via Daily Prompt: Lush
I feel that as I grow older, my lush garden of life is growing. I know that there are greener pastures ahead but I bask in my growing garden now.
The things that use to deter me and annoy me don’t. I have had and still have to sift out the dead weeds that choke my joy.
I have had flowers that I expected to bloom and did. I have had flowers that did not bloom. I have had flowers that I did not expect to bloom.
My lush garden of life is blooming. God continues to plant the seeds that bloom into my testimony.
via Daily Prompt: Criticize
Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.-Ephesians 4:29-32
Each person is on their own journey with their own struggles and triumphs. You (and I) are not better than our neighbor. All fall short. God is perfect and we are not. Only God can change a person’s heart. We, as humans, are called to love people where they are, be the hands and feet of Jesus, and let God do the rest. We are all in need of a Savior. Easier said than done but it is true. We need to love our neighbor as ourselves.We need not criticize but come together as broken brothers and sisters in need of a Savior.
via Photo Challenge: Shadow
And one day she discovered, she discovered she was fierce, strong, and full of fire, and that not even she could hold herself back because her passion burned brighter than her fears.-Mark Anthony.
It is amazing to me because this girl was only dreaming that she could be an Immigration Lawyer years ago. Now, she is 305 days away from graduating law school. Her shadow shows the mountains and valleys. Her shadow shows the people who have gone before her. Her shadow shows the way she is standing tall. She is standing tall because she sees her dreams become a reality.
This unique title stems from a tradition of loving me initiative. I decided that I wanted to treat myself and show my growth with the jewelry I buy (i.e. rings). Why wait for the primetime engagement ring when I can buy my own ring? It’s not an engagement ring I buy each year (that would be weird). The rings I have bought the past three years have symbolized a season of life.
In Fall 2014, I purchased my first ring, my cross ring in honor of 2015. I got my first job out of college for a non-profit organization. It was a seasonal job, but it would help me save money for law school. And I wanted to buy myself something special. Since God brought me this far, I knew He would bring me farther to my dream.
For my 2016 ring, my flower ring symbolized my favorite quote, “Bloom where you are planted.” It was my second year of law school. It was still a transition moving to a new city where I did not know anyone and going to law school was a lot. In spite of the struggles, I wanted to continue to grow into the beautiful person God has called me to be.
For my 2017 ring, my “Believe” ring is a symbol to believe in God and myself. My mom always tells me that and it is true. I am in my final year of law school and I need to believe in myself. I am worthy of the great things God has in store for me. I need to keep believing.
You do not need to follow my lead. This is my personal journey. What I do want you to know is to love the skin you are in and treat yourself.
Do not let your adorning be external—the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear— but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious.- 1 Peter 3:3-4
I know what you’re thinking…Bianca, what are you trying to say that I can’t pamper myself and look good!?! No, that is not what I am saying.
God fearfully and wonderfully made you for greatness. BUT, you don’t need to make yourself turn into something you are not. In society, beauty standards vary. You see campaigns with the “pretty, beautiful people.” People are pressured to look and be a certain way from social media, Hollywood, and the people in general. You don’t need to limit who you are to please society. Just be you!! Wear makeup for you, dress for you, BUT also show your light, your spirit, your personality. Being beautiful on inside is more important than the exterior. I have struggled with self esteem for most of my life. I tried to please people while I hurt inside. I had to learn that I had to love me as me and not what anyone else thinks.
Just love who you are because God loves you. Your inner beauty should shine and the outside should be a compliment and not the sum total of your being.
via Daily Prompt: Tremble
It is hard to see yourself succeeding when two steps forward goes four steps back. It is easy to tremble at the thought of failure determining your outcome. With my education, it has been a struggle. Some semesters went well. Some semesters were difficult. I have fallen on my face and cried as to why I am, the way I am. But you know what? Trembling in fear causes doubt and insecurity.
A pastor said how “we will never go out into the deep if we do not leave the shore.” Trembling keeps you on the shore.
Even now, it is hard to let go, stop trembling, and keep moving. There are times where I do not believe that I could be a lawyer (Real Talk). There are times where I doubt myself just because I am not in the top 5%, Honor Student, who is on Law Review, Moot Court, Mock Trial, etc. Trembling at my inadequacies will only keep me on the shore. I will tell you this:
Look outside of yourself. Know that you stronger than your trembling. Know that your purpose is yours. Your story is yours. Know that God is on your side. God will comfort your trembling, will wipe the tears from your eyes, and will pick you up. Tremble at the thought of a loving God who died on the Cross for you. Tremble at the thought that all the setbacks you have experienced will catalyst into your breakthrough.
A heart at peace gives life to the body, but envy rots the bones.-Proverbs 14:30
I had a struggle bus moment. Many of my peers will be graduating law school this May. Me? I am graduating in December. All of my May graduate peers are ordering graduation announcements and class rings, taking graduation pictures, thinking of who to invite for graduation, finding employment, prepping for the Bar, etc. I kinda “complained to God.” Why couldn’t I have graduated in May? Why couldn’t I have taken 5 classes to be on track? Why could I not have the perfect GPA? And so on…..I had to stop myself because I was going down an envious road to depression. Don’t get me wrong… I am content with graduating in December but I started getting envious of everyone’s happiness and blessings. I wanted to be a part of the blessing and not have to wait till later.
There may be friends whose season is changing whether graduating, a new relationship, marriage, kids, etc. and you may seem left behind. Don’t think that. It is toxic and will make you weighed down. For me, I had to remind myself of the blessings in my life. I had get a “heart check.” I needed to be content or the envy would eat me up inside. The Enemy wants us to think that we are not worthy of God’s blessing for whatever reason. Well, God has a plan and a purpose for us (PERIOD)!!
I hope that you know that you are fearful and wonderfully made. You are not in anyone’s spot. The season you are in is known to the Creator. Be peace with the current season of your life. Don’t let envy rule your life. Be content and keep living. Let your heart be in peace.