Sydney Umeri Photography
As I try to seek God in all aspects of my life, sometimes I find myself being stagnant.
Did He really call me to do that? Am I doing the right things? Should I continue on this path?
These are all questions that come to mind and to be honest, with so much uncertainty I find myself living with anxiety. But fortunately, I have wonderful friends and family who can speak life into me, and one of the friends who I love so dearly mentioned to me that anxious is not how God made us.
It really got me thinking, “Why I am so anxious then?” After a lot of reflection and praying, it was because while I was feeling certain ways about aspects of my life, I hadn’t truly presented those things to God. I hadn’t invited Him into all of my life.
If I’ve learned anything about the Lord, He is a gentleman. He will stand at the door of your life and knock until you let Him in, and that’s in all aspects of your life. It’s not just about the one decision to be saved. It’s a decision that every believer has to make everyday.
So no matter how big of a problem you’re facing or how small, know that to a God who created the whole universe, everything is quite small. And to a God who has overcome the world, nothing is too mighty. So present everything, your triumphs, your disappointments, and especially your anxieties to Him, and in Him, you will find peace.
Until next time, get up, get moving and be salt & light!
It’s been nearly a year since I lost my mind.
I sat on my squishy bed with my laptop in hand, scrolling through a public file of your comments and replies, none of which were responses to me. I was
So I hid myself from you the best way I knew how, in plain sight. Running away from friendship like a soccer player running the cooper I was,
Or confused rather, that my definition of friendship had so many characteristics of you. How could the bar be set so high and low at the same time?
It’s been nearly a year since I lost my mind.
I sat holding my phone on your birthday. I had so much to say, but no heart to say it. I wasn’t ready to celebrate you. I had unresolved feelings, mismanaged pain, yet I was
with good memories of you. Yes, good ones, but still I was so mad. The hardest thing about finished friendships isn’t the end, but the reminders. Like a
child refusing to nap, I pushed thoughts of you to the side. I wanted an apology, an explanation, but admittedly I wanted my friend back.
It’s been nearly a year since I lost my mind.
with the fact you didn’t cross it as much anymore I was moving on. Is this what they call “growing up”? Moving forward as if nothing happened, with false ideas of forgiveness? I was
only time could heal and surely it did. But when both time and distance are involved, sometimes they work against each other. My fondness for you, friend, never quite left, but it left me
and reconciliation ready. My fruits of forgiveness were ripe and I was fit to hand over the olive branch I tried to crush a year ago with my pride.
It’s been nearly a year since I lost my mind,
And today, I found it,
in the healing space between you and I,
in your harmonious hands,
in my best friend,
and I’m so thankful for you.
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Two weeks ago, I created a video about trials and in that video, I reviewed James 1:2-4.
2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers, and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. 4 Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.
This week it’s all about tests. At first glance, I thought these were the same thing or at least synonymous. While they are synonymous, the difference is, trials can come from anything, friends, family, co-workers, the devil, etc., and are a way for you to refine your faith, leaving you purer than before and closer to the image of God. But tests, in my mind, are solely given to you by God. To me, it’s God’s way of checking to make sure that what He instilled in you during the trials is built to last. It’s His way of checking to see that what we’re learning in our quiet time, what we think we’ve mastered, what we boast in Him about when all things are well, still stand true to us even when everything seems to be falling apart.
To be honest, I’ve never met anyone who loves a good test or trial, but when you’re sitting in the midst of one like I am, you have to remember that God is still good and that without tests, there is no true movement towards sanctification.
Maybe for you, your test is in understanding God is your sole provider. It’s really easy to say that when you have a full-time job, benefits, a steady check, and life is good. But what happens when you’re laid off and your severance is running out? It’s a test. Will, you still say God is a provider, your sole provider, or will you doubt Him?
Or maybe it’s your health or the health of a loved one. It easy to say that God is a healer when no one is ill. But when your medial bills are racking up and you still can’t find out what’s wrong with you, things can get kind of scary. It’s a test.
Now, this by no means is meant to make light of tests or the tests you might be experiencing in your life. The goal of this blog post and video is to help you put things into perspective. Despite the tests, God is still SO good and we still don’t deserve Him, yet he chooses us daily. “I should be in Hell”, is my favorite phrase to use on days when I am particularly peeved with the Lord, because who am I really to be upset with Him?
But with that said, even through the tests, remember who He is, who you are in Him, and that He has already overcome the world, so there is no need to worry. Whether you’re on the mountaintop, or in the valley, understand that God has you in the palm of His hand, always.
Until next time, get up, get moving, and be salt and light!
When I hear the word vulnerability, it’s like someone said the word “moist.” It just makes me queasy and uncomfortable. It’s funny because I used to think I had no issues being vulnerable, but what I really found out is that I’m great at keeping people at an arms distance.
The act of being vulnerable is uncomfortable, and I’m really bad at sharing personal details about my life.
I know what you’re thinking. “Sydney, you have a blog… about yourself. What are you talking about?”
I know, track with me for a minute. I do have a blog about myself, but much of what I share isn’t what I would call vulnerable information. I am willingly sharing it because it doesn’t take much out of me to share it. I share it because I love writing. I share it because maybe it can help someone else. But rarely do I share it with the intention for people to know the real me.
So about this vulnerability thing… For years, I’ve been praying for quality people and friendships to come into my life. I’ve wanted support groups, accountability partners, people who can look at me and say, “You’re not acting like yourself, what’s up?” even when I put on the facade that everything is good. I’ve wanted people who could call me out where I fall short, help me as I move towards sanctification, and much more. Now, I’m finally in a position where I have those people, or I could have those people, but again, I keep them away.
I want you close, but not too close. I want you to know me, but only what I want you to know. Really I just want to be the introvert that goes to a coffee shop to be around people but doesn’t actually want to make conversation. That is me in a nutshell.
But as I learn more about what it means to live in community, I’ve learned those behaviors are actually the furthest thing from community. Community is allowing people to know you, all of you.
Not the Sunday morning you. Not the Beyonce version of “I woke up like this” you. But the you that nobody really wants to be around because you have problems, you.
Vulnerability is allowing people to get so close they could hurt you, but choosing the right community so that you can mitigate the unnecessary pain. You will get hurt being vulnerable, you will get hurt in community because people are imperfect, but as you exercise vulnerability in community, you begin to see what love actually looks like.
Vulnerability, community, and love. It’s hard to have one without the others, right?
It’s hard to be vulnerable, but it’s a prerequisite to community and love which are both things that we were built for because we were made in the image of God. So as I strive to become more vulnerable, no matter how hard and uncomfortable it is, I hope you strive to do the same.
Is vulnerability a hard thing for you too? Let me know in the comments below.
As always, until next time, get up, get moving and be salt and light!