Tag Archives: Advice

Got Love?

So here is a little food for thought. It may be heavy and kind of “in your face” but I am done with superficial Christians living their superficial lives and presenting to the world that this is what Christianity is all about.

Christianity is not about performing “good deeds” and then being done with the person that the deed was done for, it is not about telling people that you are going to pray for them yet not having a praying bone in your body, it is not about wearing a certain type of clothing or not wearing make-up, it is not about being one person to the world while you are a different person behind closed doors. It is about being transparent, it is about serving others and continuing to build relationship with them, it is about displaying the character of God in the good times and the bad.

How can you display His character if you don’t know Him? How can you know Him if you don’t spend time with Him? This is why relationship is so important. Relationship requires us to be selfless, to forgive and to put others’ needs before our own. This world has gotten it so twisted and we don’t understand or hold relationships sacred anymore.

Religion has been intertwined with the Word, lies have been mixed with Truth, for a very long time and it’s about time we started to acknowledge it, address it and change it. If you are a born-again believer you need to begin seeking the Lord for understanding, as it pertains to His Word, because true understanding can only come from Him.

How can we love if we walk in pride?Some of us have been walking in pride for so long that we do not even realize we are in it. That’s scary but it’s the truth and I know because I was once the most prideful person anyone could have ever met but thank God for deliverance!

Pride and love cannot and will never mix; they cannot exist together. You cannot unconditionally love anyone if you walk in pride because pride forces us to love conditionally. God’s love is not conditional. Jesus did not die for us to love others conditionally! His love is so unconditional that we cannot wrap our carnal minds around it, which is why He tells us that our minds must be renewed. This truth may go over certain ones’ heads however, some things can only be received by the Spirit, the Holy Spirit that is. This is a continual process, not a one-time deal.

Don’t take my word for it, read the Word and seek the Lord in everything that you hear, see and do.

There is always something to learn, something to receive and something new that God wants to reveal to us through His Word. It is only when we do what it says in Matthew 6:33 and “seek first the Kingdom” and seek the wisdom, understanding righteousness of God, that our minds can be renewed, we can be delivered from bondage and we can walk in liberty and unconditional love toward all. Peace and love, family!

Advertisements

College: Is it really necessary?

image

Some friends and I were talking a few days ago and we happened to get on the topic of college. That conversation was probably one of my favorites since I love talking about and understanding the impact that our choices have on our lives and on society as a whole.

So, one of my friends said that he and his wife feel that having a college education is very much needed to get to where you want to be in this life. A few of my friends were torn in what they truly believed or had no real opinion about it one way or another. The majority of my friends felt like most of their parents expected them to go to college and obtain a degree and, as such, they knew they would require this of their own offspring as well. I was joined by only one other friend who felt that while a college degree is great to pursue it is not absolutely necessary for lifelong success.

I’m of the belief that when the Lord has called you to a particular thing He will open the doors – that you will need opened – to get you to where He’s called you to go. God can, will and has already given you certain gifts that will help you on your journey of life. One of my dearest friends, who barely finished high school and is one of the smartest people I know, has a very evident gift of knowledge. A gift of knowledge, for those who don’t know, is having a mind that is able to figure out, quickly learn or just plain know things that most people only know if they’re “formally” taught those things. This is the way that the gift has manifested itself in my friend however, I am sure it can manifest itself in other ways as God wills. All in all, this IS a real gift that can make a person look – and sound – college educated without actually being so.

I understand that it is the goal of colleges and recruiters to enroll as many students as possible. That is their mission and their job and I’m not mad at them for taking their jobs seriously and holding their position in high regards. I’m appreciative to these institutions for being here for the many people who can, will, have been called and do desire to attend college. What frustrates me is that we, as parents, are not truly in prayer for our children and for our children’s futures. What grieves my heart is that we are not consulting God – in everything that we do – in how we are raising, what we are speaking and how we are guiding our children. Since my belief is that not everyone is supposed to go to college, it makes no sense for those individuals to go and put themselves in the position to incur student loans and other debts for an education that they will either never fully use or walk down a path that they’ve not been called to in the first place.

No wonder why so many college students change their majors on average 3 times before settling on one. We are sending our children into the world and expecting them, at 18 years old, to have a well thought out, surefire plan so that we can feel good about sending them out to begin and fulfill that plan. We are not setting our children up for success but rather for failure. If we will be real, we can all see how this is sending a message to our kids that conformity is better than being distinct. This message says, “Don’t have your own dreams, goals or vision, just do what everyone else is doing and be what everyone else is being and everything will be fine. Oh yeah, and God doesn’t need to know about this but you can bring Him along for the ride!” Are we serious?!?

I said all of this to say that it is up to us to understand how we are gifted, know what we have been called to do and to be obedient and walk in that calling and our own individual purpose. I know of so many people who believe if you do not hold a college degree, that you are uneducated and/or unintelligent and thus not on their level. This could not be further from the truth. I also know of those who believe so deeply in being college educated that if, for some reason, they are not able to attend college their identity and self-worth suffers. I was one of those people but thank God for grace!

As you can see, this is one of those topics that I could talk about for hours. It intrigues me, indeed. But enough of my thoughts on the subject, I’d love to get a real dialogue going. Go ahead, chime in and let me know your perspective.

New Year’s Message

o-NEW-YEARS-RESOLUTIONS-facebook

Last year, 2015, was pretty tough for my family and I but we made it through. I know this had nothing to really do with us but it had everything to do with God holding us through the trials and storms. I don’t usually make New Year resolutions because I think we can sometimes go way overboard when making these “promises” and we end up either saddened by our lack of commitment or angered when we mess up. As such, I have gotten into the habit of doing a vision board at the beginning of each year. I have not completed my vision board for 2016 yet but many of the key points, as of right now, point towards career development and developing my spirit-man more this year. I guess you could say that 2015, with all its bumps and bruises, made me appreciate life more and has made me want to fulfill my purpose a lot more now than ever before.

While I am not much into making resolutions, I do believe in allowing God to reign in my life and inviting Him to take my mind, my heart, my life and to mold it into something that He can be proud of. So, my “resolution”, if you will, is just to be more like Him. To listen like He listens, to forgive like He forgives and most of all to love like He loves. Many things are easier said than done but this is my commitment to my family, to my friends and to everyone that God will allow me to influence, in any way, this year and for years to come.

So, here’s to 2016! May it be the beginning of the best part of your life! May you know love like you have never known before, know peace and joy like you have never known peace and joy before and be healed like never before. No matter what may come your way, in this new year, my prayer is that you will allow the Lord to see you through to the other side. For weeping can only endure for a night, but joy must come in the morning!

Happy New Year to you and yours! 🙂

True Strength

“Stop trying to be strong and embrace your weaknesses.”               – Pastor Jeremy Deweerdt

We are doing a series at our church. It is entitled ‘Rescue’. In this series, we have been talking about how God rescues us out of many seemingly hopeless situations and how, ultimately, we are (or have been) rescued to be a rescuer (for others). It has been simply amazing and very much eye-opening and life-changing for many, myself included. Today’s message was ‘Rescued from Hardships’. As you can imagine, this is something that many of us have faced at one point or another and something that we may currently be facing as I write this post and as you read along.

There was something very profound that was said in the message that really hit home. Obviously, there were many other great things that were conveyed in this message but I will only touch on this one for now because it honestly made something in my spirit shout “Yes!” My pastor had a number of different hardships that he hit on during this message and then he said the quote above and I knew this was a topic that I needed to do a post on.

Many times, when we are going through difficult times, we try to work things out in our own strength. I cannot begin to tell you how true that has been, in the past, for me. As believers, when we are going through a storm and we say that we “don’t feel God’s presence or strength,” it is many times because we have our hands in the situation and are trying to “fix” it in the way we want it to be fixed. Now, how true has that been for you???

Personally, I have experienced many people that talk about the perceived “strength” of men and women who have found themselves in the role of a single parent. While I do agree there is a strength that shows up in this type of situation, there is also a place where that strength is usually drawn from. I, myself, don’t like to have people tell me how “strong” I must be to have 6 children and to be parenting them alone because I know that is not the truth. My strength, as I have acknowledged before and will continue to talk about until the day that life leaves this earthly body, comes solely and fully from the Lord. I do not parent these children alone because God is my rock and my “co-parent”, if you will. He provides for ALL of our needs. His strength is made perfect in my weakness and I could do nothing without Him. I would not be able to love, guide and care for even 1 child, let alone 6, if it were not for the Lord loving, guiding, caring for and giving me the strength that I need, and being my strength, every single day.

It is kind of funny, to me, that we acknowledge the strength of single parents or the strength it may have took for someone to face their biggest fear and we fail to acknowledge where that strength comes from or what exactly true strength looks like. We are not always quick to acknowledge the strength that it takes to make a marriage work and to parent your child(ren) with your spouse, or the strength it takes to resist temptation, or the strength it takes to be obedient and remain in the will of God, or the strength it may take to continue working a job that you may absolutely hate in order to provide for your family, or even the strength it takes to confess and admit a wrong that we’ve committed against someone. One of the things that I’ve learned, is that we all have weaknesses and strengths. I’ve also learned that many of us like to focus and display our strengths for all to see, while we steadfastly hide our weaknesses. It may be something that we grew up being taught or it may be because we just don’t like those parts of ourselves. Listen, I get it! I grew up being taught to never let anyone see my weaknesses too but I think we need to understand that our weaknesses make us who we are, just as much, if not moreso, as our strengths. And that is okay!

My goal, as a mother, friend and woman, is to teach my children that we all have weaknesses and to not pressure them to ever feel like they have to be perfect, because that is a goal that we can never truly reach on this side of heaven; and to embrace my weaknesses, so that people not only see my strengths but also realize that I am human, I have flaws and that I am, by no means, perfect, although I may appear to be. 🙂 Let’s begin to acknowledge and understand where our true strength lies.

TBT: Live Your Dream

I was sitting here wondering what I should write about today and I ended up thinking about a guest post I wrote, that was published on a fellow bloggers’ blog site, about 9 months ago. It was entitled “Live Out Your Dream”. The contents of this particular post are basically self-explanatory when you read the title but I encourage you to read it and apply it to your life, in whatever way you see fit.Dream

With it being throwback Thursday and all I figured now was as good a time as any to introduce to some, and reintroduce to others, my philosophy on life;  my passion and reason for doing what I do (i.e. blogging/writing); and to just offer you some encouragement for your day, week and year. So, without further ado, why not take a few minutes to sit back, kick up your feet and head on over to the Happy Pretty Blog to read this “throwback” post.

Happy Thursday, Word-ies!

How to Ruin Your Child in 7 Easy Steps

oas_9781621885054_270I am on this journey of reading different devotionals and books. I had not been able to read as much as I’d like to however, lately, I have had this “extra” time on my hands and decided to fill that time with God and with reading. It has been truly refreshing. Recently, I was sent a new devotional, through my Bible app, and I decided to check it out. It was entitled “How to Ruin Your Child in 7 Easy Steps”. Yeah, it was a little weird to me too as first but I promise you I am not making this up.

Usually when we think of having children and raising them, we typically don’t think of harming them and we definitely don’t entertain the thought of ruiningSeven-deadly-sins them. However, as I was reading through this devotional, I began to understand how we really can (and do) ruin our children and make life harder for them, and ourselves, than we may realize. Obviously, this devotional is Biblically-based and, as such, often refers to passages of scripture or sin that opens the door to a parent or guardian ruining their child.

So, here’s a little history (or cheat sheet) on the 7 deadly sins, which is hard-work-vs-lazinessultimately what is used to show how we can ruin our children. The seven deadly sins can be found in various books of the Holy Bible. Here is the breakdown:

  • Lust – to have an intense desire or need: “But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed
    adultery with her in his heart” (Matthew 5:28).
  • Gluttony – excess in eating and drinking: “for drunkards and gluttons become poor, and drowsiness clothes them in rags” (Proverbs 23:21).
  • Greed – excessive or reprehensible acquisitiveness (interest in acquiring money or other material things): “Having lost all sensitivity, they have given themselves over to sensuality so as to indulge in every kind of impurity, with a continual lust for more” (Ephesians 4:19).wrath
  • Sloth – disinclined to activity or exertion: not energetic or vigorous: laziness: “The way of the sluggard is blocked with thorns, but the path of the upright is a highway” (Proverbs 15:19).
  • Wrath – strong vengeful anger or indignation: “A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger” (Proverbs 15:1).
  • Envy – painful or resentful awareness of an advantage enjoyed by another joined with a desire to possess the same advantage: envyjealousy: “Therefore, rid yourselves of all malice and all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander of every kind. Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation” (1 Peter 2:1-2).
  • Pride – quality or state of being proud: inordinate self-esteem: haughty or puffed up: “Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall”
    (Proverbs 16:18).

As you can see, many of these sins are not things we would normally greed-quotes-1consider to be that bad (or that big of a deal) but God looks at these traits differently than we do. Sometimes we are operating in these things and we do not even know it. Even when someone tries to point these things out in us, many times, we will accuse that other person of being mean or insensitive or just plain wrong about us. Sometimes that may be true but what if they are right about us? Then what?

We often hear people complaining about society and how the world isn’t like it used to be and our youth are not as respectful, compassionate, thoughtful as they used to be but let me pose this question to you. Do
you understand that many of these complaints stem from the way
someone was raised?

pride-quotes-8God has given us, who are parents in any way, the responsibility to raise our children to become the adults that we want to see them become. Raising a child is more than just providing for them financially and physically but it is guiding them spiritually, mentally and emotionally. It is giving them opportunities to make mistakes while they are still under your guidance and care so that you can correct them and help them to understand why something is “this way” and not “that way.” I would encourage any of you that have been given the opportunity to impact the life of a child, in any way, to read this devotional. I truly believe in the saying, “when you KNOW better, you DO better.”

Court…again!

So, yesterday, I went to court, for the umpteenth time and I must say, I learn a little bit more every time I am there. Anyway, I was summoned to court about a month ago, by my ex, and this time it was because of him claiming that he wants to have visitation with the children, after not seeing them for almost 2 years. In the documents that his lawyer drew up and sent over to my lawyer, it stated that I had been denying him adequate time with the children.

I’ll tell you what’s wrong with that. First of all, visitation was granted and I was okay with this (even with the abusive and neglectful history that he has with not only myself, but also with the kids). Secondly, he chose not to take advantage of this and tried everything in his power to make it so that I not only had to ensure that I never denied him visitation but also that I would be responsible for paying for his transportation or “at the very least” meeting him half way to drop them off. Oh, the nerve!!!

What more does he possibly want from me? It makes me leery of his motives especially when he claims that it is too much for him to drive out to DeKalb to pick up the children, every other weekend, however, it is obviously not too much for him since the court, that we have to go to, is about 15 minutes past where I live, and he manages to find his way out there to attend every single court hearing – and that is many times two or three times per month.

I believe that I am being more than lenient and understanding of his situation and his life and I do not ask him to do anything more than I believe is reasonable and feasible for him to do. However, I have been doing everything, by myself, for over 2 years now (longer than that if you count doing things by myself and making decisions concerning the children, even during the marriage) and I have tried not to complain about anything (not even child support, which he has still not paid to this day but somehow that continues to be overlooked by him). When is enough, enough? Seriously!

What do you all think? What are some ways that you would keep your cool about something like this? For the life of me, I am trying but I don’t know what else to do or how else to feel about continuing to be brought to court for things that have already been “decided”. I am human and I am flawed and I need a Savior just like everyone else but I am also a single mother who has been doing the best that I can with what I have.

What would you do? How would you proceed in this situation? Join the conversation. I would love to hear your stories of survival and triumph and, also, how you (or someone you know) made it through the tough times – and things similar to what I am presently dealing with.

>>> This blog is not meant to be just about me. It is meant to be a dialogue, not a monologue. I would love it if you all got involved and shared your hearts and your stories with me. It’s only in this way that this will speak into the lives of people like I so desire it to. Join me in changing the mentality of a generation and generations to come. You never know who may be reading and how their entire world can possibly be changed because of a simple answer or a spoken word. As always, feel free to like, share, comment and be sure to follow me on Twitter and Like me on Facebook! Until next time family! 🙂 <<<