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!

YOU CANNOT BEAT A RIVER INTO SUBMISSION

Written by Jack Pues

Doctor Strange – Surrender

If you haven’t seen the movie, Doctor Strange, I urge you to see it. The movie starts off by showing us the life of Dr. Stephen Strange as a surgeon until he gets in a serious accident, which takes away the use of his hands. He looks for any type of medical help that’ll cure him, but the only help he finds lies within a mystical sanctuary. There he starts to learn about the power of the mystic arts, in order to become powerful enough to heal his hands. The movie goes on to show his journey as a sorcerer, as well as a person. Of course, it has the traditional elements of a comic-book movie, but there’s so much more to it. There is a particular scene where Strange’s teacher, the Ancient One, is trying to teach Strange to let go of all that he knows and accept that this art and power is real, despite whether or not it makes sense. She says to him, “You cannot beat a river into submission. You have to surrender to its current and use its power as your own.” He finally listens to her and embraces his power and all that comes with it. In my opinion, this is the turning point of the movie. After that, Strange excels in the mystic arts. I have thought about that ever since, and I realized something recently: this teaching is one of the most essential parts of faith and our relationship with God.

I was asked in a Bible study recently if I think that I have the power to heal as Jesus did, whether it’s the blind, deaf, sick, etc. I didn’t really know how to answer. It was something I had never considered before. I know Jesus did it, and I have heard miracles such as that happen before with others as well, but I never thought it was something I could do. I thought, “Well, maybe through God’s grace and power, I don’t see why not.” While I was thinking about all of this, the quote from Doctor Strange popped in my head. I immediately tried to relate the two together, and through that, I found my answer. I feel that most Christians, or even people, have prayed for miracles before, and even just for simple things that they desperately want or need. I also feel like so many believers, while praying for God’s intercession, rely more on themselves rather than Him. Many do not fully submit, or “surrender,” to the power of God. God is our river, and His strength, love, and hope are its current. When we try to do it all by ourselves and try to interject our own will into His river, we’re actively fighting against the current. Instead, I urge you all to flow in His embrace. Let Him guide you. Believe that He loves you more than all things. Surrender yourself to Him, and I promise you will see a change in your life. Once you surrender, you will feel his peace and grace. Once you place your WHOLE faith and belief into Him, the Holy Spirit will fill you with the power to do extraordinary things. This was my answer to the question. If we truly believe in God, believe in what he has done, what Jesus’ has done and taught us, and completely surrender ourselves to Him, anything is possible. I think Casting Crowns’ song “Just Be Held” puts it best: “And when you’re tired of fighting
Chained by your control, There’s freedom in surrender, Lay it down and let it go.” You only weaken yourself in your own control, but you are free and strong in Christ when you allow Him to hold you, and float in His current.

“But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.” James 1:6

One of the many things I learned in that bible study was that God is on His knee offering us His love and eternal life always. We have the choice to accept Him or not. I promise that if you accept Him…you will be powerful, free, and satisfied.

 

1 year

Today marks one year since I posted my first blog post on here. Reflecting on my posts on the website and on my Instagram, looking through my old prayers, requests, notes, and thoughts on this blog, I have realized how much I have grown from just sharing my thoughts and the word of God.

I’ve been through several different seasons since I started this blog – each has taught me valuable lessons and you can certainly tell by the blog posts I’ve written. I have also learned a heck of a lot about myself – my interests and my dislikes, who I want to be as a person.

I fall short more times than I can count, yet God still loves me and picks me back up. He knows I’m broken and have a fragile heart, but he still sees me as courageous and he provides me with the strength I need. He says I am worthy and beautiful, which is more than I think of myself, but I am trying to rest in that truth. THE SAME GOES FOR YOU!

I see such a huge future for this blog, whether it’s just me who reads it, 10 people, or 100. Numbers in my mind do not matter. However, I truly only care about the 1. The 1 person needs Jesus or a word of encouragement. That has always been my hope and prayer for this blog, that one person comes to know how loved they are in the eyes of Jesus. If one day this impacts 100 people, praise God. But, truly it is the one that God wants and he wants your heart more than anything.

I am forever thankful for this blog, thank God for his faithfulness! Here is to many more years of Jesus loving encouragement!

READ MY FIRST BLOG POST HERE: Why The Beautiful & Brave

READ MY TESTIMONY HERE: My Story

AN HONEST PRAYER

sitting. watching. admiring. waiting. praying. 

image1 (1).jpeg

God what a sinner I am. How I have fallen short time and time again, yet you still love me. I look out at the sunrise admiring your creation, the strokes of the color you so intricately painted together.

You are so good and holy. I feel unworthy to say I am yours, but the fact is that I am worthy. You, in fact, call me your child. You love me even when I am far gone.

Oh, how I love to watch you paint the sky. Your majesty. Heavenly Father. You are good. So perfect and wonderful. Everything I am not. Yet you still love me and my selfish heart.

His works are wondrous. I am so thankful I was able to watch the sunrise this morning. Spending time admiring this painting of the sky was breathtaking.

 

THE WAITING

I can say with almost full confidence I am in a season of waiting. I can see my future dreams + aspirations within reach, but I still have a long way to go. This is hard for me because I so wish I had things accomplished now, or at least next week. So, I am working on appreciating the journey & the waiting.

good things take time

I. What does it look like to be in a season of waiting?

From my own experience, waiting for me seems to look like I am constantly just running the race, doing my work, & staying focused on what lies ahead. Right now I can see the goals + plan God has laid out before me, right now I am just learning patience.

II. What should you do while you are waiting?

Pray. Take time to do your work right. Spend a little more time bettering yourself. Take moments to breathe/ recognize what is going on in the present moment. Sometimes it takes a few months, maybe a few years to reach that point you are waiting for. But, appreciate the journey. You may be waiting for your dream job, waiting on a relationship to heal, waiting to figure out what your purpose is, whatever it may be, just appreciate the journey, even if it is a long, dark road. God would not put you through something if he did not think you would make it, plus he is with you every step of the way.

III. What do you do when the waiting is over?

Praise God for his goodness + thank him for giving you the strength to make it to this point. Celebrate! Whether you landed your dream job/career or your relationship with a loved one is healed, celebrate the good news. Remember to stay focus + just as patient as you were when you were in that season of waiting.

HOW DO YOU KEEP YOURSELF ENCOURAGED?

Sometimes, most of the time, I have a difficult time staying encouraged. People encourage me, they give me pep talks, I get hyped up, then an hour later I find myself in the same spot I was last time.

SO, how do we keep ourselves encouraged, even when our circumstances seem to be pulling us in another direction?

  • Speak truth over my life, I find that this helps my mood stay positive. 

    Today will be a good day.

    You are a blessing.

    You are loved.

  • Encourage someone else – when you encourage others, it can help you remember to stay positive.
  • Read your bible or some encouraging words – I find that if I fill my mind with encouraging words from either the bible or simply in a book / devotional, my day completely turns around.
  • Listen to positive, uplifting music!
  • B R E A T H E !

“God is in her, she will not fall.” || Psalm 46:5

I find that these work 100% of the time when it comes to encouraging myself and others. Usually, when I get overwhelmed by something, which it does not take a lot for that to happy, I have to constantly remind myself that I am not in control of things. Knowing this truth helps allow my mind to stand still + be present. I have such a difficult time moving too fast and forgetting to focus on what is happening at that moment.

The mind feasts on what it focuses on. What consumes my thinking will be the making or the breaking of my identity. – Lysa TerKeurst from Uninvited 

The last thing I would like to address is the important fact that we are like sponges. What we feed our mind, we absorb.. we take in. If we are constantly feeding our mind negative + hateful thoughts, that’s who we will become. If we focus too much on the future, rather than the present, we will find ourselves always wanting more + seeking things rather than being present in the moment we are in now. Focusing on the negative will eventually lead you down a path of a negative identity. NOW, if we feed our mind positive, uplifting, + encouraging thoughts/words, our identity will become exactly that. Which in my opinion, will leave you better off now and in the long run.

“YOU SAY”

There is this growing need inside my soul and my heart to know even deeper the love God has for me. To find my true calling in life. To know my worth. To know that who I am is beautiful and loved.

Constantly, I am fighting a battle back and forth about who the world says I am and who God says I am (I am sure that I am not the only one). In the end, it is God who determines my worth.

There is an abundant need for YOU in this world, I cannot express this enough. I am constantly playing this through my mind, day in and day out because it is so easy, SO EASY, to believe the lies that this world is feeding us. Keeping your head clear and knowing the truth is way easier said than done because it requires a lot of effort and it becomes tiring at times. That is when you ask for help from Jesus, asking that he will continue to give you strength to remain true to the identity he has called on you and asking that he will continue to prepare you for the battle against the enemy.

There is an abundant need for YOUR contribution to the kingdom…

YOUR thoughts and words and artistic expressions…

YOUR exact brand of beautiful || Lysa TerKeurst

When you feel as if the world is judging you, remember that it is only God who can judge you. When you feel unworthy and unmeasurable to what/who you are “looking up to” or who you follow on social media, remember that it is only God who defines your worth.

I know, easier said than done. Every time someone other than God tries to tell you that you are unworthy, unfit for use, unmeasurable, unloved…hit right back with the words, “God says that I am.” When you continue to reiterate truth into your life, your outlook, perspective, and mindset begin to change and you will finally see what God sees in you and all of the noise and chatter of the world will grow strangely dim.

WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME?

The question I find constantly running through my mind, “what is wrong with me?” We talked about this topic about a month ago at church and I find myself constantly asking myself this question.

Why am I constantly doing things that I know I shouldn’t? Why do I continue to sin when I know what is right and what is wrong? In all aspects of my life, I am constantly wondering why I continue to fall short of the glory of God.

Romans 8:15 says, “For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate.”

Can anyone else relate to this verse? I know I can. It’s crazy how those words were written in the bible hundreds of years ago and we can still relate to that. Blows my mind. Many days I find myself just wondering why I do the things I do and then I find myself in a downward spiral leading to guilt and shame. Then I remember that the Lord shows me mercy and love even though I sin and let my flesh win.

Now in Romans 8:18 Paul writes, “For I know that nothing good dwells within me, that is, my flesh. I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out.”

I struggle constantly with fighting everything my flesh wants and what my flesh does. And if I am honest, my flesh wins 90% of the time. By God’s grace, he saves me every day even when I fail, and I fail a lot. I am so thankful that my God is a good and loving father, who looks upon my sinful self and loves me just the same. Wanna know some amazing news? He loves you too even amidst your sin.

SO, how do we do better? How do we stop letting out flesh win every battle? It is by confessing my sins and praying to Jesus asking for forgiveness, at least that is what I do. I find when I talk to God and pray I keep myself in check. When I am not talking with Him, I am 99% of the time out of line. So it’s important to hold yourself accountable and possibly have someone help you stay accountable! Whenever you find yourself wondering “what is wrong with me?” just pray, breathe, and remember who your father is.

FAITH 4-1-1

Think you don’t have much faith in God? or in anything for that matter? Congratulations, you’re in good company with many of the disciples when they first came to know Jesus.

Maybe if you are new to Christianity, or you just don’t know much about it, but faith is a key ingredient in your relationship with Jesus. You don’t have to be perfect to have faith in God and his ways, you don’t have to be “good enough” in order to have a relationship with Jesus, and you certainly don’t have to have everything together to have faith that God will provide. We get caught up in the devils lies that we have to be “good enough” for Jesus to love us, and that is false. We tend to believe the lie that if we have done x,y, and z, that only then can we have a relationship with Jesus, that is false as well.

The definition of faith: complete trust or confidence in someone or something.

I also like to put faith this way, it’s not believing THAT God is good and he is going to take care of you because believing that something will happen or is true is just a shallow attempt at believing. It’s believing IN God and believing IN his promises to us that he is good and he will provide. FAITH is believing IN God and giving the control of our lives over to him, trusting IN him to deliver his promises to us.

The Parable of the Mustard Seed

Matthew 13:31-32  ||  Mark 4:30-34  ||  Luke 13: 18-19

This parable shows up in the Bible three times and basically is one of those, “pay attention lessons.”

“Again he said, “What shall we say the kingdom of God is like, or what parable shall we use to describe it? It is like a mustard seed, which is the smallest of all seeds on earth. Yet when planted, it grows and becomes the largest of all garden plants, with such big branches that the birds can perch in its shade.” Mark 4:30-32

So, let’s break it down. He is saying that it only takes a tiny mustard seed to build the kingdom of God. Now to relate this to faith, he means that it only takes the smallest amount of faith, to trust and believe IN Jesus.

Faith the size of a mustard seed is better than no faith at all. 

If you want to really walk with the Lord, just do it. Tell him, “today is the day I put my faith and trust IN you. Surrender your life to him. proclaim2 to the world that Jesus is your savior. Give him your mustard seed and tell him that “this is what I have to offer, do with it what you will.”

You must walk in the FAITH knowing that God has already overcome the situations and circumstances in your life. 

A LITTLE SELF REFLECTION

Taking a little turn with this topic because I so strongly believe in it.

The topic of self-love, self-esteem, confidence, IS SO IMPORTANT. I am a huge advocate for loving who God has made you be and accepting that your differences make YOU BEAUTIFUL.

Hence why I wanted to join this movement and help with building the idea of self-love and self-confidence.

I am not perfect and I’m not trying to be, I honestly have zero intentions of reaching that standard. At the end of the day, I am the only one who can truly make myself happy. Other people may make me “feel” happy,  but those are just fleeting “feelings.”

Some days are better than others, I am sure you all can agree with me on that. But when we have those “bad” days, we have to remind ourselves that that does not define our image and that does not have to be our label.

Filling your mind with positive affirmations and building yourself up in so important. It is so easy to let your mind be mean to yourself. How we treat ourselves carries onto how we treat others as well. If we are constantly doubting ourselves, beating ourselves up for our “flaws” and “insecurities” than it is possible we are doing the same to our friends and family. What we really believe shapes what we actually say, both to ourselves and to others. 

I am one to compare myself to every single girl on Instagram who, in my mind, is “110% better than anything I could ever be or become.” At that moment everything I know to be true slips away, why? It’s our flesh. We are prone to bring ourselves down when we see something that we do not have or see all the ways we fall short. That’s a constant battle we have to fight every day.

Part of me wants to blame past relationships, not being seen as worthy to some, not being “good enough” for some, but then I realize that I shouldn’t even allow that to affect how I view myself. Just because I wasn’t what someone wanted isn’t my fault or my problem.” At the moment it hurts more than anything, but they do not define who I am. God defines who I am. Same goes for you who are reading this.

Self Reflecting Questions:

  1. Where/who is your faith in? Where/who do you look to for comfort?
  2. Do you often find yourself questioning your worth/purpose? Do you find yourself comparing yourself to other people on social media?
  3. Do you honestly think you are good enough right now at this moment? If you answered no, why do you feel like you aren’t good enough?
  4. When you look in the mirror at the beginning of the day do you immediately speak truth over your life (example: I am worthy, I am good enough, I am beautiful, I am going to conquer today)? Or do you speak negatively about yourself (example: I wish I looked like _____, today is going to be horrible/today is not going to be my day, I am unworthy of love)?
  5. What are ways YOU can do to remind yourself of your beauty and worth? (I personally like writing encouragement for myself on post it notes and leave them up in my room.)

To wraps things up (because I truly could go one forever) you are truly beautiful and unique in the eyes of God and to me. When you find yourself doubting your worth, your beauty, or your purpose…pray, cry, yell out to God to remind you of his love for you and his purpose for your being here.