Wednesday, February 20, 2013

My Struggle With Prayer

As I've mentioned before, I've been trying to pray more. I've gotten to a place in my life where I am comfortable, and there really isn't much challenging me at the moment. I've reached a plateau.

Unfortunately, we all reach plateaus at one point or another and it feels as if we've hit a standstill. Where do I go from here?

It is through these plateaus that we must pray the most, study the bible the most, and be as close to God as possible. These plateaus are our testing periods, and where the devil tries his hardest to make us fall. He will do anything in his power to make us tremble, cry, break down, and lose hope.

Most of the time, it isn't until the devil starts poking us that we remember to pray. We can't afford to be comfortable where we are. This world is not our home, so why do we feel comfortable?

Challenge yourself to constantly be uncomfortable and in constant contact with God. Many times we think He's left us when in reality we've left Him. We've told Him we can do it ourselves, we're powerful, we're strong, we can win, but we can't! We are measly little humans. We need help from He who is all powerful, almighty, and always loving.

God is only a knee-bend away!

Monday, February 18, 2013


So these last couple of Sabbaths my husband and I have been in a Sabbath morning class that has been talking about finances and how to handle it.

Something the book said was "you can not be a committed follower of Jesus Christ and remain irresponsible with your money". Wow that really got to me. Jesus needs us to be responsible with our money. We need to use our money in a way we think HE would use our money. I don't think HE would spend his money on a video game when there is someone out there that needs those 40 bucks more than you.

"No one can serve two masters. Either you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You can not serve both God and money." (Luke 16:13)
 Some may be surprised but the Bible does speak a lot about money, and how God wants us to use it.

"For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also" Matthew 6:21

 "God doesn't want your money, but he doesn't want your money to have you." That was interesting. In this society we think only about ourselves and what we can get- what is out there that's new and better than what I have. Now, don't get me wrong, having things are good but there are people out there who buy cars that they can't afford or a house that is way more than their budget and then they have to take out a double mortgage. The sad thing is we get those things because society tells us bigger nicer things are better. But bigger is not always better and more is not always better. I've heard it a million times there are billionaires who have everything and are still not happy. Why? Because material things do not make people happy. A couple years ago I went to Peru to help build a church. I went to a really poor section in Peru where the kids wore the same clothes every single day and they were the happiest people I've ever met. I was so happy there too. They had nothing and they were so happy!

Something that my husband and I have been doing these last couple weeks have been tracking our spending. The first week we found out we spent a lot of money on food. Eating out I think in one week was like $120 just for us two. Think about it. Let's say we do that every week (which we have done) that's almost $500 a month. Now in a year that's like $6,000.  WOW! Now that's just food and we also buy food for home, so we have food at home but we still eat out so that is a lot. That money can go to help some one else out- someone who is less fortunate than us.

We need to set financial goals so we can move forward in life and go where God wants us to go in life.

I think my goal would be to be able to live comfortably and give as much as I can. Giving and helping really makes me happy.

So last thing.. Another thing we've been doing is started to give our tithe (10%) to God which is a hard one sometimes to do cause sometimes it feels like how can I give 10%? I barely have enough for myself or my bills. Well it does feel like that, but I notice that when I do I feel happy and I always end up being able to pay all my bills and get other things I want. God will help you. He doesn't want you to fail. He wants you to go forward. So why, if you're giving back to Him, would he not let you pay your bills?

Friday, February 15, 2013

Rejection: God feels it too

This week I came to an abrupt realization that most of my life has been filled with rejection from people I didn't know, people I wanted to like me, people I dearly cared about, and even family members.

Growing up I was never the cute girl, so I never had a secret admirer, and my first boyfriend didn't happen until I was seventeen and a half. I was never the one to dump- I was dumped. Every time. There are a lot of things my parents did to make me feel rejected as well. Don't get me wrong.. I love them dearly and they did what they could, but we're all human and everyone makes mistakes. At church, the youth is usually rejected and reprimanded- nothing different in my case. I wasn't fantastic at sports, but I did get a pity spot on a team freshman and sophomore year in soccer. (lol) As I was super skinny because of a speedy metabolism, my body type was rejected by my peers as healthy and I was labeled "anorexic" by them (even though I could eat twice as much as any of them).

It's the worst feeling in the world to be rejected over and over again isn't it?

At first I thought that after I got married I would never have to deal with those feelings again. I thought nobody's rejection would matter anymore because I'd have a loving husband that would give me the world. Oh, I was wrong. The fact is life is life. It keeps going, and there is not one person in this world that can make rejection easier.

I am being brought to tears right now. Can you imagine the pain Jesus has to go through every second? He not only gets rejected by us, but also forgotten, ignored, pushed aside, left for last, despised... As humans it is so easy to get carried away in our own little worlds, goals, tasks, to-do lists, children, spouses, etc. that we forget him so easily. We reject His calling.

This week I also came to realize I'm doing way too much at one time. I'm working part time at a design firm, I'm managing my husband's business, I'm trying to start up my own business, I'm a mom to a toddler (that alone should be enough), I'm a wife, I'm a teacher for teens at my church, and I'm doing the Luke bible study over at Good Morning Girls! How am I still alive?!

Through all of this I've pushed my God aside. Yeah, I'm studying, but I'm not really studying. Do you know what I mean? Sometimes we just go through the motions and think it's enough. Sadly, it's not. If you're not doing it wholeheartedly, don't even bother.
Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it. Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. So I do not run aimlessly; I do not box as one beating the air. But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified. (1 Corinthians 9:24-27)
Don't let yourself be the one to be disqualified from this run! Don't just run to run- REALLY RUN. Let God be your legs, so that you may win. I am currently working on trying to pray more. It's something I've let myself get used to being without, and it's not a great feeling. It's a lonely feeling. Will you join me and take two minutes out of your day and just talk to Him?

Friday, February 8, 2013

Be My Valentine- Marriage Challenge

Week 3! It's all in the lips. ;)

Oh how excited I was about this week's challenge! I always loved kissing. Over time the kissing becomes less and less. But it doesn't have to be that way! It was pretty awkward trying to kiss my husband in a passionate way. Really, I must've forgotten when is an appropriate time to kiss him. By the way, trying to kiss him passionately after a 14 hour day when he's almost half asleep is NOT a good idea. You'll get rejected, and it'll cause you to be upset. I learned that the hard way- almost. I still kiss him while he's sleeping sometimes. ;)

Don't forget to surprise that special man with some lip-lovin'!

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Oh, how time flies!

Today was the last day that I could say I have a one year old! She will be two tomorrow!!

I still remember exactly where I was when I found out I was pregnant. Wow.. It feels like ages ago! I've changed so much these past few years and it's only because I've let my God and Savior take over my life. This is something I don't normally tell people, but I've felt more and more compelled to let others know what I've been through..

I was 19. I was crazy, rebellious, in college- not a care in the world. I had just gotten a boyfriend but didn't think much of our relationship. He was perfect! He loved me, drove far for me, cared about me, went to church with me, had a car, had a respectable job- the whole package. I knew he was in love with me. I could see it in his eyes, but I couldn't bring myself to be crazy about him. (It makes me so sad to write this.) If I knew then what I know now..

Anyway, he wanted to get married. Since I was a crazy, wild teen I said yes. We had only been dating for like 2 months! What was I thinking?! A week later we found out I was pregnant. "Okay. Either way I'm going to be around this man for the rest of my life, might as well make it into a good experience."

So we got married.. Just the two of us with a judge in a courthouse. Two young, clueless people ready to embark on a lifelong journey that never gets easier.

After we got married, we were smart enough to set down some basic ground rules:
1. No going out to clubs or bars
2. No girls night out or guys night out
3. No alcohol in our house
4. No cursing in our house
5. Everyone under our roof WILL go to church every weekend

Looking back.. I was only 19! I know 19 year olds (and even older) that would NEVER agree to these rules. I knew this was an important commitment and I was not going to allow the devil into my relationship that easily! I knew I was doing things that were unpleasing to God, thinking thoughts I shouldn't, planning stuff that would only lead to self-ruin...

So I prayed. (and changed my ways, thoughts, and plans- but that's another story)

Oh, I prayed. I prayed and prayed and prayed. My husband had agreed to the rules but had a hard time with his language and getting up every weekend to go to church. (I wish I could find the drive to pray as much as I did then- now. I'm trying.) Sometimes I'd pray and weep to God. I wanted to have a happy marriage, but things were very difficult at the time. My new husband was unemployed for three months and I was a student at an art school. (Art school drains your pockets.) I was pregnant and extremely hormonal. All I could do was pray. I didn't know anything else. All I knew was that God was powerful, that faith could move mountains, and that nothing was impossible by His side.

And.. It worked!

Within three (very tough) months my husband decided to give his life to Christ and he got baptized. Oh, what a happy day that was for me! I've been in the church ever since I was a young girl, and I'd seen so many people try to bring others into the church without much success. But we were different! I allowed God to do all the work.. All I did was pray- and constantly.

Today, I thank God for allowing me to get pregnant before marriage. You might be saying, "What?!" If I wouldn't've been pregnant, I honestly would not have gotten married. I would've kept going on the path that I was going, and I would've destroyed my life.

God used my husband and my baby to save me from myself.
I can never thank Him enough for what He's done for me, what He keeps doing for me, and what He will do for me in the future!

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. (Jeremiah 29:11)
For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith. (1 John 5:4)
For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen. (Romans 11:36) 
If you're going through a hard time, don't try to control the situation. Just have faith that God is taking care of you. He will always be right by your side. He loves you so much! All you have to do is seek Him and believe in Him. Easier said than done. Trust me, I know. Practice makes perfect! Keep praying, keep believing, and He will reward you.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Just keep swimming..

Alright, I know I'm a little old for Finding Nemo, but that song sure lightens my spirits and helps me keep pushing forward- especially after the past couple weeks!

I'm an interior designer and was sought out by my church to create designs for our stage last year. I agreed wholeheartedly. At the time I was finishing my last year of college and was totally overwhelmed by the amount of work I had to do for school, but I made time to select finishes and create three designs. The first time I presented them to the board of directors and seemed to get a good response from most people. Anyway, a lot of drama happened in between that presentation and my next presentation to the church in general.

The devil never sleeps.

It is so sad to see grown men and women act like children because they're not getting what they want. There has been a group of people at my church that have thrown full blown adult tantrums about the designs. Yes, I'm only 22, and these people are acting like children. I don't know what it is that makes them act the way they do. At my last presentation these people told me (in front of the whole church) that I don't know what I'm doing, that my designs are ugly, that I've bought the pastor (really?!), that they know more than I do about structural walls, etc. It doesn't end.

But... God never sleeps, either!

This whole process has been a very rough one for me as it is my first "real-life" project. Other designers who've been working for longer than I have assure me it's good that I'm dealing with all these people early on as it will prepare me for the future. Sometimes I just want to quit and let them do whatever they want. But when I started working on this project I made a commitment to God that I'd make sure this would get done right, because He deserves nothing less! It was my promise to God to do all this for free as well, and these people make it hard to want to keep that promise sometimes.

I am proud to say that at my last presentation I realized there are more people in favor of what I'm doing than not in favor. I have faith that my God will stay with me throughout this whole process and He will be victorious!

All I have to do is just keep swimming!

Then Jesus answered, "Woman, you have great faith! Your request is granted."... (Matthew 15:28)

Friday, February 1, 2013

A little late..

Hi all! This week I was sick and unable to blog, but I'm feeling a tad better today. (Yay!) Anyway, this week was the second week of the Marriage Challenge. Even though my husband was the one showing most of the love, I was able to show him my appreciation too. When we first got married, we used to leave each other sticky notes everywhere. So, in honor of our newlywed love, I did this:

These sticky notes are a great and flexible way to show each other love. You can get as creative as you want! I love them!! Anyway, it has now been 4 days and the sticky notes are still there. He loves them! Since I was sick he made me tea, gave me a massage, cooked dinner, bought me flowers, and a huge balloon. (I totally love balloons!) 

What has everyone been doing for their husbands? I need ideas for next week!