Because Things Can’t Satisfy

I love to online shop. I guess you could call it a hobby of mine. But I never buy anything that I need, it is always impulse buys. Like a cute t-shirt, or a really cool notebook, and a lot of makeup that some stranger on YouTube told me I couldn’t live without.

It is just exciting to me, the thrill of online shopping. You find what you want, look around for the best deals, maybe find free shipping (which is better than winning the lottery), and then finally receive that shipping confirmation e-mail! The best part about online shopping though, is no people!!! I don’t have to worry about pushy salesmen or rude cashiers!!

But the problem is, online shopping (no matter how good of a deal or cute of a t-shirt) is a sin in my life (I was starting to type crutch but decided to call it for what it is). It is a vicious cycle of folly. Because things are just things. They lose their value, their use, their excitement. More often than not, 20 minutes after ordering something online I have already found something else I just can’t live without. It is materialism in it’s rawest form.

So many times in Scripture we are warned about greed, lust, and discontentment. The very heart of materialism (at least in my life) is discontentment.

1 Timothy 6:6-9 “But godliness with contentment is great gain, for we brought nothing into the world, and we cannot take anything out of the world. But if we have food and clothing, with these we will be content. But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation, into a snare, into many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction.”

Philippians 4:13 always gets used for sporting events or something challenging. “I can do all things through him who strengthens me.” What many people neglect to do is actually read the rest of that passage… The verse before it gives it all new meaning

“Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me.”

Paul isn’t saying he can win every ball game or ace every test through Christ who strengthens him. He is saying that through Christ strengthening him, he can be content in every circumstance. The plenty and the hunger, the abundance and the need. He can be brought low, and he can abound…. Through Christ.

My problem with materialism is that things can’t fulfill me like Christ can. If I buy every single thing I could want right now.. I will still be wanting more. I have a thirst that cannot be quenched with stuff, only Christ. And I’m not saying that if I set my focus on Christ that I won’t ever want to buy anything else… but it will seem less trivial.

My mom tagged me in a post on Facebook yesterday, it was a YouTube video of a missionaries wife in Uganda, talking about contentment, money, and things. It really spoke to my heart and made me decide to quit ignoring my materialism and just admit it as a sin. I really encourage you to watch her!

 

Anyways, that video really just helped put things in perspective for me. I know that if this blog post doesn’t help, that video definitely will!

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In Love, Not Condemnation

At the cross
It all changed
At the cross
I found grace
His mercy washed over my soul
I could not resist
I could not say no
It drew me in like the shore to the sea
It pulled at my soul and overcame me
My eyes were opened
I realized my sin
But he revealed it in love
Not condemnation
Because of his love he gave me a glimpse
Of how I was stained with filth and contempt
Disgusted was I embarrassed and shamed
I felt so exposed see what I became
But instead of letting walk still in shame
He lifted me up
Then dusted me off
Imputed his grace
And called me his child

In Love, Not Condemnation

At the cross
It all changed
At the cross
I found grace
His mercy washed over my soul
I could not resist
I could not say no
It drew me in like the shore to the sea
It pulled at my soul and overcame me
My eyes were opened
I realized my sin
But he revealed it in love
Not condemnation
Because of his love he gave me a glimpse
Of how I was stained with filth and contempt
Disgusted was I embarrassed and shamed
I felt so exposed see what I became
But instead of letting walk still in shame
He lifted me up
Then dusted me off
Imputed his grace
And called me his child

I’m Insignificant… And I Love It

I love the stars. I love staring at the night sky not only because it looks so magestic, but also because it makes me feel so small. Insignificant. Which is ironic because in any other situation, I hate that feeling. Like when I’m talking to someone and they start to ignore me, or when you can tell that someone just isn’t listening to anything you say. I don’t think anyone particularly likes to feel that way….but to me there’s that exception  of the stars. 
Psalm 8:3-4 When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him, and the son of man that you care for him?

Whenever I look up it’s so fulfilling to feel insignificant. It’s refreshing. 

And I think it is because as christians, we get so focused on trying to “find ourselves in christ” that we neglect trying to find out about God in all His aspects.

On InstaGram I follow a lot of blogs and ministries. Every morning when I scroll through I’m flooded with quips and verses and sayings about how we are loved and significant and made in God’s image. But in reality, though all those things are virtually true, it still leaves me feeling hopeless and troubled. Because by focusing all on ourselves and our problems, we leave out the main focus, which is God himself. And without Him in the equation, it’s all meaningless. It doesn’t matter if someone tells me that I have been made by Him specifically if I don’t know who he is. If I read that I have the power to overcome through Christ it does me no good if I don’t know about Christ himself. 

The more I learn about who God is and how he operates, the smaller and more insignificant I feel. And it’s in those moments of awe towards God that I feel the most secure, loved, and treasured. 

Its in my insignificance that I feel significant to the creator of all. 

And that’s why I love the stars. They don’t lie or neglect part of the truth about God…That yes He loves and  cherishes me, but it is because God is vast and overwhelmingly gracious enough to look through my sins and scoop me up and still love me.

It is a beautiful thing to be insignificant.

Why I’m Finished Building Walls

The other day me and Tj were at home eating chips and salsa while sitting on the couch when we had some friends stop by. As they were sitting there visiting the only thing I could think of was, “How in the world can my house be so messy and I not notice it until now?”

I tried to remember the last time I cleaned the house really good besides a quick pick up at night.. it had been awhile. But honestly, I can’t keep my house clean like I would like, while working full time, while trying to be involved in church ministry, while balancing time between both sides of our family, while also spending time with Tj. It just doesn’t work out. I can plan and manuver things around to where I can fit everything into a week, but it also turns out by me doing things half-hearted. Something always gets pushed to the side. Sadly, it is normally my quiet time with God, or spending much needed time with my husband, and also laundry (which is honestly fine by me;).

It is like I am trying to build two brick walls, yet I don’t have enough bricks to finish each wall. It order to build one wall up, I had to tear the other down! It will never be completed because I am not building anything, I am just laboring in vain!

I know it is my pride that say I can do it all, and give my 100%. But I can’t.

I can’t give my 100% to my husband, my family, my job, my church family, and my responsibilities. I am an finite being, I have limitations and need a lot of caffeine to just wake up! I have to rely on the one who has no limitations, and who knows mine.

Seeing my house in disarray that night has made me reevaluate my priorities. That I need to sacrifice some things in my life. For me its less hours at work, which means less money. It means less cutting back on internet and spending it with my husband. It means getting to bed at a decent time so I won’t be half asleep during every single church service. 

I have to sacrifice some things in my life so I can enjoy the things God has blessed me with.

Jesus sacrificed His life so I could have life in Him. I can only live my life to the fullest if I sacrifice and live for Him.

I am through building walls with the same bricks and laboring in vain.

I pray that God will give me humility to accept that I can’t do my best at anything unless I rely on Him. I pray that He will give me discernment about what to commit to, and what to skip out on. I pray He gives me energy and eagerness for my church, my job, my responsibilities (maybe even laundry), my family, my marriage,and most importantly….. my walk with God.

Ecclesiastes 9:10a    “Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might.”

Proverbs 3: 6-8     “In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. Be not wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord, and turn away from evil. It will be healing to your flesh and refreshment to your bones.”

I absolutely love that last verse. Healing and refreshment are exactly what I need and it all begins with humility.

 

When You Can’t Pray It Away

“Prayers go up Blessings come down.”

I saw that on a church sign the other week and I kind of cringed. Not because it isn’t true, but because it is misleading. Instead, they should have put “Prayers go up Answers come down.”

Not always what we want. Not always when we want. Sometimes, it seems like nothing comes down at all. Like God left and didn’t even leave a recording telling us to leave a message so He can get back to us later.

John 11:1-6 “Now a certain man was ill, Lazarus of Bethany, the village of Mary and her sister Martha. It was Mary who anointed the Lord with ointment and wiped his feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was ill. So the sisters sent to him saying, “Lord, he whom you love is ill.” But when Jesus heard it he said, “This illness does not lead to death. It is for the glory of God, so that the Son of God may be glorified through it.” Now Jesus loved Lazarus. So, when he heard that Lazarus was ill, he stayed two days longer in the place where he was.”

Did you catch that? I never did until a Bible study I recently finished pointed it out. When Jesus heard that Lazarus (whom he loved) was ill, He didn’t get up and rush out to go heal him and comfort his sisters. Instead, he stayed where He was at for two more days.

After Jesus arrives, Mary falls at His feet and says “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.” The Jews questioned Him, if he could heal the blind shouldn’t he be able to heal the dying? (Verses 32-37)

But Jesus had greater plans than to just heal a dying Lazarus. He wanted to bring to life a dead Lazarus! A dead Lazarus who had been buried for 4 days (verse 39). Jesus’ timing is perfect. There is always a reason. It may not seem like a good reason to us, but it is a reason that works out for our own good. No, Jesus didn’t heal Lazarus. But he did raise him from the dead.

Whenever Lazarus had died, and Jesus had still not shown up to heal him, I am sure Mary was heartbroken. Her hope was in Jesus, and He had seemingly, at the time, let her down. There are a lot of times I feel like Mary felt whenever her brother died, and Jesus never showed.

There are times when I will pray, about things that I know I can’t “pray away”. Or times I will pray about things and they just don’t go away.

When I can’t pray away the death in my family

When I can’t pray away the mistakes I have made in the past

When you can’t pray away the rejection from you job, friends, family…

When you can’t pray away the person you used to be

When you can’t pray away the test results from the doctor

There is one thing I know to do when I can’t pray it away… Pray anyways.

Even though God didn’t take away my difficult circumstances, I still pray. Even though I miscarried and I can’t pray away that it ever happened, I can still pray.

And praying has become my number one comfort. Because He is my only hope.

Job 13:15 “Though he slay me, I will hope in Him.”

 

Best of Beauty 2016

So I love reading end of the year favorites! They are always something I look forward to, seeing the best of the best for the year. Here’s mine!Too Faced Natural Matte Palette

I actually did a review on this with swatches and comparisons! 

Click here to see more!

Wet n Wild blush in Rose Champagne 

I hardly ever wear blush. Maybe once a month. But I love this one because it is so natural looking, easy to apply, and cheap.

Covergirl Clean Matte BB Cream

Honestly, I don’t know what possessed me to buy this product. I love dewy, glowy foundations. But this matte bb cream really blew me away. It has the perfect coverage and looks beautiful on the face! Covergirl is a brand that I never buy from because their products are always too pink for me (I have yellow undertones) but this matched perfectly. I was seriously blown away by this!

Too Faced Sweet Tea Bronzer

I might have only bought this because of the name😜 But this is a great bronzer that also took me by surprise. I don’t normally like baked bronzers/blushes but this is really great quality! It works for when I want to do a light “contour” also. 

Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer

My life will never be the same after using this. I ran out of my first one and didn’t want to spend the money buying another one. So I bought 3 more drugstore concealers trying to find something that would compare… But I ended up going back to my Nars concealer. I don’t know what they put in this but I love it! Full coverage, light weight, natural looking, beautiful finish. 

NYX Dark Circle Concealer Corrector

I did a review on this also with alot better pictures and a before and after!

click here to see the review!

Colourpop Aquarius Lippie Stix and Lip Liner

Pictures don’t do this color justice. It is the PERFECT lip color for me. If I could only use one lip product for life it would be this. It is beautiful!!!!

Maybelline Brow Precise Pencil

I have tried the Hourglass brow pencil and the Sephora brow pencil but this beats them both! It just works. Plus it is only like 7$ at the drugstore which makes it even better. 

Colourpop Highlighter in Spoon

This. Highlighter. It’s beautiful!!!! I love it waayyy better than Lunch Money. This is a really sparkly champagne colored highlighter. 

Wet n Wild Setting Spray

So I used to use the Urban Decay All Nighter but it really just sucked the moisture out of my skin. I prefer this Wet n Wild one over the Ud because it keeps my makeup from being too oily but at the same time gives my face a little bit extra moisture!

So that’s it! I hope maybe you found some products you might want to try! I’m already excited to try some new things in 2017 so hopefully next year I will have different yearly favorites. Have a great day and thanks for reading!!

Monday/Work Day Music Playlist


Everyone has those days where they dread either going to work or school. I do mainly on Mondays.. Music is really important to me and speaks to me just as much as reading does. I think it is important that we fill our minds with positive, God-glorifying music. These 10 songs help me to either look forward to the work day ahead of me, or encourage me after a bad day at work.
1 Learning To Be The Light – newworldson
This song reminds me that I am not perfect, and that I am still learning.

 

2 #Escrow – Flame
I work in retail so I normally have some customers who hate you for no reason at all. It can be really tempting to roll my eyes or say something sarcastic to those people. I like this song because it reminds me that I am storing up treasures in heaven and whenever I encounter a hateful customer, I normally start singing this in my head lol

3 Don’t Fear – Flame feat. V. Rose
Your workplace should also be your mission field! This song is about saying what God wants to you to say and witnessing to others. It can be scary but we shouldn’t fear!

4 Love With Your Life- Hollyn
Honestly, I have kind of been disappointed in Hollyn but this is just a peppy song that wakes me up and reminds me that my love shouldn’t just be shown through words but also actions.

5 These Days – Mandisa
This is like, the ultimate Monday song XD I listen to this just about every Monday and as I listen I pray and thank God for His blessings in the everyday things.

6 Sunshine – Blanca
Again, this is a peppy song that I love to sing along with and dance to:)

7 Better With You – Bizzle
Better With You is probably one of my favorite 10 songs. I absolutely love it! Every time I listen to it, it is like I am singing a love song to God.

8 Believers – Bizzle
Once again, this is one of my favorite top 10 songs! I literally listen to this every single day. It is basically my theme song haha

9 Lights Out – Trip Lee
I love Trip Lee. He is one of the very few Christian rappers left that haven’t sold out yet. And believe me when I say I pray for him to stay strong! This song is off of his Rise album. It is a good reminder that this world is blind and it is our job as Christians to be the light and not to be blind ourselves.

10 Through Your Eyes – Britt Nicole
This is a song that I like to listen to after work. Work can be really depressing sometimes, especially dealing with people who treat you like you are worth dirt. This song is just a good reminder to try and look through His eyes at ourselves and realize that even though some people don’t think we are worth anything, God loves you and cherishes you!

Mondays are hard. The beginning of a work week is always a bummer. I love music and since I have a 20 minute drive to work each day, I have picked out the songs I listen to whenever I dread work, or just need some encouragement after a hard day at work. I hope you enjoy my Monday Playlist and that you find some new songs you enjoy!!

I Was Angry At God, For Being God.

This morning I got up and typed a blog post about who God is. About how Christians only focus on a couple of God’s attributes. How we don’t truly know who God is.
I really felt God moving me to write that post. He was working on my heart as I typed and I couldn’t wait to get to the library later and post it (I don’t have wifi at my house so I have to go to the library to upload).

A couple hours later I was there and went to upload my blog when my computer had crashed. It has been struggling for a year now and I knew I really needed a new one but I just kept putting it off. Long story short, my blog post I was so excited about had disappeared into cyber-space, never to return. I tried everything to retrieve the file but it was corrupted.

I left the library very frustrated and very angry. I was angry at God. The very same God I had written about that morning, I was now angry at and hurt by.
Why would He give me something to write about that morning and put it on my heart to share with others, if I wasn’t going to be able to upload it anyways? Why even put having this blog on my heart when I can’t even upload a blog post?

I began to doubt His love for me and to question Him. He is God, He could fix my computer and retrieve the file if He really wanted to, right? He could have allowed my computer to last just a few more hours and it would have been okay.
I started to ask Him if it was because I wasn’t good enough. If it was because I was being prideful or trying to do it for my own glory. Maybe deep down inside I had some sin that I hadn’t repented of or I had an idol in my life. Maybe that was His punishment on me.
I was so angry and hurt. Maybe you are reading this and thinking “It was just a blog post, just chill out?” Which is true, there are more important things to get upset over than a stupid blog. But I think it was the fact that here I was, trying to serve God, trying to do what He was laying on my heart to do, and He wasn’t allowing me to.

How dare He.

Thinking over the post that I had written this morning, I was talking about how there are attributes of God that we don’t ever talk about. He is just and loving (which is normally what most Christians focus on). But He is also patient, merciful, omnipresent, He isn’t contained by time or space. He is gracious, all-knowing, transcendent, immanent, infinite, immutable, good, truthful, and righteous.

He is 100% just, 100% loving, 100% merciful, 100% gracious, 100% truthful, 100% righteous simultaneously 100% of the time.

One thing I learned today is that He is all of those things,… yet He is also God.
This morning I had forgotten His most important attribute of all…

HE IS GOD.

I think I forgot that today. Yes, He could have fixed my computer and retrieved that corrupted file and allowed me to upload that post and everything would’ve gone according to my plan. But He had other plans. Did I accept them like I should have? Absolutely not. I am ashamed that I got angry at God. That I doubted Him. But that is where grace steps in. (Remember? God is gracious) I have repented and I am forgiven.

Maybe there is something in your life that has happened and you are angry at God over. A bad health report, a family member passed away, you lost a job or job opportunity. The Bible doesn’t tell us exactly why God allows those things to happen to us. That is not for us to know. But it does say that He has our best interest in mind.

Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.”

I don’t know why my computer crashed today. But I do know that I learned through it. I know more about what God is like now than I did before writing about it this morning. He is God! He truly is transcendent. Above our knowledge and understanding.

Isaiah 55:8-9 “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts.”

Don’t forget that God is God. The one God. The true God. The only God. My God.

When God Remains Silent

When God Is Silent
Psalm 83:1 “O God, do not keep silence; do not hold your peace or be still, O God!”

Lately it seems every time I sit down to write a devotional, or I try to have time with God I ended up leaving discouraged. How can I help others and share to them what God has been working on me about, when God has been silent? Do you ever pray sometimes and feel like your prayers just bounce right back to you? It is really discouraging and depressing.

Whenever I reach out to God and my hands come back empty, I want to give up and forget about it. I want to find fulfillment in something else that is for certain going to bring me satisfaction. Whenever I leave empty handed I begin to doubt God. I begin to doubt His love for me. Like maybe I am not good enough right now for Him to speak to me or work on my heart. I start to get the mindset that I can somehow earn His attention.
Whenever God becomes silent He always seems to pick the worst times. Lately, we have been looking for a house, I have prayed and prayed and asked God to show us where He wants us to be, to give us confirmation somehow about what decision to make. Yet He remains quiet.

“…..do not hold your peace or be still, O God!” If there is something I need right now, it is peace from God. Because all I feel lately is stress and self-doubt.
Why would God remain silent when I am reaching and grasping and begging for His presence? When I desperately feel like I need Him now more than ever?

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

That verse is a promise right? Then why don’t I feel like I’m finding anything? Why do I come back empty handed.
This is how I have felt for the past week and a half. Maybe, you have felt the same way. But what if every time I wanted to hear something from God, I did? What if every time I started seeking Him, I found Him. Just like that. Would I have any faith? Would I still put forth effort every day to show God that I earnestly want to know Him more? Or would I only seek Him when I felt like I needed Him, when He became my last option.

I learned today that Matthew 7:7 is a promise. If I seek Him, I will find Him. But it might not be in the time I would like for it to be. I might have to keep my hand reached out longer than I wish or than I feel comfortable doing. I might have to search and search and come up empty handed and discouraged. But in His timing, He will show Himself and the reunion will be that much more satisfying. How can I know the worth of what I find unless I search for it? The most expensive, valuable, and beautiful jewels are the ones that take effort and time to discover. They are hard to find.

When God remains silent it might be for a day, a week, two weeks, a month… maybe years. Whether it is a prayer request or just a daily study. But don’t lose faith. If you seek Him you will find Him. That is a promise from God Almighty! It can be discouraging coming back empty handed, I know. The past week I have been in the depths of despair because I keep coming back empty from my quiet time with God. But I know that I will find Him, because He loves me and you enough to make Himself accsessible to us through Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit.

So next time God remains silent don’t lose faith. In fact, have more faith because you know that you will find. And don’t go looking elsewhere for something to fill that place where God is suppose to be. The pleasures of this world are quick, easy, and will quickly fade away. But what God gives you is everlasting, and fulfilling. It just might take some time and faith while God remains silent, but when He does speak it will be sweeter and more fulfilling than ever before.