The Arrested Heart Prayer

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Life can change in a matter of minutes. Jesus was praised and worshiped on a Sunday and betrayed and killed by Friday. Somethings happen that don’t make sense. And even when life is going pretty good, we can grow weary and discontent. When life happens, I pray that our response would be to run to our Father.

Maybe you’re the midst of chaos, turmoil, and uncertainty. Or maybe life is okay but you long for more. Jesus knows it, felt it, and overcame it. No matter the turn of events, the bumps in the road, or the monotony of life, because of Jesus we are victors.

My prayer this Easter is for my heart to be arrested by God. To be taken over, bound up, and hidden in Him. By faith, I know that if my heart’s tied to His, I’ll be able to navigate all the storms, valleys, mountain tops, so-so moments, and dry seasons in life.

My Easter Prayer for you & me:

“Lord, when life doesn’t make sense and bad things happen, arrest my heart to your Word, that I may cling to it and declare it over my life.

Lord, when I’m hurt, tired, and worn out, when it seems like the wells run dry, arrest my heart to your presence, that I may come alive and be washed over by Your Spirit.

Lord, when I’m scared and anxious, arrest my heart to your peace, that I may sleep through the night and feel your presence all around.

Lord, when my hope has come to an end, arrest my heart to the hope there is in Christ, that I may be reminded of my purpose and the plan you have for my life.

Lord, when nothing can satisfy me and I thirst for more, arrest my heart to your Spirit, that I may have rivers of living water flowing from within.

Lord, arrest my heart to yours, that I may see things as you do, and walk in your will all the days of my life.”

I hope you have a wonderful Easter weekend, remembering Jesus. He is real, He is alive, and He’s coming back again. I pray you’d be reminded of the wonderful plan and purpose He has for your life.

6 Awesome ways to Celebrate Galentine’s Day this Year

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What is Galentine’s day, you ask? Well if you’re a Parks and Recreations fan, you might already know.

But if you aren’t, and this is news to you, like it was to me, Galentine’s day is the day before Valentine’s day and it’s all about women celebrating women. And I think we need more of that these days.

In the Latin culture, Valentine’s day is “El dia de el amor y la amistad”. Meaning, a day to celebrate love and friendship. And I grew up celebrating it that way. It wasn’t until I was passed my awkward teenage stage, that I started having a “Valentine”. So I’m all for celebrating with girlfriends on Galentine’s day.

Why not celebrate the smart, wise, and strong women in your life that make you who you are?

Here are 6 awesome ways to celebrate with your closest girls:

  • Send them snail mail
    No emails, no texts, no Instagram posts. Send them a nice note through the mail. Let them know you value their friendship. Something tangible is much more meaningful.
  • Give them flowers
    Do you have any friends that are single? Maybe this is the only gift they’ll get. And who doesn’t like flowers?
  • Make a collage
    A real collage not an app generated collage. Something she can hang on her wall.
  • Give her a framed artwork (like the ones on the Styld by Grace Etsy Shop)
    Frame a motivational, fun, silly, or inspiring word/quote that she can hang.
  • Volunteer to help her with errands
    If she has kids, she will thank you so much for this.
  • Organize a girls night in
    No makeup, no phones, no heels. Just the girls, messy buns, wine glasses, and some chick flicks. Oh, and popcorn.

Cheers to celebrating your gal pals this Valentine’s season! 

Meaningful Relationships and Messy Homes

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“A friend is someone with whom you dare to be yourself”. -Frank Crane

It’s interesting to me that many of the young women I talk to say they desire to have closer and more meaningful friendships. I can relate to that on many levels because it hasn’t always been easy for me to get close to my girlfriends. It definitely has taken me time and many failed attempts, to understand how to have meaningful relationships. What is it that stops us from making genuine connections with others? Is it our social media crazy society? Are we isolating ourselves more than we think? Or is it a lack of understanding on the importance of having relationships that mold us and empower us? Maybe we fear being rejected or neglected?

Perhaps it’s a combination of all those things. What I do know is that in order to form meaningful friendships you must be willing to be honest and vulnerable. You can’t expect someone to trust you, when you can’t trust them to see you for who you are.

I grew up in a household that was meticulously clean. My mom is the most organized person I know. She is so organized, that she could see the wrinkles underneath the comforter if I had made my bed in a rush. I never really understood what the big deal was until I started living on my own. The way you present yourself, your home, your work, says a lot about your character and what is important to you as an individual. When there are guests over our home, I make sure my home is clean, organized and welcoming. It’s part of being a good hostess.

But the problem begins when we get so caught up in perfection, that we forget to be ourselves. We forget that as imperfect beings, it is fine to not have it all together. How else will we be able to relate to each other, if we can’t let others see us when our “home” is a little messy? I admire people who can be themselves around anyone. I have friends that have taught me, just by being themselves, that it’s okay to be a work in progress.

If we want stronger and more meaningful friendships, we must be willing to let people see the ugly, too. Being vulnerable with others, frees them to be themselves as well. It’s risky to do that, but the rewards are endless.

A couple years ago, I was struggling with letting people into my personal life. I was very close to my sisters and family, but lacked other meaningful friendships outside of my family unit. My husband, who I was dating at the time, had friends in his life that he’d known for a very long time. He grew up with them and still had them in his life. I understood the importance of having women in my life that could relate to me and understand me on a level that perhaps someone many years older than me couldn’t.

There was a time in my life that I had many close friends. Lack of wisdom put me in situations that I didn’t know how to handle. Instead of being honest with myself and my friends, I isolated myself and lied to them about how I truly felt. Instead of breaking off a relationship, I stayed in it because I was too afraid to be honest and confront the truth. But how could I begin to let people into my life after being hurt and hurting others?

My sister told me something I will never forget: she said, “You just have to know who you can let into your home, who you can let onto your porch and who will simply walk on the sidewalk of your home”. She explained that the people you let into your home are people you can trust to see the good AND the bad. Those are people you know you can be vulnerable with and will not judge you or gossip about you. The people you let into your “home” are people who will tell you what you need to hear not what you want to hear. The people who you let onto your porch are people you are close to, but know you cannot share every part of your life with. For whatever reason, whether it’s for their sake or yours, you know it’s best to keep deep, personal matters from them. And the people on the sidewalk are people who you know will hurt and damage you. You will still love them and care for them, but they cannot have access to any of your personal matters. Those are people who are toxic and do not edify your life.

Slowly but surely, I have learned to be vulnerable and open up in my relationships. I’ve learned that being honest, as hard as it is, prevents you and others from being hurt. Being open also helps us determine who we can really trust as a confidant. Have there been times that I’ve been let down? Absolutely! But I get back up and keep being myself. Building meaningful relationships will force us to reveal our imperfections, our questions, our doubts and insecurities. We shouldn’t let the fear of being rejected or misunderstood, hinder us from nurturing the genuine relationships God intended us to have. The people God places in our lives, to make us better and mold us, will take the good and the bad. They will be willing to listen and speak in the appropriate times. We just have to be willing to open up our “homes” (hearts) to them, even when it’s a little messy inside.

So, what are some practical steps to take in order to having meaningful and genuine relationships?
1. Pray for wisdom to know who are the people in your life that you should be in your “home”, your “porch” and your “sidewalk.
2. Be willing to show your true friends who you are. Don’t hide the truth about what’s going on in your life. Allow them to BE a friend. Many times God uses the people around us to speak truth into our lives.
3. Schedule time to hang out with your friends. Reach out to them regularly and make sure they know you care about them and what’s going on in their lives.

“Friends come and friends go, but a true friend sticks by you like family.” Proverbs 18:24 MSG

“A spoken reprimand is better than approval that’s never expressed. The wounds from a lover are worth it; kisses from an enemy do you in.” Proverbs 27:5-6 MSG

Have you ever experiences a time when you felt you needed meaningful relationships in your life? What are some practical steps you took to have them?

Confessions of a Newlywed

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Marriage is like a mirror; it reveals who you really are.

Growing up as the youngest of four and having my parents to myself for most of my life, I have a tendency to be selfish and self-centered. For a really long time, it was all about me, my needs and my wants. God has been challenging me in this area through different situations and scenarios. I’ve cried, thrown tantrums and been mad at God for it.

God has tested me over and over to break that chain of selfishness in me, but I never imagined that marriage would be my turning point. Now that I am married, there’s no room for selfishness. I can’t be mad over stupid things anymore, I can’t think of myself first, and I can’t complain all the time when things don’t go my way.

I have to admit, the first couple of weeks after our honeymoon were rough. I had to get used to being the one serving and not the one being served. I had to get accustomed to sharing every space in our tiny condo. My bed wasn’t mine, it was ours. The bathroom wasn’t mine, it was ours. Like I mentioned in a previous post, I was tempted to be angry and lash out at my husband for the restless nights I had. Honestly, there were times that I was not a nice person to my husband. Edward was so patient, though. Thank God for a patient and loving husband. He knew I’d get out of my funk.

Seven months into marriage and I am starting to settle into my role as a wife and getting better at being selfless. Marriage isn’t just a paper you sign in order to dress like a princess for a day. It is a calling on your life that only God can anoint you for (1 Corinthians 7:7 MSG). I’m grateful that God chose for me to be a wife, because it has made me a better person. It has taught me that I don’t have to “stand up for my rights” as if they are being taken away from me (1 Cor. 7: 2-6 MSG). Serving others, specifically your spouse, is a high calling, not a degrading or lowly chore. Serving my husband has taught me that God desires us to serve Him and others, uninhibitedly.

“And because He knows where I need to be tested, challenged and stretched, He will not allow me to stay in my comfort zone.” -Chrystal Evans Hurst

My comfort zone is to be selfish. My comfort zone is for me to have the last word. But that’s not how God operates. He wouldn’t be a loving Father if He didn’t test us and challenge us to be the people He designed us to be. He knew I needed to humble myself in order to reach a higher level in Him. He knew what had to be broken in order for me to flourish.

Now I realize why marriage is a mirror of the relationship between Christ and the church. It reveals the heart of God and what Christ came to do on earth, and that was to serve and rescue others (Matthew 20: 28). We may not be able to rescue our spouses or those that we give to, but we can serve them and give of ourselves liberally. That’s the kind of person I want to see, when I look in the mirror.

What situation or life change, has God allowed in your life, in order to reveal areas in your life that need to be adjusted or dismantled?

How have the tests and challenges helped you grow spiritually?

5 Floral Accessory Finds

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These are some floral accessories I found in my own closet. No shopping necessary! I’ve had these pieces for a few years, but I haven’t put them to good use in a while.

It’s a smart habit to hold on to statement pieces (big or small), even if you aren’t using them consistently. They will most likely be your “new” go to accessory when you least expect it. What was out of style a few years ago, might be in style now. And what was old yesterday, might be new today.

Repurpose and reuse your accessories. The satisfaction of getting a compliment on an old treasure (with no money spent) is pretty awesome.

Share some of your personal closet finds! How will you use them this summer?