Its my birthday!

33 years I have been rotating around the sun. I don’t feel 33 years old. I am not sure what that is supposed to feel like. I don’t feel as old as the people I knew were this age when I was younger.

I am excited for 33. I pray that this year is truly my best year yet. I say that every year and then the end of that year comes and I don’t necessarily feel that way. I told someone the other day that even year birthdays have not be great for me, so I hope this year is better. My 30th birthday was not great. I didn’t do anything to celebrate and tried to through something together last minute that wasn’t representative of my awesome party throwing skills. I don’t have an issue getting older. I still look like I am in college and I know this to be true because I work with high school students and there isn’t a day that doesn’t go by that someone is mistaking me for a student.

My biggest issue with birthdays is that they are a reminder of all the things that I still need to get done. I don’t feel that way so much this year. I finally have been obdienet to all the things God wanted me to do. That right there just takes a weight off my shoulders. I still don’t have a baby but for the most part I am ok with that. I am working on TRUST. That is what God wants me to do.

I have a great trip planned for my birthday this year which I am excited about. A girls trip and trip with my husband. Right now I am currently in Toronto living it up.

32 is was not as bad as I initially thought it was. I made a list in April of all things I wanted before the summer was over I had those things. I would have never imagined that it would happen so quickly and with little intervention from me. God set those things in motion. I grew a lot last year, not necessarily because I wanted to, but because I had too. It has made me better though. My blog has grown. My writing has gotten better and I have taken additional steps to grow in my craft. I am a creative. Who would have thought?!

 

Eat to live or live to eat

One of my good friends always tells me to eat to live not live to eat. I never was a fan of that saying because I love food. She says that all things you eat are not meant to taste good, you eat them for the nutritional value. This goes against everything I believe in. There are so many. delicious foods out there, why wouldn’t I want to eat them?

     

I’ve been thinking about it more however and it is a sign maturity and self control and self discipline to eat to live instead of living to eat.

Maturity because you recognize you can’t just eat whatever you want, when you want.

Self control because even though I want to stop and get a burger and fries, I don’t do it.

Self discipline because I exercise self control and maturity.

She also told me to think about my relationship with food.

food is bae

When I am feeling good I eat. Reward myself with food, feeling bad go pick up something tasty. The most money I spend on anything other than travel is food. I love to read and I don’t spend money on books like I do on food. I never paid attention before but now that I do it’s a little crazy. I checked this week after I started this post to see how much money I spend on food. Over $150 for the month of August! This was just for my self mostly, except on one occasion. So not only  are my habits hurting my body but they are hurting my pockets. I am proud to say that I have only eaten out one time so far this month and when I did it was a healthy option.

I need to look at my triggers and find something else to use when celebrating or when I need a pick me up.

As I get older, my body is just not responding to my terrible habits the way it before. I am working on it though. I know I was supposed to be getting myself together before the summer started but alas that didn’t really happen. My birthday is coming though so its the perfect time to get back in the groove.

(gifs from giphy.com)

Can’t be the girl I used to be

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.

Image result for be grateful

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.

Summer is coming to a end

The summer flew by as it always does and now its September 1. I can’t believe it. This summer was definitely one of growth. I feel like I did less partying but I didn’t feel bored. The days seemed full. My birthday is in 12 days. It will be my Jesus year so I am excited about that. I’m fasting to prepare for my birthday as well. Get my mind, body and soul into gear. I have more thoughts on the Jesus year that I will get into as I get closer to my birthday.

My boss asked us to three questions that I think would be good for anyone to use as reflection for the end of a season.

What was the highlight of your summer?

Highlight of my summer was traveling, seeing Beyonce’ (twice!) and getting a new puppy.

 

20180901_1632004882290097292597965.jpg

(Riveria Maya, Mexico June 2018)

20180706_2012294104199989557808733.jpg

(Chicago, July 2018)

20180725_2033231818718920158027760.jpg

(OTR II Cleveland, Ohio July 2018)

20180816_2011526321052626288248995.jpg

(OTR II Columbus, Ohio August 2018)

(OTR II Columbus, Ohio August 2018)

20180712_151913-11943652045039059862.jpg

(Hunter James, July 2018)

His name is Hunter James and he is certainly a handful. He has definitely been a challenge but my husband and I have embraced him.

What are you looking forward to in the new year?

I’m looking forward to being a better version of myself. My best friend always calls it 2.0. I like that. I definitely want to do that as well. You guys would be so proud of me! I have really stepped out of my comfort zone in the last few months and the results have been amazing.

I want to continue to grow this blog, work on writing better and jazz up my website. My cousin who is working on being a brand ambassador said there is no “me” on my website. Which is true. At first I didn’t want it to be about me per se. I was worried about people wanting to know my business and using it to gossip. I didn’t want my message to get lost in talking about “me” all the time. I can see how the that would be impersonal though, so I added some pics 🙂

What are you happy to leave behind?

I’m happy to leave behind self doubt, self pity, self sabotage.

I doubt myself a lot. I may not say it out loud but I do a lot of second guessing and it can be exhausting. I want to be able to go with my gut, use discernment and be satisfied with a decision. I don’t want to replay conversations over and over again to see if I said something stupid, awkward or random. I want to pick out an outfit and just get dressed. Self pity is harder because it sneaks up on you. I can be moving along nicely and my mind will take me back some place that I don’t want to go or bring up a memory that from the past. Or have me worrying about things that have not happened yet. I don’t want to do that.  I don’t want to anyone else to feel sorry for me, so I’m certainly not going to feel sorry for myself.  Self sabotage is sneaky too. I sometimes don’t realize I am doing it until I am in the middle and realized that a better decision could have been made. Like I give up because I don’t see the results in the time frame I want.  Things don’t work that way, so I am just trying to remain focused and be patient. Rome wasn’t built in a day and Dominique 2.0 won’t be built in a day either.

HELLO SEPTEMBER

Brave

Quite a few people have been coming up to me and calling me brave lately. Its funny because I never really feel brave. Often times I am the exact opposite of brave. I have come to a point in my life where I am afraid, but I am doing it any.

Image result for afraid but do it anyway

I won’t say that confidence always follows but what I will say is that people recognize the good in me. I was nervous, I was vulnerable, I was worrying about being judged, however when it was finished it turned out well. I was told that I was doing a good job, that I had a gift. I don’t feel like the things I do are a gift, it just is how I am, so I discount it. I shouldn’t do that.

 

Image result for afraid but do it anyway

The main reason I don’t want to do things is because I am afraid typically of the unknown. People are saying they can’t blog or talk about their problems because they aren’t brave like me. That’s not true. I don’t feel brave when blogging.

I don’t think it is something that I am going to be doing for years but for now it is something that I needed to do. I could no longer hold in it and journalling was not enough. Blogging can be very passive, especially when you use a platform that people have to find.

I feel liberated and validated through blogging. I know that many of things I go through I am not alone. It has helped me be more honest with myself and other people. Like the other day, one of my friends wanted to go to lunch. My fun money has been tight this summer because I am working part time and I told her that I couldn’t go because I didn’t have the money. The old me would never have done that. I would have went and spent the money and done without for something else later. That is small but its the growth that counts in that. My friend told me something personal things about her marriage and she said she was able to do that because of this blog. I appreciate that. She said she feels like she has to have this public persona because people don’t get it. I have lived that life so it makes sense to me.

I notice how other people are much more in tune with their feelings and even though they seem more anxious they also seem more comfortable in their own skin. Or comfortable being uncomfortable.That’s brave to me. That’s where I aspire to be.

I am doing better. We have these big social gatherings at work and I just don’t feel comfortable. Its just not the way I operate. I am much better in one on one or small group settings but instead of sitting there and worrying about what I was going to say, I decided to remove myself from the situation. It worked out much better. As I drove home today I didn’t have to replay everything I said to make sure I didn’t say something stupid or jerk like, etc. I am happy about that.

If you want tell your story you should. Its therapeutic. Being 100% Authentic is whats really brave. I don’t believe I do that 100% of the time but I am working on it. If I can do it, you certainly can as well. Don’t let fear hold you be back.

Image result for fear

The cost of being ordinary (29)

Brene’ Brown says in her book Gifts of Imperfections:

Our culture is quick to dismiss quiet, ordinary, hardworking men and women. In many instances, we equate ordinary with boring or, even more dangerous, ordinary has become synonymous with meaningless.

I read this and immediately agreed. Nobody wants to be ordinary, basic, regular. In the world of social media, ordinary people are not getting second looks.

So many teens look at people online and think that’s the way it has to be. They want to be social media influencers, versus influencing people in real life.

Those folks who are considered ordinary get lost in the shuffle. People who go to work, take care of their families, go to school, do the general right thing get no recognition.

We can live our whole lives and not have anything extraordinary happen. That doesn’t discount us. It doesn’t make us boring or regular, or lame.

People are  chasing images of what they think life is supposed to be like when in reality it’s not that way at all.

Nobody celebrates the dad who goes to work everyday, the kid in college working hard. This isn’t sexy or cool.

We have to change the conversation. I have recently started seeing Instagram post giving props to the ordinary citizen. The every day hero. We need to start the conversation about what makes a person important. What gives them value? It certainly is not how many social media followers they have. What are they contributing to society for the greater good? These are the things that matter.

Is Jesus at the center of your goal (28)

Is Jesus at the center of my goal? I believe so. I am not saying I want to save the world. I do however want to use the gifts that he gave to do good. I don’t want to waste any opportunity that I was presented to me. I want to be able to say I did the very best I could with what I was given. The bible says anything God is in can not fail. . This is a reminder for all my Christian bloggers who lose motivation because we may not have the followers that other blogs have, even though we are saying the same thing. People are being impacted by the words we write down. When you are changing lives their is no failure. I often times get caught up in likes and views but if even one person read what I wrote and was impacted then that is a win for God. Even if that person doesn’t believe if it got them thinking a little bit, then that is a win.  Don’t lose hope, for our work is not in vain. Its our job to plant the seed by being obedient and we can do that. Every little bit counts.

Image result for If god is in her

I used to think that why would anyone want to read what I had to say. I wasn’t saying anything special or doing things that had not been done before. Then I realized, it hadn’t been done before, because my voice was needed. Your voice is needed as well. So write when you don’t feel like it. Write, even if you don’t think it is good. People will resonate with you because your story is important.

Do you want to he successful by the worlds terms or Gods?

Image result for success god's way