Virginia Lovin'

I was never really excited about coming to Virginia this summer. I didn't know much about the city or the state in general. I kinda was just going to go. Little did I know how much I would fall in love with it here! 

Not only are the mountains gorgeous but there is so much to do and so much to see. It's got a "living off the land" essence and I just love that.

I went for drive today with just me and my camera. The solitude, absence of an agenda and relaxation of a drive was extremely therapeutic and very overdue.

I thank you for your prayers, my friends. They are being felt.


Life is continuing to surprise me. God continues to test my faith daily and I would be lying if I said I was obeying 100%. I continue to fail. I continue to disobey. I continue to live for myself. I don't know if I expected this to change during this time of renewal but, it hasn't. But, even though I continue to fail, I know that my heart is changing. I'm learning to not harp on my failures, I'm making a conscious effort to not get mired down by my inability to be perfect. Instead, I'm turning to Jesus and thanking Him for his perfection, faithfulness, unwavering love. I will continue to fail, to disappoint, to sin. But, He will continue to love me, to forgive me, to cover me with mercy and grace. I'm just at the beginning of this journey of mine. It's harder than I expected and I'm already loosing steam. Already I'm feeling like I'm falling apart.

I'm reading a book, Comforts from the Cross (highly recommended) that spoke to this perfectly. 

"The gospel teaches us that instead of focusing on ourselves and our closely clinging sin, we've got to focus on, consider, Jesus. We've got to look away from our sin, whether because it's alluring and drawing us towards it or because it's condemning and pushing us into ourselves and away from our Savior."

 These words are so powerful to me. I continuously get bogged down by my failure, my inability to resist temptation, my desire to sin. My perspective is on myself and how I don't live up to God's commandments instead of on my Savior and his faithfulness. This is exactly what Satan wants. He wants me to feel powerless, shameful, guilty. He wants me to become so buried in my failure and self loathing to a point where I break instead of turning to God and receiving love, grace and forgiveness. This is so hard for me to comprehend, so hard for me to adopt in my daily life. I am continuously amazed at how much God loves me regardless of what I do or don't do. I thought that this would be a daily struggle but, it's much more complex than that. It's a moment to moment struggle. A second by second surrender. Satan is constantly at work, relentlessly aiming to push me farther away from truth and life.

But my God is bigger. Stronger. Brighter.

It will continue to be hard. But I know that faithfulness to Christ will produce endurance during this battle. Obedience to His Word will produce blessings in my life. Sacrifice to my desires will lead to true life in Him.

Here is some truth to hold on to: No matter how alluring sin may be, Christ is better.

Pretty lady  – (July 8, 2012 at 6:58 PM)  

great truths! wow, God is at work in your life!!!

Cori Janae  – (July 11, 2012 at 10:39 PM)  

I love Virginia! What I love even more is your honesty and courage to speak about the way God has been working in your life. Thank you for this post!

Anonymous –   – (July 30, 2012 at 7:22 AM)  

These pictures! Oh my goodness, Mary! They are gorgeous!!!! I have always loved the peace and contentment inspired by them. You totally captured that here! Good job!!!

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