I Am #YoungMomStrong

Screenshot (27).png

I am so excited! I am so happy I connected with Courtney Lynn Howell. She is one amazing young mom! Go read her story about her journey to motherhood. Motherhood & Main is a beautiful, awe-inspiring website for young moms to come and connect and gain love and support. When I first saw her site I was blown away. Her small beginnings brought her to such high heights of accomplishments. I highly recommend you going to her website and see for yourself!

I am so grateful that she decided to feature me in her #YoungMomStrong series. If you don’t believe me go see for yourself…Click Here! I was jumping up in down with excitement. I have probably clicked the link a thousand times and shared it two thousand times. There are plenty of outstanding young mothers before me that you should read as well.

This is why I love blogging. If you haven’t started your own cool blog don’t wait another second. I get to be apart of a world filled with amazing mothers and women. Each one of us may talk about the same thing or topic but we all say it differently. We all have our own voice and style. I also love how I don’t feel the need to compete with them either. We, young moms, gotta stick together!

 

]

Moment of Truth: Did You Think It Would Be Easy?

I’m not going to lie, I thought it would be. I was hoping I would jump out and start flying. I was naïve to think because I’m saved and I have God on my side that everything will magically work. The scriptures say, “Everything will work for my good.”(Romans 8:28) I literally thought everything except me would work and I would reap all the benefits. Growing up has taught me that even though God is on my side, I still have a part to do.

Bad habits are hard to quit! When I got married and had a baby I believed that life would only get better. I have a great man who loves me and a beautiful daughter that I’m proud of. I thought because I was saved and he was saved that we would always enjoy marital bliss. I didn’t disregard the work but I didn’t acknowledge how hard it would be. To be honest, I don’t know what I was thinking. Marriage comes with ups and downs. Marriage comes with good and bad.

So, a couple of days ago Dave and I were arguing. To be honest, we usually argue so it’s not a surprise. I don’t even remember what it was about or who started it. Sometimes arguing with my husband is irritating and other times are just hilarious. You know when you are in the heat of the moment and you’re so angry you speak before you think. Your words come out but don’t sound right and the person you’re arguing with looks at you crazy like, “What in the world you talking about?” I have been there so many times with my husband and every time we find a way to work it out.

Whenever Dave and I fuss or argue about something my mind instantly reverts back to Hosea and Gomer. In the bible, there is a book called Hosea that talks about this incredible love story between God, Israel, Hosea, and Gomer. At that time Israel was in chaos, doing her thing, being big and bad. God was heartbroken and fed up with their mess and told them that they’re going to suffer for their actions. God used the life and marriage of Hosea to demonstrate and prophesy what will happen to Israel. Most importantly, he used this man and wife as an example of how much he still loves them. Incredible right! Gomer started out as a faithful wife and mother but lost her love for her husband. She started to have promiscuous sex with other men, bore children by these affairs and eventually ran off with the man she deemed her “soul mate.” She embarrassed Hosea, broke his heart and ran over it until it was in a million pieces.

But, here’s the twist: When Hosea heard his wife got dumped, had debt, and was currently on the slave market for slave his response was crazy. I mean, most people would have laughed bitterly, screamed out, “that’s what she deserves;” but instead he ran to her, paid her debt, cleaned her up, and took his baby home.

Now, I’m not saying my husband drives me crazy enough to cheat. But whenever friction is between Dave and me, my mind automatically goes to Hosea and Gomer. I don’t know if Hosea and Gomer had similar marital problems or not. I’m not even sure how they communicated, but it warms my heart whenever I argue with David because it challenges me to love him unconditionally. It’s hard for us to love someone unconditionally because we were fashioned to favor conditions. As long as he treats me right then I will love and respect him. As long as she gives me booty then I will treat her like a queen. It is very hard to love someone flaws and all, mistakes and lies without expecting anything in return.

One particular day I was looking up new scriptures to help me better love my spouse and I was led to Hosea and Gomer. I read the entire book and was blow away at the dramatic, awe-inspiring love. I mean I was surprised at the intensity of their love. You think you only see it in movies, but right before my eyes, God was showing me how much he loves me. Only God can love me unconditionally. No matter how many times I mess up, fall, lie, act selfish, ignore him, treat him and others wrong, he is always waiting to run and clean me up and take me home. My God loves me so much that he will even throw in some conditions just to make me think that I’m doing something to earn his love. You don’t believe me! In the bible, the Lord tells Israel that if you keep my commandments that He will be with him forever (Leviticus 26)! God already promised them over and over that he is their God, he is their guide, their king but he holds them accountable. God doesn’t want fake, forced love but the real thing (John 15). Even though we could never earn his love, he sets it up so we can still receive his love. That is amazing.

Moment of Truth: I’m God’s Beloved

“You are my passion, My one desire, You Lord, Only You lord, Only You!”

 I felt that others saw me as ordinary compared to my brother. Maybe they did and maybe they didn’t. I should have been focused on how much God saw me. He told me I am his original masterpiece (Ephesians 2:10). He makes me special and never forgets us. I am God’s adopted child (John 1:12). I belong to God (1 Corinthians 6:19-20). There are so many scriptures of love, encouragement, and uplifting for anyone who feels unappreciated, disrespected, or alienated. In 1 Corinthians 12:4-6; 14-18 lists all the wonderful and many gifts that anyone of us could do for Christ. Don’t think about your flaws and think about how God thinks about you. If you ever have a low moment just think on these:

  • God knew me in my mother’s womb (Jeremiah 1:5). He saw my potential, passions and my destiny.
  • As odd or insignificant you may feel, you were created on purpose with purpose!
  • Follow your dreams despite all odds. Don’t allow judgments of others birth bitterness.
  • Follow your passion, figure out what you love to do – what you were made to do and never look back.
  • Don’t forget Jesus! He created you in his own image and knows every little detail about you. He is the only creator that knows how to make you really shine brightly. When you include Christ, you include the “shine”.
  • Be willing to take the next step forward. Don’t just dream of it but do it.
  • God will complete the good work He started in you – Philippians 1:6
  • Don’t put dreams on hold in favor of practicality. God promises to supply our every need.

The truth is that listening to God is tremendously tough. God is perfect and we are imperfect. God is not bound by limits while we are limited. When you don’t trust God’s plan – you instead take matters into your own hands. I know I didn’t always receive his love and the gift he wanted me to have. It’s much easier to sin and live selfishly than humble ourselves and accept his way. But our lives are better when we obey God and live freely. Without God, living our dreams is impossible. Without God, you set yourself up for failure. Failure is never the goal, but God can still use it for you to learn, grow, and change (James 1:3; Romans 5:3-4…).

God gives us strength and protection when we’re vulnerable to criticism from people. No one likes being laughed at or scorned. But with Christ, you will have confidence and assurance that no matter who is laughing, God is smiling. I agree, it’s much easier to find shelter in the known than risk stepping into the unknown where anything can happen. But that’s it! Anything can happen with Christ Jesus! Step away from the bad and open your mind to every good and wonderful possibility! Risk the humiliation, the setbacks, the heartbreak so you can receive those “anything can happen” blessings. So tell yourself to no longer pick at your scabs. Refuse to critic yourself to the point of oblivion. We all have special talents and gifts. Your gift is only useful when your greatest passion combines with the Spirit of God.

We All Have A Destiny…Part 3

God patiently waited and beckoned me to him. When I thought I wasn’t worth it, he reminded me that I was (Ephesians 2:10). When I thought I couldn’t measure up, he assured me that without him I wouldn’t be (Philippians 4:13). Every time I missed an alter call, ignored a message – he waited. Finally, I was sick of feeling empty. My desires stirred up confidence, boldness, and hunger. I was tired of being ignored and unfulfilled. I started to chase after God (which is funny because once I said yes I didn’t have to pursue him, he readily revealed himself). I read the Word of God until I received strength like Samson to fight for what was mine all along.917091_1434080843512623_284009758_n

The process was painful and at times weary. I felt stupid, dumb, and any other word you could tell yourself to keep you down. Overcoming the past freed me to finally pursue God and what he had for me. Even though I struggle to recover from the old, I struggle forward, closer to victory. For years, I never felt I was capable of doing anything notable for God compared to others. Through time, prayer, waiting and watching I learned that my capabilities, talents, and gifts cannot be compared to others. Just like an ear cannot be compared to a nose. An ear is no greater or more important than a nose. Both parts are needed for the body to function so without one, it wouldn’t be capable of hearing or smelling. If the ear wanted to be a nose, then who would be the ear? My part in God’s plan is something only I can achieve. I won’t have to measure up to others because only I can fulfill it wonderfully. I can do all things through Christ that strengthens me (Philippians 4:13).

I’ve truly come so far from how I used to think and live. I’m no longer the little girl with a great voice. Now, I’m a wife, mother, blogger with a self-assured, word-inspired, victorious voice. I’m not just a singer – but a writer. I can officially say that unafraid, unashamed, and free.

When I say I write with purpose it’s because I do! I write (and blog) to remind myself to never go back. Writing shows me I was birthed for more. There is more to me than just how I dress, walk, or speak. I refuse to be defined by just one part of who I really am. My purpose is sealed in Christ and no one can change that. I refuse to allow visions of others weigh me down. I can no longer accept the image of man but carry on the image of God. My gift is to write and if I happen to sing – then I’ll sing of his wondrous name!

Life Lesson: We All Have A Destiny…Part 1

We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith, if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach, if it is to encourage, then give encouragement, if it is giving, then give generously, if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.

Romans 12:6-8


What is your passion?
What is your favorite thing you love to do more than anything? When I think of Romans 12:6-8 I believe that everyone has a part to play in God’s plan. I believe that from the smallest to the biggest, anyone can do something for Christ in a special way. When I was a kid I loved to write. I’ve expressed this passion in previous posts. However, my confidence and passion for writing weren’t always self-assured.  I struggled with insecurities and feeling inadequate. Mostly, in the body of Christ. I struggled for years with how I fit into it all.

At home, I was the responsible older sister that kept things together. At school, I was the reliable, dependable student that always did her homework, never got in trouble and usually did the extra credit. At church, I felt alone. I was stuck in the shadow of my older brother, matched set with my sisters, and rarely treated as an individual. For the longest I felt like three entirely different people. So, I proceeded to act as how I was treated, never fighting for my voice or giving my passion a chance to live. While everyone else complimented and praised me I silently suffered. I was receiving approval and support for something I didn’t have a passion for.

For so long I was living to maintain what others wished to see in me. I never pursued what I dreamed of being. I was consumed with the visions given to me by others so much that I never bothered to ask what God had for me. I thought that the approval I received from others was what God was directing me to do. I was really drowning in discontentment, dissatisfaction, fear, and ultimately giving up on my destiny. I was playing it safe for so long that I was petrified if I broke out, then no one would see me. If I spoke out about how I felt, no one would hear me. One day I realized that people were already bypassing the real Victoria. I allowed myself to be muted and invisible.

 

To be continued…

Life Lesson: Determination

I’ve always believed that God created a specific calling — a destiny that no one else can fulfill. I’ve been waiting — searching for mine for so long — trust me when I say how infuriating it is when you see others (family, friends, saints…) befriend their God-given purpose. It’s hard to be happy for others shining in the light (no shade) while you’re stuck in the shadows. But the last thing you need is to be consumed with the success of others instead of working toward yours. So while I’ve celebrated others, I’ve been determined to focus on what drives me. What do I hear God telling m? I haven’t always been a good listener and I have missed the opportunities, But I’m determined to get it.

Despite it all, I’m accepting the challenge to write, play, blog, and all. I hate to stop now, especially when I have so many ideas. I wasn’t expecting blogging, mommy-ing, and wifely-ing would be difficult to juggle. I’m determined to keep working towards achieving my mommy and blogging goals. My blogging journey has been filled with anticipation, excitement, and not to forget my walking ten months old.  So I’m taking this opportunity — whether I was born for it or not — and I’m running with it. One day I want to look back and say that I took the jump and landed better than I thought I would.

I desire nothing more than to connect with other young, passionate woman. Married or single, I write to you and with you . I absolutely love it when I come across an amazing writer or mother who understands it all. Those “I got you” moments keep my head above water. Not to ignore any male readers — I hope to give you a little insight to what a woman contends with. My husband complains how “complicated” a woman’s mind works. I welcome all to enjoy this journey forward with me. I’m eager to meet and get to know other amazing bloggers. Bloggers got to stick together.

 

The BirthPlace of Something Amazing…

IMG_0308When I found out that I was pregnant with my first child, I was angry. It started with a youth service at my church that I will never forget. The service was uplifting and tremendous as always. She preached, young people cried out to God, answers were received, hearts were filled, and lives were changed. Though my life was still a mess I felt like I was beginning to accept the things I couldn’t change. It wasn’t until after service that broke me. I was excited about all the young people that were told of the insurmountable things they would be doing for the Lord. I was standing there waiting amongst saints talking and the preacher walked by me. She greeted some of the mothers and then whispered in my ear that I would get pregnant and have a child.

No one noticed or heard what just happened. I looked at her and laughed and she smiled and walked away greeting more saints. Immediately I dismissed it. I kept reminding myself, “I’ve only been married 1 year and I didn’t accomplish anything.” In fact, I was super careful so that wouldn’t happen and we weren’t in the place to bring life in this world.   I was furious as to why God would let the preacher tell me this and have all the other young people ministered in a different way. What really bothered me was I didn’t want a baby but what everyone else had. I didn’t hear of anyone else being told their lives would get ruined. I wanted a supernatural, spiritual calling or anointing like the rest of them.

So I dismissed it, ignored it and pushed it aside. I knew for a fact God wouldn’t allow me to have a child especially after everything I went through and was still working through. Little did I know, a couple weeks after that I was pregnant.  Now looking back I feel so bad for rejecting God’s plan. I felt bad for calling him and the servant he used a liar. Though I didn’ realize it but when I refused what she told me I was negating everything she told and preached to everyone else at the service. I was blatantly calling God a liar, his Word false, and his messenger a fake.

From that moment on everything I was harboring about the past was forced to be thrown away. I was scared that I wasn’t ready to be a mother. No one can fully be prepared for motherhood. But I tried to bury my negativity and try my best to make good out of an unexpected situation. But, it was only the beginning the journey God had prepared for me.

To my surprise, nothing went as how I planned in the pregnancy. I barely had maternity clothes, only went to one doctor visit (we didn’t have insurance so try not to judge) and the time was ticking. It wouldn’t be long before our child was here and I felt even more burdened because nothing was how I imagined. I kept flashing back to my wedding (another story for another day) and I doubt that I was strong enough to handle another round of disappointment.

Through all my emotions, worry and doubt, when the time arrived for labor I was overwhelmed with peace and calmness. The day before my initial due date was when I started feeling cramps and I couldn’t sleep. Finally at 6 am I told my mom that I think I needed to go to the hospital, my husband came and we got there at 7 am. In the midst of all the pain and nervousness I was surprisingly calm, cool and collective. I don’t know about other women in labor, but I was expecting to be dramatic, in pain and agony, screaming for drugs. I actually had a smile on face through it all. Hours later, our gorgeous baby girl arrived and everything felt right. I was complete, happy, and had absolute no care that my hoo-haw underwent the most painful process known to woman (not man because obviously men can’t have children). She was here, resting on my chest, content and satisfied and so was I.

IMG_1012As my motherhood began, I was happy and excited to be a parent and start this crazy journey but something was missing. And it wasn’t the post-partum depression talking, I was frustrated because I was still craving for something more. I couldn’t satisfy it, didn’t know what or how to feed it, I just knew my soul was hungry (and I thought I was done craving and good thing cause I lost almost all the weight). Months and months went by and I expressed my dissatisfaction everywhere I went.  My family, husband, baby, everyone suffered the wrath of discontentment I was harboring.

I was praying, pleading, searching, asking God (and Google) what do I need to do to have fulfillment, what do I need in order to get rid of this frustration. I started journaling and it helped. I was able to write down my thoughts and feelings that I wasn’t proud of sharing, that I felt ashamed of having. Whenever I was mad I was able to go straight to my flower notebook and my ballpoint pen and I always felt better even though my problems weren’t solved. Talking to God always put a smile on my face – he is the only one that can fix everything.

afterfocus_1347380822623Somehow my heart was still missing something. I still didn’t know what my purpose, my destiny was and how to find out about it. Then, I ran across Elaine Mingus blog and it awakened a secret desire I didn’t know I had (thanks girlfriend!). Her testimony was and is inspiring! I’ve always loved to write, I believe I sound way smarter on paper anyway. I didn’t have any clue about blogging, but I decided if my heart skipped a beat at the thought of creating a blog where I can creatively and spiritually release everything unto God and others why not give it a try. Next thing I know, I’m writing and I can’t stop. I can’t believe I’ve shared so much about myself already. I keep rereading this over and over, contemplating if I want to make it sweet and simple, minus all the green monster parts but somehow I’m not afraid to really be who God created me to be. To be honest, I kind of don’t want this post to end, but to forever run on and on talking about how much I love God, what he has done for me all my life, how I live – the good and bad, what my destiny and purpose is….but I guess that is what blogging truly is.