Have you ever been given a second chance? Or maybe third or tenth chance for something? I’ve recently accomplished a goal and the concept of chances came up for me. The goal I accomplished wasn’t a new goal, it’s a goal I’ve actually been working on for years. Over the years I’ve hit the goal several times, but somehow found myself right back where I didn’t want to be.
This time…something felt different. My mind shifted in a new way that will not even allow me to go backwards again. I realized the amount of chances I’ve had over the years for the same thing and felt sickened thinking about going down the same road again. I realized this is the moment I’ve been striving for over the years. It’s over. I’m done. I made it and there is no looking back.
My gratitude went through the roof as I realized if not given all those chances over the years, I would never be where I am right now. I realized the Creator of chances deserved my heart of gratitude and words of thankfulness for finding me worthy of chances. Chances allowed me to grow and mature until I was ready for the next phase. Chances didn’t mess up any of my future opportunities, but just allowed more time for me to catch up to the future already planned for me. Whew! Got choked up after writing that one. 🙌🏽
My future is brighter because of chances. I’m more grateful because of chances. I’ve gained more peace and freedom because of chances. I thank God for every chance He has given me to bring me to the future He had already planned. 🙏🏽
I watched a season of Tidying Up with Marie Kondo some time ago. If you are not familiar with this show, it is a home organization show with experienced organizer Marie Kondo who created the KonMari method to home organization. One of her organizational strategies in helping people declutter their lives is to ask a simple question, “Does it bring you joy?” If the answer is not a clear yes, then that item is let go, making room for the items that do actually bring joy and have value. The items could be an article of clothing, shoes, books, kitchen appliances, etc.
After months of watching this series, the simple question of “Does it bring you JOY” has sat with me. I have recently applied it to my life both personally and professionally. It has been an emotionally freeing journey thus far really…as I have spent a lot of time evaluating all the things that I spend time, money, and energy doing that really do not bring me joy. Can you witness to this reality? I have reached a point in my life where I am intentionally and fervently clearing out things, people included, that do not bring me joy. I’m finding myself in a process of doing such things as getting rid of articles of clothing, adjusting my professional roles & tasks, setting healthier boundaries with myself and others, separating myself from emotional weights and struggles that do not belong to me but someone else, re-committing myself to things I had previously let go of because of fear and intimidation. Listen, ya’ll…it is truly freeing. I am just beginning this journey, but the process of just mentally preparing for some decisions and actions I plan to make has already released so much weight.
It’s a simple question with a life-changing, powerful impact. I want to challenge you to take some time, reflect on every area of your life one by one and ask yourself…”Does it bring me JOY?” If the answer is no, not really, kind of, or sometimes, then I would say it’s a good time to re-evaluate and re-adjust to intentionally create time and space for more JOY in your life.
What are some things in your life you have already discovered that do not bring you JOY?
I don’t care how busy I am, when I am busying myself with things I am passionate about, it never seems like work. Dr. TC
I have recently been introduced and re-introduced to things I am passionate about. What I am discovering about passions is that they lead to purpose. Passions are things that you are drawn to and that, in many ways, come natural to you. Passions are often first manifested in your mind and in your spirit as a thought. Have you ever had some goal or dream in your mind that you can’t seem to stop thinking about? Have you ever thought on something so deeply and intensely, you can physically feel yourself having or being in that place? Passions create these imaginative experiences.
So, how does imagination relate to reality?
Scripture tells us in 2 Corinthians 10:5 (KJV), “Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalted itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ…” The same scripture in the Message bible says, “We use our powerful God-tools for smashing warped philosophies, tearing down barriers erected against the truth of God, fitting every loose thought and emotion and impulse into the structure of life shaped by Christ.” In looking at these scriptures, we see that we have power over what we choose to think, our imagination. Additionally, what we choose to think on determines what we become. God desires us to think how He thinks about us. For example, if I can imagine myself a millionaire, I will become one because my thoughts will lead me to my passions, which will lead me to my purpose and destiny. Scripture also tells us, God will not put more on us than we can bare. If I couldn’t bare being a millionaire, then God wouldn’t even give me the thought I could be one! He knows what you can handle. I read something about imagination that was so powerful…Imagination is like a software that programs our behavior, expectations and actions.
I believe this is the season to chase after your passions. This is the season to think as big as you can. This is the season to move in the direction of your imaginations.
What are you passionate about?
Owning your own business?
Being debt free?
Being a stay at home mom?
A certain career?
Being on tv?
Buying a house?
Being a parent?
Owning multiple businesses?
Becoming a partner?
Say hello to your passions. Whatever your passions, be intentional about thinking on those things every day. Your thoughts will pull you into the direction of your passions, giving you the power to become what you imagine to be!
I wasn’t expecting to experience what happened on this week. I have a very inquisitive 3-year-old son who, surprisingly, is very interested in what is going on in the world. He doesn’t want to miss out on anything. We were reviewing who Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was and how the day we celebrate his life and legacy is coming up. He asked what happened to him and I shared that he was assassinated. Of course, he then wanted to know what assassinated meant. After a series of more questions about how the assassination happened, who did it and why…he compelled me to pray for Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. I hesitantly told him there was no need to pray for him because he was already dead. He continued to insist, so I obliged. As the words began to escape his heart, it certainly landed on mine. He began to pray for Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and the man who assassinated him. He also began to pray for the men who attacked the Capitol and that they would stop shooting and hurting people. He prayed they would love like Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. And he sealed his prayer by asking God to let all people in the world love Him.
His prayer was earnest. His prayer was confident. He was not anxious, worried, or seemed distressed. He honestly prayed for a better world with no doubt God couldn’t make it happen.
With tears in my eyes, I picked him up, hugged him, and cried. Through my tears, I began to grieve having a black son in this country and in this world. I felt inadequate in protecting him from the evil he prayed so earnestly against. I also felt hope. I also felt encouraged. And best of all, I was empowered by my 3-year-old to not only continue to honor the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr….but continue the fight to make his DREAM come true. It was evident, my 3-year-old did not consider it a dream, but prayed it into existence.
My hope is that we all intentionally celebrate unity in the midst of division, peace in the midst of chaos, and hope in the midst of uncertainty.
At face value, it may seem impossible to be dissatisfied and grateful at the same time. This is my current state in life and I am learning to use gratefulness as a strategy. Gratefulness is not just a state of mind but an intervention. Gratefulness is also like a medicine that lessens the pain of dissatisfaction in life. Gratefulness gives you the strength to keep being, doing, and pursuing. Philippians 4: 6-7 (AMP) states, “Do not be anxious or worried about anything, but in everything [every circumstance and situation] by prayer and petition with thanksgiving, continue to make your [specific] requests known to God. And the peace of God [that peace which reassures the heart, that peace] which transcends all understanding, [that peace which] stands guard over your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus [is yours].” In this, I believe God desires to shift our focus away from what has not yet happened, what does not make us happy, and what we have not been able to accomplish and instead focus on what God has already done, is doing, and will do when we continue to persevere through the pain. God asks that we lift our dissatisfactions up to Him in earnest prayer and He will give us peace. I recently read a statement by Anthony Iannarino that said, “The trick to being happy and successful is to be grateful and pleased even while you are striving for something more.” In my own life, each moment I focus on the things I am grateful for, the pain of dissatisfaction lessens.
To those living with dissatisfaction, make a list of all the things you DO NOT WANT TO CHANGE about your life. These are the things to focus on and be grateful for as you continue on your journey in life.
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.**
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?
I Plead the Fifth. Pleading the Fifth means to refuse to answer questions for fear of incriminating yourself. I have been working really hard lately to keep my mouth closed! Not so much towards other people, but towards myself. I am practicing not cursing my own words, and more importantly not cursing God’s Word over my life by complaining and speaking doubt.
It’s challenging. I do not remember the day I realized that I was delaying my own blessings by releasing certain words from my mouth, but it has truly been a shift in thinking, feeling, and my spiritual behavior. If God says I have the “power to move mountains”, I can no longer say “I’m powerless”. If God says “I will be wealthy”, I can no longer say, “I can’t ever get out of this debt.” If God says, “a turn around is about to take place in your life”, I can no longer say, “nothing ever changes.”
These are all real examples of the conversations I’ve had with God, and with the enemy. The moment God releases a Word from His mouth about you, is the very moment you have to choose to Plead the Fifth. It is not only your constitutional right, but your spiritual weapon to receive all that God has for you. The enemy hears what God says about you and immediately springs into action to discount, destroy, and delay the Word God spoke over your life. Here’s where we go wrong, God releases a Word and the enemy immediately springs into action against what was spoken. When we hear the release of God’s Word over our lives, we sit back and try to process and qualify ourselves with what God says about us and do not immediately spring into action. Instead, we stand in disbelief, telling God he has the wrong person, trying to figure out how it will happen, etc. We don’t immediately spring into action to guard our hearts and minds against evil talk and evil thoughts concerning the Word of God. Many of us say things such as, “I don’t want to do that.” “I’m too old/young/not smart enough to do that.” “That is too much responsibility.” “What would people say?” “I didn’t ask for all of that, God.” Meanwhile, the enemy has already taken the lead in our thoughts, emotions, and behaviors.
The wonderful news, God holds our position through our transition, one of my favorite quotes. He loves us so much He does not take back His Word concerning us and our future. God’s Word cannot return to Him void! There may be some delays, but never denials, unless we choose to forfeit our own blessings.
The Bible says in Proverbs 4: 23-27 (MSG), “Keep vigilant watch over your heart; that’s where life starts. Don’t talk out of both sides of your mouth; avoid careless banter, white lies, and gossip. Keep your eyes straight ahead; ignore all sideshow distractions. Watch your step, and the road will stretch out smooth before you. Look neither right nor left; leave evil in the dust.” So, the next time you receive a Word from the Lord concerning your life, choose to Plead the Fifth. Intentionally choose not to speak against the Word. Don’t disqualify yourself, don’t try and figure it out. Just receive and expect God’s Word to come to pass, no questions asked.