Retro – 15 Things You Should Know By 30

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I’M 30, GUYS! “I MADE, IT! I MADE IT, MOMMA!”

Yeah, not really. At least that’s what I thought I’d say by the time I hit 30. But I do feel like I learned A LOT in the last decade (geez, that makes me sound old)!

The other day I was talking to someone who said: “yeah, I wouldn’t talk to like, a 30-YEAR-OLD, about that kinda stuff”. OUCH!

Actually, it’s probably a good idea to talk to someone who’s “been there, done that”, because there’s some pretty good insight and wisdom that can be shared.

So here are my 15 Things You Should Know By 30:
(and if you’re 30+, let me know if you can relate and say “Amen” to any of these)

O N E : If he’s not that into you, doesn’t give you the time of day, if he blows you off, cheats, lies, or in your gut, you have an icky feeling about him, DUMP HIM ASAP. Be a little savage about this. Know you’re worth. God has so much better for you.

T W O : Don’t allow pettiness to create a wedge between you and your friends. Get over the offense. Forgive. Ask for forgiveness. Move forward.

T H R E E : If you’re engaged and planning a wedding, remember that it’s just ONE DAY. Yes, a very important day. But the real stuff starts right after. Prepare your heart, spirit, and mind for marriage, not a wedding. It’s all going to turn out amazing anyway.

F O U R : Open a savings account. Have automatic withdrawals go into it and don’t touch it! I wish I would’ve started saving money the minute I started working. Instead, I spent so much money on shoes. Shoes that don’t fit me anymore. My student loans, though? Those are still around.


Just take the first step. DO IT!


F I V E : Education is so important! I am a first generation college graduate and I’m so dang proud of that. Both of my parents are immigrants and only wanted the best for me. Going to college was not optional for me. Even if you don’t know what degree or with what money you’ll start, just take the first step. DO IT!

S I X : Yes, education is amazing. Having a degree is a great asset. But don’t feel boxed in or forced to use that degree FOREVER. You may want to do something else down the road. THAT’S OKAY. A degree, going to school, is a must. It teaches you so much. But it’s not meant to box you in. It’s meant to open your mind to new and wonderful opportunities. Even if that means not doing the same thing forever.

S E V E N : Comparison will kill you. Stop trying to keep up with others. Just run your dang race. It’s not always greener on the other side. Your life is enough. YOU are enough.

E I G H T : Go to church. I spent the beginning of my 20s trying to get back to church after a few years of completely removing that from my life. I was hurt, disappointed, and felt no desire to go to a place “full of hypocrites”. Guess what, we can all be hypocrites sometimes. I’ve met my best friends and husband at church. Just give it a try.

N I N E : Romantic relationships are hard. Even when you find the best person. So make sure they love and serve Jesus.

T E N : Make sure you love and serve Jesus. Yes, there are so many responsibilities and distractions. But nothing matters more than your relationship with God.

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E L E V E N : Sex. It’s the most amazing thing. It’s a gift from God. But it’s meant for the safe and sacred boundaries that marriage provides. Yes, many will say this is an outdated way of thinking. But I’m alright with that. I believe and take to heart God’s word. AND I know what it feels like to experience heartache and baggage after compromising my beliefs. Take it from me, NOT WORTH IT.

T W E L V E : Don’t chase marriage. Be content and make the most of your single years. GO TRAVEL! When the time is right, if it’s God’s will for you to be wed, it’ll all happen so fast and you’ll realize the striving was so futile.

T H I R T E E N : Again, make the space in your life to travel. Whether that’s overseas, or a town nearby, or on a missions trip. There’s nothing like seeing life through someone else’s perspective.

F O U R T E E N : It’s ok to fail. It’s ok to be disappointed. It’s ok to not have it all together. Allow yourself to grieve your losses in life. Life is hard and contrary to years of misinterpreting God’s word, God never promised us perfect lives. Actually, He never promised to give us every single thing we want. He gave a MUCH better promise. That he would be our reward. That he would NEVER leave us or forsake us. Take heart! He is more than enough.

F I F T E E N : LOVE YOUR BODY. I’m still working on this one. There are so many days that I hate what I see in the mirror. But I’m getting sick of feeling this way. In the past year, I’ve really started to appreciate and love myself right where I’m at. Even if I’m not at the weight I ideally want to be at, I’m thankful that I’m healthy. I’m not going to conform to the standards this world puts on me. Healthy is better than skinny.

B O N U S : Make sure to go to the doctor when something feels off. Trust your gut. And if you have insurance and you’re not sure if a medical procedure is covered, JUST CALL THEM. You never know if you’ve overlooked a benefit.

Not Today, Offense!

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Picking up the phone, sending that text, inviting someone over, letting someone stay the night, listening, being honest, forgiving. Those are things that build relationships.

But offense… Offense is the one things that can destroy and unravel relationships. Offense is no respecter of relationship. Offense can affect our friendships, marriage, workplace, extended family, and even church.

It creates separation and causes us to think the worse of people. It leads us to notice the bad instead of the good. When offense starts to creep in, our thoughts get clouded and soon we feel lonely, isolated, left out, and at it’s worse, entitled.

How about we flip the switch on offense? Let’s stop to think of the last time we took the first step. Or expressed how we truly felt. Or the last time we showed up for others in ways we long for others to show up for us.

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You know, the cure to mend a broken relationship is to say no to offense. To do the opposite of what it’s whispering in our ear. To do the thing that feels least natural to our flesh and most freeing to our soul.

When I’m in the thick of it and my mind is out of control, God’s Spirit intervenes and reminds me to be the peacemaker, the hospitable friend, the listener, the gatherer, the one that’s quick to forgive.

Is there someone that comes to mind while reading this? Do you need to let them off the hook? Do you need to start noticing the good versus the bad? Do you need to let your pride down and make the call? Do you need to show up for them today?

Today I’m saying, “Not today, offense”. I’m saying, “Not today, devil”. Clear mind, open heart, willing spirit. God’s way, not mine.

Download the artwork below, Not Today, and feel free to share on your social media accounts. There are two sizes to choose from, square and vertical. Tag me if you use them, I’d love to see them on your feeds 🙂

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Grace-filled Reminders For The Lady Of The House (a.k.a. Home Engineer, Family Manager, Home Economist)

StyldbyGrace_LadyOfTheHouseCards__35I’m excited to share a new freebie I created for my fellow homemakers. That word, homemaker, may be a dirty word to some but to me, it means the head lady in charge. The boss lady. The home engineer. The puzzle solver. The family manager. The lady of the house. And oftentimes, the home economist. Anything to save a dollar here and there, right?!

Loving, nurturing, organizing, and up keeping our homes can seem like an antiquated thing but God has called us to our homes and families first. If we can manage businesses, schedules, outings, and everything else in between, we should make it a priority to manage our homes. To look out for our people. To make sure everything is at peace.

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But let’s be real. In the modern world, where our careers, side hustles, and servant leadership, demand A LOT from us, that can be really really difficult. Sometimes we even resent “having” to take care of our homes. I know I do!

So, what the solution? First, an enormous amount of grace towards ourselves and our families. Second, reading and meditating on God’s word and truth. And finally, reminders that encourage us daily, rooted in God’s word, both practical and spiritual.

 

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And that’s what this freebie is all about. Practical and spiritual reminders for us ladies to have a happy and willing heart when it comes to loving and serving our homes.

You can download these Grace-filled Reminders For The Lady Of The House here and display them all over your home. I hope they’re a blessing to you and your home ❤

Fall Decor Challenge

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With the fall season being here, I’m drawn to my home more than ever. My focus becomes creating an atmosphere that feels welcoming and cozy. The pumpkins start rolling out. Get-togethers invitations start to ramp up. And holiday plans start to take flight.

Along with all these amazing things comes some anxiety and worry. I start to think of all the things I need and don’t have. I start to see where I’m lacking and try to find ways to fill in the gaps.

Home is meant to bring peace and rest.

The endless need for more and new and shiny turns home into a chore and worse of all, a way to show off to your friends how Insta worthy your home can be.

It makes me sick to admit that. But perhaps I’m not the only one who feels this way.

As the year starts to come to an end, I start to think of the goal I set out at the beginning of the year. That goal was to go back to the basics. And I’d like to end 2018 strong, fully embracing simplicity and what really matters.

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What really matters isn’t having the picture-perfect fall table setting or the most decorated front porch.

So what’s my fall decor challenge for 2018? Simplicity and generosity.

This fall season, I’ve made a decision to not purchase a single new decor item. I will repurpose, reuse, reinvent, recreate from what I have. Pretty simple and pretty inexpensive.

I’m fully aware that somethings will have to stay the same and will not be redecorated for fall. Something may not match the season! AHHH! That makes the designer in me cringe… A LOT.

And I’ll probably cry a little when I have to go to Michaels. But it won’t kill me. And a little self-restraint never hurt nobody 😉

Instead, I’ll steward my resources for things that bring more value to my life. Like connecting with new friends, going on a special date with my hubby, saving for unexpected expenses, or giving to someone else who’s in need.

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Those trade-offs might not make my home look refreshed, but they will create opportunities for my heart and soul to be refreshed.

The pressure is off. Perfect is boring. And having more isn’t always the answer.

QUESTION: how will you make your home feel cozy and fall-ready this year? Are you going for simplicity or are you pulling out all the stops?


“But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” (Matthew 6:33)

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things, there is no law.” (Galatians 5:22-23)

“Am I trying to win the approval of men, or God? Or am I trying to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a servant of Christ” (Galatians 1:10)

“Your beauty should not come from outward adornments such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes. Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight” (1 Peter 3:3-4)

5 Honest Questions And Answers On How To Cultivate Our Friendships

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These are my sisters, Monica and Olga. To me, they’re Mimi and Tata. Not pictured is our crazy/fun big brother, Fernando. Or as we like to call him, Chico. I love the unique friendships I have with each one of them. This post goes out to my #1s: Mimi, Tata, and Chico ❤

Friendships are difficult to nurture and cultivate. In all honesty, the area in my life that I’m constantly thinking about, trying to make better, and evaluating is the area of friendship.

Today, on #NationalBestFriendDay, I’m just going to share questions I’ve had myself (and even googled lol) about friendship and what I believe God’s truth tells us about them. Alrighty, here it goes…

1. Should I “break up” with a toxic friend?

I guess it depends what we consider toxic. Personally, I believe someone is toxic when they steer you in the wrong direction. When you feel like you have to compromise who you are around them. I also believe toxic friends are people considered “frienemies”. Also known as people who act nice but behind closed doors hurt their friends (gossip, slander, rival, covet, envy, etc) or use them for selfish ambition (See James 3:16).

I’ve come to the conclusion, that YES, I should break up with these people. If they lead me away from Jesus, if I feel comfortable doing the wrong stuff around them, if there’s clear indication that they’re envious or deceitful, then it’s time to “break up”.

When I think of what Jesus came to earth to give us–freedom, abundance, life–none of the above things equal that.

Which leads perfectly to…

2. How do I deal with comparison, competition, and jealousy amongst my friends?

Keeping the last question in mind, sometimes they’re just going through their own struggles in life. We live in a world that tells us we need to keep up, we need to be better, we need to have it all.

I’ve come to terms with the reality that only God knows people’s true intentions. So if I’m on the receiving end of comparison or competition or jealousy and this person is a good friend and is simply going through a personal struggle, I will give them the benefit of the doubt. I will try to find out what’s going on in their life. I won’t make assumptions.

And if I’m the one feeling all these ugly emotions, I will work diligently to repent, give them up to God and ask Him to help me celebrate my friends. I will ask for His joy. I will ask Him to protect my heart and friendships. I learned this important lesson from our struggle with infertility and seeing loads of my friends become moms. Believing that God will work ALL things together for my good (see Romans 8:28), has helped me understand that who I am, what I have, and what I do, right at this moment, is enough.

3. Friends, best friends, close friends, what is the difference?! And why is it such a big deal?

I think we’re called to love everyone. No, we won’t have intimate relationships with everyone. And some relationships change with time. I truly want to avoid putting people in categories. I do it all the time and it’s just not healthy. If you’re my friend and I’m yours there’s no further validation needed. I will be there for you. I will love you. I will be there for the good and bad. We’re called to love our neighbor. Regardless of how close or not we are to them. (See John 13:34).

4. Why is this person pushing me away?

I’ve noticed that the people I push away or avoid are always the people that bring the most wisdom and value to my life. They are the ones that give me tough love. They are the people who give it to me how it is. They are the people who aren’t afraid to call me out and stretch me.

Why are we so weird? I heard this great line in a movie the other day. The lead character said, “when you see certain people, you just can’t pretend anymore. Because they know you. The real you. And maybe that’s why you avoided seeing them for so long”.

I’ve totally been there. And I’ve also been the neglected friend. Both sides suck. And can really damage a relationship. BUT, it’s never too late to make things right. As children of God, we are called to be reconcilers. Not grudge keepers. (See Ephesians 4:32. Also here’s a great passage to determine HOW to do reconcile the right way: Matthew 18: 15-17).

5. Why am I being rejected and left out?

When this thought pops into my head, I’ll be honest, I’ll let it linger and linger and linger. But every time I bring this to God he reminds me that those thoughts are lies. I am NOT rejected or left out. He has already picked me, made me worthy, accepted me, and I am loved by Him (See Ephesians 1:4-6).

In bringing this to God, I usually feel the Holy Spirit ask me why I so desperately need to be accepted and recognized by people? It’s good to feel loved and known by others. But it shouldn’t be something we depend on.

We won’t always be friends with the people we think we “should” be friends with. We won’t always be accepted by people. We won’t always “mesh” with the group of people we long to connect with. But we can rest assured that God knows who we need in our lives. And He is directing our steps towards the right people (See Proverbs 16:9).

Well, that’s all for now

That was a lot, actually. And if you got to this point, THANK YOU SO MUCH for reading all of it. And I hope you’re encouraged. And since today is #nationalbestfriendday, why don’t you send this to ALL your friends. Or simply let them know you care.

P.S. Go to my Instagram Story today and enjoy some free sharable templates I created. I’ll also add them to my highlights just in case you miss them. They’re meant for you and your friends to connect and have fun together. ENJOY 🙂