You see it in movies, you see it in magazines, and you want to experience it whether you’re aware of it or not. You simply desire to be accepted for you. The real you. The stinky breath in the morning, far from perfect, sometimes disorganized, messy hair with a cup of tea and a stained T-shirt type of you. And you’re beautiful.
Now that’s just reality folks! We don’t always smell of lilacs and roses 24/7, and we certainly can’t rely on our trusty pillow and arbitrary sleeping patterns to ensure we wake up with hair that’s effortlessly Kardashian approved. But it’s the constant imperfections that remind us we’re merely human, and that’s alright.
Growing up I had a lot of encouragement and affirmations from my family, people from church, and close friends. However like almost everyone, I was also teased about certain things. “You’re too skinny. You’re dumb because you can’t solve simple math equations. You’re so forgetful.” The list went on and on! For a little bit I actually started to believe the lies, but then realized that God made me who I am for a reason. So I thought, take it or leave it, this is me!
We all have our own weaknesses, and should always be improving ourselves. I realized that as long as I accepted myself for wherever I’m at with a willingness to get better, that’s all I need. I made the decision to love myself- flaws and all. And so should you! I felt extremely more confident when I shifted my perspective, and I also made a few other adjustments to my daily lifestyle. So I want to share them with you in the hope that you’ll become more confident too!
Above all else, just love yourself the way you wish to be loved. Treat others the way you want to be treated. Don’t give up on improving yourself, because no one will push you to be the best version of you except YOU.!!
~ Xo, Rachel.
Wait, wait, wait. Is she really going there? Uh, yep! Best believe I am!
To start this off, FIRST AND FOREMOST: my intention is not to harm or offend anyone who may be reading this. These are my beliefs, and I’m not forcing them on anyone, nor trying to. Okay, great. Now that that’s out of the way, let’s go!
If you don’t know me well, I’m not shy at all when it comes to much. Especially when it comes to talking about some things that may be labeled as “taboo” or “non-accepting” for the “nice, average Christian woman to talk about.” While I may be nice, I’m not average. So allow me to break that awkward, shameful stigma for a hot minute; because to me, it really is weird! And sad.
Sex! It’s literally everywhere. Movies, social media, music, and our minds. Pardon my bluntness, but if anyone tries to act like a self-righteous individual who thinks they’re a person of moral superiority to others, they may say that they’ve never had any impure thoughts or emotions.. and I’m calling them out! I don’t buy it at all. Although I will admit it’s more of a desire and temptation for some than others, it’s still a natural craving that’s both normal and healthy. God is a God of intimacy and love, and that’s beautiful.
Growing up in my world, sex was not a taboo/shameful subject at all in my family! I had a hard time comprehending the reality of two people having a deep connection with each other as a result of love. The reason being, I never witnessed true love and affection between my parents, because they got divorced by the time I was just four years old. So the idea of a man and woman coming together because they truly loved each other was just a fairy tale that I saw in movies. Since I didn’t see it in my own home, a part of me denied it’s existence as a whole even at a young age.
I was taught what sex was by the time I was in fourth grade …isn’t that insane!?! So, I brought it up to my mom and dad. They smiled at me with a look of calmness, and told me that it’s a beautiful gift God designed to be shared just between me and my husband. They shared personal stories of how sex outside of marriage actually caused pain, because it’s not God’s will for us. That’s the truth ladies and gents- it sucks sometimes, I know!
I was able to understand what they were talking about. I also thankfully had mentors and spiritual leaders who straight up said at team leaderships, “Sex is awesome!! But it’s even better when you’re in a covenant (marriage) with the one God has for you.” So at a very young age, I decided to make a promise to God, myself, and my future husband that I would wait. I’m now twenty-one, and still waiting.
Have there been times where I’ve wanted to give it up? Uhhm duhhh! I’m gonna be real with you, okay. Waiting is extremely difficult. Have there been times where the opportunity presented itself? Absolutely. But even science backs up the fact that during the act of sex, hormones are physically released from our bodies that helps strengthen the bond/connection between you and your person. The thought of having several connections with different people is disheartening to me, because I don’t believe that’s what we were designed for.
But Rachel.. you have to test drive a car before you drive it…?
Well, actually.. no. Today’s generation neglects to recognize how deep and meaningful sex was designed to be. Good sex comes with good connection, communication, learning about each other’s bodies/desires through time, and giving your undivided attention. The wanting to give of yourself and make your spouse feel as good as possible as opposed to being selfish with it makes a huge difference. You have to be a special kind of stupid if you think that marriage will always be a bed of roses, because it won’t! That’s why you have to keep working on your relationship and placing Jesus at the center of it. Also, since God created sex, why would He not bless you tremendously in that area if you’re following Him? Hello..?
Yes, I get this isn’t how life always goes. Sometimes love isn’t shared with just one person for the rest of your life. Some people split up. Some people choose different paths than what God may have desired for their life. Some people have several sexual partners. Everyone has a past, but God is a God of restoration, healing, and hope for your future if you choose to give it to Him. Also, remember that you can always draw a line in the sand and say, “look, I may have messed up, but that doesn’t define me. Now, I’m choosing to walk a different path because this is God’s will and desire for my life.”
To close it, the decision is to not only honor God with my body, but also my husband. It’s funny because I say my husband, even though I’m nowhere near having one. If and when God decides to bring the man He has for me, I want to be able to give him all of me. My everything. To be able to share, cherish, and appreciate a deep type of soul connection predestined by the author of love is one of the most amazing things I can’t even comprehend. I’m choosing to believe that a love like this can exist, and I hope you do too.
Whether you agree with me or not, I hope you get blessed. I’m willing to share this because I feel that we as a people need more of it. I try to be as authentic as I possibly can with the hope that it would reach someone out there and encourage them.
~ Xo, Rachel.
Hey you, I hope you’re doing great. Whatever chapter or adventure you’re on in life right now, cherish the good times and learn from the bad. Your perspective and the way you handle things will greatly impact who you become. Will you allow events that take place in this life to change you for the worse, or for the better? Who do you trust with your life? Who do you love right now? Is it time that you take more control, or give more of it up? What will you do today to help position you on the right track to a better tomorrow? Take your time. Breathe. Remember to love each day. Hugs.
I want everyone who reads this to peacefully sit down with yourself, and truthfully answer these questions. I sense that our culture has become so overwhelmed, distant, and distracted with the constant buzz that flows in-between social media, work, and trying to pursue the passions they love. Many of us don’t take the time to just be still, and reflect. Believe me, I’m very guilty of it!
Nothing is wrong with the three things I mentioned. It only becomes a problem when its all you focus on 24/7. You can always make money, but you can’t always make memories. You can always see what your friends are up to online, but when is the last time you texted or called them to really ask how they were genuinely doing? Let’s face it, social media is kind of a joke; you only see the highlights. It’s great to have a passion, so are you going to impact and uplift others by doing it?
Whatever you do and whoever you build relationships with, be sure to keep your heart honest, and loving. Be a person of quality rather than a person lacking substance and depth. The more you’re able to develop your character through both storms and breakthroughs that life has to offer, the more depth and character will be built and reflected off of you.
~ Xo, Rachel.
Life is full of seasons! You’re continuously walking through different ones whether you know it or not. Some are full of joy, and some are filled with sorrow. Some will bring you clarity, while others will leave you with unanswered questions. At least unanswered for that time being in your life.
Nobody knows the length and intensity of each season you’ll encounter but God. I’ve found that some of the hardest times whether it be emotionally, spiritually, physically, or all of the above create depth and character to each and every one of us. However, it’s up to us to take what we’ve learned from each lesson and apply it to our lives. If we don’t learn from it the first time, God will bring it back full circle again until we get it. Will you give up when it’s hard? Will you keep fighting for what you believe in and who you want to become? It’s all up to you.
If you want to become strong, you typically won’t just miraculously obtain supernatural strength out of nowhere. If you want to build muscle, you’ll have to work for it. Instead of sitting on the couch all day eating potato chips and twinkies, (btw those are nasty.. cut that -ish out k) you’ll need to get into a gym, or go outside and start training. If you ask for emotional / spiritual strength, you won’t just wake up with it one day. You’ll be involuntarily placed into situations/adversity that will knock you down and cut you so deep that it will truly take not only the hand of God, but also your perseverance to get back up again. This one is a toughie.
So, if you’re reading this right now congratulations. You’ve made it to another day! Whoohoo! You’ve probably had times in your life where you felt that maybe it’s all just too much, and you want to throw in the towel. Maybe you’re in a storm where it’s going to take an actual miracle for you to get out! Maybe you’re believing, waiting, and praying about something and it seems like your prayers are just bouncing off the walls. You may be asking, “What’s really going on here?” “Why is this happening to me though..?”
Allow me to shed some light! A couple of weeks ago, I was talking to God about something that I’ve brought up to Him only about 10 million times, asking the same questions over and over. “Why?” “Why did You do this?” “What is ACTUALLY going on?” Just being real here, k. The funny thing is that I ask the same things over and over again full well knowing that we can’t see the whole future, and His ways are totally higher than ours! Sometimes He’ll show us bits and pieces, but not always in full detail.
As I waited on Him and listened, I heard the softest voice ever. It brought so much peace, and really confirmed a lot to me. “Maybe the miracle isn’t getting what you thought the way you believed or wanted it to go. Maybe the miracle is the fact that you survived it all when the opposite happened.” It left me speechless. It was so profound.
We all have storms in our life, and so it’s easy to want to experience a miracle. A little spark of hope to encourage us that our happy ending is just on the other side waiting for us. But the miracle doesn’t always have to be proof of a hero coming in last minute to save the day, or a random breakthrough that totally changes your whole situation. That could happen, but it doesn’t always go that way. Your miracle could simply be the fact that you’re still here, and you survived the storm. You went through ALL of that, and you’re still here. Which is amazing!
Take heart, and know that miracles happen around us everyday. Some of them are only visible to us if we change our perspective, and learn to trust the process in each season of life we step into.
~ Xo, Rachel.
Where are you now? Are you where you want to be in your life? I think that most of us can agree that we’re not exactly where we should be, but we’re not where we used to be!
The fun and scary curve-balls that life likes to throw at us reminds us that we’re not in control, we never will be, and it’s okay! That’s the beauty of learning to trust in the process and enjoy the days we do have. It can be unbelievably easy to forget all of the goodness in our lives because the sounds of chaos and strife seem to be significantly louder than the gentle reminders of love and prosperity. If you come to think of it, there’s so many blessings to count!
The other day I was feeling very sad and angry about a few things. So what did I do? Well.. I love to write (obviously… this blog kinda backs that fact up!) So I whipped out my journal and started writing down as many blessings I could think of.
~ My family
~ My friends
~ My health
~ My ability to get good education
The list went on and on! Suddenly I had an epiphany. My eyes started to tear up. As I read everything I had written, I noticed how I automatically put the word, “My” in front of every blessing that was written. I came to realize that all of these things weren’t really mine! God gave them to me out of love because that’s how much I mean to Him. He is the one who gives and takes away, so who am I to call these things, “Mine?”
I felt an overwhelming flood of peace that surrounded me; even though my circumstances told me otherwise. If we come to understand that everything in this life is a gift given to us, our whole perspective on life and gratitude will change for the better. Whether you believe in God or not, I just want to tell you that He loves you and has so many good plans for your life. I hope you haven’t forgotten how far you’ve come, and remember to cherish all of the blessings that have come your way.
~ Xo, Rachel.
The saying above is so true! Have you ever met someone who is stunning beyond compare, but quickly shattered that illusion by opening their mouth? Yep. That my friends, is a beautiful person with an ugly personality. If you don’t work on yourself on the inside; it doesn’t matter how beautiful or attractive you may be, no person of good substance will want to put up with you. Here are a few qualities that I believe set a good foundation in your heart to pave the way for a beautiful personality.
I’m so sorry to say this, but if you’re currently living in this world, you are going to get hurt. It’s funny how we even end up hurting the ones we love the most! You can choose to either stay a bitter person full of resentment towards these people who hurt you, or you can take the higher road- which is forgiveness. It’s for your own piece of mind, and also a subtle recognition that you will need it just as much as those who hurt you.
This might not always be the easiest trait to achieve, but it certainly makes your life ten times easier! This is simply hearing people out, and learning to give them the benefit of the doubt when all signs are telling you opposite. You don’t always know what happens behind the scenes in people’s lives or everyday scenarios, so learn to have some grace towards them.
Should you have to like everyone you cross paths with in this life? Absolutely not. Should you love everyone you come across in this life? Absolutely. This is my personal belief, so adopt it if you’d like or don’t- but keep an open mind either way! I believe it’s the people who hurt us are the ones who need to be shown the most love. Remember that hurting people hurt people. This kind of ties into the “understanding” trait.
You don’t have to be a Victoria’s Secret or Calvin Klein model to have confidence. It’s simply knowing that you’ll never be “perfect”, and you’re okay with it! It’s looking in the mirror and saying “Wow, I’m fearfully and wonderfully made, I can do whatever I set my mind to because I’m a BAWSE.” Okay, maybe I got carried away.. you don’t want to get too cocky, but you get my point! Learn to love yourself, because you’re amazing, and very deserving.
Nobody likes somebody who thinks they’re better than anyone else, and like Kacey Musgraves put it, someoene who refuses to step off of their high horse. It’s disgusting. Don’t ever let yourself get to the point where you think you’ve made it all by yourself, because you didn’t. People around you most likely are a huge reason of why you are where you are today. And if you do think you’ve made what you did all by yourself, you haven’t made much.
There is nothing sexier than someone who gives to others out of the goodness of their heart, expecting absolutely nothing back in return. You reap what you sow, and seeds of generosity will always produce great abundance when the time is right. Trust me on that one!!
I’m not talking about standing for the pledge of allegiance or saluting a Sargent in the military- though please do that!! I’m talking about respecting other’s beliefs, perspectives, and choices in life. You don’t have to agree with them, but if you’re willing to hear them out without being rude or obnoxious, it’s a sign that you’re highly mature. Yay!
It’s not a walk in the park to strive to obtain all of these qualities, but it’s definitely something to work towards! I’m all about bettering myself in any way I can, knowing that I’m a hot mess at times, and that’s okay! What really matters is where your heart is at the end of the day. Hopefully this helped and encouraged you!
Xo ~ Rachel.
Have you ever heard, “As a man thinks, so he becomes?” (Proverbs 23:7) Well, Its true! Whatever you put into your mind will absolutely have great impact on your life and the quality of it. It affects your perspective on life, your predisposition towards life, and what you’ll attract in life. I’m currently reading a book by Joyce Meyer about this subject! I just felt led in my heart to write about the importance of having a healthy mind.
Sorry to say it, but we all have times in our lives when it can get quite hectic and brutally unpredictable (not the good kind of unpredictability mind you.!) You’ll be thrown curve-balls you weren’t prepared for, undefinable mishaps and tragedies, and good old heartache. This is life, and thanks to sin and free will, we often have to suffer its consequences.
I grew up with and also have developed a positive mindset. I knew that this life wasn’t going to be easy, and I also knew that somehow God still has His divine plans throughout the course of my life even though several things would come try to disrupt and hinder them from happening. You see, If you’re able to shift your perspective from, “why is this happening to me?” to “what exactly am I supposed to learn from this?”, you wouldn’t believe how much your life will change just from looking through that perspective!
Is it going to be easy? Absolutely not. Will it happen right away? Absolutely not! It’s a constant decision you’ll have to make every single day. It’s a choice to speak positive words to others including yourself. It’s a choice to listen to uplifting music every now and then to cleanse out any negativity or intruding thoughts that may be repeating themselves in your head. It’s a choice to cling to positive affirmations and throw out the lies that tell you you’ll never make it. It’s all a choice. Life isn’t just happening to you, you’re happening to life. Your story is constantly being written and played out for a plan and a purpose.
Many people walk around with wars going on inside of their heads, and we don’t even recognize or see it! It’s easy to feel like you’re alone on this, but let me tell you, that is far from the truth! The truth is, we’re all broken. We all need love and freedom from all of the nonsense that gets thrown at us whether it be spiritually, emotionally, or physically. We need to lift each other up, and watch the thoughts we allow to take residence in our minds and dwell on. I’ll end with this quote; “You cannot have a positive life with a negative mind.” – Joyce Meyer
~ Xo, Rachel.
I don’t care how tired I am at the end of the day, I stick to my routine without missing a single day. It not only feels good to know I’m taking really good care of my skin, but the results are groundbreaking as well! It gives me that extra boost of confidence.
In our fast pace culture, many of us think of a skincare routine as a hassle, or even a chore that you’re supposed to knock out before bed. On the contrary, I look at it as a way of life. I’ve recently adopted what’s called the 10-step Korean skincare routine, and ever since I’ve received dozens of compliments from women and men on my skin! I’m actually excited to do this every morning and every night; I look forward to it! Similarly to Koreans, I view it more as a way of life. It’s a calming, peaceful gesture towards yourself to ensure your well-being is relaxed, and refreshed. I go all out. So without further ado, here is my step-by-step routine!
1. OIL-BASED CLEANSER
2. WATER-BASED CLEANSER
(ONLY DO THIS 2-3 TIMES A WEEK!)
6. SHEET MASK
(EVERYDAY OR ONCE A WEEK – UP TO YOU!)
8. EYE CREAM
10. SUN PROTECTION
(ONLY USE IN THE MORNING!)
~ Xo, Rachel.
Wow.! That’s all I have to say about the effects the Korean culture has made in the US and even worldwide concerning music, beauty, skincare, and wellness in general! They really know what they’re doing, and so should you!
There are numerous skincare lines out there that promise you clean pores, a radiant glow, no more acne, etc. When it comes to skincare, you simply can’t have a “one size fits all” kind of mentality, because it’s actually the complete opposite! There are different skin types, different textures of skin, and even different reactions to ingredients products contain.
I had radiant, clear skin from the age I was born to fifteen years old. When I hit sixteen, I would get random flare ups of acne quite often. It wasn’t terrible, just a few spots here and there, but it still made me mad! I tried several different skincare brands and nothing was working. Then I would buy the cheap acne spot treatment cream from Target that dried the hell out of my skin and made it look dryer than the Sahara desert!
It was near the end of 2017 when my beautiful sister Gillian introduced me to K-beauty! We would watch endless Youtube videos of a woman named Charlotte Cho; founder of the Korean beauty retailer Sokoglam. She would show her skincare routine, and give tips and tricks to achieve better skin. I was hooked!
I then purchased what’s called a 10-step routine. Let me tell ya, my skin has never looked so radiant and pure! I’ve even had people tell me that I’m glowing, and asked what I was using! It not only changed my skin, but it made me feel simply amazing knowing that I was taking great care of my body by investing in products that promote moisture, healing, and nutrition. Definitely worth a shot! 🙂
~ Xo, Rachel.
I could write an entire book about this.! This belief has been heavily debated and discussed in the church, and also holds deep value and meaning to my heart as well. I’m going to share what I’ve learned concerning this subject in the hope that it might help anyone out there who is curious about this topic, or is even in the midst of experiencing it!
The answer is simple. Yes. God is God, He can do whatever He wants! He can choose to show you whatever His purpose and will is concerning your life. If God spoke to people thousands of years ago, He can surely do it now. He doesn’t change. Keep in mind that the ultimate goal in life is not to get married or find a spouse; but to live a life that glorifies God, and leaves a legacy of testimonies that bring honor and glory to His name alone.
Before I dive into it, recognize that maybe it’s not God’s will to show you who you’ll marry. I believe God will confirm whether you should or shouldn’t marry someone, but He doesn’t always have to show you in advance who it will be.
I’ve heard stories of men and women who believed they heard God say someone was meant to be their wife/husband, and then went to tell the other person! First of all, if you truly believe you’ve heard from the Lord concerning something as serious as marriage, your job is to be still, ponder these thoughts in your heart like Mary did, and let God be God and bring it to pass. If you go tell the other person and the time isn’t even right, you could totally freak them out. They might see you as that crazy chick or dude that might just be a tad obsessed…yikes!! Which is not the case at all (hopefully).
There are many things concerning this that you have to be mindful of. You have to make sure that what you believe you’re hearing was in fact from God. Remember, the enemy can be disguised as an angel of light. (2 Corinthians 11:14) Not all dreams, visions, or even signs are from God. You need to test a word to make sure it is truly Him. (1 John 4:1) Does it match up with God’s word, or does it contradict it? Are you sure you’re not being persuaded by your own emotions and desires for this other person and confusing your will for God’s will? Pray about all of these things, and ask for confirmation from the Lord. Just like the story of Isaac and Rebekah, (Genesis 24) God will absolutely confirm- He is not the author of confusion, and will not lead you astray!
It can be extremely easy to get exited and even obsessive over this, but please remember that God is a jealous God. The excitement of hearing from God is amazing, but make sure to not let yourself slip into the trap of accidentally making this other person an idol. Of course you won’t intend to, but sometimes our minds can go ahead of God and get the best of us, and even the enemy could try and use it to shift your focus from God onto that other person. Keep your eyes on Jesus! “But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” – Matthew 6:33.
You also have to remember that we all have a choice whether to follow God’s path for us or not. God will not force the other person to pursue or marry you, they also have to be in accordance to what God’s will for their life is. I’ve heard stories where people believe God showed them that someone was supposed to be their spouse, but the other person either didn’t pursue them, or ended up marrying someone else instead. That path will most likely lead to brokenness, confusion, and even loss of faith and trust in God- which is very scary! That’s where the enemy wants you. He might come and tell you that God lied to you, you never really heard God in the first place, or maybe you’re just crazy, etc. Your anger, confusion, and vulnerability in these situations can make you an easy target, so it’s vital to stand in faith even when you feel like Job’s wife who said, “Curse God, and die!” (Job 2:9) A bit dramatic, but you get the jist of it! Satan is the father of lies, so please don’t believe this, and just tell him to go back to hell. Focus on Jesus.
If God spoke a word concerning your life, your job is to pray over it, seek confirmation while you pray, and learn to trust that He will do what He says He’ll do. Even pray for the other person as well. Pray that if it’s truly God’s will, they would walk in accordance with what God is trying to do.! It’s not your will that you want remember, make sure you’re submitting it unto Jesus. It won’t be on your timing, and it most definitely won’t be the way you thought it would be, but that’s where faith comes in! If you believe God spoke to you, give the word back to God, and let Him work it out. It’s not your job to make it happen. Again remember, it will not be on your timing! It could be ten months from now, a year from now, or even ten years down the road! He wants you to learn to trust Him. I hope this helps anyone out there.
~ Xo, Rachel.
a Blog About Life & Style
Relentlessly Pursuing God in Every Season
Chronicling the world of skincare, makeup and everything else muggle.
Daily soaking up everything that the love of my Lord, husband, children, and the wonderful life that accompanies it has to offer.
Dedicated to psychological, physical, and spiritual wellness. We’re all hunting for happy, and we all need a little help.
memoirs of aly (the way i see it).