I’m Gonna Trust The Journey… 32!

I’m Gonna Trust The Journey… 32!

Hey y’all!

So it’s that time of year again… my birthday!! I can honestly say, I have never been so happy to see a year end! This was  probably the worst year ever. My life this year was like a series of peaks and valleys. As soon as it would peak, something would happen to dip me down deep ( and I mean deep)  into a valley! Everything that could possibly go wrong this year… did!  Stress on every side! Health problems ( me and my family individually) , heartache  problems, career drama ( indirectly) just overall not a good year!

Throughout this year I kept asking God, “WHY ME??!” and then my why’s turned into “God what are you trying to teach me during this test?”  In so many ways this year God answered these questions by telling me to “Trust the Journey” .  Now guys, this word/ phrase has been following me ALL YEAR! I’d open my bible app and there would be a quote about life’s journey, I would hear it in tv shows, in the midst of a breakdown God would whisper it to me,  and a celebrity I follow on Instagram named her daughter Journey…. This year God really wanted me to focus on the journey! ( OK God  I hear you)

Though my last year was full of twists and turns, I really had to hold on to God and let Him direct the journey. I had to let go of control and trust Him to not only lead me but to take care of me. I’m not good at not being in control…  I guess God had to break me down this year…

There are a few things I’ve learned this year on this journey called life:

Sometimes your journey takes  you on unexpected paths. Here’s an example . I was in NYC this past weekend and we were out in the city. I saw this girl with a beautiful pair of distressed denim over the knee boots ( look for them in a style Sunday coming soon)  I said to my bestie, ” I need those boots”. Not really thinking more about it, we went about our evening. The next day we were going to the nail salon. We got there too early so we went for a walk down the next street over from the salon. Mind you, it’s a street we would have never gone down if the salon was open . We wandered into a store and was looking around  the shoe section ( I had long forgotten about the denim boots) I saw these cute denim “Birkenstocks” and I picked them up and showed my bestie. I said to her” Look at God, I’ve been wanting some shoes like this for a while”. She looked at me crazy! Here I am thinking that she thought the shoes were ugly! But when I caught her gaze and looked over my shoulder, what do you think that I saw??? The distressed denim over the knee boots, I had wanted! Sometime’s life’s unexpected paths can bring you to great things! Trust the journey!

Don’t doubt your journey: Everything happens for a reason. You are exactly where you are supposed to be in this moment. Don’t doubt where God has placed you!

Enjoy the journey: Sometimes we get so wrapped up in the process of the journey , of how we are going to get to the final destination, that we forget to enjoy life along the way.  At times this past year, I certainly forgot to enjoy my journey.  I’m making a vow not to let that repeat this year!

Finally,  know that not everybody who starts the journey with you, is meant to finish the journey with you, Especially as you get older, you will evolve and the people around you will evolve and that’s life . Cherish the memories and be grateful that they were apart of your journey along the way.

This year I was down and I mean really down. But through it all God kept me. He always sent reminders to let me know He was there and that He heard my cries! So, I’m going to do what He has been telling me to do and Trust the Journey! I may not always understand it or even agree with how things are going, but I’m going to trust the process!

Trust seems to be my theme today … lets just make it the theme for the year! So, here’s to  32 years ! Live, Love and TRUST THE JOURNEY!

Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; And lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, And he shall direct thy paths.
( https://biblia.com/bible/kjv1900/Pr3.5-6)

 

I LOVE YOU ALL! I can’t thank you enough for the support!
xoxo
©justlovethemanyway

 

Monday Motivation: Protect Your Peace…

Monday Motivation: Protect Your Peace…

Hey y’all!

Hope this Monday is finding you in good health and good spirits! Today has been an… interesting day to say the least. It’s the last day before the kids in Ontario,Canada go back to school for another year. Being as it may,  I work at a school and today was my last official day to sleep in and lounge around the house. But, I was woken out of my sleep by a crazy ( and I mean crazy dream) I’ll explain what I got from the dream a little bit later, but the dream was as follows:

I was in the bridal suite of a local venue here in my city. A person that I have had some discourse with over the past few years, entered the bridal suite where I was. To make a long story short, a verbal altercation occurred and this person pulled out a gun on me ( I told you this dream was crazy didn’t I??) Someone else entered the bridal suite that is a mutual party between this person and I. I asked this person to stop the person with the gun from shooting me or call 911 and this person did nothing.( insert side eye here lol) Needless to say, I took matters into my own hands and ran up to the person with the gun and tried to get it away from them and just as I got my hands on it, it went off and I jumped out of my sleep drenched in sweat! I immediately went down on my knees in prayer asking God to fix the issues this person and I had been having for years.

Now being a Christian, sometimes God has a funny way of getting a message to you. Especially someone like me who is as stubborn and as stuck in my ways as the come ( I’m a work in progress, pray for me 🙂 )  The same person in the dream, called me a few short hours after I had woken from that crazy dream. I didn’t share the dream with them because I didn’t see the point. The confirmation was for me.. Point being, we were able to discuss our issues and come to an understanding and a plan to continue on existence in peace. Hopefully….

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After finishing the conversation, the dream came back to me and so did my aha moment. This was God’s ( not so subtle) creative way of telling me it was time to “kill the situation”, which we did. Obedience isn’t always pleasant, but it is required.  I thank God that this person was obedient and that He allowed me to be obedient as well.

All that aside, I was on my snapchat and my friend had a snap up that said, “Protect your inner peace” and that really resonated with me.

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Don’t let anything disturb your peace. You are in control of how you let things affect you. When you feel overwhelmed by a situation , or feel out of control , go back to the source of your peace. For me, that source is Jesus. There is nothing like leaning on Him when my peace is challenged.

Things are going to happen to disturb your peace. You are going to encounter people who challenge your peace.  There are some people who are going to make it hard for you to forgive and move on. When you live in a place of unforgiveness, you will never be at peace.

That’s what this whole blogging journey is about for me. To  learn to love people anyway, in spite of their flaws because God loves us in spite of ours.

1 Peter 4:8,  says, “Most important of all, continue to show deep love for each other, for love covers a multitude of sins.” and the tagline for my blog comes from Luke 6 :27-28 which reads, “But to you who are willing to listen, I say, love your enemies! Do good to those who hate you. 28 Bless those who curse you. Pray for those who hurt you.” 

There is a song by Israel Houghton that I love called “Others” that really speaks to me. I guess you can say its the official theme song for this blog. Have a listen down below  and hopefully this post encourages you to rectify some situations and find your inner peace!

Blessings!
xoxo
©justlovethemanyway

 

 

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: Don’t Be A Rotten Apple…

Monday Motivation: Don’t Be A Rotten Apple…

 20 Yes, just as you can identify a tree by its fruit, so you can identify people by their actions…

Hey y’all,

I was scrolling through my phone trying to make space by deleting old pictures and notes and I came across a picture that brought back a memory that inspired me today.

It was a picture of my summer Cuba vacation. On our last night we ( I went with a large group of friends) had booked an a la carte dinner at one of the resorts “fancy” restaurants. Now I may be biased, but the food in Cuba ( on the resort anyway…. )(I have had really good food OFF of the resort) is not good, so presentation is everything! The food ( I had ordered a shrimp dish) was brought out and it looked amazing.  But oh dear….. when I bit into a piece of the shrimp… I instantly pulled out my napkin and deposited the shrimp into it. It was sooooooooo bad guys. Such a disappointment!

That small moment led me to the thought, “Don’t be a rotten apple! Meaning don’t put on the facade of being  nice and kind and truthful but really on the inside you are rotten and leave a bad taste in peoples mouths.

As a Christian, we are called to live a life that honours God and part of doing that is to be obedient to the Holy Spirit. We need to be living evidence that the fruit of spirit is at hand in our lives.

The fruit of the spirit laid out for us in the book Galatians 5:22-23

22 But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!

In order to not be a “rotten apple” your inside has got to match your outside. If outside is beautiful and shiny and appealing, but inside is moldy or rotten, aren’t you disappointed?  Noting is worse than cutting into an apple you  are anticipating eating, only to find out that it is not edible !

Same goes for yourself! If your outside is so beautiful, but your core is rotten, what’s the point of calling yourself a Christian? That’s just giving people the wrong opinion of Christians!

Let your fruits match your tree. If you water a tree and nurture it, it will grow and produce good fruit . But if you neglect it and leave it by the wayside, what you produce will be less than stellar. If you as a Christian take pride in your relationship, you will do things to help it grow, spending time in prayer and reading the word of God. But if you neglect your relationship with God, you can only expect to reap what you have sown. Nothing produces nothing right?

Now some of these fruits are not easy to live by. I still struggle with patience sometimes. But part of being a Christian is admitting your faults and turning them over to your creator to help you navigate through them!

Don’t be a rotten apple folks! Be as shiny and good on the inside as you are on the outside!

I just want to leave the song, “Where the Spirit is” by Kirk Franklin with you today.

Where the Spirit of the Lord is
There is liberty
Where the Spirit of the Lord is
The captives are set free
The wounded are made whole

I’ll find rest for my soul
Where the Spirit is
There is liberty

Where the Spirit is
Where the Spirit is
Where the Spirit is
There is liberty

Where the Spirit of the Lord is
There is liberty
Where the Spirit of the Lord is
The captives are set free
The wounded are made whole
There is rest for your soul
Where the Spirit is
There is liberty

Where the Spirit is
There is healing
Where the Spirit is
There is deliverance
Where the Spirit is
There is joy

Where the spirit is
There is liberty

 

Love Y’all
Peace and Blessings!
xoxo

 

Year 31…

Year 31…

So it’s been a whole 365 days since I entered my thirties and my what a transition its been! This year has been.. (for lack of a better word) traumatic!  I was in not one, but TWO car accidents! My mom and dad both battled some health issues. I battled ( and am still battling) a little bit of a health issue. I saw some  long friendships disintegrate and had my faith in the goodness of people tested. Needless to say, its been rough.

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But you know what else I discovered this year? Through all the curve balls life threw my way  this,  I’M STILL HERE!  Travis Greene has a song called “Still Here ”  and one of the lyrics in the chorus says, “If the devil could kill me, he would have done it by now”. Well ain’t that the truth! I’m still here and it’s for a reason! After every storm, the sun must shine again 🙂 and with my storms I also had lots of sunny moments!

Last month, I went on a trip to Cuba( again lol)

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Took a trip with some amazing guys and gals… #vivalacuba

I went with the intention to sit on my butt beach side or poolside and do absolutely nothing! But when I got there, we all ( I went with a large group of friends) decided we were going to do some excursions. One of these excursions, included an opportunity to do some snorkeling. Now, if you know me, me and deep water don’t mix at all- its a real fear( I can swim quite fine, just deep water and me don’t really mix ). Now once before when I was in Turks and Caicos, I attempted to go snorkeling…. but I never made it past the shore…. I chickened out! This time in Cuba, I was literally so close to backing out again (like literally telling my girl Naomi “I’m not going out there,I’m going back to shore 😛 ) , when I heard a voice in my head saying, “Just go, just do it!” So… I did and it was the most exhilarating experience of my life! I also did horseback riding, swimming in a dark cave and held an alligator… all on the same day! I think I kicked fears butt that day!! 🙂

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Those experiences taught me a life lesson that I will carry with me into year 31: to live life to its fullest. To not let fear rob you of experiences! To live each moment with the essence of gratefulness and an air of grace.

 

Grace… man grace has been my life’s theme this past year and it certainly seems that it’s going to continue throughout this year. 

This year I’m going love a little harder….
I’m going to chase down more fears and conquer them one at a time…
I’m going to continually walk in grace…

And when all else fails… I’m gonna love them anyway!

So cheers to another year of life! I can’t wait to see what God has in store me!

My favorite scripture is 2 Timothy 1:7 and it reads, For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.

Power
Love
Sound mind….

Year 31…

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xoxo

Monday Motivation: You Deserve It…

Monday Motivation: You Deserve It…

Hey y’all!

After a much needed vacation, ( spent a lovely week in Cuba with friends and friends like family) I am back again with another edition of Monday Motivation!

While sitting on the balcony of my hotel room throughout the week, I spent a lot of time in reflection . See, I am an early riser ( no matter how late I go to sleep) so I had many an opportunity to watch the sun come up, hear the birds chirp, and listen to the calm crash of the ocean.  During my time of reflection, along with reading something uplifting ( I’m currently doing a study of the book of Exodus using a awesome devotional that I’ll link down below) I also liked to listen to music. One song that kept resonating in my spirit and I kept on repeat was “You Deserve It” by JJ Hairston . I stumbled across this song while catching up on my sister girl blogger friends’  blog (No strings Attached here on  WordPress) post.

I really began to think,  how often do we actually give God our praise and unadulterated worship simply because He deserves it and not because it is required?

When you enter into a relationship with Christ, it kinda goes without saying that He requires your worship and praise.Oftentimes, I find we as Christians( me included!) get stuck in a rut where we simply go through the motions! Where we attend services and lift our hand in worship because its “required”.  We tend to forget all that He has done for us. The mere fact that He sent His son to die on a cross for simple sinners like us, that we might have life and have it more abundantly ( John 3:16-17, John 10:10) is reason enough to give him praise!

We sometimes lack worship because its almost as if we expect Him to come through every time,  with no intention of giving honour to whom honour is due! Have you ever done something wholeheartedly and received  not even a thank you? Even though you probably weren’t doing it for the praise, gratitude feels really nice. Think about how God feels, He does everything for us with only expectation being that we worship Him in spirit and in truth

23 But a time is coming and has now come when the trueworshipers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth,for the Father is seeking such as these to worship Him. 24 God is Spirit, and His worshipers must worship Him in spirit and in truth.”… )

Take some time out to give God some praise simply because He deserves it!
If He woke you up in your right mind… HE DESERVES IT!
Took you out of a bad situation?… HE DESERVES IT!
Restored a broken heart?….HE DESERVES IT!
The fact that he is simply the “I AM WHO I AM” creator of everything, healer, doctor, lawyer, friend is more than enough reason to give Him praise!

Give him praise not only because you’re supposed to,but because you want to and simply because He deserves it!  This is the cry of my heart right now!

My hallelujah belongs to You
You deserve it
You deserve it
You deserve it
You deserve it

All of the glory belongs to You
You deserve it
You deserve it
You deserve it
You deserve it

Call &Resp;: Hallelujah
All the glory, All the honour,
All the praise
You deserve

(link to the devotional: http://kristinschmuckershop.com/)

Have an amazing evening lovelies!
xoxo

 

Monday Motivation: What If….

Monday Motivation: What If….

Hey guys,

This weekend I was able to serve as a bridesmaid for one of my dearest friends.  It was a day filled with love, laughter and excitement, truly a beautiful day. This weekend brought me back to a conversation I had with a friend of mine a few months back. She had recently ended her long time relationship and was coming to terms with the fact that one day she was going to have to re-enter the crazy dating world.

As we began to get deeper into conversation, she mentioned that she knew a guy that would be perfect for her , and that he has shown interest in pursuing a relationship (possibly) with her, but there was only one problem… he was her really good friend and she didn’t want to jeopardize that.

I told her I could totally understand that fear because I’ve been there and while it didn’t work out romantically for said friend and I, we were still able to remain good friends. I do understand that that’s not always the case and can relate to the skepticism of pursuing that.

But that led us into a discussion about the what if’s? She asked, “But what… ( insert a number of questions)  What if that is the person you are supposed to be with? What if you are letting fear get in the way of your destiny? What if God is trying to show you something?

Being a Christian ( my friend is too) it becomes evident that the answer to our what if’s are to found in communication with Christ.

In the bible in Jeremiah 29:11-12 it states 11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.12 Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you

It is clear that the answer to the “what if’s” can easily be answered with some good old fashioned communication with the Father ( God) Our lives are already mapped out for us. God already knows the answers to the “what ifs” we so desperately want to  know. He’s planned every aspect of our lives and knew and any given moment you would have these what if questions arise. He desperately wants you to seek him ( talk to him in prayer) and find the answers you are looking for.However, you can seek God all you want, but if you don’t actually listen to what He’s trying to say to you or show you, its pointless. Why wouldn’t you trust the person that already knows how the story ends or possibly begins? ❤

It’s extremely hard to take yourself ( and your opinions) out of the  way sometimes. Sometimes we get in the way of our own success and happiness!  We ask ourselves ,”What if it  doesn’t work?” and like I said to my friend, “But what if it does?”

You’ll never know unless you try. You just have to step out on faith and try it!

But what if I don’t get that job?... What if you do?
What if my feelings for this person are not reciprocated?…. But what if they are?
What if?….

I hope you all take the opportunity to seek God and find the answers to your what ifs! I know I have a ton of them and through the seeking process He is teaching me to be patient… ( ugh I hate waiting… lol )
I love this song by Babyface called “What If”. Enjoy and have a wonderful Monday!
xoxo

What if we were wrong about each other?
What if you were really made for me?
What if we was `sposed to be together?
Would that not mean anything?
What if that was `sposed to be my house that you go home to every day?
How can you be sure that things are better?
If you can’t be sure your heart is still here with me
Still wanting me