Life

Unforced rhythms of grace.

Someone messaged me a couple of days ago about how to be successful working from home and I had all the right answers for her. I know how to do that. I know how to set goals in business and reach them. I know how to lead a team and show them the way. I know how to pick a new thing to learn and dive all the way in and just go for it…fail or succeed, I’m a hustler.


It was this month last year, I knew that God was moving me in a whole different direction than I have ever gone. He let us know it was time to close our online boutique and…and… and…Don’t worry, you aren’t missing something. I am still waiting for what’s next too! I struggled for months searching high and low…looking, watching, praying for what’s next for me. What new thing did He want me to learn and conquer? Put me in coach…I’m ready to play! I have always worked a job, had a business or both at times. It is in my nature to work and be creative. So, this season of “doing nothing” was/is driving me bonkers. I feel like a fish out of water and battle guilt and a sense of failure. When those feelings come, I am reminded that He has me in this season for a reason.

I am an all or nothing kinda girl. He made me like that. So it is no surprise to him that I am jumping out of my skin to “do something”. But, He’s trying to teach me something.

Matthew 11:29 (MSG) Walk with me and work with me – watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you.

Just walk…not sprint with Him. Watch Him…not do it for Him. It seems like such a simple concept doesn’t it? Not so easy for this chica! I’m a Mexican on a mission – I don’t do non-productivity very well. Unless we are talking about the piles of laundry that need to be folded…but we aren’t going to talk about that!

I have so much to say on this subject…but just wanted to put this out there, in case I am not alone. If God is trying to tell you to chill out for a minute so He can teach you something, JUST DO IT ALREADY! I can’t think of a period in my life where I have grown so much in my relationship with Him as I have in this past year. I will share more about that later, but right now I just need someone to know that what you are doing is not insignificant.

I am going to be more mindful of the seemingly insignificant things in life that I do that seem to be mundane and less than important or exciting and do them as working for the Lord. Try it with me! If you are changing diapers, cooking dinner, washing clothes for your family, working that job you despise, getting those treat bags ready for your child’s class, mowing your lawn, grocery shopping, cleaning the bathrooms, mopping the floors, walking the dog, studying your Bible, working out or even writing a thoughtful message to someone to brighten their day…Do it as if you were doing it for Jesus himself. The Bible says in Colossians 3:23-24 “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.”

So, here’s to learning how to being thankful and content in this season of life and learning the unforced rhythms of grace!

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Life

I’m sorry I bled on you.

Happy New Year!!

A new year signifies a clean slate, new beginnings, new habits. Let’s start 2019 by giving God complete control, so He can heal our hearts and wounded places inside of us so we stop bleeding on people who didn’t cut us.

It was a regular Friday night and I am scrolling through Facebook, minding my own business, when this quote jumped out at me and has been hanging around my heart and mind ever since. “If you never heal from what hurt you, you’ll bleed on people who didn’t cut you.” Wow! That was me… Before…

You see, I was bleeding out for over 30 years…all over people that didn’t cut me and some that actually did. But somewhere along the way, God prepared me to begin the healing path that He has had me on for over a decade now. My desire is for everyone to take a long look inside and start the healing process in 2019. The Bible says in PSALM 55:22 (AMP) Cast your burden on the LORD [release it] and He will sustain and uphold you; He will never allow the righteous to be shaken (slip, fall, fail).

We all have those broken places in us that when touched, we recoil or lash out from past hurts, rejections, failures, feelings of inadequacy or poor choices. We tend to want to cover those places up, hoping nobody notices the deep gashes that we sustained as a result of our poor choices or someone else’s. Those are the exact areas God wants to uncover and heal. He wants to use those places in us to help others that are dealing with those same things. We just have to be willing to let the facade of “Everything’s fine”, “My marriage is so perfect”, “Peachy keen over here”, just look at my Facebook and Instagram…that’ll prove it….yeah, that facade…it has to GO in 2019. Aren’t you tired of the struggle? Tired of new relationships? Tired of lying to yourself and others about how happy you are? Tired of “bleeding” on those that didn’t cut you?

It’s time we stop looking to the new hobby, the new significant other, the new car, new friend, the new house, food or the newest gadget to make us happy, feel successful or worthy.

In order to identify the places that need to be healed… You have to look inside and be very honest with yourself. Why do you embellish the truth sometimes, why do you put others down, why do you make light of other’s accomplishments, why do you keep leaving relationships before they leave you, why do you have to have the best of everything, why can’t you ever say you’re sorry? I could go on and on. Most likely the answer can be found in the wounded places that you haven’t uncovered and given fully to the only one who can heal it. Jesus. PSALM 34:18 (AMP) The LORD is near to the heartbroken And He saves those who are crushed in spirit.

Let’s stop the bleeding. It’s time. Don’t let 2019 go by without dealing with those hard things. It’s not fun, but it is so worth it. Ask God to come close and show you an area that you can give to Him and let Him heal you. He will show you who you are to Him. Then other’s opinions will matter less and less. He will fill that place in you that you keep trying to fill with food, men, women, substances, money or possessions. He will give you compassion in place of judgment, contentment in place of disappointment. Unexplainable peace, when the world says you shouldn’t have any, confidence instead of worry. Nothing will ever satisfy those places in you because it is only His to fill.

Don’t worry. You can trust Him. I’ve only known Him to be faithful. He is good. He IS ENOUGH.

2019 CAN be different.

It’s time.

Adoption, Life, Parenting

He didn’t have a clue.

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This man you see here in this picture had NO CLUE! He had no idea what God had in store for him when he said yes to being my Dad. No clue that this little girl in this picture was so broken, it would take the next 30 years to even start seeing any signs of absolute healing. Let’s just say that my parents didn’t get the angel they prayed for. He didn’t know that for the next few decades they would just be praying that their little girl would be ok. I’m sure year after year their expectations became lower and lower as to what “ok” meant. I gave them utter hell y’all. I was not the dream child that they had hoped and prayed for. I know this.

We have been through some deep dark valleys, but none that God didn’t see us through. God was walking with my Dad when I couldn’t receive or reciprocate love. He was with my Dad when he was having to console my Mom after I disappointed, hurt and lashed out.

I mean…he just wanted to be a Dad. They were trying and couldn’t have a baby. So, God gave them me. I’m sure they thought they got punk’d and was ready for the joke to end. (It did…they finally got Kara and Misti haha) Seriously though, he just wanted to be my Dad. The Dad who WOULDN’T beat me. The Dad who wouldn’t abuse me and say it was love. The Dad who wouldn’t abandon me, no matter how many times I pushed him away. He just wanted to provide the best he could for me. To create a life and a home that put God first. To be the priest of our household that would show us Christ and lead us to Him, because he knows that Jesus is the only place where my true peace was.215933_1977351962294_1812669_n

Thank you for showing me Jesus through the kind of DAD you were. You prayed for me until I truly gave my life to God. You kept coming back after each rejection. You loved me until I could love you back. You showed me Jesus, so I could show others.

Dad, you call me one of your greatest miracles. I call you MINE.

I love you.
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Food, Garden, Keto

Homemade pasta sauce-Keto friendly

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The tomato plants in our garden are producing like crazy! I have been enjoying slices with a little salt pretty much daily. David is not a tomato fan, but I absolutely love them.
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David made homemade spaghetti sauce for me a few years ago and I asked him to do it again. Once we started getting a good yield from our tomato plants daily, it was time to start putting the sauce up.

Supplies

We used 6 lbs. of tomatoes from our garden. But, if we didn’t have fresh tomatoes, then all supplies and ingredients can be purchased at Wal-Mart and/or Amazon.
You will need:
-6 cans (14.5 oz each) petite diced regular or low sodium tomatoes, drained.
-5 pints wide mouth quart jars
NOTE: (We used quart jars and it made 2 quart jars for every package of Mrs. Wages sauce)
-1 package of Mrs. Wages pasta seasoning for every 5 pint jars you will be putting up.
-Sugar or sugar substitute. (You will need 1/4 cup for each package of Mrs. Wages pasta sauce)

Need a canning pot or canning supplies? Here are some links to make it easy for you.
Wide mouth Pint Canning Jars-click here
Canning basics-click here
Amazon has a kit that has everything for a great price!
Amazon canning kit-click here
Mrs. Wages Pasta Sauce-click here
Ball wide mouth quart jars-click here
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We recently started the Keto way of eating, because I am diabetic. This is the sweetener that we use. It has no after taste and can be measured out cup for cup, just like sugar. You can buy it on Amazon Here You can also find it at HEB grocery stores. You can use sugar, but if you are wanting to cut down on sugar for health reasons, this is an excellent one!
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1.) We weighed out 6 lbs. of tomatoes on our food scale.
2.) Then we froze them overnight
3.) Next, you just run water over them and rub the skin right off. It’s so easy to peel them this way! 06031811531030945595.jpg0603181152e940040846.jpg
4.)Next, cut off ends and cut them up and put them in a big pot.
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5.) Add 1/4 cup of sweetener of your choice.0603181212987747788.jpg

6.) Add Mrs. Wages seasoning0603181212d1140532858.jpg
7.) Over medium heat let the tomatoes and seasoning cook down about 25 minutes.0603181237a2042431014.jpg
8.) With an immersion blender, blend out the chunks of tomato. (I forgot a pic for this step!)
If you are not canning the sauce. The directions say: Store covered in refrigerator up to 1 week.Freeze it! Pour into freeze-safe containers and let cool. Store covered in freezer up to 1 year. Store thawed product in refrigerator up to 1 week.

If you are canning…continue reading.
9.) In a canning pot get some water boiling, while you are filling the jars.
10. Fill your jars. Use a funnel to make the process easier. Put the lid on the jar. Now they are ready to go in the water bath.
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11.) Put them in the water bath using tongs. 10 minutes on quarts and 5 minutes on pints.
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12.) Pull them out when the time is up and set them on the counter.
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13.) POP! When you hear the POP, they are done sealing! (Usually about 15-20 minutes.)

We accidentally did ours in quart jars, so we had some sauce left over. No problem…we just ate it immediately for dinner. We are keto, so we added ground meat & serve ours over zucchini noodles (“zoodles) Tastes so great!
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Enjoy! Comment and let me know when you try it!

Life

Tragedy on Park Ave.

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The news about Kate Spade’s apparent suicide this morning has haunted me all day long. As I was washing the dishes, running errands, walking through Wal-Mart. I kept thinking of how hopeless and desperate she must have felt to commit suicide. I don’t know anything about her life or what might have caused her to come to that fateful decision. I just wish someone could have reached her and let her know that there was HOPE.

If you are feeling desperate, hopeless and don’t think that life is worth living, let me show you that you are worth so much and that you have so much to live for.

I have had many moments of failure in my life. Poor decisions that left me ashamed and thinking that I just would rather crawl in a hole, rather than face the reality of what I had done. My Dad would look at me and say “This too shall pass.” He was right. It might have been rough going for a little bit as the consequences were dealt with, but soon, life was on track again. Not without the Grace of Jesus Christ though. Without Jesus, I would still be feeling worthless and hopeless.

You say, but Judy, you don’t know what’s going on. It just would be better for everyone if I was not around. They wouldn’t be hurt by me anymore, they wouldn’t have to deal with me and my screw ups anymore and most of all I won’t have to deal anymore. My friend, that’s a LIE from the devil. Don’t believe the lie. I’ve been there before…I’ve been told that before. I’ve been made to feel that way before. It’s NOT TRUE!

The Bible says in John 3:16 New Living Translation
“For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life.”
Nothing hokey or complicate about it. Just believe in Him! Believe that He died for your sins. That’s it! He will work out the rest.

The devil wants you to feel like it is all so complicated, so you will get caught up in the web of lies that you are just too bad or not good enough. That the above scripture surely can’t mean you and your bad self. WRONG! Read this:

Romans 8:1 New Living Translation
So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus.

and this…

John 10:10 Amplified Bible (AMP)
10 The thief comes only in order to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance [to the full, till it overflows].

When it’s all just too much, grab onto Matthew 11:28-30 (Message Bible) “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”

It’s not hard or complicated, like the enemy wants you to believe. Jesus is ready and waiting with open arms. Please, please, please…try one more time. This time, reach out to a friend, a family member…shoot…reach out to ME if you need to. I will not judge, but I will point you to the Truth. Just DON’T GIVE UP! Don’t let the enemy win!

This life isn’t perfect, but it IS worth living. He’s already paid the price.
This too shall pass. I promise.

Here are a couple of resources for help.
Get free help now: Text CONNECT to 741741 in the United States.

If you need to talk to someone right away, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255

Books, Life

My book review of Eat Cake. Be Brave. by Melissa Radke

I was able to read an advance copy of this book as part of her book launch team. It is available for pre-order now, but it isn’t available for purchase until July 17th. Read my review and the others. You will want this book for yourself, your cousin, your sister, your Mama, your best friend and her Mama too! I wouldn’t steer you wrong. I will definitely be getting the audible version of this too on July 17th, because Melissa reads this herself on the audio version….and I can’t wait to hear her tell it, besides in my own head.
Order yours today!
http://www.eatcakebebrave.com
#ECBB #ECBBlaunchteam #melissaradke #eatcakebebrave

Eat Cake. Be Brave.

Eat Cake. Be Brave. by Melissa Radke

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book was the whole enchilada. “Eat Cake Be Brave” will make you laugh, because she is a master at being painfully real. You will see yourself, whether you want to or not, in so many chapters. It will make you cringe because maybe you have been the person that she speaks of that was hurt or maybe because you were the person who has hurt others. ((hand raised)) You will cry because you will feel the pain that she went through, even if you have never experienced exactly what she is describing. So many times throughout the book, I just wanted to hop in my car and drive to Lufkin, TX and give her a big ol’ hug! It will challenge you to be a better version of yourself. She doesn’t pull any punches here. She is raw, real and honest about how she dealt with real-life relationship issues, rejections and, poor decisions. Through it all though, there was a plan to bring it all around to do some good. This book is part of it. So many have been helped by her sharing what God has brought her through already. The way she shares Jesus is so special. He is accessible, loving, kind, gentle and dependable. If you don’t know Him…you will want to after reading about His faithfulness in this book.

Life

Never Say Never

Sometimes in life, we make decisions that will affect us and only us…but not often.  Most of the time, our decisions will affect those around us, in one way or the other.  I have made many decisions in my life that were not the wisest, smartest, best or moral. The ripple effect and fallout from those decisions sometimes never go away for those that are affected the most.  These decisions and consequences, unfortunately,  are perhaps the ones I have  learned the most from.

If you looked at my life, you would definitely say that “That girl is not afraid to fail.”…because I have failed A LOT!  I get an idea (good or bad) and jump in and figure it all out later. (consequences and all)  I am a planner and like to research…but sometimes there is no time to plan when the train is already moving and you still have time to make it on.

This past week was one of those jump on the train kind of moments.  Sitting at the dinner table and we are talking about my Thirty-One business and month end numbers.  My husband casually asks me about this business my friend Chanda is in. ::Back story::She hosted a pop up (party) at my house in November, I believe. (Maybe December…I can’t remember), but anyway…David was quizzing her left and right that night. I was like “leave the poor girl alone…I am not doing that.)  The start up cost is no joke, but he was all up in her business wanting to know how much money she makes. I was mortified. I didn’t pay attention because I.wasn’t.interested.period.  He has never stopped thinking about this, obviously, because here we are back to the same subject at the dinner table.  ::Resume story::  So, I say “What about it?”  He says that WE should try it and see how it works out.  WE should do it TOGETHER.  THIS had me raising my eyebrows because…my engineer husband wants to sell leggings, shirts and dresses with me as his partner??  I promise I didn’t put anything in that dinner we were eating!!  He started asking me questions about Chanda’s business that I had no answer for because I DIDN’T CARE! He tells me to ask her….go ask her. We  keep talking about it and then about 9:30 at night I message her that we were thinking about joining her team. What?! Did I really just say that?  We had to get on a 12 week waiting list to even get things rolling. I figure I have 12 weeks to help him see the error of his ways. (ha!)  Chanda proceeds to tell me “Hey – we are going to a training in Houston on April 6th with the home office people of LuLaRoe…want to come?”   Here goes my “jump in an figure it out later” part of my personality and I say “Sure!”  A few days later she writes and says “Hey – I just signed up for a lunch with the owner…want to come?!”  I said Yes, but then instantly got a little scared.  Turns out I had no reason to be scared.  I go to this meeting….and she darts to the very front and has me sitting on the front row.  I don’t even sit on the front row when I go to church! (What if I have to go to the bathroom?!)  The time comes where they are doing an onboarding lottery where they pick several people in attendance to join that day and skip their place in the queue.
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My “lucky” A of Diamonds didn’t get picked…but that was very exciting and got my adrenaline going pretty good.  Then, onto lunch with DeAnne.  She was simply amazing. Her story is really inspiring and anybody could relate to her life situations and setbacks and victories.  She took the time to take pictures, talk to each and every person that wanted to talk to her.
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So, we are still a few weeks out from launching our clothing boutique, but we are very excited.  David is more excited than I am, I believe.

So, what about Thirty-One you ask??  I am staying with Thirty-One, until I feel otherwise led to do differently.  This is no different than someone having 2 jobs. I am simply adding this as a second source of income.  From everything I have researched and heard from this meeting……..it will quickly be my main source of income and Thirty-One – even with a team of over 30- will become the secondary gig.  I love my Thirty-One team and I can hardly imagine my life without these girls in it.  We have formed friendships and lifelong bonds and that will never change.  I plan to continue working my Thirty-One business…setting goals and reaching them.  I just earned my Leadership Incentive Trip to the Dominican Republic and I am totally going on that sucker. I worked my butt off for the last 6 months to earn it…you better believe I’m going.  As long as my team continues to grow and thrive…I see no reason to leave Thirty-One anytime soon.

To join our LuLaRoe group on Facebook Click Here!  For right now, we will just be educating and showing some fun LuLaRoe fashion until we get going.  We will be working to build our community and then when we get up and running, we will be all ready to go!

Life is so strange sometimes, isn’t it? Never in a million years would I dream that my husband would want to join a company where we purchase clothing at wholesale and turn around and sell them. Never.Ever.Ever.  You know what they say though….never say never!

Thanks in advance for all of your love and support!