​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: Still…

​Monday Motivation: Still…

Hey Y’all,

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

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

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

Image result for flag system at beaches

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Be Blessed!
Til next time…
xoxo

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©justlovethemanyway

Monday Motivation: Chasing After You….

Monday Motivation: Chasing After You….

Hey guys!

Real quick post today!

Have you ever had to chase down a toddler? Those little legs of theirs move so quickly and it takes everything in you to catch them before they get too far away from you! It’s the same way I feel about my relationship with the Father (God). I will do anything I have to do, to not let him get too far out of my reach.  Has anybody here ever run track as part of a relay team? Well If you have, you’ll know that you have to get that baton into the hands of the next runner before its too late. If  you run out time, you are instantly disqualified.

I don’t want to be ( nor do I want anybody to be) disqualified from the gift of life! Life eternal that is! Which is why, right now, while we can, we should not only seek God but we should chase after Him. There should be such a desire to know God intimately, that the moment you feel Him slipping away there should be a frantic desire to be close to Him again!

Don’t fall too behind in the race that its nearly impossible to catch up! Meaning, don’t let God get too far away from you that its hard to make your way back to Him.

I’m constantly running God down (lol) I just want to be near to Him. Just like David. David was a man with many flaws. He disobeyed and let God down time and time again- just like me. But also like me was the fact that David LOVED God- scratch that, David was in love/awe of God. So no matter how far he strayed from his calling, He always admitted his flaws. He chased after God and with that he brought a heart of repentance.

I urge us all to continuously chase after God.  We ( this world ) needs Him close  now more than ever!

This totally wasn’t the post I wanted to post today, but I guess somebody ( maybe even me) needed this reminder today!  It’s so funny  that as I was typing my original post, I had Facebook on in the background. There popped up a video of my cousin leading worship and singing the song, “Chasing After You ” by Vashawn Mitchell. How fitting! Have a listen down below and have a blessed Monday!
xoxo
©justlovethemanyway

 
I’m chasing after You, no matter what I have to do
‘Cause I need You more and more…
I’m chasing after You, no matter what I have to do
‘Cause I need You, Lord, more and more…

More and more
More and more
More and more
More and more

I’m chasing after You
Praising my way through, yeah
Just to be closer to You, Lord
I’m chasing after You, Lord

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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Monday Motivation: The Storm…

Monday Motivation: The Storm…

Hey guys,

Short post today:

Today was a gloomy, damp rainy day here in my city a which is weird for this time of year. We are usually neck deep in snow. It was just one of those blah days which totally reflected my mood. There’s been so much happening to me and people I love these past weeks. I lost a friend to domestic violence/ murder last week (RIP Holly).

Another friend is dealing with devastating health news and another is in the middle of an emotional breakdown. The storm today is reminiscent of the storm happening around me, and it doesn’t feel good.  As I write this, its still raining and I found myself asking God figuratively and literally, “When is this storm going to end?”

God reminded me of the story  of Noah and the ark, and after the rains had ended, He sent a reminder of hope through a rainbow.
Now how is a rainbow formed? In order for a rainbow to become visible, the Sun must shine through! This story caused me to look at my figurative storms the same way. If your personal storms are going to end, you have to let the SON ( Jesus) shine through.

There is nothing that you can do to make a rain storm stop. It has to run its course.But after the storm, the sun must shine again. It might not be right away, but it will shine again!  In the storms of life, the SON (Jesus) will shine through for you. It may not come in the way you seem, but know someway , somehow He is working on sending you that rainbow. Don’t lose hope !We often try everything in our power to get the storm to stop which always leaves us disappointed because like I said before a storm has to run its course. As we go through the storm we often overlook the lesson in the storm. What is it trying to teach us? To slow down? To be prepared? To stay vigilant? To seek help? We can’t weather the storms of life by ourselves. Give your storms to the one who can see you through .  God is always in control and God will see you through.

Image result for storm  needs to end

It may not look like you are going get through your situation. Your journey may seem long, dark and never-ending. But remember, you are on your journey for a reason. You may not understand the reason, but trust your journey. Take heart in the fact that there is someone greater than you working on your behalf! There is always light at the end of tunnel, despite how long your tunnel may be!

  • “The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears, and delivers them out of all their troubles.” (Psalm 34:17)

  • He gives power to the weak, and to those who have no might He increases strength.” (Isaiah 40:29)

Tell your storm to pass!!! Its time for the SON to shine!!!! This song is truly my testimony today. Be blessed!

Even though your winds blow
I want you to know
You cause me no alarm
Cause I’m safe in his arms
Even though your rain falls
I can still make this call;
Let there be peace
Now I can say go away
I command you to move today
Because of faith I have a brand new day
The sun will shine and I will be okay
That’s what I told the storm
!

I told the storm to pass
Storm you can’t last
Go away – I command you to move today
Storm – when God speaks;
Storm – you have to cease
That’s what I told the storm!

Winds stop blowing!
Floods stop flowing!
Lightning stop flashing!
Breakers stop dashing!
Darkness go away!
Clouds move away!
That’s what I told the storm!

Death can’t shake me!
Job can’t make me!
Bills can’t break me!
Disease can’t take me!
You can’t drown me!
My God surrounds me!
That’s what I told the storm!

xoxo
©justlovethemanyway.com

 

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: Touch The Hem…

Monday Motivation: Touch The Hem…

Hey guys!

There are some biblical stories that are always talked about; David and Goliath, Adam and Eve, The birth of Jesus and his subsequent Crucifixion and so forth .But there is a story in the bible that is not often talked about.  It is the story of the woman with the issue of blood .

In this story there was a woman who was suffering with the condition of constant and continuous bleeding for TWELVE YEARS, Now in biblical times, when a woman was bleeding, it was a sign of being “unclean”. Now imagine, for twelve long years you are basically a pariah in your community.  She was prohibited from entering the synagogue and anything she touched became unclean as well.  Even if anybody bumped into her and came into contact with her they too became unclean. I can’t even begin to imagine what she must’ve been feeling. Isolated, alone, without hope.

Anyway, she had tried everything to get well. Seen doctors,  spent all she had on treatments. She was down to her last bit of will! She was looking for a miracle. She heard Jesus was passing by and decided within herself that  If she could only touch the hem of his garment ( robes) that she would be made well.

Now lets put this is perspective for a minute. Jesus drew a big crowd wherever he went. She was deemed unclean…. she entered this crowd. What do you think the people around her were thinking? What do you think they were saying? She didn’t care ! She was determined to just touch his hem and receive her miracle that day!

So, she reached out and touched the hem of his garment and instantly  the blood dried up and she was healed. Jesus, feeling the power come out of Him turned around and said, ,”Who touched me?”. He looked down and saw the woman and said to her, “Daughter your faith has made you well. Go in peace and be healed! ( Mark 5:22)

It seems that there is something new to learn every time you read a story in the bible and here’s what I took from this story this time:

What really inspired me was her  faith and determination. No matter what people were saying about her, despite her condition, she was not going to miss her opportunity for healing. She was determined to touch Jesus and be made well! Now Jesus could have felt the power of healing leave His body and kept on walking to where he was going. Nobody would  have known what had taken place except for Him and the woman. But instead , He acknowledged her and her perseverance. I say all that to say that Jesus sees and hears you when you cry out to Him! Keep listening! He’s acknowledging your faithfulness!

If only we could have faith like the woman with the issue of blood. That no matter our circumstances, we aren’t going to let any opportunity to touch Jesus pass us by! It’s obvious that while we are unable to physically touch Jesus while we are here on earth, there is another way “touch his hem” and that is…. PRAYER!

Prayer= Communication with God

Hebrews 4:16 states, “So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.”

Whatever it is you need from God whether it be a physical healing or even a mental or spiritual healing, reach out and touch his hem! Don’t miss your opportunity!

There is a song by Fred Hammond called “Let Me Touch The Hem” that is so fitting for this post. The lyrics are simply:

Let me touch the hem of His garment
touch the hem of His garment
and I will be made whole
(Repeat)

For the Lord is passsing by
Yes the Lord is passing by
His wondrous healing virture just take hold
So as He’s drawing nigh
Don’t let this moment pass you by
He can heal your body, your spirtit, and your soul
(Repeat)
Read more: Fred Hammond – Let Me Touch The Hem Lyrics | MetroLyrics

You can find the story of the woman with the issue of blood in various parts of the New Testament: Matthew 9: 19-22, Mark 5:25-34 and Luke 8:43-48

Be blessed guys! Have beautiful and blessed week!
xoxo

 

 

 

Monday Motivation: I Don’t Look Like What I’ve Been Through…

Monday Motivation: I Don’t Look Like What I’ve Been Through…

Hey loves!

As you know from yesterday’s post, I am not feeling the greatest. But I couldn’t let today pass me by without sharing a quick word.

I put the music on my phone on shuffle this evening and the song ,” I Don’t Look Like ( What I’ve Been Through) by Deon Kipping came on. I actually haven’t heard this song in years and didn’t even realize that it was still on my phone… but when God has a word for you ( and you!) He can’t be stopped.

I really shouldn’t be here. I should have been dead and gone several times over! Emotional stress should have captured my mind and left me crazy a long time ago…
Toxic relationships should have broken me down to my core…
I’ve had friends and family die tragic and untimely deaths…
I’ve been counted out more times than I can count…
I’ve had people say awful things about me behind my back and smile in face right after

But…

The unmerited grace and favour of God has kept me (and is still keeping me)
If I told you my story you wouldn’t believe me. People always ask me how I can keep I all together in the midst of my storms and still find a way to see the positive.I simply tell them its only the grace of God. Even in what seems like the midst of defeat, God grants me sweet peace.

If I looked like what I’ve been through, I wouldn’t be much to look at trust me. I know many of you are going through things too and you don’t know how you’re going to make it through! Just take faith in knowing that there is a God who sees every tear you shed, hears every prayer…Even if it seems like He doesn’t!

So keep smiling, keep pushing through your situations, God will continue to see you through!

Have a wonderful Monday !
( back to bed I go!!)

xoxo

Monday Motivation: The Prayer of Jabez…

Monday Motivation: The Prayer of Jabez…

Hey guys!

I hope you had a wonderful weekend and that your week is starting off beautifully. I’m not going to spend a lot of time with you today as it’s finally warm consistently here where  I live and its my day off! I wanna get outside !! 🙂

Yesterday I was singing at a concert where the headliner was a Jamaican gospel artist by the name of Jabez.  Every time I hear his name I am reminded of the prayer of Jabez and a book of the same title that I read many years ago and when I woke up this morning I had this one particular song on loop in my head (I’ll share it with you soon)

In the book of 1 Chronicles, the first couple of chapters deal with  genealogy/lineage. In chapter 4 we meet a man named Jabez who was given his name which means (loosely) “sorrow maker” because she ( his mother) bore him in pain. The bible describes Jabez as honourable above his brothers. When he made a request to God, a simple request, it was granted.

That request is found in 1 Chronicles 4: 10 and it reads:

Jabez cried out to the God of Israel, “Oh, that you would bless me and enlarge my territory! Let your hand be with me, and keep me from harm so that I will be free from pain.” And God granted his request.

When you break down that prayer , Jabez actually asks for four things:

  1. That God would bless him
  2. That God would enlarge his territory
  3. That Gods hands would be upon him and that He would keep him (jabez) from harm
  4. That he would be free from pain

 ( I find it so interesting that in the middle of this genealogy  list the author of Chronicles found it important enough to highlight the prayer of Jabez.)

What an incredibly beautiful prayer that encompasses everything I ( and possibly many of you ) need right now.  Oh that God would bless me and enlarge my territory, and not only that but that He will protect me and keep me from pain.  In a world filled with such turmoil and sorrow,I think that this prayer is pretty relevant for the times we are living in.

Stay faithful my friends and make your requests known to God! Even the smallest of requests God wants to tell Him. There is nothing to small or big for God!

The prayer of Jabez has found its way back into my life and has provided so much comfort! May it bless you as it’s continuing to bless me!

Increase!
Enlarge!!
Bless Me Indeed!!!!! ( and you all ❤ )

The song I mentioned earlier that was on loop in my head is by Donald Lawrence and it’s called ” Bless Me ( Prayer of Jabez), an oldie but a goodie!

Bless me, bless me
Oh Lord, bless me indeed,
Enlarge my territory
Oh Lord, bless me indeed
(I pray for increase)
Bless me indeed
(I pray for increase)

Increase, increase
Oh Lord, bless me indeed,
Enlarge my territory
Oh Lord, bless me indeed
(I pray for increase)
Bless me indeed

Soloist:
Keep Your hands upon me
So that evil cannot harm me
Sunshine and rain, sickness and pain
God, I humbly come to You
Enlarge my territory
Enlarge my territory

Choir:
Oh Lord, bless me indeed
(I pray for increase)
Bless me indeed

Keep Your hands upon me
So that evil cannot harm me
Sunshine and rain, sickness and pain
God, I humbly come to You
Enlarge my territory (x2)
Oh Lord, bless me indeed
(I pray for increase)

Soloist:
Keep Your hands upon me
So that evil cannot harm me
Sunshine and rain, sickness and pain
God, I humbly come to You
(I want you to…)

Choir:
Enlarge my territory (x2)
Enlarge my territory (x4)
Enlarge my territory (x2)

Oh Lord, bless me indeed
(I pray for increase)
bless me indeed
(I pray for increase)

Have a blessed Monday!
xoxo

Monday Motivation: The First Time I Realized I Was Black…

Monday Motivation: The First Time I Realized I Was Black…

Hey guys!

A friend of mine posted on her Facebook page a video from CNN.com with the hashtag, #realizediwasblack. This series CNN is loosely based on the works of WEB Du Bois literary book entitled, ” The Souls of Black Folk”. CNN asked celebrities of colour to recount their stories of the first time they realized they were black. I was captivated and this led me to think about my own “discovery” ( for lack of a better word). Here is my story:

As a young black girl, you know the struggle of “wash day”. Wash day was usually on Saturday  when your mom would wash, chiney bump ( aka bantu knot) blow dry, grease and either braid or style your hair for the week. Now as a young black girl, with thick natural hair, this could be a whole day process! Nevertheless, week after week this had to be done, and week after week I would go to school and see my kinky coils and compare them to the silky ringlets of many of my peers( I mean besides me and my cousin, there were no other black girls in our school at the time)  I wanted my hair to flow down my back like theirs did! I never took into consideration that my hair didn’t operate like that.

Now every so often, my mom would use the hot comb and press out my hair ( mostly to make it easier for her to manage and manipulate) and when she did that I felt like a superstar. My hair was “flat” and laying down my back like my friends.

My mom and dad worked the early shift. Which left me on my own to get ready and get myself off to school at a pretty young age ( don’t judge lol this was over 2 decades ago where it was socially acceptable  and much safer for kids to be home alone and  walk to school by themselves) Every morning, I would get up, get ready and meet my cousin at the corner and off to school we would walk together. I  must have been about 7 or 8 years old at the time.

One particular time,  my mom pressed my hair and had just left it in a simple ponytail without the usual frills and ribbons and clips. I saw this as my opportunity to “wear my hair down” . So when I got to school, I had my cousin take out my ponytail and brush out my hair and help me put on a headband.  I strutted like a peacock into that classroom and was met with stares….

Immediately I began to feel funny.. Why was everyone staring at me? and then it happened …One of my  peers looked at me and said, “Eww Sophia! Why does your hair look like that? It looks so weird!” I was confused! I was embarrassed. I ran out of the classroom and straight to the restroom. When I got there to my horror, my “beautiful” silky pressed hair had reverted back to its natural afro by way of humidity! I didn’t yet understand  that my hairs texture was not conditioned to stay in its silky state.  I had never noticed before the immense difference between my hair and the rest of the girls in my class, and the fact that my peers first reaction to my hair was “Eww” really hurt me!

I ran to my cousins class ( she was a few years older than me) and begged her to put my hair back in a ponytail. But we were kids whose moms still did our hair, so we had no idea what we were doing! Needless to say,I didn’t look like a child who’s parents even glanced at them before they walked out the door.

Finally, recess came. Outside we went…. and then something happened that really put the nail in the coffin of this awful day… and probably solidified my understanding that I was different.. and that people are going to judge me because of that.  We were playing races. I was naturally fast , so I easily beat this one boy. I ran and gave my friends high fives and then the boy that I beat turns to me and says, ” You’re so ugly and your hair is ugly. You like poo!” Go back to Africa!

I stared at him and burst into tears and ran into the bathroom and hid. I stayed there for the rest of recess and pondered what he had said. Was I really ugly? Was my hair ugly too? How could I go back to Africa, when I had never been there in the first place?

Naturally, I was glum for the rest of the day. I had completely forgotten about my hair until my mom came home and saw my head and said, “What happened to your hair???!” ( she was not pleased) So I had to tell her my whole days ordeal. She looked at me and said, “Well Sophie, remember you’re black. You’re not like them and every opportunity they get , they are going to remind you of that.” So off to the bathroom we went, where she re-washed and styled my hair and  I never did that again.

When I got older and got my hair relaxed, I enjoyed the easiness of “wash day” but relaxed hair was never really for me. That’s why in 2007 after being a bridesmaid in my god brothers wedding and having my hair gelled up and slicked for an updo, I washed all that gunk out of my hair.. grabbed a pair of scissors… and cut it all off! I called my girl and she hooked me up with some braids, and I never relaxed my hair again! Almost ten years no relaxer! Best decision ever. Now don’t get me wrong, when it comes to hair care I AM LAZY! I hate washing it .I hate taking care of it, so weave and wigs and braids are right up my alley. But don’t get it twisted ! I love my natural hair  that God blessed me with and I don’t think I would ever relax it again!

Now my mom always instilled in me that I was black and that I was to be black and proud! Never let any one of any race or culture make me feel like I was less than!  She always taught me that my black is beautiful and that I am perfect just the way God made me. I wish more young black girls had strong examples in their lives, that encourage them to love the skin they’re in and embrace their melanin! 🙂  Sadly, many young girls live a world where they have been taught ( or forced) to feel less than beautiful… less than powerful.. less than important… less than valuable!

I want every black young lady ( and gentlemen) to know that YOU ARE IMPORTANT!  YOU MATTER! BE PROUD OF WHO YOU ARE!!

Psalms 139:13-14 says: For You formed my inward parts; You wove me in my mother’s womb. I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Wonderful are Your works, And my soul knows it very well. 

God makes no mistakes! You are you for a reason, for a purpose!

You’re fearfully and wonderfully made so be black and be proud!

I think the amazing James brown said it best 🙂  ( take a listen)

Have an amazing Monday!

xoxo

ps check out other stories like mine here: