Modesty is…….

There is nothing like being a woman.  So many things at our disposal whether its a nice brow pencil, hair salon visits, or just taking the time to love on yourself while indulging in a massage at your favorite spa.  I recently went to the spa for some “me time.” It was such a delight to just get away from the hustle and bustle of career and just relax.  Upon my arrival, I was greeted by my massage therapist who asked very probing questions about my career, and daily life.  The dialogue started with me being a bit guarded, however; by the end we were both chuckling.  One thing I notice, that really caught my attention.  As I was going on and on about my career life, she was focused on my posture.

There was a time where I focused so heavily on my outward adornment. Anyone who thought to say something about my cute outfit was sure to get a side eye from me. Yes..catch me on the right day, and you sure will get a side eye.  The moment, I gave the Lord my yes something happened. my focus became less of what I thought and more about wanting to represent HIM well in every area of my life.  When people could see me, and more importantly when I didn’t know they were watching.  Modesty reflects your desire for God’s approval and not man’s.  

When Expectancy Outweighs….

There is expectation with each new month. Whether deciding to accomplish goals, complete tasks, there is something special about expectancy that increases momentum, desire, and an unwillingness to settle for less. What are you expecting in this new month? In what ways are you making strides to achieve what it is that you desire? Expectancy goes beyond a moment, task, or event……it changes how you approach each new day!

Suited up and put on my good tennis shoes….I decided to go for a jog. Though jogging is something I do enjoy in my spare time, finding the time to do so has been more of a recent daunting task. Nevertheless, I was going to complete my jog. As I hit the pavement jogging, found my jogging rhythm; enjoying the sunshine was not questionable. As I kept jogging, something interesting happened….it started to rain. It’s one thing to jog in lite rain, however; it poured rain. It would have been so much more convenient to find shade and wait for the rain to end, however; I gave consideration to all of the moments when I could not find time to jog. Inspire of what appeared to be an obstacle….I kept jogging.

The rain intensified, and at different points my jog slowed to a brisk walk. Ha! At one point a couple of joggers passed by…and that was perfectly alright. The expectancy of finishing my jog was unquestionable. By the time, I got back to my vehicle, though my hair and good tennis shoes were soaked and my brow pomade was no longer visible, I was ecstatic. Why? Expectancy outweighed the temporary inconvenience.

Join me all month long for the blog post, What Really Matters!

When it seems easiest

There are moments where relaxation is needed in efforts to replenish and continue with the varied responsibilities one has been given. I’ve often heard others reference responsibilities as “adulting,” frowning at the mere extent of what comes with caring for and managing responsibilities intentionally. As one nurtures what they have well, being entrusted with more, at times is a given. Definitely a blessing, after the excitement subsides, if not careful the manner in which you initially nurture your responsibilities becomes impacted, often resorting to complaining of what you once prayed for. When it seems easiest to speak carelessly give consideration to, you’ve been entrusted with responsibility. It is more than a blessing to be able to nurture all that you have with the words you speak.

Comfort & Expectation

So often, it becomes comfortable to accept the norm of things. Whether indulging in routine activities or being accepting of circumstances, comfortability can be limiting. What are the causes of comfortability? Is it routine? Lack of esteem? Settling? lack of expectation? Or supporting others to the extent that you do not recognize your own value? There is more to life than settling for the limits of comfort. Raise your expectations.

To have expectation is more than an eloquent word applied to a sentence. Expectation encompasses temperance, strength, hope, desire, transparency, consistency, to the magnitude that one’s expectation remains firm. Consider the biblical portrait of Hannah whose expectation produced……

More than I ever expected.

As I am writing this blog, I am so full. Tears of joy, overflood as I am embracing with joy a blessing God has released to me. Soon, I will be able to share the full story, however; for now I’ll share the lesson learned along the way.

It has been quite sometime since I’ve written much of anything. There are moments where the demands of life require your undivided attention. This can include but is not limited to work, daily life priorities, finding the time to be still and put in effort to synthesize and eloquently convey the sentiments of your heart into words. While mentioning the above noted it correlates with the excuses that I gave myself permission to make, instead of persevering and actively embracing serving others in this capacity. While there is not enough words to delicately convey the gratitude that overwhelms me serving well is at my core.

Have you ever been driving or just out for a walk while construction was occurring? During these moments you may observe heavy equipment, machinery, construction technicians working onsite, gravel, dust, and depending on the construction occurring, there can also be a construction personnel directing the flow of traffic. One of the most intense aspects of navigating through construction is the change that occurs. Change can cause a person to retreat and not want to get out of the bed. It can inspire another to try again at something that was previously rendered unsuccessful or a mere failure. While there are many things I cannot change, I embraced the process of what it means to give God a “yes.” Whew!

Too often, casually; others will prompt congregations to tell God “yes” or sing a favorite hymn “I’ll say yes Lord yes….” Casually these declarations made and songs are sang without consideration that something is required of you when surrendering a “yes” to the Lord.

In it’s simplest form, “yes” is synonymous with agreement. To further the previously mentioned, “yes” is synonymous with agreement void of questioning and reason. A true”yes” is sure, firm, intentional, void of pretense and negotiation, well-thought out prior to being uttered from one’s lips or embraced during devotion with the Lord. One simple word, “yes;” given to God without debate can change the trajectory of your life.If you find yourself in an indifferent space where things are changing, or you find yourself inquiring of what your next steps should be, consider that there are areas in your life that the Lord is still shaping, molding, refining, and maturing.

While under construction, and not always an enjoyable process, it is necessary for your growth and development. Giving God a “yes” does not speak to a rewards based relationship where you are given everything you want. A surrendered yes to God means you learn to embrace the heart of God , learning what burdens his heart. It’s intimately accepting that you cannot do anything you want because you have been bought with a price.

In surrendering my “yes,” HE gave me beauty for ashes…..it has and remains to be so much more than I ever expected.

Loved Unwaveringly

Capacity.

So the other day, I was in the house and wanted something to drink. Looked in my refrigerator and to my surprise I only had less than a quarter cup of juice left. Still needing something drink, I opted for water. Located my favorite glass, filled it with ice, and prepared to fill it with water.

Well, the phone started ringing, then the pup needed to be walked, ooops let’s not forget the clothes that need to be washed and dried. By the time those tasks were taken care of, there was finally a moment to breathe. Sigh. I went back to the kitchen to finally pour the water in the glass.

There is something to be said with regards to a persons ability to handle obstacles, and challenges in life. No matter the circumstance, or difficulty; you can handle it. Strength is found in the midst of your obstacle. Consider, the obstacle may be present just to show you an opportunity to grow, learn, and develop. Its in the midst of your obstacle where you will find an increased capacity.

Continue…..

There are times where I use my GPS to get to a destination. Amidst the challenges of stop lights, and traffic, sometimes a journey that would take ten minutes quickly turns into twenty minutes. Just a few weeks ago, I found myself relying on my GPS for what seemed to be a fifteen minute journey. Along the way there were many stop lights. So much so, until I grew accustomed to having to stop frequently, uggghhhh.

While at one of those stop lights, traffic was flowing heavily, I figured “this may take a while.” So I became occupied while waiting. Fidgeting with the radio station, checking email and reviewing my errands for the day. While occupied, my GPS says “Continue.” I looked up, the light had changed to green. It’s interesting how we can become so comfortable with delays that when there is change, its not always recognizable. I quickly dropped what was in my hand and “Continued……”

To continue means to persevere, endure, keep going, never stopping. How much time has been wasted giving attention to the opinions of others, who really do not matter? Or being distracted because of what someone said? You have an opportunity to be extraordinary. Why waste it, settling for the mediocrity of stagnation. Having more traffic ahead, stop lights etc. I still made the decision to continue………

“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.”

-Romans 8:28

Layers of Gratitude

The alarm clock rings, out of bed, to start the day. Amidst the hustle and bustle of a normal routine one can overlook the beauty discovered in a friendly”good morning” or the full blooming of the cherry blossoms. Continuing on through the day only to realize that after dinner, its time to get ready for the demands of tomorrow. Yet one question lingers…amidst the normalcy of routine have you taken the time to explore the layers of gratitude?

Gratitude is never confined to the corridors of tangible items. Gratitude cannot be limited to a piece of jewelry found in a box. Gratitude is an expression of gratefulness that embraces the reality of while there may be circumstances, I choose to be grateful. Take a moment, and look around you.

Gratitude is an intentional decision

Gratitude is expressed regardless of circumstances

Gratitude is never limited….

……But are you learning?

One of life’s greatest treasures are the lessons learned along the way. There are times where once can find themselves trying to answer the “why’s” of life. While there is not anything wrong with asking such a question, becoming fixated causes stagnation. A month or so ago, I found myself in a place of survival. Surviving the work week, surviving personal challenges, just surviving….amidst the aforementioned, I reached a place of exhaustion from the efforts to just survive while others were living. While on my morning commute, I embraced the moment to entrust the Lord with all of my emotions regarding that place of survival. What I could not find the words to say, I uttered with my tears. When my tears ceased to flow any further, I extended my hands as a sign of surrender. As I approached the parking lot, swiftly parking my car to avoid being late, I gently said what is the lesson in all of “this.”

Trust in the Lord with all thine heart, and lean not unto thine own understanding. -Proverbs 3:5

Ready for the answer? Well Proverbs 3:5 says it best. Anyone can trust in the Lord when things are going well…..but what about when you have been waiting for the Lord to answer your prayer, or when it seems as though nothing is happening? Trust in the Lord all the more!!!! Are you learning?????

Say what?

Welcome back!  It’s been a little while since I’ve posted to this blog. Sometimes amidst the hustle and bustle of life and everyday responsibilities, you must take a moment away to regroup.  This month’s blogs will focus on the power of our words.  So grab  a cup of coffee, herbal or boba tea….and lets get to it.

During the last several months, I was faced with several challenges at my current place of employment. Amongst my daily responsibilities, I was selected to chair one of my agency’s committees. What an opportunity!!! Right?! My only focus at the time, was how much of a task it would be. Though not enthused, I found myself beginning to mope about the level of responsibility added to my already demanding professional responsibilities, while being short staffed in my unit. Well….I was called into a meeting with the director of the agency, my co-chair and several other committee chairs and listened attentively as the director gave her vision for the new direction of our agency. Once the meeting concluded, I asked my co-chair if she would like to change positions and assume the role of being the chair. Without a moments notice, her laughter turned to silence and her smile disappeared. She said only a few words before walking away. Her exact words were “No! You were selected.” Say What?!!!!

“Death & Life are in the power of the tongue….”Proverbs 18:21

Your words are powerful. Your words can build-up, tear down, empower, discourage, heal or cause lifelong wounds. How often have we prayed asking the Lord to open doors of opportunity and once he does, words of complaining are uttered. Take a moment and reflect on what you have been believing God for. You may have been praying the same prayer for your loved one for years, and it seems as though nothing is changing. What are you saying out of your mouth? Are you rehearsing the current situation, uttering words of doubt or are you saying what God says through his word concerning your request.

After picking my jaw up from the floor, I prayed, and asked the Lord to help me see what he has entrusted me with the way he sees it. My once mopey disposition turned into gratefulness as I began to realize, that I am entrusted with a new level of responsibility. As words of complaint faded away, I embraced God’s word the more….

“In everything give thanks for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.”-1 Thessalonians 5:18

When you do not know what to say….speak the word of God.

While you wait…

I thoroughly enjoy Starbucks! No really. The ambiance, decor, even chit chatting with the baristas..when I’m feeling a bit chatty. I find it to be an amazing environment where I can catch up on some reading or complete my course assignments as I work towards my PhD.

I recently went to Starbucks and ordered my usual, caramel macchiato with extra caramel drizzle. After paying for my purchase, I proceeded to my table to setup my laptop and begin working. A few minutes passed and I became a bit concerned that my caramel macchiato was not ready. I walked up to the barista and inquired further. To my delight, I was told I had not been forgotten and that my drink was being made as we speak. Whew! What a relief.

When you find yourself in a season of waiting, sometimes it can seem as though your prayers have gone unheard. This is not the time to give up. God promises in his word that he will never leave us or forsake us(Hebrews 13:5). Stay focused, keep working, keep praying. When I finally received my caramel macchiato it was better than I expected.