My first one- well, I don't know where that one went. I guess in my tendency to misplace things from time to time this particular first blog has been misplaced somewhere. It still baffles me that I misplaced a blog lol. My second one- I launched it about a year ago and named it Karmel7. Until the most recent summer, I had been consistently writing for a year and posting to it. The third blog, well, you're reading it. I plan to continue my passion for blogging here. I have learned a lot through the blogging process, and wanted to share it with you all in hopes that it may encourage your own faith journey, be it blogging or otherwise...
1. Nativity strikes again! I thought because I enjoy writing that it would be easy. Well, that got debunked. Anything you truly care about takes work. I care about blogging. Blogging takes work and effort. But it's something I'm so passionate about so I don't actually mind the work.
2. I'm kind of impatient. Okay, I'm a lot impatient. I get so excited that God gave me something so I've had the tendency to post before it's time, before it makes more sense or before it's properly edited. So I need to slow down and be more patient. I learned that bestilling my heart and taking time is a good thing. Just like a baby needs to grow in his mothers womb for 9 months, our dreams take time. Don't have a baby dream born premature if you can help it. Allow God to grow patience into your heart, and then follow through when it is time.
3. God is using this blog to conquer my fears. The enemy has used my insecurities against me for FAR too long. I am a SUPER honest person. So I'm going to be completely honest on this blog. There is a freedom in that. Freedom to be me... goofy, wise, unfiltered, all by the grace of God. I don't have to be afraid of being me because I'm worried about what people I know will think of exposing this part of me. If I'm going to do something... why do it half hearted? I'm going in DEEP.
4. God is my confidence. God showed me how fearful the Israelites must have been to cross the Red Sea. They were being chased, they were going towards an ocean. A freakin' ocean! I'm sure it was beautiful and thrilling... but they were scurred! They had to completely trust in God through Moses! God didn't gloss things over and just sweep them into their destiny. Walking into their miracle was terrifying but it led to their freedom!
Read about it in Exodus 14... so powerful!
10 As Pharaoh approached, the Israelites looked up, and there were the Egyptians, marching after them. They were terrified and cried out to theLord. 11 They said to Moses, “Was it because there were no graves in Egypt that you brought us to the desert to die? What have you done to us by bringing us out of Egypt? 12 Didn’t we say to you in Egypt, ‘Leave us alone; let us serve the Egyptians’? It would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in the desert!” 13 Moses answered the people, “Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the Lord will bring you today. The Egyptians you see today you will never see again. 14 The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.” 15 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Why are you crying out to me? Tell the Israelites to move on. 16 Raise your staff and stretch out your hand over the sea to divide the water so that the Israelites can go through the sea on dry ground. 17 I will harden the hearts of the Egyptians so that they will go in after them. And I will gain glory through Pharaoh and all his army, through his chariots and his horsemen. 18 The Egyptians will know that I am the Lord when I gain glory through Pharaoh, his chariots and his horsemen.”
And back to number 4. In Joshua 1, Joshua had to completely lead the Israelite's into their promised land. (Getting there was a process, to say the least. They wandered in the wilderness and struggled with disobedience first. Huh, sounds a little familiar.) God told Joshua to be bold and courageous. He told him that wherever his feet tread upon he was getting this land. God spoke this into my heart directly and linked the two passages together during my church's Unhinged worship service. It was SO POWERFUL and was a pivotal moment for me. I am such a paradox because I have such a confidence, but at the same time I have battled deep rooted insecurity because of my childhood. I have overcome this through God's grace- which has become this blog. My personal miracle. My personal journey of stepping out in confidence in Him.
5. UNFILTERED HEART- God dropped this title into my heart. I am going to be REAL here. I am going to be transparent. I am going to be unfiltered and honest. And the only filter I will truly have is God's word. More on this later... insert my shameless future blog plug here! ;-) I'm telling ya, I'm excited about this blog!
6. I write for an audience of one. For this past year, I've had one official follower. That's it... just one that was official. And I'm okay with that, finally. Through the blogging journey I've been on and creating this particular blog space, God has showed me that my passion brings Him glory- He is my first audience of one. My second audience of one is myself. Writing is therapy and it brings me joy. My third audience of one is my readers. As we follow our passions, we have to be okay with reaching one, as well as reaching the many. Jesus would have died for just one. I am okay with writing for just one. Lol, it took some time to get my heart to this place, but I'm finally there and it feels good!!!
7. Walking into the Israelites miracle took obedience. Our personal and corporate miracles take our obedience, both individually and corporately. God would never ask us to do something that contradicts His word. However, He may ask us to do something that isn't popular. He may ask us to do something that is bold. We have to trust in that. We each have a story to share and live out that can effect our generation. Our time is now. My time is now. I am stepping out in faith on a journey that I'm ready to share. It's going to be scary sometimes to be so real and honest, but if it can reach any audience of one, then I will obediently do what God is calling me to do. On a side note, this past Spring God told me to step away from a different business journey I thought I was called to. While there is nothing wrong in that business, it just wasn't for me. It was going to take a lot of time away for me from writing, and what I knew I should be focusing on. Which is this blog. So, in walking away from that journey, I took some time over the summer to write and refocus. Now, I encourage you... what's your miracle? What are you believing God for? I can't wait to hear about it. Below you will see a piece God beginning to drop confidence in me to share my writing by starting the Karmel7 blog. I had to step out in faith in the only way I knew how at the time, so I did. I am continuing the journey in this blog. And I'm so excited to be doing this!
Karmel, Caramel, What??? (Original post written about 1 year ago)
Long before I fell in love with Caramel Frappacinos from lavish Starbucks (why oh why didn't I save each and every one of those $5 dollar bills and then invest them in their stock? I am convinced I'd be rich by now!!!! Change the subject self, or is it back on track? Or both?! Aaaah! I digress...) I was given the name, "Karmel" as my middle name. Aimee Karmel, that is. So... when I would every once in a while share or answer the question of what my middle name was, I would inevitably get the response of, "Wait, so your middle name is Caramel?" To which I would inevitably reply in frustration, "No! It's Karmel." For some reason, being called Caramel didn't much sit well with me lol.
However, as I grew up I asked my Dad why they named me Karmel. He told me that my mom had picked the name Aimee, and that he had picked the name Karmel, because Carmel was a beautiful city in California that he had visited while he served in the Navy.
Ummm, yes please. So, I then grew older and kind of just embraced it as my middle name. I haven't even looked up photos of Carmel until recently. And then there's Mt. Carmel in the Bible.
Karmel means garden, which means fruit, which could mean a harvest... so, insert Christ follower in google and you will see me waving frantically at God saying, "Pick me, pick me," and with that, He replies, "I did. You are a royal priesthood, a chosen generation." (1 Peter 2:9-10But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God's special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy." and Matthew 22: 14 "For many are called, but few are chosen.") And to which I encourage us all: He has called each of us! Dream big that impossible dream, pray, pray, pray- plant your seeds and in His good and perfect timing, He will water and grow it into existence. Sooo much yes in these scriptures!
So with that, I give you the deep and profound (insert British accent when you read "deep and profound" because it sounds cooler. Like, right now. Do it. See? I'm right aren't I? Oh, and by the way, I may exaggerate in order to get a giggle out of my readers from time to time) what is the hopeful launching of my writing. (Yeah, I had to totally go back and reread my point in this paragraph too).
And this is my sincerest prayer to God in all of this, "Lord, what You pour into me, I will pour out." I am on a mission to pour out the Father's heart through blogging, vlogging, with the goal of being unfiltered. Sometimes it found in a whisper, a long awaited answered prayer, a poem, a simple truth, something hilarious that just happened, completely random, a metaphor or a word picture. Either way, I honestly believe that I am called as His daughter to write what I feel Him saying to me in a very raw, honest, real, messy, beautiful way, all the while speaking the truth in His love. With that said, love, encouragement, laughter, grace and strength will be found here. Aren't we all on this journey together?
Oh... and 7- well, because I've always liked that number. And it rhymes with Heaven. And God created the Earth in "seven" days. And because I'll probably post a lot of 7 reasons for things.
And here's what I feel is happen spiritually in the relaunching of this blog (a poem which again leads to my Dad- He has inspired me to write!)-
My world is crashing into Yours
It took a while to steady my course
But You kept speaking your promises
I wavered but you were always my Rock