Friday, July 30, 2010

Be Your Own Cheerleader

Hi guys!  My family and I are traveling today and my laptop is having a bit of an issue so I didn't think I'd be able to post anything today.  But my husband had to make a stop at a family member's house, so I'm making use of their PC to make sure I keep my obligation to blog every Monday, Wednesday and Friday.  Before I jump into today's post, I just want to say THANK YOU SO MUCH for your support and all the warm comments you give me concerning the blog. It means more than you know.

Since my husband just gave me the what are you doing, it's time to go eye, I'm gonna make this short and sweet.

In life, we will face times when the people around us are no where to be found.  Not necessarily out of spite or abandonment (though sometimes that may be the case, SMH) but sometimes the people that we need most are just unreachable. It's in those times that we must reach within and find the strength to be our own encourager.

If no one has or takes the time to pat you on the back, tell you you're doing a great job, encourage you to stay in the race or simply say You can do it, it's your own cheerleader.  I have learned that people aren't always going to celebrate you, for whatever reason, but as long as God is in your corner and you're doing a great work for Him then you can celebrate yourself.  It's not that you're being vain or conceited, but it's ok to say Hey, I think I'm doing a good job if I must say so myself.

Encourage yourself, cheer for yourself, celebrate yourself...because sometimes, if you don't no one else will.  Besides, when you're working for God, He's really the only cheerleader you need.  Because if you allow yourself to depend upon the approval or accolades of others, you will often find yourself feeling let down, hurt and disappointed.

So, today I have a small exercise for you.  I want you to stand in the mirror, pat yourself on the back, do a little dance and say go me, go me, go me, go me...

Til we meet more, worry less, laugh often!

Your sister in Christ,

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Listen Carefully

I am an avid music lover. I love songs with a clear, positive, moving message.  So many people get caught up in the beat behind the lyrics, but I'm not at all impressed by a good beat that has no real message to accompany it. For me, the lyrics to a song are what capture my attention, not the mere feel of it. 

It is so important that we pay close attention to what we allow to go into our ears, because as harmless as it may seem, what we take in through our ears eventually enters into our mind, and consequently seeps into our heart.  Once something takes root in your heart, it comes out through your actions.  Now, this doesn't apply exclusively to music; the same principle applies to conversations and television.  If we constantly fill ourselves with all the wrong things we will constantly produce all the wrong things, because, ultimately, we put out what we take in. 

But, back to the music.  Music has a powerful way of inspiring, uplifting, encouraging and motivating.  There are times when I may be feeling a bit down and God will use a song to minister to me and lift my spirit.  There's nothing like a good old song stirring in your spirit, especially one with compelling lyrics that get you going.

There's a song that I've been listening to everyday for the past ten days and it is motivating me tremendously to take a leap of faith and get the ball rolling on doing the things that God has given me to do.  The song is entitled Do What He Said by a very dear friend and mentor, Dianna Hobbs.  This is one of those songs that is packed with conviction that motivates its listener to get moving and do just what God said do.

Take a listen and let the words pierce your heart, because God is searching for those who are ready and willing to obey Him, answer His call and do as He instructs.  I encourage you to fill yourself with things that serve as a driving force to push you to purpose.  Examine what you're listening to, whether it be music, conversations or TV, and if it doesn't positively motivate or encourage you then make some adjustments.

Enjoy the song! (BTW, you can download it for only .99 cents on Amazon.)

Til we meet more, worry less, laugh often!

Your sister in Christ,

Monday, July 26, 2010

There's Comfort in His Arms

Last night, my little guy, Jaxon (who recently celebrated his first birthday) was on the floor playing quietly with his big brother when all of a sudden he burst out crying.  "Joey, what did you do to your brother?" I asked.  Innocently he replied, "I didn't do nothing to him. He just started crying for no reason."

I walked over to assess the situation.  I mean, why on earth is he screaming at the top of his lungs?  Surely something had to be wrong.  I checked him all over...nothing.  I offered him his sippy cup and pacifier...he didn't want either.  At that point my husband, not even looking away from the television, says "You know what he wants" and shakes his head. I roll my eyes. I reached out my arms, scooped up my little guy and held him tightly. In 3 seconds flat he was completely quiet. 

I looked at Jaxon and said "Is that all mommy's baby wanted? You just wanted to be held, huh?"  He flashed the biggest smile.  All he needed was the comfort of mommy's arms and he was just fine.  As a matter of fact, he drifted off to sleep in a matter of minutes.

There comes a time in life when all we need is the comfort of our Heavenly Father's arms.  When we find ourselves troubled, perplexed, weary and worn all we have to do is run to the Father's arms and we will find perfect comfort.  The thing I love about God is that no matter what, no matter when, He's always right there with outstretched arms, waiting to comfort us.  Safety, security and serenity are right there in His arms.  Nothing compares to being wrapped in the bosom of the one that loves you the most. 

If you find yourself feeling a bit overwhelmed by the struggles of life, take a moment to cry out to God and allow Him to wrap His loving arms around you.  It's the best place of comfort in all the world.

Til we meet more...worry less...laugh often!

Your sister in Christ,

Friday, July 23, 2010

Reach Out

As I was praying for direction in what to share today, this song by Diana Ross popped up in my mind.  You're probably thinking, now what song by Diana Ross could she possibly be talking about? It's a very simple and familiar song that says:

Reach out and touch somebody's hand
Make this world a better place if you can.

I remember being a little girl holding hands with my neighbor in church, swaying from side to side as this song was sang during the benediction, thinking that by touching someone's hand, nothing more and nothing less, I could make the world a better place. *Don't laugh at me.*

God has been dealing with me about being too reserved. I'm the quiet, stay to myself type, but God is pushing me to come out of my shell.  He's been telling me that there are people out there who need me to reach out my hand and help pull them up so that their world can become a bit of a better place.

As I've gone through life, I've come to understand the significance in reaching out for someone's hand and, in turn, touching their heart.  God has sent a few good people across my path to reach for my hand and they touched my heart in such a way that it inspired me to become a better person. If I only impact one person's life the way God has afforded me to be blessed, then my living won't be in vain.

You see, when you genuinely touch a person's heart, it inspires them to change for the better.  Love that flows from heart to heart has the potential to change a person's life.  And as one person's life is changed, the love that flowed from your heart to theirs now flows from their heart tto someone else's, and the cycle continues.  In this way the world around us becomes a much better place, one person at a time. 

Somebody is waiting for you to open your heart, reach out for their hand and help them along the way. 

Til we meet more...worry less...laugh often!

Your sister in Christ,

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Everything To Me

I had planned on blogging about something else, but then I experienced a serious case of writer's block.  After a little over an hour of trying to pull the post together, I ultimately deleted it all and decided to scale back and say a quick prayer.  After I had prayed and moved on to something else, this song that's been on my heart for a few days started playing in my head.  The song is Everything To Me by Fred Hammond (one of my favorite artists).

As I was quietly singing I began to meditate on the words and meaning of the song and my heart immediately became overjoyed, because God is EVERYTHING to me. Without Him, I am absolutely nothing. I love my husband; I love my children; I love my mother; I love my friends...but none of them compare to my God. 

Can I just testify for a minute?!

You see, as much as my husband or my mother may love me, neither one of them could pick me up and restore my life when I thought all hope was gone. As much as I'd like to give credit to my alarm clock, it is nobody but God that wakes me up every morning.  Though I may think I'm in good health, it's only by the grace of God that I'm alive and well.  I don't know about you, but He is everything to me. He's my joy; my peace; my hope; my comfort; my friend; my strength; my mind-regulator; my heart-fixer; my burden bearer; my sanity; my keeper; my mighty rock; my protector; my place of shelter; my present help...I could go on for days...

So often we put too much emphasis on temporal things, but today I want you to think about just what God is to you.  Of all the things you think you can't live without, God is the one thing you can't afford to die without.

Think about it...and while you're thinking, meditate on the words to the song posted below.

Til we meet more, worry less, laugh often!

Your sister in Christ,

Monday, July 19, 2010

Your Happy Place...

For a very long time, I spent most of my days depressed.  There was such a heavy cloud of deep sadness that always seemed to envelop me.  Yeah, I had a few happy moments, but they never seemed to last long because I'd always allow my depression to overrule. I had taken on the mentality that being happy and enjoying the blessings of life just wasn't meant for me.   I had no joy...I had no peace. My smile was rarely seen. My laughter was rarely heard.

There came a point in my life where I grew weary in carrying around such heaviness...I became tired of being depressed.  I had allowed the enemy to keep me down for far too long and enough was enough. It was then that I began to cry out to God and He, in turn, gave me a garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness that had attached itself to me. Today I can honestly say I know what it is to have joy, unspeakable joy and peace that surpasses all understanding.  Even in the midst of adversity, I can still wear a smile knowing that the joy of the Lord is indeed my strength.

Now that God has brought me to my happy place, I've made up in my mind that I absolutely refuse to allow the enemy to evict me.  My smile is shining bright and laughter has filled my heart!

You see, there comes a point when you have to make a conscious decision to not allow situations to keep you down.  Though they may be unpleasant, hard blows you cannot allow Satan to keep you down in the dumps because he will walk all over you.  He will steal your joy, your peace, your purpose, your zeal for life and the things of Christ, and your family and friends and have you all alone, thinking you have no reason to live.  He is a liar!

If you've been feeling a bit down for a while, today I encourage you to cry out to God in prayer and ask Him to destroy every yoke and lift your heavy burden.  Pray for His peace that surpasses all understanding to encompass your mind and His joy, unspeakable joy to envelop your heart and lead you to your happy place. I'm a witness He'll do it.  And once you get there, plant your feet upon Christ the Solid Rock and don't let anything move you.

Til we meet more, worry less, laugh often!!

Your sister in Christ,

Friday, July 16, 2010

It's Not Even Worth It

Recently, two people that I've been having recurring issues with seriously upset me.  I'm talking to the point that I was just about ready to put my boxing gloves on and go a few rounds (don't act like you've never been there). If I didn't have the Holy Ghost, things would have gotten very ugly. *waving hands in praise for the Holy Ghost* Thank ya Jesus!!! I'm a pretty calm, cool and collected type of person and I can usually just let things roll of my back, but this time I was extremely insulted, not to mention hurt.  It's not a good feeling when you're hurt by fellow believers.

For the past couple of days I've been trying to figure out how to address this situation without things being blown out of proportion, which is easy to happen when a person doesn't see their wrong. I prayed about it and God sent the answer I needed through my favorite blogger and dear friend, Dianna Hobbs and her blog, Your Daily Cup of Inspiration. Dianna said:

"...every battle is not mine to fight. Even though things may bother me at times, there are moments when I have to turn the other way and take my hands off the situation. I'm sure you can recall a time in your life when you were deeply perturbed by the actions of another, leaving you with a bad taste in your mouth. Yet, you didn't possess the power to make those involved stop what they were doing or in any way amend their ways.  During seasons like this, God reminds us of a simple but profound truth. You and I are not called to fix every problem that arises. Sometimes, we have to bite our tongue, look the other way, take our hands off, and give it over to God."

When I read this I began to think that trying to fix this situation on my own isn't even worth it, especially when I know the other parties aren't going to change. The best thing for me to do is just give it to God and let Him handle it.  Addressing it would be a waste of time...not even worth it.

There are definitely times in life when someone has wronged us and we feel the need to do something about it, but just as I was encouraged to simply give it over to God, I want to encourage you to do the same thing. There are some situations that you just can't fix...sometimes only God can do the fixing.

So don't waste your breath, don't waste your time, don't waste your energy on trying to rectify the problem yourself.  Hang up your boxing gloves because there are some battles that simply aren't worth fighting.

Til we meet more, worry less, laugh often!

Your sister in Christ,

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Keep Praying...It Gets Better

On last evening, during my routine quiet time, my mind went back to a few months ago when it seemed like I was caught in a whirlwind of trials...if it wasn't one thing it was ten others. I remember there was this one situation that all but sucked the life out of me. My heart was aching, my spirit was low, my mind was messed up and I was ready to call it quits on joke. I just couldn't see things becoming better and I had literally reached my breaking point.

Praying was the one thing I never strayed from, no matter how irritated, agitated and frustrated I grew. I even solicited prayer from two very dear friends, because I knew it was the only way I was going to make it through such a difficult season in my life. *Pause* Never be too ashamed or proud to ask for prayer.

Even through times of intense prayer and fasting, I still sometimes felt that things, or at least my ability to deal would never get better. But one day, smack dab in the middle of the fight, I realized that something was different...something had changed...something had actually gotten better. But what was it? I'm still in the midst of this tumultuous storm, so what could possibly be better?  It was at that moment, that God reminded me of a simple prayer I'd been praying Lord, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; the courage to change the things that I can; and the wisdom to know the difference.  In the midst of those prayers, God strengthened my abillity to go through. You see, I couldn't necessarily change the situations, but I could change my mindset and the way I chose to deal with difficult times. Making that adjustment has turned out to be one of the best changes I could have ever gone through. Dealing with trying times has gotten soooooooooooo much better. I can go through the storm with complete peace in knowing that my Heavenly Father is going to bring me out just fine.  *Note* The way we deal with things makes a HUGE difference in how we hold up during hard times.

Today, I want you to know that IT DOES GET BETTER.  You may not be able to change what you're going through, but with much prayer you can surely change how you go through. Granted if we had the option of skipping over trials and tribulations altogether, I'm sure we all most certainly would; however, none of us are exempt from rough patches in life. Besides, it's those times that try our faith and strength that brings out the true champion within us.

If you get nothing else out of anything I've shared today, please know that you don't have to give don't have to give don't have to give out because God promised that He'd see you through. Hold on and DON'T STOP gets better! With God's grace you can keep on going a little longer.

Til we meet more, worry less, laugh often!

Your sister in Christ,

Monday, July 12, 2010

Push Past Your Fear

Last week, I traveled to Orlando with my church family.  We had a blast!!! I made up in my mind that at every park we went to, I was getting on all of the gut-wrenching rides. My son, Joey, decided he wanted to roll with the big dogs and follow mommy. Granted, there were some rides that I absolutely refused to let him get on because I know my scaredy-cat son and there was no way I was going to get to the front of the line then have to turn around because he's crying.  Well, he made up in his mind that it didn't matter how scary the next ride I went to was, which was The Mummy, he was getting on. Ok...fine. "Once we get in here, there's no turning back" I told him. "Yes ma'am" he replied.

Within a minute of getting inside the attraction to stand in line, Joey wraps his arms tightly around my waist and whimpers "Mama, I'm scared."  I tell him "It's too late to be scared now, you're in here. Mama's got you. You'll be fine."  Though my words of consolation didn't stop him from shedding a few tears before we actually got on the ride, when it was all over he walked out with a smile on his face and yelled "That wasn't was fun!"   Though the dark building and weird noises caused him to be fearful, because I held his hand and assured him everything would be fine, he pushed past his fears and ended up enjoying himself.  Had he given in to fear, he would've missed out on a perfectly fun ride.

This made me think about how many of us can be when it comes to doing something God has instructed us to do. We look at it from the surface and because it looks scary we allow fear to encompass our mind and make us want to run in the opposite direction. I have definitely been there.

One thing you must always remember is that fear is of the enemy. He knows that he can use fear to rob you of living a purpose-filled life and cause you to be too afraid to be the person God intends for you to be. Keep in mind that God has not given you the spirit of fear; but a spirit of power, love and a sound mind (2 Timothy 1:7). 

Today, I dare you to push past your fears and make the decision to go along for the ride. Whatever it is God is calling you to do, I encourage you to trust that there's no need to be afraid because God's got'll be fine. We all have fearful moments, but when you feel afraid just wrap your arms tight around the Master and allow Him to be your security. Don't give Satan the satisfaction of making you punk-out and run for the border, instead show Him who's boss!

Til we meet more, worry less, laugh often!

Your sister in Christ,

Monday, July 5, 2010

Celebrate Your Freedom

July 4th is a national holiday set aside to celebrate the day the United States declared its independence. People from all walks of life gather with their loved ones and enjoy fireworks, barbecues, parades and many other exciting festivities! We celebrate the fact that America is a free country.

Last evening as I was enjoying my routine quiet time, I began to think about the freedom that God gives.  I thought about the scripture "Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed." (John 8:36) So many of us are bound and we don't even have to be.  Jesus is standing right there with open arms, just waiting for you to declare your independence from bondage. Freedom is readily avaliable to you today...acknowledge it, accept it, act on it.

There's nothing more Satan would love to do than to keep you your heart, in your mind, in your spirit.  He knows that if he can hold you hostage to bondage, he can kill your purpose.  Oh, but that old devil is a liar. Today, I dare you to sign your Declaration of Indepence from all pain, hurt, guilt and shame. Open your heart and recieve the freedom that Christ is so eager to give you.

There's no freedom like freedom in Christ! Celebrate your freedom, not just on July 4th, but everyday of your life! Your soul is free; your heart is free; your mind is free...celebrate!!

Til we meet again...

Live more...worry less...laugh often!

Your sister in Christ,