Facades

I’m baaack! It’s been several months since my last post. Truth is, I haven’t felt like writing. For those who don’t know, I am pregnant with #3. Having other kids along with being considered “advanced maternal age” (at 36,) has me feeling all sorts of way, but mostly tired. Anyway, I hope you all have been doing well. I’m writing today about something that has been on my heart a lot lately. It’s real and raw, so bare with me….

Let’s face it, we’re all broken. In some way, we all have weaknesses and struggles. Some we may not talk about. But we all have them. No matter how an Instagram reel portrays someone’s “perfect” life, trust me, it’s far from that. I am not saying that to be a Debbie downer, but it’s true. I feel a lot of times outsiders looking in view someone’s life through the flawless lens that their social media portrays and it causes jealousy and depression. It leads to the comparison game which is unhealthy in itself, but is also detrimental to your mental health and your relationships. Now, hear me out, I am not at all saying that you shouldn’t watch Instagram reels or follow people on social media, or stop posting your whole life if you’re into that, but please, please guard your heart. Know who you are, and what God has called you to do so that you can stay away from the negativity that viewing these things can bring. Every single one of us is created perfectly in the eyes of our Lord, we all bring our own uniqueness to the table. If you’re having a hard time viewing yourself in a positive light please reach out. I’ve been there, and still struggle from time to time. Reach out to someone you love and trust, reach out to me, but especially reach out to Jesus. Read your Bible. There’s so much truth in there about who you are and why you were created. You my friend, are worthy of love and all good things. Look past the facades, don’t play the comparison game and love yourself and those around you.

Cringeworthy Memories

Well it’s been a minute since I’ve had the chance to sit down and write. I went part-time at work so I was thinking that I would have more time to do this, however things just got a bit busier. But here I am! I hope you all are having a wonderful 2022 so far. One morning last week, as I was in the middle of my morning routine, getting the kids breakfast ready, packing snacks, etc. my brain took me back in time to memories that I am not particularly proud of. Things that I said or did in the past started popping up in my head. Grudges that I held onto for way too long, hurtful things that I did to people close to me, the list goes on. I had no idea at the time what triggered it, but there they were, moment after moment, saying we’re still here! Don’t forget about us. You know the memories I’m speaking of, they’re the same kind of cringeworthy Facebook statuses that keep coming up on my Timehop from 12 years ago. The type of things that make me wonder what in the actual heck was I thinking. The truth is, those memories pop in our heads for a reason. They’re meant to throw us off track and forget all of the good that we have going on. It’s in those moments that we have to pump the brakes and remember how far we have come in our journey and how hard we have worked in becoming the better versions we are today. If we spend the rest of our lives dwelling in the past we are not living out the callings God has placed on our lives for this very day, this very moment even. We are depriving ourselves of the joy that each day brings by letting those thoughts seep in and linger. Let the past stay in the past, where it belongs. If Jesus can forgive us, then we can forgive ourselves.

Waiting

When I think of my favorite things to do, waiting is definitely not one of them. If you’re like me right now, you’ve found yourself stuck right smack dab in the middle of a season of waiting. Maybe you’re waiting on a doctors appointment to find out some important news. Or you could be waiting on a job opportunity, a financial breakthrough, or you’ve been trying for so long to have a baby but it hasn’t happened yet. Maybe your spouse is deployed and you’re waiting on their return. Or you’ve had your house on the market and it’s taking a while to sell. You could be single and ready to mingle but haven’t found your spouse yet. Regardless of what has you sitting tight right now, waiting, you can rest assured that God is with you in this season and He just might have you in it for a reason. Quite often, He’s using this time to strengthen your faith in Him and decreasing your reliance on yourself and worldly things and distractions. In our seasons of waiting, you can almost bet that our unwanted friend anxiety will make an appearance. Which makes waiting even harder. And believe me, I’m not immune to this. But I have found some ways to ease the anxiety and worry. The first thing I do before getting out of bed in the morning is pray. I say a little prayer and give all of my fears and worries to Him. I ask him to ease my anxiety and help me focus on what’s important for that day. The YouVersion Bible app has many daily devotion Bible plans related to anxiety. I read a daily devotion from that app right after I pray, before I get out of bed. This helps me so much. Whatever the reason for your season of waiting right now, don’t give up hope. Cling to Jesus. Read His word (there are numerous stories in the Bible about waiting.) And push through! You’ve got this. Have a great week, friends!

Who’s Calling Shotgun?

Happy Monday! I hope and pray that you all are having a great week so far. I wanted to share an exchange between my kids that really got me to thinking. A few days ago, while eating breakfast, my 10 year daughter old and 5 year old son started arguing as they sometimes do. My daughter, Sierra, made the comment that when she is older she is moving far away from my son, Sawyer. Sawyer then replied ” No you’re not, I am going to sneak into your car and be with you forever and ever!’ My daughter wasn’t thrilled with his response but it sure made me laugh! It also reminded me of some of our relationships with Jesus. You see, Jesus wants shotgun but we fill the front seat with distractions and things of this world that we prioritize over Him. So He has to be like Sawyer and sneak in the back just to be close to you. When we put Him first, above all else He gets to sit right next to us and help us navigate. But when He’s forced to sneak into the back, He becomes a backseat driver and we all know how that turns out! Starting today, make Him your number one priority. Read His word every day. Pray everyday. Be kind to others every day. It’s true you know, when you draw closer to Him, He draws closer to you.

Decisions, Decisions, Decisions

There was a time in my life when I would make decisions based solely on what I wanted. Now that I have a strong relationship with Jesus, I go to Him first and pray for guidance and wisdom when deciding on what I should do. I don’t want it if He’s not in it. He’s the author and creator of my life and I personally don’t want to change the story that He is writing. Sometimes He clears the way and the right choice is obvious. And sometimes He doesn’t. I like to think that in these situations He’s asking me to pick the path I take and telling me that He will be there making sure I succeed. As long as I put in the work of course. But what if He does clear the path and I know which way to go, but the path He chose makes no logical sense? What do I do then? This is where faith comes in. Pure, trusting, undoubting faith. The kind of faith that Daniel had in the lions den. Sometimes He’s going to ask us to step out on a limb with Him. We’ll have no idea if that limb will break or not, but He does. My family and I are seeking God and His wisdom at this very moment, trying to make some decisions that will affect our whole family. What choices are you faced with today? Whatever they are, make sure you turn to the Father first. He has it all planned out. Trust Him.

New Year, New You for 2022

Happy New Year! I hope you all were able to enjoy time with your friends and family during this Holiday season. I can’t believe we’re in the year 2022! We have a blank page, a fresh start! What are you going to do with it? Normally I set resolutions to eat healthier and exercise more. And while those are definitely things I am going to work on, this year my focus will be centered on helping others and personal development. The last two years have been a whirlwind. COVID-19 has caused many deaths, a lot of arguments, and pain to others. I’m praying that this year we truly come together as a nation. We look out for our neighbors and treat others with respect despite our different beliefs. We are not going to accomplish great things in America if we continue to divide ourselves. Let’s stop politicizing everything under the sun and start loving each other the way Jesus intended. It is not our job to judge and condemn, but to love and shine our light on Jesus. As I am writing this, my 5 year old son is singing (at the top of his lungs) “Our God is an awesome God, he reigns on Heaven and Earth with wisdom, power and love” And friends, this is still true! I know we are living in times of uncertainty but we can turn this thing around. We can point people to Jesus with the way we lives our lives, but not by pointing fingers and arguing. We are not going to agree with everyone we come in contact with, and that’s okay. But we can be nice and refrain from belittling and name calling. Before you say something, take a minute and turn the situation around. Would you be okay with someone saying to you what you’re about to say? Sometimes it’s not what you’re saying but the way you’re saying it. Let’s use our words to lift up other souls and not to tear them down. Sometimes it’s best to not say anything at all. What are we teaching our kids? We take them to church and teach them about Jesus but are we living the same way outside of church? Are we pointing them to Jesus with our actions and words? Are we teaching them good morals? Just some things to think about as we’re starting the New Year. Love and be loved my friends!

Soak It In

A few days ago, I was scrolling through Timehop and came across a picture from 12 years ago. It showed the bright and beautiful 5 year old face of one of my cousins. I sent the picture to my aunt with a message about my cousin turning 18 in a few days. My aunt’s reply was something that I really needed to be reminded of. I am going to quote her because it was really profound, ” I can’t stress enough for you to enjoy and absorb every day. Right now SiSi and Sawyer are little, and they will still be the next day, and next week… and when you think about them being 18 you push the thought aside and say to yourself “it is so far away, they’re still little, and now look, my baby will be 18. And I have all of these Facebook memories of her being Sawyer and SiSi’s age popping up. Just enjoy them being little, okay?” Let this be a reminder to all of us as parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles, to really soak in our kids at whatever ages and stages they’re in right now. We live in a world filled with numerous distractions. Let’s face it, sometimes we are more focused on what’s going on in our phones and social networks that we forget that we have these beautiful little souls right in front of us, wanting our attention. ( I’ll be the first to admit that I am guilty of this, and I know a lot of you are too.) I don’t want my kids to look back and have memories from their childhood of me scrolling through my phone instead of spending time with them. I don’t want them to think that whatever was on Netflix, TikTok or Facebook was more important than focusing on whatever they were trying to show me at the time. I don’t want to look back when they’re grown and have regrets. I want to be able to have memories of authentic conversations and special moments with them. The little things that they’re showing us now, the time spent with them playing and doing what they want us to do with them, may feel unimportant to us. But to them it’s the most important thing in their world right now. Let’s vow to make 2022 the year we focus on what’s truly, truly, truly valuable.

Faith

Have you ever been in a situation that you had no control over? You hoped and prayed for a certain outcome but it didn’t turn out the way you wanted? Chances are, if you’re human, you have. More than likely, multiple times. Like you, this has happened to me before as well. Last year, I was pregnant. I went to my first doctors appointment at 8 weeks and there was no heartbeat. I was told to come back in a week because there was a chance that I wasn’t far enough along for a heartbeat to be detected. That week in between was filled with prayer and anticipation. I prayed, and prayed, and prayed. Of course, I wanted a heartbeat to pop on the monitor when I went back to be checked, but ultimately I prayed for God’s will. I had faith that whatever the outcome, He was in it and He was with me. I went back that next week, and again, there was no heartbeat. I sat and talked with the doctor who informed me that I had been pregnant with twins but unfortunately neither one of them grew past 6 weeks. This crushed me. But it also made my faith stronger. I had to wait a few more weeks to have them surgically removed, which was even more heart wrenching. But, God. It was in this situation that my faith in Him grew leaps and bounds. I was clinging to Him because I was hurting. I knew that this was part of His plan. That it wasn’t meant for us to have those babies at that time. And now, moving forward, facing similar situations, I use that same faith and pray that same prayer, Lord, your will be done. I want to live the life that I was meant to live, that He created me to live. We’re going to have disappointments and heartbreaks, we are human. But I am telling you, facing those with God by your side makes them so much easier to get through.

I’m sure you all are aware of the devastation that ripped through at least 6 states this past Friday night. So many are hurting right now from the loss of loved ones, loss of their homes, and work places. It’s Christmas time, the season of giving. My husband is the most giving person I know. He is the writer behind The Common Sense REBORN Daily Devotion blog and books. Please check out his latest blog posts for ways to help aid these hurting people. https://commonsensereborn.com/2021/12/14/common-sense-reborn-daily-devotion-22/ As a family, we are raising money to take supplies to Kentucky. Please check out https://www.gofundme.com/f/quadstate-tornado-relief-from-savannah-area?utm_source=customer&utm_medium=copy_link&utm_campaign=p_cf+share-flow-1 if you feel inclined to help. God Bless!

Heavy

The thoughts inside my head are so powerful sometimes. The negativity that creeps in has the strength to drown out all the good things that I know to be true. I start believing one bad thing about myself and then it spirals out of control. I know that I am not alone in this. You can have a great family, amazing friends, make decent money and believe in God and still feel down sometimes. I feel in these moments, God is pulling me closer to Him. Somewhere I get distracted and the devil weasels his way in, turning all my good thoughts into lies. Pulling me away from Jesus. The only remedy that helps me during these moments is quiet time with Jesus. Asking Him to remind me of all the good. I know this sounds crazy to those of you who do not have a relationship with Jesus, but I promise it’s the truth. Sitting in nature and baring my soul to our creator brings a peace and fulfillment like nothing else.

Let’s Get Uncomfortable

I hate to admit it, but I am a big fan of comfort zones. They’re just so comfy and cozy and free from stress and anxiety. But they’re not a good place to be. You see, nothing ever grows in comfort zones. You don’t gain knowledge and nothing gets better by chilling there. I was listening to a sermon by Dr. Derwin Gray and he said something that really made me think. He said ” you can’t change the world by staying in your comfort zone.” I mean, how true is that? If you think of all the amazing people in this world who have really made a difference, you realize that at some point they had to get uncomfortable. We should all want to make the world a better place, we should all want to help our friends, neighbors and even strangers. This means we have to step out and get our hands messy. Knowing that it is up to us to see change and make the world a brighter place, should be our motivation. We have to be the good influences that our children see, so that they grow up knowing that kindness and compassion really do matter. We should step out of our comfort zones to show our kids that bravery and taking on challenges are what ultimately makes us better as individuals but also brings together communities and makes the world a happier place to be.

There are many different types of comfort zones that you need to get yourself out of. Maybe you’re stuck in a zone where you keep eating unhealthy foods, you know its bad, but its comfortable. Or you maybe stuck in the comfort zone of your couch. You know you should get up and exercise or move your body somehow, but that couch is so cozy. Maybe you have this job that you’re really comfortable at but something is unsettled inside of you and you’re feeling called to step out and challenge yourself. Do it! Let’s get out of these comfy places. I know they feel nice and safe right now, but think of all the good we can do, all the growth that can happen and the inspiration that we can be to other people.

So if you’re looking for a sign, this is it. Let’s get uncomfortable.