I’m thankful for…

Hello all, I hope you had a wonderful weekend and are preparing for Thanksgiving! Like many people, I enjoy this time of year. I enjoy it most because I can spend uninterrupted time with my family as well as reflect on God’s goodness.

This year, I am thankful for many things. One of the things I am most thankful for is YOU! I am thankful that you take time to read, like, and comment on my posts. I am thankful for the opportunity to express myself. I am grateful I have met bloggers all over the world as a result of stepping out on faith and starting my blog. I am thankful to have other bloggers who have the same goal; to share the love of Christ.

I want to take the time to say THANK YOU! Your support means more than you will ever know. You never know who you are impacting by doing the small things. For me, the small thing is reading my posts.

Thank you!

No matter where you find yourself in life’s journey, my prayer for you during this season is that you give thanks. Give thanks for the great things and the small. Give thanks that God has not given up on you. Give thanks that he loves you with an everlasting love. Give thanks our Lord is coming back for his church real soon. Finally, give thanks that he has given all of us an opportunity to share our faith about our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

Once again…THANK YOU. Enjoy your Thanksgiving

 

 

 

Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

 

 

 

 

A reminder from my eight-year-old

I am so grateful for my children. All five of them are unique in their own way and a blessing to me in many ways.

My children and I always talk. It is something I cherish because I did not have it with my parents. My youngest son, who is eight, likes to talk the most. For an eight-year-old, he has such profound insight and it amazes me. He reminds me of myself at that age as God allowed me to see things that most adults did not see. Unfortunately, I could not express what I saw. As a result of my experience, I allow my children to speak what is on their heart and mind…most of the time. 😊

A few days ago, my youngest and I were talking about his eldest brother who is twenty-five and experiencing his own life struggles. I said to him, “Your big brother is going through a lot right now.” He said, “I know, but people think life is over when bad things happen, but there is always a blessing after the bad.” I looked at him and told him he was correct!

Psalms 127:3 – “Children are a gift from the LORD; they are a reward from him” (NLT).

God is amazing! He will use anyone to remind us of his word, even our children.
His statement was a reminder of God’s love, and grace towards us even in difficult times.

As Christians, we will endure trials because the Word tells us so. I Peter 1:6 says, “Be truly glad. There is wonderful joy ahead, even though you have to endure many trials for a little while” (NLT).

However, when experiencing a trial, the difficulty comes when the trial lasts for more than a day, a week, a month or a year. The key to success while going through any trial is consistently praying and studying the Word of God.

God will use the most difficult times in our lives to stretch us in our spiritual walk and teach us how to trust him on a deeper level. We must keep our focus on Christ alone. If our focus shifts elsewhere, we open ourselves up to discouragement and feelings of defeat.

But I encourage you to stay with God. I thank God that negative circumstances are only designed to build us up, not to destroy us. The trial is only for a season. As my son Jeremiah said, “there is always a blessing after the bad.” When we come out on the other side of it, we will be better.  Job 23:10 says, “But he knows the way that I take; when he has tested me, I will come forth as gold.”

These days, as we watch the news, we can be saddened and discouraged by what we see and hear. But we must remember God has a blessing after the bad.

John 16:33 – In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world” (NIV).

 

 

Photo by Jeremy Gallman on Unsplash

What’s the Secret…

To Forgiveness?

I have written on this subject before, but I believe as Christians it is a subject we need to discuss more often.

When I think back on all the pain I endured as a child, it is still horrifying. I am grateful to God that I have been healed. However, every now and then when I think about it, I am saddened by the childhood I lost. And I am saddened because it was lost by the hands of my mother; the person who was supposed to love me more than any person, the person who carried and birthed me, the one person you can never replace. She hurt me time and time again.

I can recall so clearly, the night my mother made me sleep outside. My mother, brother, and I were playing around. As she tickled me, she thought she heard me say she was nothing. She asked me to repeat what I said, and I said “nothing.” She said, “What did you say?” I said, “nothing.” She said, “So you’re calling me nothing?” I said, “No.” In a moment, things went from happy to sad to terrifying.

She told me to get out! I was bewildered because I did not understand what just happened. It was cold that night. I remember crying and asking God…why but, no answer. Sometime later, she came outside and said, “You can come in, but you have to sleep on the floor.” I was terrified to come in but grateful to get out of the cold. I reluctantly went upstairs and laid on the floor next to my brother’s bed. He held my hand that night. I thank God he held my hand. I don’t remember going to sleep, but I am sure I did.

Over 20 years later, my mother and I were speaking on the phone and she poured out her heart to me in repentance. As she spoke, I heard the deep ocean of her heart. Before she could finish her sentence, I stopped her and said, “Mom, I forgave you a long time ago.” There was silence.

When my mother passed away, my heart was so full. Sure, I was disappointed that I never had a chance to have the relationship I desired to have with her, but my heart was free because before she closed her eyes in death, I had already forgiven her; and she knew it.

The day she died, I stood next to her hospital bed and whispered in her ear, “I love you, I don’t hold anything against you.” I had forgiven her years before, but I felt the need to say it again. One hour after I left the hospital, I received the call from the doctors. My heart broke, and I cried, but deep down I had peace. And I still do.

So…what’s my secret to forgiveness? Just do it! Forgive. I know it seems easier said than done, but forgiveness is a decision. It’s for you, not for the other person. Ask yourself, have you gained anything by holding unforgiveness in your heart? Has your life improved? Do you feel better? I doubt it! As a child, I could not understand why certain things happened to me. But as a saved adult, I chose to simply forgive; to love her and let it go.

I know you are hurt, and I understand. Perhaps we don’t share the same reasons why, but pain is pain. And remember Jesus, died to deliver you from that pain. He desires that you be healed and free.

Be honest with God; tell him it’s hard to forgive but forgive anyway. Mark 11:25 says, “And whenever you stand praying, forgive if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father also who is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.

Unforgiveness causes distress of the soul, and that is not God’s will for our lives. Psalm, 118:5 says, “Out of my distress I called on the LORD; the LORD answered me and set me free.” Call on him, so he can set you free.

 

 

Photo credit by Alice NG 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.

Anxious?

Hello everyone! I hope each of you are well and had a blessed weekend. I pray you are refreshed and ready for the week.

I love the Bible. It is full of stories filled with instruction and wisdom. And for the believer, victory. Several scriptures are my favorite, and many I hold close to my heart. The scriptures that have blessed me most are the ones that have walked me through my deepest valley’s. One of my absolute favorites is found in Philippians 4:6-8.

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things” (NIV).

This scripture is packed with wisdom and instruction concerning how we are to handle our emotions and life’s circumstances.

God tells us not to be anxious about ANYTHING. Seems easier said than done, right? How do I remain calm when everything around me is in total chaos? Well, according to the scripture, we start with prayer. God says, “pray and petition Him with thanksgiving.” Go ahead and tell God why you are anxious. He knows anyway. After you tell him, tell him you trust Him for the answer as you give Him praise.

After obeying the first instruction, God says, “He will give us His peace which transcends ALL understanding and will guard our heart and mind.” As you stand in faith and continue to pray, he will give you peace about the situation.

Finally, God says, “think on what is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent, and praiseworthy.”  When thoughts come that try to make you anxious, remember to think of what is true and nothing else. As you do this, you will continue to experience God’s peace. As we follow God at His word, He will give us exactly what we need in His perfect timing.

In those moments when I find myself feeling anxious about a situation or circumstance, or when the enemy tries to convince me of anything contrary to God’s word, I am reminded by the Holy Spirit to pray and give thanksgiving to God.

Today I encourage you, that instead of allowing the feelings of anxiousness to weigh you down, do what God says. Pray, give thanks, and think on these things according to Philippians 4:8.

Scriptures
Philippians 4:6-8

 

 

Why Do You Blog?

Blogging is not always easy especially if your goal is to help people as you strive to please The Lord.

About a month ago, I concluded that in order to grow and keep traffic flowing to my site, I must blog more than once a week. However, with my schedule, it has been difficult to make that happen. Therefore, I continue to send my blog posts each week.

As I continued to write weekly, I watched other blogger friends of mine and thought “Wow, they send out blog posts twice and sometimes three times a week. “How do they do it?”

Then…God did two things. First, he reminded me why I started my blog, (to uplift and impart as you go through your process to healing). Second, I received an email from one of my favorite Christian bloggers, Arabah Joy. The title of the email was, “Blogging on my Knees.” After reading the title, I remembered what was most important about blogging, and that is seeking God about what he desires for me to say, not how often I say it.

Matthew 6:33 “Seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness and all these things will be added unto you.”

Whether I blog once a week, twice a week, or five times, the question is am I impacting the people God sent me to? Ultimately am I blogging on my knees? Am I seeking God about what to write or am I seeking the latest trends and gaining my writing idea from it.

As a blogger, I certainly desire to see progress and growth, however, I must always go back to the premise as to why God gave me the green light to blog in the first place. And that is to impart into His people.

Whether you blog, teach, cook, clean or paint, remember, do it all for his glory and continuously seek the Lord concerning his will for your profession.

Lord, thank you for reminding me that only what I do for your will last.

Are you blogging on your knees?

Scriptures

Colossians 3:23 – “Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people.”

1 Corinthians 15:58 – “Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.”

Matthew 6:33Seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness and all these things will be added unto you.”

Deliverance at the Root

For healing and deliverance to occur, it must be plucked up from the root. However, I have learned that most people do not realize there is a root at all.

Many months ago, I watched a documentary about our U.S. prison system. It was one of the most heartbreaking documentaries I EVER saw. My heart broke as I watched it. All I could do was cry and pray.  What made it worse was the documentary was about women prisoners.

One female prisoner touched my heart. She said she began committing crimes at age seven. She spent most of her life in prison. She said while in prison she felt “safe and respected.” I thought, “What happened in her childhood that caused her to act this way?” Then the same question I thought about her, I asked myself. And it brought me back to my childhood.

Growing up, I could not trust women (and I am still apprehensive sometimes). For me, it was difficult to get close to women. After many years of feeling this way, I decided it was time to open myself up. Unfortunately, I felt hurt and betrayed when women that I admired turned out to be the opposite of what they portrayed.

Truth is, these feelings came from the experiences I had with my mother. As much as I wanted a relationship with her, it could not happen. She could not be what I needed her to be. Instead of seeking God about my pain, I unknowingly put that burden on other women. I expected them to be what I needed instead of seeking God. After this issue continued to resurface, I realized I had to deal with the root. I asked God to help me and he did, but the process was slow because the roots were deep. This was one of many areas I needed healing.

The difference between myself and the women in the documentary is I had an opportunity to deal with my roots.  Most of the women have not come to terms with their own root issues and some never will. Although the women are serving time in prison for the crime they committed outwardly, they are serving another sentence for their inward bondage. What hurt most was their greatest need is healing, yet there is a possibility that healing will never come…so I pray.

My question to you is…Have you gotten to the root of your issue? Do you know why you do what you do? Is there something from your past that you are still holding onto? Are you holding onto something God told you to release, yet you will not let it go? Are you holding onto unforgiveness? Past pain? Mistakes? Issues with your parent(s)? Do you repeat negative behaviors?

Contrary to what the world believes or what we think, the only way to deal with negative roots in our lives is through prayer and the Word of God. The Word of God is what penetrates the heart and the heart and soul is where all of our issues lie. Hebrews 4:12 says, “For the word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires.

Today I encourage and challenge you to expose the negative roots in your life to the Lord. He is the only person that can go deep enough to extract it out.

Prayer,
Father, I ask that you show me the areas of my heart and soul that are not rooted in deep pain. Help me to be healed and set free which is your will for me. Forgive me for the times you showed me those areas, but I refused to let you in those places of my heart. God, I repent, and I give you full access to my heart, mind, and emotions. You are a good God who has great plans for my life. Thank you for another chance to submit my life to you. In Jesus name I pray…Amen.

Blessings.

Scriptures
Hebrews 4:12
Jeremiah 29:11
Exodus 15:26