No matter what you are facing or what you have been through, recover well. Don’t look like what you’ve been through. God wants you to come out of the fire shining like pure gold. He wants to make your time in the fire valuable like diamonds. Recover well. When you speak more fervently about what you’ve been through than how you made it through, you continue to give your circumstances more power than your Sustainer. Talk like a winner. Walk like a winner. Dress like a winner. Recover well. Sometimes God takes you through to bring you out! Come out better. Come out stronger. Come out wiser. Recover well.
I’m gaining a new perspective of God being my father, which brings tears to my eyes. You see, I didn’t grow up with a consistent father figure. His inconsistencies and not being there when I really needed him has left me with a deep desire for security from a father/male figure my entire life. I just want to feel taken care of and feel that what I can’t do on my own, somebody cares enough about me to recognize my needs and step in to help me without me even asking. This has been an ongoing need and battle in my life.
Throughout my life, I attributed my perspective of my human father as that of my spiritual father, emotionally disconnected from my true needs and desires. I knew God loved me, but didn’t think He really cared about my needs or desires. Presently, not only is God showing me He loves me, but He loves me so much, it is His pleasure to not only provide my needs, give me some things that I want, but also make dreams come true for me! I am experiencing a powerful kind of love at age 39 I have wanted my entire life. Watching God make dreams come true in my life, dreams I didn’t even know I still wanted, is overwhelmingly joyful.
My message in this is simple…God loves you deeply. He will move mountains for you. He will rebuke sickness and death for you. He will perform miracles just for you. Receive not only His deep love for you, receive His true commitment to you and your well-being.
**If you are reading this and are struggling to connect with God, reach out to me for support and prayer. I’m here for you.**
God disconnected the walls of Jericho to connect the Israelites to the promise land! Dr. TC
I want to challenge you to connect more to what God is doing and saying in this season. Just like in Egypt, God sent the 10 plagues as a message for disobedience, I believe there is a message God wants to deliver through the current pandemic. Where does your obedience meter fall? In Egypt, the plagues also served as a display of miracles, signs, and wonders. I have witnessed several testimonies of the miracles of God showing up right in the midst of the pandemic for many people and even for myself. And I do believe since the pandemic is not over, God will perform more miracles, signs, and wonders for those vessels of obedience. Will it be you?
The counterintuitive fact; sometimes you have to disconnect to connect. In order to connect with God in deep, life-altering ways, sometimes you have to disconnect from those voices in your head, friends, family, negativity, fear, doubt, unbelief, and personal idols. You have to make your main focus God’s glorious wisdom and power. Meditate on who He is, meditate on how He operates, meditate on What He says in His Word. You can’t miss Him. He’s everywhere. Disconnect to connect. Don’t miss Him in this season. I believe the pandemic is a method to shift our thinking, adjust our behaviors, and test our faith. As I am sitting here beside an art project our son created of clouds and raindrops, I believe God is dropping some things like a refreshing rain on vessels of obedience. God, whatever you are dropping, fall on me Lord!
“For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” 2 Timonthy 1:7
I want to stop here: “For God hath not given us a spirit of fear; but of power…” POWER! When you recognize the power that lies within you, nothing is impossible. Courage is a true display of God’s power working within. I am so full at this moment because I can testify I used the power of courage recently that opened doors I didn’t even know were available to me. God knew, but I didn’t. Unbeknownst to me, I was holding the key. When you intentionally put fear in its place and intentionally choose to operate in courage, you will then realize the true magnitude of the God-given power you possess. You don’t have to develop this power, it was freely given to you. You just have to learn how to work your power. The ball is in your court.
I’m skilled at several things which makes it challenging to define my craft. What I’m realizing is my craft is to create. I love to look at images of home decor styles and create the look in reality. I love creating new experiences for others that expands their ability to dream for themselves. I love to create new, innovative learning experiences for our son. I create an atmosphere of support as I lead others to total wellness through my fitness programs. I create genuine spiritual encounters as I lead in ministry. I love to create new vegan dishes as I lead our family to better health. I create unity as I intentionally build positive connections with people from different cultural backgrounds. I create new behaviors and new mindsets as I provide mental health therapy. I create businesses that meet needs. I create art with my written words. I create realities from dreams. What’s your craft?
Come together. Help one another. Share ideas. Share a vision. Accomplish goals. Build strength. Accomplish the impossible. Get ‘er done!
These are all the phrases that come to my mind when I think of the word collaborate. I had an impromptu collaborative conversation on yesterday that I think….just may have changed the pace of my dreams. The dreams/visions I have just got accelerated because of some ideas and support I received I didn’t know I had. And now, the manifestation of those dreams will show up sooner than expected.
When you connect yourself with the right person or group, your collaborative efforts can actually benefit every player involved. Sometimes the right collaborative team takes time and sometimes you may have to erase and start again and again until you find the right fit. But when you do, success is inevitable.
Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us. Romans 5:3-5
We all have a story. I love hearing peoples’ stories. Stories of healing. Stories of pain. Stories of hope. Stories of disappointment. Stories of unions. Stories of isolation. Stories give insight into who we are, where we come from, where we are going, our greatest challenges and successes. God uses our story for His Glory, no matter how it begins or how it ends.
Here’s what I also like about Life Stories. We are often positioned to share our stories before the chapter ends. Right in the midst of our journey, God sometimes sends people in our lives that need to hear our story. Sometimes our painful stories can help heal others. Sometimes our painful stories will fall on the ears of the very person sent to heal us. Stories connect us, bring validation, and hope. Others need to not only read about our pain, but actually experience it to help them believe.
God will sometimes recruit an audience right in the middle of the most challenging time in your life. Why is this? One fact, God can use anyone. God doesn’t reserve His trophies for the person with the most muscles, unmatched faith, or the smartest. God doesn’t reserve His trophies for those who have come out on top. He doesn’t distribute trophies based on who has done the most good, given the most money, or is the most popular. God’s trophies are reserved for those who have demonstrated a genuine faith and trust in Him despite all circumstances. God’s trophies are reserved for the weak and the strong. God’s trophies are sometimes given to those right in the middle of the pain, when we choose to persevere.
God will often use us before He heals us. It’s an act to demonstrate where we are weak, He is strong. It’s an act to encourage humility and helps us redefine strength. Look at Jesus, He literally carried his trophy under the most painful circumstances. Our unhealed wounds demonstrate our humanness and need for God.
Don’t wait to be healed to allow God to use you. Let God use your pain to help define your purpose. Grab your trophy on your way down. True strength is not in your ability to win the race, but in your determination to keep running.
It takes 200 muscles to take a single step forward…
For this month, I have shared the benefits of physical exercise with my group fitness class. One fact I shared with them on last week was, “It takes 200 muscles to take a single step forward.” This fact put a lot of things in perspective for me and I think for others as well. I actually had them guess how many muscles it takes, and the guesses where all under 10. The look of shock that hit their faces as they learned it actually takes 200 muscles to take a single step forward demonstrated a valuable life learning moment.
200 muscles! I pondered this fact myself and immediately began to feel very accomplished. I believe this fact not only relates to the physical, but to the mental and spiritual aspects of life as well. I reflected on all the “steps I have taken forward” without realizing the value and impact that “one step forward” has had on my life. I did that! I went for it! I moved! I took risks. I went for my dreams. I lunged towards my purpose. I dove into the unknown. I followed my heart. I overcame fear time and time again. I obeyed. I won!
Did you know oftentimes God is only looking for that single step forward? I know the first step is usually the hardest. I know the first step is sometimes like lifting lead. I know the first step requires a lot of effort, sacrifice, and will power. But…the first step breaks barriers, moves mountains, and gives you the motivation to keep going. The first step is the most important step. The first step in the right direction signifies the beginning of a new phase in life. Think about the excitement in seeing a baby take their very first step. If you are a parent, this is by far one of the most exciting memories of parenthood.
I’m encouraging you to move. It’s amazing how after you have taken the first step, the next steps automatically become easier.
I remember being afraid of thunderstorms. As the house shook and the windows rattled after a strong crack of lighting followed by that deep rumble of thunder, I would feel my body tense. I would imagine the thoughts of God as He orchestrated the show of His power on the Earth. I would always imagine God being angry, upset at something or someone. In my mind, these emotions matched the intensity of the raging storm.
On this week, I am exploring weather with my preschool son. We discussed The Water Cycle and on yesterday he wanted to just sit, listen, and watch out of the window as a storm was passing by. We listened for different sounds. He watched water collect on our lawn and discussed what would happen to the water after the sun came out. He also grabbed his Cat in the Hat book, as in the story, a brother and sister were also sitting in front of a window on a rainy day wishing for something to do. I also asked my young son, “Are you afraid of storms?” He replied, “No, the sun is behind the clouds.” He then preceded to pretend he was the sun and I was the clouds/storm fighting each other to come out. According to him, the sun was always the “superhero” (winner).
My spirit was stirred. First, I noticed how calm I was as this storm was passing by. I didn’t think twice about God being angry. I thought about what I wanted to model for my child as a parent, and after studying The Water Cycle, I thought about storms being just that….part of a process. I imagined God being as calm through the storm as He is on cloudless days. I thought about the fact that stormy days were necessary and served a purpose on the Earth. I thought about the flowers and trees that needed the storm to live and grow. I thought about the collection of rain water and the life it brought to animals and humans after the storm. I realized God was still in control and His protection was still secure, even through the most treacherous storms.
So it is in the spirit, whatever storms may rage in your life, trust and know God is in control and storms do not last always. Storms show up in your life for a divine purpose and leave at a divinely appointed time. The more you focus on God’s power in your life, the quicker the storm seems to pass.
“O Lord God of hosts, who is mighty as you are, O Lord, with your faithfulness all around you? 9 You rule the raging of the sea; when its waves rise, you still them.”
Pslam 89: 8-9 (KJV)
“He made the storm be still, and the waves of the sea were hushed.”
Psalm 107: 29
And he said to them, “Why are you afraid, O you of little faith?” Then he rose and rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a great calm.
Matthew 8: 26
As stated by our young son, the sun always wins. Troubles do not last always. Joy really does come in the morning. You may not know which morning, but wake up expecting every morning to be the morning your storm will cease. Every season in life has a purpose. Rejoice in the Lord always. Thank Him for the storms and the sunny days of life. Whatever state you find yourself in, be content and watch God work!
“I just want to be happy.” You rarely hear someone say “I just want to be content.” In my soul searching work, I have come to understand the difference between being content versus being happy. Most of us chase happiness and use this as a measure to accept our current circumstances or not. We often tell ourselves, “If I’m not happy, then this is not for me.” Wake up call…you were not created for your own happiness. God calls us even higher than happiness…its called contentment.
Contentment is defined as the “quality or state of being satisfied with one’s possessions, status, or situation.” Contentment is an attitude. Happiness is an emotion. In this, attitudes are more of fixed assets, whereas, emotions are liabilities and risks. A fixed asset means something is tangible, sure, and lasts a lifetime. Emotions are fleeting, wavering, and inconsistent. I think of happiness like a wave, up and down, in and out. One minute you are happy, the next minute you are spewing anger, bitterness, or resentment. Only in certain circumstances, when the conditions of life align to your wants and desires, do you feel happy. I believe this is one reason some people are in and out with God. For some, this may be the only relationship in life that is not based on their own happiness. Instead, contentment is required to make the relationship truly satisfying and successful.
Contentment does not mean you don’t have desires. Contentment doesn’t mean you don’t still have problems or pressures. Contentment doesn’t mean you are happy, necessarily. Contentment means you intentionally accept your circumstances, as they are, and you purposefully shift your attitude to gratitude. Contentment promotes happiness. Here’s the revelation…God delights in providing a contented heart its true desires.
In my own life, some of my circumstances are in contrast to my desires. I don’t experience the feeling of happiness every day, but what I have found is a place of peace, wholeness, and satisfaction knowing that whatever the state that I am in, God is in control and has my best interest at heart. Having a contented heart alleviates worry about my future. I find myself with greater appreciation of what I have and in greater expectation of what is to come.
If you want to make great gains in life in your circumstances, emotions, and relationships; if you want to move the heart of God, seek contentment and not happiness. If you choose to be content, I guarantee you, you will be happy!