Priorities

So, yes, next week is …….. MARCH! 2016 is flying by!

If I asked you, “How are you doing?,” would you wonder where to begin? Do you wonder with all the millions of things going on in your life, is it too much? When you look at how full your life is do you assess your priority list frequently? Am I investing my time, energy, and spiritual passions in the best manner? Does God want me to stop and assess—and perhaps rethink—my priorities? Does He want me to better care for myself spiritually, physically, and emotionally, in a more intelligent and thoughtful way? I ask myself these things often.

Where do you fall on your priority list? Honestly, I have always fallen last on my priority list. Sad, but true. Until, now. I am placing myself second to God on my list.  That’s where I am placing myself, and I am not making any excuses or apologies for it. That means before my family, friends, and career. Even before my ministry. Whooooaaaa brain change!

Now, as I embark on this new shift and immense growth in my life, I battle feeling selfish and self-centered. I have to revert back to God’s word for confidence. I have always been a giver, but I have never made myself a priority. God brought me into situations in life that forced me to stop and assess, to rethink everything I do and to evaluate importance and priority. In these storms some of the greatest revelations of my life have surfaced. Priority has been a major one this year.

“I will make you into a great nation. I will bless you . . . and you will be a blessing to others” Genesis 12:2

So, what’s different now? It is sinking in that I can’t take care of anyone else unless I take care of myself first. Mind blown! It took me this long to realize this?! God must laugh at me daily!

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If you have ever taken a flight anywhere I am sure you have heard this: “In the event of a change in cabin pressure, panels above your head will open revealing oxygen masks. Remember to secure your own mask before assisting others.” Because, you cannot help others with their oxygen masks if you can’t breathe yourself! So, from a new-found perspective I realize I have to nurture myself first (second only to God) in order to be spiritually, emotionally, intellectually, and physically available to others. This prepares me to serve others.

  • If I don’t feed myself spiritually, I don’t have the spiritual resources needed to share with others. I need to read the bible and pray daily.
  • If I don’t make the effort to work through my own emotional wounds, I end up reacting to others instead of being in a position to minister to them. This is why I have to heal myself, deal with the underlying issues, seek Godly counsel and work daily to use my experiences to grow as a woman. Making sure my heart isn’t hardened.
  • If I don’t look after my own physical health and become sick or ran down, I am not much use to my family, friends or my business. I need to eat healthy and exercise regularly.
  • If I don’t get sufficient rest, I get worn down. I can’t focus or devote 100% to anything if I am exhausted. This is why I am trying to make more time to sleep at least 6 – 7 hours a night.

If I want to be an example for others I have to live the way I want to influence others. I am in a much greater position to serve and give to others when I take care of myself. By taking care of myself I am Glorifying God, taking care of His temple, being a great witness and equipping myself with energy for His purpose. I think more intently now than ever before about my actions, my intentions, my commitments and my priorities.

Some things I am using for focus when making priorities:

  • Don’t overload yourself with commitments (Decide ahead of time how many projects, committees, nights out, etc., are healthy for you and your family)
  • Before agreeing to take something on, making it a matter of prayer for a day or two or three (however long it takes)
  • Cultivate and make time for fun with friends. Laughter is vital for health.

Not that I haven’t known this already, but I am more and more aware that God has given us only ONE LIFE to live. This life is a priceless gift and a holy responsibility. God wants us to live this life for Him with joy, passion, and fulfillment. But for this to happen, we need to take care of ourselves. Don’t be ashamed or feel guilty for taking care of you! #Priorities

Friday Focus: Calling

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Remember: Jesus called us to be a light to this world.

When I, with a giving attitude, express that part of my soul literally dying to be expressed, I shine a reflection of Jesus.

– Lysa Terkeurst

I began this blog as a way to share my journey, my testimony, updates on my infertility journey, encourage other woman going through the same thing, encourage anyone & everyone, but most importantly to spread the word & love of Jesus Christ. If He did it for me, He can surely do it for you! My sole motivation was to change people’s lives, to empower people, to connect with people and to show people God’s love.

My journey isn’t pretty and every day isn’t filled with rainbows & unicorns, but my journey is a testimony to the greatness of God’s unending love, His gracious mercy and forgiveness, and the ever-present example that God never leaves us. I’m an perfectly imperfect child of God and my hope is that everyone can find my testimony relatable in some way and that you find strength, hope, love and encouragement here.

My prayer is that everyone who reads this blog, knows my story, listens to my testimony, follows my journey and relates in some way will know the mighty love of Jesus Christ.

I pray you find encouragement and strength, know that you are never alone and realize you are called to be a light in the darkness.

Every time I share a part of my soul in this blog or in my life, I shine a reflection of Jesus.

“For many are called, but few are chosen” – Matthew 22:14

Go be the light, spread the love & shine bright for Jesus!

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Unapologetically………ME

Be You

I am me, I realize I am not everyone’s glass of wine; but—–I am becoming more okay with being okay with that. Who I am called to be is my destiny and may not mesh with everyone I encounter. I am coming into who I am supposed to be each and every day.

“God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” – 2 Corinthians 5:21

You are called to be you and to be righteous in all you do. That in turn means not everyone is going to like you, applaud you, support you or encourage you. That’s okay, you have to be unapologetically the person God has called you to be; it is in the design and makeup of your DNA. Walk confidentially forward knowing you can do best by just being you. Love yourself, hug yourself, praise yourself, encourage yourself, spoil yourself and continue to fill yourself with God’s truths on who you are and whose you are. Nothing else matters.

Majority of people spend their whole lives trying to be what they “think” they are supposed to be, what others want them to be, what society says they should be or what someone has forced them to believe they are.

Im supposed to be a size 0

Im supposed to graduate college

Im supposed to work for a company for 40 years climbing the ladder

Im supposed to be married by 25

Im supposed to have # of children by 30

Im supposed to have $$$ of money in the bank

Im supposed to go to church

Exhausting, huh? Trying to live up to the “supposed to’s” when in all actuality you probably have no clue what you are really called to do. In a world full of followers, step out —- be unique, be courageous, be dynamic, be a leader! Be righteous, do what God calls you to do. Don’t worry what anyone else in the whole world thinks about you. They hated Jesus, what makes you think you won’t be hated on too? Haters? Really? Thank God for your haters! When people are “hating” on you that means you must be doing something right! There will be people disguised as friends/family/spouses/etc… that will try to tear you down, diminish your value or speak toxic things into your life. BE YOU. Be the YOU God calls you to be. Rise up to the calling of your god-given gifts and talents. It takes much reflection to realize a talent is very different from a skill.

talent: a special natural ability or quality. The synonym for talent is endowment or gift.

skill: an ability that has been acquired by training

Your talent is a gift from God, it is a natural ability for you to freely be who you are. It’s not always going to be popular, it’s not always going to be accepted but walking in the path you have been designed for is righteousness to God.

Keep going. Keep fighting the battle. Keep dancing in the rain. You can do it, you can make it. You are the only one stopping you from anything you want.

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A constant bear I battle daily; focusing on being exactly who I am called to be. As a people-pleaser mixed with an insane level of ambition and drive, I can see many times when I was being who I thought I should be, who someone told me I was supposed to be and doing things that seemed like I was supposed to be doing. Much of my life has been filled with naysayers and negativity in some form or fashion. People doubting my ideas, my actions, my service, my decisions. People telling me what I should be doing or need to do to have the “Dream Life.” People giving me advice they don’t take themselves or giving me advice to try to hold me back in the same spot they are in. Misery loves company, sad but true. You have to be extremely conscientious of who you allow to be in your inner circle. You have to be supremely cautious of who you allow to pour into your life. If you focus your efforts on being who God calls you to be then He will put the people in your life that are supposed to be there. I’ve had people say I would never graduate college, I would never have a great job, I would never amount to anything, I would be a pregnant drug addict by 16, I wont have children, I will have a failed marriage, I will never be good enough and the list goes on and on. By God’s continuing grace I constantly defy the odds. The people I have in my life now celebrate me, encourage me, help me grow, keep me grounded, build me up and just do life with me. No motives, no pretending, no judgments and no expectations.

“Only let each person lead the life that the Lord has assigned to him, and to which God has called him. This is my rule in all the churches.” – 1 Corinthians 7:17

I am a true activist for learning to love yourself, learning to value yourself, learning to appreciate every situation in your life and learning to let go. I’ve let go of pretending to be someone I’m not, I’ve let go of trying to be or do what anyone else thinks I should be doing. I’m just going to be the best me I can be. I’m learning every day what self-love is, feels like, looks like and sounds like. I’m learning how to be myself and worry less about what everyone else thinks. Always remember: what is for you, is for you and there is nothing anyone can do to take that from you. God knows every hair on your head, he skillfully planned your life out before you were conceived in the womb, there is nothing that you cannot achieve. Free yourself from a life of pretending to be someone else, free yourself from living a life that is “keeping up with the Jones.” Step out on faith, challenge yourself to do something different – BE YOU. Be unapologetically YOU.

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We answer to one power, God, stop concerning yourself with what everyone else thinks. Stop concerning yourself with what everyone else is doing. Learn to live in your lane, your way, your purpose and your destiny. When you know who you are in the Lord, what others say doesn’t even matter anymore. Let’s spend more time building each other up, encouraging one another, praying for one another and loving one another. Everyday is a journey to who you are designed to be.

“We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; if it is to encourage, then give encouragement;t if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully. – Romans 12:6-8

You are your truest you, not when you are criticizing yourself or comparing yourself against someone else. You are your truest you when your eyes are fixed on Jesus and following him in faith. When you are serving others in love with the grace-gifts God has assigned to you. You owe it to yourself, you deserve it and there is someone out there who will be empowered by you.

Do You | Be You | Love You

Worn Out & Weary

God has given you a gift of time. Your time. Your choice. Your approach. – Lysa Terkeurst

I’m sure we can all relate in some way, I am weary because _______… (fill in the blank)

As I continue to grow in my relationship with God and mature as a woman I realize that there are times I grow weary. Many times I am weary and worn out. Work, Life, Marriage, Schedules, Commitments, Planning, it can all make you just throw yourself in a chair and say “God, don’t you know I am weary?!” Which is a joke in itself, of course God knows you’re weary! He built us to grow weary, by creation we are destined to grow weary. Because He wants us to come to Him when we are weary, renew our strength in Him. “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” – Matthew 11:28

Do you know where to go when you’re worn out?

I’m going to have a spa day, take a vacation, go to a retreat, spend time with friends, sleep, take a day off of work, I can do _______ to recover from being worn out. All of those things may give us temporary relaxation and refreshing but nothing sustains a worn out soul like sitting with God. I am so convicted by the story of Martha and Mary, sisters, who saw things very differently. I am guilty of being Martha more than I would like to admit. Always being distracted with “much serving & preparation”, I am a woman on the go with not enough hours in the day. Learning to make time to sit with the Lord and listen, drown out the distractions and choosing the good portion God has for me. I pray to be more like Mary, comfortable with just sitting.

dis·trac·tion –  a thing that prevents someone from giving full attention to something else.

Who am I to lie and say that I haven’t been distracted from God by everything under the sun?! Distracted from His calling on my infertility journey by charting, shots, surgeries, recoveries, losses, planning, procedures, doctor’s visits, much working and no listening. Distracted in my marriage by life’s demands taking me away from the apex God is deserving of in our marriage. Distracted from personal relationship with the only One who can work the impossible to possible by alarm clocks, running late, exhaustion, you name it. I’m worried about so many things, accomplishing everything on my list, pleasing everyone, hitting all my target deadlines and just plain distracted.  God is changing my heart, he is changing my life, clearing out the distractions and the overzealous, unintentional way I devote and spend my time. Making room for what is most important.

“Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.” – Luke 10:41-42

I am learning to balance out the push and pull of life, instead of just catching everything “on the go” like fast food, I am aiming for enough, rather than too much. Intentional & purposeful choices. Spreading myself thin and forgetting the gifts given to me are not pleasing to the Lord or pleasing to myself. “To whom much is given, much will be required.” I am learning to make time to sit and listen, spring clean the unnecessary and make room for the overflow of blessings He says are mine.

“We have to start with a number – 168. This is the number of hours God entrust me with each week. No more. No less. How we treat those hours will be very telling in whether or not we’ll ever become fearless.” – Lysa Terkeurst

Putting a number on it really brings some reality to my mind, 168 hours a week; what’s that soul thing for you, that God-honoring thing that keeps slipping away because there’s been no time to set aside and actually start? Instead of being weary and worn out, stop & sit with Him, make time to be with the One who can renew your strength so that you can soar on wings like eagles and run and not grow weary. He is never weary. Your choice.

“Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom.” – Isaiah 40:28

A Year of Firsts

 

“In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.” – Proverbs 3:6

Happy New Year all! My o my, has this year been full of firsts for me! We serve a God of firsts, a God who wants our first and a God who gives us firsts! Just like His first commandment says “You shall have no other Gods before me”, we must put God first and give our firsts in all we do.

So, we did something different this year, we gave God the first of our year so He will bless the rest of our year! I had calling on my heart to follow through with fasting and prayer, seeking discernment, direction and purpose from God. I didn’t make a list of “New Year’s Resolutions” like I do every year or start making a gazillion to-do list and must-accomplish list. I just stopped and said “this year I will give God my first and let him direct my steps.” Never, did I expect He would flood my life-like He has in the last 31 days. The process of the fast broke me down, broke my spirit, made me deal with things I never would have. God tested me, my endurance, my commitment, my devotion and my sanity. It was the worst best 21 days I have ever committed to.

I didn’t blog, I didn’t write, I just read, spent time in His word, prayed, cried, shouted, ignored, read, cried some more and fervently remained steadfast through prayer and devotion. The fast was the first I felt calling for, it was the first I held onto and the first I had accomplished completely. I had tried to fast before and just didn’t follow through for many reasons, lack of faith, no commitment, aggravation, hunger, etc.… This time was different though, in my brokenness, I realized it’s all about Him. Seeking Him first. Sadly, I have to admit, even though I was saying I put God first I really didn’t. Everything was in front of him, my hectic schedules, my obligations, my work, my infertility, my marriage, my friends, everything was taking precedence over God. I was breaking the first commandment. Thank God He gives us more grace.

I can change my infertility and expand my family. I can change my marriage and fix everything on my own, I can build our business and make it operational by myself, I can handle a ridiculous workload and continue being a workhorse with no problem. I can, I can, I can….by myself. L.o.L NOT! There is only so much God is going to allow me to control independently before He stops me in my tracks as a father should and brings me back to Him. It took me so long to realize this: all I have to do is put Him first. In my brokenness I realize that I have to shift my habitual mindset and begin to do many “firsts” as if I am in infancy without knowledge, although I am an adult with much “knowledge.” hah

“A woman who lives with the stress of an overwhelmed schedule will often ache with the sadness of an underwhelmed soul.” – Lysa Terkeurst

My soul has ached with sadness and underwhelming unhappiness. Disheveling, unaware, inadequate, uncomfortable and scary are all the things that come through my mind on a daily 24 hour period. Because for the first time, I am putting Him first, it’s like a whole new world. I am giving Him all this life I have and letting Him deal with the outcomes. God operates in the realm of impossible, quite frankly I have been feeling I was surrounded by nothing but impossible. The weight of that alone was dragging me down every day. Only he knows our past, present and future. He can see our whole timeline in one glimpse.

“so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” – 2 Timothy 3:17

I want to become fearless. I want to be well equipped to enjoy and handle the mighty blessings I know are destined for me. Preparation and obedience show God I am ready for what He has in store for me. I realized my hands, life, head and heart have been far too full of worldly things to even make space for God to sit with me, bless me and spend time with me. Maturity definitely comes with age but wisdom comes from the truth of His word. That is peace, sitting on the truth of His word joyfully, no matter what storm in life you may be in. No matter what I am enduring my joy must come from Him.

“Put your outdoor work in order, and get your fields ready; after that, build your house.” – Proverbs 24:27

So, although I am great at planning, preparation and making things work in order and align for successful outcomes, it’s a first for me to prepare with God’s direction for the order. God calls everything to be in order. Everything has to be done in order. When you were a baby, you wouldn’t have been able to walk before you crawled or as a teenager you wouldn’t have been able to drive before you took a class to learn and practiced. Preparation is key. A home built on a shaky foundation grumbles in the first strong winds. A home built on a strong foundation can weather any storm. So, instead of me taking money and throwing it into another round of IVF then praying for God’s blessing, I am going to Him first in prayer for direction on the order of steps He wants me to take on my infertility. Instead of me trying to manage a marriage with 2 people who have never been married before, I am going to Him first for discernment and direction putting Him first in our marriage. Going to Him first for direction and operational discernment for our business. Seeking Him first for the order in which He wants us to move forward.

So, this first of fasting and prayer has brought me many takeaways and has continued to fine-tune my ears even more to God’s voice. He has brought everything in the dark corners of my life to the surface so that I may put my work in order and overcome, heal and build my house strong for what the future may hold. Kids, successful marriage, successful business, family, faith, friends, leadership and me. Attacking these first, head on, for healing, reconciliation and restoration. Giving it all to Him.

5th Annual Bringing Joy to Houston

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My heart is humbled,  overjoyed,  captivated and honored by the incredibly powerful movement of God’s people at our 5th Annual Bringing Joy to Houston!

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We partnered with our Grace Serve Team and with an inspiring youth group out of Sam Houston State in Huntsville and we blessed hundreds of Houston’s homeless under the cross downtown!

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200 blankets,  200 jackets,  care packages,  clothing,  water,  fellowship,  prayer,  christmas carols…..AAAHHHHH y’all my heart is so filled with the spirit of CHRIST!

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We celebrate 5 years of doing something that once started out with 5 people on the street walking through downtown alleys just trying to be a blessing to others.  Now we are over 75+ volunteers strong!  Servants of Christ who are taking time out of their busy schedules to be the hands and feet of Jesus!

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Bert Lyle with Sam Houston State has been downtown for 15 Christmas seasons serving the less fortunate!  Man,  God knows how to align his people with other like minded believers!

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I want to personally thank each and every one of you who came out and supported our passion and/or donated. We know you’re busy,  we know it was freezing,  we know you have jam packed to-do list,  BUT, your support each year means more to me than you will ever know. It shows me God’s love through you,  it shows you care about others,  it proves God’s grace is never farther than an arm’s length away. It shows me you love me,  you support me and doing life with others who see your worth and value is one of the most precious, invaluable gifts possible.  Thank you, thank you,  thank you.

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Thank you to all of the supporters,  donations and our awesome corporate sponsor, Universal Weather and Aviation

Merry Christmas, we love you all and pray God’s peace and blessings over you and yours this holiday season!

Friday Focus: Just Be….Content

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So be content with who you are, and don’t put on airs. God’s strong hand is on you; he’ll promote you at the right time. Live carefree before God; he is most careful with you. – 1 Peter 5:6-7 (MSG)

I have printed this out, cut it up and taped it on my keyboard. Why you ask? Because I am impatient. In these turbulent storms my patience is even shorter than normal and I want what I want, right now! Can someone say “spoiled brat?!” L.O.L The intense struggles, mistakes, sins and shortcomings are still bringing me closer to God. I literally sat in amazement yesterday on my drive home thinking about God’s movement in my life. It’s not always fast enough for me, it’s not always the way I want and it seems to always come with significant struggle. But it is always for my best.

Listen to the words of this song → “Ill Keep On” by NF, Mansion Album

I have to keep going. Even when every single thing in life sucks beyond belief, I cant seem to give up. Even when everything has gone wrong the entire, day, week, month I cannot give up on pushing forward. Patience. Waiting. Trusting. Faith. I feel like I’m the only one who struggles with these things more often than not. I am impatient. I hate waiting. I find trust difficult at times. My faith lacks the level it should be at most times. How can I be patient, wait, trust and have faith when everything around me seems completely out of control?! When I struggle to see the “light at the end of the tunnel” and my spirit gets weary.

I feel being content is a double-edged sword. Many are “content” so to say but never rise to their full potential. Many are never content and spend all their time and efforts trying to get the “next best thing.” Being content in this life is something I have just dived into this year. I’m working on it every day. Can I be content without being able to have children? Can I be content with the career position that God has elevated me to? Can I be content with the turtle pace progress on our business? Can I be content with the family dynamic between myself and my mother and siblings? Can I be content with sacrifice while rebuilding? Content with marriage struggles? Can I just be content?

Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. – Philippians 4:11

I am theoretically stomping my feet on the ground and throwing a tantrum right now. I realized God is testing me, challenging me, pruning me, teaching me and preparing me. Iron sharpens Iron. For what? Only He knows. And I just want to scream “Haven’t I been through enough already?” “How much more can I take?” Then I realize, he built me for this life and knows exactly what I can handle and what I will overcome. Going through the journey, tests, trials, tribulations and challenges feels horrible though. I’ve been sad, I’ve worried, I’ve felt like hope is gone. I deal daily with people asking “When are y’all going to have kids?!” Sometimes, I just have to walk away so the rudeness doesn’t escape my mouth and I don’t offend anyone. Is that really anyone’s business to begin with? Do I go around asking “When are you going to get a man, get married, get a better job, etc…?!” NO, I don’t. It’s not my business and I accept people for who they are. No judgement and no gossip.

For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong. – 2 Corinthians 12:10

I just dealt with the ugliness of someone spreading gossip that I faked my last pregnancy and my C-section. WTH?! Is this real life or is this like  TV show?! I seriously was appalled. I was baffled that anyone could even say something so stupid and ignorant. But then I have to remember that it’s not my job to prove to anyone my testimony or journey. Every day is filled with opportunities to choose how I will respond versus react. If I react they are in control, if I respond I am in control. I have to steady myself on responding how Jesus wants me to and I have to stay fueled up with positivity, motivation and truth found in His word.

So, I have to force myself to sit in patience, contentment and faith. I have to force myself to trust Him and wait on Him. I’m learning to “dance in the storms” and every day isn’t peachy keen. But, I’m keeping on.

The Secret to Contentment, Awesome read: Grace To You – The Secret To Contentment

  1. First, learn to give thanks in all things.
  2. Second, learn to rest in God’s providence.
  3. Third, learn to be satisfied with little.
  4. Fourth, learn to live above life’s circumstances.
  5. Fifth, learn to rely on God’s power and provision.
  6. Finally, become preoccupied with the well-being of others.

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Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. – Romans 12:2

The holidays are upon us and there is only 30 days left until 2016 begins!!! 30 days!!! AHHH! Time flies and this life isn’t promised to us! In struggles / trials / tribulations / tests / conflicts, I retreat, I take inward to deal with what I am facing so that as few people as possible are affected by my circumstance. That’s tough, tough on me, tough on those around me and tough on God. I am so blessed, blessed beyond anything I deserve and I fall short every single day of God’s glory and mercy. But He never gives up on me, even when I feel like giving up on myself.

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This life is tough, these tests are trying and my spirit becomes weary. My worldly mind questions who I am, whose I am, my worth, my value and my purpose. In the valleys I lose sight sometimes of the promises I know God has for me. I question if I am even worthy enough??

What is the price of five sparrows—two copper coins? Yet God does not forget a single one of them. And the very hairs on your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are more valuable to God than a whole flock of sparrows. – Luke 12:6-7

And even though I “know” better, my mind wanders to places that make me feel worthless, shamed, and forgotten. I’ve struggled to pray lately, to read my devotion and stay focused, to even find words to communicate how my soul feels. I’m forever grateful for the people God has strategically and purposely placed in my life that hold me up and speak life into me during times of struggle. This time of year reminds me of the loss, the torture, the tragedy and the infertility. The last 3 holiday seasons were clouded with horrific moments and tragedy. Topped with current life struggles and I am just overwhelmed with frustration, anger and disappointment. I have to fight hard to overcome those thoughts with positivity and life. To just keep pushing forward.

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Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light. – Matthew 11:29-30

I am hanging on God’s every word, I praise him humbly and brokenhearted. I have nothing to offer him and I approach his feet broken and scarred. I want more than anything to keep Him first, in everything. This song has been giving me life and on repeat the last couple of weeks (thank God for Spotify!) → Lauren Daigle – First.  In my confusion, in my cries, during the times I feel lost, it’s becoming habit to just fall on God and his word. Even if it’s just 1 verse, 1 song, whatever it is I use that as my rope to hang on. Even when I can’t pray and don’t know what to say, I just ask Him to hear my heart.

There are so many things around me that I have to be thankful for. I don’t take a single thing for granted in this life and I know at any moment things can change. The holidays bring reverence and thankfulness to my heart despite my circumstances. I would have to be blind not to see His miraculous works all around me.

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For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. – Romans 3:23

So, I am working everyday on self-worth, self-love, self-promotion, evolution and growth. Peeling back the layers, changing histories, breaking the chains and living the life God destined for me. My circumstances don’t determine my destiny and although I may be in this valley now, I know there is better yet to come. God built me as a survivor, a overcomer and I will not give up even when I feel like I’ve given my all. Scaling back self-criticism and learning to love myself because God loves me. Excited about the holiday festivities, beautiful decorations, cold weather, time with family, celebrating the birth of Jesus, great food and good reflection! Soaking in every moment of joy, the smiles, the laughter and the imperfections.

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Songs I’m praising him through:
Chris Tomlin – Good Father
Jeremy Camp – Same Power

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“She stood in the storm, and when the wind did not blow her away, she adjusted her sails.” – Elizabeth Edwards

I’ve been reflecting on the many things I’ve learned in my 33 years, and here are the 33 things I’ve learned the hard way. (in no particular order):

  1. You can’t buy happiness
  2. Jesus is the only way
  3. Money isn’t everything
  4. If I don’t take care of me who will
  5. Genuineness and authenticity trumps quantity every time
  6. Forgiveness is the only way to live
  7. People won’t do what you do, or reciprocate what you want them to
  8. Planning everything all the time isn’t as fun without a lil spontaneity
  9. I’m not going to be a bikini model,  IG model, etc… but there is only one me and I’m beautiful
  10. I’m always going to be a daddy’s girl
  11. It’s important to take “me” time, without guilt
  12. Saying “no” doesn’t make me a horrible person
  13. Intentionally and purposefully scheduling my time
  14. I own who I am and I’m unapologetic for it
  15. Focus on the blessings and the positives
  16. Everyone makes mistakes
  17. No one sin is greater than another
  18. My relationship with Christ outweighs my desire for religious acceptance
  19. My infertility journey has changed my life and who I am
  20. God is always with me,  no matter what, he has never left me
  21. I overcame more than anyone expected me to
  22. I’ve got a serious chocolate addiction
  23. I adore serving others
  24. Change is constant
  25. I’m uber emotional, fierce, strong and loyal,  to a fault
  26. My scars are beautiful signs I survived
  27. God has already given me his love and forgiveness,  I don’t have to perform to earn it
  28. I work for God,  not for man
  29. Blood doesn’t make family
  30. You can’t trust everyone
  31. Every relationship takes effort and nurturing
  32. Race,  gender and religion always matters to someone
  33. The IRS is real,  their power is real,  taxes are real,  pay them

A few extras for good blessing:

  1. Tithing is sowing the seeds for the harvest that is to come. It’s God’s 10%
  2. Financial knowledge and management is crucial
  3. Credit management is essential
  4. Travel the world, get cultured, it’s the memories that matter
  5. Is never too late to do what you want,  be what you want,  have what you want.  Every day you get another chance,  make it count.