20 things you can do to add a little joy into your life.

dino This isn’t going to be my typical lengthy blog where I rant and rant… I feel like there’s so many bad days, bad things, bad people, bad pains, just flat out bad crap that can get to us. There’s little things that always make me feel good and make me realize life isn’t so bad (despite all the stuff going on). I’m going to list some things that make me happy, they’re simple, but effective. Feel free to comment below the things that make you happy. Hopefully some of these things will inspire you in some way.

1.) Getting a manicure or pedicure. Changing up the color of your polish can make a girl feel good. I love me some glitter!

2.) Shaving your legs, well shaving everything! lol Release the beast.

3.) Facial, exfoliate and wear a good clay mask that will shrink those pores (my favorite one is the Mint Julep by Queen Helene).

4.) Move around the furniture in your room or house. It makes the space feel new!

5.) Go through all of your clothes, even the undies and toss aside the things you don’t wear anymore. If it’s just sitting there, it can either be gifted or donated. Either way, it gives you an excuse to go out and buy more stuff right? lol

6.) Now go through all of your makeup. You probably have products that have been sitting around foreverrr and they need to be thrown away or re-gift them to a friend. Again, this will give you the excuse to buy more makeup.

7.) Listen to music that brings back memories, so for me that would be anything from middle school to high school. *currently listening to the Mandy Moore station on Pandora*

8.) Wash your makeup brushes. I don’t do this enough, but when I do, I feel so accomplished.

9.) Always try new body washes, I hate having to use the same products over and over again.  I need new because it’s exciting. Switch up the scents or brands. Same goes with perfume, shampoo, conditioner, deodorant, lotion, body sprays, etc.

10.) A good chick flick. I typically don’t watch these kind of movies because it’s not my thing… but once in awhile when the husband is at work I’ll go in total girl mode and cry my eyes out to something or repeatedly shout “AWWWW!”

11.) Buy new bed sheets. You don’t need to redecorate your whole room, just a simple change of your comforter can set a different mood for your room.

12.) Re-purpose a piece of clothing, if there’s a shirt you don’t wear much, experiment and cut it into something new. YouTube has a ton of tutorials on transforming t-shirts.

13.) Don’t buy new purses, if you’re someone who keeps your old purses, recycle through them. They’ve always felt brand new to me when I re-worn them.

14.) Selfies. Yes, people bash the idea of them… but playing around your camera phone when you feel dolled up isn’t a bad thing. If it’s funny or cute, post it. Think of it as a mini photo-shoot.

15.) Get some sun. Lay out for 15 – 30 minutes with some SPF. I always feel thinner if I have a little color on my skin.

16.) Trim your hair or your bangs. Cutting off those dead ends makes your hair feel and look healthier.

17.) Light a candle.

18.) Wear a piece of jewelry you don’t normally wear. For me that would be a cute toe ring, they make me feel so decorated haha.

19.) Read a good book and finish it. All too often we start books and never finish them. Accomplishment is the best feeling ever and learning a thing or two never hurt either.

20.) And last but not least, my most favorite thing to unwind with and the most simple is… a nice hot shower. There’s nothing more relaxing than to feel clean and to smell good.

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The Meaning of Marriage by Timothy Keller

As I was reading my marriage devotion tonight with my fiance I couldn’t help but find this particular passage profound. This is not only for engaged couples or for those who are already married, but also for those who are single as well. It gives you the knowledge you need before entering marriage and seeing the seriousness and selflessness that is involved when you take the vows ’till death do us part’. Timothy Keller is an amazing author by the way and he has a high-vocabulary… some of the words can go over your head a little but you’ll get the gist of it (hopefully). Happy reading! If you need prayers for your relationship, marriage, or any prayers in general please comment below! 

The problem of Self-Centeredness

Self-centeredness is a havoc-wreaking problem in many marriages, and it is the ever-present enemy of every marriage. It is the cancer in the center of a marriage when it begins, and it has to be dealt with. In Paul’s classic description of love, 1 Corinthians 13, he says, “Love is patient and kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.” (verses 4-5).

Repeatedly Paul shows that love is the very opposite of “self-seeking,” which is literally pursuing one’s own welfare before those of others. Self-centeredness is easily seen in the signs Paul lists: impatience, irritability, a lack of graciousness and kindness in speech, envious brooding on the better situations of others, and holding past injuries and hurts against others. In Dana Adam Shapiro’s interviews of divorced couples, it is clear that this was the heart of what led to marital disintegration. Each spouse’s self-centeredness asserted itself (as it always will), but in response, the other spouse got more impatient, resentful, harsh, and cold. In other words, they responded to the self-centeredness of their partner with their own self-centeredness. Why? Self-centeredness by its very character makes you blind to your own while being hypersensitive, offended, and angered by that of others. The result is always a downward spiral into self-pity, anger, and despair, as the relationship gets eaten away to nothing.

But the Gospel, brought home to your heart by the Spirit, can make you happy enough to be humble, giving you an internal fullness that frees you to be generous with the other even when you are not getting the satisfaction you want out of the relationship. Without the help of the Spirit, without a continual refilling of your soul’s tank with the glory and the love of the Lord, such submission to the interests of the other is virtually impossible to accomplish for any length of time without becoming resentful. I call this the ‘love economics’. You can only afford to be generous if you actually have some money in the bank to give. In the same way, if your only source of love and meaning is your spouse, then anytime he or she fails you, it will not just cause grief but a psychological cataclysm. If, however, you know something of the work of the Spirit in your life, you have enough love “in the bank” to be generous to your spouse even when you are not getting much affection or kindness at the moment.

To have a marriage that sings requires a Spirit-created ability to serve, to take yourself out of the center, to put the needs of others ahead of your own. The Spirit’s work of making the Gospel real to the heart weakens the self-centeredness in the soul. It is impossible for us to make major headway against self-centeredness and move into a stance of service without some kind of super-natural help.

How to store your stud earrings.

Stud earrings are one of those items, like bobby pins, that are easy to misplace. I use to throw mine in a little jewelry box drawer and would spend minutes just to find a matching pair. No matter the ribbon size, get inspired and organize your earrings. I’m going to thumbtack mine to the wall when I’m done.  I hope this gets your creative juices flowing, Lord knows jewelry holders are expensiveee!

Note – if you have a lot of earrings, this may take a while… but it’s SO worth it. Color coordinate or go by diamonds, plastic, shape, or just be random!

True love.


Sometimes we wonder what God’s will is for our life, thinking it needs to be different for each person… so we wait in prayer to see what He says. We try to make loopholes around loving and forgiving others. If God calls us to do something, he doesn’t say “Well think about this for a while THEN if you feel like loving, forgiving, or working on that relationship… you can.” No, He tells us what love is and how to love. It may hurt and it may be difficult, but if we try to escape the pains of one relationship… you’ll only find a different pain in another.

A lot of us say… Well I can’t forgive them for what they’ve done or I can’t do this or that. That’s okay. Yeah, you probably can’t and God doesn’t expect you to. When you are unable He is ABLE. When you walk with the Holy Spirit and ask for what’s according to His will then He will give you the capability to love, forgive, and have joy once again. If faith can move mountains, then why can’t it take the bitterness out our hearts and lives? Do we truly trust in God that “we can do all things through Christ who gives us strength”?

1 Corinthians 13:4-7

“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.”

^^ This is true love. A love that Christ demonstrated for us, so with the Holy Spirit (His strength) we can love others like this. You can be as religious as you want, but if you have not love… you gain nothing.

1 Corinthians 13:1-3

“If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing.”

Working for your relationships with people isn’t easy, anytime you fight for something it takes hard work and tears. God doesn’t ask us to forgive others so we can be ‘good people’, He does it so we’ll have freedom. He gives us grace every day even though we’re sinful and yet we, being extremely FLAWED, act prideful as if we can’t forgive some people. Jesus always gave parables about people like this and a lot of fall under this category than we realize.

Matthew 18:21-35

The Parable of the Unmerciful Servant

Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times?” Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.

“Therefore, the kingdom of heaven is like a king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants. As he began the settlement, a man who owed him ten thousand talents was brought to him. Since he was not able to pay, the master ordered that he and his wife and his children and all that he had be sold to repay the debt.

“The servant fell on his knees before him. ‘Be patient with me,’ he begged, ‘and I will pay back everything.’ The servant’s master took pity on him, canceled the debt and let him go.

“But when that servant went out, he found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred denarii. He grabbed him and began to choke him. ‘Pay back what you owe me!’ he demanded.

“His fellow servant fell to his knees and begged him, ‘Be patient with me, and I will pay you back.’

“But he refused. Instead, he went off and had the man thrown into prison until he could pay the debt. When the other servants saw what had happened, they were greatly distressed and went and told their master everything that had happened.

“Then the master called the servant in. ‘You wicked servant,’ he said, ‘I canceled all that debt of yours because you begged me to. Shouldn’t you have had mercy on your fellow servant just as I had on you?’ In anger his master turned him over to the jailers to be tortured, until he should pay back all he owed.

“This is how my heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother from your heart.”

One Lovely Blog Award :]!

I have been nominated by Kimberly Ann for the One Lovely Blog Award. Thanks beautiful girl, this is such a sweet little privilege :]. If you want to check out her blog, then go HERE <3.

So the rules of the awards are to:

1. Thank the person who nominated you.

–  I think this makes my 3rd thank you LOL but thank you so much for thinking of me :]! You seem like such a sweet girl.

2. Name 7 things about myself that you don’t already know.

(1) I graduated with my AA in Paralegal Studies in 2010, but I longer desire to be in that career. Makeup and Jesus Christ are my life!

(2) I’m OCD about cleaning.

(3) I have 2 cats that like to fetch bottle caps.

(4) I think about starting a YouTube beauty channel one day.

(5) I can’t bake, for the life of me.

(6) I love candles.

(7) I’m afraid of the dark.

3. Nominate 5 blogs that I love.

Missions Blog (Nicki)

Beauty Blog (Kimberly Ann)

Daily life/baby Blog (Hollie)

 God/Inspirational Blog (Kim)

–  Life Blog (Elizabeth)

4. Let each person know you nominated them for the award!

Doing this right now ;]!

Keeping your fire for God.

 

There’s only one thing you need in this world to keep your fire for God, it’s not a camp revival and it’s not the devotion that sits on your night stand.  The only thing you need is Jesus. A lot of us attain our worth from our works… what we’re doing to further the kingdom of God. Works are good, don’t get me wrong… I think more people need to step up and proclaim the name of Jesus Christ… but there’s something missing. Something we overlook. Once you’re saved, the only thing that God sees is perfection because He doesn’t see you and your works, He sees His Son. We forget that Jesus is the only one who gives us right standing before God, not us. Not by how often we attend church. Not by how often we pray. When we get solely focused on our works and our performance, self-righteousness and pride tend to creep in and instead of the glory going to God, it goes to… us.

If we don’t ask God to break us often and learn how by His grace to humble ourselves, then we’re going to become complacent Christians who constantly lose that “fire”. The youth from our church just got back from camp last week and they were so excited for God and they will be… for a few weeks, unfortunately. The only thing that kept going through my mind was the Bible study lessons my sister had taught to our college group, on the “Gospel Centered Life”. We don’t realize how often we shrink the cross that Jesus died on. We think we’re responsible for keeping that fire lit. Wrong. When we start trying to do things on our own, we will get burnt out . Especially when you’re doing really good at living for Jesus and then all of a sudden you sin. All encouragement goes out the window.

I have been there… we all have. It’s learning how to get over and through this process so we can actually grow in Him. This will be a concept learned that we’ll constantly forget about until Christ pounds it in our heads. I had to recently step down from my pride when I realized “I will sin for the rest of me life.” Why does that amaze me so much? Whom am I to compare myself to the only perfect person that ever lived, Jesus? I’m in need of His grace, every single day. If I was perfect, I wouldn’t need it. I should be able to rejoice in the mess that I am because it constantly points back to the Creator. I. Can’t. Do. It. On. My. Own. I love this quote by Joyce Meyer and I think it fits perfectly into this blog, “God knows the mess we’re in when He calls us. His light shines greater through “cracked pots” than it does through those who have it all together.” – Joyce Meyer. Embrace being broken.

When we learn to get the focus off ourselves and more on the Savior, the Lord will give us His desires and His cares. He will break our hearts for what breaks His. It’s so easy in this life to lose focus of the cross. I just want to make you realize but also encourage you that YES – You will sin for the rest of your life, you’re not perfect. NO – That does not give you the right to abuse God’s grace. What this should do is encourage you to seek God daily, ask Him to change your heart, not your sin. A lot of us think, “Well I did this when I accepted Jesus into my heart and asked Him to change me.” NO – There’s a process called sanctification, it means we’re constantly having the Holy Spirit move on our hearts, convict us, teach us, change us.

Learning about God and forgetting it later in life is something we’re prone to do. All we need to do is rest in His love. That means be alone with Jesus. Worship Him. Be comforted by His promises and trusting that if you’re going through a really crappy time in your life, He will deliver you and you will be given a new strength. It’s also resting in the fact that you have no control and that’s OKAY. You never had control to begin with, so learn to have peace with that. I’ve been loving listening to music here lately, especially a good worship song.

I challenge you to start off your day with going into your room, shutting the door, turning on a worship song and just praise Jesus. Right. There. The cries of our heart will always leave us face floor to the ground in awe of His mercy. I just need Jesus and so do you. I woke up this morning… not even sad, but I went to my room, turned on a song and just wept before my Savior. I realized the other day that “I’m doing well with God” and that scared me. Why? Because I know I’ll get complacent if He doesn’t break my heart and put it for His mission.

Things to live by (not in a particular order):
1 – Be humble, your goodness only comes from God.

2 – Realize you’re always going to sin, but knowing you’re always in need of His grace.

3 – Jesus + Nothing = everything. Not Jesus + Works.

4 – God is most glorified when we are most satisfied in Him. ENJOY Him, don’t see Him as a list you can check off.

5 – Ask God to change your heart, not your sin. The root of our sin is in our heart.

6 – Listen to a worship song every day, especially when you’re about to go off the edge of this life…

7 – Love others – It takes the focus off yourself and more on God’s mission. The greatest commandment is love.

8 – Be renewed: Read your Bible and put on the armor of God (This is still something I’m struggling with.)

 

Worship songs that I LOVE – I will link YouTube videos of them with the lyrics:

“You revive me” by Christy Nockels

“Lord I need you” by Chris Tomlin

“The Stand”  by Hillsong United

“Waiting Here for You” by Christy Nockels

“From the Inside Out” by Hillsong United

“Spirit Fall” by Chris Tomlin

“Lead Me to the Cross” by Hillsong United

 

How to get kissable lips!

Dry lips, we all get them, but what do we do about them? The most common reasons for getting dry lips are due to: colder weather, licking your lips, or maybe your skin is just naturally drying. Lip balms just don’t cut it on their own. The same concept applies to when we try to get a softer/smoother face – we need to exfoliate our skin. Putting a bunch of moisturizer on a pile of dead skin won’t do anything – we have to get rid of it.

Lip scrubs can be rather pricey and can contain some extra ingredients you don’t need. So why not go for a DO-IT-YOURSELF all natural method at home? I have timed myself doing this and it only takes about 30 seconds from start to finish: scrubbing, rinsing, and applying lip balm.

Sugar is a natural exfoliant that we tend to overlook because we assume it will be a gooey mess that will just melt in water. WRONG! Sugar will keep its natural texture in liquids and oils if the right amount is added.

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I’m not good at measuring, so here’s the amount of sugar I use. Remember, you don’t need much – your lips are a small feature. A pinch of sugar in a small spoon should do the trick!

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Step 1: Dab warm water on your lips with your index finger

Step 2: With the same finger touch the sugar and start rubbing your lips in gentle circular motions for about 15 seconds

Step 3:  Rinse until sugar is completely off

Step 4: Moisturize your lips with your favorite lip balm

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The end result is amazing, my lips look so much more supple!

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I clearly made a mess with my cap, but use any lip balm you own to keep your lips moisturized after scrubbing them. In this picture I used Maybelline Baby Lips in Peach Kiss.

If you want to be fancy you could add a drop of honey to your scrub, it smells amazing! Your lips will taste amazing too, so eat if desired! Haha :].