Time Keeps on Slipping…

Hello everyone! How are you? How has the first month of 2021 been? I know for some of you it’s been good and for others it’s been difficult. I know some of you are still struggling with the loss of a loved one. Please know I am praying for your comfort, healing, and strength during your grieving process. 

We’re already one month into 2021, and I am amazed by how fast time is moving. Each day, in my opinion, goes faster than the day prior. It reminds me of how fleeting our time on earth is. Psalm 39:4 says, “LORD, remind me how brief my time on earth will be. Remind me that my days are numbered— how fleeting my life is” (NLT).

I want to take a moment to ask a question. Are you using your time wisely? I know we all have commitments like work, relationships, raising our children, as well as outside activities, but outside of all your responsibilities, are you using the time God has given to you wisely? 

In a previous post I mentioned that in 2019, I lost someone I truly loved. She was someone I talked to or texted almost every day. I would call to pray, vent, laugh, or just have girl talk and sometimes endure a loving rebuke. I could just be myself around her. She was like a mom to me, which is what I called her. In February of 2019, I began dealing with some personal issues and I did not want to burden her with it, so I stopped calling her. It’s so silly when I think about it now, because she NEVER judged or looked at me differently when I shared my heart with her. During the time I didn’t call, she was on my mind heavily, but I still didn’t call. In July 2019, my very close friend called to tell me she was very sick, but truth was I already knew she was ill. To be honest, I didn’t want to face the fact that she actually was sick, nor face the thought of once again losing a woman of God I loved.

In September 2019, I went to visit her. We laughed, talked, and I layed my head on her lap and told her what she meant to me. I knew from that visit it would be my last time with her. Not too long after that she passed away. Although I knew it was coming, it hurt me in a way that I never expected. But what hurt me more than missing her presence, was all the things she wanted to do in her natural and spiritual life. There was so much she shared with me and I was hurt that she didn’t have the opportunity to accomplish her dreams. I couldn’t understand why God would take her home. I took my thoughts and prayers to God, and he didn’t give me an answer, but he did reaffirm that he is sovereign and reminded me in Isaiah 55:8, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways”. 

Weeks before her passing, The Holy Spirit kept putting the word time in my spirit. At her memorial service, which took place about a month later, the subject of the message was “What are you doing with your time”? Can I tell you that message jolted me in a way that I will never forget?!! 

That word caused me reexamine my own life, and since that time, I’ve learned to value my time each day. It certainly doesn’t mean I’ve mastered managing my time completely, but I have become much more aware of how little time I have and how I should be using it. 

Time is the one thing we can never get back and it’s the one thing we all get the same amount of. Yet, I often think about how much time we’ve wasted, whether we realize it or not.  

So I ask you again? What are you doing with your time? Are you spending time in God’s presence? Are you seeking him about what you should be doing at this time?

Or are you wasting time on social media? Perhaps you’re wasting time being in a un-Godly relationship that should end. Are you wasting your time at a job you hate, because you’re too afraid to step out on faith and do what you love? Are you holding back on the ministry God has given you because of insecurities? Are you wasting time holding onto grudges or unforgiveness? 

I could keep writing, but this post doesn’t need to be any longer. I hope and pray you hear my heart and I encourage you to examine how you use your time. Tomorrow is not promised to ANY OF US.  

James 4:14-15 “How do you know what your life will be like tomorrow? Your life is like the morning fog—it’s here a little while, then it’s gone. What you ought to say is, “If the Lord wants us to, we will live and do this or that. (NLT)

Prayer
Father, in the name of Jesus, help us to value the time you bless us with each day. Forgive us for not valuing the gift of time. As we can see from the perilous times we live in, it is important now more than ever to use our time wisely. Grant us the wisdom to make right choices that will align with your will for our lives and maximize our time to be a blessing to the Kingdom of God. Father, first and foremost, cause us to remember that the most important decision we can make when valuing our time is spending time in your presence. We ask this in Jesus name…Amen.

Love you all,
Darlene @HealedtoSpeak

Photo by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash

The Downside of a Routine

Hi everyone! So…you know how you have one of those days? Well, mine was yesterday! I am sorry I missed you. Please forgive me. 😊

How are you? I hope you enjoyed your weekend. It’s countdown to Christmas and I am happy about it. My children will be ecstatic to see what they have been blessed with this year and my husband and I are grateful that we can bless them. We are also grateful to be upon our thirteenth wedding anniversary. Let me know if you’re tired of hearing this…LOL

I love having a routine. It helps to keep me focused and on task. If I don’t have a daily routine, it is easy for me to slip into procrastination and many things would fall to the wayside. I have been in a routine since I was very young. I can remember being ten years old and getting up early and beginning my day. I still get up early each day, but what’s changed is having a husband, children, job, blog, and everything else.

Having a routine in marriage is helpful too. Planning routine getaways and date nights will help to keep your marriage on the right track. However, if a negative routine develops, it can drain the life and fun out of your marriage.

Almost two years ago, my husband and I moved from Philadelphia to Georgia. It was a big move for us. The routine in my household completely changed because of the move. I went from working full-time as a manager to working from home part-time and caring for my children full-time (PRAY FOR ME). There have been so many changes, that my marriage kind of fell into a rut.

Things were splendid the first few months after our move. We were walking on cloud-nine; happy about our move, our home, neighborhood and our new beginning God promised. However, a few months later, I noticed my patience was much shorter. My husband was working longer hours, but I thought no big deal he has to work. Then I noticed I was more annoyed and began complaining. Next, my husband who is very patient, came home irritable. I thought “No problem, he’s probably tired, from working more than usual.” Finally, after three weeks of this behavior, we had a disagreement. At the end of it, we kind of sat there in a daze like, “What just happened?” And, what was this really about? Instantly, we realized by way of the Holy Spirit, that we were not spending enough time together. Both of us got so focused on our move, and our new routine, we forgot about keeping each other first.

After fifteen years of being together, we enjoy spending time together often, yet the one thing we enjoy doing most was the one thing we neglected to do. I was praying, but I  was not paying attention because I allowed the outside to affect the inside.

Song of Solomon 2:15 – “Catch all the foxes, those little foxes, before they ruin the vineyard of love, for the grapevines are blossoming!”

I am grateful we were able to recognize it before it caused real damage to our marriage.

As married people, we must know the cycle of our relationship. We must be careful not to develop an unhealthy routine. For some couples, a weekly date night is imperative to keep the fires flowing. For other couples, physical touch is a way to keep intimacy. For many, sexual intimacy must be kept at the top of the list, to avoid issues. Every marriage is different, and you must know what works for you.

My husband and I love to get away. One of my marital goals for the New Year is to make sure we take time to getaway consistently. This is the positive routine I plan on implementing, and January 14, 2019 will be the beginning. My other goal is to make sure I do not allow outside influences to dictate the routine of my marriage.

Do you have any marital goals for the New Year?

Blessings.

 

 

Photo by Scott Walsh on Unsplash

Let’s be Balanced!

Hello there. How are you? I pray all is well and you are excited about your week!

Who isn’t busy these days? I am, and I’m sure you are too. Lately, I have been pondering on the word balance. What is balance? Is it something we can actually attain?

According to Merriam Webster’s dictionary, the word balance is defined as a physical equilibrium or the ability to retain one’s balance.

I believe most of us want balance. We already know the effects of being unbalanced. But knowing this doesn’t prevent us from falling into the abyss of it. Therefore, how do we achieve balance? How do we juggle our relationship with God, husbands, children, businesses, ministry, blogs, friendships, and our own personal lives?

To achieve balance, we must take the necessary steps. That means including God in all our plans. Proverbs 16:3 says, “Commit to the LORD whatever you do, and he will establish your plans.” I believe many of us live unbalanced lives because we have taken on certain roles God never intended for us to take on. Ask yourself, “What can I remove from my life?” “What is taking up unnecessary space?” Once you take stock of what is it, remove it. If you cannot remove it immediately, do it over time.

Next, prioritize. Understand what is most important and stick to it. It doesn’t mean certain things won’t pop up, because that’s life, but learning to prioritize keeps balance and organization. For example, keeping balance in your family life is paramount especially if you have younger children. Those toddler and teenage years go by fast and you should enjoy every moment of it. You want to be there as much as you can because there will be a time your children don’t want you to be around. You don’t want to look back and realize you were more engaged with work, and other activities then the relationship with your children.

Turn it off! Social media, in many regards, is wonderful but if we are not careful, we can allow it to infiltrate our entire lives. We live in a world when everyone and everything is pulling at us in one way or another. One simple thing to do is cut it off completely, but if you cannot rip off the band-aid, work at having a time limit.

Balancing our lives MUST start and end with God. Luke 12:34, says “For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” This simply means where you place your thoughts, time, and energy is where your focus will be. If your treasure is wrapped in work, that is where your focus will be. If it’s achieving financial success, your heart will be there too. And the wrong focus leads to an unbalance life.

I encourage you to take a hard look at your life. Be honest and acknowledge if there is unbalance in your life. Pray, repent and ask God to help you put him in the center of all you do as God is the architect of balance.

Blessings.

Marriage Lessons-(12 week series)-Week 9

Hello everyone! I hope you had a great weekend!! Today is week nine of the Marriage Lessons. Last weeks lesson focused on “A nagging wife.” I hope you will read it.

Lesson 9. Communication is a skill and you must learn to master it daily

Communication definition: the imparting or exchanging of information or news

Fifteen years ago, when my husband and I were in marriage counseling, our counselors asked me a question. They asked, “How will I work things out when there is a conflict?” I remember saying “By communicating.” Their response was “Communication works both ways.” “And what will you do if you communicate differently?” I recall thinking, “That won’t be a problem for us, we always talk to each other.” After year one of marriage, I realized talking and communicating was two different things. Talking to each other was very easy, however, communicating our emotions meant going beyond the surface; something which was difficult for us.

Effective communication avoids confusion, misunderstandings, and conflict. In school, we learn subjects such as reading, writing, and arithmetic; however, we are not taught how to effectively communicate. In most cases communication is a skill that enhances over time with practice and patience.

My husband and I communicated poorly. In some ways, communicating was more of a challenge for me as I was still overcoming the effects of abuse from my childhood.

One of the first times we experienced a miscommunication was within the first few weeks of our marriage.  Usually, when I came home from work, I changed out of my work clothes and sat down for a few minutes to gather myself before cooking. One day, I was sitting on the couch when my husband walked in. He came in, gave me a kiss and went into the kitchen. I did not think much of it until I heard pots and pans. I walked into the kitchen and asked, “Are you making dinner?” He said “Yes.” I immediately got upset and walked out of the kitchen. Later that night, he noticed I was quiet and asked if I was okay. I did not want to talk about it, but I did anyway (internalizing). I said, “You made me feel like a bad wife when you went into the kitchen to cook.”  “You made it seem as if I was taking too long.” He looked at me and said, “That is not what I was thinking.” He said, “My process when I come home is to go directly into the kitchen to begin cooking.” He told me he had been doing things this way since becoming a single father.

It was at that moment I realized I needed to deal with my emotions as well as communicate what I felt instead of shutting down. I am grateful we were able to resolve the issue quickly. We learned we needed to discuss our expectations of each other to avoid other issues.

On a daily basis, we continuously work on communicating our emotions. I learned it is important to say what you mean and mean what you say. Sometimes as wives, we expect our husband to read our minds, which is a mistake because they can’t. As I learned, communication goes two ways. I encourage you to communicate with your spouse. Express your emotions, be clear, be direct. Matthew 5:37 says, Let what you say be simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything more than this comes from evil.”

My Marriage Lesson & Your Marriage Lesson

  1. Discuss your expectations to each other at the beginning
  2. Be clear and direct in your communication
  3. If you or your spouse has trouble communicating, ask God to help you (He will)

Scriptures
Matthew 5:37
Proverbs 25:11

Marriage Lessons (12-week series)-Week 8

Hello friends! Welcome to week eight of the Marriage Lessons! I am so grateful for what the Lord has allowed me to share with you. I pray you are being encouraged and uplifted. In your spare time, I encourage you to read last weeks lesson titled “do not compare.” God bless you!

Lesson 8. Do not be a nagging wife…men HATE it.

Was I a nag? Oh no, not me. I am a Godly wife and I would never nag my husband. Those were all the things I thought of myself until God showed me myself.

I NEVER thought of myself as a nag. I just wanted him to see things my way. I began to make the same statements repeatedly, but it seemed he still was not getting it. I thought, “what else do I have to do?” Well, I decided I would continue to repeat myself and eventually he will get it…wrong.

I knew a lot of what I was saying was right. In fact, many of the things I tried to share with my husband came straight from the throne of heaven, but for some reason, my husband could not see or hear it. Perhaps it is was because of my tone.

After realizing my way was not working, I decided to wise up. I desired to be a Godly wife, a Proverbs 31 wife. So, I learned how to pray. The Lord showed me timing was key to approaching my husband. I learned that setting the tone, creating the atmosphere and having the right heart when approaching your husband is key to achieving the response you desire. Later, I understood God observes our heart and the motives behind it.

Being a nag will cause your husband to do the opposite of what you want him to do. In fact, nagging will cause your husband not to want to be around. Proverbs 25:24 says, “it is better to live in a corner of the housetop than in a house shared with a quarrelsome wife” YIKES! Believe me, it is true. At the beginning of my marriage, I nagged a lot and it proved to cause problems and not solve them. As my husband and I grew in our marriage (and I did not nag anymore) I asked him how it made him feel and he told me, it made him not want to come home (OUCH)!

There will be times God will give you (the wife) insight and wisdom into a situation. There may be times our husbands are unable to receive from us; therefore, the key to getting our husbands to listen is to pray, ask for the right timing, and watch your tone. I promise you, doing it God’s way produces ripe fruit that both you and your husband will benefit from.

My Marriage Lesson & Your Marriage Lesson
1. Seek God about becoming a Godly wife
2. Do not nag
3. Prayer, timing, and tone is everything

Scriptures
Proverbs 25:24
Ecclesiastes 3:1