My Heart is Heavy: Please Pray With Me

Psalm 22-24.jpg

Yet again, my honesty is my Achilles heel. I am not wired to act like life is okay. I may be extremely private about what is causing me angst. However, I will not deny that I am experiencing angst.

This is where you find me.

This week’s blog post is going to be simple and to the point. My heart is heavy. Quite frankly, it is extremely heavy. I will not divulge why. But, just know, I have had one of the most difficult weeks to date.

In the middle of it all, I see God working. I see God using this difficult season to bring me closer to Him. It has come with its fair share of tears, frustrations, crankiness, and sinfulness. Believe me, it has.

Because to those reading this who may not know Jesus Christ, life does not become a cakewalk when you accept Him into your life and decide to have a relationship with Him. Walking with Jesus is not a road free of trials and tribulations.

In Matthew 7:13 (NASB) God declares, “Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it.”

Many choose the path of man that often appears easier. Be rest assured, the trials and tribulations of this life are easier to bear because God is with you.

God is present. God is moving mountains. God is sovereign.

Therefore, I will choose the narrow gate. I will choose the narrow path.

Additionally, last week at church, the pastor preached from Exodus, chapter three. As I look back now, I believe God used the sermon to prepare my heart for a difficult week.

Exodus 3:7 (NASB) declares, “The LORD said, ‘I have surely seen the affliction of My people who are in Egypt and have given heed to their cry because of their taskmasters, for I am aware of their sufferings.’”

God knew I needed to hear that. He knew I needed to be reminded that He hears His people when they cry out to Him. Our groanings and sorrows do not fall on deaf ears. Exodus 3:7 is not the only place He reminds us of this truth either, as the above image shows.

As sinful humans, we need constant reminders. For, we are a forgetful people. We need the same truth sprinkled throughout scripture time and time again. May each verse be a testament to His goodness and character.

I simply ask you to pray the prayer of my heart right now. I simply ask you to pray alongside me. I firmly believe in the power of prayer.

If you could take a brief moment and pray to God:

“God, please be in the midst of Renata’s difficult season. You know what troubles her heart. Please be her comfort, guide, and source of peace. Thank You for Your sovereign grace and mercy that You so richly and graciously bestow upon her. May You open her heart and mind to what You have to say to her. May she listen to You. May You continue to use this time to bring her closer to You. May she be a testament to Your glory and goodness. In Jesus name, amen.”

Thank you, dear friends.

Blessings,

Renata

Thank you dearly for taking time out of your lives to read my blog! Your support means the world to me. I praise God you found this blog, whether you stumbled upon it accidentally or sought it out intentionally.

I’d LOVE to hear from you all! Feel free to leave a comment or e-mail me at coffee.soothes.the.soul@gmail.com.

I pray God would bless you and be with you always, no matter where you find yourselves in life.

He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification. – Romans 4:25 (NIV).

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I’m a Little Weird: My Sleeping Habits

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It is fitting that I am writing this blog post whilst my husband is sleeping beside me. For, today, I am going to tell you some of my sleeping habits. I think part of me just wanted to create a way for people to get to know me better without it being a “Here are some facts about me” blog post.

It’s funny how within my blogging journey when I know it is time to revisit a topic or idea. Recently, I realized that I hadn’t shared much about myself that was somewhat unimportant for quite awhile. My sleeping habits are not breaking news, but they do help people get to know me just a little bit more.

Besides, I think it might humor some of you to know what odd, common sleeping habits I have. So, here we go.

For starters, my winter pajamas usually consist of an oversized long-sleeve tee, a pullover sweatshirt, sweats, and one sock. Yes, that’s right. I only sleep with one sock on.

I’ve discovered if I sleep with no socks, my pant legs ride up and I get cold in the middle of the night. On the other hand, if I wear two socks, I get too hot and have nightmares. So, I must wear only one sock to be comfortable.

And before you ask, yes, my OCD-self has taken the time to figure out if it is matters which foot I have the sock on. It does matter. I have to wear a sock on my left foot only. Then, my right foot can stick out underneath the covers to get air.

No worries, I know I am weird. You don’t have to tell me.

Furthermore, I am that person most people love to hate when it comes to falling asleep. I am that person who falls asleep in two seconds. No joke. I do that with little sound or lots of sound around me. I do that with or without someone in the bed. However, I know some people who can’t fall asleep quickly unless there’s someone else in bed.

This habit is so bad that my husband knows when he hears me close my glasses case that he needs to hurry in and say good night. Otherwise, I will be out like a light. In fact, there have been sometimes when he didn’t hear me close my case and I’ve fallen asleep before he can say good night. Thankfully, we’ve been married long enough he rarely doesn’t get a chance to say good night.

Don’t be fooled, though. Even though I fall asleep quickly, I usually don’t sleep well. In fact, I take incredible naps. But, I don’t sleep well through the night. Generally, I can sleep through the night. But, nearly every single morning, I wake up knowing I did not get quality sleep.

Maybe it’s because I tend to roll around. Or maybe it is because I tend to sleep in awkward positions. I can’t tell you how many times my husband has had trouble getting into the bed because he’s found me sleeping diagonally or completely sprawled on his side of the bed! I chuckle just thinking about it.

Also, I tend to go to bed before my husband, thus the aforementioned struggle to get into bed. Lately, we’ve both been going to bed at the same time since we’ve both had our fair share of health issues. However, on a regular day when both of us are healthy, I usually go to bed before him.

In fact, I think I am slowly becoming that person whose body starts to shut down and not want to be productive every day at the same time without fail. I think my body clock time is 10:00 p.m.

Nevertheless, this realization is fairly new. It has only been going on for about a week. But, it’s impressive that it has even gone on for nearly a week. In fact, I tried to be productive past 10:00 p.m. last weekend. My body wasn’t having it. Needless to say, I am interested to see how long it lasts.

I’ve saved the best for last. I sleep talk. Yup. You heard it (or me, in my sleep!). I didn’t know I did until a former roommate pointed it out. She’d always have the most hilarious stories to tell me. Depending on how tired I am, one can have an entire discussion with me while I am sleeping. Of course, I won’t remember any of it.

Most of the time, though, my sleep talking is absolute gibberish or I’m going off on someone in my dream. For instance, the last time my husband heard me sleep talk, he said I was flustered that someone else was opening a coffee shop. I don’t think I sleep talk that often. But, I know when I do, the story will be humorous.

So, there you have it. I am a little weird. My sleeping habits are proof of that. What are some of your weird sleeping habits? Do I have any fellow sleep talkers? I’d love to know! Leave your comments below.

Regardless, I sincerely hope you all have enjoyed getting to know me a little better. Sleep well and sleep often, dear friends. Our childhood selves who despised naps don’t know what they are talking about!

Blessings,

Renata

 

Thank you dearly for taking time out of your lives to read my blog! Your support means the world to me. I praise God you found this blog, whether you stumbled upon it accidentally or sought it out intentionally.

I’d LOVE to hear from you all! Feel free to leave a comment or e-mail me at coffee.soothes.the.soul@gmail.com.

I pray God would bless you and be with you always, no matter where you find yourselves in life.

He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification. – Romans 4:25 (NIV).

 

 

 

I’ve Been Wrong Before: A Few Examples

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I am writing this blog post so I can procrastinate on my homework. I am not typically one to do that. But, I desperately have to in this case. I have the draft for a nearly 12-page paper due this week. As of the moment that I am writing this post, I only have my title page complete.

This assignment is one of those that I know will be extremely difficult just because I broke my regular routine while preparing for it. Usually, when I write research papers, I read through all of my sources and take notes over them. However, I did not have time to do that before needing to use the sources for another assignment.

So, I feel awkward. I feel unprepared. I feel anxious.

I hate having my routine broken. It reminds me, yet again, I don’t have control. My routine for writing research papers has proven to be tried and true. At least I think so.

I find myself in a Catch-22.

I do not want to take the plunge to see if breaking my routine a few weeks ago will actually work to my benefit now. I don’t want to find out I could’ve been doing things wrong all along. Might I add, I wasn’t the one who came up with the new routine. Someone else did.

Yet, at the same time, I would love to know if there is a more efficient way of completing assignments. I would love to know if I truly can absorb material without feeling the need to take meticulous notes over it. I am nearly finished with my bachelor’s degree, so why not find out now, right?

Nevertheless, welcome to being human. We are wired to want to be right. We must be right. We are right.

However, maybe it’s important to take time to remind ourselves all the ways we’ve been wrong. Perhaps, that is the motivation I need to not procrastinate. Perhaps, I need to remind myself I am not perfect. I have been wrong before and it’s okay to be wrong again. Let’s see a few prime examples, shall we?

I am generally wrong about people. If I haven’t already said it once before, I am notorious for making bad first impressions of people. Almost always, I don’t like someone the first time I meet them. It doesn’t matter who the person is.  Lo and behold, though, only a few months later, I genuinely appreciate the person.

On the flip side, there are also select people whom I liked when I first met them. But, after time, distance, and reflection, I no longer do. Those people I simply choose to be civil with out of necessity.  Although it may sound harsh, I am okay with admitting this because I know I have been on that side of the spectrum for others. I am not the most likable person and I am okay with that. I firmly believe some people just aren’t meant to get along.

I am generally wrong about statements. I am notorious for reading in between the lines. I am quick to jump to conclusions. I am quick to assume someone is out to get me. Or, that people have an ulterior motive when getting to know me. I am quick to put words in people’s mouths.

This one is not easy to admit. It has been extremely challenging to work through. I would love to say I have a right to be that way because of my past, but truthfully, I don’t. I am only hurting myself and other people in the process more than anything. I am only protecting my ego.

May this be another reminder to learn to accept the love people give me. May this be another reminder that people are honest. That there isn’t always something more.

I am generally wrong about the time. Some may call this poor time management. On the other hand, I call it unrealistic expectations. Almost on a daily basis, I wake up or walk into work with a list of things I plan on doing. Without fail, I usually don’t complete them all.

Granted, some days, I procrastinate or feel sluggish more than others. However, for the most part, I simply just don’t give myself a break.  I don’t allow myself a truthful outlook. As a result, I set myself up for a stressful, fairly unproductive day. I don’t plan for the unexpected. I plan for smooth sailing, not a rocky, winding road.

This is another one I am not okay with admitting. It is so bad that I think if one of my coworkers were to read this, they’d have a completely altered image of me! It is as if I believe everyone else expects those unrealistic expectations of me.

Truth be told, no one else does. Only me. In fact, all my coworkers and I can ask of me is my best effort. That may mean I am not as productive some days, like a couple days ago. So be it. Perhaps, I’ll learn one day that I don’t always have to wake up with a list of things to do. Sometimes, I just have to simply wake up and try.

I think that is enough self-reflection for one blog post. My call to you is this: Don’t fear being wrong. Invite discomfort. Invite uncertainty. Invite possibility.

No, I am not saying completely let go of who you are and your true nature. But, I am saying, accept the journey of the rocky, winding road. Life isn’t meant for smooth sailing.

Blessings,

Renata

 

Thank you dearly for taking time out of your lives to read my blog! Your support means the world to me. I praise God you found this blog, whether you stumbled upon it accidentally or sought it out intentionally.

I’d LOVE to hear from you all! Feel free to leave a comment or e-mail me at coffee.soothes.the.soul@gmail.com.

I pray God would bless you and be with you always, no matter where you find yourselves in life.

He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification. – Romans 4:25 (NIV).

Yet Again: I’m Confused and Unsure

Proverbs 16-9

I am going let you all in on a blogging secret.

I didn’t write this post the same day it was published, Thursday. Actually, I wrote in on Wednesday. In fact, I write almost every single post on a Wednesday. The only times I write and publish a post on a Thursday is if I don’t have any inspiration or if my week has been crazy busy.

Funnily enough, I’ll spend hours and even separate days on my blog.  But, when it comes to school, I usually write, edit, and turn in an assignment the same day. Depending on how important the assignment is, I may wait until the next day to look it over before turning it in.

I think this comparison speaks to how much I care about this blog. Truth be told, I care about it more than you all will probably ever know. Yet, at the same time, I have had days, in my lowest of lows, when I’ve thought about permanently deleting my blog.

I am telling you this because I have had this nagging thought in the back of mind. I don’t know if I am meant to be a public speaker. The more I write on this blog, the more I want to blog for a living. But, I know it is excruciatingly difficult to do so.

One of the bloggers I follow, Kathleen Barnes of Carrie Bradshaw Lied, has been blogging for almost 10 years. And she still struggles with viewers and readers at times! I won’t deny I am part of that problem. I am not terribly invested in most of Kathleen’s content. However, I am extremely into her cooking posts. Also, I do follow her on Instagram because I think she is absolutely hilarious!

Quite frankly, I am also not willing to be as open as a blogger may need to be successful. We live in a world where people are extremely nosey. People always want to know more about you. You give them an inch of insight into your private life. In return, they want a mile.

Then, there’s the added notion that my blog just doesn’t get as many views as I’d like.  Granted, I know it is not all about the views. But, if I were to ever make this into a career, I would have to reach a lot more people.

I’ve mulled over the reasons behind my lower statistics a great deal in my near three years of blogging:

I am private about my life, in the grand scheme of things.

I am not confrontational or political.

Nor do I entirely understand how to use SEO or social media to get my blog to the masses.

And most importantly, the life behind my blog is Jesus Christ.

Even with the lower statistics, though, I still feel this call to spend my life writing. I feel this call from God to use my gift of writing from Him for His glory, regardless of the numbers. My heart is in my writing. I believe I am reaching people. It may only be a select few, but I do believe I am reaching people.

I feel God quietly telling me, “Renata, be patient. Give it time. You will reach more people with your writing than you will your public speaking. Trust Me.”

Perhaps, I am writing this post out of fear of wondering if my aspirations will ever become realities. Perhaps, I am writing this because as I get closer to finishing my degree, the less certain I am about what to do with my future.

I’ve been telling people I’d like to be a public speaker and write an autobiography for years now. But, as the time gets closer to that possibility, as I fathom all that goes into achieving either one or both of those goals, the more I scurry, the more I doubt myself and my abilities.

This is where you find me this week. Yet again, longing to understand something that I once was certain about.  Yet again, as I’ve shared several times before, I find myself confused and unsure.

This blogging life is difficult sometimes. And even though I don’t know where it will lead me, I firmly believe it is rewarding. For, even if hardly anyone reads coffee soothes the soul, I get to use a platform to make sense of my life and thoughts.

And in this crazy world filled with unsurmountable levels of sin and joy, we all need something to help us make sense of life.

I simply ask you all to pray for me in this season of unknowns. And as for you all, my call is simple: Be flexible. God’s plans are not always our plans, dear friends. May we all learn to lean on Him and trust His call for our lives. May we all learn to bring Him glory in every circumstance.

Blessings,

Renata

 

Thank you dearly for taking time out of your lives to read my blog! Your support means the world to me. I praise God you found this blog, whether you stumbled upon it accidentally or sought it out intentionally.

I’d LOVE to hear from you all! Feel free to leave a comment or e-mail me at coffee.soothes.the.soul@gmail.com.

I pray God would bless you and be with you always, no matter where you find yourselves in life.

He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification. – Romans 4:25 (NIV).