Love+Blessed Box Review and Giveaway

loveblessed

We’ve all seen how popular subscription boxes have become in the last year, boxes for your pet, for shaving, for shopping, for all your nerdy needs (I’m referring to me on that one!) this box is similar to those subscriptions but at the same time very different. The Love+Blessed Subscription boxes allow you to receive a box a month, each themed and fully of items to inspire, encourage and help you on your walk with God.

The box theme I received was Beauty, in it there was a mini poster, reminder sticker, scripture card (with one of my favorite verses, 1 Peter 3:3-4), a theme sticker, bracelet, compact mirror, and a prayer journal. Also attached to the lid is a bit of encouragement that reminds you that you are beautiful.

This box is like any other, with a new theme they are sure to encourage and inspire each month, these boxes also make an awesome gift, if you are curious about what other boxes contain you can do what I did and check them out on Instagram! These are a great idea and an awesome way to encourage you each month!

GIVEAWAY

Love+Blessed is giving away an entire year of encouragement! That is 12 free boxes! Enter here: http://bit.ly/lovedandblessed.

 

 

For more information:

 

www.lovedandblessed.com

https://lovedandblessed.cratejoy.com/shop/all/

Join Now – https://lovedandblessed.cratejoy.com/subscribe/35840163_Box+of+Encouragement

Give A Gift – https://lovedandblessed.cratejoy.com/subscribe/gift/35840163_Box+of+Encouragement

 

-Elle

I received the Love+Blessed Box complimentary in exchange for an honest review, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

What is Christmas all about?

Merry Christmas Everyone! Today is the day! The day we celebrate the birth of Jesus, our Savior, our Lord, the one who came as an infant and would one day redeem us all.

With the hustle and bustle of the holiday season we quickly forget what this season is all about. We get caught up with the busy-ness of planning the perfect meal, figuring out how to keep family drama to a minimal, keeping everyone schedule coordinated, rushing through the crowds at the local mall. We often forget what Christmas means and exchange it for consumerism and focusing on material things.

Every Christmas A Charlie Brown Christmas plays on TV  and there is one section of the movie where Linus shares the meaning of Christmas by reading from Luke chapter 2, but there is a moment in this clip that I had never noticed until about a month ago while at the KLove Acoustic Christmas Tour, Dave, from Sidewalk Prophets pointed it out. Take a moment to watch this clip.

Did you notice it? Did you see what happened? Linus, the very smart, loveable character, who is known for always carrying his blue blanket, a blanket he keeps with him at all times, it is his safety, his protection. Notice at the moment he reads the word ‘Fear not’ he drops his blanket. Linus drops the thing he has clung to for most of his life, the thing that he feels safest with, that brings him peace.

In that moment Linus leaves his blanket behind, reading the remainder of the passage without it, he speaks of the hope and joy and peace that the birth of Jesus will bring.

What are you clinging to this holiday season? Do you hold onto a safety blanket like Linus? It may not be a literal blanket, you may cling to your career, your plans for the future, your money, you may cling to the people around you, to worldly possessions. What are the things we put our trust in? What do we use as a safety net in the everyday?

Today let us be like Linus, let us drop the safety net we build around us, to let go of the things we cling to and instead cling to Jesus and the hope that He brings. So ‘fear not’ and remember what today means. Christmas means hope, it means love and most importantly it means the birth of our Savior!

Merry Christmas everyone!

-Elle

Prayer from Max Lucado

Dear Jesus,
It’s a good thing you were born at night. This world sure seems dark. I have a good eye for silver linings. But they seem dimmer lately.

These killings, Lord. These children, Lord. Innocence violated. Raw evil demonstrated.
The whole world seems on edge. Trigger-happy. Ticked off. We hear threats of chemical weapons and nuclear bombs. Are we one button-push away from annihilation?

Your world seems a bit darker this Christmas. But you were born in the dark, right? You came at night.
The shepherds were nightshift workers. The Wise Men followed a star. Your first cries were heard in the shadows. To see your face, Mary and Joseph needed a candle flame. It was dark. Dark with Herod’s jealousy. Dark with Roman oppression. Dark with poverty. Dark with violence.
Herod went on a rampage, killing babies. Joseph took you and your mom into Egypt. You were an immigrant before you were a Nazarene.

Oh, Lord Jesus, you entered the dark world of your day. Won’t you enter ours? We are weary of bloodshed. We, like the wise men, are looking for a star. We, like the shepherds, are kneeling at a manger.

This Christmas, we ask you, heal us, help us, be born anew in us.

Hopefully,
Your Children

-Prayer from Max Lucado

http://www.christianpost.com/news/max-lucados-prayer-in-response-to-conn-school-shooting-86681/

52 Weeks 52 Verses: Two roads diverged…

“Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there…even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast.”

-Psalm 139:7-8,10

For the past few years I have felt a bit complacent and lost. I’ve hit this point where I go through the motions of my day, I live off of a structure, I tend to do the same things day in and day out. I have hit a routine. I feel as if I am playing a waiting game, where I am standing in the middle of a path with multiple choices to take (‘…two roads diverged..’) and as I glance to each path I am waiting, waiting for God to look down at me and show me, give me a hint to which path I should be taking, which path will lead me to Him and His calling upon my life. I pace around in little circles, sit and stare at the clouds going by and imagining what shapes they are taking, all the while waiting to hear His voice, to get an idea which path to take.

I know which path I don’t want to take, I don’t want to go backwards, I don’t want to retreat into my past where I am comfortable, to my past that I feel invisible, to the past that I would love the chance of a do-over. I want to move forward, but there are so many options to forward, each path has many other paths in front of it, from choices of a job or a career, to a family or singleness, to Oklahoma or away. There are so many choices and I don’t want to take the wrong path, I don’t want to make a mistake, I don’t want to visit Pennsylvania to tell them I’m the one that didn’t make anything of myself, that left with huge dreams and came back sitting in a job that I don’t enjoy or feel called to be a part of.

The fact of the matter is, that no matter which path I choose, which one I start on, and even those I retreat from God is there. Even if I choose the path that makes me backtrack from where I am God is always there beside me with open arms to comfort, protect, and guide me. He is there as my provision and offers me grace for every time I wander off on a rabbit trail or stumble and fall. Either way, which ever choice I choose He will be there to pick me up and provide the support I need along the way. So rather than standing at this point of diverging paths it’s time to take a step into the unknown. Even if I wanted to (and I don’t) God will never hide for me, there will be times I can’t hear Him, times I am ignoring His voice and times I end up asking ‘You want me to do what?’ but no matter the case He is always with me, and will guide my path, even when I stumble onto the wrong one.

-Elle

52 Weeks 52 Verses: Who am I?

“When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is mankind that you are mindful of them, human beings that you care for them? You have made them a little lower than the angels and crowned them with glory and honor.”

-Psalm 8:3-5

I’m currently in the middle of a devotional called ‘Stress Point: Thriving through your 20s in a decade of drama’ by Sarah Francis Martin.  I am a little more than half way through my twenties and I can agree that it is a decade of drama, a time of figuring out what to do, where to go, what choices to make. It is a time of complete transition and change, friends getting married, people having babies.

The most common question that I ask revolves around the topic of ‘Who am I’? I’ve been known to question who I am, wonder if I am good enough, if there is something wrong with me that keeps me from making friends, that keeps me single. I wonder what it is that drives my fears, and I wonder why and ask God why I am the way I am. But, it’s not my place to ask. I shouldn’t be worried about who I am, I should be accepting who I am in Christ, and celebrating the quirks he has given me, although I may see them as bad, He did not intend them that way. He gave me the gifts I have so that I can share His love, to connect with people who may feel the same way, that I can relate to and maybe connect too when no one else can.

There’s no more asking who I am, today I start celebrating my gifts and strengths, I improve upon my weaknesses. I will use each moment to glorify the God that made me the way that I am and that sees and adores me. I may not understand it, I might never understand it, but today I chose to simply embrace it. To embrace the God who has created and forgiven me.

“Who am I that You, Lord, care about me? Who am I that You, who gently whispers and a rainbow forms, would love and adore me so dearly? Who am I that You would forgive me day after day after day for living wrapped up in myself rather that wrapping myself up in who You are?” -Stress Point

-Elle

Passages By: Brian Hardin

We’ve all made that promise to ourselves, the New Year’s resolution that this will be the year that I read through the entire Bible (And yes that does include Leviticus and Numbers!) and after a few weeks or months we give up trying, making excuses to why we do not have the time or opportunities to continue reading the Bible daily.

Brian Hardin has written with a passion for why we need to sink our teeth into the Word of God and not just by reading the Bible daily but my listening to it, by becoming a part of a community while studying scripture. He takes the time to help each of us understand why we cannot simply read the Bible to in order to check it off of our daily list of chores but how we must interact with the Word and take active part in it.

Hardin uses not only his experiences but the experiences of others to share how engaging in a daily Bible reading/listening schedule will change you from the inside out, how making the time to dig into the Word will change who you are, who your family is and will build your relationships with God.

Through this book we are invited into a daily transformation that comes only from God. Hardin has given the motivation by not telling us that we should be reading our Bible daily but he shares his passion and understanding to why we should each take this step and to understand how the Bible is not another thing to push aside in our schedules and how it is a daily life changer for each of us.

Those looking to get closer to God and need the motivation, this book is the perfect place to start! I highly recommend this for anyone that wants to start reading their Bible more, and for those who have simply been reading their Bible because they are supposed to.

I received this book from the Publisher through the Litfuse program in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

-Elle

52 Weeks 52 Verses: Immediatley

Shortly before dawn Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. “It’s a ghost,” they said, and cried out in fear. But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.” “Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.”  “Come,” he said. Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!” Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?” And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down. Then those who were in the boat worshipped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.”

Matthew 14:25-32

We all have heard the story of Jesus walking on water, it is one of my favorites in the Bible. When Peter finds himself sinking, Jesus responds to his call immediately, He doesn’t wait or watch as Peter struggles Jesus reaches out to Peter as soon as he cries out. I love this story so much, it is a reminder of our daily walk, we try and try to keep our focus on Jesus, to keep seeing Him, we praise Him when things are going great but often times find ourselves sidetracked when things get tough. We start to focus on our own problems, the issues that get in the way, we stop looking towards Jesus and instead watch the growing storm, we pay attention to the shifting winds, we turn a little rain into a tornado and forget the most important thing we can do, which is keep our eyes on Jesus, to follow Him and trust in Him through everything.

And although we get distracted by life, by our problems, by the world, our television, friends and family, just like Paul, Jesus has never abandoned us. As soon as Paul cries out Jesus catches him. immediately. Not before we reach out to Him, not after we have cried out but immediately! He never leaves our side! He is just waiting for us to refocus and remember that only with His help can we make it through, and that no matter what is going on in our lives, Christ is always their to catch us when we slip and fall and pay more attention to the world around us.

-Elle

Lord Undo Me By: Blake Williams

“Lord Undo Me”

“I don’t really worship these day
I don’t really stand up to praise you with songs
Or prayers or actions or with anything

I am full of all the right moves
I am full of all the right words
I am full of all the right religion

But it is all just illusion

I am really
Lonely
Lost
Calloused
Jaded
Cynical
Too religious
Too realistic
and well really just to lazy
to worship you anymore

I have lost my first love
I have lost the joy of your presence
But most of all I have lost the fear of your glory

Father I need to see you again
Like Isaiah I want to stand in awe of your glory
To fall down at your feet
To come face to face with your
Perfection,
Radiance,
Goodness,
Holiness,
Awesomeness

I want to stand before you and see you for who you are
and me for who I am
I want to be undone

I want to know me for who I really am
I want to see the depths of my heart
And know that you are the only way

You are the only truth
You are the only life
I want to see me and understand
What it really must have taken for you to

Love me
Care for me
See me
Speak to me
Want me
Communicate with me
Die for me
Die for me
Die for me

Lord, I want to stand in that place where all I can see is your glory
And my sin
Because in that place I can’t help but worship you.

Lord let me come undone
Undo my heart
Lord, undo my heart
break down these walls that I love so much
No, wait don’t,
I’m scared I don’t know if I can handle this
don’t
But I can’t live this way anymore
I can’t stand here in this half-life
this going through the motions life
this not really alive life
Father, I need you so come in and do what you must

Cut out the tumor on my heart
Break down the walls that I love
Lord let me come undone
Undo my heart
let me worship you again”

-Blake Williams

We all have those moments, those times we get set in the motions, do what we are supposed to do, we raise our hands and lift our voices but our hearts are not in it. We do it because that’s what we have learned, or because we have allowed ourselves to forget the true reason of why we worship, the reasons why we lift our hands in praise, why we take the time to listen. We make excuses for ourselves, put up walls creating reasons why we are simply going through the motions.

I pray for God to undo me, to break down my walls, take away the lost and lonely feelings that the devil has filled me with to keep me from pursuing my God! It gets hard, no one ever said it was going to be easy, the only thing we can be sure of is that no matter how many times we fall down, God will be there to pick us up, He will be there with open arms accepting us back into His love and embrace. God will never turn His back on us, even when we turn our backs on Him, He will always be there waiting.

-Elle

The Introvert Issue

I’ve fit into the introvert bubble for as long as I can remember, I’ve always been quiet, when I was younger I was beyond quiet, no matter how quiet it was around me you still would struggle to hear what I was saying. I know what the world says about introverts, the stereotypes of being dumb, stuck-up, social outcasts, boring, I’ve heard them all.

Our world is created for extroverts, we are encouraged to speak up, take charge, take control. In school we are painstakingly (at least for me) to go through public speaking, at church the atmosphere is set up for the extroverted person, the media, the constant things happening, that awkward greeting moment that happens every service.

The Meyers-Briggs classifies me as an INF/SJ  Introvert. Intuitive. Feeling/Sensing. Judging. I’ve always wanted to be more of an extroverted person. To make friends easier, to stand out in a crowd, to not be invisible.

But the truth is I don’t mind being an introvert, it is who I am, I am a thinker, I consider things before I speak. It takes me longer to process, I take longer to respond, not because I am dumb or that I can’t keep up with conversation, but because I am considering what is being said and how I want to respond. I’ve been reading a book lately called Quiet: The Power of Introvert in a World that Can’t Stop Talking By: Susan Cain it is has made me realize some things more and more. I am good with being an introvert, the world needs introverts as well as extroverts. It’s ok for me to be quiet and a thinker. It’s one thing when I wish I could be more extroverted, it’s a whole other thing when others decide that my introvertedness is a bad thing. That I need to be an extrovert to be happy.

Dear World,

Stop trying to make us introverts into extroverts, yes sometimes we will choose books over parties, we will choose two friends over twenty. It’s who we are, there is nothing wrong with it. You don’t need to force us to be more like you, to stick out and ask for all the attention in the room. We are thinkers. Introspective. World, I don’t need you to tell me to stop doing something and go meet more people, I will find where I be long. Stop taking jabs at my quiet-side, you may think it’s funny but it’s not and it hurts, especially when it comes from close friends.

So for you extroverts out there, that aren’t sure quite what to do with us, I found this to help. Accept us and love us. Don’t try to make us into what you think we should be.

The only thing I need to be is the woman that God created me to be.

 

introverts

“Don’t ever mistake my silence for ignorance. My calmness for acceptance and my kindness for weakness.”

-Elle

52 Weeks 52 Verses: I will praise Him

“Why am I discouraged? Why is my heart so sad? I will put my hope in God! I will praise him again – my Savior and my God!”

Psalm 42:11

We all hit a point where we become discouraged, annoyed, frustrated. Times when we can’t seem to think straight, that things in life have brought us down made us feel sad and lonely. In those times we always seem to ask ‘Why God?” Why am I in this situation? Why aren’t things working out? Why do I feel so alone? When will it be my time?

We bombard God with our questions of why we are feeling all of these and why circumstances are not different. Psalm 42:11 reminds us that we should not be asking why, we need to remember God is in control! He has our futures! Our hopes are in His hands, He knows what is best for us, and although our lives feel like they are spiraling out of control, He is in control. In these times let’s remember to thank Him for the things that will make us stronger and remember to praise God in all of our circumstances, the good and the bad.

-Elle