Truths or Excuses?

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It’s been too long since I have last blogged, I sure hope you all are still out there and ready to tune in 😜

I was chatting with a good friend of mine today, a former high school teacher who I keep in contact with. I was checking in on him and letting him know my family and I were thinking of him and also how I missed chatting with him through messenger. You see, I have gotten rid of my Facebook for probably a year now and he also rid himself of it as well, but I still have the messenger part. He and I used to chat on messenger regularly, but since he only has a computer and no cell phone, he can’t have messenger if he doesn’t have Facebook. This brought up the subject of Facebook and how we are (personally) completely fine without using. There was a point that I brought up in the discussion and I said, why not blog on this topic!

In the conversation I said, “Imagine how different the world could be if we used all the time, energy and passion we give to Facebook and instead put it all back out into our world.” We all crave change. We all crave a better world. We are ALL equipped with some specific and unique God-given gift to make a difference in this world, yet we give excuses for not being the change we want to see. Trust me, some of the excuses we give are legitimate. We are too tired, too busy and we don’t have enough time in the day. While all those excuses may hold some degree of truth in our lives, are they more of an excuse than a truth? If we didn’t have enough time, like many of us claim, then how can we spend hours on social media? How is it that we can binge watch our favorite shows for hours or get lost in a good book and still claim a time issue?

 

Let me speak a little truth…if we truly desire to do something, we see that we do whatever it takes to make it happen and we rise above any obstacle that may stand in our way. Therefore, if we truly desired change, we wouldn’t find as many excuses as we could; we wouldn’t contradict ourselves by claiming there isn’t enough time, yet spend hours on our electronics.

We also spoke about how we found this specific site to provoke so many unnecessary feelings/emotions. My friend mentioned how it felt as if it caused many of us to try to relive our past instead of live in the present. I added that it’s a bit disappointing to see so many people fighting with each other over such insignificant topics, when there are so many other fights worth fighting out there and in much more productive and respectful ways. Imagine all that passion and energy to win arguments on social media  being put to use in whatever cause they are arguing over.

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All of this can be said about our attitude towards our relationship with God as well! Many of us like to believe we have a solid relationship with God based on simply believing in Him and speaking well of Him to others, yet we lack that intimate connection. We use all those same, worn out excuses for not sparing an hour, 30 minutes or even 5 minutes to spend with God and His word. It goes back to our priorities and how we organize those in our own lives. Just as we can take a certain amount of time daily to devote to our own personal interests, we can just as easily take the same amount of time or even more and devote it towards bettering our relationship with God, bettering ourselves and bettering the world around us. We can dive into our Bibles instead of the newest best-selling novel. We can talk to God about our day and our problems or simply extend Him our gratitude instead of posting all of it to people who mostly won’t give it a second thought. We can ask Him for guidance in revealing our calling and showing us the way to use it to both please Him and make the biggest, positive impact in our lives and world.

So, as this New Year approaches, let’s try to spend less time on things that hold us back from growth (both spiritually and mentally) and peace. Let us prioritize more time for things that bring about positive changes in our lives and the lives of others around us, all while strengthening our faith and personal bond with God. I pray for anyone reading this, that they may think about how they utilize their time and energy and may they make necessary changes to improve not only their lives, but the lives of all those around them. I pray that everyone realize how special and unique they are in Your eyes and how much they have to share with the world. May we all look to You for guidance in all that we do, especially when it comes to using our God-given gifts to make a difference. Thank You for giving me this outlet to share my thoughts and personal beliefs with others! I pray all of this in Your name, Amen!

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Much Love and God Bless 💚

Grateful Heart

Good Morning Everyone!

I’m not quite sure if today I will be able to continue blogging my notes from the sermon series I have been listening to, it may have to be tomorrow. It would seem today is leading me down a different path; I seem to have woke up with a message on my heart, so we’ll see how it unfolds. I’m sure God is leading me to this message for a reason, so it’s likely something to offer peace and comfort to all of us in some form. ❤ Wherever He leads, I’ll go!

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I woke up this morning with an urgency to discuss gratefulness. Many of us, like myself, would say they’d consider themselves to be a rather grateful person; always doing their best daily to thank God for the blessings in their lives. Honestly, some days it seems I give thanks constantly because I am filled with an unexplainable joy. Good times seem to cultivate more joy and without much effort. What of the not-so-good days? How can we remain grateful, with that same unexplainable joy when our days aren’t going well or our life has taken some unexpected sharp turn?

I know I may seem wise, but I don’t have all the answers 😉 I will, however use personal experiences to give my best opinion/views on the matter. I also love using Bible scriptures as a reference because the Bible is our cheat sheet…it has all the answers to any question we will ever have, we only need to look.

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Most of us would say, I have a grateful heart. I wake up each morning, thank God for the gift of life and for the health and contentment of myself and my family. There is absolutely nothing wrong with this scenario; it’s ideal! We should be thanking God as soon as we wake up because He is the reason we do. But, we have all had those times in our lives when we have gotten so deep down in our trials that we wonder if we even want to wake to face another day. Of course, to me, this is a form of bitterness; something has gone wrong in our lives and we are a bit bitter and confused. We think things we don’t mean wholeheartedly because we feel pain, hurt and sadness. We want to know why. Why God is something like this happening to me? Am I not a good person? Am I not worthy?

A simple fact of life is, bad things can happen to the “best” of people just as they can to the “worst” of people. We are all human and no matter how good we are, we are never immune to the bad experiences in life. There is ALWAYS a reason, very evident or not, for why we are assigned specific mountains at certain times. In any circumstance, I can guarantee that a gift is hidden in the darkest of times. You’re being equipped to help someone else who will need you or your words. We can all appreciate and be thankful for people in our lives who give us great words and express care during our tough times, but in all honesty, don’t we wonder how they know how we feel when they haven’t been in our situation? We feel their heart is in the right place, they’re saying all the right things, but in a way their words are empty to us because we don’t believe they can relate. So, whose words can hold meaning to us most? Yes! The ones who have endured things we are going through. Someone who has personally been where we are at and made it to the other side! I believe any bad we go through gives us this unique ability to be someone else’s hope and light in their time of darkness. I know I sound repetitive with that statement, but it’s so true. Think of how many more people you can reach on a personal level, when you have been through some of the same situations they have. That is the beauty in our pain. That is where our gratefulness can come from in our darkest hours. We can thank Him for allowing us to go through this terrible time, because we know He has much bigger things in store for us. Trust me, in those hours, I KNOW it can be difficult and almost near impossible for us to think that way. It’s in our nature to question why something is happening to us, but remember we have tunnel vision and God has that panoramic view; He sees the whole picture, while our focus is what’s right in front of us at this moment.

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One of my most difficult times with maintaining a grateful heart during a hard time was when I endured the loss of my pregnancy in 2014. January 16th, 2014 to be exact; one never forgets. My husband and I had our oldest son at the time, he was approaching 2 years old, yet we were so excited to be expecting another child. We love babies and they’re an amazing miracle from God! Unfortunately, our baby wasn’t to be here on this Earth with us…we were unaware we had conceived a real angel. I feel we often forget that our babies are a true gift from God and they’re His before they are ever ours. Even with that knowledge, the pain didn’t seem to subside any. I was about 7-8 weeks when we lost our pregnancy. Some would say an insignificant amount of time to have such a tremendous reaction to, but no matter the size of the baby or the amount of time you carry your baby…it was still a part of you. You had plans for this baby that went years into the future; it was already a part of your life because it was a part of you. I remember going to the hospital because I had to leave work early that day because I started bleeding. Of course, some bleeding can be considered normal in the beginning of pregnancies, I however was not convinced. I guess I just knew in my heart where this was leading at that point. I passed some clots prior to leaving for the hospital and all I could do was cry. I do remember telling my father through my tears that if I’m losing my baby, it’s what God thinks is best for my baby and I. Still sadness was ever-present. There I sat in the hospital waiting room…waiting and waiting and all the while still bleeding. I felt like I’m losing my baby and no one is trying to help me. It’s an emergency! I’m in a hospital, I’m pregnant and bleeding and I can’t save my own baby and no one is coming to help; I must wait. What a sick and devastating feeling, especially as a mother, knowing what’s happening to your baby and yet you cannot do one thing to stop the process…all you can do is witness the unfolding of events. After waiting in the waiting room, being called back for blood work, then sent back to the waiting room, then called back to lay in a hospital bed in the middle of a crowded hallway and given an IV, I was finally seen. By the time they administered an ultrasound, there was no sign of pregnancy; like my baby never even existed. It was heartbreaking. At some point from leaving our home to waiting in the hospital, we had lost our baby. I had lost our baby. Guilt weighed heavy on me, as I felt I had failed at my job as a mother. I felt I had failed to keep my child safe and protected. They gave me a discharge paper which read in big, bold print: Miscarriage; then they sent us on our way. My husband and I got to the car and as we were leaving we just stopped the vehicle and held each other crying. It was such a long day, yet it seemed to happen in the blink of an eye. It’s a sadness and pain I would never wish on anyone. I struggled with seeing pregnant women or babies. I am a person who has always loved children and babies and pregnancy etc, yet I developed this aversion to them. I worked in a grocery store so it’s not like I could escape them. I remember crying because I missed being pregnant and knowing I was having another baby, yet I also cried because I didn’t want to be that kind of person. I didn’t want to feel that feeling of avoidance when encountering pregnant women, babies and children. I knew miscarriage was a common occurrence but we never imagine it could happen to us until it does. I’m not going to say I did not struggle and still don’t shed tears for our angel baby, but I chose a grateful heart instead of accepting a bitter one. I thanked God for the short time I had with our baby and I chose to talk openly about it to not only help my healing process, but to bring honor to the life we had made. I chose to name our baby, although gender was unknown, I went with Uriel, which means “God is my light.” It was confusing and one of our toughest times, but I told others I would be open about it because God will use me to help others going through the same circumstances and that He did! I have be able to help several people since and was able to give them comfort, peace and hope that no one else could.

Of course that example was one of many. Whether it’s my anxiety disorder, depression, struggles with self harm/ suicidal thoughts and tendencies and all that I have experienced, the same gift has come from all of it…the gift of light. In those times I often wondered the meaning and purpose of it all, but as time went by I had my “ah-ha!” moments. I realized God had better plans for my life. He might say yes, no, wait or simply not right now, but trust me when I say better is around the corner. ❤

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I sit here typing this to you at 30 weeks pregnant today with our 4th baby (3rd earthly baby). God is good 🙌 Nothing is impossible with Him! I know He cares for my Uriel until I am reunited with him/her later in life. I am still blessed in many ways! I am very blessed to be able to speak from a personal place to all of you as well! I pray my words always help someone who needs it! Let’s all be grateful in the good and bad times because we know God is for us, not against us!

Much Love and God Bless! ❤

Time and Technology

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I’m a person who is constantly stuck in a different decade. I’ve always been fascinated by the 50s and 60s and I have loved 70s and even 80s as well! All of these timeframes have specific characteristics that appeal to me. One of the things is the simplicity of life. Of course I am not claiming these periods of time didn’t have their world problems, but we can all agree that certain aspects of life were more simple. Kids were kids and they were content with that. People could walk to most places and not feel fear the whole time wondering if any danger lurked around the corner. Parents were able to let their kids go out and freely play with other kids without worry that someone would come kidnap them or that the other children would shoot or stab one another out of anger. I can only write this as an outsider to most of the time periods, as I was born towards the end of the 80s, but I truthfully feel many who did grow up back then would agree with my points.

One HUGE thing is that technology wasn’t at all how it is today. Technology being so easily accessible has its advantages, but in my opinion, it brings many more negatives than positives. We all hear the word addiction and we immediately think of alcohol and drugs, but what about technology? I sit here on my phone typing this and I wonder,  how much time do we all spend on our electronics? I can bet most of us underestimate the amount of time; we feel like, “oh I’m only on my electronics for a little bit, not long at all” and in reality its 4, 5 or 6 hours a day or even more! I have read that American kids spend about 7.5 or more hours a day on electronics, and worse than that, I have read studies that say adults can spend 10 hours or more. I can’t say for certain how accurate these studies are, but I can most certainly believe those numbers. With social media alone, we can easily lose track of our time spent. Granted, some people have to use electronics for work, but I know that most people use electronics beyond the work realm. I believe technology can be a useful tool when needed, but I hate that it consumes us and we become addicted to it without even realizing it. We are always documenting every detail of our lives that we lose connection with those special moments. We have so much information at our finger tips and many times I believe too much. I feel like it brings more stress into our lives. In my eyes, more harm than good comes from all of this access. As the saying goes, “everything in moderation” and I believe this can be the case for technology. A little can go a long way!

There is an app my husband and I have on our phones called Quality Time and it tracks how long you are on your phone and breaks down which apps you were on and for how long. It also keeps track of how many times you unlock your phone etc. I am in no way connected to this app or the promotion of it,  but I believe it can be an eye opener. We all use the excuse, “If I had more time” yet if we only saw how much time we waste, we would be ashamed…at least that is how I felt upon first using the app. I truly felt that I didn’t spend that much time on my phone, especially when a lot of times I am on for 10 mins or so and back off…but I assure you, all those times add up throughout the day. It’s hard for me because it’s my main source of communication with my family, but that’s really no excuse. Before phones, people wrote handwritten letters or saw/talked to each other when they were able. Simple. Maybe I’m a little too stuck in the past, but I feel like less is better. I want to spend less time on electronics and more time with the people around me. I don’t want to be a person so lost in their phone or other forms of technology that they lose touch with reality. My husband and I have actually even contemplated downgrading our phones! We are definitely in the process of implementing technology free days and having designated time frames for when technology can be used and nothing beyond the specific time allotted. The world comes with enough stress, we don’t want to add more to our lives and definitely not more to our children’s lives. We want to be an example to them to enjoy the world around them; to live in the moment and take it all in. We want them to feel free to be kids without having that need to constantly compare themselves to others on social media or be bombarded by all the hate and division in the world. We are said to be living in times when anxiety and depression and suicide are at their highest and I believe an overabudance of technology and information plays a role in those rates.

These are just my opinions, you can take them or leave them. If you feel like you may be spending too much time on your electronics, try timing yourself or even downloading that app Quality Time and see how much time you are devoting to your phone and go from there. Make a plan of attack; determine how much time you want to be spending all together and when you’ve reached that limit, simply put your phone up out of sight. Inform people you contact on a daily basis of your plans so there is no unnecessary worry. Obviously this excludes times of emergencies.

I am really excited to start putting all of this to practice and maybe you’ll decide to join me! You may notice that I haven’t blogged as often and that will likely be the case. Instead of trying to blog daily, I think maybe every other day 👍I pray everyone can take a step back and evaluate where their time is spent on a daily basis. Time is such a precious and valuable gift we are given every day and I pray none of us take it for granted. May we all utilize our time wisely.

Much love and God Bless 💚