Giving Glory not Seeking Attention

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1 John 2:15-17 (NIV) 15 Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them. 16 For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world. 17 The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever.

The Wrong Road to Success

When I was in the world, I constantly sought acceptance and recognition from others. Striving to keep up with the Jones’ to prove to others I was equal to them and their success.  Never measuring up to the constantly raising ceiling of status and fearing mediocrity.  Then, I accepted Jesus who unconditionally loved me whether I was poor or rich.  No matter my social status I was perfection in His eyes. My desire to possess things I couldn’t afford put my life and marriage under emotional and physical stress.  The more I focused on what I didn’t have the more anxious and depressed I became.  Then, I grew more in Jesus.  I realized that only He could create the wealth and comfort I sought. Only through Him what I yearned was easily possible.  Jesus fed thousands with only 5 loaves and 2 fishes; made wine out of water. He could surely help me pursue my dreams.

Matthew 11:28-30 (NIV) 28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

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Finding My Way

All I had to do was connect with Him he was all the acceptance I need. All I had to do was glorify Him for all He has done, which should be easy since He has been the only one to actually do something for me by giving His life.  Then, I realized Jesus love for me. With His unfailing love my life and has been renewed.  I now am grateful for His sacrifice which has brought contentment and harmony to my life. I no longer have to prove to man I am worthy.  I have to praise Him for making me worthy.  I am now content with wherever I am in life because I know that no matter what I achieve or have on this earth, the best is yet to come. With that understandings brings a new awareness of how beautiful my life truly is and makes me want to be a light for Jesus. To show how God’s glory is shining through me.

Isaiah 55:12-13(NIV)12 You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and hills will burst into song before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands.13 Instead of the thornbush will grow the juniper,and instead of briers the myrtle will grow. This will be for the Lord’s renown,for an everlasting sign,that will endure forever.”

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Continuing on the right path

Now that I know this realization, I still struggle with staying focused on Christ. Old habits are hard to break and I still sometimes look at the greener grass on the other side of the fence. Although, I know that it is the same grass I am tempted to want it. I have to rely on Christ to keep me focused. I need him daily in my life to keep me from my own desires to want what others have. I try to find encouragement in the word. Being new to Christ I try to learn the word and am amazed at how that day’s devotion or a post I see on Social media is calling me back to where I need to be. I have asked mentors when will the struggle end and it won’t. “The struggle is real” but God’s grace is redeeming and without the struggle I don’t think that I would have the appreciation that I have.

Galatians 5:16 (NIV) 16 So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.

Is it hard to put your own pride aside and do for God? Do you seek guidance from God when setting to achieve goals? What do you do when you find yourself falling into old habits?

Journey Girls Anniversary

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Today, I got to do something I rarely get to do. Enjoy the company of my middle daughter by herself while traveling with the Journey Girls to Italy.  Celebrating the Journey Girls 5 year anniversary in true Italian style.  Tasting some Italian delicacies and desserts.

Journey Girl 5 year Anniversary

Packing for our trip with the latest doll fashions designed by Jenny. Who helped us change the girls outfits. I have to say the journey girls wardrobe is chic and cute doll clothes. I also love the price point of the doll considering the quality of there hair and eyes.

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The event was memorable for my seven year old as she decorated luggage tags, made cannoli’s and took commemorative pictures with Tap n Snap green screen.

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Placing her at Italian monuments like the Leaning tower of Pisa.  The il migliore for my daughter was riding on the Toys R Us in Time Square New York Ferris Wheel and new BFF “Chavonne.” Meeting fun girls like A Brand New Mommy, Karen Taylor Bass, daughter.

Toys R Us Ferris Wheel

Such a fantastic event such a great product making my Christmas shopping a little easier this year.  I like to thank Trendy Latina, Journey Girls, and Toys R Us for the invitation and memorable day.


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Modesty doesn’t define faith

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“You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.” Matthew 5:13

This is typically not the Bible verse used when discussing the way Christian women should dress. I think that since we are representing ourselves within society that it could appropriately be considered as part of what God calls us to do. He appointed us to be the means of preventing or curing the growth of that corruption which prevails in the world, and of seasoning people’s minds with wisdom and grace.* Typically, when discussing the way women should dress;
1 Timothy 2:9-10 (NIV) I also want the women to dress modestly, with decency and propriety, adorning themselves, not with elaborate hairstyles or gold or pearls or expensive clothes, 10 but with good deeds, appropriate for women who profess to worship God.

I could go on and on about how literal some people take this verse without doing their research. Paul the apostle, had no problem with jewelry or dressing nicely. He was referring to women dressing like the non believing women of his time and how they dressed, more specifically Roman women of the time. 

I grew up in a very legalistic religion that had a doctrine for all the different facets of life. It took this verse by verbatim to define the way women should dress.  When I became a young adult I left my faith for a variety of reasons.  As a rebellion my modesty was one of the first identities of the world that I adorned.  I got my ears pierced and would wear obnoxiously large Cubic Zirconia that sparkled from miles away.  Plastered my face with way to much makeup (one thing was because I could; The other, I did not know how to properly apply it.) I bought midriff, form fitting, low cut tops; (that was the criteria: must be form fitting, low cut, midriffs.) Way to short, shorts and skirts. Now that I have been born again, I have a yearning to represent Christ.  A struggle I have is finding a suitable definition of modesty.

1 Corinthians 12:23 (NIV)  and the parts that we think are less honorable we treat with special honor. And the parts that are unpresentable are treated with special modesty,

Modesty

I was raised that to be modest you need to be covered from your neck to your ankle, preferably in a skirt; (definitely when attending church) but not required. Makeup, jewelry, and fancy hairstyles were not acceptable or appropriate.  That lead me to do research of a new definition of modesty. In the last week, I have read conservative to liberal Christian perspectives. Observing other Christians, people in my church and leaders as well as celebrity public Christian personalities.  Then, I had a conversation with a sister in Christ on the issue of bathing suits at the beach, which led me to this post. After reading some strong opinions and fear based views. I turned to the source the Bible and Bible commentaries. I have a definition of what my family and I will teach my three daughters as being modest or representing Christ.

Godly women can be fashionable and attractive and I don’t mean sexually attractive. I mean the dictionaries definition of having beneficial qualities or features that induce someone to accept what is being offered. What is being offered in our case is the truth of Christ. This doesn’t mean that we should be dress for other peoples approval. That we are not sloppy or frumpy and take care of our appearance. I do believe modesty is something which families need to take a very close, careful, prayerful look at for themselves.  Then determine to be a woman after God’s own heart and what that would outwardly look like to represent their inward beliefs. “Your clothing should be tight enough to show that you’re a woman, but loose enough to show that you’re a lady!”

Even if you dress the part doesn’t mean that you have a corner on truth. It’s possible to have a modest outward appearance while having the immodest heart of (critical, self-righteous, and judgmental towards those who do not see things the way you do).

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1 Timothy 4:12 (NIV) Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity.

Showing grace to everyone no matter what they appear to look like. Whether, you are wearing tank tops, shorts, skirts, dresses, and a bathing suit. Yes, my daughter wear bathing suits, to the pool or beach, I just don’t feel a bikini is essential to them becoming faster swimmers. Respect your body, your family and most important honor God in all that you do including what you wear.

Do you feel that modesty has an effect on your faith?

Birth of a Calling

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Proverbs 16:9 In their hearts humans plan their course, but the LORD establishes their steps.

Eighteen months ago a baby was born;  Faith fueled Mom. God had put this on my heart a few months before my third daughter was born. We will be celebrating her first birthday on Friday, July 3rd.  Being the Mompreneur for 10 years prior, when I received the idea for FFM I had instantly decided that it could be a new business venture.  (Haha can you hear God laughing?) I quickly drew up the business plan, pieced together a logo, created a make shift website and BAM! I would add this to my plate too.

Then, I actually became a mother for the third time and unexpectedly my life changed. Unlike, with my other daughters this time I resisted this life change. At the time, I was building my “empire”. Working towards following my dream to own a multi-million dollar business.  I was going to strap this baby girl on and keep moving forward, fast and furious.  I had planned to be a mom, a wife, pursue my dreams, and work on FaithFueled Mom on the side. If anyone could do it it would be me because “I am Superwoman!”  God had other plans.

For months, I continued to busy myself getting busy.  Just a hamster in a wheel consulting with God in times of great despair and/or during hardships, setbacks but never to lead my footsteps. Psalm 119:133 Direct my footsteps according to your word; let no sin rule over me.

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One day, I began to pray for my business, in addition to my normal prayer but this time for God’s guidance and provisions. Well you know that saying, “be careful what you pray for?” God answered mine and I didn’t like the response.

Road blocks went up in my business.  I am not one who gives up so I prayed harder. I was called again but I still wasn’t ready to give up my plans. I acted as if i didn’t hear what direction I was told to take. More things started to go wrong with my business.

I began to pray more and specifically for God’s guidance. Again, very clearly stated I was called. God told me (not asked) to put my business on hold and to “be still!” Then there were confirmations that from unlikely sources. Again, I played deaf; kind of like a child with selective hearing.

Now there is nothing wrong with being a mom. It is so much harder than being a kind-of-present work at home mom; but I thought I had mastered that role. It was time for me to pursue other dreams.  Isaiah 55:8 “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the LORD.

I continued to do just that as if I didn’t hear God’s calling. He began to strip more away till the writing was on the wall. Evidently clear with bright neon glitter paint (because as I have said before that is the only way to get my attention). Reluctantly, I put everything on hold and I began to “be still”.
Psalm 46:10 Be still for I am God.
BibleStudy

I dove head first into study of the word. I felt if I couldn’t devote to my business I would devote to God. (Maybe that would make Him happy and give me my business back; Again, do you hear him laughing?) Every study I did was a little piece of the puzzle. Yet, I didn’t have a box to see what the picture was I was putting together. In the back of my mind I knew I was still playing hard to get.

My studies led me to Divine Interruption, Being a Disciple, I attended Beth Moore’s Living Proof Conference. Everything that I did my heart screamed “put your business on hold be present for your girls.” Then, I signed up for a Online Bible Study and it led me to finally surrender.

During Online Bible Study and week after week; were more confirmations. More pieces to my map to follow. God’s guidance was clearly stated.  Then, I read “We must choose to leave first. We must see by faith the rewards ahead and then move forward.”

This time when neon glitter paint was presented I had no choice but to be obedient and submit.
I first spoke with my husband literally in overwhelming tears, who confirmed my step. I prayed about it and confirmed my steps. I spoke to my sisters in Christ they confirmed my steps and so I began. I am pretty headstrong when it comes to something I want or in this case don’t want.

Beginning the journey of following was the easiest thing I ever done. A path had already been forged ahead for me. The entire time that I was ignoring God, things were happening with FFM without me. I was receiving hits on the website I had hastily built when I first got the idea.  Organizations were reaching out to me to offer the members of my groups benefits, tickets,  etc.  Now, here I am daily trying to create a stable Christian environment for my daughters to thrive. While creating a community of caregivers who are fueled with faith and want to raise their children in faith, grace and love.

We have successfully completed our first Walk & Study; a six week fitness and bible study for moms. We have hosted a couple Mom’s night outs. For the first time I feel more than just satisfied and content I feel fulfilled or shall I say faith fueled. More than I ever was with my business I couldn’t put on hold.

As for my business, I continually get sales through my affiliates that allow me to follow this Godspiration. I now willingly am guided by God daily and devote to Him. I have a strong relationship with the Lord, my family and my husband which is better than I ever dreamed.

Proverbs 3:6 In all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.

Have you heard your calling? Did you run and hide or did you fully submit? How far did that take you?

If Gathering

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If: Gathering

As a mom, I don’t get the opportunity to dress up like I used to.  Typically, leggings and a long shirt, sometimes I may even do my hair and makeup.  My church isn’t the dress up kind of church, so I will typically wear something nice but I don’t get to get “fancy”. When I go invited to the IF: Table I was excited for multiple reason, one being the women fellowship and another I would be able to break out some “fancy” duds ( not necessarily fancy but get a little dressed up).

Dressing for your body, today

Grace Boutique with Premier Jewelry

Going through my closet was discouraging, I am still at that awkward stage of postpartum.  Too small and so tired of maternity and not small enough for my former size 6 wardrobe (although I am working diligently to get back).  I don’t want to buy clothes in this size.  I am grateful to have found Grace Boutique beautiful, unique, mommy friendly boutique.  I went in there and they had exactly what I needed. One shirt/dress that can be worn six different ways and the best part yet, it covers my mommy tummy and curves.  Paired it with my Girl’s best friend necklace that can be worn 30 different ways and I have 36 different outfits with two pieces.  The best part is that both companies make being a modest Christian women stylish and classy.  Just what I need until I can fit back in my wardrobe again.

Need to fellowship

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I also needed the fellowship with the women that the If:table gathering brought me, what an amazing experience.  It’s an amazing ministry bringing women together like in the old church to talk about their lessons with God.  The night was amazing we all brought a side dish and out hostess made a delicious pasta meal.  I loved that we all garden and brought fresh side dishes, grown and picked by us,  I left the meal soul filled and stuffed. The guest including myself was from all walks of life.  New moms, multiple children mother, mom of teenagers, and a widow.  The different perspectives, ages and experiences made for a great in depth night.

We were given four thought provoking questions.  Some of the ladies answers really made me think about my own relationship with Christ.  I was so blessed from the experience and I am hosting my own If:table this month.  I can’t wait to share with a different group of women this experience and learn from a new group of women to grow from. With my two pieces from Grace Boutique and SamBling I also don’t have to worry about an outfit. Is there something you do to fellowship with different women or the same thing every month?

 

 

 

 

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