Did I Thrive or Just Survive?

As I reflect back on 2018 one thing that comes to mind is this quote. ⠀


This is what I clung to over the past year. It wasn’t easy and at time painful, emotional, and exhausting but through it all God is faithful. He is good. God was with me every step of the way. ⠀

At the beginning of 2018, I chose a word for the year. My word was “THRIVE”. The idea came from a line in a song by Casting Crowns. I want to do more than just survive I want to thrive. That was my goal for this year.

Did I thrive? or Did I just survive?

I’d like to think that I did a little bit of both. There were definitely areas in my life that I thrived in more than others over the last year. As I looked back through my goals I feel like I accomplished some of them.

One thing that I thrived in was my prayer life and prayer in general. Prayer has become a huge part of my everyday life. Over the year praying for others has become a huge blessing to me. It makes me feel good that I am helping people by praying for them when sometimes that’s all you can do. Prayer has definitely been one of the only things that have gotten me through this year.  ⠀

Thriving in the area of serving and getting more involved in church. I am actively involved in childcare and preschool at my church. I volunteer once a month on Sundays back in preschool and I love every minute of it. Working with kids is a huge passion of mine. I love sharing the love of Jesus with them. This year I worked twice a month at church for MOPs. This is our church’s program for Mothers of Preschoolers. I got to work with the 4 and 5-year-olds and it was a blessing to me. There’s something about investing in the lives of kids that just makes my heart happy.

Another area of thriving was our young adult group Anthem. If you follow me on Instagram then you probably heard me speak of it. We meet on Thursday nights as well as Sunday mornings and let me tell you it’s one of the best things that has happened to me. It has changed my life for the better. The friendships that I have made over the last year I am truly thankful for. I love that I am accepted for who I am and that I can be real and authentic with them.

However, there are areas in life over the last year that I felt like I was just surviving. Health issues played a big part in life this year. I have had ups and downs and sometimes thought I was barely hanging on. It has been rough, emotionally, physically and mentally. I’ve cried more tears then I would like to admit there were times I wanted to just throw the towel in. It was only by God’s grace that I made it through. God was right there with me holding my hand.

I don’t know what tomorrow will bring or even what 2019 has in store but I do know that whatever comes my way God is with me. ⠀

I’m not sad about 2018 being almost through. In fact, I’m sorta excited because next year has to be better than this year. It just has to be. I keep telling myself that anyways. ⠀

There are lots I learned this year about God, myself, friends and life and I’m grateful to have experienced everything. The good, the bad, the ugly, and the mess all taught me lessons and made me stronger. ⠀

As you take time to reflect over the past year whether it was your best year yet or maybe your worst year please take heart and remember that God is good and you made it through with His help.

Comparision and Why Her?

I’ve never been one who liked to read books but recently that has started to change. At the beginning of the year, I decided that this year I would like to read at least 10 books this year.

Well, I just finished the first one and get this. I read the whole thing in less than a weeks time. Several of my friends recommended this. It’s a brand new book that just came out and it really was eye-opening for me. I thought that I would take some time to do a review on the blog this week.


When I first saw the title of the book my thoughts immediately were yes finally a book that will answer my questions. In a way they do but it also opened a whole new series of questions that got me thinking about comparison and the age-old question why her not me.

Nicki Koziarz’s way with words is truly remarkable. The whole book is built around 6 different truths that you need to hear.

Comparison is a lie that the devil uses to distract us from what God wants us to do. 

As I read through each chapter of the book it kept convicting my heart more and more. I struggle with comparison and honestly until now I wasn’t to keen on sharing this struggle with the world. This book changed my perspective on a lot of things.

TRUTH 1: You need to be honest! 

TRUTH 2: See it like it really is!

Honesty teaches us to stop fearing what we don’t have so we can see what we do.

~Nicki Koziarz~

These two truths go together in my mind. Being honest and seeing things like they really go hand in hand. As I think back through my own life it’s so hard seeing things like they really are. Sometimes you just want them to be the way you want them and the thought of being honest hurts. Well, my friend let me tell you this. I’ve been there. One thing that I’ve learned is that when we are honest, it can lead us to understand than to just react.

TRUTH 3: You don’t always have to be okay!

TRUTH 4: Sometimes you didn’t do anything wrong!

Ouch! These two truths and chapters really hit me hard. I’m the kind of woman who very rarely shows that I’m not okay. People have told me that I’m good at faking okay instead off showing them that I’m not.

While reading these chapters I felt in my heart God telling me this:

Grace, you don’t have to always be okay and have it all together. It’s okay to not be okay. I know it is hard to watch “her” but I know that you didn’t do anything wrong. Trust me! I know whats best for you. 

You see, exposing your own weakness toward jealousy and allowing God to overcome its damaging effects on you is a significant step in our freedom. One quote that stuck out to me was this:

We have to trust God so much that if He doesn’t give it to us, we don’t want it!

~Nicki Kozariz~

Can I say ouch again?

Seriously this was one of those moments where I wanted to throw the book across the room and scream. You know the feeling, it’s not something you want to hear or read. The older I get the more I’m having to trust God and His timing.

Surrender is hard!

There have been times when something I wanted so badly never came to be. God didn’t give it to me and I was upset. Looking back now I wish that I would’ve had this attitude of I don’t want it because God didn’t give it to me for a reason.

TRUTH 5: Her gain is not your loss!

TRUTH 6: Let the success of others encourage, not discourage you!

Here are another one of those moments I had of wanting to throw the book down and not finish it but it wasn’t because I didn’t want to it was because God was convicting my soul.

You see reading this book opened my eyes to past comparison issues that I have been keeping inside. You know the ones where I thought that I was fine and over it but in reality, this book brought up the issue and made Mme realize it was still an issue.

One in particular issue of the why her question came up through a message from a friend. It kinda discouraged me. You see she was asked or given an opportunity that I have been praying so hard for the last year. It really got me thinking.

Watching others succeed in the things you want or desire is hard. In other words, watching them live your dreams feel like a stab in the back. 

I quickly started praying and texted a couple friends. They were someone who understood my struggle. They prayed for me and reminded me to focus on the good and not let this discourage me too long.

So as I finished the book here’s a little encouragement I want to leave you with today. Comparison is a real struggle but instead of focusing on the bad focus on the good. Remember the six truths that were discussed in the book. Remember that you are not alone in this struggle and know that I am praying for you.

Please feel free to comment or shoot me a message. I want you to know that I am here for you. I want to pray for you and tell you that God loves you.

If you haven’t read this book, I highly encourage you to pick up your copy today. It is well worth your time to read. Here’s a link to purchase your copy

Blessings, Grace Mae ❤