Thursday, October 30, 2014

What We Become Is Our Gift To God

Today, I woke up with my Tia Ofelia (Sister Celine) on my mind.  I really need to plan a trip to see her soon.  She is an amazing woman and the closest to God's miracle that I have ever known. Her life and the obstacles she overcame are just a testimony to God's love for her and what He can do for us and through us if we just allow Him in our hearts. I'm so blessed to have her in my blood line!  Her life is a complete gift to God and to others!

For those of you who don't know much about my family biological grandfather passed away when my grandmother was pregnant with my Mom.  So, my Mom never met her biological father.  My great aunt is his only sibling and the only connection I have really ever had to my biological grandfather on my Mom's side.  The love my Great Aunt has for her brother (my grandfather) is exhibited by the love she shows to my Mom, my aunt, my cousins, and my sister and myself.  She loves us so much!!!!!!!  She makes me happy just thinking about her.  The picture below is a picture of three of the most important women in my life!!  I cherish this picture so much! It makes my heart happy to see all three of them together.  (my mommy is the one in the beautiful pink dress that my sissy, step-dad, and I gave her as a gift one year) Aren't they all beautiful and lovely!?!? :)  I'm truly blessed to have such amazing women in my life!

As I thought about my tia this morning, I thought about all that she has taught me.  The one thing she taught me is that no matter what life throws at us or what cards we were dealt in life, we always have a choice to become what God created us to become.  We always have a choice to be a good person who honors Him in all.  Her beauty surpasses any beauty I have ever known.  Her soul truly belongs to Him and it's seen in everything she does and in everything she says.  I can only hope to be a quarter of the gift to God that she has been for Him.  Because of her, I know that God loves me and has big plans for me!  She is the reason why I try my hardest to spread His word and His love.  She showed me that kind of love since I was a baby and it really made a BIG impact on my life.

I hope today you will go out and show somebody God's love and make an impact!  Let your life be a gift to God and let your light shine!

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

A Healthy Heart Lets Go

Here lately I have been battling my mitral valve prolapse symptoms again.  I had it under control for a while but somehow I allowed myself to let go of all that I had worked on for so long and start to feel the negative impact of it. I learned to eat healthy and maintain a healthy lifestyle by drinking less sodas and more water and exercising more.   I learned to pray more and complain less and be who I wanted to be physically and spiritually. I spent many years learning and growing and developing into the woman of God I had always wanted to be.

Living in North West Arkansas allowed me to be on my own and find out what kind of person I wanted to be and who I wanted to be.  I learned how to make amazing friends and maintain those amazing friendships.  I really got a grasp of all the things my Mom would tell my sister and me and try and teach us! I learned what worked and what didn't work and what hurt people and how to treat people.  I learned what made me happy and what did not. I learned that what and who we surround ourselves with can really make an impact on our lives.  I learned some hard lessons but I know God had and still has some great plans for me because He NEVER gave up on me.  No matter what bad choices I made or how or who I hurt in the process of growing, He never once turned His back on me.  He allowed me to continue to learn and grow and boy have I learned. My point to all of this is that sometimes we tend to let go of those hard lessons and resort back to somebody we used to be, somebody we did not particularly like.  I recently did that.  Thank God it was only a snippet of who I used to be but it was enough to wake me up and make me realize where I was heading.....again.

Going back to my heart condition.  Physically, I have been having major heart pains.  I have been dizzy, having black outs again, feeling the massive chest pains that just won't go away, and feeling exhausted.  These symptoms are all too familiar with me and have been a red flag that I am doing something wrong in my life again.  I had to look at my diet, my stress levels, and what all is going on around me.  In doing this, I realized that there are some things I need to let go of and things I need to change for my physical health.  It also made me dig deep into my spiritual heart and my emotional heart.  I have had to ask myself some tough questions lately about life.  God is so amazing how He guides us to these things and how He answers questions and concerns we have.  Over and over, I asked Him why I was having to go through these symptoms again of my heart condition.  For so long, I have had it under control.  I asked and He answered....

Last night before falling asleep, I prayed and asked God to please direct me to what I needed to do to get control of my symptoms again.  I asked Him to reveal to me what eating habits I needed to change (again) and to bring to light what stressors were causing me so much anxiety for so long.  I asked Him, why would a medicine that has been working so well need to be changed all of a sudden and what He wanted me to do.  I prayed about the possibility of having surgery to repair my valve and if that may be, then give me the strength and peace to be "ok" with it.  I prayed about so much more, what did I need to do to help get my heart back to good.

Little did I know; He has not been too happy with the condition of my spiritual and emotional heart and had some things to say to me about that even BIGGER topic.

My sister gave me a book a few months ago called "Dare To Be" by Natalie Grant.  I opened it this morning after my morning Bible Study and today's devotional was entitled "Dare To Let It Go".  I started reading it without even a second thought to the impact it would have on me or how God was about to use the next two pages to minister to me what He has been trying to minister to me for the past few weeks, probably even months.  I want to share a little of what I feel is going to change my heart condition.....

"At some point in time, we all have the opportunity to be offended.  We each have had those moments when people have either mistreated or misunderstood us.  In those moments we have to decide; do we take the offense, or do we choose to let it go?  I have done both, and I can tell you first hand that if you do 'take an offense' it will eventually 'take from you.'  It will take your time, your emotions and peace.  So today, I want to dare you to let it go."  ~ Natalie Grant

".....the truth is, we can get so upset by another's judgement of our situation that we lose all perspective and want to settle the matter, often with no regard for the consequences this could bring." ~ Natalie Grant

"Your life is too valuable to waste on being bitter.  So today, decide to be better.  Let God's love heal you, let His forgiveness free you and embrace the peace that comes from letting it go.  Choose to feed those things that give you life instead of those that take it from you.  Dare to let it go, however hard it may seem.  And when you do, you will not only let it go but you will also let your future grow."  ~Natalie Grant

I can't even begin to tell you how powerful this was to me.  Reading this opened my eyes to some things that have been emotionally and spiritually eating me up inside.  It opened my eyes to some relationships that I have been trying to force to stay together despite the pain and chaos surrounding them.  It opened my eyes to the symptoms of a heart that has not been loving the way God wants me to.  It made me realize how some of these relationships and issues tend to TAKE from my life rather than giving me LIFE! I finally accepted that some things just aren't meant to be and sometimes loving from a distance is the only way to purely love somebody.  Letting go of people and relationships doesn't always necessarily mean you don't love them any more or that either party is bad, it just means that something in the dynamic of the relationship is unhealthy to one or both parties and letting go is the only way to allow healing and restoration within ourselves.  Sometimes the separation is only for a season and sometimes it is forever and if it is forever, that's ok.  God has His reasons for not allowing restoration in the relationship but only allowing restoration in your heart.  Letting go of a relationship  is sometimes the only way to let go of an offense or a grudge or a pain that resulted in the relationship.

Letting go of a relationship hurts but hanging on and forcing something to work hurts even more.  The unhealthiness never really goes away and often times it is covered up and never really dealt with but it is always there.  It is always there waiting for another opportunity to show its ugly face to cause more pain and chaos.  Letting go is not always a bad thing and sometimes it is the only way our hearts can heal and function properly.  When we walk in pain and grief and stress, we tend to not be ourselves.  We start to become people we do not want to be.  We start to be that bitter person who finds fault in everything and everybody.  We start to have a rotten heart who loses touch with how to love God's way.  I don't want to be that person.  I want to have a pure heart filled with so much love that a bad thought never even crosses my mind.  I used to be that person who saw so little fault in others and saw nothing but good in a person.  I am taking that girl back and getting my heart right again.  It will require letting some offenses go and sadly, letting some relationships go.  It is going to hurt but I know first hand, it is hurting more NOT letting go.

Maybe it will help my physical heart feel right again.  If it does, AMEN!!!! If not, that's ok...... at least my emotional and spiritual heart will be in a good place to be able to face the physical aspects of it all and to me, that is so much more important.  I want my heart right for God and I want my heart right for myself and I want my heart right for my future family.  I want to start my marriage off right with an amazing heart for God so that I can love him and our children properly and be able to honor God with an awesome loving family.

I don't want any rotten or ugly in my heart or spirit...... I only want pure love and peace in it and starting today, that's what I will have!!!!

I hope this helps even just one person out there suffering with an unhealed heart.  A healthy heart lets go. Sometimes that means letting go of sin, hatred, grudges, or even relationships......and sometimes it is letting go of them all.  Only you and God can decide that.  Just remember that He is with you and obedience is always key!!!!

God Bless!  xoxo

Monday, October 27, 2014

His Grace Is Sufficient

“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness...” 2 Corinthians 12:9

We all have days where we feel overwhelmed and perhaps even weak emotionally, spiritually, and physically.  When I come across these times, I mediate on 2 Corinthians 12:9.  It reminds me that I am not alone in this walk.

Scripture teaches us that God’s grace is sufficient. The word sufficient means competent, enough or qualified. That means we will always have enough when we believe and have faith in His promises. We will never face anything in life that God's grace and power cannot move us through. Sure, we may come across times that seem helpless and moments that the pain is unbearable but especially in those times, He is there.  He is strong when we are weak.

Today, remember, no matter what you may be facing, you’re not facing it alone. We are not without hope when we put our trust in the One who is able.  His grace is enough to pull us through the toughest of moments.  He supplies us with the strength, resources, and people to move forward.  He will equip you with any task at hand.  Lift your eyes up to Him and trust!

Friday, October 24, 2014

High Five For Friday ~ Girlfriends Come In Any Age And In Every Season

High Five For Friday Number One ~

What a busy week..... I'm just glad it's Friday!!!!!

High Five For Friday Number Two ~

Prayer Walk is tomorrow and I'm so excited and touched to be a part of it this year!  I'm taking photographs for it and I'm really excited to see what God can and will do in our city!!!

High Five For Friday Number Three ~

This week was really busy but filled with so many blessings.  I was able to really enjoy some one on one time with one of the ladies in my Thursday morning Bible study and it was truly a gift.  All of the ladies are between the ages of 50-80 so it's an honor to be in the presence of such amazing women of God.  Their wisdom just astounds me!  Getting to know them one on one is a goal of mine and I'm so excited to grow closer to these amazing women of God.

High Five For Friday Number Four ~

We all know how precious friendships are.  Life is so fragile and let's face it, with busy schedules and busy lives.....we tend to overlook special people in our lives.  Life long friendships are hard to come by.  Just like any relationship; friendships take work and patience.  We have to be able to love big, share much, and be able to forgive and learn to be humble when we need forgiveness.  It was a blessing to spend some time with my sweet friend Margo.  Margo and I have been super duper close girlfriends since Jr. High and needless to say, we have been through A LOT together.  Time and schedules and anything else you want to throw in put some distance between us but we finally found some time to be able to sit down and have lunch, talk, and have a few giggles!  I'm very thankful for the lunch date and we have decided to make girlfriend lunch a priority!  Same place same time next week!

High Five For Friday Number Five ~

Work is going great!  My hours are better and I'm getting much better at the job.

Things are looking up!  God is good!

Love Is Jesus Christ

"Love like this cannot be fully understood."

Christ died for us, for our salvation.  He died for people who would reject Him and His love over and over again.  Think about how many people throughout your life who have rejected you.  Would you die for them?  Would you even die for somebody you "loved".  The answer is probably "no" to the first question and "maaaaaaybe" to the second question.  Yet, here is a man who died for you and for me.  How many times have you rejected Him?  I'm not going to lie, I have several times.  Even as a Christian, I have rejected Him.  We reject Him when we lie, gossip, ignore His calling in our lives, when we choose to be selfish instead of giving, and the list goes on. We reject him all of the time yet Christ died for us and loves us THAT much.  Love is Christ.

"Nor can love like this be earned."

This gift from God is free.  Eternal life for believers is not something to be earned.  Only faith can get us there.  Works will not give us eternal life.

Loving like Christ means loving when it is not being returned, loving imperfections and flaws, and being God's instrument to love others.

"In His love and in His mercy He redeemed me." Isaiah 63:9

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

What I'm Loving Wednesday ~ Pretty Little Liars and Fall

I'm loving that I'm almost done with Season 4 of Pretty Little Liars.... almost caught up!!!

I'm loving Texas Tech plays home this weekend!  WOOT WOOT!!!!!

I'm loving the fallish weather!  If you have kept up with my blog, then you know that I LOOOOOVVVEEEEE me some fall!  Seasons changing are my favs!

I'm loving life and loving LOVE!!!!!!!

Love Without God Is Impossible

"Like it or not agape love isn't something you can do.  It's only something God can do." The Love Dare

Have you ever taken time to ask God where you stand with Him?  I started a journey to learn more about love and in that journey, I stopped and asked God that simple question.  "God, where do I stand with you?"   When you ask God a straight forward question, be prepared for His answer.  Let's just say, it wasn't what I thought it would be.  I was not standing with Him where I thought I was or HOW I thought I should.  He wants so much more from me.  So, I took my love journey and turned them into days of seeking how to stand with Him where HE wants me to stand, I also began to fully understand about the three things God asks for us; giving, praying, and fasting.  So, I started seeking more about fasting, I realize that fasting is the threefold cord that is needed in a spiritual relationship with God.

"A threefold cord is not quickly broken."  Ecclesiastes 4:12

Giving, praying, and fasting.  Over the years I have learned a lot about fasting and have come to realize that fasting brings a miraculous provision, favor, and a closeness with God like no other.  As I'm getting this fasting thing, I start to think about my love journey and how true it is, love IS impossible with out God.  I started to think about people in my life who aren't saved or have no desire to have a relationship with God and I have realized that I do not love them right.  Sure, I pray for them but I pray more for them to take notice of their "faults" and to change but I never pray for their salvation.  I never love them enough to pray and fast for their hearts to be totally touched by the hand of God because only when we truly have the power of God in our lives can our hearts truly change for the better.  

Finally a breakthrough, I realized that to truly love somebody is to give, pray, and fast for their salvation.  To pray that they too will be able to feel the amazing feeling of loving THROUGH Him and not through ourselves.  When we love through only our own understanding of love, it tends to become jealous, selfish, thoughtless, mean spirited.......impossible.  To love through God we can share a pure, selfless, thoughtful, and precious love.  

"This is impossible, but with God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Message Me To Book Your Fall Shoot

Alphabet Me

Ambition:  Live Laugh Love

Bad Habit: drinking soda

City: Lubbock, TX but looking forward to leaving Lubbock in the dust one day! 

Drink: Starbucks Hot Chocolate and Darin's hot tea 

Education: Texas Tech University, Ashworth College, and Colorado Christian University - All for Psychology and Christian Counseling - want to specialize in pre-marital counseling  

Food: anything homemade by my momma! 

Guilty Pleasure: sodas, junk food, and trash tv

Hometown: Lubbock, Texas

Ice Cream: chocolate dipped coned 

Jonesing for: a closer relationship with God and happiness!

Kryptonite: love

Look-a-like: I've been told Lindsay Koreman soap star friends used to call me Theresita (her character in Passions)

Movie: 13 Going on 30 is my favorite girly movie 

Nickname: Crys, Cryssie, CG, Li'l C, Pickle

Obsession: Golf when I get to play

Perfume: VS Dream Angels Heavenly and Prada Candy

Quirk: germs

Regret: none really

Starbucks: hot chocolate..... duh

Thrift Find of the Year: golf bag 

University: Guns Up for my Red Raiders!!!!!

Vacation: BEACH!!!!!

Wine: yum

X: boyfriend?  they are ex's for a reason.....not really sure what this "X" is for haha

Years: 36 AH, I'm getting old but I feel so young! :)

Zen: when I'm in prayer and in God's Presence! 

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

What I'm Loving Wednesday ~ New Season and God

I'm loving the new season of life that God is bringing me into.

I'm loving that God is showing me who He is in my life. He is my protector, my healer, my best friend.... He is my everything and He has really been going above and beyond to show me this lately.

I'm loving that fall is here and loving that today is the first day of October!

I'm loving having a wonderful man by my side who has truly been every answered prayer.  I had no idea somebody could love me as much as he does!

I'm loving working from home and all it's perks!

Most of all, I'm loving His amazing grace and love for me!

Love Seeks To Understand Your Mate

How much do you know about your mate?  How often do you talk?  How often to you ask questions?  How often do you attempt to understand them?  How well do you really know them?

"Good understanding produces favor." Proverbs 13:15

The one thing about really learning somebody and understanding their beliefs and thoughts is that you start to become in sync with their way of life.  You understand why they do and say certain things.  This can even at times save you from an argument.  Sometimes we tend to take things the wrong way with out understanding the root of it. Whether it's an action or words.  When you truly understand somebody it becomes second nature to "get them" and to understand their actions and words. 

Love should call you to dig deep and really get to your mate's soul.  Love calls you to draw out all that you can so that you can learn them and understand them better. 

"By wisdom a house is built , and by understanding it is established ; and by knowledge it is filled with all precious and pleasant riches." Proverbs 24:3-4

It is important to know your mate's fears, dreams, goals, and anything else that drives your mate to live each day to the fullest.  They need that constant support and to know that you are their biggest cheerleader and comforter through all!  

Dare to it!