on my way to twenty three (4)

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!

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Photo By: Nelson Salas
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!

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Photo By : Nelson Salas

 

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on my way to twenty three

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!

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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 

Life Lesson!

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! ”

Touch The Sky – Hillsong United

 

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.

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Books I highly Recommend #1

Spoken For | Alyssa Joy Bethke and Robin Joness Gunn

 

Steadfast Love | Lauren Chandler

 

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

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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