Monday Motivation: Reckless Love…

Monday Motivation: Reckless Love…

adjective

Reckless:

to be reckless of danger.

characterized by or proceeding from such carelessness: reckless extravagance.

Hey guys,

So I was reminiscing with a friend the other day and they asked me, ” What was the most reckless thing you did as a child?” Automatically, my mind took me back to a crisp fall day in 1997 ( dang I’m aging myself here LOL)

I love to rollerblade, even to this day. But when I was in middle school and had to walk to a school that was a considerable distance away from my home, my mother absolutely forbade me from rollerblading to school. Being an adult now, I can understand why she encouraged me not to do it. However, being the stubborn child that I was, I went ahead and did it anyway.  The route that I chose to take to school on this particular day was out of the ordinary for me. It took me longer to get to school this way but the only friend crazy enough to join me on this great expedition, lived closer to this direction. So naturally, we met in the middle and off we went…. rollerblading down an extremely steep hill…. with oncoming traffic all around us. Not a care in the world.

Now I’m not sure  if you truly understand how steep this hill was. It was so steep that in order to stop myself from blading directly into oncoming traffic, I had to reach out and grab the stop sign pole that was to the right of me  to slow me down ( I am actually shuddering at the thought of this) After I successfully finished my ride, I looked to the left of me and BAM! My mothers good friend was stopped at the bottom of the hill I had just descended. It appeared at the time that she didn’t see me and so I thought I was in the clear!  I later learned upon getting home from school, that she did see me and had promptly called my mother at work. I was properly disciplined Jamaican style ( I’ll leave you to use your imagination lol) This experience was one of the most reckless things I did in my childhood.

Reminiscing about this experience, had me think about that word “RECKLESS”. Let’s look into it for a moment.

The word reckless as defined above means “utterly unconcerned about the consequences  of some action.

I began to look at the word reckless in correlation to our relationship with God. The song “Reckless Love” by Cory Ashbury really helped me put my thoughts together. Mind you, I absolutely HATED this song the first few times I heard it years ago because I didn’t take the time to decipher the message in the lyrics.

Here are the lyrics in particular that I want to take a look at today:

Oh, the overwhelming, never-ending, reckless love of God
Oh, it chases me down, fights ’til I’m found, leaves the ninety-nine
I couldn’t earn it, and I don’t deserve it, still, You give Yourself away
Oh, the overwhelming, never-ending, reckless love of God, yeah

I was speaking with another friend about how love by today’s standards are truly a gamble. You win some and you may lose some too.  But in order to really experience it you have to be willing to take that risk.

God truly took a risk on us and chose to love us recklessly, without another thought. Even  with Him being the creator and having the ability to see that we were going to hurt Him time and time again , He still CHOSE to love us recklessly! He loves us through our mess. He loves us even when we choose to walk away from Him over and over again.

There is nothing we can do to “earn” the love of God. God’s love is open and available to anyone who sets themselves in a place to receive it.

The part of the chorus that says “leaves the ninety nine,” brings me back to the Parable of the Lost Sheep, specifically the depiction detailed in Luke 15: 1-7 :

The Parable of the Lost Sheep

15 Now the tax collectors and sinners were all gathering around to hear Jesus.But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law muttered, “This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.” Then Jesus told them this parable: “Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Doesn’t he leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.’ I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.

This parable brings to life an analogy of how God views us. We at some point have been that one sheep that has wandered astray, and God has dropped everything to go out and call out us and beckon to us. He rejoices when we are found and boasts about it!  Now common sense would say “Its just one! Leave it and cut your losses”.  But no, this is another example of How God’s reckless love abounds.  He honestly could have said oh well another one bites the dust, but he didn’t. He is openly distraught when one sheep (us) is missing from the flock. It feels unnatural, incomplete until the lost one is returned to the flock.

The bridge of this song has lyrics as follows:
There’s no shadow You won’t light up
Mountain You won’t climb up
Coming after me
There’s no wall You won’t kick down
Lie You won’t tear down
Coming after me

To continue to love someone who continuously  walks away from you, turns their back on you, treats you with disregard is truly a reckless and careless move.  But as the aforementioned bridge says, there is absolutely NOTHING that can keep our God from loving us without limits!  Now this doesn’t mean that God is reckless. It simply means that the depth of His love is.. without thought or caution or rhyme and reason!

God’s love to the carnal eye of man is foolish. It makes no sense. In many ways His love is as pure and innocent as the love of a child. His love loves without barriers. His love is the type of love that never gives up. His love tears down walls. His love heals trauma! His love allows you to see the bright patch in a season of dark places…  His love in a nutshell is RECKLESS and I for one am eternally grateful for God’s Reckless Love! Oh to love and BE LOVED by God. Its truly a remarkable phenomenon.

 

Be blessed today and always!
Til Next Time,
xoxo

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©justlovethemanyway2019

It’s My Inheritance…

It’s My Inheritance…

It’s my birthday y’all…. and  this year I just wasn’t too excited about it; and if you know anything about me, its that I LOVE my birthday.  I had a few weeks of deep contemplation about what I wanted my next year of life to be like. Here ‘s what i’ve been pondering on the last little while.

Have you ever thought about the word inheritance and what it means?

Recently, the subject of inheritance has seemingly been all around me. This summer, Disney released the live action version of The Lion King. There is a scene in the movie where Mufasa (father) has a conversation with his son, Simba. He explains to him that everything the light touches belongs to them and that one day Simba will inherit all of it.  Watch the full scene ( from the original Disney motion picture film) down below:

What does it actually mean to inherit something?  Merriam-Webster dictionary defines the word inherit as, ” : to come into possession of or receive especially as a right or divine portion”.

Simba didn’t have to do anything to receive what Mufasa had to offer him. He was told that it belonged to him just becuase he belonged to Mufasa. It was his right as Mufasa’s son to inherit all that Mufasa had..

Hmm… think on that for a minute.

I was raised as an only child and I am my mothers only biological child. My sibling(s)  on my father’s side are much older than me and so I grew up always knowing whatever my mother had, and most of what my father had  would one day become mine. I didn’t have to do anything to earn it. My only job was to be born into the particular family that I was. It is my rightful place to one day take possesion of the things they have promised me.

I think I see a trend here….

Let’s look biblically for a second. The story  of Abraham is a great depiction of inheritance in direct corelation to us. God promised Abraham that if he followed His lead ( Genesis 12: 1-3) left all he knew behind he would bless him in ways that he couldn’t even imagine. God made a covenant with Abraham when he was old in age (75)  He, at the time was childless and God promised him that he would sow an heir and that his descendents would outnumber the stars in the sky.  (Genesis 15: 5) Abraham would  become the father to genrations of people who would go on to inherit the promised land.. and in latter days, inherit the gift of salvation through Jesus Christ.

Abraham didn’t have to do anything except follow God’s direction to inherit all that God promised to him.

That’s so relatable to us today and our relationship with  Jesus. God sent His son  (Jesus) as a sacrifce, to die on a cross just for us! We didn’t have to do anything to be worthy of such a sacrifice. The benefits of this sacrifice are eternal life. if we just take the step to join the family of God, wholeheartedly, all He has promised us is ours for the taking.

All He asks of us in return is to love Him and to serve Him in spirt and in truth.

Belong: We belong to God
Be in a Family: Through Jesus we are a part of the family of God 
Follow: Follow Jesus to inherit the kingdom of God and in turn eternal life

I was visiting with some friends a few weekends ago, and we were having some pretty deep discussions. We began to discuss how we often doubt God and all He has promised us. My big bro turned to the group and said ( paraphrasing )  ” Why do we act as if the inheritance isn’t ours?”

Wow…

That was like a big slap in of reality in my face. A staement that was so simple , took on a very profound meaning for me. For too long I have “known” that all God promised me, belongs to me, but never have I really taken the time to examine what that really means and BELIEVED IT!

Why am I worrying about trivial things when God already has my inheritance waiting on me?  Why am I doubting that what is for will always be for me? Why am I becoming frustrated with the timing of the inheritance’s delivery?

Because I am a fleshly human, flaws and all!

But, this year I’ve decided to walk in my inheritance! It’s already mine so I need to act like it! Everything that God has promised me, I’m claiming it this year! This is the time that my faith gets stronger and deeper and I stand with arms and heart wide open ready to receive. It’s time to live in the overflow of my inheritance.

I must admit, I was not excited for my birthday this year. I am coming off of a few years where God has really been stretchng me and grooming me and pushing me and pulling me and…. you get the drift. It’s been a season of growing pains. But after this conversation, a fire has been light under me to once again start speaking blessings over my life! Year 34 I’m claiming victory! I want the blessings of Abraham to flow all over me!

( This one of my favourite songs! It’s so appropriate for this post and I’m about to make it my theme song for this entire birth year! Anytime I start to lose sight of my inheritance, I’m going to through this on and worship all doubt away 🙂 )

Pray for me y’all (cause the devil stays lurking!)

I hope everyone has a blessed day! I’m off to the airport!! Let the birthday celebrations begin!

God bless you all!
xo

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Don’t Cry…

Don’t Cry…

“Don’t cry… wipe your eyes! He’s not dead…”

Happy Easter folks! Quick post today! I hope today you are surrounded by friends or family and that you take a moment to reflect on the sacredness of today!

There are very few songs that can bring me to tears instantly. To name a few;  “Grace” by Tasha Cobbs, “Destiny” by Tina Campbell and the one this blog post is based on “Don’t Cry” by Kirk Franklin.

It’s not even a dramatically interesting arrangement, to be honest, but the lyrics in their simplicity really hit home. The lyrics read as follows:

Why do you cry? He has risen.
Why are you weeping? He’s not dead.

Why do you cry? he has risen.
Why are you weeping? He’s not dead.

He paid it all on that lonely highway
And his anointing I can feel.

He shed his blood
For my transgressions
And by his stripes, we are healed.

 

Why do you cry? He has risen.
Why are you weeping? He’s not dead.
So as you go through life’s journey
Don’t you worry lift up your head.
Don’t you cry  stop your weeping
He has risen He’s not dead.
Don’t cry
wipe your eyes
He’s not dead.
Don’t weep
He’s not asleep
Jehovah
He’s not dead

 

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We often go through life ( even as Christians) doubting the magnitude of who Jesus Christ is and the sacrifice He made for us on the cross so many years ago. Because of the choice, He made to give HIs life for ours, we have a hope that should surpass all doubt!  Although He died and was buried, three short days later, He rose again and in that event, left us with the hope that He will one day return for us- His people.

There is hope in Jesus Christ! Maybe you’ve tried things your way for a long time, and things just don’t seem to be working out. If you haven’t already made a choice to get to know Jesus, take a few moments and pray this prayer with me:

 

Dear God,
Thank you for sending your son Jesus. I stand in awe of the sacrifice made for someone like me. I have been trying things my way for a long time, and now I want to put my life in your hands. I know that I am a sinner only saved by your grace  Please come into my heart. Guide my thoughts and point my life in a direction that is pleasing to you! Amen

 

Don’t Cry!

 

There is hope because our saviour is NOT DEAD!
He already took care of the perils of today at the cross long ago!

Rejoice in the peace that the saviour has RISEN!

 

Be Blessed!

May your Easter season be filled with love, joy and peace!

xoxo
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©justlovethemanyway

 

I Am Who He Says I Am…

I Am Who He Says I Am…

” I am chosen Not forsaken I am who You say I am… You are for me Not against me I am who You say I am…”

Loser…

Ugly…

Disruptive…

Stupid…

These are some words that have been used to describe me at one point or another in life.  I’m sure many people out there can relate to having words spoken about them that were extremely hurtful and that have probably left invisible scars on their self-esteem.

This weekend I attended a ladies retreat put on by my church organization (COGOP). The theme for the weekend was, “Yet, I will rejoice “. While the overall theme was rejoicing in your circumstances, quite a few of the session speakers and evening ministers really touched on the topic of mental wellness and knowing who you are through Christ.

I was having a conversation with my sister-friend this weekend, who shared with me an incident where an older church sister had made mention of her nose piercing. This particular sister told her in no uncertain terms that she needed to remove her nose ring and that it was “demonic”. My sister-friend shared with me how the sister made her feel so bad about herself and her choice to wear the nose ring, by basically discrediting her ability to have a relationship with Christ and minister ( she’s an amazing musician) because of it.

My sister-friend has spoken with me openly ( and I with her) about the struggle we have at times to maintain mental and spiritual wellness. Well as you can imagine, this older sister’s words didn’t help with her spiritual self-esteem: feeling worthy of acting in ministry because maybe the nose ring really did make her “less than”.

Unworthy

Distracting

Disobedient

In another event, I can recall being in the bathroom ( restroom for my American readers lol) and overhearing two sisters having a conversation that was so discrediting to my character that I won’t repeat it here. If I was a different person I would’ve let their words send me down a downward spiral. Thankfully, It had the opposite effect and I can still hold my head high knowing I’m still ( by God’s grace) proving them wrong.

Failure

Disappointment

Worthless 

We humans often forget that words are powerful! They have the power to uplift and they have the ability to tear down, as do the people who say them.

This is why I am so happy that God has left us some words of affirmation in His word (The Bible) that can remind of who He has made us!

1 Peter 2:9-  But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.

John 1:12 Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God

John 15:15 I no longer call you slaves, because a master doesn’t confide in his slaves. Now you are my friends since I have told you everything the Father told me.

Romans 8:17 -And since we are his children, we are his heirs. In fact, together with Christ, we are heirs of God’s glory. But if we are to share his glory, we must also share his suffering.

1 Thessalonians 1:4-  We know, dear brothers and sisters, that God loves you and has chosen you to be his own people.

The theme song for the weekend was Hillsong’s “Who You Say I Am”

The lyrics are powerful and the ones that really stuck out to me are:

I am chosen
Not forsaken
I am who You say I am
You are for me
Not against me
I am who You say I am

Christ has given us a title that nobody can take away. A title that nobody’s words can cancel:

Chosen

Special

His Child

Heir

Friend

Loved

I want to remind somebody that they are a product of God’s promise! The preacher Angela Grant had a tagline that she used in her message on Saturday night at the retreat. She reminded us ladies that we are ” CHOSEN NOT TOLERATED”

You are who God says you are. He made a choice and His choice was to LOVE US and make us HIS OWN.

You are loved!

You matter!

Take two minutes out of your busy schedule today and remind them of special they are! Take a look in the mirror and encourage yourself!

If you don’t hear it today: I love you and GOD LOVES YOU TOO!

Be Blessed!

xoxo

©justlovethemanyway

​Monday Motivation: Still…

​Monday Motivation: Still…

Hey Y’all,

So… I almost drowned about a week ago…   twice! I mean it would have been one hundred percent my fault but let me backtrack a little.

Last week I was on vacation in Rio Hato, Panama. This part of Panama is surrounded by the Pacific ocean. Being a girl of Caribbean descent, and one who is naturally prone to travel to the Caribbean islands which are surrounded by the Caribbean sea, I am not particularly fond of the Pacific. I find it a little too rough for my liking and honestly, just not as beautiful! ( Sorry my Pacific Ocean lovers!)  But nevertheless, I love water and I will always take advantage of any opportunity to be near it.

However, the beach at my resort wasn’t too bad! Now if you travel to beach resorts, you will know that the lifeguards have a flag system that they use to notify the patrons about the conditions of the water.

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So now to the topic of my nearly drowning.
(I can actually swim pretty well so this was not a factor in this near-death experience LOL)

All my friends were over at the pool. I wanted to take a quick dip in the ocean. So with no volunteers to come with me, I took it upon myself to just pop over to the beach and do just that. I saw the flags, waving bright and boldly in all its yellow glory. Medium hazard? I thought what could possibly be the harm? So bravely, I walked into the ocean…

it was at that moment I knew… I’d made a very poor decision. It was also in this moment that I learned that rip tides are REAL!

What’s a rip tide you ask? A riptide is:

  1. a relatively strong, narrow current flowing outward from the beach through the surf zone and presenting a hazard to swimmers.

So as I began to splash around, I noticed that the waves were extremely rough ( duh soph! Hence the warning flag) I started to attempt to make my way back to the shore, my toes were still touching the ocean floor at this point… until they weren’t anymore. Instantly my fight or flight instincts took over and I began to tread water like crazy and tried to propel myself towards the shore.

I couldn’t. I began to get weary and think to myself, “Really Soph, you’re gonna come all this way to drown alone in the ocean?”  So I began to fight! Another riptide bashed me again, this time knocking me backwards and then finally it subsided and I was able to crawl my way to the sand and leave the ocean!

The next time I nearly drowned/died was on a water slide. I’d consider myself pretty adventurous and so when I saw this waterslide, I knew I had to try it! There were two different slides to choose from. I naturally decided to do the fastest one because I’m a G! ( lol I’m not really, I’d just like to think I am:) )

So I get situated on the slide and push off. At first, it was going really well… until it wasn’t! I approached one particular part on this slide where the water completely blinded me and suddenly I was taking the rest of the ride with no clear vision of when the end of the slide would come alongside my inevitable entrance to the pool below.  Well, boy, did I enter the pool with a big splash… and was so shocked that I couldn’t catch my bearings to get myself back up to the surface! Thank God for the lifeguard at the bottom who literally put his hand on my back and guided me up to the surface safely!

Being back for a week now, I have had time to reflect on all the hidden lessons my experiences on this trip taught me.

Life sometimes comes at us like a riptide or a crazy waterslide.  We oftentimes put ourselves in situations without thinking things through and then are shocked when life hits us with a big splash!

Sometimes we enter situations that are out of our control and end up really feeling out of control! It sometimes feels like we are being carried away with the undertow of the cares of life. But just as with the riptide I faced in the ocean, it will subside. It is up to you to decide if you’re gonna tread water and fight against the current or give up and let it overtake you! Just like my experience on the waterslide, sometimes we need a helping hand to help us find our way to the surface.

For me, that helping hand, that motivation to tread water and keep fighting is rooted in the fact that I serve a God who promised to never leave me or let me down!

If you are currently feeling trapped in the riptide, be encouraged! Strong currents won’t rage forever! Calm seas will reign again!

The song “Still” by Hillsong United always provides me with comfort whenever I find myself in the undertows of life. Have a listen down below:

When the oceans rise and thunders roar
I will soar with you above the storm
Father you are king over the flood
I will be still and know you are God

Be Blessed!
Til next time…
xoxo

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©justlovethemanyway

It’s Your Breath In Our Lungs…

It’s Your Breath In Our Lungs…

“It’s your breath in our lungs, so we pour out our praise to you only….”

Hey y’all

I don’t know if anybody reading this know what it feels like to not be able to breathe. Like to the point where you see stars and the room around you starts to look dim…. Up until a week ago I would’ve able to confidently say that I didn’t know what it feels like either…. until it happened. I had been battling flu like symptoms for a few weeks and any time that the weather gets pretty cold my asthma starts to act up. So flu like symptoms+ asthma equalled a recipe for disaster.  I went to bed like any other night, but during the night I began having trouble breathing . I tried propping myself up on pillows , sipping water, essential oils… to no avail. Around 3 am I again woke up and tried to take a breath… and could not. My lungs were so restricted that the air was having an extremely hard time getting through. So naturally, reached to my bedside vanity for my inhaler… no inhaler. Crawled out of bed to my purse… could not find an inhaler. Somehow in the fog I remembered I left the inhaler in the family room… upstairs…. 

Long story short I was able to crawl ( yes literally crawl) up the stairs and get some assistance and my inhaler. But the few moments where air wasn’t getting through, I saw my life literally flash before me. In that moment I realized how much I took something as simple as breathing without restriction for granted. 

This past weekend I went to a Young Adults Retreat my church organization put on, which I sang on the worship team.  Flu like symptoms+asthma makes it pretty hard to sing as you can probably imagine. On the Saturday evening I began having the same reaction except this time my inhaler was giving me no relief. I didn’t share this with anyone but my roommates/ church sister friends knew something was up.  I kept getting up to go outside to get air into my lungs.  Rough night of sleep ( as my roommates could tell you ) but I woke up Sunday fed up with feeling crappy. 

The worship team sang a song that morning  where the lyrics of the chorus are ” It’s your breath in our lungs, so we pour out our praise to you only..”  Coincidence? No I think not. I’d like to think it was a little nudge from God of what I needed to focus my prayers on that morning. As the speaker made an altar call, he called for us to anoint ourselves with oil and pray in earnest for what we needed.

Naturally, I began to cry out to God for my health issues and also the health issues of my parents.  Would you believe when I rose from prayer , and I went to go and sit beside my homegirl ( hey dreadie!) she said she had felt a desire to pray for me since Friday evening.  Keep in mind I had not shared any of my health struggles of late with her. Would you believe that her obedience to pray for me, led her to pray literally the exact prayer I prayed for myself!??!  She prayed out fears about myself that I had not shared with ANYBODY on earth. Nobody can tell me that God isn’t real and that He isn’t listening to prayer and the cries of your heart.  Almost instantly after she prayed for me I felt like a weight lifted off of my chest and I COULD BREATHE FREELY! I have never experienced anything like in my life. Who else but God? To top it off I have not used any inhaler since Sunday! God is good!

This is my praise report! I have felt God’s healing hands on my physical body. This entire experience served as a reminder that the air in my lungs are gifted from God. I will forever pour out praise to God for what He has done and will continue to do for me! 

And he said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well. Go in peace. Your suffering is over.”

Great are you LORD!

 

Take advantage of the breath in your lungs. Time is not promised to anyone young or old. Use it for its intended purpose. To worship. To speak life not death. To pour out love everywhere you go…  To Just Love Them Anyway! ❤

Be Blessed Y’all!
xoxo 
©justlovethemanyway

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Monday Motivation: Life Is… A Rollercoaster

Monday Motivation: Life Is… A Rollercoaster

Hey y’all,

Finally the return of Monday Motivation!

I remember being the first time I rode a rollercoaster. I was at Disneyland in California on vacation with my cousins.  We were young, all between the ages of 6 and 14 (I was 12) Since we had my younger cousins with us, we stuck to some pretty tame rides, when suddenly we found ourselves in the line for the infamous Space Mountain Rollercoaster. For those of you who aren’t familiar with Space Mountain, it’s a rollercoaster that is actually inside of a constructed mountain. Inside, it is pretty much completely dark. This thing goes fast and has many unexpected twists and turns. Let me tell you and with all the twists and turns and the the added factor that I couldn’t see a thing… your girl was SCARED! I held on for dear life, looked over at my 8 year old cousin who was just as terrified as me and thought, “What on earth did I get myself into?”

My older cousin was behind me shouting “Faster! Faster!  with his hands up in the air while my youngest cousin Kimmy found a way to maneuver her way out of her safety harness and hide under the seat…. I literally thought she had fallen out the ride! (Please note, she has NEVER been on a rollercoaster since! LOL)

The ride did a couple of rounds and each time I found myself being less and less afraid and actually began to enjoy the ride. By the final go round , I too had my hands up in the air and was no longer afraid of the unknown.

Jonathan McReynolds has an interlude track on his “Make Room” album where he uses the analogy of rollercoaster as a metaphor for life. This particular analogy really resonated with me. Like me,  he painted the picture of holding on for dear life while the rollercoaster was in motion, whereas everyone around him had their hands up and were really able to let loose and enjoy!

Oftentimes when we hold on to control of our life, we tend to feel every single bump and blow and curveball that comes our way with intensity.  It’s almost as if we think  that if we hold on a little tighter, we’ll be able to manipulate the ride to do what we want it to do. Such as with life, sometimes we refuse to let go and let the ride of life do what it’s going to do.  We refuse to let the ride go through its predestined route without thinking we can help or change it along the way.  The engineers have already mapped out and constructed this ride , already knowing the outcome, so why would we in our right mind think  that anything we attempt to do could change what was already carefully orchestrated? It’s time to walk in the understanding that God has already mapped out life for you.

Now,  how much easier would life be  if we could be the other type of rider? Totally free and trusting God to bring us safely to the end of our ride. Now that’s not to say that this option isn’t scary. But in reality it’s actually the only option that makes sense!  Does holding on for dear life change the outcome? Nope! May as well let go and let God.

So today, I encourage you to let go of anxiety and fear of the future ( or even the present) to stop holding on to the past  and to throw your hands up in the air and trust that God has it all in control.

Life is a rollercoaster. We are going to encounter some ups and some downs , some unexpected loops. Life won’t always be smooth sailing on straight paths. But we need to hold on to the promise that through it all God will never let us fall!

Take a listen to Jonathan’s interlude called L.R.F( Rollercoasters) down below:

Have a blessed Monday! God Bless You All!
Til Next Time…
xoxo

©justlovethemanyway

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Make Room

Make Room

Jonathan McReynolds has a beautiful song called “Make Room” that really speaks about making room for God in your life. About preparing your heart for God to dwell there. This is the song that really inspired this post. During my summer travels, as my friend and I drove through the lush greenery that is the state of Tennessee, God dropped this song right into our laps and for 3+ hours from Chattanooga to Memphis this song was on repeat. We worshipped, we meditated on the goodness of God and for me… I felt convicted…  I need to make even more room for God.

I am a LOVER of schedules. I have a planner that each week is updated with my plans and commitments for the week. Colour coded so its easy to see what things are a priority and what things can be shuffled around and done on another day.

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It seems that time is something that we never have enough of. Somebody will mention that they need help with something at the church, or your neighbour may need a hand moving and out comes the classic line, “Oh I don’t have any time to do that.”  Yet oddly enough if its something that we feel like doing or are super intrigued by, magically the hours for productivity suddenly appear? Funny how that happens!

Recently, an acquaintance of mine and I were making plans to hit up the gym together, I suggested we meet up in the evening after work and she wanted to meet up in the early morning . While I’m not particularly fond of getting up early, my body wakes me up at 6 am rain or shine, sleet or snow, vacation or work day. So naturally, knowing this , she thought that  going to the gym in the early morning would seem to be of no problem to me right? Wrong. It’s in that early part of the morning that I like to spend my quiet time with God in prayer and bible study as it’s the time of day that I feel that I can give God my  undivided attention and frankly I’m the most alert. When I explained this her she responded,  “Well can’t you just do that later?” Ok I thought, just this once I’ll move things around  and spend time with God later. And you know what happened, Later on came… and so did the sleep….  a day of sweet commune with God missed, never to be regained.

In that moment it dawned me; it shouldn’t be so easy for me to rearrange my schedule when it means bumping God out of the priority spot.  We often rearrange our time with God for something as trivial as a television program.  I can vividly remember in junior high and high school being so mad at my parents for making me go back to church on a Sunday evening when all I wanted to do was stay home and watch the Grammy’s or the BET awards ( remember this was in a time where live streaming and PVR weren’t an option, so if you missed it you missed it!) where as now I could care less!

What if God rearranged His schedule to only be available for us when He felt like it? This society would be even more in shambles than it already is ( hard to imagine!)  We oftentimes take for granted the gift that is Jesus. Someone who is always available morning, noon or night to hear our EVERY need. All He wants from us is for us to make room for Him in our heart and in our lives.

How many times have we prayed this prayer: ” God if you just give me one more day, I promise to  be better to You than  I was today. To give you all of me not just the leftovers?” Then tomorrow comes and again out of mouth comes the exact same words? I don’t know about you, but there are only so many times I can eat leftovers before getting sick of them and before they get stale. In the same way we don’t want to eat leftovers everyday, we need to stop giving God our leftover worship and our reheated praise! Come guys we have to give Him something new to eat once in awhile! There is nothing better than fresh food!

How do you make room for God in your life? Here are 4 ways to make room for God in your everyday life :

Make time for Him:
Make God a priority. The new Netflix series will wait. The phone call will go to voicemail. Give God your undivided attention.

Get rid of and negativity:
Make your heart comfortable for God to enter in. It will be hard for Him to navigate through negative space.  Release and let go of anything that is holding your heart and a prisoner to anger or resentment.

Physically create space for Him:
Find a room or a closet; perhaps your bathroom. Create a space where you will not be surrounded by any distractions, where you can have some personal alone time with God.

Meditate on His word:
Seeking out and studying the word of God is a good way to get to know Him, to learn from Him and to hear from Him.

Where I live, the children are heading back to school today. I am an Educator so this means back to work as regularly scheduled for me as well. ( farewell leisurely summer days 😦 lol )  This is a challenge and reminder to me ( and you) that no matter how hectic life gets, how busy our schedules may seem, make room for God FIRST!

 

 But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. ( Matthew 6:33)

Have a blessed day!
Til next time…
xoxo

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©justlovethemanyway

Monday Motivation: Nothing Blooms Before Its Time…

Monday Motivation: Nothing Blooms Before Its Time…

I’ve had a bit of writers block the past few months. I just haven’t been able to get the thoughts in my head to materialize into  content. Perhaps I was in a season where I needed to be still and allow the thoughts to manifest in the correct time.

That word “season” seems to be following me everywhere this year and I hate it. I find it so cliche when people say” This is your season” yet this year I found myself uttering that very same sentiment.  Y’all let me tell you… God has been taking me on a crazy journey this year and has really been forcing me to trust Him with some CRAZY FAITH.

So yesterday, I did, and I don’t really want to get into the situation as it’s a pretty sensitive one. But, just know I had a conversation with someone that I NEVER thought I would be able to. And because I stepped out on faith, I in myself felt God begin to move. Now, that doesn’t necessarily mean that the outcome is going to fall in line with my idea of how things should be, but it brought me to a place of peace where I can truthfully be at rest knowing that no matter what happens my latter will be greater!

Anybody who knows me, knows that I’ve never been a huge fan of flowers. Lately however, I have really been really intrigued by flowers and plants and the beautiful process that brings a tiny seed into fruition.  The phrase that God has been ever so gently saying to me in my quiet moments ( or when my mind starts to overthink things) is that “Nothing blooms before its time”.  We oftentimes think that we should be farther ahead in life than you are or that you should have obtained things by certain age, but nothing blooms before its time…. before its season!

Just like a seed, we need time to grow. After a seed is planted it needs to be nurtured and taken care of.  That little seed that was planted must survive the winter. If your season of winter is anything like a Canadian winter, its long and harsh and sometimes seems unbearable. But after that seed survives the winter and we enter a new season, it is then that that seed begins to bloom.

Hillsong Worship has a new record out called “There is More” and on that album there is a track called “Seasons”. This song first appeared on their Christmas album and fell in love and felt so connected to the track. This week especially, I have been really listening to this quite a bit because one the lyrics spoke so deeply to me. The lyrics said,

I can see the promise
I can see the future
You’re the God of seasons
I’m just in the winter
If all I know of harvest
Is that it’s worth my patience
Then if You’re not done working
God I’m not done waiting….

I may be in the winter of my life right now but I can feel my seed on the brink of its bloom.  During this winter season, God has been really stretching me and strongly encouraging me to trust Him. He’s also been having me work on my patience  which is the hardest thing ever for me. But im doing it and you can too!

Its always important to remember that seeds don’t always bloom at the same time. Two seeds can be planted at the same time, nurtured the same way, but no seed will bloom before its time! Don’t get wrapped up in the fact that your seed didn’t bloom in this season, because after that season comes another! Eventually your season will come!

And when you finally see what your seed has bloomed into, you’ll be able to see why God had you wait through so many seasons for your final reveal!

God has not forgotten you and what is for you will always be. So don’t stress the seasons! Enjoy them and take care of your seeds till then!

It’s time for my harvest… whatever that entails.

I love you all! Thanks for sticking with me during my sporadic absences! I’m back now!
Let me leave you with one more lyric from the song…

Though the winter is long even richer
The harvest it brings
Though my waiting prolongs even greater
Your promise for me like a seed
I believe that my season will come

God Bless and have fabulous Monday 🙂
©justlovethemanyway

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9 Effective Ways To Beat The Monday Blues…

9 Effective Ways To Beat The Monday Blues…

Hey guys!

If you’re anything like me, Monday rolls around waaaayyyyyy too fast. It’s like you race out of work on Friday evening and blink and its already Sunday night…:(  ( there really should be a day in-between Saturday and Sunday called RESTDAY 😛 )

I used to be the kind of person that would grumble all of Monday and never accomplish anything because I spent too much time lamenting about how much I loathe the day. I realized I had to change my attitude in order to change my day; Better mood= Better Outcome! Here are some of the ways I help myself have better Mondays!

Prepare from Sunday Night:
This is probably the tip that has helped me the most. Do as much prep as you can the night before. For me that entails packing my lunch/snacks for the workday. Having them prepared and ready to grab as I head out the door saves me a lot of time in the morning.
Tidy up your space . There is nothing worse than waking up to chaos. SO to avoid that, try to get your place in order as much as you can Sunday evening.
I also try to lay out( or at least pick out lol) what I’ll be wearing for the day. It’s so time consuming to stand in front of the closet and hmm and haw trying to figure it out when the morning is already so busy ( I know I know first world problems.)
I also like to pack my bag/purse. If it’s a day I need to work on my computer on my break from my full time job, I like to pack it up with the charger so its ready to go in the morning. I like to check my purse for keys, toiletries etc and have that ready as well.

Get Adequate Sleep:
This is the hardest one for me as the weekends can be super busy and I often find it hard not to nap Sunday’s after church ( y’all tell me  that Sunday after church nap isn’t the most wonderful sleep ever!)  which then leads me to be up way past an appropriate time for somebody who has to be at work at 8 am! Do yourself a favour of limited how long you “nap” in the afternoon so that you can get to bed at a decent hour.

Get up Early:
This also hard! I wake up early every single day of my life- without an alarm but….. it’s the actual physically getting up part that gets me every single time! Give yourself enough time to get things accomplished in the morning without having to rush.

Make a To Do List:
Now this goes hand in hand with Sunday Night Prep. I know lists don’t work for everybody, but as scatterbrained as I can be, lists help to keep me on track with things I need to accomplish for the day.

Eat:
I’m not really a breakfast kind of person, but I’ve had to force myself to be. It’s really important to fuel your body for the day.  I like to start my day with a cup of tea and some fresh  fruit at least.

Pray/ Write in a Gratitude Journal/Read Your Bible :
You guys are probably looking at me crazy thinking, “Who has time to do this in the morning”, but trust me when I say it has changed my Monday moods for the better. There is nothing better that putting into perspective the mere fact that you lived to see another Monday. Many people  did not.
So, to take a few minutes to give thanks and scribble a word of gratitude to the one who made it possible, I don’t think that’s too much to ask 🙂
Also, to read some of His word is not a bad idea either. Nothing like God’s word to get you centered.

Drink Water:
Stay hydrated! The more hydrated you are, the more your body will thank you- and your skin too!

Get Your Hygiene in Order:
I live by my motto, “Look good, feel good!”  So put yourself together and start your day!

Lastly….

Make Your Bed:
I know it seems trivial, but I you’re anything like me, coming home to an unmade bed, throws my whole evening off. It almost feels as if I haven’t really started the day yet!

So there you have it folks. I hope you find some tips to make sure Moaning Mondays are a thing of the past!

Have a great evening!
xoxo
©justlovethemanyway