Saturday, May 28, 2016

GOD DOESN'T NEED US

God is wild, yet completely in control
God is free to do what he wants, yet always has a plan
God is able to answer our prayers, yet nothing we ask for can control Him
God is bigger than everything, yet more intimate with us than anyone
God is full of glory, yet humbled himself to become human 
God is timeless, yet has a time for everything
God is self sufficient, yet created us out of love
God is all knowing, yet allows us the chance to discover
God is gracious, yet equally just
God is forgiving, yet gives us the choice to accept it or not 
God is the main character, yet includes us in His story

It's not about us. It's not about our happiness. It's not about our eternity. It's not about our comfort. It's not about our life. It's about His glory, His worship, His praise, and His plan. It's about Him. 

This isn't intended to make anyone feel worthless by any means but the truth is that God doesn't need us. The good part though, is that He WANTS us. He loves us and that's why He made us. Not so that we could have the perfect life on Earth but so that we could choose to love Him in return. The point is that if we make it about Him, we will find the meaning of our existence. Our lives belong to our Creator, so let's let Him have them. Lets fulfill our purpose, and let His Spirit guide us. 

5 questions to ask ourselves:

Am I serving God or expecting God to serve me?

Am I praying to try to control the outcome of my circumstance, or praying for God to take control, despite my opinion?  

Am I seeing God as big and wild, or small and contained to my own view of Him?

Am I seeking God out of my desperate need for Him or just out of obligation? 

Am I trusting God's timing or trying to convince Him that my agenda is the right one?


Always love,

Darcy



Saturday, May 21, 2016

8 BUSINESS TIPS FOR NEWBIES LIKE ME


The other day I had a sweet girl DM the Modest Gold Instagram saying she has always wanted to start a page that shares Jesus but she doesn't know where to start. 

Right after I read her message, I automatically flashed back to when I first wanted to start modestgold.com. I remember I had thought and prayed about it for a while but I didn't think I was good enough. I had no idea what it took to run a business or if I even possessed what it took at all. 

Then one day I just said "I'm going to do it" (with the help of my amazing tech savvy, business minded boyfriend of course ;). So we did. And it worked. It's just that simple. 

It's been about a year since then and many people have asked how we do it because they think it's so complicated. Truth is, it is complicated. The process is complicated. Starting a business on the other hand, is easy. All you have to do is decide to start. 

Yes, you may have no idea what you are doing at first but you learn as you go. The best way to learn is to do it. If I would have kept putting it off until I had all of the business head knowledge, then I would have never gained the value of the real life experience. 

Over time, I've found that it is better to just do something, then to wait for the "perfect" time. Why? Because there is no perfect time. 

Here are 8 valuable business points that I've learned after a year of experience: 

1. Just do it! Most people don't even try to make their own business, so starting is already one step ahead. 
2. Know your style, find businesses that have it too, and use them as a guide. (Businesses that have been around for a while have already learned a lot of hard lessons. You can still have your own unique twist but I've found that it's better to follow in the footsteps of others to get an idea of what works/what doesn't) 
3. Don't be hard on yourself for not being perfect. Every step is part of the process, enjoy it.
4. Make sure you love what you are selling and have a passion for it. This way, even if you aren't growing as fast as you'd like, at least you are having fun and you can feel like you are fulfilling your purpose. 
5. Work for God. If you are trying to prove yourself to people, then you will get worn out. Do your best for God, and get rid of the pressure to please everyone else. 
6. Don't be afraid to include others in your work. I used to think that everything I did had to be completely original and it was exhausting. Now, I highlight work from others, tag them, and collaborate. It widens my audience, lessens my load, and helps me build valuable connections. 
7. I recommend having a partner or friend working alongside you, who understands the ins and outs of your business. A person who knows the work that it takes everyday and supports you through the ups and downs. My boyfriend, Carlos is my person. He helps with any and all tech issues (I despise tech issues), working hard behind the scenes to make everything run smoothly. I'm the creative/artsy mind, while he is the technical/sales mind. It just works. He also encourages me when the business is slow and during the times I feel like just giving up. Modest Gold wouldn't exist if it weren't for him. Having an encourager beside you is so helpful when building a business. 
8. DONT GIVE UP. Businesses usually don't take off overnight. I was recently encouraged by a friend who shared that she spent 5 years trying to get her business profitable enough to live off of. Personally, I am still waiting for that day..but I will keep working, building, learning and giving God glory until it comes! #worthit 

If you've been considering starting a business, I hope this helped give you an extra push because you do have what it takes! If you are a biz owner, I know you can relate and we are in this together :)



Message or comment if you have questions or would like to connect!

Always love,

Darcy



Thursday, May 19, 2016

SWIMMING IN THE WILD

I've loved the beach my whole life. When I was little, I'd jump over the waves, pretending like I couldn't let my toes touch the top of them. As I got older, I would swim out to the deeper water. I wasn't afraid of the depths of the ocean or the creatures that inhabited it. I was free from fear. 

In fact, I felt like I could conquer the water. I remember when I would imagine what I'd do if a riptide came. I was ready because I knew exactly how to handle that situation. I would just let it take me and swim parallel to the shore. If a shark came, I'd punch him in the nose. No problem at all!

This fearlessness did put me in some not so safe situations though. Like hmm for example, I've been stung by jellyfish on 7 separate occasions. Still, it was no big deal! That didn't stop me from swimming. 

One of those times happened when I was tubing on the river. I considered myself a pretty awesome tuber but the boat driver (aka my crazy youth pastor) was determined to throw me off. So he created huge waves and eventually after flying multiple feet in the air, several times in a row, I lost my grip. I soared through the air and landed on..guess what? A jelly fish, or what seemed like a group of them wrapping their tentacles around my legs. 

Yeah that stung. But good times.

I would also catch crabs on the beach and take fish off the hook with my bare hands. 

I even tried surfing in the middle of a hurricane. That was not a good decision, considering I had no idea how to surf. I wont tell the story, but it definitely makes my top 5 worst choices of my life list. 

**Kids, don't do that, unless you are a pro surfer! Just trust me. 

The point of this is that back then I didn't question adventure. 

Today, I realized that somewhere along the way I stopped taking those risks. I started worrying and fearing the unknown. 

Maybe my brain just developed...or maybe I stopped letting myself be free. 

Now I just walk on the shore. I don't swim. I just sit by the retirees in their beach chairs. 

What happened to all the fun? 

So today I was looking at the ocean. All I could do was think of the reasons why I shouldn't go in it. I thought "If I go, my stuff could get stolen here" or "I don't want my hair to get wet because it will take forever to dry" or "I don't want my seats in my car to be wet when I drive home" and "I could get eaten by a shark or stung for the eighth time"....Then all of a sudden, it hit me. WHAT?! When did this happen to me? When did I start having these constant worries? 

That's it, I'm swimming!

I took off running and jumped into the waves. My hair and all, completely submersed. It felt amazing. Just like old times, when I thought I was a mermaid. 

Then, flashes of the recent local news came rushing to my mind. I remembered the girl who just bit by a shark that wouldn't let go of her arm, right near this very beach! I saw Pelicans catching fish....and where there's fish, there's predators... WAIT STOP! There I go worrying again.

Do you think Adam and Eve lived in constant fear of animals eating them? No they did not. But the devil, in the form of an animal caused them to fear the unknown and choose to stop trusting God. 

Fear is not from God. Trust is. 

If He allows something to harm me, then I'm sure I will have a great testimony. This applies to my entire life. 

Ironically, I read this quote today, 

"Don't let what you're afraid of, keep you from what you are made for" - Bob Goff

I know I was made to take risks for God. Im created to run wild with His Spirit and let Him lead me where my trust is without borders (Yes, I sang 'Oceans' by United really loud as I was swimming). 

I think it's time for me to go back to my former days of fearlessness. Despite this seemingly scary world, I have a much greater God. Comfort is not my calling, bringing the gospel to the world is, even if it is in danger's path. 

Adventure with Jesus awaits! Let's swim in the wild!

Always love,

Darcy

P.S I saw a pod of dolphins swimming nearby and at first I assumed they were sharks of course lol!! But it was actually really beautiful. Dolphins have always been my favorite animalšŸ¬ What's yours?:) 






Monday, May 16, 2016

FREE SPIRIT OR FREE IN THE SPIRIT

I've always considered myself a 'free spirit'. In my career planning/assessment class in college, I took a values test and found that I value freedom very highly. I also took the Myers Briggs and discovered that my personality type is "the adventurer".

Ironically, some celebrities that share my personality are Britney Spears and Michael Jackson. Two people that did spontaneously crazy things out of emotional build up. 

Like, remember when Britney shaved her head? Well, I used to think she was completely insane but the older I get, and the more I have to become an "adult", the more I feel trapped in a box to the point of wanting to do something like that. No joke. I understand you Britney!! 

The only difference is that my crazy spontaneous move would probably have to do with traveling to some far off land and leaving all of my responsibilities behind, rather than going bald. 

Although I did randomly bleach/cut off my long hair recently and I must say, it was quite empowering. 

Nevertheless, what it comes down to is that I hate staying in one place for long periods of time. I don't like routine or mundane, day to day repetition. I wish I could just being a free artist/traveler/worship leader already and just pick up and go see the world. Unfortunately, it's not that easy. 

On Sunday at church, I had a revelation though. I was at a point where I felt like the box I was in kept shrinking around me and I wanted to run far away but then I found the key to freedom. A key that I've always known but simply forgot. 
"Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom" (2 Corinthains 3:17 ESV)

Wait a second....So if the Spirit is always with me, that means I am always free? 
Yes, just ask.
Ask?..

"If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!” (Luke 11:13 ESV)

Have I been asking the Holy Spirit to be with me everyday? #convicted

When I ask the Spirit to come, not only will I have freedom, but also the fruit of the Spirit which is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, and self control. That's everything I need for the life I dream of, except I can have it right here and right now because I have the Spirit with me at all times. 

I truly believe God is trying to teach something very important right now. Not only was this the sermon on Sunday, but it's also the main idea of the book I'm reading called "Wild and Free". The title grabbed my attention (no surprise) and I can already tell that this book is going to change my life. 

The intro was about Adam and Eve in the garden. They were completely free, unashamed, and in perfect connection with God. That's how we were originally created to be. No insecurities, expectations or pressures to be a certain way that the world tells us to be. Just free. Free to create, discover, explore, and run wild. Everything I long for in life.

Here's the good news, I can have all of that. I can have it because of Jesus and so can you. He came so that we could be free in the Spirit. That's right, not just 'free spirits' wandering with no direction but 'free in the Spirit' to have power and purpose in this life. I see myself differently now. I am free right now. Yes I will go to work today. Yes it's Monday once again, but this time I am remembering that I am free in the Spirit. I just have to ask and be open to all the gifts He has for me in this season. 


Wednesday, May 11, 2016

DID YOU SEE THE MANATEES?

Today I went down to the river to sit and enjoy the sunshine before work. I found a bench, sat down, and had a talk with God. 

I heard a noise and looked up to see a manatee coming up for air right beside me. 

I looked farther out and saw a pair of dolphins coming up as well. It was a beautiful moment. 

I couldn't help but feel like God was confirming my prayers and showing me that He was with me. 

I realized that He is constantly showing up if we just give Him the credit and the time to notice. 

As I was appreciating the view, a woman went to the bench beside me and started doing push-ups/working out. 

I smiled at her and said "did you see the manatees?". She looked back at me and with a cynical tone replied, "Yes. Yes I saw the manatees. I see them all the time. I live here." She then ran from the bench angrily, complaining that it was broken and cursed under her breath. 

What in the world? What was her problem? ... I thought as I processed what just happened. 

At first, I wished I would have said "Well guess what? I live here too, but I actually appreciate beauty in life, unlike you!" 

Then, my attitude changed because I felt bad for her. There must be something going on in her life to make her act that way and be so negative. She must be so caught up in her problems, that she can't even stop to see how beautiful life can be. 

I began to see that woman through the lens of God's love. I recognized that this is probably how we all are toward God quite often. 

He is constantly showing us love and beauty. He is trying to teach us and bless us throughout each day. Many times, we are like this woman. We just run right by and don't even notice. We are too busy and so used to God's blessings, that we take them for granted. 

Even Christians who live by grace everyday can fail to recognize it as something special. We just say "we live here, we are used to this". The enemy knows that if he can get us to focus on our problems, then we will forget to see God's glory. It's all a matter of perspective. 

This challenged me today. Will I give God the credit for the good things in life or will I complain about everything I think is going wrong? Will I notice beauty or dwell in negativity? It truly is a choice and it makes all of the difference. 

Let's be a light to those with cold hearts and show them God's love. Just a smile and a positive perspective will make us stand out. It is our decision. 

So now the question is, will you notice the manatees everyday or just keep on running? Your choice. 





Tuesday, May 10, 2016

WHY I ATE THIS DOUGHNUT

This right here is the delicious baked gluten/dairy free doughnut I ate today with my dairy free iced coffee. Nowadays, I actively seek out these special options in cafes and restaurants. Over the past few months, I've become more educated of what I should and shouldn't eat. Foods like rice, meat, vegetables, fruit, nuts, quinoa, and certain baked goods made with gluten free flour like this doughnut are perfect! Also, soy, coconut and almond milk are great alternatives. I am so happy that the world is becoming aware of gluten/dairy sensitivities and are providing options for people like me!

So why do I go out of my way to eat by these guidelines? And why should you consider it? Keep reading :)


So I'll start off by sharing some of my story.

I am not exactly gluten/dairy free by choice. I have been intolerant of both for my whole life but I recently discovered that they were the root of my problems.

You see, growing up I never thought that I could change my situation. Instead, I assumed it was hereditary. My grandpa, my dad, and myself always had "sensitivities to certain foods" but we had no idea what the real problem was. I figured it just ran in the family and I was doomed for life.

Neither my father, or grandfather ever questioned it either. They just thought they had to live with feeling bad after they ate. They learned to just plan on feeling sick basically every time they had a meal.

Luckily, my generation is rising up to become more health conscious of gluten/dairy than the generations before them. In fact, it is almost becoming a trend. Now I truly see why it has changed so many people's lives though, because it changed mine.

Believe it or not, I used to think feeling sick was normal but now I rarely feel bad (unless I cheat and get mad at myself afterwards lol). Gluten and dairy were the source of my problems all along.

When I first began to question it, I consulted various specialists to find out what was wrong. Eventually they diagonsed me with ibs (most likely inherited) and endometriosis. I was put on multiple medicines...yada yada..you know the doctor drill.

Sadly, I do believe that I will have both of those illnesses for life but now I know for sure that cutting out dairy and gluten helps calm my symptoms for both! I barely notice them anymore. It really is amazing and now I am a huge advocate for gluten/dairy free living. Yes the medicine has helped me, but I prefer to use natural healing (I will post another blog soon about some more of the natural health remedies I use).

I recommend that everyone try this diet for a least a couple of weeks just to see if they feel better because you never know, it could really help you too. Not to mention, it helps me resist most carbs (like regular doughnuts for example haha) and other foods that I shouldn't be eating because I know I'll regret it later. I even lost 5 pounds right away when I stopped eating dairy and gluten. You can't go wrong with that!

Lastly, there have been times when I have felt really down about my health sensitivities. Sometimes it is hard to understand why God allows us to have these weaknesses in our bodies but I've learned that it is all a matter of perspective. Maybe the fact that I am limited by what I can eat is actually a tool to help me live a healthier life and stay accountable to myself. Maybe God is helping me become stronger when facing poor food choices by not even giving me the option to eat it without regretting later! How cool is that? :)


It is ironic that this has been my favorite Bible verse since I was a little girl, "But He said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness'. Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest on me". (2 Corinthians 12:9 ESV)

When we are weak, He is strong. Any health issue you may be facing is not too big for Him. Just have faith and know that He has a good plan for you. 

I hope this encouraged you in some way and if have any questions about my story or if you want to share your own health journey email me or comment below.

Please share any gluten/dairy free tips too, if you have some! 

Always Love,

Darcy