SETTING TWO KIDDOS FREE IN JESUS NAME

About a year ago I started sponsoring a young girl named Ludmylla through Compassion International. I felt extremely called to serve through the community and others any way I could. During the Compassion Experience weekend at my church, I was moved by the Holy Spirit to give and sponsor, sweet Ludmylla. I was fortunate enough to have extra money to do my part in giving life and spreading the gospel to this little girl.

Now, a year later, I was in the same place of wanting to do my part in giving life to these sweet kids, but financially I was not in a place to do so. After praying during the service and listening to my pastor speak, I knew in my heart I wanted to take up another child. I had zero idea how I was going to pay for two kiddos, but I was reminded that my God is greater and he will make a way for it to happen. I sponsored a young girl that night named Winnie and my heart was so overwhelmed with joy and faith in my God, who I knew would somehow provide the way for me to follow through financially.

The next day, I was contacted by a friend for a constant nanny position and I started regularly babysitting for another family. Therefore, I am able to provide for my two little girls who I cannot wait to watch grow up. I know to some, this may seem like a small or insignificant story, but it is a huge testimony to how great and faithful our God truly is. I have the means to spread his kingdom and make much of who HE is through loving on these sweet kids.

Even now a few weeks later, I am still blown away at how perfect God’s timing was and is, but I know that he knew EXACTLY what he was doing. I took a step out in faith, faith that God was going to provide for my financial needs, and it turned into a beautiful testimony.

Interested in Compassion International? Questions? Click the link here!!

A TIME & PLACE

There is a time for everything,
    and a season for every activity under the heavens – Ecclesiastes 3:1

There is a time and a season for everything under the sun. This can be taken into any part of your life, but today I am going to tie this into relationships and friendships. There is a time and a place for certain relationships and friendships. First, I would like to set the stage up for us before we get into the deep, heavy unpacking.

Everyday we encounter people. Whether you’re at coffee shop, gas station, grocery store, work, even at home. How are you acting? What does your actions and character say about you? For me, I have made an effort to be as open as I can to strangers that I encounter on a daily basis. You never know what someone may be going through, so I think it is extremely important, especially if you are a believer, to show kindness and a smile to anyone you come in contact with. You never know who you could proclaim the gospel too and it won’t kill you to show humanity to someone else. Get off your phone and make connections!

Now, that is slightly off topic of what I wanted to really dive into, but honestly it needed to be said. This year the Holy Spirit really brought to the surface areas in my life that I needed to have more attention too. One of them being, my friendships and relationships with others and I really want to unpack this. This is going to come off as harsh, but I promise I will dive into it more, but sometimes you have to love from a distance. As hard of a decision as it may be, there are times when you have to either remove yourself from a group of people or simply distance yourself. God has really placed this heavily on my heart and mind this year.

Think about it, some relationships we have are most likely dead weight. “We have been friends forever so I can’t stop being their friend”, “that person is my best friend, I couldn’t distance myself from them”, “even though they aren’t always benefiting me, I have to be friends with them or else I wouldn’t have friends.” YEP, I will say it loud for the people in the back THESE ARE EXCUSES. Plain and simple, people.

If you are not benefiting from a relationship/friendship then it’s time to step back and reevaluate the purpose and reason you have that person in your life. If you are not constantly being filled with encouragement, life, and love from someone, they got to go or at least you need to distance yourself from them. You can 100 percent still love someone by taking a step back, if anything it shows that you love them and you want what is best for the both of you. You shouldn’t feel like you’re a burden in a friendship or you shouldn’t feel overlooked. You SHOULD NOT be hanging out with people who you know go against your values and lead you down a path that if full of nonsense or temptation.

I’m 22 and this is a hard pill to swallow because I know there have and are people in my life who certainly do not benefit my life. However, I am so grateful for the progression of my relationship with the Father that I hear what he says and I know that what he says is true. It is a daily surrender to let go and understand that he is working for my benefit, but it is a daily surrender that I am willing to part take in.

I have some action steps for you to take if you are on the fence with someone either being a liability or an asset to your life!

  • Get in community – join a church, volunteer at your church, get in a disciple group that you can benefit and grow from.
  • Surround yourself with like minded Christians – take action & get out of your comfort zone to make new friends with the same values as yourself.
  • Let go & surrender – let go of the relationships that you find are not for your best interest. Pray to God about this, I promise you he will show you who needs to stay & who needs to go.
  • Be obedient towards Christ – if you get a word from God that you need to let someone go or distance yourself from someone, obey him!! You will benefit greatly from listening to the one who knows all things will work for his glory and your benefit.

As always, I love feedback and hearing what you have to say! Feel free to message me or comment your thoughts!

GOD IS WHO HE SAYS HE IS.

There have been countless times in my life where I have found myself hesitating to ask God certain questions because I had a feeling his answer was not what I wanted to hear. I know his ways are greater and better than mine, but at the time I don’t think I believed in that promise. You see, there is a huge difference in “knowing something to be true” and “believing something to be true.” We can know everything possible, but it takes believing and having faith in it that determines our mindset and actions.

I have deliberatly turned away from answers that I was searching for because I simply did not like the answer. I thought my way was better and more beneficial for me. Little did I know my own actions hurt me the most. I’ve come to learn (and trust me, I still have a lot of learning to do) that God isn’t going to take away something from you without giving you something bigger and greater in return to you.

I love this picture for so many different reasons and when I saw it for the first time I couldn’t help but think “This is exactly what I have done and who I am.” I am sure many of you can relate to this, not knowing what the future may hold so you want to hold on for dear life onto what you have now. Thinking this is the best I will ever get, which is small minded thinking. Believing in God takes great faith and trust especially when it comes to gifts he will bless you with. The only ones who can hinder the opportunity for God to bless you, is you. If you are holding on so tight to something, but asking God for more, it is up to you to let go and trust in Him to fulfill his promises to you.

THE UNEXPECTED.

What do you do when the unexpected happens.

When you don’t make the team you tried out for. You may fail your exam you needed to pass the class. You loose your job. You find out you are infertile. Your relationship crumbles into pieces….

AND you find yourself stuck in this rut. You find yourself confused and overwhelmed at the fact that you are now stuck in a place of “where do I go from here?”

I’m sure you have been there at least once in your life and if you haven’t, you will. God didn’t promise us an easy, perfect, smooth sailing life. Honestly, you wouldn’t grow as a person if you didn’t walk through those valleys.

John 16:33 –
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

I have to remind myself of this verse more often than you’d think. A set back or an interruption in your plan for life may be what you need to reset your mindset. Your life and plan is controlled by God, not you. While yes, your decisions and choices are made by you because we were given free will, but your future and plans are in the palm of his hand. Think of it this way, God knows better than we do. We would be arrogant to think otherwise. God gives us those interruptions in life or set backs to put us in check. When we are faced with this situation, we should be changing our mindset FROM “Why is this happening to me? I know everything and I have my own plans” TO “God is the creator of the universe and I know his plans are greater than my own understanding. Lord your will be done and not my own.”

We aren’t always going to know or understand why things happen whether they are interruptions that throw us off course, but they don’t just happen to happen. It is all apart of a plan that has been designed for us and only for us.

WHAT’S THE DEAL W/ WELL BEING?

Stress, motivation, school, work, social life, money stress, relationships, mental & emotional healthYOUR WELL BEING. No matter what age you are, your situation, I am sure at one point or another you have dealt with a variety of these factors in your life. Now you can take what I say with a grain of salt, but this is just my two cents on this issue. 

I can’t begin to stress enough how important it is to take care of yourself mentally, emotionally, and physically. Your health and well being is so much more important than grades, a relationship, or a job – plain and simple. If your well being is compromised, how do you expect to perform your best in your life?

I will say this if you are working towards a school or career-related goal, make sure you know how much you can handle and establish that line of what is too much. If you are in a good financial state, working like crazy and going to school full time, mentally drained and overworked… maybe take one less class so you have time to perform to your best ability, rather than dividing up your attention more than needed. Take the pressure off yourself. This is hard even for me sometimes, but at the end of the day, you have to learn to accept that you put your hardish effort into your work and move on. There is no reason for dwelling on your past failures or shortcomings. Keep your head high and move on with more motivation to crush your goals. YOU GOT THIS!

In my personal opinion, is not worth your risking your emotional health to go down the drain. There is a way to reach your goals without completely risking your well being. For me, I have found that taking 3 classes a semester and working 2-3 times a week (I work 12 hr shifts as a caretaker) is the most I can handle and still have time to manage my emotional health and well being. For you, it may be more or less than that OR you might have to do less to work more, OR you may just have to load more on your plate because of your situation. Whatever it may be, making sure you have time to focus on your health is key to succeeding. I truly would hate to lose myself in stress and anxiety over something that I can control/manage. 

If you find yourself overwhelmed with your schedule, plan your week out in a diary or planner. Scheduling my day out helps me tremendously with not having that overwhelmed feeling and I find I accomplish more when I set standards for myself. Another way that I find helps with not feeling overwhelmed is waking up earlier and getting the right amount of sleep. When your body is well rested, you perform better in every aspect of your life (from my experience). When I wake up early, I have time to actually wake up, have breakfast and prepare for my day. Rather if I wake up late, it sets my whole day/schedule off. 

Your physical health is just as important as your mental/emotional health BUT I do find that I am at my best when I am working out and eating right. I am a firm believer in what you put into your body reflects your outward appearance and attitude. Developing healthy habits like eating clean, drinking water, having sweet treats in moderation, and working out are key to aiding in your well being. I enjoy moving my body, eating clean, focusing on strengthing my body, gaining confidence in myself… but there are days I do just feel like a blob and run down. This is where I listen to my body rather than push myself. Rest days and self-care days are essential to reaching your fitness and health goals. MIX UP YOUR WORKOUTS TO KEEP YOURSELF MOTIVATED. I love doing weights and the basic workouts at the gym, but incorporating yoga, pilates, CrossFit type workouts help keep things interesting & fun! I encourage you to mix things up if you find yourself bored at the gym. 

Honestly, everything revolves around balance & moderation. I encourage you to find new ways of coping with stress or whatever is making you feel overwhelmed. Find music that motivates you, get a friend who motivates/supports you when you feel like you can’t reach your goals, find a way to love being active + healthy. BOTTOM LINE: find what makes you happy & stick to it!