What’s The Deal With All The Hearts?

I’ve been contemplating this post for some time now. Anyone that knows me knows that I have what may seem as a slight obsession with hearts. My Instagram is jam packed with heart shaped things. My Facebook wall in particular is littered with hearts, as people stumble upon heart shaped oil spots or heart shaped brown spots on fruit they share them with me.

To most people, this heart finding game is silly and probably a bit annoying but to a select few, it’s something divine. Since you have taken a solemn oath to follow this blog I feel that we are now at the point in our relationship that I can share this with you. You my friend are now considered my “select few”.

I’m going to start this story like you don’t know a thing about me, if you have been faithfully reading my posts you have already been filled in on some of these details.

If this starts sounding familiar, sit tight; the story will change.

My mother passed away September 1, 1997. It was the summer/fall between my 4th and 5th grade year. As you can imagine, it was a difficult transition in my life. One moment I was laying in bed asking God to send me a sign that my mom was in Heaven and the next I was smoking my dad’s cigarettes. My life continued on, yet I never quite felt closure over my mother’s passing. Even though he wouldn’t ever admit it I am pretty positive that my dad didn’t either.

In 2000 was the year that I started to find hearts in mud puddles and smudge prints on the bathroom mirror. I decided that the hearts were the signs that I had been asking for. In 2005, after I graduated high school I was finding random heart shaped things more frequently. I quickly found that these incidents weren’t isolated to only me as my cousin Whitney started finding them as well. I had forgotten about my prayers years before and started thinking that since Whitney and I were finding hearts so frequently it became our “thing”. It was so much our “thing” that we even got matching heart tattoos.

In 2013 about a week before I got married I was going through some of my mom’s jewelry because I wanted to wear a pair of her earrings at my wedding. I opened her jewelry box and couldn’t believe my eyes. It was full of necklaces with heart pendants and just about every pair of earrings were hearts.

I started crying. I was elated…and scared. I was elated because I knew that all the years of hearts were exactly what I had prayed for and that was the same reason I was scared.

The hearts meant that God was real.

Like really real.

Like straight up answering prayers real.

Like making hearts appear in unexpected ways real.

From that time on I kind of kept the heart thing to myself. It was an intimate thing with God and my mom. I shared the meaning of the hearts with 2 people. I never went into any details, I would just say that the hearts remind me of my mom and left it at that.

2014 was my biggest year of heart bar none. I would have notifications and text messages from people I didn’t know and numbers that weren’t saved in my phone and the message would always be the same ” I saw this and thought of you” and attached to the message would be a picture of a carrot or strawberry or even a water spot all in the shape of a heart.

Most recently my bestie sent me a picture of a red balloon that was shaped like a heart.

She brought this balloon into work for me. It had lost its owner and I was more than happy to give it a home. I smiled at the balloon and looked at my calendar. I thought to myself that I better grab a cup of coffee before settling in at my computer. I thought nothing more of the balloon that morning until she handed me this note…

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My heart ached and leapt for joy at the same time. Tears instantly welled up in my eyes and spilled over the 724,350 coats of mascara that I had just applied. I honestly couldn’t even talk. All I could do was hug her and cry and cry…and cry some more. Finally I pulled myself together enough to thank her.  Getting through the rest of the day was a bit difficult, not because I was sad but because I was so enamored of The Lord. How could he love me; someone who I wouldn’t even choose first, so much that He would go out of His way to gain my attention? I know it is the “basic white girl” cliché to say this but I’m going to have to go ahead and proclaim before you and God and everyone that I am blessed BEYOND measure.

Every single picture that has been shared with me has touched my heart. EVERY. SINGLE. ONE. If you are a heart sender know that when you sent the picture to me that was the exact moment that I needed to feel Gods love. That was the exact moment that I needed to know that His hand was on me. I really don’t have anything to offer you than my gratitude so thank you for sending heart even when it probably felt weird and thank you for blessing me in my time of need.

-Amanda

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
Check out her Blog

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

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