Have you ever been offered an opportunity that you knew deep down you could do, but were scared out of your mind because you’ve never done it before? Well, recently I have found myself in that position. Because of the Anxiety Disorder, I have a hard time remembering things…important things usually. Because of this, I try to shy away from things where I am supposed to remember numbers, dates, etc. and sometimes that means not apply to a job or volunteering for something I know I could do if it was or AD. In an effort to pursue authenticity, honesty, and my purpose, I have begun to start stepping out, and when I begin to become anxious…well, I just use the techniques my counselors and psychiatrists have shown me.
Recently I began helping an outreach that I have volunteered for in the past, and I was asked to help with the music/dance portion of it. Now, I always loved this part of the program because it not only taught the children about the Bible, but it was fun and got them moving. The problem I have is, I don’t know if I can remember all the moves, and I guess you can say I’m afraid of messing up. The funny thing is someone once taught me a mantra, “Do it afraid!” and I recently read a book that spoke of the very same thing. So what do you do when opportunity is knocking and you are afraid you won’t live up to the expectations? From what I am learning, I just need to open the door. That’s it. Open the door, and take each moment one step at a time. Alone with this, I have learned to talk to God and trust Him to help me. You may think this as weak of me, but guess what? I am, and if you were honest, so are you. We all lean on and trust in something or someone, I just choose to lean on the one person who can actually help me.
So as I begin to take this step into the unknown, I hold on to hope and shift my focus from myself to helping those in the outreach. When I do this, I know that God will be there with me each step of the way, and in the end those I am serving will appreciate it…besides, as long as I don’t say anything, they won’t even know I was freaking out. I mean let’s be honest, most times we are scared and think people are judging our every move, the fact of the matter is they could care less what we are doing or not doing. I know that sounds harsh but honestly, most people are so wrapped up in their own stuff they barely take time to worry about what others are doing. So why not just take that step, open that door, and say yes to Opportunity?
As always, make sure to subscribe to the blog, share with friends, and comment below with something that stood out to you.
When someone asks you how you are doing, do you ever wish you could scream, “I’M NOT OKAY!!!” instead of the generic, “I’m fine”?Well, for the past two weeks I have been reviewing a book by Sheila Walsh called, “It’s okay not to be okay.” Today I will be discussing this book and my thoughts on it. If you enjoy it, please make sure to share this, and comment below with something that really stood out to you.
In this day and age, especially as women, we tend to compare ourselves with others, and look at what we don’t have verses what we have been given. In the first half of the book Walsh shares that God doesn’t expect us to be perfect, He doesn’t even want us to be okay, all He ask of us is to trust Him with our lives and take each day one step at a time. Mrs. Sheila writes, “You don’t have to be perfect, just present. You can pour out your what-ifs to the Lord. When you take a step and things seem to go wrong, God is working, God is faithful, and God is a God of grace.” One of my favorite verses in the bible is Romans 8:28, “And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.”* It doesn’t say that everything in life will be good; but what it does say is that God will cause what was bad in our lives to turn around for our good. So that child abuse? God didn’t cause it, but later in life you will meet someone who was or is currently being abused and you can tell them that life may seem like it’s over, but there will be a brighter day! Isn’t that awesome?!?! What about losing someone you love dearly? Yes, they may have died, but instead of asking why it happened, what about asking yourself how you can bring glory to God and share his love with others during this time? I know it looks bad, and I have seen my fair share of heartache and pain – whether in my own life, or in the lives of those close to me.
Mrs. Sheila ends each chapter with exercises to help you put into practice what you just read. These are really great, and I encourage you to do each one of them. About three weeks ago I lost a dear friend of mine, and this book couldn’t not have come at a better time. Doing the exercises at the end has really helped me during this time, and I have been able to really grieve well without getting lost in deep depression. In chapter seven Mrs. Sheila says something that I think really sums up the book as a whole, “Christ meets us where we are. He doesn’t leave us there, but that’s where our journey begins. What’s not okay is to pretend you are okay when you’re not. Moving forward takes courage, but you will never walk one step of that journey by yourself. Christ is always with us.” Throughout the book she talks about journey and taking steps toward our healing. I not only believe this is a book every human being on the face of this earth needs to read this, but I think by applying these tools she implements, we will start to see a difference in our churches and communities and begin to see true change all around us.
Get your copy of Sheila Walsh’ new book, “It’s Okay Not To Be Okay” today at Amazon, or wherever books are sold. Remember to share this, comment below with something that stood out to you, and have an awesome day!
Good morning everyone, or for some of you afternoon! I hope you are having a good Monday, and hope this post finds you well. I wanted to share a bit of news I came across as I was drinking my coffee and checking emails. Make sure to check out the links provided so you can read the articles in its entirety and then come back here and discuss with us your thoughts on the matter. As always, remember to be kind, and just because someone has a different opinion doesn’t mean they are wrong, just different. Without further ado, let’s get started!
State of Emergency for Nigeria?
The National Emergency Management Agency (Nema) says that heavy rains are the cause of overflow from the Niger and Benue Rivers resulting in over one hundred deaths recently. Because of the river banks bursting it has caused a series of floods across the country for over two weeks, with rural areas being the most vulnerable. The government has urged those along the waterways to relocate to someplace safe. BBC’s Is’haq Khalid, from the capital Abuja, mentioned that thousands of people have been displaced and vast swathes of farmlands are being destroyed in the process due to the flooding in central and southern Nigeria. The worst hit was in Niger state, where over forty people have died, according to Nema director Mustapha Yunusa Maihaja. Analysts are blaming the recurring flood disasters on lack of proper town planning, along with the blocked waterways and poor drainage systems throughout the country. To read the article in full, please visit MSN’s page here for more.
Deputy Sheriff from Kansas shot and killed in line of duty
According to Fox News website, Sheriff Deputy Robert Kunze III, from Sedgwick county in Kansas, was killed in the line of duty. The article talks about how Deputy Kunze was responding to a “suspicious character call” and at 1:48pm on Sunday he administered his emergency button to alert the dispatch he had been shot. The article goes on to say, “When a responding deputy arrived, he saw Kunze laying on his side next to the victim, who was laying face down on the ground next to a ’40 caliber weapon.’ “To read the article in its full entirety click here for more.
SpaceX to reveal its first passenger for a private trip to the moon??
On Space.com’s website there was an article about SpaceX finally being able to send their first passenger on a private solo trip to the moon. According to the article, the private spaceflight company SpaceX will reveal tonight its first passenger for a trip around the moon using the company’s massive BFR rocket (the name stands for Big Falcon Rocket). The webcast will air online tonight (Sept. 17) at 9/8 central at their Hawthorne, CA headquarters, courtesy of SpaceX. According to the article, this has been something SpaceX has hinted at for a while on their twitter page, and now after tonight it might become a reality, one where in the future regular citizens of planet earth might just be able to take. Of ‘course, the company still needs to build the BFR for such things, but to see the once in a lifetime event, as well as being able to check out the rest of the article, click here for more.
American – Israeli activist stabbed by Palestinian teen over weekend.
In an article, by Yahoo! News that was put out on Saturday (Sept. 15), An American – Israeli activist was fatally stabbed by a Palestinian teenager outside of a busy mall near the West Bank in Jerusalem.
Ari Fuld was a U.S. born activist and well – known in the local settler community, along with being an outspoken Israel advocate on social media. Video footage showed Fuld running and firing upon his assailant before collapsing, then shows other civilians firing upon him as he was leaving the scene. The Israeli media has identified the assailant as a 17 – year – old from a nearby Palestinian village, and reports he was in moderate condition. For Fuld, however, a 45 – year – old father of four who lived in the nearby settlement of Efrat, he was evacuated to a hospital where he was later pronounced dead. Fuld was a well – known English – language internet commenter on current affairs and the weekly Torah lesson. The article goes on to say he was known for his hard – line nationalist ideology and strong support for the Israeli military. To read the article in its entirety click here for more.
That is all the news for today. Hope you have a good rest of your Monday and as always;
Be Kind, be loving, and stay awesome!
Truth: Contentment begins with asking how God might use this for His glory.
I was doing my devotional this morning and checking my email when I found a great article in my inbox. The email was from Faith Gateway and was written by Laura Story, it was entitled, “When We ask Why, God? Why?” I will include the link below of the full article, but I just want to share something that was on my heart after reading it. Most of us assume if we had all the answers to life – or at least our own – questions we would be much happier and really be able to live the life we were supposed to live. However, from reading the article, and through my own life experiences, I have found that all this does is leave us confused, usually without the answer, and often times with even more questions that when we started. So how does one go about living life content and with purpose in a world that tries to leave us brokenhearted?
There are three things from the article that I would like to share with each of you; first, God loves questions, he actually encourages them, and we are encouraged to write down our “WHY” questions. Second, we are not entitled to answers, there is nowhere in scripture that says God has to answer our questions, He is God and we are not! Finally, I have noticed that when we shift our focus from our past hurts and failures, and look to God to how He can both make good come out of them as well as receive the glory in the midst, then that is how we can fully embrace contentment and joy.
God loves questions
In another study I did recently, I learned about how God loves questions, and all throughout the Bible we see a back and forth of God and humans creating dialogue through questions. The only time God is upset with questions is when we question His identity and power, aside from this, when we are honest and we want to know Him more, as well as seeking answers to why someone or something has hurt us and left us brokenhearted, God encourages us to present our questions to Him. I wrote down all the “WHY’s” I could think of after reading the article, and honestly, even though it was nice to see them on paper, I was confused still because they were still unanswered. I encourage you to do the same, and maybe you will have some answers, then again maybe not. However, regardless of the outcome, I think it is healthy to write down the questions you have.
Go ahead, right now each one of your questions on a piece of paper…go on, I will wait right here for you.
Done? Next we will talk about entitlement, and how it can breed bitterness when we don’t have the answers we are seeking.
We are not entitled to answers
No matter what you were taught about God as a child, or what you have come to believe as an adult, we are not entitled to answers. God is the creator of heaven and earth, He rules over everything and everyone, and He has no rival. There is no one to compare Him to, and He is holy and powerful. Because of this, He doesn’t have to answer to us, explain Himself, or do anything for us. In saying that, God chose to love us, send His son for us, and grant us mercy and grace each day as we look to Him and call on Him in prayer. He does these things because He is love, and we are His creation; just like a parent who doesn’t have to do anything for a child because they did so much by bringing them into the world, yet they choose to love them and do good things for them, this is the same with our Heavenly Father. In short, God doesn’t owe us answers, and we may never get them, in this life or the next. However, this shouldn’t stop us from trusting Him and His plan for our lives. If your child wanted to play in a busy street and you said no, yet they kept fussing and asking why you won’t let them, does that mean you are a horrible parent? No, you know what is best for them, even if they can’t see the bigger picture. This is what I am talking about! Trust Him, because He sees the bigger picture, and has our best interest at heart. When we focus on why’s of our past and our circumstances, we begin to become bitter because our questions don’t seem to be answered or they aren’t answered the way we think they should be. We get so focused on them, and ultimately can waste our life on something that could be a stepping stone to our purpose – when instead becomes a stumbling block and leaves us stuck. So how do we move past this?
Focusing on the HOW rather than the WHY
We’ve learned that God loves questions, and he even encourages them. We learned that we are not entitled to receive answers, because we can’t see the bigger picture, and focusing on our past will only lead to bitterness and regret. And finally, we are going to see that when we focus on the how instead of the why, we will find true contentment and joy.
Laura shares in the last part of the article how she learned to focus on HOW God can use her past and the pain in her circumstances to bring glory to Himself, and turn things around for good. Laura goes on further to explain that by focusing on the how, instead of the why she was able to fully trust God no matter what the outcome was, if she ever got answers or not, and use those hurts and fears to help someone else in need. On that same sheet of paper you wrote your WHY’s, flip it over and begin writing your HOW questions.
Write down How God can be magnified in the dark times, in loss of life or a relationship, in the times where you don’t understand how good could come out of something ugly. A few questions that were posed in the article are below to help get you started:
How might God use your current trial to glorify Himself?
How might God use your weakness, infirmity, or disability to display His power?
How might God use your hard circumstances to show you something about Himself?
How might God use your hard circumstances to show you something about yourself?
How might God use your pain for a purpose? How might God make this mess into a message?
How might God use your current chaos to make you into a man or woman who walks by faith, not by sight?
How might God use your situation to show you that true peace is found only in Him?
How might God use an untimely death to stir the hearts of others and show them the importance of eternal security in the life to come?
After you write them down, come back here as we finish up…go ahead, I am not going anywhere.
How did you feel after writing down the HOW’s? Was it much easier than you thought, did you find a sense of relief, or maybe more answers that what you had in your WHY’s? If you are still stuck in your WHY’s at the moment, that is ok, just stay there and talk to God about it. Don’t wallow, but allow yourself to process those questions, and then when you are comfortable come back to that sheet and write down your HOW’s. For me, I found an overwhelming peace come over me, a confirmation of things God has already been speaking to me, and almost as if things were actually going to be ok. After reading this article and doing the exercise, I have realized that it is ok to not know everything. At the end of the day, I can have peace and joy without having all my questions answered. I don’t know about you, but my peace, joy, and contentment – and let’s be honest, even my sanity – are worth more than getting answers. Regardless if I ever get an answer to my questions in this life or the next, I am making a stand, I am putting my foot down if you will, and I am choosing to trust God in the midst of hard times and choose to focus on How He can get the glory and how I can help others through my story and my experiences.
If you enjoyed this and want to read the full article for yourself, then click here. Don’t forget to come back here afterwards to share your thoughts, as well as your WHY/HOW questions. Look forward to talking with you again soon.
You are awesome, loved, and I accept you! Stay beautiful people!
Have you ever felt stuck in a rut? Much like the picture above, there have been so many moments in my life where I find I am stuck, just waiting on something or someone so I can pursue my dreams. I don’t know about you, but for me, I have had to fight tooth and nail for things in my life. Whether it is peace, joy, acceptance, a job, proper education, to get bills paid(debt gone), it has been a true fight. I have hope one day I will be able to achieve my dreams, but let’s be honest here, it can be tiring…and really wears me down. I try to help those around me through words of kindness and love, use this blog and my other social media outlets to reach those whom could benefit from things I have been through and such, and try to make friends with people that I can hang out with other than on Sunday mornings….all from what I can tell is to no avail. Am I speaking to anyone other than me? Well, if not then maybe I can write to my 50-something year old self and remind her to keep holding on, and one day it will get better. I mean, I have things to be thankful for, don’t get me wrong, but sometimes I wish I could be doing what I was called to do. When will my time come? I can believe till my believer is broken, but when will I get to see some fruit from my hard work? Until I see that day, I take every day one minute at a time, shut up in my house studying and focusing on verses to help me stay positive, I encourage others on Sunday and through social media, and I just make it through the year having not lost my sanity. This may not be a very positive post, but it is the real me – and at least I can say I have done that…been true and honest to myself.
I don’t know if the weather has been unusually warm where you are from, but here in the metro St. Louis area it has been down right HOT!!! So hot in fact, I am starting to wonder about all these theories about global warming. Thankfully though, the past two days have been amazing, and as I began thinking about what I was going to write today, I decided to head to this new local coffee shop not far from where I live. I think yesterday’s temps only reached 85 degrees Fahrenheit, and the heat index was pretty low as well. Anyways, I found this cute coffee shop, and the thought, “seasons” came to my mind. Suddenly, I felt the urge to begin writing again, and I started jotting down my thoughts on paper. As I sat there staring out the window and thinking about how beautiful it was outside, it reminded me of the various seasons in life. The way I see it, each person goes through seasons; or times; where it seems either good, bad, or a little bit of something in the middle. I have come to believe it is in these seasons where our character is developed, and we become a stronger person. I have been taught that through this, it is what helps develop our unique story and a way to help others around us. Over the next few weeks I would like to share a few things from each of the seasons, much like we see in our weather pattern, I have encountered over the years. Today I will be sharing about Spring, and in the moments when we truly feel #blessed.
Spring Time, Life at its best
Most people, me included, would usually take it easy when life seems to be going our way, as if we don’t have a care in the world. I am not saying we shouldn’t enjoy these moments, I have become a firm believer in journaling during these times, and I think – actually I know – I wouldn’t be where I am if it weren’t for my faith and what the Bible says regarding my identity. For many people I have talked to, who claim to be a Christian or are not following Jesus, they base their identity on pop culture and what is common among others. I have noticed when times are good, they are really good; and when the bad times come, it feels like the ground is falling out from beneath them. Something I have learned over the years is if I don’t find my identity in what God has said about me, then I will not survive when life tries to sucker punch me in the gut. This is why I have become a firm believer of journaling when times are good, because in the seasons when nothing is going right, I can look back and remember there was good in my life, and I can have hope that the hard times won’t last forever. One truth I love to focus on is found in Jeremiah:
They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit. – Jeremiah 17:8 New Intl. Version
Could you imagine living life like this where it always feels like spring regardless of what is happing all around you, and no matter what others do it doesn’t affect how you feel on the inside? This is exactly what God wants for all those who trust Him with their hearts and lives.
Next time we will discuss what to do in the summer season, when it feels like the heat is turned all the way up, and you are doing your best to just come out with most of your limbs intact.
If you don‘t have a personal relationship with God or you have heard horrible things about a God who only seeks to hit you with a switch when you do something that he doesn’t approve of, then will you reconsider the real God of the Bible? Will you ask God to reveal himself to you today and help you to learn to embrace the good times, and reflect on them when life gets challenging? All you have to do is be honest and talk to him like you would a good friend.
Hello ladies and gents, i hope you are having a good weekend. Since it has been a minute since i wrote y’all, and i have gotten side tracked from my Saturday short stories i thought i would share a little something that has been on my heart. See, lately i have been thinking about authenticity and getting back to the basics or the simple things of life. I know, it is hard to do with our world moving into a more technological future. However, i feel we should do everything with moderation and technology is no exception.
Because of working ten hours a day I have been doing a lot of contemplation and self – reflection. For most of you that follow my blog, you know I’ve been on a journey to self – discovery in hopes to take better care of myself. I have been trying to find books to expand my mind, focus on speaking words of kindness over myself, and find little moments in my day that bring me joy. This, as most who have been or are currently on their own journey have noticed, has made me aware of the world around me, opened my eyes in a sense. I have noticed how most people have become numb to the world around them, and just strive to get through the day. I believe this is the reason we see such a high suicide rate, not to mention anxiety and other disorders that have come to light because of the need to provide for ones self and their families.
Might I pose the question however; what would happen if we lived life on purpose, making memories and showing kindness to those we meet, instead of just drudging through life until we breath our last? You may think it doesn’t matter, but if the previous generations did this would we have been better off?
In an effort to not sound morbid or depressing, I just want to challenge you for the next two weeks to find one thing that brings you joy, find one person you can perform an act of kindness towards, and write down your progress each day with one positive affirmation for yourself. At the end of the two weeks we will compare notes on how things have or have not changed for you.
I would like to leave you with a quote from one of my favorite authors, Corrie Ten Boom: “Happiness isn’t something that depends on our surroundings…it’s something we make inside ourselves.”