Blog Posts

Imprisonment Due To Hurt

I attended Church this past Sunday. The lead Pastor Chris Lockemy, is giving a 4 week series on unforgiveness. I cannot stop thinking about this message. I encourage you to check it out on their YouTube channel. But I feel the need to share this because it shook me deep inside my core. Pastor Chris explains that unforgiveness is like a prison cell.
Referring to
Matthew 18:21-35.

The prisoner is not the one we haven’t forgiven, it’s us. We are the prisoner in our unforgiveness. When we choose to not forgive someone, we are locking ourselves in a prison. There are 4 doors that contribute to our imprisonment in unforgiveness. These doors remain unlocked, we can open them at any time. But our unforgiveness has us shutting them often to assure we stay in our unforgiveness. The four doors Pastor Chris is going to address in the next 4 weeks are, hurt, judgment, defense, & revenge.

 

We stay in our imprisonment by holding these doors shut.  

On Sunday, the door we looked at was the door “hurt”.  We imprison ourselves by holding on to our past hurts. We can’t be free because we keep that door shut. We can’t just forgive the person that hurt us. Pastor Chris explains being hurt as an “unmet expectation”. When you have an expectation of someone, and they don’t meet that expectation, hurt occurs. It’s the gap between our expectations and our reality. Hurt comes from your heart.

Matthew 18:35 says “This is how my heavenly Father will treat you unless you forgive your brother or your sister from your heart“.
Proverbs 4:23 says “Above all else. guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it”.
The hurt we feel is in our hurt.

 

The Story of Joseph

I learned this incredible story. Many would probably be too embarrassed to admit this. I didn’t grow up in a church, so a lot of the stories I hear, its the first time I have heard them. I loved hearing the story about Joseph in the old testament. He was a brother of 12, who later became the 12 tribes of Israel. Joseph was one of the younger brothers to a Father of Israel, and he was favored. Joseph has these dreams that all his family will be bowing down to him, and he would share this with everything. One day his brothers saw him coming, and they wanted to get rid of him. So they stripped him of his identity and threw him in a pit. As the story continues you see Joseph being forgotten about and thrown into a pit in most of his relationships. In our time the pit represents all of our hurt. It represents that moment in our life that shot an arrow through our hearts. Joseph had a ton of reason to not forgive his brothers, but when they were in need he wasn’t holding onto that hurt. He gave them what they needed.

How To Find Your Original Pit?

The enemy will twist your life experiences to cause hurt and pain in your life. He wants you to live in a place of brokenness. The familiarity of hurt you felt is often revealed in an overreaction to a common unmet expectation you experience. It reminds you of the first time you were hurt, and all the times after. The past, your unforgiveness, is keeping you imprisoned. A lot of times hurt can be mistaken for anger, but anger is usually a secondary emotion. Which means it is triggered by emotions like fear, or sadness. Anger usually occurs because it’s a way our body can naturally numb the pain of our past hurts. It’s a defensive mechanism. There is a primary emotion that you’re trying to protect. You just need to dig deep.

Being able to accept your true feelings without judgment is not easy. Fear & sadness are uncomfortable emotions. Especially for people who like to be in control. Anger tends to make you feel in charge, and in control of your emotions. Whereas fear & sadness can make you feel vulnerable and helpless. It may be helpful to pause and ask yourself; How do I feel? Give yourself a minute to process the primary emotion driving this anger inside of you. If you are in the habit of covering your primary emotion of fear, this will take time. You are retraining the way your brain processes its reactions. It does not happen overnight. But when you’re able to identify your primary emotion, we are able to open that door and find healing.

My Pit

Sunday Pastor Chris called the church to identify their original hurt. To revisit that hurt with God, so He can heal it. The Pastor encouraged us to allow God to heal our hurts so that the provision of our pain points to our purpose. If you’re familiar with the enneagram, I am a 9. I am your casebook peacemaker. Hearing that healing with God can point to His purpose for me, was exciting. I wanna do what I can to please my heavenly Father. I have such a strong desire to make him proud, to follow his calling for my life. I have been a people pleaser my whole life. I remember as a child I didn’t need to be spanked because once someone would raise their voice at me, I would start crying and beg for forgiveness. My parents were divorced, and my brothers struggled a lot because of that. But looking back now I never allowed myself to feel a certain way because I just wanted everyone to be happy. As I’ve gotten older I see that I allowed the people pleaser in me take away from the well being of my own health. People that I care about influenced my perceptions of everything I knew and loved. I grew up telling myself that I didn’t have a voice, I didn’t matter, no one cares about me, etc. I remember saying if they loved me than they would… fill in the blank. And when those things didn’t happen (because people don’t read minds) it reassured my brokenness. I grew up believing that people only liked me if I could do something that made them happy, not 90% of the time, but all the time. I lost myself for years, but in Christ, I’m walking out of my pit. There is still a long way to go, but I remind myself daily that God doesn’t love me because of what I do or don’t do, He just loves me. I can’t earn it, I don’t deserve and I am finding those words so comforting. When you lose yourself to people-pleasing, you find comfort in knowing that you can’t earn, or don’t deserve someone else’s love. But what really gets me through is, I think about how dearly loved I am by my Father in heaven. That knowledge gives my soul life, and there is a peace that is hard to describe. I am becoming okay with just allowing myself to feel the sadness life can throw at me, but deciding that my faith in God is more powerful than this life I live.

I have a lot of forgiveness to give, things I didn’t even realize I was still holding onto. A past abortion that has filled me with so much sadness, that sometimes I forget that what Christ has done for me is greater than my abortion. I have been a victim of sexual abuse that has covered me in shame and changed my view of sex for many years. I became a teenage mom because I didn’t have a mentor or a confidante when coping with all the fear and sadness I was facing. I have been so deep in the pit that I believed taking my life would be the best outcome for all those who are a part of my life. But my dear friend, I am in recovery. I can see the light, and I am not carrying this load alone. I can see all the times God was with me, even when I felt alone. When he looked out for me, even while I was lost & broken. If it’s God’s will, I hope to share these stories with you one day. To be able to put into words how I found light in the darkest moments of my life.

I pray that my story, & the message from Pastor Chris makes an impact in the life of those who hear, the same way it has impacted me. I pray for the people who are suffering from brokenness and unforgiveness. I pray that they can experience Your love, Your grace, & Your mercy.

THANK YOU. As always I appreciate you taking the time to read this, I hope it has blessed you. Send me a DM on Instagram. Let me know what you think of this message and how it impacted you. I want to Pray with you. I want to walk with you on this difficult journey.

Instagram Influencer: How To Use Telegram To Boost Your Engagement

What is Telegram?

Its a 100% FREE app with no ads that can be downloaded to your phone or computer. It is FAST, SECURE, & RELIABLE for any type of messaging that you may need to acquire.

Things you can do on telegram:

            • private message
            • group conversations
            • call contacts
            • send files & stickers
What is an Engagement Group?

A Pod on Telegram is a group of Instagrammers who like, and/or comment on each other’s posts. Each person in this pod benefits because it provides engagement to your post from accounts with a similar audience.

Why Join Engagement Groups?

Your reach grows each time someone engages with your post. It tells Instagram that your content is of high quality & likable. When someone in the same niche as yours likes one of your posts it will be more likely that you will show up on the explore page of people who frequently engage with that same account.

How to start using a telegram engagement group?

Create your telegram profile first. Most engagement groups will require your IG Handle to be your first name.
Ask around– Find other influencers that have telegram- you will need a link in order to join.
Be aware that eventually you will get added to groups without even knowing. You CAN leave them
 

How to Engage Once you have joined?

Read the rules: each group has a different set of rules. Most of the time you can find the rules pinned at the top of a group. Be sure to thoroughly read the rules.
DX24hr= Done times 24 hours
DX10= Done times 10 links
DX= DONE time (depending on the group)
In the rules, you will typically see a format. This is how you should post when you’re dropping your post for Instagram for engagement.
Example:
DX24
6/17/2019
Post 1
Before you can post your link you need to make sure you have caught up depending on what the rules require of you. Most groups have a BOT and you can send /list and it will send you the list of links you need to like.

Getting the link for your post:

There are a few way to go about this. BUT IT IS IMPORTANT THAT YOUR LINK LOOKS LIKE THIS

https://www.instagram.com/p/ByaJ8tBBGgx/

NOT
Some Groups require links only. You will sometimes have to remove the preview which just shows a picture of your post. The picture to the left shows how to get rid of the preview.

10 Day Story Influencer Challenge- February

There is a lot more to being an influencer than just taking some pictures and posting it on a platform. This job requires dedication, effort, hard work, and knowledge. Often influencers feel like they aren’t appreciated and theirs no acknowledgment for the energy that put into their brand. That is why we came up with this challenge. We want to spend 10 days acknowledging influencers for the impact they have made. Let’s lift each other up. Try spreading the love; don’t tag the same account more than once during the 10 days.
Day 1: who inspires you
Day 2: that’s beautiful
Day 3: with great hair
Day 4: that’s Rae Dunn obsessed
Day 5: who has style
Day 6: who inspires health & wellness
Day 7: whose a total boss babe
Day 8: unstoppable
Day 9: you wish you could have coffee with
Day 10: admirable
Please be sure to Tag @SincerelyRachel in your posts.
I want to follow your stories and discover more influencers!
Thank you for participating in the challenge!
It’s an easy way to make someone smile!

A Photo A Day Challenge- February

I have gotten so much positive feedback on the January challenge I hosted. So I decided to continue offering this. If you decide to join this challenge please be sure to tag me so I can follow along! If you have any questions send me a DM on IG. @sincerelyrachel5

Why?

You may be wondering why this is something people are enjoying. Instagram stories allow a person to posts a picture or video that disappears in 24 hours, or stored in the highlights portion on a persons IG page. Using the stories feature on IG can help boost engagement, and visibility. This specific challenge is focused on spreading love, and encouragement with your followers. It also give your followers a chance to get to know the person they are following better. 

We Are All Broken

As I get older it’s clear to me that we are all broken people that need to be rescued. I am writing this during a season of heartbreak and struggle.  That seems to be my life for the past few years. If I am being honest, it feels as if my whole life has been a never-ending season of heartbreak. I see a ray of sunshine, I feel it on my skin, but when I look up a storm starts approaching and by the time I get back inside I am drenched in pain.

When I was young I taught myself that people can’t be trusted. I let the things people said become what I believed to be true about myself. My life motto was to “expected the worst, and hope for the best”. This is when anxiety and depression started ruling my life. Anxiety and depression kicked in while I would tell myself: they can’t possibly love the real you., only sex will keep them around, you’re stupid, you don’t matter, you need to fit in, and the list goes on and on.  So while I was growing up way to fast and giving parts of myself to boys that I would never get back, those lies fueled my actions. Before I knew it I was so lost I didn’t even know who I was anymore.

Being alone with these thoughts. They change you. Believing these lies that society can often make you feel is painful. I would tell myself that I couldn’t admit these feelings I was having because I had it good compared to most. Some kids were living in poverty, worried about what meal they would eat next. Some kids had parents that were so uninvolved they never even made it to their sporting events. The comparison game is so real when you’re at such a low. But that is for another time. I remember seeing people eat dinner alone in a restaurant and it would make me so uncomfortable. Why would anyone want to be alone, in their thoughts, and in public? I envied those kinds of people.

I am only 27. But the more I look around, the more I see other people sitting in pain. Brokenness has left so many of us grasping for anything available to numb the pain. Addiction is one of the common outcomes of living a broken life in silence. One day I choose to read this book titled “Uninvited” by Lysa TerKuerst. This book was more than a book to me. It was the door.  When I opened that door I found God saying you have been searching your whole life for a love that only I can give. This book showed me that so many people are overlooked by others that someone wrote a book on it. But what I took away from Lysa’s words was that God has never overlooked me. I was chosen and created by God himself. He loves me, not because of what I have done, but because he just loves does. This was so foreign to me. Why would God love me? It’s an indescribable feeling when you finally grasp the kind of faith that allows yourself to know true love.

1 John 4:19 We love because he first loved us.
Jeremiah 29:11 “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.”
Psalm 86:15 But you, Lord, are a compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness.
1 Peter 5:6-7 Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.
Isaiah 41:10 Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

We get to chose whether our brokenness defines the life we get to live or to heal and grow from it. Our brokenness doesn’t define the path we take in life. It’s meant to strengthen the sidewalk while encouraging us to invite others in. I believe that God allows pain in our life to draw us closer to him. So that we can build our faith in & surrounding him. I believe that God desires all of us to know true, never-ending love that only HE can give us. I challenge all of the broken people to stop protecting yourself. Let the walls fall down so healing of the broken pieces in your heart can begin.
If you have made it this far, thank you for reading this. I know that what I am asking for is not easy. I started this journey in October of 2017 and it’s a life long journey. Accepting the broken parts of our heart is hard. Forgiving the people who made you believe lies about yourself is hard. Forgiving yourself is hard. Taking a leap of faith is hard. But God is so good. Healing is a journey and its tough one. But knowing that God loves you, and he wants to go on the journey with you, makes it possible. Allow God you be your strength. He wants to rescue you.

“Bitterness, resentment, and anger have no place in a heart as beautiful as yours” – Lysa TerKuerst

– Sincerely, Rachel

10 Day Story Challenge fior Influencers

 
 
 
There is a lot more to being a influencer than just taking some pictures and posting it on a platform. This job requires dedication, effort, hard work, and knowledge. Often influencers feel like they aren’t appreciated and theirs no acknowledgment for the energy that put into their brand. That is why we came up with this challenge. We want to spend 10 days acknowledging influencers for the impact they have made. Lets lift each other up. Try spread the love; don’t tag the same account more than once during the 10 days.
 
 
Day 1: who inspires you
Day 2: that’s beautiful
Day 3: with great hair
Day 4: that’s Disney obsessed
Day 5: who has style
Day 6: who inspires fitness
Day 7: that’s killing it as an entrepreneur
Day 8: with the most attractive feed
Day 9: creative
Day 10: you call your insta-bestie
 
 
Please be sure to Tag @SincerelyRachel in your posts.
I want to follow you stories and discover more influencers!
Thank you for participating in challenge!
It’s a easy way to make someone smile!
 
 
 
 

 

Hosted By:

Rachel – Lifestyle, & Motherhood Influencer
Melissa– content creator
Chantelle – Lifestyle, & Motherhood Influencer
Molly – Lifestyle, & Motherhood Influencer
Chels – Lifestyle, & Motherhood Influencer
Lauren – Beauty, & Fashion Influencer
Sasha – Lifestyle , Fashion, Beauty, & Motherhood Influencer
Ashley – Lifestyle, & Motherhood Influencer
Rachel – Family, Lifestyle Influencer
Kim – Motherhood, Lifestyle, Beauty, & Fashion Influencer
Amy –  Holiday Inspiration, DYI, Travel, & Faith Influencer
Amber – Lifestyle, & Faith Influencer

A Photo A Day Stories Challenge- January

 
 
Join us for a 31 day challenge with Instagram stories. This is perfect if you are looking to boost your brand but at a loss on what you should post. A team of influencers have work together in forming a list of prompts for the month of January. Please use #brickhousecollective so we can follow your story!
 
Hosted By:
 

Day 1: something new

Day 2: current favorite
hair product
Day 3: favorite spot in
your house
Day 4: something red
Day 5: throw back
Thursday
Day 6: something you love
Day 7: current favorite
beauty product
Day 8: favorite color
Day 9: something that
motivates you
Day 10: Flash Back Friday
Day 11: a selfie
Day 12: favorite song
Day 13: Makes you smile
Day 14: words to live by
Day 15: favorite book
Day 16: favorite snack

Day 17: favorite movie
Day 18: something blue
Day 19: a meal 
Day 20: follow Friday
Day 21: your happy place
Day 22: something old
Day 23: written words
Day 24: someone you love
Day 25: selfie- w/ fun fact
Day 26: pet or fav. animal
Day 27: favorite blog
Day 28: the weather
Day 29: something black
Day 30: something you made
Day 31: your goals for
Febuary

 

How To Read The Bible: My Advice To Beginners

The Bible is so OVERWHELMING. I still, to this day, struggle… so I am speaking from experience. But I wanted to write a blog to share what has really helped me in my studies.

The Bible

There are so many different types of Bibles. By different types, I mean the language is different. Growing up, I thought I had to use the King James version. This was super intimidating to me because I honestly did not understand any of it. It kept me from reading the Bible outside of church for years. I recently got the She Reads Truth Bible and it was a game-changer for me. It is very easy for me to understand and it has a lot of other features that help you.

Community

If you are anything like me, you may need some accountability. Having friends with like faith has been key for me. I have done devotionals, book studies, and just something free and easy off of Pinterest with friends. Having people who you can turn to when you don’t understand something has been so helpful for me when it comes to understanding the word.

RightNow Media

Right Now Media is like a Christian Netflix. There are bible studies on just about anything you could need. It has been an incredible tool for me to really get involved.

Prayer

Prayer is so powerful and it is a necessity when it comes to reading and understanding the bible. Talk to God and ask him quite your heart. I often struggle with praying, so I prefer to journal my prayers. there is nothing wrong with that. It doesn’t matter how you talk to God about this, you just need to pray.

Context

Going verse by verse instead of the entire chapter really helps me consume the information. It really helps me to read someone else’s perception of the verse as well. I will often use the website called bibleref to break down and get a better understanding of what is going on. This website isn’t completely up to date so just be aware some verses have not been broken down yet.

These are just some easy and practical tips to get you started! As always feel free to send me a direct message on Instagram or email me!

Sincerely,
Rachel

25 Day of Christmas – Family Edition

Join me this holiday season creating memories and spending time with your family.  

Day 1: Watch any Christmas movie as a family.
Day 2: Write letters to Santa. Hold on to them because on day 5 we will mail them.
Day 3: Bake cookies.
Day 4: Make a count down to Christmas chain.
Day 5: Mail your letters to Santa. Search for your local mail drop to Santa. There is usually one at the mall.
Day 6: Random act of kindness
Day 7: Make ornaments!
Day 8: Do a puzzle together.
Day 9: Make gingerbread houses
Day 10: Go on a Christmas Scavenger hunt.
Day 11: Light a fire.
Day 12: Drink hot coco
Day 13: Random act of kindness
Day 14: Play a board game.
Day 15: go ice-skating or some type of outdoor activity.
Day 16: Pizza Party in your PJ’s
Day 17: Make a Christmas card for Someone Special.
Day 18: Have a coloring Contest.
Day 19: Random act of kindness
Day 20: Drive around and look at Christmas lights.
Day 21: Random act of kindness
Day 22: Read a Christmas book
Day 23: Have another family over for dinner
Day 24: Watch a Christmas Movie
Day 25: Do your families tradition. For us we get a birthday cake and sing happy birthday to Jesus.

Week 1: Day 1-7

What you’ll need:
  1. a Christmas movie
  2. cookies
  3. paper – red, & green
  4. scissors
  5. glue
  6. paper to write on for reach child
  7. pencils
  8. envelopes for each child
  9. a place to drop off letters to Sanata

Week 2: Day 8-14

What you’ll need:
  1. Green Paper
  2. Christmas Tree cut out
  3. Christmas stickers to decorate tree ornament
  4. scissors
  5. glue
  6. makers
  7. string
  8. hole punch
  9. puzzle
  10. gingerbread house kit
  11. Christmas scavenger hunt
  12. Organize a random act of kindness

Week 3: Day 15-21

What you’ll need:
  1. Wood and items to light a fire
  2. hot coco
  3. marshmellow
  4. whip cream
  5. board game
  6. out door activity
  7. Organize a random act of kindness

Week 4: Day 22-25

What you’ll need:
  1. a Christmas movie
  2. Christmas book
  3. plan dinner with another family
  4. birthday cake for Jesus
  5. Organize a random act of kindness

5 Things I Cannot Live Without

One thing that helps me keep a positive attitude is self-reflection. Maybe you don’t really care about what 5 things I cannot live without. But I urge you to continue reading for inspiration on your own life. Keeping a journal about things you are thankful for can often improve your mood and give you a greater overall sense of happiness.

When deciding what 5 things you cannot live with out be sure to jot down the first things that come to mind. We often tend to over think things, especially when it comes to things we are thankful for. I jotted down the first 5 things that popped in my head that would set me up to having the perfect day.
Then I explained why these things are important to me. Trying to explain why I love wine was a little challenging. But the details aren’t all that important at first, in time you can begin to unwrap why those things are important to you. First Identify the things that make you, you.

1. WORKING OUT
I never thought I would be the girl who likes to work out. I have always been into playing sports. But never was a fan or running or just going to the gym. Then  I had kids, and I found that working out was a way for me to find “me” time. So I would go. Just to have some peace while I caught up with some shows on Netflix. But I unintentionally started falling in love with the way working out made me feel. Mentally refreshing, Physically strong, & emotionally connected with my best self. If I am a Debbie downer, it’s probably because I’ve missed way to many workouts. So urge me to get my butt to the gym.

2. COFFEE
Since I have started intermittent fasting coffee has changed a little for me. I LOVE waking up to a hot cup of coffee before my kids wake up.  But now that my eating window doesn’t start right away I have to wait a few hours. But as soon as that window opens…. You better not find yourself in the way of my and my coffee. It is just a sign that my day is going to start soon, which helps prepare me physically and mentally to get ready.

3. JESUS
I believe in the power of the blood. I have struggled in my walk with God if I am being honest though. For a while I didn’t desire a deep connection with God though. I thought that being saved was enough. Most Christians to me seemed like hypocrites, especially the ones I had met in my life and I didn’t want to end up like that.  I found a church that opened my eyes to what having a relationship with God looked like and it set a burning desire in my heart to know this God that saved me. I learned that I needed to accept people for who they all. Just because you are walking with God doesn’t mean you are a perfect person. We all fall short in some way. Before I make most decisions I ask myself “how does this honor Gods kingdom”. My faith could be its own blog post. But for now I think its important for outside readers like you to know that I am new on my walk with God. I will always be real with you when it comes to my faith. I have a lot to learn but I never want to wake up another day without the relationship I have with him now.

4. WINE
Yes, I am a Christian & I love wine. Sweet wine that is. I cannot choke down any of the dry ones. Drinking could be against the rules in some people’s religion. But I enjoy wine now and then. & I am not embarrassed to admit that.

5. RELATIONSHIPS
This is the last, but most important to me. I need people in my life. My family being what matters most. Without a healthy and happier home environment I fall short in all other aspects of my life. I don’t just want to connect with people when its convenient for me. I want to live with my husband knowing that we respect each other and love each other unconditionally. Healthy & loving relationships help me in being a better women.

If your someone reading this who really doesn’t care about my top 5 favorite things. Thank you for making it this far!! I urge you to sit down & journal 5 things you cannot live without. It’s tough but vital into creating self-awareness & living a happier life.

Thanks for reading! I would love to see what are 5 things you cannot live without! DM me on instagram or drop it below in the comment section.

Sincerely,
Rachel