Joy-full Weekend

This weekend was so eventful. Packed with so many great things. I went out with my sister for a Zumba charity fundraiser for a local children's organization. Got to see my nephews & hang out with my sisters. I had a long over due lunch date with a good friend. Dropped off starter kits at church  for the arrival of Refugees that will be arriving in our area. I had great conversations filled with laughter & tears over a delightful dinner with beautiful women. I pushed myself out of my comfort zone to be more intentional at church- catching up with fellow brothers & sisters in Christ.  

There are no words to describe how full my heart is in this current moment. If only I could just make time stand still. I feel as if I'm at the best time in my life right now. Everything feels perfect. It's impossible for perfection though. I know, I know. My weekend was packed to the brim but I don't regret any of it. As I'm typing this, I'm literally struggling to speak. I've somehow lost my voice from this awesome praise worthy weekend. Besides the soreness of my throat, I feel so optimistic & joy-full. 

I do not regret a single thing that I scheduled myself for this weekend. Why? Because every bit of it were the best decisions I could've ever made. To be in commune with people. To fellowship & hear what God is doing in the lives of others. In every moment of my weekend, I was just constantly reminded of God's unfailing love. 

Two big things also occurred this weekend though. Saturday morning I woke up to find out a relative had passed from her battle with Breast Cancer. Then, Sunday after church, Roger & I payed visit to our dear friends who are now new parents! Their baby girl had decided it was her time to make her big appearance into the world. 

From beginning to the end of this weekend, I've just seen God's gracious hands over all the overwhelming events that has happened. God calls us to mourn with those who mourn. But to also celebrate with those who celebrate.

"Rejoice with those who rejoice [sharing others’ joy], and weep with those who weep [sharing others’ grief]." -Romans 12:15 

What a blessing it is to be included in the beautiful picture God is painting with our very own lives. In a moment of grief & sorrow, God also gives us reasons to be joyful & celebrate! There is hope in Him alone. To love as He first loved us is hard. But we can begin following in His compassionate footsteps by asking God to give us His heart. To break our hearts for what breaks His. To love through His eyes. 

When people die, there is so much pain that no one but the Father can comfort. When we face what seems like the darkest season's of our lives, Jesus lights the way for us onto the Hope we can have in Him. When new doors open for us to walk through, fear & anxiety rushes in but God tugs at our hearts & says," Follow Me, & I will lead the way." 

In the midst of all that we face, I pray it may be a reminder to you that from beginning to end, God has everything in the palm of His hands. He is still in full control no matter what you face. He will raise you up & honor you. He will protect you from harm. He will heal the brokenhearted and He will be with you, holding you with a gentle & loving firm hand. 

Such beautiful promises. What ever season you are in right now, I pray that God will surround you with people who will love, embrace, listen, encourage, cry, laugh, celebrate, mourn, & pray with you. When you completely submit to Him, He will provide for you, everything you need. 

Including the very people or community you need to do life with you. 

How was your weekend? What season do you find yourself in right now? 

Who's Your Best Friend?

Roger & I have been married for 10 years now and one thing we've definitely learned is that we need friendship. 2015 was a hard year, I mean, when is life nor marriage not hard? You'll always face new challenges. I wish someone would've told us on our wedding day how important it is to stay friends in your marriage. 

I honestly don't know when we lost that important factor of our marriage, but I guess once marriage happened, it was all about figuring out how to make it through life.We stopped asking questions. Stopped getting to know each other & we began to just conform to this normality of what we thought marriage was supposed to be. A Relational Retirement. 

Last year, Roger & I literally felt like we came to a point where our marriage was going to end. Not because someone cheated or because we didn't get along. Most people I know would probably conclude & compromise at the fact that they "fell out of love" with each other. For us, it was because we didn't feel connected. Here we were, married at this point for 10 years & yet felt more distant than ever. Don't misunderstand, we love each other passionately. But at some point we stopped having conversations & fell into this autopilot setting of just going through the motions of life with no intentionality. 

It really affected us. With lots of prayers & encouragement from a close couple who knew of our struggles, we started pursing our marriage through God's eyes. We started praying for one another & for our marriage. It took time, patience, trust, & courage. Each day we stepped a little closer towards each other in our friendship. Slowly but surely, we started having more in depth conversations. It was like getting to know him all over again. Don't assume that when you get married, your spouse will remain the same person they were from the day you said "I do." 

As we grow in the years of marriage, we also mature over time. God is constantly working through us, changing & challenging us to become the best versions of ourselves to glorify Him. And so, therefore, we have to learn to embrace each others changes as well. I started to learn so many new things about him that I had never known before. And like any relationship, trust had to be nurtured into our marriage. Even though you're married to each other, the enemy knows how to pull you away from one another, influencing you to be secretive & to keep things to yourself. 

I believe that when we unite in a holy matrimony, (a marriage that is set apart from others), we ought to both know each other inside out. To see each other in a way that no other person could. To be so transparent about your life, emotions, struggles, & celebrations. The only other being that should know you so deeply would be God himself. There is something beautiful about becoming "One." In marriage, we get to experience the intertwining of 2 souls & 1 spirit. God himself blesses couples with His Holy Spirit.  Don't ever assume that marriage is only a physical life accomplishment. It's so much more than that. 

Roger & I have learned so much about what God can do through marriage. We asked God to teach us to communicate well, to be open & transparent towards each other & to know how to extend grace & to be able to love one another. He definitely answered us. Little by little, He began to reveal to us, the victory we have in our marriage. God was reigniting our love & friendship towards one another in such a new & fresh way we had never experienced before. 

"The best relationship is when you can act like lovers & bestfriends at the same time."

Don't get me wrong. Girlfriends are a must-have in every woman's life. But to have a best friend in your spouse, it has to be the most amazing & special thing God has every created! So believe me when I say that I know God has bigger plans for your marriage. He knows you desire a relationship with your spouse. If you do, then run to Him. Plead for your marriage. Cry out for your spouse. Go to God on behalf of your marriage & pour out your heart on Him. He WILL answer you. In His will & perfect timing, He will honor you for your faithfulness,not just to your husband, but your faithfulness to Him. 

Are you best friends with your spouse? 

Have you ever thought about praying for your marriage?

Know that in order for our marriages to thrive, we must make sacrifices & invest in them as best possible. 

How can I pray for you and your friendship with your spouse? 

Let me know in the comments. I'd love to pray over you. 

Have a blessed weekend!

My Word for 2016: JoyFull

4 years ago, I stopped making resolutions. Like many other bloggers, I learned that resolutions were just a plan for failure. I'd make vague goals that were a bit impossible & before even hitting the summer, I'd give up on them. Lose weight, be a better ministry leader, read the Bible, and so on & so forth. What I've recently learned is that change doesn't just happen overnight. It takes baby steps. Dreams don't come true if we don't turn them into goals. Goals aren't reached if we don't set deadlines. 

2015 was a great year. A year of challenges, change, &  transformation. I love that with a new year, comes a fresh start for you to create who you want to become. A time to self evaluate and let go of bad habits & make room for improvement on a greater version of ourselves. I've thought it through, & I choose to make 2016 "JoyFull." I want this year to be filled with joy. 

2 "Consider it nothing but joy, my [a]brothers and sisters, 
whenever you fall into various trials. 
Be assured that the testing of your faith [through experience] 
produces endurance [leading to spiritual maturity, and inner peace]."
James 1:2-3 AMP
With everything that I set out to do this year whether big or small, I want to do it with intention &  with joy. I want to love my husband & family well. I want to be present in the relationships that I have. To let go of unnecessary things & hold on to the things that #sparkjoy in my life. To live a life filled with contentment & gratitude. I hope to serve God with all my heart- not giving up on the calling He's placed on my heart. 

Beauty of Barrenness is something God's been directing me towards. I just never found the courage to follow through with it. Call me crazy, but I have this vision of using this platform to inspire & encourage women & couples around the world that either struggle with infertility or are currently facing the storms of barrenness. I want you to not just know but believe that there IS beauty in the barren. God has impressed this truth in my heart so much recently. 

Come along with me & look into my life. Its filled with flaws, imperfections, ugliness, brokenness, confusion, & so many other things that you may be familiar with. But most of all, join me in experiencing Jesus' healing & God's truth that speaks into EVERY area of our emptiness. Here, you will get to know me on a much much more intimate level. I may have things that I share here that my community of people may not even be aware of. But I trust that in my vulnerability & transparency, God will be glorified. He will be my Defender. I believe He honors those who lay their lives down for His glory. 

Walk along this journey with me as we go into the new year. I not only will use this space as a personal blog but also a creative outlet for me to share with you my daily shenanigans, adventures, & hobbies. I love life and the entirety of it. Style, fashion, health, crafts, home, you name it. I'm officially giving you a front row ticket into my life. And as I type these words out, my heart is beating faster & faster. I'm nervous, anxious, & to be honest, a bit scared. But I'm not going to let fear get in the way of what God is doing. 

What is your word for the year? What are your dreams & goals? Have you taken time to sit down & set deadlines to take you another step closer to reaching those goals? Comment below & tell me about it!

Happy New Year!