Faith

Praise & Worship

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Have you ever been having a weird day and decided to turn on some music, and after a song or two your mood totally changes. Well, that’s the power of praise and worship for me.

Sometimes it takes some convincing from myself to actually turn the music on, but when I do my spirit is immediately lifted. In Isaiah 61:3 it describes God giving us the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness. We are constantly fighting this daily battle, to think positive, speak positive, do positive and be positive. This verse confirms that God knows us and loves us so much that he gives us an outlet to release all of that negative energy.

Praise not only makes us feel good but it makes God feel good as well. Psalm 147:1 The creator of all things loves when His creations worship Him and spend quality time with Him. Psalm 50:23 Praise and worship is a great way to commune with God and thank Him for who He is and what He has and will do in your life.

So I challenge you today, if you are struggling with anxiety, depression, or anything that’s keeping you down; turn on some music and begin to worship God. If you’re unsure where to start, I’ll list a few of my favorite praise and worship songs below.¬† Let me know in the comments below how your day has changed.

  1. Holy Spirit – Francesca Battistelli
  2. Here As in Heaven – Elevation Worship
  3. Do It Again – Elevation Worship
  4. The Anthem –¬† Todd Dulaney
  5. Fill Me Up – Tasha Cobb
  6. Heart Live Heaven – Hillsong United
  7. Oceans – Hillsong United
  8. Indescribable – Chris Tomlin
  9. Overcome – Tye Tribett
  10. Bless the Lord (Son of Man) – Tye Tribett

 

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Faith

Stepping Up & Stepping Out

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It’s so wonderful when God calls you out into the “great unknown, where feet may fail.” Don’t get me wrong, it’s terrifying, but also exciting. It’s always scary to step out of your comfort zone, but very exciting to see what God has in store for you.

It’s not always easy to leave what you know!

We get so comfortable in our day-to-day routines. Sometimes even stuck. Who in their right mind would want to leave what is familiar to them? Who in their right mind would go on a journey when they don’t know where their going, how long it will take, or where they will end up? I bet no one.

If we listen close enough, God will give you cues on when it’s time to go, when it’s time to stay, and when it’s time to leap! The great thing about being led by God is that he will always meet you along the way.¬† As you take the steps in the right direction (His direction), He will always send you confirmation that you’re on the right path. Little blessings here and there start to manifest. The path becomes clearer.

You have to Step up and Step out!

There is no way you can you can grow if you don’t Step Out!¬†There is no way you will reach your full potential if you don’t go for it! Break the boxes others have tried to put you in. Start living out the wild plans God has for your life.

The great thing about God is that He’ll never tell you that you’re not good enough, not smart enough, don’t have enough because He has it all and has already given it to you and will always give you what you need along the way. It’s up to you to Step Up and accept it.

I know,¬† easier said than done. But I’d rather take a chance on God than live a mediocre and unfulfilling life.¬†‚ô•¬†

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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 fianc√©¬†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.‚ô•

 

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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.

‚ÄúBlessed 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, ‚ÄúMy grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.‚ÄĚ 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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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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