Fraud.

Fraud. 

1. a person or thing intended to deceive others, typically by unjustifiably claiming or being credited with accomplishments or qualities.

 

This is how I feel about my religion lately. It’s a hard season to go through & I’m sure some of you could relate. 

The world is an increasingly hard place to live it. It’s more competitive in every aspect. The rapid growth of social media sites such as Instagram send messages out into the world that share “our moments.” I have to say, this is a pretty sweet concept. I would be lying to say I don’t indulge in it. But Guys, is this the way to live like the Lord has called us?? Should we be taking pictures of only the things we want people to see…. or should we be showing the hard aspects too?

I am a fraud with my faith(at least today).

Do you ever feel that way? Maybe it’s just me…

But more or less…. these days I just feel numb. Is it because I let myself fall away from God? or is it society that has turned me into this selfish monster? I think a bit of both have an effect on it. But I just have to say, I know it’s my lack of Love. I have focused on the absolute wrong things. I thought of God as this pawn in my game of life, how disgusting is that?! I never thought I would go through a phase like this, but I’m being taught a LOT.

How often do you feel real? 100%, yourself? Completely aligned with God? In life, it’s a hard battle. You have so many things trying to help tear you apart. Spiritual Warfare can be a hard thing, but I notice when I pull myself closer God–he opens his arms wider(if that’s even possible)… 

Colossians 3:2

Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.

The Lord has been teaching me HUGE life lessons. I’ve made dumb decisions. I have glorified money instead of Jesus. I have put my faith & self worth in the World. I have put men on pedestals instead of the Lord. I have become this person I don’t even recognize. However, the Lord never let go….he’s been holding onto me for dear life, when it should be the other way around…. which is what it’s become. I will NEVER let go. ever. ever.

Guys…

1 John 2:15-17 

Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride in possessions—is not from the Father but is from the world. And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever.

I’m not claiming to be perfect, I’m far from it. I just feel like I can try so much harder in life. I blame, I dislike, I judge—–where did my Love of the Lord go? I pray for willingness to Love those in this world. To be the light of those who are living in darkness. To do what I can for those in homes of brokenness….to be my best self.  I promise to give me best, will you help hold me accountable? 

 

xoxo

How does everyone seem to have it together, but me?

Self-awareness.

My biggest challenge lately, maybe you can relate.

There are many voices in the world telling me; “If you don’t have the life you want–it wont fall into your lap.”

Well that makes sense. I also understand there isn’t a 12 step program that’s going to get me there. I have always

been a girl that is in constant worry, which I believe has crippled me in some situations. 

I have learned that you have to start with a vision of the life you want & begin the process of achieving the life you want by articulating a clear, realistic vision of what that life is.

Your only path, ladies & gents; is the one you design.

I don’t believe in fate, or chance–I believe 100% in the fact that you give yourself opportunities or lack-their-of.

If we all took the time to give our careers commitment like we throw at our relationships–we all might be extremely successful; unless your relationship is crumbling…

Change takes times & is often really difficult, something I’ve started to learn lately. But you have a choice.

Change comes from the choices we make.

Embrace the challenge of de-cluttering your inner space. You will be present, aware & fully involved in small & large decisions that will direct your life to new & exciting directions.

However–progress is impossible without change.

A quote that has been hitting me upside the head the past couple of months–

“The more you do of what you’ve done, the more you’ll get of what you’ve got.” 

WOW! how true. If you’re stuck in the mundane routine that your life always was? Switch it up.

Try new things, everyday-always. Even when they are uncomfortable-that’s when you need to push through. Life is SO good, guys.

But mixing things up if you seem stuck, will get you unstuck. I promise.

 

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xoxo

 

 

Rescue Humanity. Being Christian in a Not-So-Christian World.

It shouldn’t make me nervous, but it does.

I am a Christian. 

Being a Christian changes the way I think, way I react to situations, decisions I make; but most importantly…

It changes my view of the world & helps me to LOVE instead of hate. But if you’re not a Christian…. let me tell you something.

It does NOT allow me to judge you,

it does NOT allow me to like you any less,

it does NOT make me ANY better then you…

however it DOES allow me to Love you more.

Does that make any sense? 

“When outsiders claim that we are unchristian, it is a reflection of this jumbled (and predominately negative) set of perceptions. When they see Christians not acting like Jesus, they quickly conclude that the group deserves an unchristian label. Like a corrupted computer file or a bad photocopy, Christianity, they say, is no longer in pure form, and so they reject it. One quarter of outsiders say therefore most perception of Christianity is that the faith has changed for the worse. It has gotten off-track and is not what Christ intended. Modern-day Christianity no longer seems Christian.” 
― David KinnamanUnchristian: What a New Generation Really Thinks about Christianity…and Why It Matters

Its hard to stand firm in my faith surrounded by a world that is so divided. But I stand next to it, everyday. It’s a new battle. Us humans, were so quick to put our guard up. So quick to make our OWN purpose more important then the next. Let me tell you something, friends…It’s about all of us as one. We are all connected. If you’re not religious–it still applies to you. I never try to press my beliefs on you, as it’s not right. But I do want to keep you open to the idea of what I follow. 

In 1 Corinthians 16:13 it states; “…do everything in Love.”

& in 1 Corinthians 1:1-3 It says to …”Be Holy Together.”

Guys! We are set apart for a purpose. To Love.

My entire life I have been on a journey of trying to figure out what I am, where I fit in, how people will perceive me.

But it’s always been a part of me. It’s always been there.

I don’t know why it took 25 years of my life to actually grasp my full heart, but it has.

I’ve known it all along, but I’ve been afraid to show it fully.

Letting your guard down, to let strangers in? That’s a scary thing. I know.

But it is SO much scarier to just be in only one in your own world.

God wants us to go into the homes of the broken, relate to the homeless on the streets.

Most people in America, when they are exposed to the Christian faith, are not being transformed. They take one step into the door, and the journey ends. They are not being allowed, encouraged, or equipped to love or to think like Christ. Yet in many ways a focus on spiritual formation fits what a new generation is really seeking. Transformation is a process, a journey, not a one-time decision.” 

I find many of my friends on “soul-seeking” journeys which look very beautiful & are full of wonderful moments–I’ve embarked on some of these alone & with them as well. It’s such a great thing to have fellowships & relationships with those who you can relate to & maybe can’t. Everywhere you go is a lesson you’re meant to teach or a place you’re to learn something from.

It’s a hard thing, to share your religion, faith, ever after with someone.. But if you start with Love & a little bit of guidance, you will stand amazed at what unveils in front of your eyes. Reflect God’s Love on a consistent basis & your life will make a statement to those around you.

When you ARE God’s constant Love. When you choose Love above all else—–Love will be drawn to you. You will be put in situations where you’re given the choice to choose Love & you will. It’s a beautiful waterfall effect.

Christians are called to a higher standard, imperfectly. We aren’t perfect, nor should we act like we are. If you’re with me, don’t passively sit by & watch people fall, be the guard rail for them.

& remember do everything in Love.

Excuse me, communication? Are you speaking a foreign language?

I dislike blaming society or any generation for that matter…

But communication has become insufferable, at least to me.

Everyone wants good communication. Everyone wants to understand.

But we’re impatient & selfish. Unwilling to explain. We assume people just “know” what we mean. 

We grow tired.

Yep, I’ve been there.

It happens in the workplace, in church, at home, throughout relationships… literally everywhere.

I believe our experiences, different atmospheres, who we surround ourselves with–all of that goes into account.

We all form different ways of communication which I find fascinating in a sense. 

It’s a struggle at time to understand people. We hear each other talking, but are we listening? 

I know there are times where I am the only one in my Universe–AH what a miserable way to live. & completely selfish.

We need to figure out a way to rid ourselves of “population me”. 

It’s demanding & sometimes not pretty, but its worth it.

 

As I sit here studying “self-worth”, the women next to me inspired this post. 

She speaks a language I’m unaware of, maybe Russian? Or Polish? Really I know those two are completely different–but I don’t know. haha

I listen to her interact with someone who is helping her & boy is it troubling! Her English is VERY broken, as the librarian guides her to the section she’s asking for–to learn English. Ah, how refreshing!

Well statistics show the English language is that of the hardest to learn as a second language. But to us? Its second nature, nothing to it! Imagine for a moment, immersing yourself into a whole new world where you just know the basics. Like how to eat, work & just daily activities. Doesn’t sound like a big deal right? Probably not.. but imagine for a second if you had to do all of that & not know how to communicate?

Can you picture how difficult that would be? You know you’re fully capable–but if only you knew what someone was saying to you. Your brain is trying to process it–but you hear something that goes in one ear & out the other…. YIKES. It seems utterly intimidating. But as she sits next to me, I see her dream. Just to talk like Americans. It’s something that seems so miniscule, yet its a huge mountain to climb for her.

I’ve said this before & I’ll say it again…..

We, us, humans–no matter what race, ethnicity, sex, religion, etc…

are all trying to make sense of this ….

& are in constant transitional phases.

We’re never gonna be complete (until Heaven).

But really….hope this helped…

 

If anyone’s out there listening…

 

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xoxo,

Michelle

Make a Move.

Today was a different kind of day.

I’m not sure in any of my blogs if I’ve explained the kind of person I am.

Well I’ve been through a lot–haven’t we all??? Really… different circumstances, different outcomes–same purpose.

I feel myself changing, as I am always. But I’m sure it’s because I’m more observant of my emotions. 

I’ve been involving myself in Yoga & meditation lately, looking to connect with my soul & inner being more. 

Now before I’d say forget that, yeahhh right–won’t work! Well I was wrong, this stuff is MAGIC!

I have slowed down & am no longer rushing around like the other 90% of society. I’m enjoying every experience more! 

Working, going on a long bike ride, reading a book, even sitting in the complete silence. It’s a beautiful journey I’m no & I can’t wait to see what the world has to offer (or what I become more aware of) when I’m further along. I just feel myself feeling more connected my body. It sounds weird, I know. But my mind & body normally try to make decisions that conflict. So my mind is still going & my body is just saying no way! Buuuut…. slowly they’ve been making decisions together & It’s amazing.

Mediation isn’t to be taken lightly. It is not for those faint of heart. It  is far from easy. I’m having a hard time turning down my mind, but it’s a great challenge. I ask you guys to take that on! What I’ve started with is just ten-15 mins at a time-shutting down EVERY electronic device. I tend to find a place I know won’t distract me. You can hide in a room somewhere, but I like to find a forest preserve or lake where there is no one & hideaway. Nature helps me feel more connected to life anyways. It’s supposed to, right!?

Slow down. Take it easy. Life won’t pass you by if you’re connected with yourself. Become one with the world & it speaks to you. It’s a wonderful feeling. It will help you read with you instincts & not to base it off “though”, which has gotten me into trouble in the past. But when you have the feeling in your guy?? GO WITH IT. It seriously is never wrong. We should start living more like Jim Carey in Yes Man! I probably wouldn’t say yes to all the things he did, as they’re not realistic if you can’t afford them….. but try to say yes to as many things as you normally say no to… you’ll be surprised. 

 

xoxo

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tpO4lRdi8tc

My friends, all over the world.

What a blessing friends are, can be.

I have made many, as you probably have.

Let me clarify.

Their are all sorts of friends in this lifetime.

Those you can call at 4am when you’re sad, those you catch up with every few months over laugh & coffee, some who live thousands of miles away, some you’ve never met, some you only talk to at work–you get my point, MANY kinds!

I’m thankful for every single friend, that has come through my life. I can’t wait for all the ones who have yet to… & are right around the corner to meet. There are SO many people in this world & we will only meet a tiny fraction throughout our lives. But if you make it worth it & view every person you come into contact with as though their you’re best? Your life will become very blessed.

Social media & the internet can be a funny, useful thing. I have a friend who I met online & continue to talk to online–we play to meet one day, but until then–he has become a dear friend & lovely pen-pal. Now was this sheer coincidence? Absolutely not, it was by chance we met–to me. To God? It’s part of the plan, however it ends up. I find it beautiful–we I live in Chicago, he lives in Africa. WORLDS apart. Miles of things in between us–what connects us then? Were human. We have souls that want to connect & hearts that are understanding.

I’m thankful.

Every passing day I meet hundreds of new people, if not I see them. But I look towards them in hopes they see me smile back. The world is a hard place to live in, but when YOU make the effort to see the beauty & embrace it–life becomes SOO much better, trust me. Life is wonderful–as are friends.

Thankful for God & his blessings–even when I can’t make sense of things most of the time.