The benefits of stretching

Dance class and cheering had this one thing in common I did not enjoy, called stretching. I hated stretching! While it was easy for some girls, it wasn’t for me. I knew stretching had its benefits but I thought it was better to skip and move on to practice or performing. I would stretch my legs as far as I could with all my strength, then my instructor would come and push against my back to go further. This was done on a weekly basis I couldn’t avoid it. Stretch,practice,perform, repeat. Stretch,practice, perform,repeat.

 

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The last quarter of this year for me gave me that same feeling. I felt an uncomfortable ‘pull’ especially at work and though it didn’t bring me to tears it made me ask the Lord ,”Why?” After asking why I remembered how important stretching was for my body. Stretching improves my performance, helps my body move effectively, and decrease my risk of getting hurt.  I believe the benefits of stretching in the natural applies in our relationship with the Lord. He stretch us out of our comfort zone so our faith can strengthen in him and to become more flexible…adapting to his ways. Similar to my cheer/dance days, I’m always hoping the Lord would skip the stretching part of the process however, it’s necessary in order to fully develop. Don’t worry if you need help stretching he’s always there to help: Those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. Isaiah 40:31

 

 

 

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Finding My Voice

I was about two months into my job when I heard God say “You’re going to find your voice.” Find my voice? I didn’t have a clue on what that meant but I had a STRONG idea it would involve me being uncomfortable. Finding your voice is finding a way to connect by expressing your ideas or discovering courage as you walk in your greatness. I thought I heard God wrong because with the role I had at my job , I didn’t see where I could use my voice. As things started to shift, opportunities came for me to speak up . Still to this day , I’m adjusting to vocalizing my opinions at work and am now faced with a new challenge.. Periscope.

Never would I ever THINK of being on Periscope in all the days of my life until I had the idea for a children’s book series called, Ella’s Greatest Adventures. A good friend mentioned the benefits of creating live content a few times but I kept shrugging it off. Eventually, I couldn’t shrug it off because I was surrounded with the idea at business workshops, books, and podcasts. I finally got the nerve to make a video and it was HARD! I looked at it as if I’m giving a presentation in an empty room and as people join it becomes overwhelming. I’m still working on getting better because its not about me.

Finding my voice was never about me, it’s all about God. Of all the things he could’ve gave me as a talent, expressing himself verbally and through writing, are some of the ways he sees best through  me. Everything we say or think he values and I think during this season he wanted to let me know that as well.

 

Write now not later

When I was a young girl I would write in my diary almost everyday. I wrote poems, short stories, but my favorite was journaling. I had friends and my mom to share things with but it was something about opening up to a blank sheet of paper. As an introvert I was considered the ‘listener’ so writing was my turn to vent. Overtime I wrote less and less because some of my experiences I didn’t want to remember the details of them if I ever were to reflect .

Time eventually revealed my love for dentistry. I was fascinated with it all and as I was planning to take the test for dental school my boyfriend (now husband) inspired me with the idea to share my story with others. I didn’t like the idea at first because blogging to me was like giving others access to your thoughts and I was scared. The name , IntrovertedFillings, came to me so clear I knew it was meant to be.

Last year, I went to a comic-con with my husband to be a supporter and we attended a children’s book workshop. I don’t remember a word they said but I left feeling inspired to do something. I played with the thought of writing a children’s book related to dentistry for a few days then asked myself,” why not?” The lord answered that question into a book series called, Ella’s Greatest Adventures.

Never would I have guessed that writing consistently as a young girl would lead into something bigger. So if you’re feeling prompted to do something , know that ‘write’ now is your best time!

Daily dose of inspiration 

Listening to music has been my number one go to at work for the longest! I thought it was taking me to that creative space but that changed once I finally clicked on the podcasts app on my iPhone.

Well first things first, what’s a podcast? It’s like a radio show where people are sharing their knowledge with you for free! It’s having access to people you admire ,it’s loads of inspiration and you can’t help but get your creative juices flowing! Here I’ll share my favorites:

The potters touch/The alternate on one place 

Hearing TD jakes and pastor tony Evans speak in my ears every week is so encouraging! I love listening to them because they’re the friend that truly wants the best for you and they tell you in a way where you have no excuse for being stuck.

Dave Ramsey show

The people on here sharing their debt free stories are awesome and dave’s advice to financial freedom is contagious to where you’ll start working on ways to be debt free as well.

Support is Sexy 

This podcast is full of ladies that support each other in their businesses. The interviews are amazing and helpful for those looking to go in similar paths.

Kingdom driven entrepreneurs 

Ok there’s like a million businesses but when I found this podcast I had to subscribe! Its doing business God’s way , sharing how they started as an entrepreneur as well as share , and it’s all fun!

Life &Dentistry

First, I love their sense of humor but most importantly I love the topic.. dentistry! The guys just graduated dental school so they share their life experiences as well as interesting cases they handle at work. This podcast is so awesome!

Dreams in drive/ Side hustle pro/ The minority trailblazer

Ok, this trio is the best ever! The first podcast I ever listened to was an episode on The minority trailblazer and that opened my mind to the world of podcasts. I love Greg hill’s energy when he interviews guests, he’s passionate about making a change and helping others to do the same. Dreams in drive podcasts are very thought provoking. The way Rena asks her questions you can’t help but connect the dots to your story to focus in on your purpose. Then there’s Side hustle pro podcast . Nicayla makes business sound so interesting . This podcast is full of information on how to get started in your business and it’s not overwhelming.

I have French /Spanish podcasts, research, tech, etc but I just wanted to mention a couple that I listen to as my daily dose of inspiration , enjoy!

Don’t Settle

When you’ve been working towards a goal for so long and still have yet to enjoy the results, it can be very frustrating. I get it, I’ve been there and sometimes still there depending on the situation. Speaking up was never one of my favorites. If the crowd believed in one thing I would disagree ..silently and move on with my day . This habit of mine was cool until I got older and am now seeing it from a different angle.

When I was younger , having a relationship with someone was very important to me. I didn’t know how I felt was really a void that I needed filled. I couldn’t imagine myself being married to the guys I liked during that time however, I was able to settle for the moment because I felt special.

I remembered going on a job interview and I felt pretty good about the direction it was going in.  During the interview, they told me what they were willing to pay and that was final. I felt confident about the details of the job but felt kind of shaky in their pay offer. I thought about the location of the job ,the lack of equipment they had in the lab , and figured they didn’t have the money so I started to settle.

For the past couple of months, my husband and I been looking into apartments. As time passed we made a decision and started to move into our unit. Like most apartments , the apartment model will not look exactly like you imagine, so this was old news. However, our apartment looked COMPLETELY different and because I wanted to be humble.. I started to settle.

 

In relationships, I learned overtime not to settle. I started learning about God’s love and the fact he already had someone for me .

In the job offer, I had a few days to research how to negotiate my salary. I didn’t settle in their final offer, I recognized their need in the company and how I could help satisfy those areas. They gave me exactly what I asked.

With the apartment, my husband and I prayed for favor , and didn’t settle with what they initially gave us. We were able to change into another apartment and pay the same rent quote from the first unit they offered us.

So in everything, recognize your worth and don’t settle for less. You’re a king’s kid 🙂

Adjusting to higher altitudes 

I don’t have a fear of heights, its just adjusting to higher altitudes. Being on airplanes are fun until my ears start popping and  hearing shifts temporarily . It’s worth being uncomfortable in those few minutes because I’m usually excited for the destination.

IMG_1284 I wonder where does the fear of heights come from? Is it the fear of falling ? Or maybe being on a higher level compared to staying on ground , where it’s comfortable?  A few weeks ago I went on a ropes course at WonderWorks. I thought it wasn’t high, I mean I’m a roller coaster girl! However , once I walked up the steps and made my way at the top I was afraid! It seemed like everyone was breezing through the course except me . I had a harness for support but when I would look down and see people looking /walking pass, my fear started to form into the question “what if I fall on them?” Also, in every direction the ropes had a different design meaning I couldn’t go through each obstacle the same way.  It took a lot for me to get through the ropes course but I managed to get through lol.

Faith is the same way. God is like “I got you” just like the harness  had me . Instead of walking through what looks impossible we get distracted and what God was trying to teach for a moment ends up being a journey instead.

Another activity I did was indoor skydiving! It was fun but of course knowing me there was a process smh. I had braids (lots of them) which made it uncomfortable to wear their helmets. Eventually, they gave me a different style helmet to fit some of my braids , awkward. The cool thing about this activity was we received brief instructions and then the moment to ‘just do it’. No time to second guess and question, just do it.

My first leap into the air tunnel was a mess. I couldn’t think of the correct form my body needed to stay in so it felt like I was flying all over lol . The instructor kept telling me to relax and I thought I was but I guess he saw differently. I leaped again into the air but this time it was different. I remembered what the instructor taught me and then I begin to relax by clearing my head, going with the flow.  My husband even said there were a few times the instructor let me go to fly by myself!

How long did you have an idea and the Lord said “Just do it!” ? Maybe he gave clear instructions and you felt you needed time to process what he was saying. I had an idea on something and it seemed like I was taking forever just “researching “. I finally started putting my plans into action and let me tell you the first time was a mess. However, I’m learning God is with me and all I need to do is relax and go with the flow. Now it’s your turn..

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Getting the last scoop

Growing up in my mom’s home it was required to eat all of my food. It was necessary if I was hungry and in order to get to dessert , my plate had to be clean. Hmm, I’ll come back to this in a moment..icecreamSo a few weeks ago I received an awesome word in bible study that addressed the history of my past self esteem issues. It was a relief to know there was a foundation in what I believed about myself and feeling rejected went further back than the first guy I liked. Yes, that felt good because in all of those moments God was really with me and he cared. I just didn’t understand why would he bring this up now? I wasn’t in that place anymore or so I thought..

th6K57ZNKYThe next day or so I kept wondering why would God bring up those things , I’m in a better place , I forgave and moved on , so why ? That’s when the illustration of an ice cream box came to me.

There was an ice cream box that appeared to be empty until the ice cream scooper scooped the last bit of ice cream out its corners. Wow. (2 Timothy 2:21)  “If you keep yourself pure, you will be a utensil God can use for his purpose. Your life will be clean and you’ll be ready for the master to use you for every good work.”

It was important to get those small bits out of me , the bits I didn’t pay much attention to as an adult but contributed in my life. This takes me back to the beginning of my blog post where it was necessary to eat all of mother’s cooking so I wouldn’t starve and move on to the best part, Desserts!

Our heavenly father wants us to ‘clean our plate’ of unresolved issues. Maybe you’re like me where you didn’t think ‘Timmy’ leaving you at the playground by yourself would grow into you needing an entourage to feel important (or something like that lol). The best part is God is always listening and you don’t have to clean your plate by yourself, he’s willing to help if you ask. Everyday we need him , in our decisions, his blessings, just his presence alone is necessary or we’ll starve, spiritually. So if you’re ready to move on to the best of the best in your life , your dessert, allow him to take that last scoop!

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Be Our Guest

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Wedding season is here! Well, actually weddings are happening all the time so is there really a season? Anyhoo, my husband and I are approaching our 1st year of marriage (WhoooHOOO!!) and I thought it would be great to reflect on our growth from the wedding planning to becoming the Mrs. Randomly the first thing that popped in my mind was the guest list.

I thought this was going to be a piece of cake and for most brides I guess it is; however , being a ‘nice’ person this was hard. Our families lived in separate states so we chose our wedding in the state we live in, which is where my husband family lives. Then there was the list.  A lot of people wanted to come when they first heard about our wedding and I started feeling overwhelmed.

I wanted to invite everyone but the money was limited so what was I supposed to do? I went online and searched for a smart way to tackle the list. I drew 4 columns for an A-list, B-list, C-list, D-list. The A-list included immediate family, people we couldn’t imagine getting married without. The B-list included our aunts & uncles , cousins , best friends. The C-list included co-workers and the D-list were people we didn’t talk to in a while, etc. We already had a number set that we could invite so after creating the list it became easier to mark out names. We sent out invitations mostly to the ones that were likely to attend and sent an invitation to church to make an announcement so people could send gifts. I kept track of who was/wasn’t attending using TheKnot guests template. The beginning was stressful but after having a plan the process became easier.

So if you’re in the middle of planning for your big day and the guest list has you overwhelmed , simply create lists of those close to ones you don’t talk to and narrow it down one step at a time.

 

Hearing His Voice

You ever been around people that just brag about their adventure and you just want to experience it for yourself? Well, this was me and the year 2015 was definitely an experience to remember. For a couple of years (at least it felt that way) I was desiring to have another type of experience with God. I read about him, sung about him , prayed to him , and felt I needed more. I wanted to hear his voice . I knew God had different ways of getting my attention but I wanted to hear him for myself.
I prayed and prayed ..nothing happened. I turned off all of my distractions..nothing happened. I even went on a complete fast ..and NOTHING HAPPENED! That season was very frustrating ! It’s like calling a restaurant to make an order and no one is picking up the phone so you’re questioning if you even have the right number, lol. I talked with my aunt and her response was to keep waiting . So one fun fact about me is that I’m an introvert ( I wouldn’t say I’m quiet 100% )but my mind stays busy like NYC traffic, which I guess made it hard to hear God.
One day in January 2015, the weather was at its coldest and living in the south with snow was the motivation I needed to stay in from work. I had my t.v off , just finished a meal , and started washing dishes. As I washed the dishes in complete silence it was at that moment I heard his voice. I always imagined I would hear a loud , thunder, manly voice and I’m glad that didn’t happen because I probably would of ran out of my apartment,lol.
The best way I could describe how he sounded to me is similar to my thoughts. A confident, strong sounding thought if that make any sense. If you could imagine hearing your parents speak to you but in your voice , that’s what it was . I knew it was him because I know how I think and talk. He said ” hello daughter , it’s great to hear from you .” My eyes stretched and I felt overwhelmed with joy. The experience I waited so long for finally came and the anticipation was worth every minute. 

The Perfect Potluck

If I don’t remember anything else from my first job after college , it is potluck dinners! We had potlucks for birthday’s, people leaving, holidays, you name it and there was a list of what everyone was bringing.

Usually people would bring a different dish to the table and it complimented the other dishes. For instance , if someone brought chicken another person had vegetables and together the food fulfilled its purpose. Since everyone would bring something different there was no room for comparison but the goal to serve each other.

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Imagine the food brought to the potluck as God-given gifts instead. Everyone’s gifts are prepared to serve others not just themselves. Could you imagine everyone bringing the same type of food to a potluck? How boring would that be?! I guess God thought the same thing and made certain that we each have unique gifts. One thing I’ve noticed at potlucks , sometimes two people would bring the same dish but the tastes were different based on how they were prepared. I’m learning it’s similar to answering your call in life. Your calling can look exactly like someone else’s , which makes it easy to compare because you already know what the result should look like. However, God prepares us differently and it ends up being hard to compare yourself.

In the perfect potluck , God has blessed you with gifts that compliment another’s gift. You’re being prepared in a different way compared to your Facebook friend so you can’t compare the process. In the perfect potluck, you’re there to serve and fulfill his purpose.