Coffee Chat | Waiting On The Lord

Coffee Chat | Waiting On The Lord

Hi there! Happy Sunday to you. ❤ This is going to be a very open and honest post, one that I hope will be able to inspire you on this beautiful weekend. There have been many times throughout my walk with the Lord when I would have deeply appreciated reading something like this while waiting on His timing for something I desired – because it is often not easy. The thoughts and prayers that go through our heads while holding on to faith often lose strength the longer we wait, which is why encouragement along the way is an essential. May you be just as inspired by reading this as I was blessed by writing it. ❤ Let’s both grab a cup of coffee (or your preferred choice of beverage) and sit down for a chat!

There are few things that have occurred in my life thus far that have challenged my patience more than when I am waiting on the Lord. His timing truly is not mine, because while we frequently wish for the things we desire to be fulfilled and completed as quickly as possible, the Lord sees the beauty of our situations behind the scenes. He knows that because we haven’t gotten that new job, new vehicle, new friend, or whatever else we may be searching for quite yet, everything is working out beyond our sight.

Even when we’re sitting there, feeling like we’re wasting time away when we really should be attaining our hopes and dreams, please know that He is at work if it is your heart’s desire. There are a few possibilities as to how He may be helping in your life at the moment:

  1. He’s perfectly organizing every event and detail.
  2. He’s leading you toward seeing His point of view.
  3. He’s preparing YOU.

In fact, all three of these possibilities might be relevant to your life right now!

If we were to attain everything we’d ever dreamed of in a single moment, we could die happy – right?

But what is life without the anticipation of beautiful things?

We’d never know excitement without the waiting!

If each and every thing we wanted was all ours right now, there would be nothing left to hope for. We’d never get to experience how it feels to finally have something that brings us great joy. Only then are we able to clearly see what a blessing it is when it comes! We’re unable to take it for granted because we dreamed of it for so long. Comparing how life was without it to how happy we are with it is extremely inspiring.

When I was younger, I used to think, If I could just have [whatever I wanted at the moment] right now, I would be happy. I rarely stopped to think that maybe the Lord was saving me from something that would have broken me. He could have been protecting me from my own self-destruction! Then there are other things that I didn’t get until later in life, because it was then His plan for me to have it. Much of the time, I see the perfect reasons why the blessing showed up when it did, but other times, I have been left to wonder. Still, I trust in His infinite knowledge. 🙂

So, let me go back to the three points I made about waiting on the Lord. The first one has to do with His behind-the-scenes work. Without His perfect organization skills, we would not be in the blessing-filled situations we’re in now!

We hardly ever see how He is preparing things for us, but I absolutely believe that He is at work.

My second point has to do with our mindset, and how that changes us while we wait. Sometimes, after a long time of waiting, how we view what we desire changes – for better or worse. We may realize that it was a very good thing that we didn’t get that blessing until this moment … or we may see that there’s a reason why we don’t have it and won’t ever have it.

I have found myself in situations where it took me months (even years!) to realize that something would never work out because the Lord was rescuing me, over and over again, from something disastrous. After going through things like that, I have been reminded again and again that He is truly my Savior. 

Finally, my third point is that He prepares us for what we desire. For example, I can’t wait to have my first job – but I’m not quite (or at all) ready for that to be part of my life at the moment. In this instance, I can see why I’m waiting: I’m caring for my family for now as my mom continues to recover from Isabella’s birth, which doesn’t leave time for me to be away from home. If I were to continue pursuing work at the moment, I’d be completely out of line with what the Lord has for me!

Impatience and the temptation to move forward plagues our thoughts during these times. When the Lord is challenging us to put all of our trust in Him, it’s easy to want to keep taking steps in what we think is the right direction instead of doing what we perceive as sitting still. But please, let me assure you, kind friend – this time of waiting is not being wasted.

The Lord is preparing everything He has for you, one small step at a time.

When I begin thinking too much about what I’d like to do someday, I return my focus to the present. By being happy here, I know I will flourish in the future!

“This is the day the Lord has made;
We will rejoice and be glad in it.”
– Psalm 118:24

Thank you so much for joining me for this coffee chat! I’m thinking about making this a weekly series, because I really enjoyed it. ❤ Let me know in the comments below:

What are YOU waiting on the Lord for?

Happy Sunday!

— Maggie

Blog Coaching Questions | May 2018

Blog Coaching Questions | May 2018

Hey there! I hope you’re having a great weekend! 🙂 When I reached the blogging milestone of 2,000 followers last week (which I’m still excited about, thank you sooo much!), I shared that I would try out free monthly blog coaching right here on my blog! This is a way that I can definitely give back to the community, because I love sharing blogging tips and advice, and with nearly seven years of experience, I have a lot to share!

It would make me so happy if you would ask any questions you have about blogging in the comments below! Anything goes, whether you want to learn more about the basics of blogging, template design, post formatting, and more!

Also: If you see that someone has already asked exactly what you were going to comment, click the ‘like’ button on other bloggers’ questions that you’d like to read the answer to! I will be combining similar questions and answering as many as I can this way 🙂

I hope and pray that I can help other bloggers through this! If enough people participate, I will be sharing my answers in a post at the beginning of May. ❤

Thank you so much!

— Maggie

‘Doors Away’ – A Short Story

‘Doors Away’ – A Short Story

The hedge that separated them had always made her curious.

Grinning in a silly manner, she once again stood idly upon her doormat and glanced, as best she could, over the barrier. The most frustrating thing was that the leaves were angled down toward her, creating a wall for her neighbor to easily hide behind. Being the short woman that she was, his advantage over her in height made it easy for him to see her.

Since the day she moved in, she’d been wanting to catch another peek at the mysterious man she’d only seen twice. She loved intrigue, and he was certainly intriguing.

When she heard his door slide open, she nearly jumped out of her skin. To continue on her merry way, or to run inside her house to stay?

She couldn’t deny herself the opportunity.

Straightening the beautiful navy blue dress sprinkled with white dots that she wore, she stood on the very tips of her toes. The funny thing was, he did the exact same thing – on the opposite side.

Both erupting into cheerful laughter, they openly admitted to spying and proceeded down their porch steps to properly introduce themselves.

This was only the beginning.

My Succulent Photography

My Succulent Photography

Hi there! Happy Thursday to you. ❤ This is going to be a fun, short, and lighthearted post showcasing some of my recent photography! One of my favorite things to take pictures of by far is succulents. They’re fun to look at, easy to care for, and some of the leaf textures of different varieties are just amazing! If you adore succulents and little cacti as much as I do, I know you’ll enjoy this post. Happy reading!

Note: The only succulent that is mine is the little one in the featured image! The rest I photographed at a store:)

from above.
artistically arranged.
up close.

Which photo was YOUR favorite?

Also, as a quick side note: upon my mom’s suggestion, I created an Unsplash account! Unsplash is a beautiful photo-sharing website that I use all the time for my posts, and it’s about time I gave back. 🙂 If you’d like to see what photos I’ve uploaded there, click here!

Thank you so much for reading!

— Maggie

The Confidence Of A Child

The Confidence Of A Child

Hey there! Happy Wednesday to you. ❤ Bright and early Monday morning this week, I went and sat down on the living room couch to see Elizabeth. She had just woken up and was already smiling while rubbing the sleep out of her eyes. At one year old, she will be two this June.

I had my phone in my hand, so I decided to show her and my mom a picture I got of Isabella a week or two ago. That made Elizabeth smile even more, so I decided to turn on the selfie cam so she could see her own cute little face.

That is how the featured image of this post came into being.

It is an absolute blessing to me to watch Elizabeth light up at her own reflection. The moment her face pops up on the screen, she’s grinning and cheering about seeing a ‘baby.’ It’s one of the only words she’ll say at the moment, and she uses it often – both when she sees Isabella, and when she sees herself.

The next photo is another great testimony of how she views her person.

After recognizing the cuteness of her own face, she starts clapping.

Elizabeth sees herself as something to be happy about. She isn’t quick to get the hair out of her eyes, or self-consciously cover any imperfections she sees – she’s just joyful to see herself! Seeing her chubby, smiling face makes her grin even more, easily giving herself a round of applause.

When I compare her sweet reactions to how I look at myself in the selfie cam, I am ashamed. My face doesn’t light up like hers does – all I see about myself are the things I wish I could fix. The acne, the silly facial expression, the bags under my eyes – I don’t feel pretty, so I don’t look that happy. The happiness I feel toward myself is limited to how self-confident I am at any given time – instead of being tied to who I am.

When Elizabeth is in a good mood (and she is most of the time!), she genuinely enjoys seeing her reflection. It makes me happy to see her so happy, and having these pictures to one day show her what a cute baby she saw herself as will be a blessing to her in the future. In this present moment, however, she has taught me a valuable lesson – one that I hope you can learn from, as well!

Our self-confidence should be deeply rooted in who we are – not dependent upon how we look.

It’s easy to quickly go over our outward appearance and become camera-shy when how we look doesn’t meet our standards. We definitely want to look our best – especially in photos! However, I am now seeing just how beautiful it is to be happy with who we are as a person and not how we first appear to other people. While it’s an admirable thing to make a good impression, if we are confident in who we are on the inside, then we will be absolutely beautiful no matter what!

As an example from my own life, I am much more delighted to see someone happy and laughing than to come across the picture-perfect photoshoot someone had done. While beautiful photography and gorgeous makeup are usually more pleasing to the eyes, I’d rather see someone experiencing joy.

So, while I love the photos I’ve gotten of Elizabeth over the course of her life so far, I prefer to have her laughing than to look back at pretty pictures. ❤

Let me know in the comments below:

Has Elizabeth inspired YOU
as much as she has inspired me?

I hope you’re having a beautiful week!

— Maggie

Overcoming Medical Fears | My Story

Overcoming Medical Fears | My Story

Hi guys! Happy Tuesday to you. ❤ The topic of today’s post is something I’ve never written about before (and this will probably be the last time, as well, haha!), and that is medical fears. I will be talking about how I used to feel as a child, and why I feel so much better about it now.

If I can be an encouragement to you – any readers that have medical fear/s, for most people have at least one! – then that is absolutely wonderful because I hope I can inspire you. I know how hard it is to feel better about something that causes us to be fearful, but I would love for you to hear me out – just take into consideration what I share here.

Thank you in advance for reading! I hope that you enjoy.

Overcoming Medical Fears | My Story

Fearing Pain: My Childhood

Growing up, I always struggled to be okay with discomfort. I found it extremely unbearable on various levels to trip and scratch up my knee, bump into a wall and get a bruise – even a paper cut was aggravating. This trait troubled me for years because I was unwilling to move forward in my perception of pain to any degree.

I didn’t like doctors. I became upset when I hurt myself. It was even worse if someone accidentally hurt me – I always saw their mistake as my burden. Looking back, I truly regret being stuck in that mindset up until about the age of sixteen.

Yes. I spent over a decade in underlying agony.

It’s a painful thing when you can’t take any discomfort in stride, and then along the way, also being unable to forgive others … and yourself.

But this was my reality.

Where I Am Now

Very recently (especially this past week), I went to the doctor multiple times – and for various reasons. From getting my eyes checked to attending a consultation at the oral surgeon’s, I needed (and still do) different work done – and I’m not too keen on much of it. Some of the things were slightly invasive, and others were simple check-ups. I experienced a bit of discomfort a few times, but nothing excruciating, for which I am extremely grateful. I realized that fear laced many of my thoughts these last seven days, which I’m not proud of, but it got me thinking.

The more I’ve thought about it, the more tired I’ve become of living in fear of medical things.

Visiting the doctor and needing something fixed from time to time is not worth the stress that I put on myself. Even when a procedure isn’t going the way I’d prefer, it is very important that I visit the doctor – I have no idea what we’d do without them!

Because of this, I have lately been scrutinizing the exact reason as to why I am afraid.

Do I have legitimate reasons for feeling as frightened as I do?

Do appointments always end up going just as poorly as I project they will?

Will I ever be able to say I was happy to have been so anxious about these doctor visits days before they happen?

No – that is the answer to all of them.

To make a long, painful story of my life short, my perception was greater than my pain.

Finding Comfort in The Bible

There is something absolutely calming to me about the Lord’s Word. I find it impossible to read the Bible with a frown on my face, with anger clouding my thoughts, or with unforgiveness in my heart – you can’t do it. The times that I have approached Bible-reading time with that countenance, my behavior automatically became better … and I have no other explanation for it except that His Word changes me.

Whenever I open the Bible to a passage of scripture, whether I’ve been there thousands of times before or I’ve only visited that page once, I’m always struck with the unshakeable fact that these words were breathed into being by the Lord God Himself. I can’t explain to you what a pleasure it is every time to know that He is the One behind every book, every chapter – each and every word that I find there. Regardless of which part of His Word I read, I become awe-struck every time – and I love it.

I have recently taken to perusing the Bible deeply when something troubles me. When I’m not having a good morning, I turn to His Word. When something has shaken me so bad that I’m literally trembling, one of the only things I know to do is open my Bible. I have come to rely on its everlasting wisdom and encouragement, regardless of what I’m going through.

It has become a habit over the years for specific verses to come back to mind – especially when it comes to current trials. If I’m scared, hurting, anxious, or in any way upset, there are passages that I know to turn to that will calm my aching soul. The Bible never fails to be a shining light to me even on my darkest day.

The Lord knew that we would need a place to turn to when life gets rough. That is why one can find constant, immediate encouragement throughout His Word – you can’t get very far before a verse has caught your attention and slowly works its way into your heart. My favorite verses are always changing, because that’s how much studying His Word means to me.

So, how has this led me to where I am today?

No Longer Living In Fear

I have learned, especially through the power of the Holy Spirit, that it is not His will for me to live afraid. I can’t walk this earth having anxiety about the next few (and even several) steps I take, and this is something He has been helping me with lately. I have been able to go through a few minor medical procedures this past week that I would have been completely horrified by even a year ago … and that is absolute PROGRESS for me. ❤

Looking back even on these recent times, I can see how He has been at work in my heart … and that is a true blessing to me, even in this present moment.

When it comes to aggravation toward myself and others for accidental pain … that is still something I’m working on and praying over today. Yes, steps have been made forward, but I still have a long way to go … and I know that the Lord is already by my side.

So, to the ones reading who have disliked all things medical like I have for so long – have you truly taken a look at how you perceive doctors? I know how easy it is to be physically, emotionally, and mentally unable to bear some of the procedures that must be done, so I know where you’re coming from. But I would like to encourage you today to think deeply about how you look at these situations, versus how they actually are.

There are times when we’ll feel left alone to carry the weight of our burdens … but that was never the Lord’s plan for us. One of my favorite scriptures can be found in Matthew:

“Come to Me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”
– Matthew 11:28

I hope and pray that I have been an encouragement to you today! 🙂 Even when we feel lost in the mentalities we’ve had for years, there is so much hope to be found in the loving grace of Jesus Christ. If you’d like to talk about any medical things you have gone through or are currently going through, I would be happy to listen – I know how comforting it is to talk about things like this with someone.

Thank you so much for reading!

— Maggie

Sibling Adventures | Part One

Hi there! I hope you’re doing well. ❤ Happy Monday to you! 🙂 Recently, I have been truly enjoying going places with my younger siblings. It has been nice to explore nature and spend time outside before it gets too hot here in Georgia, and I have captured some great pictures of our adventures. Because of this, I’ve decided to share some of them with you today! I hope you enjoy!

Sibling Adventures | Part One

Exploring With Elizabeth

Last week, we all went to an animal sanctuary that my mom has been taking us to since I was a little girl! It brings back a lot of memories for me, so I love getting to see my little siblings enjoying this place, as well. In the picture above, you can see Elizabeth being shy around one of the tortoises (whom you can see managed to squeeze itself between the safety barrier to come say hello!). The awesome part about this picture is that Elizabeth is actually wearing an old shirt of mine. ❤

While Joshua and Samuel hung out at the playground together and our mom stayed with Isabella, I continued walking around with Elizabeth. She posed for a few pictures on this little ride-on elephant! I love her hair!

Once we were done playing at the playground, we all went together to the rest of the sanctuary where the larger animals are. The first exhibit is this huge field where various farm animals with special needs get to have a huge place to roam around. I think it’s so sweet! (And the goat above was very cute.)

I didn’t get too many photos of the animals we spent the afternoon admiring, but I did quickly bring my phone out to show you just how close we got to be to this sweet tiger. Many of the animals we saw were rescued from small zoos and failing circuses, and this big cat is one of them. If I’m remembering right, this one is a boy, and he was pacing near the edge of his exhibit – right where we were. You don’t really realize just how big they are (especially their heads!) until you’re this close to one.

Horseback-Riding With Joshua

This is something I’ve been wanting to do for years, and I was finally able to comfortably this past Friday! Hip discomfort throughout my childhood and teenage years prevented me from pursuing this hobby, and oh my gosh – once our 30-minute ride was over, I did not want it to end! It went so well, the instructor complimented me on how well I did, and I wasn’t sore afterward whatsoever. I only got a few pictures because I was still getting used to how riding a horse felt, and I finally ventured to retrieve my phone from the fanny pack I wore near the end. The next time we’re able to go, I promise I’ll get more pictures!

An Outing With Samuel

On Saturday, I got to visit a few places near us just with Samuel! He thoroughly enjoyed it, and I captured a lot of fun pictures. From hanging out in the garden center of Home Depot to getting a tasty treat, we had a great time.

We loved looking at the different plants outside Home Depot. I think the bonsai trees ended up being his favorite! My personal favorite is succulents, which I’ll be sharing some photos of later this week. ❤

I loved this little bonsai tree with a ‘Dream’ stone in front of it, because since starting my blog early last year, it has become one of my favorite words! 🙂

Like the true southerners we are, haha, Chick-Fil-A is one of our favorite places to eat out! Samuel and I got small ice dreams and had a blast dipping waffle fries in them. If you’ve never tried fries and ice cream, you have to someday!!! I was telling my mom that the combination of salty and sweet is just beautiful.

Thank you so much for reading! I loved sharing our adventures with you. ❤

I hope you have a beautiful week!

— Maggie

Returning To His Word

Returning To His Word

Hello there, and Happy Sunday to you! ❤ This is going to be a quick, update-type post because there’s something on my heart I’d like to share with you this morning.

Over the last few weeks, through prayer and talking to others (thank you, God’s Warrior!), I have slowly been on a journey that is returning me to find enjoyment in reading the Bible. For the longest time now, I have felt lost when it comes to where to read, what I can still get out of the books and chapters I’ve previously studied, and just how to begin finding the Old Testament interesting. It has been a struggle for me, for sure, but I am now more than ready to put my all into loving His Word.

I have decided to begin this journey with Isaiah. By reading one chapter a day, I’m already making progress, which brings me great joy. Certain chapters and verses from this book have meant a lot to me for years, and getting to know exactly what this book is all about will be a wonderful learning experience. While I was tempted to choose a book in the New Testament to read again, I must start looking at the Old Testament, which still has so much to teach me, in the right light. Haha!

In my time of knowing the Lord, I have become so accustomed to spending all of my Bible-studying time reading the books about Jesus and Paul’s church letters that I haven’t taken the time to learn lessons from the books written hundreds of years before. Aside from the Psalms and Proverbs, I know very little about the Old Testament – aside from knowing the names, which I memorized from Genesis to Revelation! Anyway, while I might not have been up to deeper studies of these older studies as a pre-teen – I’m quite sure I would not have understood them! – I can definitely do so now. It blesses me that the Lord has led me to this point.

The verse I ended up loving the most from Isaiah 1 is actually verse 17. “Learn to do right! Seek justice, relieve the oppressed, and correct the oppressor. Defend the fatherless, plead for the widow.” It was a good reminder that the Lord gave to the people of Judah through Isaiah.

Thank you for reading my post today! I would be happy to know where you’re currently studying in the Bible. Which verse has stood out to you the most recently? ❤

I hope you’re enjoying your weekend!

— Maggie