How I Plan & Stay Organized with Dayspring

How I Plan & Stay Organized with Dayspring

She pressed the brand new planner against her palms, she felt the magic of this little planner tingle in her hands.

This is going to be her year.

The year that she has all her stuff together.

The year she’s gonna actually keep a planner and stay 100% organized.

The year she’s going to be ridiculously efficient and accomplish every goal she sets her mind to. Visions of a 4.0 dance to the forefront of her mind, that promotion she’s been vying for sneaks into her minds eye. Trips abroad. She would finally get to to go to Cinque Terre, Rome, and Venice. And she’s gonna hustle until she gets there.

YES she decided.

This is it.

This is my year.

Softly she heard a tiny voice in the back of her mind gently whisper, “Is it your year, or is it about something bigger than you?” She felt a lump begin to form in the back of her throat.

If you’re anything like me, you are juggling about six balls in the air at a time.

And you thrive off of it.

You love having your hand in tons of different projects because its exciting and challenging. It brings out your dynamic side and gives you the opportunity to be flexible! Everyday brings a new adventure. But there can be a shadow side of that fast paced sprint. It can be a lack of organization and a lack of keeping yourself grounded in what really matters. I am so excited to partner up with Dayspring and Studio 71 to tell you just how i have managed to keep all the projects thriving (your girl works three jobs and this past year I traveled over 15,000 miles), stay organized, and most importantly keeping my spiritual walk in check!

1.Keep Your Eyes Focused on What Matters

When you’re a hustling boss babe, it is so easy to become caught up in the checklists and the satisfaction of ticking off those little boxes. There is something insanely gratifying when you get to check a box amirite?!? Dayspring and Studio 71 get that and so they have created a planner that not only allows you ample space to create your lists and work through them, but also have truth and scripture laced throughout the planner. So you don’t lose sight of who is the author of your story! Not only does this planner have check lists and day by day lines, goals where you can record and track your progress, they also have a month to month calendar that is so helpful for planning ahead (Europe anyone??).

DaySpring planner

2. Planning with an Open Hand

Proverbs 16:9 says man makes his plans, but the Lord establishes his steps. Making plans and getting after them is such a good and beautiful thing, but it’s so important to remember to hold every single plan with an open palm, fully surrendered to God. It can be tempting to feel like we’re in control, but these little nuggets of truth throughout my favorite planner constantly remind me to surrender and hold everything, every checklist, every plan, over to God.

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3. When Times Get Tough

My absolute #1 favorite thing about my DaySpring and Studio 71 Planner is this little page in the back titled, “Hope.” This page details any issue you or a friend might be dealing with. Anger, insecurity, love, and prayer are just a few of the ones listed. Each topic comes with a set of corresponding Bible verses that help you know what God says about these subjects. Whenever the stuff hits the fan-the first-the absolute first place we should be running is Jesus and His Word. This planner makes that incredibly easy. There have been so many times where I’ve sat down for a conversation with a girl and had one of these subjects has come up and its so helpful to know where you can look in scripture together to find truth. You can also use this as a topical Bible study to learn about what God says about each of these subjects!

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You’re a busy lady, between work, school, social life, and travel-you’ve got tons of things going on at once. It’s so important to recognize that planning goes hand-in-hand with trusting God. Believing that He holds your future and every plan you could ever possibly make. That’s what I love about this planner. It allows you to make those plans, stay organized, but also turns your heart to what is most important: your walk with Christ. The gentle reminders throughout gently encouraging you to open your fist that is clamped around that plan and give it over to God. There was so much love and care put into crafting this journal. Women and men worked on it who care and that is so evident to me from the impeccable design, to the beautiful scripture throughout, to the “Hope” page that points us to Jesus!

So girlfriend, as you make your plans for the future, I want to encourage you to make them confidently and boldly, but also with a heart fully surrendered to Jesus, the Author and perfecter or out faith.

Love ya like a sister,

Rach

P.S. I 100% recommend this planner and you can get it here!

Why You Should Stop Letting Instagram Control Your Life

Why You Should Stop Letting Instagram Control Your Life
The two friends analyzed the picture, brows furrowed in concentration.

“But do you think it’s Instagram worthy?” asked the taller of the two. Her small, brunette friend grabbed her iPhone and held it close to her eyes, scrutinizing every detail.
“Yeah, for sure. Your hair looks awesome. Plus that app we found to add makeup makes your skin flawless, you will definitely get at least 200 likes.”
Triumphant, the willowy blonde hit share.
The next hour was marred with compulsive glances at her phone.

She bit her lip, she had only gotten 24 likes and it had been up for 45 minutes: an awful like-to-minute ratio.

She turned to her friend, “Should I take it down? I’ve barely even gotten any likes. How many people have already seen it? Do you think people will notice if I take it down at this point?”
Her friend fell silent, a sympathetic look crossing her face.

We have have the need to feel loved, to feel accepted. Deep within our souls, we long for validation.

We want to be liked.

That longing is normal. I mean, who doesn’t want to feel loved or cared about? The rise of social media has made of all highly aware of just of how popular we are among our peers. The number of likes you get on a picture, the number of followers you have on Instagram, or the number of views you get on your snap story has enabled us to quantitatively determine our popularity.
I know I’ve struggled with this.
The scenario I described above is pretty much a conversation I’ve had with my friends countless times. It’s only been over the past year that I’ve realized that the number of likes I get or the number of followers I have does not determine my worth. In fact, it has zero correlation with my worth.

My worth is found in Christ.
Your worth is found in Christ.
He never changes.
He never gives up on you.

Isn’t that truth so much better than finding your value in the hands of the social media landscape? Whose whims change on a daily basis?

We all have that need to be accepted.

The need is rooted deep within us.

It stems for our need for Christ. Our souls long for completion through an intimate relationship with Him. It’s actually not really about the number of likes, views, or followers.

It’s something much, much deeper than that.

What you truly want is to be accepted and loved unconditionally.

To be fully known and fully accepted.

To lay yourself bare, flaws and all, with every facade stripped away, to have every horrible thing you have ever done exposed-and still accepted and embraced.

That is shocking, compelling, and radical love.

That type of love and acceptance can only come from having a relationship with the Creator of the Universe, who loves you regardless of your Instagram following. Whenever I struggle with my identity I always recall 1 John 3:1, “How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God!” And that is what we are!
We are children of God.

Just let that sink in for a second.
When you walk around with that kind of power at the forefront of your mind, does it really matter how many people have viewed your Instagram Story?
Jesus Christ died for you.

When you are armed with that truth, who cares if you get 15 likes or 1500?

Social Media can be a really good thing. It’s fun to share exciting things happening in your life with your friends. And it can connect friends from all around the world, building friendships and connections has never been easier.

But it can be a negative thing when it controls what you do or when you compulsively check to phone to monitor the number of likes you receive. I challenge you to examine your relationship with social media. Does it dictate what you do? Do you find yourself tying your identity with who likes your picture? Or how well a post performs?

Instead of being focused on your social media accounts, dig into the word of God, grow into your identity as the daughter of the Most High. Spend time praying and drawing near to Him. He promises, “you will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart” (Jeremiah 29:13). Find a good book that challenges and grows you as a Christian. Understand that your worth stems from Him and Him alone.

We’re in this together sister,

Rach

A Girl’s Guide to Dating

A Girl’s Guide to Dating
Aight sister-I am just going to come out and say it: dating in the 21st century is rough. With all the games we play, technology we utilize, and insanely busy schedules, traditional dating has gone the way of the Dodo.

It seems like mission impossible.

Over the years, I have compiled some good, godly dating advice and personal experiences that I feel God has called me to share with you guys. Being a twenty something Christian girl in the dating world is difficult, but when your perspective is properly focused and you go into a new relationship with a clear mind, armed with scripture, it makes the whole process 100x easier.

1.KEEP YOUR PERSPECTIVE

I say this a lot. And is it numero uno on this list because it is that important. Keep your eyes focused on God. Keep Him as Lord of your life. It is so easy to get wrapped up in a new relationship. It’s easy to get swept away in the romance of it all and that can be a good thing. Don’t feel bad for getting butterflies and getting excited when you see him. That is normal and good! But make sure that he doesn’t take the place that was meant for Christ. Christ can only fill that longing and make you complete.

No guy can even come close to filling that place. When you put that type of unnatural pressure and expectation on a relationship, it will end up hurting both people involved and making you extremely let down.

Matthew 6:33 states,

“But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”

Keep Christ as your #1.

2. TO ATTRACT THE BEST, YOU NEED TO BE YOUR BEST

In order to snag the godly guy, you have to be a godly woman. A man who loves God is going to be attracted to a woman who loves the Lord and that is evident through how she treats others, how she serves others, and how she carries herself. I know this should go without saying, but go to church.

Get involved.

Serve the Lord because you love Jesus, not to find a dude.

A servant’s heart is one of the most attractive characteristics a person can possess. If you want a man after God’s own heart, you need to be a woman who loves the Lord. Gaze on Jesus and fall deeper in love with Him.

3. KNOW YOU CAN’T CHANGE A MAN

I know women love projects. We love crafting and decorating our tiny apartments. Athropologie and Hobby Lobby have become my second homes because I love interior design that much. And that is awesome, but do not make a man into your next project. I know we all have had that thought, “he will change for me!”

But do not fall into that deception.

Yes, people can change, but it’s not your job to fix someone. That is the Lord’s work and when you put that kind of burden on yourself it really is not good. Besides you don’t want that homie to change for you-you want him to genuinely love Jesus. Sister, please don’t get into a new relationship wanting to change someone. You can grow closer to God together. But if you enter into a new relationship with the idea that you will evangelize him and lead him to Christ, just don’t.

You can point him to God as a friend, or better yet, find a godly guy friend for him to spend time with. You do not want to fall in love with someone who doesn’t have a relationship with the Lord. That is heartbreaking.

4. HAVE FRIENDS WHO KEEP YOU ACCOUNTABLE

You need to have godly friends: friends who you can share your struggles and temptations with. Friends who will make sure you don’t spend the night at his house and friends who are in fight for purity with you. It’s a tough battle and you can not do it alone. As humans, we are made for companionship. You need friends who encourage you and tell you lovingly when you are in the wrong. This is absolutely critical. Proverbs 27:17 speaks to this truth, “As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.” We need friends who will make us better and hold us accountable!

Hear me when I say this. You need friends who understand the gospel & you need to understand the gospel. Friends who you are not ashamed to share your weaknesses with. You will mess up. And you need friends who won’t shame you and just tell you to do better. But friends who lovingly remind you of the grace that Jesus gives and kindly point you toward turning away from your sin.

Jesus is not about behavior modification alone, He is about heart change.

Here is one of my favorite resources on how the gospel speaks into every aspect of our lives.

Dating is hard. Dating godly is even harder.

Whenever you start a new relationship, keep your heart and your eyes transfixed on the Lord.

Go into that new relationship with your priorities in check and with a clear mind centered on the Lord, holding that relationship with an open hand. Have a strong group of godly girlfriends who do life with you and help each other’s walk with the Lord.

The most important thing to remember when dating is knowing who and what defines you: your relationship with the Lord.

Another crucial thing to remember is that everyone’s path is different. One thing God promises is that He works all things for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28). So if you’re single, dating, or married-know that you have immeasurable worth in Jesus.

If you’re single-there is nothing wrong with you. God’s timing is different than ours and He sees the big picture while we only see a tiny fragment. Keep your identity in Christ at the forefront of your mind.

 

Love you so much sister and know you are never, ever alone. Jesus promises to be with you until the end of the age (Matthew 28). Please feel free to send this to any friends who are walking through the difficult path of dating!

LYLAS,

Rachel

Trusting God in Singleness

Trusting God in Singleness

I don’t know about you guys, but I often times fail to trust God fully.

You would think at this point in my life, I would have it down. I’ve seen God take the most broken of circumstances and turn them for my good and His glory. But for some reason, I am struggling. I know I am not the only girl out there trying to trust God fully and getting frustrated with my own lack of faith. So as I write this post, I want you to know, I am right there with you sister-fighting to believe God’s plan is best, fervently praying that God would help me believe His promises, and desperately wanting Him to capture my heart more. That being said, let’s find out together what it looks like to trust God during singleness.

SINGLENESS IS NOT A PROBLEM TO BE SOLVED

I can’t tell you how many people ask me how I am single or try to set me up with their husband’s twenty-something co worker. I want to tell all of them that singleness actually isn’t a problem to be solved.

In fact, singleness is a gift.

In 1 Corinthians 7:34, Paul says, “And the unmarried or betrothed woman is anxious about the things of the Lord, how to be holy in body and spirit. But the married one is anxious about worldly things, how to please her husband.”

Singleness is a unique time in a person’s life where he or she can be completely devoted to furthering God’s kingdom. It’s not wrong to desire a husband, but it does become a problem if that desire supersedes a desire for Jesus. If you are single right now, then God has called you to singleness in this particular time. Until you are engaged, God has called you to singleness. That means an undivided dedication to seeing Jesus’ kingdom expanded. And girlfriend-that is AWESOME!

WHAT IS MARRIAGE’S PURPOSE ANYWAY?

The purpose of marriage is to display the gospel.

Paul explicitly lays out the purpose of marriage in Ephesians 5. He explains mens role in marriage,
“Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, 26 that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, 27 so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. 28 In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29 For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church, 30 because we are members of his body. 31 ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.’ 32 This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church.”

“IF YOU WANT A MARRIAGE THAT REFLECTS THE DESIGN GOD INTENDED, THEN WAIT ON THE LORD AND THAT INFORMS WHO AND HOW YOU DATE.”

The role of the wife is the church, whom Christ laid His life down for. The role of the man is Christ.

Christ died for the church.

Marriage displays the gospel in a unique and beautiful way. If you want a marriage that reflects the design God intended, then wait on the Lord and that informs who and how you date. Are you dating men who treasure Jesus above all else? Are you seeking Jesus with all your heart and seeking to live a life worthy of the calling you have received?

LEAN INTO GOD’S PROMISES

The other day, I asked one of my guy friends how he had such strong faith in Jesus-how was his faith so unwavering? His answer was simple:
Pray and read God’s Word.
Everyday I pray for a heart that mirrors Jesus-a heart that treasures Jesus above all else. I beg God to capture my heart more, so that I have nothing before Him.

Guys, I fail a lot.

Trusting God is difficult and praise the Lord He is faithful when we are faithless. Lamentations 3:22-23 are two verses I always cling to,

“The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases;
    his mercies never come to an end;
they are new every morning;
    great is your faithfulness.”

His love never changes.
His love never doubts you.

Jesus took your place and you are made right before God because of His perfect blood. Ask Him to help you remember that. God wants you, His daughter, to come to Him in prayer-to beg Him to transform your heart.

DAILY REMIND YOURSELF OF HIS FAITHFULNESS

How has He transformed your life already?

Remember when you first felt the weight of your sin. Recall when you first heard that Jesus Christ, who was fully man and fully God, lived the perfect life, died the death that you deserved because of your sin, but then defeated death, and was raised to life and is seated at God’s right hand.

Remember the first time you heard that and allow your heart to be filled with thankfulness.

One of my favorite authors, Jerry Bridges says, “Preach the gospel to yourself everyday.” Tim Keller tweeted (classic Timmy, amirite?!), “The gospel is not just the ABC of the Christian life but the A to Z of the Christian life.”

“THERE WILL BE NO MAN WHO CAN POSSIBLY COMPLETE YOU. THE ONLY ONE WHO CAN DO THAT IS JESUS. PUTTING THAT KIND OF PRESSURE ON A GUY WILL CRUSH HIM AND THE RELATIONSHIP PREEMPTIVELY.”

 The gospel is the lens from which you view everything. Set your mind on His faithfulness and goodness, and stop being so concerned with who you are going to marry. Contrary to Jerry Maguire, there will be no man who can possibly complete you. The only one who can do that is Jesus. Putting that kind of pressure on a guy will crush him and the relationship preemptively. Trust that God is working all things for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose (Romans 2:28).
Singleness can be a difficult time, but it can also be a really awesome time. Consider these questions as you learn to trust God during this season of your life.

Are you living your life unafraid and passionately for His Name?

Are you fulfilling the Great Commission by making disciples and teaching them all Jesus taught?

Are you bringing your desires to Him and asking Him to strengthen your faith?

Are you going to His Word everyday and fighting to believe His promises?

“GOD IS USING EVERYTHING TO TRANSFORM YOU MORE INTO THE IMAGE OF JESUS”

God is using everything to transform you more into the image of Jesus. You are a woman empowered by the Holy Spirit to live a life for the sake of the gospel. It’s my prayer for all of us to be changed more and more into the image of our Savior as we learn to trust Him more fully.

Lylas,

Rach

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