Friday, November 21, 2014

Waiting Room

Seems like every book I read and message I hear lately has been about waiting on God's timing. Here is a message in relation to the previous post that will encourage you through your waiting period.


<3 RSV

Monday, November 17, 2014

The Waiting Game

Days, months, years go by and you are still waiting for a change, a new direction, an answer. It can be stressful living in a world where we are programmed to choose expresso shots and fast food to help us save a minute. We often become consumed by impatience from the mere idea of a long wait. We think, who has time to waste waiting when we live in a time equals money society? You may be the disappointed high school senior that got wait listed to his number one college. The hopeful young couple met with multiple negative pregnancies. The doubtful single woman praying for prince charming. The unemployed husband and father desperate for a job interview. Whatever stage you are in your life, whatever circumstance you are dealing with; waiting is one thing that we all have in common.

Have you ever stopped to think why you are in such a rush? Where are you going, what are you doing? Once we overcome the waiting period of one need, we find ourselves waiting for something new. You only have that minute, day, week or year once in your life, why are you wishing it away only to be met with more waiting? Look back on your life and think about the times you had to wait; how that period of waiting developed you and opened new opportunities. We can never see the light at the end of the tunnel during our waiting period. As difficult as it may be, during those times is when we need to be hopeful and know that we are in that place for a reason. Despite how gloomy it may seem, that experience will shape you and help you in your future opportunities.You may have been wait listed because you have better opportunities waiting for you elsewhere. The negative pregnancies may open up doors for a hopeful child to be adopted. Whatever it may be, life does not always go as planned, so don't let the negativity poison your thoughts, behaviors, and actions. It is important to surround yourselves with positive and uplifting people throughout your struggles.  During this time of waiting, be hopeful knowing that this period is preparing you for future opportunities. What will you do to change your perspective and accept the circumstances during your waiting period?

Micah 7:7   But as for me, I will look to the LORD; I will wait for the God of my salvation; my God will hear me.

-<3 RSV

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Speak Peace

If you're anything like me, you like to be in control of everything that happens in your life. You calculate life to be a+b=c. If you accomplish this, this, and this then you will attain (Insert desired outcome here), but of course my friend life does not work according to our plans. So what happens when the waves arise and things don't go as you planned it to be, you become fearful, anxious, worry about all the "what if's" and freak out.  Note to self: Freaking out does not do anything more than make things worse. I'm not going to sit here and pretend like I have it all together and never freak out. Oh no, I freak out all the time even though I know better. Philippians 4:6-7 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Some waves are created by our own doubts, some are created by our approach to the situation, other waves are created by listening to the wrong voices, and some are created by our unmet expectations. We need to take a step back and analyze where our anxious thoughts are coming from and speak peace to our hearts. Don't let your fears and anxieties overcome you, our God is bigger than our problems. Be encouraged and listen to this sermon. https://elevationchurch.org/sermons/how-to-be-brave

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Let it Go, Let it Go!

Stress, stress, stress! Everyone deals with it on a daily basis regardless of your age, profession, or current situation. How we deal with this stress illustrates our personality and determines the outcome of our day. One thing that can compound your stress are difficult relationships. We are created for relationships, love and growth, unfortunately most of us try to function in a damaged manner in relationships. Wounds from past friendships via betrayal, feelings of abandonments, loss may have cut deep wounds that have yet to heal.  Instead of addressing it, our pride urges us to hide or stay numb to it; which is "functioning in a damaged manner". As a child I was told a story of how a man would hammer nails into a fence every time his son would hurt him. Every time the boy asked for forgiveness, the man would take out the nail, but no matter what the gaping hole would remain as a memory of the pain. Emotional pain has a way of leaving long lasting affects which we try to numb with the business of life, unfortunately we find ourselves back at square one when the business dies down. In order to have genuine healing from these old wounds, we must not fear but acknowledge our wounds in order to overcome them. If you had a cut on your hand you would tend to it, likewise we have to tend to our emotional wounds by next cleansing the wound. This may be done by talking through your issue with a trusted friend or by simply spending time in prayer for strength and discernment. When we choose not to acknowledge and cleanse our wounds we enter into bitterness which we unknowingly pour out onto those around us. These overlooked wounds can lead to a callused and corrupted heart which prevents us from flourishing in our walk. So that means the next step is to forgive. What is forgiveness? Forgiveness is truly attained by handing ourselves and the other person over to God because only God can restore our hearts and endow ultimate healing. Human forgiveness provides mere words, but the memory of the offense lasts a lifetime. God can only provide us the ability to ultimately forgive in order for us to let it go.  Sometimes I have told myself, I'm not mad at God I would never be mad at God, I'm just mad at myself or the situation. I recently read from the book Stronger than You Think and these words were thought provoking " We do hate God, all of us I think. On the sly. If we dare not hate the Giver, we do dare hate his gifts. We hate his world, or we hate ourselves. When we shut our eyes to every reason we have for being glad to be alive, when we resent good things that happen to our friends, when our hearts stifle every happy impulse, we are nurturing a passive hatred of God." Mind= Blown Away! So stop blaming yourself, others, and God. There are so many obstacles that hinder us from growth don't let these old wounds be one of them. "When we forgive, we set a prisoner free and discover that the prisoner that we set free was us." -Lewis Smedes Set yourself free and just move on


Stars Fell On Alabama (Cover) by Daniela Andrade x Hanbyul Kang

Great cover check it out!

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Get Fit, Stay Fit

Oh man getting fit is something everyone desires, but its just so hard with all that delicious food tempting you at every corner! If you're like me you probably get hungry every two hours and have dreams of juicy philly cheese steaks and scrumptious coconut macaroons. Oh my, drooling. The first step in getting fit is having the initial desire which turns into  motivation and then committment. It takes 21 days to make a habit and only one day to break it. Each and every day we have to remind ourselves why we started in the first place; which hopefully drives us to keep running, lifting, and eating clean! Being fit is not just a fad to follow, it should be a lifestyle change driven by the simple desire to avoid preventable health issues. As a nurse, it's my job to encourage and educate you on adapting healthy eating habits and finding time to workout. You can do anything you set your mind to, stop making excuses, we can do it!

Love:What is it?

"I love you so much, I love that dress, I love your nails", we use love like it's just any other word in the dictionary. What does it really mean to love? It is not just an overwhleming sense of emotion towards someone or something. To love means to be selfless, which many people are not. Unfortuantely in this "every man for himself" culture the term selfless is almost non-existent. To genuinely display love is difficult, it's the cold hard truth. Love takes dedication and committment. According to 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonour others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. From first hand expereince I can say that I have always "loved" my family and friends, but have I shown them true love probably not. You get annoyed at your sister that misplaces your things, angry at your nagging parents, competitive to get ahead, impatient with God's plans for your life, and self-seeking in relationships. We're human, it's bound to happen; but now that we recognize our flaws we have to take a step to change and genuinely love our family, friends, and neighbors. So my challenge for you today, tomorrow, and the days to come is to take a step back when you want to be selfish, impatient, rude, envious, boastful ect. and do your best to love in that situation. It will be hard, but we are called to do it. 

Let's Get Serious: Food 101

Okay seriously I do not understand how people can deprieve themselves of eating. Eating is just about  the most wonderful thing in the world! Those intense flavors and intricate textures just make your tastebuds set off fireworks, it's basically a party in yout mouth! Who would want to miss out on that? So we all have our favorite meals or places to eat, but why settle with the same ol' same when there's a world of food out there to explore!? Let me give you the 411 on how to find the new hip spots so that you develop more of an experienced and sophisticated pallate. First step, you need to get a YELP account. Now that you have access to all the hole in the wall 5 star joints; be prepared to be mentally and physically obese. Every city has its secret and not so secret restaurants, Yelp helps you find and read honest reviews by customers. Chicago is a large city and has a variety of up and coming as well as established restaurants. Although, I have not been to all of them. I have come across quite a few delightfully appealing places which you must try for yourself!
Smoque BBQ: Sliced brisket sandwich, BBQ Beans, Corn Bread, Cole Slaw, Peach cobbler pie and their Spicy BBQ sauce also ask for the Sweet Jalapenos.    
Firewood Kabob: Firewood Platter Lunch Special, One distinct feature is that they cook their food on different kinds of wood. They day I went in, they used mesquite wood. It really brought out the flavor in the meat. 

Honey Butter Fried Chicken: I'm not really into fried foods, but this place has the best chicken I have ever had. Their honey butter pairs so well with the chicken. It's definitely a place you have to try. Shown: 4 Piece meal, mashed potatoes, mac & cheese, corn bread and their special honey butter.  
Pequod's Pizzeria: Okay, so we all know Chicago is known for deep dish pizza. If I had to choose one place to get it this would definitely be my go to spot.  Peaquod's has a very "home sweet home " feel. It's located in a cozy neighborhood parking can be a hassle during the weekends. It's a house that has been turned into a restaurant.  We ordered a medium sized pizza for three with sausage,pepperoni, mushrooms, jalapeño, and pineapples with a carmelized crust.

Big Star: Thinking about staying in and having a taco night? Why do that and miss out on the best taco's in Chi-Town?! Big Star is known for their variety and flavorful tacos. Stop by Wicker Park and check it out for yourself! Shown:Fish Tacos

Philly's Best in Greektown: I've tried their Original Philly Steak, Philly Chicken and Buffalo Chicken which are all phenomenal especially with their seasoned fries. Ask for the garlic bun toasted with giardinerra, wet or dry to your preference. I personally don't like it wet because it gets soggy fast. 
Hot Doug's: If you have never been here, well then you just missed out on one of the top 13 places to eat before you die, per Anthony Bourdain well know chef and food critic. The owner hit it big for many years but decided retire early and closed down on Oct. 4, 2014. Shown: Foie Gras, Rib Eye Steak, Wild Boar, Tequilla, Lime, and Black Bean Chicken Sausage. 
Well, I could certainly go on forever. So I will leave it at that for now. Go out and let your taste buds explore the world of food! 


Get out of the Boat

 We all have a desire to grow, accomplish, and exceed but there's always those pesky obstacles that hinder us from achieving our aspirations. We begin to listen to that voice that tells us that we're fine where we're at or we'll stay here just a little longer and catch the next opportunity. We diminish our potential by making our own boundaries and staying in our comfort zones. God has planned great things for us, but we have to take a leap of faith and just trust that everything will work out on it's own. Change cannot occur unless you make the first move, you have to be willing to let go of the past in order to move onto the next best thing. Fear is a complex emotion that can be crippling and debilitating if not addressed immediately. We are not slaves to our emotions and cannot allow them to get the best of us or our situation.
    I think, act, and feel through my current emotion which sometimes makes me stubborn and selfish. When we act through our emotions mistakes are made and regrets surface. Sometimes we just need to take a minute and realize that these emotions are situational and that we will be able to get through the current issue. We cannot allow fear to draw boundaries on our talents and abilites that God has blessed us with. If you are looking to grow, then get out of the box. Stop limiting yourself. For those of you who have time, I highly recommend reading the book "If You Want to Walk on Water Then You Have to Get Out of the Boat", it is an insightful and profound book with motivational guidance that challenges you to make a change and grow in your walk.

Change is Good

Like most people I have my set of make up products that I do not stray to far from. You know what I'm talking about, the stranded on a desert must have essentials. Why change something that works, right? Well, recently I discovered Birchbox which is a company that provides samples of various popular and upcoming brands. My friends have tried it out and loved it, so I thought I would give it a shot. You're suppose to create a profile with your beauty interests which lets them know what kind of products to send you. To tell you the truth, the items are hit or miss. I think it's a great idea, it allows you to expand your beauty collection and possibly find new items that you may grow to love. Here are some of the must have items I discovered.
Beauty Protector: Shampoo, Conditioner, Hair Mask and Detangler These paraben and sulfate-free products leave your hair silky soft with a luxurious floral scent.
Harvery Prince Fragrances:Hello- A Spring time favorite which has a burst of citrus, summer forsythia, and pink plumerias. 
Harvey Prince: Imperial Gardenia- A pure floral aroma of gardenias a perfect summer time scent.
Catherine Malandrino Frangrance: A sophisticated summer date night scent which combines jasmine, grapefruit, pear and italian mandrain.
Make up Forever Smoky Extravagant Mascara: Love the brush definitely helps to elongate the lashes.
Make up Forever Rouge Artist Natural -N4 Pink Beige, great everyday color. 
Make up Forever  Rouge Artist Natural-N9 Copper Pink, formal color.  
I usually do not wear lipstick because it dries out my lips, but this brand is very creamy, holds moisture and has long lasting color. 
Whish Shave Cream- Helps prevent dryness after shaving. All natural ingredients that leave your skin soft and smooth.
Tocca Green Tea and Lemon Hand Cream- Paraben free hand cream enriched with natural extracts from coconut oil, shea butter and aloe. Love this brand and this fresh scent! They also make great perfumes.
Hope this was helpful, go out there and try something new! 

Overcoming the Negativity

Sometimes it seems like nothing goes right no matter how hard you try. You try to put on a smile and muddle through your day, but it just doesn't feel right. During those times I try to pull back and take a break from negative thoughts, people, and circumstances. I try to do my quiet time in order to get me through the day. Quiet Time, for those of you that don't know is time spent praying or reading the Bible to become encouraged. I absolutely love Elevation Church in Charlotte,  North Carolina, Pastor Steven Furtick is amazing and always has uplifting messages. I use the Elevation app on my phone, which I would reccommend to everyone. The message I want to share with you today is called Soul Detox, I hope it impacts you guys and gets you through your day. I'll share my notes below. (Click the Title, for the video.)

    -It is an ongoing battle we face, but we have to choose to either obey the Flesh or the Spirit of God.
    -Believe in the power of God, stop beleiving in the inabilities of your life.
1. Identifiy and Reject toxic thoughts. Proverbs 4:23 -Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.
  Don't be captives of your thoughts, make it obedient to Christ. 2 Corinthians 10:4-5 
2.Replace Toxic Thoughts with God's Truth. Phillipians 4:7-8 , Romans 12:2, "...Be transformed by the renewing of your mind."
3. Guard your heart against toxic words. Proverbs 4:20-23 Althogh we can't control waht others say, we must guard our hearts from toxic words which can hinder us from our goals. 
4. Truth or Trash: You are not who others say you are, you are who GOD says you are. Stop being your OWN worst critic!
5.Speak life giving words in EVERY situation. Stop speaking Toxic words into your life. There is power of life and death in the tongue. Phillipians 4:13-I can do all things through Christ who STRENGTHENS me.

Seconds to Minutes to Years

Twenty Four years, encompassing first steps, training wheels, new friendships and first crushes. We gain numerous experiences, accomplishments and milestones through these years. We are so often given advice by those that have gone before us, but as young souls we want to learn and explore on our own. Only through mistakes, heart ache, and tears do we grow and overcome our fears. 
One thing we have to remember is that there should be no regrets only experience gained through each decision we make. As a Christian it is important to know that God has known our every thought and decision before it was made and He loved and forgave us anyways. If God is able to forgive us then we should be able to as well. Sometimes people wonder how can God use me after the mistakes of my past, but we need to know that these thoughts only prevent us from using our God given gifts, and achieving our potential. So take today to make a difference in your ways, make a change in your thoughts, and be the light you were created to be.
 Matthew 5:14 instructs us to be the light to those around us, "You're here to be light, bringing out the God-colors in the world. God is not a secret to be kept." God wants us to let our individual talents to shine. This is His instruction for us. When we spend time with Him daily we will develop a keen understanding for our steps and direction for the future.