Finding Motivation On an “Off” Day

We all have those days where we want to say “please don’t make me adult today”. We just simply can’t fathom the thought of getting out of bed to tackle that daunting to-do list. It’s normal for us to feel like this occasionally. We are human, not super human. However, it’s when we give into those feelings of “I literally just can’t” that we start to have a problem. When we give into those feelings, we allow ourselves to forget one simple fact: today was never promised.

Yeah, that’s right. I went there.

Simply stated in Proverbs 27:1 “do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring forth”. So instead of giving into the temptation of “I don’ feel like adulting” and saying that it can wait until tomorrow, seek motivation to live for the day that God has blessed you with. We all know Psalm 118:24 which says “this is the day that the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it”. Trust me, I will be the first to attest to the fact that despite having the ability to recite that verse, I don’t always show my gratitude for each day that I am given. I am to consumed with how I feel, that I ignore the fact that I am given each day, and each day I am supposed to be living for the Lord.

So on those days where your motivation is lacking, I ask that before giving into to that temptation you stop to remember that each day is a gift and you should be using that gift to be an encouragement to someone else. I have compiled a list of some of my favorite ways to find motivation when its presence is severely lacking.

  1. Read your Bible. The bible is filled with motivation. Take a notepad, a pen, and your Bible and go find a quiet space in your house with good lighting and just enjoy some one on one time with God. If your Bible has a subject index in the back then look up the versus under motivation, read them, write them down, and rehearse them. If it doesn’t have a subject index then google Bible versus for motivation and pick a few that pop up, open your Bible to them, write them down, and rehearse them. If you hear those words over and over again, your mind will be transformed and your energy levels will rise. You just have to trust in the power of God!
  2. Stop complaining. Complaining about not feeling like going to work, doing your homework, cleaning the kitchen, etc. will make you even less energetic than you already are. So save your energy and stop complaining.
  3. WorkoutI have found that if I workout, even if it’s for 15 minutes, I start to feel slightly re-energized. This creates a domino effect: I get energy from working out which allows me to tackle one thing on my to-do list, and then being able to tackle that one thing keeps me motivated to start on the next thing, and so on.
  4. One thing. Sometimes if my to-do list is on the large side, I will pick only one thing to do for that day depending on the amount of time I have available. So if I have an extra 30 minutes in between classes then I will pick something on the smaller side, but on days where I have an extra 2 hours then I will pick one of my bigger tasks. This helps to make it a little less daunting.
  5. Listen to musicWhile I have absolutely no rhythm whatsoever, I will turn on some music and just start dancing. Praise and worship can revitalize the soul, so turn on your favorite Pandora station or iTunes playlist and dance your way to new found motivation.

I would love to know what your favorite tips are for finding motivation on those days you literally just can’t! Leave a comment below and don’t forget to like, share, and subscribe so you don’t miss any of my future blog posts!

Until next time,

XOXO

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

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Oh No She Didn’t…

Judgement. We have all made one on someone else, and we have felt the judgement of others. But why do we do this?

I am quick to judge, but even quicker to say “don’t judge me”. If we don’t like the harsh glare of others when we walk into the room followed by the comment “would you look at her“, then why are we doing the same thing to other people?

In Romans 14:10-13 it asks why we judge our brothers (or sisters) and look down upon them, especially since one day we will all stand before God and give an account of ourselves before Him? It goes on to say that because of this we should stop passing judgement on others but instead “make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in your brother’s way” {v. 13}.

Essentially, Paul is telling us that we should stop hindering our brothers and sisters but help them instead. Say whaattt? You want me to actually help someone? Nooooo…

Yes. that’s exactly what we should be doing. If you read in the next chapter {Romans 15:1} the first verse tells us that we should not be living to please ourselves but to help those who are weaker than us! The second verse tells us to “please his neighbor for his good, to build him up”. So you mean to tell me, that instead of laughing at the dorky kid who dropped all of their books in the hallway I should help them pick them up and give them a word of encouragement so that they might have a better day?! Stop it…you’re joking right?

No. that is exactly what we should be doing! We should build each other up instead of tearing each other down. Now, I’m not saying that we should pay for someone’s meal if we only have $5.oo to our name or lift some heavy boxes for someone if we have a bad back. Let’s not be ridiculous. But we all have the ability to lift up another person in our own unique way based on the Word of God.

Trust me, I know that it is easy to get caught up in chit chatting with your friends about that one girl who had lipstick all over her teeth. But instead of indulging in that not-so-nice conversation, correct that behavior of your friends and do something that could lift that person up instead. This is something that I have to consistently work on because we get pulled into earthly tendencies, but part of being a Christian is being able to recognize what’s right versus what’s wrong and live accordingly. I have reverted back to an old saying multiple times to stop myself from making a judgmental comment – “if you don’t have anything nice to say, then don’t say anything at all”!

If that doesn’t help you much, then remember this verse the next time you want to pass judgement: “reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing” {Proverbs 12:18}. Who wouldn’t want to heal with their words? I know that if I am having a bad day and someone says something nice to me or texts me an inspirational quote, my whole demeanor can change! No one likes to be kicked while they are down!

So to help jump start this movement of leaving judgment behind and building up our brothers and sisters, I have come up with a list of 5 things you could do to encourage someone else:

  1. Pass out inspirational quotes or bible verses to people you see
  2. Pay it forward at a coffee shop by paying for someone else’s coffee
  3. Give a compliment to someone about their outfit
  4. Smile! (it’s contagious)
  5. Let someone know that you are keeping them in your prayers

I hope that we can all take something from this post and be a light unto others! Let me know in the comments some of your favorite ways to encourage those around you…

Until next time,

XOXO

 

 

Lovestruck

In the spirit of Valentine’s Day coming up tomorrow, I figured I would let you know that you are loved! But the love I’m talking about doesn’t require a special someone to buy chocolates for..

Probably the most quoted verse in the Bible, John 3:16 says “for God so loved the world that he gave his one and only son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life”. Now that is sweeter than any chocolate you will ever get! God loves us SO much that He sent His son, Jesus Christ, to die on a cross for our sins with the notion that one day we would give our lives to Him so that we may live forever with Him in His Kingdom!

In elementary school, we would always be told that if we wanted to pass out Valentines to our classmates then we had to bring them for the WHOLE class. Yes, that included the one kid who everyone avoided like the plague. As a child, I never really understood why I had to give someone a Valentine if I wasn’t really friends with them. I knew I wasn’t supposed to make anyone feel left out, but at the same time I felt as if it was weird giving something to someone I never talked too. But, when other people were passing out their Valentines, I didn’t care if we were friends or not! I wanted all the Valentines I could get. You see, I was accepting everyone’s “love” freely but I wasn’t giving my “love” freely; I was doing it because I had to, not because I wanted to.

But guess what! God isn’t selfish with His love! He is ready to hand out His love to everyone, even those who aren’t willing to love Him back. Whoa. Crazy right? God loves us even when we stray from Him! Even when we are being the snobby brat who doesn’t want to freely give everyone in their class a Valentine! (Yes, I was talking about myself just then). In John 15:12, Jesus says “My command is this: love each other as I have loved you”. He gave up His cushy seat on the throne to come down to this wretched place to then die for our sins, and all He is asking in return is for us to live our lives for Him and show others the same love He has shown us!

So tomorrow, as you stuff your faces with chocolate covered strawberries and butterfinger birthday cake (oh wait, that’s just me), remember that no matter how many Valentines you get here on Earth, your greatest Valentine is waiting to spend eternity with you in His Kingdom.

Remember His words, and spread the love so that others may come to know how amazing our Heavenly Father truly is!

I hope you all have an amazing Valentine’s Day

XOXO,

Kat

 

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!

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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