Life Update

Hi Lovelies! What a looong time it has been since I’ve posted! But life happens and we can’t make apologies for that. In a nutshell, my life update is that I am a mom! The past couple of months, I have been trying to enjoy the last weeks of my pregnancy and then welcoming our new little boy into our hearts and home. I am not going to lie, I thought I knew what love was for my little man when I felt him in my belly all those months– but seeing him in person and holding him in my arms, I can’t describe to you the immense, immeasurable, unconditional love that comes with the new life of a baby. As first-time parents, my husband and I have been trying to soak in every moment these past few weeks. Our hearts are so full.

 

Although I originally planned to return to work after my “maternity leave”, having Jude has placed such a yearning to stay home with him if at all possible. I no longer plan to nanny for the family I worked with over the past year, however, if I can work from home part-time I do intend to. I plan to focus on growing my beauty and essential oil business to provide a side income to supplement what I was making as a nanny. These are opportunities I originally took advantage of for discounts on products that I loved, but after thinking about it for a while now, I have come to the conclusion that it would be a great way to contribute an income while being able to raise my baby from home.

With all of this going on, I would still like to get back to my writing, but I can only anticipate that it may take some time to get back into a set routine with my posts. In the meantime, I am going to try and focus on taking in as many baby snuggles as I can, while I can- they are only young once and time really does go by so fast.

 

Another part of my life that has developed is in my faith. With the extra time I have had at home, I have had a desire to pursue a deeper relationship with the Lord that I always put on the back burner to school and nannying. This relationship exceeds simple study time and worship , but extends to the preparation for eventual ministry in the form of missions. My husband and I have had this placed in our hearts and have seen an unfolding of events leading us to actively seek the initial steps of getting ready for this over the next couple of months and years. My husband has a heart for evangelism- specifically laying hands on others for healing , while I have a heart for orphans. While we aren’t sure of exact plans in this shift, we have had several prophetic confirmations of this type of calling on our lives and we couldn’t be more excited to see it all coming to fruition! Of course God’s timing is not the same as ours, so what we expect to be “soon” or “down the road” could be the complete opposite to the Lord. All in His timing, we abide and wait on Him and trust His promises for us.

 

With all of this being said, I truly believe the remainder of this year is going to bring so many new opportunities and learning experiences that will challenge us but make us so much stronger in our faith. I am loving being a mama to my sweet boy and right now, I am just trying to soak it all in for as long as I can. Prayers are greatly appreciated and mean so much to us. Ministry is hard. Mommin’ is hard. Life is hard. But God is good. All the time. And All the time, God is good.

 

Until next time, be blessed!

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The Holy Spirit of Christmas

macro shot photography of star with lights

In light of the past Christmas Season, I had been trying to make sure I didn’t let all of the excitement of the commercial holiday, overshadow the excitement of the true reason for the season.

It is always fun to revel in the lights, smells, tastes, music, and overall wonder of this time of year, but each year I try to meditate more on the awe factor.–

Of how in awe I am that God sent his only Son to be born with the complete understanding and purpose of dying for love. As a new parent, understanding the unconditional and immeasurable love for my son just gives more light to what our Heavenly Father feels toward us. It also gives a new appreciation of how much He loves us. Even more-so, how  hard it must have been to have to send Jesus to Earth, knowing the life He would live and the sacrifice and suffering He would have to bear for the sake of the  world- even the parts of it who didn’t want him.

Of how in awe I am that just as I hold my precious baby and rock him to sleep, Jesus too was once a babe and was rocked to sleep by his mother.  Jesus was born innocently, as a helpless baby. He had to learn to crawl,  walk, talk, and do every other growing milestone that any child goes through. Jesus didn’t have a golden ticket to get through life and He certainly didn’t have  any favors thrown His way. He was tempted, mocked, beaten and ridiculed past any limit we could have endured,  I  am certain.

Of how in awe I am that Jesus came to the earth in the humblest of ways as one of the least of these….He was a King, born among the lowly in status. Born in  a stable, with the oxen and lambs, because no one knew  of His divine lineage or inheritance…that they were turning  away the one who had come to save them.

Of how in awe I am that under the same night sky full of the stars I see, those shephards and wise men sought the one true King. Isn’t it crazy to think about time and space and how something that was so long ago, is still so tangible and close?

I was thinking the other day of how everyone always talks about their favorite things about Christmas and almost always you will hear people mention the lights. Isn’t it funny that lights are something that is attractive to and draws so many? And how ironic that we are called to be the light of the world?

So, what is it about the Christmas lights? Sure the colors are nice and the displays are fun to look at, but wouldn’t you think there’s more to it than that? . Light is the “key to vision”. It reveals things otherwise hidden, and allows you to see them as they truly are. Just as Christmas lights enhance our trees and our homes, the light of Jesus in us enhances the beauty of ourselves. In turn, the light in us attracts others to the source of that light…which is Jesus. When we shine Christ’s light, we allow others to see what they don’t know is already there. We allow them to see God’s goodness through mercy, grace, and love.

So for the remainder of this Christmas season, I am going to try to ponder more on the moments spent with my little family and think of how the nativity should be our blueprint for the season and not just a decorative item or the image on a card. Humble, intimate and Spirit-filled. Full of love and light.

 

Blessings now and for the New Year!

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BabyList Registry Review

With my recent announcement that I’m going to be a mama soon, there are tons of exciting things going on and more in store for the months to come! I’ll admit, finding out you are pregnant is kind of surreal at first, especially when it is something you have been looking forward to for so long and then one day it finally happens! I am sure there are stages to the “realness” of having a baby- for me there was initial shock from my little test strip with two lines. Then, there was the confirmation ultrasound, the anatomy ultrasound where we found out we were having a little boy and the last one came when I actually started creating my baby registry. I guess there’s something about picking out little personalized outfits and goodies just for my little one, specifically with him in mind that made the experience feel almost as if it were another way to bond. Needless to say, building my baby registry was not only exciting, but super fun as well.

So, I just wanted to go a little more into how I went about setting up my registry, because when I first thought about creating one, I was soooooo overwhelmed by the possibilities and overload of information about creating one. Not to mention, when reading online or just talking with other mamas, you hear a lot of “oh, you don’t really need that….”, “this is a waste of money”, “you have to have this for sure!…”, “put everything you can think of on there, the more the better!” and “that isn’t really something you should put on a registry….”. Basically, everything under the sun regarding do’s and don’ts are brought up and it can get a little stressful if I am honest (even though it really shouldn’t be in the first place-this is a time to enjoy and look forward to all these little milestones).

Fortunately for me, my sister had a baby just a few months ago and she has been a huge help in giving me advice and support about anything and everything. I remember when we threw her baby shower, that she was registered online at a website that grouped all of your items in one spot without having to say “so-in-so is registered at Target, Babies R’Us and Walmart”. I thought that was pretty neat because it simplified things. So, of course when she asked if I had started my registry she mentioned BabyList and recommended me using it since she had like it so much when she used it. I thought, why not?! And thus, a newfound motivation for starting my registry was found!

 pexels.com
pexels.com

 

Babylist can be downloaded for free right to your phone, or you can go to their website on your desktop and download the Babylist “pinning” bar add-on. This essentially acts similar to Pinterest in the fact that you can go to any website and click the “Add to Babylist” button which directly links to your account. The app on your phone works similarly as once you have it downloaded, you have the option to either search within the app and add items to your registry, or you can surf the web and “send” the item to Babylist (like you would if you were sending a link or image to a message, email or note). What’s neat is that you can edit the quantity and description of the items you add and it automatically shows a price comparison for place like Amazon and Target which are originally suggested sites with the Babylist app. You can also add price comparisons from other sites/stores like Walmart and Babies R’Us , but this is a little time consuming so I gave up after a few times of looking for those. While some people may prefer to see items in person and register the traditional way in-store, I was perfectly fine adding all of my items from the comfort of my couch 😊 I also preferred doing everything online because I used the filter for best reviews on products to pick out the majority of my items. In store, you don’t have the feedback to help you make a decision on the pros and cons of different brands of items. Of course this is just my personal preference ;P. If you do decide to go the route of the traditional registry *because who doesn’t love to scan everything with those magical remotes?!* , then the good news is Babylist will let you upload your registry to your account! I think this is the best thing about the app because instead of people having to search through different registries or go to different stores to get everything, they can get it all in one place.  The main thing to remember is that your registry will give people an idea of your tastes and preferences and then most people will go where they feel most comfortable shopping , to look for the gift that they choose.

As if the  simplicity of the site and app aren’t enough, you also receive a free welcome box when you sign up and complete the enrollment steps. I am not sure if every welcome box is the same, but mine came with the following items:

  •                                 A variety of  coupons and discount cards for several baby themed websites (including a$50 babysitting giftcard for Urbansitter.)
  •                                 Breastfeeding starter pack from Kiinde
  •                                 Pampers travel bag with pamper/wipe sample and coupon booklet
  •                                 Cetaphil Baby Variety travel pack (lotion, diaper cream, oil)
  •                                 BabyList registry card inserts for shower invitations (25 count)
  •                                 Registry Item Tip Guide (includes 10% registry discount and free shipping over $25 for Babylist.com

I know that completing a registry online isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but overall it worked out great for me! With a fun and user-friendly app and the ability to combine multiple registries into one, I feel like Babylist is the perfect solution for taking some of the hectic out of an already busy and exciting time for mama-to-bes 😊 I’d love to hear your ideas on your baby registry below! Let me know your registry tips, must-haves and anything in-between, that’s what us mamas (newbies and veterans)  are here for !

 

As always, Be Blessed!

Marchin’ On

Wow! This year is flying by and it doesn’t show any signs of slowing down anytime soon. So with that being said, I am gonna just jump right in and let you know some things that are going on with me currently!

First off, I am officially 24 weeks and now that the nausea and extreme fatigue is far behind me and the appearance of an ever-growing “bump” has become more prominent, I finally feel like I can take some time to enjoy my pregnancy and the last half of it before we welcome our little love! Of course, I am behind on getting the nursery ready and trying to prepare for “nesting” , but I guess as long as everything is finished before the baby gets here, everything will be just fine 😊 At 18 weeks, my husband and I found out we will be the very blessed parents of a little boy! No final decision on names yet, but we definitely have a list we are trying to whittle down as soon as possible. But for now, we are calling him Chunk (Chunks, Chunky, Chunkster). *at the anatomy ultrasound, he had a cute little round belly so we thought the nickname appropriate 😛 *  Honestly, we are just so excited and we cannot wait to meet our little man.

As far as a job goes, I am currently going through a transition with my nanny family due to the fact that they will be out of town for four months as the dad is deployed and the rest of the family will be staying out of state with family until he gets home in July. If all goes as planned, I am to continue working with the family after I have the baby and will be able to bring him with me to work each day, but as with anything, you never know how something is or isn’t going to work out until you try it for a little while. If it just doesn’t work out, then I will be staying at home and watching my brother-in-law’s sister’s new baby and that will also enable me to be able to take care of my baby at the same time, and in the comfort of my own home at that. In the meantime, I will just be working part-time with a family from church and helping my sister out with my niece a couple of days a week, so I am excited to be able to spend the time with them! I also feel like at this point, slowing down with work until the baby comes will be better for me and I won’t feel as stressed or busy, and will just be able to enjoy getting everything ready for the end of June when baby boy is due!

If you’ve been following me for awhile, or even just started to read my blog, you will know that I am in my last semester of school for my Bachelors degree. Just 8 weeks left and I will be DONE. Honestly, I remember when I started the transfer program two years ago and felt like it would take forever to get done, but taking extra course hours and summer courses has helped me to stick to my 2 year plan and get everything done exactly as I anticipated. I sacrificed a lot of my time and energy and had to tell a lot of people “no” sometimes, but without the sacrifice, I wouldn’t be graduating this May and I would still be without my degree when the baby comes ( Kudos to you mothers and fathers out there who do work, school and juggle kiddos, because I do not know how you do it!) Of course I do not plan to immediately use my degree, but I do plan to use it eventually… I just did not want to give up on something that I had invested so much time, money and hard work in. Nannying never was a plan for me as far as jobs go, but it happened, I ended up loving it, and if it allows me to stay home with my baby then I am going to go with that as long as I can. I have considered possibly doing some virtual assistant/administrative work online as well, so my degree will come in handy with that as well.

And last but not least, I am reluctant to say that the launch of my sister-blog will not be happening. I did create a second blog but after having some difficulties with the page construction and just realizing that if I have to find time for one, that I was using wishful thinking believing I could do two, I have decided to just transfer the faith-based posts over to this blog. I never want to be seen as a quitter, but I have to be realistic when thinking of how much I can handle at the time and I feel as if this is the best option at this point. So I hope I haven’t disappointed too many people, but I know this will be the best way to continue with my blog going forward. Having two blogs may have been too confusing to begin with, but since this blog is for all aspects of my life that I love (faith, food and keepin’ it simple) , I know that I can’t go wrong with the decision to continue from here. Stay tuned for some of those inspirational posts in the next couple of weeks!

Well, I hope as the next few months approach, I can bring some more great recipes, projects and encouragement to this page and share a little bit more of this new journey I am on! As always, thanks for your support, I am excited to see where the rest of 2018 takes us!

 

Until next time,

Be Blessed!

New Year, New Beginnings

A new year brings a time of reflection, a hope for restoration and a  sense of boldness as we fall in line with new beginnings. I’m off to a slow start, but I’m determined to focus on ways that I can (and have) improved, rather than ways that I may fall short.  Looking back on the whirlwind of 2017, I am proud to say it was a year of adventure, exciting yet terrifying change, and a glimpse into things to come.

First and foremost, my husband and I had some incredible experiences while traveling and pursuing a deeper relationship with the Lord. We met some incredible friends while attending an evangelistic conference in Pennsylvania and my husband was able to travel to Israel for 10 days where he encountered radical intimacy and amazing testimonies of God and His goodness. I got over my fear of flying commercially when my best  friend’s little girl was born, I quit my very stable office job that I have had for the past four years for an at-first (not guaranteed) nanny job, simply trusting God would provide. I became an auntie to the most beautiful little blessing, Eloise Rose and my husband and I found out we were expecting after several months of trying to start a family. What can I say? God is good, all the time.

For the new year, I hope to find peace in the unknown and strength in the full surrender that comes with a renewed life in Christ. Many resolutions are the cliché: lose weight, eat better, exercise more, read more books, travel more, get a promotion etc.,  but this year I want to look towards a more eternally focused goal for myself. I want to spend more time in The Word ( at least an hour each day), I want to seek God’s plan for my life above my own, I want to raise up a child in the way they should go so that when they are older, they do not depart from it (more on that one later 😉 ),and I want to surrender finances to the Great Provider instead of stressing over perishable things. I want to pray for more people, for the simple fact that it is what Jesus would do.  As for my blog,  I want to be more intentional about posting…not only for myself, but more importantly for others who may need to hear something I have to say. The thing is, we never know what others are going through or how things that seem insignificant to us can mean life-changing revelations to others. Even if it is just that they are loved, God is good, and you can do all things through Him.

They say most people fall back or “fall out” of their new year’s resolution by the first or second month (ahem, guilty) , but I implore you to find an uplifting and encouraging group of others with similar hopes as yourself. Keep in fellowship with them and I can guarantee it will make the road ahead so much easier and less daunting. Will there be times of struggle and fear? Of course. Will there be times when you “just don’t have time”? Definitely. But, when you have a support system to help you, it enables you to pick up where you left off and keep pushing ahead.

I’m already behind on this “new year” and my resolutions for my blog, but that’s just life sometimes and we are definitely all human. Thank you to everyone who supports me regardless of my shortcomings, I couldn’t do this without you!

 

Be Blessed,

Faithful

He is Faithful.

Do you ever wonder why sometimes things go our way, and other times not so much? Do you ever wonder why God allows certain prayers to be answered and others He seems to remain silent? (emphasis on “seems”) Well, I am here to tell you that just because things don’t happen on our own time, or in the way that we would like them to, it doesn’t mean that God wasn’t listening, or that he forsook us, or that He didn’t care.

I am not trying to paint a perfect picture that I haven’t lived a life that included heartbreak, tragedy, disappointment or struggle, but I am here to tell you that those moments and seasons of life do not make my life bad. If anything, those seasons and experiences shaped me into the person that I am today. The true test of faith is not someone who believes God because He gives them everything they ask for. The true test of faith is when someone doesn’t always understand why things happen, yet choose to trust God’s word in spite of circumstance. After all, the Word of God is true. If He says, “the prayer of a righteous man availeth much”(James 5:16), then it does. If the Word says “it is by grace through faith that you have been saved, and not of yourselves…” (Ephesians 2:8) then it is. If the Bible says a huge flood wiped out all of humanity, that a whale swallowed and spit up a man who lived to prophecy to a city, or that a virgin bore a son who would be the Saviour for all , then that is exactly what happened. That is truth.

Your perception of what reality should be, does not change what truth is. Likewise, just because you do not understand why things happen in this earthly life, does not mean that you should question what happens on the eternal side of it. Or perhaps we should question eternity,  and have that affect our earthly actions, reactions, and ways of thinking.” Set your mind on things above, not on earthly things.”( Colossians 3:2) I used to think this just meant worldly possessions, but now I think this encompasses everything. On eternity, on salvation, on loving others and on living our lives as a sacrifice to Christ. When you learn that this life you live is not about you and being happy, feeling good, having tons of friends, having a nice house, or making lots of money to spend on temporal things,  you will learn that it is all about Him- it always has been and it always will be.

Does God want us to be happy? To feel good? To have companionship and nice things? Well, of course I think He wants all of those things for us- BUT. In His sovereignty, God knows that this is all temporary and  can not bring true joy or fulfillment. God wants us to be happy, but He wants that for us in glorifying Him. And in glorifying Him, He remains faithful to us.

The past few months especially, I have seen how God keeps His promises to us. They may not always come on our time, but they come. Through being discouraged with school, looking for a job for almost two years, seeing people that I love go through scary health situations, and realizing that God always provides when we put our hope in Him.

“And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” -Philippians 4:19

This post could go on for days, because trust me, there is no end to God’s faithfulness, or all that I could say about Him in my life. But I will tell you this. Without God’s faithfulness my life would look very different.

I would not be saved, that is the most important thing. I would not be married to the amazing man of God that I am married to today. I would still be in a state of blindness, fooling myself into thinking I can do whatever I want and still be O.K. I would not have the amazing job that I have, which I love to go to everyday. I would not have the incredible assurance that my life is not my own, therefore I should not worry for the morrow, and the repeated promise of anointing and Kingdom ministry to encourage me daily.

Over the next few weeks, I am going to try to put together a weekly devotional that hits on a few of the promises of God. I hope they can inspire you on the mountaintop, or in the valley- just meet you wherever you are.

 

Blessings dear ones, talk to you soon! ❤

Here, There and Everywhere

Hey Guys! Wow, what a busy, busy past month I have had! Well, in my last post you learned a little bit about my new nanny gig and I just hinted at a trip that I took to see my best friend and her new baby girl. Since then, my schedule has been full throttle but I wouldn’t change it one bit.

So, at the end of August, I overcame a HUGE fear of mine…FLYING. I have flown in a four-seater plane before with my cousin and her husband who pilot together, but I have never flown commercially. And the only reason is out of FEAR. I used to think this fear was just normal, you know, everyone has something they are scared of whether it be flying, water, bees etc. But as time as gone on, it was made clear to me that flying was a fear I had for one purpose only-  to hinder me. You see, many times in the past several years, my husband and I have had people speak prophetic words over us and the plan that God has for us regarding His Kingdom here on earth. I have always known in my heart that traveling would be necessary, but I guess I just told myself I could always drive or whatever if I had to. But the reality is, sometimes we don’t have several weeks to take a road trip across the country. Actually, I never have time to do that. And if I ever wanted to do missions work (which I have always desired and felt compelled to do), or to see the Holy Land, then I know that I can only fly there. It was just a matter of if and when I would jump.

 First Flight :) sarab
First Flight 🙂 sarab

So, my best friend just had a baby and I had always told her I wanted to be there when she had her. Well, due to the uncertainty of due dates and other scheduling conflicts, we decided that it would be best if I just flew out about a month after she had the baby. So I booked my flight and couldn’t believe that I actually did it. At this point, I was so excited to see my friend and her baby (because I literally see her about once a year due to her living so far away) but panic also set in. I know there are different levels of anxiety, but I tend to feel sick to my stomach, my heart races, I get very uneasy and cry. But, I wanted to see my friend, I wanted to see her baby, and I wasn’t going to let her down.

So, on August 24, 2017 I boarded my first commercial flight and well, the rest is history! I am not going to lie, on the way to the airport I wanted to back out, I wanted to turn around and go home, and I cried…like my life depended on it. But, I was okay once I got in the airport. Something about going through the motions calmed me, like this is just a natural process….everyone does this all the time. I boarded the plane, put on my headset when we were getting ready to take off and when we landed three and a half hours later in Denver, I felt like I was a pro. Initially, people told me that taking off was probably the worst part about flying, but Iwould say through the course of the trip, the worst part was one landing we had in Reno where it was a little windy and the plane kind of wobbled when we landed, but that was really the only thing. Very little turbulence (not even as bad as a bumpy car ride) and great take-offs.  The Lord really helped me to not be so anxious and to just trust that He was taking care of me.  I know for a fact that it is because of all the prayers that I had going up for me. My family, my co-workers and friends, and my church family all prayed for easy flights and peace while traveling. And peace is exactly what I had. When each flight took off, I had Fierce by Jesus Culture on my iPhone and I can honestly say that during takeoff, I felt real peace. I don’t know how to describe it other than that…I think it was my favorite part, actually. Just the music, the power of the plane and the fact that the Lord has gifted people (two individuals to be exact) who can safely and efficiently control such a huge piece of machinery was simply astounding to me.

So, after landing in Reno, my friend picked me up and we headed home. The next ten days flew by, but we had some really great adventures 😊 We stayed home pretty much every other day just to rest and enjoy time with the baby and watching movies and tv shows. The first Saturday that I was there, we traveled to Bodie, a small ghost-town in California that was home to a mining town. On Monday we went to Lake Tahoe and the weather was absolutely gorgeous! You always see pictures of Lake Tahoe and hear people talk about how beautiful it is, but being there in person, the stories and pictures do not compare. The water was a bit chilly, but it was still nice to put my feet in the water anyways. The rest of the week we spent shopping, eating (haha) , and setting up photoshoots for little Abby. It was the best time! And it made me hate that it would be so long when I got to do that again, but at the same time I was also so thankful and glad that I did get to go out to see them. My trip home was bittersweet. You always hate to leave people that you love and have a great time with, but it is always nice to come home and to see all the family you missed while you were gone. I have some great memories and I can’t wait to go back, hopefully next year!

 Abigail Jane- Sarab
Abigail Jane- Sarab

 

When I returned home, I officially started my new nanny job and it turned out that the family needed me to travel with them to her parents house in Virginia. So I was literally gone to Nevada for 10 days, home for four, and then left for 7 days after that. I had long days and long nights staying up with a newborn, so to say my schedule has been hectic is an understatement, but I have never felt more accomplished! And I feel as if I am getting some great practice with babies! I plan on starting a family soon and my sister is due in just a couple of months so I know that this new job is helping in more ways than just financially. The family that I nanny for has done nothing but make me feel at home and so welcomed, I truly feel like part of their family already. It’s amazing the way that things can fall into place when you are just patient and trust in God’s timing. And His timing is perfect. There are so many other jobs that I looked at, turned down, was turned down from, or just didn’t work out with my previous work schedule, but this one fits in all the missing places. Financially, timing wise, future family plans-wise, location and just that fact that the family has a strong faith like I do. It really makes for a beautiful recipe😊

So, anyways, I am finally back home and it seems things will settle down fora while. I have had such a great learning experience this past month and it has made me want to tackle even more new adventures head on. I faced one of my biggest fears, I found a job that I truly love to be a part of, I turned 28 and I have found that when you are patient in waiting, the good things really do come to those who wait. Because God’s timing is perfect and “every good and perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change”. (james 1:17 ESV)

 

Thanks for bearing with me through yet another lengthy post. And as always, thank you for sharing a little bit of this simple life with me.

 

Blessings,

 

 

*pictures with exception of cover photo, takenby me. Sarab

 

Changing Direction

My life has undergone some heavy duty shifting lately. From unsuccessfully searching for a new office job, to having to do some deep soul searching, I have been in a constant state of the unknown. I would say I have handled it rather well, I haven’t had any emotional breakdowns or anything. But if I were to tell you I haven’t had moments of doubt, fear, anxiety and frustration then I would be lying. Has it been hard to look for a job for almost two years, to no avail? Of course. Have I been discouraged into thinking I am stuck where I am at? Absolutely. But, overt the past few months, I shifted my thinking. I stopped thinking about what would make me successful in terms of the world (ie. Money, a big-girl job, keeping up with the Joneses etc) and I focused on what would make me happy. What would be satisfying and fulfilling to me. After lots of talking with my husband and praying about what I should do, it became very clear to me that I needed a change. And a drastic one at that.

As you all know, I am currently pursuing my Bachelors degree in Business Administration and Law and am set to graduate in the Spring. But with the ending of that chapter, the next obvious thing to ask is, “What are you going to do next?”. While I definitely plan to use my degree eventually, right now I feel as if an office position is not what I need at this point in time. And so, instead of staying where I was, I decided to quit my job.

I know what you are thinking, “she has no idea what she is getting herself in to.”. But, the truth is I know exactly what I am getting myself into. I know that I was extremely unhappy at my day job to the point that I would lay in bed until the last minute to go to work. I know that if you go to work unhappy every day, it seeps into your life outside of work and emotionally drains you. I know that living in a state of security is not always the best thing for you, because opportunities present themselves and sometimes you have to take a risk to get the pay out.  I also know that if you aren’t truly happy at your job, it doesn’t matter how much money you make, you are still going to be miserable. And that is one thing I do not want to be.

And so, the look for a replacement job continued, only this time I thought long and hard about what I would actually enjoy doing as my job. I love children and I have contemplated various occupations involving children before (teacher and daycare owner), so it quickly became obvious to me that I would love to nanny. Without hesitation, I created a Care.com account, set up my availability and began applying for every local job that I could and that seemed to be good fit for me. I had a few people reach out to me and one promising interview, but in the end my lack of experience caused me to miss out on that job. I was a little bummed at first, but as I got to thinking more about it, I realized it was not the best fit for me and I was okay with that. ( she didn’t like the idea of people having kids and bringing them to her house, so that may not have worked out when my husband and I decided to start a family).   Over the next few weeks, I did not hear much from any jobs I applied to, and the ones I did hear from were all part-time or needed someone to start immediately. Considering I was still working my office job, I knew I needed to give a full two-weeks’ notice before I left, so those were just not doable.

One night, I had applied for a couple of the new postings and within an hour, I received a text message stating the woman from the posting would like my number for her husband to call me for an interview. I emailed him my number and the next day he called me. The rest is history I guess, the phone interview went as well as possible and the phone conversation ended with an agreement to meet the gentleman’s daughter the following week.  The week after that, I was basically offered the job (the mother never said you are hired, but her conversations alluded to the fact that I would start in September) and I gave my twoweeks’ notice at work. This was a little scary since I didn’t have a definite answer ( and we hadn’t discussed pay yet) , but at the time I think I had just made up my mind that if I kept waiting to give my notice, I would never go through with it. I also just felt that even if this position fell through for some reason, I would still benefit from giving my notice since I could start immediately for future prospects.

 It definitely was not easy for me to leave somewhere that I had been for the last four years, but for a while now I have known that it was time to move on. My supervisor made the transition easy for me and that helped ease my mind as well. One of my biggest reasons that I don’t make more bold moves for myself, is that I am always worried I will hurt someone or put them in some kind of inconvenient bind. I never want to feel like I have let someone down and I certainly don’t want to be the reason someone has to endure some type of hardship. I prayed a lot. Honestly, I think that because I decided to really press in for God’s guidance and provision, I was able to see the positive result that I did. And He gave me peace when I needed it most, so that was definitely a big deal for me during this whole transition.

And so, here I am….three weeks later and I can honestly say I haven’t felt this confident and at peace about my work situation in a long time. Three and a half years to be exact.

I am supposed to start my nanny job as soon as I get back from visiting my friend in Nevada (that blog post in in progress now and will be up in about ten days when I leave) and  I am so excited for what the future holds. The family seems like a perfect fit. It is a military family where I will be taking care of an 18 month old little boy named Joey (who is an absolute little heartthrob!) and  I will also be helping with his new baby brother who is just a little over a month old. The mother is going to be home with me, so I do feel some relief that I will not be going into this alone in the unfortunate chance that there would ever be an emergency. A lot of people have asked why she needs me if she is a stay at home mom, but she best explained it this way. Her option was to put the toddler in day care, but she wanted to still spend time with him through the day so she said she would rather hire an in-home helper if she was going to be paying for anyone to watch him. It really came down to attention and the fact that she doesn’t want her son to feel like she doesn’t have time for him, but it is just not possible to give him the attention he demands when she is constantly having to nurse and care for the newborn. I will also be helping with errands and housework so technically Iam her nanny and personal assistant 😊

After spending some trial runs with the family and speaking with the parents more, I can honestly say that this job is exactly what I needed and I couldn’t ask for a better family to start this journey with. One of the biggest things that I wanted assurance about was when I start a family, will I be able to still work the nanny job and would it be okay to have my baby/babies with me? This job literally told me that they thought starting a family was awesome and that I wouldn’t have to worry about that affecting my employment. I can even bring my children with me when I have them. To me, that is so important and just another reason that I feel secure in my decision to take this job. The second hesitation was of course the financial aspect. I basically accepted the job before they ever disclosed the pay, which I found out later was a miscommunication between the daughter and her father. The issue was quickly resolved and when they didn’t hesitate to meet my current salary in the office position, it was just another confirmation that they were truly going to take care of me and value me.

I am not sure how long this job will last, but going from conversations with the family , it should last several years. Of course things can always change due to unforeseen circumstances, but if nothing else, this gives me some great experience to put on my resume going forward.  I really couldn’t ask for anything more at this point, so I will just leave it at that.

 

For those of you who made it to the end of this long and overdue post, thank you for sharing in my journey with me !

 

Peace and Blessings!

 

 

 

 

 

Heavenly Oreo Dessert

A few weeks ago, I was trying to find a quick and simple dessert that I could make to take to dinner at my parent’s house. So where did I look? None other than the black hole of everything….Pinterest. I came across this this ah-mazing recipe for Heavenly Oreo Dessert from a cutesy little food blog Life in the Lofthouse.

Not only was this dessert only six ingredients, it also had a reputation. And that is what I always look for. I love knowing that when I take a dish somewhere, people ask for the recipe and ask for me to “make it again next time”. So, when I am browsing for a recipe, that is what I look out for. And that is exactly what I found.

 The BEST Oreo dessert there is...
The BEST Oreo dessert there is…

I have made this dessert three times now and every single time, it gets GONE. Gee-Oh-eN-Eee, GONE. I have had people seek me out just to get the recipe at the potlucks I bring it to and I have had people special request it for personal get-togethers afterwards. It has just the right amount of whipped deliciousness and chocolatey goodness for any sweet tooth or chocoholic alike!

So here it is folks, the too-good-to-pass-up, no good for your skinny jeans, shut- your -mama’s- mouth , Heavenly  Oreo Dessert.

 

In Your Basket:

1 package of Double-stuffed Oreos. (you can buy the original, but trust me… you want the extra icing! 😉)

½ cup of Butter, melted ( 1 stick)

2 packages of 3.9 ounce Instant Chocolate pudding mix

3 ¼ cup cold milk

2(8 oz) blocks of softened cream cheese

1 cup of powdered sugar

 

Mix It Up!

1.       Place the entire Oreo contents into a gallon sized Ziploc bag and crush cookies until they are broken down into small chunks. You can use a rolling pin, a wooden spoon etc, just make sure you do not pulverize the cookies- you want chunks, not powder.

2.       Set half of the crushed cookies to the side. Pour the other half of the cookie crumbsinto a 9”x13” baking dish. Melt butter and pour over the cookie crumbs in the dish and mix well to fully coat and combine. Press into the pan to form your crust. Set Aside.

3.       In a small mixing bowl, whisk together pudding mixes and milk. Cover and place in the fridge.

4.       In a medium bowl, blend the cream cheese until it is smooth. Slowly add the confectionery sugar until well blended. Fold one container of cool whip into the cream cheese mixture. Spread mixture over cookie crust.

5.       Layer the chocolate pudding over the cream cheese mixture. Add remaining cool whip container to the top of the pudding layer. Sprinkle the remaining cookie crumbs over the top of the dessert.

6.       Cover and chill for at least 2 hours before serving.

7.        Last but not least, Enjoy!!!

 

Please note * This dessert is not for those who are looking to cut carbs, sugar, or other fats from their diet. This dessert may cause return trips, oroo-ing and ah-ing from consumers. If asked for the recipe, please share the love and keep it going!

 

Let me know if you try this recipe and what you think about it! I’d love to hear any tweaks you come up with to make it your ow- I always love to try a new spin on things .

Check back in a couple of weeks to get the low down on some super easy, No-Bake Peanut Butter Crunch Balls. Trust me, you will be glad you did!!

Until next time,

 

 

 

On Replay

Music is a powerful thing. Music is universal. Music brings people together and finds a common thread among people of all demographics. Music evokes emotion. It can make people cry out of joy or laugh uncontrollably. It has the hidden power of making someone feel beautiful at a romantic dinner, or scared in a suspenseful movie. Yes, music makes the world go round, but as something with so much subtle control over our every mood, it is for this reason that music can bring on less desirable effects. Music can make people feel anger or extreme depression. Music fills people’s minds in a way that is innocent enough, but can lead to major issues when it becomes something we feel like we “need”.

For example, I have heard friends say they listen to rap music because it pumps them up in the gym, or when they run. But this “adrenaline” boost, is related to aggression more-so than excitement. Or what about  Emo music? In middle and high school, this type of music was all about pain, suffering, and embracing depressive emotions. Most of the people I knew who listened to it were constantly in a negative or loathsome state of mind. It became easy to see that the more they listened to the music that “knew them so well”, the more they fell into a reality that the music is who they were.

Now don’t get me wrong, all music is not bad. But we should filter and be careful of what we are feeding our minds and our selves. A couple of years ago, I made a resolution to try and wean myself off of secular music. Not because I thought anyone who listened to it was bad, or “sinners”, but rather because if it did not glorify God, I did not want to fill my mind with it. I have been trying to grow in my relationship with the Lord and to me, purging this small, yet significant piece of my former life was one of the steps to do so.

I will admit, this “weaning” of myself from country music and some mixed alternative music was difficult at first. I would still flip back and forth between stations when commercials came on or when there was a song that had been overplayed, but as time went on, I got to where I didn’t want to turn the station anymore.  And if I did, I was changing it to another Christian station. But this change was a gradual one which eventually turned into a full-time routine.

So, listening to Christian music was not a cold turkey thing for me. But once I surrounded myself with the uplifting and encouraging music each time I got in my car, I got to where I craved the worship songs that would play. I wasn’t seeking a satisfaction from a song talking about a girl who was beautiful because she was in short shorts dancing on a tailgate. I wasn’t believing the lie that life is better when you are driving a fancy car, in the spotlight and working through your work week because there was nothing to look forward to but partying every weekend. I was no longer deceived by the insignificant aspects of something as simple as music, but have such a strong hold on the intricate areas of our lives. I felt liberty through this new music. There was no pressure to look or act a certain way, no focus on things that weigh us down like money, a job, or fame. Just acceptance, praise, thankfulness, and love.

The power of music can make us feel lonely sometimes, or unwanted. And if that is the case, then it doesn’t make me feel closer to my Father, and it doesn’t make me feel connected to Him like my Christian stations. It is amazing how much of a difference my attitude is when I am going into work, heading home for the day, or just running errands in my spare time. It is a conversation between me and the Friend I have in Jesus. Whether I have fifty minutes or fifteen, that little worship session between me and my God is special to me, and I know it is precious to Him.

I don’t’ know about you, but I love to sing in my car! I know I cannot give my 100 percent full attention to making sure I sound like an angel, but I know that is is pleasing to God and it sure does renew my soul!

If you are in need of a little inspiration or encouragement, or just need to feel loved, I challenge you to surround yourself with inspirational songs. I have put together some of my favorite songs on my playlist right now. Let me know what you think and I’d love to know what some of your favorites are too!

Top 25 Songs on Replay

1)      Great Are You Lord- One Sonic Society

2)      It is Well (Through it All)- Bethel

3)      No Longer Slaves- Bethel

4)      Forever- Kari Jobe

5)      No One Higher  -Chinua Hawk

6)      King of My Heart- Kutless

7)      Alive in You- Jesus Culture

8)    Spirit Break Out- Kim Walker-Smith

9)     The Stand-  Hillsong

10)    Micah Tyler- Different

11)    Hills and Valleys-  Tauren Wells

12)    Even If-  Mercy Me

13)   Oh My Soul- Casting Crowns

14)   Old Church Choir-  Zach Williams

15)   Whole Heart- Brandon Heath

16)   O’Lord- Lauren Daigle

17)   Word of Life-  Jeremy Camp

18)   Point to You-  The Messengers

19)   Stars-  Skillet

20)  Who Says-  Joshua Micah

21)  The Comeback-  Danny Gokey

22)  Simple Pursuit- Passion

23)  How Sweet the Sound-  Citizens Way

24) Death Was Arrested-  North Point Inside Out

25)   Beloved- Jordan Feliz

 

Blessings dear ones,