My Favorite Youtube Videos to Watch When Feeling Far From God

When I was a kid I had this shiny green bike that I rode all around the neighborhood. I got it for Christmas and I fell in love instantly. I would ride it everywhere and confidently showed it to all my friends. But over time, my green bike and I started to drift apart. I just didn’t get as much joy from the bike anymore. I hated looking at its scratches from running into things and its tires that were beginning to deflate. There were much cooler bikes that I wanted, anyway. So I ignored it. I left it hanging in my garage for years without a thought because I felt it couldn’t serve me like it used to. Straight dipped.

One day we were cleaning out our garage and the green skin of my old bike caught my eye. There it was, still waiting for the opportunity to serve me like it had years before. Realizing how much I missed riding, I dusted it off, pumped up the tires and sunk into the joy I had felt as a kid.

If only I had committed to this bike, I thought. I would be in shape and I would truly enjoy something that has been a part of my life forever.

This is what happens with us and God.

We oftentimes go on a high with God, proudly showing him off to everyone. Trusting in how sturdy he makes us feel as we travel down rough roads. But over time, we let other bikes (those awful distractions) steal our attention from him. We start to drift apart and lose faith in the thing that has had our back all along.

But you know what’s superrrr amazing?

Just like that bike, God never left me during the times I didn’t see his amazingness. He stayed right by me, patiently waiting for me to realize that he was exactly what I needed to feel strong, confident, joyful, happy and plain whole. But it was only when I put my time and love back into God that I was able to see all the things he wanted to give me.

Post grad has definitely been a testing of my faith. I’ve found myself on a roller coaster of doubt and fear when it comes to believing that God has a plan for me. But lately I  have begin to enjoy God again. I let go of constantly obsessing over what he can do for me and found peace in knowing he will.

Let go of what God can do for you and find peace in knowing he will. Click To Tweet

Imagine that?

I don’t even have to worry about my future because I already know that God has it on lock. My husband, my career, my family, my life…he’s got it under control. All I have to do is be still and play my part.

Are you feeling far from God right now?

If so, I have 11 of my top favoriteeee Youtube videos that I run to when I’m feeling weak in my faith. I’ve broken them down into categories just to make it easier. They help put so much into perspective and has allowed me to see that God is BIG. He can do so much for us…if we let him.

Trusting God/Surrender:

Surrender – Oprah Winfrey

How To Be Successful – Tyler Perry

God Laughs When You Make Plans – Gabrielle Bernstein

What To Do When You Don’t Feel God – Jefferson Bethke

Relationships

5 Keys To Identifying Your Soul Mate – Toure’ Roberts

Don’t Waste Your Singleness – Joseph Solomon

Ending My Toxic Relationship Changed My Life – Ashley Empowers

Growing in God/Confidence

God Gave Each One of Us a Gift – Steve Harvey

Why Did God Choose Me? – T.D. Jakes (Literally ANYTHING by him will send you shouting so you have been warned lol)

The Struggle Is Real – Sarah Jakes Roberts

Love Taps: Part 2 – John Gray

God is such a gentlemen. He won’t force you to get to know him in a deeper way but he will always pursue you, whether you see it or not. Usually when my intuition tells me I need more God, I have to evaluate what I let get in the way.

I want to leave you with a scripture I hold dear to me:

“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? As it is written, “For your sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.” No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” – Romans 8:35-39

In translation this means – Who gone check us boo? WHO?

The only person able to keep us far from God  IS US. 

Think back to a time that you were able to get back in formation with God. Tell me what you did below!

You got this. We got this,

Alaina <3

P.S. Sign up for my emails to stay inspired, focused, and connected. Below, BELOW.

My Powerful Visualization Techniques for Serial Dream Killers

When I was a college undergrad I wanted nothing more than to become a part of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. Unlike a lot of people, I didn’t know any Deltas in my immediate family or even connected to me but I was desperately determined to wear that crimson and cream. Day and night I studied Deltas. I logged on Youtube and watched videos. I went to their campus events and even joined a pageant so I could be around them. I secretly practiced strolling to their songs in the mirror, imagining that I was violently breaking mirrors in a crowd of cheering “girl, you better werk’s.” I didn’t know it then, but this was my first powerful experience with visualization.

We are taught a lot of things that should be simple. One of these is to walk by faith and not by sight. But what good does that do when we doubt the things we are trying to work for?

I want to be very transparent.

I am pushing through a terribly toxic cycle of wishing for my dreams to happen but not following through with the faith part. I’m a dream killer – constantly murdering the dreams that are begging to come into fruition. I know how to get myself worked up in one breath and self-sabotage any chance for real success in the next.

Furthermore, this cycle has high key makes me envious of others who appear to achieve EVERYTHING they strive for.

Why don’t I have that drive?

Why is it SO hard for me to trust God and myself?

Why does giving up and being overwhelmed seem like my normal?

But as soon as I started sinking, I was reminded of Delta and how determined I was to achieve that goal. I was not stopping at anything.

You see faith is not about wishing or even planning. I have wasted so many years writing goals down that I didn’t truly believe in. Creating these lists. Saying “oh, tomorrow I will finally do it.” Nothing good can come from a no-action goal with a big mouth attached to it.

That was me, big mouthing it up.

When I finally received that call that I would be a Delta, I wasn’t surprised. It was something I had prepared every single day for. I had studied the requirements and faithfully done my part to deserve a spot on that line. And while a major part of that was putting in the work, my true victory was because I was able to visualize what I wanted.

delta sigma theta
Directly AFTER I broke a mirror (I’m second). Yasss

Stop killing those secret dreams you know you want to come true.

We (preaching sooo much to myself) need to visualize our goals so often that the universe has no option but to let them come true. That’s the type of faith I want. Faith that truly puts Jesus to the test, allowing him to come through for us in ways we could never fathom.

We need to visualize our goals so often that the universe has no option but to let them come true. Click To Tweet

So because I desperately needed to go deeper in chasing the visions that were put on my heart, I began to educate myself on the power of visualization.

You’ve Got the Goals But Stay Stuck

Your problem may not be that you have the goals. You can write the goals down on that sheet of paper time and time again but if you never see yourself achieving it, you won’t reach them. Many challenges of this could include:

  • Doubt
  • Impatience
  • Fear
  • Lack of Confidence
  • Busyness
  • Procrastination

Did I mention that somehow these are ALL of my challenges, though? I have work to do.

Why Visualization Works

Feeding the brain powerful imagery literally forces it to create what is being imagined.

According to Huffington Post, “When we visualize an act, the brain generates an impulse that tells our neurons to ‘perform’ the movement. This creates a new neural pathway that primes our body to act in a way consistent to what we imagined.”

DASS IT.

Can you think of a time that you worried so much about something and it ended up coming true anyway? This is because whether good or bad, you will manifest what you believe.

Whether good or bad, you will manifest what you believe. Click To Tweet

One of my favorite examples of this is from Jim Carey who used visualization to get him to his goals.

Before the fame, Jim Carey believed in his dreams so much that he wrote himself a $10 million check. Furthermore, on the memo it read “For acting services” with a specific due date.

Now imagine that. He believed so strongly in his dream and himself that he declared it was going to happen. He didn’t know how but he knew that by putting it into the atmosphere, he was allowing the universe to move on his behalf.

Every day he carried that check in his wallet, serving as a constant reminder for the goals he had to reach. And guess what? A day before that due date on his check, he miraculously landed his first major role in Dumb and Dumber…for $10 million.

I know it sounds crazy but it WORKS. I got that Delta position because of my belief and visualization. If your way hasn’t worked up until this point, it may be time to switch it up.

If you’re on board with visualization, try these techniques yourself:

Top Visualization Techniques To Get You Inspired

-Vision/Pinterest Boards: People LOVE a good vision board. But what I have found is that none of these techniques will work if you don’t believe it can happen.

You can put beautiful people on your vision board to represent your future spouse, but if you don’t believe you deserve that then it won’t matter what images you use.

So do some heart work before you start dreaming. Related post [Dealing with Loneliness].

Cutting out words and images to create a vision board is great. I’ve also found that creating a simple Pinterest board will get the job done and give you a lot more options to be creative. See an example below:

pinterest vision board

And YES I have a wedding Pinterest board. Speaking that thang into existence before I’m old and moldy.

Take A Faith Step: I want to share two things that I’m declaring will happen in my life.

One is hosting a class or meetup for struggling cool kids like us. The other is driving off in a Mercedes CLA 250. Both have no signs of happening any time soon. Like I mentioned before, I was starting to sink back into negativity and bad self talk.

So I decided to take a visit to a really cool rental space venue that my job previously used for our holiday part.y. I sat across the road, just watching it and imaging what that day would look like. I sat there until I got so excited it almost brought me to tears.

The second thing I did was go to the Mercedes Benz website and customized my Mercedes CLA from scratch. I even plan to take it a step further and visiting the dealership this weekend. (What’s crazy is that after I started visualization this car I started to see them EVERYWHERE as a sort of reminder.)

Mercedes Benz CLA,

By being in the presence of things I truly desired in my future, it motivated me to keep going. It stirred up a drive in me that was slowly withering away.

I encourage you to do this too! What one thing can you insert yourself in for a future preview?

For example, if you want to sing, take a tour of a large arena. Make it real.

-A New Attitude: So we started making the dream more vivid by putting ourselves in those shoes. There’s no need to “fake it to make it” because if you already know that the dream is yours you don’t have to pretend. So start acting like it’s coming.

A new attitude is about shifting your mindset from “I’ll do this when THIS happens” to “It’s already mine so I will act accordingly.” Dress like a successful entrepreneur would (whatever that is in your eyes). Live it out, cuh.

-A Day in the Life Worksheet: Sometimes it’s extremely hard to vision anything beyond our reality at the moment. But I got chu as always.

I created a “Your Dope Future Life” worksheet that will really push you to vision your future in BIG ways. Sign Up below to download!

Visualization Techniques

 

How to STAY Inspired

So I know you’re asking. “Alaina, this is real cute but how do we stay inspired?”

You first have to revisit these experiences often. Look over your worksheet, visit those future places and constantly remind yourself why you deserve them.

Second, have FUN. We put so much pressure on ourselves. Take a deep breath and just begin to live. You got this. WE got this.

Alaina <3

Sign up below for more inspo! Love ya’ll.

 

How To Get That Old Thing Back With God

Have you ever been excited about buying fresh fruit from the grocery store? You pick the vibrant oranges, take them home and proudly sit them at the top of your refrigerator. At first,  you eat them with everything – smoothies, snacks and even just by themselves. The oranges are so sweet and satisfying. But then you get distracted by Cheetos. You know the Cheetos aren’t nearly as good for your body but they taste better and are a quick fix to your hunger pains. You don’t have to put in the effort of pealing layers back for them and I mean, they are orange too right? Over time you begin feeling weak. You turn away from everything that is healthy because you feel guilty for not eating that orange. Sound familiar? This is what our relationship with God can be like.

As you can imagine, living in Sin City is quite a challenge when it comes to faith. After a six month high of living in my “dream life,” I was slowly falling. I realized I had a job but no purpose. I had a good life but was merely trying to survive day to day. As a result, I started treating God like a Meek Mill even though I knew he was my Drake.

Finally one day I completely crashed. God where are you? I sat in the middle of my apartment feeling so distant from the one I claimed to be my best friend. I was finally tired of pretending everything was good because it wasn’t. I didn’t feel God in my life. I felt like a joke. I didn’t understand what he was doing in me or around me anymore.

Best-Cry-Ever

It’s so funny because even when God proves himself faithful to his promises, we can still drift back into depending on the world to bring us fulfillment. I had put my new job, new friends and new responsibilities on such a pedestal that it left no room or time for God. I took advantage of the fact that I knew he would always be there. I made him my Cheeto. And it sucked because it was my fault.

I want to tell you that God will never leave you. It is us who create distance between our creator when we put the world before his desire for our lives. If you are struggling to get a solid relationship with him or revive one, here are the realities I had to face:

I had no solid routine

We have to stop treating God like an after-thought. The same one we depend on to wake us up each morning (literally with our life) is the one we kind of, sort of talk to when we have time. He loves you so much and wants to do so much in your life but like any relationship, he has to see that you want his love. Stop treating him like a Santa Claus or a genie. Make the effort to give him your time. Ways to connect could be watching a video, writing to him, singing, praying or reading a bible. Genuinely seek new ways to connect and wait for him to reveal fresh affirmations in your life.

tumblr_inline_ni01f0E6af1ryw50a

TOO many Distractions

Examine who or what you think about everyday. We are bombarded with messages and ideas that in order to survive in 2016 we have to lower our standards and our values. You don’t have to pop it for pimp to be loved or stuff your face with cheap pizza because it’s quick. Look over your life and decide to leave anything that hinders your growth and relationship with God. Of course, this is easier said than done but I believe you already know what it is. A lot of time it’s the things that we internally battle and have NO peace about. That thing or person will never give you the love and attention you seek within, no matter how hard you try. Only give your time to things that align with what you know to be true.

Only give your time to things that align with what you know to be true. Click To Tweet

I didn’t surround myself with believers

Are you spending time with people who appreciate Jesus? I love the fact that I have friends from all faiths and beliefs but I realized that not talking about God to others in Las Vegas drained me. Just like success, you have to have a solid foundation of friends that can understand your faith and encourage you to live by that. This keeps you focused in dark times.

I had to be honest with God

I think more than anything God wants us to keep it real. Christianity does an awful job at making people feel like they have to be perfect to be close to Jesus. Jesus LOVES broken people and he can only speak to you when you admit there are things you don’t understand in your life. Take some quiet time, whether in a journal or just praying to dish it out to Him. I promise He can take it and your spirit will be free from the burden you carry.

God gives relief Vivica

Want to know the best thing? God never measures us by our performance. This means that you can be a total hot mess and he will love on you anyway. Know that you are completely normal. I know for a fact that every Christian goes through a point of not feeling the “God thing.” But God’s love for you is the dopest love story ever told and he is always in your corner. Don’t fill yourself up with cheetos when you know that oranges give you strength. Embrace the process, grow your patience and #keepglowing.

Alaina<3

ALSO, I created 5 scriptures to help comfort you during those times. Download by signing up below!

This Is Why I Risked Moving Across Country For a Job

“You’re going WHERE?” blasted from my step mom’s loud and confused voice. By this time I was used to it. I mean, I couldn’t believe I was moving to Las Vegas either. Just last week I was picking up poop after energetic kids and now I was scrambling to pack my life away.

Many people admire that I moved to Las Vegas without realizing it was my only option. After college I lost myself. I lost hope that an amazing future was promised to me. I lost hope in my abilities and my ideas. With no luck in the job search, I slowly began to accept mediocrity. Moving across the country was my only chance to change the entire course of my life and mentality.

packing for new job

I was so grateful for the chance to live in Vegas. But starting over is not as easy as people think. After the excitement fades, you quickly begin to feel alone. You start to drift apart from certain friends. You miss out on important events like babies and weddings. It won’t go smoothly and the struggle to discover yourself in a new place can leave you second guessing your decisions.

But in the end, it was the best decision I could have made. If you have been on the fence about taking the chance, here is why I did it:

To prove to myself that I could

Have you ever met a real hustler? Nothing stops them from the goal they set for themselves. They create a system for getting what they want and if it doesn’t work they just try another route. Well that ain’t me. At all. If I don’t get my way after giving 66.45%, I get frustrated and quit. Moving to a new state was the chance to prove that I could do it. From mapping out my 24 hour driving trip to learning my way around town, the move challenged me in ways I had never experienced before. You never know what you are capable of until you take the risk. Whether living somewhere new or just changing  jobs, prove to yourself that you are fully capable of achieving your big goals.

You never know what you are capable of until you take the risk. Click To Tweet

To start fresh

When I was in Dallas, I went through a lot of transitions. My family split and my mom, brother and I downsized into an apartment. I lost many close friends that I thought had my back. Guys continued to do what guys do…the most. So moving was my chance to start new and create the life I know I could achieve. I learned (and still learning) to be authentic, be honest and be my crazy self. I tried new things like rock-climbing and started traveling. The clean slate I got was necessary for me to get to know myself in new ways and pursue my passions without dealing with petty “competition.” Sometimes we can feel so stuck and overwhelmed by old environments. Take the move to discover new and exciting parts of you. Take the chance to grow in your authenticity.

Read [5 Lessons I Learned Living in Las Vegas]

To leave my comfort zone

I’ve always played it safe. If took chances, it was because I knew that I could succeed in it. Like that one time I tried out for my volleyball team in the 7th grade. Without barely any effort or skill I made it. I actually sucked really bad at it and made the B team but still. I succeeded in my eyes. This move was the first time that I had no B team to fall back on. The move stretched me in ways I never thought it could. I didn’t know what to expect in Las Vegas and although it was frightening, it was exciting too. Nothing spectacular comes out of comfort zones. There were times I was so sad and wanted to come home. But I’ve learned that growth is much more impactful when we get a harder test.

the lesson is much more impactful when we get a harder test. Click To Tweet

I’m forever grateful for moving to Las Vegas because it taught me that I could literally put my mind to anything if I wanted it bad enough. I’ve had amazing days and ones that mentally broke me down. But through trial and error, I’m ready to test these lessons for the rest of my life. If you ever get the opportunity to live in a new environment, do it. You never know what you are truly made of until you have to search for the equivalent of Chick-Fil-A and Whataburger. You never know how strong you are until you have to completely rely on you and God to make ends meet. Love yourself enough to take the chance and if you fall, you’re in the perfect place to rise up again. You got this.

#keepglowing