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.

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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

 

 

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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

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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

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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

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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

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

A Childlike Heart

Thoughts, Uncategorized

This post is a bit more personal as it is about my walk with God. I am an imperfect person who sins just like everyone else and I wanted to share my journey with God ( where I have been and where I am trying to be at when it comes to Him) and His mercy to me. I am humbled and forever grateful!

When I was little, the book of Samuel was my favorite book in the Bible. I had set myself to read the whole Bible, but I am not quite sure I had or if I did, I surely don’t remember. However, I remember that I wanted God to call me like He did Samuel. I would pray about it every night and beg and beg to be called. Being a child, I literally wanted to hear God’s voice call “Lori”. But being a child, I didn’t think about what I’d do if He had or what being called meant.Regardless, I really wanted God to physically say my name. I would even cry about it while praying! Until one night, I dreamed of God visiting me and it was the happiest dream I’ve had! After that, I felt that my prayer was answered although not the way I wanted. That’s exactly how and when I knew God was very real. I was completely convinced.

I always tried my best to always pray at night. My mother would pray with us and My prayers consisted of me asking forgiveness for my sins, blessings for my parents, family, and friends whether or not I knew what they were going through or not. Then I’d ask God to give me health, wisdom, intelligence, and obedience. I’d also ask for these for my family and friends and that God protects them. We would also pray “Our Father which are in heaven…”. At the end of each prayer, my mom would have me say:” Mon ame bénit l’Eternel, Que tout ce qui est en moi bénit Son Saint nom; Mon ame bénit l’Eternel. Amen” ( for non-French speakers, it’s the French version of Psalm 103:1 “Bless the LORD, O my soul, And all that is within me, bless His holy name.” At the end of every prayer, I would also ask God to keep me from dreaming because I’d have very vivid dreams that would scare me. Overall, my prayer life as a child had a routine to it, but I meant every word.

Then growing up, I still prayed but it was different. I am grateful for family drama and teenage crisis that kept me close to God. Still, I only went to church one a month when the Catholic School I went to had mandatory mass. I grew up with a Catholic father and an Adventist mother who traveled when I was very young. When my mother was around, we went to church every Saturday, but after she left, my dad never really took us to church. Sometimes even if I asked so I made it a habit of not going and thought nothing of it. At the time, to me praying  and trying hard to be good and doing good was enough. I had a relationship with God then, but certainly not as personal as when I was a child or not as personal as I believe I do today. Let me explain.

As a child, although I had the fear of God, I craved His presence. As a child, God calling me or talking to me was what would make me special, happy, and grateful. Instead of daydreaming about other things, I daydreamed of being that child that God has a personal relationship with. I wanted to know Him, to be His friend, His daughter. As a teenager, family drama, and teenage years crisis made me see God mostly as my savior. The thing is I don’t know if I would have been a praying teenager had it not been for these situations I was facing. However, as a child, I prayed because I genuinely wanted to talk to God although I still had a bit of fear in me when it comes to Him. What was it as a child that made me want God to be close to me so badly that I didn’t have as a teenager? I asked myself so many times. Somewhere in between heartbreak, insecurities, and non-genuine friendships, I started to see God as someone I could go to with my problems, but without ever asking Him how He is doing or how WE are doing. When I say that I mean like this one person who only comes to you when they need you so you can solve their problems, but they probably know nothing about you because they never bother to ask. well, I was that person with God.

I then realized that as a child, my innocence didn’t allow room for doubts or concerns with problems. As a child, I was content with the little things. Like I would be wondering if I would dream of God on that particular night, and I couldn’t wait to go read the Bible or pray so that it can happen. Also, as a child, I took everything I read in the Bible to heart. I would feel so horrible if I lied and would beg for forgiveness right away. As a child, I trusted God fully. After that experience, I did not worry about whether or not God would do this or that for me. I would tell my mother that I talked to “Little Jesus” about this or that and that He will make things happen. Children are humble, they are not yet polluted by the ideas of the world. No wonder Matthew 18:3 says:“And He said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” Maybe when it comes to God, if we acted as the children that we are to Him, things would be much better.

Later on, after God had showed me that I needed to remove yet another person from my life, I realized what I needed to get back to. I needed my child like faith back. I needed my grateful heart, and my ability to see the beauty and magic in the little things and that’s how it all began again. I started to truly seek God just because I love Him. I usually prayed for more than an hour per day. I prayed for people more than I prayed for myself and made it my duty to say thank you and to never ask for a thing for a long period of time. I would worship and pray God and beg Him to help me be close to Him. I read passages of the Bible and kept praying. And you know what? HE ANSWERED!! He sent me so many signs through people or books, or readings, to tell me to keep going and that He’s always been here despite my shortcomings.

He even showed me how some things I went through were never about me. They were to help another person that I would meet along the way going through that same thing at the moment. Some of the things were about Him. About bringing Glory to Him. Everything started to make sense and I was so amazed by it. I met the right people, the right group on the campus I go to.  Then He told me He wanted me to get baptized again. I was so scared at first then I remembered whose child I was and that the Most High talked to little nothing me and I had to obey (More about that later on). I even started to realize the purpose of so many things! I get a bit emotional every time I think of it. My life had suddenly changed and I was a brand new person with a grateful heart always as God is a dear friend/confident/Father of mine. Even today I get asked how is it that I am always the one to point out positive things out of awful situations and every time someone asks me that, I thank God in my heart for reminding me of how to have a child-like heart again despite my downfalls.  After all I am His child! And it keeps on getting better. I am striving for a better relationship with God and He sure helps me through the journey. Trust Him, He can do the same for YOU! Yes, YOU!

Love,

Lori