’s the perfect example of kindness. He exuberates kindness! I want to be more like Jesus and so much less like me.

Colossians 3:12-14 says, “Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.” (NIV) BAM, right there, clothe yourselves with kindness. Put on love. Oh help me Father to do that.

What about you? Do you practice Lent? What would you give up for 47 (that’s how long it is this year) days? Comment below, I would love to hear your thoughts! Or feel free to jump in with me and take on this kindness challenge! Let’s make this the kindest 47 days yet!

Blessings 💛 Sarah

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It Was Love

LoveLove. It’s a funny word and with Valentine’s Day coming up we hear more about love now than ever. We say we love all kinds of things, things that have so many different levels of the word love. I love my husband, but I also love cupcakes. Do I love cupcakes more than my husband, absolutely not! I love puppies but I also love great music. Two totally different things that are on two totally different levels, but I love both. You get the idea, right? So when it comes the love of Christ it’s hard to grasp it. Me in my sinful nature – I love one thing, then I don’t. It changes with my mood or based on how it looks or even what it’ll do for me, it’s so erratic. God’s love however, is so far from erratic and I think that’s why I can’t fully grasp it. It blows my mind! It’s incredible! Never ending. Never changing. It’s not based on what I do or what I don’t do. It’s endless.

One of my favorite bands, Abandon, has a song that’s called “It Was Love” and I’ve been listening to it a lot lately. There’s a line in the chorus that goes, “It wasn’t nails that held You to the cross It was love.” When I first heard it, it was kind of like “oh that’s nice” and I didn’t really think much about it. Listening to it over and over again though, it’s now clicking. It really wasn’t nails that held Jesus to the cross, it was indeed love. Jesus, God in the flesh, creator of the universe, all powerful, omniscient, omnipresent, all…well, everything, could have without a doubt removed himself from the cross. He wouldn’t have needed help, he wouldn’t have had to wait until no one was looking, he could have done whatever, whenever. But he didn’t. He stayed nailed to that cross for love. Because of his undying, never ending love for me, for you, ALL of us! Jesus had me (and you) in mind when he was on the cross. He knew the sins I was going to commit and the transgressions I would do (yours too 😊) and yet he still went to the cross. And with joy! For the joy set before him he endured the cross (Hebrews 12:2 NIV) Wow. That’s all I can say, wow. It leaves me speechless! That’s true, real, love right there!

As Valentine’s Day comes and goes, don’t forget that God’s love will never go anywhere and it will never run out. It doesn’t come and go. He died for us and paid the ultimate price for us. That’s love. Lord help me to remember how much you really do love me.

Blessings 💛 Sarah

Interlude

1 John1 John 4:10 This is real love—not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins. (NLT)


What a beautiful scripture and truth. God is love. ❤️ Another week over (basically over) and another interlude for you to enjoy. Happy Thursday, and a very Happy Birthday to my momma! 💜🎈🎉

Blessings 💛 Sarah

It’s The Most Wonderful Time Of The…

CountdownYear? Well I happen to think so, but I don’t think very many other people think so, or at least they don’t act like it. It seems like more and more every year people are getting grumpier and grumpier when it comes to the holidays. Whether it’s waiting in long lines (hey, I hate that too!) or the item they’re looking for isn’t in stock, or the coffee they ordered wasn’t just perfect (first world problems, right?!) whatever it is, it seems like there is something that’s making them forget that it really is the most wonderful time of year.

I love Christmas. I absolutely, positively, 100% love Christmas! I feel like Buddy the Elf, that’s about how much I love Christmas!! There isn’t any other holiday that even comes close, maybe Easter? Maybe. But Christmas, ahhhhh. The cooler weather, the Christmas tree, the Christmas lights, hot chocolate, the possibility of snow, Christmas movies, Christmas cards, candy canes, the time spent with family (most of the family 😝) and of course celebrating our Lord and savior Jesus! Oh Christmas. And it’s only 37 days away!

So why does such a joyous holiday and time of year make people so unhappy and catch a bad case of the bah humbugs?! I really don’t know. I guess you could even say why are people so miserable in general? They probably could use a little 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 reminder. (Remember yesterday’s post? 😊) I’m not saying, by any means, I’m not grouchy or have this whole joyful thing down pat. Trust me. I don’t. Especially when I get around a certain family member, she’s quite a gem, and she certainly doesn’t make it any easier to be joyful. In fact, it’s like I walk into a room and my loving kindness gets sucked completely from my brain and because I’ve just been sucked clean, I totally forget I need to be the bigger person and love like Jesus does, it’s awful. It’s hard to always be happy and filled with joy (1 Thessalonians 5-like) but we need to remember happiness, love, and joy aren’t just feelings, they are also actions.

Actions. We need to be acting happy, joyful, and loving. Quite frankly whether we feel like it or not. It’s not about us, it’s about Jesus (it always is!). He loves us unconditionally. When we are cranky, grouchy, icky sinners. If he can love us when we act like we do, we should be able to get over our silly petty issues pretty quickly. But how?! How can we do this?! How do we not get our kindness sucked from right out of our brains?! By praying. Praying. Praying. Praying! I’m pretty sure that’s why the bible tells us to pray continually! God knows we need to be praying! I love how our pastor puts it. – The best thing you can do for someone you don’t like, is to pray for them. Whether they change or not, God will change our hearts towards them. – Oh how true that is!

This holiday season as Christmas gets closer and closer let’s remember to be joyful always and to be praying continually! Don’t let your kindness get sucked out! Maybe it’ll rub off on others – the cranky bah humbugers! And even if it doesn’t, we’ll know we are doing it for the Lord! 1 Corinthians 10:31 …whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. (NLT)

Blessings 💛 Sarah

I Just Want A Cupcake

Those Infamous CupcakesHave you ever found something that you really love and then all of a sudden it’s gone? And maybe not really love but just love, or really like? I feel like every time I find something that I love when I go back to get more it’s gone! Or once I get in the habit of having it, not even thinking they could possibly ever stop making this amazing thing, and then WHAM it’s gone!

I love sweets. Loooooooove them! If we did indeed have a physical sweet tooth, I would go down to the dentist and have it removed because I just love sweets that much! Cakes, cookies, cupcakes, cake pops, brownies, candy…. Oh geez now I want something sweet!! 😁 When my hubby and I first moved we were so excited to be living near a big city! We had been living in a small town where the closest city (big city) was two hours away. So we were thrilled to now be only 20 minutes from a city! We explored, we found amazing restaurants, cool boutique shops, and to my surprise… cupcake stores! No, not a bakery, just a straight up store that sold cupcakes and cupcakes alone! I had never heard of such a place! And not just one cupcake store, but two, three, four, and more! Holy cupcake! I was in my own little sweet tooth dream world! So after having the daunting task of trying the cupcakes at all the different shops, we found one place that was just better than the rest! It became kind of our tradition to go there when we were in the city or even when we just felt like a cupcake, which was quite often! So for the next few years that was our place, our special little cupcake place. Then one day I saw a post from them on Facebook saying they were closing. Wait. I’m sorry what?! 😩 I know it’s just a cupcake but you have no idea how delicious and amazing and fantastic these cupcakes were (just look at that picture!!)! You would have had to try one to believe it, and now you can’t even do that because they have closed! Closed down, moved on, leaving me cupcake-less. Couldn’t they just make me a special supply of cupcakes weekly, or even monthly?? To this day, we have yet to find a cupcake that compares. Do you have a severe case of the sweet tooth like me? Or an amazing cupcake place in your town? Do you even like cupcakes or sweets? Comment and let me know!

The unfortunate thing with all this is for me, it’s not even just with cupcakes. I had a shampoo I loved that did amazing things for my crazy hair (yes I have crazy hair. Crazy 80’s poof wavy hair! If that style ever comes back (was it ever even a style? Hah!) I’m all set!) and then POW it was gone. There was a blush color that I loved using because it’s matched my skin so wonderfully and then BAM it was gone. A moisturizer that made my skin glow, a flavored tea that made my day so much better, a hilarious tv show that I always watched, gone, gone, GONE! Things we love (or really like) come and go and I often joke with my hubby that I should start buying things that are just “ok” so there will be no fear of them leaving! 😉 But there is one thing that remains and is so much more important than all those material things, and that is God’s love. God’s unchanging, unfailing love! Isaiah 54:10 reminds us of that – Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed,” says the Lord, who has compassion on you. (NIV) It’s so nice, wonderful, comforting (etc!) to know that in this crazy ever changing world with our favorite things coming and going, God’s love is forever unfailing! Rest on that truth today!!

Blessings 💛 Sarah