Friday Afterthoughts – 5/20/2016

I was thinking of doing a Friday Afterthoughts post to share a lesson learned during my blogging week. It might not be every Friday because ya’ll know that there are many things that I just don’t listen or learn when I should. LOL. But, I wanted to share the lesson and how it applies to me.

Here goes…

So, I shared with you in my post yesterday about my mommy meltdown and how I had cursed at my Munch and the anguish that I felt afterwards. I truly felt like a bad mommy. I was sitting here thinking what did I learn? Because there is always a lesson to be learned. Even if I don’t want to learn it there is something to be learned and I had to do better.

Why? Because I’m his mother and I want to lead by example. Be someone that he can look up to know that I made mistakes, but I didn’t make the same mistake twice (I made new ones) and that I apologize when I’m wrong. Apologies matter.

My lesson learned was this…I learned that we all mistakes. Just like I make them in my normal every day life, I make them in parenting. I’m not perfect. But, what I learned is that in the same way that God forgives me, I have to be able to forgive myself. I have to do better.

I was out of line and out of pocket cursing at my Munch. I’m sure I’ve done some things that God would probably put his palm to head when thinking about me and my mistakes but he isn’t cursing me (that I know of). He’s loving me in spite of my disobedience and sending me reminders to get back on track.

I need to forgive myself. Have better self-control and walk away from frustrating situations. I’m not perfect. I’m just trying to be better.

James 3:2 (NLT)

Indeed, we all make many mistakes. For if we could control our tongues, we would be perfect and could also control ourselves in every other way.

Destiny

“You can meet someone and you can sense that your destiny is tied to that person” – Bishop T.D. Jakes from his sermon Nothing Just Happens

Dang! Speechless. Bishop preached on how you occasionally meet someone and you sense that your destiny is tied to that person. Has that ever happened to you? Nope?

It’s okay. You’re still young. It’s scary. But, the sermon was important because it reminded me that nothing in your life just happens. It is in God’s plan. It piggybacks on some things that men of God have said to me about my life. Something my pastor confirmed last year.

Whew! My God! My post may seem all over the place, but I’m telling you that you need to just stand. God will keep you and help you through your circumstance. Stop letting people hold you back, deter your destiny, block your vision or try to coach you on your life. Let it go!

Give it to God and let it go! Your destiny is already written love!

plans-for-your-life-jeremiah-29-11

 

Not Bound By My Background

You may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them. – Maya Angelou

 

I entitled my post today based off a sermon my pastor preached a few weeks ago entitled “But By the Grace of God I am what I am”. One of the points that he was making in his sermon was about not being bound by my background. He spoke about this in relation to Paul and how Paul is not the only one with a shady background. But, he said that the favor of God is significant in the life of the believer. The message had been resonating in my spirit for the last few weeks and I can’t seem to get it out. I guess that means I need to focus on it right?

So, I did. I started thinking about my past and how I’m not bound my background no matter who tries to hold me hostage to my past. Like Paul and I suppose many of you reading this now, I had to remember that I have God’s favor and he is not holding my past hostage and using it to destroy me in my future. That’s what I had to remember because I’ve been having a heck of a time “co-parenting” with my son’s father lately and I realized that one of the things he was doing was trying to bound me to my background.

Have you ever had someone try to use your past as a weapon against you in your future? By using your fears, insecurities, experiences and/or bad decisions in your face as fact of the person you are and who’ve you become? I have and you know what? I ain’t worried. I know that’s not grammatically correct, but in this instance I need you to understand where I’m coming from because it is about to get real.

No one is perfect. No one. Only one man was perfect and none of us have ever come close so we need to stop worrying about being perfect and just live our best lives. Seeking to do His will. The bible is full of situations in which Jesus used the undesirable to spread the word. He showed favor and these people realized it. I realize it.

You know when I realized it? When I had suffered abuse at the hands of man and all my walls were built up to protect my heart, God protected my spirit. The enemy didn’t win. Was my life rough? Yes. Am I better having lived and survived the experiences. Yes. Is God through with me? No.

I have often spoke of how we need to encourage ourselves in order to get through difficult situations where people are trying to persecute you. Sometimes that is all you can do is to pray, submit and give it to God. I won’t let those who don’t believe in God’s favor persecute me for my past. Because those persecutors are not perfect. They have a past like me and many times it is worse. The great thing I want you to remember is that your past is just that…your past.

You can’t erase it. You can’t forget it. You may have had no control over the events that happened in your past. But, you can choose not to relive it. Don’t be bound by your background. Know that you are blessed and highly favored.

thankful-and-blessed-chalkboard-printable

7 is Awesome Right?

Faith consists in believing when it is beyond the power of reason to believe. –Voltaire

 

For those of you that are new to the blog, in December I posted about the number 7 in relation to my cousin’s death and how it had been 7 years.  It was weird because I never thought about it but the number 7 seems to be all over and through my life this year. I’m both scared and excited if that’s possible. But, let me tell you what happened…

Last Sunday at church was a long one for us. We have both baptism and holy communion on the first Sunday of every month, so church tends to be about 3 hours on average. Unless the holy spirit shows up and shows out then the church service is liable to go over. Ah, but that is the great thing about church…the unpredictability when God takes over. So, I’m sitting there with munch right behind my mama and Ms. Margot ready to get my holy filled praise on.

Munch is sitting next to me smiling because he just turned 7 last Thursday and he was telling everyone. I’m 7 now. He’s over the moon right? Well, the service begins with praise and worship and then we are getting ready to do the baptism and munch turns to me and says, “Mommy, why am I not baptized?” I began to explain in a hushed tone “The baptism is only part of the process you have to accept and believe in God and Jesus. You have to promise to live to make him happy and obey him like you do me and daddy.” He whispers, “Mommy, I love God and Jesus and I want to be baptized.”

I got scared. I’m not sure why really. I think I was just overwhelmed by his declaration to want to be baptized. I mean he’s only 7. He believes in the Easter Bunny, Tooth Fairy and Santa Claus and now he was absolutely sure he wanted to give his life to Christ. At 7? Is that possible? I asked him, “Are you sure?” “Yes, mommy” he replied. I was stunned.

I whispered to my mommy (I’m all kinds of wrong because service is going on) what my son said. She said, “Let him do it at the end of the month when we have Youth Sunday.” Ms. Margot overheard because you know that I can’t whisper well right? Ms. Margot replied, “No, if he wants to do it let him.” I sat back and smiled at my son.

Church continued and we welcomed the visitors and greeted the members in christian fellowship. I ran into Brennan’s godmother (our Assistant Pastor’s wife) and told her what he said. I told her that I was scared. She said, “Don’t be. It’s what you want right?” “Yeah, I replied, but it’s too soon right?” She smiled, “Not if he’s ready.” That was it. He was ready. It was his choice.

He was 7 and making the decision I didn’t think he would make until his teenage years to follow Christ. So, when the altar call came, I asked him was he sure one last time that he was ready to give his life to Christ and he said, “Yes.” I held his hand and with tears streaming down my face I walked him to the front of the church. We gave our information to the church secretary and waited until it was time to announce our decision. Munch was a candidate for baptism.

The pastor got on his knees and looked munch in the eyes and asked him some questions in which he clearly said his decision was to follow Christ and be baptized. He asked munch to repeat a prayer after him and my munch was so outspoken in his prayer. You could hear that it was his desire to live according to the will of God. I smiled and kept crying while saying, “Thank you God”. He’s 7.

It’s been seven years since my cousin died. Munch is seven years old. Munch will be baptized on the 7th of June.

Seven is awesome!

Number-7

Broken And Wounded

I have to tell you that sometimes I don’t pray. Not that I don’t know how to pray. It’s not that. It’s that I am embarrassed because I hadn’t done it in so long. I hadn’t just had a conversation with God and meditated on His word. I was so busy being me and living life that I put God in the corner. I put the almighty in a box. – Journal entry

Sigh.

As I started writing my #wednesdaywisdom message, I re-read my journal post and realized that I was fumbling with my faith. That I was not praying like I should. Actually, I hadn’t prayed in almost a month when I wrote that journal entry. I was trying to handle my own stuff.

I bet I’m also not alone on this. I think we all get in the mindset that we can handle it on our own and that things are going well we don’t need to check-in with God because He can see us right? I became a fair weather Christian. Calling on Him only in my time of need. Making decisions without seeking God’s counsel.

You know what happened next right? Tragedy. I found myself in the worse pain of my life. My marriage had ended and I was brokenhearted and distraught at the pain I was going through. It was brutal. It was like a never-ending cycle of hell. I was so wounded by the words that were thrown around, the sides people I loved were taking and the inability to stop the noise in my head.

I was on my knees praying and crying for a peace that I felt like would never come. How could it? How could I get the peace I was praying for when I couldn’t stop the noise?

By submitting. I needed to submit. I needed to submit to the will of the situation and allow God to come in and do His will.

He did.

It was done.

I want to encourage you on this #wisdomwednesday with this message:

Psalm 147:3 (NRSV)

He heals the brokenhearted

and binds up their wounds.

No matter what you’re going through know that God heals the brokenhearted and will bind your wounds. Give it to God! Pray. Sometimes it will seem that you can’t hear God’s word because of the noise in your head and here’s how you can clear the noise:

Write a list of three things you’re thankful for on that day!

That’s it. It’s that simple. Make it a part of your daily prayer and meditation process. This writing your blessings and acknowledging His gratitude and grace over your life will help clear the noise out of your life. It will start to diminish the chaos in your mind and spirit. You are then able to see visually all that you have in spite of what you have going on in your spirit.

It is easy. It won’t happen overnight though. You have to keep with it. You know you “have to go through it to get to it” right? Peace will come. Your spirit will heal and your wounds will be bound. You will have a testimony once you’ve gone through the test. Just be patient my love.

Be blessed!

On-Line Bible Study

Can you believe that I didn’t know that they even had such a thing? I was hoping that my church would get one because it would make it so much easier to participate instead of driving. But, I found one. I signed up to take part in a FREE on-line bible study class here:  http://proverbs31.org/

As someone who is new to on-line bible study, I found this information on their website very helpful:

1.  The study takes place at http://www.proverbs31.org/online-bible-studies/. This is your #1 source of information. All other outlets, such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest are just options. The study is not run on Facebook, and you do not have to have Facebook or other social media sites to do this study — only the Proverbs 31 Ministries OBS blog. If you have signed up for the study, you will receive the study posts from the P31 blog directly to your email.

2.  Every Monday of the study, an overview and introduction video of that week of study will be posted to help you prepare for the week. Each day, M-F, there is a new post, you will receive an email with your assignment for that day. If it’s a super busy week for you, as long as you read your Monday post, you will have all you need to complete that week of study.

3.  There will be Bible study activities on the P31 OBS blog on various days during the week. You will be invited to share in the Group Chat (comment) section. This is where you can interact with all of your OBS sisters from all over the world. There will be homework and study ideas, memory verse suggestions, discussion questions, video messages,  and opportunities for you to share. All of this is optional.

4.  You need to have the book we are studying in order to participate in this Online Bible Study. We will be using the book. You will not need any other materials, such as a participant’s guide or DVD.  You can order or pick up the book almost anywhere books are sold; however, we have plenty here in the Proverbs 31 Ministries Bookstore.

5.  Other items that will be helpful for this study:  a Bible, a notebook, pen or pencil, and highlighter.

6.  You will get out of this study exactly what you put in to it. Your Bible study leaders will be encouraging you to keep up with our schedule by carving out a specific time to work on Bible Study. Make this study a priority. You signed up.  That means you are making a real commitment to this study and that’s great! You can do this!  Make this a priority in your life. You are worth it! And you won’t regret it!

7. Online Bible Study Archives: If you ever miss a few days or miss a post, have no fear! Every part of this study on this blog is saved in our View Past Studies section in the right column.

We will be using “What Happens When Women Walk in Faith” by Lysa Terkeurst. I’m excited because my women’s bible study used “The Best Yes” this season. I love her writing. I can’t wait!

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Be blessed!

Motivational Monday Moment: Psalm 23

One of my favorite passages in the bible is Psalm 23. It is one of the first passages that I memorized as a child and even as an adult it provides so much comfort when I’m going through something. Which lately seems to be often. I want to share a motivational moment with you by sharing this Psalm.

I had a horrible Monday last week. I was stressed on the way to work. Bad weekend and communication led to me being disheartened and annoyed when I woke up. I put on my brave face and went into the office and realized that it was going to be one of those days. You know the ones that suck really bad because everyone woke up on the wrong side of the bed?

Yep, I was in a never-ending nightmare of foolishness. I was hot. On the way to work a friend was ministering to me and he said “You have an anointing on your life and I don’t know why you won’t acknowledge and accept that. You know that every trial and test is meant to strengthen you. You know the word. Read Psalm 23 and pray.” I mumbled, “Thank you and got off the phone.” Not realizing that my day would only get worse.

But, let me tell you how good God is. I forgot that I had to lead the Christian Education church call last Monday night until it popped on my calendar. I was freaking out. I called my mom. I said, can you please help me? Can you be on the call, do the opening or closing prayer? Something? She said, “I can’t baby. I have a meeting at church at the same time.” I sighed.

She sent me a suggested bible verse and I have to tell you that it was God’s divine intervention. The call was wonderful and praise filled. I was disappointed at the turnout but I understood because there were a number of things going on at the church and I was happy with the few that did join. I did the opening prayer and gave the bible verse discussion which was John 16:17-20 and John 16:23-28.  It was awesome.

I gave testimony to how this season really reminds me of the true sacrifice of God and how my son is really getting excited about Easter. Not the candy or the Easter baskets but the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus. Wow! I was praying and praising about the goodness of God and you know what? He did it! I felt better. I ended the call and went to dinner with my girlfriend in a wonderful spirit. I knew I needed to get right. So, you know what?

I don’t want you to have a horrible Monday. I want you to learn from my testimony and know that this too shall pass. This situation may be bad, but know that it is temporary. You were meant to be victorious.

I hope and pray that your Monday is absolutely positive and you know that you were divinely made and perfectly created by God. I want you to know that God is always with you and you have nothing to fear. He is your comforter and your protector.

Psalm 23

The Divine Shepherd

A Psalm of David.

The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.
    He makes me lie down in green pastures;
he leads me beside still waters;
    he restores my soul.
He leads me in right paths
    for his name’s sake.

Even though I walk through the darkest valley,
    I fear no evil;
for you are with me;
    your rod and your staff—
    they comfort me.

You prepare a table before me
    in the presence of my enemies;
you anoint my head with oil;
    my cup overflows.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
    all the days of my life,
and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord
    my whole life long.

 

Be blessed loves!