Cursing? Oh, that ol’ thing…

How quick are we to curse? Pretty quickly if you ask me. It’s as natural to us as breathing. How quick are we to not notice the words that come out of our mouths? We speak before we think, that’s a given. In today’s society, it has become the norm to speak fouly, to say profanities, and speak negatively. I’m guilty of this myself. I decided to write about this because it came to my attention of how insignificant we might view this. I mean, it’s something so small compared to all the other countless ways we could be doing wrong. But God takes into account all the BIG and SMALL things we do throughout our lives. At work, I notice how easily it is for kids to curse at each other. I hear the young girls referring to each other as “bi*****”. It’s normal for them to say “Hey bi***, how was your weekend?”. When did this ever become the norm? The worst part is, that if you don’t play along to words like that, you’re considered to be boring and a goodie-to-shoes. How sad that the norm to God is the un-norm to society. I wonder if we realize that through our words, we will be judged. I wonder if we realize that through our words, we are creating or destroying our harvest. I say ‘we’ because I’m including myself. As I write here, I am also learning. I am not preaching as if I know everything but instead just simply sharing what was placed in my path. Last night as I read Matthew 12, I came across these verses

“I tell you that people will have to answer on judgement day for every useless word they speak. By your words you will be either judged innocent or condemned as guilty”

Matthew 12:36-37

While I am referring more to cursing, I still believe that spreading rumors or negatively speaking about someone or ourselves could be considered “useless words”. We reap what we sow. The more we curse, the more we create a foul character. The more we speak negatively about others or ourselves, the more we destroy our good nature. I realize how simple of a subject this is and that there are more important things out there to focus on but something as simple as this has the power to create or destroy. It has the power to create our character or destroy our character. Will we have dignity in how we talk? Will we have dignity in how we refer to each other and acknowledge each other? Our words are a gateway to our characters. I know these behaviors have become normal to us so stopping them all together almost seems impossible. At some point throughout the day, our old habits will come out without our approval. We are quick to act and quick to speak. But I believe that if we become aware of this subject, then we will be able to stop ourselves one action and one word at a time.

“Keep your conduct among the Gentiles honorable, so that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may see your good deeds and glorify God in the day of visitation”

 1 Peter 2:12

Have a lovely day everyone, may you honor the one that loves you with your words!

-Brigette

It’s hard being a newbie Christian… part two!

I realized how popular of a topic “being a newbie Christian” is. I appreciate all the positive feedback everyone gave me on my first post about it. With that being said, I felt that I should add a part two to this topic. So here we are on “It’s hard being a newbie Christian part 2”.

You messed up? No way….me too!!!

Something that came to mind the past couple of days is how easy it is for us to fall off the deep end. It’s like we took 1 step forward in the right direction and then a 100 steps back in the wrong direction. No matter what it may be that tempts you to go back into your old ways, you know as well as I do, how discouraging it could be to get back up and continue down the right path. Personally I feel like a hypocrite, trying so hard to be good and act gracefully but here I am getting angry because the person driving in front of me is going too slow and I’m going to be late to work. I pray and sing songs about being patient but when the time comes to act on what I practice, I’m tempted to do the total opposite. Just the other day I experienced anger and lack of patiences, two things that I have been praying for God to help me overcome. Needless to say that I didn’t act in a Godly manner and instead of asking Him for forgiveness, I laid in bed that night and said “I’m sorry. I don’t know why I even bother trying so hard when in the end, I always mess up. I’m ashamed and I know the right thing to do is to get up from this situation and to continue praying to you but I just don’t want too. I’m a hypocrite. I messed up. Let me just continue down this path because that’s all I’m good at”. Overly dramatic and harsh right? Yeah…I know. See here is the thing, instead of trying to overcome those thoughts, emotions, and overall ungraceful manner, I believed that in that moment I didn’t have what it took to continue my relationship with Jesus that I had been working so hard for. I felt that it was just easier to give in to temptation and to continue to behave with anger and lack of patiences. Why would I bother trying anyways? Clearly all my hard work was for nothing because I thought I kept regressing. I say ‘I thought’ because I’m almost certain that was not what God thought. He wants me to continue working as hard as I have for our relationship. For all I know, He is proud of my small steps of victory but I doubted myself. How often do we lose control of situations? Our own emotions? We lack self-control because we are human. And I want to point out…don’t be fooled by all those people that look like they have self-control over temptation in their lives. Chances are it took them a lot of trial and error to learn to have self-control in certain aspects of theirs lives and I’m almost certain there is still something they haven’t learned to overcome. Speaking from the perspective of a 24 year old that is just beginning to live life, I know that while I might have self-control over saying ‘no’ to drugs, I lack the self-control to not be so quick to get angry. Everyday we are tempted in some way, and at times we might even give in to that temptation. Like I said before, we are human. But when that does happen, it is important to repent, get back up on your feet with you’re head held up high and continue to follow the one that believes in you despite all you’re defects.

“but if anyone suffers as a Christian, he is not to be ashamed, but is to glorify God in this name”

1 Peter 4:16

We messed up….so what now?

There isn’t a single human being that can say that they have never fallen into temptation. You, me, the person next to us, are going to come across sin. Does that make it okay to sin? Heck no! We are to overcome sin one step at a time. If you push yourself to run before you can walk, you are going to fall. It is okay, to do the right thing, one day at a time. Next time you are driving and someone cuts you off, try breathing in and saying “I will have self-control to remain calm. Maybe that person is having a bad day and they need Jesus. So let me show them a bit of Jesus’s light through my patiences”. I know, easier said than done. But remember…..ONE step at a time. All those little steps will begin to add up over the days, months, years, etc. Just because you messed up, doesn’t mean that God now hates you. He loves you and always will. If He seeks those that want nothing to do with Him, then imagine how He will continue to seek you. YOU that does want something to do with Him. No mess up will ever be too big compared to the massive amount of love and forgiveness He has for you through Jesus. Do not throw away a life-long relationship over mistakes that you believe are too shameful to ever allow Him to love you. You messed up? Well keep on trying! Tomorrow will be a brand new day full of His mercy. A brand new opportunity to continue to grow with Him. Do not give up.

“But as for you, be strong and do not give up, for your work will be rewarded.” 

2 Chronicles 15:7

Remember this next time you think you messed up badly…

Little by little, step by step, one day at a time. For all of us that are starting off or believe that we don’t have what it takes, just relax. Just because you began your walk with Jesus, or maybe have very little time walking with Him, it doesn’t mean you can’t overcome your temptations. This is how it all begins. Failure. Trial and error.

“No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it”

1 Corinthians 10:13

Remain faithful to Him. Set small goals daily that you can achieve against temptation. And no matter where you stand in your relationship with Jesus, newbie or not, remember He loves and forgives you.

-Brigette

By Faith, she’s got Grace!

Friday. The day everyone looks forward after a long work week. It’s the end of the stress and the beginning of the weekend. We all have different reasons to be stressed out at work but we must remember that through enough faith, we will have the grace to overcome anything thrown our way. I work with kids and to be more specific, I work with middle school students. The age group from 11 years old to 14 years old. If there is anyone else that works with this age group or is parents to one, then you know it ain’t easy. Attitudes are flying around left and right, there is still immaturity to deal with, and emotions are from one end of the spectrum to the other. It can be extremely overwhelming to anyone. I’ve had to keep an open mind to be able to understand each and every single one of my 130 kids. Every day I am responsible for each of those kids and on average my stress levels are through the roof. I leave work and I feel like I want to take a vacation for the next year or two. It’s rough, and while I don’t have it all down packed, I am learning to get through my days as gracefully as possible. I am trusting that my faith is going to give me grace.

Oh the stressssss! It’s agonizing…..

Stress, our number one killer. It can take on many different forms in our lives. From our work, to our families, friends, kids, our partners, bad circumstances, you name it. There is never a day where stress doesn’t appear in our lives. Even on those days “off”, you are probably still thinking of the million of things you must get back too after your vacation. It is always there buzzing around like a mosquito waiting to strike. Once it does strike, we are left with an unbearable itch and we can never truly ignore it. We scratch at it, try to put some anti-itch cream on it, but the truth is that the better option is to just not touch it. It takes some very strong will power to not scratch a mosquito bite. How can you ignore it right? It makes you feel extremely uncomfortable and in the end we get so overwhelmed with that bite. Right now you’re probably asking yourself, “what is this girl talking about? How does stress and a mosquito bite even correlate to each other?”. Okay, so just like mosquito bites, our stress does have ointment and that ointment is Jesus. When we scratch our bites, we irritate them and potentially make ourselves bleed which leads to a scar in the future. You’ve probably heard your mommas say over and over again “don’t touch it!” and you tell your mom, “mom it’s terrible. I have too. I need it to stop!”. And so, you end up making it worse. Like I said earlier, it takes will power. It takes will power to allow Jesus to handle our stress. Why can’t we simply have the willpower to pray to Him and tell Him that He is in control of the situation? It makes us uncomfortable that we can’t find a solution right away and in having that mindset we make it worse.

”Come to me, all you who are struggling hard and carrying heavy loads, and I will give you rest. Put on my yoke, and learn from me. I’m gentle and humble. And you will find rest for yourselves. My yoke is easy to bear, and my burden is light”

Matthew 11:28-30

He tells us to go to him with our worries, with what is overwhelming us and that He will take care of them. We are always going to have stress throughout our lives, just as we are always going to get bites from mosquitoes. It’s inevitable. Instead of looking for a way for stress to stop, we need to look for a better way on how we view it and handle it.

A humble attitude? Where can I find one?

I love sharing my personal experience that have guided me to seek out Jesus. I believe it’s important to write/talk about them with others because I’m not a robot just reciting something I learned from a textbook. So here is what happened to me. Yesterday…I snapped…and I am not happy about it in the slightest. I was hungry, tired, annoyed, etc. I lost my patients over something that I should’ve been able to handle more humbly. I was on the phone with my boyfriend and the signal was terrible, instead of understanding and being patient, I got annoyed that he wasn’t listening to me and gave him attitude. I believed he wasn’t listening but it was the signals fault, not his. I felt terrible about it later but in the moment I just felt overwhelmed beyond means. I hadn’t told him that I had had a stressful day and was starving. Poor him right? Not even an hour after that happened, my mom called me and asked about dinner arrangements and I just didn’t want anything to do with it. I wanted to be alone and just handle my attitude by cooling off. So instead of talking to her, I dismissed the conversation by being dry. My poor mom right? Both victims of my stress. Both victims of me thinking I could handle it on my own. I knew what was wrong but I couldn’t find a way to get over this overwhelming feeling I was having. (Here is the correlation of the mosquito bites. It just wasn’t going away) Lately whenever I’ve been faced with a difficult situation in my life, I have turned to devotionals. I mentioned in my previous post that I personally feel like a newbie Christian, so I can’t exactly pull out verses from my head for every predicament I find myself in. Devotionals are amazing in my opinion. There is literally one for any situation in life. Every feeling, every emotion, can be covered if we look for one.

Stress can be a good thing? What…..

Yes, stress can actually be a good thing. Our brains see stress as a threat that can be damaging to us. With this view point we can keep ourselves from danger, motivate ourselves to make better decisions, and help us to make necessary changes for our own good. Stressed because you aren’t getting enough sleep? Minimize the amount of things you do before going to bed. I have a long list of things I read before going to bed and I don’t allow myself to go to bed before reading my devotionals or reading the Bible. And while all those things are important and great, God does want us to rest. He doesn’t want us to be overwhelmed, worried, or anxious. Try viewing stress as a danger indicator telling us to make healthier decision. Upon reading my devotional and asking God to help me, here are three things I gathered:

1). Don’t let stress run your life

Allow it to guide you instead. Make better decisions for your health. Both mental health or physical health. Sleep more, take out toxic people from your life, find a healthier way to go about your circumstance. Don’t let it simply cloud your judgement. God can clarify your stress if you ask him.

2). Release Control

Just like a mosquito bite, leave it alone. Don’t overthink it, don’t get overwhelmed. Just breathe and let God take ahold of your stress. I promise you won’t regret it!

3). Ask for wisdom

It’s important to always see every scenario in a positive manner. How can stress teach you something? Maybe it’s how to handle a situation better. Or maybe it’s to learn to trust God more. At the end of the day, stop trying to handle everything on your own. Just as I tried to do yesterday and epically failed at it. Take hold of the one that wants to take hold of your burdens. 


”But anyone who needs wisdom should ask God, whose very nature is to give to everyone without a second thought, without keeping  score. Wisdom will certainly be given to those who ask”

James 1:5

By faith, I will have grace!

-Brigette

It’s hard being a newbie Christian

In my previous post, I talked about how I grew up in a catholic home. I mentioned how difficult it was to make the transition to Christianity. Over the past few days since I started this blog, a thought has kept creeping up in my mind. “Being a newbie Christian is tough”. I began blogging with the intention of sharing my walk with Christ. I believe it is important to let others like me, know that they aren’t alone in freshly starting off their walk with Jesus. I say this because I know how terrifying it can seem when you look around at so many other Christians that have probably been in ministry for years. They seem so well put together. It’s intimidating and it can make one feel like we won’t ever know as much as them. But I’m here to tell anyone that might, or is currently experiencing these thoughts: YOU ARE NOT ALONE! 

So what difference could we possibly make for the growth of the Harvest?

A big concern of mine has always been on how can I make a difference. What more could I potentially add that someone more experienced hasn’t already done or said. I don’t know about you, but when that thought comes to my head, I can’t help but feel unbelievably small. I go to church, watch Joyce Meyer conferences, and read christian blogs by other devoted christians. I can’t count the number of times I have wished to have the knowledge and courage to preach the word of God as they all have. It is because of people like them, that we come across Jesus’s love. They spread the word by acting as messengers. How awesome is that? God has his own army and we can all join. We can all make a difference. We might come across ONE person, be a blessing to their day, and guess what happens next? Jesus’s love radiates from us, which then radiates onto that person you blessed, which later radiates onto the next person they bless. It is really that simple. It is an ever growing domino effect. Our body is a vessel that carries God’s spirit and our job is to be so filled with his love and grace that we glow with his goodness. 

‘Or don’t you know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you? Don’t you know that you have the Holy Spirit from God, and you don’t belong to yourselves? You have been bought and paid for, so honor God with your body’.

1 Corinthians 6:19-20

This is what I’ve learned….there are so many people out there that need to hear the word of God. It could be family members living in your own house or it could be a complete stranger living across the world from you. We don’t realize how easily we can make a difference to someones day. There might be a bunch of people out there, doing the exact same thing you would like to do right now. They are helping others in ways that you have only imagined to help but we ‘newbie christians’ don’t have to watch from the sidelines. It might be scary because who would possibly listen to us when just the other day we were sinning? But see thats the beauty about God. He forgave us and gave us the grace to overcome our old behaviors. He wants us to show others how he saved us. So yes, you might be new in your walk with Jesus but just remember that at the end of the day, it is all about growing the Harvest.

‘Then he said to his disciples, ‘The size of  the harvest is bigger than you can imagine, but there are few workers. Therefore, plead with the Lord of the harvest to send out workers for his harvest’. 

Matthew 9:37-38

Will you be his worker?

Jesus himself said that there were only a few workers. He wants us to follow him and lead by example. You might feel insignificant compared to all the other more experienced preachers but just remember that we were given the power to help others. Each one of us was placed on this earth with a calling. We are our happiest, most alive, and most like ourselves when we fully activate our calling. If in this moment or in any future moment of your life, you feel a calling to talk about the word, do it! Even us newbies can get in on the action of changing someones life. There is nothing difficult about God, we just need to spread his goodness onto others. So ask yourself “Am I ready to be his worker in this harvest?”

-Brigette

Why bother?

Recently I’ve been very into self-help books. Whether they are religious or not, I love them. They serve as a constant reminder that each one of us is great in our own way. They are full of all these awesome pointers that should help us out if we know how to apply them to our lives. The main objective of these books are to remind their readers that they can overcome and accomplish anything. Positive thoughts = a positive life. Can I be the first to admit that I have a hard time following their positivity. It sounds great and all, until you actually try to apply their words to your life. Even when it comes to reading devotionals or reading the Bible, the messages state that God loves us and we can do anything through him if we have faith in him. Often times we read all these encouraging words that have the power to change our lives but nothing happens. We read and re-read them, but we struggle to understand how they fit into our lives.

Lack of confidence?

It came to my attention that a lot of us never end up doing what we have envisioned for our lives. We stray away from the things we would “love” to do. Why do we do it? Why don’t we ever go for the things that would make us happy? For many of us, we might believe it to be a waste of time. For others that might want to pick up a hobby or apply for their dream career, we might believe that there are better candidates than us or that we might simply suck at it. Learning to play an instrument? “I’ll never learn how to do that!” Learning to paint? “Why would I? There are people out there much better than me. I’ll just buy theirs.” Begin to write your own blog that you’ve been dreaming of doing for a while? “Who is going to read my content? There are like a million other blogging sites that are more popular than mine ever would be”. Start a business of your own where you are your own boss? “No…there are already plenty of businesses like that, mine just won’t be able to compete”. Why do we keep doing this to ourselves?!

So here is my truth:

For as long as I can remember, I have been wanting to write a blog. Never did I think I would do it but here I am. Did I think I would be any good at it? Heck no. Did I think anyone would take the time to read through my post? Not really. All those negative thoughts just held me back from doing something I really wanted to do. Why did I allow myself to think that way? I mean, Thank God that He took that fear and negativity out of my head. I had finally done it but then the other night it was like I had forgotten to be positive and trust God. I asked my boyfriend, “Why am I even doing this? I don’t think anyone is even reading my blog. There are so many other people doing the same thing. I am probably just wasting my time”. He told me the same thing the self-help books had been saying “Do it because you want to do it. You never know who you might make a difference too”. This conversation got me thinking of two very important things:

-Why was I really doing this and with what expectations?

-What made me stand out from everyone else?

And here is what I concluded: I wanted to do it so I could publish God related messages that I believe could be relevant to at least one person out there. I am not quite sure what would make me stand out but there has to be something right? (my boyfriend said that he could read the “Miami” in my post, so I guess that counts as standing out).

Andddd here is the self-help talk.

Why do we choose to do anything that we love? Simple. To make ourselves HAPPY. We put a downer on our own happiness. Who cares if it makes those around you uncomfortable? Or if they might disagree? At the end of the day, you do what you need to do for yourself. I decided to do this because I wanted to get my words out there while trying to honor God as best as I could. So if 1 person reads this or if 50 people read this…I ‘ll be happy regardless. The other night I came across a verse in the book of Matthew where Jesus was telling the crowds to not publicly do things for the acceptance of others but to instead do things to honor him and shed light of his kingdom. At the end of the day, I would like to be a worker that is working on His harvest and doing what makes ME happy at the same time. I encourage everyone to do the same. Go skydive, go take those salsa classes you’ve been wanting to take, go get in shape, or go and take church and reading the bible serious. When we do what we love, we radiate goodness and positivity. No need to be a debby-downer because you believe it’s to far out of your reach. And yes, there will be other people doing EXACTLY what you are doing but guess what? Each and every single one of us has our own set of talents and special gifts. We have our own perception on how we see things and how we do things. So while you may think you are copying the person next to you, your perception will always be different from theirs. No one two people are alike. So good news! Go ahead and do what you have seen others do without thinking you have to compete with them. You will add your own twist to it and furthermore expanding what is already out there.

“ All that matters is what’s true for you, and if you can stay connected to that without straying, you will be a mighty superhero”.

Jen Sincero

-Brigette

Military Weekends

Once a month, every first weekend of the month.

A man in uniform…can I get an Amen! Whether he is a nurse, or a doctor, or a policeman, or a firefighter (like mine) or in the military, there is something so attractive and honorable about them.When I first started talking to Josh, I was fan-girling left and right because he was a firefighter in the Air Force. I mean, how flipping cool is that? I was super excited to tell my family and friends about him. He had the aspiration to become a civilian firefighter as well so a double win! I was about to start dating such a cool guy that had so much going for him and best of all, he wanted me to be a part of it. I felt like I knew what I was getting myself into but I never really knew what I was getting myself into until I experienced it. In no way is this post meant to be a downer but instead a learning experience. When Josh got back from his deployment, I basically had him all to myself for a whole month. That month consisted of back-to-back movie dates, lunch and dinner dates, arcade dates, and anything else my little heart desired. It was fantastic and it felt like I was on cloud nine, but like anything else in life, everything comes to an end. I now had to share him with school, work, and these military weekends. I know how lame I am going to sound. I’m here complaining about a simple weekend, while there are girlfriends and wives that have to deal with months and years at a time without seeing their significant other. Even though I haven’t had to endure that long of a wait, I feel for all of you that have and I pray for you patients. For anyone that is dating a first responder, you understand how terrible the schedules can be.

I fell hard from Cloud 9.

When it came time to actually deal with the scheduling, let me just say I had a hard time adjusting to it. I have never ever in my life had the mindset of ‘‘absence makes the heart grow founder’, in fact, it has always been the complete opposite for me. As embarrassing as it may be to say this, I had a very selfish attitude with time. I had never faced a situation where I had to place someone else’s priorities over my own. I’m not going to sit here and say that I knocked it out of the ball park after a month of dealing with it because thats definitely not what happened. In fact, my mindset lead to many arguments that were in no way healthy for a new relationship. Thank God, that Josh was beyond understanding and had the patients to actually deal with the immaturity. So two things were happening here: 1). I was thinking of the past and 2). I was thinking of the future. I was worried because of past experiences and believed that if I didn’t have enough time with my significant other, he would stop loving me and leave me. I was worried about the future and what it meant to not spend time together. 1 + 2 = 3….which is as simple as I was making myself into a huge ball of anxiety and worry. All of that for absolutely no reason whatsoever. I am honestly beyond embarrassed that I had this mindset and even more embarrassed that sometimes I still slip and get a selfish attitude. I’m no where near perfect. My selfish attitude is probably one of my biggest downfalls but the very first step I took to changing that is acknowledging it. Yes, you read that right. Acknowledging my attitude. Instead of ignoring the bad traits we all have, I found it helpful to realize them and step out of the comfort zone they have placed us in and make a change for our own good as well as the good for those around us.

Is it easy? Heck no! Here are some things God told me:

I have come to believe that our bad traits have placed us in a sort of comfort zone. For example, anyone out there just despises to apologize? Even if at the end of the day, no matter what way you put it, it is completely your fault? I grew up watching some of my own family members never apologizing for certain actions they took. I believe it to be their pride that never allowed them to see past themselves. They were too scared to shatter their own egos even if it meant being on better terms with the people around them. Ego = your comfort zone. In my case, I was use to being selfish simply because it always got me what I wanted even if it would upset those around me. Terrible, terrible, terrible, I know! But like I said, it was my comfort zone, it was what I knew. Being patient? HA! Putting other’s perspective above my own? Double HA! Getting out of my comfort zone? Triple HA! So I began to pray about it. I asked God to help me with my attitude and allow me to become more humble. I started doing devotional based on humility and worrying and here is what I was told:

“Humble yourselves before the Lord, and He will lift you up” – James 4:10 

“So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own” – Matthew 6:34

We alone do not have the power to change ourselves, but by cooperating with the Lord, we can overcome even our worst of habits. So here are the 3 simple steps I took to changing my bad attitude into a more humble and worry-free attitude:

1). Acknowledge it

2). Pray about it

3). Listen to what God has to say about it

Often times the best thing we can do for ourselves and those around us, is to realize our faults and want to make a change about them.

-Brigette