Will You Accept the Challenge?

So I have to be honest with you all and let you know that this isn’t going to be easy for me. There is something that needs to be corrected, but it is so engrained into my everyday life that it will take a lot of energy and commitment to change; but it’s necessary. Now that I have all of you on the edge of your seats wondering what it is that I might be talking about, it is in this moment that I will come clean: I am… A COMPLAINER. Whew! That was like taking a load off right there.

Okay, I’ll cut the dramatics now (you guys know I like to be extra). But seriously though, I complain about anything and everything. It’s bad, and is something that I am challenging myself to work on. You see I was reading in Exodus a few weeks ago and Moses was leading the Israelites out of Egypt. He had just parted the Red Sea and they had been traveling for 3 whole days through the desert when they finally arrived in Marah {Exodus 15:22-24}. However, the whole time they were traveling, they didn’t have any water to drink. So imagine their dismay when they get to Marah and guess what…the water is bitter! As anyone would do, they started to ask Moses “what are we going to drink?”. However, as I read the exact verse, I noticed something that caught my eye. You see, they didn’t just ask Moses what was up with the water but it says they grumbled against Moses.

Well in case any of you were wondering, to grumble means to “complain or protest about something in a bad-tempered way”. Yikes. So you mean to tell me, that God just freed these people from Egypt and performed a miracle in front of their eyes with the parting of the Red Sea, and they still found something to complain about?!

So I meditated on that for a bit, but it didn’t really hit me until tonight when my boyfriend said to me “I was feeling a little tired but I didn’t say anything because I didn’t want to complain”. WOW! So now I’m sitting here thinking to myself ‘well you aren’t really complaining because if you are really tired, and you say you’re tired, then you’re just stating a fact’. But then I thought, ‘well kudos to you for not even wanting to say a simple statement such as “you’re tired” because you don’t want to be seen as a complainer’. And then it hit me. I complain SO MUCH! I even complain about stuff that doesn’t even have to do with me!

I like to frame it as “just venting” but in all honesty, I’m just complaining. But then I realized, I am just like the Israelites. Complaining even after God has done so much for me. In Ephesians 4:29 it says “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen”. This verse really spoke to me because I do the exact opposite all the time. I complain to my friends about some of the dumbest things, simply for the act of complaining. So instead of possibly talking to them about something positive or giving them a word of encouragement, I am bringing them down by being Negative Nancy. Well as if that verse wasn’t enough to dissuade me from complaining, I looked at Philippians 2:14, and was hit with another bomb. It says very bluntly: “Do everything without complaining or arguing”! Well, okay then. I see Paul wasn’t holding anything back when he wrote that verse.

So here’s the deal: I complain, but being a Christian is about turning from our old ways (life of sin) and transforming into the likeness of Christ. But in order to turn away from our old ways we first have to recognize that those behaviors are wrong. This isn’t always easy and we have to be honest with ourselves, but once we are able to recognize those sinful behaviors we can then begin to work on it everyday! We have to put time and energy into this, or else nothing will change. So my challenge to myself (and you) is this: simply go 24 hours without complaining and see how you feel at the end of the day. Did you notice a change in your attitude?

I would love to hear how this worked for you and what you did to keep yourself from complaining! We can all be a light in this world, but we first have to make changes within ourselves.

Leave a comment below and don’t forget to like, share, and subscribe so you don’t miss another post!

Until next time,

XOXO

 

 

It’s the Dawn of a New Day: Learn to Enjoy Your Mornings!

Disclaimer: I am not a morning person

Or at least I wasn’t until recently. I found that I had more stuff to do and less time during the day to do it, so I started getting up earlier in the mornings to try and accomplish it all. The first week was brutal. I thought about quitting this new venture of mine and going back to sleeping in until 30 minutes before class started. Trust me. I thought long and hard about that. But I told myself that since I’m not really one to stay up late and my productivity usually diminishes around 10pm, something had to give.

Now, let me just tell you that I am not one of those people who gets up at like 4am and has everything crossed off their to-do list by 9am. I set my alarm for 5:55am realistically knowing that I will be out of bed by 6:10am. I avoid the mirror at all costs at this time of morning because lets just be real: I am not Beyoncé, and I do not wake up flawless. However, once I am up and out of bed the first thing that is on my mind is COFFEE. Yes. You heard it here first, I am a caffeine addict and no I will not get help (sorry, Mom). Coffee has magical powers, plus the coffee cup my sister got me for Christmas is seriously s’cute.

_Coffee gets me started, but God keeps me going_

Let’s be real though. Coffee gets me started, but God keeps me going! Which is why I strive to do my devotional in the morning before I get started on other things. We should all have quiet time with God each day whether that’s 5 minutes or 30 minutes, but it should be done out of a true desire; not just another item to cross off our checklist. This is what helps me to get out of bed in the mornings. You know like when you were a kid and on Christmas morning you couldn’t wait to get up and go open presents because you were just so excited to see what Santa had brought you? (What am I talking about, I’m almost 23 and I still get like that).

But my whole point is, that is what my mornings have turned into! I crave Jesus in the mornings and I get so excited to see what new teaching is in store for me. I look forward to my quiet time in the morning because it really helps to set the tone for the day. When I was waking up right before I needed to leave for class I was rushed, looked a hot mess, and typically was in a grumpy mood. But now, after getting in my daily dose of Jesus in the mornings, I feel refreshed and ready to take on my day! So I grab my coffee, sit down with my Bible, and enjoy some quiet time with God. Right now I am reading my way through the Bible in a year so I am currently in Leviticus. In addition to my daily reading, I have really been enjoying the Redeemed Girls Ministry app which has numerous teachings on a variety of topics. I am currently going through the “My God is” series where each day is a new characteristic of God. The teachings are only 5 minutes but are packed full of inspiration!

Untitled design

In addition to my Bible study, I have really challenged myself to workout for at least 30 minutes before getting ready for the day. I plan on sharing my fitness journey with you all soon, but let’s just say working out consistently has been a serious struggle for me. It has been much better ever since I began scheduling my workouts in the mornings because I don’t have the opportunity to make as many excuses for myself. Now there have been a few exceptions here and there, but I have actually come to enjoy working out at this time. Jesus time + working out = me feeling unstoppable! Right now I have just been doing some at home workouts but they have definitely helped to keep me energized so that I can tackle my busy schedule.

Some of my favorite workouts have been from GymRa on YouTube. They are challenging but effective and they have a huge variety of workouts to choose from! The link to their channel is here. I highly suggest that you check them out if you are looking to switch up your fitness routine!

Once I am done with my workout and have gotten ready for the day, I begin to tackle my to-do list one item at a time. I find that by doing those few things beforehand help me to have a more positive outlook on the day which helps decrease those thoughts of “this is too much to get done” or “I am just so overwhelmed”. I have a daily planner that helps me to keep my days structured and what I really like about it, is that it has a portion at the top of each day where you can list your “Top 3”, or your most important to-do’s. I have found that once I have tackled those, I can move on to other things I have listed out for the week. This has really helped to keep me organized and focused throughout the day. Plus I just love that feeling of being able to go to bed knowing that I got everything done for that day. That gives me total satisfaction. The planner that I use can be found here or you can design your own the mini version here.

Once a hater and now a lover, I am living proof that mornings don’t have to be your enemy. I hope that you were able to gain some helpful tips from this post, and I would love to hear some of the things that you have implemented in your morning routine!

Make sure to like, share, and subscribe so you can have my posts sent directly to your email!

Now go out and be the light

XOXO

 

Are You Teachable?

Playing sports growing up, I was always told that one of the best qualities a player can have is being coachable. Being able to receive instruction from your coach and practice it until it becomes routine. But what about in life? Are we teachable? Do we humble ourselves enough to be taught right from wrong? To learn from our mistakes and make corrections?

I will be honest with you, this is something that I really struggle with to this day. I would venture to say that I have gotten a lot better, but I know that I can still do better. The Bible says in Proverbs 11:2 “When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom”. You see, I would always pride myself on knowing everything. Which is a complete and total JOKE. I talked about this in my first post that I realized without God, I don’t know ANYTHING! However, I have found that even though I have grown tremendously in my relationship with Christ, I still have moments where I find myself refusing to receive correction. Even though I know that I was in the wrong, it seems as if I can’t help myself wanting to argue my way into being right.

While we are human and we will make mistakes, part of being a Christian is taking step back and truly assessing the situation based on the Word of God. We have to be honest with ourselves and say “okay, does what they are saying to me right now have truth to it and is it in line with what I have been taught?”. Once we are able to do this, we can then repent when we fall short of God’s glory! When we pray and repent our wrong doings, we are make an intentional decision to do better! We are turning away from sin and living life in accordance with God.

If we are consumed with pride, we will never reach repentance. Therefore, we have to humble ourselves daily in order to understand our own faults so that we can then repent and turn away from sin! In Romans 2:8 it says “but for those who are self-seeking and who reject the truth and follow evil, there will be wrath and anger”. Uhm….I don’t know about you, but “wrath and anger” just doesn’t even sound like fun to me. I want God’s grace because it says that “grace and peace be yours in abundance through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord” {2 Peter 1:2}. You see, we can have grace in abundance but we have to gain it through knowledge and the way we gain knowledge is by HUMBLING OURSELVES! Yeah, I know…that realization was a slap in my face too.

We aren’t perfect, but we do have the opportunity to better ourselves each day to live life according to Jesus’ teachings. We just have to stop lifting ourselves up on a pedestal and “humble ourselves before the Lord, and He will lift you up” {James 4:10}. Being lifted up by the Lord sounds a lot better than placing myself on a pedestal that isn’t worthy of God’s grace. This week, I challenge all of us to humble ourselves so that we can become teachable individuals and allow for the opportunity to be lifted up by the Lord. Remind yourself each day “whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things” {Philippians 4:8}.

If this post was an encouragement to you, please share it so that you can be an encouragement to someone else!

Until next time, and as always be the light

XOXO

 

 

Stressed Out

Stress: A state of mental or emotional strain or tension resulting from adverse or very demanding circumstances

Work. School. Family. Friends. You name it.

These are all things that can contribute to our stress level. We have all experienced it at some point in our lives. If you haven’t, then you have serious magical powers that you need to share with the rest of us. We take on more than we think we can handle, and somehow we let our self care slip to the wayside and next think you know we are ready to pull our hair out and walk away from it all. We aren’t superhumans and it is normal for us to feel a little stressed out sometimes. But it’s what we do with those feelings that separates us as true believers of Christ.

Romans 12:2 says “do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.”. Well if that isn’t perfect that I have no clue what is! Stress is a mental state in which we feel as if we have nothing left in us to possibly continue on with everything that we have to do. We are at our wits end and, if we don’t renew our minds, we give in to those feelings of helplessness. I have done this soooo many times I have lost count at this point. I would feel as if I have too much going on that I couldn’t possibly handle one more thing.

I would pray that God would help me manage everything that I was doing and help me to keep my sanity, but I felt as if I wasn’t getting what I needed from Him. Well in reality, I just wasn’t getting what I wanted. What I wanted was for God to say “it’s okay Kat, let me just take away this 12 page paper you have to write, and don’t worry about reading for you class tomorrow, matter of fact I will just go ahead and cancel that for you too!”. Yeah that never happened, and it was never going to happen. You see, what I, and many others, fail to realize is God won’t give us more than we can handle, but he will surely help us handle what we are given! And guess what: while He never changed my professors mind about that 12 page paper, nor did He cancel my classes when I was feeling stressed out, He most certainly helped me to handle everything that I had to do!

I finally realized that I wasn’t getting what I wanted at that time, but once I opened my eyes and truly listen to what God was trying to tell me I knew that I was getting what I needed! I had been transformed by the renewing of my mind! God made me realize that I needed better time management, top stop wasting time on social media, quit procrastinating the project that is due in 2 weeks, and trust in Him to help see me through! So I did just that. I got a planner and began writing out my weekly schedule and what needs to be accomplished each day, I broke those glooming project assignments up into smaller pieces so that they seemed more realistic, and I stopped making excuses for myself! And man, oh man would you believe how quickly that stress began to fade!

You see, God is just sitting back waiting for us to call out to Him, our Heavenly Father, and say “Help!”. But, we have to realize that when we do so, He won’t help us on our terms (i.e.: cancelling classes), so we have to receive His help the way He wants us to have it. Have no fear because I promise, if you do this you will not be let down for Psalm 55:22 states “Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous fall.”.

I pray that you will trust in the Lord and know that he will never let you carry more than you can handle, for He knows us better than anyone else! If you are ever feeling stressed out, please just lift it up to God and allow him to transform your mind. Here are a few more Bible verses that you can reference to uplift your spirits and know that God always has your back!

James 1:2-4 “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”

Psalm 118:5-7 “In my anguish I cried to the Lord, and he answered by setting me free. The Lord is with me; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me? The Lord is with me; he is my helper. I will look in triumph on my enemies”.

Matthew 11:28-30 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in hear, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light”.

Psalm 16:8 “I have set the Lord always before me. Because he is at my right hand, I will not be shaken.”

I hope you are able to find a little encouragement in this blog today. Find your strength in Him and you will not be shaken. May God continue to work in us so that we may all “Be the Light”.

Until next time,

XOXO

Kat

 

 

SheaMoisture Hair Care Review!

Here are a few of my favorite SheaMoisture hair products!

Hello Sunshines!

So today I wanted to share a few hair care products that I have been *slightly* #fangirling over lately.

I have a serious obsession with Shea Moisture products all of sorts! Its bad. I am a total product junkie and I have no shame admitting that, whatsoever! Their products are all natural and organic ingredients which is something that I have been wanting to slowly convert all of my products over to. So considering I typically need a lot of products to help tame my crazy, curly hair I figured that was a good place to start.

I am a die hard fan of their Coconut and Hibiscus hair product line. Now, obviously I have very curly hair and a lot of it, but it is actually it ranges from fine to medium in thickness. This line is specifically for thick, curly hair but I have found that it works wonders on mine. It isn’t very heavy but it keeps it moisturized, and it smells AHH-MAZING! You can usually count on me grabbing the Curl & Style Milk, Hold & Shine Moisture Mist, and the Frizz – Free Curl Mousse. The Frizz – Free Curl Mousse gives me a little extra definition on my curls while also making them super shiny, and the Hold & Shine Moisture Mist is my go-to for my second and third day hair to revamp my curls and add a little extra shine.

I also enjoy their Protein Free Leave-In Detangler from their Baobab and Tea Tree Oils Low Porosity line. Now for those who don’t know, porosity refers to how much or how little your hair absorbs moisture. Low porosity means that your hair typically repels moisture while high porosity means that it easily escapes (this is an extremely toned down version of the in’s and out’s of hair porosity – for a more in-depth explanation, this website does a great job of breaking it down: http://www.naturallycurly.com/texture-typing/hair-porosity). Now, I can’t even lie to you guys and say that my hair is low porosity, because, in all honesty, I have no clue what porosity my hair is! Don’t judge me. However, I do know that this stuff works miracles on my hair like Jesus does in our lives! Although I did learn that a little goes a long way. The oils are in this product are very moisturizing and it is easy to deceive yourself into thinking that you need a lot of product. TRUST ME: YOU DON’T.

I recently picked up their Tahitian Noni & Moni Smooth & Repair Shampoo and Condition. These products have a really nice, soft scent and they are formulated to help smooth uneven textures and control frizz. One of the things that I really love about these products is how the shampoo doesn’t make my hair feel rough and stringy after washing. Normally shampoo strips my hair of everything and it leaves it feeling as if I had straw for hair. But I have noticed that this shampoo leaves it feeling soft and conditioned. The conditioner itself has great slip and really helps to keep it from getting tangled so easily. Now I have only had these products for about 2 weeks, and I usually, only, fully wash my hair once a week, and I rinse it about mid-week to re-style. So I haven’t noticed a huge reduction in the amount of frizz overall; but I have noticed that it is much more manageable when I style it after washing.

These are just a few of the products that I have been using recently, but I would love to hear what SheaMoisture products you have been loving! Are there any other brands that you would recommend? While my bank account might not like the suggestions, I would love them so leave a comment below!

Until next time sunshines! Stay bright 🙂

XOXO,

Kat

 

 

Where do you stand?

Have you ever left from church on Sunday feeling totally refreshed and ready to face the week ahead of you?

Me. Every week.

But something was wrong. I would feel amazing on Sunday, inspired by the message I had received and by the end of the day on Monday I would have forgotten what I had just learned the day before! I was being told to live my life for Christ, always doing what would please Him but then I would get angry with the person who cut me off in traffic, would gossip with my co-workers about the boss, and I wasn’t even attempting to crack open my Bible.

And then it hit me. Hard. Right in the gut.

Our Pastor was preaching on this notion many of us tend to hold about standing on middle ground. As I was listening, I was thinking to myself “oh my gosh this is an awesome message” and then my stomach sank. He was speaking right at me!

In Matthew 12:30 Jesus says “Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters”. So in plain English: either you are for Jesus, or against Jesus. Which further translates to: you either live your life fully for Him, or you don’t. It’s as simple as that. It’s either one side or the other, there is no MIDDLE GROUND. However, we wouldn’t be human if we didn’t like to make things complicated, right? I can attest to that. I act one way in church, and then completely different once I leave. We want to say we are believers, but then we pick and choose how we act as Christians.

NEWS FLASH: this is not how it should be. If we are truly committed to living our lives for Jesus Christ, then we should be doing so 100% of the time. Not 95%. Not 99.9%. But ALL the time. This means we can’t pick and choose when we exude the Holy Spirit dwelling in us. We must make decisions for daily living based on our faith, but these decisions MUST be informed. Meaning, we have to receive the information given to us in the Bible. Which also means that we actually need to READ the Bible. What a concept.

Trust me, I was just as shocked as you are. But you would be amazed at what you discover in that amazing book. Not to mention, we will uncover something new every time we read it. It’s packed full of information for practical living according to God. I have really committed myself to doing my Bible study first thing in the morning because, not only does this set the tone for the day, but it also helps to keep me focused on the overall goal: living my life for Christ.

But you are probably sitting there like okay Kat, I get it read the Bible, but what if something comes up and I don’t know how to handle it in a Christ-like way? Have no fear. This was the same question I asked too. Well if you look at James 1:19-26 says that we should be “quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry” (Verse 19). So we need to apply this to our lives, if you find yourself are in a situation where someone is acting crazy then listen to what they are saying, pray about the situation, give it a little time and then calmly address what happened. Anger is useless and will get you nowhere, as you will see in James 1:20 where it says “for man’s anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires”.

Whoa. Put a fork in me because I am DONE. All the times that I have gotten angry over the DUMBEST and SMALLEST things makes me ashamed to even think about it. But it doesn’t do us any good to get angry. If we would all just think before we speak or took a breather instead of getting angry, I think we would all have fewer regrets – am I right?

Here’s the bottom line: there is no middle ground when it comes to living your life for Christ. You either do or you don’t. Now, assuming that we are all living our lives for Christ, we must all be informed so that we are armed with powerful teachings as we go about our day to day business. The way we will become informed is by reading God’s Word: the Bible. We must read His Word and pray over situations that may come up so that we can handle them correctly. Not only will we feel really good about ourselves for living in accordance with God but others will see how we are acting and they will begin to see how our relationship with God is truly transforming us! MIND=BLOWN.

Leave me a comment below! I would love to hear how you handle the craziness that life throws at you and your favorite Bible verse that helps you to stay focused on God during those situations?

Until next time and always remember to “Be the Light”

XOXO,

Kat

 

Welcome to my blog!

Click here to learn a little about me and my new blog!

Have you ever thought that you knew all there was to know about life? Or you felt like there was no advice in the world anyone could ever give you that you hadn’t already heard before?

I can easily answer yes to both of those questions…which is why I am sitting here feverishly typing away to tell you one small thing. YOU’RE WRONG. Now, before you try to rush and exit off of this blog page because I just killed your ego, I need you to know why you’re wrong.

First things first, let me tell you a little about me. My name is Kat, and I thought I had everything figured out and knew all there was to know about life. My friends, unbeknownst to them, have consistently stroked my ego over the years because they all came to me for advice whenever situations came up in their lives. Not to mention, I am a Psychology major so this made me feel even better about myself. There was nothing you could tell me that would make me think otherwise.

Well that was until I met my boyfriend. He gave me the same realization that I just gave you. I was wrong. I had gone completely left and was on the fast track to nowhere. He told me, in the most loving way possible, that there comes a time in life when you have to stop being so consumed with yourself and realize that you are not the end all be all, nor do you know it all. As you could have guessed, this did not go over well…AT ALL. You see, there was one GLARING difference between my boyfriend and I at this time: having a relationship with Jesus Christ.

I considered myself a Christian, but I was one notch above your average holiday church goers. I went to church occasionally, and I prayed….but it was usually in a plea to make my groceries last for a few more days until my next paycheck. When I met my boyfriend, my life changed in more ways than one. I began going to church with him and his family, I started to realize that I am not everything and a bag of chips, and I really focused on growing a relationship with God. This is when I finally understood that the only thing I know, is that I know nothing and the only way I would truly begin to grow as a person was if I had GOD.

So long story short, I am here to tell you that you are wrong…but this can change. While we will never come to know everything there ever is to know, we can discover so much more than we *think* we have when we have a relationship with God. By whole heartedly praying and reading His Word, our eyes can be opened to the truth. I have felt a burning desire to start a blog for sometime now, as a way to connect with believers and non-believers to share some of the things I am learning along my journey with God and to, hopefully, strengthen your faith, or help you to find it.

I am so incredibly excited for this new adventure and I hope that you will join me for the ride so that we may all be the light.

XOXO,

Kat

“For the LORD gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding. The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction” Proverbs 2:6-7