Do Not Become Consumed

a0dacc5b96bdb17f3d67b3b67f51aa3cGrowing up in the 21st Century has been interesting to say the least. Our phones weigh almost nothing, there’s robots who greet you at the airport, and if something cool happened but you didn’t snap or take a photo of it- did it even really happen?

I have been victim of social media for years now, at first it was neat to see what your friends would post and we were just teenagers but now that I see what social media has become it’s quite intense. People’s lives have been ruined by it, relationships have been torn apart due to things that happened on Instagram or Snapchat. Some people even only post what they want people to see when in reality they live a completely different life.

On the other hand social media has done great things and celebrities that have this immense platform have now taken it into their hands to spread positive things rather than just selfies. It’s clear to see that social media can either bring out the best in someone or just the vain in someone. I have taken a vow to stop posting that many pictures of myself and to instead post the beauty that surrounds me. For example, this past weekend I went to my church retreat and I barely had phone service and it was AMAZING. I’m so thankful for it because I was able to be fully immersed in the experience and appreciate all the breakthroughs that God was giving me. I have never felt more at peace that I did after coming home from the retreat, and a lot of that came from disconnecting to the outside world and connecting with God and building that relationship.

I want you to take this into consideration; does posting your every move really matter? Who are you posting it for? To flaunt or to brag? What if you took a break from technology every now and then. Try to to disconnect and I promise you that using that free time to journal or write in your prayer journal will definitely benefit you in the long term. We should not allow the outside world to consume us because these earthly things are all temporary whereas Jesus is eternal and will always provide and fulfill us. Those likes or reposts or comments won’t fill those voids that only God can fill.

Lastly, I used to add a prayer at the end of my blogs (completely optional) and I feel like I should bring that back.

Prayer:

God, I thank you for all the blessings you have brought into my life,
I thank you for the relationships that you have allowed to grow and I pray that these relationships that I invest in will bring into fruition more love and hold you at the center of it all.
I pray that these earthly things like my job, my clothes, technology, etc. will not consume me and control my life – I will keep you as my anchor always and remember that I should not allow myself to become overwhelmed.
I pray that the person reading this feels your love and remembers everyday that they’re not alone, ever. That you, God are always with them in the good, the bad and the unknown.

 

-xo

 

Faith Through Frustration

2666472ee129e6ff8e2f8771b01bd261
Have you ever had one of those days where it seems like nothing is going right? First you sleep over your alarm so you jump out of bed like a ninja and rush to get ready and get out the door, then you start driving only to be in stopped traffic the whole way to where you have to go. To make things better you’re now late to work or school and when you walk in everyone turns to look at you and you’re left feeling shame and frustration? Well let me tell you- you are not alone! I can’t even tell you how many times this has happened to me and my initial thought is “WHY ME? WHY TODAY? WHAT NOW?” It’s almost as if I expect something else to go wrong and it’s only happening to me which makes me the victim.

Honestly this couldn’t be further from the truth. My question is this; why is it that because one thing sets us off that we can’t see any good in the rest of the day? What about the beautiful sunny day it is outside, did you take the time to notice that? What about that stranger that smiled at you but you walked past too quickly to notice? What about your parents? Did you bother to ask how their day was going?

It’s so often that we think too much about ourselves and our little bubble that we forget to notice all the amazing things that are happening around us. There are beautiful flowers blooming,    amazing food to try, art to see, places to explore and none of that can be seen when you’re only looking at the negative.  I have had so many days where I sit and sulk in my own pity rather than thank my lucky stars I’m here another day to enjoy all life has to offer.  I have learned to see past the bad and take a deep breath and have Faith that things will get better. Just because one thing or a number of things for that matter go wrong- doesn’t mean everything will. A bad day is just that, a bad DAY- not a bad LIFE. If you just take a moment to notice all the blessings in your life and opportunities that come your way, you’ll be much happier.

The next time you find yourself in a rut I want you to repeat the following:

I know things aren’t perfect but they are far better than they could be.

I am thankful for all the blessings in my life, and I choose to focus on the abundance of good instead on the tiny bit of bad.

Today will be a great day because I have Faith that God will make it great.

Xoxo

New Beginnings | #SelflessYear

goodvibes

As another new year commences I begin to plan out my goals for the year as so many of us do. Although many like to make a list of all the resolutions they plan to complete this year, I know the majority of them will fall through within the first six months. The reason so many of our “resolutions” don’t work out is because they’re focused around materialistic things. For example: losing weight, making more money, being more successful, changing your wardrobe, etc.

I’ve also come across many posts about how people want this New Year to be their “Selfish Year” meaning they want to focus on themselves, they want to grow more, and they want to know who they truly are. My question to you is this; in all this time after all your struggles how has ONLY depending on yourself worked out? The reality of it is that we are only human; we can try so hard to carry the world on our shoulders but it’s too much. I read this quote once that read;

“That Mountain that you carry on your shoulders you were only meant to climb.”

This struck such a nerve with me! How many times did I try to take on tasks I knew were out of my league, how many times did I say “I don’t need any help, I will do it on my own”, how many times did I push others away? In 2016, God really showed me the complete opposite. When we put God before anything else, we lead such a worry-free life. There’s no need to stress over finding something that is destined for you because it will find its way to you on its own.

When we let God lead the way, you will find all the “resolutions” you want to accomplish. He will always bring you happiness and success because He wants the best for you. Numerous times last year when I let go of things and put them in God’s hands they ended up working out because it wasn’t me trying to control everything. The only thing I can control is what I do for others. So, my goal this year is to make it my Selfless Year! What does that mean you may ask? Well, I want to make this year the year of helping others. Sure, I’ve donated in the past, I’ve helped out at feeding the homeless but to be honest it was never whole-heartedly. I plan to help at numerous drives, shelters, etc. this year with your help! Send me (in the comments below) name or links to your favorite shelters (all kinds), food drives, etc. so I can get started ASAP! Additionally, I will be documenting about all the events using the hashtag “#SelflessYear” so stay tuned for that! Thank you in advance and I can’t wait to see what this year has in store for us all!

Xoxo

A Year in Retrospect: 2016

2016-blog
Picture Credit: Erick Lopez (click name)

 

This year has been a roller coaster to say the least. As the year came to an end all I see in my feed are things like “I can’t wait for this year to be over” and although it definitely wasn’t an easy year it was one that I will appreciate in many ways. There were quite a few lows for me this year and it was in those times that I really couldn’t rely on anything other than my  faith and trust in God to get my through it.

To be honest, this year taught me just how much trusting God gets you. I don’t mean this in the sense that God is a wish granting factory- because He isn’t. What I mean is that if you pray about something, or for that matter just let something go and give it to God then He will do something great in your life.

At the beginning of the year I was unhappy at a job I didn’t love, I was worried about my financial situation and stressing over the repairs for my car of five years. Fast forward to the end of the year and I’m at a job I love and continue to learn more and more daily, with a steady income, and my new car which is saving me a ton in gas and repairs! I am so grateful for all God has done in my life, and when asked how I did it- I honestly just say “it wasn’t me, that was all God” but that is the honest truth. I am still learning and working on my relationship with God and I’m so blessed for all He continues to do for me and those around me.

One of my biggest prayers this year was that God blessed the people I surround myself with and to see where all my friends are brings tears to my eyes and the biggest smile to my face. To see the people I love most getting their dream homes, bringing life into the world, and becoming one with their soul mates- I couldn’t be happier for you guys.  Although I didn’t do any of those things I’m not worried about it because I know God has big things planned for me and His timing is perfect so things will happen when they have to.

It’s crazy really because 2016 held a lot of pain but the joy that came out of it is unbelievable.  I was able to get a new job, my car, move to a new place, and travel. These are all things I prayed over 2016 and I have BIG goals for 2017 so I am excited to see where God is taking me and what is in store for us all. Overall, this year wasn’t easy at all and I’m sure many of us can agree with that but it’s definitely a learning experience and one I won’t take for granted!

Here’s to new experiences, growth in all areas of our lives, and to promises being fulfilled.

BRING IT 2017!  

An Open Letter to You

Photography by Daniel Tapia

Hello again,

I’ve missed you.
I feel like writing this as a letter to a friend- because to me that’s what this is. I feel at peace when I release the stress, the worries, the thoughts that keep me up at night. We all have them, we all overthink and it only harms us.
To be 100% transparent I’ve been missing a part of me lately, mostly because that part of me will never be fully filled and that’s because she’s gone. I miss my mother. Every single day. The pain subsides but it comes in waves every now and then. With the holidays around I feel like anyone who has dealt with loss can relate but it’s always a little harder around the holidays. We had traditions, we had stories, and we had so many memories yet to be made.
It kills me to think about all the things she’s going to miss in my life. The day I get married, the day I have kids. All the big days in my life will always be missing her. She was my everything- my best friend since I was born. My mother worked hard so I didn’t have to want for anything at a young age. I was provided for by my parents and although we weren’t rich in money we were always rich in love. The love one has for their mother cannot be compared to as I’m sure the same can be said for the love a parent has for their child.
Dealing with loss is hard. No one ever quite explains it perfectly but if I had to it would be like this: you love something so much and you get so used to having it around it becomes a part of you. Then one day it gets ripped from out of your hands and you don’t even have time to catch your breathe. You feel as though the rug has been slipped from right under you. You hurt more than you ever thought you could and your heart breaks in places you didn’t know existed.

It gets better though, as time passes you learn to deal with it or live with it. The wound begins to heal every day, you manage to get out of bed and change and finally start your day. You learn to talk about it without getting choked up (although I still bawl my eyes out every now and then).  You try to smile through it all- you begin to do things that make you happy again and you find happiness.

You will find happiness. This isn’t a wish, it’s the truth. The funny thing is that our happiness is always around us- in the baristas who make our coffees and remember our faces, in the coworkers who bring you a coffee without asking, in the sunny days after it rains. It happens all the time and it’ll happen for you.

Give it time and keep the faith- I believe in you.

Talk soon,

Xoxo SL

Find Your Happy

It’s so often that I find myself wanting to create new things all the time. Sometimes I want to take new pictures, sometimes I want to explore new restaurants (mostly because food = life), and sometimes I just want to sit and read and write my day away, and some days I just want to drive and keep driving without a destination. 

It’s so easy to fall into depression or isolate yourself from everything that is out there because of our daily routines and work life. We either hate our jobs, are work-aholics, or find a balance. Finding a balance isn’t easy for everyone and I myself have struggled with it. I don’t have the weekends off all the time so I can’t always hang out when my friends can and I feel badly about missing out. I appreciate the friends that find a way to work around it or make the effort to hang out on weekdays. It makes me happy to be surrounded with happy, positive people. 

I’m not saying we don’t all have sucky days because we are human and we can’t expect that, however, we can change how we let it affect us. Regardless of how I feel in the morning I always say out loud how thankful I am for the opportunity to have another day, another chance to live this one life. I’m not going to sulk in the things that didn’t work out, or the relationships that didn’t last, or the friends I once had because today’s a new day and tomorrow holds new things in store. I have to make the effort to make each day as good as I can and do the things that make me happy. 

I’m happiest when I’m me. When I don’t have to pretend to want to go out, when I can have a glass of wine, make a nice dinner and write or watch movies or whatever it is I feel like doing. It’s okay that I’m not with anyone right now because I’m happy being single and other people’s expectations for me are not my reality and I don’t have to live up to them because it’s not their life- it’s mine. 

So today I encourage you to go find what makes you happy, and if you find someone along the way who wants to walk that journey with you then even better, if not it’ll happen eventually. 

#FindYourHappy ❤️ (got the idea from Nikki Blackketter ) 

Gratefull.

a6a3ed8263769bd23aa4fe3f3c08cb60

Hello again,

If you’re like me your first thought was just like mine. Is that a typo? The answer is NO.

It’s been a while since my last post and I’ve been thinking a lot. Not because I didn’t want to write anymore but because I want what I write to actually be something that matters. I’ve never been into seeking validation through social media of any sort, so when I started this blog it was really always about having an outlet for myself to express what I’m feeling or what I’m going through. So, to bring this back to the topic at hand- I’ve been focusing a lot on being grateful.

I don’t know about you but when something I have been asking for (or in my case praying for) comes to fruition, I feel so overwhelmed that I go through about a hundred emotions at once. There’s always a little bit of doubt that I don’t deserve said thing but at the end of the day I remind myself to be grateful no matter what.

I have now even made it a part of my daily routine that the first thing I do before I even open my eyes is to thank God. I have been through a lot of loss in my life (which I will speak on in a future post) and it has shown me the importance of every day or every fresh start I am given. It’s so easy to wake up and groan a little because of all the things you have to accomplish but all that does is discourage you. Wouldn’t it feel so much better to open your eyes with the realization that this day is a whole new start? That yesterday was yesterday and it no longer affects today. The choice is truly yours. Now, I’m not saying that every day will be perfect because that is not realistic and I try to be realistic because that’s life, shit happens and things go wrong. You might not have any influence over those things but you can decide on how you let these things affect you.

Let me tell you a little story, when I was in the works of getting my new job I had landed the interview and I had it the next day. I wake up the next morning and remembered I had to print a fresh resume because I know it’s key to bring it to the interview but I was out of ink so I had to go to Office Depot to print it and when I get to my car I put the keys in and NOTHING. It won’t turn on; it doesn’t even make the clicking noise to tell me it’s the battery- nada. Initially I freaked out and started to panic and texted all my friends to see what they were doing today. My best bet was to hitch a ride to El Segundo (which is near LAX in case you don’t know) and pay for the gas but no one was free. So, I sat there for a good five minutes before I stopped myself and said out loud “No, this will not stop me.” Next thing I did was get an Uber to Office Depot, and another back to my house. I get ready and look in the mirror before ordering an Uber to El Segundo, I say “You Got This” and head out- I made it thirty minutes early and was hired within two days.

This was just one of many times in my life when God has had my back and I am so grateFULL, I am full of joy, full of love, full of peace, and full of grace. I am not always worthy of all the blessings in my life but I truly am grateful for them all. My point is to always be grateful for all the things that are happening in this season of your life right now, whether it’s good or bad. If it’s good then you can be grateful for having the opportunity to have it in your life, and if it’s bad then you will be grateful for where this storm or situation leads you. Either way, there will always be something you can take from it and learn from it. I’m personally in a really good place, and I’m just blessed so now I’m just trying to enjoy it every day.

xo