This past weekend has been one of the most amazing and inspiring weekends for me in a LONG TIME! There were so many small and large details that contributed to its overall success that I naturally had to share it with ya’ll to give you the same encouragement that it gave me! 🙂
It started with a bi-annual three-day retreat that my church (The Rock Churches) puts together every year called “The Encounter.” In summary, it is a retreat in which men and women come together to have a experience with God, address and conquer past issues/pain, and grow a closer relationship with Him. I have been going to this retreat for about four years, however this year was VERY different. The first day we learned about Jesus and the cross, including what each nail that he took meant for our healing both physically and spiritually. The second day, we learned about self-esteem (viewing yourself the way God views you), conquering forgiveness and overcoming spiritual attacks. Both of these days were equally amazing and gave me with so much guidance! However, the third day was what brought it all home and put the icing on the cake! I was able to witness one of my sisters (in Christ), Martina Calcagno, get ordained as a pastor and given leadership over our European church locations! 🙂 She moved to New York for dance and started coming to our church about three years ago. After attending the church for about six months she was determined to start/open a location in her home country of Italy! Not only did she start a church, she opened THREE LOCATIONS in Italy (all three are growing and flourishing daily!)
Martina is a young woman in her mid-twenties who’s a part of a traveling ballet dance company. She made time in her busy schedule to teach weekly bible studies to her family, and because of the continual growth the bible study became a church service. She eventually returned to her country to lead the service as she continued to start bible studies in other parts of Italy. They all yielded the same results! Her story and journey to becoming an ordained pastor is one that I have been fortunate to witness up-close and I could not be more inspired and motivated!
This weekend was an awesome lesson that no matter how busy your schedule may seem or how many excuses you may use as to why you aren’t walking in your full potential, YOU CAN DO IT! You don’t need more time, you just need to MAKE the time to do it! There are no acceptable excuses because God is with you and will always guide you into your victory! Our lives and everything that happens within them are not a surprise to God, he knows our capabilities and our weaknesses. If you trust in him he will lead you into a life that you couldn’t have imagined; a life that accomplishes goals, breaks barriers and lifts you to new heights!
Pictured below is Martina Calcagno at the Ordination Ceremony! She is the ray of sunshine sitting down with a huge smile on her face (per usual!)
Xoxo – Chrissy Joy
We are officially half-way through 2017, and so far I’m feeling pretty good! Recently, I sat down with a small group of women that I’m close with and chatted about how we felt about our year thus far. We had all written a set of goals (and even made vision boards!) filled with things that we planned to accomplish this year. We decided to revisit those goals to check in on our progress in order to hold each other accountable. As we all went around in a circle sharing our successes and pitfalls during the first half of the year, I noticed a common word used to describe what we felt was our drawback…COMPLACENCY!! God had blessed each of us in different ways during the year, however; we realized that we had in one way or another become complacent in our blessing. We knew this because God had given each of us various revelations/signs showing that He had more for us and telling us to keep moving forward and higher. It was as if we had small pieces of a puzzle, but when we came together and shared our stories our pieces formed a unified picture and message.
Complacency is something that many people either do not realize they are dealing with or don’t know how to move forward. It’s easy to get comfortable and relaxed in your current place and/or situation when you know that going to a higher level will require you to become uncomfortable and step out on faith. I will be the first to admit that I have been there many times, but thankfully God did not allow me to stay in the situation too long. He placed me on a path that I had no choice but to go higher. Even when I wanted to turn back and go back to my comfortable place, it was as though my past had suddenly become a barren desert that was no longer appealing to me. He changed my vision so that I could see my complacency the same way He had viewed it all along, dry and barren with no sign of direction.
As quickly as God blesses you and moves you forward, know that to whom much is given much is required. God is always desiring us to go higher and to new levels in Him. In doing so, He gives us the wisdom, strength and perseverance we need to be properly prepared for our next level of blessing and responsibilities.
2017 is your year of VICTORY!! God will only take you as high as you allow him! Be open and willing to change, advance and move in whichever direction He leads you. Time to say sayonara to complacency! 🙂
Striped Crop Top: H&M || Tulle Dress: Forever 21 || White Denim: Tory Burch || Heels: Forever 21 || Handbag: Gap || Rings: Forever 21 || Scarf: Crossroads Trading Company
Photographer: @trustmyeye (IG)
Xoxo- Chrissy Joy
It’s Mayyy!! The sun is shining, the pools are opening and the cherry blossoms are in full bloom! I love everything about spring time which means I have been bopping around these NYC streets with a smile on my face for the past few days. The only thing that has been playing with my emotions lately has been the temperature of the weather! One day will be a high of 85 degrees and the next the high will be 60 degrees. The current scenery in NYC looks like spring but the temperature makes it feel like it’s fall.
This thought has been reigning in my mind for the past week, until God showed me how this current weather situation can be applied to other areas of my life. On Tuesday night, one of the ministers at my church made a statement that has been food for thought for me! She said that sometimes God can tell us we are in a certain season but the conditions that come with the season say otherwise. The season may feel and even look like your past season, yet God keeps telling you that it is a new season of endless possibilities. It is in those moments that you must learn to believe in what your (God) calendar is saying. The forecast of your life could lead you to believe that you are in the middle of hurricane season with no end in sight, but if your (God) calendar tells you that you are in the middle of spring with endless blossoms and flowers, BELIEVE IT!!
God cannot operate when doubt is present, but when you can walk with your head held high in the middle of hurricane, wearing a bright floral sundress and a smile, you wont need God to reassure you of your new season, because you will already be smelling the flowers! 🙂
Jumpsuit: Y&R Boutique || Jacket : Shirley & Alice Vintage Boutique || Sunglasses : Mahps Vintage || Shoes : ALDO
XO – Chrissy Joy
One month ago there was a change that occurred in the United Sates. Our season shifted from winter to spring! Although we can hardly feel the physical difference, our calendar tells us that we are midway through pollen season. One day after this changed occurred another season shifted, but its effects were truly felt, because the changed occurred in my life! 🙂
For the past ten months God has truly been working on my faith and preparing me for something that I have yet to discover. I have been asked to step out on faith on numerous occasions with my only safety net being my full reliance on him, I have felt more uncomfortable than comfortable, and I have lost count of how many times I have asked God “WHY?!”. But through it all he has been crazy faithful and so full of grace and mercy! He has given me more reasons than not to love him more than my issues and miniscule problems. <3 This love was translated into gratefulness on March 21st, 2017 when I woke up to start my first day at a new job that God blessed me with! Everything felt different on that beautiful Tuesday morning and I feel like I have been riding on a cloud ever since. I have witnessed prayers and goals that I have written down start to unfold before my eyes in my personal and spiritual life! NONE of these blessings have come in the form that I expected them to come in, but nonetheless I am so beyond grateful to God for opening them and showing me that his ways are better than mine! 🙂
I have learned from this season change that trusting in God is not merely for your benefit, but for God’s amazing blessings to be displayed through your life for his glory! So if you’re in your season of “why?!”, know that your season change may not always be displayed in a way that you expect, but it will definitely be felt in a way that is undeniable! 🙂
Vintage Vest: Shirley & Alice || Leather Pants: Shirley & Alice || Sheer Top: Vintage || Heels: Forever 21 || Sunglasses : Sunglass Spot
XO- Chrissy Joy
Patience is a gift that’s available to all but few decide to actually receive it. Some people accept their gift and have been using it faithfully, some take it out of storage as needed, and others have been letting it collect dust in the back of the closet for ages! lol I would like to think that I have been using my gift of patience everyday but the reality is that I take it out sparingly. I know that there are certain situations in which I should use it, but I seem to only use it in extreme cases. I asked God recently how I could make better use of the gift He has given me. I really wanted to learn how to have patience in every situation, not just when I have been pushed to the limit and chose to use it grudgingly.
God later showed me that patience can only grow by using it often. This can come from serving in areas that require you to use patience. Think of it like working out, your body will not get use to working out often and will always get sore until you begin to work those muscles often. The same can be said for patience! When you take the advantage of the opportunity to serve in the children’s ministry of your church, or biting your tongue at work whenever that nagging nancy says little things to get under your skin. Every response to ignorance doesn’t need to be anger. No one has been given the right to disturb your peace, it’s yours to control and keep! Practicing patience is just what the doctor (God) has ordered to keep your gift alive and well!
Check out what the other doctor (Dr. Marten) has prescribed for my look today! 🙂
Beaded Sweater : Shirley & Alice Vintage || Jacket: Zara || Pants: H&M || Boots: Dr. Marten || Sunglasses : Sunglasses Spot
Photograoher : Alexandra Reynolds
XX- Chrissy Joy