5 Things You Need To Know About Blogging

Hello lovelies! Today I want to talk to you about the truth about blogging. Yes, I am a life and faith blogger, but this is part my life and it stemmed from my faith…. So, I’m going to pass on what I know about blogging (which admittedly is not a lot, but I feel that it’s important). Without me rambling on too much, here is what I have put together on the 5 things you need to know about blogging.

One: So, I am still very new to the world of blogging (like around a month’s worth of knowledge new). With that in mind, the things that I’m going to tell you are those that I’ve seen/experienced so far, and how I’ve felt during this time. One of the first things that I noticed about blogging is…………. wait for it…….. okay, not as noteworthy as I made it seem; it’s that we are a community. This is HUGE. Let me tell you, if you are someone that is looking for support, you will find it in the blogging community. We are a ton of people, on all different platforms, that help out each other. Whether it’s answering questions, helping to share the content of those around us, or finding friends and potential business partners in those that do what we do; we are here for each other. While there is a level of competition to what we do (we all want views, it’s just the truth of the matter), for the most part, we all try our best to promote those around us. That’s part of the magic of blogging. No matter how long or short of a time that you’ve been doing this (or even if you are just thinking about starting a blog) the support of your fellow bloggers will always be overwhelming.

Two: Here is a fact that most people hate hearing about blogging… It is LOADS of HARD work. Now, it isn’t (typically) a physical job; so yes you aren’t doing “back-breaking” work (though I have a ton of respect for those that do), but it is difficult mentally and emotionally. You will (or should) spend HOURS if not DAYS creating quality content for your blog. Notice that I said QUALITY, not quantity. You need to be putting your best out there, not something that was slapped together to meet a deadline. I, personally, would rather see a missed deadline than to read/produce a piece of work that isn’t good and true to the author. You will also need to pour in time with networking. This is how you will grow and hopefully how you will flourish, so it is worth the time. Do things the right way from the start, and you won’t have to go through and spend more time fixing it later. Set yourself up for success and don’t stop until you’ve achieved it. The work will be worth it, trust me.

Three: I have heard this so many times, and it was never more true to me than when I started blogging, myself. Treat blogging like another job and not like a hobby. Even if this is your hobby, or you’re thinking about blogging as a hobby, still blog like it’s your job. Don’t make yourself hate it by treating it like a 9 to 5. What I mean by “blog like it’s your job” is simply put your all into this. Treat your blog like it will take you far, put the work in (yes, sometimes 40+ hours a week), and make your blog all that it can be. Doing this will do one of two things; either you will quickly figure out that blogging isn’t for you, or you will find a passion for something that you once thought would just be a hobby. Treat blogging like your job, even if it doesn’t feel like work. It will hold you accountable for your networking, it will keep you posting new content, and it will make you do the things needed to be successful in the blogging world.

Four: Something that I wish that I had known in advance, is how vulnerable blogging can make you feel. At least for me, with lifestyle and faith, every time I post, I am putting a piece of myself into my article. There are things that I feel compelled to write about, that I don’t tell anyone but my closest friends and family. For me, this is part of my blog; I am part of my blog. How I think and feel, my honest opinions, and my heart is poured into what I write because I want to connect with other people who need to hear what I feel the need to write. So, I am open and honest which, at times, makes me feel almost exposed. Not in a bad way, but in the “here is all that I am” type of way. The plus side to this, is that not only are you more relatable when you write with this type of transparency, but you also learn more about yourself than you ever thought there was to know.

Five: Don’t be afraid to tell those around you about your blog. Like I said earlier, it can be hard to reveal things that you wouldn’t normally tell those around you… and it can be even harder to tell those around you that there exists such a place where this information is kept. I struggle with it myself, but I have found that some of the very same people that have never shown me the time of day, have visited (and even shared) the content on my blog. The very same people that I was worried about sharing my inner-thoughts with, have shown me support on one of the biggest journeys of my life. Support comes in all different forms and when you start out (really through the entire time that you are blogging), you need all that you can get. You’ll never know who it will help you connect with, who you can help, or who will share your content and help you grow. If you’re blogging, you have something that you feel like you need to give to the world, so share it with everyone and don’t limit yourself to only those that you don’t know. Your message may very well need to be heard by someone that you already have around you.

That is all for today’s 5 Things post. I just felt compelled to write the things that I’ve learned so far on this crazy blogging journey and, hopefully, help someone that is thinking of doing the same. These are both things that I had seen before, and things that I felt were the “learn it the hard way” type. All in all, blogging (for me) has been amazing. For all of the bad (and the bad really isn’t bad, it’s just difficult at times), nothing compares to the happiness that it has brought me. If you are thinking about blogging, talk to me or others in the blogging community and use us as a sounding board for your ideas. I want you to be successful, plain and simple. Don’t hide behind your computer; shine from it. As always, much love!

If you enjoyed this post, check out my other 5 Things posts by clicking here.

5 Reasons To Keep Your Christmas Spirit Going Strong

Hey y’all! This week’s 5 things is ‘Tis The Season’ themed! I know, Christmas music has been playing non-stop since before Thanksgiving and it tends to get a little more bothersome than enjoyable. Stress is setting in, and it seems like the next few weeks are taking forever to get here. So, to keep spirits bright, I have compiled a list of 5 reasons to keep that Christmas spirit going strong.

Get into the holiday spirit: I know that this can be hard when you hear the same 10 songs over and over again, but getting into the mentality of being “jolly” really can help. Even if you hear the same songs over and over again, turn up the volume and sing along. Try using funny voices, different accents, or karaoke style it with your friends and family. Take the boring and repetitive aspects of Christmas and make them fun by infusing your style into them. For instance, have a Christmas party where you invite friends over to help you decorate your house and have fun instead of feeling like you have to do it like normal (provide snacks because everyone loves snacks). Go all out; make themed snacks, play music (try to find Christmas music that isn’t played as much), and maybe even get everyone to design an ornament for your tree. Make it fun and you’ll be back in the spirit in no time.

Don’t let money get in the way: This is so much easier said than done, but it truly does make a huge difference. Christmas is a time of year where it seems we pour out money to get gifts for people that we don’t see any other time of year. For those of us who don’t have much money to spare, it can be overwhelming to spend this money and it causes more stress than joy. The way to beat this is simple; don’t let money get in the way of you enjoying your Christmas. If money is stressing you out, opt for different ways of gift giving. Give experiences and handmade gifts instead of expensive store bought items. You’d be surprised at how many people enjoy handmade gifts more than any other type. Plus, experiences lead to memories that can’t break or go old. They’ll stay with that person forever and it’s a win win. Less money = less stress = merrier Christmas.

Don’t wait until the last minute: Again, this is another thing that is much easier said than done. I’m in the same boat, trust me. Every year I say that I’m going to start getting gifts early so that I don’t get hit with everything at once, but every year the time slips by without notice until I’m stuck scouring leftovers at the shops and spending hours online searching for the perfect gifts. The way to beat this seasonal slump is to actually start getting your gifts ahead of time. Grab items as you go throughout the year and keep them in a hidden place for Christmas (very important that you don’t forget where you hide these gifts). Having most of your gifts already purchased before you NEED them will also relieve some of the usual stress that’s tied to the season.

Do something for yourself: Normally I’m all about doing things for others (and I still am) but during this time of year where we tend to get so focused on others, it’s nice to take a break and do something for ourselves. Have a spa day, go to the range, spend a day at home with your favorite movie/ tv show. Do whatever it is that helps you de-stress and enjoy some you-time. Taking a step back from the Christmas “chaos” will help put the merriment back in and take to hectic out.

Remember the reason for the season: Yes, everyone says it, but it’s true. It’s so important to not lose sight of why we celebrate Christmas. While presents and time off of work is nice, they are not the reason we should be celebrating this joyous holiday. Now is when I tell you that you need to think about Jesus and celebrate him instead of glorifying the presents and this is when you read this and you skip over it because you’ve heard it a thousand times before. So, instead of just trying to remember Jesus this time of year, actually do something about it. Whether you spread the gospel to others, talk about his story with your family and friends, or choose to celebrate in a different way, just don’t ignore the real reason for the season.

That’s all for this week. I hope that you enjoyed this post and that it will help you de-stress this Christmas. Keep your Christmas spirit going strong and make the most of the holidays. As always, much love!

If you enjoyed this post, check out my earlier post on Christmas Cheer by clicking here.

Christmas Cheer

Hey y’all! I hope that your Thanksgiving was filled with food, family, and friends! I’m sorry I didn’t post last Thursday like normal, but I was stuffing my face with all sorts of yummy foods. That being said, I’m back to my regular posting schedule again (New Pay It Forward Challenge and More on Life every Monday and a 5 Things every Thursday). So, today I want to talk a little bit about Christmas cheer. What is it? Why is it? Why should you care? I’ll tell you what I think.

What Is Christmas cheer? So simple, Christmas cheer is that feeling that (a lot) of people get when the Christmas season rolls in each year. You either know the people that I’m talking about, or you are one. To me Christmas cheer is turning on the Christmas music as soon as the radio stations will play it, decorating your house directly after you put up your Halloween decorations, and delighting in the stores Christmas displays “finally” (sometimes before Halloween, but not going to say anything) being put out. Christmas cheer is having these Christmas songs provide nostalgia and trigger memories of Christmas tree decorating and the smell of sugar cookies baking in the oven. Christmas cheer is a feeling that is unique only to this time of year and can’t be duplicated with any other season or seasonal holiday.

Why is Christmas cheer (yes, I realize that question doesn’t look like it makes much sense, but trust me on this)? In other words, Why does this feeling of cheer run so rampant through our biggest holiday? The answer to this is one that differs for everybody. To me, it is a big time for my faith, it is a big time to be with my family/ friends and those I don’t get to see often, and it is a time where the chaos of life seems to die down a bit and allow me to focus on the things that I find most important. Put these things together, and I have a joy that surpasses the joy that I’ve felt throughout the year. Beyond this, it’s unexplainable. The combination of cold air and Christmas everything bring out old memories while making new ones and I can’t help but smile at the way life changes over time and how the people around us do too. I’m not saying that every waking minute of the Christmas season is the best thing ever, but I do believe that it holds more happiness than any other time of the year (even summer… shocking, I know). I also think that the Christmas season tends to bring out the “giving nature” of those that don’t seem to possess it any other time of the year. Something about everything that’s going on just makes your heart pull a bit more to help others, and I think that it’s wonderful.

Here’s the big one… Why should you care? The reason that you should care about Christmas cheer is not complex in the slightest. You should care because it gives you the opportunity to do great things. I’m not talking about super powers or the ability to skyrocket your career (though how cool would that be); I’m talking about the ability to do great things for others. If you have spent any amount of time with me, or if you have read any of my posts/ Pay It Forward Challenges, you will have noticed that I want the world to be filled with a little more Jesus and a little less meanness. While ugliness is unavoidable in life, we have the ability to spread a little kindness and give a little faith to those around us. As I mentioned earlier, something about the season tends to bring out this nature in more people and it is a wonderful thing. You should care about Christmas cheer because it helps to motivate more people (myself included, and hopefully you too) to make this world a truly better place even if it’s only for a couple of months. New Year’s might think that the phrase “new year, new me” applies to it, but I think otherwise. I see the most change in people during Christmas. While joy runs rampant, kindness grows, and people that wouldn’t speak normally share a conversation, there is so much to care about.

During this Christmas season, my hope for you all is that you take Christmas cheer and you run with it. I hope that you make new memories while thinking about the old ones and that you spread kindness every chance that you get. So many people need a helping hand and a generous heart to impact their lives; this time of year is perfect for getting that ball rolling. I hope that you do things not for recognition, but for betterment of the world around you. To all who read and those who may never see it, I hope that happiness is abundant in your Christmas season and I hope that you spread the happiness to others. As always, much love!

 

If you enjoyed today’s post, check out this week’s Pay It Forward Challenge by clicking here.

Pay It Forward #5

Hey guys! I hope that you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving! To bring us back to the “real world” after a little bit of time off with family and friends, I have a new challenge for this week! With the Christmas season quickly approaching, there are so many things that we can do to spread kindness.

This week, I challenge y’all to do one act of kindness a day. It can be anything from giving someone a compliment to helping someone in need. One simple act of kindness every day will impact someone’s life majorly and it only takes a few minutes. Make someone’s day, spread a little cheer, and start this holiday season off in the right ways.

I hope that y’all are enjoying these challenges and that you are having fun with them. I’m always open to suggestions and I love getting comments from you guys! I know that this week’s challenge is on the short side, but it’s fairly straight-forward and didn’t seem to need much explanation. Thank you to all who are reading and, as always, much love!

To check out other Pay It Forward Challenges, click here.

Confessions Of A Wife

Hey everyone! Like always, I want to keep things real with y’all. So, today I want to talk about being a wife. Oh yes, I’m talking about the struggles, the great times, and the insecurities. Everything out in the open, no lies, no fluff, all 100% real life. Wives, you can (most likely) relate; husbands, y’all might want to read for additional information. To all who read, let’s do this. The real starts now.

First, I want to talk to y’all about the insecurities. I think that everyone at some point in their lives will feel insecure about something. For wives, I think that insecurities are very much the same as high shcool girls. I don’t care if our husbands tell us how beautiful we are 10 times a day or 100 times a day, we will always find flaws with ourselves. I can almost guarantee that you, as a wife, have looked in the mirror and thought “Well, maybe if I lose 10 pounds he would think I looked better”. I know this, because my husband always tells me that I’m beautiful(I hit the jackpot, he’s amazing), but the minute I get alone with myself in front of that daggone mirror, I start telling myself that I should look better, for him. Now, I am all about self betterment; I think that you should want to be a better person for your spouse. That being said, I think that half the time, we are inventing things to not like about ourselves that our husbands don’t mind one bit. Again, we always add the I should be ____ for him. I truly believe that we just add the “for him” so that we don’t feel as guilty for downing ourselves. Because, if we are wanting to better ourselves for our love, clearly that can’t be a bad thing. Yet we are the ones who are unhappy with ourselves, and instead of facing that head-on, we pretend that it’s our husbands who find fault with us. Then, BOOM, insecurity formed.

Another big point of insecurity is “another woman”. I’m going to tell the honest truth now. I have never, in the (almost) 5 years that we have been together, thought that my husband (boyfriend back then) would cheat on me. I still don’t think that he would. I just don’t see that happening with him (cue the women saying that he can and that all it takes is the right woman to come along… but he truly just isn’t like that). Even though I 100% DO NOT think that he would EVER, in a million years, cheat on me… I still get jealous when we are out and another woman looks him up and down (or worse, tries to flirt). It’s like it’s hardwired into me. Even though my brain and my heart both know that he’s not going anywhere, I cannot stand when women try to flirt with him. Even though I know that he is a handsome man and women are going to look at him, I still bristle up at the mere thought of another woman batting her eyes at him. Even though I know that he thinks that I’m beautiful, and he loves me more than anything, I feel insecure whenever I see (what I believe to be) a prettier woman look his way. It, again, is one of those things that has absolutely nothing to do with my husband, but in the way that I perceive myself. Because, again, how can he think that I’m beautiful if I don’t feel that way about myself.

Insecurities are things that just are. They develop for many reasons and it takes a long time and a lot of self-love to get rid of them. It can be done though, and every day my husband makes me feel better about myself by telling me how he sees me instead of letting my focus on how I see myself. Wives, tell your husbands about your insecurities, let them help you. Your husbands are your biggest supporters if you will let them be.

Next, I want to talk about the struggles of being a wife. Now, this is different for every wife out there. Maybe you feel like you do more of the housework (I was thankfully blessed with a man who helps me with the housework and often does most of it before I can even get to it). Maybe, you have a husband that you feel like doesn’t listen to you. Maybe you are in the same boat as me and you feel like you just don’t get enough time with him. Let me explain why we don’t get time. My husband is a full time student for Mechanical Engineering and he works part time. When he gets home, we eat dinner together, and then he has homework until we go to bed. When he doesn’t have homework, he’s so tired that he can barely keep his eyes open. That’s just the reality of marrying young while one of you is still in college (I went to a secondary school and got my training to be a nail tech, so I am able to work full time). Then, with all of this, he helps me with life and with the house, and the cars. I’m pretty sure he’s superman… anyway, there are many things in life that can pull you and your spouse away from each other. The trick is to turn it around and use these hard times, or use your struggles to grow closer together.

It’s not easy by any stretch of the imagination. There are times when you will fight for hours just to realize that you were fighting for no other reason than you were both tired and needed to yell. There are times when you will feel as though there is nothing but distance between the two of you and you don’t know how to fix it (usually fixed with a very long talk and a bit of time spent together). That’s what marriage is… it’s going through these struggles and facing hardships, but doing so together and coming out stronger that before. If you’re in the middle of a rough patch in your marriage right now, talk to your husband, talk to a friend (not the shady one who always blames your husband and tries to get you to leave him, but an honest one who is going to help you through it and give you healthy ways to fix the problem), or even talk to me (I’m always here to talk, by email or by snail mail through my P.O. box)… but know that the rough patches don’t last forever.

Lastly, I want to talk to y’all about the great times. In marriage, for every struggle and every insecurity, there is a great time to counteract it. Marriage itself is having a partner for everything and a support system to get you through any situation. Marriage is having the person, that you love most in this world, help you navigate life. I really think that marriage is one of the greatest things that a person can experience; you are one with your other half and it makes everything so much better.

While it’s not always easy, it always levels out to the great again. If you love your husband with all of your heart, and you know that he feels the same way, nothing can ever break the bond that y’all share. No insecurity, no struggle, and no person, can ever take away the love that you have. Even the small moments are great moments; everything from when he strokes a piece of hair out of your face, to when you finally see him (and can’t help but to smile) after a long day of work. Great times come in many forms and always leave you happy and at peace. So much easier to explain, the great times are whenever you don’t let the struggles and the insecurities cloud your marriage and keep you from remembering how much you love your one-and-only.

I feel like you need the balance of the good and the bad to make the good times seem great and the bad times seem insignificant. My husband is everything to me, he is my support system, my rock, and my love. Treat your husband well and appreciate the things that he does for you. We often don’t thank them enough for doing all that they do for us. Hug them, kiss them, and let them know how much you love them.

This is everything, the raw and honest confessions of a wife. I hope that y’all enjoyed this post and a huge thank you to everyone that takes the time to read it. I encourage you to share this with other wives and I encourage you to comment/reach out to me and let me know what you think. As always, much love!

If you enjoyed this post, check out my post on The Truth About Marriage by clicking here or my post on the 5 Steps To Keep Your Marriage New by clicking here.

Pay It Forward #4

Hello all! Today’s Pay It Forward Challenge is a little bit more involved than the others. With Thanksgiving this week, I challenge y’all to donate (food, money, or time) to your local food pantry or someone you know is in need of a good Thanksgiving meal that they wouldn’t get otherwise. If money is tight, and you don’t feel like you have the extra to spend (don’t feel bad, we have all been there) then volunteer at a local food pantry, invite this person to your home, or invite them to your Church’s Thanksgiving celebration. This is the week that we focus on everything that we are thankful for, but remember that not everyone has the same luxuries (yes, a big Thanksgiving dinner is a luxury) that you do. Take this time to extend your help and make a difference in someone’s life. You never know how impactful your actions are to someone around you.

As always, I encourage you to pass this challenge on to your friends and family to help those that aren’t as fortunate. Much love to you all and Happy Thanksgiving!

Confessions Of A Sinner

Hey everyone, today (3 cheers for bonus posts) I want to get real with y’all. I mean no holding back, real. I want to talk about sin in a Godless world. It’s something that we do daily (whether we try to or not) and I I think that it’s time we faced sin head on. It’s also time that someone gets real about the current state of faith in the world around us.

I know that we all sin daily (and don’t try to deny it). It’s in the form of a white lie, envy at the neighbor’s new car, and don’t even get me started on the amount of sloth in this world (which I will admit that I’m guilty of all these things). Plus, it doesn’t help that the media basically glorifies sins these days. I mean, look at our t.v. shows, our music, and our movies. You can’t go out of the house without encountering sin disguised as social-norm. That being said, it’s not an excuse for sin. We should be teaching the next generations, and those that don’t know, that even though it’s more a part of our culture now than it ever has been, it doesn’t need to be furthered.

Here is where this post gets real. We ignore that this rampant sin is spreading like wildfire. We know that our friends or neighbors are struggling with their faith and we say nothing. We watch the shows that are blasphemous and just sit there through it (or maybe fast forward through just that part) and then we finish the show like it’s nothing. We watch as a nation that preaches tolerance destroys those of us with Christian faith and yet we continue to let them. This world is going downhill so fast, it’s becoming (for the most part already is) a Godless world in a time where we need him the most.

The sad part is, we’re to blame. Because we sit through those shows, we ignore the struggles of those around us, we look the other way as others shame our faith. Because it’s easier to lie to someone than it is to tell the truth. Because we have never had a time where more people waste their lives doing nothing (or being destructive) than right now. All of this is happening around us, but it’s easier to keep quiet and keep out of it than it is to speak out against it.

Here’s some raw and honest truth. I am a sinner. I have looked the other way, I fast forwarded through the show, I have lied when it was easier than telling the truth, I have felt envy, I have displayed sloth and gluttony, I have been greedy.

I am a sinner, but I am saved.

We are not meant to be perfect, but we are meant to strive to be better. We are meant to strive toward Godliness and ask for forgiveness. Every day, I wake up and try to be better, kinder, stronger, and more giving than the day before. I fail often and I ask for forgiveness more.

We are all only human in a world that loses God more and more each day. It’s times like this, when the world seems to be crashing down around us, that  it is so important to grow stronger in faith and closer to God. The power is ours, even as sinners, to better the world and better ourselves. The power is ours, even as sinners, to spread the gospel and help those around us to find Christ.

For we are sinners, we are humans, but we are children of God.

I hope that y’all enjoyed this post. It was just a little bonus post for this week since it was on my heart and I had some extra time on my hands. My posting we be back on track starting tomorrow with a new Pay It Forward post and a new More On Life post. As always, Much love!

 

5 Christian Must Haves

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

Today I wanted to share with y’all some of my favorite tools and reminders of faith. These are items that I use daily and love! Below are (in my opinion) 5 Christian must haves. If you want to incorporate these “must haves” into your daily lives as well, there will be a place to click after each item/items that will take you to their Amazon.com product page.

1. Bibles: This is the most important tool for a Christian. A bible is knowledge, comfort, and power against the devil. Now, if you have ever been to your local Bible bookstore, you know that there are countless types of available. For me, personally, I love doodling and coloring (I promise that this is relevant); this means that, naturally, my favorite Bible is one that I can doodle and color in. My Creative Bible has been the best, hands down, for unleashing creativity while receiving the word. This is easily my favorite Bible to take with me to church (it helps my mind to stay focused and gives me something to keep my hands busy while I listen). So, knowing that that is my favorite for creativity, I have to tell you what my favorite study Bible is. My favorite Study Bible is The Study Bible For Women. This Bible is beautiful, informative, and it asks (and answers) some of the most difficult questions that we face as children of God in a broken world. Both of these Bibles are great to have on hand and each offers something unique.

To get your own My Creative Bible, click here. To get your own The Study Bible For Women, click here.

2. Devotionals: A devotional is a great tool for any Christian. Devotionals help you to set aside time each day for just you and God. I think that devotionals are so relaxing and they give you some time of serenity in otherwise hectic schedules. Normally, they are equipped with serene pictures, a verse for that day, an area of text that relates the verse given to our lives, and (sometimes) a section for you to journal in. They are also a good way to get you into your bible for that day and get you focused on the word. The devotional that I’ve been loving lately, is Devotions from the Front Porch. It is a beautiful devotional that never ceases to make me smile.

To get a copy of Devotions from the Front Porch click here.

3. Christian Music: Those of you that know me, know that one of the biggest ways that I worship is through music. I can hear a verse thousands of times and it never seems to hit my heart quite like the same verse put to music. I truly believe that it’s because 9 out of 10 times, you can hear (and feel) the heart and soul put into the words by the singer and you can hear/feel the heart and soul poured in by those playing the instruments. To me, no other music is quite like Christian music. It’s the only type of music that can make me feel like I’m in Church (when I’m in my car)  and give me goosebumps and tears at the same time.  Hymns are classics and contemporary Christian music is growing like wildfire. My favorite musician for this genre is, hands down, Chris Tomlin. His music always gives me chills and you can hear his passion for God in his voice. While there are other Christian musicians that I love, I feel that he just has a style of music that I relate most with. His lyrics are impactful and his music is moving. I could probably write a book about how much I enjoy his music, but I’m going to stop now and just give you a link to my favorite CD of his, so you can check him out yourself.

Click here to access Chris Tomlin’s CD “And If Our God Is For Us”.

4. Worry Stone: Okay, I already know what you’re thinking; “What in the world is a worry stone?” and “Why is a worry stone a ‘must have’ item?”. Let me tell you, my worry stone is one of the best purchases that I’ve made. I know that seems silly, and I’m fully aware that a little stone can’t physically do anything for me, but it is so nice to have in times of worry. I have an extreme fear of needles (like near panic attack type of fear) so going to get my blood drawn is a big ordeal for me. I always carry my worry stone (mine is a small smooth stone with a cross carved into it) and hold it before and during the blood draw. Something about feeling the engraved cross just comforts me and helps to calm me down in times of stress. I think it’s almost like a reminder that God is with me and it helps me to focus on that instead of the problem at hand. A worry stone is also a great way to give your troubles to God. I know that I struggles sometimes with letting go and letting God. It’s like I get so wrapped up in my worries that I forget to do the one thing that would help the most. Having my worry stone keeps me accountable for giving my problems (worries) to God and trusting him to do what’s best for me.

Click here to access a worry stone that is similar to mine. Click here to access the worry stone, in the shape of a cross with “God is never more than a prayer away” engraved on it, that I’m hoping to get soon.

5. Faith Reminders: Faith reminders are just little trinkets around the house that contain scripture or have religious pictures on them. I have my house decorated (overfilled really) with these faith reminders. My two favorites are displayed proudly and serve as smile-makers every time I come through the front door. The first was given to my by a dear friend who seems to always know what I need and when I need it. It’s a plaque with Psalm 37:4 on it (Delight in the Lord  and he will give you the desires of your heart). Mine is this beautiful, weathered paper looking, plaque with a cross encased in glass. My other favorite is a small plaque with Song of Solomon 3:4 (I have found the one my soul loves). This was given to me as a wedding gift, promptly displayed in my home and has been there since. Both of these faith reminders serve to remind me daily that God is with me, in my heart and in my marriage. They make great gifts for the Christmas season and they make great decor for any home.

I searched all over for the Psalm 37:4 plaque, but couldn’t find a replica of mine. If you love this verse and want it displayed in your home, click here to access a different (yet beautiful) Psalm 37:4 plaque. Click here to access the linked Psalm 37:4 plaque. I also can’t seem to find a duplicate of my Song of Solomon 3:4 plaque. That being said, I have linked below two other Song of Solomon 3:4 wall decorations (one on a wooden backdrop and one on a cross) that are stunning. Click here to access the Song of Solomon 3:4 wooden wall decoration. Click here to access the Song of Solomon 3:4 cross.

I hope that y’all enjoyed this weeks “5 Things” post and I encourage you to share with your friends of faith. Let me know what y’all think in the comments and, as always, much love!

Why I Blog

I know that I touched briefly on the reason I started this blog in my “About Me” post, but today I want to get a little more in depth with it. See, I want to tell y’all about what I feel God is pulling me to do, how I went about figuring this out (with help), and why you should pay attention to what He’s pulling you to do.

Let’s start with a little backstory (who doesn’t love a good backstory). I have always felt the pull to write (like since I was itty bitty and could start little “novels” in spiral notebooks). While I love to write, and always have, I was fairly certain that short of a miracle, I would not be an author or any type of best seller in the future. Now, let’s fast forward some years.

I have worked in a salon for the past couple of years and I really do enjoy my job. I have amazing clients and an incredible (Godly) work family. While I love my job, I have steadily felt the urge to write. Let me tell you, this “urge” has resulted in the, un-needed, purchase of many a notebook (never put away with anything more that a few pages of an unfinished story that I had started) and a plethora of Google Docs that were opened and filled with about a week’s worth of a story. So, you could say that I have been feeling discouraged on the writing front for quite some time. Despite the many failed attempts, I still pick up another notebook and open another Google Doc.

Recently, in about the last 6-8 months, I felt like I had been seeing “Start A Blog” posts everywhere. I was intrigued to say the least and decided then that I was going to start a blog and rule the world! Okay, maybe just rule my domain… and not rule as much as share my opinions… but you get the picture. So, determined to succeed, I started my research. As quickly as my interest began, it faded. All of this start up cost (which didn’t end up being to bad)??? How many hours of networking??? No way, I don’t have that kind of money and I don’t have that kind of time. Just like that, I pushed it out of my mind and went on with my life. Or so I thought that would be the case, but the thought of blogging never left me. I would find myself scouring Pinterest to look at “Start A Blog” posts, income reports, and “Blogging Changed My Life” posts. As much as I enjoyed reading through them, I still felt that it wasn’t my place in the world (though the whole time and for quite some time before, I felt as though I needed to be doing something more with my life). Let’s fast forward again.

We are now up to the point in my life that I like to call two weeks ago, better known as the day before Halloween. My husband and I went out to dinner with our friends (who both have faith that could withstand a hurricane). I always feel like God uses them to tell me things, especially when I’m being to stubborn to see the signs on my own, and this night was no different. While out to dinner (and while both of our husbands were talking away about something that didn’t interest us too much), we got to talking about career choices. She was telling me about some plans in her life that had de-railed and we were talking about how maybe God was trying to tell her that she needed to switch paths. I brought up, briefly, that I felt as though I was meant to be doing something more at the moment but not sure what the “more” would even be. It was a nice conversation, we finished it, and moved on to the next subject. Then, out of the blue, she asked me if I had ever thought of blogging. I told her what I just told y’all and she said that she really felt like God wanted her to tell me to go for it.

Confusing, I know, but I trust her and I trust God, so the very next day I sat down to plan (which I try to do for everything in my life and typically come up with 18000000 different ideas with no clear vision). I, nearly as soon as I sat down, had my name and what I wanted to talk about figured out. From there everything rolled into place. I started this blog, my blog, the very next day and I have loved every minute of it. I’m not the most tech-savvy, I have hit snags (which thanks to wonderful Facebook groups and Google, have been figured out), and I am still in my beginning stages but I really feel like I am doing something that I need to do. I love this and for something that seemed so terrifying nearly two weeks ago, it feels like another home now.

I tell you my “Why I Blog” story to encourage you to go after what you feel like God is pulling you to do. It may seem scary, unobtainable, or just downright not for you, but if God is telling you to do it, everything will work out. Plus, trust me, if you ignore His signs for too long, he’ll start hitting you over the head with what He wants you to do (figuratively of course).

Well, that’s all for today. I know that it ran a little long, but I really hope that it urges you to go after your God-pull. As always, thank you for reading and much love!

If you enjoyed my “Why I Blog” post, check out this week’s Pay It Forward challenge – https://thelampandthelamb.com/2017/11/13/pay-forward-3/

Pay It Forward #3

Hey everybody! This week the Pay It Forward Challenge is very different than the other two. This week’s challenge is all about the betterment of you. While the other challenges have been geared toward doing things for others, I want this week to be about helping yourself to grow. This week, I challenge you to do one thing that scares you (nothing harmful). I want you to go for that promotion, ask for that raise, or even start a blog. Now, don’t go around doing anything destructive; this is about improvement, not destruction. Whether you want to invest money into it or not is completely up to you, but take this time to try something new that you have been keeping yourself from.

I encourage you to share this with your friends and family, and urge them to try new things and enjoy life without fear. Also, don’t forget to comment to share your results with me, and others. Good luck and much love!

If you enjoyed this week’s Pay It Forward Challenge, check out my latest post on Why I Blog and why I previously walked away because I was terrified to start it. The link will be below, along with the links to my past Pay It Forward Challenge posts (remember, just because you miss it the week that it’s published, doesn’t mean that you can’t implement these challenges at any time in your lives).

Why I Blog – https://thelampandthelamb.com/2017/11/13/why-i-blog/

Pay It Forward #1 – https://thelampandthelamb.com/2017/11/02/pay-it-forward-1/

Pay It Forward #2 – https://thelampandthelamb.com/2017/11/06/pay-forward-2/