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This month, I’m challenging myself to a “make-over”. A make-over in the sense of breaking a few “bad habits”. I realized that there are some bad habits in my life that I really need to change if I’m going to be successful in certain areas. So often we complain, get angry, frustrated, and even depressed about our situations and circumstances. And yet, so often those same situations and circumstances are created by bad choices we’ve made, actions we took, things we said, behaviors we displayed, or bad habits that we refuse to get rid of.
From personal, social, financial, educational, mental, physical or spiritual bad habits – we all have them in one shape or form. Just to name a few:
- being late often
- never saving any money
- smoking or drinking to deal with stress
- eating fast food everyday
- not exercising
- not getting enough sleep
- not being able to set aside electronic devices
- not being able to detach from social media for a day
- being a perfectionist
- watching too much TV
- never taking a break from work
- using credit cards for everything
- not sticking to your budget
- not paying attention during conversations
- not returning what you borrow
- not paying people back
- not finishing projects
- worrying but never taking action
- using excessive foul language
- telling secrets
- always complaining
- being negative around others
- never listening to others’ advice
- giving up too easily
So this past week, was not my best – at all.
I fell off my diet. I didn’t work out as much as I should have. I didn’t post on my blog. I missed one of my real estate conference calls. I didn’t meet my supplemental income goal with my Uber/Lyft driving – in fact I didn’t drive at all! I was supposed to be getting up early for morning devotions and I pretty much slept in at least 5 out of the 7 days this past week. I’m pretty sure I yelled at my kid several times for no reason. There were at least 2 days where I slacked off on my reports at work. I didn’t complete half my errands because I simply didn’t want to go out in the rain. And overall I just had a negative, unmotivated, lazy attitude. Every evening I felt mentally exhausted and drained, and the lack of accomplishment just made it all worse. By Thursday I was even more “over” everything and developed a nagging headache that just wouldn’t go away. Even when the weekend finally hit, I realized how many things I had to do, because of what I didn’t do during the week, so I couldn’t really relax. It was just a really “blah” week.
Saturday evening I had a bowling event with some family and youth from the church. I had a great time and my spirits were up for the first time in a week. Later that night I was able to have some quiet time to think, pray and hear from God. The first verse I opened up to was:
It was such a comfort to me as it reminded me that not only am I going to have “blah” days or weeks, but that God was going to be with me through each and every one of them, holding my hand, and giving me the strength to get back on track again.
So often we as Christians try to give the impression that we have it all together; that we’re doing everything so “flawlessly”; that life is just awesome everyday, all the time; that we don’t struggle, get discouraged, lonely, frustrated, worried, fed up or even depressed sometimes. But the truth remains that in our humanity we will all have our highs and lows – whether its physical, emotional, mental, spiritual, relational, financial or circumstantial. Life is hard – that’s a fact. Its ONLY because of our relationship with God that we can truly live with a purpose and enjoy life amidst the chaos that surrounds us.
I don’t know about you, but I know, in fact, I willingly admit, that I don’t have it all together. I’ve got a lot to learn, a lot to overcome, and a lot of molding left for God to do in my life. But thankfully, I have a God who loves me, never leaves me, holds my hands through my not-so-good days, and forgives me for my sins. And according to the mirror of His Word, that is what will get me through any “blah” day!
Started from the bottom
Now I’m here
Ain’t nothing I did
Just the God that I fear
Saved me when I was twelve
Embraced me with open arms
Changed my entire household
Silencing my spiritual alarms
Like a flood, pouring in His love
Bringing our spiritual pain to an end
Didn’t erase all my problems
But took them on for me – my best friend
Just in time for my teenage years
I was a quiet, short, nerd
Picked on, laughed at,
But my tears every night He heard
Committed to saving myself for marriage
Was the dumbest thing to my peers back then
But thanks to His strength
I remained dedicated – my best friend
Senior year finally came
Couldn’t wait to change scenes
Graduated valedictorian, yet went to a Bible college
To fulfill my own personal dreams
Another big mistake – or so they said
“you could be a doctor, lawyer, anything in life,
Why in the world would you get a biblical degree,
Graduate, and go on to become a preacher’s wife?”
Continue reading “My Best Friend”
Regardless of what is going on in your life, down the street, in Washington D.C., overseas or anywhere in the world:
GOD IS AWESOME!
I resigned from my full-time job about 3 months ago in mid-October. A great company I had been with for almost 5 years had allowed another company to take over my particular site. It had only been about 5 weeks since the takeover and my life had taken a 180 degree turn. I wanted out for various reasons, but mostly because I realized that this new company didn’t have any room for growth nor did they value their employees at all.
After much prayer and confirmation from God that is was the right decision to make, I turned in my notice. I didn’t have a new job lined up. In fact I was a single mom, with a son who had just started middle school and had all the usual bills to pay. I made a decent salary, but my Uber/Lyft hours were not going to replace that. I was confident in my savings that I would be okay for about six months or so, but the rest I just entrusted to God. I was burnt out, stressed, suffering from migraines, insomnia, spending less and less time with my son and hating my job more and more each day. Despite the fact that I wasn’t wealthy or didn’t have a substantial emergency savings set aside, my body, soul and spirit were all telling me that I needed a change. But like every major decision I make in life, I committed my situation to God to see in which direction my upcoming breakthrough was going to come from – staying the course a little longer or taking a leap of faith and giving it all up and leaving it with Him. You see, God being God, could have worked things out regardless of the path I was going to take. But it’s when we involve Him directly in our decision-making process that things tend to work out a bit easier and quicker than if we go it alone.
Although I had every reason to quit my job, I’ve learned from past mistakes never to make decisions (especially major decisions) based on my emotions. I wouldn’t put in my notice unless I had direct confirmation from God. The week prior to me submitting my resignation, something new happened everyday – whether it was an incident at work, a text from a friend, a show I watched on TV or something I read during my devotions – everyday God spoke to confirm that it was time for me to depart and start a new path. It’s funny how when you ask for His guidance, He answers – sometimes in several ways just in case we don’t get the message the first time!
My first two weeks off were bliss – a much-needed staycation! I hadn’t slept so good in months if I was being honest. No migraines; in fact not even little headaches. I was stress free, enjoying time with my kid and remembering how to laugh, relax and have fun. Amidst applying for jobs, I poured hours into hobbies and personal projects that I had started but that went undone for almost a year. I published my first online course, finally attended the real estate workshop I had been wanting to go to, completed writing half a book, and learned and cooked more new recipes than I had all year! Then I started to increase my Uber/Lyft hours to get some income flowing, which turned out to be great for meeting new people and having interesting conversations. Rejection emails were starting to come in for some of the jobs I was applying for and I honestly didn’t think I would get a new job before the new year set in. However, Christmas was coming and I needed to make sure my son didn’t miss a beat.
It had been about a month when a random phone call came from a contact at my previous company (the one before we were taken over) about a remote opportunity that would pay me my old salary and allow me to work hours that were convenient for me – and they wanted me to start the next week if I was up for it! Of course I accepted the position and my first few weeks through the end of the year were the most laid back weeks of training that I had ever had! I even got an opportunity to fly down to the main site in Dallas, TX for a week – 70 degree weather in December! Great company, co-workers, capability to work in my pjs, stress free, own schedule, nights and weekends free, time with my kid, and no decrease in my salary! Just in time for the holidays! God is amazing!
I’ve been at my new job for a little over 2 months now and its been about 90 days from the day I resigned from the old place. Earlier today, I started getting phone calls and text messages from old co-workers telling me they were just laid off. I found out that the company that took over had laid off 90% of their employees and were relocating to a significantly smaller work space. Then came the voice of God again in my ear – “I always know what is best for you”. Although at this point, I had already come to the realization that God had it all in control from the beginning, He was showing me an even broader piece of the picture. A reminder that everything happens for a reason and even if we don’t understand our circumstances, or are confused or frustrated by them at the time, that God knows what’s best because He sees the big picture of our lives.
It’s so vital that we incorporate Him into our plans, our decisions, our lives! And even more important that we actually listen to Him when He speaks to us. There is so much headache, pain, wasted time, effort and energy that we can all avoid by simply inviting God into the core of our lives and actually listening to His Voice. Sure I could have stayed at that job until the very end and been laid off with the rest. And God being my father certainly would have opened a door for another opportunity. But look at how much I would have lost in just those 3 months had I not listened to His voice and followed His direction from the beginning. I praise Him for the time off, the much needed rest, my personal accomplishments, the incredible time spent with my son, and my new work from home position which allows me so much freedom in a stress-free environment. Not to mention the fact that I would have missed out on that specific opportunity had I not been unemployed at the time!
His Word tells us that when we acknowledge Him in ALL our ways – bring Him into every aspect of our lives – He will direct our paths! It’s a GUARANTEE!……according to the mirror of His Word! It’s up to us to listen and obey when He speaks.
Happy Friday everybody!
Funny how we sometimes like to plan out every little detail of life. How we’re going to spend our day, our weekend. What we’re going to wear, and where we’re going to go and with whom. Or even if we’re staying in, we plan the shows we’re going to watch, and what desserts we’re going to indulge in. All our plans start to shape up and then it hits……a cold, an infection, a stomach virus, a migraine, or worse yet, the flu or pneumonia. Some sickness that sweeps us off our feet for a day, or two, maybe even a week or more. All plans come to a halt, as our bodies just don’t want to cooperate with our plans. For someone like myself, who likes to go a mile a minute and doesn’t like to waste time at all, a “sick day” can seem devastating! I don’t get to accomplish what I want. I fall behind in a project. I miss work (although for some this is not a bad thing). I have to postpone a fun activity. I get off track with my workout schedule. I don’t make it to church to teach my little ones. And just like that, what was supposed to be a 3 day weekend is wasted – see devastating!
This past week I have been mostly laid up in bed with a really bad cold/allergy turned sinus-infection. I honestly can’t remember my last “cold” – it had to have been at least 3-4 years ago. Apart from the occasional headache, stomach bug or half day allergy spell, I just haven’t been sick. So when this whole thing hit, it really knocked me down. All I could think of everyday was how much I wasn’t getting done or what I was missing. Then God spoke to me and reminded me, that it was okay and that He was still in control.
Me being sick for a week, wasn’t going to stop the world from running. In fact sometimes God sidelines us because He wants to get our attention. He wants to speak us when we’ve been too busy to listen. Sometimes our body just needs a break and being sick is the only way we’ll take one! Sometimes in our “planning” we get ahead of God, so he halts us temporarily to get us back on track with His plan. Whatever the case, being sick is not the end of the world. Now granted, it’s no fun either, but go through the process, medicate, rest, listen for His voice amidst it all and leave the everyday stuff to Him. Work and everything else will still be there once you’re better.
It’s been a challenging week, but I got more sleep than I have in a month, I’m 8 lbs. lighter, I am more enlightened spiritually, got an answer to a prayer, and the world around me is still here – parenting, my job, housework, bills and all! LOL
Remember: God is in everything – our good days, our great days, our bad days, and our sick days!
A pet peeve I absolutely can’t stand
Yet we all do it
Without even using our hands
Focusing on everybody else
Counting all their wrongs
Their flaws, mistakes, sins
Gossiping about it like songs
But I’ve been praying
for God to shift my mindset
to focus on growing in my walk with Him
Not on my surroundings or past things I regret
Ain’t got time to be stalking, or
Worrying about peeps on the Facebook
Don’t care what they eat, where they go
What they wear or how they look
Tired of following celebrities
Just to hear the latest news
Of adultery, scandal, abuse
Or some violence after a lit fuse
Cousin Rick cheated on his taxes
My neighbor Sarah bought a Benz
My friend LaQuisha got fired
And Jenny is pregnant….again
Its like we look for things to talk about
The good stuff so we can be jealous and mad
The bad stuff so we can put it on blast
To everyone we know; which is just sad
Continue reading “Am I There Yet?”
So often we harbor anger and resentment towards people that have hurt us. We even dwell on the fact that they never even said “I’m sorry”. But sometimes we need to take time to reflect on the people we have hurt and take time to apologize to them. And lets not forget those “subtle hurts” that we may have forgotten about or tried to pretend never happened – the ex we constantly lied to, the parent we never obeyed, the friend we stabbed in the back, the co-worker we constantly gossip about, the neighbor we never speak to, the degrading tone in which we constantly talk to our children, the relative we have simply ignored/cut off for something they did 10 years ago, the person we borrowed money from and never paid back.
As people hurt us (and they inevitably will), let us remember the pain we feel in those instances. Then let us pray that if/when we hurt others, that we remember our own pain, and then reach out to those we hurt, apologize and make it right.
I want to take a few moments today to just say “thank you” to all my wonderful followers and readers! Your support has been everything to me this past year. It’s not easy to promote love for and attention to the Word of God in the society we live in today – not even in the Christian arena. I am grateful to be a vessel for God, to be used to encourage and motivate others toward greater things in Him! I pray that each of you will continue to be blessed and inspired through this blog, and that His Word will bring changes that will draw you closer in your walk with Him.
To express my gratitude and appreciation to each of you, I would like to extend FREE lifetime access to my recently published online course “Learning the Bible 101: Benefits, Methods, and Hindrances”. If you have already signed up for the course, please share the link as a gift to any and everyone you know who could benefit from it:
May you enjoy the course and feel free to send me your comments, as I would love to hear from you. Most importantly, please continue to join me in this mission to promote the relevance, value, importance and divinity of the Word of God in a world that has strayed so far from its principles.
Stay focused on Him and saturate yourself with His Word always!
Love in Christ,