Walk in it

 

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This is what the Lord says: “Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is, and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls…”

(‭Jeremiah‬ ‭6‬:‭16‬ NIV)

We have a choice to make every day. It’s not a one and done. It’s not something to take lightly and frankly, it’s something I know I take for granted.
In this verse, God says to STAND and LOOK.
When we wake up, we must stand up and look around us before we go about our day. I’m so guilty of waking up mindlessly some days and just starting my day without acknowledging that he has blessed me with life!
He then says ASK for the ancient paths and where the GOOD WAY is. Wisdom doesn’t come without experience, or seeking good counsel. A person becomes wise when they don’t think they have the answers to everything and walk in the ways in which they think is the best. They seek advice from those who’ve gone before them and can see what we can’t see in that season or stage of life.
“The way of fools seems right to them, but the wise listen to advice.”
‭‭Proverbs‬ ‭12:15‬ ‭NIV‬‬
W A L K  I N  I T
Walk into the good path. The path of righteousness, love, truth, freedom, joy, patience…
No matter what is going on around us. Life isn’t always easy. Sometimes we must give things up, that to us don’t seem like they’re a hinderance, but are the very things keeping us tied down and not allowing us to to take these actions of walking out our faith. Things like: certain friendships, relationships, habits, bad language, anger, jealousy, etc.
“And as for you, brothers and sisters, never tire of doing what is good.”
‭‭2 Thessalonians‬ ‭3:13‬ ‭NIV‬‬
Walking in the right and good path is for sure hard, but the reward is so much better than the present. So much better than what the world can ever offer.
Lastly, he says that then we will find rest for our souls. Over the last few weeks at church, the messages have been about finding and entering true rest. This applies to me as much as the next person.
Because I’m a stay at home mom of 3, I forget that I too need to have a soul rest. A sabbath. Just because I don’t clock in and out, doesn’t mean I need to burn out on life and motherhood. I do no one good when my soul is heavy and weary and burdened with making sure the house and everyone in it is ok.
Taking these steps is so essential and crucial to every aspect of my life. I can’t be the wife my husband needs and the mom my girl’s need, if I don’t first, stand, look and ask the Lord to direct my steps for the day.
There are so many ways my feet can wander off to…
and I’d rather them wander off in the path that Jesus walks with me each and every day.
He will not go where we don’t ask him to go.
My day is so much better when I’ve asked the Lord to direct my steps and be with me, than when I think I’ve got it and do it alone.
The soul rest really does happen and I feel free because I know that God’s got my back. We just have to choose to walk in that freedom. So today, I encourage you to:
S T A N D
L O O K
A S K
&
W A L K  I N  I T
Because then you will find rest 🧡

Chapter 30

Paris, turning 30, 30th birthday, Paris, Europe, Rome, travel, travel blog, faith blog
May 23rd, my actual birthday! do I look 30?! 😝

Turning 30…

Some of us anticipate it with joy and excitement. Some of us cringe and want to hide. Some of us don’t really care because it’s just a number. We get old and life goes on 🤷🏽‍♀️

As I was planning our European getaway for my 30th, I was so excited. I had begun planning it a year out and as the year went on, it still felt so far away. Then the week before came, the day before and at last it was the day of! (I can’t believe it’s already been a month, now)!

I was so nervous, and it all felt so surreal. Was it really happening?! After what felt like the longest travel experience ever (long story, but let’s just say Trump

is literally to blame 😂), we finally arrived in Rome. 

I wish I could say it was all rainbows, birds chirping, and wind blowing in our hair. Instead, I was bawling my eyes out, because they lost our one checked bag that had all of my husband and my clothes and shoes in it. I didn’t even have extra underwear in a carryon because I was too busy worrying and making sure all of the girls’ things were packed in them. 

I was so mad and angry and began thinking that everything was going to go wrong. That it was a mistake going there and I wanted to immediately go back home and crawl into bed! 

We were at the airport making the claim for what felt like forever, and by the time we were finished, our pre planned driver had left. So we stood around waiting for a taxi that would take our family of 5, to our hotel. 

My husband, through it all, remained cool and kept reassuring me that it was ok; It would all work out. 

That night we showered, hopped into bed and I began to reflect for a few minutes before conking out from exhaustion and sleep deprivation. 

The next morning I woke up, put on the same clothes and opened the windows… 

Wow! I realized we were in freakin ROME, ITALY! We had a room with a quaint and beautiful little terrace and from it you could see St Peter’s Basilica and roofs lined with terra cotta tiles. So picturesque and dreamy. 

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My beautiful girls and our beautiful view!

I took a deep breath, and thought about the events that transpired in our travels. I realized that the devil was trying to steal my joy, my peace, and my excitement. In that moment I literally said, “oh no devil, not today!” 

 The night before I thought God was punishing me for something. I thought he didn’t want me to have a smooth, fun and sweet time visiting Rome and Paris and turning 30 with my family.I felt like I was out of his protection because our bag got lost. And as I really thought on that terrace

and as I’m typing now, I realize how completely ridiculous it sounds. 

I know that the God I serve is a loving, compassionate, joyful God who wants nothing but the best for us. And what the devil tries to do is trick us into thinking that we’re being punished and deserve whatever mishap or unfortunate circumstance comes our way. 

What a jerk, right?! 😡

If you’ve followed me long enough, you know that I’ve struggled with anxiety. Anxiety about the future and wanting to control things so that I know what will happen and how it will happen. I’m not God, though. Through this I’ve learned that I need to allow God to be in control of every single situation. Big or small. 

Allowing God to be in complete control sets us up for being completely okay when things don’t go our way. When I realized that the devil was trying to egg my anxiety on, in order for me to lose sight of what was right in front of me, my perspective changed. 

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Same outfit different day, who dis?

Come on, just being in Europe, safe and sound, with actual clothes on my back, dirty or not, was blessing enough! Every material thing is replaceable… and guess what y’all… two days later, our bag showed up and was delivered to our room! 

I mean won’t he do it?! 

So, as I embark on this 30th chapter of life, I just want to encourage you. Shift your perspective to see through the eyes of gratitude, contentment, joy, faith, TRUST that God has your back and release full control over to him.

Whether you have a good day or a bad day, as long as our hope and our trust is in the Lord, nothing can separate us from his love, his goodness, and his promises! 

“Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?

No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Romans 8:34-35, 37-39 NIV

Paris, turning 30, 30th birthday, Paris, Europe, Rome, travel, travel blog, faith blog
Walking towards the Spanish Steps
Paris, turning 30, 30th birthday, Paris, Europe, Rome, travel, travel blog, faith blog
So blessed with the sweetest husband and sweetest little babes

Rest

scripture on rest

If you follow along with me on social media, you know that I’m big on taking breaks, from my instagram. The last two weeks, I was absent from it and of course, it felt good.

Also, if you know me and follow along, you know I started another account to go hand in hand with this blog and to see where it goes… more of a fun page geared to all things motherhood, “lifestyle” and kids, to strike that “influencer gold,” that we all want, right?

As I removed myself from this particular instagram, I learned that it had started affecting  me negatively. I was getting frustrated with not having the “right” content or enough of it. I began comparing my page, to other similar ones. I lost sight of the whole reason for it.

While I would love for it to be an avenue of alternate income one day, I will no longer sweat it so hard. If I don’t have anything to say, or content to post, I’m not going to frustrate myself over it or force my girls to take a picture they’re not in the mood for. (adding to the frustration or anxiety of a moment) At the end of the day, it’s just social media. It’s another distraction, that most days I simply don’t even have time for… and I’m not getting paid, HA!

Don’t get me wrong, it’s fun and exciting. I love posting pictures and when I do have the time to get creative, it’s so much fun, but I don’t want it to consume me and my thoughts to the negative place, when it’s not going where I expected it to go. Or if it’s not getting enough likes, or comments, and it makes me feel like it wasn’t good enough to post.

For so many of us, it’s become unhealthy and we’ve forgotten to do one important thing…

R E S T

I remembered that I must allow my soul to rest! Like the scripture above says,

“Yes, my soul, find rest in God; my HOPE comes from him.”

Psalm 62:5

On days when my mind is already going 100 miles a minute, the last thing I need is the stress of whether or not my post was liked enough. Can you relate? or is it just me?

I just want to encourage you to put it aside and remember, that it’s just a thing that adds no value to your soul or the state of your mind. Whether you are getting paid for it, have 20k followers or not, your heart and mind is more important.

My girls, I’m sure just like your kids, watch our every move. Hear every word that we utter under our breath, every sigh and grunt of frustration, and mimic it. They reminded me, in the midst of chaos, that their hearts are so fragile and moldable to what’s going on around them.

If I’m not allowing myself to rest, neither will they. 

If I’m anxious, I know they can feel it.

Even if no sleep occurs, it’s still important to sit and recharge in quiet with no distractions.

So to all my other momma’s out there, or  if you’re not a mom, but you too are a blogger, remember to find that rest. Don’t worry about the likes, comments, number of followers, etc., if it’s stealing your peace and your time for rest. Take a day and recharge, it’ll still be there tomorrow and I promise you’ll feel so much better and your creativity for content will be even better!

Like always, I just wanted to share my heart with you in hopes of encouraging you! You’re not alone even though it may feel like you are.

When’s the last time you truly allowed yourself to rest, without distractions?

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NOT TODAY

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Life is an oxymoron. It’s rough, tough, crazy, wild, sad, lonely, discouraging. At the same time, it’s easy, fun, chill, happy, full of love, family, friends and laughter, encouraging and hopeful.

However, lately I have been feeling discouraged.  I hate discouragement!

I know that success doesn’t happen over night. It takes time, it takes hard work and it takes perseverance. The perseverance is the part that gets me.

I wrote a post not too long ago entitled “Don’t Be Cheap,” and while the particular example I spoke on was about fitness, it also applies to other areas of my life as well. Over the last few years, I’ve started out on a couple of ventures, only to give up half-way through, out of discouragement and feeling like I wasn’t any good at it; so why keep going?

Regardless of what it is, Sam was and always is in my corner. He told me recently that I keep starting things but never get anywhere with them. He didn’t say it in a mean or discouraging way, rather he wanted to encourage me to really stick to one and go after it. I gave a million excuses as to why I dropped it and moved on to another subject.  That was maybe two or three months ago, yet it has been replaying in my head.

For much of my life, I’ve struggled with insecurity.  Over the years, the insecurities have morphed and changed from one thing to another, and lately I’m insecure in my talents and abilities. One of them is, I fear that I’m not good enough in my writing and that’s why I hardly get any readers, and the book that I’m working on, won’t get picked up because it’ll suck…with thoughts and feelings like that, it’s easy to feel discouraged, right?

Oh, but then, I remember that there is a liar and he goes by the name of devil. The father of lies, and he’s been whispering in my ear telling me all these things. You’ll never be a good writer. Your blog sucks. Your book will suck. No one will read it, etc., etc. But no, not today Satan! NOT TODAY!

When we don’t give our worries/fears/anxieties to the Lord, it leaves room for the devil to stick his nose in our life and release feelings of insecurity, fear and doubt. He loves discouraging us and stopping us from reaching our full potential in whatever it is we’re trying to accomplish.

BUT, God wants us to be successful! He wants to see us flourish and go after our goals. He wants us to use our talents, our voices, our abilities to go out and do whatever it is we have set out to do. Sometimes we will fail, but we get back up and try again. Fail and try again. Fail and try again. Fail and try something new. Fail and change our approach. Fail and then finally succeed. Sometimes we succeed after the first try. The point is no matter how many times we fail or how long the journey takes, we will succeed.

I cannot allow the devil to have any wiggle room, and Jesus tells us that DAILY we must give Him ALL of our worries. I don’t do it daily and that’s when I feel the most discouraged, on the days when my hope and my trust hasn’t been put in the Lord.

So, I guess, what I’m trying to get at is that life truly is like a rollercoaster. BUT when we set our focus on allowing God to take full control, putting our faith and trust that He wants and knows what’s best for us, we will be more encouraged than discouraged to persevere. Honestly, there are always going to be people that are better at what we do than us, but we can’t let that stop us. I can’t let that stop me, because there is always room and time to grow and get better.

My friend, or anyone who is reading this, be encouraged. Persevere and trust that God’s got your back! He’ll always see us through as we keep pressing on, but if we give up we’ll never get anywhere and we’ll always have a cloud of discouragement over our heads.

“Tell the devil NO, NOT TODAY!”

Lost Baggage

“Once again you will have compassion on us. You will trample our sins under your feet and throw them into the depths of the ocean! You will show us your faithfulness and unfailing love…”

Micah 7:19-20

Does anyone besides me have a suitcase filled with things that may look like: anxiety, depression, bitterness, resentment, unforgiveness, hatred, anger, jealousy, etc.?

Despite knowing that Jesus paid the ultimate price, forgave our sins and even blots them out of his mind, never to be remembered again (Is. 43:25), why do we still carry around our baggage?

Inside of my suitcase, you’ll find anxiety, not feeling “good enough” and uncared for.  Those are the main things in my life that are a constant struggle to let go of. I carry them around like a purse, and honestly, I didn’t start to feel the weight of them until recently.

I want to say that it all started one or two weeks ago while working out at the gym.  When I go into the gym, the only thing I take with me is my water bottle, keys and my phone for the music. I jump on the treadmill, elliptical or the stair master and I begin my workout. Now, I’m a wife and a mom, so I’m always busy cleaning up, cooking, and running after the girls and I rarely get time to myself, and the gym is one of the few times where I am alone and can de-stress and rid my mind of whatever.

On my recent trips to the gym, I have started to feel like there is a bag at the foot of whatever machine I’m on. It may sound weird or crazy, but I literally look behind me and check to see if maybe I did bring my purse with me, somehow, and just dropped it on the floor. Obviously, nothing is there and it bothers me, because the whole time I’m working out I feel the weight of it. I get the urge to pick up this invisible bag and throw it across the gym… like leave me alone!

I don’t know if it’s just me, but a lot of times, the gym is where I can let out frustration and any stresses of the day. The last thing I need or want is the feeling of a lingering bag full of stress that is right behind me!

Finally, last night I was like “Ok, God. What is this? What’s going on? What are you trying to tell me?” I said this all in my head because I didn’t want to look like a crazy person talking to myself in a gym packed with people… don’t judge me! Then I clearly felt Him shine a light on the fact that it was my baggage… my anxiety, my feeling of unworthiness and feeling of being uncared for.

This week has been kind of a rough one on me. There have been many things that have caused a great deal of anxiety in me.

Philippians 4:6 says: “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.”

and

1 Peter 5:7 says: “Cast all your anxiety on Him because he cares for you.” 

And, I haven’t done either of those things… I’ve been carrying the weight of my own sins, struggles and strongholds and once again, have not gone to Him. I haven’t laid down my burdens before Jesus, because I sometimes feel like I might burden Him with my silly little issues… isn’t that funny?

Yet, time and time again, He reminds me who He is and just how much He L O V E S me! He does not want me to walk around with a bag full of stress and burdens, he wants to take it from me and I have not allowed him to. Instead, they’ve been sitting at my feet, weighing me down. And boy, the devil loves that! He wants me to be weighed down by sins and make me forget that Jesus already won that battle, he already forgot them and he indeed DOES care about me, love me, cherish me… and YOU!

I… you… we need to stop carrying around that baggage and allow God to take it from us every day! He wants nothing more than to see us live in the freedom of knowing that we don’t have to walk through life being weighed down by our sins and strongholds. He’s already tossed them into the deepest parts of the ocean where they will never be found again… like lost baggage at the airport!

Just. Give. It. All. To. Him!