Wednesday, January 29, 2014

10,000 Steps

The day after Christmas I made my resolution for the New Year: I was going to be healthier and more active. My helper came in the form of a little bracelet called a Fitbit. Once I set it up (to my phone and laptop) I was ready to conquer the world....That was until I saw my step goal for each day: 10,000 steps. The way the bracelet works: it records your movement, sleep, etc. When you reached 10,000 steps it would vibrate. Some days, I would crush that step goal and sometimes do 15-12,000 steps and other days as I would begin my walk home I would wait for the vibration on my arm and feel nothing; I would then make the trek to the next train station to make sure I made my goal for the day.

There are days when I feel like my Christian walk would be simple if I had an app or a bracelet to tell me if I met a quota for the day in prayers, reading the Bible, encouraging others? But if that happened, I feel it would be more of a routine for us and take the relational part out of it.

 In a way, we do have a "monitor" to help us through our Christian walk; it's the Holy Spirit. We have Him inside us everyday guiding, directing and sometimes letting us know when we have to go a little further, press a little deeper for our goal. When I think of that, it makes taking each step each day worth it because I have my overall spiritual fitness in mind.

I encourage you guys as you continue on your walk, that you remember 3 things:

Focus on the end result, not the current result.
What helps me is that I focus on where I want to be not how many steps it takes to be there. It helps me not look at a number or season in my life but how this season is helping get to my end goal: a deeper and better relationship with Christ.

A misstep is not the final step.
Sometimes I have to admit when I don't work out or meet my fitness goal, I want to quit altogether. But when I start a new day I remind myself that my past is behind me, this is my chance to start over and do it right. I have my whole life to live this walk with Christ and as long as I keep getting up and going I will be fine. The worst I can do is quit.

Remember what you should have and not have.
One of the hardest things about my fitness challenge is that I have cravings for things I don't need and used to have all the time (I know I am not the only one who has dreams of Krispy Kreme donuts, lol). For example, If would crave something sweet the logical thing is to treat myself to something healthy and move on right? I would have something that totally cancels out all the good I have been doing and afterwards my tummy hurts because its not used to that kind of eating anymore and I later regret my choice. Lately, I have been A LOT wiser about my eating and snacking choices. I ask myself before I eat whatever I'm about to: Do I really need it? Will this in any way hinder or help me reach my goal? When we look at our recreational activities with the same respect as our daily commitments (work, school, etc) the same way: is this helping or hurting my walk? How will I feel after I do this? It challenges us to make wiser choices that helps us overall become consistent.

Monday, January 20, 2014

New Year

It's been over two months since I have written an entry.
I've written many entries in my head, but they never made it to my keyboard and then live for you to see. So many things has happened since my first entry of February 2009 and my life hasn't even really started yet. Last year, as I reached my 29th birthday the scripture that resounded in my heart was Joel 2:25-27:

"And I will restore or replace for you the years that the locust has eaten—the hopping locust, the stripping locust, and the crawling locust, My great army which I sent among you.And you shall eat in plenty and be satisfied and praise the name of the Lord, your God, Who has dealt wondrously with you. And My people shall never be put to shame. And you shall know, understand,and realize that I am in the midst of Israel and that I the Lord am your God and there is none else. My people shall never be put to shame. "(AMP)
I love the promise that God has given me; that He will give back to me the years that were lost to various things. To be able to live a life fully and completely for God and God alone has always been a dream of mind, but situations have prevented me from doing so. This year, that is going to change.
Warning: This year I plan to open, honest and plain. I won't edit my feelings but hope in being real with you guys it will let you know that you are not in this alone.

Be blessed.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

My Psalm 91

"You who sit down in the High God’s presence,
    spend the night in Shaddai’s shadow,
Say this: “God, you’re my refuge.
    I trust in you and I’m safe!”
That’s right—he rescues ME from hidden traps,
    shields ME from deadly hazards.
His huge outstretched arms protect ME—
    under them I'M perfectly safe;
    his arms fend off all harm.
I 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 ME.
I’ll stand untouched, watch it all from a distance,
    watch the wicked turn into corpses.
Yes, because God’s MY refuge,
    the High God MY very own home,
Evil can’t get close to ME,
    harm can’t get through the door.
He ordered his angels
    to guard ME wherever I go.
If I stumble, they’ll catch ME;
    their job is to keep ME from falling.
I’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, then throw you a party.
I’ll give you a long life,
give you a long drink of salvation!”

When I read Psalm 91 out loud and personalize it, I am comforted and refueled to hold on. It reminds me "My Daddy got this!"

God loves us beyond our undersrtanding and knew when He formed us we would face hardship. How we get through that hardship is easy: read His word and remind ourselves of what it says about us, our situations and what He promises us. The Bible is powerful, but what is the point of a gun when the safety is on or a sword when its put away? The Word of God is meant to be out and ready to fire always.

Be blessed.

Friday, November 1, 2013

30 Before 30

A year from now God willing, I will be looking back at being 29 and smiling. I will be speechless as I try to thank God for all He has done for me, allowed me to see and how He blessed and used me. A year from now, I would look back realizing that I could never had imagine I would be here. But as I look back on 28 and see how God has moved on my behalf time and time again I can say that I am humbled to be call a child of the King. I have been introduced to a freedom that can only be found in Christ Jesus. On my 29th birthday, I will launch my bucket list of 30 things (that I always wanted to do but have always been a coward) to do before 30. They range from little things like see every museum in New York to bigger things like go sky-diving. For me, its a chance to do the things that I've held myself back from doing or didn't do because I allowed someone else opinion of me decide what decisions I make; but not anymore!

"So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed."- John 8:36 (ESV)

Friday, September 6, 2013

10 Tips For A Christ Centered Marriage

As I consider going back to seminary to finish up my final year so I can start Couples & Family Counseling, I have come across some awesome articles about keeping a marriage and family strong in Christ. I came across this blog entry by Marquis Clarke that I love and wanted to share with you guys:

"From day one of our relationship, Kevin and I have always been on the same page about wanting a Christ Centered Marriage. I choose God's perfect plan for my marriage. This might seem "weird" to you; it might be "unpopular" and even "old-fashioned".

But, the Bible tells us that God is the same God today, yesterday, and forever. And his take on marriage is perfect in every way, because He is perfect in every way. His wisdom and understanding is so much deeper than we can even imagine. And, he has shared this with us through His Word. He has given us a guide for our lives and our marriages.

1. Be Best Friends
I'm assuming you like your husband {most days} lol jk & that most likely you started out as friends. Stay best friends. Be a safe place for each other to come home and share things with. Confide in each other, have fun with each other, help each other - be your husbands #1 fan.

Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work; If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up! - Ecclesiastes 4:9-10

2. Act Silly
Some of the most memorable times I have had with my husband are when we are acting ridiculous. Laughter is never short in our household and I love this about our marriage. I think laughter is so good for you.

Let your fountain be blessed: and rejoice with the wife of your youth. - Proverbs 5:18

3. Appreciate Your Spouse
It is so easy to become negative and only think about ways our spouse can improve. I think it is good focus on things you are grateful for that your husband does for you. Appreciating your husband and letting him know how thankful you are for him can go a long way. 

do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers - Ephesians 1:16

 4. Don't Nag
No one likes a nag. I have to admit - I nag Kevin. If he reads this, he will be sure to rub it in that I admitted this. You are not in your husband life to mold him into who you want him to be. He is not yours to fix and change. Just because you really want him to stop leaving his shoes in the middle of the floor doesn't mean that is what he is suppose to do. 

It is not up to us to "change" our husbands, it is up to God. God might not want him to change in this area of his life. I know its so easy to pray "God, make my husband pick up his stuff.. and do this.. and do this.." but those are honestly selfish prayers. It is not up to us; we should pray something like this " God, you know that it frustrates me that my husband does_____ but I know that only by your will and power will this change. I place it in your hands". Now, this is really hard for me. I am a perfectionist, I like things my way. I have had to really work on this area of my life.

A quarrelsome wife is like the dripping of a leaky roof in a rainstorm - Proverbs 27:15

5. Be Respectful
God is a God of grace and understanding beyond what we can fathom. In the same way, we should extend this grace to others. We might not agree with our husband 100% of the time, but should show him respect. In today's world, what does this even mean? And remember, we are commanded of this:

However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband. - Ephesians 5:33

6. Always Build Up
Praise your husband, verbally and publicly. For things he as done in the past and the present. You have no idea how far an "I'm proud of you" will go. The world and others tear us down enough, be his biggest encouragement and constant source of kindness. 

Therefore, encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing- 1 Thessalonians 5:11

7. Serve Without Expectations
Marriage isn't always going to be equal. Some weeks, you might feel like you are carrying 75% of the burden, and some weeks your husband might feel that way. Love isn't about keeping track of who did the dishes when, or cleaned the house last. These things can come in-between your marriage so quickly. It is easy to become prideful in who did this and who did that. But remember that Christ loves us unconditionally and that is how we are called to love.

"love is not self-seeking.." - 1 Corinthians 13:5

8. Communicate {no distractions}
Let's face it, we are busy. Its to easy to let little things slip because we have had a long day or don't feel like talking. But we must make it a priority to communicate. Kevin  and I have decided to spend nights without other distractions and just focus on each other. Make dinner together, talk to each other, read the bible together, go outside... anything. & Honestly, we have had some amazing conversations just talking to each other. No cell phones or TV people. Just talk to each other.

Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers. - Ephesians 4:29 

9. Read Together
Read your bible together, study together, grow together. Our goal is to read the bible together every night, does this happen every night - no - but it is our desire. We want to learn more about Christ and grow together. We want to invest in our relationship with each other and most importantly with God. I really encourage this, not only reading, but discussing what you are reading. 

This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success. - Joshua 1:8

10. Pray for each other and with each other
Prayer is one of the most powerful and meaningful things we can do for our marriage.  Not only are we told to pray in scripture--we're told to pray without ceasing. I want to be a praying wife. There is also great value in praying together. I know that if you haven't done this a lot in your relationship, it can be awkward. Lets be honest, you are baring your sole and confessing your sins during prayer. You are talking to a holy God who is all knowing and all powerful. This makes prayer very intimate and vulnerable, so of course, it can be a bit of a struggle to do this with someone else at first. But, trust me, it is powerful. 

Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. - 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

Okay, so what makes this type of marriage different? You could be best friends with your husband with or without Christ. You could be respectful to your husband out of loyalty. The difference is, the way we view this type of love as an extension of our love of Christ.

Our love of Christ should be the out pour of our hearts; We don't love our husbands because its convenient or because its easy. Love is a commitment that we made and a covenant with Christ. Honestly, for me, my marriage has been "easy and fun" so far. But my prayer is that, when the going gets tough that we lean on God's wisdom instead of our own."

I know people will always have "advice" to give out whether you ask for it or not, but the best advice is what is based on the Word of God and can be seen practiced in the life of the person giving you Godly wisdom.

Be blessed.