Sunday Notes (Grandpa’s Wisdom)

Sunday Notes (Grandpa’s Wisdom)

]Every Saturday night I would like to go over my Sunday notes before church I go to church in the morning. I would like to share what God has spoken to me through the notes that I take. These past few weeks we have been talking about wisdom. Wisdom is a gift from God that we can all have, but it is something that we must seek. Here are the notes from the sermon called, “Grandpas Wisdom,” by Tom Mullans.

Three Truths of Wisdom

1. Be trustworthy in the small things.

When we are focused on the small things that God has put on our hearts, then we will give us the chance to excel in the big things. “We need to learn to bloom where we are planted,”and I know that cooking supper for my husband and cleaning our home may not be the most exciting thing that can happen in my life, but God has called me to serve my family, and they come second, so I am going to be faithful to God even in the small things that may even be taken for granted sometimes, because that’s when I will be prepared for the big things that he will ask me to do in my life. Also when we are trustworthy in the small things people will empower and invest in us.

2. Be a second miler.

Matthew 5:41

“If anyone forces you to go one mile, go with them two miles.”

This one really got to me, because I sometimes find myself being lazy and wanting to take shortcuts in life, but God expects us not only to do what we are asked, but to take it a step further. Go the extra mile. Don’t be that person that only half way does their job. Even if your job is to just pass a class. Give it the best you have, and if a C is pushing it, then try doing a little more and aim for a B. I know it’s hard sometimes, but as Christians God has called us to do the best with what we are given. He wants us to stand out. Remember who we are serving, and be a light to the world. 

3. Be honorable. Honor God, honor others, and honor your commitments.

Finish what you started. I know that sometimes that can seem like a burden. There have been a couple of instances where it was tough to go another day doing something that I dreaded. For example there have been a couple of jobs, where just the thought of going into work made me miserable, and there were days where I just wanted to walk out the door without any notice, but because I knew that I made a commitment it wouldn’t be right to do that, so instead I waited out the two weeks notice, and came to work until my last day. I had made a promise, and I didn’t want to dishonor people, and lately I have really realized that my actions can affect the purpose that God has for my life, so I not only want to bring honor to others and my commitments I also want to bring honor to God. Honor isn’t always fun, and sometimes we may not always like it, but in the end it makes us feel a lot better, when we know that we are making the right choices.

I truly hope that these things will help you in your everyday life. Stay tuned in for more Sunday notes, and encouragement. Try to be trustworthy in the small things, don’t be afraid to go the extra mile, and don’t forget to give honor to God, to others, and to your commitments.

Proverbs 4:6-7

6 Do not forsake wisdom, and she will protect you; love her, and she will watch over you. 
7 The beginning of wisdom is this: Getwisdom. Though it cost all you have, get understanding.

 

 

 

Sincerly,

Lauren Smith.

 

Three Things That I Encountered As a Young Mom

Three Things That I Encountered As a Young Mom

Hey everyone, today’s topic is going to be very personal for me, but I want to be honest with any expecting moms, moms going through postpartum, or anyone who just wants to know what it’s like to be a mom. There are a few things that I have gone through as a young mom that has been really hard, and scary. I want to share this with you all because I feel like It’s something that you may go through, and maybe it’s something you are already going through.

 

1. Comparison

The comparison has been my hugest struggle as a young mom because most of the friends that I have or had are friends who don’t have children, so they have no idea what my life is like, but I am constantly reminded of the life I once had. Most of the time I am perfectly happy with my new life, but once in a while, I will catch myself feeling envious of being able to just go out whenever I would like. Sometimes I would feel left out when I would see pictures of my friends hanging out, and I was at home uninvited taking care of a baby. This was my life now, and although it has been very rewarding I had to find a way to stop looking at the life I used to have and start embracing the life I know have. Here are a few ways that I have managed to do that, and after these results, I have been feeling a lot more satisfied with my life.

  • Find new friends who have a similar lifestyle. For example all of the friends that I had didn’t have any kids, so I decided to make new friends who did, and I didn’t drop my old friends, however, I found myself not comparing my  life to theirs when I made a few new friends who could relate to what I was going through.
  • Be careful with social media! Before I realized it I was crying over people I didn’t even know who seemed to have it all. They traveled all the time, partied, shopped, etc. They were living the life or so it seemed because I was focusing on the wrong things. So I created a new youtube and followed mom YouTubers and limited the number of people I followed who don’t have children.

2. Body Image

I weighed 125 lb.  the first month I was pregnant with Ivan, and at the end of my pregnancy, I weighed 170 lbs. Yikes! I also ended up with a few stretch marks around my hips, and waist. It was really hard to build up my self confidence again, because I went up a size in everything. So how did I get through this struggle? I will let you in on three things.

  • Positive Affirmations- speaking kind words out loud to myself helped me to convince myself that I could still be confident in my new mom body.
  • I did something about it. – As soon as the six weeks had past I began to slowly workout, and now I am working out three times a week. It just makes you feel better knowing that you are actually doing something to help yourself instead of just sitting on your butt complaining about it, and doing nothing. “Get off that couch girl, and get moving!” – Me to myself.
  • Eating Better- I have decided that my eating habits have got to change. I need to stop eating less cookies, and ice-cream, and start eating more vegetables and fruit. I have already noticed a difference in the amount of energy that I actually have, and I can tell you know that my body and mind are thanking me for it.

3. Postpartum Depression

This is probably going to be the hardest thing for me to talk about. I don’t like to admit that I have been going through postpartum depression, because I have always been known as someone who is most of the time happy, however this is a serious problem, and each person is different, so I am not the one who needs to tell you what to do. I am just going to suggest a few things, and you should pray about it before deciding on anything.

  • Prayer- I had to constantly go to God in prayer and ask Him to help me get through this.
  • I knew I wasn’t alone. – When going through something like this don’t try to go through it alone. I had people that I could go to and talk to that has helped me get through it. Find someone you can trust, and talk to them about it.
  • Take a Multi-Vitamin for Women- Most of the problems associated with Postpartum have to do with the changing hormones of your body adjusting after you have a baby, and vitamins will help you to balance those out.
  • Essential Oils- There are many essential oils that have helped me to get through a stressful day. I recommend Young Living. That’s what I use and I love them!

 

 

I hope these things have helped someone. I know being a young mother can be really hard, so don’t try to do it alone. Find someone to talk to, and take care of yourself mommy, because the way I see it, we have to take care of ourselves first in order to be able to take care of the people we love. If you feel like you don’t have anyone that you can talk to, please feel free to send me a message on my contact page! I love you all, and hope you all have a blessed day!

Things Christians Say and How a Non Christian Views It (Part Two)

Things Christians Say and How a Non Christian Views It (Part Two)

Hey everyone! To those of you who have been waiting for this! I sincerely apologize! My Mondays always literally seem to be the typical,”Manic Mondays,”. Something always just seems to go wrong I don’t know what it is about Mondays. Anyways, I want to finish talking with you guys about the last three questions I had asked my non-religious friend, about the things that a typical Christian would say to her or how they may act around her. I would like for us to pause and th1ink for a moment, and figure out how we are truly coming across to those whose views may be different from ours. Are we impacting them in a positive way? I am going to share with you what my friend has to share with us from her personal experiences.

1. When Christians Say, “I’ll Pray for You.”

“It honestly doesn’t bother me, when someone says I’ll pray for you, because I know that is your way of reaching your God, and I know that is just a form of showing that you care about me, and I think it’s sweet. However, it also depends on the tone or your meaning behind it. If you tell me that you are praying for me, because you are condemning me or judgmental, then I will take offense to that statement.” -Anonymous

2. When Christians say, “I don’t judge you, only God can judge.”

“First of all, I would tell them that, ” that does not mean a single thing to me, because I don’t believe in God in the first place. Second of all, I would want to ask them why does God judge me. If he created me to sin and then judges me when I do, I would want them to explain that to me, because that doesn’t really make sense to me.” – Anonymous

3. Is there anything that I have done as a Christian that would cause you to tune out my beliefs?

I talked about this personally on instagram the other day, but for me, this one really got to me, because the answer was very personal, and it was not what I expected it to be, but nothing ever is as it seems to be. For those of you who were not able to watch the video, this is what she told me.

” If I were a Christian and if God truly existed then I would be fearless, and when we were friends I knew you, and I knew that you were afraid of a lot of things, so that kind of made me tune out your beliefs.”

“If I were a Christian I would love others unconditionally. There were people that you hated, and didn’t even want to be around, and that kind of made you seem like you were doing it for a show.”

“If I were a Christian I would be happy all of the time, and there were days where you weren’t happy.”

She also stated that ” If I lived a fearless life, loved others more, and appeared happier than I am now, then she may be willing to listen to my beliefs.”

Ouch! Like wow, just punch me in the stomach, because how true is that and how Biblical is that? I thought about what she told me, and everything she told me was true. As a Christian should be doing all of these things, and sometimes if I am being honest I don’t. How many of us fail to live fearless, fail to love others more, and fail to express joy even on days that don’t have a lot of happiness. I am so thankful that she has shared her thoughts and opinions on these things, and I am going to strive to be more like Jesus. I may not be, but Jesus was fearless, He loved everyone unconditionally, and He found joy as He bled on the cross for my sins. I want that love, and I want to be a light in that way so that maybe one day I can impact others like my friends who may have been willing to listen if I were actually following Jesus’s example. If you would like to stay updated, next week I will be sharing a series in response to everything that she has shared with me, and I hope you all have enjoyed learning with me on what it means to be an open-minded Christian.

Things Christians Say and How Non Religious People View It (Part 1)

Things Christians Say and How Non Religious People View It (Part 1)

What I am about to say may offend some people, but for me when I took this on I knew that I needed it, and I wanted it to challenge me. I asked a girl who used to be very close to me to answer six questions based on things that Christians say, and how it has affected her or made her feel. This friend of mine is an atheist, and her opinions are hers and I do not want anyone trying to comment anything negative or hateful. So here are a few of the questions I asked her, and I am very excited to be sharing this with you all, because for me personally, I feel like I get lost in religion sometimes, and I forget the people that I am supposed to be reaching out to don’t understand my beliefs or why I do the things I do, so I want us all to learn from each other, and just remember what being a Christian is truly about.

Question 1: When a Christian tells you, but the Bible says…etc. How does that make you feel?

Most of the time when someone says, “Well the Bible says,” I tend to write them off already, “because you don’t understand. I don’t think God wrote the Bible. I think that man did, and so anything that comes from the Bible is irrelevant to me.” So if you start off the conversation saying, “Well the Bible says,” I’m probably going to roll my eyes at you, because I’m going to feel disrespected, if you think that anything that comes from the Bible is going to make a difference to me.” -By the way, these are all going to be anonymous for the privacy sake of my friend

Question 2: When Christians say that only God can make you happy, how does that make you feel?

When someone tells me, “that only God can make you truly happy,” then that is probably true for you, but for me, that is not my opinion of happiness. I think that everyone happiness differs, and for me, I always want to say, “okay make a different point.” I believe that God can make you happy if you believe in Him because once again I think it depends on what your definition of happiness is, and for me being truly happy is feeling confident in my own self, and believing that only I can make myself happy.

Question 3: What do you think, when you hear a Christian say, “love the sinner, hate the sin.”

This statement honestly makes me kind of mad, because the sinners are the ones that sin. I don’t believe that sinners naturally are sinners everything is a personal decision, and so if you sin that’s on you. So I’m not going to tell you it’s okay for you to sin, because you were born with it, because I don’t think that is true, and that statement makes me upset.

 

 

 

So that is all of the questions that I am going to leave answered today. There are six questions altogether, and I just want us to stop and think for a moment those of us that claim that we are Christians, and ask ourselves, who are we really trying to reach out to? Are we just trying to impress our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ, or are we actually trying to reach out to others, and are we representing ourselves well?  I would also like to think my friend for sharing her honest opinions. We may have gone our separate ways, but she has taught me so much, and I am truly grateful to be able to have the chance to be an open-minded Christian, and I hope it helps anyone who may be reading this as well!

Pursuing a Healthy & Balanced Lifestyle

Pursuing a Healthy & Balanced Lifestyle

Hello, lovelies!  Isn’t lovely such a beautiful word? I am taking on a writing challenge and daily challenge with a blogger, and writer that I follow on facebook called, “A Dash of Self Care.” This month I would like to challenge myself and encourage my readers as well to try to balance a healthy lifestyle. I know what you are thinking,” Okay, if I can barely get my hair brushed how am I going to do more than that?” That’s what I thought when I read about the challenge,  as a mom with a six-month-old taking care of my own self-seems out of the question, but really it’s not, and it won’t be for you either. So here are a few steps I would like for you to incorporate into your daily self-care routine.

1. Get at least six hours of sleep.

Now I know the recommend ours of sleep is seven to eight hours for adults, but let’s get real that’s probably not going to happen with a baby. So as hard as it is I have taught myself to go to bed at least by ten-thirty. I try to go to bed earlier than that, but sometimes it’s just not possible. Life get’s busy and things happen, but unless it’s the weekend I am in bed by ten-thirty. Lame I know, but sleep is necessary for so many things, and I will go in depth with that another day.

2. Wake up early, and meditate or do your daily devotion.

If you are a non-religious person, then maybe you would like to meditate and focus on three things that you are grateful for, and maybe even write those things down. I enjoy the whole process of making myself a cup of coffee and reading a portion of the Bible or a daily devotional. I also then proceed to write down things that I am grateful for.

3. Incorporate Essential Oils into your everyday life.

I have recently begun using Young Living Essential oils in my everyday life. I cannot tell you how much of a difference they have made in my life. I use them to help me with many different things. For example, when I am blogging I like to make Peppermint tea, and then add a drop of Peppermint Essential Oils, and I find that it helps me to concentrate and clear my mind while writing.  Also right before bed, I use a blend of Stress Away, Lavender, and Raven essential oils to help me relax before I go to sleep, and although I am a distributor of the brand I can promise that I am not trying to convince you to purchase something that doesn’t work. It has helped me in a lot of beneficial ways.

4. Spend thirty minutes of your day exercising.

I know you may think that this is impossible. For those of you who have small children and find it hard to have a babysitter, I can promise you there are ways to get around that. Please, don’t let that be your excuse. You will thank yourself later. Just choose five days out of the week that you would like to incorporate exercise into your life, and family. Here are a few ways you can do that. Thirty minutes will fly by faster than you know.

  •  Take an evening walk with your kids
  • Exercise with your baby, there are plenty of exercise videos you can follow on Youtube
  • If you find that your baby is impatient, then while they are sleeping just take thirty minutes and find a workout that you really enjoy
  • Another fun way of doing a workout would be to do it while watching your favorite Netflix show

5. Cheat days are allowed.

I think that having a cheat day is necessary, and perfectionism is a waste of life. Many people don’t know that it is possible to not be overwhelmed, and instead, they go to the excessiveness of living one way or the other. When you find a happy medium that is when you will truly be free. So give yourself a break from that workout. Give yourself a break from that vegetable, and eat that doughnut with extra sprinkled with lots of love and happiness.

 

I hope all of you have enjoyed these tips, and will maybe try one of them out. If you do, please let me know which one you tried, and how it worked out for you! Also If you would like to let me in on your own healthy routines or habits that you have to feel free to email me and tell me all about it! Don’t forget to subscribe to my blog and newsletter! I will be sending out a new newsletter this weekend on more health tips and exercises, so you won’t want to miss out!

 

 

 

Sincerely,

 

Lauren Smith.

 

Things That I Am Currently Going Through

Things That I Am Currently Going Through

We all have obstacles that we face in our life, but what we have to realize is that is exactly what it is an obstacle. I try to remember the quote, “This too shall pass,” because it is so true, no matter what changes you are going through in your life eventually we will adapt to them. Just think about it for a moment. What is one thing in your life that has upset you and lasted for longer than five years? There are going to be a few traumatic moments in our lives, but we can either let those moments drag us down, or we can choose for it to be an opportunity to grow stronger as a person. I am going to share a few things that are going on in my life that have been hard, and how I am overcoming them. I hope that you can find!

1. Religious Differences

I know that for some of you when you read this you automatically thought, “Puke,” and zoned out. I know that this can be a controversial topic, and that is why I specifically choose it.  So if you are that person, then I encourage you to skip this part. However, I know that some of you who are reading this are thinking, “Omg yes, this is something I am struggling with too!” I apologize for the omg part. I am kind of a dork.  Lately, I have been dealing with a lot of confrontation with family members who don’t agree with my lifestyle of faith, and some of these people I never would expect the reaction that I have been getting from them, and I am not going to mention any names for their privacy sake, and also because I am not sharing this with you to gossip or talk bad about anyone. I am only expressing this to you because I just want all of you to know that it has not been easy. I feel like I cannot be myself and express myself the way I used to be able to around my family, because it makes them so annoyed and angry when I talk about my faith, and for me that has never happened before, and it is a natural part of my life, so I find it hard not to talk about it, but out of respect for them I have chosen not to force my beliefs on them. If God gave me a choice of whether or not I wanted Him in my life, then as much as it hurts me I have chosen to do the same for them.

2. Mommy Blues

I am currently struggling with postpartum depression, and it has been a constant roller coaster. I feel like I am stuck going through the motions. It goes something like this in the morning Ivan wakes up I feed him, change his diaper, and play with them. He then proceeds to puke on me, and then poop, and then cries until he falls asleep, and the cycle continues. In the midst of taking care of him I sometimes forget to take care of myself, therefore leading to thoughts of depression, such as, “My life has no meaning,”  “If you can hear me God, can you please help me,” ,” Or can you please send someone to help me, because I can’t do this anymore.” If you have ever had thoughts like these just know that you are not alone.

3. Life Changes

I feel like we all experience change at some point in our lives. So I know that this is something we can all relate to. I am currently preparing my heart for a change that I am about to face. Some of you may know this and some may not. For those who do not know, my husband has enlisted for the Army National Guard, and he will be leaving August 20th, of this year, and I won’t see him again until Christmas. I know some of you may think that the National Guard isn’t as hard as some of the other branches, but you are wrong. Anyone who serves in the military have to go through the hard things in order to become a member of the Military, and needless to say of the time that they have to spend away from their families. Stephen and I have not been a day apart from each other for almost two years now, so being away from him for six months is going to be a huge change for the both of us, so I am just praying that we come out stronger than we were before, and Lord willing we will.

So how am I getting through all of these things?

I promise this is going to be quick and sweet.

1. Pray, Pray, Pray

I realize what I am up against, and I cannot face these things alone, however I know someone who can. Philippians 4:13

2. Time

It takes time to heal all things. Just remember the quote, “This too shall pass,” because it will.

3. Support

I cannot stress enough the importance of having positive people surrounding you.

4. Self Care

Don’t forget to take care of yo self girl. Sorry that was cheesy, but seriously find something that you enjoy doing and get lost in it.

5. Let It Go

When all else fails, and it’s something that is beyond your control, “Let go and Let God.”

I promise that’s all I have for you, and I hope you read this and you are encouraged. We are in this together. If you have any questions, or need any prayers, please don’t hesitate to email me! I would love to be there for you.

Things That I Fear The Most

Things That I Fear The Most

We all fear things in our lives.  What we do not realize is that we have to face our fears or else our fears have control over us.  Today I am going to share with you some of the major fears that I battle.  Sometimes I have to experience it everyday, and I am also going to show you how I keep them from having control over my day to day life.  Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to stand up to your fears and find freedom from them?  Well you can, so keep reading if you want to know how!

  • The Fear of Rejection                                                                  This is a fear that I feel like is so real for many of us, and that is why I listed this one.  I feel like at some point in our lives we have all allowed the fear of rejection to control us. The worst part about being controlled by rejection is being taken advantage of.  You are willing to let go of your boundaries and you lower your standards to make other people feel happy. This causes you to lose a part of yourself. How did I fight the fear of rejection?  Well I had to give it to God, because the truth is you can’t please everyone.  I realized that my happiness was important too, and the people that really cared about me wouldn’t want me to change who I am. They would love me for who I am. What about the people who wouldn’t?  Well that’s the good part, because you no longer have to worry about who is truly being your friend, when you start taking care of yourself the people who don’t really care won’t hang around, but that’s a good thing.  You don’t want to have friends and people in you life that only want to be around you if you are doing everything they want you to do.  Ask God to guide you, and direct you and stop letting the fear of rejection keep you from the plans that He has for you.
  • The Fear of Losing Someone I love                                                I never really worried about this one until I became a wife, and a mother. When I first became a mother I feel like I was constantly in fear of losing either my husband or my child.  I would constantly be calling my husband to make sure that he was okay, and the fact that he now wants to be in the National Guard has added to my anxiety and fears.  When Ivan was first born I would constantly check on him to make sure he was still breathing.  If he coughed or breathed in a weird way I was terrified.  I had heard of people losing their baby, and I just couldn’t bear the thought of losing mine. I would literally come up with the worst case scenarios.  What I didn’t realize is that I was allowing the fear of something happening to them to control me to the point of not being able to enjoy being in the present.  How did I fight this fear? I once again had to give it to God.  I had to tell myself that I wasn’t going to spend another second worrying, and instead pray for their protection and enjoy whatever moments that I do have with them on earth instead of worrying about what could happen in the future.
  • The Fear of Not Being Able to Be There For My Children          The fear of not being able to be the mom I need to be for my children is also a new fear for me.  I once again would come up with these scenarios in my mind. For ex. What if I died and couldn’t be there to raise my children.  I allowed that fear to control me so much that anything that was a risk I would want to avoid.  Such as I used to enjoy rock climbing, but because I wanted to be there for my children so bad I allowed fear to consume me to the point where I couldn’t enjoy the things that I used to enjoy.  Another thing that I would worry about is whether or not I would be a terrible mom if I went to work.  I want to be there for my kids, and would I be able to do that and go to work?  It seemed like a new fear would come into my mind almost every day. What did I do to change it?  I am going to be honest I still battle with this one daily, but I also am determined to give this to God, because I have realized that the enemy can use fear against me.  Fear keeps me in a box, and doesn’t allow me to fulfill the purpose that God has for my life, so I will not let it do that to me.  I want to step out of the box, and live my life to the fullest, and “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13.

Today I just wanted to be transparent about the fears in my life, some of you may not have the same kind of fears that I have, but we all face fears at some point in our lives.  It’s okay to be afraid, but you are missing out if you allow that fear to control you.  PS. another silly fear of mine are snakes.  I cannot stand snakes, and that is one that I am not sure I will ever overcome, but we will see!  Feel free to be transparent with me and let me know what fears you face, and if you need help overcoming them.  Stay in tune for my personal series, if you would like to know more about me!