Unchained: A Journey In Amazing Faith & Grace pt. 1

Unchained

Hi, friends!

So as many of you may know if you follow me on Twitter, read one of my 2017 Blogmas posts, or the post where I discussed the upcoming year, that opening up on my faith and using Glitz and Glitter as an outlet for that is something that I have wanted to do since I started Glitz and Glitter last year. The fear of backlash held me back and I started caring about what others would think, how my friends who aren’t Christians would see me, and how it might change potential business deals. I am so ashamed to say that.

Romans 12:2 tells us to not conform to the world but “be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” I will be the first to tell you that my faith isn’t a solid one. Every single day, I wake up with doubts and confusion. For the past year, I have had a whole in my heart and soul and deep down I knew what it was but I didn’t want to admit it and go before God and admit that I had lost my faith. I don’t like having to admit that I am wrong and I really hate that God already knew how I truly felt and I kept pushing Him away. Having a group of people around me who would help me grow in my faith, keep me accountable, and be there for me is something that I pray for.

Recently I started listening to a podcast called That Sounds Fun with Annie F. Downs on Spotify and it truly helped me reconnect with my faith and help me admit that I needed to bring God back into my life again. Today while I was driving into classes, I was listening to the Jesus Calling podcast (also on Spotify, if you are interested!) and one of the guest speakers was Sadie Robertson, a young woman who I wish was my best friend and who I have admired for years. Her testimony made me cry and believe me, trying to drive safely and cry at the same time is not something I recommend! I then found a podcast episode of That Sounds Fun that had Sadie as a guest and I got so excited- two of my favorite people were collaborating on a podcast! Listening to that episode really hit me and I was ready to admit I needed God in my daily life again. That led me onto finding more podcasts (I’m thinking of doing a post on my favorite podcasts! Keep your eyes peeled!) and even more women talking about their faith and how they incorporate reading, devotions, and other things into their daily routines so they are always in a relationship with God and standing firm in their faith. I can’t tell you how much these podcasts have helped me.

Another amazing thing that I am so grateful for is having a friend who is there for me and shares my views on faith. We reconnected recently and I am so glad we did because my eyes are opening again and it is the best feeling to have someone along with you for that journey. Surrounding yourself with a group of people (or even just a few) who are going to be there for you 100% and help you grow in your faith is so essential and I have noticed that I am wanting to have that again. Keeping good influences in your life is so important because they do influence you. There is a verse in 1 Corinthians that says “Do not be misled: bad company corrupts good character.” I believe in this entirely. It has such truth in my life but also in others who I know. Meeting new people is incredible and I love talking to people, but I do think that you should keep your friend circle close to you and have only people who are of a good influence to you.

Being afraid of how my faith and beliefs would change potential friendships and business interactions is not something that I am proud of. If a business deal doesn’t work out due to my faith, there will be others that will work out. If there is a friend in my life who doesn’t like the fact that I choose to love, worship, and trust my life to Jesus Christ, that’s sad and unfortunate but there will be other friends who will be beneficial to my journey. With every season there is something new to learn and meditate on. I am coming into a new season of life with a new outlook and attitude. I am open and that makes me happy. As Ecclesiastes says, there is a time for everything and a season for every activity under the heavens.

I have so many new ideas and topics I am trying to plan to cover in this new area on Glitz and Glitter and I am so excited to share them with you that I am brimming with joy!

I’m going to leave you with one of my favorite verses and I’ll see you all very soon with more!

“You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.” – Matthew 5:14-16

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Why I Am a Pro-Adoption Pet Owner & My Journey With an Adopted Pet

Why I Am a Pro-Adoption Pet Owner

Hi, loves! I hope you have had a great week! For those in college, let’s try to survive the upcoming finals! I know I’m stressed out about them! 

Today’s post is one that is near and dear to my heart because it is something that I fully support and that I recommend to others.  Back in 2010, my parents decided to let me adopt a dog from one of our local animal shelters.  A few years before that, I had been given a puppy from a neighbor of a friend of our family but she later died from colic while I was at camp.  It had been around 2 years, if I remember correctly, before my parents considered letting me get another pet.  My mom took me to our local no-kill animal shelter and we looked around for a half an hour before we came to my future dog’s outdoor kennel.  She was a well-behaved dog, a Labrador and Rottweiler mix, who needed a good home and a few extra pounds.  The shelter let us take her out and let her run around for a while and get to socialize with her.  Fast forward 7 years and I’m sitting here on a Monday night with my rescued dog snoring behind me in her bed.  She’s spoiled, a little bit overweight, but well cared for and rather happy with her home and humans.  I remember walking up to her cage and wanting to break down the door to pet her.  Granted, the 10 year old chubby me probably wouldn’t have been able to, but I thought I was the Hulk!

In the past 7 years,  we have had happiness, sadness, and so many good memories.  In 2015, our Chihuahua-Rat Terrier mix dog had to be put to sleep due to a long going battle with an infection that couldn’t be cured.  Lately, I have thought about her a lot lately and I wish she was still here with us.  And though she be but little, she is fierce.  She fought off multiple snakes, survived a few bites and stings, and protected me and my sister on several occasions from slithering pests that worked their way into our yard.  She had gotten bitten once by a venomous snake and ended up so swollen in her jowls that she looked like a baby hippo for a few days! She lived with us for a long time and she was also a dog that we rescued off of the streets, or rather, she rescued us.  

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Roxy, my fur baby, has been my security guard for 7 years.  She has been my cuddle buddy when I get cold and she has been an emotional support when I feel low.  Her weight has fluctuated, her hips now have arthritis, and her chin is going grey, but she still acts like a puppy when you toss her the gross and dingy tennis ball that she won’t seem to give up.  She sleeps with me on my bed (I still say she fights off the monsters while I sleep) and groans when I try to get more bed space back or move the covers, but she cuddles closer to me when she thinks I don’t notice.  When she gets moved to my room while we have company, she pouts and her brown eyes get big and almost child-like.  Some people may think dogs don’t have personalities but I know Roxy does.  She will purposely stay where she is at even when I call her and she will sashay down the hallway when she is through with my company, ignoring my calls for her to come back, so believe me when I say that she has a personality!

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The shelter we adopted her from will always hold a special place in this town for me.  They took care of their animals and made sure that they were adopted into good homes with loving people, they vaccinated them, and they were already spayed or neutered. The adoption, at the time, was completely free (but I think they asked that you made a donation) and after my mother signed the papers, we had adopted Roxy.  

So with 7 years under my belt, I have learned a good bit about dog adoption, what it is like to have an adopted dog, and all that jazz! I love dog adoption because you are taking in an animal that has been taken from a bad home, in most cases.  They may have been abused, mistreated, and have been unloved for a long time.  I know when we adopted Roxy, there were a few things that we learned she wasn’t a fan of.  Anything that made a loud noise that was incredibly close to her, she hated.  To this day, I still can’t use a dryer after giving her a bath.  She doesn’t like hitting, be it playful or other.  Whenever my sister and I would wrestle, Roxy would go bananas and try to break it up.  She has also become extremely protective, especially of me.  I remember one time my neighbor was over and pretended to go to hit me with his cane and Roxy jumped up and barked up a storm, while at the same time getting ready to bite him to bits!

Another plus about certain adoption is that you have a new animal companion that is past the puppy stage.  Roxy was 10 months old when we adopted her and she was already toilet trained and listened well when we would walk her on a leash.  I was also rather happy that I didn’t have to clean up any piddles on the floors!  But the biggest pro is that you get healed by having an adopted pet.  I know that may make no sense at all, but there is something about adopting a pet that heals you.  For an animal, it is that they are finally be chosen, they are finally being loved, and they finally have a family.  They ended up in the shelter because they weren’t picked.  Yes, there are a few cases where they are placed into adoption by owners who can’t take care of them anymore, but the majority of shelter pets have been rescued by the shelter in hopes that they are adopted into a good home.  Adoption rates aren’t typically too high and some shelters are rather accommodating if you have another pet.  You can bring your pet in to meet your potentially future animal to make sure that they get on okay.  Overall, shelters just want their animals to be adopted into a loving home. 

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So 7 years and here we are.  Roxy goes by “booboo”, “pretty girl”, “little bear”, “nugget”, “schmoo”, and just about anything else.  She likes her ears and back to be scratched and she has been sprayed by 2 skunks while in a heated chase.  7 years later and she still makes me smile when she wags her tail in her sleep and sticks out her tongue while dreaming.  Yes, it is annoying when I get comfortable on the couch and she decides that she has to go outside (almost every time when I sit down), but she is my fur baby, my security guard, and my monster repellent while I sleep.  I love her to pieces.

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She let me take 3 decent-ish pictures of her before she ignored me and wouldn’t cooperate..

If you are looking at adopting a pet, check with your local shelter to see if you can schedule a visit and check into their information.  Your next furry best friend is waiting for you to walk around the corner.

I hope you have a great weekend!

 

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