Jekyll vs Hyde

In life, I like to live my life as transparent as I can. With me, usually what you see is what you get. I believe the only exception is my mind. That’s a rather odd statement considering I share SO much, but at the same time I feel when it comes to how my mind and thought process works, I don’t share fully. Many times I believe I have shared completely when maybe I only share 50%. The problem is, I don’t think it’s possible for me to share completely all of my thoughts; there’s just WAY too many swirling around all at once. I tend to just stew because I feel like I will be a burden if I speak any of my “issues”, so I tend to just be to others what I need for myself. Now, there’s nothing wrong with being the positivity for others, bringing light into their world, but it should cause you to neglect your own light. 

I, for as long as I can remember, have always been the light for so many, that when it comes to my life, I am dark. I am the complete opposite in my own life, for myself,  than I am with everyone else. Why? I have no idea. It’s as if I use up all my energy and positivity to build others up, until I just have nothing left for myself. In every aspect of my life, whatever relationship it may be, I always put others before myself and I move my own issues to the very bottom of the “to do” list. In my mind, when someone needs help, it’s MY job to fix their problems. I take their problems so personally, that their problems become more of my problems than their own; not even they would feel as troubled by their issues. I’m just such a feelings person. I swear to you, I can feel the feelings of others and usually without them ever saying a word…it’s like an extra sense. I always view it as a God-given gift. I truly live to help others and make them laugh and just fix their problems. I live to make others happy, but what happens when I need the laugh, the compliment, the conversation, the hug, the words of encouragement, the positivity, the smile or just the help? Who can help me?

We all have those people in our lives who will say, “I’m always here for you” but I’ve come to find that maybe, for most (not all), that these words are uttered out of a sense of obligation. Maybe they feel they HAVE to say this or it makes them feel better to say this, but most people mean, “I’m always here for you…IF I have the time.” Numerous times in my life, I have set aside my own issues to help everyone. I have been in full on panic and anxiety yet I say let me help or I just simply listen.  I didn’t always have the time, but I MADE the time. I put all else in my life aside to help. It’s hard, at times, not to let that cause bitterness. I am not that kind of person, nor do I want to be, but at times you have these thoughts that tell you that no one really cares about you. When you have so many thoughts swirling around in your mind, you tend to get overwhelmed and easily stressed out, so the negative becomes much more easier to believe. At times, you want to say that you need help, but you know no one would pay attention anyway, nor would they understand.

I am not writing this to garner sympathy, but rather to make people aware that even the most positive people in your lives, those who bring you so much joy or make you laugh or are always there for you, they need help too. They are struggling too, so don’t forget them when things are going good for you or when you feel better. I have so many thoughts going on all the time that I feel guilty for thinking most of them. I’m like, my life is good, I have God in my heart, my babies are healthy, happy and just so beautiful, I have an amazing marriage, I have a nice home,  I know other people with FAR greater problems than I have, yet here I am struggling to keep my head above water. There’s so much I want to get out but I can’t. I, myself, cannot even express fully every thought I have. I hear them in my mind, like people talking all at once and all I know is when I try to even get someone to understand the slightest little bit, my thoughts start to come out in the form of tears. Then it’s like why are you crying again? What do you have to be upset about? You’re acting foolish!

The guilt, the guilt will eat you alive. You have your struggles yet you tell yourself you have no reason to feel how you do. You assign so much guilt to yourself because, how can you be so positive for others yet in your life you’re being negative. You view life in worst case scenarios and you have such a negative thought process, yet if someone needs some cheering up, you’re all rainbows, sunflowers and unicorns. You show them how to look on the bright side and carry them along until they are able to walk alone again and then you go back to you own life, drained and barely breathing. You’ve now given away the best version of yourself to everyone else. 

I’m not even sure that this post will be cohesive, I feel as if I am just rambling, but hopefully someone gets something out of it! I hope that you can find a healthy balance between helping others and helping yourselves. I hope that you can remember to fill your own cup as you fill everyone else’s. For myself, coming to the rescue is like breathing to me, I just have to, but maybe I can be more mindful of my own needs. In my mind, thinking or even putting any amount of focus on my own needs is being selfish. I would tell others that thinking of their needs is not being selfish, bit in my own life if I do it then I am being selfish. I don’t know why I am so hard on myself, but I am! I am so great at giving the best advice, yet I cannot even give myself any words of wisdom. I hate to even make a post such as this. I have contemplated deleting this several times during my typing. I don’t like to out negativity out there and I feel as if that’s what I’m doing. I don’t want to come across as a complainer. I suppose sharing the negative can make us appreciate the positive more. Maybe in sharing some of my thought process, it’ll make someone else feel less alone in their thinking. Even the most positive of people can have a hard time, so please remind those people who are always there for you just how much they mean to you and don’t forget to genuinely ask how they’re doing or if they need anything. ❤️🙏

Dear God,

I pray for anyone reading this that relates to what I’ve typed. I pray that they remember to take care of themselves, even when they’re taking care of others. I also pray that you help them deal with any guilt they feel, may they know that it’s okay to think of themselves sometimes. I pray that they know they are never alone with You in their lives and that You are always willing to listen. May we all remember that You are a constant even when others come and go. Thank you for all the good in our lives and even the bad, for without the bad we would never truly appreciate the good! AMEN. 🙌

Much Love and God Bless!

Update On Selah Grace

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Above is an update from Selah’s Dad.

Selah did great during surgery and is now in the recovery phase. The doctors are amazed at how well she is doing and how great her stats already are! GOD IS GOOD! Thank you all for the prayers for Selah Grace, and please continue to pray for her and the family! ❤️🙌🙏🎉

Little Miss Selah Grace

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Hi everyone! This is my baby cousin (my cousin Kayla’s baby girl). Her name is Selah Grace and she was born on October 5th, 2019. She has always looked so great since birth, one would never know she was born with a few complicated heart issues. She has some leaky valves, among other things, but the main concern now is getting the leaks fixed. She was set for surgery this Thursday the 24th which is actually her mother’s birthday, however her surgery has been moved up to tomorrow Oct 23rd at 8:15am. She has been able to do things that most of the little patients in her position don’t normally do, so needless to say she is a very strong little girl! She was born a fighter and God has given her the strength every step of the way and we believe He will continue to do so! We believe very much in the power of prayer and I am asking all of you to please keep my precious cousin in your prayers! Please pray God will guide the hands of the surgeons tomorrow and pray for His comfort and peace to be over the family during the waiting period. They said it could be a shorter surgery or it could go up to 8 hours! Please pray for Selah to come out of surgery with wonderful improvement and be on her road to going home with her family! Let’s pray that Momma gets to hold her baby girl very soon, as she hasn’t been able to because of all the pesky tubes! This baby girl is already such a symbol of strength and I have faith that she will do wonderfully in surgery and after! Please remember Selah Grace today, tomorrow (especially during surgery time) and every day after! God bless you Selah Grace! We love you baby girl!❤️🙏💪 Please feel free to comment on this post your well wishes for the family! Let them know you’ll be praying!

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Reaction or Response

As I sat here in my semi-cleaned kitchen, chomping on baby carrots (straight from the bag because I like to live my life on the edge) and sipping my sparkling water, I came across a thought-provoking post on a social media outlet. The question posed to the readers was, do you mindlessly react to situations or do you thoughtfully respond? A rather deep question, it would seem, for a person in my current state who was just asking herself the equally deep question, “…should I get some ranch to dip these carrots in?” In all seriousness, this question did beckon a response from myself. I felt the response I gave wasn’t all too shabby, so it sparked the decision to blog! Here was my response,

“I would agree, reacting can be this reflex action sometimes, but I try to be more mindful. As you said, some days we will be more successful with responding than others, but at least we are making the effort to self-correct! In certain circumstances, reacting can be momentarily gratifying but that is always short-lived. It goes back to the old saying, ” Two wrongs don’t make a right.” I try to reflect what I want seen in the world. Although our mind may tell us, “react, they NEED to see my reaction!” I think simply responding speaks volumes. Our mindset can change many things in our lives, and the beauty is, it can always be reset! ❤ “

I would like to elaborate more on my response.

Certain times throughout our days, people may disrespect us or try to provoke us and if you’re like me, your mind tells you REACT REACT REACT. We can’t fathom sometimes the act of just thinking before reacting. Instead of taking a breath and contemplating a more intelligent and graceful response, we want to show we can go toe-to-toe with this person and possibly one up their actions. We don’t believe we should be disrespected, so we think we will teach the other person a lesson by beating them at their own game. While I’ll agree that I don’t usually extend respect to someone who isn’t extending it to me, we can most certainly stop and think of a better way to respond. I’m often hearing a voice in my head reminding me, ” …quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to anger…” which comes from James 1:19-20.

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Sometimes, this appears as a weakness in the eyes of others. They believe if we don’t meet a negative with another negative, that we don’t have any self-respect and we allow people to walk all over us. Not true! There is a healthy balance where you can respectfully be assertive while thoughtfully responding to what has just been done or said. As I mentioned in my response, there can be a momentary sense of gratification after “putting someone in their place” and trust me, I KNOW some people seem to need that reaction or don’t seem to be receptive to anything unless you do choose to react, but those same people also get gratification out of provoking you; when they see you react they know they have the ability to control your emotions. Although they may be somewhat offended by you putting them in their place, they still feel pride that they were able to disrupt your inner peace and joy. Those individuals will love knowing that although they may not have gotten what they set out to get, they still caused you to react which will likely spill over into the rest of your day and onto others you come in contact with. I don’t know about you, but it doesn’t seem worth it. It’s also worth noting that these individuals are prepared to meet reaction with reaction, so a thoughtful response rather than a mindless reaction can truly throw a monkey wrench into their plans and really throw them off their game.

Some people we encounter may not even intentionally set out to provoke a reaction from us, so once their mindless reaction is met with a thoughtful response, this serves as a wake up call and reminds them that grace is better than retaliation. This could also serve as a reminder to believers that we are to be a reflection of God to others, and extend the grace He freely give us to others as well. To reiterate, you will be more successful some day than others, but the important fact is that you are acknowledging and putting forth the effort for self-correction. It will not happen over night, or even all at once, but over time you will see that the little corrections here and there will retrain your mind. I am in no way telling you not to stand up for yourself, but choose a wise way of doing so. There are usually always those extenuating circumstances, but normally those aren’t  occurring on the daily.

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I loved what I had to say at the very end of my response and I think God gave me those words in that moment! “Our mindset can change many things in our lives, and the beauty is, it can always be reset!”  We like to believe that we don’t have the power to retrain our minds, but this is simply false. I can tell you that from personal experience with extreme anxiety, panic attacks, depression and more, that I truly have felt with all my being that “I cannot come back from this. I am too far gone.” Something I want everyone out there reading is to know you are NEVER too far gone! You can always come back to center and reset. Trust me, anyone who would have witnessed how bad things got for me, would have said there is no way to recover from this and certainly not without being heavily medicated. While I am in no way condemning getting help in the form of medication, what I am saying is you CAN get back! God allowed me to get so lost that once I was able to find my way back, I knew how to help myself and more importantly, how to help others! I found understanding and purpose! So, if you’re someone who feels that you cannot retrain your mind to be more positive, that it’s impossible for you, hear me tell you IT IS ABSOLUTELY POSSIBLE and if you truly desire to, YOU CAN DO IT! Self-correcting once a month, once a week, or once a day is all equally productive! It starts off small and over time will multiply and before you realize it, you are thoughtfully responding rather than mindlessly reacting! It takes no effort what-so-ever to impulsively react, but it takes true strength and character to be mindful of how you will respond.

Much Love and God Bless XO

The Feeling Of Defeat.

Have you ever felt defeated?

Have you ever woke up and already felt like you’re one step behind?

This week, maybe even a little longer, has felt so crazy to me. I have felt overwhelmed and stressed out and just on edge. It’s as if more and more keeps getting piled on top of my shoulders and I’m starting to sink into the ground! One little thing goes wrong, which leads to another, which adds to the pile and then pretty soon I’m drowning in emotions…ALL of them! I’m down because there are SO many tasks to be done, yet there never seems to be enough time for them all. I will feel like a failure many days because I haven’t gotten every little thing done that I needed to or planned to. The expectations I set for myself may exceed what one person could or should do in a day, but I get frustrated nonetheless. This can just bring on more negative…depression, anxiety, lacking patience, anger and even self pity.  We as humans get into these “funks” and before we realize it we’ve already spent way too much time there. I do not like negativity at all, yet when I get into one of these funks, the output is negative-negative-negative!

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Recently,  I have started throwing myself into working out again and just simply being more active. Like I mentioned before, this week has been pretty crazy and I woke up feeling off. I checked the verse of the day and it was one that has carried me throughout most of my life. Isaiah 41:10.Screenshot_20190719-052516

I truly didn’t think much of it this morning and I went on with my day. I had this online seminar I was to attend at a specific time today…long story short, my internet connection is super slow and it would not work on my phone, so 45 mins into trying to get into this online event and no luck. I tried everything and still couldn’t get it to work. FINALLY I was able to get in and got the information I needed and was blessed that it wasn’t completely over with! That one thing that seems so minor now, just added to the pile and truly made me feel even more defeated.

A little later on, I got ready for my 2 mile walk. Just getting to the treadmill when you have 3 kids is an accomplishment in itself! I’m a fan of music; I have always loved a huge array of music and normally I’d put my Pandora on a station which is going to kick out rock of some sort while I am on my walk…today though, I felt a tugging at my heart to go to one of my Christian stations I have programmed on there. I go to the station, which would normally play songs with a variety of messages, as the first song starts I notice it’s a favorite of mine Voice of Truth by Casting Crowns.Screenshot_20190805-074029~2 I didn’t think much of the message it speaks, then the next song comes on In The Eye Of The Storm, which kind of catches my attention. Screenshot_20190805-074311This goes on the entire walk. Praise You In This Storm comes on and I think to myself, I hear you. Screenshot_20190805-074606.pngThe songs started out as recognition of being in the midst of these storms of life “I see you, I hear you…” then they turned to “now here is what to do.” It’s far too easy to get caught up in the negativity that piles up and just succumbing to it. We forget that most of it can be little issues which we have let turn into something far larger than what’s needed. I tend to tell others often, somewhere someone is wishing to have the problem you’re having because they’re going through something much more intense and then here I am giving into these negative feelings and thoughts which then adds to the guilt I’m already feeling.

Today I am reminded that there are indeed others out there who wish for my problems. I am also reminded that there are others out there feeling exactly how I am feeling and I am not as alone as I often feel! Let us learn to let go of the small stuff and let God handle it for us. With anxiety, you think about EVERYTHING, you obsess over little things and you worry constantly. God calls us not to be anxious for anything but instead bring it to Him. My life is FULL of so many blessings and miracles and they outweigh all the negative, hands down! I pray to see from God’s perspective daily. Screenshot_20190805-074940.pngI pray for the strength to only here the voice of truth through all of the things swirling around in my mind. I am thankful for the reminder that God is always there, no matter the circumstance and I am seen and heard. I am thankful that His breath is in my lungs and I don’t have to take on life alone. Every day, whether it’s good or bad, is a blessing. Every day is a day that God has already planned for you far before you were born. He knows just what should happen and when. He knows exactly what we all are going to have to stand against and He never leaves our side. I don’t know about you, but I feel very unworthy of that…especially when I am wallowing in my own self pity.

I pray for everyone reading this that if you are feeling defeated think of those out there who are literally fighting for their lives daily and still they wear a smile every single day. Our issues may seem big and they may just actually be big, but somewhere hidden in the midst of our struggles are blessings, we just need to change our mindset to find them.

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Much love and God Bless!

Armor of God Series: Sword of the Spirit & Helmet of Salvation

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In Ephesians 6:17 (as seen above) you’ll notice the helmet is listed before the sword, but in this post I am going to touch on the Sword of the Spirit first. I hope everyone reading has not only found this series interesting but informative as well. My hope is that everyone take these words to heart and apply them to their own lives.

The Sword of the Spirit is a weapon belonging to the Holy Spirit. Not unlike in battle where a sword is used to protect ourselves, His Word is our protection against the enemies attacks; our sword. Whether in battle years ago or in our spiritual battle, in order to wield the sword properly we must first learn how to use it; we must go through training in order to receive it’s full benefits. All Christians need proper training to understand the Sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God; the Holy Scriptures.

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The Word of God (The Bible) is from The Holy Spirit and written by men. Only when understood and used properly, can the Word of God or Sword of the Spirit be effectively used as protection against evil.

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Hebrews describes the Word of God as a sword, and not just any sword but sharper than any double edged sword. Double edged swords are known to be easier to penetrate and cut in every way and in telling us that His Word is sharper, it is giving us the knowledge that His Word penetrates our hearts and gets to our very core where it reveals our true motives and feelings.

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The purpose of the Sword is to give us strength and allow us to withstand the evil attacks of the enemy. The Holy Spirit uses the power of God’s Word to not only save souls, but also to give us strength to become mature soldiers of Christ so that we may fight against the corrupt world we live in. The more we familiarize ourselves with His Word, the more useful we will become in carrying out His Will and the more effectively we can stand against the enemy.

Helmet Of Salvation

I saved the Helmet of Salvation for last because, quite simply, when putting on armor it would be the last piece to go on. When suiting up, our helmet would go on last, signifying our final act of readiness. In battle, the helmet is vital for survival as it protects the brain. If a soldier’s head becomes injured, the rest of the armor then becomes impractical.

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Our defense against the enemy is our assurance of salvation. In preparation, we must secure our Helmet of Salvation. The salvation which God gifts us is on-going; an eternal state which we can enjoy daily protection and deliverance from both Satan’s schemes and our sins.

The power of the cross cancels out the hold the enemy has on us. Satan is aware of this, but he also knows that not all of us are aware of that fact or that most of us don’t live as if we are aware. It is imperative that we learn to keep our helmet secure so that the enemy doesn’t enter into our minds. If we allow him into our thoughts, he will gain control of us. We can never fight against attacks if we are already defeated in our minds.

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Through the Helmet of Salvation we destroy every obstacle that hinders us from knowing God.  There are steps we can take to ensure that our helmet stays securely fastened and functional. We can renew our minds for starters. Our minds are our battlefields and the outcome of our battles determines the course of our lives.

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We must allow truth to erase all of our old ideas, opinions or world views and replace them with what we know to be right through His Word. Allow that truth to wash away the filth of this world, all of it’s lies and confusion from our minds, so that we may see how God sees. We can also reject doubts caused by our circumstances. Humans are emotional creatures by nature. We are sensitive and we tend to ignore anything we cannot come to comprehend through our senses. If we allow our situations to dictate our thoughts, they will likely convince us that God doesn’t love us and that His Word isn’t true. Where there is doubt, there is no faith and where there is faith, there is no doubt. You cannot have both at once. Through our faith, we choose to believe the appearance of the impossible.

Another thing we can do is, when life doesn’t seem to be going our way, we can look to Him and keep an eternal perspective. Salvation is the most priceless and precious gift we have received and remembering that can help us get through any of life’s storms. We would do well to remember that victory has already been attained.

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In knowing that we are dead to sin and alive in Christ, we rid Satan of his trap and opportunities. We cut off failure.

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We can find hope in Him. The Helmet of Salvation is most effective when we value what it represents. We have to treasure it more than any other earthly possession; it just not be regarded as such. We can phase out our enemy by making God our focus. Wearing out helmet daily allows us to guard and protect our minds from any tricks the devil tries to play on us. It will help us guard our minds from excessive worldly influence, allowing us to think of things which bring honor to God. The Helmet of Salvation protects our hearts as well as our minds.

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Don’t let this be the end of your Armor of God Series. I hope I can encourage you all to dive into His Word and study yourself. I have been a Christian for my whole life, being born again at the age of 9. Although I was baptized at an earlier age (a couple years prior) when I reached 9 years old I felt like I truly understood the gift of being born again and wanted to make it known publicly by another baptism. Not necessary, but symbolic. I’m  almost to 31 years of age and I can assure you that the more I study God’s Word, the more things I see that I never did before. Imagine how many times I have heard some of these passages in my life and yet, each time (like us daily, through Him) they become brand new. What I am saying is, no matter what stage you are at in your faith/beliefs, you can always uncover something you haven’t before.

God, I pray over everyone who has taken this series journey with me, that they read my words and see You in them. I pray that they understand You more and what You have done for them and what You are willing to do for them. I pray every knows it is never too late to come to You and there is never a point in life where they are “too far gone”, they can always come home. Thank you for using me to reach so many and I pray that You continue to use me. I lift up everyone reading who is struggling or has things going on in their life causing them distress, may you comfort them, guide them and heal them. Thank You for the gift of Salvation through Your Son Jesus Christ. In Your name I pray. Amen.

One more thing.

I know I spoke a bit about being baptized, but I want to stress that you can become born again without baptism. If you accept Jesus in your heart, regardless of baptism, you are still saved. You still have a place in Heaven. Don’t think that because you haven’t been baptized or can’t for some reason that you aren’t truly saved. Baptism is a nice public show of being born again and if you are able you definitely should have that celebration, but know that it is not essential for becoming new. Anyone out there reading, from right where you’re sitting, can pray to God admitting that you are a sinner and have sinned, that you believe God is the one and only God and sent His son Jesus to die for our sins on the cross and confess that Jesus is Lord of your life and you commit your life to following His Word and you will be saved. Ask Jesus to come into your heart and you will receive the gift of salvation. That’s easily. We as Christians must commit to turning away from our old way of living, our old ways of thinking and embrace truth through His Word.

Since starting this blog and sharing His Word with others, I have felt a renewed sense of faith. I have always had what I feel to be a strong faith, but feel closer to God as I study His Word more and more. I want to publicly rededicate my life to Him today, right here on my blog. I want to become stronger if my faith and to continue seeking God in all that I do in life. I want to do more. I want to renew my heart and mind and reprogram it with the knowledge I have always had but may have not always put into practice. I don’t want to just simply be saved, I want to help save others and live my life in a way that bring honor to God. I want my faith in Him to be so evident that people who don’t know me know that there is something different about me! What a blessing for the end of this series. I wasn’t aware that I would end with this or feel led to do so, but how amazing it is 🙌🎉

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Much love and God Bless 💓