Hey family! I’ve been a bit MIA because, well, LIFE.,

 

It’s just literally been overwhelming and frustrating. There’s a lot of things that I’ve been facing that have really been stretching me these past few weeks and 2021 JUST started. 

God most certainly is NOT playing when it comes to growth and His children in this hour. I’m going to be transparent. I’m one of those children right now who has their arms folded across their chest and shaking their head “NO!” 

 

Mamas, y’all know those kids!

 

The ones who are either willingly being defiant or the ones who are extremely overwhelmed and because they do not know how to respond to the situation, they do what they can, and that’s to assert their feelings. They’re saying no because they really do not want to, or they’re unsure of how to do something or what may come next if they actually do what is asked of them.

 

Which one am I? Honestly, I don’t know… 

 

Maybe a mixture of both.

 

Coping in my own way has been my go-to, albeit unproductive; I have come to this place where I know what to do but don’t know what to do. Sounds a bit confusing but let me explain. I know what to do as far as drawing near to the Lord; however, I don’t know what to do as far as taking the first steps. Really I’ve been wallowing in checking out. 

 

Operating in autopilot 

 

It’s not the most productive thing to do, but the amount of stretching I’ve been facing these last few days have been wildly uncomfortable. There’s nowhere to retreat, and there’s everything to avoid; as comforting as it has been, it is very dangerous for two reasons.

 

  1. The more you sit in your feelings, the more you lose sight of the truth that God cares about every little detail of your life, no matter how small.
  2. The spirit of condemnation begins to comfort you. Condemnation begins to speak to you reminding you of the “bad” job you are currently doing. Reminding you of all you could have accomplished but haven’t. 

Over the past five days, I’ve gotten two essential reminders. 

 

  1. Grace is something that we must give to ourselves the same way we give to others. Remind ourselves that God gives us grace even in our brokenness or rebellion. Grace is defined as free and undeserved love that never quits. God gives us the grace to be able to say, “Yeah, I messed up, but I’m not cast away. I’m still loved, and it’s not because of anything I did, but because of who God is.”
  2. God cares for us. Even when we want a turkey sandwich.

1 Peter 5:7 AMP

 

7 casting all your cares [all your anxieties, all your worries, and all your concerns, once and for all] on Him, for He cares about you [with deepest affection, and watches over you very carefully].

 

Now you’re probably wondering what in the world does a turkey sandwich have to do with anything. Well, storytime!

 

When I was in the hospital in 2017 after giving birth, the nurses would bring these food boxes with juice, snack, and a sandwich. Although I had explicitly asked for turkey, one of the nurses brought me ham even though I do not eat pork. Well, one night I requested a box but forgot to specifically asked for turkey. In my mind, I quietly hoped for a turkey sandwich. I was too tired to bother the nurses again to get me anything specific. Well, do you know that when my box finally came, it was the turkey? At that moment, the Lord reminded me that I care about every little thing….even quiet wants of a turkey sandwich.

 

So let me encourage you all today even when you don’t have the words to pray, even if you’ve felt you have strayed, even when you can’t encourage yourself, just know it doesn’t matter what you have or have not done; give yourself grace, the way God gives you grace every single day. Every single day is an opportunity to go back to God and allow Him to heal the broken places. Every single day is a new opportunity for the Lord to handle every care you have. Every single day is an opportunity for God to be Lord in your life. 

 

John 3:16-18

16 “For God so [greatly] loved and dearly prized the world, that He [even] gave His [One and] [a]only begotten Son, so that whoever believes and trusts in Him [as Savior] shall not perish, but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send the Son into the world to judge and condemn the world [that is, to initiate the final judgment of the world], but that the world might be saved through Him. 18 Whoever believes and has decided to trust in Him [as personal Savior and Lord] is not judged [for this one, there is no judgment, no rejection, no condemnation]; but the one who does not believe [and has decided to reject Him as personal Savior and Lord] is judged already [that one has been convicted and sentenced], because [b]he has not believed and trusted in the name of the [One and] only begotten Son of God [the One who is truly unique, the only One of His kind, the One who alone can save him].

 

Boundaries

Boundaries

You ever thought a lack of boundaries could put you in a position where you’d miss out on something amazing?! Well, neither did I. I always looked at boundaries as something you set in place for children, so they know what is expected of them… you know what they can’t do from what they can. Boundaries are so much more than that. Boundaries set the stage for your needs to be met. Boundaries cultivate better relationships. Boundaries teach you how to put yourself first. Ultimately, boundaries create an atmosphere for safety and for you to feel safe.

For over seven years, I gave away my peace. I said yes to things when I really wanted to say no. Situation after situation; I devalued my feelings to maintain peace. As much as it made other people happy, it built blocks of frustration that I would diminish and tuck away, downplaying the magnitude of a mounting pattern, particularly in my marriage.  

Shrinking and compromise.

The more I dimmed my light to appease others, the more I compromised who I was and what I could do. Walking through a place of invalidation and insecurity with the hopes that everyone’s needs will be met is called people-pleasing. The danger in people-pleasing is that you’ll become so comfortable doing it that you don’t realize there’s anything wrong with your behavior. Although people may praise you for being “kind” or “nice,” they’ll inadvertently or possibly even intentionally walk all over you like a doormat.

When I wrote “Power Of A Made Up Mind,” the Lord had been dealing with me with setting boundaries and maintaining them even when it made other people upset. I was uncomfortable, but I knew that I was even more uncomfortable settling for the person I thought I was rather than the person God called me to be. Past traumas had opened the door for a spirit of fear to come in through wounds. As I walk through this place of healing through motherhood, God has been showing me how vital walking in a made-up mind and firmly maintaining boundaries opens the door for the blessings He’s promised me. On the other hand, He has also highlighted how a lack of boundaries will position you to forfeit your blessings.

For example, Three ways you forfeit your blessings when you don’t set boundaries with people are:

  1. Giving away your peace. God said He gives you peace that surpasses all understanding (Philippians 4:7). When you lack healthy boundaries, essentially, you’re giving away your peace, which is also your guard. People will do whatever you let them do to you, resulting in frustration and feelings of confusion.
  2. You forfeit your freedom. The bible tells us whom the Son set free is free, indeed (John 8:36). Freedom means that nothing holds you down or keeps you bound; however, you often walk in people bondage when you lack boundaries with people. You become focused on what they might say or do to you if they don’t get their way. Sadly, you fail to realize that their needs are met at your expense.
  3. You walk in instability. James 1:7-8 speaks of the double-minded man being unstable in all of his ways. When you are harboring hurt on the inside, you operate from a place of brokenness. Our actions stemming from this brokenness is an indication that healing needs to occur. We are often unaware of the need to be healed, so we think that our actions toward people and situations are normal.

Just to recap, peace is a blessing; freedom is a blessing, and stability is a blessing! All of these blessings are promised to us in God’s word, meaning that they are true and available to all who want them. 

The next time someone tries to bully, manipulate, or take advantage of you and you start to justify their reasoning over your valid feelings as yourself, this question:

Am I willing to forfeit my blessings for their peace?

New Year, New Mind

New Year, New Mind

Last year I wrote a piece entitled, “New year, New you? Nah, Same You” needless to say, many people make a New Year resolution to change and, well, stay the same. We continue year after year, screaming the upcoming year is our year, but then end the year with lessons learned and almost in the same place the previous year. What happened? To be honest, life happens. Things you couldn’t possibly have imagined nor planned for happened, and what did you do? Rolled with the punches. You bobbed and weaved and rolled with the punches of life so you wouldn’t get knocked on your butt. Undoubtedly we cannot plan for the unexpected things in life, but we can make adjustments to the things in life we can control. The two common things many of us deal with in life are money and relationships. 

Year after year, we settle in jobs, avoid taking chances in our businesses, or complain about positions that bring us no joy. If we can be honest, some of us could be in many different positions if we would make some adjustments in how we move. For example, you could train to move up in positions for the company you work for, thus eliminating the need to complain about your job. For entrepreneurs, you can discipline yourself to operate your business more efficiently to start seeing the results you desire. Lastly, quitting the dead-end job, you’ve been afraid to leave. Still, you’ve allowed fear to hold you back in a constant black hole of “what if.” Well, what if you have something better waiting for you on the other side of your decision?

Furthermore, many of you have been unhappy and unsatisfied in terms of relationships but have been waiting for things to change. Change requires actions. What actions are you taking? For those of you who hear God, what is He saying concerning your situation? Sometimes we will stay in or do nothing to fix unfruitful relationships because we are too afraid or too comfortable in dysfunction.

Change your mind. Hear me, CHANGE YOUR MIND. When you change your mindset, you’ll change your attitude concerning areas in your life that have been unfruitful and frustrating. A limiting mindset will stunt your growth and freedom in just about every area of your life. There are a lot of things you can not control in this life…2020 showed us that. The one thing I have accepted, I can undoubtedly control is how I view life and my actions stemming from those views. It may have taken me going through a divorce, laying down my marriage, leaving two good-paying jobs, and becoming a mom raising five children on her own to learn how to change my mind, but I have! 

The freedom, abundance, and love I desired to see in my life required me to take action. It required me to do things I’d never done. For me, the writing was a part of my process. God used writing and my voice, two areas of my life where I felt insecure, to move me into a place of fruitfulness in Him.

Do you want to know what the real blessing is? The real blessing is now I am in a position to help others. I have the privilege to serve and encourage those who are where I was. It all started with the decision to change my mind concerning how I viewed my life and actually doing what God instructed me to do, even when it didn’t make sense.

Now ask yourself, what’s holding me back from where I want to be and what I desire to see in my life.

James 1:23-25 AMP

23 For if anyone only listens to the word [a]without obeying it, he is like a man who looks very carefully at his natural face in a mirror; 24 for once he has looked at himself and gone away, he immediately forgets [b]what he looked like. 25 But he who looks carefully into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and faithfully abides by it, not having become a [careless] listener who forgets but [c]an active doer [who obeys], he will be blessed and favored by God in what he does [in his life of obedience].