Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Gratituesday: Perfection

Hey Everybody

Happy GratiTuesday.

I love gratituesdays, just like everyday, because it helps me remember all that I am and all that I have.
When I say all that I am- I mean- I am a child of God- and that in itself makes me complete.

But I didn't always feel complete- in fact- there were things that happened in my life that made me feel I would never be whole again- things I still struggle with today.

I am a person guilty of striving for perfection. 

From childhood, I always looked to please people and make them happy- when in reality I wasn't the one that could please them, but they needed to learn to please themselves.

So, I would often get disappointed and feel I wasn't good enough. Not only that, there have been people in my life that have shown me that I wasn't good enough. From straight up telling me 'what I did wasn't good enough' to breaking my trust and doing really hurtful things and showing me I wasn't good enough by lying to me.

Those things still effect me today. Sometimes, I get so worked up because of my fear of people deceiving me again that I will do so many 'wordly' and temporary things to make me feel good, look better, and strive for a worldly perfection- in hopes that I wont have to go through what I have gone through in the past. 

The relationships I have been in only showed me that I was good enough temporarily. I lost so much confidence and strength from those traumas that it seemed like everyday was a day I was in rehab to recover from my hurt and insecurities. When I gave in to my insecurities, I felt like a failure.

Even when I came to Christ, I thought now I had to be perfect to a perfect and holy Christ or else I wasn't good enough because that was all I knew. 

It wasn't until I got into His Word and really seeking who Jesus was to figure out that the perfection I was striving for was not the same perfection that Jesus talked about.

I was striving on worldy perfection: being good enough for MAN. People are brainwashed into thinking that having the best body, the nicest hair, the perfect voice (the list goes on) is the key to perfection. 

That is so FALSE! 



True perfection is through Jesus- and perfection is a journey. Jesus' perfection is about being perfect by Him and through Him. Christ died on the cross for our sins so God could freely live in us and us in Him. When we are "in Christ" we are made perfect. Jesus works in us everyday to be perfect just like him- from being loving, compassionate, merciful, graceful, joyful,etc! 

When you live in Christ- it doesn't mean that you will do everything right- it means that you are allowing God to take over your life to make you better and perfect in His name


Jesus was the perfect sacrifice for our sins- not for his own- so because He sacrificed himself to give us freedom, He too wanted us to be perfected- & its through Him that we are. 

I view perfection so differently now- I view perfection in God's way- I strive for humbleness, to be pleasing to Him, to become more loving, to be more giving, etc. TO BE MORE LIKE HIM. I no longer focus on worrying about how I can please people and how I can look good to them. Because people can't give me eternal life- but God can.

The greatest misconception that I hear in the church sometimes is that God loves you BUT- you must do this and this. WRONG! 

God loves you. PERIOD. 

No matter how many flaws man wants to point out- no matter how imperfect you feel & no matter how many mistakes you make in a day. God doesn't see you for what you are in your physical form- He sees you for what's in your heart. When you abide in Christ- He sees you as perfect- because you accepted his most precious gift- & that is Jesus!

He will take care of the rest.

 If you feel you are too angry sometimes, judge others, don't show enough love- talk to Him and allow Him to guide your steps- you just have to be willing to move your feet! 

It is pleasing to Him that you want to not only change, but come to Him to change... that is the process of perfection in Him! How beautiful! 

Remember God is one with His Word- just as He tells us to follow different commandments in the bible or teaches us different things- He also goes by His law. So whenever I get discouraged I remember that. Also- God is Love & love covers over a multitude of sins. Jesus died and covered ALL of your sins. You are never too sinful or imperfect to come to God. That is truly an amazing love!


Study Scriptures:

John Chapter 1
John Chapter 4
1Peter Chapter 4
Philippians Chapter 3

Dont worry about your mess- ups- just turn to him and He will be your help, your friend, your forgiver, accepter, understander- All the above :)

Love you ALL!!! :)




Sunday, February 23, 2014

I Heart Pajamas & Comfies: Adore Me Giveaway

Hello!

I hope everyone had a great weekend!

I cannot believe it's already the end of February! 

Now that the holidays have passed and I have used all of my Target giftcards that I got for Christmas,
I realized I have stocked up a lot on one thing: Pajamas. 

Lately, I have been obsessed with comfy pajamas- maybe its because its been in the negative degree range in MN all month!

Sometimes I like typical pajama sets, night gowns, or even just a robe with some shorts. It all depends on my mood!

Heres a couple:



I got this during christmas. I love the patterns and the colors and the pants are fleece- so it keeps me warm since my house never seems to be warm enough!


This one if fairly new- I just bought a couple pairs of the fleece lined leggings that are supposed to be warmer and more comfortable! I also bought a new beetles shirt- my boyfriend said I need more clothes that a musician's girlfriend would wear ( he is a musician) lol- so I guess wearing the beetles qualifies- Ha! Ha!

I am also a huge slipper fan LOL. My boyfriend's mom gets me some for Christmas every year and I love them all!




One of the products I got recently was an Adore Me night gown that I love! Its very comfortable, is a good length, and was very affordable for a nicer night gown. 



Adore Me is a NYC-based fast fashion lingerie company offering designer lingerie, sleepwear and swimwear at affordable prices. They design for every kind of woman, and offer a wide range of styles and sizes, and even have styles that go up to size DD+ and above.

I also learned their head of design is a former head of design from Victoria's Secret for their Angel collection, and brings her years of expertise to the Adore Me design process.
 & one of the best things? Online stylists are always there to help with any styling or fit questions!

Pretty impressive, huh? 

In the celebration of getting through the last full winter month, Valentines Day, & loving pajamas- we are doing a Adore Me Giveaway!

When you enter, you will have a chance to win a free Adore Me set of your choice!

All you have to do to enter is:
- like Adore Me on Instagram (@adoremeofficial)
-Follow True Soul & Spirit on GFC
- "Like" True Soul & Spirit on Facebook
- Leave a Comment with your name, email, and the name of your favorite Adore Me set!

It's as simple as that!

This giveaway will end next Monday.



a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

"GratiTuesday"

Happy Tuesday Everyone!

Today is exciting because it's actually above 0 today! It's actually going to be 40!

It was nice to hear the birds chirping in the morning and seeing the sun bright. Hopefully that means Spring is just around the corner! :)

I want to start something called "GratiTuesday". Basically, it will just be a day to share what I am grateful for- because there is so much!

One of my goals this year is to have an attitude of gratitude.

So I thought- why not make a blog day dedicated to my gratitude for all I have?

I am grateful for:


I am SO thankful for God's forgiveness and grace. We are all truly blessed to be able to live a life with our iniquities washed away into the sea because of what Jesus has done for us! He paid a HEFTY price for us- so we could live and have dominion over all His creations. 

What a blessing it is! 


All we have to do is simply humble ourselves and confess our sins to our Father- and He is just and forgives them! Its as easy as that. He laid His life down for us so we could be made free! It still amazes me and gets me awestruck EVERY day.

Jesus is SO good!

I am so blessed!


Another great thing about forgiveness, when God forgives you, He totally forgets them! He casts them out to the depths of the sea and NEVER counts them against you!



Who do you know who is that ABLE to do that, WILLING to do that, and WANTS to do that for each and everyone, no matter what transgression they have committed?

& that is one BIG reason why I am so grateful... because Jesus didn't have to do what He did, but He chose to so we could dwell with Him- free from sin and free from bondage. Free from all darkness.

I am TRULY in awe of Him.


Monday, February 17, 2014

Journey to Restoration Update

Happy Monday Everyone!

I am thankful for yet another beautiful day! (despite the snow here in MN) 

About a month ago, I did a blog post about how I wanted to start getting back into shape and eating right because my body is a temple of God's. You can find that blog post here!

Basically, I started looking more into how my body is a temple of God's- that does not only include a spiritual dwelling place, but also physical! What you put into your body, you get out of your body and since my Mighty Savior lives in me, I want to have a healthy, safe, and clean temple for Him to lay His head.

So- I started on my journey of working out and eating healthier.

It has now been 4 weeks!

I measured myself after two weeks of not measuring myself and I was surprised by the results!

Wk 1

Wk 4


I have lost 4lbs in 2 weeks
1.5 inches around my waist
2 inches around my lower waist (that's my tough spot)
2 inches around my thighs
.5 inches around my neck
.5-1 inch around my arms
1 inch around my hips

Overall, I am pretty happy with my results for the first month! It is definitely motivation to keep going :)




Just some things that have been helpful for me in this process:

1] Getting a good amount of sleep: after working an avg of 9 hours a day, doing a hard workout, and catering to all of life's responsibilities, it takes a big toll on your body. When I got a good night's rest, I was able to conquer the day. When I didnt, I was more apt to skip my workout and I actually craved more "comfort" foods!
2] Reading Scripture: My purpose in this was to be a healthier and cleaner temple for God. When I read scriptures to remind me of that, it helps me stay focused on my goals and my whole purpose of doing this in the first place ;)
3] Smaller meals: This was huge for me. One part of being a good temple of Christ is to not overeat because of gluttony. So a huge focus for me has been to take smaller portions and only eat until I am satisfied. I can see a difference in how my body can only take smaller portions now- I hope that's because my stomach has shrunk!
4] Staying away from sugar: I at one point thought I could never not have a sweet tooth. But I switched out artificial sugars with natural sugars ( bananas, oranges, grapefruit, grapes, rasberries-- fruits!) and what a difference! After my second week of focusing on not eating sugars, I stopped craving it as much. & now I feel less bloated!
5] Having cheat days: I allowed myself cheat days about every other week and sometimes once a week. When I did this, I focused on smaller portions, and cheat meals that weren't "as bad" for me. For example, if I went to my favorite restaurant I would order a soup instead of a pizza. It still allowed me to get the "yummy in my tummy" without going overboard. LOL
6] Substituting my caribou coffees for tea or water: It has not only helped me save money, but I can feel a difference when I am at work!


What tips can you give for accomplishing your fitness goals?? I'd love to hear them!




Saturday, February 15, 2014

My Valentine....

Happy Saturday Everyone!

I know, I know- I have been slacking on blog posts this month. Well- I hope I have a somewhat good reason!

The usual wedding season here in MN is summer to fall, but this year I have already had two winter weddings! One of them being my mom's!

So I have been busy getting things done for that!

My Valentine's Day was spent with my family, celebrating my mom's wedding. It was such a great way to share the day of love! & this year not only did I get to spend it with my love, but also with my loved ones! 


Wedding Hair: Curled with a 1 1/4 curling iron.




The theme was vintage black and red. So elegant! I wore a long red dress (forever 21- can you believe it?!) with a gold shimmer belt, nude shoes, and gold accessories. Since I didnt have someone to take better pics, I did mirror selfies this time! LOL





This look is actually under $55 dollars! 

Dress- Forever 21- $22
Belt- Target - $10 
Earrings- gift!
Shoes (not pictured)- Target- $20




The wedding was so beautiful. I was very intimate with only 40 people. The reception was dim and candlelit with a fire going in the reception room fireplace. There was a lot of older music playing- slow and fast- for all ages to enjoy. I am so happy for my mom! It was so beautiful to be a part of such a special day for her!



BUT!

That is not all that happened on Valentines Day for me! (I am SO blessed!)

I worked a half day ( ugh) and when I came home, my sister said my boyfriend had stopped by to grab something for the wedding. I got suspicious right there because I didnt know what i had that he needed!

So I go downstairs (where I stay in the house)- the living room is as it usually is-- but then I open my bedroom door and I see my bed was made ( I NEVER make my bed- so this was a huge gift for me!) and on my bed there was a dozen roses, edible arrangements, and homemade cookies!



It is our 9th (!!) Valentine's Day together. 
It is crazy to think it's been 9 years this year. I was not expecting anything for Valentine's Day with the wedding but he went all out anyway! I feel so blessed to call W my partner- I wonder what's in store for my birthday next week! :) :)

The surprises didn't stop there- W & I decided while at the wedding that we were going to go out for late night food after the reception because we wanted to have a "cheat day" for eating. Well- just when I thought we were going to go to TGI Friday's- he pulls up at Biaggi's Italian Restaurant and already had reservations made. 



I had an amazing dish ( I cant remember the name but it is pictured!) and then we splurged and got Italian donuts... they were so good! We were joking that we would go just for those again!

I had such a great day! 

Since I didnt know W and I were doing anything, I tried to be creative with something smaller. W is really into working out and eating healthy. His favorite food of them all are turkey burgers. So I decided that since he said he didn't want anything, I would make him heart shaped turkey burgers along with his favorite sides.



I tried my best to make them look like hearts, but they still taste delicious!

I felt so loved today by my loved ones- & a day like this is a great reminder of not just our love for someone special, but also that God loves us all so much that He is willing to show it everyday, all the time, good or bad, happy or unhappy. Like I always say- He didnt have to send His Son to die for us on the cross for our sins, but HE DID! & for that I am forever grateful for my King. Happy Valentine's Day, Father! I love you, TOO!


Well, I have to go finish my edible arrangements now, but I hope you all had a blessed Valentine's day with loved ones and friends. 

What did you do for Vday? Share your ideas!



Sunday, February 9, 2014

Everyday Blessings: E+R=O

Happy Sunday Everyone!

How is your day today?

I wanted to blog about something that I have been learning about. Its really about changing your perspective.

I have a leader here at Target who actually brought it to my attention. He was presenting at a "Get To Know You" meeting and he was talking about his outlook on life. He presented this philosophy that has been sticking with me for about 2 weeks now!

Here it is:


He said when an event arises, the outcome a lot of times depends on YOUR reaction. Sounds so simple- but yet so many of us forget that sometimes! We like to blame the outcome on the original event, instead of looking at what we could do to change the outcome.

Changing your reaction to a situation involves changing your perspective on it.

For example, lets say you asked your significant other to change the laundry load to ensure the clothes wouldnt start to smell. When you came home, it had yet to be done and the clothes smelled musky.

Most women could instantly get upset and be mad because they would have to rewash the clothes or even that they had to do it themselves. It is easy to be accusatory in a situation like this and pass blame on that person or situation. But that creates bad thinking and a potential negative spiral that doesnt need to happy.

But this leader was saying- change your perspective to the positive first- no the negative. What possible things could you come up with if you are thinking from a more positive perspective?
1) Your partner may have a reason
2) Do they truly understand why its important that the laundry get changed?
3) Before I accuse, let me ask why they didn't do it. (seeking understanding)

Maybe it was an honest mistake of the partner, maybe he needs more understanding why they the clothes need to be changed right away, maybe he ended up having something important come up.

Basically, when you change YOUR perspective to more positive thinking and reasoning, you tend to seek more understanding or look at what you couldve done better instead of accusing someone or the situation for the outcome. Not saying it is your fault, but when you (the reaction) have the ability to get a better outcome, why not take it?

I loved this formula because it shows us that we have a part in every situation that happens in our lives. & whether we ask for it or not, we have the ability to change the outcome.

It reminds me of how God tells us ALL to seek understanding first in all we do... and changing your perspective to the positive does that.

God tells us women to be the examples to our partners. And by reacting in a way of seeking understanding and being that light (even if you have every right to be upset), you can create a better outcome.

Its the law of God! That is what is so amazing about this. Who knows if this leader knew he was touching on principles of the bible, but many times God teaches us that life is about love, joy, understanding, faith, hope- but that all has to do with perspective and choice. If you change our perspective and outlook to love and understanding, then you wont have the time to be hateful and accusing.

A lot of things God tells us in the bible is about how we can change ourselves to better honor and please him. & this is one way to do that- to focus on how YOU can effect a situation in every situation and how your perspective on the situation and how you want to react to a situation can make all the difference in the outcome.

Here are some scriptures you can study to get a better understanding about how you can change our perspective and reactions:

Romans 12:1-2- we are changed by renewing (transforming) our minds
Ephesians 4:22-25 - to live differently, we must think differently
2 Corinthians 5:14-17- changing is about learning and appreciating God's love and sacrifice for us
Matthew 22:37-40- Love everyone as yourself
1 Peter 2: 21,22- Jesus is our example, we are called to follow in his footsteps
Matthew 15:18; Proverbs 4:23- everything you do flows from the heart
Matthew 12:34-37The way you act is determined by your attitudes and intentions. People and circumstances may influence you, but you do not have to give in. You do what you decide to do

What do you think of this formula? Do you think you can apply it to situations in your life?






Sunday, February 2, 2014

Nothing Like Girls Night

I hope everyone had a great weekend!

While watching the superbowl, I thought I would update my blog :)

Lately I have been on my journey of losing weight & with that- I have found a new love for cooking! I love mixing things together and creating good combinations that are healthy.

For our girls night, I made home-made chicken marsala! I made them with a spinach salad and a side of asparagus and garlic bread. Yum!

Take a look (recipe included):



 



Ingredients:

Chicken Breast (depending on party size)
Onions (as much as you want)
1 box of mushrooms
Marsala Wine 
Brown Sugar
Bushel of Asparagus

This recipe is so easy! There is not a lot to it, it all really depends how how you like it.

First I started off cutting the onions. You can cut the way you like
Then I put the chicken breast on the skillet with just a little olive oil
In another pan I put marsala wine (however much you like, I usually add a cup for 4 breasts) and let it simmer

I let asparagus cook in another pan by itself with a little olive oil and butter substitute.

After I let the marsala wine simmer for a couple minutes, I added about a table spoon of brown sugar (like I said, you can add as much as you like- more if you like it more sweet or less if you like it less sweet)

after the marsala sauce because a little thicker, I add the onions and mushrooms into the pan with the sauce and let the onions and mushroom cook.

After everything is cooked, just add the marsala wine, onions, and mushrooms on the chicken and you have your chicken marsala! Its SO easy! And you can make so many variations. (In example, you can add cheeses, more or less of some ingredients, etc!)

We added some garlic bread with feta on top. 

To make the spinach salad:

All you need to is mix spinach leaves with strawberries- & then we added maple glazed pecans and fat free raspberry vinaigrette! 

As the drink- we added my fave, Roscato wine! :)












It was such a great time with my friends :) I thank God for them!

Now I am enjoying watching the superbowl with my honey.

Who are you rooting for??

Have a good rest of your Sunday!