10 Peaceful Holiday Habits

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We are amid another holiday season. How did you do with Thanksgiving? Did you rest or did the day pass you by? I am so glad we get a second chance with Christmas and New Year’s Day to implement some peaceful habits. These peaceful habits can be applied beyond the holidays but I think there is no time like the present. I am giving you the gift of peace and setting you up for starting 2020 in a peaceful mindset.

  1. Sleep: There is no substitute for sleep. Your body needs rest daily for you to be your very best. There is no amount of caffeine  that can replace your rest. If you need to put a daily reminder about sleep, do it. Lack of rest is not good your health and will impact other areas of your life.
  2. Self care: You must take care of yourself. Sleep does not count because that is essential to living a healthy life. Self-care looks different for everyone. My self-care includes watching Hallmark movies, working out, spending time with family and friends and much more. Your self-care is about you pouring into yourself so that you can pour into the people around you.
  3. Give Back: On this Giving Tuesday, I am reminded of the importance of giving back to the people and causes the closest to our hearts. As we take care of ourselves, we have an abundance of resources to pour into other people. I am so thankful to the nonprofits that invest in people and causes daily. Our nonprofits are the engine that keep our society going and I am so thankful.
  4. Say No: The word no is very powerful. You must have healthy boundaries around your health, life, time and more. When you say yes to everything, that means something will be impacted. It is necessary to say no.
  5. Say Yes: You cannot say no to everything because that will cause isolation. Say yes to taking risks, opening your heart, having hope and so much more. The word yes can have lifetime positive implications. Pastor Craig Groeschel posted on his birthday how he proposed to his now wife 29 years ago to the day. Say yes to the unknown and make a lifetime investment into your joy.
  6. 24 Hour Pause: Is there a major decision that you are making this holiday season but you feel uneasy? Take a 24 hour pause to think things through before deciding. The worst time to decide is when we are stressed out, overwhelmed, sick, upset and so on. So, before you say yes or no to a major decision, take a moment to pause and reflect.
  7. Enjoy the season: This season is majestic and beautiful. Take a moment to reflect and savor the beauty of this season. We have schedules that are more packed than usual but we should be kind to one another. Allow us to take a moment to pause to smell the cookies and cocoa, hear the sounds of the season and look at the beautiful once a year displays of the holidays. A month from now you will miss everything.
  8. 2019 GoalsThis year and decade will be in the past very soon. Do you have a couple of things that you want to accomplish this year? I know I do. The temptation may be to stop and resume your 2019 progress in 2020. Continue to move forward and before you know it, you will start 2020 full of joy.
  9. Remove and Prune: This time of year, is the perfect time to prune and remove people, places and things from your life. Pruning is necessary to cause growth to continue or start. This is a good time to analyze how you are spending your time and resources. Are you investing in something or someone that is no longer fruitful? There is no time like the present to reclaim your value and self-worth.
  10. Love:  Fall in love with life again. This year may have dealt us some tough moments but we are still standing. Have you stopped living or believing because of a setback? There is no time like the present to love again. Love has its moments of ups and downs but I am a firm believe that love does conquer all.

I will be forever thankful and grateful for you being a reader of my blog. I love to write and I stopped for some time years ago but I can honestly say even on my worst day, I love writing. Thank you for being a devoted and loyal reader of this blog. Seize the season!

God Always Fulfills His Promises

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“36 “See, your cousin Elizabeth, as old as she is, is going to give birth to a child. She was not able to have children before, but now she is in her sixth month. 37 For God can do all things.” 38 Then Mary said, “I am willing to be used of the Lord. Let it happen to me as you have said.” Then the angel went away from her.”-Luke 1:36-38

We are in the final month of this year and decade. Christmas is a beautiful season of joy, miracles, hope, peace and more. As we look forward to celebrating the birth of Jesus, may we pause and remember that God always keeps his promises. His timing is always better than ours and he is so faithful. In today’s scripture, Mary has been visited by an angel named Gabriel who has informed her that she is giving birth to the Messiah. You can read the full story by clicking here.  Mary was astonished and shocked but then submitted to God’s will. Then she was informed her cousin, Elizabeth, was in her sixth month of pregnancy with John the Baptist.

In this season of miracles, may we hold on to God and his promises. Even on the hardest day of our life, may we look back to the very first Christmas. May we look to Jesus and be reminded of the ultimate promise God kept for us. He sent a redemptive Savior who has assured us of eternal life and an abundant life. Sometimes, we can become so defeated and hopeless because of a setback, heartbreak or disappointment. Allow God, one moment at a time to restore, heal and renew you. Romans 12:2 says, “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.”

As we continue our march to 2020, allow us to remember God and his promises. God is stronger than our pain, failures, sorrow, anxiety, health challenges, relationship storms, life changes and more. We serve a God who cannot be defeated. When Jesus was born, our birthright as children of God was solidified. As  you wrap gifts, fellowship with friends and family, listen to Christmas carols, watch Hallmark and Lifetime movies, shop for yourself and loved ones, may you see the fulfilled promise of Jesus’ birth. May God continue to illuminate your heart, mind and soul this season and always. May God bless you as he takes you on a beautiful path of healing and restoration.

A Daily Posture of Gratitude and Thanksgiving

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“Let us come before him with thanksgiving and extol him with music and song.  For the LORD is the great God, the great King above all gods.“-Psalm 95:2-3

We serve an awesome and matchless God. He loves us so much that he made a provision for our sins through the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus. I want to encourage us to never take our salvation and abundant life for granted. What a beautiful gift of abundant and eternal life we received when we accepted Jesus as our Lord and Savior.  We should always be in a posture of Thanksgiving.  This holiday season and beyond, allow us to fix our eyes on God. God is our everything and through him we can take our next breath and have our next heartbeat. We want to always give God our best.

I want to also encourage us to open our eyes and hearts to ourselves and the people around us. Starting with yourself, please take a moment to pause and show gratitude toward yourself. Everything may not be perfect but you are standing in 2019 on the door step of 2020 which is a new decade and year. You made it. We made it. Next, take a moment to look at the people around us. There are some people who are grieving the loss of a loved one, friend, dream, job, friendship and more. Please make sure that you take this precious time to reach out to others. It could be through a prayer, phone call, text, email or face to face visit. However, you decide to be a neighbor, please do it. I am thankful for you reading my blog. I will never take you or your time for granted. I am going to close our time in prayer.

Heavenly Father,

Thank you for a new day. You are the author and finisher of our faith. You sit high but you look low and are ever mindful of us individually and collectively as your children. Thank you for being a God who is always with is in the valley, on the mountaintop and every other moment in between loving us unconditionally. God, we thank you for this season of gratitude and thanksgiving. Allow us to always have a posture of thanksgiving and gratitude. Help us never to take you, ourselves or anyone else around us for granted. I pray right now in the name of Jesus for the person praying this prayer who does not know you. I pray they will confess that they are sinner and accept Jesus as their Lord and Savior. I pray they will join a bible based church and reach out to a loving Christian to walk their new life as a Christian.

I pray in the name of Jesus for those who are dealing with any type of grief. I pray you would come close to them and comfort them. I pray you would pour out your love, peace and comfort during this time. I pray for those who are struggling in a relationship, friendship, their finances, health or anything else that could hinder their praise to you. I pray that they would stay in your word, pray and praise you during their storm. We know that nothing is too big or impossible for you. God, we love you. We thank you in advance for the great things you have in store for us. I say this prayer in the matchless name of our risen Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen.

God Deserves First Place In Our Lives

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“But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”-Matthew 6:33

Last Monday, I did a HIIT boxing workout with weights. This workout was an intentional challenge for me. There was a time in my life the thought of doing a workout like this would challenge and frighten me. Now, I welcome the challenge and opportunity to push myself a little harder. I was little sore days after my workout but I am so happy I finished the workout and it was excellent. I must lean on my rock and foundation who is God when approaching a challenge. I used to live in paralyzed fear of taking risks. I am now realizing that I do not want to have a bunch of regrets but want to live my life. I want to enjoy my life.

Are you living a life that includes risks or is your life predictable and controlled by you? Today’s scripture focuses on God’s promise for us. When God is first in our lives, he will take care of everything in our lives. It does not say when we do things in our own strength and put God to the side that he will bless us. God is our living water, daily vitamin and essential to living. We depend on God for our next breath and heartbeat. We must make it a priority to spend uninterrupted and intentional time with God. We are all different and our time with God will look different but the key is daily time with God. 1 John 4:19 says, “We love because he first loved us.”

My prayer for us is that we will place God first. That no person, place or thing will hinder or disrupt our time with God. We will place sacred boundaries around our schedule and lives to keep God first in our daily lives. God should always be first place in our lives. As we move toward Thanksgiving 2019 and the end of 2020, may we stay in a posture of joy, thanksgiving, peace and love. As God pours into us, we can pour into ourselves and others. May God bless us as we continue to place him in first place in our lives always. God bless you!

 

 

Dating Untangled: Seven Online Dating Tips

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Online dating is a useful tool for dating. The purpose of online dating is to make a connection with someone for the purposes of a friendship, long term relationship and marriage. Online dating has a lot of benefits and headaches but if used correctly you can find true love. I know I sound like a commercial for Match.com but I am not being paid. In fact, I am writing this blog to empower all of us when it comes to online dating.

  1. What is your motive?: Why are you doing online dating? Are you looking for marriage, a friendship or something to occupy your free time? Whatever your motive, you need to be honest with yourself as to why you are doing online dating.
  2. Profile: You need to have a transparent profile. You must use recent pictures of yourself in different settings and share basic details about your life. Please do not share every detail or your life but you should not be secretive. The purpose of your profile is for potential suitors to get to know you.
  3. Honesty: You need to be honest in your profile. We must remember that online dating is not a game. We are dealing with the hearts of other people. Can you imagine making a connection with someone just to find out the person lied and to you? Honesty is the key and a very essential foundation to your dating relationship.
  4. Communication: I would recommend waiting at least a week before exchanging phone numbers. You should use the communication tools on the website before giving away your personal information. You want to make sure this person is deserving of having instant access to you. Also, do not allow someone to wait days to hear from you.  In the beginning you should be communicating very regularly with the other party. If you are busy, communicate that and do not allow someone to wait  hear from you.
  5. Red Flags: You cannot ignore red flags. If the person you are communicating with begins to talk about marriage, money or meeting right away you need to be very careful. Sometimes, we can become so focused on a potential relationship that we ignore common sense or our gut. So be very careful. Your life is worth more than a potential relationship.
  6. Safety: You must be very careful with protecting yourself. You should never share personal details such as your full name, address, place of employment, make and model of your car, bank account or credit card information, social security number and anything else that is personal. There are a lot of scams and we do not want to inflict pain unto ourselves and our loves ones.
  7. Deal breakers: You need to be honest with yourself and those around you about your deal breakers. I am a Christian and I cannot compromise that for anyone. You must be honest and be willing to wait until you meet someone who has your deal breakers in common. You should never discard your deal breakers for the sake of a relationship.

Love is a possibility. It takes two to be in love. To get to a true relationship full of love and more, we need to start slowly. We need to take our time. We need to be intentional in our words and actions toward ourselves and those around us. We need to make sure we are ready to be in a relationship. When we approach online dating with honesty, communication, integrity and more, the process will be peaceful and fun. I wish you a happy time of finding love. Here is to true love.

Dating Untangled: Holiday Proof Your Heart

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Can you believe that we are days away from Thanksgiving? Christmas is next month and we are going to be in 2020 shortly. We have made a lot of progress this year with our boundaries, allowing God to uproot our lives and removing toxic people from our lives. So now, I am going to take a moment to discuss ways to guard our hearts during the holiday season and beyond. I am not standing on a soap box telling you what to do. I am applying these guidelines to my heart also as a single woman. These guidelines are suggestions and have worked for me in my life this year.

  1. Keep Closed Doors Closed: If you and an ex mate or friend are no longer associated, keep the door closed. I am a believer in happy endings but you must be very careful with opening closed doors. Heartbreak a second or third time is so much more painful than the first time.
  2. Keep Things Light: When you are getting to know someone new, you should keep things light. If someone begins to talk about marriage and other long term plans, that is not healthy. If you want to make sure your relationship motives are the same, that is one thing. If you are discussing your wedding invite list on the first date, that is not normal or healthy.
  3. Organic Connections: Your connections should grow naturally. When you plant a seed, the plant will grow little by little. The same is true of our associations with others. As we are getting to know one another in a relationship or friendship, it will grow naturally. There is nothing that is forced but it is natural growth. This is done so your new friendship or relationship’s foundation will be strong and unshakable.
  4. Boundaries: I cannot express the importance of boundaries. You cannot give up who you are for a relationship or friendship. Your relationship should enhance who you are and you should be enhancing your mate. As goal-oriented people, we should continue our healthy lifestyle. If you do not know who you are or you are conforming to walking on eggshells, then you are setting yourself up for a failed relationship or friendship. Who you are deep down inside will come up and cause a future conflict.
  5. Compromise: There are no two people who are alike. So, there will be compromise between the two people in a friendship or relationship. You should never compromise who you are for a friendship or relationship. I know from firsthand experience the pain of compromising my standards to be in friendship with someone. I stopped braiding my hair, traveling and more to please someone else. Then I realized I was in so much pain because I stopped being who I was to please someone else.

Have a great time dating and creating new friendships. I am excited about closing 2019 healed with new people in our circle for 2020. Happy Thanksgiving!

Love Is The Remedy To Heartbreak

 

 

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1 Peter 5:7 “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.”

Fall is a hard season for me. I am reminded of the loved ones I have lost to death. I am reminded of the friendships and relationships that ended in the fall. I am reminded of other horrific events that occurred and are part of my story. Certain scents and events of fall will bring up a painful memory. Heartbreak is a part of everyone’s story. When our hearts are broken, it is painful event. We may still be dealing with the effects a heartbreak that occurred years and decades ago. Even during our heartbreak, God is with us. He will never abandon or forsake us. I want to encourage you to allow God to mend your heart day by day. When God heals and mends us, there is no doubt that it is him.

Today’s scripture is a reminder that nothing is too small or big for God. Whatever or whoever has you anxious, angry, upset, disappointed or heartbroken, give it or them to God. I know during the worst moments of my life; God was with me. He is always with all of us. I also want to encourage you to open your eyes to the people around you. Someone close to you may be dealing with heartbreak and needs your support. I am thankful for my tribe. I had a moment recently where I had to let my tribe know I needed their prayers and support. It felt so good to unload my burdens and be lifted in prayer because I was having trouble praying for myself. 2 Corinthians 12:9 says, “But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. “

1 Corinthians 13 is beautiful reminder of the gift of love. I know sometimes love has pain and hurts but we need to remember love is always a great starting point. When we love others, we give them the benefit of doubt. We express patience when we have none left. We show joy and gratitude daily because they are a special gift from God. We love ourselves so that we can love the people around us. I would encourage you to read 1 Corinthians 13 on a regular basis to be reminded of the love God has for each of us and we should express to one another. I am honored to be walking life with you. May God continue to bless and keep you today and always.