Friday, May 30, 2014

10 Things 30 Taught Me...

I celebrated my 31st birthday this week...May 28th to be exact...and I'm so blessed! All I could do on my birthday is reflect on the faithfulness of God. Year 30 had its share of challenges, heartache, and emotional pain but I can truly say that it has all worked together for my good. The older I get, the more I value the lessons that life teaches.

Here are the 10 things I've learned in my 30th year:

1. I have to choose my battles wisely.
2. Things won't change until I pray.
3. My faith must override my fear.
4. Hard work will always be rewarded.
5. "Twos" are terrible but "Threes" are worse.
6. People may not like me for speaking the truth but they will respect me.
7. Good friends are priceless.
8. The perfect marriage does not exist...only facades of perfection.
9. Real ministry requires transparency.
10. God can take care of me better than I can.


Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Returning to Prayer!

I'm always thinking! When I have the urge to write a new blog post, I am often inspired by what has been on my mind (and in my spirit). So, I decided to write a post on prayer because it's the area that God has been really challenging me in. Prayer is such a foundational aspect of our lives as believers but it's often the first thing we forfeit when "life happens". That's where I had been for quite a cosumed with life that I failed to really spend time in prayer...and boy did I feel it!

We often make prayer more complicated than it has to be. Prayer is simply talking and listening to God. It's not just us talking but God actually wants to talk back to us. God is always speaking. I didn't think that I heard God when I first got saved but as I grew in God, I realized that I had to learn his voice. We can not hear God with our natural ears but with our spiritual ones. God speaks to us in various ways...through the scriptures, through a prophet, through a strong urging. So,we never have to question if God is speaking but rather if we are listening.

I came to a point in my life recently where I complained more than I prayed. One day, God had to remind me that my power wasn't in my complaining but in prayer! It all started to make sense to me at that moment. I wasn't seeing the change I needed because I wasn't taking it to God in prayer. It's a dangerous thing for a believer to be led by their emotions instead of the voice of God because you are more likely to make wrong decisions, give up too early, or even move too quickly. I realized that I could do more damage on my knees than with my anger and frustration. When I got back to praying, I started to see the walls in my life begin to fall.

I just want to encourage you to join me in returning to prayer. Not in the religious sense but in the relationship sense. God wants to hear from you. Communication is the core of any successful relationship and God wants a deeper and more intimate relationship with you. We must not forgot that he is not just our God but he's our friend. Make a decision to carve out some time to spend with God. It doesn't have to be a large amount of time because kids still need to be fed, marriages need to be cultivated, and clothes laundered but put God on your to do list. Prayer not only changes things but it changes you. There is no way to go to God with a burden and it not be lifted. The change you are seeking can only be found in one place...the presence of God!

"Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests toGod." (Philippians 4:6)

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Post Mother's Day Reflections...

It's two days past Mother's Day but you can still feel the gratitude in the air...profile pictures of people with their mothers, pictures of beautiful children, and wonderful posts about motherhood. This was my third year as a mother and I am extremely grateful to God for choosing me to be a mother. I have not always been the most maternal person but I couldn't imagine my life without my baby boy. The stretch marks, labor pains, and sleepless nights were all worth it! My son was under the weather so I wasn't able to go out for a Mother's Day dinner but it was a pleasure to enjoy the day with my little guy and my husband. That goes to show you that there are no breaks for mothers...365 days of the year...24/7. But, I do it with joy!

Mommy and Jayden
Motherhood has taught me many lessons and it has made me really examine myself. Why do I do that? Why does that bother me? I really need more patience! Does this sound familiar? I've realized just how maternal I really am but also the areas where I need to grow. I've also gained a whole new respect for my mother and the sacrifices that she made for me. I often reflect on my mother and her strength. I am amazed at how much she did with very little resources. My mother has faced many health challenges over the past 10+ years but God has proven himself to be a healer! I am so grateful to still have my mother...her wisdom, her comfort, her cooking, and her support.

My Mommy and I On My Wedding Day
On Mother's Day eve, I came across the story of a food blogger ( who lost her three year old son Ryan in a tragic accident just days prior. I am very sensitive to the pain of others and I couldn't stop crying as I looked through Instagram pictures of her beautiful family. I couldn't help but think of my three year old and how blessed I was to be able to hug him on Mother's Day. I felt a plethora of emotions as I thought of Ryan...sadness, sympathy, anger, name it! But after I prayed for Ryan's parents, I felt an overwhelming sense of gratitude. I don't know why God wanted Ryan back so soon but his ways are not our ways. I trust that everything God does is out of love and somehow this will work together for their good. 

Ryan and His Mommy Jacqui

Monday, May 5, 2014

Happy Monday!!!

Well...I've had a heck of a morning!
  • I woke up late.
  • Jayden tells me he has to use the bathroom (#2) just as we were preparing to leave the house.
  • I got pulled over by the police less than a mile from my house (which delayed me another 15 minutes).
  • I got a ticket for not making a complete stop at the stop sign. 
  • The interstate was backed up for over two miles so my 15 minute commute turned into 45 minutes.
  • I got to work an hour late.
That's enough to make anyone have a bad day! But I decided not to allow a bad morning to rob me of my entire day! I refused to allow these external frustrations to steal my joy. I couldn't control the things that happened but I could control my attitude. So...being the lady that I am...I glossed my lips, fluffed my hair, and smiled anyway! "This is the day which the Lord hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it." -Psalm 118:24

Have an awesome day ON PURPOSE!!! 

Ghia ♥

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Choose to Live Victoriously!

While driving to work this morning, a song by The Williams Brothers came on and inspired this post. The words to the song are, "I've seen too many victories, to let defeat have the last word." I have heard this song numerous times before but words really resonated in my spirit today. Why do we live in defeat when God has given us the victory? Why do we doubt God when he has never failed us before? These were all of the things that came to mind while listening to this song.

The awesome thing about God is that he never fails us. Just look at his track record! He might not do what we want him to do but he always does what is best for us. Sometimes we have to take a moment and reflect on all of the things God has brought us through to make it through our present situation. This is the beauty of the chronicles of the awesomeness of God...The Red Sea, Jonah and the fish, The woman with the issue of blood, and so many others! God has proven himself over and over again so it's up to us to choose to live victoriously. If he did it before, he can do it again! Victory belongs to you!

"But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ." (1 Corinthians 15:57 NIV)