Faith, Travel

The Trouble with Comparing

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Unfortunately, we now live in a society that revolves around social media. Getting as many likes and follows as we can. Everyone is so concerned about who likes them and who wants to hear what they have to say. What we don’t realize is we are fostering an environment for depression, self-pity, and self-doubt for those who feel like they can’t keep up.

I will be honest and say that I have fallen into the comparison trap before. Scrolling through social media, looking at the highlights of other people’s lives wishing I had what they have. Wishing I could be anyone but who I was. We can think someone’s life is perfect just by what they choose to show. Do you think people would choose to post their struggles? Most of the time, people only like to brag on their victories. It’s human nature.

The Problem:

The problem is perception. We perceive that the people we are “friends” with have better jobs, better money, better spouses, better cars, and just overall better lives than us. The truth is we don’t know what it took for those people to attain the things they have or if what we see is even really true.

Someone could post about the new home they bought. What we see is how we have failed at life because we don’t have a home (being facetious..lol).  What we don’t see is how much that person sacrificed for years, struggled to fix their credit, put off vacations and stuff they wanted to buy, just so they could have their dream home.

Someone could post about their fiancé or spouse and you feel like a failure because you don’t have one. The truth is you don’t know what goes on in their house behind closed doors. Their relationship could be a mess. They could have just settled on that person just so they could avoid being lonely. Just to have someone to post pictures with.

The Answer:

The answer is STOP COMPARING!!! We are all on different journeys in life. We just need to learn to appreciate the journey we are on. God has a specific path for all of us. It might not be the path we imagined, but we have to trust and believe that He will lead us to our desired end when the time is right.

We can never get to our future unless we live in our present. Our present is preparing and equipping us for our future. We can never be our best self in the future until we learn to master the small things that are building our character right now. Why rush God’s timing? I’d rather God develop me and take His time molding me than to end up in a situation that I regret or cannot maintain because I rushed into it.

Stop letting people’s highlight reels make you feel a certain way about yourself. No one’s life is perfect and no one has it all together. The only way to make yourself okay is to focus on God and focus on yourself. Start to work on the desires and passions God has placed in your heart now! Don’t wait until things are perfect, because they never will be. Don’t worry about how many likes and follows you get. Just keep going until you reach your goals.

 

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Faith

Wisdom Wednesday: Do Good and Share

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Photo by Toa Heftiba on Unsplash

I was inspired by a verse I read today. Hebrews 13: 16, “Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.”

This verse spoke to my heart so much! Nowadays, we are all after our own agendas. It’s rare to find people who are willing to lend a helping hand without expecting anything in return, even from God. Unfortunately, most of us are taught every man for himself.

This word is teaching us that if we want to please God we must be selfless. We must be willing to give up what we have for others, even our lives. In the grand scheme of things, the more we help others the more we help ourselves and our world. If we genuinely give of our time, talents, and material possessions, we help to make the world a better place. We are setting an atmosphere for greatness; for our children and future generations.

You may think, ” I have nothing to share.” Think again! God has placed special gifts and talents inside all of us. He has even blessed some of us with material possessions, that He wants us to use to help others. Don’t ever believe your gift is not good enough. If God put you on this earth, He gave you a gift He wants you to use to fulfill your purpose. Whatever that gift is, only you may know, but don’t waste it. Share with others and help someone.

Not only does giving and sharing please God. It gives us a sense of personal fulfillment. Our first and foremost purpose is to share the love of Jesus. When we give of what we have, we are doing exactly that. When you walk in your purpose, you began to feel more fulfilled. We are constantly searching for our purpose in life. Start by giving and see how much it makes a difference in your life. 

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Travel

Miles to Magnolia & A Stop at Lake Travis

FB_IMG_1502209372890 (1)We were looking for a weekend getaway. Anyone who knows me, knows I love the HGTV show Fixer Upper.  I was just itching to get to Waco, TX so I could visit the Magnolia Market at the Silos. Lucky for us, we live in Dallas so Waco is just a short drive.

The Magnolia Market is a cool little area with food trucks, a nice picnic area, a feed store, a bakery and of course a home goods store where you can purchase similar pieces featured on the show. It has a very welcoming small town vibe and I immediately felt at home when I was there.

When we arrived, we attempted to visit the “new” (at the time) bakery and get one of those famous cupcakes featured on the show. However, our short patience would not allow us to wait in that long line. The line was wrapped around the corner and down the block. I guess we picked a busy weekend.

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Since we didn’t get to go inside the bakery, we took a few photos outside and headed into the main market area. Being the penny pincher he is, my husband would not allow me to grab everything I saw off the shelves. Believe me, I really wanted to. I decided to be more frugal and purchased the most comfortable t-shirt I have ever had in my life. It’s a dark grey print screen tee with a the logo and a picture of the Silos on front. It’s so comfy. I should have purchased one in every color.

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After a peak in the market, we went outside to the picnic area. The smell of the kettle corn being cooked outside was so intoxicating. Unfortunately, when we  finally decided to get some, they were shutting down and out of the one we wanted. They had so many different choices in food trucks. We weren’t really that hungry, so I just got an iced latte from Common Grounds and it was really good.

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After getting my caffeine pick me up, we went over to the cute little feed store they have on site. If you are a gardener and love plants, this is the place for you. They have a small garden outside and lots of useful items for your gardening needs. For the rest of the day we decided to chill out side and take a few pics.

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Since we were so close to Austin, we decided to go the extra mile and visit Lake Travis. It was the first time at Lake Travis for the both of us and it was so beautiful. Luckily, we were able to get an Airbnb at the Villas at Lake Travis, right on the lake. The villas are a little older. So if you are looking for something brand new and trendy this is not the place for you. But if you are looking a nice place to sleep and chill on the lake, this is it!

Unfortunately, we didn’t get to do much of anything because it rained all weekend. To make the most of things and get out of the room, we decided to go to The Oasis on Lake Travis. It’s a cute little area with lots of novelty shops and an awesome Mexican restaurant. The food was amazing. It was a little chilly when we were there but we sat on the patio anyway. They had lots of lamp heaters around so we didn’t feel the chill at all. We also had a beautiful view of the lake.

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Overall, we had a pretty good weekend. We can’t wait to go back and actually get in the water. They also have a couple of vineyards close by that we want to check out as well. If you have been to Magnolia Market or Lake Travis, let me know where you stayed and some things we should do the next time we visit.

 

 

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Faith

Loss

 

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Photo by Héctor Martínez on Unsplash

Unfortunately, I have already been to two funerals this year. I also just found out that a childhood friend of mine has recently passed away.  Just 31 years young. It really makes me put this life into perspective. We have all experienced loss at some point in our lives. Whenever it hits close to home for me, I constantly try to remind myself , “We are confident, and would prefer to be away from the body and at home with the Lord.” 2 Corinthians 5:8.  In other words, if we are not here in our earthly body, we are present with the lord.  It’s really hard to cling to this when you are experiencing a loss, but it does bring some peace, at least for me.

Loss hit very close to home for me last year when I loss my cousin last spring, just before my birthday and then again last fall when I experienced a miscarriage. Both of these experiences were very hard and challenging to get through.

My cousin was such a bright light on this earth. I remember her always taking me with her and her sister when I was younger. They would do my hair, let me play in their clothes, and take me around town with them so I wasn’t bored at home. She led a praise dance team and was just such a great friend and loved one to everyone she met. I will admit as I got older we lost touch and were not as close as we used to be. Being able to celebrate her life for the time that I had her was a blessing. Losing her has taught me to try to cherish my family and friends as much as I can. It has also taught me to try to live a life that’s pleasing to God. To love others as you love yourself and always being kind in every situation. I have to admit this is something I’m still working on.

I was only pregnant for 10 short weeks. I didn’t find out I was pregnant until I was 6 weeks along. Having the doctor tell me that my baby did not have a heartbeat and that my pregnancy was not going to progress was heartbreaking. Although, we were not planning to have a baby, I had grown to love my unborn child such a short amount of time. I am confident that God has better plans for us! We will have a happy and healthy baby when the time is right. Lots of prayer and talking to close family members really helped me get through that time. Of course I had those normal feelings of fear and doubt. Fear that I had done something wrong and doubt that I would never be able to successfully carry a child in the future.  However, allowing myself to mourn, praying, and understanding God’s timing  really helped me through. It also helped to know I wasn’t alone. I wasn’t the only woman in the world that had experienced this. It really brought some comfort.

Getting closer to God and learning scripture helps us to cope with loss. You just have to trust and believe that the words you are reading are true. Below are a few scriptures that I have found comforting.

“Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.” Matthew 5:4

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For as we share abundantly in Christ’s sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too.” 2 Corinthians 1:3-5

“When the righteous cry for help, the Lord hears and delivers them out of all their troubles. The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit. Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all. He keeps all his bones; not one of them is broken.”  Psalm 34:17-20

“But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” 2 Corinthians 12:9

If you have any tips or scriptures that have helped you with loss. Please feel free to share them below. ♥

 

 

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Travel

Cruisin’

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A while ago, my husband and I went on our second Carnival cruise. We set sail to three ports, Belize, Mahogany Bay (Honduras), and Cozumel. It was a great experience. Here’s a little recap!

Carnival is definitely a party boat. We haven’t sailed another cruise line yet, but from what we hear, Carnival is the one to choose if you want to have a good time. They have lots of activities, a casino, shows, and of course lots of food.

Just a tip, if you can splurge, get a balcony room.  The cruise ship is close quarters. It’s really great to have a balcony that you can go out on and enjoy the sunsets and the sound of the ocean. We have been lucky enough to see some flying fish out there as well.

 

Our first stop was Belize. In Belize, we opted to do the Butts Up cave tubing and zip lining. It was the first time zip lining for both of us. It was such a freeing and fun experience. We were fortunate enough to zip line through the jungle across a beautiful river. The views were amazing. It is definitely something that I want to do again.

 

We were also able to do cave tubing with the same company. They take you on a tour through a cave on a freezing cold river. The water is really shallow. The guides were actually able to pull us along the river outside of tubes. It was really nice and definitely something you should do if you go to Belize. Another great thing about this company is that they provide you lunch. We had authentic Belize tamales and they were delicious. I would definitely recommend booking an excursion with Butts Up Cave Tubing if you go on a cruise to Belize.

Our next stop was in Roatan, Honduras aka Mahogany Bay. We didn’t really have anything planned ahead of time for Honduras, so we decided to do one of the more affordable excursions through Carnival. We opted to do the flying chair and snorkeling. When we got there we found out that this excursion was not led by anyone. You basically just use the chair lift to get back and forth to the beach and you can grab equipment to snorkel at your leisure. Since we had hours to spare, we decided to take a tour of the island first.

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They have lots of cab and tour services when you get to the port. I can’t remember the name of the service we used but it was pretty good, mostly because of the driver. He took us to most of the tourist markets and areas on the island. Our favorite place we went was the West End. They have lots of restaurants and shops in the area and the beach was beautiful. It looked like something out of a movie. We definitely plan to go back.

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West End

Old faithful Cozumel was our last stop. Whenever we go to Cozumel we always go to Mr. Sanchos. It is a beach club resort where you can pay around $50 for all you can eat and drink. It is definitely worth the fifty bucks. In addition to the beach, they also have two pools on the property as well as a variety of other activities you can do. They have everything from massages, to spa treatments, water sports, and horse back riding. If you are looking to relax , eat, drink, and enjoy the beach, Mr. Sanchos is the way to go in Cozumel.

 

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For the sea days we were able to participate in a lot of the activities on the boat. I recommend attending the art auctions for free champagne and raffle prizes.  The comedy shows are great as well.  I also utilized the hot tub a lot on sea days. The pools were crowded most days.

What made this cruise so special was our cruise director Rev. Dr. E! He was so much fun. He even has his own good morning song. It’s really funny and catchy and I found myself singing it for days even when I was off the ship. If you go on a cruise, I hope you are lucky enough to get him as a cruise director. He made this cruise an awesome experience.

 

We are definitely looking forward to our next cruise. It has really helped us decide where we would like to go for resort vacations. It gives you a good preview of  places where you would like to spend a little more time. If you have any questions or comments about cruisin’, please share below! If you are looking to book your first cruise try Carnival. https://www.carnival.com/

 

 

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Faith

Heal & Restore

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Over the past few years we have been dealing with an illness within our family.  There have been good days and bad days. Experiencing one of the bad days first hand and the anxiety it caused to all involved, I immediately began to pray. God gave me the words Heal & Restore. I prayed, “Lord please heal right now in the names of Jesus, please restore strength and health.” God immediately began to work. Joy literally came in the morning. The person with the illness was full of energy the next day and was able to do things they had not been able to do in a while and felt better overall. This person is still dealing with the illness but I believe that if we continue to pray without ceasing, God will continue to work.

Heal & Restore can also apply to other areas in our life as well. Not just illness. I personally pray to God to heal and restore my marriage. I will be honest and say I don’t but should do it daily. We are not perfect and there is always room for improvement. There is no such thing as a perfect marriage. I believe God can heal us where we are stubborn and stuck in our ways and restore love, joy, peace and patience between us.

If you are having issues with depression or strongholds, pray to God to heal and restore your mind. Many times we feel depressed, because our minds are filled with so much negativity. We are constantly downloading negative images, speech, and music all day. We unknowingly set ourselves up for failure with the things we consume each day.  Pray to god to heal your mind of negativity and restore your thoughts with positive things. Things to consider are reading the word and renewing your mind daily, listening to inspirational music, speaking positive words and less profanity.

I believe these words were given by God to share and help someone that may be in need of these two simple but very powerful words. If you are struggling with an area in your life that needs healing and restoration, I encourage you to pray and ask God for it by name.

 

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Faith

5 Tips: How to have a Good Day

We all have bad days. Here are a few things I like to do to make my day go a little better.

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1.  Pray- Being a Christian, prayer is very important to me. Praying can immediately put you in a peaceful mood. Communicating with God puts you in a different mindset. It takes living this life to a whole new level. A spiritual level. If you have never prayed before, it’s simple. All you have to do is talk to God like you are talking to anyone else. I like to say “God, I’m having a rough day. Everything seems to be going wrong. Can you help me to have a positive attitude about the rest of the day. Help me to show the love of Jesus no matter what the circumstance. In Jesus name, Amen.” See simple.

2.  Meditate-  Meditation is really simple and easy. All you have to do is close your eyes, breath deeply, and think of something positive. Another way I like to meditate is to read a scripture and read it over and over until I feel it in my Spirit. My go-to scripture it Jeremiah 29.11. It reminds me that no matter what I’m going through , God has great plans for me. “Plans to prosper me and give me a hope and a future!” I also like to write the scripture down to help with retention and reflect on what it means to me.

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3. Count your blessings! – I guarantee if you count your blessings, you can instantly brighten your day. Reflecting on everything that is going right in your life instead of things that are going wrong, makes you realize how truly blessed you are. Of course, you are having a bad day, and it’s annoying, but at the end of the day you have a good life. It also helps to write your blessings down. Seeing all of your blessings on paper makes you feel good. Which brings me to #4!

4. Journal – Journaling is so peaceful. It allows you to be alone with your thoughts in a healthy way. You can write down all the things you are thinking and reflect on them. It’s also really cool to write down how you feel at the time and then go back and read it a few weeks later. It allows you to see how far you have come. It also helps you to realize that trouble doesn’t last always.

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My personal Journal.

5. Talk to Someone- It always helps to have someone to talk to. You don’t want to walk around with bottled emotions. You’ll explode! My go-to person is my mom. (I’m a momma’s baby, btw.) I love talking to my mom because she is so positive. She’s always reminding me “this too shall pass!” Whenever I am having a bad day she helps to uplift my spirits. You should have at least one person in your life that you can talk with to give positive reinforcement. Someone to let you know, you will get through it and it will ALWAYS get better.

So those are my 5 tips on how you can have a good/better day! You can also check out my YouTube video on this topic as well 5 Tips: How to have a Good Day. If you have any suggestions or tips of your own, feel free to leave them in the comments. You never know who you may help with your suggestions.

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