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    inspiration

    Perfection Versus Excellence

    Everyone has their one thing (or couple things, in my case) that in every season of life it tends to show up. It’s the thing you might pray about the most, the struggle that you and God work through most often. I would say mine is perfectionism. It also tends to show its face in the form of mild people-pleasing.

    I recently found this quote, which compares perfection and excellence.

    Reading it, my insides are screaming, I know that perfectionism is unattainable. I want to strive for excellence, not perfectionism! 

    Perfection is being right. Excellence is being willing to be wrong.

    Perfection is fear. Excellence is taking a risk.

    Perfection is anger and frustration. Excellence is powerful.

    Perfection is control. Excellence is spontaneous.

    Perfection if taking. Excellence is giving.

    Perfection is doubt. Excellence is confidence.

    Perfection is pressure. Excellence is natural.

    Perfection is the destination. Excellence is the journey.

    So today I pray:

    God, give me eyes to see and a mind to discern when I’m striving for perfection. Help me to redirect that energy to aim for excellence in Christ. Grace me with humility and patience, as well as fire and passion. Thank you for giving me a heart that longs to do well. Continue to make me into the kind of woman you created me to be. Give me a desire for what you desire, a love for what you love. 

    Maybe you can find this helpful also….

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    faith, inspiration

    a sweet gift you can give God

    a sweet gift you can give God | heartnatured.com

    I believe one of the sweetest gifts you can continually give to your Heavenly Father is embracing and walking confidently in your unique, beautiful self.

    Does that make sense? If you are a Christian, you are in Christ. Being in Christ means a lot of things, but one is that it is a real, actual, living and breathing relationship. You have a perfectly loving Heavenly Father.

    A Father who knit you together, pieced you together, to be precisely you.

    You. Your personality, quirks, habits, features, passions. What comes naturally, what is more challenging.

    Me. Curly hair, conversationalist, perfectionist, sensitive, emotional, diligent. Eats too much peanut butter. Likes to have a plan, hates to arrive late. Enjoys time alone. Creative because God is creative.

    The Bible says we are God’s handiwork. His craftsmanship. (Ephesians 2:10) Part of His creation. Fully loved and completely accepted.

    It makes me sad to realize how this culture has taken it upon itself to name ‘beauty’ as one particular mold or set of features. Right?

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    faith

    co-workers in God’s service

    “I (Paul) planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God is making it grow. So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow. The one who plants and the one who waters have the same purpose, and they will each be rewarded according to their labor. For we are co-workers in God’s service, you are God’s field, God’s building.” 1 Corinthians 3:6-8

    What’s important is that God makes the seed grow. 

    You and I have such a variety of different roles and ‘jobs’ in our life with Christ. Some are seasonally smaller, while others are seasonally much bigger. I can’t imagine that this passage, speaking of God’s service, is only referring to ministry.

    This might be a bit part of it, but I think God’s service can be in our daily lives also. Being kind, giving of our resources generously, praying for someone on the spot, serving a need, worshiping God with song or with action… in my mind, these are also including in God’s service.

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    faith

    world tension.

    world tension. | heartnatured | IMAGE VIA UNSPLASH

    I don’t have to tell you that our country (the world) is broken. You already know that. You already know that it is sinful, hurting, angry, scared, defensive. Racism, hate, violence, pride, ignorance, blame, fear. It’s on the news while we’re eating breakfast, it’s on Twitter during our lunch break, it’s a topic of conversation at dinner.

    When I heard about the Dallas shooting, I admit I felt afraid, and a little pessimistic (the more spiritual word might be discouraged). I felt a wall of begin going up around me, my loved ones, my little bubble. I searched the Bible to ease my growing fear.

    Then I had a conversation with my husband. I daily thank God for the wisdom and insight in my husband; hallelujah that he sees life and thinks differently than I do, that we are not exactly the same. Because let me tell you, God uses J’s loving insight to right my doubts and fears quite often.

    He said, and I’m paraphrasing,

    I cannot believe that it’s somehow worse now than it was 50, 100, 150, 500 years ago. It might look a little different, but the human race has always been sinful. Nowadays, we just have media outlets in everybody’s faces where news is continually exploding. This world is broken. The Bible says that in this life we will have trouble. (John 16:33) What we can do is share the Gospel, love humanity the best we can, be obedient to the call of God in the Bible, and love Him with all our hearts and minds and souls.

    His words and perspective comforted me. I don’t want it to come across like he doesn’t care for the tragedies that happen seemingly every other day, he absolutely positively does. We both grieve for lives lost, for families that are almost daily losing loved ones over violence and strife and disagreement.

    But, even in that, if I walk around carrying the weight of this world, I will crumble. I won’t be able to walk. And I think J’s perspective is sorrowful, yet eternity-minded. He challenged me, and us as a family, to share the Gospel, to pray desperate prayers for God to save, to love as deeply as we possibly can.

    This is where our energy should go. Not into fighting or arguing or even living depressed and discouraged. Not living defensively or closed off, not judging or categorizing people.

    Our purpose is to share Jesus, to live with Him as our life, glory, hope, and identity. To walk as Jesus walked.

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    creative

    Refresh Your Devices / No. 3

    Refresh Your Devices / No. 3 ... heartnatured

    Chin up, buttercup!

    Sometimes you need a simple mantra to put a smile on your face, a pep in your step, or a new perspective. I’m also the girl who reads so much that unless I write it down somewhere, it’s unlikely I’ll remember it even a week after I read it. (Which is a little sad when I think about it.)

    Life is too short to camp out on what we cannot control, situations that disappoint us, or moments of discouragement. And thankfully, we have a God who is never far, but living within us, to cheer us on and support our sometimes unsettled and unsteady selves.

    Below, my friends, is some pretty art (in my opinion… hello, confetti.) to help give us an extra boost when we need it.

    Click To Download:

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    iPad   |   Background Only

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    Please note: These designs are for personal use only. All copyright of these images is retained by me, the designer. Enjoy!

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    books

    Books Of Late

    In the past month, my infatuation with books of all shapes, sizes, and topics has exploded.

    Below are recent reads. One of my best friends, Ashton, and I, love to trade book titles with each other. With this post, I invite you into the trading game!

    On my to-read list are:

    Clue me in to your favorite reads!

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