Monday, March 27, 2017

When You Have To Flee

In today's world of social media, it's so easy to fall into the need to have people's acceptance. We post hoping for a like or a comment. We post longing for the acceptance of other people. Sometimes that acceptance can become our god and we can find ourselves needing that more than we need Him.

I recently was slapped in the face with this sin of mine. I found myself desperately needing social media likes from certain people only to feel rejected when they looked past me. I would see their approval of others Facebook posts and pictures and would find myself feeling like a rejected failure. God revealed to me that I was seeking approval from the wrong source. I was worshiping the approval from certain people instead of being content in His approval.

I would love to say that after realizing this, I repented and quit. I tried that but it didn't work. I continued to sadly notice the lack of social media attention from these individuals and my heart continued to ache. Why was this such a battle with me and with just these certain people? I asked God these specific questions and He revealed that I was searching for grace and forgiveness from them. He reminded me of the sacrifice Jesus made on the cross for me and that grace and forgiveness were already mine. I didn't need to seek personal value from these individuals nor did I need to continue to feel trapped in my mistakes from the past. With this new knowledge, I didn't know what to do. I understood what He was telling me but I couldn't get my heart to understand. Still, I kept secretly waiting for their "likes" and comments. They never came.....

"Therefore, my beloved, flee from idolatry." 1 Corinthians 10:14

The bottom line was that I had been idolizing certain people's acceptance on social media. I was putting their rejection of me above God's love for me. With each post, my spirit grew more and more weary. With each viewing of that person's likes and comments on other people's posts, I felt more and more rejected. I finally said, "wait, this is not what God wants for me." I prayed several days on what to do and I came across 1 Corinthians 10:14...... I had to either deactivate all of my social media or delete the people who's acceptance I had been idolizing for so long. I weighed both options very carefully. I use social media for my coaching business and soon for the Mrs. Washington pageant. I dreaded doing what I knew I needed to do..... I didn't want to feel mean or childish but I knew I had to flee from this idolatry I had created for myself. I had to remove it from my life. I had to be mature enough to say that not having people on my social media does not mean I don't love them or care for them, it just means that I am choosing to remove the temptation to sin. I am choosing to only worship God and His love and acceptance of me. So, I did it y'all. I deleted people from social media. I dislike deleting people. I never want to hurt people's feelings or make them feel as if I am rejecting them. My heart is pure and to love God more than anybody and anything in this world is what I desire. He isn't concerned with feelings, He is concerned with my heart health and I knew what was happening was not good for my heart or my relationship with Him.

So, I challenge you today to totally put God first. Is there something in your life that causes you to stumble? Is there something in your life that you are idolizing and putting above God? If so, remove it from your life at all cost. NOTHING and I mean NOTHING is more important than your heart with God. He has to come first no matter what. Sometimes, you just have to flee.....

Sunday, March 26, 2017

A Path To Restoration By Lois Brittell PhD - 4 Stars

This study guide was a beautifully written piece and had me in prayer each time I picked it up to read it. I couldn't help but to desire more intimate time with Him after each chapter. I wanted to both thank Him and lay in His peaceful arms. A Path To Restoration is about understanding what God has done for us, what He asks of us and what restoration in Him looks like.

This study guide challenged me to think more about my relationship with God and how I view Him. It helped me to understand how loving and welcoming our God is. This book definitely pushed me to more intimacy with Him and created a certain level of thanksgiving to my Lord and Savior. It opened my eyes to who He is and who we are in Him. Challenging and peaceful read.

I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Turning The Tables By Teresa Giudice - 3 Stars

I am a HUGE fan of Housewives Of New Jersey and I LOVE LOVE LOVE Teresa Giudice, so you can imagine my excitement when I was sent her book to review. I couldn't wait to read about her journey of heart change and life experience as she made that dreaded transition. Where I did enjoy reading a little bit more about her perspective of going to prison and reading about her love for her family, I have to say I was a little disappointed in this book. Don't get me wrong, it was still interesting to read about her inner thoughts of going to prison and I shed a few tears at times when she wrote about being away from Joe and her children. I mean, I cannot imagine being taken away from my husband and children (fur babies, I only have fur babies). However, I would have liked more insight to her inner life change as opposed to hearing every detail about the prison life. I wanted to hear more about HOW prison CHANGED her from the inside out as opposed to what she ate, what she watched on TV etc. It got boring half way in. I for sure know more about prison life now but not much more on who Teresa is after her prison sentence.

I still love Teresa Giudici but just barely like the book.

Friday, March 17, 2017

High Five For Friday - It's All About Family

High Five For Friday Number One:

Pictures of these three back home in Texas.

I miss those faces so much! It was heart warming to see them all in one picture!

High Five For Friday Number Two:

Jobs galore.... the good thing about living in a big city are all the job options. I'm getting ready to get back to work. I LOVE being home and being able to maintain my home (er, kinda maintain my home). Well, define maintain.......

I love being home but I'm ready to get back to life outside of our apartment! 

High Five For Friday Number Three:

Long conversations with my sissy...... Love!

High Five For Friday Number Four:

Exciting things in the Addis family happening! Woot!

High Five For Friday Number Five:

Tomorrow my parents celebrate their first year of marriage!!!!!! WEEEEEE!

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Saturday Six - Bed Rest, Anniversaries, Businesses and Love

Saturday Six Number One:

Bed rest! BLAH! I keep telling myself it will all be worth it (more on that later). I'm thankful for a husband who serves and cares for me. I couldn't get through this without a heated blanket, fuzzy socks and every snack that my little heart desires!

Saturday Six Number Two:

While I'm on bed rest, I've been watching one of my old favorites! (Don't judge.....)

Saturday Six Number Three:

Darin and I celebrated our two year wedding anniversary this past Monday. I'm so thankful for this beautiful marriage. My whole life I have heard how hard marriage is but with Darin, it's so easy. It's so easy to love him completely and so easy to let him love me. Thank you Jesus for answering my every prayer for my husband. I'm thankful!

Saturday Six Number Four:

I've been working so hard on my coaching business. I've been learning more from other coaches and getting ready to launch my first program! Lots of prayers please!!!! I'm excited for this adventure!

Saturday Six Number Five:

Speaking of businesses..... I also picked up photography again. I'm not sure how serious I will be with it but we live in such a beautiful area again so why NOT pick it up again and maybe make a few extra dollars doing something that I love!? I'm excited about it!

Saturday Six Number Six:

Another Anniversary we celebrated this week was the day I met my sweet Daisy! March 3, 2011 she became mine and I have enjoyed every single second of her in my life!!!

Friday, March 3, 2017

Big Faith In Any Job

Living in big faith means living a walk and lifestyle so close to God's heart that even the strongest of unbelievers can't resist noticing it. Often times, people think that if they don't work for the church or in ministry that they aren't walking as close to Him as say a, ministry leader or pastor. The truth is, we all are human and have a choice to walk a christian walk and live a christian lifestyle. It doesn't matter if you work in ministry or work as a secretary or doctor or dog walker.

Take it from somebody who worked in ministry at a pretty large church. My days weren't filled with oohs and ahhs and holding hands with my co-workers as we prayed all day. My days were working, getting impatient with processes, following rules and regulations, some days not feeling well and any other crazy thing you can think of. My point is, even church staff have our "moments" in the work place and we too have to choose to live for Him and act according to how He would have us. Being a church worker does not exempt people from being human.

Has it ever occurred to you that the heroes of the bible were working normal jobs outside of the church and dealing with the same normal life chaos that you deal with? Don't believe me? Well it's true! Moses did most of his work in the Pharaoh's conference rooms and deserts. Boaz did his on a farm. Esther did hers in a king's palace. Noah did his on an ark. Nehemiah did his on a construction project. For the most part they were not clergy working in the local church. No, they were working regular jobs and living "normal" lives. And there are many others in the bible who were living normal lives but fulfilling His purpose and plan for them.

When we work in secular jobs, we have an opportunity to show God's love to others. We have an opportunity to be the light in a dark world. We have an opportunity to share the Gospel either verbally or visually. You get to have a chance to practice a big faith that's big enough for the real world. Your faith doesn't have to be restricted just to an environment of church. Today, let your faith be big enough to be an act of God walking on the streets in the real world!

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Cleansing This Lent Season

Ah, the season of Lent. I love it. It feels like a peaceful time of renewing and cleansing our spirit. It's a time of reflecting on who God is and what Jesus did for us on the cross. Lent year has been especially special for me this year. My birthday was yesterday, the first day of Lent. I have been preparing for this season and really diving into scripture and prayer. My heart has been healing for some time now. It's been over a year since our miscarriage and it's been a year of amazing growth in Him and with Him. Gah, I love Him so much. I wish you could look into my heart and get a view of my love for Him. He's done so much in my pain. He's loved me in ways I couldn't even try and describe to you.

With all this love He gives me, I have still struggled with acceptance. I have struggled with a complete need of being accepted from friends, past co-workers, family and acceptance with even myself. Recently I have been able to spend so much time with Him and I have realized this downfall I have. Believe it or not, I had no idea I struggled with such nonsense as needing to FEEL accepted. I emphasize the word "feel" because no matter how we "feel", we ARE accepted!! God accepts us and we have to replace truth with lies when it comes to our feelings. 

This Lent season, I am letting go of the need to be accepted and just living my life for Him and His love! The past few days I have made peace with the fact that not everybody will love me, like me, accept me, forgive me or even tolerate me. It's just a fact. We will never ever please everybody so it's time to appreciate and fully focus on HIS acceptance of me. Wow, y'all!! HE loves ME. HE likes ME. HE accepts ME. HE forgives ME. And HE even tolerates ME. I am the apple of His eye and if His eye is the only one I will ever be the apple of, I'm SO BLESSED! 

Cleansing in this area is tough. It's one I've been praying about for days and even weeks now. There are lots of changes that comes with this type of cleansing. Lots of relationships that must shift because of the amount of idolatry I placed their acceptance at. Yes, you read that right. Idolatry. I realized that I idolized certain people's acceptance; just waiting on it, praying on it, hoping for it and then sadly being pained when the rejection came. God does not want me to live that way. He needs me to be me and to walk in the fullness of His love no matter who in this world rejects me. He suffered from rejection and died on the cross so that I wouldn't be rejected. Other's hate will never ever matter or make a difference in His purpose and calling on my life. The truth is y'all, we are made by Him, for Him and in His image. 

So cleansing is taking place in my life this season. I'm not quite sure what that looks like yet but I know He will tell me when it's time. He will guide me and I will be obedient. Thank You Jesus for all you have done for us. My heart is completely full and at peace because of You.