Peace for the over thinker

// don’t be pulled in different directions or worried about a thing. Be saturated in prayer throughout each day, offering your faith-filled requests before God with overflowing gratitude. Tell him every detail of your life… // Philippians‬ ‭4:6‬ ‭

🌪 <—- THIS.

This is the state I find my mind in sometimes.

Can I be honest with you?

When I’m not careful and intentional, I get distracted very easily. It’s tempting to make it seem like I’m focused all the time and I always use every minute of my day wisely. But hey… one reason why I love to write is because it gives me the opportunity to experience the beauty in being vulnerable, and out of that vulnerability many times comes healing not only for myself, but also for those around me.

{ if you’re not honest about your weaknesses, you limit your growth potential. }

🌱

So…during one of those times I caught myself seemly getting distracted on Pinterest (😅), God turned my eyes to this quote and it birthed the inspiration for this blog post.

For the longest time, I believed that overthinking was just going to be my set way of life. I thought I was destined to deal with it for the rest of my life and it was just part of who I am. I pretty much planned for it to be normal for me to always have anxiety when making any type of decision.

// for God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” 2 Timothy‬ ‭1:7 ‬//

Anxiety and fear has become such a common thing in our culture. So common that people just slip it into conversations; because it’s a part of their everyday lives. We make friends and bond over it.

But let me tell you this in hopes that this gives you hope… this was never God’s plan or design for any of us.

God’s plan and design for us from the beginning of time has always been to trust. But unfortunately since we live in a fallen world, it has become too easy and tempting to trust ourselves over the One who created all things.

God created all things. Since He has created all things, He has control over all things. Sure, God still gives us our free will. God is not going to force you to trust Him. But He invites us to because He knows trusting Him takes the pressure off ourselves and our mind to try to control the things we can’t control in our lives.

Just recently, I had a new job opportunity present itself to me. I was not searching for a new job and honestly the thought of leaving my current job caught me off guard. There was nothing wrong with my job in my eyes and I was resisting the thought of new + bigger responsibility…because I knew this position required it. But I felt God promoting me to go for it.

I honestly had so many questions and doubts…

-Am I really good enough to go for a higher position?

-Do I really want to leave the good thing I have going at my job?

-I don’t know how the work environment will be. I’m nervoussss!!! 😬😫

Thinking about all the what-ifs had me paralyzed in my decision. I was second-guessing what God already told me to do because I didn’t trust Him first. I was tempted to keep control of my life by holding on to the familiar and not surrendering to the unknown where God is already.

// the LORD is indeed going before you – he will be with you; he will not fail you or abandon you. Do not be afraid or discouraged! // Deuteronomy‬ ‭31:8‬

When I decided to let go of overthinking all the possibilities and the what-ifs, that’s when true peace came and I started to see all the good that comes with surrendering to the unknown.

{ because true peace comes when you realize you don’t have to know it all. }

Yes, you may still be worried about making the wrong decision. Yes, you make still be making up all the what-if scenarios in your head about out what tomorrow will bring. But know that God has the plan. He’s faithful to save you even from your own self: your own thoughts, worries, doubts, fears and the what-ifs. These thoughts are used by the enemy to:

-keep us in dead places for prolonged periods of time.

-make us miss amazing opportunities.

-keep us stuck… stuck right in that place where you feel so overwhelmed that you don’t see a way out.

{ but there is a way out. }

The way out is letting go.

Letting go to the fact that God is fully holding your life and He is fully for you. Many times, God has our best interest at heart even more then we do for ourselves.

✨So how will this help you become your most beautiful self?

-Center your thoughts. When something is centered, it is stable. Keep your mind from becoming a tornado and stabilize it by deciding to keep God’s truth at the focus and core of your heart and mind. Mediate on Philippians 4:8. ❤️

-Stop thinking the worse! Many times we make up worse-case scenarios in our mind that will never happen. Prayer calms down the fear + exposes the lies.

-Trade fear for courage to take that next step.

-Trade anxiety for stillness in God’s constant character and trust that His goodness never changes. He is guiding your life.

-Obey God’s promptings to you. If God is telling you to do it, don’t fear the unknown. He’s got you and He’s for you. Even if it feels uncomfortable, trust that it is for your good + growth. 🌸

// surrender your anxiety! Be silent and stop your striving and you will see that I am God… // Psalms‬ ‭46:10‬

much love + peace,

regina 💜

When you don’t feel the LOVE 💔💔💔

// Jesus answered him, “Love the Lord your God with every passion of your heart, with all the energy of your being, and with every thought that is within you. // Matthew‬ ‭22:37

I remember the times when I would look at this verse and honestly feel hopeless.

You see, I would desperately want to love God this way. I would desperately want to love people this way. I would desperately want to love myself this way.

But I looked at my feelings and they wouldn’t line up. I didn’t understand how God could be calling me to do something that didn’t come naturally many times.

{ i didn’t understand how I could call myself a Christian, but have a hard time loving the Christ who saved me… }

I wouldn’t always have that fuzzy, passionate feeling towards God and it would discourage me. And best believe, DISCOURAGEMENT is an easy door for the enemy to get into our head. It was tempting to believe that since I didn’t feel love towards God, I couldn’t possibly be a true believer. I couldn’t possibly be saved. I couldn’t possibly love Him like I proclaimed.

The enemy is such a LIAR 🤥 .

Guess what? God never called us to love Him, others or ourselves strictly by feelings alone. And the best part is, we have more control then we give ourselves credit for.

// so above all, guard the affections of your heart, for they affect all that you are. Pay attention to the welfare of your innermost being, for from there flows the wellspring of life. // Proverbs‬ ‭4:23‬

I love how this verse tell us to GUARD our heart. This is propelling us to take action. God knows that our hearts are easily influenced by the world around us and since they are the SEAT of the our emotions, it’s easy for our feelings to take center stage and start to rule our lives. Love is truly a choice, but I would wonder why it was hard to even make the choice to love.

God has shown me that it’s hard to make the choice to love Him, other people and myself when I let negative things influence my heart. When I let that negative self-talk be the microphone for my day. When I keep bad company around me that are not building me up, but dragging me down. When I let what other people think of me be the compass for my decisions. When I look at what’s going on in the world more then what’s going on in God’s truth. God fills our heart up with love, but when we let these things take up space in our life, these things start to poke holes into our heart and love leaks out. Then we look up one day… and we see the passion we had for everything is gone.

💔

Hope is found in the fact that love is a choice and I’m so grateful that is truth. I’m so grateful that when I do find myself with a leaking heart, I can make the choice to watch what’s in my heart, change my perspective and choose to love God out of a choice I made, that goes beyond feelings. This is when love is truly manifested.

It’s so freeing to know that true love is not this free-falling, uncontrolled emotion without no anchor. When I saw my relationships this way, even my relationship with God, and the emotions left, It was easy to be tricked into thinking that I didn’t love Him anymore. I’m learning that when I choose to love and make love a habit and a lifestyle, the feelings and passion start to catch up.

{ love is a choice anchored by commitment. }

💗

My prayer is that you feel empowered and confident in the fact that you have the ability and capacity to love, even when your feelings tell you otherwise.

You have the ability to love yourself because you are worthy.

You have the ability to love others because God first loved them.

You have the ability to love God because He first loved YOU.

All it takes is the choice to believe these things and walk in them.

Because when you choose love, know that love never fails.

❤️

// until then, there are three things that remain: faith, hope, and love—yet love surpasses them all. So above all else, let love be the beautiful prize for which you run. // 1 Corinthians‬ ‭13:13‬

much love & peace,

regina

A new take on the new year’s goal ✨

// my goal is to know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings. // Philippians 3:10

How many times do you hear the word “suffering” when someone is taking about their goals? Hmm, chances are never.

This verse stuck out to me the other morning because as we approach a new year, I think goals are something that are on everyone’s mind right now. There’s so many hopes and dreams in our hearts and the thought of them all can make us very excited. But one thing we don’t always do is count the cost of the journey those hopes and dreams may take us. The apostle Paul knew in this verse that while He set his sights and his goal on experiencing the power and majesty of Jesus, He knew that goal to know Jesus more wouldn’t come without some stretching of his own. Paul is actually making it a goal to suffer! Wait…What? WHY?

Because He knew that suffering like Jesus would awaken new strength…

Suffering would birth gratitude.

Suffering would give sight to courage.

And suffering would anchor us for the plans God has in store for us.

If you take a look at the world around us, we can see that nature already takes part in this process. We can see that nothing grows without going through the dirt first. In the dirt, in the pressing and elements of life, is where we grow our roots to propel and strengthen us forward.

I can tell you that this current season for me has been a definite pressing season for me. I’m in the middle of pursuing a definite goal…become an esthetician. At the start of school, I was looking through everything with rose-colored glasses. Everything seemed so bright, shiny and well I thought even breezy, because it’s a field I’m already interested and had a little bit of experience in; so I thought school wasn’t going to take me through anything too hard.

Gosh, little did I know that God was going use this journey of pursuing my license to teach me some solid life lessons about balancing my time, yielding to my flesh and one of hardest…people-pleasing. (Eek!) There have been times I’ve cried and I’ve questioned everything I was doing because this journey wasn’t going as smoothly as I envisioned.

I thought “How could this possibly be God’s will?”

But you know what God has shown me about His will?

{God’s will for us is to grow.}

🌻

And God knows growth takes putting weight on areas that are weak. When I feel the weight of life surrounding me, I have found so much joy in rejoicing and praising God because it means that God is trying take me somewhere! God wants to strengthen those areas for your benefit. God is wanting you to move forward in His purposes for you! Changing the perspective can make it an exciting process!

// not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope… // Romans‬ ‭5:3-4

As we step into this new year, we are going to have hearts full of things we want to do. But as we step into these new things, don’t turn around at the first sign of weight, oppression…or dirt. Press through that dirt, my friend. And as you press through, you will feel your spirit growing stronger, your roots growing deeper and your dreams holding more significance because of your story behind them. And in the end, your story will point more and more to Jesus as you continue to press forward like Him.

You are never in this journey alone. Let’s make 2018 a year of pressing forward together! ✨

// i press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. // Philippians 3:14

regina 💜

the control factor

// It is because of the Lord’s mercy and loving-kindness that we are not consumed, because His [tender] compassions fail not. They are new every morning; great and abundant is Your stability and faithfulness. // Lamentations‬ ‭3:22-23‬‬ AMPC


Every morning is a invitation to start new, whether we know it or not. Whether we accept it or not. God is not about staying in the past.
How many times have you woke up in the morning and the days past start to play a continuous rerun in your heart? You’re reminded of all the things you didn’t accomplish or the past hurts you don’t have answers to. Why is it so easy to stay in the past, when we so desperately want to move forward?
God revealed to me that it comes down to who you entrust your life to. When we entrust our lives to ourselves, we tend to constantly look inward; giving a voice to whatever our mind or our heart says about that day or even what it says about ourselves. We start to depend on our mind and our emotions to get us through the day. This is a dangerous place, because without Jesus…your mind and your heart is NOT for you.


// The heart is deceitful above all things, and it is exceedingly perverse and corrupt and severely, mortally sick! Who can know it [perceive, understand, be acquainted with his own heart and mind]? // Jeremiah‬ ‭17:9‬‬ AMPC

I can’t give a voice to what my thoughts tell me. I can’t entrust my life to my emotions. The enemy would love for me to be consumed in my own head so that I will not move forward. Based on where my mind takes me sometimes, there would never be a new day. It would always be reruns of the should of, could of and would of’s. But God loves for us to move forward, the evidence is shown in the canvas of a new day. God gives us a new day so we will not be consumed with the past. God is a progressive God who loves new starts. He wants us to take full advantage of that in our everyday! He wants to paint your day with His truth. To entrust Him means to so gratefully accept His gift of a new day and then continuously look up at the one who created it.

I gain control over my life by giving God control over my days.

Because of the Lord’s love and kindness, I don’t have to be consumed by the things that threaten my heart and mind. But now I have the power not to be consumed by anything but Him.

// Let the peace of Christ {the inner calm of one who walks daily with Him} be the controlling factor in your hearts {deciding and settling questions that arise}. To this peace indeed you were called as members in one body {of believers}. And be thankful {to God always}. // Colossians 3:15 AMP

life & love,

regina 💜 

#mostbeautifulself 

You’re invited.

 

Sometimes I need to be taken back.

In most instances when you hear this phrase, you think of a person standing in awe, surprise or even disgust by a sudden circumstance. It’s pretty much something that catches you off guard (this post is already full of metaphoric phrases 😄). Either way you describe it, its something we’re not prepared for.

I get taken back pretty often. Yes… I do encounter surprises here and there in my life…big and small. But the “taken back” I’m pointing to is more literal then the phase gives way to. In our everyday lives, it is so easy to get caught in the moment of our emotions, stresses and troubles that just seem to hit us like the wind…threatening to knock us over. Even though this “wind” may feel familiar, it is not a safe place to be. So it is in these moments that the Lord sends out a invitation. A invitation this world can’t offer. An invitation that is not always easy to accept. A invitation to step out of the comfort zone of my mind. A invitation to be taken back to the truth. The truth that has always been there and always will be, no matter where our lives or minds go. The truth our minds trick us into thinking we’re not “prepared” for, but will always be invited to.

I remember one night recently, I had a taken back moment. I had such a desire and plan in my mind to get things done after work. My heart had that desire, but my body didn’t. In reality, I was exhausted and just felt totally depleted of energy. So this ended up being the plan:

I slept.

I woke up from my evening nap feeling discouraged and just ready to beat myself up, when the Lord grabbed the mental fist from me and said “Come to me for rest…” and reminded me of Matthew 11:28. While I do not have many verses in the Bible memorized word for word, I always seem to remember key words and phrases of verses and attach a mental sticky note of the book and at least one number of the chapter and verse where it’s found. I am so grateful for this gift of visual memory because the Lord always seems to take me back to theses verses when I find myself reading my feelings instead of reading the Bible.

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me,  for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light. (Matthew 11:28-30 NIV‬‬)

These verses have always been very familiar to me and I’ve always admired it. But I never truly meditated on it before. To be honest, I always read it and was kinda like “Jesus is my rest…awesome!” Not to say I underestimated this verse, but I always read it at the surface rather then letting the Lord reveal what He wanted to speak to me through it. This night was tempting not to be any different. But long after I closed the cover of my Bible, I could hear a few of Jesus’ words lift from the page into my heart.

Learn from me, Regina.

Mulling over these words, the Lord began to reveal to me what He was saying…

To learn from someone means to practice some sort of skill or knowledge they inquire. It also means to become more aware of something. To learn from Jesus means to practice His teachings, His actions…His LIFE and become more aware of it in our own lives.

When we think of learning, it takes most of us back to the days in school when we would sit at our desks, listening to a teacher talk about a lesson while our attention would go in and out… while taking notes and also doodling on the sides of our notebook paper. While the school is called a place of learning, that is not always what is happening there. God gives us His Word to learn about Him and this world, but even after reading it, learning is not always what happens afterwards either. How about the person on the road that cuts you off and curses at you? Are you going to learn from their actions or be different, hold your composure and let your gentleness being evident to ALL (Philippians 4:5). Or when that line in the checkout is taking a little bit longer then expected and the lady behind you taps you on the shoulder to invite you into her complaining and groaning. Are you going to take the invitation into her impatience or accept the fruit that the Spirit has so graciously given us? (Galatians 5:22-24). You see, leaning is more then just being in a environment or reading words that encourages learning, but rather an action. Learning is a decision to take what was taught at our school, church or in our own study time in the Bible and propel it into action in the realities of our everyday lives. We have a choice everyday to learn from many different avenues.

The Holy Spirit is inviting you. God knows learning from Him is not something that always comes naturally…especially in a world that thrives on taking revenge on every offence thrown at it. But God doesn’t expect us or even wants us to live His way on our own. Here comes the Holy Spirit. When Jesus ascended back to Heaven, you can just imagine how sad and confused the disciples probably felt. Their dear teacher, friend and Messiah was leaving them…physically. But Jesus promised He would never leave them or any other believer comfortless and alone.

And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Comforter (Counselor, Helper, Intercessor, Advocate, Strengthener, and Standby), that He may remain with you forever- (John 14:16 AMP)

I will not leave you as orphans [comfortless, desolate, bereaved, forlorn, helpless]; I will come [back] to you. (John 14:18 AMP)

So what did leaning from Jesus mean for me that night? It meant for me to recognize His strength and not the lack of my own. It is not for me to accomplish what He has given me to do on my own…because learning from Jesus means I can experience His rest ( 2 Corinthians 12:7-10).

No matter where you are, what you face, how you feel or who you are…you can learn from the Savior today. It doesn’t matter if church has been a place you’ve gone to before you learned how to walk or you’ve never opened a Bible in your life, God desires you to experience peace and wisdom in all aspects of life that comes from Him alone. Will you accept His invitation?

You’re invited.

I love you and Jesus loves you more.

Regina

Practice what you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, and model your way of living on it, and the God of peace (of untroubled, undisturbed well-being) will be with you. (‭‭Philippians‬ ‭4:9‬ ‭AMP‬‬)

#mostbeautifulself

You Are Worth Your Dreams.

Hey everyone! So I want to say that I miss this place. I miss this space God has given me to express what He reveals inside my heart. I have to say these past two months that I took a hiatus from my blog…I’ve been struggling. I’ve been struggling with this call that God has placed on my life. I know that this is what He wants me to do because I come alive with His joy every time I write and I know He smiles down on me walking in His obedience. But I’ve struggled feeling worthy of this calling. I sometimes take a look back at all the visions and dreams God has placed inside my heart and I take a step back and say to myself “Me? Really God? How can I achieve that? Why are you choosing ME??”

But God showed me I had the wrong perspective. I was looking inward and not outward at my King who IS already victorious in all things. God even says in scripture that He on purpose chooses what looks foolish or inadequate to the world, so that HE will get the glory from the things accomplished through you. This has been a journey, but its only truly the beginning. I choose to look at the worth and victory Jesus has given me and use the gift God has so generously given me. We must embrace our gifts. There is a dying world out there that is searching for love and answers. We know the answer and His name is Jesus. Let’s embrace our gifts to proclaim His name. I don’t want to say write too much in this post because I’m going to let this video speak for itself, but I’m going to leave you with a few verses that God has been showing me in this journey in accepting the worth in my calling.

Brothers and sisters, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. God chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before him. It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. Therefore, as it is written: “Let the one who boasts boast in the Lord. (‭‭1 Corinthians‬ ‭1:26-31‬ ‭NIV‬‬)

Three different times I begged the Lord to take it away. Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me. That’s why I take pleasure in my weaknesses, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong. (‭‭2 Corinthians‬ ‭12:8-10‬ ‭NLT‬‬)

 I have strength for all things in Christ Who empowers me [I am ready for anything and equal to anything through Him Who infuses inner strength into me; I am self-sufficient in Christ’s sufficiency]. (‭Philippians‬ ‭4‬:‭13‬ AMP)

I love you and Jesus loves you more.

Regina

This END is not THE end.

This is not the end for you.

No matter how big, sudden or broken your situation may be, this is not THE end.

Jesus is the perfect example…

When he had received the drink, Jesus said, “It is finished.” With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit. (John 19:30 NIV)

When Jesus said “It is finished”, many people thought that was the end for Jesus. In the mist of the death of something in our lives, we believe that may be the end for us also. But remember, between Good Friday and Happy Sunday, there was a silent Saturday. After the death of something in our lives, rather it be a person or our dreams, there is always a in-between period of waiting before the miracle takes place.

Therefore, because it was the Preparation Day, that the bodies should not remain on the cross on the Sabbath (for that Sabbath was a high day), the Jews asked Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away. (John 19:31 NKJV)

You see in this scripture after Jesus’ death, preparation is being made for his burial. The word preparation really caught my eye and how it is used to describe the moments after his death. Many times after the dying away of something in our lives, God uses that void to prepare us for bigger and better. While our hearts are being broken down, our faith is being restored. Our lost is never in vain. No pain is ever wasted. As the Roman soldiers were preparing for Jesus’ burial, little did they know that preparation was a pathway to his resurrection.

Then the soldiers came and broke the legs of the first and of the other who was crucified with Him. But when they came to Jesus and saw that He was already dead, they did not break His legs. (John 19:32-33 NKJV)

This passage revealed a lot to me. Even though Jesus was dead, notice his legs were not broken. It is part of scripture, before his death that says “Not one of His bones shall be broken,” so this had to be fulfilled. But God also revealed to me that even though our hearts and our minds may feel broken and dead, His plans for us are not. God has power to restore dead dreams back to life. Your dream may be dead, but your PURPOSE is not broken.

Jesus was dead, but he was not broken.

Don’t give up on the waiting…because just like Jesus, we are never defeated. A miracle is waiting on the other side of your silent Saturday. The happy Sunday is coming in your life! Resurrection is coming in your life! Hold on to Him, the One who conquered the ultimate DEATH. #mostbeautifulself

Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting? (1 Corinthians 15:55 NIV)

Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. (Romans 8:37 NKJV)

I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. (Romans 8:18 NIV)

I love you and Jesus loves you more.

Regina

*This post was inspired by a devotional found on the First 5 app by Proverbs 31 Ministries. Find this amazing app dedicated to helping women spend the first part of their mornings with God here:

On the App Store for iphone:

https://appsto.re/us/a8_C7.i

On Google Play for Android:

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.crowdhub.first5

The FIRE of a fighter

fighter

Have you ever felt this urgency, this FIRE inside your belly to accomplish something God has told you to do, but procrastination, lack of energy and time day by day leaves your vision dormant? God has placed a fire, a passion, a PURPOSE inside everyone at birth.

I knew you before I formed you in your mother’s womb. Before you were born I set you apart and appointed you as my prophet to the nations. (Jeremiah 1:5 NLT)

In scripture, God called Jeremiah to be a prophet to the nations. But you see Jeremiah doubting, questioning God because of His youth, and He also knew the message He had to proclaim was a difficult one.

Alas, Sovereign Lord, I said, “I do not know how to speak; I am too young.” (Jeremiah 1:6 NIV)

How many times have we questioned a task placed in front of us because of our feelings of inadequacy? Or let fear hold us captive because of the potential opinions of others? I’m telling you…these feelings have been too real in my life. Upon birthing this blog, God placed this vision in my heart to write and speak to others about their true worth and value in Jesus Christ. I KNOW I’m meant to do this. But I began to leave my gift dormant for a bit and wasn’t stirring up the drive and fire inside of me…soon my fire started to dim. I had the passion without the FIGHT. Without any fight, you leave room for those toxic feelings to take over in your heart and your mind. You have to recognize early on that these feelings are a trap. Let’s face it: This world is going to try to trip you up. The enemy is going to try to do everything he can to keep you away from doing what God told you to do. That is his full-time profession. But the One living inside us is GREATER.

But you belong to God, my dear children. You have already won a victory over those people, because the Spirit who lives in you  is greater than the spirit who lives in the world. (1 John 4:4 NLT)

When we depend on Jesus, we become unstoppable. This doesn’t come without a fight. A fight to say no to your flesh and yes to God. It’s a constant dying to yourself. When working on this blog, I had many moments of “flesh fights” and one night I just decided I had enough and stirred myself and my fire back up in the Lord with His truth, inside my journal. I pray this inspires you to stir up the fire inside you also, to accomplish the great things that are already placed inside of you.

I gotta fight! Nothing is going to stop me! Jesus is within me. The creator of the Universe called me for a plan and purpose. This is BIG and not to be taken lightly. He called me! Out of all the billions of people in this world! Look at the magnitude of this! Just as big as His plan is for me, is the strength that already lives inside me. Again, do not take this lightly. The man who conquered DEATH itself is ALIVE inside me. With Him, I am unstoppable. Do not deny or underestimate this power. God does not underestimate me! He knows exactly what He is doing, no mistakes exist in His plans. Just like I trust the air that is circulating through my lungs to keep me alive at this very moment, is the same trust I need to have for God. He loves me and will never fail me. Fight this battle! This world needs me. I can’t give up. He is too good for that. He says “I am with you…always.”

#mostbeautifulself

Don’t give up.

Just think…

What if Jesus gave up on you?

I love you and Jesus loves you more.

Regina

You have a choice.

ichoosejoy

We make choices on a daily basis, sometimes ones we are completely unaware of. It is easy to think of the simple ones, like deciding what to eat for lunch or picking out an outfit for a night out. But how about the choices we make that affect our attitudes, emotions and way of thinking? Many of us do not even realize these even require a choice. Many times we go around with our raging emotions and think we are forced to live with them. And honestly, I thought this way for the longest time, until the Lord opened my eyes in a scripture that changed the way I handled my emotions forever.  

During a night of studying for my Sunday school class, I was reading 1 Corinthians 6. The majority of the lesson text focused on verse 13 and verses 18-20, talking about sexual immorality. While I have seen and read over these scriptures before, it is always a great reminder on how important the actions we take towards our bodies affect our inner-being. But as I looked up at verse 12, the last sentence struck me. It reads: 

I have the right to do anything, you say—but not everything is beneficial. I have the right to do anything—but I will not be mastered by anything. (1 Corinthians 6:12 NIV)  

Even though this verse is talking about sexual immorality and how we should not be mastered by it, The Lord revealed to me that there are many other things we allow ourselves to be mastered by. Sometimes we go through our days plagued with thoughts of fear, doubt, insecurity, loneliness, etc. These thoughts, if not handled, can turn into action. Then at the end of the day, we look back at everything with this nagging pang in our stomach, asking ourselves, “Why did I become unglued at my sister/coworker/friend today, over nothing?” or “Why do I let people bother me so much all the time? Oh, Lord forgive me!” Do you ever find yourself having this conversation with yourself over and over again? I know I did. And I was tired of it.   

I knew there had to be a call to action somewhere. If our emotions and actions are causing us grief at the end of each day, we need to get to the source of it. Everything we doeverything we feel is birthed out of a thought that is triggered in our brain. Our brain then captures that thought and signals our body to feel according to what we are thinking. This is what we call our emotions. Then based on this emotion, we usually act upon itYou see this chain? Since everything we do and feel comes from our way of thinking, what we allow into our minds is so important. So, those wandering thoughts you deal with on a daily basis? You are unknowingly being mastered by them, letting them affect your emotions, your actions and the people around you. You are walking arounwondering why you are always angry or why you always feel insecure, when you do not have to be. You do not have to feel this way. No one is telling you to feel this way. And even if they are, YOU have a choice.  

You see, we all have free will, so we are allowed to do or think whatever, but that does not mean it is beneficial. That means we do not have to let it overtake us. I have found this to be true for my thoughts. As I read 1 Corinthians 6:12, I felt a sense of power. Power that I never tapped into before, but always had because I belong to Christ. The same power that Jesus has is in us, we just have to walk in it. I get excited when I think about this. Just imagine you once felt hopeless and weak, and then realize you have the same power of a man who overcame death! Pretty awesome.   

Since our minds can turn into a never-ending roller-coaster, we have to know what to do before our thoughts leave us in the heights. Knowing we have power through Christ, God gives us instruction in scripture on what to do when we are being attacked in our minds…  

We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. (2 Corinthians 10:5  NIV)   

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. (Romans 12:2  NIV)  

Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things. The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you. (Philippians 4:8-9  NASB)  

I especially love 2 Corinthians 10:5. Every time I read this verse, I think of having a big sledge hammer, smashing and demolishing every bad thought that pops into my head. I know that sounds  funny, but that is how you have to fight. The enemy is out for our minds! He knows that if he can plague your mind with things like anger, doubt, insecurity and lust; you will become ineffective in living out the purposes God has for your life! Good thoughts equal good actions and good actions are birthed from good thought patterns. God has also shown me recently how the things we entertain in our daily lives affect our thoughts. Having trouble dealing with anger? Stop watching shows that promote violence or hanging out with people who always have to argue with everybody and everything. Struggling with lust? Cut out listening to music with sensual lyrics that leave your mind a breeding ground for sexual fantasies. Our mind is like fresh soil and these things we plant in it are seeds. Plant bad seeds and a poisonous flower with began to birth in your heart without you even realizing it.  

Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it. (Proverbs 4:23 NIV)  

This has been true for myself. I have found myself entertaining not-so-pure music before and wake up wondering “Why am I thinking this way?” I planted a lustful seed and my thoughts were revealing it to me. I am not perfect and I am still growing in the battlefield of the mind department. But thank God for His grace and Jesus. I have made a decision to fightI have made a decision that my life is not going to be mastered by my thoughts or emotions, but by God’s word. This is my choice. What will be your choice today?  #mostbeautifulself

I love you and Jesus loves you more,

Regina