The Big White Smoke

Dear Friends,

You know when you first wake up in the morning? That feeling of grogginess, muscles feel like they’re still asleep, and eyes so heavy that the word ‘sleep’ sounds like pure bliss? It literally all goes away when I drink coffee lol. It’s so interesting! I always drink the Kirkland’s Signature brand that we get from Costco. They have two or three different strengths, but we always get the ‘Pacific Bold’.

I like my coffee super strong, but my family and I visited Grandma Ann one day and since then I have really been wanting to purchase my own espresso machine! She has an essenza mini by Nespresso and she asked if I wanted to try it since she expressed how much she loved it. The size is so compact and it’s perfect to put in an RV! The coffee that it yields is… WOW.

She had three or four different strengths of the coffee and she gave me one that was strength 9? I think the most is 12 or 13. Now THAT is some strong coffee. The little pod has a little cream in it so I only added a little sugar for my preference. The foam it makes was in the perfect amount, too. I gave some to my husband to try and he really liked it. We were snooping around in the OfferUp app to see if people were selling any. We saw one, but they didn’t respond. Ugh, haha. If we can’t find one for deals by the time we purchase an RV, I guess I’ll buy it full price. *I guess!*

Anyway, since my last journaling, Mimi has gone back to school in person two days a week. It’s a half day on those days to start. EZ starts the beginning of March and then finally, Keilani starts the following week. It’s a gradual change and I think I like it because it gives us a chance to gradually mend our routine, too. My hubby has a long stretch of days off before he goes back to his normal work routine as well. As for me, I’ve been really concentrating on making more YouTube videos!

I totally have lost sight on how much I love creating and editing videos. It is work and it actually does feel like at work at times, but I find joy in it just like I find pure joy in blogging. There are those days were I am just not sure of my place in life regarding career wise, but every time I come into a state of “affliction” like this… there’s a voice that tells me to stop. I know that voice is God. If Jesus were still walking physically here on earth, He would ask me, “Why are you so troubled?” Just like He asked the women and men in the Bible stories why they are so troubled. God never wants us to focus so much on these afflictions.

It is truly hard to snap out of it, though. I know the struggle of it all and I know you go through the same thing. It’s important to not deny it, but it’s also important to not stay in that state. One morning, I felt so down. Those feelings of rejection, confusion, and just the unknown feels so heavy for me. It’s like standing on a road with a huge white smoke before me that prevents me from seeing anything. The air around me is gray and dirty, but apparently the road is clean and clearly visible from where I’m standing.

There’s many things that is in my mind because I don’t know what the future holds. My hubby is the bread winner in our family. He was in the Navy then afterwards, his job requires odd hours that changes every two days. For example, he works two ‘day’ shifts, two ‘swing‘ shifts, and one ‘mid’ shift which is a graveyard shift. My family moved to Indonesia, so they no longer could support our family with watching the children while I worked. My mom is such an angel as a grandma. She loved, and I mean loved to grandmother my oldest Keilani. She found so much joy in it. I wish she was still here so my other two kids could experience that.

Anyway, it’s obvious that this requires a sacrifice from me. I needed to be the person to be at home. This is a blessing in itself in so many ways, but overtime I started to get worried. In a world where companies require experience, I was far left behind as I only had literally two jobs before I had to stop working. I think I stopped working at age 23 after I had my second child. I started my content creating in this blog and on YouTube some years after that. I needed to create something of my own while at home and this is what I loved doing and it works with the schedule that we have.

It’s a tough field and it’s been very difficult to grow but looking back at the journey, I definitely lost sight of the whole point of it. I created this blog to journal about my life and the relationship I personally have with God. It’s a place of journaling the wonders and the struggles. It’s a place where I could freely write about my testimony so those who were or are like me won’t feel alone. I, too, have been in your place and that you are not alone. I, too, did not know God but now I do. It’s not a shameful thing to admit, but it is a restoration and a freedom that I want to share.

God knows my heart because He knows the place I was in and He delivered me through everything. He also knows how my mind works and the sensitivity of my heart. He also knows how my love of writing can share His works through it all. Whenever I think and write about these things, my calling is clear. I know that God called me to it.

Here is the frailty of humanity showing through and cracking the foundation of the calling God gave me. I don’t know how it can help me and my family financially in regards of my family’s survivability in case something happens to my husband. Life can be gone without thought and caution sometimes and it will change everything. How do I pay our mortgage without a steady job? Bills? How do I, how do I, how do I… Over the years, I concentrated on the business side of this and I have lost joy. Little by little, joy left. I no longer had time to maintain my relationship with God, let alone talk about it…

I wanted a career of my own for security so I worked on it while slowly leaving everything that God called me to do. It happened because of fear. I forgot to trust God that He provides. It makes me cry to write this. I feel the tears forming, but I know God right at this very moment is comforting me because He forgives me. I feel the veil of forgiveness coming down on me and it feels warm. The Spirit Jesus leaves behind gives a chill that feels like my soul is slowly jumping out of my body. Actually, that’s probably a bad explanation. The chill that I feel whenever I know the Spirit is speaking to me, feels like a big bear hug. It feels like God is hugging me, making me feel safe in His warm hug. That, is probably what I meant by it feels like my soul is jumping out of my body. It feels out of this world.

I don’t know what the future holds and I shouldn’t react of the unknown. Everything is unknown. I do know this, though… God will always provide and deliver me throughout anything because He has already shown that in my life. Why would that be any different now? I met Pamela, a small business mama who needed photos of her felt letter boards worked with me for a little bit. I felt like God sent her to me to remind me of something. It’s literally so weird as I realize this… she sent me a little thing in the mail. Inside it was a sticker that said, “what Is done in love is done well.”

At that time, I was going through the motions. Motions of life. Building earthly things that had worries and insecurities alongside it. What next sponsorship or collaboration could I get next? What will I make this month? If I had to be the sole provider, will this be enough to pay for everything for my family? I stopped journaling, maybe here and there I would write something, but my overall mindset was not FULLY on God. My heart forgot about God.

It happens to a lot of people more than we might think and there maybe a lot of those who will not admit it, but a lot of us just go through the motions. I can think of moments through people like Pamela that God repeatedly tried to remind me. He used people like her to remind me through something so little like a sticker. What am I doing in love?

It’s not my love of things, but I read it as God is love. Am I giving glory to God with everything that I do? Am I showing that Love with a happy heart? Throughout 2020, there was a shift in me that I know that God was moving. It was a difficult year for a lot of people, yes, with everything but within the difficulties I think God was also trying to shift a lot of things with people. He was making a move within the hearts of people. He was trying to show the true hearts of people. Will we change or will we still focus on ourselves?

I started diving in the Bible learning more about our history as people. I wanted to learn more deeply about how God moved with them. It’s a lot to explain here in my already lengthy page, but I learned a lot about Cain and Abel… and also the people after that like Esau and Jacob, and the people after that. The people who chose God and those who chose themselves. There was a shifting in my thinking that totally remolded me. It is definitely like that verse in the Bible where it literally was like a renewal of my mind.

What is done in love is done well no matter what it brings, financially or not. My love of God is the drive of what I do consistently now. That took a year of consistently diving in the word of God, reading devotionals and plans on the phone each morning and night. It is not without struggle or even at time going off the path God paved for me, but now I am more quickly to get back on it. I hear His whispers and voice more clearly now that I receive it faster.

I love God and looking back at history, I want to have a heart like Abel that gave with a happy heart to God. He did not move with just motions of just life, he wasn’t doing things just to do things. He was without “works”, but he worked with a happy, joyful heart. He gave to God happily and willingly. That’s what God meant by the whole thing. He asks Cain, “Why is your face so down?” Cain refused to be corrected because God knew Cain wasn’t doing things for the glory of God with a happy, willing heart. He was just moving through the motions.

I mean, even though Abel got killed for it out of the jealousy of another. Sad! But the point is… we are not of this world, we are of God. I want to do things with a happy and joyful heart. Doing all things in love and for love. God is Love, and all the worries, fears, uncertainty is in no comparison to the power of God. This kind of mindset and spirit is what won’t let things in life be the sole reason of our behavior.

That job you hate, the people that annoy you, and life in general is no longer affecting you. You and I will just do things out of love for God because we do things for His glory, and not for people or ourselves. Love never fails because God doesn’t fail. Let’s trust in His plan throughout all the big white smoke in front of us. The road underneath our feet is still clear because God guides us even though we can’t see ahead. He is holding our hand as we take a step and He will hold our hand throughout the hardships life can bring.

In this blog, you’ll find letters from me. It is raw, unfiltered, and without preparation or drafts. It is the journey that I walk with God that I hope you find comfort in. There are also family life here, some travel, and maybe my favorite things, but mostly from here on… you will find letters from me to you. On my YouTube channel is where my creativity resides and you’ll find videos of reviews of things in my life, but here in this blog is the matters of the heart, the matters of the mindset, and the journey you and I both can go through together even though we may not know each other.

Now, my friend, this is the end of my letter to you! I hope that you find meaning to today’s thoughts and if you ever need a friend, I am here. My email is mama@xolivi.com if you need a more private platform to speak. You are not alone and there is always someone there that waits for you. Thanks so much for your time and I’ll talk to you on my next letter!

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