helllooo friends! I have been completely MIA on here, and so today, I am going to update you on where I have been and what I have been up to the past 2 years 🙈. Yessss, 2 years!
Here are 10 updates of my life and from my heart from the past 2 years to catch y’all up, and from here, we can move forward together as I will update y’all with a blog post monthly with biblical truth and insight into what the Lord is speaking to me and what He’s placed on my heart for you! 💜
First of all, I’m sorry. I am sorry for neglecting this blog and neglecting you as a loyal reader. Let me say I am glad you are still here. Yes, STILL here, because it’s been since the glorious year of 2020 since I’ve written a blog post on here. Thank you for those loyal readers who are still here and thank you for the new readers who have joined in the last 2 years with no content to follow.
Second, I’m still writing. I am still here, I am still pursuing writing, in fact, I have still been writing on multiple platforms with multiple articles I’ve written over the past few years. I have neglected this personal blog, however. Stay tuned, because I will be sending out an email with my top articles published with other publications in the last 2 years.
Third, I moved across the country. In the past 2 years, we moved from Charlotte, North Carolina to Scottsdale, Arizona. And this leads me to my next blog post coming soon on “how to know when God speaks to you”, because I have never in my life heard God speak so clearly and loudly about moving to Arizona in the middle of a world pandemic. Stay tuned for this article.
Fourth, I fell in LOVE with ARIZONA! I will elaborate on this more in the article coming soon that I just mentioned. But I never expected to fall in love with Arizona because I resisted this move with every fiber inside me for almost 4 years until God’s voice about moving here became louder and louder to the point where I couldn’t ignore it. And now that I am here, I can say with all my heart, I absolutely love it! I love the people, the weather, yes, even the 115 degree weather, I love the desert, the hiking, the food, the cacti (my phone case had cactus on it as well as my day planner), the mountains, the neighborhood we live in and the friendships we have built. My husband and I have lived in 4 states in the past 6 years of being together, and Arizona is my absolute favorite place (with Texas being a close second).
I can’t believe that I almost forgo’d and missed out on so much happiness and blessing and favor from the Lord with our move here because I resisted it and almost didn’t move here. I have learned that the things I most often resist in life, are the things that God most likely is calling you to walk through. And the beauty of it is we don’t have to walk through it alone. God gave me a verse when He first started speaking to me about moving here, and that was “the Lord, He is the One who goes before you, He will be with you, He will not leave you nor forsake you; do not fear or be dismayed” (Deuteronomy 31:8) And friends, God is faithful and kept to His promise. He paved the way for my husband and I to move to Arizona. He went before us and He was with us and is still with us every step of the way.
Fifth, I checked an item off my bucket list. I have 3 things on my bucket list that I wrote in my 20’s. 1. Have a baby 2. Travel to Europe. 3. Write a book. My husband spoiled me this past year as I checked an item off my bucket list. We went to Europe not just once, but twice. We explored France in August of last year, and Italy this past April. I have never been out of the country except to Mexico and Canada, but those don’t count haha. We went to Paris, and then drove through the wine countryside of France down to the French Riviera exploring Marseille, Nice, Cannes, Monaco and St. Tropez and it was a dream come true. In Italy, we stayed in Rome, traveled down to the Almafi coast visiting Positano, Capri, Sorrento, Florence, Venice, Lake Como, and Milan. Parts of me feels like I belong in Europe LOL, and I’ve been traying hard to convince my husband we are due for a third trip to Europe, so it might make sense for us to just buy a home there since we have yet to buy our first home haha. He looks at me and laughs, but everything inside me is serious 😉
Sixth, I teach and serve on the women’s ministry team at my church. The first time we ever visited Arizona back in 2019, we drove by a church called Scottsdale Bible Church, and I heard the Holy Spirit say to me “that’s your church”. This was long before I knew we were moving here, nor did I want to move here as I’ve mentioned, nor did I ever think we would actually be living here and nor did I think I’d be writing this blog post sitting with my laptop in Arizona. So, I quickly dismissed what I heard, and went about my visit here.
But when we eventually did move here, I remembered what I heard that day and reached out to the director of women’s ministry at Scottsdale Bible church on the drive across the country, and within a month of moving here, I was planted in their teacher’s program. Last Spring, they asked me if I had a message on my heart to teach. Each teaching is for one semester which is 12 weeks long with 12 weeks of material to be taught. I knew God had been working on a message on my heart for the previous few years, so I said YES. They asked me to teach it – and I committed every waking moment to it.
Not only did I teach it, but I wrote the entire Bible Study. I had to write the material for each week, create a power point to go along with the teaching, create a handout summarizing the teaching for notes for the attendees, create questions to be discussed after my teaching as the attendees broke out into small groups after each teaching to discuss. Not to mention, I had to fight the enemy who was coming for me and maneuver between his fiery darts each week trying to being me down. It was the most amazing hard experience I’ve walked through. There were around 50+ women who signed up for my class, and there have been friendships formed from this class to last a lifetime. This was the first class I ever taught, and the ladies in this class will forever hold a special place in my heart with opening their arms and support to me and trusting me to guide them closer to the Lord through Biblical application.
Seventh, I almost gave up on my calling. After I taught my class, I was on a high, but fell to a low shortly after. The week after my class ended, I spent an uninterrupted week with the Lord while my husband traveled for work as I spent the time praising Him for showing up week after week as I taught my class and reflecting on all the Lord did. During this week, I heard so clearly, I was to now turn that Bible Study I taught into a book and starting writing a book on it.
This is when the enemy creeped in and started chipping away day by day little by little bringing me to a complete place of defeat. The enemy was telling me I was an imposter whispering lies to me such as “who are you to write a book, you’re not qualified, you’re the last person on the planet that should be writing a whole book because you’re not even whole yourself…nobody is going to read your book and it’s going to be a joke” …the list of lies could go on for days and day by day I started believing these lies. I went to a place of total defeat and discouragement.
I kept writing for my freelance jobs, since they were after all jobs that I didn’t want to give up. But I neglected my personal blog, personal accounts, and my heart and passion for my calling diminished daily. Thanks to the encouragement of my hubby and God never giving up on me, I keep pushing through and have now come out the other side.
What I did learn during this time, however, is partial obedience is still disobedience. Delayed obedience is also still disobedience. I was not obeying the Lord knowingly after He told me to write my book. I noticed my prayer life and my clear hearing of the Lord’s voice was muffled. My disobedience was causing a rift between God and I and an unsettling feeling within me. God doesn’t hate disobedience because He is mad at us, He hates it because it keeps us from Him and keeps us from feeling at peace. Through it all, I learned in the end, the Lord takes me back with open arms with the simple act of turning my heart back to Him in true repentance. He wasn’t mad at me, He wasn’t about to abandon me, He was actually just waiting for me. And that leads me to my next point.
Eighth, I SORT OF checked another item off my bucket list. When I decided to dismantle each lie I had believed since my class I taught ended, I decided to re-commit my heart to the truth of God’s purpose for me. Within a week of me turning my heart back, I met with a very well-known international speaker, bestselling author, and book agent associated with a well-respected book agency. I wasn’t prepared for this meeting as I had emailed her one random day asking for her to meet as I know she is a local Arizonian. She responded right away and wanted to meet the next day.
I spent that entire night preparing as much of a book proposal as I could in the limited amount of time which is a proposal of all the details pertaining to a book idea. It’s quite detailed and lengthy. I showed up to the meeting with what I had, and that meeting was full of deep conversation, vulnerable stories, and tears being shed. But at the end of the meeting, with a huge smile on her face, she told me she wanted to SIGN WITH ME, and work with me as my book agent and get my book in front of publishers in hopes to get me a publishing deal one day. She believes in me and believes in my book idea. So, I have sort of checked off another item off my bucket list mentioned above and that’s to write a book.
Signing with a book agent and agency is one HUGE first step in this direction. I am about to be done with Chapter 1 this next week and I will do everything to guard my heart for the enemy’s discouragement. I know with full confidence that the enemy is threated and doesn’t want the message on my heart that the Lord has given me to get out to the world. But get ready – IT IS COMING!
Ninth, I joined a community of gals. A church community, a community I work out with, and a community of friends – both non-Christian and Christian. The term community is a cliché term, and I didn’t realize just how important community was until I had one here in Arizona. I wouldn’t consider myself an outgoing person unless I am already out haha. But prefer the comfort of my home, as my home is my sanctuary. I tend to handle things on my own, and don’t ask for help from other as I tend to be a homebody. But like I said, when I am out, I do love talking and can talk to just about anyone. My love for talking had in fact turned into my love for writing since I have a lot to say haha!
Since moving to Arizona, I was determined to create a true life here, and a lot of that life has involved around the community we have built here. My husband is also a homebody, and I could easily have no friends and just hang out with him 24/7 LOL I love love, and he’s truly my best friend and we have a lot of fun. But community is so important for so many reasons but remember earlier I talked about how I fell into a place of defeat? Part of the reason was because I isolated myself from sharing what I was really struggling with. While I was still socializing during that defeating season, I isolated myself from opening my heart to what I was really going through with anyone. One of my favorite author’s Lysa TerKeurst said it best, “if the enemy can isolate it, he can influence us. And his favorite entry point of all is through our disappointments.” We need community and friends to walk through life together.
I would encourage you to find those friends, and specifically Christian friends to walk through the hard things of life with that will always encourage you and point you back to Christ giving you Godly wisdom and not worldly folly. A wonderful book was recently released by Jeni Allen, called “Find Your People” that talks about building your community in a lonely world. Community is a true blessing and I’ve never been so involved in one and wish I would have started earlier in life with it.
Tenth and lastly, I turned 40. WHAT! I know, I don’t look it 😉 but really, I can’t believe I am 40. I don’t act like it, I certainly don’t feel it, and 40 always felt like the F (Forty) word and had a bad connotation to it. It always seemed so “old” to me. I always thought my parents were old and they were always 40 to me LOL. Now that I am here, I realize age really is just a #. I have friends from in their 20’s to friends in their 50’s. I am excited for what is ahead in this next decade and also extremely grateful for the life I have lived up until this point. I thought something magical was going to happen the morning I woke up on my 40th birthday (September 14th), but I felt exactly the same LOL. My husband says I get younger with age with regards to my immaturity at times and I’m ok with him saying that as I want to always be young at heart. Life is meant to be enjoyed and it’s all comes down to what kind of mindset we CHOOSE to focus on. So, here’s to 40!
These are the 10 updates for you – a snapshot of what has happened in the past 2 years, what I have been up to and where I have been. I can’t thank you enough for sticking around and for my many readers than have reminded loyal and even checked on me in the past 2 years. It lighted my spirit when my spirit was down. I truly love you and I’m excited to get back in touch with each and every one of you.
You can follow me on my social media accounts (with links on the side of this page) with fun pictures of these trips and everyday life and stories with me 😊
So, what’s ahead for me now?
I do want to say with regarding future plans, I have learned that I will never make a decision in my life again, without first seeking the Lord first and foremost. Afterall, He encourages us to do so in Matthew 6:33, saying, “Seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” Often times, I feel like we make all our plans and decisions for our life, and THEN we ask God to bless them and join along for the ride. Rather than FIRST seek Him and what HIS plans are for our life, and then add to it with our plans to help get us there. We tend to sprinkle God into our life, rather than sprinkle life into God’s ultimate purpose and plan for our life. Every decision, big or small that I have done in my own wisdom, in my own strength, and my own logic or feelings, tends to cause me more stress and more importantly adds a lack of peace to my life. Of course, God will call us to do things that are out of our comfort zone (like my move to Arizona), but He will always guide and lead us and always give us a peace that far “surpasses our understanding” (Philippians 4:6) of whatever it is He has asked us to do. I don’t get that same kind of peace when I walk my own path.
So, what’s ahead for this next year to end 2022, and start 2023 that I am prayerfully walking towards it?:
- To start a family and try for kids – would love the prayers friends 😊 this would also knock my 1st bucket list item off my list. PS – I’m really praying for twins!
- Finish my book (my second bucket list item 😊).
- Buy our first house for our hopefully-prayerfully- God-willing-soon-to-be-growing–family with future kiddos on the way.
Thank you all again for following my journey and this blog and I can’t WAIT to catch up with y’all! Next blog post coming soon: “How to know when God speaks to you”.