How To Maintain Your Faith Every Day

Every day is filled with moments that can make or break our faith in God. We all have moments that can inspire us to better ourselves, moments of spiritual inspiration, and even those painful moments we desperately try to pray and fast away. It’s always easy to strengthen our faith in our walk with Christ when things are great. Who can doubt God when all their bills are paid and their loved ones are safe from sickness and harm?

It makes sense to smile back to God when he is smiling down on us with new employment opportunities and healthy relationships. But what about when God decides to take away the smiles and hugs and rain down life storms of troubles? How do you maintain your faith then?

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It’s been said over and over that life is too precious to waste and to live every moment of it with purpose and success. But the question is how should we live it? How do we get to a place where nothing can keep us down? Every day we should take a moment to focus on building a strong, resilient confidence in God. Without God, none of us could be here today. Having total trust in Him makes the ride worth enduring. Here are three ways to keep your faith strong every day.

  1. Stop entertaining your doubts.

Before you can do all things through Christ that strengthens you like the Bible says you have to stop entertaining your doubts. Yes, there will be some days when it seems like every dream of yours is coming true. And then the other days are filled with gray clouds that block out the light of hope and peace. Focusing on how bad a situation is won’t strengthen your faith but diminish it. Your perspective will determine how strong your faith is. If all you see are failures then that’s exactly what you will get. But if you take a moment and see all the wonderful things in your life like loved ones, a job, a roof over your head then you are growing and increasing your faith. With a right mindset, you can achieve it all. If all you do is complain then you will never reach your solution. Having faith is like a seed that can birth blessings, while doubt is a seed that can birth pain. It’s time to destroy your doubts by walking by faith and not by sight.

2. Live with a grateful attitude.

Too many times we find ourselves singing the “woe is me” song instead of living our lives seeing the world with gratefulness and thanks. When God thought about the world, he envisioined each and every one of us in it. He created us for a time and purpose with flaws, setbacks and rainy days. He saw every aspect of our lives, the good and bad as a blessing, not a curse. Yet you consider all the bad circumstances and disappointments as a bad thing. God orchestrates everything and he knows and sees the beauty in everything. Why can’t you? To strengthen your faith every day you have to start looking at your life through the eyes of God’s. Don’t give in to the temptation to complain about a negative situation or problem but actively find the good in it. Be intentional about being grateful and it will brighten your day and someone else’s. When you choose to be grateful no matter what it creates hope. When others see that hope it gives them the boost of encouragement they need to keep on going.

3. Don’t fight it but embrace it.

Did you know that your struggles in life aren’t just to benefit you but to make others strong too? Every bad day, setback and problem birth strength inside of us to keep fighting the good fight. It challenges us to grow and improve and learn. If we don’t embrace our bad days like we do the good ones we won’t win and neither will the next person. Embracing problems doesn’t mean you’ve given up but the complete opposite that you won’t quit. When you choose to embrace it you arrive at a place where no one can duplicate. You have wisdom, strength and enough sensitivity to care for the problems of others and help them get through. Embrace your bad days and strengthen your faith by standing tall in the Word of God. Every day you should fill your soul up with songs and scriptures that keep you motivated and focused.

Keeping your faith maintained every day is a lot of work. You have to keep praying, fasting and crying out to God. You have to keep going to church no matter how discouraged you might be or feel. Stay encouraged and know that you are not alone. You are not the only one going through so take comfort. It’s as easy as turning on your TV for a good laugh. Open up your Bible and let God speak to you. Put on a gospel song and sing your troubles away. Or,  you can even put on an inspirational movie or two. A great place to find amazing God-centered movies is Pure Flix. It’s a great resource to maintain your day-to-day faith too. They have a wide variety of Christian movies for faith-based families and are even currently offering a free one-month trial.

Don’t be passive about strengthening your faith because it’s your faith that will get you through.

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.

 

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.

Life Lesson: Trust Your Instincts

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When I was younger I always believed when I became a mother I would do all the right things for my baby. I would love him/her, cuddle, play, and make sure he/she is a healthy, strong baby. Like most little girls I had tons of practice with adorable, almost life-like baby dolls. I prided myself on how none of my baby dolls had a missing arm or leg. My  beliefs about motherhood were very black and white. If you didn’t dress your baby well then you was a bad mother. If you didn’t give your baby medicine when they got sick then you was a bad mother. If you didn’t feed your baby right then you were a bad mother. If your baby wasn’t happy or smiled a lot then you was a bad mother.

Since then, my views on motherhood have drastically changed. Now that I’m grown and a mother myself, I realize that there are many ways to provide for your child. For one, I didn’t always buy my baby designer clothes like I thought. After the first couple weeks of onesies soaked with throw up, milk stains, and messy diapers I decided to shop frugally. I set out budgets where my baby could have affordable outfits that lasted longer than a month without breaking the bank. I learned that giving baby medicine can actually harm the baby rather than help. As painful as it is, it’s sometimes better to have your child endure that cold or fever so their body can get stronger and fight off more infections. My child-like beliefs were filled with hope but no sense of reality. I remember when our daughter caught her first high-temperature fever all I wanted to do was make her pain go away. But, with regular feeding times, an outfit change and patience, I saw how quickly her body was fighting off the virus all on its own.

One thing I learned from being a wife and mother is to trust my instincts. When I was pregnant those nine months I tried my best to plan, prepare, and equip myself for motherhood. I gained knowledge, facts, and techniques so when my child arrives I will be prepared. I downloaded apps, watched videos, and podcasts to familiarize myself with being a good parent. I wanted to be the type of mother that nurtured every aspect of my child’s life so they can pretty much be perfect. I quickly learned that all the parenting books, pamphlets, and articles can only do so much.

With motherhood comes many struggles. You have to decide what cleaning products to use, what baby formula, and the type of doctor you want your child to have. Being a mom requires a lot of big decision-making. I remember after those hours in labor when they finally handed her to me I was overwhelmed with so much peace. It didn’t really occur to me what being her mother would require. It wasn’t until she got hungry that I realized I had to make a decision.

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With all my preparation, I still hesitated. All that prepping went out the hospital window. I was suddenly a blank canvas holding a blank canvas. I felt like an artist with colors of all shades and hues with no clue to do. I honestly thought about feeding my daughter formula from birth to better suit my needs. I didn’t want to be inconvenienced with pumps and engorged breasts but holding her in her fragile state made me realize how I so badly wanted to give her the best.

The nurse smiled and proceeded to help our daughter latch. It was awkward at first, but a couple of tries later she was eating like she was starving. I was amazed that my breast even had milk. It’s a miracle what the body can do. I felt like a mother bird feeding her little birds. I felt so accomplishment and complete. It wasn’t until it was time for me to come home that the feeling of pride slowly washed away.

My biggest struggle with breastfeeding was as she continued to grow so did her appetite and my breast didn’t always accommodate her feeding needs. The first couple of weeks were nice and breezy. She would eat almost 6 to 8 times a day. Her feeding times started off short and sweet. I would usually pump milk in the morning and at night just in case if I had to go somewhere or I was really tired. I would always pump after I feed her too so my milk production could increase. For nearly six months all I did was pump and let her suck.

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It didn’t take long before she would drink from both breasts at a time. Her appetite increased and I had to make the hard decision that breastfeeding until she was 10 months wasn’t the life for me. I wasn’t going to give up so easily. I started to stop feeding her from the breast, just pump and put baby cereal in the bottle. It gave her satisfaction until she hit the another growth curve. I eventually decided to start her on baby formula indefinitely. I slowly started to wean her off of breast milk. I would breastfeed at night, pump out the  extra milk and give her formula with cereal during the day. I would cry sometimes with frustration when my breasts didn’t give her enough milk. But, I saw how satisfied she was with baby formula and got over my personal feelings.

Breastfeeding can sometimes be tricky. There are thousands of different reasons why your child doesn’t respond positively to your breasts. But be reassured that there are a thousand different solutions. Whether you breastfeed your child or provide them with formula alternatives don’t ever second-guess your instincts. There were so days where I struggled with her latching and other days I couldn’t get her off. But have peace of mind whenever you see your baby happy and laughing that you are doing a great job.

So hesitate to deviate from the plan especially if it could help you and your baby better. Always be willing to ask your doctor for help in any area for your child and take the time to reach out to other mothers for support.

Learn about the breastfeeding and formula options from The Honest Company.

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Life Lesson: You Can’t Have It All Without Christ

CHRIST IS ALL.jpgIt’s officially crazy holiday shopping season. Thanksgiving has come and gone and the spirit of spend, spend, spend is upon us. My email inbox is flooded with deals, deals, and more deals. Each email I get is tugging me to go shop here and spend this. Each offer is nice and inviting but once I really take a moment away from the rustling and bustling of holiday hustle I realize how much of a black hole the holiday season can be. I also realize I need to start unsubscribing from some emails…

Growing up my parents never place great emphasis on the typical Christmas celebration of Santa Claus, elves, and How the Grinch Stole Christmas. Though we entertained ourselves on those snowy days with wonderful Hallmark and family movies about spreading cheer and giving, their primary goal was to give us the true gift that Christ gave us.

I’m pretty confident that everyone knows the Birth of Jesus Christ. It’s a story that never gets old. Mary and Joseph do the unthinkable and start on a journey leading them to the King of Kings. Most people probably thought they were crazy! I for one can’t imagine trying to spend the first year of my marriage preparing for a baby. Most newlyweds are still trying to get situated and pick a family toothpaste. All of their sacrifices allowed them to be honored as the parents of the King of the World. They didn’t have much, in fact, when he was born he was in kind of a bind. Mary had to deliver Jesus in a barn filled with random smells, various animals, and not a single Christmas tree or decorated stocking.

Yet, what they lacked in careers, home, lifestyle, and finances, Jesus Christ made up for it. It’s not Christmas because the wise man came with gifts, the shepherds came to awe, and the drummer boy played. It’s Christmas because of Jesus Christ being born.

So, this holiday season I’m unsure of which direction I should go in regards to gift shopping. I started this post thinking I couldn’t have it all. I thought after scrolling through my favorite stores online, seeing all the great sales, discounts and realizing that everything my eyes sees and wants my pockets can’t guarantee. But now, after reminiscing about Jesus’s birth my eyes are opened and I know that I can have it all!

I have it all the moment I gave my life to Jesus Christ. The moment he was born in a manager by a virgin was when I could have it all. I could have joy, peace, freedom, love, victory, life abundantly. So, though I might only buy a couple of items from a store or two, I refuse to let that change how I view how blessed I am.