​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
IMG_5674

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

IMG_1165.PNG

 

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

IMG_8424

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!

IMG_8792

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

IMG_8424

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: 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: Blind Faith…

Monday Motivation: Blind Faith…

Where feet may fail and fear surrounds me , You’ve never failed and You won’t start now…

Hey loves!

Have you ever gone to summer camp or had to do any kind of team building activity where you had to do a “trust fall”? A trust fall requires  you do be blindfolded and for you to fall backwards into the arms of a person who is just expected to catch you…. Umm I don’t know about you, but anytime I have ever tried to participate in a trust fall, I always hesitate and put my hands down to try and catch myself or soften the blow of the floor that’s coming my way (lol) . It’s hard to put all your trust in a person, especially if you can’t see what’s coming…

Businessman catching blindfolded woman : Stock Photo

Thinking about this had me draw a correlation between trust falls and the act of faith. Faith is something  that even as a Christian, I sometimes tend to struggle with.  As a person with some  Type A personality traits (Lol) I always like to be in control. Faith requires us to give up complete control to somebody else. That person is God.

You would think as a Christian, this would be the easiest thing to do. We continually spout out scriptures like, “we walk by faith, not by sight ” and “faith is the substance of things hoped for the evidence of things not seen”.  But do we actually mean it? Am I alone in thinking that sometimes I would rather see what’s coming instead of having to blindly trust God?

I don’t think I am and this is a dilemma many Christians face. It has been my prayer since the top of the year to learn to trust God like never before! I decided this year that I would step out in blind faith!

As I was jotting some notes preparing to write this post( side note: I write notes sometimes weeks in advance before I actually write a post, just waiting for the right moment/ inspiration to actually post it on here 🙂 )   I was reminded of the story of Jesus and when He walked on water. After a long day of ministering  with the disciples,  Jesus went up to the mountainside to pray. When He had finished and it was time for Him to return,  Jesus used this as a perfect opportunity to teach the disciples a lesson about faith.  So instead of taking a boat back across the lake, or swimming ( as one would naturally do) Jesus stepped out onto ( yes onto) the water and began to walk across the lake! Now I don’t know about you, but as far as I know, walking ON water is impossible and the disciples thought so too! They wondered if they were seeing some type  of ghost not realizing that they were watching Jesus! Once He got close enough and they realized It was actually Jesus, Peter, one of the disciples said to Him, “If it is really you Lord, tell me to come out to you.  Jesus told him to come, so Peter, with his eyes fixed on Jesus, stepped out of the boat, out on to the water and began to walk across. Peter was well on his way…. until the second he took his eyes off of Jesus! As soon as he did and he began to look around and realize the magnitude of what he was doing, Peter began to sink! Jesus caught him right before he sank and said to him, “Oh you of little faith! Why did you doubt me?”…. (Matthew 14:22-33)

Wow… every single time you read a passage in the bible it hits you with something different each time. I’ve always only looked at that scripture in the context of how it relates to the disciples. I’ve never taken the time to apply it to me. God spoke so clearly to me while re-reading this as a wake up call to me! He’s reminded me to stop doubting Him! To not be like Peter. I know without a shadow of a doubt that the moment I take my  eyes of Jesus, is the moment I will sink! But what’s so great about Jesus, is just like He did with Peter, He is right there to catch you right before you drown.

This weekend I was having a conversation with my big bro/ friend. He is in a moment in his life that he has to trust God like never before and really step out on faith. He was sharing a dream with me where at one point in the dream God told him to hold on to His shoulders and that He would bring him to a familiar place.. and in classic God form, He spoke so clearly to me and my friends situation encouraged me to step out in blind faith myself.  To stop worrying about the destination and trust the journey! The outcome of your life is already determined.

I’m really leaning on the classic passage of scripture Jeremiah 29:11-13 (NLT) which reads: 11 For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. 12 In those days when you pray, I will listen. 13 If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me.

Faith requires total dependence on God.
Faith requires constant communication with God.
Faith requires total trust in God.
Faith is trusting that God is leading you into your destiny not just any destination.
Faith is understanding that even when things don’t LOOK well, that they ARE well through Him.
Faith is a lifestyle…

I encourage all of you to step out in blind faith and trust that God’s got you!

I love the song Oceans by Hillsong. I think it’s so fitting for this post. My favourite part is the bridge which says,”
Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders Let me walk upon the waters
Wherever You would call me
Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander
And my faith will be made stronger
In the presence of my Savior

Have a blessed Monday!
xoxo
©justlovethemanyway