Moisture? High demand. Dewy and glass-like surface? Yes please, sign me up! It’s true, I am a K-beauty (and pop) fanatic! Forever and always. Chok-chok is Korean slang that means moist and luminous skin complexion; also known as glass skin. It’s so amazing to see how the Asian beauty and lifestyle is slowly but surely infiltrating into other parts of the world; especially the US! We’re finally beginning to recognize how important it is to care for our skin and well-being in general. So let’s get to it!
What it looks like:
And yes, this is possible to achieve with proper eating, hydration, nourishment, and products! Keep reading to see how.
1.DRINK MORE TEA & WATER
I love tea. Incidentally, I have a pot of it boiling right now in my kitchen as i’m writing! It’s no surprise that what we put into our bodies can seriously affect the way we feel, think, and even look! Try switching out your soda/coffee/alcohol with water and tea. I noticed a difference in my health and skin when I did! I opt for green or white tea. These teas are my favorite because they have many benefits, healing properties, and also help to defend against free radicals! To dress up my water when I get bored; I’ll add fruits and other infusions such as the classic lemon, berries, cucumbers, or mint leaves.
2. NEVER SKIP YOUR NIGHT ROUTINE
This is probably the second worst thing you could do for your complexion, and youth. When we sleep, we enter into the sacred and prime hours where our body replenishes, restores, and rejuvenates itself for a good day ahead. Your skin simply can’t do that when it’s clogged and covered in yesterday’s sweat, oil, and dirt! It’s even worse if you wear makeup, too. When you don’t wash your face at night, it’s kind of like pressing your face onto in a bacteria-infested, moldy cocoon for about eight hours. It’s not cute. Not only will it increase acne and bacteria build up, but it also promotes premature aging, and a dull complexion. So please, don’t be one of those people. Stay clean and hydrated!
3. DOUBLE CLEANSE
So, you think that one good use of your favorite face wash at night takes off all your makeup, dirt, and oil? Think again. It’s been tested several times, whereas youtubers and influencers would remove their makeup once with their cleanser, then be shocked to see makeup STILL coming off from a follow up makeup-wipe or toner. The double cleanse is a method adopted by Korea, (the land of dewy and glowing skin) and is highly effective at thoroughly cleansing and preventing bacteria and pollution build-up! You start with an oil-based cleansing oil or balm, then follow up with your favorite water-based regular cleanser. And no, the oil will not clog pores. On the contrary, it actually works together with your natural oils/sebum production and emulsifies perfectly when you add warm water. A true game changer.
4. GET SHEET FACED
Oh my goodness, one of the greatest inventions ever!! These masks will surely enhance the moisture levels and appearance of your skin as well as building your skin barrier stronger! It’s kind of like replenishing a plant after almost two weeks without water. You’ll surely notice the difference within your skin, and you can do this as often as you want! Even once per day if you’re a true pro at hydration.
5. LEVEL UP ON HYDRATION
Serums are such a vital step of any good skin care routine! It’s like a multivitamin, but for your skin! With so many skin enhancing benefits, this is definitely one step you do not want to skimp on. Ingredients are everything when it comes down to it, so focus on what you want improve on when it comes to skin. Want brighter skin? Vitamin C. Hyperpigmentation? Find one whose top ingredient is niacinamide! Kind of like a good moisturizer, you’ll have to experiment a bit to find one that best suits you and your needs.
6. INVEST IN A GOOD MOISTURIZER
Your moisturizer should be your last step every night, and your second to last in the morning. What moisturizers do is seal in all of the moisture and good ingredients in your skin to keep it plump, hydrated, and beautiful. Not all moisturizers are created equal, so you’ll have to do your due diligence and find a good one! I am obsessed with Peach & Lily’s matcha pudding antioxidant cream. I love green tea, and I love the ingredients this moisturizer has. There are thousands of amazing moisturizers out there, so experiment to find the perfect match for you!
7. NEVER SKIP SPF
Did you know that most of the damage we’ll ever get on our skin comes from the sun? While it’s sad, it’s true. I myself love a good beach, and a good soak in the sun. However, it’s important to protect and preserve your natural glow and texture by using SPF daily. You should reapply every two hours while out in the sun, and remember to keep hydrated as well!
“Why do bad things happen?” Asked little Bobby. “Well son, it’s because of free will.” Said his pa.
Of course his name is Bobby. I swear, every example of logic puzzles or solving equations starts with a boy named Bobby. While I concur with his dad, there’s much more to life than just, “Bad things happen because of free will, and that’s just how it is.” What then? Is that all there is? I crave more clarity than that! Being a protagonist here, I believe that there’s a brighter side to free will than what often gets displayed in stories or life events. Mainly because of my own faith.
Do misfortunes and tragic events happen? Every single day. Is that the end all be all of a tragic tale? Not if you don’t want it to be. Life isn’t always fair, and that’s just the sad reality that is our world. But what if I told you there’s more to the story? Your story. Perhaps something down the road that you can’t see yet? A spark, a light, maybe even.. dare I say hope? A dangerous little spark that ignites new possibilities. It’s called turning what was meant for evil into something good. It’s surely possible, but it’s not usually a light and easy process. Nothing that good ever is, amirite?
“Okay, but you don’t get it Rachel. If there is a God in heaven who loved me, then why the hell would he allow this to happen to me? I’m a good person. I don’t deserve this!” Trust me, I’ve asked God the same exact question to word for word, and less politely to boot! My version of “asking” would be crying and yelling at Him. Heck, there was even a time that I told him I wanted nothing to do with my faith anymore, but that didn’t stop His relentless love for me. Nothing can ever separate us from his love. How beautiful, right?!
I ain’t no perfect Christian, I’m a real person. That’s why I try to remind myself to thank Him for the grace and love he so freely gives all of us. That’s one of the main reasons I’m writing about this. My heart is totally connected to the mission of helping people because let’s be real; all of us need help. The funny thing is, it’s usually the believers that need the most help! Don’t write me an angry email, ya’ll know it’s true.
The truth is I don’t have all of the answers for your hardships, and that sucks. You might not find an answer for a long time, and that really sucks! All I can tell you is that God is more than able to bring good out of any hardship or unbearable grievance you face. The caveat here is trust, and it’s not easy. However, it is refreshing to believe that the God who can raise the dead and save the lost can surely bring light into the darkness of our missteps and misfortunes.
We don’t know when, where, or how (unless He reveals it to you, but that’s for another day.) We just need to hold on and cling to the truth that Jesus loves us and no doubt still has a plan regardless of how it may look. He is Abba. The way maker. The bread of life. The lifter of our heads. The one who knit you in your mother’s womb. The one who has the hairs on your head numbered. Don’t you believe you’re of any value to Him? You’re worth dying for.
All you need to know is that you never walk alone. The constant battle for your soul that most can’t see is fierce, but so is His love for you. Keep fighting. You might not have your answers right now, and it’s okay to be angry. If anything, be angry at sin. Be angry with the enemy because he wants you to question God and His love for you.
You may hear something along the lines of, “He’s not even real, do you see him working right now?” “Well, you never really heard Him anyway.” “What kind of God would put you through all of that?” “You’re not smart, you can’t do this.” Fill in the blank. Those are all lies from hell, and it’s time for you to stand up and step into the calling you feel in your heart and soul. You are more than able to do all that you’re destined to do through Jesus who will totally give you strength. So I just want to leave you with that. Whatever you face, remember that you are more than a conquerer.
Makeup wipes are trash. Yes, literal trash!
I know, I know, you’re probably having a heart attack right now because you’ve been taught by Neutrogena and numerous beauty articles to use these puppies for convenience. Heck, they’ve probably also told you to keep a nice pack by your bedside for those nights you refuse to properly wash your face after a long day of work, or a night out partying with friends. But hear me out, because this product is not all it’s chalked up to be!
Reasons I don’t like them:
BAD FOR THE ENVIRONMENT
While these money makers may be “convenient” to you, they surely aren’t towards our environment. Makeup wipes are not biodegradable, and millions of them end up piling up and overflowing in landfills, not to mention the ocean as well. Not cool! You can’t reuse them like plastic, so they end up just accumulating and taking up space for the next oh, say one hundred years? Not today, satan.
HARSH ON YOUR SKIN
How do you think a nice stack of moist tissues stay properly sterile? You guessed it- preservatives! Strong preservatives also mixed with alcohol are used to keep bacteria and other harmful nasties at bay in order for the product to reap its full potential. But guess what? They’re terrible for your skin! Most makeup wipes are formulated with fragrances, and harsh ingredients that you’re happily smearing on your face for the sake of sacrificing two minutes to use a proper cleanser and some water. This eventually leads to sensitized and irritated skin.
YOU’RE NOT ACTUALLY CLEANSING YOUR SKIN
Not only are makeup wipes bad for the environment, and hold harsh ingredients that have been proven to disrupt the natural skin’s barrier, but it’s not even taking everything off of your face. Say what?!? Yes, you’re essentially just smearing around your sebum, dirt, pollution, and makeup on your face without fully removing it. Ever notice how many wipes you have to use after a full day of makeup to finally feel “clean” again? Even after the usage of the wipes, when you swipe your toner on, you see even more makeup coming off! Yeah, it shouldn’t be like that. A proper double-cleanse is necessary for all you makeup lovers, and I PROMISE, you will see visible results in your skin once you start.
YOU’RE ACCELERATING AGING PROCESS
Don’t lie, I know full well you want to put your best skin forward and look twenty-eight when you’re really forty-three. Well my dears, the problem with makeup wipes is that you’re most likely rubbing and tugging the skin (some of you vigorously; which gives me PTSD ..seriously, stop that) and being way too rough when it comes to removing your makeup. You also need to be extra careful around your eye area- as that’s the most delicate part of the skin on the entire body!
Those are the main reasons why these just aren’t the best products despite how beautiful and radiant the model promoting them on TV or Youtube is. I can almost guarantee she has a good solid skincare routine, and doesn’t fully rely on these wipes at the end of the day.
I also found this informative video that confirms a lot of what I mentioned! For those who don’t know, Susan Yara is such a knowledgable beauty expert and YouTuber that I’ve been watching for quite some time now! You’ll thank me later when your skin becomes ten times healthier. Check it out!
If you want to learn more about the double-cleasne- which I highly recommend, I made a post a while back addressing that! Click here: https://remtique.life/2019/05/02/my-10-step-skincare-routine/
I owe it to my sister who introduced me to the joys of K-beauty. (Which stands for Korean beauty!) It changed my skin, and I know for a fact it will change yours too! As I always tell my clients, your skin is an investment. You’ll be wearing it until you die, so please take good care of it, and be oh so gentle. 🙂
It was a breezy Sunday morning. A rain storm welcomed the blinding sun that was trying at best to peek through the iridescent clouds. The sky painted a colorful picture with hues of pinks and blues. It was stunning after a treacherous storm as a reminder that dark skies and loud booming can actually serve as an indication that beauty lies ahead, and adversity is for a greater purpose. However, not everyone sees it that way. God knows she didn’t.
“What is it?” He asked. His eyes fixed on her in a silent cry of desperation and hope for rekindling what could have been. Staring blankly out of the window of a moving train, she didn’t physically acknowledge him, but his question pierced her heart like a dagger. She heard him loud and clear. The red stain from her lips gave the charcoal tea cup she grasped in her hand some personality.
Deliberately getting lost in the trees and rivers as they were passing through as if to deter him. She needed something, anything just to avoid answering his question, as if it wouldn’t come up again. “Look at me.” He demanded. “I can’t. Not right now.” She darted back, still avoiding eye contact.
It had never been easy for her to hide things from him, let alone anybody. Eventually convincing herself that this will soon be nothing but a memory, a bad nightmare, all forgotten; blind to the fact that past events have a funny way of repeating themselves. Perhaps not right away, but the good Lord does have an interesting sense of humor and sometimes does bring us back to what we ran so far from, left unresolved, and maybe even feared the most.
He walked through the divider straight to the second sleeping car just to collect his thoughts. Deep down he knew the truth. A certain truth he avoided confronting at all costs. He knew where this was headed. As the famous quote says, “Rome was not built in a day”, well.. neither was a broken relationship torn down. That doesn’t happen overnight, it’s a gradual fade. Sometimes you’re not even aware that it’s happening, because sometimes people are really good at hiding!
She thought she dealt with it, only for this to resurface yet again in such an unforgiving way. It feels like a tsunami with no warning signs or time to take cover, and you’re lucky if you can stand on your own two feet again. Over and over again, the waves crash and take you under. Each time you stand again you gain new strength, but it still hurts. The pain of a lost love.
Deep breaths, mind pulsing, heart racing. All she could do to extract herself from the pain was to use any distraction as her aid, her saving grace; which was her involvement with him. He was an honest man. A good man. A great companion. He was a faithful man, but he was not who she truly loved.
“How did we get here?” A repetitive dialogue between her and herself that wouldn’t quit. She knew that love was a choice, not some butterflies or endless feeling of bliss you get. She was also wise enough to know that you can’t let anything hold you back from living your life, but she also felt trapped because there was much conflict inside of her. “What does it all mean? Is there a bigger plan? A brighter picture ahead different from what I see now?” She kept asking, desperate for an answer.
The difficult part was accepting her truth. She said goodbye to something she knew in her bones wasn’t right, but couldn’t understand why. He was the calm after a rainstorm. A soothing balm for her broken heart. But that was all. She craved something more, and she knew it existed because she felt it once. Almost like divine alignment.
In preparation for the plans that lie ahead, it required her to kiss the present goodbye, because it wasn’t meant to follow her into the future. It was one of the hardest decisions that’s ever been made, but she knew it’s what needed to be done despite what others thought or said. She wanted to feel something again.
She learned a lot through being with him and has no regret. The memories will last forever, and that’s what makes it beautiful. Some master plan will continuously be revealed with each step of faith she takes. Throughout every season she’ll endure, a passage of time shines like a beacon of light. A hope for the love she so craves and prays for.
She doesn’t always know where she’s going, but has enough faith to get through the darkest of nights. Every storm that rears its ugly head won’t break her. The coldest morning that awakens her will be nothing but inspiration for her to keep going because of the fire that burns inside. She knows that beauty lies ahead, even when she can’t see it.
You know what can bring the absolute worst out of you? Relationships. Now I’m not just talking about dating here, I mean ALL kinds of relationships. Every dynamic possible; which there are many. What is it that requires all of them to flourish and function properly? Work. Relationships take work! However I will point out, It’s also the little things that can bring you one step closer to betterment, or two steps further from it!
Little things. Ah, the little things! Little things such as telling them how much you love and appreciate them for who they are. Taking out the trash. Doing the dishes or laundry so they can just come home to a clean house and relax.
Okay let’s be real.. I’m nowhere near always doing what I just described! If you are, then more power to you! I’ve learned that when you truly love someone, you’ll want to do everything in your power to somehow contribute and make their life ten times better and easier. You don’t just focus on your needs and wants anymore, but you take them and their needs into consideration as well.
Okay, story time! It was a gloomy afternoon, and I had just got off from work. I usually arrive home a couple hours before my mom. We’re like best friends, but still have the mother/daughter dynamic. I love her so much. Side note; I know that finding your own place can be a process, but if you’re over eighteen and living with anyone in your family, monthly payments should be a no-brainer! Just felt the need to throw that out there. (Don’t hate me lol.)
I hung up my keys, dropped my workbag on the kitchen chair, and hightailed it to the bathroom. I did my skincare routine, drew a hot bath, lit a few candles, and eased myself into the tub. Following that I cleaned up around the house a bit, and started to make dinner. The smell of zesty chicken parmesan permeated throughout the house; or whatever I had that night- who knows.
I made enough for just me, and gleefully walked into the living room to eat and watch Netflix. Typical American, huh? About thirty minutes later the back door creaked open, and the chill from the cold air outside swept throughout the kitchen. The sound of heels clomping across the echoing floor caused me to get up to greet her. As I made my way into the kitchen she paused, looked at the empty plate where my dinner used to be, and then shot a glance at me. The look she gave me was so cold, it could have shattered ice. “Thanks for making dinner for me, Rach.”
I couldn’t believe it, she was fluent in sarcasm! My heart dropped into the pit of my stomach, because I had realized that what I did (or didn’t do in this case) was a total act of selfishness. I hadn’t even thought to make dinner for her! After a long day of work she had, why hadn’t I thought of it? Am I only thinking of myself? In what other areas of my life could I be affecting people like this and not even knowing it? Scary stuff, man.
My mind began to go one hundred miles per hour trying to figure out why I didn’t think of anyone else at the moment! I apologized, and am now aware that I just honestly don’t think sometimes. It doesn’t come out of resentment or the wanting to be selfish, I just honestly don’t think sometimes! I catch myself doing it still, so I’m working on it. I’m far from perfect, but I’m grateful in hindsight for this situation, because if it hadn’t occurred, I’d be walking around with bloody blinders on! Did you hear that last part with a British accent too? Just me?
Anyway, I hope this little story can teach you something. Are there areas in your life where you tend to be a bit selfish? Well the first step is to acknowledge it, and the second is to keep working on yourself! Let’s remember that it’s not all about us, and happiness is definitely a team effort.
Go at your own pace. Everyone’s path is different, and there is no set time that you ought to to have a solid career, partner, or anything that others pressure you about.
2. Looks definitely aren’t everything.
A happy disposition on the outside doesn’t mean a happy one on the inside.
3. Staying true to your word will benefit you.
Isn’t it crazy how ten years built on the foundation of trust can be shaken and uprooted by one act or misdemeanor? Going back on your word or being flaky with people isn’t a good reputation.
4. If you like them, for the love of God just tell them!
Let me just say that regret from not saying something will last a lot longer than the pain of rejection. You’ve nothing to lose, dear.
5. As a woman it’s okay to make the first move, but do not chase.
Hey, guess what? It’s the twenty first century! Women can totally let a dude know she’s into him, but chasing isn’t ideal. It feels good being pursued and wanted, but it’s also a two-way street.
6. Life is way too short to stay mad at someone.
Welcome to the jungle peeps, but it’s definitely not all fun and games! When it comes to anger, just live and let die. Tainted love happens, but whatever you do, don’t stop believing. If you didn’t notice, I’m heavily influenced by 70’s and 80’s music.
7. 70’s and 80’s (oldies) music will NEVER go out of style!
I totally didn’t plan this segue, but alas! Here it is. This music is just the best I’ve ever heard, I mean who doesn’t love jammin’ out to livin’ on a prayer?
8. Beneath the surface, we don’t have it all figured out.
And we never will! Don’t care how old you are, because no matter how many years pass by you will never have everything totally figured out. Sorry!
9. Don’t ever settle for anything! ..Like ever.
Good things take time, so spare yourself some heartache and resist to accept less than you deserve! Whether it’s out of loneliness, or fear that you won’t get it- It’s just not true!
10. Spend more time with your family as you get older.
Tomorrow is promised to no one. If you have family that loves you and wants the best for you, stay in touch! You never know the last time you could see them. Make it all count and try not to leave anything angry or unresolved.
11. It’s okay to lose “friends.“
True, genuine friendship is hard to find as you get older. You can talk to as many people as you want, but you can only trust few, and that’s okay! More often than not, very few will be your true friends.
12. You can say no without explaining yourself.
Last time I checked, “No.” is a complete sentence! It’s simply a response that you’re fully entitled to. You don’t always have to explain your reasoning, sometimes it just is what it is.
13. The ocean taught me to be still.
While the ocean is definitely not still, there’s a sense of peace I get every time from being near it. Majestic waves and colorful skies cause me to realize that life is beautiful, and we shouldn’t take it for granted. We should cherish all of it.
14. Set your own boundaries before someone sets them for you!
This applies more so towards dating, but the same rules apply in any type of relationship! Do you have certain boundaries you wanna stick to? Make them known and make sure you’re both on the same page.
15. There is no time limit for an emotional wound.
If something hurts, it hurts. Not all wounds are superficial, some cut real deep. While time does heal, it also gives us a chance to reflect and remember. Give yourself some grace, and heal at your own pace.
16. No matter what you do, God will always take you back.
I experienced this first hand when I shut God out of my life. I knew I needed Him when I became a different person. The only way back was through Him. He will always love you, no matter what you do or how far you run!
17. Having a go-with-the-flow mentality leads to crazy adventures!
I can’t tell you how many stories I have simply because I went with the flow. Some things aren’t meant to be planned, scheduled, or analyzed. Sometimes you just need to let go and just have fun!
18. You cannot force a connection, either it’s there or it isn’t.
Now this may just be me, but I’ve found this to be very accurate! I think it happens unexpectedly when a spark of familiarity between you and another person recognizes each other. Go with your gut, because it’s probably right!
19. Taking good care of your body is a must!
Sleep, exercise, pamper, repeat! If only life were that simple, right?! Yes, life gets crazy, but you must make it a point to set time aside to recharge and show love to yourself by treating your body as a temple. I mean, you’ll be in it for the rest of your life so at least make it the best it can be, alright?
20. Learn to let go.
You know that old saying if you love something let it go? It’s true my dears! By releasing everything that you’re holding onto, you’re giving God time and space to do what He wants to do in your life. Learn to trust, and believe that what’s meant to be will be. Focus on you in the meantime.
21. Making Jesus the center of my life changes everything.
To give up anger for peace, loss for love, hurt for healing, and fear for faith; I needed to make God the center of my life. I notice a huge difference when he’s not in the center and when he is.
It’s a nice evening out with your best friend. Soft music in the background creates a relaxed atmosphere. A sparkling glass of champagne accompanies your right hand as you indulge in detailed conversation about your life. You’ve been waiting on something for a while, and it’s getting rather frustrating! Your best friend tries to encourage you by saying, “It’s gonna happen when it’s supposed to happen. You know.. when the timing is right.”
Stop the breaks. Did she really just..? Yep. She said …those words. You know, those same words that have circulated from generations upon generations? The same words that you’ve heard your whole life from people who have taught and mentored you in the way you should go? Yeah, those ones. You then do one of two things. You will either force a smile, nod, then quickly gulp the rest of the nearly full glass of champagne down your throat to swallow your doubtful words. Or, you will put your glass down, lean in, and open up sincerely about what it’s like to really wait on something that feels so far away. That’s basically what having faith in something is like, right? The truth is, it’s the uncertainty of it all that really petrifies us.
Some people will wait for ten minutes. Some for a year, some for ten, and some for even twenty-five! When it comes to waiting for something that you know for a fact is coming— (like a bus or Uber for instance), then the waiting part isn’t as difficult or annoying. If the ride is a few minutes late, you probably wouldn’t sweat it too much because you know it’s coming regardless if it’s on time or not. But what about waiting for a breakthrough? What about waiting for love? How about children of your own when you can’t seem to get pregnant? That’s where things can get.. interesting for lack of a better word.
What I’ve found to be true in my own life is that letting go and giving up is actually harder than waiting. Strange, right? There are definitely pros and cons to that characteristic. The pro is that when you start to see things align and come together so beautifully; almost like they were ordained and destined to happen, then the waiting part doesn’t seem so bad after-all. It actually makes for a great story! The con is that when it falls a part and life flashes before your eyes only to leave you questioning why you waited on something that doesn’t even seem possible, well that’s enough to rip your heart out. Repeatedly. It sucks.
Even though you don’t see it right away, God has such a unique way of bringing good out of crazy and often times painful situations. I believe He really works through space and time. Those two things we can’t touch or feel, so that’s why it’s totally out of our control- which can make it really hard to trust and have faith that things will work out.
If you’ve been waiting or praying on something, I’m here to tell you to not give up if you truly believe in it. Every time I want to throw in the towel on some of the things I’ve been waiting on, there’s always a specific picture that comes to mind. The picture is of a man in a diamond mine that gave up literally right before he hit the jackpot of diamonds! He gave up, and then someone else got the reward instead without the heavy labor he endured because his work was all for nothing.
Don’t be like that foolish man. If you truly believe in something or have faith in it, then stick to it! Either God will change your perspective and heart towards it, or it will happen in such a way that will knock your socks off! ..Do people still say that anymore, or just me..? Anyway— just don’t give up. You were made to have an abundant life, and the desires and dreams planted in your heart are there for a reason. Keep them safe, nourish them, and watch how everything unfolds. But remember, just as it takes time for flowers and trees to grow, so does it for the dreams and desires you have.
~ Xo, Rachel.
I don’t like kids. Oh, so you have a new little baby you say? Aw.. so cute! ..Don’t mind me, I’ll just be on my way rather quickly in case you ask me to hold it. *Runs away.*
You know, it’s funny that I’m not a “kid” person, because I actually want a few of my own one day! ..How does that even work? Anyway, I’ve never been one to want to voluntarily and enthusiastically interact or play with kids; it just wasn’t something I enjoyed doing.
A couple of months ago, I agreed to watch my three year old nephew for the night. Usually my mom is the one who watches him, but this time it was aunties turn! Now while I love him, he can be a bit obnoxious at times..just like any other little boy! I guess that’s what I call kids who like to run around and smack their head into walls, throw tantrums for absolutely no reason, and pick their nose. Let’s be real, little boys can do some of the nastiest things ever, am I right!?
After playing a few games, I put in a movie for us to watch and eased myself onto the sofa. To my surprise, he quietly yet efficiently walked towards me like he was on a mission. He meant business, people. He made his way over to me and perfectly positioned himself on my lap, then pressed his head against my chest ever so gently.
For the first time in my life, I felt such a strong flood of emotion, love and warmth that flowed directly from my heart and transpired into the atmosphere. I wrapped my arms around him and nuzzled him as if I was protecting or comforting him. We stayed like that for the whole movie.
Even though I’ve never really enjoyed little kids, I’ve always loved my nephews, because they’re family. They’re great kids too, but that subtle gesture of affection and vulnerability opened the eyes of my heart to discover that the wall that had separated me from liking kids began to break down piece by piece. I call it subtle love. It usually comes in unexpected ways, with unsuspecting outcomes.
Let me be the first to say that I detest grocery shopping. From the lines, insufficient registers, and crowds, I could do without all of it. Let’s just say I try to avoid it at all means. I make every effort to get everything I think we may need every time I go because I hate to go back. It’s so bad that I smile when I see the checkout. I feel like an Olympian approaching the finish line and taking the gold. Last week as I stood in line, an elderly woman came and stood behind me. As the cashier began to check me out, the Lord laid it on my heart to pay for her groceries. I told the cashier to add her items to my tab. The lady looked at me and said, “No. You don’t have to do that”. I told her it was fine and…
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“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord. Plans to prosper you and not to harm you. Plans to give you hope and a future.” ~ Jeremiah 29:11.
For me, this is the verse that always feels like a drop of water in a heated desert. It’s something that I like to hold on to whenever I need it, which is pretty often! Does it mean hardship gets any easier? Absolutely not. But what it does mean is that there’s hope for the future; and hope is a very dangerous thing for a positive personality type.
Growing up in a very spirit-filled church, I saw some pretty amazing acts of God and miracles that you couldn’t deny. I’ve witnessed things I can’t even comprehend from an outsider’s perspective, as well as my own! If you grow your relationship close to God, He may gently reveal certain things to you through His word, other people, and little happenings that seem to keep popping up; almost as a nudge for you to pay attention.
Hearing God’s voice is totally real! He can make Himself and the desires for your life very clear. It often takes time, and a willingness to be still and listen. However, sometimes it can get hard when you feel something tugging at you, and then question if it’s really God talking because you just can’t see how it’s possible.
Has anyone ever told you they would do something and didn’t follow through? Call it what you will; a dishonest/false hope, a broken promise, or a voice of deception that you wished would have never been spoken at all. Well, sometimes we can feel that way with God when things go south. Even the verse Jeremiah 29:11 might feel like a lie or empty words to someone who just lost their job, a loved one, or even a dream. But God does not lie.
While it’s easy to feel mislead and even lied to in what I like to call- the process, it’s normal to get upset. Do you believe that God has spoken anything over your life? Do you believe that His purpose is to prosper you and not to harm you? Again, I know it’s not always easy, but I wanted to let you know that you aren’t alone. If you’re waiting and praying on something, stay encouraged! He knows what we need, when we need it, and is very interested in every little detail of our lives. “And the very hairs on your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are more valuable to God than a whole flock of sparrows.” – Luke 12:7
One thing I will point out is to really test whatever you believe you may be hearing. This is one of the most important parts of it all! Whether it’s a prophetic word, a certain peace that you can’t explain, or even God Himself gently revealing His plans and desires for you, it’s a good idea to discern whether it’s the voice of truth. I also want to point out that it doesn’t always have to make sense! His ways are way higher than ours, so stop trying to figure everything out, because you never will! What I’ve often found to be true is that God likes to use what seems to be the impossible and makes it possible so the glory goes to Him alone. That’s the whole point!
So if you’re reading this today hoping for a little flicker of hope or a wave of encouragement, take it. God so loves you, even when you can’t always feel Him! If you don’t understand or feel confused when it comes to hearing and following, open up your heart and allow Him to come into your life, not only will you find direction, but peace and joy that doesn’t make sense will find you.
~ Xo, Rachel.
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