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.

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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.

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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!)

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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!!

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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!

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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

 

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.