Category Archives: 2014 Blogger Challenge

Not a Fan – Part 4

I’m back! So this series should have been done yesterday but I got super sick on Tuesday and didn’t even want to get out of bed. Then, on top of that, we had a minor snow storm come through our area…so I REALLY didn’t want to get out of bed. I am, however, feeling so much better! ūüôā
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Anyway, you can read my previous Not a Fan posts here. ūüôā

Not a Fan is a book written about Kyle Idleman in which he talks about the difference between a fan of Jesus and a follower of Jesus. A lot of us THINK we are followers of Jesus but when it’s laid out in text the reality is that we are only devote fans. ¬†Not a Fan challenges us to re-evaluate our relationship with Jesus. Are we living for Him for ourselves or are we living for Him for HIm? (Say it slowly…it makes sense…I promise!) ūüôā

Here is video #4 :

Have I sacrificed to follow Jesus? ¬†I took a look at my life and I up until recently I had not. ¬†It hadn’t “hurt” me to “follow” Jesus. It had always been EASY for me to “follow” Jesus. This was because I was merely a FAN of Jesus. I want to share with you all the first time I realized FOLLOWING Jesus was not easy.

The story begins about a year and a half ago. ¬†After about 4 years of not singing I started to get my feet wet again. Long story short, I ended up singing with a really cool band. I sang with some of the best musicians in Amarillo. We played at a lot of bars around town and did a lot of private parties. ¬†I loved it. I was meeting new people and making a little extra cash at the same time. ¬†It was something that I had wanted for a long time…to be backed up by an awesome band.

Well, when I started letting God back into my life His conviction slowly started growing inside of me. ¬†I knew what God was trying to tell me. ¬†I knew that He wanted me to quit the band. ¬†One Wednesday morning I remember waking up knowing that I had to do it that day. ¬†I kept putting it off. Why? Because I didn’t want to quit. I loved singing…that was all I ever wanted. ¬†I remember on that day one of the guys from the band called and asked me if I wanted to sing that night at a restaurant…it was Wednesday…church Wednesday. Talk about God really putting it out there in front of me. ¬†I had to choose…the band or God. ¬†I felt that God was really testing me. That He really wanted to know if my heart was completely in it…and at that point it was so I quit.

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It was really hard for me. I’m ashamed to say I even cried a little. ¬†You see…that band was all I ever wanted for the longest time. ¬†Music is my passion and always has been. It was my escape. It was a way for me to release my creativity. It was a way to express myself. ¬†I knew my parents were going to be a little disappointed because they knew how much I loved singing with the band. ¬†It was really hard.

…but God is so GOOD. ¬†He doesn’t ask you to do these things for him if he didn’t have a BIGGER and BETTER plan. That is the part that we sometimes don’t trust him with as much as we should. That same Wednesday, just a couple of hours after I had quit, my friend asked me if I would sing for her ministry’s service that night. ¬†We had talked about it before but had never really made a decision. Right at that moment I felt God telling me that He had my back. That He knew it was a hard decision for me but that I could still SING. Since then I’ve sang multiple times at church and I’ve absolutely loved it! ¬†Nothing…NOTHING has ever filled me more that singing for God and to be able to help people connect with the Holy Spirit, the way the praise and worship team at church did for me, gives me that much more gratification.

My point is…yes, following Jesus is hard…but He will make it so worth it for you. When you come to Jesus he will give you the desires of your heart. ¬† {Psalm 37:4}

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Trust Him friends. His faithfulness is beautiful.  Have a super blessed day! РMoni<3

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Not a Fan Part 3

I hope you are all having a blessed day. ¬†Hopefully you guys have been keeping up with the Not a Fan series…you can read them here and here.

I want to remind you that this isn’t really considered a book review. These are just some of the thoughts that the book influenced. ¬†Also, keep in mind that these videos only include a portion of the book. ¬†So read it! ūüėČ

Here is video #3:

So what did I get from this section of the book? ¬†The part that I could really relate to was the story of the girl getting baptized. ¬†I grew up Catholic all my life. I was involved the youth group and even in the worship. When I met my husband, who was Christian, I really enjoyed his church but I couldn’t let go of my Catholic background. ¬†No one was asking me too but I felt like I had to protect my relationship {with my church}. I always felt like I would disappoint my family if I left my Catholic background. As I got closer and closer to God I realized that while I was growing up I had a {relationship} to my church…not to Him. ¬†I’m not saying this is the case for every Catholic but this was my situation and I know that God was calling me to something more.

On March 23, 2013 ¬†was when I really let it all go. ¬†I had just started going back to my husband’s church about 3 months before. ¬†On this day they had their monthly EPIC Worship Encounter. Up to this point, I was never able to raise my hands during worship or show any emotion at all because I didn’t grow up doing that in mass. ¬†Well at one point during the worship I just couldn’t take it anymore. I got a big lump in my throat and I started to feel pressure in my chest and I felt like I was going to explode. ¬†I just couldn’t do it anymore…I truly felt God telling me to just let go. ¬†So I did.

Why am I telling you all of this? ¬†This was the moment that I stopped associating myself with a religion but associating myself as a follower of Christ…it wasn’t an easy decision to make. Why? Because my entire family was still Catholic. I didn’t want them to reject me and my decision. ¬†I didn’t want my friends, who knew of my bad habits, to think I was a hypocrite either. ¬†However, on that day in March I decided that I wanted to love Jesus more that anything. I wanted Him to be my one and only. I needed him. ¬†He had been there with arms wide open waiting for me to make the decision to choose him…that day was when I finally chose him.

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So what happens when you choose Jesus over everyone and everything else? Not much really. My family supports me and my friends do too. It was kind of ridiculous for me to think otherwise. I’ve never been given a negative reaction to my decision to serve Jesus. ¬†Now, I know that this is not the case for everyone. I know there are families who break up over decisions like this…and in these cases all I can say is that if you are choosing to follow Jesus He will have your back and shed his grace over you so that you may be a light to those around you.

Choosing Jesus is not easy…but it is well worth it. ¬†Reading this story in the Not a Fan gave me comfort in knowing that I am not the only one who struggled with making the decision to follow Jesus and facing possible rejection.

Make sure and check back tomorrow for part 4!

Be blessed – Moni ‚̧

 

Not a Fan – Part 2

So I’m a horrible blogger. I meant to have this post done earlier in the day but we got a surprise visit today and then went over to a friends to watch the Super Bowl. I am not a fan of either team so I wasn’t too excited. I am; however, kind of sad for the Broncos.

Anyway, in case you don’t know, yesterday I posted part one of the Not a Fan series I am doing for the 2014 Blogger Challenge. You can read a little more there about it here. I talked about how the first section of the book made me realize I was a fan of Jesus most of my life and never really committed myself. This next section will focus on my pursuit of Jesus. So let’s jump right in to video two (please remember you can download the actual book here):

Pursuit [ per-soot ] :
1. the act of pursuing.
2. an effort to secure or attain; quest.
3. any occupation, pastime, or the like, in which a person is engaged regularly or customarily.

Pursuit. Where did that word fit when it came to my relationship with Jesus? Reality was that it didn’t. You really don’t think about these things until they are put flat out in front of you. When the author told us the experience about riding a bike 80 miles to see his girlfriend and comparing it to how we seek Jesus, it made me a little sad.

You see Jesus craves for us to want him. He wants us to choose him…every time. He loves us so much that he lets us choose Him. This is why that word pursuit is so important.

We have to choose to pursue him. Our momma can’t make us do it, our spouse can’t make us do it and our pastors can’t make us do it. It’s a personal decision that comes at a different time in everyone’s life. I remember talking with my Mother-in-law one day and she told me that when she was 8 years old she knew she wanted to pursue Jesus. I am 25 years old and last year was when I decided that I wanted to pursue Jesus. See…different times in everyone’s lives.

Before that decision, I was always in pursuit of the wrong things…money, materialistic things and at one point even “fame”. I don’t know how many times God reveled himself to me and yet I chose a different path that usually ended in heartache and disappointment. That’s what life without Jesus is…heartache and disappointment. Thinking about it now, I don’t know why it took so long for me to let Jesus in.

Anyway, after reading that part of the book, I realized I still had a long way to go…and still do. I can tell you this much…there is nothing like seeking Jesus. Since I’ve really focused on reading the Bible more my life has changed so much. There is a good sense of accountability.

Is all of that making sense? I feel a little bit that this is kind of all over the place. I’m sorry if it seems as if it is.

I want to end this with a Kim Walker video…one of my favorites. Also please remember that this really isn’t a book review but just thoughts that the book influenced. It’s meant to be short and sweet. :). I hope you become interested enough to read the book yourself. It truly is amazing.

God bless y’all – Moni ‚̧

Enjoy the video:

Not A Fan Part 1 – #2014bloggerchallenge Topic 3

The 3rd topic for the 2014 Blogger Challenge is to review a book. I’m excited to say that I’m going to be doing this post a little differently than a normal book review. For the next 5 days I’m going to post a video as it pertains to the book I read.

The book I am blogging about is Not a Fan by Kyle Idleman. Please keep in mind that I read this book a couple of months ago…these are the thoughts I remember getting when I read the book. I reread it for this project and it was just as impacting.

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Everyday for the next 4 days I will be discussing sections of the book. I will start out with the video and end with my thoughts. Please feel free to get a copy of the book and follow along with me! :).

Things I realized in the first section:

1. I have always been afraid to DTR – I realized this right when I started the book. I had always LIKED Jesus but I liked him without the commitment of living for Him…not good. In other words, I had a convenient relationship with Jesus. I only talked to him when it was convenient for me.

2. I was part of the, “I have a Jesus fish on the back of my car group.” – I don’t know why this one was hard to swallow for me…but it was. It kind of gave me an idea of how the people around me see me. I had the worship song ringtone, I said grace, I knew important scriptures…but was I really protecting my testimony the way I should have been? No.

3. I was not ok with letting my life get turned upside down – I was scared to really trust God with my life. I was scared about what my non Christian friends would think and scared of the sacrifices I was going to have to make. I will say this…any sacrifices I HAVE made seemed huge at the time but don’t even compare to the way Jesus fills my life now.

As you can tell, within the first section of the book my wheels started to turn and I began to really analyze my relationship with Jesus! Tomorrow I will be posting the 2nd video from the Not a Fan series. I hope you get a copy of this life changing book and follow along.

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God bless y’all- Moni<3

Skincare – Topic 2 for 2014 Blogger Challenge

Happy Monday lovelies!  I hope you all had a fabulous weekend. I was super busy this weekend; however, I did get a chance to do ALL my laundry!

This topic was a hard one for me. Since I don’t have a very intricate skincare routine, I wasn’t sure what I would write about. So instead of this post coming from my experience with¬†different skin care¬†products, I decided¬†to ask my friends is they would like to share their routines. I received great responses!
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Like I said before, I am not very intricate when it comes to my skincare routine. To me skincare is nothing like makeup. There is something about the¬†instant gratification that I get when I buy or put on new makeup that just fills my little heart.¬†¬†However, recently I’ve come to realize that I really need to focus¬†on an anti-aging routine…because let’s face it…I’m getting old.¬†I haven’t researched products that might benefit me when I’m older yet….but I will! ūüôā

My skincare routine today consists of the¬†Neutrogena Pore Refining Exfoliating Cleanser and Neutrogena Pore Refining Toner.¬† I didn’t realize how bad my pores were up until a couple of months ago.¬† I started using this¬†cleanser a couple of weeks ago¬†and it has made¬†my pores a lot less noticeable.¬†¬† An hour before washing with the cleanser, I remove my makeup with Coconut Oil! I love the toner because it isn’t¬†so harsh on my skin.¬† (Here is an post about the benefits of a toner.) Since I have very oily skin, I wash my face with the cleanser at night and use the toner in the morning. I’m not sure how I came about doing that but I’ve done that for years. If I wash my face with cleanser twice a day I feel that it makes my face that much more oily. So washing once and toning in the morning seems to work for me.
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“I had bad skin as a teenager so I have tried almost everything there is to try. I think our skin is always changing…at least mine is. You have to find what works for you. At 24 I’ve found a combo that has been working for the past few years that I just love! I use the Neutrogena Pink
Grapefruit Cleansing Wipes on lazy days. It will remove all of your makeup and still take care of your skin if you are acne prone like I am. On ‚Äúnon-lazy‚ÄĚ days I use Philosophy Purity Cleanser. It is amazing! My skin literally feels like a baby‚Äôs bottom! The price is a bit scary but it is totally worth it!‚ÄĚ ‚Äď Alisha C. Oklahoma City, OK

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“I have struggled with acne since I was in the 7th grade and still continue to struggle with it at the age of 24. I have been going to the dermatologist for the past 4 months. I have seen a huge difference by just using Dr. Elaine Cook‚Äôs skin care products. Her skin care products I use in order are Perfecting Gel Mask, Clear Skin Wash, Balancing Toner, Clear Skin Serum, and then Oil Free Moisturizer. There are two different sets: The Oily or Dry set. I use the set for oily skin. s a lot to put on your face, but once you get into the routine it goes by fast. This set of products last for a very long time. I have used it every single day for 4 months and I still have not even used half the bottles.

Another product I want to share with you all is¬†the Differin (Adapalene) cream. This is a topical medicine used to treat acne. This cream is crazy awesome! I use this cream every night, but you can use it every other night. I only put it on my acne areas. It is a small tube, but it goes along ways.¬† You only have to put a small amount on your face. This was prescribed to me by my dermatologist but her assistant said that there is a generic version of it. If someone finds outs please let me know. This product is pricey but very well worth it.” –Sandy R. Amarillo, TX¬†

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“I use Yes to Grapefruit Correct & Repair Cream. It’s a facial scrub. It’s awesome because my face dries out so fast! So it kind of leaves an oil to it, if you know what I mean. I can’t use Neutrogena. It makes me break out horribly;¬†However,¬†I do think it cleanses just as well!” – Keili L.¬†Amarillo, Texas

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“I am currently on a hunt for a good skin care product.¬† I do not struggle with blemishes but do care very much so for my aging face.¬† With that said, I have tried a few which include Arbonne, Mary Kay and the currently popular Rodan & Fields.¬† As a girl who is not afraid of entering the direct sales work force, I have taken on the opportunity to represent Mary Kay and Rodan & Fields.¬† I believe in representing products that work for me.¬† Unfortunately, those didn’t. So I am out of both businesses and I have returned to my faithful Ivory soap.¬† I have noticed my skin breaks out with just about anything.¬† Clean & Clear, Neutrogena..you name it.¬† As I am nearing 30 I would love to find a complete age defying skin care line that works for me.” – Suzie R. Friona, Texas

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“The little blue scrubber pops out… its the best!” – Ylaria V. Amarillo, TX image

“My daily routine includes me washing my face in the morning when I wake up with my Timewise 3 in 1 cleanser, then I apply my Timewise day solution, and finally I apply my Timewise age-fighting moisturizer. I then apply make makeup. Every night before I go to bed I wash my face with my cleanser again and then I apply my Timewise night solution. This is my daily routine with my Timewise Mary Kay products.” – Yvonne F. Amarillo, TX

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“I use Dove when I don’t use Neutrogena Fresh Foaming Cleanser. I use my equate eye makeup remover and it works awesome. I love both products; however, the Neutrogena burns my eyes sometimes. I really don’t know many facial cleansing products but would like to know more about affordable products. Being a mother of 5 children, it’s a little hard on the budget to get expensive products.” – Candie R. Amarillo, TX

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“I wash my face with the morning burst face wash in the mornings then apply a moisturizer that helps with dry skin and works as a primer for my foundation. I get pimples around certain times of the month and when I am completely stresses out so I use the Mary Kay “zit zapper” cream to keep them from turning into mountains.” – Katelynn P. Amarillo, TX¬†image

When¬†I found out¬†skincare was the topic for this weeks Blogger Challenge I was kind of disappointed; however, I loved writing this post. I love hearing what other people are using and what works for them.¬†I hope¬†you all enjoyed this post! A big thank you to everyone who contributed to this weeks challenge and please know that I will definitely be doing¬†more posts¬†with¬†friend involvement! ūüėČ

I hope you all have a fantastic week! – Moni<3

 

Inspiration for 2014 – Topic 1 of Blogger Challenge

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I can’t believe it is already 2014. My life changed so much in 2013. I gave my life to Christ, I started an amazing new¬†job, I started singing again,¬†I started a BLOG!!!!¬† There is just so much to be thankful for praise God!¬†¬†God has really planted so many new seeds in my heart. I felt that 2013 was a year of preparation for me. I felt the whole year that¬†God was telling me, “In order to do this….you have to do that..”¬† It was a year of really feeling God’s direction in my life.

When the subject for the first 2014 Blogger Challenge went live, I knew exactly the verse that would serve as my inspiration for 2014.

16¬†You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit‚ÄĒfruit that will last‚ÄĒand so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you.¬†

John 15:16

I declare that 2014 will be a year of implementing everything that God¬†has¬†showed me in 2013. That every struggle, trial, and triumph I went through be used to bear fruit in His name and to bring others to fruition.¬† That I might be a person of light for someone who is in darkness. I hope that I can be a person like the people I had encouraging me in 2013. I want to help people break chains. I¬† want to be so filled¬†with the Holy Spirit that when people are around me they feel it too and are completely consumed. It’s my desire to help people¬†know Jesus the way I came to know Him, to trust Him the way I came to trust Him, and to fall in love with Jesus the way I fell in love with Him.

I have always been¬†indecisive when it comes to my life goals….I want to be a teacher, I want to do makeup, I want to move up in my office,¬†I want to go back to school and then some days I just want to be a stay at home mom.¬† (See….INDECISIVE!)¬†There is just so much that I want to do in my life. I used to feel like I never had enough time. It used to make me crazy. However, God really showed me last year that he has something so much better for me. Something that I don’t even realize I can do. Something that will not only fill me but fill others.¬† He has a Bluprint for my life.

11¬†For I know the plans I have for you,‚ÄĚ declares the Lord, ‚Äúplans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”¬†

Jeremiah 29:11

I started reading Undaunted by Christine Caine and it really has been speaking to me. For once in my life I feel like I truly have a purpose.

2013 became the year of preparation and 2014 will be the year I live UNDAUNTED! 

Join me and live radically for Jesus!¬† He is the only one who can fill us up. He is the only one who will love even our imperfections. He is the one in which we find our salvation. He is where we find rest. He is the one…the only one!

This is my first post for the 2014 Blogger Challenge. I hope you were not disappointed! Let yourself be blessed this year! ūüėČ Love ya’ll and God bless! – Moni<3

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