Here We Go Again

Hey friends! 

I can’t believe it’s already Thursday again. I guess my parents were right when they said the older you get, the faster time flies. 

I posted seven things I was grateful for last week and got a pretty great response from it. 

So many of y’all reached out and told me that you were going to start making a list of what you’re grateful for, too! 

Woohoooo! 

Let’s do this again!

Week two. 

Ready, set, GO! 

One.

My small group this semester is focused around bible journaling. Which if you didn’t know, is one of my favorite things to do. 

I volunteered to share a quick word with my group this week. I chose to read one of my old blogs. 

I know, not super original. 

And I know I’m the author…but that blog spoke to me when I wrote it and it still speaks to me now.  

It’s all about putting on the new self. And how sometimes being a Christian is just plain hard. 

If you haven’t read it, you can check it out here

After I read it, one of the girls in my group spoke up. She said she almost didn’t come. She was running late and seriously considered turning around. 

But she came. 

And she said that my message was exactly what she needed to hear. 

How cool is that? 

That I chose to share a random blog I had written months ago.

And that it was just what she needed.

Isn’t that awesome? 

How God weaves all of our stories together so perfectly and uses us when we least expect it? 

If that’s not Gods perfect plan in motion then I don’t know what is. 

Two.

I watched a message from Church of The Highlands during one of my morning workouts this week. My sister attends there and she told me to check out and I’m so glad that I did! 

The message was about forgiving people. And the pastor told a story of forgiveness that really put some things into perspective for me. 

If you’re struggling with forgiving someone then this message is for you! 

You can watch it HERE.

Three.

I love having blogger friends. And this blogger friend of mine really hit a home run this week. 

It was a seriously good.

Like gives you chills from head to toe kinda good. 

I really believe the Holy Spirit was speaking to me through her post. 

If you’ve ever been in a stormy season, as I’m sure everyone has, then you should definitely give it a read! 

You can find it right here!

Four and Five. 

One of the 6th graders in my bible study told me that she loved my blog. She said it was like picking up her favorite book and she couldn’t put it down. 

Isn’t that the sweetest?! 

I love this girl and I love her heart. 

She also told me that she used to hate going to church. But her family switched churches a couple months ago and now she loves her new church. Her face lit up with so much excitement when she was telling me about it! And lucky for me, I know exactly how she feels because it’s my church too! 

This one counts for two.

I’m so thankful for this girl. She’s different. And she has a special calling on her life. I can feel it. 

And I’m beyond grateful for my church. I never thought I’d have a real church family. And I never thought it could be this good. God, it’s so good. 

Life change happens in that place every. single. week.

For myself and so many others. 

And I praise God for that. 

Six.

I had a craft night with my best friend and oh my goodness we had the best time. It was a good escape from our usual busyness and overall it was a pretty low maintenance craft. 

AND I think it turned out so super cool. 

We’ve been eyeballing these yarn hangy things on Pinterest and we decided it was a DIY craft that we could probably tackle. And maybe I’m wrong….but look at these things?! 

I can’t stop looking! 

I think they look so hip and expensive!

AND they cost less than $20 to make!!

I mean what. a. DEAL. 

I hope everyone loves them because you’ll all be getting one for Christmas this year from yours truly. 

Seven. 

I sent cards to a couple of my closest friends this week. I’m a sucker for a good greeting card and these cards had me sobbing in the aisle. 

Tears of pure thankfulness. 

Thankful for friends that love me. 

Thankful for the friends God has chosen for me.

Just so thankful. 

It was my random act of kindness for the week and it felt good dropping those envelopes in the mail. 

And maybe it made them smile, too. 

Show your people some extra love this week. 

Whether it’s a hug or a sappy greeting card…

Just love them.

And love them well. 

Make this week count!

And as always…

Bless and be blessed, 

Mary Alan 

Something New 

Hello to my very favorite followers and friends!

With life being so super busy lately, I haven’t had the time to write like I usually do.

I’m not complaining! The fact that reality gets in the way of my time sitting behind the computer screen is nothing short of a blessing.

With that being said, I’ve decided to start a new little section on my site.

Every Thursday I’m going to give a little weekly update. Seven things that touched my heart during the previous week.

Could be a bible verse, a funny video, a song, or just a little piece of knowledge I gained! Anything! Just some little peaks from my week that will hopefully bring joy to your week as well!

Haven’t decided what to call this little section just yet so bear with me. As soon as I come up with something, I’ll move it out of my regular blog section for ease in searching and what not.

And if you have any clever ideas for a title then by all means send them my way in the comments or on my contact page!

Well…here we go.

One.

A friend of mine shared this blog on her Facebook earlier this week and I’m super glad I checked it out. Good stuff for anyone.

Check it out here!

Two.

As I’m sure most of you know, I babysit…pretty much all the time.

One of the little boys I keep is two and a half and has absolutely stolen my heart.

The funnest thing about his age is that he’s constantly learning. He proves the statement “you learn something new everyday” to be 150% true.

Whether it’s putting the cap on a marker, saying a new word, or mastering how to eat cereal with a spoon, he is constantly taking in the world around him.

I never thought watching someone learn to differentiate a circle from an oval would be quite so rewarding.

I can’t even begin to imagine all the work that goes into parenting. But I know that the joy of it has to surpass all the struggles by a long shot.

Moms, soak in the small joys.

Dads, hug your babies extra tight.

I see it every single day…they grow up way too fast.

Three.

I shared this on my Facebook this week, but if we aren’t friends or you missed it then I’ll share it again.

THIS SONG.

Real Love by Hillsong Young and Free.

I mean…never mind that the lyrics are pure gold. The beat is seriously good. I listen to it every morning when I’m getting ready and it always gets my day started on the right foot!

Four.

*apologizing in advance to all my non local followers* 

If you live in Florence and you haven’t had a house special from Rivertown Coffee Co. then you truly haven’t lived.

It’s my very favorite treat when it starts feeling like fall. I don’t know what’s in it and I’m sure it’s jam packed full of calories. But I’m not going to let that stop me!

If you’re from around here and you feel like experiencing life change in liquid form, then call me and we’ll go grab one together…not joking.

Five.

I’m coming up on month two of no Netflix.

Yes, you did indeed read that correctly.

I cancelled my subscription to Netflix.

And believe it or not, I’m surviving!!!

I mean yeah, I’ve watched every DVD in my entire collection for the 100th time…but so what?!

I’m only saving around $9 a month by doing this. And yes, I know that’s a pretty laughable amount…but it’s just enough to get an extra house special or two, ya know?

I started writing a little blog about my Netflix free life and what that’s looked like for me…so be on the lookout for it!

Six.

I started leading a young girls bible study this week and I already see Gods hands all. over. these young girls.

One of the girls shared with me that she doesn’t feel like her prayers are good enough for God.

Instant. Tears.

I used to feel this way OFTEN. And if I had to guess, it’s probably a pretty common feeling among new believers and life long followers alike.

“I don’t know what to say.”

“It doesn’t sound good.”

“I forget the things that I meant to pray for.”

Normal. All very, very normal.

Let me just say…giving advice on the spot is tough stuff. But here’s what I came up with:

-Make a list of what you want to pray for. Use it as a cheat sheet when you’re praying. And also use that list to mark things off as God begins to answer those prayers. It’s a powerful visual and an exciting way to see God work.

-Pray out loud. Don’t just think it. Say it out loud. Sometimes the words come together better when you actually speak it.

-Don’t get nervous. God is your friend and he doesn’t care how you sound! Think of it like a casual conversation with a friend. And at the end of the day…He knows your heart. Don’t stress over it.

-And just pray more. The more you pray, the more comfortable you’ll get doing it and the closer your relationship with God will be!

Seven.

This is a message from my home church. It’s actually from more than a week ago, but I’m sharing it now because it seriously rocked my world.

The message is all about reaching people for Jesus. How it’s our job as Christ followers to take advantage of every opportunity that God places in front of us to share The Gospel.

To go the ultimate distance just to tell someone what Jesus has done for you.

Those are my intentions for this blog.

Those are my intentions for this life that God has blessed me with.

And my hope this week is that you make those your intentions, too.

Tell the world where your joy comes from!

Listen to the message while you’re getting ready for work or during your daily workout or before bed tonight. I promise you won’t regret it!

You can watch the service here!

That’s all I’ve got for this week!

If you’re reading this, then I hope your week is really good and just keeps getting better and better!

What are you grateful for this week?

Bless and be blessed,

Mary Alan