The Blog

Prayers to Silence My Inner Critic

Let me be completely honest and authentic with you. Right now I am living the life I prayed for. A happy family of three living in a cozy, pretty home. We spend weekends cooking delicious food and listening to music, taking country drives. Despite all of what happened in my past, my past could not stop God’s blessing for me. In so many ways my life is flourishing. I have never been happier or had more confidence.

Still…my inner critic has a long way to go. I have accepted God’s grace for my past sins and mistakes. I no longer revisit them. God has redeemed me completely and fully. However, I have days where I am running a cruel tape of self doubt about my abilities. I cannot even begin to tell you how far I have come, but I still have so far to go in this area. Women who have experienced past abuse are much more prone to have this vicious inner voice. In addition to this, I have always had a personality that strives for more. From a young age I never let myself truly rest. One of my strengths is my ability to audit, critique, and make something good into something excellent, to add beauty and elevate projects and spaces to another level. My personality type coupled with a past of abuse and divorce is a double hit for self doubt and inner criticism.

My husband and I had an in-depth conversation about this because frankly it bothers him when I doubt myself and pick myself apart. John pointed out that on my blog I share how Christ brings about true transformation. He told me this negative inner voice is another area I need to turn over to Christ for transformation. In fact, he told me in a caring but firm way this negative inner tape of self doubt holds me back from reaching a new level of joy, confidence, and career growth.

As a working mom, I run a tape of negativity if I miss a minor school event for business travel. I didn’t get to take my son to the book fair, am I a good enough mom? (I forget about everything I sacrificed as a single mom to make sure my son had a happy, health home environment.)

Am I still attractive? I am only 34 and my hair would be solid gray if I didn’t go to the salon every month. (I forget about the fact that I see the beauty in other women and think other women with gray hair look lovely.)

There are so many negative thoughts that stem from past hurts, rejections, and cruel words. Unfortunately, it is easy to find ourselves in social or work environments where there are vicious, callous people. Sad but true.

About two years ago, after my prayer time, I felt led to ban all fashion magazines. I have noticed a big boost in self confidence. Looking at unrealistic standards was not serving my higher good. It was a toxic way to spend my precious free time. After cutting out fashion magazines, I experienced a huge boost in my self confidence. You may be led to do something entirely different.

“In a society that profits from your self doubt, liking yourself is a rebellious act.” -Happy Place

I have come so far by God’s grace but I still have a way to go.

As I shared, giving my troubles to God while meditating on Psalms 37 is very therapeutic for me. So I am going to take this same approach with all of my negative inner thoughts that I need to let go.

John suggested I write them down each day as they arise, pray and give them to God, and then burn them for a flair of drama. That process of writing down and then letting go is what works for me.

It goes without saying that it is God’s will for us to dwell on what is good, right, what brings peace, is lovely, and worthy of praise (Philippians 4:8).

I truly believe God is capable of changing me and soon enough I will be set free from negative inner talk. (Philippians 1:6) Faith and prayer, and turning things over to God produces results. (James 5:16)

Maybe you deal with a negative inner critic? Or maybe you need to let go of something else right now? Either way, make sure your foundation is strong. Know that God is pleased with you and you are already a success. I am praying for you and you can pray for me as I work on overcoming.


A Meditation for the Worst of Times

One thing I keep in mind often is that many of my readers are walking through the fire right now of illness, low self esteem, depression, hormone roller coasters, divorce, being laid off from work, and anything else that potentially leaves us feeling like our life is in turmoil.

During the worst time of my life, I had a routine that allowed me to lean into my need for growth and walk through the valley to the other side. Psalm 37 was my prayer guide and meditation. In the evening before I could sleep I would sit in a comfy chair next to a beautiful white orchid, sip some herbal tea and allow the words of Psalm 37 to seep into my soul.

Verses 3 through 9 were part of my life on a daily basis for almost a year. Each verse played a role in allowing me to let go and let God transform my life.

If your life feels like you are drowning right now set aside fifteen or twenty minutes a day to be saturated with Psalm 37.

Set Your Intention to Trust

“Trust [rely on and have confidence] in the LORD and do good; Dwell in the land and feed [securely] on His faithfulness.” Psalm 37:3

Take a few moments to relax, enjoy some quiet, sip tea and let yourself settle into your meditation and prayer time. Read this verse and decide to rely on God to do good in your life and be open minded to feed on His faithfulness. Reading this verse is calming and seemed to always soothe my anxiety and panic. It makes me think of Jesus suddenly calming the raging seas.

Pour out the Desires of your Heart

“Delight yourself in the LORD, And He will give you the desires and petitions of your heart.” Psalm 37:4

This is the time to pour out your heart and tell God everything you desire. For me, I would imagine having a beautiful, cozy home to raise my son, a place where we could walk around in the yard in the evenings with fireflies lighting up the landscape. A safe and serene, healing, inviting environment for us to live in.

You may be desiring a new job, to be healed from depression, to own your own business, a baby, or simply hoping your basic needs will be met. Grow in your relationship with God by being honest about what you truly want. God plants the seeds in us and God wants to bless us in this way! Trust God with your desires.

Delighting yourself in the Lord is easier each day as you grow in a sense of His love for you. Read the Foundation of Everything if you need to deepen in this area. The more gratitude I felt for what Christ has given me, the more of my desires came to fruition.

Divine Guidance

Commit your way to the LORD; Trust in Him also and He will do it.” Psalm 37:5

I would be doing you an injustice if I didn’t admit to you that in making some of the biggest decisions of my life I felt absolutely terrified. Seeking guidance and being led by peace is another way to deepen and grow in trust in the Lord.

I like to see the whole picture but God often leads me only one tiny step forward at a time. Pray and promise God you are committed to His path for your life. Do it afraid. God’s plans for us are so much better than we could ever imagine or come up with for ourselves.

Pray that God reveals to you the next small step forward you can take. The next tiny change he wants you to make. Or perhaps you will be lead to take a giant leap. My darling friend God loves you so much. Know that God wants your life to be amazing.

Radiance, Light, and Energy

He will make your righteousness [your pursuit of right standing with God] like the light, And your judgment like [the shining of] the noonday [sun].” Psalm 37:6

When I began deepening my understanding of being righteous in Christ I felt so much lighter inside. When they are operating and flowing in total grace, women of Christ have a radiance and glow that just cannot be explained. When I worry it chokes off that radiance and it leaves me feeling lackluster, aching, and drained.

Shame can not overtake you when you are standing in your radiance.

Take some moments to meditate on how Christ redeemed you from sin and shame. He set you free to shine. Let that knowledge deep into your soul and make you more beautiful each day from the inside out.

The Many Moments of Waiting

Be still before the LORD; wait patiently for Him and entrust yourself to Him; Do not fret (whine, agonize) because of him who prospers in his way, Because of the man who carries out wicked schemes. Cease from anger and abandon wrath; Do not fret; it leads only to evil.” Psalm 37:7-8

Doing nothing is the most challenging thing for someone with my personality to do. As I waited for God to come through in situations I would catch myself trying to step in and quicken the pace, I would be riddled with anxiety, and I would be filled with anger at how other people who didn’t care two cents about pleasing God or knowing Christ were seemingly so much better off. Essentially I would do everything this verse advises us not to do while we wait.

As practical as it sounds, I had to busy myself doing other things. I would cuddle in bed with my son watching a movie and eating popcorn together. Journaling was my greatest tool. At that time, I began a digital journal where I would add photography and hand lettered quotes to the typed pages. All of those hours spend in pure bliss are now the foundation of the Flourish blog. You can also create a private Pinterest board and pin images of your dream life. Many life coaches recommend creating a Dream Board in this way.

The last thing you want to do is enjoy your self at this moment. Demonstrate your trust in God by letting go and letting yourself relax with family or go get a pedicure. God loves to see your trusting in Him and enjoying life abundantly.

Time to Inherit the Land

For those who do evil will be cut off, But those who wait for the LORD, they will inherit the land.” Psalm 37:9

‭‭In this verse, you are promised by God you will inherit the land. It is an unshakable promise that you can hold onto.

So many people say that life is hard and then you die. I cringe when people say that because I truly believe in my heart we can see the promises of God come true in our lives. Our families can experience days of heaven on earth. (Deuteronomy 11:21)

This season will pass and you will come out on the other side radiant and with an incredible life transforming testimony you can share with others.

As you wrap up your meditation time visualize yourself in the land you have been promised. Go ahead and release your faith. Thank God for it before you see it in the natural. In God’s eyes you are His beloved child. God is pleased with you and already sees you as a success.

Remember you are not alone. God is with you. I am praying for you and so are all your other fellow blog readers. Let’s pray for each other and empower each other in the name of Jesus who loves us. Amen!

A Supplement for your Reset Weekend

When I wrote the blog post A Weekend Plan to Pause and Reflect my hope was to share some of the ways I have found to maximize the weekend. If you give your weekend to God you will be amazed how transformative just two days of prayer, meditation, and affirmations can be! With the Holy Spirit involved it’s miraculous.

This week was a hard hit so I look forward to combing through my own blog post and hitting the reset button this weekend.

A lovely writer behind the Instagram feed Piece of Mind Journal has agreed to share one of her personal journal pages for inspiration. (She also operates this shop.) She sets out her plans to carry the weekend reset into the upcoming week. I knew it would help you as much as it did me!

You can, of course, modify any way that helps you. I always feel so inspired by authentic examples from other. I have also added a link to this on the free resources page.

Flourish in a Place of Rest

“For out of His fullness [the superabundance of His grace and truth] we have all received grace upon grace [spiritual blessing upon spiritual blessing, favor upon favor, and gift heaped upon gift].”

John 1:16 AMP

The first time I read this verse I visualized a turquoise sea and wave after wave of blessings washing over me, wave after wave of grace, an endless supply as deep and vast as the ocean. Unending as far as the eye can see. I could hear that calming restful, repetitive sound of waves crashing onto the sand. Taking this scripture to heart (as with any scripture) was a transformative experience.

It is possible to let go and let yourself release all of the expectations you held for yourself, to no longer strive to prove something. For me, after a deep sense of grace and salvation, I noticed myself feeling lighter and lighter. I lost the sense of desperation I was carrying. Desperation is simply the effect of feeling like we must struggle on our own to make our goals and dreams happen.

Letting go is a process. Whenever I find myself feeling frustrated I can usually pinpoint the emotion of frustration to the act of trying to force something. Swimming against the current of how my life is suppose to be flowing. So many times I catch myself in this state of panic and control and just allow myself to visualize the waves crashing, washing in grace upon grace. Being overtaken by gift after gift.

Recently I read this segment of a book by Gabby Bernstein. “We’re taught that we must struggle to achieve and that success comes from “making things happen.” We learn that good things don’t happen without a lot of blood, sweat, and tears. I challenge you to move beyond these beliefs of limitation and suffering.”

There have been so many areas brought to my attention these past couple years. I have had to let go of fears over my son’s health. There were times I would obsess over life decisions, rather than just trust that God will direct my steps into the right job.

I shared on Instagram recently that I took a few steps backwards and began getting into a cycle of worry and control over my career path and our life plans. Being caught in this cycle of stress caused a migraine that drained me for twenty-four hours. I prayed for guidance. The morning after I slept off the excruciating pain, I picked up a book I had been reading. I had arrived to a chapter on control and letting go. Every article, book, and quote that made its way to me has the same resounding theme.

I decided to write a new morning affirmation for myself. “I let go of my plans to receive God’s plans that are wonderfully beyond what I can imagine for myself. I surrender to something better.”

It is almost laughable that I can be worried about big events in my life all while God is demonstrating control even in the smallest details of my life. Leading me to the right chapter of a book at the perfect moment, speaking to me through a few perfectly timed sound clips from a sermon that was exactly what I needed to hear. Not to mention what God has already brought me out of in my life. Even after what feels like a dramatic rescue, God still leads and guides every seemingly minute detail of my life to continuously make it better and better.

“The man or woman who is wholly or joyously surrendered to Christ can’t make a wrong choice. Any choice will be the right one.”

-A.W. Tozer

In my first blog post I wrote about the revelation I experienced regarding salvation. Salvation for me is deeply grounding and the process of being at rest is a daily journey.

“God said to Moses, “ I AM WHO I AM”; and He said, “You shall say this to the Israelites, ‘I AM has sent me to you.’”

‭‭Exodus 3:14‬ ‭AMP‬‬

Instead of striving and doing, I want to live in the experience of simply being righteous in Christ. Nothing to prove. Nothing for me to accomplish. It is already finished.

Whatever I need, God says “I Am.” God has an unending supply of all good things. A supply as vast as the ocean, washing over us with wave after wave.

As I write this it is very early on a Sunday morning. My sincere prayer this morning is: “Lord, help me to surrender my plans. Help me to surrender my timing. Continue to grow my faith and continue to show me that the plans you have for my life are so much better than anything I could ever dare to hope or imagine for myself. My future is wrapped up in you goodness. Amen”

Heirlooms. A Pop-Up Shop has Launched

Hello Lovelies! I am very excited to announce that the Heirlooms Page is officially open. Heirlooms is a curated shop with hand selected items. Commission from purchases made through these affiliate links helps fund Flourish. The first shop is inspired by bandana prints and Americana style. Easy pieces to incorporate into your wardrobe. Especially if you are like me and live in chambray shirts and jeans. If you want to shop to support Flourish this Americana themed shop will be open until July 10th.

heirlooms pop up shop screen shot

If you want daily inspiration, be sure to follow along on Instagram where I post daily verses and favorite affirmations, prayer requests… I am currently working on a free daily devotion e-book that will launch soon. More blog articles are in the works. In the meantime, be sure to spread the word. Share the blog articles with any woman that could use a lift. There is a button at the bottom of the articles that allows you to easily and privately email them or publicly share them on Facebook, Instagram, or Pinterest.

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A Weekend Plan to Pause and Reflect

All woman have times in our life when we need to hit the reset button and get our feet back on solid ground. I have had periods of time in my own life where I needed to recover from traumatic events. Yet even normal day to day stressors like work and a messy house can eventually take their toll. Lately I went through a brief slump of negativity. My thought habits quickly became life draining and I knew it was time to take action to get back on track. John Gray describes women as waves that “naturally go up and down.” One of my friends said recently her wave had crashed and I completely related to that experience.

Just a two day weekend can be all you need to get back on track, gain new vision and much needed fresh inspiration. Here is my plan for when I need a spiritual lift.

Start with a prayer for your weekend. Pour your heart out to God and pray to hear and receive the right word at the right time. Pray that you will experience over whelming blessings. Turn these next two days over and let God do a dramatic work in your life.

*Be Open to New Beliefs.

Anytime I have gotten myself in a mess it has been due to false, negative beliefs that are not serving my higher good. These false beliefs can range from something minor to a deeper more severe belief that is impeding on my self worth.

One dramatic thing I noticed when I dove much, much deeper into my spiritual journey is that many of the negative beliefs I had acquired were completely contrary to what God wants for my life. Because of accepting grace through Christ it is God’s will for me to have an amazingly abundant life (see John 10:10) and for my family to experience blissful days like heaven on earth (see Deuteronomy 11:21).

In order to have lasting positive change all of these true beliefs will need to be taken to heart. Some of the radically wonderful promises in the Bible overwhelmed me at first and went counterintuitive to what I thought I needed to experience and “earn” first through good works and striving for perfection.

I love the quote by Brennan Manning and even use it as an affirmation at times. “Define yourself as one radically loved by God. This is your true self. Every other identity is an illusion.”

If you are not ready to embrace new and true beliefs with open arms then you simply aren’t ready for change and growth in your life. Any attempts to better your life will be futile.

*Create Daily Morning Affirmations.

Having an empowering morning routine is something that is touted all over Pinterest and on almost every self-help blog. For me, having a list of positive affirmations to read in the morning sets the foundation for my entire day. Over the course of the past four years I have had my morning reading time at home, at a coffee shop, and at a library after dropping my son off at day care. Now with my current schedule I set my alarm to go off an hour early so I can savor the quiet before every one else wakes up.

My morning affirmations are kept in a list. Usually around ten or so. I like to have them saved in my phone but a gorgeous floral notebook works well too. Transformational power comes from Christ, not of ourselves (John 15:5). So I choose to base my morning affirmations around scripture.

Some examples are:

I live a beautiful life that is overflowing with abundance (John 10:10).

I have a new life in Christ and I am radiant with joy. (Psalms 34:5).

I am full of life and energy. (Romans 8:11).

God goes before me making my path lovely and this day is divinely timed. God’s presence is with me all day (Deuteronomy 31:8).

Take some time this weekend to create a list of affirmations that you can carry with you into next week and the weeks ahead. What do you need? What would benefit you the most to read, believe, and affirm each morning. The affirmations you take time to write very quickly replace your negative thoughts and lift you to a higher place.

*Create Daily Evening Affirmations.

Just as it is important to start my day on the right foot, I end it with a few evening affirmations as well. Usually I have around four or five affirmations to meditate on before I go to sleep.

My absolute favorite is Psalm 127:2 in the Amplified Bible. God blesses me even as I sleep.

My territory, influence, and capacity to receive blessings expands daily (1 Chronicles 4:10).

I receive everything I need from God’s endless supply (John 1:16).

It takes planning and effort for me to maintain positive thoughts. That use to discourage me when I would compare myself to other women who seemed so effortlessly positive all of the time. Putting time into these affirmations is like planning your thoughts for the week in advance. It works wonders for me personally.

*Get Inspired.

One of the best journal prompts I have ever read suggested to write a page describing your ideal self. What your ideal self feels like, what she does on a daily basis, how she cares for her children, how she dresses, how she interacts with her family…I took this exercise and poured my heart into it, actually writing it on one of the note pages in my day planner so I could see it multiple times per day. This journal prompt helped mold my prayer requests, daily affirmations, and life choices. Through promptings of the Holy Spirit I became this exact person in only a matter of a couple months!

I highly recommend doing this exercise and using as many descriptive words as you can. Find scriptures to empower your vision and provide you with the promises you need to see it come to fruition.

*Prayer and Meditation.

There is really no ability within myself to make any lasting changes. For me, all of my strength and wisdom comes from God. Having some moments of meditation and prayer connect me to my life force (my vine) and give encouragement, rivers of grace, direction, and guidance. Lately I have enjoyed sitting outside in the sunshine praying and quietly listening for the promptings of the Holy Spirit.

I pray continually throughout the day, but I find that I have to make time and space to hear and receive. I seek out as many opportunities for quiet moments as I possibly can, such as early mornings, sitting on the porch with a cup of coffee after work, driving in the car with no radio on.

In just a day or two it is possible to experience profound changes you can see and feel. The key is to not put pressure on your self to change. Let the transformation be God breathed and let it deepen your spiritual relationship with Christ. The more goodness you receive the deeper your gratitude is for what was done on the cross.

Grab your digital or paper journal and begin writing your affirmations and the description of your ideal self. Send me a quick email and share them with me. I will gladly join in praying for you!

God is Pleased with You: The Foundation of Everything

“For those who look to him for help will be radiant with joy; no shadow of shame will darken their faces.

-Psalms 34:5 NLT

God is pleased with you.

We all go through difficult times in our lives, and this message is for women who can empathize with times of feeling broken. You may be in the midst of what feels like chaos and disaster, or you may simply just have lost your spark, going through the motions every day with no zeal or passion for life. Wherever you happen to be, we can always use a refreshing reminder of our spiritual foundation.

I was going through the darkest, most difficult time of my life around five years ago when my preacher’s wife asked me to meet her for coffee at a local coffee shop. That day was a rainy, dreary winter day. I can still remember all of the heavy feelings I had of shame, exhaustion, humiliation, failure. Nothing in my life had turned out the way I had wanted it to. The only bright spot at that time was my two year old son, my whole world, who I was about to raise on my own.


She and I ordered our coffee and chatted for a few minutes about motherhood and shopping. Our conversation quickly opened up into my current situation. She offered to prayed with me.

After, she looked at me and said, “God is pleased with you.”

That statement took me off guard and took deep root in my heart. That was the last thing I felt and the last thing I expected to hear from a preacher’s wife. {On a side note, you never know when you might say something encouraging that could change the entire course of someone’s life.}

I  doubted very seriously that God was pleased with me and later that night decided to read the Bible for myself to see if this were actually true. I had cried out to God to help me and from that moment everything in my life began to brighten. There were still challenges, but rather than let myself be swallowed by humiliation and shame, I accepted the grace into my heart that I so desperately needed.

The foundation of complete and total transformation is accepting the grace of God.

The foundation of complete and total transformation is accepting the grace of God. In Christ, I can be secure that God is pleased with me! Once that took root in my spirit, I was never the same.

God’s will for you is to enjoy life, and have it in abundance, to the full, till it overflows. (See John 10:10 AMP). God’s plans for us are good, not full of disaster. God wants you to have a future and to have hope. (See Jeremiah 29:11 NLT).

No matter your past, be daring and step into the abundant life you deserve through Christ!

When we shed guilt and shame and step into the life Christ died to give us, we can show others the goodness of God, who called us out of darkness into His wonderful light. (See 1 Peter 2:9 NLT.) Do not go by what you see in your life now. (See 2 Corinthians 5:7 ESV). But rather, pray to receive a vision for a new and extraordinary life that causes you to wake up every morning excited to be alive.

When ever I read the story of the prodigal son, I can always picture myself. I walked home as a defeated failure and was greeted with open arms by a God who was delighted to finally have me home. I rarely can read that story in the Bible without crying happy tears.

That is what I pray that you will experience. I pray that you can know the love of Christ so deeply in your heart that you shed all of your guilt and shame. That you walk into the abundantly blessed life you were meant to have. That you see God as a father running to embrace you and welcome you back home where you belong! When you run to Him you will become a woman radiant with joy. No shadow of guilt or shame will darken your face.