Staying Afloat {Mama Monday}

Today I am eager to share with you this blog post written by my very own mama for her “Mama Monday” blog post! I pray that someone is touched by this heartfelt post written for all of those trying to “stay afloat”.

 

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Staying.Afloat

We stood there staring at each other in shock and confusion. We were best friends but were beginning to realize that we both had been through difficult, life changing events. It was our first day back in school after going through traumatic crises – only neither of us knew it due to our own grief. It was tenth grade and my step-father had died suddenly. I was shocked she didn’t even know until I discovered that her father had had a massive heart attack the same week. And I didn’t even know because I had been so engulfed in my own grief.

 

This last year was full of blessing for me, for which I am grateful, but it was also full of heartache and several life-altering changes. Frankly, it’s been a tough year.

 

Others in my life have also experienced difficult times lately and I wasn’t there to help them through. I don’t think I would do anything differently but I do regret that some were hurt by my lack of attention. I do wish I could somehow change that.

 

My point? Well, if you’re going through a hard time and someone isn’t there that you thought you could count on, maybe they’re trying to stay afloat too.

 

There is only One Who will always be there for you. While I want to become more and more like Him each day, I fall short. Each and every day.

 

“Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.” -1 Peter 5:7

 

The Greatest Love {HEAV link up}

This time last week the world was getting ready for Valentine’s Day! I also had a blog post published on HEAV’s website about this very special day and what is truly the greatest gift of love ever given to any human being, single or married, man or woman.

I am sorry it is a week late; everything has been so hectic lately, but I truly hope you are blessed by this post that really is applicable to any day of the year, not just on Valentine’s Day!

 

The.greatest.love

 

Please head over to HEAV’s blog to read my newest post, The Greatest Love!

“But God commendeth His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” – Romans 5:8 (KJV)

 

Have a blessed day,

Maiya

Keeping Your “To-Do” List {HEAV link up}

to_do_

 

Being a stickler about getting my own agenda for the day accomplished has gotten me in trouble before. A constant reminder I try to keep in mind is that goals are excellent, but we must hold the openly in our palms so that God may adjust those desires of ours to fit His plans. Yes, even in the small, day-to-day to-do list.

In my latest blog post for HEAV I mentioned,

“Daily responsibilities often pile up faster than I can remember them, so I like to write myself a list of things to do. I am definitely a list person, and always have been. However, along with daily responsibilities come daily disturbances—things that get in our way. I have a nasty habit of getting annoyed…angry, even. I just know that getting my writing done or finishing an organizing project is so important and it is so unfair when I have to make last-minute adjustments like a trip to the grocery store or taking care of a sibling during a busy time.”

Head over to HEAV’s blog to read the rest of my latest blog post, Keeping Your “To-Do” List. I hope you enjoy it!

 

Blessings,

Maiya

This entry was posted on February 6, 2015. 1 Comment

Four Things I have Learned through Change

I recently wrote on my blog that my family and I had experienced several months of change last year. Now, obviously everyone goes through change in their lives. We as human beings go through change numerous times throughout our lives. But one of the most important parts of change in a person’s life is what they have learned from it. I wanted to share with you all some of the things that I have learned through these past few months.

Change

  1. God isn’t a genie. He doesn’t grant all of our wishes because, frankly, we are selfish. I am selfish. If we all got what we thought we wanted, well, it would be bad. This seems like a no-brainer, doesn’t it? I’ve known it for a long time, but it was really impressed upon me last year. God won’t always give me what I want, but He will always give me what I need. And you know what? I am overwhelmingly happy because of this fact. Some of my biggest blessings in my life have come about in “I didn’t get what I want, but God gave me what I needed” times in my life. It is just a reminder that we can only see one step at a time (and sometimes not even that) while God can see the entire staircase. This is because God is omniscient … all-knowing!

 

  1. If I am willing to let Him, God will work on my heart. This can be looked at as the next part of #1. I can’t tell you how many times things haven’t turned out how I originally planned or wanted them to go. But after I make a conscious effort to pray for willingness to see God’s will and know that things turned out the way they did for a reason, I feel renewed. He will turn my heart from disappointment and selfishness to willingness and gratefulness. It isn’t instantaneous, but it does come. It takes time and patience (which, really is another thing I have learned. I’m not good by any stretch of the imagination, but I have seen a little evidences of progress).

 

  1. I can’t do it. You’re probably thinking right now, “Well, I could’ve told you that.” Again, this seems like a no-brainer, but in all actuality it isn’t. At least I know for me it most definitely is not. I “forget” all of the time that I am NOT in control. I’m kind of a perfectionist and when I have a list of things I know have to get done, I like to get them done. But one of the biggest things I have learned through these past few months of change is I can’t do anything without the Lord. IF I am able to do something right and well, it is only because of the Lord working through me. He will use me, but I have to be willing and allow Him to use me. In fact, He wants to use all of us, but He also wants us to want Him to want to use us (yikes! I hope you made it through that alright!). That’s why He gave me (and you) a free will. He isn’t going to force us – He will prompt us to do the right thing, but won’t force.

 

  1. God needs to be first in my life. This, I believe, is an ongoing, reoccurring realization in one’s life. I need to remember daily that I need to put God first in my life. I am His. He created me. Therefore He needs to be my number One. This paves the way for joy. Dictonary.com defines joy as the emotion of great delight or happiness caused by something exceptionally good. My something (or in this case, Someone) ‘exceptionally good’ needs to be my Lord. If God is first in my life, He WILL be my cause for great delight. If I have joy in the Lord, because He is first in my life, it will also cause everything else to fall into place:

Jesus

Others

You

But like I said, this is an ongoing decision that I have to make. God could be number one in my life one day and then the next, if I am not aware and intentional about keeping Him there, something else could slip into that sacred place of “first” in my life.

 

Learning isn’t always fun to go through, but I count all of the things I have learned these past few months as true blessings that I would not trade for the world.

 ~

 “I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.” –John 15:5

 

 

 

Intentional Sisterhood

Intentional.sisterhood

 

I did it again. I could have tried harder at controlling myself, but instead I just got angry and blew the whole situation up. Again. It always happens right after I pray that God would help me to extend love and kindness towards them. Immediately my desire to do just that – extend love and kindness – is put to the test when faced with confrontations. He won’t settle down, though I have told him five times now to stop running around and making noise. She won’t go pick up the mess in her room without being reminded fifty gazillion times all while being coached on what to do. These grumblings take over my mind. I snap. There goes love and kindness… there goes patience.

Not only do I still have to work towards showing love and kindness, but I also have a mess of my own anger that spilled over I now have to clean up. Why won’t they listen? Mom left me in charge. Shouldn’t they remember that and respect it? More grumblings. Complaints. In essence, excuses for my actions.

Siblings are human beings. They mess up. They aren’t always going to listen perfectly. And when they don’t, I wish I could always remember that in that moment, instead of lashing out. I need to take a deep breath, pull them aside, and talk with them. “Hey, if I ask you to do something I really need you to try to do your best to do it. If you need help, just let me know and I can grab a buddy to help you.” Or, “You’re starting to really act up and I need you to settle down, please.”

What kind of example am I setting as a sister to my younger siblings when I get angry? Not a very good one. I want to be a positive example to them, but they don’t see positivity in my anger. That’s going backwards.

Grace. It goes a long way with anybody. Siblings are no different. I notice that if I make an effort to pull someone to the side and talk to them one-on-one I will get a much more willing response. Now if only I could remember to do that all the time in those “heat of the moment” situations.

 

You see, I have this deep desire to be a great sister. And I am terrible at it. Really. Just ask my siblings. (On second thought, don’t. Who knows what kind of response you’ll get in my family. Haha!) I have to be intentional about praying every day for the strength to do something right as a sister. The only reason I get anything “right” is by the grace of God. There is no other explanation. I love being a sister. I love that God has given me this wonderful opportunity to invest into their lives and cultivate a deep relationship with each of them because of Him leading me to stay at home. But the truth is I don’t take full advantage of this opportunity. I wish I could say I do. Here is what I can say, though: that with every passing day I desire more and more to bring this matter of being the sister I need to be for my siblings and loving them the way I know I should love them to the Lord. I cannot do it. I cannot be the wonderful sister I know I should be. I fail daily at taking hold of every opportunity to help when help is needed. I fail daily at showing grace and mercy in sticky situations and instead get angry. Only through the grace of God will I become the sister I should and be intentional about loving each one of my siblings.

 

This might seem over the top to some. They’re just my siblings, right? I only have to deal with their peskiness until I move out, right? I mean, what’s the big deal?

Wrong.

I believe there is a reason for everything. God put me in this family for a reason. He even made me the oldest child in a large family… for a reason. Also, I want to learn to love everyone around me by showing grace. Those outside of the home, as well as my family. ESPECIALLY my family. I want to love them. I want them to KNOW I love them. That is so important to me. So I pray, not only that I would be conscious of this desire in me to show kindness and love each and every day, but also that I would bring this to Jesus every minute of every day. It will do me no good if I don’t lay this at His feet. It is only through HIS love that I can love.

I read something recently that said if you want something to last forever you need to treat it differently. You need to treat it with tenderness and care. That was inspiring to read. That is how I want to view my relationships with my siblings. Something I want to last forever. But they are fragile things that, if not treated the right way, will shatter. That’s why being intentional about kindness and tenderness is important. They are some of the trickiest relationships to maintain sometimes because so many siblings butt heads. But, like I mentioned previously, there is a reason for everything. Including who my siblings are. I love each one of my brothers and sisters dearly, and hope I can continually strengthen that love as the years go by.

“A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.” – John 13:34-35

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I shared this blog post on AMamasStory.com’s Monday’s link-up!

Hello Again!

Dear readers,

It’s been quite a while since last I wrote, I know. I apologize for staying away. Many things contributed to my absence. I will have you know that I had every intention of re-launching my blog at the start of the year but other things took precedence.

My family and I have gone through a few months of extreme change.  My father retired after 20 years of service in the Navy and we are all so very proud of him! That was the biggest change.  We are still adjusting. We also moved over Christmastime and are still in the “settling in” mode of that. However we are starting to be able to breathe after all of the unpacking and are settling into our new way of life quite well. Which is why I have actually found time to sit down and write something for my blog.

It has been a while since I’ve written anything for my blog (well, really it has been a while since I have written anything), but the break gave me time to think about how I want to go about the focus for my blog, which will primarily stay the same as it was before. I have a wide variety of things I love to share with people, and want to do so through this blog. It all boils down to this, though: I am a young woman staying at home under my parents until the day I get married. But don’t let that last part fool you – “until the day I get married.”  I’m not sitting on the couch waiting for Prince Charming to show up. While I am excited to prepare for that, I believe the best ways to do so are to live the days God has given me RIGHT NOW – serving my family and my community and growing in God’s Word. But I also want to share exciting things that I may learn along the way; how God is growing me, exciting things I’ve done with my family, delicious recipes I have tried, books I have read or want to read, or even exciting places I may visit (because I have a deep desire to travel, and hope to *someday* be able to do so). I might even share with you new hobbies I’ve picked up along the way.  I have new-found loves for essential oils and couponing to name a couple!

Also, I will do my best to post (somewhat) regularly. However, I come from a large, active family and my first priority is to be apart of their lives and the serve them. So if I go a while without posting, know that I am probably just busy. I don’t mind at all if you send me an email or a message on my Facebook page, either, if you have any questions or just wish to say, “Hey, where have you been?”

I hope this time next year I can look back and say, “Wow, I’ve come so far. Thank you, Lord. Only by you.” And I hope I can bring encouragement to even one person along the way and put a smile on their face.  Because smiling is one of my favorite things to do.  Right behind sipping a hot cup of coffee.

 

Maiya

 

 

 

100 Ways I am Blessed {days 99 & 100}

Caroline and I have FINISHED our “100 ways I am blessed” photo challenge! I am so thankful to all of you who have looked through our posts each week and followed us on this little journey! What a wonderful and exciting way to spend the (now gone) summer. Thank you so much for joining my friend and I for the past 100 days!

Now, for the LAST TWO photos…

99. Watching Pride and Prejudice with my Mama and Sister. #100waysiamblessed

Week15

 

100. “According to my earnest expectation and my hope, that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but that with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether it be by life, or by death.” -Philippians 1:20 #100waysiamblessed

week15!

 

 

 

Again, thank you so much for joining us! If you have missed some weeks, please click on the “#100waysiamblessed” tag on the side too see all of my posts with all 100 photos from this Instagram challenge!

 

A Big thank you to Caroline from Life as Caroline for participating in this photo series with me! What a joy it has been to do this what a dear friend!