I Don’t Want The Crumbs

In my grandma’s house, on top of her piano, are old black and white pictures of her grandparents, great grandparents, cousins, etc… She has told me their names before and how I’m related to them but honestly, I couldn’t tell you if I was paid to (Sorry Nanny).
I do remember though, that whenever she talks about the people in the pictures, I can tell that they mean alot to her. Because she knew them personally, for herself, firsthand. The difference between my relationship with them, and my grandma’s reationship with them is that she knew them personally, while I just know second-hand acounts, stories, and basically just a brief overview of who they are. 


When I was first saved, I wouldn’t study the Bible for myself. My spiritual life was barely surviving on devotionals sent to my email each morning, seeing a verse against a pretty background on Instagram, and reading a cheesy, cliche, christian quote on Facebook. While those things can be good, they can’t sustain me a healthy relationship with God. 

I love to listening to John Piper’s Ask Pastor John videos on Youtube. They are short, thought provoking, and are filled with good Biblical principles that I can apply to my life. But I have noticed that instead of going and reading the Bible for myself to see what God has to show me, I will scrolll through Youtube and find a John Piper message that I feel like applies to me for that day. 

Going to church and listening to sermons is a good thing, but when you start to depend on the preacher to be your only line of communication between you and God, it isn’t so much a good thing anymore.

Whenever I tell people about Jesus, I want to speak of him like my grandma does with the pictures on her piano. I want to have a genuine care and relationship. A first hand account of my relationship with Him, not John Piper’s relationship with Him, or my pastor’s relationship with him, or even what a devotional says about my relationship with Him. I want a first hand account, personal relationship with Him. 

Psalm 119:103 “How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth!”

Yes, reading daily devotions, listening to sermons, reading clever christian quotes can be a good thing. They can feed my spiritual life and sustain me. But in comparison for actually reading and studying the Bible for myself, those are just the crumbs. I don’t want to live off of the crumbs from the Bread of Life!

John 6:35 “Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst.”

So whenever I tell an unbeliever about Jesus Christ, I want them to hear it in my voice that I know Him. Not just second-hand stories, but personally know Him like my grandma knew the people in the pictures on her piano. Why settle for just the crumbs when I can open up the Bible and read what God has to say to me for the day:) 

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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!!

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.

My Way Or The Highway

Today I was listening to a devotional on YouTube by The Vigilant Christian (I’ll link it at the end of this post). He started to explain something that I knew in my head, but didn’t quite understand it in my heart. I had one of those “duh” moments. When I know I knew something, but it didn’t quite hit me until this morning.
Whenever a Christian does God’s will, God receives the glory for it. Because ultimately that is His will in all that we do, to point back at Him. However, when we as Christians (and this goes to unbelievers too), do our own thing, the glory goes to Satan. I have always thought that if I just do my own thing, I’m not really doing anything that bad. I always thought that it didn’t effect anyone, and that I was just slacking off on doing God’s will.
But the truth is, that whenever I do “my own thing”. I am giving Satan the glory.

Matthew 7:14-15 ESV “Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide, and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.”

There are 2 ways in life, not three! The wide gate and the narrow gate. Whenever you decide to do your own thing and stray from doing God’s will, you start to go towards the wide gate. You don’t have to be a Satanist or an Atheist or a Hillary Clinton supporter to give Satan the glory (couldn’t resist that last one sorry;). All you have to do is start by giving the glory to yourself rather than to God.

In fact, someone gave the glory to himself instead of God a looonnnggg time ago and look what happened… (Ezekiel 28:17) “Your heart was proud because of your beauty; you corrupted your wisdom for the sake of your splendor. I cast you to the ground; I exposed you before kings, to feast their eyes on you.” ( Full account can be found in Ezekiel 28:11-19)

That verse is talking about Satan himself! Doing his own thing is why he was cast down in the first place! Do you not think that Satan will try to use that very same tactic on us as Christians? If you don’t, just look around you. Every thing in our society today is about fulfilling the desires of the flesh. It is practically a playground for Satan.

1 Peter 5:8 ESV “Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.”

It is easy for me to make excuses about choosing my will instead of God’s especially when I think that it doesn’t really do harm to anyone. But the truth is, whenever I chase after my will, and things that will bring me glory, I am pointing right back to Satan.

Luke 9:23 “And he said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.”

Proverbs 3:5-6 “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.”

Remember, there are two path to choose, the narrow and the wide. There isn’t three, the narrow, the wide, and then my own way. So be watchful that you choose to do the will of God and to bring Him glory. Every other way that you try to follow (including your own) will just be to the glory of Satan.

Ephesians 6:12 “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principlities, against powers, against the rulers of darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.”

Maybe, like me, you had a “duh” moment or maybe you read this and thought “I can’t believe she is just now realizing this, that was in Christianity 101?!”

Either way, as a Christian be watchful about what you do and for whose will it is for. Now that God has shown me this, I look back and see all the ways I had given Satan the glory when I thought I was just doing my own thing for a little bit. Stay steadfast! Yes, I will mess up again but that is where grace comes in. And God’s grace in my life when I do “my own thing” just points right back to him. So even if we mess up, remember that God has already won the battle! We just need to be watchful for ways Satan will try to use us for his own glory.

Here is the link for the video from The Vigilant Christian. His video was what made me realize what I wrote about today!  But he explains it waayyy simpler than I do;P Plus, it is only 5 minutes long so definitely check out his channel!

Letting God Dig Out My Splinters

Last week my church had revival and it was really great! We had people saved, and some rededicate their life to the Lord. As with most revivals, each night there was an altar call to give everyone who was there an oppurtunity to humbly pray to God, repent, ask for forgivness, etc… One of the things about true revival is that it doesn’t feel good. In fact, it can be really uncomfortable. For saved people, it can mean repenting of sins and asking for forgiveness of sins. It is a season of restoration.

I’m still studying Hosea using Jennifer Rothschild’s study guide (I had gotten way behind but I’m catching up!). One passage from Hosea really stuck out to me while studying.

Hosea Chapter 6:1-3 (ESV)

“Come, let us return to the Lord; for he has torn us, that he may heal us; he has struck us down, and he will bind us up. After two days he will revive us; on the third day he will raise us up, that we may live before him. Let us know; let us press on to know the Lord; his going out is sure as the dawn; he will come to us like showers, as the spring rains that water the earth.”

This passage in Hosea is talking about Israel and Judah being unrepentant. Hosea is prophesing to the people, telling them that there can be restoration. Revival! A part of the revival process is God correcting us. This past week God laid things on my heart that I knew I needed to change and it didn’t feel good. But just because I went to the altar, asked for forgiveness, and prayed about it doesn’t make it revival. Revival is a process. Like Pastor Henry said “Revival isn’t a series of messages.” Which is so true! In the verses above revival was God tearing down Israel and Judah so He can build them up. God has to knock down my pride to help me grow. He has to show me I can’t depend on myself so I can start depending on Him.

For me, last week wasn’t just a revival but it has been the start of revival. It was a time when God showed me that I was in need of Him, the ways I had gone astray, and He said Let’s begin! But it doesn’t feel good. This week I have caught myself being mean and irritable. Why? Because God has been showing me things about myself that I don’t want to deal with. He has torn me. But He is also healing me.

Whenever you get a splinter what do you do? Unless you want it to get infected and swell up, you have to dig it out. And it hurts! Especially if someone else is doing it for you. I always wanted to be in control of getting the splinters out of my fingers so whenever it started hurting, I could stop. Revival is the same way. It hurts to dig out my sin and bring it to the light, especially when God is the one doing it! It is easier to just ignore our sin, but if we do it will swell up and affect us more than we thought it would.

“Let us know; let us press on to know the Lord…” To have revival you have to keep on keeping on. Be steadfast! When revival week for my church ended, it shouldn’t be the end of my personal revival. That week was a jumpstart. A call from God saying “I’m ready, whenever you are willing!”. Like I have said about 4 times already, Revival is a process. And it has it’s rewards too “…he will come to us as the showers, as the spring rains that water the earth.” That’s a promise!

I don’t know what revival may mean to you. It could be repenting, forgiving, letting go, making commitments, being honest, etc… only you and God know that. But remember, don’t stop your revival at the altar. Like verse 6 says in this same passage, He desires steadfast love, and that is exactly what it takes to be revived! Steadfast in our love for Him that we press on through the judgement and allow God to dig out our splinters so He can start to heal us.

 

CoverGirl Oh Sugar Lipstick Review

I have been thinking about buying this lipstick for awhile now. Mainly because I love the name (Soda) and the packaging is super cute;) This is a sheer tinted lip balm (like Loreal’s Pop Balm or Maybelline’s Baby Lips). I got mine at Walmart for around 5$ (with a coupon).

First of all, it smells just like Cherry Coke! I don’t know what the rest of the line smells like but Soda smells super delicious!

It looks really dark and intimidating when you open it but since it is a sheer formula, it isn’t as dark on the lips as it looks like it’d be.

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Here is a swatch. Since this is a balm, it is not going to be very long-lasting or transfer proof. Also, I exfoliated my lips before applying it which helps a lot with any lipstick.

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This is one layer which is pretty pigmented. It almost looks like I just got done eating strawberries;) haha

So, all in all, I really like this lip product! I would definitely buy more from the Oh Sugar line. There was a lot of pretty colors too so I might go back sometime and check the others out:)

 

No. I Don’t Wear Panty Hose.

Scared is an understatement.
This Sunday will be my first day at a new church, in a new town, and my first day on the job as pastor’s wife… Well, associates pastors wife but after a month or two pastors wife.

Anyways.
I can handle new people. I have met more new people in the past year than I have my entire life. New towns I can handle too. I live in a town that is literally the width of the gas station and post office. But being a pastor’s wife….. that is something new.
I have only really known 2 pastors wives throughout my life. One was my teacher in highschool, and the other I never talked to. So it is safe to say I have absolutely no idea what people expect out of a pastors wife. And trust me when I say I have done my research! I have read countless blogs and yahoo answers on it. But that doesn’t make up for the lack of experience I have.
And yes I know that pastor’s wives are supposed to be the “supreme being of godliness“, always cooking casseroles and remembering names and sitting on the front row taking notes. But honestly… I hate casseroles. I’m awful with names. And when I sit on the front row I literally pay no attention to the message (I’m paranoid about people sitting right behind me:P).
So in that aspect, I have already “failed” at becoming a pastor’s wife. (Did I mention I never wear panty-hose? I think there is this prejudice about pastor’s wives wearing panty hose.. maybe that is just me though haha) I don’t have much guidance, experience, or know how.

The night we first met the pastor of this new church, his wife looked at me and said the church isn’t expecting anything out of me, except to love my husband and support him.
Now that I can do.
I won’t try to act like I have it all together and put on a front. But I will try to love as Christ loved. To minister to the hurting like He did. To feed the hungry and to love the unlovable.
Because I don’t want others to look at me and see an ordinary little ole pastors wife. But as a christian. Living a christian life is something every saved person is supposed to do, not just the Pastor’s wife.
So this upcoming week I will try to stop setting standards for myself, and just be myself. I will try to stop thinking about how other’s will see me and start seeing other’s how Christ sees them. I’ll quit questioning why God chose me for this role and start seeing ways in which this role as pastor’s wife was made for me.

Out of My Comfort Zone

Comfortable. Cozy.
It’s that feeling you have when you curl up in bed after a long day. Or when you cuddle up in your husband’s arms to watch a movie. It’s peace and happiness and contentment. But what if something disrupts your coziness?  What if you finally get to sleep in underneath your warm blankets, and then suddenly someone turns on the lights and rips the covers off of you (bad idea on their part;). What if it’s something bigger than that though?

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Me and my husband (TJ) moved out of our 1 bedroom apartment and into an actual house on January first:) An actual house!!!!! It had everything I ever wanted! A laundry room (no more laundry mat:), wood floors, french doors, a patio and a porch, a marble sink, and… a bedroom upstairs!!! (I love stairs). It’s been perfect! But.. we just rent this house and it’s still on the market for sell. Which means if someone wants to buy it, they can. When we first moved in I didn’t think much about it. Until a couple toured it..I felt violated. (This is my home, my refuge, where I feel safe, where me and my small little family of a husband, 2 cats and a turtle abide.) Today, a second couple will tour our house and decide whether or not they want it. It’s like someone has wakened me from my dream of comfort to the cold realization that at anytime, my life can change.

I dont want to move. I love this house. Why would God allow us to live there only to leade us away a short time later…

If we do end up moving, it will be hard. To trust that God has something better in store for me (even though I really can’t picture anything better right now..) but He see’s the bigger picture. I just see the here and now.

I love the book of Ruth. Her faith amazes me! How she can follow her mother in law into a foreign land after losing everything she had (she was comfortable with her husband for ten years!!)

Ruth 1:16
“And Ruth said, Intreat me not to leave  thee, or to return from following after thee: for whither thou goest , I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God:”

Ruth was willing to give up her entire lifestyle to follow her mother-in-law Naomi…. How can I not be willing to drop my lifestyle, no matter how comfortable, at a moment’s notice so I can follow my Lord’s will? Naomi was an old woman who didn’t know the future, she didn’t know whether her and Ruth would survive a day journeying in the wilderness. Yet Ruth followed her and ended up being better off and married Boaz!! She is in the bloodline of Jesus Christ!??! All because she was willing to give up her comfortable lifestyle..

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Can I not do the same for God? The one who feeds the birds and knows how many hairs there are on my head. Am I willing to give my cozy life and trust God in every aspect of my life?

Stranded by Dani Pettrey Book Review

Stranded is the third book in the Alaskan Courage series by Dani Pettrey. When I first started reading this book, I was still hung up in the previous book (Shattered). It wasn’t until I was about a third of the way through that I began to appreciate this story!
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Stranded is about Gage Mckenna (an explorer) and Darcy St. James (a reporter who reminds me of Nancy Drew) working together to find Darcy’s college friend who has gone missing. Darcy discovers that her friend, Abby, was working undercover on a cruise ship called the Bering, but what for, Darcy doesn’t know. Gage begins his job as a excursion leader the same day Darcy boards the Bering when they find out Abby wasn’t the only woman to go overboard on this ship, (or murdered) they decide to work together to discover the truth.

So far, Stranded has the best mystery and suspense plot of this series. The story sn’t simple cases like the others were, but really in depth! I appreciatee that there was another twist (or three) in the case with each chapter!  It definitely kept me up late reading:)

Romance wise, the chemistey between Gage and Darcy wasn’t as cute and puppy love like as Piper and Landon’s was, but Darcy and Gage are definitely amusing together and honestly, just perfect together. Their relationship was cute in its own way because of the fact they are both stubborn,  independent, and at times sassy;)

Strandes was a lot, deeper than the previous books… not only because the case their working on is more intricate,  but also the issues dealt with. Like grief, death, love, questioning God, and even slavery.

I loved reading Stranded. It kept me up at night, made me laugh, made me cringe, and I related a lot to Darfy and Gage’s relationship together. I give this 7/10 stars. Honestly, each book in this series is better than the next, but Stranded was 5x better than Submerged (the first book) not only because of the character development,  but also because of the depth about her stories and characters.