Making Messes

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In the mess, still He is faithful.

I’ve had to remind myself of this over and over again. My messes, mistakes and failures often rest heavy on my shoulders. I think about them too often and I often become inactive; I’m afraid to move, afraid of making the same mistakes. However, over time I’ve realized something, something important.

First things first, let us acknowledge that none of us are perfect. I am an imperfect human desperately in need of God’s grace and forgiveness. My mistakes, my imperfections and my daily messes cause me to be bogged down. I listen to the enemy’s lies and in turn dwell on my shortcomings and screw-ups. But, that is not what the Savior calls me to do. I am called to look to Jesus.

In Psalm 121 David reminds us that we are not alone.

I lift up my eyes to the hills.

    From where does my help come?

My help comes from the Lord,

    who made heaven and earth.

He will not let your foot be moved;

    he who keeps you will not slumber.

Behold, he who keeps Israel

    will neither slumber nor sleep.

The Lord is your keeper;

    the Lord is your shade on your right hand.

The sun shall not strike you by day,

    nor the moon by night.

The Lord will keep you from all evil;

    he will keep your life.

The Lord will keep

    your going out and your coming in

    from this time forth and forevermore.

What a beautiful truth to remind our souls!

It is in our messes that we look closer at our Savior and see our desperate need for Him. We are weak and feeble humans. We get caught up in our own pride. We get caught up in our own dreams and plans and disregard the Author. We are imperfect. Thanks to our wonderful and merciful Savior, however, His love never stops forgiving us. He never stops loving us. He never stops being our gracious Father.

We should not be bogged down, for He is sovereign. Our mistakes cannot change God’s plan or love for us. We are saved, loved and forgiven…period.  He remains faithful.

So, in your mistakes, messes, screw-ups, failures and shortcomings remind yourself of this very truth:

In the mess, still He is faithful.

Run to Christ. Tell the enemy to flee. Because your God is strong and mighty and He will give you the strength to get through everything you are struggling with.

You are not alone…rest in that.

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Joy

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Joy.
It is a word we often use to express our happiness. We usually find ourselves experiencing what we call “happiness” when things go as we plan or something wonderful and new takes wings. However, we are not to live with a joy that fluctuates day to day. We are not to live having a joy that we only find ourselves having when things go well for us. But, we ARE supposed to, and called to have a joy that is based not on our circumstances, rather on our eternal hope and salvation that we have been so freely given by a merciful God. Will we have bad days? Yes! Will we experience pain and sorrow on a daily basis? Most likely, yes! We WILL have bad days! This should not hinder us from being joyful, because our hope and happiness and joy should ultimately come from the Savior! I absolutely love these verses in the book of James:
“Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” (James 1:2-4)
This is a powerful reminder that we should not be surprised when trials come or when our faith is tested. Let us be believers who are joyful not because of how good our lives are, because they will be filled with pain, tears, sorrow, loss, and trials, but because of how good our God is. Here’s to joy.

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Her

 

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Her.

She’s the first person you think about when you try something new, and you already feel defeated. She’s the one who’s extremely talented. She’s the one whose figure is #modelstatus. She’s the one who is refined and elegant. She’s the one who speaks a foreign language fluently. She’s an A student.  She’s the girl who can accomplish anything she sets her mind to. She’s the one whose life seems perfect. She’s the one who has never ever had any form of skin blemish in the history of ever. She’s the one who wears her makeup like a model on the front cover of Vogue. She’s the one who has a high-paying job. She’s the girl who’s outgoing and spontaneous. She’s the girl whose wallet is never empty. She’s the one who drives the nice red Mustang.  She’s not YOU.

You.

You wake up in the morning, and try to make your bed-wrestled hair as decent as you can before heading to an early class.  You readily push aside the hanger with the “I woke up like this” T.  You brush your lashes a few times with mascara and stare at three enemy pimples before hopping in your vehicle. You listen intently in class and take good notes before you receive your assignment with a low grade.  You have to work over twenty hours that week because you need enough cash before your bills come in the mail.  You…okay. You probably get where I am going with this.  You are not her. And she is not you. Two completely different people with two very different lifestyles, talents, personalities, and struggles. Yes, she may be able to pick up the guitar and play it like nothing. But you have just as much potential and ability to accomplish things as she does! Our differences are what make us unique and beautiful. Our perspectives much change drastically in order to fully understand this.

Comparison is the enemy of joy! So, don’t compare yourself to others, although it’s easy. Don’t give up based on someone else’s talents or accomplishments. Don’t ever let envy, disappointment, or failure prevent you from showing what you have to offer. For you, have something beautiful and uniquely wonderful to give the world.

 

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Little Victories

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It was 5 AM, and I wanted to hit “snooze” a millon more times, before actually getting out of  bed. (Just so you know, I am NOT a morning person.)  It was the end of August and my first week of early mornings at Kaia F.I.T.  I was determined to get in shape and be comfortable in my own skin, and so I was more than ready to push my limits.  My first day at Kaia F.I.T. was challenging, but so worth it! Monday through Friday, for the next month in a half, consisted of early mornings, comfy activewear, massive amounts of sweat, sore muscles, whole foods, and water; and every saturday morning, I worked out at Anytime Fitness.  In conclusion, I worked out 6 days a week.  I felt great and began to see a difference…defined muscles, strength in my arms and shoulders, as well as a dedication to staying well and physically fit.

It’s now been close to three months since I began this fitness journey, and things have changed.  I got so busy with school that I had to drop out of Kaia F.I.T., but I’ve continued my 1- 1 1/2 hour workouts at the gym Monday through Saturday.  (I’ll be honest, though, I would not receive the “Perfect Attendance Award”… there have been at least 6 days in the past months that I have decided to give my muscles a break, or just stop and breathe and spend time with my family or hang out with my friends.)  My thoughts on weight  and calories have changed as well.  I’m just going to say it…I HAVE BARELY LOST 5 LBS!!!  I eat anywhere from 1,400 calories to 1,600 calories a day and drink plently of water and lots of green tea (which is an amazing addition to your daily liquid intake because it provides loads of energy, helps speed up metabolism, and promotes clear and healthy skin!).  Before I began this journey, I was frustrated because I had been trying to lose weight, and nothing seemed to bring my weight (in numbers) down.  Now, a few months later, I am learning to be patient.  Yes, I may not have lost weight, but I realize that it is going to be a long and slow process to lose excess pounds.  I do not have a six-pack, but my abs are more defined now than they have ever been!  A little victory!  I am down two jean sizes! Another little victory!  I feel strong and motivated!  Yet, another victory!!!  My encouragement to you…DO NOT GIVE UP!!!!!  Goals take time to meet, but with determination,  joy in the little things, and the realization that you are beautiful in His eyes, will help you get there!

Life has it’s share of victories.  Some of them may be noticeable and motivational to others and ourselves, but most are diminuitive which we often translate as unimportant or irrelevant parts of our lives.  The truth is, however, that the little victories are what make us stronger human beings.  It’s the little daily and spiritual victories which drive us to become the spiritually strong and joyful people that the Savior calls us to be.  We often get down on ourselves when we do not meet the goals we set for ourselves, but we should actually rejoice at any progress that we make towards meeting that goal!  Celebrate the little victories in life, because they count.

 

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