Things to Stop Doing to Yourself: Part 3

That’s right! Another installment of Things to Stop Doing to Yourself. Hope you enjoy!

  1. Stop spending time with the wrong people. Life is too short to waste your time with people who suck all the happiness out of you. If someone wants you in their life, they will make room; you wouldn’t have to fight for a spot. Never insist on spending time with people who continuously look over your worth or don’t put value on you. 
  2. Stop lying to yourself. You can lie to anyone else in the world, but you can’t lie to yourself. Our lives improve only when we take chances, and the first and most difficult chance we take is to be honest with ourselves. Think of it as The Road Less Traveled. 
  3. Stop trying to be someone you’re not. You are extremely unique, so stop trying to copy and morph yourself into someone else or something you’re not. Don’t change so people will like you. Be yourself. 
  4. Stop berating yourself for old mistakes. We may end up falling for the wrong person or get emotional about the wrong things, but no matter how things go wrong, but in all that happens, mistakes make us better. We learn, we grow, and we more fully develop into the person we are meant to be. Your mistakes do not define you. 
  5. Stop exclusively looking to others for happiness. If you’re not happy with yourself, you won’t be happy otherwise. Don’t look to people for happiness; happiness comes from within, not man. You need stability inside before you can share it with someone else. 
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My Broken, but Beautiful Journey

The past few years have been the hardest out of my entire life. I have suffered family tragedies, health complications, and tensions in my life with personal struggles.

It has been a long and rough road: my parents losing their best friend in a tragic boating accident; my uncle from defeating cancer only to sign previously a DNR and the hospital giving him too much medicine, slipping into a coma, thus dying; my mother losing two aunts in one week; and just recently, my grandfather passing away just last month from congestive heart failure.

I was diagnosed two years ago with a syndrome that disables me to have children on my own; when the time comes to have a child, I will be required to use extra help and medicine to help my reproductive organs actually work. I was only 18 at the time, and the thought that having a child was taken away from me before it was even an option was devastating.

And in the midst of it all, I went through times where I was slipping into depression and loneliness. It was brutal. I felt alone, broken, and needing something radical to change it.

It was as if a darkness followed me wherever I went. I tried to engage with people even though I didn’t enjoy it. I tried to do activities that I enjoyed to make life seem a little less dampening with everything going on. However, there is only one thing that ever gave me constant hope…

Jesus Christ.

He gave me grace to go through the road I went through

because

I’m

still

standing.

Coming out of the dark time with tragedy everywhere I looked was a slow process; it wasn’t overnight. I had to seek God and only his “peace that surpasses all understanding” (Philippians 4:7).

Doing my devotions was the ONLY amount of hope. It was the only thing I knew to do that would help me. And that was because I knew the promises of God, not because I felt like it. I felt like life was bad, but I knew God was good. So I sought Him and the only fix to my broken road.

Through that long, cycling healing process, God taught me some things.

He spoke to me that He was my only hope. I had to stop looking to friends to make me feel better or aid my happiness. I had to look to God. I asked him to show himself to me. Instead of focusing all my efforts on the things going wrong, I focused on finding more of God, and leaning into him for my breakthrough.

I learned also that once you’ve been broken you can there is a new connection to reaching other broken people. I don’t want to go through trials and not be able to help someone else that is hurting. I want my struggles and experiences to help people.

I have found that such hope is found only through Christ. And that only pure joy comes from diving into God and his presence. 

Ultimately, my circumstances did not change, but rather my perception of God. He isn’t a God somewhere far, not moving in real time. He is a God that is right beside you, seeing you at ALL times.

He saves us from destruction and has plans of hope for our lives, but allows us to go through difficulties to become a better person and to trust Him more fully. Easier said than done, but when you lean into God and searching for him, breakthroughs are sure to come.

Not only that, God is preparing you for greater things. You can do this. 

Now I am the happiest I have ever been. Of course I have days that are terrible, but I know that I have ope in the Lord, trusting that he never gives me more than I can take, and never leaving my side. I am not affected by my circumstances, because I have a Lord that is the same yesterday, today, and forever.

Take hope. For the hope we have trusted and joy found in the Lord shall not return void, neither will his promises. I pray that you are encouraged today, and realize that trials are a part of life, but knowing Christ, Earth is the only hell you will know. Heaven will be glorious, and all that time during our life that was rough, will be rewarded with eternal presence of the most high.

You can do this. You were given this life because you can handle it.

As always, be blessed.

Things to Stop Doing to Yourself: Part 2

Just a few days ago I wrote about “Things to Stop Doing to Yourself: Part 2” and I wanted to write the next installment. There are things in life that you cannot spare for yourself. It is vital to personal and mental health by taking care of yourself. Here are some more things to do just that.

  1. Stop getting involved in relationships for the wrong reasons. Relationships are meant to be chosen wisely, not flippantly or haphazardly. It is truly better to be alone than to be in bad company. 1 Corinthians 15:33 says “bad company corrupts good character.” There’s no need to rush. With friendships. And in romance. Fall in love when you’re ready, not when you’re lonely. I have been single for the past 1 and a half, only having previously one boyfriend. Truly, it has been the best time waiting in singleness. Better wait.
  2. Stop rejecting new relationships just because old ones didn’t work. This is something I actually am working on myself. I have had friendships fall out and it seems like it won’t work positively again. BUT. There is a purpose for everyone you meet. Some will test you, some will use you and some will teach you. Most importantly, some will bring out the best in you. Trust me, you met that person for a reason, either as a lesson, or a blessing.
  3. Stop overlooking the beauty of small moments. Take bliss in the little things, because one day you will look back and see that they were the big things. Every foundation starts with a small, tightly packed base. These are those small things. Do not overlook them. The best part of your life will be the small, nameless moments that you cannot buy.
  4. Stop trying to be everything to everyone. Doing so is completely impossible, and you will tire yourself constantly trying to do so; it will burn you out. But making ONE person smile CAN change the world. Maybe not the whole world, but THEIR, IMPORTANT world. So narrow your focus.
  5. Stop being ungrateful. No matter how good or bad you have it, wake up each day thankful for your life. Someone somewhere else is desperately fighting for theirs. Instead of thinking what you’re missing, try thinking about what you have that everyone else is missing. You are living, breathing, and reading. You are more blessed than nearly half the world. Think about that, and let that sink in.

I hope this offered some encouragement to your day. Please try to lighten your load, and take care of yourself. Once you do, I promise life will be brighter.

As always, be blessed.

Cherish Your Loved Ones

Today is a day I know all too well.

A day like any other day. You smile, you eat, you breath in and out. Then it happens. In an instance.

Today my close friend’s best friend’s grandfather passed away. We dropped our plans and rushed to the family’s side to offer our condolences and care. Arriving at the home of a family I did not truly know, it reminded me how very real this same situation was for me just under a month ago.

My grandfather passed away suddenly and turned our world upside down. The only true comfort we had in moving forward was knowing he was right with God and he was free of pain. It did made things easier, but it never takes all the pain away.

Adapting and finding the new normal after a loved one passes away can be the hardest thing to find. To find that balance. Sitting in that house, with people bringing food and love, was all too familiar.

Above the hurt, the sadness, and memory flooding and rushing back to mind from losing my beautiful grandfather, like this family did today, I was reminded that God is good and can give peace that surpasses understanding.

In the same token, I was reminded just how precious and short life is. You never truly know when a phone call can change your life in a mere instance.

So please, for the sake of those unable to hug their loved ones, for the ones that seldom visit their family, but for your sake, cherish your loved ones and your family.

Tell them you love them all the time. Get off your phone if you’re supposed to be spending time with them. And love them. Because you never know when your time is up.

But. Through it all. Know that when that time does come, you are not alone. A wonderful counselor named Jesus will be by your side if you let him.

Hug the ones you love today. Or call. Or write. Do something.
Please. Time is precious.

Show love, and be blessed.

When All Hope Was Gone

Have you ever felt like all hope was gone? That there was no way to come out of the situation you were faced with? Sometimes that how we feel in crises that surprise us and even those we see coming.

Louis Giglio

Louis Giglio

As I was doing my devotions this morning I came across something that I would like to share. I was reading my bible in the book of Acts chapter 27, where Paul was sailing to Rome to be tried for a crime aboard a ship with +200 people. In their journey, the chapter shows that their course on the sea was altered a few times in immediate direction due to harsh winds and difficult storms.

After some time, the storms grew more frightening that ever before for the ship and its passengers. The crew was trying to throw things overboard, even valuable food, just to keep from flipping the boat over in the large waves.

So as I have set the story up, I would like to show you where we pick up.

Acts 27: 18-26, being wrote by Paul the apostle, taken from Bible Gateway in the New International Version….

Paul on the Stormy Seas in Acts 27

Paul on the Stormy Seas in Acts 27

18 We took such a violent battering from the storm that the next day they began to throw the cargo overboard. 19 On the third day, they threw the ship’s tackle overboard with their own hands. 20 When neither sun nor stars appeared for many days and the storm continued raging, we finally gave up all hope of being saved.

21 After they had gone a long time without food, Paul stood up before them and said: “Men, you should have taken my advicenot to sail from Crete; then you would have spared yourselves this damage and loss. 22 But now I urge you to keep up your courage, because not one of you will be lost; only the ship will be destroyed. 23 Last night an angel of the God to whom I belong and whom I serve stood beside me 24 and said, ‘Do not be afraid, Paul. You must stand trial before Caesar; and God has graciously given you the lives of all who sail with you.’ 25 So keep up your courage, men, for I have faith in God that it will happen just as he told me. 26 Nevertheless, we must run aground on some island.”

In the face of adversity and complete hopelessness, God is still present and his name prevails! Just when you run out of hope, God steps in. His ways are higher than out wats. With a great anointing and call, you can no longer stay comfortable with the familiar.

For the glory and call of God will draw you from the shore of certainty and into the sea of the unknown. Truly, God is the absolute only certain thing in life. Everything can change in an instance, and I have experienced this many times myself. So don’t put your hope in worldly things and people, because they are as wavering as a leaf int he wind, while the Lord Almighty is a strong stone tower; unmoved by outside elements and forces.

Take heart, because the Lord I serve has overcome the world. Everything comes under his power. 

So in life, full of uncertainties and troubled times, be like Paul! And know that our God is able to be exceedingly and abundantly more than we can think. In our darkest hour, he’s at his brightest; it doesn’t always feel this way, but firsthand experience has shown me he is always right there.

And as always, be blessed.

The Giving Keys

Ever see something like a child smile at a playful, sweet puppy? or the way warm sunshine can kiss your cheeks on a spring afternoon? What about the things you hear and it warms your heart, encourages your uniqueness, embracing your flaws, giving hope to others, and well, yourself? Sounds like a grand thing, and how could all those emotions be wrapped up in one thing? The answer, and continuing story, is simple….

Taken from thegivingkeys.com

Taken from thegivingkeys.com

The Giving Keys is an organization that gives back to struggling people, as well as provides hope and a reminder of strength to those that need it. The function of the organization is the idea that you buy a key necklace, with whatever word you want; words to pick from include “hope”, “truth”, “live”, “love”, and “peace” to name a few. That key is found somewhere and collected to have your hand-picked word metal stamped and placed on a chain as a necklace.

The premise is that each key has it’s own story – blemished, used, tattered, but beautiful – just like the receiver. And furthermore, when someone gets the key, they must give it away at some point to a person they feel needs the message. After that, The Giving Keys wants to hear the stories of your path with the key and how you gave it away. The word stamped on represents the encouragement you need, a word that got you through a hard time, or something you are working to obtain; truly, just as each key is unique, so is the story behind the key’s wearer, and that word is up to you.

Caitlin Crosby, founder of The Giving Keys

Caitlin Crosby, founder of The Giving Keys

With great encouragement you would receive from the Giving Keys, amazing things start small. It all began with a New York hotel room key. Actress and singer/songwriter Caitlin Crosby, the founder of The Giving Keys, wore a key as a necklace and had the idea to start engraving old, used keys with inspirational words at a locksmith in LA. When she would perform, she sold the keys at her merchandise tables, and the demand was nonstop; she would in between shows run around trying to find keys and engrave them to keep up with demands in fact.

After seeing a need for her growing inspirational keys, she ran into a homeless couple on the infamous Hollywood Blvd, Cera and Rob, and knew she found the right people for the organization. Once partnering with The Giving Keys and making it thrive by finding, engraving, and distributing keys, a once homeless couple came to buy their very own apartment. Not only are The Giving Keys changing the lives of the ones buying them, but changing the lives of the ones engraving them too.

One of the Thriving Couples

One of the Thriving Couples

Are you feeling those warm feelings in your stomach yet? As the business started to develop, more partner relationships were built and now The Giving Keys have ten employees that are trying to transition out of homelessness. Through this time, the organization have helped them open bank accounts, provided financial planning support, and now five of the ten earned to get their own apartments and support themselves.

I just recently received my giving keys, and I love them. I order a key with the word “hope” on it, to help remind me the hope I have in the future and in God, despite present circumstances being scary. When I got it, I found that the other side had

My Keys

The keys I bought; I love them! Thanks Giving Keys

accidentally been engraved with the word “grace”; oddly enough, I have been praying for grace in situations that my family is going through with health complications. What a seeming accident turned out to be such a good encouragement and reminder. The other was marked “trust”, where it describes this time in my life. Now oftentimes I proudly wear my keys, filling a reminder of inspiration to my day, as well as looking great to the eye.

These words mean an immense amount to me; in a time where my life was crumbling – family members dying left and right, being diagnosed with a rough body syndrome, and feeling down – hope in God was all I had. Trust, for times when I didn’t understand why life has’t turned around, but believing God to hold us. And grace, for times when you need mercy covering you survive. So what’s your word? your key? When you figure it out, I hope you wear your key, pay it forward, and write a story.

The Giving Keys

The Giving Keys

To buy a Giving Key, for yourself or for a friend, visit the lovely site, www.thegivingkeys.com.