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)
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)
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.
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.
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
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.”
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?
Hey y’all! Hope you’re having a wonderful Tuesday, it’s Mardi Gras here, and we stay as far away as possible… it’s just not our jam and we usually always try to get away.
So, on Thursday night, we flew out of New Orleans and ventured into DC with all THREE girls in tow.
Now, I know what you’re thinking… we’re crazy. Although that may be a little true (haha), I actually love bringing our kids along for travel. I want them to experience the world with us, even at their young ages, and show them all the different places outside of our little bubble down here in the south. I want them to have these memories of visiting different places and cultures and be adventurous.
Having said that, they’re still only 5, 3 and 7 months, so, were there moments when Sam and I let out deep sighs and questioned our choice of bringing them along?!
YES. Yes we did.
We’ve all been there right? 🤦🏽♀️😏
Anyway, I’m sure you’re here to see if it’s actually possible to travel there with children, and it is.
HOWEVER, in hindsight, I think planning the trip for summer time, if you’re not used to really cold temperatures, would be a better time to visit with small children. I literally had layers and layers of clothes on them and they were so annoyed and wanted to undress any chance they could.
That was thoroughly frustrating.
Other than that, DC has so much to offer in terms of things to do. All of the museums are free… yes, free! You have the monuments, which are a great experience. The White House (which you can tour if you schedule in advance). We didn’t tour it because the girls are too little and I’d rather them be older to appreciate a tour of it. The National Zoo (also free), and the Museum of the Bible, which you have to pay for, but honestly totally worth it! Everything about it was great, and there is even a little play area for the kids, with games relating to Bible stories.
There’s so much more that we didn’t get to do because of the weather, it rained 2 of the 4 days we were there and it seriously was so cold, at least for us. We made the most of our trip, I think, despite the weather. The girls were along for the ride and they just love being with us.
In terms of food, I think the best meal we had was at Founding Farmers Everything is farm to table and was seriously delicious, definitely have a meal there.
My mom is from El Salvador, so one thing I grew up eating a lot of, are pupusas, if you’ve never eaten them, I’m sorry. You’re missing out. We ate in this very tiny, literal hole in the wall, called El Rinconcito and they had some pretty tasty pupusas there. I had read that DC was home to a large population of Salvadoran’s so, finding a restaurant that served them was essential for me to check out.
Lastly, another little place we’d heard about, &Pizza. Honestly, the pizza was great, but I think we’ve had better, though it’s worth a try. It was a tiny place as well, but pizza was made fast and hot and it was, pizza!
I like to think of this trip as a pregame to our trip to Europe in May!😬 ahh!!
We survived with a few hiccups, but if you are like me, and love having your kids experience different places with you, I say go for it! They are smart and are attentive to much more than we give them credit for. Our oldest for sure remembers a lot of our trips and things we do even at home, and talks about them for months after.
In summary, summer is better because no layers of clothes, Free, fun, history, Free. lol
I absolutely H A T E clutter. Yet, as I type, my coffee table is cluttered with folded laundry. The chair next to it is cluttered with more clean, not yet folded laundry.
This type of clutter is ok, since it’ll soon be folded and put away neatly, Konmari style. If you haven’t seen Tidying Up with Marie Kondo, on Netflix, go now. Seriously, she is an organizational wizard.
Anyway, I’m in the middle of de-cluttering the mess in our home. Digging through piles and piles of the girls’ clothes, that seems like if I lined each piece, it would go on for miles and miles!
I’ve been separating the sentimental pieces, from the heavily worn, no longer suitable to wear even at the playground, pieces. When on earth did I get THAT crazy with kid clothes?!
Our coat closet is filled with toys, their playroom filled with more toys than a toy store. It all seems so excessive, and I feel guilty. It’s way more than my husband and I ever had growing up.
Then, I think about the clutter in my heart. I let the outer clutter, invade my heart and I become a grouch, grouchier than the main man, Oscar himself. Haha
It’s a lesson I teach myself over and over, it’s just a season. The girls will make a mess, over and over. They’ll spill, leave trails of crumbs and run around enjoying their childhood.
I remind myself that I do the same with God. I’ll snuggle up to his word, pray, worship and love on him and let him love on me. Yet not before long, I make a mess, leave trails of crumbs and run around like a mad woman, yelling at the girls to clean up their mess. Scolding them for not eating their food.
Let them snuggle up to me and just be. The way the Lord wants us to just sit with him and be. Letting him lavish his grace, his love and his blessings over us.
His word and his presence de clutters our hearts and minds and frees us from what the world tries to tie us down or burden us with. The world leaves us jaded and annoyed, while God gives us peace and joy.
Peace in the midst of chaos and clutter and joy in the midst of struggles and the not so good days.
So here’s a reminder, to clear the clutter in our hearts. To not allow what’s going on around us to determine our days and our attitudes. In motherhood, to not worry so much about the piled up laundry and overflow of toys, but know we’re blessed with a family, a home, food and clothes on our backs.
“And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts. For as members of one body you are called to live in peace. And always be thankful.” Colossians 3:15 NLT
How many times have we been asked, have we asked or have we wondered, how can/do/should we balance it all?
Marriage, motherhood, work, ministry, friendships, etc.
The older I get, I have begun to realize that it’s actually NOT about balance, it’s about priority.
You see, balance is holding two things, were the weight is equally distributed and you don’t lean one way or the other, BUT what two things are you holding at equal weight?
We can only balance two things at a time, right?
Unless we’re some kind of cirque du Soleil act, most of us can’t also use our toes to hold more things and keep our balance with our heels and/or our elbows. Lol
(And if you CAN do that, I wanna see, bc I love cirque du Soleil type things 😆)
If I’m balancing my marriage on one hand and my girls on the other, my relationship with my parents/brother/friends, will suffer. I won’t much have time for ministry, personal development, or other things either.
My marriage and my children are the things I hold closest to my heart, they are the most important persons in my life. However, only focusing on them, pushes Jesus to the side as well.
What good am I to my husband and my daughters, if my time with Jesus is scarce?
Because He’s the only one who can calm my crazy, fill me with peace and refresh my heart, mind and soul.
I don’t know about you, but when I’ve gone days without really spending time in God’s presence, it shows, and it shows big time!
My temper is short, I’m easily agitated, I feel exhausted, I’m stressed, I get a little selfish 🤦🏽♀️, my anxiety revs up to level 100, and the list goes on…
Anyway, having said all that, is what has brought me to the conclusion that it really is about priority.
The number one priority, above anyone and anything else in this life, should always be Jesus.
Number TWO priority, is my husband and our relationship.
Number THREE priority are my girls.
And then everything else, all other relationships, friendships, ministry, duties, etc., are what follows.
When I start my day, this is how my focus should be directed. I wish I could sit here and tell you that I do this consistently.
Truth is, I don’t and I then fall into the, well let me balance it all, trap.
I say trap because I have this mental note of EVERYTHING that needs to get done, only to find that I accomplished like 2 things. It leaves me feeling like a failure at the end of the day, and like, why do I even bother with anything?!
Am I the only one? I don’t know, I hope I’m not ha!
We cannot balance it all! It’s not possible, to balance all of our relationships, duties and responsibilities. There is always going to be one, two or three things that suffered today.
The trick is realizing that it’s OKAY.
Trust me, if I could make sure that everyone was happy and not have something to whine or complain about in this house,
have not one speck on the floor,
have spent time in personal development
have met up with my friend I haven’t seen in a couple weeks
have worn something other than the same workout pants I’ve been wearing for the last 3 days
Actually work out in said workout pants
At least put some concealer on,
Have ALL… ALL the laundry done, folded, hung and put away with no more left to wash,
have dinner made and ready to eat as soon as my husband comes home from work
AND, AND, AND!!!
I would share with you all, my secret!!
I’d probably make millions off the book I’d write about it.
But I don’t, sadly 😩
My point is, write a list of the priorities in your life.
Then, write out how much time you are going to set aside for each one on a daily basis.
Sometimes, they won’t always be the same priorities for that day or week. (Aside from Jesus and family, they are always or at least should always be a priority).
When you get down to things like social media, you realize how much time you’ve actually wasted there and can then set aside time specifically for it when you just want to veg out. Cuz there’s nothing wrong with that!
Right now, one of my biggest priorities, is getting our house in order. Switching out the girl’s clothes, and organizing it all. De-cluttering and making sure everything has its place.
It’s hard, stressful and so so time consuming, but once that’s out of the way, I can then prioritize other things.
Ah there’s nothing I want more right now, then to not have to hang or fold one mo thang!! But if doesn’t get done now, and become a priority now, it’ll be a thing lingering around for months!!
Anyway, this was as much an encouragement for me, as I hope it has been for you!
In summary, don’t try to find the balance, just prioritize, it’s so much simpler that way. It doesn’t feel overwhelming, it’s just “a matter of fact,” in the present. I truly think, we are much happier when we realize that we cannot balance everything. We are human, and were not made to do everything alone or all at once because that would be kind of chaotic, right?
Lean on the Lord when you do find yourself overwhelmed and feel like giving up. Trust that you are not alone!
“For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven…What do people really get for all their hard work? I have seen the burden God has placed on us all. Yet God has made everything beautiful for its own time. He has planted eternity in the human heart, but even so, people cannot see the whole scope of God’s work from beginning to end. So I concluded there is nothing better than to be happy and enjoy ourselves as long as we can.”
Ecclesiastes 3:1, 9-12 NLT
We all have goals. We all have desires. We all want to see that change.
At the start of every year, we jot all these things down, saying that “this is the year!” The year comes and goes, and we have one “check” here and there, and we’re back to the same habits, same routines, same, same, same… change didn’t really occur past January, at best, past February.
Is it just me?
During my social media fast, I learned a lot and gained lots of insight and a different perspective on how I’ve been functioning. I’ve been doing two different devotionals, with two different friends, we’ve had prayer nights and nights of revival at our church and the messages have been so on point, like daggers to my heart, my mind and my soul.
Monday night, Pastor Alex Seely spoke an incredible message about Breaking Camp (you can skip to minute 41 at the start of her message), I seriously encourage you all to head to the link to watch it, because, she killed it! She said, we keep expecting change to happen, but we don’t do anything different! How can we expect something different to happen, if we’re in the same spot, unwilling to move, or too lazy to move?
We’re too comfortable, right?
We have to get down on our knees and intercede for those goals, those desires, for that change.
Wow… intercede. When did I forget about interceding with God? When did I forget that prayer has to go deeper than the surface level?
God can call us all day long to the place we’ve been wanting to be in, but if we just show up and expect the rest to just happen and land in our laps, it won’t. We have to work.
Last night, the message was also amazing, the devotionals I previously mentioned, though different, have all spoken the same message to me.
We are on day 16 of the year and I can tell you that so far, I’ve been in the word every day this year. I want to be in the word every day for the rest of the year too, but I have to make sure that I am working towards that. I can’t allow myself to place instagram, Pinterest, facebook, tv shows, etc before making sure that I did something that day, to work towards accomplishing my goals for the year and working towards that change I want to see happen.
So my friends, I want to ask you: What are you doing different this year, to actually accomplish your goals? If you haven’t done one thing different, it’s never too late to start! Start today, with just one thing!
Let’s keep each other accountable, let’s revisit in March and see if we’re still doing something different to make this year our “best year yet!”
Let’s do it and really work hard and intercede with God for what He’s calling us to and for.
Let’s not let another year go by without actually changing our circumstance, situation or mindset!
Let’s win this year!