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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Planning for 2019

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My mind is blown! 

How is 2019 just a couple of weeks away?! 

Where did 2018 go?! I mean, are we really sure we’re going into TWENTY-NINETEEN!!!

We were JUST entering 2009 like yesterday 😭

Anyway, since getting married, my husband and I begin planning out our goals, vacations and events for the following year, between October and December. It gives us structure and expectation, and I wanted to share with you, exactly how we plan out our year.

We separate it into these categories:

Goals:

  • Spiritual: we want to read ONE book/month this year. We want to study the Bible deeper, than we ever have. Also, we want to write ONE song/month! 
  • Physical: we’re both into fitness, when we really get into fitness! I’ve got the rest of this baby weight to lose! And he’s got his own physique goals. 
  • Financial: how much we want to have in savings. How much we aim to spend on birthdays, vacations, holidays 
  • Personal: this includes fitness, but also, I have 2 specific projects that I’ve been working on that I really want to finish in 2019! Also, to be an even better wife and mother! I want to begin establishing more time where I focus on really cultivating my daughter’s talents/dreams and teaching my daughters to walk in truth, love, compassion and kindness. As well as diving deeper into the Word, having more devotional time and time for personal development. 

Vacations:

Here, we kind of brainstorm when and where we want to go. Typically, we separate them into a family vacation which is just us and the girls, an extended family vacation, a girls trip, guys trip, weekend get away (usually for the 4th of July) and a trip for just the two of us.

Next year, our biggest trip and our family trip, will be to Europe! It’s been a dream of mine(my 30th birthday wish). 

We still aren’t sure about the other trips we’re taking, but we still write a budget for them, and really try to stick to it!

Events:

These are, birthdays, holidays, our anniversary, valentine’s day etc. 

We set budgets for how much we will spend for each of our daughter’s birthdays, our birthdays and all other events. For our anniversary, we decide if we’ll make that our trip together or if we’ll just go out for a nice dinner and exchange gifts. 

We also set a budget for how much we will give siblings, nieces, nephews, close friends and parents for their birthday(the amount is the same for all) . Same goes for Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Christmas presents etc. 

……………………………………….

If you are on the track to financial freedom, advisors will tell you to write out every. single. expense. Down to the penny.

We don’t track every penny, but we’re not that far from doing it. Thankfully the only debt we owe is our house and car. We like to plan and budget, so that we keep the discipline of being responsible and one day having our money go to work for us. 

I mean, who doesn’t want the freedom to travel on the whim without requesting for the time at work?! 🙋🏽‍♀️ Amiright?!

………………………………………

Budget talk in and of itself is a topic all on its own, so anyway…

Planning all of this out, really helps us to see exactly where our money is going and gives us more discipline to stay within the budgets, in order to save what we set out to save. 

It also gives us expectations on what our year will look like. Towards the end of this year, we were a bit more spontaneous than we would’ve liked to have been with our finances, and we fell short on achieving this years financial goal. 

Though we had anticipated that adding our 3rd daughter, would change up what our “normal” looked like, we went a little bit further outside the lines LOL. It’s ok though, because life happens and it’s important to still live your life joyfully!

Smart, but joyful 😊

Can you tell we are planners and detailed people?

It also helps with being disciplined in other areas. Structure is better than chaos and sitting there wondering where your time and money went.

It shows you if you’re growing, because at the end of the year, we check off what we actually accomplished. 

There’s something so satisfying in checking off on a list! 

However, if it didn’t get done, we attach it to the next year and we try again. It’s a sign of success and perseverance to actually DO and not just SAY YOU WILL.

talk the talk AND walk the walk.

I truly hope you found this helpful AND encouraging!

Heres to an even better 2019!

Xo,

 Lorena 🧡

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!

Not Your Average Meal Prepper

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Meal prepping has begun! Who loves meal prepping?!

Not going to lie… I really don’t like it LOL I mean, it’s awesome after all is said and done. But in the moment, I’m kind of annoyed by it… am I the only one?

*I hope I’m not* 😝

While chopping up these delicious veggies, I had an epiphany.

I must admit, I’m terrible at being creative when it comes to cooking meals. But give me a pancake recipe, and I’m whipping it up in no time! 

Why are pancakes so delicious?! 😩

Baking is fun… cooking meals, not so much. Why? I really don’t know, it just feels like a chore to cook, only to have my girls give me a stank face and leave their plates full. Even with the hundreds of pins I’ve found on Pinterest, I can honestly say I’ve successfully made a handful of them (that everyone has eaten and enjoyed).

Are you too a victim of pinning meals in the hopes that your family really will enjoy it?! If so, give me a thumbs up in the comments

Anyway, back to my epiphany. Having just admitted at my lack of creativity for meals, maybe that’s a reason why my children do not enjoy their veggies anymore.

I mean, when they were old enough to start eating solids, I made them almost all the veggies under the sun! Even the ones I don’t and will probably never eat… 😬 

Now, I can’t get them to eat an avocado (they’re gross to me, so can I really blame them?!) Broccoli, cauliflower(even with all the ways that you can “mask” it nowadays), zucchini and squash (I mean they don’t even have a taste, but I still eat them) TOMATOES! well the list can go on and on. 

Also, I might add that I can barely get my husband to eat veggies 🤦🏽‍♀️ so can you really blame me for wanting to cook the simplest meal ever?! It’s hard to have a “colorful” plate with a house full of the pickiest eaters! 

I’m so very guilty of buying veggies that go bad! And I honestly hate that! Like, I don’t feel like chopping veggies if I’m the only one who’ll eat them, making Mac n cheese is easier… ugh I sound terrible.

So, I take the blame, I guess? 🤷🏽‍♀️ 

While meal prepping is in full effect, in the hopes of eating healthier, maintaining my milk supply and losing the excess weight, MAYBE…HOPEFULLY, I can convince my girls to eat their veggies with me! 

I mean it’s not like they eat junk food 24/7, because they do like a few of the yummier ones like carrots and corn. But one cannot live on those alone HA…HA! 

Pray for me y’all! 

I guess that’s my resolution, it doesn’t have to be January to make one. ☺️

If you have any ideas on easing veggies into my girls’ plates, and yummy family friendly dinners, share them with me! 

I’ll add them to my Pinterest Food board 😂 except I really will try to make more than one recipe in a year! 

🧡

-Lorena

Don’t Be Cheap

F3364ADC-F000-4854-9E87-3F2C91C6752A.jpgI’m sure we’ve all heard the expression, “talk is cheap.”  And it’s so true! Talk really is cheap, we can say a lot of things  but never really follow through with our actions.

I’ll be the first to say that there are times when I say I’ll do something and I don’t actually do it. I pull out every excuse in the book as to why.

I’ll use my kids as an excuse. “I’m tired.” “I don’t have time.” “I already made plans.” “I won’t do well at it, so why bother?”  And the list can go on and on.

Am I the only one? Yes… no… maybe?

Anyway, this year both my husband and I have really tried to be more intentional with what we say we want to do. Since we’ve been married, every December we sit down and write out our goals for the following year and talk about the goals we had for the ending year. What did/didn’t we accomplish and if we didn’t let’s add it to next year’s list and get it done…or at least try to.

For the first few years, we would check off somethings but others would be left unchecked and added again to next year in hopes that maybe this time we would actually do it! We’d say: “ok, well let’s keep that in our goals to accomplish, but let’s really do it this time!”

One of the goals that we’d talk about every year but could never seem to check off, had to do with getting in shape. We would start the year off right, but one or two months into it, we’d give up, kind of eat healthy-ish and go to the gym or work out like twice a week, then complain come summer that we’re unhappy with our physique. This happened for about two years straight!

Finally, in September/October of 2014, we mustered up courage, put on our game faces, found motivation and really started doing the thing! We both hit our fitness goals hard and about 6 months later, we did it! We accomplished our fitness goals and we did a hypothetical happy dance.

About a month into me being at my goal, I found out I was pregnant with our second daughter. *So, for most of us, being pregnant = turning into little miss piggy! haha I swore to myself I wouldn’t let myself get too crazy, and for the most part I did really well, but it’s the last month of pregnancy that gets me! That’s where I gained 30 more pounds!!*         -Oh my gosh, actually typing that out is crazy!-

Also, for most men, it’s hard to stay motivated and fit when your wife’s pregnant and wants poboys, donuts, beignets and ice cream all the time, so I kind of brought him down with me! (I’M SORRY, I’M TERRIBLE)! We entered into a schlump again (is that how you spell schlump)? Is it even a word? oh well… Anyway, we ended 2015 and had to hit the reset button and we’d been on and off all of 2016 with getting fit again.

So, here we are halfway through 2017 and one of our goals again, is our health and fitness. (which by the way, we are sticking to it and getting it done again, yay)! We found motivation through famous fitness bloggers/youtubers, motivational speakers, successful and well known entrepreneurs and a couple of our friends, to really put our best foot forward and change not just our physical selves but our way of thinking as well.

Sam and I have always wanted to be successful and excel at the things we put our minds and hearts to, whether those things work out or not, we could at least say “hey, we gave it our best shot and TRIED. We didn’t just talk the talk, but we walked the walk.”

Throughout our marriage, there have been lots of things that I personally have started and stopped, be it because of lack of motivation, self-doubt, or just plain excuses. I don’t want my words to be cheap… I want to follow through and get stuff done. We both have lots of exciting projects going on with our music and with my writing and we are walking in obedience to the Lord with the songs and words He’s placed in our hearts. We’ll see where they land us and keep striving to be the best version of ourselves and teach our daughters how to work hard and follow through with goals, talents and dreams.

I hope that you’ve found encouragement and go for those goals you’ve been putting off. Don’t be “cheap…” get them done and in the words of Nike, “JUST DO IT!” Surround yourself with people that encourage you and motivate you to accomplish your goals.

Unpredictable

Life is so unpredictable! But, what’s new about that? Life tends to become so routine, we do the same things, at about the same time every day and when there’s a bump in the road, we get so freaked out. I think that that’s God reminding us, and alerting us to always keep our eyes open and keep our guard up. Last week, my sweet grandpa passed away. It all happened so quick, so unexpectedly, we weren’t prepared to hear his diagnosis. Sometimes, I still can’t believe he’s gone, it’s crazy. Well, my mom and my sister came over my house on Monday, and my mom said that on the car ride (which is 5 minutes) my sister began feeling unwell, and while they were here, she was moaning and not being herself. We thought it may just be gas, because she kept burping. My parents had to bring her to the ER at about 5 am the following morning, and later that day they ran a CT scan of her stomach. Turns out that some of her bowels were twisted and that they would have to operate on her ASAP, so that the blood wouldn’t get cut off to that part of her bowels. So, in she went for surgery, which when my dad notified me, I got so scared. I began to pray and asked my dear friends and family to also lift her up in prayer. Thankfully, everything went well in the surgery and my mom said that apparently, her bowels had been that way since birth, and the doctors were surprised to find that. It’s hard not to wonder why things happen when they happen; Because my grandpa was sick these last few weeks, my mom hasn’t been to work. She was expecting to go back today, but because of my sister’s unexpected surgery, of course she couldn’t. They have gone through so much, but still we hold on to the faith that God is just and merciful and his ways are perfect. Through this, I am reminded that we are not in control of life, but when wrenches are thrown at us, we have to stay strong, stand firm, and seek HIM. Doubt, giving up, being mad, not an option, though it’s easy to go to those places. I know that God has a plan and a purpose for everything, though we may not understand, we know that He has never forsaken us. Through the trials and tribulations, we learn, we grow, we become stronger. No one ever said life was easy, but it’s through these circumstances that we get back “on track,” I guess you could say, and remind ourselves to take life day by day, not as if it’s routine. I thank God for my family, for life, for the blessings that he’s constantly pouring out on us. He is ALWAYS good, and I know that he hold’s my precious sister in his embrace and that she’ll be her smiling self in no time. Even in the midst of storms, his love and promises shine through. I pray that He would strengthen my mom and dad, that peace would fill their hearts, and that they would know that He is always by their side, and will never leave them. I pray that we wouldn’t lose sight of his hand.