For the Girl Who Doesn’t Know Her Calling

For the Girl Who Doesn’t Know Her Calling
The wind gently pushed back her auburn hair as she gazed out over the hill country. She felt deep longing well up inside her-a desire to run, to be free, to see the world, to get away from the monotony of her 9-5.

She just wanted to go.

To impact others and do something big-something that mattered.

Frustration ebbed at her core- why hadn’t God revealed His plan for her? Shouldn’t she know what she wants to do with her life? At 25, shouldn’t she know her calling?

Deep inside all of us, we have a need to impact others-to make a difference. We all want to matter. Sometimes it is so frustrating to feel like we don’t know or understand God’s plan for our lives. Trusting Him can be difficult. Handing control over to Him can be one of the hardest things we’ll ever have to do. I mean we’re boss babes, right? We fix our problems. So completely relinquishing that power and control to the Lord can feel impossible, it can even make you feel sick to your stomach. Last year I remember not knowing at all what God’s plan held in store for me and I am still learning. I remember praying everyday that He would reveal His will for my life. I’ve come up with a few tips and things to remember as you are soul-searching and asking God for guidance.

  1. IF GOD IS YOUR #1, YOU CANNOT LOSE

If the Lord is at the root of your being-your guiding force in your life, you cannot lose. Remember Romans 8:31, “If God is for us, who can be against us?

Who can stand against the Creator of the Universe? Oh yeah and don’t forget-He is your Father.
God is for you.
He loves you, He is fighting for you.

Psalm 18:32-33 says,
“It is God who arms me with strength and keeps my way secure. He makes my feet like the feet of a deer; he causes me to stand on the heights.”
God enables you.
He allows you to stand before His presence in confidence. Keep the Lord where He belongs-as the priority of your life and you simply cannot lose.

2. WAIT ON THE LORD

Today I was reading my Bible and I stumbled upon Psalm 27:14, “Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.”
Sometimes God wants us to wait.
With our culture (and myself tbh) that probably doesn’t sit too well. I mean we live for instant gratification-we can see what all our friends are doing instantly on IG, be entertained instantly on TikTok, or if we’re hungry we just drive through Chick Fil A (AKA the Lawd’s chicken). So God telling us to wait seems contrary to what is ingrained within us. But through waiting-God is perfecting us-He is building trust within us and building our patience. When we wait on the Lord and seek Him that is making us grow increasingly more Christlike. And that is the ultimate goal- to resemble our Lord more and more as each day passes.

3. PRAY

If you are frustrated-tell that to God. He wants to hear about your sadness and annoyances. He wants to know.
He wants to know everything.
Remember Matthew 6:26, “Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they?” We have a God who is alive and active, He wants to hear your prayers. He isn’t passive eating bonbons in heaven, out of touch and uncaring. I know it can feel like that sometimes, I’ll be the first to admit it. But remember He died and defeated death just to know you. In Philippians 4:7 God reminds us,
Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
Talk to God.
If you don’t have time-make time. Lately I have been setting five alarms and getting up extra early because it is literally the only time of the day I can find for the Lord.

You always make time for the things that matter to you, you wouldn’t ignore your BFF or your bf. You make time for those you love-including God.

Waiting on the Lord and wanting him to reveal His plan for your life is difficult. It takes trusting in the Lord and allowing him to work in His own timing. Focusing your heart on Him through prayer and making sure that He is Lord of your life is the best way to let him open your heart and reveal to you what His plan for you is. Remember Proverbs 3:5-6, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding, in all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight.”

Trust in Him and lean into His perfect strength, because when we are weak, He is strong.

-Rach

10 Qualities of Godly Friend

10 Qualities of  Godly Friend
Friendships are one of the many beautiful gifts God has given us. Friends can bring us closer to God and have the capacity to change us, positively or negatively. Sometimes it is difficult to find good friends who will stay by your side.

 

Personally, I have experienced friendship on the widest spectrum. I have had friends who have loved me unconditionally like Christ and I have had friends who have thrown away our friendship. Difficulties in friendships can be heartbreaking. I encourage you to be the kind of friend you would want to have. It is important as Christians to honor God through these relationships. Here are ten points to consider in your friendships. I encourage you to examine these points in your life to ensure that you are being a godly friend and that your friends have these essential qualities.

 

A good friend…

 

1.IS ENCOURAGING

1 Thessalonians 5:11 tells us to, “Therefore encourage one another and build one another up.” That is the kind of friend Christ calls you to be! You should rejoice when your friend receives an award or recognition. You should encourage her to grow in her relationship with Christ. Being encouraging does not mean sugar coating everything, but remaining positive, even when the situation may seem bleak.

2. IS A TRUTH SPEAKER

A godly friend speaks truth into your life, even when it is difficult to hear. A true friend loves you and genuinely wants the best for you. They will tell you both the good and the bad. She will tell you when she feels that you are walking away from the Lord or if she feels that you have been walking closer with God. She will speak God’s Truth into your life daily.

3. SAYS THINGS IN LOVE

This one goes hand-in-hand with the point above. If you feel that God is calling you to speak a tough truth into a friend’s life, you must say it in love. Gentleness is a fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22) and should be exercised throughout a Christian’s life. Speaking a hard truth in gentleness and kindness can strengthen a friendship rather than hurt it.

4. PRAYS FOR YOU

A true and godly friend prays with you and for you. We all go through difficult phases in life and a true friend recognizes the need for a prayerful community and asks how she can pray on your behalf. My close friends and I meet once a week to share our walk with the Lord and even share how we have struggled in our spiritual walk. Having that kind of support and accountability is essential. Sharing your prayers and struggles with your friends is liberating.

5. IS THOUGHTFUL

A good friend thinks of others before herself (Philippians 2:3). She thinks about how she can serve others and encourage others in their walk with the Lord. She remembers birthdays and special days in her friends lives. She is intentional with her friendships and know their purpose is to honor God.

6. IS SECURE IN HER IDENTITY

A good friend recognizes her immeasurable worth in Christ. She is secure in her identity as a daughter of the Most High. She also knows that is your identity as well. That’s why she doesn’t get jealous when you succeed, instead she is the one in the crowd cheering the loudest for you.

7. IS LOYAL

A godly friend sticks by your side even when times are tough. She stands up for you when she needs to and always speaks positively of you. She knows that “out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks” (Luke 6:45) and she only uses her words to build you and others up.

8. FORGIVES

We have all fallen short of God’s grace and are going to make mistakes. It is crucial to be able to forgive a friend when she has wronged you. Colossians 3:13 says, “Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.” I am so thankful to have had godly friends who have forgiven me when I have wronged them. God calls us to forgive. Don’t confuse this with justifying an abusive friendship. Although you must forgive them, you do not have to remain in a harmful relationship.

9. IS A PEACEMAKER

A good friend cultivates peace in her relationships. She doesn’t revel in drama or discord. She seeks peace and harmony. Matthew 5:9 states, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.” She doesn’t look to create unnecessary drama and is happiest when people feel included and loved.

10. BRINGS OUT YOUR BEST

Proverbs 27:17 says, “As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.” Friendships are supposed to strengthen your walk with the Lord. A good friend helps you be the best version of yourself. It is also your responsibility as a godly friend to come along side your friends and encourage them.

Being a good friend can be difficult. The secret of being a good friend is to abide in Christ. Remember the purpose of friendship: to honor God. Be the kind of friend God wants you to be. Seek God with all your heart and He will give you the power to be a good friend. Love others the way that Christ loves you and you will become the best friend a girl could ask for.

Love ya,

Rachel

Three Ways to Overcome a Break Up

Three Ways to Overcome a Break Up
Do we ever actually break up with people? After a breakup, we remain Snapchat buddies and Instagram followers; but the position changes. You go from once knowing every intimate hope and dream of another person to suddenly watching their lives through a frosted glass.

 

The conversations stop and you go from being someone’s main confidant to an outsider. Someone who isn’t welcome anymore. This transition can be devastating, life-changing, and confusing. It doesn’t make sense. It doesn’t make sense to be best friends with someone, then the next day you don’t matter. Having gone through some gnarly break-ups, I want to share with you how I have not only survived them, but grown through the miserable process. God CAN and WILL use break-ups to grow you and teach you how to be more Christlike; you just have to be willing to allow Him.

1. GOD IS YOUR REFUGE

I wish I could show you my prayers from a break-up I went through a while ago. I remember praying the same prayer over and over again from Psalm 18:2, “The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.”
I literally prayed this nonstop.
I prayed this in the car, I prayed this in the morning, I prayed this on my pink moped driving to class.
This prayer sustained me.
This prayer comforted me.
Take refuge in your Father during this time. He is the only one who can make you get through this. Alcohol won’t help. Going out won’t help. Those things numb you.
God saves you.
He rescues you.

2. SINGLENESS CAN BE A BLESSING

So many girls want a relationship so badly. We want to share our feelings, passions, and love with another person. God made humans to be relational. That’s a natural, God-inspired desire. It’s not bad, unless it consumes you and comes before God. Also, relationships don’t have to be romantic. You can grow spiritually through friendships. God uses different seasons in our lives to stretch and grow us. Over the past 6 months, I have grown more spiritually than I ever have before. And I know a large reason is because I have been single. For once, I haven’t had a man competing for my attention with the Lord.
Singleness can be huge blessing.
Accept that season in your life and see what God does with it. He has a plan we can’t always comprehend. But remember, God works all things together for the good of those who love Him and are called according His purpose (Romans 8:28).

3. DON’T CONTACT HIM

After a break-up, you need time to recover. I know it is so tempting to call/text/tweet/instagram/snapchat/viber (WHATEVER) him. Just don’t do it. Once you break-up, let it sit. Go be with friends who love you and will encourage you to seek the Lord’s face during this time. Seek God’s presence, don’t run to another guy either. You need to be okay with yourself without a man. I know it’s hard to not contact him-he was your best friend right? You are used to sharing your feelings with him. It seems natural. But remember, he is not that person to you anymore. The relationship has changed and the sooner you understand that, the better. Contacting him will not do you any good, it’ll end up hurting you more. If he refuses to stop contacting you, after you’ve told him multiple times to stop, then block him. If you ended it with him and he can’t respect your decision-that significantly shows how much he respects you. A guy must respect that you have choice in the relationship.

Break-ups suck. They can be some of the most awful, heart-breaking, and devastating times of your life. Whenever you go through a breakup, remember to seek God as your refuge. Pray that prayer from Psalm 18:2 all the time. Write it out and put it on your mirror and memorize it. Lean into God’s Truth that you are His daughter and He loves you immeasurably and walk with that confidence and knowledge at the forefront your mind. Remember, God’s love defines you, not a guy’s affection.
You are a daughter of the Creator of the Universe.
That’s who you are.
That is power. 
God is watching out for you. He has the perfect man chosen for you who will love you and help you walk closer to the Lord. God closes doors for a reason, and it is always because there is a better one He is wanting you to walk through once you are ready. Allow Him to work in your heart and make you into the woman that He has empowered and called you to be-with or without a man.

My Weekly Work-Out and Diet Plan

My Weekly Work-Out and Diet Plan
I’ll be the first to admit that I wasn’t always super healthy.

My relationship with exercise and food in the past was unfortunately skewed, like the vast majority of women. But growing up doing pageants, I think it might have been even more exacerbated. I used to work out three times a day, counting the calories of everything I put into my mouth. All for a competition. But now, a few years removed from pageantry-I can look back and see that although I gained numerous skills from competing, my relationship with my body and food is so much healthier. So much of that is derived in my relationship with Christ! I know that my identity isn’t rooted in a crown, or the number of likes I get, or follower count. My identity-and yours-is rooted in Jesus alone.

He is the one who says you are beautiful.

You are loved.

You are known.

So I just wanted to preface this whole blog with that truth at the forefront of all our minds! It’s not about how we look. It’s all about what Jesus says about us. Also-side note- I love working out. Especially because I currently work three jobs. Yes-three jobs. Working out is my time to unplug from all social media, listen to my favorite podcasts or read a good book, and feel strong. I love feeling accomplished when I finish that ridiculous Kayla Itsines’ arm work out. Throughout this blog, I am going to walk you through what I do everyday and my diet!

Diet

So this is a toughie. I am a firm believer in moderation. Yesterday after my workout, I was feeling light headed so I bought some chocolate and ate it. And guess what-I feel great about that decision! I don’t generally chow down on chocolate everyday, but yesterday I felt like I was getting attacked by dementors (it was a hard day haha) and we all know the best remedy for a dementor attack is chocolate right?!? My point is-be kind to yourself. Be gentle with yourself. One piece of chocolate isn’t going to destroy your life. That being said, I practice intermittent fasting about five days out of the week. So I’ve found that if I eat an early dinner (around 5:30 pm) and have a late breakfast (around 11 am) my body responds to it well. I feel great and my weight stays at a place I want it to. But I don’t do it all the time. I ignore this when I’m out with friends on the weekend. A girl’s gotta live right?! Do not let a diet control your life.

I also eat very high protein. I love love LOVE tacos. My boyfriend makes fun of me because I love them so much. They honestly probably consist 90% of my diet. I make them at home and cook with avocado oil. I buy the extra-lean, grass fed beef to make them (it’s very important you buy healthy protein!). I also buy this almond cheese because ya girl doesn’t respond well to dairy. So my diet is generally high protein, low carb, and low dairy!

Ok-now here’s my workout routine!

Monday

45 minutes of Cardio! Cardio is super easy for me because I love catching up on my favorite shows, podcasts, or even reading during it. I buy giant hardback books and set it up with the elliptical and get lost in a story. Currently I am on book five of Game of Thrones. Cardio is also flexible because it can be a hike with your pup or a walk with a friend. It is basically low intensity cardio over a long period of time.

Tuesday

Leg day! So I have been doing Kayla Itsines’ BBG work out over the past four years and I cannot express enough how wonderful it is. I have had many personal trainers, but her workouts are my absolute favorite! You can learn more about her workouts here! Her workouts build muscle, but don’t make you bulky. They make you strong, but sleek. They’re pretty similar to HIIT workouts. On these strength days, I pop in my AirPods and listen to podcasts or Harry Potter on Audible! My favorite podcast currently is Potterless-the story of a grown man reading Harry Potter for the first time lol.

Wednesday

This is my toughest day of the week so I generally try to rest! I also have my small group this night so no workout unless I’m feeling crazy ambitious.

Thursday

Arm day! TBH arm day is the bane of my existence. Dwight Shrute said one of the defects of our kind is weak arms. Bahaha-just kidding. I do not support Dwight’s stupid, sexist comment. But this day is truly the WORST. I struggle through it. When I first started BBG there were actual tears. So I broke these workouts in half and decided that completing 15 minutes of it was a WIN! Don’t be afraid to change things up if you can’t handle it. Consistency is key. If you hate something, odds are low you’re going to be consistent.

Friday

45 minutes of Cardio! Go on a hike, read a book on the elliptical, or go on a walk with a friend!

Saturday

Ab day is my FAVORITE! Generally I don’t sweat as much this day which is great because I don’t have to wash my hair after. Once again, I do BBG for all of these strength days!

Sunday

45 minutes of cardio!

Well, there ya go! That is my detailed workout schedule and diet plan! Keep in mind, that while arm day might be super challenging for me-it might be a cake walk for you! Abs might be harder for you or legs! Its so important to listen to your body and decide what you consider a win. You might need to adjust certain things to ensure consistency. I’ve found that if I hate something, I can be all gung-ho for it for about a week, but then I just stop. So find something you love. This happens to be what I love because my job requires so much interpersonal interaction. So I love flying solo when it comes to working out. It’s basically my introvert time. But if grabbing a buddy motivates you then DO IT! But most importantly remember that your identity is not rooted in exercise or diet-your identity is rooted in Christ alone. Also-if you have any workout tips or podcast recommendations please let me know in the comments!

LYLAS

-Rach

My 10 Beauty Must-Haves

My 10 Beauty Must-Haves
She stepped past the threshold of Sephora, eyes alight with excitement.

Everything was beautiful and sparkly and the scent of Chanel wafted through the air. She felt excited with all the possibilities before her. She knew what she needed: bronzer. As she wandered down each aisle, things became more muddled-should she get the Tarte shimmery bronzer or the Hourglass lighting bronzer? Oh no-or the Nars blush/bronzer duo? Slowly her excitement began to ebb. There were so many options here. She scanned the store for a sales associate-but no one came to her aid-all were busy helping other customers. Her excitement soon faded into a feeling of overwhelming frustration. This was supposed to be a fun trip! But there were just so many options and she didn’t know which to choose.

 

If you’ve been in that same scenario-I feel ya girl. There have been so many times I’ve wandered into Sephora or Ulta and been totally lost. But through some ok years of trial and error, I have tried hundreds of products and found my top 10 Beauty must haves. This way, you can go into Sephora like the girl boss that you are and confidently snag these products and know they are bomb! Alright, let’s jump right in sista.

 

 1. Dress Code Elchim Blow Dryer

This is the Rolls Royce of blow driers. It runs a little pricey, but girl-it is literally amazing. I will do anything to cut my blow drying time and this bad boy cuts it right in half. My hair went from taking 45 minutes to blow dry to 15. Reminder that whenever you blow dry, use heat protector. Apply it twice: first before blowdrying and then again before you style your hair. The heat from the blow-drier evaporates the first layer and you gotta protect those gorgeous locks! This is 100% worth every penny I spent on it. I bought it straight from Amazon because prime shipping is life.

2. Origins Out of Trouble Mask

This mask is perfect for anyone with acne prone skin. I use it once a week and it always leaves my skin so smooth. Plus it never dries out your skin! Just leaves it feeling perfectly supple and radiant. Ever since I started using this, I rarely break out. And as someone who used to have severe cystic acne-I am so thankful I found this mask! It’s the only mask I consistently use.

3. Olaplex No 3

If you want bomb hair-get this treatment and use it every week! I’ve gotten my hair so long and healthy thanks to this treatment and my amazing hairstylist who takes amazing care of my locks. Many of you comment on my hair and I want you to know-my hair wasn’t always long and healthy! I used to have extensions 24/7. Getting my hair healthy was a journey and this treatment was a huge part of it. This is different than a hair mask because it rebuilds your hair from the shaft, fixing the damage done by color or highlights. I cannot recommend this product enough!

Pro-tip: Whenever you get your hair highlighted, colored, or balayaged, ask your stylist to mix in Olaplex No 2. It’s a more concentrated version of No 3 and is a game changer.

4. e.l.f. Poreless Face Primer

Apply this below your makeup and your skin looks so smooth and flawless! I also love that its affordable. It’s comparable to the Smashbox primers-but this one is cheaper 😉

5. SmashBox Studio Skin 24 Hour Concealer

This is the best concealer of all time. Even when I’ve gotten 3 hours of sleep and am exhausted, I just put this bad boy under my eyes and no one is the wiser! I swear by this concealer-its that good.

6. The Perfect Face Loose Powder in Y2

This is another hack I have learned for those pesky under-eye circles. After I do my concealer and foundation, I put this on liberally under my eyes and then proceed to do my eyeshadow. Then I take my powder brush and brush it away! And voila-no under eye circles ever again!

7. Milk & Honey Cream Deodorant in Coconut Vanilla

You know how everyone is switching to natural deodorant but then everyone kind of smells bad? That was my worst fear, so when setting out to find a natural deodorant that worked, I asked my boyfriend, best friend, and my mom to tell me if I ever smelt bad. Tbh there was no way I was gonna sacrifice smelling good to make the switch. Luckily, I found this natural deodorant from Milk & Honey and its amazing. Not only does it smell good, but it works. Just like regular deodorant, you apply it every morning! I seriously love it. The only drawback is that its cream, so you apply it differently. But I heard they were developing a stick form which I am stoked about!

8. Hoola Bronzer

I will never, ever use another bronzer. I love it because there’s zero sparkle in it. Its completely matte with brown undertones-giving you a sun baked glow that looks completely natural. I use it for my contour and its simply amazing.

9. Clean and Clear Oil Absorbing Sheets

Ok-I love love love these things. As you could’ve guessed, I have oily skin. So usually about 9 hours into the day, my skin begins to produce lots of oil and get shiny. I love strategically using shine for highlighter-but looking super shiny all over isn’t my jam. So I’ll bring these little guys with me-especially during shoots because they don’t disturb your make-up!

10. Conair Xtreme Heat Rollers

Wanna know how I achieve those big curls? This is my secret! Yes, you may definitely will look like a grandma when getting ready, but who cares! Your hair will end up looking crazy awesome in the end!

There ya go! Take this list with you next time you venture into Sephora or Ulta and never feel overwhelmed by all the options again! I got chu girlfriend! Feel free to share this list with your friends. And better yet, if you have a product I have to try-let me know in the comments below!

LYLAS-

Rach