On the Last Day Before Christmas (Christmas Eve)

What I received this year…

A profound sense of determination– One of the hardest things for me was a desire to people please and take stuff from people. Not intentionally but just letting the slick stuff slide. The comments from people who were meant to destroy me or break me down hurt like hell. I always took the high road. You know the road where you don’t give in to the foolishness of other folks and don’t engage? But, that left me both mentally and emotionally drained.

I felt overwhelmed by the viciousness and the hate that was being spewed that it literally consumed my spirit. I am a woman of faith and it is hard to keep your faith when you are being attacked by people. I kept praying and trying to be the bigger person, but what happens when you can’t? When you can’t hold in the frustration and the anger that is consuming you. What do you do?

You explode. You lose it. You cry, curse, shout or do whatever to get through the pain and then you figure out a plan. Not the plan on how to kill and get away with murder of your enemies but the plan on how you will not let the naysayers affect your spirit or life with the bull. You become determined to build a wall that they can’t knock down, tear down or blow up with their wickedness. Then you build that wall up and you cover it with purpose and praise because you are determined to not be dragged in the pits of hell where your haters live. You pray. You become determined to take the road of righteousness and surround yourself with prayer partners who keep your name lifted up. That’s what you do because you are determined to live each day better than the last.

So, to recap the 12 gifts that I received this year were:

12. Hope

11. Renewed Faith

10. Joy

9. Wisdom

8. Time

7. Laughter

6. Forgiving Spirit

5. Healthier Waist Size

4. Vulnerability

3. Introspective Spirit

2. Powerful Praise

….#1. A Profound Sense of Determination

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On the 2nd Day of Christmas

What I received this year…

A powerful praise– As mentioned in yesterday’s post. My parked car was hit by my new neighbor trying to park the U-haul next to my car. This situation and the fact that he hadn’t reported the accident and having to pay for expenses out of my own pocket had me so stressed out.

I tossed and turned all night feeling foggy during the day. I cried at the drop of a hat and I felt alone. I felt as though I was a burden on everyone with a consistent conversation about my car. I was going through it ya’ll. But, can you blame me?

So, I woke up last Thursday morning and laid in bed praying to God to please give me peace because I know that there is a lesson in the trial I was going through and I was willing to endure but I needed help to endure. I asked him to give me an introspective spirit (which he did) and allow me to trust that HE will work it out on my behalf.

I got up and went to prepare my Munch’s breakfast. I then got him up and went back to my room to read my daily devotional and my bible before getting ready for work. I read the devotional for the wrong day because I was a day ahead. But, how funny was it when God spoke to me through that post. He had instantly answered my cry for help.

The devotional instructed me to not let my problems drag me down but trust that it is a teachable moment if I was willing to learn. I needed to trust that HE would guide me through it all. It instructed me to draw closer to HIM because he is walking with me. Whew! I couldn’t do nothing but praise HIM and said thank you God! I literally knew what the saying “If I had 10,000 tongues I couldn’t thank him enough for all HE’S done for me.” That’s how I felt. I had a powerful praise and that gift is invaluable.

When you are plagued by a persistent problem – one that goes on and on – view it as a rich opportunity….In faith, thank Me for your problem. Ask Me to open your eyes and heart to all that I am accomplishing through this difficulty. Once you have become grateful for a problem it loses its power to drag you down. – Sarah Young, Jesus Calling

On the 3rd Day of Christmas

What I received this year…

An introspective spirit – This was a recent gift that I was given just last week. I’ve had some things that have hit me when I was least expecting it and I’ve been so self-absorbed in the issue that I just felt alone, abused and resentful that this was happening to me. I was absorbed in the issue and letting it drag me down and weigh down my attitude and spirit. But, I received the ability to reflect on the issue and realize that I need to stop obsessing and use it as a teachable moment.

Here’s what happened: On Sunday, December 13th the police knocked on my door asking do I own a blue Nissan Maxima. “Yes,” I replied. “Can you please come outside” he asked. When I got outside he told me that my new neighbor backed into my car with a U-Haul and flagged him down to find me so that he could report the accident. I was floored. I fell on the ground crying out some not so nice things and screaming what were you doing? How am I going to get my son back and forth to school?

This situation absorbed my thoughts, interrupted my sleep and had me beat down. I hated when people said “It’s only material”. What the heck does that mean? It’s my material and you’re not offering to fix anything, tow my vehicle or get me a rental. Nope. This man stalled, didn’t do anything and I was paying out of my pocket for a rental car, still paying a car note and insurance on a car that was inoperable and needed to be towed. I was in angst.

Wednesday, December 16th I was driving home with my Munch and I told him that I owed him an apology. He asked me for what. I told him that I always tell him that he has to have an attitude of gratitude and that I haven’t been very gratuitous lately because I’ve been worried about our car. I told him that I know that the same God that got me that car would get me another and that I needed to praise HIM during the times of plenty and the times of few because our God never fails. I told him that I needed to remind myself of that because I was leading by example and not by words. He said “it’s okay.”

So, the introspective spirit was a gift that I received. It has allowed me to reflect and know when I’m being spoiled. For that I’m truly thankful.

On the 4th Day of Christmas

What I received this year…

Vulnerability – I’ve always despised letting people in my heart. Whether friends, family or men that I’m in relationships with it sucks when someone hurts you so I’ve been unable to be vulnerable with people. I viewed vulnerability as a sign of weakness and I didn’t want to show anyone that I was weak. So, I never asked for help. Let people know that I was hurting or just that I needed them. It was easy to control the relationship if I didn’t give them a chance to hurt or disappoint me.

What I learned is that disappoint is a part of life and that you need people. It’s true. We are all interconnected and we need people to love us and support us. We have to start letting some of those dang walls down and burning some of those bridges. No one wants to be hurt but you can’t think like that. You have to know that you are meant to be loved and people want to love you if you just let them.

Sigh, I know it’s hard. I’ve been there. I am going through a situation and I burst out crying to a male friend of mine. I apologized for my outburst and said, “I’m sorry that I’m crying. It seems when I talk to you I start crying about all the frustrations that I have.” He responded, “It’s okay. I like that you can be vulnerable with me.” I was stunned. I wasn’t being vulnerable. Was I?

Yes, I was. And you know what? It’s okay. Sometimes we need to let people know that we are hurting and that we need their advice, love and just support to get through difficult times. I don’t always have to be strong. I want to be loved too.

Life is meant to be shared with the people that love us and trust me, we all have someone that loves us. You don’t think so? Well know that I love you. Why? Because you were intimately created by the one who loves me with all my faults and all. I received the gift of vulnerability.

vulnerability-is-basically-uncertainty-_brene-brown-quote

On The 10th Day of Christmas

What I received this year…

Joy – Unspeakable joy. Sometimes I’ve been in the midst of trying situations and I couldn’t do nothing but fall on my knees and pray. My prayers are sinners prayers, “God, why me?” but I tell you that joy I have when I know that I am not forgotten is immeasurable. When I think about the goodness in what he’s given me I just can’t do anything but say Thank You. No, my life isn’t all sunshine and roses, but that joy that I have knowing that I have a God who reminds me that he is in all things helps me to appreciate my blessings a little more.

joy-is-the-holy-fire-that-keeps-our-purpose-warm-and-our-intelligence-aglow-joy-quote

On The 11th Day of Christmas

What I received this year…

Faith – A renewed faith that everything will work as it should. This year has been one that has tested my faith in relationships, humanity, work and motherhood. Being a woman of faith doesn’t mean that I don’t question things. On the contrary, it means that I’m human and I know my limits. I know what I am capable of and more importantly what God is capable of.

faith

Let’s remember that:

For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God— not the result of works, so that no one may boast. –Ephesians 2:8-9 (NRSV)