Thursday, February 26, 2015

The Waiting Room featuring Doubt



Recently (this week to be exact), I began to second guess myself. I was wondering if I was in the right place doing the right thing at the right time. It’s the mental distraction that comes as I move closer to becoming all God has predestined me to be. It came during the time when I was seeking the will of God concerning some things on my vision board, my plans for the future and when things at work made me feel like I was on a merry-go-round. In the midst of this, I had to come to terms with my current state. I had to let go of thinking I knew best concerning where I should be and what I should be doing.

This morning, I awoke early and studied the book of Esther. One theme in this book is ‘a moment of greatness’. The bible speaks to this:
Who can say but God that
has brought you into the
palace for just such a time as this?
Esther 4:14 Life Application Bible for Students

Esther had to undergo preparation for an entire year before she was even presented to the King. Once she became Queen, she found herself in the position of having to step into a role that could cost her everything. When it was her turn to help save the lives of her people, the Jews; Esther had to tap into the lioness inside and step out on faith not fear. She was used in the moment that was specifically her moment! The lesson in this is for me is patience, preparation, willingness and courage. There’s no need for me to worry that’ll I never see the manifestation of the greatness incubating inside of me. It happens but it shouldn’t because God is aware of what he has placed inside of me. He doesn’t need me to try and propel myself through any doors especially if they are closed. I’ll only end up with a bruised shoulder. Ouch! The unnecessary pain!

So I moved forward today encouraged by the thought that I am in my season of becoming. And even while in this season, I can and will continue to bloom were I am planted. There’s no mistake that I am where I am in life, doing what I do. God is faithful concerning his promises for my life today, tomorrow and up the road ahead. So the negative thoughts that attempted to drown out all the growth that has occurred was shut down with this knowledge.
Wait on the Lord;
Be of good courage,
And He shall strengthen
Your heart;
Wait, I say on the Lord!
Psalm 27:14 (NKJV)

What are you patiently waiting for? How do you remain encouraged as you wait?

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Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Executed

Yes!

One of my goals has been to style a midi skirt with a peplum top. But everytime I've played dress up, I'd scrap the idea because I looked frumpy. Well today was magical *sprinkles confetti*. I did it.#rouundofapplause My formal evaluation (when an administrator comes in to critique the teacher teaching and rates you based on a state approved system) was today.  I wanted to wear something my Principal would be proud to see me wearing as I stood before the students she's entrusted me to teach. Cause some folks dress like they herd cattle, going to the beach, club or flat out dont care. But I WILL NOT JUDGE. #repents Mom and I prayed last night so I think it went well. I enjoy teaching but even after 11 years, I still get nervous when I'm on display. Weird right?!

Ignore my son's shadow. I didn't notice this before we drove away after my photo session. I was headed to the barbershop so it was a take what he'd snap or not blog moment. I wanted to blog. I took it! This goes to show I'm not perfect but this space is perfect for me to be myself. Thank you for being here with me. 


Do you think this look came together?

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Saturday, February 14, 2015

Happy Valentine's Day!

It is 6:40 am as I start this post. I wish I was still underneath my blanket snoozing but as usual I awoke early to pray. I'm headed to work to tutor kids who need to meet the reading test graduation requirement in an hour. #thisislove But before I start my day there's a message pressed on my heart I must share. I've already written about this topic in this post.


I just want to remind you all that you are loved by the One True God! Don't allow feelings of bitterness, being ungrateful and covetousness to take root in your heart today or in the future. Discontentment is an ugly thing y'all!! It will stir up emotions that will take you on a roller coaster ride to a dark place. I'm writing from experience. I may or may not stay off social media. Do what works for you. Guard your heart. Proverbs 4:23 Above all else, guard your heart,
    for everything you do flows from it. On the other hand, I can learn to truly be happy for others and keep my feelings in check. Why?  We don't know the REAL inner workings of anyone's relationship from social media. I do know that I will definitely draw closer to Christ today. I had dinner with my son last night. He wanted Chinese takeout. We ate the meal together, talked and relaxed. That's love. The commercialization of another holiday has tainted what could be a day to display hope to a world where parents aren't respected, the elderly are ignored and put in nursing homes, babies are unwanted and money equals happiness. Try joy from the Father. Amen?

The scripture above reminds me of the cross, the greatest symbol of love. Not candy, diamonds #need, flowers, balloons or wine. It is knowing when I was a filthy, depressed mess who didn't appreciate my gifts and the life I was blessed to live there was a wonderful Saviour waiting with open arms to give me my heart's desires because His love was unconditional. 


Psalm 119:41-48New International Version (NIV)

  
41 May your unfailing love come to me, Lord,
    your salvation, according to your promise;
So don't allow what you think you see define this holiday for you. If you must celebrate and you are single, find someone else who is single and treat them to  lunch or a pedicure. If you are a single guy, go work out with another fellow, take your kid(s) to the park. Watch ESPN, lolol. Take your parents out to dinner or a movie. Mentor a young lady or man who may not know what a classy date should look like. Spread the love you want to receive. After all, today is another day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it. Chose to be in love with yourself, your life and the day given. 


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Thursday, February 12, 2015

Clap for Yourself!

I was feeling the swirly feeling of love this morning all the way down to my undergarments. There's no reason not to bask in the idea of love. Today was good! I'm my own Valentine {{giggles}}. 

Coat (old) // Old Navy
Tee & cardigan (old) // Target 
Necklace// gifted 
Skirt // ASOS
Shoes & handbag // Just Fab 


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Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Valentine's Day for the Single Moms


How’s errybody doing? It’s been a few days but the work grind has been winning, plus I’ve been trying to be consistent with working out/doing some type of exercise at least 3 days a week. It’s been a bit chilly here and that’s been throwing off 1. my fashion game and 2. being outside to stay fit and healthy. The bulk of my time when I get home in the evening is running to be at the feet of Jesus. It has taken me a long time to be unashamed of the gospel of Jesus Christ and be able to live out loud without guilt. I’ve lost a few things; maybe even some people along the way but it is so worth it all to know Him and to love Him.
1 Corinthians 2:2 AMP
For I resolved to know nothing (to be acquainted with nothing,
to make a display of the knowledge of nothing,
and to be conscious of nothing) among you
except Jesus Christ and Him crucified.

I’ve written about being in love here and here but I wanted to come back this week as we approach Valentine’s Day to encourage those who are single. This post is by no means professional advice but what I’ve found has worked and is working for me as I grow closer to Christ and actively wait for my love story to be written (which may or may not include marriage but the lovestory is there John 3:16). So here it goes. I’ve been asked on more than one occasion how do I feel going out alone. You know dating myself. I can’t recall too many times that I’ve been asked why I’m still single until this past year and even then it wasn’t much. People respected the fact that I cared more for my son and the example I wanted to set than I did about being on some guy’s arm and having the wrong man around KT. Am I rambling? Ha haaa!

Well as friendly as I am, I’m also very adventurous which has allowed me to do so many things on my on without friends, a date or boyfriend. I have no idea where this strength came from except that it is a characteristic God placed in me long before I came to earth. I guess it’s ture that everything you need to be the best you God created is already inside. Ya just gotta tap into it. High 5 Jesus!! I’ve taken road trips alone. I’ve taken trips as a young single mom with my son. #justthetwoofus Actually, I still do. We love road trips. I go to dinner, the movies, outings, and the mall alone. It doesn’t mean I’m alone.

Truthfully, I have 2 very good friends I’ve known since preschool, I have a world of sorority sisters, I have connections with former and current coworkers, my siblings and I can stand to be around each other, lolol and an amazing church family. So you can see, I am people connected not just on social media. What I’m trying to say is that I don’t need people to live freely. We do need human connections but the most important relationship I’m coming to invest in and depend on daily is to know and love Jesus.
This morning I was thinking about the mess I had made of my life and how far I’ve come from that mess. This probably included a weepy praise break in the car on my drive to work. Whew. I am so grateful for His mercy that has been established because He decided (no credit to me) that His love would be unconditional. Romans 8:31-39 captures this so eloquently. There’s nothing I can and can’t do to change that Christ is willing to shower me with good benefits (i.e., gifts) daily.

Psalm 68:19 KJV
Blessed be the Lord, who daily loadeth
Us with benefits, even the God of our salvation.
Selah.
I don’t have to wait until February 14th. I don’t have to try and manipulate God with prayers for a mate because I need someone sitting across the table from me at my favorite restaurant. I actually use holidays to love on myself more. I get a shopping and/or dining pass. I can do whatever I want within my budget for myself. This year KT and I are going to a movie and possible grab a bit to eat. I am working Saturday morning and I plan to use those 4 hours to love on the students who will be with me believing in my teaching skills to assist them with their reading skills.

So know that the ONE TRUE LOVER won’t show up with balloons, candy and flowers only on the 14th. If and when the man that’s being prepared for you finds you he’ll love you the way Christ does and that won’t be contingent upon gifts on Cupid’s day. It will be an everlasting and enduring love. In the meantime, enjoy yourself. Be devoted to Christ and practice commitment.

For additional Bible study see the Song of Solomon.

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Perspective


Philippians 4:8: “And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.”

I remember when I was in graduate school pursuing a Ph.D, I was so excited for the opportunity to be working towards a goal I had set many years ago. When I was discouraged and wanted to give up, I would dream of being hooded & receiving my degree. Although I had to give up grad school, it reminds me that as long as I was able to see myself at the finish line the impossible was possible. This truth can be applied to any area of your life.  Homeownership. Relationships. Business.  Whatever. One key ingredient is knowing that what you desire is in alignment with Christ's will for your life. 


After I stopped attending school, I found myself depressed and deeply saddened. See I put all my success for my future on receiving that degree. Not in God's ability to take care of me and my son. And to a certain point that isn't a bad thing because education helps us move ahead in life. On the other hand, I wasn't able to see myself successful without it. I needed "Dr" in front of my name to prove that I made it. NOTE: I no longer feel this way. But still hope to someday finish my studies. 

What changed?  My outlook. Before, I didn't appreciate having a career as a teacher. It was noble but we know it doesn't pay well. I wasn't able to see many opportunities for promotion so I could make more  MONEY. There was some financial struggles that took place over the years raising my son alone. It isn't fancy. I didn't want to be just a classroom teacher despite being spey good at it. What can I say,  I'm anointed top teach. These are  just a few of the things that kept me from seeing all the good things I was already blessed with. In time, (it took a loonnngggg time) I became grateful even for being accepted into a doctoral program and hope to someday complete my goal. 

Perspective is changed by your heart and your heart is changed by your perspective. 

In your prayer time ask God to open the eyes of your heart that you might see yourself and your life the way He does.  This doesn't mean He only sees the good. He knows the roadblocks ahead but He knows they can't stop His plan for you. You must grasp this truth, this assurance. Ask for your spiritual eyes to be open so you can see all the good you have surrounding you and that which is yet to manifest.  It's all about perspective!




Let this song encourage you. 

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Monday, February 2, 2015

My Heart Has Been Restored


Lately there has been a common theme on repeat as I position myself for great things in 2015. Restoration, redemption and renewal. I’ve wasted a lot of years making unwise decisions, masking hurts, blaming others, carrying my past, feelings of inadequacy and failure. I need to throw some unforgiveness in the mix too. You think you’ve forgiven someone and you may have but the release hasn’t taken place. If anything reminds you of them there’s an angry spark that ignites and you aren't sure where it came from.

I’ve written a few posts (here, here and here) about how God is healing me from the inside out and remaking me into a better woman, sister, daughter, mother, teacher, friend and prayer warrior who is honest and bold in my living for Him. The process has been tough at times because I had to admit that I was responsible for most of my setbacks even if others did things to destroy me or uncontrollable life events happened. What I can celebrate today is being able to see the fruit, the abundant harvest this work, this process of pruning is producing. 


I was reminded of the story of Naomi in the book of Ruth yesterday at church. Read it here if you aren't familiar. I was studying this book a few weeks ago but was more focused on Ruth and Boaz. I’ll talk about that more later. Sunday’s message was about Naomi, the main character. Pastor Jay spoke how Naomi’s inability to keep moving forward after a loss. How many times you or I have given up on our dreams because something didn't work out as planned. Here is where I ask myself if it was really God’s plan or just my own to “show people” I was smart and could be successful the world’s way. Naomi allowed her circumstances to define her. How many times have we succumb to the tragic events that have veered us off course and become stagnated? She was a widow, childless and forsaken. All these things made her bitter. These same things were what people knew her to be. It was how she was identified.


Been there done that, lived depressed over it. But no longer. I know have the assurance that no season in life or any circumstance can alter my identify; which is firmly secured in Christ. I am who He says I am. I will become who He predestined me to become. I can do all things in His strength that aligns with His will. So if you are going through a trying time, keep going. Put on your walking shoes and show up at the start of each new day ready to redeem opportunities that you were robbed of. It doesn’t matter who the robber was, what matters most is that you can recover it all. 




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