Dollar Shave Club

So online-surfing is one of my favorite hobbies. I love reading random articles for no reason. About a week ago I saw an article titled, “I tried dollar shave club and this is what happened.” In the article the woman tells about her experiences with different types of razors in the past, how she decided to try this company after one of her friends recommended it, and the huge difference that it made in her life.

I noticed that a lot of her past experiences matched mine. Some razors gave me cuts for no reason, I was always getting irritation, and sometimes the razors hurt. I also had to shave every day because my razors were getting all the hair. I tried so many different kinds that claimed to have a close shave but didn’t live up to their promise, and I refused to spend all my money on those expensive ones. Why does shaving have to cost so much?

20160404_233503

So after reading the article I decided to check it out. When I first got to the website it took me step by step and the ordering process was a breeze. I chose the executive which is a six-bladed razor that gives the closest and gentlest shave I have ever had. There were no cuts, no irritation, no pain, and the strokes were quick and smooth.

I also bought some of their shave butter. It’s the consistency of conditioner and goes on very nicely. You can tell where you’ve shaved and where you haven’t. I’ve found that I prefer this product over every other soap and shaving cream that I’ve used. It left my skin feeling so soft and nourished. I haven’t seen this for myself yet, but my mom told me that she noticed a difference in how fast her hair grows back since she started using it compared to when she used soap/shaving cream.

20160404_233410

They say first impressions are always the most important, and there’s no exception when it comes to what you use on your body. Overall, this has been one of the best first experiences I’ve had. I’ll continue to be a member of Dollar Shave Club. You can get your first shipment by visiting www.dollarshaveclub.com

20160404_233726

After one use.

Society Vs. Woman

A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies.” Proverbs 31:10

I remember I was ecstatic when my class came across tribes run by a woman. History has been pretty matriarchal for the most part, and how they treated woman hasn’t been that great. Woman were told how to dress, how to act, how to talk to a man, where they could be, when they could be, and in some cultures, a man had to go with them or they could face arrest. Esther married a king and faced death if she visited her husband without requesting to first. People looked down upon woman and thought because we are smaller and not as physically strong that we weren’t capable of doing as much or more than men, nor did we even have half the brain capacity than men did.

Then woman started to step up. They started teaching kids how to read, mothers how to care for their children and started movements to rid their communities of prostitution and promoted how saving yourself for marriage is important. The woman of that time wanted to rid the world of anything that did not give woman their self-respect and dignity.

Eventually, woman started to fight for the rights that they deserved: the right of the freedom to choose for themselves. Whether it was having a job, voting, or even what they wanted to wear, they could make the choice to do it without a man’s approval. They took their weaknesses and made them strengths, they proved their bravery and showed that they were just as intelligent as men.

Every day I go out into the world and the same question pops into my head: Where are these woman today? Where are the woman who had the determination to fight for themselves and what they deserve? Where are the woman who had class and self-respect? I am a waitress in the food industry. I go out to nice places and enjoy doing things like going to concerts/shows, karaoke, seeing movies, etc. I have served people at work and have seen people from all over different jobs and reputations.

“Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value. She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life.” Proverbs 31:11-12

I have seen woman of all ages barely dressed in trying to get attention from the opposite sex and make those of the same-sex jealous. I’ve also seen those same women get mad when they get disrespected by the guys they are attracting. I get upset at the idea that woman feel that they have to dress that way to get attention. I get upset when they think they’ll attract a good guy dressed like that.

I’ve seen woman jump each other and turn against their families and friends for the dumbest reasons: someone slept with someone they weren’t supposed to, they dressed wrong, the list goes on. I’ve seen woman act nasty toward both men and other woman for no reason. They speak rotten words to people instead of breathing life into them. I’ve seen woman stay in relationships with men who had no motivation to get a job to help them out in keeping food on the table and the bills paid, who won’t even attempt to make them happy. I’ve seen them struggle and go through depression over circumstances that I know they have the strength to change, but won’t because they don’t want to or they’re conditioned to believe they are too weak from a bad relationship with a current or ex-boyfriend/husband, a parent/other family members, or a friend/group of friends.

“She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come. She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue.” Proverbs 31:25-26

I’m so sick of hearing woman slut-shaming each other, of them trying to screw up each other’s lives or the lives of men that broke their hearts. It only gives men a reason to do the same thing to woman, and I know none of us like it when our exes go around saying awful things about us (or any man or woman for that matter). I get so tired of seeing woman hate men and say awful things to them in the name of feminism. I just want to tell them to sit down because they don’t even know what it is.

“Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: “Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all.” Proverbs 31:28-29

And so my question still stands. Where are these woman today in 2016? Where is the love that encourages people? Where is the compassion that helps people? Where are the words that give people hope? Where is the strength? Where is the class? When will woman have the reality check and realize that they are more than what they think they are? When will they learn that they have power in this world?

Those woman did not fight for us to have freedom so that we could choose to dress skimpy, have sex with anyone we want at whatever age we want, put ourselves in dangerous situations, etc. They didn’t fight so that we would feel trapped or isolated, or so we would believe the lies that are told to us by media and others who want to tear us down. They didn’t fight for us to lose our dignity and self-respect. They didn’t want nude photos or secret videos of us being intimate with someone to get on the internet because we let our guard down for one night. They fought so that we could put our feminine touch in this world and make a difference. No one is going to take us seriously if we keep settling and downgrading ourselves.

So next time you speak to someone, think about what you say. Next time you go out, think about what you wear, if you should have that drink even though you’ve already exceeded your normal limit, if you should be out with those friends or not. Next time you get into a relationship, wonder if you should be with that person physically, emotionally, and mentally. Think about who you are and wonder if that’s the woman you are supposed to be. It’s time to start changing this world.

“Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised. Honor her for all that her hands have done, and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.” Proverbs 31:30-31

 

Old Fashioned

When my sister and I were little, we played a role-playing game called “Old Fashioned” where we pretended to be children growing up in the Victorian Era. I always found it fun to fake accents (which I’m still very bad at) and spend time with my older sister. When she found this movie called, “Old Fashioned,” I thought that it would be like the game we used to play, but instead it was very different.

There are very few love movies that I will still watch: Fireproof, War Room, and now Old Fashioned. I loved how they took Clay (Rik Swartzwelder), a former frat boy who had done and said awful things to woman, and showed how different events had led to him finding God and completely changed his life around. But he isn’t perfect and still holds grudges against himself, which is where Amber (Elizabeth Roberts) comes in. She’s a free-spirited, go where ever the wind takes me, sort of girl. Together they try to have the old-fashioned relationship that he wants and she needs.

This movie impressed me with the fact that they showed two people who both had pasts that weren’t pretty, were fearful of what the other would think of them, but then chose to look past the baggage and love each other for who they became. This is the cutest love story I’ve ever seen.

God’s Not Dead 2

Therefore everyone who confesses Me before men, I will also confess him before My Father who is in heaven. But whoever denies Me before men, I will also deny him before My Father who is in heaven. (Matthew 10:32)

This past Friday I went and saw God’s Not Dead 2. Whereas the first one was about a college student that’s challenged by his atheist teacher to prove God’s existence, the second one is about a high school teacher that’s accused of preaching to her students about Jesus after answering a simple question asked by a student. This teacher, who is a Christian, has to make a challenging decision: standing up for her beliefs or putting her Earthly desires first and standing down.

This is an excellent movie that shows the power of God and the assurance that He keeps his promises. It shows the courage that it takes to stand up for your beliefs when you know you could lose everything, and how important it is to know who God is and that He has your back. (Philippians 4:13: I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.) He watches over us each day and He takes those steps with us even when we feel that we are alone.

Sometimes its difficult to remember this because there are those who will try to tear down your faith. They treat Jesus as if he is just a fairy-tale or an ordinary man who had really big dreams or was insane. They treat the word of God as if it is just a well written story book with life lessons in it, or that it’s not real at all. They look at it as though it’s evil. There are those that will convict you and not give it a second glance all because you have faith in Jesus Christ.

If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first.  If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you. Remember what I told you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also. If they obeyed my teaching, they will obey yours also. They will treat you this way because of my name, for they do not know the one who sent me.  If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not be guilty of sin; but now they have no excuse for their sin. (John 15:18-22)

In this movie, it isn’t the teacher put on trial, it’s God.

Who Do You Say I Am?

Jesus and his disciples went on to the villages around Caesarea Philippi. On the way he asked them, “Who do people say I am?” They replied, “Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, one of the prophets.” And He continued by questioning them, “But who do you say that I am?” (Mark 8:27-29)

There comes a point in our lives when we’re faced with this very question, and whether we are believers of the cross or not it makes its impact. The night Jesus saved me he said, “You need me.” And so I did. Throughout the time that I’ve followed him I have been through many trials, and I’ve had to make difficult decisions out of my faith that caused mixed feelings towards me from other people.

Even though my faith is strong, sometimes I grow too confident in it and will sometimes lose sight of who God is and his importance in my life. Sometimes I think I’m putting God first when I’m not and He has to put me in my place.

One of those moments has happened recently. I’ve been faced with the question, “Who do you say I am?” He isn’t just some big guy in the clouds. He’s the God that created the entire universe (Genesis 1:1-31), made humanity (Genesis 1:27), flooded the earth for forty days and nights and then made it new again (Genesis 6-9). He told hungry lions not to hurt Daniel (Daniel 6), saved three men from being burned with fire (Daniel 3:14-29), had a virgin give birth to the Son of God (Matthew 1:18-25) who died for our sins (Matthew 27:32-61) so that we may live forever even when we die (John 11:25).

So when I’m asked who I say God is, He is the one and only Great I Am. THAT is who he is.

“But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?” Peter answered, “You are the Messiah.”

Do You Believe?

“Do you believe?” A question that represents the most important part of our lives. What you believe is a way of life and what/who you choose to put your faith in is the leader of your life. As human beings, it is so easy to cheat, to steal, to lust, etc. The world around us is so full of lies that it is torturing us mentally, emotionally, and physically every day. It was John that said,

“Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father  is not in them. For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world. The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever.” (1 John 2:15-17)

All of our life we get pushed by those who came before us. Do this, do that. This is the order you live your life. This is how you dress and act. If you listen, you’ll end up unhappy and in a life you never wanted. However, if you don’t listen you’ll still end up that way. What does that tell you? There is only one voice that matters when it comes to your well-being. That voice does not belong to anyone that is around you, nor does it belong to anyone that is of the world.

It’s that soft breeze that comes through the trees and cools you on a hot summer day. The refreshing water that flows around your body and makes you clean. It’s the voice that can cause hurricanes, move the ground through an earthquake, and sweep everything bane up with a tornado. This incredible voice belongs to someone who is so indescribable that no human, angel, or demon can fathom it. He goes by the name of God.

God created you and because he loved YOU so much, he came to earth and walked with us. He taught us, he loved us, he saved us. He shed his blood so that we would all love the opportunity to come to him and have no worries, no sadness, no torture.  So knowing that someone who is so infinite loves you, what is your belief system? Who do you allow to lead your life? Is it a savior, or is it yourself?

In the movie “Do You Believe” Twelve people face challenges in their lives where they have to make a choice between their will or God’s. Fortunately enough God wanted all their souls and what God wants, he gets. From putting everything they’ve worked for on the line to helping their enemy and even facing death, these twelve people went through it all.

I filled with so much emotion as I watched this that I started questioning my faith. What do I believe? How do I believe it? And I realized that I had become like the church of Ephesus: I’d forgotten my first love. I had put my video games, me relationship, and my job before God. I had forgotten that my life only goes according to plan when I put his will above my own. All I am and all I have has come from my creator: God. It was through Jesus that my life changed. When he isn’t in my line of vision I go back to being who I was before and that isn’t cool.

I had become like the church of Laodicea: I was lukewarm and I didn’t want to believe it. I’d stopped praying, and when I did pray it was to ask for something. I wasn’t praising him and wouldn’t listen to anyone who tried to talk to me about it because I had become so prideful that I believed my faith was too strong to break. I was a Pharisee and I knew it needed to change.

If you need to feel God’s love, if you want to feel appreciation for God, or if you need a wake-up call. If you need a reason to keep going this movie is the one to see because you will not walk away unchanged. I pray that no one will walk away untouched. I pray that every heart turns and becomes more compassionate, more loving, more generous, and more merciful when it’s watched and I pray that you lift your eyes and your hands to the heavens and just say, “Jesus, I believe.”

Is God Real?

Is there a creator of this perfect design that we live in, or do we exist because of a random event? Were we planned, or were we just an accident? If there is a god, who is he? What is he about? Where is he?

During the last couple of weeks, I wasn’t sure what to write about. Nothing was getting on my nerves and I wasn’t finding anything cool that I wanted to share. However, today during my dad’s sermon I got the urge to write a blog about God’s existence. Normally I wouldn’t think anything of it, but this time was different because He wasn’t leading me to scripture, he wasn’t leading me to quotes or any biblical history at all. He was telling me to write what I know.

And it dawned on me. When I first got saved, I knew very little about the Bible. I knew that God made the world, Noah had an ark, Moses freed the Jews, Jesus died on the cross and that one day He would come back. So the way that I saw to people was through telling them what God had done in my life. Over the last couple of years, I’ve shied away from telling my story and used more scripture and history which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. However, sometimes I forget that the correct proof we have of God’s existence is what He has done for us. So here it is. This is my proof.

There are two types of people: those who get saved as easily as hearing a conversation in a restaurant or seeing a bible track (those tiny pamphlets that people leave in random places). Then there are people like me: hard-headed and stubborn. To admit you can’t do it by yourself, you have to fall apart.

I grew up in a family that was sort of everywhere in faith. Mom’s side enforced Jesus and Church where my dad’s side believed but didn’t enforce it as an actual way of life. My mom instilled Christian morals and a how-to guide on walking like Jesus in me when I was really young, and when I moved in with my dad I started to forget about all that stuff. God became background noise until, eventually, He didn’t exist to me at all. “I don’t know” was always my answer when asked about my faith.

When I turned sixteen I discovered paganism and was completely taken by it. I loved how creative and different it was, and I had never felt so spiritual in my life. It was finally something that I could lean on. Symbols and their meanings were something I studied. I also knew the names and powers of stones, runes, and different plants and herbs. I meditated while chanting the names of gods, I went into the woods and did rituals, I called upon the powers of the elements and deities, and I praised them. Pentagrams and talismans were things I wore every day. “Witch” is what I called myself.

There are people who will swear up and down to me that magic isn’t real, but 10 out of 10 times I will swear up and down to them that it is because I have experienced it. It changed me. I had real power that no one else could experience the way I could. Lives and relationships changed because of me and I found it funny.

Right after I graduated high school I started seeing this guy that was not good for me and my life turned upside down. He got into my head by becoming the guy he knew I wanted, but he only pretended. After he got my heart, he controlled everything. My head, my heart, my body, my money, my social media, when I could go somewhere, who I go with, who I talk to. I wasn’t allowed to eat (he stayed at my job to make sure I didn’t eat there) or sleep (if I fell asleep he’d wake me up every hour). He made horrible comments to me that degraded me as not only a woman but as a human being. I was nothing to him and he made sure that I knew it.

He told me that no one would ever love me like he loved me. I was too crazy, I talked too much, and I didn’t know what I was doing. His control was something I needed so that I didn’t do anything wrong. I was lucky that he loved me. In just four months my confidence didn’t exist, I was nearing anorexia and so sick with depression that I was basically just a vegetable that stared off into space. My brain physically felt fried.

I still remember the night that I got down on my knees. There wasn’t a candle or chanting. I didn’t do anything fancy. I said, “I don’t know what faith is right and what faith is wrong. Whoever is up there, I need help because I don’t know what to do. I’ve lost everything that is me.” Then the most incredible series of events started happening. The next night, my best friend randomly decided to come see if I was working that day for no reason other than he thought about me. I hadn’t seen him in over a month because of the tight leash I was on. After the conversation we had that night, I could feel my attitude coming back. It was just enough for me to remember what life was like before having an abusive boyfriend.

A couple of days later, we were out taking a walk and he made a vulgar comment to me and instead of cowering and taking it, I punched him in the face and just walked away. He did nothing. There were a couple more occasions that proved to me that he was more afraid of me than I was of him. When I realized he tore me down and ruined my life because he felt small compared to me, I got mad. This anger didn’t go away. Finally, the tables turned and he couldn’t touch me mentally, emotionally, or physically.

After awhile, I left him (which is a story I could tell by itself). The next month I was having to deal with stalking, harassment, and threatening phone calls and text messages which all ended in a restraining order. But just because I saved myself from that relationship, didn’t mean it was over. I couldn’t run from my own thoughts and he had done a number to my head.

I still remember when Stephen picked me up the night I left him. We went to a restaurant and I when I looked in the mirror I didn’t recognize myself. I didn’t feel like it was my body or my brain. When I went into my house and looked at my room it felt weird. It was like I was intruding on the old me’s personal space. My books, my clothes, my posters…none of it felt like it was mine. The next day I deep cleaned and rearranged my room. I was no longer that person.

For three months after I struggled with my thoughts. I looked through pictures, memory books, old journals and pieces of writing. Anything I could to remember what I was like before that relationship. I was angry at him, at myself, at the world. When I was alone I would sit on the floor or on my bed staring into space, convulsing because the thoughts were too much, the visuals of torture and murder wouldn’t leave my mind. I filled with sorrow and hate. I hated everyone and everything and I especially hated him. It was a long three months.

March 7, 2013, is a day that I am very proud of. My mom was back in Florida and remarried. While I was feeling all of that pain, I was also seeing Christianity for what it really was. That day I asked my mom if we could watch bible movies and she was ecstatic. We ended that day with The Passion of the Christ and that night I asked Jesus into my heart because I felt so alone. I had tried to move on, but I just couldn’t do it by myself.

In that moment, my life had changed. I felt a warmth around me like I was being held. All those awful thoughts and images went away and I didn’t feel sorrow, or hate, or anger. I was different the day after God showed me the person he needed me to be.

I still struggled in relationships with my family, friends, and boyfriends. But now I am completely healed. I use my story to mentor others and it has been really helpful. I don’t regret that relationship. In fact, it’s one of my best ones in my opinion. I am such a different person because of it and I love the new me. I learned how to love and be loved and how to forgive and be forgiven, among many other lessons. For example, I’ve been with this cutie for almost two years and thank God every day for giving me someone who is so wonderful to me. We have our moments, but I don’t remember how I lived without him.

12239549_1221795447836161_8070028864715316193_n 12376738_1241728265842879_6660389101192360383_n

13342949_1372807646068273_5775160598472358984_n 13508949_1387341381281566_277830674919915013_n

“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. or those God foresaw he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters.” Romans 8:28-29

There is no way to describe God in words. He is infinite and is there with you where ever you are no matter what you are doing. God is always giving love and wisdom to His people regardless of if they deserve it. He doesn’t wish for anything bad to happen, and He doesn’t make those things happen either. He begs us to not do anything hurtful to ourselves or other people and guides our lives hoping that we will let Him.

"Be like a butterfly. Even though they don;'t know that they're not supposed to be able to fly, they do it anyways."