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Where’s the Love?! Part 3: Serving & Being Equally Yoked! ❤🍳

20180706_215259_0001Hello! I hope you guys are having an awesome 4th of July weekend/ week! It’s so weird that this week the holiday is right in the middle of the week, but really cool I must say!!!

It was my niece’s birthday last week, & we celebrated to the full, as we always do in my family lol. We love celebrating birthdays & especially when it’s for one of the kids! She was spending that day at camp, then we were picking her up & going to take her to eat!

Earlier that day, I found out she was the “hopper” for the day at summer camp (one of my friends is a teacher there and she texted me lol). She was basically one of the kid waiters in the lunchroom. On her birthday. This made me think… had this been an adult, I think most people would’ve been sad and maybe even offended by this fact. But, not kids. She spent part of her birthday at camp SERVING other people. Serving her peers. And she was happy as can be to do it!! To her, it was an honor! The world wants us to think that serving is beneath us. That it is not worth your time and that people who serve, are “less than”, and that we deserve to be served all of the time. But this could not be farther from the truth:

Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, 27 and whoever wants to be first must be your slave- just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.

–Matthew 20: 26- 28 NIV

We’re so busy nowadays taking care of #1, that we forget as Christians, we’re called to serve. Yes there need to be clear boundaries (I am huge on personal boundaries), & yes it’s good to take care of yourself because if you don’t, you cant help others either. But everything has a balance in life. It can’t always be all about us. We have to take time to help the people around us, because these are opportunities the Lord is giving us to serve. Chances for us to be a blessing to others in need & in turn, we will be blessed by the Father. We are always so busy, or looking at our phones, making sure we’re all caught up in social media. But we have to stop that bad habit & be more “in the moment.” Sorry to sound so terribly cheesy lol. We can’t notice what’s in front of us, the blessings and opportunities, if our mind is constantly somewhere else. I have to say, this used to happen to me a lot. Rather, I used to do this a lot lol. It was a huge source of my past unhappiness. The enemy wanted to keep my mind either stuck in the past, or constantly dreaming of the future without taking any real action. Constantly distracted by random things, and never focused on what really matters. Never living & enjoying the present moment & appreciating the blessing. When we ask God to remove the blinders the enemy has placed, in Jesus’ name, we can then take an active part in our lives & we can help others.

So you might be wondering what serving has to do with being equally yoked? Lol. Well, let me try to explain the concept of being “equally yoked” first. It has nothing to do with egg yolks like I used to think in high school (not equally YOLKED, equally yoked) 🤣😂🍳🤣 LOL. 

This term is found in 2 Corinthians 6:14, and it actually applies to basically every relationship in your life, not just marriage:

Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what [a]fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what [b]communion has light with darkness? — 2 Corinthians 6:14

I don’t know where I heard this, but it’s a great analogy. They explained being equally yoked like 2 oxen working on a farm, they are yoked together. Yoked meaning they are bound together, working. I am sure you’ve seen a picture of this of farms from the olden days lol. This is a scene that was very common in Puerto Rico where I am from! Anyways, so if you have 2 strong oxen, you will get a lot done! They keep up with each other & will go even farther together. But if you have 1 strong ox & one weak ox, the weak ox will bring down the strong ox, because the strong ox is carrying the weight of the weak ox. The weak ox is literally dragging down the strong ox. So it will slow down the strong ox’s progress, or even stop it from moving forward completely. So that’s what it means to be equally (2 strong oxen), vs. unequally (1 weak and 1 strong ox) yoked.

So when you’re married (when we single peeps get married lol), you’re working together for the Lord. You’re bound together by marriage (yoked), working for the Lord. You’re serving the Lord. That’s what marriage should be for us Christians. We belong to Christ, and we take care of each other, not just physically but spiritually as well. We want to make sure our partner is growing in Christ right?! So if you’re not equally yoked, you won’t be able to serve the Lord as well as you would if you were, if at all. It means you are putting in danger your personal relationship with the Lord. People who are unequally yoked, often stop serving. Because if I pick a spouse who loves the world, he probably would not be happy about me serving the church. He might be even embarrassed by it, as people of the world often are, and will probably discourage me from having a relationship with God, instead of encouraging it. So they become ineffective because they’re not thriving, they’re merely trying to survive themselves. They’re being weighed down by the “weak” ox. That is the result of being unequally yoked. Now, this does not mean that one day the spouse who doesn’t believe won’t come to Jesus and start serving. That happens. But there is just no guarantee. The Bible warns against being unequally yoked, for a good reason!! Being unequally yoked puts our relationship with God at risk, and our effectiveness as Christians and our ability to help others in the Kingdom. Like I said in my last post, we cannot give to others what we ourselves, do not have. So if our relationship with God is suffering, our service for God will suffer as a result as well. 

I am not married. I say this, as a “warning” for other single people, to just follow the Bible and look for a person who also loves the Lord & shows it in their behavior and their lifestyle (this is not for people who are already married, that’s a different scenario). As singles, we should look for someone who is committed to the Lord, committed to serving and growing in Him. Also, if you’re looking for that type of person, we also need to BE this way too, because if we’re not, then that also would not make much sense lol. 

Serving others is an essential part of loving others, which is why I decided to write about it as the last part of my love series. I believe if you are led by the Holy Spirit, you will just be naturally called to serve in certain areas. God will place you there. You don’t have to force it and you won’t feel like you hate it lol. I used to think that was serving, but it is not. You should want to do it, with love and joy in your heart. God knows our talents and he places us where He can use them. I personally feel like I’m still trying to figure out in some way, where I should serve in my church. I help with events and such (as part of the women’s ministry), but there is no “adult singles” ministry so for people like me, it can be hard to figure out. For anyone, actually. For right now, I just look for when they call people to help, & volunteer. It may seem like what you do is small sometimes, but trust me, it is not in the eyes of the Lord. Even the smallest thing, when done in His love, can make the biggest impact. Our work for the Lord is never in vain. We should follow the leading of the Holy Spirit when it’s telling us to help in a certain area of ministry or in a certain moment. Even the smallest things, when done in His love, can have the biggest impact.   

God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them. Hebrews 6:10

Lastly, let’s not forget, serving the Lord is a way to show our love for Him and worship Him too! So when we do His work, from the heart, and live our life in obedience to His word, submitted to His will and not our own, we are showing God that we love Him!

1 Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. — Romans 12:1

I love writing these blog posts, because I always feel like God ministers to me through them. I always learn a lesson. I hope this has been a blessing for you too. God bless you, I hope you enjoyed my love series! Have a fantastic weekend!! Xoxo 💖💖

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Where’s the Love?! Pt.2: Learning to REALLY Love

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It’s finally Friday! Yay! I hope you’ve had a blessed and productive week!

So my last post about love and relationships, was based on Ephesians. Today, I wanted to write about love again, based on 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 NIV.

4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 8 Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.

To me this is, love defined! I used to think this describes God’s nature only. But these verses also are a guide for how we should be treating each other. It makes me think of love within marriage too and other relationships as well. Afterall, we are made in His image, and we are to be imitators of Christ! While some of the verses seem pretty straightforward and “simple”, in my opinion these attributes are very deep and can seem so hard to reach. We all have different struggles. For some people, being patient with anyone can come easy. But they struggle with envy. Or vice- versa. We all have a struggle. But the only way to do it is with the Holy Spirit’s help! There is just no other way!

When I read these verses, I think of the image of leaving your old self behind, that “old version” of yourself dying. That person no longer being there because you are a new person in Christ. Surrendering completely to Christ. Nobody is perfect. We just need to strive to be these things on a daily basis. And yes it can be a struggle but without God and the Holy Spirit’s help, there’s no way we can learn to really love the way He wants us to. Of course forgiving and loving does not mean you have to let people step all over you. But I think it means you still serve them and even respect them. You show them love. You are still good to them. While at the same time, if it’s a person who is offending you, sometimes it is wise to keep your distance in order to keep the peace. But not harbor any sort of resentment in your heart or keep bringing up offenses of the past.

At least for me, before I met God, I was not loving- kind! Lol. Not in the way the Lord requires at least. Though I thought I was. Even with my anger issues and everything, I did think of myself as a loving person and, I guess I was. I wasn’t all evil LOL, there was a lot of goodness in me. I certainly was aching for love and it was apparent. But, I had poor self- control when it came to certain things, and I did not exhibit the fruit of the spirit. I’m sure you’ve met someone like this. So how could I really love people the way that is described above, if I didn’t know God’s love? If I hadn’t experienced it for myself? The Bible says that it’s easy to love those who love you. Everyone does that. But we have to love those who don’t love us, our enemies. The people who want to destroy us!

“You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor[a] and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. 46 If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? 47 And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? 48 Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect. -Matthew 5: 43- 48

The world has their OWN definition of love. But of course for us, followers of Christ, who have experienced the love of Christ, our definition is quite different. When I was in the world, it was easy for me to love those who loved me. I had nothing but love, patience and kindness for them. All those great things. The challenge comes in loving those who are against us, our enemies.

Applying all of the above verses from Corinthians, to an enemy… Can you even imagine that? Or loving the people who love us, but are behaving in ways we just don’t like? That’s what makes the difference. And only having a heart for God will make us do that. Only when we are truly transformed by God, will we be able to do it. Otherwise, it simply does not even make sense to us.

The world calls that crazy. And many Christians simply refuse to follow the Bible. They doubt it. But we must simply follow the word, and let ourselves be transformed by it. 💖😀 It does not matter how much work you do for the church, if your heart is not in the right place. Pride is not right in the eyes of God. He loves us and gives us a chance of course, but we cannot hold pride in our hearts. Especially toward the things of God. If God has given us a directive to love people (see above verse from Corinthians again to see what it means lol), then why are we acting in unloving ways toward them? 🤔

If I speak in the tongues[a] of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 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 do not have love, I am nothing. 3 If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast,[b] but do not have love, I gain nothing. 

1 Corinthians 13: 1-3 NIV

The reality is, that many Christians, have not actually experienced the love of God for themselves. There hasn’t been a full transformation. Therefore, it is impossible for any Christian to really give the kind of love described in these verses, when they themselves, simply don’t have it. 🙁 You cannot give what you don’t have. It’s really as simple as that. If you don’t have God’s love in you first, you won’t be able to give God’s love to others. 🙁

So my message is simply, that we cannot try to love others in the way it says in these verses, on our own strength. It might work for a while, but eventually you will fail at it again because it’s not the real deal. We need to experience God’s love for ourselves first and then, with the Holy Spirit helping us, we will be able to extend this kind of love to others. So the first thing is just opening our hearts and putting aside all pride and doubt. We have to ask God for the Holy Spirit, to come help us in this area. Loving others is something I think everyone struggles with at some point or another. But the first thing is, you have to be willing to admit you need help in this area & ask the Lord for help. Otherwise, no changes will take place. In these verses, we have a clear guide as to what God’s love is. But we cannot rely on our own strength, as this will be fruitless. We need to rely on God. It starts with humbling ourselves before the Lord. 🙏💪 Just as in Galatians, we read of the fruit of the Spirit, here we can’t possibly see this character change without the Spirit being in us. ❤🙏 These verses are very closely related imo. ❤

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. Galatians 5: 22-23 ESV

I hope this message was helpful and that it inspired you in some way! God is truly amazing and if we open our hearts to Him and just humble ourselves before Him and listen to His voice, He can mold our character and shape us into the very best we can be for His glory!! We must ask for wisdom & discernment. ❤💯 I am actually going to do a 3rd & final post about love, God willing I want to have it up early next week! I also will be doing my Friday music posts every other Friday, that way I have more time to do more “reflection” kinds of posts.❤🤓🙌 Have a great Holiday weekend!! 🤗🙏 Xoxo

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Where’s the Love?! 🤔❤ (Part 1: Dating, Relationships, & Self- Esteem!) 🤷🏻‍♀️💖

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Hey guys!

Last week, I posted on my IG that I would be writing a blog post about love. And this is it LOL. I could basically write a book on love because there is a lot that the Bible has to say about it.

God is love… We’ve all heard this verse I am sure…

Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.

— 1 John 4:8 NIV

Obviously, the Bible says a lot about love, & in the next few weeks I’m going to look more into this topic! I really am in love with…. love! Lol. Today, I am focusing on modern relationships & what the Bible says about it. I’m going to Ephesians 5:21- 33, where Paul is talking about how we need to treat each other within relationships. I strongly suggest you read the entire chapter 5, you will love it! 🙂

21 Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.
22 Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. 24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything. 25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her 26 to make her holy, cleansing[b] her by the washing with water through the word, 27 and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. 28 In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29 After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church— 30 for we are members of his body. 31 “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.”[c] 32 This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church. 33 However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.

Submitting… That one word makes everyone cringe nowadays lol. Nobody wants to do it! But they want the other to do it! LOL. These verses have SO MUCH to teach us about relationships! At least it taught me lol. 😂 So not only are we supposed to have Christ as the center of our relationships, but these relationships need to reflect that of Christ and the church, submitting to ONE ANOTHER. 😀 Many men are so quick to say that women are supposed to submit to them, lol, but then they turn around and treat them in unkind and unloving ways. They disrespect them, yell at them, and even emotionally or physically abuse them. I am talking about supposedly Christian men here. (Lord deliver me from these types of men!!!!) And there are women who want to be the head of the household, they want to control everything, and routinely disrespect and put down their partners. (Lord, don’t let me become this!!! Lol) Both of these things are out of God’s order… it clearly states that each person must submit to one another. You have to love and respect one another!

The husband is the head of the household, but that is not a pass for abuse. He must show the kind of sacrificial love that Christ showed for us. Wow! That is quite amazing. If I think about choosing the men I date according to THESE standards, and me behaving this way as well, things would have an order that I can honestly say none of my past relationships have ever had. God’s perfect order! This is my guide :)💯✔

Relationships are complicated lol. And now more than ever it seems. Modern society is presenting an even bigger threat for the family unit, therefore since the family unit begins with love and with one man and one woman loving one another, in an agape, sacrificial way, with Christ as the center, the enemy is really trying his very best to destroy that. Relationships between men and women are most definitely under attack. It is God’s order, it is His creation, so the enemy absolutely hates it of course! And I know nowadays a lot people are very quick to blame this on “feminism,” but I don’t believe this at all. Women having the right to vote, drive, and being appreciated and loved, is hardly to blame. There is nothing wrong with women doing any of these things. The problem is that people, both men and women, nowadays have a tendency to practice “self- love” ABOVE all else. They’ve become their own idols! Sounds crazy right!? Well, it is written in the Bible that this would happen!

But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. 2 People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3 without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, 4 treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— 5 having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people. — 2 Timothy 3:1-5 NIV

Jesus also said in Matthew 24:12-13 (NIV) the following: 

12 Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, 13 but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved.

All I can say is… WOW! My mind is blown because this is exactly what we are seeing! Have you noticed this? You can and should love yourself of course, after all, God loves us and we are His. But as Christians we need to remember this:

36 “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” 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. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’[b] 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” Matthew 22:36-40 NIV

So God must always be FIRST in our lives! The problem is, we’ve actually taken the idea of loving ourselves to a whole other level, and have erased God from the equation completely and put OURSELVES up there! Oh no! So everything is out of order. What a mess. Then we wonder, what is wrong?! 

Commandment #2 is the kind of “sacrificial” love spoken about in the above verses from Ephesians. However, our society as a whole teaches us to be self- seeking instead of God- seeking. They teach us to completely forget the needs of others (this includes our family or spouses!) and just to satisfy ourselves. This message is completely against the Bible, yet it is fed to us constantly. People who are lovers of themselves get highly rewarded in this society. Have you noticed that? They get put on a pedestal by others who are also lovers of themselves. But they are always broken inside, their families are broken, and their lives are a MESS. I understand that a lot of people deal with self- esteem issues. I did as well. But I have to say, nothing ever worked for me to heal my self- esteem, until I came to Jesus. He is the ultimate self- esteem healer! I could’ve gone to a million spa self- pampering sessions, but I still would’ve left the same broken, depressed, anxious girl I was had I not found Jesus! 💖🤷🏻‍♀️

Maybe it’s just me, but that saying to “love yourself first before you find a relationship” always made me feel like I was never going to find love because I am so flawed! How in the world could I possibly really love myself? I didn’t know where to begin. I used makeup, clothes, etc… but nothing worked. My ego was just so incredibly FRAIL inside. But guess what? All we have to do is love God & follow Him! The rest will take care of itself! I now understand my real worth more without even trying, because I know what I’m worth to God!!

More and more, I am understanding that the reason why I’m single, is because God is preparing me. ❤ He’s showing me that in order for me to have a successful marriage one day, I don’t have to be this perfect person. I just need to LOVE HIM. I just need to put HIM FIRST. He’s showing me that I will need to love my husband the way the Bible says, submit to him and respect him ( I know that sounds appalling to today’s modern woman, I KNOW. But this is God’s order and actually God’s plan is not designed to demean us as women in any way, but actually to help us because He’s our creator!). He’s showing me little by little what that looks like, as I had been selfish and self- seeking in the past, and have had to forget the erroneous patterns that this culture has taught me, and learn a new & correct way of looking at things. 😍🌟

He’s showing me that I deserve to be respected and deeply loved. But that’s also not a pass to disrespect. He’s teaching me that my husband is not going to be perfect either so I will have to be patient and forgive, and he will be this way with me! Mostly He’s showing me that as a woman, I am special and I have value! He created me that way! Not because of my body or my looks, my job, or my education and accomplishments like the world says, but because I am a daughter of the Most High God! Isn’t that simply amazing?! I’m not knocking any of those things because I believe everyone should pursue goals in life and get trained, educated, take care of yourself, etc. But I used to let those things define me. And God says, we are so much MORE that those things…  💖

God is also showing me that I need to give up trying to take control over my dating life, and just give it all to Him! I don’t have to stress or chase down dates for myself. The current dating scene may be horrible, the hearts are growing cold & the odds seem bleak, but I can’t focus on that. I just need to focus on God. He will be the one to provide that person,  He will work the miracle, I just need to be obedient. I used to think that because I can cook (somewhat lol) and have certain other attributes, that I am ready for marriage lol. But God looks at other things because He has a plan..When I get married, I want it to be forever. And I know for a fact, the only way this will happen is if I make God first in my life, and have Him as the center of my marriage and entire life. ❤❤

Thank you so much for reading this! I know this was super long, I tried to make it shorter but somehow it only got longer LOL. 😂 Next week, I will be posting more about love, God willing. Stay tuned!!! Hope you enjoyed this and are having a blessed week! Xoxo 💖😇

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Three Day Quote Challenge! (Day 3)

This is my last day for the quote challenge! I realize I forgot to nominate a person yesterday, so today, I will nominate 2! 😀 (I won’t forget this time lol.)

Here’s my quote! It’s from one of my ALL- TIME favorite movies, Legally Blonde lol. 💖🙌👸

This quote means a lot to me because in the movie, it’s the point where the main character Elle realizes that Warner, the guy she loved, is never going to love her back. No matter what she does, how much she changes herself into his stereotyped image of what she SHOULD be, she will never be good enough for him to love in his eyes. He never thought she was smart enough or good enough for him. However, he pretended & stayed in a ltr with her, only to dump her out of the blue right before leaving for law school. This is a situation that sadly, happens everyday. 💔

But Elle’s quote is a liberating realization to have. It breaks her free from that pattern, where she was a slave to Warner’s will. I’ve certainly had those moments in past relationships, where I came to that realization. I identify with this movie because, & I believe it’s been so successful because, many women have been Elle. Even men too!! We’ve tried to change absolutely everything about ourselves for a person we’ve given our heart to, seeing that they don’t love us back. But there comes that point when you realize, nothing I ever do will ever make this person love me. After this, Elle moved on, & we all know how awesome this movie ends. Elle becomes extremely successful, far exceeding Warner, & in the process finds true love with a guy who truly loved & accepted the real Elle. 💖😍

I certainly had a Warner in my life lol. A couple, actually lol. I think this applies well to my life as a Christian woman because I should only be changing myself this way for God. Not for people. To do this, is to idolize people. And that is a sin! 😱 Sure, we want relationships to work out. But the right person will just love you, for you. You shouldn’t have to change your core personality or characteristics. Sometimes, the best & most liberating thing you can do, is accepting when a relationship simply isn’t working out with dignity & grace. Even though it might hurt at first, choose to trust in God, that He has a plan for your life, & that He will bring that person who will truly love you because he/ she will also put God first in their life.

Another lesson, is not to let anyone put you in a box. I wish someone had told me this when I was younger lol, but don’t let people dictate what you are capable of. God gave you gifts & dreams. Don’t let people put you down for them or tell you that you’re not capable! God says you are! 🙂 Some people are experts at disencouraging others & keeping them from pursuing their dreams & reaching their full potential. It can be for many reasons, selfishness, envy, greed, etc. But don’t let the opinions of any one person have more weight than God’s opinion. 💖

I hope this quote was helpful & uplifting! I don’t watch a lot of TV or movies but this one is one of my faves!

So my 2 nominees for the challenge are:

If you’re not able to do it, it’s ok! Only if you can & want to. I skipped 2 days in my 3 day challenge lol.

The rules are as follows:
Thank the person who nominated you.
Post a quote for 3 days, & explain why it appeals to you.
Nominate bloggers each day!

Toodles for now, hope you’re having a great day!! Xoxo 💖💖

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Happy Friday!! (New Music!!)

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Hey ya’ll! 🤠 So I decided every Friday I’m going to share with you some of the music I’ve been listening to… I’m going to pick 3 songs every week 🙂 I loove music (who doesn’t right?!), & all I listen to is Christian music. I stopped listening to secular music a long time ago & it’s made a HUGE impact in my life & character! If you’re a Christian but still listen to non- Christian music, I suggest you try some Christian radio stations or of course, my music recommendations! 🙂

Letting go of secular music will be a huge step forward in your faith. It seems hard at first but actually, there’s really amazing worship music, & it’s soo uplifting, there’s no price tag on that! It’s one of the BEST decisions I’ve made for my faith & my life! 🙂 I used to listen to many kinds of music, but all of the music I used to listen to was about partying, the world’s idea of love, heartbreak, or just negative! Or with sexual undertones, popular music nowadays is saturated with these things. Even if it seemed positive, it basically glorified the world & not God. And it was having an effect on my spirit. Music is powerful & it will do that. Many of the lyrics & video images seemed to be outright attacking God too. 😤😤

The enemy used secular music as one of the biggest & strongest spiritual chains over my life. As God first began working with me, I knew I had to stop feeding my heart this kind of music if I wanted to really be free & keep moving forward. But I simply loved my music, it was a huge part of my identity, which I really struggled to acquire, but this was a false identity. My true identity is in Christ. But it was SO HARD to let go of that part of my old self. Yet it’s one of THE BEST things I’ve ever done for myself in my entire life! Because it allowed my relationship with God to progress & allowed me to grow. 💯💖🌟🌱

One day I was in a co- workers car & she was listening to a Christian radio station. It sounded cool & I really liked my co-worker lol, I admired her character. At this point I no longer struggled with depression or anxiety but I was weak in my spiritual walk. I was a baby in my faith. I still had impulsivity & some anger. So I thought, well maybe I do need to give this a try. So I did & basically got into it more & more until one day I decided to delete all of my secular music!!! & I threw away the few remaining cds I had! 🙌💃🙏 For the first few months I felt like I kept being tempted, like omg xx artist just dropped a new album what?! Oh xx artist is coming to town for a concert what?! LOL. But then I would think of what their music is really like, & become uninterested lol. It might be catchy, but its just poison to the spirit. 🚫

Anyways, here are my 3 songs for the week! 😀🎧 I posted the YouTube video links. 🤓

1. Warrior by Hannah Kerr

https://youtu.be/yQpKSpgrwQE

2. O’ Lord by Lauren Daigle

https://youtu.be/fxr5pckM8i4

3. Point to You- We are Messengers

https://youtu.be/V1YLe2-tmKY

Hope you enjoy!!! Have a blessed weekend!!! 💖💖💖 Xoxo

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Controlling our Emotions in Order to Gain Freedom

20180430_183220_0001Howdy! I hope your week is off to a great start! 😀

So I am sure we’ve all met at least one person, or have known of somebody, who is completely reigned by their emotions. This can be a toxic pattern to live by because it causes us to destroy relationships, make the worst choices, lose jobs and opportunities, and to burn bridges left and right. Being dominated by your feelings, is ironically one of the worst feelings in the world. When your feelings lead you, they basically lead you to ruin mentally, spiritually, & many times physically & professionally.

It may seem like following your feelings is a good and positive thing. But the sad thing is, in the blink of an eye, everything you have worked so hard to build, feelings will lead you tear it all down. I’ve met so many people who struggle with this, & I used to as well. I had major depression for many years, suicidal thoughts, anxiety, & anger issues to top it all off! But if God helped me he can certainly help anyone! I was impulsive too, another trait God has had to work within me. I’ve learned through my mistakes that I MUST include God in my everyday decisions!

Part of our personality comes from our background & experiences. At least for me, for a period of my life, I actually identified with my negative & unhealthy emotions & behaviors. I believed the lies of the devil & I believed that was me, it was my identity. But God showed me this is simply NOT TRUE & THOSE NEGATIVE EMOTIONS were not who I am!!! We are all different, but if we don’t learn to properly deal with our unhealthy feelings in a healthy way, they will control us. And this is not the way God wants us to live. We should be free from spiritual strongholds. That is why Jesus died for us, so we can live in true freedom & know true LIFE! He is our hope & we already have the victory in Him! 🙌😃 What an incredible blessing!!

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. — John 10:10 NIV

So if we cannot follow our own feelings, what on earth are we supposed to do? How are supposed to be making decisions?! 🤔 This was always my question when I first decided to follow Jesus again, because I had always followed my heart. Afterall that’s what people always say you should do right?! We’ve all heard it millions of times! But the Bible says this:

The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it? Jeremiah 17:9 NIV

So if the heart is deceitful, AND it is BEYOND CURE, then how are we supposed to make life decisions? 🤔

The Holy Spirit is our guide! 🕊❤🤓 We need to let our character be controlled by the Holy Spirit, not go with our impulses, our feelings, & not even our human logic! ❤🕊 We need to ask God for direction & wisdom in our lives through prayer, & reading the Bible so we know what to do. That way we remain in obedience. Of course nobody is perfect. But it’s much easier when you have the discernment about certain things or situations. Self- control is actually a fruit of the spirit! Learning about all the fruit of the Spirit was a great way for me to learn & grow because it really inspired me & still does! ❤🕊🙏 God gives us a NEW HEART! 💖💖🤓🙌

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So what actions or steps can we take towards managing our emotions?

  1. Pray & let yourself be led by the Holy Spirit every day. Ask God for the Holy Spirit so you can be led by it. 
  2. Pray to God for wisdom in both the extraordinary and everyday situations
  3. Put your focus on God; Pray, read the Bible, listen to sermons in order to increase your knowledge about God & be closer to Him!
  4. Take your focus off negative things and people. Take some time or distance from negative things if needed.
  5. Take the steps necessary to heal from wounds from the past. See a therapist or counseling if needed, be patient with yourself! Ask family or friends for support.
  6. Have faith and believe in the hope and promises God has for His children.
  7. Listen to Christian music, go to church,  listen to sermons online, & read devotionals! Pay attention to the music you listen to, what you read, shows you watch, & conversations you have. Make sure they are feeding your spirit. 🕊❤
  8. Be obedient- Sin separates us from God; Keep company who also loves God & are also trying to become better through Him.
  9. Don’t get stuck in old ways or old patterns. It is good and very healthy to give yourself plenty of time to heal after certain situations. But always remember, this will not be your permanent situation. It is just a period. Make sure you are doing what can to get out of difficult situations, and not give up thinking, this is where you are going to be forever.
  10. Always remember, we are more than conquerors with God. God gives us a NEW HEART. Jesus came to set us free, and if the son set us free, we are free indeed! Pray that emotional/ spiritual strongholds are broken in Jesus name. ❤🙏

This has been my experience, I hope it helps you in some way. ❤ Feel free to email me or leave comments below! Have a blessed week!  Xoxo❤

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Christian Blogging Tips! 🤓📝

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I wanted to do a post about Christian blogging; I’m not an expert (YET! LOL), but I wanted to share some tips because when I first started and still right now, I find it really helpful when other bloggers share their tips, so I wanted to share some things that have worked for me as well!! If you’re thinking about starting a blog, it’s insanely easy. I’ve read some articles where it seems like they overcomplicate things LOL. At least with WordPress, it’s very easy. You just create an account and start posting within a few minutes.

The best thing about Christian blogging is that it’s really helped me learn more about God and draw closer to Him! You really have to reflect and read the word if you want to do a good post, and this actually helps the author just as much as the reader. It’s really a great process. Plus you also get to interact with other Christians across the world and share ideas! If you’re Christian and thinking of starting a Christian blog, I highly recommend it! IMO it’s one of the best ways to get closer with God and find people with whom you share that passion!

Tip #1: Pray and be led by the Holy Spirit.

This sounds very obvious lol, but it’s true! If you’re blogging about faith, then you should really just follow the leading of the Holy Spirit. This of course applies to every aspect of our lives. But especially when we need the wisdom necessary to talk about the issues of life, to reflect on them, to extract the lessons, IMO the Holy Spirit will be the one to give you the message that needs to be sent out. If you pray and ask God to GIVE YOU topics to write about instead of relying on yourself to try and come up with them, not only will be much much easier, but anything God gives you will of course be infinitely better!

This leads me to my next tip…

Tip #2: Don’t worry about schedules or numbers!

I personally do not worry about posting schedules because I write whenever I feel in my spirit that God has given me a message or idea to write. It’s not usually on a specific day, although I do like to post AT LEAST once a week and generally I like to post during the week (I try lol). And I don’t worry much about numbers, although I do like it when people like my stuff! Lol.  😉🤣

Tip #3: Do your research! 📚

Depending on the post, it can take quite a bit of time and research. We need to make sure our writing aligns with what the Bible says. Make sure you use reliable resources! There are many many websites out there, each stating their interpretation of the Bible. Pray to God for wisdom because some of them misinterpret the Bible & just give false information! I usually check gotquestions.org and Biblestudytools.com. I also ask my Mom sometimes lol. She is very wise! 🤓

Tip #4: Edit and get ideas across as clearly as possible! 📝

People are taking their precious time to read your blog! So I try to be clear, concise, & provide enough supporting examples. And EDIT in order to keep grammar & spelling errors to a minimum! Sometimes in the process I have to step back, re-read, & I end up deleting whole paragraphs, moving lines, etc. I write in Google Docs first, edit for errors, then copy and paste into wordpress. 🙂       

Tip #5: Be yourself & have fun! 😎

Letting your personality shine through and being genuine in your posts is really important; that way your readers feel like they’re talking to you. I personally like to keep things light, because that is my personality. Sometimes I get very honest and just get real too LOL.  Find your own style and voice. Don’t try to imitate other blogs. Ask God to help you figure it out if you’re having trouble with this. Also remember that once you start, your style might change as you keep going. Some questions that might help you figure out your voice to start: What is my purpose for writing? How do I want to help people through my writing?

But don’t worry too much about it. Just do your thing and trust God that you’re writing what He’s telling you to write! Just have fun with it! 🙂 😄

Tip #6: Get Techy 🤓

I’m DIY-ing my blog graphics and learning as I go along lol… Currently I use Canva for graphics, it’s a fun app and it’s free. I use Pexels for stock pictures. Pinterest also has a lot of resources posted by experienced bloggers! 

Tip #7: Don’t post anything you’re not totally comfortable sharing 🤐

So this may seem obvious but just like any other social media, don’t overshare. For personal safety don’t put too much personal information about yourself (home address, your exact locations, etc), don’t share experiences that are too personal in too much detail that you’re not comfortable sharing. It’s OK to be vague sometimes lol.

Tip #8: Set aside a time to write, and buckle down! 💪

Like everything in life, there is a time when you need to get serious and work! Even though God gives me the ideas and I love blogging, I have to admit sometimes I’m super distracted or just get lazy.😪 I just want to watch cute animal videos and not concentrate lol. I’ve noticed if I don’t write FIRST THING in the morning, as one of the first few tasks after I get up, I know it’s simply not going to happen for that day. I have to actually set aside time in my schedule, and make myself do it because I know I already have the idea in my head, I just need to do the actual work of putting it all together. You won’t always feel like doing it, and you won’t always feel creative. But, once you set aside a time when you know you’re at your peak energy and creativity (for me it’s in the morning), it will come to you. Away from all distractions. If I don’t follow this routine, it does NOT GET DONE lol. By the end of the day, my brain is tired, and all I’m doing is looking at cute animal videos on Twitter lol. 🐄🐎🐑🐰🐦 I do read, but it’s really hard for me to write at night for some reason. But you might be the opposite! So find a routine that works for you! 🙂  💯

Tips #9 & #10: Interact with other bloggers and ALWAYS tag your posts! 🏷

In order to really get the full blogging experience, you should set time aside to read, follow, like, & comment on other people’s blogs! That way you get to know them & you share ideas. There are so many great blogs. Make sure you always tag your posts with words like #jesus #Christianity or #god. I also use #Inspiration. IMO the more hashtags the better LOL. People look through those hashtags. I’ve found great blogs by looking through the #Jesus hashtag!~ And I know people have been able to find my blog because my posts are tagged. Always always tag your posts or hardly anyone will be able to see them!

I hope these tips have been helpful to you and will encourage you to continue or even start a Christian blog! It’s been a blessing for me personally! 🙏💖

Hope you have a blessed Friday! Xoxo

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Serving, my Christian “Identity,” & Finding a Church! 🙌☄

Happy Sunday! ☄💖

I hope you are having a blessed day! 🙂 I have to apologize because always I like to post at least once a week, but this past week was exceptionally busy since there was a family member (my aunt) visiting from Puerto Rico in town, and I hadn’t seen her in a long time. It was an especially busy week, but fun! 🙂

Today at church there was a special guest, an evangelist from Argentina, who was raised in Spain, and now lives and has a ministry with his wife in Madagascar helping children become free from sexual slavery! It was such an incredible, powerful, and uplifting message. He is a very young person. It’s incredibly inspiring for me personally, to hear young ministers with such wisdom. Someone from my generation. It not only gave me hope but it made me realize there’s just a whole other world out there. Basically, that was the whole point of his message lol, but for me, there’s always been the “worldly” world (aka Satan’s world), which is the dominating culture, and then there’s us, followers of Christ. As a (“relatively” lol) young person, it’s always been a challenge for me to find my identity within Christianity because of the simple fact that I do not identify with the Christian “subculture” of today. It’s often a very sheltered type of experience, often very based on consumerism and materialistic values, just like the rest of the “worldly” world which is what I don’t like about it. To me this never made sense because it goes against the very principles of the Bible. The values of the world have impermeated many churches it seems. At least here where I live, it seems that way. Of course, not every person in a church is like that and not every church is like that! Lol. I am a Christian obviously, but I’ve struggled with this a lot because I feel like the times I have visited churches, it doesn’t feel like it’s been a genuine experience many times. It feels like Christianity is trying so hard to imitate the world and like it forgets its true calling in the process; It forgets its identity. In the effort to try to bring people in, it’s compromising its values and losing the most important thing people are looking for in the first place, what they need, which is Jesus!

But the evangelist today, showed that there is another side to Christianity today. There is a side that is not confused about it’s identity, and despite what others may be doing, that’s what we need to be. Just like Jesus! As Christians we do need to actively be helping and serving people however we can. We cannot look past their pain and afflictions. He asked a very important question: How many times this week did you help or serve other people? For me personally, it so happens that this week, I helped helped a lot! Lol. Since my aunt was here, I was extra helpful to my family lol. And even before today’s sermon, I actually was thinking to myself, how come I’m not ALWAYS like this?! LOL. The whole past 2 weeks, I was really going out of my way, going above and beyond to help my family in everything I could. And it was a very nice feeling. Today’s message was a confirmation to me, that I need to ALWAYS be this way with my family and with people in general. 💖🌠🙏

Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap. — Galatians 6:7 ESV

I do consider myself a helpful person always, and always love to lend a hand. But sometimes in daily life, we are just so into our own problems, in our own heads, we don’t even notice there are other people out there who are suffering. Or we just become sort of desensitized to the suffering of others and just ignore them. But we really cannot live life this way. We do need to pay attention to the needs of others and see how we can be the help they need. The only identity I need, the only person I need to imitate, as a Christian, is Jesus! He’s our perfect example of love and serving others. 🙌

But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. — Romans 5:8 NIV

I am also supremely happy that after a long time of searching, I have FINALLY found a new church home, and today I became a member! This is definitely a huge answered prayer. I asked God to please lead me to the right place, and here I am! I really wanted to find a place where of course God is #1 and had sound Bible- based teaching, where I could grow, be challenged, where I could help, and it’s just really exciting and it’s such a blessing! 🙏💖

I hope you have a blessed week! Xoxo

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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

 

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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