Happy August! Summer is almost over. Have you enjoyed it? Did you do all the things you thought you would?
As summer is ending it makes me think about the intentions and goals I set for 2021. A few of them I messed up. One being I wanted to post every month of the year. I missed June though. Its ok. I don’t plan on missing anymore.
One of my words for 2021 was intentional. I have been doing a better job with that. I’ve been saying no to things, I’ve been focusing on what’s important. I’m creating more time for myself. I’m giving myself more grace. I’m reading this book called Self Compassion by Kristen Neff. It has some really good stuff in it. Very helpful.
Where are you in what you wanted to accomplish in 2021? Have you had to modify your goal?
2021 doesn’t look anything like I thought it would. Covid is acting up again, student loan debt isnt cancelled, housing market is out of control
Galatians 6:9 ESV And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.
As we enter into the later part of the year remember there is still time. Time to step it up, pivot or adjust if needed.
You are not accomplishing these things on your own. God is walking beside you cheering you on.
I saw this on Instagram the other day and it really spoke to me. Especially the line, “outsource your life”. I have been notorious for not asking for help. I didn’t often want to ask for help because I didn’t want to look like I couldn’t handle whatever situation I was in. I didn’t want people to view me as weak. Asking for help puts you in a vulnerable position. I have mentioned struggles I have had in the past and people have thrown them back in my face. It may not have been intentional, but I certainly don’t want to be reminded of my weaknesses.
As I was reading the book of Numbers it talked about Moses complaining to God that his workload was too large.
I cannot carry all these people by myself; the burden is too heavy for me. If this is how you are going to treat me, please go ahead and kill me—if I have found favor in your eyes—and do not let me face my own ruin. ”The Lord said to Moses: “Bring me seventy of Israel’s elders who are known to you as leaders and officials among the people. Have them come to the tent of meeting, that they may stand there with you. I will come down and speak with you there, and I will take some of the power of the Spirit that is on you and put it on them. They will share the burden of the people with you so that you will not have to carry it alone.Numbers 11:14-17
I took a few things from these verses.
1. God gave 70! people do to the work that Moses was doing. 70! Think about all the work that was on his shoulders that he wouldn’t have gotten assistance with if he had not asked.
2. God didn’t take away anything from Moses when he took away some of his responsibility. He didn’t lose his anointing. He didn’t get demoted. Nobody teased him for asking for help. God wasn’t mad at him for asking and he took care of it right away.
3. Many people were anointed based on Moses asking for help. Nobody complained about helping Moses. I bet they were glad to be able to contribute and help God as well. How many people could be blessed by you asking for help?
I have started outsourcing my life in the last several months and it has been extremely helpful. I have a house cleaner come once a month and it has changed my life. It has taken a ton of stress off my shoulders. I felt so bad when I was initially considering it. I didn’t want people questioning what kind of mother I was if I had to pay someone to clean my house. I have since let go of that idea!
Remember you don’t owe anyone anything. You want to make decisions that help your life go easier. You will be doing you yourself a favor. Don’t feel bad either, its not necessary and it will only slow you down.
I was going to write a new post about fasting but I really like this one that I wrote two years ago in leading up to Lent February 5, 2018.
I’m not Catholic but with Lent coming up on February, I have been trying to think about things to give up for 40 days. I like fasting oddly enough. Even though its hard when I first start, I appreciate the clarity it brings and the focus that I have on God during that time period.
Fasting is something you do for you, not God, it clears your mind so you can focus on him. Often times people believe that fasting has to be food, but from my experience but I don’t believe it has to be food. You can fast anything that is going to be a challenge for you, something that is potentially distracting you from God. Food may not be it for you. I tried to do the Daniel fast once, it was a disaster! With the Daniel fast you can’t eat meat or carbs or drink anything but water. Its pretty restrictive. Check out this website if you want more information.
The problem I had with the Daniel fast is that I was focusing more on the rules then I was on God. I had completely missed the point. I was becoming more frustrated and making the process more legalistic, the exact thing Jesus tells us not to do. Relationship is more important than rules, that’s the whole purpose of the new covenant.
Fasting is something that I have been doing a lot of lately. I am waiting on God for a blessing and I don’t want the world to distract me and I also don’t want to start worrying about when it is going to happen. To stop myself from doing those things I have cut out distractions. I just finished a 21 day fast. I fasted secular fiction books. This may not seem like a big deal but I LOVE to read. It is my most favorite pastime. Its how I unwind, cheer myself, distract myself from the world. However, its also a way for me to hide and not explore my feelings or answer tough questions. I’m not reading any books, I’m also not looking at much social media. Its been crazy! I have noticed how much more free time I have and how much more I read the bible.
This is the second time I have done this fast. I also did it for 21 days in September. I have certainly noticed changes and things that I need to watch out for. Fasting can put you in a spiritual bubble, which really is the purpose. I do it so I can show God I am serious about what I am asking for and that I am ready to make a change.
Lord, I want to be closer to you. Amazing things are about to happen and I want to be ready for them. I believe what you told me and I just don’t want to waver. I want to be desperately be better but I just don’t know how. Help me please! I think that I am a good wife but I want to be better. If I am a better wife then I will be a better daughter, sister, aunt and friend. I want to seek your face and not your hand. I want to be closer to you. Amen.
If so are you going to tithe any of it? Will you give any of it to charity? This makes me think of a conversation that I had with a friend of mine. She is getting close to making six figures so she asked me:
Do we really have to tithe 10% or is that just something made up at church?
This is a great question! I knew a little bit about this subject,but not a ton mainly from my pastor so I immediately started doing some research. The scripture that always comes to mind is this one from Malachi.
Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the Lord Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it. Malachi 3:10
My pastor always uses this one but it makes sense, its the only scripture I know that God says to test me on this. Pouring out blessings?! Yes please!
Why do we tithe?
Tithing is showing God we trust him with our money and finances. There are lots of scriptures to back this up. People always start making distinctions between Old Testament and New Testament when we start talking about tithing. From my research it doesn’t look like the New Testament gets into amounts as much as the Old Testament. It still talks about giving though.
Giving encourages a grateful and generous spirit and can help steer us away from being greedy or loving money too much.”-Dave Ramsey
Do we really have to give 10% or is that made up?
Did you know that tithe literally means 10th in Hebrew. I never knew that.
Does God care how much we tithe?
In reading the New Testament, it doesn’t seem like God cares how much you give. I think he cares more about your attitude while you are giving. God doesn’t technically need your money. Its already his anyway, he just wants to see you give back to him what was his in the first place. Don’t hold onto your money like Dave Chappelle in this gif.
You must each decide in your heart how much to give. And don’t give reluctantly or in response to pressure. “For God loves a person who gives cheerfully.” And God will generously provide all you need. Then you will always have everything you need and plenty left over to share with others. 2 Corinthians 9:7-8 NLT
Does it have to be 10% to the church or can I give to charity?
The internet seems to be split on this. Some sources said it should be the church because the “storehouse” that is referenced in Malachi is the church, while others say giving is giving, it doesn’t matter where you give it. Dave Ramsey says if you aren’t giving to the church its not tithing, but I can’t find enough research to support either one of those views.
I would say give to the church first that way you can see where your money is going.
Give what you can and feel comfortable with. God is always happy about small beginnings. The longer you give the more you are going to eventually want to do anyway
I just finished a study on Psalm 119. Every week I will give you a lesson on what I learned from this psalm. King David wrote Psalm 119 over a long period of his life. I like King David because God once called him a man after his own heart. I want God to describe me in that way. I also like King David because he wasn’t perfect. We see him make some pretty big mistakes in his life but God still blessed him and his children. It sounds like a good example to follow to me.
God wants to bless us, not only with material blessings, but with peace and love and strength.
1 Blessed are those whose ways are blameless, who walk according to the law of the Lord. 2 Blessed are those who keep his statutes and seek him with all their heart— 3 they do no wrong but follow his ways. 4 You have laid down precepts that are to be fully obeyed. 5 Oh, that my ways were steadfast in obeying your decrees! 6 Then I would not be put to shame when I consider all your commands. 7 I will praise you with an upright heart as I learn your righteous laws. 8 I will obey your decrees; do not utterly forsake me.9 How can a young person stay on the path of purity? By living according to your word. 10 I seek you with all my heart; do not let me stray from your commands. 11 I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you. 12 Praise be to you, Lord; teach me your decrees. 13 With my lips I recount all the laws that come from your mouth. 14 I rejoice in following your statutes as one rejoices in great riches. 15 I meditate on your precepts and consider your ways. 16 I delight in your decrees; I will not neglect your word
What is a blessed life?
A happy, fulfilled, contented life. As you can see a blessed life doesn’t have anything to do with possessions, or job or where you live.
Characteristics of a blessed life
Maturing in my Christian walk
Knowing I can trust God
Remembering that everything happens for our good
God is always with me
I win, no matter what!
How to live a blessed life
Blameless, walk in the law
seek him with your whole heart
learn his righteous rules
praise with whole heart
Study his word
When we compare what is a blessed life vs what it takes to get a blessed life, it certainly seems more challenging. We should use this list to strive towards these things, its like our shoot for the starts, land on the moon scenario. If we are doing the best we can, we will achieve a blessed life. In our day to day pursuit of a blessed life, we are pointed towards God. We don’t have to do anything on our own, God is going to walk with us every step of the way.
You see living a blessed life doesn’t have as much to do with being a “good person” and more about your relationship with God. Reading this post could potentially lead to more questions. Don’t worry I got you.
You could be saying: Why do I have to praise him with my whole heart? How do I even do that? Come back. I will let you know.
1. Empathy- no one helps. People literally watch you struggle. I never noticed this before. Being a mom has shown me how to express feelings outside of myself and better understand other people’s emotions.
2. Patience- with myself, family, friends, the baby, its crazy. Patience was a big lesson I needed to learn. If I would have become a mother earlier in my life I wouldn’t have gained this skill set. Listening to babies cry or throw their bottle at you, patience is what you need.
3. Dont compare- to my old self, to my husband, to other moms, nobody. I thought the biggest comparison would be to other moms but I was definitely wrong on that. More on this in another post.
4. Be humble. Motherhood is nothing like I expected. I didnt have a ton of expectations but what I thought I knew I definitely was wrong. You can’t find all the answers on Google. It’s easy to sit on the sidelines and judge what you would do when it isn’t your kid but having a kid of your own changes things.
5. I can do more on less sleep than I thought. So little sleep. Its insane. I used to love taking a nap but now I just do without. Nap when the baby naps is really a lie. Lol
6. It’s ok to say I dont know what I’m doing or admit I messed up. Once I started talking to people about my feelings I realised I wasn’t the only person going through that or thought that way. Moms are expected to have all the answers and that’s just not the case. Lots of things are intuitive but not everything and it was nice to admit that.
7. I have to be intentional about my self care. Writing, alone time, spending time with my friends, all of it has to be intentional or it won’t happen. I hate to admit but I’m better about spending time with my friends than with myself sometimes.
8. Water truly does a body good. I have heard this but I never tested it out myself until I was pregnant and after. The rumours are true. I had to drink it when I was pregnant and the results were great. I’m trying to get back to that space.
9. I will receive tons of unsolicited advice and opinions. I most often bite my tongue. Ive gotten much better about this than when he was first born. People are just trying to help. Their intentions are good. More on this in another post.
10. Everything has changed. I am ok with that. I have been trying so hard to be the person I was before but that girl is gone. A new better person is emerging.
I am stronger than I think I am.
My son just turned one. The hardest thing to put into practice is the self care. Its so easy to put yourself on the back burner when you have a kid.
I can expand on just about everything on this list. So much of this can be unpacked. I will in the upcoming months.
I know I was pretty casual about announcing my pregnancy. I have been that way the entire time. People always think its really funny. I am not trying to downplay anything. I don’t I have been this happy and overwhelmed at the same time in my life. The only other time I can think of is when I was planning my wedding.
One of my bfs said that I am acting way differently then she thought I would about this pregnancy. I am not sure at all what that means. I’m going to ask her before I post this so I can have an answer for all of us. UPDATE: Still don’t have an answer to this. It will be in the part 2.
When I first found out I was pregnant it literally came out of nowhere. I went to the doctor in August to get some testing done, because I wanted to start trying again. The news I received was not encouraging. The doctor told me that there was no change from last year and that I probably would not be able to get pregnant without the help of fertility drugs. This was two days before my birthday, September 11. I left the doctor feeling pretty bummed but I was going to Toronto for my birthday that weekend so I rescinded to not be bitter. I told the doctor I didn’t want to go the fertility drug route, so even though she wrote me a prescription for Clomid, I never got it filled. A direct quote from my journal….
We got back from our trip (which was sooo much fun) and life moved on. Fast forward its the first week of October and my period is late. I didn’t think that much of it because I have had false alarms before. Took at test after about a week that was inconclusive. I continued to party and have a good time. Hence my I extended my summer vacation post. Still nothing after another week, so I take another test. Its positive!!
I didn’t think it was real. I thought I had a false positive. I think I walked around the entire first trimester in a state of disbelief. I was sick and felt awful but that was the only evidence I was pregnant. I lost 7lbs, it was not good. I believed God gave me this blessing but I just was so worried that I definitely didn’t enjoy the experience.
I wrote all that to say, its an odd place to be to be pregnant when it took so long to get there. For it to happen out of nowhere still blows my mind. I never doubted it would happen, I just thought it would take a few months, maybe at the end of the year or something.
UPDATE: There will definitely be a Part Two. I have a lot more to say about this subject it ended up getting posted before I was finished. Stay tuned.
Someone on a podcast I listen to said the above phrase and it really resonated with me. I have desperately been trying to go back to the girl I used to be. Back to a time when I was carefree and wasn’t worrying and second guessing all the time. I don’t need to be that girl anymore though. I can be better than her, different than her. 2.0 in fact. I don’t have to go back to where I used to be, to be happy or content. I need to own the space I am currently in and be ok.
Are you content? Are you happy with the space you are in currently? I’m trying. I really am trying. I want to not only be content but be able to celebrate others. I’m working on that too. Those people that I was worried about seeing a few weeks ago, maybe last month. I saw them a few weeks ago and it was good. Nobody asked where I had been or what I was doing. So progress has been made on the celebrating others piece.
Being content, that is giving me more trouble. I used to think that I didn’t want to be too happy because I didn’t want God to think I was satisfied with my situation. Sounds silly when I say it out loud. God knows how I feel. He knows everything about me. He knows me better than I know myself.
I heard a sermon a few weeks ago from Jeremiah 29. It was when God told the Jews they were going to be under captivity of the Babylonians for 70 years. He told them to get comfortable, they were going to be there for a while. In the face of these circumstances he also told them that he knew the plans he had for them, for them to prosper.
I knew God was talking to me when I heard this. He wants me to be comfortable in this current space I am in. First I heard this sermon then I got this scripture during my quiet time.
But the people of Israel, who tried so hard to get right with God by keeping the law, never succeeded.
Romans 9:31 NLT
Why not? Because they were trying to get right with God by keeping the law instead of by trusting in him. They stumbled over the great rock in their path.
Romans 9:32 NLT
This was me 100% I didn’t think I was trying to earn a blessing but I certainly was doing everything that I could control. Trust is the opposite of control. I believe this is true because if I have to be in control it means I don’t trust the person that is supposed to be guiding me. I say God is the guiding force in my life but then I pray and try to help him along or devise my own plan. Nonsense!
God doesn’t need me to do anything but trust him. That’s the hardest thing to do. You want me to volunteer 10x a month, feed the poor, give to charity, read my bible, do a 100 blog posts I got you. You want me to trust you… well I have some questions.
Help me in my unbelief. I know God can do anything but his timing never seems to align with mine. That’s ok. Trust requires the most work of all and it can’t be quantified. Trust is hard but remembering all God has done for me makes it easier. Everyday when I wake up I thank God for the things he is doing to build that great wall of trust. It helps me calm down when I am anxious about a situation, I remind myself of all the things he has done for me.
Big or small, he has never let me down. I greatly appreciate that. I have walked away from God a 1000x but he has never walked away from me.
Do you believe in generational curses? They are rampant in the old testament. God tells the Hebrews over and over again I will punish your children for your bad behavior. That seems a little bogus and contradictory to the character of God that we know. He also says that no one is responsible for anyone else’s debt. So this seems confusing.
‘The Lord is slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love, forgiving iniquity and transgression, but he will by no means clear the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, to the third and the fourth generation.’
The soul who sins shall die. The son shall not suffer for the iniquity of the father, nor the father suffer for the iniquity of the son. The righteousness of the righteous shall be upon himself, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon himself.
I have always been interested in generational curses because I couldn’t figure out why the things happening to me where happening. Was I being punished for the sins of my parents or grandparents or great grandparents?
In my research I discovered that wasn’t really the case.
Each person is responsible for his or her actions. It may be harder to not do something if everyone in your family does it but not impossible. You can break the cycle. God says if we repent and come to him we are forgiven and we can start new. It doesn’t matter what my parents did or didn’t do. I don’t have to be like them.
Isn’t that refreshing? You may seem like you are stuck in a endless cycle but it doesn’t have to be that way. You can decide today, right now to do something different. After you decide you then have to be intentional about making those changes. Fight everyday and speak positivity over yourself and your situation. Once you start changing and breaking the cycle you may influence others in your family to change too.
Father help me do the best I can not to pass down bad habits to my future children. Help me be open to changing through you and not my own willpower. Help me a blessing to someone else and stop this curse from impacting anyone else. Break these strongholds the past has on me and my family and show me something different can be done. In Jesus name. Amen.
Such a cliche right? I know but cliches are well known for a reason. It definitely fits my situation.
I have been pretty M.I.A most of the winter and spring. I usually hideout during the winter just because it’s cold and get over that post holiday hump but this year was different.
So many people had awesome things going on around me, new babies, new jobs, new houses and we didn’t have anything new happening. Which isn’t necessarily a bad thing or surprising. We have been cruising in a good space for a while, we have found a good rhythm. Its hard to admit you are jealous or envious of your friends or family or coworkers. I don’t want to use the word envious or jealous because those are usually described as negative emotions. It’s more I’m happy for you and sad for me. Nobody wants that kind of energy at their birthday party, housewarming, BBQ, etc. I never want to be a Debbie Downee when I go somewhere so I just decided to stay away. That probably wasnt the best way to do it but hey we do what we know.
I know somebody who has had to watch other people around her have kids for years and she has been nothing but supportive. She is older than me so maybe it takes years to grow to that level of maturity. I admire that because I definitely couldn’t do it. I am not there yet but I’m working on it. God is making it more and more uncomfortable to be in this box. I haven’t been to a baby shower in years but now the people having babies are getting closer and closer to me. No choice but to go. I’m also trying to grow. I know I should be doing better, it is just hard.
The next time you haven’t heard from someone you care about in a while, reach out. I appreciate all the invites I got even though I wasn’t going.
The biggest reason now that’s holding me back from jumping back into the fray of where I used to hang out is because I don’t want to explain what I have been doing or why I wasn’t around.
That’s probably selfish of me. Would you feel like you wanted an explanation? Would you accept its not you, it’s me?