Passion for life!

It is the anniversary of my cousin Kayla’s passing. I cannot believe a year has gone by. I wanted to write a blog for today, not to make anyone sad but to tell you how her life changed mine. She was 26. That’s far too young, in my opinion.

Her death was sudden and tragic and I will not get into the details. It was caused by domestic violence. I will say this, God moved Matt and I closer (in location) to her last year and I am grateful for each moment with her and glad Sammy and Sebastian loved and adored her. Just as, I know, Spencer would too.

I recently got my third tattoo in loving memory of Kayla. Oddly enough each Tattoo I have has been every 7 years at age 18, age 25, and age 32. These tattoos are when my faith has grown or been tested and I have grown closer to God. They signify times that have changed me. And I was “marked” by these moments and the tattoo reminds me where I have come. Kayla had a small tattoo on her wrist that said “Love Life”. Many members in my family have gotten this or another tattoo because she made us all realize that life without love and passion is no life at all.

Jesus said, ” I am the way, the truth and the life”. The life. This really hit me. Love life=love Jesus. My passion for Christ has changed over the last year and grown my faith in a very significant way. It has also changed the way I see people and made me examine my own life and face the reality of death. These things are pretty deep but we cannot live our lives as if we don’t know that we won’t live forever.
I don’t know when my time will come but I am going to live with passion each day that God gives me. I will love passionately, forgive, celebrate, teach my children, but most importantly love and share Christ. The man who passionately and unselfishly gave his life for my salvation. I do not have to fear death because of Him.

“Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.” Psalm 23:4

So today I am celebrating the amazing life of Kayla Jacqueline Davis. She inspired me to love more fully, to share Jesus more boldly, and to hold my family closer and tighter. I cherish each day that I am given and with courage I can “Love Life” and love people. Because that is what Jesus calls us to do. May God give you peace if you are hurting right now. He is waiting for us to call on His name and ask for help. I encourage you to make Jesus Lord of your life so you can have the assurance of seeing those in heaven who also know Him. You can be forgiven and have eternal life. You can live the life God is calling you to live on this earth. You can fulfill his will for your life, if you only ask.

I love you Kayla. You probably never realized how many people’s lives you touched. And the ripple affect of lives we will touch because of your story. You have inspired me to share my life and treasure each moment. I’ll see you on the other side.

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Security and joy in the midst of struggle

20140728-223501-81301288.jpgJust having had a significant life change, as a writer I wanted to let you in a little bit. My writing is from the heart. The more insecure I feel, the more I want to share my vulnerability. I want to show just how human I am and just how frail I can be. Luckily there is a loving God whom I trust my life to.

I apologize if there are some typos as I do not get more than 3 hours of sleep at a time. There is a song by Tenth Avenue North called “Worn”. It is how I feel right now. One line goes, “I’m worn, even before the day begins.” I truly feel this everyday. I am not thriving, right now, I am merely surviving.
After having my third child, I am the most vulnerable I have ever been. Well right after having a c-section surgery and completely depending on my nurse and husband to help me take care of our baby is when I’ve felt the most vulnerable. This second time around I knew what to expect. But that did not make it easier and I did not feel more secure than before. I’m exhausted and anxious. Having a newborn and two other young children is the toughest challenge I have faced yet. Every time I come to a tough situation, I put my trust in God. He is my protector, my healer. He will never leave nor forsake me. Even when I come to the end of my life I feel secure in knowing he’s got me in the palm of his hand. I do not have to fear. 1 John 4:18

Newborns are adorable, beautiful and very needy. They need to hear our voices, know that we will feed them and keep them safe. They feel comforted by a mother’s voice and touch (and father’s). This time around has really challenged me. I am a very unhappy person when I’m sleep deprived. And the baby is the source of my unrest. My two preschoolers have really made it harder. Every time I turn around they are trashing the house, breaking things or filling things with water. My hard working husband is out of the house 60 hours a week. I cannot nap when the baby naps because I have my preschoolers to attend to. And I don’t want them to burn down the house. (Chuckle- but seriously.) I cannot be mad at my children. I should not raise my voice or get frustrated with this tiny baby. He needs me to be strong, suck up the pain and take care of him. I have to be selfless. And the truth is -I’m so selfish. God is so amazing because he knows when we are weak, we must rely on him in our times of need. One if my favorite Star Wars quotes is by Yoda, “A jedi’s strength flows from the Force,”. In my case, Jesus is my force. I could not get through the things I have without my security and strength from Jesus. I know that If I mess up, I am still forgiven and unconditionally loved and because of this I must show compassion to my children and others.

The first month of babyhood is, I think, one of the hardest challenges in life. Period. It is physically, emotionally and sometimes spiritually exhausting. Prayer and constant communication with God has helped me to be a good mother. Even when I wanted to quit, I need to finish the race. Every season of our life there will be challenges and trials. As James puts it, “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. (‭James‬ ‭1‬:‭2-3‬ NIV) James is one of my favorite chapters in the New Testament. This is one of the reasons we named our son Spencer James. God’s word is there to guide us, teach us and comfort us. I’m not going to lie, I am on the verge of tears daily. I can only imagine what other parents with babies that are sick, or have a health condition feel like. But I press on. I know this is only a season and I can lean on Him. He loves us, holds us, calms us with his touch. I am forever grateful for His unconditional love. I’m going to try to get some sleep. Until next month, signing out. Keep me in your prayers.

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New chapter in your journey

A new chapter in one’s life can be exciting and overwhelming at the same time. As I approach my next journey-the new life I am bringing into this world I have decided to write some goals and “resolutions” if I may.

1. Everyday spend time with God.
2. Rest when I can with my newborn.
3. Exercise 3-4 days a week.
4. Spend time with my husband, and each son and make sure they know how special they are.
5. Give myself grace when I don’t get everything done.

I hope you decide to make goals along your journey. My life is about to change tremendously but I am just as excited as I am overwhelmed. I love excitement and adventure. My next post will probably have to do with adjusting and things I learn along the way. I am more prepared this time than I was with the twins but that does not make it any easier. Whatever it is you are facing or taking on new things, jobs, moving and so on. I wish you good will and favor. My favorite verse in the Bible is Phil 4:13 “I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.”
On my own I may not be able to handle everything but with God’s strength I can do all things. In the chaos of life, I hold tightly to this verse. God bless, see you next month.

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Sixth sense- The ability to believe

I was reading a devotional by Billy Graham and it inspired me to write about faith. It said that the ability to believe is a sixth sense that God has placed in every one of us. Now, many people believe in something but a lot of people choose not to read or believe God’s word. They miss out on the greatest gift we have been given and that is forgiveness of sin through Jesus Christ. God gave us a way out.

I find it funny that some really intelligent scientists are unable to believe the proof that is not only in the Bible but the historically accurate books that align with the Bible. Caesar is in the Bible. And many kings. How can this old book that has proven to have been around for 1000’s of years not be real? It’s their lack of belief. Their choice to ignore the truth, the inkling that it is real and if it is, many people have chosen doom over salvation. I believe fear is the root of disbelief. 1 John 4:18

We all have people, scholars, teachers, etc who have influenced us. But sometimes that influence is not necessarily right. We are human and we sin, we believe lies, and if we are passionate about those lies, others will believe them too. Looking back on my life, I know I have influenced others to do the wrong thing, and I regret it. I pray that those people will have their own walk with Christ into the light of truth that He alone can bring. I have turned from those ways but it is a battle everyday. I no longer want to to hide from the truth. I want to take my passion to let people know God’s amazing love and grace. But without the Gospel of Jesus, we would all be doomed to hell. Praise The Lord for a way out of this mess!

Fear is really the cause of many things, and Satan uses our fears to convince us to be selfish, hurt others, and not believe how great our God really is. One thing I don’t understand about non believers who have heard the Gospel, is knowing about Jesus and the gift he gave for us, how can you not want it? I don’t understand. HE FORGIVES OUR SINS. He makes a way for us to have a real relationship with the almighty God. 1Col 1:17-18 He came to earth for one purpose to redeem our lost souls and pay the cost of our sins. It is a beautiful, amazing sacrifice that I, as a selfish human, cannot grasp sometimes.

The inherent need to feel loved, cherished and accepted comes from God. So I pray that every person I meet will meet Jesus, accept his love and truly experience the life God calls us to live. I will, at least raise 3 men who know unconditional love from me and I will explain to them how Jesus loves them more deeply than I ever can. If that is all I do in this life, then surely I have done my job. I use my sixth sense because I believe God’s word and feel his presence in my life. Life is messy, hard and full of trials but with my faith, I will never give up. May you find your ability to believe and search the Bible and have a real relationship with God through the redemption Jesus has given us. Peace to you my friend.

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32 lessons I’ve learned in 32 years of living

On the eve of my 32nd birthday,  I once again am forced to look back at the life I have lived so far. We do not know when we will take our last breath.  As I sit here in a mint julep mask, contemplating, I have lessons that I want to share and many of these you may have already learned on your own journey. Some of these I will elaborate on and others just don’t need it.  I hope you can see who I am through what I have learned. 😉 A lot of these things are in Proverbs.  I love that book.

 

1. Live and love life-
No, really live! Life is way too short to just read blogs, work, eat and barely do anything. If you are invited to parties-go! Meet new people, try new things, the worst thing in life is regret. God created us to love people, love Him and enjoy life. You never know your last day, so enjoy every moment and be present! Life goes by way too fast! Listen to “You’re gonna miss this”, by Trace Adkins. It gets me every time.

2. Make time for important relationships.
Not every person you know will be close to you. But if there are people and family that is important to you, then make more effort. You will find if they want the same thing and you get along well, they will become people you trust, love, and share life with. You will disagree sometimes but if you really love someone, you will get through those things and your friendship will be stronger for it.

3. Don’t believe everything you hear.

What the internet, news, or even people say may or may not be truth. If you are really concerned about a particular thing- do your research, listen to your gut, pray, read God’s word and take people’s testimonies into account. If we believed everything the news or government told us, we’d all be dead or sick, or living on the street. Go against the grain sometimes. And always stand up for what is right even if you are persecuted. As a disciple of Jesus Christ I expect this, and as a believer in holistic practices and alternative medicine, I am facing this more and more. Doctors are not always right and if your gut is telling you something, then listen. “The discerning heart seeks knowledge, but the mouth of a fool feeds on folly.” (Proverbs 15:14 NIV)

4. Take risks. And don’t be afraid to fail.
Without risks, life would be boring. You need to step out of your comfort zone sometimes in order to see what’s possible. I pray about my choices and really ask for God’s guidance on big decisions. But even if you choose not to pray, I encourage you to be smart but not afraid to take a risk. Only if you take a big risk, can you get a big reward.

5. Make challenging goals for yourself.

6. Sometimes you will be awful at something.
You know what there are some days I’m an awful mom, but I forgive myself because I am not perfect. Can I strive to be better the next day, yes. And there’s things I should not waste time on like- I’m very athletic but just no good at basketball. I’ve accepted it and moved on. We all have our strengths and weaknesses and the sooner we figure these things out, the more our skills can be used to glorify God.

7. Don’t give up!
Stay positive even in hard times. People are watching, and you know what life is HARD and sometimes we want to be negative, but I encourage you to choose positivity. As you go through a tough time and someone sees you push through you will affect their life. As a believer I put my hope in Jesus Christ, and he has seen me through every hard time. He did not die on the cross so I would give up. He died so I can be free of sin, and live a victorious life.

8. You can love and respect someone without agreeing with their choices.
Let’s be honest, there is no one that I can honestly say we agree on every little thing. Will I try to have a conversation in honesty and love if I feel they are doing something they may regret, yes. Will I make an effort to help them see why I believe certain things especially the fact that Jesus has died so we can have salvation and freedom, yes. But will I judge them if they still do not agree and make a not great choice, no. That’s not my job. If they are doing something against God’s will (refer to Bible if unsure) I just let them know I will not take part in it, but I love them regardless. Whether they ignore their conscience or not, it’s impossible to change anyone.

9. Your kids will point out your weaknesses, a lot.
Lucky for us, parents, kids are really honest and don’t have a filter when they are young. I have been taught by my toddlers a lot of my weaknesses and if they can see it, I better work on it.

10. We need to have filters.
With kids it may be cute, but as adults, we really need to be careful what we say. Words have a major impact on people. Especially kids. I read that for every one negative thing said to a child, it takes 4 positive compliments to bring up their self esteem. This may be for adults too. The old saying is true, “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say it!” Also a proverb I love says this, “Even fools are thought wise if they keep silent, and discerning if they hold their tongues.” (Proverbs 17:28 NIV)

11. Dream BIG!
I’m so sick of naysayers telling people good luck and not meaning anything by it. You know my big dream was to become an actress and I moved to Los Angeles at the age of 22 to pursue it. It was not what it looks like, and there’s a dark side to Hollywood that I chose to walk away from because I wasn’t willing to give up my integrity for fame. I’m not saying every actor does this for a career but I chose God’s will for my life over my own, sinful will. And I have never regretted that decision. Now, the dreams I have are more related to healthy living and I still have BIG DREAMS; just different ones.

12. There is true love.
I realized how much I love husband after 9 years of marriage and I’m reminded of the reasons I chose him. He gets me, forgives me, and I trust him. That’s what every woman wants- a man she can trust. And truth be told he doesn’t ALWAYS get me but he loves me anyway. True love can be found even in friendships when someone just really unconditionally wants to be close and love you despite all your imperfections. And stays around even when you push them away.

13. Beauty is not skin deep.
I wrote a blog about the beauty of a women in February. So, if you want to know more, check it out. This was a lesson I learned over many years.

14. Keep learning and do not be stubborn. Stubborn pride can be your downfall.
It’s ok if you were not well educated or informed about something and then your eyes are opened and you change your mind. Now this can refer to many things. Do not be like an ignorant voter, you should actually know about the issues before you go defending, voting, or fighting for something. You can always educate yourself further. Don’t be a fool! “Fools find no pleasure in understanding but delight in airing their own opinions.” (Proverbs 18:2 NIV)

15. Be grateful and content.

16. Work Hard. Learn to PLAN to be more successful. 
I’m still struggling with the planning thing but I find the days I plan I am less stressed and much happier and successful.

17. Don’t blame God for this fallen world, and all the problems caused by sin. 
Really? You’re going to blame your creator and father who loves you enough to die for you? You know what there is sin and evil and those are the things that cause cancer, murder, rape, hatred and all the other problems in this world.  If anything God gives us hope.  Don’t be naïve. Prov 1:22

18. Seek God.
This should have been # 1 but I was just on a roll with writing my thoughts.
So there’s no sort of order of these 32 things.

19. Don’t envy. Or boast.

20. Love your children with everything you have.
Encourage THEM. they will get enough rejection from this world.

21. Prayer is very powerful and effective. 
I have seen with my own eyes and life the effectiveness of prayers. It’s not a wishing well, it’s conversations with God.  He hears, he listens, he blesses, and he holds you when you cry.  James 5:16 Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.

22. There is good and evil in this world.
Learn to discern it. We are born with a Sin nature. But we don’t have to give into this sin nature. Listen to your conscience (or gut). It was given to us by God.

23. Never underestimate the lies Satan will put in your path, and mind.  
Guilty as charged. I have thought some things that are infathomable but they were lies and when I realized this, I chose not to believe them and not to give into my sin nature.

24. Don’t worship any human.
For many reasons but mainly they are human and will let you down. God is the only person you should worship. He created this earth and every human being. Did you create the stars in the sky? Did any human? NOPE. As Borat would say, “Respec”.

25. There are a lot of good people and businesses in this world. 
They truly care about others well being and not just their own selfish ambition.

26. You reap what what you sow, or Karma.
Even if you choose to follow Christ, you will reap the sin that you sowed before, but then you are free.  Just don’t keep sinning and hurting others, or it will come back to you on this earth.

27. You have some control of what toxins get into your body, mind, and life. But you can’t control everything.
Toxins are everywhere-in our food, medicine, skin care, air, television, facebook, twitter, internet, even people.  Just be careful what or who you let in.

28. Let things go. Forgive yourself.

29. Your heart and feelings can mislead you.

30. That void in your heart can be filled.
By Jesus alone. Enough said.

31. Become trustworthy. 
Friends stick around when they can count on and trust you.  If you don’t have a lot of friends, maybe examine why. Are you trustworthy?

32. Be you, not someone you think you should be by the world’s or others standards.
I do not let the world’s standards affect me.  I live for Jesus and those are the standards I live by. Get off Facebook once in a while. If you try to get more likes and are discouraged when you don’t. Who cares? I call it fake book. Because you can be as real or fake as you want to be. Choose to be real. You will draw the right people to you that way.

Happy birthday to me! Free coffee at Starbucks here I come!

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5 Comments you hear if you have twins

These are things I constantly hear as a mom of twins and my (sarcastic) reply in my mind.

1. Twins? You really got your hands full.
Wow, thank you for noticing I have 2 young children just because they are the same size does not mean my hands are fuller than any other mom with young children under 5. Maybe say bless you and move on.

2. Are they twins?!
No they are just exactly the same size and look alike but are not twins. Duh, pay attention, their names are Samuel and Sebastian, of course they are twins.

3. There’s a special place in heaven for a mother of twins.
I know you mean well but if I didn’t have twins would there a be a special place for me? I made Jesus lord of my life already. I thought that was enough.

4. Double trouble, huh?
Imagine that there were two of you when you were 4 years old. Do you really need to ask that question? And I consider it a double blessing with lots of messiness.

5. Were they natural? Do twins run in your family?
Yes, and really is it any of your business? Why do you care? Is your hair natural? You don’t even know me, maybe ask my name before getting into my family’s genetic history.

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Becoming a mother; sacrificial love

Mothers, they help the world go round. The hardest part of motherhood is sacrifice.SS Twins 5a

I never understood how beautiful the female body really was until I became pregnant,(with twins). It did not feel real, like the miracle it is, until I saw those little tiny babies in a sonogram. And my heart was stolen. I knew that there would be sacrifice not only of my body, but my time, my life, my identity.

We all have mothers whether we know them, or maybe are not close to them but one thing you should know-that person selflessly loved you at one point. Enough to carry, nurture, and change her body forever.
I love my new body, after my twins were born I got back into shape and have been in the best shape of my life because I eat healthier, in order to teach my kids to live healthy lives. I work harder, I exercise, not just for me but for my children. As a mother, I have come to understand the beauty of motherhood and that sacrifice is essential to love them unconditionally.

From the moment we find out we are with child, it starts. We sacrifice our bodies, our energy, our favorite foods (that could possible harm our unborn baby). We fall asleep at work, on the couch after church, in a friends house. Our body is changing; our hormones are raging, and despite the struggle there is an innate sense of joy.

Once the baby is born, we will do anything to take care of them, provide, give them the clothes off our back, the food off our plate. We will suffer to make our children happy. I remember when they were infants and I just was exhausted from feeding every 3 hours, burping, changing, laundry, trying to eat and drink enough. And I just remember Sammy having a fever and me just holding him crying my eyes out. I was praying and asked God to make me sick so my baby did not have to suffer. I am now pregnant with #3 and I would readily die for any of my children. To me, that is fascinating. I thought I was the most selfish person and those tiny babies made me feel so deeply that I would do anything to take away their pain. That’s how much God loves us, and becoming a mom made me realize that.

There are other mothers too who nurture and love just as much even if they cannot have a child. Adoption mothers, foster care mothers, spiritual mothers, step mothers. Each of these ladies are just as important in a child’s life as a natural mother. Some women are unable to carry their own but that does not mean they do not choose to sacrifice for a child in need. I have much respect for all these women. Spiritual mothers can also be natural mothers. They have a huge impact on helping someone grow in their faith. Especially when a person maybe did not have a great childhood and need a mother in adulthood to help them press on through the trials of life.

I think both my mother and mother in law exemplify this sacrifice. They are both selfless, humble, and extremely loving. When I think of impact on this world I think of all the mothers, whether it be your grandmother, aunt, sister, friend, or you. Even if you are not a mother just the amazing fact that we have the power to give life, love, nurture and impact children for the glory of God.

Now, that is phenomenal. So, next time you see a mother struggling with her kids in the supermarket, say something nice, like “You are amazing”, or “keep up the hard work”.  We need that encouragement and love.  Because without mothers, none of us would be here.

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