Balancing Act

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, 

AND 

have not one speck on the floor, 

AND 

have spent time in personal development

AND 

have met up with my friend I haven’t seen in a couple weeks

AND

have worn something other than the same workout pants I’ve been wearing for the last 3 days

AND 

Actually work out in said workout pants

AND

At least put some concealer on,

AND 

Have ALL… ALL the laundry done, folded, hung and put away with no more left to wash,

AND 

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? 

Anywho.

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

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Change

goals, change, dreams, motivation, blog, mom blog, blogging, faith blog, mom devotional

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.

“Do you want to be shown, you foolish person, that faith apart from works is useless?”  James 2:20 ESV

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!

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Give Thanks

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It’s easy to be thankful when everything is going right; When everyone is doing well and everyone is happy.

The last few weeks, God has been showing me that I need to be thankful even when life isn’t going how I want it to. To be thankful, when we’re sick, stressed and overwhelmed with to do’s that didn’t get done.

I’ve always been quick to feel blessed when all is right, everyone is happy, we’re in the groove and life is “good,” but complain and whine about life when things don’t seem to be right.

The last few weeks, our household has had some rough times. It has seemed as though the situations we were going through weren’t coming to an end. It was thing after thing after thing… do you know what I’m talking about?

You ever feel like you can’t catch a break?

Then, it hit me. In the midst of it all, I stopped and gave thanks. I praised God, even in the midst of turmoil. I decided that I wasn’t going to let the enemy defeat me and make me feel like life sucked, in the moment.

1 Thessalonians 5:18 says:

”Give thanks in ALL circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”

He wants us to be thankful in any and every situation life hands us. Why?

Because He is sovereign.

He is good.

He is righteous.

He is faithful.

His promises are true.

Because He is Lord over all of our circumstances and sees us through, when we feel like the world around us has fallen apart.

No matter what we’re going through, let’s not forget to see the good and to give thanks.

As soon as I began thanking God for everything, even through sickness and unfortunate circumstances, things really started looking up. My attitude changed and I began to see that He really does “make all things work for the good of those who love him.” (Romans 8:28)

Don’t let the enemy steal your joy and steal your thanks! He wants you walking around thinking that your situation has defeated you. Don’t let him have the pleasure!

Worship Like Jesus

Worship devotional, daily encouragement, devotions for women, devotionals, spiritual growth, what is worship, scripture, positive affirmations, prayer, prayer journal, inspirational

I started reading this book, Adamant by Lisa Bevere and let me tell you, if you haven’t already read it… go get it now. It is so so good!

Today, I want to share with you a part that has stuck out to me.

“We were created in the image of God, and God is spirit. Though it is invisible, the spirit is as real and as near as the very breath we draw. And yet it is something deeper than the passage of air through our lungs. It is the quickening of God dwelling within us. The God of fire and love consumes all that hinders the expression and reception of his love.” Pg.36

“God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.” 

John 4:24

First, I want to start off by saying, that worship is more… way more than the “pre game” to the sermon at a church service; It is just one avenue of entering into God’s presence and it’s one of my favorites, 😊 but isn’t the only way in which we are called to worship.

We experience true worship in our daily lives, not just once a week. In our devotions, in our marriage/ relationships, in ministry, in our parenting and the way in which we reach out to others… in our prayer.

If we truly have Jesus dwelling, moving, living and breathing in us, then our worship should reflect  just that. Our worship should be unhindered, immovable and undivided, regardless of where we are or who we are around.

We are called to be like Jesus, right?

Through out the New Testament, he tells us that we are to be a light, that we were made in his image, that we are to love one another, that we should share his word and teachings to others, etc. And one thing that amazes me about Jesus, is that he DID NOT CARE where or who he found himself around. He was always going to worship, preach, heal, pray for, raise back to life… regardless of Him being in the midst of  his disciples, pharisees, Jews or gentiles, unbelievers… HE WAS ALWAYS GOING TO WORSHIP!

He was unchanging and because of his devotion, his worship was pure, true and full of the spirit of God.

We aren’t called to be perfect. Our days are not always going to be great. We will go through hardships. We will have “haters” and doubters.  We will be in uncomfortable situations, but  how we respond to each situation is where we truly see if God is really dwelling within us the way we think.

Many times, we like to keep him and his spirit in a box. We don’t want to be labeled the “weird christian.” We don’t want to lift our hands during a worship service. We wake up not really feeling like being nice to people. We don’t feel like spending time in the word or prayer. We don’t feel like volunteering at the church event…

but if we constantly live our lives this way, what will our worship look like?

Empty? Vain? Calloused? Angry? Mediocre?

How can God speak to us? Move through us? How can his presence dwell in us? If we aren’t worshipping him daily in every aspect of our lives, regardless of what we are going through or who’s watching?

Let us not allow our worship to be defined by and dictated by our circumstances. Rather, lets allow our worship to speak volumes despite what our day looks like, who we are around and regardless of those throwing stones.

“Don’t settle for religion void of God’s presence or for turning the pages of the Bible without the wind of his Spirit. His voice speaks life.” pg 37

Let us allow God to “consume all that hinders the expression and reception of his love.” So that our worship (daily life) can reflect his love, joy and peace that surpasses all understanding!

Choose to live a life of worship in a world that wants you to be distracted by the mundane.

Hope this has encouraged you today.

Xo,

Lo

 

Increasing Faith

devotional, scriptures, biblical teaching, encouragement, hope, book of Matthew

This morning, part of the devotional I was reading, included a verse from Matthew 9. It really made me want to read the entire chapter, so that I could fully understand the context of it all, and well, it is a pretty awesome chapter that makes you really think and want to (re) evaluate yourself. (I guess almost the whole Bible does that, right)?

The one verse that really stuck out to me the most, was in the beginning of the chapter. It seriously made me take a step back, and reflect on how I think on a daily basis.

“Knowing their thoughts, Jesus said, ‘Why do you entertain evil thoughts in your hearts?” Matthew 9:4

Umm… can I just say wow?! In context, the verses before are about when Jesus healed the paralyzed man. He told him to pick up his mat and go home. The pharisees, seeing this, thought that Jesus was absurd for saying “such a thing.” They were religious, but faithless men, who didn’t believe Jesus had that kind of authority…that he was “fake.”

But then I began to wonder if I, myself, am like a pharisee sometimes. Throughout the chapter (I encourage you to read it),  we learn about the many people Jesus healed, spoke with and raised from the dead.

It’s crazy to me how much I in fact, can be like a pharisee. How it’s easier to think about all the things that can go wrong; of how things will never work; how there’s no way to get out of a difficult situation. (as if God can’t or won’t do it).

It’s easier for us to believe the lies of the enemy because we’re surrounded and trapped in a world where so many people around us, have forgotten just who JESUS was AND still is! 

All of the people Jesus came across in this chapter had FAITH. Something I personally lack most days.

Jesus performed miracles back then and He still does them now. However, it’s easier for us to doubt that a miracle, big or small, can actually happen in our lives. We doubt that God can do it. And if we don’t believe He can, then he probably won’t… or maybe He will and will show us the power of His love for us, even when we don’t deserve it (this is me currently thinking out loud).

Anyway,

Miracles look different, because our world is different, but He still works in and through us… when we allow our faith in HIM to increase and allow Him to move in our lives.

“…’If  I only touch his cloak, I will be healed.’ Jesus turned and saw her. ‘Take heart daughter,’ he said, ‘your faith has healed you’…” Matthew 9:22

If we only, If I could only have the tiniest bit of faith when things get rocky, tough, complicated, scary, rough… it will/has already been done.

We forget the BIGGEST promise He’s already made to us. We lose sight of His sacrifice. We become consumed and blinded by the temporary; our focus shifts and we’re too focused on the Earthly things.

Which, yes, what we do here on Earth matters, but not the silly things.

The ETERNAL things like:

Our relationship with Jesus, our spouse, children and others.

How we’re showing His love in spite of our good or bad situation.

Here are some questions I asked myself and will seek to resolve if I’m not doing it right. I encourage you to ask yourself the same questions how they apply to you.

  • What am I sowing and reaping into my marriage? 
  • into my daughters?
  • my relationships with others?
  • into ministry?
  • at work/school?
  • Am I being like the pharisees that only saw the negative and constantly doubted and questioned the work of Jesus?

if so,

  • How can I be more like the faith filled people Jesus healed?

 

xoxo,

Lo