-GRACE IN TIMES OF SLACK-

 

“Sluggards do not plow in season;

    so at harvest time they look but find nothing.”- Proverbs 20:4

I’m a woman in the middle of a passionate love affair with God’s Grace. But lately, more than ever,  I’ve been obsessing a lot about my issue with procrastination.  Probably because my blog posts are due on Tuesdays.  And here I sit, on another Tuesday morning, struggling with words that are already there.  And have always been there, but there seems to be a fear of releasing them somewhere deep within.

I’ve procrastinated to get these words onto a Word Doc. but know there’s an underlying fear. I somehow, deep down fear that sitting down to get them out would suddenly make them disappear. That is, my intentional message all forgotten.

Why the procrastination?  I’ve prayed about it on multiple occasions. Why am I having so much trouble writing about something that I’m so passionate about?  I can post about verses of the Bible and Wellness topics on Facebook, and also share what they mean personally.  And yet, when it comes time to sit down and write how His Grace can transform us, help us with our weaknesses, and most importantly sets us free from over functioning-I’ve hesitated. I don’t know where to start.

We all have things that we know we need to do…a creative project that has to be tackled. A project “so huge” that we just don’t know where to start. And we know that it’s too much for us to tackle it by ourselves.  So what do we do? We distract yourselves with television, social media, reading other writers’ blogs, puttering around the house, or online shopping. At least that’s what I do. Anything that will lead me away from facing the truth of my poor time management and procrastination.

A question that we usually have when we begin our faith walk is…Where do we start?  And the answer is…just start-begin anywhere-God will honor it. If my paralyzing phobia of sharing my heart applied to this scenario, then the knowledge of not knowing where to start isn’t really the root or the reason why I procrastinate. It really comes down to the fear of God not being there when I step out in faith. It’s not knowing that His Grace will be there to catch me when I plunge into the unknown. Ultimately, It’s not knowing that He’s does have the message that I need to deliver. But the good news is…He’s the messenger, not me.

What if the content I desire to share doesn’t come as easily as it does to a “successful blogger”? Slack can become a vicious cycle of self-sabotage. We don’t know where to start, so we put it off.  And we then take the easy way and make excuses as to why we haven’t.  Before we know it, we’ve missed the boat. Time flies and we’re now again in square one. The reality is, we really worry about not delivering our message effectively. And all this time, God has been waiting for us to take the plunge and jump. But what if we just sit still to hear God’s voice…His still small voice within.

From a positive perspective…How can this vicious cycle of poor time management, procrastination, and slack STOP? This is the place where God’s grace kicks in- if we allow it. Grace is the enablement of being equipped to do what doesn’t come naturally. It’s the supernatural power that manifests when we let go of our own strength, our own agenda, and put ourselves in the Hands of Him who has it all figured out.

It really comes down to our relationship with God and how much we trust Him working in us in the areas that have made us struggle. I don’t know about you, but I’m ready to make the jump, knowing that He will catch me. The following are a few simple steps to take this journey of productivity and stop the SLACK:

  1. Acknowledge your fear. Let’s be sincere and face the true reason for the procrastination.
  2. Strengthen yourself with God’s truths of the Holy Spirit being your “Helper” in the midst of the challenges; seek out verses that quote the Holy Spirit being all that you need.
  3. Surrender to God your weaknesses and fears. Know that you’re powerless without His help.
  4. Begin seeing yourself as productive, organized, fearless, and intentional, because you are all that- in HIM.
  5. Begin living your new truths, knowing that you’re not alone in your process. You have a calling but He’s got the strategies and the enablement for your success.
  6. The Holy Spirit is your “Helper” …when you grow weak, stumble, or slack. He’ll always be there filling in for you. Our only role is to acknowledge His Presence in our time of need. Seek out the following verses on the person of the Holy Spirit…

In John 15:26 and John 16:7, Jesus promised to send the Holy Spirit to His disciples. In these verses, the Holy Spirit is referred to as the Comforter, Advocate, Helper, or Counselor depending on the Bible translation you are reading.

❤️ With much love and grace, I encourage you to take the plunge. We’re in this together!-Giselle

Embracing The Father’s Love❤️

Father’s Day was a little over a week ago, and the idea of honoring the man whose blood made it possible to be alive today can be an achy one for many-especially women. 

It’s been known that the way we view a biological dad could be the way we perceive our Heavenly Father. If our dads were stern, perfectionists, unavailable, vengeful, unforgiving, etc., that could be the way we view our Heavenly Father. Likewise, if our dad was tender, forgiving, merciful, engaged, and so on, that’s the view we can also have of our Heavenly Father.

During the early years of my faith walk, I enjoyed a honeymoon phase with the Lord Jesus and His Gospel of Grace. I heard the message of forgiveness, responded, and was hooked on the Love He bestowed on us on the cross of Calvary-not wanting anyone to be lost but come to know His saving Grace.

During the many years that I listened to messages, teachings, or sermons of God’s Word, I never fully understood the importance of embracing or receiving God’s gift of Grace. What then is Grace or Unmerited Favor? Grace, which is defined as a gift we don’t deserve, can only be bestowed by God the Father through Jesus Christ the Son. My understanding was, that to receive God’s blessings and favor in my life, I had to do and live the Christian life perfectly. Many of us have related to this view of doing (following rules) instead of being (just as I am) from the expectations of our parents-especially dads.

Where’s the connection and the disconnection of receiving God’s gift of Grace-that is, a life of rest? See the following narrative that Pastor Joseph Prince gives us using the Apostle Paul’s own words…

“Paul warned the Galatians against turning back to the law-rules after beginning in Grace. He said, “I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace [unmerited favor] of Christ, to a different gospel, which is not another; but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the Gospel of Christ” (Galatians 1:6–7). Paul takes this very seriously. He calls any gospel apart from The Gospel of Grace (God’s unmerited favor) a perversion. Attempting to be justified by the works of the Ten Commandments is a perversion of the Gospel of Christ.”

Going back to the correlation between an earthy father’s love and our Heavenly Father’s “Perfect” Love is the need for a woman to feel unconditionally accepted and cherished by both. But what happens when the earthly father’s representation of grace is not a healthy one, nor his encouraging and validating presence is not present in a young girl’s life? There is a void that takes place that only our Father Who Is In Heaven can ultimately provide. 

Ladies, when we truly come to understand and embrace the Heavenly Father’s unconditional love for us and have it make a way into our hearts, we will no longer want to go out and look for validation elsewhere-not even in romantic love. There is something powerfully life-changing about God’s Grace. Trusting in the Father’s Love brings total self-acceptance, transformation, and rest. The Heavenly Father’s unconditional acceptance and GRACE is the only thing that can deliver, heal, and restore the life of any precious woman who’s reading this post. Please share with us below if you’ve been transformed by the Father’s “Perfect” Love.

He has done it for me, and is still restoring me as I embrace His Perfect Love!!

This verse is written on an image of my beautiful orchid who became a painting. Orchids are His way of saying to us that we don’t need much to look beautiful-just His Touch. 🙂

My Covid-19 Halt: An Opportunity For Personal Reinvention

My Covid-19 Halt:                                                                                     An Opportunity For Personal Reinvention

Yay, I’m back and this time for good…

Have you been hungrier than usual lately? Angrier than usual, lonelier than usual, or more tired than usual? You’re not alone! Since Covid-19 kicked in, I’ve personally felt tempted to embrace these feelings more than I would ever desire to share on this platform.

Today, I came across a familiar word called “halt” as it’s used in the world of substance abuse recovery (something that touched my family very closely). On SAMHSA.gov, it says the following, “Since we are likely to pay attention to our physical responses, it might help to remember the anagram-HALT to help recognize that you need to stop whenever you are: Hungry-Angry-Lonely-Tired.” These essential needs have upped to exaggerated levels during the Covid-19 Pandemic crises.

During these challenging times, we have to pay even closer attention to these essential human responses; we have to be more intentional, and this is where self-care comes in. And along with self-care, comes personal transformation. So, in a lighter note, I’ll share some of the personal reinventing that I’m experiencing during these isolated times.

STAYING HOME-A BLESSING IN DISGUISE!

As a Language Arts teacher by profession, I was transitioned to teach my students from home during this pandemic scare. Though difficult during the first couple of weeks, it became like a comforting ritual with lots of time to myself. As I navigated my new normal, I saw myself experimenting in the kitchen, contemplating home decorating projects and remodeling, adding a scented, tropical garden to my balcony, and much more. And this is where my reinventing began-during a national crisis…this bitter-sweet challenge has position me for a summer off full of joy and possibilities. Isolation has been beneficial since I’ve been able to organize my priorities of what I truly want, need, what’s important, and who’s important-it’s a win, win, situation.

CREATIVITY BLOOMING!

But the most important thing I wanted to share on this post, is my new awareness of God’s Grace in my life. This is the thrust of this blog and the purpose behind its content. Anything else I add is the icing on the cake. During this pandemic- with its social isolation, has made me more aware of His presence and my own presence, which we have a tendency to lose in the midst of busyness.

Finally, us women of faith can suffer from being too judgmental of ourselves and too OC about our decisions, feelings, etc. Our Lord wants us free, receiving freely His Grace in our times of need (during this pandemic and beyond). That means, forgiveness for ourselves and patience with our humanity, always remembering that His Spirit is always available to give us help and wisdom when we don’t have it in our own strength. This pandemic has been a humbling experience, confirming that we are NOT in control.  In the coming weeks, my goal will be to challenge you and me to live in the freedom of a Grace-filled heart, nurture creativity, and practice authenticity-Jesus paid the price for such a life!

MY TROPICAL BALCONY ADDITION

I want to leave you with a quote which I thought is very appropriate during these days of isolation…  “A season of loneliness and isolation is when the caterpillar gets its wings. Remember that the next time you feel alone.”-Mandy Hale

Within My Plans To Blog Away My Heart, I Came Across This Beauty…

Hey guys! Being a school teacher, we’re daily consumed by the busyness, the deadlines, and the continuous giving of ourselves, so my yearning this summer break was to simply chill and publish my blog regularly. Of course, uninterrupted by morning alarms, constant distractions, and time consuming schedules. Well, guess what? My dream of lightheartedness, simple pleasures, writing, and a schedule free summer came to a halt, when I encountered this female puppy we now call Bella. She came uninvited, undesired, and unexpected, but I couldn’t resist this tiny Chiweenie with greenish, hazel eyes. You guessed it! I kept her, but within a week I was already having second thoughts about keeping her. This beautiful puppy was going to disturb my planned, fun-filled summer, full of self care, creative cooking, visits to my local island destination-Key Biscayne. She would disrupt my blogging space, which is about simplifying our lives and living a Grace-filled, spiritual walk. How can I write, be carefree, and enjoy the simple life, when I’d be continuously tending to a very lively 3 month old Chiweenie puppy? This is when God’s Grace shows up in our time of need. His Spirit picks up where I left off, by giving me the grace to patiently and joyfully tend to her, but most importantly, be a lovely addition instead of a hindrance to my “Simply Balanced” lifestyle blog project. My key verse today says, “Philippians 4:13 ESV-I can do ALL things through Him who strengthens me.”❤️

I Embraced Grace For My Struggling, Good Girl Heart…

My stumble with Grace happened a short time ago, after years of working hard to win the favor of my Heavenly Father. I learned that Grace is: the “freely” given, “unmerited” Favor and Love Of God, and the influence of the Spirit of God operating in humans to regenerate or strengthen them. (Dictionary.com) And all this time, I thought I had to check off all the boxes of rules and expectations that God had of me, with the goal of being loved and accepted just as I was-unconditionally. The good girl syndrome had not worked thus far. Wow, I was so relieved! Then, what Is Grace? Grace is the opposite of karma, which is all about getting what you deserve. God’s Grace is getting what you don’t deserve. Us good girls, can suffer from being too judgmental of ourselves and too obsessive-compulsive about our decisions, feelings, etc.. Our Lord wants us free and confident of receiving His Grace in our times of need. That means, forgiveness for ourselves and patience with our humanity, always trusting that His Spirit is always available to give us His help, favor, and wisdom when we don’t have it in our own power. This is so liberating! I have to thank Pastor JosephPrince.com, for eloquently presenting God’s unmerited Favor in such a “simply balanced” way.  I hope these truths hit home! Bye for now!

The Eve Of My First Public Blog Post…

On the eve of my first public blog post, (two weeks ago), I was excited beyond my conscious knowledge. Not only excited but a bit fearful. Though I know I’m called to share a very needed message, I felt I needed extra encouragement to take this long overdue blogging challenge. Well, my idea for encouragement that evening was watching for the third time the movie #Julie#and#Julia, which is about two creative #women with a passion- Julie Powell had a love of writing, and Julia Child a love of cooking. They were both bored and frustrated not using their creative sides. What stood clearly for me, was that these women were as imperfect as they were relentlessly determined to express themselves in their crafts. On their way to succeeding in these #creative outlets, they messed up, had moments of insecurities and #self-doubt, meltdowns, but they continued unmoved. That night after watching the movie, I had the courage to contact author #Julie#Powell through FB messenger. I thanked her for her determination and for the #encouragement to follow her heart-of which I’ve desperately needed. Though she didn’t respond, I know she read my message, and I hope my words will inspire her to continue to bless us with her #authentic style. These women’s determination, will continue to inspire me as I continue to launch this blog. This project is a creative outlet for me, but also a #passion, a calling, and ultimately a mission to inspire the woman of #Faith to live a life of…balance, simplicity, and joy; the #Grace to walk this journey called life with ease! Talk soon! ❤️

Welcome to my blog-Simply Balanced!

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Hi there!  My name is Giselle, and I want to personally welcome you to my blog. My purpose for this blog is to inspire the woman of faith to live a simpler, healthier, and more authentic lifestyle. I’ve been in this journey myself, so I have a great passion to share with you what is being revealed to me. I wish I could tell you its been an easy process-it hasn’t. Its been a process of learning God’s truths for myself, unapologizing self-care, self-discovery, quiet time with God, and most importantly, tapping into my own Spirit-led heart and trusting it. My desire is to help you embrace “your own” personal balance as you tap into God’s Amazing Grace.♡

In this blog you’ll find the inspiration, the healthy habits, and the lifestyle choices that best supports THE REAL YOU. I’ll also encourage you to practice simple, practical, minimalistic, and organic choices towards a joy-filled life. Here you”ll always find sensible tips, practical resources, and inspiration for your body, mind, and spirit, but more importantly, the GRACE to live life with ease.  

I will also be sharing my journey in finding my own personal balance. I know some of you ladies will be able to identify with my appropriation of God’s Grace.  My greatest struggle was not owning nor enjoying the freedom of knowing God’s gift of Grace towards us his children-His “unmerited” favor. It’s when I started taking the focus of what I did, instead of what HE did, that I began understanding God’s gift of love, joy, and peace-His Amazing Grace.  

As I begin to share regularly, I will appreciate comments, ideas, and insights, and your own personal experience with God’s Grace.  Here you’ll learn how to EAT well, PRAY authentically, and LOVE openly. Thank you for stopping by. Please feel free to leave any comments or questions. 🙂

This is why I’m Here…1 Peter 4:10 says,

“Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful
 stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.”