Do you not watch the news? Is what someone said to me this morning. I was quiet because my answer is not simple. This is my answer: No, I do not watch the news. I… More
As you may or may not have noticed, my Instagram name is changing from @mimyandrea to @anchoredinjoy. I want to really encourage women of all ages to be anchored in Joy who is Joy? Jesus Christ is Joy, not the butterfly and rainbows type of joy but the joy that exists through the storm and difficult times. The joy that Paul talks about in the letter Phillipians; Because that’s when we really need to be anchored in Joy, in Truth so that no matter how hard the winds blow against our lives they cannot take us down. Nothing can prevail when we anchor our souls to Joy, Peace, Hope, Love, and this is all found in Christ. He is all of these things and more!
Hebrews 6:19 is simply one beautiful verse that came alive to me while reading the book of Hebrews. This one verse completely changed the way I react to difficult times, it pointed me to Jesus like no other verse in the Bible. It says, “We have this as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul, a hope that enters into the inner place behind the curtain,” The book of Hebrews talks about how Jesus is better. Jesus is better than anything and anyone ever before. Why is He better? Because He came to fulfill the law, He came to give us h o p e, being perfect He fulfilled God’s will and served as a living sacrifice for all of our messiness, imperfection, sin, ugliness, flaws, etc. Talk about g r a c e! My heart is full of gratitude when I read about the new covenant that Jesus represents. How He came to make things better, He came to overcome the world. He conquered death by resurrecting on the third day. “Now death where is your sting?”
As I studied this book this verse stood out to me the most. It says we have this as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul. Just this one sentence hits me hard. A sure and steadfast anchor… Jesus is a sure and steadfast anchor. There is nothing in this world that is sure and steadfast. No t h i n g. I promise, no matter where you go, what you anchor yourself to, it will all fail, it is all risky business, it is all failing, it changes, it dies, it is imperfect, nothing in this world is sure and steadfast. When we anchor ourselves to anything other than Jesus believing we can live out our purpose we are anchored to faux-anchors.
Friends?As soon as you get yourself in real problems most of your friends walk away and want nothing to do with you. Money? Money is the root of all evil, anchor yourself in money and it will leave you empty, tired, unsatisfied. Alcohol, Drugs, Addictions? Please, we all know and we can see that these are just temporary agents to dull our lives, the hurt doesn’t go away after a night out, there is only regret. The pain doesn’t go away after the hangover, the pain comes back and even worse than before. The dependence of these substances only make you a slave, but I thought you strive for freedom and independence? Family? Don’t get me wrong I absolutely wholeheartedly LOVE my family but they are not my anchors, they are human like myself and we all fail; putting my hopes and expectations on human beings would be foolish. And I speak as a single girl on this: marriage? The idea of love? Dating? All faux anchors!
God did not create us to find fulfillment and happiness in a partner, He created us for relationship yes, but this doesn’t mean that if I don’t get married at a certain age, or if I don’t have a boyfriend my value decreases or increases. My value doesn’t change depending on worldly things; my value is based on how high the price God paid for me, that He sent His only son to die for me. That’s my value and worth. So again, putting my hope in a human being is only setting myself up for deception and unnecessary pain.
I listed a few of the things that this world has to offer, when we anchor ourselves to these ideas or things we end up lonely, hurt, depressed, and unsatisfied. Because all else fails but God is the same yesterday, today, and forever. He is a sure and steadfast anchor, He came in human form as Jesus to overcome the world and give us h o p e.
He is my anchor and He can be yours too. When things fail, when everyone turns your back on you and the money runs low, He is there, He listens, He cares, and He loves. His love is something you can encounter by seeking Him wholeheartedly. I promise nothing on this earth has made me feel so loved than when I’m in His presence, at His feet, on my knees and He fills my cup.
What is an anchor? According to Wikipedia “An anchor is a device, normally made of metal, used to connect a vessel to the bed of a body of water to prevent the craft from drifting due to wind or current. Anchors can either be temporary or permanent. Permanent anchors are used in the creation of a mooring, and are rarely moved; a specialist service is normally needed to move or maintain them.” Now in Hebrews it doesn’t talk about a metal device but God who traded Heaven to have us again and came in the form of a human, who came to make things better, someone who came to give us access to the One and Only True Almighty King. We no longer need to go to a priest to have our requests be made to the Lord. We no longer have to sacrifice animals to give offering. Things changed in the New Testament because we now have Jesus. And He is our anchor, an anchor for the soul. Not a physical anchor that you can throw in the water but an anchor that is for the soul. That goes so deep into your soul that nothing can move it. Life is difficult and following Jesus does not mean we will have it easy. Sometimes following Jesus means things will be harder, people will hate us for His cause, we will often feel like outcasts, like we don’t belong, we will feel lonely and rejected by this world but no matter how hard life wind’s blow against us n o t hi n g can move the anchor of our souls. He is our hope that enters behind the inner curtain and makes a way for us to the father.
When I stopped anchoring myself to faux-anchors and anchored myself in Jesus things changed drastically. I no longer felt like a break up was the end of the world. I felt peace because I knew that the One who holds the universe also holds my life. When I stopped looking for affection and approval from the world and I started to self preach Hebrews 6:19 to my life and really clinging to it, when I started looking up to Jesus I realized all the answers to my questions were found in Him.
This is my personal verse right now at 23, and it doesn’t have to be yours but I encourage you to know Christ, and to find your verse. I encourage you to have an intentional relationship with the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.
Because I have experienced great love I have the courage to encourage YOU because I so strongly believe He can satisfy your soul just like He did with mine.
I long to know Him more, to be like Him, for His will to be done and not mine. I long for Him to increase and for myself to decrease. I want to build His Kingdom and not mine. Because He called me His Beloved, because He gave me an identity, a value, and a worth. My whole life is anchored in Him, and I am confident and secure in Him because I know that He is sure and steadfast.
Sister, I pray that as you read through these words that you may also want to know Him more, I pray that your life may also be anchored in Him. Because if He is for us then nothing can stand against us.
Prayer: Lord, thank you for sending your only beautiful and perfect son to die on that cross for us. For all of us, good and bad you covered our shame. You made us heirs of the kingdom, you gave us a name and I am overflowing with gratitude that turns into a desire to want to serve you and live out my life for you loving others, being more like you, and fulfilling your will. And I thank you that no matter how “hard” I could work there is nothing I can do to gain your love and acceptance, I thank you because all you want from me is my heart and nothing else. Thank you because you slowly whisper that we don’t have to do a thing, but just be s t i l l and be with you. And I pray that you touch the lives of those beautiful souls reading this and that your truth may be spoken over their lives in your name, Amen.
I created this wallpaper after reading the book of Deuteronomy and I want to share it with you and also a reminder to go along with it below! To save it on an iPhone simply press and hold down on the image.
<<We have a great God who goes before us, who fights for us, who protects us. He is not a far God but He is near and he invites us to draw near to Him. He invites us to have a relationship with Him. An everyday relationship, the type of relationship that takes up all our thoughts and fulfills our every need. We know this but sometimes we are not fully aware that this is true. Similarly to the Israelites in the desert; we tend to complain, go our own way, and/or simply rebel. Just like the Israelites we go through our own wilderness. How much easier our journey into the promised land would be if we just simply listen from the beginning. If you are identifying with this take heart, our God is a God of mercy and grace. He is always listening to you, He sees you, He knows your heart, and He can’t wait to take you back and delight in you and prosper you. I just wanted to remind you that we have been given the precious gift of freedom through Christ to choose our rights from wrongs. I want to encourage you to seek God in this journey that He wants to take you on. Be still, listen to the word of God, listen closely, you have stayed long enough at this mountain (whether it be a job, a break up, a state of mind) God says it’s been enough, get up and take your Journey.>>
I hope that you are encouraged by this, please feel free to share your thoughts with me by using the box below. Also, let me know if you would like to receive more of these in the future! Have a lovely blessed day!
Today is the day! I’m here! I feel twenty three. It’s so real, it’s so tangible, it’s the end of a journey and the start of a brand new one! Today was amazing, this entire month has been amazing. I have seen God inspire so many people to speak His love to me, and not only speak it but show it in a tangible way. I woke up today, alive, blessed, healthy, loved. I started reading the book of Deutoronomy with a reading plan organized by http://www.womenlivingwell.org and it ended today on my 23rd birthday! My mom played a love letter video on youtube as I was getting ready for work this morning. You don’t have to keep reading this if you would like just go and watch this, that would make me smile, to know that you too are watching this and to have hope that you take this love letter for yourself. This is really something that keeps me going every day to know that there is hope, to know that all the promises found in the Scriptures will be fulfilled in God’s perfect timing. I made it to twenty three! Here I am, Eben Ezer, this is true. Watch Here: God’s Love Letter to YOU
Here are the last three lessons that conclude this blog series!
21. Let your inner child grow!
They say we get wiser as we get older, more serious, more professional, and more charming. While this may be true in a way, i learned that as the years pass I grow younger! There is just this amazing feeling that you get as you let your inner child burst! Children are amazing! I love kids because they will always tell you the honest truth, they alway want to make you feel better when you’re sad, they laugh about the little things and the big things, they fight but five minutes later they forget why they were upset, a lollipop can fix a scraped knee, a walk in the park can make their imagination go wild! You see where I’m going with this right? Kids are just amazing and I always want the inner girl inside me to burst out, to make others smile, to have the best day ever (every day) and to live as if there were no tomorrow! Because really, tomorrow is not promised.
Mathew 18:3 Jesus said, “Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.
22. Your inner appearance is so much more important than your outer appearance.
What is inside of you, radiates from the inside out. No expensive clothes, no super elegant hair dos, no high heels are going to change who you are. You don’t become who you are by what you own, or by what you achieve in life. Your character gets molded by what’s in the inside, by how you react when things get tough, by your reaching out to the poor, by putting others before yourself, and so on.
Do not let your adorning be external—the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear—1 Peter 3:3 ESV
23. I learned to let go of faux anchors, and I dropped my anchor in Jesus.
This year has been a year I’ll never forget. I started this year with a broken heart. A broken heart, like in a million little pieces. As the strong woman I was supposed to be I ignored many things that were eating the insides of me. I thought I was strong enough, that I had it all figured out. Little by little and in a very painful process; I was healed. The point of this long series of blog posts really gets summarized in this: I want to tell everyone that God is a real living God, that there is NOONE on this earth that understands, protects, and heals like God does. I looked for answers everywhere and I didn’t find any. I only sunk deeper into pain, struggle, and affliction. My days seemed longer, grayer, lonelier as the twenty two clock turned. I believed Jesus loved me, I’ve been a church girl my entire life. But maybe that’s all I was, a church girl and not a God girl. I had to let go of many faux anchors that I was holding on to. They were taking up my time and distracting me from the One who could put me back together. And I was able to see that I can’t sustain myself, that I don’t have it all figured out, that I know no better than anyone else, that I mess up A LOT, that I got a loooooong way to go. But everything is fine because I’ve got God and He is the one who sustains me, He transforms me every day and I am who I am because I am His, it’s all Him, His relentless love pursued me and he did everything He could to have me back. I’m 23 now, and I am super excited of what God has in store for me, of all that I have yet to learn. I am at peace because I know who holds my future and I know I am loved, chosen, pursued, and redeemed!
Hebrews 6:19 says: we have this as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul, a hope that enters unto the inner place behind the curtain. (ESV)
Thank you so much for reading, for encouraging me with your comments, likes, texts, actual spoken words, and just for being here with me also on this journey! I had so much fun writing this and reminiscing on this past year along with all of you! I pray that this series bless you and if what you got out of my journey is a two percent piece of advice then I’ll take it!
Today was my last day as a 22 year old and well, here’s to a year that taught me a lot, a year that felt like would never come to an end, a year that made me stronger and a year that I will never forget! Here’s to being 22 and turning 23!
17. Not everyone is worth confiding in.
This is probably the hardest lesson I’ve learned. I tend to be more trusting than skeptical about people… In high school I was all about having a bunch of best friends who I could tell everything to. But then life happened… Or at least a couple years happened… But enough time passed to allow me to learn that I don’t need a bunch of close friends. I’m fine with one or two if I’m lucky and even then, I learned not to tell people my darkest deepest secrets. I learned to talk to God behind closed doors because, He listens, He understands, He helps, He transforms, and through those conversations with God I am able to trust people with borders in a healthy way. Im not saying trust no one. What I’m saying is, be picky with who your close friends are. Not everyone deserves your precious deep secrets. Some conversations are to be just between you and the Lord. This is something I’m still working really on but deserves to be on this list considering I’ve made a lot of progress in this area.
18. Coffee is a gift from the heavens.
Seriously! Coffee is just amazing and to all you non coffee drinkers I don’t understand… I just don’t. But to each it’s own, I respect you… Like mad respect! But I just don’t understand.
19. You can’t give from what you don’t have.
I learned that I was not to find love, hope, or faith in someone else but in God who dwells in me. I learned that what I am feeding my soul and nourishing with is more important than I thought it was. I recently watched a video that talks deeply into this lessons, and it’s titled “what well are you drawing from?” By Heather Lindsay. (Will post link below) The music, the books, the tv shows, the people, they all play a huge part in your character developing. They affect you so much if you only draw from them. When I draw from the well of the living water, I can easily give others from what overflows within.
Watch video here: Which well are you drawing from?
20. Everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about so try your best to always be kind.
When I understood this, I started understanding people. Those drivers with road rage on the road, those cashiers with an attitude, the nurse who barely looks at you. I understood that it was nothing that had to do with me personally, but battles that each person is fighting inside. It taught me that compassion is key in life.
Three days away and here are 5 more lessons towards <on my way to twenty three> I pray that these words may be more than words on a platform but that they somehow come alive and inspire hope in your life! I appreciate you so much for reading this, be blessed and may you find that inner peace you are looking for. I found mine in Jesus.
You don’t have to celebrate your birthday like everyone does, if you don’t want to blow candles then don’t. If you want to wear pink, wear the pink. Your year doesn’t have to end with a bang, it doesn’t have to be a huge trip, it doesn’t have to be made up of a ballroom filled with people you barely know for it to be worthy of reflecting on . Your birthday should be about the gift of life, to take time to reflect on everything that has happened, what you’ve learned, and to look forward for what’s coming next. But most importantly, remember to find gratitude in your heart. After all, every day is a gift from above. Remember, not everyone made it through today so don’t take your life for granted.
This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it. Psalm 118:24
Stop apologizing for being you, stop explaining yourself. People who love you and want the best for you don’t need those explanations, they accept you for who you are and move on. I love the recent little voice in my head that goes “do you” and this, I learned from my friend Sarah Gautier who says this more than she realizes but how important is this lesson, just ~do you~ and the rest will all click.
(I JUST noticed we got photo bombed hahah)
Really though. I used to think music could not affect me but it really does. Sad music makes you sad. (Especially after a break up) happy makes you happy. #ChooseJoy
No, you’re not damaged goods. No, you are not waiting for someone to complete you, you are whole. “You’re not half an orange, you’re not even any type of produce; but, if you were, you would be a WHOLE one.” Wise words from Pastor Gregory Bishop.
I praise you for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. Psalm 139:14
16. Adventure over Binge watching Netflix.
Just go out and find something to do, to let your talents grow. Join a group in your community, volunteer for a food pantry or a homeless shelter, go eat with people not with your phone; there are endless opportunities for adventure out there just get off the couch and do something.
Today I want to recommend three lovely women I follow on social media who are always pointing me to Jesus as I scroll and inspire me to dig deeper into the word of God, to be humble, to inspire others, to get out of my comfort zone. They empower woman, they are filled with motivation, inspiration, and great reads so visit them and follow if you wanna!
Also, today I was talking to my cousin about how Adele has a beautiful voice! And we were saying how Lauren Daigle sounds a lot like her! So here, if you’d like to listen to it and let me know if you think she sounds like Adele that’d be so cool! (I also did some research and YouTube seemed to agree) you can click on the link here: Lauren Daigle 💙
Today marks four days left until my birthday! (yay!) As you can tell I am super excited about turning 23, I have so much to be thankful for! Today I am sharing 4 life lessons I learned this year and what hopefully every 23 year old should consider! I am hoping this is a blessing to you beautiful friend reading this!
Lesson 8 through 11 of 23 *for 1-7 scroll down to previous posts*
8. I don’t have everything figured out and IT’S OKAY! (phew)
According to society, by 23 I should have my life together. I should be married, or at least dating trying to find “the one” (because what’s wrong with me if I’m still single right?) I should have a college degree, a stable job, a house, a car, have climbed Mount Everest twice, you get the point, yes? While these things are amazing to achieve, and for those who have (I’m happy for you) I learned that I shouldn’t live by society’s standards. I’m 23 and I may not have everything figured out but it’s okay that I am still trying to navigate life’s lessons. There is a time for everything and if some of those things haven’t happened for me yet, I am trusting that eventually (at the right time) they will. God’s timing is perfect and I believe He has everything under control.
For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven. Eclesiastes 3:1
9. Honor, Respect, and Appreciate your elders (and their wisdom).
Has anyone who is older than you ever tried giving you advice and you thought, “ummm no thanks, nobody can tell me how to live my life.” Well, I did more than once! (i know right? what mimy? you’re not little miss perfect?) I have learned from my past mistakes and I’ve learned that whoever is older than me or younger may and could have great life advice! I learned to take advice from people who mean well, people who have been through life already, I mean who else could be better to tell you, “watch out, there’s moving sand ahead than that one who was able to survive it.” So, this is golden for me, I try to talk to as many people and by talk I mean listen to what they have to say. Both of my grandmothers live in Guatemala and I wish I could spend more time with them, when they visit I soak up in hearing their life stories and lessons. I am proud to say I have been blessed with two 82 year old lovely friends named Myrna and Octulia. They are both amazing woman who have lived through life and I know that whatever they have to say to me I can dig up priceless advice for my life. #winning #wordsforthewise
Likewise, you who are younger, be subject to the elders. Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for God opposes the proud but gives grace to t0he humble.1 Peter 5:5
10. Less is more. Don’t be a hoarder. Blessed to Bless.
Seriously! Why did it take me this long to realize I do not need so. much. stuff. I don’t need 5 different eye shadow palettes, I wear the same color eye shadow almost every day! Or 5 shirts that are the same but “not the same.” Or what felt like a million different sweaters. I am fine without an endless shoe collection, but I know that’s probably just me. When clearing out my closet and my room I felt so much better like I have so much space to breathe now and not because my room is huge but because I have less! Not to mention that donating is such a rewarding experience. I realized I am blessed to bless.
Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. Mathew 6:19-21
11. Step out of your comfort zone while staying true to yourself.
Dare to do things that scare you, that intimidate you, that seem impossible. Have a daring attitude to just go for it, and try it. The worst that could happen is you fail at it and learn from it. Honestly, stepping out of our box makes us grow, it gives us a more open mind, and it makes us feel empowered. But don’t do something “daring” JUST because everyone is doing it. For example, I learned that there are roller coasters I go on and then there are roller coasters i absolutely don’t go on and no peer pressure from anyone no matter who you are is going to make me go on a roller coaster I don’t want to ride. No “the sky is the limit” “you can do anything through Christ who strengthens you” is going to make me do something I have no desire whatsoever on doing. At then end of the day you got to stay true to yourself, your standards, your faith, your morals, you get the idea right? So stand your ground, be daring but also be confident in your yes’s and no’s!
Well the seventh day before my birthday is about to come to an end but, His mercies are new every day! I’ve got a fried plantain in front of me right now with sour cream. I keep burning my tongue because it is so hot but I want to eat it right now. #patience Anyway, if you’ve been reading these silly posts: I LOVE YOU! Thanks for reading, really, I would love to learn more about you and get some feedback so feel free to reach out to me either through this website or on Facebook or Instagram and share what stood out to you the most! Shout out to SG, I know you’re reading this, iloveyou! *pats on back*
Here’s a quick recap of the lessons I’ve shared with you so far:
1. I have yet sooooooo much to learn.
2. I can’t change anyone, only God can.
3. My mom was right about E VE RY thing.
4. People pleasing is not my thing. I am not everyone’s cup of tea and that’s okay.
5. I am not perfect, I am flawed and that’s beautiful.
6. I learned to take a day off.
7. Forgive everyone even when they are not sorry.
& today’s three lessons are:
1.) Be patient. Trust the process. Seek God.
Whatever is for you will come. You do not need to rush into anything, especially relationships! I learned to be still in the midst of the waiting period… It’s so much easier to take things into our own hands or so we often think. But it’s not, when we don’t wait and we make things happen, we end up in messy situations. Just like the fried plantains burned my tongue… when something looks good but it is not ready for you, don’t make it happen. Just be patient and whatever needs to happen will eventually happen. Meanwhile, grab a copy of your favorite book, have a coffee and enjoy a sunrise or you know, the little things. At 23, I can honestly say, I have learned to be patient in the midst of waiting and I can write a whole lot on this topic so I’ll just keep it short here, be patient. Trust the process and Seek God!
Seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. Therefore, do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious about itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble. (ESV) Mathew 6:33-34
2.) Be an active listener and make eye contact with EVERY single one.
Being an active listener is so much more than just being quiet when someone is talking. It is actually paying attention to what they are saying, making eye contact, connecting with them in a personal level, and offering feedback upon request. I’ve learned to be slow to speak and quick to listen. It’s definitely a work in progress but I learn so much from others just by listening to what they have to say. Active listening means I care about you, you matter, and you are important. It’s putting others before yourself.
I read God Girl by HaiLey Dimarco and I could read it every day probably. It taught me so much about how to become a God Girl, not a good girl but a God girl. And one of the biggest lines that stuck out to me is on page 85 and it says “Looking at people in the eyes is kindness. It says to them, ‘You count.’ And it reminds them that we are all part of the same human race. When you avoid looking people in the eyes, you seem cold and unattached, and that doesn’t help to spread the love of Christ but hides it.” I learned that my life is not a movie where I am the star and everyone who is not my family member or close friend is an extra. I learned that my life is a movie where God is the star and we all play equal parts who are just as important as every single person on this earth.
3.) Happiness is not a destination, it’s a journey.
Happiness cannot be achieved by reaching a destination (a dream house, car, job, degree, pair of shoes for example.) Seriously, anything you can think of, if you want it really bad and you think that once you get that job or that house or that husband, <that only then> you will be completely happy, let me tell you this: I don’t know much in life but I have learned that this is completely false. You will not be happy once you reach that milestone because you weren’t happy in the midst of waiting and working for it. Happiness is a journey, a state of mind. Whenever you feel tired and sick of waiting… choose joy.
I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me. Philippians 11-13 (ESV)
Today, I spent the evening with some of my favorite people at Radical Culture Boston learning about Old Testament Law. We learned about two types of laws: Apodictic Law and Casuistic Law.
Apodictic Law: Direct commands that were generally applicable and taught the Israelites how to fulfill their part of the covenant with God. Leviticus 19:9-14.
Casuistic Law: Instructions for case by case scenarios. They describe certain conditions that may happen in certain types of situations of people. Deuteronomy 15:12-17
By what Pastor Sarah taught, I learned that when God is using the word shall He is using it as a direct command. When there is an “If” followed by a “Then” then those ‘shalls’ in between are only applicable to that certain law and scenario. Only the commandments that He renews in the New Testament are applicable to us today. Even though Old testament law is not applicable today it can certainly teach us a lot about how to love each other and how to treat others with kindness and justice.
I am eight days away from being a full 23, fearfully and wonderfully made. Knitted together in my mother’s womb, in the secret place, by the hands of The Greatest with a promise that is still in the making. I love to meditate on this every day, every part of me was carefully knitted together in my beautiful mother’s womb. Who am I to criticize God’s work, He made me in His image, to Him I am beautiful, chosen, His most treasured possession.
For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. (ESV) Psalm 139
Here are today’s three life lessons! (squeelsss.., eeeeek)
1.) People pleasing is not my thing. I am not everyone’s cup of tea and that’s okay. People pleasing is really not my thing, it was (so I thought) for a very long time, but not anymore. #Grace I have learned that people are so hard to please, you really cannot make everyone like you. When you try to make people like you and they do, you end up not liking yourself. Booo, that’s not so fun because guess who you live with? haaaa yeah! yourself! So, if you don’t like your own self, we are in big trouble. This is how I ended up feeling so sick and tired during past seasons in my life because I was so focused on what people would think about me and I barely ever really asked what God thought of me! When i took my eyes off the people and focused my eyes on Jesus, boy did my life change. This did not mean I now don’t care what people think and I live recklessly without taking into account other people’s feelings, not at all. If anything it taught me that by aiming to be like Jesus people will respect me for not trying to make them like me but for staying true to myself. I am not trying to imitate others so they can like me, I am not in the business of people pleasing… my goal is for Jesus to look to me and say “That’s my girl!” and that is enough.
Bondservants, obey in everything those who are your earthly masters, not by way of eye-service, as people-pleasers, but with sincerity of heart, fearing the Lord.
Colossians 3:22 ESV
2.) I am not perfect, I am flawed and that’s beautiful. I learned to point my eyes to Jesus. As I seek more and more of Him, my cry for him to increase and my ol’ self to decrease. Why? Here, I’ll be happy to tell you why : ) see, when I go against what God says I tend to, be selfish, I am angry, I am sad, I am anxious, I am rebellious, I hurt people, I lie, I make fun of people in a cruel way, I hurt myself, I am quick to speak and slow to hear, I judge, I manipulate. And you could say well shouldn’t you want to be a good person naturally without having to read God’s word? Well yeah, we all want to be kind and all that good stuff but we are human! We make mistakes, we get tired, when we live by the flesh and not by the spirit we tend to do things that go against what God intended for us.
When I am in God’s word I am learning (and probably not perfected it but it’s a process) to be selfless, to think of others before I think of myself, to speak truth, to guard my heart, to be slow to speak and fast to hear, to be slow to anger, to not sin when I get angry, to think of others higher than myself, to love, to accept, to obey my parents, to respect my elders, to respect authority, to be content in every situation etc. I am learning all these things not by my self but God is teaching me and when I tire, I can come to Him, He listens to me, He fills my cup, and He renews my strength. It’s beautiful to be flawed because I can sit at the feet of Jesus and learn all about Him, to be more like Him, to walk like Him, to treat others as He treated them not as church goers do but as Jesus did. So, I stopped looking at the church, I stopped looking at the world, I started looking at Him.
Set your mind on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. Colossians 3:2
3.) I learned to take a day off. Umm yeah, you read that right. I grew up to believe that my worth and identity was solely based on my grades, my professional career, extracurricular activities, talents, etc. you get the picture. So if this was the case, you best believe I was always working. I did not want to fail ever, so I worked hard but maybe too hard and I barely got any time to take care of myself. I was too tired to use face toner, too tired to brush my hair, too tired to come up with an outfit, etc. I’m so glad I learned that rest is so important and that there is nothing wrong with taking a day off. Take time for yourself! Choose sleep, choose joy, choose food. Use your time wisely, feed your body good foods, feed your soul with good soul food. Love yourself and stop waiting for someone to come sweep you off your feet and love you because you will never know what love is if you do not start by loving yourself first. We only give from what we have, if we have abundant love, we will give plenty of love.If we are starved of love, we cannot give what we don’t have.
Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. (NIV) Mathew 11:28
(I didn’t take a day off today but I did make some time to get my birthday nails done! I picked three different colors because once you get to a certain age you are no longer scared of the manicurist at the salon and you tell her exactly how you like your nails. Haa jk I was so scared and she was kind of mad but we both got over it and I got three different colors on meu unhas! yay!)
Song I overplayed this year, Give In | Lecrae
Song just for funsies: I actually love this song so much, it makes my heart sing 🙂 God Girl
Book that taught me a lot: God Girl By Hayley DiMarco
Blogger Spotlight #2
This is kind of a blog, it’s a magazine and they do have blog posts by various authors and it feeds my soul with so much Bible truth. It has helped me so much and I hope that you are blessed by it also! Here is the link: Whole Magazine They post daily devotionals as well and if you are looking for creative ways to get into scripture, again we have a winner!
Today on my way to twenty three, I went to take my mom to the airport, once again I admire her strong character, how brave she is, and how diligent she is. Also, check out her fashion sense!!! My role model!!
I got to work and to my surprise a sweet coworker brought a delicious oreo cheesecake! Yep, you best believe I enjoyed it so much and of course took a picture to share with you all! I showed her the picture and she approved and asked me to send it to her so she could share it also! #Love Here it is, again #SorryNotSorry
And here’s a picture of me living the cube life! 1.5 years in the field!
I am 9 days away from turning twenty three! With a heart full of gratitude I sit here eating a plate of home made potatoes. There is so much to be thankful for, so so so much. Have you heard that saying “you learn something new every day”? Well, after doing mad research for twenty three years I have come up with a list of 8,395 things I have learned in my entire life. HAA just kidding! That would be crazy, but soooo cool. Anyway, this past year has been a total game changer for sure , I have definitely learned important life lessons and it’s the year that God really got rid of so many fake anchors I was holding on to. twenty two was the year I discovered who I was by understanding who I belong to! The year that I spent the most time on my knees in my life overall. I reached some pretty low moments when i turned twenty two but oh Lord you are so good! His mercy and grace is something that protected me, picked me up, and put me back together little by little. I am able to experience God’s love every day in a way I had never experienced before and I am just so thankful to be alive and about to turn veinte y tres! (mariachis play in the background)
I will be sharing 3 lessons each day as I count down to my birthday! Here they are:
1.) Forgive everyone even when they are not sorry not because they deserve it but because you deserve peace. Also, because the Lord has forgiven you and does not remember your faults and brings them up later. The Lord taught me this first hand and once I was able to forgive and turn it over to the Lord I was set free. Forgive forgive forgive!
For I will be merciful toward their iniquities and I will remember their sins NO MORE. (ESV) Hebrews 8:12
2.) I can’t change anyone, only God can. God has commanded us to love one another as He has loved us (John 15:12), the second half of the great commandment is to love your neighbor as yourself. So where do we get the idea that we can, by our own means, change someone. I have learned that my job is to only love those who are hard to love, to accept them and see them as who they are (sons and daughters of God), and encourage them by pointing them to Jesus Christ who is the only one who has the power to transform, redeem, and to save. I can: pray, love, accept them. I cannot: judge, change, or manipulate them.
Therefore let us not pass judgement on one another any longer, but rather decide NEVER to put a stumbling block or hindrance in the way of a brother… do not destroy the one for whom Christ died… For the Kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking but of righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. (ESV) Romans 14:13-17
3.) My mom was right about E VE RY thing. Kudos to you mom, thanks for being the Proverbs 31 woman. I wish I had known you were right about everything back when I was fifteen I mean, I kind of knew but hey it only took me twenty three years to be absolutely sure! So, if I had to pick one thing to give to you as a piece of advice and for you to hold on to it really tight and to not only listen but practice it would be to always listen to your mom, love her, spend time with her, be friends with your mom. Really, you have a precious jewel that the Lord has given you to lead you in life, always take her advice, listen closely for what she has to say and aim to be like her. Foreal, how come every time I can’t find something ( I look really hard) and she comes in and finds it right in front of me. That takes some super powers that the Lord has given moms every where of any race and tongue so I admire my mother so much for that! Thank you baby Jesus for giving me such a sweet, wise, kind hearted mom!
Many women have done excellently, but you surpass them all. Charm is deceitful and beauty is in vain, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised. (ESV) Proverbs 29-30
The best lesson I learned this year is that I have yet sooooooo much to learn and I thank God for bringing me to my knees at the start of this year. I thank Him for picking me up plucking the thorns that were encrusted in my heart (it hurt so bad) and holding me putting me back together piece by piece in the times of struggles, fears, and anxiety and giving me a heart open to His word, open to possibility, to instruction from my elders, a heart eager to learn all of that which He will teach me day by day! I am not perfect and I know that the Lord is not finished with me, if anything He is just finally getting started!
Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me His own. Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do, forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. (ESV) Philippians 3:12-14
Recommended Song !
I want to share this song, if you have the time to watch it I hope it blesses you. Everything it says is so close to my heart. I lived this. This is the love that changed me. It wasn’t until I handed God control over every single area in my life that I was able to rest at His feet… “My heart beating, my soul breathing, I FOUND MY LIFE WHEN I LAID IT DOWN, upward falling spirit soaring.. i touched the sky when my knees hit the ground! Find me here at your feet again, everything I am reaching out I surrender, come sweep me up in your love again! ”
Scripture Studies and Blogger spotlight:
I am loving this shop, I highly recommend it if you are looking for creative ideas to dig deeper into Scripture. Kristin Schmucker Shop and follow Kristin’s blog, I feel like I know her from reading her blog. Here is the link Kristin’s Blog. She is definitely rooted in the Word and her life is so inspiring and encouraging. I hope it blesses you like it did for me.
Books I highly Recommend #1
Lastly on today’s blog post I want to highlight some pretty sweet things that have happened for my birthday month so far! : ) yesterday, as I started my Tuesday with a “looking for lovely” outlook, I was surprised by my supervisor with the MAY cupcake from Georgetown Cupcakes! I am about to be 23 and I can honestly say that a love for cupcakes has JUST been born in my heart! I had my first George town cupcake with two of my lovely friends Sarah and Paula! Paula was so excited to share with me her favorite which is the April cupcake and we had some in the lobby as we waited to go see Hillsong in concert. Pretty awesome! Here’s a picture of the ones we had yesterday at work! #Sorrynotsorry
Also, I have already received two super sweet gifts and one of my coworkers took me to eat sushi for lunch! (I LOVE SUSHI) so yay for celebrating a birthday month! Here are some pictures about that! Top two pictures are a gift I got from one of my dear sister in Christ! She is so sweet and seeing her smile with excitement as she called me to the girls bathroom filled me with so much joy! The thought she put into picking these precious items for me was a glimpse of how God is with us! He takes the time to know us and provide for every need we may have! The bottom pictures are a gift i received all the way from San Fran! One of my friends whom is studying in Boston has become like a step brother as my parents have adopted him as one of us! His family sent me this super cool coffee traveler’s mug and because they also know me and my slightly unhealthy love for coffee they got me a Starbucks gift card! The Lord is good and it amazes me to see how in the midst of the crazy, the broken, and the imperfect He reminds me of how much He loves me and how special I am to Him! The lives He touches to think of me are to me God’s way of saying “you are my daughter, my treasured possession”
Every good gift and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change. James 1:17
Have you ever been told that because you are young then you should not care, stay out all night, and date date date? I have. I have been told this many times. By close friends, through social media, and I have even said this to my self before.
Now, let’s back up right there… How did I get there? How did I at one point think it was okay to go about my love life by my own means? The only explanation I can come up with is that I was enduring singleness instead of really living my life to the fullest. I was looking left and right for answers, for a comforting word, for anything that would give me true peace and joy. I was in desperate need of attention.
Now, aiming to stay super real and vulnerable with you I will have to admit; I have not gotten this whole ‘being content in singleness’ thing figured out. There are moments of doubt, fear, and anxiousness. I will not sit here and give you a formula or recipe to never feel doubtful, fearful, or anxious. Because there really isn’t one. We are all human and we all have our ups and downs. (see below)
Although, I do want to share something with you in hopes that you too will have a perpetual ‘i am loved’ state of mind. That no matter what wilderness you are going through, you can too, have trust and faith in someONE so much bigger than us, someone so powerful, almighty, merciful, faithful, kind, loving, and I can keep on going on how great our God is. I am not promising a perfect life where nothing goes wrong, I am not saying that all the feelings mentioned above will disappear because trust me they will still sneak up on you when you least expect it.
The lies of the enemy are so subtle, they sneak up on you, planting a small seed that overtime only becomes self-destruction, it only leads you to pain, deception, and hurt. Because that is what the devil intends. I like the way Lauren Chandler puts it in her book, Steadfast Love:”Whether you know it or not, there is an enemy of our souls who hates steadfast anchors and loves to deceive us into trusting faux-anchors. (fake anchors) His desire to deceive is nothing compared to the steadfast love of the Lord. As we drop the anchor, we steady ourselves for an opposing current.”
Whether you know it or not. Stop right there. Think about that for a sec. Whether we know it or not the enemy is always trying to get us into that anxious state of mind. We sit there and feed into negative, doubtful thoughts and sure enough we end up enduring singleness. Only trying our best but eventually not feeling content, fulfilled, and whole as a single person. The problem is not feeling this way, the problem is feeding into it, digging ourselves into a hole where it is so hard to come out of.
I have been broken down, humbled, and the Lord has been able to really test my heart and what was in it. I did not realize this, I mean, I have always been a ‘church girl’ I have tried to do my best always but it was so much easier to give into sadness and anxiousness because my anchor was not in the Lord. I admit it, He was not first in my life. This really is what it comes down to. Who is in control of your life? Who is in your mind all the time? Who do you depend upon? Who do you follow? Who gives you joy and peace?
There is Someone that completely changed my life all around but staying on topic… my outlook on my love life. Someone who met me at my darkest, lowest, saddest. Someone who decided to reach out to me, to love me when I felt so unlovable. I didn’t know I had the answer all along. It was sitting beside my bed all these years, I had just not realized it. I found so many truths, truths that were proven to me in a real tangible way. I felt the true love, how He pursued me. I always read the Bible, but it rarely ever came alive, it rarely ever comforted me. Ever since I gave my entire life to Him, when I read God’s word it comes alive every time. You know that verse, “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path” (See Psalm 119:105) ? THAT VERSE is foreal! His word is really a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. That is another topic for another day though.
God definitely used the time of brokenness and pain to bring me closer to Him. When i fell down to my knees, that’s when he met me. Right beside me, HE was there all this time. I have this hope as a sure and steadfast anchor of my soul, a hope that enters into the inner place behind the curtain. (See, Hebrews 6:19)
God had revealed himself to me in many seasons of my life, I had seen His hand move in my life. But, I had not given Him control of every area. He used a break up to teach me that I had to let go of my pride. Through that break up I came back to His feet. More thirsty than ever, more desperate, seeking him whole heartedly. He met me. This is what I want you to take from this. He meets us at our darkest points in life and He gives us what is best for us. If we seek Him wholeheartedly, He reveals Himself. There really is no better place to be than at the feet of Jesus. The joy, peace, and comfort I have found at His feet is all I ever needed. He knew that, He did whatever it took to have me back.
I want to take this last paragraph to recommend a book that changed my life. It opened up my eyes to the truth. It pointed me to God’s word in such a beautiful way where I started reading the Bible as a love letter. A letter directly to me. You have to read this book, even though two married woman wrote it, (because I was hesitant to read it tbh I thought well they are married and im not) but they write with such love, humbleness, and realness. The book is called Spoken For by Alyssa Bethke and Robin Jones. Must read.
The Bible to me is not just a book, it’s my love letter, it’s where I come closer to God, where I get to know Him. My favorite scripture is Psalm 139. This is God telling me He knows me, He created me and nothing is a secret to Him. Wherever I go, whatever I say, He already knows it. So why should I worry about my future when I know who holds it! When I point my eyes to Jesus, when I stop looking left and right but look up to my creator, my beloved, my comforter, my peace, my joy, there really is no room for the enemy’s lies to set up tent in my heart. As soon as doubts and fears try to overflow me, I look up to Jesus and I am able to be still in His presence knowing that He has plans of Hope for my future, of prosperity(See, Jeremiah 29:11). I trust him completely knowing in his perfect timing He will unfold His plans for me. Through it all, I am just focusing on Him, on drawing close to Him (See, Hebrews 4:16)
I want to encourage you to dig through Scripture and take verses, chapters, anything that hits home, take it and make it yours as the Lord has given His word to us. Once you start meditating on these truths your focus will shift to seek the Lord and all His righteousness and everything will be added to you. This is a promise found in the Bible and I am writing to you as a single girl who has all her trust in the Almighty God that whatever is for me, He will provide. For now, I will just focus on loving him, serving him by serving my community, and preparing myself to be the wife God is making me to be. Walking by Faith and never by sight. (See Hebrews 11)
JLm&Y, thanks for reading!