You’d be amazed at what women can create in their minds because if truth be told; we live in our heads. If we were to admit the thoughts that drive through our minds on a daily basis we might be scared of ourselves. Think about it: how many times do you find yourself jumping to conclusions? Someone looks at you funny and you’ve made up in your mind that they don’t like you. Your boyfriend doesn’t respond to your text after 10 min and you’ve created a whole argument in your mind that hasn’t even happened yet. One smiling glance from a guy and you’re convinced that he is the ONE. You’re feeling lonely and you come to the conclusion that you will forever be single and end up an old maid with 100 cats. Or you’re having a bad hair day and you convince yourself that you’re never going to be beautiful enough. Believe me, I know the list can go on and on. Scary right? One of the major problems we have as women is that we are constantly living in our minds and the more we live in it, the harder it becomes to face reality. What can start off as an innocent day dream of our goals and ambitions can quickly turn into a life time of nothing to show. There is such a danger in this fine line because while you may have beautiful plans for your life, building those plans in your head and never taking steps of faith on them will leave you with no fruit to bare. It basically makes you someone who has lots of pretty words but not so many pretty actions. This is such a complicated balance to build in life because as women of God, we dream of who God wants us to be. But as woman we can often turn our dreaming into fantasies. This not only applies to our spiritual walk but it applies to every aspect. Hollywood has tapped into this very problem, creating movies, books, series, and magazines that fuel the fantasies in our mind. Young women soak in the idea of what and how love should look and feel. This is a big problem as any guy who comes into her life will have to live up to her fantasy. That’s a big dream and a load of pressure to put on a man. Even more dangerous, you could be passing up opportunities that God himself is giving you because it doesn’t meet the “idea” that you’ve built up in your mind. Just ask yourself this question: what if what, you thought is God closing a door is really an open door but the battle in your mind is not allowing you to see it. You see, the battle that we create in our mind is a battle between fantasies and reality. For some women, the more they struggle in life the more they live in their mind because for them, living in their mind is an escape from reality. This battle can get so aggressive that it can literally steal your life. This battle in your mind can steal some of the greatest joys in your life! And boy does Satan know this. The truth is that most of what we feed our mind are lies that feed our heart and spirit. And we will waste so much time meditating on these lies, believing them, growing them and we miss the very life that God is trying to give us. God clearly states in His word that He came to give us abundant life. That doesn’t mean it will be perfect but it will be perfectly enough. Our lives, relationships and dreams are not meant to be picture perfect. You will go through trials, loss, pain and heartbreaks. BUT it is also God’s will for you to experience victory, joy, love, etc. It’s in those moments of obtaining victory, joy and love that we truly understand the beauty of life. I challenge you to step out of your head, open your heart and eyes to what and who God has placed in front of you. God could be answering the very secret prayers of your heart but you’re stuck in the dark places of your mind. Don’t spend your life only dreaming. Desires are great but they are only dreams if they are never birthed. Sometimes you just need to loose your mind in order to find it again.
Think of the start of any new year and a list of cliché phrases can follow. “New year, new me”, “Page 1 of 365” “Let’s do this!”, or the ever so popular “New Years Resolutions”. A new year usually means new beginnings, a fresh start, another year to tackle your resolutions, embrace a positive attitude and take the new year head on. For many a new year is a beautiful time of celebration and what a blessing to be in that season. But there are some that have entered the new year without a bang, as a matter of fact, they have entered 2016 in silence. Your hope was that when the clock stroke 12:00am that a new beginning would begin but instead, you found yourself facing the same mountain. You woke up on January 1, 2016 and realized that a fresh start was not an option for you. Maybe you’re dealing with the the loss of a loved one, a rough breakup, financial hardship, emocional instability, depression or you’re simply not feeling it. Whatever it is, you’re finding yourself in a tough spot to face this new year. You’re sitting in silence but screaming inside searching for answers not understanding how you’re world seems to be upside down. You can’t ignore the struggle in your life no matter how desperately you want to escape it. You’re hurting, you’re wounded, you feel alone, confused and you don’t know where to go from here. The truth is, there may not be an answer right now that can satisfy your hurting heart but there is hope. There is faith. You may feel like you only have an ounce of faith left but remember you can move mountains with faith the size of a mustard seed (Matthew 17:20) So maybe your “January 1st” didn’t happen and maybe it won’t happen anytime soon but there is a whisper of hope that your “January 1st” will come to pass. You are not alone, you are not forgotten. God see’s you. God knows. He cares for you and He will never fail you. Trust Him.
“If your heart is broken, you’ll find GOD right there; if you’re kicked in the gut, he’ll help you catch your breath.”
Psalm 34:18 MSG
Girls, we are dreamers. Think about it, how many times in a day do you catch yourself day dreaming? Some more than others, but it can easily slip into our daily routine almost as if we scheduled “day dreaming at 9:00am”. Since the moment we get our 1st Barbie doll we begin to dream about the life Barbie lives. The family she has, the wardrobe changes, the cars, the shopping spree’s, the hair, the long legs – you get the point. Do you remember your first baby doll? You dreamed of how you would take care of that baby; feed it, change it’s diaper – you probably even silenced everyone in the house because “baby was sleeping.” What about your first toy kitchen? Playing house went to another level as you cooked your little plastic pancakes and made each member of your family eat them. I can clearly remember my cousins and I fighting over who got to play “mom”, it was clearly the role everyone wanted. Since we are little girls, we are trained to dream of what could be, how it could be, and when it would be. As we grow up we tend to mature into this land of dreamers and as we grow, so do our dreams. Something happens between the little girl pushing her baby doll around the house to the girl who is now pursuing her dreams in life. Yes, so much can happen between the time of Barbie dolls and college dorms, between plastic pancakes and the cup of coffee you need every morning, between the baby doll and the 2-year-old that calls you mommy. The reality is that most of our dreams will turn into a distant fantasy. Or at least that is how most of us will live out our life. You see, I have discovered that we tend to waste a lot of time in pursuit of our fantasy rather than our visions. As Christians, we are aware that God works in seasons, but women, not so much. It’s funny how we can easily adapt to natures seasons, yet we find it so difficult to adapt to spiritual seasons. You wouldn’t wear your scarf, wool jacket, leather boats, and gloves in 100+ degree weather would you? (I hope not.) And you most likely wouldn’t walk out in a t-shirt in -30 degree weather. Each season has it’s appropriate attire and most of us as women enjoy the fun of fashion and seasons. Just as each earthly season has its appropriate attire, so do our spiritual ones. Maybe you are reading this and you find yourself in a season that you are desperately praying to God, to take you out of. You don’t understand it, you can’t answer the why’s and the what if’s and you feel like you are drowning in a ocean of tears. Maybe you feel frustrated because you would of never imagined yourself in this particular place, because you had dreamed out your life so differently and now you just feel lost. Maybe you feel stuck in a season, that you can’t even muster up an ounce of dreaming to get yourself out of this place. So what now? I have 8 words for you that can change your entire perspective: “You are right where you need to be.” That’s right! Sure, from that sweet little girl to a young woman so much can happen. No one could predict the heartbreak, tears, accidents, regrets, or failures you may have had to experience, but we so easily loose sight that God works in seasons. And instead of becoming women with vision, we become women with fantasies. We spend so much time fantasizing of what could be if only God would take us out of this season. What if you envisioned what could be if you let God take your through this season. God knows you’re tired, He knows you’re weak, He knows you’ve cried so much you have no tears left, He see’s how broken your heart is, He see’s your burden, and He hears your whispers of desperation to him. Don’t for a moment think that He does not see you, but know that He sees you so clearly, that He knows what you will become. What you are facing at this moment cannot compare to the goodness He has waiting for you. He will restore your joy. The love you lost, He will fulfill it. I encourage you today; stop fantasizing and embrace your season in full understanding that God is a man with a plan. He has your heart in His hands and He won’t dare destroy it, but He will protect it. Become a woman of vision, a woman that can stand and see beyond her present circumstances. A woman that won’t stay still creating fantasies but will keep pressing forward toward the goal, to win the prize for which God has called her for (Philippians 3:14). Walk with God and let Him show you wondrous visions.
We all have seasons in our life that make us feel uneasy, insecure, and out of our comfort zone. It’s usually in those seasons that we find ourself doubting God and His glorious plan for our lives. We become clouded by what we feel, what we don’t feel, what we see or what we don’t see. We become so clouded that we loose sight that God has our ultimate interest in play. We forget that He is the one that formed us from the very beginning, we forget that He knows the number of hairs on our head, and that He said that He would never fail us. Maybe you lost a dream, maybe you’re trying to reach your dream, maybe your world has been turned upside down and it seems as if you can’t even find hope in the air you breathe. You find your heart challenging God and His promises. Are they real? Does He still remember? Is it worth it? Am I worth it? One of my favorite movies as a little girl was Disney’s “The Little Mermaid.” There is a scene in which Ariel has fallen in love and she sits, clearly day-dreaming, picking off the pedals of a flower saying the words “he loves me, he loves me not.” As a little girl, this seemed like a cute gesture. As a woman, I can sympathize with Ariel. There she sat wondering if the man of her dreams wanted her. Literally playing a guessing game with herself and her emotions. Of course I doubt the innocent cartoon did not mean to play on those emotions but if we look at the reality of the situation we can easily chime into what kind of emotional roller coaster she could have been on. I’m sure she secretly hoped that the last pedal would deem her a “he loves me!” Surely, this would bring her peace, knowing she was a pedal away from her dream. How many times do we play this game with God? Does it seem silly? Sure! Like child’s play? Yes! But we do it. We sit and pick pedals off of our life while our hearts utter the words “he loves me, he loves me not.” As soon as our world begins to cave, as soon as we feel like it’s not going to work out, as soon as we loose sight of our dreams and we can no longer see hope, we begin to question if God really loves us. If He will really work it out for our good. If He is really for us. We fail to realize that while we sit and try to convince ourselves that the answer to those questions are yes, God is writing the dreams of our hearts. While you dream of your dreams, He’s creating those dreams in you. The question should never be does He love me? It should be “do I love him?” Do you love him enough to trust him? Do you love him enough to wait for Him to work it out? Do you love him enough to know that He does not need to prove His love to you. So many times we are waiting for God to love us, when He is really waiting for you to love him. Do you love him, do you love him not?
“Vulnerability is such a beautiful thing yet so often looked down upon. We lock our emotions and heart up in the hopes that it will never be broken; making it untouchable. What kind of life is that? To be untouchable, disconnected, and cold-hearted. Our lack of vulnerability not only shuts out human love but it makes it difficult to believe in the love of God. We doubt the hopes and dreams God gives us because we are not willing to risk getting hurt or broken in the process.”
I wrote those words 2 years ago and they still penetrate my heart today. The big question? Why is this so hard to do? Why do we build walls, mazes and hallways to our hearts? The idea of eliminating all of that and simply being “open” is paralyzing. It can scare you to the core, putting a freeze and rejecting every sign of vulnerability. What we often fail to realize is that it can put a hold on some of the most beautiful opportunities in our lives. So many circumstances can cause us to build a wall but how does one come to the point of tearing down that wall?
- Ready. Realizing is the first step, being ready to change is the next. Sometimes the problem is simple: we don’t even realize how closed off we are. It is not until God places you in a path of vulnerability that your eyes can be opened to the fact that maybe there are some walls that need to be torn down. Maybe someone in your life is trying to switch the “closed” sign to “open” and you’ve realized that you didn’t even know your “closed” sign was up. It is time for you to be aware and ready. Ready for what?
- Set. Becoming vulnerable will require you to change in some areas. This is a big deal, especially the older you get, the more set it in your ways and mentality you get. Vulnerability works like a mirror, the more you dive into it; the more you realize the work that needs to be done in your life. Spaces of your heart that need to be healed, perspectives in your life that need tweaking, and a reminder that forgiving others allows you to forgive yourself.
- Reject. Reject yourself: you got it. A big fear of vulnerability is the idea rejection. In order for you to experience the freedom of being open, you must reject the idea of being rejected. We never stop to think that while we hold so tightly onto our hearts we are rejecting the very blessings God wants to give us. Could it be that the very thing you have been praying for is being held in the rejection space of your life? Out of fear of being rejected, you are rejecting. There is hope for you, we do not carry the spirit of fear. It is time to reject the idea of rejection and allow the idea of God’s unconditional acceptance into your life.
Ready. Set. Reject.
It’s love month! No better way to celebrate with one of our favorite cups of coffee in hand. This month we want to introduce you to a little spot that you can find us at often. Located in the beautiful city of Santa Cruz, CA. at the end of Pacific Avenue you will find this quaint coffee spot. Surround yourself with beautiful red fire brick for inspiration or sneak into the sweet little garden out back for some relaxation. Whatever kind of day you are having, a cup of coffee from Lulu Carpenter’s will sooth your sweet heart. Some of our favorites? Raspberry White Mocha, Black and White Mocha and Chemex Pour-over – we will let you guess which drink belongs to who.
Enjoy our free iphone/desktop wallpaper by clicking on the links below to download.