Life Lesson: You Are Diamonds

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My message for mothers and woman today is don’t cheapen yourself on the account of others. I can’t tell you how important it is as a wife and mother to know your self-worth. Having a high standard of self-worth produces high self-esteem, confidence, and self-respect that is too precious to trade in or exchange. A confident woman doesn’t allow abusive relationships to define their self-worth. A self-respecting wife won’t force herself to die in her marriage but find ways to thrive with or without her spouse. A confident mom lives, breathes and nurtures her children with power and strength because she fears nothing.

Living like a diamond forces life to back off and let you shine. Life of an assured woman means not stopping at the no’s and you can’t’s that’s always being thrown in your face. Having confidence in how God created you births tenacity and a persevering spirit that can overcome anything. Having confident isn’t about being puffed up or arrogant but being content with the gifts, strengths, and flaws that God has given each of us to work with. I’m certainly not here to promote bragging or pride but to share with you the freedom in being a strong diamond of a gal.

So I hope after my elaborate introduction you’re asking yourself, “Well, how do I live a diamond?”

  1. By accepting that God loves you.

If you don’t believe God is real, that Jesus Christ died for our sins and rose again then there isn’t much I can do for you. True confidence doesn’t appear within ourselves but it comes from the almighty Creator. The big G-O-D himself made us his top priority and wanted us to have nothing short of the best. Believing is just the beginning. You have to live, breathe, sleep and eat with the truth that God values us all. Why would you not accept all that love? Realize that God loves you permanently!

2. Living with love in your heart for others.

You want that confidence in your walk, that glow of the holy spirit upon your life you have to live your life through the lenses of love. Everything you go through — He loves me — so it has to work out. Even when friends, family, and strangers try to deter you from believing — act in love. Having a rich, quality lifestyle doesn’t just come from working hard on behalf of yourself but going the extra mile for someone else. Luke 6:31 and 35 say to do to others what you want to be given to you. If you want love in life then love others freely without looking for anything in return.

3. Saying goodbye to insecurities by reading the Word of God.

This is the best way to feed your faith and starve your doubts. If you’ve been dealing with insecurities, baggage from the past and past pain then open a Bible! There are scriptures after scriptures that will boost your soul into the confident, God-fearing woman you are destined to be. Philippians 1:6 will tell you that he started something great inside you and he won’t stop until it’s completed. And if you are reading this with doubt in your heart, just know that you aren’t confident that Proverbs 3:26 says that God will be your confidence and he will keep you.

And the amazing part of this…there is so much more. Unlock all that God is waiting to give in your life. Live with assurance that God desires you, he wants the best for and he hates to see his diamond get scuffed up or damaged. Celebrate your one-of-a-kind design and witness God accomplish great things in your life. Don’t shy away from all that God is calling for you to have.

 

Month of Motherhood: You Are A Masterpiece

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Yay! It’s finally here….almost here I should say: Mother’s Day! The coveted day where all things mom and motherhood gets it’s deserved recognition. Even though moms should automatically get the breakfast in bed and the bouquet of flowers every day we understand that trying to wine and dine us for our mothering feats will take forever.

I’m so happy to be one of the millions of woman known for being fearless, loving and strong. Whether you are a stay-at-home mom always packing lunches for the kids or the hard-working mother that slays in the boardroom — I want this month to be filled with posts encouraging you, strengthing you, and reminding you how amazing it is to be a mom!  And not to exclude all the amazing woman — those aunties, sisters, cousins, babysitters, singles.. you have kids or none at all this is your month to shine too! So for all my mothers, it’s the month of Motherhood and for all non-moms, it’s the Month of Womanhood!

I’m devoting a blog post every week to reminding mothers and woman in general that no matter what, no matter who….you are an original masterpiece! That’s right, Ephesians 2:10 says,

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Whether you agree or not, all of our stories began with the Word of God, with God thinking about us and creating us. He didn’t just create us, he envisioned us a life for us filled with opportunities, victories, hardship, and His love. God didn’t hastily throw us and all our uniqueness at the last minute. He didn’t rush and guess at our potential, strength, weaknesses, and capabilities. He took the time, energy and commitment to creating a work of art that’s more valuable than any amount of bad days, horrible relationships or dead-end end jobs that try to take away the treasure he placed within us.

I am valuable because he made my life worth it when He died on the cross. He refused to give up one me and you when he rose from the grave three days later. He went above and beyond because we are His masterpiece. Live like a masterpiece, carry with you that passion and drive he gave you. Don’t ever let life diminish your resolve to rise up. God knows who we really are and who we can truly become. Embrace it!

 

LifeLesson: Having The Right Perspective Changes Everything

 

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Handling life’s problems can bring the best and worst of times. Hands down it develops genuine character in you that you will appreciate for years to comes. It births wisdom, compassion, integrity, strength, and understanding to weather more life storms.  But, I can personally tell you how difficult it is to believe that you’ll make it on top. Yes, a problem is a problem no matter how you spin it. But what makes a problem turn into a solution: your outlook, your determination not to give up, and your faith in God.

When I was younger, stress would always be a boost of determination for me. If I was stressing about school, it would push me to focus more and increase my discipline in my studies. If I was worried about not making the cut then it would push me harder to reach my goals. But, now I’m a little older, have more responsibility and the weight of being a wife and mother can be…stressful.

Life can be really messy. With every step you take toward your future, it can sometimes involve unexpected twists and turns that can lead you farther away from your goals or keep you at a standstill. It’s so easy to forget about all the good in our lives when bad stuff come. It’ doesn’t matter what causes it, just that we want it all to be solved and over now. Whenever you focus on the bad instead of the good, it wipes away the possibilities of hope and you end up with a perfect recipe for giving up.

Personally, I hate it when my back is against the wall, I can’t see no way out and I’m overwhelmed because it instantly sprouts doubt. My life is no longer that of a 13-year-old girl worrying about my grades and chores. So, neither should my perspective. I can no longer think, create, or analyze situations based on the results of my past. Time eventually revealed this to me after years of me going around in circles with certain issues in my life that just wouldn’t change. It wouldn’t change because I refused to change my mindset.

I was too stubborn and fearful to renew my mind. Romans 12:2 told me in order to understand what God wants for my life I have to stop doing what others say and change my thinking that brings me closer to Christ. I felt like that wasn’t necessary to overcome obstacles and bad days. I deceived myself to believe that doing the bare minimum would still bring me success. Then, when my way failed, I had the nerve to cry out to God and ask him why I wasn’t successful, why I wasn’t happy. He told me through Philippians 4:8 that thinking about myself and what I want won’t even bring me close to a fulfilled life. That I have to think on the truth, on lovely things, and to have thoughts that give God honor and praise. After learning the hard way one too many times I eventually caved, and time went by and I felt a newness in my heart and mind. But, I wasn’t done. Things began to turn around for me but I started to get impatient, frustrated and worried. I would wonder if I was ever going to get to the top if I was ever going to be satisfied and quickly my bad thinking habits began. But, God told me, vividly and repeatedly that I can’t be anxious about anything but pray continually with supplication, thanksgiving and have faith that God will hear my requests, give me his peace and guard my heart and mind (Philippians 4:6-7).

That was one of the hardest parts of this journey. Even now, it’s still something I daily struggle to maintain. I had to learn to truly have a relationship with God, surrender my thoughts and allow him to protect my heart. Sometimes when I think back on those hard moments I shake my head in disbelief at how difficult I was. Now that I see how much better it is to trust God in all my ways and to lean on his understanding I feel like so much of my time has been wasted. But then, I stop and realize that thinking about the time wasted instead of all the time I still have, opportunities I still have to gain is finally living life with clear, healthy, godly perspective. I have to remind myself of how loving God was and is to me to wait for me to finally get it together and realize that having the right perspective through Him will change everything.

Moment of Truth: Learn From The Past, Grow Toward The Future

year-in-reviewAs I finally turn the page on 2016, I’m amazed at how light and free I feel. Every New Year brings an opportunity to embrace change and total transformation. Whether you choose to welcome it or not is entirely up to you. It can be scary moving forward into uncertainty and leaving familiar behind. But all the life lessons I learned in 2016, I now understand that what God has for me can’t be denied to me. I know with confidence that nothing can force something into my life without God’s permission. It took the whole 2016 year to accept this because for a long time I always doubted if I could make it to today.

For almost three years I was in a very confused and painful place. I was dealing with a painful disappointment, a long separation, and a constant feeling that I would never heal, never be set free. I was terrified of what was to come of the future because everything behind me was so painful and disappointing. It was like a never ending storm cloud constantly following me. I had to learn the hard way that worrying, stressing, and panicking wasn’t going to get me what I desired. The more I focused on my problems, the greater my problems seemed.

invite-god-inThe second I invited God in and kept him was when my heart healed, my way of thinking improved and my situation changed. The more Word I received the more healing I got too. I’m at the place where I understand why I went through all that I went through this year. Granted, it didn’t make going through it any better, just it brought a complete acceptance in my spirit that I was fighting for so long. This 2017 I am living to embrace everything no matter what it is. I can hold hands with destiny without worry. I can say I’m loved by God and not doubt it.

I’m done clinging on to the pain because despite how bad things got, growth, perseverance, and faith came from those bad experiences. With every rise and downfall of 2016, it planted a seed of strength, wisdom, and victory that I am just now seeing in me. 2016 was a year full of fighting, crying, and praying for my blessing. In the struggle of it all, I discovered who I am in Christ and who God is to me. Our relationship has definitely grown in 2016.

God allowed ways to be made in my life that I’m still in awe of. Incredible things happened that I could’ve never accomplished on my own. Life began to not just feel different, but I was different. My biggest life lesson of 2016 is to never stop falling in love with Jesus Christ. To stay in love with him no matter what. Fall in love with Him everyday despite how life is. He is a committed, devoted, ride-or-die kind of God that makes the journey sweeter. Sometimes it’s going to be unpredictable or confusing. But with Christ, there is always a light at the end of the tunnel.

unfailing-loveBy accepting and trusting in Him, he covered me with His love, his assurance, and grace. From there, troubles came and it didn’t knock me down to the ground. My relationship with God and how I viewed my problems changed for the better. I learned to look past the problem, circumstances, and draw near to God. Every time I stayed in his presence I was transformed. Don’t miss your opportunity to be transformed by the lessons you’ve learned in 2016. Take in the process because it’s the very thing that will change your life forever.

In 2016 I learned to stop carrying the past in order to move forward. I’ve learned that death is a gift. Death is unavoidable. Death forces us to stop and change. It reminds us that all things must come to end so new things can begin. Whether I liked it or not, I had a lot of moments where I had to die. Whether it was putting my selfish habits to rest, ceasing my negative behavior, or changing how I respond to situations. I’ve learned that people and things are just that and nothing more. I can’t live my life counting solely on who I have in my life and what I have. No, I have to have confidence in God alone.

In 2017 I’m giving all that I have to God. I will no longer allow what has happened to determine my tomorrows. I believe life is all about giving it all you got. What better way than to give your all to God. I learned that when I give God all of me that’s when I can expect the most unexpected blessings to occur in my life. The more I focused on myself, the further I  was away from God’s plan for me. In this moment, looking back I see and feel so much growth. I fought to become who I am. I fought to have days where I can smile. And what makes me smile the hardest is that God fought right beside me. I realize that every step of the way He was right beside me. Whether I held his hand or ran away, he was there keeping me.

This lets me know that in 2017 that He will still be right there alongside me. Who I was at the start of 2016 is not who I intend to be in 2017. When I look in the mirror I see a stronger, sassier, improved version of myself. It’s an indescribable feeling that no amount of bad could hold me back. It’s a new year, a new day, and a new me!

What I Love About Our Daughter

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Being a wife and mother has given me so many joyous moments and some grievous ones too. Through the good and bad days, I never stop enjoying being her mom. Especially when the bad days seemingly last longer than the good. Watching her grow up has been sensational. I still can’t believe I carried her for nine months! When bad days come and tantrums never end, I remind myself why I love being her mom.

All children are precious but none can compare to mine. When I found out I was pregnant, I didn’t believe that I would have a baby. Those nine months were filled with expectation and anxiety. We had absolute no idea what kind of child we were getting. When it was time for our child to arrive, I was calm even in the midst of the pain. Out of all the babies in the world, I got to keep this one. When the doctors gave her to me, everything was complete. From the start, she belonged to us and it makes being her mother so sweet.

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Every day she shines with energy and kindness just like her father and me. She is loud, funny, silly, sweet, loving, caring, protective and friendly. Inside of her is all the qualities that showed me why I can’t resist her even on a bad day. I’m never ashamed of being her mother because she is worth it. The more time I spend with her, the more I realize a young woman is developing right in front of us. Whenever she makes me laugh, it gives me strength to stand taller, smile bigger, and love harder. Our daughter always reminds me to keep the fire alive in my life. She knows how to get my attention and isn’t afraid to give me wet sloppy kisses and warm hugs.elizabeth we love you.pngI sometimes can’t believe how blessed I am that I get to mother, love, nurture and care for this ball of cuteness. Though all children are special and precious, it’s an added scoop of sprinkles because she came from my husband and me. She is the product of God’s love. It makes me smile knowing that God thought that our lives could get so much better so he gave us her. I thank God that he gives me enough strength, patience, wisdom, and love to guide this little girl. I can’t imagine mothering any other child but her.

Life Lesson: Motherhood Will Change You

 

29309_422351732151_3645403_nBefore Elizabeth…

My life revolved around what I wanted, how I planned on getting ahead and how good I was going to look doing it. I wasn’t self-absorbed, just every decision I made mainly benefited me. When I went to work for long hours it was so I could get money. Whenever I got my paycheck I divided my funds to take care of needs and desires for me. When I spent time with friends it was so I could have fun. My alone time consisted of studying, reading, writing, listening to music, shopping, and just relaxing. I wasn’t bound by heavy obligations or responsibilities. My money, time, and energy were dedicated to me.

 

Psalm 127:3 says, “Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward.”

IMG_1009After Elizabeth…

My days revolve around her. Now my priority is what she needs, what she wants, and how we are going to provide, care and love her. Being a mother (and wife) changed me to be self-less. My mornings involved feeding her, changing her, entertaining her. My afternoons involved feeding her, changing her, playing with her, and keeping her safe and clean. My nights involved feeding her, changing her, fighting to get her PJs on, and rocking her to sleep.

Not to sound like a broken record but my life from now on is filled with Elizabeth. When she is fast asleep I stay awake trying to cram everything I need or want all while still thinking of her. Motherhood is the only thing in life that can make or break you.

Here’s the good part…

I love being her mother! Though I miss having more free time for myself (and husband), I know I cashed in and won the jackpot. Sometimes I cry a little when I carry a baby bag more than a designer but knowing that my daughter is taken care is comforting. I’d sacrifice my style for her any day. Being a mother shows me how much God loves me.

Whenever Elizabeth is hurt or sad, I instantly want to run to her rescue and comfort her. Just like God, he is never standing on the sidelines watching us in pain but is squirming in heaven on his throne to run down and comfort us. When he died on the cross and rose again He demonstrated his “motherly” eagerness to keep us safe, loved, and free. Sometimes Elizabeth tries to do a “no-no” willingly. Whether trying to touch something dangerous or picking strange objects off the floor; I run to her with that same god-like eagerness because I love her. I love God more now that I’m a mother because I understand and appreciate his love for me. I don’t take for granted his affection, his warnings and teachings because I understand now that I’m in a similar position with my child. I get giddy because although I love my daughter very much, I can never love her the way God loves us!

Moment of Truth: A Letter To Myself 2016

 

Dear Victoria,

It’s the New Year so quit playing around. There are some things we need to address before you become successful. I love you too much to make the same mistakes from last year. I especially will not tolerate another second of you second-guessing us. Don’t worry, I’ve brought a hefty insurance policy on you in case you bail on me.

One thing you need to keep in this year is your love and passion for God. Don’t EVER let your responsibilities and privileges push Jesus Christ aside. No more, “In a minute God” or “I’ll do it later, Lord.” God loves us too much for you to keep pushing him away. Without him, you have nothing! Remember that!

Swallow your pride and love your husband. Yes, I know he can be a bit “team too much” but you decided to marry him anyway, so deal with it. Laugh at his corny jokes, never stop forgiving him when he messes up and ALWAYS pray for him. I mean when he is good and bad! Pray when you have nothing else better to do. The man needs it! You both do! Keep your love for your husband high and your respect for him higher. I better not hear you being mean!

I don’t have to tell you, but love your daughter! She is spectacular. She is everything a mother could ask for. Trust me. Play with her and be an example that you want her to follow. Model Christ in front of her always. Teach her how to be the woman and wife you are still striving to be. Make sure she is a lady. Try not to spank her too much!

Lastly, smile. Don’t worry about what tomorrow will bring. Actually, enjoy the moment for a change. I’m serious, enjoy your 20s because you rarely do. Be strong, confident, and sweet. Make sure you always have enough pens in your purse. And never give up! I’ll be checking in on you so you better stay sober (1 Peter 5:8). Make sure you never, ever stop writing. There isn’t enough room in your head for another story, plot twist, or play.

Love Always,

The Tougher Side of Me

Life Lesson: Follow God’s Word

 

Proverbs 21:5 says, “The plans of the diligent lead surely to abundance, but everyone who is hasty comes only to poverty”.

This year I don’t want to doubt, worry, or stress. I want to have complete confidence in God’s plan for my life. I want to wake up, pray and hustle. I want to busy myself with getting deeper in my relationship with God, my husband, and friends. I have spent far too long of my time living unsatisfied. I’ve pushed back passions and dreams long enough. I have ideas and plans that I want to glorify God with. I don’t even want to hear the word “limit” unless it refers to unlimited. My goals for this year is to live, eat, sleep the Word of God in all aspect of my life. I have so much I want to go and a God who can do it for me. Before I share my goals, here is a list of scriptures that will determine my success. I am laying the Word of God before me — before I make any concrete decisions, moves, or actions.

Proverbs 3:6 says, “In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.

Habakkuk 2:2-3 says, “And the Lord answered me, and said, Write the vision, and make it plain upon tables, that he may run that readeth it. For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end, it shall speak, and not lie: though it tarries, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry.”

James 4:13-15 says, “Go to now, ye that say, Today or tomorrow we will go into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain: Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away. For that ye ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that.”

As many goals and dreams, I have locked  up inside me, submitting them to God is the most important. Humbly set goals and recognize that God controls our destiny.

Psalm 37:4-5 says, “Delight thyself also in the Lord; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart. Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in him, and he shall bring it to pass.

And realize that as amazing as you think your or my dreams are, they are nothing compared to how grand God’s plan for our lives are (Isaiah 55:8-11).

I don’t know about you, but I am excited. With these scriptures and words of wisdom, my dreams have no choice to submit and soar. I would love for you to share your goals, quotes, motivational phrases you have for this year. Even better, leave a link to your 2016 goals and I will feature them! Make them count!