uprooted

I know what it is like to feel uprooted.

Suddenly you’re caught off guard and you’re not sure where you’re headed.

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Confusion. Hurt. Bitterness. They are heavy feelings that can envelope you completely.

Because of all of the things you had planned, this wasn’t one of them. You weren’t expecting to say goodbye–without actually getting to say it. You weren’t expecting to lose a best friend. Or to not know where to go from here or what you want to be doing a year from now. You were expecting it all to go as you planned. We think we have it all sorted out, & I think God just smiles, holds out His arms of grace, and tells us to come sit with Him for a while.

I feel everything so deeply. & sometimes I don’t know if it’s a blessing or a curse. I am grateful for the ability to think, but sometimes my mind keeps me up for hours running through every possible scenario that I might face or every possible turn my life could take.

It is a decision my mind has to make: to tell my heart to trust.

Lately I am writing reminders. I call them “maybes.” They help me to remember that nothing that is happening in my life is wasted. I call them maybes but I know for certain: everything I am being brought through is bringing me closer to where I am supposed to be.

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Maybe the uprooting has carried you somewhere new where you can bloom into something so much greater. It’s not to deprive you of life–it’s to give you so much more.

Maybe the uprooting has carried you somewhere where you can better use your talents and gifts to breathe life into the lives of others. It’s not to stifle your joy–it’s to multiply it.

Maybe the uprooting has carried you somewhere dark so that you can be the light. It’s not to separate you from Jesus–it’s to make your connection with Him so much stronger.

I will keep repeating this until my heart understands it. Until it sinks in to the core of who I am and until I can’t help but believe it everyday of  my life: God’s love is too great to leave me where He doesn’t want me to be. & sometimes–most times–this means an uprooting.

If your storm has wrecked your plans and uprooted your heart–maybe it’s because He wants to send you in a different direction. Maybe it’s to get you to stop, step back, and focus your life and love on something entirely different. Maybe what you see as a wreck and a mistake is actually God saving you from something so much worse.

Maybe the storm–your storm–is a grace in disguise.

IMG_2523Because the One who made you knows where you need to be in order to become most like Him. He knows where you need to be to best offer your gift to the world. He knows where you need to be to have the closest relationship with Him. & He is not going to let the wind of the current season that you are in pull you away from Him.

In reality I don’t need to call them “maybes” …they are certainties. & one thing is forever certain: God’s love is too great to leave me where He doesn’t want me to be. & sometimes–most times–this means an uprooting.

 

He gives us what we need

I know you are confused.

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You think that if you could just have the answers, you could be at peace.

You think that if everything fell into place the way your heart wanted it and you had your way then your life would be complete and fulfilled. That if the unexpected stopped suffocating you then you could breathe again.

You just want the answers. You want to come up for air, but you took a plunge so deep you’re not sure you can get back to the surface.

You want what you think you need to feel complete.

You are blindsided by what you never thought would come true and your mind is running a hundred miles an hour in every possible direction. You are questioning yourself and wondering if everything is your fault and if you could’ve acted differently to change it all. I know you–I see you–and sometimes, I am you.

It is as if we think that seeing the whole picture could make us happy. We want that thing that God has and that Eve wanted: knowledge–of everything. But what we don’t get is that our limited minds can’t understand plans that great and big and powerful.

He gives us what we need. & what we need is the assurance that He is walking with us through each and every day, ever present, always faithful.

He gives us what we need. & what we need is the confidence that we are His: chosen, loved, worthy, beautiful, and filled with His power.

He gives us what we need. & what we need is not more confirmation from the world or approval from people: it’s the knowledge that nothing can shake us from His love or startle away His opinions of us.

He gives us what we need. & what we need is not clarity as to why something happened the way it did, what we need is the face of Jesus.

He gives us what we need. & as beautiful as His gifts are, sometimes we simply just need Him–all else stripped away.

So even if you are confused. Even if you are hurt, broken, healing, happy, motivated, discouraged, or filled with joy–even if you think you are too far. I know that sometimes it is easy to believe you cannot handle what He has for you in this season. But even still, He will give you what you need. Because you simply need Him, and as painful as it can be when He takes everything else away, it will be the most beautiful thing that will happen to you.

 

September

Today is the start of a new month and the change of season. This is the month that the leaves are starting to turn, and so are the pages in your story.  This month is your chance to become the strongest version of yourself and to stop trying to be someone that you were not meant to be. This is your month-I believe in you. Grab a hold of this chance and don’t let go. Who you can become is limitless. It is your chance to breathe in, exhale, and repeat as many times as you need until you are OK. It’s your chance to break down and surrender in the arms of a God who has been pursing you all year long. September is the month for you to realize that He still wants you, and to run back to Him.

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This is the month to stop letting voices or opinions or words or choices of others determine who you are. This is the month to breathe, and rest. It is your chance to let any sense of loneliness lead you to the One who designed your heart to feel a little lonelier than you’d wish, so that you’ll come to Him.

It is your chance to surrender all the people pleasing and the fear. It is your month to relinquish control — of your thoughts, your plans, and all you thought your life would — or should — be.

This is going to be a good month, I believe in you–but most of all–I believe in Him. & He is in you. He is strengthening you and He will work all things out for the very best. Remember that His best might never be the easiest thing for your heart to handle — remember that.

I can feel His presence this September. I can feel His peace. I don’t know where your heart was in August, but I know this: He still wants it. And it is never too late to come back to what you know is true. You are the one He leaves the 99 to find. Never forget that.

This September, we will be a people who come back. & we will be a people who remember what we were made for, but most of all who we were made for. We will not seek after answers or clarity more than we will seek after the face of a God who envelopes us in His peace, His grace, and His mercy even when we think maybe His ways are too hard.

So let the pages turn as the leaves do. I know you want to turn back and it’s tempting to re-read the last chapter thinking that maybe He’ll change the ending. Don’t keep turning back. He is doing something incredible in your heart, and a new season is coming. Trust me, there is so much more to come.

I believe in you — but most of all —

I believe in Him.

who do you want to be?

Who do you want to be?

In the core of who you are – where nobody sees – who do you want to be?

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It’s a startling question really. To think about all of this. Because the second you start you feel you cannot stop. There is such an infinite reality of things and personalities and characters you can be. There is no limit to the amount of kindness you can grow to hold, no cap on the love that can spill out from your heart, and no stopping the creativity that can flow from your soul.

You hold so much power inside of you. There is so much beauty and potential to grow and become someone and something you never imagined.

I asked myself this question and I’m still scribbling down answers, memories in my head of people who I wished to be like, pictures etched of their joy and kindness and their hearts.

I don’t know where we got so trivial. So focused on the cover of a book. We spend so much time worried about our weight and not enough about how healthy and alive and full of energy we are. We sometimes hate our faces or bodies in the mirror and yet we can’t seem to remember all of the beautiful parts about us. We crave to be seen and heard and known and popular and yet we cannot sit alone with ourselves because our thoughts make our palms all sweaty and we get nervous.

We are beautiful beings bursting with ideas and sentences and pictures in our minds to capture and create and yet we stifle so much of that creativity sitting in front of a screen scrolling mindlessly through accounts of everyone else’s daily celebrations. Somehow we’ve forgotten our own.

We would rather look and see all the ways other people are enjoying their lives than we would embrace the gift that is right in front of us.

Who do we want to be?

I don’t want to be another dreamer who sits still and lets the world take her spirit. I don’t want to be a soul withered from comparison and defeated by my instagram that shows me how monotonous my life is. That is not the person I want to be.

& I think if you are here, you think that too. You don’t want to chase the trivial and float through on empty and shallow visions of what life could be. There is more. You are more. You have so much inside of you, and the world needs to see it. Don’t let it stifle your beautiful words. Don’t let them trample your beautiful art. Don’t let opinions put out the fire that burns inside of you.

Who do you want to be?

You can be her.

Starting now.

15 Quotes to Change your Monday

Nothing fancy here–just a whole lot of words that I love. I hope this collection of some of my favorite quotes inspires you to make this Monday count.

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“My mom said something, ‘you can lie down for people to walk on you and the will still complain that you’re not flat enough.’ Live your life.” -Mature Gambio

“We cannot become what we want by remaining what we are.” -Max Depree

“Those who dare to fail miserably can achieve greatly.” -John F. Kennedy

“I began to realize how important it was to be an enthusiast in life. If you are interested in something, no matter what it is, go at it full speed. Embrace it with both arms, hug it, love it and above all become passionate about it. Lukewarm is no good.”

-Roald Dahl

“God’s plan for us is usually where our passions, our purpose, and our capabilities intersect.” -Bob Goff

“To live a creative life, we must lose our fear of being wrong.” -Joseph Chilton Pearce

“Be messy and complicated and afraid and show up anyways.” -Glennon Doyle Melton

“She understood that the hardest times in life to go through were when you were transitioning from one version of yourself to another.”

-Sarah Addison Allen

“There is no passion to be found playing small – in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.” -Nelson Mandela

“Normality is a paved road. It’s comfortable to walk on but no flowers grow on it.” -Van Gogh

“You wouldn’t worry so much about what others think of you if you realized how seldom they do.” -Eleanor Roosevelt

“A long time ago I learned not to explain things to people. It misleads them into thinking they’re entitled to know everything I do.” -Lisa Kleypas

“Be kinder to yourself. And then let your kindness flood the world.” -Pema Chodron

“Change the way you look at things, and the things you look at change.” -Wayne Dyer

& my all time favorite…

“For what it’s worth: it’s never too late to be whoever you want to be. I hope you live a life you’re proud of, and if you find that you’re not, I hope you have the strength to start over.”

-F. Scott Fitzgerald

 

You are enough

Do you ever just breathe in and realize right in a single moment, that you are enough? That even if you never did one more thing or accomplished what you want to accomplish — even if you did “nothing” by the world’s standard, that your existence is simply enough? I admit it, I think about it every day: ways I could be a little bit closer to perfect or areas in which I am not doing “enough.”

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I tend to shy away from an idea if I know I can’t do it perfectly. In fact, most often I run from something completely even if I could do it well. Because in my mind, doing something well isn’t worth it if I can’t do something perfectly. What if all that I put into my work isn’t enough for some people? What if all that I am doing is never enough?

It is easy to size up how your life is feeling to how someone else’s life is looking. & even if you’re not comparing yourself to someone else, it’s easy to constantly be wishing you could just be better. It’s easy to believe the lie that you are not qualified to step into a dream or calling because you don’t have yourself perfectly together. It is easy to believe that because you are still learning, you can’t teach others what you have learned. And above all, it is easy to believe that you can never reach a point of feeling like you are enough, because there is always something else you could do or a better version of yourself you could be.

In today’s day and age I think that it is so easy for us to idolize people that we learn from, draw inspiration from, or follow online. If you want, you can curate the perfect feed. You can compose blog posts that talk only about the good stuff, and you can share pictures that are edited to the T. You can show everyone your amazing life, your amazing habits, and your amazing relationships. You can leave out the real stuff. You can minimize your mistakes and blemishes. You get to select your content.

We can get caught in a cycle of always reaching for more, thinking that one more promotion will validate us in our career, that one more person will fulfill us when it comes to relationships, or that more recognition will take up the empty space in our hearts when it comes to what we want to achieve.

But no matter how much you achieve, who you know, or what you accomplish, you will never feel as though you are enough if you first don’t believe it when you don’t feel it. 

Believing the truth about yourself isn’t something you save for the days when it’s easy to do. Believing it starts on the days when your heart feels the exact opposite.

That means today.

Believe this: nothing you can ever do can make you more worthy of this life, more beautiful, more worth loving, or more “enough.” When you let that sink in, you can live fully alive in who you are called to be.

Know that you are enough in all of your imperfections,

& nothing you ever do — or don’t do — can change that.

 

5 Healthy Habits to Create Today

It is SO easy to get lazy, find yourself unmotivated, or grow discouraged when it comes to your health. It is often so much easier to grab fast food or skip the gym. Lately, I’ve started implementing these 5 healthy habits into my life and have noticed a huge difference in my mood, motivation, and how my body feels. I have noticed a boost in my energy and ability to concentrate as well. They’re simple – but they make all the difference. Try them out and let me know how they work for you!

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Habit #1.

SLEEP!! This has been the biggest change I’ve made in my life in the past few weeks. Some of us may be able to function better than others on limited sleep, but we all need a good 7-9 hours to function well. It was hard to make myself go to bed earlier than I was used to for the first few nights but once my body got into a routine it got easier and easier. Plus, I found myself being way more productive the next day and not relying on coffee to keep me awake.

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Habit #2.

Ditch the coffee in the AM and drink lemon water instead. I had gotten to the point where I couldn’t function unless I had a huge glass of iced coffee in the morning.  I had it so much that I honestly didn’t even like the taste anymore. I drank it because it would give me a caffeine boost to make up for my lack of sleep. Now I drink an occasional cup in the afternoon but don’t rely on it for energy. Starting your day with a glass of lemon water – either warm or iced – boosts your metabolism and kickstarts your body’s hydration for the day.

Habit #3.

Drink a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar every morning. Apple cider vinegar has so many health benefits. It serves as an aid to weight loss, stabilizes your blood sugar, helps with digestion, is great for your skin + so much more. I mix a tablespoon with a little bit of water and take drink it each morning when I wake up.

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Habit #4.

MOVE, even if you only have 30 minutes. You don’t have to spend at least an hour in the gym to get a good workout in. In fact, I’ve found that when I am limited on time, I often get a better workout in. Find a form of exercise that you enjoy and challenge yourself with it. I promise it will become addicting and your body will begin to crave how it makes you feel!

Habit #5.

Take care of yourself. Start valuing your body and emotional health as well. Listen to your body and pay attention to what is stealing your peace. Set aside at least one night a week to rest and spend doing something you love. Read a book, go for a walk, or do something to invest in mind, body, or soul.

Be the best you!

xx,

Madyson Grace

so much more

I have so much.

BE2A3009I spend time. I spend so much of my time looking at all the things I don’t have, instead of all that I do. I pay more attention to all that I am not, instead of all that I am. And I let anxieties about what could be steal my joy away from what actually is.

I am learning-

that I have so much.

I do not stop. I keep running in circles. I have a lot of days where everything feels empty, and yet I can’t pause for long enough to stop and remember my purpose. I am not good at slowing down and being silent. I have grown so used to noise I don’t know what to do with the quiet.  I don’t have time to remember why I am here-and yet how will I ever be who I was made to be if I don’t make that time.

When I realize this,

I realize-

I have so much.

I have a gift. A gift that is irreplaceable and beautiful. A gift that is full of opportunities and chances. Every morning I have breath in my lungs. I have a day full of new chances and opportunities that I overlook and see as ordinary, when they are anything but that. I have a gift,

I have life –

I have so much.

I have a passion. I have a passion, but I bottle it up. I don’t set aside time to do the things I love, because it takes work. Discipline isn’t glamorous. There is always something mindless to do instead. I have a passion, but it isn’t growing because I’d rather do what’s easy.

It makes me realize-

I have so much.

I have love. He knows what makes me, me – and what makes me hurt. He hears it all and listens so patiently. He loves me so well. He is always there. He has never not been there for me when I’ve needed him. He is my biggest encourager and best friend. Yet I find his imperfections to point out and sometimes I spend too much time dwelling on those. I realize how discontent my heart can become when I make it all about me.

It makes me realize-

I have so much.

I have freedom to step into myself. To express my heart in front of an audience of one or one hundred thousand. And yet my eyes are glued to a screen that shows me how every other person is trying to be like every other person, and how I’m falling short. I choose to focus on their success, their joys, their lives – when I could pour so much energy into my own.

Sometimes when I remember this,

I remember-

that I have so much.

I do.

I have so much-

The question is, what am I doing with it?

Will I still have “so much” when I look back a year from now?

Or will I choose to live life differently,

and have so much more?

take your eyes off of everyone else: for the girl comparing herself

I’m not sure why but one of the first things we do when we’re feeling down is make ourselves feel worse. Comparison promises to make us feel satisfied but in reality it distracts us from who we were made to be.

It is hard not to spend all our time caught up in someone else’s success, friend group, money, or opportunities because the internet and social media pours it down our throats every day. If we don’t bring ourselves back to what’s true we will waste so much time chasing someone else’s purpose and miss our own.

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If you spend less time focusing on what everyone else is doing, you’ll have more time to become the best version of the person you have been made to be.

Take the energy that you pour into wishing you were someone else or envying an aspect of someone else’s life and start using that to fuel your potential.

The more you do what you were created to do, the less time you have to be concerned with what everyone else is doing.

You will never get anywhere if you are not looking straight ahead. When you look around more than you look ahead, you can’t find your way. You start following everyone else’s path-one day it’s one way, and the next another. You’ll never get anywhere if you are always distracted, chasing all the things that God has put in other people’s lives and ignoring your own life.

There are more beautiful things in your life than you can see right now, because you are not looking for them. You’re looking for the beautiful things in other people’s lives and wishing they were yours because our human hearts want to find goodness somewhere. Purpose offers us greatness. 

This is one of the most challenging things for me–focusing on what my purpose is and shutting out the voices that try to distract me. The voices of comparison, envy, and discontent. But it’s comforting–relieving even, to realize that you don’t have to do it all. You have been given a purpose. Your heart comes alive to something and your Creator knows that. He knows where He wants you. Don’t let the fact that your life might look different keep you from following the desires that He has given you.

& remember this. Every person you are comparing your life to is probably comparing their life to someone else.

The cycle breaks with us embracing who we are, where we have been, and where He has us going! No part of your story or your life right now is a mistake and every season is growing you to accomplish your purpose. I promise He has a purpose for you. When you discover it, you won’t have anymore time for wishing it was something different. You’ll find freedom to embrace who you are inside that truth, because you’ll know why you are here.

Tonight, if you’re scrolling on social media or looking around at everyone else’s life,  I hope you read this.

I hope you remember that no one’s life is as glamorous as you think. That somedays life hurts and that’s ok. That there is no part of you that is accidental. & that when you take your eyes off of everyone else and put your gaze straight ahead, fixing it on the One who made you, you will discover who you were made to be. I promise it will be better than anything you could come up with.

Choose to silence voices of comparison, competition, and discontent. Choose instead to believe that you are right where you are supposed to be, given the gifts you need to accomplish what you were created to accomplish, and most of all that you are made perfectly in His image. Hear Him when He tells you how valuable you are. Take your eyes off the next girl: you are so much more than comparison.

 

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