To Be or Not to be… a freelance writer

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You figure that if you start a blog it’s because you like to write, right?  Well, at least that’s why I started my blog.  I like to write and also, because life as a wife and mom can give one some pretty great anecdotes to share with the world.  I started off this year with blogging about what God spoke into my heart and that I wanted to start blogging more this year.  So, it’s May and this is only my second blog post of 2017 and in the last, I believe TWO years.  I really have been trying (though not nearly as hard enough as I could/should) to keep up with the blog.  The reasons why I want to blog, are because I felt that it’s a good platform to share my heart with people and to be open and transparent about the things I go through in every area of my life. My hope is that through this blog, I can inspire and encourage.

Anyway, here’s the reason for this post and to try to find an answer for the title of this post.  At the beginning of the year, I got an itch to help our household out financially.  Not because I need or have to, but because I want to.  I want to have a side hustle that generates a good bit of extra income to help accomplish our goals as a family. I started thinking creatively, thought about starting an etsy shop, or picking back up on my photography, began selling things on varagesale (though it tends to aggravate me with people who end up backing out on a sale), so I’ve taken a break from that.  Then, a few days ago, as I was perusing pinterest on stay at home mom jobs, I came across freelance writing.  Sounds like a piece of cake, right? At least I thought so, but as I’ve been researching more about it, it’s kind of overwhelming.  I just signed up on a content mill, to get started and see what niche I can narrow down on.  There are so many helpful bloggers out there willing to share their experiences and how they’ve become successful.

I tend to doubt myself and my abilities a lot, but my husband is such a great encourager to me.  His words of encouragement resound in my mind as I continue to research more on sample writing, narrowing in on a niche, building a website, etc.  I’ve got a good bit of work ahead of me to get this thing going, but I’m going to try my hardest and push myself to give this a shot.  It inspired me to write this post, so that’s always a good thing!

If you’re a freelance writer who just so happened to stumble upon my blog, please message me with some helpful tips and suggestions! They will be greatly appreciated!

Expectant and Accepted

WORSHIP, MUSIC, CHRISTIAN ARTIST, CHRISTIAN MUSIC, FAITH, CHRISTIANITY, INSPIRATION,

So, I will start my first blog post of 2017 by sharing with you what God placed in my heart for this new year. It ties into what he placed on my heart last year, which was the word “Grace.” Grace because I found myself not wanting to let people off the hook for their “offenses” against me, especially those closest to me. Also, because I needed to give myself more grace. I truly am my own worst enemy and critic!

A few days ago I was in my car and just began talking/thinking/praying out loud about what God wanted this year to be about in regards to my heart and growth in Him. Then, the word expectant popped in my head… I thought, well that can’t be right, weird… mmm no. So, I just kept talking to God and asking Him to let me know what it is that I need to implement this year.

Over the course of the next few days, expectant continued to pop up in my head. I then just started saying, how can that be right? It sounds so selfish and weird and kind of mean, right God? Is that really you telling me to be expectant of YOU?!  Like, yeah, I EXPECT him to do this for me because he better… what?! (at least that’s what it sounds like in my head).  The second word is… you guessed it, accepted. That one came tonight during our worship night at church.

Expectant because He wants me to be expectant in a humble way. It now makes sense because throughout the course of my life, there have been many times when I’ve felt unworthy of God and all that He has and does or wants to do for me. Present day, this is what it looks like: If I know that I lost my cool with the girls one too many times, or had a huge disagreement with Sam and refused to apologize, I reasoned that, because of those shortcomings, God wouldn’t/couldn’t bless me and it’d be ok; because I didn’t “deserve” to be blessed or forgiven or I didn’t deserve to be given grace.

I could feel a sense of unworthiness and almost be too proud to accept forgiveness, etc. from God. Yet, God wants to bless me (and you) regardless of our shortcomings and in spite of who we are… “duh,” we’re only human right? He actually expects that of us!  He says that I should humbly expect Him to bless me because He loves me and I am worthy of His love, blessings, mercy, love, forgiveness, grace!

It’s ok for me to pray and ask for forgiveness in spite of my  lack thereof in a moment, for His grace, for His favor…expectant even when I am simply praying over my day… it’s ok. (Hebrews 4:16; John 15:7).  And even if he doesn’t (Daniel 3:16-18)… because sometimes the answers to our prayers may be “no.”

Accepted because I’ve always felt forgotten, unloved, not cared about… the list really can go on. I know where these roots come from and last year while at a women’s conference, I had a breakthrough, from a complete stranger,  after so many years.

At church, I had never felt a sense of belonging among my peers. I came from another church, therefore, I was an “outsider” and the devil used that to make me feel like an outsider for the next 7 years!! This would look like being at a gathering with friends and everyone else is engaged in conversation except me…the devil would use that to feed the lie that no one cared to come talk to me. It would be like “see, no one really cares about you or how you’re doing, no one likes you.” Ouch! When by nature,  unless I am in a group of people that I know, I am kept to myself and even around friends, sometimes I just keep to myself out plain old introvertedness (mmm… probably not a word).

I bought that lie for so long, because even in my childhood, there were times that I felt  unwanted. These were the results of deep-rooted issues that to this day I’m still working on and have worked on, and will probably still be working on for a while. I’m an adult… why do I still struggle with this? The answer seems to be that you can’t outgrow hurts, you have to face them and kill the root… I tried to outgrow them and cover them and ignore them and deal with them on my own… pride!

Since the conference, I’ve worked on shooting down the lies and the negative thoughts from the enemy and I’ve gotten a lot better of not reading into situations and knowing that these things don’t define me or my worth. Jesus already accepted me a long time ago and I’ve forgotten over the course of day to day life, motherhood, wifehood… and the enemy loves when we forget who God has already called us. I am accepted, loved, worthy, wanted, cared for… we all are.

Hidden veggie pancakes

When I first started giving Ava food, I would make her veggies, and she loved them. The only ones that she gave me the hardest time with, were carrots, but eventually she’d eat them right up! Around the 10 month mark, however, she started rejecting her veggies! It made me so sad. Now that she’s 13 months, the struggle has been real haha I’ve tried so many tricks, I feel like I’ve tried them all. One day she loves mashed potatoes, the next she’ll only eat a few bites. Anyway, pancakes are her favorite and she’ll eat them every time! So, without further ado, here’s a recipe I found on Pinterest: http://www.mamasaywhat.com/carrot-zucchini-pancakes/

I was a bit hesitant at first because I wasn’t sure I wanted to give my daughter something I didn’t really want to eat, but then I thought, why not? I did do somethings a little different, I didn’t have zucchini, so I used yellow squash and instead of 2 eggs, I only used one. I tried this recipe last week, and didn’t want to share it until I knew it worked, the first time, Ava didn’t want them (it’s like she knew that there was carrot and squash)! I tried again, and she loved them!! So here is my slightly altered version that I DID try and they are YUMMY!

  • 1 carrot, peeled & finely grated
  • 1 small yellow squash or if you have zucchini then by all means use that if you want, finely grated
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup milk (I prefer whole milk, but 1% or 2% will work)
  • 2 cups Bisquick Heart Smart pancake mix
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 tablespoon sugar

Cook them as you would normal pancakes and serve how you like. I use coconut butter on mine and Ava eats hers plain since they are slightly sweet with the sugar I like to add. Hope you and/or your picky eater enjoy!

Happy FIRST Birthday my princess!

When I found out I was pregnant, I was in shock. We weren’t planning on trying to get pregnant for another year. I wasn’t so sure how Sam would react, because he wanted to wait as long as possible, but I’ve always been a “mom” and have always been nurturing, so I wanted a baby as soon as we got married, ha! I began googling/pinterest-ing cute ideas to tell your husband you’re expecting. That day he just so happened to stop by the house to pick something up, and I freaked out and he looked at me as if I had done something wrong, which I probably had a guilty look on my face. He was also on the phone, so he couldn’t really talk to me, but I showed him the positive test and he thought I was joking, but he still hugged me and smiled. Shortly after, he called me asking if that was for real, I said yes, and he was so happy ( I didn’t doubt he would be)! That was not the ideal way I wanted it to go, but that’s how it happened! So many emotions went through our minds, but at the same time, nothing else mattered but this new little life that was growing inside of me. My heart was so overwhelmed with joy, and all I could do was praise God for this miracle. A few days after finding out, I had gone to the bathroom and noticed I was bleeding. I got so scared and I went to the ER. The whole time I was praying that I wasn’t having a miscarriage. The worst feeling was not knowing, because after being examined, they told me only time could tell if it indeed was a miscarriage, because it was still so early. That was a Friday, and I had to wait until Monday to go to my doctor and get more blood work done to determine whether my numbers increased or decreased. We were so uneasy, and we decided to let our family know what was going on and for them to keep us in prayer. It felt like the longest weekend! Sam, met me at the doctor and thankfully, the numbers had doubled!! To make a long story longer… just kidding… short, fast forward TEN, NOT NINE, (women, someone lied to us because pregnancy lasts 10 looong months just so you know) months later, on November 5, 2013 at 8:52 AM, I gave birth to my absolutely beautiful little girl, Ava! Oh the joy, the unexplainable joy that we felt when we laid eyes on you… Tears stream down my face as I type this, because you changed our world for the better. I knew the love of God in a completely different way. The way we see you is the way he sees us, but even more HIS love for us can’t compare! As I reflect on our life this past year, you have taught us so much, we’ve grown as adults, you’ve taught us patience, selflessness, to love better… and YOU have grown! You are so smart, sweet, and silly. Every day you make us laugh with something new that you do. Your laugh and smile is contagious, we could be sick or having a crummy day, and you put the biggest smile on our face! God has huge plans for your life, and daddy and I pray for wisdom to lead you and guide you in HIS path. That you grow to be a strong woman, not swayed by the things of this world and fulfill God’s will and purpose for your life! We are excited to keep watching you grow and pray to be the best parents we can be! We love you princess!! HAPPY FIRST BIRTHDAY BABY GIRL!!IMG_0564IMG_0832

Results Pt. 3

So, it’s been a few months since I last updated you guys on my weight-loss journey/progress. Allow me now to toot my own horn: in August, I returned to my pre-pregnancy weight of 135 pounds!!! WOOHOO!!! Today, I’m weighing 130 pounds, which leaves me 5 pounds away from my goal weight. I want to get back to my wedding weight, and I can see the light haha. It’s been a loooong journey, but I’ve worked my butt off to get to this point. The beginning was rough since I had Ava around the holidays (that means there was lots of deliciousness to avoid…. mmm that wasn’t going to happen), and not to mention that we live in a city that has some of the most amazing food! Anyway, I digress. It took lots of will power and the support of my husband to join me in this journey, and we’ve both been shedding the weight, making wise choices, and have been coming up with creative ways to exercise since we tend to get bored, become inactive, and put the weight back on. We’ve come so far, we feel so good, look so good (ha), to stop now. No looking back for us, and we hope to maintain a healthy lifestyle! Before I forget, in the last month, I’ve also taken part of this awesome workout regimen http://bikinibodymommy.com/. So head on over and check it out! It’s great!

Have you weeded your garden lately?

This past Sunday, I decided that I was tired of looking at the ugly weeds that began to take over our garden. They had grown so tall; they were such an eyesore. So, after our busy day, I told Sam I was going to weed the garden. He kind of looked at me like I was crazy and asked if I was sure… (If you know me, then you know that I think bugs and dirt are gross and icky, and I’m such a girly girl). I don’t know what got into me. I think it was the fact that I wanted to do something active and sweat off some fat! However, from the moment I pulled out that first weed, I regretted it immediately! The texture of the roots and dirt with moisture, YUCK! Anyway, I just kept going, and the more weeds I pulled, the more I started thinking about my life and how many times “weeds” have grown in my heart that I’ve had to ask God to yank, and sometimes I’ve even tried to do it on my own. I was reminded about how as Christians, we must constantly be on our guard to make sure that weeds aren’t growing over the godly seeds and plants that we have sowed and watered over time.
The thing about weeds is that they creep up, and sometimes we don’t notice them, sometimes a flower may even bloom and look so pretty, that we mistake it for a flower that we planted and watered ourselves. It’s not! It’s a weed. I almost didn’t pull one out because it was a pretty white little flower, then I realized it was an imposter, so I yanked it! I don’t want it messing up my pretty garden in the literal or hypothetical sense. As I was weeding, I came across three different types of weeds.
The first, are weeds that are easier to uproot than others. In the spiritual sense, these may look like selfishness, lying, jealousy, cursing, gossip, etc. (I know that sins are all equal, but because we’re human, we tend to categorize them on a “not so bad” to “extremely horrible” scale. So, for that reason, I’m categorizing them). These weeds may not seem so bad, but weeds are weeds and they will destroy the beautiful flowers one way or another. I was able to completely uproot some, and others I could only pull from the surface. That brings me to the second type of weeds I came across. These weeds were so deeply embedded in the ground, that there was no way I could uproot them. I knew that for those, I needed someone stronger than me to pull them out completely. I was only able to pull what was on the surface. They were so challenging and I got so aggravated because I knew that those would come back within a few days. I feel like that’s how it is when we have “weeds” in our hearts. Some are easier to get rid of and some are not so easy. We can pull some out on our own, or so we think, but no matter what, they still grow back some time after. Some we just pull from the top, but they grow back because the root is still there. We might only give God the “small” or “not so bad” weeds to get rid of, but what good will that do in the long run?

The last kind of weed I came across were the ones that disguise themselves or try to hide in between the pretty flowers that I mentioned earlier. Here’s a picture of some trying to hide in between the agapanthus.

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I looked at these and just knew that they were going to be a challenge. These are the worst kind because they are deeply rooted and they’re trying to pretend they aren’t weeds. So, I tried to muster all of the strength I could, and began pulling them like a mad woman! I was even talking to them, telling them, “Yeah, I see you! I’m not gunna let you think you belong here, because you don’t! Come here!” I’m not lying either hahaha. I eventually gave up. My hands, fingers and arms hurt from trying so hard. That’s exactly what happens in our lives, many times we give up, because it starts to hurt. The thing is, the pain won’t last forever and we’ll be better off anyway. The next day, my fingers still burned a little, but by the end of the day, that sensation was gone. So many times in my walk, I’ve tried to pull weeds out on my own, hesitant to give them to God, because I doubted that they’d really be uprooted. I’ve grown weeds of resentment, bitterness, low self-esteem, jealousy, and they kept my godly seeds from growing into the beautiful flowers they were intended to be. I couldn’t really enjoy God and all of the ways He would or could bless me. There was always something that would immediately shoot down anything that seemed nice. Weeds tend to stick/grow together. I would pull one out on one end and there would be a trail that led to more roots a few feet away. The same goes for the weeds in our lives that we think aren’t so bad. Bitterness can lead to anger, anger to hate, hate to actually hurting the person that caused us to be bitter, which can all lead up to the weeds that disguise themselves as flowers that are supposed to be there. This happens whether we have just begun our walk with God, or if we’ve been walking with God for years. We are never exempt from weeds growing, so we must be cautious. Daily, we must renew our hearts and minds and the moment we feel a weed growing, give it to God so that it won’t stand a chance. We must constantly work out our salvation. (Phil. 2:12)

So, have you weeded your garden lately?

 

 

 

So little time

Good morning! It’s been a while since I’ve been able to post, and that seems to be the trend of my blog, haha. Whenever I get the chance to read other blogs, I feel an itch and the urge to head on over here, and type away. However, I’m quickly reminded that my time is cut short as I hear my daughter crying for my attention. I absolutely love, love, love every second of being a mother. Every time I look at my baby, I’m reminded of how blessed I am and of God’s incredibly immense love and goodness! Children truly are a heritage from The Lord (Psalm 127:3).  I don’t mind being wanted and needed by her,it’s the best feeling, and when it comes to being a wife and mother, everything else is secondary. I find that the only times I could write are when she’s napping, or if I happen to wake up before she does, like today. Even after my husband comes home, my focus and attention shifts to him as well. I try to make it a point to be attentive to my family and put away my phone, iPad, MacBook etc. Spending time with my family is the most important thing, I don’t want to miss a moment! While I do have “me” time, I’m usually cleaning, planning things, or catching up on my quiet time. It’s crazy how much more busy life gets once you become a mother. I do hope to keep blogging more often, because I find it relaxing and I like being able to share my thoughts, not to mention that there’s so much to catch up on, like I’m back to my pre-pregnancy weight!! Woohoo! But that’s for another post! As always, thanks for reading!!