Guest Post for Loved+Blessed

This month I had the pleasure and opportunity to guest write for Loved+Blessed and their blog! Loved+Blessed is a Christian women’s ministry that encourages and supports everyday women. One of the special things that Loved+Blessed offers are encouragement subscription boxes! Each month’s box focuses on a different theme and includes some really sweet items. 

The post that I wrote was before this global pandemic, but I think the words are still true for today. The topic that I wrote about is related to self-care, but also about focusing self-care around Jesus. Below is a small excerpt of my post but please feel free to click the link below to read the full post. 

Self Care is not About You, it’s About Jesus

Maybe you’ve had a really bad day today. Maybe you’re coming off of a really difficult year. Maybe you’re going through a difficult season of marriage. Maybe you have an unbelieving spouse. Maybe you’ve chased screaming children around all day. Maybe you have a child who has special needs and requires more care and attention than you have energy to give. Maybe you’re juggling school, work, and a family. Maybe you’re going through depression and anxiety. Maybe you’ve had a disappointment. Maybe you even have ministry-fatigue. Whatever the situation may be or whatever your life looks like right now–my sister in Christ, I pray that you will be encouraged by these words. I pray that your soul would be revived so that, in turn, your self would be revived. Because, after all, self-care isn’t actually about us. Self-care is about being made alive IN Christ so that we may glorify Him in all that we do. Self-care is about Jesus and it begins with Jesus.”

Click this link to read the full blog post

Love From Amy Blog

Happy 4th Birthday, Blog: Lessons from Last Year

On January 31st, this past weekend, my blog turned 4 years old! Yay!! I know that year 3 was kind of a wash, but I learned many lessons about myself and life during that time. Today I want to celebrate new beginnings, refreshment, a new year, and new goals–which is what I am hoping year 4 will be for this blog.

I would like to share with you 4 lessons that I learned last year during my little hiatus. While I probably learned more than 4 lessons–these are the ones that stick out to me the most.

  1. Material things will not and do not make you happy. I mean, I guess they kind of do–but if you go in with the mindset of “well, if I get this or that then I’ll feel better about myself,” you will be wrong. I think in the first couple years of blogging, I tried to accumulate so much stuff because “that’s what everyone else was doing” so that things could showed off and reviewed. While yes, I know that some bloggers do a really good job of giving reviews, writing about fashion and style, and marketing for other companies–I was doing a really bad job at it. After a while all of the stuff I had was beginning to crowd me and make me feel overwhelmed with the amount of money I was spending and also just how much stuff I had to maintain. I do not mean to offend other bloggers at all, because I know that many have full-time careers through them, but this was a lesson that I learned because of my blogging and social media experience. This lesson made me check my heart and evaluate the motives behind my materialism. I have since adopted a much more minimalist mindset.
  2. Moments with Jesus are powerful and change everything. If you read my last post, you’ll know that I mentioned my battle with anxiety and depression last year. There were many times that I felt so paralyzed by it all that I couldn’t really pray anything other than “Jesus, help me.” My quiet times with Jesus were not as often as I would have liked–but the moments that I would meet with Him and when I felt so desperate–I knew He was with me. I would instantly feel peace and an assurance that He knew exactly what I was going through. The times that I spent in His Word were so powerful because everything was relevant and applicable to what I was dealing with. That’s one of the amazing and powerful things about the Bible and gospel message–it is alive and active (Hebrews 4:12)! I encourage you to, even if you don’t know what to do or what to say, spend time with Jesus! He loves you, He is waiting for you, and He has given us access to Him at all times (Ephesians 2:18).
  3. Life is precious. Life is short and must be valued and celebrated! Last year, my mom went through cancer treatment and throughout the whole process, the reality of mortality was scary. It made me want to make the most out of the time that I had with her and my family each day, to not complain, but to plead with God for more time. As I mentioned in my last post, she is now cancer-free and God was, and is, so gracious to our family. I know that this world is not our home and one day we will be in eternity. I am so thankful for the promises of God and the hope we have of spending eternity with Him. I hope, very much, that you have the same assurance as well. I don’t mean to turn this post into a morbid topic, but that’s just reality.
  4. It’s ok to wear black 99% of the time. I’ve come to the reality that I just really like to wear black. I used to think it was boring, I really should wear more color, or that everything just looked the same. But that’s just me and my style–and I love it. Yes, I do have some color in my wardrobe–but it will most likely be accompanied with black. It’s classy, versatile, appropriate for all-year wear, and it’s great to mask the occasional coffee spill. Ha!

Those are my top 4 lessons of the last year! Some are pretty serious and some are not as much–but I think important, nonetheless. What are some lessons that you learned last year? I would love to know!

Allow Your Soul to Rest

Hi friends, happy Thursday. I hope you are having a great week! I have been settling back into my routine after being at The Declare Conference this past weekend. It wasn’t until the conference that I realized how life had taken a toll on my soul and spiritual life–but I am so glad to feel rejuvenated after the conference.

There’s something about being in a worshipful setting that allows your heart to become quiet before God and open to the things He has to tell you. The biggest eye-opener this past weekend was the revelation that I have been trying too hard to do all of the things (ie work, home, putting pressure on myself, going non-stop, etc) that I have forgotten to focus on The One thing. That One thing is my walk with God–because only He is my purpose, strength, and peace. He is the only One that provides rest to my soul–when I feel like I run it into the ground.

If you are needing rest for your soul–let me encourage you to do so!

Remember the faithfulness of God. Remember what God has done for you and how He has answered prayer. I think that so often we tend to forget these things, even after praying so hard and for so long for that thing to happen. When you feel like life is just all bad and not turning out how you thought it would–stop and think about how God has worked in ways you did not expect.

Go to God. I have been waking up earlier this week so that I can have time in prayer and Bible study before I begin my day. Going to God first thing each day needs to be my first priority–and I’m ashamed to say that sometimes it’s the last. Let God be the best part of your day and allow Him to guide you in the words you speak and work you complete.

Literally stop and let yourself rest. It’s ok to say “no” to things and spend that time instead to care for yourself. You know what flight attendants tell you–“put your oxygen on first before assisting another person?”–well that is true in the sense that you can’t help anyone if you are just totally done. Also, you cannot minister or encourage anyone else as effectively if you are not right with the Lord. So, stop and let yourself rest before God.

Love from Amy Signature

What to Expect from The Declare Conference

** This post contains affiliate links–all thoughts and opinions are my own**

Last year I had the privilege of attending The Declare Conference in Dallas, TX. I am so excited that I’ll be able to return to the conference this October and can’t wait for all that I will hear and learn.

The Declare Conference gave me such encouragement but also inspiration with my writing, so I’m really looking forward to receiving that again. The conference is a great way to meet other bloggers, writers, podcasters, etc who share the same passion of telling others about Jesus and sharing His love. I’m also a conference nerd, so I’m excited for a few days away to learn. 

I will link all the conference information below but if you are able to go (and I highly recommend that you do), here are some things you can expect from attending the conference.

You will be encouraged.

There’s really no way that you can’t leave this conference and not be encouraged. From the main sessions, mastermind groups, meeting and talking with other women, your soul will definitely be uplifted.

You will be inspired.

If you’re in a bit of a writing rut (like I’ve been for a few months), this conference is the one for you. Declare helps to re-establish your “why” and purpose, while also inspiring you to be a better communicator. You’ll learn tools for social media and learn how to use programs effectively.

You will meet like-minded women of God.

It’s such a great feeling to be in a room surrounded by women who are all there for the same purpose–to communicate the love of God. I really challenged myself with getting out of my comfort zone last year and I’m so glad that I did because I was able to meet so many women and hear their stories.

You will hear incredible speakers.

I’m so excited about the speaker lineup this year and can’t wait to hear what they have to say. Last year’s speakers were amazing and provided such wisdom, insight, and encouragement for all different forms of communicating.

You will come home with lots of merch.

Last year there were so many awesome vendors at Declare and I came home with lots of books, shirts, totes, and other goodies. 

You will experience amazing worship.

You just will. And you might even cry a little.

You will literally be well fed.

Food was amazing last year and the Declare team was so accommodating with providing meals for those with Celiac Disease–which I do not take for granted. One evening there were also food trucks and a coffee truck that came to the conference.

You will not regret going to Declare.

I promise you won’t. I’m so glad that it worked out for me to go again this year because I know I would have regretted not going.

Join me at Declare!

img_9450

Worship Songs on Repeat

I really struggle with having a consistent quiet time each day to spend time alone with God in His Word. Have you ever been there? Wether it be because of oversleeping, rushing around in my every day routine, not having enough time in the day, or so many other excuses–it’s not ok and it’s a reflection of where my priorities are.

I savor my commute times though because it gives me time to pray and worship in the car before I start my busy work day. There are a few songs that I have had on repeat lately and so many of these words have been a huge encouragement to me.

Who You Say I Am By Hillsong Worship

Do you ever have those days when lies can seep into your mind and you start believing wrong things? I’ve definitely been there but I have learned (and am still learning) that it doesn’t matter what I or anyone thinks about me because it really only matters what God thinks about me. You may believe lies about yourself or others may say wrong things about you–but God sees you in a way that no one else can.

I am chosen
Not forsaken
I am who You say I am
You are for me
Not against me
I am who You say I am

Your Promises by Elevation Worship

When lies begin to creep in, it’s vital to focus on truth. God is so good and He has promised so many abundant things to those who love Him and follow Him. Promises to use us for his glory (Genesis 12:2), promises for a future (Jeremiah 29:11), promises in suffering (Isaiah 43:1-2), promises to never leave us (Hebrews 13:5), etc., they’re so undeserved but so wonderful.

Doesn’t matter what I feel
Doesn’t matter what I see
My hope will always be
In Your promises to me
Now I’m casting out all fear
For Your love has set me free
My hope will always be
In Your promises to me

So Will I (100 Billion X) By Hillsong Worship

This entire album is incredible. This song has been so meaningful to me lately in thinking about the magnitude and power of God. It’s so much more than I can imagine or fathom and that’s so comforting. This song has been an encouragement to me to continue to worship God, no matter the circumstances that may be surrounding life.

If the stars were made to worship so will I
If the mountains bow in reverence so will I
If the oceans roar Your greatness so will I
For if everything exists to lift You high so will I
If the wind goes where You send it so will I
If the rocks cry out in silence so will I
If the sum of all our praises still falls shy
Then we’ll sing again a hundred billion times

You Won’t Relent by Jesus Culture

This song has been reassuring to know that God never gives up on us, His love is so strong, and that He continues to pursue those who love Him.

You won’t relent until you have it all
My heart is yours

I set you as a seal upon my heart
As a seal upon my arm
For there is love
That is as strong as death
Jealousy demanding as the grave
And many waters cannot quench this love

 

img_9450