17 Things to Make You Smile

Happy Sunday! I hope you are enjoying a great day full of Jesus and family. What do you typically do on a Sunday?

Today I wanted to brighten your spirits! We all need a reason to smile sometimes. We can all use a little happiness in our busy and often stressful lives. Sometimes we get caught up in the chaos and the problems in our lives and forget to be happy and to remember the little things. That’s why I wanted to share 17 simple and easy ways to get your smile front and center!

  1. Buy yourself a new lipstick- A new lipstick always brightens my day and brings a smile to my face. How about you?
  2. Take a moment and read a chapter of the Bible- I suggest any of the Psalms, Exodus 14, or a chapter in Matthew.
  3. Stop and look at the flowers…literally- Sometimes even a glance at something beautiful like flowers can cause a smile on a hard day.
  4. Write a kind note to someone else- Remember that we aren’t the only ones that have hard days. So to cause a smile, try giving someone else some kindness!
  5. Take a walk and see Gods creation- When life is stressful, go for a walk and take a look around at God’s brilliant and beautiful creation. It always makes me smile.
  6. Have a Netflix marathon of your favorite funny movie or show- There is nothing in life that a Psych marathon or a few episodes of Everybody Loves Raymond can’t fix. Grab a snack, a blanket, and a crack a smile while laughing and enjoying your favorite show.
  7. Buy yourself a new outfit- Sometimes we need to spoil ourselves, so when life is tough go buy a new outfit and smile—show the world you’re in control.
  8. Pay it forward- Buy someone’s coffee or lunch! Spread smiles and happiness to others even when life is hard for us.
  9. Create something- If you paint—paint. If you make cards—make a card. If you write—write! Create something and I bet you will smile.
  10. Read a new book- For me, reading a new book (or a classic favorite) always tends to put a smile on my face.
  11. Take some time to yourself- Go get a manicure, a massage, or go have lunch on your own. Take a few moments to yourself to gather your thoughts and to relax.
  12. Have a worship service in your room- For me, nothing makes me happier than a worship session alone in my car or my room. God’s presence never fails to put life in perspective.
  13. Drink out of a fancy glass- Maybe this won’t make everyone smile, but it does me! There is nothing better than sipping tea out of a fancy wine glass.
  14. Spend time with loved ones- Show your family some love. Crack some jokes and love on each other.
  15. Talk with an accent- Some of the biggest smiles happen because my sister and I talk in fake accents while doing housework.
  16. Be intentional- Smile by being intentional. Love others, be caring, and have fun in life.
  17. Order a Venti instead- treat yourself and order a big coffee on those crazy mornings and smile because at least you have coffee!

Those are just a few ideas of things to do to make you smile. There is always something to smile about even on our darkest days. Jesus is always a reason to smile and have hope. If you don’t know about Jesus or salvation, I’d love to talk to you about it!

What are a few things that make YOU smile?? Let me know in the comments!

5 songs for the mourning

I’m sure we have all heard about the tragedy that shook Manchester England. I am honestly just broken and overwhelmed at the thought of innocent lives being once again shed and taken.

I know it is hard to understand tragedies and death but I do know this: God is standing by us and holding us. My heart goes out to those poor families that have lost loved ones, friends that have lost friends, and people who had to witness death and carnage after such a fun night.

Today, instead of trying to put this sorrow into words…I am just going to share 5 songs that have brought me comfort in times of sorrow and mourning. God speaks through song and heartache. I pray that these songs will touch someone today and be just what you needed.

Blessings // Laura Story

“Cause what if your blessings come through rain drops
What if Your healing comes through tears
What if a thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know You’re near
What if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise”

Homesick // Mercy Me

“I close my eyes and I see your face
If home’s where my heart is then I’m out of place
Lord, won’t you give me strength to make it through somehow
I’ve never been more homesick than now”

Hold My Heart // Tenth Avenue North

“One tear in the dropping rain
One voice in a sea of pain
Could the Maker of the stars
Hear the sound of my breaking heart?

One life is all I am
Right now I can barely stand
If You’re everything You say You are
Would You come close and hold my heart?”

There Will be a Day // Jeremy Camp

“There will be a day with no more tears, no more pain, and no more fears
There will be a day when the burdens of this place,
Will be no more, we’ll see Jesus face to face
But until that day, we’ll hold on to you always”

Be Still my Soul (in You I rest) // Kari Jobe

“In You I rest, In You I found my hope.
In You I trust, You never let me go.
I place my life within Your hands alone.
Be still, my soul”
Today isn’t about finding the words but resting in His presence and I hope these songs will help.

From the archives // 5 Songs for the Weary

One thing I love about music and worship is the fact that songs allow us to be refreshed, encouraged, and sit in Gods presence for a little bit. On our most weary days, God is there; and one way He can encourage us is speaking to us through a song.

Today I’m sharing 5 songs for the weary. These are ones that I clinge to when I’m just worn out and in need of Jesus’ strong presence. Word are powerful and sometimes certain worship songs are just exactly the words you needed to hear in that moment, these are those songs for me. 

Impossible by Meredith Andrews 

I stumbled upon this song on accident one day (well, not an accident, Jesus lead me to it I’m sure!). This song is all about reminding us that it’s impossible for God to fail; impossible for Him not to go before us.

In a world that constantly fails and let’s us down, knowing God never does is a huge comfort. I don’t think we dwell on that thought enough. On our weariest days, God is there and walking with us. No matter if we’re in the valley or high on the mountain God is there is nothing sweeter than that. Listen here.

“It’s impossible for You to fail me
There’s not a day that You won’t go before me
Even when I’m at the end, I will not forget
It’s impossible for You to fail.” 

Find you on my knees by Kari Jobe 

Kari Jobe is known for writing worship music that is for the broken and the hurting; music that encourages and uplifts. Find you on my knees is a song about finding God on our darkest days and in the weakest moments.

The Bible says that the Lord is closest to those with broken hearts. This song is a proclamation that we will find God no matter where we are; and sometimes where we need to be is on our knees at our end with nothing except for a longing with God. This song is incredibly powerful and anointed- I could talk about it for days. Sometimes all we have to offer God is our brokenness and that exactly what He wants. Listen here.

“But I will find you in the place I’m in,
Find you when I’m at my end,
Find you when there’s nothing left of me to offer you except for brokenness.”

Come to the River by Housefires II

When we’re weary, what we need to do is come drink from the river of life. We need to soak up Gods presence and love. Our soul needs to be filled with His word and His love. He is always ready to give us fulfillment we just need to com and receive.

Come to the River is a call for us to come to the river and take in what Jesus offers; for us to taste and see. So that our soul can rejoice and not be weary. Listen here.

“Those who are weary, those who are needy
Come receive
Come to the river, come to the river
Taste and see.” 

Deeper by Meredith Andrews 

Deeper is an upbeat and exciting song that is a call to rejoice in every situation. Our valleys will make us lift our eyes up, our sorrows make our joy grow deeper, and our our giants are calling out the fighter inside of us.

Even when we are worn out we don’t give up because even at rock bottom God is working and moving in our lives. He’s taking us deeper and our love for Him grow deeper every trial and valley. This song makes me want to dance and praise because it has such encouraging words in it that my weary heart needs to hear. Listen here.

“Thrown down but not defeated
I’m worn out but not giving up
I’ve hit ground but even at rock bottom
I’m just getting started, yea, I’m just getting started.”

Fighting for Me by Warr Acres 

Restlessly. God is fighting for us relentlessly. Warr Acres writes such incredibly deep messages in their songs. This song is all about knowing that even when we feel the waves crash over us, Jesus is fighting for us. His love is chasing us.

When we are weary, it’s probably because  we’ve been trying to do and handle everything on our own.  But even in those moments when we get ourselves into those pits and swells: God never stops for fighting for us. There’s nothing more comforting. Listen here.

“Buried beneath the waves, my heart was fading                                                                 calling me from a grave, Your love was waiting                                                                 though I fight against You, You will never stop fighting for me. Relentlessly, Your love is chasing. “

What songs do you listen to when you are weary? I really encourage ya’ll to go listen to these!

Top Songs for Easter Sunday

Welcome to the Easter addition of Worship Wednesday! For the past two years I have shared my favorite top songs to sing on Easter Sunday and they have been, by far, my most searched posts so I knew I had to keep up the tradition this year as well. But if you want to check out my last two years posts, here they are! (These songs are still amazing)

 My 2015 Top Songs for Easter 

 My 2016 Top Songs for Easter 

It is always hard each year not to duplicate songs because there are always certain ones that would be perfect to worship with on Easter Sunday. Each year I attempt to research and find you all some new songs as well.

This year, Easter and what it means has really been on my mind. I have been excited to share these songs with you. Easter, to me, is about acknowledging and praising God for sending and resurrecting Jesus from the grave but also about just showing Him how thankful and forever grateful we are as sinful people for His sacrifice. A song doesn’t have to say the words Easter or resurrection to be great songs to use for Easter Sunday!

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*click on the song title to watch/listen to the song*

What a Beautiful Name It Is // Hillsong Worship 

“Death could not hold You
The veil tore before You
You silence the boast of sin and grave
The heavens are roaring
The praise of Your glory
For You are raised to life again”

I am falling in love with the song the more and more I listen to it. What a simple chorus that means so very much. God has no equal and His name should be praised. His name is beautiful and powerful and deserves our highest praises. The heavens should roar His praises! Death couldn’t hold Him and because of that…we can have eternal life! I love this song at any moment of the day, but I think it would be a beautiful praise to God on Easter Sunday as we thank Him for what He has done in our lives and allowed us to have eternal life with Him.

Oh the Power // Kari Jobe 

“Oh darkness, You have lost Your strength
O hell, you lost everything
King Jesus, take the highest place

Redeemer, crowned in endless praise
My Savior, name above all names
King Jesus, take the highest place.”

I have had this song on repeat since this album was released earlier this year. There will be a longer post about this song in particular coming on Friday, so I won’t discuss it too much right now. But there could not be a more perfect song for Easter Sunday. If you haven’t heard it, I highlight suggest you click the title and take a quick listen.  We have hope because of the power of the cross and the power of His blood. On the darkest day, God won and His light overcame the evil. Jesus took the highest place after taking the lowest which was where we belong.

Because He lives

“Because He lives, I can face tomorrow
Because He lives, all fear is gone
Because I know He holds the future
And life is worth the living, just because He lives.”

An oldie but a goodie in my book. This is one of my favorite hymns of all time. There is nothing more comforting than knowing that no matter what we face…we can face it because He lives and holds us up. What better way to praise His resurrection than singing about what we can accomplish because HE lives. I am so thankful that He holds the future and walks each step with me.

Impossible // Meredith Andrews 

“…You rose and left an empty tomb behind You
All to save, all to save

It’s impossible for You to fail me
There’s not a day that You won’t go before me
Even when I’m at the end, I will not forget
It’s impossible for You to fail
It’s impossible for You to fail.”

Meredith Andrews paints a beautiful picture of Jesus’ ministry, death, and resurrection in the first verse of this song. The whole song is about how it is impossible for God to fail. Even when Jesus died, it wasn’t a fail…it was the plan and Jesus knew what He was doing. He freely gave up His life for me and for you. I loved this song and knew it would be a perfect one for this post. It’s all about praising God for His power and His presence that never fails us.

War is Over // Bethel Worship 

“It is finished, it is done
The blood of Jesus overcomes
It is finished, He has won
He has won.”

This song is on the recent album release from Bethel and I just happened to stumble across it and thought it would be perfect for Easter Sunday. Because Jesus died and rose again, the war is over. He made a way for us. It should have been us on that cross but Jesus took our place and HE is our victory. I love the words of this song-such a declaration! He has won. We wouldn’t have hope if it weren’t for that sacrifice of Jesus. I am so thankful that HE fought the battle and still continues to fight our battles for us. Thank you Jesus for your blood that overcomes.

What songs will you be worshiping to on this Easter Sunday? Which of these were your favorite?? Let me know in the comments below!

My Testimony

Hello friends! Today I wanted to share my testimony with ya’ll and share a bit of what God has done in my life.


I grew up in a Christian home, and was blessed with believing parents and grandparents. From the beginning, church and Jesus were instilled in me. At the age of 6, I walked down the aisle by myself and told my pastor I wanted to ask Jesus into my heart. I was ushered back to talk over salvation with a counselor, who happened to be a good family friend. Soon I was baptized and took the outward step as a symbol of my salvation.

I will say this, because I was so young, I honestly don’t remember much of the whole experience. I remember being confident as I walked down and knew what I was doing. But Satan has always used the fact of my age as a reason to make me doubt whether I was really saved then or not. But through many moments and times in prayer, I believe with all my heart that I am saved. I might not remember everything about that time but I do know how every day since them, God has been changing and molding me for His purpose.

Recently though, God renewed my heart and passion for Him. After a few years and seasons spent away from really seeking and honoring the Lord as I should be, on November 22nd I rededicated my life to the Lord. While I knew, I am saved, I hadn’t been living for the Lord like I needed too. I pulled over in a parking lot and prayed with my mom because I knew it needed to be done. I might not be perfect, but I re-affirmed that salvation and set myself back on the right path. I still struggle, but I am trying to follow God and show my heart for Him in everything I do and say.

One thing to remember is your testimony doesn’t stop the day you are saved. My whole life is a testimony of finding/pursuing Jesus and overcoming battles. Life isn’t all sugar plums once you are saved; God doesn’t promise us a perfect life, but He promises to never forsake us. 

I’ve dealt with some hard times in my life. My mom has been sick most of my life, and I’ve had to trust God to take care of her. Other things that have threatened me: Fear. Anxiety has plagued most of my life which leaves with so beaten down that Christ is my only hope. I struggle with self-image and insecurities. I am a people pleaser and desperate for their approval. All of these things would define me if I didn’t know my definition was in Christ alone. All of these have given me a richer love of Christ. 

The thing about any testimony is seeing God work through and in their lives. I would be nothing without Christ. I would have no hope apart from Christ. Insecurity, brokenness, fear, worry, bitterness, un-forgiveness…all those things would consume me if I didn’t have Jesus. I am so incredibly thankful for His salvation and His redemption.

Even in those weary seasons, when I feel distant or life is hard, God is never far away. He is always there and the Holy Spirit is there to convict me and remind me why I am living and who I am living for. When Satan tries to distract me with His lies, I remember that God is above all and He has me in the palm of His hand. If I hadn’t of been saved those many years ago, I would be lost and in need of fulfillment that only God can bring.

My prayer is for a deeper yearning for His Word. So often we let our “time with Jesus” consist of church and times of need. This is my prayer: that I would hunger for Him daily. My rededication is something that had needed to happen for a long time and my prayer is not to become complacent. 

What’s your prayer for your life? Tell me a little about your testimony! I’d love to hear about how God has worked in your life. 

My Top YouVersion Bible Studies

Hello Friends! Today is an exciting post for Worship Wednesday! I have been struggling with having a consistent quiet time and I have been convicted about it. I’ve really been trying to be better about it and I found some great, easy to use Bible studies. I have been loving YouVersion’s Bible studies on their Bible app. Each study is a varied amount of time but I love being able to study different topics and struggles.

Today I want to share my top Bible studies from that app! These are so convenient and right on your phone! I find I am much more consistent with it when I use this app. I can even get reminders to pop-up so I have no excuse to forget. Here is my top favorites!

 

Wait and See by Wendy Pope 

Wait and See is actually a book and this is a 7 day study about it. Wendy teaches us that in times of waiting, even intense waiting, we can find beauty and hope in those moments. She shares the stories of 4 different people and their stories of waiting and how to glorify the Lord in those times. I loved hearing and learning from these peoples experiences and applying them to my life and my time of waiting. Each day brings a new devotion and scriptures to read.

The Garden Devotional by Kari Jobe

I am excited about Kari Jobe’s new album The Garden. This 7 day study is all about the meaning and inspiration for some of her songs from this new album. If you are a worship lover, I highly recommend this study. It’s amazing to see the verses and inspiration behind the songs that we sing. I am working on a review of this album, so go read this study before that comes out! These songs are vital and anointed worship songs that I know we all need to learn from.

The Single Life by Your Time of Grace

This is for all you single people out there, like me! I started this around Valentines Day and really enjoyed it. It is video devotions and scripture for 5 days. I love this study because it shares the views of singleness from a Biblical and Christian perspective. It shows that singleness is not a burden but a gift! This is unlike any singleness devotion I have ever read/watched and I love how it encourages you to be content and happy with where God has you.

Crazy Love by Francis Chan

Crazy Love discusses the crazy and intense love God has for us and what our response should be to this love. I have taught most of this original book to some youth before but I love this condensed version. This is the most in depth of all the studies I have listed. This 7 day study has a devotional, a video, and scripture for each day! I love the different forms of learning this study provides. Francis Chan is one of my favorite author and speakers, so I knew this study would be a good one.

Trusting God’s Process by Brittany Rust 

I recently finished this 5 day study. With the transition period between college and work that I am in, this study was perfect for me. It is all about learning to trust God’s way and process in our lives. God might throw us a curve-ball or a bump in the road but His ways are always going to better than ours. His process might be longer or harder but so worth it. Each day in the study provides a new devotion and 1-2 different sections of Scripture to read over.

Which one sounds the best to you?? I really encourage you to try one of these! If you struggle staying consistent, this is a great first step to get you into the Word even if only a few verses a day.

I am not alone

In a world full of people, it is still easy to feel alone. People let you down, family moves or passes away, you name it. Loneliness is a hard emotion to feel and sadly it happens so often. Do you ever feel alone? I have a song for your.

There is good news for those of us who have felt alone…even in our darkest moments and deepest valleys God is there. 

I am not alone
I am not alone
You will go before me
You will never leave me

I believe that there is something extremely comforting in knowing that the God of the universe, creator all things, the God who hears every prayer from every person…never leaves us. He walks before us in the valleys, He doesn’t leave us in the darkness, and He is celebrating with us on the mountains. 

We should never feel lonely because we never are. God is all we ever need and He is the one thing that will never disappoint us or leave us. The Bible talks about this throughout all the books.

Deuteronomy 31:8, The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you.  “Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.”

Joshua 1:5, No one will be able to stand up against you all the days of your life. “As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you.”

Isaiah 41:17  “The poor and needy search for water, but there is none; their tongues are parched with thirst. But I the LORD will answer them; I, the God of Israel, will not forsake them.”

Hebrews 13:5  Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” 

I have this theory that when something is repeated throughout the Bible that God is trying to tell us something. It is apparently important enough to keep repeating so we understand. He longs for us to know that He is there!

In a chaotic world, He should be our constant. How comforting is it to know that He is waiting for us to call on Him. We turn to everything in this world but Jesus when He is the one thing that won’t let us down.

I love that He goes before us in those moments where the darkness seems to thick. He walks before us making the path straight and light. Hold onto Him today.

Rest in His arms knowing He doesn’t leave. Rest in His presence and thank Him for being constant.