Why I Am Taking a Break From Instagram

Why I Am Taking a Break From Instagram

Hey y’all! I hope that you are all having a great start to this new week! So today I am going to be talking about social media. There are pros and cons, and for me personally the cons have been outweighing the pros these past few months. I’m talking about like I have been getting seriously depressed and finding myself losing a part of me that I don’t want to lose, so for that reason I will not be using Instagram again until New Years. The struggles of social media can very from person to person. For me Facebook does not have that affect on me, but for others Facebook may be their biggest weakness. So how can you know when It’s time to step back from the social media platform? Here are three ways that you can know when to take a break, or if it’s serious enough get rid of it completely. 

1. If you find yourself getting lost on social media for hours.

Social media can be really time-consuming, and if I am not careful I can allow it to take over my life. Obsessing over social media Isn’t healthy or beneficial. Once I found myself checking my Instagram every five minutes I knew that I needed a change.

2. When you allow it to affect your relationships.

The other night I had some lovely company over at my house, and instead of being fully present with them I found myself editing a picture to post on Instagram. And later I thought to myself, “Wow, Lauren, quality friends are few and you choose to spend time on your phone with people who probably could care less about you, rather than spending time with the ones who made an effort to be there for you.” If you can relate to this, then maybe it’s time to realize how toxic social media can be, if you allow it.  Personally, I don’t think social media is worth hurting my relationships. 

Photo by gabrielle cole on Unsplash

3. Comparison 

I can never say this enough. Comparison is the thief of joy. When you can compare yourself and your relationships to other people it can cause so much damage to yourself and to others. Here are a few ways it has affected me in a negative way.

. It made me lose my self-confidence. This was a wake up call that helped me to see that I needed to take a break from social media. 

. It caused me to be someone I’m not. Losing yourself on social media can be very easy to do. Instagram can be a people pleasing platform if you are not careful. Just don’t lose sight of who you are, and don’t lower your values just to get an extra like. It’s not worth it. 

Photo by Adolfo Félix on Unsplash

. It hurt my relationships. I would compare my relationship with my spouse to other relationships. A great way to destroy your man is by telling him what another man is doing right, and what he isn’t doing right. Don’t do that. So what that guy bought flowers every week for his girlfriend. Your man stayed up with you all night when you lost your pet. Did you forget about that? I know it happens, but don’t let it. Realize what you already have before it’s too late. 

If any of these things sound like what you are experiencing, please take serious consideration about what you are gaining and what you are losing from social media. Do the pros outweigh the cons? If not, then maybe it’s time for a break. Please let me know your thoughts on this topic, and feel free to share it by using one of the shareable buttons! Thank you,

Lauren S. Watkins

An Apology Letter to My Husband

An Apology Letter to My Husband

Dear Husband, I apologize for failing you as your wife. These last three months that you have been gone training to serve our country, I have had time to reflect on the wife that I have become. There are things that I have done that have hurt you, and I just need you to know that this is not the wife I want to be. So to begin with I want to say I’m sorry for using my words as a weapon against you. I realize that words can be powerful, and yet many times  I have used them to discourage you rather then to build you up. Words can either bring life or death, and one too many times I have only brought destruction, but how easy it is, when something upsets me to spill words out without even thinking about what happens after I say those words. So today I want to change that. I want to start by encouraging you and bring the best out of you with my words. Second I want to stop putting pressure on you to meet my high expectations. I’m sorry, that when I took on this journey with you I thought I understood what I was saying, when I told you, “for better or for worst,” but in reality I thought that marriage was always going to be eating cake and laughter, so when the bills started pilling up, our child kept us up until 2AM, and you forgot to take out the trash my reaction proved that I didn’t truly mean the promise I made to you. Today I want to give God all of my expectations, and be grateful for the days when you did take the trash out for me. For the time I got sick, and you stopped working just to bring me Chicken Noodle Soup, and for the days that you cooked dinner for me, because you knew how tired I was as a young mother of a 3 month old boy. I want to cherish those moments, the beautiful and the ugly. Last of all I want to apologize for not protecting our marriage the way that God wants me too, and the way you need me too. Days get shorter, and so do my prayers for you. What God has given me I have taken for granted. So starting today I will pray for our marriage, and I will fight for us until my last breath. And when I look back on this day of reflection I want to be able to say, that I love you more then I did when I wrote this for you.

Who Is Yahweh?

Who Is Yahweh?

When I began this blog, my goals, and intentions were to keep God and my relationship with Him as my number one priority. However, I found myself caught up in my own desires, and although there was nothing wrong with the things I would talk about it’s more about the fact that I stopped writing about my faith, and started worrying more about what I was going to get out of this blog. I have decided to prioritize my blog again, by keeping God at the center of all things in my life. With that being said,  I am going to talk about the many names that God has been called in the Bible. God has many different traits that He carries just like we do in our own selves. The first name He called himself in the Bible was, “Yahweh,” which is the Hebrew definition for, “I am.” So let’s talk about who Yahweh is. 

1. He is understanding. 

In Exodus 3:7-10 God says that He sees everything that His people (us) are going through, and he understands. He wants to deliver us and take us to a better place. Because He cares, and He wants better for us. Whatever you may be going through, whatever heartache that this broken world has brought to you, you should know that God sees everything. He understands, and He will deliver you. 

2. He’s simple. 

People try to make God out to be something that is so complex, and I love how in Exodus 3:14 Moses asked God what He should tell his people, and God said, ” Tell them that I am who I am.” God is not this gigantic puzzle piece that we have to figure out. We can just simply trust that He is who He says He is. 

3. He is Compassionate and Loving

Exodus 34:6-7 talks about how God is gracious and slow to anger. He is full of love and faithful on His promises to us. How beautiful is that? I grew up thinking that God was ready to throw a lightning bolt at my head if I said a cuss word when I stubbed my toe. I was afraid of this great big massive Creator was judging me every minute of my life, and I didn’t realize that the things that I worried about most were the least of God’s concerns. How refreshing, and how wonderful it is to know that we serve a God who is kind and understanding, and full of love. If you think otherwise try to dig deeper into His word and find out for yourself that the word Love is mentioned in the Bible 280 times according to “Quora.com,” versus the word condemned is only mentioned 59 times in the Bible according to, “Carm.org.”

Photo by Matthew Meijer on Unsplash

Today my challenge to you and to myself is to be reminded of who Yahweh is. Have we created our own definition for Him, or are we defining Him by who He says that He is? He is a God of understanding, simplicity, love, and grace. If you enjoyed this post feel free to share your thoughts on this, or share it by clicking one of the shareable social media buttons below! I look forward to discovering more of who God truly is with you all.

The God Driven Woman

The God Driven Woman

Today I would love to share with you all something that is on heart, and that is what it means to be a driven woman. When I say driven I am not talking about the women who claim to be feminists who are completely anti-men, but more the woman who isn’t afraid to be who God has called her to be. The woman who doesn’t hold back despite the fears and challenges that she will face, because she knows who is in control of her life. This was shared with me by a lady in my small group, so I cannot take credit of these words, but they are beautiful and touching, and I think that every woman needs to hear this. 

The Propel Woman Is…

Unapologetic, she is a woman who leads.

Unshakable, she is rooted and grounded in the love and grace of God. 

Undaunted, by the challenges of life.

Unstoppable, as she follows the call of God.

Unmovable, she will not be manipulated.

Unselfish, she is generous with her words, thoughts, resources, and relationships. 

Undefeatable, she knows no weapon formed against her shall prosper.

Unbound, her history will not define her destiny. 

Unstuck, she moves gracefully from one season to the next. 

Undone by the love, grace, goodness, kindness and mercy of God.

Uncommon, she is not chasing worldly success, fame, or fortune.

Untamable, she is dangerous to the kingdom of darkness.

Unlimited, her potential in Christ is limitless.

Unleashed, she is not held captive to old paradigms or stereotypes. 

Unashamed, she does not minimize or hide who God has made her to be.

Unpretentious, she is real, down to earth, and accessible. 

-Jennifer N. 

If you have any doubts in your mind about who you are I want you to know that you are more than capable of being who God has called you to be. And here are just a few ways that may help you battle any self-doubts or insecurities. 

Photo by Anthony Ginsbrook on Unsplash

1. God has a plan for you. 

Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Trust that God’s plan for you is bigger than any fears you may face. 








2. Get affirmation by getting into the Bible. 

Photo by Brooke Cagle on Unsplash

Psalm 139:14 “I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
    your works are wonderful,
    I know that full well.” When you dig deep into God’s Word, you will find that there are all kinds of Biblical affirmation. If the God who created our entire Universe believes in you, then you should believe in yourself as well. 

3. Get connected with other like-minded believers. 

When you get connected with other believers you will be surprised to find yourself feeling encouraged and refreshed. Although, I would advise that you be careful who you are surrounding yourselves with, because some people enjoy bringing others down, and I know that sounds horrible, but for those who have been to a southern baptist church they can tell you from experience that this is true. Find people who are going to inspire you, and encourage you to be all that you can be. 

I hope that this poem and advice will help you to stand up, and be the woman that you need or want to be. Just remember, that “You, yes you, can do all things through Christ who strengthens you.” Philippians 4:13. If you liked this article, please share it, or subscribe to my blog for more topics like this. Thank you, for being apart of this journey with me. 

                                                                              Lauren Smith                                                                          Momma From Scratch

Five Keys To A Happy Marriage

Five Keys To A Happy Marriage

I want to begin this topic, by saying that marriage in my opinion is the root and foundation of the home.
It goes all the way back to when God created the foundation of the earth. He saw man that he was lonely and needed companionship, and so he created the woman. They were a team. One was not better than the other, and I think that is where a lot of people get into arguments and conflicts, because marriage is often made out to be just another competition. God wants marriage to be more than that. One person can do amazing things, but two working together can do more. So that is why I want to share these five things, that I am learning and realizing are essential steps to having a happy marriage.

1. God has to be our number one priority.

 

 

No matter how hard we have tried to make our relationship work without God it was meaningless. I am not saying that you can’t be happy in a relationship if you are not a Christian, but what I am saying is that for me and my husband, anytime that we have put something else first in our lives, whether it be our jobs, kids, family, or something that we should not be doing, it never seems to go well for us. You may have noticed that some of the things that I mentioned are not considered bad things, and in fact they can even be great things, but not when you put them at a higher priority than God, which can be hard to do sometimes, because life does get busy, however it is possible to put God first. Sin is the only exception that will always hinder or hurt your relationship or marriage. That is the second thing that I would like to talk about.

  • Proverbs 3:6
  • Matthew 6:33
  • Matthew 22:37

2. Give each other Grace.

I know you thought that you married the perfect person, and that the only thing that you would fight over was which restaurant you wanted to eat at more, but I hate to inform you that the person that you married is not perfect, and neither is the person that you see in the mirror every morning. One day you will wake up next to the person you married, and their imperfections will start to show, and you will understand what I am talking about, and some of you may already be experiencing this. The truth is that none of us are perfect and we all need grace. Until I realized that it made some days seem almost impossible to love my spouse, and it was really hard. I hated feeling disgusted or frustrated with my spouses imperfections, but I didn’t know what to do about it, until I realized that I had them too, and he had to live with my imperfections just like I had to live with his. Jesus has not withheld His grace from me, when He died on the cross for my sins, so who was I to withhold grace from my husband that I also loved very much. Once I realized this, it made both of our lives so much better, and there was much more peace between both of us.

  • 1 John 4:19
  • 2 Corinthians 12:8-9
  • Ephesians 2:8-9

3. Date each other.

If you want to keep the spark alive you’re going to have to keep dating each other. For some of you that may seem silly, but putting in the effort to make each other happy is important. What is something that interests you both? Do you like nature? Do something together outdoors, and if you do not know what to do then try out different things until you find out what it is that you both like to do. I promise it is so much fun, and you always learn something new about your spouse that you never knew before. I know that sounds impossible, but It’s true. Also don’t forget that the little things matter too. I leave little sticky notes around for my hubby to find, and it makes him so happy. Sometimes just one small act of love or kindness can make the world of difference in your relationship.

4. Remember why you fell in love.

Go back to the day, when it all started. When you caught his gaze for the first time, or she smiled and it lit up your whole world. Remember your first kiss, and how the sparks just ignited when you held hands. Remember the laughs and the memory’s, and even remember the hard times that you have gone through together. Whenever you and your spouse are going through something difficult it has always helped me to look back, and remember when it all began. Think about the first time the words, “I love you,” where spoken, and just watch as your heart opens up and you begin to see your spouse for the person that you fell in love with, and the person that you are still in love with.

5. Stop blaming each other and start communicating.

 

I know this can be really challenging, but if we just learn to hold our tongue just for a second, and really think about what we are bothered by it will help make things better and not worst. When we get caught up pointing fingers, and bringing up things that don’t matter it only builds and adds on to the frustration. If there is an issue, a worry, a fear just plainly talk about it with your spouse. I promise your spouse is going to be a lot more open to hearing you speak calmly about any concerns you may have, then to hear complaints and nagging. We can start nagging when we are perfect, which is never going to happen, so it’s just best if we don’t.

 

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.