Finding Vision When You Feel Lost

In the midst of a lethargic Friday morning (a result of sleeping a mere three hours before waking at 5 A.M. for Black Friday) I complained of my lack of vision to my friend over breakfast. 

I’ve been feeling like this for several days now, wondering what in the world I’m doing with my life and where this is all headed? I’ve also been comparing myself with others whom I feel are truly successful and doing “something” with their life.  

Later that evening, the Lord spoke. He whispered, “your vision is to catch My eye.” 

That little phrase struck me for when the Lord spoke those words to me, my spirit understood that I already have His gaze. I’ve already caught His attention. Now, I need to receive the love He has in His eyes when He looks at me and live each day by looking into His eyes that is beaming with love for me. He is already pleased, proud and will faithfully remind me that I AM enough.  

The world and the enemy tries to persuade me of its vision for my life. The vision it tries to lure me into (oftentimes successfully) is chasing after man’s approval, to value popularity with man, to catch their eyes. 

That phrase, vision statement I should say, brought peace and sense to the confusion and lack of hope I was facing. When I know that God accept me, not only that but that He loves and wants to help me, hope fills my heart. I begin to realize that I have accessible to me the strength to accomplish the assignment God has given me in this life. I no longer need to be caught up in hopelessness. I no longer need to entertain the chorus of lies the enemy sings over me. I am already a success because of Christ. God approves of me. 

Personally I feel that when we mistakenly equate vision with assignment we will be sorely disappointed. Assignment is something we do out of a loving obedience, leaning and receiving grace from God to do. Simply put, it’s a job and like any job, there are days where it’s hard to get out of bed. No matter if we work in a office or on the missions field, ultimately, it’s a JOB! The human heart will not be satisfied with just an assignment. 

Vision on the other hand is the companion that comes with us on the road trip. The one who takes the night shifts and makes us do random pit stops to take a photo, reminding us to enjoy the ride. If our assignment becomes our vision, we will be let down whether if we obtain it or if it eludes us. 

Taking time and lots of it to be still, wait and BE with God. Leaving our misconceptions of who He is and learning to boldly take His hand that is ever extended to us, that is true vision that will satisfy every heart. Not only that, it’s doable for every human being. It’s not an impossible feat we feel exasperated by. That, my friend, gives my heart strength to look up once more and look into His eyes rather than stare at my past mistakes. 

I pray this gives you hope and vision too 🙂 What has been your journey in finding vision? 

beating the cold & flu season like a pro

I’ve been stuck at home, resting for the past two days and am on my third day. To help pass the time and also share how I’m fighting this sickness with you all, I thought I’d do a post. Most of these techniques I’ve learned from other moms:

1. Emergen-C: a high dosage of good ol’ Vitamin C to help boost your immune system when you’re starting to feel sick. I keep these in my makeup bag. Found at most grocery stores and available in larger packs at Costco. 

2. Oil of Oregano: extracted from wild oregano plants, it fights micro-organisms in the human body that causes sicknesses. “It is known to be a potent antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal, and antiparasitic oil that can reduce pain and inflammation and effectively fight off infections” (Home Remedies Web). Start taking it when you feel the first onsets of a cold or flu. It comes in both liquid and capsule form. I’ve only used the capsule form. Follow instructions on the  bottle on how much to take daily.  Oil of Oregano can be found in most health or nutrition stores such as Whole Foods. 

3. Oscillococciunum: No, I don’t know how to pronounce the word but Becky, my small group leader (mother of five, grandmother of fourteen) recommended this to me when Dustin was sick awhile ago. I’ve been taking this since I’ve gotten sick this time and it works! Derived from duck liver and heart, it’s a natural alternative to flu meds. Don’t worry, it doesn’t taste anything like duck liver and heart. It can be found in most health food stores such as Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods. It’s $9.99 for ten doses at TJ’s. This company also offers another product called ColdCalm for colds. Click here for a $1 off coupon!

4. Gargling salt/apple cider vinegar: If you have a sore throat or simply want to fight bacteria that’s kicking your butt, mix one Tablespoon of real apple cider vinegar (Bragg’s with The Mother) to 6 or 8 oz. of warm water. Gargle this mixture every hour. “The acid in the ACV is very helpful in soothing and minimizing the sore throat, and, if you swallow it, the extra potassium is also beneficial. Note: After using this remedy be sure to rinse your mouth with water to prevent the acid from eroding the enamel on your teeth” (health911). For salt, simply add 1 teaspoon of sea salt to the same amount of water, stir and gargle every hour. “This will increase the blood supply to the area by washing away mucus and dilating capillaries, thereby enabling better circulation of infection-fighting antibodies” (health911).  

5. Drink lots of liquids:

  • herbal/medicinal teas such as ones by Traditional Medicinals, 
  • honey, lemon and warm water
  • apple cider vinegar (1 Tablespoon or however strong/weak you want it), honey, warm water 

6. Rest if you can!

Hope these remedies help prevent long dragged out cold and flus! Stay healthy during this cold and flue season. 🙂 If you have your own natural remedies, please share it with the rest of us!

Where I Shop, How I Save & Finding My Style

I was recently inspired by Darling Mag’s manifesto concerning fashion. In their “about” page, they state the difference between their perspective towards women’s fashion versus the magazines that dominate the racks: 

“Almost every item featured (in popular magazines) out of price range for the average woman, which promotes excessive spending to “keep up” with culture.”

Concerning Darling Mag:

“Features clothing and products within price range fo the average income, not celebrity income. Encourages saving and living within your budget.” 

I have to confess, I fall prey to that pull of the world. The voice that calls out to me to be trendy, fashionable, ultimately cool and worthy of man’s attention through “buying” it. Though that tug has lost some of its power over me, I still feel the twinge of it every once in awhile. 

So I thought I’d share my tricks on how to be stylish yet stay within budget.

KNOW YOUR STYLE

First of all, it helps to know your personal style. When I was younger, I was still trying to discover my personal style. One week I would be sporty the next week I would be edgy and then the next preppy. I had a hard time making up my mind. It seems that every girl I would see wearing something cool, I’d want to go after that persona.

But the older I get, the more I feel I know my own unique style which helped in deterring me from making unnecessary purchases.

To discover your own unique personal style, try looking at the pieces in your collection that you love and are comfortable in. Use pinterest to help you. Begin pinning what you like then take a step back to observe the theme and discover your style. 

As I discovered and made peace with my own personal style, I began to purchase less useless clothing items that just takes up space in my closet. Also, knowing your personal style will help you stay true to yourself and not be as easily dictated by what the world tries to convince you of. 

Most importantly, communing with God and abiding in the vine is the MOST important thing that will keep you from impulse buys. I used to shop because I was sad or feeling insecure rather than for the fun or necessity. As the Lord grant me grace to grow in Him and be rooted increasingly in His love, I discovered that I’m not shopping as much as I was before. Hallelujah 🙂

WHERE I SHOP

Honestly, I rarely pay full price for clothes. Here are the places I frequent. 


T.J. Maxx

It has its moment. Some times I don’t find anything there and other times there are treasures to unearth. It just takes a little time. Lately, I’ve discovered my local T.J.Maxx carrying the likes of Cole Haan and Frye flats for $40. Go figure! 

Anthropologie

Good ol’ anthro. I just love walking through this magical store. So many cute things to discover every time! I don’t buy things full price here because it’s WAY out of my range and it’s just crazy. I only look seriously on their sale racks. Sometimes they have random clothing items for $10! You just have to spend time looking and checking the price tags. It’s also a great place for birthday presents. Everyone loves a anthro mug. 

Taiwan

What can I say. The clothes are trendy, affordable (usually around $10-$20) and my size. I love how the trend in Asia is not wearing super tight skimpy clothes (because that usually isn’t figure flattering for most Asian women) but they carry a lot of oversized cardigans and tunics which are my FAVS! The only down side is the quality of the clothes within my price range is usually wanting and you can’t dry the clothes or else they shrink. 

Ebay

This is my go to place for pricier items I’m eyeing like good quality shoes. The older I get, the more I want to invest in good shoes rather than in $20 flats from Forever 21 that only last for a season. This takes patience though. They won’t always have what you want but don’t give up and keep looking. I bought a pair of Frye boots for less than half its price here! Ebay is also a great place to sell your used brand name clothing items (i.e. Burberry, Tory Burch etc. not Forever21 clothes) just in case you were hoping to make some money off of the clothes you no longer want. 

My Friends’ Closets/Garage Sales/Hand Me Downs

I am blessed in that I have a friend who is really well off who gives me the clothes she no longer wants. She also buys me clothes from time to time. What can I say, God knows the desires of my heart and He is good. This is where I get a lot of my really expensive clothes from. Also, I find nice things at friends’ garage sales or just handed to me from time to time. 

I hope this helps you find your own style and save some moolah! What are some of your stylin’ & money saving fashionista tips?