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Good Morning, Sunshine!

My Morning Routine

Hey you guys! So I couple days I ago I was going through my DM’s and realized that the most requested post is of my morning routine! I love this because the morning is my most favorite time of the day. The day is full of possibilities, you’re (hopefully) well rested and you can collect yourself and get organized for the day ahead and days to come.

Now, disclaimer is that my mornings vary daily.  Previously I worked at a local coffee shop owned by some sweet friends of mine a couple days a week, I’d take the opening shift which means I left my house by about 5:15 AM. Yea… I know.

But now my husband and I get to work together at a church here in houston! (We get to carpool and kiss at the red lights! hehe.) I have a lot more time in the morning now to collect my thoughts and get through my routine! I hope you guys are inspired to hit the snooze button a few times less than normal, and use some of my steps in the morning to propel you into an incredible day!

I try to wake up everyday between 7:00 – 8:00 AM. This will really depend on the kind of night you had before… you guys: SLEEP IS SO GOOD! Even if it means missing out on something cool, you have to put your body first sometimes no matter what age you are.

Once I’m up the first thing I do is open the blinds on the window in our bedroom. Light is the principal control of our day-night cycle, influencing everything from body temperature to metabolism to sleep.

Next thing I do is stretch and meditate and pray! Stretching everyday could be the key to some of your energy problems throughout the whole day! And meditation for me is just 5-10 minutes of sitting quietly, reflecting on God’s goodness and opening a space of quiet for Him to whisper and just speak.

The next thing I do is make my bed. This is an incredible habit to have, because it’s a reminder that it’s time to get to work and not lounge time! On the weekend the bed stays unmade all weekend. But during the week I have to be sure to remember to get going.(because I’m a lazy koala bear that would happily stay in bed all day watching hulu)

Once the bed is made I patter to the kitchen to warm up water for my morning warm water with fresh lemon juice. This habit totally changed my life years ago! Hot water with lemon has insanely good benefits! It helps you detox everyday, it wakes up your digestive track, it soothes an upset tummy and supports weight management and energy levels. I drink it every morning before anything else!

While I have my lemon water I’ll have my quiet time with a devotional, a book I’m reading that week or if I have a lot of time I’ll youtube a message from alex seeley or steven furtick to watch while I do my makeup.

After my quiet time I moisturize, try to curl my hair (I never end up having time!) and throw on some makeup. After I’m out of my pjs it really helps me focus on the work I have for that day.

I’ll sit down, look at my schedule, write a to-do list and get strategic about what I can realistically get done that day. If I have extra time I’ll flip through a cookbook and figure out what to make for supper and write my market list. (This is my most favorite time of the morning!)

Another incredible thing you can do in the morning is speak affirmations over yourself, your life and your day. It sounds SO cheesy but I promise it’s good! It can be as simple as “I am happy and content in my heart today…” or “I am filled with gratitude and kindness for another day on this earth…” when I would feel sick and have low energy I would declare “I am feeling healthy and strong today!” Whatever you need, declare it!

Honestly you guys, taking time for yourself and working hard at creating habits that help you and sustain you will carry you through your whole life. Sleeping in until the last minute before you leave may get you an hour or two extra of sleep, but when you give yourself time to unwind into the morning, start your with fresh eyes and perspective, and bask in the quiet light of love and rest it can change everything.

I hope those of you who asked for this post enjoyed it!

All my love x

MH

 

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# G O A L S

Wellllll howdy there! Yes! I’m alive! No! I haven’t abandoned this sweet little blog although I know it seems like it! I’m sorry! Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years were crazy and super busy for us… (Ok ok, yes I spent most of my time eating pie.) But we were traveling and spending QT with family and friends. But I miss YOU FRIENDS! You guys, life update… After flying home from New York on January 3rd, we got up the next day and headed down a very new road. We started two new jobs at an incredible church here in Houston! For some reason, we have offices which I think is HILARIOUS because I feel like a lawyer with a desk. But we get to serve under an amazing youth pastor, and serve the vision of senior pastor’s that planted this church 2o years ago. It’s so insane for us, it feels like the first day of school. Everyone is new, everyone is so experienced and we’re literally just trying to take it all in! It brings up this subject of “goals” to me… A term we’ve all coined recently to comment under photos of things we wish we had and were. But how many of those “goals” do we actually make an effort towards? On the flip side of that, how many of these “goals” are things we envy? Or things we pressure ourselves to reach and then beat ourselves up about when we can’t reach it right away. Starting this new job, I find myself scrutinizing every move I make. Every time I feel like I didn’t connect with a student the way I wanted to, every time I see someone texting during a message I’m preaching, every time I interview a volunteer and walk away wishing I did a better job. It’s a never ending cycle of rubbing against the sandpaper of my “goals”… But the real question is how do we try to do our best and be teachable without punishing ourself for every misstep? How do we keep our goals from turning into a land-mines of perfection that end up hurting us later?

There are a million things about our inner selves and outer selves that we can point out to change. Every year we make resolutions to lose weight, get healthy, cook more, sleep more. But then in-n-out starts calling your name. (man, that sounds so good rn). What if one of our goals this year was to find the really really really good things – the positive things, the things that set us apart – and focussed on them. Yo, like have some grace for yourself today. Just like I want to be the best at my job, you want to be the best wife or girlfriend or daughter or friend ever, or you want to have the best grades and make every winning shot every game. There’s no way to accomplish every instagram goal we see every day. But set mini goals for the day. Have grace for yourself for the day. Take heart in the fact you’re doing your very best. If we spend all of our time beating ourselves up over things that have already happened – there’s no growth there. When you give every desire and trial to Him, He gives you your place in the sun in His timing. He teaches you, He stretches you, He places you in ways we don’t have the capacity to do by ourselves. Keep your soul healthy by placing your stare on the strengths God has given you. My strength may not be your strength! But we can learn from each other, give to each other.

I know life can be overwhelming. My to-do list is currently two pages long. Sometimes I feel like I’m drowning in work with no time to play, but these are the moments when we have to shut the door, close our eyes and say “God, I look to you. I won’t be overwhelmed. Give me vision to see things like you do.” Take life one step at a time and know there’s grace for you today. For your to-do list, for your homework, for your #goals. Take a breath. And know you have a beautiful and inspired life – find the beauty and be thankful for it all! I promise you’ll conquer this week with joy!

 

Love you guys! x Mariah

 

Raindrops On Roses and Whiskers On Kittens

Hi!! First I want to say thank you to everyone who commented, DM’d and emailed me about my last post. I was overwhelmed with gratitude (and relief) that so many of you received something from it- I couldn’t believe how many of you expressed that “uninvited” applied to so many of your lives. Thank you, merci, always and forever.

 

Okay so – I don’t know about you guys, but there are SO many products out there that make promises to us in commercials and ads and then when we actually go get them we’re disappointed. So I decided to share some of my most favorite, loved, and trusted beauty products! My beauty routine changes constantly, but especially during different seasons. As soon as Fall comes my skin tends to get super dry… So I am constantly doing anything I can to keep it glowing and clear, even as the cold months approach us. I have to warn you though, I don’t believe in using products that have ingredients I can’t pronounce or aren’t safe. Natural is the way to go, my friends. Please believe me! Every night I take off  my make up and wash my face with Coconut Oil (like literally from the grocery store! Hello $7.99! Hello #BudgetLifeVictories!)… After that I spray a natural facial toner. Sometimes I’ll make my own (Let me know if you’d be interested in the recipe!). And then comes a face oil and a moisturizer. About 2-3 nights a week I’ll do a clay or homemade mask. I promise, when you take care of your skin – consistently and naturally – it will change your life. You’re loving your body, taking time for yourself and investing into you. Below are a few of my favorite things right now. But I cannot lie… One of them is my most favorite.

I’ve always adored essential oils. When I was younger, my best friend in the neighborhood had fourteen brothers and sisters. Incredible, I know. Their mama, Jackie was my favorite person to see, though. It could be ANY thing: a cold, the terrible approach of acne, a scrape or cut… even a bad mood. Mama Jackie would have a cure for it. And it was always an essential oil. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve learned to love those little bottles of liquid healing more and more. But today, I’ll share with you: Frankincense. THE MOST INCREDIBLE THING, EVER.

A little bit about Frankincense…

Health Benefits: helps relieve chronic stress and anxiety, reduces pain and inflammation, boosts immunity and even fights cancer.

Where it’s from: Frankincense is sourced from the resin of the Boswellia carterii or Boswellia sacara tree that’s commonly grown in Somalia. This tree is different from many others in that it can grow with very little soil in dry and desolate conditions.

How to use it: I love to sprinkle a few drops in my bath with epsom salt after a long day, rub a few drops on a scar, stretch mark, or acne as a remedy. Once I was out of toothpaste and mixed Frankincense oil with baking soda as homemade toothpaste (the bomb!) and also I diffuse it in my house as a stress reliever. My favorite use though is as a skin brightener and natural beauty enhancer in my moisturizer! I swear it makes my skin GLOW! Which is what inspired me to write this post, I couldn’t keep the goodness all to myself! Here is my routine of the moment:

 IXMUCANE Skincare, Facial Toner

IXMUCANE Skincare, Facial Toner (www.ixmucaneskincare.com)

 Josie Maran, Argan Oil in Fleur O'range. (www.josiemarancosmetics,com)

Josie Maran, Argan Oil in Fleur D’oranger. (www.josiemarancosmetics.com)

 IXMUCANE Skincare, Face Serum (www.ixmucaneskincare.com)

IXMUCANE Skincare, Face Serum (www.ixmucaneskincare.com)

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Young Living, Essential Oil Frankincense (www.youngliving.com)

(mix, a drop of the Frankincense into a dime size of moisturizer…)

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Kiehl’s, Ultra Facial Cream (www.kiehls.com)

If you’d like to know more about natural oils + ingredients and their uses just let me know! And if you want to get involved in the lifestyle of Young Living, Essential Oils – email me in “ask mariah”. We all gotta look out for each other, it’s a crazy world of chemicals out there! And as always, remember… Beauty is on the inside. When you can love yourself, because Jesus adores you and that’s enough, it shines outward. Beauty starts in your heart and ends in the way you live. All my love! xx Mariah!!

 

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Leave The Lights On, Darling

“You won’t need the sun to brighten the day or the moon and lamps to give you light. The Eternal One will be all the light you ever need. Your God will provide your glory, brilliance for all time. Your sun will never set; your moon will never be eclipsed in shadow, For you’ll bask in the Eternal’s light and silver splendor forever. Never again will you suffer the dark night of despair and gloom of mourning.” Isaiah 60:19-20

Happy Summer, everyone! I hope that all of you lovelies enjoyed my last post. Thank you so much for stopping by to hear my heart today! I have another confession, I have an unfortunately low tolerance for stress. I honestly shut down at the first taste of feeling overwhelmed… Just one of the many reasons I am so thankful to have Byron as my almost-husband. I’ve never seen anyone who can deal with so many issues at once, and still shine so brightly without dimming under pressure. I’m getting better at handling the feeling that I’ve disappointed someone, or the stress of learning how to handle money, work two jobs, volunteer at church AND get ready for marriage! I know there’s so much more that a lot of you deal with on a daily basis, but just to be transparent here: most days I feel like I’m underwater.

When I was growing up, I never had pressure from my parents to be “perfect”. Never pressure from them, or church or friends. Just from myself. For some reason I operated under this microscope that I made for myself. It wasn’t until one random day in Australia, I realized I was actually dying under the hot lights of perfection I placed above me disguised as a halo.

I don’t know how this happened, but in my quest to please God, please my family, please these outrageous standards I’ve set for myself, I disconnected so much from not only myself, but from God. I didn’t want my family to know how much I was hurting on the inside, so I tried so badly to be happy and smile and make people laugh like normal. But in my private moments alone, I was so frustrated and displeased with myself that I would be surrounded by total darkness. I didn’t make room for the light of Jesus but was still trying to be “salt and light” in front of others. You know what? The energizer bunny is a perfect example of what I was. I was running around, beating my drum trying to be adorable and loudly sweet to distract from the pain needing attention inside of my heart.

The light I was shining was temporary, it was synthetic and too bright to be real. For me to want everyone to think everything was perfect and sunny and happy all the time was the contributing factor to being burned out. I was constantly turning my light on for people and off when I was alone because I was trying to conserve the energy I had. Maybe you can relate to this, if not deeply then maybe just on those random days when you’re feeling low. But either way, I am typing this to tell you I’ve been there. Sometimes I still go there if I’m being real!

The reality is, sometimes we feel so deprived of true joy, true friendship and light and we don’t know “what’s wrong with us”. Especially women, I find us giving out so much. Taking care of so many. Being married, working jobs, going to school, holding our families together … We don’t realize that we’re living off of batteries instead of being connected to the source of eternal and effortless light that is Jesus. I was definitely living off of batteries, just like that energizer bunny. So temporary, an external connection rather than an internal relationship.

It wasn’t until I connected myself to Jesus not just in my deeds, but in my faith. Not just in acts of christianity, but in a friendship with my Father. It was then that I was able to actually leave the lights ON. Instead of flipping them off and on to conserve what was left of myself for other’s. When you realize that your identity is in Him, you don’t lose yourself in the pressure of perfection…Because He’s perfect.You can leave the lights on not just to shine bright for other’s but in your privacy with God… He sustains you. His source never gives out, it never dims or dilutes. So it’s not your energy that keeps the lights on in your heart, but HIS presence that does.

When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”  John 8:12

This is just a reminder today to stay plugged into the Source, give up the batteries and pressure and fear of being “on” for everyone else. And let your Father keep you above the waves.

Xx Mariah

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