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.
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!
The past week has been a week of trauma. An experience that drained me physically, broke me emotionally, and confused me spiritually. I’m stronger physically, but still emotionally fragile. Two hours before the trauma hit, I was under a heavy spiritual anointing on an appearance on a podcast entitled “On The Brink Of A Blessing”. As I’m talking about blessings and encouraging others, little did I know how much I was going to need my own words of hope in God.
I had a miscarriage. I lost a life without warning. I experienced an internal death that has shook me to my core. The actual loss was traumatic but the process of miscarriage was also a very traumatic experience. I have never experienced anything like this and I was hoping this would not be apart of my story…but it is.
With every weapon we could grab hold of, we used it to believe for a miracle. We prayed, we joined with other prayer warriors, we used scripture, we worshipped, we had Faith, we trusted, we believed, we spoke into the atmosphere God’s Word to us. And we still experienced loss.
I’m hurt. Based on my previous post on death and birth, I have been seeking God’s understanding on how this experience will help others, and what meaning is in it for me personally. I still believe life is manifested in death. I do believe all things work for my good. I do believe a miracle is still at play. There is no way God will ignore our petitions and deny His own Word. I know the miracle we believed for is going to show up differently than we expected. And…as long as God is in control of my life (and He is) there has to be some good in this.
I don’t like it. I’ll be honest. My heart still aches. Tears still fall for my lost child. One thing I have definitely learned, if God sees fit to give me life, I will accept it, be grateful for it, and never again say “I don’t want to be pregnant”. I want what God wants.
If you are reading this and have a similar experience, reach out with supportive words and kind thoughts. I’m still processing the experience and I welcome your words of comfort.