Abide Vs. Strive

I picked this verse. During this series called “Brave,” we were challenged at one point to first choose a verse that stuck out to us from among a handful, then memorize it. Additionally, we were challenged to take a “brave new step” towards something called our heading (i.e. where we feel God is calling us to be brave/grow/etc). 

God of Hope

So, I picked this verse. My method of memorizing it was to swirlify the letters and words and doodle all around them, forcing me to face each word with whole-hearted attention.

And it actually worked! This isn’t the first time I’ve done that. It’s actually one big reason I started my shop. Because if I need the Word to have pockets all over my house and my life, then maybe someone else does, too. “Out of sight, out of mind” is a very real thing for me, friends. (You can see it on Etsy, here if you need this print for yourself.)

Over the past few months, the Lord has persistently laid this word “abide” before me, along with Jesus’ words in John 15. I realized it’s because I was running on the fumes of other things, rather than the fuel of the Spirit’s love and abundance.

What does it actually look and feel like when God fills you with all joy and peace? Or when you overflow with hope by the power of the Spirit?

I desire to know and experience those things for myself. And sometimes, I’ve wrestled with feeling like I couldn’t fill up with God’s joy and peace on my own. Which I then realized is absolutely right.

We can’t do that on our own.

And I gained hope again, because there’s a key phrase in the middle of all those swirls: as you trust in him.

The only way I can fill with joy and peace instead of my own striving is to trust in the Lord. I guess it’s part of the whole relationship thing. But I forget that Jesus desires a relationship, not a checklist.

I’ve been reading 1 Samuel, quite frankly because my mentor was reading it and kept telling me how she was wowed by seeing the difference between David’s heart and Saul’s heart, and how David’s exemplifies a heart that is seeking (emphasis on the “ing”- it’s a continuous process) God.

The crazy thing? It goes completely with this whole abiding vs. striving thing. (Also, the reason I named the shop “Ebenezer Designs” is because of 1 Samuel 7:12)

I’m desperate to learn what a truly abiding heart- like David’s- looks like, and though I’ve read it before, it’s almost as if I hadn’t really. Remember this verse?

 But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” -1 Samuel 16:7

It hit me hard this time around. Because it turns out that a war of Appearance rages in me. More often than not, I overflow with appearance-driven striving instead of hope.

It is- quite literally- a look-alike hope. A counterfeit abundance that leaves me with mountains of not-enough. A joy-stealing wreck.

Saul knew this struggle well, I think. He was a striver. Constantly, exhaustingly, indomitably striving, his white-knuckled reign fostered a nation filled with fear; his leadership- though often performing the outward actions of worship- in reality sacrificed all on the altar of Saul.

David was a shepherd, a true leader filled with bold humility (most of the time), a psalm-singer, a friend, who- instead of chasing after his throne (he was anointed king after all)- chased after God. He was still human, of course, and made some pretty big boo-boos (that whole Bath-Sheba debacle for one), but his heart was always the most important part of him. Even after he sins, he repents, he returns, he remembers who is truly King, and finds God can redeem and sustain him still.

Reading through 1 Samuel has revealed multiple instances where it talks about David finding his strength in (trusting in, putting hope in) God. He didn’t just strive for joy, peace, hope. He couldn’t manufacture them. He trusted in God first.

So this week, I’ve begun to navigate a little more slowly, more intentionally in the things I do, in the people I’m with, in moments God gives.

I’m letting myself abide.


Abide desk

I pray this prayer for you- that God will fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

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Day 21: Hand-drawn Christmas Cards!

31 days of Enjoy squareBack in August, I hinted at some exciting things happening this autumn…

And now, you’ve seen some of those things! I shared three new digital autumn prints and one hand-lettered-James-Whitcomb-Riley-quote-pumpkin print with you already, (oh, and that one that was a free printable… it’s really for any time of year) and now I want to proudly announce that I’m adding a new line of hand-drawn Christmas cards to my etsy shop, Ebenezer Designs! I’m calling it the “Send a Story” line, because I think that’s what you do when you send something beautiful in the mail.

Day 21 EDITI am SO. RIDICULOUSLY. EXCITED. about these cards, and it’s been positively everything I could do not to share them sooner… So, without further ado, here they are!!!

EDIT Cards and Garland

Each package of cards contains 4 designs!

Love Hans

Can’t you relate to Hans? I can.

Comfort and Joy

Aren’t those the sorts of tidings you want to send to someone at Christmas?

A Beautiful Sight

If I could sew/crotchet/knit/etc. I would make these mittens for myself. (However, I can’t. So I just drew them instead.)

Rejoice Wreath

These little birds make me so happy! (They make me feel like… rejoicing. Haaaa…)

EDIT Cards Standing

As I mentioned, I cannot contain my excitement over these!! They are $10 per package, and you get one of each design as well as envelopes! They’d make a great gift, or a lovely embellishment to make a gift a little extra-special.

I’ve often been hesitant and wary of asking others to share my work with their own circles of friends and family, because I wondered if it was selfish or wouldn’t communicate what I intended. But I’ve been encouraged lately to share unabashedly, and not to be afraid to ask other people to share my work.

EDIT Four 4 packs

So… would you? Could you? I’d love it if you’d share either the link to this post or the link to the shop- or both! And if you want some lovely Christmas cards that tell a little story, you can find them on my shop here(Btw, I’ve already had one order, and have limited supply, so if you want ’em, get your order in asap!)

Day 12: The Frost is on the Pumpkin

31 days of Enjoy squareWell, maybe the frost isn’t technically on the pumpkin quite yet. Not really. But still! I couldn’t help but add this to the shop this weekend, to further celebrate general autumn wonderfulness.

Frost

If you want to purchase, click either pic to see the listing itself!

frosty close up EDIT 1

My mom used to read James Whitcomb Riley’s poetry to me when I was little. Especially that one and Little Orphan Annie (which actually is little creepy… when you’re 5, I mean). Also, if you’re concerned, yes I do know that it’s technically “punkin” in the poem.

I hope you enjoy it like I enjoyed making it! Please feel encouraged to share this and the shop in general if you are a fan!

Day 5: It’s Autumn at Ebenezer Designs

31 days of Enjoy square

For Day 3, I wanted to share with you three new fall prints I’ve added to the shop this week!

First, “I fall for autumn.” Because I do. Don’t you?

I Fall For Autumn Mockup

Thank-Fall. (Get it? I know. I am a genius…)

ThankFall Mockup

And what trio of autumnal prints would be complete without this quote by L.M. Montgomery? “I’m so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers.” That woman was so brilliant. I’m pretty sure she and I would’ve been BFFs.

October Quote Mockup

Click each picture to go see them on Ebenezer Designs on Etsy! They’re $10 a piece, but here’s how you can enter to win all 3 sent to your inbox for FREE!!!!

  1. Go and Like Long Live Beauty’s Facebook page and/or follow me on Instagram: @haylie_allcott
  2. Share a link to one post of 31 Days of Enjoy (or if you have a favorite Long Live Beauty post, that’s fine too) on your own timeline
  3. Now you’re entered into the drawing!!!

Regardless, I hope you are feasting on the beauty of autumn in whatever ways you love to do.

Enjoy!