May Your Bad Days Prove That God is Good…

May Your Bad Days Prove That God is Good…

Hey loves!

As 2018 is drawing to a close, I have been doing some reflecting ( as most of us do). I began to think about my year.. and honestly how “bad” it’s been. At the beginning of the year I had multiple people from different areas of my life tell me that “2018 is my year” and let me tell you after the past few years I have experienced,  I was in need of “something good”. But in no uncertain terms was 2018 my year. While it wasn’t my worst year, it wasn’t what I would   refer to as “my year”.  I was still met with exceeding disappointment, overwhelming anxiety and “unanswered prayers.”

It was in talking with a friend, that caused me to really take a step back and reevaluate what “my year” really meant. I was looking for the physical manifestation of my prayers while not really taking into consideration the work that God was doing on the inside of me.  I spent too much of 2018 in anticipation of the “what’s coming for me” and not enough time in the awe of “what God is doing for me right now”.

I look at 2018 as my year of refinement. What does it mean to be refined?  According to google dictionary ,  to be refined is defined as

” with impurities or unwanted elements having been removed by processing.”
“elegant and cultured in appearance, manner, or taste.”
“developed or improved so as to be precise or subtle.”

This year forced me to take stock of all the parts of myself that needed refining. There were several areas of my life that God really needed to refine within me this year and while it may have seemed long and tedious, or that God wasn’t hearing me this year, He had to take me through the process.  The refining process is not a simple or quick task. It takes time! We live in this microwave generation where we want everything in 2 minutes or less. But God doesn’t work on our time schedule. He takes His time refining His people because He wants us to be the best version of ourselves, which in turn is the best representation of Him.

So yes, while 2018 was filled with “bad days” it has taught me so much about myself. It has always caused me to reflect that my bad day is a walk in the park for somebody else. Yes, I know that’s cliche to say but it’s really true. I have a friend ( I won’t name him because I didn’t ask permission to share his story… hopefully in the future I can interview him) who has battled more in 2018 than I probably have in my whole life and He still manages to lift his hands in worship to the almighty God. That has inspired me and blessed me in more ways than you could ever imagine. As I look at him, the song “God is Good” by Jonathan McReynolds  comes to mind.  The song is simple prayer:

May your struggles keep you near the cross
And may your troubles show that you need God
And may your battles end the way they should
And may your bad days prove that God is good
And may your whole life prove that God is good

May your bad days prove that God is GOOD! Even in the “bad days” God is still God. I’ve learned to stop asking God why and when things will happen for me and learned to trust His timing. Also, to take stock of what He is refining in the process!

Trouble with your health? (yup have that) GOD IS GOOD
Sick loved ones? ( yup have that ) God IS GOOD
Relationship disappointments? ( going through that) but GOD IS STILL GOOD)
Anxiety? ( yessssssssssssss) GOD IS STILL GOOD
“Unanswered prayers” ?( yessssss lord lol) HE’S STILL GOOD

End of the story is no matter what you’re going through,  GOD IS STILL GOOD! Refining hurts sometimes but it is for your betterment in the long run!

I encourage anyone out here reading this to not lose hope during the refining process! Trust that you will come out of refinement better than you were before. New, refreshed and ready to tackle anything that comes your way! I pray that your 2019 is a year of blessings in abundance and overflow for you!

2018 was the year of refinement for me. 2019 is the time to shine! May my whole life prove that God is GOOD!

A huge shoutout to everyone who played a part in my “refining year”. I couldn’t have survived this year without your help. prayers and sometimes strong reprimands that knocked some much needed sense into me!

Onward and upward from here on out! 2019 lets get it!!

Take a listen to this song by Jonathan McReynolds. I hope its simple yet powerful message speaks to you as it has spoken to me ❤

Blessings!
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: I Don’t Mind Waiting…

Monday Motivation: I Don’t Mind Waiting…

There has been a song that has been replaying in my head for the past few weeks. Truthfully, I don’t even know the song very well or even particularly like it! It’s a song  I’ve only heard a handful of times in my entire life. But for some strange reason, it’s been on a continuous loop in my head for weeks and even had me laid out on my floor in tears one Sunday evening just crying out to God.

What really gets me about this  whole situation are the lyrics of the song. The lyrics are as follows:

I don’t mind waiting
I don’t mind waiting
I don’t mind waiting on the Lord…..

Now, let me tell you something people… In regards to myself, this is a bold face LIE! I absolutely, 100 percent DO MIND waiting! Waiting for anything is just not my style; my food, a ride, people….. God.  Like an impatient toddler, I want what I want RIGHT NOW; and like a petulant teenager, I sulk and pout when things don’t happen they way I want them to when I expect them to.

Well, the past few months especially, God has had to humble me. He’s confirmed some things to me about my life from various people. People who all know me on different levels. Some on a closer more intimate level of friendship to two older ladies who really only know me in passing.  They’ve confirmed things that God spoke into my spirit, that I had shared with not one soul. Yet here I am, still not seeing how this situation is going to work out, and growing increasingly frustrated when so many roadblocks keep deterring me from trusting God’s timing.

Do you know I even “got mad” at God and stopped speaking to Him for about a week? In this “quiet” time ( God wasn’t quiet at all; in fact He probably spoke more clearly) God spoke so clearly and said, “Who are you not to trust me?”…….. Ummm….

Whoa…. Really who am I to not trust the one who wrote the map of life? The one who saw all the detours I would take, all the roadblocks I would hit, all the recalculating I would have to do to get me to my final destination. Who am I not to trust the one who promised that the plans He has for me are ones to prosper me and not harm me (Jeremiah 29:11)

The last little while, God has brought me back to  revisit  and study the Fruit of the Spirit.( Galatians 5:22-23) One of course being patience.  This season I’m in, is just a reminder that this is one fruit in particular I need to work on.  God sometimes has to bring you through situations to prepare you for what He has in store for you.

Tough to swallow and handle at times. However, anything that God has ever had me wait for, has been for my benefit and not my detriment. I stop and think sometimes about the things I have waited on God for before. If they had come at any other season of my life, I wouldn’t be prepared for it.  Such as with this season… God is preparing me for what comes next!

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And so I’ll wait. Trusting that what’s for me will always be for me… no matter how long I have to wait for it ..
I guess the lyrics ring true after all…. I don’t mind waiting on God.

Love y’all!
Have a blessed Monday!
©justlovethemanyway

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Sorry for the lack of regularly scheduled posts as of late… it has been a rough few months! But I’m back and ready to create some new content! Thanks for sticking through it with me!

xoxo

Monday Motivation: You Waited…

Monday Motivation: You Waited…

Hey beautiful people!

I hope this Monday is treating you well! Today’s post was not what I had in mind at all but when I wake up with a song on my heart that keeps looping in my head all day… well it must be for a reason. So I scrapped my original post and so here we have today’s thoughts  which deal on the topic of what it means to wait.

Dictionary.com has a number of definitions for the word wait. The ones that really stuck for me were:

  • to remain inactive or in a state of repose, as until something expected happens
  • (of things) to be available or in readiness:
  • to remain neglected for a time:
    a matter that can wait.

Keep these in mind. We will come back to them in a minute.

Have you been ready to go somewhere, and then had to pick someone up…. and then wait on them? Ooooooh that really grinds my gears! Anybody who knows me well, knows that I HATE WAITING! I’m always the first one ready, always the first to arrive at the restaurant and always the one anxiously waiting for everyone else to be ready ( all my friends can attest to this)  Waiting is just not my gift… lol pray for me!

I remember one time I slept over at my best friends house. My best friend whose dad was the pastor of my church,( and my godfather) told us he was leaving!We were procrastinating and still getting ready, not thinking that he would actually leave us. However, when we heard the van start up, and saw it backing out the driveway, our little preteen selves had to grab our shoes in hand and run down the driveway in our stockings and catch the van before it turned the corner and hit the main roads! I still laugh about it to this day and think that was the catalyst that made me so irritated with waiting- the fear of being left behind

Today I woke up with the song, “You Waited” by Travis Greene in my head.  The lyrics read:
You called out my name
Knew my past, covered my shame
This amazing grace
You’ve shown, so patiently
You’ve shown, so patiently

And You
You waited
For me, just for me
You waited
For me, just for me

Where would I be?
If You left me God
Where would I be?
If You left me God
Where would I be?
If You left me God
Where would I be?
If You left me God

But You waited, waited
You waited, waited
You waited, waited
You waited, waited

God is so patient with us. He has given us this gift of salvation that so many of us choose to ignore for so long, but He never gives up on us. Instead, He waits patiently for us to choose Him! The part of the song that simply states, ” You waited just for me..” brings to light the fact that you and me( yes little old you and me ) are so precious to Almighty God that He would wait just for us. He wants to give us all that our hearts desire, but sometimes we get in the way of His plans.  Most people would give up on someone who keeps meddling in their plans.. I know I probably would walk away! But He doesn’t… and won’t give up on us. I can’t stress the fact that God is just waiting for you to choose Him.
What would become of us if God decided to be impatient with us and give up?  The line in the song thats simply states “Where would I be, If you left me God ” is an actual cry of my heart! Where on earth would I be if God decided to treat me with the same impatience I sometimes treat him with? As I stated before I hate waiting, and God currently has me in a state of perpetual waiting… what a way to teach me a lesson! (God’s funny that way isn’t He?)

Going back to the definitions of the word wait, It may seem that life is at a standstill or
Inactive at the moment, or it even might seem that God has neglected you  for a time. But don’t give up hope! In our season of waiting, God is teaching us to trust His timing.  For us impatient people, its hard to wait and see the full picture of what God is doing. But remember while you are waiting, take heed in the fact that He is preparing you for something spectacular! So while you are waiting,  seek Him and  stay ready!!

One of the scriptures that I hold dear and that has been supporting me through my season of wait is  Isaiah 40:31 (New King James Version (NKJV)) which reads: 

31 But those who wait on the Lord
Shall renew their strength;
They shall mount up with wings like eagles,
They shall run and not be weary,
They shall walk and not faint.

 

Theres a little chorus I love that mirrors these words and ends with the line, “teach me Lord how to wait”

Dear God,
Help us to stay patient in our season of wait. Help us to remember that your ways are not our ways and in the midst of every season, you are working things out on our behalf! Help us to remember that the season of wait, is not a forever season and better things are coming ahead! Teach us Lord how to wait!
Amen!

Whatever it is you are waiting for, wait on God! He’ll work it out ❤

Have an amazing Monday!
xoxo

Monday Motivation: Expectation…

Monday Motivation: Expectation…

Hey guys!

First and foremost, let me apologize for being so inconsistent these past few months. It’s been a rough few months to say the least; health wise, family wise and heart wise. I’ve just kind of been in a funk and with that funk came a huge case of writers block…. How could I post a “Motivation Monday”  when I myself  was the least motivated??

However, with this time away from regularly scheduled blogging, I had a lot of time to reflect. I had allowed myself to become a victim to the funk.

17 is my “lucky” ( favourite ) number. So with 2017 looming, I decreed and declared that 2017 was going to be my best year yet…. and then… ( cue dramatic pause)  it wasn’t. It has turned out to be one of the most challenging 6 months of my life thus far. This “funk” just gave me a serious case of the blahs and everything I was ( and am) passionate about seemed to take a back burner .

Then one day I heard a song that met me right where I was at: bound to my situation and not expecting anything to change. The song is called “Expectation” by James Fortune  and the lyrics are as follows:

 

I expect double I expect more
I am living In the overflow
I expect double I expect more
I am living In the overflow

Everything that’s been promised
I receive if I believe
(His word will not return void) His word will not return void
What’s been spoken, shall come to pass

(I want everything) Everything that’s been promised
I receive if I believe (I believe if God said it)
His word will not return void
What’s been spoken, (come into pass) shall come to pass

(I expect greater) I expect greater
Pressed down and shaken together
My cup runneth over (No longer living with just enough)
I have more than enough

( Repeat)

In life there are many expectations. As a child you are expected to obey your parents. You are expected to go to school, find a career and become a contributing member of society. You are expected to find a mate, get married and procreate… expectations, expectations, expectations….. But what do you expect of yourself? As Christians, what do we expect from God? What does God expect from us?

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In reality the answer to all of those questions is love: Love others, love yourself and most importantly love God. Love conquers all; fear doubt, discouragement and even a case of the blahs and funk! Once I learned to lean on the love of God again, my expectations of my life rose to the highest tier !

love God,humility,selfishness,pride,commitment,love,Romans 1:1,Luke 15:11-24,prodigal son

The God I serve forces me to believe that He is greater than any situation and that I deserve EVERYTHING that He has promised to me!  The lyric in the song  that says, “Everything that’s been promised I receive, If I believe” ,  has now become my motto. I have now changed my outlook from “hope” and “possibility of change”  to EXPECTATION 🙂  I’m always comforted by Romans 8:28 which reads; “And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.”

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As I listened to the song I was reminded of the story of Jacob when he wrestled with God ( Genesis 32: 22-32)  To paraphrase, in verse 26, as Jacob wrestled with God , he tells God that he won’t let go until He blesses him. That’s the outlook I’m choosing to have; I won’t let go until God blesses me!

But to receive that blessing, I to have to put in the work.While I’m expecting God to bless me, He is expecting me to serve Him wholeheartedly in spirit and in truth. ( I will 🙂 )

I believe great things are on the way for me, as a matter of fact I’m expecting it!!! (and as a matter of fact on church on Sunday, the preacher pretty much confirmed it )

I’m excited for what God has in store for me; patiently waiting, actively seeking his direction.

Check out the song “Expectation” down below  🙂

Have a fabulous Monday!!
Stay encouraged and talk to you all soon!
Till next time…

Xoxo

Monday Motivation: The Refrigerator Mindset…

Monday Motivation: The Refrigerator Mindset…

Hey guys!

I hope 2017 has started off on a good note for you! It certainly has for me! Sadly, my holiday break comes to an end tomorrow and back into the rat race of reality I go! Sigh!

During my time off ( minus the week I was travelling ) I was able to operate on my own schedule. Wake up when I wanted to, eat when I wanted to and so forth.  On one particular day, I was hungry! You know when you want something to eat, but you don’t want to cook or prepare anything for yourself? You just want to go to the fridge, pull something out and consume it!

Have you ever done this before? Be honest with me…  have you ever gone to look in the fridge and found “nothing” to eat so you closed the fridge. Yet 10 minutes later you return to the fridge once again and begin to rummage around to try to find something to eat and are once again disappointed when you find nothing? Once again you return to the fridge, and grudgingly try to piece together some semblance of a meal but something is always missing? I have to admit I’m guilty of this on a regular basis!

While thinking about this blog post, I began to ponder this very situation and began to relate it to everyday life.  Let’s look at the fridge as an analogy for life. If we never go the grocery store and fill up the fridge with new things, how can we expect to find anything to eat? We have to go to the source where we can get food to fill our fridge so our options of consumption are grand!

Such as with life! How many of us keep running back to same way of life and expect different results? Every time things go wrong, we go about fixing things the exact same way?   If we keep hanging out with the same people, go to the same places and make the same choices, how can we expect life to give us a different outcome?   Just like with a fridge  when you need to fill it up, you go the grocery store ( the source) to do just that.  With life, in order for things to change you also need to tap into a source and for me that source is Jesus! Jesus comes with things like the Bible ( which is literally a manuscript on how to live  life)  and the Holy Spirit ( who is a comforter and a protector, think of it like your spiritual conscience!)  to help fill you up!

This year It is my hope and desire to see people get out of the  refrigerator mindset. Let’s stop digging in the refrigerator and get to the grocery store! Let’s get back to the source!!

Ephesians 4 verses 21 through 24 reads:

21 Since you have heard about Jesus and have learned the truth that comes from him, 22 throw off your old sinful nature and your former way of life, which is corrupted by lust and deception.23 Instead, let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes. 24 Put on your new nature, created to be like God—truly righteous and holy.

As 2017 is now upon us, let’s not go back to the old way of doing things. Do this for me right now… get up  and look at yourself in a mirror and make this vow, “I won’t go back to the way I used to be!”

The song, ” I Won’t Go Back” by William McDowell is a perfect reminder of this vow! Take a listen to it down below and have a blessed Monday!

xoxo!

Monday Motivation: You+ Jesus Is Always Enough…

Monday Motivation: You+ Jesus Is Always Enough…

Happy Monday y’all!

This weekend I attended a Sunday church service at a different church than my local church. One statement that the minister made that really resonated with me was, ” You + Jesus is always enough” ( Pastor Tony Sawler- The Peoples Church)

That statement really got me thinking. So many people ( Christians and non- believers) are living a life full of insecurities. Society has placed so many expectations on us. Are we skinny enough? Is my skin too dark? Does this group of people like me and if not, what do I have do to to get them to like me? Do you know how many  times I have heard ( in regards to myself) “She’s really pretty for a black girl..” Wait… What??? I’m one of the lucky people who was blessed with high self esteem ( don’t get me wrong I have my days ) and have always had an amazing , loving,support system of friends and family who have never caused me to doubt my importance or value. I also I have a relationship with Christ that reminds me that because of Him I am always enough! Unfortunately, not everybody is like me…It’s truly a sad state of affairs to see young people literally losing their lives because of what people think or have said about them. ( think about how many young people have taken their lives because of cyber bullying) Be careful of what you say or post about someone on social media ( evident or “subliminal”) You never know what somebody could be going through and that one statement could literally send them over the edge….. I don’t know who that was for… but being obedient to the Holy Spirit I will write…. Be mindful of your words and actions… once they are out there you can never undo damage…  anyways… I digress…

Oftentimes, we place so much merit in what others think of us, that we forget that the one person we should actually be striving to please is Jesus!  Jesus is more than enough! That’s not to say that we should just ignore the world around us and not listen to what people have to say  about us. Sometimes, criticism is constructive. It’s actually meant to help you, not tear you down. ( I do believe its not in what you say sometimes, but it’s how you say it!)  However, with that being said,  take heed when listening to people share their opinion on you. The enemy has a sneaky way of slipping in and sending discouragement and distraction masked as good intent.. ( smh)

One scripture that comes to mind whenever I am faced with a moment of feeling insecure is Psalms 139:14 and it reads, 14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
    your works are wonderful,
    I know that full well.

I do believe that we were created by God ( Genesis 1:27) and every good and perfect gift comes from God(James 1:17 ) I think we need to remember that we are gifts! Gifts are things to be treasured not discarded or mishandled.

Let’s take some time to remember that Jesus is more than enough! 

2 Corinthians 9:8 New Life Version (NLV) reads: 

God can give you all you need. He will give you more than enough. You will have everything you need for yourselves. And you will have enough left over to give when there is a need.

New Life Version (NLV)

You+ Jesus is what the young people ( lol I write young people as if I’m ancient 😛 )  call an OTP or One true pairing, two things that were just meant to be!

I challenge anyone who hasn’t tried life as a believer of Christ to try Him out! I mean, what do you really have to lose? Negative people? Unsolicited advice from people who don’t have your best interest at heart? Lose your insecurities and gain self- love and confidence? I think it’s worth a shot!

Jesus is more than enough for me! Because of Him, I never feel alone, unloved or unworthy! : )

I want to leave you with a song by Kari Jobe called ” Always Enough”
Be Blessed this week!!
xoxo

” I will find my life in you, You’re always enough…”

Monday Motivation: Identity…

Monday Motivation: Identity…

Hey y’all

I hope this Monday is finding you all in good health and good spirits! After a busy weekend ( and an impending super busy week ahead!) nothing relaxes me more than popping in some headphones and listening to some music. However, this Monday I decided to give my trusty IPhone a good clearing out. I admit it, I am a memory hoarder. I hate to discard anything on my phone but when you are running out of gigs… some things gotta go. 🙂

I ran across a video of a praise dance I did with some amazing ladies from my church to the song “Identity” by James Fortune and it really got me thinking about my “identity”.

Recently, Canada went through the Census process. ( Every 5 years they do this) and this year I had to fill it out for my household( yay…. insert eye roll)  The questions that these people were asking were really ridiculous! The questions were similar to ” tell me about your ancestors, where do they come from/ how far back can you trace them?” Ummm.. I can actually honestly say I have no concrete evidence of where my ancestors come from. Clearly, being a woman of colour , I can attest to the fact that my ancestors, many generations removed.( I know at 4 generations back are Jamaican) come from the continent of Africa. But where in Africa… the jury is still out on that one.  That really got me thinking ! That’s actually sad! I don’t know who I am!

However, going back to the song “Identity” I began to think about my identity as an individual. My physical identity is easy to pinpoint. 5’4, dark brown skin, brown eyes. But what about deeper than that. Those who really know me, know that as much as I appear extroverted on the surface, I’m truly an introvert! But what about even deeper than that? Who am I actually? What makes me who I am?

The answer to that is very simple for me. My identity lies in Jesus. Everything I am ( and aspire to be) is rooted in Him.

Even when I’ve made mistakes ( and trust me I’ve made a lot of them) and my identity didn’t live up to  who and what I proclaimed I was, God never gave up on me.

You can’t change history! You can’t change what ( and who) you were destined to be… a daughter or son of a KING! Royalty!

1 Peter 2:9-10 states:

…But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession, to proclaim the virtues of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light. Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.

God chose you!He created you in His own image.  Shouldn’t we let our lives be a mirror image of his? I love the lyrics of the bridge of this song. It says:

Oh Lord this is me
I’m asking you to please change my identity
I wanna be more like you
I’m asking you to please change my identity
Oh Lord this is me
I’m asking you to please change my identity
I don’t wanna be like this
This is my request, Lord please change my identity

That’s my desire tonight folks. To keep my identity as transparent as possible. When you see me, I want God to be evident. Whatever it takes, I want my true identity to shine. Daughter of a King!

Let your identity shine and if you haven’t discovered your identity yet, I pray you will dig deep and discover who you truly are!

Have a blessed week!

Monday Motivation: Always…

Happy Monday Everyone!

I hope this Monday finds you in good health and good spirits! I am finally really on the mend! Finally getting my minor health issues under control and am able to be up and moving around like the old me!

This weekend, I spent lots of time with friends and friends who are more like family.  I attended a fantastic stag and doe, a beautiful bridal party brunch for one of my dearest friends ( you can’t beat 25 years of friendship!) and then celebrated the same friends grandmothers 90th birthday ! Busy and full weekend surrounded by some of best people God has ever created!

At the end of the weekend, I spent some time reflecting on friendship. I have amazing friends who have really been there for me during some of the darkest times of my life. But, on the contrary, I have had some “friends” who have not been there for me. “Friends” who have kicked me when I was down ( figuratively speaking) and rejoiced in my failures… I use the word “friend” in quotations because to me that’s not the definition of a friend.

Merriam- Webster dictionary has a real simple definition of the word friend. It defines a friend as:

  • a person who you like and enjoy being with

  • : a person who helps or supports someone or something

  • one attached to another by affection or esteem

This really got me thinking about a great friend that I have…. and His name is Jesus! I know, I know super cliche but it’s so true. I have 2 best friends, that would do anything for me ( and vice versa) but even so there are limitations to what our friendship can do for each other.

My friendship with Jesus, really hits the definition of friendship on the head.Do I enjoy being with Jesus? Absolutely! I find peace and solace in my quiet time with Him! Does He support me ? Of course! Jesus is my biggest cheerleader! He also isn’t afraid to check me and put me in my place when needed!

This week I wanted to share the song, “Always” by Kirk Franklin with you. An oldie but a goodie! The lyrics of the song truly epitomizes how I feel!

Check out the lyrics and the song down below and may your week be blessed!!!
xoxo

[Verse 1]
You know I’ve had some lonely days
I’ve made mistakes and had to pay
I’ve had some friends that walked away
Just like mama told me
But there’s someone whose love is real
Who cares about the way I feel
Every pain, and erase every stain
There’s peace when I call out your name
(Listen)

[Chorus 1]
Jesus, You’re my everything
The cross, You did that just for me
So whatever You take me through
I promise you
I’ll spend my always with you

[Verse 2]
No one can touch my heart like You
Or make me smile the way You do
I finally found someone who
Who really, truly loves me
And when my strength has come and gone
Your life in me it makes me strong
Your hand is where my heart belongs
You take all my pain and erased every stain

[Chorus 1]

[Chorus 2]
Jesus, my whole life has changed
Since that day I cried Your name
For every time You’ve brought me through
I promise You
I’ll spend my always with You

Did He say He’ll never leave you?
Did He promise He’ll never forsake you?
How many of you believe that in here?
Let me hear you
(Ohhhhhhhh oohhhhhh ohhh)
He won’t let you down, right?
(Ohhhhhh ohhhhh)
He’ll catch every tear
So if you know He can be your Father and He cares for you
Come on and stand on your feet and help me praise Him in here

 

Monday Motivation: #Selfie…

Monday Motivation: #Selfie…

Hey guys!

This week has been a crazy one. The silly stomach flu has been going around my workplace and I thought I was doing pretty good. However… I didn’t get the stomach flu but I did get pesky strep throat! No matter what I do ( or what remedies I try) Its just an environmental hazard of the field of work I’m in :P. Not only do I work with children in my secular job, I work with them on a ministry level as well. ( Double Whammy of the germ bugs!!) However,  I must say its my favorite and most fulfilling part of spiritual journey! I just love the kids! So, as I was racking my brain trying to think of what life lesson/message I wanted to deliver to them yesterday I kept drawing a blank. Mind you, it could be that fact that I was sick, and mean sick to the point where my fever was outrageous, but I was freezing, couldn’t even eat if I tried or get out of bed sick. So after three days of that, I was slowly on the mend, I picked up my devotional, “Women of The Bible” to catch up on my answers and post them to my group ( A group  of my girlfriends and I have book club where we read a book( devotional) simultaneously and discuss over Facebook! We live in 4 different cities ( Ottawa, Scarbourough, Miami and Hamilton so Facebook is just the easiest way to stay connected all at the same time)  So to make sure I stayed on track ( so Rachel wouldn’t kill me) I picked it up. This week we were studying the story of Bathsheba. Now the devotional is broken up day by day, with specific things to draw from. In the Tuesday section, there was a part about ritual bathing. In the story of Bathsheba , we meet her participating in a ritual bath after her time of menstruation was complete. Now the manner in which this ritual was completed wasn’t necessary. She could have simply taken a bath and would have been physically clean. However this ritual was to signify that after days of being impure she was now “clean” again. Looking at Bathsheba ( or any other woman who deals with that pesky time of the month) are you able to tell that they are “unclean”. Honestly, no. In those days you were basically a shut in during those times but in modern times its just another facet of our lives.

So after I finished that portion, I went to sleep and in my sleep I got this word for  the kids: “Does your #Selfie reflect the true you?”

To bring this picture to light, I had a bunch of the kids at service that morning take a selfie with me. I made sure that we were in the worst light possible, my hand was at an awkward angle to ensure the picture was not the greatest.

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I then began to show them how the magic of apps like Facetune and Squareready and Instagram can take what seems to be an awful picture and turn it into something magazine worthy.

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Through discussion we were able to make a connection with the pictures and our own lives. Sometimes we look the part of a Christian. We post the memes about God and know the word to every worship song…  those can act as filters. But deep down underneath, we know we aren’t praying as we should, we don’t act Christ like at school… those show the true picture of who you are. As we began to close up I reminded them that God is coming for the true picture . No filters attached! We ended in prayer, with this scripture as our encouragement for the week:

Matthew 5: 16 reads: 

16 Let your light shine in front of men. Then they will see the good things you do and will honor your Father Who is in heaven.

This is a good reminder for us adults as well. Is our light shining beyond the filtered selfies?  “Is our inner man as clean as our outward physical man?

The devotional has a paragraph that is so fitting. Let me share it with you. It reads:

” We live in a culture that glorifies outward cleanliness with our soaps and lotions and toothpastes and disinfectants, our bathing and brushing and washing and wiping. But how concerned are we with inner cleanliness? Do we have clean hands but spirits filthy with hate? Do we have soft, clean shaven legs but hearts hardened to the hurts of others? Do we have clean, blemish-free faces that seldom smile? Outward cleanliness is admirable- but only if inward cleanliness accompanies it.” 

As we cleanse our outer man, lets not forget our inner man.  Once we are squeaky clean from the inside out, it will be so much easier to let our lights shine!

I think its only fitting I leave you today, with a song that soldiered me through my childhood at Hamilton COGOP: This Little Light of Mine 🙂

Lyrics:  ( as we sang it at my church :P) the video lyrics are slightly different.

This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine.
This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine,
This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine,
let it shine, let it shine, let it shine.
Hide it under a bushel – NO!
I’m gonna let it shine.
Hide it under a bushel – NO!
I’m gonna let it shine,
Hide it under a bushel – NO!
I’m gonna let it shine, Let it shine,
let it shine, let it shine.
Don’t let Satan blow it!

I’m gonna let it shine.
Don’t let Satan blow it out.
I’m gonna let it shine
Don’t let Satan blow it out.
I’m gonna let it shine,
let it shine, let it shine, let it shine.
Let it shine til Jesus comes.
I’m gonna let it shine.
Let it shine til Jesus comes.
I’m gonna let it shine,
Let it shine til Jesus comes.
I’m gonna let it shine.
let it shine, let it shine, let it shine.
This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine.
This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine,
This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine,
let it shine, let it shine, let it shine.
let it shine, let it shine, let it shine.

Spangler, Ann, and Jean Syswerda. “Bathsheba.” Women of the Bible: A One-year Devotional Study of Women in Scripture. Grand Rapids, MI: ZondervanPublishingHouse, 1999. N. pag. Print.

Have a blessed Monday!
xoxo