Tag Archives: God

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!

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Delayed or Unanswered?

I met a young man while shopping.  He and I began talking and he happened to say something that would later send me on this journey of intense study and prayer.  He had recently gone through a very hurtful breakup with the mother of their infant daughter and said that he thought she was “the one” and now he was in a place of questioning and doubting God since he felt like God didn’t answer his prayers to be with this woman forever.  I’m sure many of us can relate to this type of doubt and unanswered-prayeruncertainty, in our own lives, in some way.  However, I could sense that this was much more than your typical doubt, if you will.

In the short time that we spoke, which was about half an hour, I learned more about this young man than I learned about many of my friends during our first few months of friendship.  I also believe that this young man walked away with a newfound faith and a certainty that he had longed for, for a lifetime.  To God be the glory!  You see, I am not the kind of person that believes in sugarcoating this thing called faith; I am not going to paint out a life spent with Jesus to be a life free from pain, struggle, tears or hurt.  However, as long as there is breath in these lungs I will forever let you know that in the midst of the pain and the tears, there will always be an indescribable peace and an unspeakable joy that can only come from Jesus.

Back to our topic, delayed or unanswered?…  When I was growing up, my grandmother, who was a mighty woman of faith, used to say, “Baby girl, there will always be times when God seems distant but that’s when you have to stand a little firmer, pray a little harder and trust a little longer.”  I’m not going to even lie and say that I understood what she meant by that but as I’ve grown up, had a family of my own, and continued my own walk with the Lord, I have begun to understand many of her words a little bit better.  349_1920x1080_angel_vs_demon

You see, we all have times when we want to give up or we feel stagnated in some part of our lives.  I’m sure many, if not all, of us have had times when we have prayed to some ‘higher being’ and things just didn’t pan out the way we thought they would.  It is very easy to stop believing, to stop trusting, and to give up on faith during those times but that is the trick of the enemy.  The enemy wants you to believe that there is no God or that God is not listening to you but that is a lie from the pit of hell!  The truth is that God does listen, God does care and God is real!

There are times when we, as parents, avoid giving our own children things that will harm them or take them off of the path that they are supposed to be traveling on.  If we, as parents, think about our children in this way and want to prevent them from ever being hurt in any way, what do you believe the God of all creation thinks about concerning us and our well-being?

DISCLAIMER: I take full responsibility, retaliation and backlash for the following statement: I honestly believe that there is no such thing as an unanswered prayer; there is either yes or no.

Man-Praying-at-DawnMany times, it is not that God has not answered our prayers.  Many times, God has either answered the  prayer with a “No” and that is why it feels like He did not answer us because He has answered in a way that we were not really expecting or open to.  And, sometimes, His answer is “Yes” and everything works out the way we thought it should or even better.  What we have to remember is that everything will be answered in the end so, whether or not we understand God’s Will, we can rest assured that we will fully understand everything (the good, the bad and the ugly) that happened, in this life, when we get to eternity.

My goal, in every post that I write, is to make you think, not to change your mind or belief, just to give you something to chew on.  If you happen to get something more out of the thoughts written into this blog that is wonderful but the goal is to really just present a new perspective about very real issues, subjects or questions that we all may have thought about at one point or another.

College: Is it really necessary?

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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

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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.

Will All The Real Fathers Please Stand Up?

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What do you say to a child who has gotten their hopes up time and time again only to be let down? What do you feel, as a mother, when you know that hurt is an inevitable part of life and you see your baby hurting in ways that a child never should know? How do you explain that dad is not coming to get them, once again, because he had something “more important” come up?

20130505-lifeclass-fatherless-sons-quotes-1-600x411This is my reality.

This is what I stay up at night wondering about.

This is my children’s reality.

This is what I witnessed, for the umpteenth time, over this past weekend.

This is a true story that has no happy ending.

We waited for over an hour and he did not show up. No call. No email. No text. Nothing. Six o’clock came and went. Seven o’clock came and went. Finally, at 7:11pm, to be exact, the phone rings. It’s him. My oldest daughter answers the phone. We are still waiting in the vehicle at the exchange spot for him to come. He asks what the kids are doing, to which my daughter responds, “We are still waiting for you.” A moment of silence before he asks who are you all with… “Mom.” I guess he feels ashamed or does not even care because he just says, “Okay. I will call you all tomorrow morning.”  fathershurt

No apologies.

No acknowledgement of fault.

No reassurance that he still cares for them.

No nothing.

Tomorrow morning comes. Tomorrow morning goes. No phone call from their dad. Finally, at 3:14pm a text message is received. It reads, What r u doing? To which one of my children respond. The next text, from him, comes a few moments after he receives the text from the children. It reads, I cannot talk to you about adult stuff. Tell your mom to give me a call today or tomorrow. That’s it. He’s gone. No phone call, as he said he would do the day prior. No more texts for the rest of the day or the rest of the weekend.

Now, ihavingkidst’s Tuesday.

No communications received from him at all since Saturday.

How do you live with yourself? is what I begin to wonder.

Many of you already know how it breaks my heart to see my children cry or suffer, in any way, and to know that there is really nothing that I can do to change their reality. Many of you also know how much I truly wish that there was some way for me to erase the past and start again with a clean slate; a blank canvas.

This is not possible.

This is reality.

This is our reality.

I cannot control the actions of my ex-husband but I can control my actions in (and beyond) their presence. I always find myself feeling like there must be something more that I can do to shield my children and guard their hearts from this unnecessary, externally inflicted pain.goodfathers

But what?

Do you know?

Does anyone know?

If someone does, please reveal this long lost secret to me because I cannot begin to fathom how someone who claims to love their children – their seed, bone of their bone and flesh of their flesh – can truly be so destructive in their behavior and actions toward those same children. Not to mention how they can destroy what little relationship, and trust, that they may have built.

Where trust once existed, is now a field of distrust.

Where certainty, now only doubt clouds those skies.

It’s mind-Father-to-the-fatherless1blowing to me how some men can father children only to leave them when the marriage or relationship fails. This is not adult behavior and it is not mature behavior, in the least. Why do we have so many men who want to play house but choose to skip out on their responsibilities and are nowhere to be found when the real “storms” come? Who said that it was acceptable for them to leave families shattered, homes fractured and hearts broken?

Enough is enough!

This will no longer be our reality.

Sometimes, I wonder what it will be like when my children become adults. How will they be with their own children and spouses? Will this affect their lives beyond what I can see right now? Lord, I sure hope that it will make them closer to You. I hope that this pain will reveal strengths to them that they did not even know that they had. I hope that through all of this, my children will learn to let their yes be yes and their no be no. When they are grown, successful and living out their purpose on this Earth, for all to see, I pray that they will not shun their biological father. If they do, I pgodslovebookray that he will understand and se
e how all of this time that he is missing contributed to their cold hearts toward him. I pray that at that time he will acknowledge his failures, apologize for his lack of affection and consider this misuse of his time. Above all, I pray that my children will understand and walk in forgiveness – to know it for themselves, to show it to others and to freely and graciously give it to their dad someday.

Humility.

Forgiveness.

This will now be our reality.

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.”