Scripture Sunday: Ask Him and be Patient For The Answer

I realized lately that there are things happened, that seemingly keep happening and I wonder, “Why does this keep happening and what does it mean?” Instead of just wondering, I pray about it. Because really, who is going to give you a better explanation for His plan than God?

Some questions are silly like, “Why has there been so much elephant decor at the AirBnb’s we’ve been staying at?”

Some are more serious like, “Why are we following the hurricanes?” (Seriously, a month before we went on a preplanned trip to Myrtle Beach, hurricane, and now, about a month before we stay in the Florida panhandle, hurricane.)

There are so many things that happen in this life that I don’t understand. There are so many things in this life that I question. I try not to to obsess or let it be my every thought, but I do pray about it. I ask Him why, and I ask Him to show me, to tell me, and to explain to me what’s happening.

And sometimes I think, “God, hello! Why aren’t you answering me?!” But then I remind myself of John 13:7

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So that’s that.

You have to have faith, be patient, and sometimes, you even have to wait.

If you’re reading this, I just want to pray for you.

Dear God, Thank You for Your plan. Thank You answering us in the perfect timing. Thank You for all that you do for us. We are so lucky to have You on our side. You just want us to be happy, enjoy life, and come to You with everything. How awesome is that?! Thank you for reminding us to have faith and be patient. You are an awesome God! In Jesus’ name, Amen.

 

Scripture Sunday: Are You Praying Enough?

pexels-photo-208278Because I’m not.

And this isn’t me feeling bad about it, guilty, or beating myself up, it’s just an observation. But I want to be praying more. So I write it down with the rest of my to-do’s, and I write it first. Every time I realize I am not praying as much as I want to be, I make it a priority.

Sometimes, I fall off the pray train. But I always get back on. And I guess it isn’t even praying that I am slacking at, there are always prayers throughout each day. But what I need is to get into the Word more, to read my daily devotionals, and to set apart a large chunk of time to pray and get into it, not just to pray out the door, as I call it.

Praying out the door refers to those quick prayers, the ‘Thank you God for waking me up,’ or the ‘Please protect my friends and family throughout this day.’ It’s for any small prayers you make during the day, and those are all great, and He wants us to talk to Him each day. And to pray to Him each day. But He also wants us to get deeper into our faith.

He wants to hear from us but He also wants us to give time and silence, and to meditate on the Word so that we can hear from Him.

Since traveling, my hubby and I took next to no time at all in figuring it out. We’ve easily streamlined workdays, outings, packing the car, and the organization of it all. But for me, I need to up my prayer game.

Do you pray on a “schedule?” What works best for you?

If you’re reading this, I just want to pray for you.

Dear God, Thank you for reminding us to keep praying and to keep talking to You. We are forgiven, whether we pray or not and whether we remember to talk to You and read the Word or not. You are such an amazing God. We are so lucky and blessed to have You! Please, talk to us so loudly we know it’s You and we cannot NOT hear You. Never stop reminding us to pray everyday, be thankful and grateful, and love on others as Jesus would. Some of us need these reminders more than others. **Haha** In Jesus’ name, Amen.

 

Scripture Sunday: Worry Less

Philippians 4:6 says not to worry, but instead to go to Him with everything.

I love this. It’s reassuring and calming, like so much of the Word. The thing is, worry is a part of everyday life. And while I am not one to worry, I know people that are.

And this is where Jesus comes in. And prayer. And God. Don’t worry, instead go to Him with everything.

 

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In your prayers, thank God for everything He has done for you. And pray to Him about everything you want Him to do. Prayer is how we communicate with God, and he is always listening.

As you pray (and go through your day,) pray as if you already have what you’re praying for, as if your prayer has already been answered. This is faith.

Speaking life and what we want from life is the most important thing. If you don’t want it, don’t say it!

I just want to take the time to pray for you if you’re reading this:

Dear God, We thank you that we can come to You and that You know our hearts. We are glad to know that we can always speak to You and that You are always listening. We thank you for Your peace and joy. We thank You for encouraging us to come to you in prayer whether we are sad, happy, upset, annoyed, hurt, or worried, because You will take care of all of it. Thank you for taking our worries so that we don’t have to carry them. In Jesus’ name, Amen

Scripture Sunday: What Our Troubles Can Do For Us

I love the devotional I’m going to be sharing today. It reminds us to work towards more patience with God and in life. Because His plan is already set, and we have to learn to get there. We may not understand why things are happening when they do, but we can have patience in them.

Besides, we shouldn’t rely on our own understanding anyhow. We can give Him our doubts and our worries.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. Proverbs 3:5

And what’s why I love this devotional. It’s saying the same thing.

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To “get” where we need to “go,” we have to be strengthened, smarter, and wiser. He knows this and helps us along the way. Our troubles feel hard but they are not impossible. We have to use our troubles as a way to grow.

The second part says that we should take our troubles to God in prayer. We should ask Him what He wanted us to learn from them. I love this.

I just want to take the time to pray for you if you’re reading this:

Dear God, We want to thank you for taking on all our troubles. We are so blessed that we can rely on You and trust Your plan for us. Guide us to have more patience and always seek You in troubled times.  Lord we give You our hearts so that You may give us peace. In Jesus’ name, Amen

Scripture Sunday: Bible Study Week 4

The lecture was great and the talk with the girls, too. But I feel like every week I get something different out of bible study, even if it’s “not related.” And this week was no different.

This is what I got out of bible study this week:pexels-photo-55787

How to pray over my day. 

And I’m so glad. These are the things I’ve been praying about each day and I like it. It’s not that I don’t pray beyond these things, of course, I do. I just like to have a “base” to pray for my day, and it’s been good. Do you have daily prayers?

I pray for Him to help me to accomplish what He wants me to do for the day.

Someone said this and I listened. She said that often when she prayed this over her day, she would feel well accomplished and like she got everything done that she “needed” to.

I pray to hold onto my faith and patience.pexels-photo-208315

More faith, and more patience.

I pray for help to NOT react.

Our first instinct is always to react in the natural, at least it is for me. When people drive badly around me, I feel annoyed. When I’m too hot, I’m over it. And when I get a “just thinking of you” text from my hubby, it makes me smile.

Well I will always take a text from my hubby, the other two reactions can take a hike.  I pray to choose calm over annoyance and stay in the path of the air conditioning when I’m too hot, LOL.

I pray to live spiritually,pexels-photo-257037 not naturally.

This means not to let others set your mood, whether it’s other events of the day, people or things happening around you.

To have a peace with the day and enjoy all of it.

I have liked using these as a direction for my prayers. Happy Sunday friends and have a blessed week=)

 

 

 

 

Scripture Sunday: Trust

Trust in the lord with all your heart, and do not depend on your own understanding. Proverbs 3:5-6

I have to admit, this one is hard for me. I want to be the director of my destiny. I want to map out the steps. I want to make the right moves. I want to choose the right timing.

But my map is smeared, my moves are sideways and my timing isn’t even on the clock. Why? Because it isn’t mine to make.

Even before I was a believer, I always, always knew that everything happened for a Cross-Imagereason, I just never knew what that reason was. Now I know it was God’s plan. And to tell you the truth, I like that better.

To know I was made for a purpose, with certainty, for a reason and in His image is truly freeing. Remembering that is the part that I tend to forget.

I love this verse because it reminds us that all we have to do is trust Him. We don’t have to know, we don’t have to worry about knowing and we don’t have to be in control of the plan. In fact, we don’t have to be in control at all.

We just have to pray, trust, and have faith. We have to live in the moment and laugh more. We have to stop worrying and take more risks. We have to live more and love more.

What does this verse say to you? Happy Sunday All! XOXO

Be Happier Today with These Five Things

Everyone wants to be happy. Want to get happy from the inside out? It isn’t about fancy dinners, expensive trips, and stuff.

But instead about true human connection, love, and exploring the splendors of the world. This life on earth is our only one.

Rough day, rough week? No fear. These ideas will get you on track to feeling better. And never forget to fake it ’til you make it!

1. Smile. Seriously. Smile and see what happens. No matter your emotion, literally e7ab0efd45f9779322d14b4cf0da7d35--smile-word-be-smileturning up your lips in a smile creates the illusion of happiness and you can trick yourself into a better mood. Because, when you are in a good mood, you smile. So, do it on purpose and see what happens.
2. Think of something you’re thankful for. All of us have something to be thankful for. Most of us have so many things to be thankful for. Thinking about the good things in life is the best way to be happy. And really, we could all stand to be more thankful in this life.
3. Close your eyes and take a deep breath. Life can be stressful. Work, errands, family, and even friends can make it so busy. But you know what you can do, no matter where you are, or what you’re doing? You can take a minute to yourself. You can literally walk away from the madness, or at least block it out. Take the time to close your eyes, and take a deep breath…    Ok, carry on.
4. Oils. I’m sorry if you didn’t see it coming, but if you’ve read my stuff before, I’m sureroller-balls you did. Look. Essential oils changed.my.life. I cannot say enough good about them. And whatever you need, I’m telling you, “There’s an oil for that!” So whether you swipe some on, diffuse it into the air you breathe or sniff it straight out of the bottle, oils will make you happier today. If you haven’t already, you must try them.
5. Laugh. Google a joke or better yet, ask the person next to you/person in the same room/Alexa, to tell you one. Laughing literally renews the spirit. It helps rid the body of depression. It brings you to a place of innocence, and it just feels so good.
I love these tips and I try to do them everyday, sometimes even several times a day. And the more “not happy” I feel, the more I try to do them. Because, self care.

Happy Thursday XOXO

Check out my wellness book for more on how to feel best everyday and if you want to know more about oils, leave a comment.

Disclaimer: I use Young Living Essential Oils and based on my research, I believe these are the best, safest, and most pure oils on the market. PLEASE do your own research and determine which oils are best for you and your family. 

Hurricane Irma: I Evacuated and This is What it was Really Like

IMG_20170904_205725After the disaster that was Harvey, when my husband told me they were gathering donations to send to Houston, I was all about it. I quickly grabbed shoes, socks, and clothes to give (as he didn’t have a full list of what could be donated..ugh, men!) When I talked to my BFF and she said, “Be careful, you might need those when Irma comes to you,” I just laughed it off. However, it was all too real.

You see, the first week of September 2017 was one of watching, and waiting. Irma’s track flip-flopped from coast to coast each morning that week and finally, on Thursday, we made plans to book an AirBnb in Georgia, and flee the state the following day.

This was no easy decision. And actually leaving the place you live, as if you may never return, is an extremely unsettling, and disturbing feeling. And I, myself, am no lover of FL. The heat for most of the year is torture, and driving there is worse. Even so, I didn’t want a hurricane to decimate the state, just as much as I didn’t want to have to pick just a few small items to stuff in the car. But, we decided it was what we had to do.

Here’s a timeline of that Thursday and Friday:

9:00AM THURSDAY MORNING As a remote freelancer, I did what I could to finish out Thursday (until mid afternoon anyhow) as a “normal” workday. Though mid morning we booked the AirBnb to “escape” the storm, so that was definitely not part of a normal day at work for me.

3:00PM I began to “ready” our place. I stripped the walls, took down any and all decorations and turned around all dressers, and desks, towards the wall.

7:00PM Nick installed all the hurricane shutters on the windows, and on our patio doors. I pray you’ve never had to do this, the feeling is beyond eerie, and even with a peaceful, calm outside, nothing is more unnerving than not being able to look outside. Or for that matter, glancing outside just to see the metal shutters. **shiver**

11:00PM I officially was finished with the house prep and Nick was fast asleep. With an alarm set for 3:30AM the next day, I laid down, far from “sleepy.” The last time I looked at the clock, it read 12:45AM.

3:30 AM FRIDAY MORNING We were up, “packed,” and driving by 4:20AM.  With what we thought was a pretty good “head start,” we listened to Google and jumped on the closest freeway to our house, the turnpike.

ABOUT 6AM We drove for a solid couple hours or so, but then hit a literal wall of cars. We sat there, at a dead stop, for 20 minutes. I urged Nick to turn around and go back to 95N (altogether about a 20 minute “detour.” SO worth it, and saved us tons of time..though that may sound hard to believe.)

12:56PM “Still driving, slow going,” I had text a friend.

2:00PM We finally made it to the FL/GA border. This drive usually takes less than 6 hours.. this day it took almost 10. Snapchat-1109588126

2:25PM Average speed 15 MPH. According to “GPS and directions” we had less than  hours to go.

7:07PM I was texting with my MIL and told her we were still driving but almost there. Yes, this was constant travel from 4:20AM until 7:30PM, about 15 hours when it was all said and done.

We finally got there! The weather was 65 and comfortable, and we were so glad to get out of the car. But that day was scary. The rest stops were overflowing and backed up. The oasis’ were controlled by police and many were out of gas. The traffic was horrendous and slow and you saw broken down cars littering the side of the road. It looked like scenes from the Walking Dead, a show I love but never want to experience.

Irma Stats:

Irma is considered the biggest storm to come out of the Atlantic, and the evacuation of FL, the largest American evacuation in history. I wouldn’t wish that feeling or a day of driving like that on anyone. It was a truly terrible.

Deciding What to Bring, Almost as Hard as What to Leave Behind

IMG_20170908_162409And what to bring? Ugh..this was sucky, too. Without kids or pets, Nick and I had only ourselves to think of. We each packed one suitcase, and each chose one “big thing.” His was his computers hard drive, mine was a tote of pictures. We brought a cooler with water, snacks, and other drinks. We had a bit more room so we both threw together a garbage bag, his had all clothes, mine was half clothes, half shoes.IMG_20170915_131042

Nick’s golf clubs came along for the ride and I brought my paperback books (the ones I’ve written and put into print,) as well as my essential, essential oils (of course!) That was pretty much it.

Could you (lightly) pack only a car, and leave your dwelling, possibly to return to rubble, without even a second thought? I thought and rethought about my choices many times.

So the storm hit hard in Miami and on the west coast, but certainly did damage to the east cost (where we’ve been living,) too. From our estimations, (and not knowing anyone in our complex,) our power was out for 5 or 6 whole days. We just got word last night, almost 7 days post evacuation, that our power was back on. With water restrictions, and a curfew, we have yet to go back.

Going Back

We will return Sunday, and getting our place put back together will be no small feat. The temperature will easily be 90-100 degrees in the apartment and we have a fridge/freezer combo, and a standing freezer that will all need to be gutted, cleaned, and replenished.

For the Love of it All

Easily the best part of all of this? People loving people. People helping people. Whether evacuated, “hunkered down,” or friends and family back home, love was in the air. And it was beautiful.

 

Don’t Forget To Follow Your Dreams

Remember when you were little and all around you, you were told you could be whatever you wanted to be? Well, let me tell you something. You still can.

I’m not saying it’s easy and I’m not saying to go spend every last dollar you have, but please, don’t forget to get out there and live!

About a year ago I found myself in the middle of jobs and feeling a little frustrated. I needed to feed my soul, not just my bank account. So (with the help and support of my hubby,) I did.

I had already been blogging a bit and it came easy to me. I like to talk so I have a lot to downloadsay and rather then blab to Nick all day, I started writing and sharing. It wasn’t easy and it didn’t come right away, but soon I had secured my very first, remote, freelance writing position! I still write for this 80s website in which I started and will write about the 90s too, come this fall.

I find myself working four (part-time) positions, and I couldn’t feel better about it. You see, I never wanted (nor excelled) in a 40 hour work week, at the same job. I always preferred multiple endeavors (and income streams) and it turns out, nothing has changed.

But all the sudden. I work from home, with a schedule that’s mine to make, and (almost) more work then I know what to do with. And well this may not be your dream, I just want to encourage you to remember YOUR dream. And make it happen.

imagesHow do you do this? Well, you have to figure out what it is you want. What do you love to do? What do you do everyday, “work day” or not? What makes you smile? Laugh? What do you loathe? Dig deep and make sure to be honest with yourself.

Find ways to indulge your soul. Do more of what you love. Want a new job but don’t know where to start? Do something on your own, at home or whenever you have time, unpaid, and dive in. If you start a blog, make sure to post more than once a week. Want to become a personal trainer? Talk to someone at your gym and see what they have to say. You can further your education with free online courses (some even taught by Harvard!) Whatever you do, remember this is your life. Don’t waste it.

The thing is, for me, I laugh at myself. Why? Well, everyday, I like to write, cook, and workout. The weekdays are filled with this (and tapings.) But then, so are the weekends. I find myself always wanting to do these things whether it is a workday or weekend day. A holiday or vacation. For instance, I’m on a train in Norway, right now, on vacation. And what do I do? Write.

As for my other jobs, because I know you’re wondering, here you go.

  1. I write for LT80s (liketotally80s.) Like I said, it’s remote (from anywhere I want) and freelance, making it fit into my life, my way. Also, starting in the fall, I will be writing for the same boss for another website he’s procured, noduh90s. As an 80s baby and a 90s kid, both of these writing gigs are nostalgic and fun.
  2. I work as a mystery shopper for A Closer Look. This job is too fun, fully reimbursed, sometimes includes a bonus, and includes write offs. The company has “shops” all over the US and even into Canada. Taking in a great meal, visiting the dentist, or even having a drink at the bar are all things that you can do with this company. Love it.
  3. I work for Trust Review Network. This job sends me products (again, fully reimbursed) to try out and write a review on. If you share it, you make more money. If you tape yourself doing a video, you make more money. In a couple of months, if they are happy with my work, I will make more money. Pretty awesome, huh?
  4. I test recipes for HelloFresh. As a part of their taste makers program, I am sent recipes to test and try (most of which I already have the ingredients for as I am an avid foodie and cook) and then I complete a short, concise survey, and I’m done.

Oh, and did I forget my blog? I guess that’s five jobs. Not to mention I have written four self-published (mostly cookbooks) in the past year as well.

So, that’s that I guess. And the thing is, since starting vacation (a little over a week ago,) I have received next to no work emails, stressed phone calls, or anything. It has been over IMG_20170821_125717two years since both Nick and I have taken a non-work vacation, and it’s a true and honest vacation this time. What a blessing.

But here we are, on the train, working. Haha. Happy Monday!

Want to see my books? Check them out!

Want a paperback copy? Reply in the comments and I’ll send you one!

Self-Care for Positivity

As an immensely emotional girl, there are times when I’m on the verge of tears, all day. Not everyday, but some days. Whether it’s timing related, situational, or something else, we all have those days sometimes.

So what do you do? How do you get out of it? How do you overcome? I’ll tell you.

Self-care, and often. Take care of your head, and your heart, first. Whether you feel bad, good, or indifferent in the morning, do what you can to feel your best, it can only help.

Here’s how:

Consider Taking St. Johns Wort

St. Johns Wort is known for helping regulate and elevate mood. The bottle I have lists the dosage as three times daily with food. When I take it, I take two, once a day, and not usually with food. (Doesn’t irritate an empty stomach.) PLEASE make sure to check this against anything else you’re taking.

Call it placebo effect, or say it works, either way, I feel better.

Use Essential Oilsroller-balls

Oils have truly changed my life. I have replaced several OTC products, and use them around the house for other things every day. And self-care is no different.

For everyone, lavender is great. Whether you diffuse it, dab it on your wrist for the scent, or it’s part of a blend, this oil is calming, and will truly relax you.

As a woman, (with debilitating monthly cramps, PMS, and more,) Progressence Plus has literally changed these issues for the better. I take it everyday for two weeks in between cycles, and the week before, I take it only about every other day. I stop the week of, and will start taking it again as my time wears towards the end. This oil calms cramps, shortens my cycle, and helps two fold with the emotional aspect. I can’t speak better about it, but again, please do what works best for you and make sure to check any drug interactions

For guys who need a (natural) testosterone boost, Idaho Blue Spruce is the oil to use. I also formulated another testosterone mixture that is good for influencing fertility, raising testosterone levels, and overall men’s wellness. The Idaho Blue Spruce and the mixture were both enough to raise testosterone levels from too low to in range, according to a blood test. So they truly work and are a natural way to influence and help the body raise these levels on its own.

Workout

Walk, stretch, do yoga, or visit the gym, whatever it is, do something! Staying active and moving everyday allows your body to create feel good hormones that can positively influence your mood, and therefore, your whole day.

Eat WellIMG_20170610_153508

Sometimes when you “feel bad” it makes you want to “eat bad.” Don’t give in! Your body needs the minerals and vitamins from whole, nutritious foods to fuel your life. Eating fruits, vegetables, and homemade meals will make you feel the best you can. It will help you prepare mentally, with a clear head, and a belly full of nutrition.

Go Outside

Whether it’s cold, hot, or pouring down rain, do what you can to get outside. If you only have 5 minutes for a quick walk around the block, do it. Breathe deep, clear your mind, look at the foliage. This will calm you and reinvigorate your system, more than you may know. Want to go a step further? Smell a flower and touch it’s leaves. Use your senses to get back to what really matters, experiencing life, if only for a moment.

Life can be exhausting, and hard but you can push through it! And if not, fake it til you make it because the best is yet to come. Happy weekend all!

Like this article? Give my wellness book a look! It’s filled with tips for people on the go, from eating right, to moving enough, and wellness ideas to help you stay grounded. Enjoy!

Disclaimer: I use Young Living Essential Oils and based on my research, I believe these are the best, safest, and most pure oils on the market. PLEASE do your own research and determine which oils are best for you and your family.