Wisdom From Paul

Wisdom From Paul

Christ over comfort.

As you all know, I started my first year in Bible Study Fellowship this year. I have always wanted to participate in BSF but since we travel at the drop of a dime to places that are usually out in the middle of nowhere, I have never been able to join. Now that they offer online classes I have been able to connect with a wonderful group of ladies from all over the US. It’s so nice to have a time of online fellowship. Luckily, since we are online, we haven’t skipped a beat with this whole COVID-19 pandemic going on. This year we have been studying Acts of the Apostles. This book has been such a phenomenal blessing to me in so many ways.

Seeing the boldness of Paul as he faces his trials and setbacks and continuously preaches the Gospel amazes me. Let me first say how much hope he gives me when he tells his testimony as a Pharisee who was a persecutor of Christians and now because of his vision on the road to Damascus is one of the most blazingly bold evangelists in the Bible. To see how God used Paul and to think of the ways He could use me if I only let him blows my mind.

During this time I have also been homeschooling my daughter and we have been using a bible curriculum called Wise Up, Wisdom in Proverbs. Doing these two studies at the same time has been amazing. I cannot tell you how much bible study has affected my life. I am in such a better place mentally, emotionally, and spiritually than I ever have been. I already take care of my physical needs by eating healthy and working out but being in the word and learning to apply it to my life has just fed my soul.

Since I have been learning and teaching I felt I should be sharing some of what I am learning. I have answered the call to reach out and teach a class to my sisters-in-law and my daughter who all live in New Mexico. I am teaching the Wise Up class online. This was a big step for me because I am a creature of comfort. I like my comfort zone and I had tons of excuses as to why I shouldn’t do it. I am so busy homeschooling my other three, I will neglect my blog, I won’t have any time for me. Paul has taught me that this life is not about my comfort. It is not about me. God kept nudging and I kept putting him off until I realized I cannot ignore Him anymore. The quote from our lecture in BSF that hit me the hardest was, “A courageous witness chooses godly obedience over personal comfort.” God is not calling me out to the masses, at least not yet. He wasn’t expecting me to minister out of a jail cell or at the threat of persecution. He was asking me to minister to my baby girl and my sisters out of the comfort of my home.

Someday I may have to face more uncomfortable situations for my Lord, but what he is calling me to do now is a no brainer. I have had to move some things around in my day and I have not been able to get to my blog. I don’t write blogs ahead of time so I am sorry if I have been MIA. I am a fly by the seed of my pants kind of woman these days, lol. I have had to miss a few weeks on my blog and have had to prioritize a little more of my time to get the class up and running, but I am still here. I am so excited to see Jesus at work in these girls and I am also excited to see the work He is doing in me as well! I will keep you all posted on how this all works out, Pray for us!

Taking Every Thought Captive

Taking Every Thought Captive

Worry leads to nothing good.

Our life as travelers can be fun and exciting, we get to see new places, experience new things, meet new people; but we are also bound to my husband’s job and they sometimes send us to places that are not exactly that amazing and they have been known to do so on a drop of a dime. We knew this getting into the traveling lifestyle and it was ok for a while but it still can be a difficult transition from time to time especially if I do not like the place they want to send us or I really love the place we are in.

We have been in Phoenix for about a month and a half and I really do like it here, it is warm and it is close to home. I love the palm trees and cacti that adorn the landscapes and skylines. We knew this was a short job and we came from Pryor Oklahoma so no complaints there, LOL! We got word that we will be heading to Nebraska for a few months at the end of this month. Not really something I am excited about but there are some friends there and that will be nice to have familiar faces around. They gave us an end date so we planned it all out. We got plane tickets for my step-daughter to come out to Arizona for spring break and then we head to Nebraska dropping her off at home on the way. Then we got more news, we may have to leave earlier.

This life can be hectic at times and God has really been growing me in the sense of being able to roll with the punches or go with the flow. I am a planner, I think I have mentioned before, I have come a long way and have been able to be more fluid in my planning with the trust I have in my Lord and knowing that he is ultimately in control of my life and his plans are better than mine. That doesn’t mean I don’t have anxieties when things like this happen. This week I prayed that God would help me to recognize anxious thoughts and take them captive. I have really felt His presence in my thoughts and I have been able to do what I asked Him to help me with. Not just thoughts about my changing plans but all the thoughts I have that lead me down anxious rabbit holes.

I never got a chance to post this blog. When things change around here, they change fast. We got the call and were told to move out the next day so we packed up our little home and headed out for a pit stop in New Mexico. It was on the way to Nebraska anyways and we were able to spend a week there with our family on the way here. Unfortunately, Covid-19 hit hard that same week so we didn’t get to do anything super fun while we were there. We left there last Saturday and headed towards Nebraska. The whole trip was so eerie and surreal. Interstate 40 was unusually packed with RV’s but once we got off I40 it was a pretty clear road all the way. It was actually pretty nice having the road to ourselves, lol.

I just wanted to give a little update on what is going on here. Actually not much has changed for us. We are still homeschooling and since we are back in the cold the outdoors is hit or miss. I must say, I am missing the warm weather and I am wondering if the sun ever comes out in Nebraska!

Count Down: 5 Things I Miss About New Mexico

Count Down: 5 Things I Miss About New Mexico

Viva, Nuevo Mexico!

When we started our journey 4 years ago and left the “Land of Entrapment” I was so excited to leave. Honestly, I just wanted to see more of what was out in this great country. We have lived in 6 other states and I have really enjoyed seeing the sights and meeting new people. We have been able to do some really cool things but I never expected that traveling would give me such a deep appreciation for my homeland of, Nuevo Mexico. I have compiled a list of five things I miss the most about The Land of Enchantment.

5. The Balloon Fiesta. The fiesta is something that I have been going to since I can remember. Waking up super early to catch the mass ascension or bundling up at dusk for the balloon glow. It’s always fun and exciting to see the balloons go up and even if you don’t attend the fiesta, you can pretty much see the balloons all over Albuquerque for the entire duration of the event. The balloons add an extra flair to the already amazing sunsets over the Sandias and they add excitement to your early morning commute.

4. The Albuquerque Zoo and Bio Park. My kids love to go to the zoo and aquarium. We could seriously go every day. The only problem I have found out on the road is that the zoo’s in some places are extremely expensive. We have visited some really nice zoos, for instance, the Memphis Zoo was out of this world, but it’s not a zoo we would visit often. The Albuquerque Zoo and Bio Park are pretty affordable and I can attest that they are one of the top zoos we have visited out of all the states we have been in. We love us a zoo day and the Albuquerque Zoo is one of our favorites!

3. The Sandia Mountains. Let me first say that I have seen some pretty majestic mountains, we lived in Utah for crying out loud! But, there is something so invitingly magical about the Sandias. Maybe it is because I have spent many days growing up hiking in the trails at the top of the crest, or riding up the tramway and looking down on the gorgeous city lights below. Maybe it’s Tinkertown, the quaint museum on the way up the mountain that is made of glass bottles and filled with interesting trinkets and antique toys. Maybe it’s the way the sun peaks over the top in the morning, or the way red hue you see at sunset. Whatever it is, the Sandia Mountains are a sight to behold and any New Mexican will tell you just how useful they are for directional purposes.

2. The food. In all of my travels across America, I have to say that not one state can compare with my home state. Don’t get me wrong, I have favorites in every state but there is nothing like a plate of red chile ribeye enchiladas with a side of beans and rice and a warm sopapilla. I have to stop into La Cucina Azul every time I am in Albuquerque to get my fill. There is also no one that makes breakfast burritos quite like Blakes or Twisters and I cannot go without mentioning the taco burgers and green chile cheese fries from Bob’s Burgers and the stuffed sopapillas at El Modelo. All I can say is yummy.

1. My family and friends. They are what I miss the most about New Mexico. Almost all of my family and most of, my husband, Adam’s family live there. You really take for granted how great it can be to have family around. Watching my kids grow up without their cousins and everyone missing out on their big milestones has been rough but it’s always nice when the stars align and we can spend special occasions together in New Mexico.

I didn’t take this photo, I just love all the people in it!

Seeing all the wondrous places the United States has to offer has been amazing but I have to give credit to New Mexico for the majestic beauty and the rich history it has. No matter where in the world I go, I will always look forward to coming home to some great views, delicious food, and mi familia.

My Current Daily Skincare Routine

My Current Daily Skincare Routine

The Products I Love.

Skincare is so important. It is something that I have always had in the back of my mind but never really focused too much attention on it. I have always used face wash, toner, and moisturizer. I tried to always remember to use sunblock if it was convenient. I am so glad that I did at least that. Now that I am a little older, I do feel I am more in tune with what my skin needs and I go the extra mile to keep my skin soft, plump and looking young.

I feel like the skincare industry has blown up. Everyone is making claims about fountain of youth products and since we all are a lot more health-conscious we are looking for products that are all-natural, paraben-free and not tested on animals. It’s not hard to find products that fit our needs but how in the heck do you choose with so many options?

I try to keep skincare at a forefront in my daily routine. The first thing I do is I take collagen every day. It is something easy I can do to feed my skin and it has so many other benefits as well. The collagen I take is Vital Proteins. I read somewhere that this is the one Jennifer Aniston uses and I figured if it is good enough for Jen, I will give it a go. I put it in my coffee every day and since it is unflavored and dissolves quickly I hardly notice it. I don’t know if Jen Aniston really uses this one, but I love it! I also stopped wearing makeup so much. I am home now so that is easy. Since I take way better care of my skin, I am a lot more comfortable bare faced than I ever was and it feels a million times better getting complimented on my skin than my makeup ever did! I wash my face every day, still use toner, and I use serums under my moisturizer. The face wash system I currently use is Jordan Essentials’ basic system. It’s a foaming face wash, a toner mist, and a red wine moisturizer. I really feel like it cleans my face so well, even when I wear makeup. The moisturizer is thick but it soaks into my skin and doesn’t feel heavy or greasy. It is infused with resveratrol, shea butter, and vitamin e. It has been a game-changer for me, especially in the colder, dryer places we have been lately.

I have been using Glossier Super Bounce and Super Glow serums together daily under my moisturizer. The Super Bounce has hyaluronic acid and b5 serum to ease and soften tight rough skin. The Super Glow has vitamin c and magnesium serum to brighten and energize dull tired skin. I use them together to help even out my skin tone. I have freckles and some larger spots in my complexion which is why I never felt comfortable bare-faced but these two serums have helped so much. Now, they don’t promise to help reduce discoloration but I heard a lot about them and read a lot of reviews that claimed this, so I tried them out. I’m not completely spotless, but the difference is huge to me.

I also use a night cream most of the time, the Jordan Essentials moisturizer I mentioned above is thick and creamy enough to use as a night cream but I switch it up sometimes with Derma-E Vitamin C Intense Night Cream. This cream is infused with probiotics and rooibos. I like the scent and I love how it makes my skin feel completely moisturized and supple.

These are the products I use in my daily skincare routine. There are a lot of products with huge claims but keep in mind that you are human and you are beautiful. Take care of your skin and embrace the aging process because you can do everything right by your skin and you’re still going to age. Look for products that are natural and make your skin feel good. Learn to love your skin, the wrinkles, the dimples, and even the freckles!

I am not a doctor and following any medical recommendations should be approved by a physician before use. I do not make any warranties about the completeness, reliability and accuracy of this information. Any action you take upon the information on this webiste is strictly at your own risk, and we will not be liable for any losses and damages in connection with the use of our website. 

Birthday Thoughts

Birthday Thoughts

So…this is 36.

I was chatting with my daughter the other night, as we often do when she can’t sleep. She likes to ask me off the wall questions to drag out her bed time and she knows mom will go off on a tangent if she can hit the right button. She asked me the life expectancy of our dog, William. He will be 4 this May so I told her we have at least another 10 years with him, God willing. I mentioned she will be in her early 20s around that time. She scoffed and said, in her most convincing tone, that she was going to stop aging at 16 and just be that age forever. She then explained the reason she choose 16 is so that she will be old enough to drive herself around. I laughed. If only it were that easy.

Today, I am turning 36. I can clearly remember at 16 thinking I would be that age forever, just like my daughter is now. Life was fun, exciting, and super scary. Time moves differently in your teen years, you think you will be young forever. At least I did, I mean, don’t we all? Years roll by faster and faster with every birthday and before you know it your sitting in a rocking chair on your front porch with a grand baby on your lap wondering where in the heck life went! OK, well I am not there yet, but someday, lol.

I have learned enough in my short time on this earth to know how important it is to cherish each moment, make time for my husband, soak in my kid’s love, and be present daily in my life. The days go by so quickly and my babies are growing so fast. I will never get these moments back so I will marinate in each one as long as possible. I look forward to this new year in my life knowing that the harvest I am sowing now will be bountiful in the years to come. I have joy in knowing what I have to look forward to in my life and who I will get to spend eternity with in the life to come.

Happy Birthday To Me!

Valentines Day For The Single Girl

Valentines Day For The Single Girl

Spread some love and enjoy.

I have always loved Valentines Day. I think it is such a fun day to celebrate not just romantic love, but just love in general. Being that my love language is gift giving, this is really another day for me to shine! I have had a Valentines date with my husband for the past 13 years but I have many friends who despise this day because they do not have a date. I think it’s a great day to love on yourself, and the people who love you!

Like I said, I never really looked at this day as a romantic holiday. It’s a great day to love the people in your life. One of my favorite things to do is buy something for my kiddos. I have made it a tradition to get them a small token of my love each year. Maybe you don’t have kids, but you have a freind or a coworker that you could surprise with a small gift to show your appreciation. Its just a day to spread love, and what could warm your heart more than making someones day better!

Now that you’re feeling good about sharing the love, why not spend a little time and shower some love on yourself? When was the last time you soaked in the tub or finished a good book with a warm cup of cocoa or tea? Make it a face mask and foot soak night. Light a candle and eat something sweet. I can’t remember the last time I had a moment to sit and just breath, no one running in and screaming or needing something. I always enjoyed my time alone, take some time to soak in these simple moments and just enjoy the quiet.

The last thing I would recommend is that you take some time to meditate and read your bible. God has the most amazing love for you and he would love to have a date with you. He loved you before you were born, he made you, he knows everything about you and he is desperately in love with you. He will be your Valentine for eternity. Who can compete with a love so pure? During this time you could talk with Him about the love he has for you and the man he is preparing for you. I know it sounds kind of funny, but He has a man that he has set apart for you. You should spend some time praying for him.

I know the single life can be lonely, and days like this only magnify your lonesomeness. You don’t have to let it get you down. This is a season and we don’t know what the next season will bring but you can enjoy the little things in each season and appreciate each day.

John 3:16 For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.

Ephesians 3:17-19 Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong.  And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is.  May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God.

Lamentations 3:22-23 The faithful love of the Lord never ends! His mercies never cease. Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning.

Choose Your Tribe Wisely

Choose Your Tribe Wisely

Tell me who your friends are and I’ll tell you who you are.

Choosing Godly friends is just as important as choosing a Godly spouse. Just like your spouse, your friends are people you will be sharing your life with and making memories with. If the people you choose to surround yourself with do not have the love of Jesus in their hearts, how can you expect them to love you? This does not mean that because we are Christians we can only be friends with Christians. It just means that we should have a close circle of friends who share the love of the Lord that we can count on, fellowship with, and turn to in times of joy and pain. Though some people make friends very easily, it can be daunting to meet and trust new people. If you are anything like me, you are skeptical of people and their motives. This could be because I have had such turbulent friendships. Lucky for us, God gives some clear cut signs to tell if someone would be a good friend.

  1. Proverbs 13:20 Walk with the wise and become wise; associate with fools and get in trouble. Wise friends are good friends because they will help us to be wise. Makes sense right? If we hang out with wise people, we will do wise things. If we hang out with fools, we will do foolish things.
  2. Proverbs 29:9 The heartfelt counsel of a friend is as sweet as perfume and incense. A good friend will give good, Godly counsel. They will rejoice with you in your triumps and pray with you through your storms.
  3. Proverbs 27:17 As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend. A good friend will have our best interests at heart and will help us to be the best version of ourselves. A good friend will not hold back the tough love when we need to hear a good dose of truth.

We all have a desire to have friends and be accepted by our peers, but we have to be good judges of who we let in our lives because the people we allow to be a part of our lives will influence our lives for better or for worse. Here are some warnings about people we should stay away from found in the Bible.

  1. Proverbs 1:15-16 My child, don’t go along with them! Stay far from their paths. They rush to commit evil deeds. They hurry to commit murder. The bible is pretty clear, we do not want to be in the wrong crowds. It is easy to get caught up in wrong situations and be tempted to make wrong choices when we are hanging out with people who are ungodly.
  2. Proverbs 25:26 If the godly give in to the wicked, its like polluting a fountain or muddying a spring. God expects us to live pure lives, when I was teaching this to my daughter, we talked about how adding just a small amount of bleach to our water would make our water impure and undrinkable. The same happens to our purity when we allow wickedness to muddy up our lives.
  3. Proverbs 22:24-25 Don’t befriend angry people or associate with hot-tempered people, or you will learn to be like them and endanger your soul. When I went through my divorce, I was such an angry bitter woman. I gave in to the hate and let it control me. I feel like I was in such an awful place and I am sure I lead some of my I closest friends down the wrong paths. I did’nt have the Lord in my life and I was full of worldly knowledge. I had terrible worldly advice, that same worldly advice that lead me straight in to my divorce. It is best to stay away from angry, bitter people, trust me.

So, we have gone over a few principles of good, godly friendships and some warnings of how dangerous people could potentially harm your life and your soul. Now, I want to state again, that it is good to be friends with non believers as well. Yes, Jesus was friends with tax collectors, prostitutes, and drunkards; But Jesus didn’t become like them, he changed them because he loved them. Be kind to everyone and keep your self out of harms way by not participating in sinful behaviors. Make good friends that you can replenish your faith with and share the love of Jesus with everyone.

Confession: I was a bad friend

Confession: I was a bad friend

I can honestly say that I haven’t always been the best friend I could be. I have always, prior to Jesus, felt that friends are dispensable. This is not something I am happy to admit. I just never really thought much about other peoples feelings and I went through friends like cheap high heels. As an adult, I found friendships easy but I think most people I befriended approached the relationship in a similar manner. I never really knew what it meant to be a good friend, much less how to choose one.

First of all, it is important to note that our inner attitudes affect how we treat other people. For much of my life, I was self serving and rebellious. If I had such a bad attitude in my approach to life, you can imagine the attitude I had in my approach to people. Growing up I did’nt know Jesus, and I knew very little about God. The problem is that I did not do well with rules, infact, I was taught that rules were meant to be broken. So, I had terrible inner attitudes towards life, which led to wrong thoughts, words, and eventually actions. Having these negative inner attitudes lead me to gravitate towards people with similar attitudes. God would eventually break me of this frame of mind but I chose the hard way in many lessons in life.

Having the Holy Spirit lead my life has helped me to better see my self and see the issues that needed to be resolved. I have been able to change my inner attitudes and get external results. Realizing I have rebellious tendencies was easy, I was proud of that fact; But having to change the way I viewed my tendencies and realize they are actually working against me was much harder. I have come along way, lol, and I would say that obviously I am a better friend now than I was. I am super loyal and I will always be there for my friends! I don’t look at people as dispensable any more and I have learned to (gulp) swallow my pride and say, “I’m sorry”.

Now, many of the friendships I tossed out like last weeks trash were exactly that, trash friendships with people who had the same self serving attitudes I did. But there were a few that weren’t, I cringe thinking about them to this day. Not all of my friendships ended terribly, I have some wonderful friends who have been in my life for years. We have been able to grow together and separately but still remain close friends and I am truly grateful for these ladies! We have stood by each other through many storms, we have cheered each other on and we have had to sometimes offer each other some tough love and all this has done was make our friendships stronger. Still, some friendships I cherished and nurtured fizzled out and that is OK, that happens with friends sometimes. We are always growing and changing and sometimes we outgrow people or we grow separately in different directions and lose touch.

I try to learn something from each season and from anyone who may enter or leave my life. I am not resentful of anyone and the fact that I am able to say that is a true testament to Jesus and the work he has done in my heart.

Some are old, some are new, all are loved.

Next Step In Faith

Next Step In Faith

When I first started this blog, 4 years ago, I wanted it to be a way that I could update my family on what was going on in our travels and also a way I could keep fostering my love for sharing my faith with my family, friends and anyone else who came along. Along the way I got disillusioned about who I was as a christian and what I wanted out of the blog. I got distracted and ignored the blog for a long time. Now that I have reconnected with my blog and with you all, I have been wanting to realign my blog with my faith.

Doing my homework for BSF the other night I was hit with some hard truth that I really needed to hear because I have been wanting to gear this blog back towards the christian roots it started as. In Hebrews 5:11-14 it says,

There is much more we would like to say about this, but it is difficult to explain, especially since you are spiritually dull and don’t seem to listen. You have been believers so long now that you ought to be teaching others. Instead, you need someone to teach you again the basic things about God’s word. You are like babies who need milk and cannot eat solid food. For someone who lives on milk is still an infant and doesn’t know how to do what is right. Solid food is for those who are mature, who through training have the skill to recognize the difference between right and wrong.

Well, this spoke to me because before we left New Mexcio I was leading a bible study. Leading is something that I have always felt called to do. But since then, I have regressed in sharing my faith and the word God gives me with you all. I am being a little harsh on myself I suppose, I do teach my children and they are my primary ministry. We are in the word daily and applying it to our lives. I just feel like I should also be getting the message out to the world as well. I feel the need to take the step to grow, share more of what I know and what God is laying on my heart to share.

Talk about getting smacked across the head with solid truth. People say to me all the time that God doesn’t speak to them, but if you are in his word, he can speak quite loudly sometimes!

New Year, New You

New Year, New You

Tools To Help Guide the Way

Last year I wanted to make some changes in my life. I dove deeper into the bible and created a profound and meaningful relationship with Jesus. I also started reading and listening to books that would change my mindset. I realized the things I struggle with, self-doubt, being authentic, and being vulnerable in any form, and I am working towards correcting them. I have been doing a lot of self-reflection and, though I am still a work in progress, I have learned so much about myself and why I feel and think the way I do. I wanted to share a few resources that helped me to be a better version of myself!

One app that really helped me to dive deeper in to the bible was my, You Version Bible App. The app is awesome because not only can you read the bible from your phone, but you can listen, highlight, make notes, and create images out of the scriptures. They offer tons of bible plans, for all ages, that you can choose to do alone or with friends. Juliet and I use it in our home school bible class and the boys and I do our own bible plans at night before bed. You Version also tracks your bible activity so you can see how many days you spend in the bible. This has helped me stay on track with my bible reading goals.

One of my favorite books that has helped me see my self in a new light is the audio book, Girl, Stop Apologizing. As I mentioned in one of my previous posts, this book was such an eye-opener for me in many ways. The book is narrated by the author, Rachel Hollis, and she does a wonderful job at knocking you upside the head with convicting truth about why we, as women, need to get out of our comfort zones and start chasing the things we desire so we can live our best lives. She is so motivating and so relatable that she makes it easy to hear these things about ourselves. I have to admit, at some points, I felt like she was speaking directly to me! I think every woman should read this, and if you are a man who needs some encouragement jammed into your head as well, this book will do it!

I just finished an Audible original called, Take Control of Your Life, by Mel Robbins. In this audio book, Mel takes us along as she dives deep into coaching sessions with six individuals and gives us awesome takeaways that we can apply to our own lives to help us stop living in fear and start changing our mindsets! I learned so much about myself listening to this audio book. Mel asks us to name our biggest fear and to recognize what our bodies do in response so we can change our reaction to fear. I saw a little of myself in all the sessions and learned some great tips on how to move forward in different situations.

If you are looking to start your new year off on the right foot, I recommend these resources. The first step in changing your direction in this new year is carving out time to spend in God’s word and learning practical ways to apply it to your everyday life. After that, do some self reflection and take a look at yourself, admit what needs to be changed, then arm your self with the tools to get it done. Lastly, motivation is key, but you can leave that part to Rachel and Mel!

Sunset on the lake