My thoughts about being a mother, homemaker, and a spouse have radically changed since accepting God into my life.
I went from an ultra-feminists, man-hating woman, to a woman who now strives to love and honor God. Which as a spouse means loving and honoring my spouse as the head of our household because we are to submit to him as we do unto the Lord.
You see, society tells us that we as woman need to be the ones who are always in control. That we shouldn’t be keepers of our home or depend on the man.
There is a lot to un-learn and re-learn. Especially if we’re truly seeking to love and serve God.
Sometimes we think that Gods word is figurative and not literal, and that because we live in modern times that He really doesn’t intend for us to Live out the word because it “cannot” be applied today. But the word of God is not a suggestion, it’s a guide for how we should live. We are to be set apart. It is not enough to be a woman who has faith, if we continue to live life by OUR standards and not by Gods.
What I’ve learned is that it is OKAY to love your role as a women. It’s okay to be feminine and not feminists. It’s OKAY to submit, love, and honor our husbands. It’s OKAY to be a homemaker and want to raise a family. The Lord has chosen our husbands to be shepherds of our households, to lead us and help us get closer to God. To protect and provide for us. And as women society tells us they we shouldn’t be any of those things and that we shouldn’t lean on our husbands for support…and that’s because society is lead by a spirit that is NOT the Holy Spirit. And the more I get into the word the more I see the war and attack that the world has against the nuclear family.
The truth is that when we fall in line with who God intends us to be, we live so much more at peace. We no longer have to stress or carry burdens that are no longer ours. We work better together when we act accordingly to how God designed us to be. 💗
2020 has not gone anywhere like how I expected it to, I’m sure it hasn’t gone how ANY of us expected it to. As I reflect on the end of the year I am reminded of how good God is and even through the struggles He always remains faithful. I pray that this blog brings encouragement to those who maybe have been struggling or who are feeling the call to step back into the faith. Grab a snack and get cozy, this may be a long one.
At the end of 2019 I re-gave my life to Christ. Truly I felt like it was the first time I had actually come to know Him, and I can honestly say that 2020 was the ULTIMATE test of faith.
When we give our life to Christ, we more-or-less understand that we are surrendering our fleshly and earthly ways to obey and follow God’s guidance. It is simple yet complicated, especially for someone like me who likes to be “safe” and take control of my life myself. But when we take that leap of faith, and allow ourselves to be guided by God’s way, we get to see and experience the blessings that God has in store for us. Blessings bigger than what we, as man, could ever create for ourselves. Blessings that we may even be getting in the way of when we chose to intentionally limit our faith and do things our own way. Now this doesn’t mean that we are exempt from struggles, challenges, or even facing our breaking point, But it means no matter what obstacles we face, we will always have God’s guidance to help us navigate through it.
December 2019 was my breaking point, I found myself on my knees crying out to God. We were struggling to pay rent on time and to put food on the table. I am thankful for the help we received that month and we were anxious to be better come January 2020. How we got to that point? Honestly I don’t know. We were pretty financially responsible, I started a full time job at the beginning of the year,and It was supposed to be the year we grew our financial goals. The year 2020 has showed that even though we pray for miracles and break-through, they don’t always present themselves in the way that we expect them to.
January 2020 finally came and it felt like a breath of fresh air, a new start, new goals, a new outlook on life. I prayed that God continue to lead us out of the hole that we had created for ourselves and show us the way. Never in a million years did I did we would experience basically a world-wide shut down and a pandemic.
March 2020 I was temporarily laid off, that was the beginning of what I remember to be the shut downs in the US. Initially I was apprehensive, especially given our recent financial situation. But the more I prayed and the more I got into the Word the more I felt peace. I was reminded that life is not in my hands but in His, and that I needed to trust the process. I had also been struggling with immense guilt for months leading up until this point. I so deeply wanted to come back to the home, I didn’t want to care anymore what society thought of me if I was a stay at home mom or a working mom. I felt guilty that Olivia was going through milestones and I wasn’t the one seeing them first. I felt guilty, is she going to only remember me waking her up in the mornings just to get her ready and drop her off at daycare for the rest of the day. I truly felt like God knew what he was doing, because although i was struggling with that conviction, I absolutely loved my job and I would not have left if it wasn’t for the pandemic.
March was also the time my spouse unexpectedly started a new job, he had not been searching but the opportunity presented itself. After much prayer Johnny embarked on a new adventure. The job was temporary, seeing as the company was uncertain of their future due to the immense shut downs. We really stepped out on a leap of faith for this one, because the job my husband was at previously was a permanent position, of which he had been working at for about 3 years, and was guaranteed job security. Yes, he left his permanent job for a temporary one. Old earthly us would have never stepped out on the leap of faith. We would’ve stayed in our safe, comfortable path, continuing to do what we knew… But when I tell you God is not fallible, I mean it. The DAY he started his new job, His previous one shut down. A huge multi million dollar company, laid off hundreds HUNDREDS of employees keeping only a handful.
In May 2020 I finally bit the bullet and publicly announced that I had started a blog. This was a huge thing for me as I am super socially awkward in real life and was extremely nervous at how people who knew me would react. I was met with so much love and support. This was something I had felt called to do for so long, but because of my own insecurities I did not pursue. Surely God doesn’t want ME to do this. I didn’t think I was the one He wanted to be an encouragement to others, I didn’t feel like I had anything to offer. But that my friends, was the enemy feeding me lies. I also had very little faith that anything would come from it (at first), and that i had to be tied to a “regular” job or career to help provide for my family. And while I’ve stared off only making pennies, the potential for growth was shown to me, and i am so grateful that life forced me to slow down so that i could have this opportunity.
July 2020 it was time for my husbands 90 day review. We had faith that he would be offered a permanent position, and he was. But we didn’t expect was that they’d offer him the permanent position with a lower salary..after much praying my husband presented a counter offer, and they met in the middle. Ideally, it did not go how we had planned, but again. God is faithful, and we have been so blessed nonetheless.
August 2020 we made it to the end of our apartment lease. By the grace of God we had built up our savings and even paid off the majority of our debt. Truly the only thing that I can say about that is, It was all God. A true testimony of Matthew 6:30-34. We had been working diligently and had been disciplined about keeping the faith, obediently following what we had felt God ask of us, we started tithing and being selfless financially to those in need; and He was staying true to His promises.
October – November was honestly a blur. I did struggle a bit with my faith as well as my mental health. I became overwhelmed with elections, politics, censorship, and things of this Earth. I had to really take a step and re-evaluate what I was prioritizing. The things I was consuming were causing havoc in my life. When i’m in the Word and living each day to mindfully honor God i’m more meek, humbled, grateful, and still. When I consume too much what goes on on this earth i’m more rigid, snappy, I misspeak, i’m disconnected, and i’m anxious. I asked God for discipline and that he allow me be delivered from my convictions because I was really struggling. I felt so weighed down by things of this world. I also knew that this was the month that we’d have to start looking for homes in order to meet our 60 day deadline for our apartment lease. I was feeling anxious, and truthfully a little PTSD from the season we experienced starting this time last year.
November – December we started our search and found a home that we loved. We placed an offer and it was accepted. A home, our very first home that we own. I envisioned something unlike I would have ever imagined. This year I felt the pull to live a more simpler life. I think after loosing our home in 2017 to a natural disaster, to pretty much being completely broke last year, I really learned that the important things in life are not tangible. Its not what kind of house you live in, the car you drive, or items that you do or do not own. But its how you live. I strive to honor and live for God, to serve my family, be a good mother and a homemaker. 10 years ago if you would’ve told me i’d be saying this I would have straight up laughed at you. Seriously. After some searching we found our place. Land with a humble home, and I could not be more overcome with joy and gratefulness.
2020 taught me to release control, and to fearlessly honor and listen for God’s guidance. 2020 taught me that blessings and miracles tend to come in what we see as struggles, uncertainty and as God telling us no. But I like to believe it’s Him moving and making way so that way we follow the course that He has for us.
I’ve connected with some amazing Bloggers to share some blogs featuring New Years Resolutions, Goals, Inspiration, Motivation and more! Head to each of their blogs to check out what they are sharing.
Ok, not completely but we have definitely gone down to a VERY limited use of screens in our home and may eventually even cut them out completely. And the best part? No one’s gone crazy!
Technology use has become second nature in our society today. We have smart TVs that give us access to an array of shows and movies. We have smart phones which for us, are our main use for information. It’s where we keep up with the weather, world news, and local news. A large part of my job in social media can be done on my phone as well.
I feel like many of us have become so desensitized to the amount of time we actually use our devices, and once I analyzed the chaos that it was causing in my home, it was a no brainer to begin the process of eliminating screens.
From the moment I opened my eyes, I was reaching for my phone without even giving it a second thought. I’d then make my way into the living room to have my quiet time before my toddler woke up, as soon as that was finished I noticed I’d reach right back to my phone again. Whether it was checking emails, reading blog posts, writing blog posts of my own or responding to comments, I noticed I was getting sucked back into my phone!
Then, my daughter would wake up. The first thing I’d do was turn on the TV to “distract” her so I could cook breakfast. Once breakfast was made we’d eat together, and she’d continue to watch her show while I’d mindlessly scroll on my phone.
Before I knew it, it was lunch time. No chores had been done, no one was really put together, and we’d done nothing productive all morning! I’d feel tired and groggy, and even grouchy. My toddler was throwing tantrums, acting out, being super clingy, and even a bit grouchy herself.
I was feeling overwhelmed, touched out, and anxious. Once I realized the cause of our issues was a lack of movement, lack of sensory stimulation, a lack of daily rhythm, and the over use of screens in our home I set out to take back control of the household.
How it all started:
You may be wondering….Uhm, how in the world did you end up like that? Well, I’ll tell you my sweet friends. For me, it started when I began taking my social media work seriously. My platforms quickly started growing and I started to feel immense pressure to “keep up”. Anytime I found a pocket of time, I was reaching for my phone to work. Not only that, our phones are a HUGE distraction and even temptation. My intentions were to work, but I’d often find myself mindlessly scrolling through my feed.
Then we move on to my toddlers love for her shows. It really took off when we started supporting a relative with virtual learning. Homeschool for us came to a pause, and one of the main ways I could get my toddler to give the kids doing virtual learning their space to complete their work was turning on the TV. That went on for about 6 weeks, and we unintentionally created a habit that we brought back home with us.
Proverbs 22:6 “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it”
Romans 12:2 “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will.”
The more I walk on my journey with my faith, the more I’m aware of if what I’m doing is honoring or pleasing to God. And I can tell you, the lack of true family presence and order in my home was not pleasing to Him. For the record, we had mostly a happy home even with the screen issue. However our mental health was really being effected by technology and screens and I was not having it anymore!
I started asking myself questions. Was I truly training my child up in the way she should go? Was what I was doing encouraging my child to seek the Lord? Was I actively teaching her about Christ and how to be more Christ like? Were we conforming to the ways of world, doing and saying things like “well, there’s no escaping technology so might as well go with it”. Was I sticking to my values I set out to have on my platforms which were to share the Word, and to be an encouragement to other women and moms?
How we did it & what I’ve learned:
Now, I plan on writing an entire blog post with all of the intricate details on how we’re going about this process ; and also sharing some fun activities you can do together while using items you may already have at home. I can tell you, that it’s OK for your child to be bored. If you’re cooking, cleaning, or doing some sort of chore what’s worked best for us is either A) have them get involved or B) set them up with an activity.
During this process I’ve found taking a “redirecting” approach rather than an “authoritarian”approach was a lot more effective. I feel like we get much less pushback that way, and it doesn’t seem like anyone is “missing out” on the use of screens”
Another thing to consider is that you’ll have to work on your flexibility. Messes will be made, chores may not get done the way you’d like, and you may find yourself on the floor playing with play dough, paints, or toys. It can sound stressful, but perspective is key my friends. My priority lies in raising my child, not in how much laundry I can do that day. And to be quite honest, our home is much more in order this way. Surprising, I know!
Really pressing in on being involved with those little things and those sweet moments has truly been therapeutic. There’s just something about unplugging and really being present. At first, I thought I’d be drowning with stress and chores not being done. However, I was pleasantly surprised at the overall peace and calming that has come with this process.
We still use screens and technology. They can definitely be a great resource when used correctly or when not over used. We usually use them when we’re doing car rider pickup for a relative of ours, and when I need to shower. Other than that, we pretty much are not on our devices.
The process of eliminating screens has created so much peace in our home. Our mornings feel slow and meaningful. We’ve developed an appreciation and gratitude for even the smallest of things. Our family unit feels close-nit, and our relationship with Christ is growing. My toddlers behavior has improved IMMENSELY! Her imagination exploded and her creativity is blooming! We began homeschooling again and she is just thriving and so excited to read stories, color, and do crafts. Overall we’ve felt the call to lead a more simple and humble life, getting back to the basics, and this has been a huge step in that direction.
I hope you’ve found some encouragement within this post today! If you’re deciding to start the process of eliminating screens in your home, share in the comments what it is that’s inspired you! Until next time. ✨
It’s hard to believe 3 years ago we were going through all of this. 3 years ago we evacuated from a hurricane, having a 4 month old who was transitioning from pump to breast we knew we didn’t want to be in a situation where the power went out and our milk stash was compromised. So we headed out, few outfits for the weekend and some necessities, never did we imagine that we’d have nothing to come back to.
In that moment you feel like your entire world is crashing down. But in the midst of so much destruction I still felt like I had so much to be grateful for. I truly felt like these pictures were little messages from God, and I felt so much peace. He is so good my friends, and I’m so grateful for his guidance and all that we have today. ❤️🙏🏼 Matthew 6:26-33
From Facebook Memories: “A few days ago I met with a Fema inspector – it was the first time since we evacuated that I’ve been to the house – I was nervous, scared, emotional. The neighborhood looked like a ghost town, piles of debris everywhere, and it smelled so so so bad. We lost everything, and I was prepared to see the worst. I walked up to the front door and saw a little Polaroid faced down outside and I flipped it over with my shoe. It was a picture i took of Johnny and Olivia when we got back from the hospital. It survived. I walked in and there were a few more scattered all around the house, they all survived! All of them being of Johnny, Olivia, and I. It might not mean much to anyone but, we lost everything and these tiny little pictures survived. They were on the fridge that had knocked over because of the current from the flood, I thought they would’ve been ruined. Unfortunately i left them behind (because of the possible contamination from sewage) but something about seeing them almost in perfect condition made me feel a sense of peace. Those pictures are like our little family, strong and resilient, I KNOW we will continue to rise above and overcome. ❤️”
Every year since then, this memory pops up on Facebook, and every year I share it. No to get pity or sympathy, but as a testimony that God is always working and moving in our lives even if we don’t feel or see it. The years following this day we’re not easy. However, God has tremendously blessed us in so many ways following this event. And I truly credit our dedication to our faith and dedication to look towards Him for those blessings.
I felt like this memory couldn’t have come at a better time. I know that the uncertainty of this pandemic has affected many lives, financially and health wise. Many have lost their jobs, have been evicted, or don’t know how they’ll make their next bill payment. I hope this post inspires you to keep the faith, to trust in His ability, to be reminded that God will never leave your or forsake you.
Matthew 6:26-33 “Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” 💖
You might think, “perfectionist? why is that a bad thing?”
You see, being a perfectionist is not just something as simple as wanting to be the best that you can be at something. Perfectionism can be suffocating and I’m learning that it’s contradictory to who God says we need to be.
For me, perfectionism is ALL-OR-NOTHING. It’s having overwhelming anxiety that’s stops me from doing a task if I am not guaranteed that it will come out 100% to my standards or expectations. I looked to perfectionism to find peace. Looking deeper I truly feel this can be an issue rooted in anxiety, needing control, maybe even feeling like this is the only way you have purpose.
I am a work in progress, I do my best to acknowledge and work on the intrusive thoughts that come to mind when I’ve left a sink full of dishes in the kitchen, or when I leave a small pile of clothes in the basket that I didn’t fold along with the rest of the laundry I had put away that day.
I’ve allowed myself to appreciate and find gratitude in even the smallest of tasks. I’m learning to embrace the “i did nothing days” and appreciate the self-care that comes with unplugging every now and then. I’m learning to pause and be grateful for the gift of life and the people I love in it.
I am a recovering perfectionist, and I’m learning that my worth is not defined by my productivity. That nothing earthly or of the flesh can fill my heart the way Jesus can. And that my identity and peace lie in Christ.
Today I am going to be sharing with you the Bible study method that changed my life! Okay, I may be a tad dramatic when I say that. But seriously, it was a game changer for me.
If you’ve been following me for a while, you may know that last year I re-gave my life to Christ. I was baptised as a baby, born into a catholic family, and attended catholic church growing up. I completed my Communion but got halfway through my conformation and never fully completed it. During that time I really never felt connected to God, Jesus, or ever really got into the Word.
One of the things that felt heavy on my heart when I first accepted Jesus into my life again, was the fact that I had no idea how to read the Bible. I was so nervous, and anxious at the thought of even opening it. For some reason it was this daunting task and I felt like a disappointment almost for feeling so lost. But I had to take a step back and realize that God would walk along with me in this journey. And one thing I learned throughout out this year is that it is indeed a process.
So,I decided to just go-for-it and started reading The Bible from front to back. A little ambitious I might say, and somewhere in between Leviticus and Numbers I got a bit discouraged. I started to feel like I was barely grasping anything, just reading to read. And let me tell you, its NOT a good feeling. So, I took to research. YouTube, Pinterest, Google, even Instagram. Looking for information, resources, and inspiration.
Now, if you’re an “older” Christian (I’m what I like to call a “baby” Christian) then you may already know about this method. And I am in no way an expert, i’m definitely still learning, but I felt like i just had to share ; even if this only helps one person strengthen their relationship with Christ.
There are SO many methods out there, and it got a little overwhelming at first. After some time comparing I decided with the SOAP method. It fit my learning style and it made the most sense to me.
What is the SOAP method?
Scripture : Write out the scripture you are reading, or whatever parts that speaks to you.
Observation : Who is the Author? What is the author saying and/or to Who? Write down what stood out to you about this verse. Were there any instructions or commands?
Application: How can you apply this verse to your life today?
Prayer :Ask God to help you understand and apply this scripture to your life. Spend some time listening to what He may be telling you.
I like writing all of this down as I’m studying, I feel like I learn better when I write things down ; even if its repetitive.
Another thing to consider is that you do not have to start at the beginning! Although I will say I think it’s great for everyone to read it from front to back at one point in their life.
Using this method I searched for a bible reading plan, which is usually 30 days of scripture reading , and I applied this method as I was reading.
*Full disclaimer, I have no idea who came up with this, but if you do please let me know so I can give credit where it is due. *
Originally I purchased a Journaling Bible, which is BEAUTIFUL, however I mess up often and I write pretty big. So while I still take notes in my Bible, I later chose to get a notebook with full pages so that I can draw, color, decorate, and write on the entire page for my studying sessions.
I am a major stationary nerd, so of course I had to get some things to go along with my bible studying. I will link some of my FAVORITE Bible studying supplies down below. While they aren’t necessary, they sure make it more fun. These are affiliate links, which mean I may get a commission when you shop with those links, at no extra cost to you! If you do decide to purchase through them, I want to graciously thank you for helping support me and my family.