You don’t need to buy God’s love.

By now you’re probably familiar with the college admissions scandal. Earlier in the week several people were charged with bribery in order to get their children into elite colleges like Yale University, and the University of Southern California and several others.

Such bribes included paying money to forge SAT and ACT scores and paying others to take them and paying coaches large sums of money in order to tell the college office that their kid was an athlete – when they weren’t.

It’s not really a surprise to me. I sort of figured this sort of thing happened all the time in Hollywood anyway.

In general, people think they can throw money at a problem and it’ll go away. People think that they can buy their way into things. Because as much as we want to admit, money factors into a lot of things. Having money is a necessity in life.

I digress.

There is one thing that you can’t buy.

God’s love. 

Ephesians 2:8-8 tells us For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith-and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God- not by works, so that no one can boast.

No matter what we do.
No matter how we act.
No matter what we say.
No matter how many times we attend Sunday services.
No matter how many times we’ve volunteered and donated to charity.

We can’t earn our salvation.
We can’t buy our way into Heaven.

It is by the grace of God that we have been forgiven.
Salvation is a gift from God – freely given to us by the grace of God.

Why try to earn something when it’s already been given to you freely? 

We think we have to earn God’s love because we are flawed and we fall short of the glory of God daily.

We mess up and think that we need to earn back God’s love.

Romans 8:38-39 tells us, For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our LORD.

You don’t ever have to earn God’s love because it’s already been given to you freely. No matter how many times you’ve messed up, and no matter how many times you’re going to mess up again.

God’s love is unconditional and never changing.

You Can Keep Talking About It Or Do Something

“I want to take culinary classes”.
“I want to eat healthy”.
“I want to start saving money”.
“I want to start a business”.
“I want to travel more”.
“I want to make a change”.

We talk about our wants, desires and goals. When it comes to actually putting them into actions it’s a whole other story.

There is a clear difference in stating that you want to make something happen and actually taking the first step and making that change become a reality.

After working for almost a year at a coffee roasting company as a cook, I decided I wanted to learn more about coffee and roasting. I wanted to push myself. I wanted to do the dash my own coffee roasting business.

For months it remained just a goal in the distance. I found excuses to not start. “I’m exhausted”, or “I have too much going on”. I kept putting it off for “tomorrow”.

In order to make it a reality I would need to take a giant leap of faith into the unknown.

It’s the unknown. It’s uncharted waters.

It’s scary. It’s exciting. It’s stressful. It’s an emotional roller coaster.

Here’s the thing. You can find a million excuses to not try something or make something happen. You can spend your whole life making excuses to put that goal off until “tomorrow” or “next week”.

Or, you can take a small step in the direction of your goal.

Even the smallest step in that direction is a step toward making it become a reality.

Maybe that’s visiting local gyms and finding the right match. Maybe it’s not eating out and packing a lunch. Maybe it’s showing up to a local event in your community.

Whatever it is, take a small step toward making your goals a reality today.

Living With Dyspraxia: Life in the Kitchen

I currently work in a kitchen as a chef. Some days by the end of my shift my chef jacket looks like a work of art that Picasso might’ve created.

I absolutely love being in the kitchen and getting to create different dishes.

I also happen to have Dyspraxia, otherwise known as developmental coordination disorder, DCD. Dyspraxia is a neurological disorder which affects a persons ability to plan and process motor skills. Symptoms of Dyspraxia range anywhere from poor balance, poor posture, poor hand-eye coordination and clumsiness. Dyspraxia is often mis-diagnosed as a lot of symptoms run hand in hand with ADHD, OCD or even Aspergers.

Living with Dyspraxia can present all sorts of challenges in the day to day life. What may appear simple to someone without Dyspraxia may seem like a mountain of a task to someone who may have Dyspraxia.

When I’m in the kitchen I find it draining, and exhausting. Especially since I’m also extremely introverted. Yet, at the same time I’m great at it.

One of the struggles of having Dyspraxia is struggling with time management. I’ll often try knocking things out at once or jumping ahead. I can’t really do this as a line chef. One thing that helps me keep track of time is by setting timers. Setting timers helps me to better manage my time and I’m less likely to jump from order to order and be distracted.

There are times when it can be really stressful in the kitchen. To the point where some days I feel like I need to spend a year in yoga classes, but there are little things I can do to help me manage my Dyspraxia.

Peeling That Band-Aid Off

You fall down and scrape your knee or elbow and end up with a wound.

What do you do next?

Disinfect the wound and slap a band-aid over it to prevent anymore dirt from getting inside.

When people or situations hurt you and leave you feeling wounded, how do you respond?

How do you let go? How do you forgive those who have hurt you?

Do you just slap a band – aid over the wound and call it a day?

Or do you actually clean out the wound so that you can truly start the healing process?

In past I’ve always just sort of taken the, “slap a band – aid over it” approach. When my ex-boyfriend cheated, I forgave him and slapped a band – aid over the wound. When a friend hurt me, I forgave and slapped a band – aid over the wound.

I always knew that I needed to forgive like God forgives us.

I slapped band – aids over my wounds and never truly allowed healing to begin. Over the years these wounds would fester and eat away at me and consume me.

In order to heal wounds we need to peel that band – aid back and allow it to breathe.

It’s okay to acknowledge the hurt you were left with. Sometimes it helps to acknowledge that pain and to understand that we’re all sinners in need of grace.

Ignoring the wound that’s there doesn’t help. It’ll only grow and fester.

Whatever wounds you currently have, peel that band – aid back and allow healing to happen.

Living with My Dyspraxia: Kitchen Struggles

I currently work at a coffee roasting company as one of their cooks. It’s an interesting job and I get to make delicious food such as

However, I also have dyspraxia. Dyspraxia, otherwise known as, DCD, Developmental Coordination Disorder affects between 2-10% of the population. It is under diagnosed in the United States and can affect a persons motor skills, ability to sequence and hand-eye coordination, etc.

Living with dyspraxia can present all sorts of challenges in day to day living. What may seem like a simple task to someone without dyspraxia, may seem like a mountain of a task to someone with dyspraxia.

For instance, when cooking I get easily tired and get easily frustrated. Often because of this, it’s hard to motivate myself.

When I cook, I have this tendency to want to do everything at once. I have difficulty knowing what comes first or even how to keep things in the correct sequence.

Another thing I struggle with is grip and cutting. Even something as simple as just holding the whisk when I whisk eggs isn’t easy for me. I struggle with the hand coordination that is required to whisk eggs. Luckily one of my coworkers taught me a little hack to help me whisk the eggs.

The best advice I can give you on working in the kitchen and cooking with dyspraxia is to practice and take your time. It helps to know your weakness and to find constructive ways to deal with them.

For instance, what helps me is when I have recipes to follow exactly, and timers. Without timers, I’d forget all time. I will also scribble notes down to myself all the time to remind myself to get tasks done or if I’m out of an ingredient.

Living With My Dyspraxia: Exercise

Dyspraxia, also known as DCD, Developmental Coordination Disorder affects fine and/or gross motor coordination in children and adults. People with dyspraxia may find it extremely difficult to exercise or even to stay motivated. Many people with dyspraxia often have low muscle tone and poor hand eye coordination, which makes it hard for them to run/jump or even to play team sports.

For me, I feel like I personally have a great amount of muscle from spending an enormous amount of time in the gym and pushing myself to lift weights. When I was younger, my family and friends started nicknaming me, “Herculina”.

My downfall with exercise is that it gets exhausting and when I do run into muscles that might be weaker, I get discouraged from exercising.

Here are some exercises that I find extremely helpful and enjoyable:

Yoga:

As I stated before, I used to be a yoga instructor. At some point I was actually teaching two yoga classes a day, twice a week. When I wasn’t teaching I was in the gym every morning pushing myself to work on muscle tone and balance.

Yoga is helpful regarding balance and coordination. Although for me, I would struggle with the sequences and the timing of the sequences.

Swimming:

I find swimming very therapeutic and refreshing. Swimming is great for people with dyspraxia because it is made up of repetitive movements in a sequence, and with practice it is easy to follow.

Swimming helps with balance, flexibility, and endurance.

Running:

I enjoy running as it gives me an outlet to run off excess steam or frustrations that I may have. It also lets me get outdoors and enjoy the beauty of nature. However, most likely I’ll probably trip over while running. It happened more often when I was younger. I re-call having bruises and torn up knees from tripping and falling constantly.

I usually tend to run/jog, or to do interval running. That’s my way of trying to make sure I don’t fall as much.

Longboarding:

When I was in high school I would longboard more often. I often liked to hang around my guy friends who were often longboarding and/or skateboarding and watch them. Although, I never seriously got into it. I don’t have as much time to longboard as much anymore so my skills are pretty bad.

I find longboarding helpful regarding learning how to balance, however that can also be the downfall. I often lean too far to the right when I actually want to go left, or left when I want to go right. I also have a habit of losing balance as I’m trying to coordinate my movement.

Longboarding may not be for everyone, so I would strongly caution this if your balance is basically non-existent. Or, if you are just starting out, try on a flat surface. Baby steps, y’all.

 

What If I Don’t Like Any Of Those Options?

I also like to walk and go hiking whenever possible. Find an exercise that motivates you to want to workout. It’s never fun to do an exercise that you feel, forced into or bored at. Try to pick sports that’ll improve your coordination, and muscle strength. As with anything, exercising requires determination and practice. Don’t get discouraged. If you don’t succeed, keep at it. It’s okay to start slowly and take things easy. You don’t have to be a pro at it from day one.

Living With My Dyspraxia: Grooming and Personal Care

In today’s blog post I’m going to be going through the grooming and personal care struggles that dyspraxics may go through.

Adults with Dyspraxia face challenges daily from tasks that non – dyspraxic adults may find easy to carry out.

Makeup: 

For me sometimes the struggle is between being afraid I’m going to poke myself in my eye when doing my mascara, and finding it difficult to do the hand movements everything. I know the process of doing make-up: moisturizer, foundation, concealer, eye shadow, mascara, lips, etc.

I usually try to keep my makeup application simple.

As for eyebrows, I gave up trying to do them myself. I get them done at the beautician. I’ve learned from experience when I do my eyebrows, I end up leaving huge gaps in them and looking sort of like Seamus Finnigan from Harry Potter every time he produced explosions and blew off parts of his eyebrows.

seamus

Hair: 

Do not even get me started on hair tasks. Most children and adults with dyspraxia try to find hairstyles that are simple and easy to maintain. Especially when you have to use a hair dryer, it may be awkward to grip and handle.

My struggle with hair is trying to figure out how to get my hair into all those cute styles I’m always looking up and wanting to try and trying to figure out how to hold my hair dryer in the process.

I tend to like to stick with shorter to medium styles for my hair as it’s easier for me.

Teeth Care:

People without dyspraxia may find brushing their teeth easy. For dyspraxics, trying to figure out how to grip their toothbrush and co-ordinate movement while brushing teeth may be an actual frustration and nightmare.

Many dyspraxics find setting a timer on their phones helps, and using an automatic toothbrush extremely helpful.

How Are You Using Your Words?

Words.

Sometimes we forget just how much power and weight the words we speak aloud hold.

We get into arguments, and say the wrong thing with our words.
We use our words to spread gossip about people.
We use our words to pray for others.
We use our words to thank family or friends.
We use our words to express love.
We use our words to comfort someone in a time of need.
We use our words to tell jokes to provide others with laughter.
We use our words to lie – whether it’s a “little” lie or a “big” lie.

Yes, the words we speak hold extreme power – the power of life and death.

The power of build up or tear down.
The power to bring together or to separate.
The power to provide peace or stress.

The Bible tells us in Genesis that God used HIS words to speak creation into existence. He used HIS words to speak life into this world. Meanwhile, Satan used his words to speak lies and death into existence.

Sometimes when we get frustrated, angry, or upset it’s easy for us to say the wrong thing.
Sometimes when we find ourselves in trouble or in the wrong place at the wrong time, we may use our words to try to lie to get out of trouble.
Sometimes when we hear news that we know may not be true but sounds juicy, we use those words for gossip.

 

How are you using your words?
Are you using your words to build up and encourage others? Or to tear down and discourage others?
Are your words full of life or death?

Be careful with the words you speak, they hold such enormous weight.
If you are ever upset, angry, or frustrated it’s okay to take a deep breath, or maybe even walk away from the situation or take awhile to answer that text.

 

 

//What people don’t want you to know\\ Be authentic 

Scrolling through Instagram, scrolling past the usual coffee photos or photos of that friend you haven’t seen since 10th grade eating a fancy dessert, or maybe a photo of a college friend getting engaged.

Facebook isn’t that far off, what with all the posts about people getting promotions or engaged or even expecting a baby.

Sometimes you might think everyone seems to have a perfect life.

So, what’s the truth?

The truth is: nobody has a perfect life. Nobody.

You can post as many photos that have been perfectly edited, you can post the most positive statuses and tweets. 

It still won’t change the fact that none of us are perfect.
We are all imperfect and flawed.
We all have something we’re dealing with.
There are moments where we all just feel like wearing sweatpants and a t-shirt and drinking hot tea. Or maybe we just want to unwind with a bath and a good book.

Heck, I get that way.

I still get zits and use toothpaste on them.
Most days I don’t wear matching socks.
I’m probably the most organized disirganized person-ever(I have a system to my disprganization).
When I watch tv I have to have something to drink or nibble on.
I strongly hate mushrooms.
If I could, I would wear flip flops all year.

It’s okay to be real and not try to act like everything is perfect.
We don’t live in a fairytale guys.
It’s okay to put a photo of yourself up that isn’t staged.
It’s okay to admit you’ve just had a crappy day.
It’s okay to admit you don’t understand something.
It’s okay to ask for help.
It’s okay to be different.
It’s okay to be authentic.
It’s okay to be you.

It’s okay if your path in life looks a little different than someone else’s. God is writing your story, trust Him and His plans for your life.

In a world where too many people try to be someone they aren’t, be yourself.

“Everyone else is doing it”

“Everyone else is doing it”
“Everyone is saying it”
“Everyone will be at this party”
“Everyone is seeing this movie”

If you are a parent you are probably all too familiar with your children saying son similar to you..

Or maybe you or your friends have said something like this to each other at one point.

“Everyone else is”….. so you should too…..right?

Wrong.

Sometimes we use the, “Well, everyone is doing it, so I should too” to justify doing something or buying something.

We use it as a means to, “fit in”.
To go with the crowd.
Be “cool” and do what everyone else is doing

The truth is, it’s okay to not follow what everyone else is.

In fact the Bible even warns against going with the crowd.

Exodus 23:2 Do not follow the majority when they do wrong or when they give testimony that perverts justice.

Look, I get it.
Its easy to go with the crowd and do the same thing everyone else is.

Sometimes we see other Christians doing something or saying something, and we use it as a justification to get away with sin.

What we should remember is that, other people should not be our standard for living. Our standard for living should be based off of God.

When we look to others for how we should live life and what is acceptable, we fail to remember that they too are just as flawed and in need of Jesus as we are.

Friends, the next time you use, “Everyone else is doing it”, please take a deep breath and ask yourself if it’s what God would want you to do. 

It’s okay to be unique and different.