​Stay On The Path….

​Stay On The Path….

Hey y’all!

I’m over here sick as a dog in my bed but….. as a proud Canadian (not a Raptors fan lol KNICKS all day…. even though we suck right now), I am SUPER AMPED for game 5 of the NBA finals featuring our very own Toronto Raptors!!!!

I live fairly close to Toronto, so going to sporting events like basketball games, baseball games etc… are a thing of the norm for me. In Toronto, they have what is called Jurassic Park that fans flock to by the thousands to cheer on and support their beloved Raptors.

Last week my friend and I had tickets to a Blue Jays vs. Yankees baseball game. Talk about being conflicted! Do I still go to the game? Or do I just stop at Jurassic Park and take part in the festivities. I chose to go to the Jays game and perhaps catch up with the revellers afterwards.

Well, by the time the baseball game was done , the Raptors game was just about over and if you know anything about trying to get on a train after a sporting event in Toronto… is that you make your way as quickly as possible to your platform to avoid standing for an extensive amount of time on your way home.

Transit to and from the GTA ( Greater Toronto Area) is constantly changing, especially at what is called Union station. Union Station is the hub of downtown transit. There is something called PATH which is a pedestrian walkway that has links to things such as multiple subway stations, shopping and restaurants.

Every
Single
Time…
I get into Union station and get on the PATH walkway to get out of the subway station… I GET LOST!

Why because it’s never the same! The path you took two weeks ago is now blocked off and is detouring you to go another way. If you’re not paying attention , the signage can lead you in circles!

Let me backtrack a second. My friend and I both have the same issue every time we go into Union Station and we had made up in our mind that we were just going to walk on the outside street to the station. But what did we do instead? We followed the crowd and found ourselves once again on the Path. We took our eyes off of our path and ended up on a course that altered the plan and ended up taking us longer to get to our desired place.

To me, the Path represents life. In life, you are going to be constantly met with unexpected changes. Some things in life you can prepare for, others you just have to figure it out as it comes to you. Like I mentioned before, Union Station has great signage which directs you to where you need to be. The Holy Spirit is like that signage. Always leading you in the correct direction. If you stop paying attention to the signs or take the lead away from the Holy Spirit, it is then that your life is met with confusion. It is then you begin to deviate from the original plan to get you to your destination.

I use this illustration to encourage you to stay on the path God has for you. Don’t follow the crowd. You don’t have to be doing something because everyone else is. God has prepared a path and journey that is uniquely yours.

It is impossible to successfully reach where you are trying to go without clear directions. You need directions and instruction to efficiently navigate through all the detours and roadblocks you may encounter along your way.

Your path may not always be a smooth one or even a clear one. But directions are intended to make the transition from place to place easier. It’s not always easy to follow directions when you think you know where you are going. It’s not easy to put your trust in someone ( or something) else. However, there is a very popular scripture that is very fitting at this moment. Proverbs 3:5-6 reads:

Trust in the Lord with all your heart do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.

God will never lead you astray. He has already navigated the best path for you to take, to get you exactly where you need to be… in His timing. Don’t be in such a rush to reach your final destination. Take a moment and enjoy the path you are on…

This song is a song I learned as a child growing up in a Pentecostal church. Oldie but a goodie! Very simple song but a very clear message. Enjoy!

Be Blessed today!

xoxo
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Monday Motivation: The Reason…

Monday Motivation: The Reason…

Hey loves,

Super quick post today ( spending time with the family ❤️)

With only one day left until Christmas, today has been a day of last minute errands and non stop running around. It’s so easy to get wrapped up in the commercialism of this holiday in particular, but I really want us to remember the reason for the season.

Many years ago, before any of us were even a thought, the Almighty God saw fit to send a saviour to bear the burden of sins we had yet to commit. So , as we take December 25th to commemorate the birth of our Savior, take a moment to reflect on the magnitude of how great our God is!

There’s a song they sang at church yesterday that I hadn’t heard in awhile that has been replaying in my head all night, that I think is fitting to share with you all today.

https://youtu.be/ifdCGNUwvtQ

The lyrics just really serve as a reminder of who God is

“You are the lord of lords, you are the king of kings, you are my everything, I give myself to you”

It’s not about the gifts or the food or even about the family gatherings. It’s all about Jesus. He is the reason for the season. Give honour to whom it’s due.

May your holiday season be blessed!

xoxo

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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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

Monday Motivation: Worth…

Monday Motivation: Worth…

Hey guys!

The Easter season has come and gone and I spent quite a bit of time in reflection ( that is in-between the family and fantastic food 🙂 ) We oftentimes get lost in the commercialism of  the holidays. As a Christian, I don’t pay any homage to the Easter Bunny. What makes Easter so special to me is spending time commemorating the great sacrifice God did for humanity by sending His Son to absolve the debt( sins) of the world so that I (we) can live life to its fullest and fulfill God’s will for our lives.

Now,I don’t know about you, but sometimes I don’t feel worthy of such a gift.  I look at myself and all my shortcomings and think, “What’s so special about me?”  While this is an internal struggle many Christians face, its also a struggle many people face in general.  I began to reflect on a story I read which posed the question, ” If I was to give you a hundred dollar bill, but it was crumpled and dirty, would you  still want it? Is still worth a hundred dollars ?”  Of Course it is and  anybody in their right mind would absolutely snatch that money right up! Why? Simply because  the fact that it was less appealing to the eye, didn’t diminish its worth.

Many of us aren’t appealing to society’s eyes. We are often overlooked because we don’t look “worthy” of the love and acceptance we so often crave. We have gone through things in life that have left us broken, tattered and seemingly worthless. It even causes us sometimes to doubt the purpose of our existence. But I want to remind my readers today that no matter your appearance to others, God still sees you as priceless! He is able to look past the outer man( woman) and see straight through to your heart.

God loves you no matter what! That is why you are still here! Your life has a purpose! Your life has value ! You are worth more to God than you could ever even begin to imagine!

If you ever find yourself in a season of feeling worthless, here some scriptures to cling to; a constant reminder that God loves you and even if you ( or anybody around you) can’t see your worth, He does!

Ephesians 2:10
For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.

Psalm 139:13-14
For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.

John 3:16
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.

1 Samuel 16:7
But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”

1 Peter 2: 4 and 9

You are coming to Christ, who is the living cornerstone of God’s temple. He was rejected by people, but he was chosen by God for great honor.

But you are not like that, for you are a chosen people. You are royal priests,[g] a holy nation, God’s very own possession. As a result, you can show others the goodness of God, for he called you out of the darkness into his wonderful light.

There is a song by Anthony Brown and Group Therapy that sums all of this up so perfectly! The lyrics  that really stand out are as follows:
You thought I was worth saving
So, You came and changed my life
You thought I was worth keeping
So, You cleaned me up inside
You thought I was to die for
So, You sacrificed your lifeSo, I could be free
So, I could be whole
So, I could tell everyone I know…

Just revel in that for a moment! You mean enough to God, that He sent His Son as the ultimate sacrifice so that YOU could have life and have it in abundance!  You matter! Your life is priceless to the King of Kings! You matter to royalty! You are kind of a big deal to God!
 So remember, a crumpled 100 dollar bill is still worth 100 dollars! God loves you… and so do I!
Have a blessed day!
xoxo

Monday Motivation: Peace Be Still

Monday Motivation:  Peace Be Still

Hey guys!

Here we are, just about at the end of the 1st month of the year. Already! If this month is any indication of how the rest of the year is going to go…well for the first time in a long time I may be okay with it!

It’s no surprise to my long time readers that the last 3 years have been particularly rough for me and my family( for my new readers; we have all been plagued with health issues, deaths in the family, car accidents etc..) and that I have spent the better part of the last few years  “trusting God to see me through”… yet trying to do it all on my own, falling victim to anxiety and fear… and failing miserably at holding it all together… on the inside of course. On the outside  everything was “sunshine and lollipops”.

But  towards the end of 2017, I really had to take stock of the way I was living. I was far from living my best life . I was merely existing.  I had allowed anxiety to rule how I responded ( inwardly ) to situations. On the outside, I was calm cool and collected, but on the inside I was a bottle of nerves, not sleeping. 24/7 worry. I don’t know about you, but that’s no way to live! It was during this time that I began waking up at 3:30 every single morning. I mean rain or shine, work or no work when that clock hit 3:30 my eyes were open and would remain that way until it was time to get up for work. No matter what I tried, I could not get back to sleep. I could not be at… peace.

I confided in a great friend of mine who encouraged me when that happens, I should get up and pray. So here 3:30 rolls around again. I did it. I got up, I kneeled at the side of my bed and began to talk to God and do you know what? After I prayed, I hopped back in my bed and grabbed my phone anticipating another few hours of sleeplessness. Y’all… I was asleep before I could even open the youtube app LOL.  There was such a peace that had come over me.

I realized over the past few years , thats what I had been missing, my peace.  This year I vowed to not let anything disturb my peace. Oftentimes, in the midst of crisis, I hear the words “be still”.  My anxiety encouraged me to take control. If I could keep everything under control myself, I would be okay. Not so at all. God had to send me these subtle reminders to ” be still” and also to remind me that He is my peace.

What I’ve learned and  what I’m once again clinging to, is the peace that God gives me. Any situation that comes my way, I give it to God and leave it there. All God wanted me to do these past few years is to tell Him about my troubles and to stop micromanaging Him. He didn’t need my help to procure my peace. He is my peace, I just had to let Him be.

It’s so funny, I usually try to plan out my posts on Sunday evening so that by the time Monday rolls around, I have an idea of the content I want to post. Well this Sunday was a busy one at church/ framily ( friends like family) stuff to do so I didn’t get a chance to prepare. All day today, I couldn’t figure out what to post tonight.  I asked God to give me a word to share this evening. I was literally about to not post anything at all and as I was scrolling through youtube something said to me, ” you need to put Lauren Daigle’s album back on your phone ( I got a new iPhone and NONE of my Apple Music downloads transferred over for some reason, so I have been re-downloading bit by bit. )

Lo and behold, I see she has a new song out with The Belonging Co. called…. wait for it… PEACE BE STILL….. now if that ain’t God showing up and showing out and I don’t know what it is!  I’m so grateful I found this song. I feel like it will be on repeat for the foreseeable future! ( Steph if you’re reading this, you know I can KILL a song ie: open heaven river wild LOL)

This year has just begun and it has already been marred by tragedy ( RIP Holly) but Philippians 4 verses 6-7 which reads:
Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus  has been a major encouragement for me.

There’s an old chorus I grew up hearing where the list of the lyrics are “Why worry when you can pray?”  At the end of last year I found a meme on instagram that read:

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So that’s what I’m going to do this year.. Give it all to God and let my peace be still! I pray that you’ll do the same!

All the blessings and love!
Till next time…
xoxo

©justlovethemanyway
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