Lifestyle · Spiritual Journey · Uncategorized

Ugh!…Church

 

This has been my sentiment lately when it comes to church.

My pastor, his delivery of the message and his testimony is great! It’s a huge church with a coffee shop. ** Lordbucks**  . Non-denominational.  Everyone greets you with a smile. The church itself is awesome. My spiritual journey officially began here with saying the prayer of salvation, getting baptized and involving myself with the church community.

There was a time I was heavily involved as a Pre-K volunteer, Young Adult group leader and going to service.

Every weekend.

Then…. at the top of this year, my presence in the church has become non-existent. No where to be found in the Pre-K room. Practically invisible in young adult groups. And never seen during service.

Why? might you ask…..

After careful prayer and reflection…

I don’t respond well to change. There is an anxiety there and I don’t know why.

It started last year when the room leader for Pre-K just left. With no explanation. We were close. Well, about as close as I would allow. She knew about the tough time I had when first arriving in Las Vegas. She related to me by telling me a few life experiences she had before Jesus. At times, we had that special non verbal eye contact when the kids did something crazy. We even did a Bible study with other members of the Pre-K team.

In my book, we were practically church bffs!

Then she left. Once she left, a lot of other volunteers left. Then new leaders stepped in and the vibe just wasn’t the same.

So once my Pre-K participation began to decrease my responsibilities in Young Adult began to increase. My former group leader had an opportunity to move to North Carolina and she took it. She asked me to be her apprentice and lead the group for the next session. I was so excited and said “Yes!”

 

Now, when the church says Young Adult, the age range is 18-29. In reality, the age range was 18-23. With a sprinkle of adults who were 25-27 years old. Then there was me, the only one approaching 30. Honestly, I was the only one approaching 30 with some real experiences about living life through the flesh. Didn’t they realize how much change happens between 18 and 29?? That’s like 3 different life stages in a 12 year frame!

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My group was cool. We had a good time but we never opened up the I imagined we would. Everything discussed was shallow. I wanted to go deeper but the connection with the women in the group just wasn’t there for me to feel safe enough to share my story.

Then the ministry leaders decided to bestow upon me a second apprentice. An apprentice I didn’t particularly care for. Nor choose. Nor was she apart of my group at all from previous sessions. At this point, everyone in my group is between the ages of 18-25.

The study discussions became a little bit more immature and not relatable for me. The social outings were more for their age range and not mine.

I have to admit…I love a good happy hour! Not necessarily for drinks but for food and ambience.

The disconnect was getting bigger by the day. Going to young adults every Saturday night was beginning to feel more like a chore/job. Everything that I was suppose to feel while doing life with these women…I didn’t feel it. No connection. No love.

There wasn’t even potential.

I know…I know…with God as our common trait there should always be potential.

I didn’t feel it, see it, smell it or even taste it.

Don’t get me wrong…I attended young adults for a little over a year and I didn’t feel the disconnect until the last 3 months of my leadership. There was a time, I looked forward to being there and seeing these women. But there was a change……

So why am I not seen during service?

Well, by the glory of God, our church was able to expand its auditorium in order to have more booty’s in the seats to hear the Word of God.

Which is fantastic! A lot of churches aren’t able to grow the way mine has. My church is flourishing and spreading the word of  Jesus…. but the expansion wasn’t only in the auditorium it was also with my disconnection.

As soon as they opened their doors and had the grand reopening, I stopped making an effort to attend. Lol. I make more of an effort to watch it online. Throughout the year, I’ve attended a handful of times and obviously I never regret it and always feel good afterwards.

But my excitement and motivation to go is gone.

My connection with my church is gone and I don’t know what to do.

I don’t respond well to change but is that the only reason?

As I am rereading my post, I see that a lot of my connection is placed in the people of my church and not the God of my church.

People are finniky. Ever changing. Full of fear.

Even me.

He isn’t.

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In Matthew 18:20 he says, “For where two or three, gather in my name, there am I with them.”

Let me just get those two or three!

 

 

 

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Fitness · Lifestyle · Uncategorized

#WorkoutWednesday

Of all days to workout, Wednesday, for me, is a great choice.

It could be because it starts with “W”. Like the word workout! 😊

Or that it helps me to get over the hump of the week. 🙌🏽

Realistically, if I haven’t worked out by Wednesday… I feel very guilty 

Being active has become a crucial part of my life and it sucks when I can’t make the time to do it. 

One great app that helps keep me on my toes is the “Tabata Timer.”

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It’s great for High Intensity Interval Training (H.I.I.T).

H.I.I.T is a form of exercise training that alternates between periods of intense exercise and less strenuous recovery

What I love about the “Tabata Timer” app is that it allows you to be creative with your workout and choose how long you want the high/low intervals to last.

For me,  H.I.I.T is a great fitness representation of life. The ups, downs, recovery and your attitude from beginning to end.

**Yes, God wants to be put first in your workouts too.**

There is even a timer for preparing your equipment and cooling down!

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Today, I had my intervals set at 20 seconds of work and a 10 second rest. 

That is my baseline. I never go lower. 

When I want to work really hard, I go for a 40 seconds of work and 20 seconds of rest. 

High Intensity exercises could be pushups, squats, mountain climbers or straight leg bicycles. 

**What ever exercise you hate is what I suggest for the high intensity interval. 😉**

For the rest/less strenuous intervals, stretching, walking around and deep breaths that last 4 seconds (inhale and exhale) work well. 

You’re slowing down the heart rate so you can bring it back up. 

**Breath control like this has been very beneficial for my anxiety attacks. And my temper.😊**

Down in the bottom left, you can choose how many cycles you want to do. 

A cycle is one interval of work with one interval of rest. 

Another reason I like the 20-10 intervals is that I can easily time my workout. 

2 cycles= 1 minute.

For a 15 minute exercise, it’s 30 cycles. 

30 minutes=60 cycles. 

When I do a 40-20, the timing comes out weird. I can’t figure out how to equal 30 minutes of total exercise time. It’s just too much thought.🤤🤤

Lastly,  the best part of the app is that it is free!! 

Who doesn’t love a free Fitnes app that is of great quality?

Your able to listen to your music from any source as well as hear the timer bells when the intervals change.

The calendar helps to keep track of your workouts too. 

All around, great fitness app for me!

Anyone else have any fitness app faves?

Lifestyle · music · Spiritual Journey

Just not my thing……

One struggle I have in my spiritual journey is connecting with Christian music. Gospel music.

Any kind of praise and worship.

Simply put, I just don’t prefer it as a genre. It is difficult for me to find songs, artists or even albums that I like.

Pop music, Trap music, Rhythm and Blues

all reign in my car.

I am all for Tunechi getting released from his Cash Money

contract so The Carter 5 can finally come out.

At church, I come late to avoid the music as much as possible.

That is my attitude and Holy Spirit is working on it.

So God send’s “River of Jordan” by Lecrae…my way…through Google Play.  🙂

Lecrae is a Grammy-winning hip-hop artist who is of faith.

The song is featured on the soundtrack for the 2017 movie, “The Shack”.

*loved this book*

Just like the novel and movie, the song details the journey of a relationship with God.

The journey begins with a person filled with pain, sadness and frustration:

What ya’ll want
I can’t live, can’t be free
I can’t be here
Gave my sweat gave my tears
Gave up all the best of my years
I done gave everything
I ain’t gained anything
Just pain and more sadness

Coming to God with a rebellious spirit, “Nah I ain’t livin’ for your love, Case dismissed I don’t need another judge”.

He isn’t living for God’s love or judgement of his life.

Which was modeled for him through religion.

This leads to the simple yet powerful chorus, at least for me:

I’m losing my religion
I’ve realized I wasn’t built for these conditions

By time the second verse ends, he has developed a relationship with God. Understands that even though they didn’t choose God, God chose them. Regardless of their flaws.

But faith keeps me from folding
It’s all I got left I’m left here with no one
I ain’t choose You but You say I’m chosen
And when I feel lost the cross all I hope in
I lost my religion but I found God
Sounds odd but I’m better at seeing how far
Did I come from the dark is the nights to the light
Irregardless of all of my many flaws

When Lecrae repeats the line, “I ain’t livin’ for your love, Case dismissed I don’t need another judge”, the tone has changed from a rebellious Spirit towards God to one towards the world.

He isn’t living for their love, only God’s love. He doesn’t need the world’s judgement, only God’s.

This song gave me life!

As soon as I heard it,there was an immediate connection with my Spirit.

Lecrae’s rap style combined with Breyan Issac’s voice makes for a great song.

Being on a spiritual journey is personal. Convictions are personal. Healing is personal.

For me, the only way for these truth to be revealed is through a relationship with God not through the rules of denominations/religion.

Only He knows our heart.

God know’s how He fearfully and wonderfully made me.

He knows the struggle.

 

Career · Finance · Lifestyle · Spiritual Journey · Uncategorized

Answered Prayers #1

Thank you God!!! 🙌🏽🙌🏽

To God be the glory! 🙏🏽🙏🏽

After a lost job opportunity, I didn’t know how to get back on my feet, emotionally or financially, just making $10 an hour.

The rejection hurt so bad that when I received opportunities for job interviews, I wouldn’t show up. 😔

Negative voices in my head would flair.

The fear was real. 🤤

This week I made it a point to face this fear and interview with the people who requested it.

If given the chance.  😔

Honesty was a key factor with the interviewers.  I let the employers know that even though I have a job, I’m looking to either supplement my income or find one job that increases my overall income.

As most millennials, I went to my Bible app and searched “God Provides”.

I chose 2 Corinthians 9:10  and listen to it repeatedly before the 2 interviews🤗🤗 as a reminder that “God is the one who provides seed for the farmer and then bread to eat. In the same way, he will provide and increase your resources and then produce a great harvest of generosity in you.”

From this, I know that my livelihood does not depend on other people.

It depends on God.

With that, immediately my confidence grew and the anxiety subsided.

He provides the job and the income. He determines the increases and decreases of the paycheck.

As much pressure as I put on myself to make more money, I forget that my household is taken care of.

My car is almost paid for and it has gas in it.

An actual savings account 🤗

A student loan has been paid off.

Cable, internet, Hulu and Netflix reign in the house along with power, gas and water.

My job, although modest, is an honest living.

God has blessed me and my household.

Through me He is able to bless others.

In November of 2015, I made a 2 year pledge to my church to donate $3600 for their Hope For All campaign.

Currently,  I’m less than $100 away from meeting my goal.

Which means by time November 2017 comes, I would have surpassed it.

We would have surpassed it.

Also, I’m only trying to impress God. His expectations are the ones I want to meet.

I have to constantly remind myself of that.

If an employer doesn’t see my value,  it’s okay because Jesus does. He will provide an employer who sees the best.  He knows my heart.

He knows the best fit for me.

With these reminders, I know that God is always working on all areas of my life even when it doesn’t feel like it.

He is working for my livelihood when I’m worrying over my job title and wage.

All in all, my heavenly Father has blessed me with an additional stream of income.

A second job!

Enough to meet my personal safety net of a monthly income.

Through my financial struggle season, I learned how to budget. 💲💲

He has blessed my financial knowledge. 👑

My additional income will be a blessing.

This is how He works. My father. My protector.

Everything was laid at the cross. Fears, pride and worry.

After Him, my blog audience was the second one I told. 😁

Thank you Father!!

Lifestyle · More Issues Than Vogue · Spiritual Journey · Uncategorized

He Knew I Had Issues

More issues than Vogue!

Let’s say PEOPLE….. their issues are weekly.

So I have more issues than a weekly magazine and they range in the topics of pride, love, health and finance.

Pretty much my life. My life is an issue.

But today’s issue is TRUST.

I have trust issues.

This world convinced me to place my trust in their worldly beliefs, people and myself.

When I did that… the worldly beliefs failed. The people failed. And I failed.

Again.

So I say this again, I have trust issues.

In order to have an issue with something it will probably help to have a working definition.

Trust is defined as a firm belief in the reliability, truth, ability or strength of someone or something.

Just typing that definition makes me wonder … how I could ever place my trust in anyone or anything other than my Heavenly Father?

Well it is very easy to do so.

A person who has a trust issue may build social barriers as a defense mechanism to ensure that trust is not lost again. These barriers are often a way of avoiding the pain, rejection, or guilt associated with mistrust.

My misplaced trust in the world left me broken and damaged. It left me coming to God with an “I’ve got nothing else to lose” attitude because I felt the world had broken me down to nothing.

A lot of life experiences especially with men caused me to have issues with trust.

Makes sense, right?

My unresolved trust issues with men carried over in to my new relationship with Jesus.

Even thinking back on it, I had a very pessimistic and limited mind frame when it came to new love opportunities.

  • Never wanted to get married.
  • Never thought about kids.
  • Samantha Jones was my idol.
  • Never catch real feelings

All of this stemmed from pain, a broken heart.

Trust issues.

Generally, if a woman has issues with men it is caused by issues with the father. This is no different.

My father was a great man. My best friend. He attended all the sports activities, drove me to the mall, took me shopping and made me feel like the most beautiful girl in the world. He had flaws though. A major one was:

Broken Promises.

He would try his best.

He would really want to do it.

A lot of the time it just never came in to fruition. Most of the time, really.

He disappointed me so many times that if he ever said he was going to do anything or buy something I would never allow myself to get excited until I was right there or it was in my hand.

Being able to speak things in to existence wasn’t a skill he was blessed with.

I had a firm belief in the reliability of his words.

His words weren’t reliable.

Trust Issue.

Issues with Dad lead to issues with men. So here comes me in my first “relationship”. I am 17 and he is 26.

So promising, right?

We were together for 6 years.

I would say together, he would say best friends….

This was a very tumultuous relationships. Lots of ups and downs. When I think about it, all that comes to mind are the downs. We were living in sin, so what do you expect?

Our relationship just seemed like a big lie. There was lying and cheating on his part which resulted in a revenge plot that involved lying and cheating on my part. To this day, I don’t think there was ever a time when there wasn’t another woman around.

Later on, I found out he had a baby with someone else while we were living together.

I had a firm belief in the truth he was telling me.

He wasn’t tell me the truth.

Trust Issue

Let’s fast forward to my last relationship. We were together officially 2 months shy of 2 years but we remained together off and on for three and a half years.

We lived in sin too. We failed.

This was the relationship that revealed how many issues I really had. I thought the only problem we could ever have was cheating.

That was the least of our problems.

In this relationship, I had a communication problem. The strength to stand up for myself and for how I feel was never there to tell him. It was there to tell my family and friends but not him.

I never told him about that period of time that changed the course of my life. The way he found out was not fair to him at all. It wasn’t fair because I wasn’t the one who told him. He had to hear it from someone else.

He had a firm belief in my ability to communicate for our relationship.

My ability to communicate was lacking.

Trust Issue.

So when it was time to talk to him about it, the only emotion I received was anger and resentment. It is understandable, given the severity of what happened and the changes it would cause to our household.

What wasn’t understandable was why the emotions never changed to understanding, compassion and love. Every time we talked about it, his demeanor and energy would change and he would just get upset all over again. I wasn’t able to come to him even though I was still going through a lot emotionally over this.

I had a firm belief in his strength to forgive and move on.

He didn’t have the strength to forgive and move on.

Trust Issue. 

After all this, I’m coming to another man with unresolved trust issues.

Jesus.

With steel walls built around my heart, security guards, vicious pitbulls, barbwire and an occasional landmine.

To deter anyone from entering.

A sign that reads “Beware of Crazy” just wouldn’t do.

Through His word He is helping me to solve these issues with Him first before he would dare send me back in the dating world.

It is always Him first.

Let me tell you though, Jesus spits game …..

He told me he is the same yesterday, and today and forever.

Consistent.

He told me that I matter to him, I am the apple of his eye and that He loves me with an everlasting love.

God is Draking for me!!

Most importantly He forgives me. He is patient with me. He listens to me. He wants nothing but good for me.

Day by day there is one less security guard.

One less vicious pitbull.

One less landmine.

And the steel wall becomes a little more worn.

Jesus knows I have this stronghold and He works with me so WE can release it. #bettertogether

He is Lord without lording it over my head.

That’s why Yahweh is my bae ❤

Lifestyle · More Issues Than Vogue · Spiritual Journey · Uncategorized

Today I Yelled at God

because I am so frustrated. Every time I think I am going forward in life with Him, He responds with “NO!”

No career change.

No promotion.

No exotic vacation.

No house of my own.

During my temper tantrum, I told Him I was frustrated with where I am.

Today was the day I was told that if I wanted a house now my loan would max at $70,000. My lender said she would keep in touch every 90 days to see how I am financially.

Simply put, I was doing everything right to make my credit better but I’m not making enough money to afford a house.

Mind you, I began this housing process when I believed I was going to be making a career change and making a decent salary between both jobs.

He told me No then too.

So after the last No, I unleashed it all on Him.

“I can’t hear You.”

“These other voices are too loud.”

“Why am I here?”

“What do you want me to do?”

“AAAAHHHH!”

I literally felt like I was schizophrenic. I was crying so hard. My heart felt like it had enough of His “No.”

Through this lashing out, I found out that the real issue was that I allowed other people to talk me in to applying for something I knew that I wasn’t ready for. Career change or not. I’m on a plan to get my student loans out of default and my car will be paid off in a couple of months.

I even have three savings accounts. It is taking time but I’m doing it. He is bringing blessing to the financial knowledge I have acquired in the last year.

My anger was at the foolishness I felt when the lender told me my income was too low. The feeling was embarrassment.  Which stems from who?

Pride.

Again.

Applying for something before He has prepared me for it. You know what would’ve been more embarrassing? Foreclosure. Or not being able to qualify for anything at all.

The lender told me that I was on the right track. I just need to increase my income.

The way I am perceived brings such anxiety to me.  Almost to the point of being anti social. I projected my feelings on to the lender and how I thought she viewed me. I take a lot of pride in how others think of me. My #vickybelief is that they should think positively of me.

Also, I allowed people to talk me in to something I didn’t want to do. He gave me a timeline and I went against it. I didn’t fully believe that His timeline was enough. It is prideful to think less of yourself.

My fault.

#christcheck #conviction #revelation #hispromises #wisdom

As a child of my heavenly Father, I do believe that I am allowed a tantrum. We have them with our biological parents, right?

I even thinks He enjoys it because I came to Him not friends, family or vices.. Even in anger and frustration at Him, He gave me peace.

He laid on my heart to go to the gym and run it out. I did. I even asked for Him to hold my hand while doing tough intervals.

So, today I yelled at God with every being inside of me.
It turns out I was yelling to God about my very being.

Lifestyle · Spiritual Journey

Here’s to my first blog post!

Hello 30!

This is my first official day teetering on the hill I will eventually go over. The great #dirty30….

When it comes to my life, I’m not exactly placed where I want, let alone where I thought I’d be. Literally, I just came home to my mom’s house from a job that pays $10 an hour. Did I mention that I am a college graduate?!? .

My major was English… my concentration was literature and language arts. As a millennial, it is about as useful as basket weaving….. It is a concentration where you had no classes involving teaching yet when you tell people your major they think you are/want to be a teacher.

Sadly no… I don’t.

It is a degree where you are pretty good at everything with a specialty in nothing. Except papers and deadlines. People also think that you learn how to speak English.

Why?…..idk. 

Yes, so this is where I am at 30 years of age. In a life that one would not expect from a person who is well in to adulthood.

Again, I live with my mom.

My job pays little without a fancy title to even rely on.

I am single, with no prospects now or in the near future. ::sad face::

I have no kids and at no risk of even having a pregnancy scare.

Can we say that socially, I would be a scrub. 

Not spiritually. Not physically. Not mentally. Socially…..

But I’m sure that as I listed my current circumstances… you cringed.

Just a little.

It’s okay. It amazes me that I can even say that out loud.

This is all my doing though. I use to blame others for all of it but it just boils down to me. My actions. My heart. It was filled with everything but Him. 

These are my circumstances because of the life I use to lead. A life that was filled with pride, impatience, selfishness and lust. All of those things led to the… “Great Mistake.” …”The Great Sadness.”… hmm.. “The Darkness”?……

Yeah so I can’t think of any other alluring names for this time in my life but it was the beginning of my rock bottom. The beginning to the end of my old life. The beginning of the end of Vicky. 

This old life, filled with a series of mistakes, is not a life that I regret because it has led me to a new life. A victoriously new life that promises inner peace, the healing of my wounds, wisdom and the renewing of my heart. This is through God, Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit. The trinity. My bae. Yah-weh.

My life now has a purpose. The purpose is to love God and to love others with a pure heart. Simple ….

Honestly, it is a constant struggle. Every day, hour and even second I am struggling to keep Vicky down and let Victoria rise. 

He promises that life with Him is meant to be enjoyed and not defined by where you are. He has placed me perfectly to share what it means to be joyful when your current place in life may not be. 

Anyways, this is my creative outlet as a typical millennial. 

This is my life as I know it…. with Him

A woman with a past to whom God has given a future ❤