“I am Waiting on God?”

Daily Adventures

“I am waiting on God” is something I hear people say all the time regarding relationships, careers, and life in general. Putting our complete faith in the Lord is something I admire and something I try on a daily basis to live up to. But, it may be problematic when we use “waiting on God” to justify other things like:

  1. Not Taking Action

Have you ever said yourself or heard people say:” God will close this door if it’s not meant to be?” or “God will give me a sign” etc. though these are not completely wrong all the time, how many times have we allowed these to keep us from acting? I remember hearing a story that went like this:”

“A fellow was stuck on his rooftop in a flood. He was praying to God for help.

Soon a man in a rowboat came by and the fellow shouted to the man on the roof, “Jump in, I can save you.”

The stranded fellow shouted back, “No, it’s OK, I’m praying to God and he is going to save me.”

So the rowboat went on.

Then a motorboat came by. “The fellow in the motorboat shouted, “Jump in, I can save you.”

To this the stranded man said, “No thanks, I’m praying to God and he is going to save me. I have faith.”

So the motorboat went on.

Then a helicopter came by and the pilot shouted down, “Grab this rope and I will lift you to safety.”

To this the stranded man again replied, “No thanks, I’m praying to God and he is going to save me. I have faith.”

So the helicopter reluctantly flew away.

Soon the water rose above the rooftop and the man drowned. He went to Heaven. He finally got his chance to discuss this whole situation with God, at which point he exclaimed, “I had faith in you but you didn’t save me, you let me drown. I don’t understand why!”

To this God replied, “I sent you a rowboat and a motorboat and a helicopter, what more did you expect?” (Source: Here)

Sometimes we are this man. We don’t take action as if we are waiting for God to live for us or to act for us. I know this has also been me. Like “God would have closed this door if it wasn’t meant to be”, or “God will give me a sign” while I am sitting there not using the free will that God gave me to make the decision that aligns with His will. God gave us free will so I doubt that He will live for us.

“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.” Matthew 7:7 

Faith is also based on actions. If you are not asking, seeking, knocking like the verse says, you are blocking your own blessings by not claiming what God meant to do for you to begin with just like the man who was waiting to be saved, but never acted on it.

2. Not taking responsibility

Just like the man who drowned and ended up saying how God didn’t save him, sometimes we use this as an excuse to not take responsibility for us not acting or for not doing. God calls us to trust Him with everything, to give everything to Him, but He also calls us to act, to make decisions that will lead us to where He wants us to be. Faith is not passivity. Our relationship with God in my opinion should be a two-way street where we also act when we are called to do so instead of letting our fears or insecurities have us expect God to literally move us.

This got me thinking about any areas in my life where God is waiting for me to act on. Whether it be through my love life, career, academics etc. What about you? Any areas in your life you need to faithfully act on?

 

Love,

Lori

Advertisements

When The Shoe Does Not Fit

Thoughts

                      I walked into a store a few years back and saw these beautiful wedges. If you know me, you know heels aren’t usually my thing although I DO love them, I just always pick comfort over wearing them. I can do with wedges though! you know they are comfortable not as much of a pain as regular heels. Anyway, I saw them and instantly thought I wanted them. I wear size 6 in sandals and 7 in regular shoes, but we all know how sizing can sometimes not be accurate. I looked at the size of the wedges and realized they were a 6. I thought: “I am a size 6!” (except this wasn’t a pair of sandals). I tried them on anyway and they were super tight. They looked good on my feet, but super extra tight.   To be honest, they didn’t fit. I thought well I will make them work. I will break them in in no time and took them home.  Believe or not I didn’t only do this with shoes back then.

This behavior was all over my relationships with friends or boyfriend. I had this thing where I would realize that someone wasn’t actually meant to stay in my life or just meant to be there and I would hold on to them thinking I would/could make it work. This went on in almost every relationship I had to the point where I would bend myself backwards to “make things work” with people not meant for me to begin with.

Not loving myself and not knowing my worth in God, made me settle to trying to shape myself to fit people into my life rather than allowing the right people who fit into my life to come to me and stay. I was so bound on making shoes that weren’t meant for me fit that I was loosing sight of the ones God had just for me.

How Has This Affected My Relationships?

I wasn’t being One hundred percent myself making it easier for me to be confused about who genuinely cares and who doesn’t. As a result, it was actually hard to have meaningful friendships not based on just hanging out and joking or doing stuffs together. At the end of the day, not one of my “friends” actually knew who I was aside from things I do or superficial characteristics like “Being a nice person” or a helpful person. I was a people pleaser. I couldn’t say no without feeling bad about it sometimes despite my own well being. There is a fine line between being selfless and being a people pleaser. Selflessness comes from a place of love and service while being a people pleaser tends to come from not owning who you are.

Processed with VSCO with c1 preset

 

How  Has This Changed?

I wasn’t liking where my life was headed with this and it took time for me to actually really love myself and to own who I am. Knowing who you are makes you realize that you are not for everyone and that everyone is not meant to be in your life. And that is totally okay. Knowing myself and owning it made me not willing to make anything that wasn’t for me fit anymore. I grasped my identity in Christ and in society which led to me knowing what I want, who I want to be, and who God created me to be. That led to me not settling for anything or anyone less than what/who was meant for me. 

As a result, I have made meaningful relationships with people I truly cared about and people who genuinely cared about me. I also was willing to let anyone or anything that was not good for me go and it was totally okay with me. I am okay with saying no because I only say yes if I am not at the same time saying no to myself. I was confident in God and true to myself, beliefs, and morals. I learned to truly be selfless how God intended me while being myself.

Honestly, I prayed about it a lot. I realized so many times how it breaks God’s heart knowing that He made me and that I was not willing to be who He created me to be. I was not willing to realize whose daughter I was. God sent me people, answers, and the realization of His love through His word to help me through this. I am forever grateful.

Even though I knew in theory about all those things that God says about me and how much He loves me, I had to relearn them and fully grasp what they meant. God has made us in His image. He has redeemed us. He loves us. We can either create a temporary identity for ourselves or we can claim the eternal identity that is found in Christ.  

I am sharing this because if this at some point was/is also you, know that you are enough just for being yourself because you are “fearfully and wonderfully made”.  Find strength in God and in His word. Bring Him your worries so he may show you the way to go. You are so beautiful and loved beyond what you can possibly imagine! So whether it comes to shoes, things, people, learn to accept what is yours and what fits you and let go of what doesn’t. The unnecessary pain you get from forcing things is not worth it.

Here are some verses that I found helpful:

“For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.”- Psalm 139: 13-14

Why, even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not; you are of more value than many sparrows.”- Luke 12:7

“Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.”- Genesis 1:26

Love,

Lori

 

 

Being a Wallflower

Thoughts

When I was in middle school and high school, I always admired people who weren’t afraid to speak to strangers; people who weren’t shy because I always figured that I could have been more of this and of that if I wasn’t so shy. I am an introverted person and I relied on that so much that I would tell myself that I didn’t say what I think because I am just reserved. I then realized that there is a fine line between being reserved and being afraid to speak.

There is nothing wrong with being an introvert, but using that as an excuse to give in to fear is where the wrong begins. Just like any other introvert, I do enjoy alone time and despise small talks for too long. I also do need time to recover from exhausting social activities and I do have a small group of people that aren’t exhausting to me. But the thing is, I was also afraid of putting myself out there by initiating conversations or by speaking in public or anything related to me getting out of my comfort zone and this to me was all kind of wrongs because fear is not of God. Fear is not something that I wanted to allow to paralyze me. 

I remember that I had no problem standing in front of an audience to give presentations but that’s because I had no choice. My grades depended on it. Regardless of stress, I would push myself so that I not only give the presentation as if I wasn’t stressed, but also that I do it very well because I cared enough about my grades to make myself uncomfortable so that I achieve what I wanted. So, I figured that having motivation enough would help me do what I wasn’t too comfortable doing. They say life happens outside of your comfort zone, gosh is this true!! I started to tell myself how my future depended on me talking to that professor or talking to that person or company etc. Little did I know that doing just that would help me find my voice. Although still a work in progress, I love how God is  leading me with this. 

 I decided to do positive things that I had never done because of fear and next thing you know, I was going places, climbing down caves, climbing mountains, talking to engineers who intimidated me, walking to a certain professor’s office to boldly talk about research and so on. I would repeat to myself constantly that if fear is the ONLY reason for me not to do something then I should definitely do it. I prayed about it too; telling God constantly to give me the courage necessary to go do this or that without necessarily owning or taking it upon myself to move towards what I was praying about. It’s like returning the free will that God gave me to Him telling Him to literally push me to do certain things when in reality, He had given me the courage I asked for since day 1, had I only decided to lift my feet.

Isn’t it funny how we sometimes try to give our free will back to God because we literally want Him to lift us up and make us do certain things or we want Him to place that person on our path? When in reality, He has already answered our prayers by touching the person’s heart so they can be ready to hear us; The problem is, we do not actually go and talk to that person because we often times want God to answer prayers our way instead of His way. So next time you feel afraid to speak or do certain things when you have already prayed about it, remember, sometimes, all it takes is one step forward! 

From one Introvert to another

Love,

Lori

How I Keep My Prayer Journal

Thoughts

I have been asked about prayer journals since I have published 3 Reasons Why You should keep a Prayer Journal. I know it took forever, but I usually pray before I post anything and if I don’t “feel” it, I will not post it. Whether or not I actually know what I will write about. Anyway, I am sorry it took so long! Let’s get to it.

My prayer journals are usually journals I use to keep track of my growth with God and of my relationship with Him along with my conversations ( prayers) with Him. To be honest, it doesn’t have to be an actual journal in my opinion. It can be on your electronic devices, but I personally like to write and to have a physical journal so that is what I go for. Really, this is all about you and your preferences, but here  is what I include in mine:

  1. The date and even the Time

I didn’t use to do this, but I found it to be very useful to know the exact date and time when I was feeling a certain way or what I was talking to God about. It doesn’t matter that much, but personally I think it’s useful when looking back and realizing how God has been leading me.

 

2. Learned today Section

This is going to sound silly, but I usually write what I have learned on that day or what I have improved or not improved on. I don’t mean on an academic point of view, but about life in general. For example, I may write that today I have learned  or was reminded of the importance of humility and write how I have come to this conclusion. I have found that little things like that go a long way. I would write what God has put in my heart that day and anything that I feel is worth putting on there. That way, I also remember to thank God in my prayers for a particular improvement or pray that He helps me in this particular area so that I may be more like Him. For example, patience is a big thing for me. I have none whatsoever when it comes to certain things; sometimes even little things. So, time and time again I would write that I need to improve on my patience because I felt irritated because of this and that. It is a good way to acknowledge feelings and things that need work. I would then pray to God that He gives me the patience necessary to be able to love a little more like Him every day and that He teaches me how to do so. It is a work in progress, but I am getting there with His help.

 

3. Bible Verses

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA          Processed with VSCO with c1 preset

I also like to include any bible verses or anything I read that day or that week that spoke to me or that I need some light on. That way, I can remember to ask God to open my heart and mind, and send me His holy spirit so that my mind, heart, and soul can grasp what he wants me to take away from a particular passage. I find this to also be a way to remember and keep in my heart what I have learned from reading a particular book.

 

4.  Prayer

This is my favorite part. I would make sure I read what I previously wrote down so I remember exactly what to thank God for besides the usual millions of things and I would pray about what I need to work on, where I have failed Him etc. I would also give thanks for what I have learned from a particular bible verse or what I need His help understanding.  To me, it is usually a conversation, as personal as it can get. I usually write “Dear God” to begin. This part is all up to you! Just open your heart to your father and be sure that He listens!

 

These are the four things I include in my prayer journal. Since I like to keep things organized, they are indeed in this very order, but as I said before, it is all up to you! I am sharing how I keep mine to maybe give someone else an idea. I hope you found this useful! Let me know in the comments!

 

Love,

 

Lori

Books I think Everyone Should Read (update)

Thoughts

Today is #Nationalbookloversday so I am here for it! If you love to read like I do, this post is for you! I previously posted 8 Books I think Everyone Should Read. If you haven’t already, check it out! This is an updated version or should I say here are 4 more books I think are worth reading:

  1. Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones

Maybe you’ve seen the movie that was made based on this or maybe you haven’t, but it’s okay because this is the book! Books are always better than movie adaptations in my opinion. This was my favorite movie when I was a child and once I found out that it is actually a book, I had to read it! It was a bit different from the movie as I expected, but I still loved Howl’s character as well as Sophie’s. I don’t want to spoil anything for you, but it’s a feel good fantasy book that will make you dream and laugh. Give it a read and let me know what you think! It sure brought me back to being a child!

2. When God Winks On Love by Squire Rushnell

Although, I am not very certain that I believe in the idea of a soul mate because I haven’t found biblical proof of it, I loved that book. It’s not meant to be a bible because clearly it’s not the Bible, but I loved the stories! I don’t believe in coincidences and this book is just a reinforcement of that. Full of serendipitous  stories and hope! If you are single ( or not) and you are looking for a feel good book that can help you have the patience to wait on our father’s perfect timing and perfect way of doing things, this book is definitely worth a read!

3. The Devil and Miss Prym by Paulo Coelho

I read this one a while back. It is full of life lessons about good versus evil and about the daily struggles we have with our conscience.  It shows the lures of temptations and the courage and faith necessary to overcome them. There are also lots of little stories told by the characters that are eye-opening.  It’s about a man who comes to a small village with the devil following him. He is determined to prove or to find out whether or not humanity is solely good or solely evil, so he makes a deal with the youngest lady in the village. I don’t want to spoil this for you, but it is truly an interesting read.

4. The Great Controversy by Ellen G. White

I hesitated a little putting this one on the list, but if you are a christian, I think you should give it a read. I admit, it is hard to read. When I say hard to read, I mean it is not a fiction book or a short one either, but it gives great insight on religion history, and the controversy that exists between God and Satan. Everyone would mention this book at church or during christian gatherings so I decided to give it a read. I must say that I didn’t regret it and it changed my views on a lot of things. I hope you do try to take your time to give it a go! Maybe God will speak to you through it just as He did me!

 

S.N.: I am pretty sure you can find it for free. I will post the website link once I find it, but for now I only have the Amazon one. 

 

 

I hope you enjoy this short list and do read some of these books. I am currently reading Me before You by  Jojo Moyes. Well I am more like listening to it as I tried giving audio books a chance. I’ll keep you updated on how it went! I am thinking about creating a shared bookshelf where we’d share books or even read them together! Let me know what you think! comment below or say hi at: contact@lorisr.com

Love,

Lori

 

Disclaimer: I just posted the links to these books just in case you were wondering where to find them or where I got them from. I am not associated with any of the authors or sellers or anything. xoxo

 

 

3 Reasons Why You should keep a Prayer Journal

Thoughts

I have had a prayer journal for as long as I could remember. I was always very fond of writing and I find that writing down my thoughts usually help me keep them on the positive side of the spectrum. I don’t usually journal about events that happened during the day, more like how I felt that day and why. I also write ideas, projects, plans, bible study notes etc. But to be honest, nothing is more satisfying to me than to write my prayers down. I usually write them as letters to my beloved Father and I just love being able to read them over and over. Here are 3 reasons why you should keep a prayer journal.

 

  1. You can keep track of your answered prayers

Processed with VSCO with c1 preset

.

One of the best feelings of keeping a prayer journal is being able to look back and read over the prayers and requests that you wrote down before, and realizing today that they have been answered. You see I have realized that it is very easy to forget about our present blessings until we realized that a day before or a year before, the blessings that we are enjoying today were things that we were desperately praying for. On June 21, 2016 I wrote in my prayer journal for God to intervene for me so that I may have an interview with a specific company that I’d rather not name. On Monday June 27th, I was headed to my interview and opened my journal to pray before going. I started reading old prayers and couldn’t help but smile when I came across the one about the interview. On July 5th 2016 at 11:00PM, I wrote in my journal about going to orientation with my brother and having a place to stay and everything planned. On July 7th, 2016, there I was at orientation with my mother and brother with everything planned and taken care of. I could go on and on about this, but I wanted to give recent examples.

 

2.  You can use it to rekindle your hope in God

IMG_4429

Okay I know that sometimes we all lose hope or start doubting God or our relationship with him. Although yes, you should read your Bible and pray about it, but sometimes I don’t even feel like I have the strength to pray. I then open my prayer journal and start reading past prayers and I am reminded of who the god I serve is. I am reminded of my relationship with Him and of how I wouldn’t want to give that away for anything. It is funny that as I am inspired to write this today, I am living this part and reading my prayers over along with the Bible has sure brought the Joy of the Lord back to me.

 

 

3. You are more aware of the relationship you have with God

13517440_10207160410152088_9106200469603955357_o

I am not saying that I write every single prayer in my prayer journal because I pray multiple times a day. Before I eat, before I drive, before I make a decision etc. And these prayers are usually short ones in the quietness of my heart; But I do reserve one hour in the morning and one hour at night to sit down calmly with my Bible, my highlighters, my prayer journal, and worship songs. I write down my prayers, I bring my thoughts to my Father, my concerns etc. One thing I have realized from doing that is that I am more aware of what goes on between me and God when I keep my journal. I am able to have on concrete paper what I need to work on, what God is doing in me and in my life and in others’ life. Not only am I able to witness them in my life and in others’ life, I am able to look at it happen from another angle by keeping a prayer journal. I find that to be a plus if you are working on bettering your relationship with God.

 

I was inspired to write this today out of nowhere so I hope it inspires and helps someone. How has keeping a prayer journal helped you? If you would like a post about my process for keeping my prayer journal ( how it looks, what I start with, how I pray etc.)  feel free to comment and let me know! Feel free to comment even if you just want to say hi also! 🙂

 

Love,

 

Lori

Not Having it Together Yet in Your Early 20s is Totally Okay

Thoughts, Uncategorized

I recently had a conversation with a friend who was desperately looking for something to do to show out for herself. Everyone around her seemed to have talent and to be up to something except for her she said; so she was trying to learn as many things as possible or trying to come up with things like creating a blog, or writing or anything she thought she could get her hands on. I thought of encouraging her  if she was doing this for the right reasons until I found myself in her.

Today’s world puts so much pressure on young people nowadays! It’d have you feel that in your early 20’s you need to have graduated, be a home owner, have traveled the world, be successful, be married or in a relationship, own your own business, and be popular on Facebook/Instagram/Twitter/YouTube and whatever else there is.

When I think about it, social media and comparison seem to have a lot to with it. Let’s go back to my friend. She felt that everyone around her was up to something. When I asked who was everyone, she told me social media friends or people she knew in real life posting about their new job, travels, graduation, blogs, YouTube channels etc.

Hmm.. I thought. Haven’t we all been there! Social media are not what they are cut up to be. People are more likely to post about successes than failures. You will not see how many rejection letters they received or how they struggled for anything they post about. While I do not necessarily blame it, I do not condone comparing your life to others’. What you only see or hear others talk about is what they choose to share with you, so comparing your full life story to bits and pieces of another’s life is just not fair to you.

I am here to tell you that in your early 20’s, not having it together yet is totally okay. You are probably a student, working towards certain goals that you would like to accomplish, or maybe you are not a student but you have dreams and you look at other people’s successes and think to yourself that you should have been doing more or doing better. Well, I am totally here for having other people inspire you, but if being inspired by what someone is doing is borderline making you feel bad about yourself, you need to rethink this.

Each person is on their own timeline according to God’s plan for their life. Comparing your journey to someone else’s is trying to fit someone else’s timeline to your own. That won’t quite work now will it? I recently read the book of John and one thing I remember writing is how Jesus would mention that his “time had not yet come”. It reminded me that there are specific times for certain things. The fact that someone graduated today and you are working towards graduating but you are not there yet does not mean that you have failed. It maybe   means that you are moving according to God’s timing for your life! and if there is one thing I learned, it is that it’s the best timing there is!

My friend also wanted to find things to do that she’d seen others’ been successful at. Hmm.. while this can be a good thing, it has its flaws.  I am all here for finding yourself, finding your purpose, your path, and God’s plan for your life, but if the reason you choose to go into something is because you see others do it, I think you should rethink this yet again. God gave us gifts and talents according to His will for us. Maybe someone else’s ministry is singing, maybe another’s is creativity, or leading, writing, or whatever else, but that does not mean that it is your own. Appropriating another’s path won’t make you as happy as they are if it’s not your gift.

Find your purpose, find what you are good at and do that. The rest will follow according to God’s will. Move at your own pace and try to enjoy the ride along the way. And the next time you find yourself being discouraged by comparing your life to others’, remember God created you unique in His image, with gifts that maybe you have no idea you have and that He is going through this journey with you. Pray and ask Him for guidance with your life. Trust in Him and in His timing.

Love,

Lori

To My 18 Year Old Self

Thoughts

This text I wrote in my journal last year and added things to it. I wanted to document how things have changed and I wanted it to be a reminder to be grateful for every single change good or bad. For Christ has carried me through it all. Maybe these are things I wish someone told my 18-year-old self, but anyway that’s not the point. Why am I posting this besides the obvious reason that I can and want to? Well the purpose was and still is to document the journey and if this helps a 18, 19, 20 or whatever year old somewhere, I’d know that it served its purpose:

You will forgive your dad and your mom will become one of your best friends! How crazy is that! Moving is not as hard as you think. It’s going to be okay. You’ll adjust. You always do.

You’ll find love, you’ll lose it too! only to finally learn that love is God and love is in you so you can never lose it. That heartbreak is not the end of your world. It’ll be okay. You’ll be okay. You’ll learn that the best way to love someone is to love them in a way that lets them feel free. You’ll like that guy, but you’ll also learn to let him go voluntarily because you’ll learn that chaos is not love. You’ll also learn that the right person does not come with heightened emotions and messiness, but with calm and peace of mind. I repeat it, love is calm, reassuring and peaceful. Don’t mistake chaos and dysfunction for love. 

You’ll learn how to say yes and mean it and how to say no without regrets. You’ll learn to let go. You’ll learn to be and love yourself. All of it.  Girl! You’ll even cut off all your hair at some point!  In fact you’ll do it twice! Don’t worry about wearing hats to cover it up because you will absolutely love it! You’ll love every bit of yourself all the time even that scar on your right shoulder!

You won’t ever care about what people think of you and you’ll let go of fear. You’ll travel and visit places you never thought you would. You’ll graduate and go somewhere you never thought you would. You’ll find work. The perfect one for you too! You’ll move out of your mother’s house and learn to “adult”.

You’ll learn photography and so many other things! I know you love learning so get ready for this! You’ll even have a blog! Keep up with your writings! You’ll see why some day. oh and you’ll learn praise dancing and you’ll love it so much that even when you’re tired you’ll still go to practice! I know you want to learn sign language now so don’t give up on that just yet! You’ll figure out what you want to do and you’ll love it.

You’ll lose friends, but you’ll find new ones too. Most importantly, you’ll find the right ones. You will grow apart from most of your high school friends and that’s okay. You’ll learn to speak up, to walk in your truth no matter what. And you’ll learn to stand up for God, your beliefs, and others. You’ll be braver than you ever thought you could be. The earthquake and all you’ve been through will leave some scars, but you’ll learn how to make the best of it.

People will still sometimes treat you wrong, but forgive them. Forgive a lot. And sometimes, speaking up and saying how you feel clears up a lot of misunderstandings. So say how you feel and explain more.

oh and you’ll meet God! I mean much better than anything you’ve experienced with Him before. You’ll get re-baptized and become Adventist like your mother! Who knew right?? But Trust God! He knows what He is doing! When He tells you to do something, don’t ever question it! Do it right away! You’ll fail Him still. You’ll get away from Him at some point, but hang in there! He never leaves your side and it gets better. You’ll eventually find your way back.

You’ll still make mistakes, but you’ll learn from them. Go easy on your mother, she is trying really hard. Your brother will still be your partner in crime so don’t worry. There is so much that you’ll learn and I could go on forever, but let me not ruin this for you more than I already have!

Love,

Lori

5 Things that Happened Once I let Go of Fear

Thoughts

I have talked about how fear was a big part of my life. I used to be scared of doing so many things and I realized that letting fear taking over is basically not trust in the promises of the Lord. God helped me so much with this by reminding me on a daily basis that Fear is NOT of Him.  Letting go of the thoughts and actions that would allow fear to take over me was not easy task. It took time and was a journey, but here is what happened when I finally learned to trust the Lord better. It’s a daily task, but getting there feels amazing.

  1. Confidence

I am not talking about confidence in myself, but more like confidence in the God I serve. I used to be that shy person who wouldn’t talk even when I had some things to say. That quickly changed. If you know me now, you know I say what I think and I feel strongly about a lot of things and I am no longer afraid to stand up for them. I am no longer afraid to stand up for God, for what I believe in. The most amazing thing is I would walk to places for interviews or to talk to professors/advisors or something like that and I would feel extremely calm. These things used to make me nervous, but it’s no longer the case. I usually would pray before hand and would simply acknowledge that God is right beside me on this and I would walk in feeling confident and would talk normally with no stress whatsoever. I had a scholarship interview this semester and usually I would be a bit stressed before hand even more so that the interviewer is known for not being the kindest of people. I walked in there calm as ever, talked and even made the interviewer laugh! It was a change to my usual one word answers! I am forever grateful to God for always keeping me calm during storms.

2. I no longer care what people think of me

I am sure you can relate. Sometimes we let what others think get in the way of what we know we should do or say. Trusting in God and letting go of fear helped me not only know who I am and who I want to be, but also know who God says I am. Now, I truly don’t care at all what people think of me. Not in a bad way. Of course I’d take advice or what not, but I mean I will do whatever I want to do that aligns with God’s will with no care in the world of being judged or looked at sideways. I stand for my beliefs whether people are going to like it or not. I stopped wanting to be liked by everyone and I cherish more being appreciated and loved by the right people.

3. I no longer worry

I used to worry about what is going to happen next or what am I going to be doing tomorrow, what if this happens or that etc. That is no longer the case. I mean of course I am not perfect and I would find myself worry about things here and there, but I always make sure I remind myself who my father is. I found myself being totally okay not knowing what is going to happen next for me because I know God has a plan and I recall that in the past even when I didn’t understand His plans, they eventually made sense when the time was right. 2016 has been so far a total leap year for me about stepping out in faith, what I am going to be doing, where I will be and things like that, and I found myself enjoying it! Even worst I find it kind of fun lol! I take everything as part of the journey and I sometimes think where is the fun in always knowing and controlling what is next!? I leave all that to God because He has never failed me even when I have failed Him! It’s a journey, but doing my best to trust God has never failed me.

4. I am myself at all times

Trusting God and taking in how He loves me has made me realized that God wants us to be who He created us to be. I believe that God wants us to be ourselves because He made us! So letting go of the fear of being judged or of not being liked or whatever else, I am myself all the time. I love myself more not in a conceited way but more like because God made me. I appreciate every thing about me and that made me appreciate and understand others better. I value my soul just like I value the body I am in by loving all out.

5. I love better 

I found myself loving others and understand that means that the other person needs to feel free. Maybe it has to do with the confidence in God, but I am no longer afraid of people leaving me or of trusting others because I believe that God brings people in for a reason and I am always ready to learn the lesson or to open up and love whoever God sends me to love as long as it is His will. I am talking about any kind of love: friendships, relationships, family etc. I have felt myself growing when it comes to understand what it means to love God’s way. Not that I would ever fully understand it but I feel myself loving better and better and I am grateful.

 

I am sure a lot of other things happened that I have not mentioned, but if you find yourself worrying too much about life or about being liked or what others think of you. Or if you find yourself not being bold enough to claim what God has given you or just too afraid to step out in faith, open your Bible, talk to God, and have a little faith. I promise it’s worth it!

Love,

Lori

5 Steps to Gratitude

Thoughts, Uncategorized

A couple of years ago, God told me to appreciate little things. He really did! He sent me books, people, and when I still wasn’t paying attention, He told me. Once I realized what direction God wanted me to take, I started to take it to heart and putting gratitude into practice. God is so good and so merciful! I ran out of words to thank Him a long time ago, but I still make sure I do. Here are five things I did and still do today. I hope these will help you have a more grateful heart.

1. Write 10 things that you are grateful to God for
I was always into journaling as I love to write so this came naturally to me. I kept a journal in which I wrote down my prayers and things I was grateful for every day. I wrote about ten things to begin with so you can start with that. Later on, I couldn’t stop. I stopped counting how many things I was writing and it was amazing the things I was grateful for! I wrote things like:” Thank You so much, Lord for this beautiful day.” or ” Thank You so much, Lord, for Your love and mercy.” ” thank You God that I have eyes to see the beauty of Your creation.” etc.  At first, I planned on doing it for 21 days, but I did not stop ever since. It truly changed my life and put things into perspective.

2. Say Thank you to/for others and mean it

I also started thanking others. Thanking them for little things each and every time. Thanking them for their friendship and thanking God for them.I would say in my heart when I see them:” Thank You God for putting this person in my life.” or even tell them in person that I am grateful for them. Surprisingly enough, my relationships bloomed without me doing anything. God was blessing each and every single one of my relationships and people seemed happier in my company. People who didn’t have my best interest at heart either completely changed their attitude or stayed away from me for my own good. I was also happier.

3. Be Grateful in Difficult Situations

I admit that this is not an easy one, but practice makes perfect! So much, that now, even if I say I am hungry or this is not going well etc. I am just saying it, but in my heart, whatever is not going well does not bother me one bit. Let me explain. In each situation, I believe there is a hidden blessing. There are always lessons to be learned and God knows I love to learn. I love to become a better person and to grow personally. As a result, every time something goes South, I always remind myself that there is a blessing in this situation even if I don’t realize it right away. I often say:“Thank God for lessons learned.”

I used to tutor at the Math Lab in the community college I went to. Some days were so busy that our supervisor would come in to help out. I had to walk around and help students while sometimes having one to one appointments and it was just so hectic. My coworkers would complain a lot about it and I would too at some point until I decided to view things from a different angle. Every day before work, I would pray and thank God for having a job and most importantly I would thank God for being able to help so many people who have exams and homework to go through. Next thing I knew, I was always so happy and cheery to go to work and help people. So much, that the students started to specifically ask for me to tutor them which made me even more grateful. At the end of my work days, I would be tired but I would always be smiling and looking forward to tomorrow. The same thing is happening at my current job. I love it so much and love the people even though it’s tiring work. I always look forward to the next work day so I can help people. As a result, my supervisor pulled me once to tell me how she loves how much of a positive attitude she noticed I have, how she appreciates my kindness, and how I always have such a genuine smile all the time making students feel welcomed. I thought to myself:” Thank you, Jesus. It was all You.”

4. Give Thanks in Your Prayers

Okay, I know this is a no brainer because we are supposed to give thanks while praying, but have you ever tried to not ask for anything and to just say thank you? I practiced that for over a month. I would wake up and start with praise then I would  thank God for each and every little thing in my life for an hour. I would do the same at night. As a result, I started to pray for others and not for myself and kept on giving thanks. What happened was that I got the job I wanted out of the blue,I got the courage to walk away from someone who wasn’t good for my life, and I passed classes I thought I’d fail. I did not expect any of this, and sure did not pray about them, but giving thanks to God for the things I do have without asking anything else was trusting God to take care of my needs and that’s exactly what He did!

5. Don’t worry and Be Happy!

Easier said than done, but When you are genuinely grateful to God, you don’t have the time to doubt Him. You don’t have the time to question whether or not He will provide this or that because you are too busy being grateful for what He has provided. One thing I’ve learned is that worrying is one of the most ungrateful acts. To me, worrying is basically not believing God’s promises and dismissing what He has already done for you. So Be happy! Smile to strangers, love out loud and share the joy that you found in the Lord! He’ll take care of you like He always has!

Love,

Lori