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When The Burden Is Too Heavy

My heart has been so heavy recently in the light of COVID-19. People are scared for their lives and their livelihoods. We’re in frustrating and uncertain times- I know there will be a light at the end of the tunnel; but, sometimes it’s hard to persevere until we see that light.

This morning in my quiet time I read about Moses and chapter 11 in the book of Numbers. This was the passage given-

“And Moses said to the Lord, ‘Why are you treating me, your servant, so harshly? Have mercy on me! What did I do to desire the burn of all these people? Did I give birth to them? Did I bring them into the world? Why did you tell me to carry them in my arms like a mother carries a nursing baby? How can I carry them to the land you swore to give their ancestors? Where am I supposed to get meat for all these people? They keep whining to me, saying, ‘Give us meat to eat!'” – Numbers 11:11-13 (NLT)

To give a little context, the Israelites still have not entered the Promised Land. They are currently wandering in the desert and making Moses’ life pretty miserable. Instead of being thankful for being on their way to the place God has for them, the Israelites are too consumed with what they don’t have. So, Moses is frustrated and sharing his feelings with the Lord.

The first thing I really love about that passage is how direct and honest Moses is. The guy is just mad, annoyed, and over it! I think sometimes we feel like when we pray and talk with God we need to have our thoughts beautifully wrapped up to present to Him. But, I don’t really believe that’s what Jesus wants. I think He desires us to be real and raw because that is what comes with a deep and intimate relationship.

If you think about your relationship with your best friend- When you’re upset, do you tone down your feelings? Do you worry about being judged for having emotions (good or bad)? No- You’re real and honest. You’re upfront about being angry or sad or emotional.

In my opinion, our conversations with Jesus shouldn’t be any different. He desires to know the deepest parts of us and when we feel frustrated, He wants us to come to Him.

The second thing I think is very important in this chapter is that God not only wanted Moses to share the burden with Him, but also the people around him.

“Then the Lord said to Moses, ‘Gather before me seventy men who are recognized as elders and leaders of Israel. Bring them to the Tabernacle to stand there with you.  I will come down and talk to you there. I will take some of the Spirit that is upon you, and I will put the Spirit upon them also. They will bear the burden of the people along with you, so you will not have to carry it alone.'” Numbers 11:16-17 (NLT)

I don’t know why, but this just gets me. How marvelous is it that God gets it? He knows that we need Him, but He also recognizes that we need community. We need accountability partners, mentors, and friends to help us carry the burdens we have. Moses was a pretty impressive person and I would say had been through the ringer in his life. But, God knew he still would need others to help him through this frustrating time.

Taking this and applying it to our current state- I would encourage you to be real with God. If you’re scared or upset or mad or stressed- tell Him. Open yourself up to Him and invite Him to work in you to give you peace.

Secondly, don’t be afraid to need other people. Don’t be afraid to share your burdens and concerns whatever they may be. If Moses needed people and community- You do too. There will be an end to this very strange time we’re living in and I am choosing to believe we will be better people for it. But, in the mean time, it’s okay to not be okay. Be open and honest with yourself, Jesus, and the community He has given you.

 

The Quarantine Diaries: Part 1

It’s the first real few days of quarantine here on the Gulf Coast and I’m feeling a lot like Rapunzel. I’ve cleaned out closets and dusted book shelves and read just about every book on them. And it’s only been like 3 days.

The interesting thing about quarantine is that it makes you think. I think as a culture we’ve become very uncomfortable with silence- we drown out our own introspective thoughts with schedules, gatherings, and over-commitments because if our calendars weren’t full, we might have to sit and actually deal with the real things of life. It’s hard and we seem to avoid it like the plague. But in this situation, we’re having to deal with our own thoughts because we’re trying to avoid the actual  plague. “Oh, how the turn tables…”- Michael Scott

I used to be afraid of silence, but now I’m learning to appreciate it. I’m learning to not be afraid of time alone, but to embrace it.

I’m not married quite yet. I’ve been engaged, I’ve gotten un-engaged, I’ve fallen in love, then out of love, broken up with people and then broken up with by people. I still have a lot of life ahead of me don’t get me wrong (I’m only 24), but sometimes in the silence and the alone-ness I just wonder. The majority of my friends are married, engaged and some even are beginning to have children. All of this going on around me certainly starts to make me feel some pressure.

All my single/unmarried folks out there get it- it’s hard. I’m in no rush to get married or have children, but I do wonder when I’m going to find my person. Could be tomorrow or could be 3 years from now. Who really knows?

But here’s the place I’ve come to- I’m over trying to figure it out. I’ve found that there are a lot of parallels between this whole quarantine situation and being single/unmarried. We’re not going to be quarantined or single forever. One day soon (God willing), there will be a cure and we’ll come out of our house and go back to our busy lives. One day you’ll meet the person of your dreams and you won’t go back to it being just you on a Friday at home with a new book.

My point is- we’ve been given this time for a reason. What are we going to do with it?

I’m going to read, organize, and spend some time with Jesus and my family. I’ve also been saying for 2 years now that I’m going to try jiu-jitsu so when this whole thing is over y’all have to hold me accountable. Maybe I’ll YouTube some how-to videos until then.

On a more serious note, I want to make the most out of this time I have for myself. I’m still not sure what I want to be when I grow up, but I do know that somehow I want to change the world. Haven’t quite figured that out yet, but in the mean time, I’m going to push myself and hopefully grow into someone Jesus can use for big things- whatever those things may be.

Stay safe y’all. Wash your hands. Also, if you’re looking for a great Netflix show, try Love Is Blind (it’s a beautiful train wreck).

Something More

I’m a very goal-oriented person- I love working for certain things and then being able to check them off my list. I enjoy feeling like I am working towards something that is bigger than myself. I think that’s why every day of my life I’m either stressed out or bored- there is no in between. I’ve always got something going on.

I also think that is one of the reasons why I have continued to compete in pageants year after year. I have not won a state title yet (maybe this year will be my year lol) and I’ve had people make comments to me (and also behind my back lol) about why would she continue to compete? Hasn’t she done this like 5 times already?

Here’s the thing, I think many of us experience this in different ways. Maybe you’re not a pageant contestant, but you enjoy running 5ks. Maybe you’ve got a dream of building a business. Maybe you want to write a book one day. These may be big goals or they may be small, but you enjoy working towards them because it makes you feel like you are working towards something bigger. Who really wants to just sleep, eat, go to work, come home and repeat the next day? There’s got to be more to our lives than that.

I love competing in pageants because it makes me better as a person. I have a goal to work toward. I have a reason to not eat pizza 3 days a week- you wouldn’t believe the motivation you have for fitness when you know you’ll be wearing a swimsuit on stage in a few months. But beyond the physical aspect, competing in pageants has given me a platform for my non-profit and I feel like I’ve truly been able to make a difference in the state that I love so much.

I’ve been reading through the book of Ecclesiastes and it’s hit me pretty hard. If you haven’t read it- I would certainly encourage it because it really puts life in perspective for us. King Solomon (the author of the book) had wealth, power, status, and anything else a person could dream of accumulating in life. But, he writes about how every bit of it is meaningless unless you are doing something bigger with what you have.

I’ve learned that God doesn’t need me- He wants me- but He doesn’t need me to accomplish what He wants to do. However, I don’t want to miss out on what God’s doing. I desire to be apart of His plan in whatever way I can. Whatever gifts, talents, skills, or opportunities He has given me, I want to use those things to do something bigger.

I love my job in real estate, I love competing in pageants, and I also love being a personal trainer, but reading through this book has really challenged me to think deeper and ask myself what’s the bigger goal? What is the bigger purpose? I don’t want to just make a living- I want to make a life that that has depth to it. But, only Jesus can truly add depth to our lives.

So, I say all this to say- what are the things you’re doing (pageants, 5ks, building a side business) and what is the bigger goal in them? Some folks may not understand why I compete in pageants year after year- but it honestly doesn’t really matter what they think. Just like it doesn’t matter if people understand why you keep running 5ks or writing drafts to a book you’ve been dreaming about publishing. What matters is that you have goals, you have dreams, and you have purpose. If you aren’t sure quite yet what that purpose is, that is okay.

I would encourage you this week to start reflecting and praying on how you can take the things your life consists of right now, and use them to be a part of something more.

So I decided there is nothing better than to enjoy food and drink and to find satisfaction in work. Then I realized that these pleasures are from the hand of God.25 For who can eat or enjoy anything apart from Him? God gives wisdom, knowledge, and joy to those who please Him. But if a sinner becomes wealthy, God takes the wealth away and gives it to those who please Him. This, too, is meaningless—like chasing the wind.” – Ecclesiastes 2:24-26 (NLT)

 

Things Every Woman Should Do Before She Gets Married- Overcoming Anxiety

I think I have always struggled with anxiety, but I did not realize that it was anxiety I was  struggling with. I’m somewhat of a worrier by nature and I do not have a carefree personality (type A all the way) so I always chalked it up to “this is just the way I am, it’s not a big deal”.

But the problem with anxiety, is that it is a big deal. I’m sure everyone’s experience with it is a little different. However, anytime I start to feel anxious it’s almost like that feeling you get when you know you’ve forgotten something. You start to panic wondering what it is you’ve forgotten and you begin to feel warm and your stomach drops.

I remember one time I was standing in my kitchen unloading the dishwasher. Out of nowhere, I had a full blown anxiety episode. I still remember it clear as day, and that was also the day that I realized I needed to do whatever it took to overcome those feelings.

I have found that I struggle with anxiety the most when things are going well- I am always looking over my should thinking “When is the other shoe going to drop? What’s the bad going on that I’m not seeing?”

We all have anxiety and worry for different reasons and I think it can come from different places depending on our background or upbringing. I experience this a lot in my relationships- after my engagement ended, I was so hurt and broken that I knew I never wanted to experience that type of pain again. So since then, anytime I start to get to know someone new, I immediately start waiting for it to all crash and burn. This really isn’t a great way to live, you know?

I’ve definitely gotten better about not worrying 24/7, but it’s still a struggle and I’ve been looking for some scripture to cling to when I feel anxiety creeping in. I’ve been reading through Proverbs and this verse popped out at me:

“You need not be afraid of sudden disaster
    or the destruction that comes upon the wicked,
 for the Lord is your security.
    He will keep your foot from being caught in a trap.” 

Proverbs 3:25-26 (NLT)

I was so amazed at how well this sums up my anxious feelings- it truly does feel like I’m always afraid of a sudden disaster. But, this reminds us that Jesus is our shield. Not to say a shield will keep us from experiencing bad times- but it will keep us safe while we walk through our battles. If we are chasing righteousness and His will, regardless of the circumstances, He is going to keep us from falling prey to the evil and bad that is in this world.

Something that has really been on my heart is praying and speaking scripture in my prayers. I feel like it adds another element of strength when I’m praying to weave in scripture and speak back to God what He’s written for us to read.

When you feel anxious, start to pray and keep this verse or any other verse you find comforting in mind. I would also say that therapy/counseling and reading books on how to deal with anxiety can be extremely helpful. But, always start with Jesus and He will show you what additional steps to take to work through the problems you’re facing.

If there is something you are specifically anxious about, I would love for you to DM me and I’d really like to pray for you during my own quiet time. Or, I’d be even happier to pray with you. Sometimes just having someone else to pray over you and intercede on your behalf can truly make a huge difference in your spirit. I know I have always been so thankful anytime someone has done that for me!

Learn To Be “Really Good” At Suffering

One of the books I’m reading right now is Tools of Titans by Tim Ferriss. Once I finish it, I’m going to share more about the book itself. However, in the very first chapter he interviews a woman named Amelia Boone. This wonder of a woman is an obstacle racer and endurance athlete. She has won the World’s Toughest Mudder 3 times, was the Spartan Race World Champion in 2013, and is one of the most decorated obstacle runners in history. Oh, and she’s a full-time corporate attorney. (If you would like to read more on her accomplishments and then feel the need to run 10 miles, here it is.)

She is clearly a very impressive person, but what really stuck with me was one of her quotes Ferriss included-

“I’m not the strongest. I’m not the fastest. But I’m really good at suffering.”

I’ve really got nothing in common with this woman- I’ve never even been camping because I like the comfort of a traditional restroom. So, I can’t even begin to comprehend the mental, physical, and emotional strength it takes to accomplish what she has. I do not have any bit of desire to even run a 5k much less pay to participate in some of these ridiculously difficult competitions. However, regardless of the lack of similarities- I think she’s on to something about the whole being “really good at suffering.”

Truth is, suffering is universal. No matter gender, age, occupation, religion, political affiliation- everyone suffers at some point in their lives. We don’t plan for it, but it happens. We endure relational hardships, we lose jobs or clients, we experience failure, and we all have to learn to deal with it to be able to move forward.

As most of you know, I’m a pageant girl. I competed at the state level 5 times- three in the Miss America System and twice in the Miss USA System. I gave blood, sweat, and tears because I wanted that crown. It was a dream and it was a goal and I was gonna do it no matter what it took. I WAS GOING TO BE MISS ALABAMA. (Spoiler alert, God had other plans.)

But here’s the thing about pageants (and a lot of things in life)- we don’t have control over it. We can show up, do our best, but it is still out of our hands at the end of the day. My first year at Miss Alabama I didn’t make top 12 and I left devastated. My confidence took a beating, but eventually I got over myself, my hurt pride, and got back on the horse. The next year I didn’t win, but I did make top 12. I continued to compete 3 more times and I made top 15, top 12, and top 10 at the other competitions. I didn’t win, but each year it got easier to accept not winning. I learned to “suffer” well. Don’t get me wrong, I’m still working on accepting failure gracefully. However, I realized it was out of my control, I learned to lean on God and His plan, and not what Bailey thought was best.

Here’s why I’m including this blog on suffering in my “Things Every Woman Should Do Before She Gets Married” series. For a long time when I would experience failure or suffering, I would lean on my relationships. I would bury my hurt feelings and distract myself with my boyfriend because it was easier than actually learning to accept failure and become better through it. I wasn’t learning to suffer well; I was trying to skip over the disappointment and the opportunity to grow.

Here’s the thing and it’s hard to accept, but I think we need to feel the suffering. I think we need to learn to suffer well. Distracting ourselves from our disappointment and failures only stunts our growth. We may be able to distract ourselves from our current upsetting situation, but we cannot out run it forever.

So, how do we learn to be “really good at suffering”? How do we reach the point where we can truly experience disappointment or failure, take it by the horns, and emerge stronger?

  1. Stop running.

Don’t use people or things to escape the “not fun” parts of life. Learn to be open to feeling the pain because the sooner you start feeling it, the sooner you can become better at dealing with it.

2. Give it to Jesus.

I’ve learned that God’s always got a plan and 10 out of 10 times it’s better than mine (even though I seem to forget that). Whatever failure or disappointment you’re experiencing, learn to come to Him in prayer and He may not take the pain away immediately, but through surrendering, you are going to begin to feel peace again.

3. Move forward.

I think it’s important to take time to analyze situations, ponder what you could have done better, and plan what you will do better. However, don’t dwell in that place of hurt forever. Once you’ve identified the lessons that were learned- move on with life.

In summary, suffering is not a fun topic, but I feel it’s necessary. Once we learn to suffer well, life will be a much easier ride because you’re braced for it. I hope you start giving everything over to Jesus- the good and the bad. Regardless of your circumstances, He does have a plan and purpose even through the valleys and lows of life.

“I am sure that our suffering now cannot be compared to the shining-greatness that He is going to give us.” Romans 8:18 (NLV)

 

 

Things Every Woman Should Do Before She Gets Married- UPDATE! (Daniel Fast & Books I’m Reading)

Hi Friends!

So, I’ve already gotten a jump start on my goals- One of the things I wanted to do was a Daniel fast the month of January. My family used to do it every year, but have not the past few years. I have found that when I’m where I need to be spiritually, most other areas of my life seem to fall more in line.

I think it’s very easy to get distracted with life, college, jobs, and everything else in the world. Sometimes we just lose sight of ourselves and I know I have in a lot of way. But, I want to change that! What are some things you feel like you need to change or areas you need to grow?

In addition to the spiritual aspect, fasting is a great way to find discipline when it comes to our food intake. I am not fasting to lose weight, but I know a weakness of mine is anything having to do with bread/pizza/pasta/fries/potatoes in some form. Just like Oprah, “I LOVE BREAD”. But, too much of anything is a bad thing. I want to see how my body reacts and changes during this fast and then after January see how I want to proceed.

If you are planning on trying a Daniel fast, I would suggest thinking and praying about what exactly you want to fast and to what extent. Some people are not able to do as strict of a fast due to health conditions, etc. I have decided to eat fruits, veggies, some dairy, and minimal meat (for example, egg whites for breakfast or chicken in a salad). I know that I need some meat in my diet due to the amount of weight lifting I do. So, I have modified, but the biggest struggle of all for me will be the lack of bread-y carbs and I won’t be having another cheat meal until February so believe me, your girl is sacrificing. (February 1st you can find me at Whataburger)

Here’s sort of a list of what I eat in a day if you are trying to visualize what this fasting would look like-

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Another big thing I have started is my reading 2 books a month- I’m still working on finishing my two for January, but I wanted to share a few that I have already read because I think every person can gain something from these.

It’s Not Supposed To Be This Waybook1.jpg

I read this book a few months after my engagement ended. Reading this book was probably the greatest thing I could have done for myself at the time. Lysa Terkeurst is one of my favorite authors, but I think this book is her greatest work simply because of just how real and vulnerable she is with her own life. It really helped me heal and if you’re going through a difficult time and you don’t understand why, you need to read this.

The Magnolia Story

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Confession- I’ve read this more than once. I love Chip and Jo! I love their show and I watch a lot of HGTV because of my career (always looking for new ideas), but I have fallen in love with who they are as people. It is so cool to read their story and watch how they’ve build the empire they have. They are both incredibly hardworking, driven people. But, they are also an amazing team and I think that is probably the coolest thing about them.

The Sparkle Effect

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My pageant girls! If you have not read this, you need to. Kristen Wolfe was a Miss North Carolina USA and then went on to become Miss USA. I read this book right before I competed at Miss Alabama USA for the first time and it really put me in a good head space for competition. However, even if you aren’t a pageant contestant or are no longer competing, there is so much in this book that any young woman needs to hear and be reminded of.

In summary- fasting and praying can be life changing. Reading books to give you a different perspective can be life changing. Take this month of January to set your mind and yourself straight for the rest of the new year. 2020 is going to be a great one!

Things Every Woman Should Do Before She Gets Married

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I’m really not one for New Year’s Resolutions- I’m a very goal oriented person, but I’ve never really gotten into the whole idea of making resolutions. I feel resolutions are general- goals are specific. It is easy to fall off our resolution wagon when our resolutions are as simple as “eat healthier” or “save more money”. Instead, I feel it should be more like “lose 10lbs” or “pay off my car”. We have to have a way to measure our goals so we can claim success and hold ourselves accountable.

I’ve been thinking a lot about 2020 and what I want to accomplish this year. I feel like this year is going to be a year to focus on myself and becoming the best version of Bailey that I can. I’m not married nor do I have children so I have the ability to focus on myself and becoming more and more the woman I need to be.

I’ve not shared this much publicly, because who enjoys sharing losses or difficult seasons of life? In addition, up until this point I did not really feel I had enough time to reflect and be able to adequately express how I have grown and how I have learned. A couple years ago, I got engaged to my boyfriend at the time. Unfortunately, about a month after he proposed we called off the engagement. It was very sad and difficult, but ultimately what was best for us both. But, sometimes what is best is the most painful and it was very, very painful.

However, I have had a lot of time to think, reflect, and grow from that experience. I learned much about myself, relationships, but most importantly what I did not have. I allowed myself to become so caught up in being a couple and wanting to be someone’s wife- I stopped being an individual. If I had gotten married when I had planned, I certainly would not be the person I am today, but more importantly, I wouldn’t be a whole person. I would have just been a half of a whole.

After the relationship ended, I did a lot of praying and thinking. Who is Bailey? Who does Bailey want to be? Not what does my husband/parents/friends want, but what do I want? And most importantly- what does God want for me?

I say all this to say I have learned- you have to be a whole person before you can become part of a couple. You cannot lean on others to fulfill your desires and needs because that is not their job. You will never be able to be content with someone else, unless you are first content with yourself.

In pursuit of being content with myself, I have realized that before I get married I need 3 things: 1) spiritual goals, 2) financial goals, 3) fun/adventure goals. Below, I have written out some of mine (more to come)- daily quiet time qualifies as spiritual, pay off schooling is a financial goal, and then the rest fall into “fun” goals. I think it’s very important to have fun goals as much as anything else. You need to find ways to push yourself and keep learning about who you are as an individual. Read books, learn to knit, go camping, climb a mountain, try a new gym class- whatever floats your boat!

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I want to kind of chronicle these goals of mine because it’s a journey I’m on and I’m hoping that through sharing my story I can encourage other women to do the same. Create goals, pursue an education/a career, find what gives you peace, learn why God put you on this earth.

You are not a half waiting to be a whole. You are complete just the way you are. However, every one of us has room to grow and learn, take this time to do that.

More to come!

 

It’s time to let go, Love

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Anyone who knows me knows that I come ALIVE in the fall. October through December is the most magical and perfect time to me. I love the change in the air, the myriad of holidays, and everything just seems prettier when it’s decorated.

I don’t know why, but the whole world just seems more beautiful and it feels like a fresh start. Maybe it’s because school begins again and everyone falls back into routine, but for whatever reason- I love the blank slate that is autumn. To me, fall is more than pumpkin spice and fuzzy socks/boots season. It’s the ending of summer, but the beginning of something new.

I’ve been thinking a lot recently about things that I need to improve upon in life- less procrastination, drinking more water, etc. But, this morning it really hit me how I’ve been hanging on to some hard feelings that are doing nothing but weighing me down.

2018 was a very difficult year for me. I lost some friendships, experienced a broken engagement, and saw some longterm goals/dreams not come to fruition. To say the least, it was very draining emotionally and I suppose I felt the only way to combat the frustration of these disappointments was to blame and harbor resentment towards other people.

Obviously, harboring resentment really does not do anyone any good. It did not change any part of my life except for make me feel more miserable and even more drained by holding onto that hurt.

The beautiful thing about fall is that even nature lets things go. I know it’s super cliche and an overdone analogy, but I guess I just never really thought about it and looked at it through the lens of my life. I can’t move on to new seasons without letting go of past disappointments. Trees can’t bloom in the spring if they don’t let go of what they already have hanging on. I can’t move to new seasons if I continually live in the past thinking somehow that will change what has already happened.

So, I did an inventory of my heart and the many feelings I have and realized burning bridges does not get you anywhere. Obviously, you should never shy away from removing toxic people from your life, but that’s not what I’m speaking to. I’m talking about people who have talked behind your back or hurt your feelings with certain actions. You don’t necessarily have to be friends with them, but being angry over something that happened a year ago does not really do any good. It’s only hurts you.

After realizing this, I sent a few texts and tried to make things right. I may never see these people again or have a friendship with them, but I know that I’ve let the resentment go because I want to enjoy this new season that I am in. I know I won’t be able to fully do that until I’ve let go of what happened in an old season.

So, I say all this to say- whatever you are holding on to, it’s time to let go. Make the phone call, send the text, mend what’s broken and move on. God has something new for you and it’s time to let go of the old and make room for the new. Happy Fall ❤

“Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. I am doing a new thing!” -Isaiah 43:18-19

 

Reckless Abandon

Stay Beautiful and Blooming

I’ve only seen Gone With The Wind one time and to be honest once was enough. I know my grandmother would probably freak out if she were still here with us because as any southern woman- SHE LOVED THAT MOVIE. However, my attention span is only about as long as it takes to watch Finding Nemo or the amount of episodes of Friends it takes me to fall asleep. So, a four hour movie really isn’t quite realistic for me. AND THE MOVIE IS SAD. I don’t like being sad!

I don’t remember much from the movie except Scarlett’s curtain dress and how mean she was to Rhett Butler. But for whatever reason, I have always (as most people) remembered his famous line: “Frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn”.

Unless I stub my toe, I try my best not to curse. But, I’ve always loved that line and there have been MANY a times in my life I’ve wanted to say, “the heck with it, I’m gonna do what I want”. However, for whatever reason, I have such a hard time doing that. I’m a people pleaser and I care A LOT about what people think of me.

I think there has to be a healthy balance between not obsessing over people’s perception of us and caring about our reputation. There is nothing wrong with caring about your reputation because at the end of the day, that’s all you’ve got. I want people to know I am trustworthy, thoughtful, and hard-working because I work very hard to be those things.

However, I also easily obsess over people’s view of me. I care what people think and that concern turns to insecurities and constant comparison between myself and others. Life is exhausting when you are continually trying to measure up to people who are not you or have different skills/personalities/gifts/desires than you do.

I work as a Realtor for RE/MAX of Orange Beach. I’m extremely blessed to have a mentor, Miss Donna. Miss Donna is the greatest and she has been huge in helping me grow as an agent and person. A few weeks ago I came to her with a question, and she told me that I just have to go after things with “reckless abandon”. I LOVE that.

It’s been on my mind now for several weeks and I think it totally flows with Rhett’s “Frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn.” In the past, I’ve always been afraid to go after certain things because of fearing failure or fearing what people will think. But when we go after our goals with reckless abandon- we’ve put aside people’s opinions and instead, put ourselves first.

I’m challenging myself to go after things with reckless abandon and I want to challenge you to do the same. Stop caring about what people are going to think or what they will say, and just do what you have to do to make things happen. Worried about cold-calling someone and asking them for business? Call them anyway. Scared to ask that girl out on a date you’ve been seeing at the gym? Ask her anyway- even if she says no or is already dating someone- she’ll be flattered anyway. Afraid to jump out on your own and start a new business or career? If not now, WHEN?

Obviously, seek wise council and use normal precautions. As my father would say, “Don’t do anything stupid.” But, you can start living life without fear and embrace opportunities with open arms.

Live life with reckless abandon.

Making Me New

Making me

Happy Easter Sunday friends!

I hope you are enjoying the holiday weekend with friends and family. I have been reflecting a lot lately on the word “new” and I felt this weekend would be the perfect time to write about it.

Easter is about redemption and resurrection. Things you thought were dead or gone have come back to life in a big way. Jesus was buried and then He rose to make us all new in Him. #praise

Looking back, 2018 was probably one of the most challenging years for me. The latter half of the year proved to be one of the hardest seasons I’ve walked through in my life. There was about a 6 month period where I just felt stuck. Like I couldn’t move forward or couldn’t progress, I was just spinning my wheels. I wanted so badly to feel like I was moving into a new season of life, but sometimes it just takes time. However, in that in-between time, it is easy to feel hopeless.

I would imagine this is how the disciples felt when Jesus was hung on the cross. They felt hopeless and like there was no way they would be able to come back from something so awful (thank the Lord that wasn’t the case). Those 3 days Jesus was in the tomb probably felt like an eternity and the disciples probably felt a lot like they were stuck and lost- what do we do now that Jesus is gone?

Not to say that what I’ve gone through in any way can compare to what the disciples and those around Jesus felt when He was crucified. However, I do think Jesus cares about my problems regardless of how big or small.

Back at the beginning of the new year, I felt the Lord put on my heart the word “new”. It was constantly on my mind and one day I was scrolling through Instagram when I came across this verse:

Under the cherry blossoms-2

After seeing this, I decided this was going to be my verse for the year. I felt the most peace I have had in a long time. Even though things seemed bleak and I wasn’t totally sure how God was going to make something good or new out of my situation, I trusted that He would. It may not have been in the way I saw things, but I’m thankful for that. He always knows better than I.

I can only imagine the disciples felt the same way- how in the world could something good come of Jesus being crucified? Why did God allow that to happen? Why did He let Jesus suffer?

As awful as it is, sometimes, suffering is necessary. Difficult seasons are necessary. Hard times are necessary. But, no matter how hopeless something may seem, redemption is always possible. Even through death, Jesus showed us there can be life.

The second half of 2018, I didn’t see how Jesus could make things new for me. Even coming into 2019, I didn’t see how Jesus could make everything better and revive things in my life, but He did. Four months into this year and I’ve seen Him grow, challenge, change, and transform who I am. He has made my life- spiritual, personal, and professional- new. He’s been faithful and stuck to His promise that He won’t leave me and even if I wander, He’s there when I come back.

As awful as those 3 days were, Sunday morning came and Jesus came back. In our lives, “Sunday” will always come. It may take more than 3 days, but it will come. I want to encourage you on this Easter Sunday to have a heart filled with hope. Regardless of where you are at in life or what you’re going through, Christ died so He could make you new— trust His plan and open your heart to what He has for you.

Happy Easter y’all!