So it’s definitely been a while since I’ve consistently posted stuff.

This has been one of the craziest, most unpredictable years of my life thus far, filled with lots of hard, lots of good, and lotsss of meaningful lessons learned.

I’ve learned so much about love, relationships, heartache, trusting God, transition, entering a new community, slowing down, time management, pursuing dreams, leading people, leading worship, self-worth, and a ton of other stuff. (And believe me, I cannot WAIT to share everything with you! 🙂 ) I’ve had a constant burning in my heart to put words to everything I’ve experienced this year. But every time I’ve sat down to try and write about any of it, I’ve gotten the worst writer’s block.

Which brings me to what I want to talk with you about.
Every time I started to type, I’d have like a million different ideas running through my mind.

“What kind of tone should I set for my blog? Do I want it to be fun, serious, thoughtful, formal, casual? Omg, look at her blog…I love it! I like this about that blog. Maybe I should incorporate something like that in mine. What color scheme is going to appeal to the widest audience? Wait, is anyone even going to read this?”
Blah, blah, blah. I even have like four different unfinished drafts of one topic that I never seemed to be able to make “just right.”

I let the influence of a million other voices silence mine.

But today I had a tugging in my heart that I couldn’t ignore–
Just. Start.

Friend, you have a voice that is unlike any other in this whole world.
Think of the people that inspire you. What if they let busy-ness or perfectionism or whatever keep them trapped and silent? Your life would be void of all that you’ve learned from them.
We are all role models to somebody.

We each have a voice that comes effortlessly. We all have stories to share. We all see this life a little differently.

We don’t have to “plan” or “force” who we are. It’s just what comes out.
And it’s imperfectly perfect. Authenticity is stunning and it’s powerful.
Own who you are.

So if you have something to say, say it.
If you have a passion for something, go after it.

This life is short. And of all the other moments in history you could have been born, you’re here right now, for a specific purpose, with your specific voice.

Use it.

So here’s to less planning, forcing, filtering, comparing,
and more effortessly, naturally, powerfully being.

The world is more rich because you’re here!

Love,
Angela

 

You know those times when you look at your life and you’re just like, “I don’t get it.”

Maybe you didn’t get the job you’ve been hoping for.
Or you lost someone special to you.
Or you’re broke.
Or you’ve got some health issues.
Or whatever.

Sometimes life is going amazingly well and then, wham, you’re thrown a major curveball.

Sometimes it’s a little bump in the road, and sometimes devastating tragedy hits really good people.

I’m not sure of your specific situation, but I do know that we’ve all had or will have situations in our lives that cause us to question,

“Why? This just doesn’t make any sense.
I thought I was doing everything right.
God, I trusted You.
I just don’t get it.”

With this weekend being Easter, I spent some time on Good Friday afternoon just reflecting on what this celebration is really all about. I was facing some things in my life that I didn’t totally understand at the time.

I couldn’t help but think of Mary, Jesus’ mother. Imagine feeling what she felt when the angel appeared to her that one night saying, “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God. You will give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High…his kingdom will never end.”

The excitement, the honor, the “Omg I’m going to give birth to the Son of God!!!”

Can you imagine?? Only to pour her whole heart into mothering this precious life and then years later see him tortured, ridiculed, and nailed to a cross, left to die.

“Why? What was the point?” she must have thought in that moment, weeping from the pit of her soul, with all hope lost.

But in the midst of that tragedy, in the midst of the pain, of the confusion, loss, and anguish…

GOD WAS AT WORK.

He has a purpose for everything. It may not make any sense at all, but rest knowing that He is ALWAYS at work. We see little snippets of His plan, moment by moment, but He sees all—yesterday, today, and all your tomorrows. He’s holding your pain and painting your future.

Three days later, Jesus conquered death, sin, and all our imperfections by coming back to life. With the most incomprehensible love, God saved us from everything we deserve. Hope may have seemed lost for a few days, but eternal salvation for all of humanity was just on the other side of “what didn’t make sense.”

 

all in our favor

 

So friend, know that God is with you. Know that His plan is SO perfect. Know that when Jesus was on that cross, He did it for you.

God calls you precious. He calls you beautiful. He created you. You’re His son or His daughter. You’re significant. You’re loved. He looks at your mistakes, your messes, your good, and your bad, and says, “All of you was worth it. You’re still worth it. You’ll always be worth it to Me.”

He loves you more than you can even comprehend. So rest assured knowing that He’s holding you. Questioning your life is like demeaning the love He proved to you on the cross. He’s got you.

He always has. He always will.

Friend, God is so GOOD.

In every challenge, there is hope to cling on to. Know that purpose and crazy blessings follow the things that don’t seem to make sense.

“According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.”
1 Peter 1:3

“There may be pain in the night, but joy comes in the morning.”

You’ve got such a bright future ahead of you! I’m praying for you!

Love,
Angela

I love breakdowns because they always lead to breakthrough.

I’m all for spontaneity and change, but so much of it has been hitting my life all at once lately. On a Friday night, a few weeks ago, I found myself crying out to God in my room in total frustration. I’ve had about 2 other “rock bottom” moments in my life thus far, and weirdly enough, these moments have become some of my favorite. It’s always when I feel helpless that I’m reminded of how human I am, and how powerful and IN CONTROL God is. He exchanged my heartache for peace, real joy, a re-focused purpose, loving correction, and some of the best weeks of my life since that one night in my room.

I’m going to share with you 7 revelations I had that night. Maybe they’re for you too!

1. You are not defined by what you “do.”

After 4 years of pouring a ton of my life into leading/mentoring high-schoolers, I felt God tell me it was time to close that chapter to enter into a new thing He’s put in front of me. (If you’re a college-aged girl, ask me about Sacramento Sisterhood University, btw!) I felt unneeded and unsure of where I “fit” in the world. My confidence was honestly shaken a bit. Why? Because I needed to be reminded that our identity is not found in what we do. Or in what others think of us. Or in what we wear, or in our relationship status, social status, financial situation, our ministry, our busy-ness, or any other earthly, temporary thing. You are a child of GOD. Jesus died because YOUR soul is SO worth it. You are the apple of His eye, and nothing will EVER change your value and the amount of CRAZY LOVE He has for YOU!

2. “Loneliness is God’s cry for intimacy.”

For so long I used relationships and friendships as a guard against my deepest fears of ever feeling lonely. Although I’ve learned to find real love in Christ, I was having a moment of weakness in my room that night, just feeling alone during this transitional time of my life. But He reminded me that it’s impossible for loneliness to exist in His presence. Those nights you don’t have plans? He’s probably longing for your full attention. A relationship with Him is the reason we exist, so make quality time with Him a priority. It’s the most beautiful love you’ll ever experience. Promise!

3. Half-hearted surrender is not real surrender.

This is going to sound SO dumb, but I was wondering why God wasn’t using me more in the areas He’s given me passions for. I’m definitely a big dreamer, so when He placed dreams in my heart for speaking & encouraging, leading worship, and writing a few years ago, I was honestly wondering why I wasn’t traveling around the world to do so yet, haha. (Looking back now, I’m cringing at the fact I even thought that, omg!)

But I felt Him say to me, “You’re a part of MY plan. My priority is to save souls. I’m not totally concerned with how much stage time you get. Servanthood is servanthood. It’s joyfully assisting in my plan in any way you’re needed–big or small.” Gosh, that hit me hard! In that moment, I fully handed over my gifts, abilities, and heart to Him. And right then I found JOY because I refocused on my purpose. God is a good Father. He LOVES seeing us use the gifts He gave us, but from a humble, fully surrendered heart. The funniest part is since that change of heart, I’ve been given more opportunities to help lead worship in these past few weeks than I have in the past year all together. What a guy!

4. Fear has no right to keep you from what could be one of the best decisions of your life.

I’ve been attending a new church, and let me tell ya, going some place where you have to start fresh can be scary! But by stepping out of my comfort zone I’ve already gained some wonderful new friends and had specific conversations that confirmed I am where I’m supposed to be. Whatever your situation is, dare to take a risk. If it scares you, you should probably go for it. Comfort is easy, but courage is worth it.

5. You literally have NOTHING to worry about.

“If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, you of little faith? So don’t worry, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”
Matthew 6:30-34

“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”
Romans 8:28

6. Joy is YOURS. You just have to CLAIM it!

Feelings of depression sneak in when we focus on our own pity party, rather than the grand plan God is orchestrating. Ultimately, God’s goal is to use you to share Truth and hope with those that don’t know Him yet. There is revival going on all around us that you could miss out on if you’re too focused on your own little cloud of gloom. Take a step back and remind yourself that life is bigger than you. You play an important role in a beautiful plan.

Life will never be perfect. But Jesus died on a cross so He could save us from all fear, worry, anxiety, depression, and whatever else. He defeated death so that YOU could live life fully and spend forever in Heaven! You literally have nothing to worry about. Simply claim your gift of joy, and enjoy life because it is GOOD.

7. Being a PRAY-ER makes ALL the difference!

That night, I re-committed to being a pray-er. Not just someone who prays, but you know, someone who gets on their knees daily and PRAYYYYS. That has made all the difference. I have refocused on my First Love. He supplies all my needs. The JOY of the Lord is truly my STRENGTH.

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I’ve just been so overwhelmed by how good God is! The weeks since that one night have honestly been some of the best of my life. I got the honor of being in my cousin’s wedding, I’ve had a lot of fun times with a bunch of great friends from all over, also met some new ones, and been presented with some cool opportunities to serve. I realized that life has been good all along, sometimes you just need a perspective shift. As an imperfect human, I don’t deserve a thing, but Christ has given me a purpose, permanent JOY, blessings on blessings, and a guaranteed spot partying it up in Heaven for the rest of ever!

Friend, God is good and He loves you so so much. He’s with you. He’s on your side. He wants your full attention, so He can guide you on the path of real, beautiful life. Praying that you’ve felt Him comfort your heart as you’ve read this!

‘Til next time!
Love,
Angela

“The best way to ruin your life is to think you have to have it all together.”

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You could say I have an awful fear of fear. A bunch of my younger life was spent missing out on awesome opportunities, because I was too stuck in my little comfort zone to try anything a bit daring.

After high school, God really opened my eyes to how much I let fear dictate my choices. From that point on, I promised Him and myself that I would live life to the absolute FULLEST by letting God direct my life. Since then, He’s planted these big dreams in my heart–to travel as a motivational speaker, be a family counselor, become an author of inspirational books, lead congregations into His presence through worship, raise a family of world-changers, & some other stuff too, but those are my “biggies.”

I mean, He created all of freakin existence, so why not dare to actually BELIEVE Him when He says that through Him ALL things are possible?

Gosh, I get so excited thinking about how cool He is haha.

Anywho, I’m in this awk “waiting” stage of my life, though. I’m still in college; my part-time job is just a means to pay my way through school; I haven’t fallen in love yet; I’m not currently getting many speaking or singing opportunities; I still feel like I’m meant to be living in Sacramento (why are there no beaches here?!); and my phone screen just cracked and my contract isn’t up until December.

Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE my life. I have so much to be thankful for. Still sometimes I have those moments, though, where I’m like, wellllll I’d better get cozy on the corner of 11th & K where I’ll be living the rest of my life as a bum in a box!

Kay, that’s a little dramatic, but still.

That fear starts to creep in again…“Am I not being ambitious or determined enough?” “What if I’m actually not meant to accomplish these dreams?” “Did I hear God wrong?” “What if I actually never get married?”
“What if…what if…what if…”

“Humans plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps.”
Proverbs 16:9

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.”
Proverbs 3:5-6

“Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.”
Romans 12:12

Every life chapter is just as important as the next. I could easily wish away these “waiting” years, but that’d be like wishing away the very foundation of all I’ll do in the future.

It’s in the waiting that the tough lessons are learned, that pride is broken down, confidence is built, and that complete dependency on God is formed.

Muscle takes PERSEVERANCE to be built.

Healthy roots take TIME to grow.

Palm trees get STRONGER through STORMS.

A treacherous hike must be conquered before experiencing the breathtaking mountaintop view.

Brows have to grow in awfully before the European Wax lady can shape them perfectly.

Basically, this beautiful life is a process.

If you want to have a solid future, you’ve gotta build a firm foundation.

Through everything, I’ve learned that I am a complete mess without letting the Creator of everything guide me. As impatient or “stuck” as I may feel sometimes, I know I don’t actually have to fret because this is all for a purpose. I can rest easy because I know that with God, life’s one big win-win situation.

He works ALL things together for the good of those who love Him. So long as we stay committed to God’s guidance, and working hard, He’s going to lead us down the best path for us. And if worse comes to worst, this life is like a “short vapor,” and soon we’ll be partying for all of eternity in perfect Heaven.

So, friend, I just want to encourage you by saying, you feel lost too? You’re not alone! Young adult life can be the most frustrating, messy, confusing time of your life…and if that’s the case, then you’re probably doing it right. You’re figuring out who are, what role you play in this world, and through trial-and-error, you’re learning to hit every curveball life throws at you.

You don’t have it all figured out, and you’re not meant to.

God’s got you. You’re a total champ. Just enjoy the ride.

Anything worth achieving requires a challenging process. Embrace it, learn from it, LOVE it. Today is a gift. Our time is coming, & our time is also now.

Praying blessings over your life!

Love,
Angela

“What would your life look like without any fear?”

That was the slogan of a life-changing conference I went to back in 2013. That question alone FOREVER changed the way I view life and dared me to dream as BIG as possible. I realized that we all are born with God-given talents and passions that He wants to maximize to make this world a better place.

It was then that my wild dreams of offering hope to the world on a grand scale were born. I want nothing more than to spend my life inspiring others through traveling & speaking, becoming a published author, and doing all I can to leave a lasting mark on the world, in appreciation for all God’s done for me. It’s what led me to create this little “Dose of Hope” personal brand, I guess you could call it, in the first place.

But after a little over a year of praying, trusting, working towards these dreams, and feeling like I haven’t made much progress, I started to question them. Did God really tell me to go after these dreams? Was I being naive, or even arrogant, thinking I was made to do such things? Is it time to settle and accept the fact that I may never see these heart’s desires come true?

Maybe you’re questioning your dreams, so I wrote this for you.

your sign

(Pic credit: Pinterest/Etsy)

Maybe you were crazy for thinking you could accomplish great things. You had such big dreams when you were younger. You felt invincible. Like anything was possible. Ignorance really was bliss, you finally admit, as you hang your head in defeat.

Are your dreams worth all the effort still? You’re older now and the world’s tried to show you who’s boss;
That the seemingly impossible may be just that–impossible.

Your heart breaks at the thought of living a typical, routine life of mediocrity; But maybe that’s just how life goes.
I mean afterall, only a few make history…

Only a few make history.

Maybe because everyone else fell victim to defeat’s lies, chose to bow at the foot of fear, chose to give up when things got tough and required some painful perseverance.

Maybe no one told them that dreams aren’t meant to be caged up in your mind. Maybe they didn’t realize all the wild, world-changing, history-making, legacy-leaving things they were capable of. Not just capable of, but BORN to make reality.
Maybe no one told them the Creator of everything was on their side;
Maybe that was too crazy of a thought to believe.
But that’s not you.

“Average” does not describe you.
You treasure, you.
You’re hearing the truth now.
You’re meant to master obstacles,
to be refined through challenges,
to patiently trust that God will open the right doors…
at the RIGHT time.

You’re meant to conquer fears, to be rebuilt when you feel you’ve been torn down. To reach, to try, to smile. To soar. To excel.
To throw “impossible” to the wind, shift your eyes from your rearview, and party because your future is SO bright!

Rise up.
Step out.
Dare to dream again.

That dream you were about to give up on?
This is that nudge you wanted.
This is that voice telling you it’s still meant to be.

This is your sign to go for it.

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Dear God,
I pray for anyone that needs revived passion, myself included; anyone that needs to be reminded that they were born for a meaningful purpose, whether they know you yet or not.

I pray for strength, the determination to overcome fear, the nudge outside of comfort zones, and the boldness to do whatever it takes to make the wildest of dreams intertwine with reality. I pray for increased faith when things don’t seem to be working out, and confidence in the fact that you will use the unique gifts and passions you’ve embedded into every human’s heart for things greater than we could ever imagine.

I pray for HUGE blessings over anyone who may be reading this!
Thanks, God. Love you so much.

“Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us, to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen”
Ephesians 3:20

“I pray that out of His glorious riches may He strengthen you with power through His Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s Holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge–that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.”
Ephesians 3:16-19

“Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.”
Hebrews 11:1

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you HOPE and a FUTURE.”
Jeremiah 29:11

Love,
Angela