Frustration against other Christians.

The title of this blog may already sound self-righteous to some and maybe to an extent there is a hint of some self-righteousness, but let me explain my heart. When I get mad at other Christians who knowingly and willingly and carelessly give into sin and act like it’s “no big deal”, that concerns me. Yes, let’s examine the plank in my eye. I know I have sin and my sin is a constant battle, but it bothers me. It saddens my heart to know how sinful I am and when I learn from my mistakes… I make them again. I don’t want to sound like a hypocrite right now because like I said, my heart is not there and I’m not judging these other Christians… but my heart breaks for them. 

My favorite verse of all time is James 1:22-25Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it—not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do.”

We remember that we’re Christians at church on Sundays, at Bible studies throughout the week, around Christian friends, or even family members. That light switch can be easily be turned off when we fit God in a box and only use Him as needed, especially in certain crisis’. Our faith needs to speak for itself… James 2:14-18 says “What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them? Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead. But someone will say, “You have faith; I have deeds.” Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by my deeds. You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that—and shudder.

It goes back to the James 1 Scripture I gave, we deceive ourselves so easily. Sadly, I don’t think some Christians realize they are being deceived and that this deception comes from Satan. The fact they have no clue either shows a hardened heart or they’ve given into the lie that God is satisfied with their sin, therefore abusing His grace. Satan likes it when we pat ourselves on the back after feeling convicted at church, but where’s the action accompanied by that conviction? 

Sin always comes back as a reflection of a SELFISH heart. We act like we’red owed something when in fact we’re owed NOTHING. God doesn’t need to give or do anything for you. Pardon my language, but if you’re a little butt-hurt because something doesn’t go your way… get over yourself. God is working at something deeper in your heart and life and if you can’t face that, you need to realize you are better with God than without Him. We act like such babies sometimes. 

I just needed to vent because a simple Facebook status would not suffice… plus I feel that here I have a larger audience who cares for my opinion on these things. Am I the only one who gets frustrated at this stuff? Let me reiterate the fact I know I am just as messed up, we all need accountability. I’m not saying I’m a better person or Christian because my works mean nothing to Jesus – He paid it all on the cross and I cannot add to that or earn it. 

Christians who can’t be bothered.

There are seasons for everything and apparently in this season of my life, I’m not meant to have any actual friends. I won’t mention any names here, but I just had a girl who I tried to disciple and be friends with, delete me recently. I was like “Wha…?” I didn’t do anything and besides being confused, I was a bit p’d off. People have seriously taught me one important lesson and that’s that they come and go. Being now 24-years-old and married, friends are hard to come by these days. My interaction with people is rare unless someone new comes to church. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not looking for a quantity of friends, just quality ones, but right now I have 0 friends I hang out with. The few people I actually get along with live out-of-state, so it’s not like I  can hang out with them. I do my fair share of asking people “Want to go do this?!” and that’s when I start getting excuses or flat-out ignored.

I’m just wondering when did Christians or supposed ‘Christians’ start closing themselves off and decided their ‘comfort zone’ was their best place to stay? What makes me mad is people who find a group of friends they grow comfortable with and then ignore the world around them. I’ve seen this in churches and it’s not cute and definitely not Christ-like. Churches are either divided or they don’t make contact with the other members. If I sound cynical, it’s because I am. I realize I need to get off my high-horse because I have sin too… but if we’re doing something that completely negates the Gospel, like not practicing discipleship… what are we doing with our Christian lives?!

Complacency is not something that the Lord honors. You can pat yourself on the back all day long about how much you’ve grown in the Lord, but if you’re not actually passing that onto other people and LOVING them… then you might be that noisy gong the Bible speaks of in 1 Corinthians 13:1 “If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.” (NIV)

Like I was telling my sister tonight, some people’s sin annoys me. The church should be about unity, breaking bread. I could easily blame the world and say “Oh technology makes things less personal and people are more closed-off because of it…” But sin takes a deeper root, it’s in the hearts. Technology is just a distraction or wall built up to be passive about our sin. Seriously, when is the last time you looked at your heart? Or are you too busy checking Facebook to know?

 

Stress and trusting in God.

Pray More

I talked to my sister not long ago about this and how we say we have faith, but our attitudes express otherwise. You can pray every day, read your Bible, and say “Yes Jesus, I trust Your will for my life!” but then when you come back to reality you start snapping at people. Whenever I start being mean and having an ‘attitude’ it’s because I’m stressed out and worried about a million things. It’s like being in a constant state of being ‘unnerved’. At this point of my mindset, my faith is circumstantial because if something rubs me the wrong way I’m going to fly off my wagon (whatever that means LOL! – I was born in a country household).

I will admit I can be a bit OCD about things, if even one or two things are out-of-place in the house, I need to clean them, right then, right now. The same thing applies when I have a to-do list. In the next few weeks I have so much stuff going on and all I can think of “Is everything going to be okay?” I get anxious about it. I think where I’m trying to get healthy, now adding a bunch of dental work on top of that, and now doing a million things at my church, I feel overwhelmed. If I’m being honest, my stress, although it’s a sin in and of itself, turns into an even bigger sin. I start nitpicking at things and I’m not content. I have to constantly apologize for things, just ask my husband and he will tell you. I don’t like being like that and I don’t know about you, but I feel alone when things start piling up. That I need to ‘carry this burden’. I can’t expect anyone else to help. I’m so quick to do my freak out dance that I forget I have God who helps me carry those burdens. I’m not meant to do it on my own. I also need to realize that I need to go to my husband more often because when I told him the things laying on my heart yesterday I just wept on his shoulder. He reassured me everything was going to be okay and I believed him. God’s Word reassures us that everything is going to be okay too and we need to believe that as well. We need to take God’s Word for face value.

No wonder some of us have anxiety, we try handling things that are out of our control. I caught myself yesterday just needing to take a break and breathe. I could feel my chest getting tightened up it was that bad. I wonder how many times I’m going to have to learn this lesson from God. Trust me girlfriend or you guys out there, when you think you’ve got your walk with God under control and you have it down to a T, you don’t. Our faith can be shaken, but let’s not be moved. At the end of the day, all we have is the Savior. When everything falls apart, when everyone fails you, God will still be on His throne in His perfect righteousness. We have to stop looking down and at our situations and look up – our hope should be in heaven. If you feel like you’re playing ‘catch up’ in life, you’re not the only one. I’m there too and I feel like I’m always behind in this world that is always moving forward.

It just dawned on me now that when I had told my sister I had been stressing, she reminded me my worth was in Christ. I thought to myself at the time… “Okay, well what does that have to do with stress?” It has everything to do with it, because the things we stress out about is the things we usually find our worth or value in. We find success in these things going well, whether it’s a relationship or job, we worry about the status – where is it going? We go back to being circumstantial. If you lose your job, if they cut your hours back, if your relationship is failing, if you have no friends, if you don’t know what you want to do with your life, it’s okay. You know why? Because our worth isn’t in those things. Those things change. I’m preaching to myself here and I’m crying as I type this because I always need to be reminded of these truths.

If you need prayer for anything, please comment below. I will leave this blog with a prayer that whoever reads this will find hope again if that’s what you needed today. May God bless you for His glory and remember to trust in Him.

Learning to be content while single

falone

I feel like I could go on and on about this topic because people between the ages of 16-30 think if they’re not in a serious relationship or married in their early years, they’re going to die alone. I get that people experience loneliness, trust me, I’ve been there. However, if you’ve been single for a certain period of time, instead of complaining, learn to be content in this season of your life. There’s a time and place for everything and nothing ever seems to satisfy us unless we “have it now!”.

Especially speaking to my Christians out there, why do you ignore the promises of God in Philippians 4:12-13, “I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength.” And what about Philippians 2:14 “Do all things without complaining…”? The best thing about our relationship with God is leaning on His strength and His Spirit to live the life we could not live in our own efforts. Our flesh constantly opposes the things of God, we seek to live for ourselves. We lean on our understanding of things when yet again Scripture says… Proverbs 3:5 “Trust in the Lord with all of your heart and lean not on your own understanding.” Don’t trust your heart (because it’s your flesh) and don’t trust your circumstances (because they constantly change), trust in God.

It makes sense that if you were in need and someone offered you help, you would take it right? If you sat there crying and complaining the entire time and ignored that help, of course you’re going to feel miserable. In fact, you look flat-out silly. God offers us help, but if we reject that then we won’t experience that contentment His Spirit has to offer. “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,” – Galatians 5:22. If we pray and we ask in faith for peace and patience, do you not think God will give it to you? Galatians 2:20 says we’ve been crucified with Christ and it’s His Spirit that lives in us. We have the Holy Spirit. Do you realize the implications of what that means? Seriously, take a minute to fathom the fact that God chooses to dwell in you as His holy temple. We miss so many opportunities in life to grow and gain wisdom because we grumble through our storms until things get better and we’re ‘happy’ again.

Do you realize what that’s saying about us? About you? That your happiness is circumstantial. “I’ll be happy if I have…. this!” What about when you have that first argument? What about when that person lets you down? Your walk with God should be your strong foundation for everything, even down to the worry you have in an actual relationship wondering if he/she is cheating on you or lusting after others. I was reading in the book of John today and Jesus was telling the Pharisees that He had the power to lay down His own life and take it up again. If our God can conquer death, why do we doubt that He can give us joy? Why do we doubt that He won’t provide for us? Maybe your faith needs some growing. Maybe you need to be reminded how powerful our God is because the last time I checked, He can do anything. Don’t limit God to earthly things.

Pray for contentment. Pray to have a bigger faith. Be honest with God. You can’t expect the desire to come upon you one morning, we need to be intentional about our walk with God.

Losing weight.

Strong

Before I start explaining myself, I’ll just re-post my Facebook status from this morning: “I’m not in any way bragging on myself, but my thyroid condition caused me to gain 30 lbs in like 2 years. Since being on medication last year I had dropped 10lbs, since I got my blood tests back I’ve been eating healthier and with some light walking, I’m 8 ounces a way from losing another 10 and its only been 2 months. So as of last year I’ve lost 20lbs. It may not seem like a lot to some people, but it means a lot to me. I’m doing it the slow healthy way, trying to make a lifestyle change and not “diet”. I want this to last and to most importantly make me healthier. I could care less about being skinny, I’ve got a wonderful husband who loves me and The Lord who thinks I’m beautiful no matter what. My worth is not in numbers on a scale or what my pants size is. Praying for humbleness ❤ . Thank you God!!”

If you’ve ever struggled with weight, whether it’s due to a health issue or that’s just always how it’s always been for you, I’ve been on both sides. I grew up always struggling with my weight until I got into high school, then I lost it all. I was by no means “skinny” but I was at my smallest weight and being 5’10 tall helped too. I considered myself average, but my teenage insecure self would pick apart her looks. I look back now and wonder why I was never content with myself. Maybe it’s because when you’re in high school you’re constantly around girls to compare yourself to. Now that I’m married and have the Lord, I loved myself more than ever even at my highest weight. I was content for the most part, that was until it effected my health. Thyroids can already work a wonder on your health, but the weight it brought with it didn’t help either. Two months ago after I got my test results back from my blood work I had that harsh realization that something needed to change.

Losing weight is not just a physical thing, but a mental one as well. It’s not easy. Quite frankly it’s the most difficult thing I’ve ever had to do because I’m having to reprogram my mind to know what’s a healthy portion. I’ve lost almost 10 lbs on my own besides what the medication has already helped with, but I still have a long way to go. I told myself when I lose 25lbs I’m going to purchase my first Coach purse. Then after I lose another 25 I want to get all new clothes and hopefully plan to have children. It’s going to be a process, I didn’t put on the weight overnight and it won’t go away overnight either.

Some of the things I’ve done so far to lose weight:

– Drink only water (it was hard at first but now the desire to have other things is gone)

– If I have a craving, then I’ll eat it or drink it. My doctor said the worst thing you can do is deprive yourself because you’ll resent eating better.

– Walk at least 1-3 days a week for 25 minutes to 30 minutes

– Eating Cheerios for breakfast (the multi-grain is my favorite)

– Eating only whole-wheat or multi-grain bread

– Staying away from fried foods (esp. french fries, fried chicken)

– Trying to not eat things with more than 30% fat calories

– Actually portioning my food

– Eating more fruits and vegetables, especially at buffets

– Take vitamins (which we should all do because in all of our diets, we’re not getting enough vitamins like we should be)

^^ Every little bit helps. I’m sure I’ll be adding to the list over time, I still haven’t given up my mayonnaise lol. That will be a hard one, I’ve tried the reduced fat and it’s sickening to me. Either way, you don’t have to deprive yourself to be healthier. If you put your mind to something and pray about it, you can do it. I definitely give glory to God because I couldn’t do this in my own strength. So thank you Lord!

Things I’m loving as of lately: Beauty Products

Products I'm loving

Here lately I haven’t been buying a whole lot of makeup just because I’ve obtained so much and I actually like a lot of the things I have in my ‘makeup routine’. I know for some girls and even women, the drugstore or your Sephora can be over-whelming. It’s like “Where do I begin!?” Hopefully some of my favorites will inspire you to check some of these products out. I will list the price of everything below and where you can get it.

photo 1

What? Queen Helene Mint Julep Masque

Cost: $2.99 – $5.00 (Depends where you get it)

Where Can I get it? Drugstore Online, Walgreens, Dollar General, Amazon

I like to use this masque about every two weeks to really cleanse my pores. Masques like this usually break my face out, but this one has been very kind to my skin so far. It’s a mint green clay that is supposed to clear your face of impurities, shrink enlarged pores, dry up acne pimples, and rinse away blackheads. When I first used this, the cooling effect of the clay felt like my face was burning and on fire — but in a good way haha. I find it to be refreshing now that I’m getting use to it. Prepare to look like SheHulk.

 

 

 

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photo 2

What? EOS Lip Balm in Sweet Mint

Cost: $3.49

Where can I get it? Walmart, Target, Drugstores, Drugstore Online

I feel like I have this mint theme going on, but I seriously love this lip balm out of all of the flavors EOS has. These balms are 100% natural, 95% organic, and they have shea butter and vitamin E. This has a light-weight formula and the taste is very pleasant, it’s just a tad sweet but nothing overwhelming. I find sweet mint to be very moisturizing and it makes my lips feel so soft. Every since I’ve been using this, I haven’t had to scrub my lips as often with those ‘sugar scrubs’. I have a blog on that by the way if you’d like to check it out. Just click here!!!

 

 

 

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photo 3

What? Benefit Erase Paste in Medium

Cost? $26.00

Where do I get it? Sephora, Ulta, Amazon

The flash isn’t doing my pictures much justice, but this is an extremely peachy concealer that can cover dark circles like a dream. The dark circles underneath my eyes are hereditary and this stuff makes them vanish. This has a thick texture so you only need a little to get the job done. I like to pat it underneath my eye with my index or ring finger, then blend the rest of it out by stippling it with my foundation brush. This is on the pricey side, but so worth it! You get just a little over 4 grams of product.

TIP: If you can’t fathom spending that kind of money, Pixi makeup (which is sold at Target stores and online) has an eye brightening concealer in ‘brightening peach’ that is an exact dupe for the erase paste in the color light.

 

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photo 4

What? Milani Baked Blush in Luminoso

Cost: $6.99

Where can I get it? Walmart, Walgreens, Target, Cherry Culture

I love peach blushes, especially to blend in with my contour/bronzer. It makes your face look naturally flushed and glowy. If you’re scared of blush and you’re not one who thinks you can ‘pull it off’, seriously, purchase this as your first blush. It’s natural but very buildable. It has a satin finish meaning it has very finely milled shimmers in it, however it’s very subtle and it will not enlarge your pores like some sparkly blushes can do. It’s silky texture makes it easy to blend and work with.

 

 

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photo 5

What? Urban Decay Smoked Palette – Barlust

Cost: $49.00

Where can I get it? Sephora, Ulta, Urban Decay

Not all brown eye shadows are alike and this one is ahhhmazzzzzing! It has a slight purply-red undertone to it and I love it! It looks gorgeous especially on blue eyes because of the warm undertones in this color. If you have a Sephora or Ulta near by, go swatch this color in the store. Urban Decay is hands down my favorite eye shadows because they’re long-lasting, easy to blend, and extremely pigmented (meaning you do not need to dig your brushes in them). A little goes a long way and the price may take you back a bit, but trust me, you’re buying quality.

I hope you enjoyed this blog! If you have any questions please comment below :]!!

My thoughts as of lately.

God's grace

I’m sure everyone is getting tired of hearing about the Paula Deen situation, but it quite frankly stirs an anger in me because this world doesn’t know how to give grace. Despite where you lean on the situation, if you screwed up would you want people to forgive you? At the end of the day, people can kiss my b-u-t-t if they don’t like what I have to say. I don’t live my life to please anyone, nor do I need to explain myself, lime light or not. We’re accountable before God, not man. A big difference between man and God is that God can look at our deepest darkest more horrible sins and still forgive us. Man  on the other hand will knit-pick the heck out of the tiniest things and magnify them and hold them over our heads. Big difference. God>Man. Just saying.

Moving on… :).

On the bright side of things, I’ve been in my Bible again reading the book of John. I had to watch myself the other day because I tried to speed through my readings to make up for lost times. That’s a big no-no because after I read it I was like… “What did I just read…? O_o” If you’re just trying to read to cross it off your list, then your heart is in the wrong place. Soak it all in, even if that means only reading a little bit a day.

Well, I’m going to go relive my childhood through watching The Little Rascals on ABC Family :]. Have a blessed night everyone and don’t forget to tell people you love them.

– Ashley