A Common Misconception About True Love

Ah, love. There’s nothing quite like having such raw emotion and compassion pumping through your veins that overflows and spills out of your heart and soul without your consent. It’s such a beautiful thing to cherish good friendships and relationships to the point where you wouldn’t want to cause a single bit of tension (which obviously makes sense!) But what would you do if someone you loved was headed down a path that you sense might not be in their best interest? That’s when things can really get tricky.

Not many of us enjoy negative confrontation with the people we’re close to which is completely understandable… especially if it’s towards someone you can’t emotionally afford to lose. Sometimes you may think in your head that it’s better to pick and choose your battles, but what if someday you end up losing the war because of all of the “little” battles you relinquished? They may have seemed little at first, but things can add up crazy fast (like the interest on student loans!) Never is it easy to say to a friend or lover, “Hey, you mean so much to me and I don’t want to lose you, but I’m afraid that what you’re doing or where you’re heading might not be so great for you.” Even writing that gave me a tiny sense of uneasiness and I’m not even talking to anyone!

True love should start to kick in around this point. It’s kind of like a fight or flight response, but the decision you’ll make has heavy outcomes either way. When you honestly care for someone, their life choices could very well have a big impact on you. So if you feel something isn’t right, there will be unmistakable indications that you can’t shut off. For instance, you may get that nudging feeling tugging at your heart just wishing to get out into a safe space that can be shared between you and that person. Of course, you want to be delicate and tactful; but remember that truth is one of the many facets of genuine love.

When I think of what it means to really be there for someone and love them, there’s a verse from the bible that really stops me in my tracks when I think about it. John 15:3 “There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” …WHAT! That’s crazy. If you think about it, you don’t truly love someone to the depth that you were meant to until you are willing to sacrifice your own life for that person. I’d just like to throw out that I’m in no way trying to shove my beliefs or faith down anyone’s throat ever, I’m just sharing my heart hoping it can help anyone that sees it.

Bottom line, that’s what it’s all about. How genuine is your love for your friends and family? Are you willing to stand firm on your beliefs and values to the point where it could cause a temporary (or in some cases) permanent rift in your relationships? I know this generation is all about “You do you, boo!” and I personally can’t stand that mentality because it simply shows that you don’t care, and that’s not cute. Love is not about accepting everything and saying, “Well, if it makes you happy…” it’s about saying, “I care for you way too much to sit idly by and watch you go down a dark path without sharing my heart with you because I want the best for you.”

Xo, Rachel

Keeping Your Dreams Alive

Oh great, another motivational message or story of inspiration about how I shouldn’t give up and keep on fighting” blah blah blah.

I can already hear those thoughts as they scroll along to find titles like these jumping out at them involuntarily and threatening their pessimism. Hey, I know it’s not always easy to keep pressing towards a goal that feels mostly an uphill battle. Uncertainty can be like walking on a tightrope with wobbly legs just to keep your sanity. A never ending roller coaster of highs, lows, twists, and turns. Just try your best not to throw up!.. or throw in the towel.

Do you know what victory feels like? Do you know that the life you crave and desire is possible? Just the idea alone of having hopes and dreams tucked away so safety in your heart that eventually come to fruition is unbelievable! It feels like magic. It’s even more fulfilling when you’ve written them down and dated them somewhere. I actually encourage it! I look at it as an act of pure faith because even when you can’t see it, you’re preparing for it. Start a journal, mood-board, pinterest, or whatever style that fits you best to articulate what you want. Anything is possible with time and a heart that refuses to quit.

knowing who you are and what you want is half the battle. If you don’t know the goal you’re trying to reach, how are you supposed to know where to start? It’s completely normal to question your dreams. Where did they come from? How long have the roots been growing inside of my heart? Am I willing to do everything in my power to feed it, or rip it out and cut it loose? That might be a little painful, so make sure you aren’t trying to uproot something that might be destined for you.

I totally believe that God plants dreams and desires in our hearts for a strategic purpose that we may not always see or understand at first. Take the time to look inside the deepest depths of your soul and ask for wisdom on what you need to feed, and what you need to starve. If anything isn’t of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, or self-control then I would question yourself if you want to continue growing it. The last thing you want are the negative attributes showing up in your life.

Battlefields aren’t always physical. One of the biggest battlefields is right between your ears. Pay attention to your thoughts. Patterns. The way you speak to others and yourself! Some of the giant dream killers can sneak up on you in moments of pain and weakness. The thoughts that tell you, “It isn’t possible. It hasn’t been done before! You won’t make it, so you might as well just give up now.” Well I’m here to tell you that those thoughts are total BS. Total lies that are used time and time again that we often give way too much power to. The only one stopping you at most times, is you!

Keeping your dreams alive isn’t always going to be easy like a Sunday morning; however I can tell you that the perseverance and character you’ll build through the trying times will significantly outweigh any pain you had to go through in order to get there. Keep on fighting, because I promise you will make it.

~Xo, Rachel.

Best Church Quote ~ Feed your faith and your fears will starve to ...

The Thing I Learned About Free Will

“Why do bad things happen?” Asked little Bobby. “Well son, it’s because of free will.” Said his pa.

Of course his name is Bobby. I swear, every example of logic puzzles or solving equations starts with a boy named Bobby. While I concur with his dad, there’s much more to life than just, “Bad things happen because of free will, and that’s just how it is.” What then? Is that all there is? I crave more clarity than that! Being a protagonist here, I believe that there’s a brighter side to free will than what often gets displayed in stories or life events. Mainly because of my own faith.

Do misfortunes and tragic events happen? Every single day. Is that the end all be all of a tragic tale? Not if you don’t want it to be. Life isn’t always fair, and that’s just the sad reality that is our world. But what if I told you there’s more to the story? Your story. Perhaps something down the road that you can’t see yet? A spark, a light, maybe even.. dare I say hope? A dangerous little spark that ignites new possibilities. It’s called turning what was meant for evil into something good. It’s surely possible, but it’s not usually a light and easy process. Nothing that good ever is, amirite?

“Okay, but you don’t get it Rachel. If there is a God in heaven who loved me, then why the hell would he allow this to happen to me? I’m a good person. I don’t deserve this!” Trust me, I’ve asked God the same exact question as well word for word, and less politely to boot! My version of “asking” would be crying and yelling at Him. Heck, there was even a time that I told him I wanted nothing to do with my faith anymore, but that didn’t stop His relentless love for me. Nothing can ever separate us from his love. How beautiful, right?!

I ain’t a perfect Christian, I’m a real person. That’s why I try to remind myself to thank Him for the grace and love he so freely gives all of us. That’s one of the main reasons I’m writing about this. My heart is totally connected to the mission of helping people because let’s be real; all of us need help. The funny thing is, it’s usually the believers that need the most help! Don’t write me an angry email, ya’ll know it’s true.

The truth is I don’t have all of the answers for your hardships, and that sucks. You might not find an answer for a long time, and that really sucks! All I can tell you is that God is more than able to bring good out of any hardship or unbearable grievance you face. The caveat here is trust, and it’s not easy. However, it is refreshing to believe that the God who can raise the dead and save the lost can surely bring light into the darkness of our missteps and misfortunes.

We don’t know when, where, or how (unless He reveals it to you, but that’s for another day.) We just need to hold on and cling to the truth that Jesus loves us and no doubt still has a plan regardless of how it may look. He is Abba. The way maker. The bread of life. The lifter of our heads. The one who knit you in your mother’s womb. The one who has the hairs on your head numbered. Don’t you believe you’re of any value to Him? You’re worth dying for.

All you need to know is that you never walk alone. The constant battle for your soul that most can’t see is fierce, but so is His love for you. Keep fighting. You might not have your answers right now, and it’s okay to be angry. If anything, be angry at sin. Be angry with the enemy because he wants you to question God and His love for you.

You may hear something along the lines of, “He’s not even real, do you see him working right now?” “Well, you never really heard Him anyway.” “What kind of God would put you through all of that?” “You’re not smart, you can’t do this.” Fill in the blank. Those are all lies from hell, and it’s time for you to stand up and step into the calling you feel in your heart and soul. You are more than able to do all that you’re destined to do through Jesus who will totally give you strength. So I just want to leave you with that. Whatever you face, remember that you are more than a conquerer.

~Xo, Rachel.

When I Realized That I’m Selfish

You know what can bring the absolute worst out of you? Relationships. Now I’m not just talking about dating here, I mean ALL kinds of relationships. Every dynamic possible; which there are many. What is it that requires all of them to flourish and function properly? Work. Relationships take work! However I will point out, It’s also the little things that can bring you one step closer to betterment, or two steps further from it!

Little things. Ah, the little things! Little things such as telling them how much you love and appreciate them for who they are. Taking out the trash. Doing the dishes or laundry so they can just come home to a clean house and relax.

Okay let’s be real.. I’m nowhere near always doing what I just described! If you are, then more power to you! I’ve learned that when you truly love someone, you’ll want to do everything in your power to somehow contribute and make their life ten times better and easier. You don’t just focus on your needs and wants anymore, but you take them and their needs into consideration as well.

Okay, story time! It was a gloomy afternoon, and I had just got off from work. I usually arrive home a couple hours before my mom. We’re like best friends, but still have the mother/daughter dynamic. I love her so much. Side note; I know that finding your own place can be a process, but if you’re over eighteen and living with anyone in your family, monthly payments should be a no-brainer! Just felt the need to throw that out there. (Don’t hate me lol.)

I hung up my keys, dropped my workbag on the kitchen chair, and hightailed it to the bathroom. I did my skincare routine, drew a hot bath, lit a few candles, and eased myself into the tub. Following that I cleaned up around the house a bit, and started to make dinner. The smell of zesty chicken parmesan permeated throughout the house; or whatever I had that night- who knows.

I made enough for just me, and gleefully walked into the living room to eat and watch Netflix. Typical American, huh? About thirty minutes later the back door creaked open, and the chill from the cold air outside swept throughout the kitchen. The sound of heels clomping across the echoing floor caused me to get up to greet her. As I made my way into the kitchen she paused, looked at the empty plate where my dinner used to be, and then shot a glance at me. The look she gave me was so cold, it could have shattered ice. “Thanks for making dinner for me, Rach.”

I couldn’t believe it, she was fluent in sarcasm! My heart dropped into the pit of my stomach, because I had realized that what I did (or didn’t do in this case) was a total act of selfishness. I hadn’t even thought to make dinner for her! After a long day of work she had, why hadn’t I thought of it? Am I only thinking of myself? In what other areas of my life could I be affecting people like this and not even knowing it? Scary stuff, man.

My mind began to go one hundred miles per hour trying to figure out why I didn’t think of anyone else at the moment! I apologized, and am now aware that I just honestly don’t think sometimes. It doesn’t come out of resentment or the wanting to be selfish, I just honestly don’t think sometimes! I catch myself doing it still, so I’m working on it. I’m far from perfect, but I’m grateful in hindsight for this situation, because if it hadn’t occurred, I’d be walking around with bloody blinders on! Did you hear that last part with a British accent too? Just me?

Anyway, I hope this little story can teach you something. Are there areas in your life where you tend to be a bit selfish? Well the first step is to acknowledge it, and the second is to keep working on yourself! Let’s remember that it’s not all about us, and happiness is definitely a team effort.

~Xo, Rachel.

21 Life Lessons I’ve Learned

  1. Life is not a race!

Go at your own pace. Everyone’s path is different, and there is no set time that you ought to to have a solid career, partner, or anything that others pressure you about.

2. Looks definitely aren’t everything.

A happy disposition on the outside doesn’t mean a happy one on the inside.

3. Staying true to your word will benefit you.

Isn’t it crazy how ten years built on the foundation of trust can be shaken and uprooted by one act or misdemeanor? Going back on your word or being flaky with people isn’t a good reputation.

4. If you like them, for the love of God just tell them!

Let me just say that regret from not saying something will last a lot longer than the pain of rejection. You’ve nothing to lose, dear.

5. As a woman it’s okay to make the first move, but do not chase.

Hey, guess what? It’s the twenty first century! Women can totally let a dude know she’s into him, but chasing isn’t ideal. It feels good being pursued and wanted, but it’s also a two-way street.

6. Life is way too short to stay mad at someone.

Welcome to the jungle peeps, but it’s definitely not all fun and games! When it comes to anger, just live and let die. Tainted love happens, but whatever you do, don’t stop believing. If you didn’t notice, I’m heavily influenced by 70’s and 80’s music.

7. 70’s and 80’s (oldies) music will NEVER go out of style!

I totally didn’t plan this segue, but alas! Here it is. This music is just the best I’ve ever heard, I mean who doesn’t love jammin’ out to livin’ on a prayer?

8. Beneath the surface, we don’t have it all figured out.

And we never will! Don’t care how old you are, because no matter how many years pass by you will never have everything totally figured out. Sorry!

9. Don’t ever settle for anything! ..Like ever.

Good things take time, so spare yourself some heartache and resist to accept less than you deserve! Whether it’s out of loneliness, or fear that you won’t get it- It’s just not true!

10. Spend more time with your family as you get older.

Tomorrow is promised to no one. If you have family that loves you and wants the best for you, stay in touch! You never know the last time you could see them. Make it all count and try not to leave anything angry or unresolved.

11. It’s okay to lose “friends.

True, genuine friendship is hard to find as you get older. You can talk to as many people as you want, but you can only trust few, and that’s okay! More often than not, very few will be your true friends.

12. You can say no without explaining yourself.

Last time I checked, “No.” is a complete sentence! It’s simply a response that you’re fully entitled to. You don’t always have to explain your reasoning, sometimes it just is what it is.

13. The ocean taught me to be still.

While the ocean is definitely not still, there’s a sense of peace I get every time from being near it. Majestic waves and colorful skies cause me to realize that life is beautiful, and we shouldn’t take it for granted. We should cherish all of it.

14. Set your own boundaries before someone sets them for you!

This applies more so towards dating, but the same rules apply in any type of relationship! Do you have certain boundaries you wanna stick to? Make them known and make sure you’re both on the same page.

15. There is no time limit for an emotional wound.

If something hurts, it hurts. Not all wounds are superficial, some cut real deep. While time does heal, it also gives us a chance to reflect and remember. Give yourself some grace, and heal at your own pace.

16. No matter what you do, God will always take you back.

I experienced this first hand when I shut God out of my life. I knew I needed Him when I became a different person. The only way back was through Him. He will always love you, no matter what you do or how far you run!

17. Having a go-with-the-flow mentality leads to crazy adventures!

I can’t tell you how many stories I have simply because I went with the flow. Some things aren’t meant to be planned, scheduled, or analyzed. Sometimes you just need to let go and just have fun!

18. You cannot force a connection, either it’s there or it isn’t.

Now this may just be me, but I’ve found this to be very accurate! I think it happens unexpectedly when a spark of familiarity between you and another person recognizes each other. Go with your gut, because it’s probably right!

19. Taking good care of your body is a must!

Sleep, exercise, pamper, repeat! If only life were that simple, right?! Yes, life gets crazy, but you must make it a point to set time aside to recharge and show love to yourself by treating your body as a temple. I mean, you’ll be in it for the rest of your life so at least make it the best it can be, alright?

20. Learn to let go.

You know that old saying if you love something let it go? It’s true my dears! By releasing everything that you’re holding onto, you’re giving God time and space to do what He wants to do in your life. Learn to trust, and believe that what’s meant to be will be. Focus on you in the meantime.

21. Making Jesus the center of my life changes everything.

To give up anger for peace, loss for love, hurt for healing, and fear for faith; I needed to make God the center of my life. I notice a huge difference when he’s not in the center and when he is.

The Funny Thing About Timing

It’s a nice evening out with your best friend. Soft music in the background creates a relaxed atmosphere. A sparkling glass of champagne accompanies your right hand as you indulge in detailed conversation about your life. You’ve been waiting on something for a while, and it’s getting rather frustrating! Your best friend tries to encourage you by saying, “It’s gonna happen when it’s supposed to happen. You know.. when the timing is right.”

Stop the breaks. Did she really just..? Yep. She said …those words. You know, those same words that have circulated from generations upon generations? The same words that you’ve heard your whole life from people who have taught and mentored you in the way you should go? Yeah, those ones. You then do one of two things. You will either force a smile, nod, then quickly gulp the rest of the nearly full glass of champagne down your throat to swallow your doubtful words. Or, you will put your glass down, lean in, and open up sincerely about what it’s like to really wait on something that feels so far away. That’s basically what having faith in something is like, right? The truth is, it’s the uncertainty of it all that really petrifies us.

Some people will wait for ten minutes. Some for a year, some for ten, and some for even twenty-five! When it comes to waiting for something that you know for a fact is coming— (like a bus or Uber for instance), then the waiting part isn’t as difficult or annoying. If the ride is a few minutes late, you probably wouldn’t sweat it too much because you know it’s coming regardless if it’s on time or not. But what about waiting for a breakthrough? What about waiting for love? How about children of your own when you can’t seem to get pregnant? That’s where things can get.. interesting for lack of a better word.

What I’ve found to be true in my own life is that letting go and giving up is actually harder than waiting. Strange, right? There are definitely pros and cons to that characteristic. The pro is that when you start to see things align and come together so beautifully; almost like they were ordained and destined to happen, then the waiting part doesn’t seem so bad after-all. It actually makes for a great story! The con is that when it falls a part and life flashes before your eyes only to leave you questioning why you waited on something that doesn’t even seem possible, well that’s enough to rip your heart out. Repeatedly. It sucks.

Even though you don’t see it right away, God has such a unique way of bringing good out of crazy and often times painful situations. I believe He really works through space and time. Those two things we can’t touch or feel, so that’s why it’s totally out of our control- which can make it really hard to trust and have faith that things will work out.

If you’ve been waiting or praying on something, I’m here to tell you to not give up if you truly believe in it. Every time I want to throw in the towel on some of the things I’ve been waiting on, there’s always a specific picture that comes to mind. The picture is of a man in a diamond mine that gave up literally right before he hit the jackpot of diamonds! He gave up, and then someone else got the reward instead without the heavy labor he endured because his work was all for nothing.

Don’t be like that foolish man. If you truly believe in something or have faith in it, then stick to it! Either God will change your perspective and heart towards it, or it will happen in such a way that will knock your socks off! ..Do people still say that anymore, or just me..? Anyway— just don’t give up. You were made to have an abundant life, and the desires and dreams planted in your heart are there for a reason. Keep them safe, nourish them, and watch how everything unfolds. But remember, just as it takes time for flowers and trees to grow, so does it for the dreams and desires you have.

~ Xo, Rachel.

The Subtlety Of Love

I don’t like kids. Oh, so you have a new little baby you say? Aw.. so cute! ..Don’t mind me, I’ll just be on my way rather quickly in case you ask me to hold it. *Runs away.*

You know, it’s funny that I’m not a “kid” person, because I actually want a few of my own one day! ..How does that even work? Anyway, I’ve never been one to want to voluntarily and enthusiastically interact or play with kids; it just wasn’t something I enjoyed doing.

A couple of months ago, I agreed to watch my three year old nephew for the night. Usually my mom is the one who watches him, but this time it was aunty’s turn! Now while I love him, he can be a bit obnoxious at times..just like any other little boy! I guess that’s what I call kids who like to run around and smack their head into walls, throw tantrums for absolutely no reason, and pick their nose. Let’s be real, little boys can do some of the nastiest things ever, am I right!?

After playing a few games, I put in a movie for us to watch and eased myself onto the sofa. To my surprise, he quietly yet efficiently walked towards me like he was on a mission. He meant business, people. He made his way over to me and perfectly positioned himself on my lap, then pressed his head against my chest ever so gently.

For the first time in my life, I felt such a strong flood of emotion, love and warmth that flowed directly from my heart and transpired into the atmosphere. I wrapped my arms around him and nuzzled him as if I was protecting or comforting him. We stayed like that for the whole movie.

Even though I’ve never really enjoyed little kids, I’ve always loved my nephews, because they’re family. They’re great kids too, but that subtle gesture of affection and vulnerability opened the eyes of my heart to discover that the wall that had separated me from liking kids began to break down piece by piece. I call it subtle love. It usually comes in unexpected ways, with unsuspecting outcomes.

~Xo, Rachel.

Did He Really Say Tho..?

“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.” ~ Jeremiah 29:11.

For me, this is the verse that always feels like a drop of water in a heated desert. It’s something that I like to hold on to whenever I need it, which is pretty often! Does it mean hardship gets any easier? Absolutely not. But what it does mean is that there’s hope for the future; and hope is a very dangerous thing for a positive personality type.

Growing up in a very spirit-filled church, I saw some pretty amazing acts of God and miracles that you couldn’t deny. I’ve witnessed things I can’t even comprehend from an outsider’s perspective, as well as my own! If you grow your relationship close to God, He may gently reveal certain things to you through His word, other people, and little happenings that seem to keep popping up; almost as a nudge for you to pay attention.

Hearing God’s voice is totally real! He can make Himself and the desires for your life very clear. It often takes time, and a willingness to be still and listen. However, sometimes it can get hard when you feel something tugging at you, and then question if it’s really God talking because you just can’t see how it’s possible.

Has anyone ever told you they would do something and didn’t follow through? Call it what you will; a dishonest/false hope, a broken promise, or a voice of deception that you wished would have never been spoken at all. Well, sometimes we can feel that way with God when things go south. Even the verse Jeremiah 29:11 might feel like a lie or empty words to someone who just lost their job, a loved one, or even a dream. But God does not lie.

While it’s easy to feel mislead and even lied to in what I like to call- the process, it’s normal to get upset. Do you believe that God has spoken anything over your life? Do you believe that His purpose is to prosper you and not to harm you? Again, I know it’s not always easy, but I wanted to let you know that you aren’t alone. If you’re waiting and praying on something, stay encouraged! He knows what we need, when we need it, and is very interested in every little detail of our lives. “And the very hairs on your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are more valuable to God than a whole flock of sparrows.” – Luke 12:7

One thing I will point out is to really test whatever you believe you may be hearing. This is one of the most important parts of it all! Whether it’s a prophetic word, a certain peace that you can’t explain, or even God Himself gently revealing His plans and desires for you, it’s a good idea to discern whether it’s the voice of truth. I also want to point out that it doesn’t always have to make sense! His ways are way higher than ours, so stop trying to figure everything out, because you never will! What I’ve often found to be true is that God likes to use what seems to be the impossible and makes it possible so the glory goes to Him alone. That’s the whole point!

So if you’re reading this today hoping for a little flicker of hope or a wave of encouragement, take it. God so loves you, even when you can’t always feel Him! If you don’t understand or feel confused when it comes to hearing and following, open up your heart and allow Him to come into your life, not only will you find direction, but peace and joy that doesn’t make sense will find you.

~ Xo, Rachel.

How To Be More Confident

You see it in movies, you see it in magazines, and you want to experience it whether you’re aware of it or not. You simply desire to be accepted for you. The real you. The stinky breath in the morning, far from perfect, sometimes disorganized, messy hair with a cup of tea and a stained T-shirt type of you. And you’re beautiful.

Now that’s just reality folks! We don’t always smell of lilacs and roses 24/7, and we certainly can’t rely on our trusty pillow and arbitrary sleeping patterns to ensure we wake up with hair that’s effortlessly Kardashian approved. But it’s the constant imperfections that remind us we’re merely human, and that’s alright.

Growing up I had a lot of encouragement and affirmations from my family, people from church, and close friends. However like almost everyone, I was also teased about certain things. “You’re too skinny. You’re dumb because you can’t solve simple math equations. You’re so forgetful.” The list went on and on! For a little bit I actually started to believe the lies, but then realized that God made me who I am for a reason. So I thought, take it or leave it, this is me!

We all have our own weaknesses, and should always be improving ourselves. I realized that as long as I accepted myself for wherever I’m at with a willingness to get better, that’s all I need. I made the decision to love myself- flaws and all. And so should you! I felt extremely more confident when I shifted my perspective, and I also made a few other adjustments to my daily lifestyle. So I want to share them with you in the hope that you’ll become more confident too!

  1. Know Your Weaknesses & Embrace Them: This is the first step I took to becoming more confident. Everyone you encounter in this life has something to teach you; whether that be insight on yourself as an individual, or just a lesson you’ll need for later. When you know your weaknesses, you’ll know what to target and work on. Enjoy the process! The journey is only as good as your perspective and ability to love your imperfections.
  2. Know Your Worth: Are you aware of how amazing and intricate you are? Nobody has ever been like you, and no one ever will be. You owe it to yourself to claim your worth and start living like you’re a man/woman of value. Walk with your head straight even when you feel like hiding. Look people in the eye while talking to them even when you feel shy. Remember to smile!
  3. Let Them Go: Yes, them. You know, them? Those pesky little reminders that pop up every now and then to try to steal your joy? Every single hurtful word spoken over your life that bears no fruit of positivity or progression. Every single lie, criticism, and negative opinion of you; let them go. Brush it off and move forward. Life does not get easier my dears, so you’ll need some thick skin if you’re planning to survive.
  4. Learn To Be Happy Alone, & Wait For What You Deserve: This is not coming from a place of bitterness or cynicism. I’ve noticed that I absolutely love being by myself! It is possible to find peace, purpose, and happiness in solitude. When you come to realize that you can be truly happy by yourself, your confidence will go through the roof. Why? You’re not dependent on anyone. It actually raises the standard for what you TRULY deserve when it comes to finding a life partner. You see, when you’re dependent on something/someone, you may not care about the quality or value. You may just take whatever you can get as long as you aren’t alone, and that is very scary. You don’t need someone to complete you or be whole.It’s about wanting to be with someone, not needing. Understand the difference. Live life, build your assets, and let God choose and present someone who will do life with you and make it ten times better!
  5. Take Care Of Yourself: I’m talking inner and outer here people. Take up new hobbies! Do whatever lights your fire to the best of your abilities. Talk to people and become a more well-rounded individual. Learn to be gentle with the way you think, talk, and respond to yourself. When it comes to outer appearance, try to look your best every single day, even if you’re exhausted and just going to the grocery store! This may sound excessive, but it always works for me. Simply put, put some care and thought about what kind of message you’re subconsciously sending to the world. Stained clothes, messy hair, and dark circles say, “Hey, I dress in the dark, I don’t take care of myself, and have no real confidence or self-esteem.” Please, don’t. Just don’t. You will thank me later, I promise.
  6. Stop Caring What Others Think Of You: Oh. My. Goodness! I can’t express how tired and annoyed I get at myself whenever I start to actually care about what others think of me. Listen, if you live your life to please everyone around you, you might as well be dead because you won’t be living the life you’re meant to. I thankfully learned to stop caring what others thought a long time ago. With my being the blunt person I am, I just didn’t see the point of it. Have I said or done some pretty crazy things because I felt it was necessary? Absolutely! Was I ever scared or worried what people might think? At first, yep. After a few minutes, nope! At the end of the day as long as you’re true to yourself and following whatever you feel is the right path, say what you need to say. Do what you feel you need to do. Who cares! Stay true TO YOU. That’s all that matters.

Above all else, just love yourself the way you wish to be loved. Treat others the way you want to be treated. Don’t give up on improving yourself, because no one will push you to be the best version of you except YOU.!!

~ Xo, Rachel.

Why I’m Waiting

Wait, wait, wait. Is she really going there? Uh, yep! Best believe I am!

To start this off, FIRST AND FOREMOST: my intention is not to harm or offend anyone who may be reading this. These are my beliefs, and I’m not forcing them on anyone, nor trying to. Okay, great. Now that that’s out of the way, let’s go!

If you don’t know me well, I’m not shy at all when it comes to much. Especially when it comes to talking about some things that may be labeled as “taboo” or “non-accepting” for the “nice, average Christian woman to talk about.” While I may be nice, I’m not average. So allow me to break that awkward, shameful stigma for a hot minute; because to me, it really is weird! And sad.

Sex! It’s literally everywhere. Movies, social media, music, and our minds. Pardon my bluntness, but if anyone tries to act like a self-righteous individual who thinks they’re a person of moral superiority to others, they may say that they’ve never had any impure thoughts or emotions.. and I’m calling them out! I don’t buy it at all. Although I will admit it’s more of a desire and temptation for some than others, it’s still a natural craving that’s both normal and healthy. God is a God of intimacy and love, and that’s beautiful.

Growing up in my world, sex was not a taboo/shameful subject at all in my family! I had a hard time comprehending the reality of two people having a deep connection with each other as a result of love. The reason being, I never witnessed true love and affection between my parents, because they got divorced by the time I was just four years old. So the idea of a man and woman coming together because they truly loved each other was just a fairy tale that I saw in movies. Since I didn’t see it in my own home, a part of me denied it’s existence as a whole even at a young age.

I was taught what sex was by the time I was in fourth grade …isn’t that insane!?! So, I brought it up to my mom and dad. They smiled at me with a look of calmness, and told me that it’s a beautiful gift God designed to be shared just between me and my husband. They shared personal stories of how sex outside of marriage actually caused pain, because it’s not God’s will for us. That’s the truth ladies and gents- it sucks sometimes, I know!

I was able to understand what they were talking about. I also thankfully had mentors and spiritual leaders who straight up said at team leaderships, “Sex is awesome!! But it’s even better when you’re in a covenant (marriage) with the one God has for you.” So at a very young age, I decided to make a promise to God, myself, and my future husband that I would wait. I’m now twenty-one, and still waiting.

Have there been times where I’ve wanted to give it up? Uhhm duhhh! I’m gonna be real with you, okay. Waiting is extremely difficult. Have there been times where the opportunity presented itself? Absolutely. But even science backs up the fact that during the act of sex, hormones are physically released from our bodies that helps strengthen the bond/connection between you and your person. The thought of having several connections with different people is disheartening to me, because I don’t believe that’s what we were designed for.

But Rachel.. you have to test drive a car before you drive it…?

Well, actually.. no. Today’s generation neglects to recognize how deep and meaningful sex was designed to be. Good sex comes with good connection, communication, learning about each other’s bodies/desires through time, and giving your undivided attention. The wanting to give of yourself and make your spouse feel as good as possible as opposed to being selfish with it makes a huge difference. You have to be a special kind of stupid if you think that marriage will always be a bed of roses, because it won’t! That’s why you have to keep working on your relationship and placing Jesus at the center of it. Also, since God created sex, why would He not bless you tremendously in that area if you’re following Him? Hello..?

Yes, I get this isn’t how life always goes. Sometimes love isn’t shared with just one person for the rest of your life. Some people split up. Some people choose different paths than what God may have desired for their life. Some people have several sexual partners. Everyone has a past, but God is a God of restoration, healing, and hope for your future if you choose to give it to Him. Also, remember that you can always draw a line in the sand and say, “look, I may have messed up, but that doesn’t define me. Now, I’m choosing to walk a different path because this is God’s will and desire for my life.”

To close it, the decision is to not only honor God with my body, but also my husband. It’s funny because I say my husband, even though I’m nowhere near having one. If and when God decides to bring the man He has for me, I want to be able to give him all of me. My everything. To be able to share, cherish, and appreciate a deep type of soul connection predestined by the author of love is one of the most amazing things I can’t even comprehend. I’m choosing to believe that a love like this can exist, and I hope you do too.

Whether you agree with me or not, I hope you get blessed. I’m willing to share this because I feel that we as a people need more of it. I try to be as authentic as I possibly can with the hope that it would reach someone out there and encourage them.

~ Xo, Rachel.