Ex people pleaser pursuing an authentic life of freedom in Christ & encouraging others to do the same.
I hope you like long captions.
Report inappropriate content
I love the phrase “building a life together” because unlike a lot of our cultural rose colored glass expectations that surround going into marriage, it points to the fact that it’s a process.
Brick by brick you’re laying the foundation for something great, something solid, something lasting.
That kind of building takes real work. Messy work. TEAM work. You can’t do that kind of building alone, it takes both of you pouring your heart and soul, time and attention into it.
It’s work that probably makes you ache once in a while.
Work that probably doesn’t happen in the timeline you expected it to.
Work that involves ownership and passion, heartache, and unmet expectations.
It brings confusion when our building doesn’t look like anyone else’s. It brings disappointment when we’ve made progress that is seemingly torn down in the heat of the moment. Words are said. Feelings are hurt. A dream dies.
But then we get back up and keep on building, because we’re committed to seeing this thing through.
And we notice as the years go by that as we’ve been building together, we’ve grown stronger, it’s almost as if we helped build each other.
The thing is, we’re not the ones in charge of this building project either. God is... we are just serving Him.
So sometimes... most of the time... we only see the brick right in front of us. We can’t even really see the purpose of it yet. We aren’t privy to the floor plans and the architect’s sketches. We’re just builders. We’re just faithfully carrying the brick that’s in our hands right now to the best of our ability. Sometimes that brick you’re carrying simply looks like patience with each other, giving grace, or taming your tongue. Whatever it is, carry it as unto the Lord.
It’s hard work.
It’s worthy work.
It’s holy work.
You’re laying a foundation for generations to come.
Glad to be building this messy but beautiful life with this man, imperfectly but so determinedly.
Brick by brick. ♥️ at Virginia Beach, Virginia
I’ve seen some phrases thrown around on social media recently that are incredibly empty, misleading, and problematic to me.
Here are some of the messages I’ve seen being spread frequently... “Step into your own power” ... um, no thanks.
“Send positive vibes” / “raise your vibrations”... I’m sorry, what?
“Be the hero of your own story” ... lol... #hardpass.
Those are my first reactions when I see these phrases, yet to a culture blind to the hope of our Savior, these words (and many more) are considered empowering and motivating.
Friends, this faulty messaging isn’t getting us anywhere. It’s empty, fragile, and frankly it falls flat in the face of the real troubles we are going to face in this world.
The issue I have isn’t in the fact that our culture is spreading false messaging, that is a given and it’s nothing new, but it starts to become a problem when believers begin to accept the same faulty messaging as an addendum to the gospel simply because it seems “positive” or “close enough.” Listen, I understand that upon first glance these words may seem harmless, but we need to dig deeper.
As believers we need to hold everything up against the word of God, and when I hold these messages up to scripture, they fall flat. Not only do they not hold up theologically, but they are the type of lies that tend to disguise themselves as truth, and if we are not on our guard, these false truths can seep into our souls and violate our biblical beliefs.
Some hard truths to remember when you are scrolling -
All spirituality does not equal Godliness. Satan is a spiritual being, too. He believes in God, but he is the originator of sin and lies.
We have to be careful what messages we allow to seep into our spirit.
Everyone who claims to believe in God should not automatically get a pass to speak into your life.
I’m talking about authors, speakers, people you follow on Instagram... hold up their messages and lifestyle to the word of God. Look at the fruit of their life. You should be able to tell if they are influenced and directed by the Lord or by our worldly culture.
Do they point you to Jesus? (continued 👇🏼)
Happy Small Biz Saturday, everyone! I have a little deal going on over on the @coffeeandgraceco page! 🎄
Save 15% on your custom ornament orders today only with code “SHOPSMALL” 💛
Thanks for supporting my little side biz! Here are some of my other favorite small businesses, check them out below! 💛
Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! 🍁🍂🥧 So thankful for all of these incredible people, for God’s faithfulness, for new and old friends, for new seasons and old lessons, and for the way it feels to come home... oh yes and also for my dog. 😂💛 at Chesterfield County
I love this holiday that makes everyone slow down and take notice of everything we have to be thankful for. 🍂
I know we can often find ourselves living life on auto pilot. We are busy and stressed and just trying to “make it” through each day. But gratitude can’t be found when you live life on auto pilot. It takes intentionality, it takes awareness of the little moments, it requires you to be awake to your life.
Your hard life, maybe. Your full life, but YOUR life.
And I don’t want to minimize your hard days because I promise I have them too, but today is one of those days where I think perspective is so important.
We are so blessed.
The sentence that has been running through my head all week is “Everything we have is someone else’s wildest dream.” Think about it... If money is tight, but you have a roof over your head.
If your kids are fighting, but they are healthy, alive, and taken care of.
If marriage is hard, but you have a spouse that you love and who tries their best.
If you don’t have the nicest car, but you have one that gets you places.
If you don’t have the nicest house, but you have heat in the winter and food in the kitchen.
If you eye rolled your way through time with difficult family members today, but you have a family to go home to.
If you’re thinking about someone you miss who is no longer here on this earth, but who you were blessed to have spent a part of your life with.
If this year hasn’t gone like you’d expected at all, but you have hope in Jesus, you have freedom and faith in Him.
There is always something to be thankful for.
PS. Also, Pie. Pie is good too. 🥧 at Chesterfield County
Doing a little brain dump on this Tuesday Eve... I haven’t had many words to say over this past week. Not in a negative or melancholy way, but in a way that is a little out of the usual for me.
It’s been a week for listening. Filling up instead of pouring out. Weeding out some old beliefs and thought patterns.
Over the past few days I’ve sat down multiple times trying to type out a word of encouragement or talk about what the Lord has placed on my heart, but I just kept finding myself a little speechless and unable to form sentences the way I would like to.
Sometimes when that happens I know that maybe it’s because He’s working something out in my own heart that isn’t ready to be shared.
Not everything is for everyone.
God is doing a heck of a lot of stuff.
That’s my eloquent sentence for the day... pretty much sums it all up. 😂
I’m learning to lean in to the quiet, to not be at war with it or to demand it to end.
To let Him reveal things to me and sit with them a while... when my nature is to spill ALL the beans and over share, or what I like to call verbally vomit... 😂🤷🏼♀️ to literally anyone who will read/listen.
He is teaching me it’s okay to be quiet in the little moments and let what He is speaking be for me, and maybe not for everyone else, at least not quite yet. It’s okay to take time to process. It’s okay to not rush.
It’s been humbling to sit down and start writing and then realize when I am trying to force something to happen just for the sake of the digital world’s hustle.
I’m making a promise to myself that if I am going to continue sharing authentically and openly, it’s going to be driven and inspired by God, not the pressures of social media or the drive to grow a platform or be noticed, liked, or followed.
I’m realizing that in my own life, FOMO is the root of all evil.🙆🏼♀️
But while I may feel like I’m falling behind or missing out, while my posts will probably never be consistently scheduled and the algorithm will always seem to have the upper hand, none of that really matters, because obedience to God trumps worldly striving, every time. I heard someone say recently that God cares more... (continued 👇🏼)
It feels kind of strange to have our tree up before Thanksgiving, but also... so, so right. Especially since I think this is my favorite tree yet. 😍
Happy Monday, everyone! As the good old quote says, yes it is Monday, but it’s a short week that ends with pie and shopping... Go forth! 🙌
PS. I don’t want to leave my house I just want to keep staring at this tree. 😂 at Virginia Beach, Virginia
Happy Friday friends! ✨
Something that I haven’t talked about much on here recently is that I have a little Etsy shop @coffeeandgraceco🎄♥️ I thought I would mention it since we are almost at Thanksgiving and if you’re like me, you’re starting to think about your Christmas shopping list.
I take orders here and there throughout the year for custom hand lettered wood signs, but Christmas is the busy season because who doesn’t love customizable tree slice ornaments?! These little babies like the ones pictured above from last year truly are the perfect gift for anyone on your list, and are completely custom!
You can find the link in my bio to pre-order yours, but just a warning, I may take down the custom listing in the next week or so because the plan is to have them ship the first week of December and I want to make sure I can get everyone’s out in a timely manner! 🥰
Feel free to DM me if you have any questions at all or need help bringing your vision to life, I am here for it! ✨✨✨ PS. If you or someone on your list are not the rustic decor type, hang tight because I may have something else coming your way next week too! ✨🎄
“It’s okay to lean in.” I heard these words in my spirit in the middle of worship last week and I held up my hands in surrender as the tears fell. Mascara ran. Not sure why I don’t invest in waterproof... God knows I’ve been struggling with fear, control, and letting go, and as a result I’ve been holding back a bit, keeping people at an arm’s length, trying to keep control so desperately so as not to relive past situations.
If you’ve been hurt, you know that it’s so easy to keep your walls up. To isolate. To withdraw. To let yourself stay lonely.
It’s so easy to walk into new environments and let your insecurities hold you back.
It’s so easy when you’re wounded, to walk into new spaces and quickly let what you think is discernment turn into projection.
It’s so easy to always be looking for the catch, to use your trust issues as a crutch or excuse for not making new relationships or stepping into new seasons.
But I know that it’s in those very moments when we as humans need community the most. We need healing. We need faith. We need God of course. But we also need His people.
God will use His people to heal wounds caused by His people. It’s true.
The enemy wants you alone. He wants you to have no one there to help pull you out of a spiritual funk or depression.
He wants you scared, and he wants you doubtful.
He wants you cynical, he wants you tired, he wants you bitter and unforgiving, clinging to/reliving the past and holding tightly to grudges.
Do NOT let him have what he wants.
I don’t know about you, but I have a stubborn streak in me that finds a whole lot of joy in refusing to give the enemy a minuscule of satisfaction. ( #suckitsatan )
But sadly, I know that I have fallen into his trap too many times in the last few months.
I’ve flirted with bitterness. I’ve thrown a few pity parties. I’ve let my insecurities hold me back.
Worst of all, at times I’ve believed the enemies lies about me over God’s truth. & then I heard God tell me it was okay to release. It’s okay to lean in.
I was SO afraid. I was so afraid to lean in, to surrender, to let my guard down, to potentially be hurt and disappointed again.
I still am. (Continued 👇🏼) at Virginia Beach, Virginia
It is well with my soul.
When things turn out differently than I would have planned.
It is well with my soul.
When people I incorrectly placed my hope in fail me.
It is well with my soul.
When God reminds me I’m not in the driver’s seat in this life, and that His plans for me are far better than my own.
Over a year ago I was driving alone in my car on the way to a meeting that basically kicked off a really hard and unexpected season... Bethel’s version of “It is well” started playing from my playlist that was on shuffle, and I looked down at the bracelet @jessicabroman had given me for Christmas that year that also read “it is well”. Something in me knew in that moment I would need to harbor that message in my heart, that I would need it in this next season.
I did. I needed that reminder more than ever after that meeting that left me in tears, questioning my calling and identity, I needed it in the days and months that followed that required me to completely let go and trust His will and His timing and surrender all other carefully thought out plans for how I wanted the next phase of my life to be.
I looked down at this same bracelet today and smiled, remembering and realizing that in that moment - in many moments in my life, it has most certainly NOT been well with my soul.🙅🏼♀️ It’s been doubtful in my soul, angry in my soul, confused... painful... it’s been a straight up struggle bus in my soul. 🚌
But you know what, in every season and storm I have been able to look back on what God built with my broken pieces and see something I couldn’t have built on my own.
In every struggle and every heartbreak and every single time I’ve gripped something so tightly that He has asked me to let go of... there has been a purpose in it... a plan, something much bigger and more intricate than what my own plan would have entailed. I’m not where I thought I’d be, that’s for sure, but I can look back at what God has done and say “it is well”, and mean it.
And I hope and pray that with every coming trial I will be able to say it a little more confidently. That I’ll be able to trust His plan a little easier, that I’ll be a little less doubtful, (continued👇🏼) at Virginia Beach, Virginia
Faith over FOMO.
Don’t forget the F in FOMO stands for FEAR. 🚫
I am the queen of FOMO. (For those in the back, FOMO = Fear Of Missing Out.) I have ALWAYS felt like there was something I was missing out on.
I’ve always been very keenly aware that committing to one thing may very well mean declining another, and I don’t think I’ve ever sat well with those “this or that” scenarios. Instead, I wind up trying to find a way to make both happen, and become someone who is eternally exhausted from saying “YES” to too many things.
In calling - If I turn down one opportunity what if it hinders me from ever getting the RIGHT opportunity. Or if my failed opportunities in the past will disqualify me from future ones.
In friendships - I often give my “yes” out of fear that if I were to say no, they wouldn’t love me. I have often chosen to be an agreeable and compliant friend, out of fear of conflict and potentially missing out on that friendship in the future.
In life decisions - Well if we move here we might miss out on this, but if we stay we’ll miss out on this... it’s never ending.
If you’re like me, maybe you like to disguise fear as “worry”. As my therapist reminded me last week, “worry is another word for fear.” I may have rolled my eyes... and then nodded.
It’s all fear.
And I hate that it still has such a hold on me.
I’m sick of fear being the driving factor of anything in my life.
Fear of missing out.
Fear of not being the best.
Fear of not being loved or accepted.
Fear of not being understood.
Fear of not being taken seriously.
Fear of not doing something that matters.
What if my decisions were driven by faith instead? A faith based “yes” is so much better than a fear based one.
If we are going to pursue a free life, we can’t be bound by fear and worry and FOMO.
A free life is one motivated by faith, not fear.
Fear is a liar. Don’t let it run your life.
Let’s live a little more fearlessly today, and when something this weekend makes you have a little #FOMO, ask yourself what it is you are afraid of, and have enough faith to ask God to help you through that.
Choose faith over fear every time.
I woke up pretty heavyhearted about the Democratic win in Virginia this morning. Heavyhearted, but not surprised.
See the link in my bio for a new blog post called “Heavyhearted.” A fair warning, I’m going to go OFF about abortion for a little bit, friend. I realize that it’s a controversial topic, but it’s an important one, and I’m not afraid of this fight.
Link in bio.
| Breakthrough |
Breakthrough requires a breaking. If it didn’t it would simply be a “pass through.” “Pass through” doesn’t quite have the same effect, does it? It doesn’t carry the weight of story and triumph. It doesn’t come equipped with the lessons learned in the breaking. It doesn’t account for the cracks, or for the mercy and grace that filled them in throughout the healing.
No, sometimes a breaking is necessary for God to be glorified in the breakthrough.
Without breaking, our testimonies are only half as powerful, half as miraculous, and half as relatable. Without breaking, I don’t think we would know the faithfulness of God. I think we would miss out on some of the most intentional and deep ways He shows His love to us.
Yet, nobody wants to break.
We would love to be whole and put together, with no context for what it means to have our dreams shattered, our hope scattered, and the shards of identity and insecurities cutting everyone we come across.
You can’t hide breaking for long. It’s messy, the pieces get everywhere.
Nobody wants to break.
But you know what, people relate to breaking in this broken world. There are people who have only ever known breaking. People who may be watching you. People who need to see what God does with your scattered pieces before they can have enough faith to entrust Him with theirs.
There is beauty in the breaking.
It’s the first step to breakthrough.
If you relate to either the breaking or the breakthrough today, friend, I want you to know that God is with you in ALL of it.
I can tell you He’s in the breakthrough, because He’s the God of breakthrough. I know because I have seen Him restore the un-restorable, and heal the hardest heart.
I can tell you He’s in the breaking, because it’s where I am right now. I’m not quite to the breakthrough yet, but I can see Him here so clearly.
I’ve never been so aware of my weaknesses, and yet so dependent on His strength.
I’ve never cried more tears, yet had more fire in my bones.
I’ve never had so much uncertainty, yet so many words and songs to write about the God that I know to be a SURE THING.
He is with you in the breaking.
I legit almost just posted the caption “My favorite humans.” And then remembered one of us has paws. 🤷🏼♀️🐾
No long caption today for #marriagemonday , just a quick little appreciation post for the little things that make my heart so happy, like weekend adventures, coming home after a stressful Monday to a house cleaned by my hubby, (complete with a lit fall candle), and November nights with the windows opened a crack, drinking coffee together and talking about life.
That’s my marriage advice for today. Don’t overlook the little things. ♥️ at Virginia Beach, Virginia
I’m gonna rant about something random this mornin’. ☕️ This whole “oh it’s none of my business” “I don’t want to pry” attitude amongst the body of Christ is not cutting it.
We are called to LOVE.
Not to be polite and non intrusive and apathetic.
We should be known for our LOVE, (John 13:35) not for our ability to stay in our lane and keep to ourselves.
I’m here this morning to say get out of your lane!
When people are hurting and we see it, I believe as Christians we are meant to go out of our way to show kindness and love to those people.
Not gossip about them.
Not say “bless their heart” under your breath.
Not Facebook stalk them to find out what happened.
Not ONLY pray for them from afar.
And especially... ESPECIALLY not ignore or isolate them and say nothing because we are worried we don’t have the perfect thing to say.
I’ve experienced it myself, and at times I’ve been the one to do it.
“Oh, I just thought you might need space.”
“I didn’t want to make you uncomfortable.”
“We aren’t that close.” Friend, saying and doing nothing is never the right choice.
I believe we are called to love boldly, intentionally... maybe even a bit intrusively.
And sure, at some point, you may find someone who thinks you’re coming on too strong... so what? Maybe you’ll be awkward.
Maybe you’ll say something silly. Who cares?
Isn’t it better to error on the side of love than on the side of avoidance?
We all have something to offer when we notice others hurting, even if it’s simply just to check in with them and really ask how they are holding up and how you can help.
I’m not here to say you need to be responsible for everyone’s hurt. And obviously there are some instances where boundaries come into play, and yes you need to be aware of toxic people - BUT there are people you come in contact with daily that you could be showing more love to.
Be aware of your thoughts throughout the day. If God places someone on your heart don’t shrug that off, lean in to it. Follow that thought up with an action, even if it’s so small! Just a text that tells someone she is seen and cared about goes a long way.
We all want to be used by God in these grand ways but (continued👇🏼) at Virginia Beach, Virginia
Friend, I don’t know what is heavy on your heart tonight.
I don’t know what conversations and heartbreaks you are replaying over and over in your head, but I know that they can weigh you down like a boulder.
I don’t know what negative words were said about you that you are holding onto, but I know how damaging harsh words can be to a heart.
I know how easy it is to believe those words about ourselves, and oh what a field day the enemy has when we allow those words to sink into our spirits.
I know what it’s like to wrestle with what’s been said about me, especially when the words were spoken by people I cared about and looked up to.
I know how isolating it can be. But in that isolation, don’t put on those negative words. Don’t sit with them. Don’t try them on like an outgrown pair of jeans, and for sure do not settle into them.
Don’t let yourself be defined by the words of hurting people.
Only the word of God defines you.
You’re not what they said you were.
You are only what God says you are.
Do you know what He says?
You are beautiful. (Psalm 45:11)
You are loved. (Jeremiah 31:3)
You are chosen. (John 15:16)
You are special. (Ephesians 2:10)
You’re created in His image. (Genesis 1:27)
You are strong. (Psalm 68:35)
You are precious. (1 Corinthians 6:20)
You are protected. (Psalm 121:7)
You are important. (1 Peter 2:9)
You have a purpose. (Jeremiah 29:11)
You are forgiven. (Psalm 103:12)
You are His. (Isaiah 43:1)
Friend, if you relate to this at all, I want to suggest that you do something I did recently:
Write down every word of criticism, every negative and hurtful thing that has been said to you. Call out each one that has been in your mind since the first day it was spoken.
Pray over the list and ask God to reveal any areas of your heart where any of those words are true. You’ll know it’s him if you feel conviction, not shame. Correction, not condemnation.
And as for the rest of the list... throw it away.
Shred. Delete. Discard. Erase. Undo.
Those words do not define you. Only God does.
Let’s be careful who’s words we let become our identity. 🖤
Letting go... 🍂
The tension of a changing season can be hard to navigate.
That discomfort when you don’t belong in the past, you are confident in walking away from it, but the fear and uncertainty of not knowing what you’re walking towards can be a hard place to find your reality.
Letting go is something I wrestle with fiercely on a daily basis. It seems like I was built to be able to ‘hold on’, conditioned to always find a “fix”, a “maybe if” or a “but,” and to tightly grip something far longer than I should.
There are a lot of things I have had to release since last October.
Relationships. Community. Reputation. Influence. Time that felt wasted.
It sometimes feels like I’m free falling, but I’m learning that if all I have to hold on to is the faithfulness of my God, that is enough to cling to.
He is a sure thing.
Those were some of the hard things to let go of, but attached to them were also some things that weren’t life giving, and needed to be removed before God could do His next work in and through me... - Unhealthy relationships and dependency on the approval of others.
- Performance anxiety.
- Doubting the voice of the Holy Spirit.
- A difficult season of marriage.
- The parts of my calling I believed to be dependent on toxic people.
- Fear of failure.
- Fear of others misunderstanding.
- Fear of causing a “scene”. - Mostly fear... a lot of fear.
I can look back now and see that those things needed to be let go of, but in the moment I was focused on all the fear of losing the parts I did find comfort in - the sureness, the future I had imagined - that I couldn’t see how letting go would help me grow.
I was afraid to trade in my known for the unknown, even if my known wasn’t a good thing.
Fun fact: Did you know that leaves in nature get recycled?
That even once they have fallen (or - bear with me here... “let go”) from where they comfortably lived on the treetops for a season, even once they have dried up in a pile of crunchy fall foliage, their work still isn’t done?
When a leaf falls off of a tree, it’s free-falling too... what’s next is a little unknown, and then it hits the ground... but their job isn’t over yet. (Continued👇🏼)
Hi, friends! 👋🏼 It’s finally Friday, which I like to call #freedomfriday, and today since I have so many new faces following me, I thought it would be a good time for #fridayintroductions! 💛
1. My name is Alisha and I like to keep things real around here. So full disclosure I took this selfie a week ago and am utilizing it now since currently I look like I just rolled out of bed...😌💁🏼♀️ 2. I love Jesus, my high school sweetheart husband, and our 110lb fur child, Gibson (yes, he’s named after a guitar). 3. I love sharing openly and vulnerably on this little app about real life struggles and blessings, and I love talking about the freedom and peace that only Jesus can bring. My goal is first and foremost to direct others to Him, not me.
4. Often I write what I need to hear, because I find that there are people who need encouragement just like I do, often for the same things that I do, and I find it easier to show up for them than myself, sometimes. Still working on speaking to myself kindly, like a friend.
5. I’m long winded, you’ve probably noticed... my captions often spill over into my comment section. I love words. I have a blog that I update once in a while (link in profile) but I definitely post more frequently here. There is no rhyme or reason for that, it just happens.
6. My 9-5 is working for the crisis pregnancy center, so I am super passionate about being pro-life and sometimes will talk about that.
7. My hubby and I are passionate about music and worship, and we spend a good chunk of our time playing, now, recording music in our home studio. You can follow those endeavors here if you’d like: @themitchellsmakemusic
8. I like to talk enneagram. I’m a 4w3, which in summary means that I have a lot of feelings and depth, that I want to be unique and do what I want, but that I also want everyone to like it. 🧐 Doesn’t that sound great? I would love to know what your #enneagramtype is?! 👇🏼 9. I’m not an expert or a professional at writing, theology, or really anything that I talk about, and I won’t ever claim to be. I’m just a girl who loves Jesus and believes the... (continued👇🏼)
This site uses the Instagram API, but is not endorsed or certified by Instagram.
Piknu © 2019. All Right Reserved.