I love being a believer. My life is fuller, brighter and full of hope. I think it is such a shame that there is a stigma that comes with being a Christian, but after reading the New Testament one quickly learns that is the way it must be. Christians have been and will continue to be persecuted.
I grew up in a Christian household only to deny my faith in my early 20’s. I spent my entire 20’s chasing my own selfishness. Finding pleasure in the world. But I have never been happier since becoming a Christian.
I chose Jesus in 2014. Mi Amor and I have become steadfast in our faith and are proud to be Christians. But it didn’t come without plenty of bumps along the way, so I know I have some interesting insights on what it means to me to be a Christian.
Do you ever feel inadequate? Maybe the thought of not feeling like enough crosses your mind from time-to-time. Or maybe you get instantly nervous, clammy or have a quick need to pee when you find yourself having to speak in front of others.
Do I have a story for you, strait out of His Word! But first, I’m going to share a little about me before we channel our inner Moses.
I think rest can have different meanings for different people. Some of us embrace it, look forward to it and take full advantage of it. On the flip side, I think the majority of us think it is intended for someone else. You may think rest just equals lazy.
Whatever you believe, or practice, I have some exciting news. Rest was created for you.
Y’all, it has been a hard week. I mentioned here that we are currently trying to sell our home, and I am finally feeling the wear and tear from daily staging and caring for my toddler alone. Mi Amor has been traveling for 2 weeks, and while keeping the home clean with one less person is helpful, I am really feeling exhausted. So where do I turn to in times of distress? God’s Word.
Don’t get me wrong – I am still struggling. If I have learned anything in 2017 it is that God’s plan is so much better than mine. But in the thick of it, it can be challenging to be patient. Waiting on God can feel like being on the phone with no one on the other end. But I know He’s there, listening and working to make everything better than I can imagine.
So prayer it is. I need to be in His Word, in relationship with Him to get through this tough season.
Last year was a big milestone for me in my faith. I had an amazing Christian mentor, signed up and attended 4 bible studies and made some awesome Christian friends, particularly other mamas in a similar season. It is no surprise that God moved me in a huge way. And it was all tied up in a pretty bow when God answered my prayer of finding the best Bible I had been searching for.
My Bible search journey began with one little Bible study. What I find so fascinating is that somehow several of my studies tied together so perfectly and I can’t resist the urge to share with you how transformative it all was, and encourage you to pick up one (or all) of these books.
In my mommy-and-tot Bible study, we began reading Open Your Bible: God’s Word is For You and For Now. This book really opened my eyes on how I should approach the Bible. One thing I should have known but never really thought about was I wasn’t praying before or after reading the Bible. The authors of this book provide some great scripture prompts to pray before you begin reading the Bible and to pray after, which I thought was so great because that is one of the most important times to pray.
We want God’s words to speak to us, for the Holy Spirit to work in our hearts and show us what God wants us to know through His Word. How else will we get there without prayer? It’s so simple, but it really blew my mind.
I really encourage anybody who hasn’t read this book to read it. In fact, take it a step further and start a small group or bring it up to your women’s ministry at church. I promise you will appreciate the insight!
While I was reading through this book I was also in a study about Ruth titled A Woman Who Doesn’t Quit – 5 Habits from the Book of Ruth. Despite being a Christian for a few years now, I truly didn’t know the story of Ruth. This book taught me so much and I honestly dived much deeper into it because of the Open Your Bible study.
I won’t give away her story, because you should really read it. But I am giving you the biggest spoiler alert….Jesus is a direct descendant of Ruth! And Ruth didn’t start out as a believer, nor was she a Jew. Because of Ruth’s faithfulness, because of her obedience and because she never quit, Jesus stems from her lineage. Girls, her story will give you so much encouragement about YOUR importance!
What fascinated me so much about the Book of Ruth is that how do we not know more about this woman? How do we not know more about the importance of this book? So this challenged me, between both these studies, to find a different Bible. I loved the Bible that I already had because it was gifted to me by my husband, but I was determined to get a good study Bible. After doing a lot of online research I decided to go to Barnes & Noble so that I could see the Bibles in person and get a good feel for what they had to offer on the inside.
One particular Bible caught my attention because it’s pretty and I’m all about pretty things. It’s gray, with a hardcover and thick with lots of pages. It seemed like such a great choice, but pretty isn’t the way to go with such an important book.
Knee deep in the book of Ruth, I went strait there to see what this Bible had to say. And it was so perfect – all the importance I was searching for was laid right out on that first intro page. They understood how important Ruth was, and why we should give thanks for her.
Yes! Then, I looked it up on Amazon and quickly realized that this Bible was created by the same authors, along with other Christian Scholars, from the Open Your Bible book that I was reading in Roots and Fruits. I was floored. It was like God was literally handing me this Bible after so much searching. I had spent time in prayer trying to figure out what Bible I should get I was so moved by how directly God was speaking to me!
I am so in awe of the way God works, the way this Bible and the studies have tranfsormed my life. This year I am committing to read the Bible. This particular Bible sets it up to do studies that align with every book and different chapters. So far, Genesis is rocking my world!
I strongly encourage you to check these out, and if you do let me know your thoughts!
Disclaimer: Some of the links on this page are affiliate links, and at no extra cost to you, I may receive a small commission if you make a purchase after clicking through. I only recommend products and services that I have personally used and love.
This year has been a whirlwind….a roller coaster of sorts, with many many highs and some occasional lows (and shockers). If I could have seen the future, even just a year ago, I wouldn’t have believed what 2017 had in store for me…or who I would become!
Late in 2016 I started a new job. It was an exciting move for me, as my career had always come first. I love my husband and kiddo, but work was something I put everything into, where my passions and purpose thrived. So when I was given an opportunity to lead a new marketing department, I jumped on it. I never would have left the American Heart Association under any other circumstances….So, God had to yank me out of there and that started my unimaginable journey.
I feel compelled to share a little story with you, especially being knee-deep in mama season which can include a whole lotta judgement. So I invite you to sit back, relax and use your imagination.
A woman picked a perfect spot on a park bench to enjoy a beautiful and peaceful fall day. Birds were chirping, kids were laughing at the nearby playground and there weren’t many people around. She worked long hours so having a free day to find peace and quite was rare, so she intended to take full advantage. She opened the book she brought along, settled in and began to read.
During a very interesting plot twist, she felt something hit the back of her head. A child had thrown some dirt at her and ran off. Considering the day she was having, she felt a tinge of annoyance but let it go. She brushed the dirt out of her hair and looked around to see the kiddo was with their father and two younger siblings.
At first, she felt sympathy for him. But after witnessing that he was distracted and disciplining them wasn’t his priority, sympathy turned into annoyance, frustration and eventually she disregarded his ability to father.
She wanted to continue reading, but in-between the pages she could see that the father had lost all control. One child was pulling a girl’s hair on the playground, the toddler was eating mulch off the ground and the oldest was terrorizing everyone around. She sat there in disbelief – but brushed it off again, and started reading.
A couple was enjoying a picnic near her bench – close enough to hear them, but not close enough to hear their conversation. Out of no where, she hears the girl scream and stand up. The child had thrown a bunch of dirt on the couple and their food.
She had had enough. Being a mother of four, she understood that kids can be kids but she also knew the importance of discipline. She debated saying anything to the father or just walking away. Then, she saw him grab his kiddo and run over to the couple.
Authentically apologetic, he explained that he had just lost his wife, their mother, days before and this was the first time they had gotten out of the house since her funeral.
Feel that kick in the gut? I did too. So this goes out to all of us – whether quick to judge or not.
I love this little saying from my mom – “Thank God it isn’t my place to judge, that is for Him only.” Doesn’t that take a lot of stress off you?!
Full disclosure: I heard a similar story the other day and made it my own. Not because their version wasn’t good, but because I couldn’t remember the details…and I enjoy writing! So if you have heard something similar, know that I was inspired by…and not trying to steal the idea!
After an interesting and busy week, Mi Amor and I were chatting about how full our lives are from our friendships. We are currently working on BabyCoolJ’s guestlist for his birthday party and it became very apparent that we have some valuable people we want to celebrate with!
It wasn’t but 2 years ago that we were utterly lonely from not having friends. Sure, we knew a lot of people, but genuine friends are hard to come by. I watch kids and it is always so amazing to see how they can make friends so easily. What a blessing that is! As adults it is so much more challenging. But, when you snag a good one, it is worth cherishing.
I say it often but I can’t say it enough – since staying home with BabyCoolJ, I have been immensely blessed by new friendships. And not those catty, judgy kind everyone jokes about in mom groups. Nope, this is my mom tribe. Well, I have several! You see, I’ve always had different groups of friends-it’s probably the only child in me. I need enough activity to entertain my busy lifestyle and friends play a vital role in that. When I worked, my work friends were enough, especially after the birth of my child. Life just gets too busy, too messy and too hard to nurture friendships, especially new ones. But now that I am home, my life has made some amazing transitions.
I really fell in love with the song “Friendship” by Ray Charles – the lyrics are so funny, but I appreciate his way of sharing what a true friendship looks like. And it’s who I want to be: if you are in a jam, here I am. No matter what.
This is my theme of the year! Little did I know that 2017 was going to be a year full of HUGE surprises. I’ve always been so focused on my career, even if it meant 60-70 hour weeks with a baby (and even working till 12am when I was in labor!). So when I found myself out of work I quickly had my horse blinders on trying to find another job in my field.
But, I wasn’t thinking outside of the box! I didn’t contemplate every option until God opened my eyes through an awesome little testimony you can read up on here. What is so great about this is God did bless us (just 2 days after we tithed, actually!) – and I am able to stay home with BabyCoolJ through at least the rest of 2017. Never knew I’d want to be a SAHM, but I am feeling very fortunate to do so – my toddler is so fun right now!
With my personality though, and career focused attitude, I can’t sit still long. Having a full calendar of playdates, mommy & me classes and Bible studies isn’t quite enough – so now that I have room to breath I am able to think outside of the box! And you bet I’m gonna b-b-beat these hard times!
This weekend I hosted by first Ruby Ribbon trunk show. I’ve never been one to like this sorta thing, I always avoided parties and the such, and I remember being really jaded after going to a Mary Kay party in high school someone dragged me to. But I had an epiphany recently after chatting with a lot of network marketing friends – these products are better than what you find on the shelf. So while it may seem shady to some, you can’t deny how awesome something may be, especially after you try it for yourself.
My best-kept fashion (and confidence) secret has been Ruby Ribbon for more than a year. My mom introduced me to it, and while she never pushed me to get involved, I saw the potential and decided to join this weekend after hosting my first trunk show! I am actually really pumped about my new adventure and hoping to make it lucrative enough to stay home with BabyCoolJ into 2018 and beyond. (Join my private #DitchYourBra Facebook group here!)
And, because this girl is all about the (work) hustle, I also launched my own PR, marketing and social media consulting gig: Frolic Creative. I just can’t sit back and not to what I do best! I’ve added a few clients already and am having a blast donating my social media skills to Created Woman.
So, here’s to 2017 and to Run DMC…”Like the cream of the crop, like the crop of the cream B-b-beating hard times, that is my theme.”
So, let me preface this by saying I am currently reading “What Happens When Women Say Yes to God” by Lysa Terkeurst. I have faith and trust in Him, however I struggle with discerning on His vs. my thoughts/desires/ideas. Lots of crazy stuff enters my mind and I don’t know where it is coming from!