Jesus Year

Hallelujah! Hallelujah! I made it to my 33rd birthday! This birthday holds a huge significance for me for many reasons, but mostly because this year, I get to spend my 33rd year of life, traveling the world, loving and serving others as Jesus did. How cool is that?

It is also my third year being a divorcee, I am homeless for the first time ever, I am leaving a career behind, along with family and friends and I am stepping into the unknown to embark on this once in a lifetime adventure with a group of strangers and Jesus! #whatismylife?

I. CAN’T. EVEN.

I am in total awe of what the Lord is doing in my life right now and I have so many emotions about it all. I am happy and sad. Super excited, yet nervous. Totally anxious and just overwhelmed with so many feelings about my departure. I know this is going to be one heck of an adventure but I also know that my heart is going to break, more times than I can ever imagine. Anthony Bourdain once said this:

 “Travel isn’t always pretty. It isn’t always comfortable. Sometimes it hurts, it even breaks your heart. But that’s okay. The journey changes you; it should change you. It leaves marks on your memory, on your consciousness, on your heart, and on your body. You take something with you. Hopefully, you leave something good behind.”

I can only hope and pray, that with this trip, I can come into a deeper understanding of who I am, who God has called me to be and that through my actions, others can see more of Jesus in me. That is what I hope to experience and what I also hope to leave behind.

This is my Jesus Year. A year where I get to experience Jesus like never before. I actually had no idea that this was my Jesus Year. My mother actually pointed it out to me when she and my father called at 6:00a.m. to sing me Happy Birthday! But how amazing, to know that God has gifted me this life and is granting me this opportunity to go out into the nations and make disciples? I can’t wait to share in this journey with you.

To follow and subscribe to my blog, go here. Thank you, and Happy Birthday to me! Cheers!

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ENTER: New Season

In 18 short days I will be 33 years old friends. That is 33 years of failures, mistakes, mercy and grace. Thank you Jesus, Hallelujah!

Before I proceed any further, however, let me start out by apologizing for being MIA. If you kept up with the last post, you know that life for me has been a little hectic. I’ve been in a season of heartache, trauma and recovery. Things haven’t quite been a walk in the park but nonetheless, I still have a lot to be thankful for. Moving forward, I am really excited about this new month and new season I am about to enter into. I was asked recently, where I thought I was in this season of my life and I really believe that I am on the forefront of entering into the land that overflows with milk and honey. You see, for a long time, I have been in this season of waiting and in a sense I still am, as I wait on God’s promises to me.

BUT turning 33 is going to be such a huge blessing. I have been through 3 whole decades of life. If you divide my upcoming age by 3 (The Holy Trinity), you get 11. The number of countries I am visiting on my missions trip! How cool is that? No real relevance, other than I think about things like that and how they hold meaning in my life. This next year is going to be a year of rest for me. Not because I won’t have my career or like I am going to be on a permanent vacation, but rather resting in God’s love and presence. I can hardly wait. Just preparing for this upcoming trip has given me an interesting perspective as to how God uses everything that happens in our lives, whether good or bad, for His glory.

Right now, I am in a place of peace. I am still in therapy and attending a trauma support group to help with my healing. I’ve been having more good days than bad and I can finally say that I am embracing this season of growth I am in. Things are uncomfortable, I am homeless, still fundraising but I am living. I feel like absolutely everything I have been through in recent months has just been preparing me for what is yet to come.

I am still learning to be still and trusting that God will do what He says He will. Even when my circumstance says all the contrary. What about you? Where are you in your life right now?

I have to be honest. As much as I give God the praise and glory for all He is doing, some days I still wonder, just how things will all work together for my good. I’m leaving my job shortly, giving up my car, living in my nieces living room and some days are just hard. It’s weird not being independent and having your own space. Sometimes, I don’t even understand what my life is right now. It feels so surreal. Things are about to change – drastically.

Everyone and everything I have ever known and loved is staying here, in the U.S. while I give it all up to go live my life in abandon. Traveling around the world, never staying in one place too long. Away from all the comfortable and familiar things in order to live and love like Jesus did when He walked this earth. It seems a little crazy, but I know it will be worth it. I am as ready as I’ll ever be.

Here’s to turning 33! Good day friends, I’ll blog more later. Just wanted to give a little update and say hi. God bless you all!

P.S. If you aren’t already subscribed to my World Race blog, you can do so here. Enjoy!

 

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Obedience > Sacrifice

 o·be·di·ence
noun
  1. compliance with an order, request, or law or submission to another’s authority.
sac·ri·fice
noun
  1. an act of giving up something valued for the sake of something else regarded as more important or worthy.

I wanted to start this blog off with the definitions of obedience and sacrifice in order to tell y’all a little story about my life. Currently, I am exactly 2 years and 6 months to date into this whole divorce thing. You may even be wondering why I am still blogging about this, huh? Well…lessons, that’s why.

This blog is dedicated to my healing journey. It has been my refuge and way to make sense of what exactly happened in my marriage and help encourage you or even save your marriage. I am no marriage expert, but I do know now, what it takes to have a healthy marriage.

Initially, I named my blog “Marriage à la Carte” because I was married to a chef. I thought it was cute, and I wanted to talk about all the things you have to bring into the marriage to make it successful – you know? À la carte!

Marriage is like preparing for a 3 course meal. You have this idea in your mind of what it will be like, a vision. You’ve got to bring things to the table. You make a meal plan, you get the ingredients and you give it a whirl!

I’ve learned that marriage is made up of many parts. We don’t always get what we put in, but we still have to pour something into the pot. Love, respect, honor, patience, trust, humility, forgiveness, honesty and faithfulness are all things you need in marriage, but it doesn’t always come with it. You have to bring that into the marriage.

Marriage is an empty pot. An excellent meal doesn’t just come together because you have all the ingredients. You have to add the ingredients to the dish you are preparing, at the right time, at the right temperatures, in a specific order so that the dish you have in mind, comes together tastefully. The same is true in marriage.

Love doesn’t automatically make your marriage successful. Neither does respect, honor, patience, trust, humility, forgiveness, honesty and faithfulness. What makes your marriage successful is knowing when to show your partner love, learning what it means to respect their boundaries and their person. Honoring them when they don’t even necessarily deserve it. Learning to be patient with them and trusting they will do the same with you. Humbling yourself before them and most importantly before God. Forgiving them 70 times 7. Being honest and faithful to your partner at all times and combining all these things together, is what makes the perfect recipe for a successful marriage.

How does obedience and sacrifice tie into all this? Well, lemme esplain!

It took me divorcing Obed to learn about “Obedience”. It still makes me chuckle! God has a sense of humor. It may be the biggest lesson I’ve learned from my divorce. Obedience to God and obedience to my husband. It becomes greater than sacrifice, because it proves that we are able to be submissive to God’s calling on our lives, and submissive to the authority that God gave man over his wife.

Obedience is the highest form of flattery and worship to the Lord.

Sacrifice is great and important too, but when it goes up against obedience, it loses it’s power. Another important lesson for my own life. I think about how much I prayed for my marriage to be saved and how strongly I believed that God would save it. When He didn’t, I was angry and thought about the sacrifices I was making to “gain” that which I really wanted in my life: my marriage.

All the while, God revealed to me that the sacrifice I actually needed to make was giving up my marriage in order to pursue Him. Was my relationship with God not more important than my relationship with my husband? So I let it go. I gave it up. I even stopped praying for it entirely.

Now, I am actively pursuing God’s will for my life. Obed is no longer an active part of my life. He is a friend, someone I still love and admire for many reasons, but he isn’t my focus. For a long time, I wanted so badly to preserve my relationship with him in hopes of us reconciling, but now I only want to reconcile myself to God, every single day.

The rest lies in His hands and I am willing to wait upon the Lord, whatever that looks like for my life.

 

 

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Gratitude, Beauty & Lashes

Well hello again friends! How is everyone doing out there? Are you happy to be entering into February? I know I am! There is a lot to be thankful about as this month comes to an end. How many of you made New Year resolutions? Are you staying on track? I honestly am not a resolution person, but I do believe in goal setting. My main goal for this month was to stay rooted in the Word. I have been very intentional about seeking more of God and spending time with Him, each day, preferably in the mornings, as I enjoy the sunrise. There is something so serene about waking up at dawn and spending some quiet time with the Lord. It helps set the tone for my day and allows me to view my life from a place of gratitude.

So today or tonight, when ever you read this, I want to challenge you today to just take a moment, take one deep breath and visualize what you are most grateful for in this day. Then do it again tomorrow, and again the next day. I promise you, your days – no matter how good or bad they are, you will always be able to find something to be grateful for. Try it!

To catch you up on how I am doing: I am in-love with this super cool, exciting place I am in right now in my life. Every year, I try to choose a word that sets a theme for my life in this new year. This year, I chose the word RENEW. If you have been following my blog for some time now, this may not come as a surprise to you. I have been through the most challenging yet rewarding time of my life with my divorce. Through it, I discovered so much about myself and I have grown from my experience into a whole, unique and new person. It is amazing how God transforms us, especially through our brokenness.

These past two years, as I have been dealing with unresolved issues, working my way through my own guilt and shame about what transpired in my marriage and divorce. It has been a season of pruning and restoration. God has renewed spirit and mended me. I learned so much about what it means to be at peace in my solitude and how to find comfort in the Lord instead of things or people. Granted, there were a ton of wonderful people that prayed over me and encouraged me along the way too. However, God is healer.

I’ve found so much beauty in the ashes. Right when I thought the worst of my life and couldn’t see the light in the darkness, God was there. What is most exciting though about my journey, is not just the healing and growth that has taken place, but the fact that I am able to live out some of my most wildest dreams. I’m doing things that I love. I am encouraging others in the same ways that people comforted me. I can’t even begin to tell you how many “divorce talks” I have had, with people entering the same season I once found myself in, and the hope I am able to share with them about what God can do through the pain. It is pretty incredible to be able to see God use my testimony for His glory.

Aside from that, I have also been presented with so many cool and fun opportunities to do more of the things that I love. I’m learning music, I am singing more, I’m drawing and painting, I am writing, I’m part of a book club…

There is literally just so much goodness in my life, it is pretty hard to focus on anything else but that. Even on my worst days, my life is pretty peachy! My life is well-rounded right now. I won’t say that I don’t miss having a companion, because there are times that I do. More than anything though, I am just excited to see how God continues to use me, make me and mold me.

Lastly, I want to share how bomb Lash Boost is! Y’all this stuff seriously works!!!! I previously reported, here, about an opportunity I had to be a product tester for a sweet friend of mine. She sells R + F Products (Rodan + Fields) and I had been very much impressed with the results she kept posting about her lashes and I just knew I needed to get my hands on it. Sure enough, we worked out a little deal and wala – guess who has gorgeous lashes now? Yup! I sure do. If you are interested in purchasing some product or learning more about R + F, reach out to my friend here. You won’t regret it.

 

Well gals, that is it for now. I’ll type y’all later!

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Lonesome Dove, NYE + Aspirations

Happy New Year! 2018 is here y’all!

This is going to be a year of great challenges and great reward. I cannot wait to see what God has in store for me.  In case you didn’t already know, I am going on a missions trip this year. I leave August 2018 to embark on this incredible journey, with complete strangers to go love and serve people. The World Race is an 11 month mission trip to 11 different countries around the world to help people in their communities, with whatever their need is, but most importantly sharing the love of God. Cool huh?

Aside from that, I am also just excited because for whatever reason, even though it’s just another day, it’s January 5, 2018 and it is the beginning of a new year and endless possibilities. In reality, however, every day is filled with the exact same possibilities, but we choose to resolve to do things because the “New Year” somehow represents a “New Beginning”. Ha

Plus it’s fun to just take a look back on your life, reflect and look ahead to the future with hope that we are achieving our life purpose…

Or at least I do.

How is everyone tho? Did y’all make any new year resolutions? I honestly am not a fan of making resolutions in particular, I just try to be better every single day.

I rang in the new year all by lonesome with my gato (cat) at home. We watched fireworks from my balcony and it was very peaceful and wonderful way to celebrate the new year. Earlier that night, I joined some friends for dinner celebrating one of my besties birthdays at Lonesome Dove in Ft. Worth. It was fantastic. Food was amazing and they offered a 5 course NYE meal. We had a wonderful time.

As far as my healing journey goes – I can say with confidence that I am much better than I ever have been. If I am resolving to do anything this year, it is just to be more open to receive whatever the Lord has for me. I want to be more kind, not just to myself, but to others. My wish is to be more like Jesus, and less like me. I want to be love and be light in the lives of others.

What about y’all? What are your goals and aspirations for the new year? Oh and this time, I promise to be a much better blogger! Ha

¡Feliz año nuevo!

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Single AF and Diggin’ It

Well, I have officially been divorced 1 whole entire year and 8 months to the day. I honestly can’t believe that I am only 4 months shy of being divorced for 2 whole years. It went by fast and let me tell you that I am proud of where I am. I can’t even remember the last time that I cried for Obed. Of course I still miss him on occasion and yes, we still talk from time to time, but most days, it is just me, myself and I!

I never knew how much I would enjoy being single post divorce. It is seriously amazing! I buy myself fresh flowers every week. Taking relaxing baths without interruption is life! I get the entire bed to myself on the nights I am not out sleeping on my balcony in a hammock and I don’t have to take anyone’s suggestions on dinner options. I just cook and eat what I want. Cooking for 1 – however, is still a challenge!

Life is grand y’all! There are so many exciting things happening in my life right now – like seriously! Being single has helped me come into this new appreciation for myself and what it means to be confident, bold and happy – like truly happy! Happiness, I’ve learned, is an inside job and I can now say, with certainty, that I am secure in who I am and what I want. I am super choose-y about who and what I will allow to occupy space, time and energy in my life. I only want the best – anything less than that, is simply not worth my precious time or energy.

I’ve spent so much of my time as a divorcée getting reacquainted with myself and with God. I have read countless self-help books and dug deep into the bible. I also make it a point to surround myself with family and friends that only speak life into my world. You know, people that lift me up and believe in all my goals, dreams and aspirations? That’s my tribe! It’s quite healthy and really helps me to look forward to what is yet to come.

Previously, I wrote about dating and being a little “playa-fo-life” but that just ain’t me, baby, it ain’t me! haha I had boo’s all over the world y’all! One of my besties even nicknamed me United Nations! hehe Dating is just not for me right now. I would rather focus on myself, crush my goals and let the next Prince Charming that is going to waltz into my life, sweep me off my feet – completely off guard! Doesn’t that just sound so pleasant? I imagine he is going to be pretty amazing to be able to handle me and all my wit, glory and sass! Do y’all even know how crazy it is going to be for me when I find a mate?

I feel like I loved Obed so much and I could never even fathom the idea of loving anyone else besides him. Now, however, things have changed. Sure, he still holds a piece of my heart, but my heart doesn’t bleed or yearn for him anymore. I am over it! ha No, not really, but I am healing and I have made a lot of progress. I still have so much love to give!

I have some really neat and important news to share soon, but I don’t want to give it all away in just one blog post (must spark curiosity and keep you coming back for more). I’ve got to build some suspense people! ha I hope everyone is doing well and life is treating you kind. I also hope you are receiving more peaches and cream rather than lemons. My wish for you, where ever you find yourself now, is that you would take a moment to appreciate the life you have, the people that are in it and the simplicity of the beauty that surrounds your every day life. If you search for goodness in your life, you will always find it. Be happy, be grateful, and be humble.

Appreciate what you have, the trials that have strengthened you and the love that you carry within. Don’t fret if you feel like you are alone in your suffering, whatever you might be going through. Rejoice and know that God is with you.

& ON THAT NOTE I WILL SAY: As-Salaam-Alaikum my friends! Virtual hugs, love y’all! XO

 

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Progress = Happiness

Have any of you ever felt like something is missing in your life? Like you know you are on the right path and you are making progress but you just feel slightly overwhelmed? Sometimes, I feel like I am not where I want to be. Other times I feel confident in the direction that I am going and when I reflect on where I have been and where I am now, I find peace because I know I am exactly where I need to be.

Life isn’t always perfect, but it is always beautiful – you just have to stop to take notice.

Before I go on, let me apologize once again for being a bit of a slacker. I haven’t been on my blog game lately but I am re-committing myself to you all – my avid followers. Thank you for supporting my journey into bloghood! ha I have been working behind the scenes, however. I am connecting and networking with other bloggers and like-minded individuals to help me crush my goals. I want to build a successful blog and following. So, recently, I have been working on learning more about the blog hustle and venturing into other new business opportunities. A little progress each day, adds up – they say.

So, let me tell you about where I am right now. I hadn’t really had the time to blog recently because I have been “parenting”. Recently, my 18 year old niece and all her “wizdumb” has made herself a part-time living headquarter at none other than my tiny little Dallas loft. It has been challenging to say the least. I am not a parent, I don’t necessarily even like kids all that much if I am being honest, or at least not for too long, so you can imagine how I am dealing.

She costs me lots of money, I have to gripe at her for being irresponsible, and I also have to be wise in how I advise her. She just graduated high school, she thinks she has life figured out and well, she is also a brat. Now, don’t get me wrong, she is a good kid (or at least better than I was at her age) but she’s been through things that many people can’t understand. I won’t share her story, because it is not mine to tell. However, I will say that I have learned some things through the process.

I know that parents can’t always direct our paths as much as they’d like to. I also understand that parents can’t always save their children. I’ve taken on a responsibility that doesn’t necessarily belong to me, but I do it because I love my niece. I also do it because I love my sister and I hope that she knows, and all my siblings know that I love their children as if they were my own. I will always lend a helping hand, if I am able. The main thing however that I’ve picked up on during this season of my life, is that growth has to happen on it’s own.

How many mistakes did you make growing up? How many times did you roll your eyes at your parents, because you knew what was best? If you are like me, it was probably a lot. I have also learned that as wise as parents are and as much as they truly want what is best for us, they don’t always have the answer or know exactly what is actually best. We have to make our own lives, our own mistakes, our own choices, in order to live and to learn.

Apart from parenting, I have also found myself in this period of rekindling of my soul with my God. After my divorce, I really grew deeper in my relationship with Christ and I am still growing now. However, there are times when I feel forsaken, but I know that is not true. Those feelings come from a place of disobedience. Like I keep telling and asking God for certain things in my life and He shows me, and sometimes I don’t like the answer and I try again, ignoring the fact that He’s already heard my prayer and delivered. You see, the answers we seek, are not always the answers we want. Our flesh is weak and we want things to go a “certain” way but God does not work like that. He gives us what we NEED.

I have needed a lot of things, post divorce – healing, peace, joy, comfort, etc. & when I tell you that God is so faithful and He makes all things new, I mean it. Healing takes time. Growth is involved in feeling peace, joy and comfort in our times of sorrow. It is not always easy. Some days will be very difficult to get through, but when you come out on the other side – you can appreciate the beauty in your process.

Just like a diamonds and pearls are formed through great pressure and irritation; we are also made beautiful through our trials.

Right now, I am at a place of serenity. I have forgiven and re-forgiven. I have made peace with my own mistakes and failures. I’ve taken responsibility for myself and my actions and I have opened up my mind and my heart to receive whatever God has for me next.  My heart is happy and my soul is well. How are you doing?

Please write me if there is anything that I can help you pray for. It would be a great honor, dear friend. “May the Lord bless you and keep you, the Lord make His face shine upon you and be gracious to you;  the Lord lift up his countenance upon you, and give you peace.” – Numbers 6:24-26

Until next time my friends! XO

 

 

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