on my way to twenty three (8)

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.

image

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.

IMG_1798.JPG

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!)

FullSizeRender-4.jpg

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!!

IMG_1761.PNG

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 #SorryNotSorryIMG_1771.JPG

And here’s a picture of me living the cube life! 1.5 years in the field!

IMG_1773.JPG

 

 

 

Advertisements

We are young wild and f r e e. Enduring Vs Living the Single Life

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!

imageAndrea

A journey is when you go on a journey

What does it mean to mean something? it means that you mean what you mean. But, how do we know we really mean what we mean and what it means to mean something?

Well, that’s a glimpse of how I feel when I am doubtful, fearful, and wandering. I need an answer and I used to look everywhere for it. No one and nothing could give me the answer I was looking for.

Who do you go to when you doubt Jesus? You go to Jesus Himself and cry out to him, surely enough He answered me and I cannot wait to share real life stories with you. I will write about how Jesus’ hand moved in my brothers life from beginning to where He is now, (He is truly a miracle of God) How Jesus saved me from an undercover shoot out in Revere Ma that I innocently walked by. How He sustained me and held me through four years of college being an undocumented immigrant. How he took me and my family out of a flooded basement. How Jesus was with me in the train ride to high school my freshman year in New York and the things I saw there. How through all of life Jesus has always been there with me and if I had not seen it or felt it, that was all on me. But now, I see Him and feel him and all of what He’s done for me, He did it because He loves me and not because I lived a certain life style. The things I did, and do every day do NOT define who Jesus is and I hope that I can share that with you in case you did not know. I’m sorry if you have encountered a pastor or a leader that has made you doubt in your faith or has made you stumble leading you to walk away from the Lord. I hope that you stay with me and that you give me a read.

I pray over these words and all I want to be is a source for God to speak to your life through what He is done in mine. Jesus is Lord of steadfast love and He does not control us, He only loves us and sustains us. He makes the sun rise over good and evil. With that being said, I am nothing and no one. “Just an instrument in the hands of the greatest” (had to quote my fave rapper Lecrae) So yeah, I am no one really, I’m not so interesting and maybe my life could be boring at times so if I was going to talk all about me I probably would not have much to say. It’s Him, He is the one, He is everything and I want to take this resource to glorify Him and share with nonbelievers about what I found and what in His name I pray you are able to find as well and that you are able to believe also.

This blog is the beginning of a journey where I will intentionally document life moments where I find joy and also life moments where things are hard and it’s harder to find that joy that we are commanded to live with. I aim to be super real with whoever is reading this and that my journey can not only entertain you but mainly inspire you, help you, minister you in any way possible. If my contribution to your day is 2% then I’ll take that! I know that the Lord is good and my focus is to shadow him and be an example of what it’s like to put all your trust in Him.

So, welcome and I hope you join me every week for a glimpse of real in a world full of make believe. Thanks for reading, be blessed.

JLY&M

Mimy Andrea.