Tag Archives: Livelovehope

The Old is Gone, the New has come…

“what you complete is completely done..”

Beautiful song by Sovereign Grace.  You should go listen to it now!!

I have been traveling a ton lately, first vacation with the family (kids and all!!) and then I had a trip home to Florida by myself to see my family.  I was so looking forward to the trip alone.  Not because I wanted to get away from kids and husband, but to really be alone and enjoy the quiet presence of Jesus.  I had a total of 17 beautiful hours in the car with sunny skies, not a drop of rain and quiet.  Oh and not to mention I was going to see my Dad in Florida for the 2nd time since 1994!!! WOWZA!

The 8.5 hour drive there was amazing.  Listening to a ton of Louis Giglio, worshiping to awesome Bethel Music, having great conversations with the Lord and of course little dance parties to C & C Music Factory in between!  The Lord revealed a lot to me in that 8.5 hours.  So much, overwhelming, sweet and really uncomfortable too. My first stop is my Dad and his wife’s house on the beach.  I was not nervous at all, I was so excited to see them.  The last time I saw them was about a year before I got married. Let me remind you that when I moved to Florida in 1993 or 1994 that was the last time I saw my dad until I got in contact with him a year before my wedding in 2013. So kind of a big deal!!!  I spent about 2 days with them in St. Augustine.  It was great, hard and revealing all at the same time.  Ill get into the hard and revealing part some other time.

Then on to see my sister, mom, brother-in-law, the coolest niece and nephew and friends!!! I had a blast being with my niece and nephew.  They bring so much joy.  Children are a sweet picture of really being child-like and playful with the Lord.

It was time to leave after 7 days of missing my husband and remembering the past.

I left at 5:45am on Sunday morning.  I was ready to go home in my own bed, my husband and back to normal.  I was looking forward to another 8.5 hours with a sweet time with the Lord.  As I was driving out of Jacksonville I started to replay the life I use to have.  I was thinking about all the nights with no sleep, nights of pain, days of heartache, but also fun days I had.  Many days and nights of partying, drugs, sex and hurt.  I was thinking about how before I got married I would typically be driving home (TN) from Jacksonville with not much sleep, hungover from drinking or drugs, feeling crappy about myself.  Thinking why in the world amI still doing this crap when I go to FL.

This time leaving felt different.  Because, It WAS different. THANK YOU JESUS.

For 8 hours I was reminded of the horrible things I did to other people, the horrible things people did to me, the sleepless nights, the endless partying and no Jesus.  I was so heartbroken thinking about all those years without Him.  All the confusion and restlessness. I was a mess driving.  People driving by were probably thinking that I was crazy.  I was talking really loud (no one was in the car), crying uncontrollably and then laughing and singing.  I looked like a lunatic.

But……..All that crazy mess, I was rejoicing with the Lord.  I was praising Him for the beautiful mess I was and still am.  I was thanking Him for being such a gentleman when I was running.

You see, our God is a God of compassion.  Our God is a God of redemption.  Our God is a God of second chances. Our God is a God of peace.  Our God is a God of restoration.  Our God is a God of reconciliation.  Our God is LOVE.

I ran my mess for many many years and that drive was the first drive alone I was completely free.  I was reminded of how big our God is.  I was reminded that I am forgiven.  I was reminded that there is a plan for me.  I was reminded that He will use my story.  I was remind that He makes all things for my good.

Thank you JESUS!!!  More chains were broken, more healing happened and I was closer to Him in those moments that I have felt in a long time.

There is always a part of me that is scared to tell my story, the whole story.  I am always nervous of the gasps, looks and wide-eyed reactions (which I get often) when I tell my whole story.  Its a vulnerable place to be in front of a large group or small group of girls and women sharing all of you.

Since 2009 I have always known I was called to share my story.  I was always ready and willing but I never really knew the depth of His love for me until that drive.  I always knew He loved me but as I was driving I was replaying MY WHOLE PAST, and blown away in amazement and shock that the man who died on the cross, the man who gave His life for me, the man who rose from the grave, the man who knows my intimate thoughts is in love with ME!!!! He is the best Abba Father.

Since 2009 He has been perusing me, loving me, letting me fall and run, felt deep compassion for me and with me.

Before I got home I was having a conversation about me not really thinking that I should be teaching young girls and how I probably heard him wrong in 2009!!!  He spoke such sweet words to be before I arrived to my husband.

He said “I just want you to share our Love Story”

Got it!  Done! I can do that!  I love our love story.  Its the best!

I will always struggle, I will always fall, I will always have moment of not believing He really loves me.  But deep down in my core….I know know know know He and I have this Love story and I will always be blown away and I will always share!

I encourage you to share your story.  Share your Love Story.  Your worth it.  You matter.  Your story matters.

“The Old has gone, the new has come, what you complete is completely done….”

Listen to this song…..rejoice with Him!  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a2Z3Jefn-GY

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You have a Love Story.  Share it!

Alexa:)

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Grace and “Getting Saved”

GRACE.  A strong and powerful word.  GRACE. A word that is used too flippantly.  What do we know about grace? What is Getting Saved Mean?

We are told by church, friends, leaders or whoever that if you want to receive Jesus in to your heart and have eternal life then you pray a prayer.  What is that???!!!

When I got saved and prayed the prayer,  I was in 8th grade I had my sweet friend Kelly with me.  She was my middle school leader, her husband was the middle school pastor.  We spent so much time together.  She would tell me all about this Jesus and how He loves me.  I still remember not really buying into this Jesus thing.  This went on for almost 2 years.

I dont remember what changed in my mind or heart but something did.  Kelly and I were at TCBY in Ponte Vedra and something came over me, very overwhelming sense of peace, joy and a little scared.  I told her I was ready.  I am sure if you asked her she probably would tell you she was so pumped!!!  She lead me through the prayer of accepting Jesus into my heart.  Something changed in the heavens, a transaction happened, and my heart WAS changed forever.  I still remember Kelly telling me about this new life I would have.  She NEVER told me it was going to be easy.  I fact she would always tell me, This is the hardest but sweetest journey you’ll ever be on.  I never believed her!

I did change the next year, but not for the good.  I changed for the worse.  So here’s the short version of my summer going into my 9th grade year.

I moved to a different county, which meant I was going to a different high school than all my friends.  I was alone, lost and scared.  I went on a path that was hard, scary, fun at times and dark.  I was always looking for attention in anything and everything.  I was a liar, a cheater and a fake and I was a leader, terrible friend and a promiscuous girl.  I went on to 10 years of drugs, drinking, lying, sex, hurting others, 2 pregnancies that ended in abortions and a list of people that hurt me and a longer list of people who I hurt.

That day at TCBY it was REAL.  It was a real transaction.  Kelly did not give me a neatly package gospel, she was always honest about the hard moments and sweet moments.  She never lied to me about this journey.  Its not JUST a prayer.  Its a new life.

After my 10 years of running away

I was tired,

worn out

and ready to give up.

I have never felt real Grace until 2009……

Grace is lying in your mess of junk and you feel loved, Grace is confessing your abortions before the Lord and having an overwhelming sense of love.  Grace is having a friend for 19 years NEVER giving up Hope.  Grace is lying in your bed scared about tomorrow and a rush of wind comes over you and you feel love. Grace is knowing that your sweet Jesus was with you during all your time running away from Him.  Grace is realizing He never left you, you left Him and you are still loved.

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Grace is LOVE. God is Love. God is Grace.

Dont settle for cheap grace.  Get the real deal!

This call to follow Him is heavier than prayer.

Being saved is leaving everything and following Jesus.

He wants your heart.

He wants ALL of you, not just some of you.

I remember lying in bed many nights, crying out to this God who so graciously welcomed me back into his Kingdom and thinking, Why? How is this possible?  I would hear the still small voice saying,

  “because you are mine, you have always been mine”

Thank you Jesus for GRACE.  Remind me everyday how much I am nothing without you.

I was made BRAND NEW!!!

“Go and sell all your possessions and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”- Mark 10:21

Examine your heart.  Are you going to church and saying your prayers and really not giving all to Him? Are you worshiping on Sundays and Mondays you are back to the old?

I want more, I am asking for more of Him.  I don’t want cheap grace.  I want to live fully in Him.

Love you

Alexa:)

Love Day!

I have a love and hate relationship with Valentines Day.  When I was single it was a hate relationship.  I would see all the couples on social media saying sweet things to each other, dinner dates and too mushy mushy! Then I would be dating and I would love it.  Then single again, hate it!

Growing up I watched so many movies and T.V. shows  about love ( Dirty Dancing, Grease, Friends, You’ve Got Mail, anything with Jennifer Aniston) .  The guys and girl fall in love, they go running in a field holding hands, he says the perfect things to her and they live happily ever after.  I wanted to be Rachel and my boyfriend should be Ross (Friends).   What they would never put in the movies and T.V  is real life.  Real fighting, real pain, real hurt, real grieving or even real love.  So needless to say when I got married I was blindsided by any argument.  Now, I will put on record that I am well aware that people fight and people have conflict and people hurt.  I am pretty feisty and witty, I can hold my own!!

What I didn’t know was how long the fights are and how painful they hurt.  I needed harmony and peace ALL THE TIME!

HA!  Little did I know.  Side note: My husband Paul and I love each other so much its kind of creepy.  Anyone we are close with knows our deep love for each other.

After you get married you find out things about each other you didn’t know, or didn’t want to know in my case!  I obviously didn’t get his memo about Valentines Day!  This year he did tell me we aren’t going to do anything, which is totally fine and I was so good with that, BUT…..I went ahead and got him his own cute little brown box with a chalkboard sticker on it that says “I love you babe” and inside was his favorite candies, coffee..etc.  I made him special pancakes too!  He looked at me and said “I thought we weren’t doing anything.”

He was correct! I love giving.  I couldn’t not give him something.  It was Valentines Day for goodness sake!  Well, immediately I feel unwanted, angry and really hurt.  I went about the day sulking.  I mean really sulking, lip out, eyebrows and forehead wrinkled ALL DAY.

In the meantime throughout the day while were hanging out I was telling Jesus “I should have no expectations, I should give without a thought of receiving, I just need to love that Paul is hanging out and we are enjoying each others company.”

I won’t go into the whole rest of the story of us arguing and me eventually crying (which is totally normal!!).  But what I will tell you is….

Jesus gives without any expectation back form us.  He gives freely and loves unconditionally.  We have gifts ALL THE TIME and do we say thank you?  What do we do in return?

Yesterday was hard.  I felt defeated.  I was hurt.  Not to mention we didn’t run in the field holding hands and kissing!

It made me realize how much we are loved by Christ and how much we are given.  I want to live in a place that I have zero expectations of people and meet them right where they are.  I desire for a heart so full of the Spirit that I love giving and loving people and not even thinking or question what am I getting back.  Also, why on one day do we show how much we love people?  Its EVERYDAY.   Valentines Day is a day that is made up for retailers to make a lot of money (my opinion).

I challenge you to make everyday Love Day!

Alexa:)

P.S. We ended up having a sweet date last night:) God is so good to weave us together!