Sunday, August 31, 2014

The Blog-Tember Challenge


The biggest challenge for a blogger is to create something worth reading every day. Creating can be challenging and when you have a list of things to do and life gets busy creating can be the last thing on a bloggers mind. 

However, the need for consistency is vital in order to be a successful blogger. For this reason, I am joining  the Blogger-Tember Challenge. Starting Monday, September 1st, I will be joining a challenge that encourages bloggers to post something every day. The purpose of the challenge is to create the discipline of consistency within the writer . Posts will be related to subjects posted on the Tember Challenge. I hope you stay tuned and check in every day. This will be a time where bloggers can come together and learn from one another. If you are not a blogger you will still enjoy the challenge as you will learn more about the writer who writes for Healthy Living by Grace Olivieri (cough, cough yours truly!). I hope you are encouraged by the posts.

See you on Monday! 

Saturday, August 30, 2014

When We Get Lost He Finds Us




Kind of excited for this study of Hosea at shereadstruth.com Hosea is about a man who married a whore out of obedience to God. God told Hosea to marry this woman as he would use Hosea as an example of how God loves us (an unfaithful people).

“Being found isn't as beautiful if you don’t admit you were once lost”.  See, lately I have been feeling lost. Not sure if it’s all the changes that are going on in my life (I got a new job). Even the positive changes can add or create stress. However I know one thing, something has been off lately.

Think back to a time when you were a kid and got lost in a department store. You were scared because suddenly you realized that mommy was no longer in sight. Yet, when she found you how did you feel? Relived? Just like a lost little kid in a huge department store, or just like Gomer (the whore in the Bible) we get lost. We have moments in which we forget our purpose. We become distracted and we neglect our priorities as Gomer neglected her husband. I know its a crazy comparison. But, isn't it true? Every now and then we sell out.

The good news is...

When we get lost, He is there. He shows up. He provides sight to the blind and restores the broken. I am comforted to know that He is present and He will restore us when we wander or get a little lost. 

Feel free to join in on the study … I have a feeling this will be a good time to self-reflect and return to a state of wholeness if you have been a bit distracted like myself.


Visit shereadstruth.com 

Friday, August 22, 2014

Refuge



The past few days have been overwhelming. News about Isis and the tragedy of Michael Brown has affected me in a way I did not know it could.  I have been feeling like a thick layer of darkness has swept over me and has fought to stay.

A feeling of dread and worry has presented itself. This morning as I took a walk around our lake I prayed for the people of Syria, Western Europe and the United States. Prayers also went out to the people of Ferguson. As I prayed I stopped and reminded myself that above all else I am safe. I am safe in His hands.
There is not much we can control in this world.  If I were to day dream about all the disasters in this word over and over I would lose my mind. We can only control how we react to the disasters that present themselves. We can choose to trust God and we can choose to have an attitude of faith and peace no matter the circumstance. Some disasters are easier to solve and others aren't.

In this day and age, I ask you guys to choose peace and quietness.

Believe in the one who can change things and pray for the best.

                                                    Psalm 91


“You who sit down in the High God’s presence, spend the night in Shaddai’s shadow, and Say this: “God, you’re my refuge. I trust in you and I’m safe! That’s right—he rescues you from hidden traps, shields you from deadly hazards. His huge outstretched arm protects you—under them you’re perfectly safe; his arms fend off all harm. Fear nothing—not wild wolves in the night, not flying arrows in the day, Not disease that prowls through the darkness, not disaster that erupts at high noon Even though others succumb all around, drop like flies right and left, no harm will even graze you. You’ll stand untouched, watch it all from a distance, watch the wicked turn into corpses Yes, because God’s your refuge, the High God your very own home, Evil can’t get close to you, harm can’t get through the door. He ordered his angels to guard you wherever you golf If you stumble, they’ll catch you; their job is to keep you from falling. You’ll walk unharmed among lions and snakes, and kick young lions and serpents from the path. “If you’ll hold on to me for dear life,” says God   “I’ll get you out of any trouble. I’ll give you the best of care if you’ll only get to know and trust me. Call me and I’ll answer, be at your side in bad times I’ll rescue you, and then throw you a party. I’ll give you a long life; give you a long drink of salvation!”

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Photo of the Day






"I realize it is not about doing, it is about being"

Be you. Be healthy. Be free.



                                                           

Monday, August 18, 2014

The Heart Behind My Art


What road Lord? Which path?

I stood there for a moment, lips apart with a glazed look over my eyes. Indignant words spoken by those who I love, hit me like a bucket of cold ice water pouring over my head.

Words like no one cares along with stares that read cynicism and disbelief came from those who I trusted.

Is it only I who believes in myself?

Is it only I who thinks I have a fighting chance?

Am I alone in my quest for fulfilled dreams and success?

“I’m sorry…no”, I interrupt and try to make my argument.

“I believe I can and I know I will”, I say to those who try to tell me to seek after something safer, something certain, something guaranteed.

Yet even in uncertainty I am reminded that I am not alone.

Jesus was called many things. People believed He was crazy and a blasphemer of the truth.

Many did not believe in Jesus or His vision, yet He had a vision and it was clear as day. He did not give up and He fulfilled his ministry.

Although Jesus and I are different, our objectives are similar…my objective is to reach the hurting through my writings, to reach the lost,  to empower others to live an abundant life, and to enjoy every moment of  it.

I am not alone.

Jesus is on my side.

 He sees the bigger picture. 

I am reminded that it takes no rocket scientist to reach others. It takes a willing and committed heart.

It’s that simple.

When I am discouraged…

When I begin to doubt and compare…

I need only to remember one thing…

God is not concerned with the infinite details or with perfection. He is not interested in how many followers I 
have on social media. He is interested in a willing, dedicated and pure heart. He will do the rest.


I can rest assure that my dreams and my talents will be valued because He values the heart behind my art.  

Do What You Love + Make Money



When I was twelve years old I knew that I wanted to be an artist. My desire for social work came later.  In sixth grade I joined a creative writing class because I loved to write. My writings were different then, they were dark. My writings portrayed a lonely pre-teen trying to fit into a big and scary world.  One day my mother (as nosy as she is…I love you mom!) came across one of my poems.  She did what any worried mother would do; she asked to speak with me and asked why I felt so scared and alone. Yet I will also never forget one thing she said after lecturing me and ensuring I was safe. She said, “Grace, this is really good stuff.”

It was then that I knew I would pursue writing.

While writing I also explored dance, I danced for seven years. I also became good at that. I loved expressing myself through movement. I dreamed of becoming a ballerina, moving to New York City and dancing on Broadway. Not long after I began to thrive in my artistic endeavors, I joined a medium sized church located in Miami Florida.  A friend of mine convinced me I needed Jesus and so I converted (which by the way has been a great journey).

However this particular church and group of individuals I began to surround myself with were very legalistic. They taught salvation by becoming undignified (which is not biblical). I don’t write this to write ill of the church I attended or to criticize Christians or any particular denomination. I write this simply to tell my story and what has come of it.

Art was something many in the church did not understand they shunned it. They convinced me it was self-absorbing and un-glorifying to God. The church taught me that art had to be all about Jesus all the time. If I danced it had to be in a form of worship (which they called sacred dancing) although some people find this type of dancing beautiful, I personally did not. I felt I was limited. I no longer was allowed to create.
I finally left all forms of art behind including writing and sought to pursue a career more humanitarian.  This is how I got into social work. Yet, little did I know social work would soon cause me to come back to my first love (art). When I turned 22 I decided to leave the church behind, and I moved to New York to pursue a Bachelor’s degree in social work. I struggled with faith and spirituality yet; I stayed true to a love for God and a desire to help others. That aspect that the church taught me has been a part of me until this day.
Eventually social work, lead me to do some soul searching and I am now again pursuing a dream of becoming an artist (no worries I am not throwing out social work!)

Yet, I also have always wanted a good and upscale lifestyle. Who is to say that Christians + social workers + artists must remain poor? John 10:10 says “I came that you may have life and have it abundantly” Not scarcely. There are many other scriptures that dispel the idea that Christians and people of service must be poor. I believe this also applies to artists and to anyone really.

So now I am trying to create art through my writing. My goal is to get my readers to become their best selves. I want nothing more than for my readers to be inspired and empowered and to be all that God has indented for them to be; happy+ well off + whole+ and a helping hand.

Yet, I face challenges in creating a blog that captures all of what I want it to be. I constantly feel that I have no clue what I am doing. I run into people who are better artists than me. I also run into those who not see the value in what I do. I run into road blocks that I put in my own way.  I doubt, I fear and I wonder if I can make art and sell it. Can I change someone’s life by creating and writing and still make good money and be happy?

The answer is YES. 

One must find solutions and who best than one who creates?

Face your fears people, do what you love and make money! It is possible. 

[More to come on making money and doing what you love]

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Get the Button


Hey guys! 

Help me increase my audience! 

Post this button to your Blog, Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, or Twitter. 



Thanks for your support! 

Friday, August 15, 2014

Looks + Comfort

Do the duo
Pair your polka dot shirt with your black and white printed shorts. 

Today’s post is about on fashion!

It has occurred to me that it is important to feel your best, when one feels good everything else kind of falls into place. Have you every dressed up for an interview and just because of the way you felt in that suit, you portrayed an attitude of confidence and professionalism. One’s perceptions and attitudes about himself or herself can have a huge effect on his or her endeavors.

However, vogue may say one thing but if you don’t feel comfortable in those shoes or in that dress, then fashion can become a nuisance. It is my goal today to encourage you to wear what makes you feel good.
Obviously there are rules for interviews and events that require a more professional look. Yet in the case of every day wear, wear what makes you feel comfortable.

”Fashion is what you’re offered four times a year by designers. And style is what you choose.” — Lauren Hutton

 “What I’ve done, Coco Chanel would never have done. She would have hated it.” — Karl Lagerfeld

“I think there is beauty in everything. What ‘normal’ people would perceive as ugly, I can usually see something of beauty in it.” — Alexander McQueen


Here are some pieces that make me feel sexy, alive, and confident.


Forever 21 
Black and White polka dot quarter sleeve t shirt.
$9.90
             
              Plato's Closet 
                 Black and White Printed Shorts 
           $10.00


Rustic Dark Brown Sandals
     Free 




Thursday, August 14, 2014

Promoting She Reads Truth

shereadstruth.com


Good morning! 

Today on my blog, I am promoting this wonderful website that has taught me a lot about God's word (the Bible). 

I need a little break from blogging today. So, I redirect you over to shereadstruth.com 

These women who write on this blog are so knowledgeable of the Bible. If you are seeking to know more or just want to be uplifted go to this site. 

 There are many plans that you can start. There's even a plan for individuals who are new to reading God's word.  

I hope you enjoy it as much as I do! 

(my reading for today) 

(This verse is keeping me sane right now)


ENJOY!

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

A Spoon Full of Veggies + an Omelet



I've been doing some research on healthy eating. I have found that if you are trying to lose weight veggies are the way to go.

They say the more colorful your plate the better!

Today’s post is simple. You want to eat right. You want to start losing weight but, you are on a budget and you are on limited time. You need to make some breakfast (it’s the most important meal of the day!) but, you don’t have time to cook up a gourmet breakfast.

The answer is simple.

Look into your refrigerator. Grab some eggs and a spoon full of veggies (or more) and make an omelet! (Eggs are good in the morning, they give you energy.)

If you don’t know how to cook an omelet, instructions are on the bottom.

This was my omelet for today.


Omega 3 eggs

 Research shows omega 3 reduces the risk of coronary heart disease (Curtis, 2013).
It also shows that is helps with anxiety; omega 3 is an anti-inflammatory which helps the brain (Psychology Today Barry Sears, 2012)

Mushrooms

Red Pepper

Red Onions

Tomato

Sea Salt

Garlic

Now you are wondering, “How do I make an omelet? “

1.       Prep your veggies

2.       Get out a non-stick fry pan

3.       Put some butter on the pan and set temp at low


4.       Grab your eggs and batter them

5.       Sprinkle in some sea salt

6.       Take your veggies and pour them into the frying pan

7.       Cook veggies for 10 minutes at a medium temp

8.       Throw in the battered eggs

9.       Sprinkle some garlic

10.   Cook at a medium temp for about 12 minutes


And Whala! Ready to Eat! 

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

The Good News



There has been a tugging on my heart recently.

It is obvious to bloggers that a blogger is to be vulnerable. After all it is usually our story we are sharing for the purpose of uplifting others. And since our story is not a perfect one there is a chance that there will be times where we will be vulnerable; vulnerable to our readers.

Some questions I ask are, “will my readers understand me?” “Will they laugh at me, or share the same sentiments?” Whatever the response, there is always ONE person who will be grateful for a bloggers vulnerability.

For a while now I have been asking myself if I should share something very personal to me. Something I decided to keep to myself because I felt others would not understand and therefore write me off. However, I recognize that there is a community who is longing for someone to speak about this ugly truth. Some of these people are waiting for hope and some of these people are dying to put a face to the person who is overcoming this monster.

I have been diagnosed with obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD).


To those close to me, it is not a secret.

I wake up mornings and I go through my mental routines. I doubt and I struggle.
OCD is a world of its own. Unlike other disorders OCD is not always easy to recognize. There are many forms of OCD. There is the contamination form, the hoarding form, the scrupulosity form, the organizing form, the responsibility of harming others form, and the list goes on. Individuals with OCD have disturbing thoughts (Intrusive thoughts or obsessions).  

When one thinks of the word obsession, one may think of daydreaming for long periods of time over something they adore. However, when a mental health specialist uses the term obsession with OCD clients they are talking about unwanted, senseless, inappropriate, intrusive, and distressing thoughts. These thoughts are not manifestations of interest. (Abramowitz, 2009)  It is important to understand that EVERYONE has thoughts like these. Whether if one has OCD or not everyone has had a thought that is intrusive; research has revealed that 90-99% of the entire population has experienced disturbing thoughts (Abramowitz, 2009). The average person has 4,000 thoughts every day. Abramowitz states “naturally some of these thoughts are going to be random, senseless, unpleasant, and contrary to your character of being”.  Some of you may be asking why we have these thoughts? There is a theory that is called “the thought generator theory”. This theory states that just like one daydreams of what may happen if he or she won the lottery, one can also day dream about thoughts that we rather not think about (Abramowitz, 2009). This makes sense.

The difference between people with OCD and people without OCD is that people with OCD question whether or not he or she desires those thoughts to come true.  For example, one night I was at a bar with a few friends and I saw a huge chandelier hanging from the middle of the room. (This was my own thought) I then thought to myself “what if that chandelier came crashing down on all of these people?” The person without OCD will say “hmm that was a strange thought” and they will not give the thought any more thought. The person with OCD will say “oh my, does that mean I want this to happen? Why would I have thought this thought?”  I personally think people with OCD are extremely sensitive and caring people. This is why these thoughts bother them so much.

(Made by Erin James)

People with OCD do things (rituals) to get rid of the anxiety that comes along with these thoughts. Some people may think that by touching a door knob they are now contaminated with germs. So, they wash their hands over and over until they feel clean. The thoughts that people with OCD have however, are thoughts contrary to what the person truly desires (Hyman, 2010), hence why OCD can take on many forms. It is an animal that holds certain logic; logic of your own (Abramowitz, 2009). Experts say that OCD attacks the very thing the person with OCD values the most (Hyman, 2010). In my case, I truly value a relationship with Christ. I am a Christian. It is important to me that I reflect a pure lifestyle. However, because of my OCD sometimes I doubt. I wonder if I am truly a good Christian. If what I am doing is enough. If I have a dirty thought (like every human does) I doubt my faith. And I begin to pray and pray until I feel forgiven. The problem with this is that the ritualistic behavior is contrary to what the word of God says. The word of God says that if we believe in Christ, we are forgiven. That’s it. It doesn’t say we are forgiven if we pray 100 times. Or it doesn’t say we are forgiven if we never sin again (That would be unrealistic). It says we are forgiven. No strings attached.  The other problem with this is that, rituals reinforce the obsessions individuals have; this means that the thoughts come back stronger and more frequently. Why would we entertain a thought that is only a lie? Because people with OCD need certainty, faith is not certain.  We cannot prove if we are going to heaven or hell. We cannot prove if Jesus is pleased with us. It is something we choose to believe. This uncertainty makes breaking the cycle of rituals very hard for individuals with OCD.

Because I have done a lot of research on OCD and because I have been active in receiving treatment I have come a long way. At times the thoughts still makes me stumble and I engage in ritualistic prayers. However, for the most part I can ignore them or tell them to shut up.

I write this post because there are many suffering from OCD and from other disorders. No one talks about these things. However these illnesses are very common. Millions suffer from OCD. And millions suffer from other disorders. I had a professor once who said “as long as you are alive, you have had one disorder or another at one point in time.” People go through traumas. People are born with disorders due to biological factors. These things are NORMAL. Yet, no one wants to talk about it. It is important that we begin talking about these things especially as Christians.  The church needs to be open about these things and willing to discuss them.


This morning I woke up to bad news. Robin Williams committed suicide. Robin Williams suffered from major depressive disorder. Why did he commit suicide? Did he feel alone? He must have. Robin Williams was a talented man. I remember growing up on films like Mrs. Doubtfire, Patch Adams, World’s Greatest Dad, and more. This morning my heart broke. It still aches when I see photos of him. He was SO FUNNY! I remember as a child I could not stop laughing at his hilarious jokes. The movies I listed above were movies I watched over and over again. This man brought joy to so many homes and so many families. Yet, he took his own life. This makes me think, where were his people? Did he have a supportive network? Who knows?
The good news is that even the midst of this bad news; the truth is that one can have these disorders and still live a full productive life. I write this post to encourage the doubters, the ones who suffer, and the ones who feel alone.



YOU ARE NOT ALONE.

You CAN have a full life; a happy life.

If you believe you are suffering form OCD or any other mental illness there are numerous resources out there; affordable resources too.

Just to name a few affordable resources in the Miami area…

The Goodman Center
The Mailman Center
C.H.I.

Help is something very personal. Everyone’s needs are different. I desire to be someone who can provide resources to those in need. If you want to talk or want additional resources email me. I respond to all my emails in a timely manner. Click the Contact Me button on this blog and you will find my email there. You are not alone dear one. Get help and start living now!

With love,



Grace Olivieri 

Monday, August 11, 2014

Prelude To The Good News




Good morning lovely readers!

This morning I am working on a piece that will be called The Good News. It is not finished yet. However, it will be up by tomorrow morning! 

In the meantime wherever you are grab a cup of coffee, close your eyes, let peace overwhelm you and give your cares to God. 

Remember that He cares for you. So focus on what matters and enjoy your Monday! 

Psalm 55:22 
Cast your burden on the LORD and he will sustain you.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Paradigm Shift

Sometimes we need to look at life a little differently.

“The term paradigm shift was introduced by Thomas Kuhn in his highly influential landmark book: The Structure of Scientific Revolutions. Kuhn demonstrated how almost every significant breakthrough in the scientific field is first a break with tradition, with old ways of thinking, and with old paradigms. “– Stephen Covey
Today I was greeted by a young woman who appeared to be in her early thirties. She wore a navy blue tank top, cropped navy blue shorts and a bandanna on her head. She was about 5’5 and lean. She was friendly and radiated a warm presence.

Her apartment was cozy. Her backyard filled with plants, comfy couches made out of plywood and beautiful flowers decorating the tables in her backyard.

Many people were in her backyard, all were professionals. All appeared to be in their thirties maybe some entering their forties. I noticed the smiles on the faces of these people and I noticed their conversations. They’re conversations consisted of holistic living, art, history, and humanitarian projects. I introduced myself to the others and chatted some; we ate and enjoyed one another’s company. Towards the end this young woman who first greeted me upon my arrival, invited everyone to a beautiful table in the center of her backyard. The table was filled with goodies like hummus, peanut butter filled pretzels and Nutella. We all sat around the table and she begun sharing her heart with us. She spoke of blogging. She spoke of ways to make money blogging, and she spoke of what makes a blogger successful. Later she invited us to join her in some gardening. I was taken aback by this woman’s simplicity.  Yes, she was intelligent and yes she was thrifty. Yet, these things were not what impressed me. What impressed me was her ability to be herself, to be vulnerable, and to share what she loved most with women who were not all familiar to her.  At one point I took a deep breath in.  I realized that in that moment my soul was pleased. I was among people who enjoyed good living. These people understood the simple joys of life.

Us eating before planting

My Marigolds

For many years I surrounded myself with people who knew how to have a fun night with respectable booze and music. However, those people were fun for only a season in my life. When it came down to carrying a conversation, we had little to talk about. I realized our values were different and apart from the partying, we truly had nothing in common. I decided that I needed people who understood what life is really about. I needed people who lived from their hearts instead of from their flesh, people who sought out what matters instead of seeking out what’s popular. At one point my views were distorted and so were the views of my companions.

 Today though, I was surrounded by people who had a clear vision of life. It was truly refreshing.  Stephen Covey states in his book: 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, that there is a difference between character and personality. Character is the thing that carries one through the ups and down of life. It is what pushes people to stand up for what they believe in, as well as what pushes some to stick around when things get tough. Instead, personality is what is on surface. It is what others see first. Personality is what causes one to like or dislike a person. Yet, it is not what sustains relationships or anything meaningful. Today I charge you to surround yourself with people of character. There is saying that says something along the lines of:  “If you want to be rich, then stop hanging around with broke people.” This is not to say that we only socialize and make ourselves available to those who are in high positions. This means however, that if you want a life of fulfillment then hanging around with the spiritually and emotionally bankrupt will not motivate you or give you fulfillment. As I write this I wonder how some may perceive this post. It is not my intention to hurt anyone. Yet, I want to encourage my readers to evaluate their relationships. Evaluate their lives. Are you my reader, seeking what’s healthy and what’s right? If not, then maybe you need to evaluate why you are not seeking what's true...or why you don't have truth seekers that surround you. Maybe at the end you will come to the conclusion that you may need a paradigm shift, if so, embrace this change. Good things come to those who are always evolving.


Blessings,


Grace Olivieri 

Saturday, August 9, 2014

It's Time for Me Time



When one thinks about “healthy living” what does he or she think about?

More importantly, what do you (my beautiful reader) think about?

There are many blogs that are dedicated to eating right and exercising. This is wonderful. Healthy living should require one to consume foods that nourish the body and it also should be about staying in good shape. Yet, healthy living is also about living a pure life; a life that says “happy, content, secure, full, united, and more.”

Today I want to focus on what some call “me time”.

We live in a society that demands so much of us. Reports for our bosses need to be turned in on a timely manner (and even sometimes sooner than we were told), children need to be picked up from school, husbands need to have their meals prepared for when they get home, house work needs to get done, and the list goes on. When is there any time for us, for you, for me?

The Bible states that many times Jesus had to get away from all the chaos. Jesus’ mission was to tell others about the “good news”. He went from city to city, region to region (on foot, or boat) telling others about God, about helping the poor, and about living righteous lives. However, even He had to get away from his high demands. Imagine… it must have been like having a conference to speak at every so often; all that traveling, all that public speaking, all that sacrificing for others. That must have been tiring.

Even He needed “time off”.

So today I urge you to evaluate all that needs to be done. Plan it out and during your planning schedule in some “me time”.

Mark 6:30-32

“The apostles returned to Jesus and told him all that they had done and taught. And he said to them, Come away by yourselves to a desolate place and rest a while; for many were coming and going, and they had no leisure even to eat.  And they went away in the boat to a desolate place by themselves.”


What is it that will give you rest? Is it taking a nap? Is it reading your bible? Is it going out for a walk? Catching up with an old friend who brings you peace? Whatever it is that gives you rest, do that very thing today.


Friday, August 8, 2014

An Ally




“I didn't have to look to know who it was; this was a voice I would know anywhere – know, and respond to, whether I was awake or asleep…or even dead, I’d bet. The voice I’d walk through fire for – or, less dramatically, slosh every day through the cold and endless rain for. Edward.”
(Bella Swan, New Moon, Chapter 1, p.4)

It has been a while since I have written an entry about relationships. In fact, the last time I wrote an entry about relationships was when Little Bit of Grace was still up, which was the older version of today's, Healthy Living by Grace.

What compels me to write today?  Healthy living encompasses so many things. Relationships are one of them.

I want you for a moment to read again, the quote above. Read it and when you get to Edward’s name, instead of filling in his name, fill the blank with anyone that is close to your heart.

Were you able to find someone worthy enough to fill in the blank?

When I was in college I fell in love. My boyfriend was charming, romantic, kind, and fun to be around. However, there were many things we did not have in common. I didn't care though. My love for him outshone the vital characteristics he lacked, or should I say, WE lacked. I was young and was determined to love him, for better or for worse. The only problem was that when the charm faded, the romance ended, and being around one another was no longer fun, we… had…NOTHING.

The Bible says “be equally yoked”. In other words, be equally coupled or allied. What makes two nations come together in the midst of war; a common cause.

The Bible also says “It is not good for man to be alone”. God understood that mankind needs each other.  The reality is that life is not easy and it isn't always pretty. Marriages are tested constantly. Kids act up, bills need to be paid, and emergencies happen. What one needs in the chaos that life brings is a companion. One needs to be secure, to know that in the midst of war, he or she has an ally. However, how can one have an ally if the two parties do not have a common basis for life?

When I was young, I looked for charm and I valued what made me instantly satisfied. However as an adult I understand that all fades and when beauty fades I will need an ally.

I want you to think for a second. The person you filled the blank with, is he or she worthy? Will he or she be the one you can count on?

The voice I’d walk through fire for – or, less dramatically, slosh every day through the cold and endless rain for.

When the cold hits, the rains come, and the fire is too strong to bear, will you be able to fight for and with this person?

“When I was a child, I spoke like a child; I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a woman, I put the ways of a child behind me.” – 1 Corinthians 13:11

You my dear do need to be romanced, you deserve to feel the butterflies, but you also deserve and need an ally. Choose wisely. Think about the values this person holds…is it consistent with what you desire for your life? If not, do not settle my dear. Wait…for God has someone in store for you. 



Thursday, August 7, 2014

Perspective

                   
                               


Many wander through life searching for the very thing that inspires them.
Some go from career to career; others delve into projects and leave them unfinished.
What is it that people are searching for? What is it that fulfills these tired souls?

As a child I lived a simple life. Thankfully I was allowed to be a child. Some are robbed of their childhood, forced to grow up and take care of the adults in their lives. However, I was not one of them. I was well taken care of and because of that I was allowed to dream. I had big dreams. I believed I could do anything I desired and I saw no limitations. Yet, I remember as a child coming across adults who had no hope.  I wondered many times why had these individuals lost their hope? As a child I did not understand their glum faces that read “defeat”. Why was life so hard? When did they lose confidence in their dreams?
In my early twenties I began to understand a little of what happens to adults. See, I moved from a slow paced city to a fast paced jungle; the beautiful NYC. Moving can take a toll on someone. Don’t get me wrong. Living in New York was the best thing I could have ever done and if I could do it again I would. However, adjustment takes time and going from a smaller city to a bigger city will open your eyes. During my time in New York I was faced with different challenges. My core beliefs were shaken and everything I once believed in no longer appeared to be promising.  I fell in love, I fell out of love. I saw people come and go. I made new friends and I eventually had to leave my new friends behind. After New York I moved… again and again. Because of these things I began to understand why some lose faith. Why some no longer pursue their dreams or commit themselves to a cause. It is tough to say goodbye. It is tough to lose what you love. 

Nevertheless, I chose to put my faith in the redemption that goes along with loss.
Today, I am a more mature person for the things I have seen. Thankfully my faith has been restored after the falls I have faced.  Don’t get me wrong, I still doubt and I still become distracted. But I have learned to rest and let go. I have learned that it truly isn't about the destination. It is about the journey. The many friends and people you will run into will teach you something about life; whether you choose to stay in touch or not. The many places you have been will a leave mark. EVERYTHING you do and EVERYTHING you experience has a purpose.  No matter how painful the loss, nothing is in vain. And the beauty of it all is that it all adds to the person you are supposed to turn into. It molds you into the imperfectly perfect creature God has destined you to be.

As I look back at all that I have accomplished I am thankful. I am thankful for my family, my friends, and for the new opportunities that are presented every day. Each experience draws me closer to my destiny and my destiny is to only be eternally connected to my creator.

Once you have lost and gained again you can find inspiration in almost anything.

Have you lost hope? Don’t Give Up.

You will understand soon the purpose of it all.

Believe.