February 17th, 2019

A few weeks ago as I was praying, I asked God "What is my purpose?"
Sounds a little ridiculous right? As a mom of two wondering what my calling is in this life.
Or maybe you're like me, and you can't help but feel like you were made for something big too.

Kayla V Photography

Because if I'm being honest, becoming a mom wasn't as easy of a transition as I thought it would be.
Don't get me wrong. I knew I always wanted kids. I love my boys. I love this adventure they've taken me on. And I love knowing God chose me to raise them.

But there are times I'm questioning myself, as if I'm suppose to do more because some days being a mom doesn't seem like it's enough. It was this longing in my heart for something, and I couldn't put my finger on it.

You see, I enjoyed my job before I had kids.
I enjoyed retail and merchandising.
I enjoyed dressing up, even if that meant wearing "nice pants" and blazers.
I enjoyed interacting with people.

Nowadays, you'll mostly find me in sweats and the most interaction I have with anyone is trying to decode what my toddler is saying.
And if you're a mama too, I'm sure you understand what I mean.

So when I started my online boutique, it was like HALLELUJAH. I'm fulfilling my purpose. But after a year and a half, I couldn't give my business the attention it needed and that was hard to accept. I knew I was doing what was best for my family and I by taking a hiatus, but also a part of me felt a little disappointed. And why's that? Because once again, it seemed like being a mom wasn't enough.

Sometimes I think having access to everyone's life at the palm of our hands can be dangerous, because it leaves us questioning our calling. When the reality is God has already made it very clear. But we see women who are wearing many hats, and think maybe thats what I'm suppose to do too. Guess what though? Sometimes that works for them. Sometimes that's what God has called THEM to do. And that's okay. It's more than okay if our season doesn't align with someone else's. We need to remember our plan is so unique, and it doesn't have to be like that person we see when we're scrolling our screen.

I look at my own mother, who raised four kids so gracefully and wonder how she did it. But then I realize she wasn't distracted by her phone, comparing her life. She wasn't wondering what everyone else was doing. She was a mom and she just did the damn thing.

So when I asked God that morning what my purpose was, you know what He replied with....
Love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength.’ The second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ No other commandment is greater than these.

Mark 12:30‭-‬31

That's it. Seems kind of vague though, right?

But God was reminding me no matter what season I may be in, this is all He requires of me.
If this season God wants me to just focus on loving my family and church community, then that's what I will do.
When the day comes that I reopen my business, then I will love His people through that.
Wherever God calls me, I will remember to love first. And the same goes for you too. You can show love to your customers, clients, patients, students, without questioning your worth. It's not about the status or title we have. Because what we do, does not define who we are. Repeat that: what we do, does not define who we are.

Granted, this isn't to take away the value of our accomplishments. But at the end of the day these are only outward expressions of our identity.

I say this because the things of this world can be SO fleeting. We can lose the job we depended so much on. Being a mom means that one day we'll be empty nesters. Our health can fail, leaving us to reevaluate our day to day activities.

To put our identity in anything else will just leave us wanting more of this world and less of our Sweet Savior. Which is why it's so important that this longing we may be feeling is only fulfilled by God alone.

It seems like an easy antidote to my question, but I think there's something pretty big about wanting to love more like Jesus instead of trying to be like everyone else.
And I pray you think so too.

February 14th, 2018

Chris and I live in a tiny space. I'm talkin' less than 1,000 square feet. It isn't ideal for a married couple with an 11 month old baby... BUT if there's anything God has taught me, it's to be thankful in all circumstances and to continue to keep Him first, even when our life isn't exactly how we want it to be.

But sometimes that's easier said than done, right? Isn't it true when we're in a difficult season, we do all that we can to get ourselves out of it. We fight, we strive, we push harder. We try to do more. We try to be more.
And while God totally appreciates all the hard work, let me tell you something, He does not need our efforts; just genuine hearts who are willing to show up.

When Sarah, Abraham's wife, so badly wanted children but was barren for most of her life, God came to her and promised them a son named Isaac. Her response? She laughed and thought it was crazy (like most of us would, I'm sure). She questioned God and asked "Can an old woman like me have a baby?" but He replies "Is there anything too hard for the Lord? I will return about this time next year, and Sarah will have a son". (Genesis 18:13 NLT) SAY WHAT.
And sure enough Genesis 21 begins with telling us that "The Lord kept His word and did for Sarah exactly what He had promised...This happened at just the time God had said it would." (Genesis 21:1 and 2)

Or when He asked Moses to part the Red Sea, He didn't say "Kay first, I'm going to need you to have X amount of income. You need some sort of degree. And you're going to have to work realllllllly hard at this". Uhm, no. We're told "Then Moses raised his hand over the sea and The Lord opened up a path through the water with a strong east wind" Exodus 14:21 NLT
All Moses had to do was simply raise his staff and God did all the work. HE took care of the rest. (Exodus 14:15-31)

And when Joshua and his warriors defeated the Amorite armies. On their way to the battle, God tells Joshua "Do not be afraid of them. For I have given you victory over them. Not a single one of them will be able to stand up to you." Joshua 10:8 NLT
And when Joshua and his people showed up, the Lord destroyed the Amorites with a hailstorm just by His command. (Joshua 10:1-12)

So don't you think the same God who was able to perform such miracles, can get us out of our trials? Darling friend, I think we sometimes forget how BIG our God is. I know I do.

Here I am asking, "We're doing so much better with our finances and savings. We're checking this, this, and this off our list. Why isn't it getting us the home of our dreams? Or at least something with just a tad more space?" Then God replies, "That's because you're thinking money can save you my dear. But only I can." Reality check.

So while Chris and I are in these situations, I have to ask myself what are we doing more of? Is it worrying, and trying to control everything, and doing things our way? Is it burning ourselves out by striving for what doesn't matter? Are we putting other priorities before our God? I've realized if it's anything else besides loving God more then we're not getting the picture.

We tend to exhaust ourselves because we believe we have to complete all these tasks to achieve our hopes and dreams, when all He asks is for our obedience to Him. But our flesh just tends to freak out when things don't happen on our timeline. Ya feel me?!

And no, I'm not saying that wanting a more suitable home for our lifestyle, or a better career for yourself, or that college degree is a bad thing. I'm saying it's when we desire these things more than we desire God because we think this missing piece will fulfill our lives.

So what does your heart want? More money, more clothes, more acceptance? A bigger home? A nicer car? Another baby for your family? What are you doing to achieve such things and is it because you think it'll make you "happier"? God designed this season for each of us specifically, and of course it can be frustrating when things don't happen when we want them to. But don't think He's forgotten about you...Your blessing will come at just the right time.

And if your patience is wearing thin, I pray these insights will help your journey:

Stop comparing yourself to others. Don't look at someone else's blessings and doubt your own. For the most part, I'm sure we can all agree that we're pretty satisfied with our lives. It's just when we look to our left and right, or down at our phones (guilty) and we start to question everything. We wonder how they received the blessing we've been praying so hard about. But no matter where you're at in life, God has you there on purpose and every season can be used to draw closer to Him. Stop thinking He must love that girl more than He loves you. No. He loves you with the same unconditional, everlasting love.

Stay in touch with God's Word. He will give us the motivational speakers, inspirational books, and uplifting community. But none of that comes close to our one on one time with Him. He will speak truth specifically for you and your needs. I know for me personally, I HAVE to get up 2 hours before my husband and baby. Does it always happen? No, because your girl loves her sleep. But when I take the time in the morning to spend it with our Sweet Savior, it's amazing how different I feel. Chris can totally vouch that I'm not as much of a grump, hah! But it's true. When we make spending time with God a priority, not just a "one time fix", our heart totally changes. It's difficult to put into words, because you've gotta experience it for yourself❤

Never, ever stop loving others. Luke 10:27 Jesus confirms that "'You must love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your strength, and all your mind.' And, 'Love your neighbor as yourself.'" Don't allow your difficult season to shut you down and hide. The world needs someone like you. When we keep ourselves from everyone, we don't love and learn that there are other people who are going through something similar. Or there's someone who can love on us and offer guidance, because they've already been through our situation. You don't have to share your struggles with every person you meet or put it out there for everyone to read if you don't feel the Holy Spirit leading you to, but God will guide and give you the courage you need. Because you may think you're alone, but trust me when I say you're not.

Pray for joy, not happiness.
You see, happiness is fleeting because it's usually determined by our circumstances. But joy allows Him to be our ultimate foundation. Joy is knowing that despite whatever your situation may be, you know that's it's only preparing you for what's next. You know that what He's placed on your heart is already yours...what's meant for you is already waiting. No obstacle, no setback, no negativity, no person can get in the way of God's ultimate plan for you. Our Sweet Savior has it taken care of...so why stress. Why worry. Friends, it isn't about how we may 'feel', but it's the fact that we can have joy throughout those bad days (even if they may seem never ending) because we know that the moments don't last forever...but thankfully His love does." via Instagram @loveangelarenee
I remember writing that 2 years ago when I was struggling with moving back home, but it's still one of my favorite reminders to this day; because JOY applies to all seasons of our lives.

So I hope you remember that God can make anything happen. He's done some crazy cool things. I've read about them, I've witnessed some, I've experienced them myself. He can turn around any situation in a split second, just by saying the word. So don't think your circumstance is out of His control. Sweet girl, there is no such thing;)

January 27th, 2018

Hey there love!
I know it's been quite some time...like five years. Crazy right? Especially since a lot has changed since then. I'm talking about marriage and babiesss. Kay, well just one baby for now;) But still! Becoming a wife and mama has been such a crazy season, yet so rewarding.
Anyways, I am just so happy you're here! I've prolonged bringing this blog back for so many reasons, and I finally said enough is enough. Super dramatic obviously.

There has been SO much on my heart I've been wanting to share. So much God has called me to share, but I just continued to talk myself out of it. It's silly how we sometimes do that, huh? You know, when God calls us to move but we respond with nah, not yet. We have to wait until we "feel ready", or we "look ready." And sometimes it may not be those aspects specifically, but it can be ANY part of our circumstances that we're just unhappy with. Like, I've hesitated because the space we live in isn't "big enough." Our lifestyle isn't "fancy enough." Or our finances aren't "good enough." And I even thought of waiting until after I got my hair done to launch this site. HAH. Sounds ridiculous right? And high maintenance. And superficial. But here I am just thinking "come back with a bang". I mean, wouldn't it all make more of an impact and what I have to say would be worth the read. Haven't we all thought this way at some point? When in reality these are things that God could care less about. But because we sometimes get so lost in this world, we think that if our life doesn't look like theirs then it doesn't matter. And let me tell you, that is so far from the truth.

You see, this blog won't be about extravagant trips- but of course I'll share our little getaways. It won't be about high end fashion- I'll let you in on my cheap finds though. And it won't be about keeping up with the Joneses...GIRL, Abram was like 100 years old when God fulfilled the promise He made. You are so not behind in life.

No my dear. I'm here to remind you that you are exactly where God has called you to be and your story does matter. Whether you're a stay at home mama or a doctor. Whether you're an introvert or an extrovert. Whether you have 1 million or 50 Instagram followers... whateverrr the case may be (I'm sure you get my point), YOUR story matters. And God has such a beautiful purpose specifically for you, if you'd just seek His calling and stop holding yourself to these irrelevant standards. Your worth and value is way more than all those things.

So I hope while you're here, you know you're loved. You feel safe. You're encouraged. You just feel all the feelssss. And if you sometimes cry, that's totally okay too. I'm here for you.
And lastly, I hope you stop talking yourself out of what God has called you to do and step into all the blessings He has in store for you.