Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Time is at hand

It's 6:07 in the morning. The house is quiet and as I gaze outside my window, it's still pitch black. The only faint light I see is coming from the glowing moon.

I can hear the clock's constant tick... reminding me I only have a set number of minutes before I have to go get ready for my day.

The thing I’ve come to know is that there is a constant war going on for time and energy.

What we do, where we go, who we are with, how much time we spend on it, and the list goes on and on.

Nowadays we seem to be perfect time wasters on the things that don’t to add much value to our life.

Social media has been a big proponent of the way our time spent has changed our generation.

But there’s other things as well that have always been around like television, mindless scrolling on the internet etc…

And I’ve come to a conclusion: that the devil doesn’t really care how we spend our time quite honestly. As long as we’re wasting it.

This scares me. 

There is so much to be done and we only have the time given to us to do it!

I can almost see the hourglass spilling away, the rabbit from Alice in Wonderland chanting... "I'm late! I'm late! For a very important date!..."

So why would I want to waste the precious time I’ve been given and just throw it away on things that don’t add value to my life or anyone else’s?

Right before Jesus went up to heaven, he left instructions to the ones he loved and his disciples:

// And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believes and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believes not shall be condemned. // Mark 16:15-16

In other words: There is no time to waste!

Now don’t get me wrong I don’t mean to say you can never watch tv or listen to music or enjoy being with people you love. And I'm just as guilty scrolling instagram for inspiration. 

God intended for us to enjoy our lives with people we love, creating and doing the things that bring us joy.

But the difference is to not waste our time on things we know aren’t going to make us any better than we were 5 minutes ago.

Any ideas? I'm sure you can think of a few.

The things that will bring us down instead of lifting us up is what I'm talking about. Things that probably could’ve been replaced with something better.

Good question to ask yourself if what you’re doing is actually just wasting time: Is this going to grow me/help me or someone else in some way?

I think deep down we all know the answer to that.

Me? I want to be present in my life. I want to make sure everything I create, photograph, and write will add value to me and those around me.

I want everything I say on here be a reflection of my life and to glorify the God who made you and me.

I want to have a conversation with my Nonni when I’m at the table, and not look down at my phone as they wander off looking around in silence.

In the blink of an eye, our lives will pass. What scares me the most? Knowing I had a purpose, or in this case I'm gonna call it a mission (because that's so much cooler!), and I never completed it, because I'd rather scroll mindlessly on Instagram.

So let's stop wasting time. It’s too precious to just throw it away on nonsense things. Go and talk with your grandparents. Go take a walk with a friend. Cook something. Make something.
Read a book. Travel to a place you've never been. Take a kickboxing class.

Read the Bible and learn the incredible stories that are in there that you never knew about. There's so much you can learn in a lifetime!

Be intentional… the time is short.

Sunday, December 31, 2017

2017: The Waves You've Made

I never quite know what to say when this time of year comes around. And yet when it does (all too quickly), it seems like there aren't enough words to describe just what an entire year can bring into someone's life. 

For me, 2017 can be described as waves. It was a year that brought me new experiences I never thought I'd go through.

But each one of those experiences brought me to something else.

I was a teacher for the first time. Something I always ran from, but finally got to do. I taught Italian to elementary students, and somehow along the way, God showed me through the mishaps and tears, and joyful laughs of every day... that I truly can do all things through Him. 

That it is He who equips us and gives us what we need and then calls us to do that very thing. 

I learned that what I run from is often times what I need most. 

I got to do some traveling with amazing family and plant my feet in places I never thought I'd walk.

Jesus gave me the grace I needed when I just wanted to give up and leave. 

After submitting an entry and months of interviews... I got chosen to be an ambassador for We Are Unveiled.  A ministry dedicated to awaken women to the full life found in Christ and their God-given identities.

But among all of this, there is one thing that clicked for me that I never gave a thought of before. 

I'm always looking for the "perfect job", but had I had what I wanted from the very beginning... I would've never met some pretty special people at the jobs I've worked at. 

I've realized that God places us in the jobs, communities and experiences we are part of for a reason.

God is all about relationship.  

He's taught me just how much He cares about people and how He wants me to love them like He does. 

He's been showing me that there are broken hearts all around me. And if I just look around and listen... I'll realize I'm there to be His arms to hug, His helping hands, His ears to listen, His words to speak love and encourage. 

Sometimes I'm scared of the future, thinking 'what trials await me?' But I don't have to be because I know He is already there. 

Every year is something new to learn. In just this short amount of time, I've lived through so much. I know 2018 will be another year of beauty, growth, and loving on some pretty amazing people. 

I'm grateful for the relationships I've formed through this online home of mine, through the photographs I get to capture of the people that entrust me with their beautiful moments in life... thank you!

And thank you for reading these words that are from my heart.

Here's to another incredible year full of love, truth, light, tears of joy, learning through all of life's unexpected moments, and little surprises that God sends your way. 

May we always have the courage for new beginnings, and to see the blessings of every day given to us. 

2018 you are going to be one for the books. Happy New Year!!! 

Monday, December 18, 2017

In Season for the Reason

You probably think I got that title backwards right? But if you stay with me for a moment... you'll see how we're in certain seasons in our lives for a reason.

I feel a change in me. My spirit feels as bright as the lights around me and as festive as the brimming Christmas tree in my living room.

Not to sound overly cheesy, but there's something different and entirely new happening inside of me. It's like that part in How the Grinch Stole Christmas, when the Grinch feels his heart beating out of his chest and coming alive. 

"Oh Martha! Oh Christmas!..."

They say when you become a believer in Jesus... you start to change. I've been seeing the fingerprints on my life and my entire outlook slowly take a curve... painstakingly slow at first. But then there's the certain outbursts where I find myself singing after a long day of work... and I look in the mirror and question, "Is that really you Barbara?!"

I barely recognize myself sometimes. And it's a good change.

They say once you turn to Jesus, get ready because there's gonna be a whole new you.

Suddenly the cloudy skies filter you once used to see... have suddenly become partly cloudy. Then you start to see the rays of light shining in. Pretty soon you'll be singing in the rain just like Gene Kelly.

Now I don't want to give a misconception, it doesn't happen the same way to everyone. And it certainly doesn't happen overnight. And your life will not become perfect from that point forth.

But surely you'll start to notice the changes in yourself. 

It's like your heart was frozen... and it starts to beat again. The blood starts to flow and you find yourself marching to a whole other beat... flowing right from your own heart.

It's been a rough couple of years for me personally. But something has changed in me this year. I can actually feel God's presence in my life through different situations.

There's a certain peace I never had before. I find myself less anxious, and the singing.

After a long day I would usually cry... but recently I've caught myself singing in the car after a long day's work. I still cry sometimes (otherwise it woudn't be me xP)... but recently it's been grateful tears.

Everyday is something new.

This year is going to continue to mold my heart... because it already has.

God does listen, because everytime I think something... He responds in the most unlikely way.

God you're too good. And right now in this season... my soul glows.