Uncategorized

Modern- Day Jonahs 🐳🌊

20180328_234436_0001Sometimes, even as Christians we can be living our lives like Jonah… We all know the story of Jonah. He ran away from God & his purpose/ calling (or so he thought), & tried to hide so God wouldn’t find him. But little did Jonah know, God not only knew where he was the entire time, but He was with Jonah & had control over everything! Thanks to God’s mercy, Jonah was sent right back to where he was supposed to go, & he did what God instructed him, which was to deliver a word from God to the people of Nineveh who were lost. They got saved! 💖🙌

Of course, nowadays, we surely all know better. As Christians, we’ve all heard this story by now, and if not, we’ve been told various times the fact that God is everywhere and we cannot hide from Him. So we don’t even try to hide physically, but, this doesn’t stop us from trying to hide our hearts from the Lord, from turning away from Him spiritually & running away from our purpose. There are many “Modern- day Jonahs” running around the world today lol. Sometimes, it can be us & we may not even realize we are doing this. Our society is so conditioned to live such a shallow, non- self- reflective life (not sure if that’s a word but you get the idea lol), that asking God to examine us and/ or having our hearts examined by God, simply does NOT come easy. We are full of pride. And I get it. I’ve been guilty of this too. Until God shook me awake (numerous times), and pointed me in the right direction. Like Jonah, God simply wasn’t going to let me go the way I wanted to. And I am grateful to Him for it! As my way would’ve led to destruction! 🙈🙏

23 Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. 24 See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.

-Psalm 139: 23-24

Living for the Lord is really not always easy. It’s difficult many times. We will have to endure rejection, do things that are challenging, that go against our fleshly desires, or that simply don’t make sense lol. But we need to keep our heart humble and obedient to God’s calling in our lives, even if we don’t fully understand it at the moment. Having the Lord examine us and work with us, change our hearts, is really not easy work. But the truth is that if we want to reach our purpose, we have to do this work and we have to keep relying on God and not on ourselves. We need to be humble before Him and not be prideful.

Pride can come in many forms. And I truly believe that if you are too worried about what others may think, and you put the opinion of others before the opinion of God, then that is pride and it is something you need to ask God to remove from your life because it will stop you from doing what God has called you to do. Nowadays, people live on the opinion of others. Social media has created a world of people who simply live for the approval of others. But we cannot be like the world. We need to have the courage to really live our faith.

We also have a tendency to do what is easy. I have been really guilty of this at times in the past 😳. To me this is pride in the sense that we’re not willing to do what God has called us to do if it seems like too much work. We think we have a better idea, just like Jonah thought when he went the exact opposite way of where God told him to go! Jonah questioned God on the task that was given to him. He didn’t understand God’s reason for wanting to save a city full of sinners. So he decided to go on his own way. This is also pride!

I love convenience and I love things that are simple. I am just so used to having everything delivered to me, the more simple the better LOL. But even though we have grown up with all this technology, God has also taught me that the things of the Lord aren’t always convenient and they aren’t always easy. But they are the right choice. If I always go with my desire for convenience, I will be choosing the wrong path a lot of the time. So I have to be wise and not over- indulge in my desire for instant things and then miss out on what is really important. Just like in a romantic relationship or any relationship, when people get lazy the relationships suffers; Well with God its the same way. If we get lazy & become used to this culture of convenience all of the time, our relationship with God will suffer. We need to put in time and effort continually. 💖🙏

The Narrow and Wide Gates 

13 “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. 14 But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it. 

-Matthew 7: 13-14 NIV

Thinking about life and about faith in rational terms is just not a good way to go about it. Faith is the opposite of rationale, & many times it won’t make sense. I tend to do this for a lot of things in my life, like everyday decisions, I tend to go for things that make most sense. But when it comes to my faith, I have learned, I just have to be sort of irrational LOL. I can’t care what people think. I can’t care if it’s the harder, more inconvenient choice. I can’t care if it doesn’t make sense to my friends from facebook, or to family members, coworkers, or friends who don’t agree. I am kind, loving, and respectful to them of course. But I can still have my views, and I need to not only defend my faith, but live it out and live my life according to it. If I don’t do this, then I wouldn’t be sincere to myself & worst of all, I wouldn’t be acting in complete honesty with God either. It’s like keeping an essential part of my heart turned away from God, just to please others. God wants our WHOLE HEART.

37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’[a] 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. -Matthew 22: 37-38 NIV

We don’t have to compromise our views just because it doesn’t please other people. You don’t need to offend people, just be obedient and let yourself be led by the Holy Spirit. It may not make sense, pride may try to tell us to do something different, but as long as we’re being led by the Holy Spirit, we can be confident we’re making the correct desicions. 💖🙌🙏💯

I hope you are having a blessed week! Xoxo💖🙏

IMG_20180323_083234_699

Uncategorized

Snow Day! ❄☃️

PicsArt_03-21-03.23.46I love snow days, this season hasn’t been as bad here where I live, and tbh I just miss the snow. Actually I think this is the first real LEGITIMATE snow day we’ve had because there have been others but it’s been like less than 3 inches of snow. That is not even real snow imo LOL. 😂

Anyway I just love how snow days simply stop everything. People can’t go to work, children can’t go to school, families are just forced to stay home and well, be together!! 👨‍👩‍👧‍👦 It’s such a rare thing these days. We’re so rushed, so busy that a snow day where we can actually take time to have some breakfast with family, is really welcomed. Many people work from home so this is still a work day technically for some, but it’s still so nice to break out of the norm and have some extra time either to yourself or with family.

Growing up in Puerto Rico, of course I never had snow days lol. We did have however, hurricane days. 🌬🌀 These were days when school and work was cancelled due to incoming hurricane. And this was serious lol. First of all, there’s the immediate threat that you might actually die LOL, or lose your home. In Puerto Rico, hurricane winds cut off power and water, so that further complicated things. People need to buy weeks of supplies (drinking water for your entire family, flashlights with batteries, a gas stove, non perishable food to eat, etc etc, oh and don’t forget to collect rainwater so you have a way to clean!) to be ready for a hurricane. But, even in this situation, I feel like as a kid you still have fun no matter what. You’re just so happy to be out of school and home with your family.

We would play, and simply watching the hurricane (when we could take peek), was really exciting! My mom would cook in her little gas stove, and made us hot chocolate with cheese (a tradition in Puerto Rico when there are gatherings lol), and then after, instead of cleaning up snow you clean up leaves and branches lol. But it’s so nice back then and even now, how everything stops, and it makes you think of what is really important. At least for me. 🤔😌 We really have no control of anything, God is the one who is in control. God can make the weather do anything, whether it’s a hurricane or a blizzard. Nature really is simply gorgeous, it can leave us in awe of its power, and God is control of it all. It’s truly amazing! 😮😌❤

In his hand are the depths of the earth, and the mountain peaks belong to him.
The sea is his, for he made it,
 and his hands formed the dry land. — Psalm 95:4-5 NIV

Hope you are having a blessed week! Xoxo 💖

Uncategorized

Life Lessons from Spring Baking Championship 🍰🙏

PicsArt_03-12-11.29.49Last night, I was watching the last few episodes & finale of Season 3 of Food Network’s Spring Baking Championship. I don’t watch much TV, but food shows are one thing I do tend to get into when I watch. Baking is also one of my hobbies so it’s always very interesting seeing the different techniques.  

It was down to a home baker, an experienced trained baker, and a “rookie” trained baker. It was very surprising because at first, you keep thinking that the experienced baker was going to win. He did everything so perfectly. His desserts were executed with such care and precision, they really just stood out from the rest! But towards the last few competitions, he seemed to get over- confident in his skills, and was messing up on things that were quite essential. Yet, he didn’t seem aware of his overconfidence. In the end, this overconfidence got the best of him. He lost the competition to the rookie, who may not have had all the skills down pat like he did, BUT, he was humble and smart enough to listen to the judges and step up his game! The rookie took it right from under him! 😀😃 It was pretty incredible.

Maybe I’m reading too much into a simple baking show competition LOL, but it really made me think about life. The biggest lesson for me was, how we really should never lose our faith. The rookie, could have easily become discouraged or intimidated in the beginning when the more experienced baker and even the home baker kept winning the small challenges, and he would never win. He was afterall, a rookie & had less experience than the seasoned baker. But he knew he had a talent & he was confident in this fact. He kept his faith in himself that he could still win, and didn’t give up like other competitors did. Some even spoke it out loud, saying, they “know they are going home,” without even knowing what the other person’s cake tasted like in the inside!

What REALLY matters is on the inside. You can have beautiful cakes all day long but if they don’t taste good, don’t have the right texture, you might as well throw them in the trash! Sometimes we give up because we compare ourselves. We look at others’ lives from the outside & think, oh wow it looks so great, but we don’t know what’s REALLY going on. We judge without knowing the FULL picture, and take ourselves out of the game and why? Because we let ourselves get intimidated, lose our faith, all based on false, incomplete information! The winner of this competition, won although his cake was decorated nice (not perfect), but what mattered to the judges was that once they cut it open, it was the most amazing cake. Perfect flavor, texture, everything. He rose up to the challenge. The experienced baker’s cake LOOKED nice from the outside, even intimidating if you’re focusing on it. But the rookie pressed on and focused on his work. Little did he know, once they ate the experienced bakers’ cake, it was so bad, it was basically inedible!! Things aren’t always how they look!  

The second lesson, was that no matter how you may start, what really matters is how you finish. The rookie did not have a great start! He was not getting great reviews, he was barely making it to the next round, his work was inconsistent, but he kept trying and doing his best, and not losing hope that he could still seriously win, even though things did not look good at the moment. He didn’t let it shake him. He was humble, but not defeated, and there is a huge difference in those two attitudes. He took himself seriously but not overly so, and therefore, it reflected on his attitude and his work in a very positive way. Nerves didn’t get the best of him like they got the experienced chef, who kept dropping everything and making mistakes, and he was able to beat him! Isn’t this how life is?

The way in which we perceive ourselves will be reflected on the outside, through our daily lives & actions. Our thoughts become a self- fulfilling prophecy! So why do people CHOOSE to prophesize failure and defeat over themselves?! Remember, just because things may not be looking great at the moment, it does not mean that something great isn’t going to happen! Especially for us followers of Christ, we need to be believing in this every single day. God is in control of everything and everything has a purpose. It’s really difficult to understand sometimes when we look around our lives. We see that it seems we’ve lost many battles. We see that just like the rookie, we seem to be at a disadvantage. But just remember, we’re not even seeing the whole picture, God is! We don’t have all of the information, only God does, so why give up our faith in life’s situations, when we are still good for the win?! It’s not how you start, it’s how you finish that matters. ❤ Often times we are so hard on ourselves, we tend to adopt the world’s hyper- critical,  “logical” way of thinking, & hashly judge & condemn ourselves! This way of thinking becomes our inner voice, & it shouldn’t be. People of the world don’t understand how God can make anything happen for His children. We cannot adopt this way of thinking! God has the power to make changes, whatever they may be, at any point! He makes the impossible possible! We just have to believe…The rookie believed. And it earned him the win 💖🙌

And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.

— Hebrews 11:6 NIV

24 Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.

— Mark 11:24 NIV

29 Then he touched their eyes and said, “According to your faith let it be done to you”;

— Matthew 9:29

Are there any areas of your life that you think you need to believe more, in which you need to have more faith?

I hope you’re having a wonderful & blessed start to your week! Xoxo 💖😗

Uncategorized

Top 10 signs he’s not into you- A Christian girl’s guide ❤

PicsArt_03-08-01.00.38Harsh reality in life. Sometimes, some people will not be interested in us romantically. I strongly believe, if a guy isn’t into you, it’s best to save yourself the emotional turmoil & pain, and just move on. Find someone with whom you have a real connection, and who reciprocates those feelings as well. It feels amazing when you’ve found someone that you click with, but we cannot force these things to happen. I wrote a little bit before about creating boundaries/ standards in dating, & in life in general, based on God & His word (you can find these blog posts here & here). 😉❤

So today, I wanted to share with you 10 signs he’s just “not that into you.” These are just 10 signs he’s not treating you properly because he doesn’t care about you all that much. Keep in mind, when men behave this way, treating us poorly, it is just a reflection of their own low sense of self- worth. Try to learn from experiences, but don’t take rejections too personally or take it to heart because at the end of the day, that person was simply not who God intended for you.

BTW, I first heard this term from the book “He’s just not that into you” by Greg Bernhart. It’s a dating classic and I believe this book started it ALL. As some of you know (or maybe not LOL), I love reading, and anything about God like devotionals, psychology, self- development, and dating is my jam lol. Right now I’m into Matthew Hussey because he’s a dating coach plus he’s BIG on self- development and simply living a life that is, well lived basically! We all have our definitions of that but I like how he just gives you a blueprint sort of. He knows A LOT about human behavior and emotions. If you want to get better at understanding people, I suggest watching some of his life videos. Even his dating videos offer a ton of great advice that can be applied to any life situation. 😀

Anyways lol, these tips I came up with are just things that I’ve either experienced myself, or that I’ve read & heard about other women experiencing, & thought I’d include them. Some of them might seem obvious, but trust me, I know some people lower their standards for a person they like. I’m not judging bc I know feelings cloud our judgement, but I use these as a guide to “override” my feelings & make good decisions. No matter how I feel about the guy, if these behaviors appear, I move on. So these signs are red flags that a guy isn’t treating you the right way or taking you as seriously as he should. And of course, this is just my opinion, I’m not an expert or anything! These are just things I’ve noticed 🙂 I know some are a little simplistic, but I hope they’re somehow helpful. 💖

10 Signs he’s “not that into you:”

  1. He’s rude to you, mean, disrespectful, lies to you, or is even angry or aggressive
  2. He doesn’t put his best foot forward for you-None or little effort
  3. He is inconsistent, flaky, or ghosts you (or worse, dumps you!!), & if he sends mixed signals or breadcrumbs you
  4. He forgets important things about you
  5. He stays distant from you, physically and emotionally. Keeps you at “arms length.”
  6. There’s no progress happening in the relationship.
  7. He never or rarely initiates. You do all the work.
  8. He criticizes you, important aspects of your personality & your life.
  9. He has a wandering eye, flirts with other women online or real life, or even cheats on you.
  10. He doesn’t respect or value your God- based boundaries or standards. 

You can’t make people like you or fall in love with you. If a guy isn’t sharing your values, or SAYS he does, then in his actions he is clearly disrespecting them, you cannot change that about him. Having different values is a recipe for disaster & heartbreak. 💔😭

14 Do not be yoked together with unbelievers.For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness?

— 2 Corinthians 6:14 NIV

Furthermore, if you have a pattern of falling for people who treat you poorly, are emotionally unavailable, or have different values, you need to ask yourself why. Ask the Lord to help you overcome this unhealthy habit. Seek a counselor. Learn to be aware of signs when a man is unavailable, so you can avoid them.

Flee the evil desires of youth and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart. — 2 Timothy 2:22

Lastly, stop giving men chances who simply do not deserve it, who do not meet your standards or try to disrespect your boundaries, just because you think he’s so cute or funny, or you have a connection, or his hair is cool, whatever! Just, no. LOL. We’re better than this! We can teach men how to treat us right by our own actions and what we choose to accept. Even self- proclaimed Christian men try to pull this all of the time, so it’s up to us to filter these men out of our lives so we can live a happy and drama- free life, and find a truly fulfilling relationship! Not only that, but most importantly, we need to remain in obedience to God. Do not compromise your God- based standards, & risk losing your salvation for a guy! Putting a guy before your obedience to God’s word is not pleasing to God, because God needs to be in first place in our lives. If it’s in God’s plan, the right person is out there. And that guy will not push you to separate from God or be disobedient to Him, but he will push you to be closer. You will push each other. 

Remember we need to be willing to let go of the things of the world, including toxic relationships, e.g. the players, emotionally unavailable men, etc. Important note- Not every man who says he is a Christian will act like one. Any guy who truly has a relationship with Christ, will not only agree with your God- based standards, but he will love you and respect you for them. So remember, always watch his actions and effort, that is what counts. Don’t pay attention so much to his words or excuses. Above all, have faith in God, keep doing your best & living for Him, & the right person will come. 💖

I hope you found this helpful! 🙂 God bless Xoxo

 

Uncategorized

❤ Hebrews 12:1-3 (NIV) ❤

12 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us,fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame,and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.

Uncategorized

Pounding on a Locked Door 🔒😐

Howdy! 😀 I hope your week is off to a great start! I wanted to share this picture I saw online… ❤ It made me think of my own life & all the times I’ve insisted on opening doors that clearly weren’t for me! 🙈 Lol.

Sometimes we try to force things that simply do not have our name on it! We have to trust in the Lord & in His perfect plan for our lives. It can be challenging to understand God’s will when we’re not sure exactly where we’re going, but if we’re being led by God, we know the plans are for our own good.

11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. — Jeremiah 29:11 NIV

If something didn’t work, don’t be discouraged. God has something in store for you, & it will be better than anything you hoped for. Don’t keep letting time pass by, knocking & insisting on that wrong door. Or crying or mourning over the fact that the door shut. Keep moving forward, God many times is waiting to bless us, but we just need to be willing to let go of certain things in our lives that don’t belong there. Ask the Lord to examine your heart, to guide you in making the right desicions, & to give you wisdom. The Bible says if we want wisdom, we can ask God, & He will give it to us.

5 If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.

— James 1:5 NIV

What an incredible gift! Salvation, wisdom, AND so many more promises, amazing!! 💯❤🙏🎁

So no more pounding on locked doors, or insisting on things for our lives that are outside of God’s will. In Jesus name ❤ Amen.

Have a blessed Tuesday 💗 Xoxo

PS- If you haven’t already, you should listen to Austin French’s song “Freedom Hymn.” SERIOUSLY. 😐 Lol 😀 It’s so good, & talks about this very topic so thought I’d share. ❤ The lyrics are beautiful, & that’s why I titled this post the way I did (It’s a line from the song). ❤🤓🙌 https://youtu.be/r-VfFTVu-6E

Uncategorized

Cultivating Excellence 🌱💯

PicsArt_03-02-01.15.19

I’ve made it one of my goals to cultivate this quality of “excellence” on myself this year. In the past, I used to focus on being perfect all of the time. But this is so damaging on so many levels. Not only is the idea of perfection nonexistent and completely unattainable, but the person trying to achieve it isn’t aware of this fact. So you work so hard, only to end up constantly comparing yourself and your work to others, realizing you or your work will never ever be good enough, and lastly either destroying your work or abandoning projects midway through. I used to have a string of unfinished projects that I would start, but never finish. Or projects I would just destroy because I thought, what’s the use? It will never be perfect. Then months or years later I would find my work and think, oh wow this is amazing I should’ve finished it! Lol. What good are unfinished works and projects, that remain hidden?! God doesn’t want that from us, He wants us to follow through so He can use us!
Could you imagine if God decided to leave us just as we are, and not finish His work within us? If He decided to just give up on us? Never right! God would never do this. It says so in His word. So we need to finish our work as well, because everything we do, we should be doing for God! 🙂

6 being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. — Phillipians 1:6 NIV
23 Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, 24 since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving. — Colossians 3: 23-24

So no more perfectionism for me! 😀👏🙌🙏Thank God He has done some major work with me in this area. I now finish everything I start, & I also know how to say no. I have more balance & I know when something is just too much. It’s a work in progress. 😊 I just want to focus on growing and not competing, and just giving my best in every area of my life. Not looking around, wondering who’s doing what and measuring myself up against other people or the world’s standards. Simply outdoing myself! 🙂
Part of being excellent also means imo, following through, finishing tasks as previously mentioned, being diligent, being punctual and reliable, and all those wonderful qualities that we like in people who inspire us. They inspire us BECAUSE of these qualities, and because they are just doing their personal best, putting in hard work, and simply following God’s standards, notwithstanding of what anyone else may be doing. And hey I’m not perfect & I know nobody else is. Of course there will be times when life happens, & things do not go as planned. There are many variables that are simply out of our control. But as long as we’re putting in effort, I think that’s what counts. 😀💯
The point is to not remain stagnant in your spiritual life or elsewhere. The efforts we make to be “excellent” need to be habits that become part of our daily routine, not something you do once in a while. I always think of it in terms of going “above & beyond”, or “beyond the call of duty.” Not just doing bare minimum but on everything you do, just really try to do YOUR personal best (not comparing yourself to others but YOUR best). And once you reach a certain goal, you can set new goals in order to keep growing. It’s these daily habits that will define us as “excellent” and make all the difference. To me these daily habits are like the “seeds” for excellence. And then as we keep doing these habits, we’re “watering the seeds” & “giving them sunlight,” so we’re making excellence grow! 🌱🙌 Making productive use of our time and resources shows that we are grateful for the blessings that God has placed within our hands, and that we are good managers of those blessings, however big or small.

So what does excellence mean to you? How are you cultivating excellence in different areas of your life? What seeds are you planting? 🌱🌳
Well I hope you’ve had a great week and enjoy the weekend to come!! God bless ❤ Xoxo ❤