Living With A Silent Sickness

Living With A Silent Sickness

There is no doubt that being sick leads to many frustrations. There is even less doubt that those frustrations increase when no one can figure out why you are sick. I’m there right now… I have what I call a “silent sickness”, meaning, something is wrong with me and none of the doctors so far have been able to find out why. Test after test has come back negative and if I hear “well, you don’t look sick”, one more time, I may explode. Partly because I know that I’m sick (which you don’t have to “look sick” to actually be sick), and partly because if you had known me before all of this started, I look a whole lot rougher than I did a year or two ago. I feel like I need to talk on this because I know that there are others out there struggling with the same thing that I am. We may not have the same sickness, but I’m willing to bet that we are encountering a lot of the same roadblocks and struggles.

“You can’t be THAT sick”, “Well, I have problems too, I just have to push through”, “If all the tests are negative, maybe it’s all in your head”, and too many more phrases to count. I feel like I have heard them all. If you’ve heard these, then you know how absolutely infuriating it is to have someone boil down the battle of your life into…. just nothing… You don’t know what’s wrong with you, just that there is something very wrong with your body/mind or both and the people around you barely believe you. Don’t even get me started on the doctors, half of them look at you like you’re crazy and the other half pawn it off on illnesses that you have dealt with for most of your life (illnesses that you know this new sickness is nothing like). Frustrating isn’t even a strong enough word to describe how shattering this journey can be. You feel alone, drained, and at some point in time, you start to believe that maybe it is all in your head (even when you know beyond a shadow of a doubt that it isn’t). I know that I have…. After months of putting myself last, because I thought of my silent sickness as an inconvenience to those around me and I thought that I could just “push through”, I have finally decided that my health needs to either come first, or darn near close to it.

I haven’t been doing it long enough to know what comes next. I am hoping and praying that answers will come soon, and then healing. Realistically, I don’t expect those answers anytime soon… I expect lots of tests and lots of pushback. I expect more comments and a lot of people not understanding. Even with all of the negative that I’m pretty sure will be coming my way, I also know that I will maintain hope. I serve a God who heals and I know that I am going through this journey for a reason. So, for now, I take all of the frustration and I try to learn from it. My silent sickness may be hard, but I refuse to let it ruin my happiness. If you are in the same situation, I encourage you to do the same; expect the rough roads that are likely ahead, but hold out hope that the answers are coming. You can get through this, you will get through this, and it’s okay to take care of yourself. We may not have a name to match to our illness yet, but we have other people out there who understand what we are going through, and answers in our futures.

 

I hope that you enjoyed this post and my hope for you guys is that you will gain comfort from this post or understanding from it. Silent sickness is no joke and it should be treated accordingly. If you are going through this and you feel alone and defeated, like no one out there believes you, then please reach out to me. I understand, I believe you, and you aren’t alone. Thank y’all so much for reading and as always, much love and God bless!

 

Praise the Lord, my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name. Praise the Lord, my soul, and forget not all his benefits—who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion, who satisfies your desires with good thing, so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s. – Psalm 103:1-5

 

If you enjoyed this post, check out my post on Even Broken Things Can Be Beautiful and Treating Yourself With The Same Kindness You’d Give Others

5 Must Have Christmas Decorations for 2018

5 Must Have Christmas Decorations for 2018

Hey everyone! Today I want to talk to y’all about 5 Must Have Christmas Decorations for 2018. I can’t wait to share some awesome decorations, with you guys! While I am putting my affiliate links to the different products (You can learn more by checking out my Disclaimer), all of these products I personally love or want and would never recommend if I didn’t think that they were amazing. Without rambling on, I hope that y’all enjoy!

  • Scented Pine Cones – Okay, these are a staple every single Christmas because they are absolutely incredible! They are cinnamon scented pine cones, so your house ends up smelling so good! You can put them all in one place for a centerpiece, place them throughout your Christmas tree as sweet smelling ornaments, or get crafty and attach ribbons to hang them up around your home (or to give as quick and easy gifts). Every year these make my house smell INCREDIBLE; I’m talking like Christmas store in the mall, incredible. If you’ve gotten them before, you know that they are awesome, if you haven’t gotten them before, I’m telling you… they are so worth the try. Click HERE to see more on the Scented Pine Cones. 
  • Lighted Ceramic Tabletop Christmas Tree – I was given one of these as a gift a couple of years ago and now it’s another Christmas staple in my home. They are so gorgeous and the lights (the little ornament looking things on the tree) add the perfect pop of color to any room. It’s one of those pieces that give you immediate “Christmas morning” feelings whenever you light it up. I mean, who doesn’t want a super cute mini tree to stare at while you daydream about Christmas Day? These are perfect for homes and, some may say, even better for offices. Click HERE to see more on the Lighted Ceramic Tabletop Christmas Tree. 
  • Mistletoe/Kissing Ball – The mistletoe/kissing ball, is such a classic. Dangling from doorways or shining as an ornament on the tree, it’s a timeless Christmas decoration that has been around for as long as I can remember. It can be used for getting a kiss from the person you love, or simply adding a little classic Christmas elegance to the room of your choosing. Click HERE to see more on the Ganz Mistletoe Kiss Ball (yes it’s a strange name, but it’s the most beautiful little mistletoe/kissing ball). 
  • Christmas Tree – Of course, it goes without saying that a Christmas tree is a Christmas decoration must have for every year. It gets the “festive feelings” flowing around the house and decorating a Christmas tree is an opportunity to get the whole family doing something together. Every year, my husband and I, go pick out a beautiful, live, Christmas tree and spend a few hours just decorating it up and dancing around the house to Christmas music. This will be our 4th year carrying on this tradition and I can’t wait (It’s honestly one of my absolute favorite times of the year). Something about having the music turned up and being busy stringing lights or placing ornaments (so phones get put away and not thought about for a little while) is just peaceful and captivating. For a little bit, you don’t feel like the world around you exists, it’s just you and your family. We always like to get a live tree, but if you prefer an artificial tree, click HERE to see more on a 7.5’ Artificial Spruce that even comes with a stand. 
  • Nativity Scene – I know that most of this list, okay… all of this list is made up of things that have been Christmas traditions in my life for as long as I can remember. The nativity scene is another family tradition, for me. I can remember being little and having my grandma explaining to me what her porcelain nativity scene was (it was this beautiful bright porcelain; I’m pretty sure that they don’t make them like that anymore). It always sat next to this little Christmas mouse that she put up every year, which has no relation to the scene itself, but it’s one of those images that you hold on to as you grow older. It never failed, every single year I would go up to her nativity scene and just admire the beautiful little figurines and think about the birth of Jesus for a bit instead of Christmas presents and goodies (which is was the whole purpose of it in the first place, so it definitely worked). Though I haven’t been able to find one like hers yet, I found one that is so beautiful that I’ve got my eye on it. If you want to see more on the Nativity Scene that has caught my eye, click HERE

Those are my 5 Must Have Christmas Decorations for 2018. All of these items are things that I love and things that have kept Christmas in my home feeling the same as it did when I was little. I hope that you have enjoyed this post and thank you for taking the time to read! As always, much love and God bless!

 

If you liked this post, check out my posts on Christmas Gifts To Get The Person That “Has Everything” and 5 Reasons To Keep Your Christmas Spirit Going Strong

Creatively Purposed

Creatively Purposed

I am creatively purposed. Well, I believe that I am creatively purposed, but before I tell you why I feel this way, I need to tell you what being “creatively purposed” means. As far as I know, no one has defined this term before, so this definition is what I personally think it means… Creatively purposed is when you are supposed to use your, God-given, creativity for the purpose that He has for you. In other words, your creativity is what you are going to use to reach and/or walk in purpose. This post is for everyone out there that feels that God has given you a spirit and pull of creativity. I’m right there with you, and for everyone saying that creativity is for hobbies and not for making a living, I trust God with my purpose… not society. So, now that we have our “definition” out of the way, I want to talk to you about why I feel that I am creatively purposed and how you can find out if you are too.

(Backstory Time!) I have always been creative; I’m talking about singing songs before I knew how to even talk! From there, it was a wild imagination that would later turn into writing crazy stories that (while the attempted books haven’t made it past the drawing board yet) would teach me how to write and engage readers (which would help me with my writing when I felt that God was pulling me to blog). In between, this creativity birthed lemonade stands, “card companies”, painting/drawing, attempts at writing songs, and much more… but you get the picture, I was a child who tried to get my hands on anything at all that would let me be expressive (some may even say, creative). In my adult years, this creativity has led to me being a nail technician, refinishing furniture, learning to knit, and creating this very blog. For as long as I can remember, I have had this creativity flowing through me; and for as long as I can remember, I have looked at it as nothing more than a way to keep myself occupied with hobby after hobby. I have never looked at my creativity as being a part of my purpose… until today.

Those of you that know me, know that I love watching Pastor Michael Todd from Transformation Church in Tulsa,OK. I love watching his sermons because he keeps things transparent, he doesn’t just tell you what good you can get out of a right relationship with God, he gives you scripture to give you actionable steps to get that right relationship. I really could go on for a good while about Transformation Church and their amazing sermons (I will put a link to their website and their YouTube page below), but I want to talk a little about their “Planted Not Buried” series. I have been watching it for several weeks, and I went back yesterday to start the series over (when you feel like that sermon series is for you and about you, sometimes it takes a second watch through to get every little piece of information out of it). Let me tell you, it hit me like a ton of bricks. One of the main points in the series is that “Planted and buried look very similar, it’s what’s happening where you can’t see it that makes the difference” (planted-seed growing beneath the surface, buried-no life). I encourage you to go watch the series, it’s so good, but my takeaway from it was that I had been looking at my situation in such a wrong way, that it shocked me.

I had been looking at all of the negatives in my life and (while I don’t want to admit it) I was beginning to feel like God was giving up on me; or at the very least, that I was heading in the opposite direction of what He wanted for my life. So, when the aha moment hit, it changed everything. I felt like God was trying to get through my thick skull and say “you aren’t dead, I’ve just got you planted”. So, I prayed… “Lord, I want your will for my life, not my own, even if I don’t understand it right now and it’s dark and scary, please lead me to YOUR purpose for me”. Then the next aha moment struck (Are you seeing a pattern here?). I am struggling financially, that is just the plain truth. For reasons that I won’t bore you with, money has been fairly tight lately.That being said, I have been looking for a way to earn more money. Notice I said that I was looking, as in, instead of trusting my provider, I kept trying to make a way for myself and it went about as well as expected…. My second aha moment was that I’ve been  listening to what everyone around me has been saying about needing/finding more money, and not what God had been telling me about my walk in purpose. The truth is, I am not analytical or logical in the slightest, and if we are talking about cars or machinery, I’m the last one that you want to get involved… but I have always been creative. My creativity is a bundle of my God-given gifts. I started thinking that maybe, just maybe, God was using each of my hobbies to help cultivate my gifts so that I would be ready to walk in His purpose for me… and instead of working towards purpose, I was complaining about my steps to get there. Not anymore, from now on, I will embrace what God uses me for (what I enjoy and what I don’t) because that’s what will guide me to my purpose.

Do I know what my full purpose is yet? No. I have no idea what God wants to use me for next. All I can guess at this point is that it’s going to utilize my creativity. After all, my creativity has already allowed me to build relationships with people and do some pretty amazing things to show how great our God is. That’s why, as I’m walking by faith (and not by sight), I will keep listening to what God is telling me to do (and to use my creativity for) and I’m going to start ignoring what society tells me I should do. At the end of the day, I know that God’s plans for me are vastly better than anything I could ever dream of. Besides, if God is for me, who can stand against me? He will lead me to where I need to be, no matter how anyone else feels about what I’m doing, I just have to trust and follow Him for my purpose.

How can you tell if you are creatively purposed? The truth is, you won’t know for sure until you know that you are walking in purpose. If you sound like me, then you are probably creatively purposed. If your creativity has helped you with your walk with God, or helped you show others God’s glory, then you are probably creatively purposed. I think that most of the time, people miss that they are creatively purposed because society says that you should be “marketable” before you are creative. If you believe that you are creatively purposed, please start praying about what God wants for your life, not listening to what society wants for your life. It will make such a big difference.

 

Thank you so much for taking the time to read this post; I hope that you enjoyed it! If you feel like you are creatively purposed, go out and own it! It’s time to show that those of us who are creatively purposed, are still purposed for something great. I hope that you all have a wonderful day and please go read Romans 8:30-39, it is very impactful scripture. As always, much love and God bless!

 

If you enjoyed this post, click HERE to read Rock Bottom to Rock Solid (A Story Of Renewed Faith)

 

Click HERE to check out the Transformation Church website

Click HERE to check out the Transformation Church YouTube page

Treating Yourself With The Same Kindness You’d Give Others

Treating Yourself With The Same Kindness You'd Give Others

Hey everyone! Today, I want to talk about treating yourself with the same kindness that you would give others. I know so many people with amazing hearts that do so much good for others, and then tear themselves down day after day. The goal of this post is to show you (if you do that) that you need to start granting yourself with the same kindness that you have gifted others.

Of course, we have to start by looking at how you treat others. The biggest question is obviously, “Do you treat others with kindness?”. Think deeply about the interactions that you have on a daily basis… do you offer to help others, would you help a complete stranger, do you offer to listen, can people count on you to be there for them, do you speak kindly to the staff of the places you visit? If you said yes to these questions, then it’s likely that you tend to treat others with kindness. Now, one more big question… Do you treat yourself with kindness?

If you are always downing yourself or getting upset at yourself over everything, then you aren’t treating yourself with kindness and that needs to stop. Think of how big the impact is if you nurture a growing child; just because you are older doesn’t mean that you quit needing reassurance and praise. I believe that the biggest difference isn’t the age, it’s the way that we perceive the encouragement. When we are young, the encouragement is welcome and enjoyed. Once we are older, we start finding it hard to believe that anyone would want to give us praise when we, ourselves, feel like we don’t deserve it. The bottom line is, you need to be kind to yourself as much as you want to be kind to others.

If you aren’t kind to yourself, then eventually you will have broken yourself down so much that you will no longer want to be kind to others. Not to mention, being kind to yourself will open up a whole new world for you; one where you aren’t always down on yourself, but where you are happy with who you are. Trust me, being happy with who you are makes all the difference in the world. I’m not saying that you shouldn’t recognize when you mess up, just that you shouldn’t be so hard on yourself when it comes to the small stuff.

You’ve spilled some juice and now the floor will be sticky? Okay, no big deal, it will mop up, there is no need to be upset at yourself over it. You’re running late to a really important event? Again, it’s okay, and there is nothing that can be done at that point, so don’t beat yourself because it isn’t going to do anything other than make you feel worse. Chances are, whatever you make a mistake on, it will happen again. That’s just part of life, and it’s how you learn. Pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and treat yourself with the kindness that you enjoy providing others. Things happen and there is nothing that you can do to control that, but you can control how you choose to feel about the situation.

Take care of yourself like you take care of others, you need you just as much as they do.

 

I know that the last couple of posts have been on the short side, but again, there are some things that don’t need to be over-complicated. I have gotten such a positive response on Even Broken Things Can Be Beautiful, that I wanted to keep reaching people that needed to hear it. I think that everyone struggles with treating themselves kindly, but there are people are out changing the world with their hearts and struggling with the way they treat themselves at the same time. You aren’t alone, and you don’t have to go through it alone. Keep reminding yourself to treat YOU with the kindness that you treat others with, and if you need someone to encourage you to keep (or even start) doing so, then you can reach out to me anytime and I will be here. Thank you guys for reading and as always, much love and God Bless!

If you enjoyed this post, check out my post on why I Choose Happiness and Even Broken Things Can Be Beautiful.

Even Broken Things Can Be Beautiful

Even broken things can be beautiful

The other day I was outside and the most beautiful butterfly kept flying near me. It fluttered around for quite a while before it finally landed close enough that I could get a good look at it. The vibrant blue and white nearly glowed against the deep navy of this little creature (the picture really doesn’t do it justice – it’s the butterfly from the image above); and for a moment, I almost didn’t realize that it had a broken wing. The break was small and at the bottom, impossible to notice while it was flying around… and it really got me thinking.

Much like this butterfly, if you pay attention to the people around you, you will notice that most of them keep people at arms length away so that no one has the chance to see the broken parts of their lives. Maybe they want to hide that they aren’t happy with their jobs, financial situation, weight, etc…  or maybe they want to hide that they aren’t happy with themselves as a whole. The bottom line is, it tends to be hard to let someone else see the parts of you that you don’t even want to acknowledge about yourself.

Maybe, you are the one that has been keeping everyone at arms length to hide your broken areas. If that is what you are doing, please please please take a break and “land” near someone. Someone you trust, someone you haven’t talked to in ages, or anyone that you think will listen; just let somebody take the time to see your beauty in its entirety, broken parts and all. The broken parts of us aren’t problems that are meant to be hidden away and never shown to the world. Honestly, it’s often our broken parts that make us stand out in the world and ends up shaping who we become.

I know every time that beautiful little butterfly comes to visit me, because I know what parts are broken… It’s still one of the most beautiful butterflies that I have ever seen, even with that chipped wing. Sometimes, your broken things are how you are able to connect (and even help) others. God always uses our broken things for so much more good than we could ever imagine. Instead of trying to hide what’s broken, use it to do good in the world and make your mark. Let them become your strengths instead of your weaknesses.

The truth is, we’re all a little broken… it’s what you do with that brokenness that counts.

Hey lovelies! I know that this post is a little short, but I know that there are people who needed to hear it, and some things don’t need to be over-complicated… If you read this and you feel like you have no one to “land next to”, please reach out to me; I will listen. Thank you for taking time to read and I hope that you enjoyed it, as always, God Bless and much love!

1 Peter 4:19- “So then let those who suffer according to the will of God entrust their souls to a faithful Creator as they do good.”

If you enjoyed this post, check out my post on why I Choose Happiness

Why I Chose SiteGround Hosting

Why I Chose SiteGround

(This post contains affiliate links at no additional cost to you. All products are products that I use and would recommend to my friends and family. To see more on my affiliate policy, view my disclaimer)

 

Click HERE to see if SiteGround is right for you!

 

Hey everyone! I just wanted to spend a little bit of time talking about the main reasons that I chose SiteGround Hosting. Please keep in mind that even though I am going to be posting my affiliate link for SiteGround, I wouldn’t recommend it if I didn’t love it and think that it was worth sharing with you guys. Without droning on, here is the list, enjoy!

 

 

  • Easy To Use- I found SiteGround while I was looking for self-hosting platforms. Basically, I didn’t know if I was really cut out for this “whole blogging thing”, but I knew that I wanted to set myself up for success. Success in the blogging world means monetization and outreach, which essentially means that you need a platform that will set you up for success when you have no clue what you are doing. While researching around, I kept seeing SiteGround pop up and figured it would be worth looking into and I’m glad I did. They had everything broken down in terms that I could understand (I’m not all that tech savvy, so having a start up plan really helped me figure out what I was doing). They made it so so easy for me to get started. They have three plans set up for starting up, growing, and “web geeks”. Of course, I went with the StartUp plan, and began my journey. Their 24/7 tech support was a life-saver when I was struggling to figure out this crazy web world on my own. Truthfully though, I didn’t need too much support because they walk you through everything while you are setting up.
  • Money Back Guarantee- One of the things that I really liked about SiteGround, was that they had a 30 day money back guarantee. That right there put my mind at ease in a major way. I had never done anything like this, and while I knew that I was feeling the call to blog, I didn’t know if I would be any good at it. The thought of being able to get my money back if this thing didn’t work out, made me feel a ton better. The thing is, I have loved SiteGround since the beginning and never thought about backing out once I got started.
  • Price- If you are like me, then you work hard for your money and the thought of spending it on something, like a blog, can seem scary at first. I remember pouring over tons of different platforms looking for one that had the best prices for the best plans. I remember jumping from site to site until I landed on SiteGround. They run special prices all of the time and the amount of stuff that you get is crazy. Like I said earlier, they have 3 tiers of plans; StartUp is “crafted for a great web start and suitable for 10,000 visits monthly”, GrowBig is “crafted for your web growth and suitable for 25,000 visits monthly”, and GoGeek is “crafted for real web geeks and suitable for 100,000 visits monthly”. The best thing about it, you can start with StartUp and switch to other plans as your blog grows. If you want to check out more on their prices and plans, click here to visit the SiteGround hosting website.

 

These are the three main reasons that I chose, and love, SiteGround. They have been an absolutely amazing company to work with, and I would highly recommend trying them out! Thank you for taking the time to read and, as always, God Bless!

 

Click HERE to see if SiteGround is right for you!

 

If you enjoyed this post, check out my post on 5 Things You Need To Know About Blogging or Why I Blog

I Choose Happiness

I Choose Happiness

I choose happiness… in a world that chooses money.

I choose happiness… in a world that focuses on the negative.

I choose happiness… in a world that chooses material things over people.

I choose happiness… in a time that there seems to be little of it.

I choose happiness… in a world where it’s not part of the equation for success.

I choose happiness… even though others think it’s silly.

 

I choose happiness… because at the end of the day, it doesn’t matter how much money I have, how much stuff I’ve bought, whether I’m successful in other people’s eyes, or what others think. When my life is said and done, I want to look back and know that I have done good works, and that I chose happiness over the things of this world. Something my grandma has always said (that used to drive me crazy) was that ‘only you can make you happy’. The thing is, the older I get, the more I believe it. Things are nice, but the ‘nice’ fades after a while; same with careers, cars, hobbies, etc… Pure happiness comes from your outlook on life.

Yes, it is much easier said than done to be happy in the face of every situation. I struggle with it greatly, more than I’d like to admit, but it’s true. I have seen people go through some of the toughest situations, and their positivity towards what was happening, and their trust of God,  just absolutely baffled me. It left me thinking “How can I feel bad for this person, when they don’t even feel bad for themselves?”. It completely changed the situation from something terrible, to part of the life that they felt joy to live.

I would say that there are only two things in your life that can provide you with pure happiness, yourself and God. Having a right relationship with God will fuel you with more joy than you could ever imagine… and when He sends you through a valley (I know, we don’t like it, but it’s part of His plan to shape us into who we are meant to be), your outlook on life and God’s plan for you will be what keeps you feeling joy until you are back on top of the mountain.

Lately, I have had a lot of people asking me what I want to do with the rest of my life, and if I’m being honest with you, I don’t know. I don’t feel like I have found my purpose for life yet, but I know that God will reveal it to me in time. So, even though I am feeling a bit lost right now (you know I have to be honest with y’all), I am going to keep telling people that I choose happiness. I don’t want to look back on my life and have all of these regrets because I chased the things of this world, so I will wait patiently until God tells me to move towards purpose and in the meantime, I will keep choosing to be happy.

 

Hey guys, I know that this wasn’t a long post, but I felt like I needed to write it. Truthfully, I needed to hear it myself right now, so I’m sure that there are others who need to hear it as well. It’s okay to struggle and feel lost, just hang on to choosing happiness and hang on to God. Psalm 30:5 says – For His anger lasts only a short time. But His favor is for life. Crying may last for a night, but joy comes with the new day.

Always remember that your happiness, your joy, comes in the morning and that the hardships of life won’t last… even when it feels like that’s all you’ve been having. Keep your head held high and your prayers sent higher. If you ever need to talk to someone, know that you can always talk to me. Thank y’all so much for reading and God bless!

 

If you enjoyed this post, you can visit some of my others by clicking on the titles below:

From Rock Bottom To Rock Solid (A Story Of Renewed Faith)

From Rock Bottom To Rock Solid (A Story Of Renewed Faith)

Everyone has, at some point in their life, heard the phrase “when you hit rock bottom, that’s when you start looking up”. I had heard it plenty, seen it plenty, and read it plenty… but it was really nothing more than a cliché inspirational phrase. I certainly never thought of it as a “faith phrase”. I had heard it said as a faith phrase, but I truly never saw a connection from the saying to my life. Until I hit my rock bottom.
Now, before I go any further, everyone’s rock bottom is different and yes, you can have more than one in your life, but this happened to be the roughest patch that I have personally been through.
My back went out, not a little, but a barely-able-to-move blowout. One day I was hurting, but functional, and the next I was unable to put my own shirt over my head. Even little things like sitting down/standing up were difficult at best. All I knew was that something was very wrong and I didn’t know to what extent. After a trip to the doctor and several days of rough and unexplained pain, they found that my spine was curved the opposite way and it was causing nerve and muscle pain/problems. After a few months of rehab split between a chiropractor and a physical therapist, I was feeling much better and finally functional again. The thing is, this was a very trying time for me, physically and mentally.
At that point in my life, my faith seemed to be at an all time low (even though I was in denial about it at that time) and my back going out was the icing on the cake of rocked faith. You see, at first diagnosis, they didn’t know if I’d ever be able to go back to my job (nail technician) again. That’s not a big deal for a lot of people, but those of you that know me, know that I trained to be a nail technician straight out of high school and my husband is in his senior year of college (yes, he works, very hard, but he has to go to part time during his school months). We make enough to live happily and have money for some of the things we want, but having one of us out of work for an extended length of time was not good and the thought of not being able to go back to the only field I’m really trained in was even worse.
We made it through (thank you God for help and for letting us have put back money). I was out of work for almost three months and had to baby step back in for a while after, but I was able to return to the career I had been building. So, I tell you guys all of this, not to get pity, but to prove that “when you hit rock bottom, that’s when you start looking up” is one of the truest phrases there is. During my time out, I spent a lot of time on the couch – on my phone. There wasn’t much else I could do (I could barely walk). One day I came across a video on Facebook of Pastor Michael Todd from Transformation Church. He was preaching a series called Relationship Goals, and after about a minute I was hooked. I proceeded to watch about 3 of the videos from that series (1 hour long each) and I was in tears by the end of every one. The next day I watched the remaining sermons from that series. The following day, I started another one of his series. This continued and is still going on now (his Grace Like A Flood series just ended and let me tell y’all, it was life changing). I had started to find faith like I had never had before. It was like everything around me changed and for the first time in years, I was getting in my Bible again and praying with my heart, not just my words.
In a time where I felt helpless, hopeless, scared of the future, and downright worthless, I realized that God was with me. I had help, hope, a future, and worth, through HIM! Y’all, I am just going to be real with you, I went from crying everyday from anger and sadness, to crying tears of joy! From that moment on, my faith had been renewed. Looking back, I needed that time out to reconnect with God. Now, I’m grateful for something I once thought was the worst point in my life.
Our God is so good, when I felt at my lowest, He put his hand down and was ready for the exact moment that I started looking up. I’m not perfect by any means, and I still have days that I struggle with frustration at not knowing His plans for me, but I haven’t doubted his love for me since. I make it a point to put God first and have him be the center of my life. I make it a point to trust His plans for me more than my own, and I don’t go a day without thanking him for everything that he has done for me.
If you are at rock bottom, whatever your rock bottom may be, please please please realize that God is still with you, all you need to do is start looking up.
Isaiah 41:10 – So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

If you enjoyed this post, check out my post on 5 Christian Must Haves

My Return

Hey everyone! I am so sorry that I have been away so long (medical and technical issues), but I am back! Today I just want to take a moment of your time to say hello, how much I’ve missed y’all, and that I’m so excited to see what will happen as we move forward with thelampandthelamb.com!

So, hello and boy have I missed you guys! It’s wild to think of how fulfilling my little blog has been… I know that it isn’t crazy big yet and there may only be a few people that see what I post, but knowing that it could touch one life gives me pure joy. I cannot thank God enough for having pushed me to blogging!

I know that this post won’t be very long, but I wanted to baby step back in after so much time away and I wanted to set up what my plans are for moving forward. Since I truly believe that my blog is part of my purpose, I am going to start treating it less like a job and more like a life plan.

While away, I have really had a re-birth and growth of faith that I have never expierenced before, and I definitely want it to reflect in my posts. I feel like God has big plans for this blog and I can’t wait to see where He takes it!

Thank y’ou for taking the time to read and there will be more coming soon (new schedule update and new posts). To make sure you don’t miss anything, make sure to subscribe and as always, y’all, much love and God bless!

 

Click on the titles below to see some of my other posts:

 

5 Ways To Prepare For A Great Year

5 Ways To Prepare For A Great Year

Hey everyone! Today I want to talk to y’all about 5 ways to prepare for a great year. These are things that I do and things that the people in my life do to set themselves up for another wonderful year. I hope that you enjoy this list and keep on reading for 5 simple, and effective, ways to have a great year.

1) Set Goals

There are so many benefits to setting goals for yourself. The big thing is, these goals need to be healthy. Let me say this again so that you remember this THE GOALS THAT YOU SET NEED TO BE HEALTHY. Now, I’m not talking about setting goals about your health (which is completely okay to do, and a positive way to become healthy)… I’m talking about setting goals that are supportive, not destructive. This is absolutely essential in having a great year, because goals are motivators and motivation leads to action.

So, you’ve set goals and that’s a great start! Where do you go from there? Easy, put your goals on paper (or anything that you can write them down on). Don’t overlook this step, it’s important. Once you have your goals written down, display them somewhere that you will see them every single day. Please do this; it will serve as a reminder and a motivator for the days that you just don’t feel like doing anything. As you achieve your goals, mark them off (cross through them, put a check beside them, write yay). Watching yourself succeed will make you want to complete the next goal even more.

 2) Declutter

Okay y’all, this is something that is going to take a good bit of time, but it is going to be so worth it. I struggle with this, personally, but I have started 2018 by beginning to tackle some of my clutter and I’m already feeling better. Clutter doesn’t really seem like it’s a negative thing until you start getting rid of it. Trust me though, clearing out even the smallest bit of clutter seems to open up a space on a major level. Now only does the space around you feel cleaner, but it’s almost like it gives you more breathing room.

Here’s the catch, decluttering applies to more than just your home or office space. Declutter your home, your computer (get rid of files/photos/software that you don’t need/use), your office, and your friends list. That’s right, I said your friends list. So many of us are “friends” with people that are either not relevant in our lives, or people that are toxic for us to be around. You don’t need that type of clutter keeping you from developing new/healthier friendships. Starting the year off without clutter will leave you feeling refreshed and accomplished.

3) Focus On The Positive

This is pretty much a no-brainer, but I feel that it’s still worth talking about. Getting rid of negativity (at least the things within your control) will make a huge difference. Now, I’m not going to say that this is the easiest thing to do, because most of the time it isn’t. I can tell you the best ways to go about doing this though. Start with yourself first. Become a more positive person by changing your outlook on the world around you. Instead of criticizing people or being mad/upset when something small goes wrong, try to adopt the thought that everyone has something to offer the world (it’s not up to you to criticize them) and that if something goes wrong, it’s better to have it be something small than something big.

After you have adopted a (fairly) positive outlook on life, now you can begin making the world around you a little more positive. Spend time doing things for others to make their lives brighter. Pay for someone’s coffee that was in line behind you, donate clothes to a homeless shelter, spend time with a family member that doesn’t get to see you much. Little things make big differences and you can spread positivity so easily in your day to day life.

4) Set Yourself Up For Success

Here’s a biggie, setting yourself up for success is the key to having a great year. To set yourself up for success, you will need 3 things; Jesus, balance, and patience. You already know that to truly succeed in your life, you need help from God. Pray about everything. God has a plan for you and all you have to do is trust that plan.

Find balance in your life. I know that at times, it seems like balance is about the farthest thing from our reach, but if you work towards it, you can achieve it. Finding and having balance (even if it’s only a few minutes of balance in a crazy hectic day) is essential for getting yourself composed and focused. Getting a second burst of focus during the day will normally give you another wave of motivation. Like I said earlier, motivation leads to success.

Okay, you have your Jesus and you have your balance… why in the world do you need patience? Sit back and listen to this, PATIENCE PUTS THINGS IN PERSPECTIVE. That’s right, patience will change how you look at certain situations. When something goes wrong, the typical, knee jerk, reaction is to be upset. After all, big or small, something wrong is something wrong. That being said, a lot of times if you wait before reacting and really assess the situation, giving it a little bit of time to sink in, it’s not that bad. If it is very bad, patience gives you the ability to handle it better by allowing your reaction to be calculated to avoid further issues. Don’t overlook the importance of patience, it really does change a lot of things for the better.

 

5) Try New Things

While this might be a bit cliche, trying new things is a must for every year. I once heard someone say, “if you aren’t moving forward, you’re going backwards”. I know, you’re thinking “no you aren’t, you just aren’t moving”, but that’s the catch. If you aren’t moving forward in life, it will pass you by in a heartbeat. The world around us is ever changing and ever growing. To do nothing for any amount of time is to be going backwards as the world around you continues without waiting for you.

So, I’ll stress it to you again, try new things. They don’t have to be crazy, scary, or expensive. Just go somewhere new, try a new food (be careful if you have food allergies, of course), try on a piece of clothing that you would have never picked out for yourself before. Experiencing new things might lead you to a world of incredible things that you would have never known existed, otherwise.

 

Alright y’all, those are my thoughts on 5 ways to prepare for a great year. Of course, everyone is different and while these things work for me and a lot of people that I know, they may not work for you. Read through, find things that you would like to use in your year, and go be great! I have a feeling that this month is going to go by before I can share all the things that I’m wanting to with y’all, so keep your eye out for bonus posts just in case. I can’t wait to see y’all in my next post and as always, much love!

 

If you enjoyed this post, check out my post on New Year – Same Me