Fog Delays

I don’t know about you but sometimes God’s truth gets drown out for a moment by the storm I’m in (happened to me all week). It’s like I just can’t see past the fog and it’s so thick that it seems it’ll never lift.

The truth of the matter is that the all the weapons that the enemy uses including discouragement, doubt, and depression have already been defeated.

The war that has been waged was already won.

The only thing left to do is to enforce the victory and keep that memory fresh in our minds so that we are not easily shaken.

Most times, I find that it’s easier said than done. That’s why I am so thankful for my friends that remind me that the enemy is just trying to distract me from the course I’m running.

Distraction gets our eyes off God and that’s when we start allowing lies to speak into our lives.

I have finished this week and I have finished being distracted.

Greater is The One living inside of me than he who is living in the world.

From here on out I’m keeping my chin up, my eyes forward, and I’m going to keep on keeping on!

Are you in?

-Amanda

Photo By: @DEBIKAYO on Instagram
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The Victor’s Crown

Knock, knock.

Who’s there?

Nausea and headaches.

I wasn’t very thrilled that I was nauseous every 5 minutes but on the other hand, it was the perfect excuse to pull out from the Joyce Meyer conference.

I know what you’re thinking…why would I want to have an excuse to not go out of town with a few ladies.

I was about to embark on a 7+ hour car ride with 3 women that I barely knew. It was exciting and nerve-racking all at the same time. I was about to spend 63 hours with women that I BARELY knew. Now, that might not be a huge deal to some but it was darn near enough to make me puke.

What if I got car sick?

What if I snored?

What if my naked face in the mornings made them cringe?

What if I farted?

What if they didn’t like me?

My mind was full of these what ifs.

I told myself that if I didn’t start feeling better that I was staying home, and with that I started feeling better within a few hours.

Crap.

That meant I actually had to step out of my comfort zone and live with these women for a few days. I finally decided to step out and do something new but in the back of my mind I was bookmarking the old me…just in case it didn’t work and I needed to flip back a few chapters.

I started to pack my suitcase.

I always pack books I’ll never read, shoes I’ll never wear,  yarn I’ll never knit, and dresses I’ll never don. All of the stuff that I fold and roll and shove serves minimal purpose but I bring it along because it keeps the person I let go of the day before at the tip of my fingers.

Packing less stuff makes room for things that you find while you are out on your adventure but I wasn’t so sure I’d find anything so I stuffed my suitcase so full I had to unzip the expansion zipper.

We hit the road.

The trip was mind blowing.

The teachings were eye opening.

The relationships were beautiful.

Our conversations started typical, just scraping the surface. Eventually, they evolved into the kind that almost cut you in two yet somehow make you closer as one. I made the kind of friends that stand nearby with a mop, just nodding, as you word vomit all over the place.

We talked about the things we wanted and lives we hope to lead. We talked fast. We shared our hearts as we sat on a hotel bed, surrounded by pizza and pillows (with minimal concern for calorie counting). Our trip had the stitchings of all the kinds of things that a person will remember for years to come.

This trip was like tacos for my soul. Not any ole taco, but my mother in laws tacos. The kind made with just the right blend of meat and seasoning and care.

My adventure in St. Louis taught me that every stronghold must be broken. It may be uncomfortable but God has planned the outcome so it’s guaranteed to be lovely.

-Amanda

Genesis Men's Choir bringing everyone to tears with their rendition of "Redeemed"

Genesis Men’s Choir bringing everyone to tears with their rendition of “Redeemed”

One the way to grab from fro-yo we found Lisa Bevere. She squeezed my shoulder. We are basically besties.  Me, Alyssa, Lisa, Mandy, and Kate.

One the way to grab from fro-yo we found Lisa Bevere. She squeezed my shoulder. We are basically besties.
Me, Alyssa, Lisa, Mandy, and Kate.

Called out beyond the shore and into the waves.

Called out beyond the shore and into the waves.

Just call me Rosie.

Just call me Rosie.

You can find me in St. Louie...

You can find me in St. Louie…

Destructive Dialogue

This morning I was running a little behind schedule (what’s new?) and I wasn’t paying attention to what I was doing and ended up squeezing WAY too much toothpaste out on my toothbrush.

I stood there for a few seconds contemplating whether or not I should attempt to get the toothpaste back into the tube.

Nope.

Wasn’t happening.

I’ve noticed that the same thing happens with my words. Sometimes I get frustrated or lose my cool and words just start spewing out all over the place.

Words can’t be unsaid.

Words can’t be unheard.

Words can cut like a knife. 

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They can start a fire or put it out, so remember to taste them before you spit them out.

 

-Amanda

Fieldnotes From The Freebie Enthusiast

If you have been following this blog for any amount of time you have probably noticed that I post about a whole variety of things. I was really debating posting about this because who the heck is going to care…but I realize that I care and it’s my blog so I am gonna go for it.

Some time ago I signed up to participate in Influenster. Influenster is a community of trendsetters, social media hotshots, and educated consumers who live to gather opinions of products and experiences (their words, not mine). Basically the only reason I joined is because it allows me to flex my social media influence to claim exclusive offers and programs as well as  unlock discounts and promotions to redeem online based on my Social Media Influence. I have found that even if you don’t have a large influence on Social Media you can still qualify for a VoxBox!

My September VoxBox!

My September VoxBox!

A VoxBox is a cute little package that you receive in the mail. Once you open it you will find full sized samples for you to test out and review. Really, it’s the easiest thing I have ever done and its actually kinda fun too! Today I received a Degree MotionSense in Fresh Energy. One sniff and I fell in love. I am not typically into antiperspirants but this was free so I am going to give it a shot.

Now you probably just read this and thought “why on earth would she blog about this”. I am sharing it with you because I want all of you freebie enthusiasts to have a chance to do what I am doing. They have tons of different campaigns to suit tons of different interests. I have seen everything from makeup to tea to work out clothes to a digital ear thermometer. I did a little more digging and it seems that some people have even gotten a Keurig..A KEURIG! You can get complimentary full size samples of name brand products and all they ask in return is that you give tem your honest feedback . If you are interested in this opportunity free to email me at amandapedraza16@yahoo.com and I will be more than happy to help hook you up!

I apologize if this isn’t the kind of post that you were expecting from me this time but I couldn’t keep this all to myself any longer!

-Amanda

First Notch On The Belt

One year ago today I gathered my courage, held my breath, and threw my comforter over my head as I hit the “publish” button. It feels like it was only days ago that my fingers first stroked the keys and my heart spewed all over a new word document. I guess sometimes you publish and sometimes you live but sometimes you kill two birds with one stone and do both; that’s what this space has allowed me to do.

All you 1,035 subscribers and all you random readers: I want to thank you for allowing me to show up in your inbox whenever I feel like it. Thank you for taking a chance on me and being intentional and hearing me out. You have pushed me to pursue my dream and you made me realize the value of my work. I treasure your dedication to me and willingness to allow me to speak into your life. Thank you for not making me feel alone. This blog has helped me to understand that there is a whole sea of my people. People just like me. People who care entirely too much and dream a little too big. You are that people, if you weren’t you probably wouldn’t be reading this. Thank you for being my person.

-Amanda

The Best I Can

In my short 27 years on this planet I have come to realize that if I am not doing something I have a passion for, I am doing a disservice to that something. There have been a lot of times where I have told myself “I’m doing the best I can” but I’ve found that that the best I can differs from everything I can. Doing everything we can often makes us uncomfortable so we settle, pat ourselves on the back and say, “this is the best I can do” because that is the best we are comfortable doing.

If we treat what we do (volunteering, careering, family, schooling) as an obligation, those who see it as a privilege and/or calling will conquer us. They will slowly creep up, filled with joy and love and out “do” us because they have a little something up their sleeve called passion.

Find your passion. If you’ve already found it, pull it out from the basement, dust it off and fan the flame. Let it consume.

-Amanda

I Just Can’t Get Into Shark Week This Year

My newsfeed has been buzzing the past few days. Between the Tony Stewart/Kevin Ward Jr. and Robin Williams my social media has been flooded with posts. Pro Russia Separatists fired rockets at Ukraine, ISIS starts a Christian genocide, and Gaza is bombing the Holy Land but over here in America, we are losing our minds about the death of an actor or the fact that we forgot to DVR Shark Week. Don’t get me wrong I am saddened by the recent deaths of celebrities …it’s just that my heart is aching over something else. The only thing on my mind has been Iraq.

The third largest city in Iraq, Mosul, has been occupied by the Islamic State of Iraq & Syria; better known as ISIS. If the members of the community in Mosul and now the surrounding cities refuse to convert to Islam, they are given some “options”. They can flee the city, pay a fine, or be killed. Due to this radical takeover, thousands of Christians have decided to flee and they are now refugees in their own country. They fled to the mountains and are reportedly dying due to starvation and dehydration. Christians that didn’t get out of the city in time or decided to pay the fine probably have had a much different fate. It seems that the men are murdered and the women and children are raped and/or sold for sex. The most heart wrenching is what allegedly has happened to children. There have been accounts of these sweet, precious, babies also being raped, beheaded, and even sold for sex. I read an article that actually claimed that there are images circulating of prepubescent boys being raped until they accept Islam as their religion AND join ISIS.

It’s hard for me to digest the images that I have viewed. This group seems to be targeting everyone that disagrees with their religious views. It is believed that ISIS is so extreme that al-Qaida wants nothing to do with them.

I am aware that this is a heavy topic but I couldn’t sit silent any longer. These stories tear away at my soul. ISIS is an organization that has committed heinous acts of violence and violated many human rights of fellow believers but as much as I want to hate them, I can’t. As Christians we must band together in prayer for our brothers and sisters that are caught in this persecution as well as for the members of this militant group that are committing these crimes against humanity. Let’s stand up and raise our hands to our Heavenly Father and cry out to him in prayer. I am praying that He reveal Himself in dreams and visions to everyone that is involved. What are you praying for?

-Amanda

*If you want, you can check out this link that breaks down ISIS a little bit more of a simple manner. I am not trying to incite panic; I am merely raising a little awareness.
 

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